9.23.2016

Dagny Clinton


You know, when I was driving home tonight, I took some time to reflect on the feeling of malaise that happens whenever I think thoughts concerning the current election.  But when I have a quiet half hour to think (the only positive thing about a half hour commute) is that I get to stand back from the fray and analyze objectively.  Today, I finally realized that, one single thing that sends me reeling away from Hillary as a candidate is that she reminds me of something, and today I realized what that was.   She is an aging and embittered, and grown-up Dagney Taggart. 

No, No, No.....Not the politics.  The Person.

While I might take exception with some of the points of Mr.Sale's essay over at Sic Semper Tyrannis today. (The truth is that, I am hoping those differences of opinion will gel later, but one never knows when the act of writing something down and reading it makes was seemed to be a good idea appear pretty shopworn), the article itself is masterful and along with John-Michael Greer’s gentle body slam of Hillary back in February now constitute the Canon in my personal bibliography about what makes Hillary tick.

All that being said, I stand behind my thesis in the first paragraph. 

Let’s sit down and really spend some time with my history with the novel.  I first read it as a freshman in Austin Hall dorms at Utah, in 1972, smack dab in the middle of the cooling slag heap that was left of the sixties, it was heady stuff.  Completely at odds with the zeitgeist of Rachel Carson and Edward Abby and Ken Kesey.  It was an odd sort of mental aphrodisiac, taking thought in a new direction.  This is the period of my greatest love for the book.   

But years passed, the Army, a failed marriage, and entry into the workforce led me to a point where, on a whim, I bought a copy in a used bookstore (one of my favorite haunts) and reread the book.  Boy different take this time.  The book was still solid, but I spent a lot of time performing the required mental jiu-jitsu on the plot and characters and in the end, my opinion shifted, the book now had serious problems, but still worth the read, still thought-provoking.

Then came the rise up into corporate, accompanied by a nice salary, two sons, and a good job helping to eviscerate the productive capacity of this country and training up workers in Asia.  After much thought and pain, I fell to earth and ended up as a low-level bureaucrat plugging veterans into their healthcare. I had raised a couple of kids at this time, and while I was planning my fall, I reread “Atlas”.  “My God” I asked myself; had I really been that fatuous?

You see, that is the problem with Ayn Rand and her acolytes, they take as gospel something that, in my experience, doesn’t do well in the passing of years.  There is an irresistible excitement of this “do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” kind of fantasy.  The fact that the creed espoused in the books is antithetical to the Western-Christian philosophy and any notional view of equality is a pretty powerful drug.    

But, as you grow older, you start to notice that the folks who act like the characters in “Atlas Shrugged” aren’t your favorite people.  My opinion of Dagney is that she is one of those people who will not improved at all with the coming of the aging process. The young, pleasantly-perverted Dagney would not age well.

Read Mr. Sale’s article.  I don’t know Hillary, but as have watched her over the years, I start to see the characteristics Mr. Sales describes, and it is not attractive to the old man I have become.  Those very same characteristics that Mr. Sales describes Mrs Clinton s having probably is a pretty good description of the backstory on a fictional character in a decidedly odd novel published back when Ike was President

I hearken back to the fatuous freshman tackle that wore this skin and how what he thought then came to pass and left us where we are now.  What he found sexy and virile and rebellious has been tested over these last four decades and have been found wanting.

And I think about the way that my character has changed.  And I think that maybe Hillary hasn’t changed that much.  Why would she change?  Who she is and what drives her has brought her almost to the throne of power.

So that is why I won't vote for Hillary,  It is just a feeling.  A personal certainty that I know who she is and what drives her.  The character that she plays and her motivations and psychic scars just doesn't suit me.

9.20.2016

Vinegar

https://fourthievesvinegar.org/


9.16.2016

Nation

I am a nationalist.  I care about the US.  I couldn't give a flying fuck about the rest of the world.

I think that the Department of Defense should be just that.

I don't think that troops should be stationed overseas.  The troops that we maintain should be to protect the North American continent...yes, this will mean that Mexico and Canada will pretty much get a free ride.

The Navy should be gutted.  If folks want to sell overseas, that is fine, but who says we have to protect businessmen outside of our borders.

I think that if a couple of other countries want to kill each other, that is fine with me.

I think that folks should stay in their own country and improve it, I do not think that they should be allowed into my country to improve themselves.

There...happy?


9.13.2016

Alternation

Sitting on a sofa

On a Sunday afternoon

Going to the candidates' debate

Laugh about itShout about itWhen you've got to choose

Every way you look at it you lose
Written by Paul Simon • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

What I think that we are seeing here in the US is the same sad lesson taught by the history that we so assiduously ignore, that we don't think applies to us, because we are different and special.

Power alternates.  The wise that manage the growth and the power that causes a country to rise get tired and neglect that which makes them strong.  I'm not talking about the military, or the strength of so-called "financial Institutions", but the process of strengthening the people that make up the country.  All of them.

