Saturday, January 28, 2012

Janus reflects (raos)

Obviously "love" is not the answer. (Maybe it is the question?) Rather, self-love may well be the love answer we have been looking for.
I tend to distrust "belief" and rather think through positions based on information. Thus, newly discovered information can lead to new thought.

in the 21st century we don't have to pay a thing but attention to get a first-class education.

Ayn Rand was not a Libertarian. She developed her own, quite narcissistically induced, philosophy which for some unfathomable reason gets conflated with a philosophy of maximum freedom.
Does competition drive us to improve and to strive to reach our potential, prevent us from becoming complacent? Perhaps some kinds of competition drive some kinds of people. Maybe co-operation drives others, or the kinds of co-operation that involve excitement of innovation within the security of an interactive group. Then, competition does not have to be about survival of the fittest, but can just be diversity.

I am troubled by the paradigm of ownership in regard to the resources of a society. Ownership, even massive co-ownership, is a divisive concept. We are divided from that which we own, given some sense of entitlement rather than a sense of participation. I think a better paradigm would be a participatory society, in which we are all on the hook for doing well. Freud and others have said, and I tend to agree, that our primary motivators, that which is most associated with psychological happiness, are work and love -- vocation and companionship brought to a level of passion. This passion, and the happiness it can bring, comes with active participation, not a classification of ownership.
Money is a social construct, and yet we foolishly let it take over.

Wasn't Reagan the one who looked into our eyes and hypnotized our better sense into accepting his "debt is good" command?
Even more regressive than the taxes is the whole government-corporate complex of special subsidies, regulations and loopholes designed by corporate lobbyists and granted by their legislative lackeys.
The problem of the government for free market business is not the taxes or the regulations, but the subsidies and advantages to the influentially rich.
Opposition to government intervention through criminal sanctions does not mean approval of an activity, but rather a valuation of liberty above enforcing morality.
Our government is too big because our country is so big, vast, made up of regions with their own interests.  So, look at the complexity and wordiness of legislation to attempt to cover an imaginable range of possible scenarios.  The thing is, it would be more useful to keep the rules incredibly simple, to cover what we can agree is needed for reasonably sane and safe interaction.  Get back to basics, within a future-oriented changing environment.  This can be brought from the bottom up, from the smallest groups, within any consciously aware community, becoming more widespread as it becomes an obviously practical meme.  Government is but an institutionalization of people's models of living together as a society.  It is not a thing, but a system of interrelationships.
The pro-Israel lobby is not so much about promoting Israeli interests as influencing a hastening of Armageddon for those Christian martyrs who want an end to this world combined with neocon desires to control the Arab oil countries' resources.
The Arab-Israeli hostilities are not so much about the nation of Israel as Western colonial mentality and its aftermath.
The world is changing. Every institution will be re-evaluated within that change.

Why does everyone seem to think that these things are a matter of either/or when both/and works much better?
I think we need a moratorium on the word "socialism" until a majority of us understands what it means.
I keep hearing this meme that people ought not be taxed,  to be allowed to keep and spend their own money (which is another debate, as to what money is and who it belongs to) better than government.  What is this based upon?  What is better?  Certainly individuals want to spend in ways that promote their own interests -- but often they do not; and often their interests are not the interests of the society generally.
I don't think anyone is arguing against artists being paid for their work. There has always been pirating since there have been items of value to pirate. Mostly we do not respond to such activity by making it harder to do legitimate business or to egregiously burden those who might be operating out of a desire to spread information rather than thievery. As an artist who works with other artists, I am aware of these issues. But artists are creative people. Certainly we can figure out how to promote our work without having it made profitless by pirates.
I had just been thinking about how so many children are somehow expected to behave in ways they have no way to understand. No wonder so many of us have so much anxiety about who we are supposed to be, how we are supposed to perform to be ok.
The drug laws have nothing to do with safety or public health and everything to do with having control over people willing to flout authority.
Part of the silliness in all of this is that we are brainwashed by advertising to take all kinds of dangerous drugs without even considering the dangers, for all kinds of purposes. Then, these few substances that have had some historical hysteria attached are treated like nuclear weapons. If all the expense of maintaining this war mentality against the least able to defend themselves were instead used to treat those who have used substances ill-advisedly, we wouldn't have a substance abuse problem. We would have a substance abuse solution.
Perhaps if one is stuck in a mire of continued unsuccessful outcomes, rather than continue to self-berate one could step back, have a refreshment, take a nap, daydream about the scene outside the window, leave the problem to find anew with new energy, ideas and perspective.
One of those falls over destiny's cliffs will be your last.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Aquarian days (raos)

