Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Day The World Ended

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine ~ Lyric from the REM 1987 song with the same title.

You probably aren't aware of it, but the end of the world has come and gone. The world ended on 3/6/1982. It was a Sunday. The significance of this day is that this is date on which a mentally ill lunatic named Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum (AKA Ayn Rand) died.

Tom Snyder: I kind of think of this as ongoing, that there is an eternity, and that we are going to be a part of that eternity, that we aren't just corpses in graves when we die.

Ayn Rand: But we are not corpses in graves. We are not there. Don't you understand that when this life is finished, you're not there to say "Oh how terrible that I'm a corpse". What I've always thought is a sentence from a Greek philosopher, I don't remember, unfortunately, who it was, that I read at 16, and it's affected me all my life. "I will not die. It's the world that will end". (Interview is from the 7/02/1979 broadcast of Tomorrow with Tom Snyder. As per Wikipedia, "unique one-on-one exchanges were common to the program").

Rand is clearly talking about the END of the world and not just the end of the world "as she knows it" (to paraphrase REM). And, I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure the world continued on after 3/6/1982. 34 years (plus 2 months and 21 days) have passed since Rand kicked the bucket. Longer since the day her most loyal acolyte Alan Greenspan (one of the primary architects of the bush recession) placed a "floral arrangement in the shape of a dollar sign" near her casket [1]. Which was strange, given the fact that Rand wasn't there. Seeing as she WASN'T a corpse in a box buried under the earth, it surely was a pointless gesture.

Also pointless was the fact that Rand left a will. Wikipedia says Rand's will "named Leonard Peikoff the heir to her estate", but I'm thinking this info must be erroneous and she did NOT leave a will. Given the fact that Leonard Peikoff ceased to exist the second Rand bit it. Why the hell would Rand leave a will if she knew the world was going to end when she died?

Obviously Rand was nuts. One of the manifestations of her mental illness being her sociopathic belief that the universe revolved around her and that when she died that was the end. Not just for her, but for everybody. A fact Liberal Talker Thom Hartmann commented on during the 5/24/2016 broadcast of his program.

Thom Hartmann: This [Snyder/Rand interview] gives you a glimpse into the mind of a sociopath. Sociopaths genuinely believe that when they die the world ends. That the only life that matters in the world is their life. [The sociopath believes that] in my life, I have no obligation to future generations.

This is why Objectivism, the philosophy devised by Rand, is (as George Monbiot put it) "a manifesto for psychopaths". Under this brain-diseased ideology greed and selfishness are virtues, and poor people are parasites and moochers that should be exterminated. Or, as Rand put it, "nature will take it's course". By which she meant that the parasites will die when the social safety net is completely eliminated (as Rand strongly believed it should be).

George Monbiot, a British writer, known for his environmental and political activism, expressed his thoughts on Objectivism in a 2012 article.

[Objectivism] has a fair claim to be the ugliest philosophy the post-war world has produced. Selfishness, it contends, is good, altruism evil, empathy and compassion are irrational and destructive. The poor deserve to die; the rich deserve unmediated power. ... Objectivism... holds that the only moral course is pure self-interest. We owe nothing, she insists, to anyone, even to members of our own families. She described the poor and weak as "refuse" and "parasites", and excoriated anyone seeking to assist them.

Apart from the police, the courts and the armed forces, there should be no role for government: no social security, no public health or education, no public infrastructure or transport, no fire service, no regulations, no income tax. ... Rand's is the philosophy of the psychopath, a misanthropic fantasy of cruelty, revenge and greed. (A Manifesto for Psychopaths by George Monbiot. 3/5/2012).

Obviously the world would end for a LOT of people if Rand's philosophy were instituted at a governmental level. In that they would die. Alan Greenspan, when he instituted Randian ideology in his capacity as chairman of the Fed (laissez faire capitalism/deregulation), almost killed our economy. Although what he did afterward (going along with bailouts) is where he parted with Randian ideology (or Libertarians will tell you, at least). Rand would have said our economy should be allowed to crash and burn.

