Blog Archives

Line In the Sand

While conversing with my friend Jason this evening…the same Jason whose daughter is doing just fine after her surgical procedure on Monday, by the way- YAY!…the two of us were batting some ideas for advancing this blog’s goals around, and it became obvious to me after a while that I need make myself clear on a few things.

I’ve avoided directly commenting on some issues not from any reluctance to take a stand, but because I thought it best to stay focused on the goal of getting me mobile and my thoughts about that. The topics I’ve chosen honestly reflect those, but at this point in time there are some pretty urgent issues concerning not just myself, but all ordinary Americans. I’ve addressed a few of them here; our country’s dreadful forced education system and its suppression of creativity and independence comes to mind, the discussion of rational philosophy, and topics of freedom and liberty…real freedom and liberty, not hackneyed platitudes endlessly spouted to promote some feel-good scheme or another…are all topics I’m deeply interested in.

I can do something about them…if I can get out of this box that MS and circumstances have stuffed me into. I’ve found I really enjoy participating in journalism as part of the New Media, in my writing here as well as my contributions to the American Daily Herald. I’ve had good feedback and my work seems to be well received, but imagine how much more effective I can be away from my desk!

But if you haven’t inferred it at this point, there shouldn’t be any doubt about my top priority once I’m mobile: because I believe that individual human liberty as one of the most vital issues in our lives, I want to get out and talk to people in the community about why I support Ron Paul, and why his issues are my issues. It’s not a matter of payback to the liberty movement…it’s been good to me, without question…no, it’s about doing something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

American people have been taking a flogging for far too long from those who would use them as human resources for their own ends. Our productivity, resources, and spirit have been drained away ostensibly for our ‘own good’ for a great many years, and I not only want to put a stop to that, I know I can help. Even if Dr. Paul isn’t elected president in 2012, the ideas he’s promoting need to be discussed, and to keep them uppermost in the public’s mind will be the true victory…as he’s said himself, he’s just a messenger, it’s the ideas he’s gotten so many talking about that are the most important, but if we can get him elected we’ll be able to implement them that much more effectively. I can help do that.

If releasing a fellow human being from confinement isn’t enough reason to help in getting me mobile, think about the fact that you’ll be turning a very motivated liberty activist loose who’s been itching to get to work for years. For instance, want to start phasing out the entitlement programs that not only waste boatloads of money but sucker people into lifelong dependency on them? I’d say a disabled guy in a wheelchair talking about the very real reasons why these programs are bad will be mighty effective in conveying the idea. I can write about why the Social Security system is inefficient, dehumanizing and potentially deadly all day long, but I can be a lot more effective in person. Guaranteed.

Beyond that, there are plenty of things I can tackle as a journalist once I’m capable of going right to the source:

I want to interview functionaries of the TSA…look them in the eye as they explain how treating ordinary people as if they were maximum security prison inmates makes us all ‘safer.’ Hey, I’m a ways past the fear of consequences; I’ve already been wrecked by MS and there just isn’t much that scares me these days. Uniformed goons definitely don’t.

I want to hear school administrators try to justify how drugging children with powerful psychotropic chemicals or assaulting, arresting and confining them just for behaving like kids will help them learn how to be productive, resourceful citizens.

I want to talk to regular people about how and why they’ve allowed themselves to be afraid of everything at the behest of the very criminals who actually threaten them. I love talking with people, and I’ve made it my business to research the facts so know what I’m talking about. They have been hoodwinked and I bet it wouldn’t be all that tough to help them realize this.

I can do these things.

Our country’s on thin ice these days, and every day I spend stuck in this house is not only a day of my life gone but a day when I could have been promoting liberty, the Constitution, and Ron Paul.

Let’s finish this project so I can get to work, please. And while we’re at it…go Ron Paul 2012!

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Nietzsche Schmietzsche

Woof…my brain’s hurting a bit.

I just got done watching the film Nietzsche and the Nazis , made in 2006 by Dr. Stephen Hicks. This sucker’s almost three hours long, which is why my poor RAM-deprived brain was vibrating by its end. It’s pretty good if you like long and thorough explorations of philosophy, and spends much of its length discussing arguments both for and against the proposition that the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche was used by the National Socialists of the Third Reich in formulating and justifying its unique brand of murderous, psychotic policies.

