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Apocalypse is Called Off
February 3, 2015
Many, many people these days believe it's the end of the world. They may believe it so strongly that they appear swept away with the notion. Their emotions rise and fall from intense judgment on non-believers, to fear, to anger, to religious self-righteousness. They may forward insane chain letters, even to their normal friends. Maybe this is a hollow gesture of compassion for the rest of us, as though their fanatical fears about the Federal Reserve, or the evil black president, or whatever, will wake us up. If we see things as they do, then we will be raptured to heaven with them.
The apocalypse is an archetype of destruction of the ego, and coming to terms with the world's flaws and filth. The apocalypse is a story that needs actors to act it out in society. The more minds that catch fire with the apocalyptic vision, the more dangerous it gets for the rest of us. If you haven't noticed yet, the most fervent apocalypse types are out of touch with reality and they collect guns—and nowadays they vote and elect insane politicians. These folks believe in the hysteria of the story they enact, so they don't feel the need to follow the laws of man. They are god warriors.
That's why, here at Surrealist.org, we are calling off the apocalypse. If you were worried about the world ending: it won't. If you think you're on a mission for god to save the rest of the souls who can be saved: you aren't. If you think the Federal Reserve and all these things are conspiracy theories of a domineering aristocratic class to enslave the masses: you're only part right. There are a darned lot of things that should be public, such as printing the country's money. However, the greedy people of the aristocratic class are out to privatize everything they can get their hands on. Therefore, vote for politicians who genuinely want to help the middle class and poor. This is not a conspiracy theory, it's just what is. (The Democrats are more inclined to want to help people and build up the country's infrastructure; Republicans usually think the government should only spend money on war and tax cuts for the wealthy.)
People are tired of trying to drum up an apocalypse, therefore just do something positive with your own life. Live in the present moment, be kinder to your neighbor, mend an old feud, eat health food, exercise, and work to simplify your life. If you currently believe it's the end of the world, and that you are a crusade for god, just think how much simpler your life would be if you could just live a productive, peaceful life, instead.
A Collection of Intender Visions|
by the Vision Alignment Project
"When one is trusting in the innate goodness of the Universe, it's easy to give up our old ways of doing things. Our reliance upon everything from poor leadership to destructive energy sources melts away in the light of new, more pleasing alternatives."
"We see a world filled with laughter; with people so happy that they infect everyone around them with their lightheartedness. And we see a world where our seriousness has disappeared entirely; where our dramas are gone; our traumas are healed; and our whole outlook on life is now seen through the eyes of our own good humor."
"We see a world where all our insecurity is gone, where we have learned to trust, 100%, that whatever we need is there for us whenever we need it, and if it isn't there it's because we don't really need it or it isn't in the Highest Good for us to have it at this particular time. In this way, all greed has vanished from our world, and no one is hoarding more than what they need for themself - and, likewise, no one is coveting the possessions of others or scheming to take away what others have in order to satisfy their own insecurities."
"Now we live in a world where our creativity is honored; where our inventiveness is rewarded; and where we have learned that when we call forth the Highest Good we can manifest anything we need for ourselves in the moment we need it."
"Moreover, we are now living in a world where our peace of mind has returned because we are creating the world around us and fulfilling our needs moment by moment by moment. In doing so, we have stepped into our rightful place in the Universe as conscious co-creators, able to manifest anything we choose at will. Indeed, we have reclaimed our birthright because we are doing what we came here to do."
"We envision a world where our first inclination, upon meeting someone new, is to open ourselves up to being friends with them. We see a world where this is made possible because we have learned to truly care for one another; where we give each other the benefit of the doubt because we are no longer harming one another; and where we have all realized that our highest and best interests and our friend's highest and best interests are one and the same."
How Do You Buy an Election?
January 28, 2015
As if to taunt us further with their bullying, the trust babies of Koch Industries, Charles and David Koch, the richest little boys in the world, announced yesterday that they plan to spend $889 million in the 2016 elections. They named this super-salesman price, $889m, to make it sound like less than a billion. Thanks for softening the blow. Surrealist.org calls on the Federal Election Commission to investigate this, and do something to stop the flow of unrestricted dark money into our election system. This is a non-partisan issue, because it will determine the future of our whole country. Also we call on the Democratic fundraisers to stop scaring the public, holding us up, demanding that we match the Koch brothers' money, because individual, small donors are not the front lines to fighting corruption.
R.I.P. Old Friend
January 23, 2015
Remembering a dear friend who died this morning, just a few weeks before his sixtieth birthday. Kyle C. Kyle, aka Harold Pursor, born Kyle Scott Seidenbaum, in Honolulu, February 19, 1955, died peacefully at home under hospice care. He was a lifelong Los Angeles musician, playing drums in many bands, and as a studio musician, over five decades. A dear, amazing person. He is sadly missed by many.
Obituary in L.A. Weekly, by Greg Burk. Some of the bands he was in: The Motels, Venus and the Razerblades, the Skulls, the Droogs, the Eyes, Charles Duncan and the Willys, Dred Scott, Imitation Life, Two Based Hit, Wafflebutt, the Wild Stares, W.A.C.O., Listing Ship, the Skanksters, the Disappeared, the Chump Change Gang, Sylvia Juncosa . . . .
I took this photo of Kyle on the opening night of his movie in 1995.
Summary of President Obama's State of the Union
Delivered January 20, 2015
• Sitting behind the President: grinning husky and Grumpy Cat.
• Voting is sacred to the American people.
• Economic recovery; ended the ground wars in the Iraq and Afghanistan; will work to curb drones; healthcare; marriage equality; climate deal with China; executive orders on immigration; Cuba; will work to close Gitmo.
• Epic retort to detractors.
Freedom of Speech
January 16, 2015
There's a big debate about freedom of speech, which started January 7, after two gunmen broke into the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo, and killed twelve people. Five of those murdered were cartoonists, and the murderers may have committed this assassination after taking offense at cartoons Charlie Hebdo published.
Some, including Pope Francis, have stated that the magazine went too far, and should have expected such retaliation. Free speech is real, because the government did not come down on Charlie Hebdo. However, free speech is not yet an all-time, concrete fact on Earth, since the physical laws of this world permit immature people with guns to kill people who exercise their freedoms. It's illegal, but hard to prevent.
We cannot blame this predicament on god, since it is humankind's responsibility to establish freedom of speech. We can't blame government officials directly, since nobody in the government wants to kill people for exercising their freedoms. (At least we hope nobody in the government was involved in this.) We have only our era—humankind's level of maturity—to blame. But that's the good news, because taking responsibility is the first step toward solving a problem. If people decide that freedom of speech in a world free from violence is the goal, then let's go!
We will have true freedom of speech when people on all sides of an argument agree to be civil. In other words, instead of shooting someone, you work your frustrations out through words. This may seem impossible, but it is perhaps the destiny of humankind. It may not happen in our lifetimes, but someday, society could reach this level of maturity. It's like children. You might look at a rowdy child and say, "That kid will never grow up." But then you run into the family again twenty years later, and observe that the young man has turned out great.
Not all children grow up right. Rowdy children sometimes turn into criminals, but let us hope that the fate of our world includes the ability to learn from our mistakes, learn effective communication, and learn how to solve disagreements.
Condolences to Paris
January 8, 2015
Our deepest sympathy and regrets go out to those affected in yesterday's terror attack in Paris.
In 1995, after the Oklahoma City bombing, Jungian researcher Edward F. Edinger sent the following letter to the editor of his local paper:
The letter was never published. It contains wisdom about terrorism that we have not yet integrated, twenty years hence. Finally, we consider listening to him now.
A Vision for Gentleness
by the Vision Alignment Project
posted here January 7, 2015
We see a world where gentleness has surfaced in every nation, in every family, in every business, in every home, in every heart; where our inclinations to act out in anger have entirely disappeared and have been replaced by a sweetness, a softness that tells all others that we mean no harm, that we only seek to help in whatever way we can. We see a world where the rough edges of life are gone now, and looked back upon as a step we had to go through in order to reach the place where our acts, both individual and worldly, are caring and compassionate; where we learned, through our pain and sorrow, that our hardness and our harshness took us away from the happiness we sought, and that our gentleness returned us, straight away, to the love that was within us all along.
A Smattering of 2014 Police Killings
December 30, 2014
• Darrien Hunt, Saratoga Springs, UT: shot six times in the back for carrying a toy sword.
• Ezell Ford, Los Angeles: allegedly shot execution style while lying on the ground, after police stopped him for looking like someone involved in a crime.
• Omar Abrego, Los Angeles: after a car chase, police allegedly punched him repeatedly in the face, hit him with a baton, then shot and killed him.
• Tamir E. Rice, Cleveland: police shot this twelve-year-old playing with a toy gun in a park with no questions asked.
• Tanesha Anderson, Cleveland: police allegedly slammed a schizophrenic thirty-seven-year-old woman to the pavement and killed her.
• Rumain Brisbon, Phoenix: police shot and killed him for allegedly having a gun, but all he had was a pill bottle.
• John Crawford III, Beavercreek, OH: police shot him multiple times for holding a toy gun he was about to buy in a Walmart.
• Keith Vidal, Southport, NC: police shot a schizophrenic eighteen-year-old holding a screwdriver in his home, while responding to his parents' 911 call for help.
• Kajieme Powell, St. Louis: police assassinated the twenty-five-year-old for allegedly stealing energy drinks and pastries from a convenience store, just days after police in Ferguson shot Mike Brown for a similar reason.
• Akai Gurley, Brooklyn: police shot this innocent man for walking down a darkened flight of stairs in his own apartment building.
• Eric Garner, Staten Island: Officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Garner in an illegal chokehold, while Garner yelled, "I can't breathe."
• Mike Brown, Ferguson, MO: Officer Darren Wilson repeatedly shot the eighteen-year-old, including in the hands, when he turned and put his hands up.
• Michelle Cusseaux, Phoenix: police killed the schizophrenic fifty-year-old in her home instead of transporting her to a psychiatric hospital.
• Jack Jacquez, Rocky Ford, CO: Officer James Ashby shot Jacquez two times in his home for no apparent reason.
• Jason Harrison, Dallas: officers shot Harrison on the front porch of his mother's home for weilding a screwdriver. His mother had called 911 seeking help for her mentally disturbed son.
• Yvette Smith, Bastrop County, TX: Sheriff's Deputy Daniel Willis shot the forty-seven-year-old at the front door of a house, he died in a hospital.
• Louis Rodriguez, Oklahoma City: police killed this man when they responded to a domestic dispute between his wife and daughter. He was trying to calm his wife down; when police arrived, they beat and suffocated him.
• Matthew Pollow, Palm Beach, FL: Police shot Pollow for charging them with a screwdriver.
• Dontre D. Hamilton, Milwaukee, WI: Officer Christopher Manney punched a thirty-one-year-old schizophrenic man, hit him with a baton, then shot him fourteen times. Manney was homeless, and sleeping in a park, when officers awakened, and killed him.
• David Latham, Northfolk, VA: Police shot this schizophrenic man nine times in the doorway of his home when his mother and sister called 911 for threatening his brother with a knife.
• Maria Godinez, Orlando: Officer Eduardo Sanguino shot and killed this twenty-two-year-old college student, while trying to kill Kody Roach, who was reportedly waiving a gun outside.
Editor's note: Apparently, the FBI does not collect crime statistics on police shootings, but citizens' groups estimate that in 2014, law enforcement officials killed 1,039 people. These are just a few of those stories. See thinkprogress.org for more details and photos of the dead. Check this website for ongoing records: killedbypolice.net.
A Vision for Healing Ourselves and Our Planet
by V.B., of Palestine, Texas
December 24, 2014, Christmas Eve
We see a vision of our children as they arrive on planet earth never losing their connection to their higher self, knowing who they are and why they are here. They are continuously and lovingly supported by parents, angels, guides and others in ways that nourish, inspire and uplift them. They are a source of pure light and love, here to assist the planet in healing.
We see a vision of ourselves as whole and fully integrated, having forgiven ourselves and others and loving all aspects of who we are. We see ourselves living freely, compassionately, and in gratitude for all that has passed, which has brought us to where we are now. We see ourselves carrying out our higher purpose work in service to our fellow man and our planet. We see ourselves as healed, filled with light and love which, in turn, heals others by our very presence. As we raise our vibration, we assist in raising the vibration of those around us.
We see a vision of ourselves, our children, all people and our planet as healed and vibrating pure love and light. Click here to align with this vision.
This is my Christmas tree sending you a message: have a merry Christmas.
Sony's The Interview
December 19, 2014
The last few days we have been watching a scenario of international intrigue unfold around the movie, The Interview, by Sony Pictures. The movie is reportedly a comendy about assassinating Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Although Sony and their supporters think Sony was well within its First Amendment rights to make the movie, I wish to present an alternative view. In America we have freedom of speech, but we are not free to make movies about assassinating specific elected officials. Since we cannot legally make such a movie about our leaders, why would we think we have a right to make one about another country's leader? It shows complete lack of respect, and just seems unwise. Look at all the trouble the movie has caused. I pray that this situation simmers down. Sony is a good company, but even good companies make bad decisions sometimes, and must take the consequences. Maybe the movie will turn out to be really good, and we can all have a good laugh. Here's my review of Salmon Rushdie's, Satanic Verses, the last work of art that caused a fatwa.
