Friday, January 31, 2014

D'Souza and Bill Ayers

I saw they debated, read a couple highlights, see no need to watch it.

Here is the deal: if you are debating a leftist and you are not dragging them around by their hair with their own words until they cry uncle, your strategy sucks.  You don't truly understand the difference between true Liberalism and the evils these people embrace daily.

Let us take as an example the so-called Native Americans (who came from Asia, almost certainly).  When the British colonists got here and set up camp, there were likely about 6 million in what became the United States.  Some we killed, many we put into concentration camps that we called reservations.

Here is the question one needs to ask Ayers: is it WRONG to commit mass murder?  Is this a bad thing?  For all people, or just some people?  Is it wrong to take people from their land and forcibly relocate them? If so, why?  Universal human rights?  Does he believe in these?

What the fuck do you think the North Vietnamese did when they won their war of aggression on the South?  Mass murder, mass relocation, destruction of families and traditional ways of living.  It seems likely that far more South Vietnamese died as a direct result of Communist atrocities just in that one conflict than Indians killed directly or indirectly by American force in the century of our expansion.

In the Trail of Tears somewhere between 2,000 and 6,000 Indians died.  We all know about the Trail of Tears.  Well guess what?  Some 3,000 Vietnamese (you know the brown people that all look the same to left wingers) were EXECUTED in Hue ALONE just during the 1968 Tet Offensive (which failed so badly).  They were murdered and their bodies hidden, all at the order of TOP Communist officials.

You want atrocity?  Look at what was done by the people Ayers SUPPORTED, whose victory he did everything in his power to help secure.

Let me requote some dialogue--perfectly historically accurate dialogue (I will note that we now also have the testimonies of soldiers from the North; there is no doubt about what happened, at all, period), from the movie "The Green Berets":

Miss Sutton: Yes, I guess horrible things happen in war, but that doesn't mean they need us or
even want us.

Doc: I'll try to answer that question for you. Let me put it in terms we all can understand. If this
same thing happened here in the United States, every mayor in every city would be murdered;
every teacher that you've ever known would be tortured and killed; every professor you ever
heard of, every governor, every Senator, every member of the House of Representative and their combined families: all would be tortured and killed, and a like number kidnapped. But in spite of this, there's always some little fellow out there willing to stand up and take the place of those who have been decimated. They need us, Miss Sutton, and they want us.

Gladys Cooper: Sergeant, I'm Gladys Cooper, a housewife. It's strange that we've never read of this in the newspapers.

Sgt. Muldoon: Well, that's newspapers for you, ma'am. You could fill volumes with what you
don't read in them."
Read here for a very partial listing of NVA terror attacks, starting on Page 8. The terror goes all the way back to the very early days, when Ho Chi Minh was assassinating his rivals.  Diem's brother was buried alive.

Bill Ayers is a pompous prick.  This was the reality in 1968, and things got worse, before a combination of American skill at arms, and South Vietnamese resolution not to let their nation fall to these sadistic savages enabled a general pacification of the South.  Students of history will recall it was North Vietnamese tanks, not an indigenous uprising, that signaled the fall of Saigon.

None of this is in question historically.  There is no doubt.  I repeat, we have detailed memoirs from North Vietnamese commanders, many of whom have been interviewed. 

Or, to look at the United States, would it have been wrong, given a Communist victory in the United States of the sort Ayers and his fellow sociopaths worked in their incoherent, intellectual and ineffectual way to facilitate (before they realized they needed an Obama), to murder 10 million Americans (to be clear, a number almost certainly larger than the entire population of Indians in the continental United States, most of whom we relocated, and did not kill), which is what a reliable informant claimed was the goal of the Weatherman?  This question still applies if Ayers claims--and if his lips are moving, he is telling some shade of lie--that Larry Grathwohl was lying.  Mass murder of alleged elites, of bourgeoisie and capitalists, is a prominent and ubiquitous feature of Communist coups.  What, if any, moral objection would Ayers have had then if one of those around him raised the question?

Or take voting.  Is it bad to disenfranchise people?  Is it morally wrong to exclude by law some people from the voting process?  If so, why? 

Is it then also wrong that people cannot vote AT ALL, with or without ID, in North Korea, and China, and Cuba?  What about Nicaragua when the Sandinistas were in charge?  What about the pervasive voting fraud under Hugo Chavez? 

Is war wrong?  Was it wrong still when China invaded Tibet, or North Vietnam South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos?  Was it wrong when North Korea invaded South Korea?  Were any of the wars of Communist aggression in Africa wrong, or are mass famine and death perfectly acceptable if one uses an acceptable rhetoric?  In general, are some wars OK and some not?

And if he wants to claim a double standard--it is wrong when we do it, and OK when someone else does it--is he not invoking tribalistic ethics, and if he wants to do that, by what means can he claim that what OUR tribe values is wrong?  All that has to happen is that most of us believe in it, then it becomes, by his process of logic, morally acceptable.  By that logic, every American imperial conquest has been perfectly moral.  By HIS LOGIC, nothing we have done that most of us believed in was wrong.

Basic moral reasoning is not complicated.  Yes, leftists confuse everyone because that is what they do, by going on offense and asking people to justify things which cannot be justified, but who themselves overlook and even endorse MUCH WORSE at the SAME TIME they are criticizing.

Fuck this.  Go on the offense.  Alinsky said "make them adhere to their own standards."  This works both ways, and frankly much BETTER when WE are attacking THEM.  Go for the balls.  Go for the throat.  Show no mercy, rhetorically, because they sure as fuck will not show us any mercy.  On the contrary: they have been getting away with LITERAL atrocities--rape, torture, murder, political repression--for a century or more, and all of them explained away with verbiage no fool should tolerate for a second.

Look at our inner cities: people like Bill Ayers created them.  Look at the sad faces on every corner in Cuba: this is what Bill Ayers wants.

He wants death.  He wants pain.  He wants poverty.  Make him admit this.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Part Two

Whereof one cannot speak

Blessed Silence


It is my good fortune to be able to wander in the process of earning my living.  I often drive aimlessly through strange cities, and wonder about the lives behind the doors.

Today I did a day trip to a city well known to me, and was struck by the absence of feelings I used to have.  I used to feel this sense of absence combined with hope, like salvation was just a woman or experience away.  This longing is what drives people to wander.  It was what drove the hippies, who used drugs both to stoke and calm it.  It is an itch, the scratching of which only drives it further inside.

The Portuguese have an interesting word, which I have posted on before: Saudade.

Saudade is a Portuguese and Galician word that has no direct translation in English. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or deeply melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.[2] A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing. . . .In Portuguese, "Tenho saudades tuas" (European Portuguese) or "Tenho saudades de vocĂȘ" (Brazilian Portuguese), translates as "I have saudade of you" meaning "I miss you", but carries a much stronger tone. In fact, one can have saudade of someone whom one is with, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future.
Saudade with someone you are with.  Ponder that.  Do you not coexist with those with whom you have a history in multiple eras?  Then, now, and what is to come?

Then I got to thinking of a phrase I first ran into when I was about 17, from Novalis:  "Sehnsucht nach dem Tod", which is also hard to translate, but roughly lust or longing for death, but in at least my understanding meaning with death not extinction, but something else, a point to travel to.

And of course you have to add sadness to all this.  And what I saw was that, say, 10 years ago, some part of me was hoping it could live on the surface of life, float happily, that somehow someone or something would rescue me, that just over THAT hill, and then THAT hill there was salvation.

And what I see now is that my path forward is through.  It has always been through.  I have to look at the mountains of bodies in history, see all the evil, see human life as it IS, and move through it.  I am not afraid.  There is another side, there is a destination.

There is an end to suffering.  It is easy, reading the basics of Buddhism in college or somewhere, to see the Four Noble Truths as facile, simple, easy.  But to end suffering is it not perceptually, conceptually necessary to believe it POSSIBLE?  Is not the very postulation of a solution a bold step when it is first advanced?

So I looked at this city without romantic illusions, and it felt good.

When there is anything you cannot face in this world, are you not chased by it?  Are you not pursued? And can it not always find you?

