Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our national dialogue

I posted the following in response to this article, citing dismay at our lack of the ability to have rational conversations.  How this can be laid at the feet of anyone but Alinsky's stepchildren, I really can't claim to understand, even though I have thought about this cognitive psychopathology extensively.  It still baffles me how so many people can be so stupid.  I understand ordinary people, who get their news from biased media.  What I don't get is what good the media think they are doing in lying.

I have made a habit for a number of years of visiting left wing sites, and I can say without the slightest hesitation that it is the left wing of this nation that prevents rational dialogue.  If you disagree, try going on the Daily Kos and posting a coherent critique of Obamacare, or saying Romney has his good points, or anything that is not within a narrow margin of what they consider acceptable. 

You will first be insulted in the most childlike and bullying way imaginable (actually, if you have not tried this, I would submit that it is much worse than you CAN imagine), then they will start posting recipes for different dishes, then you will be autobanned when enough of the herd votes your comments down.

I have done this twice, and I will say the one thing that will get you kicked off faster than anything is to say they are intolerant.  You can cut the irony with a knife.

The simple fact is that the ideas extolled by the left wing--larger government, punitive tax rates for the successful, extensive regulation of all parts of our lives--are indefensible morally, economically, and--if we fear, as we should, a global totalitarian government--politically.

I have spent literally thousands of hour debating them, trying to utilize facts, logic and emotional openness, and have been rewarded CONSISTENTLY, with virtually no exceptions, with vitriol, lies, and shunning/banishment.

The three stages are insult, trying to change the subject, and silence.  This is the result of what I would guess is literally 3,000 hours of "clinical trials".  I have not avoided them.  I have tried HARD to engage with them, but it can't be done, because they have abandoned reason in pursuit of a meaning for their lives, a meaning found in emotional submersion in what can best be described as a cult.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/10/30/173073/pbs-newsman-sees-danger-in-fragmented.html#storylink=cpy

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Submission

I have tried to make this post several times, and not quite pulled it off.  I think I can see clearly enough now to do it, though.

Think about what it means to submit to God, to surrender your will to His Will.  How is this idea communicated to you?  In most cultures, it is as a child, and in most cultures submission to GOD is submission to your PARENTS.  The will of God and the pleasure of your parents is conflated, usually for life.

And as an adult this pattern continues.  The more rigid the religious code, the more thoroughly you are taught to surrender your will to community leaders.  Islam, self evidently, as THE self-defined religion of submission--it is in the name--does this perhaps more rigidly than any other faith.

Plurality of opinion gives way to unity of opinion, and unity of action.  This is INHERENTLY unhealthy, uncreative, and works directly to prevent the emergence of individuality, and the individual moral judgment and GROWTH that happens in conditions of freedom.

Put simply, Islam as a creed is probably the least creative religion in the world, for the simple reason that its actual expression consists in rote conformity to rules expressed reasonably clearly in books no one is allowed to question or expand upon, and such conformity attends child raising in the cultures which take their faith seriously.

I would contrast this with Judaism, the members of whose traditions are arguably--I would say certainly--the most creative and productive of any group on Earth.  Jews are less than 1% of the world's population, but have one some 40% of something (large number; I think that is close) of the world's Nobel Prizes.  In its basic patriarchic tendency, and tribalistic certitudes, it is similar to Islam.

I have been wrestling with what differs in it. 

First, I would think that there is a life energy created by constant threat of violence, and a constant feeling of being an outsider. 

Secondly, I would submit that even though Judaism has mainly male prophets, it also has a number of very important women, like Esther.  It is also significant that whereas in Islam the FATHER dictates the religion of the child, in Judaism it is the mother.  This is of course much more logical, as there can be no doubt about the maternity of a child.  (and it is perhaps because of this that Islam is so harsh on women, and so protective of their virginity).  Cultures which value both the feminine and the masculine are in general more balanced.  This is a rough and unsubstantiable assertion.

Thirdly, though, I would submit that the sheer number of Judaic cultures as they have developed in the diaspora has more or less necessitated the inclusion of considerable diversity of action.  You can be eccentric and genuinely individualistic, yet retain your membership in the group.  This is important.

You have orienting beliefs.  For example, you have the Ten Commandments, and the whole of the Law (whose Hebrew name I am forgetting at the moment), which consists in roughly several hundred MORE commandments.

Yet, I would submit that the history of Judaism has forced upon it heterogeneity of opinion, individualism within family and small community groupings, and prevented the emergence of a clerical class as exists in Islam, a class which issues fatwas, and the like.

Christianity had such a class.  The Catholic Church WAS the government for long stretches of history, and until the very recent past all kings had to keep their respective church in mind when rendering decisions.  All of this worked to homogeneity of thought and action.

Could one perhaps say that today submission to authority--to the "experts"--is taught, but that this submission has no moral value unless and until one agrees to the incorporation of political views (socialism in all iterations always having claimed to better manage human life in the form of a better machine) within the larger submission to "science"?  Could one not further posit that such submission has psychological value, even as it corrupts the minds of people unfortunate enough to make this Faustian bargain?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dreams of death

I have long had a very interesting, instructive, and vivid dream life.  At various times, I have flown high in the sky, walked through walls, levitated objects, talked with animals, breathed underwater, used my hands as flashlights, died in my dreams, seen both heaven and hell, seen angels, and fought and defeated (and often run from, as well) all sorts of dark forces.  I have had lucid dreams every  bit as real and vivid as waking life.  I was once in a corn field at night, with the breeze blowing, the moon in the sky, and able to see my body in every way that one can in what we call "waking" life. Every pore on my body was awake and alive. It was very pleasant, and of course a bit strange.

The other night I had a very useful dream.  I have been trying to figure out how we internalize violence against ourselves, how abuse becomes self abuse, and how far it goes.  Can we not, for example, posit that everything we need for perfect happiness is ALREADY present, in as-yet unmanifest latency?

I was wandering in a forest, and came upon a train of people, seemingly pilgrims, who were traveling up a hill at night along an unpaved trail.  They seemed pleasant enough; the wagons were painted in a forest green, I think with some yellow, almost like circus wagons.  They felt like gypsies.

I began talking with one of them, who said they were on their way to a sacred ritual.  An aspiring initiate went through the catechism for me, in which he would swear an oath to God with certain gestures, then kneel and swear the same oath, at which point he would be decapitated.  Of course, I was horrified, but the procession continued; they got to their stopping point, and many were killed.  I managed to save one somewhat chubby, indecisive man, who came away, but kept looking back like he had missed something.  The executioners, of course, were not pleased, and fell on me.  Several grabbed me and tried to smother me.  I got away, then they started throwing very thin, very deadly spears at me. I created a weapon to block them with.  Finally, I saw a freeway, and began running as fast as the cars and escaped.

I analyze this on three levels, two of which I will share, and the third of which I will keep for myself after admitting I left one or two details out.  I would also in the process like to submit several techniques I use in dream analysis.

My immediate interpretation was that this is the rough mechanism of "zombification".  These people were not dying outright.  They were dying to themselves, to their own judgement, to their own potentiality.  And there were those only too willing to play the role of executioner.  There are always executioners.

When I look at the left in this and other countries, when I contemplate the stomach turning atrocities done in the name of compassion, the mind reels.  But I cannot help but feel that many, many people in this world are lost, and there are those who say to them: come with me.  Let me protect you.  Let me remove from you all the worries and troubles of life.  Let me show you the compassion of submission, of admitting the futility of living your own life, of drawing your own breath, of choosing your own steps.  Let us do it for you.

And I look at all the people shilling for Barack Obama;  We have in recent days come to have strong evidence pointing to the conclusion that he has virtually no compassion, no regard for others, no benevolent plan for the future, and nothing to offer but sorrow.  People WANT the promise to be true, so desperately that they are willing to sacrifice their own minds on the altar of conformity; of virtue expressed by unceasingly doing and thinking as they are told.  This is a particularly awful crime when done by journalists, and those who would aspire to lead us.

