What if fear isn’t the goal?

The root word of terrorist is “terror.” The conventional wisdom is that the purpose of terrorists is to incite fear, to make people give in to their demands out of fear. However, when you look at what certain groups of terrorists target, it seems that fear might  not be their goal.

If their goal isn’t fear, why not? Ultimately it is because fear is an empiton that provokes unpredictable responses. One person might lash out, another might collapse into a ball, while a third might just keep pushing through. Certain terrorist groups might benefit from this, but the ones who are doing the large operations like 9/11, or the Paris Attacks, or the bombings in Istanbul? Fear is likely not their agenda.

If fear is not their agenda, what is? There is a negative response that their actions are engendering that is very predictable in its outcome. Hatred. While there are those who are afraid, the reactions by those who are prone to hate is what seems to be the goal.

Isn’t that counter productive? How would being hated benefit them? Being hated is absolutely beneficial. First, it means people are reacting to them. They get to dictate the response by what they support, or what they choose to not support. but, it is more than that: If you get enough people to hate your particular group, and then make them lump other groups that have nothing to do with your group in with your group, what have you done? You have worked towards isolating those other groups.

Consider that many of these terrorist groups are extremist ideologies that consider everything from The West to be evil. They have a goal of imposing their beliefs over the rest of their own religion, a religion that has many followers who will willingly work with those that these extremists consider to be evil. How do you stop this if you cannot force these moderates to agree with you? You undermine their ability to engage outside groups, by fomenting hatred and paranoia and prejudice. You turn the world against you AND those who follow beliefs that are less extreme and violent.

So, what if these terrorists are not trying to make us afraid of them(that that is just a by product), but, instead are trying to make us blindly hate them? What if fear has never been the goal?

 

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Say that to my face, why don’t’cha..

People on the Internet are familiar with the concept of “Internet Trolls,” those people who harass and abuse people through the anonymity of the internet. One primary cause of this is often attributed to the “online disinhibition effect,” where there are lots of factors that amount saying: When you are online, you have lower inhibitions regarding social behavior, whether it be pro-social or anti-social.

What makes this interesting is the emphasis in popular perception on the anti-social behaviors of trolls. What about the people for whom the Internet is not a place to look for prey to bully, but, instead, is the source of their strongest relationships, sometimes even with people they have never met?

The Internet provides this shield, so to speak, for people. You don’t have to interact with the person directly, you can craft your words carefully to convey your meaning, and, unlike in real life, if a conversation is making you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious, or in other way bad about yourself? You can just close the window and look for another conversation(which you might be having in another window already, anyway). In fact, you do not even need to say something directly.”There is someone  I really like, but I am afraid  would laugh at me. Can you help me figure out what I should say?” and then tag the particular person you are talking about with a couple others is a great way to hide the person, but also get the information, after all. This means that the internet has some great ways to shield oneself beyond just the anonymity of the web. It almost encourages people to take social risks they would not in the physical world. And this is not always a bad thing.

However, what happens when you have someone who has been made fun of, insulted, and harassed for years in the real world, and then makes real friends, not fake, abusive “friends,” who they know both online and real life? The Internet feels safe. They want to share things with their friends, but they are afraid of the rejection, or the ridicule that they had gotten in the past. And the internet is safe They like that man or woman, but have never had someone say “yes” when they asked someone out,  and they want to appeal to the person. And the internet is safe. So, they will say things they would never say in the real world. They will leave themselves more vulnerable, but then, when they meet with the person in the real world next, they shy away from what they shared online.

Now, imagine you are the other person. Someone who is a friend shared things with you that made them vulnerable, and now, when you are talking with them in person, they are shying away. Does that mean they regret sharing their thoughts with your? Do they not feel safe talking to you in person for some reason?What is the effect these questions would have in your interaction with this person?

This is a social dilemma that, with a more and more online society and more and more social interactions occurring online, we are going to have to face. I think, ultimately, two things need to be done. First, patience needs to be shown to people both online and real world. Someone sharing things online that they couldn’t real world? It is because it feels safe. It will take a person time to feel as safe talking in person, where all their self-confidence and self-esteem issues are there for others to see. Second, people need to be willing to reach out to these people in the real world. It could be something as simple as a hug, or as complex as sharing something that would make you feel as vulnerable as what the person shared online. The ultimate goal would be to get where you could feel as comfortable with someone in both the physical and digital worlds.

