Saturday, May 31, 2014

Walter Mitty

Just watched "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty".  I thought it was well scripted and well executed.

Movies like this, though, make you long for what I call quantitative experience: have you scuba dived?  Jumped out of an airplane?  Eaten at a fine restaurant in Paris?  Ridden with a drunk helicopter pilot?

I have had many experiences in my life, some of them a bit wild.  But what I long for more than anything is perfect enjoyment of a simple day in which nothing unusual happens.  I long to enhance my sensitivity to the point where I need go nowhere or do anything exotic the rest of my life, and live very contentedly, happily.

It is an odd juxtaposition, but can we call the Sean Penn mindset the Hemingway mindset?  What I follow I might call the Tarthang Tulku mindset, that of constant expansion.

There is a frequency to the Hemingway mindset.  It occillates.  It goes up and down.  And keep in mind that despite all his adventures, all his "living", all his risk taking, Papa Hemingway in the end killed himself.

The Tarthang Tulku process is to build up the capacity for experience, for connectedness, for love, without calling it love.  It is a steady increase in ambient energy--expressed in peaceful and alert joy--that becomes constant.

That is what I want.  I have had enough glimpses to know this with certainty.

Socialism, another take

Within the Socialist moral mindset, the only way to "do better" is to erase difference.  But what is life without difference?  How can anyone justify this morally other than by simply positing it then eliminating opposition?

They can't.

There is no good socialism

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/lea-singh/canada-on-verge-of-banning-christians-from-professional-life/

What do socialist believe in?  Equality.  What else?  Crickets.

It is quite possible for a truly liberal society to ensure that its poorest members are well treated, and that difference is tolerated and negotiated.  It is inevitable that any society with political freedom, free markets, contract law, and sound money will raise its poorest members out of poverty in short order.

But it is not possible, over the long haul, for socialism to do anything BUT evolve into tyranny.  It is in the nature of the beast.  It is made inevitable by the premise that equality is more important than outcome; that individual success can only be explained by factors other than individual effort, and superiority.  To insist on egalitarianism is to reject in principle grades of morality, and that in turn is to reject in principle the possibility of individual moral growth, which is to reject morality in principle.

Once morality is rejected, power and conformity become the only possible values.  One is seeing that here in Canada, just as it is being seen in Sweden in articles I linked to over the past few days.  Sybaritic Leftism, the nice bambi, the "we just want to take care of our own", inevitably has to mutate into Cultural Sadeism.  That it does so in a context of permanent lies and deception merely fools the stupid.

Wolverine

If you have not seen the latest X-men, and like narrative surprises, don't read this post.

We think of Wolverine as possessing the power of physical regeneration, but if you think about it, he also has the power of continuing to exist in existential limbo, in confusion about his identity and place in the world.

In the first movie, he has no memory, and has to deal with this.  In the latest, everyone he "knows" has become a sort of stranger.  He has even become a stranger to himself, in that he cannot remember how his life has been conducted over the last 30 or whatever years.

There is to my mind a mythic power to this.  I have often wondered how I would deal if I woke up somewhere without memory.  If a self is anything, it is habits, and the three habits I would absolutely want would be the rejection of self pity, perseverance (in all the forms it takes), and the capacity for and thirst for learning.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Homeland Security

I was talking with a cop tonight who among other things was trained in crowd control.  He said they were trained in large measure by the Feds.  I asked what department, knowing full well what the answer would be: Homeland Security.

Ask yourself: what do these people do?  They don't have field agents as far as I know, like the FBI.  They don't have foreign intelligence capabilities like the CIA and DIA.  They are not in the business of snooping, like the NSA.

What do they do?  They are extremely well funded, and of late extremely well armed

Here is one thesis: under Obama at least, their job is the militarization of police departments.  Now, this guy had common sense, and understood that protest is a valid political activity, one protected by the  Constitution.  He resented the anarchists, and having seen these kids first hand myself, I didn't blame him one bit.  I would hit some of these kids upside their ass myself.

But would it not make sense--within the Leftist mindset--to first create a training capability for crowd suppression, a mindset, and then seed key positions with people capable of relaying effectively lies told for the explicit purpose of manipulating the minds and emotions of otherwise honest cops?

You call someone a genuine racist, or child molester, or domestic terrorist, even if it is a lie, it has a strong chance of eliciting a strong response, a response that you can channel down training patterns you have facilitated.

The other interesting thing he said is that they now have a wave weapon that attacks people inner organs, making them so uncomfortable that they have to disperse.  This one was mounted on an APC, or what I suppose they now call an MRAP, of the sort that the DHS just bought over a 1,000 of.

Stay awake.  Sleep is what the totalitarians want.

Addition: Can you think of a worse potential for abuse than a well-funded bureaucracy with no real mission?  The job of the DHS is to counter threats, and the job of bureaucracies is to expand.  Logically, then the very existence of the DHS depends on manufacturing threats, if they don't exist.  To do otherwise is to risk becoming smaller, which is unacceptable to all bureaucracies.

We should abolish the DHS.  While we're at it, take the DEA and ATF with them, and most drug seizure laws.  We can fight drug, alcohol, tobacco and gun (and explose)  related crime through standard law enforcement.

While I'm thinking about it, I wonder if we have tried paying Mexican and other officials on the drug lords payroll more than the drug lords.  It's hard to see how it would cost more than the drug war, and we could even provide and fund volunteer or mercenary troops.

Living with Actors

I don't have cable, but I will flip around from time to time in hotel rooms.  More than once it has struck me that all the emotion, all the drama, all the violence, all the hurt and anger and fear--is fake.  It is staged.  Cameras are all around the actors, whose world is quite small in comparison with the large studio around them.

The average American spends perhaps 2-3 hours a day watching people who pretend to feel things for a living; people whose real emotions are hidden.

Ponder spending time with people who could convince you you were their best friend while secretly hating you.

Given that what Hollywood produces, in large measure, is strong emotion, ought it not to be a deep place, filled with contemplative and deep springs?

I hung out in a bar on Hollywood Boulevard a few months ago, and it was funny to me how often it came up that some group was superficial.  The people who move here from out of State, but not us locals.  The people who live in LA, but not Orange County.

Could we perhaps posit that many actors become actors precisely because they DON'T feel deep emotions?   That pretending to do so is therapeutic for them, that it fills, temporarily, some gap in them?

What is the fallout of surrounding ourselves with icons whose job is merely to pretend they feel things?  Does it wash through our cultural order and promote insincerity, plastic lives, constant grasping for states they merely pretend to reach?

I mentioned narcissistic empathy as a trait of people who desperately want to be able to think of themselves as concerned human beings, but who are incapable of doing so in the concrete, in the particular, in the only places that truly matter.  Is this perhaps one root of Hollywood's leftist mindset?  That at root they feel nothing deeply, believe nothing deeply, and so latch onto what is easy, what is made easy by political operators?

Nihilism

Would Annihilationism be a better word?

Swedish totalitarianism

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/fjordman/swedens-totalitarian-face/

Read this and ponder it.  Ponder the connections between believing nothing, and the need for an omnipotent State.

Muslim Violence and Sybaritic Leftism

I would compare black violence here with pervasive sexual violence in Sweden: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/1-in-4-swedish-women-will-be-raped-as-sexual-assaults-increase-500/

If it was white people raping blacks, there would be outrage.  Why?  Rape is wrong.  I think all sane people can agree with that.

But once one enters this never-never land of leftist ideology, nothing is any longer wrong if SOMEONE OBJECTS.  All you have to do to stop a sybaritic leftist is accuse them of insensitivity.  They have no place-holder for justified violence, for self defensive violence, for violence in the name of principle, in the name of decency.  They cannot justify blaming this epidemic on Muslims, and cannot justify asking them to either behave or leave, which is quite obviously within their rights.

And if they fail to do this, they will fail as a Liberal nation.  They will fail as an advanced nation.  They will fall, of their own free will, to primitives.  They will demonstrate, in the end, that they believe nothing.

Perhaps the salient difference between a Sybaritic Leftist and a full blown Cultural Sadeist is the extent to which the latter creed is infectious.  The first is not living, and the second is an aggressive flesh eating zombie.

All of these myths--the zombie, the vampire, the werewolf--address important sociological realities.

Liberalism is possible. It is both possible and desirable to reconcile cultural and social differences, peacefully, through shared understanding.  But you cannot do that with primitives who insist on imposing their vision of the world on you.  You cannot negotiate with people who do not WANT to negotiate.  That is why wars and violence will be needed at times until all of humanity grows up.

Black Violence

One of the benefits in believing in God--believing one can both move towards and away from God--is that moral judgement becomes possible, not in the sense of judging people ontologically, but in the sense that their chosen patterns of behavior are either moving them towards God or away from Him, away from Goodness.