I could go on, but will simply submit that in response to patent truths like "we can't borrow a trillion dollars a year without consequence" get responses ranging from "Bullshit", to (Daily Kos) "our goal here is not to discuss policy, but to make sure it gets implemented."  How can you know that your ideas are sound if you never submit them to critical scrutiny?  You can't of course, and this is how bad ideas have babies and metastasize.

This is, however, superficial analysis, and one fully encapsulated in my expression "Cultural Sadeism".

It gets more interesting when you add the idea that all characters in all dreams are PARTS OF YOU.  Those demons you fight?  You created them. Every character in every dream is a part of you, and if you were flawless you would know only dreamless sleep, or visions of heaven.  I'm not, and I don't.

Framed this way, I was sacrificing myself to myself, and watching the process.  This process felt eternal, and likely is on-going in me.  What does THIS mean?  That is a much more interesting question.

I have in recent days been thinking heavily about the nature of trauma, and trying to separate actual trauma from its after-math.  It is not getting hit, or enduring emotional cruelty that matters, but what you make of it, how it continues to reside in you, hidden.  How does it hide?  What is the mechanism that captures and prolongs it?

I look at the moment before I get hit, or before someone says something cruel that came from some unacknowledged part of themselves, such that they don't even realize, consciously, that they are attacking me.  Integrated into ordinary life, over a long period of time, what becomes internalized is the pre-reaction, the protective flinch, the covering, the armor.  This is what endures.

But I think there is a second element, the punishing element.  Whenever you get TOO relaxed, long after being removed from the situation, there is a secondary protective element that ALSO attacks you, so you don't lose your defenses, so you don't allow yourself to be blindsided.  This is the part, in me at least (and I think for my own purposes at the moment, a bit more self revelation than normal is appropriate, since in part I am trying to provide something recognizable and useful for others) that hates that unprotected, unguarded child (OMG: am I at the "inner child"?  God don't let me become whiny).

In order to survive, you have to sacrifice some part of yourself, the one that reacts outwardly with anger to things that should occasion anger, and which do in normally developed people. And on a deep level, I think there is this voice that says "don't go out there.  They will get you."  So when you "go out there", you get attacked.  So you have these parts of your consciousness that are at war with one another.  Healing consists in integrating them, in developing sound reality testing on a DEEP level, such that you are neither meek nor cruel, but open to pain, and, thereby, open to pleasures of the most meaningful sort, those of affection given and received, and living life with a sense of purpose that goes from the tip of your head to the soles of your feet, and which is not rejected nor attacked anywhere in the middle.

Anyone who had read this blog for long has seen repeated meditations on the meaning of Horror films, and of violence in our media generally.  What is it?  What need does it serve?  This is of course a complex phenomena, and many answers are possible with respect to many sorts of people, but one I will suggest, that I may not have suggested before, is that those sorts of movies are the food that what I will call the aggressive self protective instincts feed on.  They induce fear, and by inducing fear justify continued emotional contraction, which both reduces emotional injury, and prevents emotional growth.

Here is an interesting statistic: "College kids today are about 40 percent lower in empathy than their counterparts of 20 or 30 years ago," (from here).  If true, this has several interesting aspects to it.  First, if emotional empathy is down, then the RISKS of being open are up.  This follows inevitably.  And this would explain not just the normalization but the valorization (academese for "valuing of") of psychopathy.  As I have pointed out, in the first "Silence of the Lambs" Hannibal Lector was a villain, albeit an interesting one.  In later iterations of the franchise, he was the HERO. 

Read that article.  Without quite saying so, he half wishes he were a sociopath/psychopath (synonyms: psychopathic is clinically insane; this is a different animal) because then he would be free from worries, from fear, from remorse, and thus more "free" to live his life.  This is the same thing Apollinaire (a radical leftist, it should go without saying) meant when he called Sade the "freest man who ever lived."

Liberty breeds confusion, when people are stupid; and most of our modern intellectuals are stupid.  It is my sincere belief that if my own treatment of Goodness were taught at a college level, people would actually be liberated.  This is not, I don't think, naked vanity, but a considered opinion based upon someone who is widely traveled, well read, and who has engaged in conversations on varying levels with people of all walks of life for decades.

In my own case, the story is that I got outside the cycle sufficiently to see it as it was.  The fat man was my weak sense of self, still driven in some regards to return.

Clearly, in some respects, we are unfree.  Anyone who denies it is in my view expressing unwarranted optimism.  At the same time, we not FULLY unfree.  There is room for what I have called "nonstatistical coherence". We can choose where to direct our attention, and when done long enough, opportunities will open up spontaneously that would not have occurred had we not chosen where to direct our minds.

There is more to this that I am still working out, but I am getting close to the root of the thing. 

I will add, though, that the essence of "spiritual" development is achieving emotional wellness.  Meditating will achieve nothing if it does not integrate the emotions, if it does not access and release deep realities. In some respects, the highest attainment possible on this Earth is to be "normal".  So few people ever aspire to this, and far fewer attain it.

Vanity, in most respects, is and always has been the coin of the realm, making the only sane ones those who cannot exist within its order.


Complicit Media

This is the word, not legacy, drive-by, mainstream, or any other versions I see.  They are COMPLICIT.  They are an extension of a political agenda that can ONLY be furthered through a combination of active deception, and--more commonly--an active avoidance of unpleasant truths.  Only Fox and conservative websites are reporting on the seeming fact that Obama left our men to die in Benghazi, when he had options; and that he then LIED about it--blaming it on a "spontaneous" demonstration in reaction to a video released many months ago--plainly to avoid the political fallout that would attend both his patent failure to provide needed security on the front end, and patent failure to protect them when they were under attack.

And where the hell is the coverages of this story, that Obama has ALREADY granted the Iranians the right to produce nuclear weapons?  WTF?

It increasingly seems to me that even though we theoretically have access to news outliers, that the fact that most people their news from sources that are simply unwilling to do their jobs with anything approaching integrity or competence, means that we are ALREADY in an information-controlled state.  We are ALREADY halfway to Fascism, when principle no longer trumps policy objective; when truth telling is less important than getting political objectives implemented.

As Peter Bauer said in a link I posted a year or two ago, it is horrible that leftists, confronted with the constant and dismal and misery-inducing failures of their policies, choose not to find and pursue new policies, but to view the implementation of the policy, itself, as success.  This is indicative of a manic and compulsive mindset that is not different in practice from a cult.  I will deal with that in my next post.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Waging Peace

I have used this phrase from time to time.  The following quote from Thomas Merton expresses well what I intended (I cannot recall how well I myself expressed it):

Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.
I will add that he has a lot of good quotes, here: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/thomas_merton.html


Friday, October 26, 2012

Peak Experiences

As I see it, the point of a so-called "Peak Experience" is not the experience itself, but its effect on the whole of your being, which is expressed daily in how you love, work, and feel.  The point is not to "capture" or seize or otherwise rape and possess something beautiful.  The point is to remember, in ways overt and subtle, conscious and unconscious, something that enabled your qualitative gestalt to improve, just a bit.

People get addicted to experiences.  Let us say it is traveling.  If you go out and hitchhike across Asia, and if you left an asshole and came back an asshole, you did less of what matters than someone who patiently learned to work without distraction, or become just a bit less upset about pedestrian things.

People think you can collect experiences.  You can't.  You either let them transform you, and then carry them with you as a part of your being; or you objectify them and use them to amplify your ego, never an attractive sight.

I want to add as well that as I think about it, there are many, many ways of creating altered states.  Extreme athletics, really good sex, working to exhaustion, being drunk or stoned, being in an artistic zone--even driving long distances.  The ones that are valuable are the ones you choose to allow to alter you in positive ways, such that you are less scared during the day, more willing to listen openly, more affectionate, more positive, more focused, and happier.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Power sickness

That's the phrase that popped in my head this morning as an alternative to Cultural Sadeism.  There is a back story.

