Friday, September 30, 2011

Optimism, part two

I have been feeling for some months now that some corner has been turned, some existential threat has been mitigated; and not just in the United States, but worldwide. What was once going to be, is now not going to be.

Speaking in concrete specifics, it appears the reaction against Obama--and this is not a "reaction" in the sense of landed class interests reacting, but rather the very middle class Obama appeals to rhetorically--has been become self sustaining. For all those people who fought long and hard to introduce some common sense into the American political landscape--David Horowitz is the one with the longest history, but obviously this would include Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Michael Medved, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter and many others--the effort is finally bearing widespread fruit. Conservative ideas--Liberal ideas, in my construction--are not just resonating with angry old white men. They are resonating across the political landscape because they are TRUE, and this now MATTERS. The time is over for pie-eyed experimentation.

FDR had Hoover to blame, in order to get all his silly ideas implemented, generating a much longer downturn than was necessary. Plainly, Hoover was President when the Great Depression began, even though it was clearly the actions of the Fed that caused it. For his part, Hoover began the New Deal, but got no credit for it. This allowed FDR, in combination with corruption of a sort that would make even the Obama Administration look saintly, to get his four elections.

For my part, I cannot say how much effect I have had, but I can speak to the amount of work I have done, and it is prodigious. Thousands and thousands of pages, easily.

I am tired. I look at all this new found enthusiasm--for history, for grasping what Communism was and is, for understanding how economics actually works--very gratifying. I am not sure I was ever needed, but I feel much less desire to spend as much time putting ideas out there on a daily basis as I once did.

I am far too wordy to stop blogging, but I think I am going to try and redirect that voice in a more focused direction, that of my book on finance. I am currently reading a book on the IMF. Typically, if I read a book or two, spend some time smoking and thinking, I have what I need, or think I need.

After this, I have many other projects.

Net, I may start posting a bit less, but I'm still busy. I can't help it.

It's funny, too: I look at the silence that follows virtually all of my posts, and it feels like the silence that comes with new snow in the frozen north. I like it, and can't say why.

When a couple of weeks drop on me at once, and I get tired, irritable, and stressed, I always emerge in the end smiling and singing country songs. Circumstances can push down on me, but they can't break me.

Life is good. May you be well.

And I'll probably add a postscript five minutes from now!!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Optimism

I am guardedly optimistic about our future. I don't expect anything like my financial plan to get implemented, but the mere fact that options exist prevents the imposition of an either/or scenario in the event of severe financial trouble. This reduces the options of the power elite who no doubt do largely influence events, if to a smaller degree than they would like, and to a lesser degree than the more conspiratorially minded assume.

I like to cook, and have made some good Hollandaise sauces, and some bad ones. If you heat things too quickly, the eggs curdle and the sauce breaks. Once it has broken, it is practically impossible to get it back to the status quo ante.

Whoever these power brokers actually are, they tried to do too much with Barack Obama. The man is a walking farce, a third rate intellect, with the moral compass of a Chicago gangster. He is no Mussollini or Lenin, or Hitler, all of whom--whatever else you say about them--were talented, cunning men. It is not enough and never has been enough to be whispering words in his ear. We are being "led" by a cardboard cutout with a speaker behind it.

People see this. It can't be hidden. You can't justify $125 billion in monthly borrowing. You can't pass landscape altering bills, which will effect the lives of nearly every American, without reading the damn thing.

Obama is through. More than that, what he represents is through. The little lies, the "Communism by the drink" of the Democrats is just not playing in Peoria any more. Most Americans are wide awake and hopping mad, and this sentiment is only being inflamed by Obama's continued efforts to insult our intelligence. He doesn't get this, but he has never gotten much of anything.

More generally, the strategists, so used to lying with skill, have been slow coming to the realization that things really are different this time. This is not the Reagan Revolution. The fight this time is existential, and the prize this time the continued viability of the American experiment. We are going to the right, hard, and this motion will have the power of tsunami. 2010 was just the start. Everywhere I go I see post after post after post of informed outrage, of people making cases that were few and far between just 3 years ago. I often felt lonely then, but now I go many places and find I have nothing to add. This is a wonderful thing.

We do not need to revert to the Middle Ages to survive. This was, is and will always be nothing but a thinly veiled exercise in sadism, of psychological distortion, and moral depravity.

Faith and Hope

It occurs to me that faith and hope are different in subtle but definable ways. Hope, to me, connotes waiting. It connotes a gap between where you are, and where you eventually want to be, a gap that is bridgeable, even if you don't yet know how.

Faith exists in the present. It is a means of interacting with the present in such a way that you create hope through action. You expect better because you do better now. It is much more robust and fruitful than hope.

Idea for Ron Paul supporters

Many of his admirers seem to be on the anti-war left. I'm not a big fan of this group, but would like to see at a minimum Paul do well enough to inject some of his ideas into the broader discussion.

Here's my idea: register as Republicans and vote for him in the primary. Whoever the Libertarian candidate is is irrelevant, and Obama will get the nod for the Democrats in any event. You certainly won't get anyone to his left.

Ron Paul

The only one who really "gets" the extent of the institutionalized corruption that is the Federal Reserve is Ron Paul. I have not read his books, but this point seems clear enough. If you really step back and look at the big picture, it the fragility of our financial system, and systemic theft enabled by the fractional reserve banking system--that in turn is enabled by the Fed--that makes us vulnerable.

When we got hit on 9/11, it caused finanacial instability and an economic downturn the world over. This is a slick machine that is not robust. It appears to go fast, but it falls apart just as quickly. There are too many gears and wheels that are interdependent, and too many single points of failure.

I will not say that the wars we have fought in Afghanistan and Iraq were not worth it, but I will say that far more Americans have died in those wars than died on 9/11. Had we not fought those wars, it is far from clear that we would have lost 6,000 or more Americans--whatever the combined deaths from both those wars and the ones off the books--in terrorist attacks. Nor is it clear that such attacks would have cost the amount of money we have spent on these wars.

In my view, our financial system should be constructed such that a nuclear detonation in New York would be horribly tragic, but not crippling. Economies needs to be more local and more robust. Ending the Fed and the Fractional Reserve Banking System will do that.

We lost a lot of good people when Pearl Harbor was hit, but the situation was different. We faced an aggressive foreign power intent on conquering large sections of the planet, and possessing the military power to do it. At some point, there was plausibly reason to believe we would not just lose Hawaii but face foreign attacks on our own soil.

We face no such threat from the Islamists. They can kill people, and this is bad, but in my personal view they lack the capacity to inflict mass casualties on us, absent the help of a major foreign power, like Russia. Yes, several attacks have been averted over the last decade, and others not, like Maj. Hassan's treasonous and shameful jihad on his own comrades, but in sum if they had all taken place, would we have lost more people and more money than we have in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? It is impossible to say, but those who would argue no do so from a very defensible position.

Me, I don't know. Are we preventing terror attacks originating in Afghanistan being there? If you argue, as I have, that the 9/11 hijackers had to have had the help of a major intelligence service, then it becomes clear that we have grossly overestimated the actual capabilities of these terrorists.

Are we containing Iran? Maybe, to some extent. We were doing better when Bush was President. We have a platform to attack them, if need be. But are we willing to do that? Should we do that? Candidly, if they start posturing like they are going to use their nuclear weapons--which they will have, sooner or later--our best military play is a first strike. We have the weapons, and this risks no American lives.

I used to care more about the lives of Iraqis than I find myself able to now. We have lost a lot of people, and spent a lot of money to get them to this point. And we are in any event drawing down, so this one is more or less already in the history books.

If we bring most of our troops home soon, I think that would be a good thing.

Few musings.

Illegal Aliens

It is easy enough to complain about the drain on America that paying out benefits to people who do not pay in causes. At the same time, what is the solution? Is anyone proposing that we deport 30 million mostly Mexican nationals? I haven't seen that. I see a lot of complaining about our porous borders, and what amount to welfare cheats. No matter how many times you multiply a complaint, you never get a sum that amounts to a solution.

As I see it, we have three basic options:

1) We continue with the status quo. Among other things, this means new starter babies every year with new uninvited citizens, paying out money for incarcerating non-Americans, paying for the education of people not paying taxes, and providing medical treatment for people who never pay anything back.

2) We can identify, detain and deport everyone not here legally. Logistically this will be an enormous task, and would logically need to be combined with VASTLY increased border security, or else they will come right back. This will unquestionably lead to enormous protests on both sides of the border, and probably riots. We can handle that, but that will be the cost.

3) We can provide amnesty to those here. Ultimately, this is probably the most practical solution. If we do this, though, we need to set out conditions. We could, for example, charge illegals higher tax rates for their first 10 years. We could use that money to build a better fence with Mexico.

We NEED a Congressional resolution clarifying the process of becoming a citizen, and remove this idiotic practice of allowing women to come across the border to give birth to American citizens. This should have been stopped decades ago. We need to set down that any relatives of those naturalized must go through a standard immigration procedure, with no advantages being conferred by having a relative who successfull snuck in.

