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Joined: 2009-08-30
Columns on STR: 89
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Bob Wallace

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Columns by Bob Wallace

Huck Finn in Hell
Bob Wallace 2005-01-27 16:00
It can only be described as miraculous that the writer J. G. Ballard survived almost four years in a Japanese internment camp in China during World War II, four years he chronicled in Empire of the Sun. He was all of 11 years old when it happened.
The Law of Many Devils
Bob Wallace 2005-01-25 16:00
There are many things that bedevil humanity. Ninety percent of them are located in human nature. If there is "evil" in the world, it comes right out of the human heart. To say that people are "imperfect," or if you want to use religious terms, "fallen," isn't enough. What's wrong with people has to be analyzed, so it can be studied.
Libertarian Novels
Bob Wallace 2005-01-19 16:00
For some reason which I don't understand, the worst writers, like Karl Marx, are leftist, the best, such as Conrad and Dostoevsky, are conservatives, and the anarchist/libertarian ones write science-fiction, fantasy and horror. Even Tolkien, who wrote of a Stateless Shire in his first novel, The Hobbit, described himself as an "anarchist."
Ow! Leave My Brain Alone!
Bob Wallace 2005-01-17 16:00
Wait, hold on, let me get my Tinfoil Hat! (And if you want to understand the theory behind Tinfoil Hats, and how to construct one, cast an eyeball upon Lyle Zapato's book, Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie: Practical Mind Control Protection for Paranoids). Conspiracy theories have been around since, well, the beginning of the human race. They are a constant with people, so they must fulfill a...
Educated in a Tent
Bob Wallace 2005-01-12 16:00
Several days ago, I ran across an article about a 52-year-old man who had lived with his 12-year-old daughter in a tent in a Portland , Oregon park for four years (click here). When they were discovered, the girl was described as "well-spoken beyond her years." Actually, this girl, who would have been in the seventh grade, tested at the 12th grade level. And what did her educational materials...
Politics and the Garden of Eden
Bob Wallace 2005-01-09 16:00
It is comforting to lie to oneself. Comforting, but dangerous. At times, very dangerous. It is a matter of degree: a little bit is not so bad, but a great deal can be terrible, most especially when it affects other people.
Politics and the Garden of Eden
Bob Wallace 2004-12-28 16:00
The only religious joke I tell is one I made up: the human race has Fallen and can't get up. Okay, so it's not very good, even for one of my always-bad puns. But as bad as it is, I think it is a true statement. Even a bad joke often has truth in it. The idea that the human race is "fallen," that is, imperfect, exists in all religions. In the Western world, it's because we were, whether...
Reeding, Riting and Self-Esteam
Bob Wallace 2004-12-12 16:00
I'm certainly no expert on self-esteem, but I do know that a teacher patting a student on the head for spelling "kat" and telling him, "Well, at least you tried" is not the way to create it. And that is now what some schools (government run, of course) are telling teachers to do, in hopes of not hurting students' feelings and making them feel good about themselves. What they're doing isn't...
Libertarian Rabbits
Bob Wallace 2004-12-07 16:00
There is a continual rotation of books through my house. Some I've read so many times I practically have them memorized, others I never much cared for. If I had kept every book I've bought since I starting buying them at age 11, I'd probably have about a quarter-million by the time I come out on the far end of the Geezerfier. Some books, though, never leave. Among the non-fiction ones there...
Living in a Fantasy World
Bob Wallace 2004-11-14 16:00
In the West, the best-known story about a "perfect" world is that of the Garden of Eden. I find it interesting there is an angel with a flaming sword preventing us from returning to it. There is wisdom to our being barred--or actually, to our barring ourselves. The story may be just a myth, but myths that last millennia always have great truth in them; in this case, there is no perfect world,...
Luciferian Good and Evil
Bob Wallace 2004-10-31 16:00
Oh boy. There's just no telling where my thoughts will lead me. Sometimes, to very odd places. Let's take the concepts of Good and Evil. Just what are they? In reality, I think Good can be defined as harmony and wholeness (which is related to words "health" and "holy"). That means "evil" is the exact opposite -- lack of harmony, lack of wholeness (or "unholiness"). True "good" and "evil...
Dubya bin Laden
Bob Wallace 2004-10-26 15:00
I'm not sure how it started. I think it was while watching Pinky and the Brain with a roomful of people. Children, teenagers, adults of all ages. All were laughing at the antics of a bulb-headed mutated lab mouse who wanted to conquer the world, with the aid of his dim-witted, hyperactive, worshipping sidekick. They failed every time with their Rube Goldberg plans, yet never gave up. What...
