Saturday, April 30, 2011

Service

I'm the guy who is trying to throw his arms around the world when I'm out drinking. I hear stories, and want to offer "good advice". What I often realize the day after is that I am not sure if what I said was helpful or not.

The desire to help others is affective, it is a blessing. At the same time, ACTUALLY helping others requires perception. You have to work hard at it, and you have to understand that you will at times be stupid. What you cannot do is blissfully leave a trail of wrecks behind you and congratulate yourself for your generosity.

As an example, I'm not a fan of most forms of talk therapy. I think it encourages moral weakness and whining.

The "sexual revolution" did not make most people happier. I think it diminished actual emotional intimacy, which is necessary for actually good--satisfying beyond the purely physical--sexual relations.

As I often say, Leftism "works to", in Hayekian terms, moral and economic collapse.

You can't absolve yourself from responsibility for consequences simply because you wander around sowing, as you see it, flowers, if they in fact come up weeds.

Put as simply as I can, if you don't care about the consequences of your actions, you are not a good person, regardless of your affective state. I have in mind in particular people who smell of patchouli and who talk about compassion, but who to this very day have not realized the role they played in the horrors that followed the Vietnam War; and who to this day are not willing to see the horrors which fill this world, the potential role of military force in ending them, or the strongly pernicious effects of the economic and politically implemented social strategies they embrace.

Put another way: stupid people are not good people. You have to be willing to tell hard truths to yourself, and if you aren't, you are a useless--generally counter-productive--child. To be clear on this, simple and stupid are two different things. Common sense is in fact common, and only corrupted by most contemporary forms of "higher" education, which we might more properly call "intellectual dehabilitation". IQ and the capacity to do the right thing are quite distinct.

Absurdity

I have a picture of Albert Camus on my wall. For a non-atheist, this might seem incongruous, but my attachment to him is that he struggled to rationalize doing the right thing, even when everything and everyone around him was falling apart. He was, in the latter phase of his career, a sincere moralist, even if he struggled to justify it.

Perhaps the word most associated with him is Absurdity. Life is absurd, if we know we are going to die, and if we know it is final. I well remember one character from his novel "The Plague", who spent his life moving a pile of beans (or something similar) from one side of the table to another, one at a time, then back again. Qualitatively, was that worse than a life of selfless service to others? Intellectually, I think Camus thought no. Affectively, he was unable to accept this, though, and didn't. He broke with Sartre when the latter insisted in his Communism, when the extent of the brutality of the Soviet regime became clear.

It occurred to me this morning, though, that life is just as absurd when we believe in God. Intellectually, how do we justify anything? My entire project is oriented around the generation of feeling. Feeling cannot be justified. It is simply awesome when good, and horrible when bad. It is the root of experience. If we must experience, and if rationally experience is extended beyond this world, the only rational path forward is figuring out how to generate positive experience. The experience itself is still ridiculous. We are not machines, and as such are messy. There is nothing wrong with this, but it is silly. You have to laugh at us.

An analogy I have used in the past, and used in my "Goodness Sutra", linked on my other site, is that of bubbles. I once had this image of each of us isolated as bubbles in an endless ocean, unsure of where the sun was, and unsure even what direction up was. What to do? Can we not relate to one another, with love? Certainly, we can use hate, but does that decrease our sense of isolation? I think it enables temporary groupings relative to other groupings, but it is forced, and not natural: it is not comfortable.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Prejudice and Postjudice

We have a word for prejudging. Why not a word for judgments rendered with all the facts? It is one thing to say someone looks like a lazy moocher, and another to KNOW they are lazy moochers.

Judging preemptively and failing to judge once the facts are known are both abuses of the moral sentiment.

Rock and Ritual

I went to a rock show last night--some noisy folks, all of whom had good voices. I had earlier in the day said to a friend that all love is ridiculous, but that it is even more ridiculous never to feel it.

As I watched the show with my PBR, it occurred to me that it is a species of insanity to give yourself fully over to the music, but equally insane to approach it with a stance of ironic detachment.

How can one swim perfectly in the ocean? Are you not always just muddling along, going up and down with the waves?

It occurred to me too that there is a ritualistic quality to rock. One of the bands reminded my of the Smiths, and I was thinking about all these bands that attract--what do we call it?--cult followers. It seems to me that this is a ritual where all the members of the group are bound in a shared mania that is strengthened with the power of the music. It is what I at times call Ersatz Sacred. I think that is my phrase any way.

In a fundamental way, is God less present at a rock concert--if we by "God" we mean an oceanic feeling of belonging--than in a church? Is God more in churches, in any way? If He exists, then he is everywhere.

My feeling is that God is the web which connects us all. God is not sentient: God IS sentience. God underlies the possibility of consciousness. God is the formed when it is unformed. God represents the possibility of form.

Anyway, I think it is worth breaking "religion" into components. One part of its role, in my view, is served equally well by all group functions, including musical events. I'm not at all sure, as far as that goes, that church going fosters closeness to God, absent what might be termed "technologies" like Yogic meditation.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Supply Side economics and Keynesism

The central tenet of what I tend to call either economics or Counter-demand-side economics--where the negation of a negation logically equals a positive--is that investors invest and employers employ. This is really a stretch for some, but that is the case in its nutshell.

The problem with Socialists--in a relatively free market at any rate--is that they want "rich" people to create new businesses and new jobs, and then they want to take their money. They want people to want to make money, then they want to be sure they don't. They want the economic benefits of business expansion, but they don't want anyone to benefit from it. This is quite literally the mindset of the child, but that is the level they operate at. You can't not be stupid and ignorant of human nature, and still support these policies.

For their part, businesspeople are understandably reluctant to settle in for the night in a henhouse run by a pack of wolves.

This is the underlying purpose of the Keynseian "stimulus": when you can't get the people spending money who should be spending money--because you want to take it, and they know you want to take it--then you get government "investing" the money. You know, the "investor of last resort", when all the actually competent businesspeople have headed for the hills, with justification.