 

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Pressure Cooker of Friendship!

Modern society has a lot of social pressure on those who are single to not be.  Of course, there are holidays like Valentine’s Day, and the constant asking by your parents “When are you going to get us some grandchildren?” But, there are a lot more subtle ones. Stop and think about this: How many people have you met in management outside the military who are not married, have been married, or are going to be married, or even just have a significant other? What percentage of managers you have known in your working life have been single? The answers, I expect, will be “Most of them” and “pretty low.” This creates a rather insidious social pressure for people to be in relationships, even bad ones: Management is generally selected from people like the managers. If you cannot handle the stresses of maintaining a romantic relationship, then how can you handle the communication skills necessary to lead people?

Now, imagine this pressure. Imagine how, even though never overtly stated, it lingers in everyone’s minds at some level. You want to rise within your company, if you are like most people, so you can get paid more money. To rise, you need a significant other. This creates a desperation for a partner, and, where is often the safest place to look for a partner but among your friends of your preferred gender and orientation. And there lies the rub.

You are a safe guy for your women friends to be around. You are a woman the guys can be guys around. Because you are friends with these people, you have similar interests. Why wouldn’t any of these men or women want to be involved with you? The answer is simple: because they are afraid. You change how you act to them by seeking a relationship. On top of that, that you are responding to these pressures makes you come across as either desperate or appeasing. Additionally, your seeking a relationship from among them calls into question why you were hanging out with them in the first place. Finally, even if they were to not think about those, there is the simple fact that people fear change. You have been a friend to these people for years, someone they could depend on in thick and thin. And now, you are wanting to change the nature of the interpersonal relationship. What happens if things don’t work out? No. It is just better to stay friends. It is safer.

And that is what has lead to the “Friendzone” phenomenon. This has always been around, mind you, but had  been formally recognized only recently. Some people say that it is misogynistic because it is men demanding a “right” to relationships. That is missing it entirely. First, that is assuming it is only men who get “Friendzoned.” Second, it is looking at it completely wrong. No-one would be saying “Because I have been your friend for these many years/months/weeks, you need to go out with me,” regardless of the gender of the speaker. What is going on is the person doing the asking is saying “You are my friend. You know me well, and I know you well. I want someone to be closer than a friend to, and I feel safe asking you.” The response that creates the “Friendzone” is the response of “If you were any other person, I might actually accept. However, you are my friend. I feel safe around you, and changing the nature of our relationship would make me uncertain. I don’t want to change things. I want to continue to feel safe around you. Can you accept that?”

The person asking really has two choices: He/She can accept the response unconditionally and forget about it completely, or she/he can accept it but always hope for a change of situation. It is the second option that, ultimately, leads to people making the complaints about “being sent to the Friendzone.” That response creates the question in the mind of the asked person of “Was he/she ever really my friend? Or was he/she always just trying to get into a relationship with me?” It not only hurts the person who was asked, but it also hurts others, as that person can easily begin to question all their friendships.

Sadly, the pressure to have romantic partners does not go away. Maybe the person tries another of their friends. Maybe they ask out strangers in desperation. Either way, they keep trying to find someone so they don’t feel lonely, so that they do not feel the social pressure to have a partner. A relationship becomes just a goal, a stepping stone to economic success after a while. And someone has likely lost many friends in the process of trying to get that success, if even on a subconscious level.

If only there was some way to make being single be accepted as normal again. I think that would solve alot of the problems caused by this cycle of social stress.

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Lies, Damned Lies, and “It’s OK”

People lie for a variety of reasons. Some lies(“Lies”) are done to protect the feelings of others. Other lies (“Damned Lies”) are told to harm others, whether through their feelings or their reputations. But, the worst lie is one that we tell because it is almost an automatic response. “It’s OK” or “I’m OK” or anything that expresses that sentiment. The lie told by the person who is hurting but doesn’t want the person who cares, who sees the lie in those words, to know.

