atheoryof.me

Casey S. Schroeder

atheoryof.me: a memoir

atheoryof.com

Available on kindle (reader, tablet, and phone)at atheoryof.me: a memoir.  And follow me on twitter: @atheoryofpub. (Only the following snippet from the memoir is duplicated in this blog.  The memoir is entirely new and original material.)

“God came into my life literally two months ago and boy did it hurt. I don’t believe all that crap about God carrying us our whole lives and we just don’t realize it ’til we’re older. Sure, I knew he/she/it was hanging around, but I didn’t let him in. I fought tooth and nail not to let him in. And you know what, I don’t regret that either. I don’t think you’re really human if you don’t fight him. I mean that. And oddly enough, I wouldn’t have the confidence to say that if he hadn’t come into my life. I mean that too. But now that he’s in my life, I have to say, I think he is kind of nuts. I mean, he wants me to write a memoir. A memoir entails people and places and events and all I can see is a s**t storm of blowback. Sure he’s not so stupid as to let me make a mess that he has to clean up alone. But still, the only thing I can take from this is that he thinks the whole world is such a mess anyhow that we have to try something. So I guess that’s what I’m here to do. Why not?

I have to assume that I am pretty dense. I’m not very big after all, but everywhere I go, I seem to warp the field around me. There are any number in perpetual fall about me at any time, and when I show up, they bump into others as though they do not know where they are going. Sometimes I cause an inexplicable pull and when they arrive, they are a bit distorted and can’t communicate much at all. Other times they plot a course to come in for a landing and attempt to take me off course with them as they leave. Then there are those that appear right up close, by means that I can’t quite discern, and I’m pretty careful, but sometimes I let them stay, for better or for worse. For a while though, I think I had a reputation for being too dense. That anything that got too close would be sucked under into oblivion. That happened more than once actually, and it is the worst. I guess I had to lighten up.

This is a theory of me.”

Ten Reasons I Deserve Permission to Excel

A reason to be allowed to excel is distinct from a reason to be allowed to live.  Many are allowed to live, and only some are allowed to excel.  You may be allowed to live, even if you are symbolically dead.  To be allowed to excel, you need the traits to make your excelling worth it, not to this or that partisan group, but to the world.  You are bound to find resistance, nevertheless, from those who would like to place their partisan icon in your stead.  But in the only world I care to live, credit belongs where credit is due, so that is a presumption of the permission I seek to justify.

  1. Exposure to the world and its cultures, enough to erode my American Biases.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” – Mark Twain

The internet brings a wealth of information on foreign cultures, but there is no substitute for understanding how a culture operates than living in it.  That as it is, you cannot live in every culture, even for a time, but you nevertheless gain an appreciation for your own bias even with a few extended stays (provided you are not pretending to travel by staying at a resort!).  And frankly, understanding how ‘The Old World’ operates is crucial to understanding America and its goals, when it is on its proper course.

2. Intelligence and Exposure enough to mitigate History and it’s Ideas

It is only by having these properties that one can be allowed to contribute to the course of history and its ideas.  We often construe the internet as a free information share.  It is not entirely this.  There are subjects that remain protected to the point of never making it onto the web and others which, when leaked, get buried like needles under so much hay.  Add to this a certain religious commitment to ‘Empiricism’ as a safeguard against public opinions along an unapproved course, and you find yourself a solver of puzzles in order to both preserve the truth and save yourself from fatal misstep in making your own contributions.  This course of development in any independent person is long and treacherous.  Achieving it is no small feat.

3. Training in Conceptual Disciplines allowing for Understanding of New Ideas.

One cannot appreciate complex ideas – or the evidence for simple and elegant ones – without a grounding in logical, computational, and mathematical subjects.  The development of these skills is also a long course, and it is rarely made explicit for the student.  More frequently, they need to piece together the core of important ideas from the exposure they are given and their nose for what is important.  Often I find myself both fortunate for the exposure and proud of the work I have put in to consolidate what is important to retain.