Moving forward, we need to require that you need to be a citizen for ALL publicly provided services, including hospital visits and education. We need to create as many disincentives as possible for future trespassers. Yes, this will cause some hardships, but they already have a country, and if it's shitty it's because they made it that way. If we cave in, they will keep coming.

Few thoughts.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Contrast

I like brownies with anchovies and peanut butter.

As I look at it, my blog follows that basic pattern. God bless you if you are hanging with me through this random (is it APPARENTLY random? I don't know) mess.

I've always said that when I die I don't want to come to realize I've lived someone elses life. I don't think this will be my fate. Whatever I am, it's different and probably unique.

You can do that too. Please do. The world is thirsty for people blazing their own paths. Those people laughing at you: they are secretly jealous.

The Republican Presidential Candidates

I haven't watched the debates. I sort of ooze in ideas from the environment, inference, gut instinct, and etc.

It seemed to me the other day it might be useful to assign short descriptions to the major candidates. Here they are:

Rick Perry: Boy Scout

Mitt Romney: CEO

Herman Cain: Businessman

Ron Paul: Professor

Michelle Bachman: Soccer Mom

Perry wrote a book on the ethos of the Boy Scouts. He is an Eagle Scout, and so is his son. Contemplate that for a moment. If you read about his early life, he grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, and took baths in a tub in the backyard until roughly his teens, as I recall the story. He conducted a prayer ceremony for America, seemingly without regard for political positioning. Contrary to the mood of most Republicans, he is showing compassion for the many illegal aliens in his State.

In my view, Perry is an honest man. He may not be ideologically pure on all counts, but he is honest. This needs to count in his favor.

I will add that he needs to do defensive drills on "evolution". The focus needs to be on "Speciation through Natural Selection", and "Life arising randomly", not the word itself. Change over time plainly happened. The salient question is how. There is no evidence in the fossil record that anything like Darwin's gradualism actually happened. This is an unimpeachable fact. At some point, he will sit down with some leftist hack journalist or other--Baba Wawa for example--and he needs not just to defend, but counter then go on the offensive.

Enough of that. He's my current favorite among those likely to get the nomination.

Romney is slick. In my professional life I have met quite a few business owners and no small number of CEO's of reasonably big companies. For my own purposes, I differentiate between a businessman--and I'm pulling Cain in here--and a CEO. CEO's by nature are politicians. They figure out which way the wind is blowing, head that direction, then pretend it was their idea all along. At some point or other, you will see them marching with a determined, stoically posed face in all four cardinal directions, and up and down if the circumstances request it.

One of the principle tasks of the next President, assuming we the American people are not so ready for national collapse that we reelect Obama, will be to undo Obamacare. It involves among other things an ENORMOUS tax increase in 2013, of the sort that will destroy whatever economic progress happens between now and then. How can we trust Romney to undo it when he implemented something nearly identical in Massachusetts?

Yes, the Massachusettsians--Martians for short--wanted it, because they are congenitally impractical in the modern era (vitiating entirely the well earned reputation of Yankees as being hard-nosed pragmatists), but the point is he gave it to them. Why? That is the direction the wind was blowing. Now it's blowing another direction, and no doubt he is firmly committed--look at that set jaw, that steely stare--to undoing it. But what if a bunch of people show up to say nasty things, and stink up Washington with body odor, cannabis and Patchouli? Can we count on him? No. Never count on a politician to do anything before sticking their finger in their air, calling their "strategist", and running the political pros and cons.

Cain, as a businessman, is focused on getting things done. He wants real solutions, that he wants to implement because he thinks they will work, and he will be willing to change his approach based on what actually happens, unlike the current President, and his many ideological forebears. Cain would do a good job, in my view.

Ron Paul is a thinker. He happens to have proposed many ideas with which I agree, and bears an uncanny resemblance at times, in the way he smiles, to Stan Laurel (completely unrelated, but this video amuses me every time I watch it).

In classic stereotypes, professors know what they are talking about. They are smart. In the modern world, when it comes to politics and economics and philosophy, this notion is completely outdated. Most of them are functionally slobbering imbeciles fit for little but yardwork and employment as Obama Czars. Paul is different. He has the Austrians in his heart, and with good ideas like that, you can be consistent.

I come and go as far as isolationism. In my more sanguine moments I think it could work and should be tried, provided we retain the balls for severe retaliation if anyone messes with us.

Conversely, at times I think Paul is idealistic to the point of being simplistic in a bad way. We really do have enemies out there, and it's easier to fight them elsewhere than here. This is a topic without easy resolution, as it depends in large measure on intelligence I don't have.

What I will say is that the Fed--and the fractional reserve banking system it enables--is the greatest enemy of the prosperity of ordinary Americans that we face, and Paul categorically understand this, although as I have argued often simply ending the Fed is not a good idea. We need to do it right, and this would include ending fractional reserve banking, which cannot be done easily if the thing is not thought through. I've posted my thoughts often enough.

Oh hell, here they are again: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/Page14.html

Bachman I like, and would definitely vote for, but she just seems to lack gravitas. Now, Obama had the weight of perforated balsa wood, so plainly being substantive is optional in the American Presidential race, but even so I feel she needs to know more than she does.

Altogether, it seems plain to me that not one of the major candidates would fail to do much better than Obama, but why would an adult brag they could beat a 4 year old in a foot race? The bar is exceptionally low, and our task is to raise it a LOT.

America deserves a good President after all this time. I proposed elsewhere and will propose here a Perry/Guiliani ticket. A Perry/Christie ticket would be even better. Anybody that can get elected as a Republican in a Blue state has something to add.

Absence

I have been in a strange mood the last week or two. I am working extraordinarily hard, but that is not unusual.

What I have been feeling is that I am a part of a circle, in search of the rest. My sensory talents can go so far, but then they stop. They dead-end. They are limited.

What I feel is that God can and should be a present reality, and not an abstraction. Theology kills God. It really does. It buries the reality in an enormous pile of trivia, that is then used for the concentration of temporal power.

God is a wind, an uneven wind--like all winds--that blows through, and is felt by few. I look into the darkness surrounding me, and feel something, but its nature escapes me.

The point of this post, though, was that growth begins with a sense of absence. You cannot pursue that which you do not feel you are missing. Had you no sexual instinct, the species would die out. Had you no hunger, you would need not learn to work.

On a more subtle level, if you cannot perceive your emotional or cognitive shortcomings, you will never fix them. You will never address them, unless and until some crisis forces you to.

No doubt most are familiar with the Taoist notion of the empty pot. Logically, for optimal growth, you should start with maximal absence. The more you want to learn, the more you feel you need to do, the more you will learn and do.

It has become clear to me recently, too, that learning/growth is a source of meaning in and of itself. It need not lead to something else. It is fine alone. You can decide to live so that you can learn as much as possible, where learning is not primarily academic, but emotional. You can learn to move better physically and emotionally. You can learn to think better. And yes, you can learn the Japanese Tea Ceremony, or the Samba, or how to brew great beer. These things all exist externally, but all learning grows your spirit to some extent, in my opinion.

When you are learning, you are moving. New facts and behavioral patterns are being introduced.

The other day I was looking at a tree, and contemplating the play of sun and shadow on it, and watching the clouds behind it, and it occurred to me that all that was happening, as we are told, in my brain.

Visual images, we are told, are input upside down, and "fixed" between our ears. Sounds generate harmonic responses in our ears, and are "collated" in our brains. If I touch something hot, receptors in my fingers send value-neutral impulses to my brain, which then assigns a value to them.

Why can't intuition work the same way? The mind is a putter-together-er. It assembles fragmentary experiences into wholes that can then be examined cognitively, as frames of experience, now abstracted. If the nerves in my fingers have no mind, why must whatever brings in sensations through the ether, or whatever we call it? It is the assembler that matters.

As Bishop Berkeley argued, in effect, we have no means of determining that we are not minds in a vat, input sensations.

I am meandering, but hopefully there is something useful here for somebody. Long day, some beer involved.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Life in triplet

One task I constantly set myself--or, seen phenomenologically, work that presents itself to me--is seeing things in new ways. We are all familiar with the idea of reincarnation, called "metempsychosis" in older writings. In some renderings, it is comforting: you never die. In other renderings, like Hinduism and Buddhism, it is seen as problematic, since life on this world pretty much sucks for everyone, if they look honestly and accurately. The Buddha had the best of everything, but realized much better was possible. We are all on fire, he realized, with the flames of unrealized potentials for deeper fulfillment. Moreover, everything changes. His idyllic life would have ended for him, if he had stayed where he was, when his kingdom was overrun, and everyone he cared about placed in a pit and trampled with elephants. That is my understanding of the story.

So on some accounts, the task is to escape Samsara, the world of birth life death something else rebirth, seen as a wheel with no sense of humor, and no pattern variations, except in details.

To this is added, in Buddhism, the Bodhisattva, who, roughly, depending on the canon you read, is determined to win release for all sentient beings, no matter how long it takes.

Can we not imagine lives as trilogies, in which one task is undertaken in three lifetimes? Can we not imagine a rhythm: boom, Boom, BOOM, and then a pause? That life is skipped, because it can be.

Must we choose between EITHER life escaped, and Samsara? Can there not be an intermediate point, of work and rest?

