Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Evils of American Socialism

Wall Street's financial derivatives were a Ponzi scheme, backed and made possible by GOP deregulated greed, that wrecked the world economy. Social Security is a form of paid-for social insurance always loathed by the GOP, because it has worked well for almost a century.



 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Finding the Freedom of Flow


Flow: “The state of concentration and engagement that can be achieved when completing a task that challenges one's skills. The theory was formulated when Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi interviewed dozens of experts, from composers and artists to tradesmen and chefs.”

In his book Awakening Your Ikigai, Ken Mogi wrote, “Csikszentmihalyi testifies that one source of inspiration for his  work on flow came when he observed a painter friend working on his artwork for hours on end, without any prospect of selling the work or getting financial reward for it. This particular state of mind, or work ethic, where you just immerse yourself in the joy of being in the her and now, without asking for immediate reward or recognition, is an integral part of the Japanese concept of Ikigai.”

“Ikigai” is a Japanese word that translates as a raison d'être, a reason to get up in the morning,


Sunday, September 20, 2020

A Nation Driving Into Darkness

Dee-dumb. That's a fine kinda free-dumb.

 

Vincet Qui Se Vincet


Vincet qui se vincet. Literally, the phrase means “He conquers who conquers himself.” 

Figuratively, it reminds us that the foremost of life’s challenges we must overcome will always be our own bad habits. Pronounced “WIHN-kiht kwee say WIHN-kiht.”

Gee, How Nazi Can You Get?

The sad truth is beyond their rhetoric, a lot of Americans have never been comfortable with real constitutional liberty. They find the winds of freedom frightening, not bracing. So they’d really prefer to suck some strongman dictator dick and just CALL it “liberty.”

 

Sunday, August 30, 2020

No Wonder So Few Are Happy

“(A) good day is not necessarily compatible with a happy life,” wrote Jennifer Michael Hecht in her book The Happiness Myth: Why What We Think Is Right is Wrong. “TV and beer is fun now, but good grades are bigger joy, and they require some resistance to TV and beer.

“The big desires have always been food, wine, sex, revenge, riches, products and fame. The danger — beyond fat, stupidity, syphilis, narcissism, taxes, clutter and gout — is meaninglessness. These desires and the hunt to fulfill them feel meaningless because they are only intrasubjectively sensible: while you are in a fit of wanting, planning and satisfying a desire — for revenge, say — it all makes sense. However, the moment after the gun goes off, or the moment after someone snaps you out of your thrall, you can see that the whole thing is a small, dark, crazy mess, like a tangle of seaweed on the beautiful beach of a majestic continent.”

The four central virtues for the Stoics were intelligence, bravery, justice and self-control, a list that always brings me the rather rueful reminder that Christianity simply ignores the first, and doesn't pay too much attention to the other three, either.

But despite the fact that our narcissistic, consumption-crazed culture actively discourages self-control, it remains a necessary precondition of our happiness. No wonder so few are happy.

Friday, August 28, 2020

American Police State Notches Up More Kills


You know what’s truly stomach-turning? To watch people contorting themselves like strippers on a greasy pole to make lame excuses for police criminality in Wisconsin.

Even as the rule of law collapses right in front of them, they’re willing to do anything but face the truth.

See, the Kenosha police chief says we’re ignoring the all-important CONTEXT that makes shooting an unarmed man seven times in the back okay.

That sure must be one hell of an interesting CONTEXT. Either that, or the Kenosha police chief is one brazenly lying sack of shit.

When I was 17 years old, I was working as a radio announcer and excited that I would soon be attending a university. I was not planning to get an assault rifle and cross state lines to hunt and murder some human beings. And if I had been, I’d still be in prison. Where I would belong.

Kenosha’s Killer Kops can ambush protesters by jumping out of unmarked cars, but they let a murderer like Kyle Rittenhouse walk away right past them, cross state lines and curl up in his cozy bed, his precious assault rifle still warm.

“This helps us understand what happened in Wisconsin as not a bug in the code of American policing, but a feature,” wrote Zack Beauchamp

“There’s a reason anti-police violence protesters have been met with crackdowns, while armed anti-lockdown protesters could menace the Michigan Capitol without incident.


“Police — who are heavily white, heavily male, and overwhelmingly conservative politically — see guns as a scourge when they’re in the wrong hands. But the ‘wrong hands’ tend to be black and brown ones. When respectable-seeming white people arm themselves, police welcome their intervention — even, or perhaps especially, in a tense situation where the potential for escalation to violence is really high.”