Thursday, October 08, 2015

When the lawless write the laws ...

"Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?" - Proverbs 27:4

The California government just passed a bill requiring equal pay for women in a way that was intentionally designed to make finding out relative pay easier along with litigating over that differential.  Yes, the women of California are oppressed!

What has me baffled about this bill is that it refers to the "opposite sex". If there were an even number of genders, than they could be divided up into pairs of "opposite sex", but the official number is 51, so I am not sure how this works, unless opposites now come in 3's and there are 17 sets of them, which wouldn't surprise me since it now takes 3 to produce a child here in California.  According to my older, simplistic strategizing, however, if another man is earning more than I am, I can just change my gender to female and then file a lawsuit.  What I am wondering is if a male can file a discrimination suit if the females earn more than him, such as for a waiter at a Hooter's restaurant.  Happily we can be confident that the lawyers will work hard to earn their gender neutral pay as they diligently litigate out all the nuances to this bill.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Dr. Strangelove

Given the current situation in the world, I thought it would be good to take a nostalgic trip back to a, more, um, sane era by watching Dr. Strangelove.  For example, there is Peter Sellers acting the role of a world leader who actually wants to limit the damage.  Then we get to ponder the difference between an exponential decay of radioactivity, vs the exponential growth rate of other phenomena based on a reversed sign of the half life.

Of course I should repent as a Christian for viewing the current world as some sort of Black Comedy, since the tragedies are real.  As always, I trust that God will bring about good through the chaos.  Yet at the same time, I expect mankind to eventually make choices of the destructive sort described in Dr. Strangelove.  This won't be the act of a single madman triggering events, but rather humanity in mass going off to destruction in a raving herd.  But for now I will enjoy things and do my best to make things better.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Obama's Religion?

The subject of the religion of a politician is always tricky.  One viewpoint is that it is personal and therefore none of our business.  This ignores the fact that the behavior of people and their policies often has a direct connect to their religion, and in a Democracy it is our business to choose politicians based on how we think they will behave.  Another viewpoint is that someone's religion is inherently unknowable, so why bother?  Then the cynics chime in and note that the only deity that a politician cares anything about is himself.  Another rhetorical angle is the "who are you to question his faith"?  Technically, I believe we all have a faith and I don't question that.  I just want to know "faith in What?"  Is it a faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster that drives atheists?  What is it?  From my perspective, a politician's religion does matter and we can list possibilities and impossibilities regarding the First Religion, but we must acknowledge that only at the final judgment will the nuances be made clear.

First we must consider the American context.  For the last century, if anything correct was taught about Christianity (or Islam) in the government schools, clerics would immediately start litigation alleging a violation of "the Constitutional separation of Church and State".  If anything wrong was taught, this would be defended by the same clerics as "freedom of intellectual inquiry" and that to become mature thinkers, students would need to be exposed to ideas they didn't like.  The result being that most graduates from Ivy League schools these days have notions of religion, history and philosophy that are completely garbled and divorced from reality.  To some extent both Obama and I are products of this same indoctrination program, as are just about all Americans.  To find out more about Christianity, we are typically shaped by the denomination we associate with - if indeed we do associate with one - or else we spend a lot of time investigating matters ourselves, which few do.  Then there is the Bible itself, which is the primary source of Christian teaching, unless you are a Papist or some other group that deprecates the Bible.

So one way to answer this question is to look at the religious organizations that people associate with.  Obama was famously with the United Church of Christ.  This is an extremist sect that uses the Bible, but negates most of the teaching.  For example, it was at the forefront of ordaining gay priests and promoting hyper-promiscuity as if the Biblical command to "love your neighbor as yourself" was primarily to be understood in sexual terms, in spite of all the more numerous commands to restrain your sexual impulses.  I listened to an Easter sermon from Obama's church (a Black congregation) which featured imagery of Christ and the Crucifixion, but then switched to imagery of a lynching, ignored the resurrection, and offered up a conclusion that was purely Victim Theology:  The belief that others have sinned against me, which is the only thing that matters.  Certainly the Black community has suffered, but the UCC has not only been useless in helping the Black family to recover, they have been actively working to make the problem worse by transferring the ownership of the concept of the family to the LGBTQ activists.

