Tuesday, March 27, 2007

new neutrality pledge

due to recent cutbacks in my consumption of news stories (from television, radio, newspaper, magazine, internet, and word of mouth) i am no longer able to stay a-“breast” of what is going on in the world. things have gotten to be a confusing mish-mash in my head. the new york state senate is run by republicans (led by joe bruno) who want to spend more on healthcare and education than the democratic governor eliot spitzer and the democrat-controlled state assembly (run by sheldon silver). so the democrats are playing the part of the smaller-government conservatives, and are opposing the “special interests” of the healthcare industry, including the service employees international union, or s.e.i.u. the s.e.i.u. is famous, or infamous, for being the most liberal of all unions, being the first to boldy support howard dean back in 2003 in the times when people were endorsing democratic presidential candidates for the 2004 primaries. anyway, lately, these healthcare labor unions, as well as groups representing the management of hospitals, all banded together to run attack ads against our governor for spending cuts in healthcare. so i guess the governor is a real conservative, huh? but i thought this governor wanted universal healthcare, didn’t he? well it turns out he does have his own healthcare plan, but he has to take money from some places to put it in other places, or some shit like that. and the state senate republicans want to send more money to wealthy school districts on long island. let me explain what the fuck long island is. there are 4 counties on long island: kings, queens, nassau, and suffolk. kings county is brooklyn, part of new york city. queens is also part of new york city. nassau and suffolk county are not part of new york city; they are full of towns and villages but no cities even though their populations are a lot higher than many cities in upstate new york (like binghamton, ithaca, elmira, utica, watertown, and many others). but what most distinguishes nassau and suffolk counties politically is that they are full of goddamn conservative republican bastards, and rather devoid of good old-fashioned liberal democrat folks. the liberals tend to live within new york city limits, or in other various strongholds across the state such as ithaca. there are many areas of the state where there is a generational ideological struggle taking place and it is unclear who will win (just like the war on terror). except in this case it is between liberals and conservatives, between democrats and republicans. the city of binghamton, and broome county which surrounds it, are both battlegrounds in this grand ideological struggle. a small urban city in the middle of a county with many rural farming areas, and in between the rural and urban areas are the suburbs, where i live. suburbs are apparently republican strongholds, and so is upstate new york, at least historically. and nassau and suffolk counties too, the 2 suburban counties on the eastern part of long island, east of new york city. but new york state is still a blue state. how come? well, we have cities like buffalo, rochester, syracuse, albany, schenectady, poughkeepsie, new rochelle, white plains, and yonkers. those are places where real people actually live. and those people who exist and actually live in those real places tend to be democrats, at least inside the city limits of those various cities. so why is it that the state senate republicans only care about the eastern half of long island, and like to waste money and court liberal labor unions who would normally hate their guts? and who the hell is this new governor, eliot spitzer, anyway? is he some kind of small-government conservative or something? cutting both taxes and spending at the same time? none of this makes any sense. it is all so mind-boggling. i mean, right here in binghamton, our mayor is so liberal he makes dennis kucinich look like ann coulter. and we have been having so many floods lately, it is like god hates us! oh how he hates us! god despises the southern tier region, and our spedies too! recently i saw stephen colbert interview my favorite local congressperson, maurice hinchey. it was so wonderful, seeing my favorite talk show host interview my favorite congresshuman. but i wonder about this michael arcuri guy, the democrat who replaced republican sherwood boehlert. sherwood boehlert was probably the most left-wing of all the republicans in congress, and he was my congressman after the redistricting; before then it was maurice hinchey, the most left-wing congressman of the democratic party and of congress as a whole. well now our left-wing republican is gone and replaced by a right-wing democrat. the new congressman michael arcuri is a member of the blue dog caucus and is doing his best to show everyone what a conservative he is. he supported the military commissions act that was passed last fall, the one that outlawed habeas corpus and allowed people to be held indefinitely without trial and to be put on trial in front of military tribunals and basically gave the bush administration everything it wanted while depriving individual liberty to pretty much everyone. and michael arcuri supports wiretaps of course; as a former prosecutor, he actually used wiretaps himself on a regular basis, in conducting his investigations, and he wants everyone else to have as much leeway as he gave himself up in utica. i remember looking at his campaign website for his position on the nsa warrentless wiretaps that were not approved by the fisa court, and he basically said that he is pro-wiretap but that congress ought to pass laws making the wiretaps legal so that they can continue uninterrupted. very nice, how much? anyway, so this dude, his first major appearance in congress that i saw, he was actually controlling the time for a bill to cut taxes for small business. now, why the hell did nancy pelosi have them introduce a bill to cut taxes for small business, when she is a liberal democrat? isn’t that back-asswards? well hell yes, but here is why. the house passed a minimum wage increase bill that was clean and had nothing