Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why -- The Rich – The Poor

It seems that everyday we are regaled by some well meaning liberal about the evils of the rich, the unfairness of wealth, the unfairness of poverty, and demands that the government do something to eliminate poverty.  What seems to be lacking is any question regarding the poor and how they got to be poor.  Certainly there are the “haves” and the “have not’s” in America but to classify these as those who have and those who don’t is a mistake.  The proper classifications are those that work and those that don’t, those that do and those that don’t.   We have those who obey the law, who support themselves and their families, and those who don’t.  The discussion shouldn’t be about income inequality but about personal and civic responsibility.

The political left focus on what they see as “income inequality” because some people make a great deal more than others and that isn’t “fair”.  For them the government should act as referee and level the playing field in effect the government should play Robin Hood and take from the rich and give to the poor, even though the poor have done nothing to earn it.  For the political left people should not be held accountable for their decisions if those decisions leave them in poverty, instead the government should redistribute the wealth more equitably. 

There is an irony here because this is a philosophy that is destroying America but the irony is that rather than helping the poor, it is actually locking them into a life of poverty and dependence on the government.  In effect this effort at redistribution of wealth does not benefit the poor but instead benefits the politicians and their power base.  It is a deviation of the basic value system that built America and simple common sense because it promises a level of material success that in not only not earned but cannot realistically be achieved.

The well meaning liberals have not empowered the poor as intended but have enslaved and trapped them into a life of dependence and entitlement, a life as a victim of society without hope of things ever getting better.  The idea that income equality can be achieved by taking from the successful and giving it to the poor is flawed at the outset.  It penalizes the hardworking successful individual who has made good life decisions while rewarding those who have made poor choices and decisions.  The reality is that each of us leads a life built upon choices and decisions.  When we make good decisions and choices these lead to rewards but when we choose poorly the results lead to failure and disappointment.  Of course through hard work and effort the effects of these poor choices and decisions can be reversed, but when the government steps in and attempts to mitigate the consequences of these bad decisions, dependence, disappointment, and poverty are the result.

It only requires a minimum effort to see that success and failure manifest themselves in family income.  Those who choose to drop out of high school, who have children prematurely and out of wedlock, have a greater possibility of living a life marked by failures, low incomes, and disappointment.  But those who finish high school, finish college, and dedicate themselves to work and self improvement have higher incomes and success.  The fact is that our futures are determined by our choices.

There is no doubt but that there is income inequality.  Income is tied directly to effort with those making the most effort having the highest incomes and those with the least having the lowest.  However, it is the effort and sacrifice that is the determinant not the education.  A bus boy at 16 can – through hard work become a waiter, then perhaps a co-owner of the restaurant, and eventually the owner of multiple restaurants and wealthy.  Another boy at 16 might choose to study and aim for a top university and a medical degree leading to a specialty and a high income.  Both boys become wealthy and successful husbands and fathers whose success was determined by their effort and dedication to a goal.  But another boy goofs off in school, doesn’t continue his education, gets a job as a laborer, has a couple of kids by different women, cannot maintain child support payments, and never seems able to get ahead and becomes dependent on the government. The inequality was in effort which led to negative outcomes and inequality of income.

The question then becomes “does the government have the moral right to take the wealth from the successful and distribute it to the unsuccessful in the form of government handouts?  While those who wish to take care of the poor by taking the wealth from one group and giving it to another may make them think they are doing the right thing, the reality is they are taking away the dignity, motivation, and freedom from those they wish to help.  The inequality of income is tied directly to the inequality of effort.  Government programs designed compensate for this inequality of effort fail because they make no demands on those they wish to help.  In effect they offset the lack of effort by making no attempt to motivate those they wish to help by motivating them to make greater efforts to become independent and self-sufficient. 

There is no easy path to success but there is an easy path to failure.  Everyone has the freedom to succeed just as through decisions and choices they have the freedom to fail.  The stark reality is that the harder you work the greater the rewards and government programs intended to thwart that simple fact, do not work and instead lock those they intend to help into a life of poverty.













Sunday, August 24, 2014

1984 And Reality

Of course our educational system has deteriorated almost to the point of non-existence, but not all of our lack of an educated population can be laid at the doorstep of the NEA.  Unfortunately, some great literary works are simply ahead of their time and because of that they pass into oblivion before their relevance is truly known.  I think this is the case with “Brave New World”, which deals with cloning, drugs, and promiscuity and “1984” which deals with distortion of the truth and government surveillance.