Most all truth depends on puncturing bubbles, and noting carefully what is left. This is my task here. I know many will think me nuts. I may be nuts, but if that is the case, I am very much a functioning, practical nut, who solves concrete problems on a daily basis, and who can and has defended his views in very diverse environments from hordes of critics on a sustained basis, using nothing but commonly available facts, and the disciplined application of reason.

9/11 Memorial

I drive myself nuts. I get ideas in my head, and have to follow them. That's why I work with my hands for a living.


Look at this image of the ten story Russian 9/11 Memorial. I can't tell if this is a rendering or actual picture, but it's close enough. We are told this portrays a torn city, and a teardrop within it, symbolizing shared grief over the hole torn in our psyche on 9/11.

What I would like suggest--and this is merely a possibility, for which no suitable verification is even remotely likely to happen--is that this could also be seen as a symbolic rape, where the building is seen as feminine--the hole is roughly in the shape of a vagina--and the teardrop as sperm. The aircraft were thrust into the buildings.

Here are images of teardrops: http://www.google.com/search?q=teardrop+shapes&hl=en&sa=G&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=SueBTtGNGoSatwf30szoAQ&ved=0CDQQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=675

Here are rendered images of sperm: http://www.google.com/search?q=teardrop+shapes&hl=en&sa=G&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=SueBTtGNGoSatwf30szoAQ&ved=0CDQQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=675#hl=en&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=sperm+images&oq=sperm+images&aq=f&aqi=&aql=1&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=21819l22278l0l22516l6l4l0l1l0l1l212l564l0.2.1l3l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=1352c85337ea1a11&biw=1024&bih=675

Which one does the memorial more closely resemble? I don't like this idea, but pass it along because it cannot, in my view, be dismissed out of hand.

Further thoughts on Dreams post

I have work to do, but in a way this counts as my day job, the one that just doesn't pay me a cent.

In baseball, the highest point on the field is the pitcher's mound. Logically, then, we must see the field two ways, as a pyramid from the top--with the pitchers mound being the apex--and from the side, at an angle perpendicular to the side. From the top you have a usurper, who has taken the place of God, and from the side you have a person who is going to try and circumnavigate the pyramid in a counter-clockwise direction. For some reason, the name Porphyrion keeps coming up. And the field is green.

Based on such musings, I expect my "day job" to continue to be a labor of love.

Secondly, as I was pondering this idea of religions each having a shelf life, I got to thinking about Judaism in contrast to other religions. In Judaism, you have many prophets. It is not based on one. And many of them are quite imperfect, whiny, and disobedient. You really don't see this often in world religions, at least the ones extant today. You certainly see Gods behaving badly in most religions, including old Norse myth, Native American myth and Greek myth.

But normally when it gets to human exposition, the prophets are seen as more or less perfect. This would include the Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Rama, and others. Everyone but Yuddhisthira has their flaws in the Mahabharata, but Krishna is conceived of as a man/god, albeit a lusty one.

This pattern, though, of repeated failure and getting back up, is an interesting one, that is unique among the major world religions, as far as can tell.

The question to ask is: what are the structural advantages and disadvantages of this? I don't have time to answer that now, but will likely do so at some future point, perhaps years from now, and perhaps today.

Dreams

One good example of the chaotic but ordered nature of experience--chaotic on the surface, with deep, clear underlying themes within--is dreaming. I have had lucid dreams on many occasions, but I cannot induce them at will.

Several themes for today, one old and one new. Some time ago I went into a very old temple in a dream. Within the temple was a very large--perhaps 10' tall--jade pyramid, onto which water was poured from a jug. There were grooves on the side, such that the water moved slowly, majestically, and symbolically. This was the entry of God into the world, into life. Water taken from the bottom was symbolically returned.

I think this temple exists. This is purely an intuition. And I think people use it, initiates, who no longer remember what it is for. They have lost their way, and need to find it. All sects decay. It is a commonplace that the third generation ruins the family business. Perhaps no religious order should last past its third leader. Had Islam faded with Ali, I think that would have been a good thing. Had Christianity never reached Constantine, that, too, may have been a good thing. It's quite hard to say, but I think I can say with some confidence that what mystics call "baraka" (yes, same root), or darshana, does not last long in this world.

In any event, this pyramid uses the All-Seeing Eye. The very top is cut off, you see, as the pyramid is the world, but the top exists in the Godhead. Water symbolizes the movement of spirit on earth. The entire thing is intended to be very contemplative, and if possible you are to feel the entry of God into your own being as the flow that it is.

I do not understand the meaning of jade, if any, but will point out that our money is green.

At times-really, often, but I am rarely answered--ask for insight into things. This morning, I input the pyramid, and got Baseball. The following I offer as an exercise in cognitive flexibility only, with no evidence of any sort other than the possibility I propose.

If you read the history (linked on the word above), it is clouded in uncertainty. It's not clear who came up with the thing. What I saw, though, was that Home Base is the Eye. It is the source and the completion. It is the beginning and the end. To see this, you have to imaginatively draw a line from second base to home, and imagine that you are seeing two sides of the pyramid only. Home Base is the apex. When you round the bases, you are traveling from God and back to Him again. That this is difficult is the point. If once you put out sufficient effort and send the ball--your nemesis of doubt, confusion, weakness and vanity--soaring into the skies far enough, your journey is made easy.

You have nine innings, and each inning consists in two sets of three threes. Each team gets three threes. In some cultures 9 is considered a divine number, since in a Base Ten system it is the highest you can go without starting over.

As I Google it, others have come to roughly the same conclusion, albeit not staring from a pyramid.

I will readily admit I am a strange man, but I am never bored.

To any reading this who have personal knowledge of whereof I speak, I will add that in my view you are decadent, and need to either destroy the thing and start over, or resurrect yourselves. Nothing good is coming of what you are doing now.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Emotional gaps

You cannot fill an emotional gap with anger. It might appear for a moment, for a time, to work--and in the flow of experience it does mask the gap--but in the long run that gap will stay the same or even grow, while you are not paying attention.

You can't worry about what you did not get, or are not getting. The task in forward progress is always to tell the truth, and pay attention to the countless little emotional details which do in fact act to fill the gaps. Imagine contentment not as a unitary thing, but as countless little bits floating in the air, that will nest in your holes if you let them. And in aggregate, they will stop the leak.

None of us need be zombies, even though that is an apparently widespread tendency.

From time to time I "cite" popular culture as a referent. Here are the lyrics to "Wake me up inside", by Evanescence.

Frozen inside without your touch,
Without your love, darling.
Only you are the life among the dead.

What happens if both people feel that way? What happens if neither feels the power to wake the other up? You get zombie parades, metaphors made real.

Here is the music

Listen with attention to the quality. It starts innocently, almost music-box like, in trembling intimacy, fear and hope, then distortion intrudes, and the fear wins. She's unwilling to admit final defeat, but clearly there is an energy pushing her away from the very person she needs, and she is caught in a whirlwind of confusion that feels like death.

Listen in your life. See. Feel. Genuine hope and progress float around us, as invisible but helpful motes of the genuine air we need.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Israel and the UN

Posted this here.

We are in an interesting time. Even in the time of Reagan, he was blocked by Democrats controlling Congress. Bush got elected and reelected by moving to the center. Uniquely in my lifetime we are seeing a broad, principled, informed conservative revitalization, of a potentially transformative nature. EVERY artifact of leftist cultural attack and intellectual atrocity is potentially up for reimagination, and eradication.

When Obama was elected, the Left naturally assumed that their time had come. All the plots and conspiracies they had hatched over decades of more or less quiescent marginalization could now be brought into implementation. Large steps, rather than the small, quiet steps of wolves still dressed as sheep, would now be possible.

They have been waiting these last three years, and are simply unwilling to contemplate the idea that they might have to wait even longer, and are thus ignoring the signals of the American electorate that they are waking up to the truth.

The refugees of the Israeli War of Independence are no different. They think they can force through something, when in fact what is more likely to happen is that more Americans wake up to the fact that the UN was brought into being by a Communist agent–Alger Hiss–and that it does not serve our interests, or the interests of peace.

Ending our massive support of the UN is now something that can be contemplated as possible. Let us hope Abbas CONTINUES his abuse of justice and truth.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bush Conspiracy Theory

Here is an interesting idea: what if Bush was given credible information that the Russians were behind 9/11? What do you do with that information? Would we have been prepared to go to war with them? If not, would it be useful to put this image of Putin killing thousands of Americans into the publics mind, with no really viable means of exacting revenge? Clearly, we did face Islamic extremists. Would it not have been tempting to take on enemies we could plainly face with violence?

I think the aim on the part of the Russians was to draw us into one or more wars that we would then LOSE, weakening us, and causing a global retrenchment of the sort that followed our retreat from Vietnam. This is a guess. To do better, I would need to take the time to remember and researach what the world looked like in 2000, and then imagine what it would have looked like from the perspective of an ex-KGB director, and lifelong dedicated Communist.

That is more than I am willing to take on, so I'll leave it here.

The point, though, is that one could plausibly see Bush covering up evidence, but not because of his own complicity in the crime. This actually makes sense to me.

