texshelters

Writing at Hugpages

In Current Events, Education, Entertainment on May 17, 2012 at 02:43

Dear Readers:

I am now posting at HubPages. The link is here.

http://texshelters.hubpages.com/

It seems I can make some money there without having millions of comments. I hope I will see you there in the future with your comments and question.

Thank you so much. I may post here again with longer, serious pieces.  However, I have amped up the humor over at the Hub.

Peace,
Tex Shelters

Beyond Evil

In Education, History, Philosophy on April 26, 2012 at 17:26

picasso Guernica from http://www.abcgallery.com

Evil, like race, is a social construct that does not exist in the natural world. Justice Potter Stewart of the Supreme Court said in 1964 about obscenity that he can’t define it, but he knows it when he sees it. That is true for many people when they are asked to define evil. They don’t know what it is exactly, but they know it when they see it.

Evil is a self-defining term, “The evil man inflicts injury on himself; he would not do so, however, if he knew that evil is evil.” from Beyond Good and Evil by Frederich Nietzsche (section 190).   Ah, the tautological pleasures of evil. Evil exists by the very existence of the word evil.

The term evil is used to bring down those that stand out from the herd, “The lofty independent spirituality, the will to stand alone, and even the cogent reason, are felt to be dangers, everything that elevates the individual above the herd, and is a source of fear to the neighbour, is henceforth called EVIL…” (Ibid: section 201).

During humanity’s history, those that stand apart, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, (the church hated astronomers), Darwin, Marx, union members, atheists, homosexuals and other outliers have been labeled “evil”. Being labeled evil can justify your murder. Thus, jihadists can kill Americans, for they are part of the “evil empire”, the U.S. can kill Muslims who belong to the “axis of evil”, people can kill doctors for they are evil, and so forth. Evil is a label preserved for those that disagree with convention, the powerful or are different. In modern times, evil is a term frequently exploited by dogmatists and ideologues.

“Against such a “possibility,” against such a “should be,” however, this morality defends itself with all its strength, it says obstinately and inexorably “I am morality itself and nothing else is morality!”” (Ibid: section 202)  Thus, we can see the use of the term evil as a way to validate a particular religion or morality. Evil is what one should not do, and thus those who act opposed to these evil actions are moral. So, if homosexuality is evil, those that are married to the opposite sex are moral.

As the web page for the Christian group New Advent states, “Thus evil, from the point of view of human welfare, is what ought not to exist.”  If they are evil, they shouldn’t exist, so we are justified in killing them. So people who think others are evil and “ought not to exist” can call for their murder, as Ted Nugent recently did when speaking about President Obama.

The subjective nature of the term evil makes it useless, a word with no concrete meaning. As the Christian Heretic site says, “The problem is, there is actually no such thing as evil because “evil” is really nothing more than an English word we use to label an action or experience which we perceive in a negative way.”  In fact, the belief in evil is a superstition akin to belief in God, astrology or the Loch Ness Monster.

Nietzsche turns this back on the accusers, “According to slave-morality, therefore, the “evil” man arouses fear; according to master-morality, it is precisely the “good” man who arouses fear and seeks to arouse it, while the bad man is regarded as the despicable being.” (Nietzsche: section 260) The supposed “good” and “moral” use fear of others to manipulate us.  By defining our morality for us, religious and political leaders control us through fear, and thus they continue to gain the most from the labor and resources of this nation. While we are out fighting the evil in each other, plutocrats are writing new legislation to take away our rights, jail us and further rig the economy for themselves at the expense of the people.

The Church and mid-evil theocracies used God and fear to control the masses, and the state learned this technique and uses it today. If the U.S. had been less “moral” and less religious, and instead been more rational and scientific, we wouldn’t have been so easily manipulated to go to war with Iraq after Bush’s “axis of evil” speech. If we understood that the term “evil” was being used to get us to attack unsuspecting humans thousands of miles away (who had nothing to do with 9/11) and that the term meant nothing, we may have thought twice about accepting the war with Iraq.

Thus, the “good” person harms society by labeling those he fears as “evil”, and in doing so, they promote the very thing they rail against: anger, hatred, judgement and violence.

If I ask you to show me evil, you can’t. You would show me a picture of Charles Manson, or Pol Pot, or some other person most people consider evil. But it is not that they are evil in and of themselves, they are only “evil” because of their actions. So why not just call them “mass murderers” or “genocidal maniacs” and leave it at that? Evil is an adjective that lacks meaning separate from actions. Evil is a shorthand for so many possible actions that it has no meaning.

That “Evil” can be used to describe something unpleasant is not evidence that evil exists as a universal constant, nor the base for an argument for moral absolutes.” Herodotus 

The term evil allows us to avoid disturbing questions regarding the development of men like Stalin and Hitler by stating, “They are just evil”. In the book, For Your Own Good, noted German psychiatrist and author Alice Miller argues that it was the strict child rearing practices in early 1900s Germany that produced not only a compliant populous ready to obey a dictator after WWI, but these practices also created tyrants like Hitler that would recreate the oppressive experiences of childhood for the Germans. If Hitler had been born elsewhere at a different time, he certainly would not have become evil.

