Monday, January 30, 2006

Solving the Palestinian Problem for All Time
Opinion © 2006, by Guy L. Evans

January 30, 2006

This morning, I heard an interview with a member of the newly elected government of the Palestinian Authority. In the interview, the newly elected representative explained that sending suicide bombers into Israel to slaughter unsuspecting civilians on buses and in shops was not “terrorism”, but that in fact terrorism was bulldozing the homes of families of suicide bombers, among other acts of terrorism committed by Israel against the Palestinian people.

Using the information provided by this interview, I have constructed the final resolution to the Palestinian problem. Here is the reasoning.

  • Using suicide bombers against unsuspecting Israeli civilians is a legitimate and acceptable form of warfare.
  • Using tanks, jets, and bulldozers against Palestinians is an illegitimate and unacceptable form of warfare.
  • Therefore, the solution to the Palestinian problem is for Israel to use suicide bombers to slaughter unsuspecting Palestinian civilians.
The complaint of the Palestinians is not about the endless, pointless, sadistic slaughter of unsuspecting Israeli civilians, but instead is entirely about the methods that the two opposing sides use to conduct the war. Israelis use tanks, jets, and bulldozers. That’s not fair. Palestinians use suicide bombers. That’s fair. If the comments of the newly elected Palestinian representative have any validity, then the solution to the entire problem is for the Israelis to use suicide bombers to kill Palestinians.

Simple. Glad I could help.

I think it goes without saying that if the tables were turned and the Israelis had nothing more for their defense than suicide bombers, and the Palestinians had tanks, jets, and bulldozers, then the Palestinians would slaughter the Israelis by the millions without a second thought, for the glory of Allah. Anyone who says otherwise is either seriously deluded or openly dishonest.

Appeasing the murderers and warmongers in the Palestinian community will only result in more murdered Israelis and more war against Israel.

Guy L. Evans
Aurora, Colorado

Friday, January 27, 2006

Relaxation and Orientation Response Exercises
Opinion © 2006, by Guy L. Evans

January 27, 2006

Here are two exercises to help calm your mind and body and to help open your mind to new information. These exercises have been extensively tested. Most people who use them show short-term improvement in attention, stress levels, and their sense of well-being.

Relaxation response
From the Mind Body Medical Institute.
Elicitation of the relaxation response is not difficult. There are two essential steps to eliciting the RR:
  1. Repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or muscular activity.
  2. Passive disregard of everyday thoughts that inevitably come to mind and the return to your repetition.
The following is the generic technique taught at the Mind/Body Medical Institute:
  1. Pick a focus word, short phrase, or prayer that is firmly rooted in your belief system, such as “one”, “peace”, “The Lord is my shepherd”, “Hail Mary full of grace” or “shalom”.
  2. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
  3. Close your eyes.
  4. Relax your muscles, progressing from your feet to your calves, thighs, abdomen, shoulders, head, and neck.
  5. Breathe slowly and naturally, and as you do, say your focus word, sound, phrase, or prayer silently to yourself as you exhale.
  6. Assume a passive attitude. Don’t worry about how well you’re doing. When other thoughts come to mind, simply say to yourself, “Oh well”, and gently return to your repetition.
  7. Continue for ten to 20 minutes.
  8. Do not stand immediately. Continue sitting quietly for a minute or so, allowing other thoughts to return. Then open your eyes and sit for another minute before rising.
  9. Practice the technique once or twice daily. Good times to do so are before breakfast and before dinner.
Orientation response
Eye Movement Desensitization Response (EMDR):
  1. Pick two points to look at, one to the left and one to the right.
  2. Sitting still and not moving your head,
  3. Look to the left point, then slowly
  4. Look to the right point.
  5. While you do this, focus on what is upsetting you, on your feelings, and on your physical state.
  6. Repeat the eye movements about twenty times.
Guy L. Evans
Aurora, Colorado

P.S. A gigantimus THANK YOU to BLOGGER.COM for showing me how to do numbered lists.
Woo hoo!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Interpret This
Opinion © 2006, by Guy L. Evans

January 26, 2006

For about a hundred years, adherents of the progressive movement in America who have been appointed to the Supreme Court have engaged in the practice of interpreting the Constitution. To interpret means to find the meaning in. But, the progressives don’t seek to find the meaning in the Constitution. Instead, they seek to find meaning that never existed in the Constitution, in effect misconstruing the Constitution to fulfill their political agenda.

Progressives insist that the Constitution is a living document, and that new meaning can be found if only one looks closely enough. This makes as much sense as insisting that every contract is a living document, and that new meaning can be found with sufficient scrutiny. With this fundamental misunderstanding of the Constitution, it has been possible for Justices on the Supreme Court to make such complete blunders as the recent so called campaign finance reform, in effect utterly failing to understand the meaning of “the Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech”.

