Saturday, May 31, 2008

Michigan Downgraded

It's official. The Democratic National Committee has downgraded Michigan and Florida. We are now half-states.

1. The National Committees of neither party has the right to tell the states when and how to select their delegates. They tell us how many and we choose them according to times and methods of our own choosing.

2. By refusing to be on our ballot and refusing to campaign in Florida, Obama has put the approval of the DNC ahead of the needs and interests of the people of Michigan.

The DNC has wronged the people of Michigan and Florida.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I Wonder If They Have Had Second Thoughts

Most of us are quite unhappy with gas prices. They are hurting our chances of economic growth and are putting a damper on quite a few lives.

Some people however are not so unhappy as just a few years ago they were complaining that gas was too cheap and we were wasting it.

Here on the National Post (March 25, 2004)

I don't want to get into the science behind the Kyoto emissions treaty: The whole subject makes too many conservatives go nuts. But all the dissident climatologists in the world won't change the fact that cheaper-than-water gasoline is encouraging a lonely and repellent model of urban existence. Simply put, gas is too cheap for our own good.

CNN (1996)
At roughly a billion dollars a penny in annual revenue, a 50 cent gas tax would slice a quarter off our budget deficit by 2000, while still leaving prices 20% below their 1981 high and less than half what motorists abroad pay. The chief (and valid) objection to higher gas taxes is that they fall most heavily on those with less income. But relief for those at the bottom--say, by cuts in payroll taxes--could be enacted as well. The truth is that every tank of gas today contains fresh proof of the "consume now" ethic that pervades our culture. In 1991 Germans enacted with little fanfare a 60 cent gas tax to help rebuild the East. In 1993 Americans found 4 cents on top of $1.20-per-gallon gas almost too much to bear, even while we bequeath our children dirtier air, the continued risk of war over oil and a trillion dollars in fresh debt every four years. Now Dole's trying to get that nickel back for us. He ought to know better.

Then there's a chart on this blog. Note the name of the blog - - - says it all.

And get this!

This past week’s Memorial Day weekend traffic was only slightly less busy with leisure travel as 2006. At some point, price mechanisms will begin to change behavior. But at what point? If energy independence is crucial to national security, why isn't government increasing the pain at the pump? Sorry, Adam Smith, but where cars are concerned, Americans don’t behave rationally.

I could go on and on and on but I think I've made my point. Not everyone is unhappy with high gas prices, and it's not just the oil companies that are smiling.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Some Old Classmates and Their Fates

A conversation the other day got me thinking about some of my classmates from High School. Now to be blunt I was not Big Man on Campus or anything remotely approaching such a description (Big surprise there right?). I was far from the bottom of my class social pecking order but I was also a long way from the top. I got along quite well with most of my classmates with a few exceptions but only one of the three I want to discuss really bothered me at all.

That was John. He was a second tier jock with decent but not great grades and an all around jerk. He was one of those people who were up a ways in the social order but felt their position needed to be secured by belittling others. There was a student who I think was two years younger than us with a minor speech impediment which John enjoyed mimicking whenever the two were anywhere near each other. He would rub the biceps and go "Oooh" to anyone who wasn't of Jock caliber (a treatment I got a couple of times from him, but others got it far worse.) Yet in spite of his cruelty to those he considered, or needed to consider, inferior to him he was fairly popular, but not as popular as he thought he should be. When our homecoming court was selected my senior year he was stunned and angry because he was not selected for it and could not understand why.

Another student was Darrell. Now unlike John, I liked Darrell and got along with him quite well. In fact we were lab partners in Chemistry for a quarter. Now he too was a second tier jock with decent but mediocre grades, but unlike John he was genuinely popular. He was nice looking, athletic, and genuinely friendly and, being an only child of affluent parents, he had a lot of cool stuff. He was also our senior class president and the girls loved him.

And then there was Dave. Now Dave started out alright being a first tier jock, one of my class's best basketball players and a reasonably good Wide Receiver in football. He was also a pretty decent student and quite popular but after our freshman year he went downhill - - - badly! He discovered speed and by my senior year he was barely passing his classes, was no longer an athlete and had pretty much became a burn out. I liked him alright and we got along okay, but I was often troubled by how a student could begin their High School Career with such promise and end up a doper.

These three classmates of mine all share something.

All three of them took loaded guns, put them to their heads . . .

and pulled the trigger.

