Category Archives: The Mind

My articles: Atlas Shrugged Movie Update and more!

 Hello, everyone. Please keep up with my writings at www.parcbench.com!

See http://www.parcbench.com/2010/07/29/atlas-shrugged-movie-wraps-where-is-john-galt/

and for more articles by me, see

http://www.parcbench.com/author/gregzeigerson/

You might also find a few humorous bits I wrote if you type Zeigerson in the Search box at

www.parcbench.com.

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and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gregory.zeigerson

See samples of my artwork and caricatures at

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=39543&id=608848095&l=bf591a8f8f

and

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=126135&id=608848095&l=4138bf2600

Thank you!

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Are You Angry Yet?

To his credit, Rush Limbaugh yesterday said, “Tax-paying people who make it all work will not put up long rewarding failure, being forced to reward failure. Beware this huge backlash. It’ll turn. It’ll turn slowly, and like the tide coming in, it is unstoppable. It has already started, in fact. The pulse of the backlash has begun. The pulse of revolution is out there, and at some point the anger that you know is there will surface and you will see it and you will hear it. People will overcome their fear of opposition to this because at the end of the day they will not sit there and let everything they’ve worked for be destroyed, particularly on the basis that they deserve to be destroyed because it’s been unfair in the first place that they succeeded.”

CLICK HERE

I woke up planning to write a post about this very subject. Leftists, the hippie protesters and their intellectual leaders, tend to be angry. They are always protesting something. There is always someone who has less and someone else who has more, and they think this cannot stand.

Rush Limbaugh said, “We are all competitive, and it is in our genes to want to improve our lives for our families. It is called working in our own self-interests.”

Success is the result of this work. It is not unfair for some to succeed because of work and thought. The phony anger of the leftists against those who succeed, those who are productive, is nothing. It looks phony, it sounds phony. It will pale in comparison to the real anger of the productive against those who would steal the fruits of their labor.

Here is an early sign of anger, but couched in sarcastic humor, to make it bearable:

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02/18/more-scenes-from-mesa-i-need-a-beachfront-condo-mr-president/

Look at this video about your nest egg:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bSGgBtqyKY]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bSGgBtqyKY

Whether through inflation due to deficit spending, or through direct taxation, or through endless regulations strangling productivity, or through the vanishing value of stocks and your 401(K), your nest egg will be taken from you.

Speaking of the deficit, here are the facts:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/02/20/americas-deficit-spending-spree-raises-alarms/

And you probably have seen this already:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=1039849853

I say, are you angry yet? Maybe you’re too angry. You’re jumping up and down. But you don’t know what to do about it. Let’s calm down. Have a seat. Let’s look at this more deliberately, from a rational, thoughtful stance.

Read this by Walter Williams:

http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/wew/articles/09/

EconomicMiracle.htm

Does this considered analysis somehow make you even more angry?

Well, then fight. Fight with all your intellectual might against Washington’s power-mad parasites of the productive.

Why not organize a march on Washington? The leftists do this all the time. It costs money to publicize and organize it. I don’t know if it does any good besides getting TV coverage, but it’s a thought. The theme? “I am not your serf.” “I did not vote for a fascist/socialist state.” “I work for my own sake.” “My property is not yours to steal and redistribute.”

Why not write a letter to the editor?

Why not write a blog or a comment to someone else’s blog?

How about filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Congress for passing a bill that violates Constitutional rights?

Call up and write to people in Congress and in the White House with your opposition.

Send money to organizations that really, truly defend your rights and your freedoms, in an uncompromising way.

How about the Institute for Justice? www.ij.org

David Horowitz Freedom Center? www.horowitzfreedomcenter.org

The Ayn Rand Institute and the Ayn Rand Center? www.aynrand.org

Send money in support of, and volunteer for, real pro-Capitalism, anti-statism political candidates, those who are for limited government and the rights of the individual. Are there any candidates like that? They may not be perfect but there are some candidates who are going to fight the current encroachments on our liberty. Support them.