Read this: http://americanthinker.com/2014/05/widespread_memorial_day_black_violence_ignored_by_national_media.html

The problem is that the pervasive cultural nihilism, which is an ineluctable element of dominant notions about the nature of human life, make calling this what it is--unacceptable and shameful--impossible.

If human life does not matter, then so too do those of blacks not matter.  Then so too do those of whites not matter.

Practically expressed, the very anxiety that these ideas produce makes the shelter of ideological conformity--which sees and hears nothing which does not originate from a "trusted" propaganda source--almost necessary, and certainly very comforting.  The world can be coming apart around you, but you can still have faith that you don't have to make any personal decisions about it.  This was the essence of New York under Dinkins.

It does seem to me that black youth are getting angrier.  And why not?  Relentless race baiting will do that.  So too will the on-going failures of left wing economic policy.  Why should any of these kids have any hope at all?  As I have said repeatedly, nobody gives a shit about them: not their parents, not their leaders, not society as a whole.  They are just asked to only kill each other, and not worry the rest of us about it.  That's what ghettos and prisons are for. If they wind up eventually getting out of their boxes, I can see how that would happen.

But hate does not build self respect.  Hate does not educate.  Hate does not create jobs.  Hate will not get them ANYTHING but momentary relief from self loathing and emotional pain.  And those who encourage it are evil.   They will be judged.  I do not believe hell lasts forever, but I do believe it lasts for thousands of years.  That I do belief.

Emotional Regeneration

The essential proposition of the spiritual path is that there are not just some, but many feelings you can feel, which you have never suspected.  The Hindus and Buddhists, at least, list a long number of new sensations, new senses of the world, that you go through on the path to enlightenment and release.

These lists were compiled over thousands of years, by people without electric lights or TV's, living with the stars, living with nature, living patiently and with no demand for instantaneous anything; who were taught from childhood that the universe is connected, and never given any reason to doubt it.

I think of the story of Hafez, at least one version.  He fell in love with a woman, and kept a 40 vigil at the tomb of a saint to win her, but found that the feelings of connection with God which emerged were infinitely more rewarding than any mere love between a man and woman, even though parallels could be made.

I worked 15 hours yesterday.  I have found that sometimes long days elicit interesting emotions.  Driving down some back country road last night, I felt an antique emotion, that I have not felt since early childhood.  It was my regenerative emotion, the energy that I let through myself when I was emotionally hurt, and which healed me, if I stayed with it.

This was beaten out of me.  My parents have confessed, as I think they have come to feel some mild guilt over this--they are narcissists, not sociopaths, so they retain some sense of conscience--that I used to get very quiet and just play with myself in a sort of trance, and they used to spank me for this.  This frightened them, no doubt because everything out of the ordinary frightens them.  Only once they took this away were they finally able to break me.

But I can reclaim it.  It will take time.  I cannot demand it. I need to invite it back carefully, by creating a congenial environment, and letting it come back when it is ready.

On a related note, I dreamed that I visited Harvard last night.  I tend to view Harvard as an epicenter of most of the bad ideas which have created so much suffering in this country and around the world, rightly or wrongly.  Harry Dexter White, who more or less created the IMF and World Bank, which in my view have both worked consistently to make it easier for global banks and corporations to rape developing countries, got his Ph.D there.  He was also a Soviet agent, who died before he could be brought to trial.

Alger Hiss, who played an important role in creating the UN, and who served time as a Soviet agent, got his Law degree at Harvard.

I could go on.

Be that as it may, I went down a hill, and the place was filled with the cafes, bars, book stores, and life and energy of a good college town.  Then I went back up a hill, and was on the campus proper.  In the middle of a central building I heard someone telling someone else: "Life is a meaningless accident".  Then I looked to the side and saw people who had been physically wounded, rehabbing.

As I say from time to time, one must assume that all dreams pertain in some measure to oneself.  How this applies to me, perhaps it will be easy for a reader to surmise, but for myself I am not sure.  Perhaps I am healing the idea that life is meaningless, although I have never consciously believed that.  Perhaps I felt it.

On a larger scale though, I think it is readily interpretable.  At the CORE, at the very heart of the Science departments of almost all universities, of which Harvard can stand for all, is this belief.  Human kind was accidentally assembled, by chance and time, and means nothing.  We are born, copulate, reproduce, and that is the sum of what is biologically, evolutionarily important.

To believe that no person matters is to believe, necessarily on some level, that one does not matter.  Everything you do and say is nugatory.  Everyone you love, you love because of impulses beyond your control, impulses put in place because of evolutionary necessities perhaps a million or 100 million years ago.

You do not "exist".  The sense of self is illusory.  One sees many arguing this very explicitly, even if they are completely unwilling to act as if this were true.  Logically, if nothing matters, then it does not matter if people are religious.  It does not matter if we wage wars.  Wars might in fact be good.  Certainly, there is nothing to proscribe them.  Why does it matter if humanity itself survives?  We are no different in principle from the rocks of the Earth whose existence until the Suns expands seems certain.  And even then, they will become a part of the Sun, and reblended with the universe in one way or another.

Now, college life is also social.  People who believe themselves machines made out of meat all day long find relief and comfort drinking beer with their friends, talking about many topics, debating points within the paradigm they allow.  They do not act as if their work is demeaning mankind, making it primitive, ignoring all that is good and expandable.  This is how they write books arguing that the writing of books in inherently useless and meaningless.  And write a lot of them.

What I would submit though, is that within this paradigm all of the emotions I mentioned, everything that has been passed down to us by people much wiser than us, are not possible.  Emotional growth in large measure is replaced by intellectual growth.  Intelligence becomes valued over emotional virtuosity.  Abstraction becomes valued over love.  Thought replaces connection.

And people become isolated and lonely without even realizing it.  They substitute their work for authentic human connection.  I don't doubt that Richard Dawkins has many friends.  But I think in the middle of the night, he feels alone, except when he is with his work, particularly the aesthetic aspect of it, the beauty of science, of theory, of CORRECT THINKING, of honesty and truth, of the moral perfection of good math.

Humankind: we can do so much better.  We are infants.  We know nothing.

Rather: we know a great deal, oceans of knowledge, but most of us ignore it.  It is being swept away like trash into crowded corners, rather than valued as the treasure it is.

Ponder that substantially all the work going on in the sciences and Humanities is working to make human emotional and cultural life smaller, less fulfilling, and more dangerous.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sticks and stones

We need to bring back "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me."

Diet

I would append my previous post on this topic by offering a simple heuristic I taught to my children: is the meal you are about to eat something you could live healthily on the rest of your life?  If you had to eat THIS MEAL three times a day for the next however many decades you have on this Earth, what would your health look like?

If you only eat meals you could live healthily on the rest of your life, then I would say you are doing well.

This would be my submission as a good example: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/country-captain-with-cauliflower-and-peas

I make it with coconut oil and chicken breasts.  Very flavorful.  This is probably my favorite dish that I make.

Race and cultural retrogression

This article more or less says explicitly that race is simply another operative pretext for Regressives: http://www.progressivestoday.com/upon-closer-inspection-the-white-privilege-movement-is-mostly-about-power-very-little-about-race/

“The focus of this memo is to explore the role of race and class in developing a sustainable progressive movement…We will show that it is not plausible to build a progressive agenda without addressing race…
“It is not whether race will be used, but how. The response must be to make race explicit but in a transformative manner.”
Blacks are merely the new proletariat, and in the same sense that Lenin tortured the working class after his coup--banning unions, increasing work hours, sending people to gulags if they showed up late twice--they don't care AT ALL about the actual well being of living, breathing, suffering, striving human beings, even if they use them rhetorically 24/7.
These people want unfreedom for everyone.  They cannot tolerate the daylight of freedom.  They do not exist as people, and cannot imagine how they can, other than as jack-booted Nazis in Nuremburg rallies, all in rows, chanting "Democracy" and "Justice" in perfect unison, in abject genuflection to some totalitarian leader who alone grants them existence.
This is evil.


Parenting

It is not inconceivable this idea may benefit someone, so I will share it.

From earliest childhood, I told my children I loved them often, but I would explain to them why, and ask them to repeat it back to me often.  I would tell them I loved them because they were lovable, and because they were my children.  I wanted them to feel loved in and of themselves, and to know that my loyalty was absolute.  As they got older, I told them that second part was in case they became less lovable as teenagers.  Fortunately, I don't think that is going to happen.

They have no need to rebel, because they have more than enough space to grow without it.  That is my feeling, at any rate.  And I have often pointed out to them that indiscriminate sex, drugs and alcohol are often used to make kids feel mature, but they are actually a sign of immaturity.  Both of them are and want to be responsible, which makes me feel good.  Their mother has a great deal to do with that as well.

