Keep Your Children Out of Your Politics

April 24, 2017

The US is trying to come to terms with the fact that it has been taken over by a mediocre crime family, which is currently in the messy process of grafting an oligarchic rulership clan onto the organs of state.

While I applaud those who have campaigned to prevent this from happening, I must also say that I find some aspects of political activism in general quite disturbing.

For example, Senator Elizabeth Warren (with whom I would probably broadly agree on most issues), proclaimed how inspired she felt recently, when she saw a man at the Women’s Rally, carrying his little daughter on his shoulders:

…And she was holding this carefully hand-lettered sign, and it said: I fight like a girl….

This little girl was clearly of no age to be actively involved in such a horrid political fight as this. Children are certainly capable of figuring out what they think is right and wrong, and certainly capable of recognizing a creepy, disgusting or absurd adult when they see one, but they should not be roped into a political fight against such an adult. Even if the child doesn’t immediately experience it so, this is far too much of an emotional strain for a small child. Elizabeth Warren should not be celebrating such (ab)use of children for (her) political purposes.

There might be understandable reasons for taking a child to a political rally — no babysitter, or maybe as an educational experience, if you have good reason to think your child might find it interesting to see a crowd of people marching about holding sticks in the air. But it is unethical to use your child as a political prop for your political purposes.

Despite what Elizabeth Warren thinks, a small child is too young to have developed a reasoned position about how the country should be run. What’s more, it is impossible for a child to grasp how complicated politics is. Worse, a child will almost inevitably become emotionally attached to the idea of your side “winning”.

Emotion and political activism are in fact a poor mix. Infantile emotions and politics are an absolutely diabolical mix. (Yes, I know I’m passing up plenty of opportunities for a cheap shot). In other words, a mock election in school might be educational, but real political campaigning is for adults not children.)

Ahem…. Which brings me to my next, not wholly unrelated point….

It is unwise to give people of any age the impression that it is inherently good to be politically active. Roping your kids into your political life might make you feel like you’re doing something valuable for them, but apart from indoctrinating them into your political views, you are also conditioning them to start campaigning before they have properly examined the issues. This danger is of course, not merely limited to children.

There is a tendency to think that people should get more and more involved in government decisions. But the whole idea of democracy is that people delegate authority to others to run the state; so that people do not need to become politically active, and do not need to take to the streets for any other reason than to vote.

And let’s face it, there is not even any reason to think that voting is inherently good, and should be considered your civic duty. But if someone has not had the time or inclination to sufficiently research the issues, there is no point in them voting. If they don’t know what’s going on, they can’t know which candidate best represents their interests. It would be better if people felt it was their civic duty to decide whether or not they know enough to cast a sensible vote.

This whole problem in the US started because too many people who were completely clueless were encouraged to vote upon issues about which they knew next to nothing and had never seriously considered. And I don’t mean all voters were stupid, or that stupidity wasn’t happening on both sides. The winning side merely managed to mobilize more of them.

Last year it was impossible to see any election coverage without seeing some idiot standing before a huge touchscreen, blabbering about “what the polls are saying”. Well, one thing the polls never surveyed was how much the people understood about the issues they were being invited to pass judgment upon. Implicit in this utter stupidity from the media, is the idea that it is inherently good to vote, and it doesn’t matter whether or not you’ve got the faintest idea about what you are being asked to decide. It’s no wonder you wind up electing a candidate who is even less informed than the people who voted for him.

(And why on earth is the news media doing this anyway? It’s dumb enough to ask the public what their opinion is without first checking whether or not they’ve got a clue; but its even stupider to then record this information about what people think and then tell it back to them as “news”.)

Back to children again…. And some of this, to put it diplomatically, might just be relevant to adults as well….

The idea of democracy is not that your side is the right one and the others are wrong; nor that losing an election is a failure; nor that winning one makes the other side a loser. Motivating people to “get involved” usually involves engaging emotions to motivate people, but it’s a trap. It is infantile to engage the world on such terms.

When a child is old enough to become interested in politics, emphasize to them that politics is extremely complicated. Although there may be ethical principles to be held to unflinchingly, the “how to” side of things is far more complicated. Emphasize that people often have the same goal, but disagree about how to achieve it. It is stupid to instantly label such people as the enemy.

It is a sign of maturity to seek out the most articulate of such opponents, understand their views, and figure where your disagreement with them is.

Emphasize to a child that for political parties and politicians, the art of politics is often the art of compromising. It is impossible to get all policies through, so one may have to let go of some aspects in order to get others passed. Compromising in such circumstances does not mean you have lost.

Similarly, losing an election also does not mean you have failed, but rather that more voters wanted to try out a different idea to you. They may even have been right. We’ll be able to watch how it works out for them.

To “win” an election does not mean you have been proven right or better. Celebrate if you must, but don’t gloat. All it means is that you get the chance to find out whether or not your ideas are any good. Pay attention.

