Monday, August 3, 2015

Excuses

I would like to stipulate as a general moral principle to which I can think of no exception that you never help anyone by making excuses for them.  All of us have within us compasses which tell us how to begin to move in the direction of wholeness, wellness, health, and thriving.  But we ignore this compass because the way is hard.  It doesn't look hard, it IS hard.  This doesn't matter.  Growth is why we are here.

I myself have had an enormous amount of painful growth I have endured, and continue to endure.  I get pain better than most.  But I dream of a day when no matter what somebody comes to me with, I can say I FEEL THAT.  I have been there.  And there is another side.  You can get through it.  I did.

I can't imagine any rape or incest survivor, any soldier with PTSD, any refugee, has suffered more than me.  As an infant I feared daily that my mother was going to kill me, and I never really bonded with any adult growing up.  I never felt a sense of love and safety.  I entered life with severe PTSD, depression, pervasive anxiety, hopelessness, and a piss poor social support network.

And I think this is fucking great, because it makes me USEFUL.  I crawled on my hands and knees a thousand miles, and I got to the other side.

Returning to the thought, I would stipulate as a general principle that if you are not thriving, if you are not living as close to the life of your dreams as is possible for you, and if you are not working daily towards it, you have made excuses.

I have a tattoo on my left arm based on one of the Sets of Three John Wooden was raised with, modified slightly: "Don't Whine, Don't Complain, Don't Make Excuses", to which I added "Never Quit".

This is indelible ink--or at least I choose to treat it as such.  It is a burden at times.  These are hard principles to live by, and I haven't even come close.  But it is an absolute code, and a good one, and I think most of the problems in the world would be solved in short order if everyone lived by this code, and simply added curiosity.  That is the entirety of my moral system in a nutshell.

I write too much.  I actually need to be somewhere.  But it comforts me, and it helps me build the visions I need in order to learn how to hope.  And it is not unreasonable for me to suppose they do others good.  My struggles are not so very different from yours.  All of us, if we are lucky, have some serious shit to get through and learn from.

Edit: you know, it is pointless to compare miseries, and it occurs to me I perhaps being grandiose comparing myself to others.  Suffice it to say my difficulties have led to more understanding, but that every situation and every person offer the opportunity for MORE understanding.  Comparing joys to joys or miseries to miseries is like comparing the breeze on a mild Tuesday to the breeze on a mild Wednesday.  Why?


Meme I would like to see

A man in  KKK outfit on one side, and a caption reading: Murders of black men since 1981: 0. (Michael Donald appears to be the last recorded lynching).

And a picture of a group of black youth and men.  Murders of black men since 1981: 170,000 (or whatever: I multiplied 34 by 5,000.  I suspect the number is higher).

We live in a world where the truth is Verboten.

I will add to this a video everyone should watch: https://video-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hvideo-xap1/v/t43.1792-2/10939799_820070614707179_399756170_n.mp4?efg=eyJybHIiOjE1MDAsInJsYSI6MjgwMiwidmVuY29kZV90YWciOiJsZWdhY3lfaGQifQ%3D%3D&rl=1500&vabr=510&oh=e6dfd7deaaa8730e341a103a7e2b7eef&oe=55BF88B1

That's the best I can for a link, for which I apologize.

"Can't is not a part of your vocabulary".  Compare and contrast this basic mindset with the notion that black people somehow suffer from this abstract lack of "white privilege".  What the fuck is this, other than a mindset, on one side, that the world owes you something, and on the other that you have an absolute right, and responsibility, and privilege to make your own way?

Can we really speak about a "lack of opportunity" when 40% of black kids fail to finish their free educations by dropping out of high school?  Access to learning was a key goal of both black activists like Stephen Douglass and of socialists of all sorts.  They won.  They succeeded.

Imagine if her parents had made excuses for this girl.  She would be a failure, depressed, and bitter, much like the people you can see huddled outside the corner liquor store in just about any ghetto in this country.

That says nothing about being BLACK per se.  Actual Africans don't act like that.  It says everything about culture, and mindset, and no serious person can claim that the goal of the Left is not, and has not long been, to reduce all of us to dependent children, and that they merely succeeded more, and sooner, in the black communities, because of the  propaganda past actual racism made possible.

The answer is not to put propagandistic shows about "stupid white people" on TV, but to DEMAND MORE.  Graduate school.  Don't knock anybody up or get knocked up.  Dump the baggie pants and stop dropping your G's.

In my personal opinion the reason Cosby got taken out is he was saying this stuff.  If you keep in mind Cecil the Lion overwhelming coverage of the Planned Parenthood atrocities, then you recall that the media can direct people's attention in any direction they want.  What happened with Cosby is not that the charges escalated, but that they GOT COVERAGE.  Why?  He was fucking with the narrative of black failure.

Dissociation

Healing dissociation is an odd thing.  You kind of merge into and out of "reality", which is to say a sense of connection with, of participation with, the present, the past, and the future.  You really have none of those when you are gone.

I pendulate back and forth, taking small sips.  Progress seems to be happening.  And it occurs to me that I at least--but I suspect most of us--are deeply fixed in the middles of our being, and not open to qualitative growth for most of our lives, which is why the metaphor of the child is so apt.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Don't Try Suicide

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn2z19QnEfQ

I was drinking when I posted this.  My intent was not so much to communicate the idea, as the song, which I had not heard and really enjoyed.  Freddie Mercury (real name Farrokh Bulsara) had an amazing voice.  Did you know he was a Parsi by birth, and raised in the Sultanate of Zanzibar (now Tanzania)?

I think most people now know Brian May became an astrophysicist.  I found this funny:
 May appeared on the 700th episode of The Sky at Night hosted by Sir Patrick Moore, along with Chris Lintott, Jon Culshaw, Prof. Brian Cox, and the Astronomer Royal Martin Rees who on departing the panel, told Brian May, who was joining it, "I don't know a scientist who looks as much like Isaac Newton as you do".
Here's another good one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PItMuGp39Q 

Christianity

Turns out blogging is part of my life.

Gibbon's snark with respect to Christianity would, I suspect, amuse those congenitally opposed to it.  I am not one of those people, but he does make the excellent point that the two new things Christianity brought were fear and radical intolerance.

Fear, of eternal damnation, which was assumed to be the lot of most of humanity.

Intolerance, of anyone unwilling to accept this idea, because of the FEAR that their ideas would lead to apostasy and then Hell.

Now, the Romans and Jews really didn't think too much about an after-life.  Nor did either group feel any need to proselytize.  As polytheists, the Romans were always happy to add another altar; and as de facto xenophobes, the Jews simply wanted to be left alone.  They did not want to convert anyone, or add new people.  No need.

Only Christianity adds this fear of eternal damnation, which itself makes intolerance a virtue, since no one who fails to become a Christian has any hope of salvation.

All this is quite easy to miss if you simply read the scriptures in red, talking about turning the other cheek, and the Sermon on the Mount.

And if you REALLY think about it, Christianity and Islam are morphologically very similar, with the difference that Islam is less hypocritical.  Both are imbued with the notion that no one who fails to adopt their creed can expect anything but literally unending misery in the next and most important life.  Both are driven by fear more than love, even if Christianity nominally talks more about love.

And both religions have burst out into the world through aggressive violence.  Islam is perhaps more obvious, in the wars it fought, the Jizya, the Dhimmis, the Sword.

But why do they speak Spanish and Portuguese in Latin America?  Was Christianity not an important part of the cultural imperialism of Europe?  Why are there Christians in Nigeria?  Kenya?  China? Vietnam?  Australia?

As I say from time to time--and I seem to recall saying it relatively recently--I cannot partake of a religion based on a human sacrifice demanded by an allegedly merciful and benevolent God.  I am quite willing to accept a high spiritual status for Jesus, but not for those who listened to Him, who garbled His words, and who misunderstood nearly everything he taught.

I say again as well that contextualizing all this is a quite interesting exercise.  Within the presumed lifetime of the disciples, the Temple was destroyed again, and with it the ability to perform the sacrifices commanded in what I will call the Pentateuch (Talmud, Torah?  I'm not literate enough).   A new revelation was needed.