Most of the world we live in is the result of parental decisions.  Good parenting makes for a good society, and bad parenting makes for generalized unhappiness, violence, and failure.

97%

As I would in any event have assumed, the claim that 97% of "scientists" believe in anthropogenic global warming is complete and demonstrable bullshit: http://www.caintv.com/sorry-global-warmists-the-97-p

Global Warming is simply an operative pretext--that is my preferred term for the many pathways down which Leftist propaganda can flow--for a globalist agenda, one which is inconsistent with human freedom, human dignity, and common decency.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Can we include this sort of thing in our "national discussion on race"?

http://www.mrconservative.com/2014/05/41829-memorial-day-block-party-in-the-hood-erupts-into-all-out-brawl/

Will we ever start confronting the hard questions, most notably that of blacks complicity and primary responsibility in their failure to thrive as a community?

I say this because I DON'T think blacks are inferior.  They are capable of much, much, much more than this.  They are not the helpless, mindless children Democrats tacitly proclaim them to be every time they blame racism for pervasive and chronic bad decisions that lead to predictable results.

Yes, Democrats have been saying "trust us, we got it under control" for 50 years, but all the black community has to show for it is being forced to watch the rest of the world pass them by, with all the resentment, bottomless anger, and sense of rejection and inferiority that goes with it, none of which will be or can be cured by punishing whites.

A TRUE black leader would condemn this loudly and proudly, as not representing who they should be or should want to be.

A TRUE black leader would point out that the Democrats have been USING blacks for 50 years, not helping them.  He would call people who believe the Democrats chumps, as Malcolm X did shortly before his assassination by fellow blacks thoroughly involved in this systemic exploitation. (Then and now: consider the friendship of Louis Farrakhan, who likely played a direct role in Malcolm X's assassination, with Jeremiah Wright, and Obama's friendship with Wright)

Progress will begin when we as a nation begin demanding more, not less.  When we refuse to excuse behavior in ANY segment of our population that is uncivilized and barbaric.

If these were white people--and no doubt this sort of thing has happened and sometimes still happens in white neighborhoods too--most of us would not think for a moment about condemning them as culturally inferior.  We would call them white trash.

As I grow as a person, I am becoming less and less willing to avoid speaking the full truth as I see it.

All of these people deserve better, but more welfare--more of what we have been providing for 50 years--can only be an answer for the deluded and those who profit from it.

Generalized access to charter schools and vouchers would be an excellent start.  So, too, would a charismatic black leader sufficiently gifted rhetorically to tell the truth and get people to listen.

The question is not what white people can do for blacks, but what they can and should do for themselves.

Diet

I used to read books about different diets.  What I have finally decided is that there are two types of diets: nutrient sufficient diets, and nutrient insufficient.  Since you need energy, I will classify calories as nutrients.

Logically, the most intelligent diet is one which provides enough calories, but no more, and which consists entirely in foods which are as filled with nutrients as possible.  The most intelligent weight loss diet is one which does NOT consist in enough calories to maintain your body weight, but which ALSO consists entirely in nutrient dense foods.

In my considered view, for OPTIMAL health, you need a lot of good quality protein, and other than milk, meat is the only solid resource.  Hemp, chia and the like: they will keep you alive and reasonably healthy, but not optimally healthy.

Obviously, the quality of the meat matters as well.  One of the more interesting things to come out of the whole Paleo thing is the observation that the fat content of grain fed meat differs qualitatively from that of grass or vegetarian fed.  The fatty acid content shifts from something naturally healthy, to something unnatural and unhealthy.  The same would likely apply to milk from grass fed cows versus grain fed.

Paleo causes weight loss because it is a reduced calorie diet.  I have tracked calories on FitDay, and if you eat a normal Paleo diet, you are likely consuming way fewer calories than you would have on SAD--the good acronym for the Standard American Diet.

Where does insulin fit in?  Here is the thing: what consuming simple carbs does is bring about a near certainty of overeating.  Carbohydrates are not the enemy: overconsuming food is.  When science was corrupted to nearly the level seen in the Global Warming scandal in the 1980's, and fat was made the enemy, compliance with "science" induced a global obesity epidemic that is still with us.

Those no fat chips?  You eat ten, you want to eat twenty.  Food becomes an addictive drug.

You need protein and you need good quality fat.  You do not need carbs to survive.  But I would argue you do need some carbs for optimal functioning.  The body prefers to use carbs for most energy needs.  That has been my experience.

You don't need much fat, and of course you can survive on a wide range of protein intakes.  This means that many, many diets can be made to work both for survival and for weight loss.

And for weight loss, it is always, always, always about reducing calories.  It is simply the case that reducing carbohydrate intake at the same time reduces the risk of binge eating.  Both protein and fat rich meals induce satiety well.

I continue to think the Zone diet is the smartest one out there, but Paleo is much simpler.  I think Paleo intermittant fasting would work quite well as well.

I had a reason for posting this, but I can't remember what it was.

Santa Barbara

The stats are not yet out for this year, but last year 2 more people were killed just in Chicago and just on Labor Day weekend than were killed in Santa Barbara. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/09/03/8-dead-23-wounded-in-shootings-since-friday-night/

Who cares?  Anybody?  After all, most or all of them were likely black, and blacks only matter in our national discourse as tools for propaganda, right?  In all candor, I believe that: not that their lives don't matter--I think about them often and how to help blacks make their neighborhoods fit for happiness--but that our national media doesn't care.  Not at all.  Nobody.  How they live their lives is a matter of complete indifference to most, and very certainly the Left except in tactical situations where they think they can buy votes (usually accurately, as in the phones for votes program.)

To state the blindingly obvious, they have "gun control" in Chicago, which means that honest, law abiding citizens are at an inherent disadvantage when dealing with criminals, as indeed they are everywhere "gun control" is instituted.

I will add that 3 of the 6 killed in this textbook example of bad parenting--I would guess both parents are clinical narcissists or outright sociopaths--were stabbed, in his own apartment, which I guess means they knew him.  The media insists on calling him a shooter, but he was also a stabber.  He was also hitting people with his car, so he may not have even shot and killed 3 people.

Himalayan Salt Inhalers and the Didgeridoo

I don't suppose I have to be "deep" all the time.  Here is a public service announcement on two "technologies" I recently adopted.

First, for those suffering from allergies and lung congestion, there is the Himalayan Salt Inhaler.  It's a ceramic container filled with Himalayan salt (I see it called Himalayan Sea Salt, but I'm not sure how that works, although my knowledge of Earth's geological history is weak).  You breathe it in through your mouth and out through your nose. I already notice a difference.  My specific goal is to reduce congestion in my upper sinuses, and upper chest.  I'm using Flonase, but adding this seems to be helping.

Here is a link: http://www.amazon.com/Original-Himalayan-Crystal-Salt-Inhaler/dp/B000GJQQ9O

Secondly, I snore quite badly, and am quite sure I have apnea.  I do not want to have surgery, and definitely do not want CPAP.  In searching for alternative therapies, I came across playing the didgeridoo.  Apparently some snoring and apnea can be cured by strengthening muscles in your throat which get soft over time.  I've had it two weeks, and again I feel it is making a difference.  I think the salt inhaler is helping as well.

Here is a link to the one I bought.  There are cheaper ones, and I may have paid too much.  I wanted something sturdy, though, as some of the reports I read said the cheaper ones break easily: http://www.laoutback.com/didgeridoo-for-sleep-apnea-therapy-la-outback-didgeridoos/

Here is a fun video of somebody who is good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQ9TJmmwRBY

Political posts

As I shared a couple posts ago, I am trying to depoliticize my Facebook page, and focus on sharing more positive content.  At the same time, I am realizing how much I enjoy sharing the political stuff.  It feels like it at least COULD do some good, could further efforts to recover sanity on the part of our thought leaders.

So it occurred to me I could just share articles I like here, in more of a traditional bloggy sort of way.

Here is a good treatment of the Democrats use of the word racist that I endorse fully: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/truthrevolt-org/andrew-klavan-why-democrats-call-you-racist/

Ontic Shock

I have been going into some profoundly painful places, and what I am finding is that I don't break, and that I have a seemingly endless capacity to keep going, particularly if I get enough sleep.

One thing that has appeared to me is the pain of being overlooked, particularly by a primary care-giver.  There is a sensation, an emotional sensation, similar to being hit with a stick, when someone looks at you, and looks through you; when they ought to recognize another sentient, emoting, needing human being out there, but fail to do so.

I will offer one obvious example.  My mother has a consistent habit of projecting her own feelings and needs onto others.  If she is hungry she will assume everyone else is hungry and act on it.  She does this to this very day.  My children have noticed it.  Even though, of course, she would claim to care about the feelings of others, something just isn't wired right.  There is no there there.