4. Creativity

Having concluded by reason your own fundamentals, one can use them in a generative capacity, which when coupled with creativity, can result in great things.  I have a ‘creative streak’, I am well aware.  I cannot take full credit for that, but I can take credit for the fact that it has not resulted in my ruin and it has resulted in good works of art and letters within the bounds of ethics.  One needs to be able to loosen the reins and play along the edges, or progress will not be made.

5. Exposure to and appreciation of the Natural World.

The most significant factor in the development of my intuition regarding what is important was the great humility I have felt in the face of the Natural World.  People think of themselves and other people as more important than they are.  If people are ‘special’, it is for their capacity as caretakers of the natural world.  Exposure to nature’s grandeur puts in perspective one’s own existence.  It is less about you and us and them than many are in a position to appreciate.  To appreciate it, one needs to have exposure to the natural world and face it; face it without running for the cover of our petty comfortable battles on the internet and in our neighborhoods; face it without fear.

6. My sense of humor: A healthy irreverence without indignation.

Exposure to nature and its grandeur gives one a certain license for irreverence when confronted with the people’s squabbles.  You can believe me when I say ‘First World Problems’ are not all petty.  ‘First World Problems’ often are the very worst social problems in the world.  But what often is viewed as a problem faced by the people, in any culture, has drastically diminishing significance when put in relief – say – to the size, fertility, and diversity of our uninhabited oceans.  Taking a simple trip to the desert or hiking into the mountains, if one faces what they find without fear, one might just think the people’s problems are less significant than they really tend to believe…  It gives one a certain license to gently cut people down to size, and if one has a humor and wit, it is liberating.

7. My capacity as a representative citizen against notable odds.

The way I was raised was to not see people as of this or that ethnicity, this or that religion, this or that race.  I was raised to see them simply as individuals, capable of representing themselves.  It would be much later when I would come to see people play on these divisions to win favor with ‘their own’ and power over ‘others’.  It is in this way, however, that I am still a Catholic; in that I still have faith in this ethic, with which I was raised.  Some see this lack of ‘street smarts’ as fatal, this ‘naivete’ as something to destroy rather than protect, and for my own good.  I know enough now to understand it hasn’t always worked to my advantage, but I also understand that a certain blindness has protected me from being baited into any misconduct which could later be used against me.  In this reduced form, it really is an American ethic too.

8. Proven willingness to Stand Up for what is right.

I have spoken of standing up to the Medical Community and the risks involved in doing so.  I could have done nothing at all, but I did what was right, both for myself and others.  I am confident that people did not forget that moment, and it was important seven years later.  I won’t be afraid to do it again if it needs to be done.

9. Persistence

Somehow I have no quit.  I know how to battle attrition with discretion, but I have never grown so weary or miserable as to actually commit political suicide (as opposed to faking it to buy time).  “Don’t Ever, Ever Give Up” applies to this German American, just as it did with the British, despite the attempts to divide with Trump.

10. An understanding of what is important, as rooted in fundamentals.

I have noted that the ability to recognize what is and is not important as a condition supporting citizenship.  An understanding of what is important as rooted in fundamentals, moreover, allows for movement through the world on course to achieving important things, not simply as a reaction to what is and what is not important, but as a guiding influence.  Politically this stake is claimed with my book atheoryof.us.  In other areas of intellectual inquiry my education and work ethic have allowed me foundations from which to grow toward the good as well.

I hope I have in the course of my life done enough in the face of odds to warrant an opportunity.

Ten Reasons I Deserve to Live

I must suppose that I am not the first of the Literati to have it out with the Intelligentsia, and later feel they need to defend themselves from any pending mysterious circumstances during the time of a pandemic. I will say it is probably unusual to state the reasons for a pardon in bald public terms, without a formal challenge but for the alignment of circumstances – even if both political and medical.  Nevertheless, death only rarely shows up announced, and if he does, I want to be clear about what they will have to deal with when I am gone.