This is where they get sneaky. They think that if they borrow the money, and if they enact "tax cuts", that the economy will get moving, the businesspeople will jump back in and POOF, they have them caught. This is a bit like a six year old thinking that because he can catch his father in hide and seek that his father couldn't escape him if he wanted to. It is infantile.

Sooner or later they realize this, and that is when they start arguing for a command economy, so the money will stay put for them to steal. If they get their way, as in Cuba and North Korea, the money gets spent, once, and after that the golden goose is dead. Maybe the bourgeoisie and capitalists are dead or in prison: they sure as hell are not creating jobs and economic growth. Mass poverty ensues.

Short of this, they put the jitters in everybody, and the nation as a consequence suffers.

There is literally nothing good in the doctrine of Leftism--except rhetorically--and much, much evil.

It is the doctrine of fools and the wicked.

Propaganda of the Power Elite

If I borrow money for war, or for social programs, does it matter to the people who lend the money, if they can create as much money as they want, whenever they want?

A loan is always a claim of ownership, and if that loan is created from nothing, then that claim of ownership is likewise created from nothing. From this basic mechanism, those who control it can eventually own everything. They can't lose, provided they keep their legal protection.

I am speaking, of course, of the central banks, including the Federal Reserve, the IMF they largely control, and their cartelization agency, the Bank for International Settlement [who by the way have planned deflation for us in the coming decade, which will be quite onerous given the amount of money that was just put into the system by the same people. Inflation/deflation is a basic method of generating depression, and all the wealth transfer which it enables.]

The point I wanted to make here is that they are equally well served by the rhetoric of "capitalism" and "socialism". Obama is serving them--who leftists would generally inaccurately identify as capitalists--just as Bush did. Wars and social spending: they all generate debt, interest on the debt, industrial and financial weakness, fire sales, and a dependent populace.

It is a source of on-going frustration to me that leftists lack the mental agility to recognize that corporations are employers who create jobs, and that when they inaccurately conflate Wall Street with free market economics, they serve the interests of no one but the politicians who use them to get elected, and the actual powers behind Wall Street, who of course benefit from the policies they enact.

It is equally frustrating that conservatives, who otherwise understand how things work, fail to see how the Federal Reserve banks leach wealth from the most powerful economic system ever developed.

Here, again, is my treatment of the topic: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/Page14.html

Liberal vs. Leftists discourse

I had initially conceived the previous post on Homosexuality as a meditation on why we--some people--view it as a sin in the first place. Getting some feedback, however, this sparked further thinking. I cannot overemphasize how valuable criticism is for me.

The task of geniune Liberalism--which is to say the doctrine of people like Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill of maximal freedom for and emphasis on the individual--is to built a society composed of countless strands of personal relationships, in a complex web of meaning and personal satisfaction without any real center, and very rich with information and connection.

A Liberal response to a claim like "Homosexuality is wrong" might look something like the following:

I understand that at first glance it might seem unnatural for men to be with men, and women with women, but the first thing I need to point out is that sex is actually a small part of who we are. We have jobs, bills to pay, and responsibilities that fill most of our days. When we are together we have the same arguments; we worry about the same things. We wonder if love is real, and what our futures will hold.

True, we cannot physically procreate, but we can adopt. In any event, we tend to be more educated than average, and if you compare us to comparable heterosexual demographics--particularly in Europe--most of them aren't having kids either. The survival of the race isn't really at issue, is it?

What I would like you to understand is that while I respect your right to your opinion, in my case at least it is injurious to be labelled as somehow defective or wounded, just because of the sexual drives within me. I endured a lot of teasing as a child, which frankly have left me very sensitive.

Please keep these things in mind as you are typing. As you say, we both have our rights, but you need not exercise them all the time, if it does little good, and might be emotionally painful to someone who has done you no harm.
Now, that would be quite good. That would be effective in my case, and frankly does cause me to rethink what I wrote. I will leave the original post there for instructive purposes, even though I would tend to want to take it down, especially if I actually got a response like that.

A leftist response would look like this:

You have no right to talk about homosexuals. You are a bigot and homophobe and should be ashamed of yourself. If I knew where you were, I would set up a picket tomorrow to denounce tools like yourself for your viciousness and hate. Fuck you, you piece of shit.


In the one case a connection is established, a relationship of rapport and mutual consideration built, and our social order strengthened. In the latter case, a divide has emerged, which will only be bridged with violence; historically, in the form of laws repressing the spontaneous expression of non-conforming sentiments, such that no genuine bridge building and development of human empathy can happen.

Over time, the latter approach builds spiritless, unempathetic, robotic human beings. It levels all relationships to a flat plain, and erects on that plain a throne for the dictator, from whom all meaning and action is to emanate, but who climbs from that plain himself, and therefore has nothing valuable to offer.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Homosexuality

I was thinking about this yesterday: which is the greater sin--two men or two women having sex with one another; or a father siring a son them abandoning him? In one case, the consequences are consensual, and negotiable; in the latter, lifelong pain is the result, and entirely beyond the control of the child.

Which is worse: homosexuality; or being married and betraying your spouse with infidelity?

Many, of course, would balk at linking homosexuality with sin at all. In my view, such people are simply unlucky. They are either born that way, or made that way through sexual and/or emotional trauma.

For some women, particularly, I think it may well be more emotionally satisfying, but seems not to be for men, who seem to retain their promiscuity in all too many cases, along with dramatically elevated levels, as a population, of drug and alcohol abuse.

Personally, I don't care either way. They do what they do, and I do what I do.

I just thought it worth comparing some of the ways in which people hurt one another. Homosexuality does it not at all, at least in its basis. No one is hurt, and in general people are happier (at least than the alternative, which would involve suppressing some basic part of your identity), since sexual expression is a natural urge.

Edit: I will add to that that emotional expression is a natural urge, too, and probably more important. This ties in with my notion of "qualitative repression", defined in my glossary of neologisms (and new uses of old words, which I propose to call neoarchaologism.)