For John it was two years after we graduated. He had gotten a brand new car for graduation and a couple of years later he wrecked it. Since he still lived with his parents, he went home, took a gun, went into the basement and did it; he was found by his parents. When I was younger I intensely disliked him, for obvious reasons, but now I think about the times I heard him say to various students "I would rather be dead than you" or "If I was as ugly as you I'd kill myself." or "I wouldn't want to live if I needed religion to be happy." I realize that he had real problems and now I feel sad as I think about him.

For Darrell it was just a few years ago when we were in our late 40s. Straight out of High School he married a very pretty local girl and they were together until they reached their early to mid 30s, then he divorced her and married another pretty girl in her early 20s. That lasted until just before he did himself in when he divorced her and made a serious effort to land a girl young enough to be his daughter. When she rebuffed him he killed himself. Apparently he couldn't handle the fact that he was getting on toward middle-age and was no longer able to attract pretty real-young women.

Dave did it a few months after John did it. I am really not sure why he did it, but several of the gang he ran with tried to commit suicide and he was one of a couple that were successful. All I know is that he was higher than a kite when he did it. Maybe it just seemed like a good idea at the time. I really don't know.

Three lives wasted.

They say everyone considers suicide at least once in their life and I know I thought about it some 20 years ago. What stopped me is that I didn't want to hurt my family and I really didn't want to die. I just wanted the pain I was feeling to go away.

Oddly, I only know one of my Bible College classmates who committed suicide and that was a bizarre circumstance. After a traumatic event he was given anti-depressants which didn't work, but drove him into a deeper depression and he killed himself. I was not around at the time but all who were close to him said he should not have been put on that medication.

What troubles me is that all three of my classmates did themselves in over nothing. Wrecking a car is certainly no reason to kill yourself and getting older is also a dumb reason as it happens to everyone. Dave was just a wasted life in every sense of the word. It's also a sad reflection on what makes life worth living and what we can't live without. Yet when one begins think that, not only is there no real hope in this world, but that this world is all there is - - - thus existence is hopeless - - - well I guess it could lead to that.

I can't imagine existing without any hope. There is not a lot of hope in this world, but it is only a proving ground for the next one where hope is real and eternal. That gives me light in deepest darkness, stability in chaos, and a measure of contentment even in the most depressing of circumstances. Life in this world is not endless joy yet I have the promise and I know He will keep it.

I don't know why I wrote this posting, but felt a compulsion to do so.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Here In Michigan

When I was younger there was a spring just down the road from us. It was in a farmer's field and was clearly visible from the road. When the ground was soaked the water almost shot out looking like the "bubblin' crude" that Jed Clampett had coming out of the ground in the old Beverly Hillbillies TV show. Other times it was just a slow seep. A few times I stopped my bike and just watched it for a few minutes.

There were a few other springs nearby, including a beauty of a spring that was on the property my parents originally bought with their house when I was 10 but later sold to a neighbor.

Then when I was about 14 I saw a REAL BIG spring.

Kitch Iti Kipi (all i's are short) in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I was originally under the impression that it was the world's largest freshwater spring, though that turned out to be either an outright mistake or a misunderstanding of something that was said while I was there. It's not even the biggest in America as there are a couple of larger ones.

However, it is the largest spring in the Great Lakes Basin and a spring pours out 10,000 gallons of water every minute is not a small spring by any measure. It's water basin is over 200 feet across and over 40 feet deep and when I was there, the water was so crystal clear that you could see clear to the bottom all the way across the spring. The water was full of good sized fish but the park rangers/tour guides said you couldn't eat them because the water was so rich in minerals that it would make them unpalatable. (As a matter of fact there was something of an "aroma" coming the water, but it was a natural smell and not overwhelming.)

What gives you a real indication of how much water is coming out of that thing is when you see the size of the river, not creek or brook, but a full river, that flows from it.

It's also astonishing to realize, that in spite of the scope and magnitude of Kitch Iti Kipi, that there are even larger springs in this country.

Here are some links describing it. I tried to find a good picture of it, but while there plenty of boats and picnic areas, there were none that gave any clue to the size and beauty of the giant spring.

Link 1

Link 2


Monday, May 26, 2008

It's Been A While

First off, an apology to several bloggers, whose postings I have commented on and the comments seem to have slid into a black hole as Haloscan seems to be rejecting my comments. I don't know what the problem is but I think it's at my end.

