Wednesday, December 28, 2016

GLOBALISM


Globalism is being promoted by those who have the most to gain from it, those who already hold power and wealth. Ancient pharaohs, emperors and kings would most likely unite for globalism in this age of overpopulation, environmental decline and information technology. Globalism is not science. Globalism is top-down population and resource management, justified by economists, the grand wizards of crony capitalism. They twist statistics and corporately controlled money into magical formulas to justify greed and exploitation of labor and the environment. Economics of this age is not science. It is a monolithic mathematical religion, based in evil assumptions.

The misdirected rage of extreme Islamists and their extreme counterparts on the political Right in The West is based, I believe, in the frustration of people with the assumptions of capitalism and power politics of our age. Their opposition is engineered by a media which is owned and operated by the powers who promote crony capitalism, or capitalist aristocracy. Their propaganda brings great profits to military establishments, in which the power brokers are deeply invested. This serves the dual purpose of uniting the masses behind the capitalist aristocracy and neutralizing any opposition to it. 

Globalists seek to merge all their subjects (the people) into a vast mass of exploitable labor and investors into their aristocratic wealth machines. This mass of humanity must be stripped of all identity other than world citizenship. They must be stripped of ideas of individual race or ethnicity, once lovingly referred to as "roots". They must be stripped of nationhood. They must be stripped of ownership. Everything they use to survive must be bought on credit or rented. Ownership will be the privilege of the capitalist aristocracy. 

The illusion of "a better life" must be promoted, according to the globalist agenda. This enables the global elite to promote mass migration after waging war to strip millions of home and national identity. The aristocrats promote the wonders of The West through their media in the Third World while promoting sharing and caring in the First World. This is social engineering on a massive scale. It is obvious to anyone with open eyes. 

The promotion of religion by corporate media is a catalyst, or perhaps a sweetener. Appealing to fear and superstition of the impoverished is simple. Proposing religious ideals to the educated is not very hard, since most have come from some religious tradition. It taps into their earliest psychological conditioning, by-passing their frontal lobes. Merkel promotes mass migration with Protestant Christianity. Putin maintains control with Orthodox Catholicism. Obama plays both ends of Christianity and Islam against the middle. And Jews, highly invested in the corporate-banking machine,  form alliances with apocalyptic fundamentalist Christians under the pretext of protecting Israel. Meanwhile, some wealthy Chinese mimic The West by adopting religion despite the success brought to them by a secular Communist state, which they are slowly dismantling from within with their wealth. 

Educational institutions are being reduced to nurseries for regressed children of the privileged. Coddling them eliminates student protest against the roots of their privilege. Encouraging protest by dysfunctional neo-feminists and affluent members of racial minorities does not threaten capitalist aristocracy because the objects of these protests are those whom the corporate elite wish to cow and bully, the working middle class. That aristocracy knows that the working middle class, the bourgeoisie, have always led economic revolution by mobilizing the poor. By hammering them with cries of "racism, "sexism" and "White privilege", the corporate media and their minions in education can neutralize the working middle class as a threat, while promoting the false ideology of everyone's success through entrepreneurship, the Gospel of Prosperity.

The gradual moderation and control of electronic communication and self-publishing is next. The corporate aristocracy have plans for the Internet. By unitizing charges for Internet use, they will gradually limit the Internet to people who cooperate with and depend upon corporate control. After all, they will be the only people who will be able to afford broadband. "Free" or "inexpensive" media will be dumbed down to the level of pure mass manipulation. Freely uploaded content to the Internet will all but cease. Information technology experts will collude with the aristocracy to develop censoring tools which will further divide and conquer the masses. Oligarchic governments will have all the tools necessary to quietly eliminate troublemakers (Think Snowden, Manning, Assange, Anonymous).

This is not paranoid science fiction. This is beginning to happen right now. And the obvious complicity of religious leaders, the educated and the mid-level financial classes glides along without wide criticism. Major media outlets have been gutted of anti-capitalist writers. "Socialism" and "communism" and "nationalism" have been turned into dirty words. How long will it take for "democracy" to fall to the same fate? Not long. How long will it take before blogs like this are extinct? Not long. The inevitable merging of technology and globalism will allow the corporate aristocracy to do whatever it takes to try to drastically reverse environmental degradation for their own sake. And, we all know from history what science in the hands of totalitarian control looks like. 




Saturday, December 24, 2016

SJW=S+M?



I am developing a working hypothesis concerning the dysfunctional neo-feminism which is plaguing college campuses and political campaigns. Simply put, I am questioning whether the social justice war of neo-feminism is actually a form of unconscious sadistic-masochistic sexuality wherein the social justice warrior seeks to assert himself/herself/themselves as dominatrix. 

I have spent some disturbing hours studying social justice warriors (SJW's) and neo-conservatives (Alt-Right) on Youtube. I believe many extremists on the Alt-Right, while consciously asserting traditional values, qualify as participants in an obsessive sado-masochistic (S&M) relationship with these extremist SJW's.  

For example, let's think about gender dysphoria. About 4 people in 1,000 statistically, counting birth males and birth females,  suffer pathological discomfort with their birth gender. That is about one half a percentage point of the human population. On a purely statistical basis, it is simply provocative to highlight gender dysphoria as a key feminist issue, representative of half the human population. It is over 125 times out of proportion. I see it as a form of enticement to reject a premise that all equality or justice for all human beings should hinge on special accommodation for transgender human beings. It is an irrational proposition. Yet, SJW's react with predictable fury when this is addressed in any fashion. Why? 

I speculate that the extremist SJW movement is a reaching out for limit-setting by a sexually frustrated/frightened and sexually dysfunctional minority who have exploited the Christian concept of justice for "the least of my brethren" to justify their impulse to provoke disapproval or perhaps even violence. Their cause is definitely not anti-sexist. The evidence for this is obvious. What is more sexist than the fixated gender-obsession of transgender people? What is more sexist than the segregation of many gay men, lesbians and transgender people into self-imposed same-sex cliques? What is more sexist than cliques of SJW's who intentionally alienate and demean confidently heterosexual men?  Integration is a basic element of equality and justice. To claim to profess devotion to equality and then to isolate into exquisitely minuscule cliques is a behavioral contradiction of purpose. It is hypocrisy at its worst or immature cognitive dissonance at its best.

The readiness of female SJW's who walk around in bedroom garb in public to scream "Rape!" when given the least bit of male attention is, in my speculation, an outward evidence of repressed sado-masochistic desires. It used to be called "cold-cocking","cock-teasing" or "blue-balling". It is famously attributed to Roman Catholic virgins. It has always been the practice of a small element of the homosexual male population. These flirts are usually sexually dysfunctional in any number of ways. They also tend to be self-loathing. It has been a more common practice of heterosexual males or closeted bisexual males in the presence of known homosexual men. Alluring someone with the bait of partial or full nudity, combined with a feigned indifference, places the seducer in control. The seducer may then vent his/her repressed sexual tensions/anger/frustrations on the allured, who may be far from a sexual aggressor. Thus the seducer then becomes the oppressor of the seduced victim. This form of sexual dysfunction is often seen as symptomatic of childhood sexual abuse. 

Two videos triggered these thoughts in my mind. One was the famously absurd and pathetically funny "Hugh Mungus" video (above). This exhibits the adoption by a mentally ill person of a marginally acceptable ideology to cloak her own mental dysfunction. In other words, she does not see herself as needing help for her mental illness. She sees herself as a victim of an external threat or injustice. The reality is that the internal threat of her brain dysfunction is just as dangerous, if not more, than the external threats around her. But it may well be easier for her to yield to her denial and avoidance of getting professional help. I see this process in many of the SJW videos. It saddens me deeply to see treatable mental illness being justified by groups who collude in mutual denial. It is not dissimilar from groups of codependent alcoholics/addicts.

