Thursday, December 29, 2011

'Nothing Outside the State' by Robert Higgs

Shared in full with Permission by Author; Robert Higgs:

[This is fine, Mr. Holzkopf. Please proceed to share and link the article as you describe.
Best wishes,
Robert Higgs
Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:15p.m.]

For your Consideration... A most intelligent and common sense look at what is really going on.

Nothing Outside the State

A popular slogan of the Italian Fascists under Mussolini was, “Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato” (everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state). I recall this expression frequently as I observe the state’s far-reaching penetration of my own society.
What of any consequence remains beyond the state’s reach in the United States today? Not wages, working conditions, or labor-management relations; not health care; not money, banking, or financial services; not personal privacy; not transportation or communication; not education or scientific research; not farming or food supply; not nutrition or food quality; not marriage or divorce; not child care; not provision for retirement; not recreation; not insurance of any kind; not smoking or drinking; not gambling; not political campaign funding or publicity; not real estate development, house construction, or housing finance; not international travel, trade, or finance; not a thousand other areas and aspects of social life.
One might affirm that the state still keeps its hands off religion, but it actually does not. It certifies certain religious organizations as legitimate and condemns others, as many young men discovered to their sorrow when they attempted to claim the status of conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. It assigns members of certain religions, but not members of others, as chaplains in its armed services.
Besides, isn’t statism itself a religion for most Americans? Do they not honor the state above all else, above even the commandments of a conventional religion they may embrace? If their religion tells them “thou shalt not murder,” but the state orders them to murder, then they murder. If the state tells them to rob, to destroy property, and to imprison innocent people, then, notwithstanding any religious strictures, they rob, destroy property, and imprison innocent people, as millions of victims of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and millions of victims of the so-called Drug War in this country will attest. Moreover, in every form of adversity, Americans look to the state for their personal salvation, just as before the twentieth century their ancestors looked to Divine Providence.
When the state produces unworkable or unsatisfactory conditions in any area of life, and therefore elicits complaints and protests, as it has for example in every area related to health care, it responds to these complaints and protests by making “reforms” that heap new laws, regulations, and government bureaus atop the existing mountain of counterproductive interventions. Thus, each new “reform” makes the government more monstrous and destructive than it was before. Citizen, be careful what you wish for; the government just might give it to you good and hard.
The areas of life that remain outside the government’s participation, taxation, subsidization, regulation, surveillance, and other intrusion or control have become so few and so trivial that they scarcely merit mention. We verge ever closer upon the condition in which everything that is not prohibited is required. Yet, the average American will declare loudly that he is a free man and that his country is the freest in the world. Thus, in a country where more and more is for the state, where virtually nothing is outside the State, and where, aside from pointless complaints, nothing against the State is permitted, Americans have become ideal fascist citizens. Like the average German during the years that Hitler ruled Germany, most Americans today, inhabiting one of the most pervasively controlled countries in the history of the world, think they are free.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Hanukkah

 Happy Hanukkah to all my friends that celebrate!
May it be Merry and Joyous and all those things.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Twilight: The Golden Years?

With all the critiques out there, I noticed they tend to be very Black & White. Ranging from those articles author's dying love for the series or some particular character, or to the other extreme of Hate-Bile-Hate and more hate.

In light of some very gooey and some very viperous articles, I felt as is my right as a 'Blogger to put my 3 Cents in.

**Spoiler Alert**
-You have been warned-

Stephanie Meyer may not be as eloquent as J.K. Rowling or as definitive in prose as Stephen King, however she carries us through her story and brings the intangible to bear, while holding our wrapt attention as we are given insight into a new World. One that sinks it's teeth heavily into what a Family really is and what love does to many of us, and how our decisions effect us.

She reminds us that we are fragile beings prone to mistakes while seeking dreams much larger than ourselves. She shines a light upon the face of an alternative tomorrow that whispers of longing and desire for its tentative embrace, while the power-hungry and greed-motivated seek nothing else but to control our everything, when we only seek our own singular peace.

Stephanie's brilliance is not so much in her words as it is in her ability to capture our attention to those important details that somehow although foreign, ringing out an element of truth to each and everyone of us. Keeping us hanging on to the barrage of emotional baggage that intertwines us and yet all the while subtly weaving out a much bigger lesson to be learned from it all.

Save for the incessant whining and extreme emotional schisms which heavily inundated Bella and Edward especially in the first two books, (Edward being the most emotional Vampire I have ever encountered), and to some lesser degree Jacob's emotional roundabout. The emotional pallet balances more toward the last two books while the first two are a bumpy emotional roller-coaster that reeled even my sensible might. This is still an excellent series for fans of the Vampiric genre, although you have to leave room for stretching from traditional Vampiric fables.

