Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Oppressive Mentalities and America

When I was a student at University of Virginia, I overheard a young local Charlottesville man working at a fast food place say, “I don't pretend to be anything I'm not, I am just a peasant.”

This bothers me. It bothers me because this is being said in America, a country that is supposed to be a land of opportunity; that is supposed to be classless, and in which people are supposed to be able to rise as high as their abilities and willingness to work will take them. This person had obvious intellect and obvious integrity. For him to see himself as a peasant and nothing but a peasant does not accord with the vision that the founders had for America.

I spent several years with a very smart woman from a suburb of Portland, Oregon. She kept going on about the yuppies in Portland having “European pretentions.” The main line there was that they were “trying to be something other than what they are.” Excuse me? What is wrong with incorporating into one's own life something good that comes from some place other than where one has been born? These people wanted to have in their lives some class and some style. That they would go for that to Europe is no more wrong than it is for an American person to go to an Italian restaurant, have a Chinese TV in his house, or drive a Japanese car.

Cultures grow that way. Societies grow that way. And America, for one, has done an excellent job of incorporating the good things that have come from other cultures. So if someone wants to have in his life something beneficial that comes from some other place than his hometown, it is his right.

The mentality we see here is very oppressive and very un-American. It keeps people in traps, and it creates traps from which it is in many cases very difficult to escape. People are identified with the circumstances beyond their control – the circumstances of their birth – and are prevented from developing beyond that. This is absolutely against everything that America is meant to be about.

No, a person who wants to incorporate into his life positive things from Europe is not “trying to be something that he is not.” He seeks to have in his life something that another culture does better than does his home town. In this way he improves his home town, and he also improves his country.

No, a person from the ghetto is not “acting white” or “trying to be something he's not” or “thinks he's better than everyone else” if he takes school seriously. He is seeking to rise to a better place, which once again is a part of America's promise.

No, a girl from a working-class suburb is not “arrogant” or “narcissistic” if she is ambitious. She is someone with drive and intelligence, both of which are virtues and both of which are at the root of accomplishment.

And no, a young man is not “just a peasant” if he happens to be working at a food place.

These people have forgotten the meaning of America.

And what a horrible state of affairs it is if it takes a Russian immigrant to remind them.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Libertarianism and Private Corruption

Libertarians, objectivists and some conservatives all make the same error. They see federal government as an organ of corruption and oppression, and nobody else as such.

In fact there are many organs of corruption and oppression that aren't the federal government. Violent husbands. Oppressive religions. Suffocating communities. Corrupt networks in law and medicine. In Western countries, these exercise far greater levels of corruption and oppression than does the federal government.

In Western countries, the governments are elected, official, and made accountable to the public. The same is not the case for these other entities. This results in them having an unchecked potential for brutal, corrupt and oppressive practices. And while the libertarians are out there hunting for corruption potentials in the federal government, real corruption sprouts up under their noses and puts them in its service.

You may ask my friend Celeste, an MD who had three of her relatives murdered in American medical health system. Corrupt doctors enlisted corrupt coroners and corrupt lawyers to bury the evidence and draw away from her any lawyer that she would hire. Or you may ask any number of women who escaped serious domestic violence in the American South, only to see the courts award their children to the perpetrators.  Or you may ask someone I know who tried to escape from Jehovah's Witnesses, only to see his family commit him indefinitely in a mental hospital and manipulate him to become hateful and abusive to his loving and generous girlfriend.

Obama did not do this. Corrupt local entities did.

What is more worthy of authority: An entity that is official, accountable, checked and balanced, or entities that are unofficial, unaccountable, unbalanced and unchecked? There is no official check on the power of communities and religions. There is no official check on the power of corrupt entities in law and medicine. There is no official check on the power of Jehovah's Witnesses. The problem gets no attention at all from the libertarians, as they spend all their time and energy scrutinizing the federal government. And thile they are out there spouting New World Order conspiracy theories and claiming “statism” or “socialism,” real corruption and real oppression grows up in their hometowns. The entities that are responsible for this corruption, being the manipulative little shits that they are, then, ridiculously, direct the energies of the libertarians toward fighting those in the government who seek to fight this corruption under the false – and ridiculous – claim that in doing so they are protecting values and freedom.

Values and freedom that they violate to a far greater extent than does the federal government; and which violations, with the energies of the scrutinizers spent on the federal government, goes unnoticed and unchecked.

That an entity is unofficial does not make it any less capable of corruption and oppression than the official entities. Indeed, being unofficial, it is un-scrutinized; which gives it an unlimited potential for corruption and oppression. This is the case with the doctors who murdered Celeste's relatives; this is the case with the community courts that award children to child rapists and batterers; this is the case with Jehovah's Witnesses; this is the case with many others.

