Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Church Committee

It is past time to resurrect the memory of, and spirit of, this time. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Committee

Speak of the Devil

If you want a face to go with this idea, here you go: https://www.infowars.com/ex-spy-chief-admits-role-in-deep-state-intelligence-war-on-trump/

Ponder further that this guy went to work for what I understood to be something like a mercenary CIA, a private, for-profit company that would "take care of things" like, oh, I don't know, murderering Putin's personal chauffeur?

Ponder this.  Ponder what someone without a conscience and with a lifetime's experience dealing out lies and disinformation could do with a billion dollar check.

For my money, he either needs to be legally put into permanent retirement, or the books of his company regularly audited, so that we know precisely who he is working for and what they are doing.  All this needs to be made the law.

And we need to assume that anyone he was close to at the CIA or elsewhere is part of the Traitor State.  We are not a nation of purges, but there is something to the logic of guilt by association.  I am not proposing jailing or killing them, as the Communists would, but simply removing them from the web of capabilities that being within our intelligence apparatus gives them, and then putting a permanent and close watch on them.  Give them a sizable payout, then let them take up painting or yoga somewhere remote.

North Korea and the Traitor State.

As I ponder it this morning, is "Traitor State" not better than Deep State?  In the very best scenario, these people are corrupt.  If they were simply protecting illicit sources of revenue, they would be less contemptible than they appear to be.  What they APPEAR to be is an organized group, effectively, of Communist agents.  They may not call themselves that--in fact I would assume most don't.

But they would call themselves something like Realists, or Pragmatists.  They would say "we can all see the worlds resources are dwindling", or perhaps some are even so deluded as to believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming, their own lie, and say "if nothing is done, humankind will go extinct."  Perhaps they think their globalism will mean global peace, and the end of war.

Collectivism, though, never means the end of war.  It means the institution of permanent war between the people and the State.  Where war does not exist, it is threatened, in the form of the possibility of arrest, confinement, torture, and murder.

All of this means that government employees, likely in close collusion with private sector individuals with either great wealth, or large political influence, are betraying their oaths of office to protect and serve both the American people, and the people they work for.

Having said all that, for practical purposes it seems to me that some large chunk of the CIA at least has gone over to the enemy.  What would prevent them, in the event of war with North Korea, from false flag attacks intended to destabilize the nation, and potentially even create the climate for a coup?

Silicon Valley

I was dreaming about the Bay Area last night.  I lived there for some 5 years.

What is interesting about that place is that the pace and expense of life turns people into assholes, into functional psychotics, and this is happening at the same time as the relative influence of the people who work there is increasing drastically.

Look at the influence Google and Facebook, specifically, wield.

Look at the influence the words compassion and justice wield, even when denuded of functional content, even when driven into being their very opposites.

I went to Berkeley.  I found the people there cold, rude and unfriendly.  There are too many people in the Bay Area, too much traffic, homes are much too expensive, work is too stressful, taxes are too high, and by the time many people get home at night, all they want to do is hide.

These are the people who want to rule our lives. As groveling as most of the peasants are, there are kings and queens, dukes and earls, and a landed aristocracy.  And their sense of purpose in life seems to derive in no small measure from plans to lighten the load of plebians they do not understand, do not interact with on a regular basis, and whose relative failures and successes affect them in no important way.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Brain Training

As I have mentioned from time to time, I do Lumosity fairly regularly.  It drops when I get busy, but I suspect I will play a lot this winter.

I don't know if these games actually help me think better, but what I have noticed--and I do think I have commented on this, but will comment again, since I can't remember exactly what I said--is that there is a part of me which holds onto patterns which cause me to make mistakes.  I get in touch with a psychological stickiness.  There is a need there, which makes me stupider.

Even in apparent abstraction, even in places where emotion should not intrude, it does, clearly.

And I would submit that most of the maladies of the modern world stem from something like what causes me to make mistakes on River Ranger or Speed Match.

When you are dealing with abstract problems, the abstract solutions can be suffused to overflowing with emotion, drenched in it, composed with it, but expressed in such a way that they seem rational.

What else, to take obvious examples, could the obsession with Jews the Russians had be composed of?  Lenin created the process of what might be termed "classicide", and all Hitler did was take that same "logic"--which indeed predated both Lenin and Hitler--and apply scientific efficiency to it.

One can indeed speculate that if Russians were built psychologically more like Germans, if something like a Final Solution might not have been implemented with regard to the people the Communists disliked.

On consideration, though, no.  Communism is very different from Nazism.  The narcissism and inward-looking of the Nazis had content.  There was in fact a German nation, a German history, a German language, a German culture.  When Hitler said "German", there was a concrete, if idealized, referent.

When Communists refer to "the workers", there is no referent.  Russia in 1917 was an agricultural nation, where something like 10% of the economy or less was industrialized.  The entire coup by the Bolsheviks was a sham.  It was based on the lie that people who knew nothing about a class which was in any event nearly non-existent within their domain could speak for them, work for them, build for them, better them.

And historically, the oppression fell first and hardest on the very workers in whose name what they disingenuously called "The Revolution" was conducted.

But there is never any there where Communists are concerned.  This means they never actually agitate FOR anyone, not even themselves, at least consciously.  It is a confusion, a mental illness, a sort of schizophrenia, where whatever needs to be true for them to retain some semblance of psychological structure is treated as if it were true.

And the Big Lie upon which all Communists rest their sense of self is that the project is intended to improve humanity as a whole.  Not some segment of it, which was the Nazi's project, but all of it.  All of us are supposed to be made better by their obsessions.

This means logically that conscious mass murder is anathema.  It is acting as if they were not the saviors of the world, not the creators of a mass utopia.  It is rejecting people in principle who would love them if they only understood them as liberators.

And if you look at Communist death counts, the vast bulk of them are from famine. Stalin used the Holodomor to bring the Ukraine under control, yes, but I think he also needed the food to feed his loyalists, since his system was failing already everywhere.  Mao thought the peasants--and they were peasants under him too--were hiding food, and that reports of the failure of his crop seeding ideas, which he thought were genius, were lies.  In Ethopia, their state of delusion was so complete that they thought moving people from one place where farming worked, to some other place where it did not, would be effective policy simply because miracles happen, and whatever they needed to believe to protect their own psychological integrity HAD to be true.

Thus, I would argue the true crime of Communism as an ideology is not the death count, not the genocides which it plainly has committed, but rather the pervasiveness of what I called Psychicide, the manic need to destroy human souls, human spirits, in order to protect the psychotic impulses of people who have used abstraction to manage emotional excesses which they have hidden from their conscious awareness and thus conscious control.

Reading this, I see there is a connecting thought I have not fleshed out, but for students of history, or any long term readers of my blog, the pattern should be clear enough.  We should not excuse the Cubans, as one example, simply because their version of Communism did not result in the deaths of large numbers of Cubans.  Their project--their continuing project--has been to convince the Cuban people that they love their leaders, that they love mass incarceration, humiliation, and poverty.  Their continuing project has been to enslave the minds of their people, to facilitate their physical enslavement, which is made in the minds of Communists liberation, because that is what they need to believe.  Ah, I'll leave it there.

I am quite capable of delivering sermons like this face to face, but do not presently know anyone who would listen.  Still, I feel better.  I'm going for a walk, then to get something to eat.

Essential oils

I don't know if anybody reads this, but it seems to be therapeutic for me to write, so I continue.  This is a way of releasing ideas within me, so that more can take their place.  Creativity is a habit, and you can only feed it by letting fly what comes, wishing it well, and waiting for new ideational children you will know for a moment, then let them go too.

As I have shared, I have major sleep difficulties.  I have clinical Complex Trauma, which is PTSD, but worse.  EMDR, for example, doesn't work because I can't remember anything, and it is my reasonably plausible theory that it depends on visual memory for at least part of its efficacy.

Be all that as it may, I have found that essential oils seems to help a bit.  I put Vetiver, typically, in an atomizer, and mix Lavender into an otherwise unscented lotion which I spread on my chest and arms and belly.  I notice the difference when I do this, versus when I don't.  I also take some sort of melatonin supplement every night, and the ones with ZMA in some form seem to work best for me.

In the mornings I have also taken to putting different oils in lotion and spreading them on my chest, arms and belly.  The skin is highly efficient way, or so I read, of getting them into my system in a relatively healthy way.  They tell me not to ingest them, but I will occasionally anyway.

I particularly like Birch, Cedarwood, Bergamot, Hyssop, Clary Sage, and Angelica. I can't say if they help anything, but it is a practice I have grown to like.

