Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What I believe

A quick primer, for those coming here for the first time, on some of my basic political beliefs:

* I believe the Bush Administration was complicit in the 9/11 attacks. This is why, or, at least, it's the most concise listing of reasons why I believe this, all in one spot, I've found yet. If you want to argue with me on this point, go read what's on the other end of that link first, and address those points, please. Otherwise, I just don't have time for your ignorance.

* I believe all governments are, essentially, predatory. I believe the American Founding Fathers understood this, which is why they tried very hard to create a government that would function only just barely well enough to keep the lights on and the water running. I believe that when we complain about how disfunctional our government is, how inefficient it is, how laden with incompetence it is, we are badly missing the point. An incompetent, bungling government is something to be deeply grateful for. Our current government only seems to be staffed with dolts; in fact, I believe, these people know exactly what they are doing. Their so called incompetence has never cost yet cost them a thing; in fact, somehow or other, everything always seems to work out just perfectly for their own particular agendas... and bank accounts. That's not incompetence. Pure unadulterated evil, yes, but they're hardly inept.

* I believe that religion is a social control mechanism. And I believe that it is the most successful social control mechanism in the history of humanity, far more successful than secular government. Having said that, I think submission to superstitious terror is beneath the dignity of what humanity can and should aspire to, and if such is to be the cost of living as a civilized being, I prefer anarchy.

* I hate affirmative action. I know, I know, as a white male I have no right to say this, and it automatically makes me a racist and I should just give up the futile effort at fooling anyone and go put on a sheet with a hood. Well, fuck anyone who thinks that way, and fuck everyone who thinks that you can somehow fix racism by reversing it and then institutionalizing it. If the Federal government is going to be in the business of redressing social inequity... and I have no problem with that as a basic concept of government... then instead of creating laws that force people to take race into consideration with every personnel decision, they should be trying to create and model policies designed towards making such processes as color blind as possible.

One thing I've yearned all my life to see made illegal is the horribly medieval, utterly useless ceremony of the 'personal interview'. There is no necessary or desirable purpose to it. We now have the technology to test any candidate for any position at an impersonal distance, and anything that might suddenly crop up when this man or woman first shows up to actually do the job that actually bears on their ability to do it well would be legitimate cause to hire someone else. The personal interview doesn't give a potential employer the opportunity to evaluate a potential employee for anything that matters, what it does is, it lets your new boss sniff your crotch and test your asskissing abilities. Eliminate the 'personal interview' and you will eliminate 80% of the bias in hiring practices right there.

Let the Feds establish some kind of Fair Employment Testing standards. Some kind of standardized exam for every job that employers can use to evaluate your work skills and aptitude. Sure, they can also look at your experience and what past employers may say about you, but what they don't get to look at is your gender, your age, your race, your relative pulchitrude, how long your hair is, how stylishly you dress, or how well you cast your eyes downward and simper/chuckle at their lame ass jokes.

Let the Feds also set up means whereby interviews can be conducted entirely online. Yeah, this will place an emphasis on certain skills (like literacy, and articulation) but the personal interview simply puts the emphasis on other skills (like grooming, and groveling). I'd rather give new generations of job applicants a reason to learn how to spell, construct smooth sentences, and type quickly, than continue conducting seminars on how to provide slick, completely insincere answers while 'dressing appropriately'... which for men means professional, and for women means 'sexy but elegant'.

Bottom line: Affirmative action is racism; I dislike racism. And if Aaron Hawkins were still alive, he'd be coming for me with a table knife right now.

* I'm not wild about abortion, but I don't believe abortion is the issue. The issue is whether or not individuals will have the freedom to control what does and does not happen within their own bodies. And as to that, I deeply believe no government has the right to deny me or anyone else any medical procedure I want and can pay for, just as I similarly believe that no government has the right to force me or anyone else to undergo any medical procedure I do not want.