Barr and the Libertarians
In many ways I like the Libertarians, but I certainly don't agree with them in everything and will not vote for them because it's a wasted vote and journey down a three foot dead-end hallway rather than a proper path for America to take. I would rather see those who support the libertarians abandon that party entirely, come to the GOP and help us take that party back. As long as they call themselves "Libertarians" they will not win any major elections and anything said to the contrary is wishful thinking. I feel the same way about the Constitution Party with whom I am in even greater agreement. The GOP will come storming back soon and it's partly up to these groups what kind of party we will have.

Memorial Day
I was most fortunate in that I served during a time of peace and only one real military operation took place while I was in (and then I was not yet active duty!) I can't complain that I never saw combat, but often I feel like a faux veteran when I hear combat vets tell their stories.

Anyway I have nothing but praise for the courageous men and women who truly put it all on the line, not just for America, but for the freedom and prosperity of all mankind.

The only thing I saw that came close to combat was that (expletive deleted) E-2 with a blue rope on his shoulder in boot camp; the blue rope used to be a cursed magic item that gives E-2s and E-3s delusions of godhood and but the now the Navy gives them to Petty Officers in training to train recruits - - who are probably much better qualified for such a position. (When I was in Boot Camp it was the insignia of an Assistant Company Commander who was generally fresh out of Boot Camp themselves and suddenly had authority that most of them were totally unprepared for. Scuttlebutt later told me that they had an unusually high "A" School failure rate and frequent problems when they returned to the normal Navy. I had one former Blue Rope as roommate in "A" School and he at least had a lot of problems. )

America is More Serious About Terror?!?
America is making a half-hearted attempt to combat the terror threat at best. We are stuck in a Politically Correct rut which keeps our government from acknowledging the true nature of Jihad and taking the steps that are necessary to protect ourselves from it and ultimately defeat it completely and forever. Some of it is wishful thinking, or the idiotic delusion that all violence can be traced back to the class struggle. It's true that we are doing things but we are not doing enough. What we have to do will be unpopular with the multi-culturalists and moral relativists, but - - quite bluntly - - to Hell with what they think.

Yet the Times OnLine has an interesting article saying that Great Britain needs to follow America's example and take terrorism and the threats of Jihad and Sharia more seriously. Both countries have to do that but Britain needs to do more than just follow our example because we are not doing enough. Perhaps they should do it right and show us how it's done. I for one would genuinely praise any country that properly stands up to Mo's Bullies.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ted Kennedy

Keep him in your prayers for both his life and his soul. I may not like the man's politics and don't approve of much about him but I certainly don't wish for this to happen to him.

Jeus Christ Superstar Again.

I don't really dislike Jesus Christ Superstar, in fact I kind of like it as, until The Passion of the Christ, no other movie truly captured the despair and bewilderment of the Disciples as they watched Jesus die. I disagree with its message but like so many things about it.

I understand the real meaning of the movie a little differently though. All through most of recent history most "progressives" tried to some degree to claim Jesus as one of them, even though He wasn't. Politically they needed Him because He was considered the paragon of goodness, and if socialism is good then the paragon of goodness must be a socialist. If there was something that Liberals and Conservatives, at that time, agreed on it was that Jesus was the epitome of Goodness.

The problem is that He was not a socialist, nor was He a political revolutionary, though He was a spiritual one. Around 1970 an increasing number of "progressives" began to realize that Jesus really wasn't part of their camp so they needed to diminish Him. (Prior to that even most Atheists were loath to belittle Him.)

In the movie, Judas seems to represent those who desire a political Messiah rather than a spiritual one. Judas is shown as betraying Christ, not for money, but out of disappointment that He is more concerned with salvation rather than elevating the poor.

From the opening song by Judas.
My mind is clearer now.
At last all too well
I can see where we all soon will be.
If you strip away The myth from the man,
You will see where we all soon will be. Jesus!
You've started to believe
The things they say of you.
You really do believe
This talk of God is true.
And all the good you've done
Will soon get swept away.
You've begun to matter more
Than the things you say.

In the movie, I understand that it portrays what was then the extreme left getting ready to abandon Jesus as the shining star guiding human history and started to look to others. When that failed they started to twist the teachings of Jesus into liberation theology which is nothing more than Communism with a silver cross around the neck, rather than a blood covered cross at Golgotha.