I rarely get sick--I go years without having anything but the "bottle flu", which I have largely stopped doing as well--but when I do I find Eucalyptus and Peppermint oil help.  I will either put them in an atomizer or put them in a pan which I heat to create steam, and inhale.

I have also made Sage and Thyme tinctures.  I will drink a few drops of those from time to time.

I just made some Tarragon soda, which is quite tasty.  I got myself a Central Asian cookbook, and that is apparently a thing there.  I made it from ginger bug, though, and they apparently just mix in club soda.
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I won't get into all my projects, but thought I might share a couple I thought might be of use to someone.

The idea of pleasure

I treated myself to a nice brunch yesterday.  I had a very nice tomato-basil soup, and some filet mignon on blue cheese biscuits, with excellent coffee.  It was in a tony part of town, filled with wealthy, well dressed, largely happy looking people.

My first thought in places like that is that I have vastly more in common with the wait staff than most of the patrons, which is certainly true.  If I apply myself I make good money, but it is doing work most people would consider menial.  Most of the guys I work with smoke, no small number of them chew, and if any of them own suits, it is for church and funerals.

But I was also contemplating that so much of what we call pleasure is the IDEA of pleasure.  We think to ourselves "I must be having fun, because this is what everyone wants to do, but most people can't afford."

And I got to thinking about wealthy people skiiing Aspen, staying in expensive chalets, eating fine meals every night.  And I can't help but think that while there is CLEARLY an inescapable element of pleasure in all this, that it cannot but be comingled with an awareness of being elite, of being special, of doing something most people can't do.

We feel pleasure in the places where we are supposed to, but some portion of this pleasure actually disappears in the IDEA we form of the context.  The idea of what we are doing mediates to some extent the reality, the direct experience, of it.

And to the extent we mediate our emotions by our sense of what it is we are supposed to be feeling, we are unfree.  The world comes to us, and we filter it.  We seek what is "good", and avoid what is "bad", but in neither case do we ourselves ride out to meet the world as it is, on its own terms.

Does pleasure uniquely arise in us in response to circumstances?  Or is there something in us which can rise up anywhere, and influence our understanding and experience of circumstances, such that the connection between what happens "to" us is influenced BY us, making all circumstances potentially under our emotional control, such that we can remain positive and happy in varying circumstances?

In my understanding, this is substantially the argument made by Buddhists, among others. How do you make the ordinary beautiful?  How do you make the beautiful spectacular?

How can I get MORE pleasure from Waffle House than a 5 star restaurant?  It all depends, does it not, on who I am when I walk in, what I hear, what I feel, what I see?

Tinnitus and trauma

I rarely mention it to anyone--I only told my kids in the past few years--but I have had tinnitus for many years, often in both ears.  It's not something I worry about, or spend more than a few moments contemplating in an average day, but I made a decision a while back to incorporate some POSSIBLE solution into my daily routine some years ago.  I'll take some pill most people say doesn't work for a few months, and it doesn't work.  Currently, I am taking the pharmaceutical grade Gingko Biloba.  I may stick with it since it seems to have other good properties too.

But I also recently picked up an interesting pamphlet, https://www.amazon.com/Tinnitus-Tyrant-Friend-Ringing-your/dp/1515102440/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1512918907&sr=8-2&keywords=tinnitus+books .

In it, he describes curing himself of tinnitus by treating it as a outcome of nervous system dysregulation, specifically chronic "alarm bells", chronic activation of the fight or flight response.  As such, there is a clear and fundamental homology between tinnitus, in this description, and PTSD generally, and I am reading the book as such.

One point he makes often and clearly is that most "tinnitus people" (he describes a type, with many of the typical characteristics applying to me) rarely take time for self care, for finding things that genuinely make them happy, make them feel warm, make they feel relaxed.  I certainly have long had trouble with this.  I am good at making lists, doing half of them--although often many of the hardest things on it--then collapsing emotionally and getting drunk.  That I have long experience with.

In his telling, and I think he makes a good argument, tinnitus is then a barometer of the state of internal hyperarousal.  It is a thermometer for inner systemic tension.  Curing tinnitus is then nearly the same--perhaps exactly the same--as curing PTSD.

I am going to try and be kinder to myself.  I am certainly long practiced in being cruel.  I am going to try and find things that do make me deeply happy.  Nothing is coming to mind at this moment, but starting to look is a first step.  This is the beginning of a move from mere survival to living.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Jerusalem

As I think about this a tad more, it occurs to me that the line which has been crossed is that the idea that Israel will just fade away and disappear, through some miracle, is no longer tenable.

Jerusalem, the City of Peace, has been the Jewish capital, arguably, since before the word Jew meant anything specific.  When Solomon built his temple, the Old Testament--as people raised in my own tradition call it--had not been completed.  I forget what the Jews call it.  I believe it is the Mishnah.

For their own purposes, the Israelis have long claimed Jerusalem, in the modern era, as their capital.

Thus, as many commentators have pointed out, including Nicki Haley (who I love), Trump has done nothing more or less than ratify publicly the existing status quo.

And here of course is the problem.  The Arab world, in a sustained fit of magical thinking which would put even today's Never Trumpers to shame, does not want to accept this step because it ratifies the existence of the Jewish state, which they STILL reject 70 years later.

Now, one can reasonably ask how it is possible to conceive this, that a highly successful, vastly more militarily powerful nation could just up and vanish, just stop being, so that lazy, ignorant, and emotionally retarded people could just march in and proclaim it reclaimed for Islam and the greater Arab world.

It is ludicrous, farcical.  Israel would destroy most of the Middle East before it would allow itself to be conquered by anyone.

But the thinking around this has not evolved at all in far too many minds in 7 decades, 7 decades in which the children of refugees lived their lives in tents, fed by charity, and unable to find work or anything like a productive, dignified life, all so that ugly minds could continue to nurture ludicrous and ugly dreams.

Often, the first step in needed change is the speaking aloud, in public, of clear and obvious, but unwanted truths.  Trump has done that.

Psychicide and virtue

In classic grump-eccentric style--which is to say in the style of a grown man who has carried far into his life unbearable wounds he cannot let go of or heal--I have taken to allowing myself to speak to myself when I am in private.  It's a lot like Freud's free association, and a method I've developed to allow my unconscious to literally speak.

One thing that has come out is that both of my parents watched the light fade from my eyes.  Whatever hope and spontaneous joy and innate creativity I was born with died at some point.  I became dull and listless, then angry for reasons that were unclear to me.

But it occurred to me that there should be a word for either failing to feed someone's light, and certainly for actively encouraging defeatism, failure, cynicism, and moral and emotional death.  Hence Psychicide, which seems to be unique to me.  Google comes up with nothing, although to me the idea seems obvious enough.

And as I ponder it, it occupies a unique place between homicide and suicide, because the root of the death can be, and usually is, a combination of Others (Sartre's les autres might here be apposite) and one's own being, as divided into a combative, self destructive component, and an unexpressed capacity to return to home and authentic goodness.

I was watching an interview with the killer they called the Iceman, and he loved to watch the light of life flicker and fade when he killed people, and loved that the last thing they saw was him.

There are people in this world who love this equally, but not as the result of physical murder.  It is the love of power, the root of the love of power.  When you have power, you can suppress the innate individuality of everyone who is subject to you.  You can lessen everyone else.  You can dim their light.  And in many cases, you can sap their will to live outright, which again is what I am calling Psychicide.

And I wanted to emphasize that true morality, true goodness, flows from an authentic and spontaneous, free sense of self.  As I have said before, the Tibetan Windhorse is a fantastic image.  It is a horse, running freely, with speed, for the love of movement, and a fantastically bright shining jewel on its back, spreading light wherever it goes.

The opposite, of course, is killing movement, killing freedom, killing the joy of movement, making everything dark and unclear, and destroying beauty, substantially all of which were, AND REMAIN, core objectives of Communists like George Soros.

If I were Trump, I would assign a group of highly intelligent and well funded people specifically to counter Soros and other well funded propaganda.

Far too many people are talking about human survival as a race of animals, as if our mere physical continuance is a major victory.  What I see is that if we do not retain the beauty we have evolved, it is all for naught.  There is no beauty in machines.  They are not alive, and cannot be.  Life is not a mechanical process: it is a spiritual process.

Clearly, you can mimic life, as you can mimic virtue, if I might complete my thought.  Many dead people do all the things that truly virtuous people do--or at least pretend to--but they mean none of it.  I was reading recently the story of a priest who seemingly--he was just convicted for it--raped and murdered a young and beautiful girl 50+ years ago, who made the mistake of being too Catholic.