Easter Island

As I understand the current story of the thing, Easter Islanders harvested themselves into extinction. I believe Jared Diamond made that the thesis of his second book, and argued by analogy that we were in the process of doing the same thing.

This betrays a fundamental ignorance of economics. Specifically, we have a finely calibrated shortage sensor that works over short, medium, and long terms: price. Price signals indicate when something in demand is in increasingly short supply. Long before we ran out of oil, prices would be so high that everyone would cut back simply out of economic necessity. We need fear no oil shortage. We will get plenty of warning.

Price only works, though, when it is not interfered with. If for example the government uses taxpayer money to prop up enterprises that are not providing a service or product people want at a price they are willing to pay, then the shortage and glut sensor malfunctions. Products are made that nobody wants. This is the whole problem of the Solyndra (Sp?) business. Not only was our money wasted, but it was in effect funneled to certain plugged in people. This is not how free markets work.

As I have argued in the past, Keynesian economics can be seen not just as a system for wasting money (really, transferring it from ordinary Americans to connected Americans) while increasing the bureaucratic power of the State, but also as a price disruption mechanism. It puts a crowbar in the spokes of the free market, and does so by design. The intent, plainly, was to cause economic decline, so that more of the same could be claimed as the cure.

Keynes was not actually so stupid as to believe his economics worked "to" the purpose he claimed it did. Nor do I believe Paul Krugman is that stupid, although perhaps he really is. He's certainly no Keynes, and his Nobel Laureate is every bit as earned as those of Barack Obama and Yasser Arafat.

The "Twist"

The Fed has announced--note, there are unquestionably many things they do that they do NOT announce, meaning that what they do announce is intended to sway actions on the part of someone in the direction of something--that they are going to sell off short term US Treasury bonds and buy longer term bonds. The intent is to keep interest rates low.

Plainly, high interest rates are not keeping people from borrowing money. Interest rates are and have been very low for a number of years now. People are not borrowing money because of doubt about the future. We have a Socialist in the White House who not only does not understand business, but is actively antagonistic and mistrustful of the very people he needs to be opening up their checkbooks and expanding, to create the sorts of jobs that have made America a wealthy and happy nation.

It is always hard to state what the real aims of this policy are, but it would seem clear to me that the long term future of America is in more doubt than the short term. I don't think anyone seriously doubts we will be able to pay our bills for the next 3 years.

However, once the LARGE tax increases that will fund Obamacare--which in many respects is nothing but a massive expansion of Medicaid, coupled with large insurance premium increases for all small businesses--go into effect, it is unclear where we will be. If we fail to elect a true fiscal conservative to the White House--Mitt Romney does not fit this bill, but in my view Perry and Paul would (I like Cain and Bachman as well)--then our economic predicament could be getting pretty bad by 2014 or so.

Logically, the markets know this, so the interest that we would need to pay to get investors to buy the bonds would have to be increasing right now. The Fed is in effect putting a veil onto the precariousness of our long term economic future.

Free markets only work when market forces are allowed to operate freely. This should be obvious, but for many it is not. Here, an institution we the American people do not control is working to mask the symptoms of our economic illness. It is curing nothing, and helping nothing.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Leaders

Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor portrayed himself and those like him as lonely, alien creatures, condemned to help people free themselves from moral freedom. His implementation of autocracy was, on his account, nothing but taking the obvious and necessary path that would have been chosen by the people, if they understood their own actual needs as well as he did.

As I have argued, this set of lies covers up, in my view, a fundamental misanthropy, and typically one coupled with clinical sadism. They may use proxies for their torture, but they know it is going on, because they ordered it.

It does seem to me, though, that there are and need to be positive such leaders as well, whose burden consists in freedom from the restraints and consolations of fixed identities and ideals. Religion is a consolation, because it gives you a place to occupy, an identity, a social network, thoughts to fill your mind with that don't vary. Consistency is a species of eternity here on earth. It is rest.

But no religion, per se, can be final. Always, always, always, life is evolving. It is comforting for many to believe that compassion and empathy are always virtuous, but when they lead to the ascension to power of people who are cruel and violent, they are no longer virtues. They are rejections of necessity, of perception, of Goodness.

Most people do not want this degree of freedom, in my view, and since the contributions of religion are vastly superior to those of Leftism and Scientism, they are to be valued over inferior moral doctrines, which in most cases is to say empty moral doctrines. There is no content to Leftism. There is neither empathy nor justice.

The Good person, though, must accept being "Just So", in manners which vary by time and place. To be maximally receptive, you must be empty. This is in the Tao Te Ching. This is a burden if you focus on what you are leaving behind, and a source of enthusiasm if you place your emphasis on what can be learned, and what new trails can be found and communicated to others.

Infrastructure

I heard Rand Paul on the Laura Ingraham Show today, and he made a very interesting comment. He said that he called whoever the person in charge was at the Dept. of Transportation to ask if they had any prioritized list of the bridges in this country that need fixing. One would think, logically, that something which can fail and cause death and economic disruption, would be tracked by the people responsible for such a thing, particularly given the history of the Minnesota bridge collapse, and the fact that we JUST SPENT hundreds of millions of dollars [edit: make that BILLIONS; this is a number I cannot wrap my head around] on infrastructure. Where did it go, if no list was made?

The obvious and sickeningly obvious answer is that the money was never intended to lead to economic benefits for all Americans, but rather to go to places where Obama needed to shore up political support. The corollary to this is that he didn't care if bridges collapsed. On the contrary, such a thing would have been politically advantageous to him. He didn't care then, and he has not seen fit to include such considerations in the latest monstrosity he is trying to ram through against the will of the people, and contrary to the most elementary principles of economics and common sense.

We have never had a President who cared less about the American people as a whole, or more capable of the most atrocious cynicism imaginable.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Meaning

As I think about it, I think the principle problem in meaning formation is not how it happens, but rather how it is prevented. I think there is something in this universe that tends towards order, and that evil is evil because it interferes in this process.

Increasingly, it seems to me that the root of all sin--where sin is an disruption in a self organizing informational pattern--is fear. What is pride, really, but a preemptive strike against those who would marginalize you? And what is self pity, really, but the expression of the idea that the universe should conform itself to us, rather than vice versa?

Life is a very serious business, by which I mean rules that may as well be treated as laws plainly exist, and exist not for us, but in themselves. For our parts, though, most of us react to this fact with ridiculousness, with vanity, self pity, tears, and rejection. All of these things keep us on this side of the water, and prevent us from crossing.

Marriage

What are the principle emotional boundaries, within which we can exist as our deepest selves, in peace? Marriage, and religion. In marriage, you find the most intimate connection most people will have in their lifetimes, which includes both emotional connection, and physical. It produces literal life, or has historically in most societies.

In marriage, too, you generate the mother, the primal reality for all infants. If that marriage is harmonious, that mother is harmonious, and the world into which that child enters is harmonious. If not, then stress is present, and that child will be poisoned with unnecessary doubt and disorientation, traits which it will pass on.

In religion, you find the perfection of meaning, at least in principle. There is no reason to doubt that countless people the world over have found in the faith and practices of their forefathers deep internal solace, both in their work, and in long nights during periods of difficulty.

These are the places you rest. These are the things that, if they are given, and not unstable, provide the most comfort and strength for individuals and societies.

Logically, then, these are the first targets of Satanic doctrines like Communism, which seek first to destroy, then perhaps accidentally, at some unspecified and unplanned future date, to create.

Atheism, per se, is not intrinsically pernicious; but when it is proselytized in a world already struggling with meaning, it is. It is necessarily a disconnection from a world that contains intrinsic moral laws and meaning, and necessarily a demand that every person create their own meaning system from scratch, and on the fly. Since most people are mediocre, this means in practice that most such systems will be myopic and poorly constructed. They will not do the job well.

In practice, this fact underlies the continuing success of both Communistic Fascism and its intended antidote, Randian--and I will coin a term here --"Hero-ism". By this, I connote this notion of the Grand Individual, who strides the world in his or her own way, answering to no higher calling than his or her own muse. In practice, some of the people embracing this doctrine have been among the most selfish human beings I have ever met. Selfishness works economically, which is Rand's level of analysis, and she shares this with Marx, but it does not work socially, culturally, or in my view sustainably. One needs principles that bring people together in reliable ways.

Few thoughts on a Wednesday--Woden's Day--morning.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Last Century

Oh, let's discuss the last century like it was last night. We have the Hindenburg disaster, Titanic, several World Wars, and some UN enforcement activities.

I spent time at Fort Knox, and saw where they staged their trains, which in years gone by would have included tanks, APC's, and probably artillery.

My question is this: why would we not have had peace from 1950 to the present without Communism? For that matter, why would we have had FASCISM, if Communism had never existed? Please remember that a principle criticism Hitler levied, that was apparently widely shared, was that Jews were Bolsheviks. Germans didn't like Bolsheviks.

If you look at the last century dispassionately, what becomes clear quickly is how much unnecessary suffering there was. There were liberal ideas in play, but they were marginalized. We the United States had to fight repeated wars to protect the very idea of Liberalism. Many good men died.

