Uncommon Sense

May 29, 2023

We Need to Get Rid of the Elites

What a mistake! In our pre-history we allowed certain people to assume authority over the rest of us. It wasn’t just as war band leaders, but that was part of it. We created priests and potentates and then they ruined our lives.

Those early elites established the pattern for those to follow them. They assumed an air of superiority and we, gullibly, accepted their superiority and therefore our inferiority.

Their first step was to absolve themselves from having to work for their living. Their efforts—to organize society, to interact with the gods, etc. meant that they had to be supported by the rest of the people. But their leisure and “important work” they adopted as their own lead them to feeling that they were special. From that point onward, these “elites” were driven by the sense that they were better than everyone else. And so thousands of years has passed and the same attitude has been in play. Today’s elites still think they are better than we are because their lives are provided with ease, wealth, opportunity, etc. In most cases that was inherited, not earned.

But what have they actually done for us?

They established the hereditary inheritance of power/money. So, their bairns became entitled little twats (see British royal family), learning the mantra of “We are better than the hoi polloi” with their mother’s milk (or at least their wet nurse’s).

They created caste systems/perpetual poverty. Since the castes act as cultural enforcement agencies, they made sure the poor stayed poor. In that way, the rich could ensure they stayed rich.

They even established a class system in the U.S. Americans assume they have a classless society, but that is just propaganda. Look around and you can see the classes of Americans quite easily (there are books available for more detail).

The elites gave us snobbery. By establishing rules of behavior, often nonsensical ones (we call them etiquette or manners), they were able to signal who was in and who was not, easily. Eat with the wrong fork—clearly you are a barbarian. Not pass the salt when asked for the pepper, clearly you are uncultured. Wear white after Labor Day? Oh, my heavens, what a maroon!

Invented mythology of the “self-made man” and others.

Embraced and adopted capitalism, based upon the unbridled greed of rich people, and called it “good” for all. (They considered the fact that capitalism puts no limits upon greed as a feature, not a bug.)

Invented mass slavery, bondage, serfdom, and marriage as ways of labeling people as property that they might own them. Note that is not owning the right to their labor, but their actual bodies, too.

I am sure I could come up with a list of the services elites provide, but no matter—whatever they are they are just too expensive. We need to find another way.

I am not advocating exterminating the elites, but modernity gives us better, more humane ways to eliminating their influence. We need to stop paying homage, for one. They do not deserve the respect they claim they are due because of their valuable service, as job creators and other imaginary “good things.” Ignoring them instead of praising them is a good start. But we need to pay close attention to them because of the dangers they pose. For example, calling Elon Musk and Donald Trump paragons of business is not only untrue, but feeding their egos to get them to do more and more outlandish things. And then we need to tax away their fortunes. Money is power, they say, and we need to strip them of their power. There are other things we can do, but stripping them of their actual capital as well as their social capital would be a good start.

And, Ayn Rand fans, I am not worried about the collapse of society were we to do this. There are many examples of stupid actions taken, for example when the Chinese were expelled from Malaysia (twice). Each time the economy collapsed and they needed to invite the Chinese-Malaysians back. But then it was the elites (hoity-toity Malaysians) ejecting hard working Chinese, not the other way around. The Chinese-Malaysians were doing vital work that just stopped when they were given the boot. Were the Chinese to have expelled the Malaysian elites, there would have been no effect such as a collapsing economy because those elites performed no effective labors.

Postscript Yes, this is being posted on Memorial Day, a day to remember proles who gave their all to protect the wealth and power of their lords and masters. What better way to teach us to act self-sacrificingly. (And don’t get your panties in a twist. I am not denigrating the heroism of soldiers sent into war (voluntarily or not). I just point out that prior to WW2, in the U.S. the vast majority of citizens wanted no part of the wars being waged in Europe and the Pacific theater. A Japanese mistake (attacking Peral Harbor without declaring war) followed by a German mistake (Hitler declaring war with the U.S.) lead us into both situations. It was the elites causing all the trouble; the people don’t start wars.

May 28, 2023

Christian Nationalists are Trying to Enslave Women!

Those Christian nationalists beavering away in the legislatures of states like Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma, etc. are doing their darnedest to establish rules of law that turn women into property. They are proclaiming as they go that the Bible states that a marriage is between one man and one woman (it does not) and espousing the Bible as a guide to marriage (it is not).

In the Bible it is clear that women are property. First they are property of their fathers, and then of their husbands. Adultery is forbidden . . . for the women, acceptable for the men (as long as it is not with another man’s property, er, wife). Divorce is allowed for the men, forbidden for the women.