Did him being a priest matter in the slightest?  But the case is worse: seemingly, local church officials, and local Catholic law enforcement officials were worried that a scandal might hurt Kennedy's election chances.  So this priest was sent to the same places they sent known pedophiles, to lay low for a time, then be reassigned somewhere.

Is there anything sacred about such a process?  Even if every sacrament, every Mass, was delivered correctly, is this something Jesus would recognize as his own?  Is this something God would proclaim holy or good?

Virtue is nearly always hidden.  It lies dormant in most.  Yes, most people have been habituated to doing things in certain ways.  Habit and courtesy intermingle, and we call the combination salutary when we recognize our particular habits in others.

But who are you is the deeper question.  What do you mean in the recesses of your heart?  Who would you be if you knew you could get away with anything?  My own feeling is that perhaps a third of the people out there are quite capable of murder.  There have been times I would have been quite capable of it.  I have felt that feeling in myself.  I still do, sometimes.  It would not pang my conscience a bit to put a gun to George Soros head and pull the trigger repeatedly, just to be sure.

In the end, I was killed.  I died.  My parents watched the light fade from my eyes.  I joined them in the darkness.  And my entire life path has been spent seeking, and slowly finding, resurrection.

I am not there yet.  I have many, many miles to go.  I'm not even at the end of the beginning.  I'm at the beginning.  But learning to walk again is a prerequisite to one's first step.  And to do that, you have to get off the ground, and learn to stand upright.  And you can only stand on your own two feet.  You cannot stand on those of anyone else.  Your path is your own.  Only you can travel it.  Only you can see it.  Far too many people give their lives away, because they fear the freedom they have been given as a gift, and far too many people are all to happy to take that life, because it gives them, for a time, the ability to pretend that they, too, are not neglecting their own way, their own path, their own destiny.

Edit: I did find a few instances of Psychecide.  My Greek is non-existent, so perhaps this is more faithful.  Still, I will stick with my neologism.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Green Tara

I've been giving some thought to getting a Thangka, and found these images of Tara: http://www.thangkapaintings.com/Content/Catalog/Browse/?CID=d3d9446802a44259755d38e6d163e820|5f5d

I read she is the most popular goddess in the Buddhist pantheon, and her description--click on detail on any of them for a more complete summary--sounds not that unlike Mother Mary.

What if focus on, meditation on, an image of perfect feminine compassion and wisdom is a method for dealing with maternal attachment issues?

And I would submit that the ideals of feminine and masculine represent real potential energies within each of us.  I do think psychological androgyny is clearly most healthy, but that is not the same as confusing the energies, conflating them, or denying their utility as ideals in human consciousness.

What myths do we still retain in our world, myths that mean something?  We have a propaganda of efficiency, which was called such by Jacques Ellul in the early 1960's, of which "hacking" is but the most recent manifestation.  We have of course residual religious sentiments, but they are under sustained and somewhat effective attack.

We have the myth of Science, as a quasi-omniscient God.  But this is an entirely masculine ideal.  It has no compassion, no nurturing, no love, no feeling.

We have the myth of Compassion, but it has in large measure been denuded of actual sentiment, if not sentimentality.  It is for practical purposes most often wedded to Science, in what to my view looks like a gay marriage.  Both are masculine, as implemented.  Compassion is not listening in the modern world, not when expressed politically, which is where the word is most often used.  Rousseau, who more or less directly called for mass murder, used the word often.

Where is there time to listen?  To feel honestly?  To love honestly?  Who embodies this for us?  Mother Teresa, perhaps, for a short time.  The Dalai Lama? 

Women, in our world, are much too eager to be bad men.  It may be that substantially all things men can do women can do.  But it is certainly the case that there are things women can do that men cannot hope to do as well.  They have natural strengths, such as empathy, which are not much valued in an industrial/information industrial economy.

We all need balancing.  We all need to believe in unconditional love.  We all need to believe there is a place for us, and the feminine is what creates and preserves those places.

People--here of course I mean Leftists--would not be in such a hurry to destroy everything they see if they felt they were in fact loved, that they did have a place, and that there was a sanctuary at the end of their day.   They lack the sacred feminine.

The Archetypal Feminine

The place of your mother within your consciousness, how the thought of her makes you feel, what images come to mind, what you associate with her memory and her presence--if she is still alive, or even her "relics" if she is not--define much of who you are.

It occurred to me that throughout history not all homes have been happy.  Not all wives have been glad to be with their husbands, or happy to bear their children.  Not all children have been loved, and many resented silently and even hated.  I see no reason not to believe this has always been so.

Here, though, is a to-me-interesting-thought (TMIT): what if the role of archetypal feminine, of the compassionate goddess, the female angel, the Virgin Mary, serves to complement and improve the images and feelings which came with childhood for the individuals within that society?

Can we not posit that honest myth, used properly, completes pictures which are incomplete, in addition to presenting ideals, and expressing unpleasantness otherwise not subject to public examination?

I have my own issues, obviously--which I have discussed too much, almost certainly, although if it does me good, and it has, it obviously isn't too much--but I'm not the only one.  This is an interesting thought, which springs from a very specific set of intrapsychic events I choose not to discuss here.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Jerusalem

I think announcement will simply bring into the foreground, into the light, the massive underlying anti-Semitism--the racism, to be clear, the real, old school fertile ground from which mass murders and judicial injustice have long proceeded--which causes people to hate Israel so much.

There is no just reason to hate Trump the way he is hated.  He has simply brought the underlying hate--which sought and often found plausible covers behind which to hide--into the light.

Likewise, what drives Israel hatred is not love for the so-called "Palestinians"--who in reality are refugees, the children of refugees, and the grandchildren of refugees, from what I have taken to calling the 1948 War of Israeli Survival, who all should have been permanently resettled long, long ago--but rather hatred of Jews.

Real racism still exists in this world.  It is clearly and pervasively tolerated by those most eager to accuse everyone but themselves of this particular crime, and quite frequently practiced outright.  If you hate white people, you are a racist.  If you hate Jews--even if you are a Jew--then you are a racist.

What I see is that so much of this is simply cover for underlying, psychodynamically driven rage, which is then easily harnessed--and indeed amplified and fed--by political cynics and opportunists, for their own greedy, power mongering, selfish agendas.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Maternal bonding

I am just going to throw this idea out here.  I don't know how to evaluate it.

What if Leftwing ideology has its deep psychodynamic roots in poor maternal bonding? 

Here is my logic.  At its root, and since at least the French Revolution, and following succession of tyrannies, the idea has been to overthrow everything that is, and replace it with something new.

Psychodynamically, what--or here, who--connects you with your past and culture in the deepest sense?  Your mother. Your father might teach you concepts like patriotism and honor and courage, if you are a man, but your mother teaches you who you are.  She tells you, through her behavior and bonding, whether or not you belong.

And if you can find no means to belong, revolution as an abstraction to replace failed emotional attachment would or could come to be very emotionally logical, even life-saving, which would explain the fanaticism which often--usually or even always might be more accurate--accompanies this form of psychopathology.

And I want to be clear: differing, true statements can be made about the management of human affairs.  Differing political forms can "work", depending on how we define that term. I do not want to critique dogmatism in a dogmatic spirit.

What I am targeting is delusional politics, which seeks a utopia which is made impossible by the very blindness which occasions the quest.

Political post

I posted this somewhere on the internet, and thought it worth sharing here. 

I would simply submit, in an effort to help you understand "the other side" (which is of course as heterogeneous as your own), that there are vital differences between CORPORATE tax rates, and INDIVIDUAL income tax rates. 

My personal belief is that corporate rates should be zero, because everyone working there is already taxed. Even the CEO's can't shelter ordinary income in the places where they do business, but it makes vastly more sense for corporations to do business where they keep more of their profit. 

Profit is the motive for doing, and substantially everything you see or use every day was built for profit. This would include your car, your computer, your cell phone, the medical devices your doctor uses, the coffee you drink, and even the roads you drive and bridges you use were paid for with taxes paid by people seeking profit. 

The second point I would make is that from my perspective, Single Payer equals Zero Choice healthcare. I get assigned the doctor some bureaucrat chooses for me. I know the literature says that I will get lots of choices, but we were also told on the front end of Obamacare that "if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor", despite the fact that the bill itself, in the small print, said otherwise. And in point of fact, many people lost health insurance outright. 

Regardless, much of this comes down to trust. Do you trust government more than the free market? You obviously trust government. In my own case, I don't trust either, but I see free markets as a quick and easy way to fix problems--market demand creates business response--which are not present with government bureaucracies, which have not inherent incentive to be efficient, competent, or caring. Businesses are not caring either, but they want our money, and the only way they keep getting it is by providing good service.

