2nd January 2012

“Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.”

Friedrich Nietzsche1844 – 1900

20 Responses to “2nd January 2012”

  1. Capt'Z Says:

    OK, I’m sorry. I can’t resist. If you want a really impressive display of complete conviction, you can’t do better than watching a republican debate. The absolute certainties these people bat around makes me ill. And it’s why liberals look weak sometimes by comparison – They hedge, they equivocate, they reason. Most people are happier with stark contrasts and are uncomfortable with the mental work of exploring both sides of a position or with admitting that black/white reasoning is often too simplistic to be useful.

  2. Edmond Says:

    Absolutism. The enemy of inquiry, discovery and progress, and the tool of religion.

  3. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    I can say that as a Republican atheist, that is fiscally conservative and socially progressive, I find the current crop of candidates painfully difficult to make of choice from.

    Edmond I recognize the absolutism and Cap’n how the weakness that comes from not being seen as a person of conviction.

    Only Ron Paul could I vote for, any of the rest and I’d have to vote for the President (and like most people I’m not exactly happy with the president).

    Nevertheless, than this crop of Republican candidates, I find it difficult to that the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower has clowns like Bachmann and Perry vying for the nomination. And don’t get me started on Rick Santorum Argh!

  4. Dan Says:

    This phenomenon kinda puts the nail in the coffin for the idea that H. sapiens is generally an intelligent animal. It seems more that intelligence within humanity is the exception, not the rule.

  5. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Oh sure Dan rub salt in the wound! No you are right to. The Republican deserves all the criticism it can get these days.

  6. Capt'Z Says:

    Wanted: Candidate that will keep hand out of my wallet and eyes out of my bedroom. Young earth creationists need not apply. Nor should racists or people with unworkable economic plans. I guess that rules out everyone currently on the right.

  7. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Americans perceive Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul as closest to themselves ideologically, and Michele Bachmann and Barack Obama as furthest away.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/151814/Americans-Huntsman-Romney-Paul-Closest-Ideologically.aspx?utm_source=tagrss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=syndication

  8. Xhim Says:

    Sinjin, you and I disagree a lot, but we come pretty close here. I really am not an Obama fan, but the Republicans are not really coming up with an alternative.

  9. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Painful as it is to agree with you Xhim I will (Just kidding).

    As absurd as I think it is to be a person of faith I also feel that if that is what you choose then so be it.

    The joke “Religion is like a penis. It’s fine to have one and it’s fine to be proud of it, but please don’t whip it out in public and start waving it around… and PLEASE don’t try to shove it down my child’s throat” applies.

    Santorum, Bachmann, and Perry are just spilling their faith all over the place pandering to the masses of the uninformed. Perhaps that is a sad commentary on the state of the American intellect?

    As much as I’m offended by this tactic when employed by the left, I find it even more disappointing when it comes from the right.

    I don’t dislike President Obama it is that he is highly ineffectual that troubles me. Like JFK he isn’t able to do much of anything. Lefties might blame that on the obstructionist right but JFK had LBJ and LBJ made JFK’s programs come to fruition. I don’t frankly see Joe Biden being able to do this. Differrent time, different place for sure, but I see it as a shortcoming.

    Still even given the Presiden’t ineffectivness Having a theocratic nut like Bachmann, Perry , or Santorum would be disasterous.

    Mitt Romney I don’t think is going to be much if any different than the President, and the President isn’t much different then President Bush. It begs the question why trade one clown for another just the same?

    Ron Paul is the only nominee bring anything different to the table and like it or not we have been locked into the same, same old, for too many years. Maybe breaking the pattern fixes things, maybe it doesn’t, either way I think it would bring some clarity either way.

    Jon Huntsman is a nice guy, well mannered, pleasant, and he is knowledgeable of Far East affairs. That isn’t enough for me though.

    So I view the choices on the right and left and see yet another field of lesser evils from which to choose. Ron Paul is the only one I can come up with a compelling reason to support. If not him? President Obama is likely getting my vote.