  1. A capacity to recognize what is and is not important.

There are many people who make a claim to understanding what is important.  Normally their list is incomplete at best, with catch-all appendages intended to cover their holiness.  But to have a claim on life as a good citizen, it is only necessary to be able to recognize what is and is not important, when you see it (in the course of an otherwise ‘normal’ life).  This more limited ability is enough for good citizenship – and is usually the height of what ordinary citizens are permitted to achieve anyhow – though too many fail in only this much.  I make a claim to having a good eye for the important.

2. A capacity for work and fulfilment of duties

If a person cannot show up for regular duties it is difficult to make a case for their citizenship should they otherwise be deemed an inconvenience.  A willingness to work, day-in-and-day-out is often the best argument for our immigrants as well.  For me, it is a point of pride that I show up everyday, whether it be in a formal work-for-pay capacity or otherwise.  It is also no mean feat for someone like me who is creative and can become quickly bored with the mundane, to turn their efforts into a routine, when they know a passion can strike and unexpectedly.  If one learns to channel that into their regularly scheduled efforts, they can be good citizens – and even become a force.

3. Living within the bounds of the law

People in the Western World still lived under the whims of Kings, well past the Magna Carta.  In parts of the world, people live under dictators today.  The people’s right to know ‘the rules of the game’ should never be taken for granted, and the obligation of citizens to play by those rules is a necessary condition on citizenship.  Living within the bounds of the law does not preclude social organizing or civil disobedience – and when the powerful game the laws in reaction to people’s movements, there is certainly more leniency.  It should also be remembered that powerful forces often prefer people to act outside the bounds of the law, not simply to prosecute them within the courts, but so they can later maintain ‘justice’ outside of the system, in the form of blackballing opportunity.  The rule of law, including justice within the law, is the people’s friend.

4. My intellectual indiscretions are not that bad

I admit it!  I got angry!  Still, the principle challenge to our medical system was correct: Treat The Sick.  I said it loud and clear, for many to hear, and in the time of a Pandemic it is more important than ever to hear it again and again, “Treat The Sick!  Treat The Sick!”  It is not an intellectual crime to suggest that the medical community is selective in who, what, and when they treat illness.  Yes, it does something to undermine a blind faith in the system, but I knew first hand that not everyone in the medical community treats the sick without first weighing, among other things, political factors. Thankfully the FBI itself has suggested such claims since my initial public statements on the matter in 2013 and my retelling of some events in atheoryof.me in 2016. 

5. Practice in surviving those acting above the law

Aside from causing me immediate financial harm with a ‘whistle-blower’ label, a problem I have survived but not happily, I also credit the events in (4) with saving my life.  I was actually in line to be trampled under foot by the year 2020, but I turned the events in my life into pending collateral damage for my tormentors, should that happen.  My survival is not luck or grace of God, but skill developed from the necessity of being born into politics, to my chagrin.  If you are reading and understanding this article, you should be able to appreciate this point.  Not everyone needs this skill for a claim on life, but I do.

6. Intelligence enough to mitigate claims on The Truth

Along with recognizing what is and what is not important, it is important to be able to evaluate the veracity of claims without resorting to appeals or deference to authority.  This has never been more obvious than now, after Americans have been subjected to the last administration, sent to make a mockery of America (and especially German America) on the world stage, for the good of old power/money in a new guise.  This ability is important for the evaluation of history as much as it is important for the evaluation of news on social media.

7. Skills for Self-Reliance.

The ability to fish and cook for yourself are two highly under-appreciated skills.  These together with experience in the wilderness means that if you want or need, you can leave society and later come back.  In a modern age, this amounts to a threat as much as it is an appealing course of action.  No one wants to let you off the grid if they can help it, for they don’t know what they should expect when you return – that entails that life is easier for the self-reliant, wherever they are.