What does it mean to miss Glass-Steagall?
Click here for student writing on the economy, and the market melt-down.
The Torture Report
December 10, 2014
Yesterday, Congress released the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on torture. Now we have proof that the CIA designed and orchestrated a cruel program to commit senseless, unspeakable, brutal acts on innocent people. They did this presumably at the behest of the Bush White House in the wake of 9/11, although the Republican Committee members forbid any inquiry into the White House.
Bush and Cheney supported torture then, and they still support it. The only difference is that now we have a more clear picture of how dysfunctional it really was in that program. It is worse than any of the dysfunctional cults I have studied. If anything, it reminds me of a satanic cult. Some satanists are naive, but the nexus of the satanic cult movement involves animal sacrifice, random murders, sexual abuse of children, and physical abuse. And it goes without saying, emotional and spiritual abuse. It's a disease, like an addiction, where they commit unnatural acts in the name of religious ritual. It would not surprise me if the people involved in this were satanists. Hey—I mean ARE satanists! They're still around, while many of their victims are dead.
Although it is not President Obama's job to indict them, I pray that the perpetrators receive the consequences they deserve. It would be easier for the sake of their souls, if they get their consequences here on earth, because (this is according to the Hindu faith), it can be worse for them to pay for their crimes on the other side. So, for the perpetrators, I pray for their swift and full consequences. For the families of the victims I pray that they find consolation. For Americans, I pray that we reflect on the meaning of life, and whether this is all there is.
Sign a whitehouse.gov/petition: "Prosecute Bush Administration officials, CIA officials and all participants for violations of laws banning torture." Deadline is January 8, 2015. Sign now.
Consequences for Torture
December 10, 2014
Suppose Person A called for torture, Person B inflicted torture, and Person C helped cover it up. What would be the appropriate consequences for their actions? I suggest, the consequences would be to sit and listen to the stories of every soul they harmed, and to feel the suffering and grief the victims felt. Satanists might believe that hell will be a great party, because they worshiped satan. However, it will not be a party, it will be hell. In other words, they will get what they gave. That's what hell is, and people make it for themselves. If someone does not do hideous acts that cause massive suffering, hell won't be as bad; maybe they will not create themselves a hell at all! Maybe at most, they might be called as a witness or person of interest in the trials of persons like A, B, or C. For atheists: this is a metaphor for the archetype of the how a utopian society balances interpersonal harm.
The Vision Alignment Project
A Vision for Strength**, by the Vision Alignment Project
We envision ourselves living in a world where people everywhere have evolved out of their gullibility; where we can feel, in our body, when someone is lying to us; and where we know, in our heart, whether someone else has our best interests in mind when they are trying to persuade us to do what they want us to do.
We see a world full of happy people because we have finally and fully seen through all the methods and manners of human suggestibility; where we are no longer susceptible to the power of suggestion; and where the power of suggestion is no longer consciously used in any situation, anywhere, ever - unless it serves the highest and best good of everyone concerned.
Subsequently, all subliminal advertising, devious sales techniques, patriotic propaganda, false statistics, and fear mongering have been seen for what they truly are: efforts to do unto others as one would not want done unto themself. Now we live in a world where we can easily spot those who would play on our weaknesses, because we have found our strength. We see through the motivations of those who would be predators, pirates, or parasites, and we are untouched by their trickery because our gullibility has been replaced by our ability to know the truth when we see it.
What's in a Word? Rosebud
December 8, 2014
The word Rosebud is the name of a sled in the movie Citizen Kane. The last shot in the movie is the sled, burning in a pile of rubbish. The sled was the last real thing in the protagonist's life, but after he died, it was simply discarded. It symbolizes a lost childhood; a dramatic ending for one of the most famous tragic stories of all times.
Now Rosebud has a new meaning. Again, it symbolizes tragedy. Last Wednesday, the NAACP's Journey for Justice passed through Rosebud, Missouri, and had to put on their white robes of tolerance. They knew it could happen, and it did. The residents of the town lined the roads and shouted racial slurs, and held up signs with racial slurs.
Everyone was safe, but the back window of the bus was allegedly shot out. Naturally, they did not stop to file a report! How come people are still so racist in the twenty-first century (aka the future)? It's because they have been taking the drugs Foxazine and Limbaooma for a long time and it melted their brains.
Double Negative, Passive Voice Sentence Transformed
December 6, 2014
Here's how you turn a double negative, passive voice sentence into a direct statement. You can use this in your writing, and also in your speech. Having the ability to affirm what you want can get you what you want. If you affirm in double negative, passive voice statements, you may get what you don't want.
Take the sentence, "There's nothing that can't get fixed by the techs at Charlie's shop." The double negative in the statement is "nothing—can't." The passive voice part is "by techs." Okay, what does the statement mean? In your mind, you must unravel "nothing—can't" to make it "anything can." So to take the double negative out, you would say, "Anything can get fixed."
The passive voice is object - verb - subject, so in this sentence: object (things) verb (get fixed by) subject (people). The techs do something to the object. The active voice is subject - verb - object. To make this an active statement, you would say: subject (the techs) verb (can fix) object (anything). So: "The techs at Charlie's shop can fix anything."
Writers and public speakers who know these gramatical secrets may wish to use double negatives and passive voice intentionally sometimes. They may think it sounds more colorful, flowery, and expressive. Well, that's up to them, since writing is an art, but ask Ernest Hemingway about flowery sentences. He did away with all that in his novels, and modernized the English language.
We live in a post-Hemingway world, so flowery language is out of style. These days, writers go for ideas within the words. They are not so fussy and in love with their words. We attribute the phrase "kill your little darlings" to many famous modern authors, but it means that if you write a flowery sentence that you are in love with, strike it from the page. Flowery sentences may seem sweet and pretty, but they often do not convey what you want to say.
Part of the reason we face a screwed up reality every day here in America is that we are screwed up in double negatives and passive statements. "End war" - double negative. "Stop police violence" - double negative. "There's nothing we can't do, by sticking together." Double negative, passive voice. How about this: "If we stick together, we can do anything." We all speak English, so let's learn how to use the English language to manifest what we want.
Affirmation (based on intenders.org):
I pay attention most to news of positive progress. At all times, I envision positive outcomes for the Earth and her people.
Republicans' Power to Manifest
December 2, 2014
Over the last fifteen years, I have observed that the Republicans have used the power of affirmations, visualization, and auto-suggestion to manifest their desires. For example, they picture themselves winning a race. They tell everyone they will win. They convince everyone they will win, then they win. They picture a war, they convince everyone we need a big war, they get public opinion on their side, and pretty soon the bombs are falling. They are very cleaver, and seem to have a real knack for this. They buy up all the media, and spend millions on p.r. agencies and think tanks, and it appears they get what they pay for.
People think the Republicans are really smart, and admire them for their ability to focus. However, the Republicans forget to affirm the highest good for all when they intend to manifest something. People who use the power of mind to manifest things for selfish or cruel reasons are asking for selfishness and cruelty to come back to them. Working in the shadows can bring unintended consequences, and their karma is starting to come around.
Look at what happened after the Republicans manifested a victory in the mid-term elections. Instead of defeating their nemesis, the president is busy solving one problem after another. President Obama did not become discouraged, as they had wanted, but inspired to do better. But look at the Republicans. After getting what they thought they wanted, they have just become meaner and stupider. As news anchor Chris Hayes pointed out tonight, the next two years could turn out to be far more interesting than any of us originally thought.
November 27, 2014
As it is Thanksgiving today, I want to give thanks to my parents and all my family members who have supported my dream to be a writer for the last thirty-four years. I would also like to give much respect to all the awesome writers who have inspired me and contributed to my writer's education. Much appreciation goes out to the publishers, agents, and organizations that have supported my writing and helped me to get my message out to the people around the world. Also, I would like to thank my hero, Pato Banton, who I met this year after a concert. And thank you for the hug, and for your kind words. And I would like to thank all my readers—especially the ones I have met in person, or online. I love you all. - Nori
Here at Surrealist.org News, our thoughts go to the family of Michael Brown, and the people of Ferguson, after the failed grand jury was announced November 25. The world is with you in your grief and wounds of betrayal. We pray that the situation will be made right. We also extend our deepest sympathies to the family of twelve-year-old Tamir Rice, shot to death in a Cleveland City park, for being a child with a toy gun. Police shot him Saturday and he died Sunday, November 22. We pray that these families find peace, and that America awaken from the bad dream of fear and separation. We also pray for the family of Eric Garner, after the failed grand jury, December 3.
US Elections Ranked 26th of 73 Countries
November 21, 2014
According to an international study by researchers from the University of Sydney and Harvard, America has moderate election integrity. They evaluated elections in seventy-three countries, see: bradblog.com. Brad says:
Of the 11 different categories rated by the experts for use in determining placement on this year's final index, the U.S. score was particularly dinged by low ratings in the categories of "Voting District Boundaries", "Electoral Laws", "Voter Registration" and "Campaign Finance".We probably already knew this, but the study puts it in clear, undeniable terms. To read it, go to Harvard.edu or electoralintegrityproject4 at Google.
November 21, 2014
Here at Surrealist.org News, we just have two things to say about the president's immigration speech last night. Thank you John Fugelsang for the references:
33 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.
34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Psychic Messages from Dreams
November 18, 2014
As a sensitive psychic person, I want to offer some suggestions for metaphors that work to describe our (liberals') current situation. This morning I woke up with a lot of anxiety about the American political situation, as well as other situations in my life tied to the ending of this year's Congress. But I finally got back to sleep and had a dream to describe how I feel, and it may apply to many of us.
In the dream, we were playing a sports game, like baseball or softball. But by the end, our team had three and the other team had four. Plus, there was static where the people on our side felt like it wasn't fair how things turned out. The other side considered themselves gods who could do no wrong. They could bend the rules to win the game, especially if they are successful at extinguishing the conscience.
After waking up, I wrote down the dream, and went about my day. But I strongly feel that this situation suggests another metaphor, and that is the metaphor of angels and devils. If you are an atheist, you can see it as the good side and shadow split-off side in the subconscious mind. In the Hindu mythology, angels and devils follow souls as they approach the end of life. The Sanskrit name for these angels is Vishnu-duta, or secretaries of Lord Vishnu, the maintainer of the universe. The Sanskrit name for the devils is Yama-duta, secretaries of Lord Yama, the lord of the underworld. The Vishnu secretaries are luminescent beings covered with beautiful jewelry and golden cloth. The resemble Vishnu, and they come to take a humble soul to heaven at the time of death.
The Yama secretaries are dressed in loin cloths and armored mail. They have sharp teeth, animal-like faces, and frightening eyes. The Yama secretaries have dogs (ruru in Sanskrit), who nip at the unfortunate souls to keep them in line, and they have chains to pull the souls out of their bodies and take them to the underworld for judgment.
The Vishnu messengers are a welcome sight to any departing soul, but the Yama messengers are a terrifying vision. It is also said that the Yama-dutas begin to track a soul down to gather evidence, and they are present with the soul sometimes years before death. They witness, gather evidence, and begin to wind the soul up in metaphorical ropes and chains to make it easier to extract the soul from the body and depart to the court of Yama. According to Jungian philosophy, the court of Yama is a metaphor for facing one's own conscience.
From what I know about anthropology, psychology, sociology, and criminal justice studies, the people of the world are mostly honest. Statistics show that eight out of ten people are not psychopaths, in the sense that they are not living a lie. For example, most people use their real names, and are responsible to the mistakes and other stupid things they do. They have family and friends who love them, who would vouch for them in the court of Yama. According to the Hindu cosmology, loved ones' prayers can save a soul from the journey to hell.
The Hindus do not believe in eternal damnation. After being judged guilty in the court of Yama, the soul goes to the darkest regions of the creation to experience all the pain they caused for others. They suffer in the darkness for many years, until they can allow more light in. When they reach the light, then they reincarnate as insects or microbes to work their way up the evolutionary ladder to human life once again.
So eight out of ten of us are living our lives as who we are. The other two people have ulterior motives they cannot share with anyone except people who play a part in their scam. Imagine living life as a scam. Like, taking over someone else's life, or living off of someone like a parasite through blackmail or extortion. Or living off the destruction of human life, the planet, or the public good. These two percent of people are often called psychopathic personality disorder, sociopath, and so on. If you care about people and take responsibility for your actions, you are the opposite of a psychopath. You are in the eighty percent (some say it is higher) of people who are not psychopathic.
So here we have a bundle of metaphors that may explain what is happening to our society. First the sports game. As we know, people often take sports particularly personally. Losing a game can cause depression. Losing a game due to a bad call by the umpire can cause much angst. It would not surprise me if people have been murdered over sports games. And imagine if you gamble on sports. People can feel the losses as much as we may feel losing to the Republicans in the sea of red that took place November 4. Also, many of us feel cheated. For example, if you tried to vote before work, but there were no machines. Or you tried to vote for the Democrat and the machine flipped it to the Republican right in front of your face. Or, they sent out robo calls to all the poll workers in Chicago and told them their services were not needed, so do not show up at the poll. Thus causing mass confusion and blocking the vote in targeted areas. Or just the idea of the $4 billion spent on the election, where the biggest spenders won.
