Lincoln & Slavery

I was on Facebook the other day (it was months ago, actually. Another post he forgot to publish. Editor) after having just watched the movie Lincoln and stumbled across an image posted on the wall of Free Talk Live a libertarian syndicated radio show / podcast that I’ve always considered a bit of a train wreck. Unfortunately I don’t have time to sit around listening to train wrecks these days, so I haven’t listened to the show in quite a while.

In the image, someone had taken one of Lincoln’s quotes out of context and edited it.  It ran like this,

I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and the black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position.

But that quote was a part of a larger speech; and even the partial quote is internally edited. I won’t reprint it all here, but it’s available at the National Parks Service website; Lincoln-Douglas Ottawa Debate.  The paragraph the partial quote comes from runs like this;

Now, gentlemen, I don’t want to read at any greater length, but this is the true complexion of all I have ever said in regard to the institution of slavery and the black race. This is the whole of it, and anything that argues me into his idea of perfect social and political equality with the negro, is but a specious and fantastic arrangement of words, by which a man can prove a horse-chestnut to be a chestnut horse. [Laughter.] I will say here, while upon this subject, that I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so. I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and the black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position. I have never said anything to the contrary, but I hold that, notwithstanding all this, there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. [Loud cheers.] I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man. I agree with Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects-certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread, without the leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man. [Great applause.]

Lincoln-Douglas Ottawa Debate

As is shown in the pasted complete paragraph, the contextual relationship of the offered quote changes the meaning of the quote, completely.  The anti-Lincoln types (and most critics of historical figures) rely on the average person’s lack of context for the words, so that the people they are trying to convert to their negative views will be outraged by the statements alone, and never look to see the bigger picture, let alone read a book or several of them on the subject, just to get a feel for the perspective in which this debate was held.

Yes, he said those things; that blacks and whites were too different, that he had no intention of ending slavery in the South; and yet he worked to make these things so. Could it be that he was disseminating in order to put at ease those who would never have allowed negro equality before the law had they believed that it would lead to full equality? Maybe the naysayers, and those who would be persuaded by them, should study history with an eye for the real truths rather than parse it for statements that can be used to indict men whose actions have proven to be just in spite of their words.

The truth is, it was not Lincoln’s war. The South started the war because they could not abide the presence of Northern force on their territory. Had they not been ready and willing to exert force themselves, the tally would have come up differently.

Had the abolitionists admitted at the time that they were for black suffrage (let alone the ad absurdum of women’s suffrage) or any other form of political equality no progress towards ending slavery would have been achieved, and we would probably still have legally enforced ownership of people today.

Libertarians often talk about how “Lincoln ended black slavery, only to enslave all of us”.  The enslavement that libertarians like that suffer under is ideological in nature. They are enslaved to their own ideology more than they are enslaved to some external force. It forces them to denounce actions that conflict with their espoused beliefs, even when those actions can be shown to benefit all of us. The ending of legal slavery set up the possibility for average people to make a living being employed by another.

The question we should be asking today is not whether the actions of the first Republican President were just; but exactly how the last involuntary servitude, prison labor, is different from what was abolished in 1865? How are free men to compete with this, when the full cost of ‘maintaining’ this workforce is not present in the purchase price of the goods made with their labor? How are we to compete, as a labor force, against entire national populations that are kept almost as prisoners in their own countries? Why do we as a people not rise up and demand that the laws be changed? Will we spend precious time fighting over past ills, rather than prevent our own demise in the near future?

When you object and say we are all slaves, you offer the unstated observation that we should return to the preferable state of owning other people in order to save ourselves. When you trumpet the virtue of JW Booth, you place back-shooting conspiracy as a higher value than diplomacy and negotiation.

JW Booth did a disservice to entire nation, all the way down to our current day, with his bullet. Reconstruction under Lincoln would have looked nothing like it did at the hands of his inheritors. Democrat (like Andrew Johnson was) or Republican.

I consider it the height of hubris to hold historical figures to modern standards as if they could be anything other than a product of their times. Such is human nature and the human condition. As goes Lincoln, so go we all, in a nutshell. Either we choose to participate in the world around us, or we withdraw and demand the world meet us on our terms. I don’t consider the latter to be much of a life.  