This is the worst of all lies, because it is a  Lie and unintentional Damned Lie. Your friends can see when you are hurting, when something has it so that, while you present a strong face to the world, underneath that, you want to break down and cry. Of course, you, being a strong, modern-type person are not going to let anyone know how much you are hurting, and so, when they ask if anything is wrong, you respond “It’s OK” or  “I’m OK.” You have just told someone who likely wants to do nothing more then help you, to take some of your burden onto their own shoulders, that you do not trust them. Maybe you are not meaning to do that. Maybe you are just trying to protect them, maybe you are trying to not look weak in front of your friends for whatever reason. But, the message you sent was clear: “Your help is not welcome.”

From the side of the person you have just told “It’s OK,” however, things are much different. They are your friend and they care enough to be asking after you, meaning they are not just shallowly asking because it is the expected response.(Sure some might be, but let us assume for now that this is a real friend.) They see past the mask, see the battered and bruised self of someone they care about, and yet, when they reach out, they are lied to. Worse is that, because of the lie, even though they know the truth, they can’t call you on it. One doesn’t tell a friend that you know you are being lied to.  All they can do is wonder what is up. Is it that you don’t trust them? Is it that you think you can handle it on your own? Are you blaming them for the problem? These are all the sorts of things that go through someone’s mind.

What is really behind this lie, though? I believe, ultimately, we do not want to feel vulnerable, even to our closest friends. To take off that mask that is “It’s OK,” we have to tell the person what we are really feeling. How do you tell someone you want to respect you that you want to curl up and cry because your boy/girlfriend dumped you over an E-mail? How do you tell your spouse that that crack they made to their friends about how fat/skinny/whatever another guy’s girlfriend made you feel horrible about yourself? How do you tell that woman that you have met that you want to go out on a date with her, but have had such bad luck in the past with rejection you are afraid to ask? All of these and more are reasons someone might say “It’s OK” when asked about something relating to where they feel vulnerable.  So, you think (not in so many words)”It won’t hurt..it will make them feel better for me, and so..I will just tell a little lie.”

But, you just lied to them. Worse is that if the person has any shred of empathy for their fellow human beings, or knows you at all, they know you lied to them. It doesn’t matter why you lied to them, just that you told them something you knew was untrue. Maybe the person asking about your breakup wants to be there for you to vent and cry to. Maybe your spouse wants to do something to make up for their unintended insult(or, frankly, just needs to be told off for being so stupid and inconsiderate). Maybe that woman who you are afraid to ask out is afraid to ask you out because she thinks you don’t like her. By the lie of “It’s OK,” however, you have cut off any of these outcomes.

By cutting out outcomes that can either lead to the resolution of the problem, or the emotional release of catharsis, you create a bigger problem for yourself. You internalize the problem. You make it part of who you are. You scar your psyche and prevent healing for yourself, prevent yourself from moving on from the problem that caused the lie, making it fester and grow behind the mask you have worn.

How can you keep the worst from happening to yourself by this internalization? Ultimately, you cannot tell the whole truth to everyone. But, you need to know who you  can trust. They are often easy to spot: they are the people who stand by you when everyone else seems against you. If they ask, your response should not be “It’s OK” but “I can’t talk about it right now..can we talk later?” and then telling them all about it when later comes. Your friends, your real friends, care about you. They will not judge you for what you tell them. Give them the trust they deserve, because, when someone will walk through fire for you, they are someone worthy of telling the truth to.

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Why Poly?

             A while back, I had posted on polyamoury, and, as I watch news and other discussions on a number of things, I think maybe a bit better chance to to talk about it is here. Namely: Why would someone go that route? Why not stick with the “traditional” one partner relationship? Sure, I could argue the anthropological point that most cultures are polygamist, and monogamy is actually pretty much only truly seen in post-Christianity Western Societies, and in societies trying to emulate them. Or I could argue all the stuff that scientists say to point out that monogamy is not how Humans are engineered. But, that really doesn’t address the big question: Why would you choose polyamoury over the single partner relationship?