A person truly interested in defending liberty and integrity will do so from all entities that infringe on these things, whether they be official or unofficial. A true libertarian will be just as willing to take on private corruption and oppression as to take on public corruption and oppression. Once they do, they will have earned their title as defenders of freedom. And until they do, they are cowards and hypocrites who attack an entity that is easy to attack while doing nothing to fight real wrongs.

"Radical progressives" and Reagan conservatives

We are hearing from some conservatives the claim that the “radical progressives” are destroying the American way of life and fanning envy and hatred within the public against the more successful people in order to rule America.

A bit of history.

In 1980s, the radical Reagan conservatives did everything in their power to destroy every lifestyle other than theirs. They did everything in their power to grind into dirt everyone who had been a part of 1960s and 1970s, from the inner-city blacks to the feminists and the liberal academics. They fanned public envy and hatred and directed it against the “liberal elites,” making it very difficult for America's scientists, teachers, journalists and artists to do their job. And they claimed that they were America and that nobody else was, giving themselves the mandate to subjugate and destroy everyone who wasn't them.

If what goes around does indeed come around, then we will be perfectly expected to see some on the Left wanting to do the same thing to the Reagan conservatives. Yet, from what I have seen, Obama and his supporters have been conducting themselves like gentlemen. Whereas Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh and others continue fanning hatred and envy among American people, feeding them a load of lies, spreading paranoid fictions and influencing them to act in brutal, hateful and murderous ways.

I've known people who were a part of these so-called liberal elites. Scientists, writers, psychologists, and computer entrepreneurs. And they were, quite simply, the best people I've ever known. They were kind, intelligent, compassionate, responsible and noble-minded. And they kept true to their noble values in very hostile times – a process that demanded, and built in them, enormous strength and personal power.

Now that the conservatives are out as a result of the failed Bush administration, we will be expecting to see them rework themselves. What they will become, nobody knows; but we see in them the potential for everything from Alex Jones to Donald Trump. As for the current situation, it is the conservatives and not the liberals that are fanning envy and hatred and seeking to create a de facto totalitarianism. And for as long as they see themselves as America – and everyone else as not America – then they can only be expected to be a force for hate and oppression.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Are Do-Gooders Truly Arrogant?

The do-gooders have a reputation for being arrogant; and I think that this reputation is ill-merited. The reason is that I know one of the most famous do-gooders in all of history: Patch Adams. In his interactions with me, he was not arrogant at all. Although he is wealthy and famous, he was willing to reach out to me and answer the questions that I had in a way that in no way made me feel inferior.

I've known any number of other do-gooders; and they likewise did not come across to me as being arrogant. Rather these were the people who were good at helping people and were willing to put these abilities to use. Whether it was in finding jobs, figuring themselves out or standing up to the people who were bullying them, these do-gooders were able to meaningfully help other people, including people from whom they had nothing to expect in return.

Who are do-gooders? Mostly people who have figured out something that other people haven't figured out and believe that they can help others get to a better place. Whether through thinking things through, working through personal issues, having religious or spiritual revelations, or attaining one or another kind of success, these are people who have meaningful things to offer.

If you have been given a gift, why not share it with others? If you have an ability, why not put it to good use? Is it arrogant to want to make things better for other people? Or is it arrogant instead to force people to stay in bad situations or bad thinking, shorn of the attentions of those who can help them come to a better place?

Really, we see arrogance all around us, and much of it is among people who are against do-gooders. Wife-beaters, child molesters, and right-wing and Muslim fundamentalists who think it their job to subjugate others, are more arrogant than the do-gooders, and they are not doing anybody a whit of good. Some measure of pride is healthy. It protects people's rights and liberties from the abusers and bullies who want to run roughshod over them or enslave them. By the standards of some Christians intelligence, creativity, beauty, science, technology, wealth and democracy can all be regarded as hubris; which means, logically, that it is to arrogance that the world owes what it has. And that includes the Christian's own big-screen TV, SUV, hot meals and representative democracy.

Even if some do-gooders are arrogant, they come nowhere close to owning arrogance. We see exceptional arrogance among conservatives who think that they have God on their side and that nobody else does, or that they are America and that nobody else is. It is time that things be put into perpsective. Some do-gooders may be arrogant; but they come nowhere close to owning arrogance, and most arrogance belongs to people who aren't do-gooders and are in many cases against them.

UN and Democracy

There is a claim among some on the American Right that the United Nations is seeking to destroy democracy. Nothing could be further from the truth. The United Nations is not only in favor of democracy but keeps intervening in favor of democracy all around the world.