I travel often, and meet perhaps a dozen new people every week.  Yesterday, I walked into an office to do some work, and was met by a woman who was being subtly cruel to me, because she could.  She seemingly felt no remorse for it. I was just looking at her, and it hit me that somebody did something to her that she never got over.  There was something broken, unreal, ineffective, emotionally in her.  There was a part that should have worked, but didn't.\

When you look at sadists, it is tempting to focus on the evil, the brokenness within them.  Yet, and I feel I may have said this before, you can also look at the GAP between who they are, and who they could be.  You can see what that person, functioning well, would look like.  You can see how they would move if a strangling knot that suffocates them were to be loosened, and their lungs filled honest air.  You can see who they would be if they were actually happy.

It is our task on earth to rescue everyone.  No exceptions.  The method is to choose this end and be effective.  This heuristic is how you get as effective as you will get with broken people, many of whom will never heal in this lifetime. 

"Power sickness" both admits the malady, and recognizes it as such.  I'll just have to wait and see how far I want to go with it.

Cringing

Some of you likely know what it is like to be hit often as a child.  I got hit, but I don't think that was the principle problem.  The principle problem was that I got a stick with no carrot.  It was never clear to me who I was supposed to be to not get hit.  I suppose these 1,000 plus posts may be attempts to answer that question, although of course the actual situation is much more complex.

Thinking back, all these years later, I feel this sense of cringing, that moment before you get hit, or, to the point I want to make here, before you THINK you're going to get hit, but don't.

When you get hit, you feel pain.  When you cringe, you tense your body up, in anticipation of pain, but the pain need never come.  You can cringe your whole life and never get hit again.  As Springsteen put it: "You end up like a dog that's been beat too much/and spend half your life just covering up."

I think the brave life is to learn how to "uncringe", how to let your pains be actual. 

I did martial arts for six years or so, where I would leave with bruises more often than not several times a week.  The trick in my style--and I would suggest all effective styles that don't incorporate outright cringing/flinching in to them--was to take a hit in a relaxed way, to always stay lose and relaxed, no matter what.  That is good training, and physically I'm largely able to do it.  I just need to figure out how to do it emotionally.

I don't like sharing, but feel this may be useful for someone.

Healing and growth

It occurs to me that we might as well refer to all emotional and even intellectual growth as healing.  My thought process in this is that, as evidenced by your expressed capacity to do better, you were in a suboptimal state before.  Even if you did not know it, even if you were already relatively better than those around you, you were hurt relative to where you could have been.  You were less rather than more.

This is a useful heuristic, especially if you a dd the following thought: growth comes to you; you do not go to it.  We have lines for learning.  You can memorize mathematical tables, and you have not really changed qualitatively when you can go up to 20x20, versus stopping at 12x12.  If you were a psychopath before, you will be a psychopath after.

The growth I am talking about is paradigmatic, it deals with your sense of self, your identity, how you move in the world, what you see (what you allow yourself to see), who you care about and why, and to what extent.  If you think of your current self as existing in a certain equilibrium, you cannot CHOOSE to grow.  You cannot feel feelings for which you are not ready . The best you can do is not reject new feelings because they are new.

As I look at my own healing/growth process, it seems to me that everything good comes to me, and in large measure because I am looking for it, I am waiting for it, I am alert to it.  I watch the fog carefully, tirelessly, to see what emerges.

I write a lot, and in my own self estimation some of what I write is very clear, very good, and very creative.  But I don't feel myself as a creator, so much as a reporter.  The newsfeed comes from somewhere else. My talent is seeing what is in front of me honestly, which involves a high pain tolerance, and the ability to countenance ambiguity and lack of clarity in large doses for long periods of time.

It also involves accepting, emotionally, that I am incomplete and always will be.  There is no rest for the ready.  Yet, what comes along sometimes is astonishingly beautiful, and worth every ounce of effort.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Say no to the IMF

I posted this here.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/9623863/IMFs-epic-plan-to-conjure-away-debt-and-dethrone-bankers.html

What we are unfortunately seeing is that the IMF and Fabian/Keynesian Fascist activists have seized on the idea of demonizing bankers so they can argue for complete control over the financial system. Fractional reserve banking is bad.  We can agree on that.  But their solutions are worse, MUCH worse.

Only with prior inflation to eradicate public and private debt can gradual deflation be anything but catastrophic.

Folks, you don't know me from Adam, but I HAVE A PROPOSAL THAT ADDRESSES EVERYTHING. I post it often, but get little response. I am a University of Chicago Alumni, and have thought the damn thing through in a way none of these dumbass academic economists have. They can't be creative because it is trained out of them in school.


Please read this: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/Page23.html

Read it all the way through. If you start with the fix, you likely won't understand the problems it addresses. It uses plain English, basic facts, common sense analysis, and offers sweeping and unique proposals.

What the IMF is doing here, to be clear, is trying to draw support for a proposal which furthers the Keynesian/Fabian ends of bureaucratic control of all aspects of our lives; at least that is my assumption. What I have read thus far is big worded gobbledygook, which is ALWAYS trying to either hide an actual intention, or a lack of intellectual clarity.

In conditions of massive debt, though, I will submit that gradual deflation is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS a bad thing. It is what started the Great Depression.

Please, read my piece. It will enlighten you.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kiva

I would encourage any readers I may have to click on this link:

http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/barry5427

It will take you to a donations page for Kiva.org, which is a group which facilitates the bundling of business loans to very small groups--often individuals--so they can purchase supplies to build businesses and the economic self sufficiency that goes with it. For example, someone may want to buy dairy cows, or thread to make clothes, or money to pay the rent for a laundry.  Most global poverty happens due to the lack of access to capital by the poor.  This program addresses that.

What few people realize is that most foreign aid we have sent out over the last half century has neither supported democracy nor alleviated poverty, nor even supported our foreign policy aims (what is the point of giving money to Egypt and Pakistan, if it does not buy us the ability to tell them what to do, in at least some circumstances?). 

On the contrary, even when it was not our intent, it has generally supported tyranny, and made control of the government a principle means of personal enrichment, rather than actual long term economic development. This has led to many civil wars, much death, much misery, and much economic retrogression.  It has not only been wasted, but has made things WORSE, in yet one more example of leftist indifference to outcome making the world a more horrible place.

Kiva addresses that.  Please click on the link, then start spreading the word yourself.

Post on Yahoo Hit piece

 It is astonishing to me the moral depravity of those who are shilling for Obama.  They are People of the Lie. There is no end to their willingness to pervert truth and reason in the service of what can only be called a cult.

The following is a response to this article which, astonishingly, called ROMNEY the liar, when Candy Crowley herself had to back off her patent advocacy of Obama's mendacity.

Is there any end to your capacity to lie for a man who broke every promise he made, and who is leading us into an economic wasteland that will hurt most the students, minorities, and working poor who voted for him?

OBAMA LIED.  HE LIED.  There is ZERO ambiguity about this.  He claimed for nearly two weeks, falsely--and we KNOW this, because his own State Dept. contradicted him--that the cause of the attack was a "spontaneous" riot caused by a film released six months ago.  The President of Libya himself called this ridiculous.

Stevens had asked for added security multiple times, because he wasn't stupid.  Smaller scale attacks had been happening with increased frequency.  Obama, as always, was asleep at the wheel, and not even attending most of his national security meetings so he could focus on getting reelected and continuing the process of destroying this country.

Then, in front of a hundred million Americans, he claimed both to have called the attack a "terror" attack, when if you read his remarks he said nothing of the sort, and that he indicated he was resolved to hunt down those responsible.  He said nothing of the sort. 