The Tragedy of the Idealist
Bob Wallace 2004-10-18 15:00
Before he was executed, Adolf Eichmann was asked to explain his actions. "I was an idealist," he said. An idealist, one whose moral compasses were spinning madly. Perhaps all idealists, in greater or lesser degree, have such compasses. The Nazis and the Communists were idealists, as are the greenies who blow up SUV dealerships and drive spikes into trees. To them, they are right; everyone...
The State as Serial Killer
Bob Wallace 2004-10-10 15:00
The evil man is the child grown strong. ~ Thomas Hobbes If one person kills another, he is a murderer. If he kills 100, he is a monster. But if he kills 10,000, he is a hero. And the only way one can become this type of "hero" is through the agency of the State. The victims of the worst serial killer in the world are but a drop in a lake compared to the political victims of Mao Tse Tung,...
God, Satan Hold Joint Press Conference
Bob Wallace 2004-10-06 15:00
God and Satan, in a surprise joint announcement today, informed the media that "most people today have gotten everything so wrong we decided it's time to clear things up." "First of all," said God, "all those goofy 'Left Behind' Christian Zionists who think they can bring My Son back and end the world by unconditionally supporting Israel no matter what it does to anyone, you can just forget...
Resistance Is Futile, Under-People!
Bob Wallace 2004-10-03 15:00
"Under-People" is the English translation of the German word "Untermenschen," made famous by Hitler in Mein Kampf. And of course, if you've got Untermenschen, you've got to have Ubermenschen, too. At least in fantasy. And fantasy indeed is what we're dealing with in Thomas P.M. Barnett's book, The Pentagon's New Map: Peace and War in the Twenty-First Century. Only, the Over-People are what...
Why Plants Don"t Have ADD
Bob Wallace 2004-09-26 15:00
When I was growing up, we didn't have any hyperactive kids. We certainly didn't have anyone on Ritalin. We'd never heard of the stuff. At 11, the only "drug" we knew about was aspirin-in-Coke, which was supposed to make you drunk. (We also believed if you put a tooth or nail in Coke overnight, they would dissolve. Our experiments proved this to be not true, just as we proved that throwing...
A Gangrene of Politicians
Bob Wallace 2004-09-02 15:00
Grrr. I don't even want to write the word anymore. At least I can do it like this: p********n. It's probably the worst insult I can imagine, worse even than "soccer mom in an SUV, blocking the intersection while babbling on her cell phone." Dr. Jack Wheeler invented a collective noun for those, um, "people"--a "scum of politicians." It's funny, but it's an insult to scum, which must have...
Bill the Galactic Hero
Bob Wallace 2004-08-08 15:00
Here we have a case not only of art imitating life, but attempting to nudge it back on course by making us smile a little bit. That makes the case in question, Harry Harrison's novel, Bill the Galactic Hero, a fine satire that, unlike the author's better-known Make Room! Make Room! (filmed as "People are Soylent Green!"), hasn't yet been made into a movie. And that's a shame, because I laughed...
The Ever-Present Warrior
Bob Wallace 2004-08-02 15:00
Some people are born to be certain things. I've known singers who knew they were going to be singers at the age of five. I'm a natural-born comedian, much like a Pug dog, and even though I don't remember it, have been told by my relatives I used to crack them up at the age of five or six. I certainly remember being 13, by which time I was a class clown. Some men are even born to be natural...
Revenge! I Want Revenge!
Bob Wallace 2004-07-25 15:00
I want George Bush to lose so bad I can taste it. And it's not because I'm for Kerry. Kerry looks like what happens when Herman Munster and Gomer Pyle get into the transporter together, there's a horrible accident, and only one person comes out. There's about a dime's worth of difference between Bush and Kerry. Contrary to the hallucinations of the Poorly Educated Who Can't Spell (also know...
Kill "Em All and Let God Sort Them Out
Bob Wallace 2004-07-18 15:00
It's fascinating to watch a new mythology, with new mythic characters, evolve before my eyes. I'm speaking of Chickenhawks. I'll argue that all mythic characters, no matter how ancient, are based on people that actually existed. Not just one person, but many. People noticed their characters, and noticed them well. Stories were created about them to educate and entertain the young and old...
Kill "Em All and Let God Sort Them Out
Bob Wallace 2004-07-06 15:00
Glad to say, I'm not a highly-paid court intellectual, or don't have three words in my name, or a Ph.D from some effete eastern university. So, I am reduced to using what creakingly passes for my common sense. Compared to the aforementioned groups, though, I'm a genius. My common sense notes with great dismay that there is only one way an army can defeat guerillas: kill everyone. I don't...
Ask Brainitor!
