Archive for November, 2012

Law Abiding Citizens, Guns and Liberty

November 29, 2012

Law Abiding Citizens, Guns and Liberty

As some of my readers may recall, in my youth I served on a nuclear fleet ballistic missile submarine. At that time I concluded that the preservation of America and its citizen’s liberties were worth defending with lethal force, if need be. The  USS Ethan Allen, SSBN 608, had 16 missiles, each with multiple nuclear warheads trained on Russia during the cold war. Every single man on my submarine was ready to unleash total devastation on any country that moved to destroy America.

Therefore, you should not have to wonder what I think about the defense of myself, my  family, law-abiding citizens, or the United States of America that protects our individual liberties.

I have not spoken much about guns on my blog, and I see no reason to carry-on about this growing issue, when others present my views very articulately.

To make matters very damn clear, I am in very strong support of the following article. I dearly hope you will  read it.

VTM, 11/29/12

Laugh Your Way to Wisdom

November 28, 2012

Laugh Your Way to Wisdom

Thanks to  Lee Hornack who forwarded this great video to me.

This debate featuring Dinesh D’ Souza will both entertain you and educate you. I laughed and collected a couple of precious simple stories that can be used to illustrate some complex social/psychological and political principles.

Please enjoy the following video!

VTM, 11/2812

Ancient Rome Warns America

November 27, 2012

 Ancient Rome Warns America

The following quote is taken from The Path to Tyranny, by Michael E. Newton.

“These two men, Cicero and Cato, warned the Romans of the approaching Tyranny, but the populace was captivated by the demagogues who promised them land redistribution and wealth. The people got their dictators and land redistribution, the Roman Republic died along with Cicero and Cato.” p.68

When it comes to the failed political designs of cultures, history repeats itself ad nauseam. Sadly, thus far, I can find nothing that has both luminary success and permanence.

VTM, 11/27/12



Choices, Decisions and Consequences

November 26, 2012

Choices, Decisions and Consequences – I

A dear and very intelligent friend of mine chides me for saying that humans make choices and decisions. He maintains, from a strictly environmental deterministic philosophical position, that all of our behavior is determined by our history of learning. Therefore, and I paraphrase, the individual does not make choices: His or her history of learning exclusively determines the individual’s behavior.

I don’t think that most of you who read this blog will find that to be a very heart-warming point of view. But to a great, though precisely undetermined extent, he is correct.

The behavioral position, which I endorse, is what people think without speaking, writing, or behaving is simply unknown and unknowable. But behavioral science has taught us that our genetics, environmental history, current biological state, and the state of our immediate environment strongly appear to account for both our thoughts and actions.

Never-the-less, something of individual creativity remains. We can learn a language, we learn about history, and we can be taught to think consequentially. Thinking consequentially occurs anytime one thinks about doing something and then considers the probable consequences of doing that thing. This could include consequences to themselves, to those around them and to their society. It could also include immediate consequences, intermediate consequences and long-term consequences in countless contexts.

When you admonish yourself, or others, to “think it through” before making a decision or a choice, between available options, you are illustrating Psychology’s powerful Law of Effect that states  “Consequences Control Behavior”. There are notable exceptions to this rule. But when an individual’s behavior does not come under the control of the consequences of their actions, this generally appears to be a result of a defective teaching/learning environment or some developmental/neurological problem. Some exceptions take the form of readily identifiable mental disorders.

Thinking things through before choosing or deciding what to do does not always yield predictable results, in view of one’s history of learning. Sometimes when we think things through, we can imagine, or actually do old actions  (sometimes without thinking) in circumstances that we have not yet exactly-precisely experienced.  The conditioning and learning scientific term for this sort of cognitive event (behavioral, if we act upon it) is, Stimulus generalization.

In a second cognitive and/or behavioral case, we may inexplicably respond to new or similar conditions with slight or large variations of old behavior patterns. This is called Response Induction.

Finally, humans can well imagine and anticipate consequences that they have never actually experienced..but would be motivated to escape or avoid (electrocution or drowning), or to obtain reinforcers they never sampled (visit places they have never been or have new sexual experiences). Such imaginal consequences can alter ones choices. These examples appear to relate to Modeling and Imitation, Vicarious Learning and Generalization processes.

Behavioral scientists have observed that animals often do actions that they have not directly been taught and that they have not done before.