In these days of quantum cosmic possibilities, when prophecies and science fiction dreams are inflaming collective imagination, don't we have some more relevant topic than last century's economic dabblings to enshrine?
perhaps we ought to have a new definition of poverty, based not on dollar amounts but quality of life.
I notice ownership is not a guarantee of good stewardship.  Often owned objects are treated with disregard.  Even long sought toys pall as playthings and get tossed into some bin of oblivion.  What is valued is what is used, tools that make our work possible or allies that make it enjoyable.
Do not struggle with anger, my son Give in to the luxury of ire and woe Dance to the music of bloodlust, fire, passion Avenge the angst of life's attractions Get caught up in the lava flow, burning to spend and leap without reserve Then, in sweet afterglow, in mild day's reflection, take in the view of battlelands subdued. In this fading light, this waning Sun, aftermath of action, take time and patience, eye of storm, tongue of meditation, clear mind of wisdom to wish.
I pray for you to lose the plank in your eye, to melt the icy hatred locking in your heart.
We could use a mentor class and systems to match those who care to share their knowledge with those who require it for any vocation desired.
Outspoken capitalists seem not to realize that a free market is meant to be free for all to use whatever strategy they think will work for them.

Aren't most abortions sought by married women who desire (or even already have) children, but because of the situations surrounding the particular pregnancy have decided that termination is the best option? Abortions save mothers lives, both directly an the broader sense. They often save the unborn child from a life that no one ought to be forced to endure. Perhaps what is needed are massive wrongful life suits (maybe class action or pro bono through activist lawyers) brought by horribly deformed and diseased children against the "right to life" groups that required their birth. Life is not always a gift, but sometimes more like a curse, a burden that those who insisted they knew better than the mother ought to pay for if we are to have credence as a free society. A right to life for free people is also a right to not be forced to live.
The problem is not in difference of opinions or social theories. The problem is the attitude of belittling, berating and generally working out of a war metaphor.

There are people who feel a responsibility to control others, often with laudable motives of bringing people generally into a better way of life. Then there are those on a mission from a perverted sense of god (perhaps Satan Himself or some archetypal daemon?) who take a stand without reserve, remorse or reason. Of course there are mostly the politically expedient.
The essence of the novel is not the medium but the story. There is no need to hold content to the kinds of technologies available in the past, when the novel originated and evolved in print. There is no need to limit content to fit some current trend either.
There is a too little questioned fallacy of the wealthy as the job creators. Those who have so much that they can dispense jobs in fits of philanthropy if only we will pamper them into benevolence are THE way to the salvation of employment for we below. Really, though, jobs are not "given" nor benevolently created. No one would be employed if their skills and time were not benefiting and profiting those who employ them. The sneered remark of "a poor person never hires anyone" is far from true. With their last cent, and often future prospects in the form of debt, those without wealth are constantly hiring those who provide necessary goods and services. There is a persistent insistence that to move our economy forward we must give all kinds of concessions, corporate welfare, special tax breaks, et al to the "job creators" who already are on top of the food chain. Somehow it is evil, socialist disincentive to produce to aid the much greater job creators on the bottom to continue to pay and play their part in the economy.

Congressional rule would be so much easier without these protesting citizens to deal with
it is not just military women who must daily risk sexual assault at the hands of their fellows; certainly it is not only Muslim women who are subjugated at the hands of brutal males

motherhood is not really valued (probably because it is women's work)

Big pharm, like big moneyed interests generally, is not about public interest, but private profits.
There are plenty of local regulations created by those who know how to manipulate government to cut down on competition in their field. John Stossel often mocks these on his Fox Business tv show.

Why would we deserve a fearless President when we are not a courageous electorate?
Whether you agree with Paul or not at least he is very clear and consistent about what he believes and does as a result.
At least the things Congressman Paul says that scare some crap are out there being said -- not obfuscated like what is not said by those who speak talking points and focus-grouped soundbites.


