Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

For "a human being, the question 'to be or not to be,' is the question 'to think or not to think.'" Ayn Rand

28 August 2017

Brown University President Spouts Progressive Elitist Nonsense -- Once Again

Christina Paxton, President of Brown University, is about to start her second 5-year term in office.  I have just received a letter from her proclaiming the great successes of Brown University.  Here is one such claim to morality and accomplishment:

We are moving forward with plans to address ways in which Brown’s business and investment operations can fully reflect the University’s commitment to environmental sustainability, with an emphasis on addressing climate change. In addition, I will establish a working group to develop new Greenhouse Gas emissions goals that extend beyond Brown’s 2008 commitment, which was to reduce GHG emissions to 42 percent below 2007 levels by 2020. We are well on track to reach our original goal, and it is time to develop ambitious goals for the future that reflect innovations in technology and changes in energy markets that have taken place over the past decade.

Now the climate change predictions due to Greenhouse Gas emissions are based on clearly faulty physics as I have pointed out on this blog over and over.  Many people have pointed out the continuing failure of many of the predictions made by the advocates of catastrophic man-made global warming.  In real science, an hypothesis is known to be wrong when it makes clearly false predictions.  While she claims that Brown has been "making the case for science and evidence-based research" and been engaged in the "tireless advocacy for investment in scientific inquiry at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the spring", the fundamental role of wrong predictions in the scientific method is unknown to Brown University.  Because of this disregard for the scientific method and for the well-known principles of physics which the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis violates, Brown students are indoctrinated in false science with massively harmful consequences for mankind.  In its pursuit of a false sustainability, Brown University is wasting precious funds, encouraging faculty to misdirect their research efforts, and directing the talents of its students into damaging future careers.

Paxton goes on to say:
I am especially proud of Brown’s role in economic development of Providence and Rhode Island. We are developing new industrial and corporate partnerships with companies that are eager to hire Brown students and collaborate with Brown faculty in areas like data science, biomedical research and engineering. Although Brown’s partnerships with industry extend beyond Rhode Island, we are collaborating with our state and city to attract new businesses to the region. For example, Brown has participated in plans to develop a multi-use “innovation complex” in Providence’s Jewelry District that will house Brown’s School of Professional Studies, the Cambridge Innovation Center and other commercial tenants. Through this and other efforts, we contribute to strengthening our local community at the same time we strengthen Brown.
Because Brown is such an advocate of over-control of the economy by government with a full-blown commitment to the usual anti-business Progressive Elitist agenda which so commonly casts capitalists as villains, Brown has been more effective in creating the very expensive social welfare state and over-regulation that has caused many businesses to leave Rhode Island or at least to make their investments in new facilities outside the state.  The Providence Journal recently reported:
Rhode Island’s slow recovery from the Great Recession is forecast to continue over the next three years, according to the latest economic outlook produced for the New England Economic Partnership.
The state’s unemployment rate is expected to tick down from 5.6 percent in August to 5.3 percent by 2018, but remain the highest in New England. The number of jobs in Rhode Island, and New England, is expected to increase at modest rates over the next few years. However, Rhode Island isn’t expected to match its pre-recession number of jobs until the second half of 2017, according to data to be released Thursday at a conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. 
The Providence Journal goes on to report:
Rhode Island’s economic growth is forecast to improve — from “near stagnation” between 2003 and 2008, when the state’s annual average growth rate of its Gross Domestic Product was 0.2 percent, compared with GDP growth of 1.7 percent in New England and 2.2 percent in the United States. But despite improvement, Rhode Island is forecast to trail the region and nation from 2014 to 2018: Rhode Island’s real GDP is forecast to grow at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent; New England, at 2.0 percent; and the United States, at 2.3 percent.
Demographic trends remain “a source of concern,” the report states: “While population has been stagnant, there is evidence that qualified individuals are leaving the state, which reduces the pool of qualified labor.”
Also, the size of Rhode Island’s labor force, roughly the same size over the last three years, is forecast to increase only 0.5 percent per year from 2014 to 2018. 
Median Family Income in Providence is $43,319, compared to a U.S. median family income of $65,443.