You people at Yahoo realize, don't you, that California is being abandoned by some 4,000 high net worth individuals a WEEK?  Who do you think pays the taxes, the taxes you NEED to balance your budget?  They would have, but policies of the sort you are advocating by effectively endorsing Obama, by twisting the truth in horrific abuses of journalistic integrity, are forcing their hand.  They are going to Texas, and Tennessee, and Arizona: anywhere but California.  Then when your State starts fully teetering into chaos, you will blame anyone but yourselves.

Pathetic, and horribly wrong.  You are the worst sort of people: capable of intelligence, but emotionally unwilling to tell yourselves hard truths, so you put your intelligence to the service of engineering our cultural and economic downfall, all while pretending to yourselves and others than you are benign.  You are ba$tards.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Army is Ready

Fix for our financial system: check.

Fix for moral relativism: check.

Template for new church and psychotherapy: check.

Systematic treatment of political philosophy: check.

Evidence marshalled for the after-life: check (not by me,though).

Are there any generals out there willing to lead the troops I've marshalled?

BDSM and Breathwork

We lack the ecstatic in our lives, the completely uncontrolled and uninhibited expression of deep latent emotional and spiritual realities, particularly the ecstatic as expressed within, and reinforced by, communcal connections.  We lack the drumming around the campfire, and the becoming truly, DEEPLY lost in trance, the non-ordinary states of consciousness.

Clubbing, especially with drugs, partially serves this role, but it is not integrative.  You become lost, but you do not come back better.  It is just "fun".  It actually seems to fracture most people, since they now have to contrast the deep ecstasies they felt when dancing while high, with the pedestrian world they occupy most days of most weeks.  It actually makes them sad, on balance.

Sex, often combined with clubbing, partially serves this role, if you allow yourself to become fully lost.  But it is not integrative, and if the sex is random and conduced in an emotionally detached way, I would argue it actually is alienating for both parties.  You achieve connection that is immediately sundered, and thus you become progressively less willing to risk emotionally, less willing to commit emotionally, and thus in many ways more shallow.  Unable to risk pain, you feel only muted pleasure.

As I wrote some time ago, though, that if you use sex as a drug, like all drugs you have to go deeper and deeper to get the same effect.  BDSM is the logical ending place, as the most horrific and yet poignant and memorable iteration of it.  It makes people feel "alive".  They know, intuitively, that they need pain to live, and their lives are comfortable and protected and free, so they have to go seek it out. 

What I would like to repeat, here, is that what they are trying to do is seek out deep, hidden emotional realities that have to be accessed SPECIFICALLY.  The analogy that occurred to me is that you could compare wounds to a Poker hand.  Let's say a person holds 2 Kings, an 8, a 7, and a 2.  If you put up a 6 or a 3, you get nothing.  This is the equivalent of undergoing a masochistic experience, and feeling great emotions, and an emotional release, but one which accomplishes no long term result.  Nothing is really released on a deep level.

[And I would compare the sadist with the masochist this way: the sadist is less advanced since they feel pain through others;  the masochist wants to feel their own pain, but they don't know how to do it effectively. I think masochism can also become a habit when one is punished often.  Cruelty can become the only connection a child has with its parents, and thus being hated and hurt the only sense of CONNECTION it has felt, and which it thus later seeks to replicate.]

Effective long term psychotherapy, of the sort described in the excellent book "Trauma and Recovery" , which I think all the Usual Suspects (you know who you are) should read, gradually establishes what those cards are, and what their effect has been.  It is a gradual process of connecting the conscious mind with what is hidden.  Things emerge first in a fog, then grow increasingly distinct, then at some point you have a more or less open conduit from the unconscious to the conscious, which is the therapeutic goal.

What I would submit (W)holotropic Breathwork does is facilitate the self emergence of each of those cards, in order of relative importance.  We might see in one session the King of Hearts emerge.  You say "oh, there it is.  I had forgotten that feeling or experience".  Or maybe you don't even name the experience, but just emit an emotion, perhaps one tied to long term emotional states you had suppressed.

Stan Grof has done many, many sessions, and he said there is usually one thing, one piece, that comes out.  It seems to be unitary that way.  You don't get a lot of things, but one important thing, then another in the next session.

This is a strange connection, but what I would submit practitioners of BDSM REALLY want is the sort of release Holotropic Breathwork enables.  Certainly if you have misery in your past, and want to find it, it will get you there. 

Where the former is concerned, you really simply further life in a dark place, even if you get occasional respites from your obsessive normalcy.  Look at the covers of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" books, (being sold in grocery stores, Target, and other places by the truckload, making this discussion timely and relevant).  Is that the sort of life you want?  No, it is the sort of life you choose ABSENT ALTERNATIVES, absent a sense that you can in some other way escape your mundane world, where nothing really different or exciting ever happens.

The Final Thought

I think one could sum up much of Western Philosophy--certainly modern philosophy--as a search for a "Final Thought", as if life could be contained in thinking.  What I FEEL people have tried to do is submit philosophy to science, and create a thought system as strong as F=MA.  They have failed miserably, and have resorted to trying to reframe--reduce--humanity to a fundamentally mechanical system that can be "decoded" by means of biology.  We are surrounded by anti-humanists, who in their brutality are not fundamentally different from the Nazis who executed and decapitated Jews in what they "harvesting of samples".  It is that bad.

That subtracts poetry from the human experience. It subtracts the ecstatic.  It subtracts, in other words, human EXPERIENCE outright, which is to say both all the joys and the sufferings to which we are prey.  Thoughts are not experiences.  They are machines, little crawling machines like spiders that, when well formed, will build for you, and when poorly formed, tear you apart.  Since thoughts are machines, and since people want to reduce human experience to thought, we are becoming increasingly mechanical, rude, infamous, plain, detestable, thoughtless, dismissive, idiotic.

A descent into the poetic seemed appropriate there; or perhaps, properly, an ASCENT, back from the dank basement of an UNNECESSARY project conducted by fools for other fools, to our collective detriment.

The science of the afterlife--which might be called the science of human qualitative supremacy--is solid.  As long as we seek a final, glorious, idolatrous machine--an UEBERmachine--a Golden Calf, something we can see, weight and scientifically evaluate as to its qualitative aspects, we will remain blind to this fact in large segments of our intellectual sphere.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Understanding of death

When you look at reforming Medicare, one thing that will clearly be needed are reductions in End of Life care. They are enormously expensive, and do not do much to lengthen lives.

This may seem callous, but it is my hope that at some point scientists generally start acting like scientists, instead of the Fundamentalist Materialists they are in most all cases today.  If they do so, they will start evaluating the actual evidence that our spirits survive physical death, and conclude that it is overwhelming.  If they do that, then the idea will become generalized through the very effective conduits currently provided to the ideologically approved, and fear of death will wane. 

Such a reduction in fear has, of course, absolute value, in facilitating both personal growth and increased happiness. It also has economic value. 

Being the sort of "I don't see any fucking box at all" thinker that I am, I would like to propose that MEDICARE invest in afterlife investigations, scientific investigations, of the sort that they otherwise no doubt do all the time. 

Bubble World

I was in a daycare today, and saw that the toddlers had to wear bicycle helmets to ride Big Wheels.  I just find that wrong.  I never wore a bike helmet, and yes I got into multiple accidents, but without injury.  I think when you overprotect kids you disempower them.  You make them mistrust their own instincts and abilities.  You make them timid in the face of life's challenges, which makes them weaker, which makes them more easily overwhelmed and prone to depression and despair.

As I have said several times, it is in my view incontestable that part of the appeal of Harry Potter was the openness with which risk was tolerated.  Such openness runs contrary to our Nanny culture, which seeks to turn all our children into Bubble Boys and Girls, protected from every last hazard from cradle to grave.

This is pernicious and in my view, perhaps seemingly paradoxically, cruel.

The Actual Task

I was reading an article by someone the other day that in effect was trying to figure out how to mobilize sympathy for the poor (by particularizing, which by the way is a tactic I have also found effective).  I read it, and thought "she's answering the wrong question". 