The second video which provoked my thoughts was of a young woman in skin-tight clothing and wearing a bra under an open jacket as she strutted around a city during the day. She was intentionally being filmed as she attracted male attention and repeatedly rebuffed it. Most of the male attention was complimentary and appropriately heterosexual, given her outfit. She was not repeatedly manhandled, yet her responses to the attention were often hostile and demeaning. Why would she do this if she was not acting out some form of sexual dysfunction? What "justice" was being served? I doubt she was settling the score of being enticed by men who walked around half-naked and rebuffed her advances. Does she see cold-cocking as some kind of equal right? It is impossible to figure out what she thinks from her behavior. This is a large part of her problem in a social context.

In another irrational context, the same women who profess their allegiance to the SJW movement defend Islam and its prescriptions of body-covering for women. The woman in the second video could easily accomplish relative sexual invisibility by walking urban streets in a burka or by dressing like a Mennonite. However, she chose a revealing costume for the exercise. The point of the exercise was obviously to seduce and rebuff. This is a common form of sado-masochistic sexuality. 

I am not broadly judging consensual adult S&M sexuality as a symptom of mental illness or sexual dysfunction by any means. On the contrary, intentional and playful S&M or B&D (bondage and discipline) sex may actually be therapeutic under certain conditions between certain individuals. But that therapeutic component requires understanding and verbalization by the participants of their needs. This usually comes from some internal evaluation of where those sexual desires originate and what purpose they serve. The mindless S&M, fueled by amphetamine addiction, in the 1980's gay club scene drastically propelled the spread of HIV, even after warnings were clearly made about the viral transmission of that disease. Mindless sadism and mindless masochism are indeed dangerous.

Perhaps the word "viral" is more applicable to social media and streaming media than the current use of that word implies. Perhaps these outlets of expression and consumption by the broad public can spread some forms of mental dysfunction, like communicable diseases. At the very least, these media can bring together numbers of people who suffer from the same delusions or mental maladies. Consolidating those people into virtual or actual communities may provide support, but, unless that support is moderated with sane leadership or mentoring, the result can be the spiraling of destructive currents into society. The extremes of both the SJW and Alt-Right movements are perhaps examples of those currents (vectors) of epidemic insanity. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

VALIDATION


This is a good primer on 'Respect'.

Parenting a child without any negative reinforcement (criticism) is unhealthy. How that negative reinforcement is bestowed definitely matters. But always applauding everything a child does creates an addiction to validation (dependency) in that child. Proponents of 100% positive reinforcement don't have much to show as evidence of this approach's benefit to society as children progress into adulthood. The current wave of narcissistic and parent-dependent millennials of the dwindling middle class in the U.S. has been widely criticized by educators and employers.

Socio-economics determine the nuances of child-rearing in a capitalist society. This is a layer of influence which enhances or detracts from the personalities involved in child-rearing. A stressed single mother who is struggling to function will not have much to give to a small child, despite her perception that she is doing everything right. The child will be imprinted by her stress and insecurity in some fashion. If she chooses to applaud every behavior the child does, good or bad, she will instill a sense of entitlement that child will carry for life. Since poor children statistically become poor adults in capitalist societies, the entitled adolescent and adult is more likely to be exploited by criminals or abusers if they provide the validation upon which that child depends. This has been shown in studies of gang members, for instance.

The concept that respect is earned by respect requires some firm limits on childish selfishness, combined with education. Positive reinforcement for respectful behavior can then cement the lesson into good habits for a lifetime. The shrill demand for respect by the uneducated as they bully in an attempt to gain it belies poor parenting, which may well be perceived by the bully as a norm in his/her social context. This does not make it respectable. The current trend of multiculturalism tends to deflate higher standards of behavior for those from poorer groups in society out of a misguided attempt to be compassionate. This is not compassionate. It is disabling. Hence the high rates of incarceration and unemployment in those groups.

The most valuable validation is self-validation for a life which has been lived ethically, nonviolently and generously. Ultimately, self-judgment is the key to happiness or misery.




Thursday, December 22, 2016

FOOLISH MASOCHISM

This random Web photo illustrates unhealthy ideology.

In the wake of the deadly Christmas market attack in Berlin, Germans are finding that their government has abandoned them to fend for themselves in the face of violent jihad and criminal exploitation by invaders. German media and European politicians have colluded in foisting a fraud on the German people. Greed has led to the undue influence of Saudi Arabia and Turkey on European politics. Turkey has led the push of Islamic states into European politics in its attempts to join the European Union, despite wide discrepancies in human rights standards.

Germans interviewed by various international news outlets after the Berlin attacks exhibit the confused minds of the indoctrinated. Clear-headed Germans firmly state their disappointment in their government and security services. They state their intent to support political change away from Merkel's mismanagement of Germany's national security. The confused whine shrill assertions of living with the status quo with a stiff upper lip. "We cannot be afraid. We must go on." 

Anyone who is not afraid after random mass murders in his/her community is in denial, at best, or is simply out of touch with reality. 

Politicians in Germany, Britain and Europe generally have been bought by those with vested interests in maintaining the status quo of mass migration and loosened security. Here in the U.S. politicians and police management have all but surrendered to elitist pressure to curtail adequate security on our streets. Media have colluded. Rather than vigorously countering allegations of generalized racism and police brutality, these community leaders have taken a passive-aggressive stance of near silence and reduced responsiveness on the streets. Ask anyone who has called 911 in your neighborhood, if you live in a low-income area of a major city. Response times are long. Dispatchers, who are not even trained law enforcement personnel, try to push you off. 

The inevitable backlash against this trend should be much more frightening to all citizens. Trump's election is a symptom of that backlash. If the tide of violence and criminality is not kept at bay consistently in dense populations, the reaction to the resulting anarchy is authoritarianism. History has proven this over and over again. Pushing the mind-numbing form of narcissistic Liberalism of recent times, as seen on college campuses and in Liberal media, only accelerates the backlash. This is not a White backlash, as some would label it for shock value. This is a backlash by decent citizens who are victimized by crime, governmental failure and economic hardship. 

It is foolish masochism to advocate for anarchy (illegal immigration, flooding our society with mood-altering drugs, deregulating education, deregulating industry, and promoting individual isolationism, facilitated by information technology). Anarchy puts everyone at risk. Laws exist to help and protect the socially responsible. That standard of law in society helps and protects all citizens. Once the dangers created by anarchy reach the wealthy, military-style oppression will follow. The tipping point is closer than most of us wish to consider when we look honestly at the urbanized world around us. 


Monday, December 12, 2016

IRRECONCILABLE?


The downfall of many relationships is the entrenchment of two or more personalities who are unable or unwilling to compromise. This concept in divorce law is called "irreconcilable differences". It is a propensity of many human beings to resist compromise. This is most likely due to primal aggression, triggered by hormonal and subsequent brain responses to subconsciously or consciously perceived threats. The old fight-or-flight thing in various degrees.

The key to maintaining any peaceful relationship over time is the conscious and intentional recognition/discussion of potentially irreconcilable differences before the triggering of a flight or fight response. In sexual relationships, for example, lack of intercourse is a marker. If a relationship is based in sexual attraction initially, it is likely that there will be issues over time with that sexual relationship. Most of us fall subject to the old adage, "Familiarity breeds contempt.". Put more tactfully, our brains/nerves become desensitized to the familiar and non-threatening. Going from cuddle to orgasm usually demands some exciting stimulation. If the brain/nerves are desensitized to the familiar smells, tastes, touch of a routine partner, that acceleration from cozy to orgasmic is lacking. It's just chemistry, literally.  

