Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Liberalism is Dead in America. Conservatism Won in 2010.

Republican voters who 'get' that the party they've always voted for is manipulating them just as much as the Democratic party is manipulating their die hard voters are closer to the truth regarding the state of politics in the US. The hardcore 'GOPers' keep going on about 'punishing the other team' and how corrupt 'the other team' is, and how Obama and Hillary should go to jail, and how pure and innocent and righteous 'the Republican team' is are falling for a simple trick of manipulation. People, let go of the identity politics! Use facts and smart arguments to make policy points that ACTUALLY benefit your family and your tribe.

There is only one team in American politics at the moment and it is the team that has the bottomless pockets: the stockholders of the banks and corporations. Once they bought and paid for the Supreme Court to pass 'Citizens United' in 2010, the game was over.  All they do now is manipulate the 40% of hard wired for Conservatism Americans via the Republican's bullshit, and the 20% of hard wired for Liberalism Americans via the Democrat's bullshit. The smart people in the middle who want to understand POLICIES are forced to simply vote for change, more specifically for THE MOST CHANGE. The most change was Obama in 2008 and Trump in 2016. [It might have been Bernie, but the Oligopoly that runs American politics kicked Bernie out. (Remember that little chat he emerged from with Obama? I'm pretty sure he was told that it would not be good for his health to carry on. The interests of the Elite are best served by the likes of Booth, Ray and Oswald.)]


The Republican team's ongoing shouts of "Libertards!", "Morons!", "Liberals are immoral and should die!" are just silly. Really. Why? Because the liberal forces in the US are washed up in politics. The GOP owns the Senate, the House and POTUS (well, not really as he appears to be an independent and was a former Democrat supporter, but as he blunders and lurches about in the White House the GOP are doing everything that they ever wanted to behind his back). The 'owners' of all of the Republican politicos who are in office (their coffers are filled with corporate cash and their future wealth depends upon staying in line) are dictating what they want and they are getting it. They did the same when Obama was in office with a few concessions here and there. The Dems are just as beholden to the very same corporate donors as the GOP, and let's face it: corporate Capitalist interests are Conservative, not Progressive or Liberal. The fight is OVER in America.  Liberalism is dead.

The solitary place that the hard wired Liberals have any sway is on campuses, and they are desperately playing out that hand, but they will be crushed over time because ALL the universities are now indentured to the banks because they all lined up to suck on the teat of the corporate donors and the banks that dole out the money that comes from having jacked up tuition 20 times over during the past 2 decades. Eventually the money train will ship all that Liberalism that is so pervasive in higher education out in padlocked stock cars to obscurity. 'Political Correctness' is just a concession made to fill the universities with kids who don't have the wherewithal in terms of smarts of money to be there. It's a ruse just like all the other 'identity politics' bullshit that keeps the people voting for 'their team' while taking it up the backside in the legislature as more and more laws get passed that favour only the rich.

Figure it out, guys, before they pull the rug out from under you completely. You are all being had and you prove that every time you blindly 'side with your team'. Your guns don't 'make you free', they enrich the corporations. Welfare hasn't empowered the poor, it has enslaved and ghettoized them worse than ever before, destroying their families by only paying single mothers.  Wars don't 'protect your freedom', they make the bank stockholders richer at the expense of the taxpayer and the poor for whom the military is the only job they can get. 'Affirmative Action' has put minority students into environments where they are 'set up for failure'.  University degrees no longer benefit you by guaranteeing a career, they impoverish a generation with loans they can never default on. "Keeping my money by paying less tax and reducing Government control (regulation)" is bullshit as most Americans don't (and never will) achieve 'The American Dream' of making 10 times what their parents did, it is just a cover story for the wealth-hoarders to make themselves even richer (for what reason is not clear as they cannot spend what they already have).

Get a clue. Fight the good fight. Demand what is ACTUALLY good for you and your tribe, not what is good for the manipulators.

4 Simple Steps to Solving America's Gun Problem

Buying Lots of Brand New Guns = American Freedom! 

This patently absurd claim is tautological in the extreme, but it does serve the interests of the profit making arms companies that fund the NRA:

"Because there are already far too many guns in America, what is necessary is the manufacture and sale of a lot more guns." 

....presumably until every American is carrying a weapon at all times just like the 'Wild West' when the law was in every citizen's hands.  They called it "wild" for a reason: there was no standing army, there was no reliable policing, there was rampant and random criminality and there was a group of armed indigenous people liable to shoot people at will.  This was the period of time that initiated the misreading of the intent of the second amendment -- the 'well regulated militia' was dropped from the vernacular and the notion of self-defense was enshrined.  This storied period continues to live large in the minds of millions of American 'quick-draw wannabes' who see themselves as ready heroes, packing a piece and ready to become instant amateur meters of rightful justice like George Zimmerman.

This fantasy lives so large in the minds of a significant portion of the American populace that it is very tough to apply much rational, fact-based logic against it.  To reuse the old adage:  what is scary is not that the average person is not all that clever, but that 50% of people are more stupid than that.  We can't expect people who aren't all that smart to be able to grasp complex issues and work their way though to solutions with the most potential.  

What also stand in the way is 'moral superiority'.  Professor Jonathan Haidt has identified that about 40% of the human population are hard wired for being Conservative and about 20% for Liberalism, with 40% falling in between (Centrists.)  (The fact that the large proportion of the population tends to be averse to change and for protecting the tribe as all costs, versus being open to change and aiding outsiders is the reason we have reached the point that our species is the sixth global extinction catalyst.)  What is true of both tendencies, however, leftists and rightists, is that, without factoring in any rational, logical reasoning into their innate leanings, they feel 'moral superiority' as a deep emotion -- something they're willing to shed blood over.  'Moral superiority' is simply NOT an argument, however, nor is 'feeling offense', so we must work hard to set aside our feelings in searching for difficult solutions to complex problems.

Let me lay out the only EFFECTIVE long term solution to the problem of there being, undeniably, far too many mechanical instruments in the US today that can instantly and at a safe distance, without risk of physical injury, extinguish the life of another citizen...

  1. Bad stuff happens to good people because crazies are out there.
  2. There will never be enough cops or vigilant citizens to be in enough places at all times to prevent crazies (socio-psychopaths from finding ways to do what their mis-wired brains compel them to do).
  3. Countries around the world deal with their crazies the same way: with laws, cops, vigilant citizens, justice systems, prisons -- not by arming everyone out in public or at home.
  4. Rational, reasonable countries that do not allow the profiteers who manipulate fear to make more cash by hiring lobbyists like this bought-and-paid-for politico recognize that the solution to ATTEMPT (nut jobs will always find a way) to stop crime is NOT to arm every little old lady in the country, but to accept reasonable risks.  We put up with traffic accident deaths for the convenience of driving.  We put up with rapes happening because it is far more likely that women will be murdered by their own Glocks in their handbags, or that innocent classmates with a crush on will get murdered for asking for a date, than will rapists get deterred. MORE guns is not the answer, even though it is another one of those nice simple answers that simple folks like so much (and guns make people feel so instantaneously powerful).
  5. The VERY COMPLICATED problem that needs solving (or at least reducing) in the US is the bastardization of the 2nd amendment by arms corporations and simple folks who get an enormous hard on from fondling guns. What this completely disingenuous manipulation has led to is 300+ million non-black powder (not muskets) modern weapons in the hands of 35% of American households. MORE GUNS for this minority of citizens is clearly not a smart answer.