And I look at the Flower Children of the 1960's.  Did they not pursue an illusion which had no room for Vietnamese Communists hacking children into pieces, or planting bombs on them and remote detonating them like mines?  They did not have room for shallow graves with thousands of bodies with bullets in the back of their heads.  They did not want to hear about how we might have prevented the horrors in Cambodia, or just what those horrors might have been.

They still don't.

All of this stems from wanting to live on the surface of life.   This is ignoble.  It is cowardly.  All of us have both good and evil in us, but not all of us admit this.

Lone Survivor, Part 4

Somebody had to go pick up the pieces of the bodies, not just of Murphy's group, but of the SEAL's and Army guys who crashed in the helicopter.  The need to find and inter fallen soldiers--or what is left of them-- is one of the realities of war few want to speak about. In this case, it was done in what might euphemistically be termed "austere" terrain, and under constant threat of attack.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Who are your heroes?  You likely have a list of 5-10 people who come readily enough to mind.  For me, the immediate ones are traditional military heroes. [Sammy Davis is one of my favorites.  Something about getting knocked on your ass 5 times, and getting back up 5 times makes me laugh with admiration.  Then he floats himself, wounded, across a river, even though he can't swim.  God blesses those who don't know what they "can't" do.]

Back on topic, for how many of them is their principal positive attribute tranquility?  Peace of mind?  Calm?

I had said some time ago that I didn't "get" the seated Buddha, since my life is not spent sitting.  But I think I do now: this figure symbolizes FINALLY getting some rest from the worries and troubles, doubts, hopes, fears, sadnesses, and everything else that come with human life.

Yes, of course this is obvious, and yes of course I am stupid for not getting this.  But I was sitting today, doing my Kum Nye, and just watching all the endless parade of emotions and images, and realizing that behind it all there is rest.

And I would argue that tranquility is perhaps the most important virtue, because without it all other virtues are expressed compulsively, which is to say inauthentically, mechanically.

True love proceeds from tranquility.  It takes an untroubled spirit to offer true empathy without grasping, to give without expectation or need of reciprocation. 

We all want to have a happy, untroubled heart, and you must have one to offer it.  There is no other way.

We would do well to value more this virtue, which is our workaday world has I think come to seem useless, even though with it you can both work harder and longer.

Time--something completely different

It is odd to contemplate the daily juxtaposition of Base Ten and Base Sixty numbering.  We count time in decades, but we have a dozen months.  We buy a dozen eggs.  We have sixty seconds in a minute, sixty minutes in an hour, and 24 hours in a day.  Yet there is no widespread discussing about "metric-alizing" our time.

I looked up the Babylonian numbering system.  If you look at the actual symbols, it looks to me like Base Ten.  Of course, math has never been my strong suit.

It is odd to contemplate what a strange thing it is that it took so long to invent zero.  As I have said often though, it hard enough to see what is THERE, but even harder to see what is not there.  Zero symbolizes what is missing.  This is something.  That is why we have a symbol for it.

An almost made up poem

Feels appropriate for some reason to post a poem by Bukowski.  Chosen more or less at random:

An Almost Made Up Poem

I see you drinking at a fountain with tiny
blue hands, no, your hands are not tiny
they are small, and the fountain is in France
where you wrote me that last letter and
I answered and never heard from you again.
you used to write insane poems about
ANGELS AND GOD, all in upper case, and you
knew famous artists and most of them
were your lovers, and I wrote back, it’ all right,
go ahead, enter their lives, I’ not jealous
because we’ never met. we got close once in
New Orleans, one half block, but never met, never
touched. so you went with the famous and wrote
about the famous, and, of course, what you found out
is that the famous are worried about
their fame –– not the beautiful young girl in bed
with them, who gives them that, and then awakens
in the morning to write upper case poems about
ANGELS AND GOD. we know God is dead, they’ told
us, but listening to you I wasn’ sure. maybe
it was the upper case. you were one of the
best female poets and I told the publishers,
editors, “ her, print her, she’ mad but she’
magic. there’ no lie in her fire.” I loved you
like a man loves a woman he never touches, only
writes to, keeps little photographs of. I would have
loved you more if I had sat in a small room rolling a
cigarette and listened to you piss in the bathroom,
but that didn’ happen. your letters got sadder.
your lovers betrayed you. kid, I wrote back, all
lovers betray. it didn’ help. you said
you had a crying bench and it was by a bridge and
the bridge was over a river and you sat on the crying
bench every night and wept for the lovers who had
hurt and forgotten you. I wrote back but never
heard again. a friend wrote me of your suicide
3 or 4 months after it happened. if I had met you
I would probably have been unfair to you or you
to me. it was best like this.


It just occurred to me today that time has texture. When you are in a hurry, it closes in on you.  When you "have" time, it opens up.  The same outward amount of work can be done within both textural contexts, but the best work is done well with the same feeling of space and openness.

As Tarthang Tulku has explained--at least, as I have understood him--across a number of books, work well done is something you enter in to, it is something which expands.  It is something you participate in, not something you "do to".

Where else can you be physically, but here and now?  Why not be here and now perceptually as well?  Here and now is the only place you have to become larger and duller, in the sense of being diffused, not sharp.

There is a place for the open blade, but its uses are rare.

Again, not entirely sure what I am saying, but you can print this out, and use the back of the paper for a To Do or grocery list.


Words are of course needed, but they are limiting by their very nature.

Has it ever occurred to you that the referent for "that" can be infinite?

And does not every that short of that that exist within a context with a background, and if we look at that background, and the background to that background, do we not in time wind up with infinity again?

I have no idea what I am saying, but that has never stopped me before.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


It amuses me to play with ideas.  I take it seriously, but nothing worth taking seriously can always be taken seriously.  Having said that, I will remind any readers I may have that I not only reserve the right to call myself a dumbass, I reserve the right to not know what I think until I type it, and to then swing around 185 degrees, or maybe 222, to something else.

Tractrato-Logico Philosophicus

Wittgenstein, as I think is reasonably well known, wrote this during WW1.  He apparently served with considerable courage, often volunteering for dangerous assignments like forward observer, and his unit saw considerable combat.  He finished the--book, I will call it--in a POW camp.

My comment: I understand VERY well the comforts of abstraction in chaotic situations.  If you can find that wavelength, stress actually makes you more effective.

What it also does, though, is split your persona into the emotional part and the logical part.  Granting at the outset that no good answer is possible, it is tempting to wonder if Wittgenstein died prematurely due to unprocessed emotions, and the solitude they necessitated.


It is only necessary to judge people when you are protecting your own identity. I think relative judgement can coexist with relative identity. This is the value of social systems in motion: mutual adsptation is possible.


What if the music of Mozart had had to be approved, note by note, by a committe of his "peers"?


The goal of socialism is Communism. The goal of Communism is the eradication of perceptual motion.

Corrolary: Goodness seeks relative stability in motion; evil absolute stability in stasis.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The American Experiment and Plurality

The quality of the government of self-governing people can only be as good as the people themselves.  Our modern problem is the WE are mediocre, and this causes us to be easily manipulated in large enough numbers to matter.  Not only does stupidity swing elections, but it prevents the important issues from even entering the public domain in a sober, serious way to begin with.

The point I wanted to make, though, is that America has succeeded in large measure because her people are mostly honest, which in turn is a result of generalized religiosity.  It might be a funny way to put it, but particularly in the early days Americans put their religion front row and center, much like the Tibetans did until recently, and still do in their diaspora, apparently.  We were founded FOR the free practice of religion.  That was the point, that was the dominant life concern of a great many of our early settlers. 

And that early piety put us in a much better place than, say, Mexico, which could be wealthy, but which is inhabited by Mexicans.  Yes, I said that.  Anyone who wants to compare and contrast their history with our own, please post a comment.  Happy to do it.

Thus, the entire success of our experiment has rested, historically, on something which is fading.  Certainly, religiosity fares much better here than overseas, but it is under determined assault by nihilists.

I have said in the past that our Constitution is the most perfect political document ever created, and nearly perfect, except that it failed to put checks on the Supreme Court.

But the civil basis of OPERATING the Constitution, of operating the wheels of government, is highly flawed in its premise.  Here is my thought: Christianity is not universalizable.  It is a parochial doctrine, which we cannot count on all people adhering to.  Given this, the moral basis of our nation is on, and has always been on, shaky ground.