And I will note, finally, that the monopolies so often feared are rarely seen. In fact, they are usually only achieved, and certainly only maintained, when government supports them. In my view, the reason the biggest health insurers supported Obamacare was to squeeze their competition out of the market, something which has happened, although regulators have prevented some of the largest proposed consolidations from happening. And I will end by asking: are you aware that most Medicare plans are administered, for profit, by the largest health insurance providers, like United Health Group?

Monday, December 4, 2017

A book

It might be interesting for someone to compare and contrast the crimes of western colonialism with that of Communist tyrannies, their own colonialism and imperialism, and to add to all this an examination of Islamic imperialism.

These are just three of the most obvious systems of violence in history, but we are being told one was uniquely evil, which is true, but the Left had not identified the CORRECT one.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Acting

I get the feeling with some people strongly that they are playing roles.  They are actors, trying to react the way the character they want to play would act.  They are not interacting with reality, but through their imagined sense of how they would react if they felt everything appropriate to their character, which self evidently they don't, to the precise extent I am right about this.

We are starved of authentic, deep emotion in this country.  I don't know why, although of course I have reams of related commentary.  I am simply going to leave this here for now.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Note

The ability to BE who you are is essentially the same as the ability to feel who you are.  Being able to describe, in however much detail, who you are--which is the chief virtue taught in most forms of psychotherapy--is quite distant from this ideal, and tends away from, not towards it.

In my own case, I have consumed countless books telling me what to do.  But what has always been missing is a sense of who it was who might consent to do these things.  Until you are one, you are two or many.  This is a complexity which is impossible to make sense of.  One can walk on two feet.  Many cannot walk at all.

Healing

Connecting the ache with a past real self.

This is the short version.

Growth

It seems to me there are two real prerequisites for emotional growth.  First, you must be aware of what you are feeling, and the pain it causes you.  Second, you must see an alternative.

Lacking the first, you will never seek or see the second.  Lacking the second, some part of you will prevent you, at a preconscious level, from becoming aware of the first.  To do otherwise is to admit functional helplessness.  Some can, but most can't or won't.

This is of course the rough outline of the Buddhist Four Noble Truths.  It is as important to convince people their houses are on fire as to convince them there is a way out of it.  And that first argument is hard to make with people who have been living a certain way for a very long time, and getting along just fine, thank you.

What I see is that many of our obsessive, rigid patterns, originate in antiquated but once useful adaptations to real situations.  The problem is that they exist in a space beyond time, and bringing them into time--the present, specifically--is the only way to show them that circumstances have changed, and that something new is desirable, that they have a path either to extinction or improvement.

In some cases, these relics make us tired and old beyond our years.  In such cases, allowing them to sleep is quite welcome.  It is setting down an unwanted burden.

In others, they are thwarted life energy, and what is needed is an infusion of new energy, of new passions, and new directions.

Most of us enjoy the idea and prospect of travel in the outer world easily enough.  We naturally want to go places we have not been, in most cases provided we can then return home to a familiar place and way of being.

Where I--and I think many others--have often erred, is in thinking that changing means going somewhere new and staying there.  What I think it really means is learning how to build a much larger, and much safer home.  It means expanding the domain of comfort, of surveying new land, finding it congenial, and expanding emotionally and psychologically, such that there is no need of return, because you are already there.  You are already welcome.  You are already at ease, and feeling safe and known, in a world you in turn know well.

In the past five or six years, I could easily have traveled the physical world with all the money I have spent on personal growth--money, indeed, I continue to spend.  But my feeling has been "why go anywhere else, when I don't know how to be where I already am?"

I have filled by bookshelf with some old Buddhist texts, but my sense is that the path forward for all of us, as it evolves, assuming it does evolve, and evolves in a way consistent with freedom and dignity, will not lie through any historical creed or teacher.  It will be an Emergent Property of science, which has done so much in so many realms, but as yet offered us so little in terms of culture and reasons for metaphysical optimism, despite the fact that its methods lead inexorably in that direction, when applied--and this of course has been the problem--with diligence and true scientific integrity and dispassion.

Diogenes would search in vain in most universities the world over, when searching for those who are truly honest when it comes to the nature of reality, and as-yet unintegrated empirical research in domains like the survival of death, and the energetic fields which seemingly connect life with life, humans with humans, and past with present and future.

Tantra

A piece of cloth with a hole in it cannot be considered whole, in the same way that a gap in the ocean's depths is inconceivable.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Spanish Fascist Socialism

The cheesemongering of the Marcès and other Spaniards went underground in reaction to the policies of Spain’s military dictator, Francisco Franco, who ruled the country from 1939 until his death in 1975. The country’s economy was depleted by civil war, World War II, and Spain’s exclusion from the Marshall Plan. So, he initiated a grand economic plan designed to achieve self-sufficiency: Spain would pool its resources and centralize production.
As part of this policy, quotas were enacted that outlawed milk production under 10,000 liters a day. This made small dairies and cheesemaking productions (such as the Marcès’) illegal. To comply with the law, they had to sell their milk to larger companies.

I will note simply that centralized control of the means of production, whether actually implemented, or merely implied, is a key aspect of Fascism.  It is what Keynes described both in "The End of Laissez-Faire", and at the end of his "General Theory".

Liberalism is free markets, political diversity, the right to private property, and the ability to achieve political change peacefully.  Everything else might as well be called Fascism, wherever the polemicists and propagandists choose to put it on the political spectrum.  Certainly, for the Spanish, whoever won the Civil War, they were going to be told what to do.  The victory of the Stalinists (who in typically deceptive fashion called themselves "Republicans") would likely have meant something close to what they have in Cuba, though, whereas the reign of Franco merely lasted as long as he did.

And Franco did not hate his country and his people.  This also put him one up on those he defeated.

I can't resist commenting--or most likely repeating a theme which occurs often with me--that the Nazis and Italian Fascists, and Spanish Fascists, and perhaps Pinochet and others, all existed in a clear continuum with repressive regimes as seen throughout human history.  Mass murder is not something the Nazis invented, although wedding it to bad science was unique.  But even there, the concept of defining, stigmatizing, and to a great extent deleting entire groups of people was something the Soviets really invented.  They destroyed the "kulaks" before Hitler.  They defined and killed or imprisoned in remote places large numbers of political non-conformists before Hitler.  Hitler got the IDEA of a concentration camp from Lenin.  Goebbels got many of his best ideas on propaganda from Lenin, Stalin, and ironically enough Woodrow Wilson.

What is unique in Communism is the deletion of the soul, the deletion of the self as something capable of existing outside membership in a mutable collective.  What is unique is how little it gives a spirit to hang onto, and how much it asks him or her to give over in the process.  You have to surrender your capacity for moral judgment.  You have to surrender your history. You have to surrender your family, if asked to do so.  It is assumed you will surrender any residual religious belief you may have.  You might need to surrender your friends.  You might have to surrender your lifestyle.

And at this moment in history, you have to do all this to join a cult which has been unmasked as inhuman, brutal, dishonest to its core, and constituted by the very worst human beings possible.

I'm rambling.  I look at the gobbledy-gook Leftists keep spewing, and I continue to wonder how they are so unreflective, so uninterested in helping real human beings, so contemptuous of reason and the clear use of language.  So much good is possible, and they shit on it every day, to the extent of their ability, and call their work noble.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The problem of evil

I am struggling, at the moment, to understand in my own heart how people shift permanently into ugliness, into perennial and purposeful meanness.  It is not my sense that most non-psychopaths are cruel to everyone all the time.  Even the meanest spirits have moments, I think, of genuine generosity.

But many people are hostile to humanity most of the time.  They swim in different waters, or perhaps are held captive under the sea.

Babies are born with hope, I suppose.  By nature they suppose the best is possible, and for some, life--which is to say the people around them--teaches them to close themselves off, to suppress their human instincts towards sociality, towards caring, towards tenderness, and to both give and receive honest and heartfelt love.

What is the point of no return?  Is there no hope for some people? 

To be clear, I feel there is a great deal of hope for me, every reason for hope.  I am confronting the deepest realities within me, and although the process and the vistas are unpleasant, SEEING what was there but hidden is invaluable and liberating.

But I have some specific people in mind, people I am witnessing going through changes, struggling with things in their lives which, compounded with what they brought from childhood, might sink them.

How do we turn evil to good?  Perhaps this is the best way of putting this inchoate struggle I feel within me now.  I often feel motion deep in the water, and it sometimes takes me a very, very long time to see what it is, and what it means.

Can there be a more profound question, though?  Do we not all want to belong, to be in a shared humanity, and is it not those among us who cannot share this longing, because they don't feel it is possible, who make it most hard to achieve this aim?