The people who are against the United Nations are the people who are against human rights. Now some may see human rights as a luxury; but then, historically, so are the property rights. For most of recorded history there were no property rights. The property belonged to the kings and the nobles, and the regular people were serfs. Yet not even the people with monarchic sympathies today would dream of doing away with property rights.

Why are human rights important? Because there will always be people who will want to be bullies; and there need to be strong entities to protect from them the people that they want to bully. In many cases the bullies will rise to corrupt the systems or to put the systems in their service. Many communities, both inside America and outside America, are completely corrupt and do things such as take away children from loving, hard-working mothers and give them to severely violent, child molesting or seriously criminal fathers. Which means that there will always be a need for someone to stand up to those bullies, whether within the system or externally to the system.

Another claim is that the UN compromises America's sovereignty. My response to that is that influence is a two-way street. America influences the rest of the world more than the rest of the world influences America. American business, American movies, American finance, American legal practices, dominate the world. Does this make America a threat to the rest of the world's sovereignty? Should the rest of the world rise up against America, as we see Taliban propose? Or should people see reason – that in an interconnected world everyone influences one another, and the rational solution is to learn how to deal with other influences?

UN shares America's best values. It is in favor of justice. It is in favor of good treatment of the next person. It is in favor of personal freedom. It is in favor of helping disadvantaged children. America and UN should not be fighting each other; they should be working together to make these values count everywhere. Stop seeing threats and start to see opportunities. That is the best of American thinking, and one that has made – and continues to make – America the greatest country in the world.

Jenny and the Radioactive Potato

During a family trip to Hiroshima, Jenny picked up a radioactive potato. “Throw this vile thing away,” her parents ordered her. She did not want to upset her parents; so she hid the radioactive potato.

Jenny thought, “People are afraid of this thing. Maybe kids won't pick as much on me any more if I take it to school with me.” So the next time other children were picking on her, she took out the radioactive potato, and they ran away screaming.

Now nobody bothered Jenny ever again.

Jenny knew about the dangers of radioactivity, and several years down the road she went to see a doctor about possible irradiation. The doctor took her blood sample, and he couldn't believe what he saw. Over the years Jenny's body had learned to deal with the radiation poisoning, and in her blood was the cure for cancer.

Keep your gifts, even if they come in the form of the radioactive potato. You never know what blessings they can bring.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Parenting and Intelligence

When I was in primary school in Russia, I had a classmate named Anna Famberg. She looked dumpy, got bad grades and had behavioral problems. Then, in sixth grade, she came back. She was elegant, self-possessed, and got good grades. And her name was Anna Filipovich.

This shows a difference that good parenting makes. Obviously her domestic situation changed, and she changed with it for the better. I have no idea as to the exact change that took place; but a change in the last name obviously signifies a change in domestic situation.

There can be any number of reasons why a child would thrive. But one of the best ways in which this takes place is through good parenting practices. This happened to Anna. She went from being parented badly to being parented better. Once again, I have no idea as to the exact manner in which this happened; but change in last name signifies that that is what happened indeed.

Much has been studied about parenting; much has been written about parenting. On this issue we see an ongoing conflict between more liberal parents who want their children to thrive and be happy and the more conservative parents who want to use the rod. On this matter I am on the side of the liberals. I treat my daughter as an intelligent form of life. When she does something wrong, I explain to her why it is wrong, and she does not do it any more.

So far she has been a happy, thriving and well-behaved child who gets excellent grades at school.

Plants thrive when they are watered; and children thrive when they are loved. We see this all around us. The parent must be loving to his child, and he must treat the child as an intelligent form of life. The result will be a good relationship between the parent and the child, and the child doing well.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pluto and Sun

The following is based on astrology; but it can be useful for people who do not believe in astrology. I will explain it using what's known of astronomy.

Pluto is a small planet on the outer edges of the solar system. In astrology, Pluto can be used to mean any number of different things, from higher choice and will to violation and hatred. This might appear contradictory to one another; but it in fact reflects the same principle. The same basic character can take any number of different directions. And with Pluto we see the potentials for both the best and the worst.

Being on the outer edges of the solar system, where it is extremely cold and extremely dark, and being picked on by other planets, Pluto may not be expected to have respect for other planets and indeed may have hatred for them. But it does respect the sun, because it revolves around it. The way to reach a Plutonian character is to reach out to it with the sun. Show it some sunshine, show it some warmth, and make it think as to what it is that makes such things possible.

In the Christian analysis, there are wolves and sheep. Plutonian character is equated with wolves. What is a dog? A domesticated wolf. Once reached out to with sunshine, and convinced of its truthfulness, Pluto stops being a wolf and becomes a dog. He is loyal to the sun. He will use all his strength and intelligence to support it.