This process is obviously not limited to childhood, but it is particularly damaging in childhood.  Obviously, this is the outcome of interacting with narcissists.  They create on-going, daily, minor electrical shocks, that I am calling Ontic Shocks, because they attack your very being, your sense of self, your sense of being of value and important.

And I did, in my dreaming period every morning before I get up, see what might be called Narcissistic Current.  The role of the Other, for the Narcissist, is to provide a polarity that induces current, from the narcissist, to you, and then back to the narcissist.  You in essence form an energetic mirror, allowing them to see themselves more clearly, allowing them to exist.  As I think I have noted, narcissism is very much a disease of non-existence.  The Other allows them to exist, even if they are unable to grant the Other any ontic validity, and independent sense of self.

Those who spent too much money for a largely useless degree in the humanities will readily recognize my capitalized Other.  It is used often in leftist political discourse, more or less to denote a presumed Western hostility to cultural difference; to denote our presumed tribalism.

It is an interesting fact, though, that the British empire in particular accomplished a great deal of what we would call good, if in our public discourse we still recognized such a thing applying globally.  No nation in history has ever undertaken the eradication of slavery, but Britain did (read this very interesting article: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/jack-kerwick/the-point-of-an-honest-discussion-of-race/ ).  They put an end to suttee in India, which was the practice of more or less requiring widows to jump onto their husbands funeral pyre and be incinerated alive.  They ended the Thuggee cult.  They generalized the ideas, practices and cultural habits--such as the notion of expecting to be granted rights--of democracy.

They did all this not out of not understanding the Other, but out of fully understanding them and not accepting some aspects of their behavior.  You can fully understand someone, and still reject them.  This is allowed.

The problem with narcissists is precisely a lack of understanding, of the capacity for interactive empathy.  As I keep saying, the true tribalists remaining are the fanatical Muslims and the Leftists--the Cultural Sadeists, as I call them.  Sybaritic Leftists are capable of empathy, but not of forceful expression; not of consistently expressed, coherent morality that they are willing to defend in the face of antagonism.  They do not fully exist, which makes them easy prey, over time, for the Cultural Sadeists, whose narcissistic sense of perfection makes them magnets for the weak.

One final point: love is expansion.  If narcissism--selfishness, self-absorbed-ness, egoism--is using others to see yourself, then love is using yourself to see others.  It is wanting to see them as they are, to interact with them as they are, to build them, help them, comfort them, hold them, help them use themselves to help themselves.  All of this work activates latent potentialities within us; it builds us;  their joy becomes are own joy amplified.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I am almost human

Look out world!!!!!

Oh, I'll leave it at that.  Alcohol may still be a factor in my life, but it has decided I am no longer congenial company.

Here is a nice piece.  It's what I'm listening to at the moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TReKgCLUqqU

Who will we be, if we grow out of childhood as a species? If we grow beyond our childish imbecility, stubbornness, ignorance, resistance to change?

Who will we be when most of us figure out what actually matters?

I would be quite happy to be fed through a meat grinder to help that happen.  You can't kill me.  Or anyone else.

Peace.

9/11

I'm trying to depoliticize my Facebook page.  It's so so easy for me to get into little snits, and really it is a variety of pig wrestling.  Dumb people and dogmatists (same disease, only dumb people are more capable of learning) only learn they don't like you when they run out of things to say.  As I say from time to time, insult is the sincerest form of flattery: it means they can no longer debate ideas.

Still, I can't and won't disengage fully from political discourse.  It's one thing that I do.

Watch this 28 second video: http://madworldnews.com/jihadi-workplace-accident-suicide-belt-detonates-terrorist-pre-party/

I assume it is not a fraud.

Here is the point I wanted to make: most Islamists are stupid, and would not have been capable of organizing something as sophisticated as the World Trade Center bombings.  Yes, they have engineers, physicists, and the like, but the rank and file are stupid.  They are rednecks.  They are the people who at one time would have joined the KKK here.

The World Trade Center bombing--and for simplicity I am simply going to assume all three Towers went down the same way, with nanothermite planted in advance of the plane hijackings--required a huge amount of logistical complexity.  This is often used as an argument against the hypothesis, but the fact remains and will always remain that curtains do not burn for 8 hours, do not burn hot enough to cause flame treated I-beams to collapse, and that single column failures do not create free-fall or even, according to most engineers, ANY collapse of any sort, outside the immediate area.  We also are not even sure how the fires started.

I see no reason to doubt Osama bin Laden played a role in all this.  But I think much of the plan was outside his knowledge.  It would have been compartmentalized.  But the amount of sophistication needed, and the fact that there have been NO leaks of information by the people involved, indicates that some group other than Islamists was involved.

As I have noted several times as well, the goal of Al Queda is to inflict as many civilian casualties as possible.  If they had planted the explosives, they could have detonated them WITHOUT the airplanes.  It would have been much more terrifying, much more effective.  The loss of life would have been ten times what it was, at least.

No, I think those involved were white men, likely raised as nominal Christians, whose fanaticism and fear enabled them to justify this atrocity as somehow necessary for the future of humanity.

As I note on my other website, Carlyle had Malthus in mind when he called economics "the dismal science".  I would append that bon mot to note that those who follow Malthus are dismal people, anti-humanitarians, anti-humanists, anti-moralists.

It is quite possible to develop considerable certainty in the abstract, and quite possible to be horribly wrong across a lifetime about issues of fundamental importance.

It happens often, every day, and in perhaps every other set of eyes you look into.  The errors of those with power and money, though, affect far more people.

Stories

As I have likely mentioned, I often find myself listening to people's life stories.  I think countless people the world over feel abandoned and alienated.  They interact with people all day every day, but no one really listens.  I listen.  I don't judge, and I am actually interested in what people have to say.  I view this as a form of useful service.

I was listening to this guy tell me his life story the other day--the infidelities, the four marriages, the financial troubles, etc.--and it occurred to me when he told me his father beat his mother, regularly, that at 60 years of age he is still carrying scars he can't see or name from 50 or 55 or even 59 years ago. He is making do as well as he can, but unseen forces are pushing him all day every day in directions that on balance tend not to be helpful.  To his credit, he is pushing back.

Look at an average street or average mall.  It is filled with people like that.

Ponder this.

Perceptual Exercise

The next time you take your dogs for a walk, or go for a walk--Sundays are most excellent for this--imagine you have been locked up in a prison cell for 20 years, and will be locked up for the rest of your life afterwards.  How much more can you see?  How much more can you feel?  Smell? Taste?  Hear?

Life is large.  We reduce it for our sanity, but it will always expand again whenever we ask it to.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

You suck

I'm continuing my deep inner exploration.  I have reached a deep, unhappy, sucking phase; a small infant, comforted by a pacifier, but only barely.

I have always assumed that the verb "to suck", as a synonym for incompetence and stupidity, was a reference to the implied power inequality in oral sex, when it is the woman performing it on the man.

It feels to me now, that our ordinary daily discourse is filled with psychologically deep insights, coded in words we use reflexively.

Can we not perhaps posit that it actually references an incompletely developed persona, someone who is still in the sucking phase?

Freud, of course, had what I recall as his four phases: oral, anal expressive [I forget the word he used], anal retentive, and phallic.  My grounding in Freud was done in German as an exchange student, many many years ago.  It made no sense to me then, nor does it now.

Here is the thing: in my own life, in my own deep contemplation, I see no role for the anal at all.  What I feel, what feels real to me, is that there are happy babies and unhappy babies.  Unhappy babies enter life missing something, something so deep they cannot put words on it, or even name the emotion, other than to say they are missing something.

Stan Grof expanded the cartography of the psyche to include Jungian ideas, his own experience as an honest psychiatrist watching the importance of the birth experience, and of course orthodox biographical inputs.

What I would submit is that orthodox psychiatry really has no place-holder for Jung; none for Rank and Grof's major contributions furthering Rank's ideas; and none for traumas, particularly of omission, in the birth to roughly five years of age range.

As I said some time ago, my feeling is that they ignore these factors because they have no effective means of dealing with them.  Abreaction was killed a century ago, in orthodox methods at least.

My dream, my ongoing dream, is that we become intelligent as a species, that we learn how to deal with traumas, that we learn how to digest experience, and that we all learn how to learn, how to be Good, how to be fulfilled, how to develop sacred rituals and places that fulfill the deepest needs we have, and do so consistently, reliably, as a matter of generalized deep wisdom.

This is my dream.  This is my hope, and this is the organizing basis of my work, as chaotic and undisciplined as it is.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Absolutism

I can see clearly how having an absolute code would be comforting.  But what happens is you interact with the world through the code; you do not interact with the world itself.

Life is ebb and flow.  Sometimes you need more of something--say, compassion--and sometimes, as now, less.

Most of us, I suppose, can readily imagine lying to liars, and cheating cheaters, even if in principle we value honesty.