What I learned in high school and elementary science classes was that science is often wrong (not what my teachers taught, just my informed observation). Better than teaching "science" our students need to learn critical thinking.

When we are concerned about shoplifting, we do not close the store. When we are concerned about ticket fraud, we do not shut down the concert hall. Nor do we build walls around stores in the mall that have experienced theft. We prosecute the thief. There are anti-copyright laws that get exercised every day. If the problem is that the interested parties can't keep up with the general culture of sharing art and information, perhaps they need to better educate themselves.
Copyright prosecutions across borders happen all the time; there are specific international copyright laws, though some countries tend to ignore them (but then they tend to do what they choose in most situations). If our problem is with China, it does us no good to destroy our people's access to the 'net. Rather, we need to learn to better negotiate with China.
It seems like so-called free market capitalists, who would be the first to scream about job killing regulations on their industries at the same time expect government to keep them safe from losses in an actual free marketplace.
Under the (sainted) Reagan administration, the old rules changed to let the good times roll for those at the top with some flimsy underpinning of "trickle down". As the real conservative at the time, George Bush (the father) knew, this was "voodoo," not reality-based. Since then it's all about the entitled people of means, not what is good for the country.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

wiggling into place (raos)

(seagoats come out for our moment in the Sun)
What is needed, really for us all, is a basic premise of interpersonal respect.
Surfeited with ire,
if I can marshal it against you
rather than against myself
you provide a useful target

In regard to suicides based on bullying generally, my impression is that the reaction is not to fear but shame. When one goes through life having shame heaped over and over in regard to who one is, life can become impossible.

Pretty much everyone has something to be bullied about. Probably the bullies are going at whoever they can to deflect from their own out of average traits. Being perfect is not an appropriate defense against bullying. Speaking out in the occasion ought to be the natural response of any bystanders.

It seems to me that a culture of bullying allows such behavior (perhaps in some ways encourages it) by acceding to it.  I remember well a lecture on spousal abuse given by a well established shelter counselor who explained that men abuse their wives because they believe it is ok.  Without the silent acquiescence (even occasional approval), bullying would be a cause of severe shame for the bullier, not the victim.

Freedom isn't free; we pay by staying aware and making our voices loud.
Like Rod Serling so ominously stated in that old anti-drug ad: the only thing wrong with mj is that it is illegal

The culture defining "mental illness" implies that there is something fundamentally wrong with our minds.  Rather than wrong or broken or ill, we are confused.  What we would benefit from are not doctors drugging us into submission, but mentors helping us to learn to cognate and behave in ways to better reach our goals and optimize our communications and interactions.
The government/corporate complex has done everything they can to make business large and squeeze out the small people through corporate welfare and specialized legislation.  Just the logical outcome of crony capitalism, not well thought out, because owning it all and leaving angry mobs to control is not my idea of a good life.
The moneyed interests seem to be about gambling, not producing. How long and well can a nation live on hype and manipulation?

We all know that money is going into politics, buying politicians to work for special interests. Where is the money going, though -- who benefits from this massive transfer of wealth?
Freedom has to be free from monetary requirement -- the price of freedom is its practice

The last President concerned with ending government waste was Clinton; but then the government had to waste all that time/attention/resources on impeaching him.
It often feels like the partisan bickering and obfuscation is a ruse to keep us off-balance, divided and ignorant of what is being done in our name.

It's not a matter of right or wrong. Certainly, you could state whatever you are feeling or thinking. Of course then those in your vicinity get to state what is on their minds.
If you watch Congressman Paul, whenever he speaks to an issue he clearly consults with his guiding principles, not political expediency. Even though he may disagree with others' views, his libertarian unswerving devotion to liberty informs his response. This is not a politician we need fear will hide his actions behind lies or obfuscation. This is a man of reason and integrity.

