Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Forgiving Gun Violence

Although the U.S. national murder rate doesn't fluctuate too much and has been in a down trend for decades, the mass shootings seem to be getting worse. The suicidal crazies keep trying to one up each other.

I expect that given any population a certain percentage of people are going to crack and go on murderous rampages using one means or another. And there's not much that can be done about that. But it is still human nature to try to prevent such things.

Although I've recently become concerned by the number of mass shooting deaths in America, I'm consistently unconcerned by the probability of dying in a mass shooting event in the U.S. versus the rest of the world, including anti-gun places in the world. Sure the number of mass shootings has long been very high in the U.S., but any competent, objective person looking at stats only cares about percentages and isn't afraid to look at things like race. My preferred metric is number of guns versus population number versus number of mass shootings and then broken down by things like race and gender. In America, a lot of the shootings in the mass shooting statistics (4 or more injured or dead) are of the drive-by variety. In fact, around 75% of statistical mass shooters and shooting victims in America have the same minority skin color. And we all know that particular skin color isn't prevalent in a place like Norway (not yet anyway). I always find it amusing when people on the left talk about how peaceful very white or very Asian countries are compared to the much more diverse United States. It's so amusing because the left is very sensitive about racial issues yet they fail to see the irony in those kinds of comparisons lol.

Of course, with mass shootings in the U.S. always comes the gun control debate. The thing about debates is that in areas where people disagree there really is no right answer. Because even if some correlation is true, how to respond to the correlation to remedy it leads to more debate. Without a lot of experimentation, it is all just guessing.

People almost always disagree and argue about nonlinear systems, but agree on linear systems. Things involving predicting human behavior almost always tend toward the nonlinear. In nonlinear systems, the best guesses are probabilistic rather than deterministic. In linear systems there is no guessing needed. It's like the difference between calculating the next solar eclipse verses calculating the effects of CO2 on the atmosphere. One is straight forward and the other is a lot of probabilistic guessing. Figuring out complex nonlinear systems requires just letting them run.

The most recent massacre that happened in Texas was extra confusing for the nonlinear gun control debate because it shouldn't even have happened under current law if the government was competent. And the shooter was stopped by someone with the very rifle popularized by news media as the preferred weapon for mass shootings, the AR-15.

It would be interesting to see what kind of casualty rate difference there would be in mass shootings if powerful high capacity weapons were completely banned. But at the same time, it would also be interesting to see what kind of casualty rate difference there would be in mass shootings if a whole lot more people carried guns. For instance, a few years ago in 2014 there was a mass shooting attempt at Florida State University, but the gunman was shot before it became a national tragedy.

The reality is that most people who own guns never kill anyone. Because most people are only murderous mentally and murder is illegal, except in clear instances of self-defense or if the murdering is done by people in government. And people own guns for many reasons. Some people own guns simply because if you ever really need a gun you'll sure be glad to have one. Others like the sport of being good at shooting, some like collecting, some like the sense of self-defense. None of that stuff makes a person any more guilty than anyone else.

Gun owners are no more guilty because some people go on shooting sprees than car drivers are guilty because some people purposely drive vehicles into crowds of people. Unfortunately though, like most things, the gun control debate is more about guilt projection than solutions. One very simple solution for anyone authentically concerned about guns, other than moving to an anti-gun country, would be to construct a bulletproof home and never leave it except maybe in a bulletproof vehicle while wearing a bulletproof vest lol. The fact that very few people take the initiative to do that sort of thing goes to show that guns aren't really that big of a problem for most people even if they can be a big problem for those who are unlucky.

The gun debate in the U.S. is split left versus right. And that is a problem because partisan politics is not a realm for logic and reason; it's great for emotionally-driven guilt projection but not logic and reason. A legitimate debate on any subject requires logic and reason. My definition of logic and reason is striving for consistency and therefore truth without bias.

I almost feel like the left versus right was designed as an intelligence test to push smart people out of the realm of politics lol. The first problem with politics is that it is mostly just people fighting over who uses the force of government and who is subject to it. So each side projects its own lust for tyranny on the other side leading to all kinds of crazy contradictions and thus widespread cognitive dissonance. For instance, the right is anti fetal baby murder but pro guilty adult murder, while the left is pro fetal baby murder but anti guilty adult murder...unless the adult is a right winger of course lol.

And so the gun debate has the same kind of nutty contradictions. For instance, when it comes to terrorism the left doesn't want to prevent it by restricting immigration. But the left wants to restrict gun violence by restricting guns. The right on the other hand wants to prevent terrorism by restricting immigration. But the right doesn't want to restrict gun violence by restricting guns. Not a perfect comparison but then again politics is nonsense and so it doesn't matter lol. Then there are the weird racial contradictions when it comes to the gun issue that I already mentioned.

I already mentioned the drive-by variety mass shootings that make up a large percentage of the incidents. But even though that kind of mass shooting is almost always put into the stats to make the stats look much worse, those incidents are not what comes to most people's minds when they think of mass shootings. When people think of mass shootings in the U.S., they think of crazy people killing many random people. Those types of mass shooters tend to be terrorists or white beta males with poor prospects and a bunch of screws loose.

Despite the gripping headlines, most murders aren't due to mass shootings of any variety. And the reality is that homicide in general in the U.S. is a much bigger issue for black Americans than white Americans and also a bigger issue for Hispanic Americans than white Americans. The least murderous racial group in the U.S. is the Asians. Without stating the obvious, just look at these stats:

Now what causes that? Does poverty make someone a murderer? Is murderer a genetic trait? Is it certain cultures that breed murderers? Is it just lack of intelligence, IQ? Is it too much testosterone? Is it having nothing to lose? Is it all interrelated and self-feeding? Is it all just the ego script? That kind of stuff is too politically incorrect to even talk about, especially for the left. That's a problem for legitimate debate. And it's a problem when making accurate comparisons.

When you compare the gun homicide rate in the U.S. versus the number of guns per person, it is fairly impressive how non-murderous Americans are with guns. Depending on the estimate you look at, there are about 1.12 guns per person in the United States. There are around 3.6 gun murders per 100,000 per year. That's 3.6 murders for every 112,000 guns. Canada is even more impressive and less murderous with guns than the United States. In Canada, the gun murder rate is 0.38 gun murders per 100,000 per year and 0.3 guns per person. That's 1.26 gun murders for every 100,000 guns. But Canadians murder less than Americans anyway at 1.68 per 100,000 versus 4.88 in the United States. Yet, Canadians are mostly white followed by Asian. Therefore, a more accurate comparison would be the murder rate of white Americans, which is only 2.6 per 100,000. Still worse than Canada but not that much worse. And Canadians actually prefer murder by gun more than Americans.

Perhaps the white murder rate in the U.S. would go down to something like 1 murder per 100,000 if guns were eliminated. But maybe white Americans for whatever reason are just a bit more murderous than whites in a place like Ireland, which has very few guns and a 1.2 per 100,000 murder rate. A 2.6 murder rate per 100,000 versus something like 1.2 is a statistical difference so small that it is extremely debatable if taking away gun rights would be worth it even if it were undeniably known to be true that fewer guns equal fewer murders. And if you cherry pick states with gun friendly populations like New Hampshire, Vermont, North Dakota, Minnesota, Utah, Maine, Oregon, and Arizona, the homicide rate is approximately 1.6 per 100,000. That's even more negligible. Plus, it's hard to say all the crime that is prevented by guns in the hands of citizens. Perhaps it's all just a zero sum game in the big picture since form doesn't change the content in the collective mind.

In Honduras, there are only 0.062 guns per person, yet around 66 people per 100,000 are murdered by gun a year. If the balance of gun ownership were more equal in Honduras would there be less murders? In Japan there are only 0.006 guns per person and next to no gun murders, only suicides. But the Japanese aren't very murderous in general at only 0.31 per 100,000. So, I'd venture to say that even if there were 1 gun per person in Japan there would still be few murders. Yet, even if you compare Japan to Honduras, the difference in your chance of being murdered in either country is extremely low to still low. So, even in the worst places the murder rate isn't that bad.

But anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that murderous people murder and non murderous people don't and it is hard to say how correlated murder is with gun availability; yet murderous people do seem to prefer using guns when convenient. After all, guns have a kind of dramatic Hollywood appeal to them for any crazy person with fantasies of going down in flames. Nonetheless, say guns were completely outlawed in the United States and yet there were still plenty of suicidal mass murderers. Would there then be an epidemic of cyanide Kool-Aid poisonings or trucks driven into crowds instead? I'd venture to say there would be. Because if the unconscious guilt is there, it is going to find a way to come out in one form or another to sustain the ego's back and forth victims victimizers script. The script is written. In a world of forgivers everyone could have a gun or even a nuclear bomb and there would be no problem. This is not a world of forgivers though. This is a world of guilt projectors that rarely but sometimes take that guilt projection to the level of murder.

I can see how people who project guilt on guns and gun owners would want to see guns gone. But I can also see how people who don't project guilt on guns and instead only project guilt on how guns are used would want them unrestricted. I don't personally care about things like guns, drugs, prostitution, and so on, but I'd personally rather live in a society where all that kind of stuff is legal instead of criminal. Making stuff illegal makes criminality, and criminals don't let laws get in their way. The way I see it, if I want safety I'd rather the sanctuary of safety be of my own making, not a gilded, expensive prison set up by a well armed government. But that's just me and unlike people who believe in government, I don't believe in forcing my preferences on others.

It is worth noting that women murder way less than men, including by gun. And yeah, I know from the preaching by the left that stats like that are sexist seeing as there are zero differences between men and women lol. But since that is a positive stat for women, the left might let me off the hook for using it lol. But anyway, I've often thought an interesting compromise on the second amendment would be to propose that only women could have guns lol. Then women would be responsible if bad men got a hold of guns. I trust individual women regulating guns way more than I trust government. But regardless, good luck disarming anyone already well armed. That's the advantage of being armed to begin with and why I don't see much probable change with guns in the U.S. until the country is ready to start breaking apart. Consequently, instead of bitching and guilt projecting about guns I've just learned to accept them as part of America. Guns are just the American way and not a good place to be for gun haters.

Overall, if A Course in Miracles and forgiving is more important to you than political guilt projection, then guns are not an issue one way or the other. What will be will be based on what's in the minds of the people. You can work hard to change the form but it's mostly a waste of time because that doesn't change the content. The closest thing to politics in A Course in Miracles is the mention of the Golden Rule. That should tell you something. Politics and political debate is reflective of duality and separation. In this dualistic universe, taking sides is just part of the separation game, which is a losing game. Ego wants people to take sides. Spirit knows there's no point because every side is wrong. Ultimate truth has no side. The gun debate in terms of A Course in Miracles is a debate between people who want to protect bodies by eliminating guns and people who want to protect bodies by having guns. Seeing as eliminating guns would itself require guns (government force) it all comes back to defenses doing what they would defend against. That's the ego way and there's no real winning except by quitting the game through forgiveness.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Forgiving Being the News: My Report from the Eye of Hurricane Irma

Florida and hurricanes go hand in hand. Sometimes many years go by where Florida has no hurricane action (like 2006-2016) and sometimes years go by where Florida is under constant threat by hurricanes (like 2004-2005). Living in Florida for much of my life, I've seen so many storms that I can't keep track of them all. Nonetheless, there have been three storms that have stood out from the rest: Andrew in 1992, Wilma in 2005, and Irma in 2017.

Andrew was a close call but went far enough south to spare my area from the worst of the storm. Wilma was a direct hit. And Irma was a direct hit. Out of all three, Irma did the most damage.

In the movie Fight Club there is a great line: "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero."

As I sat with the electricity knocked out listening to the howling winds of Irma 9/10/2017, I kept on thinking about that line from Fight Club. On a long enough timeline, every structure in Florida will be rendered uninhabitable by a hurricane, especially structures near the coast. My family's home has stood since 1988 and has weathered three major hurricanes. But eventually a hurricane will come along that makes the house unlivable. When that inevitably happens though is unpredictable. It might take hundreds or thousands of years. And how exactly it happens is also unpredictable. It could happen due to 185 mph winds, or a massive storm surge from a storm approaching at just the right angle, or heavy rain leading to flooding (like Harvey and Houston), or even a tornado in an outer squall of a hurricane.

All in all, for many people, the perks of Florida outweigh the inevitable occasional hurricane. Although it can be oppressively hot any time of year in Florida, winters are usually quite nice. Plus, in the summer, it can get just as hot if not much hotter just about anywhere in the U.S. as it can in Florida. And the nice thing about Florida summers is that a thunderstorm will often cool things down. With air conditioning and mosquito control, Florida is a relatively nice place to live. Without those things though, it's only nice in the winter.

Every place comes with risks of natural disasters. Whether it be earthquake, tornado, blizzard, fire, volcano, flood, drought, lightning, hail, coastal flooding, tsunami, avalanche, mud slide, sink hole, asteroid, hurricane... on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone and everything drops to zero. That's just the nature of entropy and the universe. The universe wasn't made to work.

Monday 9/04/2017 I sent an email out to my immediate family members that said: "The GFS model has us all basically dead by next Monday 9/11." I also told Mike Lemieux that he might want to rethink his Florida visit scheduled to start at the end of the week. The GFS model had an 895 mb pressure hurricane hitting our area. Fortunately, the GFS model got the intensity wrong a week in advance but it had the point of landfall pegged perfectly. I knew no matter what, the storm would likely get close enough to knock out power, so at the very least I made plans to lose power. The models fluctuated throughout the week, but by the end of the week hope of avoiding Irma was dwindling. Consequently, for the first time ever we boarded up the windows of the house.

Good news came Friday as Irma interacted with Cuba weakening its southern half. But by Sunday morning Irma was looking too healthy for comfort as it slammed the Florida Keys. At that point, a direct hit was looking better than Irma staying offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Staying offshore meant that Irma could strengthen and make for massive storm surge. The storm surge potential was high enough that it could have flooded the house. Wind was better than flood.

By the time the power went out at 11 am Sunday 9/10, it was clear that a direct hit was the most likely scenario. At that point, all communication with the outside world ceased to work except for the radio. At 3:30 pm the radio let me know Irma was coming on shore at Marco Island, just twelve miles to the south of me. Things started getting more and more intense from that point on. The winds got even stronger and the rains got even heavier. Trees were falling and breaking left and right.

I figured the worst of the storm, the eye wall, would last about 15 minutes, but the storm wasn't moving very fast and after 35 minutes I started getting worried. My worry came from watching the water in the back of the house and in the front of the house rise higher and higher. A bit of storm surge combined with over six inches of rain in a little over an hour on top of the five inches that had fallen since Saturday evening on top of a very wet summer had me scrambling to get anything valuable off the floor. The radio wasn't providing the best information and I started to wonder if maybe the storm was stalling or the storm surge was building.

Just as the water reached heights I hadn't seen since tropical storm Jerry in 1995, the rain stopped and the winds started to calm. Within minutes, I was in the eye of Irma. So, I went outside to take a look around. The neighborhood looked eerily different due to the walloping the trees took. I felt as if I had time traveled. In the eye, my home weather station recorded a low pressure of 938 mb.

The house lost some shingles, some screens, and some vegetation but nothing too bad. Since Cuba weakened the southern half of Irma, I knew the worst was over. The back end of Irma brought strong winds from the opposite direction. But without much rain on the south end, there was little to bring the strongest winds down to ground level.

The hurricane was actually the fun part lol. What followed was five days of hot, muggy, isolated misery. With no power or internet/phone, the most entertaining thing to do was go walk around looking at storm damage, which led to some interesting holy encounters. With much of the region without power, looking at the stars at night was also entertaining. I had never seen the actual Milky Way band across the sky until Monday 9/11/2017.

Trump, Pence, and the governor visited a neighborhood of wrecked manufactured homes (real homes mostly fared fine) a mile from my neighborhood the Thursday after the storm 9/14. I would have taken a walk over there to check things out if I had known exactly what was going on with the presidential visit, but relying solely on the radio I wasn't informed in time to do that.

It took five days for power to come back on (six for internet/phone) and we were relatively lucky. There are still a lot of homes and businesses without power as I write this well over a week later after the storm.

I've already forgiven hurricanes in the sense that I've accepted them as an inevitable part of Florida. But there are things about hurricanes I haven't quite forgiven. One thing I realized I haven't quite forgiven is the financial vulnerability of having so much wealth tied up in "stuff" vulnerable to being destroyed by natural disasters. Just the food wasted by having no freezer for five days was financially annoying. Hurricanes are actually quite fun when you don't have anything to lose lol. When you have stuff to lose though, they are stressful. Irma made me realize just how much I'd prefer not to own anything other than money to buy the day to day necessities of life.