And as Gibbon notes, the entire idea of an after-life, of heaven, was quite new to the Jews.  Do you pick the religion that promises nothing in that regard, or the one which grants eternal bliss?  They were used to an avenging and protective God, but only in this life.

Gibbon even recites a version of Pascal's Wager, which he assumes--likely correctly--exercised among the Romans of antiquity an authoritative force, at least among those of a more thoughtful persuasion.

Science, I say, can be our means for testing metaphysical claims, and science can be our means for developing rituals and behaviors which further our growth as animals on the way to being angels via the dangerous path of being human.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Posting

Holy crap: I had 100 posts in July.  Somebody get this man a life.

Oceans of Feeling

When I turn really intellectual, I think it is often because I am feeling really emotional.  Today in my Kum Nye practice wave after wave of feeling kept sweeping over me.  I am a deeply emotional person.  I am a water creature.

And I understood in an instant the emotional appeal of materialistic Scientism: a core stipulation is that emotions are not real.  When you are hurt, and hurting, that is not real.  It is atoms in motion, or so it can be thought.

The alternative is that feelings do exist in some spiritual way, that they are out there somehow, and that they do not have an Off switch, that they must be walked through, as through a room filled with veils that prevent you from even seeing where you are going, where logic is of no use, and only motion can carry you through and direct you.  You cannot see the end of the journey.  You cannot see the end.  You are without triangles and squares, and the Pythagorean theorem has taken acid and dissolved into rainbow-hued water and disappeared laughing down a drain.

The orientation in emotion, must come from emotion.  It is a world in itself with its own logic, and whose mastery is a skill that is quite beyond anything that could be captured and frozen in a book, of any sort.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Abortion, again

Calling abortion an issue primarily about a woman's right to her own body is, it seems to me, to suggest that women CAN and should control the disposal of babies, but not the creation of them.

The moral logic as it exists today, it seems to me, is an artifact of a period before birth control, before legal protection for many women's rights, and before the viability of women raising children on their own.

It seems a certainty that the overwhelming majority of the some 90,000 black babies--I just happen to know this statistic--aborted every year were not the result of rape or incest.  They were not the result of an abusive, controlling husband who insisted she had to get pregnant.  It seems likely most of them are the result of the heat of passion, and an indifference to pregnancy, which is to say an indifference to the life of a prospective child, combined with easy and cheap access to abortion.

We have been conditioned not to view fetuses as human, but at what cost?  We had a miscarriage with my wife's first pregnancy, and she was an emotional wreck.  She cried all day after she went in for a D and C, as they call it.  I myself dreamed I met that child once: it was another girl, and she was quite wonderful.

All of the beautiful things in life come from sensitivity, from caring, from connection, from openness and receptivity.  All of the bad things, from closing down, shutting down, detaching, disengaging.

Is it not worth asking an open question as to whether or not babies are such a wonderful possibility that MAYBE, just maybe, their lives should be treated with some measure of kindness and respect? Maybe not by force of law.  Maybe not by banning abortion. But by pointing out that a great evil is being committed, and no one wants to admit it or even talk about it outside of the people who have been in shock since 1973.

Is that insanity to suggest that, that maybe we have been coarsened by all this, rendered less feeling, less open, less beautiful?  Or is it insanity pretending that treating them like meat is perfectly acceptable?  Why NOT eat them?  It is the next logical step, considering that they are not human and that we are supposed to treat all our impulses towards compassion and protection as inherently ideologically flawed.

"Debating"

I think I was at one time notorious in some circles for my debating style.  I call it the scalpel and cudgel approach.  I make factual, logically consistent, relevant arguments, then I hit them on the head with a personal attack.

I have almost entirely given that up, but find myself engaging with someone who just won't stop, who I am suspecting has a more than superficial interest in the topic, that of 9/11 Truth.  I think he is a paid or volunteer propagandist.  Why, I don't know.

But I wanted to comment that I think I understand why I developed that strategy.  The Left's basic approach is to be annoying, to deal in personal attacks, and overall to wear you down such that you do some combination of lose your cool--so they can portray you as irrational and anger-prone--and simply stop engaging.

The only way, emotionally, I ever found to deal with that was to stay in the discussion on the level of reason that mattered, but to trade punch for punch, low blow for low blow, so I did not feel a sense of helpless rage.  I wasn't helpless.  And I always remained on topic, and always offered rational, fact based arguments, presented as articulately and as simply as I could.

And I will say that this strategy is important for anyone who is going to go 15 rounds with professional agitators, liars, and propagandists.  Donald Trump may lose popularity, he may not be even a remotely good ideas as President, but he will not run out of energy.  He is giving more than he is taking.  That, in my view, is psychologically important.

Abortion

I think we can most productively define abortion in the present era as "an elective outpatient procedure to remove unwanted fetal tissue".

There was a time we could easily sympathize with women in desperate circumstances, hurting inside, unsure where to turn, deeply conflicted. Now the feeling I get is that most seem to view abortion as of no more moral or psychic importance than buying something from a vending machine.

I remember cringing when I learned about the Spartan practice of infanticide. Such CRUELTY throwing a new born off a cliff and leaving it to die, simply for being born defective.

But we are infinitely worse. We kill babies--as we are seemingly about to find out--even when they are viable simply because they are INCONVENIENT.

Is this not a lesson in alienation? How far from considering babies dispensable, from considering oneself unbound by intrinsic moral obligations, to considering EVERYONE disposable, and of interest only as temporary objects of amusement, emotionally shallow companionship, and utility?

Of such is Satanism built. It is the creed that we are born, live, and die in absolute and ineluctable isolation and solitude.

I read the proceeds of recent donations surrounding the Satanic statue in Detroit were used to support baby killing. And why not? Such people view life itself as a disease.

I understand why people who self identify as "liberal" want to prevent a return to unsafe abortions, but I wonder if they are up to the moral task of fundamentally questioning the cultural of killing 100,000 or more unborn babies every year.  Not all those women were the victims of unfortunate circumstances.  It seems, on the contrary, obvious that a great many figured if they got pregnant, they could just get an abortion, which they did.

We see the term "Right to Life", but it could as easily be respect for life.  It seems obvious that Cecil the lion's death bothered far more people on the Left than the prospect that whole human babies are being served up and paid for to support idiotic fetal stem cell research.  Adult stem cells work.  We know this.  Fetal Stem cells don't.  We also know this.

I have for some time wondered where the fetal stem cells for research come from, and have always assumed something like this was going on.  Now we know.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mr. Robot

I've watched the first four episodes of a USA network series by this title, and have been discouraged.  The pilot had a great talk on how the world runs on debt, and how it could and should be freed from this form of slavery.  I wondered how they could keep that content on the air, and it turns out they couldn't.  They transitioned to generic attacks on corporations, and the main one is even named "Evil Corp".

Then major drug episodes, emotionally unhealthy sex, general weirdness and provocation.  This is a generic left wing script, attacking traditional values, and large corporate giants.

And here is a point I have made many times, but perhaps not explicitly: if I were a member of the power elite, I would fund attacks on the power elite. I would pay people--perhaps indirectly, as it works even better if people are sincere--to go out and publicly denounce the man, publicly denounce corporations and corporate profits and the "1%".  I might in fact have created that meme. It's very useful.

Because here is the thing: most people are too fucking stupid to separate rhetoric from reality.  You could be killing babies with one hand and kissing them with the other, and if you only talk about the one, nobody will notice the other. You can literally make vast profits denouncing vast profits.  You can get your people elected on promises of transparency and responsibility to the people.  You can start wars in the name of preventing wars.

But by creating an apparent opposition, people assume there actually IS an actual opposition.  I would have funded Occupy Wall Street.  Does that sound evil, devious and wrong?  Of course: but these people think in terms of efficacy, not morality.

Do you think Obama has not done every damn thing Wall Street asked him to?  Of course he has.  If I had been a Wall Street banker I would have paid people to denounce the Wall Street Reform Act, because that would have made it look like a bad deal for them.  It was in fact a great deal--and why not?  They wrote it.