Guns kill. That is their sole purpose. You only need one bullet from a single shot weapon to deter violence. Maybe a 'six shooter' in case you have to intimidate with one warning shot. NO ONE except a mass murderer or the military needs a rapid fire weapon. NO ONE.

So the problem the US faces is not more crime. It is not a mental health problem, per se, since every human population has the same percentage of nut jobs. The challenge the US faces is too many existing guns in circulation, and FAR TOO MANY rapid fire weapons (having ANY of these is a problem).

The gun profiteers manipulate fear, tribalism and Conservative hard wiring to whip up the same tautological bullshit every time: the answer to too many existing guns, and WAY too many existing assault rifles and machine guns, is to manufacture and sell a lot more of them in order to arm every American against the few nut jobs out there. They've cleverly created a tautology that solely benefits their profit at the expense of thousands of American lives every year.

Any intelligent person will quickly figure out that the solution to having too many life threatening items, like land mines, as an appropriate example, in a country is not to plant a lot more land mines, but rather to begin to remove the land mines. The solution is simple (despite my earlier critique of overly simplistic answers).

4 Steps to Solving America's Gun Problem:

  1. Re-establish the true, original INTENT of the 2nd amendment to prevent its highjacking by profit driven corporate stock holders (versus back in 1791, there is now a well-regulated police force and standing army in the US.), especially the paranoid notion that it was about protecting Americans from a totalitarian dictator -- the Constitution does that as well as any number of Bubbas with arsenals could ever do in this day and age (the days of amateur rebels with muskets hiding behind trees are long gone).
  2. Phase out the sale of any and all rapid fire weapons and gadgetry as there is simply no way to justify any need for military hardware in the hands of citizens.
  3. Phase out the manufacture and sale of ALL new guns and encourage the development of a national club of gun traders and collectors with heavy regulations on training and secure storage.
  4. Encourage civilian vigilance to keep an eye in the nut jobs among all of us. Michael Jackson had a child produced for him to abuse and we all celebrated his innate desire to be a daddy (let THAT one roll around in your cranium for a bit...) -- it would do us all well to call out odd behaviour versus brush it aside as unlikely because the rest of us would never consider doing something immoral.
Let's make a pact to call ourselves out whenever we catch ourselves using emotions to justify our hard wired tendencies, versus recognizing that we've been manipulated into a corner from which those doing the manipulation propose that the only solution is for us to give them more of our money to inflate the problem. Moral superiority is an emotion, not an rational point of argument. We need calm, serious, ratonal thinking and cold hard facts to save Americans (and victims of American weapons everywhere) from the manipulators.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Don't 'Respect the Rights' of ANYone...



Put this in your pipe and smoke it this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend:

DON'T 'RESPECT THE RIGHTS' OF ANYONE...

...who is stupid enough to allow their hard wired feelings for leaning this way or that to be manipulated by corporations into supporting immoral and deadly profit-making at the expense of innocent people's lives. I don't.

I am not a 'leftie' or a 'rightie'. I am a 'centrist' who respects the fact that many people cannot help or control the fact that they were born with brains that are hard wired to lean one way or the other. I understand that, even if these folks have quite high IQ's, that it is VERY difficult to stop feeling emotionally connected to your 'political hard wiring' and search for simple answers to support the 'way you feel' versus doing the very tough thing and listen to people from the other side and really evaluate the smartest and most complicated solutions/theories/arguments that they postulate.

You have to have a lot of in-born curiousity (a strong marker for high IQ) to 'do the heavy lifting' required of people who want to support what is really best for the majority of your fellow citizens, versus simply going along with what makes your brain feel most self-satisfied. If you can't provide a fact-based explanation for your answer to a social issue, but rather answer with a meme or placard slogan that makes you 'feel right' and then, when pressed for a more detailed rationale for why you 'believe' that this or that is the right way for us all to go, respond with "I don't know, I just FEEL STRONGLY about it." then you don't actually have an argument, what you have is 'a feeling' (and therefore get angry and defensive about).

It's human nature to seek out the most simple explanations ('sound bites') for complex social problems that happen to support each of our brain's 'hard wiring' and then shout that simple answer at the top of our lungs to anyone who doesn't automatically side with 'our side'. This tendency for tribalism is how our species beat out the competition and rose to become the 6th global extinction force. The majority of us don't willingly desire change if the old ways are not obviously putting our tribe at risk (more on that topic from me here: http://bit.ly/2wEKs9V ). When things ARE going wrong, however, we must turn to the most clever and willing to change individuals among us and ask what might be smart for us all to do next -- what to CHANGE. We need to respect (listen to) the smartest, most change-loving individuals among us to find the best way forward.  

This latter point is what has gradually been eroded away by 'political correctness' in the Developed World.  Liberalism has led us to the point that we cannot openly discuss the fact that IQ scores vary widely by race.  We cannot point out that religions, whether ancient or newly invented, whether cults of personality like Islam ("Mohammedism"), or rooted in pagan stories of old (Christianity), have some really bad ideas in them that simply aren't so great for anyone who isn't a member of "the norm".  What "PC" has led to is where we are now, no longer trusting things to the experts, but rather to our hard wired emotional impulses AND FEELING SELF-RIGHTEOUS about trusting irrational reactions over facts. 

There is only one way that democracies thrive, and that is when smart, educated, experienced people's solutions are valued over those of knee-jerk populists.   Seriously.  Every day in every way.  We cannot be ruled by opinions and feelings, but only by well-considered good ideas from smart cookies.  Ben Shapiro's ideas are deeply coloured by the fact that he grew up in and is immersed in a very conservative religious world (and is clearly hard wired for Conservatism), but at least the guy can articulate the well-reasoned WHY's behind each of his recommendations.  The same thing can be said of Noam Chomsky who is CLEARLY hard wired for Liberalism.  These stalwarts of public intellectualism need to be listened to openly and critically and balanced against each other by the centrists who need to be in charge in order to prevent the rest of us from making really dumb decisions.

If you aren't smart enough to figure out that a bunch of rich people are buying your democracy by funneling UNLIMITED money to that peculiar personality type who are drawn to the power and fame that comes from running for office, then you don't deserve respect. If you are dumb enough to believe that 'rights' are not about what is good for the majority, but rather what is good for profit-making corporations (and that these 'rights' are actually IMMORAL as they're BAD for the majority -- lets take gun deaths in the US versus any other country in the world as an example), then you support something evil and I don't respect you.

If you aren't smart enough to be able to put 2 and 2 together and see that there is an escalating problem, then you are not deserving of any 'respect', you ARE worthy of criticism and ridicule because you support BAD IDEAS that, in the public forum under the glare of critique, are clearly nonsensical.

So-called 'rights' are given and taken away as societies mature and evolve. The 'right' to beat wives was reviewed over time in most of the world and was taken away in decent modern societies. The 'right' to produce children and then use them as free labour, or sell them as sex slaves, was examined, considered and taken away in every country populated by a majority of decent voters worldwide. The 'right' to own weapons of mass destruction was reviewed in places like Australia, Canada and the UK and was taken away once the weaponry advanced to the point that it was clearly not a good idea to make available to the small percentage of nut jobs who mingle among us.

