PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq. Podcast Generator 2.5 - Wed, 12 Aug 2020 05:52:25 -0700 en © Martin Hash 2016 PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq. Dr. Martin Hash Podcast Martin Hash Martin Hash no 821 U.S. Healthcare vs. Great Britain politics & philosophy While training as a doctor, I did my Basic Sciences in England, and while there utilized their fully socialized National Health Service, the NHS. In comparison, during my medical training rotations in the United States, I served in The Bronx, East Oakland, and South Miami, three of the most notorious hospitals in the nation. I've also visited over 100 countries, spent a year touring Africa, and I'm an attorney. In my estimation, the British healthcare system is best, not because of the NHS, but because it has both public healthcare and private healthcare options, with preferences among its citizens about evenly split. If a Brit wants free healthcare, there's the NHS, and it's fine but Americans would have to get used to not being such prima donnas. The rest of the population uses U.S.-style, insurance-based private healthcare, with service & capabilities very similar to the U.S. This is where Market Forces play a part: healthcare in the UK is free but utilitarian; no glass & chrome palaces so 40% of their population opts for private healthcare, but because the alternative is free, private healthcare costs are kept low. It’s an effective market choice trade-off that has little to do with quality of care or wait times, those are mostly the same; it's more for status, a benefit British companies can offer significantly cheaper than the U.S. Great Britain has the best of both worlds except that the people who use private healthcare still have to pay for the public one.   politics & philosophy 2:47 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, healthcare, NHS no Tue, 11 Aug 2020 07:00:00 -0700 820 Ranking Healthcare politics & philosophy There are political agendas in ranking healthcare among nations. Technically, world healthcare rankings don’t even use the same reporting criteria, but the biggest difference is they aggregate everybody’s outcome, not personal outcome. This measurement difference affects the very definition of “healthcare;” rationing by everyone receiving the same care, the egalitarian ideal, to rationing the best care to those who can afford it, which are two very different ways to rank. It's the same continuing battle between sanctimony and conscientiousness, so with that in mind, it's not difficult to believe that according to the discredited World Health Organization, the WHO, France has the best healthcare in the world; followed by Italy, San Marino, and of course, Andorro. The United States is ranked 37th, which is better than Slovenia but not as good as Costa Rica. These rankings result because, according to the WHO, the goals of healthcare have components of quality, equity, responsiveness & fairness. The word “quality” is insidiously misleading because it means the health of everybody, not the kind of care you personally could expect to get in a hospital. Equity means everybody receives the same healthcare, no buying up. Responsiveness is a subjective measure of what people expect rather than any actual measurements. Fairness is whatever anybody wants it to mean. I suggest anybody in the WHO, or believes in the goals of the WHO, go to Andorro the next time they have a brain embolism.   politics & philosophy 2:47 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, healthcare, ranking no Sun, 09 Aug 2020 07:00:00 -0700 819 Measuring Healthcare politics & philosophy Demagoguery is perhaps the most exploitable aspect of healthcare because it's literally a life-or-death situation. This, of course, leads to political manipulation based on ideological grounds, specifically, the ubiquitous liberty vs. egalitarian battle. One of the egalitarians most effective tactics is to “measure” healthcare, which sounds reasonable, except they pick the metrics, and there's a blatant lack of any measure of actual quality; like the level of training of doctors, the comfort of the patients, or even the availability of modern technology, treatments & equipment. Instead their intention is to discredit meritocracy in favor of subjective social platitudes like empathy & equality, without knowing how many knee replacements & heart stints have been performed, or how quickly & professionally. Life expectancy doesn’t mean anything: America has strict recording methods about infant mortality, and there's lots of obesity. In America, you have the liberty to destroy your health. America’s healthcare system is excellent, and there’s plenty of it; the problem is the cost. Many people are one injury away from bankruptcy. This situation particularly affects the Middle Class, people who have too much to get healthcare for free because they have something to lose. Unfortunately, they're only about 20% of the population, so in a democracy, they don't have enough voting power versus the healthcare industrial complex. Still, every measurable real thing about America's healthcare is best, if you’re rich, or if you're poor.     politics & philosophy 2:40 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, healthcare, measurement no Fri, 07 Aug 2020 07:00:00 -0700 818 Cutting Healthcare Costs politics & philosophy Healthcare plays on people’s fear, vanity & self-righteousness; that's a deadly combination that politics can’t fix, and a formula for upward spiraling costs. Only adversarial relationships can contain costs so the goal is for healthcare to remain as Market Forces driven as possible, with both private and public options, while recognizing that it’s a natural monopoly, and that business goals are not the same as societal goals. With that in mind, here’s a short list of things that could be done to lower healthcare costs: The first step has got to be to force health providers to publicly list their prices. For example, post all-inclusive prices for surgery. Some facilities have been doing this for decades and it's been spectacularly successful, but runs into the insurance manipulation juggernaut. Eliminating State-by-State licensing would facilitate franchising and doctor availability. Start physician training right out of high school like other nations, no prerequisite undergraduate degree, which lowers the cost of education. No cap on medical Residencies. Currently, many aspiring doctors with M.D.s cannot practice because they can’t get a Residency. But do place caps on Medical Liability Awards; the States with caps have lower costs. Let Medicare negotiate prices. Right now, by law, they can't. And make Medicare an option for ACA insurance at its cost. Don’t let drug companies advertise. Only the U.S. and New Zealand allow drug advertising, which is 90% of the money the pharmaceutical companies spend; only a tiny fraction goes to R&D and manufacturing. And no public funding of “alternative” medicine, or any other quackery like chiropractic or acupuncture, which has been completely debunked using the same kind of scientific studies used to verify real medicine. Finding solutions to the high cost of healthcare are easier than identifying the problems.   politics & philosophy 3:30 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, healthcare, costs no Wed, 05 Aug 2020 07:00:00 -0700 817 High Healthcare Costs politics & philosophy There are a variety of reasons healthcare in the U.S. is so expensive; most people know that insurance is a poor way to handle healthcare costs because insurance is the practice of everyone pooling their money for rare, expensive events, but healthcare is not rare, everyone needs it regularly; therefore the insurance strategy is the main culprit; but there are other, less known and more insidious reasons for the high cost of American healthcare: First, the 1973 HMO Act allowed the development of for-profit healthcare organizations; before that they were nonprofit, not Capitalism-based. The profit motive of hospitals adds layers of investors and managers that simply aren’t needed. Secondly, the reason Emergency Room costs are so outrageous is that since hospitals are reimbursed by the government for healthcare to non-paying patients, they make the prices as high as they can. Insurance companies have negotiated away those high costs so only the government and people without insurance pay the super-high prices. Obamacare exacerbated this exploitation. Plus, there’s perverse incentives for hospitals to charge an exorbitant amount to cash-buyers but accept a reasonable amount from insurance companies because of kickbacks to mysterious insurance brokers that work behind the scenes to manipulate prices. Another huge component of healthcare cost is psychological; first there's the democracy component: as long as a considerable voting block gets free healthcare, they don't much care if the other people have to pay high prices. And who wants “choice” in healthcare? Everyone wants the very best; and because there’s a status-prestige aspect to healthcare, it becomes a fashion statement: “My Dr. went to Yale,” “My clinic has escalators,” “My nurse held my hand the whole time.” American healthcare offers the very best in glass & chrome medical palaces because the cost of the facilities are presumably indicative of the care. In these circumstances, why would anybody be surprised American healthcare is the most expensive on the planet?   politics & philosophy 3:46 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, healthcare, costs no Mon, 03 Aug 2020 07:00:00 -0700 816 Free Market Healthcare politics & philosophy Healthcare consumers can be divided into three groups: those who can afford it and don't really care how it's provided as long as they get the best; then there's those who can't afford it and want the government to provide it as long as they get the best; and lastly, Free Market types who would be willing to shop around. These are mostly self-employed people not covered by an insurance plan because they are too expensive. Free Markets are typified by price transparency, meaning you know up front what you're going to pay with no unexpected charges. Because of the nature of your health, that requirement best applies to treatments with a predictable process, like surgery, that are also traditionally very expensive, so the savings are worth the inconvenience of traveling someplace else. The Free Market Medical Association is a prime example of how this works in practice with their multi-decade record of low prices with excellent outcomes. They don't take insurance, not that they wouldn’t but insurers won’t take them. Insurance is one big pricing scam, as evidenced by how the stocks of those companies soared upon passage of Obamacare then cratered upon the issuance of the Executive Order from the White House for Price Transparency. The transparency requirement is the first step in unwinding the too-cozy relationship between government and their crony healthcare industry. State regulations that prevent Free Market healthcare also have to be overcome for it to gain wide acceptance, so you wouldn't have go to Oklahoma City to get treatment.   politics & philosophy 2:34 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, healthcare, free market no Sat, 01 Aug 2020 07:00:00 -0700 815 Right to Other People's Labor politics & philosophy One of the repeated complaints against socialized healthcare is that people don't have the right to other people's labor; that patients can't force doctors to treat them. That's an easy argument to counter because as everyone knows, defendants have the right of an attorney in a criminal trial, and if they cannot afford it, the court will provide one. That's essentially a right to someone else's labor though the attorney does get paid by the government. Similarly, if someone shows up injured at an Emergency Room, the doctors there must serve them, that's the law too; and those doctors get paid, as does the hospital, even if the patient is indigent. However, a doctor is not required to help an injured person at an accident or any other time. The conflating of providing healthcare and “forced labor” is a specious one because it's only in hospital Emergency Rooms. Hospitals that do not want to provide that labor simply don't have Emergency Rooms. The argument isn't rather doctors are forced to work or have to work for free, but whether institutions must provide healthcare in proscribed situations. Probably, the people who don't like socialized healthcare know all of this but “no one has the right to other people's labor” sounds reasonable even though it's demonstrably untrue; ask any schoolteacher.   politics & philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, healthcare no Thu, 30 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 814 Is Healthcare a Right? politics & philosophy The battle over healthcare centers on whether it's a Right or a voluntary market transaction? Some people try to make the distinction that since it's not enumerated in The Constitution, it's not a Right, but that's an unsophisticated assumption; there are many Rights not explicitly spelled out in The Constitution but have been “constructed” by the Supreme Court, and many more Rights that are instantiated through legislation, and enforced by the law; for example, primary education of children is a “right.” The reality is healthcare became a right in 1986 with the EMTALA Act: if someone comes to the Emergency Room and requests care, the hospital is forced to provide it, that's the very definition of a positive right. Since healthcare is a Right, it should be paid for out of the General Fund, like the military and judicial system, that all taxpayers pay for, not like Medicare which only Working-People pay for. Also, since heathcare's a positive Right, it's de facto socialism and the principle of "most good to the most people" applies. It all boils down to that government should be paying for healthcare, and everyone should be able to get it, and this concept doesn't preclude Free Market healthcare for those who want special treatment. Conservative Americans are not fans of positive Rights because of the opportunity for abuse and the lack of responsibility, but healthcare has already climbed onto the list of Rights, and should be treated accordingly.   politics & philosophy 2:39 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, healthcare, health care, right no Tue, 28 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 813 Other Rights Concepts politics & philosophy Let's review some of the other Rights people are always talking about: Constitutional Rights are paramount though lots of people have other ideas what's more important. The Bill of Rights was more than an afterthought but less than Constitutional original text. Interpreting The Constitution is more democracy than it is judicial. Amending The Constitution is not really considered a possibility anymore. Constructed Rights are what happens when the political process breaks down. Egalitarianism is not in The Constitution but most people think it is. Human Rights are imaginary because there's no one to enforce them. People invoke Natural Rights when they claim morals, ethics & values supersede The Law. Capitalism provides cover to suppress personal Rights. The rights of minors hinge on arbitrary age limits because there's no better way. Parental Rights are at play in the war between liberty vs. egalitarianism. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   politics & philosophy 2:46 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, rights, constitution no Sun, 26 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 812 Parental Rights politics & philosophy The Rights of parents are not specifically mentioned in The Constitution; instead relying on the Parental Rights Doctrine, giving parents the right to raise their children without government interference, unless proven unfit. It's a history of legal precedent where parents were assumed to be the best caretakers for their children, and had a fundamental right to direct their upbringing and education. Parental Rights are also accompanied by responsibly, specifically parents are legally responsible for their children's actions, civil and criminal. Parental Rights held sway up until this century when the Supreme Court began allowing States, and even individual judges, to apply their own rules over children. This has degenerated into America having a patchwork of Parental Rights States: 11 with an actual statute protecting Parental Rights, and 19 requiring “strict scrutiny” when those Rights are threatened in court; leaving a lot of States whose egalitarian impulses could supersede, and even abolish, Parental Rights. The traditional family unit definitely requires responsible behavior on everybody's part, but unfortunately, there is no longer anywhere where these skills are taught, since feminist ideology has removed the burden from women so that in many instances The State is forced to step in to be the parent, further eroding Parental Rights.   politics & philosophy 2:28 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, parental rights no Fri, 24 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 811 Rights of Minors politics & philosophy Children don't have a full set of Constitutionally guaranteed Rights like adults because they aren't considered mature enough to make informed decisions. Children's Rights have primarily been determined by a series of Supreme Court Cases and precedence from English Common law, and are fraught with arbitrary limitations: why 16 to get a Driver's license, 18 to vote, but 21 to smoke or drink alcohol, yet a 16-year old can be tried as an adult. Yet, medically, a human's frontal cortex, the part of the brain that makes rational decisions, isn't fully formed until age 25-32. The State can take over responsibility for a minor, called “parens patriae,” to protect their health, safety, and welfare; under the guise of acting in their best interests. And schools have another level of authority, called “in loco parentis” that can curtail a child's civil liberties. Of course, there's the parents who can rule with an iron fist under the Parental Rights Doctrine. This all proves that liberty must be taught, along with responsibility for your actions and respect for other people's liberty, because babies aren't born with those understandings. Presumably, when they do, they become “adults” but, actually, most adults haven't learned those concepts either, so obviously, the concept of a “minor” is rather muddled, and therefore the rights of minors are too.   politics & philosophy 2:37 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, minors, rights no Wed, 22 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 810 Capitalism vs. Rights politics & philosophy Modern technology combined with authoritarian impulses and lack of regulations has dealt more of a blow to personal rights than any government agency because just about every Right enumerated in The Constitution can be trampled by saying a business is “private;” any amount of bias, censorship & discrimination is acceptable; made possible by the intrigues of Capitalism. Capitalism is not the cause but it is the mechanism of subverting rights because it allows bad-actors to gain ownership of public functions: like news, higher education, entertainment & technology. Foreign Nations, whose interests are contrary to America's, have gained control of these highly influential, propaganda producing conduits of information & opinion, and in combination with sympathetic ideological partisans in America, pose an existential threat to our tenuously held rights. People assume Capitalism acts as it does to “make more money,” but money isn't the cause of business interfering with our rights: credit card companies aren’t denying payment processing because they’ll make more money; Sporting goods stores didn’t stop selling guns to 18-year olds because they’ll make more money; Google isn’t changing search results to make more money; Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. don’t deplatform people to make more money. These are cases where Capitalism isn't used to make money, but instead to suppress rights.   politics & philosophy 2:42 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, capitalism, rights no Mon, 20 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 809 Natural Rights politics & philosophy Natural Rights come from the concept of Natural Law, which was part of Greek philosophy. Natural Law advocates believe morals are encoded in people's DNA, or possibly endowed by a divine presence. To most people, if it's found in the Bible, it's natural. Basically, Natural Rights are the justification to insist morals, which are subjective, can override the traditional role of legal jurisprudence. Secular Natural Rights advocates use the word “inalienable” because of the unquestionable authority it implies, and they include ethics & values in their list of Natural Rights. One of their favorites is “pursuit of happiness,” which has quasi-legitimacy due to its fame, though it isn't even part of U.S. legal canon. There's no specific number of Natural Rights because ethics & values are as subjective as morals, and vary per culture & tradition. This makes it difficult to enforce Natural Rights around the world but often throughout history, a powerful country will feel it's their moral and ethical duty to do so; usually as justification to expand an empire or make a profit. Interestingly, nowhere do Natural Rights guarantee food, shelter, clothing or security? That would be charity, which isn't a Natural Right, apparently because it costs money.   politics & philosophy 2:27 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, natural rights no Sat, 18 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 808 Imaginary Rights politics & philosophy There are the rights you have in the law, mostly the right to be left alone, but that's not enough for a lot of people who insist there is a plethora of imaginary rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 30 rights imagined by the United Nations in 1948, is primarily egalitarian, without a hint personal responsibility; no people reaping the rewards or suffering the consequences of their own actions. Of course, the first Human Right is “all human beings are free and equal,” because equality at the expense of merit is the touchstone of Leftist ideology. The next Human Right focuses on discrimination, all types imaginable, from the pov of those who claim to be discriminated against. Next are a bevy of Rights that were probably taken from the U.S. Constitution: life, property, freedom from slavery, no torture, privacy, religion, speech, expression, assembly, democracy, education, marriage & progeny, equality before the law, innocent until proven guilty, etc. Predictably, their “Freedom of Movement” is Open Borders. Welfare also figures prominently in these Rights, with multiculturalism & extended holidays specifically mentioned. How the United Nations intends to enforce these Rights is not made clear since there is no mention of an army or police force of any kind, yet Right number 30 expressly states that these imaginary Rights cannot be taken away, so who's going to stop that from happening?   politics & philosophy 2:47 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, human rights, imaginary rights no Thu, 16 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 807 What's Not In The Constitution politics & philosophy A positive right obliges action; for example, the obligation to pay taxes, or be forcibly inducted into the military. Luckily, there are very few of them because they are the exact opposite of liberty, which as counter-intuitive as the term seems, confers negative rights, meaning you are NOT to be subjected to the wants or needs of others, especially government. A person cannot be subjected to a requirement, another person or group without direct consent or mutual contract. Negative rights are fundamental to a liberty society but, apparently, are not taught in schools: Columbia Law School surveyed random people whether they thought the famous phrase, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” was part of The Constitution, and two-thirds of those polled thought it was! How ironic & saddening that the basis of Marxism, the foundation of Communism, which is a doctrine of positive rights, is confused for liberty. In fact, it's possible that liberty; making decisions for yourself and reaping the rewards or suffering the consequences of your actions, is less understood than egalitarianism, which considers meritocracy as selfishness, and insists you are your brother's keeper. This misconception actually undermines the legitimacy of The Constitution in a democracy since the majority of people are not in sync with its main premise.   politics & philosophy 2:33 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, constitution, rights no Tue, 14 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 806 Constructed Rights politics & philosophy There are a lot of dilettante non-lawyers who consider themselves Constitutional scholars, and repeatedly express their idea that Rights not explicitly enumerated in The Constitution don't exist; like the right to healthcare. Obviously, these people are unaware of the concept of Constructed Rights; Frankenstein-like rights cobbled together from other Rights, real or imagined, by various Supreme Court decisions over the centuries. Constructed Rights are just as precedence-setting as the real thing. Examples of Constructed Rights are Right to Privacy, Freedom of Movement, Right to Vote, Innocent Until Proven Guilty, and even Freedom of Expression, which laypeople assume are in The Constitution but aren't. The practical fact is, most new, far-reaching Rights came from various Supreme Courts under the guise of studious deduction of what The Constitution intended, but since Supreme Court justices are appointed by partisan presidents, and stay on The Bench for life; these new Rights are actually more political, moral, or ethical, than judicial. The ideology of the majority of judges does more to determine the direction of America than any legislative process based on democracy. Adding new Rights is usually decried as “judicial activism,” but with the amendment process so burdened with political gridlock, it seems the only method of keeping The Constitution up with the times is through kritarchy, governance by judges.   politics & philosophy 2:29 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, constitution, rights, constructed no Sun, 12 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 805 Amending The Constitution politics & philosophy Looking past the aura of divine creation, and the awe just saying “Constitution” brings to an audience, except for a few flashes of poetry and brilliant insight, mostly the document is lost in a sea of mediocrity. A lot of the writing is inapplicable, confusing, impenetrable, ambiguous, contextual, and in many cases, ignored. The vast majority of people can't list more than one or two of its guarantees, nor what they mean. The Constitution is in need of serious updating, but the country has become so diverse, so divided, so chock-full of opposing viewpoints, that the complex process of changing The Constitution is now practically impossible, and nobody really thinks that amending The Constitution is even a possibility anymore. It's not surprising that the last Amendment added was to raise Congress members' pay. In fact, with the dramatic rise of egalitarian sentiment, the very foundation of The Constitution is under attack and its legitimacy is in question. It was ratified without participation by most of the members of society, specifically women, minorities and the poor; so the very concept of liberty is up for debate, and no amount of adjustment is going to solve that. Some on The Left are even calling for abandoning The Constitution. That seems unlikely, but things that do not change, eventually become antiquated & inconsequential.   politics & philosophy 2:33 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, constitution, amending no Fri, 10 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 804 Examples of Constitutional Interpretation politics & philosophy   Life & law goes on: when a new situation arises, or even a new variation on an old situation, The Constitution is often looked to for guidance. It's at this point that the various interpretations come into play. There's no one right way to interpret The Constitution, and judges often don't always stick to only one. Outside of legal circles, the popularly-known ways of interpreting The Constitution are “plain language,” “conservative,” and “original intent.” Plain language interprets nothing. If there’s no mention of privacy then there is no Right to it. Another example: if there's no comma after “militia” in the 2nd Amendment, then there is no Right for a private citizen to bear arms; maybe it only means the National Guard? Or maybe people have to belong to a militia to own a gun? Luckily, SCOTUS followed the plain language, included the comma, and interpreted the 2nd Amendment so individuals can own guns. Conservative interpretation means adhering to past precedence, the more there is, the stronger it is, and new judgments can only overturn precedence under extreme scrutiny, like Dread Scott was overturned to reject slavery. Roe v. Wade, the abortion ruling, is highly controversial, the most fought over ruling in a century, but because of all the past precedence, it's highly unlikely it will ever be overturned. SCOTUS would have to become much less conservative. Mindreading is in the purview of the original intentists, and thankfully so, because otherwise several Rights would not exist. For example: Right of Privacy, and Freedom of Association were determined by SCOTUS to be the intention in the The Constitution, even though they are not actually written there. Predicting the past from the future has gone out of fashion, but with the current impossibility of amending The Constitution, it will probably come back.   politics & philosophy 2:52 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, constitution, conservative, plain language, original intent no Wed, 08 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 803 Interpreting The Constitution politics & philosophy Of course, The Framers of The Constitution could not predict the future so they included an amendment process, but they probably didn't envision that what seems clear and unambiguous to some, would be so differently interpreted by others. Such disputes go to the Supreme Court to decide; however, even in the Supreme Court, interpretations among the nine justices often conflict, especially among those with opposing ideologies: the libertyists vs. the egalitarians. Several interpretative strategies have emerged to resolve such issues, scholastically known as: Originalism, Modernism, Literalism & Democratic. Original Intent proponents think the best way to interpret The Constitution is to determine what the Framers intended. They look to other sources, including the contemporary writings of the framers, newspaper articles, etc. Of course, Originalists consider the original intent to be the most pure way, usually finding a quote somewhere at sometime from a Framer to support their position. Historical Literalists ignore the contemporary writings of the Framers; they contend that only way to interpret the Constitution is a literal reading of the words, with an expert knowledge in their 18th century meaning. Conversely, A Contemporary Literalist has no interest in the historical meaning of the words but relies solely on the modern definitions. The opposing method of interpretation, Modernism, looks at the Constitution as if it were ratified today with the morals and beliefs of current times. Modernists think The Constitution is deliberately vague, expressly to permit modern interpretations to override older ones: this is also known as the “Living Constitution.” concept. The Democratic interpretationists claim that The Constitution is not designed to be a set of specific principles and guidelines, but simply a basic skeleton on which contemporary ideas could be molded onto. This is where the concept of “activist judges” originates; Elites who put their own, or the majority of the population's, morals & values above those of the Framers; a tyranny of the majority approach that egalitarians must resort to if they are going to overcome the frustration of their ideals that adhering to a liberty-based Constitution imposes.   politics & philosophy 3:38 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, constitution, literalism, original intent, modernism no Mon, 06 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 802 Bill of Rights politics & philosophy At their essence, people are violent, and they would kill each other if they thought they could get away with it; The Constitution is mostly an agreement to prevent that from happening, but it also contains some aspirational concepts. It says in the Preample,”establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity;” but those goals aren't really clarified in the actual Articles that were originally ratified. Those details were instead explained in the first 10 amendments to The Constitution, called the Bill of Rights, which didn't come along until 2 years later. Without the Bill of Rights, the original Articles don’t say much, mostly about the bureaucracy of government, with little to do with the people The Constitution was imagined for. The Articles outlined how Senators were selected, since changed; how the census was counted, since changed; and Habeas Corpus, the right of charges against you to be reviewed by a judge, which has also since changed. They had to be wishy-washy like that to be acceptable at the time to the finicky States. Jefferson & Madison's intention was to get The Constitution adopted then add the meat in the amendments, specifically the Bill of Rights; in fact, they promised them behind the scenes. The Bill of Rights is where you get your Freedom of Speech, your protection from government search & seizure, your protection in court, and your gun ownership. Since then, many more Amendments have been added but the the Bill of Rights is what most people think of as The Constitution.   politics & philosophy 2:44 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, constitution, rights, bill of rights no Sat, 04 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 801 Constitutional Rights are Paramount politics & philosophy   Are Civics even part of the high school curriculum anymore? There's now an entire political party that doesn't seem to understand Constitutional Rights; particularly liberty, Free Speech, and gun ownership. They somehow think these Rights are in play; that a local or State government can place restrictions or simply vote them away? Safety is usually the given reason: limiting Rights will save lives or curb "hate speech,” but the reality is that authoritarians & cowards threaten Rights for their own selfish reasons. Unfortunately, the Corona virus Lockdowns showed that sanctimony is a powerful weapon, and how easily the sheep will fall into line, abandoning their Rights for the imaginary protection of face-masks. Authoritarian governors & mayors actually thought they could extend draconian “safety” measures indefinitely in their attempt to assume full Nanny State control, but that's not how it works: Constitutional Rights are paramount; there is no other secondary concern that takes precedence, at least not in the long run. Eventually, any curtailment of Constitutional Rights will end up in The Courts, and as long as those are conservative justices, your Rights will be restored. It's unfortunate that the elected officials who have abused Constitutional Rights aren't chastised or penalized in some way, but that's one of the weaknesses of democracy: Interest groups, even foreign nations scheming against the U.S., will push as hard as they can against your Constitutional Rights because personal autonomy is often in the way of erstwhile dictatorships.   politics & philosophy 3:03 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash humor, politics, constitution, rights no Thu, 02 Jul 2020 07:00:00 -0700 800 Climate Change Concepts Politics & Philosophy It's fair to say that a lot more is going to be said about Climate Change in the future; let's review: Ecopiety is the new world religion. The politics of Climate Change are the result of generations of eco-indoctrination. Getting rich seems the likely motivation of Climate Alarmists. Climate Scientists are the new priesthood. The list of Climatic Change skeptics is more impressive than Climate Change itself. The cost of Climate Change doesn’t justify doing much about it. Gen IV nuclear seems an easy solution for Climate Change but we won't know if we don't try. Predicting the climate will change is embarrassingly easy. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:14 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash climate change, politics, humor no Tue, 30 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 799 Climate Change Predictions Politics & Philosophy Let's assume something actually can and should be done about the changing climate, a big “if” that alone sets off alarm bells in any scientific endeavor, we need to try and predict the results of a warming climate and possible ameliorating responses. China, who has a problem right now, changed to electric motorcycles in under a decade, and they’ve got nukes going up all over the place, but all the proposed solutions in The West make it seem more likely that Globalists see Climate Change as a way to leverage into power: Open Borders, international wealth redistribution, population reduction, upending the status quo; the traditional Marxist agenda. Ulterior motives aside, the likely Climate Change scenario involves preventing mass immigration from Mexico, and encouraging mass migration within the U.S., and probably emigration to Canada. The gun culture will ensure that violence won't spread, and Martial Law plus the National Guard will keep order in threatened enclaves. The entire political landscape will change because the voting blocks will be the migrants versus the existing population, so leaders will arise that reflect that situation. The discussion needs to be give-n-take, otherwise the skeptics won't be reassured because the religious zeal and self-assuredness of the other side is the opposite of convincing. Ultimately, like all complex systems, Climate Change is beyond prediction, so a reactive wait-and-see approach is superior to Marxist agenda-prone proactive bullying.   Politics & Philosophy 2:55 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash climate change predictions, humor, politics no Sun, 28 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 798 The Energy Solution Politics & Philosophy Though sun & wind get all the good press, nuclear energy can replace fossil fuels for our energy needs; not just now but far into the future. Nuclear is already in wide use: Europe has the most reactors, almost 200, followed by Asia with almost 150, and the U.S. holding steady at about 120 because fear has overwhelmed fact. First generation nuclear reactors were used to make atomic bombs but several types of second-generation reactors are what's being used now; technology that's half a century old. Third generation were supposed to be small, disposable reactors that never materialized; but Gen IV nuclear technology can actually solve the world's Climate Change energy controversy. There are several kinds of Gen IV reactors, with Sodium-cooled-fast ready for commercial use, but the others are just waiting for customers. The advantages Gen IV reactors have over their predecessors are: they create 100–300 times more energy yield from the same amount of nuclear fuel; can use a broader range of fuels, including the ability to consume existing nuclear waste, and any remaining waste is only radioactive for a few centuries instead of millennia; and, of course, they're safer. As archaic as it seems, nuclear reactors still make electricity by boiling water to turn an old-fashioned generator, but electricity is the future, no one disputes that. Nuclear is not inherently expensive nor big, that’s artificial; inexpensive reactors are put into submarines and spacecraft. Nuclear is the fastest, cheapest, most efficient, most eco-friendly way to replace fossil fuels. It's politics that makes it expensive and slow, which ends up making people skeptical of the whole alarmist argument, but as soon as nuclear energy is finally on the table, consider solving Climate Change a done deal.   Politics & Philosophy 3:22 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Nuclear energy, Gen 4, humor, politics no Fri, 26 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 797 Cost of Climate Change Politics & Philosophy A recent government report came out projecting how Climate Change will negatively impact the U.S. GDP: 10.5% by 2100. It's humorous when people make 10-year predictions, but 80 years is insulting, especially when they’re so obviously politically motivated. Climate Alarmists generated sensational doomsday headlines with that data but without any context; which is that number is inconsequential. In comparison, normal GDP growth would be over 700%, and Climate Change would only reduce it to 600%, which is still huge. Even on a global scale, the effects of Climate Change will supposedly limit the world economic growth rate to 2%. That means, even with Climate Change, the world economy will be increasing from $90 trillion to $360 trillion. If instead we tried to combat Climate Change, regulations and other related “fixes” would have a much bigger negative impact on GDP; throttling the world economy for only an estimated 1% reduction in Climate Change. These kinds of wild projected numbers, and the number of years over which they are predicted, is worse than ridiculous, they're dishonest. How is it math is at the mercy of democracy; it should be the other way around.   Politics & Philosophy 2:43 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash climate change, GDP, politics, humor no Wed, 24 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 796 Who Are the Climate Deniers? Politics & Philosophy Though Wikipedia calls it; “list of scientists who disagree with the scientific consensus on global warming,” “Denier” is a term in common usage, and there's no reason not to adopt it. Let's highlight some of the famous Climate Deniers” Freeman Dyson, professor emeritus of the School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study; Fellow of the Royal Society. Ivar Giaever, Norwegian–American physicist and 1973 Nobel laureate in physics. Judith Curry, professor and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan emeritus professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the National Academy of Sciences. Nils-Axel Mörner, retired head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics Department at Stockholm University, former chairman of the Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution. Craig Loehle, ecologist and chief scientist at the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement. Joseph D'Aleo, past Chairman American Meteorological Society's Committee on Weather Analysis and Forecasting, former Professor of Meteorology. Garth Paltridge, retired chief research scientist, CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research, and retired director of the Institute of the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre. Hendrik Tennekes, retired director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Patrick Moore, former president of Greenpeace Canada. Freeman Dyson! Ivar Giaever! Judith Curry! Wow, I think I want to be on the Climate Denier team.   Politics & Philosophy 3:28 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash climate denier, climate science, humor, politics no Mon, 22 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 795 Climate Scientists Politics & Philosophy What is a Climate Scientist, and why is it that only Climate Scientists, celebrities, and Democrats can understand climate science? For example, if anyone dares question the dire predictions of Climate Scientists, or shows any amount of skepticism, they are accused of being a science denier, and if they are a scientist themselves, even a Nobel Laureate in Physics, they don't know what they're talking about because they aren't Climate Scientists. Apparently, the only way you can prevent climate change is to give supervisory power to a worldwide organization of official Climate Scientists that know what's best for everyone. To make it even more ironic; John Cook, the person who runs the Skeptical Science website which is often cited by Alarmists to defame climate skeptics is not a Climate Scientist; in fact, he’s not a real scientist at all, a “doctor of Cognitive Science,” more of a science hanger-on. Even his famed “97% of Climate Scientists Agree” article, the basis of the so-called scientific consensus on Climate Science, is unscientific; many of the authors of the papers he reported as supporting the Climate Change narrative have vociferously denied that was their conclusion. Plus, there’s even more dissenting papers by Climate Scientists he didn’t bother to include. So if the real Climate Scientists are in disagreement with a non-Climate Scientist who’s dilettante word is taken over their expertise, people can be forgiven if they suspect the whole thing is a fraud.   Politics & Philosophy 3:09 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash climate scientist, climate change, humor, politics no Sat, 20 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 794 Climate Change Motives Politics & Philosophy For all the political reasons to promote Climate Change, the question is why scientists go along? Real climate data has been misinterpreted, re-adjusted, or excused as erroneous when it didn’t support the dire predictions. First, they renamed the narrative “Climate Change” from “Global Warming” because per satellite data, there hasn't been any temperature increase in almost two decades. When that data was presented in congress, shortly thereafter it gained a “hockey-stick” jump upward; and another prominent study that also confirmed no change was pressured into collapsing their predicted temperature range to only include the statistically implausible worst case upper-bound. Both of these obviously coerced so-called “adjustments” were laughably defended by mendacious Climate-mavens whose pants were on fire. Additionally, the whole Medieval Warming Period has been conveniently forgotten when discussing the history of Global Warming. To answer why these travesties of science have occurred, as usual, refer back to the old adage, follow the money. There's a lot of cash in the Climate Alarmist business, and a lot more coming. It’s estimated $150 billion was spent during Obama’s tenure, and another $10 billion a year in tax subsidies for wind & solar. Global expenditures for crying Climate Change Wolf are approaching half a trillion dollars, but the future is where the big payoff is because the number they want spent is $5 trillion. That would make 5 million millionaires, which pretty much admits every Climate Alarmist who ever made a peep into The 1%.   Politics & Philosophy 3:03 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash climate change, politics, humor no Thu, 18 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 793 Climate Change Politics Politics & Philosophy There's a whole new voting block coming up that's been seeped in Climate demagoguery at ever-increasing levels. Three generations ago, it started out as conservation, the laudable goal of husbanding the world's wildness & resources; I was convinced as a child because that's how indoctrination works but the lesson was innocuous enough, and promised to enhance our way of life, not threaten it. Unfortunately, conservation was used as a Trojan Horse for environmentalism, which is more Marxism than science. In combination with the self-righteous appeals for baby animals, there’s the fear-mongering: nothing scares children more than predictions that the world’s going to end, and it's their fault. Kids haven’t yet gained the capacity for perspective; their nightmares tonight are about the cataclysm tomorrow. Jingoistic politicians exploit this naivete in a criminal way as they try to outgreen each other: for example, there's the Maoistic Green Leap Forward, whose representatives claim we’re a dozen years away from complete Climate annihilation. Poppycock! First, there's a lot of fraudulent science going on behind the whole Global Warming narrative with smoking-gun level rebuttals; it doesn't make any difference what percentage of people think it's true because science isn't subject to democracy. Secondly, the belief in Climate Change dogma wouldn’t split along Party lines; if half the people can't see an elephant in the room, the people who do are hysterical; and thirdly, the whole thing wouldn’t be powered by a Cult of Climate Change used to insist that we must give up our liberty and take leadership from the Elites or we’re all going to die.   Politics & Philosophy 3:03 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash climate change, environmentalism, humor, politics no Tue, 16 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 792 Ecopiety Politics & Philosophy Religion rests on the sense of superiority that comes with piety. Environmentalism as a whole, and Climate Change specifically, are similarly soaking in self-congratulations & piety, so-much-so that ecopiety has become the most universal religion on the planet; a Green imperative rather than a mystical one. Environmentalism offers both ethics and spirituality, establishing new sensibilities of virtue and sin at a personal level. It's adherents engage in tiny voluntary acts like recycling, bicycles, and self-conscientiously trying to offset their imaginary carbon footprint. They don't use plastic bags to carry food out of the grocery store, and make a point of telling waitresses not not include a straw in their water. All this pretend flagellation makes them feel like they're doing something monumental and important: saving the planet. The hypocrisy is that ecopietists consider themselves saved; their personal sacrifices let them off the hook of true changes that would actually make a difference: like living on a farm, and giving up modernity. Of course, their self-righteousness goes further still; personal ecopiety deeds aren't enough environmental virtue, they must also unilaterally impose their eco-morality economy onto society because it's best for everyone. Ecopiety, like all religions, is an attempt to gain control by creating an imagined universal imperative then compelling everyone else to bend the knee.   Politics & Philosophy 2:48 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash ecopiety, environmentalism, politics, humor no Sun, 14 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 791 Ideological Bias Concepts Politics & Philosophy Everyone has biases, especially ideological ones; let's review: Yellow Journalism is the natural state of news as entertainment. Which came first: biased news or biased public opinion? There is no way to combat negative advertising except through civility, which politics lacks. Life isn't so bad for Mr. Magoo but the houseboy's got it rough. Political AI is the final nail in the coffin of democracy. The nasty side of politics is where hate comes from. Party allegiance defies reason, logic, morals, and even sanity. If there wasn't Fake News there wouldn't be any news at all. You would be more surprised if there wasn't a Deep State. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:10 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash ideology, politics, humor no Fri, 12 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 790 Deep State Politics & Philosophy The idea that there is a Deep State, a behind-the-scenes cabal of high level government bureaucrats, protected by their positions and corrupted by their power, that really pull the strings of government, is a plausible, even a predictable one. It's only our indoctrinated sense of fair play and naive preconceptions that makes us flinch when we hear the Deep State is an actual fact; even then, many deny it no matter what evidence exists. The partisan aspect explains the selective thinking; if you're a Democrat, there is no Deep State; if you're a Republican, of course there is. That's almost proof of a Deep State on its own because it shows the substantial support and probability of a cover-up. The suspicion became reality when the Russia Hoax against Trump was investigated and specific individuals who exploited and abused their power had the light shined on their shenanigans: the top officials of the FBI including the former director, the former director of the CIA, the Democratic National Committee, the Hillary Clinton campaign, even foreign governments. That can't have been the first time they've had their finger on the scale but since they were beyond reproach, suggesting a Deep State was a laughable claim before now. The Deep State plot of countless fictional novels and movies has become reality.   Politics & Philosophy 2:29 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Deep State, humor, politics no Wed, 10 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 789 Fake News Politics & Philosophy Misinformation presented as fact, called Fake News, has become an everyday norm. News has always been closely associated with entertainment so it's not such a big surprise that it's become entertainment. In fact, there's a significant portion of the news that's about the news: ratings, the newscasters, whether it's biased. The news is making the news more than real news is. Now, like tabloids, news broadcasters even make up the news; there's no distinction between opinion and fact, hoaxes, false stories, glaring omissions, non-reporting, and strategic denials. Overall, there's a general lack of dispassionate reporting so that viewers can decide for themselves. Fake News is so prevalent today because people want to be told lies, especially by newscasters who insist they aren't lies. Viewers revel in the sense of satisfaction & schadenfreude, and the rush from envy, resentment & anger. These are the same feelings entertainment triggers, but are magnified by being presented as real and immediate. Fake News is ubiquitous because it's the natural state of news, and what inevitably happens. There doesn't have to be an evil cabal with a nefarious plan to take over the world by using the news to indoctrinate people; it's simply the form of self-affirming entertainment viewers are lusting for.   Politics & Philosophy 2:30 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Fake News, news, humor, politics no Mon, 08 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 788 Party Allegiance Politics & Philosophy In a 2-Party system, the simple mathematical fact that half of the people will benefit from forcing the other half to share keeps the size of the Parties about equal. Even though only two-thirds of the voters register their Party affiliation, that's certainly enough of a sample to predict the remaining one-third splits in half too. That's why so many elections are only separated by a few percentage points because that's the statistical error. This math explains why an exceptional campaign or especially dismal one on either side rarely sways a Party voter to cross-over. People maintain their Party allegiance, no matter what. There is no doubt that the barrier in America against collectivism has again broken down, though it does take an interest in history to know the last time that occurred was during the Great Depression, and the time before that at the end of the 19th Century. It's a profound ideological shift and one which you would think would cause a significant portion of voters to switch allegiances, or at least stop voting until their Party again more closely represented traditional liberty-based values, but that hasn't been the case at all. In fact, people show the same voting patterns no matter how dramatic the change in their Party's ideology has been. This allegiance to Party rather than position is profoundly disturbing because it means that whoever controls the biggest Party, regardless of how their ideals conflict with traditional American ideals, controls the country.   Politics & Philosophy 2:28 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash party allegiance, politics, humor no Sat, 06 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 787 The Nasty Side of Politics Politics & Philosophy For all the condemnation of “hate” by The Left, they seem to be the most hateful group in history; the rise of Communism, the physical manifestation of ideological Leftism, has killed more of humanity than even The Plague. What is the feeling that motivates people to call others names, to wish ill upon them, to plot the destruction of their lives and their livelihoods? That's hate, regardless of what inspired it, in this case the ideology of egalitarianism, which is actually an excuse for envy, anger & resentment. The irony is it's these people calling other people “hateful.” It's because of hate that politics has a nasty side: the nasty side of politics is someone in a black mask standing across from you willing to commit violence against you; the nasty side of politics are people at a newscaster's home threatening his family; the nasty side of politics is Fake News, where lies are more common than truth; the nasty side of politics is secret cabals deplatforming dissenting voices through boycotts, brigading, and bullying; and the really nasty side of politics is when people hate you because you won't do as they say.   Politics & Philosophy 2:28 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash hate, nasty side of politics, politics, humor no Thu, 04 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 786 Political AI Politics & Philosophy Computers are proof that any question can be logically answered by asking a series of yes-or-no questions. All human thought can be simulated via computer algorithms based on this underpinning, called Artificial Intelligence, or AI. If you believe that eventually people won't be able to distinguish a computer simulation from a human, then you must accept that any thought, even political thought, can be mimicked and manipulated. That means that political thought all boils down to one fundamental yes-or-no ideological question, where different ideologies have different fundamental questions. America was founded on the fundamental ideological answer, that “yes,” the wants of the individual come first, called liberty. Socialists would answer “no,” that the needs of the group come first. Google, as a private company, thinks it has the right to sway political elections using their monopolistic power. Google is said to be able to sway 5% of the voters any way they want using their AI algorithms, and that's enough to swing most elections. The fact that the Supreme Court gave them that Right is egregious enough, but it's even worse because Google is in the opposite camp to liberty. We literally have a situation where a contrary political AI is going to be vicariously governing America.   Politics & Philosophy 2:38 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash AI, liberty, Google, humor, politics no Tue, 02 Jun 2020 07:00:00 -0700 785 Mr. Magoo Politics & Philosophy Mr. Magoo was a famous old cartoon character whose entire shtick was that he had such poor vision that he misidentified everything he saw. Mr. Magoo wasn't very funny but it triggered in the audience a deep-seated recognition of their own life experience; they too knew someone who mischaracterized everything in their own imagined reality. However, Mr. Magoo's life is an accurate metaphor for anybody's life: everyone is the Center-of-the-Universe, and what they think is all that matters; their interpretation of the facts is always the correct one. Confirmation bias is the technical term; interpreting facts fit a specific narrative, often without noticing. It's eerie when two people have the same information, yet draw completely opposite deductions. Politics is rife with the Mr. Magoos: so near-sighted that everything they encounter, they interpret in a biased way; the names they call other people are appropriate because it's their universe and if someone is a racist in their eyes, then they're a racist. There's no penalty for operating this way: Mr. Magoo seems happy and satisfied; in fact, he always comes out better than he started. Yeah, his houseboy, Charlie, had to continually cover for him but Mr. Magoo didn't know that. Actually, Mr. Magoo had it pretty good; it was Charlie, who could see clearly, who always took the fall.   Politics & Philosophy 2:34 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Mr. Magoo, confirmation bias, humor, politics no Sun, 31 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 784 Negative Advertising Politics & Philosophy In business, it's considered bad form to use negative advertising to attack their competitors though they often do comparisons showing their product is better than the market leaders. However, there's no law against it, and groups sometimes advertise against cigarettes or fossil fuels, but they can't lie, or misinterpret the data without getting sued. Not so with politics; anything can be said about anybody; half-truths, lies, even personal attacks have no consequences. Plus, politics predisposes voters to accept vicious innuendo and lies about the opposition. In a political campaign, the candidate has to spend money to promote themselves, often working alone without any sincere support, but many negative forces will work against them for free, easily overwhelming whatever meager resources and time a fledgling candidate can bring to bear. It's basically a huge inertia of negative energy that must first be overcome before any positive information can get out, if it ever does, and even then it's always overshadowed by the negative. It's no wonder people are suspicious and disdainful of elected officials because the majority of their exposure to them is negative.   Politics & Philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash negative advertising, negative campaigning, humor, politics no Fri, 29 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 783 Biased News Politics & Philosophy Something that young people don't know they're missing is honest news; facts presented without a bias, allowing the reader to formulate their own opinion. There was a few decades after WW2 where that was called “news,” and the word still carries that aura and expectation of objectivity even though it's long since been abandoned. The reality now is that all Americans hear is propaganda, and the side that owns the so-called, news, organizations, are the culprits seeking after the dopamine reward that comes from self-righteousness, outrage, and virtue signaling. When consumers of news are responding to their animal instincts, their intellect doesn't stand a chance, which is why there used to be professionalism in journalism to prevent such exploitation. Of course, media bias isn't new; when mass communication was via newspapers, every town had a “Democrat” and a “Republican” paper, often eponymously named to attract like-minded readers, but the most bias is Left-leaning because altruism is easier to stoke up than staid conscientiousness, and The Left promises to improve the lives of the majority of people, while The Right reassures rich folks that their wealth is secure. Now, there is no obvious indication of bias; in fact, it's surprising how biased the online newsfeeds are; you would expect the algorithms to randomly pick sources, but since that's controlled by Big Tech, the majority of sources listed are tainted Left. It's hard to find a Right-leaning article. Hopefully, the Market can sort this distortion out, or regulation, but nothing is happening yet. Perhaps after the revolution?   Politics & Philosophy 2:57 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash biased news, humor, politics no Wed, 27 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 782 Yellow Journalism Politics & Philosophy The term, Yellow Journalism, is rare to hear nowadays but it's the same kind of so-called, news, reporting from back in the time when the color of cheap newsprint was yellowish. We've had a resurgence of Yellow Journalism in this country and there doesn't seem to be anyway back short of legislation. Why the change back to times past? Well, since the goal of journalism in a Capitalist economy is to make money, it must be a product, and all products must trigger some basic human urge: entertainment, outrage, greed, curiosity, lust, altruism, sentimentality; and news was no different when newspapers started out, and stayed like that for most of their history. In fact, it’s remarkable “news” was ever not sensationalized, but for a few decades, news journalists defined objectivity as part of a new professionalism. It worked as long as all news outlets voluntarily followed the spirit of the concept but when violating it led to them dominating the market and even controlling politics, all restraint was lifted and news sunk back into the tabloid pit. Unfortunately, the possible alternative of regulating and subsidizing news results in State propaganda. At least in the Market, the egregious rags have to make a profit or they go broke, something a State-sponsored media would never have to worry about, so the indoctrination would be even worse. The fact that Yellow Journalism went away once is proof that it's possible for unbiased news to exist in a Market-driven system; however, since then wealth has concentrated so much in America that gaining control of a media outlet just for the influence it wields, means it doesn't have to be fiscally responsive, only politically expedient.   Politics & Philosophy 3:09 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Yellow Journalism, humor, politics no Mon, 25 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 781 Liberty Concepts Politics & Philosophy Liberty is the greatest concept of all, let's go over it: The dictionary isn't much help distinguishing liberty from freedom but the hints are there. Free Will is the most important ingredient of liberty. When did liberty become unfashionable and how did it ever get into that position? The forces arrayed against liberty are formidable indeed, and precipitate its loss in a democracy. Liberty is direly threatened when wealth is concentrated into the hands of a few. There needs to be a new classification between Classical Liberals and Liberals. It's unfortunate that the most effective voices for liberty have to beg for support. Foreigners don't know what liberty is because they didn't grow up with it. The Freedom Index is a Collectivist distraction to delegitimize America's liberty supremacy. The debate between collectivism and liberty is dishonest and brutal. It's become impossible to amend the Constitution so the Supreme Court is filling in. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:39 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash liberty, humor, politics no Sat, 23 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 780 Amending The Constitution Politics & Philosophy The Constitution is a flawed document written by flawed men who happened to be in the right place at the right time, but they had the foresight to include an amendment process, which has worked out pretty well to smooth out the rough edges. There's even been an Amendment canceling an Amendment: the repeal of Prohibition; the 21st over the 18th. Per Article 5, there are two ways to make changes to the Constitution; first, when two-thirds of both House & Senate pass a proposal; or second, through a Constitutional Convention, a method that has never been used, when two-thirds of the States pass a proposal. Both methods require three-quarters of the States to ratify before a proposal becomes an Amendment to the Constitution. So far, 27 Amendments have been added out of the 33 approved by Congress, but there have been 11,700 proposals, typically over 200 proposals a year by various Congressmen trying to appease this or that constituency back home. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a new Amendment in half a century, the Right for 18-year olds to vote. Now, either society hasn't changed much in 50 years, or The Constitution is perfect, or the political process has broken down. During that same period, the advent of the information culture has drastically changed our lives in ways the original authors of the Constitution could not predict, as well as advanced scientific knowledge, and vastly improved communication. Currently, changes due to these issues are being handled by the United States Supreme Court, but that makes nine people the Amendment process, the opposite of representative government, and thwarts the intent of the Constitution. Apparently, Article 5 needs to be amended.   Politics & Philosophy 3:08 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Amendments, The U.S. Constitution, The Constitution, ratification, humor, politics no Thu, 21 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 779 Debating Liberty Politics & Philosophy The choice between liberty and collectivism is the most dangerous ideological schism in America today. Marxists, because of their successful “long march through the institutions,” have gone from being almost illegal to actually gaining the upper hand. A lot of their success has come by denying their success; whenever someone raises an alarm about the attacks on liberty, collectivists either deny, deflect, or redefine liberty, but when the debate gets enough traction, they use more extreme tactics because renewed debate of the superiority of individual liberty over group-think threatens their eminent win. In totalitarian states, dissenters are arrested to take them out of the social fabric, but in democracies the group attempts to marginalize specific individuals by indirect means, such as scorn, ridicule, and shunning; or directly via accusations of unsavory utterances, conduct, or associations. Whether any of the charges are true is irrelevant because they have control of the narrative, and you going on the defensive appears guilty and weak, while an angry response seems immature and unstable. Indeed, you must be extremely careful when responding to accusations; the best strategy is to not respond, or make a desultory or mocking comment. However, if you must reply to show strength or wrest control of the debate, an alternate strategy is to accuse the accuser of accusing: calling a bully a bully, a liar a liar, or a fool a fool. Unfortunately, even if you win, the attackers have successful stymied any debate about liberty.   Politics & Philosophy 2:56 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash liberty, debating liberty, humor, politics no Tue, 19 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 778 Freedom Index Politics & Philosophy Words are weapons for ideas, and the ultimate weapon in the battle between liberty and collectivism. One of the often used tactics by the forces arrayed against liberty is to diminish the status of the United States as its standard bearer, to directly attack its liberty strength. The so-called Freedom Index is a prime example of this; the U.S. is ranked #20 or lower, where Canada is #1, and every other Western Nation is more “free.” To begin with the obvious, the goal is liberty; freedom is just part of the equation, and how free can you be when you're not responsible for your own actions and someone else is making decisions for you? It's informative to see who does the Freedom Index ranking: Leftist German "think tanks.” In a Marxist value system, where liberty is actually demonized, it's amazing America ranked so highly! Just for giggles, let's assume that Canada and Western Europe are the “freedom” nations, then it's time for them to buck up and assume their responsibilities to the World. Get their military up to snuff so they can defend "freedom" around the globe, start donating major money to World development, increase the competitiveness of their universities, and all-around fulfill their "freedom" obligations. They should be the Freedom Police now, but instead, they're riding America's not-so-”freedom” back. Apparently, they just want to claim they're "free," without doing anything about it.   Politics & Philosophy 2:45 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash freedom index, liberty, humor, politics no Sun, 17 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 777 Foreigners Don't Understand What Liberty Means Politics & Philosophy “Liberty” is a famous word; the motto of the French Republic is “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” and therein lies the problem of why America's definition of liberty is not the same as the rest of the world, because just reading the motto, it's clear their “liberty” is a collectivist liberty, while the U.S. espouses individual liberty. Though America adopted its definition of liberty first, the idea of individual sovereignty, autonomy & agency, was too different from what Europeans were used to, which was having their lives controlled by aristocrats. The idea that the rabble could make decisions was considered irresponsible; Europeans were only willing to exchange dynastic elitism for democratically elected elitism; still accepting the idea that somebody else was better able to make decisions about what was best for everyone. All Western nations but America has this mindset, so democratic socialism is their idea of liberty. Foreigners always conflate liberty with freedom, claiming they are just as free, or even more so, than Americans, but that's a specious argument since liberty is not freedom, though freedom is an important ingredient of liberty. Americans define liberty as making decisions for yourself and reaping the benefits or suffering the consequences of your own actions, bounded only by the liberty of others as specified in the U.S. Constitution. You are responsible for yourself and other people are responsible for themselves, which seems like selfishness to a socialist, so they can't understand America's preoccupation with liberty. People have to be immersed in liberty since childhood to think for themselves and make their own decisions; expecting an adult to suddenly understand how to act and what is expected of them when dumped into a liberty environment is unrealistic. Foreigners can be forgiven their ignorance of liberty, but native-born Americans can't.   Politics & Philosophy 3:12 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash liberty, foreigners, humor, politics no Fri, 15 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 776 Pandering for Liberty Politics & Philosophy Since liberty isn't taught anywhere anymore, the only place for people who want to learn about it are in the alternative media: online videos and podcasts. There are still written explanations but who reads? It's telling that most of the people who promote liberty in these venues are independent; some guy in his kitchen talking into an iPhone. I find that both concerning and compelling because discussing liberty has become underground. In fact, many liberty advocates are being censored by the Marxist opponents who have gained control of the media platforms. This constant threat of de-platforming and demonitization has forced these champions of liberty to constantly beg for support in the form of money from their audience. Sometimes a listener must endure several minutes of promotion for survival gear or gold before the real show even starts. These constant requests for donations are more than irritating, they are actually hampering the flow of liberty instruction; how many potential libertyists, with their conditioned 10-second attention span, simply going to click to a cat video? It's a Catch 22: asking to support liberty reduces liberty's support. Who would have imagined that liberty would be in retreat, taught in the shadows, with penalties for all involved if identified. It's like Revolutionary times.   Politics & Philosophy 2:24 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash liberty, demontization, deplatform, politics, humor no Wed, 13 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 775 Liberal vs. Classical Liberal Politics & Philosophy “Liberal” is one of those strange words, like “modern,” that are both a concept and description, and though their concepts remains the same, what they describe changes over time; modern things of 50 years ago are not modern today but you still use the word “modern” to describe things. “Liberal” is the same way; 50 years ago, you may have been liberal but if you don't change with the times, you're not liberal anymore; in fact, by definition, you're a conservative. That's why using “Liberal” as a political label has become so confusing as to make the word unusable; it's more of a slur now, and there are few people that know the original definition. Former Liberals, mostly White men, now call themselves Classical Liberals, but that term is already taken too, by Friedrich Hayek-style Classical Liberals from the generation even before, and that definition is conservative in comparison, even though their focus on liberty is the same. The new Classical Liberals are wealth redistributors, through taxation, Welfare, and inheritance; whereas original Classical Liberals are not. New Classical Liberals are less religious, more egalitarian, and foreign policy doves compared to Old School Classical Liberals. It's obvious that the term “Classical Liberal” has the same problem as “Liberal;” it's time for a new word to describe this group between the two, perhaps “Libertyist,” because liberty is now the dividing line.   Politics & Philosophy 2:35 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash liberal, classical liberal, humor, politics no Mon, 11 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 774 Concentrated Wealth Threatens Liberty Politics & Philosophy Capitalism matches up with liberty pretty closely, and it creates more wealth than any other economic system, but Capitalism has the major flaw that it concentrates wealth. Concentrated wealth has always been a specter; James Madison, the author of the U.S. Constitution, said, “the day will come when our Republic will be an impossibility because wealth will be concentrated in the hands of a few.” Madison's prescience has become reality: the top 1% now own 40% percent of the country's wealth; more wealth than the bottom 90%; and in less than a decade, their portion of wealth increased by 3% while the bottom 90% fell, increasingly so. Liberty is an abstract concept, wealth is not. In reality, liberty only directly benefits a segment of the population, but it still works as long as that number is large enough, perhaps 25% of everybody, because people, by-in-large, even today, are live-and-let-live, especially if they're doing okay too. Lack of wealth is not a deal-breaker but the human psyche, being what it is, won't suffer the perceived indignity of wild wealth disparity after some point. In that scenario, unfortunately liberty loses its luster, and in a democracy, socialism seems more attractive. Actually, for most of the population, that's probably true, which is why wealth concentration drives people to socialism; The 1% won't be affected by the change, but the 24% lose out.   Politics & Philosophy 2:50 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash wealth concentration, liberty, liberty threatened, humor, politics no Sat, 09 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 773 Losing Liberty Politics & Philosophy Liberty is a fragile thing, hard to obtain and easy to lose. A lot of people don't like liberty; being responsible for yourself is frightening and difficult, plus if you're responsible for yourself then someone else can't say they are. The theists don’t like liberty because they think everyone should be forced to share their morals; Collectivists don’t like liberty because they think the needs of the group outweigh the wants of the individual; Elitists don't like liberty because they should be the ones making decisions that are best for everyone, themselves in particular; and people who simply want someone else to be responsible for them just don't like liberty either; that's a lot of people, enough in a democracy to defeat liberty at the ballot box. America was lucky to get liberty in the first place but it was only maintained through indoctrination in the schools which obviously doesn't happen any longer; in fact, the schools have become a training ground for the opposite of liberty, forced conformity. There was hope that the freedom of the Internet would be an avenue to promote liberty, but the forces that oppose liberty have control of Social Media. The enemies of liberty have also captured the legacy media and entertainment; they promise equality & security & inclusion, all contrary to liberty; and they're winning. It will be sad to see liberty go; luckily, I was around at the best time to experience it. It's doubtful future generations will even know what real liberty is?   Politics & Philosophy 2:44 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash liberty, losing liberty, humor, politics no Thu, 07 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 772 When Liberty is Passe' Politics & Philosophy Everything runs its course, even liberty. Say something enough times, especially with contradictory data all around you, fake or not, and what was once a given, goes out of vogue. If you're raised not making decisions for yourself, wouldn't it seem odd if suddenly you were responsible? Without experience, there's going to be a lot of missteps, and lack of understanding of what the obligations are; it's simply easier to reject the whole concept of liberty. Plus, if someone else is responsible, you aren't. Add a healthy dose of altruism: homeless camps and haphazard healthcare, and there's plenty of proof liberty doesn't work. There's more proof that the opposite, Marxism, is even worse, but most folks aren't good at nuance: yes or no, that's the only equation they understand; and of course, something new is always better. There are plenty of countries that are entitlement Welfare states; we, as Americans, were resistant due to our liberty indoctrination but that isn't happening anymore. Where do impressionable children learn about liberty now? Where are they going to practice it when its youthful institutions like Boy & Girl Scouts, church summer camps, and competitive sports where only the best get a trophy, are in decline. Liberty has become unfashionable, and will become passé soon if it hasn't already, no military coup necessary; we'll eat organic food, ride bikes, steal intellectual property, and complain about the greedy, selfish, ambitious people who leave to go somewhere else where liberty is still alive, if there is anywhere?   Politics & Philosophy 2:55 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash liberty, politics, humor no Tue, 05 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 771 Free Will Politics & Philosophy In previous epochs, people thought their lives were dictated by fate. Even today, intelligent sophists propose we're all in a giant computer simulation where everything we do is predictable. Contrarily, Free Will is the belief that your life results from the decisions you make, not some preordained script. The confusion comes because luck plays such an important role in every outcome, so it can easily be confused with divine interference. The concept of Free Will is a relatively new phenomena, only espoused the few hundred years since The Enlightenment. Western culture was founded on it even though the majority of the people were still enthralled by fate. As time went by, Free Will gained strength but it requires freedom, and opportunity to act, which is why it's an integral part of liberty. Liberty only makes sense in the context of Free Will; if you're not making decisions for yourself, what you think is in your best interest given the knowledge you currently have, then you don't really have liberty. Unfortunately, Free Will or not, some people don’t have the intellectual ability to make conscientious decisions for themselves, and many more are uncomfortable being responsible for their own lives. The result in a democracy is that it’s not uncommon for cowardly groups to become a majority, voluntarily surrendering everyone’s Free Will so that they don't have to exercise theirs.   Politics & Philosophy 2:46 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Free Will, fate, humor, politics no Sun, 03 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 770 Dictionary Definition of Liberty Politics & Philosophy People often conflate liberty and freedom, thinking they're the same thing, and the confusion is not clarified by the dictionary definitions of the two words. In the dictionary, liberty is defined as “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views, and the power or scope to act as one pleases.” That's not how Americans define liberty, but the listed synonyms for liberty are: independence, autonomy, sovereignty, self-government, self rule, self-determination, home rule, free will, and choice; my goodness, the synonyms define liberty better than the definition, except that “freedom” is included as one of them. Unfortunately, liberty’s dictionary definition does not explicitly say “responsibility for your own actions” which would delineate it from Marxist liberty, but the common Oxford dictionary is European and can’t be expected to promote a uniquely American concept.   So how does the dictionary define freedom: “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint, absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government, and the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.” That's a good definition of freedom but the synonyms are almost the same ones used for liberty, including the word “liberty.” Worse, they include “self-sufficiency” which is primarily a liberty concept; no wonder people get so confused. In reality, American “liberty” is making choices for yourself and reaping the rewards or suffering the consequences of your actions bounded only by the liberty of others, while “freedom” is the ability to do so.   Politics & Philosophy 3:11 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash liberty, freedom, humor, politics no Fri, 01 May 2020 07:00:00 -0700 769 Banking Concepts Politics & Philosophy Let's review what we know about banking: It's technically impossible for Government to save money. Central Banks are the Invisible Hand controlling commerce. Without The Fed, the economy would have collapsed already, maybe several times. Printing money is government's second most effective tool, after violence. EBT could be a State's way of printing money. Shadow Banking dwarfs regulated banking, and will contribute to the next financial crash just like it did the last one. The Export-Import bank is corporate welfare for Boeing. America's Debt never really meant anything, and now people are starting to figure that out. The Debt Ceiling is an artifice more fiction than fact. Debt Collectors do a dirty job but somebody has to. Payday Loans are no more exploitative than traffic tickets. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:35 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash banking, humor, politics no Wed, 29 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 768 Payday Loans Politics & Philosophy High interest, so-called Payday loans, are often demonized but the reality is totally different. Convenience and routine are valuable, and traditional banks, with their inconvenient practices, feeling of elitism, and constant fees are not an attractive alternative to many people. In fact, predatory banking overdraft charges and interest penalties could easily exceed the cost of a Payday loan. The interest amount on a Payday loan is about the same as many credit cards but nobody seems to care about them, and credit cards can compound relentlessly whereas the local Payday loan place knows you, and advises you to pay-up in the nicest way possible. A lot of people just need that nanny-like intercession to stay above water; though make no mistake, people who use Payday loans don't have a lot of options. Payday loans are big business; you can find them in failing strip malls around America unless the local politicians have made them the scapegoat of failed social policy, and banned their presence, even though every payday you can see a line of people waiting to pay 15% for the 2 weeks since their last paycheck; they're always one check behind. It seems rather ridiculous but obviously a lot of people start a job, get a loan, pay it when they get their first check, then borrow until their next paycheck. This is not the same as the Check-Cashing business that takes 2% off the top to cash this week's check. All things considered, Payday loans satisfy an important social need; it's immaterial that they prey on human weakness, so do hair-dressers and dietitians.   Politics & Philosophy 2:34 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash payday loan, humor, politics no Mon, 27 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 767 Debt Collectors Politics & Philosophy Businesses factor in the amount of defaults on payments they expect so everyone pays for the people who don't pay, and you can be indignant about that, but when you consider that a majority of people have no savings, and live day-to-day, it's more likely you're the one reneging on loans, so for most people, escaping from Debt Collectors should be something that's taught in school. First thing folks need to know is that for consumer debt, the kind you run up on your credit card, simply wait 6 years, called the Statute of Limitations, and voila', debt neutralized because your State won't let your wages be attached after that, though your credit rating will be affected, if that's something you care about. This isn't the same thing as bankruptcy which prevents Debt Collectors from ever calling you again because they will. Collecting from dead-beats is problematic, so Debt Collectors will buy a large pool of delinquent accounts at a deep discount and try to collect it themselves. These are the horror stories you hear about because successful Debt Collectors are tenacious and relentless: repeated calls at home, at your mom's home, and any other place they suspect you're staying. Sociopath debtors don't care but altruistic ones can be made to feel guilty and harassed, and often will pay rather than face the barrage of calls. Debt Collectors know this so some even specialize in expired debt, which they purchase super cheap. It's just as easy to scam people who think they owe money, or their parents think they do, or their grandparents, or the accountant was just writing checks and the bill was in the stack. This only applies to unsecured debt; stop making payments on your house or car, and the Repo Man is coming. The Statute of Limitations doesn't apply to taxes, and crazy as it may seem, not to student loans either.   