Perhaps for now obvious reasons, my sexual activities would be roughly the same as they are now if were gay.

I will say I do in general stick to my principles, even if I do question them at times.

S & M

Rihanna:

Sticks and stones may break my bones
But chains and whips excite me

This is currently a big hit. I just heard it on the radio.

S&M makes sense to me in a world denuded of love. I was thinking about it today, that when you are in love, you are in this sort of trance state, where the world is altered somehow in strange but desirable ways. It is still a type of madness.

S&M aims to stimulate a qualitative risk of altered states, but one without the risk of actual emotional vulnerability. These people will go to all sorts of lengths both to approach one another, and to avoid genuine emotional intimacy.

Never having done it, this is my speculation. It does not interest me in the slightest. I will take my emotional wounds all day every day. They may hurt, but they tell me I am still alive.

S&M is a type of death, as the imagery associated with it plainly shows.

For those unfamiliar with my method, I am not calling it right or wrong: I am calling it an incompetent means of pursuing the emotional satisfaction we all want. Sex, likewise, is an incompetent means, and the connection of sex with willful and voluntary cruelty and masochism is obvious: is not emotionally detached sex already a sin against fulfillment, in many cases, particularly over the long term?

What we WANT is to hold hands and walk down country roads. By the age of 13 or so, though, nowadays, most kids have abandoned that fantasy for "maturity", which seems to normally start with oral sex, and advance to hormonal driven coitus, all without the CAPACITY for lasting committment by the boy--and probably any more by the girl, although they are wired differently.

If you risk nothing, you get nothing. If you cannot trust, you will always be alone. If you cannot get hurt and go again, then life looks like a really scary ride. You get off by closing yourself emotionally, and having done that, not uncommonly by leaving altogether. In my view the only reason suicide rates are not skyrocketing is effective drugs that act on a physical level.

My two cents.

Toeing the line

I am not seemingly meant to work within large corporations or other large human frameworks requiring me to be demure and willing to ignore blatant affronts to my cognitive or other sovereignty.

As you watch people climb the corporate ladder, there is this point where they stop protesting the injurious. They get crapped on, and figure they'll just dish it out when they get higher up and in a position to do so.

Part of fitting in is always being willing to subordinate your opinion to others. Now, obviously, in any human system you can't always get your way. To demand it is stupid. At the same time, there is a big difference between compromising because you have to, and forgetting what your principles and beliefs are in the first place.

Organization Men (and Women) forget who they are. They accept the unacceptable so many times without complaint that they forget they once had backbone.

This is the problem, too, with politicians, whose constraints are always public opinion. They get muted and chastened by the views of the electorate, and so water down their own beliefs that when it comes time to stand for something, they have forgotten how.

I have no idea if Donald Trump would make a good President, but it can be stated with no hope of contradiction that he is an individualist. He does things his own way, for his own reasons. Obviously, he always hopes to capture greater notoriety and/or business success, but what he is not trying to do is fit in. He is trying to create his own unique brand, and is obviously quite sincere in doing so.

That is why and how he brought up the issue of Obama' identity, which has been so successfully suppressed by the propaganda machines in our airwaves.

People care about this issue. They know they are being lied to, about this, about the debt, about Obamacare, about Social Security, about Medicare, but are unable to find anyone willing to buck their pollsters.

Sometimes you have to lead, and wait for people to follow. I think that's what he's done. Again, I can't say if he's smart enough to be President, but I'm quite sure Obama isn't, and he is occupying the office now.

What we want is people who are NOT organization men. What we have been doing has NOT been working.

Brainwashing

I have posted on this a number of times, somewhere, but figure it's time for an update.

If you are going to move an immovable rock, how do you start? Is it not by eroding its foundations? Given time, the largest rock can be reduced by flowing water. The Grand Canyon was once solid.

The task of the brainwashing is to develop comfort with cognitive and perceptual dissonance. As one example, they might ask the captured American: do you think black people should be able to vote? Do you think they all deserve to be beaten? Do you think rich people owe no debt to the poor?

They might bring in some little girl who they say (it need not be true, of course) has been victimized by American bombs. They ask: do you feel sorry for this little girl?

They keep at this until they get some small agreement, then they ask you to write it down.

The next day they go a little farther, and then farther, and you acquire gradually the habit of small accomodations. Small changes, you figure, can't hurt. You are kept in a ideologically sealed environment, such that you can't see how you change over time in your views. One day, they tell you the United States is the Great Satan, which is the inverse of the truth where Communists are concerned, and you disagree. Then they show you all the notes detailing American aggressions. You want to fight it, but you wrote the notes. Emotional and cognitive pain follows. If you are going to fall, you fall here.

Once you fall, the justify it to yourself, that you are now in possession of the true truth, and you become an advocate of hate in the name of compassion, violence in the name of peace, and economic oppression in the name of economic liberty.

To the point on the question of who our President actually is, and if he is actually legally qualified to be our President (plainly, he is not qualified on his merits), the example I would use is the Communist use of sticks of varied lengths to gauge their progress.

First, they give you one stick that is 4" long, and another that is 4 1/16". There is a perceptible difference, but only if you place them right next to each other. They ask you if they are the same. You say no. They say that if you admit they are "mostly like each other", that you will extra rations (they have of course been starving you to weaken your will, and diminish your judgement). This goes on for some time, and you get used to the rations. "It's just a harmless game", you say.

Then they put the two out, and they say, these two are of course the same, but do you see any difference between these two, where one is 1/8" shorter than the other. Are they basically the same?

If you don't confront them there, you will rationalize what they said. You will have internalized as truth something that just recently you knew to be false.

In my view, this birth certicate issue--where no representitive of the American people as a whole, which would presumably be a member of Congress and/or their designated representative, has been allowed to look at anything remotely conclusive--has a similar dynamic. We are being asked to accept as valid a process which is nothing of the sort. This situation is ridiculous. We are being asked to accept a a3" stick as a 4" stick. Once you have done that once, you will do it again.

