Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Alberto Gonzalez

I have said this before, but in my view the case of Alberto Gonzalez should be put in the public eye regularly by all people of good will and who value the truth--which is to say by only perhaps a quarter at most of our media complex.

He was forced to resign by a campaign of sheer innuendo, waged relentlessly by the complicit media.  Then-Senator Hillary Clinton alleged that he was trying to hush up some unnamed and mysterious scandals.

Eric Holder has gotten hundreds of people KILLED while breaking the law, and he has not faced a FRACTION of the heat visited on Gonzalez.

Not everyone in this country is an asshole, or tolerates assholes.  Many people are simply ignorant, or lack the attention span to remember things when they leave the media spotlight.

Me, I have not forgotten that North Korea threatened to launch nukes at us, or that we still do not have a statement or even plausible presumption of guilt on Joker Tsarnaev--who seems not to have had a throat injury when arrested.  We don't know anything about the Saudi the Obama's got spirited away immediately. 

I have forgotten none of the scandals (which, as I have said, ought properly to be viewed and described as "evidence of Obama's true intentions").

Gonzalez, though: he is a textbook example of a propaganda operation waged for purely partisan purposes, and contrary both to the best interests of the United States, and the cause of truth generally.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Minimum Wage

I can't remember what I said last time, but here is the shortest summary of the issue I have come up with:

The minimum wage only does anything when set above what the market was otherwise willing to pay.  If set at or below what the market was willing to pay it is irrelevant and unnecessary. 

In economic theory, any increase in price, given a fixed demand, will cause a decrease in the consumption of that product, which here is labor.  This is as ironclad a rule as one can find in the field.  Necessarily, then, artificially fixing the minimum wage above what the market was willing to pay will ALWAYS cause increases in unemployment.  There are no exceptions.

This is masked by the fact that in many places the minimum wages are set below what was going to be paid anyway.  People look at a high standard of living and confuse cause and effect.

I will add that in the United States part of our problem is the ignorance of large segments of our populace, which makes them worth less.  Both in rural areas, and inner cities some 40% of the kids fail to graduate high school.  The difference is that in rural areas there are a lot of opportunities for unskilled labor.  This is much less true in cities, particularly when characterized by high crime rates.

To belabor the obvious, universal public education was a key socialist objective for much of the 19th century.  They got it.  Now many of the people who ought in theory to most benefit from it fail to appreciate it at all.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Society: a useful clarification

When anyone says that "society" has failed an individual or group of individuals, what we almost invariably mean is that their FAMILIES have failed them.  The people our culture depends upon as the first and primary source of adaptive acculturation have failed to do their job.

This has been made unclear since at least the time of Rousseau since he himself sired a number of children  he flipped off to orphanages since he didn't want to take care of them, since he was either a narcissist or a sociopath.  Thus, "society" is what you lean on when you are irresponsible, and which in practice means depending on the tender mercies of a power elite who use taxpayer money to buy votes, and thus to get the power they need to take de facto kickbacks and bribes.

Compassion is a necessary virtue in others for the irresponsible.

His family failed Trayvon Martin.  That is precisely why they are so mad at everyone else.  The mirror can be a painful place to look, and God knows they have plenty of help shifting the blame everywhere but where it belongs.  I don't blame Martin for reacting in predictable ways to what was no doubt a very unpleasant environment.  I would say until about age 25, in our culture, kids are direct reflections of the work the parent(s) did or (in all too many cases) did not do.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Janet Napolitano

Hell, it's been WEEKS I think since my last conspiracy theory. 

She is there to facilitate the release of our latest nuclear research to the Chinese.  Not directly, but by hiring people at Lawrence Livermore who can hire people, who can leak the data.

I have said before, but not recently, that my conspiracy theory on the whole Ken Starr thing was that by keeping the focus on irrelevancies, nobody would think to investigate with the care warranted how so many of our secrets were either stolen, or sold outright to the Chinese.

If our system were not fundamentally superior to others, we would have fallen long ago.  We have many traitors--in a formal sense of giving aid and comfort to our enemies--in our midst.

Social Architecture

I see this phrase "social engineering".  I have been dealing a lot with architects lately, and it seems to me if we want to describe the activities of morally (and otherwise) obtuse political schemers, it would be social architecture.

Engineers as a group tend to be a bit cranky, insular, and pessimistic.  There is usually some older white guy who will tell you all the reasons something won't work.  You normally shouldn't build anything until this guy stops being able to find problems.  All architects in the end depend on structural engineers to make sure their visions can actually be built.

Architects, on the other hand, seem to self select as "visionaries", in the sense of seeing, ideally, innovative, unique ways of approaching the craft of creating structures, of in some respects sculpting space, of creating openness and enclosure where before there was mere emptiness.

As I have said before, the visions of leftists tend to be static.  Like the ennumerated crimes of Sade in most of 120 Day of Sodom, they lack motion.  The same basic themes recur.  The dominant feel is not of a machine but a picture, one in which all the components are harmoniously interrelated.

Mao, in decreeing, say, for the Tibetans a crop which had not been tested in Tibet, and which was destined to fail, killing a million or more people uselessly, was not operating a machine, or modifying a machine.  The machine had been operating successfully for at least hundreds of years and likely millenia.  He did not ask the questions an engineer would ask.  He did not look at all the things that could go wrong.

What he saw was a picture of happy, smiling Tibetans, thanking him for so brilliantly changing their lives for the better.  He saw a static image.  He saw a society in the same way that a building stands, unchanging.

He was a sociopath, obviously--whether congenitally or made so by an evil creed is irrelevant--but one whose principle fault was a defective mode of thinking.