Being emotionally attached to the outcome is perhaps inevitable to some degree, but children should not be exposed to this form of stupidity. They can get that from sport, where it belongs.

Hooking a child into your political worldview before they are old enough to reason for themselves violates their freedom and exploits their vulnerabilities. Loyalty can be to family and friends etc, and later to certain principles, but should never be to a political group or ideology. If your child gets pushed into expressing political allegiances before they can think rationally about varying viewpoints, and before they have an inkling of the vastness of their own ignorance, it will be harder for them to change these stupid habits later in life. Maybe they will eventually figure out that reality is more complex than they were led to believe (by you). Maybe they will wind up unthinkingly dedicating themselves one of the many utterly bankrupt causes currently popular on the Left.

Perhaps the most useful distinction these days is no longer between left and right, but between sincere and insincere. An example of insincere political activism on the right would be racist trolling and fake news; on the left, concern trolling and fake outrage.

Above all, it is important for children to hear that people often change their minds; and that this is in fact a sign of maturity. Unfortunately these days, social media records every message anyone ever writes. I don’t know if there has been any research done on this, but it must be more difficult to admit an error of judgment, even to oneself, if one has already posted 1000 comments about it somewhere.

To use a child as a political prop, as Elizabeth Warren thinks is so wonderfully democratic, is simply to condition your child to take to the streets without having carefully considered the issues. In other words, it is to teach your child to behave like an idiot. Don’t do it. Not even if your favorite politician tells you your child is a hero. Does a little girl understand why she is proclaiming to a disgusting sex offender with nuclear weapons that she “fights like a girl”? Could she? Should she? It’s the same answer on every count. And the father would have gotten it right, if he had thought about it for a moment.

I can understand why he didn’t — perhaps caught up in the moment. But the fact Elizabeth Warren chose this as her “inspiring moment” to promote her campaign is a sign of a far greater problem.

Posted by Yakaru


James Ray Attacks His Victims — Kirby Brown “was estranged from her family”

December 8, 2016

The reason I started this blog, nearly seven years ago, was to speak out against the deadly failed self-help teacher James Arthur Ray. At that time, Ray was under investigation by Arizona police for his role in the “sweat lodge” deaths, but he was still running events and claiming that his “mission” was too important to the world for him to stop.

Today, seven years, three homicide convictions and one jail term later, Ray still hasn’t realized that he is a failure at this “self-help” stuff, and again needs other people to tell him to stop.

inmate2Ray, convicted of 3 counts of negligent homicide

Ginny Brown, the mother of his victim Kirby Brown correctly and damningly once labeled him a failure and a “product recall”. This obviously stung the thin-skinned narcissist, because now that CNN and a few yellow journalists are trying to help him relaunch his career, he is using them as a megaphone to attack Ms Brown and defile the memory of the daughter he killed. As with any thin skinned narcissist, any slight must be avenged, even when it comes from the mother of the woman he killed. Ginny Brown’s daughter Kirby, he claims, was estranged from her mother,

“and that was one of the reasons her daughter was there” [at Ray’s event]

(Incidentally, Ray does not think it’s a breach of confidentiality to blabber out details of a customer’s  private life. It’s all contained in the waiver people have to sign: he can use their name, statements, image, film, audio, in any way he wishes; including, obviously, slandering them on national television.) 

This is a short video letter to James Ray from Kirby Brown’s sister, Jean Brown. I have transcribed the entire message below the fold, but will also highlight this passage.

…In another interview you claimed that Kirby was estranged from our family. That is a shameful lie. Certainly, Kirby was dealing with the challenge of carving out a unique path in life, one that deviated from society’s and, yes, probably our parents’ expectations, but that in no way shape or form means that she was estranged from our family.

My parents are loving and supportive parents. They had even attended some of your events with Kirby. All of those pictures out there of Kirby in a yellow dress — that was at my wedding: July 4th 2009, at my parents house in their backyard. That was just three months before your sweat lodge killed her….

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Lying for Death Ray Pt 4 – James Ray’s obsession with death continues

May 8, 2016

As we saw in the previous posts, duped journalist Lizzie Crocker has allowed the convicted killer James Arthur Ray to use her spot on the Daily Beast as a platform not only to advertise his deadly scam, but also to lie about the acts for which he was convicted. Crocker refused to interview the families of his victims and plays dumb about the facts of his conviction. Ray is well connected in the media, so sucking up to him is obviously a good career move. Either that or Ms Crocker is even dumber than Ray is, which I doubt.

But on with the final few sentences of this disgraceful piece of fraudulent journalism. For the climax of the article, Crocker recounts how James Ray gave her a sample of his profound wisdom.

Ray then told me a story from the Baghavad [sic] Gita, the ancient Hindu text which he read several times in prison, about Arduna [sic] and Krishna.

