Monday, October 31, 2011

Pain

From time to time, I go to this site with badly translated Hafez poetry, to read my fortune. You fix your question, then in theory look at a random page and line of poetry, and there is your question answered.

Tonight I did that. I won't quote it, but will paraphrase the line: "Pain is recondite wisdom. Persevere and that wisdom will emerge into the light."

This is, in my view, a useful belief.

I will add that, quite frequently, as a Pragmatist, I conflate true and useful. If it achieves the desired end, then it WAS true, correct? It may not be true for the next person, who lacks belief, but contingently, it was good enough.

Selfish people

I am going to vent a little bit. The simple fact is that you can trust selfish people. They reliably do what is in their self interest, and to motivate them all you have to do is show them how you can benefit them. If you yourself benefit as well, that is just a part of the deal. This is how honest, good business gets done. I want something; you want something; let's make a deal.

The people who infuriate me are egotists, those who would rather cut off their nose to spite their face. They only feel they are advancing their self interest by preventing you from advancing yours. They are quite happy with zero sum or even negative sum games--in which both parties lose--provided only that they fare BETTER THAN YOU.

Concrete example: I will shortly be proposing a deal in which I make $2, and someone else makes $1 for every three dollar increase in price. Since this benefits me, it will happen much more reliably than the current arrangement, in which for every $4 increase, they get $3 and I get $1. Since price can determine whether a sale is won or lost, it little behooves me to increase prices for such a small benefit, so I don't do it. I charge as little as I can.

I expect this proposal to be rejected, even though I can plainly show the clear benefits that will accrue, for the simple reason that I benefit more than them, on paper. This is egotism. This is not rational business.

The same basic process is in play with Socialists and tax increases for "the rich". If I tell them that they get $1 for every $2 the rich get, they will be outraged. If I tell them that the rich lose $2 for every $1 lost by everyone else, they find this acceptable. They ignore the fact that incomes are decreasing, and that for every rich person worth twice some other person, it will run out for the less wealth person FIRST, meaning that that person was disproportionately HURT.

I hate egotists. You won't hear me say that often, but I am too tired to sugar coat it. It is a form of power relationship, and as such morally wrong according to my own beliefs. And to be clear, morally wrong means stupid and counterproductive according to any rational understanding of appropriate, helpful, desirable uses of human life and energy.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Muller and the Global Warming hacks

Story one: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/koch-funded-study-changes-prominent-global-warming-skeptic-to-a-believer/comment-page-3/#comment-2157339

Summary: Oh my God, I was like so not a believer in global warming, but I got money from the Koch brothers and despite their pernicious, neo-Satanic influence, the forces of light and truth prevailed and I saw the TRUTH, which is, uh, something we are in the process of, uh, getting peer reviewed--soon, I promise--and which doesn't include, you know, things, like ocean temperature, or mention the lack of thermometers on the poles, or explain how we were uniquely able to correct for the heat island effect, but, HEY: LISTEN TO ME. Koch brothers, former skeptic: this is a GOOD STORY.

Story two: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2055191/Scientists-said-climate-change-sceptics-proved-wrong-accused-hiding-truth-colleague.html?fb_ref=LikeButtonTop&fb_source=profile_multiline

Summary: Muller's coauthor on all four papers: what the FUCK were you thinking, you ethically and mentally challenged jackass? That is not what we found AT ALL. We found that global warming had stopped. We found that the climate models were wrong, and had plainly assigned too large a role for CO2 in global warming.

Go find yourself another partner, you oleaginous cretin. That shit smell on your shoes is something you're going to have to clean off yourself.

My summary: what is worth noting here is not the patent effort at lying to a media very eager to be deceived. This is nothing new. I just want people who are not able to reliably observe this phenomena simply to read the two stories, and try to reconcile them. Ask yourself what is actually going on here, and if by even the most generous stretch of imagination you can call this honest science, as it is being predigested and distributed.

Occupy Wall Street

First off, I saw the term "Obamavilles" today, which I thought interesting. It evokes "Hoovervilles", with the key difference that where there was actual suffering under Hoover--caused by his meddling in the economy, in part, but primarily by the Fed's deflationary monetary policies--there is not much here. Many of these kids are likely rich, and many seem to be getting paid. Not sure what use the term has, but it is potentially useful.

The main point I wanted to make is what sane political use could be made of these protests, and it occurs to me that their utility lies in the very fact that they--they tell us as a matter of principle--don't stand for anything (just like Seinfeld wasn't about anything). They are a blank canvas, upon which can be painted many different narratives, whose value can be assessed and modified as needed.

For now, the use Obama (really, the people around him; he doesn't think all that much)seemingly wants to make of them is to say that since they are there, some sort of crime must have been committed, and that since they are plainly not Republicans, the culprits must indeed be the Republicans. This is a weak story, but one plainly borne out of the desperate need he and his have to defend the indefensible, which practically means avoiding the topic and going on the offensive, hoping that their control of much of our media complex will enable this deception to work.

But this also provides added heft to his vote-buying schemes, as with student loans, housing, and whatever else he and his come up with between now and election day.

This is a bit of out-loud thinking.

Proper Demand side economics

The end goal, in economic downturns, is to create an appetite on the part of business owners to hire people. They do this when they perceive business opportunity, and it is plainly the case that development and marketing generally precede consumer spending. You cannot indulge a desire you did not know you have to buy Chuy's Mexican food until you have a Chuy's restaurant. This is the case even if Barack Obama deposits $10,000 in your personal bank account. You can only spend your money on things which already exist, made or distributed by businesses which already exist. And self evidently, those businesses could not exist if they had not been built, if the money had not first been spent.

The ONLY principle goal of anti-Demand side economics, aka rational, historical economics, or just "economics", is increasing the desire on the part of business to expand. You do this through incentivization, which means you take less money in taxation, giving them more capital, take less of the profits when they are successful (making risk-taking more lucrative and hence more likely), and made it less of a pain in the ass dealing with asinine government bureaucrats.

The game is psychological and practical. The only salient question is: what policies does government need to pursue--or, to the point, to NOT pursue--in order to build the confidence that builds business and job growth?

American business is sitting on record amounts of cash--all of it represents prospective jobs lost due to the ineptitude and ideological rigidity of our first anti-American President, not coincidentally the first born to a foreign national father, and a mother who chose not to spend her life here.

Tax simplification and regulatory clarity are the only sure signs to return to growth. The leftists are quite correct when they say that if we stay on this course we will get a Depression. What they fail to grasp, or are unwilling to communicate, is that it is THEIR policies which are making this more likely.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Republican Debates

It just occurred to me why the Republicans are having so many debates: it favors Mitt Romney. He is the CEO, and he is the smooth one. He is also in my view the least principled of the available candidates. He is who he needs to be.

How on earth true conservatives could favor someone who enacted Obamacare as the nominee to END Obamacare is anyone's guess.

I guess Romney is just their kind of asshole. They understand one another, since Karl Rove is no more principled, in my view, than Barack Obama.

Being led by smooth talking liars is a great way to wind up on the ash heap of history.

I will vote for Cain, Bachman, Perry, or Gingrich. I am not sure I can even hold my nose and vote for Romney. I guess I will just vote a Republican straight ticket.

Again, the issue is not defeating Barack Obama. The issue is, is this nation still capable of the rational appreciation of action and consequence? If our choice is between Obama and Romney, in this climate, then in my view the answer is no. We deserve failure.

And that may be the case. At least half of Americans do not value their freedom enough to understand history and basic economics. That is a large number.

Time will tell.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Patrick Buchanan--What are we conserving?

For whatever reason, I was unable to log in to post this at Human Events. I wrote it, and have no desire to spend all day screwing around with buggy or damaged software.

Here is the original article: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=47086

I would say that the need to preserve the NOTION of place and time is what should motivate us. Against this stands the pervasive call for a muddling and generalized moral and political mediocrity, imposed the world over, without time, without place, without name.

It is not always necessary to be able to see far into the mists of the future. If you keep moving, and keep some faith, things reveal themselves. Plainly, the long term task is to invent something which never has been, and conserve that. Progressives arrogate to themselves that "duty", but it would seem to me that conservatism has never opposed progress, merely collective lunacy masquerading as progress. It is for that reason that I prefer to call myself a Liberal. In his own way, Burke was a Liberal, too, who if memory serves was largely supportive of the American Revolution, absent excesses like the Boston Tea Party.

What is the important essence of a religion, or social tradition? Goodness. Goodness as an identity. Goodness is pluralistic, and can take countless forms. This should be our goal, and for the foreseeable future Goodness should be built within whatever structures remain, in churches, and cultural habits, and even within Science.

My principle website is dedicated to providing both general philosophical guidelines that make no demands on anyone's credulity that support Goodness, and which also offers up plans for moving into the future. Specifically, I think given TIME on their hands, so many social problems of meaning would solve themselves. As I grow and learn, it seems to me the most important question is not how problems get solved, but what prevents them from being solved. We were born to build.

In any event, this is the main page here: http://www.goodnessmovement.com

My financial treatise is here: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/Page23.html

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Plagiarism?

As I have said before, I make or stake no claim on any of my content, here or on the other site. If you want to take my ideas and write a paper or book or speech or something else for money: hell, I've had my shot. Do something MORE useful with it than I have. I have the same 24 hours a day you do, and am simply not as disciplined as I could be. I accept control over this, and own my decisions.

