21May

If You Are Uninformed/Ignorant, Stay Out of the Conversation

If you don’t care enough to look past the PR campaign and search out the truth, you are irresponsible.  That’s important and I’ll tell you why.  We are living with a crazy president, we are not buying soap.  Your ignorance is causing my life problems and that is unacceptable to me.

PR is okay for purchasing cereal, it’s not okay for running a country.  Just so we are clear here, PR is ‘public relations’ and is most usually associated with lies and fairy tales.

We have a responsibility as human beings to know the truth about the people that we trust with our lives.  If the leader of our country is making billions of dollars by cooperating with a foreign government on oil deals and other commercial enterprises not available to a private citizen, that is criminal.  It is also a way to sell Americans for the evil of “the love of money”.

We Americans are unhappy and we have every right to be.  We live in systems that take advantage of us.  No matter how much we work hard and earn, there are mechanisms in place to break us: minimum wage, the price of healthcare, racism, sexism, bigotry, and the big one, greed.  Greed creates political systems that steal from us, Dakota Access Pipeline as an example.   Another recent example includes fighting in wars that protect oil wells instead of human beings.  These governmental activities cost money and we forget, that we pay those bills.

As Americans we need to know when politicians legislate for their own personal profit.  We need to know when our trust is betrayed.  This requires work and information.  As Americans, we must sacrifice our ignorance to a greater good.  That good is to know when we must act, and that time, the time to act, is now.

06Mar

Lying, Truth and Covert Activity

Flexible lying, alternative truth, these terms are laughable. Philosophy is arguable, but the concept of truth is not. Your truth may be different from mine in matters of thinking and in matters of the heart, but “the” truth is universal.
I don’t speak of philosophy here. I speak of the objective observable universe that surrounds us.
In the “breaking news” parlance, a wiretap is a wiretap, an earthquake is an earthquake and the ocean current moves in an easterly direction, not a westerly direction. Five inches of snow is not one inch of snow and rain falls to the ground.
If you do not “like” something ~ that is your truth, it is not “the” truth. People in power have used their power to force others to adopt their own truth. So it is; if a person in power does not “like” something or someone, that person will also insist that all people who are subordinate to them adopt the same version of their own truth.
Forcing others to adopt your truth does not make a concept into “the” truth. Too often, managers and controllers do not understand this fact. Indeed, corporate culture is evidence to this. Anyone who does not buy into the boss’s idea of reality (personal truth) soon finds themselves without employment.
The next logical step is covert activity. When those in power insist that, we agree with them, our choices can be limited. Often team members will keep their own truth to themselves because of the power position of other team members.
However, the most common use of covertness is to trick others and use this trickery to take their choices away from them. The point of cheating on your spouse is to take your spouse’s choice away. If your spouse does not know that you have cheated, then they will not file for a divorce.
Such is the way of briberies to elected officials. Congressmen and women do not want anyone to know who is paying bribes to them. These bribes are paid in order to control the congressional votes. Congress put a law into effect allowing slush funds (PACs) so that they could legally collect bribes and do the work of the wealthy. An example of this is that the average American does not know that wealthy business owners have paid millions and millions in bribes to keep the minimum wage artificially low. We are not informed about which millionaires paid the bribes, nor do we know which congress-people voted against living wages for full time work. (We can draw this clear line with information available, but have not.) This is covertness at its best. Americans don’t know who to be angry with, they just know that they are being cheated in many and varied different ways.
Americans know that health care is ridiculously expensive and cannot be provided to anyone without insurance, but whom should we be angry with? Congress-people who have allowed drug companies to rape the American economy and Medicare? On the other hand, do they blame doctors for charging ridiculous fees for very simple procedures? Should Americans blame insurance companies, who cherry-pick the healthy, leaving the aged and poor to taxpayers for healthcare?
Covert activities that hide the truth: take our ability to choose, away from us in a very big way.
The internet has given us powerful tools to fight against economic oppression. The most useful tool to combat oppression is truth and transparency. With truth, we know who to communicate with, we know who is at fault and we know what to choose. Our reactions can be specific and guided. This is the kind of America that I want to be a part of: I want to live in a place where if others are doing bad things (lying, stealing and cheating) that there is a way to discover the truth, then act on the truth, and do so in a reliable and honest way. I do not want to be part of a culture that encourages lying and cheating because of wealth and money. I do not want to be part of a culture that keeps harsh secrets that benefit the few, but not you. I do not want to be part of a culture that condemns truth, just because that truth is damning.