Why? This is the question. The answer is not that "war is never the answer". Clearly, it IS sometimes the answer. Sometimes it is the ONLY answer.

We fought wars for a very simple reason: other nations did not desire peace. Communists, in particular, did not desire peace. They wanted, on the contrary, world domination, and were prepared to see unlimited numbers of deaths of all sorts to see it happen.

And what then? Then, the intellectuals would have had total control of innocent people, to terrorize as they pleased, and terror was something they always secretly admired and wanted.

This is the actual history of the last one hundred years. Howard Zinn would lie about it, but the Communist bastard is dead.

It is perhaps wrong to speak ill of the dead, but not in this case. That prick has found out that Hell does in fact exist.

Whiskey involved, but I never regret, fundamentally, things posted when I've had a few. These are my honest--and principled--opinions.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Previous post

As I say on the side there, I reserve the right to reverse myself. As I think about it, the Jobs Bill is not a failure of marketing, but rather of producing the actual steak. They have the sizzle. Obama has his very own flag, and was branded quite well in 2008, which is why he won.

What his handlers cannot grasp, though, is that lies have shelf lives, and that shelf life, in an economic downturn, is much less than 4 years. FDR kept getting reelected because he was cunning like Bill Clinton, because he made better use of the political bribes made possible by the money flow from Washington (harder in our information age), and because people liked him. There is nothing likeable about Barack Obama. He is stiff, arrogant, and seems to have no genuine affability or warmth, which FDR plainly did.

And to the point, he does share with FDR a history of economically deletrious policy-making. Every time things get worse, he tells us he prevented a true disaster; yet, history is clear that recoveries happen much more quickly, normally, than they have here, just as the Great Depression is the only one which lasted that long, and is the only one which people tried to fix.

One of my favorite jokes has "Salesman" as the punchline, but I'm going to insert Barack Obama.

A man got married to a woman, and they went on their honeymoon. The first night she said to him:

Please be gentle, this is my first time.

Honey, how could that be? This is your fourth marriage.

Well, my first husband turned out to like men, and never showed any interest to me.

That makes sense. I'm sorry to hear that.

The second husband was drunk all the time, and never showed any interest in making love.

I understand. You had told me about him, but I didn't realize it was that bad.

And my third husband was Barack Obama.

Sweety, I don't get it.

Turns out all he knew how to do was sit on the edge of the bed and tell me how good it was GOING to be.

"

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Obama's "Jobs" bill

As I think about this proposal, the most amazing thing about it is that I really think that HE genuinely thought it would work. A bunch of cognitively adolescent academic minds got together, and thought not about creating jobs, but their marketing strategy.

Now, marketing actually is a profession. There are people in this country that are very good at it. But they are businesspeople, and Obama has a phobia of people who earn their own money in the private sector, as do those who surround him.

Instead, their default assumption is that of all people who have not been around the figurative block: that what they don't understand must be easy. "Marketing? BUSINESS PEOPLE do that, surely we can do better?" Laughs all around.

So this group of fools gets together and proposes with a straight face that borrowing money to redistribute to the already unemployed, and Obama's Unions goons will create the sorts of jobs that Americans want.

Really?, as kids nowadays say. This is really quite a wonderful example of the most profound idiocy.

Progress

You know, I think the more important question in progress is not how it happens, but what is holding it back. The question is not Why but Why not. Not How, but where to start.

It seems to me most people have oceans of water in them, held back by doubt. They know what to do. They can figure out how to do it. But thought complexes, mental manias, distortions and lies keep this water from flowing.

All that is needed to follow the natural evolution intended for all of us in the direction of the better and more beautiful is to stop stopping.

Take as an example the ghettoes in this country, and their crime and poverty. The question is not why they exist, but rather what is being done that is preventing self organization in the direction of higher and more enjoyable ways of living.

Be a hurricane. Break the levies, and see what is possible. It may astonish you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Birth Certificate: another perspective

As I ponder the implications of a Republican winning a seat he lost by 20 points the last time in New York, it occurs to me that Obama's persistent failure to produce a legally valid birth certificate has worked, in aggregate, towards the devastation of the Democrat Party. It has been beneficial for conservatives.

The default assumption of Alinsky, and therefore Obama, is in effect that you can lie with impunity forever; that you can maintain an effective and dedicated political base solely through constant attacks on your opponents, without proposing workable policies. Now, in 1984, and the very real dystopias upon which it was based, this more or less worked, but only in conditions of complete tyranny.

Given any shred of informational daylight, propaganda narratives do not just self destruct. It's not a question of "oh, they didn't believe that, let's try something else". No, what vanishes is the very POSSIBILITY of the successful use of propaganda.

Obama has literally destroyed, nearly entirely, the effectiveness of calling opponents racists. He has destroyed the effectiveness of calling opponents partisans, or selfish. He has destroyed most of the effectiveness of demonizing corporations, or of claiming that Democrats care about the common man.

Increasingly, the veil is being pulled aside, and what people are seeing is that the top leadership of the Democrat Party has been enriching itself at the political trough, without caring in the slightest about the people with whom it concerns itself rhetorically. Obama has made black people in this country more poor and less secure. He has made working class people more poor and less secure.

At this point, the only people he is keeping are those on the payroll--public sector unions; large, national unions; professional agitators and politicians; and welfare recipients.

Everyone else has only to look at the bank balance, their tax bill, and the national debt. No amount of lying will save him from having to answer to these inescapable truths.

Thus, we should be grateful he has been as evasive as he has. It has forced many people to accept that large segments of our political and media landscape are completely broken, and to think big thoughts, rather than small thoughts. That is how fundamental and useful reform--change--comes about. The goalposts have been reset, and we can thank Obama--perhaps the most dishonest, and certainly least qualified President we have ever elected. None of this would have been possible if Hillary had been elected.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fact Checking

If you are going to repeat it, please fact check anything you see on here.

One statistic I throw out from time to time is the 12.4 payroll tax. This is actually 6.2% Social Security plus 6.2% Medicare/Medicaid, as I understand the matter, which further reduces to 3.1% paid by the employee and 3.1% by the employer who, if he or she did not pass the money along to the employee, would surely use it to expand the company, or buy something nice like a yacht that would employ yacht builders and yacht salesmen. It would find its way back into the economy, and far more effectively than by being given to a bureaucrat, who deducted his salary, then put some small portion back into circulation via his friends and bribers.

Social Security and Medicare are supposedly our money given back to us. Medicaid is pure charity.

To this is added, I think, Unemployment insurance. It varies state to state.

Alex Jones is a Communist Mole

Actually, I don't believe that, but do want to raise what are to me some interesting questions.

Jones has apparently believed for some 30 years--I watched a video he did on the Bohemian Society back around 1980--that substantially all the power elite in this country, Republican and Democrat alike, are in cahoots to end democracy here. Since this is quite far removed from the consensus view most of share, we call this paranoid.

What I would like to submit, however, is that substantially all Communist rhetoric and thought is likewise paranoid, in exactly the same way, in that it sees in the operation of free markets the collusion of an oligarchic class to keep the working class/lower classes down. This is a thesis with no evidence--the emergence of a middle class actually falsifies it--but they continue to believe it.

For his part, Jones offers, as far as I can tell, no alternative to the current system. Logically, if EVERYONE within the system is corrupt, there is no "out there" without completely rebuilding the system from the bottom up. Historically, this basic mind set enabled the mass murders which occurred in all Communist regimes, although some--for example in Nicaragua--involved merely hundreds of people rather than millions.

It is very important to be clear about which "them" you are talking.

Practically, Jones worldview encourages political disengagement, except for those few on the far left, like Van Jones, who go out and try to foment revolution. It deintegrates large segments of society, and it fosters passivity. What, really, can you do, but listen to his show and wonder how long he can stay on the air? (Hint: at least 30 years).

All of these things would be ENORMOUSLY useful to someone who actually was trying to take over the country, in that those who might potentially have made the most difference are now side-lined with their horrific visions, and who miss what chances for useful action present themselves.

In my view, George Bush was and is a glad-handing college frat boy, who grew up rich, knows how to ingratiate himself, and has a rudimentary but clear sense of right and wrong that he learned at home. He did not and does not want totalitarian Fascism implemented in the US. That is for people like George Soros, David Rockefeller, Jr., and their fellow travellers.

All that would have been needed to green-light the 9/11 attacks would have been a reasonably clear vision of how George Bush would respond, combined with careful pre-placement of people in key spots to do quiet influencing and directing. The goals may have been many, and may well have included a simple, absolute increase in the size of government, which, if it was a goal, was plainly accomplished.

If the government is reduced to a certain size, we need not fear it. If it is allowed to grow to a certain size, then history is clear that the question is not if it will be abused, but when.

The hard left, the secret influencers, made a bad mistake betting on Obama. The jig is up, and roughly half the American public is hopping mad beyond any reasonable hope of calming down, even with a Hillary candidacy. As I said some time ago, Hillary WAS the Fabian candidate, but this time around there will be no such thing. Their best hope now is Mitt Romney, who can at least be counted on not to shrink the size and influence of government. I don't think they will get him, though.