Then there was Obama's preacher with his famous "God Damn America" sermon, which has a similar ring to "Death to America".  One is tempted to think that the Mohammedans merely wish for America to die, but Jeremiah Wright wants America to burn in Hell forever.  This certainly reflects the view of a large portion of America.  The Bible teaches us to look at ourselves for the answer, but Victim Theology teaches us to look at others and assume that what ever they have, they got by stealing.  The result is that many who are richer and better off than 90% of the world's population are burning with rage about how they have been mistreated.  Another result is the White House's foray into the War on Cops.

The most curious Christian variant is that of the Social Justice movement.  Orthodox Christians are commanded to do good and charity with their own time and money.  Leftists have famously improved on this by doing charity with other people's time and money.  Just as taking out loans and investing in the stock market permits people to make a huge profit compared to the dumb heads who only invest what they can spare, so a penniless deadbeat can do charity that vastly exceeds what any Orthodox Christian can do.  The deadbeat along with the Pope can look down their noses at the churlish Christians who have constrained themselves by their depravity to never give more than 100% of what they have.

So where was I?  Obama's religion.  I don't see any evidence that his religion has any connection to Islam.  Clearly it is informed by Christianity and the Bible in some sense, but we must keep in mind that even Satan quoted scripture.  I think Obama's religion is simply a reflection of what is preached in the government schools by America's intellectual elite along with many of the modernist churches, which can be characterized as follows:

"But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.  And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.  And in their greed they will exploit you with false words.  Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep." - 2 Peter 2:1-3

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rise of the Machines

Human Friendly Robot: How can I help you?
Customer:  Disconnect service.
Human Friendly Robot:  You would like to add a sports package?
Customer:  No!
Human Friendly Robot: I didn't understand.  Would you like to add a sports package?
Human Friendly Robot: Let's start over.  What would you like me to do for you?
Customer: Dis-con-nect Ser-vice.
Human Friendly Robot: I understand.  You want our unlimited channels package.
Customer: No!
Human Friendly Robot: I didn't understand.  Would you like an unlimited channels package?
Customer: No! (growling)
Human Friendly Robot: Please stay on the line while we transfer you to a representative.

(10 minutes later)
Friendly Human: Sorry to keep you waiting, would you like to add a sports package?

(Note: The above has been abbreviated and is only a small portion of the ordeal.)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Jaundiced View Of The World

Some say that it is not good for a newborn chick to spend a lot of time with a grumpy old loon.  The old loon, however, seems to be getting the worst of this as carrying around the 7 and a half pound weight for extended periods of time is putting a load on the back.  But being an aquatic animal, I shouldn't be surprised that I can swim much further than I can walk, especially when carrying junior.

Anyway, the doctors say that my grandson has jaundice, and if the jaundice doesn't go down they are going to put him under some lights to cure it.  Thus, I have the duty of walking him around in the daylight to get him some sunlight.  No need to worry about sunburn, since I am limited in my carrying time due to old age.  The last checkup indicated that he was doing fairly well, so hopefully this won't be needed too much longer.  It is certainly good news that jaundice is a curable condition.  And it is still a joy to do what I can with this new little one.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Congratulations, you are now officially "Gramps"

They tell me that my first grandson made his entrance into the world early this morning.  I am certainly pleased and looking forward to giving him and my daughter and her husband a visit.  But I am also wondering how many rules of political correctness I am breaking by declaring that I am now a grandfather.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Natives vs Aliens

A note arrived that a nearby park which is part of my daily walking route will be closed so that the creek bed can be widened for flood control efforts.  The portion to be closed is a half mile long and unfortunately include a section of the park that is a conduit between parks.  The plan is to remove the existing trees, widen the channel of the little creek, reinforce the new embankments, and then, "One hundred twenty-one (121) native trees will be replanted towards the end of project construction in 2016".  The closure will continue for about a year.

