Monday, September 29, 2014

Simplicity and Hope

Lives have seasons.  Seasons have essences, flavors, and these two words mark this season as it is evolving for me.

Try as I might, I cannot change the world, or at least overnight and through effort of will, through arguing and anger.  That I felt the need to do so no doubt stems from some primitive fusion between myself and "out there" that arose as a result of my very early trauma.

I can, I think, trust that things will work out, that overall good things are on the way, even if it is clear that horrific suffering can be found the world over, suffering that will never be redeemed in this life.  People are broken by fear and horror, and grief most of us cannot begin to imagine.

Still, hope springs eternal.  Human kind has been cruel since time immemorial, and we are now for the first time in a position to contemplate global peace, and able to hope it is one that evolves, and not one that is imposed.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


is intended primarily for stupid people with long memories, particularly intellectuals.

I have found that Noam Chomsky rarely begins a book without a lie or gross violation of logic within the first three paragraphs.  Tonight I perused a book in which he claimed in the first three paragraphs that North Vietnam was a democracy in 1960.  One can only speculate at the psychopathology that leads to the NEED for lies like that.  To be sure, horror follows such lies, unimaginable horror.

It makes me happy that. . . .

I noticed my kids say this a lot.  I've been traveling a lot, so I have seen little of them over the past six weeks or so, but we try to make up for it with a lot of one on one time.  I took one out to dinner Friday, and the other to an arts fair Saturday.  I think with two kids it's important to give each one focused attention.  Both of them will tell me things I don't think they would if their sibling were present.

But I noticed both of them said this multiple times.  Balloons make me happy.  This candle makes me happy.  This song makes me happy.

I honestly don't know if I taught them this or not.  Despite all my problems, many things--simple things, usually--make me happy, and I suppose I've commented on it.  Interesting cloud formations make happy.  Pretty sunsets make me happy.  Little kids playing makes me happy.  Puppies make me happy.  Beautiful fall days.

This is a good phrase.  It's one step on from "I'm grateful for"--which is still a great phrase--but I think for most of us happiness is one of the primary emotions we are searching for (love and engagement being perhaps the two others), and it is a useful practice to consciously acknowledge it whenever it pops up, because pop up it does.  You can't plan it.  You can't force it.

And I think the more you acknowledge it, the more places it can and will appear.  It pops through the cracks you allow, until it is a more or less open window, and the sun is coming through.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Your contribution

What song will go unsung without you?


Physiologically, aggression is the neurological equivalent of running away, and I would argue it is the existential equivalent as well.  It comes from fear, from the fight or flight (or freeze, or collapse, which are the other two possibilities Peter Levine discusses) response.

As I think I mentioned, I have been rereading John Wooden's book , and it is making more and more sense to me.  The drive to win is a drive, first of all.  What drives drives?  Fear.  Specifically, I think in most cases, fear of failure.  What does fear lead to?  Aggression.

I think one could perhaps summarize Wooden's approach as "approaching perfection through relaxation, rehearsal and time".

There is no doubt in my mind that his practices were physically grueling, and required all the will and effort his players could muster.  But what I feel is that there was little ANGER in his approach.  I think he felt if he needed to get angry with someone, that person probably didn't belong on his team.  He speaks often of the power of gentleness, which is implicitly the power of gradualness and time.

When you are angry and fearful, you cannot manifest large plans in gradualistic ways over time in an organic way.  You cannot water something carefully, just a little, every day without fail until it blossoms.  You overwater one day, underwater the next, and forget entirely the following day.  It is not a wholistic, gentle approach.

I will consider myself fully healed only when I can pursue gradualism in Wooden's way, as I conceive it.

I will add as well that a quote I have long had in my head was from Ivan Pavlov.  Someone asked him what the secret to success was, and he answered "Passion and gradualism".  That is where I get that word from.

Culture and Somatic Experiencing

We need to reinvest Western, and to some extent, perhaps, global, culture.  I often ponder this, as any regular readers I may have know.  I think we need to be extremely cautious about assuming our way of life is the best, particularly when we manage to combine being fat, rich, and unhappy.  Still, I think people will adopt what they like, and ignore what they don't.  We, ourselves, CERTAINLY need to find a new path, one that goes beyond an emotionally and socially dissociated passion for abstraction (yes, they can be combined), and gross carnality.

In the movie Equilibrium they take their doses of high tech Xanax/Valium mood suppressors at regular intervals.  They will be marching around, the bells sounds, and they dose themselves.

What if our culture had the feature of taking 5 minutes 3 times a day to sit quietly and feel our bodily sensations?  I have been doing this for a week or two, and it UNQUESTIONABLY contributes to self understanding, and relaxation.  What if the whole world did it?

All you have to do is sit, and scan your body.  Feel what is going on between your shoulder blades, in your jaw, in your eyes, front and back.  Feel your feet and toes. Try to feel your liver and kidneys.  Feel your ear lobes.  Feel your hands, feel the bones in them, the middle of the bones.

Obviously, some of these areas have few nerve receptors, but I think this practice helps reconnect "mind" and body in a very physical, nervous system sort of way, and permits greater sensitivity to excessive effort, excessive tension; and it relieves emotions like fear and anger, which always begin in the body.

And this is a subtle linkage, a subtle distinction between sensation and emotion.  But what I have found is that if you analyze "fear", there is an effect on the mind, on your sense of your own relation to the world.  But it is possible to feel the physical concomitants--precursors--of fear, without that same sense. I can note tremors in my upper back and trapezius and neck, feel my eyebrows start to rise, perhaps my mouth open, but not lapse into what we call fear.  They can be separated.

This is a HUGE discovery.  William James--who to my mind is by far the greatest largely unrecognized American genius (in my view because of his participation in the scientific investigation of the after-life)--saw this 100 years ago, but Peter Levine to his credit has rerecognized this, and gone further and integrated it into an effective system for trauma resolution on a deep level.


Imagine a world in which no one had to feed themselves, or drink water.  Imagine we had no bodily requirements, even for sleep.  How would such a world evolve?  According to my beliefs, this is how at least one plane of what we call Heaven is, except that it is much more beautiful.  To get there, you learn contentment here.

It seems to me that we can satisfy spiritual hunger ourselves.  We can satisfy the need for the companionship of others, to some extent, although I think it is much like physical hunger, that we will always have in this world and these bodies.