Bob Wallace 2004-06-23 15:00
Dear Brainitor: So what is the real deal with the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? Were we really attacked because we are "good" and they are "evil"? Is it that simple? Confused Dear Confused, That simple? Not even close, Confused. So, let me take a few paragraphs to...
Prophet for Hire, Cheap
Bob Wallace 2004-06-20 15:00
"Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor." ~ Matthew 13:57 I consider myself a part-time prophet. It's more of a hobby than anything else. I'm pretty good at it, because it's not hard. I certainly don't get any honor from it, though. But as far as I'm concerned, the government should hire me, the way ancient Hebrew kings had their prophets. The kings didn't...
Between Monsters and Gods
Bob Wallace 2010-12-17 03:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   "Mankind is poised midway between the gods and the beasts," wrote Plotinus. A similar theme runs through most of the older mythologies: Did we come from the beasts or from the gods? Are we merely more evolved animals or fallen angels?   The answer, refined through millennia, is this: We're part beast, but far better...
The Purpose of the State is to Turn You Into a Machine
Bob Wallace 2011-02-28 03:00
Column by Bob Wallace.  Exclusive to STR  A few months before I turned 12, I read H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. I was never the same. Since at that age I was very susceptible to science-fiction, the novel had a profound effect on my 11-year-old sensibilities (you should have seen what Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Fighting Man of Mars did to me – I read it at least...
Where’s my Flying Car and Disintegrator Ray Gun?
Bob Wallace 2011-02-16 03:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   I’ve been a little miffed since I was 12 years old because I didn’t have a flying car, and most especially, a disintegrator ray gun.  They existed in the movies, books, and on TV, but as for real life, forget it.   I can’t remember the first time I encountered both of them.  I do remember a TV program about...
The State, Hubris and Obscenity
Bob Wallace 2011-03-10 03:00
Column by Bob Wallce. Exclusive to STR Richard Weaver once pointed out that the original sense of the word “obscenity” meant something that “should be enacted off-stage, because it is unfit for public exhibition.”   He wrote, “they included intense suffering and humiliation, which the Greeks, with habitual perspicacity and humanity, banned from the theater....
Rule by Children
Bob Wallace 2012-02-06 00:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   Of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates, all of them, except for Ron Paul, are whores and puppets for international bankers and international corporations (I call them Cosmodemonic Transnational Megacorporations). And Paul doesn’t stand a chance, because he is an adult. It doesn't matter if Obama is re-elected, or...
The State Against Families
Bob Wallace 2011-02-01 03:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   It’s impossible to choose any exact point when the State started destroying families. I’d say it’s been more of a slippery slope than anything else, so you can’t choose any point and say, “This is where it started going downhill.”   But one watershed moment was in 1943, when Americans started...
Hubris Followed by Nemesis
Bob Wallace 2011-03-29 02:00
Column by Bob Wallace. Exclusive to STR The worst problem in the world – the one that causes more violence than anything else – is the revenge created by feelings of humiliation. Thousands of years ago both the Greeks and the Hebrews noticed that pattern. The Greeks called it Hubris, the god of arrogance, lack of restraint, insolence and wanton violence, followed by Nemesis, the...
Koros to Hubris to Ate to Nemesis
Bob Wallace 2011-05-03 23:00
Column by Bob Wallace. Exclusive to STR “The fear of humiliation appears to be one of the most powerful motivators in individual and collective human behavior.” ~ Donald Klein There is no light on human nature more pitiless and perceptive and accurate than mythology. Through hundreds if not thousands of years all the dross was burned away, leaving some very acute observations...
The Narcissism of Politics
Bob Wallace 2011-05-11 23:00
Column by Bob Wallace. Exclusive to STR “Nowhere are prejudices more mistaken for truth, passion for reason, and invective for documentation than in politics.  This is a realm, peopled only by villains or heroes, in which everything is black or white and gray is a forbidden color.”  ~ John Mason Brown, Through These Men (1956)   I sometimes entertain...
American Christian Fascists
Bob Wallace 2011-10-02 23:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   If fascism ever comes to America, it won’t be through insignificant groups such as American Nazis or the KKK, both of which together could field a couple of softball teams. It’ll come through “Christians,” specifically the blood-thirsty ones who support war.   This kind of Christian supports the State, and...
The State as Machine
Bob Wallace 2010-06-14 02:00
Exclusive to STR   "The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies...." ~ Henry David Thoreau   "All machines are amplifiers" ~ Cooper's Law   That's a true saying: Machines are amplifiers, amplifiers of our inherent abilities.  Machines are not moral or immoral; they're amoral.  They can be used for good or...