Another thing that I've noticed that I haven't quite forgiven about hurricanes is something I haven't thought much about for the last twelve years due to the lack of hurricanes; that something is the global-warming-CO2-hurricane-link-guilt-trip lol. In the old days people used to project guilt about weather by attributing it to things like an angry god, now it's human caused CO2. Can't there be anything in life without guilt projection lol? I've had a lifelong interest in weather and my younger brother even became a PhD atmospheric scientist. So, when it comes to a subject like global warming I'm interested in the truth divorced from the hyperbole of guilt projecting political agendas. When it comes to hurricanes, it's just as ignorant to attribute any given hurricane or hurricane season to CO2 global warming as it is to attribute a colder than average day or winter as evidence of no global warming. When you consider that there is only about 40 years of good data about hurricanes and about 100 years of decent data on land falling ones, hyperbolic talk like "worst ever" falls hollow on the ears of a person exercising rational thought. Serious people don't say things like that. Political guilt projecting zombies do though lol. 

When these charts show a clear uptrend I'll be perfectly willing to accept a link between hurricanes and CO2. Until then though, it's all just guilt projection fantasies by people looking to be proven right. How can it be that global warming made Harvey move slow, Nate move fast, eliminated wind shear to incubate Irma and Maria and then also during the prior twelve years global warming kept major hurricanes away from the United States? Also, why is it that when it's hotter than normal that's global warming and when it's colder than normal that's also global warming but called climate change? That CO2 must be some really magical stuff! I believe in psychic ability but not cold reading, just as I believe in the ability of CO2 to influence climate but am unimpressed by vague predictions bound to be right eventually regardless of actual cause. Forgive me if I need more evidence for things than confirmation of predictions vague and universal enough to amount to psychic cold reading lol.

Anyway, I already wrote a piece on forgiving global warming and it's the delusion that politics (government force) is any sort of solution to it that consistently disturbs me most about global warming. Realistically, I have zero respect for anyone's concerns over global warming who isn't actively working on inventing new clean energy or air cleaning technology that is good enough to not have to rely on the force of government (including patents) for people to accept and use it. That's just the reality. I'm personally not working on new energy, which goes to show I don't really care lol. I'm not the kind of guy impressed by shallow guilt projection lol. I'm impressed by results. That's why I have zero respect for all politics lol. If you believe CO2 is a big problem, do something authentic about it instead of just bitching and guilt projecting that politicians won't, as if they really could anyway. Politics is the hobby of lazy guilt projectors. People who actually care about solutions just go out and pursue them privately and try to work around the stifling force of politics. 

Permanence is a frustrating thing to aim for in this universe. Permanence in this universe requires dependence on the undependable. Permanence is a futile attempt to substitute oneness. What we all really want is oneness. And oneness isn't of this universe. On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone and everything in this universe drops to zero. Therefore, save yourself the aggravation of trying to make what was made not to work work. The physical world doesn't work, but fortunately spirit does.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Forgiving Suicide by Hate

According to ACIM, anger is never justified, period. A Course in Miracles is uncompromising in its consistency. And so, to remain consistent, ACIM makes many things clear that go completely against the ego logic of the world.

In the ego logic of the world, anger is justified given the right conditions. But that's just an ego deception. Anger is an expression of hate. And according to ACIM, hate is ultimately self-hate. Projecting hate onto what is seemingly "other" makes hate seem external rather than internal. But that is just yet another ego trick. Hate is in the eye of the beholder and nowhere else. And since hate is in the eye of the beholder, hate seems like a virtue to the beholder because the hate is deemed just.

For instance, Hitler felt his hate for the Jews was virtuous. Amongst other things, Hitler attributed the loss of WWI and the hell Germany went through afterwards to Jewish forces, such as Jewish bankers. Therefore, what Hitler attempted to do was justified in his own twisted mind. Hitler wrote a story of guilt projection in his mind just like everyone does. The main difference is that Hitler took guilt projection to an extreme on the level of form that few people ever have the opportunity to take.

Since Hitler was such an extreme case of guilt projection, to this day it is deemed virtuous in societies all over the world to hate Hitler. Hating hate is just more hate though. Even loving hate is just more hate. Loving hate is forgiveness to destroy: making guilt real and pretending to overlook it. So, regardless of the twisted rationale for justifying hate and making it real, hate is a slippery slope to ruin. Hate left unchecked, is inevitably suicidal.

As a very blatant example, if you go around trying to kill people, you'll eventually get killed yourself by someone exercising self defense. In the heat of the moment, physical self preservation instincts kick in even for dedicated A Course in Miracles students.

Even though A Course in Miracles focuses on the mind, ACIM nonetheless states that there is indeed a rule for appropriate behavior in the world: the Golden Rule of "Do unto others as you'd have others do unto you." ACIM simply adds a caveat to the Golden Rule by making it clear that to properly appreciate and practice the Golden Rule requires the sanity to perceive correctly. You must be able to see the innocence in everyone and everything. And you can only do that if you accept that the world is not reality and so accept that what goes on in the world has no real consequence.

Don't kill people if you don't want to be killed by people. Don't steal from people if you don't want people to steal from you. And so it also follows, don't let thieves and murders free to thieve and murder unless you want to thieve and murder yourself. See how that works? To violate the Golden Rule is ultimately suicidal. The Golden Rule is very practical unless the goal is suicide.

Although hate doesn't usually end up in literal death, hate is always inevitably suicidal. And since hate is suicidal, hate doesn't mix with the Golden Rule. Only hate others if you would hate yourself.

Ego glorifies suicide in the form of martyrdom. Martyrdom is not heroic. Because true heroism requires success. Anyone can try to be heroic and fail. Just trying to be a hero does not make someone a hero. Anyone can attempt suicide through martyrdom.

True heroism means complete success in the sense that everyone wins. So, you cannot be a true hero unless you can save yourself first. In that sense, the most heroic act anyone can accomplish is undoing the ego. Ego is suicide. Ego preservation is suicide. Lack of ego is unending life.

If you can't save yourself, you can't save anyone else. That's why hate never puts an end to hate but instead perpetuates it. If you yourself can't stop hating, how can you condemn anyone else for hating? You can't expect anything from anyone that you can't even expect from yourself.

Hate is never justified! And hate is never a virtue. Even though the world is ultimately illusory, we still have to deal with it for as long as we perpetuate it. Dealing with the world is how we forgive and undo the ego. But if we deal with the world without forgiveness, we just perpetuate the world.

Unless suicide is the goal, hate is not an effective way to deal with the world. Hate is inherently about ego preservation. A person hell bent on ego preservation would rather be miserable, right and even dead than happy, wrong and alive.

Dealing with the world means accepting it as it is, which means accepting that it is not heaven. The world wasn't made to work. Oneness is what works, not the world. So, you have to accept that, on the level of form, even successful forgiveness can look messy.

As an example, I don't enjoy getting bit by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can be potentially deadly. That doesn't mean I hate mosquitoes, but it also doesn't mean I'm going to sit back and let mosquitoes eat me alive. Mosquitoes would happily eat me alive if I let them. If I could talk to mosquitoes I'd say leave me alone or risk being smashed to death. But I can't talk to mosquitoes, I've tried. Therefore, I instead take precautions to keep mosquitoes away. Seeing as the mosquitoes don't care if they kill or hurt me I don't care if I kill or hurt mosquitoes. But I ideally try to avoid them all together.

Now say I was of the delusion that hating killing is virtuous. And so, say I hated killing so much that I refused to even kill mosquitoes. Well, that hate for killing would set up a potentially suicidal situation. At best I'd be itching mosquito bites all the time and at worst I'd eventually receive a deadly bite. I'd rather just forgive killing and forgive myself killing mosquitoes; it's a lot easier than trying to pretend that the world is something it isn't. The world is a kill or be killed kind of place where one's own entropy is kept low and at disequilibrium from the environment by raising the entropy of the system as a whole.