That to my mind is the true significance of this issue. I don't know and I don't care what they find: they need to do the damn thing, as a matter of PRINCIPLE. Pass an Act of Congress forcing Fukino to release it to unbiased experts representing both parties, and the nation as a whole.

To do otherwise is to plead cowardice quite explicitly, in my view.

Birth Certificate, some more perspectives

What if Frank Marshall Davis were listed as his father? Obama's father abandoned him nearly immediately. What if he thought he were the father, and took her to Kenya to be his (second) wife, as allowed by the Islamic faith he was born into? What if he then found out that he wasn't the father? He dumps her, she returns to Hawaii, then moves almost immediately back to Washington state, and the two of them have almost nothing to do with one another the rest of their lives. She takes the time when she leaves, though, to both get a birth announcement placed in the paper, and applies and gets a Certificate of Live Birth, naming the actual father, since she had no reason to believe it would ever matter? Obviously, her goal would have been to secure US citizenship for little Barry.

Davis, for his part, bragged about conquests of girls as young as 14 (and group sex with same). 18 would not have been a problem for him. Obama is never told, but the grandfather knows, and makes sure Davis is in his life as a mentor, even if not as an acknowledged father.

Let's say Obama doesn't find out until he goes to Hawaii just before the election to look at his birth certificate. He is upset, but as per his style doesn't show it. His grandmother, however, stricken with grief, dies. I always thought it strange she died the day of his election, but could never quite bring myself to believe he had anything to do with it. This I could accept.

Now, he's been using his COLB for everything until now. Obviously, he got his documents somehow. Let us say that he even provided Factcheck with a valid document, and that they really did delete things in good faith.

This still leaves him with a Communist, drug-using, sexually perverse father, as a matter of public record, with whom he on his own admission spent a lot of time as a child. That would be politically problematic. The father to whom he (or someone) devoted "Dreams from my father" was also a Communist. That's a lot of Communists, but of course everyone that is thinking and paying attention knows that.

Communist=baby killer, just in case this is unclear; and literal, as a matter of policy, baby killer. NVA troops routinely shelled civilians on purpose for explicitly terroristic purposes. They put bombs on kids, put them on bikes, and detonated them when they were in crowds. There are no analogues for these behaviors--which were, incidentally, militarily counter-productive in most cases--on our side.

I will follow this with a post on brainwashing.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blacks in America

There can be no serious question that the black people suffer greatly in this nation, and that this should be cause for much concern. Yet, who is to blame?

When black people are victimized, who is normally the aggressor? Another black person. If a black kid gets shot, it was a black kid who pulled the trigger. If a black girl gets raped, it was usually a black kid who did it. They are robber and robbed.

As I ponder this, it seems obvious to me that there are two ways to look at this situation: we can look at it in a static fashion, as if an abstraction once formed could be assumed to forever represent reality; and we can look at it as a dynamic situation, in which even small changes can produce large and unintended consequences. We can live in a fantasy world, or in the world which actually exists.

In the fantasy world, all negatives must result from a positive somewhere else. If someone somewhere else has things better, then they must have taken from the less well-off person. This farcical statement is always made with no serious effort at determining how, physically, this could happen.

With black people, the claim always made is "racism". What is the mechanism of this supposed racism? Are they thousands of huge factories located in black ghettoes who just don't hire "colored" folk? That was true of FDR's world, whose supporters were quite open in their racism--and why most all black people voted Republican--but that is not true today.

The black family is gone. An average kid has perhaps a one in ten chance of growing up in a two parent household, and distressingly large numbers of kids don't even know their fathers.

What is the solution? Well, why do the fathers leave? They leave because they can't support their kids, and because of cultural conditioning. The two are related. How can they support their kids? Obviously, if they can find well paying work. The solution is more and better jobs.

In the real world, what one has to ask is: what are the barriers to more and better jobs? What are they?

Well, why do businesses do what they do? Are they not trying to make money in competitive conditions?

Logically, a two pronged approach is needed. First, we need to make it easier to make money for businesses, and we need to make black neighborhoods more attractive business-wise. This leads to a number of conclusions I will partially itemize.

First, we need monetary reform. I have discussed my reasoning here. This is the big picture. This makes our real money expand, and addresses the only real problem which might justify Leftist anti-business rhetoric.

Second, most ghettoes have been created by anti-business activists under the tenet that money could be permanently reallocated by redistributive taxation. In my view, corporations should pay NO taxes. None. The Unions which are strangely (not really) exempted from rules against lobbying still manage tax exempt status. Imagine if you will that you had to pay a tax for the privilege of having a job, then another tax on your actual income. This is how things work for corporations: the entity itself is taxed, then the income of its employees is taxed again. This should stop. In exchange for tax relief they--and unions--lose their ability to lobby directly. Their members can still do whatever they want.

What the Fantasyland thinkers imagine is that wealth is more or less stored in a locked room, and that it just sits there. Logically, they think, why not take that money, which is not needed, and give it to someone who is hungry? Socialists do this all the time, and always economic activity declines. They get a higher percentage of a much smaller pool. Why is this?

The problem is a fundamental misunderstanding of systems in motion. What is being taken is not wealth, but creative possibility. If I am a billionaire, you can take my billions, but you lose the next company I was going to create, employing thousands.

There is no way to sustainable, generalized wealth except through healthy corporations who pay their employees well. In my view, the end goal is that every individual in the world is their own corporation, making their control of their time, assets and creative energy entirely their own, but for the foreseeable future we are stuck with larger employers.

We need more of them in the ghetto. We need IBM and GE and Proctor and Gamble in there, hiring people they want. To do that, they need higher caliber people, and kids raised in broken abusive homes rarely rise to that standard.

I want to be clear: I see no functional difference between the gangster culture of the ghettoes and aggressive sociopathy generated in socialist experiments like those in Britain and Germany and elsewhere. The movie "A Clockwork Orange" is a good example of what I am talking about. Race has nothing to do with it. It is disempowering socialism which creates this effect.

The root problem is a lack of an outlet for the expression of creative energy. Dim the lights, and you get people self destructing.