In this light, perhaps irreconcilable differences are simply healthy cues to a mindful brain, not necessarily overwhelming triggers for conflict or separation. A wake-up call to get creative and change routine behaviors. Relationship therapists use this concept frequently. The problem with this process is that it requires ongoing change as sustained treatment of boredom, a symptom of other processes in a relationship. Once creativity is introduced into a stale relationship, the partners display their capacity for creativity and change. That capacity is seldom equally matched. If it were from the beginning, the need to use creativity as intervention to keep the relationship alive wouldn't have been necessary. Long-lasting relationships are built on sustained inventiveness (or stultified depression and/or dependency, in some cases). 

The recent election of Donald Trump, in my opinion, is an attempt by a large portion of the American voting population to work past irreconcilable differences between the cultural status quo and their cultural bias. Many who voted for Trump have openly stated that they acknowledge his unpredictability and potential instability, but, they say, they voted for him to throw a wrench into the machinery of the status quo. While this may parallel a Mennonite constructing a B&D dungeon in his basement to invigorate his marriage, it does speak to the level of dissatisfaction in the relationship between those voters and the prevailing media-fueled culture as it now stands. 

Countries and populations can be like large extended families which break up into clannish subgroups. If irreconcilable differences simmer under the surface long enough, a brawl at a wedding or funeral is inevitable. Sometimes the brawl, like a military skirmish on a larger scale, brings issues to light that can be dealt with around a peace table. More often skirmishes escalate into outright war. Once aggression and violence rise up to defend the opposing sides of perceived irreconcilable differences, you have the Israeli-Palestinian or Russian-Ukrainian relationship of chronic conflict built upon resentment and revenge. 

I believe there is a line between the "It's all good" miasma of the current regressive-Progressive media culture in America and the "Make America Great Again" culture of the Alt-Right and Trumpeters. This line hardened during the recent election into what may seem now to be irreconcilable differences. I think it will take more than making deals, the famous Trump mantra, or bestowing unrealistic "justice" to every minority who feel victimized to pass through those potentially irreconcilable differences to some creative compromise. In the past, Americans chose a bloody Civil War through their misguided political leaders. The Sexual Revolution and Peace Movement of the 1960's-1970's proposed another solution: Make love, not war. Somewhere in that past may be a clue to a solution to the current impasse and to keeping the culture of America relatively healthy and happy for everyone. 

The great lesson of September 11, 2001 for me was this: The differences in American society melted away after an attack by an unknown external force on America's materialist icon, Manhattan. A violent attack on the prosperity and material comfort of Americans is one sure way to bring us together and put the sex back into our enthusiasm for our nation. The great challenge of our day is to step above that level of violence and revenge to a better creative solution to our differences. If we manage to do this, our differences will not be irreconcilable. They will be the stimuli which make us stronger as a nation. 


Thursday, December 8, 2016

INCLUSION


I have intentionally excluded myself from most of mainstream heterosexual life. I am a 100% homosexual man with no marriage yearnings or parenting desires. I am happy to be living in post-Stonewall times in the USA, but I doubt my life would have been so much different if I had lived more of it before Stonewall. Hiding or repressing my sexuality never really occurred to me as an adult. I always understood instinctively that doing so would be unhealthy.

What is this modern obsession with inclusion? I have given it some thought. 

I sometimes think inclusion is confused with affirmative action, for instance. This doesn't make any sense. You may want to include your mentally impaired cousin in a family wedding, but you don't appoint him to be the wedding planner. You may want to hire a male wedding planner of color as a form of affirmative action, thereby giving him a chance to further his resume. But this does not automatically mean you will include him in the wedding party. 

Immigration is an area where the concept of inclusion often gets raised. Some addled social-justice advocates feel that illegal immigrants should be allowed to cross national borders and then be included in legal society with all the benefits of citizens. This is not inclusion. This is simply an advocacy for anarchy by those least likely to have to pay for its repercussions. 

Inclusion is always framed as a good thing in today's pop culture. But is it? As a homosexual man, I would not like including women in certain sexually centered venues, like gay steam baths. I would like to have the option of going to all-male gay club or to belong to an all-male gym. Likewise, I would not expect or desire to be included in some all-female activities. There is no need to include me in bridal shower or baby showers. I'm good, thanks.

So much of this inclusion obsession is specific to millennials. I often wonder if they can manage to go to the bathroom alone without separation anxiety. All this inclusion must come at the expense of reflection, self-examination and concentration. Hence the superficial materialism and susceptibility to addiction of the millennial culture. If you have had no time to figure out who the hell you are, it feels right to rush through life from one group experience of physical gratification to another. 

The false morality of inclusiveness-preaching in media aimed at millennials annoys me. What the hell is inclusiveness anyway? Should it entail wearing a T-shirt saying, "I'll fuck anyone?" While crying rape whenever someone innocently tests a sexual boundary in a non-aggressive manner, some millennials would feel compelled to participate in an orgy if it included a prerequisite number of transgender people of color, attractive or not. 

As I said at the beginning, I exclude myself from most of mainstream society. That does not make me antisocial, a potential terrorist or serial killer. It is called "choice",  and it also entails my Constitutional right to privacy. I know when and where I am welcomed and accepted. How do I know that? I have spent a lot of my time alone discovering who I am. I have used my time outside to look skeptically into society. I have learned to smell the stench of hypocrisy and can spot insincerity in the human eye. Like most things, if you are always immersed in a sea of hypocrisy and insincerity, you no longer are able to discern it from anything else.  

Thursday, December 1, 2016

PICK YOUR PARENTS WELL.


I know too many people who refer to their middle class lifestyles as "blessed". Really? Blessed? Want to know why I dislike organized religion? There's one good reason. 

Walking in my neighborhood entails sharing sidewalks with poor Black and Latino kids who are mostly passing through along a bus line from the subway to their neighborhoods. While they have ample bus service, one of the most frequent I have ever seen in Boston, my fellow pedestrians are most likely walking home or to the subway to avoid paying bus fare. Many of them look too tired to be doing it for recreation. They most likely don't feel blessed. They feel poor and tired.

Is it their fault they are not blessed? The arched eyebrows of a well-off Liberal are easily visualized in response to that question. That same Liberal cheats on his taxes through an accountant and votes for those who have consistently gutted public health and public education funds. He/she may own stock in for-profit hospitals or for-profit private schools. That same Liberal may be religious, possibly Roman Catholic, and does not support sex education, free birth control and abortion for impoverished women. Perhaps he/she would preach against single parent homes or the importance of the nuclear family. And other bullshit. I don't even have to review what a Conservative Republican would say. 

Many of my fellow pedestrians are the products of failed education and poor public health. They are more likely to suffer from addiction, obesity, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, malnutrition. Their poorly educated mothers have used their food stamps to buy carbohydrate-rich foods and liquids in a well meaning attempt to give their kids a sense of being nourished, or at least full. Their mothers have little time to cook nutritious meals.

Those same mothers have been forced to take low-paying jobs after having multiple children with the encouragement of government infancy-support programs. In other words, some of those mothers had one child after another to keep their ongoing welfare payments for children under two. Subsequently, as their children age, they are more burdened and less likely to be able to fund their children's education and general well being.

The leaders of the world should be ashamed. They know all this. They have known it for generations. But honest shame is not a component of megalomania. Just follow Trump on Twitter. Just look into Clinton hypocrisy. 

I am neither blessed nor ashamed, but I did luck out with parents. My mother was not lucky. Her father was an alcoholic immigrant laborer whose pay transformed magically into beer and then evaporated. Her mother was an illiterate sweat-shop worker, also an immigrant, whose anger over her bad luck in her parents, peasant farmers in Eastern Europe with fifteen children, sat around her like a black Jovian cloud, bristling with lightening.