else. the senate could only manage to pass it with a small business tax cut put into the bill as well in order to appease conservative republicans, to avoid a filibuster because you need a 3/5 majority of 60 votes to get anything done in the senate. so, the house, which is much more able to actually get shit done than the glacially slow senate, had to make its stuff match what the senate passed so they could go to conference committee and get the shit done. so, they took the small business tax cut from the senate minimum wage increase bill, and introduced it as a separate measure in the house, except they structured it differently, in a more liberal, progressive sort of way, to benefit smaller small businesses and not so much the bigger small businesses or the smaller big businesses. then, once this passed, this allowed the house and senate to go to conference, the senate bringing its minimum wage increase plus small business tax decrease bill, and the house bringing 2 separate bills, minimum wage increase and small business tax decrease. then the conference committee negotiates a compromise between house and senate and purges all dissent, and then the conference report is the final version of the bill, now a joint house-senate bill to raise minimum wage and cut small business tax, and this bill is given a simple up-or-down vote in both house and senate, with no amendments possible, and once it is approved by both chambers, it is sent to the president for signature, and if he vetoes it, it goes back to both chambers which need a 2/3 majority to override the veto, which usually does not happen since most bills are not vetoed and when they are the president usually has counted the votes and knows there are not 2/3 in both houses. whew! so you can see things are really fucking complicated. so when my fucking congressman is arguing small businesses need yet another tax cut, after 6 years of constant tax-cutting by the bush administration and republican congress working together to cut taxes, it seems really fucking ridiculous. cut taxes for business again? didn’t congress do that, like, a million times in the last 10 years? sure bill clinton kept vetoing it, but once bush baby became president, there were 6 years of uninterrupted tax-cutting frenzy! so having my new congressman arguing for yet more insanity and digging the hole we find ourselves in even deeper, making us have even more deficit... well that was just insane. but it makes sense, in the larger picture. democrats still need to compromise with republicans and give in to their nonsensical demands. reality check: some tax increases are good and some are bad, some tax decreases are good and some are bad, some spending increases are good and some are bad, some spending decreases are good and some are bad. that is the voice of reason, the logic of moderation, of not being an ideological hack. but ideological hacks of the conservative persuasion think tax increases are always bad and tax decreases are always good. their complete lack of logic is indefensible. and when asked to defend their ideas, they talk about the discredited theory of trickle-down reaganomics, and how cutting tax rates increases tax revenue, the so-called “laffer curve”. george bush senior never believed in that bullshit, even though dumbass hollywood actor ronald reagan did. what a joke! and now conservative activists worship ronald reagan even though true scholars believe bush senior did a better job as president. so anyway, things have gotten so complex, nonsensical, and hard to keep track of, especially thanks to the crazy antics of representative ron paul of texas (the only republican in congress i support, by the way!)... well, i have just gotten to the point where i can solumnly swear that reality, the real world we live and breathe in every day, it has gotten to the point where it is f.u.b.a.r., or fucked up beyond all recognition. there is no sense to any of the sense or nonsense anymore. truth and lies are both a mixture of fict and faction. knowbody nos what is owp and what is dun anymore. so my confusion in my mental state, regarding both the outside world and my own personal life, has become so overwhelming that my opinions have become irrelevant to me. i no longer have any regard for my own opinions, or those of anyone else, for that matter. it is all bullshit, not only what i say, but what everyone says. i cannot take sides any longer. i can no longer sit actively by and advocate my point of view forcefully. now is the time for inaction, for confusion, for not making up my mind about anything at all, and for ceasing to have opinions on things i once had opinions about. this is my new neutrality pledge: i pledge to remain completely neutral about 100% of everything, and i will maintain this neutrality for as long as i am able to maintain my neutrality about my neutrality, as well as my neutrality about my neutrality about my neutrality, and so on. i have no opinion on this or any other matter. all past opinions which i or anyone else has stated, i am now neutral on, including any opinions in this or any other blog post. so if i ever wrote anything in this blog that offended you or that you thought was wrong or disagreed with, know this: i am entirely neutral about the situation, and neither agree with you nor agree with myself. i take no sides. the only person i agree with is nobody at all, because nobody has no opinons at all. and therefore i am nobody, but that is only if it is logical to make statements like that based on the mechanics of verbal logic and whether words such as “nobody” are allowed to be used in logical deductions or if they are similar to division by zero in mathematics and make things invalid. and that is a question which i am entirely neutral on. that reminds me of a futurama episode where zapp brannigan leads the earth army’s assault on the neutral planet, which remains neutral about whether to support or oppose being attacked by hostile forces. i am completely neutral about whether that was a good episode of futurama. maybe i should look at that episode again to see. i am neutral about whether that is a wise way to spend my time.