There is no outlet since the socialists never imagine society as a system in motion. It is always for them objects--classes, races--which are set against one another in ways that can be described in the abstract without ever reconciling those descriptions with actually existing realities. They don't realize that even if you can engineer permanent unemployment payments for those thrown out of work by destructive policies, this will generate misery, and that a life with more risk, but less dependency, will be more productive for everyeone.

As I thought about it today, evil is that condition which seeks to destroy energy. It seeks to reduce the world to wax figures. I think this image of a lifelike--but dead--world is quite horrible to most of us, which is why it has been used often in horror movies. Sade's book "120 Days of Sodom" is filled with static images.

Goodness is that condition that seeks to encourage and foster motion. I want people to have a place to move. As things stand, large swathes of our population sit in stuffy rooms, with nowhere to go they can see. Jobs are the way to do this.

It seems obvious that charter schools work well. The statistics support this, and it would seem obvious that if the goal is to help people, it would not hurt to ask the people you are trying to help what they want. It is the height of arrogance when people like Barack Obama veto programs which are wildly popular among those using them, simply to support a core constituency--in this case "teachers" unions, with the quotation marks intended to question how much they are teaching, and what.

Few thoughts. This could benefit from editing, but only so much time in the day.

The way forward

I occasionally see the way to live. The other day I was--in a dream--offering love and comfort to a black woman who had had a very hard life, with repeated traumas, and I was thinking that this energy, this love, is always there, but we hold back. From an early age, we are taught that to give someone is to get something, and we block our natural generosity if nothing is coming back to us. There is a tenderness we block.

Most of the time, what I think we want is recognition: we want people to see that we hurt too, or to acknowledge what wonderful people we are for giving our time and energy. If we can't get someone to say "you're so wonderful", we don't want to give; obviously, this would be implicit in people simply knowing what you do.

Yet, I felt an alternative, and felt simultaneous resistance to it. We all have our stories. We want to tell people our stories, to be seen, to be visible. I want to tell my story, to be seen.

But this path is short, and leads to death. The way forward is to forget who you are, what your sufferings have been, what your generosities have been, and to work patiently, daily, and as invisibly as you can to build a better world: to comfort those in pain, to encourage those doing things, and to live with as much personal congruence as you can muster.

It seems to me there is a limit to what you can take, but no limit to what you can give. That energy is infinite, provided it is not funnelled through a channel that has been unnecessarily reduced in size by your silliness.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sanity

To define sanity would it not be necessary to have a COMPLETELY accurate understanding of reality?

Oi, how far are we from that? I watch people who work jobs they hate for twenty years. I watch people work jobs they hate for money. I watch people prostitute themselves for money. I see many things, most of which do not get commented on here.

How many quiet, submissive people--who make no trouble for anyone--are nuts?

Me, I'll walk into that darkness with a lot of tests in my past. I have not looked at any veils and wondered helplessly what was behind. I test what can be tested. I may be a fool, but I am not a passive or indifferent fool.

The State of Poetry

I feel at times like a relic of another age. I decided today not to apologize for poetry. My temperament produces it, even if I don't carry it on my sleeve, or feel a need to be shouting it from rooftops.

People often don't know what to do with me, if I show my true colors. I have a vast internal space, filled with prodigious quantities of what I think are interesting events: circuses, tragedies, villains, heroes, wrapped in an alternately luminous and spectral fog, coalescing and dissolving continually. Strange things flow from this mist at times, and I quite often let them. I try to be rational, but very certainly am not ruled at all times by reason. There are higher, more accurate knowings, even though reason is the shovel that moves the most dirt.

Romantically, I don't think most women know what to do with this. I have met only one woman I can remember who seemed to be able to see me, and not react with confusion and unease. I don't walk the paths other people do. I am out in the desert, or exploring a foggy bog, or on a boat in the North Sea discovering new islands. Particularly when I am still, I am in constant motion.

That will do for now. There is something I am trying to see--and a decision I am trying to make--but it isn't coming to me just yet. I will keep moving.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Leader versus the Politician

I remember thinking in high school that the people we called leaders simply figured out which way the wind was blowing, then got in front. This is a politician. This is not a leader.

A leader is someone who has a clear vision, a deep and uncompromisable integrity, and the capacity to influence people.

Do you go where the people are, and go in the direction they are going; or do you speak of what you believe, and ask people to come to you?

The first is the talent of the rootless fool, and the other that of the genuinely good person.

In life you must compromise all the time on the outside, but you do not have to compromise on the inside. Memory is the tool of the great.

The Identity controversy

Is our President a liar or not? Does he occupy the highest office in the land legally, or should he be impeached and removed? The consequences of the answers are large, but the questions themselves are simple enough.

The situation is analogous to this: Obama is driving 15 miles over the speed limit in his convertible. A cop pulls him over and asks for his driver's license. He hands him a photocopy of a driver's license, with a face like his, but unclear. The actual Driver's License number has been whited out.

The cop, understandably, demands more verification. Obama smiles at him, and hands him the phone number of a top DMV official, tells him to call her. He does, and she confirms that Obama is in fact a licensed driver. "Can you tell me his Driver's License number, so I can run him for warrants and status?" "No", he is told, "but he is certainly legitimate."

Obama drives off without asking permission. The cop stands there confused for a few moments. A State official has vouched for him, but the evidence he has provided does not come close to what would be demanded of an average citizen, and he has no way of knowing if that official is simply protecting a political patron in exchange for a favor, or for partisan political reasons. He has no idea if Obama is even licensed to drive, with certainty, since he has no independent way of verifying the claims made.

He goes back to his office to try and pull the original driver's license and is told by his supervisor he's nuts, since the evidence is plainly complete. The cop scratches his head, realizes something is going on, finishes his other work, goes home to have a beer, and watches a basketball game.

This is where we are today, except that the next day the cop made another effort, and was told he was nuts once again for his efforts. Is asking of Obama the same thing asked of everyone else nuts? Why? How?

