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Honesty, integrity, rationality - gak! - about as useful as a bullet to the brain.

Few people were influenced more deeply by Ayn Rand than I was, and I bought the whole package, every word of it. How many Objectivists were elected or appointed to public office? - zero. Paul Ryan disavowed her. Alan Greenspan was famous for incomprehensibly vague Congressional testimony and tossed hard money under the welfare state steamroller.

How many Objectivists became film directors, novelists, playwrights? - hahahaha.

The cottage industry of Rand scholarship turned out swell. She was a covert Hegelian or a Jewish mystic. Handsome young homosexuals buried her and cashed in by going squishy on no-fault subjectivism. Film rights went to a certifiable dolt who sold it to an amatuer who hired a schlock horror promoter and soap actors. Eddie Willers became a cute black guy.

Not bitter, just reality oriented. When Margaret Thatcher quoted Rand ("There is no such thing as society") it ended her career, after splurging on Soviet-style NHS health care and a fat welfare state pillow for unemployed miners. Rand's influence in Britain today? - none.

Here in America? - hahahahahaha. Black Lives Matter. To equal the payola a single mom gets from various Federal and state welfare programs, she'd have to earn $70,000 a year with no high school diploma. If Rand had lived to see homosexual marriage and Hillary's cakewalk to the Oval Office, I can see her repatriating to Russia in disgust.

Vladimir Putin's puny iron fist makes more sense than U.S. foreign policy past, present, and future. $2 trillion to invade and occupy Iraq, at least 100,000 dead and 1.5 million refugees. Billions in cash "missing" from Bremer's idiotic fiefdom that gave way to Iranian-backed Shia militias and breakaway Kurds backed by Israel. Not good enough for Obama. He and Hillary fucked up Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Anbar, and Syria, promoting and funding the "Arab Spring" in bed with the Saudis who promoted and funded 9/11 and the Taliban. Jesus H. Christ! -- could there be anything worse for American foreign policy interests? Yes, there could. A deal with Iran to hand them a nuclear bomb and ICBMs, with a pallet of Swiss francs for dessert, after the Republican-led Senate waived advice and consent on unknown terms and conditions.

Really, you can't make this shit up. No one would believe it.

So here we are, solemnly swearing how honest and honorable we are as Objectivists. That cuts no ice in the real world. Sounds a lot like Hillary Clinton, honest and honorable and you can't prove otherwise, because -- oh, that? -- old news. What matters now is the first female president, an historic gesture to gender equality, the antithesis of Rand's thinking about sex roles. I don't mind being "old fashioned" as my professional colleagues frequently remark, but I draw the line at honesty, the most dangerous of all virtues in the modern world. Speak the truth and die like Andrew Breitbart, or run for your life like Edward Snowden.

The world belongs to Suge Knight and Rahm Immanuel. Fuck with them and they'll drop you head first in a sewer. But nothing tops the first class evil practiced by the electronic media and their hallowed bankrupt dead tree institutions. A couple years ago I worked for a leading trade publisher. I was aghast at the bullshit they peddled in praise of shale hucksters Floyd Wilson and Aubrey McClendon. The truth was fraud, bankruptcy, and fat Wall Street fees on high yield debt that will never pay off, never had a hope in hell of paying off. All I could do was roll my eyes at Sean Hannity yelping about "energy independence" -- a theme that The Donald picked up like a stolen tiara he found in the trash.

Want to know the truth about oil and gas? -- I doubt it. Conventional production stalled in 2005, no new proved reserves anywhere on earth. Shale fracking in the Bakken costs $70 a barrel to produce and has to be shipped by rail because Keystone XL was killed by Obama. They don't separate out ultra-volatile condensate, and when trains derail they blow up. The environmental disaster at Ft. McMurry is worse. Canadian tar has to be diluted with volatile condensate to pump it anywhere, and when it arrives at a refinery, the first thing that gets produced is tar ash, mile-long piles of it in Detroit. Same financial hurdle, costs $70 a barrel to dig up, boil, dilute, transport, and upgrade into usable crude oil. When WTI collapsed to $30, hundreds of thousands of skilled staff were laid off, rigs idled, capex decimated.

Guess why the price of oil fell? -- world demand collapsed.

(shakes head) You will not get anywhere with the truth, bub. It doesn't matter what Hillary or Donald promise or propose, no matter how reasonable it sounds. Perhaps you're aware of a "post-modern" paradigm in art and lifestyle? In a similar way, we are in a "post-modern" world economy. The problem isn't us buying cheap shit from China, instead of nonexistent and hypothetical Made In USA cheap shit. The problem is collapse of demand worldwide. Throwing more paper around like Alan Greenspan will shoot flames of inflation higher and break Social Security, which is sinking to negative cash flow and can't pay a COLA increase.

Honesty is boring and often scary. Better to speak cheerily of Objectivism. (smile)

milwaukee.jpg

 

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The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades.

 

 

Things are getting better, overall, for people generally--most of the 6-7 billion on the planet.

--Brant

 

 

 

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All depends, what moral significance one puts in honesty. Is it a duty to others, possibly self-sacrificial? Is it a selfish virtue by which one gains and keeps values? I think it is a deal one makes with oneself as an adherent to truth and reality. Second, it's a currency we share with all others (who have the same quest). (Rand wrote somewhere: "the only real moral crime that one can commit against another is the attempt to create, by his words or actions, an impression of the contradictory, the impossible, the irrational, and thus shake the concept of rationality in his victim").

But it doesn't mean one must divulge all of one's private information, to the inquisitive, prurient, or the predatory.

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On 8/14/2016 at 5:14 PM, wolfdevoon said:

Honesty, integrity, rationality - gak! - about as useful as a bullet to the brain. 

...

It's true that there is a lot of irrationality and dishonesty in the world. But are any of those dishonest people you mentioned anywhere you want to be? Would you really want a job in a corrupt, dishonest government? Do you want to be a filthy rich thug? This country is still free enough where you can make an honest living for yourself, and achieve a good level of success, without compromising your honesty or rationality. It's nowhere near the ideal of Galt's Gulch, of course. But be glad you don't live in a truly irrational time or place, where you would be killed for having rational thoughts or speaking honestly about those in power. And try to appreciate the freedom you do have, and the honest people you do know, and make the most of your life. Use Objectivism to improve your own life; just don't expect it to solve all the world's problems in your lifetime. If you focus on what's important to you in your own life, I think you can find a lot of use for honesty, integrity, and rationality. 

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1 hour ago, Don E. said:

 If you focus on what's important to you in your own life, I think you can find a lot of use for honesty, integrity, and rationality. 

Yes quite. Who promised us the world was going to be in perfect shape, and the riches would pour in? Are we spoiled, or what? My parents went through a war in Europe, my grandfather through another one. One changes what is possible, and "possible" (one eventually realises) is far larger than one first recognises. But relinquish one's rational morality out of disillusionment? Nope. That desert island AR mentioned is where and when "you'll need it most".

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Some fascinating insight into he who is the most, um ~ kind and sweet ~ man in history. Uncle Emmanuel was firm and categorical about dishonesty. Never. Ever. Lie.

"For instance, if you have by a lie hindered a man who is even now planning a murder, you are legally responsible for all the consequences. But if you have strictly adhered to the truth, public justice can find no fault with you, be the unforseen consequence what it may".... [I. Kant, 'The Supposed Right to Lie']

"Certainement, Monsieur Jihadist avec votre AK-47- the editor of Charlie Hebdo is in that building, two flights up and first door to the left. Bonne chance. Adieu".

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