“It is too simple to blame evil people for horrifying acts of terror,” says psychologist and science historian Michael Shermer. “In a scientific worldview, however, there is no such thing as good and evil as supernatural forces operating outside the realm of the known laws of nature and of human behaviour.”

Americans are particularly succeptable to the term evil and react to it without asking why something is evil or if it is evil at all. Evil is a catchall phrase and whenever someone calls a person, issue, policy, or anything evil, you should question this persons logic and argument. Better yet, turn the page and read something else.

Peace,
Tex Shelters

Tex Shelters Endorses Money for President

In Current Events, Election Politics on April 22, 2012 at 20:27

fist full of hundreds from farm4.static.flickr.com

I am tired of losing elections by voting my conscience. Last time, I supported Huckabee for his moral fortitude standing up against gay sex by comparing it to pedophilia and bestiality. Standing up for God is why the liberal media hated him so much. During this campaign season, I supported Bachmann for being courageous enough to stand against her own raped gender on abortion issues. But no more. I am going to vote for the money.

About 90% of campaigns with the most money win congressional seats, so why not vote for the richest campaign? Also, the media will be reporting incessantly about campaign money, so why fight it? Who needs policy anyway, and who can trust what a politician says? Money doesn’t lie.

Money should be the determining factor in who runs this nation. First, Congress will have to know how to work with their masters: the Kochs, Big Pharma, Monsanto, GE and the war industry, among others, to keep this nation running smoothly for them. Moreover, by requiring candidates to have millions of dollars to get media attention for their campaigns, you can ensure that power will be held at the top of the economic rung and not trickle down to the people who don’t deserve nor know what to do with this power.

This paragraph from a New York Times article called “How Much Does It Cost to Run for President?” shows how money can determine how a campaign is perceived.

“The answer to that question is remarkably complicated. It depends in large part on how much a candidate is able to raise. And it can vary wildly, from the candidate who operates on a shoestring budget to the gold-plated, multistate operations of the most serious contenders.” (Observation: Journalists will often tell us that something is “remarkably complicated” when it’s not in order to justify their jobs).

Note the words, “gold-plated, multistate operations of the most serious contenders.” The implication is that if you don’t have lots of money for your campaign, you aren’t a serious contender. Thank you New York Times for helping winnow out those loser candidates with ideas but no money.

Money not only determines the coverage you can buy, but it in large part it determines the coverage you get. The candidates with the largest bank roll often get the most free media attention because money means you are more deserving. “In terms of visibility, however, they mean everything. In primary politics name recognition equals money, money equals coverage, coverage equals name recognition, and name recognition equals–you guessed it–more money.”  It’s the law of money conservation; money gets conserved in the campaign with the most money.  Romney was twice as visible as Santorum in February despite Santorum’s three consecutive wins.  So instead of trying to hide his money and his tax statements, Mitt Romney should wave a wad of hundreds in front of him at every campaign stop to get attention like a woman might push up her chest or a man might thrust his bulge forward for the world to see. It shows his worthiness.

One positive thing I can say about Santorum is that he had the billionaire Foster Friess to back up his campaign. I like Friess for being brave enough to say what many of Santorum’s patriotic backers were afraid to say in public, that he hopes Obama’s “‘Teleprompters Are Bulletproof.’”  Only great Americans, billionaires, can say whatever they want about the president without getting into a big hassle over free speech. And luckily, Friess has billions in free speech dollars. Let’s hope he starts spending them on Romney.

Newt Gingrich also has his great benefactor billionaire, the third richest man in the U.S., Sheldon Adelson. “Mr. Adelson, by some estimates worth as much as $22 billion, presides over a global empire of casinos, hotels and convention centers whose centerpiece is the Venetian in Las Vegas, an exuberant monument to excess…”  Excess is just not on display enough in political campaigns, so I am glad Adelson is putting his cash where his mouth, Newt Gingrich, is. However, one billionaire can’t beat all of Wall Street.

And that is when I, Tex Shelters, started supporting Romney. Romney’s campaign is back stopped with Wall Street money and has cruised to victory over Santorum and Gingrich. It had nothing to do with Santorum and Gingrich just being more nutty than Romney. It had to do with all of Romney’s deserved campaign cash. Frankly, we don’t care what Romney’s positions are on social issues like abortion as long as he can give Obama a run for his money.

But then I learned that Obama gets much of his campaign money from the same donors as Romney: Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, UBS AG, and others. While most of the individual donations to Obama come from people giving $200 or less, most of his money comes form large donors. So perhaps Obama is not such a bad guy or socialist after all if he accepts all those donations from billionaires and millionaires as well.

Sorry kids, Granddad lied to you; it’s not about who you are, what morals you have, it’s about getting money at whatever the cost.  And that is why I would support Mitt Romney. Except, Obama has more money, so I will have to vote for him.  And besides, the candidate with the most money wins 90% of presidential elections. As long as Obama doesn’t challenge the basic assumptions of our economy that allows billionaires to hoard money while poverty increases, we’re fine with that. Unless, of course, Romney catches and passes Obama in the donation department.  Whoever wins, it’s a win-win for the billionaire class.

Peace,
Tex Shelters

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