Thursday, January 28, 2016

World War II Generation and Baby Boomers

The World War II generation and the Baby Boom generation had a bad relationship with each other. The baby boomers saw their parents as oppressive and controlling, and the World War II generation saw their children as selfish and spoiled. For the most part, Generation X has sided with the World War II generation. In my generation, we see people taking after both.

Both my grandmother and my mother were wonderful people; they did not however get along. My grandmother was a Soviet Communist, and my mother wanted to emigrate to America. This of course caused a lot of conflict. In the end my mother ended up winning. She came to America with her family, and two years later her mother came with my uncle as well.

I have known any number of Americans who were of both generations, and they appear to be similar to their Russian counterparts in character if not in ideology. Americans of the World War II generation, like the Russians of World War II generation, were strong-willed, authoritative, nationalistic, family-oriented, conformist, hard-working, responsible and heavy-handed. The baby boomers in both countries were open-minded, free-spirited, artistic and demanding of freedom for themselves.

What is going on here? Each generation wants to provide for their children the life that they themselves would have wanted to have. The World War II generation was raised in time of economic hardship and war, so they wanted to provide for their children peace and prosperity. The baby boomers, raised as they were in a highly suffocating setting, wanted freedom for themselves and for their children.

Of course the children of baby boomers – particularly in Generation X – rejected their parents. That is because they did not themselves want freedom; they wanted structure and predictability. In my generation – Generation Y – there is a tendency to want to reconcile people; and many people in my generation get along with both their parents and their grandparents even when their parents and their grandparents do not get along themselves.

The World War II generation is nearing its end of their lease on life; and for the most part they will be remembered well. So far baby boomers have a bad reputation, but they still have the time to correct it. They started out as not being selfish at all. They started out fighting for better treatment of all sorts of other people. Now they have the chance to regain the spirit they had when they were younger and truly make the world a better place.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Trump's Bullying Streak

Donald Trump is a brilliant businessman, he works like a dog, and he has a good taste. That does not however mean that he would make a good president.

The problem I see with Donald Trump is his bullying streak. If Ted Turner is his idea of a loser, then I don't know who isn't. Being a bully may be acceptable in business, but it is not rightful for the president of the United States.

For a long time Hillary Clinton was perceived as being mean-spirited. She has a lot of work toward correcting that perception, and she now has the respect of many people who did not respect her before. If Donald Trump wants to be a credible candidate, then he will need to do the same thing.

If you are a president then you have to care about the people; and I have not seen Donald Trump do that. His most famous line is, “You are fired.” If someone with such an attitude becomes president, then many people have a lot to fear; and not all of these people are bums.

Psychology Today has diagnosed Donald Trump as a narcissist. The problem with that diagnosis is that it would brand as pathological all sorts of major contributors to society. If wanting great success is narcissistic, then the people who've had great success, from Rockefeller to Reagan to Gates, are all narcissists; which means that America and the rest of the world owe vastly to people who have this disorder.

I do not care if Donald Trump is a narcissist. I care about his attitude toward the people. If he would accuse a billionaire of being a loser, then he will see everyone else as losers as well. That does not bode well for the American people. He would see them as losers, and he would treat them with complete disrespect.

So that while Donald Trump most certainly deserves respect for his accomplishments as a businessman, it does not mean that he is the right person for the White House. You do not want to have a bully running a country. To be a credible candidate Donald Trump will need to overcome his bullying tendencies; and only then will he be the right man for the job.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Whom the "Pro-Family Agenda" Actually Serves