At the same time, copying is dull. What I think would be COOL is variations on my themes, with YOUR INPUT. What we call the "Twinkle, twinkle little star" theme, an old French folksong with another name entirely, was taken by Mozart to create something BRILLIANT and ENTIRELY NEW, without foresaking the basic theme.

Please, if you are going to copy me--and it's far from clear anything I have written is WORTH copying--then don't copy me. You deserve better, and are capable of better. Fair and clear enough?

My many circled life

Phrase popped in my head. Makes sense.

Global Elites

In one word, what would the goal presumably be for the hidden people pulling some strings? Unification. The task would be to gradually weaken the identities of all nations, through cultural indoctrination in internationalism, blend the economies, erase the borders, and in the end make everyone answerable to a body--overtly, the UN, covertly, through the control of money the world over, the Bank of International Settlements, or something like it that doesn't have a name that we know.

Plainly, there are many internationalists out there. There have academics and intellectuals calling for many years for global governance, for the sake, purportedly, of peace, and "sustainability". With regard to the latter word, this is just code-speak for a lack of faith in free markets, and the ASSumption that people are too stupid on their own to avoid the complete decimation of Earth. The environmentalist movement is filled with these people. They don't understand the role of price in regulating behavior and assume free markets can't world in a large complex world, when the patent fact is that is the ONLY thing that will work. Central planning does not work.

These people, though, sit on the boards of large banks. They sit on the boards, particularly, of the central banks that determine the financial future of all the worlds nations, and do so largely without ANY legislative or legal restraint or supervision.

In one of his plays--Major Barbara, if memory serves--the Fascist/Socialist (take your pick: he adored both systems) George Shaw portrayed the unification of very large business with socialism. Putting the government in charge of picking winners and losers is very lucrative, if you are going to get picked as a winner. For their part, the Socialists get the power they have always hungered for to punish SOME businesses defined by their non-Socialism as wicked and greedy, and to redistribute their wealth. There is never enough, of course, and they have merely redirected greed--and made it much worse, since it is now legally protected without restriction--but they are willing to overlook the increased poverty they regularly induce by reflecting how wonderful it is to be in charge. One wonders why they don't install more mirrors to admire their magnificence than they do. Why not relocate the EU headquarters to Versailles? They all fancy themselves Louis 14th's, but morally perfected, of course.

Several points: Islam is a great instrument of control. It is one of the most static social systems ever devised. They go on century after century without inventing anything, without changing anything. Their system, they are told, is perfect. This does not lead to innovation or social change. What changes have happened have largely been the result of external forces.

The great merit of Islam to a group seeking global control is that it imposes itself across broad sections of the Earth, making the formation of units of political control easy. Once you have a de facto autocracy, all you have to do is keep the leadership fed, and they will do what you want. Easy enough.

Second: Most business owners, large and small, that I have dealt with were periodically assholes. The sampling in my case is pretty large. Capitalism, per se, merely forces (in theory) people to confine their predatory tendencies to a rule bound system. As such, it is much better than war. As such, it is much better than socialism, since the people ruling the government are NOT bound by rules in most cases, either ethical or legal.

The great merit of freedom, though, is that you can leave the company you are at, and either work somewhere else, or start your own company. You can't do that in socialist nations. It's hard to start businesses in places like Germany, and Sweden, and France. That is my understanding, at any rate. They have all sorts of rules about who you can fire, so effectively they place restrictions on who you can hire. You have high minimum wages, etc. etc. This is not freedom: it is a curtailment of freedom.

I like to think we are moving slowly towards a much more moral world. That is my hope. Yet it is foolishness to think that moral improvement could come about as a result of the work of people who use deception and force to impose their own wills on the rest of us. Morality is wisdom, which is perception. It is empathy, and seeing other people as living confused and often suffering just like ourselves.

The foregoing is a bit wandering, but hopefully frees up some perceptions for someone somewhere.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happiness

Work 15 emotionally and physically tiring hours, then have a couple really good beers somewhere they know your name.

That was me today.

It reminds me of running cross country in the desert, and remembering what a lovely savor water has. We did not carry water bottles then.

You must have ups to have downs, correct? No classical music consists in the same note, repeated, correct? Contrast makes the day, the life, the mood, the balance.

We are all the richer for it. Remember the moments of peace, when peace is not to be found.

Maybe you will have better luck with it than me, darn it. No doubt I am ridiculous. If you are too, perhaps we could share a beer in peace. When drinking, I have no bigger plans. Perhaps this is my best moment, thrust though a life.

Someday, I believe, I will know.

The effective Warrior

The stereotype is that of the large armed, steel faced bruiser, who shoots, cuts, stabs his way through throngs of enemy. This stereotype has merit: this person is needed at times and places, but only after sustained failure in effective warriorship.

In my view, the effective warrior wakes up daily determined to make it impossible for his enemies to attack, to make it impossible for them to properly organize, to make it difficult for them even to conceive of him as an enemy worth attacking.

One could ask: if there is no war, how can one speak of a warrior? My answer would be that violence--war--is always a possibility, and the warrior never forgets this, or forgets to prepare for it. But actual violence is always a failure, is it not? You didn't think the damn thing through, and present timely countermeasures.

Two quotes from memory:

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. Isaac Asimov (very approximate)

Violence is the last recourse of an exhausted mind. The father of a friend of mine, who was perhaps not a gangster, but who regularly associated with them, and had an expressed capacity for actual violence.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

History

Watched the movie "The Eagle" tonight. History has long fascinated me: men of honor, met on a field of battle, slain, have so much more in common that the mediocre middle, who believe nothing, choose nothing, and die in their bed, ultimately alone.

Oh, do we need to kill one another to live? Need we die to compose our unique melodies of our lives?

I watch history. I study history. So many seem to assume that history, sometime very soon, will end. What was, will cease to be. The enlightenment, freedom, the locus of perception on the individual, will be gone. In its place, an irrational rationalism, imposed by those who use the rhetoric of freedom, and who hate dissent.

Why?

Why must we assume that we all together cannot solve our problems? Goddamn it: we know how to invent things. We know how to power things. Global warming is complete bullshit, and yet we possess the ability to deal with the more likely reality: global cooling.

WHY NOT LIVE? WHY NOT LIVE WELL?

Ah, some whiskey, and some honesty. I never stop watching, but I do allow myself an occasional break.

I feel these things so strongly, it runs through me like a river. Why can't we do better? All of us, the world over?

Answer: we can. Just get the idiots and the shitheads out of the way. Details: follow them, and you have my vote. Follow generic rhetoric: you are my enemy, even if your short term goals are the same.

Self formation

It seems to me that for self formation to happen, for self organization of any sort to happen, you have to have a perceptual space for it. It has to have a place relatively free of conflicting winds: a cove, a valley, a shelter.

Most children thrust into our modern world are ill-equipped for it. Under the thrall of delusional doctrines like the Self Esteem movement, parents more or less let their children parent themselves. Predictably, they do poorly at it. Their sense of self and self control is more like a goo than any sort of perceivable structure.

When they try to negotiate our culture, if they are unable to keep their religious moorings, they get lost. Nobody anywhere is saying anything that makes much sense, if you drill down far enough. The environmentalists, when you get to the core of the movement, seemingly want the extinction of humanity; at a minimum they find it hard to justify our existence. The socialists want generalized comfort, but have nothing to say about any deeper purpose of life. Meaning is pain transformation, and has no place if the goal was to eliminate pain in the first place. It is out of place, awkward. People who still believe things without reference to the prevailing winds look insane to the fully indoctrinated/acculturated.

These things I say often, but because every time I see a little further. As I have recently been arguing the question is not how meaning forms, but what the factors are that prevent the natural tendency among living, sentient creatures towards order from more fully expressing itself.

Why Kurt Cobain? Why Nine Inch Nails? Where is that failure? Is it simply overindulgence expressing itself by raging against boundaries that were never presented? Somewhat, but I think it goes deeper than that.

What is Dungeons and Dragons, or World of Warcraft, but a parallel world in which some sort of order exists, and whose future can be somewhat predicted.

Allan Ginsberg was not lazy. He was not apathetic. He simply was not able to form meaning WITHIN the boundaries of the place, the space, he inhabited.

Logically, the task is then building new spaces, congenial to new growths.

This is highly abstract, but that is where I normally begin. Hopefully this basic point is useful to someone.

Hafez--Ghazal 293

In the morn from the privacy of the Palace of Creation
The Eastern Candle emanates in every direction;
Produces a clear mirror from the horizon’s pocket
In a thousand ways showing the world its own reflection.
In the corners of the grand cosmic music hall
The organ plays a tune, and Venus listens with elation.
The exalted harp cries, now where is the doubter?
The laughing cup cries, what happened to prohibition?
Look closely at the world, and choose gaiety and joy
Whichever way you look, this is the world’s situation.
The locks of the sweetheart and Master lock up and deceive
The mystics over this chain seek no confrontation.
Ask for a majestic life, if this world is what you seek
For He is benevolent and bountiful with compassion.
Light of the hopeful eye, eternal symbol of adoration;
Omniscient, Omnipotent, Soul of the World, King of the Nation.

Violence, Non-Violence and Worry

Neither violence nor non-violence are always the answer. Anger is sometimes necessary, as is killing people. At the same time, violence is often counter-productive. It can solve physical problems of physical or other aggression, but it does not lead to inner peace. Only tranquility can do that.