Monday, March 19, 2007

the beast that must be destroyed

the “conservative movement” in the united states has become a beast that must be destroyed. it is a hypocritical authoritarian movement that claims to uphold the rights of the individual. conservatives claim that they want freedom and democracy and that they are the biggest supporters of individual rights against intrusion by large organizations such as the government. or at least, that is what they used to claim. the word “conservative” is essentially meaningless nowadays, because of its misuse, just like the word “liberal” has been misused. but the mass popular movement that offers the base of support for the republican party is most commonly referred to as the “conservative movement” by people, even though some may find this to be completely erroneous usage of the word “conservative”, since modern republicans and their core base of supporters have abandoned all principles they once held, and now all they care about is power, winning, having lots of money, and keeping the political machine well oiled and having the right talking heads strategically in place in the right media markets. victory is all that matters to them, and liberals and democrats are considered the #1 enemy, even during times when liberals and democrats are unpopular and conservative republicans control all three branches of the government and much of the media. they have no concern for truth, or for right and wrong, or for anything else, unless it is convenient for them and benefits their side. anything that makes them look bad and the other side look good, they have to come up with some sort of explanation and counterattack, and never ever ever admit to being wrong about anything.

unless hillary clinton starts showing some humility and admitting that she was wrong to vote for the iraq war, or admitting she was wrong about something else important, she is showing that she is perhaps down at the same level as this so-called conservative movement. there is a saying, do not wrassle a pig in mud. or something like that. anyway, here is a book about the so-called conservatives being an authoritarian movement. you can read it for free online. i have not gotten through it yet but i have read a little about it and started to read it. the author is a friend of john dean, who is another famous author who was implicated in the watergate scandal with richard nixon, but has since seen the light. i think john dean still considers himself a conservative, but he rejects today’s so-called conservative movement because it has abandoned all of its core principles and has lost sight of right and wrong, knowing truth from fiction, and has put victory ahead of everything else.

you might wonder, well what is wrong with victory? victory at what, though? whatever the current political debate is... that is where victory is considered essential. and the truth be damned. to these people, the truth means nothing, not unless it favors their side. otherwise, they just make up a pack of lies and have their cronies in the media disseminate the talking points to all of the brainwashed dittoheads. who in the media is behind this? right-wing talk radio hosts such as rush limbaugh, who is basically the guy who pioneered this whole right-wing media operation. he was the first and many others have followed in his footsteps, first in talk radio, and then with the fox news network of syncophants. the fox news network, like right-wing talk radio, is directly committed to this authoritarian propaganda operation, where perhaps both sides are presented but the right-wing side is always presented as correct and the left-wing side is always presented as wrong. now what is the probability of that, that there would be two major political parties, and one of them would be right about everything, and the other would be wrong about everything? there are so many different issues where the 2 parties take opposite sides. it is blindingly obvious by some basic probability calculations that it is almost impossible for one side to always be right.

the republican party and american conservative movement currently happen to be an evil alliance between 2 forces who wish to do us harm, in different ways. the first of the 2 forces is the wealthy and the corporations, whose basic objective is simply to make more money and not have anyone stand in their way, or have to pay too much in taxes or follow too many regulations. the existence of the wealthy and corporations demonstrates a vibrant capitalist economy, but without government-imposed measures that the wealthy oppose, millions of poor people would starve to death in the streets. these measures are a partial, half-assed implementation of socialism, rather than complete all-out communism. there is a continuum of economic policies between the two extremes of right-wing and left-wing. but what is similar about the extremes is, both of them are authoritarian. one side would enslave us to the government, and the other would enslave us to corporations. a moderate policy that balances the interests of the rich, the poor, and the middle class and tries not to violate anyone’s rights, that tries to benefit everyone as much as possible... that is the type that is good. now, the wealthy do not really have much interest in complete authoritarianism, but they may finance such a movement if it benefits the political party they support. as such, the wealthy have formed a marriage of convenience with the religious right, who are the true authoritarians.

the religious right is by far the most authoritarian movement of any that has influence in american politics today. they have a small number of leading figures such as jerry falwell, pat robertson, and james dobson. they are a very vast movement, and are strongest in the rural heartland of the country, and weakest in the cities. their agenda is simple: outlaw abortion and homosexual acts, follow the teachings of the bible word-for-word, have creationism taught in schools either alongside or in place of evolution, post the 10 commandments in public places, have wives act as submissive slaves to their husbands, prohibit the use of contraception, have prayer in schools, convert as many non-christians to christianity as possible, and basically transition our country, one step at a time, backwards into the dark ages, until we become as backwards as the islamic fundamentalists or even more so. what is dangerous about them is that they want to reverse our social progress, the progress that has been made in the over 200 years of our nation’s history. it is clear that they are very sexist, but for the moment, it seems the religious right is acting as if it is not racist at all. they want people of all races to join their movement, because diversity is strength for a movement such as theirs, struggling for a place in a diverse country where many feel that people in this movement are hateful and intolerant towards those who are different.

