History by Scott Powell

21 10 2009

An Objectivist take on studying history. 

Very interesting site: http://www.powellhistory.com/1hfa.html 

Mp3 courses available.

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Climate update

14 10 2009

I just discovered: http://www.climatedepot.com/ Climate depot. 

They have an interesting article: http://www.climatedepot.com/a/3310/Losing-Their-Religion-2009-officially-declared-year-the-media-lost-their-faith-in-manmade-global-warming-fears 

I hope they are right. 

At the same website I came across the infamous Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury claiming that “the Christian response to climate change is to immediately minimise any impact on the environment”.  This is the same bloke that thought Sharia law was a good idea in the UK

The amalgamation of religious and environmentalist ideology is increasing although I think it has been quite common in Australia.  Only in the USA is it common for Christians to be sceptical of environmentalism and when these two evils join forces, we’re all in trouble.





Toughening of Marijuana laws in Western Australia. Depressing news on the state of freedom in Australia

12 10 2009

Michael Sutcliffe notes the Western Australian’s Liberal party’s plans to toughen cannibas laws:

The following is copied from the Discussion section on the ALS blog site:

“Another step backwards for Australia:

Tough new laws on cannabis use

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,26195008-12377,00.html

I love this bit:

Under the second new law WA police will be given unprecedented powers to frisk people for drugs and weapons.

The new search law, to be introduced before Christmas, would mean police would no longer be required to prove grounds of suspicion in court.

Is there any such thing as unreasonable search and seizure in this country?

Here’s another article:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/10/11/2710753.htm

There really is some classic lines coming out of the WA Libs:

“It is giving quite extraordinary powers to police but police will operate under their own guidelines and protocols,” he said.

“It will not be abused.”

The Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has welcomed the proposed new laws.

How people accept this I just don’t know. Nation of sheep. Really stupid sheep at that. I say let the wolves eat them.”

My own observations echo Michael’s: 

Why doesn’t anyone in Australia care about this type of thing! 

Where are the mainstream media articles about the anti-freedom nature of these proposals?

Why don’t people in this country have any understanding of the importance and necessity of freedom to human existence and prosperity? 

Sometimes the problem of getting people to understand the importance of freedom really seems overwhelming.  History and a majority of people are (and have always been) against those few who understand and fight for freedom. 

But as pointed out to me by blogger Ed Cline, in a sense you have no choice but to keep fighting for what you believe in.  Many choices you make are either good for your life or bad.  You have to keep choosing to live and fight because the alternative is the road to death.





Hollywood actors and “cognitive dissonance”

12 10 2009

In the comments of a Wednesday open thread on the Noodlefood blog, KPO’M mentioned the “cognitive dissonance” he has in respect to the band U2:

“………how do you handle the cognitive dissonance? In my case, I like U2. Although many of the lyrics have a Christian element to them (particularly from the Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby), and Bono annoys me sometimes with his political activism, I like the group’s musical style, and particularly The Edge’s minimalist style with the electric guitar.”

I think I know exactly what he means.  Because I get turned off by hollywood actors all the time.  The latest is the idiot Will Ferrell.  I actually like his dumb comedies.  But now that he has gone and done an ad supporting socialised health care, it’s a real turn off.  Another example is Sean Penn.  I like his acting in several movies, but when it comes to politics, what an idiot!  Visiting Hugo Chavez and allowing himself to be a poster boy for human life destroying socialism!
There are so many examples of hollywood celebrities who, when it comes to politics simply spout some intellectually stunted lefty BS and effectively put an “I’m stupid” sign on their heads.  This doesn’t mean they’re bad actors, but it’s still a real turn off.  It could mean that they are more likely to choose to make movies with plots dominated by pragmatic or subjectivist type ideals, and that’s something I try to avoid.

If only actors just stuck to acting.

I wrote a reply to KPO’M’s comments that was effectively just a brainstorming session rather than any coherent point argument.  However the main thrust of my thinking was that the art work is an end in itself and should be pursued with gusto, no matter the politcal views tacked on by the artist (which are secondary to the art itself anyway).  Particularly with respect to music which is not objectively understood, I simply pursue music that attracts me.

However I liked and wanted to record a reply to KPO’M by William Stoddard who I interpret to be saying (basically) that it can be the passion itself that one is attracted to in an artwork – not so much the subject of the passion.

“And I think I’d say that what I look for in literature is not so much characters who are taking the right actions ethically. It’s characters who value something strongly . . . and something that makes sense to me at some level . . . and who are pursuing what they value with unusual integrity and persistence, despite the difficulties they face.”

Perhaps Bono appeals because he’s sincere, motivated, caring and dramatises his emotions effectively  – even though Bono’s political views are immoral, logically contradictory and idiotic (IMO).  Bono is quite likely passionate about his political views and they inspire his art.  Perhaps this passion is conveyed effectively in the art and provides common ground between KPO’M’s sense of life and Bono’s.





Quote of the day from Paul McKeever

9 10 2009

When used to deprive someone of control over his life, liberty, or property, the role of physical force is to render the victim’s mind irrelevant. Coercive physical force targets the mind.

http://blog.paulmckeever.ca/2009/10/06/is-religion-anti-freedom/

This is an excellent article IMO.  Particularly relevant to me after my discussions with Todd and Nuke on how I believe religion to promote anti-freedom ideology.  (see http://blog.libertarian.org.au/discussion/ comments 161 – 184).  My argument was basically that religion encourages and promotes tall poppy syndrome.

The article “Is religion anti-freedom?” focuses on free speech and the purpose of the protection of free speech.  Paul explains why defamation and fraud are rightfully illegal.  He also comments on the recent non-binding UN resolution “passed by the U.N. General Assembly which calls upon the world to make legal measures to require respect for religion, tolerance for religious beliefs and practices; laws to prohibit the stereotyping” of “sacred persons” and religions””

Paul concludes by arguing that in order to protect religions from defamation (per se), “our governments would, in effect, be outlawing reason, rational action, and personal happiness” ……… “I therefore conclude that we need no law prohibiting the defamation of religion. No law can prohibit the impossible.”

Overall I found the article very interesting because the reasoning in the article is not common and not widely discussed in the wider community.





Scary and stupid.

7 10 2009

Apparently Obama is Jesus. 

I hate Christianity is so many ways.





Peter Schiff as Seantor – Good or Bad?

7 10 2009

http://www.schiffforsenate.com/

Peter Schiff came to my attention over here in Australia with his YouTube videos where he is shown repeatedly warning of the financial crisis. 

Now he’s running for Senate.

I suppose the US (and Australia for that matter) could do with some politicians that had a better understanding of fundamental economic principles and free markets.  

However, if you ask me you can’t change people’s fundamental beliefs politically, especially these days when politics means populism. 
Art, business, technology and philosophy (religion) are more powerful at influencing culture.  And I think that’s what needs to happen because people think socialism is ethically better than capitalism.  That’s a deep (and wrong) belief that has to change.  Why is the world constantly finding ways to increase government expansion and control in ever more subtle ways? – even though we have the science of economics which clearly shows capitalism to be the superior system for providing the greatest prosperity overall.  Keynesian economics is IMO clearly wrong to an honest analysis – but people like it and the fact that people like it and are attracted to it, is the real problem that needs dealing with.