President Paxton has been leading Brown for five years, though the Brown University mindset has been what it is for much longer.  The Democrats that the Brown University administration have been so strongly supportive of have controlled the Rhode Island state and city governments without challenge for decades.  Obama, who had the unquestioned support of Brown University, presided in the White House for most of the period in which Rhode Island state GDP grew at a 0.2% annual rate and while its workforce grew at well less than the national rate.  Brown University, with all of the impact it has on opinions in the state of Rhode Island, is responsible for a negative net effect on the economy of the state. Perhaps no state in the union is as much dominated by one university as Rhode Island is by Brown University.  The state is small, there is no other real academic competition, and Brown resides virtually next door to the state government in the state capital.

Brown was becoming the Progressive Elitist indoctrination center it has become while I was a student there in the late 1960s, but it still had rational elements.  The irrational Progressive Elitist viewpoint was strong enough, however, that it kept me in a near constant condition of adversity.  Dealing with that made me stronger and a more determined voice for reason and for individuality, opposing indoctrination and collectivism.  While I won my personal victory, Brown University proceeded to become entirely communitarian with all-controlling government direction, to advocate constant self-sacrifice, and to endorse only the group feelings of identity politics.  Independent and rational thinkers have become Brown's enemies and should find homes in a healthier community than that provided by Brown University.

22 August 2017

The Leftist Media Smear Campaign Continues Against Trump and Individualism

A civilized society minimizes the use of force, denying all groups and individuals the initiated use of force.  A legitimate government has the primary function of protecting individual rights from violence and the threat of the use of force.  There are minor additional functions to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness from some natural threats to life.  The President of the United States has the job of executing the laws that are constitutionally intended to secure the equal rights of all American citizens.

The media dominated by the postmodernist and collectivist viewpoint has an agenda dedicated to painting all who oppose their collectivism and their claims that some factions deserve political dominance over other Americans as racists, as fascists, as angry nationalists with malevolent intent toward all non-Americans, and generally as ignorant boobs.  The factions that should rule are single women, blacks and Hispanics, union leaders, educators, radical anti-human environmentalists, government workers, and one-world collectivists --- all guided by so-called Progressive Elitists. White men and the women married to them, business owners and managers, and non-union, and in some respects union, workers are generally to be forced into submission by a huge government workforce of thugs with no compunction in violating their equal rights to life, liberty, property, self-ownership, the pursuit of happiness, and their equally broad rights to freedom of conscience and association.  To oppose bigger government and more government controls defines one as a racist even as one advances the principle that all American citizens have equal rights which should not be violated by government.  To oppose the designation of some racial or gender groups as worthy of favored government actions earns one the racist epithet.  To oppose collectivism and the lumping of individuals into broad groups and claiming that their rights are defined by the group that they have been deposited into in accordance with Postmodernist feelings, makes one a Deplorable.

The Postmodernist Left has long cast the opposition to this collectivism and the advocates of individualism as fascists and white nationalists.  There are Americans who are fascists, but fascists are in favor of big, collectivist government.  Fascists characteristically favor some factions over other factions, often with a racial basis.  Some American fascists want special favors for white Americans, while others want special favors for other ethnically defined groups.  Facism is actually inconsistent with the general beliefs of vast majority of Republicans who believe in smaller government and more equal rights than do Democrats.  Only a small minority of white fascists vote Republican in reaction to the Democrats policies favoring certain non-white groups upon racial lines.

The Democrats have a very long history of racial favoritism and have only recently in that history switched from favoring white Americans at the expense of other Americans to favoring black and Hispanic Americans at the expense of white Americans.  This kind of factionalism has been long opposed by Republicans, as has big government, although only in comparison with the Democrat's advocacy of constantly larger government.  The push of the Democrat Party to selectively prevent the exercise of the rights of white Americans, especially those of men, has pushed a few white nationalists, including some fascists, into supporting Republicans in some cases.  Those few cases have been used to paint all Republicans as welcoming fascists and white nationalists into their ranks. This is not the case, but the ballot box is secret.  The leftist media does not care about the truth.  For them, the truth is not about reality, it is defined as that which supports their agenda.

