Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dumbass Dilemma

The Republican party consists increasingly of non- college educated whites. In general, these are middle and lower middle class people whom are exactly the groups most likely to benefit from Obamacare or to suffer from its defeat. In fact, the U.S. healthcare delivery system was on the verge of collapse due to skyrocketing costs and withering rates of coverage prior to the legislation's enactment.

So, it is amusing and revealing to speculate on what the law's de juris repeal would mean to the GOP's most ardent partisans. First, the cost of health insurance would skyrocket almost overnight. State Insurance Commissioners would attempt to impede these increases, the denial of which would simply cause insurance companies to abandon states and or many policy holders as they seek to avoid bankruptcy.

In other words, those most strongly opposed to the bill would be the most injured by its abscence.

So why do they oppose it? Literally, ignorance, stupidity as well as their own reflexive fears.  That is the real lesson herein... as the world becomes more complex it also becomes more decisive... punishing intellectual incompetence as it more richly rewards intellectual competence.

Friday, March 30, 2012

First Do No Harm

All MD's take this oath. In the case of U.S. physicians, by far the highest paid on the planet, almost none are keeping their promise.

The U.S. spends by far the most per capita on healthcare yet achieves poor results. Despite spending in excess of 300% of what France spends we have large portions of our population uncovered while France has 100% coverage.

Worse, despite the fact U.S., MD's make triple or even quadruple what their French peers make the U.S. is 36th in life expectancy while France is 6th.

Porqoui? The horrible stupid U.S. healthcare system exists as it is because American physicians want it this way.

Physician heal thyself.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Downton Abbey, Conciousness and Buddhism

Carson: "We may have to have a maid in the dining room."

The Earl of Grantham: "Cheer up Carson, there are worse things happening in the world."

Carson: "Not worse than a maid serving a duke."

Aside from Downton Abbey one of my avocations is the study of Conciousness. I have studied the subject for a good while attending workshops, reading and meditating regularly. Recently I acquired two new books, "The Magicians Way" by Wm. Whitehead and "You are Here," by Thich Naht Hanh. The books provide a contrast which is instructive to those interested in this subject.

I think there theoretical truth in this theory. However, in my experience, two problems arise in practice. First, it is extraordinarily difficult to strain out thoughts and emotions and to maintain a pure focus on ones goal. Second, there is the issue of the subconscious. How can one know that what is really a desire when so many desires come from the hidden unbidden? I have not been able to figure this out.

Whitecloud's book reminds me greatly of it predecessors, "The Celestine Prophecy" and "The Secret." He explains that the it is possible, by holding a goal in mind purely and without the interference of unreal thoughts and feelings, to manifest directly and instantly what we want. He states that to do so, we must recognize that thoughts and emotions are not real. By doing so, we may function on the plane of creation purely and efficiently.

I believe Whitecloud's approach has merit. Although, it is difficult to achieve in practice. First, I have found it extraordinarily difficult to hold a goal in mind without the intercessors of emotion and thought. Second, there is the issue of the subconcious. How does one manifest when the subconcious arises and asserts it's will, unbidden?

My favorite spiritual development instructor is by far, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Naht Hanh. The many books written by him clearly and effectively explain Buddhist philosophy to the western mind. "Things inter-exist; they inte-are. They are organic. There is no path to the cessation of suffering without suffering." In other words, enlightenment comes from the experience of life wholly, light and dark.

The contrast between the two approaches is interesting as it is instructive. Namaste.

Incompetence, stupidy and then the SEC.


Having been utterly clueless about Bernard Madoff's 50 year multi-billion dollar ripoff while failing to prevent the immense and so far unpunished meltdown of the U.S. financial system, the Securities and Exchange Commission has now let off two ex-Bear Sterns traders with a civil fine which constitutes a tiny fraction of what the two traders earned while defrauding investors. In fact, the SEC even admits in its own filing, that the two misrepresented their activities and results to investors.

This is one of the most odious and incredible aspects of the whole financial meltdown. That is, the dearth of competent enforcement not only prior to but since the debacle. Very few convictions have been achieved while in point of fact, most perps have been allowed to go free and to keep the money stolen via their many frauds.

Even more amazing, has been the lack of zeal by the press in reporting the greatest fraud and theft in history. The financial press was mute and clueless prior to the meltdown and the press in general has been a chorus of reeds since.

“Are we like late Rome, infatuated with past glories, ruled by a complacent, greedy elite, and hopelessly powerless to respond to changing conditions?”
                          Camille Paglia

What does all this mean? First, our institutions do not function as advertised and in fact, function little at all. Second, our society is now beset by criminals who have free reign to steal what they can while allowed to freely keep what they have stolen. Second, it means our press is not a press at all but a propaganda machine employing over-paid teleprompter readers to dish out pap in place of real information. Third, it means the rest of us are virtually helpless in the face of this all. Fourth, it means that American society is doomed, at least as we have always imagined it to be. No society supposedly based on the rule of law instead of the rule of evil men can long withstand this state of affairs.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

America's Dumbass Problem

"There's no fixing stupid."