The Films don't follow as closely as one would hope like as we see in the Harry Potter Films. However in some instances this was good. Somethings cannot be transcribed from text to video very well, even in this day and age of grand visual effects and 3D tech.

For the Books; Eclipse was one of my favorites, with Breaking Dawn being my absolute favorite of the whole Saga so far. The same seems to follow suit with the Films also.

*I think Breaking Dawn Pt 1 could have shown a bit more of the numb-fiery suffering Bella was engaged in during her transformation moment. Yet I wasn't dissatisfied either, showing her memories back to childhood, kind of how common culture expresses at times the phrase, "My life flashing before my eyes", seemed appropriate somehow in place, but most especially on how they leave us hanging with us staring into her Blood-Red eyes.*

Of course now that the 4 books and the 4.1 films are complete, we as fans or grumpy onlookers are left in kind of a conundrum. The fans see new characters and possible plot lines opened up and immediately severed... while the grumpy haters are praying very hard (even those that don't believe in the afterlife), that it will exist no more... lol

Yet I seek to wonder; Breaking Dawn was the most fascinating and exhilarating read I have had in some while save for maybe Wolfskin by Juliet Marillier or the final Harry Potter Book. It also leaves so much to be desired although if Stephanie Meyer wrote no more it wouldn't be a horrible thing.

What get's my curiosity going is now at the end of Breaking Dawn we have most obviously the Jacob and Renesmee imprinting, which could be it's own story unto itself. With Jacob and his separate pack from Sams. A seemingly stronger bond and Treaty between the Quileute and the Olympic Clan (Cullens).

Renesmee's unique gifts and how she will end up interacting with the world and Jacob for that matter.

We have Bellas amazing Gifts and we have to wonder? How strong is Bella really? With her unique ability to control her cravings and do things that no other Vampire is known to have done ever in the Twilight Universe.

We have the growing years between Bella, Edward and Renesmee... Will they let Jacob shadow her 24/7 or will they come to some agreement so Bella and Edward can spend more time with her as she initially ages?

We have so many new characters introduced, from wandering clans to the scheming Romanians and the Amazonians, etc. How about the old friends of Carlisle and this introduction of other Mortal-Immortal Hybrids... Seriously? And then leave without saying more? Only if there will be another few books.

I'd definitely like to see further interactions between Bella and her Father, how about what she finally decides to do about her Mother?

Finally I will ask, how about the Volturi? They may have left without battle, but we are left to chew on that they are not the type to give up on an obsession and could there be assassination attempts later on in the future?

And what about the Volturi's new obsession with the creator of the other Hybrids? You know they will pursue that with extreme prejudice.

So there is a lot being left unsaid at the end of the 4th book in the Twilight Saga, and many of us would definitely enjoy at the very least reading about the next 150 years or so.

In light of all this, I do hope that Stephanie Meyer finishes her 'Edward perspective' Midnight Sun. I have read the 1st chapter from her site, and even in it's rough form.. it is a bit exciting to see things from the other perspective. I have to say though I will not fault her if she ends up dropping the project. I understand how you pour your Soul into something and then before it is done, it gets peeked at.. then it just seems to lose it's flavor.

I was also enthused by Stephanie's teaser story that followed the 'The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner', the cute young New-born Vampire out of Seattle. I don't know if it was necessary but I was attached to her character the moment I read about her and saw the actor in film. it was nice to get a breath of insight into Bree's life before and after leading up to the end of Eclipse.

In the end, I gather we will wait in pained silence to see if Stephanie Meyer decides to continue gracing us with her shimmering words or if we will have to be content just wondering and sucking up what decent Fan Fiction might be around.

R. William Holzkopf Jr.
Copyright © 2011 R. William Holzkopf Jr.


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

December 7th, 1941

I make sure I remember to honor all the Men and Women who died serving this country on December 7th, 1941. Thank you all for your sacrifice. I don't take it for granted.

Yet we can't forget that we weren't unprepared, just deceived.

"Roosevelt sacrificed over 2400 American Seamen’s lives, thanks to his power as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. By over-looking the obvious facts of an attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt was able to control both the political and economic systems of the United States. Most of American society before the Pearl Harbor bombing believed in the idea of isolationism."

"Roosevelt deliberately provoked the attack and that he and his key military and administrative advisers clearly knew, well in advance, that the Japanese were going to attack both Pearl Harbor and the Philippines. Roosevelt wanted to get into the European War but he had been unsuccessful in provoking Germany; therefore, he considered the sacrifice of Pearl Harbor and the Philippines as the best way to get into the European War through the back door of Japan."

R. William Holzkopf Jr.