Conspiracy Cults; Getting What’s Coming to Them?

This is for Steven Vandervelde who, in his infinite wisdom, decided to unfriend me in the middle of a conversation on his wall (conversation appended) I was in the middle of real life, of watching movies with family, when this conversation started.

I should have resisted commenting on his post (that was how I started the comment I had to abandon because of his actions) I have no fondness for trolls, and despise myself when I catch myself trolling. Still, I have to wonder if the conspiracy theorists (see appended conversation) understand just how nutty their words appear, when seen from outside the realm of the conspiracy initiated; the people who simply “know” that the forces of government are arrayed against them. In yet another example of my inability to keep myself from arguing with the terrified weapons holder (a phrase that should give anyone pause) I attempted to explain that it was completely rational to limit weapons to people who are trained and licensed to use and carry firearms. That there is no conspiracy at the UN to steal all our guns.

The UN exists exactly as I described; it was created specifically to echo the will of the victors in World War Two, it does what we (our government) tells it to. Everyone who isn’t part of the conspiracy knows this. No one is proposing that you should not be allowed to defend yourself. Even if they were, such a proposal would contravene centuries of US law and the founding documents of the government of the United States; not to mention the most recent decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States (District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570) which has reversed the presumption that you could render the population of the US defenseless, legally.

Can Not Be Done.

Not without changing the precedent, something that is quite rare. Let that sink in for a moment.

Before I leave this subject, I’d like to highlight another point. Recently the world was treated to a breath of fresh air commonly referred to as the Arab Spring. Third World regions such as the Middle East (my apologies to anyone who takes offense to this characterization) are historically the most despotic. They have some of the worst records on human rights, freedoms; and most importantly gun ownership. Yet these people, officially unarmed by law, managed to overthrow several governments and change the course of the region, politically.  What does that mean when it comes to the necessity of arms and the need to make government responsive to the people? For me, it embroiders an opinion that I’ve long held; that revolution need not be violent in order to be effective.

The US is obsessed with guns. We have been since Lexington and Concord. In the 1700’s, it was necessary to hold arms in order to be able to effect change. This adage was observed and utilized through numerous generations, and taken to heart by several successful dictators of the recent past, which the gunnuts (a term I use with the greatest of sympathy) have enumerated ad nauseum during the current debate about guns. But that doesn’t mean that guns are ultimately of any use to those who hold them.  It bears noting that Adam Lanza’s mother (who purchased the guns he used in his mass shooting) ultimately disapproved of the use he put her guns too after he killed her with them.

…and that really is the question before us. The people who are opposed to this discussion on the basis of the discussion itself want to frame the question completely differently; but the real question remains, “can we limit access to weapons and yet retain our ability to defend ourselves?” Experience and history seem to indicate that this is a viable possibility, despite the (nearly) insane rants of those who would have you believe that if the government keeps you from purchasing and owning an Abrams tank, they are restricting your right to defend yourself. That conversation continues, in spite of the insanity.

There is something about the arguments of the conspiracy minded, though, that inspired this entire rant. The paranoid, like a broken clock, is right at least once a day (twice a 24 hour cycle) and the paranoid among us are already onto the weapon that will be used against them.

It’s been suggested in a few of the previous conversations I’ve had on this subject, that the government was going to restrict access to weapons based on a judgement of sanity; that they would deem us all insane and thereby take away all our guns. I’ll give them partial credit here.  There are people who have guns today who are (to establish a clinical judgment) completely nuts. Those people really shouldn’t have weapons, and I hereby approve of the government taking their weapons away from them, in furtherance of the safety of the rest of us.

You know who you are.

The rest of us, those of us who are quite sane, should probably welcome a discussion of what measures should be taken to limit access to weapons. After all, we’ve seen more mass shootings in the last few years than we’ve seen previously in history; if that knowledge doesn’t give us pause, then I guess it’s time to go buy those Bushmaster’s with 30 round clips, as well as the fallout shelters, a year’s worth of dry goods, a water purification plant and a good solar power system. Too bad there aren’t enough electric cars available on the market to make a ‘self-sufficient’ system truly viable (the operation of a refinery being beyond the ability of a small group of determined individuals) much less there being no real investments to hold all those fake dollars we invented over the last few decades…

…But please, don’t let me dissuade you.  They are coming for your guns. Go run and hide. We’ll let you know when it’s safe to come out.