Kids Teaching Kids
Bob Wallace 2010-01-08 03:00
Exclusive to STR   Several years ago I was bamboozled into babysitting one evening for a seven-year-old girl and two boys aged five and three.  Since one of my main purposes in life is to lie on the couch and dream of partially-clad women feeding me grapes (as Bob Hope once said in a movie, "I've had women chase me before, but never when I was awake"), I had to figure out how...
The Four Cardinal Virtues and Government
Bob Wallace 2010-06-15 02:00
By Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR     The Four Cardinal Virtues are not what most people think they are. Justice and Courage sound like good things; Prudence and Temperance, don’t, not really, to many people.  The idea that many people have of them, they sound like they take a lot of the fun out of life. But in reality they are good things. It’s just that...
21st Century Paranoid Guy
Bob Wallace 2010-05-10 02:00
Exclusive to STR   I once received an email which read, in part: "Charles Lindbergh was a traitor who tried to sell out his country to the Nazis just as many leftists today would sell us out to the Islamo-Fascists."   The letter was in response to my review of Philip Roth's libelous (and boring) novel, The Plot Against America, an odious attempt at an "alternate history...
The Producers and the Parasites
Bob Wallace 2011-03-01 03:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   I have expended several thousand brain cells – which now means I am pretty much out of them – trying to figure out who are the producers and who are the parasites.   Are firefighters parasites? They don’t produce anything, but they are necessary. Are the police necessary? They don’t produce anything...
The State as Morality Play
Bob Wallace 2011-04-08 02:00
Column by Bob Wallace. Exclusive to STR I look at life in the aggregate, that is, when you include the whole human race, as a tragicomedy. I don’t look at it as morality play, which I define as seeing life as a contest between Good and Evil. In fact, life is a tragicomedy because so many people see it as a morality play!   Here is an example. The State has defined drugs...
Discovering True Laws
Bob Wallace 2011-06-30 23:00
Column by Bob Wallace. Exclusive to STR It is unfortunate there has to be a distinction between “true law” and “false law.”  True law is discovered; false law is made up.   No one trained in any hard science believes law can be made up.  None of them will tell you that you can take cyanide without harm, or jump out of an airplane without a parachute.  ...
The State Will Never Win the Drug War
Bob Wallace 2010-01-19 03:00
Exclusive to STR   There are several reasons why the State will never win the Drug War, but one not often discussed is the Arndt-Schultz Law. It is a biological law that states, "Small doses stimulate, medium doses poison, and large doses kill."   Probably the best-known examples of this law are vaccines. They are small doses that stimulate the body's immune system to defend...
Libertarians, Marriage and Children
Bob Wallace 2011-01-04 03:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   A pure, “Big L” libertarian doesn’t believe the State has any business being involved in anything. They’d like to see it gone because of the horrors it has perpetrated throughout history. Fair enough. It’s a legitimate philosophical position, and one that I am very sympathetic to. But I am more of a...
Was Ayn Rand a Proto-Fascist?
Bob Wallace 2011-04-26 02:00
Column by Bob Wallce.   Exclusive to STR   What a philosophy claims and what it delivers are often two different things. Marxism was supposed to create a heaven on earth but instead created a hell. I think Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, would also create a hell on earth.   Rand divided people into two groups: her perfect John Galtian heroes, and everyone else...
The Good, the Bad and the Half-Asleep
Bob Wallace 2011-06-26 23:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   It was Aristotle who observed there are two kinds of ignorance: when you’re ignorant and know it, and when you’re ignorant and don’t know it. The second kind of ignorance is the dangerous kind, because people who are ignorant and don’t know it usually think they’re smarter and more knowledgeable than everyone else...
No One Believes in Equality
Bob Wallace 2010-09-09 02:00
By Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   No one believes in equality, no matter what they claim. To be totally equal, people would have to be totally identical, the way two quarters or two nickels are identical. And being identical, they’d be interchangeable.   The closest to total equality and total identicalness in nature are bees and ants, but even they are not...
Lustful Money and Hateful Religion
Bob Wallace 2009-12-21 16:00
Exclusive to STR The United States is a empire. Some cheer that fact. I'm not one of them, and I consider such people deluded, since all empires fail, and it's going to happen to the United States , too. There are several reasons why all empires fail, but there are two that stand out: the financialization of the economy, and an intolerant "us vs. them" religion. Those two reasons...
It's Not All That Hard
Bob Wallace 2011-07-05 23:00
Column by Bob Wallace.   Exclusive to STR   “The opposite of war is not peace; it's creation.” ~ Jonathan Larson   Back when I was in college (close to worthless then and even closer now, except for the hard sciences) I realized none of my classes that I was really interested in were logically connected to each other, so that I could come up with an accurate model of...