* I believe the war in Iraq is wrong. I believe that's so self evident to anyone capable of even a moment's real lucidity that I shouldn't have to point out all the reasons that it is wrong. If the guy down the street is shouting insults at you, you have many legal and moral recourses, but one of them is not and never will be to invade his house, break most of his chattels, steal the ones you like, torture, rape, and kill his family, and then burn the place down. Even if you truly believe he's got weapons and is planning to use those weapons on you at some point in the future, you still are not allowed to pre-emptively take these actions. And while analogy is always suspect, I believe this one is pretty exact. That is pretty much exactly what the United States did to Iraq, and we are still over there, torturing, raping, and killing that guy's family, breaking and stealing his shit, setting fire to the walls and furnishings. The only thing we should be doing over there now is trying to put out the fires we set. Given our level of competence at actually helping anyone, though, I think we should just get the fuck out of there and let the United Nations do what they can. And resign ourselves to paying horrific reparations, with the understanding that for the next hundred years at least, if the Iraqi people want something from us, we damn well owe it to them.

* I believe the U.S. Constitution is a deeply flawed document, and I would love to see it replaced with something better. Pragmatically speaking, however, any attempt to replace it would only end us up with something far worse, so I'm willing to live with it.

* I like Christmas. I think it's very cool. I'm not a Christian, am not even particularly religous (although I have articles of faith, at least one of which we'll get to on this list because it also pisses off my fellow liberals no end, the tiny minded little fuckers), but Christmas is what the Winter Solstice Holiday that every human culture has always celebrated was always called in my childhood, and that's the word I have the strongest, most positive associations with. So I say "Merry Christmas" on my own time, and in my house (and in SuperGirlfriend's house) our holiday celebration is, and will remain, Christmas, despite the fact that we are about as secular humanist as you can get, and we are both educated enough to know that even if Jesus ever was born, it wasn't anywhere near December 25th. We make Christmas cookies, we send Christmas cards, we put up Christmas decorations, we will goddam well have a Christmas tree.

Now, at work, on the phone with participants, I say "Happy Holidays". I do not do this to placate Bill O'Reilly, who is a colossal tool (although he probably doesn't actually have one). I do it because there are a great many jackasses in the world who damned well will take offense at me if I tell them "Merry Christmas", and while in my personal life I have only two words for those people (and those two words are not "Happy Birthday"), on the time I sell to my employer, I well endeavor not to piss off the people who supply the funds that eventually trickle down into my paycheck. (I also try to occasionally make vague, truculent, rudimentary gestures towards keeping my job, because, you know, we have this big apartment now and I have to pay the rent here.)

But on my own time, I say "Merry Christmas", and if that pisses anyone off (and I imagine it will, at some point), well, there are many people who get pissed off over how I choose to wear my hair, too. I think people who get exasperated over such things badly NEED to be exasperated, hopefully into fatal aneurysms. So I wear my hair long and I say "Merry Christmas", and that's enough about that for now.

* I'm not sure about gun control. I'm still up on the rails about it. See, I hate guns, absolutely. Yet... our forefathers seemed to feel that individual ownership of weaponry was an essential component of individual liberty and social freedom... and I am not sure they are wrong.

I intensely dislike the idea of anyone anywhere being able to walk around with the power of life and death over me, or people I love. Yet, at the same time... the idea of giving all the boomsticks over to the authorities makes my hackles crawl. Would it make cops safer? Yeah, but... well, we don't draft cops in this country; they sign up for the job and last I heard, nobody advertised it as being 'safe'. I'd be happy to pay cops more and equip them better; I'm not sure I'm happy with the idea of seeing to it that they are the only people on the streets with guns.

Beyond that, it's extremely impractical. There are millions of guns in circulation. Gun control laws are not a magic genie; most of the people that society feels shouldn't carry guns are criminals already.

I've already come up with a solution for this; I wrote it up on a much older blog. I called it 'gun insurance'. Maybe I'll go back and dig it up again.

I also think our Constitution pretty unequivocally denies the power to pass any laws in regard to gun control whatsoever. I'm hardly a strict constructionist of the Constitution; in fact, I feel it's a deeply flawed document... but it is the Owner's Manual of the United States, so I do feel we should pay some attention to what it actually says.

Whatever the case, in the end and at this point, I'm just not sure about gun control.

* I cannot support 'hate speech' and 'hate crime' legislation.