And be sure to fight the Fairness Doctrine, local content regulations, public interest content regulations, and any other proposed limitations on free speech. I’m going to send you to Rush Limbaugh one more time. Here is his excellent letter to President Obama, published in the Wall Street Journal on February 20, 2009, in defense of freedom of speech:

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_022009/content/

01125111.guest.html

If freedom of speech goes, it’s time to pack.

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Rush Limbaugh

In Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh contributes aneditorial that proposes a “bipartisan stimulus”that allows for infrastructure spending but also includes major tax cuts for corporations and on capital gains.I think that’s still allowing Obama too much spending, but by setting it up as bipartisan, it’s a strategic effort to prove what actually stimulates the economy. I don’t know that it would prove anything and it doesn’t address draconian regulations and federal control of banks and so many other horrors now in process. But it’s an honorable effort in the right direction.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123318906638926749.html

What I do oppose in the writings and broadcasts of Rush Limbaugh include his beliefs in religion as the foundation of America, and his derivation of morality from religion rather than from reality, leading to his belief that a fetus has rights over that of the mother, or that assisted suicide is immoral and should be illegal. I disagree with those and other religion-influenced viewpoints he expresses, especially those that support theocratic laws, and I also disagree with him on limiting immigration. He is a Conservative and not an Objectivist, so I would not try to defend him on his Conservatism.

Having expressed my caveats, when it comes to issues of economics and political power (outside of the issue of separation of church and state) his daily radio broadcast can be an indispensible guide to understanding the news and what important facts most mainstream journalists regularly fail to investigate.

Once he is on a topic that isn’t directly connected with religious conservative views, in my opinion he resorts to a common-sense type of self-interest and reason as his apparent, implied philosophy.  Outside of sacrificing one’s life for the sake of a fetus, or sacrificing the right of  a terminal patient to avoid pain via assisted suicide, he is not particularly altruistic or pro-sacrifice.

His whole persona is of one that enjoys the good life, the wealth he has achieved on his own initiative, rather than a persona of humility and guilt and slavish service to the downtrodden. He is opposed to a victim mentality and he applauds individual accomplishment and self-responsibility.

He does, however, ascribe his talent as on loan from God.  He is wrong to suggest his talent is from a supernatural source, but on the other hand it doesn’t sound like he’s kneeling and bowing his head in atonement and guilt for his success.

In fact, he has often recommended “Atlas Shrugged” by atheist Ayn Rand,to explain capitalism to people. Not only that, but he is on the front lines of daring to question environmentalism and for the right reasons. He sees the scam of it, that it’s just a ploy to impose socialism and big government regulations. And I will always be grateful to him for being the only voice against feminism in the 1980s. At that time and in the later 1970s, everywhere men and boys were being unjustly criticized for their natural masculinity. Any differences they had from women were considered flaws, and flirtation in office settings was on the verge of becoming illegal. Since then,that type of feminism has lost most mainstream support thanks in large part to Limbaugh.

He also usually expresses a reasonable, self-defense based foreign policy.

So as we enter the Obama years, I consider Limbaugh’s radio program useful. It’s telling that Obama has said, “Stop listening to Rush Limbaugh”.

As long as Rush sticks to economics and political power issues, his clarity of thought and expression, mixed with satirical humor, is excellent. His points about how Obama/Congress’s stimulus packages are a new “New Deal” and that such programs cannot correct a recession, and only extends it or turns it into a full blown Depression, are on target. I would recommend that people listen to his broadcast, especially now.

For some transcripts of his recent programs, see www.rushlimbaugh.com.

Once the economic crisis is over and he returns to more religious-right issues, I don’t expect to find as much value in his program. And he is no substitute for the secular pro-capitalistic and rational philosophy expressed in Op-Eds and essays and speeches by Objectivists found at The Ayn Rand Center, the Ayn Rand Bookstore and The Objective Standard. But he covers more of the intricacies from day to day than they are able to cover, so he is a fine supplement, if you discard all his religionist inclinations.

The only philosophy that will protect individual rights is Objectivism, not Conservatism. Rush is a Conservative, and Conservatism needs to be rejected in the long run. If you can separate out his rational views from his irrational views, he is a valuable supplement to Objectivist sources like The Objective Standard and The Ayn Rand Center.