The gods are also involved. If you have a billion dollars, you are pretty much above the frey of having to make your way in the world. But some gods are good (the Vishnu-dutas) and some are of the underworld (the Yama-dutas). According to current statistics, the world has 1,645 billionaires. If the eighty-twenty law of psychopaths applies, as it does in the rest of society, we have approximately 329 (twenty percent) who are psychopathic. Of those, some are evil masterminds who plot world domination. Of those, some are pretty successful in wrecking the world, including human life, the environment, and the public good.
Ultimately, karma will correct the situation. Every human body has a built-in term limit. According to the Hindu philosophy, the soul goes on, and most souls progress forward to heaven or another lifetime of learning. However, the two percent of psychopaths will be dragged away unwillingly, to face their repressed conscience in the court of Yama. One lesson for us in the situation where we are, one down to the dark money groups and people who want to dismantle our civilization, is to see the difference between those two percent, and the rest of us. If we blur the line, which is what we do when we whine and act badly, we can get dragged down with the evil people. Hate and anger bond us to the tyrants. Hate is just the opposite side of love, and it is just as strong.
Therefore, my psychic take on our situation is that we are witnesses, and that we need to really watch what is going on. Right now everyone accepts what the tyrants are doing. Many seriously foolish, but otherwise honest, people think the Republicans will fix the situation. They do not see what's going on, and that is by design. Psychopaths are two-faced, so they can do terrible things, and yet present themselves as honest, wonderful people. They must keep up their double life or be caught. That's why so many people think the Republicans are great. However, now that they have all this power, they are inviting the servants of Yama to come closer. They also have angels whispering in their ears "don't do this thing," yet they will most likely refuse to listen. We can expect to see some ancient truths come out in the open, however, many of us will have to suffer. For example, if the psychopaths do away with affordable health insurance, many people will die or lose their homes. Psychopaths in the petroleum industry are already destroying the earth as we know it.
I am still wondering how we got here, into this losing sports game. I get the feeling it's a cross between our own stupidity and inability to learn from the past, plus the strong determination of the people who want to exploit.
Words of Ayer
November 14, 2014
Here's a funny story:
When British philosopher A.J. Ayer allegedly found Mike Tyson forcing himself on a young Naomi Campbell, who was just beginning her career, Ayer warned Tyson to stop, to which the boxer allegedly replied, "Do you know who the fuck I am? I'm the heavyweight champion of the world." Ayer's response? "And I am the former Wykeham Professor of Logic. We are both preeminent in our field; I suggest that we talk about this like rational men." Well played, sir. Well played. Read more from Buzzfeed's 12 Celebrities Who've Wondered Aloud, "Don't You Know Who The #$@% I Am?" - click here.
I just think it's funny, since I've lived in Hollywood. Once over dinner, an old friend loudly demanded to know if I knew who he was. It lost him a job, because his potential boss happened to be sitting in the booth adjacent to ours, and heard it all. Another time I had a friend tell me I would never eat lunch in Hollywood again, because she and her husband, a much loved famous man, would destroy my reputation. Well, since I don't really have a reputation, they couldn't destroy it. But she did burn the bridges with the literary agent we met together. Oh well.
The thing I love about the Don't You Know Who The #$@% I Am? encounter between A.J. Ayer and Mike Tyson is that Ayer had the best comeback ever in the history of ever. Just from every angle, that is beautiful. Maybe it was polished somewhat in the retelling, but it is a peace-loving statement of dignity, I believe. A.J. Ayers shows Tyson the respect he wants, but at the same time calls on Tyson's higher self to be reasonable. If only we had more A.J. Ayers around these days.
The Vision Alignment Project:
A Vision for Cooperation
November 8, 2014
The following inspirational message landed in the inbox today. It's an affirmation for when you die, or if the kingdom of god comes to earth as it is in heaven. Whether you think it could happen now, or in the hereafter, give your subconscious mind something positive to imagine. Read this with an open mind.
We picture a world where we have completely revamped the entire structure of our culture so that competition (except in sporting events) is a thing of the past; where no man, woman, or child is pitted against another in order to gather unto themselves the basic needs of life; and where—since there is such abundance and such an equitable system of distribution for our goods and services—all people everywhere are simply being given everything they need to survive, sustain and enjoy their lives to the fullest.
It is in this environment of non-competition and non-capitalism that we have learned to cooperate with one another, to help one another, and to support one another in fulfilling the dreams and desires each of us carried with us when we came to this beautiful, abundant Earth.
As you line up with this Vision, it becomes your Vision too!
You can align with this Vision [click here].
November 7, 2014
HuffingtonPost.com has a good article on the hidden benefits of the Republican take-over. You can read the article, but it boils down to this: the Republicans can no longer blame all the problems on President Obama. They "can't just play keep-away from the American people like they've done in the past," the editorial says. The responsibility is now on the Republican Congress: it is up to them to get some work done. Their projection device is now officially disabled.
Other good insights in the editorial, they say that because of deep rifts within the Republican party, we can "watch the freak show of Ted Cruz battling Mitch McConnell" and forget about "the diatribes about Obama's tyranny and socialism by the Tea Party." I'm for that. On election night, besides feeling mad and disillusioned, I felt a huge release of pressure. The child-like angry people got what they wanted. They got a sugar fix that should last them two years. So no more whining.
Naturally, they will continue to whine, point fingers at everyone but themselves, and do mean, stupid things. If I want to watch the freak show, I will turn on the TV news. But from this day forward, everyone will plainly see where the lines are drawn. People will see who is trying to get things done and who is not helping.
Read "Why a Republican Controlled Congress Is Great For Hillary Clinton and President Obama," a Huffington Post editorial.
Hate is the Worst Collective Problem
November 7, 2014
The following is an excerpt from Dreaming Peace, my book for creative happy people. It's a monograph-length statement updating the science of positive thinking for the post-9/11 world. You can buy Dreaming Peace as an e-book on Amazon.com.
Hating is worse than just a waste of time. Changing your temperament from hate to love is the most important step you can take to help solve collective problems. If you rewire yourself to be positive, you will start to notice more positive people around. You may start to hear about encouraging events, and notice positive signs that indicate a better future. These things would have been there anyway, but you might have missed them because you were only looking for evidence to justify your hatred and negative beliefs.
Solving our collective problems depends on how willing we are—as a collective and as individuals—to change our minds. Our shortcomings up until now have been negative attitudes, poor communication skills, bad behavior habits, and failure to learn from the past. If you want to join the people who are already doing their part for a better world, start by practicing kindness. Instead of writing a spiteful letter to express your outrage to the target of your projections, write an encouraging note to one of your political or cultural heroes. When you can, admit a mistake, help a traveler, end a feud, or reconnect with an old friend. Invest your energy in finding peaceful solutions to the problems you care about so you can fill your consciousness with desire. Loving a solution will send a message to your subconscious to give you inspiration and more opportunities to spread your vision.
Moment of Agreement
November 7, 2014
In human society, things happen because everyone agrees. People may not like what they are agreeing to, such as agreeing there will be a bad flu season, but agreement is the key to making something happen. If everyone agrees it will be a bad flu season, people who are afraid of the flu will get it, unless they get a shot. You never hear anyone say, "I knew it would be bad, but I didn't get the shot, and didn't get the flu!" In bad flu seasons, people who are afraid of the flu will either get the shot, or they will get the flu.
A similar thing happened in this election. After strategic propaganda from the right wing, nearly everyone in America agreed that the Republicans would win the elections this year. Everyone agreed, including Democrats. That's why it happened.
Sometimes things happen differently than the course everyone agrees to, but we call that a miracle. Miracles happen at times, but usually everything happens by agreement. For now, prepare to experience what you and everyone else thinks will happen.
We need to be aware of what we are agreeing to accept. For example, right now, everyone agrees that the Republicans will bully the president and the Democrats. All Americans agree that the Republicans will be bullies; the Democrats all agree, so that's our current agreement into the foreseeable future. Yeah, it looks like that's what's happening, and that nobody knows how to prevent it. There must be a solution, but nobody will bother to look for it, since everyone has pretty much agreed on what will happen.
Only President Obama and I think we could somehow work things out with the Republican legislators. He has a lot of experience building bridges, which he has done all through this lifetime. I am also a bridge builder, dating back to my undergraduate work with juvenile delinquents, and on up to my current work with abused children and children of cults. If President Obama and I had our way, we would work with the sane Republicans (there are a few) and build a coalition of sane Republicans and sane Democrats. However, the vast majority of people agree that the Republicans must continue as bullies and the Democrats must be martyred.
By the way, this is one good argument in favor of supporting artists and other creative people who have the ability to see beyond the common mindset. Artists and inventors have always envisioned the solution (or channeled it from a higher power) and then led the way. Imagine all the problems that were solved because of a book that hit the spot; an amazing work of art that woke everyone up; a poem; a heartfelt plea; a dream made real.
The creative people will lead the rest of humanity out of this quagmire, as well. However, you first have to want a solution. When you get to the first step ("Admitted we were helpless . . . ") then you must open up your mind to something besides just infinite hatred. This is awakening in society, but it could take a while. People are obviously falling behind in their study of their own humanity. But for the next two years, enjoy the chaos that you believe in, as you see it, and continue to believe there is no solution.
Surrealist.org Editor Voted
October 31, 2014
Here in Arizona, we can vote by mail. I mailed my ballot about two weeks ago to make sure it would be counted. This is a note to encourage everyone to vote as soon as possible. If you go out tonight for Halloween, have fun, be safe, and get all that scary stuff out of your system. Next week will be great for Dems if we all go out and get our voices counted at the voting booth. Let's do it!
How to Think Positive Under Pressure
October 23, 2014
With the election coming up so soon, and the races tightening up, many voters (and candidates) are feeling the stress. Here are some tips to pick yourself up and keep going, even with the pressure.
1. A peaceful place inside.
Life will always bring difficult situations, but if you have an peaceful place inside you can remain cautiously optimistic during life's most upsetting circumstances. On the other hand, if your inner life consists of self-punishment, self-pity, and uncontrolled anger, life's trials will feel much worse for you. Negative thoughts block creativity, making it more difficult to find solutions. Treat yourself at least as well as you would treat a lost child.
When challenges arise, tell yourself positive things, like: "I can do this. There must be a solution. I will turn things around." Think thoughts that comfort and empower.
2. Practice noticing what's in your thoughts.
Most people think thousands of thoughts an hour, without even noticing what's in their thoughts. If you pay attention to the stream of thoughts, you will start to notice when negative thinking starts. When it does, just kick the unwanted thoughts out and replace them with a positive memory, or a mental picture of something you consider positive. You can remember times when you were successful, times when you received a gift, and times that you had fun. You are the only person who decides what thoughts to keep in your mind, so choose thoughts you want to have. Do not just take whatever thoughts come along, or are forced on you by the media, peer pressure, etc.
3. Write a success list and gratitude list.
When life is getting you down, stop and write a list of things you have done right, things that turned out right, and things that make you feel gratitude. Doing this will stop your negative thoughts and turn your thoughts toward solutions, enthusiasm, and new accomplishments.
4. Designate positive spaces where you can unwind.
The demands of the world can surround you physically, so you need a designated place to go where you can unwind. Maybe it's a room inside your house, where you can read, relax, and feel like yourself. Maybe you have a favorite place in nature. Or maybe you can unwind by walking the neighborhood, a nearby campus, or mall. Whatever it is, when you feel down, be sure to spend time in your positive place to recharge. If you do not have time to get away to a positive place, go to the peaceful place inside yourself through deep breathing.
5. Set goals.
Depression and stress can melt away, even if you just take one step in the right direct. Keep a list of goals and mileposts, so you can always feel that you are moving forward. Simply sitting down to make a list of goals makes you feel more in charge of your life, and more empowered.
6. Write a positive statement and tape it to your mirror.
If you have a lot of stress, choose a positive quotation, or positive statement about yourself, and tape it to your mirror. It will give you something to focus on while you continue to work through the current struggle.
If you survive a stressful period, it will make you stronger. The next time a similar situation arises, you will have more practice in handling it. Even when things go wrong, or look like they will go wrong, be on your own side! Be your own best support.
Voice of History
October 17, 2014
With the election just nineteen days away, a voice from a dark October day years ago reaches from the grave of history with a message:
You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist, certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period I am addressing myself to the School surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never in. nothing, great or small, large or petty never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.Read the full text of "These Are Great Days," a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, October 29, 1941.
Hey JEOPARDY! Levi's and vacuum cleaners are easy enough to get. What women want cannot be bought with money. As a confirmed female all my life, I can tell you
what women want
—women want truth. Most women carry love for all the earth's creatures, places, and people. Women want all children to grow up safe, with enough food, love, support, and opportunity. Women want peace, justice, honesty, abundance, and sharing. In politics, women want what everyone else wants: acceptance and equality.
Time to End the American Civil War Nightmare
October 9, 2014
America was built on a dream, but then we had a Civil War from 1861-1865, and the dream became a disaster. Most men on both sides did not come home. Plus, President Lincoln (1809-1865), who presided over the war as commander in chief, was assassinated right at the end of the war. His vice-president then became President Johnson, and Johnson killed Lincoln's reconstruction plans. Andrew Johnson was so unpopular that Congress impeached him. The Confederacy suffered defeat, and then President Johnson punished the South for losing. No wonder that war continues on as a ghost haunting our country to this day. Ironic that if President Lincoln had lived, things would have worked out much better for the South.