What we need is a "scientific" morality, by which I mean one which people will adopt willingly in large numbers, because it works for their parochial aims of personal and communal happiness.  Socialism claims to be that doctrine, but obviously it is not, for many many reasons which I have repeatedly examined at length.

Something like my conception of Goodness would serve this purpose, though.  What we need is a revival which can include not only Christians, but ALL Americans, which works to cultivate sincere tolerance, sincere civic engagement, and meaningful Goodness.

Rambling again.  Just did a hard workout so I'm a bit punchy, but wanted to put this out there.


I think I may have posted on this, but at times I get this sense of nausea facing the world, one that may be somewhat like what Sartre felt.  I never read Nausea, have never felt the need to peruse his work in depth, but I don't doubt that he did describe what were for him existential realities.

I was doing Lumosity just a few seconds ago, and it is funny that when I am really doing well, strong emotions come up, old blockages.  There is something in me which all my life has put the brakes on, has prevented me from fully expressing myself, from working in a sober and diligent way for long term successes.

And that something is fading.  I cannot describe how difficult some of these emotions are to process, but it is very much like a case of indigestion you know will pass. 

It is not my intention to be a psychological exhibitionist, but it is my conviction that our society has become used to dealing in trifles, used to using the countless distractions mass society has made available to avoid processing deep feelings, so I want to be one person saying that it is both possible and NECESSARY.

And I did want to generalize this thing. I am of course well aware of projection, but do think that people are introspective and habitually honest can largely take it into account.

And I do think in some ways I look at Sartre as someone I could have been, with only a slightly different temperament.  Perhaps atheism alone would have done it. 

And I don't mean to say I have his talent.  Candidly, other than my knowledge that he was a rock star in his time, I have no way of assessing how intelligent his work was. 

What I can say is it was not apparently USEFUL for substantially anyone, which is my own way of measuring actual talent.  I will say that by my own criteria, an average carpenter is much more useful to the world--much more functionally intelligent, much more to be admired--than an intellectual who makes things WORSE.  That is the equivalent of building a structure which falls over the first time it is used, and then blaming the lumber.  It is mediocrity, nothing more, or less, no matter how apparently intelligent otherwise, no matter how effectively those masses of words sopped up the excess cerebrations of equally mediocre human beings.

I was thinking today about how different our world would be if in the middle of our culture, our elites were working hard at cultivating Goodness, at cultivating ACTUAL love, ACTUAL compassion, ACTUAL empathy, and ACTUAL correlation between stated goals and chosen means.

As I have said, Goodness in my view consists in large measure in learning how to see the world as it is, with a sincere desire both to learn how to be happy oneself, and to support other people in their own efforts to build their own happiness.  It consists in wishing others well, sincerely.

How valued is sincere perception in our world?  Not very, in my view.

In the case of Nausea, it is the recognition, on an emotional level, that something very wrong, very horrible was done, which cannot be integrated into any narrative which does not presuppose the inclusion of evil, which does not requite connecting with evil, with seeing the harm people are capable of doing to one another, on a deep emotional level.

With regard to Sartre, can we not assume his embrace of Stalinism, of mass death and torture, of slavery, and mass poverty, was not made necessary by his own failure to deal with his own psychological ghosts?  By his encounter with Nausea, and decision to consider it a defining attribute of "authenticity", and not a sort of illness, a relic of the past to be processed and disposed of?

Things to do.  This came out differently than I intended, but the thing will circle around.  I'll continue later.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


I read today that Super Bowl tickets are selling for much less than expected:

For my part, I decided after the San Francisco/Seahawks game that not only was I not going to watch the Superbowl, I'm giving up on the NFL.  I may change my mind, but the refereeing in that game made, to my mind, only one conclusion possible: the system is corrupt.

My logic is simple.  When you have BLATANTLY bad calls made, one after the other, when the referees are clearly not incompetent, clearly seasoned, clearly not blind, clearly capable of calling a game cleanly, and when there is no high level public censure for consistently favoring one team over another, then the SYSTEM--not those refs, but the SYSTEM, is corrupt.

I read the NFL is around a $10 BILLION business.  Do you think there are not at times pressures placed on refs and even coaches and players to reach one outcome and not another?

Clearly, Kaepernick and his team played their hearts out, but somewhere in the 3rd Quarter, apparently before yet ANOTHER bad call, I gave up on the game.  I left the bar I was watching it in.

I counted 2 Personal Foul penalties that were patent bullshit, a personal foul on a 49's punt returner that was NOT called, in which he was clothes lined, and then facemasked ON THE GROUND, causing his helmet to come off, a reception and fumble caused by the ground ("the ground cannot cause a fumble") that was called an incomplete pass, two BLATANT intentional grounding calls that were not made (Here is the rule), and one roughing the kicker penalty not called, that was so blatant HE TWISTED HIS DAMN ANKLE.  Here is the verbiage on that.

And as I mentioned, there were apparently bad calls after that, all or substantially all favoring the Seahawks.

Again, I want to be clear: bad refereeing happens, but it does NOT happen in high level NFL games called by seasoned professionals.  The ONLY conclusion possible, to my mind, is that the game was intentionally skewed to the Seahawks, which vaguely nauseates me, makes me feel yet more doubt about the future of our nation, and certainly causes me to doubt the integrity of the NFL as a whole.  I've never seen anything like it, other than a couple blatantly bad calls against Green Bay in the Super Bowl where they played the Steelers.

The whole things reminds me this is a for-profit business, one that I henceforth will NOT support in any way. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Privatizing Marriage

Why is the granting of marriage certificates a government monopoly?  As I think about it, all the government does is ratify a contract whose terms IT stipulates.  While the marriage lasts, the terms of the marriage are negotiated by the partners.  Government only steps in when it ends, and then it dictates how the marriage can end, who gets what, how the kids are "allocated", etc.

What would prevent ANY law firm from providing the same service?  Why not get the contract ratified by a priest--before God, if you will, according to your inclination--and then sign a contract that is spelled out in whatever form the partners agree too, and which only touches the State to the extent that it enforces the contract when one party or both balk.

This would eliminate COMPLETELY the debate over gay marriage.  The whole thing, in any event, really revolves around government benefits for same-sex couples, and not over some alleged wrong being otherwise committed.  They can get married NOW in all churches which allow it, and they can negotiate NOW any form of contractual commitment they want.

As far as government, it can simply recognize contracts as they are presented.  Given that benefits are a part of compensation, the total package can be adjusted up or down such that people who are not married are not paid less, and people who are married are not paid more.  My concern is not that gay spouses are placed on government benefits rolls, but rather that the rolls are expanded past their already bloated, indefensible, and unsustainable current size.

This is fair, which is an overused, but still occasionally useful word.

I'd be fine with this arrangement.


It is odd to see this in the news lately, after so many years of absence from all but the dedicated Pro-Life folks.

As I ponder it, it seems to me that the insistence on thinking of a fetus as part of a woman's body, and not as a baby, a human life, is one more instance of the habit of Feminism of trying to make women into men. 

Feminism, at least the sort which proliferates (largely among unmarried women or lesbians) in academia, is really just one more instance of Cultural Sadeism.  It does not seek to advance women, per se, at least CULTURALLY.  It does not seek to make them happier, to imbue the lives of ordinary women with meaning. 

Rather, like all forms of Cultural Sadeism, it consists primarily in both an assault on traditional cultural norms, and a devious, Machiavellian quest for power.  Feminists want special treatment.  They don't want to be treated as equals, but rather MORE than equals.

The relationship between a mother and her baby is primal.  It is mythic.  It is primordial.  Women are hard-wired, we can assume without too much concern about later contradiction, to nurture babies.  More generally, they are hard-wired to nurture those around them.  They are born socially more skilled, more aware, than men.  By nature, they tend to be peace-makers (although I am well aware of the cattiness/bitchiness that characterizes women at all ages).  I think women are much more intuitive than men, more aware generally of just about everything that cannot be put into words, in an equation, or on a map.