My father was luckier. His father was a humorous Irish-American who was sober, self-educated and wise. His mother was born to immigrant bourgeoisie. She had a nanny as a babe and was educated in fine convent schools. Then she eloped with my traveling salesman grandfather. And that was that. Due to my grandfather's crippling accident at a young age, my father's family lived a very modest life on fixed disability payments, supplemented by my grandfather's post as church sexton. They lived joyfully and with generous hearts. 

I know that I have profited from the coincidences of my birth. I had nothing to do with it. My parents worked hard and made me work hard from an early age. That was a gift. They taught me the balance between money and happiness, in part by negative example. And, now that I am in my older years, their scrupulous management of their finances has provided me with some additional resources. The bulk of my resources, however, is the cumulative product of my own hard work, investment and saving. I was able to develop those resources because I had a good early education which taught me self-education methods and lifelong-learning habits.

There is nothing to be done for the too-numerous children of the too-numerous poor other than educating them not to duplicate the poverty of their own births. But society all over the world is doing the opposite. Capitalism is lecturing us on "growth" rather than conservation. Capitalism is the new religion of destruction of the greater quality of human life in support of the luxury of the blessed few. As long as the mythology of "more is more" exists in media, from pulpits and in universities, the quality of overall human life will diminish. Parents shape the world, indeed. They just aren't doing a great job. And the more "blessed" they are, the less interested they seem in stopping the madness. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

OH, FIDEL.

Che and Fidel

I shouldn't have liked anything about you, Fidel Castro, but I have to confess I did. I liked your abandonment of your childhood's security to fight what you perceived as injustice. I liked your refusal to be cowed by failure and great losses in your fight to liberate Cuba from the corruption of American-based mafia with the might of the U.S. behind it. 

I liked your socialist ideals. You produced more doctors for the developing world than any of your contemporary leaders. You educated Africans in Cuba in great numbers and thereby contributed to the development of several countries on that formerly colonized continent. Your domestic economic policies created as much progress for the working Cubans as suffering. You equalized Cuban society within decades with direct intervention, not the violent, secretive and self-interested manipulations of the current New World Order's bankers and stock brokers. 

But, Fidel, you failed to recognize that your morality remained entrenched in Roman Catholicism. This allowed you to remorselessly torture homosexuals and AIDS patients. This allowed you to abandon all your egalitarian principles in order to justify concentration camps. Your hatred and lust for revenge against those who disagreed with you, as if they were damned by some religious dogma, prevented you from reconciling with the Cuban diaspora, which could have brought back so much good to your island. Your suppression of religions other than Roman Catholicism was tactical while your conflicted Latin Catholicism failed to root out its pernicious influence from Cuban society.

I learned a lot from your successes and failures, Fidel. Whether you did or not becomes irrelevant  to you with your death. Perhaps knowing that more actively would have made your leadership more effective for all of your Cuban people. We will never know.


Monday, November 21, 2016

HYSTERIA


Hysteria is a defense mechanism whereby a person or group exhibits exaggerated emotional and/or physical responses out of proportion to a stress factor. The swoon of Victorian women of a certain class is a good example. Another current example is the exaggerated reaction of some to the Presidential election in the U.S.. 

Hysteria is a rather primitive defense. It is a defense of a person whose personality has not matured in response to routine stress of daily life. In other words, it is symptomatic of stunted emotional development. It is common in adolescents. It is uncommon in adults who have separated from their parents emotionally and financially. The formation of a healthy adult identity entails developing other defenses, like reacting to stress with hard work or forms of artistic expression. Whining, ranting and throwing things are regressive (infantile) behaviors. 

I am embarrassed for many of the young adults I see participating in demonstrations today. They have adopted a belief that acting like a regressed child will get them what they want. Dressing up clownishly, mutilating themselves with tattoos and piercings, screaming as though assaulted when nothing traumatic has actually happened to them. This is symptomatic of childhoods which were never properly transitioned to adulthood by the normal demands of maturing, such as having to work for food and shelter. These are adults who are still being babied by family or by some social system, like a university or indulgent workplace.

Hysteria is an inefficient defense over time. The attractive young adult who may be babied in hope of reciprocal emotional or sexual response by peer or elder will not benefit from those responses with aging. Like puppies who develop into badly behaved adult dogs, hysterical middle aged adults are cast off into isolation by divorce or simple avoidance. Without adequate emotional defenses, these isolated hysterics often become depressed and self-destructive, They are prone to addiction and other forms of socially unrewarded behaviors. 

Rather than guiding hysterics on college campuses to forms of therapy, today's academics are indulging them. This is anti-scientific and against all traditions of sensible child-rearing. It is not compassionate. It is damaging. I can only assume these academics have some agenda in enabling these immature young adults. I suspect decades from now there will be endless stories of sexual manipulation and exploitation of these students by academics. Perhaps some of this is already surfacing indirectly in the obsession with rape many of these hysterics display. Time will tell.

Being hysterical is not political action. Manipulating your superficial physical characteristics to any degree is not political action. The current exaltation of sexually altered individuals by these hysterical young adults appears to be a sad symptom of the misunderstanding of what it means to effect social change through being the change. "Being the change" does not mean taking hormones or dying your hair blue. A child may think this way, because children are very simplistic and superficial in their understanding of abstract concepts. An adult works with ideas and translation of ideas into articulate words, objects (media) and, especially, exemplary mature behavior. 


Saturday, November 19, 2016

"HAMILTON" HYPOCRISY



The cast and playwright of "Hamilton", a hit Broadway musical for those elites who can afford such trifles, had the audacity to shame Vice-President-elect Pence at last evening's performance in Manhattan. Pence was there as a private citizen in the audience. 

I did not vote Trump-Pence or Clinton-Kaine. However, I recognize that the outmoded electoral system of this country brought us a Trump-Pence administration. I have had to do this once before. The Clintons helped elect George W. Bush by withholding support from Al Gore in 2000. They were getting back at Gore for his remaining appropriately neutral as President of the Senate in the matter of Bill Clinton's possible impeachment. After Bush was elected under much more contentious and suspicious circumstances, I had to accept that he would be President. A war-mongering and economically corrupt airhead became our President. And the public, including many of today's corrupt Liberal elite, reelected that airhead in 2004 by a sizable majority. I had to accept that he was President lawfully. 

Later on, I watched as the Clintons snuggled up to the Bushes. Photo ops of George Bush, Sr., and Bill Clinton abounded. Hillary started hanging around with war-criminal Henry Kissinger and the like. She even partied with the Trumps in her reincarnation as a Manhattan politico. Hillary is a queen of political hypocrisy. She is a war hawk, a fan of Saudi Arabia, a pawn of Wall Street bankers. Her election would not have brought a smile of optimism to my face. No glass ceiling would be broken with those politics, in my opinion. She represents patriarchal status quo in female drag. Nothing more. To say that her election would have somehow benefited womanhood just because she is one is sexist. 

Barack Obama, a populist President of the Liberal elite, did not change the political, social or economic paradigms of America. To say he did simply because he is multiracial is racialist on the face of it. He sold out to the health insurance monsters. He received a Nobel Peace Prize without effecting any real peace. He emboldened jihadist Islam by not calling it out for what it is for nearly seven years. He did nothing to prevent the fomenting of racialism in this country. He deported more illegal immigrants than the Bush administration.  In fact, racialism in the U.S. became worse during his second term. And, his wife has been a First Lady in the exorbitant and self-satisfied manner of Nancy Reagan.

