Monday, May 30, 2016

Rape and Martial Arts

The issue of rape is not talked about as much now as it was in 1990s, but that doesn't mean that rape has gone away. I have an idea of something that can help women who have been raped.

That is: Take a martial arts class.

Martial arts builds self-confidence and sense of being able to defend oneself. More importantly still, it addresses the core trauma of rape. Women who have been raped complain that their bodies have been taken away from them and that they no longer feel in charge of their bodies. Martial arts solves this problem to the core.

Martial arts builds a relationship with the body of self-mastery. The person becomes more in charge of her body than she had been before she had been raped. Her body becomes her own consciously and completely. She becomes fully in charge of her body. This not only addresses the trauma of rape. This also puts her in a better position than she had been before she was raped.

Nobody likes to see women getting raped; but it happens anyway. When that happens, there should be a solution. Martial arts is one such solution; and I heartily recommend that psychiatrists and counselors prescribe this for women who have been victims of rape.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Obesity and Resources

A number of years ago I got involved in a flame war over the Internet, in which I argued that obesity was a bad idea. I was called heartless, I was called a fat basher, and I was called a sham. I have since then known overweight people whom I thought the world of, even loved; and I regret having said what I had said on the subject.

I will however address a much larger issues, and that is a moral issue. The issue is overconsumption of resources to the point that it's no longer even good for the people using them. People overconsume fuel and poison the air. People leave air conditioning running in their houses while they are away at work. People buy huge houses that they have to spend the rest of their lives working to pay off.

I choose to exercise; whether the next person does that or not is their business. However the overconsumption of resources is everyone's business. Everyone loses when someone chooses to drive a Hummer. Everyone loses through uncontrolled burning of oil and coal. Everyone loses when people ranch in the Amazon and leave the place a wasteland.

You will not see me say anything negative any more about fat people. But you will see me argue till I'm blue in the face that overconsumption of resources is the wrong thing to do. The next person's shape is not my business, but the health of the planet is my business and also everyone else's business.

I move from addressing obesity toward addressing overconsumption of resources.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Non-Governmental Corruption and Tyranny

America's founders rightfully recognized the potential for tyranny and corruption within the government and designed the government in such a manner as to check and balance these potentials. What they failed to recognize is that the government is not the only entity that is capable of tyranny and corruption, and that there are any number of corrupt and tyrannical entities that are not the government.

In America, the government is much more benign than it is in most of the world. The bulk of corruption and tyranny in America comes from private entities. It comes from communities; it comes from religions; it comes from families; it comes from corrupt networks in law and medicine. The government is checked in its potentials for tyranny and corruption. These other entities are not.

While the attention of freedom-fighters is concentrated on scrutinizing the government, real corruption and real tyranny grows up in their home towns. Life becomes regimented and controlled viciously, while real crimes are hidden and prevented from being redressed. Girls are told – and quickly taught – to never tell in case their fathers rape them. People get killed in hospitals, and doctors enlist corrupt lawyers and coroners to bury the case. Religious denominations oppress and control people to a far greater extent than does the American government. Community organizations such as the mafia and the KKK command the loyalty of many and use it to get away with murder.

Compared to all these groups, American government is quite mild. It is certainly more mild than most governments around the world. However it is not the source of the worst abuses in America. The worst abuses in America are private, and these can be very difficult to correct.

How can they be corrected? The first step of course is exposing them. The second step is realizing that the government is not the only source of evil in the world, and that there are many private sources of evil.

When this is done, it will become possible to actually prevent tyranny and corruption. And that will make it possible for people to have actual liberty.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Christianity's Persecution Myth

There are many people involved in Christianity who claim that are being persecuted. In fact, the only place in which Christians are actually persecuted is the Muslim world; and there, everyone who is not a Muslim – or even a different denomination of Muslim – are being persecuted as well.

The claims of persecution on the part of American Christians are ridiculous. Christianity is America's dominant religion, and it is the American Christians and not the people in America who aren't Christians who do the persecution. The gays are persecuted by these Christians. The single mothers are persecuted by these Christians. The people in San Francisco are persecuted by these Christians. They are not being persecuted themselves.