02Mar

Psychopath

There is so much on the internet about the sociopath and/or psychopath.  Yesterday, I read another article about how to manage psychopathic behavior in your life.  This article was about “Psychopathic bosses”, how to recognize them as psychopathic and then how to manage the behavior.  The more I read the description of behavior, the more I think that it is “spoiled brat” behavior.  I don’t want to generalize; I just want to point something out to make some distinctions.  Selfish “me-focused” behavior is becoming more and more prevalent in our culture.

People who are only concerned with themselves and who will take negative action against others in order to have personal gain are more and more common in our culture.  It is our own doing, because we have clearly aggrandized the successfully greedy.  We have made people who do nothing and yet earn millions the most popular and “followed” celebrities.  It is clear in our admiration that we will follow those with money, even if they are greedy and mean, victimizing people in order to put money in their own pockets.

For the most part, we won’t even find out what kind of person we are admiring.  Papa John, who makes pizza, lives in a 40,000 square foot house, but pays his staff $8.00 per hour.  He is a thief of human well-being and uses capitalism as defense for his crimes.  Papa John is followed for his business acumen, but his formula is very easy.  Use your superior position to take advantage of others, as much and as long as you can.  Use your money to legislate in your favor, pay senators and congressmen to ensure that minimum wage is not increased.  Make it impossible for people to get health care, it is very expensive and as an American business man you will pay for nothing that is not for yourself or your own family.

On a therapist’s sofa the American business man would be diagnosed as sociopaths who engage in psychopathic behavior.

It is no surprise that spoiled brats run amuck in our culture.  Our role models are incredibly horrible examples of humanity.

 

01Mar

Dear Mr. Trump

I’ve been writing this blog for eight years and I have never repeated myself, but this article bears repeating:

11/3/14

If, indeed, our purpose is to find ways to live together productively and peacefully then I am sure that my job is to write.  I am positive that I have the right way to attain a productive and peaceful coexistence with anyone and everyone.  I am also sure that I can articulate it.

We must realize that hierarchical social systems are the antithesis of egalitarian living.  Some argue that hierarchical social systems are necessary because of the number of humans on the planet.  I do not agree with this argument.  I also do not believe that leaders should be static.  Situational leadership demands that either the situation changes to fit the leader, or the leadership must change to fit the situation.

Our various hierarchical societies are a punishing way to construct humanity.  The current construct demands that those on the top of hierarchies be greedy, anti-social or both.  This is not to say that each and all wealthy and/or powerful humans are greedy, it is to say that the structure of hierarchy breeds greed.  Often, in order to get to the top of the hierarchy, one must engage in behavior that is antithetical to humanity.  Pushing to the “top” is sometimes a terrible game of cruelty that leaves many victimized and demoralized.

The American culture which began so full of hope for equality for all humans, came to idolize wealth instead of humanitarian ideals and thus lost the initial impetus for effective social change for equality and an egalitarian way of life for humans of the Earth.

This is unfortunate, as it is a delay that has cost us many years and many lives.  The American culture encourages elitism and champions those who fight to the “top” of our various social systems and cultures.  We have therefore bred a group of leaders who proudly look only to their own good, who overtly attempt control of different social systems and who hoard money in any way possible in order to further their own ends.  This group of leaders feels that it is their right, by virtue of the fact that they sit on top of the elite social structure, to have more and better just for them and no one else.  As the governor’s campaign says “Power for the few, but not for you.”

How do we change this?  How do we make it better, different, important, once again, as a human ideal?  First we must acknowledge that equality is a value that we wish to place above other qualities.  We must also acknowledge that on the slippery slope of making money, we forgot that human beings and their lives are more important than any amount of money.  As others have said “You cannot have a war, if no one comes.”  If we want our sons and daughters to live into old age, we will not send them into battlefields where American millionaires find more and more ways to keep money that they have not earned.  If we were sincere about this, we would reverse the legislation of the Reagans and Bushes and make it illegal (immoral, of course) to make money from a war – no matter the cause of the war.

3.1.17

It is hard to believe, that once again, we beg our politicians to stop making war and to stop treating humans like refuse.  Why is this even a thing?  Why aren’t we beyond war and greed as a way of life?

 

28Jan

We Must Take Action

Take Action

25Jan

I’m Not Sure What People are Thinking

But, does no one remember the French revolution, nor the reason for Bastille Day?    Wikipedia says the famous phrase “let them eat cake” means: Let them eat cake” is the traditional translation of the French phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”, supposedly spoken by “a great princess” upon learning that the peasants had no bread. Since brioche was a luxury bread enriched with butter and eggs, the quote would reflect the princess’s disregard for the peasants, or at least a complete lack of understanding that the absence of basic food staples was due to poverty rather than a lack of supply.