When new people get hired at ANY company, their Driver's License and usually Social Security card get photocopied for the records. Mine always have been. If a contract--say with the government--included legal language that "natural born birth to be verified prior to employment", then they would be. I deal with large contracts and large companies, and they leave no detail unaddressed.

This situation is farcical, and in my view anyone who is NOT a "birther" needs to have their heads examined. The task is not to get Obama disqualified; the task is to show how thoroughly and inexcusably our political-media complex screwed up on this fundamental and reasonable request: that Obama provide the same basic elements of identity verification required by relevant laws, in this case proving "natural born" status to a degree acceptable in a neutral and competent court of law.

Unless we believe his paternal grandmother is nuts, then he was probably born in Kenya, his COLB submitted some time in the next year in Hawaii, and a birth announcement released within a month or so of his birth. We can't even be sure what exact day he was born on. Even if the COLB provided is valid--and if it is why can't we look at it, and why are identifying marks like serial numbers missing--that still would have been paperwork generated on the basis of believing the word of the parents when they filed for it.

His father spent his life agitating for Communism in Kenya, dying a drunk, broken man when the Kenyan people rejected him; his mother spent her life in Indonesia, working to improve their lives. Neither of his parents seem to have liked America very much. Neither did any of the other adults who raised him until he headed for California.

Our Founders were not stupid, and regardless of their other political differences--and they were sundry, well expressed, and deeply principled--would have been unanimous in their disdain for the mental febrility which enables the reasonable to be trumpeted as lunatic, and common sense to become a sign of extremism.

I have not yet begun to fight

I think the planning phase of the battle for the future is complete. We have some sense of the scope of the problem, which analysis I have tried to further to the extent of my ability. Genuine Liberals have been losing since Calvin Coolidge, but I think many people are realizing this.

We are still losing. What happened last November was a sort of stopgap. It slowed the slide, but did not stop it, and certainly did not reverse it. If we look at the extent of the cultural damage Leftism has caused in our nation, it is comparable to the national debt, and if we could measure it, the damage done annually to our cultural future is probably analogous to that done by Obama, the Democrats, and the complicit non-Liberal Republicans.

We are not even at the end of the beginning. We have a long road ahead, but difficult times and hard fights make for interesting, useful lives.

Parenting

A few people have told me in just the last few days how they hated their kids in their teens. This seems sad to me. It's hard to say what the future holds, but for now I have a very good relationship with them, and thought I might put a few thoughts out there.

Your kids need to know they will be responsible for themselves some day. That you will be gone, and that their sense of freedom and control of their lives will depend on their ability to work. I have been telling mine this since a very early age.

I have been telling them they will fail, and likely fail often, and that this is the way life works. It's perfectly acceptable, as long as you keep showing up.

I tell them that pain and sadness are a natural part of life, and that they should not be rejected; nor should they be encouraged. Self pity is the worst and heaviest weight that could ever hang on their neck, and to avoid it at all costs.

I tell them it's OK to break the rules, if they know why the rules exist. If you see a buttom which says "don't push this", then don't push it. If you know that that button used to control something, but doesn't now, then you know what will happen, and that rule is outdated and no longer useful.

In my view, this helps to teach the idea of consequences. I will periodically ask them why, say, it's against the rules to run a red light, or to speed. Why is it against the rules to be tardy, or to be talking in class while the teacher is trying to teach? Why can't you run at swimming pools? We discuss and evaluate different rules. As one example, I have told them I see no problem running red lights late at night, if there is no one around. This is not a safety hazard, and in my view it is not a moral issue. The law and morality are two different things. Segregation was the law. You have to be able to think about these things in higher ways.

My hope is that the explicit permission to break stupid rules will help curb rebelliousness. My oldest actually asked my permission to break a small rule--that prohibiting the chewing of gum in school--to earn detention, since it has never happened before. I said it was fine, but it hasn't happened yet.

More generally, this line of thought ties into another post I wanted to make. I am still reading--it comes into and out of my hands regularly between other books--Peter Bauer's excellent "Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion", and in one of the essays he discusses population growth in the Third World (it dates from the 70's-80's timeframe).

One point he makes is that in most developing nations, children take care of the parents, so there is ample reason to have a lot of them. There is also ample reason for the parents to make sure the children are raised to be economically independent and successful. Love and nurture is not so important as making them tough and agile.

Let's be blunt and admit that by and large we raise soft, self indulgent children in our culture. We train them to be DEPENDENT.

I was thinking about this. In large measure, we, too have a system in which the children take care of the old, but they do it through the medium of so-called Social Security and Medicare. Our generation is bearing the burden of the bills of the previous two generations. That's how the system works. For perhaps two years they tried to save the money, then poof the veil was torn, and the money taken.

But the key difference is that the kids don't care for the parents: the government does. We pack our old into government-subsidized rest and nursing homes, pay their medical bills, and in almost all cases get them out of our homes. If they have provided for themselves, they get their own homes. If they haven't, the children and grandchildren pay taxes to the government, who then doles them back out to the parents.

The question I ask myself is: what is the psychological effect of this system on the institution of parenting? Clearly, we have had some astonishingly dumb psychological ideas float through our world, like the primacy of compassion over justice and moral clarity. These have had their predictable effect.

But over and above that, the parents know the children HAVE to take care of them,and will take care of them. This is compelled by the force of law, and will continue until national bankruptcy or massive, necessarily unpleasant (except for my proposal, whose pain should be short) reform.

Do the parents, then, have to care about the success of the children? One sees many, many cases of kids coming back home to stay. If you look at, say, the Chinese, they are stern because their children will one day, in effect, be their parents, and they want them to be equal to the task. They are making an investment that will pay dividends down the road.

We have no such system. There is no system of accountability. I look around me, and it seems to me that where we should have walls, and lines and roofs and bunkers, and a skyline of an intact city, what we have are shimmering heatwaves, ephemeral, solid looking, but impossible to touch. Nothing is real; everything is illusion.

This situation is maddening, and that is why our kids are poking holes in themselves all over their bodies and listening to music that talks about suicide and violence.

