Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Baseball Game test

I liked this article: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/07/donald_trump_a_working_stiff_in_a_brioni_suit.html

Now, I don't have a mancrush on Trump.  It remains to be seen how he will govern.  But I think it is POSSIBLE he will consistently do the right things.  I did not feel that about McCain or Romney, Cruz, Rubio, or any of the others (except Rand Paul, who never really had a chance).

Here is a, to me, interesting heuristic: put different candidates in Yankee Stadium, surrounded by working class schlubs.  Look at Hillary, saying to her advisor "What do I SAY to these people?  Do I shake hands?  How does one act"?

Look at Ted Cruz.  He is gaming in his mind.  He is calculating.  He is trying to figure out what angle he needs to hit to get their votes.

Bernie Sanders belongs there.  I will grant him that.  But even he is sitting there, thinking: "I can save all these people from their Capitalistic enslavement."

George W. Bush is in a private booth, coming out from time to time to wave to everyone.  He has no real interest in sitting with working class folks.

Obama is sitting there, acting like he belongs, but he and everyone else there knows he doesn't.  He is socially clumsy.  His persona is a facade.  He is deeply uncomfortable, even as he tries to mimic their dialect.

Trump is having the time of his life.  He's the center of attention.  There is beer (which he doesn't drink, as I believe he doesn't drink at all), there are hot dogs, it's a good game.  Did you see that hit?  WOW, what a catch!!!  Man, check out the knockers on her--nudge, nudge, don't tell Melania I said that. He belongs there.  He is the only one.

Edit: I can't resist adding to this.  John Kerry won't touch the idea at all.  No interest.

Al Gore soon finds himself sitting alone.  Nobody likes him.  He is wooden, disingenuous, and belongs in a library somewhere reading something dull and useless.

George H.W. Bush largely makes no impact.  It is obvious he likes the game, but he is only a hit with the aging veterans.  Everybody else acknowledges he is there, and focuses on the game.  He doesn't stand out in any way.

Reagan, of course is a big hit.  He has everybody laughing almost continually.

Clinton belongs. He is not really working class, and not really a good human being--in my considered view he is awful and nasty--but he is a world class actor, and knows his part extremely well.  This is the big difference between him, and Obama and Hillary.  Honesty is the difference between him, and Trump and Reagan.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Jonathan Haidt

I used to have my doubts about Jonathan Haidt--it seemed to me he was using his pulpit more or less to demonize conservatives by damning them with faint praise--but ever since he integrated the disgust findings into his work, it has grown on me.

I have been pondering his six foundations of moral reasoning, as I think he calls them.  They are Liberty, Authority, Sanctity, Loyalty, Fairness and Care.  The more I think about it, the more I think these are NEEDS, what we might call meta-psychological needs.  A good society contains all of them, in a healthy balance, but of course societies do not exist.  Hence meta-psychological.

You can build Fascism out of Authority, Loyalty (Meine Ehre heisst Treue) and Sanctity.  The German nation needed to be purified.  Mother Russia needed to be purified.

In evaluating our border problem, Democrats bring to bear only concern for the well being of Mexicans, and a sense that they deserve their shot too.  Republicans--while not ignoring these concerns, in that none of us are calling for a stop or even change in our current immigration numbers, which are about 1.5 million immigration visas annually--add to this Sanctity (we love our nation, and want to keep it clean from unwanted infestations of crime, disease, and chronic dependents), and Loyalty (we want to look out for American workers first).

If we view these six as NEEDS, and not emotional factors in decision making, we must see them as we see animal instincts.  We are very skillful animals, in some respects, very competent animals. If they are instincts, then they will ALWAYS find ways to expression.  If you hate all political leaders, you will still find a guru in a book.  You will still have a code.

And it is an interesting game that people who value only Care and Fairness--Sybaritic Leftists--have to play.  They have to allow, for example, a latent need for Authority to creep in under another banner.  Their loyalty is to an ideology, but they don't call it an ideology: they call it truth.  Their calls to eradicate racism are an appeal to Sanctity.  Etc.

It is always best to reject sainthood, and realize that if want to live a life free of emotion, you are only going to make the emotions negative, violent, and unconscious.  You make them worse.

To my mind, the classical Liberal mindset balances all six needs, and does so consciously and diligently.  Out of that balance, success: strong, stable, long lasting success, of the sort we have seen in our own nation, and have led other nations to as well.

Arrogance

I felt yesterday that arrogance is in part a disconnection with the body, a lack of groundedness.  I felt it when it diminished.  It is hard to see ones flaws until they begin to dissolve.  They are simply who you are, who you have always been, and they feel natural and normal.  And they begin moving, and you realize life is much easier without them.  Arrogance has been a burden to me, sucking up energy I could have preserved or used in other ways.

Within Kum Nye there are three levels of relaxation.  I've likely mentioned this. The first is superficial (but still quite nourishing), where you just calm down.  It is what you feel after a good massage or a long bath.

The second is Kun Zhi, which if memory serves means in Tibetan "solid ground".  This term makes sense to me now.  In your practice, it is like you are drifting slowly down in the water, and you reach bottom, and you stay there a long time.  It feels like the bottom.  It feels solid.  Then one day it dissolves and you keep going, and as it dissolves, you feel all the bad stuff, all the ego, all the darkness, all the evil, the hidden rages, the compulsions, the shit.

And of course they don't disappear, but their work depends almost entirely on subterfuge, on hiding, on not being seen, on operating under the radar.  Once you can see them, you can name them, and you can dissolve them as they arise.  This capacity is, itself, the beginning of the capacity for conscious growth, for learning.

This is the third level, the one at which within this particular practice "meditation", per se--concentration--becomes possible.  It is pointless until then, or largely so.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

"The world"

It seems to me that many people, coming of age in the middle of this extraordinary economic and military success, quite naturally assume the world is good, and evil a problem which does not confront them. Evil is an error, easily corrected and erased.

At some point the fatuousness of this world view becomes clear. They run into barriers, are forced to traverse obstacles, and their view gradually changes to a sense that the world is evil. Go look at the poster in Spencer's to see what today's kids are thinking about, or play some video games.

I would compare and contrast this with William James very interesting distinction between once-born and twice-born Christians. The first, in my terms, are naive. They think God will literally supply their wants and keep evil at bay. Evil does not concern them.

The twice-born, in contrast, have both a somewhat fatalistic world view which is quite accurate in terms of recognizing how fragile we and everything in our lives is; and a peace which comes from acceptance, from squaring what is, with Gods will. This belief is redemptive and absolutely safe, because it excludes nothing.

The issue today is that we have in the public domain no good redemptive practices and beliefs. Suffering has no meaning. A victim is permanently marked. It is not a transitional condition, but a part of public mythology.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Racial injustice is the gateway drug

The band Mofro has a song "Everything good is bad/and everything bad is good".  That refrain--those are the only words I remember--has been going through my head all day.

I have obviously written extensively about the intellectual perversions which must precede moral perversions.  You get good kids feeling guilty about real crimes, but you neglect to mention that very few people committed most of the crimes, and you also neglect to mention that such crimes have been committed by all peoples against all peoples since, presumably, long before the beginning of recorded history, which itself began (in the West at least) with an account of a war, of slaves, of mass violence, of death, and of atrocities (although I don't know how much was recorded).

I have, likely inappropriately, chosen to comment on some threads on Facebook posted by some very leftish friends of mine I have met at what I call my "hippy things" whenever discussing them with my kids, since Breathwork is certainly a bit out there.

And in this process it occurred to me that if we look at the issue strictly from a psychological perspective, if we bring in the idea of healthy emotionality, it is extremely UNhealthy to want to or feel the need to take responsibility for crimes you did not commit, could not have prevented, and cannot correct now even with apologies and grotesquely masochistic behavior.

I do not think it could be healthy to ask anyone else to act in an unhealthy way.  It seems a reasonable standard and goal that we all be happy coexisting.  The word for a compulsion to see others suffer for any reason is sadism.

The past is the past.  It is done.  It is in the present that ALL of us must live and make decisions.  I am not sure what the word is, but the compulsion to pretend as if the past is present, and can be expiated in the present, is certainly delusional and sick.  No healthy person would or could ask you to be sick with them.

Problems certainly need to be solved.  But if we reference specifically the problem of blacks in this country, they create most of their own problems, expecting white people to come along and fix them.  It remains my belief that if we stop treating them like children, stop allowing them to act like children, they will mature as a community, and bring forth their full contribution.

If we don't give all the jobs to fucking robots.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Turkish Coup

Guess what motherfucker is making U.S. intelligence assets available to Erdogan?

I'll give you a hint: it's the same motherfucker who won't let our bombers target ISIS oil tanker convoys headed for the Turkish border.

