Wednesday, May 24, 2006

New World Border

I'm currently on vacation in Arizona and reading Jim Marrs's Rule By Secrecy, which is a pretty even-handed look at the connections between secret societies, the 'money power,' Big Business, Big Government and the space aliens (okay that's a joke...that was a different book by Marrs).

While it makes for a fun poolside read for a guy like me, who can't go in for bestselling novels without falling asleep, I don't take it all too seriously; except--

Why would supposedly 'populist' politicians in the United States Senate ignore the overwhelming poll numbers and communications from their constituents in favor 'border enforcement,' and continue down the path of amnesty (don't call it that!)?

Why would a President whose poll numbers are alarmingly low not do likewise? For that matter, why were both major candidates for President in 2004 members of Skull and Bones, a Yale 'fraternity' that only taps 15 new members a year?

Why was a little-known governor chosen to be a member of the Trilateral Commission in 1973 and why and how did he become the 'shocking' winner of the Presidency in 1976?

Does it really matter who we elect to office or is it just a show for the rubes to keep 'em happy while the decisions are made for them by a technocratic elite?

For that matter, does this 'elite' actually know best and is doing all this hard and dirty work behind the scenes to guide humanity to a better future than it could ever have through so-called 'democracy?'

Is Instapundit their agent? Is Kos?

Is Wahrheit?

Just think for yourself and don't take anything for granted, all right?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Blessed Sound of Silence

As I sat on a shuttle bus recently listening to the vapid conversations of people on their ubiquitous cell phones, a Deep Thought came to me; there are a lot of folks out there who are terribly afraid of being alone, or at least being left alone with their thoughts. Cell phones can be a useful tool, but it seems to me that many, and not just the young, are using them as 'talk therapy.'

Solitude is an invaluable part of life. If one is afraid of it and feels the need to chatter to avoid it, some serious personal work is in order.

We've all seen the bumper stickers that say "Shut up and drive!" A noble sentiment; perhaps we need another that says "Shut up and think."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Honor

I've taken to listening to the Laura Ingraham radio show during the morning drive, and she has mentioned the book Honor, A History several times recently. I look forward to reading it.

Supposedly, honor is a concept on the wane in Western society, but I don't think that's generally true. It's true among the university relativists and main stream media talking heads, perhaps, but they don't really run the world as much as they believe.

Society without honor will wither and die. It's that simple. If all decisions are made based solely on immediate pleasure and profit, the barbarians will soon be at the gates, because they will sense that no one sees any pleasure and profit in sacrificing life and fortune to oppose them.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

And Who Will Be Hank Rearden?

Sarah at A Glass of Chianti notes the news that the film of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged may finally get made, with...Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as Dagny Taggart and John Galt(?!). They're not who I envisioned, but with the proper Hollywood magic perhaps they could be made to fit the parts.

Sarah wants to know 'Who will be Richard Halley'? I want to know 'who will be Hank Rearden?' I always felt that he was the best developed male character in the book. Galt is a bit of an enigma. Francisco is a little too perfect.

I hope they can find someone to play Hank who's believable when he's talking about Rearden Metal. Someone genuinely passionate about the mining industry. Just another pretty face won't cut it.

Rand's novels and non-fiction were a big influence during the formative years of my intellectual development. I would be likely to pay to see this film; they had better stick to the book pretty closely, however, because a crowd of pissed off Objectivists is quite scary. They know how to rationally channel their violence where it will do the most good.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Secret Society Connection

I was surprised and delighted to find on a recent visit to Barnes & Noble that they have reprinted Akron Daraul's (Idries Shah's?) Secret Societies, and I picked it up for a mere $7.99. I was familiar with the book through the numerous references to it in Shea and Wilson's Illuminatus!, and it's a clear-thinking, hard-headed survey of a field that has had more tripe written about it than perhaps any other.

Secret societies often claim connections to older organizations, and so ad infinitum, until one might conclude that the first was founded either by Adam or the black obelisk in 2001: A Space Odyssey. But this author, in one elegant sentence, puts his finger on the psychological roots of secret societies and a great many other human institutions and idiosyncracies:

There are few people who feel completely fulfilled. Of the rest, at least some of them at any given time want a short-cut to what they think they need
(191).

What a beautiful, concise statement of explanation for everything from overeating-drinking-drugging-sexing to crushing credit card debt to hip-hop culture to corporate corruption to big government!

We would all be well-advised to have these two sentences before our eyes as we go about making our never-ending choices of what to be, do and pursue.