            One would argue that the classic, single partner relationship leads to greater emotional intimacy, that, because they are the “tradition” that makes them better, or a wide variety of other arguments. You could argue that cult leaders preach polygamy, and since cults are bad, anything they advocate is bad, as well. You could even use a bunch of religious reasons(which are, of course, completely invalid if the person you are arguing those reasons to does not follow your religion). But, those are all reasons why not. In addition to all those, the purpose of Marriage in the West has traditionally been to insure legitimacy of children, and to secure “proper” lines of succession and inheritance. In short, it was all about property and how it passes along. But, again, that is all about a reason why not.

        The choice is always going to be made for a variety of reasons. Not all of those are going to be logical, but, when dealing with relationships, logic is not always going to be a big factor. One simple reason is that the additional person or persons bring something more to the relationship. Someone with an extremely submissive partner, for example, might have another partner who is more dominant. Or, maybe, one partner is better at emotional support, while the other is better at helping out with a variety of other things the one who provides emotional support cannot, and the two form a partnership to help the third partner.

       Another reason could be practicality and ethics. Say two of the partners very much want children, but one of them suffers from some genetic disease that would like be passed on to any children he/she was a parent of. Does this one leave the other partner to prevent that? Do they adopt? What if they have another person who is emotionally capable of working through the reality of a triple relationship, who also wants children? This could lead to a beneficial partnership, making all three happy, and making sure that any child is in a better position for support, and keeps both biological parents involved.

      Of course, other reasons amount to:no-one is really a one person person. And, more importantly, they are not prone to jealousy. If they can work with others, communicate, and be honest, then polyamourous partnerships could be more natural, and more comfortable for all involved, then a more traditional two-partner relationship, just because it is more what they want. Frankly, there is not any one reason why. However, as much as there are reasons not to, for those who have functional group relationships, those reasons of “why not” are not important. The reasons why they work are just as inscrutable as to why the more “traditional” kinds of relationships work or fail.

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Why 16 Days of Glory?

            I watch the Olympics. I love watching the Olympics. I will watch events during the Olympics that I will not watch any other time. Some people will look at me and go “Why? Why does the Olympics matter so much to you?” Well…I think I will take a crack at trying to answer that. Because, I think, looking at why I do something might make people think a bit more on why they do it. And, I have a lot of reasons to watch the Olympics.

          First is that I am proud of my country. I may not always agree with the government, may not always agree with some of things people in our country say and do in the name of the country(whether they are official or not). But I am proud of my country. I love hearing the Star Spangled Banner at the Medal Ceremonies. However, I am also proud of watching Team USA lose but give the absolute best they could. There is nothing wrong in not medaling in the Olympics. If an event had 100 people competing in it, and only 1 American, and that American poured their all into their performance, but finished ranked 100, then, you know what? Yeah, sure, he or she finished dead last…but that was dead last against the BEST in the world. Just BEING in the Olympics is an honour.

         That leads to the second reason I watch the Olympics: The ideal and the fantasy of them. For 16 days, you can believe that all the rivalries of the world are put aside for the Olympic Truce. You want to believe that anyone competing in the Olympics is there just to compete for the glory of the sport. That they do not hold the rivalries and hatreds they might bring from outside. That a North Korean and a South Korean could be put next to each other, and they would not care where the other was from. I want to believe in that. For 16 days, I can live in this fantasy world, and know that many out there also believe the same. The hope that, with enough people believing this, the world can be changed.

           The third reason is a bit less ideal or philosophical. Frankly, and I will admit this, I like watching beautiful bodies in motion. Whether it be women’s figure skating or women’s volleyball. Be it Women Gymnastics, or women’s speed skating. It doesn’t matter to me. The female form in motion is captivating, and you will rarely see as solid a demonstration of the form as you will in the Olympics.