Amen

War on Islamic Terror

It seems to me that these attacks will continue and perhaps get worse until the mass of Muslims becomes disgusted and outspoken about the murders originating from within their faith--murders of the innocent, of children, of babies.

And it seems to me this will not happen until we put moral pressure on Muslims in general by NAMING them at the highest level, by asking their leaders at the highest level how and why they can accept and advocate the murder of innocents anywhere for any reason.

It is disgusting to me that people are so brainwashed that they can somehow reactively, reflexively, worry more about Muslims--many of whom are quite guilty--being blamed for this attack than feel rage at the crushed bodies of infants and their toys.

Until people recover their moral compass, we can't ask any more of the Muslims themselves.  If we are confused, why should not they be?  And it is likely they are less confused: their faith readily commends the murder of anyone who is not a Muslim.  Our faith--Liberalism--abhors the murder of the innocent.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Too good not to share





Here is the thing: notions of collective guilt--and superiority--are inherently bigoted, and bigotry is the overarching rubric under which racism specifically falls.

ANY narrative which starts EITHER "white people are. . .", OR "black people are. .  ." should be objectionable to anyone concerned with avoiding bigotry.

Self evidently, the entirety of leftist propaganda and practice DEPENDS on bigotry, on prejudice, on anger and hatred visited on groups rather than individuals, but this fact is unclear to most of them.  They are mentally ill.  The land they live in can only be occupied by the sick and demented.

It is a land very much like that of the Inquisition, in which the only way you can be acquitted of guilt is to admit it, and ask to be punished.

To be clear, I reject bigotry, and I am painting "the Left" with a broad brush, but the thing about ideology and ideologues is they choose what they believe.  They choose to join the group.  It is not inappropriate to make general statements about members of the KKK.  And it is not inappropriate to make general statements about the lunatics who keep telling us they want to save us, who can't balance their checkbooks or do a single honest days work.

 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Sufi Story

I can sometimes be heard talking in my sleep saying "Don't wake me.  Don't wake me."

Light, dark, the liminal and paranoia

I have long enjoyed sky-watching.  I like sunrises, sunsets, great cloud formations, the moon in all its phases, and the way winds waft across the landscape and enrich the experience.

Looking at the sunrise this morning, I was struck by the beauty of some shadow patterns in the clouds, the shadow of one cloud on another.

And it struck me that the only possible variation in darkness requires the presence of light.  Pure darkness is pure formlessness.  Any form requires a contrast.

In the Harry Potter books, Voldemort feels the need to observe the outer form of a duel when he attacks Dumbledore in the 5th book.  And I have long seen how evil needs the contrast with goodness, with culture, to support itself.  The Devil, we are told, is an impeccable gentleman.

Darkness, then, is the movement away from form, and Light the movement towards it.  But in our world we need both.  As Lao Tzu said, light requires heavy and up requires down.

That was the first thing I wanted to say.

Secondly, it seems to me that the process of healing trauma is that of imagining in the gut a completely new world, a new sort of experience, unlike any other.  This applies at least to those of us unable to remember a world in which we did not feel constant fear.

And there is a homology with this in genuine religion.  To take seriously the presence of God, and the necessity of service for optimal well-being is, in our present society, liminal, insane, out of bounds.

It is tempting to hope that emotional and spiritual growth can happen steadily and gradually.  It can do so over long periods of time, but there are periodic qualitative gaps which can only be crossed with faith and imagination.

This is the role, I think, that crazy ideas like those mentioned in the previous post play, for me.  And rationally, I still do mean everything I said.

Craziness

I am an odd mix of conservative and hippy.  I'm not even the pot smoking conservative type.  Those usually call themselves Libertarian.

But as I calm down and begin to work in a more consistent way I am seeing with greater clarity how crazy our lives are.  Yes, of course the conservative arguments that free markets and property law are effective at generating prosperity are accurate; and those of the socialists that a centralized State, granted vast powers, can or should alleviate human problems of alienation and disconnection are invalid.  Manifestly, large governments and Socialist States are vehicles of disenchantment, moral and social alienation, and social decay.  Truth and connection must be found locally, among people--self evidently--you know.

I spent two hours watching a video "Packing for Mars" the other day.  While I did not find most of the more sensational claims credible--such as that we have and have long had bases on Mars--the underlying theme that there is an elite, that there are people with access to power and technologies unknown to the rest of us, resonated with me.

I do believe we have underground cities.  I have seen them in my dreams, and building them would be perfectly congruent with the many fears which must visit all thinking people of global pandemics, an EMF attack, nuclear war, environmental decay, etc.  The money is there, and the will must likely also be there among a power elite not to risk their own futures on the vagaries of present policy and chance.

Both Paul Hellyer, former Canadian Defense Minister, and former Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell have gone on record as saying that the US government has vast amounts of data making it unambiguously clear that aliens have been and continue to visit our planet, and that this fact has been concealed not just from the American people, but possibly top leaders.  In my own opinion, one the reasons Trump is feared by the elites of both parties--by what we might term the Superparty, which exists in an unannounced collusion to ensure the victory of one of their candidates in every election--is that he is unpredictable, and that given access to State secrets may choose to reveal them.  He wanted the release of the 28 pages of the 9/11 Report made a part of the Republican platform, but he was shot down.

And as I have said often, given a sane financial system, most of us would only need to work a fraction of what we do.  We are driven around the treadmill by seeming psychopaths, whose thirst for power--whose inability to find inner satisfaction with life and their present human condition--drives them to an obsessive lust for money they don't need and can't hope to spend.

It is an odd thing looking at this world, looking at the gaps between what is possible and what is being expressed, between what sane people want, and what we are being given.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Brainwashing

The fact that the North Koreans were able to torture and manipulate people into accepting their lunatic creed is well known. The essential feat was seemingly convincing people to mean it when they affirmed that a 4" stick was the same length as a 6" one. This symbol serves well for their fanatical belief system in general.

I got to wondering in what conservstive--really, Liberal--brainwashing would consist. And it seems to me it would need consist solely in effective psychotherapy, in the building of mental and emotional health.

That is the difference.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A police state

It should go without saying that a Police State worthy of the name has to have the police on board.  They need to feel comfortable abrogating peoples rights--ideally, of course, those rights have already been disappeared legally--and with invoking fear in the public.

It would seem an obvious step in the seasoning process for this would be first invoking fear in the police themselves, making them feel under assault, in danger, and prime them for overreactions, violence, and a feeling of contempt and disgust for most of the public, for most of the people they supposedly exist to protect.

I am not a sufficient conspiracy theorist to think the Dallas shooter was part of a conspiracy, that he was brainwashed or selected like in the  Parallax View, then killed to cover it up (although I can't rule it out, of course, any more than I can rule out the allegations by a former Canadian Defense Minister that our government is currently working with several species of aliens; the world is a vast and strange place). What seems vastly more likely is that the people who fund and control what has become a Communist front group--Black Lives Matter--KNEW that sooner or later somebody or multiple somebodies would take to heart the relentless violent rhetoric against police.  They talk about killing cops continually, and our PRESIDENT, our fucking PRESIDENT supports them in this.  Given millions of angry people, and hundreds of millions of guns, why wouldn't something like Dallas happen sooner or later?

And this is a dual bonus: one, they make cops paranoid, and more prone to overreactions, but two, they get to point to guns, as Obama did immediately, the asshole, and push gun control yet again.  Both are needed for a police state.

I would like to expand on all this a bit, and take it in a slightly different direction.

Like all bureaucratic organisms, police departments exist to perform a job, in theory.  Police of course do a very public job and in most places do it reasonably well.  In this they differ from many bureaucracies.

But like bureaucracies they are prone to losing sight of the end goal.  The end goal is public safety.  Safe streets.  Freedom from violence and theft.  It is a very subtle evolution, though, from those laudable goals, to a demand for respect and fear.  "Fear me", they say, "and I may leave you alone.".  It is a short step from law and order to the use and abuse of power for its own sake.

When we look at the Stanford Prisoner Experiment--which I now realize is very relevant to the issue of police/public relations generally--what we see is that it is virtually impossible not to become adjusted to, and to some extent addicted to, the exercise of power.

And psychologically normal people cannot but react to this in a variety of ways, which include all the possibilities in any situation of predator/prey interactions.

They can stand up for themselves without panicking, using mature psychological defenses, frame the situation in a way which is not existentially threatening, and emerge with few or no scars.