So if you take a look at an issue and, using your own brain power, can weigh it and see that, on balance, it is just not a good thing for the MAJORITY of a society, but rather is clearly a manipulation of not-so-smart people's emotions by a profit driven, money-hoarding few, then do not offer respect to people who support evil. Offer them sympathy for being too stupid to figure out they're being used to their own disadvantage. Be kind to their dumb asses and don't shout things that are intended to make them feel badly about themselves, but do point out that their hard wired "opinions" (innate emotional responses) are in no measure equal, or even worthy of discussion, versus facts proven through the scientific method of evaluation.

NRA supporters in the US have only one argument, and it isn't great: "I like guns!" That's it. For the details force yourself to watch Jim Jefferies ( https://vimeo.com/219338338 ). He says everything that needs to be said.

And offer thanksgiving to your parents for having bestowed sufficient IQ upon you. ;-)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Conservatism is How Humans Got Here

Constantly attaching Socialism to Communism is exactly the same as saying that Conservatism is Racism or Fascism. When people on the left or the right do this they are being intellectually dishonest, trying (or being unconscious of being misguided) to color one perfectly legitimate concept with the dark brush of a related, but separate 'ism'. While Communism is a failed experiment that was built on the concept of Socialism, Socialism in no way requires Communism to stand alone as a construct. 
 Socialism has, at its very heart, Tribalism as its foundation, and Tribalism is the antithesis of individual human greed, our innate desire to hoard the most we can for ourselves and our own genes (nuclear family). Tribalism is all about sharing for the common good of the tribe, working together for survival and health. Conservatism is related to Tribalism as it is all about family and tribe protection, helping those in need, but only within reason, standing together against threats from other groups, raising children as a tribal responsibility, etc. It is how humans got through 7 million years. Conservatism is NOT about experimenting with new things if the old ones are NOT broken (i.e. 'conserving' the old ways).

Interestingly, Liberalism only emerged as humans became smart enough to develop more complex language and argue and question and experiment. I was reminded yesterday that the Great Apes, while they can learn simple language and can communicate their needs/desires, never ask a question. They cannot think about thinking. It was only 250,000 years ago that humans began to invent new stuff, including new ways of interacting. Language was the springboard. The newly acquired ability to exchange ideas and think about experiments and embrace change, to think outside the box, to welcome others 'not-of-our-tribe' and trade and travel beyond our tribal boundaries led to accumulating knowledge, cultural exchange, animal husbandry, agriculture and permanent settlements.

So it is of little wonder that Conservatism flourishes in rural areas where, outside of the preacher, there really aren't any big shots that run the daily lives of people, while cities and university campuses are hotbeds of Liberalism. The kind of humans who fare best in densely packed cities (and are drawn to them) and don't do so well in Conservative-dominated rural areas, especially those who are interested in constantly exchanging ideas, tend to also be those who feel they need to reach out and help those who are less well-off, welcome others from distant cultures. Their core values are "Care" (reaching out to help) and "Fairness" (sharing the wealth).

Not surprisingly, Liberals are in the minority in terms of human tendencies at about 20% left-leaning to 40% of the population being right-leaning, with about 40% of people being in the center (according to Jonathan Haidt's extensive research). This might explain the Republican's domination of the Senate and House.

What is MOST significant is the fact that Conservatives can understand the values of Liberals, but the reverse is not the case. From a summary by Dr. by R.B.A. Di Muccio of Haidt's work: "The concept of “the conservative advantage.” Based on painstaking cross-cultural social-psychological experimentation, Haidt establishes that the moral foundations of liberals and conservatives are not just different, they are dramatically unequal. The liberal moral matrix rests essentially entirely on the left-most foundations; the conservative moral foundation—though slanted to the right—rests upon all six."

From 'most-Liberal' values at the top to 'most-Conservative' values at #6:

  1. Care/Harm
  2. Fairness/Cheating
  3. Liberty/Oppression
  4. Loyalty/Betrayal
  5. Authority/Subversion
  6. Sanctity/Degradation

"This is a stunning finding with enormous implications. The first is that conservatives can relate to the moral thinking of liberals, but the converse is not true at all. Haidt, who is liberal himself, elegantly explains how and why conservatives will view liberals as merely misguided while liberals tend to view conservatives as incomprehensible, insane, immoral, etc."

What I find fascinating is the way that, today, things are going off the rails. In the 'hotbeds of Liberalism' on university campuses, the former 'bastions of free speech,' Liberalism run amok has led to blocking Conservatives from speaking on campus and blind protection of students who follow a cult in which the very cornerstone is intolerance and 'imprisoned speech' (repeat only what is written) from hearing the very things that will enlighten them -- the protection and assimilation of the values of the 'free world'.

On 'the Right' we have deeply Conservative folks who are deeply averse to changing anything now to fix problems in the future ("Climate Change is a hoax!" "The rich should keep ALL their money!"), but whose ultimate answer to how we humans will survive is "The inventors among us who embrace change and science will fix all the problems." They have a firm conviction that we all must be charitable to our fellow tribal members (nation) to the best of each of our abilities, but NOT the wealthiest top-earners who can contribute a much smaller percentage of their income than the middle class and who hoard vast sums of wealth (that -- let's not lie to each other -- their families really cannot spend the surplus of hundreds of millions of dollars of invested money they have in any way that is practical).

As has always been the case, neither the left-most or right-most solution will work for the nation as a whole. Regulations and barriers are required to control those among us who have no empathy, but do want to hoard vast sums of wealth and want to exert political control over the rest of us (think the 'Cock' brothers). Government is required to protect individual rights, but also to ensure those whose instinct is to hoard and manipulate cannot do so. Right now in American the system is entirely broken as the Supreme Court was bought off and, in turn, enshrined the one-sided power of wealth to corrupt the majority of politicians who spend most of their time NOT working on law-making, but rather 'dialing for dollars' to ensure they can win in the next election. It is a never-ending race for money, it is not governance.

