Thursday, June 30, 2016

Video Game idea

I am playing Fallout 3.  If it has to do with technology, I am on the tail end of the curve.  I am a last adopter. [I say this because this is an old game].

In it, all manner of moral perversions are possible.  You can practice cannibalism.  You are regularly required to shoot both men and women in the face.  You can gain points in a negative way for killing good people.  You are at one point invited to shoot children and their dogs.  You are at one point invited to bully a sensitive kid and make him cry, then to kill all the members of a congenial, stereotypical American suburb.  You can shoot and kill your own father.

What seems obvious to me is that those who choose evil are practicing emotional dissociation, and social isolation.  I have never been one of these people who says that video games make people go out and shoot people.  The reality is much more complex.  What is CLEAR is that you are PRACTICING violence.  David Grossman says this clearly.  And in practicing violence, you are moving away from union, from connection, from empathy, from belonging.  And in some extreme cases, isolation DOES produce violence, which is supported by the long years of practice.

I will not dilate long on all this, since it is not my principal focus here.

But logically, the other polarity is possible too.  Me being me, of course I pursue the Good Karma (as they style it).  And what is interesting is that even though it is virtual, virtual good deeds still feel good.  As boring and untitillating as this may sound, it makes me wonder if games where you do good deeds for people might actually enable and support mood boosts.  You help little old ladies across the street.  You do favors for people which involve normal video game sorts of tasks.  Etc.  Just putting it out there.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brown people

There is an underlying racism among Democrats and those otherwise ideologically conditioned by Soviet propaganda, which states that brown people are uniformly virtuous, and that any malice or violence they may express is our fault.

This is stupid.  Brown people are like white people: most of them are good, some of them aren't.  They are diverse, believe many different things for many different reasons, and are quite capable of fighting among themselves without the involvement of white people at all.

I keep getting told that if I don't support allowing all Muslims in period, then I am condemning an entire religion.  Leaving aside the fact that I understand the details of these things much better than most of those making the accusations, the possibility seems to be invisible to them that some Muslims might genuinely be evil, and that this evil is not our fault.

It is astonishing how patronizing such leftists are, when they accuse America of all manner of crimes, while ignoring the crimes of anyone who is not white.  This is a color blindness; this is a fundamentalist racism.  When you consider any group of people as homogeneous because you don't understand them, there is no good word BUT racism.

When Muhammad Ali--who was clearly such a racist that his segregationism was openly welcomed by the KKK, who invited him to speak at a rally--said he didn't want to travel to some foreign land to kill the brown man, he assumed that it was us who were killing, and them who were dying.  In point of fact, one set of brown people was fighting another, in an existential battle which, when lost, caused an enormous amount of suffering and death for the people we had been trying to help, and whose invitation to help we had accepted at great cost of death and suffering for our own people as well.

Leftists don't get this.  They lack nuance.  They lack depth.  They lack the capacity for distinction, for non-racist sentiment, for adult, mature understanding.

I liked this.

http://reason.com/archives/2016/05/12/bourgeois-equality

I have long been arguing that the most important innovation of economic liberalism is the use of ideas to create wealth.  Anyone with a good enough idea can get rich in America.  And being born rich guarantees nothing.  This is the way it should be.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Me being me

Time may not heal all wounds, but it is a reliable companion when you can stomach no other.

Bon mot?  You decide.  I'm not sure.  It feels right, for a curmudgeon, which I certainly tend to be.

Edit: solitude cannot be your companion.  Don't be fucking stupid.  But small changes, processed slowly, can.

Meta-Learning

I was reading a quite clever book ad disguised as a personal development essay, which talked about Ben Franklin's "Five Hour Rule", which was that he spent an hour a day during the week reading and learning something.  I am told Bill Gates and Warren Buffett--who we are to consider as icons of success, since they are very wealthy and professionally very successful--practice this, or more.

I thought about it.  I spend most of every day in contemplation, and an hour a day in Kum Nye, and 10-15 minutes doing my EmWave2.  And it seems to me that far more important than book learning is self learning.  I suspect Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are, now, roughly the same people they were in their twenties.  They know a lot more facts, but they don't know themselves at an intimate emotional level.  I would assume, in fact, that a principle driving factor in their success is the drive within them to AVOID emotional realities which they find difficult to process.  Both of them have philanthropic foundations whose activities likely serve as ersatz consciences.  But who you are, what matters, is who you are, here, now, and how fully.

I see much in my meditations.  Yesterday it came to me that most of my surface personality is really just a play act, a play, and the actors emotions whose role and dialogue is stage managed by a much deeper, highly practical, fully aware part of myself.  In most people, what you are seeing is an opera they did not consciously write, and do not realize they are acting out.  Some part of them does, but they cannot get to that part without considerable work.  That part is the intuition which can be trusted.  That part is highly competent, but its job until a certain level of emotional development is reached, is maintaining homeostasis among conflicting, violent, and primitive emotions.

As I like to say, we are not so much different from animals than we like to believe.  At the same time, I do continue to believe we are spiritual animals, here for a purpose.

And I would add that it seems to be my task both to cultivate a species of atheism, and a different species of spiritual awareness.  Atheism, in that the God of my childhood first beats me relentlessly, then tells me how loved I am.  The Christian God first condemns us to eternal fire, then says that he loves us endlessly.  The two are not reconcilable.

Spirituality, in that I have really like William James accounts of what to my mind is healthy spirituality, which is a sense of God's love being present, and a sense of being in time and place which make sense, which work to my good; that there is a plan, even if I can't understand it.  Such people see and recognize that evil can intrude even into otherwise blessed lives, but that if accepted as God's Will, then true and lasting happiness and peace are possible.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Huma Abedin

http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/06/15/roger-stone-three-questions-huma-abedin-hillary-wont-answer/

When Barack Obama got elected, there were a LOT of unanswered questions about him, questions which by and large remain unanswered.  We don't know for sure who his father was.  We don't know who assassinated the gay members of his church.  We're not sure what his real relationship with Bill Ayers was (and perhaps is, although he seems to have pissed Bill off).

The fact that someone who had accomplished nothing, about whom we knew virtually nothing, could be elected not once but twice to the American Presidency I declared in 2008 prima facie evidence of pervasive decadence.  This is inexcusable even once we factor in blatant media complicity in hiding what he wanted hiding, and trumpeting what he--and his handlers--wanted trumpeted.

Likewise, Hillary seems to have as a lesbian lover--there are many reports of this--the wife of Anthony Weiner, who in turn seems to have connections up the wazoo with Saudi terror sponsors.  Add to this the recent back door visit of a senior Saudi to Obama's White House, with no press (in the last week), and Obama's long term support of Saudi objectives in the region, and we are quite within the realm of reason to question why ANY sane person would put someone like Hillary, who has shown contempt over and over for American lives, treasure, secrets, and dignity, into the White House, when her closest confidant had close connections to people who want Sharia around the world, and is willing to support terror to do it.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Meme idea

I'm not going to take more time to figure this out.

Top: Lots of Muslims=women and gays live in fear.

Bottom: why are the people who object to this called the haters?

Open question: if it is OK to hate the haters, how come we can't hate the Muslims?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Venezuela

Public Safety Officers

In many jurisdictions this is how they refer to police officers, or Law Enforcement Officers.  Quite often, their motto includes some notion of the public safety, as in the LAPD motto: "To protect and to serve".

Here is the thing: people CHOOSE to be cops.  They CHOOSE to put their lives on the line.  They choose to die, if necessary, to protect and defend the public from criminals.

But practically, most cops after a number of years decide, in my opinion, that it is "better them than me."  We are told about the family they have to go home to, the baseball coaching, the responsibilities as church elder.

These are all noble and valuable, but in my view if there is ambiguity, the nature of the situation is that the cop needs to err on the side of protecting the public, even those likely guilty of being sacks of shit, rather than on the side of their own safety.

There have been many, many cases of police shootings that need not have ended that way.  Here is but one example: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/10/21/police-shoot-kill-knife-wielding-teen-on-south-side/

The cops of course say "But you don't understand, knives are a huge threat, tasers don't always work, pepper spray doesn't always work" etc.

This is likely true. I don't doubt it is safer FOR THE COPS to shoot first and ask questions later.

But it seems to me that somebody who takes an oath to "Protect and Serve" should be more worried about killing a member of the public unnecessarily, than with being killed themselves.

Yes, alcohol and drugs make people do things they would not do normally.  That means the person they are killing is not the person they would be most of the time.  That is yet another reason to take every reasonable precaution that they don't wind up dead.

In Orlando, the cops waited 3 hours before entering.  Time will tell what the real reason is, possibly--or we may never know--but it seems likely that a concern for officer safety, over and above that of the people in the bar, was a factor.  You can hear the Officer in Charge saying "we're not going in there until we have better intel."  Meanwhile, the killing continued. Not one cop was hurt, but over 50 people lost their lives, and another 50 or more had their bodies permanently disfigured with what are no doubt some ugly wounds.