I will add that it is true that with the power of your mind you could nudge the probabilities of the universe so you are mostly immune to mosquitoes. But you could also in theory use the power of your mind to do things like teleport and raise the dead. Can you do that right now? If not, it's perfectly fine to make yourself immune to mosquitoes by staying indoors, living in places without mosquito problems, wearing long sleeves, using a few sprays of "Off," smashing mosquitoes, or any of many forms of simple "magic." Don't be afraid to use "magic" when it is easy. Rejecting simple "magic" to play pretend enlightenment can be just another recipe for suicide. Don't commit suicide by way of hate of "magic."

My general sentiment on the subject of mind versus "magic" is reflected in this simple story:
A man moved near a river and, wanting to find a way to travel across the water, he spent ten years developing the ability to levitate using his mind so he could float across the river. Buddha, who was preaching in town, was confronted by this man, who said, "Look master, look what I have achieved. I can levitate across the water." And Buddha said, "Yeah, but the ferry only costs a nickel..." 
Unlike with mosquitoes, I can talk to human beings using the simple "magic" of words. And my deal with other human beings is don't try to harm me and you won't have to worry about me harming you; violate that agreement though and I'm not going to feel guilty about you choosing some variation of suicide lol. If all people were sane enough to follow the Golden Rule, humans would get along no problem because we'd just interact voluntarily. But basically no one here is completely sane. And as a group, humans aren't even sane enough to put major emphasis on the simple logic of adhering to the Golden Rule. We send kids to school to learn things like math and reading, but there's no Golden Rule classes for most kids. Nor is there a Golden Rule section on the SATs.

That's understandable though. Society as we know it would crumble if everyone understood and lived by the Golden Rule. If everyone understood and lived by the Golden Rule, everything in society that currently violates self-ownership and the non-aggression principle would naturally disappear.

Insane people can't teach sanity, nor would they want to. Insanity grows in darkness. The insane teach that problems are external not internal. And so very few people in this world, even ones that are devoted to spiritual practices, get past hate. If the hate is seen as external, then hate is safe and is even deemed virtuous.

Whether the suicidal hate comes in the form of a beheading Trump photo shoot, a racist tirade, a racist tirade in response to a racist tirade, smashing a monument, a murder, a tweet fight, shallow virtue signaling, harping over ancient history such as slavery that took place over a hundred and fifty years ago, harping over ancient history like the crusades, or a blatant suicide bombing, it is all the same. It is all an attempt to make oneself innocent by deeming someone or something else as guilty. Hate, no matter how subtle or how decorated it is in veneers of virtue, inevitably boomerangs back as self-destruction. Hate and thus guilt is nowhere but in the eye of the beholder.

To act out of hate, guilt and anger is a recipe for failure. Don't let your ego desires trick you into suicide by hate! Don't be a hate martyr loser!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Forgiving Global Warming (Climate Change)

Regardless of where you live on earth or in what country, global warming is a pertinent issue because it is global.

The establishment narrative about global warming is that carbon dioxide (CO2, the gas you are exhaling right now) released mostly through the burning of fossil fuels is warming the climate and it will have disastrous effects if not stopped and reversed very soon. Conversely, the rebuttal to that narrative is that yes CO2 levels are rising, yes human activity produces CO2 and yes there is some sort of rising temperature trend, but to conclude that all are directly correlated and that the correlation will result in global doom is premature science at best. The rebuttal to the establishment narrative about global warming comes from the skeptic scientists and the skeptics don't trust things such as current assumptions about feedback and amplification in regards to CO2.

I am not a climate scientist or any other kind of formal scientist. That makes me just like global warming evangelists such as Bill Nye, Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore lol. However, unlike those people, I'm not going to take sides and make a case for either side in the global warming debate. Instead, since the objective is to forgive global warming, I'm going to just focus on the psychological aspects of global warming and the tactics of the warring factions.

Realistically, if it wasn't for the impending global doom aspect to the theory of CO2 fueled global warming, science would not feign such certainty about the topic. But there is an impending global doom aspect to the theory of CO2 fueled global warming. And the fear that comes with impending global doom has made CO2 fueled global warming into a kind of political religion rather than a calm, honest scientific inquiry into the effects of CO2 on climate.

Deep down, the psychological appeal of the theory of catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming is no different than that of conventional religions. As the global warming mythos goes:
Long ago the climate was perfect and humans were in harmony with nature. But then humans gave into temptation and sinned. Humans ate from the tree of knowledge to usher in the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution brought great advances as humans continued to eat from the tree of knowledge. But it all came at a cost: humans unleashed the devil in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2). Now, the devil of CO2 has taken over the world and is thus contributing to every bad and anomalous thing on earth. The earth is doomed to flood and become literal hell unless humans repent. Fortunately, there is a plan for salvation. In order to be saved from the hell of a heating earth, humans must first accept the blood of the warming earth and repent for the sin of CO2 emissions. Humans must then submit to and support the higher authority of a Global Governing Body who will tax and regulate CO2. By sacrificing money through taxation and sacrificing freedom through regulation, the sins of CO2 will be forgiven. 

As ridiculous as it is in its similarity to common religious beliefs, that is the current global warming mythos believed and promoted by devotees. And skeptics are the heretics that dare question any parts of that mythos.

Like a religion, the heretic scientists that vocally question CO2 fueled global warming alarmism become ostracized. For that reason, the scientists who most vocally question CO2 fueled global warming tend to be older tenured or retired scientists. My personal favorites from the skeptic crowd are former warmist Dr. Judith Curry, the now late hurricane forecasting pioneer Dr. William Gray, and climate scientist Dr. John Christy. You have to search out the skeptics to hear their side of the story because the establishment media (other than maybe Fox News Channel in the U.S.) only pushes the warmist side of the argument. Consequently, just about everyone gets exposed to the CO2 warming side but only those who look for it ever find the skeptic side.

As I mentioned in the post I wrote titled Forgiving Debate, the basic logic fallacies of ad hominem and straw man are ample in the back and forth between the warming promoters and skeptics. One would think that with such certainty the warming promoters could directly address the skeptics on every point without resorting to ad hominem and straw man attacks, but that is not the case at all. Dilbert comic creator Scott Adams has been on a mission of late to improve climate debate. Scott Adams has been using his powers of persuasion to nudge climate scientists into doing a better job of communicating their side of things. So far he's managed to get warming promoting climate scientists to debunk their own models lol.

Overall, whether by logic or logic fallacy, for just about every piece of evidence that the CO2 fueled global warming promoters have, the skeptics have a rebuttal to cast doubt. In turn, for just about every rebuttal the skeptics have to cast doubt, the CO2 fueled global warming promoters have a rebuttal to cast doubt on the rebuttal. And it just goes back and forth. Just research the often touted 97 percent scientific consensus on global warming sometime and you'll see the warmists defending the stat to the death while you'll see the skeptics poking an endless number of holes in the stat thus reducing it to having about as much meaning as saying 97 percent of Catholics have some beliefs that support Catholicism. Consequently, who you end up believing will just depend on who you want to believe. And that same back and forth plays out on every level of global warming science.

As an example, the climate models attempting to model what effects CO2 should have on warming have consistently given forecasts predicting much higher warming than what has been observed. And that is despite constant tweaking to hindsight model the past. That gives fuel to the skeptics. But there are enough models that some get it right from time to time and so those models are put forth by warming evangelists to tout the accuracy of the science behind the models.

As another example, there are a lot of different historical temperature and atmospheric CO2 data sets. A particularly popular data set is one that shows the correlation between higher atmospheric CO2 and higher temperatures from Antarctica over the course of 400,000 years. Warmists point to that data set as undeniable evidence for CO2 causing warming.

The skeptics argue though that higher temperatures cause trapped CO2 to be released, like a glass of 7-UP losing carbonation as it warms. Consequently, rising CO2 levels are an effect and not a cause of warming. Instead, the skeptics like to refer to a 600 million year data set that shows no reliable correlation between temperature and atmospheric CO2.

Furthermore, some temperature and atmospheric CO2 data sets present a vastly different picture of the past than others. Consequently, each side latches onto data sets supporting their own stances while dismissing data sets that don't.

That's part of the problem with inferring from data sets. All the historical global data sets are at best made of dispersed samples processed by humans. Even most data sets of current global temperatures rely on dispersed samples processed by humans. Like it or not, there is a margin of error to all data sets and the degree of that margin is open to debate. That margin of error leaves room for doubt for people looking for it. And when headlines read things like "2016 Hottest Year on Record" based on dispersed temperature data that beat by 0.01 degree with a margin of error of at least 0.1, skepticism is a logical response. (Here is a good but somewhat old presentation looking at the margin of error in collecting temperature data.)