Thinking is not something one person in 100 does effectively, not even among people paid to think, paid to understand for a living.

The great transformation TV has enabled is that reality has become what the TV says it is.  Image is everything.  I think when people read, or even listened to their news, there was still a thinking brain engaged.  Now, the TV--or digital equivalent--does everything for you.  One of my advantages is that I literally go years without watching a newscast of any sort.

Cecil the Lion

I'm not a vegetarian.  I tried it for two years in my late teens, and I felt like shit all the time.  I was feeling like shit anyway, but the diet certainly wasn't helping.  I finally broke and got two cheeseburgers at Burger King, and have never looked back.

But I'm like most Americans in my sentimentality towards animals.  I talk to my dog, and feel like she understands in her dog way some of what I'm saying.  I hate hearing about cruelty to animals.  Hunting and fishing hold no appeal for me.

At the same time, we need to remember that personally slaughtering their own meat was a way of life for a great many Americans perhaps as recently as 50 years ago.  I remember my grandmother kept chickens, and would periodically go out back, catch one, swing it by the neck a few times, then pluck it and cook it.  They kept a pig, and would slaughter it when it got fat enough.  They were familiar with blood, and the innards of animals, and didn't think twice about it.

Theodore Roosevelt was a famous big game hunter. He loved shooting lions and elephants and whatever else presented itself.  Hunting was within perhaps the past 75 years a very patrician sport, and the owner of my company still goes away several times a year to shoot geese, or ducks, or to fish salmon.

We read, perhaps a weeks ago, that some famous lion none of us had heard of until that point had been killed by an American, who has since been identified, and forced into hiding.  His head was cut off, and the meat apparently given to the villagers, as required by law in Zimbabwe.

For their part, the Zimbabwe'ans are apparently completely confused:


“Are you saying that all this noise is about a dead lion? Lions are killed all the time in this country,” said Tryphina Kaseke, a used-clothes hawker on the streets of Harare. “What is so special about this one?” 
The truth is, most locals in Zimbabwe actually look forward to the big game hunts that Westerners engage in, as the high price tag for the hunts means money pumped into the local economy, not to mention the meat from such hunts is required by law to be given to local tribes and villages. 
“Why are the Americans more concerned than us?” said Joseph Mabuwa, a 33-year-old father of two. “We never hear them speak out when villagers are killed by lions and elephants in Hwange.” 
Lions and other large animals are typically viewed as dangerous by the local population, and if these animals are not hunted, their populations will explode and bring about all sorts of other issues, like rampant disease and increased attacks on people.
No American I know of has ever feared being attacked by a lion. In our world, they are by definition confined, since they only happen in zoos and circuses.

And I think animals are the recipients of all sorts of psychological projections.  They are presumed innocent, where we are all fallen.  They are presumed worthy of life, where I think many people think many of us deserve death.

Cecil was an animal who every day of his life sought to hunt down and kill another animal.  Lions are clearly noble, beautiful, admirable animals.  But they are, like all predators, serial killers in the animal kingdom.  We live in such a crazy world that some people feed their dogs and cats vegetarian food, and don't realize that cannot possibly be good for them.

Now, I want to be clear that it seems to me this dentist has a sadistic, violent streak in him, but this is not unusual.  Zimbabwe is ruled by a man likely much worse in every respect than this dentist, and nobody gives a shit about him, or the hell he has created trying to engineer yet another Socialist Paradise.

Nobody gives a shit about the 1.2 million Africans who died of AIDS last year, or the 13,000 killed in Nigeria, Central African Republic and South Sudan last year.  1 million people were displaced by war in Nigeria alone, and I doubt one person in 100 on the street could find Nigeria on the map, or tell you ONE fact about it.

It is not the case that every story has two sides, but some do.  I do not fault the people who are enraged with this dentist, but I also do not fault people I KNOW who hunt elk and bison and deer.  It's not my thing, but it is a violent world, and we all die.

It has long seemed to me that animal rights activists particularly seem to be highly misanthropic.  Their love of animals is balanced by their hatred of humanity.  When I was at Cal the most violent, craziest demonstrations by far were from PETA.

Every day the world over, countless millions or billions of fish are eaten by other fish.  Billions of insects are eaten by birds, who are often eaten by other birds.  Rodents are scooped up by hawks, and bird eggs eaten by snakes.  Millions of cattle and pigs and chickens are slaughtered every day, and run through efficient factories to wind up in plastic trays in our grocery stores.

I understand misanthropy, but I also understand compassion.  This is a very confusing world, and it is worth regularly trying to look at it from new angles.  I have many answers, but I always remain willing to ask myself if they are the right answers, and I always put out a place-setting at my Table of Knowledge for uninvited but welcome strangers.

Post Script/Edit: I wonder if we might see in the outrage over the killing of Cecil some measure of the number of people who secretly would like to strangle someone. It has long been my observation that people who are obsessed with compassion often harbor latent and not always well hidden animosities, angers, spites,and violence.

We will forget about poor Cecil soon enough.  All of us but the dentist, whatever his name is.  This is going to be a life changing nightmare for him.  Does he deserve it?  Not my call to make.  I'm going to forget about him.  Killing him won't bring Cecil back, but it will demolish a source of income in a poor nation, and nobody is going to care about them, or any of the lions they themselves kill in self defense or even hunger.

I do think this: this is a referendum on how many people would secretly like to strangle someone.  I think the capacity to read people's minds would be profoundly traumatizing.

WTC 1 and 2

I can't resist repeating something I've said before: WTC 1 and 2 were EXPLICITLY designed to withstand the impact of large passenger airlines.  When they were built, the largest planes were a bit smaller than what came later, but the principle was the same: airliner fuselages are by design light, so a "mesh" was made of the outer walls which would shred them so that nothing hard could reach the core supports.  And in the videos you can see the planes disintegrate.  It is the same principle which causes us to protect our embassies and other facilities from rocket attacks by putting a high tension wire mesh outside, which serves to detonate contact weapons.

The accounts of the collapses of those two buildings are also ridiculous.  I focus on Tower 7 simply because it did not have the complicating factor of having something crash into it. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

9/11 Truth

The issue of 9/11 Truth is one of intrinsic importance.  The questions it asks are quite literally directly germane to the survival of our democratic Republic.  It asks whether or not our government is capable of participating--even after being given ample funding and time to do its job--in cover-ups.  It asks whether or not as yet unnamed and unidentified co-conspirators on 9/11 got away with literal murder.  It asks if there are factions even now operating in America who want some combination of perennial war, omnipresent totalitarian surveillance, and possibly even, eventually, the eradication of our political freedom outright.

At root, the question is simple: was a crime committed which was larger than that 4 planes were hijacked and crashed?  Specifically: is the government's account of the collapses of World Trade Centers 1, 2 and 7 plausible?

And I would like to draw an analogy.  If someone stumbles across a dead body with stab wounds in it, do we need to establish what sort of knife was used prior to considering it a murder or suicide?  Do we need to know if the perpetrator was left handed or right handed, educated or uneducated?  Do we need a motive?  Do we need the knife itself?  Do we need to know exactly when and how it happened?  Of course not.

In the entire history of modern building--let us call it 85 years or so, dating from the opening of the Empire State Building--only three skyscrapers have gone through complete collapses, all of them on 9/11.  A particularly annoying person I have been going back and forth with--the word debate would imply a level of sincerity he quite obviously does not possess--cited the McCormick Place fire.  This is not relevant, as McCormick Place was not a skyscraper, was filled with highly flammable material and no sprinklers, and did not undergo a complete collapse.  The roof collapsed, and the building was rendered unusable, but did not collapse entirely, or instantly, as did all three WTC buildings.  It was a progressive fire, whose reach could be and was watched by helpless firefighters.

Further, this collapse happened in 1967, and influenced national building codes.  WTC7 was not opened until 1987, 20 years later, and can be safely assumed to have incorporated the lessons learned.