  10. Dan Says:

    Sinjin,
    I hate to continue giving you a hard time for Republicans, but for Ron Paul, merely breaking the pattern or being different isn’t necessarily a good thing. It can in fact turn out disastrous with Paul as with the other candidates (although disastrous with completely different consequences).

    But for full disclosure on my views: I think that Ron Paul is for way-too-small-government, Romney is for small(er) government, Obama is for a-bit-too-big government, and the Dems on the whole are for much-too-big government.

    Where’s Goldilocks when you need her?

  11. Capt'Z Says:

    Fun ideas from Ron Paul:

    “How about getting rid of the Department of Education and Department of Agriculture. Just go down the list. Get rid of it. Cut the budget in half. Everything that’s not constitutional. That’s a good place to start.” –MSNBC interview, 2009

    “Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal justice system,’ I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.” -1992 newsletter

    “I miss the closet. Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities. They could also not be as promiscuous. Is it any wonder the AIDS epidemic started after they ‘came out of the closet,’ and started hyper-promiscuous sodomy?” -1990 newsletter

    “An ex-cop I know advises that if you have to use a gun on a youth, you should leave the scene immediately, disposing of the wiped off gun as soon as possible. Such a gun cannot, of course, be registered to you, but one bought privately (through the classifieds, for example).” -1992 newsletter

    “Welfaria,” “Zooville,” “Rapetown,” “Dirtburg,” “Lazyopolis.” –suggestions for renaming New York city

    “[AIDS sufferers] enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick.”

    “[It is the] destruction of civilization.” –on the end of apartheid in South Africa

    “When the New Money is imposed, every American family must have a Survival Kit of highly liquid, small-denomination silver and gold coins for hand-to-hand use. The Ron Paul Survival Kit — now an industry standard — comes in an official World War II US Army ammo holder.” -ad for ‘The Original Famous Ron Paul Survival Kit,’ undated

    ?”What else do we need to know about the political establishment than that it refuses to discuss the crimes that terrify Americans on grounds that doing so is racist? Why isn’t that true of complex embezzling, which is 100 percent white and Asian?” – Ron Paul, 1992

    Along with the economic libertarian ideals espoused by Paul (to my mind utter unworkable if not outright destructive), is a whole hell of a lot of xenophobia and christian Armageddon crazy talk. Stockpile gold, food, weapons and ammunition everyone! Because the shit is gonna go down and the blacks/mexicans/muslims/whatever-you-aren’t are gonna come for your stuff and to rape your women.

    How anyone could possibly look at this cranky asshole and see a potential president is beyond me.

  12. Defiantnonbeliever Says:

    The size of an imperialist corporate welfare state is a false dichotomy, Goldilocks need not apply. People’s needs need to be effectively met not those of greed based corporations.
    Regarding the quote: Twain put it another way; “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

  13. Jeff Says:

    Mr. Nietzsche has it slightly wrong, as Mr. Goebbels repeatedly proved. If the lie is big enough, and told loudly enough, it becomes the conviction of enough people to become the very danger of which Friedrich speaks.

    As to the size of Government, I prefer the Divine Ms. M’s take on the matter, “It ain’t the meat, it’s the motion.” (Sorry, couldn’t help that with Sinjin’s joke on the matter). Government is instituted to provide for the common defense of the state, and the common good of its citizens. If it isn’t accomplishing that, then it doesn’t matter if it’s small or large. If it is, then the principles of efficiency, economy and lack of intrusiveness dictate that it will be smaller than if it is inefficient, uneconomic and intrusive.

    What’s the common good? How much defense is required? On those things we can argue. But the size of government? That’s probably its most irrelevant feature.

  14. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Dan,

    “merely breaking the pattern or being different isn’t necessarily a good thing” or a bad thing right? I mean maintain the status quo, the Bush/Obama agenda isn’t necessarily a good thing is it?

    Cap’n,

    You can try and prop up the old newsletter stuff, but it hasn’t shown to have had legs that can bring the good Doctor down since 1992 I don’t think it brings him down today either.