As I look at the world, it seems to me that only a fool would be immune from worry. How can anyone not see that bad things happen to everyone all the time, often with little warning? Always, as Christ said, "wars and rumors of wars", which can be seen as a metaphor for all the things we worry about: business downturns, making mistakes at work or home, inflation/deflation, recessions, Global Warming/Global Warming conspiracies, serial killers, car accidents, diseases, UFO's, what people really think about us, what sort of season our sports team/hero will have/is having, terrorism, gray goo, the rise of robots, etc.

The complexity of our world differs greatly, of course, from 1,000 years ago; but for all that, they no doubt worried, too. And they objectively had, daily, much more substantive challenges than face us. Weather and disease were much greater enemies. People got sick and died--children, frequently--for reasons beyond their ability to explain. They lived for long years with painful ailments that could today be treated.

How can a rational mind conquer worry? Worry serves a purpose: it provides the energy to plan for multiple contingencies.

The answer of course, fiendishly simple, is acceptance. We must accept that change, pain, and death are inevitable. But how do we do that?

As I see it, some sort of spiritual faith is invaluable in this, in that you can bridge the gap between this world--full of unavoidable sorrow--and one in which our cares are gone. You have to live in two worlds, and occupy two selves--your Earth self and your spiritual self. To the extent that you can bring the light of heaven to Earth, you can live in peace here.

This is what I see. I have not figured out for myself how to do it yet, but I have some leads. I will post any successes.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Ron Paul and Bretton Woods

I keep seeing conservatives saying Ron Paul is "nuts". He may be. I haven't met him; nor have I studied all of his ideas in detail. What is clear, though, is that he understands economics, and that he wants to focus on IMMEDIATE American national security interests, and not those which could become a problem 10 years from now.

To my mind, it is insanity to tolerate the Federal Reserve's existence: an unregulated entity owned entirely by massive banks which has the SOLE power to create money, and which exercises that right with complete independence. Why would the banks NOT take care of themselves, at the expense of the rest of us? Why have we shifted from a manufacturing economy to a finance economy? Inflation. They create inflation. What else do you need to know?

I studied martial arts for some time. A basic principle for some throws is putting all a person's weight and balance on one foot, then kicking that foot out, while directing their direction. Being in the air, they are less well positioned to do so. Some older throws drop people on the back of their necks from the height of the thrower's waist.

This is what is seemingly planned for us. As I see it, the Bretton Woods agreement in effect converted the dollar into gold, as the international reserve currency. For some decades, it was nominally backed by gold, then that, too, was eradicated.

The plan would be simple: put all the weight of the worlds finances on the dollar, then kick the dollar. I think this was tried in the 1970's, unsuccessfully. Inflation alone was not sufficient to destroy us.

The alternative is simply undermining the integrity of the American State outright through debt, which is well in progress. Where will people run, when the dollar collapses? There is nowhere to go, no currency vast enough to hold the world's wealth. Gold (or other specie) is the only option, and self evidently a lot of people, besides Glenn Beck listeners, are accumulating it. This would include many central banks.

Gold is a terrible investment in conditions of growth. As Thomas Sowell points out in his excellent Basic Economics. A dollar of gold bought in 1800 (if memory serves) would now be worth only 75 cents or so. Bonds would be worth some 10x as much, and stocks 100x. What you buy depends on the context. Buying gold is in effect shorting the dollar. That many large banks are seemingly doing this is bad.

I want to be clear: I don't know if Dr. Paul is a "truther"--that he believes that Bush wants America to become a totalitarian nation ensconced within a global hegemony run by a small group of oligarchs--but he certainly attracts them.

What is insane, in my view, is believing that Tower 7 collapsed spontaneously as a result of the combustion of "office furnishings", particularly when it is not even clear how the fires started. I have dealt with this in some detail.

In my view it is ludicrous to believe that Bush wants anything but continued success for America. It is NOT ludicrous to believe that there are rich internationalists who would be willing to cooperate with the Russians in attacking American preeminence. I would be shocked if there weren't. Why wouldn't there be? Start the list with the Rockefellers and George Soros, who are in effect just fronts for people whose names could be known, but who did not get rich through stupidity.

Paul exists in this world. He gets it. He has no charisma or charm, but what we need are people with ideas and principles, and I believe he has them.

Again, I have not studied him much. I have not even read his books. But the fact that he wrote a book on "Ending the Fed" gives him credibility in my book.

I want to be clear on something else, as well: over time, the role of the Fed in sucking dollars out of the average Americans wallet is so ENORMOUS that it is literally stupid to talk about an economic recovery that is sustainable without addressing it.

As I have said before, I think Americans should be able to work 5 hours a week--admittedly without many of the fancy gadgets we have now--and pay cash for EVERYTHING. Education, housing, food, unemployment, medical care: none of these should be problems.

I will add, too, that there are parts of my plan that look scary. What would happen, for example, if ALL the money now held by Federal Reserve member banks were suddenly liberated for the reuse of the American people, from whom it was taken? The inflation would be MASSIVE.

Think of it this way, though: the rates of OWNERSHIP would also skyrocket. People would no longer have mortgages, and would own their homes outright. They would no longer have credit card debt. They would own their cars. There is no way to predict how exactly the initial way will play out, but the point is this: it will PASS. There will be an end.

Most of the time, inflation happens in secret. It is done gradually so the people being hurt by it don't take to the streets and hang the government officials doing it. For its part the government of course wants to talk about inflation as a disease of some sort, rather than the deliberate affliction it is, that benefits a few at the expense of the many.

But the logic of slow inflation and what I suppose I might call "Flash Inflation" is the same. With the latter, you can democratize--generalize--the benefits, and largely contain the detriment of being unable to plan for the future. Inflation that would be hugely damaging over years could be contained if conducted over weeks.

Hell: I think this plan is brilliant, but I have had "brilliant" ideas before that turned out to be Other Than Brilliant (my preferred euphemism). That's why I keep trying to get feedback. I think it's just so different from what people have seen before, that when combined with my (relative) anonymity and lack of official endorsement they just pass over in silence. I'm a UFO. What do you say?

For convenience, here it is again. I collated everything in a piece for the OWS and ahs, and with an exercise of will made the introductory page non-inflammatory.

http://www.goodnessmovement.com/Page23.html

Libya

It is funny: I often get this image of Obama and his advisors--I think his handlers, the people who put him there, are now out looking for new talent to reverse the damage he has done their cause--sitting around a table brainstorming ways to get his poll numbers up. And what is funny is that they quite literally think in cartoons.

One: What about a war? Conservatives love wars.

Other: But where? It can't last too long.

First: How about Libya? All those Reagan era fascist neocons hate Gaddafi.

Obama: we'll do it. It CAN'T fail. This is me we're talking about.

The way to think about Obama, in many respects, is as Bolt the Wonderdog, who has led a sheltered life, in which everyone everywhere has been telling him how wonderful he is, with no justification. He didn't write his book, almost certainly, and all he did to get elected was read speeches like an actor, and outperform a very weak John McCain in debate, at that with questioners sympathetic to him.

The interesting thing is that all these people define conservatives solely in cliched terms; because they themselves do not operate on the basis of principle, they assume that the falsehoods they spread about us are actually true.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Error

Error is both seeing things that are not there, and just as importantly not seeing things that ARE there. The classic mistake is being factually wrong: for example, by believing that Jefferson was our second President. This is the sort of error know-it-alls never make.

The error they DO often make is ASSUME things to be true that aren't, usually because someone they consider of equal intelligence and intellectual grandeur has said it first. Global Warming is a good example.

The great virtue of common sense is that it consists in seeing nothing other than what is there. It is unimaginative, and not focused on radical world-altering schemes. All the same, for practical purposes it performs quite well, and it absence is always a tragedy and a mistake waiting to happen.

Cain's Economic Plan

Cain's plan, as I understand it, calls for a 9% income tax, a 9% sales tax, and a 9% corporate tax. For well over half of Americans, a 9% income tax will be a HUGE reduction. The most productive Americans are paying close to 40% now.

Likewise, the corporate tax rate for the non-connected (the OTG: Other Than GE's) is something like 35%. If you want to ask why corporations choose to build things overseas, there is a big part of your answer. They set up subsidiaries, that are treated as separate profit centers, and thus tax centers. That is my understanding. They do this to pay less in taxes, and to avoid all the regulatory red tape that Washington keeps sending out, and which has gone into overdrive among the anti-business numbskulls Obama has put into positions of power.

China is a Communist nation, in theory, but this also means that they can bend whatever rules they want, when they want. If an American manufacturer wants to build a plant, they just point to the location and the deal is done. At a minimum, that plant will employ many Chinese, who in turn will pay taxes. Thus even at a ZERO rate of taxation, it is still hugely beneficial to China.

If an American manufacturer wants to build in America, there is a multi-year environmental impact study--which they have to pay for--countless meetings, lawyers, contract writing, tax negotiations, etc. etc. Small wonder that busy executives often say "Hell, with it: build the damn thing in Mexico. I can't stand these assholes one more minute".

But if we reduce red tape, AND particularly if we make it much more profitable to do business here--a 26% increase in net profit is quite enticing--then many of the businesses that have built overseas will come back here.

We need to be clear that just because the wages are lower overseas does not mean that this is always necessarily a good deal. Whatever is built overseas has to come across the ocean. There are thus logistical difficulties. Further, Americans in general are good workers, and given the right technology can build more per hour than many overseas workers, who have to be trained in their language, and with whom there are many cultural barriers to clear communication and direction.