With regard to Sight and Sound Theater, the fireproofing for the steel supports had been removed, and it was by design only reinforced on the sides by metal beams.  By design, the middle of the building included no structural supports.  There was no forest of beams in the core reinforcing one another as was the case with all three WTC buildings. It is not a comparable case.

Here are comparable cases: http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/compare/fires.html

Here is a partial listing of major high-rise fires: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyscraper_fire

It is indisputably the case that there have been a number of fires which have burned on more floors, longer, and not even brought on partial collapse.  9/11 is unique.  All three collapses of skyscrapers that have ever happened, happened on that day.

And here is is worth doing some detail level analysis.  The way steel frame skyscrapers are built is metal I-beam are bolted together, then in most cases welded.  There are horizontal connections, and vertical connections.  Wherever there is a "joint" fire-proofing is sprayed. No fire can get within 4-6 inches of a welded, bolted joint.

This construction is, quite obviously, DESIGNED to withstand fires.  You could build a bonfire around one of these beams, using anything you might find in an office, roast marshmallows, sing campfire songs. and have NO worry that anything would happen to it.  The flame cannot reach the beam, or the joint, and it cannot loosen bolts, burn through welds, and cannot come close to melting steel.

Even though their final conclusion is farcical, we can use the work of NIST to rule out certain conjectures about the collapse particularly of Tower 7.   We can assume, for example, that they found no evidence that fuel from the backup generators at the electrical substation played a role.  If there were any evidence, they would have brought it forward.  We can assume that they found no evidence that the falling debris from the collapse of the other two World Trade Centers played a role.  What holds a building like this up is the core supports, and the gashes were superficial.  If there has been any merit to this claim they would have mentioned it.  We also would have seen an asymetrical collapse, like a tree being felled.  If this collapse was off vertical, as some claim, it was only by a few degrees and that can easily be explained as imperfectly synchronized beam cutting.  Some bending is seen in even acknowledged controlled demolitions.

We can, in fact, conclude, that they could find no explanation other than the one they provided, EXCEPT that of explosives, which on their own account they did not look or test for, and which we can therefore was excluded from consideration at the outset, for unknown reasons.

We can and should conclude that only two hypotheses remain standing: explosives, and what NIST claims caused the collapse.

And what do they claim?  That a single supporting beam, in a forest of beams, was loosened by being exposed for eight hours to the combustion of office furnishing, to the extent that it gave way, and that this led, within 6 seconds, to the initiation of a general collapse of the entire 47 story building, a collapse that began in absolute free fall, and slowed little in the ensuing few seconds it took to complete.

I would like to examine this story in some detail.  Here is their official report: http://www.nist.gov/el/disasterstudies/wtc/faqs_wtc7.cfm

They say that "Debris from the collapse of WTC 1, which was 370 feet to the south, ignited fires on at least 10 floors in the building at its south and west faces. However, only the fires on some of the lower floors—7 through 9 and 11 through 13—burned out of control."

Then: "The heat from the uncontrolled fires caused steel floor beams and girders to thermally expand, leading to a chain of events that caused a key structural column to fail. The failure of this structural column then initiated a fire-induced progressive collapse of the entire building.
According to the report's probable collapse sequence, heat from the uncontrolled fires caused thermal expansion of the steel beams on the lower floors of the east side of WTC 7, damaging the floor framing on multiple floors.
Eventually, a girder on Floor 13 lost its connection to a critical column, Column 79, that provided support for the long floor spans on the east side of the building (see Diagram 1). The displaced girder and other local fire-induced damage caused Floor 13 to collapse, beginning a cascade of floor failures down to the 5th floor. Many of these floors had already been at least partially weakened by the fires in the vicinity of Column 79. This collapse of floors left Column 79 insufficiently supported in the east-west direction over nine stories.
The unsupported Column 79 then buckled and triggered an upward progression of floor system failures that reached the building's east penthouse. What followed in rapid succession was a series of structural failures. Failure first occurred all the way to the roof line—involving all three interior columns on the easternmost side of the building (79, 80, and 81). Then, progressing from east to west across WTC 7, all of the columns failed in the core of the building (58 through 78). Finally, the entire fa├žade collapsed."
I will note that the report includes a diagram of the supporting columns on the 13th floor.  I count 43.
You can locate Column 79.  It is alleged that the girder between it and Column 44 lost its connection at Column 79.
You have seen pictures of skyscrapers during construction.  They build a skeleton of sorts, upon which they mount floors and walls.  Column 79 would have rested on another column on the 12th floor, to which it was bolted and welded, and then there would have been a horizontal girder, also bolted and welded, upon rested the floor which would have consisted in several inches of concrete, poured into a metal pan.  The joint would have been sprayed with fire-proofing.
Locate yourself next to Column 79.  You have a kerosene lighter, 8 hours, and whatever you can find in the office that will burn.  Here is your task: start a fire which will sever the beam underneath the floor.  No one alleges that anyone built a bonfire, but I am going to allow you to.  You can use paper of course to start it, but paper doesn't burn for long.  You might find some wooden desks, and maybe you can even somehow set metal desks on fire. 
Can you get a fire to burn for 8 hours?  Only by continually adding fuel.  This means that no one area could POSSIBLY have remained hot for a full 8 hours, and whenever the fire got to Column 79, it cannot have burned for more than a couple hours.
The idea that the "combustion of office furnishings", which is the NIST phrase from another report, could sever a fire-treated beam connection under a concrete floor is ridiculous.  It has never been seen anywhere else, and the reason is simple: it is impossible.  It is a violation of physics.
But let's take it to the next step.  You have a light saber, which will cut through anything.  Sever the beam.  Sever it 3-4 times, just to be thorough.  What happens?  What do you think?  I'm thinking you hear some groaning up above, and the floor sags a bit.  And that's it.  Everything is connected by the floor, and supported by welded and bolted steel beams. You are in the middle of a tightly interlocking structure that BY DESIGN distributes the weight load.  There is no Achilles Heel.  There is no single point which, if severed, would bring the whole thing down, in any amount of time.
Bring to mind 1) a forest of interlocking, mutually reinforcing steel beam, treated with fire-proofing, and subjected only to the combustion of plastic computers and maybe wooden desks; 2) the failure of a single column; and 3) that video.
Even as a non-professional, does that make a shred of sense?  
Now, it was known in advance that Tower 7 was in trouble.  Explosions had been heard all day, there was some outer damage, and flames had been seen coming out of the windows for some time.  It was creaking and groaning, and the fire fighters had been told to "pull" it, which means to pull everybody out.  I don't dispute this, or see any reason to dispute it.
Now watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbbZE7c3a8Q
My thesis is simple: all three buildings were wired to blow after being hit by passenger jetliners, and United 93 was supposed to hit Tower 7.  It took off right across the river in exactly the right time-frame.  But it never showed up.  So I think the people who planted the explosives (and I am not qualified to speculate what combination of thermite and other types of explosives might have been used, but the details are irrelevant) knew they could not leave that building intact, but had to make its collapse superficially plausible.  They set off a few explosives to get things rolling, started a bunch of fires that would be clearly visible, then at a certain time, did the planned controlled demolition.
So, again, there is no reason to doubt it was in trouble, and that fire-fighters had already decided to abandon it, but that in no respect makes the ludicrous NIST scenario even superficially plausible.
I will deal with two other points made by the silly person I am interacting with.
We agreed that molten metal was seen by many people.  He claims it was Aluminum.  I do not want to research this at the moment, but asked a simple question: where did the heat come from?  He claimed it came from the reaction of iron and steam. I asked where the steam came from, and he had no good answer.  More importantly, I asked why this particular reaction has never been seen in any controlled demolition anywhere in the world, or in any other skyscraper fire--and would add, actually, the question as to how fire-proofing experts somehow overlooked this--and he had no answer.
The ground around that area was so hot for several weeks that it was melting peoples boots.  And empirically, we have "melted" steel beams.  We have a block of concrete which melted and fused with a metal beam.  Absent  TREMENDOUS heat, that is quite impossible.  We have exhibits, in other words, clearly showing heat of the sort only thermite can generate.
So where is the thermite?  Some people claim thermite was found, some people claim it was not.  But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.  What is the role of thermite?  To burn up, completely.  What thermite could be found?  Only unreacted thermite.  Is it unreasonable to suppose that all the evidence quite literally burnt up because that is what it was designed to do?  
The heat, alone, betrays the presence of highly exogenic substances which are not found in ANY skyscraper naturally.
There is only one conclusion consistent with the evidence: that Tower 7, at least, was brought down by a controlled demolition using an unknown package of tools--which included thermite at least--which were planted by people who have not been identified, and who self evidently had to have had access to all the relevant areas.  This fact, in turn, means that in principle at least some research could be done.  What group or groups COULD have done this, in highly access-controlled buildings, which had already been subjected to a terrorist attack?