Much of what we need, of our deepest, truest, most authentic needs, though, I feel can be satisfied by developing the right relationship with ourselves and our lives.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Conservative Egalitarianism

It occurred to me that what is called conservatism, and what I would call authentic Liberalism, is in fact the true egalitarian creed. It posits that all people are created equal, and assumes everyone is capable of using freedom responsibly until they demonstrate otherwise.  We are equal in principle, and if we become different that is perfectly acceptable, as diversity is the goal.

Everyone has the right to the same gun the cop carries, because they are equal in principle to the cop, until they break the law.

Everyone is equal before the law, and should be able to expect the same treatment no matter who they are.

Everyone has equal opportunities.  Specifically, no one is prevented from any activity by law which is not harmful to the community.  You cannot, for example, use the government to protect monopolies.

Leftism is based on the notion that people are NOT able to look after themselves, that some people are, by implication, intrinsically INFERIOR, and that their superiors--the intellectuals, and the people using the intellectuals rhetoric to enrich themselves--are responsible for them in ways they themselves could never manage.  And the practice is to make the proles equivalent in poverty, while the elite basks in all the pleasures of their ill gotten wealth.  I read that Nancy Pelosi stayed in a $10,000 a night hotel after she passed Obamacare.  Where do you think she got that money?

This sense of noblesse oblige is PRECISELY what we fought our revolution to eradicate, because for every act of ostensible generosity there are two acts of thievery.  In our present system, half our country is being bought with the money from the other half, by a political class that creates nothing.

False Gods and dead homes

Phrase popped into my head today doing my Kum Nye practice.  I think that is a pretty good summary, don't you?  If you have to ask "of what", we are likely working on different projects.

The phrase also popped into my head: "In order to lose your self you must first have a self.  Until then you are an unhatched egg."

Politics and sanity

It is an unfortunate aspect of our political system that is requires both knowledge and the capacity for abstract reasoning to work properly.  We consciously seek many viewpoints and personal contributions through our electoral process, but the quality of the end result cannot be much better than the quality of the viewpoints and people participating.

And most people in this and most other countries very simply do not have the capacity for effective abstract thinking.  When things are good, they are complacent.  The assume things will always be good. When things are bad, they allocate blame based upon their gut instincts, and not upon seeking deep knowledge.

The gut says "feed me".  Democrats say, "we will feed you".  Republicans say "we will let you feed yourself, by creating conditions in which it is possible."

The social sense says: "feed my friends".  Democrats say "we will feed your friends."  Republicans say "we will let your friends feed themselves too."

It is easy to appeal to the infantile, grasping, sucking, wanting side of human nature.  It is much, much harder to appeal to the thinking, contemplative side, the side from which all large projects come, from which all large long term successes come.

It is likely safe to say that we have done well enduring this long, and it is a testament to the fundamental social maturity of Americans, in whom the concept of self reliance was cultivated early on until recently.

Self reliance presumes a self.  If we posit psychological individuation as a principle goal of human life, self reliance must be a part of it.  This is how one connects the political with the personal, again on an abstract level of the sort that must be present for our system to endure.

Eric Holder

This situation seems pretty obvious, but I have little faith in the talking heads to put two and two together, so I'm going to chip in my two cents.

The Justice Dept. is known to have incriminating emails relating to the Lois Lerner (and associates: let's not forget probably 10 or more people belong in jail)  investigation.  Eric Holder is under considerable pressure from Obama's handlers to suppress those emails, but he can't legally do it forever, and if he tries to delete them too, he is likely to be charged with Obstruction of Justice.

My best guess is he finally told Valerie Jarrett that he wasn't going to jail for them.  They are going to hard pressed now to find someone to sit in that hot seat and play ball with them.

This should work to the benefit of truth and justice, although only time will tell.


Never believe me when I say I going to stop politics.

This war is ludicrous.  It cannot achieve lasting military victory; it is illegal, both because Syria does not want us in her space, and because Congress CLEARLY, beyond any possibility of dispute, both has not authorized it, and MUST authorize it, per the Constitution.; and it risks a much larger war with the Syrian government (and potentially even Russia and Iran), which I have argued in the past may well be the actual goal, so that Obama's Saudi patrons can build their natural gas pipeline, which has very close to NOTHING to do with American interests.

Americans are being betrayed by everyone who supports this fiasco.

Negative emotions

I woke up this morning with a distinct SENSE of the value of negative emotions: they exist as helpers, tools, sensors, informers.  They are an artifact of evolution that, strange as it may seem, continue to play important roles in optimal health and performance.  They tell  us things we need to know.  They help us.

Problems arise when we fail to listen to them, when we develop the habit of tuning them out.  As one example, what woke me up was a sense of anxiety.  It's still dark in my room, I figure it must be the middle of the night.  I look at my clock: 15 minutes before I was going to get up anyway.  I have a past history of going back to sleep, so some part of me was saying: dumbshit: why do you set the alarm if you are going to ignore it?  This is not good for you.  You would be happier and healthier if you consistently followed through on everything you imagine.

This is positive self talk, unquestionably.  It is on the side of my better self.

Or take hate.  It is likely the social equivalent of the felt sense of burning your hand on the stove.  That sense makes sure you never do it again.  We are social animals, and tend by nature to forgive and forget.  But some people we should never allow back into the fold, like psychopaths.   Hate enables us to remember this, and thus protects us.  Can and has it been abused?  Of course.  Of course.

And I think I see now Peter Levine's genius is separating emotions and sensations.  What an emotion wants is to be HEARD.  What we resist, persists, as the saying goes.  If you consistently go into the sensations that lead to the emotion, you can learn to hear emotions before they are even born, and thus make it unnecessary for them to grow to full expression.  You can do this consistently.

And by going into sensation often, you build up a sensitivity to all the things they are trying to tell you.  You feel something, and then BAM you see what it saw, you see what you otherwise would have missed if it hadn't been there like an alert guard dog.

All of these ideas are strongly positive, and I would encourage you to consider them carefully.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pendulation, part 2

I am aggressive by nature.  If I find something that I can face and grow by, I find it, and face it.

So tonight, I do my routine: calm, peace, love on one side, then abject terror on the other.  Twice.  Then the third time I see an armored man sticking a spear in my face--killing me--and it's gone, just like that.  I kept looking back: is that it?  That was EASY.

