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Scalia Supreme Court Michael Lee Hayek Simplism

[…]ears since they both ran for Senate.” “We said it earlier,” I said. “They’re afflicted with – and addicted to – their mental adolescence. They are infected with seductive Hayekian simplicity – what the psychologists might call simplism.” “Maybe we should get more chocolate to them,” Jay said, smiling. “In their case, change would require a brain transplant,” Bill said. “Or a more powerful chemical change agent,” I […]
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Reading Between the Lines – Creatively

[…]he’s said he sees no need to change the rules – he’ll be a good boy even though Trump insulted his ‘best friend’ Cruz.” “So?” Bill asked. “Why so good?” “Hey, read between the lines,” Jay smiled. “Trump’s a bit too liberal for the base – for the Cruz, Lee tea party – Freedom Caucus crowd, right?” “Right!” Bill said. “So Lee could be VP – and bring all the hard right ideologues with him.” “Bingo,” Jay said. “Did you see the piece about Romney saying his family is encouraging him to run?” “Oh, yes. A sacrificial Independent run, so Trump-averse Utah Republicans don’t have to vote for Hillary.” “Another Rubio. I say 10,000 times I won’t run. ..Oops, maybe I better – for the good of the state, the country, the party.” “They’re all hypocrites. Or is it the revelation syndrome? Anyway, your turn,” Jay said, looking at me.   “I’ll do local. The U carbon divestment campaign.” “Yea – the President said no divestment, so they can get continuing support from … the fossil fuel industry,” Bill read from the Salt Lake Tribune. “At least they’re honest about their motives,” Jay added. “Nothing about leadership, education, morals, values.” […]

Did Koch eat Ananda’s Chocolates?

[…]anti-Trump, and probably not pro-Cruz,” Jay said. “The Brothers must be very disappointed, even despondent.” “Yea, so much money spent refocusing the GOP – mainly to result in a stable of loser candidates for President.” “The Times story, very briefly, suggested Koch was willing to at least consider Hillary,” Bill said. “Maybe you did get to him,” Jay said, smiling and looking at me. “The chocolates went to his Wichita receptionist – she said she’d give them to him.” “Well, she apparently did,” Jay said. “He does seem to be more open than before.” “Yes, his Sanders comment and now this Hillary one.” “Another dose could have an even greater effect,” Bill said, ” – that and his growing awareness of impending mortality.” “Aging does cause some of us to be more philosophical – and open-minded,” I said. “And Charles is five years ahead of me. It’s easy to get to Wichita. I’ll make another […]

Manzanita, Neahkahnee, and Arthur Koestler

[…]misplaced devotion and that militant enthusiasm, both murderous and suicidal, which is reflected … daily. …society … must be immunized against the hypnotic effects of propaganda and thought-control….It can only be done by ‘tampering’ with human nature itself to correct its endemic schizophysiological disposition. History tells us that nothing less will do. …we are a mentally sick race, and as such deaf to persuasion. … Nature has let us down. God seems to have left the receiver off the hook, and time is running out. [We need] to concoct elixir vitae, … the transformation of homo maniacus into homo sapiens.   “Homo maniacus – I like that,” Peter smiled. “Sounds like Trump and Cruz to me.” “I like ‘must be immunized against’ and ‘elixir vitae’,” Lucien added. “Sounds like Ananda’s Chocolate to me!” “Can I borrow Janus? I can look at it over the weekend and return it to you in Portland.” Peter said. “Sure. I’ll do more homework on Koestler. For now look at his Wikipedia entry. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of his work and writings much earlier.” “He really belongs in State Change – maybe your next book?” Lucien asked. “For sure,” I […]