This, quite obviously, is the obvious question for sane people to ask.  We do not live in a sane world, regrettably.  But we can always hope, and can always work to make it more sane.





Monday, July 27, 2015

Minimum Wage

Here is the question that should be asked: by what means can we most effectively get the starting wage for most jobs up to $15 (or more) an hour?  This is a practical question.  In my view, the simplest answers are economic growth, and sound money.  I strongly suspect most of the nations with significantly higher average wages also are not daily adulterating their money.  I know that Germany maintains good discipline in that regard.

As I have said often, minimum wages can only be set at, below, or above prevailing market wages for that job, for that person's level of capability.  If set at or below the wage that business was already willing to pay, it does nothing.  It is literally the case that ONLY when it is disadvantageous to, particularly, small businesses, does the minimum wage matter.

But here is the thing: I am making an economic, which is to say a practical, argument; socialists are making a MORAL argument.  They are saying that even if wages are retarded in the long run and unemployment increased substantially, that it is still wrong to pay someone less than X, however they determine X.

John Ruskin made this argument over 100 years ago, in Unto This Last.  He said that it didn't matter if it increased unemployment or hurt business, but that certain minimums had to be paid, because even if he couldn't be bothered to answer for the consequences of his actions, he could be made to answer for his intent.  He was very nearly that blunt.

As I keep saying, this is shitty, imbecilic, childish, irreponsible logic.  IF YOU CARE ABOUT PEOPLE, you care about making things as good as possible for as many as possible.

I don't care if the average starting wage is $100/hour one day, with today's buying power.  That would be great.  I have no objections with regard to, and every possible positive sentiment concerning, increases in material wealth and earning power, generalized across all classes.  We need to go beyond that, but I think we need to go through it, first, as a whole, as a people, as communities.

Transgenderism

I thought this article worth the read: http://www.wsj.com/articles/paul-mchugh-transgender-surgery-isnt-the-solution-1402615120

You will note that laws have been passed in some States specifically prohibiting mental health professionals from "treating" transgender (or, it goes without saying, homosexual) people, EVEN IF THEY WANT TREATMENT.

This is not about tolerance, or freedom.  It is about the destruction of traditional consensual norms, in favor of what is called tolerance, but which is in fact radical INtolerance.

I will echo McHugh and point out that men cannot be made into women, and women cannot be made into men.  They can merely be made to outwardly resemble them.  You cannot actually change someone's sex, anymore than a white person can be made black with spray-on tan and a trip to the hair salon.

I don't think transgenderism and homosexuality are mental illnesses in and of themselves--and certainly not wrong in a traditional ethical sense--but I do think that in a HIGH proportion of cases, there is underlying sexual and emotional trauma which created these outcomes, and which is not resolved through sex reassignment surgery, or a homosexual lifestyle.

The task is always to look to the highest and best good, both for the individuals and for society.  What I think Leftist GroupThink prohibits is an HONEST discussion of the real problems these people have, which in turn prevents an honest and effective amelioration of the quite real unhappiness.

In important respects, invoking the word "hate"--which, like "racism", has been denuded of content through propagandistic use, and now seemingly simply describes anyone does not agree FULLY and reflexively with the meme of the day--for things like questioning the wellness of men who want breasts and to cut their dicks off, is not different than shaming everyone who wonders just what successes of the Civil Rights Movement we are, now, 50 years later, supposed to applaud.

When you cannot speak honestly, when you must live in fear of well organized hate campaigns (and I am using the word here in its traditional sense) when you fail to toe some line that didn't even exist yesterday, then you are not only not living in freedom, but you are being forced to participate in the destruction of meaning, of language, of community, and of effective political solutions to real problems.

Leftists don't solve real problems.  Their only forte is in rationalizing failures.  And given that such rationalizations require frontal assaults on coherence and reason, their on-going successes mean on-going failures whose sources cannot be traced, and which cannot be identified, or corrected.

I don't think people become better by assuming that Bruce Jenner's real problem is solely that he (he still has his balls, in my understanding, so he remains a man) wants to act like a woman, and that society rejects him (He just won an ESPY, so that argument is a non-starter); and I don't think I become worse by pointing out that there is almost certainly an underlying psychopathology that nobody wants to talk about.

Jenner is not positioned to thrive.  Dressing up like a woman and taking hormone injections is like winning the lottery without learning to budget money: one year from now, my guess is he will be just as happy--or, to the point, unhappy--as he started out.  That is when the media will lose its infatuation with him, and although I have not followed him in any of his shows, it does appear that attention is important to him, and when he is past it, melancholy and depression will likely set in.  His change will not alter permanently who he really is.

Nobody wants to say it, but I will.  Goddamn it if just speaking the obvious has not become an act of rebellion.

I say again: lies only help the liars.  They do not help real people.  Anyone who wants to do good in this world must value truth and honesty.

Strength is relaxation

I was feeling today that the essence of manliness is confidence.  As I think I may have mentioned, when I did my second CrossFit certification, I was in a small group that had 3-4 SEAL's in it, and the one thing that stood out to me was how relaxed and unworried they were about everything.  Obviously, that sort of training constitutes an easy day, but I felt that was how they were most of the time.  How else can you fall asleep waist deep in mud in a row of your fellow sailors, as they do in training? I can't fall asleep in my bed with a fan on.

I would contrast that with the guys you see in musclehead gyms who are very self consciously trying to look and act tough. If you feel like you need to act tough, you probably aren't.  You are afraid.  I think this inner fear drives a lot of bodybuilders, especially.

Learning deep relaxation is the first step to both healing and personal growth.  Without it, you cannot go deep into anything.  Your innermost self can never show itself.

Political Correctness

It occurs to me that being politically correct means being humorless, and since humor is a primary means by which people moderate and deal with their differences, this means that structurally it amounts to a holding tank for the accumulation of anger.

Witness Jon Stewart.  His "humor" is mean-spirited, and consists nearly entirely in mockery, in portraying people as buffoons and cartoons.  His humor is not meant to build, but to burn.  There are grades of humor, and his is that of witty insult.

Stewart, a Jew, is only one step away from what the Nazis did in their caricatures of Jews.  I mean that sincerely.  I cannot watch him without feeling a strong undercurrent of very unfunny contempt, and latent violence.

EMP Attack

http://pjmedia.com/blog/ex-cia-director-government-ignoring-existential-threat-to-the-american-people/?singlepage=true

I found this somewhat enlightening.  It appears the principle barrier to sanity on this topic comes from electrical utilities.  They seem to view these common-sense precautions as inconvenient.

Free nations such as ours fail when everyone starts thinking primarily of their own narrow, parochial interests, and fail to integrate themselves into objectively higher goods.  These executives, and their lobbyists, have no reason to suspect they will fare significantly better than the rest of us if their obstructionism serves, finally, the cause of societal collapse.  Their efforts are, to put it more kindly than the case warrants, short-sighted.

Dostoevsky on the young Socialist

He’s a kind, well-meaning boy, and awfully sensitive…But let me tell you, the whole trouble stems from immaturity and sentimentality! It’s not the practical aspects of socialism that fascinate him, but its emotional appeal – its idealism –what we may call its mystical, religious aspect – its romanticism…and on top of that, he just parrots other people.
And I would add that in the same sense that small children can sometimes be reflexively cruel, so, too, do frustrated idealists become violent cynics, for the simple reason that the world, which does not cooperate with their simplistic and unrealistic visions, becomes hated.

