Saturday, December 6, 2014

Smoking

To continue my rant, I decided to look at the rules in the People's Republic of California, a once-prosperous State currently bleeding tax-payers, and likely to go broke in the next ten years due to sheer stupidity.

Pulled this up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_smoking_bans_in_the_United_States#.C2.A0California

Look at the rules in Marin County: May 23, 2012 banned in all condos and apartments, as well as all patios within residential units. Anyone caught smoking will face a $100 fine and will be sentenced to five community day services. A second offense warrants a $300 fine and ten community day services, and a third offense being $700 fine and fifteen community day services. Landlords may opt out of smoking restrictions by designating 20 percent of their units reserved for smoking and may permit e-cigarettes to be used inside apartments and condos. All other outdoor areas, including bar and restaurant patios, and private homes that are not of multi-unit residences and smoking in cars are exempt from the ban.

Calabasas: 2006, banned in all indoor and outdoor public places, except for a handful of scattered, designated outdoor smoking areas in town. Believed to be the strictest ban in the United States.

Glendale:  October 7, 2008, banned smoking[54] in/on and within 20 feet (6.1 m) from: all city property (except streets and sidewalks); city vehicles and public transportation vehicles; city public transit stations; places of employment; enclosed public places; non-enclosed public places; and common areas of multi-unit rental housing. Some of the areas where smoking is prohibited are authorized to have smoking-permitted areas, subject to regulations. Also, landlords in Glendale are required to provide disclosure to a prospective renter, prior to signing a lease, as to the location of possible sources of second-hand smoke, relative to the unit that they are renting.

I get that people can say they don't like smoke.  I get that it certainly does not improve health.

But there is just something creepy about this to me.  I don't want to live in a world where the government can tell me what I can and can't put in my body.  We all die.  Every regulator who imposed every one of these regulations, and everyone who agitated for them, and everyone who opposed them: in 100 years, barring breakthroughs which can only happen if mainstream science abandons its orthodox materialism--not likely soon--all of them will be dead.  Their minds will not be downloaded.  Minds are not machines, and this is a necessary presupposition for those drooling over surrendering their souls to machines.

Why not live and let live?  There are too many fucking people worried about bodies and neglecting souls.  I like and trust smokers far more than health nuts.  They are at least in partial touch with their true emotions.  It is of course possible to be emotionally and physically healthy and reject things like smoking, but it seems to me most of the people pushing these things are emotionally detached ideologues.

One of the feeds on my Facebook posted an old video of Hollywood Squares, with Paul Lynde (how did I not figure out he was gay?  I guess I was too young when I was watching it), and they asked him something like: What is the collective name for gluttony, sloth, lust, wrath, pride, envy, and greed?  

He answered: The Bill of Rights.  Call me a Libertarian if you must, but I think he was on to something there.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Race and Propaganda

I have really realized over the past couple of days how thoroughly propagandized the American nation is.  Look for example at this Jon Stewart clip: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/12/04/i-honestly-dont-know-what-to-say-jon-stewart-goes-serious-on-eric-garner/

He says:
"We are definitely not living in a post-racial society." Stewart added, "and I can imagine there are a lot of people out there wondering how much of a society we're living in at all."
It sounds reasonable.  He is establishing his "caring" bona fides, and sharing that he GETS that blacks just aren't treated the same as whites.  This is a type of Integration Propaganda.  Integration Propaganda has as its goal the creation of a homogeneous group which can be counted on to accept the pronouncements of its elders with little or no question.  Jon Stewarts audience no doubt sees him as being profound, empathetic, that he has identified some important truth.

But the actual truth, as I have argued at some length, is that whites and blacks are killed in roughly even ratios, if we compare Officer Assisted Homicide (can we call it that?) rates among whites arrested for violent crimes, with those of blacks.  If we compare arrest rates across all crimes, blacks clearly fare much worse, with perhaps a 75% higher death rate, but I suspect most deaths are from arrests from violent crimes.  I don't know how to find that statistic.

My POINT, though, is that there are PLENTY of miscarriages of justice between cops and white folks.  I have posted 4 in the past couple days.

So when Jon Stewart invokes race, he does so without an empirical basis.  He is just saying what people in his position, coming from a certain worldview, say.

And again, to be clear, I think someone should have been charged with reckless endangerment or negligent homicide in this case, but the fact remains this was not PRIMARILY racial.   Bad things happen to white people too.

And this is the point I wanted to make.  The difference is that white people are not a target for Agitation Propaganda by left wing propagandists.  We are not whipped up into frenzies when a blatant (and there are much worse cases than Brown or Garner) crime is committed by police.

The whole point of mixing Agitation and Integration propagandas is to create a growing cohesive group which will believe whatever you say, and to foster that cohesiveness through carefully planned and targeted hate campaigns.  That is what is intended by calling everyone who disagrees with leftists "racists".  You both signal your belonging to the group, and the radical OTHERNESS of the person or people you have labeled Other.

That leftists--particularly leftist academics--claim to have rejected this process is simply evidence of some combination of intrapersonal stupidity, willful hypocrisy, and the cognitive distortions which invariably attend the rejection of principle, in principle, as a heuristic device for coordinating action and behavior.

Long day.  I'll leave it there.  Thought I should say something though.

Edit: I remembered what I had wanted to say.

If he were truly concerned about the plight of the innocent, about justice, about protecting the weak, Obama could easily find the same statistics I have, and conclude that some national initiative in favor of reforming the police review process might be in order.  That would be the sort of thing a Democrat from another generation might have undertaken.

But this guy, in my view, is mainly concerned with the USE all the confusion and violence can be put to.  HELPING people is simply not something that is even on his radar, except to the extent he can be seen doing so, and use that imagery for further propaganda.

Propaganda, for leftists, is an end in itself.  If conformity is the end, propaganda is the means, which makes it an end.  To BE is to be part of the group, and to be part of the group is to accept what you are told.  Therefore accepting propaganda comes very close to a sense of self outright.  That is the desired end state of aspiring Fascists everywhere, and in important respects they have come very close to realizing that ideal in America.

Justice

You know, it seems obvious to me that it is not useful to speak of a process for acquitting innocent cops UNTIL we have a process for convicting the GUILTY ones.  We cannot speak, legally, of good cops and bad cops.  The distinction is between cops and civilians, with the latter having greatly curtailed rights in disputed situations with respect to the latter.

Now, I want to be clear that I KNOW cops have all sorts of rules.  They must document everything. Reporting is half of what many do.  I KNOW they have all sorts of rules of engagement, etc.

But when they break down the wrong door, and shoot an innocent person, something major needs to happen.  Period.  We can discuss what, but at a minimum the Officer in Charge of a clusterfuck should be fired, and "disbarred", which is to say legally prohibited from "practicing" law enforcement anywhere in the country.  We disbar lawyers, and revoke medical licenses.  Why not cops?

And I think we need a special process for cops.  Grand Juries presently have to decide whether or not to file criminal charges.  What happens after that is between the police departments and the officers.  This is in part how Grand Juries can get convened over and over and NOTHING happens to bad cops, because they can't make criminal charges stick, and they don't have alternatives.

We can and should have grades of charges for Grand Juries to consider which do not presently exist on the books, with the least being official censure and some loss of pay/benefits/seniority, with a middle being getting fired, with or without retirement and benefits, and a high end being a criminal charge, ranging from reckless endangerment to 1st degree murder.

Those charges can then go to a jury trial.

As we read recently, a Grand Jury, if it so chooses, can "indict a ham sandwich".  But it can't make those charges stick.