I deeply loathe many of the more extreme consequences of absolute freedom of expression. I abhor most exclusionary hate speech, and there are kinds of porn that will make even a filthy jaded old Internet pervert like me blanche... but, nonetheless, I think that the essential concept of freedom of expression requires that we tolerate ALL forms of expression. Letting any authority decide which speech is acceptable and which isn't... nuh uh, that's a bad road to start walking on. So when you start pointing out certain types of extremely distasteful speech and levying fines and even jail sentences on people simply for speaking their minds, well... I think you've left the Freedom Trail and are heading towards despotism. At a fairly decent clip.

Similarly, I feel that when you set aside a certain type of crime as a 'hate crime', what you are doing is criminalizing a person's thoughts and feelings, rather than their actions. I cannot support that. I don't mind 'criminalizing politics', whatever the hell that means. But criminalizing speech, and criminalizing thought... that troubles me deeply.

* I believe in intelligent design. I really, honest to Whatever, do. I think the universe around us is simply too complex to have 'jest happened'. I think it's an artifact of some sort. What sort? I have no idea, any more than I have the slightest frickin' clue who or what set the whole thing in motion, or whether there is any greater purpose to existence than just existing.

I do not believe the idea of 'intelligent design' qualifies as science, but on the other hand, it mostly doesn't qualify as science because religious people think they KNOW who designed the universe, and 'scientists' feel just as certain that nobody/nothing did... so no one is trying to do any research into it. I understand my 'faith' in intelligent design is just that... but instead of having one side rather smugly say "Well, it's the absolute truth, and we know all the details because they're in our Bibles", and the other side just as contemptuously declare "No, there is no Higher Intelligence, that's all childish superstition, we KNOW the universe just 'evolved' over a course of billions of years as a progression of various random chemical interactions"... I'd like to see actually unbiased people who know something about how the world really works, really looking into it.

It's been said many times before, but I will say it again, because it's always worth repeating these essential truths: atheism is in every way as much a leap of faith, or an organized religion, as Christianity or Buddhism or anything else. Insisting that something DOESN'T exist takes as much arrogant gall as insisting that it does... more, in that one can prove that something exists, but I can't think of any feasible method for proving something doesn't exist.

No human being I am aware of understands how the universe around us works, or where it came from, or where it's going, or even, for the vast most part, where it is and what it is doing right now. We don't truly comprehend time, or space, or matter, or energy; our most brilliant researchers are waving a couple of lit matches around in an abysmally dark cavern of ignorance.

We have to keep trying to find stuff out. Embracing the ignorance and making a virtue of it, as the ultraconservative Christian right wants us to do, is absolutely deranged, but it's nearly as addle-minded to simply say "well, those guys we don't like believe in something, so we're going to laugh at it and pretend that we know it isn't true, when we actually do not know any such thing, because we haven't bothered to do any real research or experimentation on it".

I, personally, believe in Intelligent Design... in a vague sort of way. I don't insist anyone else believe in it... but I do get annoyed when all my fellow liberals insist that the entire concept that the Universe 'just goddam is', is the only acceptable concept for a truly enlightened and rational being to believe. The truth, at this point, is that no one knows for certain a single frickin' thing about the actual nature of the Universe. And if we can't agree on that and move forward with open minds, we aren't going to ever learn anything.

So, there you go. A quick primer on some of the things the guy behind this particular blog believes, or doesn't believe, in. Make of it what you will.

17 Comments:

At 10:36 AM, Blogger ericswan said...

I don't believe you. A belief system is not a logical system. A belief is a faith system. Try and feel yourself being logical. Did it hurt. No.. Well, try to disbelieve. Does that hurt?

Try to disbelieve Bush had nothing whatsoever to do with 911. It was just a happy accident and the cabal took the ball and ran with it. No harm, no foul.

Do you believe in magic?

Do you believe in magik?

Do you?

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger Handsome said...

I don't believe you.

Okay.

A belief system is not a logical system. A belief is a faith system.

Some of my beliefs are faith based, some are based on my experience. I suspect it's the same for nearly everyone. One can believe in life after death with little or no actual evidence to support it. One can also believe that if one puts ones hand in a fire, one is going to get burned. The one is faith based, the other, not so much.