Put simply, an American automotive worker making $40/hour may well outperform a South Korean worker making $15/hour, once you take their productivity and deduct their total costs. This makes the American a good deal, IF other factors like taxation and regulatory climate are also congenial.

People talk like jobs going overseas is somehow an inevitable process, a result of "greed". This means the solution is less greed. Good luck getting that to happen. No person and no nation anywhere has ever failed to pursue their own conception of self interest, although the more enlightened found that self interest in generosity. Sainthood is an idiotic prescription for material progress, however.

Jobs go overseas because it makes economic sense. Period. And when it makes economic sense for them to come back, they will. This is simpler than the recipe for apple pie. It is abundantly obvious.

Cain's plan does this.

More generally, as we hear often, what is needed is more money in circulation. The so-called "Stimulus" (really, jobs for votes) package had this as its rationale. It didn't work, because the money was not spent on sustainable entities. You build a highway, then you are done. The job is gone. And the money was borrowed, causing anyone with a shred of sense to know that that job was funded with future taxation.

There is a HUGE, HUGE amount of cash in reserve right now among American corporations. They COULD spend it, if they were not afraid of the future. In particular, Obama is plainly anti-business, and they have no idea what his regulatory czars will roll out tomorrow. They can, with reasonable confidence, assume that it will be poorly thought out, and in particular have taken no consideration AT ALL of the effect it will have on business investment.

Further, it is abundantly clear that Obamacare, with all its mandates and tax increases, will have a very painful effect on small business. It will increase health insurance costs across the board, deliver next to no improvements in the delivery of healthcare in the short term, and DAMAGE health delivery, through rationing, in the future. 2013 will see the most aggressive efforts to deliver revenue to the Federal treasury in HISTORY. Obama already plans to tax more than any American President has in the history of our Republic. This is bad.

Cain's plan will cause an IMMEDIATE and LARGE increase in the circulation of capital, among those best positioned to create jobs. We don't need tax cuts for those making $20,000 a year. At best, they will buy a few more cigarettes, and in any event are already only paying payroll and State sales taxes anyway. The people who create jobs are those with enough cash to start new businesses, or to consume in large quantities. These are the people we want spending their money, and Cain's plan will do that.

Given enough circulation of money, the economy will improve drastically and quickly, and permanently.

Finally, tax rates. This is simple math, but 1% of $100,000 is more than 90% of $1,000. What matters is not tax rates, but the amount upon which they are based. If you want to increase tax receipts, don't increase taxes: grow the economy. And you grow the economy by INCENTING people to spend their money.

Yes, Cain's plan will increase the share the poor are paying for our government, which is currently zero. Is this fair? Is it fair that nearly 50% of Americans play no role in paying for our military, social programs, highway building, or any of the other countless roles government plays? Self evidently, as a practical matter, the 9% income tax may well get eliminate in implementation for people under a certain income level, and possibly there could even be an exemption card for the Sales tax. The amount of money under consideration is quite small where the poor are concerned.

The big picture, though, is that this program--regardless of the actual numbers used, as long as they are much better than they are now--will generate immediate and robust economic growth.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Manual labor

Whatever work you do, it influences your manner of thinking. Lawyers approach problems differently than, say, salespeople, or accountants.

I personally like manual labor, since it requires the constant physical, measurable solution of problems which actually exist. The contrast, of course, would be mental "work" which seeks to solve problems which may not even exist, and whose output cannot be measured. In many academic settings, treatises are written which cannot readily be understood, and which make NO difference to anybody anywhere, outside of, perhaps, an esthetic pleasure among a very small group of people.

This may sound provocative, but I mean this literally and sincerely: a plumber who fixes a broken toilet does more good than a thousand page book on the perils of post-modernism. Post-modernism is a CREATION of academia, which has been extraordinarily incompetent at solving it.

Self evidently, if your income depends upon the perception of problems by those who pay your salary, there is a strong disincentive to fire yourself through competence. By extension, this pattern BREEDS INcompetence. It fosters it. It encourages the multiplication of problems, and the "problematization" of solutions.

As for me, I have found the demand that things work properly to be a great Godsend in my thought work. I apply the same mindset required to master complicated wiring diagrams and logistical difficulties to large problems of general concern. If you define what you want, you can stop talking when you get there.

Binarism

This is the doctrine that the world is composed of two sorts of people: those who operate through dichotomies, and those who don't. Self evidently, most leftists consider themselves to be in the second category. Their moral strength lies in their resolution to oppose, with violence if necessary, the rule of those who divide people into categories.

United in their determination, they resolutely oppose the Republicans, who operate strictly through bigoted Us/ Them categories, such that one need know nothing about any of them to form firm and--of COURSE--accurate judgements. Their perfidy knows no bounds.

This is what you get when you destroy reason. The worst part of it, I think, is that the capacity for irony oriented humor is lost. Nothing is funny, any more, but the most vacuous and angry spiteful sorts of humor.

I was playing with this today. Consider this statement: "this statement is simultaneously true and false". If it is true, it is false. If it is false, then it is not true, but that is includes as well.

This is the sort of thing academic philosophers do or did, and doesn't interest me much beyond a couple of points.

Words can never be true or false, in my view, except to the extent they point to a reality beyond words. Math can be true, within its domain, but only beyond it to the extent it incorporates knowable facts like the accelleration of gravity.

Reason, so called, can be infinitely corrupted by the abuse of language. Yes, people can be classified as Other, but this process does not become benign when the "right sorts" do it. This is nothing different than the bigotry that was universal a thousand years ago.

These comments may be a bit disjunct, but arise as a result of recent repetition of a discussion I have done dozens--likely hundreds--of times.

End Game

Conservatives are up in arms about attempted leftist take-overs of the nation, which have been underway in earnest since AT LEAST the 1960's, and in my view the 1930's (Hell: 1920's, since Hoover started the New Deal). This is all to the good. It's good to be awake and not asleep.

At the same time, I think we need to begin reframing this conflict from opposing leftists, to restoring sanity and recovering a free 21st century from those who would oppose it. We need to be thinking not just about winning, but WINNING.

We need to remember that these academics who support the wholesale murder of women and children without using those images: they are lunatics, driven mad by inaccurate abstractions and simple COWARDICE. They can't figure out a way forward, so they assume the rest of us can't. Let me ask you this, though: if I pitted a group of academics against a group of people selected at random from a phone book and asked them to build a home, who would finish it first? In my view, there would be no contest. Academics simply do not, as a rule, have practical intelligence. They claim to speak for workers, but they sure as hell do not hang out at their bars.

What people of good will need to remember is that most of the suffering of the last century was completely unnecessary. Given the actual use of reason, good instead of bad decisions would have been made. We would have won the Vietnam War, and frankly Kennedy should have, in my view, invaded Cuba after they tried to install the SS-whatever missiles. It would have saved a great deal of suffering, and Americans would have a great alternative to Las Vegas.

When you ponder, really ponder, how most of the people spouting the most idiotic ideas are in fact intelligent, IQ-wise, capable of reading and understanding books, and possessed of reasonably developed moral sentiments, it becomes clear that if actual facts are allowed to intrude on their sacred narrativess, the change will be quick and complete.

Obviously, this is hard to do: the door is locked. But "persistence prevails when all else fails". Our task is one requiring patience, but nothing beyond this but understanding. Everyone--EVERYONE--who is currrently espousing ideas which damage the poor and hopeless most, can be shown, over time, to see that better ideas are possible; that most conservatives actually care as much or more about people hurting in this world as they do, and merely differ in their approaches to fixing that suffering.

As it seems to me, the conservative ideal is individual perfectability. The Leftist ideal is SOCIAL perfectability; but if they really analyze what is being proposed, it is the rule by an oligarchy of some sort, which itself will be composed of individuals not required to answer for their actions. This is not perfection at all: it is tyranny.

Give hope; Do hope; Perform hope: all through the filter of a better understanding that can be communicated.

We live in interesting times. Everything we have hoped for remains possible.

If I were a Wall Street protestor

I would get a soapbox, and read my ideas on the reform of the financial system. What is striking about these protests is the apparently universal mediocrity and lack of coherent ideas which typify it. Where in the French revolution you had philosophes declaiming their (often idiotic) ideas in every cafe, here you have nothing.

I have called these the Ubu Roi protests, and the squirrel tamer protests (I watched the video--Monty Python's Lion Tamer skit--and it was actually an ant-eater, but the principle is the same). Now I would like to call it SpongeBob goes to Wall Street. Sponges soak up everything, they have little weight, and the float around easily. Perhaps the "occupy" idea is reaction to an intrinsic sense of rootlessness. Worth considering.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Humanity

We see this word "inhumanity", but as I have seen noted by many people, can we really call "inhuman" acts which have been common throughout recorded history, and which presumably preceded it? If they opposed them, the Assyrians would tie conquered peoples to the ground and skin them alive, or cook them over slow fires.

The Mongols put entire cities to the sword, creating a massive pile of heads when they conquered Baghdad.

The Romans enjoyed watching people kill one another in duels, and loved watching people being fed to wild animals. How long did they watch, one wonders? Did they watch the lions literally eat their victims? Why not?

I was listening to Steven Pinker on the radio the other day. He has written a book discussing how violence in general has actually declined in the last half century, maybe more (I have not read the book). I do not normally agree with him on much of anything, but this thesis seems to me to have merit.