And to let this play out, in Ferguson I think Wilson should have been exonerated, and everyone calling for riots and his death arrested.

In the case of Garner, I think they should have gone for negligent manslaughter.  That WAS a chokehold; choke holds are banned.  Simple logical process.  He had no extenuating circumstances.  He was surrounded with armed reinforcements, and making a Misdemeanor arrest (I would assume).

In the case of the guy I posted on the other day who tried to stop a drunk 19 year old with his body, and wind up killing her, I think he should have been fired without benefits and disbarred.

Smart cops know, I think, that if they are never seen as paying any consequence for what are in some cases more or less open cases of murder through at least stupidity, at some point they will start getting violent push back.  It's in their interest to SHOW the public that they are willing and able to cull their ranks of the violent and incompetent.

China

I read China is now, based on what I suspect is its own reporting, the worlds largest economy.  BFD.

Remember this: http://www.businessinsider.com/china-now-spends-125-billion-per-year-on-riot-gear-and-stability-maintenance-2013-5


The country is estimated to have more than 180,000 protests each year and the ruling Communist Party spends vast sums on ensuring order -- more even than on its military, the largest in the world.
I will repeat, as I do from time to time, that  China is formally a Fascist nation, which is ironic given all the anti-Fascist rhetoric one sees from  Communists.  The only important different between Communism and  Fascism is that Fascism is an almost viable economic system.  It only truly works when conquering other nations, as Hitler did with the Ukraine, and China did with Tibet, but it works much better than pretending that people are automotons who are indifferent to their environment, treatment, pay, and autonomy.

Fascism is great for enriching oligarchs, and has been a great boon to the ruling Communists, who live lives of luxury, and are exempt from most of the laws which control everyone else.  They are their own class, and one can see why they would institute such repressive measures to protect their class status.  One can see, that is to say, if one is amoral, crass, materialistic, and GROTESQUELY hypocritical.

Professionalism

Read this article: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/08/what-i-did-after-police-killed-my-son-110038_Page2.html#ixzz3Kz3oQgex

The issue is not black or white--that is a propaganda meme being used by the usual suspects for the usual purposes--but rather a nearly complete lack of accountability on the part of police for incompetence.  As he notes, with regard to his own State: "In 129 years since police and fire commissions were created in the state of Wisconsin, we could not find a single ruling by a police department, an inquest or a police commission that a shooting was unjustified."

Here are the stats on the FBI: "from 1993 to early 2011, F.B.I. agents fatally shot about 70 “subjects” and wounded about 80 others — and every one of those episodes was deemed justified, according to interviews and internal F.B.I. records obtained by The New York Times through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit."

Nationally, officers are cleared of any wrong-doing about 400 times a year in the shooting deaths of suspects, but NOBODY seems to track how many are charged.  I would guess based on the fore-going stats, the number is very close, or AT, zero.

Here is the thing: we have professional standards for doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, electricians, and many others.  If an electrician fucks something up and causes a house fire which kills someone, they can be charged, at minimum, with criminal negligence.  If a doctor does something stupid they can have their license revoked and sued for malpractice.  Egregious cases can still warrant  criminal charges.

There are best practices in police work.  The choke hold used on Eric Garner--and don't give me any bullshit that an arm targeting the caratoid, and it looked like the windpipe, as they moved, isn't a choke--is WORST practice.  It is banned.  Cops know this.  They are trained in it.

THEREFORE, using a choke hold is at a minimum prima facie evidence of professional incompetence/malpractice, and in this case what I would call clear negligent manslaughter.  This applies particularly since he was not attacking them, and they had AT LEAST 4 offers present, and based on how many people were moving around afterwards, more like 5-6. If you have me a week to design and test strategies for dealing with large men without choking them--including the most basic use of interpersonal skills to calm him down--I have no doubt I could do it.

There needs at a minimum to be a police equivalent of being disbarred, of being deemed unfit to do police work of any sort.  More generally, though, it seems ABSURD that police are trusted to investigate their own.  I would suppose it obvious that people who hate cops could be relied on, if trusted with full authority, to commit any number of atrocities against justice.  The cops in the Rodney King case never should have gone to jail (that's another matter I won't deal with here).

At the same time, though, a lack of accountability means that INNOCENT PEOPLE die.  Cops have rights: so too do the people  they shoot and kill.  If you are a SWAT Team and hit the wrong house because you are having a bad day, and kill someone--which has happened several times at least in the past few years--guess what?  You go on the fuck up list, and you get to work somewhere else, like McDonalds, and your pension is revoked.

You say "but cops make mistakes, too."  When you are serving a warrant for something like unpaid student loans--this is an actual case I read about--then FUCK YOU.  You stupid sons of bitches need to do your goddamned homework, and if you can't be bothered, then I repeat: FUCK YOU.  Go pollute some other job, using money from someone willing to tolerate your stink.  No retirement, no severance.  This, in lieu of jail, which I think overgenerous.

This argument is like architects saying " but my job is just so HARD", or engineers saying "But my job is so COMPLEX", or an ER doctor saying "But I have so much STRESS."

Can we not stipulate as basic elements of the policing process that you not default to banned worst practices?  Can we not stipulate that at a minimum?

I want to be clear: this is not a rant against cops in general.  I recognize the value and inherent risk in what they do.  This is rant against BAD, INCOMPETENT, UNPROFESSIONAL cops who give everyone else a bad name.

I will share one story.  I know a woman who got drunk one night with her boyfriend, and the next day went down to Barney's neck of the woods, and got lost. They asked a cop for directions, and he smelled alcohol on the boyfriends breath, and promptly arrested him.  While this was going on, she was carrying their baby, and she was getting freaked out and scared, so she asked if she could go into the gas station (where they were stopped), and he ignored her.  So she went in.  He followed her, took the baby out of her hands, and handed it to the clerk, and then punched her so hard she woke up in the hospital.

She sued.  I don't know what happened, but these people ARE ON THE STREET.  What he did was not policy.  It was not legal.  It was an assault, pure and simple, but five gets you twenty he is or soon will be back on the street, with no charges, and that the case will settle out of court for not much money.

Some cases are OBVIOUS.  This was all caught on camera.  Such cases need to be subjected to criminal prosecution.  Cops need to go to jail.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Determination

I post this in part because I want to remember it and am feeling too lazy to journal it.  I can type 5-10 times faster than I can write, and it has the added merit of being legible.

I was dreaming last night I was driving, and construction kept interfering with my path.  I was trying to go somewhere, but endless concrete loops and dead ends were in my way.

So I got out, grabbed my car, and climbed up a steep rock embankment--using one hand to get handholds, since the car was in the other--to get myself back on the highway I wanted.  I have never carried a car before.  That was new.  It wasn't that heavy.

I really want to break through some old limiting behaviors, and feel I have found some good strategies for doing it.  I will have more to write on the specifics once I hit some behavioral benchmarks I have set for myself.  It's far better to speak of what worked than what might.

Nanny Bloomberg and smoking

From what I read, Eric Garner had been arrested 8 times for selling cigarettes without paying the five dollar something tax that in his infinite intrusiveness Nanny Bloomberg--the prick--instituted to busybody his way into the lives of every New Yorker who smoked.

Not only was this law put on the books--for the alleged good of New Yorkers--but the Chief of Police gave it priority and strongly encouraged beat cops to make arrests.  This is idiocy.  This is taking the War on Drugs to its absurdist extreme.  If they wanted to punish him, fines would have been quite sufficient.  It is not a big deal one way or the other.