The novel “1984” is a multi-dimensional work that has largely fallen out of favor and I’m not sure why.  Perhaps it is because so much of it is true today that it has lost its impact and the people who should be teaching and reading it, have not experienced the world before these things became commonplace.  It must be remembered that this novel was published in 1934 and television didn’t really exist.  But when it was published the idea of having moving pictures broadcast into your home was revolutionary much less having the television watching you.  Today everyone has a television and while that television doesn’t exactly watch you, we are nevertheless under constant surveillance.  There are cameras everywhere—some obvious but many obscure and others hidden altogether.  This is done for our ‘protection” so it is accepted with few if any complaints – just like “1984”.  However, this isn’t what brings me to contemplate the relevance of this novel, because there are three other things in this novel that I think people should stop and consider.

First, there is the running theme throughout this work that words in “Newspeak” have different meanings than they used to.  This of course is true on the surface but when you stop and think about these words and their meaning today, you will find that perhaps George Orwell wasn’t too far off.  For example, I cite “love is hate and hate is love”.  At the superficial level of Newspeak this is merely a contradiction in terms, but step back and apply this concept to some of our liberal and conservative thought positions, such as; homelessness, welfare, and affirmative action.  These are all things “loved” by the left and “hated” by the right but on closer examination and with a little thought it can be argued that the left actually “hates” the homeless, the poor, and minorities, while the right actually “loves” these. 

For example the left will (and is already) spending large sums of money on the homeless by providing them with shelters, food, clothing, and in some cities (San Francisco) a stipend, thus “proving “ that they “love” the homeless even though living on the street can be exceedingly dangerous, unsanitary, and a threat to public safety.  Being homeless is their ‘right” no matter what its impact is upon society as a whole and it our responsibility to make them as comfortable as possible, thus demonstrating our love and respect for them.  It could be argued that this also demonstrates our superiority – Noblesse Oblige. 

The right on the other hand strives to take the homeless off of the streets by forcing them into shelters, by limiting the amount of time they can receive aid, by forcing them into drug rehabilitation, and putting them into custody if they fail to comply with the law (no public urination or sleeping under overpasses).  All of these actions are viewed as a clear demonstration of the insensitivity of the right-wing, in effect demonstrating that they “hate” the homeless, but do they?   Is giving them food and shelter – forced or not – wrong?  Isn’t the purpose of homeless programs to make them NOT homeless?  Isn’t improving their life, getting them off of drugs, giving them shelter, training them for employment, better than simply enabling their self-destructive behavior?  Or is the purpose of “programs for the homeless” to make them comfortable being homeless?  Note that many of these programs are justified on the basis of reducing the number of homeless but do in fact enable homelessness.  The attitude spoken or not, seems to be that the homeless have a “right” to be homeless and the rest of us must accept their decision regardless of its impact on our lives.  Doesn’t the public good take precedence over an individual’s right to self-determination?  I submit that the liberal left is not only enabling self-destructive behavior but that they and their well meaning programs are a form of class warfare intended to keep some members of society in the lowest class while allowing them to pat themselves on the back for all of their good deeds.  I further submit that the left hates the homeless while the right is attempting to actually help them and thus loves the homeless.  Or as George Orwell so aptly said “Love is Hate, Hate is Love”, but that isn’t all that he said.  What about “War is Peace and Peace is War?”

The left the world over is for peace.  They demonstrate at the drop of a hat over anything that (in their opinion) even remotely appears to be aggressive.  They have demonstrated against the B-1 bomber, the B-2 bomber, Star Wars, military deployments, ROTC, any new weapons, bigger defense budgets, and anything having to do with the American military or American interests.  It is worth pointing out these same peace loving people also demonstrate in support of Fidel Castro, the Palestinian Murderers, Ho Chi Minh, the Arab Cause, the Sandinistas, Saddam Hussein, and generally any regime that announces it is “for the people” regardless of their obvious brutality and subjugation of those same people.   Apparently, Peace in their eyes does not mean freedom from death and conflict, it just means that these are kept out of the public eye.  For these people Freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly apparently do not matter as long as there is no American presence and a controlled economy.  The fundamental belief for the Peace activists appears to be that Peace can be defined as a “lack of war”. 