Dealing with Plutonian character requires giving it a way into sunshine. It is reaching out to it with the truth of what makes life possible. This will result in the Plutonian character turning from a predator or a rebel into a loyal and dedicated citizen. The wolf becomes a dog. And the whole system benefits from this happening.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Kenneth Starr, Bill Clinton, and Christianity

Kenneth Starr recently stated that, if he were to meet Bill Clinton today, he would apologize.

This is true decency; indeed this is true Christianity, and I have highest respect for Kenneth Starr for having said this.

A Christian is meant to love, and a Christian is meant to forgive. The extreme viciousness that came the way of Clinton, while being done in the name of Christianity, was in fact not Christian at all. Do we ever remember Jesus saying, “May he who is without sin cast the first stone”?

Ultimately this situation is none of our business. It is between Bill Clinton and his wife. His wife is willing to forgive him, we should as well. And we should not be imposing upon them judgments that are made without insight and that are, frankly, wrong.

It took the Salon magazine revealing the hypocrisy of Kenneth Starr's associate in Congress, Henry Hyde, to save America from the worst feeding frenzy that it ever had, one that threatened to depose a legitimately elected and successful president. This took guts. Henry Hyde was absolutely ruthless, as was Kenneth Starr at the time; and it took standing up to them to preserve America's liberties. It cost the Salon magazine the work of some of its writers. But the result was saving America.

I am very happy that Kenneth Starr has discovered the true meaning of Christianity, and I hope that others do as well. And then Christianity can stop being synonymous with hypocrisy and oppression and instead move forward as a religion of love and forgiveness, bringing more people into the glory of God and into understanding what that means for them.

Narcissism and Altruism

When I was at a restaurant, a woman sitting next to me started a conversation with me asking “What do you think about narcissistic people?”

My response is that, if you are dealing with a person who cares only about himself, the best solution is to make your interest his interest. Specifically, it is to make it in his interest to care about you and give to you the best of what he has to offer.

Some people are selfish; others aren't. Some people are selfish in some ways and not in others. Some people are selfish at some points in their life but not at other points in their lives. As a being that exists as himself, a part of humanity, and a part of life, the human being will be expected to have an orientation toward all of the preceding. And this will be the case, in different people, in different mixes and at different times in their lives.

If someone is naturally selfish – as many people are – then the way to win is to make your interest their interest. It is to make it in their own, selfish, interest, to care about you. If the person then wants to become less selfish, then it should be possible to deal with that as well. In either case, this is a solvable issue.

Both self-interest and other-interest are inextricable from humanity. This is inevitable. Human being is himself; he is part of humanity; and he is part of life. Both selfishness and altruism will be a part of the human makeup. If someone is fully into himself, then the way to wake him up is to alert him of your own interest as another human being. That being done, it will become more possible to work with him and achieve your goals as well as his.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Self-Esteem Goose Chase

There are any number of people involved in psychology who think that high self-esteem is essential for being a good person. If that had been the case, then there wouldn't have been good people before the advent of therapy; and of course there have been good people at all times in human history.

I say this as someone who can be neither accused of having too high a self-esteem or too low a self-esteem. My score on the self-esteem test was moderate. With this background it becomes possible to make an assessment of the value of the concept. And so far what I see with self-esteem is a goose chase. There will always be someone out there to tear down whatever self-esteem you struggle to obtain. It simply is not worth the effort.

What is worth the effort? Making the most of one's life. The more this is done, the more the reasons for having a self-esteem. Self-esteem should not be pursued; it should come as a logical consequence of constructive activity. Put the horse before the cart.

As we look around the world, we aren't seeing much priority placed on self-esteem in many competing civilizations. The Chinese don't bother with self-esteem; they bother with hard work and aim to come to leadership of the world through their superior work ethic. The Muslims don't bother with self-esteem either; they bother with jihadism and want to kill us all. Self-esteem is not going to change, or fend off, either. Making the most of one's activity will.

Less needs to be done to coerce self-esteem and more to encourage constructive activity. Achievement creates true self-esteem. Stop demanding that people esteem themselves and demand that they contribute. Self-esteem will logically follow the more this is done.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Christianity and Clairvoyance

I will address the -opposition within Christianity to much of what else is out there.

I do not see for one moment why God would have anything against yoga, Tai Chi or Zen. Not only are these practices totally harmless, but they help build compassion and mental discipline. Since Christianity demands both compassion and mental disciplines, these practices can help Christians to become better Christians.