Couple thoughts.  I'm tired and perhaps disjointed, but this theme has been in my head a few weeks, and I thought it time to put it to bed as well.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Blessings

If I were to offer a universal blessing of the Buddhist variety, I would not invoke compassion at all.  I would say something like "may all sentient beings be gifted with appropriate work, and the capacity to enjoy it."

We need to abolish this concept of final rest.  Relative rest is a necessity, but it is my belief that even when we die, there is work to be done.  Movement is in the nature of this half of the universe (there is in my belief another half, a latent half, and since all structure is latent there, so too is all movement), and we may as well get used to it.

As a side note, I would include loving relationships within the category of work.  You cannot simply exist with others.  You must give them your attention, your affection, your time.  It is simply work that is rewarding, and like work well done, it need not feel arduous, and can be quite pleasant.

I will add, too, that this thought comes about from reading about the smaller Tibetan Prayer Wheels.  They also chant various mantras, like Om Mani Padme Hum.  I was fiddling around with that one, and noticed that it causes my breath to come out in slightly different ways.  If we posit that much emotional "baggage"--undigested experience--is held in the chest and manner of breathing, then this mantra is a more or less physical intervention to help release it.  That is my view, at any rate.

We know so little.  So many of our supposed thought elite live in a wasteland and never go anywhere interesting.

Class warfare


What is class warfare--which is only in actuality ever waged by the State against those it considers undesirables--but cultural eugenics?  Nazism and Communism only ever differed in how they defined undesirable.  We view them differently today because the propaganda of one was unmasked by military defeat.  The other is trumpeted to this day from podiums across the nation, making moral clarity impossible for most.

Prayer Wheels and Community


We read Denmark is one of the happiest nations on Earth.  In my view, this is because the communities are of a size where people can feel like they belong; they have a common culture; and nobody is really poor.  I think one could even make the case that egalitarianism is an OUTCOME of moral development.  It emerges when a people is ready. If compelled, it is NECESSARILY violent, since inner growth cannot be forced.  You need to learn to see more, not less.

What socialists claim to want is a world where everything makes sense and everyone lives in harmony.  Yet, their first step--that of rejecting individual moral distinctions and the possibility of moral growth outside of their political program--makes success impossible.  Where moral growth is needed, they reject it, and at that in the name of morality.

The point I wanted to make, though, before my fingers go away from me, is that I had this pleasant image the other day of finding myself sleepless one night, and getting up and walking down to a local church, where they had these Tibetan prayer wheels.  I imagined seeing someone there, perhaps someone I knew, and walking around turning them silently for an hour or two until my mind settled, then going back to bed.

Practices like this are seen as "primitive" by some, and for my part I don't think prayers get "sent" anywhere.  But how emotionally healthy is it to focus on good intentions from time to time for an hour or two in a community sanctuary?

The Chinese are evil.

My blog

I really am an odd, odd duck, aren't I?  C'est la me.

Analogy correction

Here is a better analogy for what banks do: they take a dime from a thousand people, and give it to the person receiving the loan of $100.  The person, of course, does not feel like the money has been stolen, so my analogy with a hold-up is not right.

But inflation saps wealth--even if so subtly that, as Keynes observed, not one man in a thousand can detect it in ordinary circumstances--and it is created, by and large, by the institution of fractional reserve banking.  Inflation happens when the economy is good because the banks are lending.  We have relatively low inflation now because they are NOT lending.  Simple.

Obviously, they create the money more or less from scratch, which doesn't sap the wealth of anyone, UNTIL it circulates.

Once you learn to grasp what banks do, and how large the gap is between what SHOULD have happened, and what DID happen, it's a bit like dropping into "They live".

Sex

In my meditation the other day I saw clearly that the important part of sex is the emotional.  Feelings have an almost concrete reality, and when two people approach one another, they do it first emotionally, if they are going to connect.

Now, this is obvious, of course, but I really do think our culture feeds the idea that the act itself is what brings the pleasure.  In my considered view, masturbation is more pleasurable than sex with a woman with whom I am not prepared to also be emotionally intimate.  And in my view, many, many men are like that: they masturbating with a partner.

You can't be fully emotionally present with another person unless you can get to the point where you can relax fully, and be intimate with your own being, your own reality.  I would take the affective states I reach in meditation over even the best sex 100 times out of 100.  Emotionally detached sex makes me sad.  I've had quite a bit of it, so I know.

On a related note, I got to thinking about the contrasting roles of the Parasympathetic and Sympathetic nervous systems.  The first is what generates sexual arousal, but it's the second which is involved in orgasms and ejaculation.

It seems to me that in a healthy human the Parasympathetic dominates most of the time, as characterized, among other physiological markers, by a high Heart Rate Variability (you can look it up: the Heartmath website is a good place to start).  This means that sex is easy to enter, and arousal is easy.

I think there is a profound difference between the sexes, though, when it comes to this.  I think a high activation of the Parasympathetic nervous system is very important, and I think in our world most women, like most men are 1) beset with constant stress; 2) often feeling disconnected emotionally from their men, and quite possibly from their own feelings.

Men like to chase women.  Sexual activation for us is pretty easy.  But women have to be relaxed and happy.  This is of course something only an idiot would feel the need to say, but there it is.

Which makes me wonder about the phenomenal success of "50 Shades of Grey".  The success of that book really does call for an explanation.  I have offered several, of course.  The whole essence of BDSM is assault and dominance by one party or the other.  Being tied up could only activate the Sympathetic nervous system, I would think. Or do they only feel the ability to relax when someone else is in control?  That may be getting closer.  Does it represent a more or less mechanical operation of the necessary nervous systems?

But it seems to me that however we interpret it, it is very hard to see it as emotionally healthy.

I will add a third point.  I was listening on the radio today to "Me and Mrs. Jones", and wondering about fidelity, and relationships.