social darwinism. eugenics. these are theories associated with authoritarianism, specifically the nazis in germany. while the religious right does not subscribe to either of those theories (seeing as they reject darwinism completely, how could they subscribe to social darwinism?), it is still helpful to look at those theories to see how authoritarian movements structure their ideas, and what types of things they believe in. social darwinism and eugenics, when combined, form an ideology of using selective breeding to produce superior individuals, and trying to eliminate undesirable individuals from society. social darwinism and eugenics are actually more popular among people who consider themselves superior, since naturally they think that this would benefit them, and that future generations would be more like them, more superior. so people who are highly successful or very talented or wealthy are more likely to support social darwinism and eugenics. also, those who are failures and hate their own kind, who feel that they are inferior, some of them also support it, because they would like to remove their suffering from future generations. but what do these ideas really mean in practice?

in practice, it means genocide. it means massacres. or at the very least, undesirable or troublesome people would be locked up, away from other people. or sent to re-education camps. or forcibly sterilized. there are many ways to do it. keeping certain groups of people poor and “in their place” so that they turn to things like gang violence and have their lives destroyed by drug addiction and sexually transmitted diseases. a modern eugenicist or social darwinist might look approvingly on the status of black people in the united states today. they have their b.e.t., they have their jesse jackson, they still have a slave mentality, they live in the ghetto, and are brainwashed by a culture that keeps them in a lower status than anyone else. the famous book the bell curve talks about how black people have lower iqs and are therefore, implicitly, inferior to everyone else. that book was part of the beginning of a new wave of racism. and what is the source of racism and sexism and homophobia and all those other prejudices? they all come from an authoritarian mindset.

the ultimate expression of authoritarianism is the soldier. trained to kill on behalf of authority, trained not to question authority, trained on who is the boss, trained not to think for oneself, but just do your job and follow orders to the best of your ability. and anyone who questions authority is a traitor. the training and indoctrination soldiers go through is the basis for authoritarian propaganda aimed at civilians. the same methods that have worked for thousands of years in training soldiers to be loyal and obedient also work on civilians, and can be broadcast through the mass media. while nazis and communists are famous for their propaganda, the united states has also had some pretty harsh propaganda of its own, especially during world war i and world war ii.

now certainly, not all people in the conservative movement have an authoritarian mindset, but they have to be wary of those among them who do, and the danger this poses to their own movement. the liberal/progressive movement also has some people with similar mindsets, but usually they alienate enough other people in the movement to be discredited and kicked out of the movement. that is where the neoconservative movement came from, after all. they were originally left-wing activists, decades ago, but they were kicked out for their authoritarian views.

so who is an authoritarian? someone who does not respect individual rights. these people, if they form a mass popular movement, can cause a country not to respect individual rights. or, they can simply be manipulated by a malicious government into acting as its pawns. in communist china right now, there are those who are party faithful, who respect the authorities, and who really believe in it. those people are willing to commit human rights violations in service of the authorities. people with authoritarian mindsets are too submissive to authority, but they are not submissive to everyone, and oftentimes they misdirect their anger against those whom the authorities condemn, rather than the authorities themselves.

