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100,000! The Best of Beneath The Tin Foil Hat.

When I started this blog two years ago, I had very little expectation. I figured I would write about what interests me, and put it out on the intertubes for whoever else would care to read it. Hell, I’m surprised I’ve managed to stick with the blog this long. I never imagined that my blog would ever attract this much attention, as modest as that attention may be.

The blog recently passed the 100,000 view mark, and I want to thank everyone of you who support BTTFH. It’s been a lot of fun putting myself out there, as well as meeting and interacting with so many cool people!

To celebrate, I thought I would share links to my 5 favorite posts, as well as the top 5 posts by view. I hope you enjoy!

Top Five All Time Fan Favorites:

#5 Naked Family
A pic of a family in anatomically correct naked costumes. What’s not to like?

#4: I Got Nothing
Who knew bitching about school and writer’s block, would generate so much interest?

#3 Beneath The Tin Foil Hat Goes Global: My Interview On Russia Today
Like everybody else, I wrote a series of posts about Anders Breivik and the Utoya, Norway massacre. Somehow, my posts caught the attention of a producer on the Russian news network, Russia Today. The interview went horribly wrong, thus ending my brief career as a Russian TV pundit.
It was still fun as hell though!

#2 Dear Republicans
A meme I shared that highlights just how much today’s GOP dislikes – well, they dislike everybody.

#1 From Mittens To Kittens
I posted this shortly before the election, just to put a little irreverence into a tense atmosphere. Who knew so many people like pictures of cats?

My Top Five Favorites

#5 Angry Poetry Week: Howl – Allen Ginsberg
One of the best poems written by one of the best writers to ever walk the face of the earth!

#4 Why God Hates Al Gore: Judeo-Christianity and Ecology.
A small history lesson concerning religion, and it’s sense of entitlement to all things big and small on our planet.

#3 My Response to Republicans Over SB5? F*ck You!
This is me doing what I do best.

#2 The Pueblo Indians of The 17th Century.
Another history post: This one is about those naughty Pueblo Indians.

#1 Where is The Angela Davis of Today’s Generation? She Never Left!
What can I say? I’m a history geek.

Once again, I want to thank everyone who continues to support my little piece of crap blog. I love you all!

Tony Wright Has it Right

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I strongly agree with Tony Wright: In my opinion, voting for Willard Romney for his “fiscal conservatism” makes one complicit with the extremist GOP beliefs that it’s morally acceptable to deny rights to LGBT Americans. A vote for Romney means that you agree that woman should be kept in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant. It means that patriarchy is fine by you, and that woman have no business deciding what’s right for their bodies. A vote for Willard says that you have no respect for minorities, the poor, or the elderly.

Voting for Romney tells me that you want theocracy, that freedom of religion is only available to Christians. A vote for Romney screams to me that one nation under Koch is your core value. A vote for Romney says to me that you like trickle down economics, which only serves to flood Caymen Island bank accounts. The trickle down to the rest of us is actually corporate fat cats pissing on our heads.

Teachers and police and firefighters are parasites, sucking the life out of our country’s bottom line. A vote for the GOP means that bullying is perfectly acceptable, as long as it’s you that’s not getting bullied.

Personally, when I vote, morality means more to me than money. When I vote tomorrow, I know that I will be able to look myself in the mirror, and be happy with the choices I made at the polls- will you be able to say the same thing?

Which is it? Money or Morality? You can’t have both with Mitt Romney: chances are that unless you are a rich white man, who’s straight and Christian, the GOP isn’t helping you with either.

Romneyhood!

I have to give props to Obama and the Democrats for coming up with this one 🙂

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Some good stuff here from Duane Graham. For the record, I’m also a firm believer in John Rawls and his “difference principle.”

The Erstwhile Conservative: A Blog of Repentance

It’s time for percolate-up economics for the middle class.”

—Senator Tom Harkin defending the “Rebuild America Act

his post may separate those of you out there who think you are liberals from those of you who really are.

From philosopher John Rawls I learned the “difference principle,” which essentially states that social justice entails creating the kind of society in which the worst among us are as well off as possible. The key to understanding this concept of social justice is to note the phrase, “as well off as possible,” and not mistake it for, “as well off as everyone else.”

My personal application of this idea is that certain social inequalities can be tolerated so long as we have striven to eliminate them in the context of keeping the engine of capitalism running. This implies that restrictions on capitalism are necessary, and that there…

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Angry Poetry Week Continues: Powers of Recuperation by Adrienne Rich

Today’s poem was written by the iconic feminist poet and essayist Adrienne Rich, who passed away yesterday at the age of 82. Rich’s literary works inspired countless feminist authors and activists over several decades. Rich was revered for her social commentary as well as her deeply moving personal reflections.

She lived and wrote openly as a lesbian for most of her adult life, beginning in an era when homosexuality was condemned by more than just knee jerk christian conservatives. As an author and activist she fought bravely for not only the rights of women, but for all who are disadvantaged in our society.

Her list of works and awards span over 7 decades, and she is one of the most anthologized authors of the 20th century. Although her writing style may have not been the in your face, bludgeon you with a hammer type poetry that’s been featured this week, her message was always loud and clear, and succinctly relevant. I would be remiss if I didn’t honor her today by sharing with you one of her poems.