I can certainly see why God would condemn behavior such as laying curses on people or manifesting ugliness in people's lives. If you are doing this, consciously or unconsciously, I would recommend that you stop. Other people may not know what you are doing; but God does.

I see no reason why God would be against holistic medicine, Reiki or faith healing. Jesus healed people; Reiki was invented by an in-good-faith Christian priest; and there are many Christian ministers who practice faith healing and laying on of hands. Techniques such as acupuncture and herbal medicine were developed by smart people who approached this subjects before the advent of modern medicine, and there is much of merit in knowing what these people have learned. Satan had nothing to do with this knowledge; human intelligence did.

With clairvoyance, there is more of a gray zone. One one hand people continue to be born with these kinds of abilities, both inside Christianity and outside of Christianity; and I've known any number of devout Christians who had these abilities even though the only spiritual practice they maintained was Christian prayer. One is certainly not made evil by being born with an ability; and some of these people make the best Christians, whose insight and knowledge allows them to see what others do not. The gray zone part is that clairvoyance can be used for wrong, and there are many people who would not appreciate their minds being read without their choice in the matter. That does not damn clairvolyance. That simply means that there need to be rigorous ethical standards as to how clairvoyance is to be practiced; and of course there are.

Astrology, like psychology, is simply a form of knowledge. All knowledge can be used for both good and evil purposes; and with astrology, it's what you are using it for that matters. You can use it to help people gain insight into themselves, in which case you are doing a good thing. Or you can use it to control and manipulate other people, in which case you are not doing such a good thing.

The same is the case with Tarot.

Altogether, most of this knowledge is not anywhere close to being evil. Christianity itself benefits from the attention of all sorts of people with paranormal abilities who have converted to Christianity and used their powers in its service. These people contribute the most, as what they have is much more than faith: It is knowledge. And Christianity should stop militating against these disciplines and see them for what they are.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Adam and Pluto

The most common interpretation of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil story in the Bible is that Adam disobeyed God and by doing so brought sin into the world.

He may have brought sin into the world; he however also brought in a lot more.

Without the knowledge of good and evil, there is no knowledge of sin; but neither is there the knowledge of righteousness. Man is an animal, fully a part of the original plan, innocent, but clueless. With the knowledge of good and evil, there is sin, but there is also righteousness. Man loses his innocence and gains his humanity.

What he gains, truly, is this: Informed choice. And that elevates him out of being a passive recepient of the glory of God to a co-creative participant, aware of his actions, knowledgeable of the consequences, and thus able to act knowingly in a righteous manner.

Choice, then, becomes the core of man's humanity and also of his liberty. Innocence is lost; humanity is gained. Man is no longer an animal; man is man. God has lost a pet and has gained a junior partner.

In astrology, there is the principle of Pluto. Now many may see astrology as nonsense; but bear with me. Pluto is the principle of higher choice and higher will. Especially it concerns choice as to what to be oneself; and it governs insight and self-awareness. The manifestations of Pluto are frequently injurious and include such things as incest and genocide. It is the most misunderstood principle in the Zodiac; and, because many of its manifestations are so injurious, many people polarize against Pluto altogether and equate it with evil. This, in many cases, leads them to act in evil manner themselves; which we see with witch burnings, prostitute killings, overprotective mothers, insanely jealous husbands, and prosecutions of personality disorders. They polarize against Pluto and start acting Plutonian themselves. Pluto finds way to exist – through them – as they polarize against it.

With Pluto, innocence is destroyed; choice and volitional consciousness are gained. The primal order is violated, bringing choice into existence. With choice is also gained freedom and discretion over what to be. Frequently Pluto transits are extremely injurious and result in feeling polluted or contaminated – in loss of innocence. The upside is that what can be gained from these experiences is this: Choice and liberty. And that, ultimately, is a great gift: Gift that may be very injurious to acquire, but that once gained give one both strength and freedom.

What it creates is a fully human being who has complete discretion over what he is and what he will do.

This is not however the end of the road. A mature Pluto realizes that it revolves around the Sun; and this leads it to look toward the original Creator. Once this is done, harmony is restored, with God again in control and man as a conscious co-creative participant in the cosmic process.

The man becomes all of man; the God becomes all of God; and the two work together.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Benefits of Cultural Mix

The best outcome of contact between different cultures is them teaching each other what they are good at. This is certainly the case with the contact between Russia and America. The Russians can't teach Americans how they can make money or how they can have a good government. The Russians can however teach Americans how they can write good poetry or how to have an effective primary education system.

On their part, the Americans stand to teach Russians how to make money and how to have a good government.

I have spent any number of years translating classical Russian poetry into English. That is my contribution to both Russia and America. I am helping to bring the treasures of Russian culture into America, where they stand to enrich America's own culture. In effect, I am doing my patriotic duty to both countries in which I have lived, and both of which I love.

