Monday, October 31, 2011

The Disappearing Act!

"Now you see them, now you don't."

Illusionists, such as David Copperfield, Criss Angel, and others, have thrilled us for years with their uncanny feats of magic, making objects disappear that defy logic and commonsense--in the case of Copperfield, the Statue of Liberty. But compared to the disappearing act yet to come, these illusionists have nothing on Life's greatest illusionist, Father Time.

For all of Father Time's illusionist skills, the Disappearing Act won't take place all at once, engulfed within a large cloud of gray smoke for effect, but gradually over a few decades--actually around A.D. 2041, says the Census Bureau.

At that time, this nation's white majority will have disappeared, and, for the first time in a long time, assume a minority status.

And not everyone is pleased with this Disappearing Act, and not everyone is clapping and cheering for what Father Time is about to wrought, chief among them, Patrick J. Buchanan, Republican.

To show his displeasure, Buchanan wrote a review of the coming A.D. 2041 event, writing it long before the event (the disappearing act) has had a chance to crystallize in the record books, and long before it has had a chance to register in the hearts and minds of the Americans of that day.

Back in June of this year, I advanced a thesis--one that I knew would require a book-length treatment if I were to substantiate my position--in the comment section of my blog. I'm going restate it here, and ask that you take a bite of it, roll it around on your tongue, and tell me if it has the taste of authenticity.

But before I do that, let's read a little from Buchanan's review on the Disappearing Act facing white America--an eventuality which Buchanan is now dreading, despite the prediction that it will occur years in the future. He titles his observations simply, .A.D. 2041 -- End of White America?

"John Hope Franklin, the famed black historian at Duke University, once told the incoming freshmen, "The new America in the 21st century will be primarily non-white, a place George Washington would not recognize."

In his June 1998 commencement address at Portland State, President Clinton affirmed it: "In a little more than 50 years, there will be no majority race in the United States." The graduates cheered.

The Census Bureau has now fixed at 2041 the year when whites become a minority in a country where the Founding Fathers had restricted citizenship to "free white persons" of "good moral character."

With publication today of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" this writer takes up what this portends. And while many on the left are enthusiastic about relegating the America of Eisenhower and JFK to a reactionary past, I concur with the late Clare Boothe Luce.

In this world, she said, there are optimists and pessimists.

"The pessimists are better informed."

Clever statement from Pat, sounding the alarm, but what, if anything, can be done to offset the inevitability of the white Disappearing Act? You'd think not much, given the coming population shift, and the ensuing "Incredible Shrinking White Population." But then you'd be wrong. That's where my thesis comes in. I've used every skill and my disposal, my intuition, and my reasoning, to reveal a plot to keep power--especially political power--in the hands of whites.

Next, Buchanan prepares his readers for the consequences of a white Disappearing Act, and what it means for our national economic superiority:

First, the end of a national Republican Party that routinely gets 90 percent of its presidential votes from white America.

California is the harbinger of what is to come.

Carried by Richard Nixon in all five presidential elections when he was on the ticket and by Ronald Reagan all four times he ran, California, where whites are now a shrinking minority, is a state where the GOP faces extinction. John McCain's share of the California vote was down to the Barry Goldwater level of 1964.

When Texas, where two-thirds of the newborns and half the schoolchildren are Hispanic, goes the way of California, it is the end for the GOP. Arizona, Colorado and Nevada, also critical to any victorious GOP coalition, are Hispanicizing as rapidly as Texas.

In every presidential election since Bush I in 1992, Hispanics have given 60-70 percent of their votes to the Democratic ticket.

For Hispanics, largely poor and working class, are beneficiaries of a cornucopia of government goods - from free education to food stamps to free health care. Few pay federal income taxes.

Why would they not vote for the Party of Government?

Second, the economic crisis of California, brought on by an outflow of taxpayers and a huge influx of tax consumers - i.e., millions of immigrants, legal and illegal - will be mirrored nationally.