What the world is most short of, in most places right now, is not wealth, but meaning. In our own nation, for example, our POOR live better than kings of old.  If you have ever been in a true castle, you will see this easily.  That king had no access to spices on shelves in every market now.  He had no access to sugar.  He had no access to porcelain.  He had no access to coffee or tea.

I can see a world where all of us live much more poorly, much more modestly, than we do today; but in which we are HAPPIER.  My principle gripe with socialism is not that it impoverishes people, or encourages equality, but that it DESTROYS culture, which is the very thing which no government can provide in a way which matches the needs of the people it supposedly is helping.  It is the MEANS, and in particular the involuntary nature of those means, coupled with attacks on all notions of qualitative difference between people--which is necessarily an attack on the idea of personal moral growth--that I most object to.

Would be humanitarians would do well to ask themselves what is ACTUALLY necessary for human felicity, and above providing the basics, it is community, love, and purpose.

Intellectualism

It is very important not to make the mistake that because you understand something intellectually, that you UNDERSTAND it.  Always hold some part of your confidence in yourself in reserve, even AFTER you have walked ten miles in a man's moccasins (as some Indian tribe had it).

To take one obvious example, Obama wanted all of us to "feel his pain" when he talked about how, as President, he had to receive the bodies of men killed by his incompetence.  He didn't feel that pain, but he felt he understood intellectually how someone who HAD felt that pain would act and react.  He was acting, in other words, and that fact became clear when he callously called their unnecessary deaths "not optimal". 

Not optimal is Sales talk.  It is executive talk, when you want to deemphasize something negative.  It is bureaucratic talk. It is not HUMAN when you are talking about the violent murders of men who looked to you for protection, who you failed, and who even now you feel ZERO actual sympathy for.

Like all ideologues, Obama is plainly someone who has put his intelligence in the service of a philosophy that facilitates the murder of unwanted negative feelings, which for their part find expression in the violence and venom of his outlook, his desire to punish and hurt those he has framed as enemies, which is to say those who create virtually all the jobs in this country.

You can't think well when your emotions are out of whack, and, again, you cannot UNDERSTAND the experience of others, except by comparison with your own; and if you have never experienced, say, war, then you are simply guessing.

Next Phase of the War

As is likely obvious, I like to think of myself as a general, commanding ideas instead of troops, even though I identify emotionally much more closely with NCO's.  In the real world, even though it would likely be a waste of talent, I would emotionally rather be an excellent Sergeant Major than an excellent General.  The NCO is the conduit through which idea is made manifest.  He is where the rubber meets the road. He is the source of order.  He is what enables an Army to be a self organizing system, particularly in the face of the chaos of the battlefield.

Be that as it may, I would like to make some predictions, and suggest some tactics and strategy.

Obama is going to lose badly, really badly.  He is trending badly now, and as he gets hammered on Benghazi (not optimal?  What do you think Romney is going to do with that, combined with his patent lie at the last debate, and his decision to fly to Las Vegas rather than actually act like he cared)), and the expansion of the Welfare State, and the enormity of his increase in our national debt, etc, etc., even many Democrats are going to turn on him.

Here is where it gets interesting.  The lunatic radicals that have taken over the Democrat Party, and who thought they had found the winning combination by putting suits and congenial smiles on some of their members (pretty much the whole inner circle, certainly including Obama and Holder) and talking in generic platitudes, are going to get unmasked.  They only constitute perhaps 10% of Americans, and the really nutty ones are only perhaps 1% (the Bill Ayers, the Jeremiah Wrights, the Saul Alinskys, the Frank Marshall Davises, the Anita Dunns), but through the sheer force of will and tenacity that lunacy gets you, they have achieved much broader power.  That is, in my view, about to end.  I think this will be their Gettysburg, where their insurgency, and invasion of normal, non-lunatic America will end.

What did Candy Crowley do?  She tipped her hand.  She openly supported Obama.  She supported his lie.  She interrupted Romney more often, and gave him fewer turns at bat.  Moderates noticed this.  The hard core Obama partisans of course didn't care, since they are increasingly a maddened shrieking mob.  And this is important: when Obama loses, they are going to take to the streets and internet in droves, screaming bloody murder, and I think large segments of the middle will notice this, and realize that their support for Obama was never rational in the first place. This will be sobering for them.

And this creates an opportunity for conservatives (or as I like to say, genuine Liberals) to educate.  I was talking last night with someone in bar about talking points.  I have said this before, but talking points are propaganda, and propaganda damages our public dialogue, our capacity for rational thought, completely.  Even if your side wins the election, the cause of truth has lost.  The cause of GENUINE national debate about anything has lost. The willingness to study issues and reach emotionally unbiased conclusions atrophies.  That is how we elected Barack Obama in the first place.

But in my view there is NO OTHER WAY to get our nation back on track but by recreating--or more likely creating for the first time--an actually educated electorate.  The elitism among our Founding Fathers was based on deep historical knowledge.  They knew most people are driven by vanity and self interest, and that such people, granted access to other peoples money, would take it, even though in the long run it would plainly hurt them as well, and probably most of all.

But everyone has the vote now--and I am not saying this is intrinsically  bad thing, merely that it HAS been a bad thing.  Our task is to make voting an expression of social coherence based upon factually accurate information.  We need to generalize economic knowledge.  We need to generalize political knowledge.  That is why I spend so much time writing my pieces.  I don't know who if anyone reads them, but I have increased MY OWN knowledge, my own internal qualitative richness, and prepared myself for a time when such material may be useful.

I think the Left is right in its argument that George W. Bush was elected on talking points.  Karl Rove appropriated the Alinsky method by channeling widespread conservative hatred of Clinton to get Bush elected.  And conservatives were happy, for a very long time, even though Bush acted like anything but a conservative.  He didn't just start two wars: he expanded social spending as well.  And people forgave him because he wasn't Bill Clinton.

Mitt Romney is not George Bush.  He is much smarter, and I think more capable, at least potentially.  What our task will be on the first day he takes office is to begin putting steady pressure on him to stick behaviorally behind all the excellent rhetoric we have been hearing in debates.  The Mitt Romney of the debates is who the people will be voting for, and so there is NO REASON to back down once he gets there.  We need to keep him honest.

OF COURSE the attacks from the Left will be relentless, but we have been learning over the last four years how to refute their arguments in depth.  Grandma's Medicare is ALREADY insolvent.  Adults understand that you can't get everything you want for nothing.  Social Security is ALREADY insolvent.  Between the two of them, our actual increase in national indebtedness is something on the order of $5 trillion a YEAR.  The most important stuff they keep off the books. Neither the private sector nor State and Local governments are allowed, by law, to do accounting the way the Federal government does.  To actually pay for the bills coming due, we would have to hand over ALL of our income, today, and IT'S GETTING WORSE.  Unaddressed, Medicare alone may soak up the entirety of our tax base within 10-15 years.  Annual interest on our national debt will be more than the current Dept. of Defense budget within ten years, assuming no more debt downgrades.

Put accurate facts in people's hands, coherent arguments.  There is no need for stentorian yelling.  There is no need for fighting.

Our decline has been gradual, and our ascent back up into usefulness will be gradual as well.  But we can all thank Barack Obama and his fellow radicals for enabling the organization of a long term and vital conservative resurgence.






Thursday, October 18, 2012

An effective psychotherapy and a bright future

I believe an effective psychotherapy will consist in four elements: holotropic breathwork conducted in multiple sessions with the same people; mastery of autogenic and progressive relaxation; Kum Nye; the capacity for intense physical exertion, of which CrossFit is in my view the paradigmatic example; and a simple cognitive strategy, of which for me personally the best example has been my own triad of 1) never feel sorry for yourself; 2) Keep moving, internally and as needed externally 3) a commitment to lifelong learning and growth in all aspects of my life.