Another strange history was the way the parties switched. Lincoln was a Republican, but in the twentieth century the Democrats became the pro-multi-cultural, pro-middle class, pro-infrastructure party. The Republicans have dwindled down to mostly greedy white men, conservative single-issue values voters, and die-hard supporters of the Confederacy. But if you think about it, the ironic twist of fate in the history of the parties makes it possible for both parties to claim President Lincoln as their own. Neo-Confederates may still resent Lincoln, but if that's you, I ask you to think about what Lincoln would have done for the South if he would have lived out his term. Abraham Lincoln had a plan for the South that died with him. If we ever want to recapture the American dream, we need to stop fighting the Civil War!
Not in My Name Campaign
September 25, 2014
If you are Muslim and disagree with beheading people and attacking minority groups in Syria and Iraq, please speak out. Please tweet or Facebook #notinmyname. You do not have to approve of America's bombing to be against radical Muslim extremists. The moderate Muslim community has tried to get the word out that not every Muslim is a dangerous fundamentalist, but the media resists covering that story because it does not fit into their narrative. However, as long as we have the free media, the Internet, the mainstream media cannot completely crush your voices.
You need to speak out, because the ignorance is thick. Just the other day I was visiting with a highly educated Jewish woman, and she told me that the difference between her religion and the Muslim religion is that the Muslim scriptures promote fanaticism. Okay, I could not completely argue in your favor, because I am not familiar enough with the Koran. But even if the Koran does promote killing non-Muslims, I am sure there is a moderate Muslim community that takes the scriptures as a metaphor. But the media still promotes the fear that every single Muslim is out to kill non-Muslims.
Maybe it is in the Muslim culture to be shy and not necessarily speak out about political issues concerning the religion. However, you have to start to speak up soon, or you allow the ignorant media to stereotype you. Therefore, please speak out in the #notinmyname campaign.
Look at the example of the Mormon church, which is called LDS. The mainstream LDS appears too closely aligned with the fundamentalist polygamous Mormon groups. The polygamous groups are not just happy-go-lucky wife swappers. The men are violent, they do not bother to learn their dozens of children's names, and they do not participate in raising their children. The mothers must go on welfare to survive. They call it "bleeding the beast." They think it's good to take money from the government, since they hate government.
The fathers only come around their families for sex, and they violently abuse the women and children. They also marry off young girls to gnarly old men who rape and abuse them. Many adolescent boys are kicked out of the community, since the chosen boys must have multiple wives, and there are not enough women go to around. The Lost Boys often become homeless and must forage for food in the garbage bins of the communities where they grew up.The courts in Canada rejected polygamy because they found it is inherently abusive to women and children.
The LDS could distance itself from the polygamous groups, but in areas where there are high concentrations of polygamous Mormons, such as Idaho, Arizona, and Utah, they look the other way. LDS police will not arrest, LDS judges will not prosecute, and LDS public workers will not investigate welfare fraud.
Okay, so Muslims and Mormons straddle the line between cult and legitimate religion. One thing the moderate Muslims could do is speak out now. Stop the violence from radical Muslim elements by saying that they do not speak for you. Not in My Name. Speak out if you care about your religion, and want people in the Western world to accept your religion as legitimate. The Mormons have pretty much shown that they are a cult, since they appear to accept polygamy as it is practiced in the violent polygamous Mormon groups. Too bad they could not draw a distinct line and isolate the polygamous Mormon groups, but at this point in their history, it has all merged into one big fat Mormon culture. Do not let this happen in the Muslim religion.
Is Global Climate Change Science?
September 25, 2014
Nearly every subject you study in college is either a science or an art. Psychology, sociology, and anthropology strive to be scientific. However, they are still considered social sciences, which denotes less than fully scientific. Examples of a hard science are mathematics and physics, because they are always true. If you work the formulas correctly, you will always get a consistent answer. Plus, mathematics and physics play a vital role in designing buildings and bridges so they will stand up. Thus, architecture has elements of a hard science because it relies on math and physics. Electronic hardware and software are also based on hard science. You put together a computer and it works, because the math works. Same for astronomy.
Soft sciences, including the social sciences, continue to evolve. Beliefs about psychology may change over time until researchers find foolproof formulas to explain why people turn crazy and how to fix them. Another example is the science of "clean" coal, since they have no idea how to extract the coal without destroying mountain tops and water tables. Modern medicine is a developing science, since we still have not learned how to prevent or cure many diseases.
Some sciences are even less reliable, such as the "science" of astrology. Each practitioner has a slightly different understanding of what it all means, plus many people do not believe in it at all. Astronomy is a hard science based on math and physics, but astrology relies on correspondences and other new age religious theories that would be difficult to prove.
The science of global climate change is based on mathematical projections of trends that scientists have recorded, such as readings from core samples, and records of climate history. There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence. For example, where I grew up in the 1960s, it never got past the nineties. Now in the same area, it regularly goes over a hundred degrees. We have all witnessed worse and more frequent weather events, and unusual weather has become common. Animals, plants, and other living things have to scramble to readjust their instincts, and many are going extinct because of their inability to adapt. Also, insurance companies say they have greater liability due to an increase in weather events, such as tornadoes, fires, mudslides, hurricanes, drought, etc. The statistics are there, which is a form of scientific proof.
Nearly all scientists agree that the climate is changing due to petrochemical extraction and burning. We can all notice how pollution affects our health, because cancer is an epidemic these days. It would be wise to change over to alternative green energy in a big way. We need to work together if we want a decent world for our future generations. Science or not, we need to act now or face even more dire consequences ahead.
Observance of 9/11
September 11, 2014
Greetings on 9/11, our national remembrance of the worst tragedy to happen on our own shores. Also, greetings on the day after President Obama's speech on his vision for combatting terrorism in the Middle East. Interesting that Secretary of State John Kerry is going to the Saudis and other Middle Eastern powers today, on this day, to request their assistance. Maybe the sane people of the world will prevail. We shall see.
When Government is Broken, Why?
September 11, 2014
I believe the reason government is dysfunctional at times is that people who hate government get into power and do their best to break it. Look at all those Republicans who want to drown the government in a bathtub, shut down the government, defund the government, fire teachers, fire public workers, etc. So either they purposely want to break it, or they are just inept. Immature control freaks get elected to office, then they are selfish, argumentative, and incapable of making good decisions.
If people want the country to get better, think about what it would take to make the government work good. Yes, we can do this if we work together. Immature people—not so much. But we can stand together and show they are in the minority. The Republicans in Congress are so much more destructive than the rest of us, and ironically, they are also a lot richer than we are. Plus, they have great government retirement packages. Thus, the Republican government haters in government probably don't even feel like they have to worry about the dystopian future they are creating. They have posh gated communities to retreat to. It does not bother them to see the country go to hell. Denial is strong, so they just blame all the problems on the president: done.
Americans have done great things together, like winning World War II and putting all the G.I.s through college, building the interstate highway system, organizing electrical power for rural areas, and coordinating transportation and communication. Think about it. We live in a great country because, as you may notice, pretty much everyone obeys the rules of the metaphorical road so you can get to where you are going. Businesses can hire from a pool of educated workers, use the public facilities to get their goods to where they are going. There is a magical order to life in America, and our American ancestors of all races, religions, genders, and nations of origin built it.
Now Congress Wants to Opt Out of Voting on War?
September 9, 2014
It is compelling to keep track of the hypocrisy these days, and in that spirit, I must note this down. Okay, first the Republican legislators refuse to do anything to help. All they want to do is talk about repealing the Affordable Care Act, and endlessly debate Benghazi. Then President Obama does something to help the country. So the Republicans file a lawsuit against him. The next day they say he must act alone if he wants anything done about immigration. Next, President Obama has a plan for dealing with terror in the Middle East, where ISIS is assassinating American journalists. But the Republicans don't want to talk about it or do anything about it.
Okay, here's another hypocrisy I see. The whole Middle East, and people in a lot of other countries love to hate America. "America is a bully." "America thinks it controls the world." "America can just come in and kill with abandon, but we kill two American journalists and they are all over us with the bombs." Plus, they think Americans are so greedy, they are all so rich, and they leave nothing for anyone else. Americans are the root of all evil, etc. You know it goes on. A lot of people respect us, but it seems like the type of respect you have for someone holding a gun in your face. Plus, speaking of guns, the rest of our "friends" out there think we are dorks for having so many guns, what to speak of the death penalty, our war on drugs (we use all the drugs), and all our GMO crops, and other awful products we make.
But whenever there's a big problem in the world, they all get behind our petticoats and cower in fear. Then big Mr. America must step up and bomb the crap out of the perceived enemy. America has bombed more than fifty countries since the start of World War II. It's time we all stop this charade. Admit that America is not perfect, and neither is anybody else. Also, stop making America the enforcer for all the things you want done in the world. What if the Republican legislators fail to do anything, just say, how about if ROW (Rest of World) steps up and solves the problem? If ROW cannot see what's wrong with ISIS, then maybe there is not even a problem. You fix it this time. Our country is broken right now.
Trolls in News Chat Rooms
September 8, 2014
Have you ever read an article about politics at an online newspaper, then scroll down to see dozens of angry, argumentative posts from people who have become known as "trolls"? The definition of a troll is a blogger who purposely tries to stir up agrimony with strangers in a chat or bulletin board room. These commenters seem to have ultra-high blood pressure, because they seem to be on a gigantic, sustained bender. They do not listen, but only post their oozing hatred. They might listen for a second, but only to identify what type of vitriol to post. It is impossible to have a discussion, because talking to them feels like getting a bucket of venom dumped over your head. These trolls dominate the discussion boards at most newspapers, and most non-trolls do not wish to participate.
Now it turns out that a percentage of the trolls may be completely fictional, created by users to use as foils. CommonDreams.org, a progressive news site, was plagued with anti-Semitic trolls, so they decided to investigate. They found that one user set up multiple accounts, then argued with his own alter-egos. According to the article at Common Dreams ("The Double Identity of an Anti-Semitic Commenter"):
A Common Dreams investigation has discovered that more than a thousand of these damaging comments over the past two years were written with a deceptive purpose by a Jewish Harvard graduate in his thirties who was irritated by the website's discussion of issues involving Israel.
For example, JewishProgressive created "DeShawn S. Williams," who described himself as "pro-white/Black, anti-Jew," and who posted more than 1,400 times. JewishProgressive also created "HamBaconEggs," an obvious anti-Jewish screen name. Read the article, it's amazing. This phenomenon could be more widespread than we think, and might be at the root of the troll problem we see in most media bulletin board rooms.
We might wonder why anyone would want to argue with these bullies. Well, it turns out the bullies are arguing with themselves. It's multi-personality disorder for the modern world. There is so much unemployment these days, maybe the trolls do this to amuse themselves. Who knows. Or maybe they have jobs, but do this on their breaks, or when they are supposed to be working. Check it out, read: "The Double Identity of an Anti-Semitic Commenter".
Forbes: Obama Outperforms Reagan On Jobs, Growth And Investing
News Day 2014
September 4, 2014
Some days nothing interesting happens, but today was full of news! First, Attorney General Eric Holder announced details of a Justice Department investigation into police conduct in the Deep South. Then we heard that Joan Rivers died after being in an induced coma since August 28, following a routine endoscopy at an outpatient clinic. Then, a federal jury in Virginia announced eleven guilty verdicts against former Governor Bob McDonnell and nine against his wife Maureen. Meanwhile, the fast food workers are demonstrating again, which I fully support. Those big corporations keep their workers in poverty and make the government pay the difference. Then the biggest, overriding story today, President Obama has been in Cardiff for the NATO meetings. Events of great significance for our small, fragile planet have been brewing, luckily just in time to go talk about it.
Rachel Maddow pointed out how ironic it is that Bob McDonnell was the 700 Club politician, holier than the rest of us, having graduated from Pat Robertson's Regent University. Then his only defense of his corruption charges was that his wife is insane, and everything was her fault. People might have thought he had his marriage all buttoned up, but apparently not. Leaving the courthouse, Bob McDonnell told the media, "All I can say is my trust remains in the Lord." I was in a religious cult too. This just means that because you follow god's law, he will spare you punishment under the less important earthly laws. Rachel showed an old clip of McDonnell telling Pat Robertson that Regent University is where he learned everything he knows about government and the Constitution. (Yikes.) I feel sorry for the McDonnell's children, but even more so, I feel bad for Joan Rivers and her family. We will learn later what went wrong in the operation, but losing her so suddenly was a shock. About a year ago, we lost my stepfather after eleven days due to pancreatic cancer. At least his death was not clouded by medical malpractice. Thank god for hospice.
I am glad that Eric Holder will investigate Ferguson, because this is America. We still need to strive for "liberty and justice for all," because we teach children to pledge to that dream for America when they recite the Pledge of Allegiance. We can set our standards, but we cannot tell NATO what to do. In my opinion, NATO is a mirror image of the Ferguson police. However, instead of persecuting black Americans, they persecute Islamic terrorists. Well, I suppose we are allowed to persecute Islamic terrorists, because they beheaded two American journalists. But they beheaded them because we have drones, on and on, back to the CIA unseating Mohammad Mosaddeq, the democratically elected leader of Iran in 1953. And before that, the region has grudges going back hundreds of years.