My old fashioned view is that marriage is a good thing, and should be for life.  For obvious reasons, I don't think sex should be an end in itself.  I think the relationship, the friendship, should be an end in itself, with sex a means of deepening emotional intimacy and sense of connection.  Again, anything other than that and you are masturbating with a partner.

But so many people are restless.  So many men, in particular, don't want to feel "trapped".  And I am divorced, so I understand this feeling fully.  But would it not be USEFUL if we as a culture started, in large numbers, to adopt patterns of healthy emotionality?  Specifically, if more and more people would learn and use effective personal growth platforms like Kum Nye and Holotropic Breathwork and Autogenics?

In my view, all our problems would fall away--rather, we would both not create the problems in the first place, and what troubles remained would be more easily managed with sang froid and even enjoyment.

The Globalists, the bastards, think that humanity has to be pushed into a hole and fed bread and water for it to survive.  No, all we need to learn to do is be happy with less, and there are technologies for doing that.

But think what a marvelous tool for health sex is, within a happy, committed relationship.  You operate your nervous system from one end to the other.

Few thoughts.  Oh yes, of course I need to be somewhere, which is why I'm sitting here typing!!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cultural Systems

I think my practice of defining "culture" as persisting solutions to the problems of meaning, truth, structure of power, and economics is useful.  It is a heuristic, but one which I think covers the fundamental tasks of life. 

We all have to have a means of transmuting pain into something positive.  Work that is "meaningless" is unenjoyable.  Work that is "meaningful" is rewarding.

We need some sense of place or direction.  This is in part a function of meaning, but we also need a means of navigating our physical world.  Historically, truth has been passed down parent to child, in terms of how to eke out a living, what to believe, how the world is structured, what their role is, etc.

You have to have a system for dealing with disagreement, such that they are not resolved through violence.  As libertarians like to point out, quite often the solution winds up being on-going structural violence, but some system of rules needs to be in place and someone needs to enforce them.  In an optimal society, the rules are internalized and enforced with wisdom and diligence by each individual.

You have to have a means of feeding, housing, and clothing yourself.  Obviously, economic systems can range from autarkic subsistence to our current, highly complex system in which buyers, sellers, and manufacturers can each be on different continents.

The point I want to make here is that culture is a means for the creation and DISTRIBUTION of meaning, truth, power and wealth, and that in a free system the higher the quality of each, the greater the distribution.

As an example, Leftism is a cultural artifact of the 19th century, when it seemed likely that everything boiled down to atoms, and that life was meaningless.  As a reaction to this belief, it denigrated the previously assumed capacity for individual human moral thought and action in favor of a new oligarchic system based on the lie that the architects of such systems intended for themselves anything but on-going and complete power.

As a meaning system, it works for a certain number of people, but only those who are implementing and pushing the policies, not the people on whose behalf they are supposedly working.

As an example, Nancy Pelosi, although quite willing to cash the checks that come to her as a result of the power she has gained as a result of her politics, can also be assumed to have a certain sincerity in her belief that what she does helps the world rather than hurting it.  It provides a meaning and structure to her life.

But if one were to go to Hunter's Point, in San Francisco, or East Palo Alto, what one would find would be masses not just of economic poverty, but of moral poverty, of meaning poverty.  Her meaning system has not been distributed, because it is based upon lies.

In an information-controlled country, which is much of America (since the complicit media have a large audience and are in a position both to kill stories they don't like, and to spin the ones they can't ignore), truth is not distributed.  It is hoarded by a small elite.

Power is hoarded with socialists.  Wealth is hoarded by socialists.

Hell, my brain is tired, for a variety of reasons.  I had not intended this as another attack on the most pervasive evil in our world.  The point was the distribution.  Do with these thoughts what you will.

Personality mobilization

Some of the ideas I've gotten from Kelly Starrett, particularly the use of lacrosse balls to smash open tissues, have been extremely helpful.  It has been an enormous support to my meditative and overall personal mental and emotional fitness work.

It occurred to me that just as all tissues in a body, when healthy, move with freedom, so too all the elements of our "personality" ought to as well.

It is an interesting thought that in large measure who we "are" is defined by our dysfunctions.  I would say that it might be a complete definition if we add "passions".  We are what we chase, and what we fear. We are what we run to and what we run from.

Certainly, genetics plays a role, but just as all people can be taught to play basketball, even if most of them will never become relatively good, so too all people can feel all emotions, and experience all personality elements, even if some more naturally exhibit certain emotions like joy or sadness.

Unlike with basketball, though, I think through effective personal practice, substantially all the positive emotions can be opened up, and all the negative ones either silenced, or made manageable through an increase in digestive capacity.

In important respects, all psychological and spiritual work are are personality mobilizations through perceptual mobilizations; and following which are behavioral mobilizations.

Ontology as learned helplessness

As I look at my world through refreshing eyes, it seems to me our task is to embrace fully the anxiety, nausea, confusion, lust, anger, sadness and every other emotion that comes with living in a world in which we are confronted with an uncertain future.  Embrace it.  Find it, go into it, expand it, accept it.  This is the path of courage and of wisdom.  I feel that strongly.

What occurs to me, though, is that the need to find any sort of stable, unchanging structure or form is in principle a disengagement with experience.  It is a tacit recognition of an inability to digest change and confusion.

One of my many little sort of side projects was to address the most recent expression of an old need for control, John Gray's book "Silence of the Animals".  In it, he posits an ontology:

In a strictly naturalistic view — one in which the world is taken on its own terms, without reference to a creator or any spiritual realm — there is no hierarchy of value with humans somewhere near the top. There are simply multifarious animals, each with its own needs. Human uniqueness is a myth inherited from religion, which humanists have recycled into science.(excerpted from here)
Has he not used the word "is" with regard to human experience, understood as an object?  Has he not made a foundational truth claim--a claim he generalizes to all of life, here and on other worlds--based upon his OPINION?  How can one speak objectively when one is not an object, when one is a subject?  And how can one speak at all AS an object?  We participate in our experience, both psychologically, and if we trust von Neuman's logical extrapolation from quantum theory, quite literally.  We interact with the universe directly.