The favored global temperature measurement system of the global warming skeptics comes from satellites measuring temperatures of the lower troposphere, which is where the global warming should be most evident. Although satellites have only been collecting global data since 1979 and the methodology has had some issues that have been tweaked over the years, the broadness of the measurements made possible by the satellites has resulted in some arguably superior data. According to the satellite data, the 13 month running average difference between the coldest years globally of 85 and 92 versus the hottest years of 98 and 16 (both El Nino induced) is a mere 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 Fahrenheit). If the satellite data temperatures are ever to drop down to 85 or 92 levels again, that will be at least a big temporary blow to the CO2 warming case. So far that hasn't happened yet though.

Overall, those who venture to find raw data rather than processed data consistently fail to find the same global warming trend that is displayed by the processed data. As an example, these two charts below show Ohio temperature data from 1895-2016. The first chart shows the raw data. The second chart shows the NOAA processed data that cools the past to warm the present. Warped data equals warped conclusions.

But anyway, regardless of the science, it's really just psychology that separates the believers from the skeptics. And the psychology for most people is shaped by politics. Once someone takes a stance one way or the other on the issue of global warming, confirmation bias sets in. Confirmation bias helps a person feel vindicated. A sense of vindication is important because being right allows a person to project guilt on those who are seemingly wrong. Once confirmation bias sets in, people see what they want to believe. So a drought, a hurricane, tidal flooding, or a chunk of melting ice becomes construed in the mind of a warmist as evidence for global warming. Conversely, a cold snap, newly frozen ice, or a quiet hurricane season becomes construed in the mind of a skeptic as evidence for lack of global warming. And someone looking for climate change instead of just global warming can see evidence for changing climate whenever anything is above or below average, which is most of the time since averages are generally the average of extremes one way or the other.

Most people, regardless of politics, are anti-pollution. Pollution is a simple property rights issue that arises from socializing pollution rather than requiring containing pollution to one's own property. Seeing as CO2 is what we exhale when we breathe, it's a stretch for many people to see it as a legitimate pollutant. But even if CO2 were a legitimate pollutant, almost all people would be happy to do away with it if there was a convenient alternative. But there currently isn't a convenient alternative (?). And that is the main source of contention in the global warming issue.

What drives resistance to the theory of CO2 fueled global warming more than anything is the currently proposed solution, which is political. The currently proposed solution is a global government gun in everyone's face that says stop producing CO2 or pay. That's not a solution, that's a recipe for a scam. And it's doubly a recipe for a scam since not every country or group would concede to that gun in the face without putting up a fight and thus a war. And if you've read my previous piece on the free-range debt-slave plantation you should be able to see how convenient such a solution would be to making the debt-slave scam more globally centralized.

A real solution would be something like a new clean energy source that is as good or better at producing energy relative to cost as fossil fuels. Such a solution would be naturally and voluntarily accepted. Another solution would be some sort of cheap, efficient air scrubber that removes CO2 from the atmosphere.

Forecasts about what could happen to human society due to global warming and how humans should react require economic models. Economic models have notoriously horrible predictive power. Economic models are so bad they are often worse than no model lol. So, even if the theory of CO2 fueled global warming is correct, without a real global solution there are a lot of cases to be made for inaction. One such case is the fact that more CO2 and warmer temperatures has benefits and not just negatives. For instance, it's much easier to grow plants in a warm CO2 rich world than a cold CO2 starved world. Plus, who is to say what the ideal climate is? The current default assumption is that the climate of the 20th century was the ideal climate.

And who's to say humanity doesn't face bigger more pressing problems than theoretical effects of CO2? Is bringing the third world out of poverty through cheap fossil fuel energy of more value than reducing CO2? Depends on who you ask. Last time I checked, most beachfront property still costs at least a small fortune, so the market obviously isn't too concerned about CO2 induced sea level rise anytime soon... nor is it worried about increased or stronger hurricanes.

My personal prediction and hope is that real solutions, such as in the form of new, better, cheaper energy sources will come to market steadily enough to stop and even reverse human produced CO2 regardless of how potentially dangerous it is to climate. Conversely, my fear is that people will become so hysterical about CO2 that a solution will be implemented that will impoverish people, enslave people, facilitate centralized global tyranny, or will simply over-adjust climate in the opposite direction and usher in destructive cooling.

If you really believe in catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming, forgive it by looking for a real solution, not by projecting guilt on those who don't share in your fears or forceful solutions. You're kind of being a cold tyrant if you can't empathize with people who don't trust solutions that just involve a gun in people's faces. A real solution won't require force and therefore won't require political action. Therefore, you won't have to worry about those who don't share your fears if you have a legit solution. A problem without a legit solution is just a recipe for guilt projection. And if you don't want to look for a real solution, just forgive yourself by admitting that you really don't care about global warming, you just like guilt projection lol.

Conversely, if you don't believe in catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming, forgive it by not projecting guilt on those who believe it, who are fearful, who think force is a solution, who hate fossil fuels despite using them, or who think they are saving humanity by simply holding onto a belief. And just in case your disbelief is incorrect, embrace any legitimate solutions proposed; you can still resist false solutions just not legitimate solutions. And if your disbelief in catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming is because you own an oil well or something, forgive by not resisting a legitimate replacement for the CO2 producing energy from which you profit.

It's all about being honest and getting out of the guilt projection trap. You can sit there and pretend to forgive all you want, but often you won't forgive until you're willing to sit down and rewrite the story in your mind that you wrote to justify your guilt projection.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Forgiving The Free-Range Debt-Slave Plantation Scam (The Tax/Debt/Money/Inflation Scam)

Although the news pretty much never covers this subject at all, it covers its symptoms constantly. Much of the whole world is set up as a free-range debt-slave plantation; it's basically the biggest scam going. Since this is a big, complex subject, you'll have to watch the hour and forty five minute video presentation at the end of this post (made in 2010) to get up-to-speed on the debt-slave plantation scam. The guy who made the video, Damon Vrabel, was vocal about exposing this whole scam several years ago. But after spending a few years at it, he gave up due to seeing no hope for snapping the populace out of its left vs. right stupor. So he disappeared from the web to forgive it all on his own. I came to the same conclusion as Damon Vrabel after being interested in this subject for a number of years. I wrote a book about the subject in 2008, Dissolving Dollars.

The basic formula of the free-range debt-slave system is that all money in the system is issued as debt plus interest. To pay the interest on the debt requires evermore debt. If all debt in the system were paid off one day, all money would cease to exist since it was borrowed into existence. Since governments are the only entities that never pay off debt and instead only grow it, national debts represent the base money supply of the system. This all sets up a pyramid scheme where real wealth created by the many on the bottom is siphoned off by those higher in the pyramid who are able to issue debt and collect interest on it. Money doesn't have to exist as debt but it makes for a great scam when it is.

In the U.S., the establishment Democrat and Republican parties both exist to keep the debt-slave plantation running. And each party has its own sleight of hand to keep the slaves focused on symptoms of the scam rather than the scam itself. The left portrays things like corporations, big business, and profit as the problem while the right portrays things like socialism and big government as the problem. That sleight of hand keeps the left and right fighting each other in a zombie stupor over symptoms of the scam instead of joining teams to tackle the scam itself. And so it is all a back and forth treating symptoms to keep the cause safely hidden. In the end, the battle between left and right is simply a battle between who pays more and who pays less to keep the scam going and sustainable; socialism (big government) works just as well as capitalism (big business) to keep the scam going. As long as at least half the slaves are sufficiently content at any given time, the system is safe.

Take a look at this pyramid. This summarizes the whole system. See how the incessant fighting between the left and the right just serves variations of the same one scam?

Although true forgiveness isn't an intellectual thing, it is often helpful to be knowledgeable about what you are forgiving. Without knowledge, you're likely to project guilt onto symptoms rather than causes. And so you'll try to fix the symptoms instead of the causes. No amount of forgiving solves anything if the solution requires letting go of the guilt that keeps you ignorant of the cause. The ultimate cause is mind of course. And since the world is a derivative of mind the problems of the world born of being unaware of worldly causes just represent the denial of accepting mind as the ultimate cause. When you know the cause of a problem you know the solution and so it is no longer a problem to be solved just resolved.