Looking at this from the positive side, the one year estimate is considerably less than the ten years that it took to build the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal, while the 61 mile long Kiel Canal took eight years.  The canal that Xerxes built across and isthmus in Greece took 3 years.  What has puzzled me more is the need to have native species replanted, since clearly I am not a native species here, nor are the Chinese and Indian Indians who frequent the park.  Why is it that invasive species are offensive in most cases, unless we are talking about homosapiens, at which point the more invasive the better?  But then if we talk about building housing for all the aliens, people start getting sour and grumpy again.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Getting Lectured

Fall semester is starting, so I have a second semester Biblical Greek class to do and separately a Machine Learning series of lectures on the agenda.  The Biblical Greek is on syntax and presumes mastery of basic grammar, which certainly is not where I am at.  To explain syntax, I will use an example from Aristotle: "I saw him being beaten with my eyes".  The challenge here is whether "with my eyes" is a modifier to "saw" or to "beaten".  Grammar doesn't tell us this, and instead we must look to syntax for guidance on the possibilities and probabilities.  The Machine Learning lecture series is from Caltech and follows some of my technical interests.  Eventually grammar and syntax will converge as I still need to follow up on earlier forays into compiler theory and implementation.  It is amazing to me how the scientific, technical and language worlds eventually interrelate.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A new restaurant for Fremont

I am trying to figure out what to do as an altruistic citizen of this city.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Emergency Beer Delivery Service

Entrepreneurs are always coming up with something new here in Silicon Valley.  I like the telephone number since this gives it a quaint, retro look.

Mein Kampf wrapup

There is a lot more ranting against the RINOs Bourgeois politicians, the Jews, and many other targets, but at the same time it seems to me some clear analysis.  Hitler didn't get into power merely by being a mindless Trump.  Instead, he has some analysis of many topics, such as the various geopolitical actors.  For example, he contrasts the aims of England with those of France in their policies towards Germany just after The Great War.  England needs Germany as a counterbalance to France, whereas France wants a dissolution of Germany into smaller states.  What I was hoping to see in this work was more of the fascist economic program, but this didn't happen.  Instead Hitler takes the line that future policies will need to "evolve" according to the circumstances.

In this "evolve" theme we have another similarity with the communists.  They both consider it premature to map out a plan since whatever the future will bring is unknown.  A contrast is that the Marxists are more focused on destroying the present institutions, whereas Hitler has a more specific vision of where he wants to go in his Aryan agenda.  I have a sense that Hitler's eventually choice of gas to dispose of Jews relates to his experience of a gas attack during WW1 which let him nearly blind and which he blamed on the Jews.  The antipathy towards the slavs is spelled out in detail so that the Russians should never have had any doubt about Hitler's intentions.

Although Marx didn't provide much of a future plan, there are still some similarities in what was accomplished.  When the criminal classes rise up in Marxist revolt and overthrow society, the criminals will not want to leave things in a state of anarchy.  Instead, one will rise up as a leader and initiate a dictatorship.  The idea of common property than readily morphs into common property according to the whims of the despot, and the party organization becomes the new government.  In these general aspects Marxism follows Hitler.  Yet keeping in mind my earlier remarks of generalities vs specifics, Despotism can take on many forms so that individual implementation of communism can vary considerably while staying within the framework of Despotism.

This study will need to remain incomplete for now, since I would need to follow up with a study of the development of NAZI policies after 1924.  Maybe later, but I have other items clamoring for my time now.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Mein Kampf as Leadership Text?