Chapter 6: Patient Priorities

[…]   But, of course, to most of us, they are indeed crazy and evil.   Tom Friedman discusses Ted Cruz in almost similar terms: Ted Cruz does not have a good soul. He brims with hate … Cruz wraps himself in an American flag and spits on all the institutions that it represents. And so does Trump.   “Although we discussed ‘believers’ earlier, I forgot to mention Eric Hoffer,” I said. “He had believers, violence, and terrorism fairly well figured out in 1951. David Brooks, in a column following the San Bernardino massacre, recalled and quoted The True Believer, Hoffer’s seminal work on mass movements.”   “Guess I missed both the book and the column – fill me in,” Jay said.   “Brooks’ words and perspectives are based on Hoffer, but merit direct quoting – let me get the column,” I said, opening my laptop:   The central preoccupation of a mass movement … is self sacrifice … to get people to negate themselves for a larger cause. Mass movements [tend to] arise … when a once sturdy social structure is in a state of decay or disintegration. This is a pretty good description of parts of the Arab […]

Chapter 8: Presidential Candidates

[…]and their kids. The kids are old enough now to start thinking for themselves.”     Homework: Ted Cruz for President     Ted Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to an American mother and Cuban father. His mother earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Rice University in the 1950s. Eleanor and Rafael Cruz divorced in 1997. Cruz has said, ‘I’m the son of two mathematicians/computer programmers.’   He attended Second Baptist High School in Houston, graduating in 1988; he was valedictorian. While in high school he learned of free market economics, including Hayek and von Mises, via a group called the Free Market Education Foundation. He received a B.A. in Public Policy from Princeton University. He participated in various debating championships and was U.S. National Speaker of the Year in 1992. He went to Harvard Law School and served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist. He was the first Hispanic to clerk for the Chief Justice. While serving as Solicitor General of Texas he authored more than 80 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and argued 43 oral arguments, including nine before the Supreme Court.  From 2004-09, he taught Supreme Court Litigation as an Adjunct Professor […]

Chapter 11: Delivery and Treatment

[…]average to low leadership score; upstate office is in Greenville. Peter and Gowdy seem to support Ted Cruz for the GOP nomination, further documenting their ultra-right conservatism.   Lindsay Graham, Senator; office in Greenville; ideology score is slightly to left of GOP center, with a modest leadership score.   One trip to Greenville should access Gowdy, Peter, and Graham.     Texas – Jay will provide therapy to very needy Texas, focusing on Smith and Cruz.   Ted Cruz, junior Senator, was covered earlier as a presidential candidate.   John Cornyn is the senior Senator.   They are very conservative Republicans. In spite of how hard right Cruz has been on his GOP campaign, Govtrack ranks him just to the right of middle on the GOP ideology spectrum, with a sub-average leadership score. That is interesting. Govtrack puts Cornyn right of Cruz and with a stronger leadership score.   25 of Texas’ highly gerrymandered 36 districts are filled by Republicans.   “Wouldn’t it be cool to treat all Texas districts,” Jay enthused. “Maybe we could flip the state.”   “Now who’s doing wishful thinking,” I smiled. “But let’s at least do a limited workup of those Texas ‘candidates’.”   The […]

Chapter 9: Congress

[…]National Science Foundation’s peer-review process.   But now Smith has some denier competition: Ted Cruz wants in on the denier action, via his Senate post – using his position as Senate chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness. He held a Data or Dogma hearing, subtitled Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Earth’s Climate.   Smith is a Christian Scientist. In 1992, he married Elizabeth Lynn Schaefer, a Christian Science practitioner and teacher, as was his first wife, Jane Shoultz; she died in 1991. He has two children, Nell Seeligson (born 1976) and Tobin Wells (born 1979), from his first marriage. He and his second wife, Beth, have an adult daughter and son.   Smith’s convoluted 21st Congressional District has district offices in San Antonio, Austin and Kerrville.     “What makes you think he’s salvageable,” Jay asked.   “Besides optimism, you mean? He’s 70, lives in a heavily climate impacted state, is probably getting a lot less money from the fossil fuel, avid denier folks than he used to, and keeps hearing that climate change is really real.”   “And you think some of all that has sunk in?” […]