I won’t get into that argument; both viewpoints have merit and I enjoyed the way they were batted back and forth as Dr. Hicks demonstrated how he ended up viewing the question. As usual, my favorite aspect of the film was actually a side issue, the breakdown at its end of what constitutes pro- and anti-Nazi principles. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I fret a lot that modern America is acting in ways that unpleasantly parallel various totalitarian governments, including the National Socialists, and we’re given a nice side-by-side graphical comparison that’s kind of handy for sussing out an opinion of one’s own on that subject.

About my only critique of this aid are the last entries, socialism vs. capitalism.

Both are limited, outdated and in fact rather misleading. ‘Socialism’ is better described as statism allowed to grow in power until it’s got its fingers in everything; if you want an ‘ism’ you’re better off using ‘fascism,’ which isn’t dependent upon the specious left/right paradigm, and simply means a corporatocracy of big government and big business in a cozy ‘partnership’ and is, I regret a pretty accurate statement of what we’re dealing with today in America.

‘Capitalism,’ on the other hand is an even worse description. It has negative connotations for many and was in actuality Karl Marx’ term for the free market he so despised. ‘Free market’ is a better term for the system that was our aim at this country’s founding, even though it never quite got there and is certainly almost the opposite of the crony capitalism/fascism/corporatocracy that’s our reality today. See why my head hurts?

Words are so damnably malleable today. When the supposedly preferable and anti-Nazi principle of ‘capitalism’ is actually perceived by so many to be the obnoxious ‘fascism’ the Nazis were so fond of, it’s time to hang up the Gone Flyin’ sign.

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Can’t Take Me Anywhere!

Well, my new piece is up at the American Daily Herald, so far so good…except I noticed a couple of tiny errors and only after I’d corrected them did I recall that if a contributor changes anything it messes up any embedded videos, so until Dennis or Denise can get to it, the unsettling YouTube video I embedded, ‘Lunch Scholars,’ is missing. Here it is, worth a watch as yet another indictment of our forced education/indoctrination system:

Sorry ’bout that…I don’t like touching anything I’ve published once it’s up anyway, it smacks of being unethical. Next time I see something that needs correction, I’ll pester one of the bosses!

For now if you haven’t seen it, check out Have You Seen the Fnords Yet? if you’d like.

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Can’t Talk…Writin’

Nah, just foolin.

But I am doing a fair bit of writing, from email correspondence to asking and answering questions about my hobbies on RCGroups to taking some notes for an article idea that’s been knocking around in my mind. After the January boost I got from Tom Woods toward getting me mobile, apart from my general eagerness to escape my confinement, I’m really eager to get out in the world to further my efforts in New Media journalism, particularly in two areas:

The alarming authoritarian slope this country’s sliding down needs to be addressed by as many people as possible, and I want to be one of them. Reading others’ essays, watching videos and corresponding’s all well and good, but there’s no substitute for face-to-face interviews with people, including politicians and officials. I want to look these people in the eye while I’m talking with them, even the scary ones…I think I might be able to make a difference in my way.

I’ve really seized on the issue of the dismal state of public education in America, and I’m just craving some face time with educators, parents, and of course kids to get their input and help gauge the situation more finely. I initially surprised myself that I became so drawn into the subject; I don’t have kids and never will, after all. When I thought about it, though, it made sense: today’s kids will be the adults who will affect all of society, and the way we’re engaged in their wholesale ruination is going to have its effect on a lot of other people, me included. As the country edges nearer to collapse every day, largely as a result of our ‘educational’ system, I’m being taken along for the ride, and it’s unsettling to say the least.

Doubling down in my efforts is also a healthier response to the doldrums I find myself in. The cold grey winter doesn’t help, but I have to keep my efforts to generate more publicity for the blog up if I expect to succeed. Spring is coming and I want to get out and enjoy it!

As to the education fiasco, it’s gratifying to see so many writers and thinkers adding their efforts to help get the word out to the public. For example, along with my own pieces that I’ve composed for this blog as well as the American Daily Herald,I was pleased to see long-time journalist Karen DeCoster chime in with her input over at Lew Rockwell’s site just a few days ago with her article How the Public Schools Keep Your Child a Prisoner of the State. It’s a worthy read and up to her usual high standard.

In that line, you might recall my recent essay on the terrific and disturbing film The War On Kids that was released in 2009. In hunting around for more information on it, I found a marvelous interview that Stefan Molyneux did with its director Cevin Soling in 2009. It’s a little over an hour long, but offers some good insights from Soling on the state of public education and some facts about the making of the film. I highly recommend it…you may enjoy spending some time to see it.

As for me, I’m getting back to work!

