(The Ultimate Cliff - has a nice ring to it, dunnit?)
Aw, fuck it. Seeing as I'm getting nothing as of yet from the President or his carpet-pissing goons in response to my open violation and defiance of this country's insane drug laws ("The little prick is stonewalling me"), and seeing as I can exercise the "virtue of patience" for only so long given the needlessly fucking ridiculous state of things, I'm moving forward with a new deal, take it or leave it (and pray I don't alter the deal any further).
Here's what's gonna happen:
On 4/20/2013 I go on strike. This blog shuts off indefinitely. The river of gold ceases to flow. Unless . . . the following demands are met:
(1) That cannabis be legalized for all adults 21 and over in the United States, accompanied by a sensible cannabis-education program outlining the benefits and hazards of cannabis use and discouraging its use among still-cognitively-developing minors (with fact-informed parental supervision and discretion for its use, etc. etc. etc.). Anything short of this will make the Baby Sagan cry.
(2) On the condition that demand 1 isn't met by April 1: That all government tax forms save for filing extension forms are removed from all government buildings, websites, etc. I don't care if the government itself does this or a band of guerilla activists does so; I really just don't give a shit.
(3) That a credible 'Occupy 4/20' movement is organized if the first two demands are not met. 'Occupy' gathering places shall smell to high heaven either of fresh dank bud in the possession of all those attending (thereby violating applicable federal and state laws en masse and overwhelming enforcement resources), or of billowing clouds from the smoked product. I really don't give a shit which it smells like, though the latter would be really cool. Legendary toker Bob Marley said to stand up for your rights; well, fucking do it, then!
(4) A seriously credible process of accountability for CIA acts of torture is underway.
(5) "If you will it, it is no dream": Serious and credible efforts by our government to encourage an endgame for the mideast peace process in the spirit of the Taba Summit. The rest of us are fucking sick and tired of hearing about this pointless craziness on the news. If this is too unacceptable for the right-wing fundamentalists here or over there, tough shit; it's time they got reasonable along with everyone else. The only "end times" that are a'coming are the cultural and technological singularities, so deal with it, assholes.
(6) A serious and credible plan in place for instituting age-appropriate neo-Aristotelian and neo-Enlightenment philosophy curricula at all levels K-12 and beyond in our public schools beginning fall semester 2013, including Peikoff-lecture-course-aided study of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. It's fucking ridiculous that this isn't happening already, seeing as how Ayn Rand is becoming a significant part of the national discourse (the power of ideas, just as she said) and yet the public is mind-boggingly ignorant (no thanks to key figures in the Philosophy Profession) of what Rand and Objectivism are all about. Unless or until people realize what caliber of heroic intellectual efficacy it takes to compose something like "This is John Galt Speaking," our work is not done here. (That would take actually reading and comprehending the goddamn thing rather than skipping over it like our President among many others did.) There are plenty of promising, uh, leads toward such a curriculum in this blog, on the sidebar, and in my Blogger profile.
Such a curriculum shall be aimed at the primary task of critical thinking and lifelong, independent learning with the explicit emphasis on maximally actualizing individuals' intellectual potentialities. The cultural and technological progress that would ensue from such an enhancement of the human ethos would be fucking mind-blowing. The school environments for the students (remember all the downsides of the K-12 experience? the bullying? the cliques? the popularity contests at the expense of truth and justice? etc.) would also dramatically improve almost overnight.
Also, there should be a solid program of economic education in place in the very near future so that people can understand the dynamics of globalization, and how we have to adapt and be resilient in the face of such rather than be stagnant and complacent. People may then understand why the jobs got off-shored (to more needy peoples, BTW) and seemingly "won't be coming back," while the corporations and rich U.S. residents continue more or less on their pre-1973 path. That would help to clear up a lot of misunderstandings and confusions (no thanks to Marxist idiots) about the nature and evolution of capitalism in the present age, and get the Occupy crowd focused more on things like self-empowerment rather than (domestic) wealth-redistribution. You'd think that, 237 years after Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, people would at long last be well-versed in thinking like an economist (or businessman!), but obviously there is work to be done.