And I can totally relate to why he was pissed with them.  I would have been pissed too.  He had figured out a way to make money that, at worst, led to New York collecting slightly less in taxes.

Now why was Garner doing this?  TO FEED HIS FAMILY.  How complicated is that?

And why were people buying from him?  Simple: Socialists ALWAYS create black markets by charging such high taxes that avoiding them becomes profitable in and of itself.  As I noted the other day, utopian Denmark has a thriving black market, with half of Danes admitting they buy things under the table to avoid taxes.

So you have on the one hand an idiot law, passed by idiots for idiots, and enforced by a combination of drones and idiots, and at least one man dead for it, and children who NOW will either go without or be forced to USE some of that tax money these jackasses are collecting to make ends meet, in the form of social welfare benefits.

Dumb top to bottom, side to side.

And I can't resist adding that this overall war on Tobacco is another source of irritation to me.  If people want to smoke, and they tell their insurance carriers the truth, they are COVERED.  It's nobodies fucking business. It's something many people like because it calms them down.

And I have long felt that these stats on second hand smoke exposure among adults are BS.  Yes, people should not smoke in malls or at work, but a few whiffs here and there is not going to affect anyone.  No, you should not smoke around your kids, but if they get a whiff every now and then, that's not going to hurt anything either.

Did you know chronic smokers only have a 1 in 20 chance of getting lung cancer?  The rate for the population as a whole is 1 in 100.  This makes smokers 5x more likely to get lung cancer, but only 5% of them actually will.  My own guesstimate is that roughly 1 in 2 smokers never suffers anything more serious than a smokers cough.

Sanity on race and cops

Posted Facebook.  I decided to break my rule.

I think adding some context to some current debates might be useful.
42% of arrest related homicides are among whites. 32% among blacks. This is a ratio of 1.31. What I will note is that in absolute numbers more whites are killed by cops in the arrest process than blacks. Our media would have you believe that number is close to zero. It isn't. I will post in comments a very recent case exactly similar in kind to the Eric Garner case.
Now, here is a table showing total arrests:
I have divided total white arrests by total black arrests--for all causes--and the ratio is 2.46, which means that proportionately blacks are more likely to die in the process of getting arrested. However if I select ONLY for violent crimes--which I think we can safely assume also carry the highest risk for both sides--the number of arrests for whites is 236,394, and for blacks it is 155,088, which is a ratio of 1.52. This STILL reflects a higher rate for blacks, but not a huge one. If my math is correct, the rate is 16% higher.
If we have a crisis, it is that nearly 3,000 people died in the process of getting arrested, or in custody and that their deaths were formally classified as officer-involved homicides. And again, in absolute numbers that represents about 1,244 white people, and 931 blacks.
Now, most of these were likely folks who came out shooting and got dropped. But not all of them.
I would like to tell the people using this for racial polarization, profit, and ratings to kiss my ass. Eric Garner's killer was clearly guilty of at least reckless manslaughter, but the problem is not primarily a BLACK problem, at least statistically. We are having riots because it is being portrayed as such, but wrongs are being done to ALL races. What was done to Garner was wrong, but the same sorts of things are happening to everyone, at roughly comparable rates, or at least that would appear to be the case.
I am having vivid fantasies of putting some journalists, politicians and agitators in old fashioned stocks and having people throw rotten fruit and vegetables at them for a day or two.
You don't make people smarter by making them dumber. What you do is make them USEFUL.
I will note that nothing good usually happens to the pawns. None of us should aim to be a tool for someone else's end, but rather to seek our own purposes, with our own wills, our own knowledge, and our own wisdom.


Do you know about this?  19 year old kid leaves a party in a field, terrified and drunk, stupid cop tries to stop her car with his body, gets his foot run over, panics, shoots and kills her. No charges. Underage drinking is not a capital offense. It may be that some of these people do not deserve criminal trials, but in my book if you do something that stupid once, your ass bounces high on the way out, and you are put on a permanent national shit list to make sure no one rehires you.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Eric Garner

This is a murder, plain and simple: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1ka4oKu1jo

Selling cigarettes is something you issue a citation for (or, according to the person making the recording, breaking up a fight), not something you use a choke hold for.  And aren't chokeholds something from the fucking 70's?  It is KNOWN that unless they are used carefully, they kill people.  You can cut off oxygen too long, collapse the wind pipe, or--as appears to have happened in this case--trigger a heart attack.  That's why cops have been carrying tasers for 20 years.

Police, when they take the job, understand they are granted both power AND responsibility.  This is no different in principle than a surgeon fucking up a heart surgery.  They are paid to do it right, and there need to be consequences when they do it wrong.

An issue that is becoming increasingly obvious with cameras everywhere is that some cops seem to view all resistance to their authority as a pissing contest which they refuse to lose.  This guy was mouthing off at them, but likely because they have hassled him many times.  They arrested him basically because he wasn't sufficiently obsequious.  I worked for a police department in college, and repeatedly saw "Arrested for Resisting Arrest".  I was never able to work out the logic of that.  A more accurate phrasing might be "pissed me off."  I would suspect that some cops make this particular arrest much, much more than others.  The others are the ones to be trusted, in all likelihood.

This is very different from the Michael Brown case. There were plenty of cops, and Garner did not offer resistance.  Even when they were taking him down he didn't try to hit anyone.

I really like this guy

http://rare.us/story/milwaukee-sheriff-tells-megyn-kelly-how-obama-and-eric-holder-have-hurt-america/

In my view it is BLACK people who need to start asking: what the HELL have all these people allegedly crusading on our behalf actually DONE for us?

Nobody is looking out for blacks in this country, least of all their supposed leaders, and supposed advocates.  That is why failure continues to be widespread, and unchanging.

We don't need to have ghettos.  We don't need to have areas of concentrated poverty.

Much of this will require fixes in monetary policy--a full solution certainly will--but much can be done even within political policy.  Charter schools and vouchers are the most obvious place to start.  They WORK, which is why Democrats oppose them.  What happens to their constituency, when they no longer need look to the government for assistance?  This is why ending schools which were generating MUCH better results, particularly for minorities, was one of the first things De Blasio did.

Here's a link: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/education/2014/03/bill_de_blasio_vs_charter_schools_a_feud_in_new_york_city_has_broad_national.html

De Blasio also finds himself in a pretty lonely situation: By going after the charters, he is attacking one of the most promising urban school reform strategies available to Democratic mayors across the country these days, and he’s doing it without offering a clear alternative. 
Among the 870 Success Academy seats blocked was a modest 194-student expansion for Success Academy students in Harlem to move into a new middle school. That triggered days of searing presscoverage pointing out that those 194 students, all low-income minorities, were coming from a school, Success Academy 4, that killed it on the new state test scores, with 80 percent of the students passing the math test, and 59 percent the English test. The co-located middle school the mayor is protecting and where many of those 194 charter students would end up: P.S. 149, where 5 percent of students passed the math test, and 11 percent the English test. 
Wasn’t de Blasio supposed to be the champion of improving education for have-not children, his critics asked? 