Life is logistics. There are emotional and mental logistical tasks, in addition obviously to physical logistics. We are managing these things with stunning stupidity, short-sightedness, and complete failure of courage, in all too many cases.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Labor saving devices

Our primary need is a sense of meaning, particularly one shared in community. This consists in a way of living which gives us a structured identity, a path to follow, and pleasure in both the large and small things in life. Unhappy societies can be very structured, but if they are unhappy, on balance, they are lacking in qualitative order, which is to say a genuine sense of meaning formation.

My dryer has been working only sporadically lately. I could get it fixed, but I also need the AC in my car fixed, and cash for some projects coming up. So I decided to run some clotheslines in my bedroom. I have to say, I really like it. It makes me feel oldschool.

All of these devices--blenders, and refrigerators, and toasters, and wafflemakers, dryers, dishwashers, clothes washers--have they made our lives THAT much better? As I understand it, many women used to go down to the creek together to wash clothes and talk. Nowadays they throw them in the laundry, and have a highball and smoke while watching the soaps.

I don't have time to get too far into this, but will simply say that both Capitalism and Liberalism are very equal to the task of critiqueing progress for the sake of progress. No idiotic and disproven ideologies like Marxism need be added to the mix. Our system, done properly, is entirely scalable. We just have to plug the leaks I described here: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/Page14.html

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Birthers and the Budget

Propaganda has as its purpose the creation of conditioned reflexes. If I say jump, you say how high. If I say hate, you hate. If I say love, you love. As Jacques Ellul pointed out, broadly speaking it is intended either to get you do something, or accept something. He called the former agitation propaganda, and the latter integration propaganda.

In Communist societies--Internationalistic Fascism--and in Nationalistic Fascist systems, you agitate against the status quo until you get your way; and then you tell everyone how wonderful and perfect and lovingly kind and well tempered, wise, and thoughtful the leaders are.

Our nation, and the world generally, has been exposed to effective propaganda for over a century. Many have been "taught" that wealth is theft, that stable moral systems are anachronistic, that government can play the role of ersatz parent and community, and that "rightists" lie.

Given this last theme, meme, it becomes easy to invoke the conditioned response of hate. The creation of on-demand hatred for any group whose existence is imcompatible with generalized tyranny and oppression of the society by an oligarchic elite is very valuable. For example, the Tea Party instantly, and with no evidence, became synonymous with racism. Racism is bad, therefore they are bad, therefore all correct thinking people will consider them bad, and hate them to the extent they want to consider themselves moral. The more hate they feel, the better they are as people and as group members.

The issue with the birth certificate--which does not seem to exist--is that to my mind it represents the triumph of a political discourse in which up is turned to down, right to wrong, and righteous indignation to vitriolic wickedness.

I used to get carded at bars. I had to provide my birth certificate to get that driver's license. I have to show it every time I fly somewhere. I have to show it when I get pulled over by a cop. If I want to work for even a mediocre security company, I have to get finger printed, my record checked, references checked. To get hired anywhere you have to provide two forms of identification: normally a drivers license and a social security card.

Asking for verification of someone's identity is, in short, not rare. And these routine investigations are a fraction of the scrutiny anyone who gets a security clearance faces. Investigators go back and interview your friends in high school--I know people who have gone through this process. They interview family members. They talk to employers. Nowadays, they would scrutinize your posting on the internet and twitter. They look at where you have traveled and when. For very sensitive positions, you get regular polygraphs.

Obama is in charge of all these people, and has access to things no single one of them--or very few of them--has access to in full. He is the head guy. He makes the decisions, in large measure.

Our Founding Fathers had a very simple reason for demanding the President be natural born: they had invested that position with a lot of power--power which has increased exponentially since their time--and it seemed that in a nation our size, it should not be overly challenging to find someone born here of American parents. Plainly, the concern was divided loyalties, like you might find, for example, in someone born in Kenya, with a Kenyan national father (and mother who would soon abandon American permanently).

When you are fighting a war--and we are in a war for our national soul on many levels--you do not win by letting your opponents dictate the time and place of battle. You win by boldness, creativity, and speed. You strike like lightning where they can't find you or see you. A long, drawn-out battle is usually the sign of incompetence.

Traditional Liberals--Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill Liberals--are right. Our opponents--who can be equally well described as monarchists, since they want a return to an older way of living--are wrong. Why then have Liberals been losing for the better part of a century?

They are cowed by intellectual cupidity of the Leftists, who want to own all minds, all thoughts, all public speech, and who have developed effective tools for doing so.

They are afraid of being called names. They are afraid of public mockery. They believe, in short, that some part of the Leftists project must be worthy, and that these people cannot be as awful as they seem. Reality: they are. They are ruining our country and our world. They bring poverty, hate, discrimation, torture and murder wherever they go. They hoped openly for a civil war in Iraq, just so they could score political points. They wear T-shirts of a man who apparently got sexual excitement from murder (and of course rape), and who wanted to nuke New York and as much of the East Coast as he could. According to plausible accounts, the real reason Krushchev removed the missiles was that he was afraid the nuts running the place would use them, and start a war involving the Soviet Union.

What does the term Birther signify, in reality? Someone who is dissatisfied with a political establishment that is willing to open the vault to our national security apparatus without so much as a phone call to check references. We don't have the faintest idea who Obama is, and the birth certificate is the clearest symbol of this. WE LITERALLY DON'T KNOW WHEN OR WHERE HE WAS BORN.

Republicans lost the budget battle, in my view. They lost because they were afraid of the political points the Democrats would score. How is it going to get easier in 2012? 2013? Hopefully we can put a Republican in the White House, but the propaganda machine will still be there. They will still be telling us about the starving little old ladies, and ignore how many more starving little old ladies there will be when we file national bankruptcy.

We have to tell the truth, tell it openly, and as fully as we can.