8. A capacity for Love and Care

A citizen without a capacity of love and care can do little for the world if not otherwise harnessed by those with this capacity.  Should one have this capacity, they should be allowed a life whose direction they themselves can manage, bringing with them the ability to first do no harm, and then make things better, wherever they go…

9. My weaknesses of character and health do not threaten my life or liberty, nor those of others.

We all have some weaknesses of character.  The important thing is that those weaknesses of character do not consume our life, either by serious and unforgivable misstep, or more commonly by consuming our thoughts and concerns, by preoccupation.  For some, even being too strict in regimen, too ‘correct’ in discourse, and too ‘perfect’ in the output of our work, can amount to a weakness of character.  Hidden behind this ‘perfection’ is often fear – a strong motivator but also a hidden weakness.  For my part, my sentiments for love have a capacity to cloud my judgement, but hope for love has allowed me to live through moments of near despair.  I have taken real shots at love only few and far between… and those days are at their end.

10. My current circumstances allow for a sustainable existence without radical change.

I am not a long shot to find stability in my life, and as a result I do not present a prima facie threat to the State and its institutions.  My stated opinions call for serious changes to world governance and American governance, but they do not entail upheaval of American Constitutional principle, and my battles are of an intellectual nature.  The only threat I pose is to those who actually hold American power over the under-represented American, and that power is not protected as part of American Constitutional principle – financial as that power is.

I think my case for life is good.  Now we will see if, despite four college degrees, this German American is put on eternal latrine duty… that is the world we live in.

atheoryof.us

visit atheoryof.us for the ‘environmentalist libertarian’

Sex Abuse and Schizophrenia

I have had many years to consider the relationship between my diagnosis of Schizophrenia (subsequently changed to a lessor charge) and being sexually molested as a child by those presumably in network with the Catholic Church. Much of my conclusions are related in my memoir (atheoryof.me: a memoir) but perhaps more indirectly than should be the case for the gravity of the matter. The problem with firm conclusions, however, revolve around the complexity of the following issues:

1) Schizophrenia is a symptomatic disorder, which is to say that you are given this diagnosis based on symptoms not based on underlying conditions. Symptoms may vary, they need not include ‘hearing voices’, and people may be misdiagnosed, but there is no biological test, because the illness itself is symptomatic.

2) There is not one condition which brings about the symptoms of Schizophrenia; there are multiple potential underlying conditions, ‘a cluster’ (see “Surviving Schizophrenia”); and none of them – even if present and to some degree ‘apparent’ – amount to Schizophrenia, neither on their own nor taken together.

3) Even if being molested as a child did help bring about the symptoms of Schizophrenia – as it can clearly cause, among other things, a persistent fear, which is a close cousin of paranoia – there is no reason to believe the sexual molestation causes the underlying conditions.

The link missing in the explanation is why, or if, those with the underlying conditions are in fact more likely to be abused; or whether that should be dismissed as coincidence. The truth is, I believe, to be found in the nature of the abuse.

In my experience, the sexual molestation was not for anyone’s gratification. It was for control via humiliation. A certain lack of an ability to control a person can be perceived in the basic symptoms of the conditions underlying Schizophrenia itself. This is what I have indicated as the ‘apparent’ nature of the conditions, independent of any symptoms warranting a diagnosis of Schizophrenia, proper. The result is that the abuser can, quite clearly, be seen as punishing the abused for their condition, in order to better control them (by humiliation). And certainly the unspeakable harm done by the abusers can give rise to symptoms (given the conditions) warranting a proper diagnosis of Schizophrenia.

Of course, if the connection between Schizophrenia and a history of being abused holds true generally (albeit probablistically and statistically), it creates further problems for those with a diagnosis of Schizophrenia. First, there are studies linking a history of having been abused to being abusers. If authorities take these studies at their word, they could place those with a diagnosis of Schizophrenia under greater suspicion than they already are. Meanwhile, those who sought to humiliate their victims with abuse when they were young are more than happy to raise suspicion against their victims (and deflect blame from themselves) by calling them abusers (not to mention ‘Schiz’) in what can amount to a persecution within a community at a later time in life. Management of this burden, while overcoming economic hardship due to the shadow cast by stigma, can lead to homelessness or suicide. These are extremely weighty matters for a community as well as those who are or have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia and/or have been abused, and it is important to consider the degree of validity in the connections involved.