Progressives denied the legitimacy of the Constitution by arguing that any sitting Supreme Court had final authority to determine what the Constitution actually means. They removed the legitimate authority to determine the meaning of the very words they wrote and ratified from the very people who actually wrote and ratified the various provisions of the Constitution. The result is that the Constitution has no authority except that which is granted by the party in control of government. Another result is that the people of the United States are no longer a party to the Constitution, and therefore have no rights except those granted by government.

The result of the practice of the Supreme Court determining by majority vote what the law shall be without restriction by words contained in the Constitution is that the Supreme Court has become the Supreme Legislature. This means that any appointment to the Supreme Court becomes a potential vote in favor of one political agenda or another.

The fight over the latest appointment, Judge Sam Alito, illustrates this point perfectly. Sam Alito has never demonstrated that he is not capable of understanding what the law means. And no one is offering this as a serious objection. Objections offered by opponents to his appointment consist only of arguments that he will vote in opposition to their agenda.

Assuming final authority to determine what the Constitution means only worked for the Democrats as long as they had control of government. It was a particularly dangerous game for them to play in the first place, especially since they arrogantly assumed that they would never lose control of government. Having turned it into a mere political document, Democrats now find themselves unable to rely on the Constitution to restrain the actions of a government now under the control of Republicans.

Today, the Democrats find themselves in the same position the Republicans were in back in the 1970’s. How ludicrous would it have been for the Republicans to claim that the Republican Party alone had final authority to determine the meaning of the Constitution after Jimmy Carter was elected President and after the Congress was solidly Democrat?

When they were not in power, the Republicans argued that the restrictions contained in the Constitution had to be honored based on the authority of the document itself. They argued that having the Supreme Court find new meaning in the Constitution was not a legitimate process for amending the Constitution.

The Democrats, on the other hand, have hoisted themselves on their own petard. They have constructed their own gallows and they have hanged themselves with their own rope. It is too late for them to argue original intent of the founders, having dismissed the founders as hayseed bigots and slave-owners.

The Constitution was always designed to permit the majority to rule while protecting the rights of the minority. By using the Supreme Court as the Supreme Legislature for three generations, the Democrats, now the minority party, find themselves unable to appeal to the Constitution for protection from their Republican rivals.

Democrats had no problem arguing that the Constitution was a living document as long as it was living on the Democrat plantation. Now that the Republicans have control of it, watch the Democrats argue that the Constitution has stopped living.

The Republicans will be in control of the Supreme Court for at least twenty more years. Which Constitution do you think the Democrats want now, the living Constitution that is little more than a plaything for the party in power, or the Constitution that ensures property rights, individual liberty, and the rule of law?

Interpret this: The Constitution of the United States means what it says.

Guy L. Evans
Aurora, Colorado

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Rhetorical Vandalism
Opinion © 2006, by Guy L. Evans

January 17, 2006

Rhetoric is the tool of demagogues. It is an appeal to the emotions of the audience with the intent of turning off their ability to think calmly and rationally. The great demagogue and rhetorician of literature is Mark Anthony in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The great demagogues and rhetoricians of modern history include Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung.

Vandalism is a form of self-expression. Another, more accurate, term for “self-expression” is “acting out”. Vandalism is acting out with no rational concept of consequences. It is expressing the impulse to spoil things. It is pointless, futile, and tends to have the effect of making things worse for everyone, including the vandal.

Rhetorical vandalism refers to pointless and futile verbal attacks of political and cultural radicals on targets such as Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Pat Robertson, the United States of America, and the Constitution of the United States of America. The targets are not necessarily opponents or even people; they are just targets. Anyone or anything can be a target of these attacks.

Rhetorical vandals tend to be paranoid and emotionally overexcited, and their choice of target is usually irrational. They even target each other.

For rational people, rhetorical vandalism is destructive and pointless. It’s a waste of time. People who want to build a better life for themselves, their children, and their community don’t have time for futile rage, nor do they understand it.

What circumstances make rhetorical vandalism seem worthwhile for those who practice it?

1. Trauma induced paranoia
Trauma can induce paranoia. Symptoms can include fear, disgust, heartbreak, grief, disappointment, aversion, hate, loathing, and anxiety. Paranoia can lead to habitual and irrational defiance, hostility, resistance, opposition, aversion, and worrying. It often leads to distortions of trust, either trusting too much or not trusting at all.

2. Repetition compulsion
Repetition compulsion is said to be the tendency to repeat traumatic events in order to deal with them. People who engage in repetition compulsion relive their past traumas with the overpowering wish to “get it right this time”. Repeating the trauma tends to stimulate further paranoia and increases hostility, anxiety, and so forth.