My best guess is this is a memory from a past life. I must have gotten tired and forgotten how to die properly.  It happens.

My sense is that I have been on this Earth many times, and been a soldier many times. I identify in many respects as a soldier even now, although my battlefield does not involve physical weapons.  I am quite prepared to die or be destroyed for fighting my fight.  A life worthy of rose blossoms and violent suppression is something to be proud of.


I am going to stop doing posts on politics for the time being.  I like to think I have a talent for analysis, but it comes from a place of emotional dissociation.  I cannot but put people in categories, cannot but separate myself emotionally from many of them; and what I need now is what most people need all the time, which is connection.

At root our problem is this: it is easy to separate naive idealists from their belief in a perfect America; it is easy to separate people who have been taught submission to authority from the notion that God is even a relevant conjecture; and having done both of these things, it is easy to create an irresistible impulse to join a new tribe, a new group, to obtain a new source of meaning, of belonging, of place, of home.

Until we can offer an alternative other than family, country, God and tradition, people of genuine good will will lose the cultural battle, and that battle in turn fuels what happens in Congress.

Consider that we are borrowing NOW almost half of a very large budget, and that the Baby Boomers have not even hit, and that we just massively expanded entitlements through Obamacare.

How is there even a debate?  How is there even a question as to what must be done?

There is a debate because the tribe members are coercive, powerful.  They are not happy.  This is not a good solution to the problem of generating human community and a sense of personal meaning; but until they have something else, they will cling to it with every ounce of their being.

Monday, September 22, 2014

+ not equal =

I came up with a three symbol indictment of socialism.  I can't find a "not equal to" symbol on my keyboard, but it can be drawn easily enough.

My intent is simple: improvement is not equal to leveling.  Improvement is not equal to making everyone the same.  Entropy being what it is, socialism always amounts to the project of tearing (most of) the high and mighty down.  Human nature being what it is, a class system is retained--one more rigid than the previous class system, and without any sense of noblesse oblige--and the whole thing justified through the very process of lies used to enact the system in the first place.

Consider this lyric: "tax the rich, feed the poor/ until there are no rich no more."  Even within the logic of the lyric, the money runs out before the poor become able to feed themselves well.  Everyone knows this is how it REALLY works.  They just have no alternative meaning system to substitute for impulses which in some respects are no different from those which led previous generations into wars.

Here is another good phrase: More community; less socialism.  Socialism only builds meaningful solidarity within the ranks of the socialists themselves, who constitute a small elite.  What it does to the mass of society one can readily see in Britain and France: it builds a sense of helplessness, despair, anger, depression, and self destructive rage.

That is because it is not founded on actual empathy, on actual caring.  


I felt like I was going to crack up yesterday.  I haven't had a full day off in at least three weeks, and a two day weekend in some months.  I drove at least 30 hours by myself last week, and spent most of my time working alone, doing difficult physical labor, at least in the case of what I did Saturday.

To this I add my inner activation work, and Saturday I got "flooded", to use the term psychotherapists use.  It's not where you want to be.  It's where a shitload of stuff comes up at once and you feel like you are going crazy. Driving for some reason seems to be a sort of trance state conducive to allowing feelings up.

Anyway, I activated my social support network on Facebook, and they came through.  That made me feel good, or at least as good as I am capable of feeling deep inside.

Whatever the horror was that I went through, I have now touched it.  The thing about being capable of dissociation, though, is that you can let it go back into its cave, and bring it out when you want to.  It takes balls to do this--you are knowingly activating awful, awful feelings, knowing they will come through, knowing they will hurt; but also knowing they have a finite extent.  The lesson does not last forever.

I can do this.  Sometimes I use a technique my last therapist taught me, which is to look in one direction, and imagine safety, calm, love, beauty; and then put all the ugly stuff in another direction, say looking to the left in the one case and the right in the other.  I can pull up feelings so deep that I involuntarily scream.  The word is horror, absolute, abject horror.  Then I pendulate back, and it goes away.  Over time you dip your feet in there enough, and the feeling fades.

I can't do this today. I am too spent.  But I will be at it again soon.

I really, really want to live a life of purpose, where I choose what I am going to do and why; and where I am able to take deep meaning and pleasure from my work, and all my relationships with everyone I know and value and love.  I want to build more structure both for my work and for my social web.

And the only way out is through.  This is why this work must be done.  I refuse to accept anything less than a life of excellence and beauty.

Friday, September 19, 2014


You cannot direct unconscious processes with the rational mind. It's use is limited to finding or creating ways for unconscious work to proceed.

Corollary: you cannot be rational until you know how to be irrational.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Robin Williams

This is a completely random post, of the sort any long term readers I may have have hopefully become accustomed to.

I can't get the image out of my head of Robin Williams traveling around the world in spirit form looking for cocaine.  It is my understanding that those who pass on with severe addictions--which in my view should be viewed as severe unprocessed traumas which have been managed during life by recourse to chemicals which mask the underlying illness--keep those addictions, and that he has as well.  He never made it through the tunnel, or up the hill, however you want to frame it.  He did not surmount the challenges set before him in this life.

Here is an interesting account of a death and rebirth experience (NDE does not quite fit the data), in which he talks about the fate of addicts:

Make each day your masterpiece

The more times I review John Wooden's philosophy of life, the more I  feel he really had things figured out.  Now, he was just a basketball coach, but I really feel that the emotional maturity needed to master ANYTHING goes far beyond any sport.

His father, who appears to have been a very wise man, gave him a card at a certain age--perhaps graduation from high school--with a number of sayings on it.

One of them was "Make each day your masterpiece".

I have read this before, but am only now starting to understand it.

Wooden, in my understanding, figured he should take as long to PLAN a practice as it took his athletes to undertake it.  He would choreograph very complex drills in which conditioning was combined with very specific game day practice.

And he speaks on a number of occasions about the power of gentleness.  His aim, his accomplished aim, was gradualness.  His aim was to improve just a little every day, to plan ahead, to never reach a point where his lack of preparation required him to get agitated.  He looked far, far down the road, and never required "peak efforting".  He never wanted his players to "rise to the occasion", but rather be ready for it, to have reached a point in their preparation where the big game was something they looked forward to mastering.

Think about this concept of choreographing a day, to making your work and relaxation a work of art, an aesthetic statement about who you are and what you value.