I am the first to admit I am glad I can call the cops if I need to.  I am not disparaging this.  What I am saying is that some soul searching is in order.  Priorities are off.

And I have some ideas on a solution.  I personally don't think anybody should be a cop more than 5 years; not a beat cop, at least.  I think we should fold being a cop into some sort of national service program, where people are trained to do the work, but only do one "tour".  Yes, obviously some careerists are needed for continuity, but I think most cities would benefit from a regular turn-over of police personnel, and a larger number of citizens trained in how to do it.

And as far as a national service program, consistent with my political views, I believe they should be run and organized by the States.  However, if we use the word "national" we need to involve the Federal government.  Here is my proposal: people who voluntarily commit to a service program of some sort (military service, search and rescue, firefighting, law enforcement, and perhaps some other areas I haven't thought of) get a permanent deduction on their Federal Taxes.  There is a line item "National Service Deduction", which is a percent or fixed amount: both would work.

This creates something truly national without coercion.  And with regard to Law Enforcement, we push out some of the cynical old bastards who teach their bad habits to all the new recruits.


Different scenario

Same shooter, same weapon: biker bar in Texas.

99

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Great meme


















I do think it would be useful to call Democrats, as they exist today, the Party of Cultural Incoherence.  Culture is the main barrier to violence, and where it is not present, animal instincts take its place.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The mark of unawareness

Stanislav Grof talks about what he calls the CoEx, or Condensed Experience, which one website defines as
'a specific constellation of memories (and related fantasies) from different life periods of the individual. The memories belonging to a particular COEX system have a similar basic theme or contain similar elements and are associated with a strong emotional charge of the same quality'. 
For my own purposes I have come to call this the Mark.  There is something which draws a line through my experience, which divides it.  Something was caged long ago, and it does not long to be free.  It does not understand the concept, yet.  There are the zones of Great Fear, and Known Fear.  There is a circle of dim light, and beyond it, the fully unknown.

It is only in the process of making this INTERESTING, of invoking curiosity, that it can be healed.  This is a gradual process, an elicitative (yes, spellcheck, I made it a damn word) process.

And what I see is that there is a primitive rough spot, on which some sorts of subsequent experience get "hung", or stuck.  They go one way rather than another way.  They go dark, rather than stay conscious.  This rough spot, this Mark, gives them that option.

The Mark lives in deep murky water, but for every emotion or primitive sensation--and this is a HUGELY interesting process, pulling up sensations you had as a child, at a primary process level--which emerges from this deep darkness, the water becomes more clear, and a bit of light enters.  At some point, it is clear, and you can see yourself as you truly are.

And perhaps the barrier--the great Opposition--becomes a gateway to something new and better.  I believe this.  I feel this.

I am slowly calming down.  This is a good thing.  A very good thing.

Utopianism and Evil

Cynicism and idealism are two sides of the same coin.  Cynics are not normal people who evolved that way, but tend rather to be frustrated idealists.  In both cases, they are not seeing the world as it is.  Both are errors, in their own way.

It seems to me a core problem Sybaritic (I am almost tempted to say Decadent) Leftists have is that they feel that life is supposed to be easy, that violence and horror are supposed to always be far away, and that some simple "fix" will make everything OK.  All it takes is a little policy tweak, some government program, and everything will be the way it was always supposed to be.

If, for example, we ban "AR-15's" (which is a stand in for every scary looking weapon, since the weapon used in Orlando was not an AR-15), then violence will cease.  At least, we will have "done something".  But if I first cut my finger trimming vegetables, then react by cutting it off entirely, that too meets the standard of "doing something".  Doing nothing is self evidently always better than doing the wrong thing.  Doing the right thing, of course, is better yet.  But the difference is one of perception, of wisdom, of discrimination between good and bad ideas, which are in continual circulation and competition.

Realists, among whom I would class myself (and of course the term is entirely dependent on the idea that these ideas are accurate, but defensible because it inherently involves a practical impulse which looks, always and carefully, to the RESULTS of different ideas, making it a world view capable of evolving positively), see that the history of humanity has been a long, hard struggles to emerge from the primordial ooze, that life has been filled with violence, poverty, disease, and injustice since before the beginning of history (which itself began as a record of war), and that what we have built is AMAZING, but perishable.  Everything good which has been built, at such great effort, can be destroyed, and destroyed quickly and almost entirely.

Thus people who recognize the value of what has been achieved must at the same time recognize all the many very human impulses which seek to destroy it, which have always sought to destroy it, and which have been countered and defeated only at great cost of life and human misery.

Evil is not some immanent and unknowable force "out there" (although it may be that too): it is, rather, the result of conscious policies, enacted by people with names and histories and addresses, who in most cases believe in what they are doing deeply, and who in almost all cases openly proclaim their intentions.  The Communists did.  The Nazis did. And the Islamists are.  They are saying: we want to conquer the world.  We want Europe to come under the yoke of Islamism and Sharia.  We want America to come under the yoke of Islamism and Sharia.

The reason Cultural Decadents refuse to see this is that admitting this would require altering a fundamental tenet of their universe, which is that people are supposed to be happy by nature, and that only small factors, only temporary and easily overcome misunderstandings, prevent this from happening.  This is myth, both in the sense of being false, but more importantly of being an organizing force in lives lived flippantly, sybaritically, and uncritically.

They resent those who intrude on their happy dreams with reports of violence and famine and death. And they blame those people, because it is EASY.  It is the indignation of an over-indulged child at the responsibilities of life.

Is it not much safer to blame conservatives for all violence in the world, than to try to understand the ACTUAL root causes, particularly if they lead to the need for hard decisions, for the choice of violence over ease, for moral ambiguity and the errors which attend all wars?

We are in a culture war, one in which one side chooses to deny human history, and the other to protect humanity from the very forces the first denies.  Islamism is but one of our enemies.  Globalists--which is say aspiring tyrants who view the final conquest of the planet Earth as possible in our lifetime--are another.  They in fact are the larger enemy, since they support the first.  It is no accident that so many radicals are being spread like leavening among the masses of Europeans.

I am watching two parallel narratives emerge from the same set of events.  They are radically disconnected.  They have NOTHING in common.  They arise from completely differing world views, completely different assumptions about the nature of life, of violence, of virtue, of duty, of history.

For those with eyes to see, this is a truly astonishing time.  I suppose in some ways, all times have been astonishing, but it really does seem we have reached a point where we really must accept and value and improve upon the progress we have made--the REAL progress, in the recognition of universal human rights, political and social pluralism, of respect for actual difference, of effective and free economic systems--or in the end lose all of it.  Both are possible.  One or the other, seemingly, will happen in the next 20-30 years, with the major turning points being reached much sooner.

The faces of fear

Calm--and the joy enabled by calm--are the opposite of fear.  Everything else is a mask.  Fear can wear every mask you can imagine.  It can wear the masks of love, of kindness, of generosity, of compassion, of courage, of honor, of decency.

I look around me, and most of what most people do all day every day is in large measure motivated by fear.  Soldiers charge into guns in no small measure because of fear: fear of shame, fear of dishonor, fear of censure, fear of failing in their own eyes and those of others.

Many good things arise because of fear.  Social order arises because of fear.  People stop at the red and go on the green because of fear--well founded fears of traffic accidents and tickets, but also fear of sticking out, of being different, of not following the rules, and of being known as a non-rule-follower.  In some countries people refuse to jaywalk even when it is the middle of the night and no one is around.  Why?  Fear.

Most of our automatic, reflexive behavior is based on fear.  Fear has survival value.  It keeps you alive.  And without it most social orders would collapse in short order.

But something beyond it is possible.  And the possibility of bringing that world into being begins with stating it is possible, with recognizing how we live, why we live the way we do, and contemplating how we can and should change.

Orlando shooting

People seem to be very upset about this shooting, and I suppose I should be too, but I'm not.  Pondering it, I think the reality I live in is very different from that of those who see this sort of violence as exceptional, or unexpected.

I was vastly more bothered by the murder of 19 Yazidi girls by ISIS last week, who were set on fire, and died a very unpleasant death, in a cage.  Most of them had likely been raped repeatedly beforehand.

It bothers me vastly more to know that Obama played an important role in the creation of ISIS, both by drawing down our Iraq troops much faster than planned, or recommended by senior commanders; and more importantly by providing arms and training to people who were even then obviously Islamic radicals when they were fighting Syria.  This bothers me a lot.  Our President, our Commander in Chief, more or less created the radical terrorist state so many Americans died to prevent, with all the death and destruction that entailed and continue to entail.  Even now, he is not allowing in honest refugees, preferring instead to let in countless thousands of Islamic persons, many of whom are absolutely without a doubt sympathetic to Islamism and mass murder.