Bringing what someone else is good at into one's own society helps to enrich the society. It brings intelligence, wisdom and passion into the country, allowing the country to benefit from all of the above.

The more this is done, the greater grows the country's culture. The better it is for the country and for the rest of the world.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Gender War Scoundrels

The problem with gender war is that it is completely unnecessary. Men and women can, and should, be able to get along. I am neither in favor of men nor in favor of women. I am in favor of men who are willing to be good to women and women who are willing to be good to men.

On one side, we see coercion upon men – even the better-natured men – to be ugly to women for the sake of their gender. My response to that is that nothing is owed to a gender, and that things are owed to everyone who contributed to humanity, of whom as many were women as men. I owe nothing to the next man that I don't also owe to the woman; and the people who exercise this coercion are a bunch of scoundrels.

On the other side we see people attacking women's beauty, kindness and goodness out of the claim that such things are catering to men or patriarchial. These people are scoundrels as well. A good woman will want to be good to her man, and she would also want to be good to the world. To exercise coercion instead upon these people to be nasty to men, is a perversion.

A perversion that robs women of their best qualities and maliciously attacks the best women under the false claim of speaking for women's rights.

Both men and women will always exist; and we need to learn how to get along in order to have a fruitful and long-term future. Both men and women need to have a goodwill toward one another and come up with arrangements that work for both. Only then will this problem be solved in a way that works for every party involved.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Wife Beater's Paradise

Wife Beater's Paradise
Based on Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio

As I walk down the hallways of the family court
I look at liberty and realize that there's none left
Because they've been lying and blasting so long
That even judges think that women's minds are gone
But they don't put away the men who deserve it
They treat women like trash and they say it's unheard of
You better watch what you claim and say
Or your child will be taken away
I really hate to trip but I gotta loc
As they croak, I see her up in pistol smoke, fool
She's the kind of girl they want to kill
Left a brute to live and follow her will.

Been spending most our lives living in wife beater's paradise
Keep spending most our lives living in wife beater's paradise
Been spending most our lives living in wife beater's paradise
Keep spending most our lives living in wife beater's paradise.

Look at the situation they got ladies facing
Damned if they're leaving, damned if they're staying
So they gotta silence their screams
Pretending they're living the family dream.
If she's educated and with money on her mind
She gets smashed in the head with a chair through her eye
And a loc'd out gangsta set trippin' banger
Will come with his homies, so don't arouse his anger.
Death is only just a heartbeat away
Living this way, what can I say?
She's 28, will she see 29?
The way things are going I don't know.

Tell me why are they so blind to know
It's their daughters' rights they ruin so
Tell me why are they so blind to know
It's their daughters' lives they ruin so.

Lying and the beating, beating and the lying,
Women are in daily hell and many dying
It always happens when nobody's looking
It happens in the kitchen but they don't smell what's cooking
They say they gotta learn, but nobody's there to teach them,
If they understand it, then how can they reach them?
I guess they can't I guess they won't
I guess their lives are out of luck fool.

Been spending most our lives living in wife beater's paradise
Keep spending most our lives living in wife beater's paradise.

Tell me why are they so blind to know
It's their daughters' rights they ruin so
Tell me why are they so blind to know
It's their daughters' lives they ruin so.

Ilya Shambat

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Islamophobe But Not a Bigot

There are many people who see “Islamophobes” as being a bunch of bigots. I am sure that many of these people really are just that – bigots. I am an Islamophobe however, and I am not a bigot. I am against Islam knowingly.

My greatest reason for opposition to Islam is that Mohammed was a pedophile. Not only was he a pedophile, but he assumed that other people were pedophiles as well and actually promised boys in heaven. And I, for one, seek no part of such a heaven.

I would take morality from say Jesus, who actually lived an ethical life. But I would not take morality from some pedophilic idiot. And it is ridiculous that over a billion people around the world take their morality from such a person.

Have there been accomplishments by Muslim people? Of course there have been. But they are not to be credited to Islam. When a billion people live under an ideology, some of them are going to do good things. For that matter, there were people in Communism who accomplished impressive things as well. That does not make Communism right.

The Quran is powerful writing; but then so is the Mein Kampf. It is important to look at what it actually says. A book that promises boys in heaven should not be the moral authority for over a billion people. There is vastly more in Christianity or Buddhism or Hinduism to recommend themselves than in Islam.

And there is also a lot more truth in secular science than there is in this creed.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

How Knowledge Serves Ethics

There are any number of people on the religious Right who see science as unethical or immoral. Having known any number of real scientists, I found in them exceptional integrity. But there are much deeper issues here involved.