More commonly, people likely go into some mild or severe form of fight or flight or freeze.  In the case of being arrested, it is a literal confinement, a textbook case of being mobilized to run or fight without the ability to do either.  This leaves scars in many people.  I think most black people particularly in this country walk around with mild to severe trauma as a result of their dealings with the police.  For my part, I don't doubt for a moment that blacks get treated differently.  Proportionately, they empirically commit a lot more crimes, visibly do a lot more stupid things, but there is a circle, I think, in that by getting arrested more, they get traumatized more, and this creates more crimes and more arrests.  Once they are familiar with the prison system, they are conditioned to a known evil, and they do not fear it as much, which creates fewer fears of being punished for committing crimes.  In some places, doing time is, I think, a bit of a status symbol.  That is the opposite of the effect we want.

I'm not sure where to go with this.  Here is another idea: utilizing volunteer police officers the same way we use volunteer fire fighters.  We put cameras on them that cannot easily be dislodged, provide them basic training, and rotate them often.  We make blacks the police of their own neighborhoods.  What I think would happen is that arrests would happen a lot less.  A lot more things would be talked through.  A lot more patience and tolerance would be shown by people who do not see the same shit year after year, and who have not undergone the conditioning which inevitably follows the power they are granted.

This idea is a bit far out, I know, but shit aren't most of my ideas?  I'm OK with that.  I actually think it has a lot of merit, not least the political merit of decentralizing power, and the use of power, and the relative empowerment of the people.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Expectations

In a free country, you are innocent until proven guilty, and free until there is some compelling reason you should not be free.

I see people say "well, if Eric Garner had cooperated, he wouldn't be dead".  That is likely true.  It is CERTAINLY true that if those 5 cops had not decided he needed to go to jail for selling cigarettes he would be alive.

In my own view, we need a whole lot less things you go to jail for.  In particular, I think we need to legalize substantially all drugs.  A great deal of petty crime--like petty theft, and robbery--is related to drugs.  Make the drugs easier to get, and you reduce the crime.  Have an intelligent long term vision, such as helping addicts heal their emotional wounds, as Portugal did, and you get even better returns on investment.

I really think we need to move beyond simple moralisms, where if you stay on one side of a line you are "good", and if you cross to the other you are "bad".  Who you ARE is what you think and feel most of the time, most of the day, and particularly what you choose to feed and what you choose to starve.

There are many awful human beings who have never broken or even contemplated breaking a law their entire lives.  Heinrich Himmler, as one example, was very scrupulous about everything.  He kept the receipts for his hair cuts.  I don't know why I remember that, but it was the sort of detail that reveals the man.

And many people who break the law--even major laws, such as those prohibiting car theft and robbery and even murder--are actually good people who exercised bad judgement over a very short period of time.

I am not arguing for moral relativism.  Some things are clearly wrong, but the public policy question, the practical question, is how we build a better society.  We cannot assume that punishment, per se, works to do that. In fact, I think it manifestly does not.  We cannot and should not assume that visiting hatred and pain and humiliation on people who enter the world traumatized does anything but reinforce all their worst existing impulses.  We can of course jail such people for life, but it is expensive, and it is a waste of life.  It is unnecessary, if in at least some cases those people might have contributed to society, rather than being forced by a court of law to spend their lives taking from society.

People operate according to knowable psychological principles.  They have reasons for what they do, and most of the time those reasons are ex post facto justifications for feelings which preceded them.  Those feelings, in turn, arise from primitive sufferings which they do not know how to bring to awareness, and whose existence they don't even suspect.

I would stipulate, for example, that the feeling of shame causes behavior which justifies it.

And it is a truism that cops are psychologically very similar to the criminals they jail, just as most fire-fighters have more than a little in common with arsonists.  Among other things, they like breaking stuff.

My point is that if we are to survive, we all need to be more psychologically sophisticated.  We need to bring what we know about human mental health into the public domain.  This does not mean going easy on psychopathic killers and rapists, but it does mean asking basic questions about motivation, figuring out who people are and why they do what they do, and making intelligent decisions on that basis.  Sometimes, that decision might be a course of psychological treatment, of a sort that can over some period of time prove itself effective, something which must be continually measured, and changes made regularly.  In my own view, virtually everything starts with trauma, and the fact that most therapies have not address trauma is the reason most of them fucking suck.

Black Lives Matter

Can one blame cops for getting shot?  Of course not.  Can one blame them for creating an atmosphere in which people WANT to shoot them?  Yes.  Clearly.

I keep saying this in many ways.  This one is slightly different.

The MINDSET they teach cops in the Academy, the one they enter their professional lives with, is control.  They teach them that they have to establish and maintain from the outset an absolute sense of dominance which is clear to both sides.  They are, in other words, to make every person with whom they come in contact, who they suspect may have committed a crime, feel inferior.  They want you to feel like shit.  They want you to feel shame and fear.  These are the emotions their training implicitly teaches them to invoke.

From a militaristic perspective, this makes sense.  You establish relative dominance, which you support with the clear display of weapons coupled with the  relatively unchecked power to put handcuffs on you and lock you in a cage, and you teach people to feel the fear of animals confronted with a superior predator.  Their fear makes them compliant.  This is not in principle different from a tiger showing its fangs.

The cops like it because they are the Alphas on the block, and they have a lot of other Alphas to share their Alpha-hood with. And in general their methods work.  People with something to lose fear losing it, and they keep their mouths shut, by and large, and their hands visible.

But when this mindset backfires, it backfires badly.  I think a lot of Officer Involved Shootings would not happen if the people concerned were treated with more respect, if they were treated as human beings, if they were not treated as a possible lunch for a hungry predator.

In most healthy people there is a desire to push back when someone pushes you.  In traumatized people, in the sorts of people who populate our jails and commit most of our crimes, this urge can be extraordinary.  It can reach the point--often does reach the point--where they DON'T CARE about the consequences.  This guy in Dallas planned to die.  He knew it was the only likely ending.  That price was obviously worth it to put fear back into the cops, to show them he too was a human being, he too had feelings, and his people had the right to demand to be treated fairly and with respect.

And obviously how can we expect cops to react?  They will do more of what created this problem in the first place.  They will be even more abusive, even less trusting, even more militaristic, as if the war being waged was ON the American people, and not on their behalf, which is supposedly the mission.  They exist as Public Safety Officers.  They exist not to victimize us, but to protect us.

But the mindset they develop is that of hunters, who enjoy the chase.  They are not looking for reasons not to arrest people--most cops on most nights--but reasons TO arrest them.  And again, this is the good cops.  The guys who make the most arrests are viewed with respect.  They are supposed to make the streets that much safer, but given how unsafe many streets are where the most arrests are made, one wonders.

And how do we put a cost to all the lost creation, all the lost labor, of the vast numbers of blacks who enter a revolving door relationship with our jail system?  They go in for something stupid, like petty theft, committed because nobody ever taught them right from wrong, or how to get ahead honestly, or who imbued them with the slightest hint of self respect, and they quickly learn they don't matter.  Their lives don't matter.  They are human shit.  They know this, because they have to put up being treated like shit, over and over, by men with guns and nightsticks.

How does any good come out of this?

I understand and have participated in the defense of the police. I have pointed out often that more whites are killed by cops than blacks, and that most blacks who are killed are killed by other blacks.  I have pointed out that a lot of COPS are black, as for example were half the cops charged in Baltimore, who if they are guilty of anything it is surely not racism.

But what I would add to this is that there has been no national self reflection, no asking of hard questions, no asking why our policing is done the way it is.  I get that if Obama calls for something most sane people will immediately feel the need to do the opposite.  He is a disgustingly disingenuous, hateful, divisive and opportunistic human being.  He disgraces our highest office.  But it is the American people's disgrace, since we put him there.

At the same time, though, these questions do need to be asked.  I have seen 6-8 videos in the last year where excessive force was clearly used.  Shoot first and ask questions later no doubt works to keep cops alive.  If I could be certain I would never be held accountable for bad decisions, then it might be my policy too, if I were lacking in a sense of honor and decency and professional integrity.

But that policy does not work to keep people alive who have committed no capital offense, and who in most cases are reacting the same way that dogs react when you keep yanking their leashes.  "Yanking your chain" is in fact a common police saying, or used to be.  If you deal with people like dirt, sometimes that alone is going to cause a reaction which results in one or both parties getting shot.  Since they are the ones who took the oath, and since they are the ones who are the supposed professionals, police need to accept a much larger share of the responsibility and the blame when things go south.

https://www.facebook.com/thedailyshow/videos/10154304212146800/

As Trevor Noah points out, in what I thought was a reasonably balanced piece, saying you are against cops killing innocent--or at least people not guilty of a capital offense who could and should have been dealt with with more skill--people is not "anti-cop".

One immediate change people might consider is the automatic use of handcuffs.  The sting of being arrested is, I think, made much worse by the use of handcuffs.  Some people clearly need to be cuffed for the safety of the officers.  But most people don't.  Most people, if you tell them you will face a lot of jail time if you act up, will behave fine.  Every time you put cuffs on someone you assume they are violent.  But most people are not violent.  Most people were not going to attack the cops.