So, where have we come? An actor in a Manhattan musical which costs over $500 a seat is encouraged by an audience of elitists to use his stage to pre-judge an elected Vice-President's performance of his Constitutional duty. Is this the measure of today's social justice warriors, who are stifling the culture of learning in our universities and in our media by bullying those who wish to speak freely? I suppose it is. Those who always cry "bully" have become the bullies. 

I never considered myself a warrior. I detest violence in a way in which only a person who has been subjected to it from an early age can detest it. I think that worldwide disarmament is the only path to survival of the human species. I felt I was walking in the steps of a martyred non-violent hero, Martin Luther King, when I participated in the earliest Gay Pride marches 45 years ago. That is how I sought justice. I did not seek it by demeaning elected public officials from an elitist stage. I never thought my rights must come at the expense of the rights of others to free thought and free speech. I never thought humiliating those in power would gain their respect of my position. 

Like it or not, Donald Trump and Mike Pence were elected to administer our government. They are simply human beings with a job to do. They are not preternatural demons. They do not represent some vicious cult of sexism, racism and homophobia. Yes, they are conservative in many areas, but they were elected by nearly half the electorate as well as by the electoral college. Yes, they are not always eloquent or conciliatory in their speech. But they are American citizens. That makes them accountable to the Constitution and also protected by it. Judging their job performance before they have even started the job is not acting in the spirit of that Constitution. It is not even acting as a just and rational person. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

TRUST


Ever wonder why Halloween is America's second most popular holiday by some measurements? After all, what is Halloween about? It is about disguise and begging treats under the threat of mischief from strangers. It is also about drunkenness and unruly behavior for some. The increase in Halloween's popularity over the past two decades has been fueled by advertisers surely, but its popularity also parallels the decline of the American urban culture. Gun violence, drug abuse, alcoholism and homelessness have become just as visible as the rise of gleaming glass towers for the rich. Cities have taken on the costume of prosperity which masks the decline of the quality of life for a majority of their citizens. Our national government has been captured by Bible-thumping conservatives who are unbelievably corrupt and ineffectual. But trust on a purely social level is even more threatened by irrational social memes. 

How can you readily trust someone whose gender is indeterminate? How can you gauge his/her relationship to you on an instinctual emotional and sexual level? You cannot. There is more to the fear of sexless bathrooms than intellectual prejudice against transgender people. A person's appearance is his/her most salient clue to his/her trustworthiness. Dislike of the burqa and the hoodie also relates to the issue of trustworthiness. It is not simply an anti-religious or cultural bias. In a world which is increasingly crowded, sharing less and less space with people who cannot be clearly perceived as trustworthy or not by their visible demeanor naturally feels unsafe.

It is ironic that neo-feminists, or social justice warriors, are most plaintive about safe spaces. Yet these same people defend burqas and unisex bathrooms with vehemence. They support violent Black Lives Matter protests with enthusiasm. This alone is an indication of the lack of measured logic in their positions. People who display this kind of double-messaging are not perceived as trustworthy by any rational person.

Donald Trump has been vilified as untrustworthy and dangerous by some people in the political center and center-Left. Why? Most often they quote his positions on immigration and lawfulness. The reality is that Donald Trump is by far less dangerous than Liberals whose agenda is hawkish and tied to predatory capitalism, like Hillary Clinton and George Soros. 

Donald Trump's conservative mania is right out there, audibly. The center-Left is not trustworthy because it has been exposed as covert. When Hillary Clinton allowed 20% of her presidential campaign to be financed by Saudi Arabia through her so-called charity, she became untrustworthy to any rational person who truly believes in the quality of female, gay and transgender rights. It makes more sense to trust a man whose positions, however wild, pour out of him on Twitter than to trust a woman who illegally used various email servers to manipulate foreign policy and plot taking over the American government with her pro-Saudi/pro-elitist minions. 

Trusting people who illegally migrate across a legal border for whatever reason is not rational. Desperation is not an excuse for lawlessness. If I am desperate for money to buy heroin, I am not excused for breaking into someone's house to steal money to finance that heroin purchase. If I have chosen to have too many children in an impoverished country where I doubted from their inception my ability to raise them, I am not justified in making myself and those children dependent on another country without at least having the courtesy of applying for admission to that country legally. Courtesy is not expensive. Lawfulness in a democratic society takes effort but pays off for everyone involved. Voluntary participation in lawfulness is the measure of a truly peaceful and civilized society. 

Blind trust is the province of religion. Science is the province of skeptical and rational trust. As society becomes more scientific and less religious, trust becomes a commodity earned, not demanded. Falling back on religious notions of blind faith and trust is often the tactic of politicians and other scoundrels. Hopefully, it is the beginning of a time of reevaluation of the measures of trust in American society.  




Wednesday, November 16, 2016

HOW ABOUT SOME SANE FEMINISM?

A Scene from "Slutcracker"

I recall the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. I became very ill with what later became recognized as the early symptoms of HIV infection in the Spring of 1984. I missed a week of work. I developed profound weakness and jaundice, yet tested negative for hepatitis. My initial call to my medical provider was answered by a female nurse practitioner. Since I was then a practicing nurse as well, I readily told her I was in a homosexual relationship with a former male prostitute. I thought this would help her reach tentative diagnosis related to what was already known as a deadly viral STD affecting gay men.

"No. That's highly unlikely," she snapped over the phone. "We don't have any information to support the idea of an initial reaction to exposure." I remember becoming angry at her attitude. I also remember asking her how the hell she would get such information if she blew off intelligent patients who are voluntarily presenting her with clinical data. She ended the phone call by saying, "Well, I suggest you practice sexual abstinence until we get this thing figured out." The call offered neither comfort nor cure. She also did not ask me to come into the clinic for any testing. The clear message was, "You're on our own." I knew her response was deeply influenced by her female conditioning to see sex as something bad. 

I have worked extensively with women, both as colleagues and patients. Few of my nursing colleagues of my age were feminists in the 1960's and 1970's. Most were conservative, religious (mostly Catholic) and vocally sexist. Most were married with children. Many had husbands in blue collar jobs. Yet these women occupied one of the first recognized professions staffed and administered by women. This informed many of my opinions about women, their programming and their mentality as determined by their biochemistry. My appreciation for those factors has led to my usually keeping those opinions to myself.

There is a production locally of a play called "Slutcracker". It is staged predictably in the epicenter of hipster neo-feminism of Greater Boston. Judging from the subway poster, it entails women of all sizes on stage in underwear with various shades of hair dye derived from a crayon box. The play on "Nutcracker" is obviously a neo-feminist attempt to cash in commercially on the conventional Christmas season here in Catholic Boston. Good luck with that.

This represents the current confused state of young feminists, who mouth victimhood (rape culture) yet take on the trappings of female prostitutes, women who choose the sex industry out of poverty, ignorance or perhaps shrewd business planning. Young women in this city walk the streets night and day in skin-tight pants in bright colors to draw attention to their bodies, yet are politically prone to alienate the very people they might attract with this costume. This is an addled and superficial assertion of egoism, not the assertion of the right to dignified consideration as a mindful human being.

Hillary Clinton was not representative of this confused feminism in her own life, despite becoming its avatar in the recent election. She has chosen a life far removed from the neo-feminist confusion. She has been focused, self-educating and cosmopolitan. She has chosen the company of the toughest and most predatory men on the planet. She had one child. She dresses conservatively, speaks with traditional rhetoric and has never looked like she was soliciting sexual attention. Hillary Clinton was not a radical feminist of the 1960's and 1970's, yet she has drawn intense loyalty from that sector. This strikes me as another symptom of the current dysfunction in the modern feminist movement.