now, i am perhaps a bit of an authoritarian, because i believe in exposing people who are authoritarians and making them publicly renounce their views, and perhaps sending them to re-education camps to teach them that authoritarianism and re-education camps are wrong, and promoting individual liberty is right. then when they come out of the re-education camps, they will denounce everything that was done to them, all of their rights that were violated. and hopefully, if someone else has their rights violated, that will be denounced too, once the former authoritarians have this new heightened awareness of oppression. and i admit, i do believe in selective breeding of humans, so i have a bit of authoritarian in me. but, for the record, i do know that it is wrong to be authoritarian, and i am working on getting rid of my authoritarian beliefs. i still sometimes say authoritarian things from time to time... like the title of this post shows a bit of my authoritarian side. of course, i wish to destroy the beast peacefully without any violent conflict. i can simply point out to those people who claim to be conservatives that it does not seem there are many conservatives who actually practice what they preach and believe in individual liberty, and they need to return to their core values, namely individual liberty and maybe a couple other things that don’t contradict the first and most important value of individual liberty. as for the liberal/progressive movement that i side with, i believe we champion the cause of individual liberty quite well, although we suffer from a dearth of objective news sources and so we have to rely on biased media from our own side which might not have an entirely accurate view of the truth at all times. the problem is, there is a lack of objective truth being told to the public, or it is overshadowed by all the half-truths, lies, and hype, and is somewhat indistinguishable from what is not true. so no wonder we have so much partisanship! we do not agree on anything, not even the basic underlying observable facts about reality that real people can observe and write down or talk about so that the rest of us find out the truth. that is because there are so many dishonest or biased people out there, who are distorting facts, propagandizing, and trying to establish their own credibility and importance through their amoral punditry (or perhaps they do have morals of the sort that values victory for their side but does not value the truth). it is frustrating for me that there is such a plethora of voices out there but nobody has established themselves as the credible bastion of truth. but we do have truthiness. thank you for that, stephen colbert! i cannot imagine what it would be like if the conservative movement actually reformed itself and ceased to be the corrupt, amoral force of oppression that it is today. imagine if they stopped advocating coercive intrusion into private matters where the only people who might be harmed all consent to it. you know, things like sexual practices, things having to do with sex or sexuality or pregnancy or marriage or anything like that. if we just removed coersion from that whole equation, it would be much better. imagine the coersion of telling a woman who was raped by her own father or brother that she cannot have an abortion, that she has to give birth to a freak, an abomination, a mutant, one that she never would have wanted to have in a million years. yes, the ultimate coersion is killing, and a fetus is killed, but it is a delicate balancing act. who is more important, a grown-up live human being who can walk and talk and has a life to live, or an embryonic new life form that has not even reached the stage where it can survive outside of its parasitic existence inside the host organism, its mother? big things are usually more important than little things. an elephant is more important than an ant. small life-forms such as fetuses are usually incapable of complex or rational thought. at that early a stage in brain development, connections are just being set up for the first time in the brain, and things are mostly instinctual and follow the same pattern in every case. in other words, there is no individuality yet... the fetus does not yet have what it takes to make it fully human. the development of that is a gradual process. or another case of government intrusion into private affairs is prohibition of illegal drugs. there is no reason for people to go to jail just for being drug addicts. addiction is a disease and ought not to be a crime. even rush limbaugh knows that, as a drug addict himself who argued that he had not committed a crime. but the hypocrisy of people like him allows for the manipulation of millions of people who are vulnerable to authoritarian propaganda, people who are unable to see through the lies. and those are the people who still support president bush. they do not follow politics that closely except from a few sources on their side, and they are not deep or critical thinkers. they do not have such a deep and abiding obsession with knowing the real truth as i do. but for me, i must know the truth, and it is intolerable not to know what the real truth is. i need everyone to stop poisoning the debate with lies and half-truths, and we all need to be a lot more honest with each other from now on. i am very honest. i hope you are too.