So, the whole point of urging everyone to sit down and really soak in the content of the video at the end of this post is so you can stop projecting guilt on symptoms and instead get to causes. Because it is easier to forgive a cause than chasing countless symptoms as separate things to forgive. Once you are cognizant enough to see the worldly cause, you can more easily bring it back to the ultimate cause: mind.

You should find it interesting how often Trump is mentioned in this 2010 video presentation. Even though Trump as a personality is the perfect face upon which to project the guilt of the system, his rhetoric is often a challenge to key aspects of the debt-slave plantation. The Democrats, Republican establishment (Neocons), and establishment media loath Trump. For as long as Trump lasts as president, how critically he is portrayed will be a barometer measuring how much he is caving in to the elite power structure (deep state) or instead threatening to disrupt it. The highest point in the media for Trump so far was when he bombed Syria, which pleased the power elite. And interestingly, the whole attempt to vilify Trump due to his friendliness with Russia is perfectly transparent when you understand the system. At the 1:03:00 mark of this presentation, it talks about how the different countries fit into the whole debt scam and how Russia is the big outlier that has tried to remain separate from the global scam. Also worth noting is that at the 1:21:00 mark, Bitcoin would be mentioned if the presentation were made today. Bitcoin and crypto-currencies are a non-political attempt at a solution for destroying the debt-slave plantation. And when the video mentions Hamilton versus Jefferson, especially at around the 1:30:00 mark, think about the recent weird popularity of the musical Hamilton contrasted with the recent constant vilification of Jefferson. It's embarrassing to see how manipulated people are by their left/right identifications into being puppets of the system. Left vs. right is a trick, the real option is between bigger more centralized control or smaller more decentralized freedom. The more centralized the control, the more force and the easier it is to maintain the debt-slave plantation scam.

Lots of news becomes a lot easier to forgive if you have the background explained in this video under your belt. So, stuff I cover in the future will refer back to this. To me, I forgive all this fairly easily by realizing that the system as a whole exploits people's egos. Even most people high in the pyramid don't really understand the structure. The structure is relatively automatic due to how well it caters to and exploits people's egos. So I see no difference between the lowly dupes that blindly sustain the system and those who run the system. Because the same ego dynamic is working on all levels. Yes, the system could change if people woke up but I'm personally not going to bang my head against the wall trying to wake people up. As long as force is acceptable to people in society, especially in the form of government, some people are going to exploit that force to set up scams.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Forgiving U.S. Healthcare

I live in the United States, so this will be America-centric and based on forgiving the current U.S. healthcare system. But there are people everywhere with healthcare related forgiveness lessons who will be able to find value in this post.

There are two primary camps when it comes to healthcare; there is a camp that thinks everyone should have access to healthcare and an imaginary camp that doesn't. The camp that doesn't is perceived as whoever opposes one's own pet vision of healthcare for all. That's a fact I've come to realize after studying healthcare ideas all throughout the political and economic spectrum.

Within the non-imaginary camp (the everyone should have access to healthcare camp), there are two main sub-camps; one camp focuses on mixing government with healthcare and the other eliminating government from healthcare. In other words, one camp wants force involved with healthcare, the other no force at all. The majority of people envision healthcare as requiring force and basically all proposed healthcare solutions and systems around the world currently involve government force.

No force healthcare would be totally devoid of government; there wouldn't even be such a thing as a medical license. Doctors would have to come up with ways to prove their competence on their own or through private third parties. And patients would have to come up with ways to assess doctor competence on their own or through private third parties. No force means no theft or fraud. So doctors couldn't lie about their competence anymore than patients could steal a doctor's labor. This would be a hypothetical true free-market healthcare system. Advocates of such a system would consider it healthcare for all because the competition would be so great that it would facilitate realistic price discovery and thus be so cheap as to be affordable to all, especially with private charity inevitably involved. This system would be the default system if everyone in the world was sane lol. Sanity would mean no force, no one with the forceful notion of something for nothing, and so no problems other than the fact that healthcare isn't foolproof and sometimes healthcare can't starve off death. And, of course, sane people would accept that. (Now, since I'm speaking to an A Course in Miracles audience I will of course point out that true sanity would preclude the need for healthcare at all, but that'd also preclude the entire universe.)

Force in healthcare comes in countless forms. Look around and you can see all kinds of examples of force in healthcare. Overall, force in healthcare just about always comes with an added price; either the patient pays the price, the provider pays the price, a third party pays the price, or a combination. The price can come in the form of money, reduced freedom, reduced quality, et cetera. But regardless of form there is essentially always a price.

The most expensive system is a system where a patient is forced to pay an exorbitant price. But such a system would come with such revolt that it wouldn't really be possible. Instead, the current U.S.A. system is an example of just about the most expensive system realistically possible. If the Obamacare mandate were fully enforceable, it would be even closer to the most expensive system realistically possible. But since some people can still jump through a few hoops to opt out and not participate in the system, it's slightly less expensive as a whole than it could be.

There are so many forms of force that make the current U.S.A. system so expensive it is mindboggling. For example, the profit margins of health insurers are capped to a certain percentage. Sounds good to the average person bad at math and logic, like the average voter and politician. But it is very problematic. That's because by limiting the profit margin, insurer profits instead increase as the price of healthcare increases. The healthcare providers like that and, to work around the profit cap, so do the insurers. And the average dupe customer is none the wiser and pleased that insurer profit margins are limited.

As another example of force, think about drug costs and availability. It takes force to make a drug expensive. Because without force, there is price competition and usually abundance. Even the cost to develop a drug is a cost that mostly comes from force (such as FDA approval requirements). Also, trade restrictions that make it illegal to go to another country to buy and bring home a drug is a form of force. Most drugs can be found much cheaper elsewhere in the world.

And think about this, only a grade A sucker buys insurance to pay for an event that has one hundred percent certainty. So, when insurance covers things like drugs people take all the time and yearly checkups, the dupe consumers think that is a perk. But really, within their premiums they are paying the price of the drug or doctor visit plus the insurer profit and a whole lot more. In other words, it'd have been cheaper to pay out of pocket to see the doctor or buy the drug. But since the doctor or drug seller often gives a much cheaper price to the insurer than to patients directly, that's a form of racketeering that gives insurance an unfair advantage. It is a form of racketeering allowed to occur in the current U.S. system, even though it is supposed to be illegal.

Pre-existing conditions are another form of one hundred percent certain events. Unless the condition can be cured without medical care (such as in most common cases of type II diabetes with proper dietary changes), the condition is a certainty. Forcing for-profit insurers to insure one hundred percent certain events adds the cost of the insurer's profit on top of the cost of the event, which is then socialized to all the healthy dupes paying for insurance. Insurance doesn't work unless it is purchased before the event. Insurance is socialistic by its nature but it is supposed to socialize possible risks not certainties. Insuring pre-existing conditions is just for-profit socialism, which is just a more expensive form of socialism.

So the next less expensive thing than the current U.S. system would be some variation of Medicare for all. That would basically be non-profit insurance funded by taxes that covers everyone regardless. But it would only be non-profit in theory since the bureaucrats running the system would have lots of room to profit through lucrative employment. Because really, a non-profit is just a for-profit that pays all its profits out as salary. A true non-profit has no costs because resources and labor are donated for free. Also, if insurance were merely socialized, there would still be constant pressure from the medical industry lobbying to bilk the taxpayers out of as much money as possible. And we can know that would be the case unless something else happened first. That something is the enforcement of century old law: 15 U.S. Code Chapter 1 - MONOPOLIES AND COMBINATIONS IN RESTRAINT OF TRADE, A.K.A.  The Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman acts.

As a warning to all American citizens reading this, by telling you about 15 U.S. Code Chapter 1, I'm going to be red-pilling you. If you still identify with the Democrat gang or Republican gang after I tell you this I'm afraid you might be hopeless...a whipped dog lol.  15 U.S. Code Chapter 1 is law that already exists and has for a long time, but for some strange, unspoken reason it is not enforced in regards to the healthcare industry. The reason it isn't enforced is because neither the Democrat gang nor Republican gang wants to enforce it. Enforcing the law would see healthcare prices collapse 80-90% or more and lead to a quick but deep recession as the healthcare industry was forced to shrink, decriminalize itself, and become a legitimate competitive business with transparent competitive prices and no artificial trade restraints.