Drug War

I'm still trying to keep my opinionating off Facebook.  This is a post I deleted.
Priorities: "There were approximately 600 police officers and detectives manning the borough of Manhattan in the Narcotics Division when I worked there.
When I worked in the Manhattan Special Victims Squad, we were responsible for investigating all felony sex crimes and child abuse cases in the borough of Manhattan. Our caseload totaled approximately 4,000 cases per year. We were staffed with 22 Detectives.
I recall having a pile of active case folders on my desk and trying to prioritize them. Should I work on the infant who was burned with an iron, the woman brutally beaten and raped at gunpoint, or the 11 year old child sodomized by his uncle? Of course I attempted to work all of them with due diligence, as did most of my colleagues, but the frustration of such a caseload never ceased. In the back of my mind I knew there were only 22 of us and yet 600 narcotics officers were working cases without a victim."
What needs to be added is that Asset Seizure laws have effectively turned the drug war into a For Profit business. We have been fighting this "war" since the Reagan years. I can't see any strong positives that have come from it. We have, on the contrary, compromised many civil liberties, created many new wards of the State in our penitentiaries, and militarized our police forces. Those are not desirable outcomes. Yes, drugs can cause people to do bad things. So too can alcohol. But as he notes above, surely we can grant that possessing crack is much less injurious than raping someone?

The Boy Scouts

I'm reading through a catalog targeted at men of a certain age, those at a minimum, I would suspect, who can remember standing up to change the channel on TV, and whose childhoods had lots of beef stroganoff and Hamburger Helper.

They have a reproduction of the 1911 Boy Scout Handbook.  Seeing this brought a wave of nostalgia through me.

There was a time when being a Boy Scout was an honorable thing, when young boys were brought up to value integrity, preparedness, alertness, diligence, and practical knowledge.  This was a widespread and pervasive ideal.

It seems to me we are not only primed for, but seeing, a strong cultural resurgence of the basic Liberal ideals which informed American politics for most of history.  Self reliance, kindness, honesty: all of these work to produce an informed, active, responsible public.

Ponder for a moment the obvious success of the Art of Shaving stores across the country (I travel, and am seeing them everywhere).  Could one not readily correlate this with the Republican wave in the most recent election?

Life is uncertain, but it is much more uncertain when the basic ideal which have made us successful are daily attacked and denigrated--directly, or through being ignored.

I think we have reached a tipping point where there is too much confusion, where the desire to do right, to tolerate things we don't like, has passed into anger, and an open willingness to call for returns to old ideas.

Goodness, as I define it, is being able to live happily on your own, and to be happy for others in their own successes, to take pleasure in them.  It is the opposite of Schadenfreude. It is the opposite of self righteous anger on behalf of people who have not even asked you to help them.  It is the opposite of intentional divisiveness, bitterness, anger, vitriol.

What we might term the Golden Age of the Boy Scout no doubt covered up much that was bad.  It did not make enough room for including women as cultural equals (or superiors).  It did not make room for inclusion of blacks, who I suspect may have been banned outright in some areas.

Boy Scout culture converted easily to militarism.  I personally think it was vital that we battled both the Nazi Fascists and the Communist Fascists.  Anti-Communism was vital throughout the second half of the 20th Century, and remains important.  Our colleges are filled with people who would end our freedoms if they could, returning us to earlier ages of cruelty and barbarity, as seen in Cuba.

Now, though, I am with Rand Paul that enough is enough.  Let us combat direct threats to our nation, but not try and guess 15 moves ahead as to who might threaten us.  We need, as one example, to let Iran know their civilization will end if they attack us with a nuclear weapon.  North Korea will cease to exist, as a socialist paradise or anything else.

Beyond that, though, I would support large increases in National Guard participation, and a substantial draw down of our standing military.  We do not need to patrol the worlds oceans for free any more, even though we need to retain strike capabilities.

Ideals remain ideals even within conditions of change.  The whole world was racist in 1776, and less than a 100 years later some 600,000 Americans died trying, in no small measure, to redefine them as human beings just like white people, with equal sufferings, equal wishings, equal rights. 200 years later it is self evident to nearly everyone that racism as an institutional creed is anti-Liberal and wrong.

People can change, and institutions can change, without altering their guiding ideals.  You do not attack ideals: you attack ideas, and the behavior they support.

This is my foundational objection to Leftism: it does not in fact contain ANY ideals. It is a purely destructive cultural process.  I have argued this at length.

And I want to be clear that I make no foundational distinction between the soft version, which I call Sybaritic Leftism, and hard Leftism, which I call Cultural Sadeism.  The first LEADS to the second, perhaps slowly, perhaps quickly, because it rejects IN PRINCIPLE all ideals other than leveling, other than bringing the high low.  All socialisms are bad for this reason.

It is a perfectly acceptable ideal to want the poor fed, clothed and housed.  But this is not the ACTUAL ideal of socialists.  Everywhere this awful creed is implemented standards of living go down in aggregate, chronic unemployment becomes endemic, and anger builds.

Now, obviously there are continuums.  I speak to the principle of egalitarianism as a primary goal.  Slaves are equal, but they do not thereby become happier or more enlightened.

No society can be better than the aggregate average of the individuals in it. That a society as a whole can be a target of moral improvement is the great lie that leftists tell over and over, in no small measure, I would argue, because by invoked the General, they exempt themselves in the particular from cultivating virtue.  France's Msr. Hollande hates poor people.  John Kerry doesn't like paying taxes. Neither does Al Sharpton.

And returning to an article by the strongly Left-leaning Guardian, the Danes seem to be living on credit cards: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/27/scandinavian-miracle-brutal-truth-denmark-norway-sweden

Why do the Danes score so highly on international happiness surveys? Well, they do have high levels of trust and social cohesion, and do very nicely from industrial pork products, but according to the OECD they also work fewer hours per year than most of the rest of the world. As a result, productivity is worryingly sluggish. How can they afford all those expensively foraged meals and hand-knitted woollens? Simple, the Danes also have the highest level of private debt in the world (four times as much as the Italians, to put it into context; enough to warrant a warning from the IMF), while more than half of them admit to using the black market to obtain goods and services.
Perhaps the Danes' dirtiest secret is that, according to a 2012 report from the Worldwide Fund for Nature, they have the fourth largest per capita ecological footprint in the world. Even ahead of the US. Those offshore windmills may look impressive as you land at Kastrup, but Denmark burns an awful lot of coal. Worth bearing that in mind the next time a Dane wags her finger at your patio heater.
Most seriously of all, economic equality – which many believe is the foundation of societal success – is decreasing. According to a report in Politiken this month, the proportion of people below the poverty line has doubled over the last decade.Denmark is becoming a nation divided, essentially, between the places which have a branch of Sticks'n'Sushi (Copenhagen) and the rest. Denmark's provinces have become a social dumping ground for non-western immigrants, the elderly, the unemployed and the unemployable who live alongside Denmark's 22m intensively farmed pigs, raised 10 to a pen and pumped full of antibiotics (the pigs, that is). 

My point: problems have solutions, and humankind has been on this Earth long enough to know what works and what doesn't.  As I have said Conservatives can certainly be anti-Progress.  But they can also be anti-Regress, and we have reached the point where that is their primary mission.  Whatever benefits may have accrued from asserting the rights and importance of women and minorities have been achieved.  They are our (middle aged white men, in my case) equals (or superiors: my world view has no need to assert equality as a necessary given, in either direction) legally and socially, to the extent they work to do so.

But Boy Scout virtues continue to be relevant.  They are the path to creating and sustaining freedom, and freedom is in my view the sine qua non of human advancement.  Everyone who claims otherwise is peddling a lie, normally in pursuit of a totalitarianism which they seek because of their own moral inferiority, their own inability to grow as people, to learn to process anger, grief, and LIFE itself, in all its ugliness and beauty and ordinariness. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Investing

I tend to take what money I might earn which most people would spend on a vacation, and spend it on personal development.  My reasoning is very simple: when you teach yourself to be happier, with less, you have made an investment which pays dividends forever.