But these advantages are not what Feminists seeks to capitalize on, in general.  They want to pretend women too have penises, are quite capable of being assholes like men, and have the same rights to boss people around as men do.

Obviously, as I just said in the last post, I myself have mother issues; but I do think that one can, in a somewhat methodical way, deduct ones own emotional shading, and still see wider patterns.

Do mothers in our culture nurture our children as well as they do in some other nations?   Has the nature of mothering changed in the last 50 years?  Have the changing "roles" of women had both negative and positive effects, both on women and on men?  These are all valid questions.

With regard to abortion specifically, I just asked a pro-abortion woman this question: is there a moral difference between killing an unborn fetus and having a gall stone removed?  If the answer is yes, what is it?  If no, at what point does there become a difference?  At what point does it become a baby and not a mass of tissue? 

For his part, Obama seems quite willing to let full term babies die.  He supported a bill (which was not passed, in my understanding) which wanted to legalize "aborting" full term--or at least viable--babies by putting them in a chilled room without food or water until they died.

If this is moral, why stop there?  Why not give women a three month or one year period in which to decide if being a mother makes them feel "actualized", or empowered, or if it suits their lifestyle, and if they decide it does not, give them a public incinerator in which to throw their baby?  Why not shred them and use them for organic fertilizer?  After all, they are not human lives.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that our cultures (and I use both the word Our and Culture understanding neither is fully capable of encapsulating the reality) treatment of unborn children hardens us in ways which are not desirable.  We do not have hard decisions to make which affect the survival of our civilization, as for example primitive people living in the jungle did and to some extent do.  And at that, those societies usually only kill defective babies.  We kill viable, healthy babies by the thousands every day.


I have been getting moments of calm in the last few days, and realizing how wound up I have been.  Where I think my analytical intelligence helps is in deducing areas of weakness in myself which are imperceptible to me, but which when I look for them, I can find, hidden.

We all look at the world through lens, and since you can see EVERYTHING through lens--think looking through sunglasses--they are very, very hard to see, themselves, particularly if you have been looking through that lens your entire life.

In my own case, and I am probably again sharing too much, my principle perceptual filter has been self loathing.  It is not that I have been a particularly bad person--although no doubt my emotional detachment has led to episodes of unconscious cruelty, in ways I could not see at the time--but that I have lacked that part which looks out for me, which counters negativity with positivity.  I lacked a mothers love, and that matters.

On the contrary, I seem to have had a part which worked daily to punish me for crimes I did not commit, which is an ancient emotional energy dating back to my first few years on Earth.

Within Kum Nye, they say you are done processing when you feel calm.  I felt calm yesterday, and hope to again today.

When I get this thing processed, I will be capable of a great deal of effective work, and better for having lived in the muck for a very long time.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I don't understand

In the arsenal needed for gathering knowledge, these words are among the most powerful.  If you want to understand something, you have to start by not understanding it.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Actor

I wonder to what extent actors lose contact with their real selves.  Constantly playing other people, do they unconsciously lapse into roles in dealing with others?  Conversely, do we "normal" people sometimes become actors in our own plays?   Do we make fiction of our own lives?

Addiction, again

I really do seem to have lost the taste for alcohol.  My last three trips to the place where most everybody knows my name and I have a mug with my name on it if they forget, I drank club soda in my mug.  I could have had beer or something else, but I didn't want to.  I didn't need it.

The more I look at this, the more I think addicts--and I of course include alcoholics in this--are to their chosen poisons roughly what kids diagnosed with (note I did not say "who actually have") ADHD are to Ritalin.  Ritalin calms them down by speeding them up.  It is a stimulant.  They are not actually hyperactive, but hypoactive, and that causes them to bounce off the walls.  So it goes in theory, at any rate.  My intent is not to comment on the medication of our children.  My own are unmedicated, and that is about as much control as I have.

But the addict seeks to numb feeling because he or she has too little of it.  More specifically, they have layers of emotions, and the outer layer is dull.  What the drugs or alcohol do is anesthetize that outer layer, which allows inner layers to come out.  The quiet man becomes noisy; or the angry man finds better cause to express his anger.  The heroin addict, perhaps, finds that he can commune with his inner self only when he is shooting up.

We see this theme that addicts only feel normal when they are high, because having habituated themselves to the drugs, their sense of self has changed.  I think this gets things backwards.  I think they get high initially to feel normal, to suppress one set of emotions to allow another, truer set of emotions out, and finding that it works, they keep doing it.  And asking them to stop doing it is asking them, in effect, to abandon their sense of self, to abandon their connection to true feelings, to who they are.  It is asking them in some respects to die, at least until they find a better way to live.  This is why it is so hard to get many to quit: they have no where else to go.

The task, then, is liberating honest feelings without the use of drugs.

The connection with trauma is simple: trauma cuts you in half.  You have a part that is hurt which has not healed--which lives in a timeless space--and the part which had to go on, which has done on, which may be outwardly well, successful, and well adjusted, because it learned to maintain appearances.

Many, perhaps most, people who have had trauma in their lives get from one side to the other without really dealing with it.  Culturally, we lack good methods--in my view, religion is as good as any, and better than most--and until recently the simple task of survival left little time for wallowing in feelings.

But we live in an age where we need to do better.  There are many ways we can end life on Earth.  And there are many ways in which many of us have already lost contact with emotional authenticity, not least because the gravity of our culture seems to pull us in that direction; we seem poised, in fact, to generalize the sociopath as a cultural icon.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lone Survivor, Part 3

This movie touched a number of nerves.  I do have some tangential connection with some of the events, and as usual will process them--in this case, publicly, here.

I have reason to believe that if the SEAL's had brought an Air Force Close Air Support specialist with them, they would not have lost Comms, and would either have been able to extract early without hitch, or bring down fire and death on those attacking them.

What many may have missed in that movie was the tribal culture portrayed, at least in my view and understanding.  When Marcus Luttrell--the real one, playing another SEAL--without credit--unless I am mistaken--knocked over the coffee and asked the newby to clean it up, he was enforcing a code of conduct.  That newby had not been initiated, and was at that point still a rung below on the ladder.  He didn't fully belong at that table--or in combat with his brothers-- until he recited his oath in front of his peers.  If you watched carefully, the actors were plainly given direction to take the whole thing very seriously, despite the levity that had proceeded, and despite the apparent ridiculousness of the verse.  It mattered.  It meant something.  There was a life before and a life after.

One has to keep this in mind when considering the view I have seen expressed by other services that the SEAL's don't always play well with others, with other services.  Specifically, the Air Force has trained special operations personnel--called Combat Control Technicians, or CCT's--who are roughly to Close Air Support and Comm's in general what SEAL's are to underwater demolition, and Green Berets to counterinsurgency and Foreign Internal Defense.  It is their forte.  They are the best at it.

Had Murphy's team had one of these guys, we likely never would have heard of this mission.  He never would have won the Medal of Honor.  Remember that the reason he won it was his decision to break cover to get to a place where he could transmit, so he could call in reinforcements and extraction.

One sees debates about which service's special operations personnel have the toughest training.  This is a hard question to answer; but to my mind who has the toughest JOB is easy: CCT's.  They have to do all the things other Operators do, but while essentially being Air Traffic Controllers, where mistakes get friendly's blown up.  You have to do, in other words, what is by general consensus one of the most stressful jobs on the planet WHILE UNDER FIRE.

CCT's further have the challenge of always being the odd man out. They get embedded with Navy and Army units who are very tight, and very skeptical of outsiders.  They have to prove themselves, and in general do it without outside support.  

This part I will now leave alone, but thought it worth saying.  I mean no disrespect to anyone.  Frankly, I walked in expecting to be shaking my head, but realized that I needed to suspend judgement in the face of the clear courage of the men, and the extraordinary circumstances.  They were all noble men, and a credit to the best parts of the American spirit.

What I will comment on, though, is this notion of tribes.  It has often seemed to me that one reason for war is precisely the effect it has both on calling forth the best energies of people, but also how it creates intimacy, closeness, love, among men.  Women will always have the battle, the war, of childbirth.  Men have nothing like this.  War, I feel, has often served this purpose.