Why are young feminists not talking about the core feminist issue: Child-bearing? This morning, I heard a BBC report about poverty in Australia, one of the world's richest nations. They dragged in a whining unwed mother of three on welfare. Was this woman asked why on earth she decided to bear three children she knew she could not support? The woman sounded intellectually competent enough to have thought about this. She did not claim she had been raped. There was no overbearing husband in the picture. 

So, why wouldn't a female journalist bring up the subject of birth control and choice? I can only guess that the BBC would not allow it. Why? Because there is pressure on media by powerful religious, political and economic forces which oppress women by encouraging unintelligent reproduction (right to life). So-called feminists in Academia and mainstream media have adopted the meme of reproductive "rights" over reproductive "responsibilities", because this keeps them from having to challenge the establishment while still feeling morally superior to those who advocate reproductive responsibility, a much more difficult and revolutionary path in most societies. 

Instead of speaking plainly and scientifically about the impediment child-bearing places in the path of women who wish to ascend out of poverty, modern feminism has done the opposite. This does not surprise me, as a person who has worked with many women, but it seems surprising on the surface. Contemporary feminism encourages unintelligent reproduction as a human right. It defends the self-oppression of traditional women in religious cultures who accede to having too many children and killing their own healthy sexual desires. It accuses men of being natural rapists, then defends patriarchal religions, like Islam, Christian fundamentalism and Hasidic Judaism. While superficially supporting obese women, contemporary feminists elevate outrageous transgender exaggerations of traditional femininity and masculinity.

Contemporary feminism in America is the product of thirty years of exploitation of religiosity (often cloaked as "traditional spirituality" or simply "faith") and anti-science in Washington, DC, and on college campuses. Thus the rage of contemporary feminists when challenged. They are trying to stage a new Inquisition, in which the heresy of confident adult gender and sexuality are punishable socially, if not legally. This feminism is a movement of thumb-sucking regression, not progress. That is why it is doomed to failure. Its proponents will not succeed ultimately in the real harsher world to come. That world will not be shaped by transgendered academics or celebrities. It will be shaped by climate change, overpopulation and the reality-anchored scientific minds who can come up with real solutions, when and if politicians allow them to implement those solutions. Hopefully, among those minds, will be women of the future who see a saner path through the impediments of misogyny and sexism.








Friday, November 11, 2016

GET TO WORK


The protests against Donald Trump's election are a good symptom of Constitutional democracy. The violence and vandalism exhibited by some among those protesters are a symptom of the loss of civility in American culture. Yes, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are culpable. The media, social and commercial, are also culpable. But, most of all, parents of these youngsters are culpable.

Huge banners declaring that Donald Trump is a racist are infantile and irresponsible. In fact, this is a form of low race-baiting which has undermined the message of Black Lives Matter to the general public, most of whom function in American society without racist behavior or intentions. The throwing of "racism" around as an insult devalues the legitimate complaints about real racism when it happens. It is crying "Wolf!".

Infantilizing our American youth by two generations of overprotective and permissive parents is showing its effect in social contexts. Social science has colluded by validating the extension of adolescence to the age of 30. Education has shifted from preparation for challenges in life to enabling of dysfunction, enabling of substance abuse, and emotional retardation. 

Rather than hand-wringing and whining over Trump's legal election, intelligent opponents of his stated agenda should be getting to work. There is a structure through which protest can be channeled to produce effective counter measures to legislation and executive orders. However, to do this you must get educated, really educated, in law and policy. Dying your hair blue and putting a piercing in your nose achieves nothing other than making you feel cool. It is a form of ineffectual masturbation. 

I did not vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. I found them equally odious during the campaign. Donald Trump strikes me as the less dangerous of the two actually, despite all the paid-for hype about Hillary Clinton. She is a hawk with great debt to fundamentalist Muslims in Saudi Arabia, who are  turning from less profitable oil production to weapons distribution and manufacture. Her friends are responsible for racist apartheid, violence and suffering on the planet. 

You see, I was not gender-blinded by her propaganda. I vote for a female presidential candidate, who is a pacifist physician and environmentalist, and her Black vice-presidential running mate. If you do not know who they are, then you have a lot of catching up to do. Breaking store windows isn't going to get you there. 


Sunday, November 6, 2016

THE VERGE

Trumps and Clintons at the Trumps' Wedding. 

Yes, my fellow Americans, we stand on the verge of a new government's further screwing up our lives. Whether the titular head of that government is Hillary or Donald does not matter in the least. Sorry to burst your bubble. And, by the way, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and Caitlyn Jenner's tits are not real either. It will just be a continuation of the media-fueled fantasy that has spun the so-called-by-him Obama Legacy. 

Look around. Do you see an Obama Legacy on your street, in your city? Do you see happy people of all colors and origins humming along and saying 'hello' to each other and the local beat cop? Are your medical waiting rooms gleaming shrines of secure and prompt medical care at low cost to you? Is your car insurance cheaper? How about your home insurance? Do you feel any safer downtown after dark? Is your urban neighborhood peaceful? How about the response time when you call 911? Do you encounter thoughtful and polite citizens on your roads, in your shopping malls, in your supermarket?

You've been bought by cheap gasoline. Yes, car-hooked America, you've sold your souls out so you can drive a few blocks to Dunkin Donuts for a sugar fix  in your over-powered pickup or SUV. You take solace in Netflix on your huge Chinese flat screen because the local multiplex shows crap and smells of putrid fake popcorn butter. You've complied with your conformist conditioning to consider getting drunk in a fake Irish pub a good night out. You've subscribed to inane political correctness to save yourself the anxiety that comes from thinking hard about ethical and social issues. It's all good. That is why it will soon be all bad.

Neither Hillary nor Donald are interested in saving you from your out-of-shape, addicted, materialistic self. They both want you to continue to eat processed crap and drink lots of craft beer. They want you to buy legalized marijuana. They want you to take sleeping pills, testosterone, female hormones and tranquilizers. An anesthetized electorate is a malleable electorate. An isolated selfish electorate requires no dividing to conquer. A population which defends Islam, even when it threatens the roots of Western Civilization, need not be feared by any control-minded politician. Poorly educated religious people are better at accepting myths, untruths, dogma and anti-science. 

The fact is you've already bought into the eventual use of martial law and media manipulation to erode your control over your own government. Unlike the Brits who dared support Brexit against the daunting tide of propaganda and threats placed against them by the likes of Trumps and Clintons in Britain and Europe, you Americans have rallied to Hillary and Donald, despite being offered a man of conscience, Bernie Sanders, who could have started an overdue new American revolution. Why? Because your concept of government is akin to your understanding of Little League baseball. Two sides, our side, their side, rah, rah, boo, boo. A tawdry snit between husband and wife in a dead marriage. Something you all know too well, yet strangely admire. 

The verge ahead will be a trip over a cliff. I would have said "waterfall", but the harsh reality of climate change makes riding over a waterfall seem too gentle an image. The geopolitical forces at play with either Hillary or Donald at the illusive helm of our nation have been set on a path of population management and segregation of the haves from the have-nots, the necessary but inconvenient 90% of humanity who support the 10% who have no intention of lowering the quality of their lifestyle. If you are reading this, you are most likely of that latter category. So fasten your seat belt and down a few Xanax with your craft beer. It's not going to be like anything you've seen at a Disney theme park. 


Thursday, November 3, 2016

I DISAVOW ZIM.


I disavow a new breed of  narcissist who are making a mockery of the gay rights movement. Find your own movement. You do not identify as gay or lesbian, so bugger off. 

The recent attacks on Professor Jordan Peterson at University of Toronto are the latest in a putsch by a mentally disordered minority who are so obsessed with their bodies that they want to get the whole world to pay proper attention to them. Proper attention to these stunted personalities entails speaking to them in their own infantile language as if they were 4 years old. People like Nicholas Matte, professor of gender studies at U of T, is jumping on this opportunity to carve out an faux-scientific niche in Academia.