Long ago I had subscribed to Harvard Business Review for a time.  They had case studies at the end in which a business situation was described.  Two experts would then comment on this case study to provide advice.  They would both "read between the lines" and double the number of facts in play, then provide a forceful recommendation on how to fix the business situation with a determined program.  The problem was that the expert's advice were usually completely different directions, and sometimes diametrically opposed to each other.  What I learned in the end was that it doesn't matter what decision you make, just that the decision must be presented and executed with bloody minded assurance of the absolute infallibility of the opinions of the leader.  The experts would also introduce additional "facts" which were contradictory, so I suspect that they came up with their solution first, then contrived the "facts" to pave a path from the solution back to the case study.

In Mein Kampf Hitler explains that political party leadership must be of the same sort, but his starting point for comparison is religious dogmatics.  "Religion" is too vague to inspire anyone, but the true strength of a religion lies in its theological specificity backed by authority that is above being questioned.  A suicide bomber never acts on the basis of "religion", but rather on a very specific set of dogmatic principles.  Thus, Hitler devises 25 points which he declares to be a "statement of faith", just as the Communists have their "statement of faith" in the Communist Manifesto.  The fussing over whether a point is correct or not causes people to have second thoughts about giving their life for that principle, so discussion of the points is prohibited.

The starting point Hitler chooses for his dogmatics is that Germans are the Chosen Race, albeit he uses evolutionary notions rather than attributing this to the work of God.  This is forcing a reevaluation of my prejudices with regard to his group.  I had known race was important to them, but not in this sense.  Hitler asserted that it wasn't Christianity that made Germans great but rather Germans who made Christianity and other cultural phenomena superior.  Cultural assimilation was thus deduced to be bad, since it would confuse Germans and they would be more likely to breed outside of their superior genetic line.

Everything else in Hitler's program seems to derive from his first principle of German racial superiority, backed by a ruthless campaign to help Survival of the Fittest do what it is supposed to do without any help:  Those who aren't genetically German can never be German, while physically or mentally deficient Germans should be prohibited from breeding.  Since he saw the genetic competition in mostly military terms, the emphasis was on promoting a militaristic nation.

A puzzle to me after reading this is how there could ever be a neo-NAZI group that isn't German.  Americans are mongrels.  Of course even Mongrels and Marxists can be racist, but as Hitler noted, it wasn't racism, but rather a particular dogmatic form of racism that was the foundation for his cult.  A diffused racism can never achieve focus.

It is important to note that Hitler was always devising his system to be in competition with Marxism.  By insisting on the unity of the German race, he was going into direct conflict with the Marxist who taught division of the German race based on class.  Hitler deduced that talent would be found throughout the German people, and that educators should seek out the best and promote them from whatever class they came from.   The ordinary would receive an ordinary and pragmatic education, but the extraordinary would receive more training.  This formula might be termed, "no talent left behind".

An additional point of interest were Hitler's Storm Troopers.  The communists of his time were in the practice of sending factory goons to non-communist meetings and beating any talented speaker to a bloody pulp.  Hitler's four and a half years on the Western Front didn't incline him to react timidly, so he organized some young men and made sure that they were sufficiently disciplined to deal with the communists according to the only methods the communists could understand:  Their own.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Mein Kampf: The Science of Hope and Change

The history of scientific insulting is now becoming more clear to me.  It begins with Karl Marx.  Hitler advanced the science.  Then Gordon Ramsay brought the science of insults to perfection.  After having read a collection of 19th century histories and communist writings, it seemed fitting to follow up with this Mein Kampf.