Politics & Philosophy 3:03 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash debt collectors, humor, politics no Sat, 25 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 766 Debt Ceiling Politics & Philosophy The idea of a Debt Ceiling comes from Article I of the U.S. Constitution, saying that Congress must authorize spending, back when accounting was first confused with economics, and only Alexander Hamilton seemed to understand the imaginary aspect of money. Debt Ceilings are an emotional issue, not really a financial one; it makes no practical difference what the Debt Ceiling is or even the amount of spending, but there are irrational fears at play from some antiquated, anachronistic misunderstanding of money, mixed with a healthy dose of pontification & demagoguery by politicians preying on fear to stay in power. Nowadays, the politics of raising the Debt Ceiling dominates the news cycle more and more frequently as a way to leverage power; it's how Parties can hold everyone hostage to single political positions; like border control or universal healthcare. In fact, the Debt Ceiling is even more arcane and useless than it sounds because it doesn't limit spending, only government paying for it; a nonsensical farce where congress authorizes the spending but not the payment. Ostensibly this could end up bad but it never has, and never will because there is no limit of extraordinary maneuvering and bookkeeping which can be used to circumvent its intent, which is to limit the power of government; nothing can do that.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Debt Ceiling, humor, politics no Thu, 23 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 765 America's Debt Politics & Philosophy America's debt is the accumulating difference between how much government spends versus how much taxes it collects. America hasn't had to balance its budget in decades, essentially getting its cake and eating it too.The debt is accounted for by the total amount of Treasuries issued, now well into the mid-20 trillions of dollars, which doesn't even cause any concern anymore because of how long debt-alarmists have been crying wolf. People have arguments of why continuing debt is a good thing or bad thing; good because of the stimulus it provides, and bad because they think someone has to eventually pay, not understanding that government can create as much imaginary money as they want, for as long as they want. There's also been the persuasive percentage of GNP argument which says The Debt is fine as long as it's less than some fraction of the GNP, the Gross National Product, now over 100%; but that isn't relevant because no amount of debt is worrisome as long as production equals consumption. The fascade usually used to explain why nothing bad has happened yet is; that it's mostly Social Security and government retirement obligations; or other nations are shouldering it, putting America at their mercy, but that threat doesn't matter to a nation whose dollar is the world's reserve currency, because when you're the 600-lb. gorilla, what other nations do is immaterial. America's debt isn’t going away, and there’s nothing wrong with it; in fact, deficit spending puts money in the populace's hands that wouldn’t otherwise be there, so everyone benefits even though the money eventually all ends up in the hands of The 1%, but concentration of wealth is another problem entirely.   Politics & Philosophy 2:58 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash National Debt, humor, politics no Tue, 21 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 764 Export-Import Bank Politics & Philosophy Imaginary money is only valuable as long as there's force to say it is. This works pretty well within a nation's borders but when other nations would like to buy things from the U.S. but their money isn't really worth anything because all they do is grow bananas, what's a money-printing nation to do? This is where the Export-Import, EXIM, bank comes in. Banana republics can buy Boeing airplanes because the U.S. government-funded EXIM gives them the money to do so then eventually writes if off as Foreign Aid. It's actually not a bad idea, creating jobs and stimulating the economy of both countries for nothing more than a relatively small increase in the National Debt, to the tune of $20 billion per year. Unfortunately, as always happens when Market-forces feedback is lacking, the EXIM is prone to exploitation; for example, 80% of the loans actually go to Boeing. Special Interests are also a problem; EXIM Board-members are shareholders of some of the companies benefiting; and as bizarre as it may seem, EXIM loans supplied the money for China to improve its nuclear technology. These fallacies have not gone unnoticed, and there's a lot of resistance to EXIM; in fact, politicians regularly call for its end so the funding legislation is passed surreptitiously during catastrophes, like the night of a mass shooting. The EXIM is very successful at creating lots of jobs, and is a foreign policy success, but make no mistake about it, when folks talk about Corporate Welfare, the Export-Import Bank is an example of what they mean.   Politics & Philosophy 3:02 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Export-Import Bank, EXIM, humor, politics no Sun, 19 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 763 Shadow Banking Politics & Philosophy Capitalism is the abstract idea that special people can imagine money exists, then loan it to ordinary people who work for a living to get some of that imaginary money. The concept sounds exploitative, and it is, but it works because it harnesses the inestimable ambition, avarice and greed of the human species. Because the exploitation can quickly overwhelm the delicate balance of Capitalism, regulated banking was created by government, but still over half of all money-lending is unregulated, called “shadow banking.” To put the size of shadow banking in perspective, consider that the 50 richest people in the world combined have about $2 trillion dollars. There's $7 trillion in gold around the world, and about the same in amount in paper money. Globally, Stock Markets total $73 trillion. Finally, all the Real Estate in the world is worth $217 trillion. Compare those numbers to the total debt around the world of $215 trillion and it all kind of makes sense, except the near equivalence is completely dwarfed by $544 trillion of derivatives lurking in the realm of shadow banking. Shadow banking caused the near financial meltdown in 2008, and it will probably instigate the next financial crash.   Politics & Philosophy 3:03 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash shadow banking, money, humor, politics no Fri, 17 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 762 EBT Creates Money Politics & Philosophy “We Accept EBT,” for Electronic Benefit Transfer, is often advertised on the windows of convenience stores; that's how States give away Welfare money; they also give away Smartphones to keep track of it; it's the new Welfare coupons of yesteryear. Whether you support Welfare or not, EBT is here to stay, and probably grow, so with that in mind, it should be exercised to its full monetary potential. Primarily, since EBT is fiat currency, meaning nothing exists to back it up, it could hypothetically not cost taxpayers to support it, especially since it's all done electronically. The State could credit the EBT recipient's online accounts, and from there on it's used like any other cardless, wireless payment from their phone; the magic of imaginary money then takes over. First, there is a fluctuating exchange rate from State EBT dollars to federal dollars. Welfare is intended to be used, not saved, so EBT dollars could age out, meaning the longer since they've been issued, the less they're worth in exchange. This would insure their quick circulation, and difficulty in gaming the system as unscrupulous vendors used to do with Welfare coupons. Next, to keep EBT viable, the State could accept fees, fines, and even taxes, in EBT dollars, and due to the depreciating nature of EBT, they would be heavily discounted, which would encourage the fine-payers to obtain and use them. Because imaginary money can support lots of imaginary debt, much more EBT could be issued than is actually funded, and a robust secondary EBT market would surely develop to facilitate efficient use of the imaginary money; these last-second, deeply discounted transactions that would not otherwise occur, would absorb the difference between EBT versus real money. EBT could be its own autonomous financial system that served the particular needs and desires of the constituents of the State from which it's issued. EBT, one of government's greatest powers, is being underutilized due to a lack of comprehension of imaginary money.   Politics & Philosophy 3:40 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash EBT, Electronic Benefit Transfer, money, politics, humor no Wed, 15 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 761 Printing Money Politics & Philosophy Nothing gets conservative economists buzzing louder than suggesting that government should print more money, even though it would eliminate most of the need for taxes. It's especially controversial when confronting the reality of so-called “trust” funds; otherwise people would know that Social Security, Medicare, and government retirement benefits are actually Ponzi schemes, and always have been. If you can print your own money like government can, a Ponzi scheme isn't such a terrible thing, but it conflicts with conservative monetary policy which proclaims it to be inflationary, even though the U.S. government has printed more than enough money to trigger inflation if that were the case. Inflation-alarmists are confusing correlation with causation; it's not printing money that causes a collapse; it's the collapse in production that causes inflation in times of panic as all the imaginary money, way more than there are things to buy, looks for something real to exchange for; like goods and property. However, the unspoken reason conservative economists don't like to print money is that it has a tendency to redistribute wealth. It's not coincidental that these are the same people that see nothing wrong with extreme wealth concentration.   Politics & Philosophy 2:13 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash inflation, money, humor, politics no Mon, 13 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 760 The Fed Politics & Philosophy The Federal Reserve Bank, the de facto implementation of a Central Bank in the United States, was created by Congress in 1913 to stabilize the famously volatile banking system. It's composed of 12 regional Reserve Banks, and governed by a presidential-appointed Board. All of these people have Capitalist interests but work in a socialist framework, mostly successfully, creating imaginary money to cure real monetary problems. Because the imaginary nature of money is hard to imagine, The Fed has become a scapegoat for monetarists who have no imagination. The Fed is most famous for setting interest rates, but does a lot more. It buys U.S. Treasuries at zero interest and can forgive them, essentially making part of the National Debt disappear. Even more importantly, but least publicized, is that through various subsidiaries, The Fed can act like a Central Bank and participate in the Stock Market. They’re among the foreign Central Banks driving up stock prices, a means of controlling the Volatility Index, stabilizing the banking system while protecting retirement accounts. Right now, The Fed is holding over $4 trillion of Treasuries, and nobody quite knows what their equity holdings are, but probably a similar number, dwarfing the federal budget. This all seems rather manipulative and suspect, fueling the Libertarian view that The Fed is preventing private Markets from fixing all of America's economic ills, but it's more likely that The Fed is barely holding off economic catastrophe; the question is, for how long?   Politics & Philosophy 2:47 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Federal Reserve, The Fed, humor, politics no Sat, 11 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 759 Central Banks Politics & Philosophy Central Banks are one of those mysterious organizations that you think you know what they do by their name but you can't really give an example. Central Banks are usually publicly owned but in some cases, like The Fed in the U.S., they are so-called public-private partnerships, meaning they get the profit with the public taking the risk. Central Banks are currently the most powerful force in economics; fully utilizing the imaginary aspect of money to influence loans and stock markets. For example, since Japan went into recession over a decade ago, its Central Bank has bought huge portions of its businesses. In fact, Japan's government, through its Central Bank, owns over 40% of the Nikkei stock market index and by extension, most everything in Japan. The bad is that a government actually owns the nation, but the good is that the nation is still going. That's quite a tradeoff, and the same thing is happening in the rest of the world. If you let your inner conspiracy-theory genie run wild, it's almost as if Central Banks are the means for the ultra-wealthy Elites to control the world. They are secretive, their ownership is opaque, and their power is complete, so it's possible but what is the purpose? Do ultra-rich and powerful people need to be richer and more powerful? Are they doing what they think is best for everyone? It's a risky gamble because when the world economy eventually does fail, as it certainly will, and penniless people are looking for someone to blame, they'll know where to look to get fodder for the guillotines: Central Bankers.   Politics & Philosophy 3:01 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Central Bank, politics, humor no Thu, 09 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 758 Government Can't Save Money Politics & Philosophy Government can't save money but it's not because they don't want to, it's actually impossible. Are they going to put it in a bank? The money in banks isn't saved either. Are they going to put paper bills in a vault somewhere like Fort Knox? That's not efficient even if a trillion dollar bill was printed to save space. Right now government buys Treasuries from themselves, but how is transferring money from one hand to the other, and getting nothing but a promise from yourself in return, saving money? There is no way a government that creates imaginary money can save it because they're the ones that guarantee the imaginary money is real in the first place; if they can do that, why not just print more money when they need it? In fact, that's what they really do. It's correct to say that money not spent is saved but that same argument could be used to justify never spending money, so “saving” isn't really the correct word for not spending; frugality is. Saving means money is collected ahead of time, like Social Security, which isn't saved anywhere; it's spent too. Accounting gymnastics aside, the best government can do is imagine it's saving imaginary money.   Politics & Philosophy 2:19 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash savings, money, humor, politics no Tue, 07 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 757 Public Finance Concepts Politics & Philosophy Let's review a few of the most interesting aspects of public financing: Government's financial responsibilities shouldn't be on the backs of Ma & Pa businesses. Regardless of the ideology, The Great Depression ended because of stimulated consumption. Even if there was such thing as a Star Trek Replicator, people would still have to work to have meaning. Universal Basic Income is a bad idea, but if there's going to be one, print the money. The question is how many consumers can there be for every producer. The Paramount Rule Of Economics, that production must equal consumption, should be printed on the back of milk cartons. Productivity can't be put in the bank, and no amount of money can change that. Public transportation is political while private ride-sharing actually solves the problem. There should be no such thing as a publicly-funded sports stadium. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:52 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash public finance, politics, humor no Sun, 05 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 756 Publicly-Funded Sports Stadiums Politics & Philosophy Using public money to build private sports stadiums is a well-understood phenomenon: many voters are sports fans, and they think everyone is a sports fan, and since most people vote in their own selfish interest, no politician can walk away without cover. This is the epitome of crony-Capitalism, and one of the most difficult problems to prevent. Government and industry need to be in an adversarial relationship, not counter-productively, but as restraints on one-another. This should be obvious to anyone in business, but the insipid rhetoric of social-engineering only requires votes, not honesty. Elected officials are not held accountable financially or legally to the sweetheart deals they commit to; in fact, they often benefit from campaign contributions, and sometimes after they leave office. Even tiny municipal leaders leverage their little bit of power: Wenatchee, Washington defaulted on a huge bond for a failed arena there, and then were brazen enough to try and get the whole State to cover their bad judgment, which never should have been allowed in the first place. There needs to be legislation preventing municipalities from so-called “public-private partnerships,” specifically preventing taxpayer-funded bonds for sports stadiums.   Politics & Philosophy 2:28 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Publicly-Funded Sports Stadiums, politics, humor no Fri, 03 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 755 Public Transportation vs. Ride-Sharing Politics & Philosophy Public transportation has become an ideological war: the equality folks who think everyone should ride together versus the Market-types who wonder why there are still rails on the ground. Buses are last century, and trains the one before that. No bus comes to your house; no bus is on your schedule; there is no choice of buses if you don't like one; buses have a fixed, often congested, route; bad public buses don't go out of business; and buses don't pay for themselves, they're subsidized by taxpayers. More subtly but equally important; there's no way to get rid of bus public employee unions. Public transportation is an Equalist ideal where everyone has exactly the same seat on the subway, no premiums, and they are all forced to sit together; no manspreading. Removed of the egalitarian baggage, transportation issues just aren't that difficult to solve; in fact, the Market is solving them right now in the form of Uber and driverless cars. Uber shows up at your door when you want them to and goes right where you want them to in the most efficient way possible; you know exactly how much you're paying; and you can allow additional passengers or not, your choice; plus, you can choose to upgrade your experience. Best of all: bad service and you choose another provider; there's surge capacity; and no public pension obligations. To a liberty-minded person, it seems like the perfect solution but, of course, it isn't equal.   Politics & Philosophy 2:50 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Uber, public transportation, buses, humor, politics no Wed, 01 Apr 2020 07:00:00 -0700 754 Can't Save Productivity Politics & Philosophy Because money can be saved and money is often exchanged for productivity, people make the natural assumption that productivity can be saved, but it can’t. There's no where that automobiles or apples can be put with enough storage for use 10 years from now. In a very real sense, you eat what you kill; there is no magic replicator that turns out unlimited goods exactly when you want them at no cost to yourself or society. Populations as a whole must produce what they consume, and even if they were very productive in the past, it doesn't changes the math; somebody, somewhere is producing what someone else is consuming. The situation where this reality impacts the most is retirement. Retirement is a modern concept; people used to produce until they couldn't anymore, and there was enough excess productivity to accommodate the small numbers of non-producers. Modern sensibilities that everyone deserves to become a consumer-only for the last third of their lives is totally unsustainable. There's the false notion that people earned their retirement, that they somehow saved their overproduction for later but that's blatantly impossible, no matter how much money they've saved. Suppose every retiree has $10 million in the bank, and they’re going to want to exchange that money for production in the future, but if there’s only one worker per retiree, and the worker produces $2K/month and the retiree wants $10K/month in products, how’s that going to work out?   Politics & Philosophy 2:41 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash productivity, consumption, retirement, politics, humor no Mon, 30 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0700 753 Paramount Rule Of Economics Politics & Philosophy Though there is one law of economics above all others, few people seem to know it, and fewer still ever mention it in public: production must equal consumption. Any economy that violates this rule can continue a while longer by borrowing from other nations, or plundering the accumulated wealth of others, but eventually even that runs out. Throughout history, you ate the turnips you laboriously grew yourself or you starved to death; even with trade, a farmer's options were limited by how many turnips the family could grow. The dividing line into modern times is the Adam Smith concept of increased productivity through specialization, which increased productivity 10-fold, 100-fold, so much that people now take it for granted, and have forgot the Productivity Rule. As the generations of scarcity died off, ambitious politicians exploited young people's naivety about work by postulating economic schemes that encourage consumption without commensurate production. They promise that people no longer have to work, and promote the idea that everyone should only have to do what makes them happiest, coddled by a benevolent society. It's an alluring promise, one that anyone would take, especially if they've also been convinced that it's owed to them due to birth, reparations, or retirement. This is natural, and society must consciously pushback, but it's difficult when impressionable children are raised to aspire to only doing things that are meaningful rather than productive.   Politics & Philosophy 2:41 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Adam Smith, productivity rule, economics, humor, politics no Sat, 28 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0700 752 Consumers Outnumber Producers Politics & Philosophy Throughout history, it was always a challenge for a single human being to produce as much as it consumed which is one of the main reasons for society, but even that was problematic during strenuous times, like drought. Luckily, as technology developed, the increased productivity provided more than enough for everyone as long as they contributed at some level. However, even advancing technology is not enough if people become complacent and stop producing at all. It’s unrealistic to think 1 in 10 people can be productive enough for everybody but it's getting close to that now: 10% of the U.S. population of 330 million people have an IQ less than 83; so stupid the military is not allowed to induct them: that's 20 million people; then there are the retired: that's 40 million people; and kids: that's 75 million people; Disability: another 14 million; so about half the population must be supported by the other half. Now consider that 70% of those that do work have no savings and can barely get by, which leaves 50 million people to support the leisurely lifestyle of over 210 million people; 1 person must support over 5, and it's only going to get worse.   Politics & Philosophy 2:27 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash producers, consumers, humor, politics no Thu, 26 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0700 751 Printing Money for UBI Politics & Philosophy People always confuse Capitalism with entrepreneurship but entrepreneurs are producers while Capitalism is a game of moving money around to make more money; Capitalists produce nothing, yet they accumulate wealth much, much faster than producers. Capitalism incentivizes the largest consumers to be the least productive while simultaneously concentrating wealth in their hands. One way to alleviate this perverse outcome is to give money to everyone else, known as the Universal Basic Income, or UBI, but the question is, how to pay for it. The money used by Capitalism is imaginary, it exists in a bank's ledger someplace and nowhere else. UBI can similarly be implemented with imaginary money, imagined by government rather than by banks. The government would essentially “print” money for everyone else. This would put a similar amount of money in the hands of the 99% as the 1%. It doesn’t solve the consumption problem because UBI recipients don’t work either, so the whole thing would end in a busted economy, but it does give an interesting viewpoint to contempt how money works.   Politics & Philosophy 2:11 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash capitalism, UBI, money, humor, politics no Tue, 24 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0700 750 Replicator Politics & Philosophy Imagine for a moment that science fiction became reality, and that Star Trek-style replicators existed: food, clothing, housing, entertainment was all 100% provided at no cost to anyone else; how would that affect life? Why would anyone do anything if they didn't want to? There's only science and art remaining for people to engage in since the drudgeries of life would be taken care of. Science is knowledge for knowledge sake, and seems unlikely to attract more than the small fraction of folks motivated by esotericism; so presumably, everyone would be creating art, but it's not hard to imagine where that leads? Taken to the extreme like this identifies the fundamental flaw in the whole concept of a Universal Basic Income, or UBI: people work to achieve something but if nothing has any value because everything is free, why achieve anything? Let alone the burden to pay for UBI placed on a society without a free replicator, and since no one would care about work ethic, it wouldn't take long before consumption was greater than production, leading to subsequent collapse; but even assuming there is a replicator, society would simply eat itself to death while playing videogames, watching football & masturbating.   Politics & Philosophy 2:25 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash UBI, universal basic income, replicator, politics, humor no Sun, 22 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0700 749 What Ended The Depression? Politics & Philosophy The Great Depression lasted almost a decade in the 1930s. It seems a long time ago now, and has little relevance except that it was the largest of a long string of economic downturns that have periodically punctured the ever-increasing financial bubble that is the American economy, and for that reason it is endlessly invoked, analyzed, and debated. The most contentious issue is how it ended? There are several explanations; from president Roosevelt's New Deal and government spending on WW2, to the claim that government intervention in the Free Markets caused it, kept it going, and it burned out naturally due to a new economic cycle starting. The reason a dispute exists is because it embodies the arguments for and against stimulus spending; liberal versus conservative economic theory. First, The Depression ended in 1941 because America was at full capacity almost immediately after entering the war, so everyone had a job, and government borrowing was paying their wages. This was soon followed by the G.I. Bill which allowed lots of people to buy houses, and soldiers to go to college, again government printing money. The worldwide depression ended because lots of people died, and the stuff they used to have was distributed to other people, making them richer, and there was a huge pent-up demand because of the deprivations of the war. The Great Depression ended because of dramatically increased consumption, and increased production to match; which is always the ending whatever the reason.   Politics & Philosophy 2:40 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Great Depression, politics, humor no Fri, 20 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0700 748 Ma & Pa Politics & Philosophy Of the 5.6 million businesses in the U.S., 99.7% of of them are “small,” most just Ma & Pa running a restaurant, bluecollar service, or some other shoestring enterprise. The owners work long hours with few vacations, and barely get by, if they do at all since half of small businesses fail within the first year. Unfortunately, as hard as being in business is, somehow these striving entrepreneurs are saddled with society's obligations as well as their own, probably because they have no voice in government: they're too busy working and don't have any money. Our broken democracy votes to make Ma & Pa pay for government's obligations: who has to pay Minimum Wage, not government; it's Ma & Pa. They often don't make Minimum Wage themselves, and work way beyond the protected workweek, but are held responsible for these things for any employees they hire. An employee wants maternity/paternity leave; that's on Ma & Pa's back. Unemployment insurance: it's them, though they have none for themselves. Social Security & Medicare: Ma & Pa pay twice as much as their employees, and have to chip in half for their employees, but they don't get any themselves. If society wants perks for its workers, society should pay for it, not Ma & Pa because Ma & Pa aren't your ma & pa.   Politics & Philosophy 2:29 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Minimum Wage, employee, humor, politics no Wed, 18 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0700 747 Patriotism Concepts Politics & Philosophy What is patriotism anymore? Let's review the concept: America's old values of God, guns, gas & GIs have become anti-values. The Pledge of Allegiance is from a time when people reveled in pageantry. Nationalism is making a slow comeback against the forces of Globalism but it's still losing. A new military draft for political reasons would cause its own war. Soldiering is a job just like any other job except it's an example of successful Marxism. In a war between America and the rest of the world, bet on America. The National Guard is a buffer against the federal mercenary military. America-haters are the hateful type who call other people hateful. America's Foreign Policy is called that because it's captured by foreigners. Ex-pats from America are suspect because why would anyone abandon America voluntarily? You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:26 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash patriotic, patriotism, humor, politics no Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0700 746 Expatriates Politics & Philosophy Be very suspicious of Westerners that choose to live in Southeast Asia; the language, food and chaos are totally alien to our culture; not to mention the living conditions. It's the epitome of being a nice place to visit but... There's very few reasons why Westerners would voluntarily choose exile; it seems likely that most expatriates are prohibited from going back to their home country, usually for various nefarious reasons; mostly to do with escaping prosecution for something they've done or owe. The explanation that ex-pats can retire there on meager pensions is belied by the fact that almost all of them are single men; obviously, Sex tourism plays an important role. For example, I was walking through an alley in Vietnam lined with "nail salons" to either side; an attractive young girl was handing out fliers to passers-by when a rather greasy old Westerner ahead of me, American by his accent, reached up and caressed her under the chin, whispering, "well, you're a cute one, aren't you?" There was no question of the man's intentions, and the girl knew too, leading him inside, presumably to have his “nails done.” The visceral reaction I felt caused me to physically recoil in revulsion. I just don't like meeting Americans who live somewhere else for no good reason.   Politics & Philosophy 2:22 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Expatriates, ex-pats, expats, humor, politics no Sat, 14 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0700 745 Captured Foreign Policy Politics & Philosophy How come American foreign policy is even more confused and obtuse than American domestic policy? It's because foreign actors can participate in American politics via campaign donations, along with a sympathetic entrenched bureaucracy. For example, a nation, Iran, would like to develop nuclear power but America says "no," not based upon some kind of strategic goal or desire for dominance, but because some part of the ruling aristocracy sees Iran as a threat to Israel. The people of the U.S. are not interventionists by nature, they need to be propagandized to intervene, and even that doesn't last long; yet an entire nation is beholden and in the grips of a small powerful foreign elite. International globalist corporations are a more existential threat because their goals often erode the very foundation of a nation's sovereignty: trade deals like the currently scuttled TPP would allow corporations to co-op the economic might of the world to penalize a small nation's parochial goals, like cigarette companies collecting monetary damages from Australia for their anti-smoking campaign that depresses sales. “Free” Trade is how these corporations dictate where people work and how much they earn, while the stockholders reap the financial benefits and the host nations suffer the social consequences. America's foreign policy isn't its own because it's been captured by foreigners.   Politics & Philosophy 2:32 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash foreign policy, globalist, corporations, TPP, humor, politics no Thu, 12 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0700 744 America-Haters Politics & Philosophy The word “hate” has new meaning inside politics; a verbal Molotov-cocktail hurled to burn down any discussion and put the accusers in control: “hate” speech is any speech they don't like, “hate” groups are any organization they don't like, “hate” crime is paramount to all other crime because it is so hateful. Yet hate still retains the essence of the old definition: others wishing ill on their enemies; that one is loud and clear when applied to how these people view America; and we're not talking foreigners; these are American America-haters, and there's a lot of them. They hate traditional American values like liberty, guns & God. They hate American foreign policy that sides with Israel, and American economics embodied in Capitalism. They hate White men, and they hate Baby-Boomers. They hate single-family homes with manicured lawns, and they hate large gas-powered automobiles; They hate Confederate statues, and Thomas Jefferson & even George Washington. These people wish ill on all things traditionally American. How did such hateful people get in charge of what gets called “hate”?   Politics & Philosophy 2:24 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash hate, hateful, America-Haters, humor, politics no Tue, 10 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0700 743 National Guard Politics & Philosophy The National Guard is the original State-based militia, controlled by the governor. People don't join the National Guard for the money; that's a good thing, it means the enlistees are doing it out of a sense of patriotism, or at least that's a large component of their decision. Mostly, the National Guard operates on American soil because the Posse Comitatus Act prevents domestic federal troop deployment. Even though the National Guard is technically a military force, it's primarily used for emergencies: natural catastrophes, local unrest and reconstruction. They are expected to protect other people's families like they want their own families to be protected, and the National Guard will shoot looters. The National Guard can be invoked as an auxiliary arm of the federal military when necessary but, historically, that is very uncommon because public servants like firefighters and police tend to join. Unfortunately, whole police and fire departments were stripped of their personnel when Bush, Jr. activated them to fight in the Iraq war. Certainly, that's not what the volunteers had in mind when they joined. In fact, during the time Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, 40% of Louisiana's National Guard were deployed to foreign lands while their own hometowns flooded. This is the clearest example of an abuse of the National Guard.   Politics & Philosophy 2:20 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash National Guard, humor, politics no Sun, 08 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0700 742 America vs. The World Politics & Philosophy America's armed forces are 3rd in size in the world, about half of China's military, but size doesn't matter in modern warfare. America spends 17% of its GNP, almost a trillion dollars a year, on its military; no other nation even gets close, and the American Military-Industrial Complex is as vast as it is lethal. There are popular videos on YouTube that hypothetically pit the U.S. against other nations, and of course, it's always a walkover. Strategically, America has simultaneous access to both both oceans, and all 10 superaircraft carriers. What other secret weapons systems there are in space or hidden laboratories are topics of speculation. Heaven forbid another worldwide conflagration occurs so that entire nations are mobilized, but if it does, the U.S. has at least half the nation still clutching their guns, praying, and saluting the flag; plus now women would be included, so the number would approach 100 million effective combatants. Even the whole rest of the world wouldn't be able to raise an effective fighting force against those kind of numbers. Western Europeans are long past having the stomach for war; Asia, India, and Eastern Europe could draft, but Africa, South/Central America, and anyplace else would be problematic. If blowing up the world ever seems like a good idea, bet on America to be left standing on the cinder.   Politics & Philosophy 2:37 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash military, world war, humor, politics no Fri, 06 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0800 741 Soldiering is a Job Politics & Philosophy There's a lot of military fetishing in America but it's just a job. There's nothing special about people who become soldiers: they aren't stronger, they aren't braver, they aren't more patriotic, they don't deserve special recognition and respect any more than other jobs; but for a nation based on liberty, using a draft to force people into killing other people and potentially being killed, special treatment was part of the deal. However, now there is no draft, people make their own choice to join the military, and the rewards are commensurate enough without additional societal advantages. Those are mainly a holdover from the obligations created by multiple world wars in the last Century, and will probably eventually evaporate from an all-volunteer army. But there's more to consider about the job of soldiering besides the obvious protection benefit; society gains in a subtle way from having robust and organized military jobs because for a lot of recruits, it's where they learn to take responsibility for their actions, learn to take instruction, learn a skill, learn self-sufficiency, and learn leadership. The military has a from those according to their ability to those according to their need sacrifice ethos; and soldiering is the very definition of a leadership hierarchy with unquestioned obeyance; making it ironic that this totalitarian Marxist institution is where so many people learn the essentials of liberty.   Politics & Philosophy 2:26 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash military, politics, humor no Wed, 04 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0800 740 No Military Draft Politics & Philosophy The U.S. military has approximately 1.3 million active-duty troops, and another 865,000 Reserves; one of the largest fighting forces in the world, having 200,000 troops deployed in 170 nations. They are 10% of the nation's voters, but are not a reflection of the population as a whole: 17% of the U.S. population is Black but they compose 27% of the military, probably because they have fewer opportunities than Whites; and women are less than 14% of the military but are more than half the population, probably because they have more opportunities than men. Most important: members of the military, past and presents, tend to be more patriotic; over half vote Republican, and less than 10% are Democrats. In this age of diversity, to counteract the voting disparity, there are calls by Democrats to institute a draft, forcing inducties to be more racially and gender representative of America. Unless the military gets larger, which few want, a draft would limit opportunity for men, and Black men in particular. As for women, who are at a biological disadvantage for combat service, highly qualified men would presumably be supplanted by soldiers less qualified physically, but more Politically Correct. Political Correctness has never won any wars, but it seems likely it could lose some.   Politics & Philosophy 2:34 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash military, draft, humor, politics no Mon, 02 Mar 2020 07:00:00 -0800 739 Nationalism Politics & Philosophy “America First” is cheerleading for nationalism; the concept that America must serve the needs of its own citizens and country before considering what other nations and peoples want. To generations of Americans raised with the concept of liberty: making decisions for yourself and reaping the rewards or suffering the consequences of your own actions, nationalism makes logical sense, but it's in direct conflict with re-emerging Marxist ideology which puts needs first, a complete reversal of responsibility, and incompatible with nationalism and liberty. Besides the Marxists, cosmopolitanism, also called globalism, the opposite of nationalism, has the Stateless, loyalty-free international corporations as allies because nationalists tend to protect their Markets as a means of protecting their workers, which negatively affects a corporation's bottom line. Unfortunately, The Left, Marxists in fact even if they deny the term, uses linguistics as a weapon of confusion, and have successful tainted the word “nationalism,” and by extension, liberty itself. They associate nationalism with conflicts of the past, conflating a nation's pride and independence with its inclination to go to war. Keep making this reference long enough and adamantly enough, and it becomes accepted fact, an effective tactic for disavowing national borders, wealth accumulation, and exceptionalism; all things Marxists work against. Obviously, the argument used against nationalism is primarily a Trojan Horse for Marxism.   Politics & Philosophy 2:49 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash nationalism, politics, humor no Sat, 29 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 738 Pledge of Allegiance Politics & Philosophy Patriotic symbols & pageantry are from a time gone by, naturally appealing to conservatives, but in a sophisticated and interconnected world they seem quaint and anachronistic; in fact, patriotism itself is being challenged. Flags are complex symbols, and to most children, saying the Pledge of Allegiance is little more than chanting, militaristic even, especially when accompanied by a gesture of some kind: salute or hand-over-heart. It's obviously a form of brainwashing, one we as a unified nation were willing, even eager, to endue, but what real purpose does it serve other than conditioning citizens to forced compliance by the State. Even discussing the Pledge of Allegiance is a contentious topic, rife for demagoguery from The Right. In the past, chanting the pledge before school started was mainstream but public sentiment is beginning to turn against it, primarily fueled by the grievance culture that condemns America's past, including the sentimentality expressed in the pledge: flag, god, liberty. What the pledge did was indoctrinate these concepts into the whole populace so that everyone understood what was important in America, but there is a cultural war going on where those things are now associated with only one side. Pledging as a way to control the narrative has lost its effectiveness.   Politics & Philosophy 2:27 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Pledge of Allegiance, humor, politics no Thu, 27 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 737 God, Guns, Gas & GIs Politics & Philosophy Once upon a time, for about 50 years really, from the end of WW2 to the beginning of the new millennium, Americans, the ones that felt comfortable in America anyway, worshiped at the alter of the 4-Gs: God, guns, gas & GIs. In fact, that’s the calling card of Conservatives today, most of whom remember those days with a feeling of nostalgia. Unfortunately, the 4-Gs were overthrown during the 1960s, the last time America had the kind of upheaval it’s having today, but they stil lingered. However, in this virtual civil war, the only people still carrying the 4-Gs banner are aging beyond relevance. God may hang around; he always does but he won’t be telling presidents what to do in their prayers anymore. Guns have become anathema; like a MAGA hat that can fight back. Cars are electric, and gasoline is fracked. The draft is gone, and GIs with it; today’s soldiers are mercenaries held in check primarily because they’re brainwashed to be so. Here's hoping that something like the 4-Gs will be embraced by modern culture, but that seems unlikely; whatever emerges in this new upheaval will probably completely abandon the 4-Gs, and make liberty a casualty as well.   Politics & Philosophy 2:25 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash God, guns, gas, GIs, humor, politics no Tue, 25 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 736 Science Concepts Politics & Philosophy Science is difficult to understand so reviewing the concepts is extra important: Complex Systems are too complex to predict, and life is complex. Every pseudo-intellectual talks about Chaos Theory & Quantum physics but few know what they're talking about. If you think about it, black swans aren't that uncommon. TED Talks is snob appeal for science. The motive for getting females into STEM is pure elitism; ask any garbage man. Engineers are little more than chattel in a globalized world. Relativity is misunderstood, relatively speaking. TV on Alpha Centuri ain't what you'd think. Any space missions of the future will involve corporations and trust fund babies. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash science, humor, politics no Sun, 23 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 735 Space Missions Politics & Philosophy Apparently, people in government don't watch popular movies; someone should explain to them that we've got generations of kids raised on spaceships, aliens & blasters. When people think about space, it's space ships that carry astronauts, not satellites, and it's Star Wars, not earth bores. Given that man landed on the moon 50 years ago, Buck Rogers prospects seemed like a sure bet, but it hasn't quite worked out that way. NASA canceled the Return To The Moon initiative and replaced it with “Earth” missions, ostensibly to study the earth from space “to provide societal benefits and strengthen our nation.” Supposedly, they're still thinking about a Mars missions in the 2030s, but until then, there's some satellites and another telescope... Ho-hum. Since government has abdicated its role, many private ventures have rushed to fill in the void: billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic offers a $250,000 space flight; billionaire Jeff Bezo's Blue Origin's is using a traditional capsule on a rocket approach; Soyuz-using Space Adventures & Roscosmos have accommodated the only 7 space tourists so far, who paid $20-50 million each, the last in 2009; there's also KosmoKurs, who got the contract to replace the Soyuz rockets, partnering with space hotel builder Aiom Space, offer a trip at $10 million per per occupant; and billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX has been getting the lion's share of news coverage with their reusable, self-landing boosters, and plan to go back to the moon because somebody has to...   Politics & Philosophy 2:48 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash SpaceX, space, missions, politics, humor no Fri, 21 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 734 Alpha Centurian TV Politics & Philosophy The star, Alpha Centauri, is 4.3 light years away: could we watch an Alpha Centurian TV show that started 4 years ago? Yes, but Alpha Centauri is moving towards the earth at 46,000 miles an hour, so the TV show would be fast forwarding, just like if Alpha Centauri was moving away from the earth, the show would be playing in slow motion. However, if a spaceship from Earth was passing Alpha Centuri 4 light years away, it could watch the show at the correct speed. What if a spaceship from Earth was traveling away from Earth at lightspeed, and it was 4 light years away, could it watch an Earthling TV show that started 4 years ago? No, because the signal wouldn't be able to catch up. It get's weirder. What if a spaceship was traveling at lightspeed and the astronaut was trying to watch a movie playing inside the ship? If the monitor was facing forward, the light from the screen would never change because the astronaut was traveling along with it, and if the screen were facing towards the back, the astronaut wouldn't see anything because the light would skip right past him. Now consider that everything else is moving too: Earth, Galaxies, the universe; it's remarkable you can watch Alpha Centurian TV at all.   Politics & Philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash lightspeed, light speed, humor, politics no Wed, 19 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 733 Relativity Politics & Philosophy Everybody agrees that someone on an asteroid 1 light-year from earth could watch through their telescope what you ate for breakfast a year ago but they can't agree how long it took for you to eat it?There seem to be a lot of intelligent people who misunderstand Einstein's Theory of Relativity, and think time actually slows down; that satellites & astronauts age slower when they are in space; even people is fast airplanes flying to London get to take a few nanoseconds off their age. If that was true, the earth is traveling at 67,000 mph around the Sun, so you're a little younger still; even more because the galaxy is moving at 1.3 million mph. If there was time dilation, some is happening right now and you're a whole lot younger than you think you are. That's ridiculous as it seems: time does not slow down any more than it speeds up, it only seems to relative to a viewer that is traveling at different speeds and different directions because light is unidirectional and travels at a constant speed. Here's a way to check: consider a bullet whizzing past, and that the bullet shoots two rays of light, one back and one forward along its path. The bullet is traveling fast enough that it would dilate time but add together the times each ray was received at either end of the path, and the total will be the same time it takes for a single ray of light shot from one receiver to the next. Some physicists have probably already done this experiment but can't get anyone to read their paper. What we need is a Theory of Realitivity.   Politics & Philosophy 2:36 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash relativity, humor, politics no Mon, 17 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 732 Engineers Politics & Philosophy Does a First World society need engineers? Ambitious nations sure think so: looking at engineering students training in American universities, you find a large proportion of them are foreign nationals, tuition paid for by their home governments so they can return to make their own nations better. However, in the U.S., careers in engineering, which used to be attractive, are not so much anymore. Engineering graduates peaked at 80,000 in the 1980's then declined to 65,000; this in the face of an increasing population and overwhelming technological needs. Compare that to China's 3.7 million engineering students. The first reason is: who wants to go to school for something so difficult, for little prestige and relatively low pay? Anyone intelligent enough for engineering would be better personally served by going into something else: medicine, law, or banking. Another, more insidious, reason fewer and fewer students are choosing engineering is globalization, specifically H1B visas that lower the pay and take the opportunities. Potential employers are essentially in-country off-shoring of engineering, making American engineers the equivalent of textile or auto workers. Self-interestedly, the Free Marketeers dismiss the decimation of our nation's brain trust with the same tired Market Forces reassurances. These are the people who make money when other nations are doing better at America's expense. The brutal fact is that engineers are no more fungible than military or police; you better have them when you need them.   Politics & Philosophy 2:52 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash engineers, engineering, humor, politics no Sat, 15 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 731 Female STEM Politics & Philosophy Careers involving Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, STEM, attract men; women too but in much smaller numbers. The worry over the participation of women in STEM is epitomized by engineering, which has a high of 22% of female chemical engineers and a low of 8% for mechanicals. Because of this unbalance in gender representation, the inevitable victimhood & equality siren is constantly blaring to “get more girls into STEM.” A recent headline read, "6.7% of women graduate with STEM degrees," which seems alarming, but take a closer look. First, the percentage of men who graduate STEM are only double that, and the starting number is important: 58% of undergraduate college students are women; even worse, two-thirds of all graduate students are women. Of that reduced participation by men, only 17% go into STEM. Worldwide, 16% of women go into STEM, which means the difference in gender STEM participation is only in the U.S. The reason is obvious: any woman smart enough to get through STEM in America, instead goes into Law & Medicine, exemplified by the fact that 60% of Law and medical students are women, and that's with gender-balancing, otherwise it would be even lower male representation. In comparison, less than 1% are women in the fields of trash collection, masonry & septic tank servicing. There's also a dearth of women construction workers, mechanics & heavy equipment operators, but since those fields aren't prestigious, there's no equivalent Equality uproar, even though those jobs can pay the same as STEM.   Politics & Philosophy 3:03 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash STEM, engineering, humor, politics no Thu, 13 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 730 TED Talks Politics & Philosophy TED Talks, short for Technology, Entertainment & Design, are a phenomenon not unlike the New Age craze, but subtler about their indoctrination. They are incredibly popular and usually include pre & post events like a night-time run, and champagne party. They profess to be exemplary speakers from their highfalutin, specialized fields of study, or perhaps meta-humans passing their wisdom onto the vestige intelligence of the residual human species, but the reality is more a conflagration of self-congratulation, hero worship, and sanctimonious posturing. It's not a coincidence that the audience is almost entirely made up of a single political party. The TED speakers probably consider themselves edgy, at least that's what you'd think by how they dress, and their constant cultural references are the height of cosmopolitan name-dropping, but the Political Correctness observed at these events in gestapo-like, and the uniformity of thought reminiscent of a cult. To make matters worse, there is a kind of TED event, called TEDx, where the speakers pay to be there, taking advantage of a captive audience who are not aware they are being sold snake oil. TED Talks are what happens when science tries to be popular.   Politics & Philosophy 2:20 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash TED, TEDx, humor, politics no Tue, 11 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 729 Black Swan Politics & Philosophy The “Black Swan” theory of events correctly points out that just because a thing has never happened does not mean it cannot happen, even though people often make that assumption when doing predictions, and even if predictors had postulated that such events could happen, since they have not yet ever occurred, their probability cannot be measured, which means that any predictions made without considering them are misleading at best, and dishonest at worst. As insightful as this explanation seems, what really explains Black Swans is actually much more pedestrian. What's really going on is that there are an infinite number of possibilities with probabilities of occurring so small as to be negligible, impossible really, but not zero. Add enough of these non-zero possibilities together and there becomes a significant probability that one of them will happen. Because Black Swan seems so elegant yet so inscrutable, it's often cynically invoked in combination with the possibly of catastrophic consequences as a justification for action on otherwise non-actionable possibilities; for example, an asteroid may hit earth and since that is a catastrophe of immense proportions, we must plan and prepare as if that event will occur. Climate Change hysteria is the ultimate purveyor of this kind of logic. Of course, as with any Complex System, the correct strategy is reactive rather than proactive, but fear-mongering for political reasons overrides conscientious science; just wait for the Black Swans to show up before getting your camera.   Politics & Philosophy 2:41 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Black Swan, humor, politics no Sun, 09 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 728 Chaos Theory & Quantum Physics Politics & Philosophy It's easy to confuse Chaos Theory with Quantum physics because the concept is the same but Chaos Theory predicts things that will happen while Quantum physics suggests things that can happen. They are both based on probabilities but Chaos Theory is deterministic, meaning that with given inputs, you know the time, place and size of the outputs. For example, the dynamics of steam is chaotic but it's predictable: know the volume and temperature, and the pressure can be calculated; yet what's really happening is that untold molecules are bouncing around randomly in a complex environment, no way to predict where any single one will go, but how all will go is predictable. As a comparison: there's no place for Star Trek-like transporters in Chaos Theory because it's not predictable, but Quantum physics gots it covered... Almost. Quantum physics can only predict one out of two things: when but not where or where but not when; for example, you can say Dr. Spock is going to materialize in a certain place but you can't say when. This has got a lot of scientists scratching their heads and scribbling arcane math without much success, but when we know more how to control Quantum physics, you may be transportering soon, we just don't know where.   Politics & Philosophy 2:16 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Chaos Theory, Quantum Physics, humor, politics no Fri, 07 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 727 Complex Systems Politics & Philosophy Newtonian physics is rather simple: action equals reaction; good for building cars and civilizations, but most of nature is incomprehensively complex, so that the only way humans can model them is with statistics, which is the probability that an event will occur times uncountable events. Though there are some complex systems that can be controlled, the vast majority cannot, and no Top Down approach can ever manage them: too many variables to determine the outcome, and it requires perfect knowledge as well as being able to predict the future. Simple examples of Complex Systems in life are flocking birds, or schools of fish, and other events that look like there's a Grand Design but in reality are the combination of finely granulated autonomous decisions of each of the members. No master force can predict what those fish are going to do, it's better to set back and wait for the time they come under your boat to fish. This simple solution of observe and wait applied to the complexity problem was proposed for economic markets by Adam Smith, followed by social philosopher Friedrich Hayek, as a basis of his political theory. Computer Scientists adopted this idea with Object Oriented programming, and Artificial Intelligence is totally based on the concept of taking a wait-and-see approach, reactionary rather than proactive; adjust rather than try to control; which may seem troubling to some personalities but it's really the only logical way to live a complex life.   Politics & Philosophy 2:39 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash complex systems, humor, politics no Wed, 05 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 726 Healthcare Concepts Politics & Philosophy Healthcare is a big topic; let's review the sliver of it we've covered: Americans are going to have to get used to socialized healthcare because it's different than what they have now. Healthcare isn't a traditional Market; you can't just shop around. There's no such thing as healthcare centered on the patient because it has to serve all patients equally. The so-called Opioid Crisis is really a crisis of fear-mongering. Antibiotic resistance would have happened anyway; no need to blame the patient. You are your body chemistry. If it wasn't for sociopathic behavior, there'd be no behavior at all. Alternative medicine is actually an oxymoron because it's not medicine. Having the compassion to let a person die naturally is greater than any kind of altruism. Abortion has lots of easy questions but no easy answers. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:35 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash healthcare, humor, politics no Mon, 03 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 725 Abortion Questions Politics & Philosophy Pontificating on abortion has never changed anyone's mind. Given that there doesn't seem to be any compromise, the solution, if there is one, can only be determined by philosophy, specifically Socratic questioning that might lead us to the answer. For example, if a fetus could be transplanted into an artificial womb, is that okay? Should it be a forced transfer? Can all mother's do it? Who pays for that? We've already determined that any amount of money will be spent to keep a premature baby alive, so $10 million forced transplants of unwanted fetuses may be in our future? The issue of technology and abortion gets even thornier. There's eventually going to be cloning; are they the same as conjugal babies? What if it was used on people without them knowing it, is that rape? Does the clone have to be raised to term? Cloning allows males to produce offspring; what are the effects of that? Can cloning be outlawed? If one is made illegally, can it be aborted? If you thought the abortion issue was intractable now, just wait for science to stick its finger in. That's why The Courts decide these things, not amateur moralists.   Politics & Philosophy 2:13 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash abortion, clones, humor, politics no Sat, 01 Feb 2020 07:00:00 -0800 724 Compassionate Death Politics & Philosophy Euthanasia is allowing people to die, or even commit suicide, sometimes with a doctor's help, because the person chooses that over a lingering or painful death. Euthanasia is a liberty question because the desire to die comes from the patient, however, if the decision is to let a person, particularly a deformed newborn or someone who is brain dead, die naturally, that is compassionate death. Compassion is subjective, and easily veers into moral philosophy; for example, if a brain dead person is allowed to die so that their organ's can be harvested, is that more or less compassionate? Babies and compassionate death generate the most angst. There's a famous case in England where a doctor, who is one of the world’s specialists, thought a baby would be harmed by further treatment, and was allowing it to die. A judge was asked to decide but how is a judge more qualified in this matter than a doctor? The judge judicially decided it was up to the doctor. Making the decision even more controversial, Italy offered to take the baby and provide treatment. It caused an uproar among a lot of religious people, but was the baby left in God's hands by not being treated, or by a futile treatment, and which is more compassionate, or are neither?   Politics & Philosophy 2:15 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash compassionate death, euthanasia, humor, politics no Thu, 30 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 723 Alternative Medicine Politics & Philosophy Modern medicine is intimidating to most people: the doctors, the facilities, the treatments, the costs. Plus, patients have almost no control over any of it, rising their anxiety level even higher. One of the ways to exert control over your own life is to make your goals subjective, and uniqueness is sought after because it gives control through obscure knowledge that only you know. Medicine is especially vulnerable to these lures because the reality is that placebo, getting fooled into thinking a treatment is helping you when it's actually a scam, is the most effective part of healthcare; professional and quackery. Chiropractic, naturopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture, aroma therapy, yoga, diet, crystals, massage, positive thinking; all so-called Alternative Medicine depends on the placebo effect and lessened anxiety: how could something you dig out of your backyard hurt you, and massages feel good no matter what. There's usually some smidgen of an idea behind all of these poppycock treatments but it's far-outweighed by the lack of evidence for them, and the fact that someone can receive a Doctor of Natural Medicine borders on malpractice. Professional, accredited, liability-insured medicine is called Evidence-based, but that's a misnomer too; often the evidence is fleeting at best with negative results ignored. Justifying $100K therapies that only provide a minimal chance of improvement would never happen outside of the natural monopoly of medicine where you are literally going to die otherwise. Medicine makes liars out of everybody.   Politics & Philosophy 2:44 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash alternative medicine, humor, politics no Tue, 28 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 722 Sociopathic Behavior Politics & Philosophy Humans are inherently sociopathic, meaning they measure the alternatives and choose to act based on a rational decision-making process, but often what can be done and what should be done cross over the lines of courtesy & trust, the oil that lets society function. In a person-to-person contact, social pressures act to damper sociopathic excesses, but the Internet is free of such restrictions, and Social Media has enabled and exacerbated sociopathological behaviors because it lacks negative feedback: Instagram, for example, provides a positive feedback loop for narcissism & self-absorption. Trolls are sadists, and the people that allow themselves to be trolled are masochists. Facebook is filled with textbook examples of Borderline personalities, and Fake News makes it difficult to tell paranoia from fact. Sociopathic feelings & motivations, which would normally be suppressed in a civil society, are instead exaggerated in Social Media, especially when the Clicks that result are worth something to the person doing the instigating; provocateurs literally make their living by preying on the weaknesses of people. It's relatively easy to radicalize anyone if they are ensconced in a bubble where everyone else thinks the same thing. Our society that champions liberty & Free Speech is especially vulnerable to sociopaths. We don't penalize people for how they made their money, and we don't legally require them to have a value system that doesn't impinge on the Rights of others. In fact, to do anything to them is to betray all we say we believe in. The only solutions are to inure online courtesy in the young, and make it easy to ignore the worst of us.   Politics & Philosophy 2:43 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash sociopathy, humor, politics no Sun, 26 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 721 Body Chemistry Politics & Philosophy The chemistry going on inside your body controls who you are more than anything else. Most people know that testosterone is one of the primary dictates of men's lives, but they don't know about an even more influential hormone, cortisol. When a person is stressed, their body releases cortisol. This is a primordially survival mechanism, and affects everything: decreased immune system, cell aging, Alzheimer's, obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes, depression, impaired learning, blood pressure; all to put the body into fight-or-flight response. It saves you in the instant but is deadly if chronically secreted over a lifetime. Unfortunately for men, the most common cause of cortisol is due to subjugation in a male dominance hierarchy; low-status male gorillas never become silverbacks and die early. On the flip side of body chemistry, positive emotions are caused by the neurotransmitters, dopamine & serotonin. Dopamine is released during pursuit of goals, a great motivational power. Any goal works to release dopamine, which is why games are popular because games, especially immersive videogames, establish their own frame of reference, increasing relative status. Stories, like books & movies, work in a similar way by putting you in the role of the hero, increasing perceived status, which triggers dopamine, increases serotonin, and decreases cortisol; a win for your body all around. Essentially, you aren't what you eat but you are what you secrete.   Politics & Philosophy 2:41 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash cortisol, dopamine, serotonin, body chemistry, humor, politics no Fri, 24 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 720 Antibiotic Resistance Politics & Philosophy Virtually all antibiotics have some strain of bacteria that is resistant to them. The theory goes that these resistant strains emerged when people did not take a full course of antibiotics, so blame the patient. If the not-full-course canard is true, antibiotic resistance would come from people who don't have access to cheap antibiotics so they only use 1 or 2 tablets until their symptoms get bearable and they stop because can't they can't afford anymore. If they had a complete course, 12 tablets, they would take them. Nations with socialized medicine have an easy solution: make antibiotics inexpensive and easily available. As an example: a course of Azithromycin in the U.S. costs about $160 and requires a doctor's prescription, but the equivalent in Peru is $1 and is sold over the counter at pharmacies. There's also another explanation: antibiotic resistance is a statistical observation and could simply be an example of confusing correlation with causation: it seems likely that resistant strains of bacteria have always existed, and with the increasing interactions of people from around the world, they have spread, so antibiotic resistance bacteria would emerge regardless of how many pills are consumed. There is also the charge that antibiotics are overused, especially if they bring up how stupid people don't know antibiotics don't work on viruses even though doctors also can't tell without testing, but this is perhaps a suspicious facade for medical activism: rich nations who use antibiotics are oppressing poor nations that don't by creating resistant strains. It's often difficult to separate medicine from politics, and antibiotic resistance is one of those.   Politics & Philosophy 2:41 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash antibiotic resistance, humor, politics no Wed, 22 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 719 Opioid Crisis Politics & Philosophy People use drugs for the same reason they drink alcohol, to reduce anxiety, which is an evolutionary motivation. The best drugs act on the opioid receptors of the brain; a terrific combination of euphoria and pain relief. Natural opiates like morphine, heroin & codine, come from the poppy plant, and they've been used for millennia, both recreationally and medicinally; in fact, morphine is named after Morpheus, the Greek god of dream. Opium is so desirable, wars were fought over it, and it was legal in America until the 20th Century. There are also synthetic narcotics, called opioids, like methadone, oxycodone & fentanyl. These words have all entered the political lexicon of fear and apprehension: the so-called Opioid & Prescription Drug Crises. The Opioid Crisis is conflated with prescription drugs because pharmacies are something everyone is familiar with while most people have no contact with the criminal underworld. There's nothing wrong with the prescription process, that's very secure, but misleadingly, reported opioid abuse includes the vast amount of illegal drugs in with prescription abuse. This leads to ridiculous proposed solutions like halving the number of legally-manufactured pills; then why not a quarter? Why make any of these drugs at all? It's the same inane pretext used in anti-gun arguments. Luckily, gun owners are protected by the Constitution; unfortunately, people who need pain medication are not.   Politics & Philosophy 2:41 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash opioid, prescription drugs, crises, humor, politics no Mon, 20 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 718 Patient Centric Politics & Philosophy Doctors are glorified mechanics who work retail, and they're definitely not patient centric; it's all about what's convenient for the hospital staff, specifically doctors and to a lesser extent, nurses. Egregious examples of this lack of patient consideration include: group rooms so that no one sleeps, blood draws and IVs at all hours, inefficient discharges, repeated questioning, and no notification of costs nor permission to incur those costs. The reality is, how could it be any different? Healthcare operates under best practices, which means doing the accepted procedures for everyone, regardless; very similar to the concept of equality under the law. In fact, medicine is a one-size-fits-all profession because who wants to be treated worse than everyone else, but given the chance, everyone would want to be treated better. This uniform process implementation conflicts with the mystical concept that healthcare centers around the patient. Hospital brochures and advertisements stress how they give the patient control over their treatment, but without specifics about what that means, because there is nothing: patients are addressed the same, put in the same queues, and treated the same no matter who or where they are. A rotating hospital staff and basic human self-centeredness ensures it can be no other way: Mr. Smith is on the Stroke floor, that's all the staff needs to know. Considering the discomfort, anxiety, exhaustion and cognitive impairment of patients, plus distraught & unreasonable family members, the process has to be strictly assembly-line: next.   Politics & Philosophy 2:41 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash patient centric, healthcare, humor, politics no Sat, 18 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 717 Shopping for Healthcare Politics & Philosophy Advocates for a purely Market-driven approach to healthcare seem not to understand its monopolistic nature. Lasik is an example of the kind of heathcare that can be marketized, along with other elective, non-life-threatening procedures like breast augmentation, but those are the exceptions; most procedures require highly sophisticated decisions but most people don't have enough knowledge to know what decisions to make, and even if they do, they're not going to compromise on their health. Suppose you're experiencing some symptoms so you Google around looking for the diagnosis that fits your imagination, and find one: cholecystitis. (This is a super common malady so if anything could be marketized, it could.) Assuming the pain is bearable while you're researching, you've got to decided whether to get an MRCP for further diagnosis, or perhaps an ERCP, or maybe just have a cholecystectomy, maybe via laproscopy. What CBC value would prompt you to go with an MRCP first? Will you be outpatient, and if so, will you be flying to your cheapest surgeon or driving yourself? Unfortunately, you've probably got a bit of Altered Mental Status from your illness so your cognitive abilities may be impaired, and BTW, you could die, but not for a while. Next on the possible list of marketable medicine is gallbladder or peptic ulcer surgery, but those things stretch the envelope of what intelligent people can understand, let alone your elderly mother. You might be able to make it work for you but when you have icteric eyes, episodic pain, and the threat of death, could you negotiate the deals? Let's say you don't use Google, you spring for a real doctor. Imagine it's a drive-through franchise with acceptable prices, but of course, it's market-driven, so it's their own brand of boutique medicine, and they only offer the profitable stuff; or maybe you could hire a medicine broker who gets a cut for finding the cheapest surgeon, but that doesn't sound like a very good plan.     Politics & Philosophy 3:09 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash socialized, medicine, healthcare, politics, humor no Thu, 16 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 716 Using Socialized Healthcare Politics & Philosophy While I was training as a doctor in England, my wife and I were on their fully socialized healthcare system, the National Health Service, or NHS, where everyone's covered essentially for free. It was acceptable and got the job done but it was bare-bones, something many Americans would take some getting used to. An example of my own experience gives a feel: I received a yearly checkup card in the mail telling me when my appointment was, and I was assigned a clinic within walking distance, both extremely convenient. However, the building was a hundred year-old converted warehouse; the Waiting room was folding chairs; and there was no receptionist. When my number came up, I had to find my room through a labyrinth of halls. Once when I knocked on the door, the doctor inside said "come in," and when I opened the door, the previous patient was still getting dressed. There was no more waiting for service than I'd experienced in the U.S., perhaps less. The rooms had plenty of supplies but expensive technical devices, like an MRI, came to my clinic in a truck on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for scheduled appointments. All-in-all, we found it utilitarian and non-stressful, it was fast, there were definitely no pretensions, and 60% of Britains prefer to use it. The rest of the British population uses American-style private medical care based on insurance, but the costs are kept in check because the alternative is free. For example, my wife needed a small operation on her foot and was scheduled three days later at a private surgeon's office on the second floor of the public swimming pool; she was in and out in an hour, and it was extremely cheap by American standards. I consider the British healthcare system to be the best in the world.   Politics & Philosophy 2:46 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash socialized, healthcare, politics, humor no Tue, 14 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 715 Marxism Concepts Politics & Philosophy There's a lot to review about Marxism: Evolution favors Marxism. Karl Marx was a philosophical technician, not a philosopher. The underlying concept of Marxism: from those according to their ability, to those according to their need, has been around for millennia. FDR saved Capitalism by embracing some socialism but he wasn't a Marxist. Marxism went underground when the Soviet Union fell but it's back with a vengeance now. Post Modernism & Cultural Marxism are the newest tactics for reversing the status quo. Millennials infatuation with Marxism is a combination of selfishness & ignorance. The Chinese call American social hypocrisy the “White Left.” Marxist philosophy is separate from, and does not depend on, implementation. Marxism prevails because no counter-measures were taken to stop it. Marxism will always fail because it competes against basic human nature. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:43 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Marxism, humor, politics no Sun, 12 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 714 Marxism Will Always Fail Politics & Philosophy Marxism is attractive to at least half the population, the half whose life is improved by forced sharing with the other, more successful, half. Plus, the vision Marx expresses is very similar to the afterlife described in Christianity which shares the age-old philosophy of: from those according to their ability, to those according to their need. This tenet also reverses control: those without can make demands on those who have. Power & riches without effort; no wonder Marxism spreads so easily. In reality, just like the Roman Empire continued as long as they conquered and took what they wanted; Marxism can only continue as long as there is extra capacity. Capitalism works because it relies on the base human motivations of greed, avarice & control: a rising tide lifts all boats is their favorite metaphor, and it's true, but it's also in a negative feedback loop with the equally powerful base human motivations of envy, jealously & resentment; so Capitalism saw-tooths around some mutually acceptable compromise of feelings, and is relatively stable. Contrarily, Marxism will always fail because it depends on the passive human motivations of altruism, egalitarianism & sacrifice. Unfortunately, a person can always express more and more of these attributes in a positive feedback loop headed for self-destruction. This is not even considering the totalitarian aspect of Marxism that inevitably occurs when a base-emotion individual exploits the passive-emotion individuals. Nothing can stop either of these two things from eventually happening.   Politics & Philosophy 2:58 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Marxism, Capitalism, politics, humor no Fri, 10 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 713 Marxism Prevails Politics & Philosophy Propaganda works... Bigtime. Propaganda can make masses of people believe a person rose from the dead or ride a flying horse. It doesn't make any difference if the idea is completely illogical or refuted by facts, keep saying that the aliens on the comet are coming to take you, and without rebuttal, people will drink the Kool-Aid. Our news sources have been completely compromised; the private companies who have control over disseminating information are infiltrated from the highest to the lowest levels. We can no longer believe what we're told, and have difficulty even determining what we can believe: online definitions change, search results are modified, knowledgeable personalities are banned, videos are edited; everything is suspect. Why? Ideology, specifically Marxist ideology. Marxism is the concept of Equality: from those according to their ability, to those according to their need. Marxists are everywhere: the Feminist movement is Marxist, Black Lives Matter is Marxist, Identity Politics is Marxist, Environmentalism is Marxist, the UN is Marxist, etc. These people have taken control of the propaganda network, and collude to make the world Marxist. Equality is alluring and without a concerted effort to pushback and promote the American ideal of liberty in its stead, it will eventually win, for a while anyway.   Politics & Philosophy 2:41 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Marxism, propaganda, humor, politics no Wed, 08 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 712 Marxist Philosophy vs. Implementation Politics & Philosophy Most people on The Left think Marxism is a taboo word, so deny that's what they are. However, when you compare the tenets of The Left: equality, justice, and democracy; those are the very foundations of Marxism: from those according to their ability, to those according to their need; the bourgeoisie are responsible to the proletariat for past injustices; and pure democracy. In response to this comparison, Leftists exclaim that since they don't want control of the factories, and people can own things, they can't be Marxists, but the tenets stand regardless of Karl Marx's naive proposed solutions.. The philosophy expressed by Marx is often conflated with his utopian implementation. Marx only suggested how his ideal world might operate: Workers would control the means of production is the most famous, but also citizen anarchy where no one is in charge and all decisions are made through democracy; and no one needs to own anything because everyone has everything through sharing. Communism is the direct descendant of Marxism but because of the frailties of human nature, Communism substitutes The State as controlling production and owning everything, and The State making all decisions rather than the citizens though the claim they are democratic because of compulsory voting, even if only one candidate is allowed to run. In a desperate attempt, Marxists look at these discrepancies and claim Communism isn't Marxism either; Marxism is their whatever their vision of utopia is.   Politics & Philosophy 2:40 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Marxism, Communism, politics, humor no Mon, 06 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 711 White Left Politics & Philosophy The morphing of Western ideals into something alien and unrecognizable is primarily the result of women, minorities & weirdos attempting to gain power, and has caused some bewilderment in the people of formerly Marxist nations, like the Soviets and Chinese. In China, especially, they are greatly entertained by what they call baizuo, or “White Left.” The term originated online just before Trump's run for the U.S. presidency in a Chinese journal paper entitled, “The Fake Morality of the Western White Left,” but has since entered wide public discourse, and is fueled by the double standards of Western media and its biased reporting, specifically Identity Politics and how it treats Asians unfairly. The accepted perception of White Left is quite unflattering: those who are obsessed with equality in order to satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority, motivated from an ignorant and arrogant Western-centric worldview who pity the rest of the world and think they are saviors, combined with political opinions guided by emotions and a hypocritical show of selflessness and empathy. Obviously, the Chinese have nothing but disgust for America's Social Justice Warriors, and the ironic thing is, the Chinese Marxist ideals are the goal of these Western White Left Marxists.   Politics & Philosophy 2:30 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash White Left, humor, politics no Sat, 04 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 710 Millennial's Infatuation with Marxism Politics & Philosophy Marxism is not a new attraction: it finds acceptance among those whose expectations of their success in life collided with reality. In fact, from a purely practical, self-interested perspective, Marxism works to alleviate the envy of perhaps one generation, possibly two, before it begins its inevitable collapse due to going against human nature. If you are in that lucky first generation and are short-sighted or selfish enough to ignore the consequences then Marxism is quite appealing. Millennials, who's expectations were set by living with their Boomer parents, and are now living with 3 roommates sharing a cellphone plan, and working part-time as baristas if they even have a job, would probably see their lives materially improved under Equality. Those organic food-shopping, bike-riding, App-using, marriage-eschewing snowflakes don't care how much better off they are than people in India. When they lived at home, their parents covered healthcare, lodging, and college tuition. They used to drive their dad's Mercedes and now all they have is this stupid 1-speed bicycle. Disillusioned entitlement is being confused for oppression, and now in these Post Modern times, there are so many cultural oppressions to choose from that Marxism seems certain to get a 51% voting block eventually, with Millennials leading the way.   