Having a code is better than not having a code, but I think humanity can only fully mature when we come to express ourselves through thoughtful awareness based upon spontaneous and genuine empathy.

I will add, that I just realized the value of courtesy today.  I can at times be rude.  I was raised that way, and have worked, not always successfully, to overcome it.

But I felt the marrow of it this morning, the meaning of it, the importance of it, how essential even apparently small details are to the process of increasing ones Goodness.

I have always thought of awful British people with impeccable manners, and thought that an excessive infatuation with courtesy implied artificiality.  It can certainly be that.  But at its optimal, it is nothing more or less than practically expressed empathy and concern for others.

Add on to last post

Of course, denier, Tea Bagger, and other such terms can be used to focus hate.  I was wrong to limit it to racism, although at the moment that appears the most important direction that hate is flowing.

If and when Hillary runs, of course, her detractors will by misogynists.

Leftists can never have ideological unity while they are still striving for absolute power.  There must be an object of hate.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bourgeois

At one time, this was a considerable insult.  Jean Paul Sartre considered engineers bourgeois, if memory serves.  All good leftists were expected to direct at least their daily five minutes of hate towards them.

Yet, the word has disappeared.  Or has it?

I would like to propose a typology that might make it easier to understand the intellectual convolutions that necessarily accompany this mental deformity, and possible some of the emotional imbalances and psychopathologies.

There are four basic classes in Leftist mythos: the metaphysical enemy, the Leftist/intellectual class, the Victim, and the practical enemy.

Within orthodox Marxism, these classes are of course the Capitalist, the "revolutionary" (which is always a lie: they carry out coups, usually in small numbers, and then sell them based on lies), the proletariat, and of course the bourgeoisie.

But what MATTERS is that the intellectual is at the center of the universe, that they have an excuse for being at the center of the universe, that they have a cause which can never be won, and that they have a practical object of hatred.

Roughly speaking, the "capitalist" has transformed into the "Corporation".  Now, leftists have nothing against corporations, per se.  Harry Reid no doubt, like everyone else, gets most of his money from people who run or own corporations.  But the concept is so vague, so vacuous, so MUTABLE, that it comes to connote the emotional equivalent of the Bogeyman.  Those corporations, they sneak up on you in the dark. . . .

The practical object of hatred, the people who can be demonized in the particular, were the middle class.  This was possible when large numbers of people, particularly in the very class driven and class conscious Britain, actually belonged to the lower classes.

But the average worker at Ford today has a better standard of living than most of the richest Britons of a century ago.  He is middle class.  The proletariat can no longer be argued to exist, and is thus no longer a suitable Victim.

Here is the thing, though: precisely because they intend no Good, precisely because the sole point of the exercise is getting power, Leftists can never formulate a positive campaign for anything.  They must sow hatred, and use that as a means of building the sort of consensus that can be leveraged for power.

Who, now, has replaced the bourgeoisie?  The Racist.  Think about it: blacks aren't going anywhere.  They have been taught for half a century to wait for a boat that will never come in, and to BLAME the lack of a boat on targets selected for them by the professional propagandists.

And in the same sense that the bourgeoisie was always largely a rhetorical construct, so too is the racist.  Our country is virtually devoid of actual racists of the old school variety.  No doubt we have many people who have had first hand negative interactions with black people, but that is quite a different thing than the blanket consensus of Left wing retrogressives that anyone who opposes them can be assigned a class and hated for it.  I would hazard a guess that even people who threw racial epithets at Obama did so simply because it was easy.  CLEARLY, Obama has nothing in common with most blacks in this country.  As I have said several times, I literally find myself unable to think of him as black.  I literally forget he is black, and cannot fathom people who consider it a success that someone with darker skin pigmentation won the race for the White House twice.  Why should skin color matter, in itself, ever?

All of this is subtle.  It only appears with reflection and time, and that is precisely why the task of left wing propagandists is create so much noise and motion that nobody ever stops and thinks at all.

Islam

In important respects, Islam might be called "The Creed of the Slave".  Muslim means "one who has submitted"..  Allah is invoked as an omnipotent God who has given clear, very specific instructions on how to behave, and what to believe.  No individualism is wanted or needed.  No personal conscience, no personal development, no evolution of human relations beyond forcing unbelievers to believe as you do, and demanding that those around you conform.

As the religion of the slave, it is obvious that modern Leftists would find in this infantile fantasy refuge; that they would identify on a deep psychological level with it, and see in it a historical expression of what they themselves want.

Compare, for sake of illustration, the admonition that you must do and believe as others or face death; and the Christian admonition to love others as yourself, regardless of their beliefs.  In the one case you reduce people, you lessen them.  In the other, you raise yourself and others UP.  You grow.

I think Churchill was right: other than Leftism, no more powerful retrogressive force exists in the modern world than Islam, at least as practiced by those conforming to the Sunnah.  As I have said often, I am very fond of many of the Sufis, who in their own way were trying to introduce the possibility of spiritual growth to a religion which more or less explicitly rejected it.

I believe in God and have no problem with monotheism.  I explicitly reject, though, the idea that ANY modern religion fully encapsulates everything that can be known, and more importantly, everything that we NEED, today, in our modern world, to survive and prosper.  We must build a new religion, or, preferably, new religions.

Retrogressive versus Organic Myth

I've been having interesting, healing dreams lately.  One would not think it possible, but I have made contact with my inner baby, and comforted it.  It is odd to think that very early traumas could have a lasting impact, but they do.  The clinical literature is clear on this, even if they have no good ways of rectifying these issues with the modalities--drugs and talk therapy--that they normally employ.

Last night I was dreaming of a "primitive" culture which had just cremated one of their own in a pit.  It was still smoking, and children were digging bone fragments out of the ashes.  Their attitude was between play and reverence.  They were learning, from a very early age, that death is a part of life.  They were living within a realm which we could call mythic, but which was dealing on a very direct, empirical level with the facts of life.  Nothing was hidden or concealed, and in important respects, no explanation was necessary.  The bones were what they were.

True, organic myths are emergent properties of direct human interaction of life as it is lived.  We could look at, say, Aboriginal Australian culture and see things we consider ridiculous, such as the idea that the first didgeridoo blew the stars into the sky.  But true myths are merely place holders, they are merely doorways.  They are banners, behind which stand important, organic human realities.  They enable access to important truths. [I will note that I "accidentally" spelled organic "organize" twice.  Consider the deep relation between the two words]

To this I would contrast what might be termed the Modern Myth, which is an artificial creation YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE.  Rather than granting you unfettered access to the transcendant, it limits you, it confines you.  It places you on a metaphysical procrustean bed, and shapes you to its demands.  Think Huxley's Brave New World.  Nothing is real there, nothing organic, nothing larger than the survival of insects is attempted.  It is an efficient system, a "scientific" system.  But we look at it in horror.  It is a world without meaning, without organic myth.

Communism is a retrogressive myth.  It confines the  human spirit.  It is the creed of narcissists.

It is funny, because I see clear parallels between what my mother attempted with me, and what modern leftists are attempting with the world.  Obviously, I have to consider whether or not I am projecting, but I don't think I am.  I feel my birth and life have uniquely qualified me for the sort of social commentary I have been doing.

I like to think this was my plan.

Identity

In the same sense that Capitalism is clearly, unequivocally, the best means for raising living standards, Science is clearly the best method for raising knowledge, for learning.

But both are disruptive.  Change inheres within them.  "Reality", within the scientific method, is mutable (in theory, of course: in practice, it is filled with unreflective dogmatism).

And there is something childish and primitive within us that craves the stability of myth.  Myths, held sincerely, are INHERENTLY true.  They cannot be questioned.  They establish the very foundation of reality, and the social groupings founded upon it.

Here is our very interesting and disturbing present reality: roughly one third of Americans exist within a propaganda bubble that is so hermetically sealed that fact and reality of the scientific sort, of the observable, empirical sort, cannot enter in.  And this bubble has been achieved within an ostensible "Information Age", which has in their case done little more than grease the rails of propagandistic trains, whose origin points and desired destinations never change.  They can't.  They are built fully on myth.

People long for continuity, and this is what leftist propaganda gives them.  It is the same thing Hitler's propaganda provided: a place, a home, a freedom from decision, conscience, from anxiety, from dignity, from a sense of alienation.

They need this.  It feels nurturing to them.  It comforts them.  Their propaganda is their mother, in an absolutely primal, thumb sucking, sense.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mitch McConnell and the art of the possible

I would encourage any Kentucky readers I may have to vote for Matt Bevin tomorrow, for one reason, and one reason alone: if Republicans win back the Senate, McConnell will be the Senate Majority leader, and as such nearly as obstructionist as Harry Reid.  We don't be able to kill Obamacare, we likely won't be able to audit the Fed, and we can't count on fiscal sanity.   Remember, McConnell, under Bush, presided over a spending binge which can only be made palatable by comparing it to that of Obama.