One of the features which stands out so clearly and which has huge consequences for the U.S. is our dumbass problem. Whether it's Shawn Hannity's idiotic and gross misrepresentations of President Obama's economic record or the cracker woman who asked Santorum how an "avowed Muslim" could be allowed as President or the old man who famously said that the government should "keep it's hands off his social security," or the idiots who continue to insist, despite fact and logic that the President was not born in the U.S.. What is clear, is that having to deal with this sort of garbage is damaging the nation.

Dealing with the intellectually incompetent lowers the level of the debate as it impedes and often prevents dealing with important issues effectively. One example of this is the case of healthcare in the U.S.. The fact is, we do not have as so many insist we do, the "best healthcare in the world." We spend the most but, have 45 million people with no healthcare coverage and are in fact 36th in life expectancy. It is a mystery to me that anyone could then claim our healthcare is the best. Yet, it is a tenet of the dumbasses that it is. The result, the U.S. wastes billions on a poor and cruel solution which consistently damages our ability to compete economically.

I have had many people ascribe the melt down of Wall Street to Obama and insist it is a fact, even as I point out he was not even the Democratic nominee when these events took place. The fact is, the economy demonstrably began to deteriorate about 6 months into Dubya's first term and clearly started to turn around about 6 months into the Obama presidency. Yet, when I point this out, charts provided to the dumbasses, it is as if logic and reason don't exist... well maybe they don't for them.

I am open to what to do about this. It is often pointed out that a large portion of the population lacks any real critical reasoning abilities. Perhaps, in the future, we will see a world of more Einsteins and fewer morons via genetic engineering. Until then, we will have to bear the unbearable as those who cannot think rule those who can.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Time for the U.S. to abandon foreign intervention

George Washington famously warned about foreign entanglements. Is it time to heed his words?

In 1945, at the finish of the Second World War, the U.S. stood as the lone superpower, wealthy, coherent and generous. In 7 decades or so, the era of American dominance was to see the world united as never before by new technology while becomiong more democratic and wealthier than ever before despite a massive increase in population and yes, more peaceable than it has been. Yet, despite these outcomes, hatred and anger at the U.S. are widespread and virulent even as American citizens suffer long work hours and inferior social safety benefits to pay for Pax Americana.

As Americans, we have an inferior wasteful and cruel healthcare system. We enjoy short vacations compared with citizens of other developed nations even as we see massive deficits incurred by various levels of our government. Although I do not agree with him on many points, in this, Ron Paul is correct. Logically, it is difficult to see how we benefit or just why we should be functioning as global overlord.

It is a fact, that the living standards of Americans are being compromised and our future mortgaged so that we can regulate and oversee a global populace which resents and even hates us for our efforts.

And to what end? American intellectual property is being stolen at a massive rate. Trade partners take advantage even as their populations despise us (go to Canada or Mexico if you don't believe this). Our debts are increasing even as we educate large portions of the globe's future leaders. Even those who's welfare and fortune has been hard won by America's efforts (per Europe) are fonts of anti-American hatred (per Margaret Drabble).

So ask yourself, why is it we should be doing this. Why not take Dr. Paul's advice, let's pack our bags and go home. We've done our part. Staying any longer is counter-productive.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This is too good...

"Liars Lie."
The Rev. Al Sharpton

Climategate continues to unfold and as it does are revealed many truths about the methods and motives of those worried about what used to be called "Global Warming," (Obese Americans destroying the planet by driving around in SUV's) but which is now termed "Climate Change," (the immediate and unquestioned necessity for Global Government and income redistribution).

It turns out that the original raw data on which the famous "Hammer" chart have been based no longer exists. That's right, it is not possible for the basic assumptions upon which this 25 year anti-American pogrom are based ever to be checked via the famous "peer review. Not only do we know that "scientists" have conspired to manipulate data and public perception of data but that the basic theory, as presented at the now infamous U.N. conference are completely unverifiable.

This is a lot to take in but, knowing how hateful and arrogant the green left really is, not at all surprising, at least to me.

So, what will become of this? I would guess the following:

1-The Greens will Stonewall and deny deny deny... and will have just as much luck as Nixon did with this strategy.
2-This is the beginning of the end for the U.N., now exposed as not only corrupt but thoroughly incompetent and a creature of the least competent on the planet.
3-Europe and Europeans fall to stygian depths in American opinion. Indeed, if it is as I have long thought that part of this was Europe's need to hobble and then leash the U.S., it may lead to a permanent end to the alliance.
4-Under a resurgent American right, the U.S. may be even more unilateral than ever before.

In short, this is why you should not lie...

This is either the most incompetent act in the history of science or the most arrogant.