For decades we have been at an impasse: No matter how many children are machine-gunned, we can do nothing about the spread of gun violence. The impasse is partly because of the money the NRA can spend in Washington to defeat reforms, and partly because of a Supreme Court that believes that a few 18th century white gentry couldn’t make a mistake. The Second Amendment isn’t likely to receive a serious critique during our lifetimes, so we’re stuck with it. (more…)
“About 14% of the people in America have enough money to make sure their interests are looked after in Washington; the rest have to depend on the president.”
John F. Kennedy, possibly told to him by his brother, Robert.
Dateline Wednesday, November 7, 2012: America has reelected President Barack Obama. In Romney’s concession speech this unfathomable Mitt-politician disappeared and we saw instead a human being, a thoughtful personable human being I’d like to see invited into Obama’s cabinet. We could never depend on Candidate Romney to look after the whole of America, especially not the bottom 86%, and so Obama’s election is truly a victory for America. But that’s not what I’m writing about here.
No one should think our country is heading in a leftish direction. (more…)
Blaise Pascal was a 17th Century mathematician whose many discoveries included modern probability theory and the economy of scale. Back then he put his famous “wager” in religious terms: No one can prove there is or isn’t a God, but choosing to believe offers infinite upside benefit (Heaven) and no downside risk, whereas choosing to disbelieve offers minor upside benefit (e.g., you get to skip church) but infinite downside risk (Hell). I’m not focusing on religion but rather Pascal’s realization that in an economy of scale it never makes sense to bet a limited gain against a catastrophic loss. His wager was actually a no-brainer: We vote against loss. (more…)
The steam pipes heating my building run under my office. They leak a lot, so over time I’ve made friends with the plumber. One day I said, “I’ll bet you see a lot of plumbing problems in these older buildings” “Nah,” he replied, “the real problems are in the new buildings.” He meant he had his hands full with new defective pipes made in China. (more…)
Diets don’t work. This is because no matter how much weight you lose at first, your mind can’t stay in a state of perpetual deprivation. So eventually the diet will end and the weight will return. If you already know this, then you’re ready to lose weight with hypnosis. Hypnosis mobilizes the power of your unconscious mind to change how you experience yourself. The hypnotist doesn’t do anything to you, except to help your own unconscious mind take over. Hypnosis for losing weight is all about letting your unconscious mind guide you naturally toward healthy eating patterns. (more…)
Harry Truman famously said, “There’s nothing new but the history you don’t know.” Is Romney trying to trick us or is he simply ignorant about American history? Remember Reagan? He lectured us about the benefits of tax cuts, then he doubled the size of the federal government and doubled the deficit. Reagan won voters by showing the TV screen his face of righteous indignation at the thought that his plans would harm the needy. Yet as soon as he was elected, he dismantled the safety net. If you know your history, homelessness did not exist in America before Reagan. He closed mental hospitals, rehab programs, and housing alternatives, so the disabled ended up on the streets. (more…)
Can it be true? Yes. Is there such a thing as hypnosis for fertility when couples are having problems becoming parents? Oh, Yes. It’s hard to believe because over thousands of years no one has been able to explain fully why hypnosis works in the easy cases, let alone a complicated topic like fertility. Easy cases like stopping smoking, weight loss, and insomnia are still somewhat mysterious, but Hey, evidence is evidence: you sleep through the night, lose weight, have no urge to smoke. Everyone can see it (except insurance companies). (more…)
I know because I did it! I was the heaviest smoker in North America, 3 packs a day, more on weekends. I know all the ways of failing: patches, gum, pills, and especially trying conscious willpower. I played all the usual tricks on myself: “Cigarettes reduce stress…they’re friends…they relax you…they taste good with coffee…or a drink.” Ha! It’s all false. Here’s why smoking holds its addictive grip: I was willing to try any method I knew would fail, but I was reluctant to quit smoking with hypnosis because secretly I knew it would work, and then I’d be without my cigarettes! Don’t laugh. Someday I’m going to start handing out a business card that says: “Gary Ahlskog, PhD, Bottom of the Barrel,” because it’s true that most people put hypnosis at the bottom of their list and don’t call me until they’ve failed at everything else. (more…)