What bothered me most when I saw this was that I knew my sense of reality would be assaulted for the umpteenth time.  That people would consciously and willfully lie to us about the reasons behind the shooting, the meaning of it, and what to do.  That they would try again to implement reductions in private gun ownership, to demonize gun owners and those who support them, and fail once again to recognize that the root problem is that we live in a violent world, one made more violent by the very people doing the talking.

Fast and Furious, plainly intended to support the gun confiscation agenda, caused the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans.  None of these psychopaths give a flying fuck.  And none of our fucking mass media wants to hold them accountable for it in the slightest.  On the contrary: they push their psychopathic agenda every fucking chance they get.

It is tiring, fighting for plain and obvious truths.  We live in a world where the mass of people can't remember what was on the fucking news two days ago, much less 5 years ago.  There is no need for "memory holes": all the media has to do is stop talking about something, and two weeks later nobody remembers it happened.

This is what I feel about this shooting.  And I hope that the gay community realizes that they are targets, and starts arming itself.  That remains legal.

Monday, June 13, 2016

What will be interesting to see

A military guy on my Facebook pointed out that if there are over 100 casualties, there must have been at least a hundred bullets shot.  This means the shooter had to reload a number of times.  This means there were chances for people to overwhelm him.

What I think we will find, if anyone tells this story, is that virtually everyone was so stricken by terror and incomprehension that they literally hid in corners waiting for him.


Leftist Discourse

Having spent so much time dealing with it, and now beginning slowly to step away from it, I felt today I have not put the right words on what I see when I deal with Leftists.  Their rhetoric is characterized by arrogance, violence, and emotional superficiality.

For them, outrage at conservatives is emotionally equal to compassion for the victims.  It isn't.  Those are two different things.  Anger is not compassion.  They are two different things.

I often feel like I am dealing with people who have renounced their humanity, their ability to recognize as fellow humans those who do not agree with them ideologically.

Arrogance, violence, emotional superficiality.  What personality profile do those remind me of?

Edit: you know, in family arguments, in somewhat healthy ones there comes a time where you mutually recognize that you are all in it together, and some calmness and forgiveness and regret enter the picture.  This never happens in the political realm.  It is pure obsession.

Too good not to share. Right on the money.


The Necessity of Disgust

I see people comparing Christians to Muslims, because there was that one time a Christian, acting alone, and plainly a bit crazy, attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic; and on the other there are thousands of centrally coordinated suicide attacks, bombings, and mass homicides committed by Muslims.  The two do not compare, not to any rational mind.  They exist on different scales.  The crimes are jaywalking versus rape and murder.

And it occurs to me that this is not really a rational decision.  It is possible to argue that if any crime originates in the category "Christians", it is possible to compare it to any crime which originates in the category "Muslim".  And if one crime equals another crime, then they are logically equal.  Quantities do not matter.  This is the emotionally detached approach.

But as I have argued--and I think most neurophysiologists would agree with me--you MUST involve instinct in the perceptual process, or you lose much of what makes us human, and indeed much of what allows our perceptions to be broader and more useful than those of animals.

I will invoke Jonathan Haidt, who I have followed a bit, and who has become in my view more useful.  His work is presently called "Moral Foundation Theory":

Moral foundations theory is a social psychological theory intended to explain the origins of and variation in human moral reasoning on the basis of innate, modular foundations. At present, the theory proposes six such foundations: Care, Fairness, Liberty, Loyalty, Authority, and Sanctity
Here is the part I wanted to focus on:

Various scholars have offered moral foundations theory as an explanation of differences among political progressives (liberals in the American sense),conservatives, and libertarians, and have suggested that it can explain variation in opinion on politically charged issues such as gay marriage and abortion. In particular, Haidt and fellow researchers have argued that progressives stress only two of the moral foundations (Care and Fairness) in their reasoning, and libertarians stress only two (Liberty and Fairness), while conservatives stress all six more equally.
What is missing from both the Libertarian and Leftist psychosocial approaches is Sanctity.  Sanctity is an instinctual attraction or repulsion, based upon certain in-built senses about what is right and wrong.  Some of it is clearly socially conditioned, but the process itself is instinctual.  Part of what makes us human is finding some things--the details will matter according to culture, but in my view the process should be universal--repugnant.

The essence of the Compassion Ideology is eliminating the sense of sanctity, which is to say the sense of moral repugnance.  Clearly, they keep hatred and anger, but these are reactions to their ideas about Ideological Others; they are not inbuilt and instinctual.  They have deconditioned these senses, such that whatever is natural is rejected.

As I noted several years ago, it is literally possible to measure differences in the automatic responses of leftists and conservatives to disgusting images.  This is a difference in conditioning, and it matters politically because it is one of the things which makes them so fucking stupid.

Edit: I will note as well that Donald Trump has a very robust sense of the disgusting.  It is one of his favorite words.  I doubt very much he hired PR people to study the rhetorical uses of Haidt's theory--that is one of the things Democrats do, and do well, and must do well, since their ideas are bad in nearly all cases--but that rather it comes to him instinctively.  People speak of political instincts.  Bill Clinton had them, Hillary does not.  Trump does, clearly.  [Bernie did not either, btw: his appeal is oriented around the childish need for endless Christmas's.  And he always struck me as someone who didn't brush his teeth enough and always had bad breath.]

And I will say that on contemplation, this is my issue with all the gay and trans issues.  I find those behaviors disgusting, particularly after looking at the Mapplethorpe exhibit some 25 years ago.  Some things I wish I could unsee.  I do. I am liberal enough to grant anyone the right to do what they want.  It's a free country, and that is enormously important to me.  I will fight for the right of those people to be free.  But don't ask me to suppress my feelings, to pretend they don't exist.  Don't tell me who and how I can be.  That, too, is an abrogation of my freedom, of my rights as the citizen of a free nation.  Live and let live has always been and continues to be a good policy.  

The core truth of propaganda

Politically, it doesn't matter in the slightest what IS true.  It only matters what is perceived as true.

Corollary: no political candidate gets any points in the public eye AT ALL, simply for being right.  This is an elaborate game, and the manipulation of appearance is an integral part of it.

Donald Trump, in my view, needs to be our next President because he is the only thing even approaching a conservative who has known how to play this game effectively since Reagan. If he does nothing other than speak obvious truths for 4-8 years, and deal with illegal immigration, it will be worth electing him.

And I suspect he will do a great deal more.  Lois Lerner and her cohorts have likely committed crimes within the statute of limitations as it will pertain in 2017.  Hillary will be prosecutable.  Many of the crimes committed by, and consciously excused by, the Obama Administration will be put under the microscope, and decisions made.  I don't doubt this for a moment.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Ideology of Compassion

I have not thought of it this way, but reading the resolute, determined, single-mindedness with which Leftists are refusing to call an act of Islamic terror and act of Islamic terror, it occurs to me that we might usefully speak not of compassion as a way of life, or an ideal, but an ideology.  And as with all ideologies, conformity to the Party line is vastly more important than real world outcomes or congruence between words and policies.

As an ideology, the Compassionistas--can I can them that?--insist that being nice is the summum bonum of human life, and to the point, of political life.  Their very human need for cruelty and exclusion is met by dehumanizing and hating conservatives, without whom, they suppose, there would be no hate, and no violence, and peace would reign.

But this is stupid.  To even call it well meaning is a disingenuous cop-out.  They do it because it is EASY.  Their world is one where they never have to make a hard choice.

In Miami, they will presumably blame guns--i.e. conservatives, aka, the few sane people remaining--"Islamophobia" (you know, the people afraid of spiders, the Arachnophobes, do have a point, too, that spiders can and do bite), and that "je ne c'est quoi" of what might be termed "vacuous reaching": "who knows why people are violent?  I am violent, you are violent."

In all this, there is ZERO determination to understand, to really GET, why this tragedy happened, and work in a conscious, disciplined, and consistent way to make sure it never happens again, or at least happens less, and that fewer people are affected.

If you are not an honest student of policy and history, you are not a good person, if you are in the fields where those are essential to getting things right.  You are an ideologue.

I was wondering too if we might define "ideologue" as "a belief system which does not realize it is a belief system".  Maybe.

Serotonin and Kindness

https://youtu.be/tcySGRYyuxYhttps://youtu.be/tcySGRYyuxY

This is interesting.  Apparently both kindness AND power stimulate serotonin production.  This is consistent with the two wills to power I described in my essay on Goodness.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Angela Merkel and the demise of Europe as we know it

It occurs to me that the importation--and this is the word, since most of these people are not refugees, and some of them were the ones committing the atrocities, both in Syria, and on the way to Europe--of enormous masses of Muslims is intended to provide a political base for the continuing aggregation of centralized power in Europe, and the continuing project of building a global government run by and for lunatics, at the expense of most of humanity.