The "pro-family" candidates keep claiming such things as that family is the foundation of the society and that the commitment between man and wife is the greatest commitment out there. In fact, the "pro-family" arguments do not relate to, and are not invoked in, the situations that actually feature love and commitment. Instead, they are only used to support those people who want others to stay in situations where there is no love or commitment and to destroy many other situations in which there are both.
First, there are many "traditional" marital situations in which love and commitment are absent. Many marriages are either coerced or manipulated - either through family, town, social set or religion pushing someone into a wrongful marriage, or through someone pulling a con job. How many men woo with roses and keep with fists, guns and whips (and in some cases sulfuric acid)? How many women get men by their gonads and then sue them for all their money when they get a chance? How many families, towns, religions, social groups, push young people into marital situations with people they do not love, and in many cases with people they do not know? The "pro-family" agenda wants the situations based on bullying, coercion and conmanship not only be lifelong, but for the people who do such things to continue control through generations. And since it is these situations - and not the loving, caring family situations - that people want to leave, it is in these situations that the "pro-family" arguments are invoked. Which means that the "pro-family" agenda is nothing but an accessory to deception, brutality and oppression and serves only those who practice such things. Which practices through this mechanism become the actual basis of the society.
Furthermore, there are many situations in which there is love and commitment that are not nuclear families. Having known a number of homosexual people of both genders, I've seen as much, if not more, love between them, than in most heterosexual pairings. And among heterosexuals, there are many loving situations that never get a chance to actualize in marriage. When man and woman love each other but the families do not want them together - when man and woman love each other but they are from different religious groups - when man and woman love each other but are from different sides of town - they are typically prevented from marrying one another regardless of how deep their love for one another is. The "pro-family" agenda does not help such people to come together in loving, committed marriages; instead it sides with the people who want to keep them apart. Which means once again that the "pro-family" agenda prosecutes actual love and commitment and empowers oppressors against both.
The actually loving, committed marriages never go to court and never reach public media, because neither party is looking to leave such a marriage. The marriages that do reach the courts are ones in which someone is doing something wrong. Which means that the "pro-family" agenda does not touch, positively or negatively, the good marital situations, but only becomes an issue in cases of deception, brutality, bullying, or other forms of wrongdoing. And that means only one thing: That the "pro-family" agenda serves those who commit these wrongs and nobody else. The husbands and wives who have love and commitment to one another are neither empowered nor hurt through "pro-family" policies, as such don't relate to them. It is only the men and women who treat their partners and their children wrongfully that benefit from institutions that make it hard for one partner to leave the other, or for the people from different religious groups and social sets to get married, or for young people to get away from their home town, or for people to practice other relationship arrangements than the nuclear family.
The "pro-family" agenda therefore does nothing for relationships that are loving and committed. It serves only those who are interested in committing wrongdoing, either against the spouse or against the kids. As such it is nothing like what it claims itself to be. It's not about strengthening loving, committed families, because such never find themselves in the court house. Instead, it is about empowering deception, corruption, brutality and other forms of wrongdoing; and its effect is to encourage these practices and make these practices the actual foundation of the society.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Feminism and Moderation

I've had some people on the Internet call me a male feminist, a pussywhipped idiot, a wanker sucking up to women and even a Lesbian woman. I've had other people on the Internet call me a misogynist and a male chauvinist. What this tells me is that I am a moderate who gets attacked by the extremists on both sides.

I do not just seek the middle path, as the middle can be found in all sorts of undesirable places. I seek the positive middle path that encourages the best of behavior in both genders and attacks the wrongdoing in both genders. I want men and women to get along; and that means rewarding loving behaviors in both men and women and confronting behaviors that are brutal, oppressive, cruel or malicious.

Ultimately it makes sense to be neither for nor against either men or women. There will always be both; and some will choose to act rightly and others will choose to act wrongly. A man who comes at his wife with fists because he finds a speck of dust on the floor is a scoundrel. So is a woman who gets a man fired for telling her that she looks nice. It makes sense to be for neither scoundrel and against both.

I used to err on the side of women, only to encounter vicious abuse from women who were either misandrist or simply mean-spirited. I've also known women who erred on the side of men, only to become punching bags. The wrongs and excesses of feminism have resulted in many men becoming militantly misogynistic. I did not become a misogynist; I simply turned to reason and moderation.

Men are ill represented by the likes of Glenn Sachs, and women are ill represented by the likes of Catherine McKinnon. Neither begins to be worthy to speak for one half of humanity. Both men and women are represented best by those among them who are loving people. These, for a long time, have been out of vogue. It is time to bring them back.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"Nice Guys" and Opportunity

For a long time on the Internet, there was a large constituency of young men who called themselves nice guys and said that women only go with jerks. I watched these people become more and more misogynistic as they went from “women only go with jerks” to “women make irresponsible choices in relationships” to “women are stupid and evil” to “women should be played, abused and controlled.” Which of course played into the hands of actual jerks, who looked for any excuse they could find to treat women like dirt even as they benefit from what the woman has to offer.

