Monday, August 31, 2009

How to discredit science...

Here is a disappointing post from my major news source the CSM. This article is a great example of how legitimate science becomes poisoned in the public eye.

By grouping human-caused-global-warming deniers and creationists together the author has pushed real scientists into the same category as right-wing religionists. This is a great example of how the media can take opposition to a morally wrong idea and flip them to become the bad guys.

The first step that occurs is blurring the lines between terms used. A great example of this is how "man-made-global-warming" (something that can be proven incorrect) was shortened to "global warming" (something that could possibly be proven wrong) and now it's just "climate change" (something that is obvious to anyone who has lived more than a few years). By changing the terms to something more public friendly, they have sugar coated their pill.

Another good example of this that is still surprising to me is how willing people accept socialist ideas. My grandfather fought in WWII against Nazi's who were socialists; now it is in vogue to spout redistribution and equal care for all. Still one more example is how the White House (who is particularly guilty of this) has changed words to be more public friendly; like "socialized medicine" to "universal healthcare" to "single-payer plan". What the hell is "single-payer", it's going to be "millions-of-payers".

The second step is to give the opposition a bad name. A great way to do this is to find some connection between them and some other radical group (a common platform or some members that belong to both), then write articles lumping them together. The above article does just that. Another example of this is how atheists and communists somehow became the same in the 60's and 70's.

The final step is to re-wire the public's mind. This is particularly easy now that they are softened to your morally wrong ideas and have lumped the good ideas in with obvious crazies. If you spread this over a generation or two you will have a complete and incontestable reverse of policy: individualism into collectivism, capitalism into socialism, "humans require changing their environment to survive" into "humans destroy their environment".

This is a big problem and I believe is one of the key reasons that the US is slipping into collectivism, socialism, and environmentalism. Fighting this disease of bad ideas as it rears its head is a requirement to hang on to what freedom we have. It was encouraging to read the comments after the article, most were against the author completely.


Friday, August 7, 2009

White House "Thought Police"

Here is a scary post from the White House Blog encouraging 1984 style "Thought Police". I submitted them the e-mail posted below. Beware, I will proudly turn you in.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to perform my patriotic duty and inform you some negative ideas that I have come across in regards to Health Care. Because this is a much debated issue at the moment I have had many conversations and e-mail exchanges with individuals and am pleased to say that I have shown true believers that ObamaCare is a terrible plan that will lead to a decline of the medical profession worldwide and will eventually shorten the lifespan of people everywhere. I also feel obligated to tell you that I am going to continue to have these discussions and you have given me renewed enthusiasm and means to win over those still sitting on the fence.

By asking people to turn in their neighbors for suspicious conversations or e-mails you have proven that you are intimidated and are resorting to "thought police" type tactics (see "1984", Nazi Germany, or Communist Russia). I was concerned that the lasting legacy of your administration was going to be a slip into socialism that will be reversed later on, but it has turned out to be something much greater. I encourage you to continue on your current course of action because it will only embolden the people to see that socialism and your force tactics against free speech are linked by definition.

Your great blog post alerting the public to act as "thought police" has made it incredibly easy for me prove to people that you are an enemy to the Bill of Rights and free speech. For this, I thank you.

In conclusion, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom to individuals and rights to ACTIONS (like casual conversations and e-mails) NOT to goods and services that are provided by others (like medical care). The founding fathers knew that if you guaranteed goods and services then you are enslaving those who would be required to provide them (i.e. doctors, pharmaceutical companies, etc...). By granting freedoms to act, they made it possible for each individual to live according to their own lives and NOT at the mercy of others. This is why America became a super power and the greatest nation in the history of Earth. If you want to fix health care, get government out of the way. Dissolve any legislation or governing powers (FDA) involved with the medical field and all the "problems" with medicine (rising costs, etc...) will dissolve shortly after.

Biomedical Engineering PhD Student
I encourage others to do similar things. If we loose freedom of speech it's a short time to resort to force.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Movies and indoctrination....

Last night I was attending a showing of an old movie called "Born Yesterday". This is something that happens every week in Grant Park and my girlfriend and I enjoy going out and having a cheap date under the Chicago skyline while watching famous classic movies (most movies now days are junk).