I suspect you know all this, and I further suspect you are arguing in your spare time, sir.

Try and feel yourself being logical. Did it hurt. No..

Was that a rhetorical question?

Here's the deal -- being logical, or, as I prefer to call it, thinking analytically, is something most people never learn to do. And even trying to do it makes most people profoundly uncomfortable. Now, trying to think analytically doesn't hurt me; I've been doing it routinely for decades, although, probably, I haven't always done it as well as I should have. But it's certainly something that would 'hurt' many other people, all of whom, for that reason, try at all costs to avoid doing it whenever possible.

Well, try to disbelieve. Does that hurt?

Trying to believe that my government, which I have been raised since birth to believe is basically comprised of good people who want to help, actually conspired in the murder of 3,000 of my fellow citizens, and has since conspired to cover it up, all for political gain... yeah. That hurts. But the evidence is overwhelming. So, having looked at the evidence, and thought about it, yes, I have had to set aside my childlike faith that the American government, out of all authority structures that have ever existed in human history, was and is largely benevolent.

When put that way, it seems I was an idiot to have ever believed anything else, but I suspect that's an idiocy that millions still subscribe to, deep down inside. Which is why I have such a hard time even getting people to read the evidence... and I discover that when I do, they tend to just say something like "Wow, that's really scary. I'm just not going to believe that". And then they go about their business.

Try to disbelieve Bush had nothing whatsoever to do with 911. It was just a happy accident and the cabal took the ball and ran with it. No harm, no foul.

Nah. I'm not like that. Sorry.

Do you believe in magic?

I believe in weird shit I cannot explain.

Do you believe in magik?

Well, I believe in proper spelling.

Do you?

Yes, I really, really do. ;)

Thanks for dropping by.

 
At 10:21 PM, Blogger AaA said...

Umm, yeeeaahhh.

ericswan, we're gonna hafta ask you to come in on Saturday...

"Try and feel yourself being logical. Did it hurt. No.. Well, try to disbelieve. Does that hurt?"

I have a little saying I like to trot out when someone says something this openly foolish in such a matter-of-fact tone that they obviously believe whatever gibberish they've just spouted so fervently that the very idea that anyone else wouldn't just doesn't reach them. (AUTHOR'S NOTE: I can't believe that didn't merit one damn comma!)

"Most people would rather die than think. Sadly, few of them do."

Handsome and I have a few bones of contention to gnaw on, but the current illegally established regime's complicity in the 9-11 attacks is not one of them.

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

You'd be surprised what useful skills grooming and groveling are in the workplace.

Which is probably why I am now self-employed.

But having conducted several personal interviews, I disagree with you - they are vital (albeit annoying) in the context of the business hive.

But...if you job only entails being on the phone, then I can't see why they matter at all. You can conduct your entire interview by phone.

And I completely agree with you about religion.

 
At 11:23 AM, Blogger Handsome said...

Nate,

Thanks for the support. I am still unclear as to exactly what point eric was trying to make, but I do appreciate him coming by. And you.

Ope,

I understand that grooming is important, and that's fine. I'd prefer to live in a world where no one has to grovel to anyone, however.

Hey, I agree with you completely where you agree with me completely about religion. Have we ever dated? ;)

 
At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Always Esteemed Scott said...

When put that way, it seems I was an idiot to have ever believed anything else, but I suspect that's an idiocy that millions still subscribe to, deep down inside. Which is why I have such a hard time even getting people to read the evidence... and I discover that when I do, they tend to just say something like "Wow, that's really scary. I'm just not going to believe that".

I am very close to believing in the conspiracy as well, even though to this point I haven't really looked at any of the evidence that you've linked to, for two reasons - one, as you note, it's scary. Two, I really don't know how to evaluate the reliability of any of it.