As with everything else in the article, that single sentence is riddled with lies and stupid errors. To start with, there is no one in Hindu mythology called “Arduna”. There is an “Arjuna”, and maybe Ray said it correctly and Crocker misheard him and didn’t bother checking before embarrassing herself. Or maybe Ray confused Arjuna with Iduna from Norse mythology and misspoke. Or maybe Ray misheard it from whoever mentioned it to him, because the one thing which can be excluded is the hilarious idea of Ray reading the Bhagavad Gita (note the spelling, Ms Crocker!) even once, to say nothing of “several times”.

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Information Pack for Journalists: James Ray’s 26 Favorite Excuses

April 25, 2016

Journalists are often confused by the James Ray “sweat lodge deaths” case. This doesn’t surprise me so much — the case is harder to believe than it is to understand. 

Ray, a failed self-help teacher, cooked three people to death in a bogus sweat lodge. He was trying to merely cook them to within an inch of their lives — hoping to induce the onset of heat stroke with its hallucinatory mental state which might equate with a “spiritual experience”. He went too far and left three people dead. He was later charged with three counts of manslaughter. The jury, missing a great deal of shocking and damning evidence, generously decided to convict him of the lesser charge of homicide.  Read the rest of this entry »


Lying For Death Ray Pt 3 – New lies: now a doctor is responsible for Ray’s crimes!

April 24, 2016

I really don’t expect journalists to understand complicated details of difficult court cases. But I do expect them to exercise caution when interviewing convicted criminals about the crimes they committed. This is especially important in Ray’s case, as it was the media who gave him a platform for softball, self promotional interviews. Four deaths later, and they are still queuing up for round five. Three homicide convictions hasn’t convinced any of them that maybe they should be a little more careful before jumping into bed with him.

The previous post dealt with so new lies about the death of Colleen Conaway. Lizzie Crocker interviewed Ray and asked him about it — good move for a journalist… but didn’t consider the possibility that his might be a lie — really, a bit dumb, given she already knows about the multiple homicide convictions.

I am going through her article in detail, partly demonstrate how quickly this crook can send a journalist off the rails. If you simply take dictation from this fellow like Lizzie Crocker has done, he will play you for a fool, and use you to blame the victims and insult the dead.

Crocker’s article continues:

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Lying for Death Ray Part 2 — Cover up of Colleen Conaway’s death continues

April 24, 2016

In the previous post, I got about half way through Lizzie Crocker’s atrocious parroting of the deadly spiritual teacher James Ray’s lies.

Here’s a tip for anyone — journalist, fake journalist, customer — about listening to James Ray: He is not someone who tells the truth. Not a word. It just doesn’t happen. Ray only has two modes:

(1) Advance grinning and spouting lies (teachings, manipulative statements);

(2) retreat, protesting innocence and claiming to the be the victim, while lying and covering tracks.

It is truly difficult for people to believe he is so dangerous, so deceitful, and above all, so utterly and shockingly stupid that he was prepared to risk killing his own customers. But that is exactly what the jury found him guilty of — and they didn’t know the half of it! (Because Ray’s $5 million law team prevented them from hearing the rest… If the facts are really the way Lizzie Crocker presents them, then why did Ray’s lawyers try so hard to keep all mention of such details out of court?)

James Ray is a walking demonstration of the complete lack of standards and ethics in the self-help industry, the total lack of consumer protection, and the reflexive habit of many to hold “spiritual teachers” to far lower standards than they hold anyone else to. Skepticism and deliberate inquiry can be some protection against this, if people are lucky enough to have discovered that it’s necessary. But anyone can be conned — con artists trigger responses in people, that are safe and normal nearly all the time. They exploit loopholes in social customs and weak points in normal social interactions. A skilled con artist can make otherwise secure people feel helpless and insecure. And in that state, people naturally tend to be more trusting and to take risks they normally would not take.

People who were lucky enough to recognize the red flags around James Ray usually make one of two choices. Either:

(a) Get out and warn others; or

(b) Say “Oh well, that’s business, and I might get rich if I kinda sidle up to him nicely.”

Crocker may have chosen some version option (b), but doesn’t seem to have woken up to how extreme and unusual Ray’s behavior has been, or how easily his lies can be exposed today simply by spending 5 seconds on google. We have seen her support Ray through phase 1 (“he still wants to help people”), and 2 (“tragic accident”). In this post, we get some new lies from Ray about his involvement in the horribly sad death of Ray’s first victim, Colleen Conaway, all dutifully reported as fact by his new journalistic chump. (By “lies” I mean, demonstrably false statements that contradict well known and easily confirmed facts, both from direct evidence, and police records.)

Crocker’s train wreck of an article continues:
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Lying for Death Ray – Crappy PR for James Ray presented as journalism (Part 1)

April 23, 2016

This is a long post and it probably won’t interest all that many people, so I’ve put it below the fold.

Enter failed self-help teacher and deadly criminal, James Ray.

Enter struggling film maker Jenny Carchman, and struggling journalist Lizzie Crocker….

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