All that Trump is doing is stuffing his family's pockets, along with all the rest of the money-hoarders while the voters rail at each other from across the 'identity politics' divide. "My family has always voted Republican/Democrat and always will!" Ahh...both parties are screwing you over, so if you had an ounce of sense you would stop clinging to your so-called 'identity' and 'party loyalty' and vote for centrists who might actually work in YOUR best interests: 
  1. Protect a values-based society in which free speech and respectful debate based upon facts and learning from history is upheld.
  2. Make assimilation, not 'ghetto-ization' and cultural isolation, a national value and only embrace those who want to embrace Western values.
  3. Limit the sweeping power of a government overly influenced by money (the latter inevitably leads to fascism -- how can it not?) to monitor and imprison its populace.
  4. NEVER allow tolerance to welcome intolerance and allow it to become an acceptable norm within a free society, especially if it is actually a personality cult and seeks to hide itself inside 'freedom of religion'.
  5. Uphold genuine free speech (letting bad ideas die in the public forum) and reinstate the requirement for all news programming to give equal time to all voices in politics (move corporate-owned news departments out of the profit-driven 'Entertainment Department'), while recognizing hateful speech for its intolerance and potential for inciting violence and limit it.
  6. Enshrine a progressive tax rate that justly recognizes that there actually is a limit on how much money any family needs. The money generated by this change would pay off the national debts and fund life-changing societal enrichment.
  7. Recognize that, left to their own devices, capitalist corporations will naturally (being solely profit-driven and at the mercy of the global gambling pool we call 'the stock market') swallow each other and impoverish the masses in their inexorable and insatiable drive to 'survive against the competition' and bring back real anti-monopoly regulations.  The only ultimate solution is to eliminate the stock market permanently.  
  8. Acknowledge that there are many things that belong under control of the majority (Government) and cannot be privatized due to the fact no profit-driven entity can make a profit on them (everyone ages and dies without exception, so medical care for the sick and elderly is a losing proposition -- those in "The Poverty Trap" and the old in the middle class must die early, while the elite upper class of "Money Hoarders" live on).
  9. Accept that welfare does create a "Poverty Trap" and find ways to lift groups that have become mired in generations of poverty out of the trap and be given a realistic 'leg up'.  A 'Universal Minimum Income' is proving to be this tool in countries that have implemented it as it frees people from 'scrambling' and gives them the 'breathing room' to become educated and find meaningful work, to stop dealing drugs and ending up in prison, to stop single mothers from living in the kind of poverty that ensures their kids will become criminals like their imprisoned daddies, etc.  Despite the fact that the concept makes Conservatives' skin crawl, it really does work.
  10. Be honest. We all know that corporations manipulate emotions and predilections to make money off of us.  The gun companies do it, too.  Lots of guys cannot resist the thrill of power that comes from having an instrument that can instantaneously take the life of another person, and at a distance that prevents any harm from befalling the shooter.  The intention of the 2nd amendment was an obligation to help protect the new nation with really shitty muskets, NOT to establish and inalienable 'right'.  That instantly lethal shit needs some strict controls and way fewer new merchandise cranked out year after year.
Those on the Right or Left might dispute this list, but the Centrists (if their IQ is high enough ;-) will agree.  Note that I'd don't necessarily equate 'Centrists' with 'Libertarians'.  My main problem with their philosophy is that I just don't think most human beings have sufficient brain power or self-control to truly be left to do as they please without the interference of Government (I'm over-simplifying their stance, of course -- see below).



Friday, September 15, 2017

Diversity & Tolerance Feel Good, Until Intolerance is Embraced


What a lovely hypothesis! A totally misguided fairy tale, but nicely produced.

It begins by ignoring one glaring fact: prior to the Europeans beginning their global conquest (note they went everywhere EXCEPT the eastern Mediterranean which was ruled by The Byzantine Empire from the fall of Rome until 1300 when the Ottoman Empire took over until WWI), Muslim nations were capturing and enslaving over a million Europeans in North Africa and the Middle East and had been doing the same with Christians and others for millennia. When I lived in the Middle East many households had dark-skinned 'immigrants' that were used for sex, cleaning, nannying and cooking without any real pay, confined to the premises for years, often vanishing without returning to their home countries when their contributions/value diminished with age. No joke.  Since the moment humans began living in permanent settlements and came across different human tribes, we recognized the benefit of 'free labour' and embraced it with gusto any chance we could.

Watching the Academy Awards hosted by Chris Rock in 2016 he made the point (complete with recorded interviews) that the vast majority of African Americans watched virtually NONE of the movies that were nominated. Not even the ones with famous black actors. They HAD watched a slew of recent movies produced specifically for their group's consumption, however, none of which were nominated for Academy Awards. The same could be said for many other racial/ethnic groups, I'm sure, from 'Bindis,' to Hispanics, to Iranians, etc. living among mostly their own cultural groups inside of developed countries.

What is going on? This non-diverse reality is nothing more that the instinctive 'tribalism' all humans have hard wired into their brains through millions of years of evolution. The only way to ameliorate this tendency is through the curiousity and desire for understanding that comes with having a high IQ, along with mandated desegregation (enforced familiarization with the 'others') and mandated assimilation (injecting the new country's language, laws and values into newcomers) for those who are fundamentally incurious.

Every human population, whether distinguished by race or merely culture, believes 'in their hearts' that their tribe, their group, their club members, are better than all the rest. It's just evolved hard wiring that helped us survive against the feared 'others' over millions of years.

The sole difference with 'white supremacy' is the 'supremacy' part. What these white folks don't understand (and it is indeed the truth that we can only avert conflict by understanding our shared human nature REALLY WELL), is that Asians, particularly Chinese, are significantly smarter, on average, than Caucasians, and that Jews, especially the Ashkenazi Jews (who make up about 75% of the world's Jewish population genetically and trace back to Middle Eastern origins), are on about the same IQ level as the Chinese. While it is in our nature to 'fear/hate' and denigrate those who don't look or act like we do, the jealousy (greed) that comes in seeing groups who appear similar to us consistently do better than the majority creates even stronger antipathy. Smarter groups of people do well more often and with greater success than not-so-smart groups of people. Grrr!!!

The human tendency to see people who have more than us and then shout "If you won't share your success with us we'll kill you!" only increases as the disparity between the have and have-nots grows. This is no longer happening between the rich and poor countries, but INSIDE Western countries between the wealthy top percentage and those who have become trapped in the Welfare State bubble of poverty, which is ever growing as the Middle Class erodes and The American Dream evaporates due to predatory capitalism.

What I find most ironic is that it is obvious that many of the most strident white supremacists share an IQ level that is below the average of 100. They are insufficiently clever enough to be curious and educate themselves, but want to claim that they are intellectually and culturally superior (? because they're prone to food, alcohol and opiod addiction?) to the many much more clever non-whites on the planet. Too funny. There are some more clever ones among them, but I've seen a lot of interviews and have seen a lot of memes created by them...and presumably only the most clever ones are creating memes.

Yes, there was a debate during the period of European conquest of the rest of the human population over how the Caucasians were able to run roughshod over everyone else and it did have something to do with IQ and the relentless pressure that hard winters exerted on Caucasians to never stop striving and inventing to survive their environment, but really smart white people today understand that their 'race' isn't actually the most clever. The Chinese already had a fully developed written language, a complex political culture and gunpowder at the time the Greeks just began to write extensively, and the Ashkenazi Jews played a central role in all of the developments of European culture, intellectually and especially financially, throughout history.

Liberally-minded folks in the developed world cling to the notion of 'diversity' because their core 'sacred value,' hard wired into their brains, is 'helping others', but in reality there is one universal human truth they are willfully ignoring: tolerant, nuanced, sophisticated cultures that have evolved over time never survive the injection of intolerant, 'barbarian' cultures (attempting to maintain social rules from 2,000 years ago) into their midst. Intolerance ALWAYS beats out tolerance, primarily because the intolerant cling to it much more stridently -- and tend to procreate and immigrate faster -- than the liberally-minded folks do. Diversity only works when everyone in the so-called diverse culture shares identical values. France, Sweden and England are going to have a lot MORE internal civil conflict very soon due to this mismatch within their societies.

"Our culture is so tolerantly diverse that we will tolerate your intolerance and even pass new laws to ensure you can become even more intolerant and break our national laws with impunity." This 'diverse' notion is fundamentally flawed as any nation's laws and values are what define it as a nation. What is being articulated is "you are allowed to declare yours the SUPREME culture within our country, immune to our laws, while at the same time we will ensure no one else can make the same claim." This notion FEELS like it is the same as letting the Mennonites keep to themselves, but the Mennonites don't have a rule book that reminds them 5 times a day that it is their obligation to take over the country they're in and subjugate everyone who isn't in their cult. Sure, most don't find the time to follow their religious obligations, but add in the fact that there is no central think-tank, no 'head office' or Pope, and that any narcissistic psychopath needs no accreditation or license to start preaching and declare himself a dictator of social order and you have a very different situation than is the case with any other group.