These things happened in history and we pay no attention to them.  When the wealthy have a disregard for the common person; when the common person does not eat; bad things can and will happen to the wealthy.

We have no royalty here in America and yet we hold to the tradition of royalty by allowing capitalism to rule all decisions.  Those who are wealthy are treated like royalty.  They make laws and they rape the common person at every opportunity.  High taxes for the common person, no taxes for the wealthy.

What is happening now with Donald Trump is unrecognizable by many, yet the truth comes toward us and has probably been coming towards us for many decades.  Take away the ability for a common person to make bread for their families and you endanger the safety of those who withhold those foods.

We now have a president who plays games with words and with the press.  His values are diametrically opposed to American values.  He is dishonest; he uses his money and position to harm women and probably men also.  He is against equality in all of its forms and particularly against economic equality.  Donald Trump is a racist, and is supported by numerous white men, including a majority of the Republican oligarchy.

I am worried for America because we are a fresh and new country and do not have experience with how to manage these issues.  Many people have stated that Trump is supposed to fix all that is wrong with America, but instead, he fixes nothing and instead moves forward the white male capitalistic agenda.  All of the common people who do not gain improvement and who are punished by voting for Trump will increase as time goes by.

When they (Trump’s Administration) normalize violence against civilians by going forward with the Dakota Access Pipe Line (DAPL) and using American troops against Native Americans, this country is open to violent civil disobedience.  This is a very bad sign for the status of our country.  Americans cannot turn their heads away from these crimes against humanity.  Starvation of the common people, advocating for violence against women and then the use of American troops against Native Americans; where does it end?  We haven’t even addressed all of those Americans who will die as a result of the Trump’s administration removal of the Affordable Care Act.

None of this is good and bodes poorly for our future as Americans.

12Dec

Guns in America

We have a right to guns in America so that we can protect ourselves from an unjust government, such as the British government in the 18th century.

We do not have a right to guns so that we can impose our will on others who disagree with us.

14Nov

Cash, Guns and Food

Justice is a human construct and therefore only exists if humans make it so.  I often tell people, “do not expect justice, it doesn’t exist on its own.”

I know this and I preach this.  The wishes for karma, the wish for a vengeful God, the wish for the rich to be rejected from heaven, are all just that: wishful thinking.  Religion is a structure that gives the peasant, the working masses; reasons to keep going from day to day.

America gives a chance to live beyond a survival mode and an opportunity to actually experience life.  It is an epic growth opportunity, but it requires choice.  What I mean by this is that, you must be consciously willing to go past the ego’s survival to another consciousness that includes more than just the self.  It is a conscious choice and cannot be made by an unconscious ego that concerns itself with only self, and is in survival.  This living, which is a step up on Maslow’s hierarchy, requires the self to be concerned with others, to think of others and ultimately to have compassion for others.
maslow

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is all in the background of my mind and so affects how I view how the presidential election played itself out.  I am deeply ashamed by what we have done here in America (and of course, we have done worse).  I am embarrassed that people I love actually support Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.  I understand that justice does not exist, so I do not fight the idea that the electoral college “trumps” the popular vote.  The majority of America prefers Hillary Clinton, but…too bad, so sad.  Bruce and I each have a young nephew that supports Trump, one posting on Facebook “I’m not racist or bigoted, I just like Trump.”  The other posting on Snapchat “I am a deplorable.”  There is a thought by these young people that Trump will change Washington ~ and I am sure he will.  I don’t know if they noticed that the same old republican senators are following Trump around.  Capitalism will continue to reign supreme in this country.  It will not be beneficial to the working person, not at all.  Capitalism in America is just like Trump, concerned with self and with no other.

In the back of my mind is the thought that this is a white man’s war against anyone and everyone who challenges the authority of the white man.  It’s been a comfortable position for the white man here in America, and who would give that up willingly?  Capitalism has been the white man’s weapon and they have used it well to repress all others.  White men owned Madison Avenue and spun their own stories of reality.  It is almost unbelievable how many Americans keep falling for the fairy tales that Madison Avenue keeps spinning.  From the cigarette industry to the current mortgage catastrophe, advertising companies have sold Americans a bill of goods that Americans keep buying.

No wonder the uneducated working class white male voted for Trump, and their women, who voted the same!  The problem identification is so wrong.  Working people will not have their life improved by an emphasis on capitalism, witness the last 10 years, capitalism has almost wiped us out.  Capitalism has decreased the middle class by more than 15% – all of those people are now poor.  The loss of homes still proceeds at an epic rate.