Just to show how ridiculous this has gone, I once ran into a young evangelist in Tucson who claimed that he had been “persecuted” the previous day. How did he get persecuted? He aggressively evangelized some club-goers, and they said, “There is no Jesus only Buddha.” If that is persecution then I am Princess Diana. These people had a right to respond to some jerk who got into their faces and told them what to do and who to be.

And portraying such things as persecution is an insult to anyone who has actually been persecuted.

In America, the Christians do not get persecuted. In America, the Christian Right persecutes everybody else. Most Americans are Christians, and they are in no risk of being persecuted. The same cannot be said for homosexuals, single mothers and religious minorities.

American Christians discredit themselves by adopting such obvious fictions. Anyone with a brain will be able to say that they are full of crap. Outside of the Muslim world, the Christians are at no risk of persecution. It is rightful for American Christians to help their brethren in Middle East. It is not right for them to claim that they are themselves being persecuted in America.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Narcissism and Donald Trump

Psychology Today has diagnosed Donald Trump with narcissistic personality disorder. The problem with their definition of the narcissistic personality disorder is that it would include just about all of the world's major contributors. If it is narcissistic to want great success, then everyone who has achieved great success is a narcissist. And that means that the world owes vastly to people with narcissistic personality disorder.

For this reason I do not care if Donald Trump is a narcissist. My concern is how he stands to treat people. If Ted Turner – a billionaire – is his idea of a loser, then I do not know who isn't. A person with such attitudes will treat people with contempt. And that does not bode well for the people.

Is this a function of Donald Trump's alleged disorder? Well, Clinton was accused by the media of being a narcissist as well, but he cared about the people. If you are president, you have to care about the people, whether or not you are a narcissist. And even if Trump is a narcissist, he can still consciously choose to care about the people and do the right thing by them. If you are not naturally gifted with empathy you can use your mind to make up for what your heart is weak in and use your intelligence to figure out how to do the right thing.

It is a choice; it is always a choice. One doesn't choose to have a disorder, but one can still act rightfully in spite of it. If one is a narcissist, he still has a brain and a will. And that means that he can act in a rightful manner.

Will Trump act in a rightful manner? Well that is up to him. But he has a long way to go before he can show people that he cares about them. So far his behavior has been congruent with definition of the disorder; but it is up to him to choose to the contrary.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Marital Separation: Leading by Example

I have always wanted for women's lot in the world to improve. There is only one of me to go around, but there are billions of other men. So I seek to improve the women's lot by inspiring those men to better behavior.

When Melanie left me, I decided to set this example. I forgave her and remained good friends with her, which we are to this day. On the wedding day I conducted her down the aisle. Then I read a text that said,

“It says, 'If you love someone, set her free. If she does not come back she was never yours. If she does come back keep her forever.'

“I could have easily been going around getting people's sympathy; but I hold myself to a higher standard of conduct than that.

“Melanie, I am sorry I could not have been a better husband, and I hope that Malcolm does a better job.

“To the newlyweds.”

This, I have found, works a lot better than any kind of control. Melanie now respects me, as does Malcolm, and my daughter benefits from the attention of two loving and committed parents.

The more men practice such attitudes, the better the world. And the better the lot of their children.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Muslims and Russians

Most Islamic rhetoric is directed against America; but it may be spreading to other places. Given Russia's behavior in Syria, there are many who will now want to paint Russia as another Great Satan.

The Islamists attack America much more than they attack Europe; but given stated Islamic values it should be Europe, not America, that they attack. America is socially moderate to conservative while much of Europe is culturally liberal. They attack America because America, unlike Europe, does not practice policies of accommodation toward people who want them dead.

If these people are to read history correctly, they owe a lot to America. If not for America, they would all be practicing Communism; and if they were to be practicing Communism then they would not be able to be Muslim at all. Whereas with America as the top country they can be as Muslim as they want to be for as long as they do not kill Americans or their allies.

Would the Muslim world really be better off if Russia rather than America was the top country? I do not think so. What Muslims and Russians have in common is their brutality. Americans can be brutal as well, but not to the same extent. If Al Qaeda was running the world, life would be far more brutal and far more oppressive than it is with America in charge.