I have a little time to read, but didn't want to spend money on Hitler's work, so pulled a .pdf version down to my iPad for perusal.  The first half of this 500 page rant has now passed in front of my eyeballs.  Hitler is mostly condemning everything, but he has not yet proposed any program.  Everyone knows he is anti-Jew and anti-Marxist.  What I had not known is that he is equally anti-Slav and a bit anti-French, but everyone is anti-French.  The part that for some reason is missed by Dr. Wiki is that Hitler was also vehemently opposed to "international capital" and stock corporations to the same degree that he was anti-Marxist.    Somehow he managed to confound the two, since Jews were prominent in both international capital and Marxism, so that he considered these to be part of the same conspiracy and was oblivious to the fact that they are mutually exclusive.  This error was related to a separate error, that the Jews were all of one mind, thus, he completely failed to understand that just because some Jews might be pimps and pornographers, they weren't all of this profession.  His single minded attribution of every evil in the universe to a grand Jewish conspiracy seemed to me as a conspiracy theory worthy of The Matrix.  Other groups that Hitler condemns are the monarchists, the parliamentarians and the bourgeoisie.  The bourgeoisie is condemned because they are wealthy, comfortable, and consequently unwilling to take a course of action that might be risky.  Clearly I am a bourgeois slug, although he would probably still be astounded at the degree of self-destructiveness achieved by our Republicans.  Other targets of his vitriol are the press, the pacifists and the sick perpetrators of "modern art".  Then there were the scum who married outside of their race, with me as a prime example.

The fun part of this is Hitler's take on marketing and motivational speaking.  The principles are universal and are as valid for selling tacos as for politics, but Hitler claims to having mastered the field by studying the Marxists.  This amounts to finding a message that is simple enough to be grasped by the average person, then pushing it relentlessly.  For some reason all this comes naturally to most Marxists.  Hitler mastered this and threw it back in their face.  He chose red as his party's symbol and introduced "socialist" into NAZI for the purpose of deliberately goading the Marxists.  He then targeted the proletariat and turned their techniques against them.  Part of Hitler's success was undoubtedly simply because much of the population was longing for someone to talk back to the Marxists.  It is tempting to wish that America's conservatives might learn from this, but only for a brief time.  Hitler knew where he wanted to lead Germany, but America's conservatives have no such agenda, whether it be for good or evil.

So much for the first half of this.  Diagnosing the ills of a fallen humanity is the easy part.  The second part of Mein Kampf is supposed to tell us what he intends to do.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Sikh Religion, Its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors, by Macauliffe

Several years ago an elderly Sikh man who looked to be in his 80's started waving at me frantically as I was driving through the neighborhood.  I stopped and he jumped into my car and started saying something like "gudwara".  It was quickly clear that he didn't know a word of English, but was frantic to get somewhere.  I pondered the situation for a moment and decided that there should be some entertainment value to following this elderly gentleman's instructions, so started driving ahead and pointing different ways at the intersections to see if he approved.  After several miles we drove into a neighborhood that I wasn't familiar with and onto a "Gurdwara Road".  This quickly brought us to a Sihk temple where a number of other elderly Sikhs were waiting outside for my client.  I dropped him off and everyone waved, but I was almost as much in the dark when this was done as when I started.  My next door neighbor is a Sikh family.  Yet I know almost nothing about Sikhism. has this work on the Sikh religion which I though it good to listen to for my commutes.  So far I am into the introduction which has shed a little bit of light onto the subject.  The religion was started by Guru Nanak in the 15th century.  I learned that the English officers encouraged their Sikh recruits to be good followers of their religion, since this facilitated military discipline, bravery and loyalty.  Although we might argue about loyalty when discussing the assassination of Indira Gandhi.  There was also some discussion of the pre-Sikh history which begins with the Brahmins driving out the Buddhists, and later the Mohammedans forcing their religion into India with the most brutal techniques known to man.  

Macauliffe explains his goals of providing a text on the subject that was as accurate as possible, avoided slanders, and met the approval of the Sikh gurus of his day.  These goals seem to have been met in their entirety.  This has me pondering the modern intellectual who will do almost the exact opposite with Christianity:  To meet scholarly approval, a work on Christianity must slander, defame and twist, ideally along new directions that had not previously been considered.  Anyway, I am glad to have such an introduction to Sikhism.
Something that I have wondered about is regarding the exodus of westerners from Christianity.  Even the Pope is ashamed to be known as a follower of Christ and chooses instead to be publicly known as a disciple of Marx.  In this mad rush, westerners have settled into all kinds of religions, but I have yet to see one embrace Sikhism.  Why is that?