Romney does appear to have an adversarial relationship with reality.
It seems like some kind of bizarre dance: The loudmouth opposition complains that the President is harming the country through some conflation of what government has become over decades with current policies. The President shows how he is working to change the way business is done to methods more in line with what the opposition claims is needed. The opposition loudly complains that the President ...
 I am often amazed by avowed capitalists' aversion to competition.
Won't it be fun to look back from the future era of renewable and ecologically sane energy abundance.
Far beyond cruelty
into a whole other realm
of horror, dishonor and disdain
to observe crushing pain
and serve utility
by crushing more

Welfare recipients, the ones who can pass through the hoops of extreme desperation, have to try to survive on less than a reasonable tip at a top tier restaurant, and somehow get vilified as breaking the bank.
There is a great deal wrong with the "welfare" system, mostly involving blaming poor people for their inability to just suck it up and be successful.
The "teach them to fish" metaphor would work if there were oceans of fish and reputable fishing schools available to all of the economically unadvantaged.  Perhaps what is needed are mentors to teach folks how to support themselves when no one will hire them.
We elect people to the government trough whose avowed purpose is to destroy government, and then wonder why our government isn't working.

A genuine remedy would require actual conversation, compromise and rule by the people instead of political parties.
Perhaps we don't anthropomorphize enough, or rather perhaps we think of ourselves as further apart from other species than we are.
Somehow we have twisted religion into a belief in the indecency of our natural lives. If our bodies so offend, why does God make them?
We know it is useless to legislate love; though apparently it is popular to legislate hate.
Instead of acting bully-like against Iran, why are we not investing in a policy of supporting the people over their problems with the leaders?


Please, not another neocon war!
There is in the questioning, questing for meaning, in the everyday immense poetry

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Janus faces (raos)

I prophesize by reading wine dregs, which first necessitates the ritual in which the wine is drunk by me, and I am drunk by the wine.

If psychology and religion are not doing it for you, there are a great many more philosophies.
I'm tending to the belief that the universe we live is a creation of advanced gamers.
I have been wondering about people so concerned as to kill for their narrow interpretation of a right to life, people who vehemently side with the fetus against mom.
You know, gold is not that much more useful than paper (and much heavier). In the digital age we really ought to be able to figure out trade based on trade.
I like to break down perceived wants to their actual source:  I think I want that object; what I really want is the feeling I believe will come with that object.  Then, the object of the exercise becomes not "what do I want?" but "what do I want to feel?"
Sexual abuse is just another form of abuse. Children, who generally are not well experienced, do need defenses against all forms of abuse. One of the best is actual self-love/confidence and the ability to understand and express "NO!" in any form necessary. The corollary is of course people who the child can trust to act in their interest.

We focus on disease, and wonder why we feel so ill. We focus on our differences and never learn to heal.
For those claiming adherence to the Protestant Ethic, the predestination of wealth to the worthy, gospel has yet again been perverted by privilege.  The intent of their God to smile with fortune upon certain of the flock was to encourage the amassing of control over resources not to benefit the individual, but to give stewardship for the building of structures and institutions to benefit the community.  There was a concept, even a covenant, of "noblesse oblige" -- the Obligation of those blessed to share out that blessing.  The poor, far from being a burden or subjects meant for ridicule or denigration, are a resource to the nobles, for labor and also for spiritual engagement -- by sharing wealth and uplifting those below those of fortune may aspire to spiritual wealth.  -- Disclaimer:  I am not of the Christian faith, but a lifelong student of religions.
The problem is not in the President for being an imperfect human being.  The problem is that we waste our energies infighting rather than figuring out how to rearrange Our government to fit our needs. 
The President is out there doing the sensible thing, while the opposition party candidates cavort and whine like privileged babies. Why do the Republicans want the rest of the world to think we are fools?

I've never been a politician, nor a doctor; but I have attended Libertarian meetings and published newsletters (though not Libertarian newsletters). Libertarians come with a wide variety of prejudices, predilections, and issues (like most groups). When opening a publication to opinion and harangues, the Libertarian way is to promote freedom of expression, not censorship. As that obvious redneck Louis Brandeis opined during his work as a Supreme Court Justice -- the remedy for bad speech is more speech, not no speech.

The issue is not government or no government.  People will always form societal structures.  The issue is what values go into those structures, and are preserved by them.
We all know that money is going into politics, buying politicians to work for special interests.  Where is the money going, though -- who benefits from this massive transfer of wealth?

When the smoke of apocalypse clears
what consciousness remains
will lack or benefit based upon
perceptions created now.
Peace to you all in this Year of Prophecies (may all your world ends hook up to better worlds beginning)