When those wise men (Washington, Lincoln, the two Roosevelts, Eisenhower) pass out of the gates of power, they are usually followed by those who are less wise, often evil, and who are preoccupied with gaining power at all costs.

Look, Donald Trump is the candidate of a party that has long since discarded the pretense of caring about the rank and file of this country.  He is a flim-flam man of the highest order, and has a history of failures.  He is a rich boy, having gotten his start through the mechanism of a "small loan" of a million dollars from his family back in the seventies.  All that being said he has no driving need to be President, it almost seems that he is doing so out of a sense of duty, because things have gotten so damn bad that something has to be done.

But he is an old man, who is inexorably wedded to the flamboyant and shallow.  An aging icon who sees a imagined past golden age and wants to return us to that illusion.

Hillary is the apotheosis of ambition without conscience.  She cares nothing for the common man, even though she represents the party of the same.  Her "base" is the rich and unprincipled who have bought and sold her through the mechanism of her charity,  Her whole life is a construct, reaching for power and money any way she can.  

She is an old woman, whose ambition rides her and blinds her to anything but her own desires.  In a sense, she is the perfect figurehead for the boomers, the generation who brought the country to its knees.  

These are the two most likely candidates for the occupant of the presidency, an office that has been gradually losing its power and prestige for a over a generation now.  







9.12.2016

This is getting interesting

Who knows what way things will go.

The options are multiplying.  There is opportunity for the most ruthless.

We will see.

9.07.2016

The Biggest Question

Why is doing something well important when in the end nothing is left?

9.06.2016

Long Time Coming


I'm OK with what Colin did.

He has a right to do what he wishes and to speak his mind.

Get over it, this action is what we are all about.

Long Time Coming.


9.05.2016

Laboring

Took a couple of days off.  Had nothing to write, had other stuff to do.

Mostly I am tired of the tendentious bullshit that passes for culture here in the land o' the free(TM).

 We seem to have become a nation that stands for opposites, so in the end we stand for nothing.  We do so much to make certain that the way we think is the only allowable way.

I cannot effect the nature of a society.  I can only act and think the way that I think is right.  I will respect other's opinions and where they have merit, try to incorporate that merit into a syncretic worldview.  I will dismiss the idea that self-esteem and its concordant arrogance is the way to approach a life.

More and more, I think that the problems that we face are the problems that we made ourselves.  Mostly it is the way that we were raised, boomers and subsequent generations all.  We are not as naturally good as we thought that we were.  The cult of the child that took over this country in the early sixties and shaped the ethos that we are now foundering in was also just plain wrong.  It is the outgrowth of that idiot frog Rousseau's ravings.

We are bound into a path that leads to decline.  I would argue that we are well into that decline.  

8.30.2016

Meh

Some days......

The eldest is sick of school.  Can't say as I blame him.  So he is out looking for his first real-life job.  I have my fingers crossed.

But I do like the process. While I have been counseling him to think out of the box for the long term, the short term requires obeisance to the peculiar customs of our peculiar economy.  

So he is polishing up social skills and getting used to talk to people he has never talked to before.  Always a good skill.  The practice allowed by a crappy economy also calibrates expectations quite well.

So life is good

8.29.2016

The Two Nations


At the end of the day, this is why the vast majority American is not happy. At the end of the day, this is why the US is inching toward the failed state status. 

The mythical “Men on the street” really don't think, they believe.  They have been fed a ration of crap their whole life and been told that it is the whole truth.  I am impressed by just how many different plates of shit we have been fed and just how many people have bought in.  The list is stunning in its breadth;  Free-market, American Exceptionalism, Calvinist Christianity, these have become the New Holy Trinity here in Red America. They are opposed by a completely different set of odd beliefs.  In the land of Blue, the piecemeal faith of sexual identity, globalism, and social justice creates a strangely ineffective counterpoint to the ravings of the Red.

We have lost the leaders of our society.  They seem to have vanished and left in their place poseurs who mouth the words needed to convince the gullible that they, the poseurs, and only they, have the gift of prophecy required to fulfill the needs of the nation. But if the beliefs of the two countries is so deeply riven that any promise will piss off half the population, nothing good will come out of the attempt. 

But what no one wants to talk about is how neither of the two beliefs stated can be reconciled with the facts on the ground. Both beliefs require infinite growth on a finite world. Both require human nature to have something that human nature doesn’t seem to have any evidence of possessing. The two beliefs are proven failures.

The clowns we get are the clowns we deserve. Because there are vanishingly few of us here in the good old USA that bother to think about the nature of our faith (and I am not at all certain I belong to the thinking subset), we vote in the clowns that seem most likely not to disturb whatever particular secular faith that we espouse. But to provide for one set of beliefs tears at the fabric of the other belief so the emnity is permanent, the defect is structural.

The mass-democracy overlaying a Republic that we tout as exceptional is just going to stay here and fester. It cannot resolve the conflicting goals of the two populaces that inhabit this chunk of North America, so it will just continue down the path it is on. No change, no fixes, just the same shit.