How do we save the lost?  How can we bring them back, or show them a path home?  These are important questions the modern world has done an exceptionally incompetent job of answering. 

As usual, these things wrack me with pain and make me cry, but I'm long used to it.  I can take much more than most people.  I have an "unnatural" emotional pain tolerance.  That comment by a therapist remains one of the best compliments I have ever received.

Ethical monotheism and its alternatives

Paul Johnson, in his "History of the Jews", uses the phrase "ethical monotheism" frequently.  Or so I recall.  I have no editor, nor a desire for one.

In any event, the intent is to point to a single law, a single standard of behavior, a single set of moral precepts, a very specific set of rules to live by which govern everyone who submits to their dominion, or who is born into it and does not openly rebel.

Necessarily, such a mindset creates clear chasms between those holding those views, and everyone else.  And as early as the Roman times, one sees anti-Semitism originating not in a rejection of the Jews moral code, but from their rejection of everyone else as inferior, and their corresponding cultural insularity.

Now, I proposed the term henomoralism some time ago.  I had meant that one could change one's dominant value based on circumstances, but the Greek implies more closely that one has a relatively set value system, but is open to those of others.  Henomoralism--heck, perhaps I need another word, Henoculturalism--is the root of a truly Liberal order. 

It seems to me that based on our past, our religious beliefs, our DNA, and overall cultural system, we tend to adopt relatively fixed value systems.  For me, honesty, loyalty, courage and imagination are all very important values.  Other people will vary to differing extents, and this is OK.

How is this:  Ethical polymoralism?  The notion that we can have differing values, the same way some nations, like India, are quite happy to accept any number of other gods, with some Hindus adding Christ to their shrines without any contradiction or problem.

All this, as is often the case, is me meandering out loud to make one point: what if I asserted our primary ETHICAL duty is to learn how to relax our physical bodies in such a way that we also relax our minds and emotional chatter completely.  Our duty is to relax.  Have you heard this? 

But ponder this: in my own view, honest morality is situational.  True moral decisions are local, necessary, and imperfect.  This is my code, my way of viewing it.  A further stipulation is that higher morality requires higher wisdom.  You have to know yourself well enough to wish good for all people, including yourself, and you have to be smart enough to see what, working systemically and over time, will work best to produce the result you truly want, because you know yourself (as opposed to the result you say you want because it brings you attention and chicks).

Self knowledge proceeds most truly from deep relaxation.  In my own experience, things come to you.  Large patterns of frozen blindness dissolve, and you suddenly see things you have been doing and saying and thinking all your life in a completely new light.  You wake the fuck up.  And this process can happen over and over and over again.  This is Kun Zhi, as the Tibetans put it. 

I have discussed this before, but perhaps the language I use will be slightly different.  Within my own practice of Kum Nye, there are recognized three levels of relaxation.  The first is the superficial one you get with a good massage, or light meditation, or just a pleasant day and a couple good drinks with friends on the beach.

The second is where the turbulence begins.  It is where shit starts flying at you, where what was attached and frozen comes loose and knocks you in the head.  This is like a pattern of rough seas you have to transit to get to the calm on the other side.  Using this metaphor, I suppose the first level is staying in port, and never going anywhere but onto the ship.

But the third level is where interesting things happen, or so I read.  I would assert it is our ethical duty to seek this third level, because then it becomes possible to be truly intelligent.  This is where meditation--which I believe is better translated "concentration" in most relevant languages--begins, in my understanding of this tradition.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Culture, a random set of claims and observations

I have from time to time said something like "Culture is the Emergent Property of historical and shared solutions to the problems of how to create and distribute meaning, power, wealth, and truth."

Most socialists, to make a blindingly obvious point, which nonetheless remains completely invisible to them, conflate the economic and meaning realms, such that they assume with no justification that changing the economic system will inherently change the meaning system for the better.  This is stupid.  It has always been stupid, and will always be stupid, because the systems are logically separate, and require individual attention.

When impossible, socialism has often come to be seen as an attractive alternative to everything anyone doesn't like about the world.  It is a solution, they feel--no thinking is involved here--to the problems of human cruelty, poverty, and disillusionment.

As a word, culture has come under attack by the Gramscians as an "instrument of power".  That their own claim to power rests on nothing but a markedly inferior version of the institutions they want to attack is, again, invisible to them.  The whole thing is lunacy, top to bottom.  Because it does not withstand even rudimentary critical scrutiny, their solution is to simply call the process of coherent thinking racist.  As I have said often, this is a snake eating its own tail.  It cannot end well, and certainly not in any lasting amelioration of any true human suffering.

But here is the point I wanted to make, the rest being prelude: culture as an emergent property of human interactions represents the possibility of reliable human connection.  When western intellectuals are discussing ideas, those ideas are their connection.  The process of discussion is their connection.  When Africans are dancing in the streets, the joys they feel in old rhythms, and old songs, is their connection.  Things we all know, processes we all know--and know that everyone around us knows--are culture. If you can predict how someone will behave based on cultural conditioning, you have a culture.  When you cannot, you do not.

The creed of Individualism has led to nearly everything generally good about the world.  It depends on the notion--the empirically obvious notion--that there can be no locus of ideas or understanding but the individual, and that any one individual can be smarter than any swarm of human insects who want to scream the contrary.

At root, this is perhaps the most obvious point that Ayn Rand wanted to make, and frankly needed to make.  All our progress--at least materially, with the spiritual still being up in the air, and this post itself intended as a contribution--has depended on bold people being empowered to discover new things, using a method which in principle allows dissent and negation.

One of the few lasting impressions David Hume made on me was his suggestion that for all we know, the universe was designed by a committee.  It is both humorous, and provocative in an interesting way.  No committee can ever be smarter than the smartest person in it, which might be stated as a general rule, and most committees bring the smartest person in the room down to their level, rather than the contrary.  This might be stipulated as a corollary.  Thus, a committee is equal to the average intelligence in the room, and in most cases will not rise higher. 

The globalist want a world of committees.  They are anti-Individualists.  They rightly view all independent thinkers as enemies of a system which will abhor and punish them.

In the past, I have proposed as an alternative to a global technocratic uni-culture the development with time of countless subcultures, rooted in local circumstances, with many places needing nothing more or less than a new appreciation of where they come from, and the value of what they have been given.

The nihilists tell us nothing matters.  If this is true, then one culture is as good as any other, including American suburban culture from the 1950's.  They have no principled basis for opposing this idea.  It is merely a CULTURAL fixation among them, one rooted on habitual opposition to everything coherent, reasonable, good, and capable of evolving into something even better.

We are not who we were in the 1950's.  This says something about us.  Many Muslims very much ARE who they were 1,000 years ago, and want the world to join them.  That says something too.

This

Globalism

I was dreaming last night of being a modern German, watching your culture and way of life end, and end not by conquest by a superior power, but by simply ceasing, as a nation, to care for the work of existence; to cease doing even the work of maintenance, much less creation.

To be sure, many German scientist are doing interesting things.  But are their best thinkers TRULY envisioning a better future, or even a future that looks like the present?

I was talking with an Italian woman the other day, whose brother is still in Italy, and he is telling her she would not recognize her old home.  The immigrants keep coming in waves in boats, and nobody really stops them, and the first things they want are a phone, a paycheck, and government housing.

What part of "you can't do everything for everybody forever" ever stopped being obvious, common sense?

The overall scheme seems to be clear enough.  Most of the world is poor.  If they do nothing but move somewhere like America they will improve their living standard considerably.  But if there are not enough jobs, they go on welfare.  Wherever they come from, they have typically voted for socialism in some form all their lives.  If you are poor, you vote for the people who promise you free shit, even if they can't deliver it.  You vote every election like you are buying a lottery  ticket, hoping one day it will be true.  And like the Venezuelans, you keep doing this even as things start to fall apart, even when the modest existence you had ceases to be possible, and you fall from poverty to outright hunger and then starvation.  The lesson is never learned, not least because far too people are speaking of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, and far too few people are listening in any event.

But the morally and intellectually bankrupt elites of the West--almost certainly in collusion with the Communist Chinese and their ilk around the world--think they have found in the idea of the CONTROL a global government can obtain a purpose for their otherwise useless existences.

To get a global government all you have to do is change the voting patterns of perhaps 20 industrialized nations by overwhelming them with parasites, who will reenact the voting patterns of their home countries, and invariably default to those who promise them free shit.  In other words, you import and subsidize mediocrity, all while watching gleefully as they reproduce like rabbits, while those who hold any residual attachment to the values which made Western civilization the default model the world over disappear.