"Bailout" Bevin (which admittedly sounds better than "I kind of like Obamacare McConnell) may or may not be a better politician, but his presence will mean that someone else gets the shot at Majority Leader.  I don't know who that is.  He or she may be worse, but the very fact that someone like Bevin was able to knock off someone like McConnell would show clearly that the smart money is on conservatism.

I will add as well the definition of politics as the art of the possible can be read in two ways.  Conventionally, it means, effectively, that compromise is inevitable.  You can't get everything you want.  You have to play the cards you are dealt.

But I would submit that sometimes it can also mean PROBING the limits of the possible.  Sometimes it is the job of the leader to push out into the unknown and find out how far things actually can be pushed.

In poker, playing the cards you are dealt sometimes means winning without even having a single pair, if you are brash enough.

McConnell has more or less been held hostage by terrorists most of his career.  The method of the Left is to seek always to hurt, to maim, to weaken, to intimidate.  And they are good at it.  A minor error on the part of a Republican can hurt far far more than an egregious error on the part of a Democrat.  Having a complicit media allows that, having a well honed propaganda apparatus allows that.

McConnell knows what he knows.  He has made mistakes in his career and regretted them.  He has inadvertently thrown bones to his enemies.  He plays safe, and that is how he has survived.

But we are on a path to destruction.  Only a fool would deny it.  It is time for risk taking.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Priorities

Is it worse for a white adult to call a black child nigger (hey Google, I got 3.3 million hits on that search in .21 seconds), or for a black adult to punch a white child in the stomach, as recently happened in Georgia?

Can there be any doubt what our media would prioritize?  As far as that goes, can there be any doubt what it IS prioritizing?  This story won't see national media coverage, but a blatant and public racial epithet would.

Here is the problem with what passes for morality in our present day: it views all "crimes" through the prism of ideology, and not through empathy and compassion.  Racist epithets are class crimes.  They matter more. Merely inflicting physical violence on someone who is defined as a member of the oppressive class, even if they have never committed a crime, never will commit a crime, and cannot even be conceived of as guilty of anything beyond mere existence, is not noteworthy.  Nobody cares.

Ideology is psychopathology; it is perceptual psychopathy.

It occurs to me that by invoking context and perceptual motion, one of my principle goals is to invent a morality that goes beyond all ideologies, so as to get at the root of true goodness, which is based on empathy and perceptual awareness and fluidity.

The Fulfillment of Hate

Is hate an emotion that can ever be satisfied?  You might think that if one person hates another, and everything bad happens to the person they hate--that they die in disgrace and alone--that they will be satisfied.

I don't think this is true.  I think hate is giving a part of yourself to someone else as a means of avoiding personal responsibility for your emotions and life.  And I think you come to NEED that person (that group, that idea, whatever the focus of your hate is) because they orient your world, they give you a sense of meaning.

What if Hitler had killed all the Jews?  Would he not have found a new target?  Would the violence have stopped?  I don't think so.

One sees relative peace in some Communist nations, like Cuba and North Korea, because everyone has been so abused and beaten that they live in constant fear, and this fear creates compliance.  But this is a sort of violence as well.  It is a hatred as well, one which never ends because it never CAN end.  If it ended, the raison d'etre of the haters would be gone.  That it doesn't end is what makes Communism so attractive an ideology for people who are lost and alone.  You never need fear an end to the violence.  The war will never end, even if people stop fighting back.

I have felt hated all my life, and it occurs to me that hate is a RELATIONSHIP.  It is a connection between in here and out there, between one person and another.  But it is a compulsive, needy, driven connection, one filled with constant tension, fear and pain.

I see this now, and I see it fading, as it should.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Shopping

I have had a number of successes lately, some of them after long, very complex maneuvering, and paradoxically I feel drained today for some reason.  Yes, there are clues in my past few posts.

Like many Americans, I sometimes buy things when I don't know what else to do.  Today, though, it occurred to me that I should give money to charity, which I did.  I gave $25 to Operation 300 (please check it out), and bought a T-shirt.  Then I put $50 more into Kiva, which remains my favorite cause.  You can't call it a charity, because all they are doing is brokering no-interest loans to people working hard to improve their own lives.  They are doing the job predatory banks will not.

This is a better way to go.  Particularly if you look at all the people on Kiva, you see how absurdly easy your life is.  I won't tell you to HTFU, but I would say that with attention and time it becomes easier to realize gratitude on a regular basis, and this is a worthwhile goal.  I am pursuing it, and would encourage you to as well.

Interesting article on slavery

Here is an interesting article about the history of slavery: http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/jack-kerwick/inconvenient-truths-about-race-slavery/

It is quite possible the first black slave in America was enslaved by another black.  Certainly, most of the Greek slaves were other Greeks.

Kiev was likely a Viking slave trading center.  Russ is a Scandinavian word, brought by the Vikings whose trade in Slavs gave us the word slave.

Nearly every major city in Ireland, including Dublin, were founded as Viking slave trading ports.  The tribes of Ireland were constantly at war with one another, and whenever one prevailed, they would sell off the losers as slaves.

And keep in mind the Jews were slaves at one time.  They never forget it, and this memory perhaps in part explains their cultural resiliency.

Most of what we know about the Roman Republic comes to us from a Greek slave, Polybius.

Blacks have no monopoly on having been slaves.  We need to treat people as individuals.  There is no such thing as a "group".  There is no such thing as a "class".  These are linguistic fictions created by and for short sighted and stupid intellectuals.  They are not without use, but like anything else quickly become pernicious when taken too far.

The Narcissistic Assault

I've dealt with narcissists my whole life.  As I've shared, both of my parents are narcissists, or so I would argue, and so I have concluded.

And I was feeling today this constant tug and pull I used to go through--still go through on occasion--with my mother in particular. She would define reality in some way that was fundamentally skewed and wrong, and I would have to fight not to be sucked into her delusion.  It was a tug of war, and very tiring.

I would describe this, though, as a sort of assault, of emotional abuse, even if it was not consciously intended as such.

When you fail to see someone as they are, to accept them as they are, to impose your world view by simply refusing to see theirs, you are attacking them, and it should in my view be processed as an attack.  Anger is a very acceptable and healthy response, even if the other person simply cannot grasp why you are angry.  To back off on your anger is to accede to their world view which does not have any room for you in it.

When white Southerners in the Jim Crow era forced blacks to use different water fountains and swimming pools, and forced them to sit at the back of the bus, they were not looking at blacks as people just like them.  They were viewing them through a narcissistic lens of alleged intellectual and moral superiority.

It is this failure of humanity, of communion, which is what makes racism wrong.  It is a perceptual distortion, an error.

And Political Correctness is simply one more iteration of this prejudgement, this disconnection from the currents of human social and emotional life.  It is racism without the race.

As I keep saying, until we can define why things are wrong, we cannot be sure we are not making the bad worse.  The only argument the Left has against racism is that it is anti-egalitarian.  But they cannot say why egalitarianism should be the sole moral value.  They simply stipulate it, since it is all that is left once individual moral autonomy and possibility of growth is rejected.

And in point of fact they are quite willing to accept slavery in the name of egalitarianism.  They have even developed a term "chattel slavery" to denote the kind they oppose, and by extension the forms they are quite willing to accept.  Anyone who uses the term chattel slavery needs to be kicked vigorously in the 'nads.

No one capable of clear thought can accept any part of this monstrous project.



Narcissistic Empathy

What matters about Narcissistic Personality Disorder--which I will note lies between neurosis and psychosis in the psychiatric hierarchy of mental illness--is that at root it represents an inability to feel empathy.  Narcissists like Bill Clinton might say they feel your pain, but they don't.  Intelligent narcissists can learn to mimic empathy, but they don't feel it.

From my perspective, the only important difference between narcissists and sociopaths is that the former still feel guilt and shame.  They still have consciences, even if their ability to act morally is hugely impaired by their emotional illness.

On some level, they know they lack something, and they want it.  But they lack the capability.  It is like wanting to run, but having no legs.

The way they get the feeling they want, the way they indirectly assuage their conscience, which is telling them they are awful people, is by embracing morality in the abstract.  You embrace compassion.  You embrace love.  You love the Earth, you love animals, you hate racism, you oppose inequality.  These are all large items, which can be pursued in the abstract, without having to actually connect empathetically with anyone or any thing.

I would argue that what the world needs most is empathy, not compassion.  Compassion almost necessarily implies a power difference: one person feels compassion for another.  In empathy, you are simply speaking to people where they live and they are speaking back, and you are hearing one another clearly.  Empathy is a means of genuinely reconciling difference.  It is the part that says we are all human after all.