          I also love watching Good Sportsmanship in action, and a good competition. In the professional sports like Hockey and Basketball, and even professional Soccer, the games are played by completely different kinds of people then you will see in the Olympics. I have seen some of the best displays of Sportsmanship in these sports in the Olympics then I would ever expect to see in a professional game. I remember, as well, rooting for the Iraqi Soccer team after the fall of Hussein. Not because they were a great team. Not because I believed in anything political about them. No, it was because here was this team that had never gotten to practice together before the Olympics, and they were playing their hearts out. They were not making any complicated plays, and that simplicity was what served them so well. Then, there was the first time the Jamaican Bobsled team showed up. They were joked about, but they did their absolute best(and have since reached the point where they are taken as serious competitors). I ALWAYS root for the Jamaican Bobsled team. I remember watching the Gold Medal Match in Curling back in the controversial French winter games a few years ago. I remember when there was an accidental bump of the stone by one team, and the two team captains waved off the judge, and pulled out their own surveyors bob, and the two captains conferred, moved the stone back to where it should have been, shook hands, and went back to their match.  Show me sportsmanship and people playing their hearts out.

        Maybe I am just a bit of a weird person. But, I love the Olympics. Yes, I am proud of Team USA,and love seeing us win. However, it is not all about USA! USA! USA! for me. I love the Olympics, and always will. Now, pardon me, I need to get back to watching Germany vs Russia women’s hockey….Right now, it is going into the 3rd Period, and the game is German 1, Russian 0…

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Paging Representative Howard, Senator Fein, Doctor Howard….

Something that has been big in the news for the last year or so has been the Affordable Care Act, also known as “obamacare.” It has a number of provisions that people don’t seem to like. It has that whole tax penalty if you don’t have health insurance. It has that whole central database idea for diseases popping up, and a number of other things that people are a little nervous about. The purpose of the law was to make it so that medical care was affordable for all Americans. It operates on a solid, logical assumption: If every American has medical insurance, then the Health Insurance companies can reduce deductables and premiums, because the majority of Americans are not sick all the time, and the amount that the Insurance companies pay out of what comes in would be a much smaller percentage. The idea might have worked if not for one thing: Insurance companies are for-profit corporations, and have a legal requirement to make as much money as they can for their shareholders. This means that, ultimately, they have no incentive with a requirement of insurance to keep premiums low, and, instead, have every incentive to do the opposite.

However, the goal of the Affordable Care Act is noble. It wants to make it so if, say, someone in your family got cancer, they would not be bankrupted by the bills. The whole political discussion is about repealing or defunding the law. Why is there not a “We don’t like that law. We think we can do better. Here! Here is better!” Why is there no greater discussion going on? Isn’t that what we Americans elect our Congressmen to do?

The answer, unfortunately, is money. And, no, it is not money from the doctors or drug companies. It is money from the banks and the insurance companies. You see, when a doctor graduates, gets his medical license after his residency, he has debt. LOTS of debt. He can pay it off quicker then other professions, sure….except that he also has to pay huge amounts of money out to the Malpractice insurance companies. Think about it like this: Say you pay $100 for an office visit. A likely breakdown is going to be something like this: $30 goes to Malpractice insurance, $20 goes to student loans, $30 goes to paying his staff, lab access fees, paying rent on his office, utilities, and hospital access fees. This leaves him with $20 out of that for himself. Now, figure that our doctor’s office is open the standard 8 AM to 5 PM, with a 1 hour lunch. Remember that most of the money from a patient is going to practice, and that any necessary things are coming out of that 20 per patient. Let’s assume that our doctor is going to give plenty of time per patient, say, 30 minutes. This means that, on a single day, he is going to have 16 patients a day, or 320 dollars for himself. This means he would be making $1600 a week, or $83.2K. Seems nice..but this is assuming that the doctor can collect all that. Most doctors offices have patients who haven’t paid, and have unexpected bills that come up, like when a law changes and they have to hire lawyers to brief them on what changes they need to make, and have to pay for the latest medical journals, and new equipment.

And, the Malpractice Insurance companies want it like that. They up their premiums yearly, while the Health Insurance companies drive the doctor to charge less per patient so they can make more money, so that doctors have to see more and more patients, and then, they start charging higher rates for patients who don’t have insurance(because the Insurance companies negotiate rates..and require them for their patients) because they have to. Imagine, for example, an Insurance company tells our doctor that he can only charge 70 dollars for an office visit(and some companies do!), and that is the dominant company in the area..that doctor is not just not making any money for himself, he is in debt for every patient from that company. This drives the doctor to have to see more patients, just to reach the point where he is making the money to cover all his expenses.