The Buddha posited Four Noble Truths, all of which related to what is IN HERE, in our experience.  The solecism of Western science has been to speak of truths OUT THERE, which can be brought IN HERE.  We can be thought of as machines, and treated as machines, but we are not machines.  Life is different than death.

The truth is we know very little.  If one looks at the outliers of science--biophons, NDE's inexplicable by neuroscience, apparitions, the measurement of psi--then it is clear that if we are ever to do a strong ontology, it will need wait a LONG time, until all actually measurable human experience has been brought within normative scientific practice; until people calling themselves scientists allow all data which contradicts their cherished paradigms to enter their labs.

People who need to find a final conclusion are to the realm of possible experience what the Final Solution was to the Jews in Europe.  It is a crime against humanity, in my view.

This, to my mind, is the liberating aspect of the skepticism and emotional detachment that is supposed to characterize the scientific method.

But clearly we need a cultural and psychological complement to this mindset.  We need either somewhere to rest, or better ways of moving.  To my mind, the obvious answer is to rest in direct experience, which is what meditative practices like Kum Nye teach.  Rest in work.  Rest in the love of others.

Minds like John Gray are made mediocre by a lifetime of cultural insularity.  They are twisted by fear.  None of this is necessary.

Our Mechanical World

Do we live in an age of partial affection?  I see so many married couples, so many committed relationships, so many friendships where the depth of feeling is absent.  We merely coexist, in too many cases, and props like social media, and for the younger texting, help spare us the full burden of this truth.

And in any event, what can most of us do about it?  We live in a superficial world, characterized by ubiquitous shiny little lives on our TV's that are mostly lies.

Do you understand that the obsession the United States has with work and efficiency and progress is also the result of a type of propaganda?  The French, most of whom take off the month of August, view us as delusional.  In some respects I think they are right.

Are we more advanced than, say, a Plains Indian nation in the 1600's, which lived in peace within their own communities, waged war rarely, and within which everyone felt ennested, welcome, a part of the whole?  In which traditions gave structure and purpose to the days, and the full reign of emotion--affection and anger--was possible?

It seems likely that certain globalists, certain narcissistic power elites, want to try to recreate something like a tribe on the global scale.  They can see it in their slimy little minds, but fundamentally, in the end, they are discussing and contemplating the fates of OTHERS.  They do not intend to descend to the roles the rest of us are to play.

I am being a bit--I don't know what the word is--but I am in an odd mood.  Happy Sun-day.  Tomorrow will be Moon-Day.  And as a reminder, we are in the month named for Julius Caesar.  Next month it will be Augustus, and then the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th months, in what is a quite odd arrangement, if one thinks about it.

How can one fully track all the relics of the past?  To do so, I suppose, one would have to be fully present now.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Open letter to open economists



Here is a copy of a draft letter I intend to send to academic economists.  Feel free to forward it to any you know, or to make suggestions on how to make it shorter or more clear. 

It is the global banking system we are talking about it, but once you grasp that most decisions are local and simply need to not be blocked, a very few principles contain all that in my view anyone needs to know. 

The footnotes did apparently copy to the bottom, but the hyperlinks do not work.


Dear Sir,

My name is Eddie Rickenbacker, and I am trying to improve the world. This may frighten you—perhaps it should frighten you—but I not trying to make money, simply to ask you to think about things in a new way.

Let me ask you a basic question:

What is the difference, in principle, between pointing a gun at a man or woman and demanding $100; and scribbling “$100” on a piece of paper and then loaning it to the first person who asks for it, to be paid back with interest?

Has actually productive economic activity happened in either case?  Have any widgets or mousetraps been invented, marketed or distributed?

The fundamentally predatory nature of central banking and fractional reserve banking[1] is generally overlooked because it is stipulated that economic growth is and should be the principle focus of economic policy, and that such growth is assumed to require “capital”.  Since banks are the source of capital, whatever defects in the system people perceive, they assume they are—in their present form—a necessary evil.

It is small wonder those empowered by law to create money from nothing own much of our world.  I read on the one hand that the super-rich may have stashed up to $32 trillion in wealth in off-shore banks[2]; and on the other that household debt in the US is about $11 trillion, give or take; and that the national debt is about $17 trillion.

Now, I do not want to argue either that that is necessarily all money made by bankers, or that that the money of the wealthy be confiscated.  What I DO want to suggest is that access to credit--by nations, corporations, and individuals--has a strong correlation with economic outcomes in the modern world; and that it would be very interesting if $32 trillion were suddenly parachuted into our economy.

Since at least the time of David Hume, it has been understood that if you were to give everyone in the country $100, that price inflation would in short order destroy any momentary advantages it may convey.  Only those who were quick to spend the money would benefit fully.

However, in a society riddled with debt, the dynamics would work quite differently.  Let us say that we give everyone in the United States $1,000,000.  Massive price inflation would ensue nearly immediately.  For the sake of argument, let us assume that the date of this gift is known in advance, and that vendors of everything raise their prices in anticipation, meaning that real purchasing power is unaffected in the slightest.  It just now costs $100 to buy an apple.

But—and this point is CRITICAL—the relationship most people, businesses, and governments have with banks would be reversed.   