To change gears slightly, but only slightly, I read this defense of "narcissism" today: http://www.bostonreview.net/books-ideas/vivian-gornick-defense-narcissism-elizabeth-lunbeck-christopher-lasch-feminism

The reviewer wants to argue that the term narcissism was applied to all those who wanted to be different, to break with the past.

It is not narcissism to not want to be a slave.  It is not narcissism to pursue your own way, even sometimes at the expense of others.  As one example, the Buddha abandoned his wife and child to pursue enlightenment.  A mentally healthy person will do math.  They will balance one action versus another.  They will weigh the harm done if they do nothing, and the harm done if they do something.  They will balance their own wants and needs with those of others, and sometimes choose their own as paramount.  This is not narcissism.

And she is not wrong in that in traditional culture individualism and individuation were frowned on and often punished.

What I think we have seen over the past century or so is an unveiling, an unveiling of the selfishness and heartlessness which has always nested in many of our most cherished institutions.  I think parents should interact empathetically with their children--to see them as individuals, to nurture their self expression, within limits--and not simply treat them as slaves bound by tradition to do what they are told and to be seen and not heard.

We need to be clear, though, that even revealed in the light, narcissism--the lack of empathy--remains an illness, a pathology.

The author, herself, is a feminist, and presumably at least a kissing cousin with Marxism.  This is the thing: all Leftists have done is substitute old tribes for a new one.  For a rooted conformity they have substituted a rootless conformity.  For the demonization of one set of Others they have merely substituted a new set of Others.  They have taken what was worst in the Old World, and amplified it.  They do not truly pursue individuation, but rather attacks on traditional culture, launched and led by Pod People.

What they have not done is learn to empathize.  I could probably say the defining difference between an actual Liberal and a Leftist is the ability to see and treat genuine ideological others as equals.

This author demonizes Christopher Lasch for having traditional views on the family.  Guess what?  Lots of women have those views too.  Do their opinions count with her?  No, I'm quite sure they don't.  That is the whole point of having a term like False Consciousness: it conceals the bullying which define the leftist world view and action plan.

We do need to grow up as a culture, but this will never happen as long as large segments of our political order are regressing in the name of progress.  Narcissism really is nothing more than a variety of infantilism somehow brought, pathologically, into the adult present.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Transhumanism

I would argue that in the same sense that "feminism" has accomplished little more than lowering women to the level of men, that so-called "trans"humanism will do no more then reduce man to the level of machine.

Clearly, machines are capable of vast quantitative work.  In theory, they can master oceans of quantitative information.  They can do prodigious amounts of physical work.

But they cannot do qualitative work.  They cannot be truly spontaneously creative in the way that someone exuding life force can.  Life exists, apart from the machines of our bodies.  What is best in us comes from that spirit.  What is worst, from the needs of our machine.

The task is to perfect spirit, not the machine.

As I have asked before, who really wants to live forever without purpose?  And I would argue that if you confine yourself to a machine, you are unable to fulfill the task of spiritual evolution which is the only purpose worth pursuing.

One can only hope that small glimmers of hope ones see here and there that knowledge of the spiritual world is breaking through are warranted.  There is so much compulsion, so much short-sightedness, narcissism, and viciousness in the circles of most of our elites.

Halo 4

I bought an X-box last fall.  It promptly broke, and I sent it in for repair, and have since finished the main story line on Batman and most of the side stories.  The Riddler clues bore me.

Halo 4 came with the box, so I've been playing that.  My understanding is that moderate amounts of video game playing--perhaps an hour or two a week--is good for cognitive development.  I can certainly see how this would be, given the complexity of the interactions between the controller and the game.

Most of these games come with stories.  For those who have not played them, they are in some respects literally presented as movies.  You get credits at the beginning and a literal rolling of the credits complete with music at the end of major story lines.

Halo 4 begins with a discussion between a doctor who apparently took children at an early age to modify them mentally and physically, so as to create the perfect storm troopers to suppress an apparently incipient rebellion.  Her interrogator is questioning the morality of this, but within the story line these storm troopers intended for one purpose were retasked to fight aliens, and were successful.  The main character, apparently, in all the Halo iterations is Master Chief.

The interrogator asks if Master Chief is a sociopath, and his "creator" responds that he is calibrated to succeed and even thrive in the most hostile environments.  The interrogator asks again: but would you not agree that in some important respect he is not right?

We then get a cut scene, and fade to a space battleship under attack, and we wake up from suspended animation as Master Chief.

Would it be too much to call this brain washing?  Perhaps.

But as I have from time to time, I would suggest that the emerging figure best adapted to modern life is the sociopath, who is devoid of the emotions of mourning the past, who lacks all sensitivity to what is being lost in terms of interpersonal connection, who is in important respects a machine who can be plugged as a gear into a massive colossus which, the faster it moves, the less it cares about any deep purpose in human life, other than conformity to a role within the machine.

Take an aspiring CEO.  That person, in Stanley Bing's infamous formulation in "What would Machiavelli do", cares about three things: work, weird sex, and golf.  Self evidently, none of these are intrinsically meaningful, even if this person might be enormously economically productive, may see his or her picture on the covers of magazines, may be lauded as a pillar of the community for making politically motivated charitable donations.

We do, in my view, need to worry about the emotional disconnections of many of today's youth, their callowness, hollowness, unreflective cruelty.  Perhaps it has always been like this.  For recorded history, violence--actual violence--has been a constant.

Still, emotionally detached and alienated kids are fertile ground for cultural nihilists, and never before in human history (other than the past century or so) have there been so many people who long so desperately to betray and destroy their own culture, their own people, their own countries.  The Mongols left literal mountains of bodies, but they never despised themselves, even if they fought among each other.  There was always a tribe which was connected to the past.

The tribe we need fear today consists in precisely those who want to destroy the past, and in so doing destroy the future.  They want an eternal moment, where no freedom need be feared. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Strategy

No one can despise you more than someone who claims to love you but lacks the capacity.

I don't know why I titled this strategy.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Solaris, entering processing

This movie reminded me of a Sufi story I commented on once, I think on this blog somewhere: the Paradise of  Song, as told by Idries Shah in "The Wisdom of the Idiots", which is one of my favorite books.  As I think I have said, roughly, I identify emotionally with Sufism, even if I tend to express myself intellectually as a Buddhist.  In practice, of course, I am neither.  I am an American mutt, but one seeking a new way into the labyrinth, for my own shot at making it through.

Who are we, really?  If you woke up, as Hari (surely that name is not unintentional?) did, not knowing who you were, how would you deal with it?  Could you stand the notion that many "you's" exist across the universe?

I stood in this emotional flood, and I was able to breath.  I count this a good thing.  My quasi-Choed practice seems to have helped.  This movie was a type of Shugyo, one that was needed and useful.

Second point: I was also reminded of my Bubble image/dream, which I shared in my "Goodness Sutra", which so help me God was the best I could do at the time (that was an apology).  Here is a cut and paste:

Years ago, while pondering the depths of the decay in our philosophical
certainties, I happened in my mind upon an image, which has remained with me.

For most college graduates, you will have been exposed to ideas which state in
effect that there is no up and down. We float, as individuals, like tiny bubbles in
an endless dark ocean, unable to see where the surface is, or even if there is
one. Am I upside down, or is that person over there? We cannot know.

Some people curse the darkness, and out of sheer frustration curse their
neighbors. If they cannot know what is true, then all is lost, all is futile.

Others, with more wisdom, see a lot of others like them, and realize that we are
all alone together. We may not be able to know which way is up, but we know
in what way we relate to one another. By giving to one another, by using one
another as reference points, we can feel less alone.

And then the darkness is not so bad. It is warmer, and a little light intrudes.

Our task is to expand that light. We can’t know what will happen, but love feels
good, and that much is real. 
We have Sartorius, who embodies the idea that "truth" is what science conjures, and that only that truth matters, and that only pursuing that truth matters.  Morality, decency, humanity: all expendable.

For his part, Dr. Kelvin finds in love--a new love, one he was unable to express on Earth--the only useful meaning of life.  He does not care which way is up, and which way is down.

His madness: ah, I will need to ponder that.  Who was who, where?

You know I wander, if you read this blog (do I get pretension points for spelling it Blogue?) regularly.  Look in a mirror: who are you?  Who were you yesterday?  Will you be the same person tomorrow?  Can you finish this paragraph as the same person?

I will add (perhaps I missed my calling as a Baptist preacher) that I watched "The Abyss" the other night.  It is a paradigmatic Movie Yoga movie.  I was watching Ed Harris get ready to jump into the abyss, the darkness, and it came to me that the Buddha had surmounted that darkness too, the infinite abyss, the infinite unknown.

We want spirituality cheap.  We want it "to go".  We want to hire smiling apostles of the New Age to tell us something easy, something simple, that will enable all our existential angst to disappear.

