This article is about how Lockheed is sucking money out of the government in the form of defense contracts. http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/jeremiah-goulka/48479/lockheed-martins-herculean-efforts-to-profit-from-defense-spending-the-epic-story-of-the-c-130
Josh Whedon on the Zomney
You might have #Romnesia
If conservatives really wanted to strengthen families, they would push for classes in high school that would focus on relationships. Families are in deed fragmenting and kids are growing up without learning how to keep an argument from becoming a spite-forming vow.
Conservatives shouldn’t be pushing abstinence education. They should be pushing counseling.
To the beautiful young woman sitting next to me last night in the sports bar:
You and your handsome boyfriend make a lovely couple and I hope you are happily married and make some beautiful children. You said you watch the first “Atlas Shrugged” and had read the book. In the spirit of conviviality and bonhomie, I didn’t respond in the most candid way. I said “I’m not a fan of Ayn Rand” and let it go at that. Here’s what I really think.
I said that I didn’t think she was a good writer. I read Atlas Shrugged and other Rand books when I was in high school. I thought then that she was a good writer, but I realized soon after that she was a fabulist of the worst sort. Rand was a failed screenwriter, where being accurate is less important than creating a feeling in your audience. After I learned some math, I realized how preposterous it was that one of her characters had independently discovered infinitesimal calculus by the age of 12 (if I remember correctly.) This is the sort of thing you can put in a movie and it won’t really register. This doesn’t work so well in a novel. The screenwriter’s conceit is that you can just make up preposterous stuff and nobody will notice.
With regard to her highly vaunted philosophy of Objectivism, call it what it is. It is an attempt to elevate greed, selfishness, to a moral imperative. Instinctive behavior in humans operates on two orthogonal vectors of altruism and self-interest. The high degree of altruism is found only in humans. Rand would have us disavow that and act only in self-interest. In reality, she wants to reap the benefits of others who don’t give up that altruism. The individual cannot exist only in altruist or self-interest mode, but must decide on a daily, a momentary basis, which path to take in a particular instance.
Our means for that making that decision is the ethics balance. The ethics balance has two sides, rights and responsibilities. We must evaluate our rights versus our responsibilities and no let the balance slip. People who espouse Objectivism almost always approach everything in terms of rights. They seem to act as if they have no responsibilities. This is the language of a three year old. The toddler rules of ownership are well known.
- If I like it, it’s mine.
- If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
- If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
- If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
- If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
- If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
- If it looks just like mine, it is mine.
- If I saw it first, it’s mine.
- If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
- If it’s broken, it’s yours.
- If it’s broken, but you are having fun playing with the pieces, it’s mine again.
- If there is ANY doubt, it’s mine.
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
- Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
- Requires excessive admiration
- Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
- Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
- Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
- Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
- Shows arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes.
Narrative, in the Western tradition, is about exploring, about learning the one thing that will be the knowledge leading to happiness or success. Hollywood movies have crystalized this so there is often a single “lacking life lesson” the protagonist must learn. This may not map directly into our daily lives, but think of narrative as a plane tangential to the curved three dimensional surface that is our lives.