The most important element is the Holotropic Breathwork--and I think a long term supportive group should be a part of this--but I would submit that it would benefit hugely with a partnership with CrossFit, since CrossFit builds courage and pain tolerance, and both are needed for optimal outcomes with the breathwork.

I was driving down the highway yesterday, listening to that Midnight Oil song about giving the land back to the Abo's, looking at the size and pace of our modern civilization, pondering both the ridiculousness of the idea, and also what was lost in the destruction of their culture, and it hit me: we can build a spiritualized tomorrow.  There is hope.  We can make all these walls and towers and highways talk in ways which are meaningful.  What was lost can be built again.  I see how.  It can be done.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Positive Money

I want to go on record as saying that I do not support the proposals of the Positive Money movement in Britain, which I feel are being reported on and supported by some of their local press ONLY because they serve Fabian/Keynesian goals of complete government control of the monetary system.

Their proposal for gradual deflation will cause widespread economic harm, since the actual costs of all extant loans will go up steadily, which was more or less the mechanism that initiated our own Great Depression.

Their idea that ANY amount of money printing, particularly by the government, is desirable, flies in the face of my often-repeated contention that all inflation is theft, which I dealt with extensively in my financial treatise.

They are of course correct that banks steal when they print money, and I do support that educational work; but I feel strongly that their proposals, if accepted, would only further undermine a nation that once had the largest Empire the world has ever seen, but which has been in steady decline for nearly a century.

Healing


I think the essence of healing is emotional openness and motion.  You have to get, somehow, to places where you are hurt, then add motion.

As we move through life, many of us have our flow of action blocked, or constricted, or redirected, as an unconscious means of going around and avoiding emotional knots tied to traumas, large and small, which forced at some point a reaction of avoidance and forgetting (what I have called forgession, which is a more or less intentional forgetting).  The image I would use is a flow of water constricted by many partial dams and turns in the river.  Action is tied to emotion, which you will note has the word motion in it.  Less blocks, fewer bends, and you get more effective expressions of energy, of emotion, of action.

As an example, I would submit that anxiety is simple a very small dose of anger, directed at people who hurt us long ago.  It is both precautionary--a mild, highly diluted fight or flight response--and reactive to certain eternal moments that exist in us, certain places which NEVER CHANGE, certain situations that you can't get over, not least because you can't remember them, or remember them in a way which subtracts the honest emotions you felt.

The task is to feel those feelings, which we have done many times, but to add motion.  What Holotropic breathwork does, as an example, is first induce a state in which suppressed emotions are allowed to come up, but then through gradual changes in the music, adds motion.  You don't know where the music is going, what is next, and you have to accept this.  This adds motion.

Or another example would be Barry McDonough's 20 second response for panic attacks.  First, you accept the anxiety.  Second, you ask for MORE.  Finally, you add a 20 second countdown.  You ask it to do its worst, but in 20 seconds, no more.  The countdown, I realize, adds motion.  Where a panic attack is more or less falling into what feels like a never-ending spasm of terror and sense of incipient insanity, you break that spasm by adding motion, by adding time, by putting in on a line which you move along, one which has an end.  It's a very clever system.

I think I'm getting close to figuring these things out.  One of my goals is to create an actually, consistently effective psychotherapy.  The Holotropic Breathwork is already invented, and already effective. What I feel, rightly or wrongly, is that I may be able to better systematize it, and better able to frame it cognitively such that it sees much wider use, which I feel could only benefit our society in pervasive and desirable ways.

The Debate

I did actually watch the debate.  I like to deal, here, with deeper issues, but will allow myself a short break into the very temporal.  The following I posted on Yahoo, in response to this very partisan and in my view disingenuous editorial.

Obama is worth $10 million. He has NEVER been an average American. He went to a high end prep school, and was educated at two elite universities. He doesn't care about ordinary Americans. His Energy Secretary wants gas prices to be $10 a gallon. His pension fund invests in the same companies Romney's does.

The salient fact of the debate was that Obama has kept NONE of his major promises. He did not get unemployment down. He did not cut the deficit. He did not enact or even propose an immigration solution, despite having majorities in both houses of Congress.


Obama is an empty suit. He is a windbag. He is an unprincipled charlatan whose reelection will cause massive layoffs, skyrocketing energy costs, a complete breakdown in our healthcare system, continued foreign policy failures, and an unnecessarily diminished America.


Since I'm on the topic, I think it worth posting as well a quite remarkable quote from a former aide and supporter who knew him well, and who was caught in an unguarded moment, defending the President, but in such a way as to be very revealing:

“People say the reason Obama wouldn’t call Clinton is because he doesn’t like him,” observes Tanden. “The truth is, Obama doesn’t call anyone, and he’s not close to almost anyone. It’s stunning that he’s in politics, because he really doesn’t like people. My analogy is that it’s like becoming Bill Gates without liking computers.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bargaining

As I posted a few days ago, I think the stages of mourning concept can be applied to life, to the proposition that ALL lives will contain pain and that this is inevitable, and even desirable.  Sadness and difficulty make us wiser and more GENUINELY compassionate.

I would submit that Sybaritic Socialists are stuck in the Bargaining stage. They don't want to deal with anger or sadness, but can't use denial (which in part is what the Hippy movement was about, using drugs to become functionally dead, as in Grateful Dead, and thus numb to the actual question they were being asked to answer) since they need some purpose for their lives.  They want to cut a deal with life.  They want to use self delusion as a means of avoiding the sadness and anger that attend actual emotional growth.  They want to remain morally and emotionally as "innocents", as if that were possible absent more or less conscious choice.  They want to pretend this world is safe, or would be if we just did what everyone said.  They want to pretend hard choices are never needed, and that we can postpone all griefs and pains indefinitely.  All you have to do to get this deal is submit,  Merge into the herd.  Listen and do as you are told, and all will be well.  They are EAGER to sell their freedom, if the alternative is any quantity of suffering.

It is a truism that family businesses fail in the third generation.  The grandfather is serious and starts the business.  The son, being the father's son, and having watched the business be built, is also serious, but not quite as much.  The grandson is flippant, since all he has ever known is success.

The Baby Boomers are grandchildren.  They are infantile, and they are actively ruining everything good in this country.

Cultural Sadeists, those who express and intend only evil in their politics, recognize the pain in life but they refuse to accept it.  They refuse to feel it.  Since they recognize a need for pain, they seek it in others.  This is the root of cruelty.

You have to be emotionally strong to live well.  You MUST be willing to allow unpleasant emotions to wash through you.  You can't feel sorry for yourself, and you have to keep going.  This is the only path to Goodness.

Obamacare note

I just edited the piece so the hyperlinks can be accessed, and altered the Guaranteed issue a bit.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Obamacare

I deleted all the other posts--I'm not completely sure why I posted them, since I don't know how many readers I have--but in any event this is short.

Here is the link: http://www.goodnessmovement.com/Page25.html

It is 30 some-odd pages, but I have to say I think it is good work.  

I wonder how many recognize that view.  It played an important role in American history.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Contentment

The root of this word is "content", which means to contain.  Happiness is what you are filled with.  It is an internal artifact, and one which need not be tied to outside world (although self evidently I do not dispute that some external circumstances are easier to find happy than others.)

Captain America

I watched "The Avengers" for the fourth time today, and had a thought: it really is a pity that Captain America was put to sleep during the Communist era.  Obviously, the Left did and continues to do a good job of lying about the INTRINSIC evil of coerced egalitarianism.  That is what they do: they lie.  Long practice makes expert.

But interestingly, as I pointed out somewhere, the very first Iron Man was located in Vietnam, at the beginning of the war.  In it, Iron Man defeats a model of an NVA terrorist leader. 

Marvel knew then what was subsequently forgotten as a result of the diligent efforts of leftist "scrubber": that the war consisted in vicious men infiltrating from the North, terrorizing small villages until they agreed to support them with food and troops, and a systematic expansion from these bases of assassination and terror directed nearly ENTIRELY against civilian targets.  Women were raped and killed in front of their husbands.  Young girls were tied to trees to die of thirst and exposure. Flame throwers were used against grass and wood huts.  Village and government leaders were shot in the streets.