Long term debt is contractual.  The dollar amounts, in most cases, are fixed.  This means that people could use this money to pay off their debt even if the date was announced in advance.  People could not use the money to gain an advantage buying a hot dog, but substantially all mortgages would disappear.  People would own their cars.  Credit card bills would disappear.  Business debt would be retired.  Our national debt, State debt, and local and municipal debt would disappear.

As you may know, the ancient Hebrews appear to have practiced the remission of debts and property every fifty years, in what they termed a Jubilee.  There is nothing in the modern world which would prohibit reviving this practice, although once is enough with my plan.

Here is my proposal, which is similar in spirit to a plan called the Chicago Plan, but which retains a healthy skepticism about the consolidation of power that inheres in granting ANY body the power to create money on an on-going basis.

1. Federalize the Federal Reserve, putting it under the control of Congress.

2. Use the Federal Reserve to pay off all debts, public and private.  Following this process, the assets of all banks would consist solely in their actual capital.

3. Revalue the dollar nearly immediately by issuing a new, high-tech currency which is finite.  For every “dollar” that is circulated virtually, there needs to be an actual bill—which could be a chit, a piece of paper, or other physical object—to which it corresponds.  In principle, we should be able to make a physical pile of all American dollars, and this number should not ever change.

I will deal with my thought process on this in a moment.

4. Require full reserve banking.  Banks can only loan money they accrue through investment and profits on loans.

5. Abolish the Federal Reserve.

As I implied at the beginning, the act of creating money ex nihilo, and making a claim thereby on the physical or intellectual property of someone else, is inherently predatory.  It is a wealth transfer.  It is theft, in important respects.

This is true if that money creation is done by governments, fractional reserve banks, or central banks.  In all cases, the money created confers wealth on the creator, and diminishes through inflation the value of all other holders of money.  Inflation, as we know, diminishes the value of a savings account.  It diminishes the value of investments. If inflation did not happen, that value would not diminish.  On the contrary, if the value of the money increased, which we call deflation, everyone would profit except those who hold debts.

The reason the Great Depression started was that monetary deflation so greatly increased the value of existing debts in a nation where a lot of borrowing had been going on, that it caused vast numbers of personal, then business, then banking bankruptcies.  The banking bankruptcies, of course, caused further deflation, in a cycle that lasted some 3-4 years.  

This is the reason a currency increasing in value is feared today.  Given high debt loads, it is economically disastrous.


But given no debt it would be a boon of enormous power.

My contention is that throughout the 20th century we should have seen the steady increase in the value of money that characterized most of the latter half of the 19th Century[3], despite the plethora of competing currencies.

Where did our wealth go?  We transmogrified from a nation of home owners and savers into a nation of debtors and spendthrifts, but SOMEBODY owns everything in this nation.  Everything.  Some of it went into enormous government buildings and enormous bureaucracies and their pensions.  Most of it became profits for banks.  Goldman Sachs alone is worth nearly $1 trillion on the books, and it’s quite possible they control numerous other assets via various legal vehicles.

I would argue that an average person should be able to live a comfortable life on 20 hours of work a week or less. We should have no poverty.  We should have no unemployment, and much, much less crime.  All of these would have come about gradually and naturally if we had not tampered with our currency.

I am sometimes misunderstood as proposing a return to the Gold Standard.  I am not.  I am pointing out the obvious fact that there is ZERO intrinsic value in money, not even in gold, qua gold.  Given this, why not create a specific amount of money once, then let it increase in value?  This would incent savings, facilitate investment, and generalize prosperity.

All of these facts are well known to professionals.  In my view, the reason radical ideas like the Chicago Plan are not discussed are threefold: 

1) Institutional habit.  People tend to follow well worn paths, and even most conservative economists accept inflation of some small degree in principle, and simply differ on the degree of acceptable government intervention in the economy.

2) Banks, self evidently, oppose these ideas quite strongly, and are, I suspect, not infrequently in a position to guide discussions, and influence hiring, firing, and publication.

3) It has been alleged[4] that some 6,000 people shape most decisions made the world over.  An immediate implication of my idea is that people can consume more and buy more.  It seems likely that at Davos and the Bilderberg (which clearly does exist, even if its motives are far from sinister) they are working on decreasing the environmental impact world humanity is having, as well as pursuing population control policies that have always been in favor among elitists.

With regard to this last objection, what I would submit is that much of the energy driving consumption is a perception of lack.  Given a sense of abundance, I think time could quickly be seen as the more important resource than “stuff.”  I would compare the role of economic progress and a sense of satiety with the clear historical tendency of developing nations to first see population skyrocket, then stabilize, then—in most of Europe and East Asia—drop.


Summary
There are some powerful and heretical ideas in here, but I have been unable to find anyone able to critique the basic structure of my analysis, or dispute any of my facts.  Self evidently, hyperinflation followed by revaluation would be chaotic; but so too will national bankruptcy.  We are $17 trillion in debt, and increasing that number over a trillion dollars a year.   

Obama’s budget quite literally NEVER balances annual income with annual expenditures, which means that our annual expenditures on interest will continue to rise until in short order they exceed our Defense budget, and that at a time when entitlement spending is skyrocketing.

We are on a path to self destruction. This fact is ineluctable.  

Historically, many nations have defaulted on debts and made good.  What makes my proposal unique is that I bundle consumer and business credit in there as well. I also eliminate the camouflage inherent in the inflation of regimes like the Weimar Republic and Argentina that it is something other than the government serving its own interests at the expense of the people.  

My proposal is democratic.  It serves all the people, not just the power elite.

My email is, If you would like to discuss this, it would be my pleasure.  If you can find where I’m being stupid, let me know.

And with respect to my ideas, I have no desire for credit, or to see my name printed anywhere.  I am simply trying to influence discussions I will never hear, in meetings I couldn’t get invited to in a million years.

Thanks for your consideration!!!

