Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Politics = Personal Inadequacy?

I found the following quote posted on a blog:

"Politics, as I never tire of saying, is for social and emotional misfits, handicapped folk, those with a grudge. The purpose of politics is to help them overcome these feelings of inferiority and compensate for their personal inadequacies in the pursuit of power" ~ Auberon Waugh.

The blog I found this quote posted on is not relevant, mostly because the owner of the blog tends to throw a temper tantrum if you question anything he posts. Instead, I'm more interested in the quote itself, without even knowing (or caring) whom Auberon Waugh is.

I think this quote leans toward something else I've already mentioned on this blog about the existence of politics not really being necessary, if we could simply focus on freedom. More than that, I find this quote interesting because I think it brings up some curious points:

1. Do politics not affect people's lives? If they do, why should someone ignore that?

2. Politics typically champion a specific perspective, while telling all other perspectives they are wrong (with the exception of freedom, which does not do that). If that is due to the need to overcome a personal inadequacy, then isn't the pointing out of how some people do this and how wrong it is nothing more than an example of politics itself? Is it not also a reflection of the same personal inadequacy?

3. Am I trying to overcome a personal inadequacy, by pointing out the inadequacy of someone else who feels the need to point out others' inadequacies? Perhaps so!

Whatever the case, I think this perspective on politics is one that could be beneficial to ponder, for a more well-rounded, reasoned, and grounded approach to what so many of us are so infatuated with (politics).

Maybe the answer that develops from such thoughts could result in another way to do away with the need for politics, next to the use of freedom.

Update: Oct 2009 - This is the first post I've made on this blog since I left it sometime ago. For the record, I have no intention of doing this on a regular basis.

My intent here is the subject of this post. Since I have posted the quote at the top of this page, it has stuck in my mind since. As you can see from my response, I didn't agree with it, originally. Over time, however, the more this quote has been in my head, the more it has started to resonate...the more I have started to see its validity.

While I still think the guy I copied this quote from, off his blog, is a complete asshole who is very insecure whenever you question anything he says, I think I now firmly believe in the quote itself.

By simply observing the world of politics with the quote in mind, I have come to see that Mr. Waugh was spot on. The partisanship, the townhalls, the bumber stickers, the heated forums, the trash talking on media and talk radio...these things have all finally opened my eyes to seeing that the sum of politics is nothing more than a result of personal inferiority (and inadequacy, I think) in the pursuit of power and the failure to find it in oneself.

I can now even answer my own questions I posed, above.

1. Yes, but only because they allow themselves to be consumed by the same inadequacy.

2. Yes. Welcome to politics.

3. Yes. This blog is also an obvious example of the same.

Simple answers, I know, but all that is needed. Politics makes things far more complicated then they need to be.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pirates and Emperors

Pirates and emperors have been around for a long time and most people tend to think they are two different kinds of people. Yet, could the only difference between them be in the capacity of doing what they each do?

In a world where the U.S. tries to "promote freedom" abroad, does it do a very good job of promoting freedom when it aligns itself with criminals and acts as the very tyrants it is trying to help overthrow? Does political intervention where there is no direct threat to the U.S. actually promote freedom?

Take a look at this entertaining video that I picked up from Liberty Guys and perhaps give it some thought:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Drink Up!

Prescription Drugs found in Drinking Water

Particular notes of interest to me:

1. A sex hormone has been found in the drinking water of San Francisco, Ca, and SanFran just happens to have an especially large gay population.

2. A mood-stabilizing drug has been found in the water of Northern New Jersey, and many people in NJ just happen to be notoriously angry and hostile all of the time (so much for stabilizing).

Coincidence? One can only speculate, at this point.

Two things to think about:

1. The levels of these drugs we are all ingesting might be minuscule levels, but would that still produce no effect if those minuscule levels were being ingested for decades at a time?

2. Then again, could being subjected to anti-biotics for that long be a bad thing?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Media wants us back in the Gutter

In this article from the L.A. Times, we hear about how Hillary Clinton gained her lead over Obama by going negative. In other words, the dreaded negative campaigning that most people hate (and rightfully so) is what gave her the comeback she needed, as if going negative is a positive thing.