Here is the thing: once they are there, they become a voting bloc.  When combined with the people who have been taught to loath themselves and welcome the odious if it happens to have another name, the patriots and people trying to yell FUCK NO will get overwhelmed in the voting booths.

The intent is to do something similar in America.  So many Latin Americans--mainly Mexicans, but some clever Central Americans likely make it here too, although the barriers are much higher, since the Mexicans police illegal immigration seriously--come here and are immediately put on public benefits that a GUARANTEED voting bloc is engineered within only a couple years, and, again, when combined with the useful idiots, they will be able to control public policy, and begin over some time horizon--certainly the next ten years--implementing UN initiatives intended to bring about global governance, again, by and for lunatics, and of an immiserated mass of humanity about whom they do not give a flying fuck.

This is not conspiracy theory, in my estimation, if by conspiracy theory I have to posit all sorts of secret agendas for which there is no evidence.  The agenda is plainly there.  I will post again a link I like on this topic: http://www.claremont.org/crb/article/all-the-leaves-are-brown/ (I'm so PROUD of you Google, for stopping your active suppression of it!!!)

And if you didn't know, the Bilderbergs are meeting this week.  Supposedly Frau Merkel will be there, but not "officially".  Maybe she will wear a hijab to smuggle herself in, or more likely dress as a man.  Maybe she will climb in secretly from the sewers, or parachute in at night.  Maybe she will just drive in in a limousine with blackened windows.  It's an ample security perimeter.

Anyway, this is a fun little infographic:
http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/06/04/bilderberg%20group_1.jpg

Obviously, there is nothing to see there.  It  is just most of the most powerful people in the Western world (I do wonder if the Asians are there in any numbers) meeting in secret and discussing long term policy.

Quotable me--aka Bon Mot

The past will be present until it becomes present.  Only then can it recede into the past.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Conservative Facebook

I read that most of the major social media platforms are unethical and unprincipled enough to consider free speech a problem worth addressing through censorship.  http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/263106/all-your-social-media-belong-eu-daniel-greenfield

Here is my thought: this will create a HUGE business opportunity for anybody who wants to duplicate those platforms--making whatever adjustments needed to avoid successful lawsuits--and guarantee to protect free speech of all kinds.

These are for-profit businesses.  Clearly, their long term aim is to enter into a fascistic and enmeshed relationship with an authoriarian government controlling most aspects of society, but they are not there yet.  They may never get there if we are smart.

It is an odd thing that the hippies like goose-stepping so much.  But they never believed anything anyway, so in that respect there is not much of a change.  A change of clothes and a shower was all that was needed to effect the transformation.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Disqus

I have been having a lot of comments disappear lately from Disqus-run comments sections, comments which were topical, non-abusive, and had no profanity.  Comments which should not have disappeared.  It occurs to me that I have no idea who runs that company, or what their political allegiances are.

The most effective use of propaganda is simply limiting who can speak, while allowing a lot of speech, such that it appears only the major ideas in play have any validity.  If you let A, B and C talk as much as they want, and encourage them to disagree mildly at times on unimportant topics, then nobody notices that D has been cut out entirely, and has a radically different, and vastly more accurate, worldview.

In a competition of ideas, the best ones win out.  But if the best ones don't get to play, they never have a chance.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Why Hillary?

As I ponder the practical reason businesspeople who are Republicans might support Hillary, it occurs to me the answer is simple: she is so buyable that Trump looks like an ideologue by comparison.  I would not put it past her to have generated literal lists with fees for services of various sorts.  One type of permit costs one amount (as a donation to the Clinton foundation, obviously), and a harder one more.

Everybody on both sides of the aisle knows how to work with people like that.  They get what they want as long as she gets what she wants, and the only people who don't win are the American people.  Nobody thinks about or gives a fuck about them.

One can almost hear Hillary ask: "why would I care about Mexicans taking American jobs?  I don't get it."  And she genuinely doesn't, and wouldn't.  She only cares about power and privilege.  What is right and wrong, what is good and bad for ordinary Americans LITERALLY does not cross her mind, ever.  She is simply not calibrated that way.

Trump, in contrast, is not exactly a working class hero, but he is capable of saying "wait a minute, these are good people, why are we fucking with their jobs?"  I think he actually likes people. He love the spotlight, but from what I read, he is quite cordial in private as well, whereas Hillary is a nagging bitch, by just about all accounts (and we will see a new one in a week or two from an ex-Secret Service agent).

Trump doesn't like the cross-border invasion because it isn't good for the American worker.  He has doubts about unlimited Islamic immigration, because, well, a third of them want to kill us.  That's a good reason, and one based on the fact that he gives a shit about the American people.

Most politicians in Washington have literally forgotten how to think about anything except in terms of political expediency.  We saw that said plainly in a recent memoir from a Democrat (but it could almost equally be a Republican) who was plainly suffering from a bad conscience.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Republican Quislings

Is it too early to use this term?  Fifth Columnists?

I was astonished that both Paul Ryan and Newt Gingrich objected to Trump's complaint that the judge in his Trump University case seems to have links to what amount to Hispanic nationalists.

If a black person were tried by 12 whites, few people would find fault with those who cried foul if the verdict was unfavorable.  Racial mixes have become a standard procedure, expected in all trials.

The reason Donald Trump is so popular that he is called anti-elitist (the synonym for "populist", another being "supported only by stupid people" when used by those same elitists, who in any other context would be happy to wrap themselves in the flag of "the People") is that he thinks like ordinary people.  He thinks like construction workers and military people.  If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a fucking duck.

A cop acquaintance of mine who worked Homicide for a long time in a large city said that in almost all cases the person who most obviously seems to have done it, did it.  Common sense.  It takes work and years of training to get beyond it.

Obviously, some things which seem to be "obviously" true aren't.  Teaching people to differentiate the two is supposedly the role education plays, and the reason the graduates of the dumb factories in Cambridge and New Haven are so arrogant.  But education in plain fact on balance actually makes people stupider in almost all practical matters.  This, again is one of the reasons I prefer spending my time with people in hard hats.  I can't stand imbeciles in ties driving expensive cars.  What "higher education" in the main does now--and I think this has long been true--is calcify instinct such that it no longer operates.  The world becomes abstract, and abstractions leave few clues, since they have no textures.  A large section of our perceptual apparatus has gone off-line.

You need instinct to think clearly.  The fact is it never disappears, but can be trained to be reliably wrong, such that every first impulse routes first to the correct place, then an automatic subroutine routes it to the opposite place, all without conscious awareness.

Orwell was clear that the abuse of language must precede all actual abuses.  This is the main reason I am such a big Trump supporter.  We are literally fighting for the ability to speak obvious and needed truths in the public domain.  The whole POINT of free speech is diversity of opinion, which is intended to, and usually does, diagnose over time major problems, and point out solutions.

But if you can't speak the truth, there is no limit to the number of festering sores which can become chronic just under the surface of the public discourse.  I am wondering if what will become Pravda is already in publication.  No, actually I'm not.  Pravda is already in publication, under the headings of numerous alleged news organizations, all of whom vie to lie most effectively.

In my view, the very existence of poor ghettos--and in this country almost everything comes back to race, so I want to continue to be clear I view the Social Justice Warriors as the most racist people operating in America today--is a symptom of the failure of diversity of discourse.  The right solutions cannot get proposed among the people most concerned with implementing them, because powerful special interests--like teachers unions, like Democrat politicians--oppose them, and cover themselves in the cloak of opposing racism and thus wind up supporting and continuing the policies which have already proven so damaging.

This campaign year has been quite illuminating.  If anyone is wondering why the Left has been so successful, it's because large numbers of Republicans have grown accustomed to saying "I know, I know" in response to their propaganda.

Boundaries

The psychological importance of firm and clear boundaries, of setting boundaries with others, with having rules that you yourself live by and value, is quite firmly established.  It is impossible to "be" a generous or kind or compassionate person if you are not a person at all, if you move every time someone pushes, and if you stand for nothing.

Likewise, it is a hallmark of unhealthy emotional adaptation to demand that others conform to your sense of the way things should be.  Self evidently, balancing these needs is a principal social and psychological task of people living in genuinely Liberal orders.

This is difficult work.  The people who are continually repeating the indefensible slander that Donald Trump is a racist are effectively doing so in the name of what might be termed "boundary-lessness".  They refuse to consider that whites, in particular, have the same right to their culture that cultural Hispanics do to theirs; and more particularly that the United States has both the right and duty to enforce its literal boundaries to protect its identity as a sovereign nation governed by the rule of law.

I consider as friends a number of people who would self identify as Liberal, who no doubt are puzzled by my simultaneous ability to express concrete compassion and empathy as one individual relating to another, but to also embrace ideas which get called, propagandistically, "hateful".

In my view it is both natural and desirable that we look at American history dispassionately, with an eye both to granting it what is uniquely good, and without lying about what was and in some respects still is bad.  The willingness to do this is in important respects one of our most distinguishing features. Most nations do not do this.  Most nations do not tell the truth.  The Soviets--who were the original authors of most anti-Americanism, certainly never did.

