Monthly Archives: March 2013

Yeah, I Said It

This is the last correction of misinformation in this series, and with the next few blogs I’ll get into more esoteric crap.  Or less, i dunno.  I’ll almost certainly revisit the idea of “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” in the future, because it irritates me that much of our national debate has been corrupted by people changing the language and thrust of debate.  So the last bit of info you may be spitting out if you don’t know any better (or if you do and you’re just a dirty liar) is…

Progressive Socialism is the next step in Human Social Evolution.  Get this straight, There is nothing new or progressive about socialism.  Let me say it again, in case you weren’t listening, There is nothing new or progressive about Socialism.  Okay, one last time for the cheap seats, There is nothing new or progressive about Socialism!  Socialism is not a new idea, and it is the opposite of progressive.  It is, in fact, REgressive.  Socialism is, in fact, the oldest form of socioeconomic government on earth.

When you finish sputtering, I’m sure you’ll remind me that “modern” socialism is no older than the New Deal ( or the October Revolution) and is based entirely on two core concepts:  Government can and must be the driving force of an economy, and an advanced society must care for its less capable citizens.  And you are right, or at least you would be, if those were new ideas.

In the Middle ages that concept was referred to as The Right of Kings and Noblesse Oblige, that is to say, the government had the right to define the economy, and the government had an obligation to assist the needy.  Socialism (without fancy names) goes back at least to Ancient Egypt, where Pharaoh maintained storehouses for grain to be disseminated among the populace in times of shortage.  Imperial Rome was incredibly socialist, with all production being defined and regulated by the Imperial Palace in Rome.  China (as a unified empire) has never not been socialist, to my knowledge (the only real difference between Mao’s communism and Shek’s imperialism was the logo printed on the business cards).

Hitler was a Socialist, and his National Socialist Party had more in common with modern Progressive Socialism than either has with Marxist Communism.  Marxism (which, in its bases is as Utopian as More’s Government of Good Will and Rouseau’s Natural Man) maintains that the people will of their own free will and no need for governing oversight choose to freely distribute the wealth, means and rewards of of production (after a short period of violence to wrest such production from the hands of the wicked and the selfish).  Compare this to the rhetoric against the “One Per cent”.  Now compare that rhetoric to Hitler’s diatribes against Jews.  The fact is, that you can use “Jew” and “One Per Cent” interchangeably in both situations and still have the same, hateful message.

I’m not letting so-called conservatives off the hook, either.  This rush to deregulation of all things (or even to conditional regulation) is just as socialist as ObamaCare.  Pullman’s Company Towns were the model for every Industrial Socialism experiment since.  Henry Ford established company towns around a number of his major plants.  Even Reagan was a bit of a Socialist:  His “trickle-down” economic theories were based on the principle that wealth entering the highest sectors of society would trickle down to the masses—not really a big jump from Noblesse Oblige, is it.

The fact is, that any organization allowed to be overpoweringly large and monopolistic, will form some type of socialism.  And Socialism is the enemy of Democracy.  I’m not just talking about the apocryphal Tytler quote where Democracy dies shortly after the people discover they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury.  Socialism—and the many “Public Welfare” projects that define it—demands an autocratic or oligarchic government with a vast monolithic bureaucracy. You can’t disseminate billions of dollars to the needy without rules and regulations defining who is needy (and deserving, because, let’s be honest, if the wrong kind of needy folks get something, well that’s just stupid).

The Free Market isn’t broken, it’s hobbled.  Democrats have placed unnecessary limits on people’s ability to improve their position and Republicans have opened the gates for massive multinational corporations to feed on the innocent.  Five companies own more than three quarters of the Media.  Five companies supply almost all of the fuel for our cars and trucks (and two of those are foreign-owned monopolies). Most Agricultural Production is owned or controlled by a few “Associations”.