In this current conflict, where do they get their weapons? My guess is that the military industrial complex armed them as an investment. The leaders of the military-industrial complex probably decided they could turn unhappy people into armed terrorists easily enough, and it would be a small price to pay for getting America and Europe to stock up on new armaments. It's just a scam, but it looks like we are about to fall for it again. They got a lot of their weapons from Iraq, which we gave them, wishing they would not give them to worse terrorists.
Islamic Radical Assassinates Second Journalist
September 2, 2014
A depraved group of sadists now taking over Syria and Iraq released a video today of the second beheading of an American journalist, this time Steven Sotloff. This says more about sadism and satanism than something we can bomb out of existence. First, if we start a war with Iraq and Syria, we could turn everyone else in favor of the assassins. America is not everybody's favorite country over there, and often public opinion will swing against whatever America does.
Further, the assassin is identified as a British national, Jihadi John, so do we bomb England too? Good lord no. In the same way, we cannot punish two countries for the acts of a few. Besides, there are a lot of countries that need to stand up and defend themselves. American cannot do it alone. Turkey, other Middle Eastern countries, need to stand up.
We now know the identity of the hooded assassin in the videos. We also need to find out who leads this group, and where they get their money. It would be wise to check in with Amnesty International, the United Nations, and other groups familiar with executions in failed state countries. The two journalists killed in the last month are just the latest example of an ongoing problem that most Americans just noticed for the first time.
Arthur T. Demoulas Returns to Market Basket
August 28, 2014
The employees of Market Basket got back their good CEO Arthur T. Demoulas by popular demand. As Lawrence O'Donnell said on his show, a Boston Globe article quoted Mr. Demoulas: "Treat employees right, make them passionate about what they do, and watch your bottom line grow." We would support corporations if their CEOs actually operated under this business model. That is what Dale Carnegie preached in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People..
R.I.P. John Crawford III, shot to death August 5 for holding a toy gun in a Walmart in Ohio.
R.I.P. Joshua Paul, of Carpentersville, Illinois, shot to death August 18, after a traffic stop.
R.I.P. Victor White, shot to death in March in the back seat of an Iberia Parish, Louisiana, police car. Accused of committing suicide while handcuffed, and after having been searched twice and being found to have no weapon.
Police: Stop Acting Like the KKK
August 27, 2014
Usually I try to keep a level head, and avoid writing anything angry at this blog. However, there are so many stories of young black men being shot by police, I am having trouble keeping track. It appears that pockets of police all around the country are part of the Ku Klux Klan. My message to police: if you wonder where the line is, just act normal. Stop killing black men like you are a KKK member. That will help.
Police and Law Enforcement Agencies We support the men and women of law enforcement who fulfill their duty to protect and serve, thus nurturing trust, cooperation, safety, and goodwill in our towns.
Common Thread of Ferguson and North St. Louis Shootings
August 22, 2014
Listening to the news yesterday and today, I heard a link between Mike Brown's death August 9 in Ferguson, and Kajieme Powell's death August 19 in North St. Louis. Both victims reportedly shop-lifted items from a convenience store just before police shot them. From what I heard, the white policemen in those cities frequently walk into local convenience stores and help themselves to drinks and snacks, and walk out without paying.
I believe the two young men were testing, to find out what would happen if they tried that. It seems so hypocritical: the police can steal anything they want and get away with it. If young black men try it, the police shoot them. Not only shoot them, but shoot them with a vengeance.
Now, two wrongs don't make a right, as they say. The young men should not have stolen items from the stores. However, what else are the people of these cities to do? You can hardly call up the police and say, "I saw two policemen steal something from a store," because the police would probably hang up on you. So how to get justice? The young men and their friends and neighbors found out that trying to act like policemen leads to death.
Healthcare Stuff that Makes You Sicker
August 22, 2014
If you are sick, injured, or rundown, you need good nutrition to heal. The cells have a lot of work to do, so they do the work, but you have to supply the materials. It's a good deal. Barring any secondary disease process, and given the right conditions and care, the body can heal bones, skin, muscles, and all sorts of smaller moving parts. Several products on the market purport to deliver nutrition during times of healing. However, if you look at the ingredients of the popular supplement drinks, it's horrifying. The top ingredients are water, corn syrup, and sugar. Drinking sugar water will make you feel better for about a half hour, but then you can feel pretty bad. Plus, the drinks are full of artery-clogging oils and salt.
Just for the record, here are the ingredients in the popular mainstream (corporate) health-support drinks:
A better choice for healing would be fresh juiced vegetables. Or if you need the sweets, fresh vegetable and fruit juices. That means a) buying a juicer, or b) going to a health food store that will juice the produce for you. You also need healthy sources of protein, including pea protein powdered drinks, beans, raw almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds, non-rbGH cheese, and non-GMO soy. Other good ingredients for healing: probiotics to aid digestion; light oils, such as flax, efa, hemp, or other light oils; vitamins D3 and E, and minerals such as calcium and magnesium, plus mega doses of B-complex and C-complex. If the disease includes viruses, aka germs, add elderberry and other herbs for fighting viruses.
August 20, 2014
Salon.com published an editorial from RobertReich.org, the blog of author, professor, and former Clinton cabinet member, Robert Reich. The Salon.com subhead drew me in:
American democracy is diseased:American democracy is diseased? Sounds pessimistic, but I admit it is an apt metaphor. It is as if some part of our wonderful, happy society just wants to fight instead of cooperate. What does that sound like? Cancer. Instead of cooperating, groups of cells go haywire and disregard the orders of the DNA. Thus, disease is a logical, although highly negative, metaphor, and indicates a sad state of affairs.
I prefer to think of the disobedient parts of society as children rather than a disease process. People can be taught, but under twelve years of No Child Left Behind, and many years of defunding of our public schools, it only makes sense that we have large swaths of uneducated people who are incapable of critical thinking. They never got art, drama, dance, music, shop, sewing, cooking, and all the wonderful creative things they taught us in public schools back in the 1960s. I suppose they simply drug the kids nowadays, to make the compliant to test-taking. They apparently stopped teaching children to stop bullying, lying, etc. Thus, our society is full of people who remain emotional children.
The subhead sounds great, though! Wresting power back from our corporate overlords is what we need! It is an idea that appeals to all the ordinary people I know, including right wingers. The only people who want the corporations to run rampant are those who are highly invested in the stock market, or who get hefty paychecks from one of our corporate overlords. Let's see what Robert Reich tells us on how to wrest our democracy back from soulless, and often lawless, corporations.
In the editorial, Robert Reich explains that individual Americans have not had much of an influence on the goings on in our government, but they have had an effect when they band together. He gives the example of small banks and unions. But because these institutions are having trouble these days, the conclusion of his article is:
The only way back toward a democracy and economy that work for the majority is for most of us to get politically active once again, becoming organized and mobilized. We have to establish a new countervailing power.
This is the answer, but allow me to deconstruct his article to explore why this seems so difficult.
First off, the headline and ninety-five percent of the article described the problems. You can click here to read the article, and you will see that Robert Reich does an excellent job of describing what's gone wrong. Out of nearly 750 words, only thirty-seven words (quoted above) address the solution. Of those words, only the last five are totally illuminated ("establish a new countervailing power"), the other thirty two are either murky, negative, or redundant.
Although he gives us the key to fix the problem, he gives no details on what success would look like. It is much more likely we can reach a goal if we have a clear picture in our minds of the goal. Let us take those last five words as a beam of light from a lantern or flashlight to guide our way into a better future: "establish a new countervailing power."
Establish a countervailing power. Think about it, where have we already begun to establish a countervailing power . . .. the Internet. As things stand over the last eighteen years, anybody with the time can start their own website, or set up a soapbox on social media. Not only are we able to express ourselves, but we have the facility to band together to get things done. We can join campaigns, donate, volunteer, and meet others of like mind. This is our countervailing power to influence the government, and overcome our corporate overlords.
One thing that I believe we could do, which we could do together, would be to go into the stinky bulletin boards where the immature people express their projections of hatred and frustration. We call these people trolls, but again, a negative metaphor. Yes, they purposely act provocative, and that is like a troll, but in truth they are just immature people, for the most part. Some of them appear to have knowledge, but often they have gleaned it from propaganda, and they sound like brainwashed zombies spouting the twisted logic of schizophrenic cult leaders. One political cult that comes to mind is the Lyndon LaRouche cult. Lyndon LaRouche is ninety-one, and he ran for president a few times in the twentieth century. His followers make sense for a few minutes, but then they're off in la-la land. They are also angry people who usually end up yelling and shaking their finger in your face, explaining that Lyndon LaRouche is just like Jesus.
But we could do a lot to nurture our countervailing power against our corporate overlords if we went into the stinky bulletin boards and gave the people friendly, educational feedback. Start with mainstream newspapers, don't worry about the right-winger sites until you can take the heat. You can usually find a handful of extreme angry people guarding the discussion boards on articles that praise President Obama. They might be paid actors, but they are still human beings, so you can still try to educate them.
If all of us put some time into spreading compassion and knowledge, we could darn those holes in the social contract that allow individual citizens to act like cancer cells, trolls, or immature children. That would be a great countervailing power! Imagine if we just lessened the angry immature people by ten percent. That would be a big improvement and a big step toward Robert Reich's vision.
The 1033 Program
August 20, 2014
Yesterday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby defended the 1033 Program to sell surplus military equipment to local police departments. The program started in 1990 to fight the drug war, but escalated as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wound down. Kirby disputed the use of the word "militarize" and said the weapons serve a useful purpose.
With the shocking images coming from Ferguson, President Obama wants to reevaluate the program. However, ordinary news pundits remain baffled. On the liberal news yesterday morning, an anchor asked a pundit, "Now that there is bi-partisan focus on the 1033 Program, do you think now people can stop it?" The answer is: "Yes, we are Americans. We can do anything." However, in this case, the pundit was in a negative state of mind and said, "No nothing can be done about 1033, the program will probably go on."
The pundit is wrong. He gave up even before trying. Getting military equipment off the streets of America is possible. The liberals certainly would like to get tanks off our streets. Plus, the right-wing conspiracy theorists do not want tanks confronting American citizens. They think the government has too much power already, and they are terrified of ending up in FEMA concentration camps.
Come to think of it, the only people who want this program are those who benefit from the military-industrial complex. The military-industrial complex is frustrated because we have not started any new wars lately, so they have to sell their weapons to be used on American streets. We are essentially occupied by our own military-industrial complex.
Pentagon spokesman Kirby said that the equipment is already paid for, but if the military-industrial complex is not using the equipment, they could store it in their own mothball facilities. They are always aching for the next war, and if it comes, then they will have all this surplus equipment to use. It would save American taxpayers money, since manufacturing new military equipment costs more than using the surplus equipment. But the military-industrial complex is always looking to use up the old hardware anywhere possible, and make more money.
The MSNBC pundit from yesterday is sorely mistaken. We have the will to stop this, and we have to stop acting like brainwashed flunkies for the military-industrial complex. At least have an opinion that is not dictated by the military-industrial complex. The worst that can happen is that they will send a tank to your street to blow up your house. Have a nice day.
Ferguson, Oh Ferguson
August 18, 2014
The right wing conspiracy nuts always say the gov'met wants to round us all up and put us in FEMA concentration camps. Well, now it all makes sense why they think that. Ever since the days of the Bush Administration, the Department of Defense has been selling military surplus weaponry and tanks to local police departments. We saw the surplus hardware on display last week. Why else would local police departments need military equipment, besides running us all into FEMA concentration camps? Well, we should listen to the conspiracy theorists to see what's behind their accusations. There is often a grain of truth. However, I have not seen any sign that they plan to lock the citizens of Ferguson up in FEMA concentration camps. Imagine the outrage if that were to happen! I do not believe it is practical, although the DOD may have planned for it. They are apparently pretty wiggy over there. The only way they could get away with it would be if the whole country was in chaos like Ferguson, but I doubt that could happen.
Plus, in this display of armaments, it was an all-white police force attacking an all-black population. For what? For their own guilt complex, because it was the white policeman who shot an unarmed black teenager for no apparent reason? This might be another one of those cases where the police station is full of Ku Klux Klan members, but there I go with my own conspiracy theories. They are obviously racist, but whether they are card carrying members of one hate group or another is yet to be seen. If they wanted to stop the demonstrations, they could just get with it and arrest or fire the officer who shot Michael Brown.
Chris Hayes interviewed Radley Balko, author of Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces. The book details all the complexities of how the government came to over-arm police departments.
Farewell to Robin Williams
August 12, 2014
Yesterday at this time, the world lost a brilliant actor and comedian. It came as a shock. My experience was watching the news, where the only subject was "nanny nanny boo-boo, you can't catch me" from the Republicans. God only knows why they behave like immature children, but maybe they have issues. Or maybe they are also actors. Then in the midst of all that, the word came through that Robin Williams had passed.
Ultimately, death comes as the welcoming arms of comfort to those who are elderly, or long suffering from illness. But when it comes to someone so young, so successful, and so loved, it is a shock. They say he brought it on himself. If so, that makes it all the more tragic. We all struggle in this world, and we probably all feel moments of weakness.