What is not natural is to apologize for your success, for your virtue, for everything that makes you, and our society, good.  Psychologically healthy tolerance cannot extend so far that it accepts the contempt of people for who you are and what you believe.  You can grant people a hearing, but you need not accept their own self centered verdicts.

These are plain and obvious words, but they need to be spoken.  Everything good in Europe is under attack.  And the United States is only a few short years behind them.

I readily admit that becoming psychologically individuated is a difficult task.  But maturity is necessary for freedom.  Anyone indulging childishness, or tolerating unwarranted abuse for any reason, is inherently working for tyranny.  There is no other way to look at it, in my considered view.

Bach and the French Revolution

I am going to give you a stream of consciousness.  Today I was making myself a green shake for breakfast--or 1st breakfast anyway (small handful parsley, half a lemon, third each of a cucumber and avocado, half a Granny Smith apple, 1/2" slice of ginger, 2 leaves romaine lettuce, and one cup coconut water kefir)--and thought I'd listen to some Bach organ music.

The second selection on Spotify is the one that makes everyone associate horror with organ music: Toccato and Fugue in D minor .  I had not known the name of this piece, nor was I even clear it was Bach, although of course that was always a good guess.

Then I wondered why it goes with horror so much, and figured it must be the Phantom of the Opera, and this brought images to mind of the revolutions of the late 18th and 19th century in France.

And I looked at both sides in my mind, and I could find value in both views.  The Royalists--the true reactionaries and thus "rightists"--no doubt felt that their social order, whatever its flaws, was vastly better than chaos and mass death, the possibility of which was quite obvious after Robepierre's Terror, but of course which was latent in the air long before.  Such people would be either Christians, or people who used Christianity to pursue personal power goals which were rational at least within their own world views, meaning that they pursued intelligently some concrete goal.

The people opposing them were also rational, in that the system was plainly rigged, geared for the pleasure and well being of an elite at the expense of a mass of people who were poor, insecure, and held in contempt for their very place of birth, and birth parents.  Since there were no elections (for varying lengths of time throughout this era), violent uprising seemed the only possible solution.

On both sides of the barricades one could find reasonable people who were able to explain what they wanted and why. I've never really put it this way to myself, but it makes sense.  The conflict was rational, even if we now would have a much harder time sympathizing with aristocrats than aspiring republicans.

But I look at today, and wonder "what are these fools rebelling against?"  The revolutions of the past two centuries have bought, in America at least, all the advantages and possibilities that any reasonable person could demand.  And all the efforts to overturn and break it--the actions called for by Bernie and his fellow pinkos (we can and should bring that word back)--will only damage beyond repair something which is WORKING.

Venezuela WAS working.  Argentina WAS working.  Europe, for now, is working, but it is not trending in the direction of continuing that way much longer.

Our age is one of lunacy.  People fail to value what is important, and pursue relentlessly idiotic dreams consisting in pipe smoke.

Blessings

Imagine waking up every day feeling "something good will happen today that has never happened before".  Imagine feeling this, even though you know this day, like every day, will have its frustrations, its embarrassments, its anxieties.

It popped in my head the other day, waiting in line at the grocery store, that "the love of life is the beginning of wisdom".

Ponder for a moment the cultural significance of the Christian admonition to hold this life in contempt, to risk all now, for a better life to come.  William James has convinced me, in some of the stories he relates in "Varieties of Religious Experience" that some people genuinely do become filled with light, but those people become happy NOW as a result.  They become good people, pleasant people, loving people.

But I feel many, many people use religion to hide from life, and that their "devotions" make them mean and even cruel.  It may seem odd that so many Catholic priests are pedophiles--obviously as a pedophile anything that gets you close to children works--but it seems to me they already live in a world of abstraction, one made concrete for them by their crimes.  Abstraction is the realm of the traumatized, and no one commits acts of willful cruelty who has not themselves in some way been pushed out of their natural bodies and selves.

The love of life, though, becomes naturally the love of others--and starts with love of one's self--and love itself is the essence of wisdom, or so I believe.

I was discussing the other day with my youngest a story related by Jean Houston about meeting Helen Keller.  She was struck by how radiantly joyous she was.  My youngest, naturally, said that it would be great to be really happy, but she would hate to be blind and deaf.

I pondered it for a moment, and said that maybe there is another sense, one which seeks out happiness, and that most of us are blind in that direction, but Helen Keller was not.

We both thought this was deep, and I share it with you.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The past 100 years

Since at least the French Revolution, and in earnest since at least Woodrow Wilson and the rise of the Bolsheviks, the forces of collectivism--which is to say anti-individualistic forces which reject tacitly or explicitly the primacy of the individual conscience and personal agency--have been on the move.  They are supported strongly by the meaninglessness which arises naturally and spontaneously from the theory and practice of Scientism, which view human life as short, that of an animal, unfree, and ended with the cessation of brain activity.

William F. Buckley famously said that his goal was to stand athwart History and yell STOP.  All that conservatives--sane people in an insane world--have managed to do is slow the process of the installation of a new priesthood, a new Pharaohism, one ruling in the name of science, and through the delusion that human beings are objects, society a knowable machine, and manipulation of the objects the goal of the All Knowing.

The very process of inculcating the ideas necessary for submission to this practice makes life meaningless.  None of us are anything, in the eyes of the State.  We are numbers.  Autonomous machines, which it will one day be possible, and is certainly necessary, to control.

I continue writing and hoping that one day this powerful spell will pass, that this hypnotic delusion will fall away, and something like honest science with respect to the nature of life, of consciousness, of God, of the survival of death, will emerge.

Everything we do is only delay.  Until there is a general awakening to the horrors which have been and may yet again be unleashed on humanity in the name of "progress" all any of us are doing is treading water, and buying time.

I honestly do not know what it is possible to do to counter the headless ones, as I call them.  They have surrendered their humanity, their reason, their agency, their very souls.  How do they win them back?  What is the opposite of this process, and how does it begin?  I ask myself these questions continually, and the only answer that comes to me is to try to live my own life authentically, and to speak the truth as I see it as often as I can.  That is all that is left me.  There seems no chance it could be enough, but we all need to do what we can, where we are, with what we have, and hope that some day the right spark will be kindled in the right place.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Leaving Trauma

Traumatic memories are like a room where you always go when you are quiet.  You can't not go there.  You can't not remember, even if the remembering has so many protective layers that you can't even see what is under them.

But one day you may find yourself packing your bags, and realizing it is time to leave.  You may wonder why it took so long; more likely you will wonder how you were able to find the door at all.

And the memories are powerful.  They are of LIFE.  Whatever suffering there was, it was real.  It was authentic.  It involved the gut, the inner animal, the wide awake, the resilient.

I GET, I think, veterans whose task is made harder by the other people in the room with them, especially those they left on the battlefield oh so long ago.  Leaving is hard enough: leaving someone behind makes it exponentially harder.  This is called traumatic grief, or survivor's guilt, but I'm not entirely sure that is the best way to put it.  I think fidelity to the person becomes entwined with fidelity to the grief and pain.

And the solution, I think, is to see those people not in your past, but your future.  Time is a circle.  They are not dead.  In some respects, this is all a giant game, made far too serious because we don't know the rules.

Here is a good song for leaving: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk2SNcpTNbs#!  32:05 is where it starts.

The Purpose of Life

is to develop the capacity for deep relaxation.  This is the first purpose, at any rate.  All true virtue arises non-compulsively, and absent the capacity for relaxation, nothing ever arises spontaneously.  Only programming.  Only effort, obsession, conformity, and spiritual mediocrity.

Laying in bed this morning it popped in my head that the capacity to relax--really, to feed oneself, to recover from efforts large and small--means that you are neither hurting inside, nor hurting others.

I feel that all wounds are simultaneously aggressions.  All hurt carried inside is nascent or potential violence on the outside.  It is a seed with two paths of growth.  Ahimsa is only possible with complete individual healing.  Deep relationships with others are only possible when one can calmly know oneself.  Before you can sense yourself in your body, before you can embody your awareness, you are an abstraction to yourself, which in turn means all other people are also abstractions to some extent.  They are there because they are needed, rarely because they are valued for who they are intrinsically.

The question "Who am I?" can never be honestly answered with words, or absent an awareness of body, breath, and emotions (I am here repeating in my own words a Kum Nye teaching, or my understanding of it, at any rate.)

Likewise, any answer to the "meaning of life" which starts as an abstraction is doomed to final failure, since the answer can only be found in a felt sense, and thus exists at a level outside of the possibility of sharing, of discussion, of writing, of the intellect.

I am having some good Kum Nye sessions lately.  It is really a very interesting process, which over time amounts to an inventory and processing of the past, as embodied in the present.  Things come up, are allowed, are expanded, are accepted, and slowly diminish.

