Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's been a long time

since I said this: Der dicke Dichter dichtet das dichte Gedicht in dem Dickicht.

Hard to believe I wrote 148 posts that month, March 2004.


People will do anything to believe that they are good.

Men will die and kill for the State, if they believe that a good man fights for his country. People will surrender more than half their income to the State, if they believe that the State is helping the poor, housing the homeless, healing the sick, or other such nonsense. They will cheer blank-eyed murderers if they are convinced that a good person "supports the troops." They will give up their liberties if they believe that doing so is "patriotic."

The lesson – and our potential salvation – is that morality rules the world. Whoever controls morality controls the hearts, minds and future of mankind. Morality is the invisible physics that rules all our fundamental choices. Why do thousands of Muslims kneel together? Because they believe that they are good for doing so. Why do parents still herd their children into the vicious pens of government-run schools? Because they believe that education is essential, and without the State, poor people would be a trapped, ignorant underclass. Why do they support spiraling taxes and murderous waiting times in state-run health care systems? Because they don’t want poor people dying in the streets.

Our enemies, the statists, know this well. Look at their language. ‘The Patriot Act.’ Who doesn’t want to be a patriot? Social Security. Health and Welfare. Who wants to be against those things? Medicare. Who’s against medical care?

Staring at their pillaged paychecks and property taxes, people hate the State in their hearts, but they feel guilty for it, because the State owns the moral discourse (which is, incidentally, why the State had to take control of the schools first). As they say, once a Catholic, always a Catholic. The same is true for morality. Once a statist, always a statist. We can fight all we want, but if we don’t utterly condemn the morality of the statist argument, we will always lose.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I got a great sentence today

from (they may make you sign up):

Hou alsjeblieft op met zeuren.
Please stop whining.

I'm going to make that into a bumper sticker.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An old friend, who shall remain nameless

has resumed blogging. I wish him success.

What was it Hemingway said?

When you get writers block, just sit down and write the truest thing you can think of. Something like that.

Last Wednesday I went to a Secular Organizations for Sobriety meeting. The internet misinformed me about their start time, so I got there after the festivities were over. So we just introduced ourselves and I listened to them talk about the local drugstores and boating on the Mississippi.

It was worth it. They seem like a helluva group of guys. I'll be going back tomorrow.

I just kind of lost patience with the Christian bias of AA. I love the people there - they're loving, caring and wise - but I don't agree with them on a couple of fundamental points. 1. I don't believe in the supernatural, and 2. I don't believe in selflessness.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No, I haven't been celebrating continuously since Friday night.

Be darned if I remember what we did, but it wasn't due to the consumption of inebriants (I almost said inebriates). Here's what I've been up to:
Friday - turned 46.
Saturday - got bifocals.
Sunday - went to Walmart.
Monday - sawed up a small tree that fell over in my yard.

Don't need the Metamucil yet, but there are rumblings.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Invisible Hand

"Happiness never lays its finger on its pulse."
Adam Smith

Whoops! Wrong quote. But I think that's brilliant. Must be from The Theory of Moral Sentiments, but I got it from BrainyQuote and they never footnote anything.

Here's the one I meant:
[An individual is] led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was not part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. It is an affectation, indeed, not very common among merchants, and very few words need be employed in dissuading them from it.

People who quote that (including me) like this one, too:
It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.

That Wikipedia article is well worth reading.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cool! I just did my first Skype call

with my sister and brother-in-law in Germany. They had their webcam going, but the one I have isn't compatible with the new computer. I'll have to spring for a new one, I guess.

We talked about getting together in Upper Cheeseheadia when they get back. Oh, I'd show you my picture of them, but my sister had just got out of the shower and my brother-in-law still had a case of bedhead.

Yeah, it's only fair that I get a webcam and reciprocate.

These are the thoughts we parents need to integrate

Monday, August 10, 2009

Here's an interesting, new way to view history

from the point of view of child-rearing methods. Here's a bit from the first article "The History of Child Abuse":
Indeed, my conclusion from a lifetime of psychohistorical study of childhood and society is that the history of humanity is founded upon the abuse of children. Just as family therapists today find that child abuse often functions to hold families together as a way of solving their emotional problems, so, too, the routine assault of children has been society's most effective way of maintaining its collective emotional homeostasis. Most historical families once practiced infanticide, erotic beating and incest. Most states sacrificed and mutilated their children to relieve the guilt of adults. Even today, we continue to arrange the daily killing, maiming, molestation and starvation of children through our social, military and economic activities. I would like to summarize here some of the evidence I have found as to why child abuse has been humanity's most powerful and most successful ritual, why it has been the cause of war and social violence, and why the eradication of child abuse and neglect is the most important social task we face today.

It's quite a disturbing article so I hope Dr. deMause doesn't mind if I summarize the historical development here, with help from this guy.
From Prehistory to the spread of Christianity deMause theorizes we have the Infanticidal phase.
From, say AD 300 to 1300 there is the Abandoning phase;
C. 1300 to c. 1700, the Ambivalent phase;
C. 1700 to c. 1850, the Intrusive phase;
1850-1950, the Socializing phase;
1950-the present, the Helping phase.

The dates apply in European history only.
I'm the one calling them phases because I'm a weeny. DeMause's term is "psychoclasses." The good thing about that term is that it doesn't imply that the the timeline is absolute. All later phases are infected with remnants of all earlier phases, however large or small.

Indeed, I'd have to say that most parents, especially if they fetishize ancient religious texts, are mish-mashes of most of them, but having not studied more than this few that I've already quoted (and linked), I won't presume to speculate further.

Christianity was a better religion

once upon a time.

Of course I've already talked about William Wilberforce.

Those were some ministers of the Gospel of Peace.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Sorry, I bailed out of town on vacation.

We went up to the White Oak Rendezvous in Deer River. As soon as I find my darn camera, I'll show you the pix.

Today I was catching up on yard work. The we went and bought Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in preparation for seeing the sixth movie.

Oh! Here are a couple of pix.

I stepped across the road and took a shot of the neighbors here.

They tell me those horses are percherons. I have no idea. I've seen bigger ones, but these are pretty good sized.