Let's drive this hopelessly into the realm of abstraction.  Let us say that your current Happiness Quotient is 1.  Let us say that if you lose your job and decline in status, it will go down; and if you get promoted and advance your career, it will NOT go up permanently.  Most successes have short shelf lives.  It will stay at 1, perhaps advance to a 1.1 or 1.2 once you get a corner office.

If you work your ass off and get your dream job, and your dream S.O. (S is Significant), then you advance perhaps to 1.5, with the same risks of decline if status or relationship change negatively.

Posit, however, that you invest money and time directly on the "happiness process".  Let us say that you are a 1, but with work and time advance to a 2 that is NOT TIED directly to external validation.  Let us say that you learn to keep the 2 even if you wind up living in a yurt in a rural county next to a pig farm.

Is this not smarter than pursuing happiness indirectly?  I think it is.

Being a modest, unassuming soul, I plan to write a book entitled "Saving the world", or perhaps "How we do it (survive)".  One core point I want to make is that consumerism, conspicuous consumption, greed, excess: none of these are NEEDED for human happiness.  There are groups who want to use FORCE to make us live lives which require less material stuff.

But why can we not reach such states voluntarily?  As one example, I proposed perhaps 4-5 years ago that it would be INTERESTING if the primary determinant of house status was not size, but how cleverly it was constructed, how cleverly it was built, how well it blended with its setting.

And to that end I proposed many things.  Paints that change color.  Pipes running through the house showing if it is raining or not.  Smoke in tubes that gets disturbed when wind is present.

And of course all SORTS of possibilities exist in the external structure of such houses, which are very small inside.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Michael Brown conspiracy

http://conservativetribune.com/possible-ferguson-witness-killed/

If it is true that people who witnessed the shooting were threatened, then that means that dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people knew DAMN WELL that Brown was guilty, that he brought the shooting on himself; and that they instead acted as if he were innocent.

This is disgusting.

People like this DeAndre Joshua are the hope of the black community.  It is an abundance of people willing to do the right thing, even though unpopular, which makes white America work.  If this is true, this kid showed both a lot of courage and a lot of integrity.

People like that are worth being proud of.  They do the black community proud.

And the people who shot him, if we are understanding this story correctly, are the BANE of black America.  They are the ones who drag it down, make it hellish, make it impossible to get ahead.  They should be fought at every corner, across every front, every hill and every valley until this useless rage is removed and replaced with common sense and common decency.

Don't hold your breath though.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Post unlikely to make it through the filter, somewhere on the internet. . .

Response to article by black man essentially saying that blacks are always (uniquely) being picked on, doubting that Brown was guilty, and we whites really just don't understand black people, mostly because we are stupid and don't listen. He starts and ends by calling all dissenters bigots.


It may come as a surprise to you, but when you reference the word “bigot” in both the opening and closing paragraphs, assume your points are made beyond any possibility of contention, and accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being “self-righteous”, some people take offense at that.

Not everyone who disagrees with you is racist, and in fact most whites I observe have reached a point where, after so many years of the absolutely unanchored, unrestrained, reflexive use of that word to demonize everyone and stifle rational discussion, that we consider it a species of attempted bullying.

You are not right because you are black any more than I am right (or wrong) because I am white.  It is racist, in the genuine sense of the word, the real sense of the word, to say otherwise, in my view.

Now, you are a psychologist.  As such, you have received scientific training.  You KNOW that a few anecdotes do not amount to a open and shut case.  Let me offer some statistics: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ard0309st.pdf

42% of arrest related deaths were among white people, and 32% among blacks.  The total number among all races was nearly 3,000 last year, making Michael Brown a drop in a bucket.  If I extrapolate, that is some 1,260 white people.

One thing that irks me is this seeming black contention that bad things ONLY happen to them.  Do think all of these deaths among whites were justified?  Do you think the mothers and fathers of these kids cried any less, felt less rage at the system?

And you avoid the question as far as single parenthood.  The simple reality is that poverty does not create single parenthood.  There have been strong families throughout human history living in much worse conditions that the average ghetto or country farm.  SINGLE PARENTHOOD CREATES POVERTY.

Black girls (and for that matter white girls) who graduate high school and who marry and stay married to the father of their first child rise out of poverty, even if that is where they started, very quickly.  To stay poor, you need intergenerational single mothers—preferably uneducated--and we both know—and I can demonstrate demographically—that this is much more common in black homes.

And the children of two parent families avoid nearly all the bad things associated with single parent homes.  They are less likely to be criminals, high school dropouts, to get someone pregnant or get pregnant, and to do drugs or abuse alcohol.  These things are well documented.

And on that note, I would offer my own anecdote: a friend I went to college with signed up with the LAPD and eventually worked several years in the South Central Los Angeles.  He said he saw the same stupid shit day after day after day after day.  It never let up.  He eventually left because it was making him cynical and racist.  He started detesting himself.

But it is a matter of clear, empirical fact that blacks commit nearly all crimes at rates 2-3 times that of white people (the multiplier is even higher with Asians).  For violent crimes it is as much as 10x higher: http://online.wsj.com/articles/jason-riley-the-other-ferguson-tragedy-1416961287  (Riley is black, by the way).

Are you going to seriously contend that cops be so inhuman that they completely fail to learn from repeated experience?  Are you going to say that blacks bear NO RESPONSIBLITY for the experience cops have that they are much more likely than whites to commit virtually every crime that happens outside Wall Street?

Here is the thing: until the black family is reconstituted, the pattern of failure we have seen over the past 50 years will continue.  Poverty will continue, crime will continue.  Whites will continue to build themselves communities isolated in all but expressed verbal intent. Put another way: they won’t admit what they are doing, but they will do it anyway.  Ferguson is black because the whites moved out.  It’s illegal for Real Estate Agents to mention race, but do you seriously think they need to? 

And you can’t blame them.  Who wants to live in a high crime neighborhood?  I’ve done it.  I was scared every day I or my wife would be attacked.  I heard a guy get shot.  Another kid got shot a block from my apartment.  Another kid got shot outside the movie theater.  I had to hide all change and everything of value in my truck, and put a club on it, lest it get stolen.   In that area, that year, roughly 15 cars were stolen in roughly a 10x10 square block area a month.

No doubt your own work is useful, but can you seriously claim that you can affect more than perhaps a few hundred lives in the next five years?  The problem is nationwide, and affects many millions.  By and large the kids who are going to be trouble, are on that path by age 10 or so, in my own estimation.


I readily grant the conditions of our ghettos are appalling, as are the lives of many who live in them.  But this is not White America’s fault.  We have bent over backwards trying to help, and many of us are suffering severe compassion fatigue.

Race and injustice

One would think, reading accounts of "white privilege" that all you have to do to succeed in America is be white.  This ignores that most poor people in this country are white. It ignored the enormous amount of work and preparation it takes to succeed, work which is not done by the unsuccessful, in what I would hope is an obvious tautology.  Those who do not succeed did not do what it takes to succeed, however they define it.

One gets the impression that ONLY blacks have experiences with unfairness, with being judged prejudicially, with dealing with stupid, abusive people.  Only blacks have to deal with foreclosures and lost jobs, bad credit scores and banks that won't lend to them.  Only blacks have bosses who demand too much of them, or won't hire you because they don't like you.  Only blacks deal with poverty.  Only blacks get arrested and put in jail.  Only blacks get shot unnecessarily by cops.