The path of relaxing--and Kum Nye could easily be called the yoga of inner relaxation--is interesting too in that it consists not in adding, but subtracting, at least at my stage.  I will notice one day that, as an example, my stomach is not tied up in knots as much as it used to be.  Things that used to set me off don't any more.  I am more free of obsessive thinking and worry.

At some point you wonder what do you do when all your constant companions are gone.  They have never been my friends, but they have been known.

Time will tell.  There are right and wrong ways to do things, and the right way here is to keep going no matter what.  I will see soon enough what is over the next hill.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Economic Liberalization index

Other than that psychopaths control most of our universities, the entirety of the Democrat Party and large segments of the Republican Party, why could we not use as a political tool a global ranking of nations by how Liberal they are economically--sound currency (oh, and by the way, END the IMF and World Bank), property rights, free markets--and use this as a political tool to pressure the oppressive, stupid ones?  Why not start checking nations off, or moving them up, as they improve? 

Why not take the poverty of most of the world as seriously as the jackasses in the dumb factories in New Haven and Cambridge and elsewhere claim they have been taking it all these many, many, long years?

You know, do what they say they've been doing, but for real this time.

Why not? 

The reverse of Empire

The Roman Empire was built gradually.  They first conquered themselves some Lebensraum, and sat down to dinner.  Then their neighbors rudely intruded.  So they conquered them, "civilized" them, made them wealthier and more advanced than they were, then sat down to dinner again.  Again, rudeness.  More conquering.  More wealth and aquaduct and road and bath building.  Dinner.  Rudeness.  Legions and flags, wine cultivation, dinner, rudeness, etc.  Eventually dinner started to be sat down to in different languages, and started consisting in somewhat different food.  Dinner had to be served in Constantinople for a thousand years or so.

We live in a world peopled by similar barbarians.  In the post-Industrial West--I won't say East since this is not a problem in Japan or Korea--there are vast disparities in standards of living.  This causes people to invade.  In the old days, we would invade back, spank them, school them, and add them to the boundaries of the Empire.  Eventually, in the Roman model, they would out-Roman us as we got decadent, and have to let them in.

In our modern world, though, it is scarcely cause for wonder that so many Mexicans (and Central Americans, but the Mexicans very aggressively prevent citizens of other nations from transiting Mexico to get here) want to be in America, and so many people from the Middle East and South Asia want to be in Europe.

What is the solution?  Has anybody proposed global prosperity?  Can we not put that on the table?  Peter Bauer and others very accurately diagnosed the causes of developmental failure, and they have nothing to do with us, other than that the things we do to help usually make things worse, sometimes much worse.

In Mexico and much of Latin America you have grotesque and long term economic disparities.  The ruling elites run in families, and those families like their power and privilege.  They don't like working for a living, and somebody has to, so the poor stay poor, and they have large villas with fountains, gates, and heavily armed guards.  Part of the reason the rulers of Mexico seemingly LIKE having people tell them Mexico sucks and we are getting the hell out of here, is that chronic poverty with no safety valve might easily lead to a justified uprising.  And in the modern era, the bullets would be televised.

But if we were able to end apartheid in South Africa, why would we not be able to put pressure on the oligarchies of Latin America?  Why could we not put pressure on the Middle East to get out of the 7th century?

The simple fact is that if you put too many people on a boat, it collapses.  We saw that in the Mediterranean.  And national economies are no different.  Too many piglets sucking at the teats and momma dies or dries up.  That is the way the world works.  That is the way the world has always worked.  Anyone trying to claim otherwise is stupid or selling something.

In all affairs of life clear thinking helps.  The task is not to get attention focused away from the problem, but to SOLVE the problem.  Most Mexicans don't want to live here.  They want to live in Mexico.  This is obvious because so many of them thought to bring Mexican flags with them.  If they wanted to live in the United States, they would wave American flags like proud immigrants always have.

So over the coming decades, if we don't have a nuclear "workplace violence" (Iran, North Korea) incident, if the robots don't take over, if we don't have a plague which kills all of us, then we need to focus on global development using INTELLIGENT strategies, like microloans on the model of Kiva.  We could have national Kiva "adopt a country" months.  We can use economic pressure to support liberalization.

And we can expand the idea of local control.  We can reverse empire.  What the Romans spread was a system of law, of discipline, of science.  Those are available everywhere now.  There is nothing that could be gained through colonialism that has not been exported.  Most of Africa now at least mouths support for self rule and democracy.  Most of the world has at least been exposed to the idea of the toleration of difference, and the importance of equality before the law.  The Muslims of course reject this idea, but all we need to do with them is stop kowtowing, and start asking them to act like civilized human beings.  Many of them will respond to this idea.  The radicals are mainly responding, now, to craven weakness, and the very real possibility that Europe will simply lay down and say Allahu Akbar.

All of our problems can be solved, solved peacefully--or largely peacefully, and where violence is necessary, we are well positioned to deliver it--and solved finally.

I really don't know why more people don't talk like I do.  So many of our leading intellectuals simply want to give up, to give in.  They are cowards.  But most of us are not. It is simply the case that the people who do most of the talking have never done anything in their lives.  Nor do they plan to start, ever.  That's what the proles are for.

Natural versus artificial hierarchy

According to Robin Dunbar most of us can only handle knowing about 150 people.  I suspect many of us are in active relation with a much smaller number than that.

In reading history, much of it consists in one social grouping seizing control over some larger set of groupings.  Families dominate history in many parts of the world.

To take a largely random but still relevant example, Iraq has never really been a nation.  It has been a conglomeration of tribes and clans and families which were contained within borders set, if memory serves, by the British.  Much of the Middle East is like this.

Saddam Hussein took very good care of his tribe and people, and more or less wanted everyone else just to be loyal to him as the national leader.  In the course of time, it may have happened that he was overthrown by some other group and their leader, which punished his group, and again took care of their own.

Nation states are historically and likely evolutionarily unnatural.  We are meant to live in much smaller groupings, and within those groupings, it has often been the case that the leader who emerged--or leaders--were welcome and valued. 

Two movies I have used often as examples of the romantic sense of the past and the possibilities of the future which the Socialists have tried to seize mythically are "The Last Samuri" and "Dances with wolves".  In both cases, 19th century refugees from large, impersonal military orders found themselves belonging in a more primitive, more natural, more comfortable, more abundant social groupings.  These groupings were small enough that everyone knew everyone, and felt personal allegiance both to their tribe and its leaders.  They knew them.  They trusted them.

And self evidently the physical lives were more "primitive", which no doubt fed the sense of romance, but this obscures what to me is the more important notion of belonging, of personal loyalty to people you know.

I was watching a Ted talk by Sebastian Junger a few days ago where he was arguing that a big part of what we call PTSD is really a social maladjustment to being back in a world without loyalty, where not much is won or lost (at such a cost, to quite Jaggers/Richards), where they feel they don't BELONG.

Fascist leaders--and I include all Communist dictators in this designation--draw upon this need for order, for belonging, for loyalty, but given the size of the enterprises, true belonging is not possible.  What is found instead is a mental and physical slavery justified by the "greater good", an abstraction which acquires meaning only because of the overall sense of meaninglessness, of pointlessness. 

Both Hitler and Lenin's coups and reigns were preceded by social decay and dislocation.

We need to be much smaller.  This is my vision for the future.  And it does not need to be in conditions of much lower population.  We simply need more local control, more freedom, and less coercion, mind control, and thoughtlessness.

Lumosity

Much of our psychological apparatus is oriented around impulse control and expression.  Being me, I have noticed some part of me resisting when I play my Lumosity games.  I will know what to do, but some part of me will resist.  I find this interesting.  Much of the task of psychological growth is finding, naming and exploring limits.  I take information wherever it presents itself.

All those posts were a bit of emotional house-cleaning for me, and although I caught myself sabotaging myself once, mostly it went well.  I'm now in the 98.8th percentile for my age group, and 99 is now close at hand.  A bit more physical conditioning, and a bit more house-clearing, and I am there.

I will say too that it has been a long time since I could call myself depressed.  What I realize now is that many unconscious forces were sucking away my psychic energy, and the net result was a slowness and dullness that manifested as what gets called depression.  Life was just hard.  Things are getting much, much easier.

I still have many miles to go, but progress is being made.

Lateral Hierarchies

I think I have arrived at my original post. I would like to assert that human beings have an instinctual need both for tribal groupings, and to exist within some sort of relative power structure.

I would like to assert that the ideal of Socialism works psychologically to meet the deep mythic need for belonging, but this is a false God.  It works to alienate people from one another, from their true emotional and instinctual needs, and makes life uglier, baser, less worthwhile, and ultimately the people in such societies more self destructive, lethargic, disempowered, and detached.

