Monday, December 31, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Friday, November 25, 2011
It seems to me that the only difference between Randian economics and the OWS movement is that the former wants to push capitalism to its furthest, purest extent, while the later wants to destroy it completely with utopianism at its heart. When it comes down to it though, they're both just speaking the same language, only in different dialects: anarchy.
Government to Rand was, in effect, there just for the base protection of the people, and had its use for nothing more than the protection of our shores. Military service was, however, completely voluntary, along with taxes. I can't imagine that system working too well at all. Imagine how many people actually would pay their taxes if they were totally voluntary. I can't imagine a valid government being able to sustain any army of any kind for any real amount of time on such a shoestring budget. This system seems like a way for Rand to claim that she wasn't an anarchist, even though she was undoubtedly one herself.
OWS, on the other hand, wants to dissolve capitalism completely. The daily drudgeries that these people voluntarily put themselves through in order to take away this countries lifeblood is staggering in its scope. They would have corporations and banks removed from power in order to create an "equal" society just because they can't trust the big banks or companies. Just a little reality check: the unions are siding with them. If they think they're no longer under the power of large corporations and big money, they had better think again. That's what union power is, big money. The only way for them to really get what they seek is pure, unbridled violence. This is the heart of anarchy.
The one thing that really catches my attention is that these two groups won't admit this flaw. The Randians want a impractical dissolution of government so that corporations can take over. OWS want the dissolution of corporations AND the government so that THEY, the "99%", will take over. I'm sorry, but neither of these arguments are viable. Corporate power is no different that governmental power and it is no less more tyrannical. Corporate power and governmental power sell themselves in slightly modulated ways. The power of the lowly, on the other hand, while sounding good and right, would have those that earned nothing to have everything. It would be a shift of power to those that feel they don't have any of their own. I can't foresee a future where the previously powerless are the ones to tell me what to do. It's completely opposite of what nature and life in general have shown me. You only know what you experience until the unexperienced befalls you.
This country is heading on a path to a basic annihilation of all its values by these two groups. On the one hand, our moral compass is being squeezed by absolute greed and avarice and, on the other, our sloth and belief in many psuedo-de facto rights is sucking life from our sense of industry. We must find a common ground. I can not stress this enough.
Monday, September 5, 2011
9/5/2011 8:00 P.M.
Yesterday was a smaller journey than we thought it would be. The drive was under three hours, and with very few hangups. We had to stop at Barb's parent's house to drop off the keys to the apartment, but, other than that, everything went well. We got slightly lost once we got into town thanks to an invisible road sign, but I remembered from the maps that there were only few roads in the town to begin with, so running into the right street was only a matter of time. The cottage that we rented was on a larger property which, with all due respect, was run by people that seemed a bit more backwoodsie than most would like. But the apartment was cute and backstopped by a large stream which was running brown from all the rain over the last few days. We couldn't check in yet as check in wasn't until 2:30, so we took a ride through the town and parked in a public lot. We walked through several small gift shops, head shops, and Buddhist shops (as the place is teeming with them), and eventually decided to eat at the local Indian place. What I found odd was the fact that it was the only Indian food place in the town. Unusual for a place that seems to love Indian culture if you ask me. Either way, the food was excellent and, after more window shopping, we went and checked into our little apartment.
It has the look of a small converted barn, completely with sink, toilet, a small shower, stove and fridge, and a little back porch with a gas grill. The stream runs about 150 feet off the back of the house and the water smells lightly of earth. You can see the ground water leak in through the slate walls on the banks. The overhang trees were anchored in the rock and the dirt in a way so that they seemed like they had been there forever, and I found a rushing stream in heavy rains to be calmer, more tranquil than a quiet day in NJ ever could. Home should be like this. Instead it's nothing more than a clogged artery stemming from New York City, dragging its cholesterol with it. That should not be home.
We spent an hour or so at the cottage, took a walk through the stream, and went out to find food for the fridge when we came upon the greatest health food store I've ever seen. What was crazier was that people were shopping there in droves and their selection was far beyond anything in central NJ. I'd never seen that before. It was grand to see old hippies buy fresh local apples by the bushel. You wouldn't get that in Manalapan.
Afterwards, we returned home and to wait out the bad weather. I had brought my telescope with us in hopes of catching some viewing time, but the rain and the clouds scuttled my plans like a sea-worn schooner with worm homes in her hull. I decided it better to realize the rain had won for today, and it would be better to sleep off the frustration. Today, as I had feared, would be no better.
The rain went all night and the clouds continued to blot out what sun we would have been able to see. We decided on fossil hunting off Rt. 209, about 20 minutes from here. Before we got to the site, we stopped at a thrift store which had very little of what I was looking for, so we perused and left. When we got to the site, we pulled off into a well-worn pull-off that many had used, and used recently. The shale cliffs had been cut right into when they built the road, so getting to the rock was easy. We found a small piece of fossilized coral, the first fossil I'd ever found in an actual fossil bed, but that was it. We may try somewhere else tomorrow. The cliff seemed to be pretty well picked over as there was evidence of hammer and small pick axe use. On the way back we stopped for some more food at a grocery store that we passed. We would have gotten everything yesterday, but meat just never seems to appear in health food stores for some odd reason. The damned hippies must live on nuts and berries.
For the most part, we stayed in today after we got back. I went rock hunting along the banks of the stream, but that really capped off our day. Tomorrow we may search for more fossils and stop at a Buddhist center outside of town.
9/5/2011 8:28 P.M.
9/7/2011 1:37 P.M.
This rain is really killing my vacation. My telescope has been sitting in my car since we got here, and not being able to walk except in 20 minute bursts is not what I call "relaxing". Still, the town is nice and the cottage is cool, even if most of my time is being spent there. Friday and Saturday were, at the beginning of the week, looking good, but now they're forecasts show thundershowers. This reminds me of my trip up to Cherry Springs in April with Scott and Brad. We knew we were supposed to get rain the following day, but even that night was way to cloudy for any real observation time at all. That whole weekend was a wash, so we left the next day.
I may have to wait until November to get any real observation time in, other than what I get at Scott's place. Ugh...
9/7/2011 1:42 P.M.
Friday, September 2, 2011
We'll be heading to Woodstock, NY for the week on Sunday. Should be fun. I'll be sure to post my daily travel journals, although I'm not sure if I'll be able to post them daily. I still don't know the internet situation at our cottage yet. I may have to post when I get home. Either way, they'll be up eventually.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
This Casey Anthony trial reminds me of the Fatty Arbuckle trial from the turn of last century. Fatty supposedly murders a young girl, William Randolph Hurst makes a huge spectacle with his newspapers, people demonize Fatty Arbuckle for "murder", he's acquitted, and his reputation is ruined. People rush to judgement too quickly. NONE of us were in that court room nor were any of us at the scene of the crime, and the sleaze that they call the press has their own agenda. DO NOT rush to judgement. For all we know Casey Anthony really was innocent. Too many people that have later been exonerated (AFTER the fact, no less) have been put to death. I wish that people weren't so naturally blood thirsty to begin with. Maybe reason would actually affect them more often.
Now, if you wanted to talk about OJ Simpson, then that's another story altogether...