Not that I agree with how the bailout were constructed. Instead of rescuing the fatcat banksters, I believe the banks should have been nationalized and the homeowners bailed out. But the way it was done benefited the rich and powerful while many others (members of the middle and lower classes) suffered. Which is one aspect of this crisis that surely would have made Rand smile.

According to the British Journal of Psychiatry "a dramatic spike in suicides between 2008 and 2010 can be linked with the economic crisis" (More Than 10,000 Suicides Tied To Economic Crisis, Study Says). So maybe Rand wouldn't have smiled. Not because people died, but because NOT ENOUGH people died (given how much she hated poor people and wished them dead).

In any case, the world clearly goes on, despite Ayn Rand's departure. Although the world is surely a worse place due to the fact that her sociopathic ideology is "sorely needed right now"... or so Republican politicians like Speaker Paul Ryan believe.

And the Randian goal of maximizing income inequality would surely lead to the world ending for a LOT more people. As, in addition to the 2008 economic crisis driving 10k people to take their own lives, Republican economic policies in general have this effect (Conservative Policies are Driving Americans to Suicide).

Unfortunately for us all Ayn Rand, while she did die and most assuredly is a corpse in the grave, the sociopathic Objectivism lives on. Given that it spawned the political ideology Libertarianism [2], as well as infecting the Republican Party (OST #61).

Which is why I say it's time to make Objectivism/Libertarianism a figurative corpse in the grave. By sending it to the the trash heap of history where it belongs.

[1] Once in government, Greenspan applied his guru's philosophy to the letter, lobbying to cut taxes for the rich and repeal the laws constraining the banks, refusing to regulate the predatory lending and the derivatives trading which eventually brought the system down. Adam Curtis's documentary showed last year, the most devoted member of her inner circle was Alan Greenspan. Among the essays he wrote for Ayn Rand were those published in a book he co-edited with her called Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal. Here, starkly explained, you'll find the philosophy he brought into government. There is no need for the regulation of business... as the greed of the businessman or, more appropriately, his profit-seeking the unexcelled protector of the consumer. (Excerpted from A Manifesto for Psychopaths by George Monbiot).
[2] Even though "Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism has been and continues to be a major influence on the libertarian movement, particularly in the United States and many libertarians justify their political views using aspects of Objectivism", Ayn Rand said (of Libertarianism) "I do not join or endorse any political group or movement. More specifically, I disapprove of, disagree with and have no connection with, the latest aberration of some conservatives". (Libertarianism and Objectivism & The Ayn Rand Lexicon: What was Ayn Rand's view of the libertarian movement?).

Video: Part 2 (on YouTube) of the 7/02/1979 Tom Snyder interview with Ayn Rand (9:55). Quote above begins at 2:53. See all 3 parts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

SWTD #335, ARHP #3.

Monday, May 02, 2016

On Larry Wilmore "Offending" Rush Limbaugh With His #WHCD2016 Speech

...the formerly drug-addled host was just rambling, which is his job. It's nice work if you can get it! ~ Gawker author describing how Rush Limbaugh entertains the "bitter white dudes" who listen to his program. Excerpted from a 8/21/2008 article "Should We Bother Getting Offended by Rush Limbaugh?".

World Net Daily (AKA Black Mob Central) reports that "Limbaugh peeved by use of N-word for Obama" (re Larry Wilmore's speech at the 2016 White House Correspondents' Dinner). To which I say BULLSHIT! Limbaugh is is feigning outrage because it presents him an opportunity to attack the Obama administration.

The White House is apparently not offended by the use of the N-word for President Obama, at least not when it comes from a black comedian, but radio titan Rush Limbaugh is. Comic Larry Wilmore uncorked a slang version of the racial slur at the White House Correspondents’ dinner Saturday night, when he told Obama: "Yo Barry, you did it my n**ga. You did it".

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said he had talked to Obama about Wilmore's use of the word and said the president told him "he appreciated the spirit of Mr. Wilmore's expression Saturday night", the Washington Examiner reported. (Limbaugh Peeved by Use of N-word For Obama by Joe Kovacs. WND 5/2/2016).