Macauliffe tells a little of his problem of bringing Sikhism to the Western reader.  This relates to the original gurus preferring the vernacular, which is now a dated version of Punjabi.  To this is mixed in Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic, with some special terms that only the gurus can explain.  This creates an extraordinarily complex linguistic problem that can only be addressed in India in careful consultation with the gurus.  A related problem is that the Sikhs themselves might not be terribly well informed of their religion.  The first volume of this is 14 hours of recording, and it seems that there are 6 volumes to the set.  If I survive this will I achieve nirvana?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Origins of Life: What is Life?

Lecture three goes over the difficulties of coming up with a clean definition of "Life" that separates the living from the non-living, while keeping in mind that there is the formerly living category or images of the formerly living as would be the case of fossils.  This is one area where all parties can agree there is a problem.  Helpfully, one of the definitions includes a notion of life being "that which can undergo Darwinian Evolution", which tries to achieve a definition of life by invoking a term which intentionally isn't defined.

Professor Hazen reiterated the method he intends to employ as he considers origins.  He intends to proceed step by step identifying the various parts of life and then considering how they might come about.  My reaction is that this is exactly the method that I use for doing complex engineering software projects.  Initially I can't see my way to the goal, so I start out by identifying a few steps that I deem necessary and program them.  A method for testing the subsystem is devised, then I find another step that takes me towards to final product and repeat.  Eventually a path clears through the fog and I have a few dozen algorithms strung together over thousands of lines of code that solves a difficult problem, although some rework and false starts are usually part of the process.

So the problem that I have with professor Hazen's proposed approach is that it doesn't appear to be in any way distinct from intelligent design as I do day by day in my engineering work.  From the other direction, it is also not distinct from the rhetoric of "Darwinian Evolution", since this is exactly the same process that Darwinists use.  All this brings me back to one of my assertions:  The human mind is wired such that it is only capable of thinking in Intelligent Design paradigms.  Even if Darwinian Evolution existed as a distinct mode of explanation, I do not believe that any professor could find a way to employ his mental faculties in a way that wasn't overwhelmingly based on Intelligent Design.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Origins of Life, by Robert Hazen

This is the new noon time series for work.  We are on the second lecture, which purportedly dealt with the classical notions of the origin of life that would be deemed "scientific".  Professor Hazen mentions Democritus in passing, whose atomic atheism is well known, but fails to note the crucial point (from Aristotle's On The Heavens) that Democritus was a Flat Earther.  The reason this is significant is that Professor Hazen implies that Democritus was operating independently of the religious views of the time, but the religious view held by the astrologers was that the earth was spherical.  In this the astrologers were obsessed with hard evidence, mathematics and theory and would exceed all others in their scientific detail for a thousand more years.  Democritus was almost undoubtedly developing his views with little serious reflection.  Instead, he was simply reacting to other views that he found unacceptable for theological reasons, although the pretense of science needed to be maintained, so this fundamental reactionary principle could not be admitted to.  Likewise, much of what academia puts out today is also "science" and "ethics" by reaction that is devoid of any inherent substance.

The much larger oversight in Hazen's discussion, however, was the Epicureans.  Their view of spontaneous generation by the interaction of countless atom types over an infinity of time and space was more developed than all the other classical philosophers that we know about combined.  As I have noted elsewhere, however, the modern intellectual has extreme difficulty facing the Epicureans, since their abuse of science in the name of science exceeded all others, and the result of their "philosophy" was endless sophistry and moral license.  To study the Epicureans fairly, the modernist finds a creature too much like himself staring back.