Monday, March 12, 2007

dennis kucinich for president

right now i am thinking dennis kucinich is the best of the presidential candidates, after seeing some more televised campaign events of the different candidates on c-span. he is the candidate that i agree with the most, on the issues. i know a lot about him, and have for years... nothing bad. the only bad thing is that his pacifist stance might not be popular electorally, even though it is probably still the right thing to do. but he is someone who always does what he thinks is right, and he is almost always correct about what is right, too. and his wife is really hot! he didn’t have a wife during his 2004 campaign. i remember some people actually made an issue of him being single. odd. but mainly i just know he is the most consistent person on iraq, having led the fight against starting the war, back before it happened, and never changing his position once. it is all a matter of public record. and he is just a real visionary guy. the kind who can restore our nation’s standing in the world, who is not afraid to go into hostile media outlets like fox news to spread his message. now it does make sense that a lot of people would never want to appear on fox news in a million years or in any way help that network, but dennis kucinich goes on there fearlessly despite being ridiculed and the odd man out and all of that nonsense. and he is probably one of the most left-wing people in congress, going into the most right-wing media outlet, the one most openly hostile towards him and everything he stands for. he does not change his message for anyone. that is probably why fox news invites him back. to them, anyone who is a pacifist is clearly deranged, so he is an easy target. a pacifist is simply someone who opposes all war, because war is systematic mass murder just like genocide, and, to quote stalin, “one death is a tragedy. a million deaths is a statistic.” someone who supports wars is the type of useful idiot stalin was referring to, the same type of useful idiot that might have supported the soviet union and his regime there. and stalin’s regime was, quite frankly, stalinist. if you are truly pro-life you cannot make any exceptions. not even for “the enemy”, as we so graciously call those human beings who, for whatever reason, choose to fight against our military. they are not any less human than the men and women of our united states armed forces, and their reasons for fighting are probably not too much different, either. on both sides, individuals are used as expendable pawns and forced to become murderers. and what if you say our soldiers are not murderers? well what else is a murderer if not someone who kills another human being, and what else is murder but the killing of another human being? the same holds true for an executioner, but also, any member of a judge or jury or any prosecutor or legislator who helped to make the execution happen. and so, too, are the people who decide to start wars... they are the biggest murderers of all. but there is murder and there is murder, and the crime of murder, legally speaking, is something quite altogether different from murder itself. illegal murder is illegal because it is not carried out by the government or on behalf of the government. legal murder, which is usually called something else, is when the government does the killing. words like “execution”, “war”, etc. are used instead. but this is an ancient tradition, since in almost any human society there is a power which governs all, which writes the rules and carries them out, and orders everyone else around. a tribe had a chief, a feudal manor had a lord, and so on... but those individuals who were top leaders of their tribe or village had underlings, a so-called “ruling class” or a “warrior class” or both, to carry out their bidding. anyway, the rules for how a lot of words are defined are derived from the ruling class, those who are involved with the ruling of a people and in support of it. now, any society with nobody in charge would be chaos and anarchy, and of course, probably more of this thing i call “murder” than a society with rulers. but there are many different ways for rulers to rule over their subjects, even within the democratic spectrum. some people think democratically elected politicians ought to do whatever the public wants, meaning whatever the poll results show. other people think democratically elected politicians ought to do whatever they personally believe is right, even if it harms them politically. still others believe the only correct system is anarchy, fascist dictatorship, benevolent dictatorship, absolute monarchy, constitutional monarchy, oligopoly, kleptocracy, communism, plutocracy, theocracy, constitutional robocracy, or plato’s “republic”. what is plato’s ideal form of government that he calls a “republic”? rule by an unelected group of wise men, who have established themselves as the most knowledgeable and respected philosophers in the land, through a system of meritocracy that finds and seeks such individuals and promotes them to the posts in which they belong automatically. why philosophers and not some other profession? well, in ancient greece, there were probably about 4 different classes of society, the same 4 classes i think exist in a lot of other societies such as modern american society. first the ruling class, who are in charge of everything and have all the money and the power. second the warrior or enforcer class, basically the lower-ranking minions of the ruling class, which include groups such as police or soldiers. third the working class, which in some societies might include slaves, but generally includes any low-wage uneducated poor people who have little or no chance of advancement in society. and the fourth class is the middle class or the philosopher class, those who are comfortable enough and well-educated enough to be able to debate issues, but not actually in charge of anything so all the informed opinions such people have do not matter since they have no say in the matter and are not in charge of anything. people in the middle class are not necessarily philosophers but they are the only ones with that potential. the ruling class are corrupted by their power, their greed, and their disconnect from the rest of society, so they cannot be good philosophers. the warrior or enforcer class is too brainwashed into following orders or carrying out rules or making people do things against their will, and have probably seen horrible things or been through traumatic experiences that would cloud their judgment by allowing emotion to overtake reason. the working class, or in other words the poor, but also including homeless/unemployed/other downtrodden groups, as well as most criminals, is basically a group of people who are constantly struggling for survival, who have a hard time making ends meet, who might be slaves in a society that has slaves, or maybe they are untouchables in india, but in any case, they are royally fucked by society, and have gotten such a raw deal in life that their personal biases will probably prevent them from being true philosophers who can look at things evenhandedly. the working class spend so much time struggling to survive, they simply do not have the time to philosophize, even if