Matte displays his profound arrogance and dishonesty by quoting science about human biology that does not really exist. He's either making it up or has read it while waiting in line at the supermarket. What the hell is "gender studies" anyway? I thought those of us who try intelligence on for size are also trying to move beyond gender. After all, the human ecosystem is degrading rapidly. Do we have a lot of time to be staring at ourselves in the mirror, obsessing on our superficial appearance? I think not.

As for LGBTQI bullshit, I stopped financially supporting organizations which keep adding these letters to our homosexual rights movement decades ago. I will continue to withhold money from them, and from so-called LGBTQI organizations which cozy up to religious ideologies which have oppressed gay men and lesbians throughout history.

Listen up, trans fascist. I will support your wearing whatever you want to wear wherever you want to go, as long as you take responsibility for the consequences. Yes, I think you have a human right to walk around peacefully without having your head bashed in. Absolutely. But you do not have the right to be stupid and act stupid without consequences. Nobody has that right in the real world. You also do not have the right to dictate my opinion of your choices. You also do not have the right to tell me how I must speak to you or anyone else. If you don't want to hear me, walk away, turn the page, flick the switch, stick your index fingers in your ears and sing... or just mind your own business.

I will not support your decision to pay an unethical surgeon to castrate or mutilate you for profit just because you want him/her to. I will not support your taking hormones which will make you crazy and kill you prematurely just because you want to. The thought of one cent of public money, my tax money, going to these unethical medical practices enrages me as a healthcare professional. If some goofball politician or judge decides he/she knows better than the body of medical opinion, that does not make castration better science. It cheapens all medical science. 

So, feel free to descend into regressive baby talk with your girlfriends or boyfriends or neuter friends. Ze this and ve that. Refer to your individual self as 'they'. Perhaps that intentional grammatical error is an honest one. You may indeed have multiple personality disorder. Or it may just rightly warn your listener that you are so self-centered and self-righteous that you cannot be bothered to appropriately use a common language with the rest of us. And, if that is true, you certainly don't belong anywhere near a university.






Wednesday, November 2, 2016

RELATING TO GRAVITY


It occurred to me today that my relationship to gravity has been a conscious process throughout my life. This was no epiphany actually. More of a self reminder.

When I was a boy, I was a chubby kid. I used to be a deep sleeper. Getting me up for school in the morning was one of my mother's most hated tasks. I can remember feeling the weight of gravity, even then, as I pulled myself from bed. I was never fully awake until I was halfway through my walk to school.

Gravity was my nemesis whenever I tried my hand at any sport, even swimming. Balls went down and hardly bounced back or went careening off out of control. I sank like a lead weight in fresh water. Hiking around the undeveloped hills of my childhood neighborhood was punctuated by falling and rolling downhill. Climbing trees was a particularly hazardous passion. I fell from relatively great heights more than once without major injury. My adversarial relationship with gravity changed later. 

I entered college a burly 16-year-old. I weighed 220 lbs.and was 6 feet 3 inches tall. In my sophomore year, after three semesters of degree-related courses in science, I devised a Coca-Cola and potato chip diet which melted 40 lbs. off my frame in several months. When I stabilized at 180 lbs., I remember feeling so much lighter and better coordinated. My popularity on campus soared. I enjoyed dancing for the first time. Gravity had been put in its place for the first time in my life.

I now realize that shedding that body weight helped me shed the weight of a depression which had weighed me down since my grandfather's death when I was 11. Shortly after his death, three friends my age also died precipitously. Two in car accidents and one from spinal meningitis. The girl who died of meningitis was born on the same day in the same hospital where I had been born. Our mothers were close friends, and the family lived on the next street. The weight of that period dragged at my consciousness for the following six years. 

When my depression lifted with my weight loss at 17, I began my adult sexual life as a homosexual. I had been aware of being homosexual from an early age. My adult sexual activity with older and established gay men saved me psychologically. I was living at home with my parents and attended a conservative Catholic university on an academic scholarship. 

I wisely partitioned my life. Monday through Friday were days of long commutes and hard study for my degree in cellular biology. One weekend was devoted to partying with my conventional school friends on campus. The next was devoted to being at home where I helped out and studied. The third weekend was mine. I left home Friday evening with an alibi arranged with a school friend. I spent that weekend dating or meeting new gay lovers. This cycle got me through college with good grades and a modicum of adult maturity, for a 20-year old.

My breaking the gravity of depression allowed me to become flexible and energetic. It took me six years after college to develop the professional nursing career which sustained me for decades. Despite my family's absolute separation, emotionally and financially, due to my coming out to them when I graduated from college, I was able to navigate the urban world and gay society with significant others in my life.

The only up side of experiencing serious depression is the ability to recognize its recurrence before it becomes crippling. My relationship with gravity is key to that recognition of symptoms. Objects, including my own body, feel heavier by gradual increments. I gain a few pounds. I cannot walk as far without tiring. Since I walk regularly, this is a pretty early sign to me that I need to do something.

What do I do when I suspect an oncoming depression? The first thing I do is adjust my diet after assessing it carefully. If I can stimulate some weight loss, I am speeding up my metabolism. As soon as I feel lighter, I know I'll be fine. Yes, I firmly believe that all depression has a biochemical component which is both symptom and potential tool for treating it.

I had an aggressive cancer fourteen years ago. During cancer treatment, I went from 190 lbs. to 145 lbs.. My mirror image resembled a Holocaust prisoner. The bones of my whole skeleton were readily visible. Amazing lessons came from that experience. My lighter-than-ever adult body felt heavier than ever. But my mind and emotional state were lighter than ever. Subsequent near-death experiences from complications (septicemia, cardiac infection, renal failure) boosted me into a body-less state more than once. Talk about freedom from gravity!

It is interesting to me that dissociation of my conscious mind from my body, to the point of observing my unconscious body from above my hospital bed, did not make me feel completely free of gravity. This leads me to believe that consciousness itself may entail some form of mass or electromagnetic energy which interacts with the Earth's magnetic field. The way back from cancer remission from radiation and chemotherapy was indeed an experience of dealing with gravity on many levels.

I am now 66. The intensity of experiencing gravity is naturally increasing as my muscles atrophy and my joints harden. I have found that my relationship with gravity is a friendly one most of the time, as I accept my aging. I have great respect for it. This has allowed me to develop caution in movement. I have been able to adjust my exercise to stress flexible coordination over strength. Rather than curse gravity, if I fall, I take the lesson: Slow down, look where you're going, stay centered. Gravity and I are fine, but I won't miss it when it's gone. 









Sunday, October 30, 2016

KEEPING IT REAL


The corporate-controlled media are pushing mass distraction on several fronts. They are whipping up the Cold War antagonism between the U.S. and Russia. They are trying to sell the U.S. Presidential election as democracy. They are tearing at the heart-strings of the inanely sentimental with constant stories about migrants and refugees. 

Media in the developed countries of The West are not talking about the deterioration of banker capitalism in the face of radical environmental degradation and overpopulation. The core value of this failing financial model is obvious to anyone free of debt. The "more is more" notion of this capitalism is based in greed, not logic or social compassion. It sits in stark opposition to ancient wisdom, summarized by "less is more". 

The power structures behind most world governments are based in exploitation of the masses by manipulation. Fancy euphemisms for politicians, like "change agents", cloak the reality that power still corrupts. And the corrupted seek absolute power to protect themselves from discovery and accountability. The Clintons and Trump are excellent examples.