You can’t regulate monopolies; you have to break them apart.  Regulation just leads to more socialism.  It also leads to corruption.  If the friendly cop on the street is vulnerable to turning a blind eye to Mickey the Finn’s game of Three-card Monte because Mickey’s a good guy and always spots the cop a cup of coffee or an after work beer. then how much more vulnerable is the Federal Regulator who daily associates with men who have access to millions of dollars in disposable cash and perks.  If a doughnut makes the cop on the beat near-sighted, then that new Lexus or department “conference” in Aruba must make regulators completely blind.

I have a lot more to say on this subject, and I probably will, in the near future, but I’m digressing from the final fact:  Socialism is not new, and it’s not even a little progressive.  Socialism is Collodi’s “Land of Toys”, enticing us to free license as a means of enslaving us.  It’s the witch’s candy house.  It’s the coin of Caesar.  Where Socialism reigns, Democracy lies broken and molested in the gutter.

You Heard Me

Okay, so now we’ve established that not every person who differs from us on one issue can be categorized within great sweeping swathes of philosophical intent, let’s move on to more stupid shit people do and think, shit that is ruining debate and our way of life.  Next up is …

If I see somebody doing something I think is wrong, then it’s my duty as a good Christian/American/Person to make them stop.  Let’s take a second and define terms.  When this statement is used in reference to active physical harm to the person or property of a person who is not an adult human giving informed consent of his or her own free will, then yes, you have a right and a duty to intervene and prevent that harm from occurring, but that’s it.

It is not your Christian Duty to stop Homosexuals from being so gay.In fact, doing so is the opposite of what both Jesus and Paul laid down as the founding principles of the expanded Christian Church.  Jesus, especially went on at length about how other peoples sins are none of your business.  If you want to use reason to convince them to your way of thinking, you go right ahead, but you don’t get to coerce anyone to act in accordance with your moral code.

Lest I be accused of picking only on the Christians, that idea extends to the idea of health and body.  It’s not your business if I want to eat an entire half gallon of Blue Bell Banana Split ice cream while chain-smoking a pack of Luckies and guzzling a bottle of Whiskey.  Will that sort of behavior kill me?  Almost certainly.  But your duty and your right to help me ends in pointing out the fact that it’s a bad idea and offering help to stop if I want to take it.

I have every right to buy my wife a fur coat by taking my credit card out of my leather wallet and handing it to the girl at the Big Box Fur Store whose face is globbed with animal-tested make-up.  Everyone mentioned in that sentence is an adult acting of their own free will under informed consent.  If you think it’s wrong to wear fur, or to use flexible credit for purchases or to support Big Box Stores, then you feel free to say so, but THAT’s IT.

Don’t pass laws limiting the amount of Jolt Cola (do they still make that?) I can buy at one time.  Don’t tell a gay couple that their long-term committed relationship is less valid then my pregnancy-induced first marriage because both of them have dicks.  It’s not your business, and it’s sure as hell not the government’s.

If you believe that government has a duty to protect people from their own choices, then remember this.  You are almost certainly doing something, probably right now, that someone else considers immoral or unhealthy.  Do you want them to kick open your door and tell you to stop?

Don’t Flog Your Shit Here

Just as a headsup, comments are moderated, so they won’t appear until I get to them.  Spam comments will either be trashed or have their links stripped (depending on the post).  Any post that includes a link to a commercial site (that is, a site that has no entertainment value beyond sales of a product) will have those links stripped.  I haven’t decided whether I will be including advertising on the new Casual Notice, but Whether or not I do, I will not give it away for free.

You’re wrong, or you’re lying

Before we get back into the Unca Brett Business or any of that other silliness, let me take a few seconds to correct some misapprehensions people have acquired over the years.  This may take a couple of posts, but we all have the time, so what the hell.  (For the record, if cursing bothers you, this is probably not a blog you should bookmark…I drop enough F-bombs that LiveJournal put me behind an adult wall.)

(Another side note:  If you’re reading this on your tablet or phone while driving, shopping, visiting your grandmother, or any of the million other things people seem to think they can multi-task with dicking around on the phone, stop it.  The world is out there, not in here.  This will still be here when you find a more appropriate time and place.)

