Man wins right to wear pasta strainer on driver licence photo

14 07 2011

Article link here

Good on him.

And nice to see the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is still going strong.


Going to the movies in China

13 07 2011

This summer, no hollywood movies will be allowed into China.  Going to the movies in China must really suck.

The movie predicted to top the box office is called “Beginning of the Great Revival,” a communist propaganda piece depicting Chairman Mao as a dashing romantic hero.  Ughhhh

Source: Newsmax article.

Quote of the day: Beethoven

12 07 2011

“Strength is the morality of the man who stands out from the rest, and it is mine” – Ludwig van Beethoven

LTE – Carbon Tax

11 07 2011

I have been ridiculously busy this year, running a new business, studying full time (only for one year thankfully), playing in several bands, getting married, and more.
Blogging has been light and will probably continue to be light.

I am someone who is drawn to philosophical, political, economic and legal issues even though I specialize in none of these fields.  But I have actually been attempting to avoid reading the news this year.  As I am getting older I think I’m becoming more realistic about what social changes I can expect to see in my lifetime and quite frankly I don’t see much value in following the news closely.  Reading the paper leaves my depressed,  seeing how so many of my fellow citizens “think”.  And as for politicians, I find it hard to even consider them human.  It’s quite hard to find a politician these days with ideology close to Objectivism and just as hard to find a politician with intellectual abilities worthy of any respect.  Personally I think being a politician would be a waste of time and would be self destructive.  I think political activism in other forms is fine, but cultural change occurs from bottom up, not the top down.

Anyway, Australians are currently being bombarded by Carbon Tax propaganda (which they are forced to pay for of course).

So I thought I’d write a quick LTE:

Any Australian who thinks they will in the long run be better off under a carbon tax is mistaken.  In order to consume, one must first produce.  This is simply a fact of nature.  To penalize big producers, inevitably penalizes consumers.    To think that Australians could somehow benefit from the burden of even more bureaucratic wealth redistribution is absurd.  Time and time again government officials are shown to be economically incompetent and their economic predictions false, yet unfortunately people still cling to these authorities like desperate drug addicts.  Australians will suffer but most won’t even be aware their life could have been better, because the productive potential of Australian business will not be seen.  The carbon tax is simply another leech vying for position on a dying Australia that is running out of room to host such parasitic measures.

While Ju-liar Gillard’s claim that 9/10 Australians will be better off under a carbon tax is absolute nonsense (and horribly utilitarian), there is one thing I liked about this speech.
I’m glad that the Labor party is attempting to sell this tax based on “benefits” to Australians, as opposed to some kind of altruistic justification.  It’s impossible not to be egoistic to some degree (without immediately killing yourself) but perhaps this strategy indicates many Australians are more rationally egoistic than I give them credit for.

Zhdanov Doctrine

7 07 2011

As someone interested in the lives of great music composers, I’ve previously read about how composers such as Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Khachaturian and Muradeli were censored and controlled in the Soviet empire.

However recently I read some excerpts from a joint letter to Stalin written by these persecuted composers in response to the anti-formalism campaign (see Zhdanov Doctrine).  The excerpts come from a book called The Lives of the Great Composers by Harold Schonberg.  The forced public apology really drives home the horror and absurdity of what happens when the freedom to live naturally as a human should is destroyed by the government.

‘We are tremendously grateful to the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party and personally to you, dear Comrade Stalin, for the severe but profoundly just criticism of the present state of Soviet music…We shall bend every effort to apply our knowledge and our artistic mastery to produce vivid realistic music reflecting the life and struggles of the Soviet people.’

Makes me think Stalin was most likely quite pathetic and insecure.

The book contains more individual statements made by composers indicating the oppressive circumstances under which they suffered and their feelings of desperation, bitterness and cynicism.