In any discussions of this idea that I've read, the objections to the conspiracy theory (when the idea is not simply rejected outright) go something like this:

1) The idea that the U.S government would willingly murder or allow 3000 Americans to be murdered is completely ridiculous

To which I respond - uh...yeah. This is the same government that watched *an entire American* city drown and just shrugged its shoulders. This is the same goverment that has implemented a policy in Iraq that has resulted in the deaths of half a million Iraqi civilians and nearly 3000 U.S soldiers, with no end in sight. In this context, it is entirely possible to believe that these people would be more than capable of mass murder if they thought it would strengthen their hold on power.
And, of course, no one denies that the 9/11 attacks were enormously beneficial to the people currently in power. It has become clear to me that these people are willing to do *anything* to maintain and strengthen their hold on power - they lied the country into war, they've stolen two elections...in that context, the idea that they would pause at the idea of causing the deaths of thousands of citizens of their country is laughably naive.

2) It would be impossible to keep something like this secret -too many people involved.

This used to be my strongest reason for dismissing the whole conspiracy idea. But in the past several years I have watched (from the relative comfort of another country, thank god) the goddamed Vice President of the United States shoot a man in the face, and then cover it up...and the media makes nary a peep. The fucking victim ends up *apologizing* for god's sake. I watched New Orleans drown, and no one in the government held accountable, and the media says nothing. The heads of government are shown to be liars, crooks, and pedophiles... and nothing happens. The media is so firmly in the tank for the Republicans that it is no longer implausible to me that they would ignore any evidence of government complicity in the 9/11 attacks.
3) The current administration is too incompetent to orchestrate that kind of plot.

I admit I can't really refute this one. I do think that the idiots in charge are a bunch of incompetents who would have trouble orchestrating a trip to the bathroom.
But... they were ramping up on Iraq in the *summer* of 2001, before the planes crashed. This is has been reported in major newspapers, although no one seems willing to explore the implications of that one (see above).
I still think they're stupid evil, rather than diabolically clever evil, but I admit that may simply be a convenient fiction I cling to so that I can sleep at night.

One of these days, I may get around to clicking that link that you provided, Highlander...

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger Handsome said...

Scott,

Glad you found your way to the blog. I keep meaning to send out a group email inviting people to the new URL, but it's been a little busy around here lately.

You very neatly summarize all the various objections I used to have, whenever that low voice in my head would start murmuring about just how convenient the whole thing was for the Bush junta. The first was just emotional; the kind of thing where you go "well, I can't believe it, and it it's true, well, I don't want to live in that world". And that's still accurate, I don't want to live in that world... but it appears I have no choice.

Skipping to the third reason -- don't be fooled. As I said, the myth of Bush/Cheney 'incompetence' is exactly that. These guys know exactly what they are doing. Iraq only looks bungled; in point of fact, I believe they have accomplished exactly what they set out to over there -- the ruination of one of the Middle East's few advanced, fully civilized, completely secular nations. And for all their so called ineptness, they have yet to do anything that has cost them anything... anything in terms that they value, I mean. They haven't lost any money, they haven't lost any power, and they aren't likely to. I hate that, but I believe it to be true.

The second reason you give was the closer for me, back when I refused to believe -- the pragmatic objection I clung to as inarguable proof that Bush couldn't have had anything to do with 9/11... the press loves to bring down people in high office, and certainly, you couldn't cover something like that up, could you?

The answer, as you'll see if you go to the other side of that link, is that they didn't cover it up very well. There's a lot of irrefutable evidence out there, and a great many people 'know'... but the simple truth is, the press isn't free any more. They are almost entirely co-opted. The few press organs out there that still print stuff like this are very easily ridiculed by the vast mass that is the 'mainstream media'.

The MSM isn't either liberal or conservative, it is simply entirely corporate owned, and serves the agendas of its corporate masters. As those corporate masters also own and operate our current government officials, well, the press does nothing to damage those government officials, because the press and the government are effectively subsidiaries of the same parent company.

By the way, at the other end of that link, a blogger named Jeff Wells has assembled 69 items that strongly indicate U.S. government collusion in 9/11. Here are four of them, chosen pretty much at random:

That a recording made Sept 11 of air traffic controllers’ describing what they had witnessed, was destroyed by an FAA official who crushed it in his hand, cut the tape into little pieces and dropped them in different trash cans around the building, is something no doubt that overzealous official wishes he could undo.

That the FBI knew precisely which Florida flight schools to descend upon hours after the attacks should make every American feel safer knowing their federal agents are on the ball.