For though the majority of immigrants and illegals comes to work, and work hard, most now come from Third World countries and do not bring the academic or professional skills of European-Americans.

Third, the decline in academic test scores here at home and in international competition is likely to continue, as more and more of the children taking those tests will be African-American and Hispanic. For though we have spent trillions over four decades, we have failed to close the racial gap in education. White and Asian children continue to outscore black and Hispanic children.

Can the test-score gap be closed? With the Hispanic illegitimacy rate at 51 percent and the black rate having risen to 71 percent, how can their children conceivably arrive at school ready to compete?

Should this continue for three decades, what will it mean for America if Asians and whites occupy the knowledge-industry jobs, while scores of millions of black and Hispanic workers are relegated to low-paying service-sector jobs? Will that make for social tranquility?

Affirmative action is one answer. But this is already causing a severe backlash, and the reason is obvious.

When affirmative action was first imposed, whites outnumbered blacks nine to one. The burden of reverse discrimination on the white community was thus relatively light. Today, however, not only blacks, but Hispanics and women - two-thirds of the entire population - qualify for affirmative action in hiring and school admissions.

And the burden falls almost entirely on white males, who are one-third of the country but three-fourths of the dead and wounded coming back from Afghanistan.

No where does Pat mention the Dream Act, which Republicans detest, and its power to close the education gap that he says exists between Latinos and whites. He suggests, further, that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have served primarily to reduce a large number of an essential class of whites, specifically white males, upon which this country will someday depend to fill its "knowledge-industry jobs."

For the sake of this country's future, it would have been better, he seems to say, if Latinos and blacks were the primary fighters in those wars, as they're more expendable than white males.

How close can you come, if you're Pat Buchanan, to saying that blacks and Latinos are intellectually inferior to Asians and whites, without crossing that line?

Pat had a few more things to say, or rather, lament over:

Can Western civilization survive the passing of the European peoples whose ancestors created it and their replacement by Third World immigrants? Probably not, for the new arrivals seem uninterested in preserving the old culture they have found.

Those who hold the white race responsible for the mortal sins of mankind - slavery, racism, imperialism, genocide - may welcome its departure from history.

Those who believe that the civilization that came out of Jerusalem, Athens, Rome and London to be the crowning achievement of mankind will mourn its passing.
Read more here.

Come now, Pat: Are you saying that we should forgive the "sins" of European people, because of what they built ("the crowning achievement of mankind"), and not condemn them for the harsh and brutal tactics that were used to erect these "crowning achievements"?

That the end justified the means?

Here's my contention: Plans are in the making to assure that, with the "passing of the European peoples," it will be business as usual in this country, that the torch of power and control will be passed forward, as it has for centuries, to its supposed rightful owners--European people.

From one of my favorite movies, Dune, we get this line of dialogue: "He who controls the spice, controls the universe." I'm going to make a point here by altering this familiar line from the movie somewhat: "He who controls the jobs, controls everything else."

Here's the full thesis that I promised a ways back. Let me know what you think.

A population shift is now taking place in this country, with a rise of Latinos, and a decline of whites.

The Latino demographic will, in a decade or two, wield most of the political power in this country, with whites falling precipitously to the back of the electoral bus.

What's needed to offset this shift is a new power dynamic assuring that whites will continue to assert their will over the political and social landscape.

Whites will "not go gentle into that good night...[but will] rage, rage against the dying of the light."

How do they preserve their once monopolistic power in the midst of this population shift? Simple. Transfer it to corporations. And this what we're now seeing take place, unabashedly, by the Roberts Supreme Court.

Corporations, recently raised to the importance, and stature of the individual, can now use their collective power to influence the outcome of elections and the passage of legislation.

They already have life's largest bargaining chip--jobs, the creation of the them, and the destruction of them.

Further, any regulations, or regulators that would challenge the new authority of corporations can be bought, or defeated, in some other way.

In addition, because unions support labor, they, too, will have to go in this new power paradigm. A weak, disorganized, labor force won't be able to challenge the power of the corporate purse.