We need to take stock in and appreciate the very clear, unmistakeable sea change that has happened since 2006. I have been blogging in some form for 8-10 years, and where the overwhelming bulk of posts used to be leftist, that has now turned to the right (except of course for hard left sites like the Daily Cause), with much of the rhetorical fire being both sustained and accurate. That does damage. You can always defeat trickery with truth, if you can get enough of it out there, and the damage is lasting. It goes far past a single engagement into the qualitative terrain of altering dialogue from invective to reasoned debate. No leftist idea can survive that climate.

While being open to all idea about reality, my personal belief is that there is cause for cautious optimism, not just in the immediate future, but over the next century.

And whatever you believe, never be seduced into inaction. There is always something that can be done, and you can never know what might make a difference.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Jobs and useful Goodness

Obama's "Jobs" proposal--really, a poorly formulated conjecture about what could work--will not work for the simple reason that it was not conceived with the intent of decreasing unemployment in this country. By extension, it was also not formulated with the intent of decreasing suffering in this country.

What it is intended to do is create an Alinskyan platform for partisan attack. Obama is figuring, one, that he has little to lose, and two, that his only chance at reelection is making people more scared of Republicans in aggregate than angry at his patent leadership failures, and all of his other plans that, likewise, have accomplished nothing for most Americans, all at enormous cost.

Taking his policy proposals that have been enacted as a whole, we are plainly worse off than if he had slept twelve hours a day the last three years, and spent his waking hours building model airplanes. If the cost of that were Michelle shopping seven days a week at swanky stores, and vacationing overseas continually at taxpayer expense, we would be better off to the tune of TRILLIONS of dollars, and hundreds of thousands of jobs that would otherwise have been created.

I won't waste much time dealing with details, but plainly he WANTS Republicans to deny continued Unemployment benefits, so he can paint them as heartless, and he WANTS them to allow payroll taxes to go back up, so he can paint them as hypocritical. He WANTS them to reject his big idea of hiring tens of thousands of workers to do work which does not need to be done, all at taxpayer expense, so he can say "Republicans don't want to put America back to work." This is pretty straightforward. He is not clever or original; nor are the people whose ideas these actually are.

The block, of course, is to ask what happened the last time we spent a trillion dollars that he insisted was necessary, and what the consequences were on our national debt. He posited, then, a cause and effect relationship that was falsified by the ultimate judge: reality.

The more interesting question, to me, is the internal reality that enables him to care NOT AT ALL about actual human beings who do, to a regretable extent, depend on him, ideally, making things better, and at a minimum not making things worse, as he has in fact done.

We all have this vain tendency to wax sentimental about our heroism. I myself, sometimes, look at myself imaginatively running into a burning building--like Peter Parker does in the excellent second Spider Man--and either dying nobly or succeeding (I actually met a woman in a bar one time who did run through literal flames to save a baby, and who emerged with substantial burns). I look at that, and get a bit teary eyed at my nobility. Wow, I must be a really good person. If only the world knew what a great guy I am. We all do this at times, I suspect.

This is foolishness. It is perhaps useful at a certain level of development--a level I personally am trying to transcend--but is not even remotely Good is the sense I want to develop it.

I would like to offer an outwardly strange example, but one which has resonance for me affectively and cognitively. To frame it, I will say only that I did martial arts for many years, and came over time to find many, many life lessons inhered in it.

That example is from Musashi, author of "The Book of Five Rings", and victor--successful murderer--of many duels. He states somewhere in there that you should always be thinking of cutting. That is the key.

This would seem to be obvious. After all, you are trying to win, and not die. But so many things get in the way. In a duel, for example, you might be thinking about how well you are fighting. You might be planning your next move, designed to win. In my view, though, if you plant the seed of your real, final outcome deeply, firmly, ineradicably in your consciousness, then things begin to happen that further that goal. What you need comes to you. This is non-linear, but no matter how things appear, we do not live in linear universe in all but the most superficial sense. Everything is system.

What a Good person needs to be focusing on is helping people. You have to start with the notion of people as self sustaining, happy people, who DO NOT NEED YOU. You have to have as an aim complete superfluity, complete uselessness, with no need to do anything but watch. To do what is right, you need to remove your own ego from the thing, reject all emotional compensation, and all flaky sentimentality.

Now, this does not mean being cold, or never being happy. If you cultivate your own happiness, you don't need to be needed. There are plenty of pleasures in this life that are free and common. As an example, I personally am an avid student of the sky. I never tire of the interplay of light and cloud, shadow, wind and darkness. I can and do watch the sky for hours.

Back to the point, though, the need to be needed is, itself, a type of dependency, and a dangerous one FOR OTHER PEOPLE. With this motivation, you will find yourself unconsciously undermining others, rather than building them up.

This is what people like Barack Obama do. He cannot conceive of a world which does not need him, and he therefore sets as his aim not helping people, but rather making sure that people like him stay in power, regardless of the actual outcomes of their policies.

This is a type of soft evil. It is not actively desiring pain for others, but rather an actual indifference to suffering that is tempered with a sentimentalism that is entirely divorced from reality, that consists entirely in wishful fantasies with him as the hero, and everyone else as praising him for his benevolence. Oh THANK YOU Barack, for caring about us so much, for being such a wonderful human being. We know that things don't always work out, but you TRIED SO HARD.

I have in fact seen people taking bows to imaginary audiences after imaginary guitar solos. They can't know you are there, or they feel immediately the ridiculousness of such things, but most such fantasies never leave the protective cover of the skull of the dreamer.

We can do so much better. All of us.

Existentialism

The "problem of existence" metamorphoses when you call it the "problem of becoming". We are becoming all the time. The question is how and if to direct it. Put another way, what should we do, one, and why, two.

I have often found that many problems that are recondite in the extreme in the abstract can be solved if you simply begin, and assume a solution is possible. Almost invariably, you will pursue false paths. You will make mistakes, which amount to figuring out ways that don't work. This is still useful knowledge.

And what you want--purpose, fulfillment, energy, peace--creeps up alongside you in the process of focusing on other things.

Existentialism, which might practically be called the doctrine of moral passivism (I tend to use the word "Moral" synonymously with "principled work"), amounts to a doctrine of craven obeisance to the dictates of the wider world. You get pushed and pulled, here and there, and you call the resulting queasiness "authenticity". Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.

Many of these people were sick at their cores, and wanted nothing more than to be told what to do. Hence Sartre's lifelong support of Stalin, and de Beauvoir's admiration for Sade.

Cowardice is not a virtue, and Exitentialism, as a whole, is pernicious precisely as a poorly constructed rationalisation for moral failure, perceptual failure, and following defensive self righteousness, all on the sides of the wrong causes.

I liked Albert Camus, because he always seemed to me like he was at least TRYING to solve real problems. The rest of them seem to have existed comfortably within a sadomasochistic vortex of principled pointlessness.

They can all be ignored. William James was, in my view, the last widely known useful philospher, and his usefulness was precisely in pointing out that "philosophy" per se--seen as separate from a more primal worldview--is useless until you are solving practical problems whose outcomes can be verified. If what you are doing can be hermetically sealed in a classroom, it is not math, and it is not useful. It is, to real world problems, what the game of Monopoly is to actually leasing real buildings. If it has ANY utility at all, it will only occur when you walk off the university campus.

New World Order

When George H.W. Bush used this phrase, he plainly meant a post-Communist world. From the end of the Second World War to the late 1980's--some 40 years--the world order has been the free world, the Communist world, and the developing, third, world. Logically, in a new world order, the so-called third world would be second. This is a change, one Bush no doubt believed would be for the better.

Bush fought and nearly died for this country in World War Two. His plane was shot down in the Pacific, if memory serves. There is no reason to doubt either that he liked and likes the privileged world he was born in to, or that he is a sincere patriot who values the freedoms which our ancestors bought for us with hard work, good thinking, persistence, and blood.

Who, however, has ALWAYS talked about a New World Order? Who has ALWAYS blamed shadowy "capitalist" elites for all the worlds woes? Who has ALWAYS seen--at least rhetorically--in the actions of the United States malignant imperialism and the desire to crush the dreams of ordinary working people? Communists, of course.

George Bush did not want to create a totalitarian state in this country, or elsewhere. This notion is farcical. OF COURSE he is plugged in to groups of rich (mainly) white people for networking and mutual benefit. Of course he has always taken advantage of business opportunities.

But to think for a moment that he, his son, Dick Cheney, or other senior American politicians want us to look like the old Soviet Union is ludicrous.

The RUSSIANS want us to look like the Soviet Union. Why wouldn't they? Putin to this very day no doubt feels that if he had been in Gorbachev's place he could have kept the thing together. Why would he not continue the century-long conquest planned by Lenin? These people do not think in short time scales. That is the one advantage of totalitarian rule.

It is so interesting that what can be a very damaging story if understood one way becomes a tool when inverted. Bush has been blamed for an attack he had nothing to do with, and what is the supposed answer? Voting for Democrats, who are continuing the Fabian subversion of our nation. That, or removing oneself from the democratic process outright, believing wrongly that both parties are trying to end our freedom.