Okay, so here are some things that bother me because they are not true.  And when I say not true, I don’t mean they resonate badly with my feelings.  I mean they are factually inaccurate.

Americans are divided among Conservatives, Liberals, and (largely apathetic) Independents.  There is literally no way that could be more wrong; even saying, “Americans are divided among monkeys, kitty-cats, and wombats,” is more accurate.  “Conservative” and “Liberal” don’t really make any sense when viewed as philosophical opposites.  There’s a reason for this.  The actual philosophical opposite of Conservative is Progressive.  What happened was that around about the 1920’s, the Progressives (and the political party of the same name) gave themselves a black eye by being as crazy as a bag of cats.  By the fifties, calling yourself a Progressive was pretty much the same as painting your house with a hammer and sickle, so they started using the less villified term of Liberal.  This worked out well for them, because it allowed them to be associated with true Liberals who were mostly concerned with ensuring the rights of all Americans (for instance, making sure that “a jury of ones peers” meant that an urban black man didn’t have to face twelve white guys from the suburbs).  They were also in favor of relaxing some of the laws that made no sense (and were probably racist in their design).  The opposite of Liberal, by the way, is Authoritarian.

There are a lot of Conservative Liberals and Progressive Authoritarians.  I’m not saying that no Conservative is Authoritarian, or that no Progressive is Liberal; I’m just saying that the concepts do not necessarily coincide.  It does, however, occur to me that Liberal views are best suited to conserving the American Way of Life (whatever that is) and that Authoritarianism is the most efficient means of achieving Progressive goals.  In any case, none of these labels adequately define people, since every one of the 300 million plus Americans has a slightly different view on every issue, even if they don’t think they have an opinion at all.

This problem with painting wide swaths of citizens with the same inadequate brushes has been compunded by the fact that a wide variety of journalists have spent the last forty or so years conflating terms so that most people automatically assume that all Conservatives are Republicans and all Liberals are Democrats.  If it’s inaccurate to pigeonhole human beings into general philiosophies, then its just plain stupid to further pigeonhole them by assuming that they must, perforce, support various political parties.  Colin Powell’s support of Obama’s campaign in 2008 didn’t make him a Democrat or a Liberal.  If anything it simply illustrated and underscored Americans’ fear that a McCain Presidency would have expanded and intensified the power grab and violations against civil liberties that had been perpetrated by the Bush Administration.

Political Parties are not the philosophies they claim to represent.  Political Parties are incorporated organizations designed to acquire money and power through the electorate.  That’s all.  If you want proof that the Republican Party doesn’t speak for conservatives, go review how the party treated Tea Party candidates that defeated their favored sons in the Primaries in 2010 and 2012.  If you want the same kind of proof about the Democratic Party, go review the 2006 Leiberman victory in the Senate.  In both cases, you’ll see astounding examples of a political machine punishing its members for “going off the ranch” by trying to serve their constituents within their own moral and ethical code.

The Parties’ interest is not in achieving philosophical aims.  It is in achieving power and the cash benefits that go with it.  Never kid yourself on that one.  AARP didn’t become the biggest and most influential lobby in Washington by having convincing and reasonable arguments.  They did it by threatening to pull their support (and, by extension, the support of their several million members–although that’s never been tested) and by writing fat checks.

So if you say Conservative when you mean Republican, or Liberal when you mean Democrat, you’re wrong, or you’re lying.  Either way you need to shut the hell up and let the grown-ups talk.

Casual Notice is getting a facelift

After nine years of hardcoded html and a few unfortunate hiatuses, I’ve finally decided to make my life a little easier and use WordPress(r tm rsvp) to make most administration somewhat easier.  What this means is that there will be some time before the site is back to something people recognize.

Nebraska City is on hold until I create a subdomain for it.  New comics will be posted here, but the main site for Nebraska City will be a subdomain with ComicPress.

I have some errands to run, and spring is in full force down here in Texas, so there will be a blog entry here soon enough, but I’m not going to predict when, because that never works out.