What would a caring democratic media establishment be focused on? Well, it might be exposing the arms dealers who are behind all the current wars on the planet. It might be exposing the politicians and military leaders who are in bed with these predators. It might be exposing the connection between violence and ideologies like American exceptionalism, institutional religion, internalized racism, homophobia, misogyny. It might be exposing the intentional impoverishment of the many by the few. Just for starters. 

The mainstream media are enabling the masses to turn a deaf ear and blinded eyes to the precipitous environmental crisis which is inevitable. That crisis is about to devastate global civilization as we know it. The displacement of millions by war will seem mild compared to the global displacement caused by climate collapse. Because climate collapse will not only entail some coastal flooding. The collapse of one key insect species, like the bee, could lead to a collapse of the entire global food supply for humans in a matter of a few years.

It is easy to dither in front of a monitor screen. Planting and harvesting crops is brutally hard work. As we billions become more and more removed from that brutal reality of survival, we become more and more vulnerable to extinction. We have become distanced from our neighbors and communities. We have become divided and conquered by the insidious technology which makes us feel more connected in virtual social media. In short, we have been mesmerized into complacency, like the fat and happy citizens of previous empires.

Each of us would do well to estimate his/her reality, separated from the herd. What are my resources? What can I actually rely upon in my life in case things go badly? What are my skills to deal with severe challenges which go deeper than looking for a job or making car payments? What would I do if there was no more electrical power to turn on my devices of distraction and false resourcefulness? 


Thursday, October 27, 2016

CONSCIOUSNESS IS NOT CONTROL


Buddhism has always appealed to me from a psychological, not religious, perspective. I have read Buddhist literature from all parts of Asia over my 45 years of interest in the subject. Siddhartha Gautama, one name assigned to the historic character at the core of Buddhist thought, gave rise to a practice of self-actualization in a largely illiterate world more than five centuries before the Christian Era and a millennium before the Islamic Era. Few modern self-help methodologies are unaffected by Buddhism.

The core of Buddhist thought as we have inherited it is not religious, spiritual or moralistic. It is psychological. 

The intentional development of consciousness which comes from meditation, reflection and ethical non-aggressive behavior lies at the center of Buddhist practice. If you doubt this, read the Dhammapada, a collection of Sanskrit-sourced Buddhist verses allegedly transmitted over time by followers of Gautama. My favorite version, pictured above, is available here. I carry it with me often for subway and waiting-room reads. I read it and seldom quote it, because Buddhism is not about proselytizing. It is about individual choice to deepen the individual human experience.

Buddhism is about consciousness. But Buddhism is not about control. Let me explain.

In the West, we tend to conflate Buddhism with Zen, one specific formalized practice developed from core Buddhist ideas in a specific cultural context. Zen then gets conflated with martial arts in some media. And so on. I believe this clouds the simplicity of the Buddhist concept of consciousness, or awakening of the cleared mind. 

Buddhism, confused with culture-based religions by that name, is also placed in a basket with Abrahamic religions in popular media as well. This is particularly annoying to me as an atheist. Abrahamic religions are dogmatically prescriptive. They actually prescribe human behaviors with the promise in return of either salvation or a good life. Don't eat lobster. Cover your head. Don't covet neighbor's wife or goods. Blah, blah.

The core of Buddhism is personal, not prescriptive. The user of core Buddhist ideas sets out on a journey of internal discovery with the resulting effect on his/her perception of reality. This awakening to personal truth is the development of consciousness, through which all else is experienced.

This core Buddhist mindset is not about not being controlled by dogma. It is not about creating a personal illusion of control upon the environment, including other living beings. Its core goal is controlling one's own mind and actions. Its beauty, for me, is its caution from the beginning that this in itself may be impossible to achieve in the real world. This strikes me as brilliant in the context of Gautama's time. 

Shedding the mental pollution of Roman Catholicism has been hard for me. I was brainwashed as a child into believing that "goodness", defined by dogma's prescriptions, is its own reward. I have found that the human brain mishandles this conditioning readily into a sense of moralistic entitlement. This reads, "If I am good and holy, I will be blessed." Quid pro quo, in other words. Corrupt politics and business certainly work on this principle, but this has nothing to do with "goodness". On the contrary, the good-bad paradigm of religions is at the root of most of the evil and violence in human societies. 

Practicing consciousness development is its own point in core Buddhist thought. It is practice for practice's sake. It is polishing a lens through which all else is perceived, not controlled. It is learning to take in uncontrollable external reality to be processed by a clear mind. The clear mind is more prone to take non-aggressive, compassionate action or no action at all in response. Surrendering all polluted illusions of control over other people and events leads to developing a mind which can actually contribute more to the practitioner's environment. 


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

RESPONSIBILITY


One homeless man murdered another last weekend here in my area. I live about a mile from a black hole of addiction, allowed by the city government. Scores of addicts and homeless people congregate at the corner of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue here in Boston. It is a no-go area for wise pedestrians and an inconvenience for the many drivers who pass through there on their way to and from two of Boston's largest medical centers. How ironic.

There is a shelter up the street from this urban blight. The distance between is called "Heroin Mile", due to the traffic of addicts and dealers. Heroin Mile is actually half of Heroin Two-Mile. The traffic of addicts and dealers extends beyond the shelter to the city housing projects beyond Andrew Square in South Boston. Dozing-and-stumbling pregnant women and women with baby carriages join in the daily zombie parade. These aren't the cute and witty zombies of iZombie on TV. And their children will most likely not have very functional lives ahead of them.

I read a neighborhood news site. It has a crime report section. The reaction to addiction-related crimes usually runs in the vein of "How sad." How sad, indeed. How sad that the commentator thinks that people living somnambulant lives on our streets is "sad", not absolutely shameful and outrageous in a rich country like the U.S.. "How convenient" is more like it. 

Americans have chosen to tolerate beggars on our sidewalks and traffic intersections rather than funding strong mental health and detoxification services. Reagan's libertarian individualism was the preface to today's everyone-for-themselves concept of civic responsibility. How many media stories have you heard about former addicts and former felons becoming stellar citizens in corporate America? Too many of these false representations of the real deal are foisted on media consumers to rationalize leaving people to wallow and drown in their own dysfunction. 

"You can't save someone from himself." This is the current wisdom that is used to rationalize a gutted and corrupted public health sector. "Addicts have civil rights." This screwed-up rationalization has led to public policy under which overdosed (dead) addicts must be revived with Narcan by police, firemen and EMS personnel but cannot be sent to a hospital for addiction treatment if they refuse when they wake up. So, our public policy, devised by politicians and lawyers, dictates enabling of heroin addicts by eliminating the risk of premature death by overdose. Is that responsible to the addict or to society? I say it is responsible to neither.

Public denial of the poisoning of our urban environment by addiction and alcoholism is epidemic.

One local business executive said, While ... it is difficult every day to watch people with addiction and in the throes of homelessness and not to be able to do anything about it, it is rare that these issues affect the safety and security of the 28,000 people that work in this area.” She said this after a man was shot in the face in the middle of the day in that district of Boston where addicts and homeless people camp out all day. 

Businesses which cater to alcoholism have accumulated great political power. Microbreweries have managed to become chic. Pubs, dressed up like quaint British or Irish establishments, have added a new veneer to the neighborhood bar where the increasing number of local alcoholics convene nightly. Entertainment media celebrate drunkenness routinely because they profit from product placement, as they still do from the cigarette industry. 

Public policy which enforces denial of addiction as a core problem in society is irresponsible. Our collusion with that policy as citizens is also irresponsible. Alcoholism and drug addiction are not just a phase that people put aside magically on their own. Medical research for decades has proven this. Addiction is a lifelong chronic disease which requires conscious management and support. When the medical establishment and sober citizens yield to bad decisions by politicians and judges, the whole society loses.