You could do something as simple as say "if I don't cuff you, can I trust you?" and even though in some cases the cop may regret it, I think on balance there would be a lot less fear of, and hatred of, cops.

And we need to be clear that even though cops make noise about public service, and even though many of them would be willing to risk their lives to protect people, most of them are addicted to their jobs.  The cops in small towns are bored.  And the risk cops are not in general willing to take is the risk of being shot in order to keep some suspect alive.

Personally, I view the main difference between a cop getting shot by a criminal, and a cop who is made a criminal by the act of shooting an innocent person (like the drunk guy in Mesa who had no gun at all) is the size of the funeral, and the number of attendees.  They are not usually the heroes we make them out to be.  They like their jobs.  Most of them are highly cynical, detest most of the public, and keep mainly to their own.  Cops almost always hang out with other cops.

We need them, to be clear.  The choice is not cops/no cops.  At issue is how they do their jobs, the authority they have, the training they receive, and the expectations we place on them. Specifically, if they do something stupid, they need at a minimum to lose their jobs.  This would seem common sense.  It would help public relations, and in the long run likely get a lot fewer people killed--on both sides, I am inclined to honestly say, even though we are all theoretically on the same side.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Fighting

https://aeon.co/essays/how-bad-experiences-in-childhood-lead-to-adult-illness

I am very close to feeling calm, and I was recalling today a study I read some years ago that 100% of people who had exceptionally poor relationships with both parents had serious illnesses in their 40's.  When I read that, of course I was a bit worried, since for all intents and purposes I am an orphan with two living parents with whom it is simply impossible to communicate at more than a superficial level.  I Googled, something, and the study above came up.  This quote is relevant to my own experience:

Imagine for a moment that your body receives its stress hormones and chemicals through an IV drip that’s turned on high when needed and, when the crisis passes, it’s switched off again. You might think of kids whose brains have undergone epigenetic changes because of early adversity as having an inflammation-promoting drip of fight-or-flight hormones turned on every day – it’s as if there is no off switch.
I have not been sick.  Other than a minor surgery to fix a muscular injury, which really doesn't count, I have been 100% free of physical ailments, even though I'm sure my ACE score is 3 or above.  I don't really want to know.  I have had more than one therapist look at me in wonderment at my relative stability, given my history.

And here is why I think I have not gotten sick: I chose, at age 16, to fucking FIGHT for sanity.  I didn't know what to do.  I did not know where to go.  I had no idea what was wrong with me, but I knew something was, that I did not process the world like most other people.  My entire adult life has been oriented around the task of gathering wisdom and learning, on the deepest level I could reach.  This has been everything to me.

And I really think that has made the difference.  You can see my battles here.  What do I have, 3,000 posts or more?  This, even though I'm not really sure more than one or two people read it, and I'm not sure even they read it regularly.   This blog is the fight, or part of it.  This blog is a part of the not giving in, the telling my unconscious that I will continue, I will fight on, I will never quit.

No one can heal me.  The scars are much too deep, and in any event it is unfair to ask anyone else to carry your cross.  I am the one who needs to do it, and I am DOING it.  It is not theoretical.  I am feeling better every day. One day soon I will greet the sunrise without fear.

The feeling precedes the explanation

Where chronic feelings are concerned, like anger and anxiety, the feeling precedes the explanation.  People who are angry will find things to be angry about.  People who are anxious will find things to be anxious about. 

But both functions are intended as tools to help build a better, freer life, not dictators to diminish life and make it compulsive.  This point is important.

Jesus on Judgement Day

I had this image come to me, which I may have read somewhere.  I can't remember any more than anyone else everything I've read and heard.

I was thinking of these self righteous assholes who run communities, and who think it's quite OK to send an 18 year kid to jail for 20 years for a car theft committed in a moment of rage and immaturity.

He dies, and he's standing outside the door marked "Room of Judgement" at the head of the line.  He just found himself there, and figures it makes sense.  A poor woman missing her teeth is standing behind him, and says she's scared and worried.  She did meth and was a prostitute for many years, but she did her best to be kind all her life, but she just had too much to deal with.  Her father and uncle molested her, she ran away when she was 14, and it never got any easier.  She did take care of her sister when she was dying, got off drugs finally, and took up Buddhist meditation which finally brought her some measure of peace.

Our hero says: Buddhism?  Unless you have been born again in the blood of Jesus, eternal Hell is your punishment.  And he surely will not look kindly on your many years of sin, ESPECIALLY since you have not sought his forgiveness.  You must surely be damned.

And Jesus, of course, appears in his true form, and says "as ye judge, so shall ye be judged" and condemns the man to the Pit.

Within my own metaphysics, of course, I don't think these stories about eternal damnation and salvation are true.  I think people more or less find the level of their measure.  They rise or sink according to their actually dominant spiritual and emotional habits.  But even within this model, the prostitute would be at a much higher level than this man, who is cruel, lacking in understanding and sympathy, and utterly self righteous.

Robin Hood, the Police and Dallas

It occurred to me this morning that the metaphor of Robin Hood, if we apply it to our current era, would be armed bands breaking into police stations to take back what was taken in Civil Asset Forfeiture--a highly abused process which is certainly antithetical to the spirit of the Constitution--and also stealing money from the IRS as it convoyed the money taken in taxes--taken, to be clear, at the point of a figurative and sometimes literal gun--from the public.

Leftism could not exist without effective lies, without effective propaganda, without long term and carefully directed and orchestrated misdirection.  Indeed, so deep is the malaise that in the 1960's they found it necessary to attack the process of rational--goal based--thinking entirely.

If you look at all the enormous government buildings, what you need to see is King John.  What you need to see is a bloated organism that takes a third of everything we make, uses it to fund lavish salaries, expensive buildings, and a continual thirst for more bureaucracy because it means more taxes, which they depend in the end on the police--in some form--to collect.

The power granted the government must be taken with great responsibility. With regard to the police, I have been saying for some time that if the police do not start policing their own, if they do not start sending abusive cops to jail, or at least firing them, as should have happened in the Eric Garner case, then people are going to start shooting back.  It is inevitable.  If people lose faith in the system, and have little to lose, then why not shoot back at a system that is already shooting at you?

I know a lot of people who have been arrested for one thing or another.  Cops do not treat prisoners like people.  Even if they are superficially polite, they are not thinking of you as a human being even at a traffic stop.  They are thinking how they will kill you if they need to.

I think most of the people who go into law enforcement like this emotional superficiality.  They are able to leave unprocessed all sorts of negative emotions, which certainly include rage and some degree of sadism.  And if they don't start that way, it happens soon enough.  You cannot lock people up every day for any length of time and not develop a latent sadism and sense of relative empowerment.  As I have said, I think this process becomes addictive for most.

I have proposed as one solution not allowing cops to be cops more than 5 years, except in the case of jobs where a lot of experience is needed, such as homicide and some other types of investigations.  Perhaps 5 years is too long.  Perhaps 1-2 years.

Another idea would be to make a lot less things illegal, and the need to arrest people much lower.  There is something traumatizing, I think, about having handcuffs placed on you, and being locked in a cage.  That most black people endure this often cannot but have an effect, that of increasing both rage and relative sense of helplessness and disenfranchisement.

I do think Black Lives Matter is being used as a front for the usual fucking psychotics who want death and destruction for us all--the George Soros's of the world.  But I do also think it has or had a potentially useful purpose, which is providing a non-violent--or mostly non-violent--outlet for pent up energies.

When you hold people down, when you suppress them daily for decades, when they get arrested for having a little weed, or an open can of King Cobra,  or even for just loitering in the wrong place at the wrong time and giving the cop some attitude (cops are intensely sensitive creatures, who learn they can get away with not tolerating the slightest back talk, and who quite gleefully punish it), then some combination of rage and helplessness builds.  The despair shows up in drug and alcohol abuse.  The rage in violence.

By and large black violence has been held within their communities, by the police, and by habit.  But it has long been my opinion that sooner or later they are going to start shooting cops, utterly without regard to the consequences to themselves, simply because they have nothing else to live for, no good, creative outlets for their life energy, and because some of these assholes--you have seen the videos, so don't play innocent--deserve it.

I worked in a police department for 2 years where I interfaced with cops on a daily basis.  Every department has bad apples, and everybody knows who they are, but they cover for them.  This is the point I am making: people need to stop covering for them.  I don't give a shit what the "culture" is.  Those people are going to start getting everyone else killed.

It could be that every cop killed in Dallas was a wonderful human being.  More likely, they were average human beings who were decent at home, responsible in their private lives, but who dehumanized people on a daily basis, and viewed it as their job.  To some extent it is their job, but even after factoring in guns I think there is a reason there are so many more cops and civilians killed in their interactions in this country than anywhere else.  It is cultural factors, and most specifically, in my opinion, the habit of treating people objects.