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Becalmed

I suspect I’ve had a head cold for the past few days. I say suspect since with my immune system in overdrive and concentrating on messing up my movement, I never really get sick with a cold or flu. I’ll get a couple-few symptoms that hang in for a day or two before that wacky immune system notices the minor distraction and smites it dead. Thank goodness for silver linings, huh?

I’m at a confluence of events waiting to happen, or so I hope. Nothing much has happened but several things are supposed to. Including, with any luck, a break in the blog’s publicity doldrums. We shall see…

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Is It Spring Yet?

I know, I shouldn’t wish any of my precious time away, but I was looking at two of my Christmas presents today…it’s gorgeous weather out…and got to pining for the warmer weather.

As you may recall, I went out almost every morning with good (and even not so good) weather this past spring, summer and autumn to indulge my love of aviation with my ultra micro R/C aircraft. All of them are in fine shape and I’ll be flying them, but now I’ve got a couple more in the hangar.

I’ve already talked about my nano Red Arrows-schemed Hawk electric ducted fan jet model, shown here on the right. I’ve been applying some hobby-type TLC to an already decent machine to get it ready to really perform, and the Sky 500 on the left just arrived from China, a gift from my friend Karen. Incidentally, that’s my cell phone between them included for scale…these guys are small!

It’s another item that was sheer fantasy a few short years ago, a capable radio controlled sailplane that only weighs 40 grams, yet can climb under its own power to the altitude of choice, where the pilot can shut down the motor and cruise around looking for areas of rising air to stay aloft, soaring just as full size sailplanes do. To minimize drag, the propeller blades fold once the power’s off from the pressure of air passing it. I used to love flying my 6 foot span glider at the nearby Percy Priest dam here in Nashville, but haven’t been able to do anything like that since becoming disabled and stuck in the house…until now!

My new favorite vendor HobbyKing just started carrying these, so it was a natural choice when Karen told me she wanted to get me something nice for Christmas. If anyone seeing this wants to try one, HobbyKing has just added them to its US-based warehouse. Inexpensive to begin with, now you can save the time and money you’d spend if ordering it from Hong Kong. It’s ready to fly, including the needed transmitter with four AA batteries and one tiny rechargeable lithium polymer flight battery (I ordered a few extras so I can fly as long as I like, at about a buck each it’s no strain on the budget) and it’s entirely assembled…charge the flight battery, bind the transmitter to the plane’s receiver, and off you go! It’s remarkably easy to fly and made of crash resistant EPO foam, a heck of a deal for new or experienced pilots.

Yep, it ought to be a very fun spring!

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It’s The Little Things

Wow, I’m in a good mood!

It’s been a week, for sure, I already wrote about the fiasco that plumber caused and the generosity of the couple who replied to my craigslist ad and sent the plumbing company that cares for their rental properties to take care of it. I hadn’t mentioned that the first guy told me he’d seen that my bathroom flooring was in bad shape while he was under the house…one more worry I can’t afford to deal with. Well, not only did that first guy break the pipe that needed fixing to gin up another lucrative job for himself, but his story about the bathroom flooring turned out to be whole cloth as well, confirmed by the second plumber while he too was under the house. Mr. Roto-Rooter either does flooring or has a pal who does it…busted!

Today, since I was on a roll with the fix-it stuff, I hauled in my compressor that I used for airbrushing some years ago…until one day it started making a nasty clattering noise and quit charging the air tank. I almost threw it out, but held onto it on a hunch. It’s a midrange quality compressor and a new one would cost over a hundred bucks, so if it was fixable I figured I’d give it a shot. When I removed the cover from the air pump today, I saw the cause of the failure and the noise immediately…the slim copper pipe from the pump to the tank had fractured. I removed it…all 2 ounces of it, and called the manufacturer. Five bucks shipped, and it’s ordered and enroute. A few minutes’ work and I’ll have my nice compressor back for airbrushing and cleaning the dust out of my computer.

You gotta love it when a plan comes together…if my plans for another ‘publicity bomb’ work out, this could end up being a spectacular week!

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Brain Cramp!

You know, sometimes a thought will strike me that’s so simple and straightforward I can only wonder why it hadn’t occurred to me earlier.

Months earlier, in this case.

It’s far from a sure thing, but I may have come up with one good solution for attracting new viewers to this blog…and the segment of those viewers who are likely to donate to the cause. I’ve thought of the concept before, it was implementing it that had me stymied.

Hopefully details will follow soon.

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A Modest Proposal

Right on schedule, I’m due at the doctor’s office for another ‘routine’ visit later this morning, meaning I have to physically appear to renew the prescriptions for my various medicines. As usual, I’ll be driving, which isn’t a problem…provided I make the four transfers from my wheelchair to and from my Honda safely.