Are you starting to see a pattern here?

In the Bible if a woman’s husband dies, one of the deceased husband’s brothers is supposed to marry the widowed wife. (This is what life insurance looks like in the world of the Bible.) Of course, that brother, more than likely, already has a wife but men are allowed more than one wife, women are not allowed more than one husband. Where the “one man, one woman” nonsense comes from, it sure isn’t the Bible.

Any woman who votes for these assholes promoting a “Biblical Worldview” for their state, needs to seek psychiatric help immediately. Desiring to become a slave, actually some man’s personal property, is not a healthy desire.

May 24, 2023

Florida Has Not Yet Gone “All In”

Florida’s current Republican majority has done amazing things so far. (Well, I am amazed anyway.) But they have yet to go all in on their current path. Here are a few things they could do to solidify that path.

Eject Disney World from the State
Clearly Disney is woke and getting woker. There is just no place for such a distorting corporation in Florida’s culture. Evict them. The 300,000 lost jobs and billions in revenue can be replaced.

Declare Florida to Be a Christian State
Stop being wishy-washy about your professed religion, you Floridian GOPers. You know you want it. Gotta have it. Do it. SCOTUS will back you up. When the other Confederate states follow, you will have a basis for a Constitutional amendment to make the whole country a Christian nation. (And you will be a Christian hero!)

Make Owning a Firearm a Requirement
The Second Amendment suck-ups aren’t willing to go this far, Florida can! Yahoo! Make it semi-automatic so the libs heads will explode!

Close All of Florida’s Public Universities
They are just grooming a new generation of atheists and preaching Critical Race Theory. Show them who’s boss. Florida can import educated people if any are really needed.

Convert All Public Schools to Charter Schools
They aren’t as good educationally but those damned teacher’s unions keep voting Democrat, so fuck ‘em. When they lose those cushy public school jobs and actually have to work for a living, they will wise up.

Declare All Interventions to Prevent Coastal Flooding Due to Climate Change Illegal
Since those interventions are wasteful, being based upon scientific hoaxes, we will all be better off.

Declare Florida to be a Democrat Free Zone
Democrats are drag queen loving, immigrant suck-ups that don’t deserve no respect. They need to leave Florida, now! This will make the state easier to run and a happier place.

Come on Florida! We are waiting on you to lead the way to a future full of promise, well, promises anyway. Don’t expect anything good to happen.

May 20, 2023

It Will Cost Up to $21.5 Billion to Clean Up California’s Oil Sites, But the Industry Won’t Make Enough Money to Pay for It

Interesting headline above. I have seen it now on half a dozen sites.

So, apparently a study determined how much money was needed to clean up just California’s oil extraction and processing sites and that amount of money is near ten times the amount those businesses will reap the rest of their lifetimes.

So, I have a suggestion as to how to resolve this issue. If we, the public, are to be stuck with the cleanup bill, I say confiscate the businesses as being bankrupt and in violation of the law. Nationalize them (state-ify?). The decisions they made to pollute and profit have consequences.

Sell off what parts there are that can be sold and then start the cleanups because they are going to take decades, if only to spread out the costs.

Then go after the parent companies. Bill them for the cleanup. Hound them like their collection agencies hound us if we have a debt we haven’t paid.

May 16, 2023

Wait, Walgreens Guards Have Guns?

Surveillance footage from a Walgreens in San Francisco shows the moment a private security guard killed a young transgender man accused of shoplifting. The footage captures the guard tackling and punching Banko Brown, 24, on 27 April before fatally shooting him as he exited the store.

What the fuck is on sale at Walgreen’s shitty little stores that is worth a man’s life?

We need to stop this madness. Lethal force should not be an option for offences that don’t trigger the death penalty.

What’s next? Jaywalking (walking while Black)? Littering? “Authorities” allowed to wear guns as part of their duties need to be taught that they cannot fire their weapons for any offence that is minor. Get a taser. Buy some mace. But guns should not be used for minor infractions (and that includes resisting arrest by a private security guard).

Attackers to the Right of Me, Attackers to the Left of Me (Science)

There are widespread attacks on science going on stretching from bizarre conspiracy theories along with legitimate philosophic enquiries.

Some philosophers have questioned science because science has not established where physical laws come from. Sean Carroll, a science popularizer, responded with “Why do the laws of physics take the form they do? It sounds like a reasonable question, if you don’t think about it very hard.” This, of course, was attacked as an arrogant attitude. I think not. (Full Disclosure—I am a fan of Dr. Carroll’s popularizing works. Oh, and Dr. Carroll holds a university chair in the philosophy of science.)