I think of the American Indians waging their frequent wars with one another, wars which were not genocidal, not final, not intended in general for conquest, but almost as something to do.  They were outlets for excessive energy.  For much of history, in a great many places, war was roughly the equivalent of that situation--which I have found myself in once or twice--where somebody challenges you to fight, and you show up with your people, and they show up with their people, and neither of you really wants to fight, but you can't back down.  You roll around a bit, exchange a few hits, honor is satisfied, and the people around you separate you.  No real harm is done.

What we need, I continue to feel, is tribes formed outside of violence, in which the risk-taking is entirely internal, entirely emotional.

I had proposed some time ago that on-going Holotropic Breathwork circles could be formed, in groups of roughly 20, in which people repeatedly share deep, emotionally strong experiences, and use those experiences to develop greater openness and trust, but only within that group, on the deepest level.  You share a bond of knowledge shared within the group, but not outside it.  This, it seems to me, is much like what the SEAL's create in their own rituals.

And this model could be deployed easily and endlessly.  The logistics are not that complicated.

This is my present goal.  I wake up and go to sleep trying to meet this endless ocean which manifests in my experience as Life, a life bigger than me.  I see a transparent world, endlessly in motion, but defined by rules which can be amended and improved.  That is what I see.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Ethics in War

I think prudence and a capacity for thinking in the long term and acting daily upon that thinking should be sufficient in most cases to preserve peace.  This would include diplomacy, and working daily to build and strengthen what is good.  Violence is either "the last refuge of the incompetent", or "the last recourse of an exhausted mind."

But plainly violence is sometimes preferred to subjugation.  It is not possible to develop optimally, at least for most, in slavery.

And in my own case, I would likely be a tough, ruthless soldier.

I have said before that in my view ethical decisions are best undertaken within the constraints of being local, imperfect, and necessary.  Inherently, this is a sort of relativism, but one which compares the relatively better with the relatively worse, with both measured next to the goal of universal peace and glowing happiness.

When the SEAL's in Lone Survivor, let the goatherds go--and I think in the actual event there was only one, but I may be mistaken--they condemned perhaps 20-40 other men to death ON THE OTHER SIDE, as well as all those on their own side who died.  All in all, let's figure 80 lives were lost in Operation Red Wing(s?).  And this does not factor in added Marines killed because the target of the operation was not killed, or everyone else who died getting him killed (which I assume was accomplished at some point). It also does not factor in deaths in the village where Luttrell was sheltered, if in fact they were attacked (I think in actuality they were threatened but not actually attacked.)

Sober analysis clearly indicates that much less death would have occurred if they had simply slit the throats of the goat herds, and buried them somewhere they were unlikely to be found.  Or left them to die of exposure, as Murphy proposed.

War is hell, as Sherman said, and the task it to bring it to an end as quickly as possible, if one decides to wage it, which is not a decision that should ever be made lightly.

My suspicion is that Luttrell may have been protecting others by making himself the locus of the decision to release the prisoners.  Certainly, that would make sense.

Morality is not always about feeling, but about using your mind to determine what is most right.  It is not ONLY about mind--heart must play a role--but it involves both.  It involves your entire self, at least in my view, and no moral decisions can be permanent in a changing world, but this does not mean all of them do not exist in a continuum of relatively better and relatively worse.



I am still processing my feelings.  You had to mourn the loss of those men at the end of Lone Survivor.  If you have not seen it, their pictures were set to a revised version of this song, which I have always assumed was about homosexual lovers.  It does have a feel to it, though, which helps me understand why it was chosen.

I have an odd sensibility: in general simple sadness does not make me cry, but courage, pushing the envelope and falling over, going for it without reservation, suffering bravely--these get me.

As I ponder it, there is something mythic about this film, something I can't put my finger on.  Maybe it is love.  Maybe it is connection with our own mortality and sense of the importance of life.   I don't know, but it is very real.

May you be blessed with a beautiful misery that teaches you something useful.

Lone Survivor, part two

Longer post.

The first thing that warrants saying is that we are and were in Afghanistan in part FOR the Afghan people.  Clearly, the stated and presumably actual goal was denying Al Queda the sanctuary the Taliban granted them for training and organizing missions of death and destruction against civilian targets.  But to this must be added that the Taliban were oppressive oligarchs disliked by most Afghans, who seem to me to mainly value being left alone by everyone outside of their valleys.  I have in the past used the analogy of hillbillies, and I think it is pretty close.

Thus, when people want to put a racist tint on the movie, this itself is racist, as I said in the previous post.  Leftist critics seems unwilling to separate the violence we do to one set of--I will use their implicit term--"darkies"--from the violence one set of "darkies" does to another.

Put another way, because they are unwilling to grant the categories "relatively better", and relatively worse--which in turn depend upon granting the utility of a continuum grounded on one end in Goodness and the other Evil--they turn a blind eye to atrocities of the most horrific variety, if they are committed by one group of darkies against another, and they call the efforts of American soldiers to defend one group by attacking another evil.

This is racism.  It is considering a group both homogeneous, and inferior; inferior, because unworthy of ordinary human rights; inferior, because violence and death visited on them does not matter; inferior, because they are utterly foreign to the rich, smug, elitist sacks of shit that write for papers in LA, New York, and elsewhere, people who suffer little, fear no violence, and face neither consequences for the ideas they propagate, nor any reckoning, in which their victims confront them with the atrocities they aided through their complicity.

There is little difference between Vietnam and Afghanistan, at least in the racism of the Left, and utter indifference to the suffering inflicting on cultural others: "darkies", as they would call them if they were honest.

Read this piece on the Communist atrocities in Vietnam:  Click on the picture for a very partial listing of their crimes, which were much, much more vicious than anything Calley or others committed, and which differed significantly in being matters of official, high level policy originating in Hanoi.

Likewise, the Taliban have often killed civilians, have decapitated women and children, shot babies at point blank range, murdered homosexuals.  None of this gets any play in the leftwing press because they DON'T CARE.  Again, they are all darkies until they need them for political purposes, then they are quite good at acting like they care.

The issue came up as to whether or not those lives were wasted.  What I kept thinking was that our men deserve a better war and better missions.  As I have said before, I believe that 9/11 was a larger conspiracy, even though I can't pretend to know who all the bastards were who were involved.  It seems clearly to have involved Islamic terrorists, but it remains my strong belief that American and possibly international financiers, or shadow elites played a role as well.  It is indisputable, in my view, that Tower 7 had to have been brought down by explosives, and that fact alone makes it necessary to consider a quite large scale conspiracy.

For simplicity, here is my take on this again:

It's not great, not my best, but remains in my view good enough for the large picture.

As far as the quality of the deaths, their meaning, let me say this: that meaning is not yet written.  What did they die for, in the grand scheme of things?  Love.  Love of country, of family, of freedom, of the Navy, of the Teams, of their jobs, of their brothers.

This movie has moved a lot of people.  It has stirred patriotic fires.  And in my own view, things have not changed that much since Gettysburg.  Does our task not remain the protection of freedom, of decency, of the rule of law, of the rule of, by and for the people?  As Lincoln put it:

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

I have been saying for years that we consecrate the deaths of our soldiers by choosing to live engaged, active, useful, responsible, informed lives.  We curse them by living self absorbed, frivolous, cheap lives.

And I think we forget easily the less obvious costs of military service.  I have talked to a number of Navy SEAL's, and it is a hard life on families.  The wives have to be tough as nails.  Their men are gone sometimes a year or more at a time, doing they have no idea what, no idea where, and no idea when they might get informed their loved one died in a "training exercise."

And I remember one career Teams member who said all he wanted was to build a better world for his kids, to protect them, to protect America, and who in his subsequent career was exposed on a daily basis to idiocies I have no idea how he endured.  I don't want to cite specifics, but it was a government job, and they had a serious mission they could not begin to perform adequately because of restrictions placed on them due to leftwing ideology/ cultural nihilism.

 Remain awake.  This is to my mind a principle way of honoring our dead.  Serve them both by furthering the specific mission for which they gave their lives--denying Afghanistan as a terror training zone--and the more general mission of protecting liberty.