That a former flight school executive believes the hijackers were "double agents," and says about Atta and associates, "Early on I gleaned that these guys had government protection. They were let into this country for a specific purpose," and was visited by the FBI just four hours after the attacks to intimidate him into silence, proves he's an unreliable witness, for the simple reason there is no conspiracy.

That Jeb Bush was on board an aircraft that removed flight school records to Washington in the middle of the night on Sept 12th demonstrates how seriously the governor takes the issue of national security.

All of them are annotated with links to other documents. Go read the other 65. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand this stuff.

Thanks for the long, cogent comment.

 
At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Always Esteemed Scott said...

Glad you found your way to the blog. I keep meaning to send out a group email inviting people to the new URL, but it's been a little busy around here lately.

Glad I found it. I stumbled over it while reading alicublog; I was a little worried that you'd removed me from your e-mail list - I haven't exactly been the most prolific commenter on your other blog.

Skipping to the third reason -- don't be fooled. As I said, the myth of Bush/Cheney 'incompetence' is exactly that. These guys know exactly what they are doing. Iraq only looks bungled; in point of fact, I believe they have accomplished exactly what they set out to over there

I admit I haven't really the foggiest idea what exactly they were setting out to do over there. And I could maybe accept the idea of Cheney as some evil genius, but not GW. Unless he's one hell of an actor.
There is no doubt, however, that perpetual war benefits these guys main objective, which is to hold on to power.

The fact that they haven't lost anything despite their incompetence - well, that's true, but from my point of view that only underscores how completely fucked up our culture has become; wealth, status and privilege have completely insulated them from the consequences of their actions.

Perhaps a better term than incompetence would be disinterest - these guys don't really give a rats ass about governance or leadership, whether that involves planning and executing a war or domestic policy. They want to have a war in Iraq, so they give the orders. But because they have this utter belief in their own superiority, and because they don't really give a shit about anyone else, they do a shitty job, and their actions provoke catastrophe. But because they're rich, white and powerful, nothing happens to them. Any failures are blamed on other people, because that's how they've lived their entire lives.

Practically speaking, however, it doesn't really matter does it? Whether you're right or I am, the country is still being run by people who by either definition are evil bastards. And the results for the rest of us are the same either way.

re's a lot of irrefutable evidence out there, and a great many people 'know'... but the simple truth is, the press isn't free any more. They are almost entirely co-opted. The few press organs out there that still print stuff like this are very easily ridiculed by the vast mass that is the 'mainstream media'.

Yeah, this is what I was getting at. Even if people are coming forward, no one is listening to them, the mainstream press is not willing to investigate their claims, and no one with any kind of significant media exposure is going to connect the dots. The media has had uncounted opportunities to 'take down the powerful' in this government; they're obviously not interested.

All of them are annotated with links to other documents. Go read the other 65. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand this stuff.

It's not so much that I wouldn't understand it, more that I wouldn't know what the reliability of the information is. I was thinking of (for example) some of the stuff at Rigorous Institution, for example, or that Chemtrails link. It all sounds creepy, but it's very hard for me to know how much of that information is reliable. But without reading the links, I can't really say one way or the other.

 
At 6:27 PM, Blogger Handsome said...

It's not so much that I wouldn't understand it, more that I wouldn't know what the reliability of the information is. I was thinking of (for example) some of the stuff at Rigorous Institution, for example, or that Chemtrails link. It all sounds creepy, but it's very hard for me to know how much of that information is reliable. But without reading the links, I can't really say one way or the other.

How do you know anything you read in the paper or see on the TV news is true? You use your judgment, as an intelligent person. Which you obviously are.

I admit I haven't really the foggiest idea what exactly they were setting out to do over there. And I could maybe accept the idea of Cheney as some evil genius, but not GW. Unless he's one hell of an actor.

Bush is a figurehead and a tool. He may be worse than that; he fits the profile for someone subjected to classic MK ULTRA type mind control (and his father fits the profile for a parent who would involve their child in the program from an early age). Assuming one accepts the reality of such things -- and I do -- it would be the crowning achievement of the powers behind the thrones to get a genuine Manchurian Candidate -- someone programmed from nearly birth onward to obey without conscious volition -- into the Oval Office.