As I read the talk of Jeremiah Wright, and his mentor, the black racist James Cone, my mind goes back to the Judas of this movie. The real Jesus, Who really existed in time and space, who truly was the perfect, one time only, blending of the Human and the Divine, the rightful ruler of all mankind, does not fit into their progressive ideas, just as the Jesus talking salvation instead of liberation did not fit into the Superstar's Judas' vision of liberation.

Jesus was crucified by those whose minds were entirely in this world. They included Romans who feared his popularity, Sadducees who feared for their temple business and Pharisees who saw a loss of their personal prestige. Jesus was not crucified by those thinking of Heaven. Had there been Socialists in Jesus day, they too would have crucified Him for exactly the same reason Judas betrayed Him in Jesus Christ Superstar.

Yes it's true. We do have Heaven on our minds and it gives us hope in the darkness that seems to fill our world. We know that the "liberation" that some offer is merely slavery to the state. The only liberation that Jesus promised was liberation from sin, death and despair. That does not interest those who have only this world on their minds.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Prince Caspian

I am quite tired right now.

I only slept a couple of hours but am not regretting it one bit as I chose to do it this way and am glad I did.

I went to a midnight showing of Prince Caspian last night and it was good, very good.

For once I was pleased that they did not follow the plot of the book perfectly, because dramatically and as a narrative, Prince Caspian is the weakest book of the series (in my opinion) and the changes in the plot and narrative made it very dramatic without changing the basic storyline or the message of the book. Ben Barnes made an excellent Caspian and you wanted to kill the evil King Miraz yourself, he was one nasty piece of work.

Favorite scene (very minor spoiler):
The entire Telmarine army is rushing to the river to regroup and as they cross the bridge they see a roughly 11 year old girl (Lucy) on the other side with a look of determination on her face and absolutely no fear whatsoever as she draws her dagger and just dares that army of hundreds of men to come another step closer. Her confidence makes absolutely no sense until they see Who is with her.

The plot had a lot of changes from the book to make it much more dramatic and exciting for movie viewers. However the central spiritual message of Prince Caspian is present and clear. People suffered and died because the Pevensie children listened to the advice of others, who no longer believed in Aslan, rather than trusting Aslan and did what they knew in their hearts was not what He wanted them to do.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

An Embarrassing Confession

This is a bit of an embarrassment and I do feel a bit of shame about this.

My confession?

For about three weeks in the summer of 91 I sold vacuum cleaners door to door. This is not something I am proud of because I
a) was dishonest with people in several ways.
b) sold what essentially a decent product but was badly highly overpriced to people who really didn't need them and couldn't really afford them.

How I got sucked into it? It was desperation and the need for a job right now. I answered a want ad that sounded too good to be true (and you know what they say "if it sounds too good to be true . . ."). Because I needed a job badly I took it and I really didn't do badly as a salesman but I never felt comfortable doing it.

I would sell one to one person for $900 and another of exactly the same model to their neighbor for $1100. My excuse was that one was a "demo model" meaning I used it in the presentation instead of giving them a untouched one out of a box (though that one could have been used in a previous demo.)

One of our favorite demos was running our vacuum over where the victim's vacuum had gone and showing them how much dirt was still there. (Had they gone over again with their vacuum where we had vacuumed they would have gotten the same results . . . that demo is a joke.)

On my last day one customer shut me up and pulled out a pad of paper and had me do some figuring. I was working 12 hours 6 days a week and 8 on Sunday. That works out to 80 hours a week. If you figure time and half over 40 I was essentially getting paid for 100 straight time hours. My per-hour pay amounted to less then 2/3 of the minimum wage at the time. I hadn't looked at it from that angle. She told me her son had once been sucked in by a similar scheme. I didn't speak as I went home and the next day I turned in my stuff and got a factory job three days later.

What brings this up? The other day at our local Wendys I noticed a beat up old van in the parking lot with stickers for the vacuum I used to sell for and inside I saw the man who I once worked for. I did not address him but thought about him as I ate. At one time years ago I despised the man. Now I pity him. I did talk to him a few years ago and he was still working 80 hours a week, living out of a suitcase, never spending more than a few months in the same town, despised by many and still convinced that millions of dollars are just around the corner for him. Sure district and regional managers make a lot of money but unit managers and salesmen, for the most part, work hard for a pittance with the promise of millions as a hanging carrot that the vast majority of them will never reach. That door to door salesman who shows up at your door is not always an eager con-artist but very likely a desperate person trying to do the only job they can find.