It’s because the TV networks and news magazines and newspapers are so reluctant–to an unprecedented extreme–to criticize, investigate and analyze the Obama administration’s and the Democratic Congress’s actions and motivations,that I recommend Limbaugh. But I repeat that I am not a Conservative and the only philosophy that can save America in the long run is Objectivism.

See www.aynrand.org and  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/author/robert_tracinski/ for Objectivist perspectives.

P.S. Another interesting radio program, which covers in depth various newsworthy topics that you won’t hear much about in most of the media, is The John Batchelor Show. This world-news oriented program heightens dramatic emphasis by means of musical intros, the host’s striking references to parallel events in history, and his use of dramatic language, metaphors and images. Batchelor recently spoke with Stephen Moore about his Wall Street Journal article suggesting that “Atlas Shrugged” is coming true.

Here are the links:

http://johnbatchelorshow.com/mp3/jbs_090118a_abc.mp3

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123146363567166677.html

http://johnbatchelorshow.com

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United States of Tara? Cuckoo!

Although The United States of Tara hasn’t premiered yet on Showtime, it is getting a lot of publicity. As Diablo Cody — who wrote the fine film Juno — is writing several of the episodes, and an expert (Dr. Richard P. Kluft) and a D.I.D. patient are consultants, I expect it to be done with some realism and seriousness. However, creating an entertainment program out of such a tragic situation is always difficult. When is humor in such a program proper or tasteful?

This review is encouraging:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/15/DDR915A82V.DTL

If you take a look at the series and become interested in more material about D.I.D. (Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personalities), I have read a book that I think successfully merges humor and entertainment values with telling a story of D.I.D.– in this case, a true story. It’s an autobiography in the form of a graphic novel (“comic book”), by Madison Clell, entitled Cuckoo.

It tells of her slowly discovering memories of the traumatic events that caused her to have the disorder, and then attempting to cure herself. It is harrowing but it is also told with enough humor that it does not overwhelm you. In fact I found it impossible to put down. Some of the drawings are rough, and some of the lettering takes a minute to decipher, but they reflect the mental state being conveyed. Obviously the content is not for the squeamish and not for children.

Cuckoo is more genuine and straightforward than United States of Tara is likely to be, in that there is no barrier between the author’s own experiences and the reader. She speaks directly to you. Whereas, the cable series Tara is a fictional show created by professional dramatists primarily to entertain.

Get the Trade Paperback of Cuckoo at:

http://www.cuckoocomic.com/cuckoo_comics/purchase_comics.html

Also, in an unplanned juxtaposition, Cuckoo has been turned into a play, with more material and Madison Clell in a small role, which will be performed on stage during the month of February at the Phoenix Theatre in San Francisco, just as United States of Tara premieres on Showtime.

See: http://www.cuckoocomic.com/cuckoo_comics/the_play.html

Incidentally, Madison Clell, through therapy and her own heroic determination, has managed to cure herself of the disorder. The play of Cuckoo carries the story beyond the book, all the way to her final integration.

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News from Florida’s Disney World and Florida’s Kip Liles

My family visited Walt Disney World again over the Thanksgiving holiday. I was very impressed this year. While inrecent years I found thatthe formerly unmatched high level of customer service started todescend to the level of average or worse, this year we had nothing but outstanding customer service. Everyone was super friendly and helpful and in good humor. It mayhave helpedthat because the crowds were not so heavybetween Thanksgiving and Christmas, their stress level was lower. I particularly appreciated the cast members who seemed to be over retirement age. They had the magic in them, as if theyhad knownWalt Disney, and had somehow fully embodied his warm, benevolent, humorousspirit. Like Leon Trager whom I mention in my previous post, and like the recently deceased original Disney animators Ollie Johnston and his friend Frank Thomas whom I met at an animation art gallery years ago, the delighted-by-his-job senior citizen cast member who greeted me and answered my questions at the Pop Century Resort was an example of the kind ofperson I want to be likewhen I grow older.