But what about those people who favor a strong defense budget, a large an effective military, programs to defend the weak, and programs intended to thwart terrorism, governmental murder, and the subjugation of their people by a variety of dictators?  Are these people, war mongers?  History tells us just the opposite and in fact history would demonstrate that the very philosophies and positions taken by the Peace Activists lead inevitably to war and bloodshed, while those of the “hawks” either lead directly to peace or to much less bloodshed.  The Roman Empire endured for a thousand years and during that period the people prospered, yet Rome had a huge Army that was engaged in small wars and skirmishes for that entire time.  Had it not been for their well trained Army and a willingness to use it, Rome would have perished.  Of course there are those who would say that the Pax Romana was maintained by the subjugation and oppression of all of those they conquered.  There is a grain of truth to this argument because there were those people who wanted to be free of Rome but not to be free as much as to subjugate and oppress free of Roman interference.  The fact is the greatest majority of the people within the Roman Empire were quite satisfied with the situation.  In fact most of the barbarians who pressed Roman frontiers really didn’t want to crush Rome, they wanted to become Roman. 

This latter point is one that seems to be lost on the “peace at any cost” crowd because most of the world wants to become “American” and those that are opposing American dominance and wish to be “free” from American Imperialism are much like those that opposed Rome, they really want to oppress and subjugate without interference from America.  Unfortunately, American Imperialism is much less overt than Roman Imperialism because it is cultural and economic.  However, that isn’t the point, the point is that what the Peace activists see as “war mongering” might more accurately be viewed as “peace mongering”.  Thomas Jefferson crushed the Barbary Pirates and that ended the piracy issue against American shipping.  General Pershing crushed the Philippine (Muslims) rebels and that ended that until recently when the Muslims once again are in revolt against secular authority.  President Truman dropped the atomic bomb and ended WW II at a stroke, costing hundreds of thousands of lives but saving millions.  This can be contrasted to the peace lobby who prevailed in the 1930’s in their attempts to “give peace a chance”, which was simply interpreted by Hitler as weakness and led directly to WW II.  Therefore, once again George Orwell appears to be correct in that War is peace and peace is war.  But of all of Orwell’s vision of the future none is more clear cut and chilling than the role of his protagonist, Harry Winston.

Harry Winston was charged with “rewriting history”.  When I first read this book, I saw this as an example of how a dictatorship (ala the USSR) laid claim to events that never transpired – in effect a form of propaganda.  Like so many people I dismissed it as a literary mechanism because history is simply recording facts, facts that cannot be disputed because they were witnessed by thousands.  Yet every day I see history being rewritten not through lying but through interpretation and omission.  Thomas Jefferson was a slave owning hypocrite who didn’t believe in nor practice the glorious words he wrote down.  George Washington was another slave owner who didn’t believe in the ideals he fought for and deserves little to no credit for his role in founding the nation.  Harry Truman was a power mad Dr. Strangelove who needlessly slaughtered thousands of innocent people when all he had to do was threaten.  We have been witnesses to the deification of Jack Kennedy at the expense of Lyndon Johnson with the Viet Nam debacle being laid at the doorstep of Nixon and Johnson rather than Kennedy who initiated it.   We find that the Civil War was about slavery rather than about States Rights.  More recently we see the Los Angeles Times digitally altering a photograph to imply a threatening soldier rather than a soldier with his gun pointed away in a non-threatening position.  There is another very famous photo of a Vietnamese Colonel shooting a Viet Cong in the head at point blank range – a summary execution.  What was not reported was that the Viet Cong had MOMENTS before shot an unarmed family of four who were lying at his feet at that very moment.  The colonel simply shot him too late but the implication was that this was the summary execution of an unarmed captive soldier.  So history was written by omitting certain facts that did not support the desired viewpoint, which was the South Vietnamese were thugs, the Americans Imperialists, and the Vietcong valiant patriots. 

History is a fragile thing and historically it has been written by the victors.  Certainly the Gallic Wars would be quite different if they were written by the Germans and Gauls rather than by Caesar.  Still if you read enough history written by various people on both sides you can eventually develop a relatively truthful view of events, but that was before political correctness.  Today history is being rewritten not by the victors but by a small number of activists who wish to twist the facts to support their own agendas, which almost universally are left leaning.  We are rapidly, if we aren’t already there, approaching a point where newspapers cannot be trusted to report the facts, that history books cannot be relied upon to give an accurate view, and pictures are no longer worth 1000 words but are not worth anything because they cannot be relied upon to reflect the truth.  In effect, political correctness has infected our society with multi-culturalism, moral relativism, and immorality masquerading as morality and the victim appears to be history. 