All it would take to implement this health care fix is an executive order announcing a sixty day notice saying that after sixty days the U.S. government is going to start enforcing 15 U.S. Code Chapter 1 on the healthcare industry and that anyone in violation of the law after that time will be prosecuted.

Obama could have made such an executive order and didn't; Trump could too but hasn't. Not only that, the left and right echo chambers try hard NOT to let the American public know that such a simple thing is even an option. It's mostly only discussed in libertarian circles. Yet, even the formal Libertarian party ignores it.

Other than political puppets and people who work in the healthcare industry and capitalize off the fraud, all people with at least half a brain "left" or "right" would rally behind the enforcement of 15 U.S. Code Chapter 1 if people knew about it, understood it, and realized it already exists. But they don't. And that tells you something: that the media and the politicians left and right are likely either incompetent or in on the fraud.

The two party snow job keeps the people ignorant, stuck and preoccupied in the brain-dead, hate-filled, emotion-driven, status-quo-maintaining battle of team Dem vs. team Rep. Just think of the pressure the Dems could put on Trump by promoting the enforcement of U.S. Code 15 Chapter 1. But Dems don't because they are frauds and don't want it and don't want to reveal that Obama could have done so himself. Instead, the Dems and Reps just fight over who should pay to keep the scam going and who shouldn't, all the while blaming the other side for inaction on changing the scam itself.

If healthcare got cheap, people would stop caring so much about socialized medicine. Thus, the Dems would lose the socialized healthcare carrot they like to dangle. And the Reps would lose the we want a freer-market but not really free-market in healthcare carrot they like to dangle.

The healthcare racket is an example of why The Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman acts should even be law to begin with. Government can and does allow criminal practices that a free-market couldn't. A free-market monopoly is a business so good that everyone loves it or so good that it leaves no other better choice. Otherwise, a monopoly is a result of force and the thing about force is that it's illegal unless the government allows it.

There are some things that are monopolistic by nature. For instance, the shortest distance on land between point A and point B is a natural monopoly. Therefore, if you own that land you have a monopoly. But, if you take advantage of that monopoly people will look for alternatives. The fact is that monopolies are mostly a phantom, but they do become real when the government facilitates them. In that sense, monopolies tend to be franchise monopolies which are government granted.

Living in a town with one doctor or even one hospital wouldn't really be a monopoly, just a geographic convenience. But living in a country dominated by a single medical racket is monopolistic.

U.S. healthcare is monopolistic due to government facilitated force. And while there are people and groups that try to provide healthcare outside the monopoly as best they can, like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, for most people it is easier and more lucrative to be part of the monopolistic system. In a system where, for example, patients can sue doctors and hospitals for ungodly sums of money and juries actually reward such ungodly sums, that's a kind of cost that must be paid for by someone and monopolistic practices make it easier to recoup those costs. In a system where developing a drug or treatment requires a long, expensive FDA approval process, monopolistic practices make it easier to recoup those costs. In a system where no one who shows up in an emergency room can be denied medical treatment, monopolistic practices make it easier to recoup those costs.

Get the point? Force comes with costs!

Now, considering all I just explained, we can get to the main question at hand: how to forgive healthcare? Forgiving healthcare, like forgiving anything else, requires getting out of the guilt projection trap. Because when you are in the guilt projection trap, you aren't really looking for a solution, just a scapegoat. That's how the Democrats and Republicans survive. The Dems say that they could usher in a utopia if it wasn't for those evil Reps. And the Reps say that they could usher in a utopia if it wasn't for those evil Dems. And anything either side implements that turns out to be subpar, that side just blames on the other side for it not being a success. It's a veritable status-quo machine.

Although there are some people content with the current system for various reasons, most have issues with it. But even though most people have issues with it, most people have different ideas about how it could be fixed based on where they project the most guilt and not necessarily based on any reality about how it could actually be fixed.

The basic options available beyond the current system are a socialized system or a free-market system born of things like enforcing The Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman acts to remove government facilitated force from the system. A socialized healthcare for all system would likely at best be about half the cost of the current system based on what other first world countries that have socialized healthcare pay. And a more free-market system, if taken all the way, would be about 90%+ less than the cost of the current system. Realistically, I don't see anything close to either scenario happening. Not until healthcare bankrupts the country is anything major likely to happen. And you don't want to be sick and dependent on the system when that happens.

In the meantime, instead of just bitching and projecting guilt, you can forgive by taking matters into your own hands based on your own subjective preferences. If you want socialized medicine, you'll have to become poor, old, work for the government, make your own private socialized system, or move to another country. If you want true free-market priced healthcare, you'll have to travel to or move to a place with private healthcare and with a lower cost of living, like India. And if just freer-market priced healthcare is good enough, you'll have to travel to or move near a place like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, or make your own local place like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma. Also, you could just be healthy, not have insurance (if you can avoid the Obamacare penalty), and not participate in the medical scam at all. Or you could do the same and not be healthy and look for alternative medicine and or roll the dice and just accept the fact that everyone dies eventually.

What you shouldn't do is be an average tool who does nothing proactive and just perpetuates the status-quo by being a sucker that projects guilt based on political preferences. Instead of being a partisan tool, you could at the very least spread the word and expose the fact that neither the establishment left nor right is willing to enforce the Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman acts on healthcare; it might not work to change the political inaction but at least you'd be waking up your partisan political projection zombie friends and relatives lol.

Forgiveness doesn't mean you have to stand by passively and let yourself be scammed. If you are cognizant enough to know you are being scammed, projecting guilt won't solve anything. Instead, you have to take responsibility for letting yourself get scammed. If government is involved and you are basically being scammed at gunpoint, you still have to take responsibility; after all, most people don't hesitate to advocate forms of government force that benefit themselves. You can't complain when you're a non-aggressors on the wrong side of a gun that you yourself like to use on non-aggressors.

If you can afford being scammed and the scam is more convenient to you than alternatives, then accept that you accept it. And if you are fine with the scam because you benefit from it, you have to accept that too. Because otherwise you'll project guilt on those who want to quell the scam.

An important part of forgiveness is being honest with yourself and conceding to the fact that you might be an idiot lol who doesn't know everything and who sees things subjectively, skewed by self-interest and fear. True forgiveness is easy because you don't have to figure out every little detail to identify guilt versus innocence. Instead, you just always see innocence by realizing that you made up the guilt that appears to you in the world. You accept the fact that you chose subconsciously and often even consciously to play the victims victimizers game.

My own approach to healthcare is the same as I approach everything: forgive it and learn to do what I can to be free of it so I don't have to concern myself with it. I'd rather be a healthy person that doesn't use the healthcare system and so doesn't have to pay a cent for it than have a socialized system without price discovery and competition that I'm forced to pay for regardless of health. In that sense, I'd rather the system be cheap enough that if I did have to use it, it'd be affordable, making insurance and government socialism undesirable and unnecessary. But that's just me and I believe in live and let live. Let people be free to have the choice of whatever healthcare they do or don't want as long as they afford me the same freedom. In other words, I'm against all one-size-fits-all forced systems. And if you happen to be someone who believes in one-size-fits-all forced systems, forgive me for being against them lol.

The beauty of true forgiveness is that you can solve the problem of healthcare right now in your mind even if nothing changes externally. And with the problem solved in your mind you can take a sane, guilt-projection-free approach to solving it in your own life and even the broader world.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Forgiving Debate: Ad Hominem = You Lose!

As the first post on Forgiving the News, I want to talk about the subject of debate. Because news often leads to debate and the debate is often where the forgiveness opportunity shows itself.

As I say on page 164 of The Universe Is a Dream, debating on the internet is usually a waste of time. I usually only engage in it when I'm trying to formulate a position and thus refine an argument. Being good at forgiveness beats being good at debate. But debate is nonetheless a very useful thing. And in fact, proper debate and forgiveness actually go hand in hand. The only problem is that few people have the discipline for proper debate. 

Debate is a kind of logic competition through which one can strengthen an argument or at least discover its indefensible weaknesses. But for debate to be useful you have to be debating with people who are knowledgeable and don't slip into logical fallacies. Although there are about a dozen major logical fallacies that corrupt debate (which I list at the end of this post), ad hominem is the most problematic and pertinent to forgiveness. Therefore, ad hominem is the focus of this post. Ad hominem is when a debate turns into an attack directed against a person rather than the position the person is maintaining. Rule number one in a debate, especially an internet debate, is to end it when ad hominem starts. When ad hominem starts, it is no longer about logic and finding truth but about projecting guilt. He who resorts to ad hominem first loses the argument by default.