One very telling point is that Bush wouldn't agree to testify before the 9/11 Committee unless Cheney was present. This is classic mind control stuff. And Cheney, like Bush Sr., has been up to his eyeballs in super-secret evil black ops shit for his entire life. There's some very spooky testimony by mind control survivors about experiences with Cheney... which you can choose to believe, or disbelieve. But these are very very evil men, and they are part of something very organized, very old, and very powerful.

Perhaps a better term than incompetence would be disinterest - these guys don't really give a rats ass about governance or leadership, whether that involves planning and executing a war or domestic policy. They want to have a war in Iraq, so they give the orders. But because they have this utter belief in their own superiority, and because they don't really give a shit about anyone else, they do a shitty job, and their actions provoke catastrophe. But because they're rich, white and powerful, nothing happens to them. Any failures are blamed on other people, because that's how they've lived their entire lives.

It's important to understand that the war in Iraq happened due to a concatenation of circumstances all coming together at once. It was put forward as a wonderful way to re-establish American global dominance back in the 1980s, under Reagan. The neo-cons have been trying to convince every President since to invade the place. With Dubya in office, well, there's a dupe whose strings can be pulled where they need him to be... but the string pullers have very different reasons for wanting us in Iraq, most of which I will probably never really comprehend.

However, the Middle East is an ancient crossroads for the slave trade. Slaves, arms, and drugs (drugs very much including oil, these days) are what finance all the secret powers that be in the world; they are the basis for all the truly significant and powerful fortunes that exist. I strongly suspect the Iraq war is little more than a turf battle between rival secret cabals; one of those cabals essentially controls our government, and can therefore use our military as its street thugs. And that's what's going on. But to what specific purpose -- I don't know. Oil is part of it. Drugs are part of it. Arms are certainly part of it. Slaves are probably part of it -- including thousands of children who went missing in New Orleans after Katrina hit.

Once you fall down this rabbit hole, there's just no end to how deep it goes. Everything is connected. And it's all horrible. 9/11 is just the tip of a very very bloody iceberg that reaches down miles, and back millenia.

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger Handsome said...

Oh, and Scott... I'd never leave you off a blog invite list. In utter candor... you're exactly the kind of person I want hanging out on all my sites.

 
At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Always Esteemed Scott said...

How do you know anything you read in the paper or see on the TV news is true? You use your judgment, as an intelligent person.

Well, yes. But there are many things I'd very much rather *not* be true, and in these cases, I wonder if my judgement is suspect.
The human capacity for denial is pretty powerful.

Once you fall down this rabbit hole, there's just no end to how deep it goes. Everything is connected. And it's all horrible. 9/11 is just the tip of a very very bloody iceberg that reaches down miles, and back millenia.

...at which point it appears that the world is being run by Ozymandias-like super villians. I'm not sure I want to go down that particular rabbit hole. The world I do know about causes me enough sleepless nights.

Here's the thing - if there *is* evidence out there for such a cabal, do I really want to know about it? It's not like I can do anything about it, except hope there are some super heroes out there.

 
At 3:45 PM, Blogger Handsome said...

...at which point it appears that the world is being run by Ozymandias-like super villians. I'm not sure I want to go down that particular rabbit hole. The world I do know about causes me enough sleepless nights.

It's caused me a few. However, the people running the world, from what I can tell, are much scarier than Ozymandias. And some of them may not be people. But never mind that. Stay out of the rabbit hole if that's your thing. Me, if I have one hallowed concept, it's the truth. Makes me a fool in many ways.

Here's the thing - if there *is* evidence out there for such a cabal, do I really want to know about it? It's not like I can do anything about it, except hope there are some super heroes out there.

The motto of Rigorous Intuition is, "what you don't know can't hurt them".

Again, glad you found the blog. I really need to send out that mass email this weekend...

 
At 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's caused me a few. However, the people running the world, from what I can tell, are much scarier than Ozymandias. And some of them may not be people.

!!!???

Me, if I have one hallowed concept, it's the truth. Makes me a fool in many ways.