You are not just planning to get X, Y, and Z done.  You are doing it with style, with a view to the long haul, with a view to self improvement, however you conceive this;  to, in important respects, master life, such that the major challenges can be taken in stride, because you were ready for them.

Adrian Peterson

I don't know if he is getting any support in the press--I can't be accused of being a Fox or anything else viewer, as TV moves much too slow and in most cases is much too stupid; I just need the facts, and I can do my own analysis--but I want to say I am somewhat on Adrian Peterson's side.

I've been spanked with a belt, quite a few times.  I've never been tagged in the nuts, but that was not his intent.  As any long time readers of this blog should readily grasp, I do a lot of inner work, and I don't consider any of the spankings I got after age 5 to have had any significant negative impact on me at all, and some may have been beneficial.

Now, I don't remember age 4, and it's quite possible my first spanking at age 12 months may have left a mark, but according to my best architectural excavations, this does not appear to be the case.  You can be traumatized without being touched at all, which appears to have happened in my own case.

As should be blatantly obvious, Peterson did not consider his behavior aberrant or exceptional, or anything but being consistent with "spare the rod--note it says rod, not hand--and spoil the child."  This is very old American received wisdom.  It is not stretching it too far, I don't think, to say it has informed our history of being law abiding and able to work well with others.

Personally, I don't think spanking works very well.  We tried it a couple times on my oldest when she was quite young, and it only made her behavior worse.  It was ineffective.

But Peterson himself is very successful, and he was raised that way.  There are any number of country songs which talk about being "cane switch raised".  Here is one example:

So I cannot find myself horrified that Peterson would raise his kid the way he was raised.  I cannot join the chorus of those calling for Peterson's social and professional excommunication for doing something he no doubt honestly thought--rightly or wrongly, we can certainly debate--was for his child's own best good.

We have reached a time when children don't know the phrase "Son, this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you."

Again, we can argue whether spanking works.  It does seem obvious to me that we are raising--have been raising--children who feel entitled to everything, who do not understand that pain is a part of life, and who in many important respects NEVER mature psychologically.

Does spanking help with this?  I don't know.  I really don't know.  I do know that we will become weak as a society if we let frightened women dictate EVERYTHING.  Men and manliness have roles to play, and part of being a man is being tough.

I'll leave it at that.  I don't have the answers, but the questions themselves seem to be getting overlooked too, and that I can rectify.

Monday, September 15, 2014


When is Congress going to ask Obama if he provided funding and training to what became ISIS?  Six months ago, they were "Syrian rebels", and he wanted to support them.  Even then they were cutting the heads off of babies and raping their mothers, and even then he still wanted us in there to fight Assad, so why is it not only possible, but LIKELY that HE is the one who initiated this mess in his patent desire to topple Assad?

I will add the obvious: Assad has said he does not want us in there, and Obama has said if he fires his Russian anti-aircraft missiles at us he will be toppled.  This leads us to the utterly farcical and completely insane possibility that we may be at war with EVERYONE in Syria.  For what?

And all without Congressional authorization.

And to be clear, I support limited action in Iraq, which is nominally our ally, to keep ISIS from getting too comfortable.  I have in mind special operators sniping and ambushing, air strikes and the like.  Economic warfare would be acceptable as well.  If they are selling oil and reaping the profits, those rigs can be attacked.  The roads in their areas of operations can be destroyed.  Their leadership can be targeted.

But, again, how did we get here?  Did our President provide support to LITERAL baby killers, who never existed in Vietnam (at least on our side; the NVA regularly used children for suicide missions), but who definitely do exist now?  And again, for what?  What is our vital national interest in Syria?  I see none.

The best explanation I have seen is that the Gulf oil interests want to build a natural gas pipeline across Syria to compete with the Russians, and Assad--who presumably would reap huge benefits and money from this--is resisting them due to in effect being bought off by the Russians, who view this as economic warfare.

But that's not our problem. It would be good to weaken the Russians, but war is not an acceptable means in my view to that end.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Last words

Like most men, I suppose, I have fantasies sometimes about running into a burning building to save someone, or into the line of fire.  And you get hit, you're dying: what are your last words?  The cliched answer is "tell my wife and kids I love them."

I've thought about this, and my kids hear "I love you" literally every time they talk to me on the telephone, and hear it twice from me every time I put them to bed, and have their entire lives.  When they were little we also had a very elaborate game that evolved over time that took 2-3 minutes, that they loved.  They are teenagers now, and we still have a routine, even though it has been shortened greatly.

So there is little informational content to this phrase.

Instead, my take is: tell my kids to be brave.  It's OK to cry, but there will be a time to move on.  I'll watch over you if I can.

If I only get out the first line, well that's enough.

There is little enough love in this world as it is.  Surely families can manage it, if they merely make it a priority?  No one you love should ever not hear it from you constantly.  We are ships traveling in the fog; it doesn't take long to drift apart.

Emotional pain

I have an enormous tolerance for emotional pain. That is why I don't really need a therapist.  Good therapists are like physical therapists, who not only show you what to do, but more or less make sure you do it.  If you are sufficiently motivated on your own, and can take the pain without someone watching you and yelling at you, AND if you understand the process, the therapist is not in my view needed.  I can and do do the work on my own.

I forget sometimes that most other people are not like this.  I am somewhat unusual in my capacity to stand solitude, insult, confusion, grief, anger, anxiety, and my latest, abject horror.  This recent addition is a nice addition to my collection, which I think will complete it.  I won't say more at the moment.

But what happens with me is I can SEE how people are constrained, see the chains around, see how they are likely to live entire lives with massive amounts of potential positive emotions completely unrealized, and in the constant dismal presence of negative feelings.

On a vastly smaller scale, I see, I think, what the Buddha saw, when he saw how many human lives are lived with only a fraction of the pleasure, joy, and fulfillment that were possible.  This is Duhkha.

People get hurt, then hide or run.  But those emotions are a part of you.  They are clothing you cannot shed.  They are a part of your psychological being, and will always be such until confronted, recognized, processed and overcome.  They will always bend you away from what is best for you.  They will always lead you into preventable confusion and sorrow and fear.

As the saw goes, what you resist persists.

So I will sometimes go into people's bubbles more than I ought to.  I intend well, but most people rarely venture into those places, and do not like to be reminded of what they think they have forgotten.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Global warming

At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, on no level--period--is a feature of global warming, global cooling.  If I turn an oven on, it may warm unevenly, but no parts become colder.  If I open a refrigerator and turn it off, cooling may come out, but that cooling is counterbalanced by warming within the refrigerator.