I will add too that I think jail for most is a stupid punishment.  Most of the people who get arrested are already emotionally disturbed.  They acted out impulsively.  They did something without thinking it through, they got too angry too quickly.  I was talking to a kid the other day who had somebody steal a bunch of money from him, so he went over to this persons house and stole a bunch of stuff of his, including a car.  He was looking at 10-20 years.  This, for an hour or two's bad decisions based on rational anger.

And who foots the bill for that?  We do.  And these fucking for-profit jails no doubt have lobbyists hard at work making the penalties stiffer for everything, using an appeal to moralism and the need for public order.

Does this make any sense at all?  Not that I can see.  What these people need is emotional counseling, some way of learning impulse control, some way of processing deep traumas, some way of becoming useful rather than caged citizens.

I think the reaction to crime--we might start by using this word rather than punishment--ought to be oriented around the maintenance and improvement of social order.  Some people are psychopaths and will never be fit to exist in civil society.  I think these people--and I have said this before--should be locked up for life.  Their jails should be comfortable, reasonable, but permanent.  They cannot be rehabilitated, and they will always be dangerous in a free society.

But a lot of people just made a stupid mistake, or continue making stupid mistakes because they don't know any better.  Nobody is teaching them anything, and what jail teaches them is they don't want to be in jail, but if they know it and are familiar with it, fuck it, if I get caught I can deal with it.

What we need is a system to at least try and figure out who is who.  Who are the psychopaths, and who are the people who are just very confused and angry and impulsive?

Now, the devil is in the detail.  The war is won with logistics.  Most therapies suck.  They are stupid.  I don't doubt there are groups of men sitting around in groups where somebody is telling them to talk about feelings.  They comply superficially, and wonder all the time at the gullibility and stupidity of everyone involved.

But anyone who is not functional is hurting inside.  On some deep, likely unconscious level, they want to heal, but it seems impossible.  This is the task for intelligent therapists, to figure how to TRULY help people who genuinely want to heal.

I have to run, but these are a few ideas.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The FBI

I think we need to all collectively recognize that the FBI has been completely politicized and that a major house-cleaning is in order.

Yesterday, I spent an hour watching this video series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4VaRGqJZ_I (it is an hour, broken into roughly ten minute segments).

In it, among other things, they note the public testimony given to the Senate that a senior NTSB official caught the FBI destroying evidence in the middle of the night. The topic is the coverup of the destruction of a commercial Boeing 747 airliner off the coast of Long Island by what were almost certainly two surface to air missiles.

The relevance to the Clintons is clear.  They were involved in the cover up from the get-go:  http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/06/hillary_gorelick_and_the_corruption_of_the_twa_800_case.html

I don't think it would be too much to call this Benghazi 1.0, although I am likely being overly generous in calling it the first cover up.

As I have shared, the Oklahoma City bombing also appears to have involved a much wider conspiracy, one also with the FBI in the middle.  Without taking too much time, I will simply share the letter a retired Air Force General who was an expert in the relevant field--that of damage assessment--to Senator Trent Lott: http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/OK/PARTIN/ok8.htm

I will note that one police officer involved in the case appears to have been assassinated, and at least one suspect tortured to death, almost certainly by the FBI.  No one was punished.  The truth was never told.

It is an odd thing to me to observe Democrats who fear their government when Republicans are in charge ceding to their fellow Democrats such enormous trust.  If the government can be abused by one party, why not both?  

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

To the Never Trumpers

We saw yesterday what kind of monster we are unleashing if we put Hillary in the White House.  She broke many laws--she lied to Congress, she lied to the FBI, she broke numerous regulations concerning classified data--and SHE GOT AWAY WITH IT.  In full daylight.  Everyone knew and knows what she did, and they said WE DON'T CARE.

The FBI has shown itself to the world to be a corrupt, filthy, disgusting travesty.  They follow the IRS in this.

Hillary has a long history of backroom deals.  She was selling contracts to the Russians.  She is taking huge sums from the Saudis right now.  She is venal.  She is for sale, and ethics is something she vaguely recalls reading about in one of her mandatory college classes many years ago.

I read today she likely played a major role in covering up a major attack in Long Island: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/06/hillary_gorelick_and_the_corruption_of_the_twa_800_case.html

She got an American Ambassador killed, along with 3 good Americans, then LIED ABOUT IT to all of us.

The woman is a fucking psycho.  She is a walking list of mental health problems, and power seems to be her sole consolation.  And power is not power until it is abused, and abusing it is clearly what she expects to do, and what any sane human being must expect her to do.  Why not?  Morality is off the table.  Common decency is something she has never known or had any reason to practice.  Fear of the law is off the table.  Obama has shown our Congress has been neutered, and now the FBI has shown itself to be her lap dog, as indeed it did for Bill in the 90's.

And I read Gary Johnson thinks everything Hillary did is OK: http://www.redstate.com/california_yankee/2016/07/03/gary-johnson-gives-hillary-pass/

Johnson seems to prefer the Democrats to the GOP these days. In addition to giving Hillary a pass on her email scandal, he said that President Obama is "a good guy" and Hillary was "a wonderful public servant."
Gary Johnson can't win, but he is the only alternative to Hillary and Trump, and anyone who could vote for Trump and instead votes for Johnson is voting for Hillary.

How fucking hard is this call to make for anyone claiming to be sane, and to value the future of our country?  If you are on the gravy train, sure, I get a vote for Hillary; and if you aspire to be on the gravy train, likewise, I assume that like all Machiavellian gangsters she rewards loyal service; but for anyone else, voting for Hillary is a vote to continue our national suicide. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Activated Islam

Being something of a student of Islamic history--Gibbons treatment of it, by the way, in Decline and Fall, is excellent--I have never liked the term "Radical Islam".  This implies that something has gone wrong with normal Islam, that it has been taken beyond the boundaries.

The truth is that most Muslims, in most Muslim countries, have gone torpid.  They have become drowsy with respect to their faith.  They have allowed their innate humanity to overpower the innate inhumanity of the Islamic creed.  They have privileged sloth and common decency above dogma and ideology.

Islam in its primitive form is ascetic (except for sex), violent, inflexible, and aggressively expansive.  Iran under the Shah was not Islamic.  Women were free to dress as they chose, there were many bars, men did not have beards, many people did not pray the right number of times or at all, etc.

As I have said often, the best Muslims are the worst Muslims.  Conversely, the worst human beings are the best Muslims.

Therefore the term "Activated Islam", to me, better conveys the sense that the violence was always potential, it was always possible, just not yet present.  The task of the radicals, so called, is merely to activate it, to make Muslims read their own Koran and try to live by it.

And in the West we make it easier to recruit because of our fundamental decadence.  You cannot offer an alternative if you believe nothing.  Humans are believing creatures.  We are tribal creatures.  We need to belong, both socially and intellectually, to some larger group.

Nobody who watches Europe can say the are humanists any more, or that they believe in the promises of the Enlightenment.  They are superficial, egotistical hedonists who are not having children because they don't want the responsibility of creating a world they will not cringe to pass on to their progeny.  This leaves a gap Islamists are only too happy to fill.

And so we are presented with the prospect of a continent which invented democracy, virtually every major scientific discovery of the modern era, the philosophy of Liberalism and universal human rights, returning to an atavistic stage of cultural evolution firmly rooted in the 7th century.  That this is absurd, does not mean it is impossible, or even improbable.

Thoughts

I am seeing some interesting things.

It seems to me that a key element in developing self acceptance (in quieting the fight or flight responses I will discuss momentarily) is realizing that EVERYTHING you do has a reason.  You may hate yourself for always winding up with the same sort of romantic partner, or for oversleeping, or for being a workaholic, or for abusing drugs and alcohol and sex, or whatever.  EVERYTHING you do has a reason.  It is emotionally logical.  It is intended to save you pain, even if of course in the long or even short run it increases it.  You are substituting a conscious pain to avoid dealing with an unconscious one.

And what is interesting to me is that as I slow down, I am realizing that every day, countless times a day, people go through sequences which have a middle part that they are unaware of.  You see a person, and a series of events trigger in your brain, and a reaction issues forth.

Let me reframe that a bit.  Emotionally healthy people are likely aware of why they do things, but most people are not emotionally healthy, not by a long shot.  You find yourself saying "I don't know why I said or did or felt that".  There is an answer, but the part of you which ACTUALLY made the decision did so in a split second, in an altered state of consciousness that may have endured no more than a tenth of a second.