I have no glib answers to this problem but the Alarm was sounded by George Orwell over 70 years ago and it grows louder each day.  1984 is upon us and the words and pictures that surround us carry the aura of Newspeak, where nothing is as it appears and frequently is exactly the opposite of what it appears to be.  Be vigilant.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Science or Pseudo-science

The study of science has a long history with some triumphs and some quackery, but beginning in the 19th Century it began to become more respectable with the formulation of the scientific method.  This method can be viewed as 1) Question 2) Hypothesis 3) Experiment 4) Data analysis 5) Conclusion 6) Duplication.   This is empirical science which can be repeated with the same results.  And example would be the demonstration of Einstein’s hypothesis that light has mass.   But somewhere along the way science deviated from this process and became based on faith and the belief that the hypothesis was all that was required even if it couldn’t be demonstrated.  Perhaps this division began with Darwin and his theory of Evolution.  Even though Darwin’s requirement for proof in the form of transitional fossils has never been met, Evolution has become FACT even though all that has ever been demonstrated is environmental adaptation and not speciation.  But this is just an example and once you begin to look more closely at particle physics and cosmology the issue of faith based science becomes more obvious.

The world of physics and cosmology is littered with questions and very few answers.  What passes for answers are really more like possibilities than answers and even those possibilities have built in logical conflicts.  For example science has determined – through observation – that the universe is expanding and that galaxies at the edge of the universe are accelerating and nearing the speed of light.  But if these galaxies are accelerating then logically they must have had staring point and a zero speed.  To answer this question science has postulated the Big Bang.  At some point the entire universe came into being at one gigantic explosion of superheated energy.  The temperature of this energy is believed to have been 10^23 but heat is the result of energized particles which didn’t yet exist.  Ignoring that detail -- how fast was it accelerating?  That probably isn’t as relevant as knowing that it is still accelerating and nearing the speed of light.  It is accepted that the Big Bang (which may or may not have happened) created space and time and energy.  Furthermore in violation of the law of entropy this energy organized itself into particles and ultimately into stars and planets.

But if the Big Bang created space-time then where was this infinitely dense mass of energy?  Furthermore, current thinking is that in this initial burst of energy it was expanding faster than the speed of light in violation of the General Theory of Relativity.  Without getting involved in that contradiction the implication is that if the energy released was moving beyond light speed then it must be concluded that the energy released must have slowed down below the speed of light in order for mass to come into being.  But if the energy was slowing down then what caused it to slow down and then to restart its acceleration?    Exactly what kind of energy was released at the Big Bang since it was moving beyond light speed?  Science now believes that mysterious energy was “dark energy” which remains mysterious and unknown, but scientists believe ultimately it will be identified and explained without resorting to some faith based explanation like intelligent design.

If we accept that the Big Bang was a gigantic release of some mysterious energy moving beyond the speed of light the question then arises is why did it slow? Newton’s Law says that a body in motion tends to remain in motion.  There was nothing to impede its expansion or momentum but something did in fact cause this mysterious energy to decelerate and begin to undergo a transformation from energy to mass.  And that introduces another question and that is “mass” – where did this mass come from?  Did the energy released at the Big Bang have “mass” because if it did that would violate general relativity which states that mass cannot exceed the speed of light.  This means there cannot have been mass at the beginning.  Science also tells us that photons only have mass in motion so this mysterious energy did not emit light and is believed to be “dark energy”.   So some pure energy was released traveling faster than light with an incredible temperature but no mass meaning there were no particles like photons, electrons, protons, neutrons, or anything similar.  Then were did these particles that generated all of that heat come from?  Apparently some mysterious force caused this burst of energy to decelerate and in defiance of the law of entropy – begin to  coalesce into differing forms yielding electrons ( a negatively charged energy field), protons ( a positively charged energy field) and neutrons (mass but no charge).

In conclusion it seems unreasonable to expect a scientist to follow the scientific method and duplicate the creation of the universe but is it unreasonable to expect that they make logical sense?  In the beginning they postulate that there was a bundle of energy with infinite density.  For anything to have density it must have mass and if it has mass it must have space but there was no space because the Big Bang created space and time.  So this -- their hypothesis is illogical at the outset.  From that illogical start we find general relativity ignored, Thermodynamic Laws ignored, Newton’s Law of Motion ignored, and of course the Law of Entropy ignored.  Where the mysterious energy came from is not addressed but is simply accepted that it spontaneously came into being without any initiating force.    And there you have it! Science has explained how the universe came to be without any proof or logic whatsoever, but expecting you to have faith that they are correct.  An example of faith based science ignoring empirical science and many of its own laws.   Of course there is an alternate hypothesis regarding the origin of the universe and it is widely known and accepted – I think it begins with “in the beginning there was chaos …”