It CANNOT be the case both that both poles are seeing increases in their ice sheets, AND that we are seeing colder winters, IF one still wants to claim the Earth is warming.  This is a fool's game.  It is stupid, counter-intuitive, gutless, lemming-like.

This is a cut and paste from a post that may well be deleted (from Mother Jones, and it looks like they are going the disengagement and suppression route, which of course is needed if they want to continue to defend the indefensible.  Edit: yes, they are tired of having to defend the indefensible, and have blocked me, which is always what happens on left wing sites.  They are not interested in either truth or a multiplicity of opinions; quite the contrary.  They call themselves liberals, but they are ANTI-liberal):

Arctic ice is increasing.
Antarctic ice is increasing.
When we add to this that we are seeing snowfalls that are the earliest in 100 years in Canada and the northern United States, common sense has to interject into this whole narrative and just call BULLSHIT.

Of course, one-off weather events don't prove anything, but to be repetitive, cooling is NOT a feature of warming, period.  This is not debatable.  Using complicated and fraudulent math, one can hide unmeasured cooling in the oceans or elsewhere, but does this come even remotely close to passing the smell taste?  No.  

Even the New York Times admits Obama is breaking the law

PRESIDENT OBAMA’s declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris.

Mr. Bush gained explicit congressional consent for his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In contrast, the Obama administration has not even published a legal opinion attempting to justify the president’s assertion of unilateral war-making authority. This is because no serious opinion can be written. . .

Mr. Obama may rightly be frustrated by gridlock in Washington, but his assault on the rule of law is a devastating setback for our constitutional order. His refusal even to ask the Justice Department to provide a formal legal pretext for the war on ISIS is astonishing. . .

In taking this step, Mr. Obama is not only betraying the electoral majorities who twice voted him into office on his promise to end Bush-era abuses of executive authority. He is also betraying the Constitution he swore to uphold.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


I had a dream the other night in which I saw both Nazis marching off to war--felt their feelings--and was a Jew killed by them, with all my animals--my chickens, cattle--destroyed, my house burnt.  And I felt that man's feelings, too, the horror, the fear, the grief.  I felt much of what it is to be human and traumatized.

It increasingly seems to me that unresolved trauma is at the root of a two branch decision tree of good and evil.  Those willing to learn to process it become good.  Those who cannot process it, who have too much, or who run from it in fear, become bad people.  They become, to be clear, dissociated people, cut off from the waters of a happy life, of the possibility of nurturing connection, of hope, of love.

I have defined evil as the internalized acceptance of self loathing, and I think that gets very close.  It is embracing the horrors in your gut, and seeking them out, inflicting them on others.  It is the embrace of the emotion of disgust.  One sees this very clearly in Sade.

Human civilization, if we are to advance, must learn to first grant the ubiquity of unrecognized trauma (much of it, to be clear, unintentional, such as birth trauma.   Much trauma also comes from the emotional unavailability of parents who are themselves traumatized, as in my case, who pass trauma on through a lack of love and nurturing.), and learn to deal with it en masse, and consciously.

I use the terms Good and Evil, but I am not a moralist per se.  I believe judgement is sometimes necessary, but I would argue strongly in the abstract that our task is not to categorize people, but to help them, to understand them, to recognize that they are dealing with things we don't understand, and that we all have breaking points.  All of us.  Subjected to the right sort of trauma, ALL OF US, without exception, will snap, will dissociate to the point of open psychosis.  Many around us dissociate to the point of semi-psychosis.  Most of us are a bit crazy.  This is nothing new.

Ah, I'm rambling.  Time to move on.  Hopefully this is useful for something.

Being caught by stolen feelings

There is a wonderful book everyone should read called "Einstein's Dreams".  It's an imagination of his dreams as he was gradually coming upon the images which led to his theories of relativity.

I have been having dreams like that, but in my own case it is, I hope, prelude to finally stumbling upon a sense of self.

Without sharing details--some of this does get quite deep--I have been having odd variants of the running away from something dream.

The phrase titling this post came to me this morning, pondering all this.

The nature of trauma is that it steals life from you, steals emotions, steals possibilities--of hope, of the future, of being fully present.

And until it is fully processed, it creates pressure on your conscious mind.  It says "look at me, feel me, deal with me.  I'm all alone and you need me."  It is almost literally like "it" has a mind of its own; and given what I have learned about how it is stored in the viscera, in a sort of meta-brain, a primitive, atavistic, very old brain, this is probably not an inapt metaphor.

This is the essence of dissociation, in which our rationality is placed one place, and our innate sensations, our visceral sensations, our gut instincts, placed somewhere else.  You become, unnecessarily, divided between man and animal.

I have argued that modern inability to process trauma leads to abstraction, but can we perhaps also posit that the very EASE with which we can absorb ourselves in abstractions--think of what a computer programmer, or intelligence analyst, or accountant does all day--makes it also easier to postpone the reckoning.

If you live a hard, physical life, the trauma may get "processed" by making you mean, but you remember it.  You are openly hostile and cruel, and not through removal of emotional connection and passive aggression.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Good paper on CO2 saturation

In summary, small quantities of radiation from excited Greenhouse gases, at frequencies corresponding to a transparent window of the atmosphere, provide direct feed back of heat towards the earth, causing some heating, and towards outer space producing cooling.  The proportion of this free radiation, relative to the amount of excitation energy trapped in the Greenhouse gas, is a characteristic of the gas and will be independent of both the total heat energy present and the concentration of a given Greenhouse gas.

 [The calculations show] that there is little significant difference between the spatial distributions of heat captured by the Greenhouse gases along a vertical column within the troposphere, for a range of concentrations equal to that defined at present, nominally 380 ppm of CO2 and possible future concentrations of 760 ppm and 1140 ppm.  While it is not possible to calculate the actual proportion of energy returning to the earth via these very low frequency photons passing through a transparent atmosphere, the proportion relative to that held by excited CO2 molecules will always be exactly the same, irrespective of the total amount or density of carbon dioxide present. 