This is bullshit.  Life is hard for nearly everyone, and it is often unfair.  We do not make it more fair in general by redistributing rights from one group to another.  To quote William Boetker, you cannot raise anyone up by tearing someone else down.  What blacks need to do is copy white (and Asian, even more so) cultural models to succeed.

They are not doing this.  Why is anyone's guess, but one thing is obvious is that a whole INDUSTRY--and by industry I mean a for-profit business enterprise--exists almost entirely to tell them that nothing is under their direct control, their personal decisions don't matter, and that whatever they do and say, it is OK.

This is a form of abuse.  It is a form of cruelty.  As I have said often, it is the mother who coddles her 600 pound son who finds it just too hard to get out of bed and function.

The idea of people going hungry and homeless is repugnant to me, but it needs to stated and emphasized that the FIRST LINE of defense against poverty is a JOB, and TWO PARENTS.  It is not the government.

Democrats more or less literally toss little candy treats from their election parade floats and claim that thereby they "support" black people, and that opposing them is opposing black progress, justice, and the American Way.  These floats start at one black tie cocktail party, and end at another.  They might stop in high end ghettos and drop their g's, and try to pretend to be "Barry on the Block", but they don't stay long.  No campaign donations there.

EVERYTHING they do makes jobs more scarce.  It makes them pay less, because in a down economy, there is downward pressure on wages, just as there is SUBSTANTIAL upward pressure in good times. [Minimum wages laws, obviously, when set above prevailing market wages, create downward pressure on employment outright.]

This would be true, of course, in conditions of fixed labor supply.  If you add 5 million people to the labor pool, it pushes yet farther out any possible improvement in at least low skilled jobs, and increases poverty.  It is no accident, or an unforeseeable outcome that black incomes have plunged under Obama.

It is significant and no accident that Democrat approval ratings have plunged among the working class, which is historically the people who voted Democrat, because they "looked out for the little guy".  I heard my grandfather say this often.  It may have been true at one time--particularly when people like FDR looked out for the WHITE "little guy", giving many contracts to unions who refused to hire blacks, but that has long ceased to be the case.  They merely appeal rhetorically to every constituency who might be counted on to vote for something free (to them, and apparently, since that is money that was diverted from alternative, structurally better uses.)

As one recent book title put it: Please stop helping us.

And I will add one more thing: no blacks alive today were victims of slavery.  No blacks endured/survived/transcended slavery.  By my reckoning we only have one large group that has, within living memory, endured slavery: the survivors of Nazi work camps.  We could add to that, I suppose, the many Vietnamese who survived Communist work camps.

The slavery meme is propaganda.  I had said that many people find in fear a grounding principle, but I could add to that many others find in rage and hate equally vivifying principles.

I see a MLK, Jr. movie is on the way, to reconnect people with struggles that were DONE almost entirely by 1970, some 44 years ago.  We just had "7 Years a Slave", and Django, and who knows what else.

ALL of this detracts from a core reality: black people are capable of doing work THEY ARE NOT DOING.  I see no point in beating around the bush.  I see no reason to assume less of them, to consider them inferior, or to give than an on-going pass from adult responsibility simply because as a group they HISTORICALLY perhaps endured more than most whites (life on the frontier was no joke, though).

What they endure now, the conditions in their neighborhoods, are their own.  Most poor people in this country are white.  Nobody sheds any tears over them, nor should they.  They make decisions consistent with poverty, in some places, generation after generation. That is their prerogative.  

Zombieland

I was watching Zombieland--doing my Movie Yoga, watching movies I would not normally watch, to see what comes out--and I just felt this terrible isolation and fear coming from the film.  The narrator of the film lost contact early on with his family.  He was alone before the zombies.

And I felt this isolation, this terror, this profound, unspeakable trepidation about the future of our very complex civilization, in the face of all the forces tearing us apart; I felt this is not just my particular malady.

Have we entered the realm of family as voluntary association?  In some respects this is an evolution of the concept of individualism, but it is also a reflection of the determined assaults by cultural nihilists upon all the non-coercive, non-violent, voluntary forces which bring us together, which keep us together.  Values like honor and loyalty and impartial kindness, and REASON.

Do sanity and connection not feel for many of us like increasingly endangered islands?  In that movie, they found a family of sorts, comradery, love.  But were they not unanchored, in constant danger and motion?

We feel zombies among us.  I see zombie parades all over the country.  Why do people want to be zombies?  What is the attraction?  Does it not allow them to greet and identify and engage with something in their lives that makes them feel unimportant, disengaged, separated?

Does it not allow them to contact forces of rage and violence which they cannot otherwise give voice to?  The need to "cry without weeping, talk without speaking, scream without raising your voice."

Why not take "the poison, from the poisoned stream"?

I have, for many years.  It's so easy.  It's much easier than greeting head on horror, confusion, loneliness, doubt, and a sense of futility.

But I don't quit.  For the duration of my life I will offer my soul, sacrifice my being, shake like a leaf, watch horror flow through me like a black river, and work for something better that I can communicate and teach.

There is no other game in town.  Failure greets all of us at some time, on some level, but sometimes the task is simply keeping the torch lit, and carrying it as long as you can.

Fear

I was in a deep meditation yesterday, and realized that fear is a part of my identity.  I don't know how to be my "self" in a condition of deep relaxation.  I must invent that self, never having been it.

And one can easily psychologize my posts from yesterday. Without saying ANYTHING about the truth value of what I posted, one can ask why I sought all that out. It was there two days ago, and a week ago and a year ago.

And the answer lies in this vacillation I am increasingly feeling between relaxed well being, and the fear that the other shoe is getting ready to drop.  Back and forth, back and forth.  One can start with fear and then justify it.  There are plenty of ways to do this, from global warming/ecological devastation, to preoccupation with an Islamic Nuke/EMP.  It's all there for you to use, if you so choose.  All of them will allow you to direct your life along that path of that fear.  They can give meaning to you, if you choose to use it that way, but not deep meaning, as I would understand it.

What happens if you realize Global Warming is bullshit?  Or that Iran has no intention of sacrificing itself in its crusade for vengeance on the world?  What happens if sustained peace and prosperity break out?

On some level, to find peace one must accept death, daily death, a daily reckoning, a daily dance with life which you remember will never come again in exactly the same way, and accept. You accept the passing of what just was and will never be again. You accept in that act the value of the present moment.

Living well and dying well cannot be separated, in my view.  Mourning cannot be separated from joy, freedom from constraint.

I am not saying anything new, but I feel it perhaps more than I normally do.

Boston Bombing

Well, now I'm getting used to the idea of "crisis actors".  Why wouldn't this be next?  I couldn't stand it.

http://www.fromthetrenchesworldreport.com/are-you-just-a-believer-or-do-you-think/41807

It only takes one blatant, inexplicable fact to destroy an entire narrative.

Here's another link: http://deepinsidetherabbithole.com/The_Boston_Bombing_Hoax.html

What is happening?  There seems to be a rot deep within this nation.  It is not in the ordinary people, who have in many respects been made mediocre by an inferior educational system, which teaches conformity and not critical thinking, and fails to impart basic facts about finances, economics, political theory, and history.  Those people by and large are decent, just dumb.

Where it lies is in the failure of our elites, our alleged best, our supposed best, those who are supposed to be smart, to be the experts, for everyone else.

These people have been failing for a very long time, and their failures have directly supported these increasingly brazen false flag operations.