I do not consider myself a nice guy. I consider myself someone who does the right thing when I figure out what the right thing is. And the right thing – both for men and for women – is to treat each other right.

Right now, we are seeing wrongdoers in both genders in different places. For the most part, around the world, vastly greater wrong is done by men than by women; but wrong things are done by women as well, especially in the Western feminist cultures. I advocate this solution: For men who are willing to be good to women to get together with women who are willing to be good to men.

This will create good relationships for these men and women. It will also create an incentive on people in their home cultures to treat the other gender rightfully. The men who are not willing to be good to women, and the women who are not willing to be good to men, will be rendered uncompetitive; and there will be a real-world reason for them to change their ways.

I do not come into this from the position of my own self-interest. I do not care if I am never again with a woman for as long as I live. I apply to this the logic that is behind classical economics: That competition among self-interested entities leads to better outcomes for the comsumer. In relationships that means the following. An international flux for intermarriage will reward both the men and the women who are willing to treat their partners rightfully; and that will create better relationships all across the board.

I have heard many American men complain about how nasty and abusive the women in America have become. My response to them is: Apply the truly American thinking – the thinking of opportunity. An employed, non-violent American man is a dream-come-true for many women. Leave the misandrist feminists to their choices, and go with a good woman from somewhere else.

Do women only go with jerks? Not the ones who know what is good for them; and there are plenty of those, especially among women who have more experience. I am neither a jerk nor a nice guy, but I've had the attention of a number of wonderful women, and at no point did I see them as evil or stupid or try to play them.

My advice to these so-called “nice guys” is to think straight. They may not be competitive in American liberal culture, but they are highly competitive around the world. They are better than the Taliban. They are better than the country people in India, Russia or Africa. A woman who knows what is good for her will understand this and will act accordingly.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this opportunity-based thinking. It is at the basis of the Western economic system – meaning, at the basis of everything that people here have. The result will be a Western “nice guy” giving someone a chance at a better existence. And that will be good for him; for the woman; and for the world.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"Cheating", Feelings and Masculinity

I have always found it hard to understand why so many men take it so hard when the women that they are with have sexual relationships with other men. In my conversations with people from the so-called “redneck” constituency, the conversation starter is either “With all the taxes you are paying, don't you feel like you're living in a socialist country?” or “if I saw my wife in bed with another man, I would shoot them both.”

I had women in my life who had sexual relationships with other men; but I never shot them. I do not understand why so many men feel the temptation to do such a thing.

The men who have sex with many women are seen as studs; the women who have sex with many men are seen as sluts. I do not understand why this kind of standard exists. I say this as someone who was never into casual sex or promiscuity. The women I've been with, I either loved or they were my good friends.

Many of the same men who have been with many women sexually also have the same feelings regarding their wives or their long-term partners. Why is this? I've known any number of men who have had many sexual relationships who could not forgive their wives having affairs.

What is it really that motivates this behavior? I have seen men go on and on about how hurt they have been in these situations. Why are they hurt by this so much?

Maybe it is because they feel that they're not allowed to have feelings unless it is in a stable situation, and if the woman leaves or has other relationships then they feel that their heart is torn out. I believe that the solution toward that is to allow men to have feelings and not deny them as part of being masculine. The more this is done, the more the men are able to deal with their feelings, the less becomes the temptation for them to shoot their wives.

Monday, January 18, 2016

International Economics and Domestic Worker

International capitalism is both good and bad. It's good for China and India; it's good for business; and it's good for the consumer. It is terrible for the domestic worker.

The proceeds from global economy are such that the domestic worker can and should be compensated. There are three ways to do so. One is retraining them for jobs that are in demand; another is welfare; and the third is hiring them on to do government projects.

Of course there are many who would say that Americans want freedom in the way of having a small government. What these people do not realize is that government is far from the only entity that is capable of oppression. Communities are capable of oppression. Religions are capable of oppression. Families are capable of oppression. So are corrupt networks in law and medicine. And unlike the government, these entities are not subject to constitution or checks and balances; which gives them unlimited power to do wrong.

What entity is better: One subject to constitution and checks and balances, or one not subject to such things? I for one would take the Obama government over Pat Robertson or the mafia any day. There are many entities that are capable of oppression; and freedom means not only freedom from excessive government interference, but also freedom from these entities.