I am more scared than I have ever been, even when Bush was president.  I believe that egos are in control and egos are always about survival and self.  This is bad news for each and every other person.  The person in power will always chose self when the ego is in control.

Cash, guns and food ~ Bruce and I have decided to launch a defensive campaign, just in case.  We are putting together a reserve of cash, guns and food.  But make no mistake; we are able to do this.  There are millions who cannot.  Twenty percent of Americans live below the poverty level.  For those in poverty, there is no such thing as a reserve.  We are looking towards some very bad times here in America, and I am scared, not just for me, but for everyone.

 

06Nov

Women, a New Day

One of those obvious things ~

It never crossed my mind that I would need to explain feminism to my daughters.  After all, I lived a strong and independent life and worked hard for my own accomplishments.

I never told them how lonely it is to fight for women.  I never told them about the personal prices that I had to pay to defend women who were being raped by the current culture.  I never explained to them the reality of how difficult it was for my mother to get a job as a bartender.  My mother was, literally, the first female bartender in a free standing bar in 1968.

The biggest prices that women pay are the economic ones.  After all, if you have money, everything else can be bought.  Women have always, systematically, been kept out of the most lucrative jobs available in America.  This is why it was so important for my mother to get that bartending job; it was the highest paying job in the industry.

At work in the 90s: when I spoke out against a male physician who was denigrating women in our treatment facility, I was marginalized and had to work in a hostile environment.  Ignorantly, I finally resigned and the women who came to the facility for treatment continued to be put down and insulted by the Latin physician who thought shaming was okay.

My daughters were with me when these things happened to me.  I didn’t explain any of it.  I realize that in retrospect, it only meant that mom didn’t like her job anymore.  I must have discussed it; I must have made some words for it.  I didn’t explain it enough.

Being independent was not about getting away from men, it was more about ensuring that I had choices in my life.  I thought I was demonstrating the right life, in spite of a male dominated culture.  It wasn’t that a man beat a woman: it was more that nothing would happen to that man when he beat that woman.  I was fighting the structure of a culture that allowed women to be beat; that kept those women in minimum wage jobs, that made child care impossibly expensive.  When I was young it was actually impossible to get child support.  Fathers of young children roamed free while the mothers were chained to child care and bare minimum wages.  That was my world reality at age 20.  Women stayed in hurtful marriages because the alternative was so much worse.  Add to that, the fact that many women were sexually blackmailed by men more powerful than they.  Landlords would demand sexual favors and no woman without money or family was safe in this environment.

Today, life is much better for women, but not nearly as good as it should be, not nearly equitable.  My daughters are not aware ~ perhaps~ of this long and dark road that women have had to go down in the last millennium (or so).   Trust me on this, it has been a dark road.  When European daughters were being raped by uncles, brothers and fathers, Freud called it penis envy and the whole world believed that hundreds of women were just having sexual fantasies.  Indeed, it has been a dark road for women of all classes.

Today, we are able to articulate so much of what was deprived of us before now.  Now I hear people talking about the “pink tax” and I am so thrilled that it is now “a thing”.  Yes, not only do women make less money than men, but then women must also pay more for everything that they need and purchase.  Dry cleaning a woman’s shirt is 4.99 and a man’s shirt is 1.49.  I am told by the dry cleaner that a woman’s shirt is more difficult to press.  Why?  No answer.

This culture is a structure that many men do not wish to be a part of.  My son is passionate about fairness and would not participate in any of these crimes against women.  But these crimes continue unabated.  Women are still being beaten and murdered by their spouses at an alarming rate.  Incest continues and perpetrators walk about freely with no one the wiser of the crimes.

We still don’t have enough female senators and certainly not enough female CEOs, and those women in power are often there as a function of being co-opted into the male world.

Why would any woman in her right mind, in America, vote for Donald Trump?

 

01Oct

How We Think About Beauty

The Aquarium

As I stood there watching the octopus, I had to think about beauty.  This creature was wrinkled, red, beige and fluidly graceful in movement.  It appeared to have no bone structure and the eyes were strangely macabre.  Yet, in every way, the creature was beautiful.  I tried to understand why, in the animal world, the standard for beauty is very different than it is for humans.  In the human world, we want beauty to look exactly a certain way.

When we are watching the fish in the aquarium, we do not care what size, nor what color and shape the sea creatures are.  What’s more, the creatures do not care.  I am wishing that humans could feel that way about each other:  no matter what, your color, nor your shape matters, you are beautiful.