The Enlightment, or Modernist, philosophy holds that man can know reality through the use of his mind, that his efforts to think rationally are not guaranteed success without error, that he must test his observations and deductions in the management of his own life and in the choice of his values, and that he must have the opportunity to both profit from his correct thoughts and to learn from his mistakes.  The rights of the individual follow from this need to use his own mind to manage his own life.

Postmodernism fundamentally undermines this philosophy and claims that man cannot use his mind to know reality, that in reality man only acts upon his feelings, that his feelings are determined by an array of group identities, and that a huge government apparatus is required to determine which factions will prevail at the expense of which other factions because in a society governed only by feelings and group identities conflict is the expected constant.  Harmony is impossible.  Only the warfare of one faction against another for raw power is realistic.  Man cannot govern his actions by reasoned principles.  Consequently, the government must use force constantly to control the outcomes among factions.  This philosophy is the basis for a belief in socialism and in collectivism at the most fundamental level.  It produced both the Communist and Fascist versions of socialism, including the fascist variant National Socialist Workers Party Nazism. Postmodernists control most American universities and trained most American journalists and bureaucrats.  The mainstream media is thoroughly indoctrinated in this Postmodernist belief which fundamentally embraces violence first in the streets and then exercised by an all-powerful government under their control.

One can only understand the leftist media treatment of the violence in Charlottesville, VA in this context.  The leftist, collectivist media is determined to make it appear that Trump has been reluctant to condemn fascists and white nationalists, despite the fact that he did so in very clear and strong terms.  Listen to his complete press conference for yourself.  Trump also condemned violence by all factions and he was right that there were opposing groups at Charlottesville that were eager for violence and that did become violent.  It is hardly surprising that leftist forces were eager for battle in the streets.  They have a long history of this with street riots against the war in Vietnam, Republican and Democrat National Conventions, Capitalism, globalization, and the inauguration of Trump. Street riots and the use of violence are a long accepted and utilized tactic of the left and of major factions in the Democrat Party.  Why not?  Their constant advocacy of collectivism and ever more controlling government is itself dependent upon a willingness to use force to suppress the rights of individuals. As for the Nazis, they were violent in the streets from the beginning of their history as the main socialist alternative to the also violent Communists in Germany between the World Wars.

My identity is not defined by the fact that I am a so-called white American male.  My identity is defined by the use of my mind for 70 years to understand reality.  When I was a small child I realized that it was critically important to use my mind and to be as rational as possible.  The observations I have made of life, the evaluations I have made of those observations, the integration of my evaluations into a self-consistent viewpoint and philosophy, the totality of the decisions I have made and of the values I have chosen play a much, much greater role in determining my identity than does the fact that I am a white American male.  The fact that I am a white American male and was raised in a middle class military family is significant, but it most definitely is not at all adequate to understanding who I am.  There are many, many ways in which I chose how to develop my identity.

There is no way that the Postmodernists can tolerate the existence of such an individual as myself.  Apparently in the last Presidential election, many Americans had at least a significant realization that the Postmodernist media and the Democrat presidential candidate would not tolerate their deplorable natures either.  Many of us Deplorables think the natures we have developed for ourselves in our lifetimes are actually pretty decent and suit us quite well, thank you very much.  We do not intend to see our individual identities crushed by Postmodernists.

Trump may not be as smooth and consistent as we would like, but he has been courageous in opposing the media in its Postmodernist, collectivist agenda.  Compared to most politicians, he has risen for the most part as an advocate of equal rights for all Americans and for some considerable relief from oppressive government dictates.  He is trying to fight back against the Left's use of racial identity politics to rob us all of our individual identities.  It would appear that as a problem-solver in the construction industry, Trump came to hold reason in much higher regard than do his collectivist, Postmodern opponents in academia, the media, and the bureaucracy.