Other deaths in the news:
Michael Brown, the unarmed young man who was shot multiple times by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday.
The guilty verdict for Theodore Wafer after he shot and killed a young woman, Renisha McBride, who had come to his door in need of help.
Eric Garner, the man police killed in an illegal choke hold for selling loose cigarettes in Manhattan July 17.
The teenager killed by police August 11 in Los Angeles while he was lying face down on the ground.
Also, although she was not killed, Marlene Mardella Pinnock was punched in the face eleven times on July 1 by California Highway Patrolman Daniel L. Andrew on an off ramp along the 10 Freeway in Los Angeles.
There have been many more deaths that did not get the attention, because there was no video, or no convincing witness. God have mercy on our souls. Please give us a solidifying sense of justice here on earth. Like the late Robin Williams, many of the rest of us here are hurting from the violence and hypocrisy.
Roots of Post Traumatic Stress and Racism
August 12, 2014
Earlier this year I had two extensive email conversations with two different but overlapping groups of Prabhupada disciples. These are people who were initiated by the founding guru of the Hare Krishnas. The Prabhupada disciples were mostly born in the 1940s, and were part of the original hippy movement of the 1960s. Not all of them started out as hippies. Some were beatniks, intellectuals, musicians, or other alternative types. They were loyal to Srila Prabhupada, and many saw him as a father. However, they went through a traumatic time in the ten years after his death (the guru died in 1977).
These days the Prabhupada disciples are struggling to get their identity. They had a respectable guru, although his good name has come under fire in the thirty-seven years since his passing. Most of the angst comes from other Prabhupada disciples who are nursing their wounds from the betrayal they went through in the organization. A group of them invited me into their Facebook discussion group to bash the guru, but then expelled me when they found out I was talking to the other Prabhupada disciple groups who do not bash the guru.
As far as the organization, ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), founded in 1966, the way I see it, the honest people fell out in the 1980s during the tribulations after the guru died. The motivated (and often dishonest) leaders tried hard to hang onto their power, or come back, and many of them still rule ISKCON to this day. It is a classic case of the dinosaurs looking for the last watering hole. If there was one ISKCON temple left in the world, all the remaining ISKCON leaders would fight over it. Also, some ex-members and fringe members would fight the ISKCON leaders over it.
The pro-Prabhupada disciple groups I talked with are on the outside. Several characters took part in both discussions, and there were also several women in both conversations. Altogether, I think there were dozens patched in on the mail servers, and hundreds of emails went by that I did not reply to. I am not currently involved in any dialogues. In the second group, I decided to step back after the men verbally abused me once they found out I am a feminist. I defended women's right to choose, and I also defended blacks and Jews against their racist attacks.
At first, I could not believe that anybody could be that racist, or that paranoid, but in a friendly way they informed me that yes, they are that racist. They were right up front about it, and gave me a chance to discuss it with them in depth before they discovered that I fit neatly and undeniably into one of the categories of persons they detest. Although I am certain I would be welcomed back to the conversation, I want to give it some time. In matters of verbal abuse, one of the best things to do is to hang back, and not walk down the road where there's a hole in the sidewalk. If any group has holes in the sidewalk, it is an unapologetically racist and misogynist group.
It may be the anthropologist in me, but I love to investigate why people are racist. It turns out in this case, they can cite scripture and quotes from their guru that blacks are inferior, and that they were better off as slaves. Their racist beliefs tie into, and are anchored in, a paranoid conspiracy belief system. For example, they see President Obama as a conspiratorial agent for evil forces that are colonizing our world. Some of them believe in alien invasions, while others think the Jews are behind it all. They all agree that FEMA concentration camps are ready for us, and that President Obama is just waiting for a pre-planned moment when he will give the order.
The Prabhupada disciples are entering their seventies. Many have passed on, or are well into the course of degenerative diseases. I find it awfully sad, even tragic, that these once young idealists have devolved into superstitious, paranoid, and racist old folks. Their guru Srila Prabhupada, from what I could tell, preached a gospel of love, charity, and compassion. The disciples cannot do anything to get their integrity back, because it is not a matter of doing. It is a matter of being. If they could somehow un-brainwash themselves, and embody the love their guru wanted for them, they could raise themselves up. In the process, they could raise up their guru's legacy. In my opinion, ISKCON deserves to go down in history as more than just a common cult. It did not start out as a dangerous cult, because for the first few years it was a light in the darkness. However, by 1970, self-motivated people had taken over, and the organization was doomed.
With the anniversary of Lord Krishna's birth this Saturday, I pray that the whole world, including ex-cult members, crazy racists, conspiracy theorists, and professional haters, let go of their complicated deal for just a minute of peace on Saturday. We all can get along, and I believe that is god's plan for the human race. We have gradually civilized ourselves over many centuries. Sometimes we fall back, but in the longrun we are progressing ever closer to god's plan for us on earth. That's how I see it. If you are an atheist, and do not care what god thinks (or believe there is no god), take a moment out on Saturday to honor the beautiful tapestry of universal myth that has woven the human race together through centuries of tribulation. Have a moment of peace with the universe as the Hindus honor their god, Lord Krishna, the cowherd boy of Vrindavana.
August 4, 2014
President Obama turns fifty-three today and we wish him well. Makes me think back to where I was at when I turned fifty-three. That was five and a half years ago. It was 2009, President Obama had just come into office, and I was full of hope for the future. We had overcome the problemed contested presidential elections—President Obama won by a clear margin! Finally we would have a government that worked together under a president with a clear mandate. Well, I was wrong about that, but I recall feeling that things would get better.
Despite all the fighting that has gone on in the last five years, President Obama has continued to work at times when I felt completely frustrated and frightened. He has accomplished many things despite the uncooperative Republicans and the complicit media. Best wishes to President Obama on his fifty-third birthday. Have a great day and forget about those people who are trying to wreck everything for the rest of us.
August 3, 2014
This came across the transom this morning, check it out. Want to send birthday wishes to the President, Rep. Boehner?
July 30, 2014
Yesterday I was drawn into an argument at a website with a heavy troll population. One of the men I argued with has some 25,000+ posts at this site and they are all spiteful and uninformed. Last night I spent about an hour knocking down his arguments, but he came back with ridiculous talking points I don't have the time to answer. Maybe you can log in and take over for me! I have real work to do and do not get paid to blog! Here's the URL and some of today's replies to my posts:
Esther Rounds: Nori, you say he [President Obama] wants us to get along, well we were growing into getting along little by little then Obama comes along and starts the racist thing all over again. He is the biggest racist in this country and he likes to stir things up, turn people against each other. 4:29 a.m., Thursday July 31
Kile: EXACTLY, just like the Obamabots following their dear leader right off the cliff as he destroys the country. Get it? 9:31 a.m., Thursday July 31
Kile: My anger actually started in 2007 when the democrats took over congress and things started going to hell. 9:33 a.m., Thursday July 31
Kile: That's a laugh riot. When has Obama taken the blame for ANYTHING? He would have blamed Bush or his top military advisers. He would have claimed he knew nothing about it until he saw it on the news. The usual BS excuses he uses. You said you were in a cult for 10 years. I have news for you, you're in another cult. The cult of Obama. The most evil and destructive cult of all. 9:35 a.m., Thursday July 31
Kile: Not really. You won't get minimum wage workers to build cars. It was the unions that caused GM to be in the predicament they were in to begin with so scrapping the union and starting over would have been the perfect solution. Henry Ford paid his workers a decent wage without a union. Then the workers got greedy and demanded even more. Unions are nothing but a parasite that produces nothing and steals from both labor and business owners. They are sadly outdated and of no use in a modern society. 9:38 a.m., Thursday July 31
Kile: I wouldn't telegraph my plans to the enemy first of all. We would have been far better off had we left 10-20,000 troops in Iraq just like we left hundreds of thousands of troops in Germany and Japan for decades. Everything that our soldiers fought and died for has been undone because Obama has no clue how the world works and like all muslims he hates America. The reason it is up to us is because it is in our national defense interests. Muslims have declared a war on us and it is in our best interest to make sure that part of the world is stabilized. The UN is a jo ke. We are the only country in the world capable of doing it. 9:42 a.m., Thursday July 31
Kile: He's never done anything right to give him credit for. 9:43 a.m., Thursday July 31
Kile: How is that the government's problem? Why didn't he seek out help from the numerous charitable organizations that help homeless people? Better yet, why didn't he get a job and support himself? The government is not a charity program. I'm all for the VA but that doesn't mean that veterans can just sit back and expect the federal government to provide food, clothing and shelter for them for the rest of their lives. Why did Obama let the VA get so out of hand? Why did Obama let veterans die on secret waiting lists? I am not the one with the closed mind. My mind is wide open. You need to take off your rose colored glasses and see the true destruction Obama is doing to this country. It's truly disastrous. 9:47 a.m., Thursday July 31
Kile: My point is, there is little we can do now but the reason these things are happening is because Obama has weakened America. He is a joke on the world stage. Nobody outside of his sycophants in the democrat party respects the man. He is not a leader. He has failed to lead at every opportunity. he set the table for all of these things to happen. His "red line" in Syria. His complete lack of action on Benghazi. His insistence on treating terrorists as criminals instead of as enemies of the state. The list goes on and on. He has weakened this country in ways I never thought possible. 9:51 a.m., Thursday July 31
Kile: The illegals who are invading our country are trying to take advantage of what they see as Obama's weakness and willingness to give amnesty to criminals. Nothing has changed in central America. It's the guy in the White House that has unilaterally, illegally and un-Constitutionally changed immigration law and refused to enforce the laws on the books. That is what is causing all of these illegal invaders to flood our southern borders. 9:53 a.m., Thursday July 31
Kile: Yes it is Obama's fault. His economic policies are not creating jobs. Companies are not expanding. They are not creating good jobs because of Obama's policies. There is a glut of unemployed people and when there is a glut of labor the price for labor goes down. You know where McDonald's and Wal-Mart are paying $15/hour? South Dakota, Midland Texas, places where the private sector is producing energy. Obamacare was a huge disincentive to hire people. Yes, it IS Obama's fault. 9:56 a.m., Thursday July 31
Kile: Our country isn't an antique car and it wasn't bush that put it in the ditch. It was the housing bubble that was created by the Community Reinvestment Act signed into law by Carter and doubled down on by Clinton. Learn the facts. The recession is the fault of over regulation in the banking sector that forced banks to loan money to people who couldn't afford to pay it back. Those are the facts. 9:59 a.m., Thursday July 31
Kile: It will get better when we cut spending, repeal that train wreck Obamacare and quit threatening to raise the minimum wage. 10:03 a.m., Thursday July 31
Richard Vandiamondsworth: You may not believe this, but you can TAX LESS and actually GET MORE revenue. When the bottom 50% pay NO income tax and the top third pay almost 40% for the bottom's welfare, that's robbery. 11:04 a.m., Thursday July 31
Okay, I just realized this is a r-winger website. No wonder there are so many uneducated, brainwashed, and vindictive people. But it happens in legitimate news sites too. Just for the record, here are the reasons for the economic crash of 2008: Student Writing on the Housing Market Bubble.
Good Comes to Those Who are Patient
July 30, 2014
It never pays to explode in anger. You need to feel your anger, because that is a mechanism to tell you that something has crossed the boundaries of what you find acceptable. When anger strikes, be with it, find out what it wants, and then make a reasonable plan to solve things in the best way for everyone involved. If you go off half-cocked, as they say, you will simply spread your anger and hurt people's feelings. This will make it more difficult to achieve what you want.
One good role model is President Obama. He is by nature a cool-headed person who channels his anger into action. Sometimes his supporters want to see him get angry, but everyone has shortcomings, and remaining calm is not the worst shortcoming a person could have. Through his persistence, the President has managed to get so much done! See list below.*
It is unfortunate that Rep. John Boehner wants to file this lawsuit and the House of Representatives voted to go forward. We should take this move with gravity, not arrogance. It certainly does make us angry, and the tendency is to dismiss it as frivolous. But you will not see President Obama go on TV and scream back. No, he will continue to try to reach out to them. As much as we, his supporters, wish he would just kick them in the shins and steal their backpacks, Obama will not sink to immature reactive behavior.
If this suit is filed, and if a judge accepts it, I am sure President Obama's attorneys will treat it with all the seriousness of any legal action. Any type of legal action can snowball out of control, so it must always be entered into with caution. However, the good news is that Democrats are finally mad about something, like all the left-leaning pundits wanted! Now people are seriously talking about taking back the House of Representatives this November. Yeah! Finally, we see the light, instead of remaining stuck in Stockholm Syndrome where we are frozen by right-winger talking points.
Along with waking up the Democrats, it is also a good time to wake up your Fox News brainwashed friends. Tell them you admire President Obama for all his accomplishments. If they yell back at you to name one accomplishment besides giving cell phones to welfare moms (???), you can pull out this list, and continue the discussion from a platform in reality.
A partial list of President Obama's accomplishments:
Turned the jobs market around, instead of losing jobs every month like at the end of the Bush years, we are now gaining jobs every month. We still need more.
Ended the War in Iraq - got our troops out of there at the end of 2011.
Began drawdown in Afghanistan.
Killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011.
Saved the US auto industry.
Got sensible policies for gays in the military; publicly came out in support of marriage equality.
Toppled Gaddafi in 2011, along with a coalition of European governments.