Me too. Honest. I don't like to shy away from the truth just because it's uncomfortable. I can do uncomfortable, but this...

Okay look - here's a question for you: I've poked around Rigorous Institution a couple of times, and I think I can guess at least a little bit about what it is your alluding to. You believe it to be true. The question then is not how do you sleep at night. The question for you is - how do you keep yourself sane in a world that is so dark?

Uncomfortable truth I can handle. I'm afraid that what you are talking about would make me crazy.

 
At 4:37 PM, Blogger Handsome said...

Okay look - here's a question for you: I've poked around Rigorous Institution a couple of times, and I think I can guess at least a little bit about what it is your alluding to. You believe it to be true. The question then is not how do you sleep at night. The question for you is - how do you keep yourself sane in a world that is so dark?

Uncomfortable truth I can handle. I'm afraid that what you are talking about would make me crazy.


Well... a lot of it is X-Files stuff, yeah. The more mystical stuff... I don't like to think about that. Even the idea that the government routinely employs telepaths and clairvoyants in its intelligence gathering (although, obviously, this is kept covert) and that part of MK ULTRA is training 'psychic killers'... all that gives me some sleepless nights, yeah.

But I have kids now. And some of this -- the idea that some day care centers are part of cults that ritually abuse children -- things like that -- this is knowledge I can use to hopefully help keep my kids safe. I am very very careful about things like childcare these days.

And I have to believe they don't always win. And that if they are out there, knowing something about them will, in some way, help me deal with them.

Ultimately, if it is indeed a dark, terrifying, horrible world out there -- well -- I just don't want to be blindsided by it.

But, sure, I have no doubt many many people out there would read this stuff and think I've already gone crazy. I can't blame anyone who wants to stay out of that circle.

But the 9/11 stuff -- there's no doubt in my mind that our current government was complicit. You don't have to accept devil worshipping kiddie raping & sacrificing mind controlling black magic Illuminati cabals behind the scenes to accept that. And I think that, at least, is a truth that it's very important people accept and understand.

 
At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Always Esteemed Scott said...

Whoops! That last comment was mine, if you didn't know. Sorry.

Ultimately, if it is indeed a dark, terrifying, horrible world out there -- well -- I just don't want to be blindsided by it.

Okay. I can understand that.

But, sure, I have no doubt many many people out there would read this stuff and think I've already gone crazy. I can't blame anyone who wants to stay out of that circle.

To be honest, if *I* read any of this stuff anywhere else, I'd pretty much write off the author as a raving lunatic. However, I've known you for several years now, and while you are deeply weird (and I mean that in the nicest way), I'm pretty sure your not crazy.

 
At 10:31 AM, Blogger auntiegrav said...

An interesting discussion. The 'rabbit hole' can be as deep as you want to think about. The conspiracies don't have to go back millennia, only to the beginning of the particular subject's career. In other words, you don't have to believe that Jesus was an alien to believe that Dick Cheney knows what is going on in Area 51, which only dates back to the '40's. You don't have to believe in aliens to think that the government has secret technology which defies the known technological accomplishments of the "most brilliant minds" (we know about). All you have to do is look at the current state of consumer intelligence, and the fact that public news and science is driven by customer demands, and you realize that substituting a new cupholder design in a Hummer is more important to the advertising-driven news media than any breakthroughs in nanotechnology or electrogravitics. The cesspool at the bottom of the slippery slope of crackpotism is actually quite comfortable, once you let yourself relax about it.
God is a marketing tool. Perhaps He exists in some form or other, but the only thing He does right now is sell things to people who are desperate for some kind of handhold on Purpose. Morality, faith, evil, good and community are all available without religion, but the religionists have the advantage when it comes to thousands of years of marketing experience. (Get 'em while they're young, keep 'em for life. Just like McDonald's)

 
At 11:06 AM, Blogger Handsome said...

Antiegrav,

Thanks for the great comment, here and on the other thread. Nothing much to add to what you've said. I think 'God is a marketing tool' is an excellent way of restating the basic concept I set forth as 'religion is social control' -- it restates the essence, but blue shifts perception slightly. I like it.

 

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