Rome fell to the barbarians when they incorporated far too much diversity into their culture and they became a welfare state that could not tax enough to keep up with deficit spending. We are already past this point in the West and, not so ironically, the largest holders of wealth on a global scale (those who have financed the debt we all owe) are the global bankers, the majority of those at the very top tend to be of a single ethnicity, and the Chinese oligarch families. No matter what, these very clever people will likely survive the global human conflict between the less clever groups for resources that is inevitably coming down the pipeline over the coming decades. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Should "I Feel Offended" Be Banned Forever?

What is it, really?  "I feel offended!"  No, really, what does that actually mean?  You feel angered?  Hurt?  Undervalued?  Challenged?  Denied respect?  Fearful of being berated or physically attacked?


Google's interpretation is:
  • annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one's standards or principles.
  • "he went out, making it clear he'd taken offense"
  • synonyms:
annoyance, anger, resentment, indignation, irritation, exasperation, wrath, displeasure, hard/bad/ill feelings, disgruntlement, pique, vexation, animosity, antipathy

Look at that list of synonyms.  All emotions, no point of rationale or logic. 

At no point did everyone's willfully ignorant opinions become equal to the scientific process and facts.  

I can read an ancient old book that tells me that the world is flat, but I can look at an image from a satellite today and see that accepting the reality will make human life better as we can use the reality to fly us from point A to point B more effectively.  Similarly 1.6 billion humans can read a book that tells them that women should be raped and beaten with impunity, but in our modern existence we can see that this is a crock of shit and that we should be working very hard to turn this ridiculous adherence to the proclamations of a narcissistic psychopath who just wanted to have everything go his way.

At some point in the recent past, "Respect other's right to believe whatever they've been indoctrinated with" mutated into "Not only can other's beliefs not be questioned out of 'respect,' if your beliefs contradict theirs you cannot utter your views in public, not even in a country in which 'free speech' is the rule of law, because your views might spark 'offense' (see synonyms above, ALL of which are FEELINGS, not rational points of logic)."  Now in that last bit lies the gravest problem to the entire 'Free World'. 

If countries in which free speech is enshrined welcome immigrants who hold beliefs in which free speech is fundamentally banned, such as followers of an ancient cult leader who demanded that only his imaginings and self-manufactured 'holy mandates' be adhered to (i.e. "imprisoned speech"), then, by their own nation's laws, they have ended free speech (the ultimate end will come when the newcomers procreate more successfully and eventually out-number the original citizens). You see, if we give the folks for whom free speech means they are licensed to preach "imprisoned speech" and nothing else, AND we assure them that is 100% okay, then we have created a Catch-22, a tautological conundrum.  They are 'free' to ghettoize their community and protect their children and all members from hearing anything that is free speech, especially if it 'hurts their feelings' in some vague way. 

The moment that you have set this situation up (and it began with the Mennonites and other cults many years ago), you have created a trap in which free speech gets subverted --
UNLESS you go one step further in defense of free speech and ban any consideration being given to hurt feelings. 
ONLY by making it the rule of law that no consideration of irrational emotional reactions will ever be entertained as an element in banning free speech, especially in forums of intellectual debate and the development of new and better thinking (e.g. schools of higher learning and news programming), can a society continue to be truly free.  If we allow claims of "emotional trauma" to stand in the way of open debate, free society is doomed (without being any more dramatic about it than is reasonable). 


Indeed. As Ricky Gervais has pointed out repeatedly, "Hurt feelings" are impossible to objectively quantify and cannot be a consideration, EVER, in banning free speech online, in the news, or especially on school campuses. 

What is happening across the 'Developed World' (the "Welfare World") is that a tradition of freedom is being highjacked by followers of a cult that preaches primitive, obsolete "imprisoned speech".  The tool that is being leveraged, first in grade schools and now in universities and places of work is 'hurt feelings' (read: offense) and an entire generation of young people who grew up facing unimaginably emotionally traumatizing attacks on social media (now that they have a voice and can exert power), are eagerly rushing to the defense of the 'innocent followers of a cult who live among us' to defend them from what they imagine is the same kind of emotional trauma that they have witnessed on social media.  It is not. 

Yes, being ostracized and belittled online by schoolmates is hurtful and permanently damaging to one's self-esteem.  To equate that reality to being the same as having one's indoctrination in an ancient cult challenged with modern scientific facts and the societal norms of free societies in the 21st century is deeply and dangerously wrong.  As citizens who enjoy all the freedoms of the free and modern world, it is our duty, our obligation, to chip away at the barbaric musings of a murderous, megalomaniac warlord from the Iron Age. 

It is time to ban "I feel offended" and stand up for free thought, open inquiry, rational debate based not upon 'opinions,' but upon well-thought-through points of argument.   It is time to hold up really bad ideas to the full light of intellectual analysis and point out their failings in the public forum, 'hurt feelings' be damned.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Left or Right, Smart, Good People Are So Often Irrational Zealots. Why?

One good thing that Donald Trump's ascendancy has brought the world is the bald truth about so many of our inner motivations.  We THINK we have free will and that our political choices are carefully thought-through mental constructs, yet trying to get anyone to change their position on politics is like trying to get someone with a sweet tooth to no longer react to sugar the way their tongue and brain does.

What Donny's successful capture of the US throne of power and enrichment (all POTUS's are set for life simply by doing speeches after they leave office -- Donny's just not waiting for leaving office to get started on enrichment despite the Constitution!) has meant for me is a determination to dive deeper into both the left and right ideologies to understand the divide better.  I want to be fair and well-informed.  YouTube, Google, books and audio books are giving me the opportunity to do this thoroughly.

Through this endlessly entertaining and tumultuous American election cycle and its outcome I have heard very smart authors of well-reasoned and thought-provoking books, who happen to be feminists, claim that one particular religion needs to be shielded from criticism -- despite the fact (stated in the book and in everyday practice) that it is the most anti-feminist doctrine humankind has ever concocted.  I've heard demonstrably brilliant, well respected intellectuals who are paragons of integrity on the right argue, with clear sincerity, that they believe Kellyanne Conway is to be applauded for being a liar for a liar, or that Donald Trump has a high IQ because he claims to be really rich (he was bankrupt going into the election and has been most of his career, funding his lifestyle and campaign through more and more bank loans like a personal Ponzi scheme).  I've heard otherwise clearly rational and bright individuals like Ben Affleck defend a dangerous and hateful ideology like it was a beloved, if antiquated, children's story that people innocently get enthralled by and therefore can't have their love of the fiction challenged.

If remembering something, or thinking about a subject, or repeating a favourite story, makes a individual feel good in any way, it will be nearly impossible to get them to accept a different narrative without a lot of time and effort.

Many years ago I wrote a piece exposing the deep perversion of one of the world's richest,  most successful, most determined and most profoundly disturbed pedophiles, but people couldn't accept the reality.  Why?  Because the reality ran up against their fond memories.  The pedophile's public work was intimately connected to some of their best memories of growing up, feeling the early pangs of sexuality and love, awakening feelings of acceptance for other races and sexual orientations, along with our deep human need for celebrity worship ("Wow!  Imagine if I had that kind of money!  I don't mind that she/he is rich due to charging all of us too much for their output because I LOVE reading about their now charmed life and imagining he/she was me.").  Humans have a great deal of trouble just considering, much less accepting, things that run contrary to what they have long felt good about.