This child never grows up, but he does lose his romanticism.

This quote is from this excellent article: http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/12/16/dostoevskys-6-nightmare-prophecies-that-came-true-in-the-20th-century-part-one/1/

I picked Dosteovsky to riff on for a reason.

Edit: I have not read that in a while.  It still fills me with deep emotion.  It was hell writing, but ultimately very therapeutic.  To climb, you need rungs, and that piece served that purpose for me.  We build our own ladders out of Hell.

I am extremely sensitive; very, very sensitive.  I feel the world around me directly in a way I cannot communicate with words.  I have a well developed capacity for dissociation, which is why the psychologist who diagnosed me with PTSD said I would do well in a concentration camp, but at heart, when I am myself, I see and feel everything.

I feel the evil in the world well--I of course also have a well developed instinct for danger--but am only slowly growing to feel the Good.  Just yesterday I had a split second of clarity, and felt how it would be to love everyone I met.  It is not a burden: it is health.  And I am growing healthy.  And I wish you the same.

One day, perhaps, this mass nightmare will end here on Earth, and our potential as spiritual beings be fulfilled.  It is impossible to know, and I am not and never will be in the business of making predictions I cannot defend.  But one can always speak to the truth of ideals, and visions of what could be.

Is universal peace possible?  Yes.  Yes it is.  I work daily in my small way to move in that direction, starting first and foremost with working on myself.

Propaganda

It is impossible to think clearly when one is surrounded by untruths.  Some time in the late 1960's, our media complex lost its connection to the principle of telling truths, first and foremost.  When Walter Kronkite came out against the possibility of victory in 1968, it was understandable that he did not realize the extent of the defeat which was inflicted on the NVA during the first Tet Offensive.

47 years later, it is impossible for anyone who cares NOT to know about what a devastating blow it was to them.  Senior NVA leaders have written about it.  They have talked about how they thought about quitting, and suing for peace under nearly any conditions.  They have talked about how much moral support traitors--and I use the word clinically and precisely--people like Jane Fonda gave them.  They have talked about how they watched our news nightly, and took great courage from the growth of the "anti-war" (losing a war with Communists does not end war, it merely moves it into the next phase of a war by the State against the people; and in this particular case, it facilitated mass slaughter in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam) movements.

This is the world we live in, in which all the congenial lies told over a half century are accepted at face value, with enthusiasm.  Leftists are always the Good Guys, and the task of news is not just to report it, but to INFLUENCE it.  This is all Goebbels did.  The task was always both to report the news, and to report it as accurately as possible. They would even report defeats.  They simply spun everything in a positive way.  You can report failures with absolute fidelity, if you nest that report within an overall narrative or context of progress. Likewise, the successes of your enemies can be made failures.

I look around me, and I remember.  Do you remember Ross Perot, who made our national debt a major priority, who galvanized everyone to care?  Watching our news, one would think illegal aliens and gay marriage opponents are the greatest existential threats facing us.  Clearly, Obama and his cronies have provided shelter and open support to murderers, rapists and thieves, and that is very simply indefensible on any level, and it is impossible for any sane person to look into the eyes of their victims and claim any good has been done for humanity.

At the same time, the interest payments on our national debt will very soon be higher than our Department of Defense allocations.  The interest on the debt is becoming a cancer on our economy.

And Obama is doing all the things Socialists do, that he can get away with.  This always causes economic decay and rot.  Not sometimes: ALWAYS.  There are no exceptions.  Obamacare will cause de facto monopolies in health insurance to form, will cause rationing of actual healthcare, will continue to put stress on small businesses--we have had dozens of restaurants close around here in the past year--and will put stress on the budgets of the middle classes who have to pay for everyone, themselves, and the new welfare recipients Obama is trying to buy with middle class money.

All the Fed needs to do to cause a crash is stop buying our debt, or stop pumping $50 billion or something a month into massive Wall Street banks, or raise interest rates.  I am seeing they want higher Reserve requirements, which is inherently deflationary, at least in good economic times.  Deflation right now would cause a crash.

All the signs are on the table of a massive disruption of our system, even absent something like a major terrorist attack.

And the people who make their livings, and hang their professional hats on, telling us truths we need to hear, are completely absent from their posts.  Quite the contrary: they have sided with the lies.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Triumph of the Will, Post 3

I got distracted: watched Casablanca with one kid, and Singin in the Rain with the other.

Not much to add.  The film is filled with large, tightly packed crowds.  The message is clear, that there is the crowd, and there is Hitler (with a few followers).  As Rudoph Hess said, National Socialism is Germany, Hitler is National Socialism, Hitler is Germany, and Germany is Hitler.

He did not mention Jews once.  He spoke of the future.  One can see the appeal of control and authority in a nation which had known a great deal of chaos (much of which Hitler's S.A. helped sow).  Instead of blowing with the wind, he was going to plant "a pole" (Audience: Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil).

I think the Nazi anti-Semitism has to be seen, within their awful logic, not so much as hatred of Jews, but love of Germans.  The Jews had to be "dealt with", there had to be a Final Solution, because the protection of the German race and people necessitated it.  Auschwitz was a proactive defense against the ruin of Germany.

And Hitler was obviously quite proud that his party represented an ideology.  We have come, rightly, to detest and fear ideologues, but I think at the time it amounted to the creation of a socially needed secular religion.

Goebbels was definitely the most creepy guy in the film.

Hess struck me as goofy.  I had not realized just how powerful he was.  It was Hitler, then Goering, then Hess.  It caused me to reread his story, the details of which I had forgotten: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Hess

They kept Spandau Prison open for 20 years with him as the only prisoner.  His was a very odd life, even by the standards of the time, and the group he belonged to.

I have often seen Leni Riefenstahl referred to as a genius, or master propagandist.  I did not see this film as particularly brilliant, although I suppose I have to measure it by the standards of the time.  They did end with a massive audience singing the Horst Wessel Lied.  The whole thing felt like some combination of Oktoberfest and Church.

Dukes of Hazard

https://youtu.be/gHO1PprfmkY

We've just about reached the point where this isn't satire any more.  Do you not feel the brainwashing going on all around you?

The Jews

Gibbon also made the interesting point that Jews reject all other cultures and peoples in a way that was somewhat unique in the ancient world.  I tend to think of them being rejected, as in anti-Semitism, but they equally reject everyone else as Goyim.  I have never really understood anti-Semitism, but it is a fact of human psychology that people do not like people who look down on them, which can be inferred from the fact that no Gentile could be good enough to marry a Jewish girl.

He also noted as one of the reasons for the triumph of Christianity, which first occupied the entirety of the old Roman world, and has since of course spread over the world, was its intolerance.  Competing creeds were banned and quite often punished violently, which had not been the case with Roman religions, which were very pluralistic and syncretic.  We think of Christianity as a creed of love, but its actual history is one of more or less direct imperialism, both politically and culturally.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Jesus and the Temple

I continue my 127 hour foray into Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire".  We have gotten to Christianity.  His treatment of Judaism was a bit of a treat for its very political incorrectness, and, largely, aptness.

But he made what to me was an interesting point. I'm not sure he intended this idea directly, but I inferred it from what he said.

Jesus died, by the standard chronology, in A.D. (Anno Domini, if memory serves, or CE if one wants to wash history free of Christianity) 33.  The Second Temple of the Jews was destroyed in A.D. 70, some 37 years later.

Here is the thing: much of the Law that binds the Jews centered on that Temple.  They were required, per Gibbons, to "present themselves before Jehovah" 3 times a year, and of course the Temple is where the sacrifices were made.  T'Shuvah, which I understand is a critical Jewish term meaning something like "repentance", originally involved making sacrifices to atone for sins.  The rabbis--or whatever they were called then--would slit the throats of animals on altars intended for the purpose, and presumably stained with blood.

When the Temple was gone, the Law could no longer be followed exactly.  Here is the interesting point: Jesus was made the FINAL sacrifice, such that the Temple was no longer needed.  Virtue was made of necessity.  Christianity, as it came to be called, was in effect an alternative to the traditional faith which not long after his death was rendered impossible.  As Gibbon has it, it seems many early Christians wanted to keep the details of the traditional Jewish law, but append it to include an end to sacrifice.