This question is loaded with philosophical detritus. Philosophers historically were always searching for the ultimate causes of what they observed because they were looking for gods. Today we find ultimate causes and absolutes to be nonexistent in nature.

This question is basically asking why things are the way they are. Good question, for a philosophy class in which students are being taught to think by being asked questions for which no answers exist. One might as well ask “Why is God such an asshole?” for all the good it will do you.

There is also some fundamental misunderstandings about physical laws. The general public from time to time confuses them with social laws. They ask, “Well if there are laws, there must be a law giver, no?” A physical law is merely a natural behavior that is so trustworthy that no (or sometimes very few) exceptions are known to exist. It is a physical behavior we can trust and even make predictions based upon them. For example, the orbit of the Moon around the Earth is fairly consistent. It does vary a little, but just a little and these variances are quite well known. As a consequence we can predict the location of the Moon in the night sky 20 years or even 200 years from now with accuracy. And sending spaceships to Mars requires us to have it attempting to land where the planet will be after the months it takes for the ship to travel there, not where it happens to be now.

So, why do these physical regularities exist? This is not a question that scientists ask; it is a question that Philosophers of Science ask, however. So, not knowing the source of physical laws is not a failing of science, it is a failing of the philosophy of science.

Scientists are criticized for having the attitude that when science provides no answer to a question, there is no reason to believe that any answer is possible or even necessary. This criticism is stupid, in the extreme. Here are some reasons science hasn’t answered a question (yet):
a. no one has tried to answer the question
b. the funding needed to answer the question is not available
c. the technology needed to answer the question hasn’t been invented yet
d. the question is not a scientific one (that is about the behaviors of nature)
e. the question is incoherent
f. etc.

And whether an answer is possible can only be answered by trying to answer the question over and over and over, and failing over and over and over, but then the question of possibility has still not been answered because some new technology might be invented enabling the question to be answered. This is why the criticism “well, science can’t answer that question, now can it?” in incoherent because all questions are open. Because of this all scientific answers are provisional because we do not know what data will be discovered in the future.

There are no absolutes in science . . . but there are some very good bets. For example, if you want to bet me the Sun will not come up tomorrow, I will empty my bank accounts to take that bet. There is no physical law ensuring the Sun will come up tomorrow (We’ll call it the Annie Law: The Sun will comer up tomorrow!) but it has every day for millions of years and so the odds are very much that it will tomorrow, also.

Finally science has been criticized for not having the answers to the “Big Questions,” like: “Why is there something rather than nothing?” This is not a Big Question in the first place, but it is prominent in philosophy circles because they have no answer. Please note that if there were nothing, the question could not exist because there would be no one to ask it. This question can only arise in universes that are made of somethings. So, the question is moot. But, there are some hints we are garnering from Nature that “nothing” does not exist. So, one possible answer is that “nothing” is impossible. This is another absolute so favored by philosophers and churchmen.

Other stupid questions like “Where did the universe come from?” show the ignorance of the asker. The universe is everything. It can’t come from some other place without there being a section of the universe walled off from us it could some from. And, if it did exist then it would be part of the universe and the question would still be unanswered.

One of my favorites is “What is our purpose, what are we doing here?” Who said we have a purpose? Again, these are god-believers who desperately want such things to exist, all evidence to the contrary. Purposes are things we invent, for ourselves, that give direction to our efforts. They come from within; stop looking for them from without.

April 14, 2023

Generational BS

Filed under: Culture,Politics,Reason,Social Commentary — Steve Ruis @ 10:30 am

I am coming to really dislike studies that group people by “generations.” A recent study included the following “generations:”

Silent Generation 1925-1945
Baby Boomers 1946-1964
Generation X 1965-1976
Millennial Generation 1977-1995
Generation Z 1996-now

Okay, first there is the problem of how many years a generation is. According to these numbers (using the difference in start-end years) these generations last this many years:

Silent Generation 20 years
Baby Boomers 18 years
Generation X 11 years
Millennial Generation 18 years
Generation Z 27 years

Do you see a pattern here? I don’t. Maybe there is a Generation High Command in a bunker in the mountains of Colorado that makes such decisions, but there seems not to be any order involved.

And why hasn’t there been a new generation announced to follow Gen Z. Even if you use the longest period in the above array, 20 years, Gen Z should have ended in 2016 or so. So, are we lumping in Generation Afterthought responses with Gen Z responses in these surveys? Or maybe they deliberately shorted Gen X to pad the numbers in Gen Z. Is great puzzlement!