Healing, become healthy, consists in being able to touch this place, to speak with it, to give it room to express itself, to feel it, to make contact with it.  Invariably, it is where things are hidden which make you uncomfortable at best--and invoke deep feelings of horror and violation at worst--which is why they are hidden.  Some part of you is protecting you from things it can't make go away, and doesn't yet know how to process.  Suppression enables you to function, even if suboptimally.  This is a truism of course, but old truths are sometimes worth saying again with new words.

What I realized this morning is that I cycle between fight and flight.  If you pin a bird to a board with a nail, it will alternate fighting and passivity.  But if you look at this metaphor--and it is a bit gruesome, but suitable for my purpose since it evokes the actual feelings involved--the fighting and flighting are the same motion.  The feeling of wanting to escape and wanting to attack are quite similar.

There are two cycles involved in people dealing with trauma.  There is a cycle between depersonalization--passivity--and fight and flight.  And there is a cycle between fight and flight.  Fight is when the traumatized person gets enraged and angry in an inappropriate proportion.  Flight is when they become lost in daydreams.  It is not the same as numbness.  It has motion to it.

And what I saw this morning is that fight and flight cycle back and forth, but they go through a dark zone which evokes fear, but which is really the latent possibility of calm and peace, of relaxation.  The traumatized person fears relaxation, because it feels like it increases risk.  Certainly, I do, on some level.

There is a lot to ponder and feel here.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Emotional Neglect

When you interact with another human being, and they fail to be fully present, this on some level, if you fail to perceive it, works to distance you from your own emotions.  What I am seeing is that other people, and to the main point here, parents, can say all the words you need to say but that if they don't mean it, it hurts, on balance.

They can say "I love you".  They can say "I am there for you".  They can say "I am proud of you".

But if they are narcissists, if they are watching TV while they say it, if they are heading out the  door, then that bond is not formed, that connection is not made.  And in point of fact, you are being trained in superficiality.

To look a child in the eye and say something you don't know how to mean, or are unwilling to take the time to mean, is emotional neglect.  And what is interesting about this is that this neglect will not be easily perceived by either party.  The child will think "they said they love me, so this must be what love is".  The parent will say "I said I love you, what else can I do?"

So often I think that in this and now other countries, media fills the gap where emotional honesty should have been.  People are hurt, do not know they are hurt, do not know they are missing something, and use constant distraction as a means of managing it without ever becoming consciously aware of it.

This is a fragile system.  In the past, absent these distractions, something would have given.  Some truth would have been told.  The delusion would have collapsed.  But in our modern world, delusion can survive a very, very long time, and it is buttressed by sentimentalism as a pseudo-moral creed.

I am consciously directing most of my thinking to my diary, but I felt this needed to be said publicly.

Things are going well for me.  I will have crossed the ocean soon.

Edit: could we not say that what we might term the Age of Divided Attention is the Age of Ineffective Love?

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Video Game idea

I am playing Fallout 3.  If it has to do with technology, I am on the tail end of the curve.  I am a last adopter. [I say this because this is an old game].

In it, all manner of moral perversions are possible.  You can practice cannibalism.  You are regularly required to shoot both men and women in the face.  You can gain points in a negative way for killing good people.  You are at one point invited to shoot children and their dogs.  You are at one point invited to bully a sensitive kid and make him cry, then to kill all the members of a congenial, stereotypical American suburb.  You can shoot and kill your own father.

What seems obvious to me is that those who choose evil are practicing emotional dissociation, and social isolation.  I have never been one of these people who says that video games make people go out and shoot people.  The reality is much more complex.  What is CLEAR is that you are PRACTICING violence.  David Grossman says this clearly.  And in practicing violence, you are moving away from union, from connection, from empathy, from belonging.  And in some extreme cases, isolation DOES produce violence, which is supported by the long years of practice.

I will not dilate long on all this, since it is not my principal focus here.

But logically, the other polarity is possible too.  Me being me, of course I pursue the Good Karma (as they style it).  And what is interesting is that even though it is virtual, virtual good deeds still feel good.  As boring and untitillating as this may sound, it makes me wonder if games where you do good deeds for people might actually enable and support mood boosts.  You help little old ladies across the street.  You do favors for people which involve normal video game sorts of tasks.  Etc.  Just putting it out there.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brown people

There is an underlying racism among Democrats and those otherwise ideologically conditioned by Soviet propaganda, which states that brown people are uniformly virtuous, and that any malice or violence they may express is our fault.

This is stupid.  Brown people are like white people: most of them are good, some of them aren't.  They are diverse, believe many different things for many different reasons, and are quite capable of fighting among themselves without the involvement of white people at all.

I keep getting told that if I don't support allowing all Muslims in period, then I am condemning an entire religion.  Leaving aside the fact that I understand the details of these things much better than most of those making the accusations, the possibility seems to be invisible to them that some Muslims might genuinely be evil, and that this evil is not our fault.

It is astonishing how patronizing such leftists are, when they accuse America of all manner of crimes, while ignoring the crimes of anyone who is not white.  This is a color blindness; this is a fundamentalist racism.  When you consider any group of people as homogeneous because you don't understand them, there is no good word BUT racism.

When Muhammad Ali--who was clearly such a racist that his segregationism was openly welcomed by the KKK, who invited him to speak at a rally--said he didn't want to travel to some foreign land to kill the brown man, he assumed that it was us who were killing, and them who were dying.  In point of fact, one set of brown people was fighting another, in an existential battle which, when lost, caused an enormous amount of suffering and death for the people we had been trying to help, and whose invitation to help we had accepted at great cost of death and suffering for our own people as well.

Leftists don't get this.  They lack nuance.  They lack depth.  They lack the capacity for distinction, for non-racist sentiment, for adult, mature understanding.

I liked this.

http://reason.com/archives/2016/05/12/bourgeois-equality

I have long been arguing that the most important innovation of economic liberalism is the use of ideas to create wealth.  Anyone with a good enough idea can get rich in America.  And being born rich guarantees nothing.  This is the way it should be.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Me being me

Time may not heal all wounds, but it is a reliable companion when you can stomach no other.

Bon mot?  You decide.  I'm not sure.  It feels right, for a curmudgeon, which I certainly tend to be.

Edit: solitude cannot be your companion.  Don't be fucking stupid.  But small changes, processed slowly, can.

Meta-Learning

I was reading a quite clever book ad disguised as a personal development essay, which talked about Ben Franklin's "Five Hour Rule", which was that he spent an hour a day during the week reading and learning something.  I am told Bill Gates and Warren Buffett--who we are to consider as icons of success, since they are very wealthy and professionally very successful--practice this, or more.

I thought about it.  I spend most of every day in contemplation, and an hour a day in Kum Nye, and 10-15 minutes doing my EmWave2.  And it seems to me that far more important than book learning is self learning.  I suspect Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are, now, roughly the same people they were in their twenties.  They know a lot more facts, but they don't know themselves at an intimate emotional level.  I would assume, in fact, that a principle driving factor in their success is the drive within them to AVOID emotional realities which they find difficult to process.  Both of them have philanthropic foundations whose activities likely serve as ersatz consciences.  But who you are, what matters, is who you are, here, now, and how fully.

I see much in my meditations.  Yesterday it came to me that most of my surface personality is really just a play act, a play, and the actors emotions whose role and dialogue is stage managed by a much deeper, highly practical, fully aware part of myself.  In most people, what you are seeing is an opera they did not consciously write, and do not realize they are acting out.  Some part of them does, but they cannot get to that part without considerable work.  That part is the intuition which can be trusted.  That part is highly competent, but its job until a certain level of emotional development is reached, is maintaining homeostasis among conflicting, violent, and primitive emotions.

As I like to say, we are not so much different from animals than we like to believe.  At the same time, I do continue to believe we are spiritual animals, here for a purpose.

And I would add that it seems to be my task both to cultivate a species of atheism, and a different species of spiritual awareness.  Atheism, in that the God of my childhood first beats me relentlessly, then tells me how loved I am.  The Christian God first condemns us to eternal fire, then says that he loves us endlessly.  The two are not reconcilable.

Spirituality, in that I have really like William James accounts of what to my mind is healthy spirituality, which is a sense of God's love being present, and a sense of being in time and place which make sense, which work to my good; that there is a plan, even if I can't understand it.  Such people see and recognize that evil can intrude even into otherwise blessed lives, but that if accepted as God's Will, then true and lasting happiness and peace are possible.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Huma Abedin

http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/06/15/roger-stone-three-questions-huma-abedin-hillary-wont-answer/

When Barack Obama got elected, there were a LOT of unanswered questions about him, questions which by and large remain unanswered.  We don't know for sure who his father was.  We don't know who assassinated the gay members of his church.  We're not sure what his real relationship with Bill Ayers was (and perhaps is, although he seems to have pissed Bill off).