He opened the back door to his van as I watched through the window. Sure enough it was full of brand-new top-of-the-line vacuum cleaners. I remembered him saying "These, my van and my clothes are all I own, but they will one day make me rich." He appeared to still be in the same state.

He also had several young and not-so-young "sales associates" with him. A crowd that I was briefly part of.

He has spent the last 17+ years making the circuit coming back to this town to set up shop every few years. After he has fully shopped out here he'll go to the next town and another after that until in 3 or 4 more years he'll be back here again.

I'm all for chasing your dreams, but from time to time you have step back and evaluate. Are you making progress or are you running on a treadmill? I may not be rich, I may even be struggling right now, but I have a home in a place I call my own. I too am chasing a dream, but I have a fall back plan and it's called a regular job. When your dream is no closer to fulfillment after a reasonable time you need to reconsider either your dream or your means of getting it. An occasional reevaluation and course adjustment will make your dream's fulfillment all the more likely

I no longer despise him. I feel sorry for him. His dream is worthwhile but the path he is on will never take him there. I have once said and will say again: the product is a good one but the sales system is wrong and is lined up for a highly inflated price (I know for certainty that when I was in the target sales price was 250% of the wholesale price. Wholesale Price $480 Target sales price $1200.) The people he is working for will never let him make real money.

If you want to go for the money do so, by any moral and legal means, especially if you can come up with something new. But don't be played for a fool.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Bit of Michigan (and Ohio) History.

Some people refer to the American Civil War as the War Between the States. I guess that's a matter of preference as both terms are fairly accurate but there was another war between two states, or rather one state and one territory. There wasn't a lot of violence but there were militia movements and a lot of posturing on the parts of both the State of Ohio and Michigan Territory. It also created a headache for the administration of Andrew Jackson and Congress.

The year was 1835

The conflict was over . . .

believe it or not . . .

the strip of land that includes the City of Toledo.

I first learned about the Toledo Strip War when I was in 7th Grade. The whole conflict was basically because of some unclear and contradictory terminology in the border of the State of Ohio and what was then Michigan Territory. It resulted in both Ohio and Michigan claiming land that includes much of the city of Toledo.

While Toledo is considered a valuable port and industrial city, at the time it was an important farming community as well.

While both states sent in their state militias and prepared for armed conflict, the violence was limited to warning shots fired into the air and a few harassing arrests of prominent citizens taking one side or the other in the conflict and the shenanigans were done by both sides. In the end, Andrew Jackson went against the advice of some of his cabinet and backed Ohio, mostly to secure the votes from Ohio in the upcoming election. Michigan wanted nothing to do with that, but in the end, in order to become a state, gave up Toledo in exchange for the Upper Peninsula.

Toledo would have been nice, but considering the mineral wealth of the U.P. I think Michigan did alright.

The "war" was basically a comic opera, but it something of a window on when our nation was young.

It might also explain the Wolverine - Buckeye football rivalry.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's Saddening.

There is a gameshop near my apartment, and though I haven't played RPGs in a few years, and will not spend more money on them as I have spent enough, I still go in from time to time and take a look at what's new. What I see depresses me immensely.

I have over 5000 hand-painted gaming miniatures and they range from almost museum quality (only a slight exaggeration) to ones that look like I dipped them in paint. Painting them was almost as much fun as gaming with them, maybe even more. Pride may be a sin and it may be foolish thing to be proud of, but I am proud of that collection.

Today kids play with perfect pieces that they don't even have to paint. They are largely prepainted (and costly too.) If I and a friend had copies of the same miniature you can be sure that they didn't look exactly alike in the end because he and I would paint it according to our own preference and vision. Now they are exactly alike because there is no individual artwork.

It's in so many things. Rockets used to be paper tubes, a balsa nose cone, a sheet of balsa and a few accessories. You put it together and painted it yourself. It may have been less than perfect but it was your own construction. YOU built that rocket. Now we have perfectly beautiful rockets coming preconstructed. You fly it but it's not really yours in the sense that the old rockets were.

Our local hobby shop's mainstay is model railroading and most of the people involved are my age and older. There are a couple of kids who are near fanatic railroaders but they are the exceptions.