In Europe, you use the EXCUSE of a war to import millions, many of whom are just looking for free shit, and European tits to squeeze.  In America, of course, you just pretend we don't have a southern border, that we have no poverty and unemployment at all, and that the rights of people who came here illegally are exactly the same as those who have lived and worked and died here for generations.

Obviously, the sense that there is a WE in contrast to a THEY is inimical to this project, which is why they have to condemn "nationalism" so much.

In America, our nationalism is not racial.  It is rooted in a sense of a shared attachment to a LAW, which in this sense makes us a bit like the Jews, who found some union in extreme diversity.  Our law is the best ever created to govern a nation.  I can and would defend this notion at length.

Hence the need to attack our law.  The need to attack what few residual holidays we have and care about, like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

The whole thing is founded in darkness, in nihilism.  Globalism is a religion for those who believe nothing.  It is not a force for good, or even for survival, if by survival we include the provision for something approaching dignity and freedom.

This is a slow motion trainwreck, which all the nations and peoples affected can still do something about.  It is not too late.  But paralysis and wishful thinking will undoubtedly prove fatal to all of us.

Do you know why Mark Zuckerberg wants a universal living wage?  Because he is doing is level best to eradicate most of the jobs in this and every other developed country with robots and artificial intelligence.

Why?  I don't know.  I can't speak to the minds of delusional sociopaths.  He has plenty of money, and on some level he has to know his plan can't but work cultural and psychological mass destruction.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The feeling of God

I have very few positive memories of my childhood, but there are a few things.  One was reading comic books.  I have toyed now and again with the idea of revisiting them, to see if the feeling can be rekindled.  It is a bit childish, of course, but lord knows I would have plenty of company.

And I was looking at some in the bookstore the other day, then it hit me: what I want is a feeling, and that feeling can be had without comics.  It is the feeling of the transcendent, of the possible.

And it hit me that this feeling is, in a very small way, related to that of religious awe.

I have on several occasions read of Hindus who think of their gods like super heroes.  I think he said this in Life of Pi.  And it hit me that it goes both ways: in some respects, comics provide an ersatz, or weakened spirituality for those who read them.  They provide amazement, ideals, the attainment of the impossible.

Humans are meaning making creatures.  We have deep seated instincts, of which sex is perhaps the most vulgar, even if it can be made powerful and good.

I will note my notion of Qualitative Repression, which is the process not of suppressing what is ugly because it is socially unacceptable, but what is beautiful and also socially unacceptable.

Some rebellions are necessary for beauty, even if some rebellions breed nothing but ugliness.

Who are you, and what are you doing, are two questions which must be answered prior to any and all attempts at "moral judgement".  Those who see tend to do good, and those who are blind tend to render ill to all.

The problem of the bourgeoisie

I watched Terrence Malick's "Badlands" today, and could not escape the sense that what I was witnessing was, in some measure, the drama of the 20th century.

Not only does he never, as the movie notes state, "judge" the perpetrators of really what amount to stupid crimes, but he seems, through the music and overall tone, almost to admire them, almost to wish to be them, almost to wish he, too, could run amok, and leave this pedestrian, predictable, world behind.

It is worth noting that the most important and emphatic early support the Nazis got was among German students, who were studying at what were at the time the best universities in the world.  Our Ph.D system is based on German models, and as Allan Bloom discusses at length in his magnum opus, much of the angst and confusion we see even today is Germanic in origin.

These students wanted lives of meaning and excitement.  They wanted to reject the bourgeois mindset, and set out upon adventures, upon world conquering, upon great risk and great reward, and this is what Hitler promised them.

The Communists promise no less.  They had to compete for the affection of Germans, and largely lost since the concept of Kultur was deeply favorable to the Nazis.  But the underlying emotional longing is the same.

I do not think it overstating the case to say that much of the idiocy that happens in our universities is an intellectual reaction to an emotional problem, which is the sanitary, safe, predictable nature of the world we have built.  This applies even to the cause of safe spaces, which for the time being are anathema to most traditional Americans, and thus revolutionary.

Anything that pushed the buttons of "ordinary" people must be good, these people reason.  Martin Sheen, obviously, is a paradigmatic Leftist. He also starred in a sympathetic movie about a mass murderer.

The problem, the deep problem, is how to soften the tough, leathery hides of our sensory and emotional perception, how to learn to see the world as beautiful, how to feel kinship with the natural world, how to leave behind complete safety, and to feel the excitement of the wild animal.  Nothing in our educational system teaches this.  Nothing in our churches teaches this. 

So I say again: Kum Nye, in my view, really is the missing piece in Western culture.  I am an enthusiast by nature, and prone to making exaggerated claims.  Perhaps I am here, too.

But I am conversant with the currents of philosophy, have degrees in religion, am widely read in psychology, and watch and interact with people from all walks of life every week.  Nothing better--with the exception of combining it with Neurofeedback--has yet crossed my path.

What makes the tiger feel alive is not the kill, but the heightened sensations which attend it, the need for vigilance, alertness, and following connection with all the senses.

On a related note, I was pondering the other day that calling someone a "lion" is really not a particularly large compliment.  Lions hunt creatures weaker than themselves.  The true animal heroes are the smaller ones, like mongooses, which pick and win more fair fights.

But then I started reading up on the Tibetan notion of this whole thing, and they make an interesting point: as the apex (in most cases, although hippoes and others can sometimes best them in some cases in my understanding) of the food chain, lions are RELAXED.  They are not afraid.  This, indeed, is valuable, which makes the symbol valuable, when interpreted correctly.

Gratitude

I have a little ceremony I do each morning.  I find it congenial, and improved it spontaneously in a small way this morning.

I had read some time ago of some Tibetan who like to put a pinch of tea in a pot, and pour it out into a cup, to the point of overflowing.  These are blessings.

I thank God for all that I have, and I try to see it as I do so.  Running water, heat, air conditioning, sufficient food, varieties of food, clean water, health, a bed, a blanket, a sense of physical safety: the possible list is long. 

Today I added: and I thank you for what good may come my way today.  I like this.  It sets a tone of expectation, of looking, of anticipatory gratitude.

Then I take a small piece of a flower from a flowering plant I keep, which has purple blossoms, and has done a fantastic job of staying in bloom for at least 4 months, and float it on the water, and ask for the wisdom and perception to see and appreciate the beauty that floats by me in this life.

Finally, I light a small tea candle, and ask for the wisdom and courage to be a light in this world.

It is congenial.  It is my approach, but something like it, I think most people will find useful in the remembrance of the good, which cannot but drive out, or at least reduce, the terrors and anxieties of the present and past.

The pain of confusion

Uniquely among emotional pains--or so it seems to me at this moment before I drink my first coffee--confusion is avoidable through a simple expedient: unwarranted assumptions and unwarranted confidence in those assumptions.

Don't want to feel confused?  Just assume you are always right, or at least right, here, 100%, beyond any possibility of doubt.

It is perhaps the case that much of human misery comes from the simplicity of this exercise.

I am feeling confusion in my dreams.  Where most of my dreams before were running, fighting, or enduring, now no one is attacking me. I am on journeys, with people I have known, in places which are unfamiliar, and which change spontaneously in strange ways.

If I have not said this before, though, let me say it now: the path to wisdom leads straight through confusion.

If it is completely comfortable, completely easy, it is not the right path.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

This is great

https://youtu.be/SF6I5VSZVqc

I agree with this guy 100%.

There is a popular t-shirt with a picture of Christ saying "I never said that".  Much of Christianity, in my view, falls under that heading.

No sane person, studying the history of Christianity, can be anything but nauseated at much of its history.  Obviously, I am not and never have been one to also overlook the good it has done, but my goodness, I have images floating in my mind of churches filled with women and children being burnt to the ground over minor points of theology, and well constructed rain gutters literally flowing with human blood.

This before we even get to the Inquisition, the Reformation, the burning of "witches", and everything else.

This guy puts it great, though: the goal is to become human, to find your spark, to find what connects you to God, what attracts you to the light, what enables goodness to shine, what makes you happy to work for everything beautiful.  These are all worth dying for repeatedly.

Another way of putting it

You can't fix the past. What you can do is fix the future by fixing the present.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Words, words, mere words

I would like to stipulate a principle which I myself am not sure I believe: words cannot create a greater sense of inner peace than you have already experienced in the company of others. They can of course agitate you, or teach you to substitute one form of chronic tension for another, or calm from a state of agitation to an emotional state you know.