The fact that someone who had accomplished nothing, about whom we knew virtually nothing, could be elected not once but twice to the American Presidency I declared in 2008 prima facie evidence of pervasive decadence.  This is inexcusable even once we factor in blatant media complicity in hiding what he wanted hiding, and trumpeting what he--and his handlers--wanted trumpeted.

Likewise, Hillary seems to have as a lesbian lover--there are many reports of this--the wife of Anthony Weiner, who in turn seems to have connections up the wazoo with Saudi terror sponsors.  Add to this the recent back door visit of a senior Saudi to Obama's White House, with no press (in the last week), and Obama's long term support of Saudi objectives in the region, and we are quite within the realm of reason to question why ANY sane person would put someone like Hillary, who has shown contempt over and over for American lives, treasure, secrets, and dignity, into the White House, when her closest confidant had close connections to people who want Sharia around the world, and is willing to support terror to do it.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Meme idea

I'm not going to take more time to figure this out.

Top: Lots of Muslims=women and gays live in fear.

Bottom: why are the people who object to this called the haters?

Open question: if it is OK to hate the haters, how come we can't hate the Muslims?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Venezuela

Public Safety Officers

In many jurisdictions this is how they refer to police officers, or Law Enforcement Officers.  Quite often, their motto includes some notion of the public safety, as in the LAPD motto: "To protect and to serve".

Here is the thing: people CHOOSE to be cops.  They CHOOSE to put their lives on the line.  They choose to die, if necessary, to protect and defend the public from criminals.

But practically, most cops after a number of years decide, in my opinion, that it is "better them than me."  We are told about the family they have to go home to, the baseball coaching, the responsibilities as church elder.

These are all noble and valuable, but in my view if there is ambiguity, the nature of the situation is that the cop needs to err on the side of protecting the public, even those likely guilty of being sacks of shit, rather than on the side of their own safety.

There have been many, many cases of police shootings that need not have ended that way.  Here is but one example: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/10/21/police-shoot-kill-knife-wielding-teen-on-south-side/

The cops of course say "But you don't understand, knives are a huge threat, tasers don't always work, pepper spray doesn't always work" etc.

This is likely true. I don't doubt it is safer FOR THE COPS to shoot first and ask questions later.

But it seems to me that somebody who takes an oath to "Protect and Serve" should be more worried about killing a member of the public unnecessarily, than with being killed themselves.

Yes, alcohol and drugs make people do things they would not do normally.  That means the person they are killing is not the person they would be most of the time.  That is yet another reason to take every reasonable precaution that they don't wind up dead.

In Orlando, the cops waited 3 hours before entering.  Time will tell what the real reason is, possibly--or we may never know--but it seems likely that a concern for officer safety, over and above that of the people in the bar, was a factor.  You can hear the Officer in Charge saying "we're not going in there until we have better intel."  Meanwhile, the killing continued. Not one cop was hurt, but over 50 people lost their lives, and another 50 or more had their bodies permanently disfigured with what are no doubt some ugly wounds.

I am the first to admit I am glad I can call the cops if I need to.  I am not disparaging this.  What I am saying is that some soul searching is in order.  Priorities are off.

And I have some ideas on a solution.  I personally don't think anybody should be a cop more than 5 years; not a beat cop, at least.  I think we should fold being a cop into some sort of national service program, where people are trained to do the work, but only do one "tour".  Yes, obviously some careerists are needed for continuity, but I think most cities would benefit from a regular turn-over of police personnel, and a larger number of citizens trained in how to do it.

And as far as a national service program, consistent with my political views, I believe they should be run and organized by the States.  However, if we use the word "national" we need to involve the Federal government.  Here is my proposal: people who voluntarily commit to a service program of some sort (military service, search and rescue, firefighting, law enforcement, and perhaps some other areas I haven't thought of) get a permanent deduction on their Federal Taxes.  There is a line item "National Service Deduction", which is a percent or fixed amount: both would work.

This creates something truly national without coercion.  And with regard to Law Enforcement, we push out some of the cynical old bastards who teach their bad habits to all the new recruits.


Different scenario

Same shooter, same weapon: biker bar in Texas.

99

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Great meme


















I do think it would be useful to call Democrats, as they exist today, the Party of Cultural Incoherence.  Culture is the main barrier to violence, and where it is not present, animal instincts take its place.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The mark of unawareness

Stanislav Grof talks about what he calls the CoEx, or Condensed Experience, which one website defines as
'a specific constellation of memories (and related fantasies) from different life periods of the individual. The memories belonging to a particular COEX system have a similar basic theme or contain similar elements and are associated with a strong emotional charge of the same quality'. 
For my own purposes I have come to call this the Mark.  There is something which draws a line through my experience, which divides it.  Something was caged long ago, and it does not long to be free.  It does not understand the concept, yet.  There are the zones of Great Fear, and Known Fear.  There is a circle of dim light, and beyond it, the fully unknown.

It is only in the process of making this INTERESTING, of invoking curiosity, that it can be healed.  This is a gradual process, an elicitative (yes, spellcheck, I made it a damn word) process.

And what I see is that there is a primitive rough spot, on which some sorts of subsequent experience get "hung", or stuck.  They go one way rather than another way.  They go dark, rather than stay conscious.  This rough spot, this Mark, gives them that option.

The Mark lives in deep murky water, but for every emotion or primitive sensation--and this is a HUGELY interesting process, pulling up sensations you had as a child, at a primary process level--which emerges from this deep darkness, the water becomes more clear, and a bit of light enters.  At some point, it is clear, and you can see yourself as you truly are.

And perhaps the barrier--the great Opposition--becomes a gateway to something new and better.  I believe this.  I feel this.

I am slowly calming down.  This is a good thing.  A very good thing.

Utopianism and Evil

Cynicism and idealism are two sides of the same coin.  Cynics are not normal people who evolved that way, but tend rather to be frustrated idealists.  In both cases, they are not seeing the world as it is.  Both are errors, in their own way.

It seems to me a core problem Sybaritic (I am almost tempted to say Decadent) Leftists have is that they feel that life is supposed to be easy, that violence and horror are supposed to always be far away, and that some simple "fix" will make everything OK.  All it takes is a little policy tweak, some government program, and everything will be the way it was always supposed to be.

If, for example, we ban "AR-15's" (which is a stand in for every scary looking weapon, since the weapon used in Orlando was not an AR-15), then violence will cease.  At least, we will have "done something".  But if I first cut my finger trimming vegetables, then react by cutting it off entirely, that too meets the standard of "doing something".  Doing nothing is self evidently always better than doing the wrong thing.  Doing the right thing, of course, is better yet.  But the difference is one of perception, of wisdom, of discrimination between good and bad ideas, which are in continual circulation and competition.

Realists, among whom I would class myself (and of course the term is entirely dependent on the idea that these ideas are accurate, but defensible because it inherently involves a practical impulse which looks, always and carefully, to the RESULTS of different ideas, making it a world view capable of evolving positively), see that the history of humanity has been a long, hard struggles to emerge from the primordial ooze, that life has been filled with violence, poverty, disease, and injustice since before the beginning of history (which itself began as a record of war), and that what we have built is AMAZING, but perishable.  Everything good which has been built, at such great effort, can be destroyed, and destroyed quickly and almost entirely.

Thus people who recognize the value of what has been achieved must at the same time recognize all the many very human impulses which seek to destroy it, which have always sought to destroy it, and which have been countered and defeated only at great cost of life and human misery.

Evil is not some immanent and unknowable force "out there" (although it may be that too): it is, rather, the result of conscious policies, enacted by people with names and histories and addresses, who in most cases believe in what they are doing deeply, and who in almost all cases openly proclaim their intentions.  The Communists did.  The Nazis did. And the Islamists are.  They are saying: we want to conquer the world.  We want Europe to come under the yoke of Islamism and Sharia.  We want America to come under the yoke of Islamism and Sharia.

The reason Cultural Decadents refuse to see this is that admitting this would require altering a fundamental tenet of their universe, which is that people are supposed to be happy by nature, and that only small factors, only temporary and easily overcome misunderstandings, prevent this from happening.  This is myth, both in the sense of being false, but more importantly of being an organizing force in lives lived flippantly, sybaritically, and uncritically.

They resent those who intrude on their happy dreams with reports of violence and famine and death. And they blame those people, because it is EASY.  It is the indignation of an over-indulged child at the responsibilities of life.

Is it not much safer to blame conservatives for all violence in the world, than to try to understand the ACTUAL root causes, particularly if they lead to the need for hard decisions, for the choice of violence over ease, for moral ambiguity and the errors which attend all wars?