Why is it common sense advice to avoid discussing politics and religion at family gatherings? 
Many people are BORN left or right.  Like a predilection for being right or left-handed, we now know that our political tendencies for Conservatism and Liberalism are hard wired at birth (Google or YouTube Jonathan Haidt's extensive research into this phenomenon).  It's not that they cannot be shifted over time with education and a willingness to consider other point of view, but the leanings are there from the start and show up in those who are furthest toward either end of the bell curve in their teens.  Trump's chief toady, 30 year old Stephen Miller, began to act out upon his far-right, bigoted brain wiring at about age 15 and spent his entire adult life advertising his views.  He has the additional deficit (or asset, depending upon your point of view) of having very low empathy, an indication of a level of sociopathology.  He clearly feels no shame, nor any sympathy for the hurt feelings of others, when he promotes his racist views.

Like most human propensities, the opposing tendencies toward left or right are on a bell curve, with about 15% of any human population being at the one extreme and 15% at the other, with some people leaning either a bit more one way or the other and most in the center.  This bell curve seems to be quite squat and wide, rather than tall and narrow, however, as starting up a conversation with just about any random person will quickly reveal a lean toward left or right, with some admitting to shifting at some point in life.  Nevertheless, in America's corrupt 2 party system, the elections are always determined by the 'swing voters' while up to 50% of people don't bother to vote.

Connected to our hard wired tendencies are a bunch of other human traits that are barriers to open mindedness.  

Neurological research is now revealing our built-in wiring for religious belief.  This wiring is intimately connected to another innate tendency towards addiction, a networked set of brain regions that helped our species relentlessly seek out foodstuffs we needed to fuel our exceedingly complex and energy-hungry large brains, but that could never be hijacked in the seasonal and constantly changing environment our species evolved through during 5-7 million years.  Along with a capacity for broad conceptual thinking and very powerful egos, humans have a problematic tendency to 'fall in love with' our own ideas.  I constantly run into otherwise very thoughtful and open-minded individuals who can easily see the merits of one theory versus another in many different fields of study, but become rigid, dogmatic and blind to other arguments when it comes to their 'pet' theory or point of view.  Noam Chomsky is like this about Israel versus Palestine (as just one example of a specific topic he holds a strong view on), while Sam Harris is at the opposite extreme, yet both are very reasonable debaters on many other topics.

Ego, addiction, religiosity,  intellectual laziness...

What is clearly going on with these pillars of open-minded debate when it comes to certain subjects is that the same pathways that 'light up' in other peoples' brains when they think about smoking a cigarette or going to a casino, or in others when they opine about their God/religion (I believe the many of the same brain regions/organs/pathways are involved), are lighting up in Noam Chomsky's and Sam Harris' brains when they start speaking about their pet theories.  We see this same phenomenon in mathematical astrophysicists' in talking about the Big Bang and how the formulae 'prove' that, in theory, all of the energy in the Universe was originally compressed into an infinitesimally small dot of volume.  I've long argued that this is plainly stupid.  Just because a math formula seems to lead to an enticingly bizarre conclusion, doesn't mean that this is the way the Universe actually works.  Sure enough, the newest take on the origin of the Universe is that there was a very condensed plasma of energy that exploded through means we cannot fathom (go ahead, call it 'The Hand of God,' no one can disprove that) and began its current outward expansion.

What I believe we are seeing in the rantings of quantum physicists who expound the 'bubble/foam universes' theory or the many others, is the same religious-invention (and creativity) areas of their brains lighting up.  Once a theory has coalesced, they become no different from evangelicals of any religion, expounding their pet theory like it was 'The Word of God,' despite the very reasoned critiques being offered by equally respected scientists.  Their egos and many other areas of their brains become involved and they cannot let go of their notion, clinging to it fervently, not unlike any religious zealot does.

Furthermore, psychologists have identified that most of us are guilty of 'intellectual laziness.'  This is our tendency to stop looking for any further answers once our brain feels like it has found a 'reasonably correct answer.'  To save time and energy, we tend to accept the first best answer and move on, storing that answer away.  This is like a deeply entrenched brain-wiring of Occam's Razor (also known as "The Law of Parsimony"):  the simplest answer, in the absence of any more plausible answers, must be correct.

So what?  What does this 'zealot-like' clinging to an ideology on the left or right have to do with Donald Trump?

Recently some studies have postulated that it takes about two years for a religious person who has reached a 'tipping point' -- who has had an rational epiphany (not a manifestation of a divine or supernatural being) and suddenly begins to see the religion they've been indoctrinated into, or have chosen to join, as nothing but an elaborate fiction designed to empower a few men and subjugate the 'believers' -- it takes them about two years to finally shake themselves entirely free of the belief system.  The process involves all the typical steps of grieving for the loss of something one held close and that gave one small bursts of pleasurable brain chemical releases in reward for thinking about the subject and performing the rituals.

The stages of letting go of a deeply held 'belief' are:
  1. Shock or Disbelief that such an opposing reality is possible
  2. Denial
  3. Bargaining
  4. Guilt
  5. Anger
  6. Depression
  7. Acceptance/Hope

For those people who are both hard wired for left or right, AND sadly don't have the brain power or curiosity (a key sign of braininess!) to educate themselves about the other side, actual change toward the swing-voter center, or even just heartfelt understanding and acceptance of the other side's point of view, is very likely impossible.  For everyone else, however, exposure to a bunch of very smart proponents of one side or the other might change your life.  Worth an attempt, I'd think.

What Donald Trump's ascendancy has gifted the rest of us with is the chance to be shocked that we do not understand the opposition's point of view and the chance to rectify that for each of us individually.

Donny might not be as stupid as he seems from the total absence throughout his life of any profound utterances or arguments, or the non-stop poor judgement calls that have lead to a long string of bankruptcies and non-repayments of loans, as he does clearly have a reading impediment that gets in the way of reading and therefore learning.  But his lack of real curiousity means that he has no interest in watching anything that might challenge his confirmation bias (our tendency to only expose ourselves to things that back up our existing beliefs or understandings), so he's never going to voluntarily expose himself to things that might enlighten him.

The solution to all of America's inequality is very simple:   a third party.

Human nature is such that, given any chance, we will hoard all the money we can and use it to lord it over all the rest.  A two party 'system' is designed to keep all the power in a two-way exchange between a largely fake left and right.  The only true democracies keep our natural corruption tendencies in check with multiple parties with different views, and enact laws that ensure long-term outcomes for the best of everyone in the country are forced upon short-term politicians.  Warren Buffet suggested that any politician who is in office at the end of a term in which the budget is not balanced (easiest way is to impose a sliding scale tax) is barred from ever holding office again.

Links to RIGHT-leaning YouTube Videos:

  • Ben Shaprio - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeznvyQEGI8
  • Stefan Molyneux - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV_AIN4CS9M
  • Milo Yiannopolous - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nDkNZk7vtk
  • Gad Saad - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jq1utGg0PUY

Links to LEFT-leaning YouTube Videos:

  • Chris Hedges - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PF12rxUttvM&t=1332s
  • Richard Wolff -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IJVIAutO-Y
  • Sam Harris - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96ZOpzL1Q_A
  • Noam Chomsky - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dwuqq-Aeao

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely, It's In Their Hard Wiring


I first created this meme in a Nov. 25, 2015 post about Trump's vague (still is) 'political platform' (really just spouting whatever he gets the biggest reaction to).  My point in that post was that narcissistic psychopaths make GREAT dictators -- alas not so great democratic politicians -- but then a minority of Americans who bother to vote have said YES! to just such a dangerous character.  What history has taught us, but the rabble never learn as they don't read history, is that every guy like this cannot resist but quickly start to take over absolute control.  It's just what this personality type does, automatically.