Humans are animals with language and that makes matters all-the-more complex. Humans can think, and talk about what they think, to others. They can think and talk about what they think to themselves. They can learn to write what they think to themselves and they can then read what they wrote and they can critically evaluate their own writing…and then edit their writing. They can consider what they thought and wrote, based upon their own environmental histories and that of others who they have watched, read about, or those who choose to give them critical feed-back about what they wrote.

All of this is normally called the “creative process” because the thinker/writer/actor sometimes does not know what they will think, write or do, and the outcome of their thoughts or actions is actually a surprise to them.  Much as this writing is a surprise to me today. Of course one can conclude that this is all a result of the four factors that I listed at the beginning of this thesis, but that does not invalidate the unique creative process which still resides with the individual.

To say that people do not make choices or decisions because what they said and did was learned is not a wrong statement. It is just an incomplete and insulting (to a great many) over-simplification of what humans do when they think, behave and generate novel outcomes.

When we tell people that they do not make choices or decisions, the vast majority are immediately alienated from, and hostile to, that message. They therefore become alienated and hostile to our marvelous behavioral laws and principles that they and their socioculture must embrace in order to survive.

People actually do make real choices and decisions. They are based upon learning, and at least the three other factors mentioned previously. These known factors also comprise the basis for human’s projected considerations of actions and consequences within in various physical and temporal contexts in both real and imagined worlds.

Therefore, each individual should be respected and cherished for the unique histories and the unique futures that they bring to us all.

While this is a heart-warming reality, it is countered by another frightening reality.  Our American socioculture retains a great and undeniable responsibility for the quality of the histories and futures of all of its citizens.

In this sacred responsibility, we are failing.  Open your eyes to the declining quality of various behaviors within our population.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Psychology

Health Services Provider in Psychology


Voter Fraud and America’s Decline

November 24, 2012

Voter Fraud and America’s Decline

I assume there was voter fraud in this last election. For all that I know, there was some on both sides of the political contest.

However, I suspect there was more voter fraud on the democratic side because, although both parties have displayed the ability to circumvent the constitution and other commonly accepted rules of ethical conduct, as well as the ability to lie and deceive the general public, the Obama’s Democratic Administration wins the prize for its incessant nefarious conduct.

That is the way I see it.

But I see more than this. I see that the United States is destroying its own representational democracy by failing to exercise a reasonable level of quality control over its voting processes. This is self-destructive buffoonery, independent of which party cheats the most.

If the citizens of America tolerate increasingly early voting, conditions that preclude our Military personnel’s right to vote, and voting procedures that do not absolutely require some appropriate form of voter I.D., they will get exactly what we deserve.

In fact, we are getting exactly what we deserve now: A corrupt government and an increasingly corrupt electorate. A rapidly growing proportion of our electorate  (living or dead) that votes, perhaps more than once in an election, largess for itself. This along with a growing socialist government in disguise, rapidly evolving toward tyranny, that disperses its stolen largess in return for votes.

This senario is as old as the hill our Capital is built upon. Aristotle (384-322 BC) and many other notable and perceptive political observers have warned us of this typical end to democratic systems  throughout history (yes, I know we are a Democratic/Constitutional Republic).

Compared to the world’s greatest long-lasting cultures  of Greece and Rome, America is now foundering in its  infancy.

VTM,  11/24/12

“The Path to Tyranny”

November 23, 2012

“The Path to Tyranny”

While reading Michael E.  Newton’s book, The Path to Tyranny, I have learned an important thing.

Thoreau once wrote, and I paraphrase, the years teach us what the days never knew.

So it is with what I am learning from Newton’s great book.

The thought has struck me that our perceptions of stability and permanence in life are simply a combination of  illusion and wishful-thinking. We defend ourselves against this frightening reality.

Live long enough and this is plain to see.

I have been slow on the up-take.

VTM, 11/23/12

Thanksgiving 2012

November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

This is a very special Thanksgiving for me.

We are now into my wife’s (Sally’s) third week of recovery from open heart surgery to replace a valve. She is doing great and our entire family will gather at sister Debbie and Tom’s house for fun, frivolity and a great meal.

We are deeply grateful for the medical technology and physicians trained, by able others, to do this surgery requiring approximately 190 exacting steps. Memorial Hospital and staff did a wonderful job with the skilled coordination of all events in preparation for Sally’s surgery, the successful surgical intervention, and during her stay there during recovery.

Most of all I am grateful for my Sally. Together we are blessed with a wonderful family and friends.

Our puppy, Daisy, who loves us unconditionally and then chews on nearly all of our possessions will, for now, be called a cherished mixed-blessing.