I worked at Disney World in 1989 and I found it easy to be friendly and to enjoy my work and I think my customer service was Disney-worthy (I did well on my evaluation). Butin recent years I’ve seen a cast member at the Boardwalkroll her eyes when informed ofa slippery floorthat needed to be cleaned, and I’ve seen two Disney housekeepers at the elevator bank of the All Star Movies Resort,having a loud argument thatculminated inone punching the other inthe face. This year I saw nothing of the kind.

I also want to especially recommend one particular attraction. Epcot’s Spaceship Earth, which is the giant “golf ball” near the entrance, has been updated in the last year. The new version keeps all of the best qualities of the original, but is actually superior to the old one. It has many new, elaborate scenes and includes a wonderful interactive finale, where each passenger selects aspects of the future he’d like to see, and then sees himself in it. But most important is the overall theme. The new Spaceship Earth, which is sponsored by the excellent technology company Siemens, suggests that we are in the midst of a second Renaissance initiated by the vast opportunities that computers have made possible. The optimism and excitement about the future was a great contrast to the gloomy pessimism of CNN, MSNBC and the major networksand newsmagazines (except for theirrose-coloredreports on socialist Barack Obama,which causeme to expect soon the headline”The Sun Shines Out of His Behind,”apologies toThe Smiths ).

There were many more highlights. The Pixar attractions “Toy Story Mania” and “Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor” (not to mention the amazing “Turtle Talk with Crush” which we skipped this year) are as much fun as, or more funthan, you have already heard.

And this is the first year I have seen the Osborne Family’s Christmas (plus Chanukah) Lights. Talk about exceeding expectations:it is one more example of Disney and their partners at their best. Words cannot adequately convey the experience of seeing the city streets of the backlot lit up in such imaginative ways.

Also,we took side trips to the Wilderness Lodge to see part of Walt’s own model railroad train exhibited, and to the Grand Floridian Resort to see and smell the gingerbread house they have every Christmas season. And everyone, especially my daughter who loves to dance and sing, enjoyed the Hoop De Doo Revue.

We also were able to briefly meet up with Kip Liles and her husband. They are, once again, the kind of people I hope to be like, and the kind of people I want to surround myself with, people who are role models for all Earthlings. If you don’t know who Kip Liles is, she is the Super Foster Parent whom I interviewed on The Zigory Show. That podcast is available at http://zigory.solidvox.com/?p=3.

Update regarding the Kip Liles interview and the Michelle Malkin articlecalled “The Death of Bradley McGee”: Kip has learned from a source that Billy, the brother of Braddie,is alive, still living with his (murderer) mother Sheryl Hardy, and outwardly appears to be okay. However, appearances cannot be trusted and I hopeBilly’s community in Illinois keeps its eyes open. As should we all, for justice’s sake and our own.

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Leon Trager

I learned from Nicholas Provenzo’s blog Rule of Reason that Leon Trager has passed away.

I met Leon and his son Noah, who was still in high school, at the Objectivism ’92 Conference in Williamsburg, VA. Leon was full of positive energy and joy and was exactly the way I hoped I would be in my later years. He was encouraging to me. I said I was working on a writing project for a long time, perhaps too long, but I still thought it needed more work before submitting it to the marketplace. He said, “If you’re not ready, you’re not ready. When you’re ready you will do it.” I had videotaped his son singing, with another attendee, comedic songs by Monty Python. Leon beamed at his son singing in public, as Leon said Noah was normally on the reserved or shy side. Leon asked me for a copy of the videotape but, alas, I didn’t have a working second VCR so I regret that I did not dub it for him. (My mother was fighting cancer that year and the next which put the video on the back burner). Another fact about him: Leon Trager decided that the US Holocaust Memorial Museum ought to carry Leonard Peikoff’s book “The Ominous Parallels” so he single-handedly convinced them to carry it.

Here is the URL ofNicholas Provenzo’sblog about Leon Trager:

http://ruleofreason.blogspot.com/2008/12/in-memory-of-leon-trager-1928-2008.htm

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Wall E is Not Walt D–Repeat

I am re-running one of my blog posts from June 30, 2008, because Disney is releasing Wall E on DVD for the Holiday Season. I can think of few films less appropriate for Christmas, the festive, joyful holiday. Here is my review of Wall E withreaders’ comments following:

One of the most important qualities Walt Disney’s movies, television programs, and theme parks imparted to me as a child, and to children everywhere, was a feeling of reassurance. I’m referring to the works of Walt Disney himself when he was alive, and of his studio the first few years after his death.