Sincerely,

Ernestine Hayek


[1] Lest there be any confusion: if I hold $100 in assets and deposits and loan out $90 based upon it while still in theory allowing that money to be withdrawn, then now $90 are in circulation and affecting prices that should be laying still in a vault.  That money is created and it expands the monetary base in an inflationary way.  That money is eventually “extinguished”, but not without first having created deposit accounts in many other banks, who themselves then use it to make more loans.  One deposited dollar can in theory, as I understand it, be used to create some $27 more, although of course this will be sensitive to economic conditions.
[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/29/wealthy-stashing-offshore_n_3179139.html
[3] As documented many years ago by Milton Friedman and Anna Jacobson Schwarz in “A Monetary History of the United States.”
[4] http://www.amazon.com/Superclass-Global-Power-Elite-Making/dp/0374531617   “An entertaining and well researched taxonomy of the rich and powerful who shape foreign policy and business in our globalized world. Rothkopf gives us the story behind Davos Man." —Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Prize Winner in Economics and author of Making Globalization Work and Globalization and its Discontents

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Channelling Martin Luther King, Jr.

I've seen a few promising pieces from black writers, but nothing statesmanlike, so I'm going to try and create the speech I would like to see, from the ghost of MLK, Jr.  Good or bad, it puts out there some ideas that keep running through my head.


Elders of our community, brothers and sisters, blessed children: a fond welcome to you all.  Thank you for coming.  Thank you for listening.  Thank you for being who you are.

I must confess at the outset that my heart is heavy, and I can't say with certainty why.  I think we all knew this day would come, that the killer of that beautiful young man would walk free, and that the memories of a thousand small blows--cuts in our psyches, in our pride, in our determination--would come flowing back freely.

We live in a river that sometimes rejects us, do we not?  We sometimes drink tainted water.  We live in a world where we sometimes feel unwelcome.  We catch the side glances.  We feel things white people do not feel when a police car is behind us.  We feel both pride and shame in our ancestry, do we not?  The blessings of the Lord flow freely to all, but does it not sometimes feel they flow differently to us?

You all know whereof I speak.  You have all lived on this jagged Earth long enough to know how it works.  You have wisdom.  You have knowledge.  And you have freedom.

Therefore, what I would like to talk about tonight is possibility. I do not want to talk about young Trayvon or the man acquitted of killing him.  I want to talk about where we have been, where we are, and where we may yet go, Lord willing.  I want to speak of glorious dreams that have not been, but may yet be.  I want you to hope.  I want you to dream with me.  But first we need to risk seeing where we have been, and are yet.

We live in 2013.  Who would have thought we would endure to see this day?  150 years ago, most of our ancestors were enslaved, but a great war was being fought which would in the end bring an end to their legal servitude.  But this war did not bring peace.  It brought devastation to all in the South.  It blighted white and black alike, but as always our people suffered the most.  The law of the land stated that we were free, that we could not be held hostage, but economic realities belied that meager promise.  We were treated, still, like cattle for many many years.  We were terrorized.  Our women had no safety.  Our men had no safety.

I will remind you that the memory of the Civil War--the great division in our nation caused by the refusal of the South to grant us basic human dignity, and the strong ties between the South and the Democrat Party--was so strong in our nation that from 1860 until 1912 only one Democrat--Grover Cleveland--held our nations highest office, and that Woodrow Wilson was only elected in 1912 because the Republican Party was split.  After Wilson, Republicans ruled for another 12 years, until the devastation of the Great Depression caused a split in our nations political soul that continues to this day.

As you know, I myself have been a lifetime Republican, because I cannot stomach an alliance with a Party whose entire history is filled with animosity for my race.  If anyone should doubt this, read the high praise that was heaped on former Klan leader Robert Byrd when he passed away.

Let us forward to 1913, fifty years later.  Woodrow Wilson explicitly refused to allow the hiring of black men and women by his Administration.  He refused to pursue those responsible for lynchings in the South.  He considered our race inferior, and said that bringing segregation--Jim Crow--to the north was for OUR OWN GOOD!!!  Our own good.  We have been blessed, have we not, to have so had so many defenders over the years?  Our slave-masters claimed as much for their attempts to conquer our souls.

But we never lost the lust for freedom, did we?  1963: you remember, do you not?  I have a dream.  I have many dreams.  I continue to have many dreams.  We gathered, did we not?  We spoke, did we not?  We DEMANDED what was our just lot, our fair share: our piece of the American Dream.

There was a time when the Klan could march in large numbers down the streets of nearly any American street and be accepted, even cheered.  All those days are over.  Lynchings are over.  Open discrimination is over.  Racism is not publicly acceptable any more  BUT--and this is the point I have been wanting to make--ONLY for white people.  Black Americans practice it every day.

What was the ugly underbelly of the 1960's?  Was it not the riots, in Watts, Detroit, and elsewhere?  Did we not turn ON OURSELVES, ON OUR PROPERTY, OUR HOMES, OUR BUSINESSES, OUR COMMUNITIES?  Did we not frighten for a generation anyone not from those places from taking up residence there?

And what have we learned?  Where are we in 2013?  When I marched in Birmingham--when I was jailed in Birmingham--I wanted better for my people.  At that time we could not swim in the pools, drink from the water fountains, sit in the same restaurants as white people.  We ended that, which of course was a tremendous accomplishment, for which many are to be praised.

We have streets in nearly every city named after me, Rosa Parks and other people whom I admire greatly.  We study black history in many schools, and celebrate black holidays.

But in the end have we not reached a state of begging for scraps from someone else's table?  How many of you think I marched to beg from ANYONE?  Do you think my goal in life was to support people's aim of accepting welfare from people who think them inferior for needing it?