But if we posit, as I do, that the beginning of human self knowledge is the capacity for deep relaxation, practice, and ONLY  practice, can take you there. If you don't know the place, no idea will ever take you there.  But another way, no philosophy can be written which will substitute for a mothers love. That you need a practice for.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Maybe the CIA is just greedy

Think about the options for making illicit money inherent in an organization shrouded in secrecy, black budgets, and the training to be extraordinarily devious and cunning.

I look at a John Brennan and I see a political motivation: working towards a global Communist state.  But what if some of these people are using their spy tools to make money.  Could they not spy on private corporations to gather top secret market information and engage in insider trading?  Could they not invest in companies in foreign countries, then interfere with the governments to make sure those companies were protected? 

Why not?  Who watches the watchers?  

Comment

It is an odd thing that Leftists so fear monopolies in the private domain, but not just accept but DEMAND them in the public, so called, domain, which is to say in the realm of government.  Everything to be "socialized" is inherently to be monopolized, is it not?  Single Payer is quite different from multiple payer.  One source is quite different from many sources.  One option is quite different from many options.

It is a clearly established fact of economic history that true monopolies are rare, and can only be maintained over time through using the leverage of size to provide more for less, by being the best.  Unless you take care of people, market alternatives emerge and slowly take market share.  White Castle, in my understanding, was the dominant--really the only--fast food chain for some years.  But today, most people have never had a slider (you're not missing much, although I do like the jalapeno ones).

This is not the case with government monopolies, which do not need to be highly competent, to provide good service, or do anything at the best or even a reasonable price.  No market incentives exist.  Nothing prevents mediocrity from enduring and dominating indefinitely, but public outrage, and such outrage is necessarily diffused by the very nature of a large bureaucracy and the difficulty of fixing blame, particularly when the TRUE blame lies with the system itself.  The VA is a very good example.  It is horrible, has been horrible a long time, and has proven very resistant to change and improvement.  Why?  It is socialized medicine.  That is the shortest answer, and privatization--for example, by giving veterans an annual stipend equal to what the government was already willing to pay on their behalf in its own system, which they can use for health insurance, or to pay for health care directly--is the obvious answer.

Right now, veterans have no choice, if they want their care to be paid for by the government.  Right now they suffer, and in some cases die unnecessary deaths, because somebody somewhere thought that centralized control was humane and just, and the alternative inhumane, when the opposite is clearly the case.

The Congo, a follow up

The actual number appears to be TEN MILLION dead, and substantially everyone else enslaved and immiserated.  Those are really quite astonishing numbers.

Between World Wars 1 and 2 more white died than this, but in the Congo this number represents roughly HALF the population.

Here is the thing: when we tally up the atrocities of other nations, these atrocities can be added to the list.  White men are not unique in being greedy and savage.  What is shocking is the hypocrisy, the Christian veneer, the paternalistic and humanitarian rationalizations, which characterize our own violence and greed.

But the fact of them, the true intent behind them, is literally as old as human history, and presumably much older.

We are also, however, the first culture to call such things immoral in all cases and with regard to all peoples and races, however distant, and however different from us they may be.  The concept of universal human rights is a uniquely Western concept, and it is an odd thing to watch this notion being used, itself, to attack the West.  One wonders what will be left once the snake eats itself.  It does seem pretty clear, doesn't it?  Nothing.

The world is filled with marvels.  Grotesque stupidity, I suppose, must be counted among them.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Colonialism

I had been searching for the documentary "King Leopold's Ghost" for a while, and finally found it.  I'm about halfway through, and heading out for a bit.

Here is a thought you likely haven't seen: whatever the depredations inflicted on the Congolese--and for that matter, all the nations the West colonized in the 19th and 20th centuries--they pale in comparison to the injuries and mass death and suffering Europe inflicted on itself in the two World Wars.

There is, and always has been, plenty of misery to go around.  Why should we not focus on improving the human condition everywhere, rather than exacting revenge for crimes which either never happened (differential economic success in a free market), or which were not perpetrated by anyone living?

The new Atlas

I got this vision in my head today of effeminate vegans operating torture chambers.  They inflicted pain on political dissidents all day, then went home at night to put on their fuzzy bunny slippers and watch cat videos. [which by the way is something not too distant from what Terry Gilliam presciently portrayed several decades ago in the "winner because it got closest" dystopia "Brazil".]

And I got to thinking of the old Charles Atlas ads--I think he was the one--who had the guy kick sand in a guy's face on the beach in front of his girl.  What was his solution?  To become a better man.

What is today's solution?  To bitch on the internet, post negative comments, maybe hack somebody's social media, and dream of a day when an omnipotent government will allow you, weak and bitchy as you are, to be as cruel as you want.

And I think of the Left.  They like to accuse us of lacking humanity, of not even being human beings.

But think about this: on the right and in the very large middle nobody likes to talk about, people look back in time and see ancestors.  They see people like them.  They can picture the Greeks arguing in the Forum.  They can see the Roman Senate.  They think of the many kings and queens of Europe (and for that matter, Africa and elsewhere).  They can picture living in a log cabin, how hard life must have been.  They think back to their parents, and grandparents, and their parents, in a very long chain of humanity.  And they feel kinship with them

It is not necessary to agree with everything done in the past to feel a communion with it.   All human beings sin, some greatly.

Most normal people live in this sort of world.  They are nested, in a sense.  They feel kinship with the human race, with humanity as a whole, through the prism of their particular history.  They feel closer to people like them, and more distant from people who appear radically different, but in this country at least, we give everybody a fair shot.  That is what our parents did, in their own way, as did their parents, on back to the beginning.

They did, in other words, what they thought was right.  All people who feel ANY kinship with the human race whatsoever recognize that we all make mistakes, and that people and nations change over time, hopefully in a positive direction.  If a person makes one mistake, they do not become their mistake.  We look at the big picture, because God only knows what we would have done in their shoes.  Quite possibly something much worse.

But the Left is not like this.  It is an ahistorical creed.  It is a belief system which cannot look backwards and see anything but continual sin, but which when it is honest, cannot look forward either and actually see the utopia they talk about in their time travel brochures.

It is a place with no beginning, and no real end.  It is a place of infantile rages, helplessness outside the group, individual moral disempowerment, and continual struggle.  It is a place you can only remain if you are convinced everything everywhere else is much, much worse.  This is why it is so important to demonize conservatives and moderates continually and in the most aggressive, nasty, ugly terms.

There is no humanism in Leftist orthodoxy.  There is no place for living human beings.  There is no place for concrete outcome oriented policy.  There is no place for operational intelligence, outside the sphere of getting and keeping power.

You cannot live in this world and not give up the bridges you were born with, which tie you to your past, to a shared humanity, to a shared understanding that to err is human.

The Left has to rewrite history, in the same way they lie about what they want for the future.

So I would say again, as I have from time to time: there is something inhuman about this entire process, about the group shouting and screaming, about the demonic and continual rage, about the complete rejection of reason and logic and the practical process of understanding how things actually work.

Net "Neutrality"

As I understand the matter, there are two and a half questions:

1) does the FCC have the power to simply declare the entirety of the internet to be under its jurisdiction?  The answer, clearly, is no.  Would it have gotten away with it under Hillary?  Of course.

1.5) Should it have this power?  No.  The Constitution clearly makes this sort of the thing the exclusive domain of Congress.

2) Would the public benefit from the government taking over the internet--or at least the internet as it is accessed in the United States--rather than allowing it to continue as is?

This is more complicated, but it still seems an obvious no.

AT&T, before breakup, was the natural result of the government controlling a public utility, here telecommunications.  Had Reagan not broken it up, we likely never would have had an internet age.

I see the claim made that without regulation, companies can decide--like cable providers--what internet sites you can access.  This may well be true, but who, where, is doing it?  I have never heard of this anywhere.  I have heard of Google altering search results, and YouTube censoring conservative videos (but not  demonic Left wing ones), but never an ISP turning off, say, Facebook.

But let us say this is a possibility, that the internet can be reduced by a private company to a list of allowed websites, with added websites only allowed at a premium,

The Leftist solution to this currently non-existent problem--at least in America, and the one Obama attempted to implement by Royal Decree--is to allow the government to TELL private companies what websites they have to provide access to.

But logically, would that same power not allow the government to tell them what websites NOT to provide access to?  Could, say, InfoWars, not get shut down as "fake news", despite the fact that it routinely outperforms the New York Times?

People have short memories.  The internet only came into being because of the competition that deregulation enabled.  To return, now, to the 1930's as regards telecommunications, would be to return to the 1930's politically as well, and the continual threat posed then of a fascist take-over of our national government.  Virtually no one remembers the open fascism back then, and how FDR nearly got control over all wages and prices in the country, and was only blocked by the Supreme Court.