All of the evils that Captain America fought in World War Two, mythically, were amply present in the two shooting wars we fought with the Communists in Korea and Vietnam, but TO THIS VERY DAY people do not understand how awful Communism was and is.  It is really shocking.  Obviously, I deal with the whys and hows of this nearly daily, but even now it shocks me how complacent those who should know better are in countenancing and even defending evil.

Even today, the Left is trying to portray the take-over of the Middle East by Fascist thugs as somehow good.  Men are being crucified.  Little girls are being beaten, or, alternately, married off to 50 year old men when they are 10, in the tradition of the "Prophet".  Women accused of adultery are stoned.  None of this is good.  It is "unholy" in a very formal sense.  These people WILL be punished when they die, because they KNOW on some level they are committing evil acts.

I believe in God, and I believe that He put within us an innate sense of right and wrong.  What undermines that sense is EFFORT.  You have to work at it.  You have to adopt an ideology which allows you to turn off your intuition, your own judgement, in favor of a rigid behavioral code.  Prepubescent girls should not be forced to have old men humping them.  No one can defend this.

But the Left does, typically by turning a blind eye. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dogmatism

I ran into Sam Harris's profile on Facebook today, where he was more or less mocking a neurosurgeon who had a very powerful Near Death Experience. I offered to debate him, but of course the likelihood is close to zero.I know these people don't REALLY debate, they don't REALLY use reason, if by reason we include a willingness to evaluate impartially all data.  I know this from long experience.  They don't bend.

It did occur to me though that the tactic for me would not be presenting absolutely, categorically true and irrefutable proof.  They always have a way out.  What would however be easy would be pointing out that their views are not based upon empiricism.  Given that their belief system and self understanding rests FIRMLY on empiricism, this makes them hypocrites of the worst sort.  This would be easy enough to show.

As one example, take William Crookes .  He was a pioneer of vacuum tubes, and one of the most prominent scientists of his generation.  Yet, when he carefully investigated medium Daniel Dunglas Home--who was the first person to be called "psychic"--and found his power genuine, he was vilified.

When a scientist does an experiment, do other scientists take his word for it?  Of course not.  They try to, what:? REPLICATE it.  How many scientists tried to replicate Crookes work prior to denouncing it?  None.  In what other field of science are apparently successful experiments done by qualified professionals not subjected to efforts at replication?  These scientists, at a minimum, could have attended a Home seance.  He took all comers, and did his work in well lit rooms he had not previously visited.  If you read about what he did, and ponder the sheer quantity of witnesses, you have to conclude that it nothing short of a scientific crime that so few investigated him.

That was not actually the main point I wanted to make, so after my foray into channeling Arlo Guthrie, let me move on to Part Two.

I have long felt that atheists have a different vibe to them, as well, a certain emotional detachment, a certain machine-like-ness, a certain feel of metal.  It is not a strong, but a subtle thing.  As William James pointed out right at the beginning of his Pragmatism lectures, your sense of the world and your place in it is by far the most important element of who you are, and such people at root have to admit they are dirt that exists in apparent consciousness for a short time, then disappears for all eternity.

This emotional aspect got me to thinking about how they handle emotions, then it hit me: I think dogmatists pick their stance, their form, their religion based upon what emotions it enables them to suppress.

Think about it: no dogmatist of any stripe can claim to be rational, since by definition they are unwilling to change their views in response to new evidence.  Consistently, of course, the strategy is to avoid new evidence, to make this fact less clear.

If you believe in God, you believe in your connection with the universe and your fellow humans.  If you do not, then you are alone.  Some people like that idea, that they have private chamber that is theirs alone, in which no spirit, no psychic, no transpersonal anything can penetrate.  Their mind may consist solely of electrical impulses and chemical reactions, but it is THEIRS.

As I see it, spiritual freedom consists in allowing a constant wind to blow out of you into the world.  It does not blow constantly, or always in the same direction.  At some level, we have to reject all fixity in order to follow and grow it.  Buddhist monks wandered, to facilitate this.  I would argue that if you don't interfere with this flow, you can be anywhere and doing anything, and grow equally.

But some people don't want that flow. They don't want that connection.  They don't want to grant certain emotions of pain deep within them access to light and air.  This is why they reject so violently people who are religious.  As I said, I have debated many atheists, and a great many of them border on the sadistic.  They know full well that the ONLY thing that gets some people through life is their religious beliefs, yet they DELIGHT it attacking them and their faith.  They invest enormous energy in it.  I wonder if they are attacking their own vulnerable selves, that lie buried beneath a facade of apparent rationality, one heavily conditioned by emotional attachments they cannot manage because they cannot recognize.

This idea of flow is key.  I am sure of it.  What stops the flow is bad, and what facilitates it is good.  Atheism stops it, so it is bad.  People like Sam Harris have caused a lot of suffering, not least among those who admire him.  What he has done for them is rationalize shelving unwanted pressures and failings, angers and sadnesses, into a package that purports to be perfectly tranquil, perfectly reasonable, and fully compatible with the best ideas of science.

It is a lie.

Parenting

My children are teenagers.  Thus far, no problems.  That may change, but I think my basic philosophy is working, which is that my work is largely done by age 13. I have created a rocket heading out into the world, with a trajectory and a momentum, and I am only there when asked for.  Otherwise, I will just let it go, and hopefully enjoy watching where it goes. 

You cannot build common sense or self restraint when a kid is 15, and I think the mistake many people make is to wait until they start having problems to ask themselves what sort of person they are raising.  By then, there is nothing you can do about it.

As a general rule, if you have to apply force, you have already failed.  You have already fallen short of what was possible.  It applies in social life as much as in the military world.

As Sun Tzu said, it does not take good hearing to perceive thunder, or good eyesight to see lightning.  What is valuable is to see them far before they happen.  Very few people even attempt to live like this.

Political Science

Can you trust a field whose very name is a lie?

Life Cycles

Life is pain.  This is what the Buddha posited.  Acceptance of this truth, and the following truth "and there is a solution", constitutes the essence of his program.  What I think needs to be understood about this stipulation though is that he intended not just pain as pain, but the pain of knowing that better is possible, and wanting it.

The Germans have a proverb: "life is like a chicken coop ladder: shitty and short".  Some lives are like that, particularly in very poor parts of the world today, and for most of the world's history before that.  Disease, hunger, war, hard work: all of them daily experiences.

Modern Americans have eradicated most of the randomness of life, and some are trying to eliminate ALL of it, in the futile hope that this will bring about paradise.  What I feel it brings about is emotional emptiness, one that is currently filled for many through their politics and relatively hollow spiritual pursuits, but which is not satisfied fully through such activities, and which thus brings anger and sadness.

What I want to submit here is that Elizabeth Kuebler Ross's stages of mourning can be applied to the basic proposition "you can't have it all", which is a paraphrase of "life is pain."  You can't EVER have it all.  You can't climb every mountain if you also want to swim every sea, be a good parent, and be socially useful. We must all accept this. We must deflate our ambitions.

Everywhere you see these signs saying something like "follow your bliss", pursue your dreams, be all you can be.  For some people, this is likely good advice.  For most, , though,I think it leaves them empty, not least because few are disciplined enough to consistently achieve hard goals.  Half the people you know are below average, but they have dreams too.

The first stage of grieving is denial.  When you are young, it seems the world is your oyster.  You can do and have it all, because you don't yet know how to plan. 

Then you get frustrated--you feel anger--when you realize you CAN'T have it all, and view life as unfair.  Note that this can happen on many levels.  Poor people in the ghettos are looking to comfortable lives relatively free of violence and ugliness.  The rich may be looking for "true love".  In my view, it doesn't matter where you start or end up, the basic truth applies that you have to accept some circumstance of living if you are to be happy.