Ad hominem is like the equivalent of trying to build a building and basing the structural integrity of the building on painting its component parts red because red seems like a strong color lol. Ad hominem works to make it seem like an argument is taking place but it's actually an emotional appeal and not logic. I have no qualms challenging positions and beliefs when I'm willing to logically debate my position. But I know not to attack people personally, only their arguments. Because even if a person's position has some sort of flaw due to a personality trait or mental defect, the position can nonetheless be ripped apart without resorting to ad hominem. That's rule one in proper debate and also how you can debate while simultaneously practicing forgiveness (not project).

Political debate is usually almost totally ad hominem. Ad hominem manipulates people's emotions and it works because most people are way more emotional than logical. It's almost impossible for political debate to not be mostly about emotion, because politics is about who gets to control the guns (force) of government and where to aim those guns (force). If logic were running the show, everyone would point out how stupid it is that anyone at all should control the guns and be aiming those guns at anyone... other than at the kinds of jerks that aim guns and coerce people. That's how I think and that's why I'm a political atheist. So, to me most political debates are the same regardless of the political affiliation of those attempting to debate. The debate is basically: my team should control the guns and where they are aimed because my team is good and the other teams is bad. It is just mindless emotional projection and all about persuasion rather than logic.

I expect ad hominem in politics, but even science resorts to ad hominem. If you know something to be true scientifically, you are guaranteed to win any debate that doesn't resort to logical fallacy. But when the science isn't as sound as it pretends to be, ad hominem often results. For instance, science has a long history of using ad hominem on people who point to quantum mechanics to argue against physical realism.

Another example of an area where science often resorts to ad hominem is anthropogenic global warming. In case you haven't heard, the science on anthropogenic global warming is settled, it's real, it's a big problem, and those who think differently should be at the "Hague with all the other war criminals." With such a strong position, you'd think science could mop the floor in a debate with any dissenting scientist or anyone else. Well, the reality is that science currently can't, but it can politicize the science and resort to ad hominem (and other logic fallacies) to shut up dissent. The most common ad hominem is that warming dissenters are just in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry. And the most common ad hominem rebuttal is that most regular scientists are in the pockets of governments and institutions that would benefit in both money and power from offering solutions to a climate scare. Yet, regardless of ulterior motives, if science knew the truth it would be able to crush any dissent in legitimate debate. But science only pretends to have that ability by discouraging and eliminating dissent through various forms of ostracization. As a result, the most vocal climate skeptic scientists are usually older and or retired scientists with less to lose: dissenters like Dr. Judith Curry and the now late Dr. William M. Gray. Such people are very smart, informed people, yet they find ample room for doubt in the supposedly settled science of anthropogenic global warming.

As a non-climate scientist, most cases put forth by scientists for and against anthropogenic global warming seem legit to me when presented on their own in isolation. In isolation, I'm blind to what each side of the argument is omitting to build the illusion of certainty. And in isolation, each side often builds straw men to dismiss their opponents. Straw man arguments are another way to cheat at debate whereby you illustrate your opponent's position in a way that makes it easily defeated. 

After spending time with the arguments from both sides of the climate change issue, I know neither side has anything near a rock solid position. That means I can't honestly take sides. All I know is CO2 has risen, there has been some warming, human activity could in theory be driving it, and it could in theory end up catastrophic. Therefore, my position on global warming is that, in case humans raising CO2 is a major climate driver, we should replace fossil fuels as an energy source. But that means having a real replacement for fossil fuels. A government gun aimed at people to stop CO2 is not a replacement for fossil fuels, yet that's all the scientists tend to have to offer as a solution. If the government gun solution is all there is, then that's as good as no solution, because government gun solutions are by their nature scam solutions, otherwise they wouldn't require government force. But enough about that subject. I'll eventually write a post on forgiving climate change since that's a recurring news item.

The point is that legitimate debate is a useful thing, like exercise or healthy food. But since people's egos and therefore emotions are often so tied to their beliefs, their beliefs are too often more emotion than logic. Consequently, debate usually ends quickly in one side or the other slipping into ad hominem as legitimate, logical argument is exhausted.

If you have a friend or relative that often calls your beliefs out to start debates, whether in person or somewhere like Facebook posts, and that friend is cognizant enough not to slip into ad hominem or other logic fallacies, that's a good friend. You should be able to mop the floor with your dissenting friend if your beliefs are more legit than your friend's. If you can't defend your beliefs, you should keep your beliefs to yourself until you formulate your beliefs in a way that you can communicate and defend them. If your friend can't debate without resorting to ad hominem, teach your friend about debate. And let your friend know that the debate is over and a winner is crowned as soon as either person resorts to ad hominem. And if you yourself are usually the ad hominem debater, then you know better now by reading this and so it's time to stop cheating!

Another thing to keep in mind is don't be a parrot; know the reason and evidence for why you believe what you do. Parrots can't debate because their knowledge and certainty is phony and just based on confidence in an outside source. Don't get mad at someone else for exposing you as a mere parrot. I don't care if you're expounding a political belief or a belief in A Course in Miracles, know what you are talking about before you start mouthing off. Otherwise, some smart ass like me might just be in a mood for some debate exercise lol.

I'll admit that I'm a Socratic gadfly that likes to test people's beliefs. In doing so I'm able to challenge my own beliefs and make my positions stronger. The only thing smart about me is that I know I'm an idiot, but I live on planet of the idiots and so I don't feel bad about it when it becomes obvious lol. And since I know I'm an idiot I know to always be open to good counter arguments to my beliefs in case I need to modify them.

What you discover by debating is that truth brings people together and delusion separates people. The tighter you hold onto a delusion or the more you leave yourself vulnerable to the delusions of others the more you are only going to be safe in a bubble. Truth is uniting because it is consistent and it is consistent because the ultimate truth is necessarily oneness. For that reason, another important aspect of debate is common language; that often means explicitly establishing common definitions for terms used in a debate.

Debate to learn, not to win. Because if you debate to learn you always win, even if you lose, or even if the debate gets you de-friended by a deluded bubble friend lol. Incidentally, de-friending is like the ultimate Facebook ad hominem, a close second is deleting someone else's comments. Even if you have a friend that always resorts to ad hominem, all you have to do is respond: ad hominem, I win. And if the friend keeps going with the ad hominem, then censorship is excusable.

But anyway, appreciating debate is important to forgiving the news. Because much of what needs forgiven in the news is the result of opposing views about what the news reports. Those opposing views facilitate projection and therefore forgiveness lessons. And those views are usually wrapped in many levels of logical fallacy, including ad hominem. By understanding the mechanics of rational debate, you can become more immune to projection. Therefore, you'll more easily remember to forgive instead of project guilt.

In closing, I leave you with the twelve commandments of rational debate. Always follow the first commandment and enforce it. But you can cheat with the rest to test out your opponent. However, once you are called out you have to stop using that tactic. And you must accept that there is a limit to certain arguments. For example, arguing that the universe is a dream or virtual or that the world is going to be destroyed by CO2 has limits. Once you reach those limits you have to concede that you've gone as far as you can without cheating.


The 12 Commandments of Rational Debate and (Logical Fallacies) 
  1. Thou shall not attack the person’s character, only the argument itself. (“Ad hominem”)
  2. Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s arguments in order to make them easier to attack. (“Straw Man Fallacy”)
  3. Thou shall not use small samples to represent the whole. (“Hasty Generalization”)
  4. Thou shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (“Begging the Question”)
  5. Thou shall not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. (“Post Hoc/False Cause”)
  6. Thou shall not reduce the argument down to two possibilities. (“False Dichotomy”)
  7. Thou shall not argue that because of our ignorance, claim must be true or false. (“Ad Ignorantiam”)
  8. Thou shall not lay burden of proof onto him that is questioning the claim. (“Burden of Proof Reversal”)
  9. Thou shall not assume “this” follows “that,” when “it” has no logical connection. (“Non sequitur”)
  10. Thou shall not claim that because a premises is popular, therefore, it must be true. (“Bandwagon Fallacy”)
  11. Thou shall not appeal to an outside party to claim support. (“Appeal to Authority”)
  12. Thou shall not claim moral authority. (“Moral high ground fallacy”)