Sunday, January 30, 2005


Let your Living Waters flow...

"...In the mind of a pious person, the inferiority complex which accounts for his piety compels him to interpret this emancipation as union with the gaseous vertebate whom he has invented and called God. On the cloudy vapour of his fears his imagination has thrown a vast distorted shadow of himself, and he is duly terrified; and the more he cringes before it, the more the spectre seems to stoop to crush him. People with these ideas will never get to anywhere but Lunatic Asylums and Churches..."
--Aleister Crowley, Eight Lectures On Yoga.

Monday, January 17, 2005


Damn Special Interest Groups...


As I had stated in my last serious political post, A Libertarian Manifesto, I have no real problem with Republicans, per se--it's the Social Conservatives that vex me, and let's face it: not every Republican has a giant wooden cross strapped to his or her back, nor are they all insane warmongers. In fact, I frequently agree with many of their economical agendas and policies toward taxation, although not always 100% ("I like Republicans. I'm saving up to be one some day."). While I think the GOP's handling of and reporting on the present unemployment situation has been somewhat irresponsible, it's nothing the "other side" would not have done in an election year.

I have to admit when I am wrong sometimes; it is the price to be paid when you commit to being an "independent." Sometimes you side with the wrong guy. These things happen. Most recently, I believe I may have become swept up in the anti-hype against the President's new social security program. Admittedly, to the average joe, it didn't sound so good; given the track record of the administration, I feel I have the right to be cynical about what is presented before me. But as my good friend Mark has duely pointed, I do not have the right to dismiss it off the bat.

I am not an economist; I am a satirist. When the President gets caught in an awkward moment on camera (see above), or flips off the camera, I have a responsibility to gloat about it; likewise when he says something asinine (Put food on your own family, George), takes money from Moonies, or participates in cultural warfare, I am obligated to be there. However, I am not qualified to criticize his economic policies, and at the risk of looking like a moron, I have chosen to let someone who is far more educated than I explain why this might be a good idea afterall, and not the Apocalyptic flaming ball of end-times sloth vomit that the liberals have made it out to be.

The following quotes are Mark's. (The sloth vomit, however, is mine.) To answer the inevitable, no, I will not give out his e-mail address. If you wish to flame him, you will have to do so in the comment forum like anyone else. The following also merely represents his opinion; I have wisely chosen to stay out of it. As Robert Anton Wilson wisely suggested, Belief is not a "yes" or "no" dilemma. It should be measured by degrees, on a scale of one to five, with "5" being the highest (but never used). I give Mark disertation a "3.8," not bad marks, and way above what I gave to, say, the Alien Hunter. So, keeping in mind, then, that Mark knows more about economics than I know about aliens. That's a big deal. Let the fun begin... (By the way...I learned how to hyperlink today...)


"Hey, what gives with cheap shots at Bush's plans to re-vamp Social Security? You can't just say it sucks without saying why it sucks.The current system steals my money, and isn't going to give me crap back for it. My investments grew at roughly 20% this year. That's markedly superior to the paltry 1.2% rate that SS is historically returning, which is less than the rate of inflation. SS was intended to be supplemental--a safety net, not people's entire retirement. People rely on it too much as it is.
The accounts that people would get to put their money in would be administered most likely by institutional money managers...the best of the best. They would be limited to fairly plain-vanilla investments like asset allocation funds (i.e., funds that change based upon the risk tolerance level and age of the investor).
You'd have categories like Conservative, Moderate, and Aggressive... with the more aggressive allocations being reserved for younger Americans who have the critical advantage of time in the market, time and compound interest can correct most investment errors. In terms of who'd make the most money investing, I'd place my bets any day on a dumb kid who knows nothing, but who does have 25 years of time for his money to compound in an asset allocation fund, versus a Wall Street guru with only 8 years to invest. The dumb kid would slay him!
$10,000 compounding at 9% for just 24 years becomes $80,000. A 20 year old would have 40 years for his money to grow. That same $10,000 investment, growing for 40 years would becomes $320,000 at retirement, not a bad nest egg.
Now, instead of a one time lump sum of $10,000 to fund your retirement, think about the power of Social Security depositing $2,000 every year into the same account for 40 years. We will be creating a populous of elderly millionaires.They can then turn around and use the money to buy a guaranteed fixed annuity upon hitting retirement. The annuity would spin off guaranteed payments to them until they die. Plus, they would still be getting the SS supplemental payments guaranteed as well. What's the problem with this?
The current crappy "pay as you go" system of IOU's, in my opinion, is extremely unstable and cannot continue as is. Would you rather have hard cash in an account at retirement that you own, or the goverment's promise to give you other people's money? I know what my answer would be.


Wednesday, January 05, 2005


A Mouth for War in a neverending battle...

Even most Christians would acknowledge that someone who is willing not only to die without question, but also lie, steal, threaten and kill for their beliefs is a terrorist. It's what defines terrorism. By this definition, there are an awful lot of Christian Terrorists in America, absolved only by virtue of being a majority. Whether through the inherent militancy of Absolute Truth, their sympathies with Imperialism, or their increasingly unsilent longings for Theocracy--and a special sort of "patriotism" that is defined only by sheer hatred for those who value the "wrong" sorts of freedom, it is clear that the War On Terror is much like the War On Drugs--it is a War On "Some" Terror.
Note that I did not say that Christians, in the general sense, were terrorists--that would be pretty silly. (Jesus Christ, people are sensitive...) Could you imagine some elderly Sunday School teacher with a bomb strapped to his back? (Well...I could, I guess, but that's because I'm an evil degenerate).
I'm just saying that, by the very definition of "terrorism" (see, a great many acts of "minor terrorism" are committed by the average, unwary fundamentalist.
Killing someone because they threatened the safety of our nation or our familes is an act of heroism and courage...whereas snuffing abortion doctors for Jesus is a terrorist act.
Calmly spraying bullets across a battlefield filled with hate-filled insurgents because they threatened our freedom is an act of patriotism. Gleefully filling them with unnecessary holes and committing gruesome prison rapes because they're non-white, non-Christian "infidels" and "barbarians" is something else altogether.

I'm simply saying there is a fine line. I'm also saying that we unknowingly utilize alot of terrorist tactics in our everyday dealings with our fellow man.
Allow me to list some examples.

Clocking some guy in a bar or pool hall because he made a religious (or political) comment you object to is a minor act of terrorism.

Creating a hostile environment, working or otherwise, for those of alternate faiths (or the faithless), is a minor act of terrorism.

Using the arbitrary prejudices of your socio-religious culture, hidden beneath the banner of "grooming standards," to obstruct someone from employment, due to their hair length, jewelry, facial hair preference, or dermal iconography (a "culturally sensitive" word for tattoos) is a minor act of terrorism.
(An exception would be child-friendly establishments vs. people with offensive tattoos, and jobs wherein long hair could present a danger, wherein even women would need abide. Otherwise, making a person trim their hair or shave their beard is emasculating, insensitive, and nothing short of an act of cultural bigotry.)

Legally forcing someone to abide by Victorian sexual standards, so far as to outlaw harmless, consensual forms of intercourse, is a minor act of terrorism.

Legally enforcing Draconian search and seizure laws and invasive surveillance procedures in the name of notoriously ineffectual drug enforcement programs is a minor act of terrorism. (Some would say "not-so-minor")

Legally and forcefully restricting language and expression to meet antiquated sentimental "values" is a minor act of terrorism.

Denying me my right to label and define such commonplace perversions as minor acts of terrorism is, itself, an act of minor terrorism.