Then you alternate Bargaining and Sadness.  You hope for something, and sometimes get it, but never enough, if you are looking for happiness "out there".  You alternate hope and despair.

Then resignation.  This can end in Sadness, if you don't actively "refute" the sadness emotionally, by consciously accepting life on its own terms.

This is where the process I spoke of a few days ago under "The Finger" (perhaps a subauspicious title, but I'm leaving it) kicks in.  There are processes you can use to flush out the sadness, and anger, and anxiety, and denial, such that emotional states flow OUT of you, rather than in to you from the outside, such that you control your own weather simply by allowing the good to flow out naturally and in an unobstructed way.  This is the "doing nothing" of the Tao Te Ching, and the Windhorse of the Tibetans.  As I have said, I feel it sometimes.  I think it is getting stronger.


Joe Biden

I rarely comment on real time issues, since it is done well enough by many other people.  I will make an exception here.  Do you remember Steve Kroft asking Obama if he was "punch drunk" in an interview (I'm sure the video is out there, but I'm not taking the time to find it) in 2009?  I said then that he was trying to channel FDR, who used laughter to great effect in very trying times.  He calmed people. In my view, he bamboozled them, but the net is that it got the job done.

Biden's handlers know he is an idiot.  He is a glad hander, who knows how to read people well enough, and is smart enough to be loyal to the people who invite him to the party.  But with regard to substantive issues, they likely felt that he was absolutely in beyond his depth, and that to attempt to be serious next to the very serious, very policy detail oriented Ryan was way past his capability.  They likely told him to do the opposite, to more or less mock Ryan, in the hope that people would jump on the bandwagon: "Oh there you go AGAIN, Paul, you silly boy".

It does not sound like it worked.  I can't watch debates, or really even live coverage of anything.  All I consume, by and large, are facts.  My opinions are my own.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

RIP Sgt. Major Plumley

 A good man died yesterday: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_L._Plumley

I am like most American men: I like to watch war movies from time to time, of which one is the account of the Battle of Ia Drang portrayed in "We were Soldiers Once".  I read the book as well, long ago.  Sam Elliot as Plumley is hands down my favorite character.  He's the kind of guy that gets things done right, and quickly.

I have invested a lot of time and energy researching the Vietnam War, and will take this moment to share them in a form I don't think I have quite put out there with the clarity I am hoping to here.

As any long term readers I have may have know, I believe not only that we won the Vietnam War, then retreated unnecessarily, but that that is the only honest way to look at it, if you know the facts.  I discuss many details in my paper on Cultural Sadeism, and wanted to add here just a bit.

What happened in the Battle of Ia Drang (which a friend of mine who was a combat historian claimed means "Shit River", which I have been unable to verify) is that we subjected our troops to fire, brought a massive number of North Vietnamese regulars (who had infiltrated into South Vietnam in patent defiance of treaty conditions and international law) into contact with American troops, and in particular American artillery, air power, and helicopter gunships. The result was that a LOT of NVA died, roughly 10 times as many as we lost.

This was in my view the origin of Westmoreland's obsession with body counts and "search and destroy" missions.  But it only really worked once.  The NVA--and this was always an invasion of the South by the North, even if they did have some voluntary, and a LOT of involuntary support from locals--changed tactics, and from this battle in late 1965 until Creigton Abrams took over in 1968, we were losing a lot of men for little to no benefit.  This is why public opinion turned.  This is the period the Pentagon Papers covered.

What has received almost NO coverage is the brilliant and SUCCESSFUL strategy Abrams pursued in the wake of the Tet offensives that were DISASTROUS for the NVA.  They lost huge numbers of men, but even worse, they lost virtually all support they had had among the South Vietnamese, and made them wake up and realize what was in store for them if they lost the war.  Huge number of men enlisted in ARVN, and together with Abrams pacification strategy, the NVA had lost all hold on the countryside by 1972.  This left conventional, tank led invasion as their only option, one which the exercised in 1972 and again, successfully, in 1974.

To be clear, conventional warfare is what we do WELL.  That is our forte.  It depends on large numbers of weapons like artillery and tanks that we have in profusion.  What happened in 1974, effectively is what happened when the Shah of Iran fell: we abandoned an ally.  We refused to provide air support, we cut off all aid money, and we refused them access to naval transport.  With those three things--and NO American combat troops on the ground--they would have resisted the 1974 invasion as well, and remained free.

People who claimed to be "compassionate", who claimed to be "empathetic" and "against war" caused this failure, which led immediately to tens of thousands of murders, and countless acts of torture and violence. It facilitated as well the coup in Cambodia, which was another nation we abandoned, leading to numerous literal torture chambers being set up, in which dozens of people were tortured to death daily for YEARS, and pictures taken ghoulishly of their bodies.

I have on my shelf a somewhat rare chronicling of the atrocities in North Vietnam following its falling to the Communists, and I have to say it is not pleasant reading.  How many of you knew Diem's brother was murdered by Communists by being buried alive?  How many of you know the name of the Montagnard village attacked with flame throwers, in which hundreds of non-combatants were burnt to death?  But you know My Lai.  Curious.

When I condemn the left as evil, I don't do this rhetorically.  I am not trying to do anything but describe factually patterns I see, and treat as analytically as I can.  When you see aging hippies, still proud to have been a part of the anti-war movement, what you need to see are self satisfied children who committed a major crime they will never, ever, accept responsibility for in this lifetime.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Obamacare, rough draft



This is not my main piece, but a rough draft I thought I would post for the hell of it.

The  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is intended to protect patients and lower healthcare costs.  It will likely do neither, for most people.

For one thing, it requires all insurance companies to pay the medical expenses of people who are already sick.  Such people will ALWAYS cost far, far more than they can ever pay in, which means that the insurance companies will have to charge higher rates for everyone else or go bankrupt.

The law also requires insurance companies to limit their operating expenses to 20% of their gross incomes, and makes them pay special taxes.  The government has no way of knowing if these companies will be able to survive on this amount.  Insurance companies employ a lot of people, and if they go bankrupt, it will increase our national unemployment rates.  They also hire a lot of contractors whose work with such companies is decreasing because they are no longer spending money.

Some say the government will do a better job of managing insurance than private companies, but the truth is that no government agency will ever go bankrupt as long as taxes can be collected, and that in the very best case the government might care as much as a private company competing for business, but that the likelihood is that things will cost more, and people will care less.  We will not only not save money, we will destroy private, tax paying companies like Humana here locally, and replace them with expensive bureaucracies.

Obamacare changes how Medicare is paid for, such that rather than paying for the work that was done, like factoring in how long the patient was in the hospital, how many doctors saw them, etc, under the new system it will pay a fixed cost to the healthcare providers.  This amount will either be too little, too much, or just right.  If it is too little, hospitals will stop treating Medicare patients.  If the government forces them to take Medicare patients anyway, they will go out of business.  If the government pays too much, then tax dollars are wasted by the new system, which will inflate rather than decrease costs, thus defeating the purpose.  If the dollars are just right, that will be good, but across hundreds of thousands of interactions, this seems very unlikely.

Finally, Obamacare increases greatly both Medicaid, which is the program for poor people, and subsidies for lower income people.  That money MUST be paid by our taxes, which means that either we will go much deeper into debt—and Medicaid is already bankrupt in many States NOW—or the rest of us will have to pay much higher taxes for the healthcare of people who don’t pay taxes, which is redistribution.

83% of doctors have said they have thought about getting out of medicine because of Obamacare.  http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/09/report-83-percent-of-doctors-have-considered-quitting-over-obamacare/

KFC told its franchisees that simple math shows how Obamacare will cut their profits in half: http://washingtonexaminer.com/franchisors-warn-obamacare-will-halve-profits/article/2507920

This means that some will go bankrupt, some will close down, and some will never open at all, all of which will cost jobs and the tax revenue that jobs create.