(7) Serious and credible discussions in place for establishing world peace and using nuclear technology only for peaceful purposes. Since Iran is known to lie to infidels and sponsor terrorism it cannot be trusted to go forward with its enrichment program without full no-bullshit access and supervision by qualified nuclear inspectors. The world should be fully behind the West's decisions on how to make this access and supervision happen, including a military option to target suspected weapons facilities for termination.
All plain common sense so far, ain't it? Let's continue in that vein:
(8) The following individuals are offered full tenured Professorships in Philosophy at prestigious institutions of higher learning: Brad Aisa, Robert H. Bass, Miles Benham, Roger Bissell, Harry Binswanger, Chris Cathcart, Allan Gotthelf, R. Kevin Hill, Diana Hsieh, James S. Klein, Richard Lawrence, Roderick T. Long, Robert and Amy Nasir, David Rych, Leonard Peikoff, Gregory Salmieri, William Stearns, Joseph Tucker, Don Watkins, and (last but not least) rateyourmusic's UlyssesRex (a true sage, he), and any others of my choosing as and when they come to mind. I personally vouch ("my highest possible recommendation") for their ability to communicate philosophical ideas and ideals effectively to students of philosophy. (Some of them may need some polishing but they're pretty much already there and are very fast learners.) Consider this an Ultimate Letter of Recommendation. What's more, these individuals are all very well-versed in Rand and Rand-interpretation, and that will prove to be hugely important in the months and years to come. The politics involved in getting tenured in philosophy these days is fucking ridiculous and clearly biased against non-left-liberals.
(9) A full and unequivocal mea culpa from Brian Leiter and various and sundry other academic "philosophers" for their outrageous and unjust treatment of Ayn Rand and Rand-scholars over the years. Call this Accountability for Evasion.
(10) A serious and credible national discussion well underway to eliminate manifestly inhumane factory-farming practices for raising food animals. Rights under a Lockean interpretation do not license humans to abuse other creatures in such a fashion; moreover, humans have a right to intervene on behalf of animals' welfare when others are abusing them. Wholesome and organic - the "classic" way - of raising food animals may still be permitted though that should most definitely be on the table for discussion as well.
(11) Serious and credible proactive action plans on the part of corporate entities for improving the work environment and morale of employees. (I do believe that in an eminently realistically achievable neo-Aristotelian utopia people will learn all about self-empowerment so that they don't have to depend on corporations for a job.) The prevailing politics of backstabbing, lackeying, and rewarded-mediocrity in corporations should be fully and explicitly repudiated, in favor of honesty, justice, rewarded-ability, etc.
(12) That the ideas of public intellectuals such as the legendary Noam Chomsky are front-and-center in the national discussion rather than (mind-boggingly) relegated to the periphery in favor of mediots like Hannity. Fox should at least offer Chomsky a one-hour prime-time slot in place of Hannity; its intellectual credibility would skyrocket overnight. Or maybe MSNBC would sweep in first....
(13) Marriage equality.
I might think up more demands as time goes on, but I think you get the basic picture here.
If America leads and sets the examples in all these areas, I think the rest of the world will be sure to follow.
We have over three months - exactly three months from the president's second Inauguration Day - to set all this in motion; I think that should be plenty of time for people to get their shit together on such no-brainer issues. I've grown weary of trying to spread these ideas all on my own, so some of you fine readers will have to do your part as well, since I presume you would love to see self- and world-improvement also.
I'll finish for now with this:
Best premises! :-)
In the queue: "Cannabis and cognition"
Teaser: Imagine the School of Athens painting, only all of 'em are baked.
This is your Captain speaking: This is where it gets really mind-blowing, folks. Fasten your cognitive seatbelts.
So, uh, welcome to the party. Where ya been all this time? :-D
Now let's make The Ultimate Cliff. :-D
Am I wrong?
Am I wrong?