In truth, scientific knowledge leads to more ethical conduct. The greater the knowledge, the less the room for error and conmanship, the greater the integrity of the arrangement. By its own nature, acquisition of knowledge leads to more ethical conduct as it finds ways to realize what is error and scamming. And that makes science not only ethical but also essential for the ethics of the world.

My lifetime project has been to make sense of the world. My search took me to everything from world history to the esoteric. Probably the most ridiculous commentary I've faced on this matter is that I was after knowledge because I was after power. In fact, knowledge serves liberty; and there is much more freedom in Sweden and France, that value knowledge, than in Afghanistan, that does not.

When denied in science – such as by those movements in materialist fundamentalism that aggressively deny the reality of spiritual experience – the search for truth moves to religion, where the standards of integrity are much lower and which allows an unlimited opportunity for deception. And this does not begin to serve ethics. It serves the conmen and liars of the world.

The more real knowledge, the less the room for error and conmanship, the greater the ethics. And this means that the pursuit of knowledge – including knowledge of the esoteric – is not only ethical in itself but serves greater ethics in the world.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Baby Boomers and Social Conservatives

In 1997 I stopped at a diner while driving through rural Maryland, and I noticed something. The children looked fine; the old people looked fine. But the middle-aged people looked haggard and unhealthy.

It did not take long for me to realize that the reason for this is that this community was being run by social conservatives who hated the baby boomers and basically wished them all dead. They wanted to make life for them as bad as they possibly could in order to deter the future generations from espousing the same ideals that baby boomers once did. They saw them as the bad crop and basically wanted to work them to death, then appropriate the results of all their work and use them to control their children.

Of course there are people with the same attitudes on the Internet, and I've had to deal with them. Let me tell you that they are a very vicious bunch. They are exceptionally cruel, and they justify their cruelty by thinking themselves righteous. I've had to fight any number of such people, and it was not a positive experience for me.

Are baby boomers a bad crop? I've known a lot of baby boomers who were good people. They did fight for civil rights and women's rights. They did do a lot to grow the economy. There are any number of towering figures in that generation, from Steven Jobs and Bill Gates to Jane Fonda, Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton. Any number of baby boomers are also very intelligent and artistic and have a lot of meaningful things to say.

My generation has been under coercion to be hateful to baby boomers. I do not hate baby boomers; I am however infuriated by witch hunts and persecutions, and this is what we have here. Whatever these people's sins are, they do not deserve this kind of treatment.

And from what I have seen, their sins are much less than those of their persecutors.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Science and Ethics

Faced with scientific research into the mystical and the paranormal, some Christians have been claiming that some forms of knowledge are unethical for humanity to have.

I ask this: Who in humanity? The priests are just as much a part of humanity as are scientists. And if they are allowed knowledge, then scientists should as well.

Really, whom will you trust more: the scientist or the priest? Science imposes great intellectual rigor upon its participants. Whereas most on the Christian Right – Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones, etc. - are undisciplined scammers who feed people a load of lies and substitute paranoia and conspiracy theories for real knowledge.

The more there is actual research into such things, the greater grows the knowledge and the less becomes the room for scamming. Whereas without such research, scammers carry the day. Science demands honesty and transparency, which priestry does not. Which means that, the more such things are understood scientifically, the greater the honesty and transparency; and thus the greater the ethics.

There are two parties here that are deeply in the wrong. One is the scammers; and the other is the people who insist that such things cannot exist and that anyone to whom they have happened are liars, conmen or idiots. Having had very profound spiritual experiences, I know for a fact that both are wrong. Only the second is wrong honestly, while the first is wrong dishonestly.

The more there is solid research into such things, the less becomes the room for conmanship and deception. And that is a profound and ethical service done to humankind.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Liberalism and Conservatism: Mind and Heart

Churchill said that, if you are young and not liberal, you don't have a heart; and that, if you are old and not conservative, you don't have a mind.

I have reason to challenge this assertion.

I've known young people with good hearts who were conservatives; and I've known older people with great minds who were liberals. On one side is my former university classmate Greg, who although he was a conservative had compassion for all sorts of people. On the other side is the father of a woman I've loved who, even though he is in his 80s, holds liberal political views.

What determines if you are a liberal or a conservative? First of all, what does not determine it is age. There are any number of older liberals, and there are any number of younger conservatives. And I have not seen in either the tendency to be more heart-oriented or more mind-oriented.

Some people will find conservatism more attractive, and some people will find liberalism to be more attractive. I do not see in either the greater reliance on either the mind or the heart. Both liberalism and conservatism have ways of speaking to both the mind and the heart. And we will see people of all ages choosing to identify with either.