Do you think my goal was to support YOU in feeling inferior, in feeling the black race NEEDS help, needs sustenance, needs guidance from white people?  Why would anyone think this?  HOW could anyone think this?

My friends, please forgive me my anger.  I speak from the heart, and from a deep and abiding love for all of you, and particularly your children.  I want them to live freely, in peace, and in plenty.  I want them to walk the streets of their towns with dignity, with pride, with an earned self respect.  God blesses those he favors with the ability and opportunity to do productive and useful work. 

But do you know this?  In the entire history of the Klan they murdered less than 5,000 negroes.  This, over a period of more than half a century.  Do you know that in this nation of plenty, this world we fought for, and died for, that many are killed each and EVERY YEAR?  And that their killers are usually also black?

You say, the KKK ruled through terror.  They did do that.  They burned many crosses, did they not, and issued many threats.  Local officials made it impossible for men and women of color to own firearms, lest they be used for self defense.

Do you not see, though, that our youth--our pride, our future--is living in terror too?  Do you not think they feel fear walking their own streets, going to the store?  The tragedy of Trayvon Martin is not just that he was shot while returning home, but that dozens of black children are killed in the same way every year.  The media says nothing.  We say nothing.  This is a horror: an unmitigated horror.

And who do we blame?  Who do we blame when a young black man "hits the streets" as they say, dumb, uneducated, lacking character, lacking discipline?  When he lacks a plan for life, a direction, a sense of self, a sense of pride?  Are you going to tell that is the WHITE MAN'S FAULT?  How?  Because somebody didn't give you money to love your child enough to teach him right from wrong?  Because nobody wrote a pamphlet informing you that school matters, and that your job is to teach him to value education?

This is a lie.  You KNOW this is a lie.  YOU KNOW IT.  Look me in the eye and tell me that as a people, as a community, we are not failing our children.  Of course we are failing them.  It may be that the child is the father of the man, but we are the fathers and mothers of those children.  They do not ask to come into the world: we bring them.

No one wants to say this, but teaching a child is infinitely easier when two parents are in the home.  Virtually every deficiency in the black community could be solved if we simply stopped having children on whims, as mistakes, as cute little playthings, or as added paychecks.

The situation is simple: if you respect yourself, you will respect the lives, hopes and futures of your children.  If you do not respect yourself, well, you will do exactly what you have been doing.

Again, I beg your forgiveness.  I have read much of the Old Testament and found much inspiration and strength there.  As it says in Ecclesiastes, there is a time and place for everything under heaven.

What I want to leave with is an understanding that you can change your worlds for the better.  You just have to decide to.  In my own way--skillfully or not, blessed with wisdom, or dampened by vanity--I am trying to encourage you do this.  I believe we create the future first and foremost by what we believe is POSSIBLE.  I want to show you a better possible.  I want you to understand that what has come to be over the last fifty years can pass away over the next fifty, and that all the doubt and despair can give way to cheerfulness, optimism, green, safe parks, clean air, and prosperity.

We have much work to do.  Winston Churchill once promised nothing but blood, toil, tears and sweat.  What I would submit to you is that we are paying NOW in blood.  We are paying NOW in toil and sweat.  And how many tears were shed over Trayvon, who seems never to have had a chance?

Some things we cannot control.  Our financial system is fundamentally unjust.

But what we can control is vastly greater than any of you conceive.  The beauty that we can build in the stone canyons of our largest cities is beyond anything any of us can dream.  And those beauties will be built, in time, if we simply feed our children peace, cheerfulness, a solid work ethic, and determination.

May God bless all of you and all those you love.  May he bless this nation, and all the nations of the world.  May peace come to reign, and may God inspire all of us to work together to build God's kingdom on Earth.  May the majesties which the human race has within it come to full fruition.

Be well, and good night.

Breath

My Kum Nye practice has included a lot of breathwork lately.  What I have noticed is that I hold a lot of fear in my upper chest.  As I release it, it has been causing me confusion, in that I am almost needing to relearn how to breath.  I keep reminding myself that breathing is controlled by the brain, so it's going to happen whether I am doing it right or not.  It is still an exceedingly odd feeling, but one that in the end will be liberating for me. I'm already seeing a marked decrease in negative emotions.

My intent is to be efficient.  I have a strong will, and have always had the ability to accomplish difficult things.  But I have always done so in a state of constant tension.  Tension is good.  It is needed sometimes.  But imagine trying to walk without ever relaxing either leg.  Make that emotional motion, and that has been my lifelong problem.

As I probe deeper, I am touching experiences from very early childhood, roughly 1-3 years old, that have very definitely been affecting me my entire life.  Now, as I see it, the trick is not to verbalize these things, and I'm not going to describe anything, but will simply say that I view my task as finding--as surgically as possible--the worst things that have ever been done to me, and reconnecting fully with that emotion as an adult with other options.  I looking for pain to make it go away.

I stated some time ago that courage is what fills the gap between confidence and necessity.  My goal is to never need courage, to have such control of my emotional world that I can muster whatever confidence I need whenever I need it.  Will power is what you need when you exceed previous limits.  It is best saved for those cases.  You can make it a lot farther without needing will power with a well organized mind and personality; one devoid of the need to avoid anything; one with consistently straight paths from A to Z.

In my time, I have met quite a few special operations types, and was struck in particular by some of the SEAL's I met in San Diego.  A number of them seemed almost effeminate to me.  What I eventually decided is that they were simply very, very relaxed.  Swimmers in general are like that.  Endurance comes from not working more than necessary.

Why is it that we associate tension with masculinity?  I was watching a fat middle aged man with a cowboy hat on his dashboard get into a big Hummer the other day, and thinking that he probably acted tough all day, and is now going home to a slew of strong drinks.