First, not all those diagnosed with Schizophrenia were sexually molested; the rate at which this is the case is unknown and the connection not generally established. The studies on the probability of the abused becoming abusers principally give the percentages of those who have been found guilty of abuse who were also abused as children; and it should not be forgotten that the probability that one was abused given one is an abuser is not the same as the probability that one is an abuser given that one was abused. Furthermore, if the data on whether an abuser was abused is collected by asking the abuser if they were abused, one can expect that these numbers would be inflated by a propensity to deflect blame. Finally, the propensity of abused to become abusers depends to a great extent on, among other matters, the stability of the home and family they grew up in. All of this makes it very strictly a mistake to fear or raise suspicion against anyone who was abused or has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia, on this basis alone or rumor alike (not to mention the possible fabrication of corroborating evidence); and puts a responsibility on society to intervene in those situations where suspicion against a child, later in life, might be due, if nothing is done today.

The most important thing for our society to realize is that in the middle of all of this, there is a person. They are not some preprogrammed automaton simply programmed by competing forces forever incapable of acting according to their will, but a thinking, living human being who can make choices to be a good citizen and decide their role in serving their community. If they are ostracized, they are not given that chance.

Public ‘Use’ and Public ‘Interest’

There can be little mistake that current law prohibits the diversion of water to the ‘straddling community’ of the proposed Foxconn site, for the fact that five plus million of that request is squarely for private use by Foxconn, and therefore not public (Statue 281.346).  People who argue to the contrary are conflating public use with what they deem to be in the public interest. 

There is some claim in this matter that the diversion is in the regional public interest.  In fact, I would be optimistic about the near-term prospect of public improvement.  But the public use requirement is a far-sighted clause and overturning the clause in this case quite clearly sets a precedent whereby non-straddling communities (at a minimum straddling counties like Waukesha) can make a claim to water diversions for the sake of industry.  That, it must be clear, is where this is eventually headed, should we allow for non-public use in this case.

What difference does it make?

The diversion is 1/300th of the current Chicago consumptive diversion, it is therefore very hard to see how this doesn’t amount to a drop in the bucket, which ties Wisconsin’s hands when trying to be competitive with neighboring Great Lakes states.  But overcoming the ‘but what about them’ mentality is what The Council is supposed to achieve.  By bypassing the recommendations and ratification of The Council (who did ratify the Waukesha diversion), we may be stepping backwards, and again into a sibling rivalry mentality. Keeping us out of a competition that is detrimental to our Great Lakes is in large part the purpose of the Council.  What do they have to say?

The future we don’t want

The visionary fear is of a day when any and all great lakes states are diverting great lakes water everywhere for the sake of industry, and even if that water is returned to the basin – as it should be – it is in a polluted state, making a great dumping ground of our lakes.  It is important that pollutants meet current regulations, but there is always something more, something else, something complex we cannot account for, which we know is inevitably coming – even if we know not what.  The next invasive species introduced through ballast water with increased shipping would seem inevitable (Egan, 2017).  Will nanoparticles’ effect on ecology be an Ice-9 we learn about too late?  Who knows?  But we cannot engineer our way out of every scenario and take them one at a time as they arise; given the pace of innovation it is best not to introduce new problems in the first place.  This starts by limiting pollution to entities resident to the Great Lakes basin.

Conclusion

My recommendation is that this diversion not be accepted without guidance and ratification from The Council, but that The Council should not ratify it, because it is not for public use.  Noting premature investment in the project site, all or part of the offer should be made to, e.g. rebid for Amazon HQ2, who should be happy to add Environmental Steward to their portfolio – and therefore may make an exception- even if this premature investment in the site seems to be irresponsible.