Even if the story is about things going wrong in one character’s life, it is clear that there is a larger world out there of sensible people and a system and world that makes sense, that there is something called normalcy, and the goal of the characters is to get back to normalcy or better, to improve their lives and live happily ever after.

The Banks family in Mary Poppins is at first somewhat unhappy, but there is hope and magical delight in the world outside, and there is a policeman and there are friendly neighbors who bring runaway children home. The home of (1961’s) 101 Dalmations’ owners is a happy, sane, home, and once the dalmations fight off the bad guys, they return to a state of eccentric yet happy normalcy. The world is expected to be filled with reasonable people who can get along and solve problems.

Even the satirical post-Walt movie The Barefoot Executive indicates that the larger world may be a little silly, but still okay at its core.

To a child, the sense of a system and society that is dependable and rational is extremely important to his feeling secure and optimistic, to his feeling free and motivated to learn and grow and become ambitious within that society.

The new Disney-Pixar movie Wall E is not at all in the spirit of Walt Disney’s movies. The characters of Wall E, Eve and The Captain are Disney-esque and very charming and funny. But the universe they inhabit is the opposite of Walt’s universe.

We are expected to believe and accept that in the future human beings (A) allowed a corporate monopoly to replace the U.S. Constitution (and all other governments) and become a dictator and (B) that no one noticed a problem with garbage disposal until it got so bad, the entire species had to leave the planet. In this dystopian vision of the future, the technology to build extraordinary robots and a spaceship that holds and takes care of the needs of the entire human population exists, but not the technology to get rid of garbage and plant trees or grass. Human beings are intelligent yet immensely moronic simultaneously.

Above all, the problem with this film and the fact that busy parents, or their child care providers, will one day buy the DVD and play it over and over for their children without watching it is the message that the universe makes no sense and the future is dark and adults are incapable of dealing with their problems until long past catastrophe. This is not a reassuring message to children who love life and can’t wait to grow up and flourish. It is harmful.

As my 5-year-old son said, “That’s a Garbage Planet. That’s not Earth. Why are they calling it Earth?” He understands that Earth makes sense. People are rational beings.

I explained it’s a make-believe silly story about Earth in the future where, as my wife said, “people become stupid” and can’t get rid of garbage. I reassured him and his sister that it’s ridiculous and that this is not going to happen in real life.

I received the following comment from Artifex:

Exactly right! For all the visual beauty and charm of Wall-E, the world we’re presented with is complete nonsense. BnL can build a massive spaceship with seemingly inexhaustible energy supply, human level artificial intelligence, what must be near-total recycling of resources (although strangely enough they seem to be ejecting a lot of trash into space – where does all that matter come from?), and the ability to hyperjump into another galaxy (!) in a matter of seconds but they can’t figure out trash disposal? Why doesn’t earth-that-was just fill the Axiom with garbage and hyperjump THAT into another galaxy? Why don’t they use the same recycling technology that must be present on the Axiom to solve the same problems on earth? Completely insane. It’s a shame – I really wanted to love this one.

I received the following comment from Mike:

Great post.

Saw your comment at the Think Progress site; your words were a voice of reason amongst so much vitriol, those words of hate that seem to be only language of left-leaning websites.

(wouldn’t consider myself to be a right-winger, but I sure don’t want to be classified with those who are haters of traditional values)

I’m so glad there are folks such as yourself who teach their children to think for themselves. Not having children myself, it makes me feel better about the future of this country.

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Thanks to TCM for Glimpses of True American Spirit

The cable channel Turner Classic Movies often provides a better glimpse of American history than the History Channel, because it shows the spirit, or sense of life, of America in the past. This is an elevated, inspired, courageous, innocent, moral spirit that lives on in the hearts of many Americans who were fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by it. It is a spirit that lives on today in the families and communities in America that aren’t interested in the hopeless-violent-crude-hostile-negative-gossipy-nihilistic culture presented by much of the arts and entertainment media today.On Veterans Day, through the night, TCM showed films I would not allow myself to stop watching, though I had not intended to see them. My feeling about my life and how I interact with people days later are still elevated by the glow of these films.