This is one of the biggest problems we have with our traditional media, and it's not just the L.A. Times because this story is in every other major newspaper and on every major news network. This whole thing is a fabrication.

Case in point: One of the ways in which Clinton "went negative" was by running an ad in Texas that displayed a red phone, with the verbal questioning/assumption of "who would you rather have answering a national emergency at 3 a.m. in the morning?"

Since when did claiming that you would be the best person for the job constitute a negative ad?

Here's another one: Obama had an aide meet with the Canadian government, stating that Obama would do exactly the opposite of what he has been saying he would do in regards to NAFTA.

Since when did pointing out a simple fact become negative?

Someone needs to clarify what negative campaigning is and I'm ready to step up. Here goes: Negative campaigning is when you run commercials 24-hr a day that are intellectually dishonest, that take information about the other candidate and twist it in a way that distorts what the candidate did. It also involves continuously talking about what the other candidate is doing wrong and never talking about what you are doing right.

I don't think Hillary has gone negative and I think anyone with a brain can figure that out. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want, but I think big media is hyping this because negative campaigning is dying out and they want to bring it back.

Negativity, after all, results in strong emotional responses, which is better for ratings. It's the reason why the majority of the news we see is bad instead of an equal amount of good and bad or even a majority good, even though there is just as much good news out there as there is bad.

I hope we are smart enough not to let the media drag us back into the gutter for the sake of their ratings.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008 (HR 5353) - Part II

So, after writing to my representative and sending the letter I posted in "Part I", I get this slack-jawed response from my representative:

"Thank you for contacting me to express your support for H.R. 5353, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts on this matter with me.

As you know, Congress is considering legislation that would prohibit broadband network operators from discriminating against various types of internet traffic and require providers to treat all internet sites equally.

This proposed regulation on broadband network operators is typically labeled "net neutrality" or "digital nondiscrimination." Two bills were introduced during the 109th Congress, one by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), H.R. 5273, the Network Neutrality Act of 2006 and another by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), H.R. 5417, the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006 that would legislate this type of internet regulation. H.R. 5417 was considered and approved in the House Judiciary Committee; however, it was not brought before the whole House for a vote. Rep. Markey recently introduced similar legislation in the 110th Congress, H.R. 5353, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008.

This legislation is currently being reviewed by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The internet has surpassed even the most ambitious expectations and is quickly becoming the paramount form of information delivery throughout the world. Broadband network providers have invested a significant amount of money to build the current high speed network we rely on today.

The government must not unnecessarily regulate the internet which would impede future development and investment in new broadband facilities. You can be sure that I will continue to monitor this important issue and will certainly keep your comments in mind should H.R. 5353 come before the House for a vote."

Now I know why I didn't vote for this schmuck. It's dipsticks like this that give representative democracy a bad name.

First, he attempts to lengthen his response with fluff about the the bill, which is nothing more than the same information I already sent to him, apparently attempting to appear as though he is knowledgable on the subject.

Then he injects verbiage that clearly indicates he sides with the network providers on the matter, without actually having balls enough to flat out say he does, and he does it in a way that twists my request to be one for him to stop the government from preventing network providers' attempt to regulate the Internet.

It's no wonder why so few people bother to write their representative.

At any rate, my response was as follows:

"I have seen no attempt from government to regulate the Internet, as you have stated is happening. I have only seen your fellow representatives attempt to keep the Internet open and free through H.R. 5353.

Those attempting to regulate the Internet are the broadband network providers, those whom "have invested a significant amount of money to build the current high speed network we rely on today", as you have reminded me.

Let me remind you that those investments and a profit thereafter are already being returned to the providers in enormous amounts of money from their standard charges. If you are concerned about the providers' ability to manipulate their investments as they see fit (and there is nothing wrong with that) allowing them the freedom to alter their charges to customers of their service - the end user - should continue.

But when providers manipulate the Internet and websites themselves, that is just wrong. The Internet is a location of expanded free speech, commerce, individual investments, and the dissemination of knowledge, most of which is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, something which you are sworn to uphold (I hope), regardless of how much was invested."