Sitting there in the theater, I have to say that I felt a sense that gets called surreal.  We sit there, comfortable, fat dumb and happy, and don't realize that our HVAC, popcorn, running water, physical safety are all things which much of the world would consider luxuries.  We sit there and WATCH movies, watch other lives, but we don't feel them.  We don't understand them.  Normal Americans can't begin to truly understand both the difficulty of lives in other nations (were you not amazed by that elderly Afghan who walked over a mountain to hand deliver a message?  I don't know if this literally happened, but it is certainly possible.  I have heard stories about how tough these folks are.), and those of our military.

A year or two ago I was talking with some Army guys just back from Afghanistan, and they did two 36 hour patrols a week for most of the year they were there, and 2-3 more 12 hour patrols.  They averaged about 4 hours of sleep for the year, which is pretty damn amazing given how physically demanding their work was.  And these were just normal grunts.

In my own view, our wars have ruined too many lives of brave, sturdy Americans.  I am not anti-war, but we all suffer from the fact that despite having by far the most powerful military ever created, we cannot deter vastly inferior nations like Iran because of the constant internal sabotage by people within our political order I have called Cultural Sadeists, who actively seek to bring about our downfall, not to improve human life, but out of hatred, greed, and spite.

Our principle enemies, therefore, are within  our borders.  They are not just politicians, but the intellectuals and educators (propagandists) who continue to facilitate the moral sophistry which characterizes our public discourse, to the extent we have any.

These are my enemies, and I do what I can to fight them every day.

Cultural Growth

I went to the movies today, and I was sitting in the theater, watching the previews, listening to people laugh at humor I found utterly inane, and it struck me that clearly there are power elites.  We can discuss who they are, how they wield power, how much power they wield, what We the People's recourse are; but their existence--in our own, as in every other large scale, complex political order--is indisputable.

And I thought: what, within their lives, makes them grow as people?  What do we have in place, within our system, to encourage the growth of the people who create the ideas which are digested, regurgitated, and fed to the masses?

When I watch a football game, if there is a clear pattern of dominance on one side or the other, I assume I can predict the outcome, and most of the time I am right (unless frickin' FSU wakes up in the second half, and runs a TD in from their own end zone).

When you look at any large scale pattern, it is informed by the principles which inform it, by the institutional patterns, the default assumptions, default decisions, biases, tendencies, gravity.  Within Chaos can always be found orders, and sometimes one or only a few Orders.

The people at top seem to have jettisoned moral virtue, common sense decency.  They seem animated by a recidivism into the intrigues and crimes of the past.  All that we have built, morally, they want to wash away, destroy.

Do you believe that our power elites have in mind for us universal freedom, universal prosperity, and an on-going march in the direction of learning as societies and as a world how to give and receive uncritical, unrestrained, sincere love?  Do you think this?

Or do they use this rhetoric in pursuit of tawdry, old goals, of the sort the kings of old pursued in substantially every nation on Earth, goals of temporal power, pride of status, unique privileges and rights, and wealth?

How do we build a society in which the best among us are preoccupied on a daily basis with cognitive cleansing, moral purification, self exploration, and personal growth?

This is a good question, and that is a start.

Lone Survivor

I will have more to say, but will repost this comment from here:

You miss the blatant racism of the Left, which views all "brown" people as morally equal. You know, racism of the "they all look the same" variety, except that they claim to be on "their" side. In this movie, was it not obvious that not all Afghans liked the Taliban? If anyone recalls the initial history of the war, we took over the country with very few troops. We used Special Operations folks to provide organization, logistical support, and air power, and the Afghans THEMSELVES did most of the rest. Most of them HATED the Taliban.

Within this movie, you have Afghan Good Guys, and Afghan Bad Guys. They were quite clearly marked, and one could only miss this with determined stupidity, and, as I said, blatant and ugly racism.
It was the same in Vietnam. We fought WITH the "yellow man" too. We fought and died next to them, supporting them, helping them fend off sociopathic murderers and sadists.

But the Left rejects human decency in principle. This point is subtle and hard to understand for psychologically normal people, particularly since they use the RHETORIC of decency. All the critics of this movie implied they cared about human suffering, that it bothered them, that they wanted "good" to prevail, and simply rejected American tactics. This is nothing remotely close to the actual situation. The actual situation is that they no longer believe there is a difference between good and evil, and that power is the sole good, and that the point of speaking at all is to support members of their tribe who seek power. If supporting war gets votes for Democrats, they argue for it. If opposing war gets votes for Democrats they oppose it. Conformity is their only true value.

I deal with this issue within the context of the Vietnam War at length here:
Just click on the Fabian Window to reach the treatise/essay/piece.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Clearing out Decembers pages--I still use a paper planner--and liked these three:

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love, or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies?  Erich Fromm

An unhurried sense of time is in itself a form of wealth.  Bonnie Friedman

The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself.  Mark Twain.


I have reached a point where I no longer have any desire to drink.  I am sleeping fine without it, and just don't crave that sensation any more.  Things may change, but I don't think so.

What has changed is that I have developed an ability to generate positive, qualitatively interesting states without alcohol.

And I would submit that the failure to be able to do this is at the root of all addictions.  Addicts are not just people who crave highs, but who crave "averages", being unable to do so consistently on their own.

In my own case, I have suffered from low grade depression my whole life.  I was literally trained using Operant Conditioning not to feel, not to relax, and not to do anything out of the ordinary.  I was rewarded for essentially being not there, and punished often and early for everything else.  When the actual hitting stopped, the narcissism of both my parents made it difficult to develop a sense of self. 

At an early age, I found I could retreat into books and fantasy worlds without getting hit, and without having to deal with the emotional confusion inherent in dealing with people who conflate the people around them with their own sense of self, and that path has determined my life.

But it hasn't been a happy life.  As I said, I wake up feeling hated most mornings.

Lately, though, I have been able to get some emotional distance from that sense of hate, some space.  That is what I have always been lacking is space.  Narcissists take it from you.  If you have not experienced it, this feeling is hard to describe, but it embeds in everything you do, and your very sense of self and ability to feel a sovereign consciousness within the world.

But as I said, I have been able to generate MY OWN positive feelings lately, and that has made a huge difference.

Looking at this, though, I truly think that all the people who wrestle with addiction are really seeking a way out of the sense of non-specialness, of boredom, of an inability to create positive states.  They are seeking movement, when they feel like a sailing ship lost at sea without wind.  They seek liberation from a sense of psychological claustrophobia, from an oppressive sense of themselves as unchanging, stuck, stiff, dead.

I am probably saying too much, and some of this may not make sense.  There are many forms of addiction, many ways to screw up, many ways to fail.

But this feels right.  Perhaps it may be useful to someone.  I will likely never know.

I will say that as my depression lifts, and as I stop drinking, my Lumosity score shot up 200 points after being stuck in the same place for many months.  It's not the fuzziness that's gone, but the constant self-checking, the stopping of consciousness to see if anything I'm thinking or feeling will get me hit or hurt.  I always, always, always had to be on the defensive, and it made it hard to be spontaneous, to just let things go, and certainly to have any connection to--and certainly faith in--the future.  I have been stuck in an oppressive Present for all my life, a room without a door.  Perhaps Sartre had this emotional background in his own mind when he wrote "No Exit".

And I see how the path to meaningful compassion and love is through hell.  I am not quite there yet, but I get glimpses of just SEEING other people, seeing their histories, seeing their weaknesses, and their strengths.

And I can see one day being able to say to people "I will go into Hell with you.  We will go where it hurts, and I will not be afraid and I will not run.  We will touch that place, then I will lead you out, help you out, help you learn to walk out on your own.  And we will do it as often as needed."

I would call this being a spiritual soldier.  I like this idea.  No fear, endless persistence, creative engagement, constant skill development.

Post on Global Warming

Posted here:

My record at getting out of moderation is quite poor, so as I always do I am putting it somewhere I control.  There is anger in this post, but as I have been arguing, if you do not get angry at those who seek to inflict pain and suffering on the innocent either for their own gain, or because of cowardice, then there is something wrong with you, and you are no friend of mine or of humanity generally.

This is not new news, even that the power elites PUBLICLY and OPENLY admit that global tyranny is their goal. Every time someone says I am being paranoid, I just post this link:
It is all there in black, white, and brown.