As he mentioned, torture used to be something that spectators observed. Western Europe was tremendously creative in the development of implements of torture both because it was useful as an instrument of State repression, but also because PEOPLE LIKED IT. According to Pinker, whole families, children included, would watch people get their intestines wound around a spool, or watch their arms broken with large hammers. As he commented, it was something that initially was abhorrent, but for which a taste could be cultivated.

In point of fact, my interest in the French Revolution began with Terry Gilliams movie "The Brothers Grimm". In that movie, Jonathan Pryce, as an effete French aristocrat (or revolutionary equivalent), has classical music playing and his wife and others in attendance, as a woman is getting ready to be torn apart by a new implement of torture. Instead, the woman's poodle somehow gets into the machine, and is shredded.

This left an effect on me. I wondered if it was really like that. I want you to imagine what it MUST have been like on what I recall being called the Place de la Revolution. Thousands were beheaded in front of enthusiastic crowds, sometimes for crimes as minor as not wearing the right colors, or simply having offended someone with the power to get them condemned. How much blood must have spilled? Did they clean it up? They are French; I think not. How it must have stunk in the summer!!! And who gathered the heads and bodies? If you have 20 bodies and 20 heads, that is a lot of cleaning up.

Please watch this video, once. It is horrible, but I think most Americans lack the capacity to imagine a world where people are truly indifferent to human life. We agonize over dogs. We spend fortunes on their health, and many people bury them when they die.

Yet much of the world is not like this. They do not have empathy. They do not care about anyone who is not immediate kin to them.

Watch it.

Having watched this, I want you to realize that this is what human life is worth in Communist nations. I don't read Chinese, and cannot say for certain this is not Singapore or Hong Kong, or Macau, or elsewhere, but please just IMAGINE for a moment the mindset it takes to contemplate the deaths by starvation of tens of millions of innocent, working men, women and childran, as Anita Dunn's hero Mao did.

To be a Communist is to be morally equal to the man who, having once run over the child, decides it is easier to run over her again; or the second van, which could easily have avoided her, but ran her over anyway, like roadkill.

I want to be clear: Bill Ayers, on reliable testimony, calculated that tens of millions of "unreeducatable" Americans would have to die in Nazi-like camps they planned to build in the Southwest. There is credible evidence that this man was the actual author of Obama's books, and that they were in fact friends, which would seem to be implied by the fact that Ayers got Obama on some committees he controlled.

Pinker is right that violence has decreased. Yet, it is not gone. Many of the people who SHOULD be protecting our Enlightenment heritage of reason, which has enabled the decrease in violence (not least through the success of the free market economic system), are in fact rejecting it, and by so doing, issuing de facto calls for returns to much more brutal, less kind, less empathetic, less GOOD times in human history. They are calling for retrogression, under the very thin guise of supposed progress.

NONE of this is necessary. We have people who don't eat animals on principle effectively supporting people who want a return to their personal version of the Third Reich. They don't see this, because they don't THINK. They don't reason. They feel, which is what they have been taught. They have been taught to feel because it is easier to manipulate.

If these OWS demonstrations were happending 200 years ago, there would already have been many murders. All you need to get an unorganized mob moving is a call to violence. It is as old as time.

Please do not underestimate the accomplishment implied by a nation that weeps for dogs. Please do not underestimate how uniquely kind in human history the modern WEST is. History is filled to overflowing with horrors.

Please do not take what we have built here for granted. It can all end, and it can end quickly. No more Starbucks. No more Ben and Jerry's. No more kindness. This is nothing to desire, and nothing to work for, but for the most wicked.

We can keep building, or we can tear down. In my view, if we choose the latter, both those who did it, and those who did nothing to stop it, will face a judgement that has been long in coming.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Green Berets

Just watched, again, the John Wayne treatment of the Green Berets. One thing stands out: the cowardice of our retreat. That was not American, and it IS not American failing to realize how horrific the results were of our failure to the South Vietnamese people.

In our Starbuck's age, people forget that torture was a commonly applied instrument of governance the world over, and when tempered, ONLY tempered as a result of our insistence.

How many of you would want to be placed on a starvation diet, worked 16 hours a day, and forced to spend an added four hours a day admitting what an awful person you are, and chanting pro-Obama or pro-Bush slogans?

Ay: there is so little understanding out there. Why do intelligent, educated people defend torture? I honestly don't know.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Anaconda Strategy

We need a name for structural anti-Fabianism. I propose it be called the Anaconda Strategy.

As those with a decent familiarity with history will readily recognize, this was the strategy Winfield Scott--the most brilliant American General nobody has heard of--came up with to win the Civil War. He knew that the South would not fall easily. Amateurs, looking at maps, assumed that Richmond--less than a 100 miles or so from Washington--could just be marched to, conquered, and the war would be over within a month.

Scott knew that they were too strong there, and that the action would have to begin in the West, by controlling the Mississipi, then the ports, like Mobile Bay. That's where Grant cut his teeth as a General, and it was only relatively late in the conflict that he got involved in the Eastern theater, I guess I can call it.

The movement was one of constriction: of supplies, of movement, of men. The goal was to make the effective South smaller and smaller and smaller, and finally, at the very end, to complete that short march from Washington to Richmond. It was a non-obvious strategy, but it worked.

Here is an interesting thought: the Leftists in our midst have in effect seceded from the Union. What they want is not a strong and unified America, but one riven by SECTARIAN conflict, of precisely the sort they continuously engender. They no longer want to be part of a larger whole, but rather to attack anyone unlike them, in the hope of ending the defense of our national traditions outright, to be followed by a post-Constitutional world.

We need to be clear that with an intact Constitution, the stakes for winning national political contests would be greatly muted. If the Supreme Court had not arrogated to itself the power to impose unanswerable legislation, it would not matter as much who sat on it. If the Executive had not metastasized to include hundreds of bureaus and--over the course of a Presidency--TRILLIONS of dollars in largely discretionary spending, the Presidential election would not matter as much. If Congress were not needed to counter the power of such an Imperial Presidency, then it, too, would be much less important.

That is neither here nor there, though at this moment. What I want to propose is that the advance of Leftism in the dark has been checked. It is now in the open. Large numbers of people--larger in my view than ever before--are wide awake and largely immune to the smoke and mirrors that have worked so well before. It was not that hard to argue that the Vietnam War was in process of being lost in 1970, even though that was not the case. It was not so hard to argue that an arms race with the Soviet Union was dangerous, even though it manifestly wasn't. It was not so hard, even recently, to argue that America contained large resevoirs of residual racism. Yet, we just elected a black President, and one with no qualifications and many figurative and literal red flags at that. Even that case is not going to be easy to make going forward.

All the things that leftists have used to distract people from their failures are gone. They have spend their ammunition. They got their Keynesian Stimulus. It did nothing. They claimed their health insurance mandate would decrease costs; it is increasing them, predictably, for clearly definable reasons. Where, in their political landscape, is there room to hide from the truth?

Certainly, the media will continue failing to cover important stories, and failing to provide historical context for current events. The universities will continue to spew out poorly educated, but nonetheless overly self confident graduates.

But they won't have jobs. And as they ponder, they will slowly realize, if they have any intelligence at all, that small businesses create jobs, and that Democrats in general put pressure, unnecessary pressure, on small businesses, often to the benefit of the very transnational megacorporations they have been bred to hate.

Sunlight is the cure for infections of this sort. The Anaconda Strategy is very simple: educate, educate, educate. Most college graduates have literally NEVER BEEN EXPOSED to coherent conservatism. They literally DO NOT KNOW why nice people could even consider voting Republican.

The task is to shrink the base of ideologically faithful continually over time, such that in 5 or 10 years, Communism is once again the universally evil word it should have been these last 50 years and more.

Look at Occupy Wall Street: these are the sybarites I talk about. They are soft and weak. They believe nothing and know nothing. They don't even know why they are there, and are incapable of articulating credible reasons why their presence will make the slightest difference to the businesses of the men who drive by them every day in their limousines. I doubt any even bother to look up from the pages of their paper as they drive by.

These people talk about "revolution", but none of them have the capacity to really grasp what the sort of thing they are calling for would mean. They think they will still get their Starbucks, and video games, and Dave Matthews concerts, their Free Trade Granola (but from local shops), but that instead of having to pay their bills, their bills will be paid for them. And if they just want to sleep in, well the fantastically compassionate State will let them. Basically, all the responsibilities of their lives will be gone, and all that will be left is the stuff they like, absent the evil corporations.

To call this magical thinking is perhaps generous. It is really a form of functional psychosis, that is entirely divorced from the realm of the possible or historical. An analogy I would use is this Monty Python Skit. Our Chartered Accountant dreams of a life of adventure as a lion tamer, but shrinks back when he finds out what lions actually are.

All of these children--and they are all children, regardless of their apparent biological age--are either imagining squirrels, or possessed of such abundant rage that they would qualify as clinical sadists of the Bill Ayers sort.

In both cases, the simple fact is that they can be marginalized, and this process has already begun. Our task now is to continue it. Every copy of a book by Hayek, or Friedman, or Sowell, or Hazlitt, or Paul Johnson, or Jacques Barzun,or of course Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Mona Charen, or many others, that sells, shrinks a little the space they occupy.

Of course the left will continue putting out their books. But we have a basic advantage over time: we are right, and when our policies are implemented--real conservative policies, not RINO policies--they will work. If Perry or Cain get the nod, they will make an immediate difference for the better in our economy, in my view. Same for everyone else in the field but Romney. Make that O an Obama symbol.