they wanted to, and they are not educated well, so how could they? and if they are educated, they are probably insane, like schizophrenic bums on the streets talking to their imaginary friends. the middle class, the philosopher class, refers to the people who can watch tv or play video games or do sports for fun or spend a lot of time doing leisure activities, without having it ruin their chances for survival, but at the same time, they have to watch it, and at least do some work, and earn a steady income or marry someone who does, because they are not wealthy or anything, they are just well-educated, or at least moderately well educated. the middle class makes up the majority of voters in any successful democracy; it also makes up most people on the internet. people in the other 3 classes are blinded by circumstance most of the time. one group is in charge and feels it has to justify itself to the other 3 groups. one group carries out all the orders of the ruling class and has trained itself not to question anything and just to follow orders. one group is downtrodden and oppressed and miserable and completely disillusioned with the whole system. so that leaves behind 1 final group, everyone else, the only ones who have the capability to weigh both sides of an argument equally, since this group is the least directly affected by anything that happens, and has the least interaction with the system. as for whether there are other classes such as the media or the clergy, i think within any media organization or within the religious clergy, there is the same division among the 4 classes as there is outside such organizations. some people actually make the decisions, and they are in charge. other people have to follow orders from that first group, and people in this second group mostly have to be good at following orders. a third group includes those who are at the bottom, who do crummy jobs or are not paid much and are not really motivated that much to stay in the organization. and a fourth group is the average employees, the people who do not get noticed much, but have probably been there a while, and although they are not in charge of anything important, they do well enough in terms of salary not to go anywhere. anyway, my point is, there is no point in having 2 societies on opposite sides of the world have their warrior/enforcer classes fight each other. of course, iraqi society has been destroyed, since the original power, saddam hussein, was removed, and the society has become fragmented with the lawlessness and all the militias, making it difficult to tell who is really in charge. nobody has a monopoly on the use of violent force, and nobody is there to define what is murder and what is execution, what is terrorism and what is a war crime, what is a criminal and what is a freedom fighter, what is a liberater and what is an occupier. or, there are several competing ways of defining all those things, but no consensus, no basis for an actual society to exist. so splitting into sunni, shiite, and kurd, with smaller minorities left out, a new wave of unregulated freedom of oppression has come to pass, with everyone free to use violence to oppress others, and might makes right, officials take bribes, and the police commit crimes and go on killing sprees while completely failing to maintain any semblance of order, instead helping to make the disorder worse. so, in the end, it is clear that there must be a ruling class and those who help keep it in power, or else there will be disorder and mass murder. but, the ruling class can be anyone. all communism does is replace one ruling class with another. some people will always be more wealthy and powerful than others. the only question is, to what degree will this problem occur? it can and should be minimized. and that will also help minimize the need to use the warrior class in battle. we are not a nation of spartans. let us leave iraq, because only then will iraqis be in charge of their own country. then order can finally be restored to that part of the cosmos. some will rise to the top and others will fall to the bottom and there will be those in the middle to enforce it, as well as the silent majority who are the people, not the rulers or enforcers, not homeless or unemployed or criminals. right now unemployment and crime are both out of control in iraq but those problems will fade away as order is restored. as long as we stay there, that is a disorderly state of affairs. it will only increase the entropy of the space-time continuum. so, i am leaning toward dennis kucinich for now, at least in this blog post. i know, for one thing, that it is the religious duty of every quaker who believes in the peace testimony of opposing all wars to help support candidates like dennis kucinich with similar views, to help make such policies come to pass. i still believe in the quaker testimonies, all of them. but i realize i do not always talk like a quaker or have blog posts that are quakerly, and i am still unsure about whether or not i oppose all religion. i have realized i have almost as much disdain for traditional christianity as i do towards islam, and i utterly despise islam, much as i try to be open-minded and try to be considerate of how others may have different beliefs from me and how i ought not to dictate to others how to think. i know dennis kucinich is catholic, just like nancy pelosi, the kennedys, and many others. there is much the catholic church has done in its almost 2,000 year existence which i find utterly reprehensible. but, for some reason, the catholic church still exists, and has changed a lot over time, but in some ways it never changes. it is hard for me not to judge christianity and catholicism by their fruits, by what was done in their name, by what their leaders did or had people do throughout history. all of the inquisitions and crusades, selling indulgences, burning heretics and “witches” at the stake, religious wars in europe, book burnings, and of course the holocaust of nazi germany. even if people think adolf hitler himself was not a faith-filled christian, which is something i believe he probably was, it is still undeniable that most of the loyal nazis who supported him and carried out the holocaust were christians. but the true crimes of christianity that cannot be denied are the crusades and inquisitions and religious wars, which happened hundreds of years ago, at least. and of course there was the suppression of science and the destruction of ancient knowledge, and the deliberate practice of keeping most people illiterate throughout the middle ages and a bit beyond. copernicus and galileo had problems practicing science, oppressed by the church. more recently, christians continue to reject the scientific theory of evolution of charles darwin, which is proven correct. many christians continue to reject science and seek to enslave minds, and their twisted logic leads to immoral outcomes to many important moral questions. nevertheless, for now, i am endorsing dennis kucinich, a catholic. all the other candidates practice christianity too. i just think, if jesus had such great teachings, how come his followers do such fucked up things because of those teachings? they justify almost everything with bible verses, and it is like this one book has