A quotation falsely attributed to Thomas Jefferson says, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away from you everything you have.” This is not only true of the government. The same is the case with market economics. It is free to produce vast prosperity. It is also free to throw people out on the street.

As a former software developer, I've been on both the winning and the losing side of capitalism. I've seen how much prosperity it can generate; I've also seen how it can flounder and how it can throw people away. I want to see people have the benefits of capitalism while also having some kind of security; and that means – making the most of both capitalist economics and government action.

Many Republicans are hearkening back to 1950s as the time when everything was right. In 1950s, the tax on the highest incomes was 92%. In 1950s, the unions had a strong presence, and manufacturing was in America rather than Mexico or China. In 1950s, neither the doctors nor the educational institutions gouged their consumers as they do now. And all this happened under a Republican president.

Most people who are out of work are willing to work; they just cannot find jobs. How can an American worker compete against someone in China who can do the same job for $2000 a year? Both the businessman and the consumer benefit from this state of affairs; which means that there is enough money being generated to compensate all the people who are being displaced.

I hope that this becomes a topic in this election, and that there is vigorous and honest debate on the subject. The American worker deserves nothing less.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Capitalism, Socialism, and the Best of All Worlds

I am neither a capitalist nor a socialist. I am both. I seek the best of all worlds. I believe that people should have the benefit of opportunity and prosperity that come with capitalism. I also believe that people should have the benefit of affordable education and health care as well as a social safety net.

There are people who think that the government lives off other people's money. In fact the government does a lot to facilitate prosperity. It provides the military that protects the country and the police that protects people's lives and property. It provides the roads that make possible interstate commerce. It provides education that makes people employable. It provides science that's at the root of technology – meaning, at the root of most of what business sells.

I've seen the benefits of both private sector and public sector. In 1990s, when the economy was booming, I was making big money in the computer industry. After that industry crashed, I got help from the government. Government by itself would not have created the 1990s boom; it did the right thing by getting out of the way of it. And, had it been solely for the private sector, after that boom ended I would have ended up begging on the street.

When I was making big money in the computer industry, I never complained about paying taxes. Clinton and Gore did a lot to make the government more efficient and user-friendly, and I knew that my money was being put to a good use. I did not seek tax shelters; I did not seek to cheat on my taxes. I paid them like a good citizen. And when I myself needed help, American government came through for me.

Having experienced the benefits of both the private sector and public sector, I want to see the same extended to others. People should have the benefits of prosperity and opportunity that comes with capitalism; they should also have a social safety net and affordable medicine and education. The proceeds that come from capitalism are big enough that there are enough resources to make this possible. It should be possible to make the most of both private sector and public sector. The result will be people living in the best of all possible worlds.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Beauty and Reality

When something is exceptionally beautiful, it gets attacked. People see it as not being part of reality as they know reality to be. They look for ways to destroy it or invalidate it in order that things conform with their idea of what reality is. Some are even angry that such a thing exists because it has not been part of their life experience, and they think that there is some kind of deception involved.

I once knew a woman who had had a very beautiful and passionate relationship while she was at Caltech. People were trying to make it be thought invalid by claiming that she was anorexic at the time. She, for her part, was stating that relationships of that kind were not for life. Why would she think that? Probably because she had been taught that such things are not part of reality. It existed; it happened; it was real. Yet she was so attached to what had been drilled into her head to be reality that she was trying to invalidate it or to forget that it had ever happened.

This also leads to problems in the lives of people who have much beauty to offer. People want them, but they also believe what they have to offer to not be part of reality - to be some kind of fraud or manipulation. This results in people getting with them and then becoming abusive while being with them.

Of course beautiful things are very much part of reality. Just go to Yosemite Park or view the works of Monet. Similarly it is part of reality now in case of any number of women, particularly artistic women. My former wife made a painting called "The Beauty's Torment" featuring a butterfly in a jar. People want it; they are angry at it or suspicious of it because it is not what they think to be reality. And this makes misery for everyone.

People need to realize that beauty can very much be a part of reality if people strive for it and work to make it reality of their lives. The human world is what people make of it; and beauty becomes part of the real world when people make it a part of the real world. Reality and beauty are not opposite to each other. Reality can be beautiful too. It takes a determined effort to spread beauty and make beauty an integral part of the reality of the world.