Witness what is happening among the beautiful people of northern Europe.  They are importing savages in large numbers who are raping them, robbing them, and shitting--sometimes literally--on everything they touch with impunity.  And in places like Germany and Sweden they are blaming THEMSELVES.  I was reading an interview with, I believe, a Norwegian man who was anally raped, and he said he felt sympathy for the poor beast who did that to him.  This was his version of virtue, of compassion.

And what is obvious to me is that THIS IS ALL HE HAS.  This is what constitutes virtue for these people.  The ability to set boundaries, to ask other people to exist within them, has been collapsed in his society.  The possibility of individual assertion is disappearing radically.  All they have is "everything is equal to everything, and if you disagree you are no longer a member of our social order".  Such an "order" is not an order at all.  It is a system in the throes of internal collapse.

One must suspect that on some level these people, who have achieved an astonishing comfort in their lives, an astonishing security and following complacency, WANT to be conquered and dominated.  Their egalitarianism has failed them.  It is not a moral creed at all.  It is the ABSENCE of a moral creed.  It is the ABSENCE of a tribe, of a community, of genuine peers, of belonging.  When you have nothing, it is tempting to want something, and the Muslims are only too happy to offer that.  Submit or die is a simple enough proposition.

When you take an impulse like the need for hierarchy, and divorce it from its local contexts. the same instincts come to the fore in unannounced, invisible ways.  They come to the fore in dreams of a global dominion, of a global order of power. Many of the best minds of the 20th Century spent their lives in the service of impulses eminently familiar to chimpanzees in the jungle.

The Soviet Union was a chimpanzee project. So was Maoist China.  So is Cuba.  So is Venezuela. They are papered over with lies, of course, but the underlying psychopathology screams for recognition and explanation.

So if I am right, what do we do?  This was the most important point I wanted to make.  The issue is simple: everything must be local.  We see this recognition, too, across our culture.  People are not stupid. They adapt to forces they don't understand in ways which are natural to them, if they are allowed to, if more powerful primates do not stop them.

"Keep Austin Weird"--and its many off-shoots--stems from this.  In a world of mass media, of virtually instantaneous travel, and literally instantaneous communication, one must feel different somehow.  One must feel I am this and not that, one of us and not them.

One cannot be a member of an abstract order and get ones emotional needs met.  There have to be concrete people, that you can name, that you recognize on the street, with whom you have some sort of relationship.

And the whole benefit of truly Liberal society is that there can be COUNTLESS simultaneous orders.  There can be countless power relationships which work to meet this need.  Somebody is in charge at the local Kiwanis Club, and the Rotary.  Somebody runs the Chess club, and the beer drinking society.  Or if nobody feels a need to have a boss, then that is fine too.  That expresses a reduced need for power.

It seems to me that the more powerfully individuated a person is--and I would say that this is a function of a person's relationship to that Spirit which pervades everything--the less control their instincts have, the less animal-like they are, the less need they have to belong to a hierarchy.

The goal of human equality is an enlightened goal.  But it can only be met by people who are capable of assuming the mantle of personal power, of truly and deeply being who they are--not someone's robot, not a hypnotized drone, but a real human being.

The task of the spiritual is both that of eliminating the need for other people, to be who you are, and the elimination of the impulse to shape other people to be more like you.  We are all CREATED different.  And what creates savor in life--true savor--is in seeing and appreciating these differences.

Everything in our public domain is corrupted, or nearly all of it. We see "diversity" called out as a virtue everywhere, but how different are these people really?  I can predict the beliefs of most people on most topics given a small smattering of information.  Not invariably, of course, but I think we all must admit that very few people do their own thinking.  They repeat what they have been told as their own ideas, in the same way the recipient of a post-hypnotic suggestion repeats the behavior they had implanted.

We have relationships with Big Brother in the media.  Large figures on the glowing shrines in our homes act as if they care.  Tens of millions of Americans thought Obama cared about them.

But this is not a relationship.  For many, it is all they have, but it is not enough.  That is why so many of us are depressed, why so many are turning to heroin, why I read yesterday Raves are making a come-back.

Our culture does not meet our needs, but people feel powerless to create something new.

And this is the root attraction of the Left, of Socialism, of Bernie "I pissed off the people in my Commune because I always talked and never worked" Sanders.  It feels like an alternative.  The rhetoric is hopeful.  It seems to promise a brighter future (as of course did Bolshevism, which drew a lot of energy from the "Futurists").

But this tribe is an abstraction.  It requires a firm commitment to believe whatever you are told to believe, to be emotional about the things you are supposed to be emotional about, and to ignore the many sins of the Party Elders.

The worst punishment is excommunication.  For the millions of True Believers to be cast out of the tribe would be a death, and this they seek to avoid at all costs.  To stay in the tribe they reject the use of individuated reason.  They reject debate.  They repeat what they are told to repeat and call it their own.

But people need difference to survive, and their tribe consists wholly in conformity.  Yes, they mark themselves outwardly with tattoos, or oddities, or sexual peculiarities (as if such a thing still existed), but at root they think they same.  Their views on dozens of topics can reliably be predicted.  They are not diverse in the slightest.  The men who founded our nation were vastly more diverse, despite being all white, all men, and all (at least relatively) rich.

Diversity is on the inside, not the outside.  That is why I personally have never marked myself outwardly in any way, and continue to look like a dumb construction worker.

Here is the thing though: I have long argued that the hate directed at conservatives is the result of agitprop oriented around group solidarity.  It is that, clearly.

But I also now realize that they have an emotional need to believe that there is an outside to their inside, that their "compassion" is different from the hate which other people must feel.

They need to believe that hate is an active force in the world, for their mission--and thus sense of self--to make any sense at all.

Thus, much of their hate is not the result of what they have been told, but what they must psychologically ASSUME of those who oppose them.  They feel, for conservatives, what most of us would feel with respect to the KKK.  They think they understand us, because they have a NEED to think this.  A true mutual understanding would expose them to the needed knowledge that they have renounced their identities for nothing, that everything they stand for is marching towards tyranny, evil, and the eradication of freedom.

OK.  That was what I needed to say.

On a personal psychodynamic note, I will add that part of my passion for all this stems from a recurring sense that the world is moving in the direction of the pathology of my family of origin, where nothing was ever what it seemed, where everyone was angry all the time but wouldn't admit it, where ego boundaries were confused and under constant attack, and where true lasting happiness was absolutely impossible.

I do not want that for me, for my children, or for any human being.  It is impossible to know where the point of no return is, but one can and should fight for what one believes as long as one can.  That is my personal creed, and I think it is a good one.  You never know when one last effort, one unexpected miracle, some unexpected intercession of Grace, might make all the difference.

The need for destruction

Somebody posted on my Facebook today about how some Muslim, I think in Canada, said that some women like being beaten.  One respondent agreed, and my immediate reaction was to reject this idea.

Then I got thinking about it.  What is 50 Shades of Grey (gray?) but a chronicle of one mans quest to secure a woman's permission to beat her?  It is impossible to listen to women's stories about their problems with men and not think at some point that some part of them LIKES abuse.  I have listened to countless stories over the years.  Thousands of hours.  As I say from time to time, I am a good listener.

Now, we are supposed on the one hand to decry men who beat their women, but on the other to support those same women when they want to be tied up and hit, controlled and abused.  I don't know what to make of this.  The abuse of women is likely as old as humanity, and we assume that it serves no purpose, that no sane woman would seek it out, but then you have the sales for 50 Shades.

One woman I was talking to who had read it 2-3 times, who obviously related to it in important ways, said that she liked how Christian (can this name be a mistake?) would give the girl unlimited funds to go shopping, and then when he would abuse her, she had his undivided, complete attention.  This was what she liked: how much attention he lavished on her.  This was her fantasy: to be the absolute center of attention, to be his whole world for a time.  It was not about the pain, but his focus on her.

Now, I don't know if he was serious or not, but one of the respondents to the post I mentioned at the top said that in his travels through Africa a common editorial question from women was "how do I know my man loves me if he doesn't beat me?"  Obviously, men run the papers in a lot of these countries, and this is no doubt a question they would love in the public domain, but is it impossible that this was something on women's minds?  I introduce, again, the sales of 50 Shades.  100 million copies.  A movie.  The series is on par with Harry Potter and Twilight, with virtually all sales made to women, and the author a woman.

Again, all this relates to the idea of hierarchy, dominance and submission.  All of these posts started as another post I still haven't gotten to, but will at some point.  Do women need to feel their man is in charge, and is this need driven from instinct? Is Feminism in some respects angry and aggressive not because this is false, but precisely because it is TRUE?

Are things like BDSM emerging into the public domain precisely because egalitarianism, the ethic that everyone is equal to everyone, is unnatural?  Clearly, historically, all attempted egalitarian projects have ended in radical inequalities.  Did human nature simply take over?  Is this one idea we can and should add to the mix?  Do we simply displace one inequality with another?  Is this need always satisfied over some time horizon, in some way, and simply changed from blatant to obscure?  Are our true motives occulted in self delusion and deception?