Or John Wayne.  He is a host of movement dysfunctions.  He held an enormous amount of tension all over his body.  Now, I grew up watching John Wayne.  He was a hero, and I'm not running him down.  Nor am I criticizing those who do difficult things and carry what might be termed "movement scars" on their bodies.

What I AM suggesting is that we need a better model of toughness.  What I am suggesting is that part of being a complete human being is the ability to meditate deeply, to breath with complete openness and hope, and to purge oneself of all foolish vanities, all unnecessary struggles, and to be open completely to all the beauties of life.

In Yoga, the Proud Warrior pose opens the chest.  This cannot be an accident.  Do wars start in the muscles surrounding the clavicle?  It's an odd, but perhaps pertinent question.

Bon Mot

A small thing done well is usually more valuable than a large thing done poorly.

In the one case, the cause of order has been advanced.  In the latter case, the world has almost always been made worse.  One step forward beats a hundred miles of rapid retrogression.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fear, pain and anger

That's a promising tagline, eh?  Despair, depression and guilt.  Negativity: down, down, down.

Actually I feel quite good.  I am making progress.  I have found an absurdly simple means of processing anxiety, at least for me (more on that in a bit), and more importantly have reached (or perhaps re-reached, given my penchant both for meandering and forgetting) some important realization.

1. Fear is the portal both to anger and sadness.  Anger is an overreaction to fear--the fear of being hurt, of being disrespected, of being attacked; and sadness is a reaction of helplessness to fear: fear of change (the unknown), of being hurt.

Think about the process of mourning.  This is really a quite important point.  Mourning is a process not of leaving something behind--it is gone.  Rather, it is a process of recreating yourself in a positive way, given changed circumstances.  We feel sadness because we don't know how to do this, if we can do this.

Consider losing someone you love.  Where that person consoled you, now you have to console yourself. 
Where that person gave you wisdom, or a shoulder to cry on, or encouragement, now you have to provide all that yourself.

There is no LOGICAL reason why you need other people at all.  But we are social animals.  We are filled with instincts and affections.  If we have not trained ourselves to be self sufficient emotionally--and I do believe this can be done--then we are afraid of what the future holds when something is changed in our lives.

Or take anger.  Anger gives you energy and a feeling of power.  But it is reckless.  Angry, are you stronger than you could be if you had learned to marshal all your physical power?  Faster?  No.   You have simply created a swell of energy that is so strong that it overwhelms your fear.  Angry people are fearful people.  This is the conclusion I have reached, and this after losing my temper repeatedly yesterday for stupid reasons. I just watched myself, and realized I was seeing my father's cowardice in me, which is an emergent perception that was quite important.

2. If you are going to rebuild yourself, you must accept that there are times you won't exist.  Does personality "exist"?  No: who I am varies in subtle but real ways constantly, throughout every day.  I have a body to tie it all together, but even that body is in a state of constant flux, and the material in every cell of the body is replaced periodically.

To go through a process of change, you cannot fully manage it.  Faith must be present, that the energies you have liberated will act in intelligent ways.  This is the so Internal Healer posited in Autogenics, Holotropic Breathwork, and presumably other disciplines.

My new system:

Do this thoracic mobilization: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/the_30_second_mobility_cure

Then lay down on the ground, link your hands behind your neck, and stretch out your upper back.  If this is a place where you carry tension--and this is certainly not going to be true for all people, but I suspect will hold for quite a number, particularly those who self-identify as troubled--you will feel a shower of anxiety. Now, obviously don't overstretch.  This is a stretch where you could hurt yourself, so be gentle.  Lean into this anxiety.  Realize it won't kill you.  Hug your dog or S.O. if you need to afterwards.

Then (and you may want to wait until you have one, if you are going to follow my advice), pull out your EmWave2 and stick with it on the Medium level until you have 80-90% coherence.

You should spend some time on their website, and read some of their research.  It is quite interesting.  I am realizing how my heart really IS a separate "mind" from my brain.  It is a much more congenial place to locate my consciousness.

I am up to a number of other things I won't get into here, but this seems like a good system. 

Need to run.  I hope this is useful for someone.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Response to opinion piece on Zimmerman/Martin

(I wonder, as I put the names together, how often George Zimmerman sees Trayvon Martin in his dreams.  As strange as it seems, their lives are now inextricably linked.  Martin will always be a part of his consciousness.)

Posted here: http://africanamericanconservatives.com/2013/07/14/trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman-and-a-willing-suspension-of-disbelief/

George Zimmerman did not make up the abrasions and contusions on the back of his head, or his bloody nose.

Zimmerman’s defense team did not make up Martin’s history of getting in fights and bragging about it via text message.

No one has yet explained how it took Martin an hour to make a 20 minute trip in the rain.

You, here, have not mentioned that Martin had already been caught with stolen goods, that that neighborhood had been plagued by break-ins, and that Martin fit that profile perfectly, particularly since he was doing anything but following a straight line, and definitely did have pot in him.

Here is the question you need to be asking: why are 40% or so of the people in prison African-American, when they only constitute some 12% of the population? Why has the nuclear family broken down, and with it the ability to transmit valuable cultural lessons?

The ineluctable fact is that blaming racism is the EASY and WRONG way out. You don’t help yourself. You don’t help your kids. You don’t help the black community, or for that matter the white community.

What you need to be looking at are large problems. There are tens of thousands of Trayvon Martin’s out there. Most of them, if they commit murder, will kill another African-American, and to be blunt the evidence is that most white Americans are fine with this. If you want to blame some sort of racism, start there.

I post this only because I think it is a travesty and a disgrace that we have such large pockets of cultural and economic dysfunction. The unfortunate truth, though, is that these problems will only be solved once we readmit the notions of non-relativistic morality, individual autonomy, and personal responsibility.