enslaved their minds into thinking that it is the one book that contains the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. so they can see nothing false in the book or nothing true outside the book. back in the age of illiteracy, christianity was quite different but still quite fucked up, in fact much more so. it was simply a corrupt, power-hungry, large institution that did not want any competition, and wanted to keep people from learning to read, or having any thoughts of their own. nowadays the christian brainwashing is much more closely based on biblical teachings, yet its pod people are further than ever from finding the truth. you cannot find the truth by opposing science, since science is the only real way to find truth about the physical world in which we live. unscientific methods of finding the truth are flawed. the only flawless tool for finding truth besides experimental research is cold hard logic, in which a set of premises are used to yield a set of conclusions, through the method of proof. logic is the only other tool besides experimentation. you cannot get any logical results if you start with nothing, so you need to at least have some facts known at the start; these are derived experimentally. that means they are independently verifiable by other people. nowadays religious fundamentalists misuse logic by using it in contexts where it is not relevant, but refusing to use it in contexts where it is. instead of trying to logically come up with answers to questions like whether god exists, they start with a predetermined outcome of what conclusions they want, and then construct a logical argument that leads to that outcome, or at least an argument that seems as logical as possible. but this is an illegitimate method of reasoning, unreliable at finding any truth. a judge does not prejudge the outcome of a case before hearing both sides in court. to me, religion seems like cancer, something that uses up precious limited resources, gets people to spend time and money on it, while in return they are misled and taught false things, and manipulated into getting other people to join and spread the disease further. if you look at how a new religion spreads after it is founded, it is just like how a disease spreads in an epidemic. so now religion is such a pandemic that many people like me have developed immunity, but we must come to terms with the beast. how do we deal with this very popular way of thinking that has been around for so long? is there any reason for us to participate in ceremonies that are rituals promoting viewpoints we disagree with? it is like if you are living under a tyrant, and a few people are rebelling, either vocally or physically. will you support the tyrant’s continued oppression? will you do nothing? will you join the rebels and face almost certainly being crushed? maybe you are even such a bad person that you will support the tyrant in his oppression as much as possible. but what if you could be part of a conspiracy to assassinate the tyrant and put in place a new, hopefully slightly less despotic dictator? would you do that? is it a bad thing to help reform a system that is so fundamentally flawed that you think it needs to be completely discarded? why reform something as bad as christianity? why not simply discard it? is christianity a lost cause or can it be changed so it actually does more help than harm? or maybe it already does more help than harm? i am not sure. but the harm is far more obvious than the help. nothing is perfect in this world. jesus was a nonviolent pacifist, yet most christians are not like that. dennis kucinich is. thus he is closer to perfection than other candidates. but they are all still flawed, even him. even me. i am flawed, but not a candidate, so in my case it is less important, since i am not going to be in charge of anything important. because of my irrelevance as a person, my personal flaws are irrelevant in discussing my arguments. you only call someone’s character into question if they are an important public figure. thus, newt gingrich thought he could question the character of bill clinton, even though newt gingrich had much worse marital infidelity. ultimately, this meant that newt gingrich thought that his own character was unimportant, and he only really valued morality in other people, not himself. people like newt gingrich and william bennett are poster boys for moral hypocrisy. as for john edwards’ talk about poverty while he lives a life of wealth and luxury, i am not yet willing to classify it as hypocrisy; i think he could still justify it, maybe. it depends on whether he is willing to sacrifice his wealth for the greater good, to help the poor. it need not be giving money to charity; if he advocated significantly higher taxes on rich people like him, it would be just as good, and even better if he succeeded in enacting those policies. but dennis kucinich is someone i know i can trust. there are a lot less questions about him that need to be answered than in the cases of the other candidates. i still know too little about the others. like barack obama... does anyone actually know anything about him, other than bizarre internet rumors? can i really trust the wikipedia? or is it a communist front organization like the entire country of venezuela is? in 2004, only 3 of the democratic candidates had any real hard-hitting rhetoric, namely howard dean, al sharpton, and dennis kucinich. the rest of the candidates were lightweights who were too pathetic to have the courage to take on president bush for real. john kerry ended up as the nominee and he gradually got a bit more hard-hitting, but i could have made president bush look a million times worse than john kerry did, all using real facts, just providing the right facts to make bush look bad. now maybe hillary clinton might be able to do that kind of thing, make someone else bad just using the facts. i don’t know about whether positive campaigns are good. john edwards tried a positive campaign in 2004 and came in second in the primaries. can barack obama win if he is just positive and nice? that might not work in a campaign. he may have already made a fatal mistake by being so positive and nice. who knows? or maybe that is what people want, and they will vote for someone positive and nice. i sure don’t like people being too positive with their attitude. i am a pessimist, and would like someone firmly grounded in reality, and how awful, horrible, and rotten reality is. dennis kucinich addresses that with the pessimism about the present, but he also has a nicely appealing optimism about the future. as long as people confine their optimism to the future, i am o.k. with it, but if someone is optimistic about how things are going right now, they are delusional and not someone i can rightly support as a pessimist. kucinich has optimism and pessimism both covered, plus he has a good excuse for being optimistic: his wife. if a man who looks like him can come home every night to sleep with a woman who looks like her, how could he not be an optimist? if my life were going better, i would not be so pessimistic, but all i see is that my life and the rest of the world are both going very badly. i hope i have reason to change my attitude, instead of having to change my attitude for no reason.