Politics & Philosophy 2:19 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Millennials, Marxism, humor, politics no Thu, 02 Jan 2020 07:00:00 -0800 709 Post Modernism & Cultural Marxism Politics & Philosophy In all fields, what used to be called Modern happened long ago, so what is happening now is called Post Modern, and this has happened to Marxism too. Marxism's basic tenet is Equality: from those according to their ability, to those according to their need, where class used to be the fulcrum; upper classes oppressing lower classes, usually measured by economic disparity. Unfortunately for Marxists, the initial authoritarian implementations didn't work out, so they now have a democracy fetish. However, there just aren't enough people oppressed by class for a majority, so rather than class, the so-called Cultural Marxists are attempting to accumulate votes based on other kinds of oppression: race, gender, religion; pitting Blacks against Whites, women against men, Muslims against Christians. Post Modernism's arsenal includes name-calling; the terms Nazi, Racist, Homophobic, Transphobic, etc., are indiscriminately hurled like mortars into public discourse. Another tactic is to make things subjective, thereby putting control into the hands of whoever claims it; the most obvious is Self-identifying, usually gender, but even race; you say you're a woman, you must be treated like a woman, including playing in women's sports, and the use of Women's bathrooms; anyone who disagrees is Transphobic. Another manifestation is the supposedly scientific Happiness literature used to support and justify the subjectivity of what makes people happy. Similar use of subjectivity is to claim that you find something offensive so it must be discontinued. There are also the imagined Micro-aggressions practiced by Whites against women and Blacks in their everyday speech and actions that only the receiver can recognize and therefore demand unilateral change. As a political strategy, the goal of Post Modernism & Cultural Marxism is to gain power through linguistics and subjectivity by exploiting the courtesy and passivity of the established order.   Politics & Philosophy 3:13 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Cultural Marxism, Post Modernism, humor, politics no Tue, 31 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 708 Marxism Went Underground Politics & Philosophy When the Soviet Union fell, everyone assumed Marxism was defeated. Yes, China was still around but they didn't seem threatening at the time and were dabbling in Capitalism anyway, and the few pockets of Marxism remaining were otherwise inconsequential. Unfortunately, nobody was looking inwardly because in retrospect, Marxism went nowhere, it just rebranded, went underground, and bided its time while working feverishly to entrench itself as the most important influence in America, and they've succeeded; what German Leftists strategized as, “the long march through the institutions” The Left has gained a great level of control in media, education, Tech, entertainment & government. The bastions of Marxist thought were and still are in the universities, and the University Presses disseminate and legitimize the new theories of Equality, Grievance Studies & Radical Feminism. They gained control of the media by dominating enrollment and the curriculums, and Affirmative Action injected them into business and entertainment. This has been going on for decades with hardly a mention from the established order, and anyone who did notice was ridiculed, called names, ostracized and designated as a conspiracist. Of course, during the infestation, few would acknowledge they were Marxist sympathizers, so they called themselves Progressives, Feminists & Environmentalists. Now their power is so great that even the dreaded word “Communism” is again being espoused and championed. The Cold War may have been won but the war for hearts & minds is being lost.   Politics & Philosophy 2:55 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Marxism, Marxist, humor, politics no Sun, 29 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 707 FDR and Marxism Politics & Philosophy President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, FDR, is famous for helming America through The Depression & WW2, and was the progenitor of many social programs, including Social Security. Because of this, he's often derided by The Right as the archetype of socialism. An alternate, and more accurate, interpretation is that he was actually Capitalism's savior. During a time when Marxism was successful and fashionable, FDR undercut the growth of The Left by adopting their rhetoric and co-opting its leaders, which is where the claim that some of his cabinet members were Marxists comes from. At the time, Big Labor was entirely Marxist, 15% of the voter population were Communist sympathizers, and the rest of the Western World had already capitulated or were leaning in that direction. FDR was a master negotiator who adopted just enough socialist ideas for liberty and capitalism to survive. It wasn't until a decade later that a concerted effort was made to push back against Marxist ideology, culminating with McCarthy-style black-listing in the 1950s. Unfortunately, there's now been a complete flip: the Marxists are getting back in control and are doing the black-listing. The time is ripe for another FDR.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Marxism, Socialism, humor, politics no Fri, 27 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 706 Past Marxism Politics & Philosophy Marxism was en-vogue long before Karl Marx was born, and will probably be where all democracies end up eventually. The core of Marxism: from those according to their ability, to those according to their need; is actually many thousands of years old: Plato would be a Marxist by that definition, and it certainly appears in The New Testament; the very concepts of religion has a penchant for Marxism built in. Socialism isn't new to popularity in America: William Bryan Jennings had 3 unsuccessful but close runs for president at the end of the 19th Century, and the 1928 Democratic candidate, Al Smith, was a Marxist. There's always been actual "Socialist" candidates, such as Eugene Debs, running right up until WWII. The crux of the from-those-to-those tenet is to reverse control from the few Winners to the vast majority of Losers, but because losing never ends up anyplace, eventually Winners climb back into control then the process repeats itself. Right now, about a third of the nation would prefer some form of Marxism: the Equalists, the Environmentalists, and the Social Justice Warriors; but it's always a close thing because many voters would see a short-term gain from Marxist policies. Marxists will have to be repeatedly defeated in elections because if the past is any indicator, Marxism, once implemented, never retreat.   Politics & Philosophy 2:32 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Marxism, politics, humor no Wed, 25 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 705 Karl Marx Politics & Philosophy Karl Marx was a German ethnic Jew philosopher-lawyer exiled to London for his political writing in the middle of the 19th Century. He had a nervous disorder and insomnia, and his physical ailments and discomfort probably explain his caustic personality, euphemistically known as “critical theory.” He named all four of his daughters after his wife, Jenny; had a child by his housekeeper; and nicknames for everything. Oddness is often associated with brilliance, and though his work was not recognized in life, within half a Century of his death Karl Marx was the most influential ghost in the world. Marx was originally a economic classical liberal per Adam Smith but became influenced by the collectivist philosophies of Hegel & Rousseau. After meeting wealthy socialist Friedrich Engels, they collaborated to create his seminal work, The Communist Manifesto, a rehashing of Equalist ideology with some naive predictions and improbable economic ideas mixed in. Marx believed Capitalism was responsible for the overthrow of feudalism but that it would eventually cause unacceptable wealth concentration and disparity, alienating the vast majority of the population so that a communist revolution would inevitably occur; he was right except that communism in practice turned out to be subject to even worse exploitation. Marx's fame is completely out of proportion to his intellectual contribution because his ideas appeal to people who want to overturn the status quo.   Politics & Philosophy 2:44 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Karl Marx, Marx, The Communist Manifesto, humor, politics no Mon, 23 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 704 Marxism is Evolutionary Politics & Philosophy Intelligence brings with it self-awareness. It wouldn't have taken long for ancient man to determine that reducing envy & resentment in themselves and others was important to survival because perversity, actions intended to harm others which also harm yourself, a base human emotion which overrides logic, is what destroys civilizations: if too large of a percentage of the population just wants to watch the world burn, it will. Social leaders recognized that suppressing perversity was important, or maybe they were just envious & resentful themselves, but whatever the reason, the concept of: from those according to their ability, to those according to their need, is the foundation of several ideologies past and present, most notably Marxism today. Marxist attitudes also find support in egalitarianism, which is a form of anxiety, those trying to assuage their guilt of having more than others. There are also the altruists, those who enjoy that particularly insidious form of masochism. A proof that Marxism is evolutionary, one need only to recognize how history repeats itself: individuals vary dramatically, one group forming an empire or accumulating great wealth, but statistically, social pressures eventually bring humans back to the mean, which is forced sharing. The current ideological trend of liberty, the focus on personal autonomy, started with The Enlightenment, but notice how modern politics are again returning to Marxist thought.   Politics & Philosophy 2:41 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Marxism, humor, politics no Sat, 21 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 703 Gender Concepts Politics & Philosophy Let's review what defines gender: Sex is determined by a Y-chromosome but gender is a result of testosterone. Hormones travel through your bloodstream to make you the gender you are. The difference between men and women is testosterone. Testosterone brings with it superpowers, like ambition, competitiveness & exploration. Feminists have an undeclared war on testosterone as a means of leveling the playing field. Declining testosterone has led to diminishing masculinity. Soyboys never received their masculinity trigger. Transgender is about making it all about you. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:16 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash gender, humor, politics no Thu, 19 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 702 Transgender Debate Politics & Philosophy Succumbing to social norms is the greatest challenge to individuality; specifically, males face the absolutely frightening prospect of puberty. People will try to exert control over their life anyway they can, and an effective way is to make everything subjective, so it becomes about you; only you can say whether you're male or female: not medicine, not biology, not science; nothing can come between you and your claim; and becoming female has turned out to be an effective method of avoiding the Male Dominance Hierarchy Right-Of-Passage. In the past, this attempt at transcending gender was considered a mental illness, and still is. In psychiatric parlance, it's called a paraphilic disorder, most famously, transvestism or cross-dressing to become sexually aroused, and though transgender is in the same realm, it's more about control, and so confuses the diagnosis. Plus, switching genders has become fashionable. However, grandiosity and self-importance show a distinct lack of regard for the needs of other people. It takes true self-centeredness to demand to simultaneous use the bathroom of the opposite sex, which are gendered for courtesy. Unilaterally declaring yourself to be another gender can certainly collapse social expectations, but those strictures didn't get there by accident; it's the very fabric of society that's being threatened because courtesy works both ways, and the people who's courtesy is being abused will eventually decide to respond in kind.   Politics & Philosophy 2:37 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash transgender, humor, politics no Tue, 17 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 701 Soyboys Politics & Philosophy Over the past four decades there has been a precipitous drop of measured testosterone in boys and the men they grow into, which coincides with the fashionableness of vegetarianism; the so-called “soyboys,” because eating soy supposedly lowers testosterone. However, it's more likely that soyboys are simply a stage all males go through. Prepubescent boys require interaction with other testosterone-wielding boys to trigger their own testosterone production, and this usually involves bullying, hazing & aggression, which is now, ironically, being brutally suppressed. Bullying is spontaneous but not random. It's often blamed on the stronger exploiting the weak but there are plenty of small boys that don't get bullied. Bulling is jockeying for rank, and soyboys are the ones who don't fight back. A boy may think they are minding their own business when a bully walks up but they are actually a flashing red light of soyness: visually they still look effeminate, they may exhibit the lack of self-awareness of children, or they are simply being tested, and if they respond submissively, they actually encourage the bully. Simply stated, boys must be willing to fight back, to respond aggressively to aggression; no amount of passiveness training is going to help. There are things parents can do for their soyboy sons: the easiest counter-measure is playing sports; more drastic is going to Military school; injecting anabolic steroids may be controversial but a soyboy's got to do what a man's got to do.   Politics & Philosophy 2:52 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash soyboys, bullying, humor, politics no Sun, 15 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 700 Diminishing Masculinity Politics & Philosophy Testosterone production is in all males but it has societal triggers, the male dominance hierarchy being the most important. However, now that children are not allowed to play freely, and with "if everybody can't have one, no one can" Marxist ideology permeating everywhere, testosterone levels in boys have dramatically diminished. The anti-bullying campaigns have also removed any opportunity for boys to self-segregate into their natural position in a dominance hierarchy; in fact, many males never experience their place in the hierarchy at all; there are no Silverbacks, everyone is a juvenile male. All of this has led to an alarming decrease in testosterone in boys and men, added to by a push against masculinity, defined by self-autonomy and meritocracy, both vital to liberty. Before America began eating itself by attacking masculinity, both political parties supported The Patriarchy; but now The Matriarchy has gained many new, low testosterone recruits, with social-networking bringing them together, and the destruction of the male dominance hierarchy is reducing the number of Alpha males, so women and men-who-act-like-women outnumber masculine men, which is devastating in a democracy. Politics & Philosophy 2:16 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash testosterone, dominance, hierarchy, humor, politics no Fri, 13 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 699 War on Testosterone Politics & Philosophy Humans have two superpowers: for women, it's childbirth; and for men, it's testosterone. There are many women envious of men's testosterone super-abilities: ambition, competitiveness, physical prowess, and more. Testosterone gives masculine males an advantage in The Patriarchy because liberty, meritocracy & patriotism are benefited by its attributes. Women embrace the diminishment of masculinity and The Patriarchy because it levels the playing field, even puts them at an advantage. In a Matriarchy world, testosterone is denigrated as "toxic masculinity," and public education is like a shield against testosterone because a male dominance hierarchy implies that males must be in charge but the power structure in education is all female. Testosterone's contribution to achievement is also being derided, both directly and insidiously; directly by dismissing any accomplishment as "privilege" or "selfishness;" and subtly by giving equal value to non-accomplishment; everyone gets a trophy. The implementation of “diversity” neutralizes the advantage of testosterone because it circumvents meritocracy. Plus, many low-status men are resentful, and they have joined forces with other weaklings to neutralize the testosterone superpowers of masculine men under the guise of equality. This is perversity of the highest order since it leads directly to the destruction of society, which was created to protect the weak, those with low testosterone.   Politics & Philosophy 2:52 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash testosterone, humor, politics no Wed, 11 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 698 Testosterone Superpower Politics & Philosophy Testosterone makes you attractive, ambitious, competitive, confident, protective, and a host of other super-powers. It's kind of amazing that even though people generally know this, it isn't really discussed much in education outside of biology class, when in reality, testosterone, and the superpowers it brings, is more controlling of society than anything other than the female superpower of childbearing. Feminists recognize the advantage testosterone gives to men and resent it, so they denigrate it, especially its most problematic side effects like aggression, territorialism, and lust. Testosterone also makes men adventuresome and curious, and since wisdom comes from knowledge and experience, high-testosterone males have an advantage there too. Testosterone manifests itself differently from man to man, regardless of the levels: a high-testosterone male will certainly sacrifice themselves for their tribe, and testosterone is where the concept of mutually assured destruction comes from: both sides lose when either attacks; and the old adage that the best defense is a good offense was probably influenced by testosterone because nothing prevents aggression better than knowing there's a lot of testosterone on the other side; you think twice before challenging Superman.   Politics & Philosophy 2:22 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash testosterone, humor, politics no Mon, 09 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 696 Hormones Politics & Philosophy The blood vessels in your body are a lot like plumbing. The body sends signals through the plumbing, called hormones, and they can go almost everywhere the blood goes. Testosterone and estrogen, the sex hormones, are the most famous, and control gender-related aspects of the body like muscle size and hair growth. Different hormones have different shapes, and as they flow through the blood vessels, cells grab onto them based on their shape, but sometimes hormones that do different things have similar shapes, and the wrong hormone can get snatched up and trigger events they weren't supposed to; for example, injecting testosterone-like substances, called steroids, to appear more manly affects the body in ways that aren't gender related. Hormones can also be turned into other hormones; for example, testosterone can be turned into estrogen. Fat cells do this. Unfortunately, estrogen is the hormone that causes breasts, so overweight boys have that embarrassment to deal with; but that's not all, since fat boys are turning their testosterone into estrogen, they have lower levels of testosterone, and as more and more kids have gotten overweight, the average testosterone in boys has been nosediving. The hormone crisis in children affects society in a much more profound way than any outside influences like Climate Change, yet it's almost invisible to the public consciousness.   Politics & Philosophy 2:24 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash hormones, politics, humor no Sat, 07 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 697 Gender Testosterone Differences Politics & Philosophy The development of the testosterone apparatus in the fetus is what causes all gender differences between males and females; for example, ovaries and gonads start as the same group of cells but are differentiated due to testosterone. Testosterone is also the fundamental difference between males and females during the rest of their lives: physically, intellectually, and emotionally. It's important to note that females have testosterone too, it's just that males have more of it, so-much-so that there lives are virtually defined by how much they have and how well they respond to the impulses. Females convert most of their testosterone into estrogen, the hormone that defines their lives. Raw levels of testosterone don't do the same thing between males and females; the amount of testosterone converted to estrogen differs between men and women, and the testosterone receptors in males are acclimated to higher levels of testosterone than females, so a female who injects herself with a steroid, which is a close relative of testosterone, doesn't have to use very much to get the same testosterone effects as a man. Interestingly, gender differences are a statistical manifestation: if all the females and males in a large group were matched according to their capabilities, almost everybody would have a counterpart of the opposite gender that had the same physical, mental and emotional status; the ones left over are where the perceived difference between men and women comes from.   Politics & Philosophy 2:30 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash gender, testosterone, politics, humor no Thu, 05 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 695 Gender Genetics Politics & Philosophy Males and females each start out with a single set of chromosomes that double then doubles the doubles continuously until there's you. Of that first set of chromosomes, 22 of the 23 are exactly the same between males and females, however, the 19th chromosome is shorter in males, called the Y chromosome, versus a female's longer 19th chromosome, called X. Females have biological machinery in that missing area that turns off testosterone, meaning males have testosterone turned on by default. Testosterone then initiates the cascade of changes that make the body into males, and keeps the body acting male throughout life. In a very real sense, testosterone is the fundamental difference between men and women. In fact, females who inject themselves with testosterone will take on the attributes of men, and males who have their testosterone nullified in some way appear effeminate. This can also happen if there is a birth defect, and has led to some bizarre situations; for example, testosterone-resistance means a genetic male can’t be physically distinguished from a female even into maturity; sometimes not knowing until that individual wants to find out why they aren't getting pregnant. Conversely, there are also genetic women with penises similar to men. Many in the transgender community cite these extremely rare cases as proof that they are actually the opposite gender because they think they are, but the fact is, Y-chromosome females have a biological anomaly that prevents their testosterone from working, and X-chromosome males have a physical aberration that produces high levels of testosterone. These aren't just examples of someone thinking they are the other gender, their body's literally operate as if they were.   Politics & Philosophy 3:03 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash testosterone, genetics, x-chromosome, y-chromosome, humor, politics no Tue, 03 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 694 Patriarchy Concepts Politics & Philosophy What is the Patriarchy? Let's review: Times they are a changing, again... Public schools are more indoctrination than education. There is a concerted attack on liberty, meritocracy & patriotism; termed “The Patriarchy” by the attackers. The Male Dominance Hierarchy defined society until the advent of democracy. Masculinity is an evolutionarily important part of survival. Toxic Masculinity conflates masculine traits to discredit masculinity. Old White Guys have perhaps waited too long before fighting back against women, minorities, and weirdos. Traditional male/female roles aren’t compulsory, they're evolutionary. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:05 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash masculinity, the patriarchy, dominance hierarchy, humor, politics no Sun, 01 Dec 2019 07:00:00 -0800 693 Traditional Roles Politics & Philosophy Traditional male/female roles weren’t accidental, and they weren’t society imposed. If men & women were stranded on a desert island, the same roles would soon emerge because they’re evolutionary. When someone slams their car door into my car, I'm the one in our family best equipped to handle it. If the lawn doesn't get mowed, that's my responsibility; but when the children are wailing, my wife can best deal with the situation; and if someone needs a Get Well card, that's her. It's not like either of us couldn't switch roles on a moment's notice, it's simply easier and more comfortable to do what you're good at, so most of the traditional family roles have little downside, and no one is involuntarily exploited. However, girls have been indoctrinated to break the traditional mold since the previous social revolution in the middle of the last century, and combined with the subtle suppression of boys, feminists are attempting a complete reversal of the power dynamic. Preventing anyone from having candy unless everyone can has gradually creeped into promoting activities that empower girls at boys' detriment. Modern society, with the push towards equality and the co-opting of male violence via democracy, is artificial, an aberration in history, and cannot be expected to continue without backlash, which is only now beginning.   Politics & Philosophy 2:24 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash traditional, roles, family, humor, politics no Fri, 29 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0800 692 Unaware OWGs Politics & Philosophy Older White men, “Old White Guys” or OWGs in the vernacular, are the focus of much of the hostility of the new Left, but they don't seem to know it, or don't understand the ramifications of their lack of action and virtual capitulation. OWGs are still in the mindset that The Left's violation of the unspoken rules: basic courtesy, benefit of the doubt, and respect for others; is hypocrisy and not the total social upheaval that it really is. OWGs lack the recognition that this is a social war, and that there are no rules. Women, minorities & weirdos have never had it so good and they're going to continue with the plan that's been successful so far, which is to demonize masculinity, The Patriarchy, and anything else that gives men an advantage. They already control education, entertainment, media, and government, and have infiltrated business by subverting the concept of Human Resources to restrict job access of White males and give precedence to applicants sympathetic to their cause. Women are now in extremely leveraged positions of power after decades of these preferential hiring practices, and have used Political Correctness to keep anyone from saying anything about what's been happening. When OWGs finally do recognize what's up, it's unclear what they can do to fight back: Lefty politics appeals to the narcissism of entertainers; Tech thinks they're elite and special; media has been co-opted; and where's the plan to break up public education?   Politics & Philosophy 2:42 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash OWG, OWGs, humor, politics no Wed, 27 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0800 691 Toxic Masculinity Politics & Philosophy Masculinity can easily be demonized as “toxic” for its side effects: aggression, anger & sexuality. It used to be overlooked when males exploited their advantages by bullying, dominance, and predatory attitude towards women. In small doses, these traits are actually extremely important in a functioning society, both for men in the male dominance hierarchy, and for women because it ensures stability, but the line between acceptable and toxic is a blurry one, and unusually subjective. If you're a female on the losing end of every competition because the male has the advantage and will not give up, crying foul is a desperation tactic. Feminists also find alliance with low-status men, who combined usually represent more than half the population, a powerful tipping point in a democracy. The corrosive side-effect of attacking masculinity is that all things masculine come under fire. Chivalry and gallantry are impossible in a culture where every act is suspect, so the once-common courtesies of holding the door open for a woman, or defending or helping anonymous women in any way, is discouraged. Unfortunately, this rejection of special consideration has removed the lubricant that smoothed over the difference between the sexes, so male-female friction has developed, and is heating up. There is even the tactic of claiming there's no difference between the sexes, and that masculinity is purely a social construct, foreshadowing the very real chance that toxic masculinity, meaning all masculinity, will be considered a mental illness in the near future.   Politics & Philosophy 2:48 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash toxic, masculinity, humor, politics no Mon, 25 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0800 690 Masculinity Politics & Philosophy Masculinity is an evolutionary creation because meritocracies often produced men whom females mated with; voluntarily or not. Masculinity is most easily defined by its visual features: muscle mass, facial hair, size; but the social manifestations are just as important: ambition, competitiveness, territorialism. In the past, society valued these attributes because they were important in the constant fight to stay alive, and the male dominance hierarchy is almost entirely determined by some combination of them. Society recognized the advantages masculinity gave men over women, and as a consequence, unarticulated obligations were placed on men: protectiveness, preferential treatment, and allowing women to escape the consequences of their provocative actions. Unfortunately, this distortion of the role of masculinity has masked the fact that, ultimately, violence solves conflicts, and by shielding women from this reality, they are unaware of the danger. Democracy may temporarily put control of masculinity in the hands of women but biology haunts the future, and it seems certain masculinity will make a dramatic and revolutionary reemergence.   Politics & Philosophy 2:13 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash masculinity, humor, politics no Sat, 23 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0800 689 Dominance Hierarchy Politics & Philosophy The social dominance hierarchy tends to be a pyramid rather than a totem pole, so those farther down feel the weight of everyone above them, and those near the top have more control over their lives so tend to be happier and more satisfied, at least that's what it looks like to everyone underneath. The very nature of a dominance hierarchy means that individuals low in the pyramid far exceed in number those higher up, and fairness plays no part. Ranking in the dominance hierarchy actually affects body chemistry, and because of testosterone, men predominate at the higher levels, especially since males are evolutionarily defined by dominance, because status literally controls a man's quality of life and even how long they live. The farther a male is up in the hierarchy, uncertainty and threat relatively decrease, decreasing stress, improving both mental and physical health. It's for this reason that higher-ups demean those below them, which suppresses the underling's status, affecting their mental outlook to cause them to stop fighting upward. Democracy artificially overturns the hierarchy; it's unclear how this will affect society as a whole; men seem to be doing poorly, but women, and those traditionally low in the hierarchy are doing much better. Since it's biological, it seems likely that further erosion of the hierarchy, and subsequent suppression of basic male drive, is not going to end well.   Politics & Philosophy 2:40 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash male, dominance hierarchy, humor, politics no Thu, 21 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0800 688 Attack on The Patriarchy Politics & Philosophy The Patriarchy is the concepts of liberty, meritocracy & patriotism that used to be the foundation of American values but, unfortunately, favors a minority of the population. The rest should be expected to try and change things for their benefit, and they've been doing so for a century, with slowly accumulating results. For example, it took decades for women, minorities & Socialists to get control of the institutions of propaganda: government, entertainment, education, Tech & media; and they're not going to walk away just because they've finally been noticed, and certainly not when there is still no counter-attack from those they intend to overthrow. The plan was obviously longterm and coordinated. It's instigators were already in place because Marxists didn't go anywhere just because the Soviet Union fell. First they got control of education. Next, Hollywood had long been a hotbed of Collectivist sentiment so a little sanctimonious encouragement resulted in their full capitulation. Tech was a matter of strategically spending money and manipulating the Boards of Directors and Human Resources departments. Government jobs are by definition socialist, as are their Welfare clients, and democracies naturally tend in that direction. The biggest coup was buying up the media outlets and flooding the airwaves with propaganda intended to indoctrinate the population and discourage any organization of a counter-revolution. All during this time, The Patriarchy didn't notice because they have been focused on making more money.   Politics & Philosophy 2:36 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash patriarchy, humor, politics no Tue, 19 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0800 687 Indoctrination Politics & Philosophy The single biggest cause of today's social revolution is that the indoctrination has changed; education, entertainment, and the media are all promoting a new set of values; ones that are incompatible with those previous. Since children have yet to form opinions, the first one they hear from an authority figure is the one they will probably adopt throughout life because changing someone's opinion verges on impossible. The places where children hear the most opinions is home, church, school & television. Indoctrination at home and church is considered acceptable, but there has always been concern about school and media. School is especially virulent because public education is a monopoly with little parental influence, and media has been totally compromised by those who seek power & control for themselves. It all starts in the schools: students may teach themselves art, math & science, but they learn ideology from their surroundings; a constant undermining of the ideals of liberty, meritocracy & patriotism. Since education is primarily feminine, the current indoctrination is overturning these patriarchal values of the past and supplanting them with their own. Students are forced to behave as women want them to: traditional male attitudes are swiftly chastised, even punished; inclusiveness is the goal rather than excellence; and thoughts that do not conform to the collectivist narrative are discouraged. It's clear that regaining indoctrination control is paramount because those who control the indoctrination control everything.   Politics & Philosophy 2:34 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash indoctrination, humor, politics no Sun, 17 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0800 686 Changing Times Politics & Philosophy The last time the world changed like it is now was in the 1960s; it was called the Generation Gap, and occurred because American prosperity allowed children to be raised, not as additional workers to help support the family, but with personal autonomy, the impetus for them to make decisions for themselves and freedom from the harsh authority of parents. As they grew, they rebelled completely from the norms established back when subsistence wasn't assured and force-of-arms ruled the world. We went from a paternalistic society to a much more liberal one where people were encouraged to think and act outside of established expectations. Those times are happening again for the same reason: children have been given even more freedom and autonomy, so-much-so that the basic customs, values & traditions of Western society are being challenged. This time the gap is not so much generational as it is a total reversal of all things once considered settled: race, sex, economics. Because this revolution is so profound and so consuming, older people suspect it's organized by some outside force bent on destroying America; but a simpler explanation is that, just like the last social revolution, the half of the population that has not traditionally held power is attempting to doing so, and our connected society, Social Media in particular, has given them the organization to try.   Politics & Philosophy 2:29 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Generation Gap, changing times, revolution, humor, politics no Fri, 15 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0800 685 Philosophy Concepts Politics & Philosophy We have to review philosophy often or it slips away: Most famous philosophers simply got it wrong. The more you know about Plato, the less you like him. Nietzsche's human insight is only exceeded by the difficulty spelling his name. The contradictions of Western ideology can best be explained with the concept of Slave Morality. Deductive Reasoning requires knowledge to find the truth of things, and Inductive Reasoning gets the process started. Many people may have no value rationally speaking, but liberty speaking they do. Liberty requires that you allow other people to live as they please, and that they do the same for you. Whatever peace is, it seems likely this is it. However strong the social stricture against it, torture will be employed if the need is great enough. The philosophy of philosophy is that anyone can be a philosopher. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:40 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash philosophy, humor, politics no Wed, 13 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0800 684 Budding Philosophers Politics & Philosophy Explaining why is the most scientific of pursuits, yet the most important why of all, the philosophy that guides our lives, is the least explained. We are all budding philosophers, whether or not we can consciously articulate our philosophy, which most people can't. Of those that can, the ones who accurately assign motive to action, reason to existence; very, very few of them become famous, because philosophy is an individual pursuit, interesting to no one but yourself, outside of sophomore English. Insightful people have the greatest advantage of being philosophers but can unexceptional otherwise, and philosophers aren't necessarily wise either, though that's the natural assumption. You can objectively identify a wise person by their works, but many philosophers have no visible indication they have special understanding; you must contemplate their ideas to discover if they're right for you; but they usually aren't; your own philosophy is probably just as good.   Politics & Philosophy 1:55 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash philosophy, philosophers, humor, politics no Mon, 11 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0800 683 Torture Politics & Philosophy The visceral reaction of most people against torture is an induced one; it's not something built into our DNA. Throughout history, torture has risen and fallen in social esteem; and has often been used in an official capacity. With that kind of track record, the only way to stop torture is to indoctrinate children against it, yet there is a whole genre of popular entertainment that revels in graphic onscreen torture using the most vile and reprehensible methods; and torture triggers the brain's pleasure centers of sadists, masochists & psychopaths; all small but significant percentages of any population. This obsession with torture is evolutionarily ambiguous unless the cognitive component explains it: people will consciously choose to torture if the circumstances demanded it. Only an over-civilized and self-deluded people can deny the viability of torture: if the time came, and two men were in a room: one who knew where the bomb was and the other with a pair of pliers, we'd know where that bomb was soon enough; and regardless of society's penalties, the pliers-guy would selflessly choose go to prison in order to provide the life-saving information: it's torture excused by altruism.   Politics & Philosophy 2:13 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash torture, politics, humor no Sat, 09 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0800 682 Peace Politics & Philosophy What does peace look like? Heaven? Something from a fiction story where people dress suspiciously like the Amish? Defining peace certainly isn't as simple as not being at war; which brings up the question of what is the opposite of peace? Obviously, peace is a subjective term; other people either have a different concept of peace, or a different threshold. From a practical pov, the world is mostly at peace now, but it's easy to find someone to argue the point with, even though the irony of sipping over-priced coffee using student loan money seems to be lost on them. People sometimes talk about a philosophy of Peace but the concept is easily debunked the first time they get punched in the face. Ghandi is often brought up as an example of peace, but if that's the trade-off, most people would want to be left out of Peaceland; all those undernourished, half-dressed guys lose more Peaceniks than they gain. Really, in a historical context, peace now is as good as it's ever been, and it will probably get peacier in the future: think 50 years, because when viewed in half-century increments, a millennium from now we may just achieve heaven on earth like they talk about in the fiction stories.   Politics & Philosophy 2:25 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash peace, humor, politics no Thu, 07 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0800 681 Live & Let Live Politics & Philosophy Philosophically speaking, the concept of live & let live is highly controversial. As liberty-indoctrinated Americans, it may seem instinctual, but a lot of people have not had this refrain drilled into them, so they have no problem telling other people how to live; it's getting to be more-and-more, live-as-I-live. In a Liberty society, we don't have to like each other, we don't even have to respect each other, we only need to have a treaty to leave each other alone, to live & let live, in an alliance only when necessary. Live & let live also applies outside the realm of humans; for example, why shouldn't wolves run free? If they're not hurting anybody then let them; if they kill livestock then recompense the owners. Only in the extreme circumstance where wild animals are not letting people live must their lives be forfeit. In fact, all creatures should be let live, even inanimate objects, even esoteric concepts like wilderness, solitude and ideas. The very nature of conservation and conservatism rests on a universal live & let live attitude.   Politics & Philosophy 2:04 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash live and let live, humor, politics no Tue, 05 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0800 680 All People Have Value Politics & Philosophy Do all people have value? From a purely objective, one-dimensional perspective, the answer is categorically no. Most other life on earth has no sentimentality towards its weaker members. The world would be easier to navigate with less pressure on a society that rids itself of its undesirables: execution, incarceration, banishment, and emigration fueled by ostracization. Certainly when someone is no longer productive, a meritocracy has no use for them, there is no rational argument against euthanasia, so what is the value that all people have? Something fundamental must explain why a society is founded on the premise that all people have value regardless of their cost. Ignoring mystical sources, the instinct must be evolutionary, perhaps a way to maintain the wisdom of the old & enfeebled. The biological mechanism to get the able-bodied to exhaust their own productivity for consumption by the needy, is altruism, specifically the dopamine bath altruism brings. Masochism also gives dopamine satisfaction from what seems like an exploitative situation. In other circumstances, different biological drives dominate; for example, the need to reduce anxiety is why putting someone in jail for the duration of their lives is chosen over execution. Certainly, from a liberty perspective, it's up to you whether you have value.   Politics & Philosophy 2:27 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash value of life, all people have value, politics, humor no Sun, 03 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0800 679 Deductive vs. Inductive Reasoning Politics & Philosophy If any philosophy is to be taken seriously, it must be logically understandable. There are basically three kinds of logic: deductive, inductive, and abductive. Deductive reasoning follows three if-and-then steps, called a syllogism, in which two statements reach a logical conclusion, for example: all men are mortal, and you are a man, then you are mortal. Syllogisms require knowledge to determine truth. When you don't have any knowledge, use Inductive reasoning, which makes broad generalizations from specific observations; for example: the first three coin flips were heads therefore the next one will be. Unfortunately, we all knows how that turns out if you rely on the outcome. Though not a proof of truth, Inductive reasoning is useful for creating hypotheses which could be turned into Deductive reasoning. When you only have partial knowledge, Abductive reasoning is what doctors and lawyers use; for example, if a dog is alone in a room all day, a person might conclude that the dog ate the pie on the counter, but that's only the most likely scenario; maybe someone else ate the pie, or it was a mistake and the pie wasn't really there. Diagnoses uses this technique, and people in juries consider a preponderance of evidence, and personal anecdotes don't count. Faulty reasoning explains most of what's wrong with the world.   Politics & Philosophy 2:35 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash reasoning, inductive, deductive, abductive, humor, politics no Fri, 01 Nov 2019 07:00:00 -0700 678 Slave Morality Politics & Philosophy Nietzsche's "Slave Morality" is named after how slaves react to being subservient. Slaves are envious & resentful of their masters, so like all revolutionary thought, they turn the status quo values upside-down to form their own competing values. The attitude of slaves is to be against everything their masters represent; if their masters value merit, pride, honor & autonomy, then slaves take the opposite: equality over meritocracy, humility over pride, submission over honor, and group over individual. If control is in the strong then slaves revel in weakness; focus on the competent becomes altruism towards the feeble-minded, and a society that caters to the ineffectual and downtrodden. Slaves, of course, vilify “oppressors,” and their morality is typified by pessimism and cynicism. “Good” is redefined to be the opposite of the winners. Original Christianity, in passive-aggressive defiance of their Roman masters, is a Slave Morality religion. The Ten Commandments are negative "Do not" values; the opposites of pride, consumption, ambition, etc., which are the established values of those who have control. In the New Testament, rich men are ridiculed, poverty is lauded, and rationality is punished. People who are not slaves, who have control over their lives, have positive values, things to do rather than things not to do. Unfortunately, if slaves eventually become masters, the perversity of Slave Morality dooms their civilization.   Politics & Philosophy 2:51 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Slave Morality, humor, politics no Wed, 30 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 677 Nietzsche Quotes Politics & Philosophy Friedrich Nietzsche probably gets more pseudo-intellectual airtime than any other philosopher with his deeply insightful aphorisms, the most famous of which are: Love is blind. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. If you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. What does your conscience say? You should become the person you are. In every man a child is hidden that wants to play. And: God is dead.   As entertaining and ubiquitous those sayings are, Nietzsche's genius for comprehension also produced less commercial but more useful understandings: There are no facts, only interpretations. I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you. It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them. In heaven, all the interesting people are missing. And my personal favorite is: The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.   Politics & Philosophy 2:20 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Nietzsche, quotes, humor, politics no Mon, 28 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 676 Plato Politics & Philosophy Philosophers have an insidious impact on the world; for example, the most famous Western philosopher, Plato, is the inspiration of Marxism. His self-serving suggestion is that government should be by a philosopher-king, and his platform includes infanticide to prevent overpopulation, death to those who deny the omniscience of the State, belief that only philosophers, himself in particular, have clarity on The Truth, from those according to their ability to those according to their need, control of art, children are wards of the State without knowledge of their parents, selective breeding, no private property, wealth equality, and the State determines the careers of every member of society. Yikes.   Plato was also a mystic: he taught that there is a place we all come from before birth that knows the perfect truth, both knowledge & morality, but we can only vaguely remember, and our search for truth is actually fully remembering. Yikes. However, Plato's most famous pupil, Aristotle, a philosopher that had even more impact on historical and modern ideologies, suggested that truth must be discovered through scientific investigation. Thank goodness for Aristotle or we'd be at the mercy of Plato.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Plato, humor, politics no Sat, 26 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 675 Unfortunately, Philosophers Politics & Philosophy There may be unknown philosophers who got it right, but they aren't famous; the ones we hear about mostly got it wrong. The father of “rationalism,” Rene' Descartes, believed that we could rely on reason to find truth without depending on tradition or experts. Unfortunately, Descartes didn't even trust his own senses but instead believed he could reason out any fact solely in his mind, without experience, leading to his famous quote, “I think therefore I am.” Those who believed that truth can only be determined through experimentation, such as Bacon and Locke, were called “empiricists.” This was the beginning of the modern scientific method. Unfortunately, when this philosophy was emerging during the 1700s, religion and God were still very much accepted as legitimate answers to secular questions. Confucius thought it was of paramount importance to fit into the existing society. He called this strategy “the Way.” In practice this meant that people were born into a specific class, such as servant or noble, and they must fulfill the roles of that class regardless, and for life. He thought social harmony supersedes individual fulfillment; unfortunately, the opposite of liberty.   Politics & Philosophy 2:24 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash philosophy, Confucius, Descartes, Locke, Bacon, humor, politics no Thu, 24 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 674 Life Advice Concepts Politics & Philosophy If you don't have a guru already, I'm here for you: Unusual advice is the best because other people aren't taking it. There's an established cannon of advice you should not be following. Succinctness is an art few practice because they like to hear themselves talk. If you're only remembered for one thing, chances are it's an aphorism. You become the person that's needed. Ride the alligators but don't let them eat you. Outside obligations only commit you if you let them. The secret to a successful life is convenience & routine. Enlightenment leaves little room for optimism. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:08 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash aphorisms, humor, politics no Tue, 22 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 673 Mountain Metaphor Politics & Philosophy Here's a personal observation that probably doesn't apply to anyone else so take my word for it. Achievements are like climbing a mountain; each step up giving you a better view of from whence you came. After each accomplishment, I thought I might be high enough above the valley to look down and make sense of life, but in actuality, every time I got to the top, I could see higher mountains in the distance, so I pursued those mountains. It seemed unlikely I would ever get to the top of all the mountains... But I did. From where I am now, I don't see anything higher. There are lots of valleys below that are dark and impenetrable but nothing seems unexplainable, even life itself. Unfortunately, this understanding, this enlightenment so to speak, has sapped my optimism because my myths and delusions have been undermined. I wanted there to be order but there is only chaos, which is obviously why enlightened people delve into mysticism. Now I'm hoping the clouds above me conceal another higher mountain, and I can climb that one and maybe make more sense from there, which means there's at least a wee bit of optimism remaining.   Politics & Philosophy 2:12 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash mysticism, mountain metaphor, humor, politics no Sun, 20 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 672 Convenience & Routine Politics & Philosophy Longterm goals are easy to wish for but difficult to achieve, so most people don't accomplish much of anything. However, there are two simple rules that make goals obtainable: first, no matter how easy a goal is, if it's not convenient, chances are you won't do it. Convenience is the most under-appreciated of all life's little pleasures: to simply reach out and grasp your desire. If convenience were figured in, the price of many things would change dramatically. But even if they're convenient, tedious goals, things like losing weight or learning to play piano, require mindless routine. You have a set list of things to do everyday, in a particular order, and you put the boring thing you would normally procrastinate in the lineup. Once it gets into mind-numbed daily repetition, it will simply happen, and eventually your goal will be reached. For things that take years, routine is the only strategy that works. Convenience & routine are also valuable because they're something you actually have a lot of control over; giving you direct influence over the direction of your career, health & entertainment.   Politics & Philosophy 2:09 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash convenience, routine, politics, humor no Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 671 Outside Obligations Politics & Philosophy Outside Obligations are unilateral contracts made about you but in which you were not given a chance to negotiate; for example, church established ethics and morals, and “Ask Heloise” type manners fall into this category. Out of personal courtesy, you may even adhere to these informal social dictates, but the demands can quickly become much greater: church tithing, charities, tipping, union dues; and those are just the monetary burdens. Social obligations can be the most burdensome: fraternal organizations like Rotary or Lion's Club are a breeding ground for onerous shame, guilt & time-wasting. But all of those outside obligations have a component of voluntarism, however ineffectual; the most egregious exploitation of outside obligations comes from the world, other countries that practice Socialism and can’t understand why U.S. citizens won’t do “what's best for everyone,” in their estimation anyway: stop using energy, stop supporting Israel, increase international aid. The widening rift between the American citizenry and the EU country citizens has it’s genesis in these foreign imposed obligations. Societal expectations, values, ethics, morals, customs, courtesy, manners, and all other outside obligations are the slippery slope leading to authoritarianism, but the world without them would be scary indeed.   Politics & Philosophy 2:28 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash outside obligations, humor, politics no Wed, 16 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 670 Riding Alligators Politics & Philosophy How often have you been told to make a plan for your life? That “common sense” advice alone is enough to show that most people don't understand how life operates because you can't predict the future, so you can't plan it; you can only have a goal and do the first thing that seems likely to achieve that goal; it's all a mad scramble after that. An apt metaphor, is trying to cross a river on the backs of alligators. There's always a river between you and where you're trying to get to, and the river is filled with alligators, a lot of them, and they're swimming all around: your strategy is to jump onto the back of the closest one that looks like it might be going the right way. The thing about alligators is that they're hard to control and will often start going the wrong way, plus, they'll eat you if you stay on too long; better to change to another alligator whenever that seems to be about to happen. It's a wide river, and over your career you'll be jumping onto a lot of alligators. Chances are you'll never get to where you wished you were going but you'll end up somewhere? A lot of people don't like alligators; even if they're unhappy with where they ended up, they won't change, but if you have the gumption, go down to the river and catch a ride.   Politics & Philosophy 2:20 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash riding alligators, humor, politics no Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 669 You're Not Who You Think You Are Politics & Philosophy Most people assume the personality they exhibit right now is them. Given no change in circumstances, that's probably true but there is research that actually proves the old adage that people “will rise to the occasion.” What that means is that your personality depends on the circumstances, and if circumstances change, so will your personality, dramatically so; you're not who you think you are. There are roughly four categories of personalities in every group of people: Leader, Bully, Joker, Nerd. You will morph to fit whichever slot is open; a Leader from one group may be a Nerd in another. Depending on the tumult in your life, you may assume a different role each time you join a group, depending on the mix. If a group needs a leader, no matter how cautious and demure you are, you may act in a Leader capacity if no one else will, as will other people in similar situations. Certainly, throughout your life, especially during your childhood, you have been all of these things; that's how humanity managed to survive: even though we are frail creatures individually, as a group we metamorph into something undefeatable.   Politics & Philosophy 2:08 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash personality, leader, humor, politics no Sat, 12 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 668 Aphorisms Politics & Philosophy People write whole books that could be boiled down to a single sentence, an aphorism: a witty saying highlighting a truth that survives long after the author. Benjamin Franklin was accomplished in many fields but it's “apple a day” and “penny saved” sayings that we remember him by. The cleverness of an aphorism is in direct proportion to its memorability, but at the same time they need to contain a universal truth; that’s a difficult tightrope, and probably why there doesn't seem to be many people who are quotable? Obviously, aphorisms are popular; a simple internet search will reveal thousands of them. Unfortunately, many of the most famous quotes are simply wrong: fairy tales written for the naive, or misinterpretations that have become accepted as fact because they are undisputed; for example, “it's better to give than to receive,” or “if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well,” both of which are nonsense but goes unchallenged because they're close to scripture at this point. It would take a wise person indeed to go through all the existing aphorisms and sort out the good from the bad, but the results would be well worth it because a distinctive aphorism is often the only insight a person still retains throughout their life.   Politics & Philosophy 2:16 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash aphorism, saying, humor, politics no Thu, 10 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 667 Succinctness Politics & Philosophy Intelligent authors make wise observations but the gist is flooded by so many worthless words that it's impossible to dig it out. Whole books are written that contain only a single premise, one that could be written in a sentence first then explained in a couple more pages if you still wanted to read. Normally, I and most people, read the first sentence of an article then skedaddle. It's unclear why writers regurgitate so many words just to obscure their point? Do they think verbosity is more convincing? Are there really concepts described in 400 paragraphs that can't be said in 4? Are they paid by the word? Speaking is the same way: I don't have the time nor inclination to listen to somebody talk for an hour when 5 bullet points and a memory mnemonic would have been enough; as a matter of fact, 3 bullet points would be better. I must be the only one who thinks this way because YouTube is full of hours upon hours of talking heads saying nothing I couldn't have read in less than a minute. Logically, an interesting concept could make a bigger impact if the speakers would have got in and got out because more people would have heard everything they had to say. It's not like I'm the only one who's ever mentioned the value of succinctness, and even two paragraphs is too long.   Politics & Philosophy 2:19 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Succinctness, succinct, humor, politics no Tue, 08 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 666 NOT Advice Politics & Philosophy It seems unfair that most of the homilies we are taught as children simply aren’t true; it’s part of the fantasy of childhood that, hopefully, adults mature out of. We would all like to think that the world is a better place than it is, and you can't make it that way if you don't know what's wrong. If you haven't discovered what's not the truth yet, let me tell you, but pay careful attention because, like all not advice, people tend to ignore it, especially if it doesn't match the accepted narrative. Starting out with one of the biggest lies: you do NOT have to spend money to make money. Along those same lines, if you build it, they will NOT come. Continuing: people do NOT get what they deserve; do NOT buy a dog to keep you company; life is a NOT a meritocracy; people do NOT do-the-right-thing; we are NOT all in this together; honesty is NOT the best policy; do NOT “pay it forward;” everyone does NOT love a comedian; and you are NOT unique & special. Even though all of these NOTs are hard truths, take my advice, or not.   Politics & Philosophy 2:24 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash advice, humor, politics no Sun, 06 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 665 Unusual Life Advice Politics & Philosophy Conservatism has lots of good aspects, most importantly it keeps things that are working well, working well, but it does have the significant downside of limiting people's creativity. Liberals don't have that problem but then again, you have to be suspicious of the selfishness of liberalism, which is probably why Conservatives don't recognize when the Liberals have it right. Then there are all those people who aren't exactly sure what it means to be Conservative or Liberal, so a little unusual life advice is in order. First, people are too timid and life is too short, so: buy cool cars even if they are undependable; dress however you want; wear strange facial hair; ignore the opinions of others; blow with the wind when it's taking you in an interesting direction but hold firm when you must; eat strange food that might make you sick; travel to places without reading the guide; try recreational drugs once; wear hats that make you look silly; become an expert in a musical genre; and most important, follow unusual life advice.   Politics & Philosophy 2:28 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash life, advice, humor, politics no Fri, 04 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 664 Sins Concepts Politics & Philosophy People of the Old Testament were onto something when they identified the sins: Almost all human motivations emanate from our negative emotions. Envy is the limit we allow other people to outperform us. Jealously ensures the genealogy of the patriarchy. Resentment builds over time, eventually flipping the scales over to hate. Spite is an evolutionary mechanism version of crabs-in-a-bucket. Perversity is as illogical as it is irrational but is none-the-less extremely common because it feels so good. The pervasive nature of vindictive behavior justifies a least a little paranoia. Fear easily overpowers all other emotions which is why people seek security above all else. Humanity requires anger to be human. Selfishness is the natural state of being the Center-of-the-Universe. Slothful people are non-productive, not lazy. When getting back means causing harm, that's revenge. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:51 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash sin, sins, humor, politics no Wed, 02 Oct 2019 07:00:00 -0700 663 Revenge Politics & Philosophy It’s interesting that so many storylines, some of the most compelling ones in fact, are centered on getting back at another person or another team, mostly out of competitive spirit. This feeling can obviously be experienced vicariously; the dopamine reaction fans feel when their sports team defeats the rival, who barely beat them last time on a technicality, is sweet indeed. Stories about avenging angels who retaliate on behalf someone else who was wronged are also popular. Luckily, for entertainment purposes, there are many opportunities for retaliatory-satisfaction in almost every situation; but once competitiveness slides into wishing someone harm in response, that’s revenge. Revenge is perverse: animals don’t seek revenge; there is no competitive advantage for such an expense, but humans use revenge as motivation, a very powerful one that can easily become counter-productive. What makes it dangerous is that a person's self-image is often directly tied to what others think of them; people want admiration but will settle for respect, and if some person or group damages that fragile sense of self-worth, the recipient will be incensed and seek retribution, tearing the fabric of society to do it. Revenge is both nature and nurture.   Politics & Philosophy 2:18 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash revenge, humor, politics no Mon, 30 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 662 Sloth Politics & Philosophy Sloth is an old word, kind of strange, rather misunderstood. Laziness is often considered the definition of sloth but lazy people don’t like to do anything, while slothful people don’t actually accomplish anything. Slothful people can be quite active pursuing their own self-gratification, but there is no lasting achievement, just purely consumptive activities like fitness, food & fantasy. People may be habitually lazy due to lack of motivation, but slothful people are highly motivated, just not from society's standpoint. As a nation, the dissatisfaction has hit a level where many people feel their situation cannot be improved through any actions they take themselves, at least not at the cost: 40-hour work week at a Minimum Wage job versus playing Fortnite all day and trolling Chat Rooms at night, is an easy calculation to make; there is no impetus for them to contribute to the existing status quo. It also explains their disdain toward productive achievement; the slothful have lost their naive optimism and are faced with a conclusion that makes their choice the logical one: to seek entertainment at the exclusion of all else.   Politics & Philosophy 2:11 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash sloth, humor, politics no Sat, 28 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 661 Selfishness Politics & Philosophy It would be strategic to assume that the vast majority of what we see, hear, and experience is distorted by our own selfishness, or the selfishness of others. Our selfishness manifests itself in all aspects of our lives; even decisions supposedly made for altruistic reasons usually have a modicum of selfishness at their core. Selfishness is the foundation of many sins: greed, the focus on obtaining more for yourself; covetousness, lusting after what other's have for yourself; gluttony, personal consumption beyond all practical purpose; and avarice, an excessive desire for possessions for yourself. Humans are born selfish since everyone is the center of the universe from their perspective, and without societal conditioning, people would remain selfish. It's obvious why selfishness is important to both personal and evolutionary success, but also obvious why tempering selfishness for the needs of the group is important to a society. Because both goals are required, striking the balance between the selfish individual who acts for their own interests, and being a cog within a fraternity of equals, is the fundamental basis of the two major competing political ideologies: Liberty versus Marxism.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash selfish, selfishness, humor, politics no Thu, 26 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 660 Anger Politics & Philosophy In the primitive battle for survival and social dominance, anger overcomes reason and even fear. Anger is the “fight” component of the fight-or-flight response, and apparently it's very important to human existence, considering its prevalence. Anger is provoked by a myriad of stimuli: threat, frustration, even embarrassment. Anger is primordial: there is a disruption of the body’s homeostasis excited by adrenalin with physical manifestations like sweating, pupil contraction, raising blood pressure & body temperature; and the result is often physical confrontation. Because anger is physiological, its intensity cannot be maintained and dissipates quickly, but smoldering anger leads to the entire cornucopia of unsavory emotions. Defying logic, anger will encourage conflict even in the face of certain defeat, which makes the powerless dangerous; an important consideration in personal relationships and society at large, because beyond a tipping point, intimidation is no longer possible to subjugate people, so depending on the form of government, if the populous becomes angry, no amount of force will quell their uprising.   Politics & Philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash anger, humor, politics no Tue, 24 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 659 Fear Politics & Philosophy No emotion is more based in genetic conservation than fear. Fear triggers our primordial fight-or-flight response via a cauldron of visceral chemical reactions that have successfully protected homo sapiens as they evolved. All responses, from the unconscious to the cognitive, are intended to reduce fear, and people will do whatever they have to make fear go away. Modern humans are no less fearful than our ancestors, maybe more so since we have little relative experience with real danger, which is why we are frighted of so many pretend dangers: bike helmets, Identity Theft, GMO food. Because of our fear of fear, security is the primary imperative. The impetus for forming a society is for protection: more than companionship, more than sustenance, more than control; because fear is the operational emotion of our instinct for survival. This is why fear can be so successfully exploited by politicians, and why inanity can overcome logic; because our instinct overwhelms our reason. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we have become so successful at protecting everyone from fear, that most people have lost perspective about where security comes from; that the primary weapon against fear is violence.   Politics & Philosophy 2:27 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash fear, humor, politics no Sun, 22 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 658 Vindictiveness Politics & Philosophy Vindictiveness is on the fringe of human emotions, usually the result of a personality disorder such as Narcissism or Borderline: typified as self-destructive, paranoid, with a lot of repressed aggression. It's especially prominent during an individual's climbing of the social hierarchy, ultimately as it pertains to mating opportunities but also while seeking control over their own lives. They are often frustrated in their attempts by other individuals with similar motives. When that happens, vindictive people make the thwarting of their ambitions personal, as if the person who brushed past them did it intentionally, and resolve to get revenge. Even if the cause is real, vengeance, the active part of vindictiveness, goes beyond punishment as retribution for an illegal act. Vengeance is emotional, pathological even, outside the law; it's not rehabilitative, nor protective, serves no valid societal function, and should be discouraged and avoided. Unfortunately, vindictiveness can also be triggered by envy, jealously & resentment. These perceived slights often lead to long-term grudges, sometimes without the other person even knowing they are the focus of the hostility, which is why some paranoia is always justified when you suspect others may be working against you because they actually may be.   Politics & Philosophy 2:25 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash vengeance, vindictive, vindictiveness, humor, politics no Fri, 20 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 657 Perversity Politics & Philosophy The most bizarre of the negative emotions is perversity: the willful determination to act counter to someone else’s interests, even at your own detriment. It's like spite, in that you intend to thwart the intentions of another person, but you make that choice knowing that it will materially harm your own situation. This is the seminal example of irrationality overwhelming logic: it doesn't make sense but the feeling of satisfaction it brings is worth the cost. In comparison, a plan to sacrifice a little to win big isn't perverse because the payoff is tangible, not just the invisible release of dopamine in the brain which perversity provides. Perversity is a useful deceit because it eludes suspicion by being illogical, and requires the self-awareness of others to recognize what is going on. Like all the negative emotions, people choose not to admit they are perverse, which makes them blind when it's happening to them. Unfortunately, perversity explains a lot of history, and is certainly an everyday occurrence now, but not something you want to dwell on because to view life through the lens of perversity uses up your optimism hoping for the worst. Perversity and altruism are at war within your psyche, and the most dopamine wins.   Politics & Philosophy 2:20 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash perversity, humor, politics no Wed, 18 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 656 Spite Politics & Philosophy Spite is a malicious desire to harm, annoy, frustrate, or humiliate another person, often one who has no animosity towards you or you them. The reason why spite is instinctual is that a good defense is the best offense; if another member of your tribe is ascending the social hierarchy, with all that entails including mating opportunities, it's in an individual's best interest to hinder that. This is simple politics, and the favorable interpretation of spite; the reality of spite is much less utilitarian because it's normally a response to envy, jealousy, or resentment, and has no positive reward other than secret satisfaction. Sometimes people act spiteful because of the feeling of control it gives, which they savor by knowing it was them who tipped the balance, and control not acted upon is an opportunity lost. Even if there is no outward personal gain, the dopamine hit of being spiteful is enough. Because spite is a control issue, it doesn't have to be intended against another person, not even a living thing: children will kick down an anthill, throw rocks through windows, and spray paint graffiti simply out of spite. Even mature adults indulge their spiteful impulses on occasion, though they are careful to conceal their intentions lest other folks start suspecting, because the penalty for spite is spite: nothing feels as good as spiting the person who spited you.   Politics & Philosophy 2:32 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash spite, humor, politics no Mon, 16 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 655 Resentment Politics & Philosophy Resentment is bitter indignation directed towards you by others who perceive you as interfering with their own objectives, real or imagined. Resentment is also generated in others who are envious of you, or covetous of your things, or simply lust after your wife. You even generate resentment in people who you don't know; every time someone hears your name in a comparison that shows them in poor light, a little bit of resentment seeps in. Resentment is dangerously insidious because we all harbor it yet we never do anything about it, even though we may acknowledge it; “I hate that guy.” Most people like to control their own destinies; if everyone could choose what they wanted to do, it's unlikely that taking orders from someone else would be their preference. Because control is an evolutionary imperative, if you have even the slightest say over someone else's life, no matter what kind of person you think you are, resentment against you will build. Like arsenic, resentment accumulates but rarely dissipates. Resentment is the reason that enemies are so common and supporters so rare, and what makes a friend ultimately betray you.   Politics & Philosophy 2:14 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash resentment, humor, politics no Sat, 14 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 654 Jealousy Politics & Philosophy Like all negative emotions, jealousy is rooted in evolution: a male's biological imperative is to continue his gene line, and since males can't determine the parentage of their offspring, they must control access to the female. This is the most commonly exhibited aspect of jealousy, but jealousy is also tightly tied to fears of humiliation if another male usurps their mate, as well as a feeling of abandonment that comes with betrayal of a partner's loyalty, both males and females. Because of the anxiety these constant threats produce, the consequences of jealously are often obsessiveness, damaged self-esteem, and violent behavior. Jealousy is not limited to sexual relations; it will exhibit itself if any relationship is threatened: with parents, friendships, co-workers. Jealousy is constant, and though a society needs its members to suppress their most egregious jealous reactions, jealousy is still important because it motivates people to preserve long term social bonds. It's another of those seemingly negative emotions that people are reluctant to discuss or even admit they possess, which makes it difficult to determine the distinction between bad and good amounts of jealousy.   Politics & Philosophy 2:12 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash jealousy, humor, politics no Thu, 12 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 653 Envy Politics & Philosophy Envy is ubiquitous and one of the most fundamental of emotions. Envy is one's own discontent with regard to another's advantages, successes & possessions. It's telling that our envy towards the accomplishments of others is so powerful that it controls every aspect of how we act; yet we deny this truth completely because we don't want to admit it to ourselves. In fact, envy is so primitive that unless you maintain your awareness that it's there, you may not recognize that it's affecting your objectivity. Envy is universal because it's actually hardwired into our physiology; your brain is stimulated by envy via the hormone, oxytocin. Physical manifestations like this must be grounded in evolutionary pressure, probably because the superlative achievements of a rival lead to more and better mating opportunities, plus the advantages in food procurement, as well as general improvement in living conditions that a more capable or lucky competitor enjoy. When limited resources are involved, the gain of one would be at the expense of the other, which makes it imperative that the less fortunate individual or group envy and attempt to prevent successful indulgence by competitors. It's sad to think we are dominated by envy but it's comforting to know everyone else feels it too.   Politics & Philosophy 2:19 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash envy, humor, politics no Tue, 10 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 652 Negative Emotions Politics & Philosophy Societies have long recognized that the big three visceral motivations: envy, jealously & resentment; are deleterious, and warn against them. Why? Because they manifest as spite, perversity & vindictiveness; which are destructive all around. It's actually rather curious that more emphasis is not given to these base feelings because they are quite predictive, but people wish it wasn't true, so they ignore their own complicity in being bad. In fact, it's probably the case that if asked, most everyone would deny they are often consumed with counterproductive thoughts, no matter the evidence to the contrary. Then there is another group of negative emotions that explain the rest of human activity: fear, anger, lust, avarice, selfishness & sloth. It's not a coincidence that the Seven Deadly Sins in the Bible so closely match this list because religious writings are primarily intended to warn future generations of the pitfalls that will beset them. Even though the evolutionary stimulus of our biology is clear to any analysis, people will still deny them as major components of their own lives; we are all willingly blind to the things that are harmful to our own self-image; a voluntary lack of self-awareness, and probably a good thing we are.   Politics & Philosophy 2:17 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash negative emotion, envy, jealously, resentment, humor, politics no Sun, 08 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 651 Psychiatric Concepts Politics & Philosophy Psychiatrists aren't the only ones who should understand human weaknesses; let's review what we know: To be irrational is to make subjectively bad decisions. To be illogical is to make objectively bad decisions. We are all delusional but nobody will admit it. The Internet is a playground for sadists. Empathy is a form of masochism. Capitalism is the playground of sociopaths. Psychopaths are the blind spot of a liberal society. Nothing has encouraged narcissism like Instagram. Depression is facilitated by wealth. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:07 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash psychiatry, humor, politics no Fri, 06 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 650 Depression Politics & Philosophy Depression is a symptom of affluence. People are evolved to get enjoyment from simple accomplishments, like having enough food to eat, evading a threat, or building shelter. When those things are provided without effort, it becomes more difficult to find individual purpose; and when child-bearing & rearing are also reduced, the lack of motivation becomes epidemic, as evidenced by the fact that a quarter of all women in their forties are taking prescription mood-enhancing drugs. Depression is a natural aspect of biology: high insulin levels from eating too much sugar, low dopamine levels from not getting enough sleep, and hormonal changes during menopause are just some examples. The swing from elation to despair and back goes on in everybody, some more than others. When the swing is too dramatic, a person's cognitive faculties are compromised to the point of mental illness, which means it impacts their decision-making. There's also non-pharmacological treatment: videogames are addictive because they provide the little successes that counteract depression, and hobbies are another effective solution; however, the push by some to go back to more primitive times is wishful thinking and naivete, though joining the Amish may be the answer for some.   Politics & Philosophy 2:16 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash depression, humor, politics no Wed, 04 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 649 Narcissism Politics & Philosophy As prosperity has increased, narcissism has along with it. Narcissists think they are the Center-Of-The-Universe, just like the rest of us, but they take it to the extremes. Narcissism used to be frowned upon, garnering social censure; in fact, “Narcissistic Personality Disorder” is still considered a mental illness and describes how the disorder negatively impacts the patient, but with the rise of the Look-At-Me vanity culture, typified by Social Media like Instagram, it literally pays to be a narcissist. It's hard to go anywhere without seeing some overly made-up girl with a Selfie-stick preening in the background of all your photos. Ironically, though the true definition of narcissism now suffers no consequence, the word has become an Internet slur, conflated with pride; just mention your achievements or accomplishments online and see what happens; especially if you've done something that makes most people feel inadequate. Attaching the metal illness connotation of "narcissism" to highly successful vain people is just societal envy & resentment; however, being entrapped in the thrall of a true narcissist: the entitled, callous, self-centered greed, makes you understand why there is a biblical stricture against it.     Politics & Philosophy 2:12 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash narcissism, politics, humor no Mon, 02 Sep 2019 07:00:00 -0700 648 Psychopaths Politics & Philosophy A psychopath is unaware of the injury they inflict, or in the extreme case, their pleasure centers are triggered instead, motivating the psychopath to more heinous crimes. Psychopathy is corporeal in nature, meaning it's not due to a cognitive process; through some kind of maldevelopment or injury, the part of the brain, the Frontal lobe, that empathizes with the plights of others no longer operates. Liberty's greatest weakness is that it requires other people to act responsibly, which psychopaths do not. Unless there is some kind of medical breakthrough, society must be protected from psychopaths, but housing psychopaths in prisons for their entire lives is expensive; execution is out of the question because psychopaths have their own liberty; an “Escape From New York” scenario, where psychopaths are thrown together on an island is appealing but fantasy. If people are in fear of strangers, they cannot be free, so identifying psychopaths early is important for a liberal nation, but that can difficult because psychopaths learn to hide their proclivities. Unfortunately, at least one person in every large group is a psychopath: those are scary odds, and justification enough for The Second Amendment.   Politics & Philosophy 2:17 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash psychopaths, psychopathy, humor, politics no Sat, 31 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 647 Sociopaths Politics & Philosophy Often when people describe sociopaths, they use the term “don't care,” as in "a sociopath doesn't care." Care about what? A sociopath is simply someone who makes a logical calculation of the benefit of their action versus the social penalty. A successful sociopath does not "care" whether they are shunned, scorned, or shamed, or any other kind of social ostracization, and consider people who do as fools & dupes. A sociopath wants a society where people make decisions for themselves and reap the rewards or suffer the consequences of their own actions. Essentially, Capitalists are sociopaths, as are people who believe in liberty. America can honestly be said to have been built by sociopaths. The people who find sociopaths appalling are the Group-Think types who are losers individually, and depend on societal penalties to reign in those who intimidate their own sense of self-value. For example, the Marxist Equality ideology, with its emphasis on egalitarianism, is the exact opposite of personal autonomy. When altruism and empathy are your ultimate goals, individuals looking out for themselves seems selfish, so it's easy to see why Marxists think liberty is evil.   Politics & Philosophy 2:11 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash sociopaths, humor, politics no Thu, 29 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 646 Masochism Politics & Philosophy A masochist derives pleasure from their own pain, humiliation & mental anguish. Though it's commonly associated with sex, its biggest manifestation is among participants in the modern Victimhood culture; people who view their whole existence through a lens of mortification, and revel in guilt. In fact, a large portion of the population is shameful towards their own race, and are outraged by their history. They indulge in a litany of masochism, a cavalcade of self-hatred; tantrums on Social Media; woe-is-me and anybody who looks like me. It's actually a travesty because many of these vulnerable personalities have been pushed into clinical mental illness by the obscenely manipulative tactics of Mainstream News Media. But masochism is not a recognized mental disorder, and even seems to be encouraged in society's ever-increasing obsession with egalitarianism, altruism & empathy. However, it seems unhealthy from almost any other point-over-view, and people should seek treatment in the form of therapy, which tries to get the patient to recognize what they are doing and take responsibility for changing their actions. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending how you view personal liberty, masochists are obviously a perfect match for sadists, those who like to give pain, humiliation & mental anguish, so if both groups would just leave everyone else alone, it would be match made in Psychiatric heaven.   Politics & Philosophy 2:25 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash masochism, humor, politics no Tue, 27 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 645 Sadism Politics & Philosophy Sadists are people who get pleasure from inflicting suffering & humiliation on others; passive aggression, spite & perversity are their calling cards. In the past, sadism was a psychiatric condition but has since become mainstream; now a significant portion of humanity is sadistic, fueled by Social Media, which is a sadistic paradise: Internet trolls, the call-out culture, and Twitter are breeding grounds for sadists. Also, politics is full of sadists: from the commentators who live to tear down others, to the voters who don't just want that guy to lose the election, they want him destroyed personally too. Because people overlook their own emotional weaknesses, sadism goes undetected by the person exhibiting it, requiring a self-awareness most folks just don't have because our self-adsorption has increased along with our freedom. Sadism doesn't require dominance or power; in fact, the culture of Equality has allowed even the weakest among us to indulge their inner-sadism, and because they grew up at the mercy of other sadists, they have a whole lot of making up to do. There are more opportunities than ever for newly-empowered sadists to engorge themselves on the vulnerabilities of others.   Politics & Philosophy 2:12 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash sadism, politics, humor no Sun, 25 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 644 Delusional Politics & Philosophy A delusion is believing things that aren't true, so obviously we're all living in a delusion because most naive optimism is unjustified. Religion is another prime example: are you a reincarnated grasshopper? Does a spirit listen to your whispering and grant wishes? Are we all part of a oneness where rocks and plants are sentient on a galactic level? What are the odds that your religion is the right one, because if you’re right, billions of other people are delusional. Do we have Free Will or is that a delusion? There are many people who believe we are simply players in an artificial simulation that makes each of us the Center Of The Universe. Is it the people who believe those things who are delusional or the people who don't? Politics could possibly claim the Most Delusional prize: if you’re pure and the other side is evil, that’s half of everybody who are delusional, plus the other half too. Both sides explain that their differences come from lack of information; that given the same facts, everyone would come to the same conclusion, but it's glaringly apparent that we don't, and nobody seems to recognize this dichotomy; we all live in our delusions without admitting we are delusional. Self-awareness is recognizing that you are.   Politics & Philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash delusional, delusions, humor, politics no Fri, 23 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 643 Irrational Politics & Philosophy The concept of rational comes from from the word “ratio,” which means when in someone's opinion something has a more positive than negative outcome, it's a rational choice; irrational would be the opposite of that. Since rationality is subjective, what is rational for one person's self-interest is probably irrational for someone else; that's why socialism, the ideal of doing the most good for the most people, is suspect as a method of making group decisions unless the group is highly homogeneous in its morals, values & beliefs. Most things that are rational are also logical because subjective goals can also be objectively true; for example, decisions based on knowledge, like when to mow the lawn, or how much money to save. It’s through a lack of facts or a biased interpretation that leads to rational but illogical conclusions: it may make rational sense to some people to sacrifice a goat to get their god's attention but it's illogical. Politics is certainly dominated by rational illogic. On the flip side, something can be irrational but logical: it's logical to spread wealth within a society, and it's rational to the people receiving the wealth, but it's irrational to the people losing their wealth. Also, everyone occasionally makes choices first then justify them afterwards, which is illogical and irrational.   Politics & Philosophy 2:20 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash rational, irrational, logical, illogical, humor, politics no Wed, 21 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 642 Illogical Politics & Philosophy Logic is reasoning that produces a predictable outcome. Logic is the only practical means of predicting the future but logic requires facts, and if those are erroneous or not available, logic cannot be performed. To be illogical is to choose an answer other than what logic dictates. Socially, logic has a suspect reputation: Star Trek's Dr. Spock was logical which somehow conflicted with his emotions, even though emotions are the logical result of chemical interactions in your brain, and can logically explain how a conclusion was reached, even if that conclusion was illogical. This convoluted reasoning is logical but seems illogical, which shines a confusing light on logic. Logic isn’t something that’s valued in our society; in fact, it’s often demeaned as nerdy, exploitative, and heartless. Plus, in a Google world where everyone can be an expert in 5 minutes, facts are often wrong or ignored; confusing rational for logical, and it's logical they should do so. Why does this all seem so illogical? Because people don't understand their underlying natures, are blind to their own motivations, excuse themselves of their self-centered actions so simply don't have the facts required to be logical, because to deny truth is to deny logic.   Politics & Philosophy 2:20 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash illogical, logic, truth, humor, politics no Mon, 19 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 641 Feelings Concepts Politics & Philosophy Feelings can always use review; let's do it: It's the chemical nature of feelings that motivates humans. Many interpersonal relationships are toxic to at least one of the participants. Responsibility gives men's lives meaning. Where you fall on the political spectrum depends on your balance between conscientiousness and altruism. Agreeableness and subservience are not the same but they overlap. Shame was invented to coerce people who wouldn't naturally do what you want. Most of life's instigators are some kind of extortion. Schadenfreude is one of the unacknowledged simple pleasures of life. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:02 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash feelings, humor, politics no Sat, 17 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 640 Schadenfreude Politics & Philosophy Americans don't even have a word for the pleasure we derive from the misfortune of others, especially people we resent or otherwise identify as hypocrites. Luckily, the Germans are a more candid culture, not afraid to point out this opposite of altruism: “schadenfreude.” It just shows how reluctant people are to recognize their internal motivations, which is why self-awareness is such a rare thing, no one wants to think other people have to fail for themselves to be happy but, in reality, that's half the satisfaction we get from life. We build our own self-worth on the backs of those who have failed; without schadenfreude, how could we possibly overcome the resentment we feel towards those standing on our backs? “He has a big house and is better looking but my house and hair are a lot better than my neighbor's.” In the past, our religious teachings told us to beware such feelings, probably because it leads to societal destabilization, but now there's no bounds, only a growing Grievance industry, and their solution is to make everyone fail; equal schadenfreude for all.   Politics & Philosophy 2:02 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash schadenfreude, politics, humor no Thu, 15 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 639 Extortion Politics & Philosophy Extortion is one of those words that immediately gets folk's attention. Extortion is coercion. When people first think of extortion, the legal definition comes to mind: price-gouging, black-mail, or to avoid negative consequences, such as euphemistic “protection,” which really means abeyance from harm, but extortion is often also part of receiving an essential service, such as a building permit or job application. In political circles, extortion is the essence of corruption, exploiting an official's position via influence peddling. Actually, extortion is much bigger than any of that; we live in a world where extortion, don't do what I say or something bad will happen to you, is a regular part of life, especially in personal relationships, certainly within a family. The most common weapons used to extort are mocking, scorn & ridicule, plus there are less obvious extortive behaviors, such as withholding information, passive aggressiveness, and shunning. The personal aspects of extortion don't even require any real threat, only the implication. These threats may seem harmless from a legal point of view but they have a huge impact on the victim's psyche; and they obviously work, because most people will do almost anything when extorted, because life doesn't need to get any worse.   Politics & Philosophy 2:07 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash extortion, politics, humor no Tue, 13 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 638 Shame Politics & Philosophy Shame is an extremely powerful motivator, and a very effective means of control. Creatures are not born with shame, even humans; it must be taught. If there is no taboo in a society against an action then people don't feel guilty engaging in it; for example, without cultural restriction, people don't feel guilty engaging in underage sex; and a culture can evolve its morals, ethics & values; for example, homosexuality is no longer shameful. Shame is defined by the generation. Society decides what is shameful then uses it as a weapon against its members. Shame becomes a penalty: being labeled a Racist because of who you vote for, called selfish for not donating to charity, a checkmark on a job application if you are a felon. When rulers want to consolidate their power, they cynically indoctrinate shame into those under their thrall, usually in the from of morals: paying taxes, joining the military, and various duties to God. But shame is simply a contrived feeling, which makes it your choice how it affects you. There are many people that are actually positively reinforced by feeling shame; they wallow in it, they want to wear the hair-shirt and don sack-cloth & ashes. It's these people who promote intergenerational shame in the form of Social Justice.   Politics & Philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash shame, humor, politics no Sun, 11 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 637 Agreeableness Politics & Philosophy Clinical Psychologist, Jordan Peterson, includes the concept of “agreeableness” in his explanation of human personality. It's an awkward term with a weak meaning, but seems to indicate that an agreeable person is willing to sacrifice personal gain and even truth in order to avoid conflict. These people therefore do better in environments that require supplication, like schooling and rote office jobs. In a competitive society, agreeableness would seem to be a disadvantage. The Pop-psychology aspects of whether agreeableness is a good or bad thing would explain many coffee house ramblings. Women, Peterson says, have higher agreeableness than men. Why might that be the case? Perhaps men's higher testosterone incites competitiveness, rejecting authority and instruction. It could also be cultural: women have a history of being subservient to men due to strength and concern for their children's well-being. We could endlessly speculate on the impact of so-called agreeableness, but the one place where it would really make a difference would be the political ramifications because it correlates with ideology, and is probably why the Democratic Party is dominated by women, which doesn't seem very agreeable at all.   Politics & Philosophy 2:13 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash agreeableness, humor, politics no Fri, 09 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 636 Conscientiousness & Altruism Politics & Philosophy There are two inheritable attributes that define a person's ideological outlook: conscientiousness & altruism. The two attributes do not correlate, meaning one does not depend on the other, instead everyone has a mixture, and whichever trait predominates tends the person to either individualism for conscientious people, or collectivism for the altruistic ones. Society, civilization, and even continuation of the species apparently requires both: conscientious people can survive stranded on a desert island, while altruistic people comfort the dying and raise children. Conscientious people reward merit, while altruistic people promote equality. In a political setting, a conscientious candidate would recognize that it takes money to run a campaign and plan accordingly, while altruistic people complain that The Rich have an advantage because the amount of money is unequal. Frankly, I want a conscientious person in a position of power over me and making decisions on my behalf, but there is the real risk that, conscientiously-speaking, that person may be looking out for themselves and not so much for me. At least altruistic people suffer the same consequences as their constituents from making poor decisions.   Politics & Philosophy 2:13 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash conscientiousness, altruism, politics, humor no Wed, 07 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 635 Men's Responsibility Politics & Philosophy Evolutionary, women ensured survival by bearing children, and in modern times they still have control over reproduction. This overarching biological advantage gives women purpose regardless of what is happening in their personal lives, and they take solace in that whether they are actually the ones having the children or not; it's their meaning of life. Men, on-the-other-hand, have no such biologically epic role; the only meaning available to men is the assumption of responsibility towards the child, to the woman, to the family, to the clan. The difference between men and boys is that men are defined by the challenges they must overcome to obtain responsible positions in life. Without responsibility, men do not mature, they remain in limbo: more than children, less than adults; forever playing, pursing impulsive pleasures, and they end up despising themselves. Their lives become meaningless and psychologically stressed so they choose the escape of drugs and nihilism. Modern life is simply not compatible with the evolutionary demands that created men: aggression, ambition, competitiveness & protection were developed for a primeval time but the times have changed and the reason for men hasn't caught up yet.   Politics & Philosophy 2:12 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash responsibility, men, politics, humor no Mon, 05 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 634 Toxic Relationships Politics & Philosophy Our personal relationships with other people are dictated by mostly unacknowledged motives that require self-awareness to recognize and comprehend. One glaring example that no one ever seems to notice is that the nuclear family is at its essence, Marxist: strong authoritarian leaders, from those according to their ability to those according to their need, equality. In fact, your family members think you owe them: the biggest culprits are your siblings, followed by your parents; even your grown children can be guilty. To some extent, even your acquaintances also have this attitude, which makes relationships fraught with unvoiced resentments, envy & anger. Spouses are excused because you made an explicit contract with them that indeed means you do owe them. This spiderweb of implied obligation originates from everyone's natural self-centeredness, the profound belief that we, every one of us, is the center of the universe and everyone else exists only insofar as they benefit us. If you don't recognize that this is what is going on then you can be captured in the thrall of someone else; become their enabler and servant rather than pursuing goals that are best for you. Instead you’ve got to keep your relationships symbiotic rather than parasitic. You owe it to yourself not to be held in emotional blackmail, especially like a family member can exert. Sometimes the only solution is distance and proscribed contact; separation does indeed make the heart grow fonder.   Politics & Philosophy 2:37 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash toxic relationships, relationships, politics, humor no Sat, 03 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 633 Feelings Politics & Philosophy Feelings are nothing more than chemical reactions in your brain due to hormones & neuropeptides: serotonin is soothing, dopamine is a high, adrenalin is excitement, female lust and altruism comes from oxytocin; endorphins assuage pain; and BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor) magnifies them all. There's also the ever-important testosterone which brings ambition, aggression, anger and a lot more. The euphoric feeling you get during a good workout is from the norepinephrine produced when burning fat. MCH (Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin) is a pheromone; women can smell it, and interestingly enough, it's why opposites attract. These chemicals are where feelings come from and are what motivate humans. Feelings obviously contribute evolutionary, otherwise we wouldn't have them. Unfortunately, since feelings are biological and not logical, they must be held in suspicion, especially in a stable social setting where they end up becoming more important than rationality. When someone else's feelings affect your personal autonomy that becomes a problem because what someone else feels should not dictate your actions. For example, the intense desire to be in control is a feeling; as are envy, anger & lust, all of which must be kept subsumed to rationality, except of course, to save the species, which is why feelings are the way they are.   Politics & Philosophy 2:34 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash feelings, neuropeptides, humor, politics no Thu, 01 Aug 2019 07:00:00 -0700 632 Personal Concepts Politics & Philosophy Let's review the concepts around what makes you a person: Fate is what happens to people who don't make decisions for themselves. Determinism is when intelligent people are sucked into fortune-telling. To balance risk perfectly is the goal of wisdom. When God dictates all, wealth or poverty is simply manifestations of Divine Reward, and shouldn't be trifled with. Self-reliance is an integral part of liberty, but you should already know that. Ingenuity is the secret ingredient of humanity's success. Sitting in a field of flowers contemplating the human condition is what makes you human. Enlightenment leads to self-awareness. Frustration is the origin of patience. You must maintain your infallibility, otherwise you are responsible. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:17 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash contemplation, determinism, fate, self-reliance, frustration, infallibility, humor, politics no Tue, 30 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 631 Infallibility Politics & Philosophy What should be considered a weakness, not admitting when you are wrong, has been turned on its head by the penalty if you do so. The reason for the infallibility trap is the inability to admit an error without penalty: social or monetary. Anybody, anywhere, for anything, can claim they are offended and will take control by exploiting the leverage given to them by someone apologizing. No one can say “I'm sorry” without threat of a lawsuit. The consequence of infallibility is that you must pretend to be sure of everything; that every decision you make, and everything you do or have ever done is the absolute correct thing. In fact, to admit that you aren't sure is considered a lack of character. This has lead to the cult of infallibility; the idea that no one can be excused for any act at any time in their life; that you have been and always will be the exact same person; you cannot change. Our politics is thoroughly infected with the infallible malady; every candidate must be a beacon of false confidence, to our detriment. It's easy to see why there are a whole lot of people out there with a raging I-know-better-than-you hardon.   Politics & Philosophy 2:11 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash infallibility, humor, politics no Sun, 28 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 630 Frustration Politics & Philosophy High-order creatures are subject to frustration, the thwarting of their desires by outside forces. Even the most sage & savvy individuals can be frustrated to distraction if the conditions are right; sometimes it even seems like a malevolent presence is working against you. Frustration can lead to rage; it's a common cause of brutality among chimpanzees, when frustrated members of a tribe vent their anger on those weaker than themselves; people do this too. On the flip side, how many achievements of our ancestors were the result of frustrated ambitions that morphed into something else? One of the positive aspects of frustration is that it develops patience; laugh and release the tension, or get angry and achieve nothing. It's also an indication of maturity, a sanguine acceptance that most plans fail at the first opportunity. How a person responds to frustration will determine whether or not they succeed in their life's ambitions because it easily turns into resignation and abandonment of the goal; or it can become perseverance, manifested as stubbornness. Wisdom is knowing which strategy to pursue.   Politics & Philosophy 2:04 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash frustration, humor, politics no Fri, 26 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 629 Enlightenment Politics & Philosophy In the West, enlightenment is closely tied to self-awareness, comprehension of your own motivations. However, in Eastern religious doctrine, enlightenment is the casting off of indoctrination and conditioning, going so far as to discourage the acquisition of knowledge, as a way of escaping the propaganda that is ubiquitous in life. Their intent is an attempt to supersede the basic emotions with intellectual emotions, which puts Eastern enlightenment in direct conflict with Western enlightenment, though to be fair, Eastern practitioners do allow that knowledge can be used discreetly when appropriate. Enlightenment is a purely human trait: dogs and gorillas give little thought to what motivates them to eat, rut, or fight. Many people don't either, which is why where enlightenment comes from is so difficult to determine. It seems to be tied to mental capacity, not just person-to-person, but within the same person, who sometimes can overcome their base motivations, but often slip back into old evolutionary habits: getting angry, exerting dominance, coveting the wife of a neighbor. In fact, these activities are celebrated in modern tabloid magazines which wallow in unenlightenment. There seems to a race on, to become more enlightened or less so, and it's difficult to tell who's winning.   Politics & Philosophy 2:10 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash enlightenment, politics, humor no Wed, 24 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 628 Contemplation Politics & Philosophy Contemplation and self-awareness are closely related, and may even be poetically the same thing. To contemplate life is to examine your place within it in relation to the places of others; and hopefully, to try and understand their motives and your own. Contemplation only works when you have a great deal of input to contemplate, the wider the better, that's why experience is important because without it, people will fill in the holes with mysticism. Mystics specialize in contemplation, which has kind of tainted concept: sitting alone in a cave on a mountain top for twenty years has no value to anyone, especially not to yourself, yet the conclusions these people make have influenced tens of millions of people: religion, metaphysics, all forms of navel-gazing. Contemplation is valuable: you must re-examine your life on a regular basis to see if the reality fits the expectations. Since planning is essentially predicting the future, you have to check regularly to see how close you are; in most cases adjustments need to be made, and often you must accept failure and make a new plan, usually through contemplation. There's also a mental health aspect of contemplation; take time to enjoy what's around you: nature, your family, your successes; achievement and accomplishments don't mean anything if you don't take time to contemplate them.   Politics & Philosophy 2:22 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash contemplation, humor, politics no Mon, 22 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 627 Ingenuity Politics & Philosophy There are whole swaths of human history where seemingly nothing happened, at least in what we can glean from archaeology and historical records, compared against times where empires flourished and pyramids were built. We can only look at examples of the two extremes today to determine why there is a difference, and the best word that describes it is ingenuity, the ability to propose solutions for problems then follow through. What motivates people to be ingenious could be anything from base desires, like greed and lust, to altruism, like love, but you've got to admire the results. Where does ingenuity come from? Is it inherited or is it learned? What are the circumstances that encourage and support ingenuity? Does technology hinder or promote ingenuity? Looking around the world today, some cultures appear industrious; is that ingenuity? There is the old saying that “ingenuity is the mother of invention.” Who's doing the inventing? Unfortunately, a robust belief in human ingenuity seems to be in direct conflict with the prevailing Victimhood culture, but perhaps that too is just another manifestation of it?   Politics & Philosophy 2:08 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash ingenuity, humor, politics no Sat, 20 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 626 Self-Reliance Politics & Philosophy The natural ideology of man is akin to socialism; some elite decision-maker determines what is best for everyone: the head of the family, the king, a council of elders. The contrary ideology, one only found after civilization could satisfy its basic needs through working together, was personal autonomy, where people decide for themselves and reap the rewards or suffer the consequences of their own actions, what we call liberty today. Self-Reliance is based on the premise that you can be the master of your own destiny, and that no one and no thing can be trusted to protect your best interests. Children must be taught self-reliance when young, very young: explore, don't be afraid, do it yourself; then the education must be continuous throughout their formative years. This creates mature adults who can make their own way in life; be leaders of society rather than followers. Unfortunately, exactly the opposite is happening: helicopter parents do everything for their children, and worse, train them to take orders from elite decision-makers. The non-adults that result have no imagination, and certainly don't have the personal tools to be creative; frightened of everything, always waiting for someone else to go first. It's not a coincidence that the history of a nation starts at its most self-reliant and ends at its least.   Politics & Philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash self reliance, self-reliance, humor, politics no Thu, 18 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 625 Divine Reward Politics & Philosophy Religious people believe that even if they are not rewarded now for their good works, they will be rewarded later in life, or in afterlife, by some divine power. This belief naturally extends to them thinking that financially successful people are benefiting for similar reasons, meaning they must have deserved it in some way, either them directly, or their parents did something reward-worthy. This concept fits very well into the acceptance of fate. Naturally, those who believe in fate and divine oversight have no problem with a Class system, where some people are born into their roll as a servant, while others are their masters; it's all part of God's plan, and there's no reason to change such a system because it is God's intent. Churches have used this logic to maintain control of the masses, and it can be traced back throughout history, at least to the Egyptians. The Enlightenment, when people began striving for personal autonomy, escaping the thrall of divine reward, instead accepting that people reap the rewards or suffer the consequences of their own actions, an important component of personal autonomy, the very definition of liberty.   Politics & Philosophy 2:00 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash devine reward, humor, politics no Tue, 16 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 624 Risk Politics & Philosophy Risk implies the odds of a negative consequence. You don't say, “the risk of becoming a millionaire,” but you don't want the risk of going broke. Stripping off that distinction, risk is simply the probability of something you don't want to happen. Even animals calculate risk to some degree, maybe not with the clarity that humans do, but tigers do not attack elephants unless the chance of starvation outweighs the possibility of being trampled to death. It's interesting that if fate were real then risk would be inconsequential; but if determinism were real, risk, or the odds of an event occurring, would be the most important variable in your life. Determining the odds is what separates somewhat lucky people from the super lucky people. Because most people don't like the stress that risk brings, they try to find others to make decisions for them, which is attractive to ideologies that ignore personal responsibility; those people want someone else responsible for the risks they take. This completely ignores the risk of such a strategy: any ideology that makes individual choice subservient to another, means you are risking they will exploit their power and authority; this is a gamble without knowing the odds, the very definition of maximum risk.   Politics & Philosophy 2:10 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash risk, humor, politics no Sun, 14 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 623 Determinism Politics & Philosophy There are many smart people alive today who believe that our individual choices in life are overwhelmed by a kind of fate because our bodies are organic robots and therefore predictable in a probabilistic way. All human action is predicated on the peptides in our brains; control the peptides, control what a person thinks and does. Extrapolating this chemical programability: since computer programs are deterministic, so too must be the organic robot they are riding around in. This leads to the idea that a highly enough developed being, knowing the probability of each micro-transaction involved in a situation, can accurately predict the outcome of a civilization, and even the outcome of a single person, making all history predictable. In this context, God would simply be a highly enough developed being; and your destiny can be exactly mapped, no matter what choices you may be making in life, because those have all been included in the simulation. The fallacy of this thinking has long been identified in economics: complex systems cannot be predicted because the number of possible outcomes is infinite. The actual outcome of infinite options is best explained by the concept of Emergent Order; a wait-and-see epistemology; no one can predict, but wise people can observe and modify plans as they go.   Politics & Philosophy 2:18 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash determinism, humor, politics no Fri, 12 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 622 Fate Politics & Philosophy Most people in the past, and still many today, especially the successful ones, think their successes were preordained, as a reward for acts in a previous life perhaps, or as an answer to prayers, and there is little they can do to change it; their fate is sealed. This makes life simple indeed: rich people must deserve their fate just as much as the poor; there is no reason to prepare, and no reason to be conscientious, because nothing anybody can do will change anything. This is a mighty handy concept if serfs are expected to work hard and die young, and kings are to be afforded the right of divine power by the gods themselves. The concept of fate was held for much of world history, only denied in the last few Centuries, most notably by Nietzsche's famous quote, “God is dead,” which means that people control their own destinies and God has little to do with it. In fact, luck contributes most to a person's path through life, and luck is the opposite of fate. Still, those who despair, and those who cannot compete, find refuge in God and in fate; and there is a modern re-emergence of fate in the concept that we each live in our own simulation.   Politics & Philosophy 2:03 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Fate, humor, politics no Wed, 10 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 621 Intelligence Concepts Politics & Philosophy Why is intelligence so stupid? Let's review: Defining intelligence is actually much more difficult than first appears. Polymaths, people who are master of all things, are more fairytale than reality. The prevalence of stupidity verges on overwhelming competent people. Testing someone else's IQ always seems to be a better idea than testing your own. Improbable accomplishments makes you suspect there are such things as Meta humans. You can gain wisdom by pursuing the components of wisdom. False confidence comes from thinking the Internet knows all. Expertise is not rare nor is it difficult to replace but it is important to have. To deny authority is to invite authoritarianism. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:14 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash intelligence, stupidity, IQ, humor, politics no Mon, 08 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 620 Authority Politics & Philosophy One of the most surprising divides between ideologies, liberty versus Marxism, is the denial that authority exists. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, religious leaders, even parents, are obliged no special dispensation for their knowledge and achievements in a Marxist society, where everyone is equal and the obligation is on talented individuals to provide for the less so. People gain absolutely no advantage for being competent, the opposite in fact because they are then at the mercy of those who forsake ambition. The disdain of the masses for the accomplished leads naturally to disdain and even denial of authority; no one is more qualified than anyone else to give advice or provide direction. The resulting society encourages thought-policing to keep people from offending anyone else which leads to discouraging anyone striving for excellence. The Left’s contempt for police and soldiers is a direct result of this anti-authority attitude. Mostly it occurs among the young and immature, but unsuccessful, envious adults are enablers. Unfortunately, it's human nature, and all societies flirt with the concept as the numbers of people who feel like losers increase, perhaps a third of the population. In all cases of authority denial, soon a dictator arises, one who denounces authority but none-the-less assumes it, and the anti-authoritarians become ruled by an authoritarian.   Politics & Philosophy 2:27 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash authority, humor, politics no Sat, 06 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 619 Experts Politics & Philosophy Everybody's an expert at what they do, or at least thinks they are, and it's true: anybody who's been doing a job for 2 years is more expert than any new straight-A college graduate. Unfortunately, the competence that comes from doing something repeatedly gives a false sense of confidence when people think what they do is special, making them assume they are difficult to replace, but the reality is that any job has 10,000 people who could perform it just as well, and 10x that number given a minimum of training. There's also the awkward situation when you realize you're more competent than the expert you've hired: courtesy makes it difficult to tell them so; that plus a bit of cowardliness and you end up paying for something you could have done better yourself. Also, claiming expertise is considered boorish behavior, but to let an undistinguished hack insinuate themselves above you in the chain of command by doing just, is even worse; which is why competitive people, men especially, will deny the expertise of others while claiming unjustified superiority for themselves. Apparently there is no happy medium somewhere between under-performance and overconfidence.   Politics & Philosophy 2:14 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash experts, humor, politics no Thu, 04 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 618 False Confidence Politics & Philosophy Of all the positives things the Internet has brought, one of the more insidious problems is the prevalence of self-proclaimed experts, and everybody thinks their opinion is just as valuable as anyone else's; just Google it, no expertise required. This has also led to a disdain for advanced degrees and professional licenses; who needs those, the Internet is more expert than any person could possibly be. Information is truly free, and intelligence only requires you begin the sentence with “hey, siri.” Consider how it works: you have a sudden insight about the earth being flat; you Google "flat earth" and hundreds of other people appear supporting your thinking; you must be a genius! Any argument, any position, who needs to listen to anybody, the Internet is your wingman. This has led to a generation of false confidence, of foolish people convinced they are wise, of an inability to consider that you might be wrong. The hierarchy of knowledge has dissolved; there is no one anyone will take advice from; leading to an ever-declining lack of wisdom; the anachronistic irony of unlimited knowledge is that common sense is not so common anymore.   Politics & Philosophy 2:14 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash false confidence, confidence, Internet, humor, politics no Tue, 02 Jul 2019 07:00:00 -0700 617 Gaining Wisdom Politics & Philosophy Let's say one of your life goals was to be wise, how would you do that? Would you climb to a mountain top and sit at the feet of a guru; someone who didn't bath, and spent all day contemplating their navel? That doesn't sound very wise. Would you read all the works of the great philosophers; people who were often in debt, and whose family lives were in turmoil? That seems even more unwise. Popular culture, with its allure of tenuous fads & status, isn't wise at all. Of course, anything that leads to frustration, depression & mental illness should be immediately abandoned as anti-wisdom. Imagine all of the possible experiences in life as a pie, and every slice is a bit of wisdom, the whole pie makes a wise man. You would want a slice of medical knowledge & experience, and to know the law; you would want to have been an entrepreneur and a scientist. But the pie of life is much more than technical knowledge & intelligence; there's the creativity slices like art, sports & philosophy. Also, traveling to meet new people and cultures. And let's not forget the crust: the everyday aspects of family, fame, civil contribution, leadership ability, a good personality, wealth & a satisfying career. Wisdom just isn't that hard to measure in slices; you'd think more people would like pie?   Politics & Philosophy 2:13 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash wise, wisdom, gaining wisdom, politics, humor no Sun, 30 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 616 Metas Politics & Philosophy In the spectrum of human achievements, some people's success can only be explained through amazing luck, or something we don't quite understand. Folks have always recognized this, and have attributed these extremes to "grace of God," or some other mystical aspect like karma. If you aren't a believer, if you are a science person, then how do you explain Donald Trump? "Meta" is as good a word as any; it has a long history in terms like metaphysics, and certainly has been explored extensively in comic lore; but is it real? And how would you recognize if someone was a "Meta"? Perhaps they can be identified by the number of things they're good at, or by their inexplicable success? A Meta is a level of awareness and all-round intellectual capability that people don't currently possess outside of imaginative stories. It's problematic to call historical figures Meta: Benjamin Franklin seems like a good bet, but notable people like Isaac Newton, though he was certainly admirable, a cursory examination of his life in unconvincing. Modern-day Metas are even more controversial to try and identify: Elon Musk? Richard Branson? Dr. Dre and p-diddy stand out as incomprehensibly successful; what about them? There's probably even a Meta or two at the top of large crime syndicates. Just mentioning the Meta concept gets a lot of people's hackles up, triggering some deep-seated psychological insecurity. For others, Metas are fun to talk about but impossible to say.   Politics & Philosophy 2:29 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash meta, humor, politics no Fri, 28 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 615 IQ Tests Politics & Philosophy IQ is short for Intelligence Quotient, and purports to signify how smart someone is. Historically, IQ is obtained by dividing a person's mental age by their true age; 100 is average, meaning mental age is the same as physical age. IQ tests were original designed for children for placement into educational settings, and young draftees into the military. Its use on adults is highly questionable. Unfortunately, it seems IQ doesn't increase but does goes down as people age. Its use in early eugenics literature has tainted the concept almost beyond usefulness. Whether any test can accurately measure someone's intelligence is an issue of intense debate, most calling it biased. Certainly, some of the questions on the IQ test are education oriented: for example, which country on the map is Greece? Most questions are not: repeat this series of 20 numbers, and put these puzzles together. Any IQ measure above 130 is highly suspect: first, the takers are usually under-18, so the trivia questions can be gamed; second, there is quite a bit of eye-hand coordination in putting together the puzzles and they’re timed and the pieces have to be touching; that's a lot of variability with nothing to do with intelligence and can be practiced. IQ is fun to talk about but seems to have no practical purpose.   Politics & Philosophy 2:22 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash IQ, IQ test, humor, politics no Wed, 26 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 614 Stupidity Politics & Philosophy Calling someone stupid has never been acceptable, and it certainly isn't now in our hyper-sensitive society, but that doesn't mean that stupid people went anywhere. Stupidity is usually defined as having less intellectual capability than everyone else. Autistic people can be smart and still have low emotional intelligence, which is an important part of the package. Stupid people have to be specially provided for in a functioning modern society; this can cost a lot of time and money, and unfortunately, the numbers are huge; at least the bottom quarter of the population needs help, tens of millions of people. How much of an impact stupidity has on a society depends on the underlying ideology: focus on the most talented, as with liberty and Capitalism, which encourages progress, or focus on the least, as with Marxism and socialism, which would slow life down to a stand-still. There's also a cultural component: in an Identity Politics hierarchy, where people are accorded benefits depending on what group they are in: race, sex, disability, etc.; stupidity is NOT one of those groups, so stupid people only get attention after all the special people are taken care of. Stupidity is a much larger burden on society than folks realize; how much is too much is a fatal question?   Politics & Philosophy 2:16 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash stupidity, humor, politics no Mon, 24 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 613 Polymath Politics & Philosophy A polymath is a person who is excellent at several things: usually combinations like science, art & exploration; or sports, philosophy & math, and sometimes all of those. There were actually times in history when a polymath, also known as a Renaissance Man, could know all human knowledge, limited as it was; and everybody who looked could discover something new on their own. In the past, the more things a person knew, the more wisdom they were assumed to have, and the polymath was held in high acclaim; but in modern times an odd irony has emerged that a person's competency is assumed to diminish as the breath of their knowledge expands. As humanity accumulated more-and-more knowledge, specialists developed, taking the shine off polymath generalists. Now our society only really allows you to be an expert in one or two things, after which they denigrate you. This is irrational, obviously something psychological: people are envious & resentful of those who in comparison make them feel insignificant; one expertise you're allowed, but more than that, you're a self-centered dilettante who takes opportunities from other people who could do the job better. One must now buck the tide of spite & perversity to become a polymath even though it's insanely more difficult than anytime in history.   Politics & Philosophy 2:16 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash polymath, renaissance man, humor, politics no Sat, 22 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 612 Intelligence Politics & Philosophy Intelligence is a word that has no real meaning, or perhaps the old meaning has been lost to new priorities. Intelligence can't even be predicted accurately because intelligence is related to success in life but success is never guaranteed. Also, since people respond to different stimuli, a person's innate intelligence may remain undeveloped; for example, whether someone does well in school plays a huge role in the trajectory of their lives, but unfortunately, the beehive education we all receive is not for everyone, and intelligent people, especially males, are often left uncultivated. Also, intelligence is contextual: traditionally, in the realms of industry, science & business, IQ was an indicator of success; but in the world that's portrayed in the media: cars, sex & image, then social awareness might be what's important. Looking in garages, on farms, in the military, skills might be the measurement; and if you search the churches, the ashram, or the commune, then emotions might be the most important ingredient of intelligence; and even looking on the streets, in the Old Folks Homes, in the sanitariums, then mental Heath is the intelligence's predictor. The truth is you could easily be a smart dumb person.   Politics & Philosophy 2:15 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash intelligence, humor, politics no Thu, 20 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 611 Goals Concepts Politics & Philosophy Let's review what people think about goals: It doesn't make any difference how they get it, people are admired for their money. Achievement is what you plan to do then do it. Other people care about your wealth; achievements are for yourself. Nothing surpasses fame for the attention of other people. Better to be rich & famous than accomplished. The winners we idolize now come from all over the world but there are a lot fewer of them. When there's only one winner, everybody else is a Loser. People consider no one wise since they suspect themselves foolish. No one can claim to be a Self-Made Man anymore. Lazarus Long was the hero of Baby Boomer boys. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:24 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash achievement, wealth, riches, fame, wisdom, humor, politics no Tue, 18 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 610 Lazarus Long Politics & Philosophy Out of the halls of literature emerges science fiction writer Robert Heinlein's alter-ego, Lazarus Long, a man that stays young forever and knows everything. He was an actor, musician, beggar, farmer, priest, pilot, politician, con artist, gambler, doctor, lawyer, banker, merchant, soldier, electronics technician, mechanic, restaurateur, investor, bordello manager and slave. The novels in which Lazarus Long appears are intended for young adults, particularly males, and present an image all boys in the middle of the last Century admired, and some strived for. Back when Lazarus Long was popular, men walking on the moon seemed obvious and glorious; when knowledge was king and experience sought after. Attempting to emulate Lazarus Long requires a lifetime of advanced education, experience & travel; something that only the Baby Boom generation had the opportunity to pursue. Also indicative of the time he was written, Long is a rugged individualist with a distrust of authority; subsequent generations do not find Lazarus Long so appealing since Collectivism and equality are the up-and-coming ideology. As it turned out, Lazarus Long was not immortal.   Politics & Philosophy 2:13 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Lazarus Long, Robert Heinlein, politics, humor no Sun, 16 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 609 Self-Made Man Politics & Philosophy There is a lot of animosity towards the term “self-made man” by people who haven't made anything themselves. In fact, former president Obama famously said, “you didn't make that.” What he meant was that it takes a society to walk on the moon, but people on The Left interrpret it as meaning you are no better than anyone else, we are all equal, and what you do personally is inconsequential at best and probably selfish. Of course, it's the prevailing success of Marxist ideology, the equalist doctrine, that makes such envy, resentment & pervsity acceptable. The irony is the term, “Self-Made Men,” came from an 1859 lecture by Frederick Douglass, a Black man. The self-made man archetype is someone from a humble background who climbs the social ladder through hard work, morals, and education. Self-improvement is the overarching theme, but the word “man” immediately sets off alarm bells of the Identitarians who reject gender labels, and think any success by males is more a result of priviledge than anything accomplished by the protagonist. Ambition is no longer fashionable.   Politics & Philosophy 2:04 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash self-made men, self-made man, humor, politics no Fri, 14 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 608 Dismissing Wisdom Politics & Philosophy Wisdom is knowledge, experience & self-awareness, the more the wiser. It seems logical that wise people would be admired but they are usually dismissed as being too educated or too focused on their work. It's odd that there are lots of fictional wise characters or wise people from the past, but few people alive today that are considered wise. In fact, the word “wisdom” is rarely even used anymore, instead “common sense” serves in its stead because everyone likes to think they have common sense but no one wants to think there might be someone wiser than themselves. Many people consider wisdom to be a combination of fame & money, or in the case of the religion; fame & morality. Foolish people, and there's a lot of them, think a belief in their ideology is a prerequisite to wisdom: Democrat or Republican becomes the determining factor. A “wise” person is someone you'll take advice from but most people don't ask for advice, and wouldn't follow it anyway; that's because people perceive that wisdom only offers real value when you can get rich or famous from it. Politics & Philosophy 2:03 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash wisdom, politics, humor no Wed, 12 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 607 Losers Politics & Philosophy Not so long ago, every community had the best athlete, the smartest student, the noted traveler, the accomplished musician, the successful business, but now in the interconnected world community, everyone knows there's 10,000 kids in China that can play the piano better, run faster, and easily multiply two 10-digit numbers in their head. This drastically reduces the chances of anybody being the recognized best in anything, hollowing out the pride & striving that used to define America; essentially turning everyone into losers. That would only be a quirk of civilization if it wasn't so tied into evolutionary biology: social hierarchies are made up of winners, with losers on the bottom. With all the winners somewhere else, the physiological advantages that comes with it is lost, but the stress on health due to being a loser is everywhere because losing has the biological side-effect of dumping cortisol into your body, a hormone that depresses testosterone, essentially effeminizing males. There's also a mental health aspect that directly affects confidence & decision-making. Being a loser is more than a joke, it's a concept, a toxic state of mind that makes modern society a Loser too.   Politics & Philosophy 2:15 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash losers, winners, humor, politics no Mon, 10 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 606 Idolizing Winners Politics & Philosophy People have always made idols of their actors, musicians, sports stars and military heroes; it's something they wish they could do themselves, so they strive towards those goals with no resentment against the people who have already obtained them, along with the dream of meeting your idol when you finally succeed yourself. There's a lot of romance around being a winner; we give the lucky ones magical names like: titan, marvel, whiz kid, wonderkind, phenom, etc. They get written up in magazines and speak at fundraisers. When they're in town, the local newspaper writes about them. The most attractive thing about winning is the fame. The desire to become a winner, to get rich & famous through being the best at something, has awkwardly skewed expectations and priorities, causing people to take more risks: “fortune favors the bold,” "bet the farm," "win big or sleep in the streets;” but now with our connected world, to be the best at something means being best-in-the-world, even greatest-of-all-time; that combined with a second-place-is-the-first-loser attitude obviously makes everyone but the very best, losers.   Politics & Philosophy 2:14 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash winners, losers, idols, humor, politics no Sat, 08 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 605 Admire the Rich, Respect the Famous Politics & Philosophy People admire the rich because everyone also wants to be rich: the more wealth, the more admiration, and contact with a rich person could turn into reward for yourself: a job maybe, or inclusion in the Will. Unfortunately, only people who are currently rich get adulation; if a formerly wealthy person becomes destitute, they are pitied, and certainly have no entourage nor lingering credibility. In comparison, people respect the famous as well as admire them because contact with a famous person could turn into status for themselves. Status helps acquire better sex partners, more invitations to parties, and better seats in a restaurant. Once famous, always famous, and the amount of fame is immaterial past a certain level because even semi-fame brings untoward rewards. Contrast being rich or famous against the fact that people with accomplishments offer no personal gain to others, quite the opposite really, they have devalued those around them in comparison. Achievement is a solitary pursuit, easily cast as selfish, plus doing things is hard. Achievement is only for you. Being rich beats decades of effort and the difficulty of earning advanced degrees, gaining experience & licensing. If you are under the impression that achievement means something to others, stop trying now and just make more money, hopefully getting famous in the meantime.   Politics & Philosophy 2:36 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash rich, famous, achievement, humor, politics no Thu, 06 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 604 Fame Politics & Philosophy The only thing more socially powerful than wealth is fame: people admire fame over all else, and are attracted to famous people because fame rubs off: if you have your picture taken with a famous person, that makes you somewhat famous. This is why famous people can attract a crowd without paying them to be there, and why famous people do well in politics. Also, fame is often conflated with wisdom: ask someone to list wise people and it will instead be famous people; similarly, political utterances by famous people, no matter how insipid, are taken as credible and astute; and the most famous person is considered to be the most qualified person. Essentially, unless you’re famous, you’re nobody. On the down side: when people both rich and famous were asked which they would choose if they could only have one, they chose money because fame brings unwanted attention along with it; apparently, there is a level of fame so intense that only narcissists can survive long in its glare. However, everyone still wants to be famous. Caution: don't get confused that all fame is equal; unlike wealth, it does make a difference how you get famous; though similar notoriety does go to infamous, infamy brings none of the benefits of fame, only the detriments.   Politics & Philosophy 2:27 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash fame, humor, politics no Tue, 04 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 603 Wealth vs. Achievement Politics & Philosophy Anybody can be rich: take the lowliest beggar and give them a winning lottery ticket, and they'll be a multi-millionaire tomorrow. There are no fixed steps to becoming rich: tens of thousands of people try the same thing but only the lucky ones get to be. You can just as easily lose your wealth at any time, so it's not a negative reflection on you if you're not rich. This means somebody else's wealth does not affect your status so it doesn't trigger your envy & resentment. On-the-other-hand, achievement is very difficult, and though everyone thinks they can, most can't. Achievement is not primarily luck: there's a list of things to accomplish, and when you're done, you get the credit for achieving. Plus, no one can take your achievements from you; there's a plaque somewhere with your name on it. This means somebody else's achievement lowers your relative status, which does spike envy & resentment. Is it no wonder that wealth is admired while achievement rises suspicion.   Politics & Philosophy 1:59 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash achievement, wealth, humor, politics no Sun, 02 Jun 2019 07:00:00 -0700 602 Achievement Politics & Philosophy Most achievements don't mean much anymore: education, travel, entrepreneurship; all have lost their luster for a variety of reasons, mostly to do with the Internet. Intellectual achievements no longer offer cachet because anyone can know anything by asking their phone: the Internet is your doctor and your lawyer. As for travel; the Internet can show you anyplace and anytime in the world in full 3D surround-sound. Even athletic achievement has been minimized: thousands of people run marathons every weekend, play interactive videogames where they are the star, or participate in sports at levels exceeding what Olympians used to achieve. Combine these replacements with the change in social values that consider ambition as bad, and it leads to the devaluation of achievement, and more specifically, people that have actually accomplished something, created something, or traveled somewhere. There's an additional powerful contributor to the disenchantment with achievements: because many people are told from childhood that they are special & unique, combined with the handing out of advanced degrees for virtually any ridiculous subject, people think they could have achieved degrees/licenses/travel/creativity if they just had the inclination/time/money/luck, and when actual reality proves that not to be the case, the cognitive dissonance causes them to be fervently dismissive of anyone who has. Also, achievement is not like wealth; not anybody can do it, so by comparison, those that have achieved lower the perceived value of everyone around them; of course, hostility is the reaction.   Politics & Philosophy 2:36 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash achievement, humor, politics no Fri, 31 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 601 People Admire Money Politics & Philosophy What do most people want before all else: money; at least what money will bring, which is everything. Some pseudo-intellectuals say money doesn't buy happiness, but it does, and it also provides a sense of superiority, especially for males who equate money with better sex. Money is also status: the things, the clubs, the awards; and other people are intimidated by money; they assume rich folks are better than them: smarter, better looking, more suave. However, if someone does get rich, they expect all those things to happen to them too; money is the ultimate equalizer. It's odd that it doesn't make much difference how someone gets their money: hard work, luck, crime, inheritance; it still inspires admiration, probably because individuals believe that it could happen to them: win the lottery, gold coins buried in the backyard, Uncle Eric dies and leaves you the estate. Las Vegas exists because of this belief: the naive optimism, the burning desire, the hope which even overcomes the envy that shadows all other kinds of achievement and success. With all this going for it, no wonder it's so hard to tell the difference between money and god.   Politics & Philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash money, admire, politics, humor no Wed, 29 May 2019 07:19:05 -0700 600 Family Concepts Politics & Philosophy Let's review why nothing is more important to society than family: Your life doesn't start until marriage. Divorce should be recognized for its positive aspects over the negative ones. Children are society's primary goal. Child care is not something only professionals can do. How did Single Moms become celebrated? Children should be raised in a community, not as Welfare supplicants. Undisciplined children can blame their parents when they fail as adults. Families are the fundamental building block of society, however they're composed. A Marriage Penalty of federal income taxes is inexcusable. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:09 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash family, humor, politics no Mon, 27 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 599 Marriage Penalty Politics & Philosophy “Marriage penalty” is the colloquial term given to the addition in taxes that married people have to pay compared to if they had stayed single. Over the decades, the marriage penalty has come and gone depending on which voting block was most powerful; single people or married people. Though the Trump tax changes have reduced it, there is still a marriage penalty on Federal Income taxes for low income earning couples. The most ironic part of the marriage penalty is that it becomes a bonus when there is only one high-earner; it's only a penalty when both parents work, as much as 12% of their income. It's even worse for low-earners who may lose their Earned Income Tax Credit when they get married and their spouse's additional low income pushes them out of eligibility. Taxes confuse most people, especially the difference between State and Federal taxes. Because some States, such as Washington, don't have Income taxes, and some states, like Oregon, make sure there is no marriage penalty, many people mistakenly believe there isn't one, but for federal taxes, the marriage penalty is real indeed. The excuse for the marriage penalty is inexcusable: “because it would take a significant change to the U.S. Tax code;” as if it's never happened before, or that all the other big changes to save The Rich money aren't significant enough? There is also the bizarre filing option of “Married Filing Separately” where married couples are penalized even more. What? They can make the penalty worse but they can't make it better? It should be indisputable that married people should only receive benefits from their commitment to one another, never a penalty. How do the ultra-rich get special Capital Gains tax rates but poor working couples get shafted?   Politics & Philosophy 2:52 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash marriage penalty, humor, politics no Sat, 25 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 598 Family Politics & Philosophy Families are the fundamental building blocks of society. Single Millennials may think they're the center-of-the-universe but without kids, single people, even childless couples, are little more than drones, ignored in their old age, and completely invisible to history. That's a hard fact for narcissists to hear, but the ultimate goal of everyone should be to be part of a family. Fortunately, the definition of a “family" now transcends legal and traditional boundaries. It makes no difference who raises a well-balanced child; many same-sex families raise children. Any committed relationship that propels society forward should be condoned and applauded. In that respect, there's no problem with polygamy either; in fact, I'm descended from a polygamous family. Unfortunately, family disintegration is a problem in the U.S., and the birth rate too. As a society we must figure out how to make having children more convenient and less expensive, but bigger than that, we must push back against the treats to The Patriarchy currently emanating from The Left. An anti-family narrative has somehow escaped the ivory towers of academia, and infiltrated the boardrooms, school rooms, and school boards of America. Masculinity is denigrated; femininity is despised; religion, the bulwark of families, is under attack. How this happened, how having children became anathema, how single-motherhood became applauded, is a lesson in how to boil a frog... And destroy a society... Which is the stated goal, even though it was kept under wraps by the complicit media for decades... But now we know, so what are you going to do about it?   Politics & Philosophy 2:44 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash family, humor, politics no Thu, 23 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 597 Disciplining Children Politics & Philosophy Discipline is one of a parent's primary responsibilities, yet many parents have neither the aptitude, knowledge, experience, nor inclination to complete this role. Discipline curtails future behavioral problems. Many parents have become so lenient and narcissistic that unruly children are enabled; that can't possibly end well; in fact, an undisciplined child is forgiven blaming their parents when their adult lives fail to launch due to a lack of maturity, direction and impulse control. It's no longer socially acceptable to physically discipline your child, at least not in public, but a child's cognitive skills are little better than the family dog, who isn't going to stop eating from the counter by getting a Time-Out. However, it's the surprise and dominance that serve the purpose of curtailing bad actions rather than pain; simple, immediate, obvious cause-and-responses legitimately modify a child's behavior. The prohibition against corporal punishment stems back to the 17th Century in the writings of John Locke, the father of Liberalism, who said, “parents could reward good behavior with their esteem and punish bad behavior with disgrace as opposed to beatings.” That's some sage advice but a quick swat when your 2-year old's about to touch the stove is still the best deterrent.   Politics & Philosophy 2:18 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash discipline, children, disciplining, humor, politics no Tue, 21 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 596 Raising Welfare Children Politics & Philosophy Children are resilient: it makes little or no difference to a child how it comes into the world, in/out of wedlock, wanted/unwanted, poor/rich; children don't know and don't care; luckily for the human race which has spent the vast majority of its history raising children mostly in those conditions. The one statistic that is worrisome, however, is that children raised on Welfare, tend to never break out of the cycle of dependency. There is apparently a connection between The State being responsible for a child's upbringing versus a family or community. It might even come down to something as ephemeral as respect and love; not something a bureaucracy can ever provide, but a parent or community can. It's not like social scientists don't know this but they sit on their hands, probably because anytime somebody tries to do anything they run into politics. However, the solution is obvious: there's lots of informal babysitting, formalize it; there's lots of home-schooling, mostly informal, formalize it; there are lots of informal car pools to get kids to school and activities, and informal study halls, and informal sports, formalize them all. Use Apps, give the parents and kids smartphones. Also, recognize that among all the incompetent people that have children, some are competent, so dole most of the work out to them in return for their Welfare. The idiot parents can go take drugs, hook, hang around the park, whatever they do; when they finally get home, they can hug their kids, say they love them, take 2 minutes out of their sorry lives to make the kids feel wanted, then go away, leaving the true informal support network to pick up the slack.   Politics & Philosophy 2:44 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash children, welfare, politics, humor no Sun, 19 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 595 Single Moms Politics & Philosophy The stereotypical Single Mom has a child out of wedlock then is supported by the State; or the divorced mother of 3 clinging to alimony and child support from a begrudging Ex. Then there are moms who want the kid but don't want the partner, instead using a sperm-donor, who parade around like they're something special, and need elite treatment, proud that they are manipulating the future of society. The fact is, most moms are single even when they're married because the other parent is so wrapped up in themselves and their careers that mom is left alone to take care of their kids by herself. They're lives are no easier than celebrated Single Moms but not as fashionable. It's time to stop thinking about Single Moms and start focusing on the children; there is ample evidence that a two-parent home with a dominate male role model is the most beneficial to them. In the old days the two partner's would stay together for the sake of the kids, but that has been sacrificed to narcissism and selfishness. Single Mom kids are often budding socialists, thinking society owes them rather than visa versa. In fact, today's political divide could be described as the children of Single Moms versus the status quo, and that's not going to end any better than it started.   Politics & Philosophy 2:11 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash single moms, humor, politics no Fri, 17 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 594 Child Care Politics & Philosophy Times have changed in the past century, people are mobile; new parents don't live close to extended family to help take care of children any longer. Worse, child care is victim to the weaknesses of Market solutions, and has become way too expensive for young families just starting out. Tax deductions for children don't make sense because most of the people who really need daycare don't pay much taxes; and there's already a Child Credit, but giving people money at the end of the year is too disconnected from their expenses today. There's got to be a way for working mothers to drop their kids off somewhere without it costing half their low wage salary; and if they choose to stay at home with their children, that should be a benefit to society. New ages require new ways to address problems; child care can take advantage of the "Sharing Economy," utilizing Smartphone Apps. Childcare is not a profession that needs formal training; there are many, many people who can help raise children, and have already proved it. We have grandparents and neighbors babysitting now, and there's lots more grandparents whose kids don't live close enough to babysit but would babysit someone else's grandkids in exchange for the same for theirs. Plus, there's those stay-at-home moms who could handle someone else's child occasionally. Where you live isn't called a "community" just because the houses are close together.   Politics & Philosophy 2:14 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash children, child care, politics, humor no Wed, 15 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 593 Children Politics & Philosophy The #1 goal of any society is to perpetuate itself, and that means having children. That's why Reproductive Rights are strongly supported in U.S. jurisprudence: no forced contraception, no child-bearing licenses, parents decides for the child, and legal abortion. Unfortunately, there is a self-loathing component promoted by the Identity Politics Left that explicitly demands no more White babies, and there are many White Millennial woman who feel guilty because of this. There's also the negative pressure from Lefty Green politics, embodied in Environmentalism that creates a negative view of humanity; it's easy to feel sanctimonious about deer and salamanders, but White men, not so much. Having children has gone from being free throughout history to becoming incredibly expensive. It’s only been within the last couple centuries that kids were considered to be more than extra hands to work the farm. They paid for themselves by remaining ignorant and working 12 hour days from the age of 8. That’s no longer an acceptable solution to insuring reproduction, and religion's positive childbearing influence is waning, giving way to societal indoctrination in public schools that actually discourage children in a secondhand way with their emphasis in preventing teen-pregnancy, but no counteracting message that children are positive and beneficial, and having them in your twenties is a good thing.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash children, politics, humor no Mon, 13 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 592 Divorce Politics & Philosophy There's a 70% chance that marriages can stay together for a decade before they divorce, and an even chance that they can stay together for 20 years. Those would be pretty good odds in Vegas but somehow expectations, probably religious indoctrination, there's the idea that people would stay married for their whole lives. That's unrealistic. People change, and multiple decades is a lot of change. Divorce should be considered a normal practice so easy divorce is good; spouses shouldn't feel locked in forever. Quickie divorces between equal partners without children, no attorneys involved, are popular. Unfortunately, the specter of divorce hangs over men. The Cultural Marxist tactic of dividing people has clearly redefined marriage as men are Oppressors and women are Oppressed; historically, and forever more. Add in children, and a new class of indentured servitude has emerged; divorced men. The stereotype is that men lose their autonomy to venal, grasping women “taking everything,” but this is not born out in reality; many couples are young, buying things mostly on credit, and since money is a leading cause for divorce, when what little assets are split between spouses, there is not enough equity to carry so much debt, and all the things bought on credit get repossessed. Frankly, everyone wants to play victim, divorced men too.   Politics & Philosophy 2:25 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash divorce, humor, politics no Sat, 11 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 591 Marriage Politics & Philosophy Marriage is like a starting gun; until people get married, their lives are on hold. Marriage is where maturity comes from because it's when everything stops being only about you. Even bad marriages are better than never, and even divorce is better than never growing up. Marriage means making a commitment: marriage is buying a house, marriage is changing your friends, marriage is having a person you trust to make the DNR. Many people think marriage is archaic, that anything you can do with a marriage, you could do with a contract, but that's just as much marriage as standing in front of a priest. Many singles use the excuses that they can't afford marriage, or they don't want to be tied down, or they just haven't found the right person, but basically anybody can be married to anybody. Couples throughout history have done fine in arranged marriages, they still do, and most people marry the equivalent of the neighbor-girl, convenience and chance. Life is a series of lucky events: you're lucky when you find a partner to get married; maybe that one will work out, which would be fairytale-like, or maybe you have to try to get lucky again. Even if you lose everything in a divorce: next... And if you get children out of a marriage, that's worth the whole lot; both to you and to society. Tick, tick, tick; get married soon, you can't stay a kid forever.   Politics & Philosophy 2:18 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash marriage, politics, humor no Thu, 09 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 590 Trade Concepts Politics & Philosophy "Free" Trade is the darling of Collectivists and multinational corporations everywhere. A Trade Deficit leaks sovereignty away from America half a trillion dollars at a time. The Balance of Payments includes all the ways America is prostituting its economy to the world. “Free” Trade transfers wealth from everyone to The Rich. America is selling itself to other nations for trinkets. The Washington Consensus was the economic cover used to impose Globalist ideals on developing nations. Globalism is Collectivism, and Nationalism is liberty. The TPP is a Globalist plot to make all nations subject to the New World Order. Isolationism, in the form of nationalism, is a good thing. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.  ]]> Politics & Philosophy 2:30 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash trade, free trade, balance of payments, isolationism, humor, politics no Tue, 07 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 589 Isolationism Again Politics & Philosophy When trade increases productivity, it's a good thing, but when trade is used to bypass U.S. regulations, or undercut American workers, it's a bad thing. That's where the term “Fair trade” came from, as a means to discourage exploitation. Unfortunately, in the public's mind, trade is trade is trade, and trying to promote only Fair Trade or Balanced Trade, is ignored. The unfortunate fact is, exploitative trade is worse than no trade at all; America could provide everything its citizens need from within our borders, no need to enrich The 1% at everyone else's expense; no need to sell America to rich foreigners; no need to sacrifice the average American's liberty so that the Nouveau Aristocracy can get wealthier. “America First” is kind of an isolation; not just trade but abdicating our role as the world's policemen. In that regard, China is isolationist, Russia is isolationist, as are most other nations, at least with their nationalistic tendencies. In fact, the world is finding its nationalism again; regular people don't want to be part of a New World Order; they don't want to lose their sense of identity, nor be subject to the whims of Collectivists. America has been successfully isolationist before and is moving in that direction again, with the biggest beneficiary being liberty.   Politics & Philosophy 2:27 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash isolationism, isolationist, trade, politics, humor no Sun, 05 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 588 TPP Politics & Philosophy The TransPacific Partnership (TPP) was put on hiatus by the election of Donald Trump, but it still has relevance because the next president may be a Globalist rather than a Nationalist. The most noteworthy part of TPP was that it was a secret agreement. As odd as that sounds, its proponents seem to find no problem with America signing something that only a couple dozen business executives and Globalists knew what they were agreeing to. We have country-to-country trade now; which for a nationalist, is a lot better than an overarching worldwide business-to-business agreement, without input or control from its citizenry. The most heinous part of TPP was its enforcement mechanism. If your sovereign nation used democracy to create a regulation that would be detrimental to an international corporation's profits, such as an anti-smoking message on cigarette packaging, TPP provides a lackey-court to determine whether your nation owes the international corporation the profits it might have made without the regulation; then all the other nations in the TPP must stop trading with your nation until it pays up. The multinational banks simply won't process transactions of the violating nation, essentially excluding them from any world trade at all. If trade makes a nation, and business controls the trade, then TPP lets business control all nations. Consider how close the U.S. got to the brink...   Politics & Philosophy 2:29 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash transpacific partnership, TPP, humor, politics no Fri, 03 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 587 Globalists vs. Nationalists Politics & Philosophy Globalists want a One World Government and Open Borders, Collectivism on a grand scale. They use as justification their claim of less violence and longer lifespans that comes from doing what is best for everybody. The obvious problem with Globalization is that everyone has to have the same goals – worldwide. The opposite of Globalism is Nationalism, the attempt by a country to retain its own unique religions, customs, and traditions; to maintain national borders, and to encourage the goals and ideals of their own country on the international stage. The first loss to Globalism will be liberty; Globalism focuses on equality, usually in the arena of post-modernism; the claim that women and minorities have been continuously oppressed by Western culture, namely The Patriarchy, and that a New World Order would require the oppressors to stand down until everyone is on equal footing. Globalism also finds support among the international business community that would benefit from universal trade without national barriers, such as tariffs or local purchasing preferences. Among the more prosaic Globalist goals is to prevent robots, genetic engineering, and Climate Change. In my particular case, age and conflict aren't even in my Top 10 desires; I want anticipation, achievement, and adventure; I can't wait for the robots and genetically modified humans. I guess that makes me a Nationalist?   Politics & Philosophy 2:31 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash globalism, nationalism, humor, politics no Wed, 01 May 2019 07:00:00 -0700 586 Washington Consensus Politics & Philosophy The concept of “Free” Trade was formalized in the 1990s by economist John Williamson; the neoliberal policies of "stabilize, privatize, and liberalize trade." It was adopted by Washington, D.C.-based institutions; the IMF, World Bank, and U.S. Treasury, so it became known as the “Washington Consensus,” and was immediately contentious. For example, the policy's emphasis on penetrating developing countries by global markets before those countries had established economic equilibrium of their own. There was also the concern that Markets would eclipse State functions. It was during this period that Globalist power was at its peak, with international conglomerates overwhelming small countries in court, crushing all their nationalistic aims. Essentially, the Washington Consensus exploits the fact that immigration controls are the equivalent of tariffs on labor, with the difference in pay profiting international corporations. Developing countries were encouraged to implement the policies of the Washington Consensus as a condition for receiving loans from the IMF and World Bank; emphasizing Free Markets by reducing State regulation, and impinging on national sovereignty. Often, the reforms led to destabilization, especially in Latin America; the same kind of problems that have caused the increasing income inequality in the United States. The Washington Consensus is generally considered to be a failed concept; it's now accepted that economic strategies work best if they are specifically designed for individual countries, but the chaos it wrought still lingers, and Globalists have not gone away quietly.   Politics & Philosophy 2:45 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash washington consensus, free trade, politics, humor no Mon, 29 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 585 Selling America Politics & Philosophy Another nation cannot exchange their currency for U.S. Treasuries, otherwise they would simply print their way into having America's taxpayers be their slaves. No, they've got to use U.S. dollars, and they've got to get those dollars from someplace. Congo and Kyrgyzstan don't have a lot of U.S. Treasuries but China does: why is that? When Apple builds a factory in China, it has to convert U.S. dollars, and the Chinese use those dollars to buy American assets: stocks and property. Apple essentially sold a piece of America to a foreign power so that they could get richer. The euphemism is that Apple is “investing” in China, and China is “investing” in the U.S., but do we really want major property and business ownership to be in the hands of foreigners whose national interest is not our own? Do we want them buying Real Estate, creating bubbles that deny home ownership to average Americans? It's actually worse than that: compare if Apple spends $100 million in the U.S. employing American workers who pay taxes and buy things from people who pay taxes and buy things, and so forth; but if Apple spends the same money in China, Chinese workers get the money, the U.S. receives no taxes. Also, Chinese workers buy things from Chinese people who pay no taxes to the U.S., and so forth. Who really benefits from Globalism?   Politics & Philosophy 2:26 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash foreign investment, humor, politics no Sat, 27 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 584 Free Trade is Regressive Politics & Philosophy When the word “progressive” is used in economic terms, it means the transfer of wealth downward, rich to poor. Conversely, “regressive” means the opposite, wealth goes upward; poor to rich. Free trade is regressive because it transfers wealth from the 99% to The 1%. How it does that has been obscured by the proselytizing that free trade provides cheaper goods for everyone, and that “a rising tide lifts all boats,” which seems true on the surface, except for a little publicized counter-example: The U.S. has enormous trade deficits, meaning foreign countries are awash in U.S. money; and what do they do with those dollars? They buy U.S. Treasuries, and who ultimately pays off Treasuries? U.S. taxpayers. Free trade is subsidized by taxpayers, therefore the real price of free trade goods must include those costs, so the ultimate price of a free trade good is closer to the price if the product was made domestically. In the final analysis, average taxpayers are paying about the same overall with The 1% getting money equal to the Trade Deficit. A similar thing happens when a company builds a $100 million factory in China. The $100 million comes back in the form of China buying U.S. Treasuries, so the U.S. taxpayers are on the hook for the $100 million, so the only people that benefit from “free” trade are China and the company's shareholders.   