Of Gun Violence and the Mentally Ill

Calling the perpetrator of a mass shooting ‘mentally ill’ is another way of saying ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’.  It is clear that anyone who comes to the point of killing dozens of innocents is by everyone’s lights, not right.  But calling them ‘mentally ill’ and simply ‘mentally ill’ does not go far enough.  The vast majority of mentally ill people are not violent.  Even fewer are in any way ‘deranged’.  A tendency towards violence may itself mean that a person is among the mentally ill, but that does not mean that the mentally ill are violent – much less deranged.

As someone who suffers from mental illness, it can be very difficult to determine what can be done to change the stigma but to go on living an honest life, while standing up for your rights and against the stigma.  But if there is any right that the mentally ill can concede, it is the infringement on their right to bear arms, in the name of peace. This may seem like a hopelessly paradoxical position to some who, under feelings of persecution or duress, believe that they are the ones that need protection more than anyone.  But a certain faith and intelligence must go far enough to overcome the fear and feeling of injustice.

Automatic weapons have no place among our citizenry.  They make violence too easy at critical moments and for anyone.  But those with mental illness can go further and be willing to give up firearms entirely, finding other, honest and non-violent ways to protect themselves.  In exchange, they should ask, as I have advocated previously, that there be a taxation on the sale and transfer of firearms, which goes to fund mental health care in our communities.  That seems the least society can do.

Saving American Cold War Gains

Trump is an old man.  He is no stranger to the history of the cold war.  He is also no stranger to America’s continued efforts to maintain its standing in the world against some of its historic enemies.  Yet with every move he makes, America loses ground in Europe against our two most feared rivals: Russian Intelligence and Islamic Terrorism.  And a single failure in judgment could set American back fifty years, at home and abroad.

If there is a question of motive as to why Trump was propped up by connections in Russia during the election, you have to look no further than Europe.  With the Muslim immigration into Europe – some of whom have a propensity for violence and distaste, if not hatred, toward America – there is the making of an Anti-American army on the continent.  And there could be no better Emmanuel Goldstein for Big Brother to lambaste in order to drum up hate for, than our current president.  Making Americans and American affiliations heightened targets of terrorism.  The result is the capacity for the Kremlin to create further distance between America and a European citizenry hostage to random acts of violence, explicated as Anti-American sentiment – true or false.  The perceptions are as important as the reality.  Should a people, not knowing otherwise what they can do to protect themselves from violence, decide that they can at least disassociate, just in case, then they may – provided they do not see it for what it is.

The Kremlin wants, and at all cost, for Europe and the world not to see it for what it is, and America cannot dawdle bringing it to light.

Should the Europeans see this presidency for what it is – an attempt to prop up a (notably non-Jewish, though not anti-Jewish) Goldstein in order to win hate against America – they are integral enough not to collapse under the weight of pressure from anti-American sentiment.  Should the means and methods by which Trump came into power remain even too slowly dragged into the public consciousness, a single misstep can destroy American objectives for years to come in the meantime.  This may well be the intended purpose of this presidency itself.  And with it the Kremlin gains what Authoritarians always desire most, control.

The best hope is for the FBI to move swiftly with their investigations – something that Trump is now fighting with the release, and threat of release, of previously classified intelligence documents.  But the best case scenario is admitting we have been had by the Kremlin, so in any case, America will have to realize it has some fighting to do, but at least we stem the tide of tyranny.

The Logical Integrity of a Schizophrenic

http://milwaukeescience.org/blog/the-logical-integrity-of-a-schizophrenic/

Just a Timely Observation

When you know a lot about a person, there is at least two ways you can approach them.  The first is as a human.  Compliment them on their positive qualities; compliment them on their good ideas and good actions; try to help them where they are failing, both in action and in principle; help them to help themselves with what they have to offer and by correcting where they are failing.

The second approach is to ask how a person may be used (exploited?); how can we take (steal?) from a person as much as we can while paying as little as possible; how a person can be made (coerced?) to agree; how can a person be made a non-factor by playing them against others or by stripping them of wealth, credibility, relationships, etc.

It goes without saying that a capitalism without ethics lends itself to the second approach, and breeds a species of men which are sad at best; but it must also be remembered that we cannot legislate ethics – it must come from us as a people.

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