God’s Blessings to you and your loved ones,

Tom and Sally

The Duty of the Elderly to Die

November 19, 2012

The Duty of the Elderly to Die

With Obama-Care on the way, I suggest you give some thought to the following issue.

I hope that everyone will do so, and particularly if you are approaching the “autumn of your life” and you voted for Obama.

This is one of those tricky ethical questions. A sociopath might consider it practical to encourage the elderly to die and to get out-of-the-way. But most of the elderly would like to live as much as any of us…and they would rise up and assert their right to live as long as they can. So, the devious sociopath  would then find a way to slip such a mandate through the “back-door”,  while promising better health care for all.

This ethical question is nothing new. The ages have taught us that the deferred consequence of purposefully killing any class of citizen (innocent of heinous crimes) is death to other classes of citizens, at some time in the future. Small minded and short-sighted sociopaths cannot see this, or more probably, they just don’t care.

See now what our liberalized laws on abortion have gotten us.

Look-out for the elderly snare of Obama-Care!

VTM, 11/19/12

P.S. Today I celebrate this post, number 800.

Ineptocracy II

November 18, 2012

Ineptocracy II: An American Cultural Analysis

Ineptocracy (In-ep-toc’-ra’cy)

A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to succeed are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

No truer words were ever spoken about one sure-fire self-destructive cultural design.

Now, let’s unpack this pithy and profound little run-on sentence.

My analysis of this of the cultural design described above is based upon psychology’s indescribably powerful Law of Effect. If you do not know this psychological law, you either missed an important course in scientific psychology (Behavior Analysis) or your educators failed to teach you some of the most important stuff. In any event, it is better to learn about the Law of Effect later, than never.

The Law of Effect states that certain animal and human behaviors are controlled by their consequences. These behaviors tend to be those that we use to shape and control our physical and social environments.

More simply put, if our behavior has no effect upon our environment, we tend not to do it again. If our behavior is rewarded (reinforced) with environmental changes we tend to do those behaviors more often. If our behavior is punished (loss or pain) by environmental changes we tend to do those behaviors less often.

Starting with the bottom of the definition of Ineptocracy, and moving to the top, the cultural analysis goes like this:

1. Confiscating wealth from producers is punishing to their productive behaviors. Therefore population productive behaviors will decrease.

2. Giving the confiscated wealth to those who are unwilling to produce and sustain themselves rewards (reinforces) dependent, unproductive, and self-defeating behavior in the population. Therefore population dependent, unproductive, and self-defeating behavior will increase.

3. The growing proportions of the dependent, unproductive and self-defeating population will vote for unprincipled politicians (or those ignorant of the Law of Effect) who increase their own power by redistributing wealth from the wealth makers to the wealth takers. This form of destructive political behavior will increase in frequency.

While there are many complex variables driving America’s decline. One important component of America’s socio-economic and political decline is just as simple as this.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.


Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy)

November 16, 2012

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy)

An old friend sent me a picture of a tee-shirt, now being sold on the Internet. The tee-shirt illustrates a little bit of the psychology of humor and it powerfully illustrates a cultural design that, like the DoDo Bird was, is unquestionably doomed to extinction.

Historically speaking, this tee-shirt illustrates what is well-known by most educated people. Democracies are doomed by their strong tendencies for voters to vote themselves largess. This phenomenon is “the tyranny of the majority”.

What many of us feared, and was for-shadowed by modern trends, was the ability of a tyrannical majority, and other well-placed counter-revolutionaries, to destroy America’s Constitutional Republic.

But now, back to the tee-shirt…It is as funny as it is tragic.

Things funny often occur (or are presented) in an unexpected way or moment…and what is presented is the truth about something that is a common experience, and sometimes it is a very important experience.

A different genre of humor sometimes occurs when, in the face of tragedy, people can be observed to use humor to defray their intense stress. This humor is sometimes called “black humor”.

With regard to coining the new word, ineptocracy, and placing it on a tee-shirt, it is representative of both forms of humor.

More importantly it tells the truth about America’s new socioculture of blatant and unabashed dependency upon the Federal Government for security and material subsistence.

Once the reader is over the chuckle that this tee-shirt elicits, the terror of the truth contained of its message sets in.

Do not miss-out on this rare opportunity to elicit laughter, terrify, and then motivate others to do the right thing…all in one fell-swoop.

After-all, there are other elections to come!

See this amazing tee-shirt at the URL below.

VTM, 11/16/12

Thanks to Lee Hornack for showing me this great tee-shirt. Yes, I intend to buy mine soon.

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