Here are the saved comments and my embroidered responses to them. If they can block me and pat themselves on the back, I see little reason not to make myself sound smarter and righter than they are on my own blog. Screw ’em.

Steven Vandervelde shared L Neil Smith‘s photo.

[Just say “NO” image removed by Facebook poster]

To Obama, Feinstein, Biden, Schumer, Reid, McCarthy, DeGette, and the rest of weird, sick, criminal anti-gun fetishests …

I am saying no. I’m saying no to the weapons merchants, the profiteers and their defenders in government.

L Neil Smith Anthony, were you born a useful idiot, or did you have to take lessons? Go read some history. Victim disarmament is the all-important prelude to genocide — in this case democide. Go look at Agenda 21 and see what this government and the UN have in mind for you. 9/10 of the human population must die, in their view, the view of every top-level gun-grabber in the world, to save their lovely Mother Gaia.

I chose not to drink the conspiracy kool aid that appears to have infected the balance of libertarian thought. This is a fact-based observation, not an ad hominem. That it appears to be an ad hom is not my problem.

L Neil Smith American Independence was the result of a conspiracy. So was the Federal Reserve System and the income tax. Look up “Jekyll Island”. Not to mention the Manhattan Project. Or the dirty tricks that kept Ron Paul off the ballot. Are you ignorant of what Obama’s death squads are starting to do? Better look that up, too. Holding your nose loftily in the air only make it easier for the badguys to cut your throat.

And you never answered my question

I did answer your question. The fact is that the UN does what we want it to do. It was designed to do what we want it to do. If you don’t understand that basic fact, there’s no point in addressing the various other fallacies involved in the conspiracy theories you allude to.

Steven Vandervelde if you actually had a point you certainly failed to make it, minus the ad hominem attack. Are you really that incapable of carrying on an intelligent discussion? Are we to suppose that you don’t support the right to self defense? Why do you call yourself a libertarian?

I don’t call myself a libertarian. Not anymore (not for quite awhile) Self defense? Self defense does not guarantee you a firearm, or else you’d emerge from the womb clutching one.

L Neil Smith I deal with them every day. Usually they’re cowards who simply don’t want to think about the murder and mayhem going on all around them. Or they’re too lazy to take charge of their own lives, which includes pulling their heads out and looking around. Natural-born Tories. Imagine one of them calling himself a libertarian!

Wonder what this guy is going to tell himself when Obama’s death squads become commoin knowledge.

Again I repeat, Not a libertarian. You gotta love the total lack of ad hom’s in their replies. So much more directly argumentative than my comments, not attacking the person at all. I really should try to emulate them I guess. Also, I’ve noticed a distinct lack of death squads since this back and forth occurred. Still waiting for them to appear.

L Neil Smith Anthony, I’m not sure I’d use the word “we” as promiscuously as you do. I agree that the evil fascist sum presently troubling us is widely distributed. I can’t tell which end is the dog and which end is the tail. The UN and the US government both approve Agenda 21. I’m not a part of the “we”, are you? I’ve written of UN officials and presidential advisers who agree that 9/10 of the population must be gotten rid of. I’m not a part of that “we’, either, are you?

I know that this is painful — it was for me — but get it through your head: you don’t live in Disneyland any more. You never did. The only way we’re gonna have the America we thought we had is to_make_ it, starting now.

Oh, and I don’t drink Kool-Ade. I drink Jameson’s.

I drink Kelt, myself. What alcohol preference has to do with a known cult reference is a matter of conjecture. I don’t think we should casually joke about the insanity of believing everyone is capable of handling firearms responsibly.  That they can and do hold these beliefs without question is one of the hallmarks of cult-like thought.

Oh, and Agenda 21?  Another baseless conspiracy theory.

Then you hear the knock on the door. They know. Four blue-helmets stand there, armed to the teeth. One of them hands you a slip of onion-skin reading “CITATION 36-H53.1: LEFT BATHROOM LIGHT ON DURING WORK SHIFT.” And without a word, you go with them. There’s no need to pack and no point in protesting. By nightfall, you’ll be farming wind at a Work Camp 100 miles outside of the city, and nobody will say a word about the new code-stamper at the factory on Monday. Because they don’t want to be next. And in the North American Continental Sphere, anyone can be next.