They were movies released during World War II: “Hollywood Canteen” and “Stage Door Canteen.”

They were made in 1943 and 1944, about real places in NYC and Hollywood at the time. The canteens were nightclubs where stars served food to thousands of soldiers on leave, and performed for them, for free, while civilian women volunteered to keep the men company for the evening. Everything about these films are so different from today. There are speeches that burst forth as if unwritten, from characters or stars playing themselves, about the meaning of the war, and why we must win, to preserve our freedom and specifically the pursuit of individual happiness. No altruism at all.

In “Stage Door Canteen,” the volunteer hostesses encourage the boys to be happy and to enjoy the women’s company, and berate a woman who doesn’t behave warmly to a man. Obviously it’s about soldiers so they get extra consideration, but the culture was so far removed from the fundamental hostility toward men, the presumption of evil or harmfulness in men, that I witnessed suffusing college campuses and large cities in the radical feminist-influenced late 1970s and early 1980s. This attitude still influences parts of the culture today.

It felt revolutionary to me to see these 1940s films where women respect and encourage men so directly, and women are also respected and adored. This is shown more vividly in these two movies than perhaps in any other film or TV show I’ve seen, even from that period. It’s so rare to see this fundamental respect so explicitly portrayed, rather than merely implied while part of another story. Maybe it’s because the characters seemed much more real to me than usual. These films expressed my sense of life, my sense of how people should act (even when it’s not wartime). Perhaps they seem especially real to me because I saw a bit of this positive ideal in the culture during my childhood in the early 1960s.

These films make the canteens come alive, and show the reality of them, by exquisitely choosing the best moments. I wonder if any of the incidents are based on actual ones.

If you want a happy sign in 2008 that marks the end of the feminists’ pitting of women against men, and marks the end of the hippies’ egalitarian removal of commitment, masculinity and femininity, and passionate romance, from relationships: It’s the joyful musical film for kids, “High School Musical 3.” It is has a non-cynical, innocent point of view, with worshipful adoration shown by boys and girls toward the ones they love, and pleasant flirtation all around. The songs and dances are about joy and energy and optimism and looking toward a great future.

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More Political Thoughts

Now that thereis no single leader of the Republican Party, and a clearly socialistic leader of the Democratic Party (and of the United States), I see evidence (on C-span, anyway) that the thinkers on the Right and the better Republicans (mainly in the House) are finally feeling free, with the inconsistent,concessionary McCain out of the way, to fight hard against the socialist/pacifist Democrats and the big-spending,bailout-supporting,me-too Republicans. They are energized. I think real intellectual debate could finally break out of the meaningless generalities and rally-the-crowd sound-biteswe’ve witnessed during the campaign season.

Of course, the good news about Obama is that he will probably save stem-cell research and keep America pro-choice, will keep the borders open to all (hopefully excepting known terrorists) who wish to come, “wretched refuse” or not, and won’t appoint religious conservatives to the Supreme Court. But the bad news is everything else he may support, fromrestrictions onoil-drilling, to endless government spending, to paying off rather than destroying foreign enemies, to endless regulations on business and industry, to socialized medicine.

There is little hope of the Democratic Party becoming pro-laissez faire, so thebetter choice is to encourage the GOP to reinvent itself as such, and toreduce the influence of the religionists in the Republican party, now that the party has sunk to the bottom. Unfortunately, too many on the right still are religious pro-life types,whereas the reduction of the religious-right influenceis not only more rational, but it is an important way to win back those who have deserted the GOP. My guess is that we won’t turn the nation or the partyinto atheists any time soon, but we can reduce the influence of the religionists in the GOP by emphasizing the principles of liberty, individual effort, private property,and self-defense.

Moving forward, I think it’s important to remember to pursue happiness. Defend your rightsand property as needed,and then enjoy the unlimited opportunities still presentin the United States forintellectual growth,productivity, learning, adventure, self-expression, building relationships, pursuing goals, and experiencing the arts and things of beauty.