Now, given the level of indoctrination out there, it is not inconceivable Obama could win a second term. We need to be clear that this will almost CERTAINLY come with a Republican Senate. Between the two houses, Congress can vitiate almost every Socialist initiative coming out of the White House, and put a cap on much of his spending.

This would not be good, of course, but please think back to the Civil War. 600,000 Americans DIED in that war, which convulsed our nation for 4 long years. We survived that period. We can survive the next 5 years too, one way or another.

Americans are not bred for pessimism, and the simple ineluctable fact is that ALL OUR PROBLEMS HAVE SOLUTIONS IF WE CAN GET THE IDIOTS OUT OF THE WAY. This again will only be possible with education, education, education.

As one good example of the sort of thing I'm talking about, Hillsdale College has apparently put together a set of lectures on the Constitution.



Two more reasons I like the Anaconda analogy:

1) It recollects the encirclement that enabled the complete destruction of the Roman Army by Hannibal at Cannae, after they abandoned the strategy of Fabius Maximus, as the left indeed did by nominating Obama.

2) Don't tread on me. Different snake: same idea.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Look to this day

Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!


Kalidasa

So simple

You know, if you are positioned to benefit from inflation, you are virtually guaranteed it if you can either start a war or get a socialist elected. In both cases, the impulse to print money is overwhelming.

Keynes made his money predicting alterations in the value of national currencies. In his own way, George Soros does the same. If you are a predator, you want to weaken your prey, and idiotic fiscal policies--both of which are just about guaranteed in both war and socialism, but which are permanent in socialism--are just the way to do this.

Where is our inflation today, though? It was low under Bush and remains relatively low, right? Our own situation is more complicated than, say, Weimar Germany. The bulk of our inflation comes from borrowing using the fractional reserve system, whereas then it was the result of the government printing money to pay off enormous war debts. As things improve economically, I expect inflation to increase considerably. The Fed will pursue deflationary policies, and only God knows what will happen.

The main point I wanted to make here, though, is that when entities like the IMF push for currency devaluation to "boost exports", they are simultaneously asking that country to discount itself. This is of course enormously helpful for predators. This process is facilitated by expansions of welfare programs which cannot be paid for in any way BUT inflation.

Net: socialism creates inflation which creates economic weakness. For this reason alone one would expect non-socialists to call for socialism.

Water

I like to watch flowing water. What you will notice from time to time is an unexpected "bump" of water. This is a feature of a chaotic system: the periodic outlier. The system itself, however, is defined by the arithmetic average, the statistical behavior, over time. The system may never for a moment hit these abstractions perfectly, but will hit them approximately all day long.

People are defined by what they do most of the time, over time, and why. A single sin does not alter a personality, necessarily, except to the extent that either guilt or the rationalization implemented to ease guilt affect qualitative change in how that person moves through the world. This would be the equivalent of permanently redirecting the water.

It seems to me too that guilt becomes "stuck" when you fail to achieve the growth being asked of you. When you do something you feel really bad about, you do not have a choice of returning to the status quo ante. You either grow or you diminish. You either permanently internalize a new personality gestalt, or you downgrade to the sort of person who can make the incongruities evoked go away by simply ignoring previously dear principles; by in effect rejecting who you were and had to that point chosen to be.

Enlightenment

I was in a library today, looking at all the ideas, and it occurred to me that the ENTIRETY of the knowledge contained in there arose from the simple idea that progress was possible. Prior to that, there were perhaps a few hundred books in existence, and only the Bible--in most of Europe--mattered. The "library" would have consisted in one book. Everything you needed to know was in there.

Would there be a need for a scientific method, if there were no idea that new insights and relationships could be teased from the cosmos?

This sort of idea I call qualitative; paradigmatic would work as well, although it is so big that I might academicize and call it metaparadigmatic.

Movement begins with the idea that movement is possible. This is so obvious that very few people truly grasp it. Very few of us ever come even CLOSE to seeing what is possible, and there is no reason for me to think I am one of them. As far as that goes, one would need to be outside the system to even begin to comment on this from a position of knowledge.

What we can see, however, is frequent stupidity across the ages. If one were to posit that it is slowly fading, one would not do so without evidence. Most of the fratricidal instincts of past ages have muted in recent decades, to the point where one wonders if global peace might not in the end actually be possible, and that within a genuinely Liberal framework.

Let's work to that end.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Death

You know, sometimes it is possible to feel new emotions. Seen in my analytical, detached way, it seems to me likely that emotionless emotions are possible. By this, I mean that we normally consider our emotions to be marked by biochemical/hormonal responses to thoughts and situations. Anger has physiological causes and expressions. Sadness likewise.

But what if we take the notion of a soul seriously, and extend "emotions" to it, that are NOT conditioned by physiology? This is a qualitatively different sort of thing, isn't it?

Today, on a long drive somewhere, this connection with death came upon me. Now, this was not a melancholy thing, but rather something intensely interesting. It came upon me that death is in fact an adventure, and that, as Sharon Stone once put it, it is "always close". We look forward to futures on this earth. But if we are in fact spirits in a material world, our real lives cannot begin until we leave here. We act as if we were going to live forever, when this is not possible, on Earth--not now, at any rate.

Some years ago I read the Carlos Castaneda books, and one of the lessons was "use Death as an advisor". I read that as remembering that time is always short, and you have to be always focused on the little time you have. That is one way to read it.

Another, though, is to focus on this energy of connection with something larger. This energy is both frightening and exciting. The two cannot be separated, at least until someone develops skill in dealing with it. Driving a car is both terrifying and mundane, depending on where in your learning curve you are.

The net takeaway is that a focus on the macabre is not intrinsically bad. Death has an energy that can be used for personal growth.

Long day, so I'll leave it there. This feeling is hard to express in words.

Treatise for Wall Street Protestors

I just collated my pieces on our financial system, which are complete enough, even if they still lack serious treatments of Fannie Mae and the IMF.

My hope is that between sessions of humping, drum playing, public urination, and dooby passing someone will read this, print it, and bring it forward for public discussion. You have plenty of time on your hands.

Here it is: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/Page23.html

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Conservatives ARE Liberals

Oi. I write a lot. I probably have as much unpublished stuff as exists on both my published sites combined. I just found this today, having forgotten writing it. Since it does no good where it is, here is a cut and paste:

One of the primary political sins—perhaps the defining sin of would-be autocrats—is the abuse of language. George Orwell argued this clearly enough. In our supposedly “post historical” age, I think it worth dilating for a few moments on some key terms in what would be our political debates, if anyone still debated.

Edmund Burke, in coining the word Conservative, meant to contrast it with the excesses of the French Revolutionaries. Since the word “leftist” itself (referring to their physical seating in the Assembly) originates with the French Revolution, we can I think accurately oppose them to Conservatives.

In Burke’s arguments, he refers to the English Revolutions--and in particular the “Glorious Revolution”, in which Parliament gained once and for all the right to make Kings—and contrasts them with the French Revolution. More on the latter later. For now, let’s follow what happened in England.

The accession of William of Orange concluded a very bloody period of history, in which ambiguity with respect to succession—and the proper role of the King--had caused a great many Englishmen to lose their lives in internecine fighting. This transition, which was quite peaceful, simultaneously improved the English political process in a lasting, sustainable way, while retaining much of the traditional order of the system, which did so much to stabilize it.

They retained the office of the Monarch, while limiting his or her power of action steadily. They instituted a tradition of peaceful transition. They retained British legal traditions. They retained, of course, Parliament. In sum, they kept what was working, and rejected only what was not working.

Now, as the French were to do, the English had killed a King. This was in some respect a sacriligious act, since the King embodied the will of God. Thus, this was also a revolutionary act. But rather than reject the whole structure of their society, they turned back, and had their Restoration. Viewed in the abstract, and from the perspective of time, one can see a slow, gradual progression—done in fits and starts--from an autocratic order to the liberal order from which emerged the ideals which informed much of our own Constitution.

Now, the word liberal refers to someone who prefers the growth and expansion of freedom of action and belief, relative to someone who prefers an order based SOLELY upon traditional modes of power, and conformity of belief and practice. Liberalism, in this sense, has as its best exponents men like Adam Smith in the economic realm (who opposed the concentration of capital of Mercantilism, which paralleled monetarily the concentration of power enshrined in non-Constitutional Monarchy), and John Steward Mill in the political realm.

The American Constitution is a liberal document. It is perhaps the DEFINING liberal document of human history thus far. What was crafted was precisely a means by which power could be disbursed in an orderly and progressive manner. In the original formulation, of course, only men of property were allowed to vote. But the foundation was there, self evidently, for that right to be expanded, as indeed it was, first to men, then to women, then universally. That this process was, with the exception of the Civil War—itself an almost inevitable result of the necessary pact with the Devil made at the original Constitutional Convention—peaceful, is generally unremarked upon.

As George Washington commented: “As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.”

Peaceful, organic evolution in the direction of inclusion on the basis of demonstrated personal responsibility was the point. Even though he himself was a slave-owner—something quite unremarkable in his time, or anywhere else on Earth—he has prefigured Martin Luther King, Jr. People, he argued, were to be judged by the content of their characters, and as they showed readiness, were to be included in our order as full equals in all respects.

Liberalism—true liberalism—is conservative. It keeps what is good, while slowly over time—again, in fits and starts—reforming the State as Society reforms itself. In conception, it is an idealistic, perfectionistic doctrine. The City on the Hill is an ineluctable element of true liberal culture.