We seem to know that none of the Gospels were written within fifty years of Christ's death, and some much later, seemingly.

We also know--and we can reference documents found from that era--there were many contending stories and doctrines which were not included within the dominant narratives that were created by the Romans, impatient with competition and alternative.

People, and the history they make, are endlessly interesting.  I'm drinking again, and should go to bed, but my dreams don't stop.  I can just sit, and watch endless and endlessly interesting visions flow through me.  There will be an end to all this, but not tonight.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Parenting

I think I've said this before, but the teenage years begin when your children are still in diapers.

See.  See what is in front of you.  See all the way.

I have two teenagers, and they are both delights.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Reality is outpacing farce

http://www.infowars.com/seattles-nanny-state-is-deputizing-trashmen-as-secret-police-to-snoop-through-wastebins/

A week or two I mentioned as a lunatic scenario the deputizing of the politically correct to act as direct and legal militants in favor of the State.  Well, here it is.  You throw away an apple core?  You will be found out and punished.

And I want to be clear that we always have to separate out whether or not some action is right or wrong, and instead address directly the increase in power and surveillance required to enforce it.

The city literally wants to empower people to go through people's garbage in pursuit of some ludicrous political objective.  The world will not be saved or lost by apple cores and week old spaghetti.  It WILL be lost by people who insist such trifles are the direct business of an omnipotent State.

And in the second half of the story, they talk about police using analyzers to detect drug traces in the urine people flush down their toilets.

If that does not make you say What the Fuck, please take a long needle and stick it in the inside corner of your eye.  That will complete the lobotomy, which at this stage is just a formality.

This insanity can only end in total tyranny, unless it is stopped.

Kum Nye

As I mention from time to time, I really like this form of meditation.  It is intelligent.  It evokes feelings and teaches you to process them.  It is in that sense eminently practical.  I have not done Vipassana, but in my understanding it consists in the awareness, but does nothing to evoke something to be aware OF. I did mantra meditation for a long time back in my youth, and have tried Zazen and the "just sitting there" forms of meditation, and none did anything but wind me up.  Counter-productive, as I suspect is the case for all people not already relatively well adjusted.  That, in any event, is what I read is often the case.

We are complex, rich beings.  We are like cabinets with countless drawers and shelves, and filing spaces.  Personal growth consists in the first phase in simply coming to know ourselves as we are, to open everything up, to see it, to become acquainted with it.  The spaces within us have unique and distinctive textures and feelings.

You have to have motion to open things up, and you have to have stillness to allow it to speak. Kum Nye has both.  Uniquely, in my not inconsiderable experience.

Today, between my last post and this one, I did my practice, and in the fifth part of this set of exercises, I was bringing my negatives into my "cloud", and a Mr. Hyde sort of figure came up, and told the part of me that is loving "I always hated you and wanted to hurt you."  "I"--I hate to identify with that other part of me, although I recognize in principle I must--asked why.  And it showed me that it needed love for a very long time, but had no way to get it.  And anything we need but can't get we grow to hate.  It is natural for unloved people to grow to hate love.  Something tantalizing but 6" out of your reach is maddening.

The nature of trauma is that the more you need people the more you push them away. Some part of you knows that your very desperation makes you intrinsically vulnerable, intrinsically gullible, intrinsically prone to error and the manipulations of others.  The harder you reach, the harder you pull back.  It is one more of the contradictions of loss and emotional privation.

But my two selves went for a pleasant walk in a pleasant park, and I think they worked something out.

There can be no greater gift, no skill more worth developing, than the ability to truly love oneself.  Once you can do that, you don't NEED people, and so the desperation and clinging disappear, and so the ability to approach other people appropriately, in a spirit of welcoming and openness becomes available.

My life's tasks are developing this ability in myself--I am nearly there--and then figuring out how to teach it consistently and efficiently.  That is one of my life's tasks anyway.  Any regular readers I may have know I have set some other modest tasks in addition to that.

Surviving versus Thriving

I have not been able to bring myself to watch "Unbroken".  I KNOW, from personal experience, that there is a huge difference between surviving and thriving.  When you push your will to the utmost, with the fury and passion that terror and fear of death--and sheer stubbornness--compel, there is a cost.  There is a price to pay.  A debt is incurred, that is paid with sleepless nights, tossing and turning, nightmares, panic attacks, hypervigilance, inability to trust people, and the depression and sadness that these symptoms bring in their wake.  That was the aftermath of Zamperini's war time experience. In my limited understanding, it was only when he embraced Christianity that he found peace.

Nietszche's famous dictum notwithstanding, he wound up very much alive in an insane asylum.

I can't embrace Christianity, and I don't think most "moderns", as I could call people like me, can either.  I wish I could, but I can't.  It remains my personal belief that whatever Christ's actual message was, it has been perverted through some combination of carelessness, avarice, and stupidity.

My dream is of methods which CONSISTENTLY, reliably, resolve trauma.  Our processes and procedures, our understandings, are those of infants.  Ancient civilizations, I think, were vastly superior to us in that respect.

One interesting thing I will note is that I have reached a point in my Kum Nye where after half an hour or so of doing the exercises, I very much feel I am in a cloud--that I sort of AM a cloud, or a field, of energy.  And in my current set of exercises we are reaching a culmination of sorts, where I invoke this cloud, and then bring past traumas and negative experiences into it, and they are transformed.  The ideal--and this is a realistic ideal, I think, based on my early experience of it--is to take all experiences of all sorts and instantly transform them into positive, even ecstatic energy.

There is a method to this.  I have been doing this practice 2-6 times a week now for about a year and a half.  It has taken this long to get to this point.  And of course I have been doing a lot of other inner work as well.

But I will reiterate my vision that things like this belong in temples at the very CENTER of our culture, which are not peripheral, but part of the sustaining core of what brings and keeps us together.

What a fallen, ugly lot we are.  Even in Christian churches, which speak--often but not invariably--honestly of love, they still retain a human sacrifice at the very center of it, and a vengeful, violent God.

And Christianity, and all other religions in America and the West generally, is in decline. Those outside of it have NOTHING but their politics, their work, maybe their families, and hedonism to replace it, all of them too ugly to be the focus of a good life.

We need more.  We deserve more, I think.  Certainly we need to demand more of ourselves.  We need to take the next step.  I am speaking to the wind again, but at the moment I need to.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Obama does not give a shit what the law is

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/07/21/obamas-ice-director-no-immigration-enforcement-until-amnesty-is-passed/

We need to GROK that the Democrats--the national Democrats, which is not always the same people running local and State governments, although it is becoming that way--no longer value Americans, no longer value common decency, no longer value working for the common good.

They could not care less that many of these illegals are committing violent crimes over and above violating our immigration laws.  All they care about is that all these Mexicans--and by and large they ARE Mexicans--remember them come election time, and reward with votes the people who have been bought illegally, and who will be paid for out of the public coffer, out of the hard work of people born here, and who are supporting this very literally criminal enterprise.

Democrats need to wake up and realize that if their party is the party of the "Working Man", it is the party of the MEXICAN working man, and that if you were born here, fuck you.  You can expect your wages to continue going down, work to be harder to come by, and whenever Hillary can get away with it, for taxes to go up substantially.

We are watching the evisceration of a system that works, to accommodate people from a system that does NOT work, and whose seeds they will undoubtedly plant here.

Lamenting this is common sense and common decency.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Where are the brave, good people to defend a way of life so many have fought and died for, thinking our enemies were somewhere other than our universities, our media, and our treasonous political elites?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Feelings

It occurs to me that sometimes it is good to name feelings, and sometimes it isn't.  When I did the Hoffman Process, we had a list of feeling grades we could use when someone asked us how we felt.  It was on the back of our binder.  Words included calm, centered, ashamed, vulnerable, dissatisfied, yearning, etc.

But I get these really interesting states doing my Kum Nye, where I feel a sort of connection with the air and space around me.  And I don't feel like naming it.