Politics & Philosophy 2:25 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash free trade, trade deficit, politics, humor no Thu, 25 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 583 Balance of Payments Politics & Philosophy Though the media tends to focus on the Trade Deficit, there are many other ways that foreign nations can receive U.S. dollars that they then send back to the U.S., which finances our National Debt, and often causes bubbles. Balance of Payments is the economic term that encompasses everything; it includes Foreign Aid America makes to other countries, that's about $40 billion a year; immigrants transferring money back to their families, that's over $120 billion a year; counterfeiting, at a measly $200 million, is too small to notice, but illegal drug sales are about $100 billion a year, and another $100 billion a year from U.S. companies investing in China. With a Trade Deficit of $750 billion, plus all the other items, something over a $trillion needs corrected for. Foreign countries presumably do the same things back, so ideally, the deficit could be counterbalanced such that the total Balance of Payments is zero, and some figures indicate that it is. There were a couple decades, during the so-called “Washington Consensus,” when influential economists had convinced governments that the Balance of Payments did not matter, but the tide has changed; in fact, a zero balance of payments should be a nation's primary economic goal. This requires trade deals be renegotiated, unmatched investments in other countries to be discouraged, and financial transactions between countries scrutinized; all things the Trump administration is now pursuing.   Politics & Philosophy 2:31 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash balance of payments, humor, politics no Tue, 23 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 582 Trade Deficit Politics & Philosophy For the past decade, the U.S. has been running a three-quarters of a $trillion Trade Deficit, the largest trade imbalance of any nation by far, over $10 trillion so far just this century, but “Free” Trade advocates insist this is not inherently a problem. They claim that in a fast-growing economy, trade provides the needed jump in productivity required to prevent inflation, and a rising tide lifts all boats. Unfortunately, the economy in the U.S. has fluctuated between robust and anemic during the same period without much of a change in the Trade Deficit. Also, they say high interest rates make our goods more expensive, inciting imports, but the U.S. has had low interest rates the entire 21st Century, so continued insistence that the mounting debt is harmless are not reassuring. It's not just imports; when American companies set up shop in China, Vietnam, Mexico, etc., they are using $. Add to that all the $ sent home by immigrants, legal and otherwise. The causes of a Trade Deficit include the strength of the currency, and since the dollar is the world's Reserve currency, it's the safe haven for countries looking for someplace to keep their money. Included in that is all their surplus trade dollars coming back, which creates financial and market bubbles as other countries look for things to invest in the U.S.: property, stocks, bonds, Treasuries, and derivatives; a form of financial colonization. This also raises the specter of other, possibly hostile, nations having the leverage to crash the U.S. economic system, unless of course, the U.S. government never intends to pay off its debt, in which case, Americans got all those foreign made products for free. If that happens, the Trade Deficit can actually be viewed as tribute from the World for the U.S. being so awesome.   Politics & Philosophy 2:51 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash trade deficit, humor, politics no Sun, 21 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 581 "Free" Trade Again Politics & Philosophy “Free” Trade is essentially the exploitation of destitute labor in other countries, only to impoverish our own, for the benefit of a small Nouveau Aristocracy. Worse, it cedes our national sovereignty to international courts, trade tribunals, and military pacts, which is extremely anti-democratic and certainly not in the best interests of our nation's citizens, violating the very essence of liberty. While Trade in general leads to better lives for everyone, “Free” Trade concentrates the benefits to a few, most often not even citizens of the U.S. Trump's attack on “Free” Trade is not unprovoked. Lilliputians know how to defeat a giant; swarm over it while it's unaware and tie it down with ropes; that's what NAFTA, WTO, and the proposed TPP did. When those agreements were made, the U.S. invariably took a subservient position, and the supposedly unbiased special trade courts found against the U.S. over 90% of the time. Other presidents said they were going to do something about the exploitation of the U.S. but they never did anything. Why? Because the weapon is tariffs, and gall enough to take on the whole world. Until Trump, there wasn't a president willing to take the political hit, but Trump rightly believes that no trade is better than “Free” Trade.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash free trade, trade, humor, politics no Fri, 19 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 580 Trade Politics & Philosophy The U.S. is a large enough nation that it could theoretically supply anything it needed from within its own borders, but in the essential economic equation: consumption = production, trade can play an important part by increasing productivity. There are Capitalism reasons for trade with other countries but the increase in productivity it provides is the most important; some countries have a production advantage on some products that the U.S. simply can't match. Trade is a win-win situation; however, it's fraught with exploitative opportunities, both to and from. Some kinds of trade are good: balanced trade is awesome; tit-for-tat, they buy as much from us as we sell to them. Fair trade, the concept that Workers in other countries must be paid similar, and have the same regulations, as in the U.S., is fraught with ambiguity but workable because it's constantly being scrutinized. "Free" Trade, however, is not so good. Yes, everyone benefits but The 1% benefit more, and there is no redistribution of wealth so it concentrates, which is a drag on liberty, the single most important ideal, more important than trade or productivity.   Politics & Philosophy 2:07 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash trade, balanced trade, fair trade, free trade, politics, humor no Wed, 17 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 579 Corporate Concepts Politics & Philosophy The whole concept of a corporation is confused, let's review: Business has no ethics, which leads to unethical behavior. A Liberty society relies of contracts to exist. Conduct Agreements are antithetical to liberty. Regulatory Capture is the most exploitative example of government oversight. Corporate Raiders are much more bad than good. Corporation bashing sets the table for socialism. Systemic Risk is based on predicting the future. Productivity is the most basic requirement of economics. Consumers are both the boon and bust of society. Unethical business creates unethical consumers. The U.S. has become an oligopoly of the Deep State and business influence. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:11 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash corporations, consumers, politics, humor no Mon, 15 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 578 Oligopoly Politics & Philosophy People don't use the word “oligopoly” much anymore, except to describe Russian billionaires; we now use the word “Elites” to describe power concentrated into a small inner-circle of Deep State and monied interests that control the country. Oligopolies inevitably develop over time, a side effect of democracy. Indications of oligopoly are elected leaders who are related to each other, like the Bushes or the Clinton family, and revolving door lobbyists, plus all the bureaucratic underlings who mutually benefit via power or money. Another sign is an elected president who must contend with behind-the-scenes resistance from the past administration's holdovers. Unfortunately, Capitalism is easy prey to oligopoly, so it seems certain to occur if there is no ethical indoctrination against it, or mechanism to prevent or dismantle it. America seemed resistant to oligopoly in the past but that may be an illusion of history; those old famous ultra-rich families are still ultra-rich, moreso even; how did they get and stay that way without extraordinary behind-the-stage influence. The monolithic alignment of media against Donald Trump is proof enough that the U.S. has slipped into an oligopoly, finally making The People aware of it, but it's difficult to tell right now if he is the cure or its victim.   Politics & Philosophy 2:17 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash oligopoly, humor, politics no Sat, 13 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 577 Unethical Consumers Politics & Philosophy There's no ethics in business. In fact, business has no goal but to make a profit, and no rules but those established by government; why should it be any different for their customers? People have to voluntarily obey the law, and since in many cases regular people don't know what the law is, they follow the ethics ingrained in them by society. Often, the chance of being detected, let alone punished is so remote that only society's conditioning prevents wholesale abandonment of any ethics whatsoever. Overpaid? Keep it. Wrong product? Yours; pirate movies; skip having a ticket by going in the exit; there a thousand different ways to abuse the trust society depends on. When the relationship between business and consumers becomes adversarial enough; for example, the monopolistic cable provider inexorably raising prices, the resentment of its consumers will lead to pilfering any time the opportunity arises. It's gotten to the point where businesses must provide their own enforcement, private security officers in stores, now twice as many as there are police. When people have to be forced to be ethical by cameras and an army, how is that different than a Police State, and this disparity is only going to increase because unethical consumers are growing at a faster rate than honest ones.   Politics & Philosophy 2:09 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash unethical consumers, consumers, politics, humor no Thu, 11 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 576 Consumers Politics & Philosophy After that first bit of necessary consumption: food, shelter, protection; being a consumer is actually empowering. Buying things puts control into the hands of the purchaser. For some people, this is a proactive way they can position themselves in the dominance hierarchy, which is why the thing they buy is not nearly as important as being the one making decisions and ordering around the staff. For example, shoes are very personal, almost unique to the individual, have lots and lots of varieties, are relatively cheap, require an attendant, and makes the consumer happy, which makes purchasing shoes the ideal example of consumerism, but how many pairs of shoes does one person need? Consumers also find cohesiveness in the things they buy since the places they shop at, limit what they can purchase to what the majority of people want. This is a very subtle but powerful way to create a cultural cohesion because a nation is what it consumes, which makes the backlash against consumerism very concerning; yes, people can live in the forest, wearing only a loincloth and eating twigs & leafs, but that's on the wrong end of the spectrum of the goal of only working 3-hours a week. Tarzan's opportunities for self-improvement are severely limited compared to George Jetson's.   Politics & Philosophy 2:10 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash consumers, politics, humor no Tue, 09 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 575 Productivity Politics & Philosophy Isn't the goal for everybody to live like the Jetsons, working 3 hours per week, and spending the rest of the time pursuing your own muse. There's only one way to get there and that's through an economic system that increases productivity, specifically a Market-based system that relies on greed for motivation. No one makes a new machine that replaces hundreds of jobs out of altruism; they do it so that they can increase their own little nest-egg. If greed is made unpalatable by the politics of envy, increases in productivity stop; in fact, productivity decreases. Almost all increases in productivity come from progress; scientific, technical, information, managerial; but no one can ever forget that somewhere someone is pushing the button or the broom. No matter how fancy the machinery gets, people still have to work, at least enough so that production equals consumption. Producing implies consuming so the connection between work ethic and buying a new 4-wheeler or iPhone must be clear, and it needs to be on a personal level; your productivity equals your consumption. Work ethic is so important to society that it must be instilled at youth, as it used to be; clean your room, do your homework, go to practice. A society that does not ingrain in its citizens the relationship between consuming and producing is doomed.   Politics & Philosophy 2:22 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash productivity, consumption, work ethic, humor, politics no Sun, 07 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 574 Systemic Risk Politics & Philosophy Reminding people that no one can predict the future is a Fool's Errand; getting a glimpse into what will happen next is one of life's biggest entertainments. That's why soothsayers, such as “public intellectual” Nicholas Taleb, gets away with his ridiculous “systemic risk” argument. That hogwash reasoning is often central to the "we must do something about Climate Change” refrain, and goes like this: Climate Change is so big, and so horrific, that no matter how small the chance that it might happen, we must assume it will happen, and do whatever we have to. It's not just the fortune telling that undermines such dishonest reasoning, it's the applicability to almost anything. How about the chance of the volcanic basin in Yellowstone National Park erupting, or the great California earthquake, or a meteorite strike? Applying this same logic to Muslims: if there's even a tiny chance that 1.6 billion Muslims plan to take over the world, form a theocracy and subjugate women then we must assume it will happen, and act accordingly. Systemic Risk arguments sound plausible to the illogical, but it's an easy step to preparing for space aliens attacking Earth.   Politics & Philosophy 2:09 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash systemic risk, politics, humor no Fri, 05 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 573 Corporation Bashing Politics & Philosophy The animosity directed towards corporations has been increasing for the past couple of decades, starting about the time of the fall of the Soviet Union. That's not a coincidence; the rise in support for socialism in America requires the demonization of Capitalism, most exemplified in bashing corporations, but leading directly to disdain of business in general. From there, scorn and ridicule gets heaped on the person who operates a service station or sandwich shop. Meritocracy itself, denigrated as part of “The Patriarchy,” is under fire. People are always looking for a bogeyman that is causing their problems, but when the scapegoat is foundational to our society, and the hate and venom is deflecting onto the people who are its backbone, pitting neighbor against neighbor, this will lead to non-cooperation and diminishes all our lives. It's happening now, and its cause is clear: when socialism again became acceptable, so did the inevitable collapse of The American Dream. The solution isn't to reign-in corporations, the solution is to delegitimize socialism, but who's going to do that? Corporations? Government? Religion? Where does a resuscitation of Capitalism's image begin?   Politics & Philosophy 2:04 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash corporations, corporation bashing, politics, humor no Wed, 03 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 572 Corporate Raiders Politics & Philosophy Capitalism's biggest exploit is to legally steal the savings of everyday people. Corporate raiders leverage the weaknesses of corporate governance to fleece the companies they infect. Their intention is to take out massive loans, draining a floundering company of all equity, then eventually bankrupting, leaving bond-holders and stockholders in the lurch. It's only possible because there are multiple opaque layers and not enough caution because all the intermediaries make money no matter what. The people hurt are the clueless investors who financed the junk bond loans through their funds, and the company's minority shareholders whose stocks become valueless. Corporate Raiders have absolutely no value; they do not thin the herds of the weak as their supporters so often declare, but instead siphon off the remaining value of a failing business, that could instead be used to replenish underfunded worker's pensions, and if the company went broke naturally, the stockholders and bond holders would have at least got something back on their investment. The fact that corporate raiders can operate with impunity is indication that they spread their ill-gotten gains around to the people who should otherwise be prosecuting them. Consider that one of their ilk, Mitt Romney, of Bain Capital infamy, was governor of Massachusetts, ran for president, and is now a senator from Utah; a modern-day pirate supported by his Mormon voting block, suffering no consequences for his actions. No wonder Capitalism has a bad name.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash corporate raiders, politics, humor no Mon, 01 Apr 2019 07:00:00 -0700 571 Regulatory Capture Politics & Philosophy Economist Bruce Yandle identified the Baptist & Bootleggers theory of government regulations; it's the combination of self-righteous, highly motivated sanctimonious do-gooders who want control over everyone else's lives, in a blind partnership with the smugglers and underworld interests that benefit by violating new restrictions. There's also the shadowy for-profit interests hiding behind public-interest groups to fund deceptive legislation intended to reduce competition, then charge higher prices than it costs them to comply. Unfortunately, many regulations are the demon spawn of just such alliances; everyday examples include the Clean Air Act, Pure Food and Drug Act, NAFTA, and the tobacco settlement, among many others over the past three decades. How do we stop this nefarious practice? First, business should not be able to contribute to campaigns. This seems like a no-brainer but somehow has been compromised at the Supreme Court level. Second, forbid lobbyists of any kind; how can a normal human being just trying to do their job be expected to remain objective under a barrage of temptation, bullying, and expert cajoling. Third and most important, retired regulators should be barred from benefiting from the industry they were regulating. These three suggestions won't stop Bootleggers from cynically supporting the Baptists but it will show that we know they're doing it.   Politics & Philosophy 2:26 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash regulations, regulatory capture, bootleggers and baptists, humor, politics no Sat, 30 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0700 570 Conduct Agreements Politics & Philosophy It's unconscionable for you to sign yourself into slavery or indentured servitude so no court will enforce such a contract, but a Conduct Agreement, which is almost the same thing, is not the same because it isn't about forcing you to remain under contract but instead to dismiss you from one; you don't act like someone tells you to act, you're fired. This makes a Conduct Agreement very ethically challenging; you are being held to the subjective moral tenets of someone else, even in your private life. As problematic as this concept sounds, there are some professions, being a product spokesman for example, where a very narrow Conduct Agreement is appropriate; however, that gray line can easily turn into something more sinister. For example, when an employee's conduct has little to do with a company's reputation yet they have to maintain some personal code, possibly religious; perhaps your company may want you to pray, or say the Pledge of Allegiance. If so, is it okay for them to scrutinize your personal sexual habits? Considering the ramifications, a Conduct Agreement is actually compelled conduct, including Speech, which seems unacceptable from a liberty perspective. No realm; not business, not education, not politics, should be able to compel conduct in anyone's private life, not just the Constitutional ramifications, but because it exposes people's reputations and livelihoods to the banal, subjective, selfish interests of others who would benefit from turning you in. It becomes a society of watching over your shoulder, and suspecting your neighbor. Your private conduct is not up for anyone else to agree with.   Politics & Philosophy 2:46 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash conduct agreement, humor, politics no Thu, 28 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0700 569 Contracts Politics & Philosophy Boiled down to its essence, “Rule of Law” means contract enforcement; when someone violates the terms of agreement of a contract, State Violence is there to crush the shirker, and both parties must be held accountable for their parts, with penalties attached for non-performance. In fact, all contracts are really about adjudicating force, so there must be clearly identified goals with measurable results that a jury can understand and judge. There is also the special case where one of the parties to the agreement has an overwhelming advantage, more than a jury would be willing to support; those contracts are void because they are unenforceable. Besides contracts that you have to explicitly sign, there are more ephemeral implicit contracts; the so-called “social” contract being a prime example that has a huge impact on our lives. Unfortunately, without exactly spelled out expectations and duties of all parties, implicit contracts generate conflict due of their subjectivity; people interpret the actions of others based on their own ideology, and there is no court of law to adjudicate. For example, the liberty interpretation of the social contract considers people being responsible for themselves, but the Collectivist view is that good-fortune should be shared with everybody; clearly the antithesis of each other, but the world couldn't run without implicit contracts. For both types of contracts; explicit and implicit, people have to want to honor them for them to work.   Politics & Philosophy 2:31 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash contracts, politics, humor no Tue, 26 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0700 568 Business Ethics Politics & Philosophy A business is not a person, it is a machine, so can have no morals. In fact, a business should be amoral because morals are subjective, not legally objective, so they cannot be applied nor enforced; it's ridiculous to even try. Ethics are similarly artificial, and have the same fundamental problem of: why should everyone be under the yoke of the ethics of the few? A clear line between people and business needs to be drawn; one that separates the moral, ethical, and social obligations of people from business. For a business, the only rule more important than generating profits is to stay within the confines of the law. This is a pretty wide interpretation because it means anything not specifically restricted is open to business, which leads to exploitation unless there are regulations stopping it, which works, as long as the process of regulation is formalized, and not subject to morals or ethics. It's never business that's the problem, it's the the people who run business that are flawed; people who forget that business serves society, not the other way around. This same situation applies to government.   Politics & Philosophy 2:11 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash business ethics, ethics, business, politics, humor no Sun, 24 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0700 567 Immigration Concepts Politics & Philosophy Today's politics swirls around immigration, making the concepts timely: Government shirks its duty by making employers responsible for enforcing immigration policy. Adverse possession is the legal concept that people who live here, legally or not, become partial owners. Immigrants imply productivity but refugees imply consumption. Anchor Babies combined with Chain Migration take most of the selectivity out of our immigration policy. You don't have to look too far to see that having more people does not automatically mean more prosperity. The Globalist concept of Open Borders makes everyone citizens of the world, not of nations. Immigrant societies that don't integrate are destined to split apart. Illegal Immigrants already vote on local issues in some cities, and there's a history of non-citizens voting in the U.S. How has illegal immigration reached the point that troops are required at the Border? A national census that doesn't ask citizenship status wastes time & money. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:32 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash immigration, anchor babies, chain migration, illegal immigration, citizenship, humor politics no Fri, 22 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0700 566 Census Citizenship Politics & Philosophy The U.S. Census is commanded in the U.S. Constitution to be made every 10 years. Besides the actuarial interest it generates, it also has political ramifications because it determines how the 435 U.S. House representatives are allocated among the States, and what Identity Groups receive government money, so it has become a lightening rod of controversy. For example, the next Census is during Trump's administration and he'd like to include a question about citizenship. This has inflamed the non-citizens and anti-border advocates, who don't want those numbers accurately known. Of course, cries of “racism” were immediately raised, though the irony is that the Census is already patently racist; until 1970, Hispanics/Spanish/Latino were grouped in with “White,” and still are when ethnicity of our prison population is counted. Eventually Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, and Other Spanish got their own categories, though people from India are still counted as White. Why race is even a question on a census is debatable, but whether people here are citizens or not seems very important since it impacts Voter's Rights. A citizenship question used to be on all census forms in 1950, and on the Long Form from 1970 until 2000. There was a change in 2010 to make the census easier to fill out in an attempt to get greater participation, so the citizenship question was dropped, but in this age of ulterior political motives, where immigrants are more revered than existing citizens, and the idea of borders is under attack, the argument is that everyone is a citizen of the world, and everyone in the world is a rightful citizen of the U.S., the census has become a symbol of Nationalism.   Politics & Philosophy 2:51 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash census, citizenship, politics, humor no Wed, 20 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0700 565 Troops at the Border Politics & Philosophy A couple of times in the past decades, presidents Bush and Obama made the symbolic gesture of sending National Guard troops to the Mexican border to help prevent illegal immigration because the numbers are staggering, over 35,000 arrests a month. Trump did it too when news of an “Immigrant Caravan” started hitting the news. He sent 6,000 troops, but it's kind of a voluntary thing on State governor's part; 6 States decided not to send any troops, and 3 States brought their troops home after a few months. It's not like the soldiers can do much to stop border crossings due Defense Department regulations, they won't even be carrying guns, however, they can probably watch screens and listen for alarms, and they could accompany real border guards as training exercises, then rush in to scare the bejesus out of desperate people who are already apprehensive of soldiers. Fear works. Guys in military garb, wearing sun-glasses and holding machine guns is great theatrics, lots of noise, bad smells, scary closeness; make the women and children cry and the men cower. Described like that, it seems unlikely having troops at the border has any real positive effect, but they do reassure people who want a wall.   Politics & Philosophy 2:11 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash troops at the borders, illegal immigrants, immigrants, politics, humor no Mon, 18 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0700 564 Illegal Immigrants Voting Politics & Philosophy Americans have been limiting immigration since 1790, and started the immigration service in 1891 to really put the brakes on who was getting into the U.S. They wanted God-fearing Europeans for the most part, and certainly none of those Chinese or more Blacks. However, citizenship still had to be acquired before an immigrant became a full member of society, including voter's rights, but many immigrants, even though they were here legally, never became citizens. The U.S. Constitution leaves voting requirements up to the States, and nothing in the Constitution limits voting to citizens, though citizens can't be prevented from voting while non-citizens can be. Up until 1875, 22 States allowed non-citizens to vote nationally, but by 1926, all States had excluded them. In 1996, a federal law was passed limiting voting only to citizens in federal elections, however, the Supreme Court disallowed citizenship checks before voting so it becomes a post hoc enforcement issue with few actual examples of penalties. For local elections, States have their own rules, and even cities can enfranchise whoever they want. In recent years, the argument has not been about whether only citizens should be allowed to vote, but about Illegal Immigrants, who are obviously not citizens, so the citizenship canard is used against them. Cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and small cities around America already allow Illegal Immigrants to vote, though no States do, and some Western nations, Denmark and New Zealand for example, allow non-citizens to vote. It makes sense that the people who live together vote together, regardless of citizenship or residency status, but there is the fear that unfettered Illegal Immigration that reorganizes whole communities through voting will lead to a culture clash so severe that it becomes divisive, degrading society cohesiveness rather than improving it, the opposite of what voting is intended to do.   Politics & Philosophy 3:01 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash illegals, illegal immigrants, voting, politics, humor no Sat, 16 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0700 563 Immigrant Societies Politics & Philosophy An immigrant society isn't just a nation with lots of immigrants; without integration, that could easily end up as balkanization, where the society tears itself apart physically. The U.S., the leading nation recently built of immigrants, but also Australia and New Zealand, have all integrated just about anybody who shows up on their shores because a successful immigrant society homogenizes all of its peoples and cultures; what used to be called in America, “the Melting Pot.” Unfortunately, current Leftist dogma is trying to make this concept unfashionable. Instead, they intend immigrants to wield separate but unified power for themselves, exploiting democracy to benefit their specific race and culture, rather than integrate into the mainstream and vote on issues as a like-minded nation. The peril of this attitude is the division it causes. Resentment among those who consider themselves special due to their lineage is common in any tribal situation. Globalism attempts to circumvent that natural, evolutionary resistance, but the backlash may be substantial, as it is now worldwide, with a resurgence of national identity over individual identity. Politically, nationalism is considered the purview of The Right, and there are many heinous examples of nations experiencing extreme prejudice towards what they consider immigrants: Hutus versus Tutsis in Rwanda; Serbs versus Muslims in Croatia; Germans versus Jews during the Nazi era, and more recent examples all over the globe; but those occur because there was no integration. Society requires its diversified immigrant members to become one, not a number of diverse immigrant societies.   Politics & Philosophy 2:40 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash immigrants, society, humor, politics no Thu, 14 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0700 562 Open Borders Politics & Philosophy Open-Borders advocates have lots of reasons why immigration is good, and they will intentionally conflate illegal immigrants with legal ones, grouping them all together as if the same considerations apply. The Democratic Party seems to have taken this position, and most of the mainstream news media. In fact, Democratic candidates and members of congress are already calling for an end of ICE, the agency tasked with border enforcement. The existing immigrant communities, of which there are many, also support this for the obvious reason that more of their own people can come in. The Democratic Party finds the concept strategic because the vast majority of new immigrants will vote Democratic for the free stuff, an ever-increasing cycle. The Open Borders argument is basically: if people want to come to the U.S., they should be able to. But this gives all the power to the immigrant, and none to the citizens already living here. It's not up to the immigrants on whether they get to enter the U.S., it's up to us. Most immigrants simply want a better life, but even if they're poor, hungry, or will die otherwise, there's still a process, so they can be screened, and possibly denied. The whole issue is a referendum on Globalism; the idea that all human beings are one, that there are no national boundaries, and that there should be an enforced culture of secular humanism throughout the world. The cabal promoting this Globalism concept are governmental elites, international businesses, and Marxists. In their eyes, citizenship is a thing of the past; you belong to the world.   Politics & Philosophy 2:32 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash open borders, immigration, politics, humor no Tue, 12 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0700 561 The More The Merrier Politics & Philosophy Some pro-immigrant arguments are of the-more-the-merrier variety; they cite studies that conclude that more & more immigrants of any kind make a country wealthier & wealthier. That claim seems easy enough to debunk because, if true, places where refugees go now should be showing signs of wealth & opulence; places like Pakistan, Uganda & Bangladesh. An obvious question would be; how come those migrants didn't the-more-the-merrier where they already were? Obviously they don't, so there must be other ingredients involved, not just random migrants show up and everything's better. The one ultimate truth of all economics is that production must be equal to consumption, so immigrants that produce more than they consume probably fit the-more-the-merrier archtype, but when you consider that in today's America, more than half the people are net consumers, and those are people who are already up-to-speed with how America works, what percentage of immigrants are going to be producers when they touch American soil? Certainly, they will experience some length of downtime, and that's where the balancing equation comes in: who can be nurtured and helped into helping America? More deadbeats sure aren't going to be making America any merrier.   Politics & Philosophy 2:08 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash immigration, migrants, humor, politics no Sun, 10 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0700 560 Refugees vs. Immigrants Politics & Philosophy The word “refugee” conjures up preconceptions of starving, huddled masses, living in make-shift tents, and eating charity-supplied rice. There's absolutely nothing good about this image, automatically triggering people's innate sense of pity & altruism. Exploiting sympathy has become a staple of The Left as a way to open borders and eliminate national boundaries, which is why a nation should be wary of admitting refugees. We must not let emotion and sanctimony override our self-interest. Refugees are entirely different than immigrants. Immigrants, the legal kind, conjure images of ambitious, hard-working American Dreamers, while refugees are more fodder for the Welfare roles. Immigrants want their own responsibility, while refugees consider themselves victims and expect to be taken care of. Winners in America's pseudo-meritocracy welcome immigrants, while Capitalism's losers prefer refugees because at least there's someone below them on the success hierarchy. There is no good solution for refugees, a hand-out and hands-off approach seems safest, yet still helping those who qualify as potential productive citizens to become immigrants.   Politics & Philosophy 2:15 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash refugees, immigrants, humor, politics no Fri, 08 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0800 559 Anchor Babies Politics & Philosophy Immigration into the U.S. doesn't have to be legally sanctioned, and often isn't. Sneaking over the border in the desert at night, or overstaying a visa may be the most publicized methods, but loopholes in the immigration law also provide entry to sophisticated scofflaws, the most famous being the misunderstood idea that if you are born in the U.S., you are automatically a citizen. Citizenship by birth, called jus soli, which means “right of the soil,” or Birthright citizenship, is a product of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states, "All persons born in the United States are citizens of the United States.” However, an 1898 Supreme Court decision added the requirement that the mother must have permanent domicile in the U.S. This residency requirement is not widely known, and seems to be ignored. There's also the related concept of “maternity tourism,” a phenomenon where wealthy Asian women come to the U.S. to give birth to a child so that it would automatically gain U.S. citizenship, eventually providing the child's family a way to get into the U.S. themselves through another loophole, the process of “chain migration,” where related family members can enter the U.S. sponsored by an already admitted family member. It's the most common form of immigration, used in over 60% of the cases, amounting to over three-quarters of a million immigrants a year. Without enforcement of the residency requirement for mothers, and restriction on chain migration; border enforcement, wall or no wall, is little more than showmanship.   Politics & Philosophy 2:34 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash immigration, anchor babies, chain migration, illegal immigration, humor politics no Wed, 06 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0800 558 Illegals Possession Politics & Philosophy Immigration, legal or not, is how populations act. You can accept it as fact and look for solutions or you can fight the inevitable with rancor and incivility towards newcomers. Persecution is an unsavory option. Conservatives point at the law as their justification for denial of citizenship, and they believe in punishment for breaking the law, but pragmatism suggests that democracy is for all, not just for the ones who got here first. Civil rights would never have happened without public disavowal of the law at that time, and now immigration needs other solutions than are available in the law. Unfortunately, Democrats are acting with self-serving cynicism on illegal immigration because it empowers their Party, whereas Conservatives are resentful of newcomers who receive the same benefits as them without recognizing their superior status. With unsavory motives like those, is another way to look at it? U.S. Property Law has always recognized Adverse Possession: you must forcibly remove people you think are on your land illegally or it becomes theirs. Support for that idea is fuzzy, encompassing the mystic of land for hard labor, and disrespect for absent landlords. It can be interpreted a number of ways but one thing is for certain; people who are on the same land are in the same tribe because the things that happen to that land happen to everyone on it, so they should have a say. Democracy doesn't get more fundamental then that. This concept underlies the idea that if we allow illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. indefinitely then they become owners too.   Politics & Philosophy 2:41 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash immigration, illegals, illegal immigration, adverse possession, humor, politics no Mon, 04 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0800 557 Employing Illegal Immigrants Politics & Philosophy There's a reason poor people from other countries want to live in the United States but the citizenry of the United States has no obligation to them. We can offer charity or not, it's entirely up to us; there's no Pope nor other sanctimonious cretins who can override our will because they are holier-than-us, know-better-n-us, or more-powerful-than-us. If The People don't want to allow entry, that's it, choice made, but once Illegal Immigrants are in America, what do we do then? Anytime someone mentions illegal immigration and how to stop it, somebody always suggests penalizing the people who employ them. Not only does this make private citizens responsible for government's border control obligations but what kind of enforcement are they imagining against employers? Destroy their business? Put legal citizens in jail for hiring Illegals and not even deport the Illegals? Plus, half the population is going to be covering for the Illegals. A huge portion of California is Hispanic, millions of them illegal. Their communities will certainly go Underground Railroad; law enforcement can't penetrate that. A quarter of U.S. commerce is grey-market now, it will simply expand; just drive by a Home Depot in the morning and see the Illegals waiting in the parking lot for somebody who's willing to hire them. No, making employers responsible is not going to work, especially when any lawyer can set up an LLC that employs Illegals that nobody will ever be prosecuted for. Laws only works if people want to abide by them, and immigration is one of those things that can only be prevented, not penalized.   Politics & Philosophy 2:48 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash illegals, illegal immigration, politics, humor no Sat, 02 Mar 2019 07:00:00 -0800 556 Monetary Concepts Politics & Philosophy Money is always confusing, so let's review some concepts: There are other ways to pay for public services but only taxes can redistribute concentrated wealth. Taxes are a mixed bag of who pays and who benefits, often counterproductive. Really, only the Nouveau Aristocracy need to pay taxes. Taxes aren't necessary as long as production is high and the money printing presses are hot. States all tax differently because people are confused about what they are for. Small Business shouldn't be in the tax collection business for The State. Treasuries represent debt; no need to issue them, just print money. The Fed's primary power is the ability to print money. If gold were money, an aristocracy would own everything. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.     Politics & Philosophy 2:13 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash money, monetarism, monetary, the fed, politics, humor no Thu, 28 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800 555 Golden Aristocracy Politics & Philosophy Basing dollars on gold to prevent the printing of money is called monetarism: the idea is that there is only so much gold in the world which represents all the wealth in the world: get all the gold, have all the wealth. This misguided and superficial concept of money is easily debunked; for example, every time a bank makes a loan, money was essentially “printed,” no gold involved. Still, uncomprehending people often think a gold standard is a good idea because they don't know or don't care that monetarism leads to an aristocracy. Let me provide a simple explanation: Consumables are goods that disappear: food, services, entertainment, throw away products, etc. These goods are still produced, they just aren't durable. Most people are consumers, almost everything they purchase, they consume. If there is a gold standard, someone receives gold for food or whatever, but the gold is still around after the food is gone. Eventually, a few people end up with all the gold, and everybody else has nothing because they consumed it. Fiscal economies don't have this problem; they "print" money to equal the production of goods and services on a continuing basis. The amount of money can increase indefinitely as long as supply equals demand, but it does dilute the existing money as an equivalent to wealth, which is why the aristocrats who want to own everything, prefer gold.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash gold standard, monetarism, fiscal, humor, politics no Tue, 26 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800 554 The Fed Politics & Philosophy Why do Libertarians hate The Fed, America's central bank: what does raising and lowering interbank interest rates do that's so damning in their view? It turns out, The Fed also indirectly prints money. The U.S. government can't get “investors” to buy enough Treasuries to cover the budget deficit every year, so The Fed buys them, essentially “printing” money. Under section 14 subsection (b) of the U.S. Code, Federal Reserve banks have the legal authority to purchase Government bonds directly from the Treasury with 0% interest. No real banks hold that debt, it’s just an accounting scheme that holds no one responsible, increases the money supply, and monetizes the debt. Technically, someday the Treasury must pay back The Fed, but never will. So what if The Fed simply excuses the Treasury notes entirely, just takes them off their Balance Sheet? Who would know or care? In fact, that's what's going to happen sometime in the near future, when The Collapse happens. The Fed is a perfect fall guy; it's independent of government but beholden to them because government sets their salaries, and the Fed Chairman is selected by the President. Plus, their power is spread around to 7 big banks, each with a committee of nameless, faceless bureaucrats to dissipate responsibility. The Fed can take the blame while solving all the problems that imaginary money can solve. Libertarians are wrong; the Fed is a good way to get the most out of money.   Politics & Philosophy 2:29 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash The Fed, money supply, printing money, humor, politics no Sun, 24 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800 553 Why Issue Treasuries? Politics & Philosophy Treasuries are government IOUs, now over $21 trillion of debt, but money is imaginary and the money Treasuries supposedly represent doesn't exist anyway, and hasn't for many decades, since America hasn't balanced a budget, nor will it ever again. Obviously, no one needs the money The Debt represents because it's on continuous rollover, like imagining you own pink elephants you never ride. Actually, except for preconceptions of accounting, there's no reason to issue more pink elephants, I mean Treasuries; what's the difference if there's more pink elephants or not? When the U.S. needs more money, it can simply print it without issuing Treasuries. The reason we still have Treasuries is because the ultra wealthy want to be able to accumulate even more wealth by "investing" in pink elephants. Capitalism has this weird aspect that builds no roads, constructs no schools, explores no space, but instead increases an imaginary herd of pink elephants, which does nothing but create an aristocracy; a concentration of wealth that limits liberty for everyone else. Nothing positive results from exchanging pink elephants for liberty; in fact, it seems like the worst possible exchange. Government need write no IOUs at all, it's all the same except the Nouveau Aristocracy don't automatically assume ownership of the nation's wealth. Most-liberty-to-most-people is achieved by printing money for economic purposes rather than creation of royalty via Treasuries.   Politics & Philosophy 2:28 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash treasuries, money, humor, politics no Fri, 22 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800 552 Withholding Tax Politics & Philosophy Employers are required to take income taxes out of employee's paychecks, an especially difficult burden on Small Business because of the accounting, plus the Small Business owner is held responsible if the tax is not paid, even though it's for someone else. Not only is this an inequitable nanny relationship, and a drag on hiring, since only people with significant incomes are going to owe taxes, there's no reason for it, except to sneak away regressive FICA taxes from poor people. Consider that people who work outside of the standard employer-employee relationship, usually in a small business, deal with taxes another way, where the person who receives the money is held accountable instead. Anybody who's done any legitimate business on the side knows that a “1099” is the form the government is sent when people receive money working for themselves. These people are required to pay what they think will be their taxes ahead of time, called the Estimated tax, and if they don't, they're fined. Why aren't all income handled this way? It's an electronic age where almost all transactions are via computer, why does a one person have to be responsible for the taxes of another just because they give them a job? Making the employer responsible for an employee's taxes is yet another transfer of State responsibility onto business.   Politics & Philosophy 2:09 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash withholding tax, estimated tax, humor, politics no Wed, 20 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800 551 Tax Confusion Politics & Philosophy Considering how taxes are an everyday part of everyone's lives, few people even know what's going on. Confusion is the biggest cause for suspicion of taxes, especially since they are so arbitrary and uneven. For example, 7 States have no Income tax, and 5 States have no Sales tax. Alaska has neither. In fact, Alaska pays its residents almost $2K a year. Sales tax is the most regressive because everyone has to pay it but most States don't tax groceries, however, 6 States do. 21 States have Estate taxes; Washington State is highest at 20%, which is in addition to the federal government's 40%; and Washington's Estate tax starts at $2.1 million while the federal one doesn't start until $5.6 million. As for federal Income taxes: couples who make less than $2K per month don't pay. In fact, families with 2 kids don't pay any federal taxes until they make over $50K a year, as it should be, and the top federal Income tax is 37% on people who make over $600K. Most so-called “tax loopholes” only benefit the Middle Class but the most egregious example of abuse, the Capital Gains loophole, primarily benefits The Rich; about 5 million people pay its much reduced rate, so people who take their income as salary get hit at the top rate while folks who get big money doing nothing, pay 28%. Worse, all Workers have to pay the horrific Social Security and Medicare taxes from every dollar they earn, but people who don't work, don't have to pay them. Finally, after all the talk and hysterics, no one knows what the taxes are actually spent on; the black hole called “government.”   Politics & Philosophy 2:54 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash taxes, estate taxes, politics, humor no Mon, 18 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800 550 Taxes Aren't Necessary Politics & Philosophy The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1913, is where federal Income taxes come from; before that, nothing. The fact is, as long as production matches consumption, no taxes are necessary; simply issue money as needed, what's the downside? The knee-jerk reaction to printing more money is always the cry, “inflation!” but why? Does a loaf of bread become more expensive just because there's more money? As long as there are Market Forces, if a baker raises prices unilaterally, people will stop buying their product and get their bread from a cheaper competitor. No, inflation in a Free Market system only occurs when more people want something than there is available, and we have way over-capacity of most commodities because we are a Free Market system. The problem with printing money instead of taxing is dishonesty, both fiscal and actual, that will occur due to lack of feedback in government spending. Why not fund every Special Interest program that comes along? Why not give everyone money so they don't have to work? Though the answer is simple: because those things drive up consumption without matching production; the people who get elected are there because they won a popularity contest, not for their intelligence, competence, or knowledge. Still, knowing that, plus the fact that the Social Safety-net, like Social Security, can be paid for by printing money, won't leave anybody in the streets.   Politics & Philosophy 2:28 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash print money, inflation, productivity, taxes, humor, politics no Sat, 16 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800 549 Tax Plan for the Aristocracy Politics & Philosophy Even with the Top 1% paying almost half the Income taxes collected, wealth concentration is still increasing; they now own more of the country's wealth than in the past 50 years. Increasing wealth disparity is a side-effect of Capitalism, and to be expected, and if it's not alleviated through some kind of redistribution, an aristocracy forms. A lot of people have no problem with an emerging aristocratic class; the same kind of people who don't much like democracy or Welfare. Even people who don't pay taxes, and benefit from the taxes of others, are willing to accept this Nouveau Aristocracy. In fact, it's the single most defining feature of the Republican Party. Assuming that somehow people could be convinced that it's in the best interest of the country to avoid aristocracy; how do you stop it? The socialists blame Capitalism and want to end it. That's the kick-over-the-apple-cart solution from a growing minority, perhaps 30%. Probably, the number of people who accept an aristocracy are equal to the socialists, which leaves perhaps 40% of the people to find a center way; no rising aristocracy, no rising Marxist rebellion against it. The easiest, most effective plan would be to let people get as rich as they want during their lifetime but when they die, their wealth gets redistributed; more to their heirs than others but limited, probably the current caps of $8 million to heirs and $1 million on gifts to anyone else. The heirs won't like it but they didn't accumulate the money, and the person who did is gone. Everyone else celebrates because they may just win the inheritance gift lottery when the rest is given away.   Politics & Philosophy 2:33 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash aristocracy, aristocratic, class, inheritance tax, politics, humor no Thu, 14 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800 548 Who Do Taxes Help? Politics & Philosophy Most people hate taxes because they dislike being forced into giving up money, even though they know the life they live everyday was made possible through taxes, but because the exchange is involuntary, they despise it. Even though the old arguments used to promote the idea of taxes are good, there is a fatal flaw everybody gets but no one can quite articulate; taxes seem rigged. The Left thinks The Rich pay too few taxes, and The Right think The Poor don't pay enough. The Left sees wealth concentration as bad, and The Right think Welfare is. The Left see government service as admirable, and The Right consider them parasites. It's tough reconciling diametrically opposed opinions like those. Whether taxes help or hurt depends on where that money came from. Consider this example: if your community used Property taxes to buy a gazebo for the public park, then everyone is helped and the Middle Class hurt because they paid the Property taxes; but if the gazebo is in a public park that has entry fees then The Poor are hurt because they are least able to pay the entry fees; and if the gazebo was purchased from a multinational corporation, The Rich benefit the most because their corporation made the money. The question really is: do the taxes help or hurt? Progressive taxes, which are taxes on The Rich to redistribute the wealth, help. Regressive taxes, which are taxes on everyone that subsidize The Rich, hurt.   Politics & Philosophy 2:38 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash taxes, politics, humor no Tue, 12 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800 547 What Are Taxes Really For? Politics & Philosophy One of the reasons taxes are so vehemently disliked is because they are misunderstood. People think it's a kind of market transaction: services given for payment received. Taxpayers judge taxes in that light and find the exchange wanting, not comprehending that the primary purpose taxes serve is to redistribute wealth. It's a mathematically certainty that wealth will concentrate; the natural aftermath of compounding gains. That's what Capitalism does; leave the system on overnight without anybody watching, and when you wake up in the morning, everyone is a pauper except the guy in the Lear jet. It's not even that complex of an analogy: if you've ever played Monopoly, you know that at the end, one guy gets everything, and everybody else sucks wind. Passing “Go” keeps you in a little longer, but if you want to keep the game going, the money needs to be redistributed. How does this apply to Real Life, you ask? Because society is more than one person, The Rich seem to forget that. Each of us surrendered our Right of Violence to the State because we would be better off, but if the vast majority of people are treading water or downing while one guy smokes $100 bills, well, then Johnny, get my gun.   Politics & Philosophy 2:01 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash taxes, politics, humor no Sun, 10 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800 546 Financial Advice Concepts Politics & Philosophy Free advice has the advantage that it's free, so let's review: Ideology hinges on the the question of from whom to who? Redistributing opportunity from those who horde it increases the liberty of everyone. Society's greatest threat is a declining population. It's simply impossible to provide pensions without production to match. Retirement is a modern concept and the kinks haven't quite been worked out yet. Investing in property requires skills most people don't have. Investing in your own house remains the best financial advice. The best Life Advice is the simplest to understand. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:01 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash financial advice, advice, politics, humor no Fri, 08 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800 545 Life Advice Politics & Philosophy When thinking about your future, listen to old people on how to get the most out of life because they've already had one, plus the rules are rather simple: If you're not married, focus on getting so because your spouse's career may determine where you will live. Then buy a cheap house near where you work. Then have kids as soon as possible. Don't run up bills. If you have loans, pay those off first, then pay off the house as soon as possible. Try to have a career in something. Working for other people isn't for everyone; for control over your life, start a business but know there's a lot of chance and effort involved. How much you work versus how much you play is a family dynamic but leisure pursuits are better than working really hard just to have a second home in Florida, and don't buy things to impress other people. You'll get Social Security, plan on it. In fact, any other money you "save" for retirement is gambling, and may get eaten up in inflation or circumstances beyond your control. Instead, buy collectibles with the money you have earmarked for retirement, something you like. If you like it, certainly other people do too, and when you're retired, sell off the collection a bit of a time on eBay. This method of saving is fun going in, and going out, plus, collectibles keep up with inflation. Retirement is about not working but you will want to do something; playing golf is for losers.   Politics & Philosophy 2:20 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash life advice, advice, humor, politics no Wed, 06 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800 544 House as an Investment Politics & Philosophy Up until now, property has always been a good investment for special people who can deal with it; however, buying a house is still the best investment any family can make. There's the increase in equity as prices go up, special tax advantages, and buying is usually cheaper than renting. Pride and comfort in owning your own home also has significant personal value. Home ownership is one of the things American society has excelled at; government lending organizations facilitate it, it's subsidized by federal tax policy, and neighborhoods are increasingly being designed to enhance the sense of community. The key is that you are pursuing a career with dependable income and location, which is why home ownership is an aspiring Middle Class investment. Mortgages are not for the poor and unskilled, which is where the problems are coming from. Though increased home ownership used to be one of government's primary goals, now-a-days it's in direct conflict with the drive for urbanization; high rises, multi-unit condos, no yards; that comes from people envious of the lifestyles of those more fortunate than themselves; and since the Middle Class is decreasing as a percentage of the population, personal home ownership is often denigrated and discouraged in some political circles, especially the socialist-leaning and those uninspired by The American Dream. There are literally people who refuse to even enter the suburbs of well-maintained individual family homes with delicate yards and cars in the driveways, and that number is increasing, so owning a house as an investment has both financial and social implications that are in flux. Still, you should do it if you can.   Politics & Philosophy 2:31 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash owning a home, house as an investment, politics, humor no Mon, 04 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800 543 Investment Property Politics & Philosophy One of the main investment refrains of the Baby-Boomer generation was to invest in property. “There's never going to be any more of it,” went the Pop pseudo-investing advice, and a lot of that generation did very well with the concept. However, in this new world order, where economic collapse is on the menu, is property still the go-to investment vehicle? To answer this question, we've got to predict the future, an impossibility. Many people expect deflation due to America's tremendous production over-capacity; no scarcity there, but those items that do have a limited supply, like property, will probably experience inflationary pressures; so is property a good hedge against inflation? Unfortunately, Property taxes will show a commensurate increase. If your income is not inflating at the same rate, ever-increasing taxes will force you out of your investment, but you'll be taxed on the inflationary gains which are really no gain at all. Plus, the upkeep on the property requires an expensive management group, or time and a skillset you may not have. In short, Investing in property has too many downsides to recommend, unless you're “investing” in your own home.   Politics & Philosophy 2:01 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash investment property, humor, politics no Sat, 02 Feb 2019 07:00:00 -0800 542 Retirement Advice Politics & Philosophy Retirement is a modern concept, part of liberalism; the idea that some portion of society can stop working and rely on the productivity of younger members to support them. Though the very concept is mathematically problematic, it's the expectation of everyone who lives in the Western world. Since retirees are the largest voting block, Social Security isn't going anywhere, though it will be at some subsistence level, but that's all you need, really, because you can also use the Social Safety Net: Medicare, senior food service, senior transportation, and social workers to watch out for you. If you want more than Social Security, just know that planning for retirement is definitely predicting the future, with all the pitfalls that entails, but without the understanding by most people that it's actually gambling. However, there are some things that seem less risky. First: buy a house; pay off the mortgage as soon as possible; improve it; and when you want to retire, get a Reverse Mortgage and live on the annuity. Second: stay out of the Stock Market; in fact, ignore all the hyped-up ways to make money passively. Third: go on cheap vacations that leave memories no one can take from you, but squirrel away enough money to buy clothes for your grandkids. That's all the advice you need for a happy retirement.   Politics & Philosophy 2:13 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash retirement, social security, humor, politics no Thu, 31 Jan 2019 07:00:00 -0800 541 Impossible Pensions Politics & Philosophy Productivity has no shelf life: it can’t be stored, but because money is often a proxy for productivity, there is the misconception that pensions can be saved for, so people draw the erroneous conclusion that if they have money, they can retire in their old age. That assumption is easily refuted because it’s not about how much money you have, every retiree could have a billion dollars saved, no it’s about the amount of productivity available at that time. Someone has to be productive so that others can only consume for the rest of their lives. Consider that, by definition, a pensioner produces nothing, and they can’t eat their money, but because money is also a proxy for State Violence, they can force productive members of society to produce for them. Some young working family somewhere is essentially working so that a retired person doesn't have to. How much does a family have to make before they have that kind of excess production for pensioners? People who make less than $3,000 a month certainly can’t support someone else; they would have to make at least $70K/yr too minimally sustain two households, but many pensioners, perhaps most, don’t want to live at subsistence level so more families would have to contribute, perhaps 2:1. Do the math, there are 40 million pensioners in the U.S. but only 60 million Middle Class households: the cause of the coming collapse seems obvious...   Politics & Philosophy 2:16 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash pensions, politics, humor no Tue, 29 Jan 2019 07:00:00 -0800 540 Declining Population Politics & Philosophy America's population is still growing, thanks to immigrants, legal and otherwise, but that increase has been slowly declining; and there's an actual decrease in core White population. Some economists are worried this will lead to a lack of tax revenues, and deflation due to slow consumption, but if anything, due to generous welfare and retirement benefits, consumption is going up. The basic economic formula is quite simple: production = consumption. America never really had to worry about production before because Market innovation cures it, and in recent decades, we have increasingly imported goods. Even with a declining population, there's plenty of capacity; what isn't there going to be enough of? Places to live? There's plenty of land. Not enough food? America alone could supply the world if it had too. Energy conservation, renewables, and massive oil reserves have taken that specter off the table. Automation answers the question of who's going to perform manual labor. Even medicine is currently underutilized and artificially limited; however, there is a concern of who's going to take care of the exploding ranks of the elderly.   Politics & Philosophy 2:06 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash declining population, population, production, consumption, humor, politics no Sun, 27 Jan 2019 07:00:00 -0800 539 Redistribute Opportunity Politics & Philosophy Most people do not recognize the connection between opportunity and liberty: The Left doesn't want personal liberty, individual autonomy, to exist because that would conflict with their collectivistic goals, and The Right doesn't want opportunity to be part of the liberty equation because that would imply the wants of other people matter. The fact is America's Jeffersonian liberty, where people make decisions from themselves and reap the rewards or suffer the consequences of their own actions, requires both freedom and opportunity; freedom to choose, and opportunities to choose from. America is the only Liberty Nation in this regard but it will be the last one if opportunity doesn't get redistributed because wealth stratification and concentration are slowly choking ambition and hope to death. Lack of opportunity is why Millennials are trending socialist; if society, as it stands, won't provide opportunity to the many versus the few, then following generations will be forced to change society. So as Baby-Boomers die off, Liberty America will become yet another socialist wasteland. It's not like we don't know how to fix it, massive redistribution of wealth from The 1% to everyone else, but the Nouveau Aristocracy have their hands on the levers of power, and they're not giving it up.   Politics & Philosophy 2:09 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash opportunity, liberty, freedom, politics, humor no Fri, 25 Jan 2019 07:00:00 -0800 538 From Whom To Who Politics & Philosophy Political ideologies mostly differentiate based on their concept of redistribution of wealth, and motive is important. Often envious people want wealth taken from some and given to others but that is not an acceptable reason. On the other hand, liberty-minded people recognize if wealth is not redistributed, it concentrates opportunity, which is an important justification for wealth redistribution. You can tell which-is-which by who is intended to be redistributed from, and whom is redistributed to. From nobody to nobody is the purview of Libertarians who fantasize that everyone will leave each other alone, no matter the breath of inequality; as long as that lasts before revolution, anyway. From Middle Class to Rich: Conservatives display few qualms about wealth concentration; they even applaud it. In Conservative eyes, to be a rich man is to be admired and respected, and where the money comes from is obvious because poor people don't have any money. This is definitively not acceptable. From Middle Class to Poor: Progressives wallow in their Marxist altruism. Simply redistributing wealth is not enough; they think The Poor should be the primary beneficiary of such largess: from those according to their ability, to those according to their need; and since the number of The Rich is infinitesimally small, it seems only logical that since the Middle Class has displayed ability, they're on the hook for supplying the needy. The only acceptable form of wealth redistribution is from Rich to Middle Class: Liberals aim to make everyone Middle Class who works for it given the opportunity. However, concentration of wealth by The Rich limits opportunity, so breaking that stranglehold becomes a primary importance.   Politics & Philosophy 2:43 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash wealth, redistribution, humor, politics no Wed, 23 Jan 2019 07:00:00 -0800 537 Investment Concepts Politics & Philosophy Of all the issues that surround the concept of investment, let's review the few we've covered: Money is imaginary, and economies are artificial. It's difficult to tell an Investor from acolytes of other proselytizing religions. The PE ratio is basically how long it takes for your investment in a stock to pay off. Pork will get cheap before it gets expensive. Buying gold is not an investment; it's tangible insurance. If money is imaginary, derivatives are fantasy. Trusts are for people with money and brains. Hedge Funds are the epitome of how to exploit imaginary money. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.     Politics & Philosophy 2:01 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash investment, derivitives, gold, trusts, politics, humor no Mon, 21 Jan 2019 07:00:00 -0800 536 Hedge Funds Politics & Philosophy Hedge funds are the epitome of money gamesmanship; where the ultra-rich exploit artificial rules to increase their wealth. They use derivatives to make their $billions, yet create nothing and do nothing of value; they are simply parasites on society. It's been proven time & again that hedge funds are pure gambling, with lots of manipulation, and smidgens of insider trading. They are highly leveraged, as were the Investment banks that caused the 2008 Financial Crisis; for only 3% of their own money, Lehman Bros borrowed and bet another 97% of other people's money. Unfortunately, when their loss was 4%, meaning they owed more than they had skin in the game, they rolled the loss into the next loan via Money Markets, hoping to win on the next bet. This went on ad nauseam until their losses reached almost a $trillion, enough to crash the Money Markets too, then the government stepped in. Hedge funds and Investment Banks also use the concept of privatizing gains and socializing losses. The idea is that they borrow huge amounts of money from unsuspecting people via retirement funds then bet with it: if they win, they take the gains and pay special low taxes, and if they lose, they bankrupt out of the obligation and let the government cover the losses, because impoverishing tens of millions of retirees isn't good public policy. Of course, the exceptionally high salaries received by the people practicing this deception were not penalized, nor has anyone ever been held responsible; in fact, the rules have not changed, so they can do it again.   Politics & Philosophy 2:37 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Hedge Funds, hedge fund, humor, politics no Sat, 19 Jan 2019 04:00:00 -0800 535 Trusts Politics & Philosophy A Trust is a relatively simple document that says who gets your stuff when you die, similar to a Will without State involvement. Trusts exist in the vague legal world that most people think only The Rich enjoy but Middle Class people who own a house, a few investments, and some savings can get a lot of benefit too. Anybody with an estate more than $60K should have a Trust; that way you escape probate, which means no attorney fees, court appearances or waiting periods. Plus, Trusts hide who gets what from public scrutiny. Yes, most people have to hire an attorney to create and maintain their Trust but that cost will almost always be less than using a Will. Of note: instead of the State managing a Will, you say who will manage your Trust, called a Trustee. Trustees make sure whatever it says in the Trust happens. Often the attorney who writes your Trust is th e Trustee but that costs money, which is why people often select a family member to be Trustee, and as long as they don't abuse their power or cause inner-family resentment, that's what most people do. The one complexity with Trusts is that title to your house, investments, retirement funds, etc. must be transferred to the Trust so that the items can be easily given to heirs. This involves little more than phone calls and paper shuffling but it can be intimidating to someone who's never done it before, which is why so many people still use Wills even with all the downsides.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash trusts, wills, humor, politics no Thu, 17 Jan 2019 07:00:00 -0800 534 Derivatives Politics & Philosophy Derivatives, which are bets on the economy, are thousands of times larger than the real economy, so if the economy stumbles, magnify that by at least a 1000. For example, the number of foreclosures that triggered the 2008 financial crisis were minuscule compared to the economy, and could easily be absorbed, but the bets against them, the derivatives, were huge, and that's what caused the problem. Wall Street banks are essentially giant casinos, and a vast amount of the economy is gambling. What you learn about derivatives in Frosh econ, that they are a form of insurance, seems reasonable, but if derivatives were a real thing, used like they are supposed to be used, then the maximum they should ever be would be the value of the commodity they were insuring, but they are 10,000 times that number! Insurance makes the economy more stable but insurance companies don't sell multiple fire policies on the same house, and they certainly don't let some random arsonists buy one on someone else's house. Before 2008, thousands of random people, including arsonists, had bought Fire insurance on somebody else's house, betting it would burn down, especially when they saw all the trash in the yard; and it's happening again. Conservatives always try to blame regulation for the 2008, or any economic collapse for that matter, but it was when the regulation on leverage was lifted so that Lehman only had to put up 3% equity to borrow 97%, that was the beginning of the end last time, and it's happening again. Remember, all along the way, the people who made these highly-leveraged bets got to keep the winnings. The folks left holding the bag when the music stopped were the Retirement funds. Can you image the political fallout if everyone's retirement was broke!? Of course, the government had to intervene; and it's happening again.   Politics & Philosophy 2:52 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Derivatives, financial crisis, humor, politics no Tue, 15 Jan 2019 07:00:00 -0800 533 Buying Gold Politics & Philosophy Gold has a reverence no other commodity enjoys. People worried the current financial system will inevitably crash imagine they can save themselves by burying a can of gold coins in their backyard. This solution has never operated as imagined in past upheavals but it does make the hider feel better. However, if the choice is between buying insurance and burying double-eagles, gold makes much more sense. Should you choose this option, here are a few suggestions: First, never buy gold futures because gold is a poor investment; always take possession. Never buy bullion; a huge part of the gold ingot market is fake at the wholesale level; in fact, all eBay gold ingots are fake. Only buy Eagles from a reputable online source, a U.S. Mint recognized dealer. For smaller denominations, rather than buy unfamiliar small gold coins, buy familiar U.S. silver coins. If you're a coin collector then buy old pre-1964 silver U.S. coins. If you're not a collector, you can buy new U.S. silver coins but people won't recognize them and may be suspicious. Nickels are worth more in the metal than 5 cents, but they're bulky to store and not a lot of people understand their value, so a few hundred dollars worth is adequate. Unfortunately, if history is any indication, the government will try and force you to turn in your gold during hard times, so if it comes to that, you'll be bartering in the underground economy. Obviously, secrecy remains paramount; even if you evade government confiscation, should armed bandits know you have valuables, they'll simply take them from you. That's why many people often mention gold and guns in the same sentence.   Politics & Philosophy 2:37 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash gold, politics, humor no Sun, 13 Jan 2019 07:00:00 -0800 532 Pork Futures Politics & Philosophy There's an economic principle that says the price of pork will deflate before it inflates. The logic goes: when farmers are losing money on pigs, they dump them onto the market, which lowers the price even further, forcing other pig farmers into the cycle too, collapsing the market. Soon the cheap pork runs out but there are no new pigs being raised so eventually the price of pork skyrockets. It's too late for the old pig farmers because their businesses already tumbled down, which collapsed all the ancillary industries, and it takes a while to rebuild production and distribution capacity. That's when pork inflation reigns. To alleviate the fluctuation risk in the pig and other commodity production markets, futures derivatives were created as a form of insurance. These instruments, that are traded like stocks, allow gamblers to try and predict the scarcity versus glut of pigs, little more than casino betting, and the people betting contribute nothing to the economy except volatility. This was how the 2008 Banking Crisis occurred, which was barely saved by printing imaginary money, as will be all financial crises. Unfortunately for pig farmers, pork is not imaginary, so their business can't be cured by money magic, only by raising more pigs.   Politics & Philosophy 2:01 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash futures, derivitives, humor, politics no Fri, 11 Jan 2019 07:00:00 -0800 531 PE Ratio Politics & Philosophy Nothing shouts “scam” at the Stock Market like the PE ratio: basically, how many years it takes for a stock to pay for itself. For example, if the price of a share of stock is $50, and Earnings were $2 per share, the PE would be 25, which is the average PE ratio today, so 25 years for payoff; that's like buying a house. Normally when you invest in anything, you want a yield in the order of 7-10% which would be equivalent to a PE ratio of 10-14, the lower the better, so today's PE ratios ridiculously long timeframes strain the definition of investing, and that assumes the earnings are paid out as Dividends. Not declaring Dividends just makes it worse because PE is not compounded. Supposedly, if a company does not declare Dividends equal to the Earnings, the Price Per Share goes up to reflect the Retained Earnings, and the stockholder's Equity increases, but in reality this additional liquidity is used to justify stock buybacks, which manipulate the PE in an incestuous loop of phony numbers all intended to justify stratospheric executive bonuses. However, as artificial as this all is, the Stock Market is simply a reflection of the imaginary money that comprises it. Economics is a kind of magic that only works when enough people believe. It works because optimism, fantasy, and gambling generate dopamine, the elixir of elation, the positive feedback on life, liberty, and PE.   Politics & Philosophy 2:25 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash P/E ratio, PE ratio, PE, P/E, politics, humor no Wed, 09 Jan 2019 07:00:00 -0800 530 Investor Politics & Philosophy Most people have a very positive feeling towards the word “investor,” especially folks who have signed up for The American Dream, thinking anyone can make it big if they just work hard and persevere. Unfortunately, “investing” is little more than an attempt to predict the future, and the people who prey upon those who think it's possible, like the loud, balding guys who insist the stocks they recommend for you on TV will go up, up, up; and so-called, Financial Advisers, who don't have a clue. They're preachers in the Church of Chump, don't listen to them. Most people would like to see “entrepreneurs” succeed; the franchisers, the servicers, the shop owners; but those aren't investors. The difference between an investor and an entrepreneur is that the former give their money to somebody else, while the latter invest in themselves. Then there are the people who claim to be able to protect your money from taxes, from lawsuits, and from economic downturn. Those aren’t investors either, those are hoarders, and a threat to Capitalism because they lock away the opportunity the rest of us require to obtain liberty. It's concerning that so many people identify as “investors” yet so few people actually do it.   Politics & Philosophy 2:12 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash investors, investor, entrepreneur, politics, humor no Mon, 07 Jan 2019 07:00:00 -0800 529 Artificial Economy Politics & Philosophy The imaginary nature of money tends to make the things it touches insubstantial; an economy that trades chickens can be measured in chicken shit, but imaginary money leaves little trace. There is the illusion of accounting, and people think in accounting terms, but with a slight-of-hand, trillions of dollars can be created and given away with almost no impact on anything else. If a stock index is down, Central Banks buy the handful of companies that control the index. If banks are undercapitalized, Central Banks grant more capital. If the nations budget needs to be funded, Central Banks issue IOUs that never need to be repaid. And why not? As long as people are producing more than they are consuming, how much money there is makes no difference. This makes money one of the greatest discoveries of man, and the ultimate source of our success. It's an open question whether it would hurt or help for the average person to understand that our civilization is truly built in the clouds. There are signs when an economy is in trouble: falling sales. It can be masked for a significant length of time because of the way business reports earnings, but when corporations have to report real profits, not just buy-back-stock-using-borrowed-money-to-make-EPS-go-up, there's no way the Fed can hold stocks up forever with low interest rates. Another way to tell if an economy is in trouble is bubbles; do the things that people really need, relentlessly increase in price even though overall inflation is not increasing? Housing, cars, education, healthcare, food? Central banks and government can prop up our artificial economy on imaginary money for a long time, but eventually the weight will be too heavy, and people will stop playing with their phone and notice.   Politics & Philosophy 2:55 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash artificial economy, economy, money, imaginary money, politics, humor no Sat, 05 Jan 2019 07:00:00 -0800 528 Employee Concepts Politics & Philosophy What are some of the issues of being an employee? Let's review: Jobs naturally select who works them, there's no conspiracy involved. Employer's don't want employees anymore than employees want to work. Because of social burdens, it's in an employer's best interest to hire contractors instead of employees. Wage stagnation, particularly as it affects the Middle Class, should be America's primary concern. Only The Market can determine how much you are worth. The reputation of private labor unions is negatively affected by public employee unions. Extreme compensation differences between executives and employees is the seed of Capitalism's demise. Managers are blissfully unaware of the resentment their subordinates hold towards them. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:18 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash employees, contractors, employers, managers, humor, politics no Thu, 03 Jan 2019 07:00:00 -0800 527 Managers Politics & Philosophy Managers are simply employees that trade increased income for increased resentment. Most people like to control their own destinies; if everyone could choose what they wanted to do, it's unlikely that taking orders from someone else would be their preferred occupation, so naturally subordinates will resent the authority of their manager. The more authority the manager represents, the greater the resentment. This eventually metastasizes into social awkwardness and shunning of the manager. In a large, mostly anonymous community where managers and subordinates rarely meet outside of work, the downside of management is not as pronounced, but is small communities, managers have to walk a fine line. The cult of manager denigration, most famously fostered by humorists like Scott Adams, has made it fashionable to treat managers with a private disrespect that borders on hatred. Also, there is truth in the old saying, “familiarity breeds contempt.” For managers to maintain the respect of those they command, the relationship must be formal because if those who must obey have the opportunity to see their erstwhile commander in an unguarded casualness, the familiarity will cause them to compare against an idealized version, invariably leaving the human manager found wanting, and once someone loses respect, it cannot be regained. People need to seriously consider whether the aggravation of being a manager is worth an addition $5 an hour?   Politics & Philosophy 2:29 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash managers, employees, humor, politics no Tue, 01 Jan 2019 04:00:00 -0800 526 Extreme Compensation Politics & Philosophy People often confuse Capitalism with a meritocracy, where highly competent people are highly rewarded, but there are 10,000 qualified applicants for every high-paying job, so luck plays by far the biggest role in who gets the big bucks; probably a fraternity brother from Yale has more impact on their success than merit. This was still okay, people understood nepotism, always wishing they were related to the right person, but add one more ingredient to that exploitative mix, that being extreme differences in compensation, and dissatisfaction and a sense of betrayal start cracking the foundation of society. When the boss's son was paid twice what you were, that was one thing, but at 235 times the median, no amount of apologist prattle can defuse that bomb. When tax rates were lowered for high-income earners, there was no longer anything keeping individuals from wanting huge salaries. Usually there's a sympathetic Board involved, but there's also a huge part of ego and competition. Just look how marquee basketball stars are paid; their compensation is newsworthy and fame-making. Because of our confused belief in meritocracy, it seems from the outside that those players are worth their extraordinary incomes: how many 7-footers dribble like a Point Guard after all? However, this clear connection between ability and recompense blurs significantly in a business environment: tall, handsome, and owner's nephew do not equate to dunking from the Free Throw line.   