Risk and mental imagery

When I think of  a weapon like a handgun or a rifle, I picture shooting targets, hunting and self defense.  When some of my pro gun-control friends think of weapons they think, suicide, Columbine, and a six year old accidentally shooting a sibling.  Now the latter are fairly rare albeit dramatic events.  If this same type of thinking were applied to driving in the car let’s say, they would picture a truck plowing into a crowd of people, a man sitting in the garage with the door closed and the engine running or a fifteen year old stealing the family car and plunging into a river.  Again all dramatic but fairly rare events.  If they held only these mental images of cars would they stop using one?  How one pictures dangerous events and activities restricts their choices.


Human Nature and Ancient Law

135. If a man has been taken captive, but there was no maintenance in his house for his wife, and she has entered into the house of another, and has borne him children, if in the future her [first] husband shall return and regain his city, that woman shall return to her first husband, but the children shall follow their own father.

The view of the ancients.  A man goes away and is taken captive.  His wife left destitute becomes the wife of another and bears him children.  Now her first husband is set free; she must under the law return to him.  Her children remain with her second husband.  This law is brilliant in its understanding of incentives.  A woman is faced with the tough decision should she choose to treat her husband as though he were dead (perhaps he is).  She is facing an unknown and must carefully measure the risk of starting a new life with the risk of losing her children and being compelled to return to her husband.   I think sometimes the ancients understood human nature better than we.  Today, the state is the new husband in a situation like this for good or for bad.  She can take a new lover but not marry, bear him children should she be so inclined and if her husband return from war (captivity) return to him or divorce him.  What are the consequences for any of these actions?  They are borne by the children alone.

Enemies of the Common Man

We now have in charge the worst corporate leadership in the history of the United States as Byron York reports:

Companies lay off thousands, then demand immigration reform for new labor

They are by any measure simply a reflection of the rapid decline in Western civilization.  What this article shows is that to ascend to the highest levels of a multi-national only requires political acumen superior to your equals at any given level.  It does not require an ability to reason ethically, or act morally from first principles.  Consider this one more data point supporting the observation that the bigger an institution gets the more corrupt it becomes.

Is this not like the child who kills his parents and then solicits sympathy for being an orphan?  I am glad they put their name on the letter.  I will avoid doing additional business with these companies and where possible switch. Realize that they are complaining about a need to increase “global competitiveness” at time when corporate profits and executive compensation are at historic highs.  Now I am not some naïf.  Businesses are not public charities; their primary mission is to return a profit to their shareholders according to the case won by the Dodge brothers.  I understand. However, it is not the only  view of the corporate mission.  I also know in a free market, behaviour like this would lead to economic consequences and eventual elimination by innovators.  In the US today with all the cooperation between the state and corporations the chance of that happening is quite low.

Do we need immigration reform in the US?  Indeed we do but not the bill before Congress which does nothing but screw the average American for the benefit of big corporations while rewarding people who knowingly entered the country illegally.

Demons swimming in currents of thoughts
turn in the false light
their twisted faces smiling. 
Swirling in the vortex 
Wrapped around a spool of misery
dark returns
A depredation, hollow
Coruscating despair
intermittent followed

Travelled ten thousand miles
to escape the haunting
Prayed for redemption
found again

One day unremarkable
realizing who made all
without privation
the running
the demons left
to torture others
Dust of the earth
It is the same.
Who is mindful of it?