Truthfully, I've learned a lot from my 'Hard Wired for Conservatism' friends like Chuck C,, Paul N., Louise S., Andrew L., Radek D. and Bob W.  They have, with Facebook barbs and tweets and comments and posts, turned me from my Social Justice Warrior far-left stance, to now being firmly in the center, what I'd call a "Neo-Libertarian."  I find the Libertatian concept appealing but, as a lifelong Student of Human Nature, I just can't see it working for the masses -- take away the rules and policing and we are guaranteed a brand new Wild West and summary executions by citizens of other citizens left and right.  This would leave the keenest Libertarians to, of course, become the new leaders and impose control over ever smaller communities who want to govern themselves -- we see the results of this kind of self-appointed leadership in the entire Muslim world with Imams taking control over a local flock of worshipers.  This 'system' is simply not conducive to a situation that gets better and better for everybody, as has been the case with successful Liberal Democracies up to this point.

Having had my eyes open to the Right's point of view, I have read a great deal about the failure of "Multi-Culturalism" in Europe and can see what a naive failure it is to accept any immigrants/refugees into any true democracy with welfare state benefits/philosophy in place, without having forced those wannabe citizens to demonstrate VERY sincerely that they are willing to accept the values and freedoms of their new country.  Further, allowing these new citizens to continue to practice any unreformed religion, whether it is a newly invented cult or an ancient faith that espouses the summary execution of non-believers, is a really bad idea because when their children grow into their teens.  The depressing reason, demonstrated over and over again, is that a small but dangerous percentage of teen/20's males who are prone to picking a fight, or prone to need to bolster their fledgling egos by taking on the mantle of 'identity politics', become radicalized -- especially when they've grown up marginalized within the new countries' societies by being brought up in self-imposed cultural ghettos of isolation run by self-appointed dictators of right and wrong (religious leaders).

Today, however, with the election of Donald Trump, my Hard-Wired-for-Conservatism friends -- who could not help themselves from being very hopeful that the guy spouting all those populist soundbites would prove to be a real proponent of the average Joe -- are going ever deeper into 'alternative facts' to prop up the world's newest Dictator for Life, the Donny, and it just keeps getting sadder.  None of the so-called checks and balances meant to hold Donny back are working in favour of the populace so far, he's just railroading through stuff to benefit his family and the 1%, along with the criminals who inhabit the swamp of corruption he is flooding to the brim, not draining.

I've listened to the big-brained Stephan Molyneux attempt to herald Trump's Muslim Ban as a day that will go down in history as a win for the furtherance of Western Democracy (generally he means Capitalism as he's a Libertarian -- as most very smart adults with some exposure to business are -- so he'd like to see Government banished, which kind of means Democracy goes with it...see paragraph one).  I've listened to quite brainy Conservatives herald Donny's "Liar in Chief" Kellyanne Conway as the greatest truth-teller ever.  The list of absurdities goes on.  It would be sad if it wasn't so damn frightening.

Now, on Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 we have Donny saying, about a Texas state senator who is pushing for a rule to stop law enforcement personnel from pocketing a lot of drug money they capture crossing the border (and likely the merchandise as well): "“Who is the state senator? Do you want to give his name? We'll destroy his career," Trump offered."  That will be a tough one to brush off, but I know the Trumpsters are spinning hard right now to come up with a way to make light of this one, too.

My favourite explanation of why Donny is great and therefore will be a great President is that he has made a lot of money.  His long string of bankruptcies is NOT seen as the obvious poor judgement calls these business attempts were, but rather "clever manipulation of the system, courageous experiments, inevitable ups and downs of a successful business."  What is ignored is that, as long as you are smart and conservative (not impulsive), when you take over your dad's real estate company in Manhattan in 1971 you'd have to be an idiot NOT to see that turn into billions. (The price per square foot in NYC was about $45 in the 1970's and since has risen by a multiple of ~27, so $50 million in property value back then is worth $1.35 billion today, and when his father died in 1999 Donald inherited a fifth of what was estimated to be a $250-300 million business) -- yet it looks like Donny might actually currently be bankrupt, having borrowed and spent more than his real estate assets are now worth (he's living like Bernie Madoff, borrowing for Russians and the Chinese to keep living the high life).  Sorry, money makes money, especially in Manhattan real estate, and real estate investing is just not the same as running a manufacturing or other business with a million 'moving parts.'  The guy is just not very clever, sadly, despite his constant repetition that he's brilliant.

Smart people can easily identify other smart people, just like not-so-smart people can identify other not-so-smart people -- "Hey, he's just like me!"  This is called the "Dunning Kruger Effect" and has been proven true many times over scientifically: smart people can clearly figure out that there is a lot of stuff that they haven't learned yet, that experts are more knowledgeable about, and so they are convinced they aren't as smart as REALLY smart people; not-so-smart people can't figure out that their inborn opinions (hard wired) are not of equal value to truly smart people's scientifically proven facts, so they become convinced they are pretty smart.   Ergo, Trump supporters are absolutely sure that they are smart and therefore that the Donny is smart.  (Ask them what score they got on the last IQ test they took...)  Remember, what is scary about any democracy is NOT that your Average Joe scores 100 in IQ, but that the entire 50% of the population below him are not as smart as Joe.

So if you really want the truth about who is ACTUALLY smart and who is not-so-smart, don't trust your instincts, or your own opinions, or how much the person in question says things you feel are right, rather seek out the opinions of people who are demonstrably clever.  My IQ is over 140 and I can assure you that Donny is as thick as two short planks.  He has no curiosity (the key hallmark of intelligence) and cannot learn easily due to a reading impediment, this is why he spends so much time on Twitter, reading only headlines and soundbites, and watching TV.  It's also why he has no clue about the details of the Executive Orders that Bannon and Miller are getting him to sign, one of these elevating Bannon to a position of greater power than the Vice President.  Donny has never said a single thing that is profound, has never spoken about a single concept ("I'm gonna build a YUGE wall!" is not a concept, sadly). 

The reality is, as Jonathan Haidt has proven (if you think scientific inquiry and evidence is of any value, and if you don't you should get rid of the device you're reading this on...) in his 2012 book "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion", that there are many people hard-wired for being Conservatives and an equal number who are hard-wired for being Liberals, and a good percentage of these folks just happen to also be not so smart.  When you have this on the Left, you end up with Social Justice Warriors who shout a lot of slogans, but cannot explain their arguments.  On the Right EXACTLY the same thing occurs with people shouting about values, but unable to explain why these values are valid and important with regard to human society overall.