Disarmed Syria and got them to give up their chemical weapons with no bloodshed.
Reversed the Bush administration's torture policy.
Lowered intrest rates for student loans by ejecting banks from the lending process.
Raised fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks.
Increased support for veterans.
Increased efficiency standards for coal fired power plants.
Passed credit card reform.
Singed the Lilly Ledbetter Fairness law so women can find out how their pay copares to others at the same company.
Expanded national service through the Serve America Act in 2009.
Passed fair sentencing act in 2010 to equalize crack vs. cocaine possession sentencing.
Cut back on money for Star Wars weaponry.
Ended funding for the F-22, which cost $358 million each, and have never been used.
Invested in renewable technology.
Set living wage standards for workers under federal contracts.
Set living wages for other government employees.
Cracked down on fraudulent for-profit colleges.
Improved school nutrition standards.
Avoided scandals of his personal life.
Speeded up compensation to victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Implemented affordable health care for millions of people who were previously uninsured or under-insured.
Expanded health care coverage for children.
Declared carbon dioxide a pollutant.
Dow Jones up from 7,949 in 2009 to the 17,000 range now.
Lowered unemployment from the [stated] 7.8% in 2009 to 6.1% now.
Increased GDP growth from -5.4% in 2009 to more than 4% now.
Lowered the deficit/GDP from 9.8% in 2009 to 3.3% now.
Increased consumer confidence from 37.7% in 2009 to more than 70% now.
Attention Hound Sarah Palin
July 29, 2014
The latest news about Sarah Palin is that she started an online TV station, all Sarah Palin all the time. She can talk for hours, so I am sure she will put on a good show for her subscribers. As far as I am concerned, the less Sarah Palin, the better. This morning I heard a caller on a radio show ask the host, "Why don't all you media people just ignore Sarah Palin?" The caller went on to explain that it takes two to tango. If the liberal media lost interest in Sarah Palin, she would lose her power to scare us, and would eventually go away.
The host got the point, and thought it was a good idea, but admitted to being unable to ignore Sarah Palin. It's human nature, like picking at a scab, or scratching a mosquito bite. Our conscience tells us it would be better to keep our hands off, but there's that negative material in the subconscious mind, the shadow, that makes us hurt ourselves. Too bad everyone feeds Sarah Palin's need for attention, because whatever we focus on tends to increase.
West Wing Liberal Debate
July 25, 2014
Earlier this week on The Last Word, Lawrence O'Donnell showed this clip from The West Wing, a show that he both wrote and co-produced. In it, President Matthew Santos (Jimmy Smits), debates Senator Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda). Matthew Santos stands up for liberalism in this exchange:
Santos: It's true, Republicans have tried to turn "liberal" into a bad word. Well, liberals ended slavery in this country.
Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 crash.
R.I.P. June 17, 2014
We also mourn for the refugee children and the failed states they leave behind; we grieve for the victims of Israeli and Hamas violence. We pray for this world to be free. We also pray for peace in our own country.
July 17, 2014
Larry J. Sabato says a talking point over the weekend, and all the news anchors and talk show hosts take his word as gospel truth. Look, there is a point when you can overdo it with gurus and pundits. Like the word guru, the word pundit is based in ancient India. Pundits were experts from the various sects of the Hindu and Muslim religions who would gather in the villages to debate ideas.
Public consensus would determine which pundit defeated the other, and pundits would travel from town to village, and their reputations would precede them. Celebrated pundits may have taken disciples, or just roamed the countryside, living life as respected opinion makers. In the old days, kings or foreign powers ruled the lands, so it did not originally include elections.
Nowadays we have our pundits, but they go on TV and tell us what to think about elections. They even claim to predict the results years in advance. Sure they are right sometimes, but they are not psychic. So, at a certain point in life you get disillusioned, or you simply realize that you do not have to accept what pundits say. They are just making educated guesses. Some are even charlatans, doing it for money. However, if you have a pundit or pundits you trust, that is fine. Just keep their opinions in perspective. In other words, avoid getting brainwashed, like your pundit can never be wrong.
Back to Larry J. Sabato. I like him, and respect him a great deal. He is one of those pundits like Thom Hartmann who has about twenty books. I cannot compete with that, having only six books, so I offer all respects to Larry J. Sabato and Thom Hartmann. One thing I would like to talk to them about, however, is they seem jaded, even pessimistic. Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the early American pundits, said that we see the world through colored glasses. His exact quote is:
Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue.
After being beaten down by negative setbacks for liberals this entire century so far, I identify with the despair many liberals feel. Believe me, I have had my sleepless nights and angry days, especially during the Bush years. The stuff going on now makes me angry too. Especially as a woman, I could not be more angry at the Republicans' attacks on women's rights.
As one of the lesser pundits, I want to make a plea to the liberals, the MSNBC anchors, liberal talk radio hosts, and Democratic fundraisers: please tell us you plan to win all the close elections in November. Your word is your wand, to quote Florence Scovell Shinn, a new age author of the 1920s. What you say is what you create.
Stand up for us and stand up for the future. We are all behind you. We can win this thing in November. Just get people rides to the polls, a link to the websites that show where the polling places are, information on the type of ID people will need, and whether they are ultra-strict about how women show their maiden name on their ID.
Use your punditry and fundraising to protect people from "election inspectors" with guns. Use our donations to get people the proper ID. Tell people you can get them a ride on election day if they need it. The way to get people out to vote is to remind them it is their right to vote and you will empower them to vote. The way to get us to make donations is to tell us we can win, and that you need money for get out the vote efforts.
Chris Matthews Identifies Close Senate Races
July 11, 2014
Yesterday on Hardball, Chris Matthews identified thirteen states with close Senate races. The best way to solve our problems is to win close elections. With all the obstruction the Republicans put up for voting [add your own list here], we need to show up in great numbers to vote.
Besides making it easy to vote for everyone, we need to establish a groundwork of sanity in our culture. These people calling to punish the president are out of line. Only their brainwashed followers, er, their base, are still with them. The rest of us far out-number them, and they know it. More people watch Sponge Bob Square Pants than watch Fox News.
If you have relatives and friends in these states, it is time to give them a gentle nudge. Tell them you support President Obama and his Democratic goals: a secure social safety net, good public education, access to college education, access to healthcare, social justice, support for public parks and other public institutions, assistance to struggling states, and a firm, sensible foreign policy. Communicate your genuine concern; it may even feel like you are losing your friend to a cult. I shared my feelings with one of my relatives a few years ago and it has helped bring us more onto the same ground.
This Website Supports President Obama
July 10, 2014
The webmaster and fans of Surrealist.org support President Obama. We especially support President Obama in the childish winds blowing from the illuminati-.01%-controlled Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is obvious to anyone with common sense that this lawsuit Speaker Boehner just unveiled is absurd. The Republicans block nearly everything that would help the country, including infrastructure, disaster relief, unemployment insurance, immigration reforms, and other common sense programs. Then when their obstruction causes a crisis, they blame President Obama and bellyache about it for the TV cameras. Suing the president is an expensive dramatic show they are putting on for us. They act like angry children. How many millions of dollars are they wasting with this act?
It is only the Fox News followers who think this lawsuit makes any sense. The House Republicans are trying to scare the rest of us, but only isolate themselves. What they are doing makes them look like maniacs. Most people (non-Fox News viewers) really like, kinda like, or tolerate President Obama. Ordinary Americans are not this percentage who rabidly hate him.
A note to Fox News viewers: did you ever notice that the illuminati.01% controls the Republican party. Republicans and Democrats have differences. Republicans represent rich white men, and men who want to punish and control wild women. Sadly, it has gone more extreme in that direction lately. Democrats—most of them, if they are true Democrats—work to weave a social safety net so we all feel safer and more secure.
Women Can Do
July 8, 2014
As a child, growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, my parents raised me to expect to go to college and become something. The job descriptions they wanted for me included lawyer, farmer, resort owner, scientist, or journalist. They never gave me any hint that being a woman could hold me back in any of these fields. It was only later in the 1970s in college, when I took women's studies classes, that I learned of the bias against women. Our college was one of the first in the nation to offer a bachelor's in women's studies. My BA is in sociology, but it included WS units.
Seriously, women my age for the most part believed that the 1970s capped off a centuries-long battle for women's rights. Most of us have lived out our lives without experiencing much outward discrimination or racial hatred. Until NOW. What the heck? From my point of view, it is as if the modern day Republicans have reversed centuries of progress. Now they are beating up on women over contraception? Sex without consequences is evil? Women should be saddled with a child as punishment for their sins? Really? This takes us back to seventeenth century Puritan standards.
If anyone can fix this situation, it is we women, ourselves. Every time we have come together to fix something in society, we have succeeded. We got a lot done in early America, and women around the world have accomplished things for themselves and their children with or without the help of men. We pushed through the juvenile justice system, which offers leniency toward minor aged children; our ancestors got us union rights; they won us the right to vote. Now we have the right to know if we are getting paid fairly, we no longer need pay more for health insurance just because we're women, and soon we will have even more rights.
If this modern explosion of five centuries of misogyny gets you mad, volunteer to drive women to the voting places in November. We, as women, must also build a basis of trust that we can win this and turn this situation around. Men seem much more prone to stress from emotional situations like this, whereas we women can accept the reality of the situation, and still think of how to solve it. We can lay the groundwork for a successful election in a few months, where everyone gets to vote, and nearly everyone decides it is time to throw the tea party and all their Republican friends out. They had a chance. All they did was try to repeal our health insurance, obstruct the President, and take away our birth control. They also committed hundreds of shallow, cold, and unethical actions that tell all women at a gut level that misogynists are bad for children and other living things. It is time for us to come together and usher them out.
Unwelcome in Murrieta
July 2, 2014
Too bad we Americans are angry people who go out of our way to hurt each other's feelings if it makes us feel good. Was it racial hatred that made a vocal mob block three busses bringing women and children to a border patrol processing center? The most vocal protesters looked Hispanic, so was it Hispanic hating on Latinos? As I understand it (sorry it sounds awkward), Hispanic refers to mostly Spanish descent; Latino refers to mostly Latin American descent).
Or maybe it was not racial. Maybe the protesters were just angry bullies, or cult followers. The world has many more crazy cults these days than there were back in the sixties. They are generally smaller, but some are more violent, and more prone to believe wild conspiracies.
When I was in the cult in the 1980s, they were worried about a war between Pakistan and India. Lately I am on some of those people's mailing lists and I get all this dreck now about the coming apocalypse, and how President Obama is worse than Hitler combined with the villain from some James Bond story, and they have videos on what to stockpile in your cellar, etc.
Anyways, that was quite a performance in Murrieta. People have got to notice that. Either you are a bigot yourself and you were right there with those men and women shaking your pitchfork at suffering humanity. Or, you were with the refugees, thinking there but for the grace of god go I.
Republicans Kick off Democrat Fundraiser; Boost Democrats' Morale
June 30, 2014
Rep. John Boehner helped the Democrats set fundraising records, simply with his announcement that he wants to sue President Obama. The do-nothing Speaker wants to sue the President for doing things. What a farce. But we reacted, first donating a half a million dollars in the first twenty-four hours, and soon breaking a million dollars. This has happened mostly online. I watched all the campaign emails come across the transom, even throwing in some $$ myself. I encourage everyone to donate to the Democratic campaign of your choice, and do it before the midnight (East Coast time) deadline. The campaigns need to file with the Federal Election Commission at the end of each month. So let's get their numbers up there for June!
The greatest thing about the Dems' fundraising is that this is genuine support: people pulling out their credit cards and entering the info. into the computer, even if it is a hassle. Even if they said the computer would remember your credit card, but it never does. Thousands of people are chipping in $5, $10, $25, $50, or whatever they can afford. This is also a renewable resource for the Democrats. If I donate $15 today, I can probably do it again next month, and the month after. On the Republicans' side, they get donations from ordinary people, but many of their followers see campaign contributions as a form of taxation. They don't donate. The Reps get most of their contributions from a limited number of top .01%-ers.
The worst thing about the Democratic fundraisers is when they try to scare you. Look, we are already scared. How about if you tell us how scary-easy it will be to vote in November? Tell us you are using our donations for get-out-the-vote efforts! Tell us how our dollars will get people rides, ID cards (if needed), and following up with the precincts to be prepared with enough voting booths. If your state or county is reluctant to let Dems vote, then scare them by telling them that voting is a right, and that they need to get it together. Our soldiers did not die in foreign lands to defend the rights of only rich, white, or right-wing Americans.
My brother recently told me that I can be pretty scary myself, like when I attack my friends for being slightly negative. I acknowledge that. I acknowledge that we have serious challenges. Even if we win every single election on the slate, life would still give us challenges. Why is that? Well, human beings are problem solvers, so we need problems to solve. But problems come of their own accord. There are plenty of problems already! Why make up new ones? Rather than scaring each other to coerce cooperation, let's spread love. Love is what will get Democrats to the polls. Like, I would love a ride. I would love someone to go with me, and stand with me in case they question my identity. At least I would love to have a number to call to complain and get justice. Also, I would love it if everyone can vote in a half hour or less. Making that happen is better than trying to scare everyone into participating.