Skeptoid

Steve Kubby's Conspiracy Fantasy

This image is for Steve Kubby, who chose to unfriend me over the double damned nerve of mine to laugh at his ridiculous images comparing discussion of weapons deaths in the US to Hitler celebrating the banning of guns in Nazi Germany. I invoked Godwin’s Law at the comparison. For that, and for the gall that I had in rejecting truther anomaly-hunting with a link to eye-witness accounts of the Pentagon impact, I was blocked. Then he commented on the status that the image was a prelude to.

Mr. Steele has issued a public statement whining about me unfriending him, even though he was told exactly why he was unfriended, before that action was taken. Moreover, he refused to view any of the video report which was the basis of our discussion. If his post is any indication, it would appear that Mr. Steele has a difficult time separating fact from fiction. Here is what he was told about my removing him from my list of FB friends:

“Apparently Mr. Steele has never heard of Operation Mockingbird or the revelations of the investigation by Senator Frank Church that proved the CIA can easily have stories published like the ones he offers as some kind of proof in support of the Government’s version. I went to his FB page and sure enough he is a gun grabber. How these folks ever end up on my FB friend list is a mystery to me, since I usually only accept friends I know or people who are friends of my friends. I doubt Mr. Steele is either and I am unfriending him.”

Steve Kubby

I’ve heard of most of what passes for an explanation in conspiracy fantasy circles. What I have always found startling is that people who are convinced that the government is incapable of doing basic services without constant help, can also manage to craft and keep secret the most complex conspiracy cover ups ever seen in history. It would take someone who is stoned most of his life to buy into the kind of illogic represented in these theories. Mr. Kubby is forgiven for this, because he has a medical need. I’m not sure all his friends qualify.

If all it takes to qualify as a gun grabber in Mr. Kubby’s book is being willing to admit that guns are far too available in the US, and that we as citizens of a free society should be able to discuss these subjects like adults and make decisions that improve our communities, then I will proudly wear that label.

Finally, since this is my fucking wall (and my comments remain public, unlike Mr. Kubby’s) I’d like to reiterate the salient point here. I friended Mr. Kubby ages ago because he was asking for support in his legal fight. His conversation then was about drug legalization, and I continue to embrace ending the Insane War on Drugs. I did not realize that there was a litmus test across all subjects that required that I agree with all his stands in order to be his friend. My friends know that I’m open to discussion of all topics and don’t pull punches just because someone disagrees with some facet of my political belief. A political movement, like libertarianism, either welcomes all comers and expands to encompass the views that align with it; or it withers and dies because those who self-identify as libertarian cannot bear to allow new people to taint the purity of the ideology. In the spirit of this truism, I have endeavored, always, to come to grips with what the average American seems to be concerned with, attempting to find ways to adapt the ideas of freedom and individualism to the changing world we live in.

Currently, there is a debate raging (and it is a real debate amongst real Americans, not some mock discussion foisted on us by the media in an attempt to disarm us all for take-over by the New World Order) concerning weapons in our midst that are a danger to us all, and what we should do about this. This is a real problem that will require real solutions. The ideologues and profiteers would prefer to leave things as they are; the ideologues because they see the course before us as the wrong direction and wish to move back in time, and the profiteers because there’s always money to be made from people who are afraid. I have consistently called foul on those who think that we can somehow move back in time; that there was some previous time that was better than today.

…and I really don’t give a damn about where the profiteers think they will find profit. I’m interested (as I’ve also said before) in how systems fail, and why, so that these errors can be corrected for the benefit of future generations. That outlook is what living in the here and now requires, not opining about what is ideal, and hoarding the diminishing political scraps that are all that remains of the movement created by our predecessors in libertarian circles.

That is the salient point. Growing with time, instead of shrinking with age. Something the LP should give some serious thought to. Mr. Kubby can go gnaw his bones of bitterness hiding his posts from public eye. Makes no difference to me if I meet his purity test or not. He’s the one who has to come to my wall and cast aspersions, not vice versa.