With regard to global warming, how many of you knew that existing atmospheric CO2 ALREADY absorbs 100% of the infrared radiation which it is capable of absorbing (in roughly the 13-16 micron wavelengths), and that this amount is well less than 10% of the heat the Earth reradiates? We are talking about a gas which is already absorbing as much heat as it can, and that amount is already insignificant in the overall global climate.

Not only is this bad science, it is patently FRAUDULENT science, without justification, without redeeming features, without truly honest errors (at least post-Climategate). Given the suffering these people are very willing to inflict both on the developed and the developing worlds, I quite literally think some of them should be shot. I would do it. Decency has to resort at times to the same violence which seeks to overturn it. Being nice and being good are two different things.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I sometimes write things, then decide if they make sense, or if I mean them.  Sometimes I write things and I'm really not sure where I was going with it.  But sometimes I write things, look at them, and realize it did make sense, even though I wasn't sure at the time.

I've been pondering my post on Belief, about how it connects to experience.  And I have been comparing that to a link someone posted in comments to a new old book by an atheist on using "reason" to proselytize.  You read the comments, and the words reason and rationality occur over and over and over.

Reason is a fetish with these people, not a practice.  What they do is connect emotionally with an abstraction--Reason--and use it as a way to buffer experience, to distance themselves from it.  They have directed their emotional life at a cypher which can mean anything they like, but whose salient benefit is the possibility of being unchanging.  2+2 will always equal four, and they will always be able to carry around a shield of "rationality".

But here is what I realized: are dedicated religionists any different?  Have they in fact connected with EXPERIENCE, or with ideas about how reality is, which they connect to emotionally with no evidence.  Did God dictate the Koran to Muhammad?  I have no idea, but one must believe this to be a Muslim, and there is little evidence for it, other than the Koran itself, which I am uniformly told is brilliant in Arabic (unreadable in English, in my own experience).

This got me to thinking that perhaps belief disconnects us from experience.  Perhaps it does both.

And it occurred to me there might be benefits to believing two contradictory ideas each morning before breakfast, as I recall Lewis Carroll's Queen doing.

And I got to thinking of examples, such as black is white.  This, I found, led to interesting ideas.  For example, the property of white is a feature of how blended light is processed by human eyes.  The property of black is that it absorbs all the visible frequencies.  But if you were the surface itself, if you can look at light hitting you from the perspective of the object, the light would be full spectrum, and thus white.  I think this makes sense.

Good is evil.  Think about this.  As I am often writing about, I have been doing a lot of soul searching and inner work, and I see now that most of the worst things done to me were done in the name of the Good, of religion, of making me a better person.  Can we not say that the world is filled with people doing evil in the name of Good?  Can we not say that if you have a compulsive need to "help" people that that fact alone is sooner or later going to lead to you manufacturing ailments you can then fix; that your principle aim is actually to help yourself, but that you are lying about it, to yourself and others?

Blue is green.  Animal eyes work differently than human eyes.  They see different spectrums.  Is it not possible that the frequency we see as green is actually blue for some eyes?  I don't know, but it is an interesting possibility.

Neurophysiologists tell us that reason and emotion are integrally tied on a hard wiring level.  This means, logically, that to perform logic well you must be emotionally developed.

Few thoughts.  Not sure what I just said, but I'm sure that won't stop me the next time my fingers get itchy.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I've always liked AC/DC, like most.  They play simple, hard, effective rock.  I have three of their albums.

Whenever they got big, I was in junior high, and I recall someone telling me that one of the Young's--maybe both--dressed up as schoolboys, with the hats, and shorts, and sweaters, with the salient different that the back of their pants was cut out.  They would regularly moon the audience, I heard.  Crazy stuff.  Hard rock and roll.

But it occurred to me today that a schoolboy with his pants cut out would be to a homosexual pedophile roughly what Brittany Spears in her bubble-gum phase was to creepy old men.  From what I read, 13-14 year old boys are a routine fantasy for many older homosexuals. That was definitely the age the Spartans recruited their boys, and they were each assigned to one older man, with whom homosexual contact presumably occurred [not topical, but it is interesting that when the Thebans finally defeated the Spartans, it was with a modified line, with a salient--on the right, if memory serves--filled with 150 pairs of homosexual lovers, called the Sacred Band, again if memory serves.  They were their best fighters, and the idea was that they would turn the corner, and enable a flanking maneuver, which they did.  Alexander later used this technique, albeit not with a Sacred Band.]

Think this through, look at it from that perspective.  It is completely foreign to me, but does the logic not stand?

It has always made sense to me that AC/DC was a reference to bisexuality, but it never occurred to me what was actually being presented on stage.

What this means, what message they were trying to communicate, I don't know, and they may not have known themselves.

My point here is that it is so hard to see what is in front of you.  As usual, Mary Poppins has this spot on. 

Granted, that was an odd segue.

Read this lyric, and ponder it, if you never have:

You got problems in your life of love
You got a broken heart
He's double dealin' with your best friend
That's when the teardrops star fella
Pick up the phone, I'm here alone
Or make a social call
Come right in, forget 'bout him
We'll have ourselves a ball hey

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Religion and Liberalism

My word of the day is seemingly "Liberal".  It's a good word, even if it has been corrupted by awful people for use in anti-Liberal propaganda.

As I have more or less stated, or at least implied, my long term goal is to create what could be called a religion.  I have called it a church.

But as I ponder it, what I want, at the very heart of the thing, is a mechanism for evolving, for changing, and for changing without contradicting the core of the "creed", to extent I have one.

Provisionally, I like my three "Goodness" principles, of rejecting self pity, persisting, and continually moving perceptually.

But other precipitates are likely, given a group.  What I want to build into this cultural system, and this belief system, is the same flexibility that true Liberalism--when deployed by sober (in the good sense), well intentioned, sensible people--allows.

When you look at historical religions, they are relatively inflexible.  There is only so far you can get from the Torah in Judaism, the New Testament in Christianity, the Koran in Islam.  There is only so far you can depart from the teachings of the Buddha, the Tripitaka, the 12-fold path.

What we need for the future is something which can grow over time, which can take on an organizational thirst for ever-increasing efficacy, as oriented around the goals of human well-being understood in the deepest possible senses.

Can Science and Belief not dance?  I think they can.


I think it worth saying that Liberalism as I define it below was developed by white Europeans, and their descendants in North America.  No other culture has anything like it, of which I am aware.  Certainly, most major nations have had periods of relative tolerance, in which diverse behaviors and creeds coexisted peacefully, but everywhere else one group has had dominant social status IN PRINCIPLE, and normally by law.  Almost all nations historically have had slavery, with most slaves in white nations having been white, and most slaves in black nations having been black.

As I said earlier, America is the only nation to have rejected slavery in principle to such an extent that it was willing to wage an enormously destructive war over it (and yes, I know the pedantic quibbles that can be made with this statement).

Does this make whites superior to other races?  No, but it makes our cultural history more benign than that of other races.  We of course are also the only ones to have waged global wars, to have developed weapons capable of destroying the human race, and of course to have conquered and colonized most of the planet.  With great capability comes great potential both for good and evil.  Had we not so much as invented the wheel, we would have remained capable of death and destruction.

From my other website, here is my treatment of Liberalism as I conceive it:

Liberalism: Politically, the doctrine that governments are a necessary evil—since for now at least the self restraint facilitated by various types of
virtue is insufficient to the task of protecting the weakest among us—but
that authority should be spread as broadly as possible, and always kept
within a context of structural blocks to the unlimited consolidation of
The American Constitution is the most perfect Liberal document ever
created. We all know that the three branches of the Federal Government
check one another (in theory: practically, there exists no legislative
remedy, currently, to the usurpation of authority by the Supreme Court),
but there are many other structural balances. The authority of the Federal
Government was intended to be checked by the sovereign States, as
codifed in the 10th Amendment. The authority of our elected
representatives—who can do what they want once they are elected—is
checked by regular votes. The potential usurpation of authority by a
centralized military is checked by the guarantee of gun ownership, and the
existence of State militias. The underlying idea is that unlimited power,
once granted, and even if benign at first, will sooner or later become
Philosophically, Liberalism is the idea that since none of us can be presumed to possess absolute truth, that all of us be free to believe and say what we want, provided we injure no one else in so doing, and that the role of government is to protect those rights. 
Constitutionally, the right to regulate areas of moral ambiguity were intended to
rest with the States.This would include abortion, drug regulation, euthanasia, prostitution, and the provision of social services.