Politics & Philosophy 2:33 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash extreme compensation, humor, politics no Sun, 30 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 525 Private Labor Unions Politics & Philosophy The recent Janus Supreme Court decision has disrupted American labor union practices for the better. As long as public employee unions could withhold dues from unwilling workers, all unions got a bad name. The fact is, private unions have experienced a steep decline in membership over the decades, partially because of the reputation gained by public unions, but that's over now. As public unions, and their extraordinary demands, are no longer catered to by politicians under the union campaign contribution spell, the reputation of all unions will recover, and if worker exploitation ever returns, private union membership will respond en mass. The model for private unions exists: German labor unions are an example for Americans. They have significant representation on the Board of Directors, their pension funds are invested in company stock, and they are certainly more concerned about the company's future and the interests of minority shareholders than anyone else on the Board. They are a bulwark against the shenanigans of corporate raiders and parasitic managers. They also have a reputation for cooperation; helping in layoffs, modernizing factories, and consulting with management. Capitalism's one great weakness is that it inordinately rewards the source of imaginary money while exploiting the value of actual worker production; having equal union representation on the Board would counteract that disparity.   Politics & Philosophy 2:29 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash labor unions, unions, private labor unions, politics, humor no Fri, 28 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 524 Paid What You're Worth Politics & Philosophy There is no more awkward conversation than with someone who feels the world doesn't recognize their value. They complain they're not being paid commensurately with their high-priced college education, and exhibit a cross between daydreaming and a sense of entitlement that should long ago been extinguished. No employer is required to pay you what you think you're worth. Worse, immature people confuse where the responsibility for change lies: it's up to you to fix any perceived underperformance in your life, not someone else's. Where you fit in the pecking order of the world is not for you to say. You're only “worth” what The Market determines you're worth. Maybe your expertise is valuable someplace else; move. Maybe you're worth more at another company; change jobs. But most likely, you're getting paid what all the other Ethnic Studies college graduates are making. This wage dissatisfaction is especially prevalent in hourly wage employees who try to make their job performance subjective, complaining they aren't being paid for travel or “set up” time, or their seniority, or something else they imagine they've done and should be paid for. Yet some jobs require years of difficult schooling, such and medicine and engineering, who pays for those years? Some jobs require practice; who pays for that? Many jobs are "exempt,” meaning they are not paid for overtime; how are those accounted for? Life is not fair, just look at the who-you-know rich-uncle aspect of the working world.   Politics & Philosophy 2:31 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash wages, paid what you are worth, humor, politics no Wed, 26 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 523 Wage Stagnation Politics & Philosophy When people traded chickens, even the very best chicken farmer couldn't make more than 10 times any other chicken farmer, it just wasn't physically possible, but then imaginary money came along and now the difference in incomes can be astronomical. The concept of a meritocracy, where the most productive people receive the greatest rewards, was established in the days of chickens to encourage a society's work ethic, but it hasn't translated well into the age of abstraction. In fact, now the connection between merit and reward has become so tenuous that work ethic is no longer the determining factor; the very best worker receives perhaps double the rewards of fellow workers, and one-thousandth the rewards of the money manipulators. The Baby-Boomers grew accustomed to relative wage growth from the early 1960s until this century, which created a Middle Class primarily made of wage earners, and set the expectations of following generations, but that wage growth not only stopped, it has since declined back to 1960s levels. Now the Middle Class is primarily made of professionals and small business owners who resist higher wages. Still though, the difference in income between these groups is still within chicken farmer understanding. However, the leveragers of capital, the so-called Capitalists, raise no chickens, and perform no service that justifies the vast income and wealth disparity. Their good fortune instead derives from ever more convoluted ways to benefit from the magic of compounded gains while at the same time passing the risk onto the rest of society, which wouldn't be possible with chickens.   Politics & Philosophy 2:40 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash wage stagnation, income inequality, politics, humor no Mon, 24 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 522 Employees vs. Contractors Politics & Philosophy “Contractor” has a tax definition. Businesses like to hire contractors because then they aren't responsible for the social obligations that come with hiring employees. Employers also like using contractors because there are many to choose from, they only have to use them when they need them, and if one costs more than they earn, or creates inconvenience, they don't have to use them again. There are also people who like being contractors so that they have more control over their lives. However, most people don't want to be classified as a contractor because they want someone else held responsible for their well-being. There's also an in-between employee-contractor possibility: employees getting together in a partnership then bidding their service to an employer as a contracting business. That way the employees are essentially their own employers and they can argue among themselves about personal issues: when one has a baby and needs a raise, or time off, or whatever. Plus, they could bid other jobs if they hate the boss, the pay, or the work. There had been a gradual increase in the number of people who were considered contractors as older people got laid off and were unable to find new employment in this Part-time economy, but recently another kind of contractor emerged with the advent of the Gig-economy; for example, App-based jobs like Uber. The Gig-economy, also called the “sharing economy,” is not an employer-employee relationship because everyone is considered their own boss. This was a blessing to lots of involuntarily-retired, on-maternity-leave, flexible-schedule people, but the workers they compete with, unions and other vested interests, don't like it one bit, and, unfortunately, many Gig-economy people would rather be employees if they could force the issue somehow through politics.   Politics & Philosophy 2:56 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash employees, contractors, humor, politics no Sat, 22 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 521 Employer vs. Employee Politics & Philosophy There is and should be an adversarial relationship between employers and employees. Employers are only that because they have to be; if a business could make money without any employees, it would. Similarly, employees are only that because they have to be; if a person could live life on the beach drinking pina coladas, they would. Bringing these two reticent groups together can't help but cause resentment because neither really wants the other. However, there's an almost religious counter-narrative to this situation that entirely overlooks the inherent conflict, instead implying that both sides are naturally friendly just given the right motivational slogans and workplace safety posters. Employees are employees because they don't want to be employers, it's that simple. Some employees have tried to be employers during their careers and know how awful it is, but people who have never tried to run their own business completely underestimate how difficult it is, to the point of thinking they are exploited by their employer, and should be given the benefits that victimhood brings, while their employer despairs. The whole employer-employee relationship is so fraught with emotion that there is just no way to properly prepare, which is why business advisers recommend not hiring employees: contractors, yes, temps, yes, services, yes, but long-term, you're responsible for their well-being, employees, stay as far away from those as you can.   Politics & Philosophy 2:40 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash employers, employees, humor, politics no Thu, 20 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 520 Jobs Attract Personalities Politics & Philosophy Jobs are a reflection of society, and people like to be around people who are like them, so it's natural that some industries become primarily gay, athletic, or socially awkward. There's also genderfication; industries that are primarily male or female, not because there's any kind of nefarious discrimination, but through self-selection. For example, Electricians, Mechanics, and Construction have less than 1% females; and Trash Collectors and Sewage Workers have virtually no female participants. This discrepancy is not artificial: there simply are no women lined up whose life's ambition is to pump your septic tank. Men do those jobs because stigma means less than the money; men will basically do anything if the pay is pride-worthy. There's an old adage that men do things, and women do people. Ignore the “women are more caring” jargon, it actually comes down to women like to be flirted with, the primeval sexual imperative, so they are attracted to jobs where they are the center of male attention. Similarly, evolutionarily, men ensure survival, usually with tools. Testosterone is the fundamental cause of aggressiveness and ambition, so any jobs that are benefited by these attributes will naturally be dominated by men. There's no reason an aggressive, ambitious female can't compete in the same environment, and they do, there's just not very many of them. That's why when men get older, and their testosterone levels go down, they fall out of contention for “young man's work.”   Politics & Philosophy 2:39 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash jobs, female occupations, occupations, job discrimination, humor, politics no Tue, 18 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 519 The Collapse Concepts Politics & Philosophy Could America collapse? Let's review the concept: There's no decline in America but if you squint hard enough... It's a known fact that a strong WiFi signal prevents revolution. Some States tried seceding once; that didn't work out too well for them. The U.S. won't split apart into geographic regions, but Democrats may not shop in Republican stores. There's such a cornucopia of possibilities that it's impossible to predict what will cause The Collapse. Playing Prepare for The Collapse is a fun game but not very satisfying. After The Collapse things will be like before The Collapse, just without the freneticism. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:00 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash america's collapse, the collapse, economic collapse, humor, politics no Sun, 16 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 518 After The Collapse Politics & Philosophy The world is reeling; economically and socially; after The Collapse, there's going to be some kind of adjustment. After the initial fear and anxiety is over with, a few weeks perhaps, we will settle into a gradual readjustment of how things are; some different, most the same. In the vast majority of the country, Martial Law will not be imposed, and life will be a lot like before The Collapse, just not as many cars on the roads, and a lot more Welfare. Guns will not be required and in most places, and food will be just as plentiful, though not as varied. There will be inflation but other countries have made it through inflation without imploding. However, any savings or retirement, other than Social Security, will be gone. The Collapse probably won't be even The Depression level of hardship but it won't be like The Depression either. Politically, things that need to change, will; good people will rise to the occasion. Socially, any kind of collapse will immediately kibosh the social war on White males, and no worries that 20th Century-style racism will return because hardly anybody cares what color you are nowadays. The Student Loan fraud will be discontinued, and universities will get back on-track as primarily educational institutions. The Social Safety-net will be strained and go into deficit, but nothing that can't be fixed by printing money. The Collapse might even be good for debt-ridden, poor-job lower Middle Class Americans because it will be the the catalyst for social changes that redistribute wealth and opportunity. It will probably take 5 years to climb back up to a sustainable economy, one that runs without government propping it up with printed money and Make Work programs. Like all the adjustments before it, you can brag to your grandchildren how difficult your life was, implying their lives are relatively easy because of the hardships you endured.   Politics & Philosophy 2:54 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash economic collapse, humor, politics no Fri, 14 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 517 What Will Cause The Collapse? Politics & Philosophy The U.S. is in the midst of stocks, bonds and housing bubbles; plus, mix in the volatility of a raft of record-setting obligations: Student Loans, personal credit card debt, auto loans, public retirement, and the National Debt; then add a sprinkle of dysfunctional politics, social unrest, and international tensions; and the resulting witch's brew seems certain to collapse given any number of catalysts. The world at large is no better situated, and in many cases even closer to the brink; in fact, there's a good chance that The Collapse will begin somewhere else. But what will cause The Collapse? Because of Central Banks intervention, the Stock Markets won't be the trigger; same with bonds; in fact, anything that can be solved by printing money isn't the worry. Where else can we look for the trigger? Generally, a collapse is guaranteed when consumption exceeds production, but we’ve got oodles of production capacity, especially with “Free” Trade. What could stimulate consumption while depressing production? A huge natural catastrophe? State confiscation for a big war effort? A religious revival, like environmentalism, that convinces people to stop consuming? A Trade war that decreases imports? Maybe even something social that discourages work ethic while encouraging consumption, like mass retirement or implementing a Universal Basic Income.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash The Collapse, UBI, Universal Basic Income, production, consumption, Free Trade, humor, politics no Wed, 12 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 516 Preparing for The Collapse Politics & Philosophy When the pressures get too great, something snaps somewhere, and our economy is creaking and groaning in warning. Engaging our flights of apocalyptic fantasy, like all red-blooded Americans do, how could you prepare for the coming economic collapse? Let's see: if the zombie apocalypse happens, ammunition, food and drugs will be the currency, but gold is the best bet for anything less than total meltdown because people are habituated to think gold, stamped U.S. coins, not bars, is worth something. Old U.S. silver coins will also probably be accepted by merchants. The biggest problem with coins is that someone with a gun will take them from you, but leaving your gold at a depository is a bad idea; when the shit hits the fan, SHTF in the parlance, those doors will be locked. Some people say deflation will be the problem but those people are the ones with something to lose, because inflation is most likely. Demand unmatched by supply causes inflation, and there will be high demand for obvious items like gasoline and food, while status automobiles and collector plates will lose their appeal. Investing in Real Estate will hedge inflation but the Property Taxes will also rise accordingly, so bare land is a bad idea on a fixed income. Also, destitute people will need somewhere to live, but deadbeats will vigorously defend their family, so rental property is tough to maintain control of. Generally speaking, people who live in rural areas anticipate The Collapse, often gleefully, while urbanites deny anything is amiss, and suburbanites become Preppers.   Politics & Philosophy 2:35 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash The Collapse, preppers, humor, politics no Mon, 10 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 515 U.S. Balkanization Politics & Philosophy Speculation of the U.S. splitting apart has been done to death in many books and several TV shows, and there's even some great websites. Usually, the theory goes, that it occurs after some apocalyptic event, like a virus, that destroys the military, because people don't really see themselves fighting trained soldiers and modern hardware, even if they do have a home assault rifle. However, if it did happen, there's several theories on who the sides will be. During political times, everyone always assumes it will be Democrat versus Republican, but every State has an almost an equal mix of both so the State itself would also have to balkanize, and at a more granular level, what about neighbors of different persuasions? Somebody, maybe you, isn't going to pack up and move from their home just because people around you are mean; there would have to be force involved. The other theory is geographical location, like the Pacific Northwest, The South, The Midwest; all the regions that people consider contiguous today. That's more likely but then why would they want to be separated and vulnerable to outside forces after centuries of being together? No, it seems unlikely the U.S will ever split apart physically, though it is splitting virtually; business owners not serving groups of people, like gay wedding cakes, has the natural consequence that “No Democrats” signs are inevitable. This is the concept of Virtual States; people could go their whole day patronizing businesses that don't serve others they don't like, reading news tailored to them, associating with people just like them, speaking whatever language suits them. It will be the United States of Narcissists.   Politics & Philosophy 2:27 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Balkanization, humor, politics no Sat, 08 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 514 States Seceding Politics & Philosophy The idea of a State seceding from the United States comes up regularly among political novices. It's a fun concept to imagine but unilateral secession was decided in the most dramatic way possible, the Civil War, and if that wasn't enough, the Supreme Court nixed the idea too. It could possibly happen if the rest of the U.S. agreed but since secession would affect the lives and livelihoods of so many people outside that State, it seems extremely unlikely there would be bilateral agreement. Usually, the idea comes up in the context of abortion or guns, but we also hear it when the socialists seem to be gaining ground. The easy solution for individuals unhappy with the law where they live is to recognize that there's a whole world out there, so go find some nation that likes both guns and outlaws abortion; why would you choose to tear America apart when just you could just move? If you were a true patriot and loved America, you wouldn't want to see it in a civil war, and there really is only a relatively small number of you. Most people like being able to wake up in the morning and not caring which State they're in. Actually, as a nation of liberty, we probably should put Secession Rights on a national ballot every century or so, or have a Constitutional Convention. What would a 28th Amendment look like? "Federal Law does not apply to the States." Wait, for that, all we have to do is repeal Article VI, the Supremacy Clause.   Politics & Philosophy 2:18 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash secession, humor, politics no Thu, 06 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 513 Revolution Politics & Philosophy There ain't gonna be a revolution, what would people revolt against? Wifi's good pretty most everywhere, and whatever's happening in Washington D.C. never seems to have any direct affect on anything back home. People revolt when they have something to gain, like freedom, not just a higher Minimum Wage. The only place you'll likely hear “revolution” talk is in the mornings at McDonald's, where there's a lot of OWGs who are "fed up," and "can't take it anymore!" They dream about buying a Zombie Apocalypse Assault Van and going after “gov'mit.” Well, after their next Social Security check comes in, anyway. How about a civil war rather than a revolution? Definitionly speaking, a "revolution" is rebellion against the government, and a "civil war" is a separation of two sides. Still, Civil War people have good broadband too, so that's probably out, and what other issues are worth killing one another over? Abortion? Guns? The irony of both of those causing killing is profound. In fact, it's safe to say that any internal conflict that involves people hurting one another is so remote as to not even make a good television show. However, if you do think something's going to happen, there's some stocks you can buy; for example, the McDonald's revolutionaries are going to need a fair amount of Metamucil.   Politics & Philosophy 2:12 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash revolution, civil war, america, politics, humor no Tue, 04 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 512 Decline of America Politics & Philosophy You only need to look around to see that there is no decline in America. Even homeless people sleeping on the streets doesn't mean there's more homelessness, it just means that the rest of the population now accepts seeing them on the sidewalks; no more batons, insane asylums and Work Farms. America's history is one of continuous improvement; both in the physicalities of life and intellectually, plus more people are participating than ever before. However, it doesn't take much thought to suspect this upward trajectory can't continue forever. Maybe it could with the old “American Dream” mythos, where everyone was always working to better themselves, but now a lot of people never even knew what that was? Kids especially, they get an iPad when they're 2, helicopter parents, and self-identified gender before they ever see a wrench or know what one is used for. Self-autonomy they know, personal responsibility they don't. Meritocracy is no longer promoted nor admired in youth; the opposite in fact, an atmosphere of “inclusiveness” that borders on Marxist “from those according to their ability, to those according to their needs” ideology. They certainly don't want the difficulty and stress of starting their own business, in fact they don't want to work at all, but instead go on a new kind of Welfare where rather than it being charity, it's a Right, called Basic Income. How can productivity possible keep up with consumption when everyone is “doing something meaningful.” There's a theory that all successful societies eventually reach this point of narcissistic hedonism, and collapse under their own weight, or are conquered by their hungrier neighbors, but it's probably going to be something else. The “decline,” if indeed there is one, isn't the many who are faltering, it's the concentration of power and wealth by the few.   Politics & Philosophy 2:49 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash American Dream, America's decline, politics, humor no Sun, 02 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 511 Generational Concepts Politics & Philosophy Let's review some of the concepts about the next generation: The deal between older generations and the ones coming up has been broken. Modern narcissism really became apparent when generations started naming themselves. All generations dismiss the next generation out of envy. The generation that grew up with Facebook is reminiscent of historical constant contact between family & friends. Millennials can be excused for resenting being exploited & ignored. Rising education costs are the new indentured servitude. New graduates at least have each other because there sure isn't anybody else who cares. Millennials are Socialists because that's the best deal for them. The Occupy Movement was unsuccessful because... How could it be? You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:17 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash generation, Millennials, humor, politics no Sat, 01 Dec 2018 07:00:00 -0800 510 Occupy Movement Politics & Philosophy Probably only Millennial-written history books will remember the Occupy Movement. It was an arch-typical Millennial attempt at protest, essentially ineffective, in fact, more of a condemnation of Millennials than a promotion of their cause, because there wasn't a cause, not a clear one anyway; Occupy people were simply bored and anxious and demonstrating is easy, plus they got to do a little camping but still go home to a flush toilet. It was also self-defeating because of its foundation in anarchy, which has the terminal problem of lack of leadership; it's only self-appointed spokesman were unimpressive Marxist thinkers.  It’s hard for Conservatives to see past the resentment, envy, and perversity of the Occupiers to the real issue: unchecked exploitation of the Capitalist system by the Nouveau Aristocracy. Conservatives don't seem to understand that every year that goes by where Occupiers can't start careers or families, increases their ranks. The Occupy Movement may be dead but the reasons behind it continue unabated, and it won't flounder forever, eventually people will emerge who were articulate, credible, and can state their case clearly; in fact, it already happened when socialism became mainstream.   Politics & Philosophy 2:02 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Occupy, Occupy Movement, Socialism, humor, politics no Thu, 29 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0800 509 Millennials are Socialists Politics & Philosophy Socialism is attractive to unambitious people or when opportunity is concentrated. Millennials are becoming socialists because the Nouveau Aristocracy, supported by Republicans, have a lock on opportunity. The entrenched winners won't allow anybody else into the game so all that those out-of-luck people have left is socialism or revolution. Life is good so revolution is out as an option, which leaves more-n-more socialism coming our way as a means to redistribute opportunity. It's a travesty that socialist countries actually give their average citizen a greater chance of changing their status in society than the average citizen here in Liberty America. Indoctrinating students in public schools with socialist ideals has also played a big role in creating an environment sympathetic to socialism; the idea of world citizenship, environmentalism, stressing inclusion over individual achievement, and other globalist propaganda. Patriotism used to be a counter against socialism but that was another age. Also in the past, the Cold War made socialism taboo for previous generations; Millennials were the first generation that grew up after the fall of the Soviet Union. They are the generation of 9-11, endless war, The Financial Crisis, and The 1%. To a Millennial, spreading around the wealth seems like a reasonable idea.   Politics & Philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash socialism, Millennials, humor, politics no Tue, 27 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0800 508 New Graduates Politics & Philosophy No accomplishment has lost more real value than a college education. For all the high-minded talk about expanding your intellectual and emotional horizons, it's really turned into nothing more than preschool for joblessness. New graduates recognize in their hearts when it seeps in a couple weeks before graduation, that they have nothing lined up except as future baristas, some facial hair, and maybe a new tattoo? Even worse, many potential employers know this, and consider student loan debt an indication of poor judgment. The real secret of new graduates getting jobs is to be born into the Top 1%: jobs are about Who You Know, and Uncle Billy only cares about the degree as an excuse to why he's promoting you over the guys who've been with him for twenty years. Ivy League schools give prestige, but a degree from anywhere else just makes people wonder why you moved so far away from your parents then move back home afterwards. For the lucky few that get jobs, the initial excitement on the first day is quickly replaced by a sinking feeling when they show you your desk. After the first week, the despair really sets in, but remarkably, you adapt. Camaraderie with other new hires gradually replaces ambition and imagination with capitulation and complacency. However, the older people at the company stay clear because there's actually nothing more pitiful to old graduates than new graduates.   Politics & Philosophy 2:30 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash New Graduates, humor, politics no Sun, 25 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0800 507 Rising Education Costs Politics & Philosophy The cost of a college diploma has skyrocketed because it violates the free market system. America's universities have always been a hotbed of gate-keeping, rent-seeking, self-interested job security & pretentious pandering, but in the current crisis, the problem can be traced to government intervention, specifically, the government student loan guarantee policy, because students wouldn't be able to get the unbankruptable loans for worthless, fashionable degrees without this bizarre incentive. The political machinations used to obtain this boondoggle appeal to both the education business industry and socialist mentality, so there is no one arguing against it, and the unnatural demand creates an artificial shortage of brick-n-mortar didactic teaching institutions. This has also led to degree inflation: jobs that used to require a Bachelors degree or lower now require at least a Masters, and jobs that never required a degree before, now do. The government student loan guarantee program fails because it distorts the adversarial relationship required for Markets to function properly. Students, who by definition don't yet have wisdom, are agreeing to lifelong servitude in exchange for exaggerated promises of success and misleading career advice, and the education industry exploits the opportunity via increased tenure and other ridiculous devices, like the ban on reporting graduate's employment and salaries, that can't be pressured by market forces, so they continue to fester. The sooner America moves to alternate forms of learning, such as on-line self-paced, the better.   Politics & Philosophy 2:32 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Rising Education Costs, education, student loan program, student loan, politics, humor no Fri, 23 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0800 506 Exploiting Millennials Politics & Philosophy Modern medicine, diet, relatively easy lives, and the fact that most modern jobs are inconsequential, requiring almost no effort to perform, means Baby-Boomers aren't retiring. Plus, “Free” Trade moves the difficult jobs, such as manufacturing, that employers had to pay more for, off-shore. Farming, which at least provided opportunities to work, is now performed by machines or Illegal Immigrants. The consequence is that there are not enough careers to go around; Millennials can only sniff around the scraps of the Baby-Boomers, or become coffee baristas. But it's worse than that; because of the bizarre regressive nature of America's social programs, the burden is felt most heavily by Millennials. Taxes are taken from the first dollar of their meager paychecks and given to people who are relatively better off, and remember Obamacare required Millennials to buy health insurance when they didn't want it so everyone else could get a better deal. Millennials are also bearing the brunt of the ridiculous student loans, decades of internecine war, the stigma of imaginary racism, and they grew up being constantly scared by the false specter of an environment that will soon collapse. Married Millennials are taxed more, and the cost of raising children has gone up considerably from regulations, such as car seat requirements and childcare. Parents can now go to jail if they discipline their children. Fathers face onerous child support obligations, and there's even negative pressure from Neo-Eco and anti-White forces that discourage having children. Underlying all of this, the very fabric of American beliefs, such as national pride and patriotism, are challenged and denigrated by people who would benefit from the toppling of the status quo. No careers, no families, no safety, no underlying ideology; the Millennials could easily pass from this earth unnoticed by history.   Politics & Philosophy 2:59 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Exploiting Millennials, Millennials, humor, politics no Wed, 21 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0800 505 Facebook Generation Politics & Philosophy There is an aspect of younger generations that changes the world: they spend a lot of time in front of screens, and their phone is their trusted friend and babysitter. They “social network” every single day, every hour, sometimes every minute. This has had a profound, observable result, the most obvious being that so many sedentary hours leads to obesity and social awkwardness for some, but also a new confidence for most; they are definitely more worldly and sophisticated than their parents were at that age; mature in some ways beyond their years, yet lacking in ability to take care of everyday conscientious things, like servicing their car or doing home repairs. But constant contact with friends and family members actually seems like a return to more primitive times, and it's unclear if it's less or more psychologically healthy. There is also another odd aberration: look around you in any public venue; half the people are occupied on their phones but none are talking. They communicate through fragments of thought, and instantaneous gratification. This can't help but change how people think, in a way that would seem alien to someone from a century ago; it's truly an evolutionary step. Can you imagine if the social network went down?   Politics & Philosophy 2:12 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Facebook generation, social networking, humor, politics no Mon, 19 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0800 504 The Next Generation Politics & Philosophy Doubting new generations is not unique in history; it's almost an obligation to diagnose generations coming after your own. The impulse to judge is overwhelming, to repeat the negative refrains of every past generation for the succeeding one, the implication being that the world will end under new management, but there are clear changes and differences that are now occurring. For example, younger generations have little concept of loyalty to American-make products; they have no comprehension of the connection between locally-made goods and where jobs come from. In a younger person’s eyes, American goods are shoddy, and foreign made brands are worth a premium price. Also, Intellectual Property rights for music, movies, and computer software are totally unrecognized, and even resented. The next generations feels neither guilt nor shame when they pirate/steal the work of others for there own entertainment and amusement. Unfortunately, because many in the next generation don’t have real jobs or careers, their long-term goals are vague with no specific plans to achieve them. There is a tendency not to make extended commitments, like marriage, but instead engage in a multitude of relationships without reflection or promise, further eroding any sense of personal responsibility. Their exploitation of leisure and lack of work ethic also invites consequences. There's some precedence that economies tumble every 3 generations, and that time is upon us. Funny thing is, that just may be the excitement, correction, and motivation the next generation needs.   Politics & Philosophy 2:31 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash next generation, humor, politics no Sat, 17 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0800 503 Generations Politics & Philosophy Since the advent of Identity Politics, naming generations has become a thing. It started with the narcissistic Baby-Boomers wanting a special designation, but of course, now every age group wants to be special: Gen-X, Millennials, Gen-Y. The names have taken on an undercurrent of derision: resentment held by youth towards their elder generation because they suspect that conspicuous consumption financial success is a no longer possible versus the natural envy of the old for the young. There is also a kind of victimhood shopping that causes the generational definitions to shift around such that it's never quite clear who is deriding who. The designations have essentially been weaponized by people who want to self-identify what generation they are in rather than observe a common definition, like when they were born, and through the the power of this subjectivity, they have full reign to blame virtually anyone as belonging to the oppressor generation, or claim to be an oppressed generation. What makes this so dangerous is that once an entire generation has the excuse to fail because it's another generation's fault, they will.   Politics & Philosophy 1:58 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash generation, humor, politics no Thu, 15 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0800 502 Breaking The Deal Politics & Philosophy Historically, societies battled for dominance; the strongest enriching themselves at the expense of the vanquished, and imposing their will by force. This is the story of human history: forever mired in violence, most advancement coming at the expense of conquest and looting, until the strong were conquered by stronger still. During the Enlightenment, philosophical thought and human intelligence forsake the crudeness of force for the subtlety of alliances; both sides would agree not to take from the other but to instead be trading partners. The people within the society became allies; they made an arrangement with one another: I'll leave you alone and follow your rules if you make my life better. That's the deal. This agreement only continues because people who live in a society are indoctrinated as children to maintain the status quo; the values they share are common only because there is a concerted effort by The State to make them so. Eventually, with this arrangement, nations became so strong that enrichment through external conflict no longer makes sense, however, the most important part of the deal is the one between generations. With no outside enemy, modern societies have turned to conflict within: younger generations view their predecessors with suspicion. The Deal seems to have been violated by giant State debts, unfunded Ponzi scheme social programs, and environmental exploitation. The Deal between nations has held strong but The Deal within nations is breaking down.   Politics & Philosophy 2:29 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash the deal, politics, humor no Tue, 13 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0800 501 Political Party Concepts Politics & Philosophy Political Parties are rife with misinterpretation; let's review some of the concepts: Conservative values tend to maintain the status quo. It's never clear what modern “liberal” values are since, by definition, they're always changing. The only thing that really separates Republicans and Democrats is taxes. “Compromise” is usually a dirty word, but so is no compromise. Candidates don't read nor even know their Party's Platform. Naive candidates are a primary revenue source of the Parties. The competency of politicians is low because democracy is a popularity contest. Celebrity politicians have the advantage of not being beholden to the political power structure. Lobbyists are often a candidate's only sincere supporter. Unspent campaign contributions can be a nice retirement plan. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.     Politics & Philosophy 2:31 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash political parties, candidates, politicians, politics, humor no Sun, 11 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0800 500 Campaign Contributions Politics & Philosophy The whole concept of campaign contributions is bizarre: the idea that people would give money to other people, most likely in a doomed attempted to gain public office, has no valid explanation outside of ego-driven delusion. How does it even work? It's got to be because people are conditioned to give to charity, and tithing to their church, or have political aspirations of their own someday and so imagine the contribution to be a kind of quid pro quo. Considering that many of these same people are adamantly against taxation and the irony couldn't be more blatant. Also, since campaign contribution amounts are capped, the result is that relatively poor people end up funding relatively rich people. Even more unsettling is the fact that candidates, successful or unsuccessful, get to keep the donated money, either outright or as payment for being a candidate. The rules surrounding excess campaign cash vary by State but all can be skirted through how they are accounted for, but in some cases there are no restrictions at all. In Virginia, for example, politicians are not prohibited from using funds for personal expenses, such as vacations, houses, and cars. Recently, New York and Washington State lawmakers have been accused of spending campaign funds on lavish personal purchases. Surly, many candidates just wait until the smoke has cleared then retire on their campaign donation nest egg. Whatever people say they got into politics for, there's no getting past the get-rich-scheme aspect of the job.   Politics & Philosophy 2:31 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash campaign contributions, politics, humor no Fri, 09 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0800 499 Lobbyists Politics & Philosophy The idea that a single private individual could walk into the office of a public official, talk to them for a short time, maybe buy lunch, and that official will then vote in a manner beneficial to the lunch-buyer should be more astounding to all of us than it is. What explains the success of lobbyists? How is everyone so susceptible to bribes and flattery? Ego is the #1 motivating factor for people running for political office. Everybody wants recognition and admiration, and politics seems like the easiest way to obtain them since any Joe Blow can get elected – just look at our current politicians. Suppose you actually go through with it and become a candidate but you know nothing about running a campaign: the situation is surreal, your life is turned upside down, and there's nothing more soul-crushing on this planet than begging your friends for money. You're totally out of your depth, and afraid you are coming across to everyone as clueless. Then, after you're totally stressed out, a ray of hope appears: your first lobbyist. The Lobbyist is nice, and they know things about you and say you're a great candidate. They mention they've just met with members of congress you've only seen on TV. This lobbyist is the closest you've ever be to the power structure, and they say they want to help, and offer a few bucks. You melt. It's actually amazing how little they offer, but it's finally the reverse of begging, and you appreciate getting some unasked for support; it finally feels like you thought it would feel. The Lobbyist never really asks for anything, they just treat you right, and you pay attention to them because you're so grateful, and the magic happens.   Politics & Philosophy 2:40 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash lobbyists, lobbyist, humor, politics no Wed, 07 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0800 498 Celebrity Politicians Politics & Philosophy We started as a country of part-time politicians who wouldn't risk their precious personal and business reputations by lying or taking bribes in politics. They were incorruptible because they were already secure in their lives. Today's career politicians are so pathetic because they are without principles, totally creatures of the people who pay for them. The vast majority of these grasping aspirants have never risen to anything beyond mediocre getting-by, and will do anything to be someone. Small, Special Interest groups have recognized this fatal weakness of representative democracy, and have successfully leveraged it to present compromised candidates. It only takes a few people to block a competent candidate and put their own gasbag on the ticket. Voters can't tell: they read a 1-paragraph blurb in the Voter's pamphlet, and vote based on appearance. Most voters don't know who to vote for because they've never heard of anybody so any known candidate will win, especially a celebrity. A celebrity breaks through the Special Interest stranglehold because celebrities have Followers, and get press. What's good about this is that a celebrity owes no allegiance to the gatekeeping worms, and can't be corrupted by money or fame because they already have it. Whatever celebrity kookiness we have to deal with, it's not going to be backroom deals for personal gain. Get ready to lead Kid Rock, Kanye, and Oprah.   Politics & Philosophy 2:04 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash celebrity politicians, celebrity candidates, politics, humor no Mon, 05 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0800 497 Popularity Contest Politics & Philosophy Should politics be a popularity contest? When someone "represents the people," do they really need to be liked? Should their fashion sense, age, and speaking powers be a determination of whether they're qualified? Reading about Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, and many of the other Founding Fathers; few of the early pioneers of pluralistic politics could be elected today; they just weren't cool enough. How it got this way is glaringly apparent but nobody actually consciously admits it: people get into politics to be famous, and even though they mewl about “wanting to help people,” that's only a cover phrase because admitting to being ambitious is considered gauche. Everyone would run for political office if they could do it anonymously, that's why the idea of an election lottery is so appealing. The reason the quality of candidates is so low is that conscientious people have some misgivings that they are competent to be making decisions for everyone. It takes a truly experienced & confident individual, or a totally clueless one, to actually run for office. On the one hand, there are successful people whose achievements were earned without help of physical appearance or social facility; but on the other, attractive people are often unaware that the accolades they receive are primarily a result of someone wanting to sleep with them.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Popularity Contest, political candidate, politics, humor no Sat, 03 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0700 496 Naive Candidates Politics & Philosophy Let me give you an idea of what being a candidate is like: first, it's not about you, it's about the Party. The Party has a big payroll, and you are their customer because The Party gets its money from your campaign. You don't know that at first, you think they're happy to get you because you are a good candidate and they think you have something to contribute. Wrong; they're happy to get you because you have your savings, your parent's savings, and lots of friends to beg for money. The Party then charges your campaign for their "help:" research, an office, a campaign manager, lots of line item stuff you're not quite sure how it will help but they assure you it will. They call you often to stress that you have to raise money, they provide you with 1000s of names to call, a number to call from, and they'll really pressure you for a start date. You and all the other candidates are basically a telemarketer business. Losing candidates rarely run again because they're embarrassed; they've finally realized they were the fish in a high stakes poker game, and they owe their disappointed family, whose love they exploited to get money, an apology; plus, the adulation they imagined they'd receive as a candidate; their friends flocking to help, people stopping them on the streets, newspapers printing articles, never happened. Frankly, the post-defeat time can be devastating to a person's self-esteem. The reason that successful politicians are professionals who have never done anything else is because the people attracted to the lifestyle; the glad-handing, disingenuousness, and narcissism; is what it takes to win office.   Politics & Philosophy 2:44 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Naive Candidates, politics, humor no Thu, 01 Nov 2018 07:00:00 -0700 495 Party Platform Politics & Philosophy Since all ideologies have to fit into only 2 Parties, determining which one most closely matches you is difficult, especially when you don't know your ideology yourself. Mostly people default to the Party of their parents but for those seeking their own place, how would they know? Supposedly, a Party is defined by its platform though few people read it. The platform is created every 2 years at the State level and every 4 years nationally to coincide with presidential elections. It's the focus of much activity and bustle that ultimately leads to nothing because most of the candidates don't read it either. However, there are some hints: unions are clearly called for in the Democratic platform, while tax reduction features prominently in the Republican one. Not surprisingly, both major Party's platforms are closer to The Center than they are to what most people imagine the Parties are; there is no wild-eyed Collectivist rantings in the Democratic platform and even Identity Politics is only alluded to. Similarly, the Republican platform has none of the selfish rantings of Libertarianism, even though those groups are the loudest voices on Social Media. In fact, both platforms have admirable goals, and either would serve as a foundation of goals for the country, if anybody actually followed them.   Politics & Philosophy 2:17 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash party platform, humor, politics no Tue, 30 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 494 No Compromise Politics & Philosophy Many big “C” Conservatives express a No Compromise attitude. They imagine the other side doesn't compromise, and all the ground they've lost in the Cultural War is because they have been weak in their resistance, bending to accommodate the needs and desires of other people rather than insisting things stay the same. Libertarian thought similarly does not recognize that other people in society are your allies, and must be negotiated with. This is why Conservatives and Libertarians are so negative towards government, because only it has the power to force compliance, not recognizing the irony that government is all that keeps a minority status quo safe from the disaffected masses. Conservatives are not the only No Compromisers, plenty exist on the Far Left too, people for who the status quo holds absolutely no allure. The Far Left insists everyone is “equal” and if not so then must be forced into compliance, no compromise. The Left also wants to limit what people say, even what they think; how can there be any compromise if there can't even be a discussion about it? So the two extremes, those who want absolutely no change, and those who want to kick over the apple cart, have at least one thing in common: they compromised on not compromising.   Politics & Philosophy 2:14 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash compromise, humor, politics no Sun, 28 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 493 Republican vs. Democrat Values Politics & Philosophy There are only 2 Parties so everyone has to squeeze their political values into one or the other no matter how awkward the fit, but how do they know which is the closest? Usually, a person joins the Party their parents belonged to then fumble around trying to describe what values they believe in. The Party Platforms also provide some guidance for determining values but almost no one reads the Platform, or even knows what's in it. There's also the fact that the Parties switched what they stood for a couple times. Whichever Party is in power, especially if it's for a long time, becomes understandably vested in the status quo; even bad ideas have momentum. The other Party, trying to regain power, takes the other side of the bad ideas to gin up votes, even if their stance is counter to what it was a few decades ago. Republicans equate values to morals, which is usually based in religion. Right now, but not for the first time, the Democratic Party is increasingly dominated by Collectivists, whose primary value is that the needs of the group supersede the wants of any individual, and there's a lot of Collectivism in the New Testament, which is why most Democrats argue they also represent moral values. Libertarians are shoehorned into the Republican Party, so anyone from that substantial camp is anti-government, while Democrats see government as a positive. Mostly people use their base self-interest to distinguish the two Parties, and it comes down to one issue: taxes; Democrats for because they primarily receive the benefits, Republicans against because they primarily pay them. Other values, like abortion and guns, are secondary.   Politics & Philosophy 2:45 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash republican, democrat, values, politics, humor no Fri, 26 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 492 What are Liberal Values? Politics & Philosophy Liberalism, as pertains to the nation’s founding, was the idea of democratic representation, no Class system, debt forgiveness, Rule of Law, and personal autonomy, but over the decades it has come to mean less adherence to the status quo, often explained as “new ideas,” but mostly old ideas presented to a young audience who hasn't encountered them before. However, there are some traits that can generally be implied about liberalism: trust in government, universal enfranchisement, wealth redistribution, and social integration. After that, it's a potpourri of ideologies that don't necessarily fit together but have no place else to go in a nation that has only 2 Parties. Back-in-the-day, when African Americans were still trying to vote, and young people were breaking out of the traditional religious molds of their parents, “liberal” became equated in many conservative people's minds with hippies, feminists, and the Black Panthers. That disdain continues to this day, though Millennials playing videogames has little connection with anything “groovy.” Today capital “L” Liberal is a small Centrist sliver of the Democratic Party, where most of the rest of Democrats have otherwise adopted a Collectivist ideology of one sort or another, and though they still believe in personal liberty, it's a kind without the component of personal responsibility, an entirely narcissistic version of liberty that capital “L” Liberals find abhorrent.   Politics & Philosophy 2:30 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash liberal, liberals, values, politics, humor no Wed, 24 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 491 What are Conservative Values? Politics & Philosophy The confusion with calling someone conservative is that you don't know if it's a little “c” or big “C” because everyone is conservative. We all want our lives to mostly stay the same with some minor changes here and there, it’s just that the part of the political spectrum that is called big “C” Conservatives are more married to to the status quo, usually because their comfort level has already been met. That's why older and wealthier people are big “C” Conservative, but there are some other defining factors that are more than just self-interest that can be included in the Conservative pantheon of ideals: patriotism, Nationalism, Religion, and a deep distrust of government. That last comes because government and God are the only powers that can change the status quo, and big “C” Conservatives are on God's side. Other defining factors of Conservatives is their fundamental belief that life is a meritocracy, and people deserve what they get, even if it isn't logical, which is explained by “God's will,” which leads to an aristocracy through wealth concentration, but God must have wanted it that way. Conservatives, of course, are attached to their customs & traditions, which leads to a social aloofness and separatism, which is why Conservatives aren't enamored to pure democracy that often leads to social mixing, as well as some very unconservative changes. Because small “c” conservative actions usually result in sustainable policies, big “C” Conservatism is logical and rational, though not innovative or flexible.   Politics & Philosophy 2:32 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash conservative, conservatives, humor, politics no Mon, 22 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 490 Democracy Concepts Politics & Philosophy Democracy has lots of concepts; let's review those we've covered: Collectivists consider the will of the electorate to be the national majority rather than the local Representative's constituency. The Electoral College envisioned a group of autonomous States, not a monolithic national plebiscite. The math of voting is almost immaterial because the dynamics of voting is emotional. The Right to Vote is a pragmatic one. GOTV campaigns are intentional biased. Enfranchisement was what men took in exchange for surrendering their Right of Violence. Every Special Interest group has a different list of requirements for disenfranchising people they disagree with. Republics stave off the tyranny of the majority implicit in pure democracy. Parliaments better represents all the various ideologies. Top 2 Primary voting has the possibility of functioning like a parliament. Concentration of wealth & power eventually leads to oligarchy & autocracy. Commissions mask who is responsible. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:58 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash democracy, humor, politics no Sat, 20 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 489 Commissions Politics & Philosophy Perhaps the worst form of government is by committee. The problem is that councils and board appointments have vague accountability, especially if they're tenured. Also, often there's some kind of commission that must vote on an action, or worse, a group with legislative authority but no ability to decide anything, like Freeholders. It's unclear where responsibility lies behind the semi-anonymous faces; even elected committee members are only a little more identifiable and responsibility still cannot be determined by regular people, certainly not your average non-partisan voter. Compounding this is some unelected and unknown City Manager who does whatever they want and no one is the wiser nor can do anything about. This plays out at the local level as mayor vs. city councils, both against the City Manager; school superintendent vs. school boards; advisory panels, civic project boards, and interstate committees. Their power is absolute but so diffuse that overcoming momentum is virtually impossible, and after all the deliberations, commissions are little more than a rubber stamp for decisions already made by behind-the-scene elites. Often this is intentional subterfuge, and how legacy bureaucracies get such power; manifesting in the “Deep State.”   Politics & Philosophy 2:10 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash commission, city council, school superintendent, school board, humor, politics no Thu, 18 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 488 Oligarchy vs. Autocracy Politics & Philosophy Oligarchies are an organized minority exploiting the unorganized majority. They maintain their power through their relationships with each other, and have the power to benefit themselves at the expense of everyone else. They gain control of a nation, usually through aristocracy, but corporations and other Special Interests can create a democratically elected oligarchy, like in the U.S. A benign oligarchy does have “a rising tide raises all boats” aspect to it so as they become more rich and successful, their inventions and success benefit society as well, but as the oligarchy coalesces power, it becomes virtually impossible for an average person to enter the elite group. Obviously, oligarchies increase income inequality, and siphon off a nation's wealth, leading to a plutocracy, which is an oligarchy whose members are rich. An autocracy is a form of government where one single individual has supreme authority. It's well known that autocracy improves efficiency; it's less well known that it also is a bulwark against the insidious corruption of oligarchies. Any society will eventually become an oligarchy because insightful people learn how to subtly manipulate the levers of power; the more complicated, the more invisible the influence, but an autocracy seems a poor alternative. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be another?   Politics & Philosophy 2:16 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Oligarchy, Autocracy, humor, politics no Tue, 16 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 487 Top 2 Parliament Politics & Philosophy In the U.S., there are only 2 Parties yet there are dozens of identifiable ideologies. To have any impact at all, voters have to fit their ideology into one of the 2 Parties then fight for a place at a crowded table. The new Top 2 Primaries, where the top 2 vote-getters advance to the General election regardless of Party, first begun in Washington State then California, are an opportunity to better represent all the people, not just simple majorities that can be easily manipulated. The most obvious change that Top 2 voting gives is that in highly partisan voting areas, where one of the Parties has no chance, they could select a viable candidate that was less odious to them, thereby still having some control. For example, of the 2 Democrats for Republicans to choose from, one is a more acceptable moderate, rather than only someone from the Far Left. Also, with the advent of Top 2 Primaries, parliamentary-like representation is possible. This is because Top 2 places the most granular elected position, the Precinct Committee Organizer, or PCO, on the ballot, and anybody can run, no Party affiliation required. PCOs are elected from the people who live in a small local area; one from each Party, so there are hundreds of them. PCO elections allow any ideology in if they have enough local support and can organize, so electing PCOs is like electing a parliament, and since they're selected by voter's ballot rather than in the backroom of Party politics, Communists, Fascists & Greens have just as much chance as anyone else if there's a large enough constituency in their neighborhood, and they meet monthly to represent their constituents. It's republic-style democracy with a parliament flavor.   Politics & Philosophy 2:39 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Top 2, Parliament, humor, politics no Sun, 14 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 486 Parliamentary Politics & Philosophy America was the first liberal democracy with its primitive 2-Party system where winner-takes-all. In more modern, parliamentary democracies, fractional vote-getters have fractional representation, so a Third party that got 10% of the vote would have 10% of the representatives. Not so here; all that a Third Party could be here is a spoiler: just ask Bush Sr. what he thinks of Ross Perot. Parliaments have the great advantage of ideological choice: voters have a smorgasbord of political platforms to choose from, a much more inclusive solution. The weakness and the strength of parliamentary representation is that some combination of the various factions must form an agreement among themselves to work together, hopefully one of which will represent the wishes of the vast majority of people. If not, the coalition dissolves and another one forms. Some nations, such as Italy, are so fragmented that coalitions fall almost every year, but at least fringe thinkers are not left unrepresented, and though their numbers may be small, there is always the opportunity to be part of a new coalition where their influence is amplified. Everyone needs the hope that their desires will be represented eventually. This is, of course, opposite of the United States congress where one Party can steamroll the other, totally ignoring their desires, which is essentially frustrating the desires of half the country's people.   Politics & Philosophy 2:17 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Parliamentary, Parliament, politics, humor no Fri, 12 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 485 Republics Politics & Philosophy If a liberty-based society is going to use democracy for governing, only representative democracy, a republic, will work to get anything close to objective leadership because pure democracy, at its best, is a crude tool wielded by the uninformed & hapless. Luckily, statistically, more often than not someone who is informed and competent gets elected, and this representative percolates the desires of their constituency onto a larger stage. However, pure democracy, tyranny of the majority, is more attractive to Collectivists who criticize the idea of servicing parochial desires as it detracts from what is “best for everyone.” The Left either does not understand the concept of a republic or wishes to subvert it. The Collectivist mindset dictates that local representatives should bend to the national will rather than champion what is in the best interest of their region. In fact, a trend is forming for states to assign their Electoral votes based on national voting patterns rather than the actual votes of their residents. The local mores and values of local people are of no concern to the rest of the nation; especially not to city dwellers who can imagine a future where everyone is equal, mass transit, zoning regulations, and Kumbaya. But America is not a democracy and never has been; it's a republic, which means that regions elect representatives who are their surrogates. Unfortunately, the selection process can be systematically, and relatively easily, gamed, so we ended up with something which is not quite a republic or a democracy.   Politics & Philosophy 2:36 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash republic, republics, politics, humor no Wed, 10 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 484 Disenfranchisement Politics & Philosophy The argument that only select people can vote has always been percolating, usually with regards to military service, but with the advent of so many Illegal Aliens who vote primarily for the Party that caters to them, the idea of universal enfranchisement is again under attack. There is even a senseless discussion about whether democracy is even a good idea, and that at least we should disenfranchise the unqualified. The real discussion, one that is almost totally subjective, is who is “unqualified”? In the imaginary world where anything that pops into our heads counts as a reason to prevent others from voting, first, no retards; if your IQ under 100, get outta line. Next, no mental illness; if you take any psychs, you're gone. Next, get rid of old people; the advent of Old Age naturally makes someone more self-centered and less self-aware; if you're over 70, die already. The reality is; with a society as large and diverse as ours, there can be no voting requirement besides agency, because in truth, there are more important ways to determine if members of society are beneficial: will they die in battle, perform mind-numbing labor, and raise another generation of the same.   Politics & Philosophy 2:09 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash disenfranchisement, enfranchisement, humor, politics no Mon, 08 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 483 Enfranchisement Politics & Philosophy In early America, voting was limited to an elite cadre of property-owning men. It was thought that others need not vote because, using a Libertarian economic metaphor, a rising tide lifts all boats. Democracy was new then and when these men got together to form Liberty Nation America, they voluntarily surrendered to The State the one thing all men have, their Right to Violence. This worked out when it was men voting because they had all sacrificed something, and got something back: the strongest did not rule so the rest of us could land on the moon and live into Old Age. Unfortunately, a new religion was simultaneously born, the concept of Natural Rights, imbued by a magical force that superseded the Right to Violence. Inevitably this led to the Right to Vote for everybody, including people whose violence was inconsequential, women, who never-the-less, were enfranchised. Through democracy, these women who had not ceded anything, exploited The State's monopoly on violence for their own benefit. Other powerless groups with little capacity for violence saw the success women have had in subverting State Violence to their own ends, have begun using the same democratic tactics. Now the tables have completely turned: men, having surrendered their power of violence, are now at its mercy. Men have been thoroughly cucked by democracy, and it's unlikely anyone will ever land on the moon again.   Politics & Philosophy 2:22 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Enfranchisement, humor, politics no Sat, 06 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 482 GOTV Politics & Philosophy There are certainly enough voters in any election to be an accurate statistical representation of the population's desires, even if for only that instant in time. Statistically speaking, adding 10 or 10,000 people to the roles of voters will not change the election's outcome; that is, unless the new voters are not selected randomly. That's where Party-driven GOTV campaigns come in: it's implicit that when a political Party engages in GOTV, it's trying to get an unrepresentative sample of the population to force their special issues through. It's curious that so many of these GOTV campaigners do not recognize the irony of their subterfuge: they exploit democracy in the name of democracy. In GOTVers minds, everyone thinks like them, but just need to participate. Activists are so wrapped up in the sanctimony of their ideals that they can't imagine that anyone can think any differently, except evil people, of course. They think the evil people somehow got too many voters and a GOTV campaign will bring in right-thinking people to balance things out. If the GOTVers indeed canvased the general public then their efforts would be admirable, but they don't, they target people whom share similar values, trying to weigh voting in their favor. Thank goodness the numbers are so large and their efforts are so pitiful, because GOTV never seems to have any effect.   Politics & Philosophy 2:26 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash GOTV, get out the vote, politics, humor no Thu, 04 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 481 Voting Rights Politics & Philosophy Democracy is the selection method most suited to liberty because you make your own decisions and your vote is worth the same as anyone else's. This seems obvious but what's controversial is that democracy shouldn't require citizenship; everyone who's affected by a decision must be in on it to get a quorum. For example, a bunch of people in an auditorium deciding on whether to turn the heat up or down doesn't depend on the citizenship of the people in the auditorium, just that they are the ones affected by it. Everyone in that auditorium needs to have their voices heard if peace is to be maintained; no ID card or special requirements takes precedence over pent up physical violence. Even with complete enfranchisement, if 51% thought it was too cold in the auditorium, the other 49% would still be unhappy, but placated, unless one of the major weakness of voting is employed: bribery. Everyone has a price; sweltering heat would be unanimous at the right price, but only 51% actually need to be bribed. If you're not one of the people who were bribed, you must suffer the heat with no recompense. This failure of democracy is further exacerbated when only a subset of the people can vote; then the 51% could literally be 1 person, the only citizen. Which is the peaceful scenario: a non-citizen voting with the awareness of everyone around them, or the worm who doesn't care what happens to anyone else as long as they get theirs? And what about the situation where people outside the auditorium are voting? The only way voting works to solve the violence problem is once someone is inside the auditorium, they're just as important as anyone else.   Politics & Philosophy 2:42 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash voting rights, vote, humor, politics no Tue, 02 Oct 2018 07:00:00 -0700 480 Voter Dynamics Politics & Philosophy Voters don't know anything: they don't know what district they're in; they don't know who's running; they don't know what the issues are or even which side they're really on. Even the Voter's pamphlet has no impact; what it really comes down to is which candidate can attract the most Special Interest groups. A candidate can ride a single issue to election, like abortion, it doesn't matter what else they do or say, so on all other issues, how much more random can it be than that? But voting is psychological; even when people don't actually physically vote, they vote in their imaginations, which is why voting still has tremendous value as the glue that holds society together. It's not bread and circuses the keeps the populace placated, it's voting; constant voting, at least every two years. Any longer than that and the tenuous logical connection between voting and control dissipates, sowing the seeds of discontent and revolution. However, the intent of voting, which is to steer the course of history, doesn't really make any difference in the candidates or laws. How could they? No one can predict the future, certainly not the statistical incongruities of 100 million people.   Politics & Philosophy 1:58 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Voter Dynamics, politics, humor no Sun, 30 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 479 The Electoral College Politics & Philosophy Many small States joined the Union only reluctantly because they didn't want to become the coattails of more powerful voting blocks. People vote instead of revolting, but mathematically votes mean nothing, which leaves the psychological effect of voting, the tribal aspect, millions of years of evolutionary my-team-versus-your-team rivalry that binds groups together. Democracy for large groups was suspect and still is but people will trust in someone they consider local to put their interests first. That's why they want representatives that can punch over their weight, to try and get their issues and concerns heard in a noisy room. A pure democracy, where a few big cities decide what everyone is going to do, shatter that illusion of even minimal control, that's why people expect their State to be recognized individually in the House and Senate, and why there's an Electoral College for the presidential election. If there was no Electoral College, presidential candidates would only need to campaign in the big cities, or just California for that matter, and many States would simply be ignored altogether. People vote their best interests, and it's easy to predict that the interests of 8 million people in a big urban center have entirely different interests than the whole populations of 6 or 7 States. States don't even recognize doctors, lawyers, accountants & engineers from other States, let alone a huge block of votes from strangers in NYC. If there wasn't an Electoral College, we would require something that did the same thing to maintain our tribal sensibilities.   Politics & Philosophy 2:31 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash electoral college, politics, humor no Fri, 28 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 478 Will of the Electorate Politics & Philosophy Democracy definitely has its downside; mob rule is a real problem. As an antidote, we're told we have a Republic, one person representing many, rather than a democracy, but the pro-democracy people have an alternative story that the original choice as a republic was on purely practical grounds because it was too difficult to get a large number of people to vote over long distances, which is now antiquated and we have to get closer to pure democracy. The reason for the competing narratives is that people who are out of power come up with alternate explanations of things that are prohibiting their ascendance to power. People who want a pure democracy think it will lead to the benefit of the majority, and people who support a republic think that individual Rights, as envisioned in the Constitution, are at risk to pure democracy. This dichotomy manifests itself in another way; the collectivist, pure democracy types, think representatives are not responsible to the people who elected them, but should instead represent the thinking of the majority. There's even disagreement with the concept politicians are responsible for executing the will of the electorate at all, but should instead represent what is “good for everybody,” as decided by them in their elite status. However, it's not in a politician’s purview to substitute their own judgment when the will of their constituency is clear. People who applaud “taking a brave stance” against the will of the electorate are simply those whose own selfish interests agree with that politician.   Politics & Philosophy 2:22 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash will of the electorate, pure democracy, democracy, humor, politics no Wed, 26 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 477 Rights Concepts Politics & Philosophy What are Rights? What aren't? Let's review: In the hierarchy of Rights, liberty comes first. The only Natural right is the Right of Violence. So-called “Positive” Rights require the government to act, while traditional “Negative” Rights prevent it from doing so. “Freedom” is the most misused word in the world. Freedom of Association is under dire attack by the concept of “inclusiveness.” How was it ever okay to force people to join a union? A Welfare society will certainly never land on the moon. Being homeless is a social construct, and as such, any solution will be a political one. It's pretty clear the Constitution changed in the past but it seems to have atrophied now. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:18 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash rights, humor, politics no Mon, 24 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 476 Living Constitution Politics & Philosophy Many religious people think the Constitution is in the same mystical pantheon as the Bible; that every word is unblemished truth, not to be interpreted by mere mortals; and a lot of Conservatives get close to that reverence. In reality, the Constitution is unoriginal material written by deeply flawed men; the time, place, and ingredients were simply right for it to happen. Most folks get their Constitutional scholarship from what they remember in 8th grade civics, and bloviating know-it-alls on TV. In reality, the Constitution has become an arcane fable whose interpretation is mostly through precedence; nobody is deciding what the words mean anymore, but rather what other people thought the words meant in the past. Earlier in the Constitution's 200 year history, lots of things changed, which only deepens today's perplexity, because considering its evolution, it's clear that the Constitution was indeed “living” at one point, though it's not now, and may even have stopped changing forever? The last time there was a real Amendment was in 1971, almost 50 years ago, and no new Amendments seem likely. Actually, the Constitution has become a lot like the Bible because its thoughts have been solidified, and there's no further expansion for modern times. Unfortunately, for those who want to upset the status quo, this state of Constitutional affairs is going to have to bend or something's going to break.   Politics & Philosophy 2:29 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash living constitution, constitution, politics, humor no Sat, 22 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 475 Homeless Politics & Philosophy The word “homeless” is a modern construction: it means people living in such a way that it makes other people uncomfortable. Peoples all over the world once lived in animal-hide tents, giant dormitories, and rough log construction with dirt floors where everyplace was a toilet. Obviously, anyplace can be a home; it doesn't even take much getting used to because routine itself provides the sense of “home.” The choice to live in a tent on the sidewalk in the downtown of a vibrant city rather than in a ramshackle house in Nowhere, Montana, is one lots of intelligent people make. The most insidious moral peril is that posed by those who want to provide homes to the homeless because that it incentives more of the same. There's always the people just on the other side of the cut-off point that see the advantage in being taken care of, and so limit their own volition. They are instead motivated to fit whatever requirements are needed to reduce stress, and being homeless is a small price to pay if the option is a daily grind of mind-numbing work and insecurity. Combine that with an ideal of personal autonomy that has no penalties for irresponsibility, and homelessness is not a aberration, it's the expected state of affairs.   Politics & Philosophy 2:05 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash homeless, humor, politics no Thu, 20 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 474 Welfare Society Politics & Philosophy Even though half the U.S. population depends on some form of government assistance, we are not yet considered a Welfare society because the Top Quarter of our population are relatively free to pursue their own goals, make their own decisions, and reap the rewards of their actions. But how much of a burden can the High Achievers bear before the incentives are no longer worth the effort? We have historical examples of Communist regimes that seem to indicate it takes about three generations before cracks start to show. By the time the grandkids come along with no expectation of achievement or even self-motivation, what was once considered a sign of society's transcendence, its guarantee of social welfare, becomes its downfall. The countries of Western Europe have been dealing with mass welfare for decades, since right after WWII, for obvious reasons, but the consequences even now are not so glaringly apparent that the majority of their populations would revert back to American levels of insecurity, even though there are occasional attempts to reign in the excesses. Especially now, with the mass influx of immigrants from other nations, primarily Muslims, the stress on Western European welfare systems is tremendous. Germany was able to integrate East Germany, so they have confidence they can do so repeatedly. France, Greece, Great Britain & Italy, have all grappled with this problem; their failures should be warnings to us, and their successes should be examples. What must be kept in mind is that welfare should not be so attractive that joining in becomes the actual goal.   Politics & Philosophy 2:32 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash welfare, welfare society, society, humor, politics no Tue, 18 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 473 Forced Union Membership Politics & Philosophy In direct violation to our Freedom of Association, the National Labor Relations Act forces employees to join unions under collective bargaining agreements. It's amazing the conflict took so long to go to the U.S. Supreme Court, probably because the Freedom of Association is a derived Right, not specifically mentioned in the The Constitution even though past Supreme Court decisions have determined it exists. At the State level, 26 States have already made that determination in their State Supreme Courts, and the Freedom of Association has been upheld, but in 24 States, until the Supreme Court's recent decision in Janus, you had to join a union or lose your job. Under pressure from unions, Washington State and California passed responding legislation giving unions an advantage. Union advocates claim that non-members are free-riders because they receive the benefits of the union's strong negotiating power without paying dues, and that may be true but preventing free-ridership should never supersede a Constitutional Right. Adding impetus to the forced union membership conundrum, people look at the power of the Nouveau Aristocracy and how it controls our lives, then suggest alternatives, like joining unions, that control our lives just as much: the answer is NOT to give away more liberty, it's to take BACK the liberty that's gotten away.   Politics & Philosophy 2:14 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash NLRA, freedom of association, politics, humor no Sun, 16 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 472 Freedom of Association Politics & Philosophy Technically, The Constitution does not specifically mention a Right of Association; it's derived from the First Amendment which gives people the Right to Assemble which led the Supreme Court to declare “people can engage in effective speech only when they join with others,” and means that people can demonstrate, form clubs or unions, and meet with other people without government interference. It also means people do NOT have to do these things; for example, people cannot be forced to join a political Party. Unfortunately, under the guise of "inclusiveness," the Freedom of Association is under serious threat. It used to be who you associate with was up to you to decide, no one could force membership into your organization, or who you must work and socialize with, but inclusiveness reverses that power. The Inclusivity People, in conjunction with the Equality People, have taken control of the narrative; imagine how difficult it would be to argue that we need divisiveness, a demarcation between "us" and "them," but how else can you protect the things you cherish if you are forced into sharing? How can you enjoy life to the maximum if you cannot escape those you do not like. It's clearly collectivism, even Marxist, but the penalties for objecting to inclusiveness have become legal, and because of the discourtesy and verbal assaults, no one fights back against these infringements on our Freedom of Association, so we have essentially lost it. Right to Privacy and Freedom of Movement are similarly under threat.   Politics & Philosophy 2:28 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Freedom of Association, politics, humor no Fri, 14 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 471 Freedom Politics & Philosophy Is there any word more misused in the world than “freedom”? People imagine freedom makes them godlike, able to do anything they want with no restrictions. In fact, it's the nature of any restrictions that defines what people consider “free.” In collectivist nations, you are “free” when someone else is providing your food and housing. In Libertarian think, you are “free” when you can horde opportunity. In religions, you are “free” when everyone is acting like God says. All these definitions are putting quite a burden on freedom to deliver, to the point where people consider anything they want as freedom, and any restrictions as a lack thereof. Freedom is important because it's one of the two components of liberty, the other being opportunity. Opportunity without freedom is worthless: there is plenty of opportunity in old Communist regimes but without the freedom of individuals to act, they stagnated and atrophied. In the Jeffersonian liberty sense, freedom is defined judicially; you are allowed to do anything unless explicitly forbidden by law. But to collectivists freedom is about socio-ecomonic desires: people would be more free if they were relieved of their burdens. From the globalist viewpoint, where everyone is “equal” and bounty is to be shared, the U.S. doesn't rank very highly in “freedom,” however, our definition of freedom allows everyone to have their own point of view.   Politics & Philosophy 2:26 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash freedom, politics, humor no Wed, 12 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 470 Negative vs. Positive Rights Politics & Philosophy Civilization comes when men capitulate their Right of Violence, either because tyranny forces them down, or they voluntarily submit to The State because it's in their best interests, as was the case at the founding of America, when because of our capacity to imagine, we surrendered our Right of Violence to The State for our families, and for the opportunity to land on the moon. However, men gave up this ultimate but erratic power with the understanding that it would not then be used against them, so the Founders put restraints on The State, called The Bill of Rights, which are “negative” Rights because they specifically identify where The State cannot intervene: speech, guns, privacy, discrimination, you know the list, then for unresolved issues, we chose democracy. Democracy empowers everyone but it brings consequences; once weaklings got a taste for power through democracy, they immediately recognized the utility of State Violence, and decided they wanted to use it to obtain things for themselves. Thus was born the concept of a “positive” Right, where State Violence is used to coerce people into the designs of an elite who condescendingly determine what is best for everyone. Positive Rights are given enigmatic titles like “human rights,” “natural rights,” “socio-economic rights,” “dignity rights;” and are considered international, making men everywhere responsible for their neighbor nations, a kind of global collectivism. Positive Rights are the exact opposite of what the founders of liberty intended, but instead are what they feared.     