Who Limbaugh is actually "peeved" at is revealed with the article's first sentence. I mean, has Limbaugh EVER expressed any offense before when the N-word was used to refer to Obama (the actual N-word and not the version of it ending with an "a")? According to Limbaugh a Black comedian (Larry Wilmore at the date correspondent's dinner) referring to Obama using the term "ni**a" is "indicative that there isn't much respect for the office of the presidency" - but apparently when Limbaugh referred to Obama as "Barack the magic negro" that was... respectful?

In March 2007, American critic David Ehrenstein used the title "Obama the Magic Negro" for an editorial he wrote for the Los Angeles Times, in which he described Barack Obama's image in white American culture: "He's there to assuage white "guilt"...

Rush Limbaugh began discussing Ehrenstein's op ed on the day it was published. He cast Ehrenstein's column as criticizing Obama himself for not being authentic or black enough: "The problem, Ehrenstein says, is he's not real. Al Sharpton's real, Snoop Dogg is real, but Barack Obama is not real. He's just there to assuage white guilt. In other words, the only reason Obama is anywhere is because whites are willing to support him because they feel so guilty over slavery". He described the column as an example of the "racism of the left". He said "The term Magic Negro has been thrown into the political presidential race in the mix for 2008" and said he would "own" the term by the end of the week. He [Limbaugh] briefly sang the words "Barack the magic negro" to the tune of "Puff, the Magic Dragon". (Wikipedia/Magical Negro/Barack Obama).

Regardless of the fact that it was David Ehrenstein (exhibiting "racism of the left") Limbaugh took the "magic negro" application to Obama and ran with it.

Limbaugh later [in the broadcast] asserted: "I'm going to keep referring to him as that because I want to make a bet that by the end of this week I will own that term", adding, "If I refer to Obama the rest of the day as the Magic Negro, there will be a number of people in the drive-by media and on left-wing blogs who will credit me for coming up with it and ignore the L.A. Times did it, simply because they can't be critical of the L.A. Times, but they can, obviously, be critical of talk radio". (Latching onto L.A. Times op-ed, Limbaugh sings "Barack, The Magic Negro" by Adam Serwer. Media Matters 3/20/2007).

Why use it at all (and in song form)? Because Rush is cloaking his racism with faux outrage. Because someone on "the left" used the term, Limbaugh saw that as license for him to use it (27 times during the same broadcast, according to Media Matters). And blame "racism of the left". But it's Rush's own racism that explains his actions.

He jumps at these opportunities. Previously it was David Ehrenstein who provided Rush the opportunity to express his true racist feelings (and have someone "on the left" to blame). This time it was Larry Wilmore (and there are likely many examples between these two that I'm not aware of).

And further proof that this is indeed is what is occurring is that this story was written up for the notoriously racist World Net Daily (their "religion is apeshit racist ring-wingnut douchery with a side of tabloid pablum" says a 2/18/2014 Gawker article).

WND author writes "racism is an illusion, and Black Lives Matter lies". And yes, Jesse Lee Peterson is an African American. But that's how WND "proves" it isn't racist - it has African American best friends (authors). But for even more proof check out the (more overtly racist) comments. These are the kinds of racist Whites that WND panders to (Trump voters).

As for Wilmore's use of the word being offensive? I'll leave that to the Black community to hash out. Although I will say that I agree that it's not the same when a Black person uses the term compared to a White person using it. Regarding the "controversy" within the Black community, I've heard comments both ways. From "get over it" to "yes, it was offensive".

Me, I'm more offended by Limbaugh. Not regarding what he says. The Gawker blogger I quoted at the top of this article has a point... THIS is what Limbaugh does. And he's been doing it for a long time. But that his last contract awarded him with $38 million a year for 8 years plus a $100 million signing bonus. That Conservative commentators like Limbaugh get Brinks trucks backing up to their homes with hourly deliveries of cash while Liberal commentators make significantly less? It makes me want to puke!

I'm talking about true Progressives commentators, btw (people like Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmann). I think the talking heads at msnbc probably do OK. Those who weren't fired by Andy Lack who decided that, to fix the problem of msnbc's ratings being bad, decided the solution would be to go more Insider (Washington More About Insiders V Outsiders Than Democrats V Republicans).

SWTD #334