This is the day I always dread, since when I’m out of my chair I’m about as agile and exposed as a snail out of its shell. I’ve said it before, these transfers make me feel like I’m roller skating on the edge of the Grand Canyon. If I fall, the drop is only a few feet, but as I’ve found from previous experience, once I begin to fall I have about no control of how it’ll go, and the concrete garage floor or the asphalt of a parking lot is what I’ll hit with my full weight.

The good news is, we’re well on the way to removing this hazard from my life; the fund to modify my Element stands at about 11.1%, largely due to the influx of new viewers and donors last week when Dr. Tom Woods boosted the blog’s visibility by posting my letter asking for his help on his web site. I couldn’t have asked for clearer proof that this project is working!

My job now is to keep up my requests for additional publicity from some of the ‘big guns’ of the internet that will be likely to keep the donations coming from that fraction of additional new viewers who’d be inclined to donate. There’s another factor at work: as a result of last week’s event, I’ve been contacted by some terrific local folks who are willing to advocate for me with local church and charitable groups. With this kind of help, I’m confident that we will prevail in a short time. As I’ve long known, there are a lot of people out there ready, willing, and able to pitch in for a cause like mine, once they know about it.

With that in mind, I’d like to ask my regular viewers for a favor (I know, demanding l’il cuss, aren’t I?): if you haven’t already, could you please tell just two people in your life that you think might be interested to have a look at this blog? If everything pulls together as I know it can, we can be done with the project by my next physician’s appointment three months from now.

If I can regain my mobility in 3 months, not only will this dread every time a medical appointment draws near be removed, but I’ll have much of my life restored that this stupid, mindless affliction has taken from me.

Three months isn’t that long a time, but with the help of the internet, we can do it. It’s a lot to ask, I’m aware, but I’ve never been in such an urgent situation before.

Please help get me out of this mess.

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Got Change For a Paradigm?

Watching a bunch of Netflix and Hulu today while on a nostalgia jag for old TV shows, I was struck by a thought that’s recurred more than once over the last few years: Someone ought to investigate how everyday human behavior has changed in response to the technological innovations we’ve seen over the past fifty years or so. I’m not talking about the very very obvious things like the savings in time we get from using email rather than the old pen-and-paper letters sent via snail mail, or the way cell phones have freed us from the physical limits of landlines, no, I’m thinking about the subtle long term effects of old memes of human culture becoming outmoded by all the fancy toys we have and what they’re capable of.

A meme, if you’re not familiar, is “a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena,” as Wikipedia so succinctly defines it. A lot of people have the mistaken idea that humans evolve noticeably over time. They don’t, simple as that. Humans today are exactly the same as they were a hundred years ago, or a thousand. The only things that do evolve are the technologies available to us, and the memes we use to pass along cultural phenomena.

It’s easier if you examine individual examples to get an idea of how insidious the changes in memes can be. To give you an idea, while watching an episode of the old Kolchak: The Night Stalker speculative fiction show from the mid-1970s (is that one from left field, or what?), the question of who one of the fathers of modern psychology was is put to a robot, who answers right away: “Wilhelm Wundt.” So, what’s the big deal? Well, Wundt is someone who I consider one of the bad guys in history, he was the psychologist who bears much of the responsibility for pushing the awful Prussian-inspired coerced public education I’ve written critically of before. His name was surely not inserted into the show’s script by chance, I think it may well have been done by someone who wanted to help cement Wundt’s name into the public’s conscience in a positive way, one tiny little trick to casually reinforce the image of public education as a good thing.

Watching other shows, I saw a lot of this sort of thing, recurring buzzwords that reinforced common ‘everybody knows that‘ concepts that have been shown to be either distortions or outright falsehoods, as pointed out by many modern revisionist historians. This sort of thing has been going on for a long time, influencing and ‘guiding’ public opinion in ways that I think have been useful to those wishing very intentionally and cynically to keep that public controlled.

I wonder, though…can those responsible for such manipulation get away with it more efficiently in today’s digitized, accelerated age by hammering viewers with those misleading concepts more frequently than ever before? Or is it just the opposite, with the wealth of information available on the internet at one’s fingers, is it more difficult for propagandists? I honestly don’t know, but I think it bears watching.

I can think of plenty of other examples of how radically some memes have changed, but I’ll leave that for another time. I feel like I got my meaning across, and I’d enjoy hearing what others have to say on the subject.

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