    Also, as far as getting rid the Dept of Ed, I’m OK with taking the money wasted on a giant Fed bureaucracy and applying it locally where it is needed so badly.

    Who among the candidates on either side has no baggage at all? I would never vote for that kind of candidate, I’d just like to know who it is.

    I realize Cap’n the Dr. Paul is not the media darling, that a characterization of him has been pushed hard in the media, but I’m not buying it.

    Jeff as always your objectivity leads the way.

  15. Dan Says:

    Sinjin,
    Of course I would rather not maintain the status quo. But choosing a candidate that differs from the status quo regardless of how they propose to fix things isn’t fixing things. It’s just choosing chaos. Surely you want to improve life in America, and not simply play roulette.

  16. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Yes Dan,

    I do want to improve life in America and no, I don’t view Dr. Paul as the roulette choice. Dr Paul has at least as many ideas as the next candidate and I happen to like several of them. I feel this way less when it comes to other candidates.

    Not that everyone here hasn’t already dismissed Perry, Bachmann, and Santorum out of hand but has anyone noticed none of these has been treated by the media as the kooky candidate yet all three are far kookier than Dr. Paul.

    Does anyone here not recognize that for all his witiness Newt Gingrich is a bit odd? That before we arrive at the goofiness of the President we have to address the two Mormons both whom believe Jesus was actually roaming North America at one point.

    I think as Cap’n has pointed out there is plenty to pick at all the Republican candidates about. The difference is I add in the President to the mix.

    Which one is my ideal candidate? None. I’m not going to follow what some media outfit has to say about kookiness in candidates though. I think I can decide that for myself.

    I also don’t believe in the “dangerous potentials” or that choosing any of the candidates would lead to chaos. When has an election for president ever led to chaos? Be honest that isn’t a real concern.

    Best case with Dr. Paul he’s right and we are better off, worst case and we are not in chaos, worst case and the house and senate ignores him and the status quo remains.

    The presidency isn’t the high hurdle that partisans make it out to be. This is certainly not the be all, end all election of a lifetime, this election is just another one, any gains we might make will be modest, losses as well.

    Remember I go to the Mass Republican Convention, I hear the enthusiasm, the crazed rhetoric, about how this is a defining moment in the history of the world and that if we don’t vote for so and so all humanity will be lost.

    The deviation Ron Paul offers from the status quo appears to me more a reset button than a danger, more a paradigm shift than death spiral into chaos, more a citizen initiative than another corporate candidate.

    I’ve taken a side, I show you folks all my warts, I’m hardly laying claim to perfection. Something must change and by that we don’t need another “change candidate” that offers little more than rhetoric.

    This time something really needs to change.

  17. Defiantnonbeliever Says:

    Sinjin- Your convictions are showing. RP and all the repulitards are a tightening of the destructive vortex death spiral of the sort of chaos against society that is laissez faire capitalism’s end game, capital monotheism/monopoly. Change needed is to reverse that course and protect people from the tender mercies of corporate monsters. Community needs are what governments are for and it costs money and requires just science and compassion based regulation. Libertarians will never lead the way to a better life except for the 1% and that only temporarily.
    Jeff- good point about Goebbels, the lies are weapons used to create and prop up the convictions.

  18. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Defiant I’m with you on protecting the people from corporate monsters. Defeating “Corporatism””, or in other words “socialism with shareholders”, is at the heart of Ron Paul’s platform.

    You are unique though, I’ve never heard anyone associate Libertarians with the 1%.

    And by the way “laissez faire capitalism?” we haven’t had laissez faire capitalism in the US in over 80 years. What are you talking about?

  19. Defiantnonbeliever Says:

    Sinjin- If I’m not mistaken laissez faire is what libertarianism is all about, and it’s rightfully despised. More socialism for people less for corporations is what’s needed.

  20. Dan Says:

    Sinjin,
    Okay, well I disagree. Just cancel out three critical departments of government altogether? Seriously Sinjin!? This guy doesn’t want small government, and he doesn’t want to fix or improve government. He wants no government at all.