Neurologica -on- The NESS (North-Eastern Skeptics Society)

That was one of the links I posted that was related to the conspiracy fantasies that I found on Mr. Kubby’s wall. Conspiracy fantasies that (mercifully) I can now no longer access.

Facebook


Editor’s note, 2019. A few years ago (2017) I stumbled across this entry on Facebook and linked a few more articles for Steve Kubby’s perusal, since I knew he would get a notification of the activity. Poking the sleeping dog is a thing that I find amusing, on occasion.

RAnt(hony)-ings
RAnt(hony)-ings

…but he never rose to the bait and then I forgot all about this little disagreement, until a few months ago when Mr. Kubby finally went through his messenger message requests and noticed that I had written him a message seven years previously.

The lapse was understandable. I only noticed that there was a thing called message requests a few years ago myself. I’m not sure when Facebook inserted themselves between me and people who wanted to contact me. I’m not even sure I care that they do that, I just wish they had bothered to tell me they were doing it before just going ahead and doing it. There are a bunch of people out there that I don’t want to talk to. Most of them that I know on Facebook are already on my ever-expanding block list.

Mr. Kubby isn’t on my block list because I remained hopeful that in a moment of sober contemplation he might understand just how crazy it is to believe that more guns will solve the problem of there being too many guns in American society. I still don’t know if that moment has occurred, because he only gave me the ubiquitous Facebook thumb’s up that could mean equal parts of I agree and fuck you. Which is the conversational equivalent of the Southernism “Well bless your little heart.”

My mystification for how to explain that thumb’s up took the shape of this article.

RAnt(hony)-ings

Which also got the cryptic thumb’s up in response. And so it goes. At least I finally put the two ends of the argument together into one seamless event. It is closure, after a fashion. Closure, like finally seeing the beginning of the movie Silver Streak after having seen the middle and the ending about a dozen times on HBO. At least I know how it all began now. I can finally quit trying to figure out how the whole thing started and get on with poking the next sleeping dog.

JFK Conspiracy Solved; Oswald Shot Him.

I found that these videos, when put together, definitively link Oswald to the killing of Kennedy.  First off is The Kennedy Assassination – Beyond Conspiracy.

Beyond Conspiracy – Kennedy assassination

The second source of video was a very detailed recreation of the exact poses of the victims taken from Zapruder film footage, that were mocked up by Anatomical Surrogates Technologies for the  documentary JFK: Beyond The Magic Bullet .  (full video available in three parts here) While the shot does appear to strike too low, the trajectory is almost identical to the bullet on that fateful day.

JFK: Beyond The Magic Bullet (Part 1)
JFK: Beyond The Magic Bullet (Part 2)
JFK Assassination – Head shot recreation (Part 1)
JFK Assassination – Head shot recreation (Part 2)

…conspiracy theorists will of course come up with reasons why this proves nothing. Personally I see no reason to continue pretending that Oswald did not kill Kennedy.  If you feel the forensic tests are simply not enough evidence, then I encourage you to pick up a copy of Case Closed.  If Posner can’t convince you, then no one will.

Conspiracy Fantasies & Jessie Ventura

Dan Carlin’s latest Common Sense is out (Show 173 – Firefighting with Gasoline) Strangely, I could not get emotionally involved in either of the topics for this show. If anything, they pretty much summed up why I dropped out of politics. I used to find conspiracy theories fascinating. But like the ever repeating alien stories on Coast to Coast at night, they just get more far-fetched. I think it was Loose Change that soured me on the whole subject. It’s too easy to just throw a few video clips together these days, add a little voice track, and viola you have another conspiracy in the making.

On the other hand, the militia arrests that have been in the news are highly illustrative of political idealism carried to its ultimate conclusion. What about the plane that was crashed into an IRS building in Austin? Is that any relation political idealism? If taxes are theft, a common libertarian mantra, then why allow the theft to continue? If you are a Libertarian, a member of the party, then you sign a pledge renouncing violence as a political means. If you aren’t, and you’ve drank the kool aid, what’s stopping you? When I found myself sympathizing with the violent groups that keep popping up, I decided it was time to leave the whole process. The US may burn itself down in a fit of self hatred in the next couple of years, but I’m not lighting that match.


Here’s a conspiracy for you.

THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART – 3/18/2010 – CONSERVATIVE LIBERTARIAN

I remember being floored by this segment when it aired, and then I forgot about it till Robin Williams complimented Jon Stewart for it while on the show this week. Too funny.


Jesse Ventura was the second segment on Dan’s Common Sense show, promoting his book American Conspiracies. While I didn’t care for the subject he was there to talk about, I found the discussion of the rules concerning the Presidential debates to be quite enlightening. I’d love to see Ventura run as an independent for President. See if they can keep him out of the debates. A former governor, a media figure, but he’s not qualified to be invited to the debates?

It’ll never happen though. They’d be too afraid he’d pull something like this on them.

I have no idea what this video was of now (5/17/2018) Imagine some scary body-slam or perhaps a scene from the Running Man of Jesse Ventura playing Captain Freedom saying or doing something threatening. The clip was pulled and there is no record of what the clip was as far as I can determine. Whatever you might imagine I’d put here is probably funnier or more outrageous than anything I could put here now. Use your imagination and laugh or scream. Knock yourself out.

If FOX was this entertaining all the time, I might actually tune in to watch.

Loose Change: the Other Side of the Story

And speaking of conspiracy theories….

I’m regretting ever mentioning Loose Change in a previous blog post.

I should have realized that there was no evidence for 9/11’s of the claims made in the film. If you refer to one of the many sites that address the holes in the theories (Loose Change Guide, for example) it becomes quite embarrassing to have ever referred to the film in anything approaching a positive light.

…Which is not to say I endorse the gov’ts claims, either. Much like Pearl Harbor, it’s possible for the gov’t to have had no direct hand in the attacks themselves, while at the same time creating fertile ground for the attacks.


I have eaten a Big Bowl of Crow since publishing this and other thoughts on many subjects.  If you didn’t come here from this post, you probably should go check that one out before drawing any conclusions.

Coincidence Conspiracy

Checked the (e)mail today (is there any other kind? That counts, anyway) and discovered that the Lincoln-Kennedy mail chain had reached my inbox again. This makes the forth or fifth time I’ve seen this particular bit of fluff since I got on the ‘net back in the 90’s. If you’ve never seen it, wander over to Snopes and check out the layman’s idea of a weighty conspiracy.

We’ll just dispense with the possibilities concerning the more recent events that could be construed as conspiratorial, or the historical evidence that backs up the possibility that these sorts of conspiracies can occur, and just get right down to it, eh?

Lincoln can be said to have been assassinated by Boothe, because eyewitnesses place him in the private booth with Lincoln when the fatal shot was fired. Many people erroneously believe that he acted alone, but the truth is that this was a part of a plot to remove several members of the union gov’t, down to a leader that was deemed to be sympathetic to the Southern cause. None of the others were successful in their attempts, so the wider conspiracy remains unknown to the average American.

After watching “Unsolved History: JFK – Beyond the Magic Bullet” (and reading some of the sites I’ve stumbled across today just trying to track down a link to the show) I might be willing to grudge the observation Kennedy was assassinated by Oswald (He was assassinated by Oswald. The research to find that first link convinced me of this fact. It took awhile to sink in. Editor) but it’s far from being a universally accepted fact.

In both cases it’s quite possible that the assassinations were aided by people high up in the administrations themselves (Robert Kennedy long thought that his brother’s assassin was a shooter trained in a program that he was running in another attempt to get rid of Castro) for reasons that have never been admitted to; reasons that are obvious to anyone who digs into the facts of what the president’s planned before they were killed, and what transpired after they were assassinated.

I’m left wondering whether the last link in the email chain really wanted to start me off on a conspiracy rant, or was it just the Marilyn Monroe bit at the end that motivated yet another person to hit ‘send’? Something else we may just never know…

9-11; Who were the terrorists again?

Right after the attacks on the world trade center we started to here rumors that perhaps Bush knew of the attacks in advance, or that he orchestrated the attacks. I posted something to the effect that

“if the powers that be are capable of orchestrating an attack of this size against their own people, then we might as well concede defeat in the battle for liberty; people who are capable of that won’t stop at anything to achieve complete domination”

I ran across a link to a film in the comments over at Hammer of Truth that makes me wonder if perhaps it’s time to give up political efforts and focus on entertainment for my pastimes. At least I won’t get ‘disappeared’ that way.