Can we see in rising interest in Satanism not just emotionally clouded reactions to religious hypocrisy-and of course the equally emotionally clouded desire to attack religion itself--but also a powerful symbol of inequality itself?  Is Satan not a powerful symbol of power--of dominance and submission--itself?  Does this interest meet the need which is thwarted by our daylight preoccupations, with our allegedly innocent and dispassionate concerns for erasing power relationships?  I think so.

And for what are we erasing them?  What is the purpose of life which is best served by this obsession?  What do the people in an absolutely equal industrial/post-industrial society do all day?  What passions stir them?  Who are they when they are alone?  What fills their minds?  What constitutes beauty, and how can beauty exist when the concept of ugliness has been destroyed?

Children of Men

On another tangent, I was pondering the movie "The Children of Men", which I think I can safely assume was intended as a "socialist" critique of emerging patterns in British society of reaction to the unlimited importation by the Labor Party of a reliable voting bloc which rejects British society.  We are shown in that movie Fascist abuses of good people, of concentration camps of the sort we are told Trump wants to build (which is of course pure propaganda, since he has not even hinted at anything of the sort), and a vast divide between the Haves and the Have Nots.  Clive Owen 's brother, I think it was, in the movie, lives in this enormous mansion overlooking the Thames, and has put up Picasso's Guernica and Michaelangelo's David in his large flat or mansion, all while protected by walls, and armies of police. The people are left to fight with one another over scraps.

Is this not an accurate picture of Maduro's Venezuela as it exists today?  Do you not think there are secure areas, guarded by hordes of well paid police?  Do you not think there are even today pockets of vast wealth, all connected to and controlled by the government, which was installed, supposedly, precisely to eliminate such unearned wealth?

As things are trending now in Britain, it appears that the power elite are quite willing to countenance, if they can control, an Islamic take-over of the entire nation.  They don't care about the ordinary British people.  They do not care about ordinary decency.  They do not care about what is fair, or right, or good.  Their self loathing, which informs their policy, does not extend far enough to share in the burdens and travails they nonetheless intend to inflict, through inaction, through delay, through obfuscation and lies, on the proletarians they allegedly care about.

Hierarchy and the police

Here is an interesting piece of research, from "The Body keeps the Score" by Bessel van Kolk (Page 33-34).
". . .dominant male monkeys had a much higher levels of brain serotonin than lower-ranking animals, but that their serotonin levels dropped once they were prevented from maintaining eye contact with the monkeys they had once lorded over.  In contrast, low-ranking monkeys who were given serotonin supplements emerged from the pack to assume leadership.  The social environment interacts with brain chemistry.  Manipulating a monkey into a lower position in the dominance hierarchy made his serotonin drop, while chemically enhancing serotonin elevated the rank of former subordinates.
There are a number of things that have occurred to me in connection with this.  I don't remember half the ideas that float through my head, but I will pass along those that I recall.

First, it seems to me that we need to ponder the relationship of the police to black people in black ghettos from a position of dominance and power.  The police are like a super-gang: they dress alike, they act alike, they use the same words, observe the same culture, and back each other up no matter what, come thick and thin, and show loyalty to their own even when they know they are in the wrong.

It is of course as wrong to accuse all police of being criminals as it is to assume all of them are innocent.  My own experience, having worked for 3 years in a police department in college, having shared a locker room with cops, having attended their line-ups more times than I can count, and having shared a radio frequency with them for a thousand hours or more, is that most departments have a few bad apples, everyone knows who they are, and they tend to get away with what they get away with for long periods of time, if they don't take it so far they force others to act.  If they are honest, I think most cops would admit this.

And on "the street" the whole game of being a cop is being dominant.  In most times and places, but particularly in rough neighborhoods, they are always at risk of being outnumbered and overwhelmed.  This is the root cause of being more aggressive than needed.

But if power is a literal drug, if you get a literal hit of serotonin every time you yank somebody's chain, that can get addictive.  I think in most poor neighborhoods a lot of cops can justify acting arrogantly and with using force often.  And arresting someone is the most obvious use of force.  All sorts of laws seem to get enforced more in the places where the police spend more time, because there is more crime of all sorts.

And here is the question I would raise: what is the psychological cost of getting arrested?  What does it say to you as a person when your hands are cuffed behind your back, and you are locked in a cell, for any reason?  Blacks get arrested at very high rates for things like marijuana possession, petty theft, public drunkenness, etc. Does not every arrest breed some bitterness?  Is not every arrest, in its own way, a crime too?  You have more or less kidnapped someone and held them against their will.  Is this not directly disempowering?

I think in discussing the violence in the ghetto this is an often-overlooked factor.  Over and above police abuse of force, what about simple legal use of force?  When people say the so-called War on Drugs is a war on blacks by proxy, I cannot disagree with this notion.  The people at the bottom of the food chain will logically have the lowest serotonin levels, and thus the highest need to get high.  It is one of the tragic ironies of life--and this world is filled with this sort of thing--that the people with the most need to escape their reality are punished the most for it.  The people most likely to get kicked are those already on the ground.

What I would assert is that the process of policing, as it is practiced in most cities, actually exacerbates crime, by increasing the sense of impotence, the sense of worthlessness, of powerlessness, to which people react in predictable ways.  I think many cops view the ghetto as a playground.  I think many cops view a shift in which they don't get to lock up a person or two as wasted.  It probably makes them mean, to the extent that in some homes the wife and children know instantly that they came up short that day.

And I"m talking average cops here.  Not the particularly bad ones.  I think the thrill of the hunt gets in their blood, and that even though most of them stay within the law, they enjoy what they do.  One of the cops where I worked had a Far Side cartoon in his locker where two people are pouring hot oil on some people besieging their castle, and one is saying to the other: "I have a confession to make--win or lose, I love doing this."

Now take this logic to Ferguson.  I am not going to justify what Michael Brown tried to do, which is kill that cop.  I'm not going to blame the cop for shooting Brown.  He was alone in the ghetto, being attacked by a huge man, who was high, and extremely enraged.  Legally, practically, Brown was wrong and the cop was right.

Nor can I stomach for a moment the Soros-funded agitprop which followed, because it was infused with left wing radicals who didn't care any more for Brown than they care for the people locked in cages in Cuba, or who were shot in the back of the neck in Lubyanka, or who were forced to eat their neighbor's children in Mao's completely arbitrary and unnecessary famines.  I dare say that sort of thing is likely happening even now in North Korea.

But if we are to use genuine empathy--and I do like to consider myself capable of empathy, even though I am often hot-headed, sometimes mean, and nearly always irritable--then we have to look at the root of the anger.  Of course people want the cops when bad things happen.  But when cops are the SOURCE of the bad things, the proposition is much more dicey.  I suspect in that neighborhood at least half the young men had been locked up at least once for something that was not that big a deal. And being handcuffed and locked in a cage leaves scars.  Eric Garner was killed through incompetence--and I will note again, with a black female officer on the scene as Officer in Charge--for the crime of selling cigarettes.  Why did he react with such rage?  Because he was tired of cops, tired of harassment, tired of being made to feel inferior, tired of having his chain yanked.  Is this so hard to understand?

I hate the Left.  I hate the people who hate humanity, who hate decency, who want power at any cost, for nothing.  This post is long enough and I will deal with my original topic in another, but I will say that real change for the better will come when reasonable people on both sides sit down and discuss how to improve the situation.  Such conversations are IMPOSSIBLE when radicals are in the mix.  I might perhaps begin calling Leftists anti-humanists.  That is what they are.  They support nothing good.  They help no people who matter.  They are not working for the common good.  They are not focused on decency and actual human lives.

In my view, some alternative to getting handcuffed and thrown into a cage needs to be on the table.  In my view, a whole lot of things which are illegal need to made legal, or made subject solely to a citation. The same people who support Black Lives Matter, and who reflexively vote Democrat are the ones who made selling cigarettes without a license illegal. Curtailing freedom is what government does.  Without that, it is useless.  Even in the pursuit of national defense, it acts solely to curtail the freedom of our enemies.  Some freedoms need to be curtailed, but selling cigarettes should not be among them.

And ponder the world people live in where they can only afford to buy a cigarette at a time.  Ponder the feelings that must arise when even THAT is punishable by incarceration or unnecessary death.  What hope is there?  Why NOT lapse into drug abuse, lethargy, alcoholism, and chronic irresponsibility?  Yes, I know that there people who rise above all this.  But what merit can there be in a system which must be endured to be transcended?  Why not make success the most common, most obvious, most available option?

Economics is a complex subject, and one filled with lunatics.  But everything we need to know, we know.  Free markets, the protection of property rights, and sound currency build generalized wealth.  The more these things exist and are protected, the better for all but the authoritarians.