Think about Lee Harvey Oswald. How many headlines have you seen saying "Communist assassin kills American President"? None, I suspect. Who got the blame? A purported "military-industrial-intelligence cabal". Who are those people in reality? Then, the ones trying to protect us from the Communists, and doing well at it.

Thus, the benefits are huge--even when your guy, if he was their guy directly--gets caught. You use it to further undermine support for the institutions that oppose you.

It needs to be said, too, that there is a much bigger difference between having strong internal surveillance capability and not having it, than in having it controlled by one set of people versus another. Once an apparatus is in place, it becomes a simple matter of perverting and redirecting it. It can be created by anybody. It could be created by a saint, and as long as he runs it, everything is perfect. Nothing can go wrong. But once that person is gone, the whole thing, like a cannon, can be turned around and pointed at an entirely different set of people. This is the essence of Fabianism. They don't care who controls the apparatus, merely that it is created. That is the main thing.

The Federal Reserve is another good example. When founded, it was directed by the Secretary of the Treasury. It was, for all intents and purposes, a government agency. It had limits on what it could buy. For Open Market operations it was limited to purchasing Treasury bonds, as I recall. Yet over time, over failing memories, and official and journalistic inattention, and aggressive propaganda campaigns, and taking advantage of crises (most of which it created), it got unshackled, and fully independent, to the point where everything it did was secret, and where there were no limits on its power of money creation/reallocation.

Now, the fact that Keynes tried to end the Fed tells me it was not--at least then--an entity he felt congenial to him. That entity, today, would be the IMF/World Bank which he created in lieu of abolishing the Fed as it then existed. The IMF has, I read, $350 BILLION in cash reserves, most of which money was gifted it (created) by central banks the world over, but most importantly by our own Federal Reserve.

When contemplating a "New World Order", that is the sort of thing we need to be concerned with. Does Putin meet with them? Are they congenial to the idea of a Communist resurgence? 70 years of failure were not enough to teach the most ardent Communistic Fascists of the error of their ways. Why would these people not be out there at this very moment, planning?

I see no reason to doubt this.

9/11

Oh, writing sorts like me are supposed to have words on this. All I will say is that this is all much more confusing to me than it used to be.

I don't think Islamic terrorists are very smart. If they were, they would have launched more successful attacks. Muslims, in general, are not very smart. They don't invent things. They don't work hard (a Ranger I know who did several tours in Iraq commented that work and the "Will of Allah" seem to exist in an inverted ratio, where less work equates consistently to more "Will of Allah".) They are not individualistic. You just don't hear often of Islamic creative geniuses. They have existed, but rarely. They don't listen to music in many countries. They don't paint. They don't sculpt. They don't dance in most countries.

Virtually every creative outlet which defines culture in general is proscribed to them by their holy book. In my view, creativity aggregates. People who foster creativity in one arena tend to be capable of processing it in many arenas. It would seem clear that the converse is also true, that the less avenues for the expression of creativity that are open, the overall creation will happen. There are no Mozarts or Leonardo Da Vinci's in Islamic history. There have been some very good poets, but most of them are frowned upon by the orthodox. They created only by rejecting--they no doubt would have said expanding and clarifying--some core elements of the doctrine.

And to be clear, within Islamic doctrine, there is nothing to be done. Their world is perfect. Their customs are perfect. Their faith is perfect. They have but to live a life without breaking the rules, and their salvation is assured.

It is perhaps not overstating the case to say that the only obvious open path for progress and creativity is jihad. If your world is perfect, you must go outside of it to find creative challenges.

The Washington D.C. sniper showed how easy it is to sow fear. Terror acts are simplicity itself. Get a truck and crash it into something. Derail a train. Shoot up a shopping mall. Yet, virtually none of that has happened.

Yes, authorities have detected and stopped a number of plots--at least, we are told that plots were underway and were stoppped.

But, again, given the manifold challenge of rigging and blowing a skyscraper in New York City without being detected, surely minds capable of that would have done more. This, too, leads to my belief in a broader conspiracy that involved non-Muslims.

I will mention, too, that it is strange how thoroughly the Tower 7 story has been buried. Yes, Towers 1 and 2 were much taller, and the disaster more complete. But think about this: a 47 story building would be the tallest building in almost every city in the U.S.

Here is a list. The tallest building in Alabama is 35 stories. In Arizona and Arkansas 40. Only about half the state in the US have even ONE building that is that tall. Imagine the outcry and investigation if one of them spontaneously collapsed.

The official story of Tower 7 is that the combustion of office furnishings caused the collapse. Yet, what was on fire, where, that caused the collapse? How did the fires start?

It is stupid for conspiracy theorists to waste ANY time on Towers 1 and 2, since plainly the cause of the fire and structural instability was jetliners being flown into them. Never fight toe to toe when you can flank. The task in falsifying a paradigm is not attacking the points of strongest defense, but the weakest, and attacking them hard. This is basic.

It would be easy enough to test the official theory, by starting a fire in an area filled with the contents of the office where the first beam failure allegedly occurred--towards the top, if memory serves, making the issue of the genesis of the fire that much more problematic--and seeing what the peak temperature is, and how long it lasts, in the region of the structural steel.

I look in the office I work in, and I see nothing capable of sustaining ANY fire for more than an your, and that is likely pushing it.

The world is mad. It has always been mad. My work is dedicated to the ideal of helping more people go sane. I can do nothing but tell the truth as I see it for now, but that is a much better starting point, always, than an illusion.

The Fasces

I've been reading a bit of what I assume is history on Wikipedia, that concerning the Fasces, that axe in a handle made of many branches bound together, that I had thought was carried by the Roman Consuls.

I was wrong. Here is the link to the Fasces. Apparently they were carried by Lictors, who were in effect bodyguards to various officials. The axe heads had to be removed to carry them into the sacred inner part of the Rome, symbolizing that the authority of the magistrates the Lictors protected ended at that point.

This was not true of Dictators. This was the first time I read of this history, but apparently there were times in the history of the Roman Republic when the two consuls in effect ceded their authority to one individual who was called a Dictator, and whose bodyguards were allowed the run of Rome.

It is interesting to me that this symbol comes from the era of the Roman Republic, and not the Empire. It symbolizes binding together, and it symbolizes power.

I'm flirting with this topic, and will no doubt return to it. This warrants a bit of thought.

Fascism

Given the ubiquity of this term, I think it worth contemplating what, if anything, is new with "Fascism". First, read what Mussollini had to say about it here.

Several points. One, he understood himself as counteracting the decadence of Italy.

Peoples which are rising, or rising again after a period of decadence, are always imperialist; and renunciation is a sign of decay and of death. Fascism is the doctrine best adapted to represent the tendencies and the aspirations of a people, like the people of Italy, who are rising again after many centuries of abasement and foreign servitude.



This is the "he made the trains run on time" element of it.

He calls, in effect, for perpetual war, in service of Empire, in effect the police of the Romans themselves: "War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have courage to meet it."

He rejects Marxian notions of history:

Fascism [is] the complete opposite of…Marxian Socialism, the materialist conception of history of human civilization can be explained simply through the conflict of interests among the various social groups and by the change and development in the means and instruments of production.... Fascism, now and always, believes in holiness and in heroism; that is to say, in actions influenced by no economic motive, direct or indirect.

What is he saying here? What he is saying is that individuals can make a difference, but only certain individuals, certain exceptional individuals.

Before dilating on this point more, what does he have to say about the State?

The foundation of Fascism is the conception of the State, its character, its duty, and its aim. Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State. The conception of the Liberal State is not that of a directing force, guiding the play and development, both material and spiritual, of a collective body, but merely a force limited to the function of recording results: on the other hand, the Fascist State is itself conscious and has itself a will and a personality -- thus it may be called the "ethic" State....

...The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone....

What is interesting about all this is that Mussollini was himself formerly a Communist.

He is rejecting impersonal historical forces, but still retaining an understanding of an impersonal State, which exists as a whole, as an element in the historical process. So in effect he is replacing class warfare with overt imperialism, but still finding no place for the self organization of a Liberal society, saying that it merely "records" results instead of creating them.

But there is no such thing as an impersonal State any more than there are impersonal economic forces. Both Fascism and Communism depend, fundamentally, on a reification of "forces" which consist ENTIRELY in the aggregate motion of actual human beings. Both doctrines appeal to intellectuals precisely they abstract very complex systems into simple, easily cognized narratives that are WRONG.

The cart is before the horse. They want certain things to be true, so they work very hard to make them true, to put people who believe what they believe into positions where they can DICTATE history

Mussollini was able to wage war (ineffectively). Communists can kill members of unapproved classes. But neither action reflects "history". There is no "State".

I'm repeating myself. This is light thinking here, done on a day dedicated to relaxation. I am not thinking to the point of pain, which is what I do when I take up topics in earnest.

The question, though, is this: what is new, with this term "Fascism"? Consider the concept of proscription. It was used in the 1790's in France, and it was used in 82 B.C. by Sulla.

What is the difference between a Fascist dictator, and a dictator like Sulla? Plainly, Mussollini had someone like Sulla in mind.