Sleep well dearest Adrienne; You are cherished by many, and you are already missed.

Without further adieu, I share with you:

Powers of Recuperation
by Adrienne Rich
 
i.
 
A woman of the citizen party—what’s that—
is writing history backward
 
her body
              the chair she sits in
to be abandoned
             repossessed
 
The old, crusading, raping, civil, great, phony, holy, world,
               second world, third world,
               cold, dirty, lost, on drugs,
 
infectious, maiming, class
war lives on
 
A done matter she might have thought
ever undone though
       plucked
 
from before her birthyear
and that hyphen coming after
 
she’s old, old, the incendiary
woman
 
endless beginner
 
whose warped wraps you shall find in graves and behind glass
        plundered
 
ii
 
Streets empty now
           citizen rises
         shrugging off
her figured shirt pulls on her dark generic garment
    sheds
identity inklings
  watch, rings, ear studs
now to pocket her flashlight
         her tiny magnet
shut down heater
            finger a sleeping cat
lock inner, outer door
     insert
key in crevice
      listen once twice
to the breath of the neighborhood
take temperature of the signs
     a bird
scuffling
               a frost settling
 
… you left that meeting around two a.m. I thought
someone should walk with you
 
Didn’t think then I needed that
 
years ravel out and now
 
who’d be protecting whom
 
 
I left the key in the old place
in case
 
iii
 
Spooky those streets of minds
shuttered against shatter
 
articulate those walls
pronouncing rage and need
 
fuck the cops
      come jesus
blow me again
 
Citizen walking catwise
close to the walls
 
heat of her lungs leaving
its trace upon the air
 
fingers her tiny magnet
which for the purpose of drawing
 
particles together will have to do
when as they say the chips are down
 
iv
 
Citizen
at riverbank
          seven bridges
Ministers-in-exile with their aides
limb to limb dreaming underneath
 
conspiring by definition
 
Bridges
      trajectories arched
in shelter   rendezvous
two banks to every river  
     two directions
to every bridge
twenty-eight chances
every built thing has its unmeant purpose
iv
Every built thing with its unmeant
meaning    
    unmet purpose
every unbuilt thing
child squatting    civil
engineer   devising
by kerosene flare   in mud
possible tunnels
carves in cornmeal mush   
    irrigation
canals by index finger
all new learning looks at first
like chaos
the tiny magnet throbs
in citizen’s pocket

vi
Bends under the arc walks bent listening for chords and codes
bat-radar-pitched or twanging
off rubber bands and wires tin can telephony
to scribble testimony by fingernail and echo
her documentary alphabet still evolving
Walks up on the bridge   
    wind-whipped      roof and trajectory
shuddering under her catpaw tread
one of seven
built things holds her suspended
between desolation
and the massive figure on unrest’s verge
1pondering the unbuilt city
cheek on hand and glowing eyes and
skirted knees apart
2007

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Kant, Bentham, And Meth Lab Fires.

From a painting of Immanuel Kant

Image via Wikipedia

In the sleepy, little river side town where I now live, a huge meth problem exists just beneath the surface. Just since the Yule holiday, there have been three meth labs busted within five miles of our home. Of these three labs that were raided, two were burnt to the ground by a vigilante hours after the police left. It would be an understatement to say that there are a lot of nervous, pissed off residents in this area. It’s bad enough that there is a meth problem: The fact that some dumbass is running around burning them down because he thinks he’s some kind of hero-vigilante only makes it worse.

After reading about the fires, I began to think: what would contrasting philosophers Immanuel Kant and Jeremy Bentham have to say about this? What morals and ethics can be applied? Let’s start with Bentham:

Jeremy Bentham was an 19th century British philosopher. His primary claim to fame is his introduction of Utilitarianism, the concept that the ends justify the means, as long as it is good for the majority. In the case of these fires, Bentham might find that the arsonist’s actions are good; there is a serious meth problem in the area, which affects a great number of people. The consequence of setting the lab on fire, regardless of the fact that some people can lose property and life as a result is outweighed by the consequence that even more people may benefit from a meth lab being burned down, eliminating a potential source of debilitating drugs. The fact that the lab was shut down by the cops is of no importance, since another cook or dealer could set up shop there.

Kant on the other hand might state the opposite. Kant, a German Philosopher from the 18th century, held another ideology all together. His view of morality is that the consequences are of no importance, but rather whether or not one feels that an action is good within itself. In his view, in this instance, the question should be asked “Does putting others in danger make for a good moral axiom?”

Kant’s hard universalist ideology seems to sit better with me than Bentham’s consequential utilitarian views. There is a morality involved in most choices that we make, and too many times the potential consequences drive our choices, rather than the consideration of whether or not the choice is morally good or bad.

I hope this nut job is caught soon. He’s putting people in danger, regardless of his intentions. In my moral view, that makes him as bad as the dealers who peddle their poison to this struggling, mostly impoverished area. I think Kant would agree, and Bentham can go pound salt.

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The Trolley Problem: A Utilitarianism Dilemma

Check out this video: What would you do in both scenarios?