Further, use everything at your disposal to weaken the hand of the Federal Government and those agencies that would stand in the way of the fledgling corpocracy.

I think all of this is by design, and is not happenstance. Look for more shifts of power from the people to the corporations--shifts that will dilute our democracy, and empower corporations.

[In response to a remark regarding the indoctrination of those on the Right, Republicans and conservatives, in preparation of this demographic shift, I had this to say:]

That's easy to do, and easy to understand, in light of the new power paradigm: Whites know that their historical position--Alpha dog, Massa, owners of white privilege--is quickly coming to a crashing end.

What good is a democracy, "Government of the people, by the people, and for the people," if you're not the people to whom it refers.

A race war would go a long way toward assisting whites in their struggle to hold onto what's slipping away.

They would, then, have an excuse to legally suppress minority groups that are threatening to be the majority and the ramifications that shift would entail.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Skin Deep?

I'm guest speaker over at Granny's place. Follow my latest blog entry, Skin Deep?, there.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"The Single Best Invention Of Life"

Those are nets hanging from those poles at Foxconn. They're designed to catch people as they jump from windows above--if they're lucky--to their deaths below. I was prepared to discuss another topic, but learning about the death of Steve Jobs of Apple fame, I decided to devote this blog entry to him.

Steve Jobs was not only an uncommon visionary, but an incomparable innovator (two achievements that will survive him), but because he used a company in China to assemble his products (Foxconn), his otherwise stunning reputation will always be scarred by this unsavory business arrangement:

"Terry Gou says he has no idea why so many of his employees are killing themselves. Gou is the founder and chairman of Foxconn, the world's largest electronics contract manufacturer — the maker of iPhones and iPads for Apple, computers for Dell, and countless other devices for well-known high-tech customers around the world.

"So far this year, 10 Foxconn workers have committed suicide. 'From a logical, scientific standpoint, I don't have a grasp on that,' Gou told reporters on May 27 at a press conference at the company's vast production facility in Shenzhen, China. 'No matter how you force me, I don't know.'

"Ask around among the more than 250,000 workers at the Shenzhen complex, and you'll find explanations. One 21-year-old assembly-line worker, who asked that his name not be used, says conditions at Foxconn make his life seem meaningless. He says conversation on the production line is forbidden, bathroom breaks are kept to 10 minutes every two hours, and workers get yelled at frequently."

And if I've inadvertently induced you into believing that it's Apple alone who has resorted to the Foxconn-Chinese connection to boost its bottom line at the expense of some Chinese workers, then let me disabuse you of that misapprehension, because there are others:

"One could argue that Foxconn --the Chinese factory that assembles Apple (AAPL) iPhones, iPods, and iPads, as well as the Microsoft (MSFT) Xbox 360, the Amazon (AMZN) Kindle, Motorola (MOT) cell phones, and components for Dell (DELL) computers -- is the best known of all Chinese manufacturers, which is saying a lot." [2]

Because so many of Steve Job's iconic products were built under slave-like conditions, I've never purchased, or owned, one of his "insanely great" products--not the iPad, the iPhone or the iPod.

When I purchased my newest computer, it was after much research, and after receiving strict assurance that it was American made, using mostly American-made parts.

Actually, I'm not here to "bury" Steve Jobs under an avalanche of criticism, and denunciation, but to "praise him" for a Commencement address he gave on June 12, 2005 for Standford University graduates, touching ever so brilliantly on two of Life's most useful illusions--among other topics--one of which, for him, became an amazing "tool," what he termed, "the single best invention of life," to guide and direct his life, "to make the big choices," perhaps greater than the second illusion he encountered in Life, "failure."

Please give Jobs' address your utmost attention and thought: In it, he offers the distilled wisdom of a lifetime--a message that I'd love to share with the rest of the world--of how he managed to live Life fully, successfully, and richly, and how you can do the same.

'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says

This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much. [3]