Politics & Philosophy 2:41 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash negative rights, positive rights, humor, politics no Mon, 10 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 469 Right of Violence Politics & Philosophy Back when men decided things with clubs, it was clear to everyone that the only natural born Right was violence. For millennia that was the case, the most violent dominated, but tribes that inherited altruism, the caring for others, where able to break the cycle of violence, and society advanced. A tacit deal was made: safety and improved living standards in exchange for men's voluntary sacrifice of personal violence. However, altruism has a poor memory, as time passed and civilization no longer had a daily reminder of the violent potential of men; sophistry became the norm, and people forgot where power comes from; that all other Rights are only possible if the Right of Violence is properly recognized. Violence is the only way to keep a society intact; men's voluntary submission to State Violence in exchange for The Deal. Most people, even men, no longer understand that; they take it for granted that everybody else will remain nonviolent even when it's against their best interests, and now that women, minorities and weirdos have a taste of power, they want to wield State Violence for their own aims, with no realization from where that violence emanates. These people arrogantly think that police and soldiers are theirs to command; to take liberty through surrogate violence if need be; to get what they want by force. That only works until men reassume their Right of Violence.   Politics & Philosophy 2:27 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash rights, violence, humor, politics no Sat, 08 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 468 Hierarchy of Rights Politics & Philosophy What comes first: the Right to Life or Right to Liberty? The famous testimony “give me liberty or give me death” makes a stark choice. Constitutionally, liberty comes first, however, people argue this incessantly; in cases of safety, in the case of guns, and certainly in the case of abortion. What about the choice of life versus property or privacy? It seems that life comes before them. And how do other Rights fair in the hierarchy? Our Freedom of Association and Freedom of Travel are far down the totem pole. “Inclusiveness” isn't even a Right yet it takes precedence over who we can exclude from our presence, and ever-more-prevalent tolls and other fees are limiting travel. Social rights take precedence over religious rights; there's a baker in Oregon can assure you of that. It's also tough to talk about Rights because everybody thinks whatever Right they are invoking takes precedence over all others. This becomes especially problematic when the “right” they are claiming isn't recognized in U.S. jurisprudence, nor specified in The Constitution; things like Natural Rights or Human rights. It's probably the fault of the American education system that people can't tell Rights from philosophy or personal value systems. These people insist that State Violence be utilized to force their interpretation of Rights on everyone. The only paramount Right seems to be that of procreation; no one can be forced to use contraceptives, no matter their proven incompetence of being parent.   Politics & Philosophy 2:39 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash rights, hierarchy, politics, humor no Thu, 06 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 467 Court Concepts Politics & Philosophy How do The Courts work in America, let's review: The concept of justice has been hijacked for social and moral ends rather than an issue clearly defined in law. Prison serves almost no purpose but vengeance but how much is vengeance worth? Prisoners paying for their own incarceration is eerily reminiscent of Debtor's Prisons. Public perception of police has made a dramatic shift since the advent of cell phone videos. Militarization subtly affects attitudes of police who begin to view themselves at war with their communities. Electing judges inevitably leads to court bias, but society already has bias built in when it comes to female privilege. Sharia Law in America is little different from Jewish Law but it ignites more fear and concern. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:17 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash courts, humor, politics no Tue, 04 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 466 Sharia Law in America Politics & Philosophy The 1924 Federal Arbitration Act allowed litigants to resolve cases using the forum and law of their choice, called Alternative Dispute Resolution. It's the idea that people can mutually agree to resolve their civil disputes in accordance with any set of rules which both agree. What makes this powerful is that the successful claimant can then use State Violence for enforcement. Via this mechanism, Jewish law has been practiced in the U.S. judiciary for decades, by rabbinical courts, The Beth Din of America, which serves Jews as a forum for arbitrating disputes through the din torah process; obtaining Jewish divorces, and resolving financial disputes. In fact, U.S. Courts will compel using the Rabbinic Court if it is designated in an arbitration provision of a contract.   Similarly, in the U.S., judges have to consider Islamic law, called Sharia law, in their decisions if it is written into a contract, or both parties to the dispute agree. For example, a judge may have to recognize the validity of an Islamic marriage contract from a Muslim country in order to grant a divorce in America. However, recently six states have passed laws to prohibit judges from considering “foreign laws” in their decisions, called “ALAC,” American Laws for American Courts. These bills have been stalled by the Muslim Brotherhood which accuses the bills' sponsors and supporters of Islamophobia, campaigns against them, and sues in court. Islamic courts are becoming common in North America, and for many Muslims, Shariah is divine and cannot be changed, but the U.S. interpretation of Islamic jurisprudence is called “fiqh,” and it can be changed. In a landmark 2010 New Jersey case, a judge refused to give a wife a protective order after her husband repeatedly beat and raped her, the judge saying he had to defer to Shariah law. Luckily, the decision was overturned by an appellate court.   Politics & Philosophy 3:00 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Sharia law, politics, humor no Sun, 02 Sep 2018 07:00:00 -0700 465 Court Bias Politics & Philosophy One of the myths in America is that everyone is equal under the law. That's a bedrock belief, and maintaining its veneer is incredibly important; attorneys can actually have their license revoked for publicly speculating that particular judges are biased in some manner, but most people are aware of the situation anyway. For example, there's how women are treated with a double standard in the realm of domestic violence, child custody, and underage sex. These topics are almost impossible to discuss because mentioning female privilege is taboo in Political Correctnessland, but you can predict how an elected male prosecutor will react to a young Blond White female who is slugged in the face by a Black Male college football player, no matter what the provocation. Electing judges exacerbates Court bias. The argument for electing is that The People get to select who judges them, but that immediately inserts a political factor, and politics is about one faction over another, whereas judges must at least be perceived as even-handed. Unfortunately, the entire fabric of the jurisprudence system unravels if it is advancing the agenda of a Special Interest group. In Washington State, that would be the public unions, the Teacher's Union in particular. That's why the Washington State Supreme Court is not trusted by the Republican Party; how can half the population hold its highest judiciary suspect?   Politics & Philosophy 2:26 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Court Bias no Fri, 31 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 464 Militarized Police Politics & Philosophy Police are not soldiers: they shouldn't look like soldiers, they shouldn't talk like soldiers, and they certainly shouldn't do the jobs of soldiers. Unfortunately, the body armor, video helmets, and automatic weapons police are now utilizing are eerily reminiscent of American soldiers in the Middle East. The militarization of police became visible on television to the public in the late 1960s with the use of tear gas against rioters. Then in the late 1990s, unused military equipment was donated to local law enforcement agencies under the “1033 program.” Studies showed that police forces that received military equipment had more violence regardless of local crime rates, and the new militarization is also associated with intelligence gathering of political activists. This has continually escalated to the ridiculous level it is now; for example, in 2014, the Los Angeles Unified School District agreed to return three grenade launchers but it would keep its armored personnel carrier and 61 assault rifles. The very presence of military equipment can't help but change the attitude of the police themselves. Take a controlling personality who already has a proclivity towards physicality, and give them a testosterone-inducing ex-military vehicle, and the results are predictable. Even if the most conscientious individuals are recruited, the simple optics of an armored, overwhelming behemoth that drives down city streets along with Priuses and Cadillacs isn't worth it. The implication is that they are at war with their communities rather than keeping the public safe.   Politics & Philosophy 2:41 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash militarized police, police, humor, politics no Wed, 29 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 463 Police Politics & Philosophy The mythos of police in America has taken a beating in recent years but they still remain in the admirable pantheon of firemen, athletes and astronauts. In fact, those people who become policemen because they decided to as children are exactly who a society wants as policemen. Police work requires a high level of egalitarianism; treat everyone the same, don't pre-judge. That's a high bar; most folks don't have it in them, and unfortunately, there's a significant number of policemen that do it for the power trip and the gun. Luckily, the screening that police cadets face weeds out the worst psychological basket-cases but most police work is dull and routine, and puts them in contact with the worst elements of society, so whatever a young police academy graduate started out as, by the time they are veterans on the force, most are jaded beyond recognition. There's also a growing divide between the opinions of the public and those of police officers: over 80% of police say the public doesn't under the the risks-rewards of police work, but the people view it exactly opposite. Also, in the past, Hollywood dramatized police in an overwhelmingly positive light but Pop culture is evolving due to dashcams and smartphones which has led to the police themselves wearing body cameras, as a defense against claims of malfeasance; the implication being that police would act dishonestly without the constant and intimate oversight. It doesn't help any that police have now become indistinguishable from military soldiers, no longer the friendly neighborhood watchman of Sesame Street.   Politics & Philosophy 2:33 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash police, politics, humor no Mon, 27 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 462 Prisoners Paying For Their Own Incarceration Politics & Philosophy The United States locks up too many people, it's as simple as that. Not only is this a reflection of our society but it costs a lot of money. Some scheming misanthropes see this problem and come up with the draconian solution of making prisoners pay for their own incarceration. This may sound appealing on the surface, maybe even logical, but just examine the natural consequences for a moment: what if the prisoner, as usual, has no money? How is money going to be squeezed out of the prisoner? A loan? Extort their family? There seem to be few viable options; is it a coincidence that the use of Chain Gangs is a making a reemergence in the penal system? It's not too difficult to see where the combination is going... The new slavery. It gets even worse because private companies are given State Power to collect State fines, and incarceration is the penalty for not paying. Before a prisoner incarcerated in this manner can get out after their term to declare their Constitutional Right of bankruptcy, they're found guilty of not paying at a pre-release hearing, and thrown back in prison where taxpayers continue to pay for their incarceration, providing an endless source of labor for The State. Explaining all this with the worst possible motive is probably the correct one: it's intended to keep people in jail indefinitely, both as a source of cheap labor and to keep them off the streets. Society should never raise money through punishment, as it inevitably leads to exploitation and abuse.   Politics & Philosophy 2:30 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Prisoners Paying For Their Own Incarceration, humor, politics no Sat, 25 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 461 Prison Politics & Philosophy The bottom 10% of society have IQs so low that they are incompetent at everything. Add in the developmental psychopaths, and the number of dangerous men who live among us is absolutely frightening. And now that we've become more civilized, there is no place for them to go. Most people who vote obviously don't know this because their sense of propriety is completely suburban; they have little or no association with real life. When confronted with the news of wrongdoing, they wallow in self-righteous indignation, casting judgment from the safety of gated communities: for them prison is vengeance and conveniently keeps the riff-raff out of their neighborhoods. Unfortunately, imprisoning people in mass does nothing but improve traffic congestion. Prison has almost no curative value, but it does offer food, shelter, security, friends; things that many of the prisoners don't have outside prison, and many people who are incarcerated simply can't survive in our complicated society. In fact, the regiment and security of prison may be just the thing to give them purpose in life, and really, how much different is prison from the military? There's no question the military turns boys into men, as does prison, just not the kind of men you want to know, or that society benefits by.   Politics & Philosophy 2:18 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash prison, humor, politics no Thu, 23 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 460 Justice Politics & Philosophy The distortion of the word “justice” to legitimize any hair-brained ideology that comes along is a relatively new phenomenon. Everyone wants justice, they're just not quite sure what it means? We just assume when justice is served, it was something logical. It's not a coincidence that this is also the term most closely associated with our existing legal system, and justice has a legal definition which should have made it objective, but because one of its synonyms is “fairness,” it has become one of the most subjective of words: what's fair to one person is another's tyranny. More synonyms for justice are “righteousness,” “equitableness,” and “moral,” all highly subjective. Unfortunately, there's no mention of truth or rationality. It's no wonder that scheming Special Interests groups exploit the positive preconceptions and lack of objectivity of justice, trying to advance their causes to the top of the synonym hierarchy. For example, how did racism or bigotry become the most important presumed Constitutional prohibitions, at least as viewed by Social Media, whereas real Constitutional Rights like Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association, Freedom from Search and Seizure, and the Right to Bear Arms are under attack. There's a deep irony that Social Justice Warriors are the ones trying to take everyone else's justice.   Politics & Philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash justice, politics, humor no Tue, 21 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 459 Legal Concepts Politics & Philosophy Nothing has as much impact on our lives as The Law, let's review the legal concepts we've covered: Every new law must overwhelming justify its negative impact on liberty. Most laws should automatically terminate once their specific objective is met, or some future date, whichever comes first. There is a delicate balance between those who exploit the anarchy of lawlessness and a Police State. Fines that go to the finer are little more than a Protection Racket, or soon will be. Zoning is the practice of political ideology wrapped in reasonable sounding arguments. Asset seizures violate the 4th Amendment but law enforcement agencies don't care because they are the beneficiaries. Squatter's Rights may be the solution to vast private accumulations of property. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:09 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash legal concepts, adverse possession, zoning, police state, politics, humor no Sun, 19 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 458 Adverse Possession Politics & Philosophy What about the situation where billionaires buy up huge tracts of land, millions of acres, and turn it into their own private natural reserve? Ted Turner owns 2 million fenced off acres, containing his 14 ranches and 4 girlfriends he visits on a rotating schedule. In fact, of the 2.3 billion acres of land in the United States, government owns 37%, Indian reservations are 3%, leaving 60% to private landowners, of which the top 10 private landowners together own almost 15 million acres, and The Nature Conservancy has tied up another 21 million acres. Considering The West was settled by offering a family “40 acres and a mule,” there's no longer any reason to raise mules. Adverse Possession is the legal principle that a person can gain legal title to land simply by occupying it for some amount of time; so-called “squatter's rights.” The concept descends from Roman law that allowed someone who was in possession of land to become the lawful proprietor if the original owner did not evict them in two years, and it was held as traditional English Common law after that. In the U.S., the length of time varies State by State, anywhere from 5 to 40 years. Of course, it doesn't work against The State because “no time runs against the king,” nullum tempus occurrit regi. The Utilitarian philosophy that the most efficient ownership of goods goes to the maximum utility seems to rely on who's defining what the “maximum utility” is. If a squatter stakes out a little homestead on some Playboy's private savanna, that seems like a high utility, to the homesteader anyway, but the Playboy may want to build another ranch there, making room for a couple more girlfriends. I'm thinking Adverse Possession and Playboy billionaires are going to come to loggerheads in the future. Politics & Philosophy 2:54 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash adverse possession, humor, politics no Fri, 17 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 457 Asset Seizures Politics & Philosophy Asset seizure and civil forfeiture allows The State to confiscate anything associated with a crime without a conviction or even charges brought. Police officers can simply take whatever they deem involved: cash, automobiles, your parent's house; then the PROPERTY must prove itself innocent before it's returned. This is a total violation of the 4th Amendment, which specifically disallows unwarranted seizure, but it seems completely vulnerable to greedy police departments and government agencies that want the cash for themselves. Of course, terrorism, or the Drug War before that, were used as stalking horses to justify such outrageous behavior, but like all extremities that violate the Constitution, once the camel's nose got under the tent, everyone's Right becomes compromised. Just property seized by the Department of Justice exceeds $2.4 billion annually, and that doesn't count what is seized by Treasury. The private property is then sold at public auction, and the money retained by the agencies doing the confiscating. You know you've gone too far towards a Police State when Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas objects; quote “This system where police can seize property with limited judicial oversight and retain it for their own use has led to egregious and well-chronicled abuses.” We as a people have let one of our Rights atrophy by not challenging this ridiculous new police power, so the blame is ultimately on us, but the fact that no elected officials have risked their career to publicly resist the police tells us a lot about what kind of people run this country.   Politics & Philosophy 2:39 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash asset seizure, civil forfeiture, politics, humor no Wed, 15 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 456 Zoning Politics & Philosophy Nothing identifies the ideology of a government like zoning; the desires of central planners making selfish decisions for questionable public good. Zoning is the idea that it's against the law to do something with your own property unless it's specifically allowed, the exact opposite of Rule of Law. Look at the restrictions put on land use and you can determine what kind of people live there: high rise living started out as poor tenements but now it's something many people prefer. Local shopping, flower boxes and bike lanes are anachronistic nostalgia, but do appeal to a segment of the overall population who move there, people who denigrate private homes as “McMansions,” and demonize mowing the grass. The same people responsible for homelessness and forcing people from their cars. Zoning regulations didn't show up in the U.S. until 1916 in New York City due to buildings blocking sunshine, and it hasn't gotten any better since then. After Oregon went overboard on zoning, property owners went to court, and now if zoning devalues property, government must pay the difference, but it turns out there were more complainers than plaintiffs, and Oregon hardly ever has to pony up because it doesn't have any money. However, the Godzilla of all zoning is self-imposed: HOA rules that regulate the color of your roof, and whether your garage door can be open during the day.   Politics & Philosophy 2:25 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash zoning, politics, humor no Mon, 13 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 455 Red-Light Cameras Politics & Philosophy It's never a good idea to financially incentivize those responsible for our protection: it soon becomes a protection racket. Policing is not a business or we could hire private police; same with Safety Inspectors and other government functionaries we allow to monitor and regulate us via the public sphere because we can't trust private interests not to exploit us. However, government, especially local governments, can be just as insidious an extortion threat with their use of fines. Fines should never be used as revenue generators for local government because if the benefits accrue directly to the agency imposing the fines, that's self-dealing. For example, it's unproven rather Red-light cameras improve safety, or are a deterrent, but even if that is the assumption then any safety law that has a fine attached to it is suspect unless the fine money goes to an uninterested Third Party and there is no financial benefit to the ticket-giver. Enriching private out-of-State companies who provide the cameras and ticketing, and that are then given the State's power of collection, is especially heinous and should be explicitly prohibited. In fact, many States have made Red-light cameras illegal and some State Supreme Courts have even declared them unconstitutional. Why is that precedence not universal unless, of course, local governments want a slush fund.   Politics & Philosophy 2:16 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash red light camera, fines, humor, politics no Sat, 11 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 454 Not Prohibited is Legal Politics & Philosophy The foundation of modern democratic States is Rule of Law, which is the legal principle that someone cannot be punished for doing something that is not prohibited by law; in Latin “Nulla poena sine lege,” “no penalty without a law,” because like most things legal, it was codified into Roman Law. However, law is not treated the same from one nation to the next; in fact, in legal circles, a humorous sophism has emerged: In England, "everything which is not forbidden is allowed;" in Germany, "everything which is not allowed is forbidden;" in France, "everything is allowed even if it is forbidden;" and Russia where "everything is forbidden, even that which is expressly allowed;” while in North Korea, "everything that is not forbidden is compulsory." Truth underlies that stereotype because laws are either reflections of societies or societies are reflections of laws, it's difficult to say; people have to want to abide by laws for them to work. Unfortunately, scofflaws undermine all laws, and a law that is not enforced makes it difficult to enforce all laws. There is a delicate balance by those who would like to prohibit things for their own selfish reasons versus those who would exploit the freedom of no supervision for their own selfish reasons; let it swing too far one way and anarchy results, and too far the other and America ends up as a punch line in a limerick.   Politics & Philosophy 2:22 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash rule of law, politics, humor no Thu, 09 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 453 Law Sunset Clause Politics & Philosophy The winds of politics often change direction, and the Must Have law of the previous administration becomes the albatross on the next. A simple solution is to add a Sunset provision into laws so that they expire after a certain goal is achieved or at most a time limit is reached, perhaps after a decade or so, unless further legislative action is taken for extension. Marque examples include the Patriot Act which was renewed, and the Assault Weapons Ban which was allowed to expire. The first philosophical reference to a sunset provision of laws dates back to Plato, and they were a mandate of Roman law. Societies through the millennia have recognized the need to minimize the number of laws, not let them multiply into incomprehensible obscurity like they do today. Similar to explicitly written Sunset clauses, there is also implied termination of laws, called “desuetude;” a word unfamiliar to most Americans but not uncommon throughout the world. It's a legal doctrine that causes laws to become unenforceable by a long habit of non-enforcement or lapse of time; basically an automatic repeal of inactive or obsolete laws. Canada and Australia actually inserted desuetude into their constitutions, and it had some popularity in U.S. last century when about half of the States adopted it. However, at the federal level, the political tactic has been to wrap all budget items, which expire every year, into a giant “omnibus” bill then only allow a single yea or nay vote on everything all together, which defeats the whole intent of a Sunset.   Politics & Philosophy 2:33 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash sunset clause, politics, humor no Tue, 07 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 511 Generational Concepts Politics & Philosophy Let's review some of the concepts about the next generation: The deal between older generations and the ones coming up has been broken. Modern narcissism really became apparent when generations started naming themselves. All generations dismiss the next generation out of envy. The generation that grew up with Facebook is reminiscent of historical constant contact between family & friends. Millennials can be excused for resenting being exploited & ignored. Rising education costs are the new indentured servitude. New graduates at least have each other because there sure isn't anybody else who cares. Millennials are Socialists because that's the best deal for them. The Occupy Movement was unsuccessful because... How could it be? You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.     Politics & Philosophy 2:17 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash generation, Millennials, humor, politics no Mon, 06 Aug 2018 07:29:16 -0700 452 New Laws Politics & Philosophy How do you know when a new law or regulation is needed? It’s not enough that they simply “save lives;” any new law or regulation must be treated like the judicial system treats someone accused of a crime: improper without overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The burden-of-proof is to justify a new law or regulation is needed versus individual liberty; the less the law affects people, the less justification is needed, but if a new law or regulation crosses into people's liberty then that law is going to require extraordinary supporting arguments. “Gun Control” falls into the New-Laws-Need-Review category: it’s not enough to say people can’t have guns just because others don't want them to, or some “safety” issue; proposers must clearly identify why a new gun control law is more important than individual liberty then provide substantial evidence that the law will achieve that goal. This applies to adding new government agencies; there must be evidence that the use of tax dollars has an overwhelming benefit that justifies impinging on the liberty of everybody. Most voters don't like new laws: it seems that a good political tactic for an elected official would be to proudly proclaim how many potential new laws they thwarted. They could run on stopping laws rather than creating them. Special Interest groups would be angry but a majority of voters who would keep them in office.   Politics & Philosophy 2:19 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash laws, politics, humor no Sun, 05 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 451 Gender Concepts Politics & Philosophy The whole idea of gender is currently under redefinition, let's recap: Women do not realize that respect from men comes from competition within the dominance hierarchy. Women do not choose to participate in the sciences because they have better options. The LOWV are an anachronistic organization that is more hypocrisy than substance. Gender is how someone is viewed by society, not how you view yourself. Transgender bathrooms are the ultimate example of the minority dictating to the majority. Children can't drink, can't smoke, can't vote; how can they possibly know if they're transgender? Unfortunately for people who consider themselves transracial, no one else does. Other people must get permission to impinge on your liberty, not demand you accommodate them by insisting “How does it affect you?” “Man-Spreading” is one of the more laugh-worthy fronts in the war on men. Females are often not held accountable for their complicity in violence against men. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:55 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash gender, politics, humor no Fri, 03 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 450 Female Violence Politics & Philosophy Men are indoctrinated against striking women, and if they do, society treats them extremely harshly. Men also strike men, but the punishment has no trace of outrage, and leaves no stigma. These attitudes are left over from the age of The Patriarchy when women had special treatment in the eyes of society as recompense for the ascendancy of men. However, modern women, in their quest for “equality,” conveniently bypass such anachronistic dichotomies. Most people actually defend the double-standard; the wall of sanctimony is virtually insurmountable because women want to retain the remnant benefits of The Patriarchy, giving lie to their stated agenda: Feminists are not looking for equality, they are battling for superiority. Women also hide behind erroneous statistics that women will experience more physical violence in their lifetime than men. Are all these statisticians women who have never experienced male-on-male hierarchy conflict that all males are subject to but don't report? Women often claim verbal abuse as well, which can be twisted into a Domestic Abuse, which is a crime, but statistics show that men are much more the target of verbal abuse than women. However, focusing on the incidents where a woman physically assaults a man is by far the worst inequity: women can strike men, triggering a testosterone-based response that gets the man arrested while the woman achieves victim status. For example, a Florida college quarterback got kneed in the groin after trying to prevent further escalation of a conflict with a drunk woman, hit her, then lost his scholarship. Nothing happened to the woman. Women blithely enter the realm of male hierarchy oblivious to the seething violence all around them, relying on the indoctrination of men to keep them safe, yet males suffer the consequences of their action. Who's the real victim here?   Politics & Philosophy 3:02 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash female violence, equality, humor, politics no Wed, 01 Aug 2018 07:00:00 -0700 449 Man-Spreading Politics & Philosophy The best way to win a war is to always stay on the offensive, and a multi-front offensive is the best kind, especially against an opponent who isn't even aware they are in a battle. “Man-spreading,” the ludicrous claim that men sit on subway benches with their knees apart rather than together to accommodate tighter packed riders, is an example of keeping the opposition on the defensive by giving moral license to any sanctimonious twit to confront the man-spreader verbally and harass them, yet the hypocrisy of women putting bags on the seat next to them is a common phenomenon. There's man-shaming on multiple fronts; for example, “mansplaining,” where women mock a man who talks to them like a teacher, as ironic as that sounds. Feminist women complain that they don't want the air of superiority men take towards women, so-called “talking over” them; that women know just as much as men do. This is a narrow, self-centered accusation, intended only to demean men. Men “mansplain” to other men too, especially if it's a manly subject like repairing cars and the listener is a effete Volvo driver. The anti-man campaign doesn't have to make sense because that's not its intention; its goal is to diminish men by haranguing and disparaging them, one of the most effective weapons in the secret war against men.   Politics & Philosophy 2:22 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash man-spreading, man-splaining, humor, politics no Mon, 30 Jul 2018 07:00:00 -0700 448 How Does it Affect You? Politics & Philosophy There is a subtle aspect to collectivist thinking that liberty-practicing people find surprising: the "how does it affect you?" accusation. This question puts the liberty-seeker on the defensive to explain their reasoning for objecting to the actions of someone else, because liberty people are accustomed to the person impinging upon their liberty to provide justification, not the other way around. When you are in a public place, you do not expect to be forced into acting contrary to established norms: you may find it uncomfortable to address a man as a woman or meet a woman in the Men's bathroom. The Prayer-in-School and Pledge-of-Allegiance crowd use the same tactic: “Why can't you stand silently while everyone else pledges? How does it affect you?” Of course, liberty is the answer to both situations; with liberty, you recognize the wishes of others out of courtesy, not obligation, and you may withdraw your acquiescence at any time. Control-seekers attempt to reverse responsibility of who must capitulate in a social conflict; they express the opinion that what someone else wants subsumes your preferences if it is more important to them then it is to you. If you object, the first time you are confronted, even accused, with the retort, “How does it affect you?” you freeze because you haven't had time to think it through. This is because you're acting and responding out of ingrained social courtesy, with the expectation that people will be courteous back. You don't have to explain yourself because your liberty is paramount; if others want to impinge upon it then they must provide the justification. It's up to them to get your permission, not your duty to accommodate them. Other people are simply allies, not friends or partners, and allies don't make unilateral decisions without violating the implied social treaty.   Politics & Philosophy 2:56 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash transgender, liberty, pledge, humor, politics no Sat, 28 Jul 2018 07:00:00 -0700 447 Transracial Politics & Philosophy The opposite of “objectifying,” which is what feminists claim men do to the female body, is “subjectifying,” which is how Identity Politics mongers gain control over others. If you can claim any gender and the accompanying paradigm that entails, disregarding biology, then you can go so far as to claim a race and heritage that conflicts with the facts. The famous example of the affluent White woman who claimed she's Black is not an isolated case; transracialism is also a thing. Unfortunately for her, Black people didn't see it that way, and as in the case of transgenders, other women and men don't see it that way either, but that makes no difference to the Identify Politics mongers; they have taken subjectivity to its logical conclusion, that there are no facts and there is no truth. Once everything is subjective, the natural conclusion is no limits on definitions, which is why the list of claimed genders has grown into the 100s, and now people not only expect to chose their racial and sexual identity, they also want to be “fluid” about it, choosing another identity as they deem necessary. When people can expect to slip out of social identification by claiming they are the only ones who can decide; their control over human interaction becomes absolute, which is why the strategy is gaining acceptance. You can demand to wrestle on the women's team even though you have male muscles, and claim hiring preferences even though your past is one of affluence. When there are no social constructs, there is no way to know how to interact in a social situation, established values have no meaning, and debate is confused because there are no basic accepted facts, making communication among people who don't agree virtually impossible.   Politics & Philosophy 2:45 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash transracial, transgender, politics, humor no Thu, 26 Jul 2018 07:00:00 -0700 446 Child Transgender Politics & Philosophy Under the now acceptable umbrella of transgenderism, there are pre-teens saying they are the wrong sex and wanting treatment. How can a 10-year old child have the maturity to determine such a thing? 18-year olds aren't even allowed to drink but now children can change sex at age 15; paid for by The State?! There are powerful drugs used to delay puberty but the psychological tribulations of using them have got to be even more life-altering. The investigative show, Frontline, interviewed several of these so-called “transchildren,” 12-year olds recounting their feelings and experiences as transgenders. One male child demanded he be called by different Disney princess name every day. He may be diagnosed with gender dysmorphia but there's obviously a lot more going on, and his parents were indulging the child's fantasy. “Gender dysmorphia” is actually considered a mental illness in adults, and the unsophisticated things children say should not support that radical conclusion. There's other more plausible explanations than "I have a girl's brain in a boy's body." In the Frontline program, the gender transition doctors interviewed admitted that this is the first generation of transchildren and that the medical science is new. The darkest, most telling interview was with one of the first transchildren, now in his/her 20s that said he/she can't quite say they regret it but wishes he/she had waited for more maturity. If even one child who got a sex-change operation "regretted" it, that would be too many.   Politics & Philosophy 2:42 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash transgender children, humor, politics no Tue, 24 Jul 2018 07:00:00 -0700 445 Transgender Bathrooms Politics & Philosophy For whatever reason, in America at least, people are very sensitive about exposing their bodily functions in public, especially to the opposite sex. Young people, still developing their maturity, are the most sensitive. For that reason we have sex-specific bathrooms. Bathrooms are gendered because society respected the wishes of its majority to be gendered. There were probably lots of people who didn't like the expense of building multiple facilities, but the courtesy of the majority won out. However, there is now a vocal and political minority pushing their ideology on the majority, allowing men into female bathrooms. They exploit the courtesy that got gendered bathrooms in the first place but without the democracy. It used to be that “gender” and biological “sex” were synonymous but now the term “gender” has become subjective: there are a relatively small number of penises out their claiming to belong to women, and visa versa. These malcontented people insist that their feelings take precedence over the majority of other people's feelings, and want to use urinals or bidets even though their plumbing doesn't fit. In a single person bathroom, no one would care but in the typical McDonald's-style multi-urinal, single stall layout, prepubescent girls and boys, and even overly-chaste traditionalists, can no longer be sure the other person looking through the crack in the door is the same sex. Another example of the feelings of the minority, and a small one at that, overriding the preferences and feelings of the majority.   Politics & Philosophy 2:44 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash transgender bathroom, politics, humor no Sun, 22 Jul 2018 07:00:00 -0700 444 Gender Politics & Philosophy Sex is determined by reproductive plumbing, but gender is how a person fits in socially, and it's determined by a single biological molecule: testosterone. That's what makes the gender discussion so volatile, because people who want to be a particular gender can take chemicals to look and act like a man; simply shoot up with male levels of testosterone; and to be a woman, take drugs that block testosterone. Those drug-takers have a point when they say they are a gender that conflicts with their sex, and people's whose bodies metabolize testosterone differently may also feel they are in the wrong body, so-much-so that they have invasive operations to make them physically appear the sex their testosterone dictates. These people do NOT have a gender identity problem, they are demonstrably transsexual, which means they have transferred to at least the appearance of their gender-felt sex. Transgender people, on-the-other-hand, have NOT gone to that extreme, they still have all the biological traits of their birth sex, but they want to claim some other societal definition, for personal and inscrutable reasons. For the most part, what gender someone wants to claim to be is a liberty issue; they can choose to be whatever made-up fluid self-definition they want, but the trend is to infringe on other people's liberty by insisting by force of law that everyone address them as they want to be addressed. However, calling someone “Her Majesty” is voluntary in a liberty society; it's not up to the recipient to dictate what others think of them, that's a confusion that comes from aristocratic and Marxist thinking. Forcing someone else to do something is the very essence of power, and the true intent of the gender-mongers. The tactic of making something subjective, even your sex, is an obvious attempt at gaining the upper hand, especially when the violence of the State is so easily swayed by alliances of people who have not been successful competing via the status quo. By appealing to others with similar self-interests, and leveraging the innate altruism we all have, the gender-mongers have achieved success in controlling the narrative that would have been laughable only a generation ago. Politics & Philosophy 3:24 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash gender, transgender, transsexual, humor, politics no Fri, 20 Jul 2018 08:00:00 -0700 443 LOWV Politics & Philosophy The League of Women Voters is an anachronism that hopefully fades away with the last generation. They reminisce on past discrimination and claim it as their qualifying trait for membership in today's victimhood culture. In the political arena, they project power far in excess to their relevance, almost always to the detriment of male candidates. The LOWV gained its social credibility legitimately but that was long ago; any modern day illusions that women are left out of the political process is contrived to extend that justification long past applicability. Like all identity groups, what makes the LOWV despicable is that many of its members show loyalty to the number of X chromosomes rather than competence, confidence and conscientiousness. LOWV members will cross Party lines to vote for a female if the candidate of their own Party is male. Even if this trait doesn't apply to all LOWV, it's certainly a large enough share to turn a close election. Any organization with sex, race, or religion in its name is no longer proper for the public sphere, for the same exclusionary reasons that these same organizations ironically claim to pursue. There is no valid reason for trying to redress past wrongs; sons are not responsible for the sins of their fathers, and daughters do not inherit the victimhood of their grandmothers. Men, also rooted in the past, are under the false impression that women simply want parity, when what they really want is superiority. The LOWV argument, indeed the feminist goal, is basically that men have had it over women long enough, it's their turn now, it's only fair.   Politics & Philosophy 2:38 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash LOWV, the league of Women Voters, politics, humor no Wed, 18 Jul 2018 07:00:00 -0700 442 Women in the Sciences Politics & Philosophy Women dominate admission in Medical and Law School, and are fully two-thirds of the Post-Graduate programs, yet women Special Interests continue to harp on their supposed under-representation in the sciences, especially engineering. They point at the parity of men and women in international science degree programs and insinuate there's some kind of discrimination in American universities. The answer is simple: engineering is difficult, unglamorous and doesn't pay very well compared to medicine and law; plus, the men attracted to engineering are geeks, attaching a huge social stigma. Why wouldn't a women instead choose another field if they have those kinds of smarts? More money, more prestige and easier. It's no wonder engineering programs are under-enrolled; thank goodness boys make up their minds long before they go to college that they're going to be scientists & engineers. If women truly want girls to sacrifice better careers to become scientists & engineers, then they need to start indoctrinating them young. They should be taught to hang around the fringes of social acceptance in High School, don't date, remain clueless of trends and fashion. It's not that hard to mimic how the awkward, ungainly boy nerds do it: bring their lunch to school in a brown paper bag, talk incessantly about video games, remember arcane moments of old Star Trek episodes. There has been some success getting more women into science and engineering undergraduate programs but unfortunately, they mature and start making decisions for themselves for what's best for them, so keeping them in those programs is an even bigger challenge.   Politics & Philosophy 2:43 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash women in science, sciences, humor, politics no Mon, 16 Jul 2018 07:00:00 -0700 441 Women & Respect Politics & Philosophy Men are subliminal experts at respect: we are immersed in it since childhood, royally kick-started in puberty, and finely honed during our formative years. Respect is not friendship, respect is not admiration, respect is not fair. Men are always considering who's Alpha in any situation, and adjusting their behavior accordingly. There's a constant battle happening behind the scenes, allies and enemies, aggression and submission, all the time fighting for dominance; and men who lose the competition voluntarily subordinate themselves within the hierarchy. yet the entire game is played invisibly to women. Women claim respect they have not earned: they are protected as children by tattling; they are catered to by males seeking rut; they dream of being Disney princesses; and they are never fired in the crucible of 7th-Grade-Gym. Women are simply never participants in the cycle of brutality that form the social consciousness of men, which is where respect comes from. Women are unaware that they have low status, and can't understand why there aren't more of them at the top. They blame discrimination then insist on being inserted above men of far higher status. There are other kinds of respect: intellectual, beauty, wisdom; but the respect women are looking for can't be forced by State Violence.   Politics & Philosophy 2:27 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash women respect, politics, humor no Sat, 14 Jul 2018 07:00:00 -0700 440 The Right Concepts Politics & Philosophy Let's review some of the concepts we've discussed about The Right: The Right accepts that an aristocratic class will deservedly arise. Nationalists want to maintain their national values and culture despite what Globalists may think of them. The Enlightenment was that time in history when liberalism emerged; so that The People come before potentates. Libertarians are fatally blind to the fact that everyone else in society must also be content. Libertarian Socialism is a weasel word intended to devalue the obligation society owes the average person, as well as to hide the Collectivist grab for power. Totalitarianism is a constant danger from those who are certain their judgment is better than yours. The Left offers no liberty, and The Right concentrates liberty, so The Center would be where there is most liberty to most people. Libertyism is a made-up word that tries to carve out a domain for people who listen to this podcast. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:29 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash The Right, libertyist, Nationalism, politics, humor no Thu, 12 Jul 2018 07:00:00 -0700 439 Libertyist Politics & Philosophy If you consider individual liberty, the right to make decisions for yourself and reap the rewards or suffer the consequence thereof, to be the defining issue of your ideology, and you're in The Center, believing the goal to be the most liberty to the most people; what are you going to call yourself? It seems like it should have the word “liberty” in it, and politics has the habit of attaching “ist” to the end of words to identity a person's ideology, so naturally “libertyist” comes to mind. That would make “libertyism” the stated goal of most liberty to most people. How does that sound: are you a Libertyist? It's possible that you're the only one who actually is in The Center, all others simply pretenders from the The Left or The Right who don't want to commit. If there are more erstwhile Libertyists, how will we be able to identify one-another? Where will you go to ask questions? How will you be able to organize and spread your ideology? After even cursory consideration, it's clear that starting a new political movement is going to be a lot of work; that's probably why there's only The Left and The Right. However, you can buy my book, “The Center,” from Amazon, visit my Facebook Page “Ask a Libertyist,” and continue to listen to these podcasts, so there is that...   Politics & Philosophy 2:17 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash libertyist, humor, politics no Tue, 10 Jul 2018 07:00:00 -0700 438 Most Liberty to Most People Politics & Philosophy Commentators often talk about the mythical center in politics but it's never defined, and it's assumed that these people are the deciding factor in many elections where The Left and The Right are otherwise evenly matched. The center can be defined as several things: social center, economic center, ideological center; but often these undecided people have no clear agenda and simply vote for the candidate with the best bio in the Voter's Pamphlet. However, with respect to liberty, there is a clear way to define The Center. The unique attribute of America is individual liberty with The People as the beneficiaries, making decisions for themselves and reaping the rewards or suffering the consequences of their own actions. On a Left-to-Right liberty scale, the extreme Left has no liberty since the needs of the group are paramount, and on the extreme Right, only the aristocracy have liberty since liberty requires opportunity, which is usually related to wealth. So The Center would be where the most individual's rights come first, simply said: the most liberty to the most people. In fact, this is an easy measurement for any State action: does a new law or regulation increase most people's ability to make decisions for themselves or not? For example, protecting speech though at the expense of the liberty of the people who don't want you to say things that offend them, or redistributing opportunity would increase liberty among the population as a whole but at the expense of the liberty of those who take great pride in hoarding wealth.   Politics & Philosophy 2:24 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash liberty, most liberty to most people, politics, humor no Sun, 08 Jul 2018 07:00:00 -0700 437 Totalitarianism Politics & Philosophy Totalitarianism is a threat from both The Left and The Right. For example, from The Left, there is a lot of historical precedence for fearing impending totalitarianism due to it being wrapped in collectivist moralizing. Collectivism demands that individuals give up their right to make many decisions for themselves, instead embracing a vague higher authority ideal. Once individuals have been convinced that someone else will be making decisions, they stop thinking for themselves and instead wait for instructions. Rather the higher authority is a benevolent committee looking out for everyone’s best interests, or a selfish dictator, is almost the same thing, and since consensus is difficult to achieve in committees, the eager persistence of strong-willed people with totalitarian impulses eventually prevail. Totalitarianism is also a danger from The Right since libertarian beliefs inevitably lead to extreme accumulation of wealth and de facto aristocracies. Eventually, the subsequent heirs of the wealthy take their good fortune for granted, that they somehow deserve adulation because of their superior breeding, that their ascendancy is a sign of their inherent good judgment, so it is only natural for them to assume what is best for them is best for everyone, and they have the power to make it so.   Politics & Philosophy 2:13 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash totalitarianism, humor, politics no Fri, 06 Jul 2018 07:00:00 -0700 436 Libertarian Socialism Politics & Philosophy At first glance, "Libertarian Socialism," seems like a staggering oxymoron because the two ideologies diametrically oppose each other: the wants of individuals versus the needs of the group. However, it's a term useful to both Libertarians and Socialists because it can be distorted to mean whatever they want. In the case of socialists, they envision a society that they say is libertarian, an alluring ideology because everyone is in control of their own lives, to the point of demanding that other people perform at their command. And from the Libertarian side, Libertarian Socialism is fundamentally a subterfuge that ignores the Right of Violence, and socializes the great expense of protection while concentrating personal wealth into the hands of a few. Though coined over a hundred years ago, in modern political debate, the label “Libertarian Socialism” is intentionally adopted by Noam Chomsky to sow confusion. He is the undisputed expert in using linguistics to twist political narratives, and knows the battle is between collectivism and liberty, so he throws up linguistic conundrums to blur the distinction. To name your enemy is the first step in defeating it, so by not having a clear concept for group versus individual, the enemy remains obscured. Plus, Libertarian Socialism is tough terrain to attack, yet easy to defend because it purports to include everyone.   Politics & Philosophy 2:22 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash libertarian socialism, humor, politics no Wed, 04 Jul 2018 07:00:00 -0700 435 Libertarian Blind Spot Politics & Philosophy Conscientious people are attracted to Libertarian ideology because at its core it rewards the monetary success and personal achievement that comes from conscientious behavior. On the flip side, libertarians don't have much sympathy nor patience for flighty self-indulgence, and people who pay more attention to what others are doing than taking care of their own situations, which is what altruistic personalities look like to them. Luckily, both types exist or society could never have formed; somebody has to raise the children and care for the old while others build shelter and fight off the tribe across the hill. Both groups, if isolated, would collapse rather quickly: altruists due to failure to plan for the winter, and libertarians suffering the fate of all minorities that do not recognize that others around them have wants too. Libertarians are Free Market Capitalists. They're Republicans without religion and military adventurism. They embrace the concept of individual liberty but miss the essential component that will always discredit and undermine them: Libertarians don't try and turn those less successful than themselves into allies. You have to pay attention to how others around you are doing because The Deal may be working for you, but if most of the population think they can do better with a new Deal, they're going to take what they want from you by force.   Politics & Philosophy 2:13 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash libertarian, humor, politics no Mon, 02 Jul 2018 07:00:00 -0700 434 The Enlightenment Politics & Philosophy Adam Smith is the most famous defender of Capitalism. He predicted that people making decisions in their own self-interest act like an invisible hand guiding society to higher and better performance, benefiting all citizens; a rising tide lifts all boats mythology. One of Smith's contemporaries was his friend, Thomas Hobbes, who concluded that citizens must contract with a sovereign to solve public problems. This emergence of thought was contemporary with the ideas of personal liberty elucidated by John Locke. That unique time in the Eighteenth Century was called The Enlightenment because for whatever strange, coincidental reasons, the creators of modern liberal ideology emerged together. Smith's proposed solutions to most problems is that individuals making their own choices for what is best for themselves will inevitably lead to an environment that is best for everyone. Hobbes' didn't disagree but he identified the situations where government would provide solutions that better served everyone. Both of these concepts were built on the framework of Locke who postulated a social contract that included the consent of the governed, and ideas that became part the American Constitution; the right to life, liberty and property. Upon the combined ideas of these three individuals, Jeffersonian America was constructed.   Politics & Philosophy 2:15 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash the enlightenment, adam smith, john locke, thomas hobbes, politics, humor no Sat, 30 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 433 Nationalism vs Globalism Politics & Philosophy On the world stage, the distinction between The Right and The Left are visible as national self-determination. Nationalism is the idea that the historical norms of a nation are important to the people that live under them even though individuals within those societies may not be on an even footing. In this context, The Right is Nationalist. In recent history, especially with the advent of the European Union, Globalism, the idea that all people are Citizens of the World and have Natural Rights that supersede national constraints, including borders, was gaining momentum. However, after all the sanctimonious words are spoken, unless the international corporations are benefited, touchie-feelie declarations of ideology were not enough to bring pressure on supranational organizations, like the U.N. or World Bank, to act unless there was the financial incentive of so-called Open Markets. Under the guise of Globalism, exporting nations like Germany use their financial power to subjugate the nationalism of less enthusiastic nations. The United States was, of course, also complicit in this deception. To implement the Globalist ideal, forcing it upon the world, Globalists use the rubric of Climate Change, extreme poverty, contagious disease, or some other sensational cause that exploits people's fear or altruism. These tactics are often employed to cower the populace with the idea that Globalism is not only logical, but it's unethical to question it. In recent years, resistance to the Globalist subterfuge has mounted, and national pride is overcoming the propaganda.   Politics & Philosophy 2:49 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Nationalism, Globalism, humor, politics no Thu, 28 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 432 The Right Politics & Philosophy Conservatism, reluctance to change status quo, is The Right's defining characteristic. The Right are those that are benefiting from how things are, which is threatened by an evolving value system, while those who would benefit from change tend to gravitate towards each other, which creates the de facto Left. Interestingly, because the idea of individual liberty, the notion of personal responsibility and reaping the rewards of suffering the consequences of one's own actions, also comes out of America's distant past, it is considered conservative. Religion has always played a big part in America, and The Right represents those long established values. Patriotism is part of The Right, ingrained in their psyche. They also have a strong streak of Libertarianism which lends itself to aristocratic tendencies, thinking that the families of the wealthy deserve their influential status, and that wealth and breeding demonstrate exceptionalism. This weakness of The Right's ideology inevitably leads to a Class system, but they seem not to be too concerned. If people naturally segregate into levels of competence, it must be God's will, or genetic. Adding one other ingredient to the mix of The Right's attributes, the concept of racial separation as natural, defines the Far Right.   Politics & Philosophy 2:12 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash the right, the left, politics, humor no Tue, 26 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 431 The Left Concepts Politics & Philosophy Let's review some of the concepts we've discussed about The Left: The Left are those who think elites should make decisions for the rest of us. Marxist liberty is a lot like American liberty but without personal responsibility. Altruism and conscientiousness don't have to be at odds but they often are. Progressives exhibit the smugness that comes from lack of self-awareness. Social Democrats are a socialist-leaning Political Party hiding behind the rubric of democracy. Socialism both alleviates and causes angst. Some goals of society are simply better performed via socialism. Communism works to drag a society out of the Stone Ages. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:13 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash socialism, communism, altruism, conscientiousnes, humor, politics no Sun, 24 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 430 When Communism? Politics & Philosophy Communism, or more generally, Marxism, is sometimes an appropriate economic and societal ideology, at least for the short term. The primary example of successful Marxism is the U.S. Military: elites making decisions for what is the best for The State at the expense of individuals, all means of production carefully controlled with no personal enrichment, and all soldiers treated uniformly in a strict hierarchy where no one soldier benefits from their personal talents or effort, and is expected to provide those talents and effort whenever it is needed. Militaries are quite effective for their intended narrow purpose but at the expense of most individual liberty. Since people prefer control over their own lives, the impetuous to sacrifice personal autonomy is only made for dire situations. However, for countries that seem stuck in stuck in time, unable to progress for physical or cultural reasons, Communism can be their best strategy for advancement. Capitalism requires profits; you can't make money from poor people or some Capitalist would be doing it already, so those poor people just pick their cotton by hand and ride their water buffalo in the fields for centuries while the rest of the world moves on. Here's where communism comes in, it doesn't require profits; as long as there's production someplace, the excess can be used to keep an communist economy going. Hence, the people of Russia paid for the tractors and machinery that the Kyrgyzstani people used during the time of the Soviet Union. As long as Russians paid for and managed Kyrgyzstan, it prospered, but when the Soviet Union disintegrated, Kyrgyzstan slowly slid back to its old ways. Communism is definitely "give a man a fish" rather than "teach him how to fish," but some people just can't get the hang of fishing.   Politics & Philosophy 2:54 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash communism, politics, humor no Fri, 22 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 429 When Socialism? Politics & Philosophy Capitalism works because it's based on adversarial relationships, which have the advantage of speed & efficiency, and self-interest, a source of tremendous motivation. Capitalism is the economic manifestation of individual liberty, which means individual rights are paramount, and rewards benefit individuals. However, society, though composed of individuals, operates for the group's best interests, via a kind of enlightened paternalism, where the needs of the group supersede the wants of any one individual. A purely socialist society takes complete control of the means of production to ensure the needs of the group are being satisfied, and economic rewards accrue to The State, or Workers via The State, obviously severely constraining individual liberty. Mathematically and ideologically, Capitalistic economies have the advantage when it comes to progress and improving the well-being of its citizens, but functions such as protection, welfare, healthcare, environment, and law perform better under a socialist umbrella that favors the good of the public over the enrichment of individuals. This is primarily how America is now, but the more socialist-leaning a nation becomes, usually through self-interested democracy of the lower tiers of the population, the more industries are subsumed by The State. Determining those functions is the purview of politics, and hotly contested.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash socialism, humor, politics no Wed, 20 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 428 Socialist Angst Politics & Philosophy Socialism is the mechanism by which Collectivists implement their group-needs-over-individual-rights ideology. The driving force behind collectivism is the inheritable human trait of altruism, which is a combination of positive reinforcement by a dopamine release into the pleasure center of their brains that comes from sanctimonious behavior, and the equally powerful motivation to reduce the angst they feel at the discomfort of another person. Socialist angst is a common thread running through our religious indoctrination that has bled into society's framework. To alleviate the suffering of The Poor is a basic component of human nature, stronger in some than in others, depending on the amount of dopamine released. Liberty is the concept that you are an island unto yourself, only subject to contracts you voluntarily engage in, while socialism is rife with implied obligations that adhere to you simply by being a human being, and there is even the explicit expectation that you are responsible for other people in general. People raised in America, the only Individual Liberty nation, are caught off-guard in a socialist setting where others are tacitly waiting for them to act because it is expected. Liberty-Americans aren't looking for nor aware of the social clues of obligation, and are embarrassed and confused when confronted about their perceived inaction, generating even more angst. Collectivists seem to induce angst in an ever-expanding cloud around them.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash socialist angst, humor, politics no Mon, 18 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 427 Social Democrats Politics & Philosophy Political Parties in Europe seem to be an almost random combination of political terms sandwiched together into familiar sounding names that are impenetrable to understanding what they really believe: Social Democrats being a prime example. The “social” part of their name refers to the concept that Workers have a right to the fruits of their labor, while “democrats” signifies that they want to exploit democracy as validation to force compliance. The insidious idea that simply because someone is peripherally involved in a company as an employee, that they have a right to claim part of of that company's success, regardless to how insignificant or replaceable their contribution, is more than Worker's Rights. It's Marxist dogma that a business is owned bottom-up by the employees instead of top-down by the people who provided the idea, capital, and leadership. This “stakeholder” idea is popular because there are dramatically more employees than there are entrepreneurs. Also in the Marxist tradition, there a many more people wanting food and housing than there are people providing it, so Social Democrats use the rubric of an ephemeral Dignity Right with an ever-expanded definition of “dignity,” to force the obligation upon society rather than leaving it an individual's responsibility to define their own dignity and make the choices necessary to achieve it. Social Democrats claim they are providing Marxist liberty, though at the unconscionable cost of taking other people's individual liberty, and use democracy as vindication for the taking.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash social democrats, politics, humor no Sat, 16 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 426 Progressive Smugness Politics & Philosophy President Theodore Roosevelt, my hero, was a "Progressive" back-in-the-day, the turn of the 20th Century, but would be called a "Liberal" today because progressive has always meant the next set of big goals, then once accomplished, progressive goals become conservative staples. Today's Progressives are the Marxists because even though their ideology is old, the Soviet Union collapsed in the early '90s after all, the ideas seem new to this current generation of young advocates, and there's the old Marxists who were driven underground during the Cold War but have always nibbled around the edges of the Democratic Party, biding their time until ripe, which is now. Smugness is a defining characteristic of Progressives because when you think you're the only one considering the future, especially if it's your children's future, sanctimony is a personal hazard. Smug people are remarkably self-confident, which is probably a requirement when predicting the future, and smugness is naturally optimistic, another advantage when building a society. The opposite of smugness would be self-awareness, recognizing your own selfish motivations for what they are, which requires critical thinking, an attribute of conscientiousness. Progressives tend to be more optimistic and smug, rather than staid and practical.   Politics & Philosophy 2:14 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash progressive, progressives, smug, smugness, politics, humor no Thu, 14 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 425 Altruism vs. Conscientiousness Politics & Philosophy The battle of nature vs. nurture, are we born who we are or are we a product of our environment, has pretty much been settled by Clinical Psychologists like Jordan Peterson: your genes determine who you are as a person, meaning you inherit the important ingredients like intelligence, conscientiousness and altruism. Intelligence most people understand even though it's politically incorrect to talk about, but that conscientiousness, the motivation to plan, act conservatively, and save, comes from your parents seems curious; and, altruism, putting others before yourself, is taught in many religions, but that you inherit those tendencies is also a rather new finding. Of course, it's only correlative, meaning the likelihood you will be like your parents is high but far from the same. There is no mutual exclusivity between the three components of self: intelligence, conscientiousness and altruism; you can have any mixture of all three. Interestingly, whichever of conscientiousness or altruism dominates tends to predispose your politics: if you are more conscientious, you are a Republican, and if you are more altruistic, a Democrat. (This might help explain why so many children are the same political affiliation as their parents.) Altruistic people tend to be egalitarian which explains the appeal of Marxist equality doctrine; and conscientious people have much success in life which explains their Libertarian streak. Unfortunately, the two groups are often in direct conflict, and both sides think the other is misguided, venal or stupid. Conscientious people think altruists are self-righteous, elitist weaklings who want to control the lives of others, while altruists think conscientiousness people are selfish, heartless stooges, only concerned about things not people. In a Social Media environment, there seems to be no compromise between the two thought-patterns; we all want control after all, and our vision of the world to win out.   Politics & Philosophy 2:59 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash altruism, conscientious, conscientiousness, humor, politics no Tue, 12 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 424 Marxist Liberty Politics & Philosophy The modern Left has adopted their own definition of "liberty," insisting all Western nations have liberty. They even have rankings where America is lacking in liberty as defined and determined by them. Post-Modernist Marxists do espouse a kind of liberty that recognizes people should have control over their lives, but it differs from American Jeffersonian liberty because it has no component of personal responsibility. This vital lack manifests in a couple of ways: first, they do not believe people should reap the rewards nor suffer the consequences of their own actions. Second, their liberty is not bounded by the liberty of others: they want to be able to dictate how people to treat them, address them, or think about them. For example, they want to force people to use self-selected gender pronouns, they want to limit speech they consider offensive, and they even want to penalize people for their thoughts even when not acted upon. It is unclear if Marxists intentionally confuse the definition of liberty, or if their ideology simply promotes self-absorption because their version conveniently allows them to control those around them. Personal liberty, on the other hand, requires self-awareness: the knowledge that other people have their own liberty, and that your actions, however central to your own well-being they might be, cannot infringe on others. Also, the idea that liberty requires responsibility is central to the American ideal. We assume that responsibility is part of the equation, so are caught unprepared when Marxists leave out that vital component. The war on liberty always seems to end up as a debate about definitions.   Politics & Philosophy 2:50 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Marxism, Marxist, liberty, personal liberty, politics, humor no Sun, 10 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 423 The Left Politics & Philosophy France had a revolution in 1789, the same year that the U.S. form of government began in earnest, because their king spent all the country's money on things like supporting the American revolution; an exquisite irony. The French revolutionaries looked to the U.S. as an example of liberalism. Back then, liberalism was getting free of Kings, potentates, and the church; supposedly putting The People in charge through democracy. Those who believed in the power of an aristocracy sat on the right of the king, and those who thought their leaders should be democratically elected sat on the left. The liberal revolution played out over the Western World, however, the United States was first and took it one step further; not only did we overthrow our sovereign, but our concept of individual liberty made every person their own sovereign, whereas the French idea of liberalism stopped at usurping the power of The Crown to The People; the French still assumed decisions would be made by those elected into power, ostensibly for the good of everyone. What makes it really confusing is that The Left isn't the difference between political Parties, Republicans and Democrats, because both Parties have members who put liberty first; The Left in the U.S., who identify themselves Progressives, is like The Left in France, and instead espouse some form of Collectivism.   Politics & Philosophy 2:17 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash The Left, collectivism, politics, humor no Fri, 08 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 422 Identity Politics Tactics Politics & Philosophy The tactics used to propel Identity Politics are blunt but effective: Controlling what people say is the most powerful weapon in the Identity Politics arsenal. Because being offended is subjective, it puts the person who claims it in control. “Nazi” is the Straight White Male equivalent of “nigger.” Hiding behind black balaclavas, hurting & intimidating, people is the irony of Antifa. Definitions of words like Nazi and fascism have been changed to cover for socialists and fascists. Inherited guilt, where children are responsible for the sins of their parents, is making a comeback. You don't have to listen too long to Black Lives Matter to hear “reparations.” Whisper campaigns require the listeners to be culpable. With outright violence held in check, bullying becomes the most effective method of intimidation. If you don't resist the people trying to topple your values and goals, they will. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld. Politics & Philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash identity politics, politics, humor no Wed, 06 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 421 Resisting The Resistance Politics & Philosophy The Left, primarily draped in the confusing camouflage of Identity Politics, call themselves “The Resistance” since the election of Donald Trump. It's unclear what they're resisting? Apparently they seek the overthrow of a duly elected American President, or perhaps they mean The Patriarchy? Whatever, it bodes ill for anyone not playing the Identity game, and needs resisting of its own. This doesn't mean changing the minds of the women, minorities & weirdos who benefit from overturning the status quo, they've gained too much and aren't going to retreat one inch; instead engage in an environment where your resistance is observed by other people who haven't been turned yet, but will be if the Identity narrative remains fashionable and unchallenged. Your tactics are to get into a position of power and not let the Identity-mongers exploit your courtesy: get your own sympathetic volunteers to respond in a quid pro quo fashion; don't be cowed by online bullying; take pictures of Antifa and dox them online; write Letters to the Editor; keep a webpage going where insiders can leave leaks; boycott companies that cater to their demands; and stay politically active. Most of all, be sure to advertise your resistance to their resistance to whoever will listen.   Politics & Philosophy 2:17 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash The Resistance, politics, humor no Mon, 04 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 420 Bullies & Scolds Politics & Philosophy It used to be that The Right were the judgmental, sanctimonious scolds, usually in the context of organized religion, but The Left has assumed that dubious distinction. The Left is primarily made up of people that were bullied as children. Add the mantle of victimhood, and the anonymity of the Internet, and now as adults they form the army of Social Justice Warriors, the foot-soldiers of the Identity Politics movement. They think their time has come; it's their turn to bully others into conforming, and their weapon is scolding. They scold you about the “homeless” and the “handicapped;” they scold you about “schools,” especially “the children;” they scold you about “pesticides” and “natural fibers;” they threaten to boycott your business and smear your reputation. Social Media like Facebook and Twitter is how SJWs reinforce one another's confidence; their self-righteous posturing is an ever increasing-in-strength tornado of bullying. Standing up against them is a real challenge. If you should ever want to engage SJWs in Facebook-land, here's a hint: whenever they attack you personally (and they WILL, in packs), simply type the word "bully."   Politics & Philosophy 2:10 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash bullies, scolds, politics, humor no Sat, 02 Jun 2018 07:00:00 -0700 419 #metoo Politics & Philosophy For something like the #metoo movement to be effective, the audience who listens to it must be totally complicit in its intended use. There can be no dissenting voices because even casual consideration of destroying people's lives based on hearsay, and reinterpreted decades after the fact by faulty memories and the lens of self-interest, doesn't seem like a good idea. Anyone would reject this scenario out-of-hand, unless of course, the intent is to collapse the status quo, to take out The Patriarchy. How does #metoo even work? Apparently, every single decision-maker at a studio must accept the accusation as true and deliver the punishment without evidence, and not one person in authority has the backbone to stand up against the shouting. It's probably something that can only happen in the entertainment industry because it is both originator and subject to fads, faux outrage, insincerity, and acting is exactly their business. Want someone to pretend to be someone else, discussing made up topics to fool everyone around them, that's the movie business. Add to that the extra strength envy, spite, resentment and jealously of people who seek adoration, and #metoo seems more of a certainty than an aberration. There were always be whisper campaigns, it's only surprising it took so long to burst into the open.   Politics & Philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash metoo, #metoo, humor, politics no Thu, 31 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 418 Black Lives Matter Politics & Philosophy The whole Black Lives Matter concept is political maneuvering: you have to stake out a position to make a deal; the stronger the position, the more you can ask for. Given BLM's prominence and quick success in dominating the spotlight, I suspect they will succeed. Is it good for everyone else? Hell no. Is it further dividing the country? Hell, yes, it's incredibly selfish, but so are all other political organizations. However, Black Lives Matter seems more cynical than most Special Interest Groups; for example, their funding: $100 million in donations, $33 million from George Soros himself? How legitimate does that seem? Second, if the intention is to drive races at each other's throats, Black Lives Matter is pushing all those buttons. Third, their scornful backlash against the rebuttal “all lives matter,” makes them appear irrational and militant. And why is the movement dominated by Black women? After decades of Great Society and Affirmative Action, things only seem to have gotten worse. The litany of Black problems isn't getting any better, and even liberal Whites are starting to think the incentives need to change, probably towards personal responsibility. Instead, Black Lives Matter are pushing hard in the other direction: Whites have had Black people at their beck-and-call long enough, they say, now it's time for Blacks to be the aristocracy. Black Lives Matter is really about Reparations; the idea is that Whites pay money to “Blacks,” a kind of reverse slavery. With Reparations, they insist, Blacks would be made equal, and things would be different...   Politics & Philosophy 2:54 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Black Lives Matter, BLM, politics, humor no Tue, 29 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 417 Inherited Guilt Politics & Philosophy The idea of inherited guilt, a Catholic dogma, is the foundation of Identity Politics. The biblical concept that the son is responsible for the deeds of his father is one of the issues America revolted against, yet that very idea is central to the Progressive theme of shared guilt for past racial & gender exploitation. How is it that this tactic was not disputed out-of-hand? Are people again held responsible for the supposed sins of their forefathers? Should discrimination now be the solution for discrimination in the past? This happened because we let the camel's nose under the tent with Affirmative Action, encouraging subsequent generations to think State-sponsored discrimination is an appropriate cure for social ills. Once the rules changed so that the color of your skin is not to be ignored but instead to be rewarded then it becomes advantageous to claim the benefits. Similarly, any other discriminating factor, such as sex, ethnicity, and religion in the specific cases of Jewry & Islam, are being exploited. All that was once a disadvantage is made to be advantageous, except in the case of Asians, they are simply ignored. Alas, everyone did not become a hero without some group becoming the villain, and of course, Old White Males are cast in that role. The children of Straight, White men are guilty, and in the climate of Identity Politics, everything they achieve is through so-called, “privilege,” not their own effort and hard work, and they owe what they have to those who were discriminated against in the past.   Politics & Philosophy 2:33 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash guilt, inherited, afirmative actions, reverse, discrimination, politics, humor no Sun, 27 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 416 Changing Definitions Politics & Philosophy There is a seemingly coordinated effort to redefine words to fit into the Identity Politics narrative. The Left has always used language as a weapon, and they're winning the language war now on the Internet by redefining words like “fascist,” “socialism,” and “Nazi” to serve their purposes. Since their goal is collectivism, of which socialism is an acknowledged example, any taint on the word “socialism” must be explained away. Nazi Germany's ideas about a citizen's role in The State certainly fit the old definition of socialism, however The Left's use of the words “Nazi” and fascism” as pejoratives posed a problem since both ideologies espoused socialism, so Leftists deny that Nazi Germany was socialist, even though Nazis called themselves socialists and the word “Nazi” is an acronym for National Socialism. The fact-checking website, Snopes, contorts language to explain that Nazis were not real socialists, and neither are fascists. In fact, they claim fascists are Right Wing because they use violence, even though Antifa uses the same tactics, so Google's definition of "fascism" is subtly different than traditional dictionary definitions so as not to apply to Antifa, and Wikipedia's description of "socialism" has also recently changed in a similar way. There are more insidious techniques of word redefinition; for example, Google changes the order of search results and hence perceived authority; and the autofill options are being winnowed to channel selections away from negative news about Hillary Clinton. Also, YouTube is on a crusade to demonetize and even remove accounts they deem inappropriate: Jordan Peterson, the renown liberal Clinical Psychologist noted for resisting The Left, was defined as “Alt-Right” and his accounts blocked. Lastly, there is no way to have any kind of real debate on Facebook or Twitter without endless nitpicking of the definition of words, making this compromise of language quite effective at silencing discussion.   Politics & Philosophy 3:03 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash definitions, redefinition, nazi, fascism, politics, humor no Fri, 25 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 415 Nazi Politics & Philosophy There is true disrespect, even hate, from the young towards old white males, probably the result of the constant association of white males with all that is bad in the world. Most of the people involved in Antifa were raised on entertainment where the only villains were white men because all other groups complained they were being discriminated against. Though businessmen were often the culprit, Nazis were the ultimate bad guy. Calling someone a “Nazi” has been an online staple for decades, even having its own adage, Godwin's law, and its use has increased in effect; now “Nazi“ has become pejorative code for White men, the White equivalent to “nigger.” Every attempt to organize against The Left is equated to Nazis: join a pro Free Speech rally, you're a Nazi; point out the hypocrisy of feminists ignoring the plight of Islamic women, Nazi; suggest that criminal Illegal Immigrants should be deported, can't get more Nazi than that. The Identity Politics crowd excuse their obvious heckling of White men under the guise of attacking the few real Nazis who might exist, though those only seem to be on TV since I've never encountered one in real life, but that was before I recognized that they were talking about - me.   