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Two Topics: The U.S. Elections and The Merging of Man and Machine

Onthe November 2, 2008  “60 Minutes” TV program, Scott Pelley will report on one of the most amazing and importantleaps in technology ever achieved by Man. I predict that this discovery will be the stepping stone to never-before-imagined possibilities inhuman activity during the coming century.

As a CBS promotional message sums it up: “People who are completely paralyzed due to illness or trauma …are getting help communicating with a remarkable new technology that connects their brains to a computer. In the future, brain computer interface, or BCI, may even restore movement to paralyzed people and allow amputees to move bionic limbs.”

Now, on to a lessinspiring topic: The U.S. Elections.Obviously, for someone like mewho seeks a moral, individual-rights-based, laissez-faire capitalist society where no one’s income is takenfrom him against his will, where no one is forced to financially support projects he does not choose to support onhis own, where businesses, investors and banks are free tosucceed or fail without government regulations and without governmentbailouts that steal from taxpayers (andalso reduce the buying power of each dollar by inflating themoney supply via deficit spending)—and for someone who seeks a government with a consistent foreign policy of pure self-defense, where no American soldier is sacrificed needlessly and no mercy is shown to our enemies — and for someone who seeks separation of church and state — and open borders to immigrants — there is no acceptable candidate for President.

Even if you simply seek a candidate who consistentlyspeaks in depthof actual ideas rather than one-liners, who speaks from actual knowledge of history rather than pre-determined slogans, who acts like a human being rather than a marionette, you are out of luck. Of course there are brief exceptions here and there where the two candidates show a glimmer of actual thought, but nothing measurable.

The way the candidates act like robots,perhaps they arecurrent examples of the merging of Man and Machine.

Here’s what I plan to do on Election Day.

I think that even if you don’t want to vote for President, it’s important to vote for good candidates for the House and Senate. Good candidates are (approximately) the non-theocratic, non-socialistic and non-pacifistic ones. In other words, the ones that are generally pro-capitalism, pro-freedom, anti-taxation, anti-spending, anti-regulations, anti-bailouts, pro-defense and pro-choice, who primarily follow reason and not a mystical or religious guide. Few are going to fit all of these criteria, but some will fit most of them.

Many of the anti-bailout House Republicans, for example, should be rewarded for their fight against nationalizing the banks, withyourvote. (But don’t vote for any Huckabee types.)

Also, since thepacifist-socialist-altruist-leaningObama appears to be headed for the Presidency, voting forany relatively secular, pro-capitalist and hawkish Republicans you can find for the House and Senate is a good idea, in order to fight Obama and at least create gridlock. But don’t votein any more theocratic Republicans. Basically, look for pro-choice Republicans, or those who are not primarily known for religious-right views. In New Jersey, I will vote for Zimmer for Senate, a pro-choice Republican who has beenpraised for his anti-tax record, and Lance for Congress, another pro-choice Republican.

In New Jersey, I will vote for Zimmer for Senate, a pro-choice Republican who has beenpraised for his anti-tax record, and Lance for Congress, another pro-choice Republican.If (pragmatist-socialist-altruist) McCain wins, there is automatically gridlock, as he will be fighting the majority-Democratic Congress. But since McCain is expected to lose, the best hope for gridlock is voting for the better Republicans for House and Senate seats. Gridlock is good because usually, the less the government accomplishes, and the fewer bills that become law, the better for all of us.

Finally, if Obama seems headedto win in a landslide, it may be worth voting for McCain just to avoid an Obama “mandate” by reducing the margin of Obama’s victory.

To sum up, both candidates for President are unacceptable. For Congress, the religious-right Republicans, and big-spending altruist Republicansare unacceptable. The pacifist-socialist-altruist, tax-and-spend Democrats are also unacceptable.

But it’s important to vote for any secular, anti-tax, anti-spending, anti-bailout hawkish Republicans for the House and Senate, if you have any in your district. There is a chance theywill fightwhoever isPresident and the rest of Congress, and at least create gridlock, which is a relatively good thing.

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