3. Feel think
Feel think is the idea that the world is defined by the feelings of the individual. If the person is at ease, the world is good. If the person is angry, the world must be punished. If the person is anxious, the world is conspiring. Such people often indulge in drugs, alcohol, food, music, art, reading, sleep, or political activism to manipulate their moods.

4. All or nothing trust
All or nothing trust means that the person places either all trust or no trust in someone. They either completely trust or completely distrust the target. When people place all trust in a person, then that person can do nothing wrong. When they place no trust in a person, then that person can do nothing right. This helps explain the Bush hatred of the modern Democratic Party. The radicals among them completely distrust President Bush and completely trust the political purists on their side. It doesn’t matter how much President Bush tells the truth, they distrust him, and it doesn’t matter how much Howard Dean lies, they trust him.

The result of the synthesis of these four conditions is the rhetorical vandalism of our time. It isn’t new. The history of self-governing peoples is a history of name-calling, reckless rhetoric, and slander. Self-government can be an ugly business.

The phenomenon of rhetorical vandalism, of recklessly acting out with no rational concept of consequences, is interesting to study. However, actions matter more than rhetoric. Will the American voters, like the voters in Europe, place unconditional trust in candidates who promulgate an ideology of paranoia and reckless tantrums?

Guy L. Evans
Aurora, Colorado

Friday, January 13, 2006

When the Going Gets Tough
Opinion © 2006, by Guy L. Evans

January 13, 2006

When the going gets tough, bullies look for victims.

What brought this up? Watching the Democrats in the Judiciary Committee bullying Judge Sam Alito. Hugh Hewitt made the point that they way the Dems should have conducted the hearings was to question Judge Alito. Instead, they chose to verbally bully him, to try to belittle and humiliate him in front of the nation.

Did it work? Not to my mind.

The standard pattern of bullying is that bullies begin bullying when they are under stress. The Dems are clearly under stress.

Anger is often a result of feeling powerless. The Dems sense their powerlessness. They feel angry. Instead of understanding that their anger results from feeling weak, they think that their anger is actually a realization that they have uncovered some wrongdoing. When bullies get angry, they search for the guilty party. This is called “externalizing” their anger.

Externalizing anger makes it virtually impossible for bullies to understand their own participation in their own problems. Searching for victims to blame makes it impossible for bullies to understand that the resolution to their problem, the salve for the anger and hurt feelings, is for them to change their own behavior. The average bully is a one song juke box. No matter which buttons you push, you only get anger.

Bush hatred by the left fits this pattern of externalizing. They are trying to assign guilt to the President. They refuse to take responsibility for their own participation in the matter.

Bullies complain the loudest about being mistreated while doling out mistreatment without restraint. They construe any action by any other person as abuse while freely abusing others.

Bullying is an expression of narcissism, a fundamental assumption of one’s own rightness and self-importance. Narcissists are truly unable to comprehend the actual effect they have on others.

The Dems in the Judiciary Committee assume their own rightness and self-importance and therefore have no idea how they appear to the public. They appear to be incompetent bullies who, like the schoolyard bullies we remember from childhood, have arbitrarily chosen Judge Sam Alito as their “mark”.

But it’s been tough going for the bully Dems this week. The Alito nomination threatens the New Deal. In the next generation, government as cornucopia will come to an end. There will be choices and marginally more accountability. Government will become more like a business than a national grab bag.

As the bully Dems lose more and more ground, they will bully harder. They will become more angry. They will yell louder, level even more embellished accusations, enflame paranoia, and they will lie, lie, lie.

Bullies want to dominate. For them, there are no rules, no standards, and most important for the rest of us, no self-restraint. The Republicans would do themselves a favor by learning the dynamics of the bully/victim relationship, and stop thinking that they will be liked if they will just be better victims.

Guy L. Evans
Aurora, Colorado

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

How to Stop Being Angry
Instruction in mental health © 2006, by Guy L. Evans

January 11, 2006

Are you angry? Want to stop?

How to stop being angry: Hold people accountable for their own behavior.

That’s it. It’s just that simple.

Guy L. Evans
Aurora, Colorado

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Unearned Sympathy
Opinion © 2006, by Guy L. Evans

January 10, 2006

In liberal cultures, sympathy is thought of as a virtue. Being sympathetic makes you a good person. It shows that you have a heart...

...but not necessarily a brain.

Sympathy is best offered at a safe distance. Consider the poor sharks. Poor things. All alone in the ocean with no one to care for them. They are hated and hunted. Their numbers are decreasing. It tugs at your heartstrings to think of the plight of the poor, miserable sharks. Poor, poor, miserable sharks.

Reach out the hand of sympathy to a shark and you are likely to pull back a bloody stump. Sharks are, after all, sharks.