I have little good to say about the Existentialists.  Almost to a person they were bullies, totalitarians, fools.  But to the extent that they said you have to pay your dues, I would agree with them.

Oh, there is a bigger picture here, but I will leave it at that.

I will say that I sincerely hope that someone reading this benefits in some real, perhaps even measurable way.  It is in some respects an exercise in narcissism that I post my thoughts and emotions, but not fully.  I sense, I feel, the hopelessness, despair, hate, loneliness, and disconnection out there.

It is not only me.  And it is not only you.

Look: there is an ocean.

Solaris

Just watched Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris, and what I feel I cannot reduce to words.  I will say simply that watching--participating in--his movies always feels like an act of authentic religious piety.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Oklahoma City was a cover up.

I have mixed feelings about Alex Jones.  On the one hand, I'm glad he exists, and does what he does.  He covers stories and says things nobody else will touch.  At the same time, he goes a little off the deep end from time to time.

Having said that, I bought the documentary "A Noble Lie" from Infowars, and recently watched it.

Most of it is crap.  It is hearsay, and third hand "somebody once thought they saw so and so doing such and such."  It is poorly organized.  A good argument is trenchant, it hits hard, like a rock hitting eggs, as Sun Tzu put it.

The latter half, roughly, though, is useful.

I will offer what to me are the most salient data points which CANNOT be ignored.

The first, and most important, is that the dominant narrative as far as the Ryder truck with 4,800 pounds of exposives CANNOT be true, or at least that is the opinion of people who are clearly experts.

Read this: http://whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/OK/PARTIN/okm.htm

It is the analysis of Brigadier General Benton Partin.  As I understand the matter, explosion analysis was his specialty when he was in the Air Force.  Obviously, the Air Force is engaged in dropping bombs, and it only makes sense to have a very good grasp of what sort of bombs and  what sized bombs you should use, and where you should drop them, and what you can expect if the job is done properly.  Towards this end, the Air Force no doubt has tested a variety of explosives delivered in a variety of means to a variety of targets.

It is very possible to calculate the explosive yield of a truck filled with ammonium nitrate and fuel oil.  You can figure out how many blast pounds (I think is the term used) there will be per square inch at a given distance.

And the math yields a very simple and as far as I can tell absolutely incontrovertible result: the amount of force that amount of explosive would have been able to generate was only perhaps 1/10th of what would have been needed to sheer a rebar-reinforced concrete column, even for those CLOSEST to the blast.

This is math.  This is physics.

And in point of fact, the Air Forced TESTED THIS scenario, according to the documentary.  They put a truck or equivalent full of explosives and blew it up in front of a building.  What such an explosion will clearly do is remove or greatly damage the outer walls.  All the windows blow in explosively, and anyone in the blast radius will suffer.  Most or all of the facing is removed.  But structural columns are not damaged.  Were not damaged, in the attempted recreation.

The conclusion the general--the specialist, the expert--reaches is that locally placed explosives HAD to have been in place.  As he notes, not much would have been needed.  The rest of the building was brought down by less than 200 pounds of explosives.

And here is the interesting part: even though the architect of the building certified the building could be rebuilt and was currently safe and stable, even though the building had not yet been inspected by civil engineers capable of determining its safety, and even before all the bodies had been removed, the decision was made to demolish the building.

And the "remains" of the building were removed under armed guard and buried.  Why?  To what purpose?

It was reported both by news agencies as well as in official police reports that 2 further bombs were found and defused.  This was reported only on the first day, and then disappeared, made to vanish down a memory hole.  Why?  Who determined they needed a new narrative, and who was so effectively able to push it?

I will add to this the testimony of Jane Graham, who was a HUD employee, and President of the local union.  As a career member of the government, it would be hard to accuse her of an intrinsic paranoia of government.

She reports having seen men in GSA uniforms looking over blueprints in the parking garage, and having seen a spool of wire and a block of putty, which of course is what people setting explosive charges would look like.

She also reported seeing two different men in GSA uniforms the morning of the bombing, then seeing them in civilian clothes in a video after the bombing, outside the building.

Finally, she herself survived the bombing.  I have visited the Memorial, and if memory serves her testimony is featured relatively prominently in the news reel they play there.  She says that there was a rumbling, first, then only about 8-10 seconds later was there a blast wave, which broke all the windows and knocked her unconscious.  This would be consistent with columns being blown prior to the truck being detonated.

Now let us layer on what appears to be a fact: NONE of the surveillance videos from perhaps a dozen or more cameras inside and outside the Murrough building have been released to the public, despite repeated FOIA requests.  The FBI says it can't find them.  Here is a longer version of the story: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/trentadue-fbi-oklahoma-city-bombing-evidence

Self evidently, given the footage, it would be quite possible for Graham or others to identify the men in the GSA uniforms, which in turn would allow them to be identified, and very likely implicated.  We can, from this fact, infer reliably that SOMEONE with the Bureau has both the power and the motivation to keep this footage out of public hands.

I will add one final piece to the mix: the torture and murder of Kenneth Trentadue while in Federal custody, approximately four months after the bombing.  He had multiple wounds on his head, had had his throat cut, and had had his feet beaten.  He was also strangled, with death by hanging being declared the official cause of death.  He has been pumped full of caffeine, which apparently increases the pain of torture.  All his transfer logs, and video footage of his cell area disappeared.  The Feds tried to have him cremated, but failed.

It seems clear that FBI agents tortured him and killed him and then covered it up.  It also seems likely that they thought he was Richard Lee Guthrie, Jr., who was a white supremacist, and also (like Trentadue) a bank robber.  It was not entirely clear in the documentary, but apparently they both have dragon tattoos, I believe on the left arm.  Guthrie killed himself in the same manner Trentadue did: hanging via bed sheet in his jail cell.  This one seems legitimate, but it also appears, circumstantially, to have been in response to threats.  His letter to his brother read:  "I'm sure that you're going to question my motive, but the fact is that I have no intentions of putting our family in harms (sic) way."

Let's think about all this.  Four months in, the FBI was, I believe, still looking for a John Doe number 2.  Multiple people reported seeing McVeigh with another man who fit the description of both Trentadue and Guthrie.

If Oklahoma City was completely a government job, the FBI would know who did it.  The fact that they felt the need to do a Jack Bauer on some guy they assumed to be guilty would imply they wanted quite desperately to find someone, or get someone to confess to something they genuinely believed they did.

One allegation floating around is that Oklahoma City may have involved government operatives who were pretending to be white supremacists, but that bombs that were never supposed to have gone off, went off.

Why would this be, though?  How could an informant not know bombs were being placed; or, knowing it, fail to report it?

It is possible that the FBI is covering up a major fuck-up.  Some of their people may have been involved.

I will have to ponder this for a bit longer.  Here is what seems clear, though:

1) The bulk of the structural damage to the building, which caused most of the casualties, was the result of bombs placed on structural supports.

2) This fact has never emerged in a public way.  It played no role in the coverage of the bombing, and has to this day never been acknowledged by the government agencies responsible for the investigation, even if some FBI employees did report being pressured to alter lab findings and doctor reports.

3) It appears overwhelmingly likely that the FBI is concealing video footage which would provide us a much better picture of who was involved, and that that picture would involve a lot more people than were arrested and prosecuted.

4) The bombing almost certainly worked to help Clinton demonize the far right, and win reelection.  It also served as a model for public acceptance of increasing government surveillance, and erosion of personal rights.

5) In its use of what I would argue was a patsy to cover up a much deeper plot, it bears clear similarities with 9/11.  In the first case, you park a truck, blow the building, then blow the truck (although of course I'm sure both were supposed to happen at the same time).  In the latter, you fly a plane into a building, then blow it.

6) In Kenneth Trentadue's case, the FBI appears to have gotten away with murder.

My gut feeling--take it for what you will--is that in the early days of the bombing the FBI really did not know who was responsible, but that it quickly assembled the dots, and realized that the responsible parties were people they were supposed to be watching, that the number of people involved greatly exceeded Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, and that it would be a major scandal if their role in this were revealed.  Specifically, they likely had informants at a place called Elohim City, which was a right wing extremist group in Oklahoma, and people from there likely carried out the bombing.

It should be emphasized that security back then would not have been anything remotely like what it became post-Oklahoma City, and reasonably intelligent civilians likely could have infiltrated the building to place explosives.

At a rock bottom minimum, the FBI knows more than it has publicly acknowledged, and to the extent their role is as a servant of the people--as a collector and disseminater of information--they have very blatantly not only failed in that role, but repudiated it outright.  This very clearly constitutes a conspiracy conducted at a very high level to break the law.

As with 9/11, it is past time that a body be convened to assemble a rational narrative that does not violate the laws of physics.