As with all things Left, Net Neutrality is really just a Trojan Horse for Net Partisanship and political activism.

It's really a bit disgusting, honestly, that I can predict the opinions of so many people based on what they are reading today.  Yesterday they might not have even heard of net neutrality, but today they consider themselves enlightened gurus on the topic, and all dissenters ignorant.

The basis of this particular form of aggressive stupidity and ignorance is, as I have often said, a matter of emotional psychopathology, not informed reasoning, or the possibility of sustaining their views in an honest debate.

Roy Moore

I have not followed this whole thing too carefully, but my understanding is that all the allegations are from decades ago.

Here is the thing.  His Republican opponent in the primaries must have known of these allegations, and chose not to mention them.  Why?  I can't say, but it seems most likely to not damage Moore in the General Election.

Who was all too happy to trot them out?  Who waited until Moore had secured the nomination?  Who may well have contributed to Moore's campaign, in the hope they would get to throw all this trash at him? 

Who else?

My take is that nothing he is accused of is remotely as serious as what the Left was quite willing to excuse Bill Clinton for, and excuse Hillary (who laughed about getting a rapist acquitted by attacking his teenage victim) for, and if this causes Alabama to elect a Democrat, it is nothing but a reward for the very dirty tactics which have made EVERY FUCKING ELECTION such an ordeal and muckraking hell;  which have, by design, made substantive policy discussions and public rationality itself all but impossible.

If I were in Alabama, I would vote for Moore in a heartbeat.

And maybe with another vocal and unafraid conservative in Congress we can launch an honest investigation into Uranium One, and just what Clinton's connection with Jeffrey Epstein truly is.

I do believe in moral standards, but this election is not about moral standards.  The Left has made it very clear that nothing is inexcusable when done by their own.  That does not mean that we should stoop to their level, but it also does not mean the election needs to be about the distant past, when Moore has shown in the recent past a very solid conservative record and much-needed activism.

Thought

Sometimes there is no shelter from the vast sun, and sometimes the world looks like a desert waste.  But there is always endurance.  Endurance is a flower in the world, and a reliable companion.

Whoever you are, whatever you are feeling, smile for a moment.  Don't worry: your frown will be back soon enough.  Pay less of yourself in frivolous things, and cherish whatever remains, however small it seems.  You are alive, and that is 90% of the battle.  None of us can know where it all goes, but if you can remember the curiosity within you, it will all be quite interesting.

I spent ten minutes Monday watching a tree shed leaves the way some people drive.  It was in a hurry.  I don't know why.  Perhaps someday I will figure it out.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The question

is not "how can I find a companion in the darkness?", but "how do I find the light?".

Ponder this.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Addiction: another perspective

I was feeling the urge to get drunk the other day.  It was a perfect day for it, rainy and cold, and I had no responsibilities.  I think it was last Friday.

And it hit me that there is a sort of perfectionism in my desire to get drunk.  And that made no sense at all to me.  But some part of me was saying that what I was doing was enough.  Nothing more was needed.  I will always fall short, some part said, and that is OK.

And I pondered this feeling--which I am rendering very incompletely here--and what I felt was that my brain is wired for shame, which in turn is the equivalent to social disconnection.  Shame is exactly equal to the frontal cortex being off-line in some respect, which itself is a common outcome of trauma.

And I felt that all day long I feel like I don't belong, like I am a stranger in the midst of an otherwise complete, coherent world.  My very existence sometimes feels like a sin, like I have no natural right to be at all.

And within this context, drunkenness comes to be the equivalent of self imposed exile.  It is a perfection, because I am not polluting anything or anyone. I am perfectly free of the anxiety of being.  I am not asking anything of anyone.  I am willing a sort of mini-death, a mini-suicide, which actually brings me freedom from feelings which are otherwise extremely tiring.

I can't speak to the experience of all, of course, but I feel something like this dynamic is very, very common, particularly for the long term alcoholics/drug addicts who are suffering from undiagnosed developmental trauma.

Non-Binary Gender

I was on a college campus today, and they had an alphabet soup announcement--they keep adding letters, and I have no interest personally in getting past gay and bisexual--and it occurred to me that, as with most things on the Left, this whole thing is a reasonably centrally coordinated propaganda offensive.

And the POINT of the offensive is to force people to take sides.  It is always to force people to take sides, to take some issue where reasonable people can see value in diverse perspectives, and make it black and white, and to pounce mercilessly on anyone unwilling to toe your side of the thing immediately and fully.

This has two practical impacts.  One, it trains people to be submissive.  It trains them to the herd instinct.  If you want to belong, they are told, then you have to shout when we say shout, and cry when we say cry.

Secondly, though, by diluting the world into two poles, it allows you to get acceptance of many things which most people would otherwise reject completely.  Pedophilia is an obvious example.  How long do you think the Left, in general, will withhold judgement on those in their midst who are using the transgender offensive to push sex with children?  I think indefinitely.  Once you are on one side, you accept the entire omnibus political agenda, or you are an island of one, adrift alone on the ideological seas until a conservative comes along and rescues you, and reminds you you have your own fucking brain, and can and should form your own fucking opinions.

Thus there is an inherent incentive for the Left to continue inventing problems, which they can then use to push further polarization. 

To state the obvious, though, solving real problems is not and never has been their goal.  It is simply to burn the world down, and cry and shout with delight watching everything go up in flames.

As I have often enough, one can compare it to Satanism, and I am not sure that Satanism does not come off the worse in that comparison.  Satanists at least are able to state clearly, in the sanctum of their temples, what their real goals are.  Leftists NEVER, ever tell the truth about anything.  This is why adding Satanism to the creed in some respects improves it, because at least among themselves some honest words are spoken.

You cannot fix a problem you cannot recognize, and cannot correct behavior which is unconscious.

Rigidity

What creates rigidity in people?  Tension.

Logically, then, if one wants to recover the spontaneity of children, the ability to live in the moment, to be free, then the only path is to unlearn chronic patterns of tension.

I will say again that Tarthang Tulku's Kum Nye system is the smartest system of personal cultivation of which I am aware.  Some of the crazier of us will also need Neurofeedback, but I think the two together constitute a path back to a world most of us have given up on.

Sabina Spielrein

This is a sad but very interesting story: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/248785/sabina-spielrein-carl-jung

I like this term "memoricide".  I have long had a passion for remembering and recollecting the forgotten. This is one of the reasons I regularly point out our victory in Vietnam, won at a high cost of lives, and life energy--not to mention American money--and then lost to frivolity, cynicism, and grotesque stupidity, not just then, but ever since, with Ken Burns merely being the most recent willing conspirator in this particular memoricide.

Be that as it may, Jung appears to have been a rapist and an intellectual thief.  The notion of archetypes and the Collective Unconscious is, from my perspective, one of his most interesting, and it is NOT HIS IDEA AT ALL.

What is one to make of these chauvinist pigs--Freud and his not-disinherited progeny also being nearly uniformly ugly, and Jung in her estimation a "psychopath"--parading around as the wizards of mental health, the knowers of the unknown, the able tinkerers with our innermost realities and failings?

I have said before, and will say again: in my view, the institution of "mental health" is actually one of the worst things to hit humanity in its long and sorry history.  Substantially all post-modernism, and therefore substantially all lunatic politics in the modern world, has a strong flavor of some version of psychoanalysis.

This women had some fantastic ideas.  I really, really like this idea of a "death and rebirth" drive.  You have Eros, as the urge to create new life.  Then you have what we might call the Phoenix impulse--I think she would like that--which is the urge to create qualitative new life WITHIN ONE'S OWN SELF.  Two, twin, life instincts, one merely passing through "death" as the cost of metamorphosis.

And could we not posit the urge to war as in some respects the urge to a new form of life?  An urge to gallantry, sacrifice, endurance, patience, brotherhood, and the like?  To be born again, in the crucible of fire?  The mass dying is not the impulse: it is the desire for a new life, and the lack of a better means of finding it.

Sabina Spielrein: she is now on my radar.  I will do what little I can to help the world remember she lived, and survived a great deal of grief and turmoil, to deliver to the world highly interesting ideas, one of which was much better than the diluted version Freud dished out to the world.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The real problem

With the black community, so called, is not racism, but the BELIEF that racism is 1) the direct source of all their problems; 2) unavoidable; and 3) irremediable without complete and abject dependence on a political process largely controlled by white politicians who benefit from the status quo, and suffer no ill consequences from the long term maintenance of the status quo. Who, in other words, are happy to fail continually and over the long term because they STILL GET THE VOTES OF THE PEOPLE THEY FAIL.