Leftist Solipsism

It occurred to me the other day that leftists--true leftists, of the sort tending towards the Cultural Sadeist variety (and I want to be clear that I don't consider people like Nancy Pelosi necessarily to be sadists in a formal sense, but rather empty at their core of sincere belief, sincere feeling, sincere humanity) never speak for their own group.

Lenin was not a worker; nor were his Bolsheviks (whose very name "majority" party, was itself a lie): they were intellectuals, far more educated, far more able to earn good livings, than most Russians. 

Most of those wanting to speak for blacks in this country are rich white people, and those who are black do not live in ghettos, and most of them become rich in the process of "sympathizing" with the poor.  Where did Jesse Jackson, Jr. go to school?

Most of the architects of the "War on Poverty", then and now, are rich.  Obama is rich.  Harry Reid is rich.  Ted Kennedy was rich.  Sargent Shriver was rich.

Fidel Castro's family was relatively rich, and his father was more or less a moral equal of Batista in his cynicism and lust for ill gotten wealth.  I read some time ago that he had someone killed he owed money to, and who was asking for his money back.

Everywhere you look, you find almost no examples of people speaking for THEIR OWN group.  You see people speaking for other groups, for other tribes.

This point is subtle, and I'm not quite sure I am even yet able to make it quite correctly, but I am going to try: these people pursued "universal" principles precisely because they lacked any actual affection for any actual living people.

The defining trait of the narcissist is to mistake ones own emotions for those of others, to confuse what one wants for oneself, with what others actually need.

It is quite possible to pursue ones own psychological liberation through work conducted purely upon abstractions.  To be clear, this is not a "liberation", but rather a way of enduring, of avoiding deep-seated terrors and inner demons, and conflicts.  You become "moral" in the act of welding your sense of self with an abstraction, one unanchored by any possible outside referents, any outside being, any outside real, true, living reality.

Thus, death-dealing becomes a moral act, if tied to the correct inner lies.  Torture becomes liberation, if framed in a way which protects the fragile ego from the emotional reality of horror.

And I see this process promulgated throughout the minds--not hearts--of those who want to define for us our culture, who want to tell us what is right and what is wrong, but who in so doing NEVER ask themselves if what they are pursuing is actually, in aggregate, helping or hurting those they claim to care about.

Jesse Jackon--unlike Martin Luther King, Jr.--has never ached for black Americans.  He has never truly internalized and felt the pain and suffering they feel; or at least not for many, many years.

Obama cares nothing for the hell-holes in Philadelphia, the boys crying out for their fathers, the girls seeking love in all the wrong places, having babies because they are too undeveloped to know that babies don't give love, but demand it.  He doesn't care about all the petty viciousness that attends poverty, attends wanting more but not knowing how to get it.

This is the truth.  This is why leftists NEVER pursue policies which actually work to end poverty, to end racism, to end the hopelessness that inheres in large segments of our population, that inheres in the heart of the richest nation on  Earth and in history.  They quite literally conflate their stated intentions with their own inner realities.  They believe that because they claim to care, that they actually care.  They believe that because they take actions to end abuses, that they actually sincerely want those actions to succeed.

This is not Liberalism.  This is savagery.  This is bestiality, cloaked thinly by false rhetoric.  This is emotional deformity, given a high platform.

Can we not see Obama as a high priest in a demonic cult, tossing the weakest among us into the flames?

History is clear that yes, we can.  This is a horrible truth, but truth it is.

What we need is a resurrection of tribalism, where people at least belong SOMEWHERE, where they feel sincere, true affections, for actual, living, breathing, suffering and celebrating human beings.

This is the root of Fascism, of course--which is a refuge for the utterly lost--but pursued with wisdom and a genuine Liberal intent, it is in my view the ONLY path to a desirable future, and world worth living in.

Bukowski quotes, Buck Owens, and some rambling

Something good seems to be happening to me.  I'm losing the urge to drink entirely.  For some reason watching the Buck Owens Show is helping me, but from the middle I felt the need to look up Bukowski quotes.  I am in that middle somewhere.

“those who escape hell
never talk about
and nothing much
bothers them

“Find what you love and let it kill you.” 

“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.”

“what matters most is how well you walk through the fire” 

"I've never been lonely. I've been in a room -- I've felt suicidal. I've been depressed. I've felt awful -- awful beyond all -- but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me...or that any number of people could enter that room. In other words, loneliness is something I've never been bothered with because I've always had this terrible itch for solitude. It's being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. I'll quote Ibsen, "The strongest men are the most alone." I've never thought, "Well, some beautiful blonde will come in here and give me a fuck-job, rub my balls, and I'll feel good." No, that won't help. You know the typical crowd, "Wow, it's Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?" Well, yeah. Because there's nothing out there. It's stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidify themselves. I've never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. I hid in bars, because I didn't want to hide in factories. That's all. Sorry for all the millions, but I've never been lonely. I like myself. I'm the best form of entertainment I have. Let's drink more wine!”

“We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.”

Bukowski is my kind of people.

But I look at Buck Owens, too, and I see courage.  This is the show I'm watching at the moment, that I have on pause.  He, too, had a rough life in his own way.  He went hungry as a child, was moved away from his home in Texas.  Despite the conventional need for smiling, he does not do it very well.  He tries, but he can't quite pull it off.  And his guitarist, his best friend Don Rich (whose death in 1974 shattered him) smiles too much.

People lived in smaller houses then, led much more modest lives.  True poverty was still quite common.  The Catholic Church was still effectively facilitating pedophilia, and men could still demand sex of women at the work place without much risk of censure.

Owens music seems innocent.  I think to myself that Jimmy Hendrix was warming up in 1966. The whole culture was getting ready for a rupture from which it still has not recovered.

I see on the one side, the wholesomeness of Owens music.  Looked at more carefully, though, it is quite often about heartbreak and difficulty, too, with the important element that it aims to transcend heartbreak, to transform emotions, to help people carry on.

Owens himself, though, was married 4 times.  Quite often, it seems country music is not so much cathartic as descriptive. 

Here is a, to me, very interesting interview with George Jones, in which he freely admits his cocaine habit, that he nearly killed himself, that his promoters took out a life insurance policy on him (using a complicit doctor to commit fraud in the application) and that one of his big backers was killed by the mob:

So often it is easy to sentimentalize the "good old days".  We see human stupidity, evil, laziness, corruption, greed, lust, and the thought that human life has ALWAYS been like this--and in fact for most of history has been far, far worse--is really hard for us, in our easy living conditions, to accept.  It is hard for us to accept how hard the physical--and often cultural--living conditions are in much of the world.  We find it hard to accept that in the Islamic world men can beat their women with impunity.  We find it hard to accept the open pedophilia often on display there.

Just yesterday, I was reading about a man put into a labor camp in China, after being blinded in one eye trying to stop the rape of a woman by Communist Party connected sadists.  I had a dream some time ago about the atmosphere of fear in Cuba, where women are regularly raped by Party officials, and for which there is no remedy, no justice.  Think about it: how could there be, when "truth" is controlled centrally, and sadistic prisons (which among other things contain cages the size of dog crates) prisons exist where people can disappear indefinitely?

Can we not look forward?  Can we not take the idea of Liberalism, and continue to try to actually bring it into being, to generalize it?

For me, I take comfort in Buck Owens.  I don't remember, but I suspect he was on the TV when I was very little.  But I agree with Bukowski that we need madness, too, and not the sort seen in alcoholic binges.  His alcoholism was only part of his character.  Countless people drink their lives away and create nothing.  He had a creative core.

I am rambling, as I do.  I am thinking aloud, as I do.  Perhaps there is something useful here, perhaps not.  But in my own way, I am trying the ENGAGE with the contents of my consciousness, to connect in a syncratic (idiosyncratic minus the idio) various threads of thought and meaning.

Can I not ask, of the wider world, more of this?  From all of you?