The Lewinski Affair

I am of the belief that the Lewinski episode should be simply forgotten. It is between Bill Clinton and his wife. And if his wife is willing to forgive him for it, then it is nobody else's business.

Most people have done something wrong. Bill Clinton is not defined by the worst thing he's ever done; he is defined by everything that he has done. Clinton was one of America's better presidents who gave America its greatest ever period of peace and prosperity. He should be seen for that first and his personal life later.

Really, Bill Clinton was a much better husband than most people who wanted him deposed. He allowed his wife her own mind, her own power and her own career outside of his. If she had been married to a Nascar Republican, she would have been a pregnant and barefoot punching bag. Instead she was married to Bill Clinton; and now she is the most powerful woman in the world.

This means that it is nobody's business to attack Clinton for the Lewinski affair. His wife forgave him, and the rest of America should as well. Clinton was much better than what took place before him or what took place after him. And a fair-minded person would recognize that and stop fixating upon the Lewinski affair.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The Statist Myth

When I was a student at the University of Virginia, there was a sign by the local libertarian organization stating, “Smash the chains of statism.”

I ask this. If America really did have a problem with statism, would these people have been allowed to say such a thing?

I have lived under real statism, and I say outright that there is nothing in America that begins to approach real statism. The real problems with America come from unofficial entities. It comes from communities, it comes from religions, it comes from societies, and it comes from corrupt entities in business, medicine and the law.

I have known a woman in America who had three of her relatives murdered in the health care system. The corrupt doctors enlisted corrupt coroners and corrupt lawyers to cover up their crimes.

I have known a woman who tried to flee a man who was sexually abusing their children. The court not only awarded the child to the perpetrator, but had the woman's paycheck garnished to pay child support to that man; so that, even though she is a successful engineer, she lives out of a truck.

And there are many, many more.

In many of these cases, the people who are actually perpetrating real corruption want the government out there because they don't want their corruption seen or confronted. Under the banner of liberty and transparency is perpetrated very real wrong. The bully cliques and the corrupt groups masquerade behind anti-government rhetoric to prevent government scrutiny for their wrongdoing. And this does not begin to serve liberty. It serves corruption.

One constant among all generations is that the youth tends to rebel against their predecessors; and in my generation the youth rebellion sentiment was hijacked by genuinely corrupt entities and directed against the people who were their actual allies. There were many ideal-driven people who followed Kennedy's call for public service. And in making the government out to be the enemy of the youth of my generation, they were deprived of their ally and made to serve the corrupt.

I would have respect for libertarians if they posted up a sign such as that in China or in Iran. But I have no respect for the people who attack the world's most benevolent government while doing nothing to fight real corruption. America does not have a statist problem. It has a problem with private organs of oppression. Sometimes it includes the government. But that's not where the problem ends or begins.

Earth and Other Modalities

There is a lot of talk about people being “down to earth” or about driving someone “to the good ole terra firma.” What these people don't realize is that the earth's crust is quite thin, and that under it is volume of molten metal. And the Earth revolves around the Sun, which is plasmic fire.

What this means, metaphorically, is that fire is the true creator, and that the earth is not. Additionally, life on earth demands air and water; and without these things the earth would be as barren as Jupiter.

Is there a need for earth? Of course there is. But there is also need for everything else that is there. Without oceans, and without the atmosphere, life would not exist. And without sun, the Earth would not exist, period.

This means that it is important for people to value things besides the earth's crust, which once again is quite thin. From the position of metaphysics, there is a need for all four elements. If you do not have a value for metaphysics, the same truths can be obtained from basic scientific fact. The earth revolves around the Sun. And it is air and water that are required to support life.

To support life, the different modalities have to learn how to work together. The contempt and even hatred that is had by overly earth-oriented people toward other modalities has to go. Earth is just one of the many things that are there. And without the sun, the water and the air, life on Earth would not exist.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Why People Are Different

An Internet poster asked why people - including people raised in the same culture - were so different from one another. My response to that is that people have to be different. If people were the same, then everyone would be making the same errors; and it takes people thinking differently from one another to prevent that outcome.

When a large mass of people embrace something that's wrong – such as for example happened in Nazi Germany – it is only people who think differently that have a chance at the truth. The Nazi Germany was only one extreme example; but there are many other places where people are under coercion to think the same, and in many cases this coercion is completely wrong.

The more people are under coercion to think the same way, the more they are likely to embrace errors. Whereas the more people think differently, the more there is a way to correct for these errors. People are different for a very good reason. And the sooner people realize that, the more they will be able to avail themselves of the wisdom that lives in people different from themselves.