The findings clearly show that any gas with an absorption line or band lying within the spectral range of the radiation field from the warmed earth, will be capable of contributing towards raising the temperature of the earth. However, it is equally clear that after reaching a fixed threshold of so-called Greenhouse gas density, which is much lower than that currently found in the atmosphere, there will be no further increase in temperature from this source, no matter how large the increase in the atmospheric density of such gases.
I have been misunderstanding this.  What they are arguing, effectively, is that half the heat trapped winds up escaping and having a cooling effect, and the other half of course has a warming effect, and that beyond a certain concentration the quantity of CO2 doesn't matter.

It is my understanding that ALL models of CO2 accumulation posit a relatively decreasing effect per unit as quantities increase.  No sane mind can fail, then, performing basic logic on this idea, to grasp that at some point further increases do NOTHING, which is what this paper argues.

James Hanson got his start worrying about Earth becoming Venus.  Unless we move into Venus' orbit, this will not happen.  How hard is it to grasp that any planet as much closer to the Sun as Venus is will also be that much hotter?  We are of course much hotter than Mars, which in turn is much hotter than Pluto. 

Global Warming

Posted elsewhere, and will presumably be scrubbed and flushed down a Memory hole.

The Appeal to Authority argument rests, inherently, on the demonstrated credibility and integrity of the Authority in question, in this case the IPCC, primarily.

This is why the scandals, such as Climategate--where the researchers primarily responsible for the Hockey Stick both claimed they would rather delete primary data than share it with anyone who might disagree with them, and who actively admitted they were trying to sculpt data--matter so much.  The IPCC is CLEARLY politicized, and for the same reason you cannot infer from the fact that 100% of Koreans vote for their Generalissimo that they like him, you cannot infer from the fact that most professionals are on board with the IPCC, when being on board is a prerequisite to getting hired.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

William Binney interview

I listened to this all the way through.  Apparently a good program was developed by the NSA to listen to everything would-be terrorists might have to say, for cheap, back in 2000.  It was rejected in favor of listening to substantially everything, and he resigned in protest against this patent abrogation of the Constitution, and abrogation of what was NEEDED to protect Americans.

He has since evaluated the evidence of a controlled demolition of Tower 7 and reached the inescapable conclusion that NIST did not do SCIENCE.  They did not do their work.   They did not fulfill their responsibility.  He has signed the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth petition, calling for a new investigation.

As I have argued repeatedly, no one familiar with basic science can accept the NIST explanation of the collapse of Tower 7 and this necessarily means that more people were involved than have been identified, and that both Towers 1 and 2 may have gone down the same way.

Given the wars we have fought on the basis of 9/11, this matters a LOT.  Was it the Rockefellers in part, as Aaron Russo alleged (credibly)?  Who else?  Can we escape the sense that a police state was the goal, and fear the means?  


I just finished Akira Kurosawa's excellent movie "Dreams".  Having seen nearly everything he ever made--I want to say Kagemusha is my favorite, but there are so many to choose from--I realized I had seen this film as well, but probably 25 years ago.

Watching, it occurred to me that in great art you feel an open connection between the art and your unconscious/deeper self.  This connection permits movement in that realm, which is normally hermetically sealed.

Finding this connection, or permitting this connection, takes time and practice opening yourself up.

With regard to this movie, the last vignette is particularly enjoyable.  It is a vision of a beautiful society, living in harmony.  This is all possible.  We can learn to live together peacefully and joyfully.


Tolerance is only a virtue when you are capable of judgment; otherwise it is laziness or complicity.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


I have found that if you truly give up all work and worry for one day a week, you can keep the other implied half of the Commandment, which is to work 6 days.  I haven't done it today.  I have to work 7 day weeks currently to get everything done.  I probably should have worked more than I did today, but I'm glad I didn't.

Here is the point I wanted to make.  Investigating Sabbath candles, I found not only that you are supposed to light two, but that the eldest woman in the household lights it.

Judaism tends to be treated as a patriarchal religion, which no doubt has its share of patriarchs, but women play a central role as well, in ways which would be inconceivable in Islam.  It is logical that your faith passes through the woman, and not the man.

And are there not many strong women in the Old Testament?

Peaches Geldof

This is a rant, and probably not a very good one. I'm  tired and drinking.  All the same, I'm going to leave it.

I'm just surfing the internet, and came across this.  I had read about her death, and wondered about her life.  She apparently dated Eli Roth for a time.  She was married in the same church where her mothers funeral was conducted after she died of a heroin overdose.  They are clear to call it an "accidental" overdose, but it seems silly to view heroin addiction as other than a form of Russian Roulette.

Her 11 month old baby was in the house, and if her husband had not come looking for her, a Trainspotting sort of scenario may have come about.

What is the source of her trauma?  It would seem likely grotesquely erratic parents.  How much trauma must her mother have had to be taking heroin?  I will say, there have been times in my life where if someone had offered it to me, I might have taken it.  All the same, if you love, truly love those around you, you find ways forward without risking your life.

Bob Geldof is best known for his work getting food to Ethiopia.  What he is not known for is publicizing the cause of that particular famine, which was in my understanding a combination of Communist violence leading to civil war, and "agrarian reform", which is where you march a bunch of people at gunpoint from farms which worked, to the middle of nowhere, and tell them to grow something without giving them seeds or tools.  It is lunacy.

If his moral compass were intact, he could have BOTH sought aid, AND raised consciousness about the horror.  But he doesn't like Mondays, and the conscious work they require.

Any child in that much pain has been failed by her parents.  This sounds judgmental, and it is, but that is my view.

We can do so much better as societies.  Humanity can do so much better.

Creativity is nothing other than seeing something that was always possible, but simply unrealized.

OK.  I will stop being an asshole.


If we posit both that unresolved trauma and unexpressed instinctual urges reside in patterns of tension in the viscera, could it be that overeating is a way of pacifying those feelings?  In a sense, this possibility is obvious: we have likely all overeaten when under stress.

But usually what is referenced is the effect on blood chemistry.  A combination of fat and carbohydrate reduces cortisol production, in my understanding.  Certainly a sense of satiety dulls the nerves a bit, and quiets the mind.

But Peter Levine remarked in his book that in some senses one could view the brain as an organ evolved by the stomach in order to better feed itself.  Now, I am no Darwinian, but neither am I stupid enough to ignore clear connections.  My position is simply that field theories have to be added to the equation for it ever to account for all the variables/evidence.

Be that as it may, can it be a case of contending "brains", one of which feels tension unrelated to hunger, but can only relieve it by triggering the eating circuit; and with the other brain, of course, being the one that wants to be skinny and healthy?