When it comes to complex sensations and feelings, "that" is not just an acceptable answer, but sometimes the only appropriate one.

Donald Trump

I would pull the lever with more confidence for Trump than Jeb Bush.  And I think this sentiment has spilled out across the country.  BOTH parties have shown they can't handle governing responsibly.

And given that Obama has lost the war in Iraq, planted the seeds to lose the war in Afghanistan, has created more debt than any President in American history--with only George W. as a competitor--and has rammed through a medical insurance take-over that no sane people who pay income taxes wants or needs (or would do, given sensible and easy reforms), I ask: HOW MUCH WORSE CAN IT GET?

We have a President currently who is beyond incompetent: he is working for our enemies.  He is working for our demise.  And he is getting it.

At a minimum--unlike Jon Stewart and all the silly people who very simply cannot have serious, adult conversations--Trump does love this country, and he can be expected to make decisions to help further its interests.

That should be a sine qua non for being President, but clearly it isn't.

Granted, he is an egomaniac, and a blowhard, and a hypocrite, and he has often changed his mind.  Why, then, is he still the most honest politician on either side of the aisle? It is not Trump who needs to apologize for saying what hundreds of millions of Americans are thinking: it is those who want to represent us, but show no vision, no courage, no leadership, and no UNDERSTANDING.

Triumph of the Will, Part 2

I have not started watching it again yet, but did want to comment that there is something mystical, something compelling, about night and flame.  The night rallies became more than political: they partook of the religious, of the rite, of the initiation.

You work 8 to 5 or whatever, then go home.  That is your day life.  By asking people to come out at night, to stay out at night, and to bring torches, they got into people's innermost recesses.  They got into their homes and families.  They broke the separation between public and private.

This is a provocative thought, but I can conceive of ways in which the methods of totalitarianism could potentially be turned to the good.  We need to know why what they did worked, how it worked, and what the long term effects were, both good and bad.

Limbaugh on Trump

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2015/07/20/trump_teachable_moment_how_come_liberals_can_savage_mccain_s_service

I didn't read all the way down, but will just support one point he made: if you provide ANY answer to the question "have you stopped beating your wife yet", which is the set up for every media hit, then you lose.  And they want you to lose.  That is why they love this tactic so much.  They will ignore serial killers if they are Democrats, and find moral outrage for Republicans who jaywalk.  That is the way it works.

By not apologizing, Trump of course nurtures his ego.  But he also does not buy into this game where he will invariably and necessarily lose.

As I have said on a number of occasions, the only way you can deal with this system is through relentless offense.  Their whole method is to put doubts in people's heads, to make them feel guilty about crimes committed dozens of times a day by the Left, and to slow them down, and stop them.

Romney did not go for Obama's jugular when he should have.  Why?  He is a decent, introspecting man, and he feels some bonds of human decency.  That is a fatal defect when dealing with wolves.  Whatever his manifest flaws may be, lacking a killer instinct is not one of Trump's shortcomings.

And when it comes to sexual escapades, I will note that Bill Clinton was fucking an intern in the Oval Office, and nobody seems to care.  Hillary seems to be a lesbian, and nobody cares.  Hell, I don't care: that is by far the least disqualifying thing about her. My only objection is the lie of their marriage.  They are political allies, nothing more.

Trump is over the top, but none of that really matters.  If we are supposed to normalize gay marriage, why not infidelity and sexual voracity?  We've been through the sexual revolution.  John McCain cheated on his wife, too, as far as that goes.

What The Donald actually said

https://sharylattkisson.com/fact-check-the-washington-post-on-donald-trump-and-john-mccain/

This seems to be getting ZERO air time.  He called McCain a hero three times, but wanted to be clear he was not an Audie Murphy war hero.  And he wasn't.  He displayed great courage, but was not particularly successful in killing the enemies of America.

Actual quote: “He’s not a war hero.  He is a war hero.  He’s a war hero because he was captured.” 

And this is true.  And it's worth adding for context that McCain accused Trump, among other things, of "bringing out the crazies".  It is worth noting in that regard it is a virtually CERTAINTY that McCain and Lindsay Graham helped create ISIS by secretly knowing about and agreeing to Obama arming and training supposed Syrian "rebels", who have from the onset been on all accounts foreign born and committed to Islamism.

I think to this very day Obama is still providing arms to these people, in a war which continues even now, and to his enduring discredit and dishonor, McCain has not changed his position an iota, that I can see.

We can both respect past service, and call bullshit on present policies.  McCain ran a shitty campaign in 2008 and that is part of the reason we got Obama.  

I for one wish he would retire.  It would help us remember the good things with greater clarity, rather than being forced into concluding he is as dangerous as Obama.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Triumph of the Will, Part 1

I have lists: lists of books I haven't read, movies I haven't seen, classical music I don't understand, etc.  I have, put another way, a very partial map of the extent of my ignorance, and I try to decrease its extent-- it being the territory marked "I don't know" within the realm of what I know I don't know--regularly.

Triumph of the Will has been on my list for a while.  I am watching it tonight, and thought I might make a few notes.

The first realization I had is that although I've seen many pictures of Hitler, I've never really seen much film of him.  Watching him, he does a really weird salute to the people Heiling him.  It's more like a waiter carrying a plate. It feels like a position from which he can absorb, but not offer, energy.

The first address he makes is to the assembled labor forces.  This is strategic, since the Communists had been trying to recruit labor as well.  He states something like: that battle is over.  You are here, you are valued, and nobody who is an honest German will admit anything but that you are the equals of us all.  All those troubles: irrelevant and behind us.

Then, addressing the Hitler Youth, he says, and I quote the subtitles: "We want a society with neither castes nor ranks."

It is interesting that they call each other "Comrade" as well.

The myth that Fascism and Communism exist at opposite ends of the political spectrum has been very useful for Communists, but it is just that: an untruth.  A lie.

Within the film they repeated discussed both National Socialism, and the National Socialist German Worker's Party.

As I said several days ago, I think the metaphor that works best for me is the battles between the Bloods and the Crips (or the Jets and the Sharks, if you prefer).  When the Spanish Civil War happened, both sides were ultimately run by blood-thirsty monsters.  There was no good side, even if the Stalinist puppets managed to appeal to a lot of naive idealists.  They lied to do it. That is what they do.

More tomorrow.  I need to go to bed.  I finished the first hour, and will finish the second hour tomorrow.  I lead an odd life, but it is congenial to me.

I think I am healed

I think I have advanced to a place where I just have normal problems.  I still get distracted, alcohol will always be a temptation, my diet is not perfect, and my place is a cluttered mess.

But someone lives here.  And that is a good thing.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Racial databases

http://nypost.com/2015/07/18/obama-has-been-collecting-personal-data-for-a-secret-race-database/

Does anyone else remember a prominent government from the past one hundred years with an obsession with cataloging and documenting all issues with regard to race?

One wonders if Obama secretly dreams of a black on white Kristallnacht.  That's sort of what rioting is, except they only attack themselves.

Of course, things would end quite differently.  Jews were disarmed by law, as are most blacks, also by law.

But can you just imagine the nightmare of lawsuits this will facilitate, the blackmail and extortion?

And in the end, will the black race have been elevated?  More specifically, will they have done ANYTHING to elevate themselves?  This whole project is based upon the assumption of the helplessness, incompetence, laziness, and stupidity of blacks.  It is, in other words, more profoundly racist than the most ardent KKK member.

On that note I will remind folks as well that in the entire history of racist lynchings perhaps 4,000 blacks were killed. I read some 6,300 blacks were killed in 2011.

Given that most of the murders were committed by other blacks, can any sane person blame racism?

We need to all take a breath and realize that racism isn't a word anymore.  It has been turned into bland jell-o.  It means nothing.

We are told that blacks are frustrated because they lack economic opportunities.  Well, have we not spent a great deal of money pointing out the obvious fact that dropping out of high school is foolish?  Have we not wasted enough billions on teacher union controlled schools which do not produce educations, but rather good jobs for lardass teachers?

I've spoken of all this often enough.  I'll leave it alone for now.