When was the last time you (or one of your kids) built a model car or airplane? Me? I built Enterprise B a couple of years ago, have an unbuilt model of the Reliant, and built a model of the Titanic a few years back. I think about it but space is an issue. Plus I have quite a few hand-made model rockets (as well as a couple of pre-builds that came with the launch equipment.) Perhaps it's time to build another one.

You know I love computers but what about creativity. Creativity was, and should still be, at the heart of American Know-How and American enterprise. We built and created new things and new ideas. Today everything is made for us.

Does it apply to the micro-wave dinner concept as well? Perhaps so. Micro-wave dinners definitely have a place and real use, but how many people would be lost in a kitchen without either a microwave or prepared packaged food? I wouldn't be but I know quite a few people who would be like the poor girl I saw in a comic when I was a teenager. It showed a thoroughly befuddled teen girl surrounded by kitchen utensils and food ingredients and her mother is with her holding an egg and saying, "We'll start with the basics. This thing is called an egg."

OK we'll start with the basics. This is called a tool. You make things with it. This is a paint brush and this is your imagination. Use it.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

May 6th 08

Sorry I've been elsewhere but I'm still here.

Had a bit of a computer security problem as I tried to find an Virus Protection that satisfied me. I finally decided to give Windows Livecare a try and see how it does. It is a combination of several security programs approved by ol' Bill Gates himself. I hope he knows what he's talking about.

I have been busy writing. Here is own "inner flap" description:

Enos Walker has found himself in the city of Nyx. A city that seems to be in eternal twilight. A city that exists in another universe that is like, yet very unlike our own. A city which can be reached by subway from our own universe for there is a secret place. A place in both worlds where their subway lines come close enough to touch and cross over. Yet it is less like our world than it seems as each passing hour reveals new differences. The greatest difference of all is when one dies, their body splits open and it is a hollow shell, there is nothing on the inside. And twilight reigns eternal. Is it night or day that is coming?

Yes I know the symbolism is a little obvious

Then here is a good one by Mallard Fillmore.

My Dad is doing astonishingly well. He has a bit of trouble talking and sometimes jumbles words but each day takes us further and further ahead. He has already, in many ways, come much further than I expected him to. God be praised. What else can I say.

Sadly I don't get to see him as much as I like because of difficulties in transportation. By the time I would get there most days visiting hours would be over but I see him every weekend.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Unique to Michigan (well mostly) A Rare Bird

Some creatures are endangered because it is politically expedient to declare them so. Some are endangered for human reasons and others are endangered because they are extremely rare to begin with.

The Kirtland's Warbler is a bird found almost exlusively in just a handful of counties in the northern part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, with one found on very rare occasions in Wisconsin or Ontario.

While the robin is our state bird, from time to time there is an effort to change it to this bird because of the fact that its summer nesting grounds is almost exclusively in Michigan.

The bird has never numbered more than a few thousand individuals on the entire planet.

Part of the problem in maintaining their numbers is that they require reasonably large stands of Jack Pines to live in, in fact this is their exclusive habitat. Local logging companies have, to their credit, taken responsible measures to make sure that there are plenty of breeding grounds for them and the state has tried, with mixed success to create more.

Their main danger is an invasive species, the Brownheaded Cowbird that is driving them from their nesting grounds.

A Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources link can be found here.

Another link specializing in birds can be found here.

A short clip of the birds singing (including audio and video) can be found here.

Or there is this from You Tube. (Excessively long.)

This rare bird is protected by not by draconian laws but by common sense conservation. Something the left will never understand.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Bit of Clarifying

Selfishness vs enlightened self-interest.

The two are related but are not the same thing.

Enlightened Self-Interest recognizes the value and importance of others while selfishness has a "to hell with you" attitude toward others. Calling enlightened self-interest selfishness is like refering to the act of making love to one's wife as lechery or eating a healthy meal as gluttony. Lechery is the normal sex-drive run amok. Arrogance is healthy pride run amok. (healthy pride drives one to be the best they can while arrogance assumes you already are the best.) Gluttony is a healthy appetite run amok. Rage is indignation run amok. Selfishness is self-interest run amok. Healthy things become sin when they run amok and go out of control. Sadly in the English language there are no distinct and commonly used words to separate healthy and out of control lust or to separate healthy and out of control pride. The same with healthy and out of control self-interest. We are forced by the limitations of our language to use the same word for sinful and healthy expressions of these things.

There is a difference that is both subtle and enormous.