I think most intelligent people grasp that simple carbs have to be controlled, since they induce responses which trigger further eating.  Beyond that, I think there are many, many possible diets which will result in weight loss.  The hows are not really that complicated.

Logically, though, if this rough premise is true, then much of our modern obesity can be explained by the abstraction and unnaturalness of our modern world.  If you live in your head, if you never feel "primitive", if you never let atavistic urges express themselves, then large parts of your self go unlistened to, but they don't then go away.  They demand attention.

This is all highly speculative.  I am just playing around with ideas, sketching.  I do that a lot.  There may be something here, maybe not.  For my part, I am going to continue working to understand these things.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Philosophical Self Defense

In the realm of the political, I think a set of basic questions will work in almost all cases:

What is it (how is it defined)?

Is it wrong?


Is it always wrong?  If not, why not?

Any leftist you take through this exercise will quickly contradict themselves.  Take racism.  They will tell you it is wrong, that it is group prejudice/hate against another group, and that it is wrong because we are supposed to be nice to each other.

But is it wrong when, say, blacks hate whites?  What about when blacks hate hispanics?  What about when British Pakistanis hate Jews?

This will give them trouble.  You then ask again: if this is not a universal principle, what is it?  If we are supposed to be nice to each other and people are not being nice, then that is bad, right?

The reason this gives them trouble is that they have only apparently embraced universal principles, notions of universal human rights.  Slavery in the South was wrong, but slavery in the Soviet Union was freedom (how is slavery defined again, and why is it wrong? )

Leftism is a cult of conformity.  They are told which forms of slavery are wrong, and which are acceptable.  Their reactions are dictated by the culture within which they live, which is post-Rationalist, and atavistic.  They live only figuratively in caves now, but may yet engineer it as literal fact for all of us, at great cost in human life and unimaginable misery.

Edit: I will add that I myself have "decontructed" "universal moral principles" of an historical sort. I do not say slavery is always wrong or right.  I have renounced the right to tell people what they should do.  Certainly, where my interests or those of those I love are affected, I retain the right to make decisions.

I have argued that Goodness is the eventual result of rejecting self pity, cultivating perseverance, and learning something new every day forever.  I have defined Goodness, in turn, as being capable of enjoying with them the happiness of others, and being able to be happy on your own.  You benefit people, and benefit from them, but don't need them (neediness clouds judgment, which is to say perceptual skill, and the whole thing relies on perception.)

I have further argued that all proper moral decisions are local, imperfect, and necessary.

Leftism, though, IS a moral narrative.  The entire thing rests on seemingly universal moral claims, but claims which are inherently, internally, contradictory.  It is an extraordinarily judgement creed resting on an intellectual base of sand.

I both critique political radicals, and offer an alternative to a return to orthodox religion.  That is my aim.

True, not true?

Only Goodness can be chosen: evil is compelled.

I feel our true "nature" is Goodness, but that through trauma and grief we are thrown off track.  Goodness is the DECISION to stay on track, to correct, to move right, or left or up or down, to stay on the path of Goodness--the path, ultimately, of least resistance (cite the scripture of your choice here).

Evil is being thrown off track, and not getting back on.  It is allowing emotions you don't want and which are destructive to take a hold of you.  It is precisely NOT making a choice; and obviously in not making a choice, a choice is made by default, one not to your benefit.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The atrocity of Feminism

Did you know the founder of the National Organization for Women was a committed Marxist, with all that entails, including but not limited to a commitment to the destruction of American culture through the destruction of the family?

It was 1969. Kate invited me to join her for a gathering at the home of her friend, Lila Karp. They called the assemblage a “consciousness-raising-group,” a typical communist exercise, something practiced in Maoist China.  We gathered at a large table as the chairperson opened the meeting with a back-and-forth recitation, like a Litany, a type of prayer done in Catholic Church. But now it was Marxism, the Church of the Left, mimicking religious practice:
“Why are we here today?” she asked.
“To make revolution,” they answered.
“What kind of revolution?” she replied.
“The Cultural Revolution,” they chanted.
“And how do we make Cultural Revolution?” she demanded.
“By destroying the American family!” they answered.
“How do we destroy the family?” she came back.
“By destroying the American Patriarch,” they cried exuberantly.
“And how do we destroy the American Patriarch?” she replied.
“By taking away his power!”
“How do we do that?”
“By destroying monogamy!” they shouted.
“How can we destroy monogamy?”
Their answer left me dumbstruck, breathless, disbelieving my ears.  Was I on planet earth?  Who were these people?
“By promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution and homosexuality!” they resounded.
They proceeded with a long discussion on how to advance these goals by establishing The National Organization of Women.  It was clear they desired nothing less than the utter deconstruction of Western society. The upshot was that the only way to do this was “to invade every American institution.  Every one must be permeated with ‘The Revolution’”: The media, the educational system, universities, high schools, K-12, school boards, etc.; then, the judiciary, the legislatures, the executive branches and even the library system.
What people need to grasp is that various churches, in opposing these agendas, very rightly sense the intrinsic viciousness behind them, the intent to turn all human beings into objects.

I have talked of this from time to time.  The supposed criticism Leftists make of Capitalism is that it "enslaves" people, and turns them into objects.  This is not true: it LIBERATES them.  Ask anyone who comes from a socialist system who comes here and realizes he or she TOO can be a "Capitalist". They can open a T-shirt company, or bake and sell cookies, or become a licensed electrician who does his or her own work.  This is freedom.

Leftists first turn THEMSELVES into objects, into tools of an ideology that turns them into reflexive machines, then seek to make the world in their image.  I have often spoken of the wax museum quality of Sade's work, particularly 120 Days of Sodom.  Fixedness is a feature of trauma, and sadomasochism is a possible result of trauma.

It seems to me we must logically speak of "higher education" as it exists now in much of the West as a sort of rape factory, one which tells impressionable youth that everything they have been taught to value, all the way markers they once used, all the people they once trusted, are wrong, and not just wrong, but terribly wrong.  This is traumatizing, since it uses for its coercive power grotesque peer pressure on young people who have been removed from their homes for the first time.

It is not different in principle from the Muslim rape gangs, and the grooming for the insanity that follows is likely quite similar.  You first come across as a friend, then introduce the drug of radical freedom from authority, and you end up with someone who is completely fucked up in the head, and will listen to every lunacy you can concoct, such as the notion that women in this nation are oppressed.