That leaders would seek to rule by fiat, and torture and kill political opponents is likely as old as history. So is the glorification of war, and the desire to get stuff by stealing it from others. Sulla, for example, took the possessions of his political enemies just like the Nazis stole the possessions of the Jews, and the Bolsheviks and their descendants stole the possessions of THEIR political opponents.

As I see it, this is the old battle of Good versus Evil, the creation of happiness ex nihilo versus the effort to conquer happiness by conquering others, to master resentment by transmuting it into actual violence.

We all live short lives, do we not, permeated by confusion? There are no letters in the sky to guide us, nor a physical book that fell from the sky to tell us what to do. And if there were, how could we be certain those words should be followed? Can we, in the end, be guided by something other than a goal we have in mind, combined with practical observation leading to consistent correllations between desired end and the means of accomplishing it?

Do Fascists really want misery? Some of the leaders, yes, but misery they inflict on others.

What most people want, though, is a sense of purpose, of knowing what to do, and having a place to live, to call home--which includes not primarily a physical place, but a mental and emotional place where rest is possible. Most people want to be understood, they want to feel valued, and to know what to do so that they will be valued. They need to know what the rules are. Mussollini invoked holiness and nobility. Translated, these mean "rules".

A boat afloat at sea with no anchor, no sail, and no rudder is a lonely place. So much faith is needed to imagine a desirable end. So it occurs to some minds to impose an end, to imagine everyone else is as adrift as they feel themselves to be, and to impose for them--against their will, since they don't know, on this reading, what is good for them (or they lack the will to pursure it)--a set of circumstances that they will be compelled to inhabit as a home.

Anti-Individualism NECESSARILY implies autocracy, to a greater or lesser extent--certainly inequality. Individualism means that rights, including the right to perception, inhere in all people equally. No one is above the law.

To invert this, as for example Keynes does in "End of Laissez Faire", and imply that the locus of rights and power is other than in concrete organic beings we call in-dividuals, is necessarily to say that some people have more rights than others. Those within the State have more power than those external to the State.

Anti-Individualism is, then, necessarily injustice, if we define justice as all people being equal before the law.

Oh, this is getting a bit deep for me today. I'll circle around again eventually, in my own time and way.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Entzauberung

Max Weber thought we were destined to be confined in "iron cages" of reason, of rationality, of NECESSITY. In his world, all the fairies and demons, angels and unexplained beams of light were on the way out, on the verge of extinction. Matter was what was real, if I recall his epistemology right--or at least his metaphysical suspicions--and thus everything would one day be explained. Then, the course of life would become a road for all to travel together. There would be no other roads, because only ONE would conform to reason.

He went mad for a time. He came back, but it was no doubt quite unpleasant.

To the very day, this is the approximate project of the Socialists, who want to see in science the way forward to a definitive vision of what to do and why. We will look to neuroscience, and pharmacology. We will look to social science, and anthropology, and the right sorts of psychologist to tell us how to live. We see this daily in the newspaper: "experts" telling us how to think, how to act, what to do.

The Cult of the Left is in no small measure the Cult of the Expert, for the very simple reason that they have accepted the idea in principle that all principles are negotiable. There are no perduring truths, nothing to hang a hat on. Everything is being negotiated, discovered, redacted and informed with statistics.

My question is this: what sane person would want to live in such a world, where I might be asked to be someone else tomorrow, with no more reason than that some person with a degree says I should? What am I to infer when they change their minds, as they constantly do? Are they still pushing Vitamin E so assiduously? What happened to Gingko Biloba? Where is Dr. Spock, except in ghost?

There is nothing necessary about the iron cage, but it is endlessly interesting how much emotional appeal it has for so many people, to this very day. We do not live in a material universe. That idea was refuted, more or less decisively, some 50 years ago. Why do we still act as if we do?

We hear from the Left, from old hippies, "go with the flow". There is some merit to this idea, but why does going with the flow, for them, equate to losing form entirely?

Oh, there is so much that is possible, and ignored and rejected by poorly thinking, poorly functioning, defective human beings, who have been blessed with lives they choose to live in direct opposition to the best that is possible, and to what was intended for them.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sanity

One of my favorite pasttimes is watching people, figuring them out. I'm not detached: I talk with people in bars (and elsewhere: I'm capable of being very, very social) all the time. Still, a few beers, and I start analyzing. Who is that person? And that person? What do they feel? How do they approach the world? Why?

There is this feeling of love that invades me from time to time (note: I've had a couple drinks tonight, so there may be a bit of the "I love you, man" thing going on), when I see how STUPID yet loveable people are. I love them BECAUSE of their flaws, because of the ineffective ways they are trying to solve real problems. Oh, we are all like that sometimes.

Hell, I'm one of the dumb ones. I must be. I'm not perfectly happy, yet I see no reason this should not be one of the states attainable on Earth. That I have not attained it means I am being stupid, and believe me I have ample reasons for believing that.

I said I lose no sleep over 9/11. Well, last night I was awake about every 30 minutes all night long either seeing a Russian conspiracy, or--and this is where the unconscious kicks in--wondering why glass won't stretch. Why doesn't glass flex? It is pernicious. We can see through it, but it won't stretch at all. It just breaks. Such a pity. Someone needs to invent taffy glass.

Be that as it may, it felt like a species of insanity. Now, as Lewis Carroll, I believe in the voice of the Queen had it, I sometimes think two impossible things before breakfast, but even I have to tell the truth sometimes, and say this isn't right.

I can analyze the symbolic content of this, and likely will, but the point that is running through my mind now is the fragility of experience. We think it is unitary, we think it is solid. We think we are material objects traversing a material land, and that everything is put together just so. We call this condition of thought sanity. Sanity is existing in a time and place according to the ideals of that time and place, being able to explain them, being able to defend them against heterodoxy (interesting that we see the word ortho-doxy, but not homo-doxy; the former formulation makes the repetitive, imitative aspect of it less obvious, presumably), and being quite satisfied that what one knows is what one needs to know, and that what one has not been told to know is either false or not worth knowing.

I have long felt that being open to the idea of being insane CAN be useful, although not necessarily. For me, I want to live in a more or less orderly space, but I also want to venture out from time to time, to see what else there is to see, to find out what else there is to know.

No box with 6 sides can ever close. No world with a finite number of dimensions can be said to exist.

Oh, that, the sound of one hand clapping, and a pint of whiskey might bring you to the edge--but oh it is just over there, not here, on the other side of the dark river--of enlightenment. It's OK: I'll be sitting there next to you, still well satisfied it was a good time.

Let's be dumbasses together. It's plainly a burgeoning field. You lead, and I'll fail to follow. We can take turns.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Goodness

Goodness is not niceness. One of the most subtle and pernicious ways of undermining the notion of Goodness is by equating it with banality, with Ned Flanders, with goody-two-shoes, with boredom.

A truly Good person, on the contrary, is relentlessly alert, relentlessly engaged, passionate about what they do, and open to experience.

It is bad people who are dull: they are stuck in tedious manias, endless rage, and an inability to process experience. In the end, the "greatest" sadists this world has ever known were incapable of more than evanescent enjoyment, and that at a very low grade level.

This is an important point. Jesus went after the money changers with a whip because they deserved it. There is nothing meritorious about being an affect-less doormat.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Putin and moral psychosis

This is two thoughts posted in one.

First, it occurs to me that with respect to 9/11, the only reliable responses would have been an engagement with Afghanistan, economic trauma, and probably large increases in Federal spending.

As I look at Putin in my mind, I see the one survivor from Company 9. I see the lasting scars the war in Afghanistan left on the Russian psyche. I think Putin thought we would meet a similar fate. I really do. Everyone was telling us on the front end how dangerous it was, and in point of fact the obvious leader of a Taliban-free Afghanistan was assassinated just two days prior to 9/11. It has been blamed on Bin Laden, but I don't think Bin Laden thought we would go into Afghanistan. Putin would have known better.

And I see potential allies in the United States among our financial elites. Again, the Rockefellers' name pops up immediately, but it is hard to know how many people out there want to end their own sense of meaninglessness by pursuing a totalitarian agenda.

Moral psychosis is a term I just came up with, to be used as a synomym for moral death, but I think I like it better. The psychiatric condition of psychosis is one of being utterly decontextualized, utterly removed from ordinary reactions to human situations and emotions, and denuded of the capacity, not just to tell right from wrong, but to perceive reality accurately in any fashion.

If you lie to yourself over and over and over for decades, if you involve yourself in deceiving others, there must come a time when for all intents and purposes you are an automaton, devoid of normal human reactions, and utterly without purpose, but filled with energy. This is the condition of the hard core Leftist, who is Satanic in all but name.

This is a fever of insanity. It really is. Sybaritic leftists are not insane: they are just soft. Cultural Sadeists are lunatics.

I read today that 40% of Europeans exhibit signs of mental illness, illnesses their socialized medical systems are not equipped to handle. How is that Socialism, that freedom from responsibility and failure working for them? Not well, I suspect. We would need comparative numbers for Americans, but I have been told by more than one European visiting that it is amazing how normal most people seem. And we are normal, by and large. We don't have the neurotic ticks and manias that seem common to the Europeans. By and large, most of us are content with our lots, and with life. Yes, rates of depression are going up, but not at European rates, or at least that is my best guess.