The method of Liberalism is an open ended legal structure. Our system of government, formally, has no content. It depends on no religious convictions. It refers to no immanent, sacralized social order which is inviolable. It neither compels nor rejects religious belief.

In the simplest possible formulation, it is a system by means of which differences between races and people can be managed peacefully, within the framework of law. ALL are equal before the law. This part is crucial. No one gets any special legal privileges. Our system, itself, is what we hold sacred.

Yet, at the same time, the conception of moral growth is essential. Clearly, our Founding Fathers—even, perhaps especially, the Masons—believed that what they were gifting to us was a political system conducive to moral perfectibility. A system by means of which men could live out their lives in their own way, unmolested by their neighbors and the State, and in so doing pursue their own religious and moral ends in complete freedom.

It was well understood, as evidenced by the relatively recent Reformation, that religious belief untempered by a mediating secular authority, could readily become autocratic and create violence and death. At the same time, the most basic element of a belief in God, and belief in moral growth, was considered sufficient for a self governing nation to survive. Our freedom was the freedom to choose our own form of virtue, and self perfection.

George Washington again: “I am persuaded, you will permit me to observe that the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction. To this consideration we ought to ascribe the absence of any regulation, respecting religion, from the Magna-Charta of our nation”.

Even though the details might differ, in other words, the basic outline of how to be a decent person was plain enough that there was no need for State coercion. It should be added in that regard that Jefferson’s much-debated substitution of “pursuit of happiness” for Locke’s much more concrete “property” is not a call for hedonism. Rather, Jefferson had in mind Aristotle, and his conception of Eudaemonia, which amounted to the pleasure of accomplishment, of mastering your spirits, of virtue.

In one sense, then, Conservatism is simply liberalism that is not in a rush. Burke, himself, the paradigmatic “Conservative”, was a principled, early, and very articulate supporter of American independence for this reason. He understood, and agreed with our arguments about the necessity of inclusion in the political process, and that failure to include us was equivalent to tyranny, under which no self respecting man could be expected to live. He was a liberal.

Barry Goldwater, two centuries later, founded the Arizona chapter of the NAACP. This is a coherent liberal position—a commitment to gradualistic social improvement within the framework of a shared political culture and sense of social understandings--as indeed the rejection of slavery on the part of Republicans a century earlier was as well.

Yet there is another history of this word, another trajectory, and another set of assumptions about human life in general, and politics in particular, to which I will turn in my next segment, which presents the alternative to true liberalism: autocracy based on “the Lie”.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Good morning

Look at this construction anew. It could be "it is a good morning", or "have a good morning", or "having a good morning?", or "we are having a good morning", as a ritual social reinforcement of a desired outcome.

Goodness is leadership. When Lao Tzu says in the Tao Te Ching that a "good man is the teacher of a bad man, and a bad man a good man's charge", he is not advocating moral relativism. Rather, he is indicating that these things exist on a continuum, and there no way to BE a good person, absolutely, and that there is no way to know how much growth is possible. All we can do is look at what is in front of us and compare and contrast.

To be Good is to be capable of happiness, of self arising, encompassing contentment and joy. One might think the person not anxious daily about going out and righting some wrong cannot be good. You have to go to bed and wake up thinking about the children of the Sudan, or little kittens stranded in trees, or the politics of X and what they will do.

There is a time and place for all this, but surely one of the interesting tasks with which we are presented is making our lives enviable enough to be worth imitating? Surely one task of a leader can be to model genuine happiness and contentment, such that other people can learn it for themselves? Do we not want happiness to spread the world over? Would there not be much less evil if everyone knew how to be happy with what they have, particularly if we combine this with effective wealth creation systems like fiat money-free free markets within Republican systems of government?

Me: I want to be clear (can I do a double colon? I don't know, but I just did): I talk a good fight, and do sometimes feel very deep feelings of contentment, but I am distressingly normal. I sleep in and dream when I had intended to get up and do something. Once on a task I go as hard as anyone, but it's hard getting me on task often, as my brain is always racing.

You hear this phrase "fit to be tied" for uncontrolled expressions of anger. I was very, very hot about something yesterday. Then I got tired, then I realized that I am quite clever and bold enough to end the problem decisively without butting heads with anyone. This is normally the best solution to most problems, but it was not the first or second that occurred to me. Being really mad is like an emotional spasm: everything locks up, and you can't move. You really ARE already tied.

These ideas are just out there. I leave my name out of all this to make this effect more pronounced. You can use them, own them, and show me what I was talking about, in an embarrassing role reversal. This is all good.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Your paradise

It seems to me that many utopians treat life as an abstraction, and fail to think through concrete details.

None of the Bolsheviks, I suspect, thought beyond murdering the aristocracy. They have this meat cleaver, and the basic implementation process is killing or exiling whatever does not fit the plan. The plan, of course, is the eradication of nonperfection, which is defined on the fly by their leaders.

But you watch this, and if the art of the sculptor is removing what is unnecessary, these fools leave a pile of marble dust, and wonder why it isn't beautiful. Then they pound the dust crying "live, LIVE".

You: imagine in DETAIL what you would like your world to be like twenty years from now. If you have children, or nieces and nephews, what would you like their world to be like? What sort of work do they do? What do they buy with the proceeds of their labor? What are they allowed to do? What sort of government, if any, do they have? What are the values they are educated to embrace?

I look at, say, the Greek Communists, and wonder how they can be so stupid. Money does not grow on trees. Inventors do not invent consistently or well for the "common good", but for themselves. Actions have consequences.

So many societies, seemingly, have yet to learn this.

Theft

The points I make seem clear enough to me, but I want to dilate on one issue: that of legalized theft of wealth.

People who save and invest their own money in things are not thieves. They are angels, as indeed some types of investors are called. They are necessary for good ideas to be converted into actual products and services. In a free market, EVERYONE can eventually be able to do this. The successful owner of a gas station can lend money to his son to start his own. There is nothing heinous or evil here, intrinsically, as the Marxists constantly attempt to argue.

When classes are permeable, when new wealth is constantly being created by economic growth, then all classes are RISING. The American poor have more stuff than 3/4ths of the world. This because an incredible amount of overall wealth has been generated.

The theft comes when the money loaned is not money saved, but rather money created for the purpose. Look at the large office buildings downtown in most major cities. They belong either to banks or insurance companies. I do not grudge insurance companies their wealth, although it is abundantly clear many of them use the legal system to insulate themselves from competition. In particular, most States discriminate against multiple potential insurance providers, in a manner clearly contrary to the Commerce Clause.

Banks, however, use deposited money as an operative pretext. They want to create money, and simply take enough money in in deposits that a plausible fiction can be created that they can actually offer up all the deposits, if asked, without trouble and at the same time. This is clearly not the case. Such a condition is called a "run", and has caused the collapse of many, many banks. Bear Stearns, as I understand it, in effect folded as the result of an institutional run.

Doubling money, creating legal counterfeit money: this is the primary means of wealth reallocation, aka theft. The Central Banks of the world exist to facilitate this. In our own country, the Federal Reserve is in effect COMPOSED of the banks who want their backing. The government has nothing to say.

Just consider how much money banks control. Consider how dependent our economy is on the extension of credit. Where we used to make things, it seems now everyone just wants to get in the banking business. Where we used to pay cash, low interest rates (the Fed), and inflation have caused people to borrow. As I understand it, 15 year mortgages used to be the norm, they were carried by local banks, and they were paid off in full. It's not hard to understand how easy money leads to real estate inflation.

I will add, too, that "inflation" can happen in sectors and places. There are national indexes or whatever, but if you look, say, at Las Vegas, there was HUGE price inflation, huge disconnects between what it took to build a home and what someone was eventually willing to pay. The sheer profitability of this is what led to overbuilding, and the current glut. That and foreclosures, of course.

If we look at this as a game of pin the tail on the donkey, where the tail is the right suspect, then Marx was wrong, and so are his modern followers. What we need to do is fundamentally reimagine a financial system that does not depend on money creation and inflation, but rather stable currency. Such a system will be FAIR, robust, and sustainable.

Surely some intelligent Liberal out there can grasp this point. You are out there crusading for justice. If you are unwilling to pick the right enemy, then you are a leftist; if you care about getting the thing right, then you are a Liberal. I will find common ground with you in a second if you pick the right enemy.

Rick Perry

The guy found a hunting site with an inappropriate name, he painted over the name, and kept hunting there. Where is the story, if told to adults?

I am very disappointed in American Republicans right now. You can not like him for his debating skills on a particular night,and ignore his record, but why run like frightened rabbits over this story?

It is like someone said the N word in his presence, and instead of just asking for courtesy he failed to punch him in the nose and stomp on him. This is ludicrous, but I suppose any watcher of our political landscape cannot fail but be impressed by the pervasive mediocrity of the American people. Obama still has a 40% approval rating. How is that possible?

Two quotes from Churchill (from memory, so they are close at least):

The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.

Democracy is the worst possible form of government, until you consider the alternatives.

"Monetizing" European Debt

I read this was one of the options yesterday for fixing the European debt crisis (this is sure a slow moving crisis, isn't it?) was "monetizing" the debt. To invent a word, this means "moneyfying" it. I was not sure what that meant, but in the article I read it said the European Central Bank did not have the power to do that.

They need to give it that power, use it, then strip it of that power. I want to be clear that the proposal I have put forward, of permanently sound money, will generate economic growth of unprecedented scope. If we could but redirect all the wealth--buying power--that has been confiscated by banking elites, we could end poverty tomorrow.