To those who are not familiar with the plot of "Born Yesterday" I will give a brief summary: a bully of a racketeering businessman and his ex-chorus girl "fiance" go to Washington DC so that the businessman and his lawyer can bribe and lobby Congressman for legislation to ensure scrap metal prices (his business) for years to come. When they get there, he realizes that his "fiance" is lacking in social abilities and overall intelligence so he hires a newspaper writer to educate her and to teach her to act properly. The writer begins by showing her the city and its sights while explaining about the history of the US and the principles it was founded on.

I won't spoil the ending of the movie for those who haven't seen it, but I was really surprised at how mixed-up the ideas were that were presented. It would have been a great opportunity for the real principles to be presented to a wide audience and it would have slid itself nicely into the script without altering any of the plot. However, what was presented was a jumbled view of what it means to be American and what our country stands for.

For example, there were a few scenes that focused on the founding fathers and the Bill of Rights. The main characters see the museums and monuments and discuss what it means for man to be born free and to be granted rights in our constitution. But then in another scene the writer is explaining a poem that he wrote and how he would rather be a simple, ignorant peasant than to of been Napoleon. I realize that Napoleon didn't adhere to many Objectivist standards and was by most measures a conqueror and tyrant, but as in the context of the movie the writer was promoting a simple life with simple pleasures ("the autumn sun kissing the grapes red") as opposed to striving for greatness.

The protagonists of the story are obviously the writer (one who has intelligence) and the fiance (his eager student). The antagonist is the mob-style bully of a businessman who is the polar opposite of the writer. A character who rose to the top of the scrap metal industry not with intelligent savvy decisions but with bare knuckles and intimidation. Several times in the movie the writer describes the antagonist as selfish fascist. Being selfish doesn't lead to fascism. Fascism is bred from collectivism/nationalism (the opposite of selfishness) where a dictator assumes power and governs all aspects of the nation (industry, law, etc...) with an iron fist. The writer was probably referring to the mob-boss' brute force way of handling problems but that has nothing to do with being selfish. It would be the same as calling him a magenta fascist (it just gives magenta a bad image).

Later on, the main character states that his (the mob-bully's) existence is proof that the democratic system is flawed and it won't be good again until his kind is rooted out and legislation is enacted to prevent them from surfacing again! (cue enthusiastic clapping from red-blooded Americans) This part echos a little bit to close to the Bernie Madoff story of recent news. It is very obvious that the antagonist is NOT acting in accordance with many laws, but the writer mentions more regulations for preventative measures. Bribery and coercion are against the law and the main character thinks that a few more regulations will stop people from doing them? I can't imagine what regulations or laws would be set in place to stop bribery and coercion. It would be the equivalent of imposing a dusk curfew to stop muggings. Further, his statement that his kind is what is wrong with democracy reminds me of religions' stance that man is inherently bad because he is born. Democracy is not flawed or wrong, the existence of people breaking laws is simply proof that some people want to break laws. They have that choice and will be required to answer for their actions when they are caught.

Overall this movie simply used the word "selfish" as slanderously as possible. I suppose I had higher expectations for movies made in 1950 but this is what Rand had to put up with. It just further emphasizes how long ago the "selfish = bad" indoctrination began. It was particularly potent in this instance because the bad guy and his lawyer were so obviously self-destructive which is not being self-ISH at all.

Side Note: I enjoy it when I am having a conversation with someone and something gets said like, "I don't care if I'm being selfish, I've earned it". I always answer that remark with, "But it's not bad to be selfish, it is both essential to human existence and GOOD! Just think of how you feel when you do something for yourself that you have earned. Saying that selfishness if bad is like saying sex is bad." (This usually works because I know my 20-30 yr. old audience enjoys sex). My reward quickly comes when the entire audience of the group looks at me like I reaffirmed something that they have always known but have been afraid to say. It's great.

I guess the real disappointment is in how this story could have been told to show exactly what I have been writing about. The main character could have pointed out to the attractive young student why the mob-boss is not actually selfish, but self-destructive and how America has laws against the kinds of actions he is doing. He also could have taught her that force over reason does lead to fascism and that individual rights permit one to become selfish and to strive for greatness. The movie could have played out the same but with a much more positive and coherent message. Oh well.