Edit: 3 people supposedly died in the bombing: Krystle Campbell, Martin William Richard, and Lingzi Lu.  If it was a hoax, what happened to them?  Did they ever exist?

That will have to wait.  I am screwing my sleep time up completely.

Well, this person has this to say: http://nodisinfo.com/more-proof-of-the-richards-family-hoax/

Krystle Campbell: https://archive.org/details/KrystleCampbellALIVE

Lingzi Lu, nothing found yet, but if she was a "foreign student" she would have had family to claim her.

One last link: http://www.freedomslips.com/boston3.htm

Edit: I'm not going to say definitively that this bombing did not happen.  The photos seem to show staging going on, and otherwise inexplicable behavior, but there are two layers to this: 1) it didn't happen; 2) it wasn't done by who we were told did it.  I am not the only one who found it profoundly weird that Dzoker got a throat wound between being caught and the time he wound up in jail.  It seems obvious to me that AT A MINIMUM more people were involved than we have been told.  There are a number of things that just don't add up.

And am I the only one who remembers that when this bombing--or whatever it was--happened North Korea was threatening us with nuclear war?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Maybe there is a government conspiracy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BplUD6kQYuU

This is a long speech by a former high level FBI officer (I assume his claim is true).  Here is his Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Gunderson

He apparently was considered to head the FBI as a whole. This guy is not a kook.

1) The first World Trade Center bombing was the result of a bomb provided to an informant by the FBI, named Emad Salem.  The FBI had, or should have had, foreknowledge.

Link: https://archive.org/details/1993WorldTradeCenterAnFBISetup-TedGundersonAnthonyJHilder_0

2) The Oklahoma City bombing was also done by the government.  It used something called a barometric bomb.

Link: http://goldenageofgaia.com/2011/04/23/michael-riconisuto-on-the-barometric-bomb-that-brought-down-the-murrah-building/

Link: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/660197443/Nichols-says-bombing-was-FBI-op.html?pg=all

3) 9/11 of course was also an inside job.  I have posted extensively on this, and am evolving to the conclusion that our government--parts of it, not all of it, or even most of it--were involved.

4) There seem to be cults operating in the US.  This case is much more circumstantial, but not absent either.

http://educate-yourself.org/cn/ciadrugsabusemurder.shtml

Here is a video he mentions I have not yet watched: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQHrbJPhus4

We need to remember that most people are good.  Most people object strongly to such evils.  We are not helpless, even if ALL this is true.

I feel I should add as well that it's 3 in the morning, and I"ve been  at this 4 hours.  I am perhaps missing some obvious objection, but it seems to me, logically, that people who are nuts do not rise to be considered to head organizations like the FBI.  There has to be a history of competence, analytical intelligence, organization, drive, and integrity.

This is the first time I've seen this allegation with regard to the first WTC bombing, but as I noted some months ago, the case is clear that Oklahoma City cannot be explained as ANFO bomb.

Here is a copy of a letter written by an Air Force Brigadier General with (according to him) considerable experience in bomb damage assessment saying it could not have been the result solely of the alleged sole source: http://okcbombingtruth.com/docs/PartinReport.pdf

That's enough for tonight.

Edit: I got a shitty night's sleep, but am awake enough for now.   Gunderson says there are I think he said 60,000 human sacrifices a year in this country.  That sounds absurdly high.  If he said 100, I could see it.

I don't know what to believe.  I go in and out of this conspiracy theory.  9/11 my mind is 100% rock solid on, and once you take that trip down the rabbit hole, a whole lot more comes to seen possible.  I'm going to leave this alone for a while, though.  I served my cause of summoning fear, and distracting me from inner work I would otherwise have been doing, but that's not really a very good cause.

I will return, though.  I will return.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Growth

The perfection of mourning is the perfection of wisdom.  I think I would summarize my philosophy of life thus, at the moment.

Everything we see is always simultaneously being born and dying.  There is nothing in this world you can hold on to, but love.  Love necessarily implies an ability to die, to be reborn in every moment.  It is simultaneously a great joy and a terrible curse.  Reconciling these two aspects of it is the essence of wisdom.  There is something beyond both: peace.

Everything you love will die.  You will die.  But you always have the present moment, and the closer you stay to it, the more life you will have before your dying and rebirth elsewhere.  These are of course core Buddhist teachings.  It is my belief that we need something beyond Buddhism, though.  Something new, something for our time, and our places.

[I've added things, so the flow is not great.  I'm OK with that.]

As I slowly open up--and I've been doing a lot of work recently I have not discussed here--I realize, I feel, how much I lost growing up, how much could have been there, how much should have been there, the happiness I could have felt, the relationship I could have had with parents and brother.

Thawing emotionally is like thawing physically: it hurts.  Unpleasantness opens up, which you had hidden in emotional numbness and more or less conscious forgetting.

To begin anew, you have to mourn what was--and what could have been, but was not.

The other day I posted on recently, where I felt bursts of happiness, and relief from the constant attacks I feel in my psyche every day, I also felt considerable irritability. I think sometimes growth is learning to pay with the worst, so you can get access to the best.  They must be mixed, because they HAVE been mixed: all possible joys have been pounded with deep sorrows, twisted and enmeshed, and then frozen.

They have their own energies, their own pathways, but everything that is in there has to come out and you have no choice, no way forward, but to take the good with the bad, and accept all of it without complaint or resistance.  You must have stamina, and patience, curiosity, and perhaps even a sense of humor.

And it occurs to me there are types of humor.  We might perhaps speak of the humor of acceptance, and the humor of rejection.  Robin Williams practiced the latter.

I'm sure I must have posted on this at some point, but I have this theory that most people exist consciously in perhaps 60-70 percent of their personalities, their experience, their psychologically important facts.  This is what they know.  This is what they think about and allow themselves to feel.  The remaining 30-40% is where Jungs Shadow lives.  I don't think all of it is negative, but I think much of it is.

Comedians who practice the humor of rejection, who live their lives avoiding their sorrows and rages by making people laugh, percolate the tensions that create the absurdities that make us laugh from their unseen self, via a visible, and perhaps outwardly vibrantly happy and alive self.

I would contrast this with the ability to laugh at ourselves, with love, with affection.  I think I've spoken of this before, but one of my proudest moments with my oldest was when she came in to the living room laughing and crying.  She had hit her head on a closet door in the bathroom, bounced off reactively, and managed to hit her head on the OTHER door.  She found this stupidity and clumsiness hilarious.  I thought "I must have done something right.  This is a resilient kid."  As indeed she is.

That's enough for now.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Rebellion, Middle Age

From roughly 21 until this year, I avoided psychotherapists.  I found them, to the extent they had an effect, harmful.  They seemed to facilitate whininess in me, and helped describe my problems well, without being able to solve them.

When I went to see one this year, she noted that it is very common for people to wait until their 40's to begin processing deep emotional scars, because until then it is simply too much, your life is too chaotic.

We have this concept in our culture of a "mid life crisis".  It tends to be viewed as a crisis of realizing one has been living inauthentically, and our culture is blamed.  I would submit that deep wounds often simply take half a lifetime to emerge fully enough to be dealt with.  Alternatively, we take half a lifetime to develop sufficient emotional strength to deal with such things, which causes the part of us which tries to protect us from overload to keep secrets.

I felt happy the other day, several times, inexplicably.  For people unfamiliar with long term depression, happiness is an odd emotion.  You look at it with skepticism, like a bird that has landed for a moment on your windowsill, but which obviously is on its way somewhere else.