Chapter 12: Outcomes and Tomorrow

[…]office was more interesting. The sole staffer there was much younger and seemed more committed and connected. There was also a cute photo of Paul with his family, with the youngest holding a soccer ball. Mrs. Paul is quite an asset.”   “And?” Bill asked.   “The staffer responded to the chocolates, said she’d pass them on with a note, and thanked me for coming by. I was wearing a Paul for President button, which may have helped. She said, with a sad look, ‘You know, he’s dropped out of the race for President.’ I said I knew, but I liked him and the button. She pointed to a clipping on her desk, the recent USA Today piece by Carroll on The rise and fall of Rand Paul’s Candidacy, noting Time calls him ‘the most interesting man in politics’. I think so, too, I told her.”   “I continued on to Guthrie’s office, which was a simple affair. I engaged the staffer in a brief discussion about coal and Kentucky’s future. He had an older brother who was a miner and was actually pleased to be laid off. I told him about Obama’s new initiative to help fund local actions […]

Chapter 2: From Eleusis to Revelation

[…]among fields well suited for the growing of barley and other grains. A type of barley was harvested, extracted with water and mint, transferred to special cups or chalices, and solemnly presented to the initiates to drink, after a long procession, fasting, and various ceremonies. They then waited in darkness. Slowly a hallucinogenic-like experience evolved. This ‘trip’, in the presence of mentors, sacred objects, and other initiates, ‘…evoked alterations in their souls.’ The original Eleusis-focused event gained great prominence. It became a component of Athenian citizenship. Over the years the rites apparently expanded throughout Greece and even major parts of the Roman Empire. The event was apparently held every five years (some say annually) at a giant initiation hall in or near Eleusis, with over 3,000 inductees! The Road to Eleusis notes that …revelations about the essence of human existence and about the meaning of life and death must have been imparted to the initiates. The ceremony lead to healing, …to the transcendence of the division between humankind and nature – …the abolition of the separation between creator and creation. No wonder Christianity was opposed! Cicero, a Roman philosopher and statesman, apparently experienced the ‘Mystery’, saying:                …Athens brought forth […]

Chapter 10: Plutocrats – and Others

[…]their annual meeting – the States and Nation Policy Summit,” Bill said. “Scott Walker and Ted Cruz were among the keynote speakers.”   “ALEC now includes something called the American City and County Exchange – the ACCE.”   “So they now are peddling their libertarian wares to the very local political level,” I said.   “It just keeps getting worse,” Bill said.     NRA’s corporate patrons include about two dozen firearms manufacturers, half of which are makers of assault weapons, according to a 2011 analysis by the Violence Policy Center.  Gifts also flow from dozens of firms that profit from high-capacity magazines, including Browning and Remington. Donors from the industry and other corporations – including Xe, the new name of the mercenary group Blackwater – have funneled up to $52 million to the NRA in recent years.   NRA’s active lobbying division is the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA). The NRA backed Bush to the hilt in the 2000 race. ‘The gun issue cost Al Gore the White House,’ says Feldman. ‘Absent the gun issue, he would have won Tennessee, Arkansas and West Virginia.’ The Bush administration rewarded the NRA by appointing John Ashcroft as Attorney General.   In […]

Chapter 3: Harmless – The Team

[…]are no longer valid. We now live in a resource-constrained, over-populated, and increasingly polluted and adulterated world.”   “Which means that continued belief on a now invalid set of assumptions results in an ideology which produces actions which are damaging to the planet and to the well-being of mankind,” Jay continued. “That’s a moral perversity – that’s evil.”   “Pontificating at podiums – and passing laws which produce policies which result in economic inequality and enhance planetary pollution – that’s the moral perversion which has driven our society to feelings of helplessness, inadequacy, and hopelessness,” Jake added.   “Did you see the New Scientist review of Virtuous Violence?” asked Bill. “It says most violence is morality-based – from the perpetrator’s point of view.”   “Decreasing violence and evil, as we already know, means changing people’s long held beliefs – their assumptions, and thus their motives,” I responded.   “The New Scientist piece ended by saying ‘…stop violence by making it immoral’.”   “Which argues for revelation engineering,” I concluded.       Evil is a very difficult term. Earlier I had engaged close friends and colleagues in discussions on evil. That led to interesting and even heated, highly opinionated, sometimes […]

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