It’s not much different with many people. In The Ordeal of Change, Eric Hoffer says:

Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from the sense of inadequacy and impotence. We cannot win the weak by sharing our wealth with them. They feel our generosity as oppression.
People who have a heart tend to feel sympathy for those who seem weak. These sympathetic people are often rewarded (or, more aptly, punished) for showing concern. I have seen more than a few instances of people offering to listen sympathetically to people who are down on their luck only to be viciously accosted and verbally abused for their efforts.

Weak people despise weakness. They inflict inexplicable cruelty on those they consider weaker than they are. They abhor weakness in themselves and punish others for showing weakness.

We may think of such people as heartless, and they probably are. They probably had kindness beaten out of them from an early age. But that doesn’t change the fact that they hate weakness and anything that looks like weakness such as compassion, sympathy, or concern.

People are smart enough to make up their own minds, so I don’t normally offer advice. In this case, however, I will instruct you to stay far, far away from such heartless people. People who admire strength and despise weakness are not human. They will pollute and corrupt you. Stay away.

Sympathy must not be offered without accountability. The fact that people appear to be suffering does not mean that they are not also hostile. If your offer of kindness is countered with hostility, then it is your responsibility to yourself to hold the other person accountable for his bad behavior. Feeling bad is acceptable. Attacking other people for their generosity is not.

Sympathy without accountability is folly.

Guy L. Evans
Aurora, Colorado

Monday, January 09, 2006

Preserving Self Government for the Next Generation
Opinion © 2006, by Guy L. Evans

January 9, 2006

Mark Steyn makes a number of serious points in his article It’s the Demography, Stupid. Specifically, he notes that Western civilization has produced many resources necessary for survival and prosperity in abundance except for one: Children.

I wrote Mark a quick letter regarding his article. Here it is.


The actions people take to preserve their cultures determine whether any culture will survive. Example of a culture that has been preserved by the actions of its members: The Jews. Example of a culture that was destroyed by the failure of its members to preserve it: Nazi Germany.

Western liberal culture has few members who will take serious action to preserve their culture. They behave as though their personal and cultural survival is not their responsibility. Tolerating medieval cultures that are utterly intolerant of modern liberalism is like hugging a python.

People who have never been required to take responsibility for their own defense seem to develop a notion that things will be all right if they teach themselves that there are no enemies, only aggrieved social groups. They believe that the term “enemy” is too primitive to be of value.

Giving unwarranted sympathy to anti-modern Moslems while cultivating a purely paranoid view of their political rivals suggests that Western liberals have no realistic concept of trust. They are not serious about their own survival.

In the end, survival and prosperity depend more on actions than on beliefs. Example: During the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the mythology of the aboriginal peoples of the Nicobar Islands instructed them to run to high ground when ocean recedes abnormally, while thousands of technologically and philosophically sophisticated Westerners were drowned.

Finally, the object of the war is not personal liberty; it is self-government. Without self-government, you can forget about individual liberty. What actions will we in our generation take to ensure that the next generation can withstand the assaults on self-government from Communist China, Islam, and Western liberalism?


In order to preserve self-government for the next generation, you have to have a next generation.

Guy L. Evans
Aurora, Colorado

Thursday, January 05, 2006

It Never Was a Good Idea
Opinion © 2005, by Guy L. Evans

January 5, 2005

Over at HughHewitt.com, Mary Katharine Ham makes the following observation (They Tell Me It’s a Nice Idea):

They [socialists] truly do want the best for people. They think “equal” necessarily equals “good.” They, therefore, want equality enforced.

Sometimes during these conversations, my big-government buddies concede, “All right, so maybe it doesn’t always work in practice, but it’s a nice thought.”

In the last couple years, I’ve had to revise that. The truth is that it is not a nice idea, in theory. Well, not if you actually think about what the theory implies.

Socialism is enforced equality. But someone has to enforce. Someone has to take all that a country of dynamic, amazing, different people has produced and slice it up into dull, government-approved parcels that go to each according to his need.
The article is good overall. But, unfortunately, she drifts away from the obvious conclusion. Socialism defeats itself by the contradiction in its fundamental proposition: Inequality is necessary to create and sustain equality. However, every sensible person knows that you can’t have equality without inequality; therefore, you can’t have equality under any circumstances. It is impossible to have equality as long as inequality exists.

In order to enforce equality, the enforcers must necessarily be unequal to everyone else. Socialism cannot enforce equality because the enforcers must necessarily be unequal. The power of the enforcers cannot be limited by the people in the manner that the U. S. Constitution is intended to limit the power of government. In the name of the good of the people through enforced equality, the socialist enforcers become the ruling class. The final result of socialism is always the establishment of a new ruling class. Having attained that status, they behave like ruling classes throughout history, self-aggrandizement being their first priority.

Dictators have always found the promise of equality useful in subjugating nations. Once you give a dictator the power to take the freedom and property of the wealthy and powerful, there will be nothing to stop him from taking everything else.

Guy L. Evans
Aurora, Colorado

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