We are in a culture war, one in which one side chooses to deny human history, and the other to protect humanity from the very forces the first denies.  Islamism is but one of our enemies.  Globalists--which is say aspiring tyrants who view the final conquest of the planet Earth as possible in our lifetime--are another.  They in fact are the larger enemy, since they support the first.  It is no accident that so many radicals are being spread like leavening among the masses of Europeans.

I am watching two parallel narratives emerge from the same set of events.  They are radically disconnected.  They have NOTHING in common.  They arise from completely differing world views, completely different assumptions about the nature of life, of violence, of virtue, of duty, of history.

For those with eyes to see, this is a truly astonishing time.  I suppose in some ways, all times have been astonishing, but it really does seem we have reached a point where we really must accept and value and improve upon the progress we have made--the REAL progress, in the recognition of universal human rights, political and social pluralism, of respect for actual difference, of effective and free economic systems--or in the end lose all of it.  Both are possible.  One or the other, seemingly, will happen in the next 20-30 years, with the major turning points being reached much sooner.

The faces of fear

Calm--and the joy enabled by calm--are the opposite of fear.  Everything else is a mask.  Fear can wear every mask you can imagine.  It can wear the masks of love, of kindness, of generosity, of compassion, of courage, of honor, of decency.

I look around me, and most of what most people do all day every day is in large measure motivated by fear.  Soldiers charge into guns in no small measure because of fear: fear of shame, fear of dishonor, fear of censure, fear of failing in their own eyes and those of others.

Many good things arise because of fear.  Social order arises because of fear.  People stop at the red and go on the green because of fear--well founded fears of traffic accidents and tickets, but also fear of sticking out, of being different, of not following the rules, and of being known as a non-rule-follower.  In some countries people refuse to jaywalk even when it is the middle of the night and no one is around.  Why?  Fear.

Most of our automatic, reflexive behavior is based on fear.  Fear has survival value.  It keeps you alive.  And without it most social orders would collapse in short order.

But something beyond it is possible.  And the possibility of bringing that world into being begins with stating it is possible, with recognizing how we live, why we live the way we do, and contemplating how we can and should change.

Orlando shooting

People seem to be very upset about this shooting, and I suppose I should be too, but I'm not.  Pondering it, I think the reality I live in is very different from that of those who see this sort of violence as exceptional, or unexpected.

I was vastly more bothered by the murder of 19 Yazidi girls by ISIS last week, who were set on fire, and died a very unpleasant death, in a cage.  Most of them had likely been raped repeatedly beforehand.

It bothers me vastly more to know that Obama played an important role in the creation of ISIS, both by drawing down our Iraq troops much faster than planned, or recommended by senior commanders; and more importantly by providing arms and training to people who were even then obviously Islamic radicals when they were fighting Syria.  This bothers me a lot.  Our President, our Commander in Chief, more or less created the radical terrorist state so many Americans died to prevent, with all the death and destruction that entailed and continue to entail.  Even now, he is not allowing in honest refugees, preferring instead to let in countless thousands of Islamic persons, many of whom are absolutely without a doubt sympathetic to Islamism and mass murder.

What bothered me most when I saw this was that I knew my sense of reality would be assaulted for the umpteenth time.  That people would consciously and willfully lie to us about the reasons behind the shooting, the meaning of it, and what to do.  That they would try again to implement reductions in private gun ownership, to demonize gun owners and those who support them, and fail once again to recognize that the root problem is that we live in a violent world, one made more violent by the very people doing the talking.

Fast and Furious, plainly intended to support the gun confiscation agenda, caused the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans.  None of these psychopaths give a flying fuck.  And none of our fucking mass media wants to hold them accountable for it in the slightest.  On the contrary: they push their psychopathic agenda every fucking chance they get.

It is tiring, fighting for plain and obvious truths.  We live in a world where the mass of people can't remember what was on the fucking news two days ago, much less 5 years ago.  There is no need for "memory holes": all the media has to do is stop talking about something, and two weeks later nobody remembers it happened.

This is what I feel about this shooting.  And I hope that the gay community realizes that they are targets, and starts arming itself.  That remains legal.

Monday, June 13, 2016

What will be interesting to see

A military guy on my Facebook pointed out that if there are over 100 casualties, there must have been at least a hundred bullets shot.  This means the shooter had to reload a number of times.  This means there were chances for people to overwhelm him.

What I think we will find, if anyone tells this story, is that virtually everyone was so stricken by terror and incomprehension that they literally hid in corners waiting for him.


Leftist Discourse

Having spent so much time dealing with it, and now beginning slowly to step away from it, I felt today I have not put the right words on what I see when I deal with Leftists.  Their rhetoric is characterized by arrogance, violence, and emotional superficiality.

For them, outrage at conservatives is emotionally equal to compassion for the victims.  It isn't.  Those are two different things.  Anger is not compassion.  They are two different things.

I often feel like I am dealing with people who have renounced their humanity, their ability to recognize as fellow humans those who do not agree with them ideologically.

Arrogance, violence, emotional superficiality.  What personality profile do those remind me of?

Edit: you know, in family arguments, in somewhat healthy ones there comes a time where you mutually recognize that you are all in it together, and some calmness and forgiveness and regret enter the picture.  This never happens in the political realm.  It is pure obsession.

Too good not to share. Right on the money.


The Necessity of Disgust

I see people comparing Christians to Muslims, because there was that one time a Christian, acting alone, and plainly a bit crazy, attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic; and on the other there are thousands of centrally coordinated suicide attacks, bombings, and mass homicides committed by Muslims.  The two do not compare, not to any rational mind.  They exist on different scales.  The crimes are jaywalking versus rape and murder.

And it occurs to me that this is not really a rational decision.  It is possible to argue that if any crime originates in the category "Christians", it is possible to compare it to any crime which originates in the category "Muslim".  And if one crime equals another crime, then they are logically equal.  Quantities do not matter.  This is the emotionally detached approach.

But as I have argued--and I think most neurophysiologists would agree with me--you MUST involve instinct in the perceptual process, or you lose much of what makes us human, and indeed much of what allows our perceptions to be broader and more useful than those of animals.

I will invoke Jonathan Haidt, who I have followed a bit, and who has become in my view more useful.  His work is presently called "Moral Foundation Theory":

Moral foundations theory is a social psychological theory intended to explain the origins of and variation in human moral reasoning on the basis of innate, modular foundations. At present, the theory proposes six such foundations: Care, Fairness, Liberty, Loyalty, Authority, and Sanctity
Here is the part I wanted to focus on:

Various scholars have offered moral foundations theory as an explanation of differences among political progressives (liberals in the American sense),conservatives, and libertarians, and have suggested that it can explain variation in opinion on politically charged issues such as gay marriage and abortion. In particular, Haidt and fellow researchers have argued that progressives stress only two of the moral foundations (Care and Fairness) in their reasoning, and libertarians stress only two (Liberty and Fairness), while conservatives stress all six more equally.
What is missing from both the Libertarian and Leftist psychosocial approaches is Sanctity.  Sanctity is an instinctual attraction or repulsion, based upon certain in-built senses about what is right and wrong.  Some of it is clearly socially conditioned, but the process itself is instinctual.  Part of what makes us human is finding some things--the details will matter according to culture, but in my view the process should be universal--repugnant.

The essence of the Compassion Ideology is eliminating the sense of sanctity, which is to say the sense of moral repugnance.  Clearly, they keep hatred and anger, but these are reactions to their ideas about Ideological Others; they are not inbuilt and instinctual.  They have deconditioned these senses, such that whatever is natural is rejected.

As I noted several years ago, it is literally possible to measure differences in the automatic responses of leftists and conservatives to disgusting images.  This is a difference in conditioning, and it matters politically because it is one of the things which makes them so fucking stupid.

Edit: I will note as well that Donald Trump has a very robust sense of the disgusting.  It is one of his favorite words.  I doubt very much he hired PR people to study the rhetorical uses of Haidt's theory--that is one of the things Democrats do, and do well, and must do well, since their ideas are bad in nearly all cases--but that rather it comes to him instinctively.  People speak of political instincts.  Bill Clinton had them, Hillary does not.  Trump does, clearly.  [Bernie did not either, btw: his appeal is oriented around the childish need for endless Christmas's.  And he always struck me as someone who didn't brush his teeth enough and always had bad breath.]

And I will say that on contemplation, this is my issue with all the gay and trans issues.  I find those behaviors disgusting, particularly after looking at the Mapplethorpe exhibit some 25 years ago.  Some things I wish I could unsee.  I do. I am liberal enough to grant anyone the right to do what they want.  It's a free country, and that is enormously important to me.  I will fight for the right of those people to be free.  But don't ask me to suppress my feelings, to pretend they don't exist.  Don't tell me who and how I can be.  That, too, is an abrogation of my freedom, of my rights as the citizen of a free nation.  Live and let live has always been and continues to be a good policy.