Here is what I think Donald Trump should do: offer a $10 million reward to anyone who can furnish an authenticatable Obama birth certificate. No takers? Try $20 million. $30 million. In my view, it doesnt' exist, and never has. This does not prove he was born in Kenya, but it certainly means that he has no way of proving he was born here. It seems clear enough what the courts should do with that information. What they will do, of course, one can only guess.

Bottom line: what most Americans don't realize is that they have been brainwashed into believing Obama was a credible candidate: that he was actually intelligent, actually principled, and actually capable of leading anyone anywhere. He is none of those things, and people have failed to realize it simply because THE MEDIA HAS COVERED FOR HIM.

Once people realize the extent of the cover-up, the extent of the failure in due diligence, they never go back to blind faith again, and that can only work to the benefit of those who are actually telling the truth, and to the detriment of the liars and partisan activists in disguise.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Inflation

I like to periodically remind any readers I may have that inflation is wealth transfer. It only results in actual price increases when it enters circulation.

Many, many commentators keep saying we are on the verge of hyperinflation. I don't see it. What people have to grasp is that in Weimar Germany, the government controlled money production. Same in Argentina, and modern Zimbabwe and China.

Our government does not control money production. Theoretically, all excess money they spend is borrowed, so it already existed somewhere.

The hyperinflation of the 1970's was, in my view, created by the Fed with the intention of getting increased freedom of action. They got it. Prior to 1980 or so, the Open Market Committee could only buy US Treasury bonds, as I understand the matter. After that--in the name of getting the "tools" to control inflation--they got carte blanche, a platinum diamond credit card with no limit that never needs to be paid back.

Bernanke and his cohort vote, say $100 billion in spending. They write a check to JP Morgan for half that, and the other half to Goldman Sachs. These groups had been holding US Treasury notes as a port in an economic storm, but now want to expand globally. They are able to sell the notes at whatever the Fed, which is them, is willing to pay--remember nobody audits these transactions, so there is absolutely no need to fear accusations of collusion--and then take that money and spend it anywhere they want.

We will only get inflation in this country if they choose to spend it here. My guess is they are buying up Japan at the moment, swathes of India, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, or whatever else floats their boat. You get this huge, global transfer of wealth, and it is largely invisible. Nobody tracks them. Nobody can track the nexus of interaction between the Fed--which they control--and the member banks.

To be clear, the head honcho at JP Morgan sits--or sat--on the very committee that votes money for his bank. This is patent conflict of interest, but no law prohibits it. This is utterly and completely ludicrous.

When leftists tell us that "Wall Street" controls whatever, say 70% of our national wealth, this is the mechanism by which they do it. I have made this point repeatedly, and will continue to do so. For any new readers I may have, my series on this topic is here: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/Page14.html

Marx liked to call "capitalists" parasites: they were supposed to benefit without effort from the work of the actually laboring class. This was stupid then, and is stupid now: someone had to create the factory, staff it, and run it. Someone has to decide what to produce, and how much, and where to sell it. All of these things have to happen. They have to happen in Socialist economies and in Capitalist economies. The only question is if these problems will be solved competently or incompetently. It would seem hard to find a better means of getting it done right than to personally motivate the people making the decisions, something which is absent in Socialist systems, in which mistakes are not punished, and in which sinecures for the inept are the rule.

Capitalists, as a class, then, provide a needed labor and service. The people who are the actually parasites are those who create money from nothing. By so doing they claim ownership of the products of other peoples labor, but add nothing of value of their own. This is morally wrong, leads to diminished income for most of the people, and needs to stop.

Hopefully this is clear enough. I am the only person saying exactly this, this way, that I know of. Please ponder what I am saying. I have thought this through with as much care as I could, and gone to great pains to expose myself to criticism, which has been slow in coming. The only critiques I've heard have been based on complete misunderstandings.

I have said before and will say again that the right and the left need to make common cause on this issue. If they object to the accumulation of great wealth, so do I, to the extent it is the result of unearned income. I have no problem with Bill Gates, or Warren Buffet. My problems are with the people you have not heard of, like Jamie Dimmon , who himself is no doubt just a front man for people's whose names some could guess, but which we really don't know.

If you think about it, we have no way of knowing with certainty that $100 billion or more of the latest round of money printing didn't end up in an individual's pocket. How would we find out? We have no idea how much money was created, or where it went. Again, this situation is patently farcical. No serious economist should fail to see this.

Sugarland

Even though George Jones ("He stopped loving her today", "These days I barely get by" among others), Hank Williams ("First Fall of Snow and many others) and other country artists give her a run for her money, I have long felt Sugarland's--Jennifer Nettles'--song Stay is the saddest song I've heard. Every time I hear it, it makes me want to cry. I can feel her pain. She is a very open person, and I can feel what she feels. This is why they are as successful as they are. She puts what she has out there.

I don't know the story behind this--I did some basic research, but nothing exhaustive--but I cannot help but feel that that amount of emotion has to be autobiographical. That kind of pain is shattering. It leaves a mark; but having survived it, one becomes better able to be confident in feeling deeply. To have suffered deeply is to have learned, if you do not reject that pain, if you choose to move beyond it, to get back up off your knees, and decide to live--to move--again: to reject helplessness, and the watery emotions that flow over you like a suffocating river.

Stay was not their first hit, but I cannot help but wonder if it was not the emotional basis for what has become a very first-rate career; if it was not latent and simply unwritten early on. So much that is good flows from conquered despair.

I have said often and will say again that one cannot assume that people that are "lucky" have good "karma", and those who suffer bad. We are here to learn, in my view, and there are many ways to do that, but the principle one is to learn to transcend the many attachments to ways of feeling and being that cause us such misery.

Here, she has located her entire emotional life in a relationship which is cruel and random. She has lost herself in need and desire and lust. Her pain flows from a chosen "medication", a chosen behavioral gestalt, that hurts her.

Could we not view ourselves--many of us, at any rate--in many respects as incompetent pharmacists, dispensing lifestyles which cure none of our diseases of mind and emotion?

To see is to make good; to be blind is to be hurt repeatedly, the blows inflicted from a darkness beyond.