An important part of this introduction is the relationship of science to theology in origins.  Hazen cites Aristotle as an example of the science only view, but this fails because Aristotle in his Physics puts theology as a key part of any philosophy and would never have accepted such a distinction.  For origins, we are really only given two options:  There is Creation, and there is Spontaneous Generation.  There are no other alternatives, so that even space aliens planting life on Earth would simply move the question back further to the origin of the space aliens.  

With that in mind, Creation has generally been rejected on, um, theological grounds.  That is, intellectuals (and modernist theologians) find the notion of a God who is outside of nature and could or would do such creative acts offensive to their chosen theological notions.  Likewise, Spontaneous Generation was rejected on scientific grounds.  That is, if we mix silicon crystals, copper, lithium and glass into a blender, and run it for a trillion years, we are never going to get out a working iPhone.  The simplest biological life forms are simply many orders of magnitude more complex than could possibly occur unless there were an infinity of universes.  And even here, we are operating on speculation.  

But then we have the modern intellectual, who proceeds under the theological premise that everything he believes is automatically "scientific" since it does not explicitly invoke God.  He must return to Spontaneous Generation, because his theology compels it, yet he must likewise insist that it is science only that drives him to this, since his theology does not permit him to admit that he is motivated purely by theology.  This series will be fun!

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Friday, July 03, 2015

Capital by Marx: End of Volume 1

Purgatory will not be so bad.  Marx goes on to project every evil of the last two centuries onto the capitalist, regardless of which continent it occurs on.  That petty tyrants of foreign nations were involved in the slave trade is noted, but it is the capitalist who is at fault.  The same goes for the massive transformation of Ireland both before, during and after the famine.  Listening to Capital does help clarify why it is that the only language Marxists understood was the language of the gun.  Marx's goal was to fill his followers with an all consuming and unquenchable hatred that would seek domination at all costs.  What Marxists lack to this day is any notion of forgiveness and reconciliation, which is a key component of Christianity.  They also had no notion about how they would improve on anything.  There was only a notion that if only they could grab all power to themselves, things would automatically improve.

As I have already noted, there is not a single crime of the capitalists that the communists didn't commit, and while the capitalist had the excuse of being too narrow in focus and blinded by capital to see the consequences, the communist can make no such claim.  The famines of the Ukraine, China, Cambodia, North Korea, ... all were man made, rather than the product of something like the potato blight.  Yes, there were mass migrations due to capitalism, but when the communists took over, it was the proletariat fleeing for survival to the more generous bourgeoisie, with the communist first putting up fences to stop them and later shooting them in the back.  Early capitalism was hard, but compared to the gulags, work camps and re-education camps?  Capitalism may facilitate prostitution, but where do we find a state like Cuba enticing pedophiles to engage in prostitution for foreign exchange?  When was there a tyrant in a third world country that was too vile for the communists to deal with for natural resources?

It is tempting to pronounce a curse on the Marxists.  This would be a wish that all the punishments that they had determined to be merited by the capitalists be given to them in eternity according to their standards.  But still, I must restrain myself since as Christians we are to ask for forgiveness of others and not vengeance.  May God bring some of these madmen to their senses.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Hegel's Constitution

In spite of the confusion in The Philosophy of History (1830-1831), there are a few things of interest.  One is the note on the gradual devolution of languages from their more pure and sophisticated grammatical form.  Another point that Hegel shares with me is that there are "rights" and there are "wrongs".  Today, both are placed under the heading of "Human Rights".  He considers the family - i.e. the human family according to the laws of nature - to be sacred.  Being a good German, Hegel is very much tuned in to the fact that different nations and cultures have different characteristics, a different spirit and a distinctive life.  Americans view everyone as being the same as us, but with some inexplicable peculiarities.