Politics & Philosophy 2:19 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Nazi, politics, humor no Wed, 23 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 414 Antifa Politics & Philosophy Even virtual civil wars require strong-arm tactics and intimidation in real life. Once “fascism” was equated to “Nazi” as an inexcusable topic even to discuss, the idea arose that a group should forcibly counter this imaginary horde of fascists, so emerged the anti-fascists, or Antifa, and anybody who is not in lock step with the Identity Politics narrative is a target. Online bullying is their first option but if wrong-thinkers appear in public, the black balaclava-wearing pseudo-soldiers would respond to shut them down. Antifa is primarily composed of disgruntled people who would benefit from the disruption of the status quo: the underemployed; coffee baristas and food-servers at vegan restaurants; and, of course, many students looking for the meaning of life, and a cause to adhere to. The idea that these so-called counter-demonstrators could intentionally conceal their identities is mystifying since most States have Anti-Masking laws. Apparently the line is fuzzy but it seems obvious that once intimidation and violence breaks out that those laws should spring into effect. Unfortunately, the politicians who control the police forces in places like San Francisco and Portland are sympathetic to the cause. The really concerning part is just how many Antifas show up to disrupt an event; it's sometimes 100s to 1. The ranks of the disaffected are apparently huge, and the lure of anonymity is a strong one. Aspiring Antifas, in their homemade black uniforms and masks seem to be unaware of the irony of their own fascism.   Politics & Philosophy 2:32 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Antifa, fascism, humor, politics no Mon, 21 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 413 Anti-Free Speech Politics & Philosophy Like the Free Speech movement before it in the 1960s, Berkeley is the origin of the Anti-Free Speech movement today. Most people who hear about this challenge to the First Amendment, even on The Left, can't believe it, especially if they remember that era. However, younger people have no reverence for Free Speech and actually find it appalling that anyone can say anything they want even if someone else finds it offensive. Anti-Free Speech is also important to limit communication among those resisting the overthrow of The Patriarchy. To this end, as bizarre as it may seem, even logic, facts, and truth are suppressed because they undermine the cause: if the other side is allowed to talk, their arguments would be compelling to those who have not yet realized there is a Virtual Civil War on. The most common tactic to “deplatform” speech is to use a Heckler's Veto, disrupting a group quietly ready to listen to a main speaker. Deplatforming is very effective and simple to perform by exploiting the courtesy of an audience not accustomed to the tactic, and its success gives the heckler a feeling of empowerment. This is probably only a short-term advantage to the hecklers because counter-measures are possible but it will reduce turnout to subsequent speech events because normal people also wish to avoid things that cause conflict, even when they should be causing conflict. The best way to counter the Anti-Free Speech movement is to engage in Free Speech: don't let yourself be shut down by rudeness and intimidation. Unfortunately, in the Social Network online environment, Free Speech has mostly been restrained by corporate moderators at YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Anti-Free Speech is a growing and powerful force that will take commitment by liberty-loving Americans to overcome.   Politics & Philosophy 2:56 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Free Speech, Anti Free Speech, politics, humor no Sat, 19 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 412 Offended Politics & Philosophy There is no better way to seize control than by making an issue subjective with you deciding. Being offended is the perfect foil; not only can only you decide whether or not you are offended, you also get to control the timing of the offense, and and corrective action. You can even demand penalties on the person who offended you. The “I'm offended” attack is one that exploits the courtesy of others and, unfortunately, has no real defense without conflict or retreat. The old Sticks & Stones adage is completely ignored, and as long as being offended has such high rewards, it will continue. The Left uses the "I'm offended" attack in almost every confrontation. They demand "safe spaces" and special treatment to alleviate their offense. It's an old tactic; the “do not use foul language in my presence” crowd has exercised the Offended attack for most of the history of this country but the strategy has now been weaponized. It has gone so far as to directly threaten Free Speech; in fact, The Left has been successful in limiting speech online, and even has laws in place to compel speech so as not to “offend.” “Your Majesty,” used throughout the ages by those who sought dominance dusted off in a time where few students know history.   Politics & Philosophy 2:15 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash offense, offended, politics, humor no Thu, 17 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 411 Identity Politics Concepts Politics & Philosophy Let's review the top issues having to do with Identity Politics: Losers in The American Dream are trying to kick over the card table rather than play by the rules. Identity Politics claims rewards based on skin color, sex, and subjective personal identity. Elites think that their opinions & values should be everyone else's. University Social Sciences departments are the Basic Training grounds of Identity Politics warriors. Human Resources departments are used to infiltrate Identity Politics into the workplace. The powerful Tech sector uses their extraordinary integration into everyone's lives to promote Leftist causes. Weirdos aggressively exploit the courtesy that living in a liberty society demands. Marxist philosophy is back but with the grievance of Oppressed vs. Oppressors. News & Entertainment have been compromised to deliver a biased political message. The Constitution's role of protecting the minority has been exploited to give Minority Rule. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:32 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Identity, Identity politics, humor, politics no Tue, 15 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 410 Minority Rule Politics & Philosophy The Constitution acts as a counter-force to democracy, protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority, but The Constitution now serves a role the Founders never imagined, which is subjecting the majority to the whims of the minority. Cases-in-point: transgender bathrooms, disabled parking & access, religious accommodations, and onerous safety regulations. Small Special Interest groups have been able to leverage The Constitution into committing the violence of The State for their own selfish aims, the majority of citizens be damned. When people think of democracy, they imagine large numbers of folks each expressing their self-interested opinion, and the majority wins out. This seems much better than the strongest people simply forcing whatever they want on everyone, and history up until now has proven democracy a better choice. However, to implement democracy, every person, especially the strong and numerous, must give The State a monopoly on violence; no one else except The State is allowed to use it. This is where the weakness of democracy undermines its implementation because, in fact, most people do not participate in voting, allowing a fraction to tell everyone else what to do. Social Media has coalesced these minorities into strong voting blocks that make a mockery of democracy and The Constitution, to the point that the majority is now bullied by the minority, a complete reversal. The weaklings have taken control.   Politics & Philosophy 2:25 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash minority, majority, democracy, politics, humor no Sun, 13 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 409 Biased News & Entertainment Politics & Philosophy Entertainers, feeling guilty for their tremendous success for so little contribution, find solace in adopting the vocal hair-shirt altruism of The Left. The occasional Right-leaning actor is scorned and shunned, a reverse McCarthyism. The awards shows drip sanctimony, and even football has been infected. They excuse their loss of viewership to everything but alienating the audience, because in their minds, nobody could hold any opinion but theirs, and if someone does, they must be stupid or racist. Capture of the Main Stream Media by The Left could very well have been an organized takeover: MSNBC was certainly intentional, and the financial propping up of otherwise failing news outlets like The New York Times, Washington Post, and Time Magazine only make sense if the propaganda value is recognized. The Right has been neglectful in this regard, valuing these outlets on a monetary basis without including their intrinsic political value, so they have lost the megaphone. The proportions certainly are not representative of real life; no wonder Fox News, the only counter-narrative, has such a large viewership, because the rest of the mainstream media is shrilly Left-biased, particularly CNN, but even historical news organizations like CBS, NBC & ABC. When PBS is the least biased news source, you know there's a problem.   Politics & Philosophy 2:17 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash biased news, biased, biased entertainment, politics, humor no Fri, 11 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 408 Oppression Mongers Politics & Philosophy Marxism is a very alluring ideology to the bottom half of the population that benefits from taking from the top half. It never really caught on in the U.S. even though early in the last Century it was being promoted in the labor unions, and had significant popular support. The emerging Middle Class, focus on individual liberty, and belief in The American Dream of a classless society, never really gave Marxism much traction, and after the ignominious demise of the Soviet Union, Marxists had no place to go. But leave it to French Intellectuals to recast the Marxist Us vs. Them Class narrative into an Us vs. Them Oppression narrative where The Patriarchy is the “oppressor,” and Identity Groups are the “oppressed.” Everybody wants to think their lot is life would be better if not for some outside force holding them down; and with academia, Hollywood, and feminism providing cover, victimhood of the oppressed has been eagerly adopted. We are preprogrammed in society to sympathize with Victims; we want them to be made whole, and punishing the culprits can also be satisfying. The Oppression culture taps into this subliminal support: to equate past oppression of a particular Identity as victimizing them; race or sex being the most obvious examples. These feelings are successfully exploited in business and government by preying on the vague guilt we all feel when we compare our relatively comfortable and secure lives to most of the rest of the world, or people from the past. It's an effective strategy, and oppression mongering has been very successful in changing the goals of society to become the goals of the “oppressed.”   Politics & Philosophy 2:42 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash oppression, oppressors, politics,humor no Wed, 09 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 407 LGBTKKK Politics & Philosophy A Two-Party system combined with Social Media allows tiny segments of the population to wield power far greater than their small numbers may suggest. How did self-identify which bathroom to use ever seem reasonable? How did an old man in make-up, with balls intact & conservative politics, become a cause celebre? How did gender pronouns get banned in colleges? This mouse-that-roared situation all started in the Gay community due to legitimate concerns, and they successfully fought back using demonstrations, political maneuvering, poetic language, and shaming. A Gay Rights parade is more than spectacle; it puts the world on notice that anyone willing to dress publicly in assless chaps isn't going to be afraid to get right in your face: sell us the damn wedding cake or we'll shut down your business. Via these intimidation tactics, Gay Rights have become preferential Rights, and every other special interest group witnessing the victory is following the same aggression playbook. Gay men are in many positions of power, and like all cohesive special interest groups, do business and favors amongst themselves. Gay mongering probably would have stopped with their overwhelming success at acceptance and integration, but a working tactic is always exploited until it breaks, so other similar groups adopted the strong-arm strategy as their own. In today's Victimhood environment, claiming discrimination both feels sanctimonious and brings with it notoriety, recognition and control: they control the narrative, they control the media, they control the legal system, and they demonize anyone who gets in their way. Fascism exists but it's hiding under a different rock than the one everyone is scrutinizing: Straight White Males aren't the problem.   Politics & Philosophy 3:02 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash LGBT, politics, humor no Mon, 07 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 406 The Tech Left Politics & Philosophy Somehow, probably because of their youth and the fact that they congregate in areas like San Francisco and New York, people who work in tech are overwhelmingly Lefty political ideologues. The smarter you are, the more successful you are at a young age, with people surrounding you similarly young & successful, it turns you into an elite. These people just naturally think they know better than everyone else, the proof is all around them, and there's nobody saying differently; certainly their parents and the education system has always identified them as special. Add to this, compromised Human Resources Departments selecting job applicants based on their Identity, and the situation is compounding. Many in the Tech Left were bottom-rungers on the status quo social ladder, but now with their newfound power over information, they revel in their ability to stifle points of view they don't agree with, and castigate those they feel are not as enlightened. The situation is exacerbated at the very top of these organizations: founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, purchased the insolvent but influential Washington Post as a megaphone for his Lefty beliefs. Eric Schmidt at Google similarly exploits his power to subtly interfere with online searches and definitions in an attempt to control The Left's narrative. Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook thinks her politics should be shared by the users. Disney's Kathleen Kennedy has stoked the ire of loyal fans by infusing Identity into every project she's involved with. The Tech Left is the biggest influence shifting society left, and that's saying a lot.   Politics & Philosophy 2:37 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash tech left, politics, humor no Sat, 05 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 405 Human Resources Subversion Politics & Philosophy Most of the graduates with useless social science degrees, as indoctrinated and hostile to the status quo as they might be, actually have little impact on society at large. Why would anyone hire them with such poor preparation to provide anything of value to an organization? Unfortunately, the most insidious impact these programs make is the training of Human Resources personnel. Through this simple mechanism, Identity Politics has found a wide-open conduit into the most powerful and influential organizations in society. Whether intentional or not, taking the control of big business through the choke-point of Human Resources was a genius move. These people aren't terribly intelligent, and are dominated by women and effeminate men who exploit their positions of leverage to dominate the workforce with Identity Politics warriors. In the past, Personnel departments were a powerless after-thought, but in the wake of inclusiveness, HR has become a juggernaut rolling over more conscientious reservations through threat of lawsuits and bad publicity. No business executive wants to be subjected to public pillory, nor are they willing to risk their career to ensure merit over motive. The only solution to this debacle is for organizations to consciously push back against the Identity Politics narrative: if your programming company is mostly young Asian men because 90% of the best applicant's are young Asian men then say so, and reject the quotas imposed on you from the outside. And if mostly women are attracted to work as nurses, accept it; same with garbage men, soldiers and construction workers. How come there aren't HR departments at the sewage treatment plant?   Politics & Philosophy 2:48 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash human resources, HR, HR department, politics, humor no Thu, 03 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 404 University Infection Politics & Philosophy When students have borrowed huge sums of money to attend college but are unprepared or unqualified to succeed, the schools don't stop taking their money, instead they shuffle these hapless students into useless and irrelevant social studies programs about “women” or “gender,” whose professors are overwhelming, if not totally Left-leaning. This is the infection vector of Identity Politics ideology. Students wouldn't even be in these programs if they hadn't failed out of their original plan so they already have damaged self-esteem and are totally susceptible to the claim that there is something special about them, that they are victims, and the most obvious sign of their victimhood is the color of their skin or the shape of their genitals. To recover their self-esteem, it's implied they probably would have gotten through their original degree if they hadn't been discriminated against, now or in the past. Outrage ensues, built on a Marxist foundation that can only exist in the sequestered university environment of tenure, and clueless, sanctimonious & self-righteous student activism. The instructors in these programs went through a similar process and their resolve has been hardened over the years, especially after making it through the educational gauntlet ending in a professorship in one of these august institutions, a professorship that they know in their hearts means nothing, a degree that means nothing, not achieved via merit, a farce. Of course they're disgruntled, and they pass their embitterment onto their students. Frankly, the solution is probably to shut these contrived, money-grubbing institutions down altogether.   Politics & Philosophy 2:40 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash social studies, discrimination, identity, politics, humor no Tue, 01 May 2018 07:00:00 -0700 403 Elites Politics & Philosophy The word “elite” is often applied to people who think they should be allowed to dictate policy because of their special status or knowledge, something liberty-conscious Americans are highly suspect of and only reluctantly accept unless based on merit. Unfortunately, The Collectivist Left is infused with a sense of grand superiority, that their values should be everyone's, and that anybody who disagrees is either stupid or evil. There will always be people who think like this, it's human nature, but when they got into governmental power as they did via appointments during the Obama administration, they are literally tearing the nation apart. Identity Politics plays a big part of the schism because many of the appointments were not made from merit but instead due to the applicant's Identity as a women, minority, or some other self-perceived oppressed class. If you know your job and success in life is a result of your Identity, rather than admit there may be someone more qualified than yourself, you become an advocate of the method that got you there, because if all people are also selected because of their Identity then there is no negative reflection on you for having been, and other people of your Identity reassure and reinforce your belief that you are elite.   Politics & Philosophy 2:12 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash elite, elites, politics, humon, identity no Sun, 29 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 402 Identity Politics Politics & Philosophy The goal of Identity Politics is to reverse power and control from the status quo to identity groups that have historically not been as successful in a societal game, The American Dream, that involves conscientiousness, aggression, and personal responsibility. They battle against what they call “the patriarchy,” which are the traditional values of meritocracy, competence & entrepreneurship. The strategy is: if you can’t win by the rules, change the rules. They want new rules, ones they have the advantage in, specifically their Identity; being a woman, minority or weirdo. Their alliances are easy to identify as "the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” where men are the enemy, specifically Old White Men. Their success in promoting Identity has been astounding: an entire generation has been trained that personable responsibility is oppression, that Free Speech is offensive, that meritocracy is privilege. Over the past couple of decades, the purveyors of Identity Politics have used Identity-based complaints as cover to justify their reversal of power: for example, claiming "unequal pay" or “hostile work environment” is purely subjective and unsubstantiated, but highly believable and effective as a lever. Their targets are almost exclusively White men and organizations run by White men. Accusations are their weapon, and patient infiltration is their tactic; first into government, then into academia, and most effective, capturing the purveyors of opinion, which includes the mainstream media and entertainment industry. Any Whites that resist them are called “White Nationalists,” an irony that goes unmentioned since American nationalism is the only Identity the Identity-mongers reject, however, the election of Donald Trump shows that resistance is forming.   Politics & Philosophy 3:08 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash identity, patriarchy, politics, humor no Fri, 27 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 401 Overthrowing The Patriarchy Politics & Philosophy "The Patriarchy" is code for what those of us in a previous generation grew up with as “The American Dream,” which rewards meritocracy. This includes science, scholastic achievement, merit-based bonuses, and anything where there is competition that the best wins out. Since the founding of America, this dream has created lots of winners which provided success and progress, but also lots of losers, comparatively speaking. The advent of social media has brought anybody generally dissatisfied with their life together in a battle that has the chance for them to emerge as the winners. Their strategy is simple but apparently not obvious because they have been executing their plan unrecognized for decades: first change the goals, then change the rules, then go to war. Examples of changing the goals: accomplishments don’t mean anything. They're denigrated as White Cis-gendered Privilege; so that everyone’s opinion is as valid as anyone else’s. Conscientiousness is now cast as meanness, such that no constraints are considered valid, either in government or personal life, when pitted against subjective, self-centered sanctimony. And Diversity rather than assimilation, so that a person's dissimilarity from the rest of society becomes an advantage. Examples of changing the rules: Identity supersedes merit as with Affirmative Action. Guilty until proven innocent; the #metoo campaign requires no supporting evidence for penalties. Feelings before facts; commentary is considered news. And worst of all, being offended supersedes Free Speech. So far the rebels in the Virtual Civil War have been successful by exploiting the courtesy and conflict-avoidance ingrained in the rest of us, and it's not just to the detriment of White men; all of us on the other side are considered The Patriarchy.   Politics & Philosophy 2:53 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash patriarchy, American Dream, politics, humor no Wed, 25 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 400 Science Concepts Politics & Philosophy Science has a lot of unappreciated concepts that need review: Quantum Theory is randomness is stochastic processes is emergent order is evolution is the secret of the universe. Landing on the moon was much more than a moon landing. If you do not plan for the Luddites around you, their goals will become yours. Progress comes from catastrophe quicker than it evolves naturally. There is no energy shortage, and there never has been, there's only been market & political manipulation of energy. There are plenty of Climate Change solutions but climate change isn't the problem, Globalism is. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 1:54 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash science concepts, politics, humor no Mon, 23 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 399 Climate Change Solutions Politics & Philosophy "Climate Change" has been exposed as a Trojan Horse for political Globalism but that doesn't mean there's nothing to it. The climate's going to change regardless of whether humans played a part, but even the worse projections are well within the range that earth has experienced in its long history. Whether the change is for the better or worse hasn't even been determined, but people are conservative by nature, and changing climate scares them, period. Assuming some of the change is bad, meaning not enough water & food, or too hot to live without air conditioning, or ocean rise, what would be solutions we could plan for now? The first goal is an honest national discussion because there are plenty of scientific, engineering and management opportunities available to us, it simply requires leadership. For example, if carbon emissions is the problem, nationalize the natural resources then charge the true price for a gallon of gasoline; if electricity is the problem then adopt nuclear power; if flooding is the problem, move cities inland; if food production is the problem, create more GMO food, and; if too many people is the problem then promote birth control with a vengeance. All of these solutions can be addressed and planned for now, so why aren't they? I suspect the real enemy is NOT Climate Change, it's neo-Luddites & Collectivists who want to use the manufactured worldwide emergency to propel their own selfish political agendas.   Politics & Philosophy 2:35 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash climate change, politics, humor no Sat, 21 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 398 Energy Shortage? Politics & Philosophy Electric cars are almost here, thank goodness. Burning up incredibly valuable and irreplaceable petroleum just to move our overweight butts around borders on criminal. We need petroleum for so many more important things, such as plastics, chemicals, lubricants, asphalt, and fertilizers; not to mention the environment damage of releasing all those hydro-carbons into the atmosphere. However, increasing electricity demand requires increasing electricity production, and using oil for that doesn't solve the problem. Coal-for-oil is not a desirable trade-off, damming rivers is out, and geothermal, wind, wave, and solar all offer only a pittance of the energy needed. Where do we go? With nuclear power, there is no energy shortage. Nuclear-generated electricity is almost free, and new reactor technologies are now emerging from companies such as NuScale, Hyperion, mPower, and Toshiba that address past complaints. These reactors are all small, truck transportable, safe from terrorists, and produce minimal amounts of radioactivity and waste. Nuclear power was the wave of the future in the past. The abandonment of nuclear power was an unfortunate side-effect of the Cold War, but the generation that will soon be assuming political office, and the voters who select them, will not have the same irrational fear of the word "nuclear." It seems probably that a decade or two from now we will see full utilization of this unlimited energy source. It only takes political will and the passing-on of the "no" generation.   Politics & Philosophy 2:37 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash energy shortage, nuclear, energy, politics, humor no Thu, 19 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 397 Catastrophe Initiates Progress Politics & Philosophy Maybe because it makes people uncomfortable, or perhaps folks just aren't aware, but no one ever talks about how wars, disease & famine leave the survivors better off in a physical prosperity & available opportunities sense. This concept has a lot of the zero-sum-gain view of an economy that central planners hate to admit exists, but the truth is, your neighbor's loss is your gain. You get the good job, the accouterments of fine living & in the case of war, the beautiful women; and you inherit all the wealth rather than have to share with relatives. Evolution tends to be very sexist and Machiavellian; strife & catastrophe seem to be the best catalyst for societal improvement. The seminal counter-example is the famous Mouse Utopia experiment, where the colony's ultimate doom in the face of prosperity had such an illogical conclusion that it's terrifying. Anyone who reads the history of that tragedy cannot help but be mortified. Would that be the fate of humans in times of plenty? Would comfort & lack of want inevitably lead to sexual perversion, sloth & mental illness? We want to think human intelligence would overcome whatever it was that befell the mice, but we suspect not. My guess is that the actions of individuals trying to better themselves makes all the difference, and without that, we sink into oblivion.   Politics & Philosophy 2:25 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash progress, catastrophe, politics, humor no Tue, 17 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 396 Luddites Politics & Philosophy The term "Luddite" is used to describe someone who wants to stop innovation & science, even go back to some imagined simpler time. That would be okay, the Amish certainly prove it's possible, but Luddites aren't satisfied with just having control over their own destiny, they want everyone to do as they say for their own selfish, sanctimonious reasons: stop artificial intelligence, stop genetic engineering, stop space exploration. Some of this comes from religious fundamentalism, some of it from fear of the unknown, but most of it is the discomfort people feel from having to adapt to radical new things. Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, predicted "Major anti-technology movements will be active in the U.S. and elsewhere by 2030." That date seems arbitrary but considering the trajectory of politics in America & the World, a rebellion of some sort does seem to be brewing, the Luddites are gathering strength, and the one boogeyman anyone can get behind is something they don't understand. I can barely understand technology today, what will it be like a decade from now? How about two? Frankly, I can't wait.   Politics & Philosophy 2:09 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Luddite, politics, humor no Sun, 15 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 395 Moon Landing Politics & Philosophy My childhood was defined by moon landings. Every kid wanted to be an astronaut, and science ruled in schools. That simple footprint in the lunar dust created a generation of engineers; an otherwise tough, unrecognized, poorly remunerated, but incredibly important field. It wasn't just the idea of space travel that captured our attention, it was the youth of the whole thing: Controllers at the time of the first lunar landing had an average age of 26, and the average age of NASA engineers on Apollo 11 was 28. In comparison, the average age of a Google employee is 29, similar to other tech companies, but for some reason the moon landings seems so virile while database management is simply effeminate. I think, in retrospect, moon landings were about men: "spaceman," "first man on the moon," "leap for mankind;" the language was rife with masculinity. No one has been to the moon since, the inspiration is gone. What happened? Was it for the same reason the world's oceans are mostly unexplored, there just isn't anything that captures people's imaginations? Or is it something bigger than that? It's no coincidence that social & political metamorphoses has simultaneously changed the nature of society's ambitions, and that testosterone-based national goals are no longer en vogue. In fact, a quarter of Americans think we spend too much on space exploration, and a third of Republicans & Independents think the moon landing was a hoax. With numbers like that, there will never be another footprint.   Politics & Philosophy 2:45 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash moon landing, man landing on the moon, politics, humor no Fri, 13 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 394 Quantum Theory Politics & Philosophy You hear the word "quantum" used a lot in popular culture & quack science, though its origins is real science. It was postulated by German physicist Max Planck in 1900, for which he won the Nobel Prize, but what does it really mean? Ironically enough, it means the opposite of what Einstein said it meant when he quipped, "God does not play dice." Oh, but He does. Quantum mechanics is the theory that life is not deterministic, meaning it can only be predicted statistically, even though the equations look a lot like physics. On the one hand, physics assumes the universe is a giant clockwork, and knowing the precise attributes of the gears can predict the precise outcome of the process, but Quantum Theory is almost the exact opposite, that the universe is random, that its components & sub-particles must be guesstimated for a probabilistic outcome. In computer science we use term "stochastic," meaning randomly determined patterns, and in economics it sounds a lot like "emergent order," the Classical Liberal political & economic philosophy that randomness spontaneously creates organized results, and, of course, there's the theory of evolution. When so many divergent sources come to the same conclusion, it seems likely that quantum theory is indeed the secret of the universe.     Politics & Philosophy 2:22 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash quantum theory, politics, humor no Wed, 11 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 393 Con Concepts Politics & Philosophy The concept of conning people doesn't seem to be sinking in, let's review: You are judged based on your status, not your competency. The Wealthy assume their financial success is due to their own efforts, and that everyone else simply didn't have what it takes. Ponzi schemes are the result of seeking simple solutions to difficult problems. Under-funded pensions are the seeds of financial collapse. NGOs exploit our inherent sense of charity & shame, without any of their own. The current state of America's affairs could go on forever... But it most probably won't. America's highly polarized future will leave liberty the loser. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 1:59 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash cons, politics, humor no Mon, 09 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 392 America's Future Politics & Philosophy America's National Debt has increased for the past 40 years, and there's no reason to think that trend is going to change. Stimulus spending keeps things going, that plus the U.S. dollar being the world's reserve currency, but at some point, things that can't go on forever, won't. Our current trajectory is not sustainable, especially with the fracturing of political power into diverse groups verses a huge upcoming Retirement Class of coalesced political power. Even though liberty is under extreme pressure, it's still increasing due to increasing productivity, but as the economy is put under stress, and opportunity gets more-n-more concentrated into the hands of the wealthy, the ideal of the-most-liberty-for-the-most-people is threatened, especially considering that the two most likely futures for America are at the extreme ends of the Right-Left spectrum: either most-liberty-to-whoever-gets-there-first or no liberty at all. It's easily predictable that increasing wealth inequality can only lead to future wealth redistribution. The most likely possibility is a Universal Basic Income, where everyone is given free money, enough not to have to have a job. Democracy has a tendency to promote such illogical solutions, and it will work for a time, until consumption exceeds production, and a collapse occurs. The sustainable solution is high Progressive taxation & confiscatory inheritance taxes, but that would take a consolidation of political power into competent but benign hands, probably after some severe financial upheaval, a situation also prone to totalitarianism, so the odds of things in the future turning out better than now are problematic.   Politics & Philosophy 2:43 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash America's future, politics, humor no Sat, 07 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 391 Go On Forever... Politics & Philosophy Humans are born optimists, it's evolutionary: tribes that trust their members survive as a group and lone-wolves parish. In modern times, this optimism has led to Stock Markets, pension funds, Social Security & landing on the moon. Not a bad trade-off, really, but one wonders if it can go on forever? We don't tax The Rich enough, which requires Government to print money to give to the electorate, but then The Rich complain because they aren't getting rich fast enough so taxes are cut even more, which requires Government to print more money. And because of "Free" Trade, foreigners are doing all the jobs so there's a push for a Basic Income, moving the country faster towards Collectivism. It all seems to be working out because The Rich are happy getting richer, foreigners are happy being paid with imaginary money, and people are happy to think they don't have to work for a living, but it's not going to go on forever...   Politics & Philosophy 1:46 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash forever, politics, humor no Thu, 05 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 390 NGOs Politics & Philosophy Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, is the Politically Correct term for charity because charity implies a non-egalitarian situation where one person gives to another out of kindness, rather than forced to as Marxist doctrine would dictate. Another huge difference between NGOs & charities is shame: people who provide charity would be ashamed if they siphoned off the majority of the contributed money by way of salaries, but NGOs live by the credo that the work they do is just as important, perhaps more important, than the work of the people who contributed the money, so they should get compensated accordingly: the erstwhile beneficiaries are of secondary importance. This attitude probably germinated because NGOs get a lot of their money from Government grants, and tax-payer money holds no reverence. NGOs may be tax exempt, a good concept for a real charity, but there's no doubt an NGO's primary purpose is to pay the people who work for them: 5% to the supposed charitable function, 95% to so-called overhead. There are legitimate NGOs, for example Doctors Without Borders pays their doctors only subsistence wages, and it's not that difficult to distinguish between exploitation and beneficence: the head of the Red Cross's multi-million dollar salary is clearly an obscenity; I won't even donate to Red Cross because of it. The fact is, NGOs work because most of the people who give don't care where the money goes; they were just virtue signaling anyway: being seen wearing a pink bandanna at Run For The Cure was all they were interested in.   Politics & Philosophy 2:38 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash NGO, non-governmental organization, politics, humor no Tue, 03 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 389 Pensions Politics & Philosophy Nothing says predicting the future like saving for retirement, and when somebody else is supposedly saving for retirement for you, that is a recipe for disaster. The bailout of the auto industry was to keep the pension payments going to their almost one-million retirees. Puerto Rico is seeking statehood in a last ditch effort to save their pensions, and of course, the Wall Street bailout was all about saving the pension funds which had invested, not the banks. The numbers are staggeringly bad: of the 1,400 private, union-run pension plans, three-quarters are less than half funded, a total $600 billion deficit, and public sector pensions obligations are truly astonishing, almost $6 trillion: a twentieth of all the wealth in America is owed to retired government workers. But that's dwarfed by the immorality of Social Security, which requires a full quarter of America's total wealth just to make up the difference between what's owed and what's paid in, made even worse because all the paid-in monies have been absorbed into the Debt, so aren't available anyway. We are literally talking about taking from the poor, productive members of society, and giving to the rich, unproductive retirees. Combine that with sanctimonious mewling, abuse of social courtesy, and political grandstanding, and the mess that results has no solution short of a complete financial breakdown, scraping the bottom, and rebuilding after shedding the pension baggage.   Politics & Philosophy 2:49 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash pensions, politics, humor no Sun, 01 Apr 2018 07:00:00 -0700 388 Ponzi Schemes Politics & Philosophy Ponzi schemes have no real money of their own, they take in new money from the many, and pay out slightly less to the few, while the middle-man takes a cut for organizing the whole thing. There is no connection between what you pay in & what you supposedly get out, the money goes to other people & some amount is skimmed off the top. Virtually all insurance policies are Ponzi schemes, but as long as there are more suckers than there are lucky winners, nobody questions the efficacy or ethics of the situation. Government-run Ponzi schemes are the most egregious. If the numbers actually made sense, private annuity & retirement funds would be doing it, not The State. By allowing the Ponzi scheme lie to go unquestioned, more will sprout up. For example, Oregon is starting a State Social Security scam of its own. Because they steal from the future to give to the present, which has always been a hallmark of self-serving idealism, our Social Security, Medicare, government pensions & National Debt Ponzi schemes are on their way to collapse, leaving inflation as the only future option, which actually isn't such a bad solution.   Politics & Philosophy 2:01 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Ponzi, politics, humor no Fri, 30 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0700 387 Financial Hubris Politics & Philosophy 1%ers sit in financial conferences congratulating themselves on their prescience & business acumen. In their world, wealth is to be accumulated by the forward thinkers, innovators & hard workers like themselves. The fact that they are a small minority of the population, and that their gains are at a relative loss to everyone else seems somehow righteous to them. They are the special ones, deserving of their good fortune & position in life, and everyone should admire them too, or at least admit how wonderfully opportune they are. How this self-serving self-interest impacts the rest of us is manifold, but the most concerning is these people's sincere believe in an upcoming economic collapse, which in itself is not an evil thing except that their concern is only about their personal loss of wealth & that of the people they know & admire, which are other 1%ers. They self-righteously condemn "government" for causing the problem with no introspection of the real reason, which is that they have hoarded America's opportunity, leaving a large majority of the population disaffected & dissatisfied. They SHOULD be worried about is what the majority will do to their tiny minority if the situation gets any worse.   Politics & Philosophy 2:05 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash financial hubris, politics, humor no Wed, 28 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0700 386 Gucci Theory Of Success Politics & Philosophy Rational thought in financial matters is probably the third of forth thing influencing people's decisions. First & foremost is the search for higher status; what other people think of you has more impact on your success than any single factor, and certainly influences what you think of yourself. This distorts the decision-making process, allowing completely erroneous & illogical ideas to dominate society. For example, there are all kinds of reasons stated why you need to personally interview for a job, or why you need references, or what college you attended, but the real reason is to see if you're admirable enough to be somebody the others want to work with. There will be dozens of people interviewing for plumb jobs; the thing that sets the winner apart is the label on their suit, their beauty & the prestige of the school they went to. Anyone carrying a Gucci bag, even a fake Gucci, has more credibility than anyone who doesn't because the Number One Goal is status, and outward displays of your exquisite taste indicates you deserve it: respectwise, influencewise, and leadershipwise. You are what you wear.   Politics & Philosophy 2:00 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash status, politics, humor no Mon, 26 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0700 385 Savings Concepts Politics & Philosophy The concept of future money is completely misunderstood, let's review: Saving money is an attempt to predict the future. Investment is a smokescreen the Nouveau Aristocracy use to justify their vast accumulation of wealth. Stocks are the contrivance clever people use to fleece gullible people. Retirement is an After-Life Rewards myth but in real life. Small Business is precious, and should be treated that way. Big Business is the very essence of The Rich being subsidized by everyone else. Insurance is the perverse incentive for things to go badly. Small Business is most vulnerable to the rapacious liability industry. Socialized Liability would provide security for all, lessen the fear of losing everything, and muzzle the legal jackals. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:20 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash savings concepts, politics, humor no Sat, 24 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0700 384 Socialized Liability Politics & Philosophy Liability must change dramatically. This country would be much better off if "liability"' became a Government function, where everyone who truly needed help got it, not just those lucky few who happened to get injured by someone with money. As it stands now, it's "jackpot justice," benefiting the legal profession rather than fulfilling the intended purpose of making the injured whole. Even if the situation is examined from an ethical perspective, how injuries occur should NOT be part of the equation. In fact, injuries are far more likely to come from unfortunate events than from the actions of people, but should not all injuries be redressed equally? The biggest irony of today's liability system is that those who are injured are victims a second time if the perpetrator has no assets because now they're also responsible for the costs of their injury. If the goal of liability is to recompense the victims then that goal is not being achieved, out the window goes fairness and all we're left with is cynical profiteering, plus the exploitation, hubris, self-righteousness, and shear extortion of the liability industry. Blame and accusations are unhealthy, and retribution is a poor reason to compromise society. There is no need for greedy claims of punitive damages so that attorneys can get rich. If someone's actions cause or threaten to cause civil harm, they should pay a fine into a General Liability Pool, and if their actions are criminal, they should face judicial punishment. Universal healthcare would provide comfort and maintenance to those who are physically or emotionally injured, and the General Liability Pool would provide funds to alleviate property or business damage. Socialized liability not only makes practical sense, society is a less contentious, more reassuring place.   Politics & Philosophy 2:54 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash socialized liability, liability, politics, humor no Thu, 22 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0700 383 Business Liability Politics & Philosophy Liability is a devil's bargain between attorneys and insurance companies. Big business is protected from liability through a legal technique called"securitization," where the shell companies exposed to liability have no seizable assets. Mom & Pop businesses are the only ones still liable because they don't make enough to protect themselves through similar means. Everything they built up is taken, or so burdened by insurance that the insurance companies get all the profit. Libertarians use the excuse that liability is preferable to regulations. Regulations can be captured, they say, but liability is even more open to exploitation, especially by money. With regulations, everyone is playing by the same rules, there is no subjectivity, human emotion, and greed does not dominate the resolution. Conscientious behavior is adequate protection in the objective environment of regulation, whereas liability can strike at any moment, on a whim, a chance, a gamble you didn't intend to make. Of course, those with the financial resources & legal acumen can shield themselves from liability, no matter how egregious. The intricacies of liability offer a way for them to shift responsibility to those less capable of deflection, where a regulation would have prohibited their action in the first place. Liability is another technique for The Rich to get richer at the expense of everyone else.   Politics & Philosophy 2:19 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash liability, politics, humor no Tue, 20 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0700 382 Insurance Politics & Philosophy The insidious invasion of insurance into every aspect of our lives is what makes Insurance companies the most profitable big business in the world. The combination of usurious insurance costs, perverse incentivized liability, and our sanctimonious Blame Culture has distorted the concept of responsibility into something unrecognizable. Most people simply expect that any catastrophe in their life will be covered by insurance, which is doubly attractive, because if you benefit every time something goes wrong, you get both the illusion of security plus the perverse sense of anticipation that the next slip on the sidewalk or car accident that will pay for your kid's college education. And as the power & influence of insurance companies has increased, so has shifting of blame onto institutions: business, education & government; because that's where the money is. Institutions also provide a mask that allows individuals to escape personal responsibility so people working at those institutions who don't have to pay insurance premiums directly, want lots of it, feeding the beast. Insurance, by exploiting the conniving aspect of human nature, has become an enormous parasite sucking the life out of innovation & self-reliance. Worse, if enough people needed to collect, the insurance companies would collapse like the House of Cards they are.   Politics & Philosophy 2:22 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash insurance, politics, humor no Sun, 18 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0700 381 Big Business Politics & Philosophy If small businesses mostly fail because their profit margins are so limited, how can gigantic corporations manage double-digit returns year-after-year? Unfortunately, the answers are almost universally detrimental to the Free Market: monopoly, regulatory capture, patent exploitation, usury, legal obfuscation & campaign donations. Anybody so-called investing in Big Business stocks is little more than gambling that the business can retain its uncompetitive advantages. As for society's needs: the people that run Big Business are not answerable to public censor, and no one is personally held accountable for what would in private circumstances be crimes. Government-imposed fines only penalize the pension funds that invest in the business. The largest stockholders are often Hedge funds that know or care little more about the business than how vulnerable their stock is to being leveraged. Stockholders are not protected from voracious management salaries set by crony Boards of Directors. Their tax structure subsidizes the richest shareholders, and most shareholders have absolutely no say as to how their money is used, whether they receive dividends, or even if they can ever get their money back. All-in-all, the bigger the business is, the worse it is for every other business, the ones that actually create jobs & respond to normal Market Forces. In the battle between Big & Small Business, it's obvious who won the cash cow, and who takes home the booby prize.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash big business, politics, humor no Fri, 16 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0700 380 Small Business Politics & Philosophy Most people start their small business using their savings, retirement, a mortgage, or inheritance, based on naive optimism that almost always results in failure, yet it's vitally important to the American mystique: working long hours for little pay and no benefits simply out of the belief that you're the one who's going to make it. Many small business owners even have their wife and kids helping out, no pay. Then there’s the indignity of hiring someone ,who is protected from long hours, and provided social security, healthcare and guaranteed minimum wage by you. As employee benefits go up: childcare leave, unemployment insurance, workplace rules, etc., being the one responsible for all that stuff, especially when you don't have those guarantees yourself, just isn’t worth it. If small business is really the job engine in America then the people who create them should not be penalized for their ambition, work ethic & fortitude. However, if there was a place to "invest" your money, even with all these things working against you, a small business is the most productive utilization as far as society is concerned, and, hey, you still have a chance of making it work.   Politics & Philosophy 2:04 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash small business, politics, humor no Wed, 14 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0700 379 Retirement? Politics & Philosophy It doesn't take much predicting the future to know the future of money saved for retirement; there isn't going to be any. Before anybody raising kids today can retire, whatever they have saved will be gone. Most of it's gone already, you just don't know it yet. Retirement funds operate on the assumption that they get some kind of return, 4 or 5% at least, some need double digit returns just to meet their current obligations. That's simply not possible in today's less than 1% interest climate, so fund managers are forced to put the money in the Stock Market, but the Stock Market is a Zero-sum game: somebody wins, somebody loses. All of those people you hear about making big money in the Stock Market, it's got to be coming from somewhere: the $24 trillion in supposed retirement funds is where. Retirement funds really only exist on paper, the money's been lost, it just hasn't showed up in the accounting because nobody is watching too closely since they won't be getting it for decades. There's lots of chicanery: all future retirees know is the yearly balance sheet that comes in the mail telling them how much their imaginary nest egg is imaginarily increasing. A quarter century from now when people really want the money, it won't be there; it's a Ponzi scheme that depends on young Workers paying into the system. The solution, if there is any, will take both inflation & fund bankruptcy.   Politics & Philosophy 2:16 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash retirement, politics, humor no Mon, 12 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0700 378 Stocks Politics & Philosophy The very idea of stocks relies entirely on faith; faith that the stock you're buying is worth anything, faith that the company you're investing in will operate profitably & faith that somebody will give your money back if you ask for it. That's religious levels of faith, but you're a lot more committed to stocks than you ever have to be to a religion, and religion has the strength of unknowingness, no one can actually say your religion is a crock, but stocks don't have similar uncertainty; we can see that stocks are bogus. Quick lesson #1: stocks are predicting the future. Lesson #2: most companies fail. You don't need anymore lessons than that. At their basest level, even the idea of buying a stock doesn't make sense: a majority of stocks have a PE ratio over 25; that means it would take 25 years of profits just to pay your investment off, let alone make any money. Does that sound even halfway reasonable to you? And most stocks pay no dividends, Growth stocks, stocks you buy because you're betting they will go up for mysterious reasons; that's gambling in the purest sense. For example, after a decade, Amazon just started turning a profit once they cornered the market by losing money until the competition, like Sears, went belly-up. Anti-monopoly laws were supposed to prevent that kind of thing. It's only possible when a small group of people have an unimaginable amount of money available to make even more money. In fact, almost the entire tech market is hot-air; schemes to fleece Retirement Funds, and siphon back the dollars other countries have accumulated through unbalanced trade. Stocks are a huge clock-ticking Ponzi scheme.   Politics & Philosophy 2:41 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash stocks, politics, humor no Sat, 10 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0800 377 Investment Politics & Philosophy Often the argument given for tax breaks is investment, and that word has taken on mystical connotations, so-much-so that conniving politicians call The Rich “Job Creators,” inferring the super rich are important to a society's well-being. The Rich then use that excuse so they can accumulate even more wealth, and because their vast accumulations would seem obscene otherwise. But the concept is flawed on two fronts: first, that being rich makes one essential to everyone else; that's easily the most topsy-turvy cynical excuse for the stratification of society. And second; that money somehow comes from rich people. It's unfortunate that the concentration of wealth is so skewed that regular people are under the misconception that The Rich are supernatural. The Rich can supply investment in the form of cash because they have so much of it, but we as a nation certainly do not require The Rich to invest. Most money is in the form of a loan from your bank, which ultimately originates from Government. There are more than enough entrepreneurs who would use that and sweat equity to build businesses. Investment is a deal between Government & The People.   Politics & Philosophy 2:07 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash investment, politics, humor no Thu, 08 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0800 376 Savings Politics & Philosophy Savings is something Monetarists praise. It fits into their conservative narrative of home budgets & conscientious behavior. It's a dogma taken on faith, never examined because accepting that savings is bad for an economy would make whole careers & reputations worthless. However, on-the-flip-side, Keynesianists, believers in fiscal policy, the imaginary money often called stimulus, pooh-pooh savings. In fact, they have their own insightful phrase for it: the paradox of thrift. Basically, one person's savings is another person's hard times. The veneration of savings is due to positive preconceptions held by regular people, something they gleaned from their Protestant Work Ethic parents, Boy Scouts or an over-zealous economics teacher. In reality, saving money has no intrinsic or extrinsic value except as insurance, or in anticipation of a purchase, and only relatively small amounts are needed for either, not millions of dollars & certainly NOT $100s of millions. You would be better off using your money to make your life better or more entertaining, because just accumulating money as a matter of keeping score is literally self-embezzlement. Saving money is mostly a form of predicting the future, and no one can do that, regardless of the assurances they give you of the quality of your future Nursing Home.   Politics & Philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash savings, monetarism, Keynesianism, politics, humor no Tue, 06 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0800 375 Basic Income Concepts Politics & Philosophy Everybody wants more money, let's review how they expect to get it: Basic Income is the idea that no one has to work if they don't want to. Everyone is expecting someone else to pay for Basic Income. Forcefully taking from someone to give to another is the essence of socialism. People have to be indoctrinated to work. It's disingenuous to claim that higher wages will not impact the number of jobs. Only Markets can determine what a job is worth. Seniority pay puts the lie to the concept of same-pay-for-same-work. Tipping is social extortion. Robot workers allow you to have more & spend less time getting it. A sustainable lifestyle doesn't have to be meager but it does have to be cheap. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:10 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Basic Income, politics, humor no Sun, 04 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0800 374 Sustainable Lifestyle Politics & Philosophy Once the robots have all the jobs, and all the superfluous people are on Basic Income to survive, working only two hours a day, surfing, smoking dope & “doing something meaningful,” what are the basics they need to survive? Cheap staples like clothes, food, healthcare & housing, maybe a cubical or pod living which included utilities, like Japanese tube hotels. Next, a public data plan because smart phones will become the most important thing in modern life. After that, self-driving public transportation, sports & entertainment. Families, however those are composed, would have additional requirements. That would probably do it, and in reality, it's not that much of a stretch, certainly something that could be solved after a decade of concerted effort by engineers & sincere politicians. If you wanted a little more than that, you would have to work additional hours, and if you wanted to live in the suburbs & drive your own foreign automobile, that would take a full-time job, making you one of the people who keep the robot utopia going.   Politics & Philosophy 1:52 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash robots, utopia, politics, humor no Fri, 02 Mar 2018 07:00:00 -0800 373 Robot Workers Politics & Philosophy For all the mystery, curiosity & appeal of androids, human-appearing robots that could do most work that people do now, the secondary thought that soon pops into most people's minds is: if robots are doing all the work, what are people going to do? The sheer amount of time consumed worrying about such flights-of-fantasy is amazing in its own right, and the fact that the simple answer is not widely known means that either no one is listening, or no one has thought it through. Here, let me: In a robot future, where most overtly productive tasks like picking strawberries, driving cars & even designing iPhones, is done by machines, the “jobs” that people do will concentrate into the one thing people are eager to pay for: additional status. Owning & doing things that are fashionable will always be part of consumption, and participating in social trends & seeking public approval will never be something done by robots, because people don't want the accolades of things, they want the applause of other people. Plus, you are not going to drink a beer with an android: there will always be a person telling you a funny story of their day's happenings. If the only job people had was following around a robot dabbing oil into its joints, then used the money they earned to buy the cheap goods produced by the robots, with anything left over going to pay their yoga dues & support Greenpeace, there's work & fulfillment enough for everybody, no matter how many robots change the baby's diaper.   Politics & Philosophy 2:23 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash robot workers, politics, humor no Thu, 01 Mar 2018 09:14:37 -0800 372 Tipping Politics & Philosophy Few topics are outrageous & sanctimonious at the same time, but any discussion of tipping certainly is. The idea that there is undeclared additional expense on a purchase is not only championed by every Living Wage scold, but also contrary to Contract law. It's certainly counter egalitarian, not to mention the tax issues. To think that the person with direct customer access can exploit that position, while other more important contributors to the enterprise suck wind, is absolutely stunning. And the public guilt aspect, self-interested moralizing, shrill superiority, appeal to charity, and demand on customer courtesy moves tipping into its own realm of unpleasantness. The odiousness of the practice actually makes the food taste worse. Tipping is also a way for The Wealthy to flaunt their disdain for money, and publicly display their largess towards The Little People, then the rest of us get dragged into their perverse orbit, and end up competing among ourselves for who gave away the most money for the least amount of effort. I don't go anywhere that requires tipping. In fact, if I see a "Tip Jar" on the counter, I put my merchandise down & go somewhere else. Tipping is something America does but is nowhere else in the world. What makes it doubly-obscene is that foreign waitstaff expect only Americans to tip. Luckily, in the Pacific Northwest at least, it's becoming fashionable for restaurant chains to switch to higher prices, higher wages for everyone, and no tipping.   Politics & Philosophy 2:26 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash tipping, politics, humor no Mon, 26 Feb 2018 07:00:00 -0800 371 Seniority Politics & Philosophy I grew up with the seniority system, where someone, usually older, was paid more than me but we were ranked together, and did the same work. This is actually considered unethical by accountants, but the irony is, hypocrisy really, of the feminist slogan, equal-pay-for-equal-work, is that it doesn't include the most egregious example of unequal pay, seniority-based pay, because men are affected by seniority just as much as women, and it's a favorite of unions, feminist's political allies. To justify the illogical concept of seniority, there's the old canard that people who have been at a job longer are more valuable for reasons that are both subjective & cynical. In fact, there are several reasons that tenure on a job is a negative thing, complacency being the worst but inefficiency ranks right up there too. Seniority-based pay is simply another Gate-keeper tactic that gives advantage to those who got there first, an exploitation of power that crosses ideological boundaries. Seniority is not only untouchable, you can't even talk about the inequity at the office or you can be fired... Unless you're a woman.   Politics & Philosophy 2:02 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash seniority, politics, humor no Sat, 24 Feb 2018 07:00:00 -0800 370 What are Jobs Worth? Politics & Philosophy There is no proper compensation. Who's to say what a job is worth? The biased business owners? The biased people who do the job? Someone-who-knows-better-n-you? How much is a High School graduate with good dexterity skills worth per hour? How much is it worth to pick trash off of the street in front of the park, or wash dirty dishes? Markets & wages can't be controlled, and they can't be predicted, and trying to do so causes unintended consequences. If it's too expensive, just leave the trash or use throw away utensils. Raising the price of mundane but important things only causes those things not to get done. All the people who could be doing those things, all 100 million Americans who do nothing, will continue to do nothing, except take free money from the State to stay alive. Employers aren't your nanny. They certainly aren't responsible if you can pay for your housing, cell phone, transportation & children. If society wants you to have those things, SOCIETY should provide them. Let the Market determine wages, and fill in the gap through the Social Safety Net. That's what we do now, and we should expand it so that everyone can have a job. It's society's responsibility to make up the difference between the “Living Wage” society wants & what employers are willing to pay. It would also encourage Work Ethic & take the pressure off sending jobs overseas.   Politics & Philosophy 2:25 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash jobs, living wage, politics, humor no Thu, 22 Feb 2018 07:00:00 -0800 369 Against Minimum Wage Politics & Philosophy Emergent Order, self-organization, Market Forces, and all the other ways to describe Chaos Theory, is the only way to model complex systems. There's plenty of evidence that this is the case in physics & in economics. Salaries are a prime example of a complex system: there is no way we can predict the impact of a Minimum Wage, but it goes against logic to think that the only thing that defies Market Forces is wages, that if an employee costs more it has no effect on jobs? Yet Minimum Wage promoters assume that there is no connection between wages & jobs, and they use all kinds of Collectivist claptrap to support their arguments, making it an issue between supporters of Capitalism, and hence, liberty vs. Socialism, just like what most nonsensical debates usually boil down to. You can't force customers to pay more than a service is worth to them. It's also ridiculous to think that if a job isn't worth paying a Living Wage, it's not worth doing, or that employees have a Right to an income but owners don't. And who doesn't recognize that Minimum Wage is another factor driving jobs out of the country. Scrap that whole concept of Minimum-Living Wage & instead partially implement "Basic Income," welfare but only if you work. The employer pays the Market Forces value of the job & society makes up the difference. However, among the possibilities of doing nothing verses Minimum Wage, it's better to do nothing than to exacerbate the Jobs problem.   Politics & Philosophy 2:35 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Minimum Wage, Living Wage, politics, humor no Tue, 20 Feb 2018 07:00:00 -0800 368 It's Better to Work than Lounge Politics & Philosophy It seems obvious that people who agree to start a society share some kind of universal Work Ethic because how long can any society exist that consumes more than it produces? A person who needs money must do something to earn it. Any job is better than no job but forcing people to dig-holes-fill-them-in-again would backfire, we must create jobs that serve the dual-purpose of having an end-goal, as well as activity, and a job might consist of learning, or some other kind of self-improvement that would eventually benefit society. Unfortunately, people can make excuses to themselves about why they shouldn't have to work. In reality, nobody needs 10 shirts & 4 TV sets, so if they voluntarily choose to have only 5 shirts & 2 TV sets, they confuse that lack of consumption with production, and assume their responsibility to society is fulfilled. America has an entire generation who are under this misconception, so-much-so that they advocate a Basic Income that means they never have to work if they simply cut back on consuming. They insist that "corporations" are doing enough production for everyone. Unless Work Ethic is instilled in upcoming generations, the connection between it & society's fundamental viability is blurred as more-n-more people assume someone else will be productive and then be forced to share. Consequently, it's in a society's essential interests to indoctrinate its new members with the concept of working: if every young person had to pick a bushel of cotton before they could connect to wifi, the problem would be solved.   Politics & Philosophy 2:35 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash work ethic, basic income, politics, humor no Sun, 18 Feb 2018 07:00:00 -0800 367 Basic Income is Socialistic Politics & Philosophy Basic Income is the idea that everyone should get enough money to live on so they can pursue what they want in life without having to work for it: a Right to free money. Money comes from taxes or government prints it. If it's simply newly printed money then it doesn't necessarily violate anybody's liberty, but I can't see that lasting for long: a $trillion a year with nothing in return is probably hyper-inflationary? However, it seems more likely that Basic Income would come from some kind of taxes. Many advocates of Basic Income insist it's not socialism but then who's against it? Certainly not the socialists. Let me see, who would be against a Basic Income? Hey, it might be the people OBLIGATED to pay it. And why do they have to pay it? Well, because even though it's bad for them personally, it's good for everybody; the idea that the needs of the group supersede the wants of the individual, which is socialism, the opposite of liberty.   Politics & Philosophy 1:53 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash basic income, socialism, socialistic, politics, humor no Fri, 16 Feb 2018 07:00:00 -0800 366 Who Pays For Basic Income? Politics & Philosophy Basic Income is redistribution of wealth, which is a good thing, and the receivers of Basic Income, everybody presumably, are the correct recipients of the largess, but the question remains: who is providing the money? The most common strategy is that all other forms of Welfare would be discontinued with Basic Income taking its place, but most people don't receive Welfare but would receive Basic Income. Certainly that idea is incongruent with math. Basic Income is going to need a huge new source of revenue. Would the additional money needed come from The Rich in the form of steeply increased Income Taxes? But there are proponents of Basic Income who are simultaneously against Inheritance & Income Tax. The dichotomy of logic exhibited by these people has no explanation other than deep subliminal self-interest: they want Free Money but don't want to contribute any themselves. Another plan is to tax machines. What? Machines have no money, and are they talking about my wristwatch & every other technological labor-saving device? Because that's what it would take to get the kind of money we're talking about. There aren't going to be armies of robots whose job is to pay taxes; only people pay taxes. Essentially, everybody would be taxed on everything so the Basic Incomers don't have to work. They want to take from people who plan for the future, to give to those who don't.   Politics & Philosophy 2:21 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash basic income, politics, humor no Wed, 14 Feb 2018 07:00:00 -0800 365 Basic Income Politics & Philosophy Basic Income is the idea that everyone pays everyone else to set home doing nothing. It's the perpetual motion machine of politics coming to life through democracy, for as long as it lasts anyway... Even the most basic questions about Basic Income generate basic questions: Who decides how much? Do people with more needs get more, for example, people who live in more expensive areas? Do wealthy people get it? Do people who don't need it because they live conscientious & frugal lives but would technically be considered “poor” get it? Is there charity on top of Basic Income, for example, if someone blows their monthly income on partying & raucous living, with nothing left over for housing, food & medicine? If I have more than I need & someone else has less, am I obligated to give them my excess? The very idea of Basic Income is antithetical to liberty, the concept that people reap the rewards or suffer the consequences of their own actions, because Basic Income rewards people for inaction. Proponents make the argument that liberty requires opportunity & Basic Income provides opportunity, but they are ignoring the consequences to other people, the second most basic tenet of liberty: you are free to do as you please as long as it doesn't affect the liberty of others. They also argue that if a majority of people want it then that overrules individual liberty, but that violates the allies aspect of liberty: if someone else must be enslaved to perpetuate your liberty, that is a tenuous contract indeed. Liberty is higher on the importance scale than democracy: there are other ways of making decisions but liberty is a fragile flame, easily extinguished.   Politics & Philosophy 2:38 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash basic income, politics, humor no Mon, 12 Feb 2018 07:00:00 -0800 364 Religious Concepts Politics & Philosophy No topic causes more conflict than religion, let's review: The intelligence that is paying attention to everything you do, that's you. Science is the opposite of faith. Religion is subjective, and so is calling something a religion. There are no public morals, only people who want there to be. Enforced morality is an attempt to gain control. A public business cannot pick & choose who its customers are going to be. Puritanism is an attempt to combat people's preference of play over work. Polygamy would provide more opportunity for close relationships. Ribosomes are the proof that evolution should not be accepted as the only possibility. The value of human life is subjective & mutable. Society must resist the urge to elevate animals into the concept of Rights. You may get your news somewhere else but take your advice from me, the Wysest Myn in the Wyrld.   Politics & Philosophy 2:14 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash religion, politics, humor no Sat, 10 Feb 2018 07:00:00 -0800 363 Animals Are Organic Robots Politics & Philosophy The debate often rages on whether animals have souls, or that farm animals are anything more than food. I like my dog, but I like my iPhone better. Animals are robots, programmed by some unknown mechanism called instinct, but personalities that can be easily reproduced by a computer program. If you are of the opinion that the Turing Challenge will soon be accomplished, thinking the voice on the other end of the phone is a real person, not an AI, then how can you not believe that a chicken can't be represented by computer now? Certainly cats can be simulated, and a dog would take hardly more consideration; even primates wouldn't be much of a problem. That flesh and blood creature you love for its individuality is just a Packard that poops, but people still think their dog is special, that nothing can replace Bootsie. It's an easily explained phenomenon; humans naturally anthropomorphize animals & even objects: we see cats smiles & happy faces on automobile grills. Animals have intelligence enough to survive, and we extrapolate that to fit human expectations, and even apply human moral strictures, mostly subconsciously, especially those people that have no contact with animals outside of storybooks & the zoo. In the evolutionary scheme of things, where companionship & husbandry is a survival mechanism, feeling protective of animals is a perfectly reasonable point of view; almost everybody does it, but mass psychosis doesn't make imaginary things any more real.   Politics & Philosophy 2:26 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash organic robots, politics, humor no Thu, 08 Feb 2018 07:00:00 -0800 362 The Value of Human Life Politics & Philosophy Sanctimonious posturing gets in the way of many debates, often totally obscuring whatever valid points are trying to be made. The worst of the worst of these conversation-killers is invoking the “saves lives” trope. Anyone need only to look around them to see that lives, even children's lives, are subject to other priorities; riding in cars, for example, kills 10s of thousands of people a year, but we still drive; food poisoning kills thousands, but we still eat; and drowning in the bathtub kills more people than gun accidents. Even in popular culture, we send young people off to war, participate in extreme sports, and do dangerous jobs for money. In a priority list of things, human life may not be in the Top 10? Even things, animals & concepts are often more important than human life. I value a fully-restored 1958 Packard more than I value a random human from somewhere poor & far away, and so does everyone with two cars or a Season's Ski Pass. A single Black Rhino is worth thousands of Syrian refugees drowning in capsized boats, and one of the most revered quotes in American history is "Give me liberty or give me death."   Politics & Philosophy 2:06 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash human life, politics, humor no Tue, 06 Feb 2018 07:00:00 -0800 361 Ribosomes vs. Evolution Politics & Philosophy A living cell perfectly fits the definition of being a von Neumann Machine, the kind of computer we use today, including I/O & memory. For example; the CPU is the ribosome, the ROM is DNA, hormones are input, and the RAM is a number of things: methylation, proliferation, promoters. Ribosomes take the DNA as a sequential input which they process according to their 3-bit instruction set, codons in cells, to produce a sequential output called proteins, which is what your body is made of. The most famous protein is hemoglobin; blood. The odds of hemoglobin evolving to hold oxygen in just the way our body needs it is 20 to the 140th power, which is a BIG number; way, way, way bigger than the number of seconds since life began on Earth, but if you include the ~100,000 proteins in the human body that had to develop simultaneously & work in concert with one another, that number is so astronomically large that it exceeds the number of atoms in the galaxy. With odds like that, evolution requires faith to believe because otherwise it would be miraculous, and science doesn't rely on miracles. Evolution is mostly science but when it strays into faith, it becomes a religion. Now you too can be skeptical about evolution without being a Creationist.   Politics & Philosophy 2:20 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash evolution, ribosome, politics, humor no Sun, 04 Feb 2018 07:00:00 -0800 360 Polygamy Politics & Philosophy Polygamy works many ways: one woman-multiple guys, all guys, all women, or any combination. Anybody can live in a polygamous relationship but heaven forbid they want to be recognized by our government. Prohibition of polygamy comes from preconceptions in religion, customs & tradition. Whatever practical reasons there are against polygamy, there's no reason to outlaw it, people can make the choice for themselves. I'm descended from Mormon polygamy, but my wife would never put up with another wife, and I wouldn't accept with another husband, but that's only our opinions, different strokes for different folks. The positive aspects of polygamy are rarely voiced: people need routine in their lives for mental health reasons, and companionship, in whatever form, accomplishes that. Society is benefited by people pairing up in whatever fashion that may be, including polygamy, and we have a glut of single people for which polygamy may be the solution. The restriction on polygamy is motivated more by politics than anything practical, a stricture of leftover dogma, in the realm of morals; any small practical State benefit not worth conflicting with people's individual liberty.   Politics & Philosophy 2:02 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash polygamy, politics, humor no Fri, 02 Feb 2018 07:00:00 -0800 359 Puritanism Politics & Philosophy Puritanism is best described by H.L. Mencken's famous quote, "The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy." However, Puritanism did give rise to modern industrialization: they were a discriminated against Christian denomination in England that gravitated towards science & education. Since then, Puritanism has come to represent all moral-based forms of government that tend to issue from the twin motives of vindictive behavior, envy & resentment, masked in conscientiousness. The result of unhappy people in positions of authority, condemning joy in others. Liberty would prevent this but, of course, Puritan-thinking communities are Totalitarian in nature, top-down control by people who claim they know better-n-you. Ironically, another puritanical society, the Shakers, eschewed sexual intercourse: nothing is more detrimental to society than not perpetuating itself. Needless to say, Shakers no longer exist. Other anti-liberty concepts have also arisen in the Puritan mold, based on so-called morals, which are no less oppressive. A modern example is Political Correctness, which is essentially the same thing as puritanism without the God connection. Generally speaking, anytime someone else is telling you how to think & act, those are the Puritans.   Politics & Philosophy 2:11 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash Puritianism, politics, humor no Wed, 31 Jan 2018 07:00:00 -0800 358 Selling Cupcakes to Pedophiles Politics & Philosophy Liberty is constrained by three things: opportunity, impinging on the liberty of others, and the need for allies. Part of living peacefully with other people is the implied Treaty we have with them, most important of which is showing them respect in public, whether or not you respect them in private. In public the rules of liberty are very strict, especially in the market: you, the vendor, can sell what you want; you can choose what you market, but you can't discriminate who you market to. In a public market, it's not up to vendors who their customers are. If a meat-eater comes into a vegan restaurant and orders a steak, you can say "we only serve vegan food," but you can't say, "we don't serve carnivores." That's the Liberty Agreement we all live by: I will treat you respectfully in public, and visa versa. If you want some self-righteous food discrimination, go eat at your church. The most famous example of this vendor discrimination attitude is making Wedding cakes for gay couples: your business may be to bake cakes, but it's no business of yours who buys them. Similarly, there's nothing a vendor can do to stop selling cupcakes to pedophiles; nor people who commit domestic violence; or even speed a lot. The decision is not up to a private party in a public market about who they sell to. Conversely, though technically legal, if you don't shop in a store because the owner, or somebody who works there, or the shoeshine boy out front, has a problem with homosexuals, then it's you, the customer, who are violating the social contract.   Politics & Philosophy 2:45 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash gay wedding cake, politics, humor no Mon, 29 Jan 2018 07:00:00 -0800 357 Moral Sanctions Politics & Philosophy In a liberty society where everyone has to show at least outward respect to the other people around them, if someone or some group is acting in a manner that abuses our sensibilities or feelings of appropriateness or righteousness, what can we do to discourage such behavior? What is the Line? Can we disrupt their life in any way we see possible, or is it just their livelihood we can threaten? Can we form a picket-line in front of the stores they own, or can we also cyberstalk them? Can we follow their kids home from school? Though most of us can reflexively answer “no” to those questions, there are people who insist their moral judgment takes precedence. Also, it's impossible to tell the difference between people who think they are doing society a favor, and those who support such behavior out of envy, perversity & spite. In the battle to maintain our liberty, we must voluntarily restrict moral sanctions in a public space. Liberty always comes first, and it's only possible when everyone else is our ally. Our public treaty is that whatever you think of me, when we interact in a public space, we will be respectful of one another.     Politics & Philosophy 2:07 (Martin Hash) Martin Hash morals, sanctions, politics, humor no Sat, 27 Jan 2018 07:00:00 -0800 356 Public Morals Politics & Philosophy Who determines public morals? What must we all do to"save children's lives, "keep God in the classroom," "eat healthy," "prevent discrimination," or whatever. Some States burden cigarettes & alcohol with high taxes, others outlaw gambling & fireworks. Making abortion difficult is high on the list, and Sanctuary Cities are another way of virtue signaling. We penalize groups of people to empower others based on the past. There are also those that insist on being addressed in a particular manner, or demand special treatment due to some hardship. The Left, who by definition do not place liberty first, want to subjugate speech & expression to the sensibilities of what others think. Because morals are subjective, we undermine America's legitimacy by forcing them on others. The hypocrisy of enforced morals will also come back on us as irony. How is forcing people to attend prayer at public gatherings different than subjecting everyone to a loud Call-to-Prayer five times a day? How is pan-handling on the sidewalk different than Girl Scouts selling cookies in front of Safeway? From a personal liberty perspective, whe