Neither side can do more than shout and feel intensely tribal with their fellow Lefties or Righties.  They project their 'values' onto their instinctive 'nationalism' and believe that the other side is ruining their country.  It is sadly incredibly easy for the Money-Hoarders to manipulate these minorities and even to convince those with similar leanings, but more inquisitive minds, to LEAN in one direction or the other by exploiting fear and tribalism (e.g. "You may see value in the other sides' point of view, but you are 'one of us' by birth, or faith, or the State you're from.").  In the US's corrupt '2 Party Oligopoly' many voters get swayed by becoming 'single issue voters' and vote against their best interests to simplify their efforts to understand the bigger picture (and in fact it really did NOT make much difference who was in  power in the past -- but this new guy is fundamentally different...)

There are also people who are hard-wired for being entirely and incontrovertibly self-focused.  They no more chose to be this way than the Lefties or Righties do, it's just how their brains are wired.  These individuals cannot help but chase fame, popularity, power and money.  It's just in their nature.  Given any opportunity to gain more popularity and power/money, they will automatically do it.  Vladimir Putin is a modern day example of this.  I just read Gary Kasparov's very level-headed analysis of Putin's ascendancy, "Winter is Coming", and it's quite an eye opener into how a Narcissistic Psychopath progresses once exposed to a political opening.

What the world, and America in particular, is facing with The Donny is simply another narcissistic psychopath, but not a smart, calculating one like Putin, but a not-so-smart, impulsive, vindictive one who is easy to steer.  If by week three you haven't seen the risk in letting this buffoon, who is easily manipulated by anyone who strokes his ego, from Putin to Bannon, to hold the reigns of the most powerful military in the world (and the US President has quite liberal unilateral power over the military), then nothing much is going to convince you it's a bad idea, until the world blows up in your face.  Those who will, as they always do, make TONS of taxpayer money from the next World War are the owners of the military industrial complex companies and the banks that back the complex.  Make no mistake, IT COSTS THEM NOTHING TO START A WAR, and they make more trillions from every conflict (the only downside being millions of 99%ers' lives lost, a tragedy which they could care less about as those people are not worth as much to humanity as they are because they have hoarded a lot of family money, which proves they're smarter and worth more as human beings).\

Hold on to your heuvos, Trumpsters!  This isn't going to go well for you, your families, or any of the rest of us.  The GOP will sit back and wait for Donny to implode, then for the Democrats to impeach him.  Then they'll have their man Pence in the driver's seat for the remainder of the 4 year term.  You, once again, heard it here first!  The only upside is that the Republicans under Pence will do everything they've ever wanted to do, but on steroids, and will piss off the American electorate so completely that their party may be made entirely irrelevant -- but then the Dems have already done that to themselves and similarly will be unlikely to recover by 2020.  I suspect we'll finally see an independent make the grade.  Let's hope nothing goes completely off the rails between now and then, but it's almost guaranteed we'll see a depression long before then.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

If Wealthy Americans Don't Embrace Wealth Redistribution Soon...

 
In reply to this comment below on Facebook to my re-posting of the meme above:

"From the pix in "kilos" the trend seems to indicate "more" (sic)... Now seriously: this is indeed a challenge but it is also true that back then we were fine to live: without phone, no newspaper, simple B/W Tv, no pay Tv, no pc's, no central heating, no ski holidays, at best a holiday to the North Sea coast for a couple of days, plane ride was completely out of reach, no eating outside of home except chip shop as a treat (if need be: take sandwiches), jumpers knitted by mom, hand me downs from rest of family, veggies from dad's veggie plot, simple car only sparingly used, no fancy beauty products just the bare essentials, no wifi, no music except for a small transitor radio ... etc.. etc..."
While you are right, the reality for those below the upper middle class in America today (and it will be America's economic situation that ignites the coming depression), about 82% of the population, is that they pay for the new things they feel they MUST have (and deserve because of the promise of the American Dream) not with salary (they are underemployed and making less in real dollars with every passing year), but first with the money they FORMERLY put into 'life's savings' and more recently with debt. Their debts are owed to the banks, the banks are owned by corporations, the corporations are owned by shareholder who are the 1%.
Every single thing you point to as our new 'must haves' today, the things people are willing to go into debt to have, make ever more profit for the corporations that manufacture them. The single reason that the list has grown so much over a few decades (and is currently growing faster -- kids MUST have fancy smart phones and tablets now) is the stock market -- when any firm is publicly owned it MUST grow at a minimum of 10% per year or lose value. With that demand for constant growth, new 'things' must be developed and marketed every year to ensure the growth of each corporation, and the consequent growth of indebtedness on the part of the consumers, along with the growth of hoarded profit by the owners of the corporate stocks.

Back in the days you mention, the vast majority of companies were privately owned, and happy to simply make a decent profit for the families who owned them. Once the global gambling pool for the 1% that is the stock market gained steam and started making upper middle class business owners into millionaires overnight, the contentment we used to see in firms that saw no need to lower wages by outsourcing production overseas as they had no public shareholders demanding growth at any cost vanished.

There is only one solution to this repeated cycle of a few taking over most of the wealth and power. Philanthropy is not going to happen at a level that will reduce global poverty, which drives over-population, even though all the money is there in the hoarded and exponentially growing wealth of the 1%. The rich are simply not wired to see the wisdom in spreading the wealth.  They will fight tooth and nail against going back to the tax levels they happily got even richer under for decades up until the mid 70's. Only revolution by the majority to take the wealth and control by forces will work eventually, sadly, and all that will follow the revolution will be the gradual re-building of a new 1%, just like the astonishingly wealthy Politburo members in China today
And the reality is that it is not 'their money.'  They did not 'work hard for it.'  Yes, the original guy who started the ball rolling towards incredible business success worked hard for it and was smart enough and OCD enough to get over the hurdles, but even for that original individual (who eventually is not actually 'working hard,' but has the option of sitting back and watching his wealth accumulate) there's a point at which we need to look at his situation and ask:
"OK, but where is the money you are shoveling into your bank accounts and investments coming from? Other rich people?  Or is the money either coming from taxpayers (in the case of any company supplying the military) directly, or indirectly through tax breaks?  At what point do smart people look at your wealth and say that other really smart and hardworking people never had the luck you had to be in the right place at the right time and become super wealthy, but would have in other circumstances.  If we value those human beings as worthwhile contributors to our society, should they not do well financially?  Maybe not as well as you, but partway as well?  Even if they work in your factory?"
My conviction is that there is a realistic and practical 'ceiling' on wealth that can be easily and simply arrived at, and that above that ceiling Money Hoarders should be on a sliding scale of tax contribution.  Once any household or individual has sufficient annual income to afford everything we can all agree is nice to have, then they have reached a level at which the rest of society can reasonably say "Hey, you've got everything, now share the non-stop spigot of gushing cash you've created because the money flowing out of it is NOT 'YOUR MONEY,' it is coming from natural resources, taxpayers, regular folks, etc.
I suspect the ceiling is about $300k US per household, at which point the family has a nice house, two+ decent cars, kids in private school/university, a cottage, two 2 week vacations abroad, retirement savings program, etc., but let's raise it to $500k just to be 'fair.'  If we then taxed these folks with a sliding scale so that as they approach $1 million a year they only lose 50% in taxes, but by the point they're making $10 million a year the tax rate is 80%, the point is that they would STILL BE STINKING RICH. 
And their kids should not be permanently wealthy!  If they are smart and hard working, like Donald Trump, they'll get enough to set themselves up when daddy dies, but allowing unbridled inheritance merely sets up a permanent elite class who merely were born -- they did not initiate the wealth accumulation and should not permanently benefit from it any more than 'royal' families anywhere in the world do.  
 

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