This is an idiot way to stratify people. Is there no better way?

The Empire Desperately Needs to Strike Back

People wedded to a formal religion are shrinking in numbers, so much so that in the U.S. Just thirty-five percent of them say that they are Protestant or Catholic. Forty-nine percent say that they are atheist, agnostic, or have no religion in particular. It’s clear here that “the nones” outnumber the Protestants and Catholics. So, what can the religious do to stem this tide?

Here are the recommendations of David Gamble, one of my favorite writers on Medium.com:

What Can the Religious Do?
Here are some helpful tips to guide the deeply religious …
• Keep Using Religion as a weapon to harm the most vulnerable people in society.
• Vigorously promote homophobia and be very vocally anti-Trans. Also make sure you double down on demonizing drag-queen story hour because we just can’t have kids hearing stories in libraries (oh the horror).
• Make sure that everybody knows you deeply love Trump as your Lord and Saviour and that you are willing to lay down your life for him.
• Remind everybody that even though there is no actual evidence, you have “faith” that the election was stolen and that you embrace this deep down inside your heart as “truth”.
• Don’t forget to ban lots of books that you do not approve of, especially The Handmaids Tale, and 1984. You should also strive to keep well away from “Woke” Disney and Bud Lite.
• Work hard to remove basic reproductive health care and ensure that we get as many godly babies churned out as possible. Make sure you label any who are Pro-Choice as Nazi’s guilty of genocide.
• Advocate for AR-15 gun rights. It is obvious to all that AR-15 gun rights trump any human rights, so promote the “truth” that we need lots more guns. If any elected representatives suggest sensible gun regulations, then please do make sure they get tossed out of their elected seat, especially if they are black.
• Please also, I’m begging you, make sure you oppose science and instead exclusively cite • Focus on the Family, Answers In Genesis, and The Institute for Creation Research, as beacons who have an exclusive monopoly of light and “truth”.
• Oh, and don’t forget to also garish this offering with the “truth” regarding Jewish Space lasers, and keep explaining to all that Satanic Vaccines that hook victims into 5G will cause people to mysteriously die.

As you can see David is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek atheist.


April 9, 2023

It Wasn’t “Three Days Later” People!

Filed under: Religion,Social Commentary — Steve Ruis @ 9:15 am
Tags: ,

Note—Okay, so now it is a three-fer. S

Once again, I read the idiot comment “But then, after he was entombed . . . three days later, Christus, supposedly rose again.”

It wasn’t three days later, people.

According to the story, Jesus the Christ died late on a Friday afternoon. Saturday began at 6pm Friday, and then Sunday began at 6pm on Saturday. He supposedly “rose” from the dead early Sunday morning. That is a day and a half at most.

The phrase is “and on the third day he rose” not “three days after dying.”

I guess nonsensical stories are harder to get right, but gee whiz. Why is it atheists have to keep correcting Christians about their own beliefs?

Judas, the Scapegoat

Filed under: Religion,Social Commentary — Steve Ruis @ 8:44 am
Tags: ,

I have always puzzled at the “betrayal” of Jesus, for a number of reasons. Initially I considered Judas to be the most loyal disciple because he was willing to play the role of bad guy, to “finger” Jesus so the authorities could try him and then execute him . . . according to Jesus’s plan. But I am back to being puzzled.

The Romans had an extensive spy network. And Jesus and his posse were known to hang out where they got picked up, so if the Romans had wanted to pull him in for questioning, they knew where to find him. But they needed someone to identify which of that crowd was Jesus, right? Wrong. Jesus was a public figure. Many people knew what he looked like, and besides, Roman police practices weren’t exactly subtle. They would have rounded up the entire group and hied them all off for questioning. If the disciples had pulled a “I am Spartacus” routine, they would have crucified the lot.

So, there is still no need for a “betrayal,” faked or real.

So, why was the character dreamt up? As usual, it was to fulfill a prophecy, that turns out not to be a prophecy, so say some. But I think there is a more straight forward reason: we need someone to blame; we need someone to punish.

And forgotten behind all of this is the simple fact that Jesus went to Jerusalem to get crucified and, he hoped, resurrected. Without these two events, there would be no religion called Christianity.

This is why Christians calling Jews “Christ killers” is so stupid. Jesus getting killed was part of god’s plan, no? And the Christ killer idiocy caused the deaths of millions of Jews. (They are still doing it, by the way, if you haven’t noticed.)

It seems that our human needs: the need for someone to blame; the need of someone to punish explain the stupidity of these scriptures the best.

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