One of my projects for some time has been to create some videos on Philosophical Self Defense.  The time for them is rapidly approaching.

Holder sues companies for following law

When the top law enforcement agent is attacking people for obeying the law, you have a rogue administration, and an asshole who needs to be put in jail:

And we need to be clear: Holder and Obama and Lerner and all these left wing crazies not only don't like Americans, not only feel no special bond with us or our system, they don't even particularly like MEXICANS.  They don't like anyone.  They like power.  Power for them and their small tribe of like minded lunatics.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Countercultural Conservative

I'm toying with that as a description of myself.  I am a conservative, but I am also a radical.  I think our society has to be remade in major and fundamental ways, but gradually, slowly, ethically, and effectively.  This is the only way deep change can happen.

Letter from Aaron Vaughn's parents to Obama

[I will add that it is my belief that the SEAL's (and apparently two Controllers) who died in that Chinook may well have been betrayed.  They were forced to take on unvetted Afghan soldiers with them, who seem to have played a role in bringing it down.  And they never should have been in a Vietnam-era chopper in the first place, when we have Pave Lows and Blackhawks.  I personally think Obama PERSONALLY betrayed them and had them killed.  Here is one link, in which another parent says this point blank:  And why not?  What moral compass of any sort has he ever shown?  What moral compass do ANY hard core leftists have?  The whole project is about the rejection of "bourgeois" morality.]

After finally choosing to view the barbaric, on-camera beheading by ISIS of freelance war correspondent James Foley, I have been left with a level of rage known only to those of us who have sacrificed unspeakable offerings on the altar of world peace.

My offering was my only son — Aaron Carson Vaughn. Aaron was a member of SEAL Team VI. He was killed in action when a CH47D Chinook, carrying thirty Americans and eight Afghans was shot down in the Tangi River Valley of Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011.

Many times over the past three years, I have been asked what drove my son to choose his particular career. What made him want to be a Navy SEAL? My answer is simple.

Aaron Vaughn was a man who possessed the courage to acknowledge evil. And evil, once truly acknowledged, demands response. Perhaps this is why so few are willing to look it in the eye. It is much simpler — much safer — to look the other way.

That is, unless you are the leader of the Free World.

As Commander-in-Chief, your actions — or lack thereof — Mr. President, cost lives. As you bumble about in your golf cart, slapping on a happy face and fist-pounding your buddies, your cowardly lack of leadership has left a gaping hole — not only in America’s security — but the security of the entire globe. Your message has come across loud and clear, sir: You are not up to this job. You know it. We know it. The world knows it.

Please vacate the people’s house and allow a man or woman of courage and substance to seize the reigns of this out-of-control thug-fest and regain the balance we, America, have provided throughout our great history.

Thanks to your “leadership” from whatever multi-million dollar vacation you happen to be on at any given moment, the world is in chaos. What’s been gained, you’ve lost. What’s been lost, you’ve decimated. You’ve demolished our ability to hold the trust of allies. You’ve made a mockery of the title “President.” And you’ve betrayed the nation for which my son and over 1.3 million others have sacrificed their very lives.

But this should come as no surprise, since your wife uttered a vile statement on Feb. 18, 2008, during the primary campaign — one that speaks volumes of your true convictions. “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country,” she said.

I am sure my deceased son thanks you for that, Mrs. Obama. Oh, and you’re welcome.

Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such despair and such growing fear that the world’s last best hope, America, has finally been dismantled. Perhaps the better word is transformed — fundamentally transformed. Come to think of it, it’s become difficult — if not impossible — to believe things haven’t gone exactly as you planned, Mr. President.
Amazingly, in five short years, your administration has lurched from one disaster to another. You spearheaded the ambitious rush to end the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan — with no plan on how to do so effectively. Also, the release of “the Taliban five” in exchange for one American — without consulting Congress — is also on your shoulders.

You have been at the helm during unprecedented national security leaks — including, but not limited to the outing of SEAL Team VI on the Bin laden raid, the outing of the Pakistani doctor who provided the intelligence for that raid, the outing of Afghanistan’s CIA station chief, and the outing of your personal “kill list” to make you look tough. In addition, 75 percent of American deaths in Afghanistan and 83 percent of Americans-wounded-in-action have occurred on your watch, according to

And now, we have this recent, heinous event: the beheading of an American citizen by a barbaric organization you foolishly referred to as “the JV team” in your statements to the New Yorker magazine in January.

You, sir, are the JV team. It’s time for you to step down and allow a true leader to restore our honor and protect our sons and daughters.

America has always been exceptional. And she will be again. You, Mr. President, are a bump in our road.

Monday, September 1, 2014


I was driving downtown the other day, and happened to notice a couple of burly men in uniform smoking outside the city jail, aka Dept. of Corrections, which was plainly blazoned on the sign.

And I got to thinking: who does jail "correct"?  That jail, at that moment, was probably filled with some combination of screwed up scared kids, psychopaths, and the continuum between them.

Who winds up in jail?  Disproportionately, the children of single mothers who grow up in poverty brought on in large measure by only having one income, and that often largely from the government.

These kids have major psychological problems, and jail does nothing to "correct" this.  They are in pain, lonely, confused, ignorant.  Often, they have dropped out of school because no one ever taught them to value it, no one ever spent time, among other things, teaching them to read; and because their wounds make it hard for them to concentrate and sit still.

What makes sense to me is that anyone accused of a crime is put through due process, and, when convicted, subjected to a psychological evaluation.  People who are not psychotic, who are in states of severe but treatable trauma, are given treatment.  When they are relatively "healed", such that it seems likely they will not commit crimes again, they are released.j

Note: this has nothing to do with reconciling their crime with their sentence.  Horrible decisions can be made under the influence of drugs, despair, and stupidity.

Untreatable psychopaths, of course, we never release.  And for capital crimes, why not let the criminals themselves decide what they want: a lifetime in prison, or death?

These are random, as yet unorganized thoughts, but don't you think our system could be more intelligent?  Can we admit in principle that we are in fact a society, and that even given our diversity, a certain amount of consideration should be given to each of us?

Perhaps this looks socialist.  I don't view it that way.  What I want to do is expand the tribe in ways socialists would never be able to.

And Emerson:
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.