Every place has its problems; and the test is how these problems are handled. So far, the Muslims' way of handling things has shown to be completely counterproductive and completely destructive. They have a long way to go before they can hold their head up to the rest of the world; and in this they have a lot to learn from Americans.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Large Companies and Small Companies

What works for small companies is not what works for large companies. I should know. I was employed in 1996 at a small company in Northern Virginia, and they hired a big corporate high-flyer to help them fix their company. This was a disastrous decision; and the company suffered a lot from taking his advice.

The reason is that what works for large companies is not what works for small companies. Large companies tend to have a stable work load, whereas small companies have high demand at some times and low demand at other times. What works for small companies is therefore not what works for large companies; and the more people understand this the better will be their business practices.

I have worked for both small companies and large companies, and I've seen viable business practices in both. The best practice I have seen on the part of the small companies was employers building personal friendships with their employees. This motivates the employees to be personally loyal to the company and to go beyond the call of duty to do work for them.

With large companies, in which the boss cannot form friendships with all his employees, the best practice I've seen was done by Oracle Corporation. They involved people at all levels in the decision-making process, which gave people a sense of meaning and purpose and got them to work hard for the benefit of the company knowing that they were making a meaningful contribution.

Both small companies and large companies are capable of both rightful and wrongful directions. There are things that work for both of them, and they are not the same. The more people understand this the better will be their business practices, the better will be the companies – large or small – of which they are a part.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Human Nature and Choice

There are people who believe that people are born good, and there are people who believe that people are born evil. I think that both are part-right. Different people are born different, with some more good than evil and others more evil than good.

When I was talking, as a teenager attending a Christian school, to my mother about “common human nature,” she told me that I was wrong and that she herself had never wanted to hurt anyone. I realized that she was right. Some people are born better than others; and everyone else has the capacity of choice to decide to do the right thing, whatever their nature tells them.

If you are not of best nature: There is a solution, it is called choice. A person who does not come from a good place but comes to a better place is more capable of affectuating improvement than the person who has always been good. That is because he is conscious of what it takes to be a good person when you aren't one by nature; and he can guide other people who have imperfect natures to a better place.

Neither the people who think that people are naturally evil nor the people who think that people are naturally good are in the right. Some people are naturally good, some people are naturally evil, and regardless of one's nature it is possible to make rightful choice.

This – choice – is the true meaning of human nature. And the more people apply it, the better becomes the lot of humankind.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Wrong Incentives and Public Sector

There are some professions that have a perverse set of incentives. They benefit from things that are bad for people and lose money when people are well off.

One such professions is of course the doctors. The doctor makes money when people get sick. It is in his advantage as a doctor for people to be sick; which is bad for the people, who benefit not from being sick but from being healthy.

Another such profession is the police. The police gain from people being convicted of crimes and going to jail; which once again is not good for the people.

Another is the psychologists. These benefit from people coming back to them for further treatment, which rewards the psychologist to promote an unhealthy dependency and prevent the clients from getting well.

In the cases of these professions, the market system falls short. The market rewards something that's not in people's benefit; which leads me to think that these professions should not fall under the free market umbrella and should be done publicly.

In Florida, where jails have been privatized, the police have an incentive to convict people of anything that they can. The war on drugs and the war on prostitution criminalize things that should not be criminalized because it's in the interests of the police that there be as many crime as is possible so that they could convict and people for them. The pharmaceutical industry gets a windfall from people being diagnosed with all sorts of fictitious disorders, and AMA maliciously attacks all sorts of affordable and intelligent treatments that have helped people for much lesser price than is charged by the AMA doctors.

The market system is brilliant when it produces technology and prosperity. It falls short when it rewards behavior that is not in people's interest. If it's in the interest of your profession that people get sick, you will want to pathologize as many people as you can pathologize. And if it's in the interest of your profession that people commit crimes, then you will want to convict as many people as possible of as many crimes as you can. In neither case is the result favorable.

If it is the incentive of your profession that you produce something valuable, the market dynamics are absolutely right. If it's in the interests of your profession that people get sick or get convicted of crimes, then these dynamics flounder. It is important to know which is which, and out of that calculus to conclude which industries should be private and which should be public.