Ultimately, though, the issue comes down to this: We have to change the whole system. Out of 100 dollars, the doctor should not be having to pay half of that for malpractice insurance and student loans. He should be able to just charge $50 dollars per patient and make that comfortable 80K before taxes a year.

And all this is just talking about the family practioner or a specialist who only does exams. This is not even talking about surgeons, or VERY specialized doctors, who have even higher student loans and malpractice insurance. When a surgeon is doing more then one surgery a day because he has all those hospital fees, malpractice insurance, etc to pay….that can even cause the fatigue that leads to the errors that cause malpractice.

But, yes…let’s argue about the Affordable Care Act. That will fix the problem….or make people not think about what the cause of the problem is…

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A word from our writer.

Well, at one time, I really wanted this blog to be about social, political, and religious issues. Talk about things in a different way, take something and look at it from an angle people are avoiding. That is why I called it “Peeking through Maya.” This title is a direct reference to the Veil of Illusion from Hindu philosophy. One thing that has bugged me, and often kept me from keeping this blog up like I want is that I keep veering towards politics. However, politics is just so much of what is being discussed anymore. I am just going to say that this is not going to be a regularly updated blog, and it will be updated when I think of something to write that I think I can keep to the theme of the blog. Stay tuned for more updates, though!

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Do no Harm..wait, what?

Wow. Has it really been almost a year since my last post? I apologize and blame the latest round of elections. I had taken a strongly political slant, and I had never wanted this blog to be all about politics. However, I was never able to get my mind away from politics to deal with other topics. So, let me see if I can now start fresh with a new topic.

Among many religions is a principle of non-violence, of what you do coming back to you, and doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. With the modern re-emergence of many of the old Pagan beliefs, we have gained a modern expression of this ideal in “An it harm none, do what you will.” Of course, this is an added criteria to Mr. Crowley’s “‘Do what thou Will’ shall be the whole of the law. This rule is, actually, the big difference between those Pagans who call themselves Wiccan and those who do not.

Wiccans follow this rede. I would hope many of them put the thought into what it means to “harm none.” Ultimately, everything you do harms someone. Thus, the standard response to that argument will always be “Well, it refers to doing magickal workings and ritual.”  Of course, even this logic falls flat. If you do a working to give a friend good fortune with their job interview, and they get the job because of your working, what about the person who would have gotten the job if not for your intervention? Did you not harm them and their family? I believe that every religion has its conundrum that really exists to cause soul searching. Buddhism has its idea that suffering comes from desire. Christianity actually has its concept of repentance. Islam has its actual concept of Jihad(the holy, internal war against the influences not of Islam, for which each resolution is supposed to be personal). Ultimately, the Wiccan Rede is there, and should be there, to make Wiccans think about their actions, see how they can harm others.

For non-Wiccans, though: what holds them back? The ones who go to Crowley’s Law?They can do what they want, unfettered by anything but their own desires and whims, right?  Not really. You see, Crowley’s Law refers to Will, to your Enlightened Will. This is a concept that there is a something greater then yourself, but also an obligation to yourself. You need to understand that your Will is not just your desires, other wise that is what would have been said. It is the power to mold and shape reality, for good or ill. You cannot choose your desires. It takes concerted effort to exercise your Will. More then that, your Will can be used for good or ill, and your Enlightened Will is the truest expression of yourself.

There is an old song by Kenny Rogers called “The Coward of the County.” It tells the story of a boy who father died in prison, but made his son promise to avoid trouble, turn the other cheek, and basicly just let the world do what it would to him, and not raise a hand against it. In the song, his girlfriend or wife was gang-raped by three brothers, and our hero went and beat the tar out of them. One line that always stuck in my head from this song was “20 years of crawling were bottled up inside him, he was holding nothing back, he let them have it all.”  I have always seen this song as a summation of the three ways things can be done. You had why the hero was called a coward: he would do nothing to cause harm. He stayed to his promise for 20 years. That was not a coward, as it takes someone especially brave to not raise a hand when the world is against you. The Bad Guys were the example of what happens when one uses their Will for bad. Sure, the got what they wanted, but then the hero came and gave them their just desserts. Finally, you have the hero of the song showing that the world was not black and white. You can use your Will to harm others for a Just Cause. There is nothing wrong with it. It also shows that the rule of Three still holds: if you do work for ill, it will come back to you.