Hegel also is reluctant to embrace the Greek belief in the circular nature of government from aristocracy to oligarchy to democracy, and instead tends towards a view of humanity in a state of progress.  The Germany of his time might be a candidate for this belief, since the German people had been raised upon from barbarism to an advanced state by Christianity.  The idea that we are in a cyclic situation didn't seem to fit.

What really stuck out to me is the idea that the constitution of a country would necessarily be distinctive in that it reflect the religion and culture:

"We shall have to show further on that the constitution adopted by a people makes one substance — one spirit: — with its religion, its art and philosophy, or, at least, with its conceptions and thoughts — its culture generally; not to expatiate upon the additional influences, ab extra, of climate, of neighbors, of its place in the World."

If this is the case, the secularists attempt to decouple the constitution from religion and culture will have some complications:

"... for in secular matters only force and voluntary subservience are the principles of action; and the forms which are called Constitutions are in this case only a resort of necessity, and are no protection against mistrust."

My sense is that Hegel is doubly right as we apply this to our current era.  We haven't really succeeded to move beyond the principle that constitutions are derived from religion, but instead have embraced this notion to its fullest:  The SCOTUS has duly recognized that America has a new religion and culture now.  Before we were a Christian nation.  Now we each worship our lusts, desires and envy.  These are our gods.  Hard work was our former culture value.  Sloth is the new one.  Before we wrung our hands over slavery.  Today we have embraced slavery to vice sponsored by the government and available to all races.  Our art is the art of desecration.  Yes, our Constitution perfectly reflects our religion.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hegel and the Philosophy of Senility

This is embarrassing.  I am nearing the end of Marx's Capital, Volume 1, but wanted an interlude.  Since Marx and Engels were both reported to have had some connection to the German philosopher, Hegel, I decided to listen to the one work that was on by Hegel:  The Philosophy of History.  At about half way through the work I was reflecting on this missing author in my study of philosophy, and was beginning to research some minor details, when I noticed that a blogger by the name of Looney already posted on this topic on March 24, 2012.  Not only that, but this imposter did a very good job of imitating me and, per the comments section's discussion with Delirious, it appears that he had already connected Hegel to Marx.  OK, it was likely me, but somehow I completely forgot having posted on this topic, which does have me wondering how much of my blogging is simply repeating myself.  (Please don't enlighten me on this.)

Perhaps we can formulate an opposite principle to déjà vu for this:  ne l'ai pas déjà vu.  It is when you see something old and feel that it is entirely new to you.  Others might call it Alzheimer's syndrome.  From a metaphysical standpoint, it is proof that there is a part of you that didn't come from a former existence.

But back to Hegel, I still agree with my former post.  The only thing I would add now is regarding Hegel's ignorant worship of the Goddess of Liberty.  I tagree with the Greeks even more on this now, that the Goddess of Liberty will always, eventually reveal herself as the Demon of Licentiousness and Lawlessness.  Then she will proceed to devour her followers.

As to the connection between Hegel on the one hand and Marx and Engels on the other hand, a comparison can now be done.  All three were senselessly long winded so that only the mentally ill would try to listen through to the end.  But Marx and Engels rejected sophistry that revolved around theo-philosophical techno-babble, and instead pursued down-to-earth topics like the computation of profits for the factories.  Hegel's discourses were entirely pointless, whereas Marx and Engels never deviate from their point regarding the need to destroy civilization as we know it.

There is one quote from Hegel that I both admired and would like to highlight:  "Among us, the so-called 'higher criticism,' which reigns supreme in the domain of philology, has also taken possession of our historical literature.  This 'higher criticism' has been the pretext for introducing all the anti-historical monstrosities that a vain imagination could suggest.  Here we have the other method of making the past a living reality; putting subjective fancies in the place of historical data; fancies whose merit is measured by their boldness, that is, the scantiness of the particulars on which they are based, and the peremptoriness with which they contravene the best established facts of history." - The Philosophy of History

This is from the earlier chapters of this book which are coherent and sensible, unlike the later three quarters.

Saturday, June 27, 2015