When it comes to Wall Street, I am general sympathy with the ideal of opposing UNEARNED income, but the people "leading" this group of vagabonds and derelicts do not make this distinction. They oppose wealth generally, which is foolish when every other word out of their mouth is how they want wealth for the poor.

As I argue often, they don't really want to make the poor better off, but the rich worse off. This is a doctrine of hatred, of destruction and not construction.

Mao was prepared to kill half of China to "save" the other half. With friends like that, only a fool would fail to run to his enemies and hug them like family. Being dead is not how most people visualize freedom and salvation.

Anxiety and anger

I have to confess I can be a complete asshole sometimes. I don't deny it. I have a fierce temper. Today I got mad at something--Round umpteen of the same problem--and was sitting at lunch trying to calm down. It occurred to me that the physical aggression of anger is not that different from anxiety. In both cases you are excited, except that instead of being afraid someone is going to hurt you, you are afraid you are going to hurt someone.

This is an interesting insight. All the emotions exist on a continuum with one another, and have both physiological AND cognitive components.

I'm researching something, and will post if my supposition is correct.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Many Colored Days

This is a video, based I believe on a Dr. Seuss book, which I remember really enjoying when my kids were very little. It talks about how many different ways you can approach a day, how many different selves you can wear, and implicitly how change is both necessary and a miracle. Whatever you are, relax, you will be something else.

Today was a glorious fall day, crisp and dry such that you can just begin hearing the leaves as they rattle on their branches. I love it.

And it occurred to me that perhaps you could learn to sculpt your awareness and mood to balance what you need to get done, and the weather. You can mould your experience, consciously, as a sort of artwork. Is there any lasting difference between momentary sadness and happiness? Must we mourn the first and celebrate the second? Why must we BE a certain way at all?

I am a foodie. I like to eat and I like to drink. There are so many metaphors that flow from food. Here, let us take as a base a meat dish. How many sauces can you make for it? The list is nearly endless. There are the simple sauces one would expect to see all the time. I like bearnaise as a basic, and am fine with brown gravy too. Yet I read about these sauces that use shrimp skeletons, and coral, and the innards of lobsters. I see the countless ways basic sauces like bechamel can be altered.

You start with what is there, then the creativity starts.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Circling

I'm circling around, looking for an understanding. I input the Ubu Roi, indexed it to the Wall Street protests, but something is missing. I am going to type out loud.

Meaning is a sort of structure, that is partly conscious and partly unconscious. If you are to act with order, you must accept and internalize basic principles. Having acted with order for a period of time, the structure of your self and your life becomes internalized. You create your self over a period of time of making decisions using rules you choose. Commonly, those rules are those of your parents, more or less, and societies succeed and fail depending on the quality of those rules, and whether or not they have been transmitted successfully. Right now, it is quite unclear that the virtues of our grandparents and great grandparents are getting passed along to kids growing up now. I see a lot of kids growing up "iPod". Can I call them i-Pod people? That construction warrants a bit of attention. Read it again.

When you are lost, you do not know what to do because you do not know what you are supposed to do, externally, and you do not have the courage to accept the responsibility of creating your own reality and self. Now, confusion is a common enough human condition.

What hurts is not confusion, but pessimism as to the possibility of ever finding an answer. Not knowing, and not thinking knowing is possible are two different things. The second leads to a cessation of the virtual chase. You become a boat crossing an ocean that turns off its engines, despairing of the existence of land.

This is a very dangerous place. It leads to all sorts of mental disorders. We are meant to be always in motion. Even meditation has as its purpose motion towards a certain perceptual state.

Now, in the first stage of ontological illness, as I call this, you fill your mind with trivia. One could plausibly view our entire modern entertainment culture as existing to fill the minds of people who don't want to think about anything. Video games do this, zombie movies do this. Pot does this. Raves do this.

You see these people: they are fat, eat too much pizza, are pale, and just not robust in any significant way. Often they are pierced and tattooed, with matching attire. Their zeal for life is muted by too many credit cards, life under artificial light, and input from the culture they consume that just aren't healthy.

Given the intellectual presuppositions I mentioned above, which normally exist in tandem with materialistic conceptions of life anchored in orthodox Darwinism, and which reject God, this is not a self correcting system. This is not a self organizing system, since organization begins with the idea that organization is POSSIBLE, and everything they do mutes and leaks out any energy that might build in that direction.

The next step is hatred, and this is where the conflation of moral pessimism and Leftism becomes dangerous. Anger is a reason to live. It provides energy, but it is like animating a corpse. You are moving, you are there, but you are not ALIVE. You don't actually feel well. You just haven't yet killed yourself.

As I look at Wall Street, I see some people there who are likely genuinely principled. I saw one wanting to end fiat money and fractional reserve banking. Amen to that. Another was condemning the Bank of International Settlements (which by the way has deflationary monetary policy planned starting about 2015: put that in your planner): Amen to that.

But the simple fact is Wall Street doesn't care. Those guys in the corner offices making $10 million a year: they are laughing. These protests will not do ANYTHING.

What will make the most difference over the long haul is an informed electorate. Accurate information is the biggest enemy everyone faces who wants to abuse and defraud ordinary Americans. The bankers do fine on the left and the right AS LONG AS the PEOPLE ASSUME that their party is fixing things. They can only claim this to be the case as long as the people are ignorant. Given knowledge, all bets are off. Who could have guessed a Republican front-runner would be talking about putting the Federal Reserve back under the control of the Executive, where it used to be? This is real progress.

Getting closer on processing my thoughts; not quite there yet.

The Ubu Roi protests

There was a time in my life when I had an avid interest in Surrealism, Dada, and general artistic culture of Europe from about 1880 to 1930 or so. One of the figures in this scene was the author Alfred Jarry. Jarry was a Frenchman who was somewhere between eccentric and insane, and who created a character, Ubu Roi, who was so grotesque and strange that it seemingly left a permanent mark on the Parisian literary scene.

As described in Wikipedia

"The central character is notorious for his infantile engagement with his world," wrote Jane Taylor. "Ubu inhabits a domain of greedy self-gratification." Jarry's metaphor for the modern man, he is an antihero — fat, ugly, vulgar, gluttonous, grandiose, dishonest, stupid, jejune, voracious, cruel, cowardly and evil."

I think we might rightly think that the protestors in New York and other places view "Corporate America" as possessing all those traits.

Here is a picture, by George Grosz--who could very plausibly be viewed as an intellectual heir to the Ubu tradition (I saw Pro-Ubu graffiti when I was in Oxford)--which I think shows the rough images these people have in mind:

And yet, the quoted commentator goes on to say something interesting:
There is," wrote Taylor, "a particular kind of pleasure for an audience watching these infantile attacks. Part of the satisfaction arises from the fact that in the burlesque mode which Jarry invents, there is no place for consequence. While Ubu may be relentless in his political aspirations, and brutal in his personal relations, he apparently has no measurable effect upon those who inhabit the farcical world which he creates around himself. He thus acts out our most childish rages and desires, in which we seek to gratify ourselves at all cost."[5] The derived adjective "ubuesque" is recurrent in French and francophone political debate.

These protests are Ubuesque. They amount to the big idea that sitting around in public places annoying people is going to create jobs, create purpose, end war, alter our financial system, enable them to more easily get someone else to pay for the excellent healthcare they receive, and generally make it so life serves them warm milk and cookies and night and tucks them in with a goodnight kiss.

There is anger here, clearly. These people hate wealth, at the very time they are camping out to get more of it. They hate people who create wealth, but their plan, again, to get some is not to invent something, not to start a business, not to work hard at their job and get promoted, and not to work to support policies that encourage job creation. No: their plan is to WHINE and be really ANNOYING so that the world will come calling on them.

What I think needs to be seen here is that this does not represent strength, but weakness. They are doing this precisely BECAUSE they know they and theirs are losing the support of the American people. They had the dream candidate, who privately told them he believed everything they did, and shared their goals. But political necessity has forced him into a boatload of compromise, and ramming the big stuff through the way he did set off a powderkeg.

We need to be clear: these protests are INTENDED to amount to extortion, even though the plan is to use every useful idiot who floats in. They are undertaken with NO PLAN and no consideration of consequence. In this, too, they are ubuesque.

They are trying to destroy companies that employ thousands of people who will then be unemployed if they are successful. They are blocking the way to work for those people who do have jobs, and many of whom now have to add them to their list of daily stresses.

These protests help no one, EXCEPT the impotent ideologues who want to push policies in their direction without going through the futile effort of defending idiotic and counterproductive policies. And they will, in all likelihood, actually cause increasingly strong backlash against adults acting like pouting children in public, DEMANDING things, but not offering in the slightest to contribute.

But that, too, is not the point. What is the point? A FEELING. They are no doubt getting that. For my part, I think these protests are going to help the conservative cause immensely. When things are chaotic, you do not go to people like Barack Obama. You vote for the guy who is seemingly pictured every time in front of a gun rack.

Editorial comment: this does not quite get to what I wanted to say. I am tired, and have work to do. I'll add a bit more, but this still isn't quite it:

The emotional context I wanted to convey is one of functional nihilism. These people believe nothing, and so theater becomes their sustaining ritual. When you have no soul, you must become an actor, lest you be discovered. The nice thing about leftism is that it is always over the horizon, and if it is implemented, all the failures are concealed. It is in actuality a doctrine of horror, but while on the stage the pretending can continue forever, if one is so inclined. That is why we still have Communists.