Which brings us, ultimately, to the thing that keeps Wiccans and other Pagans and Heathens in check with what they do: the Rule of Three, that everything you do comes back three-times. Some argue this is just magical workings, some say that it is everything, some  say it is just the negative you put out that comes back. However,  the concept exists across the board. Now, since a Wiccan would never do anything that would need them to worry about the negative side, but this rule exists even among them, it is obviously not something they teach just to say “Don’t do bad things.” They likely teach it because of the connections between Gardner and Crowley in many of their magickal practices, and because of their own modification of Crowley’s Law into the Wiccan Rede. Those who’s tradition or philosophy traces back to Crowley are inherently aware of the Rule of Three, because it represents so much more then what you do coming back to you. It represents that point where your Will crosses and interacts with another’s Will. It is the evils of Slavery, Oppression, and  Falsehood. It is also Freedom, Elevation, and Truth. If you work on another, you are doing one of these 6 things to them. You are either enslaving them to your Will or freeing them from the shackles that bind them. You are either oppressing them beneath your heel, or you are elevating them, raising them up from the hardships of the world. You are either blinding them with falsehood, deceiving them to your views, or you are removing the lies of others from their vision, that they may make decisions based on Truth. One one hand, you can be suppressing their Will, subsuming it for your own. On the other hand, you could be assisting them, aiding them in implementing their Will upon the world. To make it even more complicated, there can even be valid reasons to suppress rather then assist. Those who reject the Rede in favor of the Law have much more to think about before they do anything, if they truly understand the Law.

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Post office for medicine?

The biggest obstacle to healthcare reform is the cost of healthcare. Many people look at reducing the cost of healthcare by addressing insurance. One of the issues with health insurance, though, is that to be profitable, insurance companies do not want to have to pay out, and so will try to do everything they can to deny claims. Addressing insurance is not going to solve the issues with affordable healthcare for every American. So what will?

One possibility is to do away with private medical practice and private hospitals. Currently, many of the costs of medical care are administrative. Does it really, for example, cost 9,000 dollars to transport someone from one hospital to another only an hour away? Does a tylenol really cost 40 dollars for a hospital? With all these institutions being private, corporate, for-profit organizations, it will always be an issue.

However, what if we made all hospitals, all doctors part of a centralized organization? What it we made the costs for everything directly based on the cost to perform the procedure? How much money could be saved just by saving doctors from having to pay out the administrative costs. From there, comes a standardization of pricing across the board. If, say, we paid doctors 40 dollars an hour, but they usually had 2 patients an hour, so we charge the patients 30 dollars for a basic office visit. If you have an 8 hour operation, you can figure that it would be a minimum of 480 for the surgeon and 480 for the anesthesiologist, plus the cost of the supplies, plus the cost of the nurses and assistants for the operation. This would still make it cheaper then current where such procedures could be tends of thousands of dollars.

Perhaps the idea of adding extra to a Doctor’s salary for specialized skills or experience would be useful for encouraging doctors, but that puts us at risk of something similar to now. These sorts of salary modifications would have to be carefully thought out to prevent said doctors from risking insurance companies refusing to pay for a doctor due to his experience.

One further advantage of having a single, centralized agency that all doctors are apart of is that it could easily be organized in a manner similar to the Post Office, where, while it is allowed to make a profit(which is directed to be, in effect, malpractice insurance and to enhance local hospitals and doctors offices), it is paid for entirely by the payments of the patients. It also means that you cannot have a doctor lose his or her license in one state, move to another, and get a new license. This also applies to nurses and other professionals, and would impose set standards across the country for licensing.

Is this possible? Will the Medical Industry allow it? Who knows…but it is something to think about…

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