And I felt happy in the middle of a demanding, frustrating twelve hour day, which was followed by another one.

And it occurred to me that feeling happiness when you are supposed to be angry, or sad, or whatever, is a sort of rebellion.  We tend to assume that rebelling must be an act of anger, of overthrow, of attack.

But is not happiness an attack on sorrow?  Is it not overthrowing what was in favor of what could be?

Thus I would meander.  Yes thus.


Imprinting

For some reason this word came into my head.  I looked up animal imprinting, and this is the first thing that came up: http://www.sparknotes.com/biology/animalbehavior/learning/section3.rhtml

The gist is that certain things at very early ages can more or less get plugged into what we might term the "machine code" of our biological system, such that they are hard to undo (or impossible, if we accept the current state of knowledge as final.)

We are spiritual animals.  We are part machine, part pure freedom.  It seems to me our task, at this stage of our spiritual via biological evolution, is figuring out fully how the machine part of us works, so that we can CHOOSE to alter ourselves, or perhaps, allow energies we summon to guide us, and do the work necessary so we can follow more closely.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hope

http://madworldnews.com/black-man-advice-black-people/

Please watch this link before reading further.  It takes five minutes, and is worth the time for most people, particularly the black folks this is addressed to.

I want to underscore something: I have met a lot of really smart, switched on, motivated black people in my time.  I have also met the opposite.

The issue with black people in this country, today, is CULTURE.  I have ZERO DOUBT that most people born black in this country are very much capable of much more than they are usually asked for.

Do you help people assuming the worst of them, or the best?  This guy, here, is assuming the best.  He is an optimist.

And he has reasons for optimism.  Blacks are not inherently stupid.  I don't believe this.  They are TAUGHT to be stupid, by people who benefit from taking advantage of the bad decisions that result.

I seen no reason, no reason, no reason, that blacks in this country cannot be well off, live in nearly crime free neighborhoods, go to excellent schools, and be considered the cultural equal of whites not because somebody penalized whites for speaking the truth that they see, but because that IS the truth that they see.

If you look at people like Frederick Douglas, they were clever, inventive, eloquent, and decent.  We can and should see much, much more of this.

I hate racists.  Racists are the people who say: "It's OK that you are inferior.", or "Of course you commit more crimes: that's just what blacks do.  We forgive you."

Can we not start accepting blacks into our generalized cultural dialogue in ways other than pretending that we aren't racist?

Can we stop versions of "isn't that cute?"

Here is my truth: I'm having trouble letting go of this Ferguson thing.  The whole thing makes me angry.  It never should have come to the mass destruction of (largely) minority owned businesses.  Black people were crying tears of rage and frustration as a result of the actions of OTHER black people, who claimed they opposed racism.  Bullshit.  So much stupidity.

Hell: I've had a few.  I will leave it at that for now.  I'll leave with a question: do YOU think you are helping black people?  How?  If you were doing the opposite, would you have the courage to admit it?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Compassion

True compassion results in purposive work. It may begin in a sentiment--actually it SHOULD begin in a sentiment, that of feeling the pain of others, of life--but if it ends there it is nothing but a drug, and one at that with clearly destructive potential.

Let me ask: what people of color are helped by white guilt, actually? What is the specific value of moral posturing, superficiality, vanity, and false promises?

What people of color are being helped by making a kid into a martyr who was plainly on his way to jail or an early grave anyway?

And can we not safely assume a kid that size with severe anger issues bullied other black kids? There were probably kids he grew up with who were secretly glad he was killed.

This is of course speculation, but what is NOT speculation is that substantially ALL violent deaths of black people are a matter of complete indifference to the poseurs, the part time righteous people.

I think about this stuff daily, and have for years. What happens in our ghettoes is obscene, and I said this often .

But none of what The Usual Clowns suggest is going to help. It hasn't thus far, after a half century of trying.

Many things make me angry, but destructive self righteous hypocrisy is near the top of the list.

I'll say it.

It's time for black America to grow up.  To stop whining about past injustices, and using them to explain current failures that were and are very much within their control.  To stop believing some rescuer is on the way to make everything better with no effort on their part.  To stop excusing their children from studying hard and getting ahead.  To stop lounging around on porches complaining about the world (if you think this is a stereotype, drive around the projects in your town on an average day in any season but winter).

To take heart, to summon courage, to acknowledge its own role in its own failure.  They have access to free schools, to preferential treatment and scholarships at most colleges, to hiring.  They have access to free libraries, the internet, and to all the learning they could ever need.

All the tools any sovereign people, any sovereign individual, could ever need, have been laid out.  Not only that, but they have been implored to use them.  We white people have begged them to use them.  Many many white self identified "liberals" have made it their life's work getting black people to do things THEY DON'T WANT TO DO.

This is childish.  And it is not racist to say so.

We have reached a point where we have to choose between abdicating moral values entirely, or calling bullshit on this massive failure.  If we are to continue tolerance, continue hope that just ONE MORE program will make all the difference, then we must perforce cull from our minds any notion that it just could be their fault.

And if we grant that it IS, in the end, their fault NOW, then we must grant that one more program won't do a damn thing, at least in the old mold.

Charter Schools: these work.  Democrats oppose them.

Vouchers: these work.  Democrats oppose them.

I am tempted to say that absent the cynical Democrat abuse of black voters we would have an integrated black nation now, one with self respect, low crime rates, high levels of literacy, and high levels of economic achievement.

Only awful people would oppose that.  But if you like awful people, Hillary will be on the ballot soon enough.

Ferguson

Posted this on Facebook:

Michael Brown got shot--apparently on all accounts from people who were there, a number of whom were black themselves--because he was a thug. He did a strong arm robbery of some Indians, was walking, high, in the middle of the street with his buddy, gave the cop attitude who asked him to get out of the middle of the street, got arrested then went for a cops gun, got out and started to run away, then changed his mind and charged the cop, and then got killed. He was a thug, a fool, and someone who was going to either end up killing someone, or dying under someone elses gun. 

The lesson to learn here is that personal responsibility matters. The mother and father? They are to BLAME. At 18, a kid is just acting out what he was taught. If he was taught nothing by his parents, he is acting out what he learned from other kids whose parents ALSO did not teach them anything. The riots? They are crapping in their own neighborhood. They will be having trouble buying groceries and cigarettes in a few weeks. They are not showing anyone anything, other than that they are losers who are unwilling and unable to work within their own communities in a sustained and mature way to elevate the level of culture, to learn to value self restraint and educational achievement, to take responsibility for their children and themselves. 

At issue is a simple question: are black people INTRINSICALLY inferior? If so, then perhaps the efforts of the left wing to paint them as helpless, childish, victims is accurate. I choose not to believe this. I believe that they are the equals of whites, but have been fed a pack of lies by awful people for 50 years, telling them the world owes them something, and that it is being racist whenever it doesn't put out the red carpet. 

This is bullshit. It turns them into helpless children, who have no choice but to throw temper tantrums, as here, when they don't get their way. These riots will accomplish NOTHING. The agitators and journalists who did so much to create and enable them, will leave. And the fools who listened to them will have to live with the consequences of what they did last night for many, many years. No one will invest in Ferguson. Jobs will be even more scarce. The police will stop policing, making it more violent. 

All of these are obvious truths nobody seemingly any more has the courage to state openly and clearly. Political correctness does not elevate or protect anyone: it is a cloak for evil, for the rejection of true Liberalism, for the rejection of true morality.