The film is Loose Change which is available for viewing right on the web here. I have questioned the logistics of the attack on the Pentagon for some time. But I’ve never heard a logical argument that disproved the official version of events for the world trade center attacks. Until now. Still would like to know “where are the people from the planes?” It’s too bad they’ve destroyed all the evidence for the 9-11 sites. We might be able to prove the hypothesis one way or the other if they hadn’t.


Editor’s note 2016. I have eaten a Big Bowl of Crow since publishing this and other thoughts on many subjects.  If you didn’t come here from this post, you probably should go check that one out before drawing any conclusions. The dude that wrote this was pretty crazy.

“Light up, Everybody…”

The smoking argument. A conversation with my ‘teen’, and some suggestions.

CATO’s regulation seems to enjoy beating dead horses as much as I do. They have offered a rebuttal to the ACSH article that calls them to task for belittling the health threat posed by cigarette smoke.

Quoting from the article:

We started that article with this declaration: “Truth was an early victim in the battle against tobacco.” We ended the article with this admonition: ““When that goal [i.e., truth] yields to politics, tainting science in order to advance predetermined ends, we are all at risk. Sadly, that is exactly what has transpired as our public officials fabricate evidence to promote their crusade against big tobacco.”

OK, granted. They spin some pretty good arguments for the CDC’s figures being exaggerated. But I think they are confused about who and what is motivating the witch hunt that the CDC is simply the public edifice for. It isn’t the gov’t that is after ‘big tobacco’, as referendum after referendum and ordinance after ordinance against public smoking is proposed and passes. It’s the average person on the street who doesn’t smoke himself (which is now the majority of the population, by the way) doesn’t want to have to smell someone elses cigarette smoke, and figures “there outta be a law”. Suddenly, there are laws. This is how ‘democracy‘ works.

[Yes, I know, we’re a Republic. The majority says we aren’t any more, apparently they don’t understand the meaning of the words in the pledge that they recited daily. I guess that’s what happens when you let socialists write documents for free thinking people]
The fact that there are serious health consequences to smokers, and costs that get passed on to the government as the guy left holding the tab at the end of the night, simply buttresses the argument against allowing people to smoke, at all. Facts that the regulation article itself admits:

Second, we are wrongly censured for stating that ““the hazards of smoking remain largely speculative. “What we actually said is quite different, indeed mostly contrary: “Evidence does suggest that cigarettes substantially increase the risk of lung cancer, bronchitis, and emphysema. The relationship between smoking and other diseases is not nearly so clear.””

Pretty much puts case closed on it for me. My point in bringing up the evidence against smoking was never to call attention to ‘how many’ deaths, and the obvious manipulation of statistics to ‘awfulize’ the outcome should be ridiculed; but the facts do show a connection between poorer health, shorter less healthy lives, and smoking tobacco. Since I have health problems already, it benefits me to choose non-smoking establishments when I do go out. Luckily for me Austin is a proper socialist paradise and has taken any need to think for myself, about where to go on a night out, out of my hands.

…Which is good, because if it was left to my anarchist/libertarian brethren I’d have no choice but to walk in and sniff the air before deciding if I wanted to actually ‘stop’ anywhere. Probably just stay home in that case (the recurring “what do you want to eat?” argument is hard enough on its own) which would be cheaper.

On the bright side, watched a segment on Beyond Tomorrow tonight dealing with an ‘anti-smoking’ injection. Clinical study results are positive (success rates approaching 60 percent) which is good. Most people who try to quit ‘cold turkey’ fail (3 percent success rate) The various forms of nicotine replacement therapies fair only slightly better (30 percent success rate) So the drug manufacturer is obviously quite pleased with the results. I myself quit cold turkey, after three tries. I was able to apply an REBT technique to the nicotine craving; I would think of the smell that an empty bar has in the morning when you show up to clean it, every time I wanted a cigarette. It took a while, but I was able to beat it. I actually feel ill when I think about smoking these days. (I’m applying the technique to craving french fries now. I don’t know if that’s going to work or not. Love them fries)

I hear you saying “what if I just want to smoke?” Fine by me. Go do it somewhere else, though. Here, you can have my old supply of ‘coffin nails’, I’m not going to need them anymore.