Steamboat Reunion Photos: Cincinnati, Jeffersonville, and Chattanooga
June 28, 2014
From June 20-24, my brother and I traveled around the South to visit old friends, and meet new ones. The center of our visit, of course, was the steamboats. We saw the Belle of Louisville and the American Queen, and actually, those two seemed to follow us everywhere we went. We even saw them from the hotel room, which had a view of the Ohio River. It was an amazing trip, especially seeing our father's boat, the Delta Queen, which is still temporarily tied up in Chattanooga. Check out my photos from the trip, click here. Our thanks to everyone who made this a great time!
Dems in a Good Position
June 19, 2014
The Democrats' attitude has come a long way this year. In January, the right winger echo chamber proclaimed that it would be a terrible year for us, and all the Democratic pundits believed it. Since then, good things have happened for us. Democrats perked up, and got more optimistic. However, the Democratic pundits went running around searching for the dark cloud inside the silver linking. For a while there were no dark clouds, but they finally found one that felt right: "The Democrats may do well in 2016 or 2020, but before that it will still be a challenge."
Would it be possible to throw away that negative thought form and align ourselves with a positive idea? You tell me. Maybe the Democrats have chronic Stockholm Syndrome and believe anything the torturers say. Yet, we are about to be rescued and step into our destiny: a huge victory this year.
Some Democrat pundits and fundraisers think it is an excellent idea to scare the crap out of everyone, because it will bring people out to vote. Actually, there are more effective ways to rally Democrats to vote: 1) make it easier to vote, 2) get people a ride to vote, 3) get people registered and get any needed ID ahead of time, 4) make sure the poling places have enough voting booths, 5) lobby your local officials to make sure everyone can vote in a half hour or less. Then get in touch with the voters, and make sure they have the support they need to vote. For example, if there are armed thugs guarding the poling places, offer to walk through all that with the voter to accompany them to the voting booth. Nobody wants to miss the chance to vote just because of armed thugs.
The Obama Doctrine
June 18, 2014
People are turning off their TVs this week because nobody can stand to listen to the neo-cons and their puppets in the media hammer the country to go back to war in Iraq. They are trying to pass off the lie that Iraq was a great victory by the end of 2008! Nobody is buying it. In desperation, the r-wing conspiracy theory think tanks are pumping out their septic tanks trying to hold onto their brainwashed true believers.
The Republican party's only idea lately has been to try to frame President Obama for all the problems they are causing. The .01% and their followers are the ones who started that war, spent all our money and lives of our young people in that war, and they knew it was a folly from the beginning. They knew on the first day of George W. Bush's presidency that they would invade Iraq. We still do not understand fully what motivated them. However, it is clear that those wars were born from the depths of the worst side of human nature.
Meanwhile, the r-winger noise machine is spewing out lies that the revolution is here, and the Obama Administration and Pentagon are just about to take everyone's guns and lock everyone up in massive FEMA prisons. The way these armed thugs are going around showing off their guns these days, their paranoid delusions could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The only social unrest I see these days are right wingers who stockpile weapons. Every week or so, one of them comes out to exercise his free speech under the Second Amendment and tries to kill at least seven people so he go down in history as a mass murderer. Besides these types, everyone else in society seems to be getting along okay.
Align with a Positive Vision
June 15, 2014
A friend just sent me a great link to the Vision Alignment Project. The email included a positive vision for food:
Here is an even more developed positive vision for food - click here. The group also offers a line of books and courses, and free daily messages. I have always said we need to envision a positive future, and these people are already doing it! Yeah!
June 11, 2014
With the upset in the polls yesterday, Eric Cantor losing his primary to a tea party candidate, everyone is in shock. Democratic fundraisers are calling for solidarity in their fundraising emails. They deserve our support. Things are shifting. One of our worst adversaries is as good as gone. However, let us look at the words we are using, to try to raise our expectations of success this winter.
Instead of "running against" the tea party (like picking a fight with an alcoholic), let us use our energy to run "for" something. From a rational perspective, we can see this is the perfect time to unite the ninety-nine percent. There are a lot more of us than there are in the .01 percent aristocrats and their wanna be supporters who have blocked jobs, education, disaster relief, immigration reform, and anything else they can block.
Let's put all our energy into getting out the vote, making sure people can vote, and making sure people can vote in a half hour or less.
Psychics' Impressions of President Obama
June 5, 2014
A few of my cult friends think President Obama is an instrument of the oil aristocracy, an operative to the overall richy-rich plot to rule the world. However, I have argued with them, why would the aristocrats trust Barack Obama? It does not make any sense. Obama works for the opposite of what the r-wingers want. You can take it from me, editor at Surrealist.org News, that President Obama is what he says he is, and he is here to help America become a better country. He explained his political philosophy in his 2006 book, Audacity of Hope. Everything he has done since then has been consistent with his beliefs, as outlined in that book.
However, if you do not want to believe Surrealist.org News, how about this psychic channeled message from the soul Matthew? This is from the most recent message from Matthew:
Few foresaw the sustained opposition he [President Obama] would encounter, and while that quickly became clear in Congress, the illuminati's influence within and behind that body isn't known. When that truth comes forth, all will understand what President Obama has had to deal with in his efforts to uplift his country's peoples and bring peace to your world.
It is only a matter of time until people see the GOP for what it is: a puppet of the top one percent and the NRA, opposed to anything good for the people they represent. Their latest thing is to complain about rescuing POW Bowe Burgdahl. No matter what Burgdahl did, veterans and families of veterans instinctively realize that the rhetoric has gone out of control.
Every time a new issue comes up, the GOP legislators automatically take the wrong position. It will catch up to them. They are desperate, and it becomes more obvious with every passing day. People are starting to realize that the GOP has betrayed them in favor of the one percent. When Americans realize they have been betrayed, things change. The change is already happening.
Why Do People Yell?
June 2, 2014
I can't speak for all people, but as an American, I can cite a few good reasons why we yell. Some Americans are real yellers, and the technical word for that is verbal abuse. Others only yell when pushed to their limits, but here are the general categories of yelling:
The most common reason is a bad phone connection, with static, voices, or a lag time. Phone connections seem to get worse all the time, especially when calling a customer service call center in another country. The other person cannot hear you, or understand anything you are saying, so you yell. But the same could happen during noisy parties, loud weather conditions, etc. This kind of yelling is not considered verbal abuse, but still, using a loud tone of voice can make the yeller feel angry.
Yelling also takes place when the speaker feels like there must be static on the line (even if face to face in a quiet room), because the listener does not seem to hear or understand the message. This type of yelling can develop into verbal abuse. To prevent this unhappy outcome, the speaker must learn better communication skills, and the listener must develop better listening skills. The blame for the yelling usually falls more on the yeller. However, a passive aggressive, highly unskilled, or defensive listener can provoke yelling even from a normally peaceful person.
The opposite of yelling is aloof silence. Refusing to participate in a dialogue is just another form of verbal abuse. If you are in the middle of talking, but feel unable to continue, just excuse yourself and set a time to resume the discussion. It is okay to take some time out to calm down. As long as there can be an understanding of when the discussion may resume, both parties should agree to a break.
When someone yells (or withholds) all the time as their chosen management style, it indicates chronic poor communication skills. The evidence is that they yell at everybody indiscriminately. We can probably all recall an insufferable boss or friend like that. Yelling is unpleasant to be around and the yeller is generally disliked and thus ineffective in the long term. Chronic yellers make our world worse, and we wish they would get into anger management therapy.
Some people have a little yell in their voice, even when they claim to feel perfectly collected. Their tone of voice may just be a tone they picked up somewhere, but it may also belie hidden feelings of powerlessness, self-pity, or hostility.
Then we meet those wonderful people who have calm, reassuring voices. You can hear them smiling. These are the people we want as friends and associates. To be successful in nearly any career, work on developing a kind voice. It is something I still struggle with, because when I was in the cult in the 1980s, I took after my always-angry, always-yelly "guru." Many of my friends have never seen me get mad, but my close family members cringe in fear if they detect that tense tone start to enter my voice. They know with certainty how far I can go, and that it would not be pretty.
One last type of yelling at discussion here is yelling through the written word. That is an honorable type of yelling. However, you have to be willing to write it and then throw it away. That is what a journal is for. You can write it all out to unravel the thoughts in your brain. Usually, anger is the result of someone crossing one of your emotional boundaries. Once you write it all out, you will know where your boundaries were crossed, and you will know where to begin to fix the problem. The next time you have anger, instead of yelling at someone, try to channel your anger into the written word. Then focus on the solution.
So "have a good day" and please forgive me if I ever yelled at you.
Writing Betrayal of the Spirit
May 31, 2014
It took me nearly ten years to complete my first book, Betrayal of the Spirit. The process was healing, and the book came out in 1997. Since then, I have written two more books on the subject: Cult Survivor's Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life*, based on my graduate studies in psychology and counseling; and Child of the Cult*, which took fourteen years to write. But that's another story.
This month, the International Cultic Studies Association published my story on how I wrote Betrayal of the Spirit. It is online at their website, and also in the May 14 edition of their journal, ICSA Today.
Why Are We Here?
May 30, 2014
Lately, I have changed the way I think about why I am here. This is a positive change, and one that I believe is more accurate than the beliefs I had before. This change of mind began a few weeks ago when I read this channeled material from an online newsletter I subscribe to. This got me thinking:
When bodies die in ground-level or very low atmospheric explosions, souls are not damaged—the density of the bodies safeguards them. When nuclear weaponry explodes in space, as has happened in other civilizations, souls living as free spirits or in light density forms are not protected—they have been shattered and their parts scattered throughout space.
Ever since reading this, I have started to think of it as a good metaphor for my life. Maybe I was never killed in a nuclear explosion in a past life, but I do feel like I am in a world where malevolent dark forces control my life. I spent ten years in a fundamentalist religious cult, where I was controlled by dark entities. They called themselves gurus, but they were more like criminals dressed as gurus. However, now I realize that the misfortune of being in a cult was not a punishment for something I did wrong. Nor is it my own bad karma that I live in a place where dark forces control economies and perpetrate wars. Rather, I am a victim of these forces, and Creator brought me here so I can get my soul back. Thus, rather than victim, I am a survivor.
If you can identify with this metaphor, stop blaming yourself for the world's predicament. This world is historically a place of tyranny from the time of the Egyptians right on up to today. Still, brave souls have come here and left a legacy of transforming it to a place of light. We still have to fill our gas tanks, and we are all vulnerable to the carcinogenic chemicals that are the byproducts of the dark forces—we may act out because we feel trapped and persecuted—but we are here to heal. Creator is teaching us how to escape tyranny. If we can free our minds from identification with the abusers, we can get the strength we need. If enough of us are successful, we can fight back against the dark forces and win.
Although this kind of talk may seem naïve or too optimistic, I ran it by a friend this morning. She said, "That sounds like me too!" So, I am posting my realizations here, in case it rings true for others. I talked to my friend about it again, and she had thought about it too, and added that she sees so many worthwhile people doing constructive, good things in the world. That gives her hope that good is stronger than evil.
The Obama Doctrine, May 28, 2014:
"Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail."
UCSB My Alma Mater
A Message from Chancellor Yang and Interim Executive Vice Chancellor Michaelsen, May 25, 2014:
To the Campus Community:
In light of the tragic events that occurred on Friday night, after discussions with the Academic Senate, Associated Students, and our administrative colleagues, we are declaring Tuesday, May 27th a Day of Mourning and Reflection. There will be a memorial service at Harder Stadium on Tuesday afternoon at 4:00PM organized jointly by students, staff, and faculty. Also, Associated Students has asked us to let our community know that our students are planning a memorial wall at the Pardall Center.
Regular classes will not be held on Tuesday. However, because our academic community needs a space for talking and healing as well as mourning, we ask that faculty come to campus on Tuesday to be available to meet with students. We suggest that faculty communicate with our students and teaching assistants to let them know whether they will be meeting at their regularly scheduled class time, or in office hours, or both. Staff should report to work as usual, but employees who need to request time off from work should coordinate those requests with their supervisors. Classes will resume on Wednesday.
We wish to reiterate the message from the undergraduate deans that academic advisors are available to assist students who are concerned that this tragedy will interfere with the completion of their courses. Our dedicated advisors will do everything they can to ensure that no student's academic record is adversely affected by this difficult situation. There will be extended walk-in advising hours this week starting on Tuesday, from 9:00AM to 5:00PM, including the lunch hour. Faculty, instructors, and teaching assistants will receive additional information from their department chairs and deans about how to provide guidance and alternatives to students who may need assistance as they complete their academic year.
We remind students, faculty, and staff that professional counselors are available to provide support to all members of our community. We encourage you to consult them to address your own needs and to get advice about how you can help others if they reach out to you. Counselors can be reached by phone at (805) 893-4411, 24 hours a day. Counselors will be available for in-person visits all day Tuesday at the Student Resource Building.
This is a period of mourning for all of us. The moving candlelight vigil that our students organized on Saturday evening began the process of healing. On Tuesday we will remember and honor the victims of this horrible event, and come together as an academic community to reflect, talk with each other, and think about the future. As terrible as these past two days have been, they make us believe in our students and the entire UCSB community more than ever.
Henry T. Yang, Chancellor
Joel Michaelsen, Interim Executive Vice Chancellor
UC President Janet Napolitano issued the following letter yesterday (May 26) to the university community regarding Friday's rampage near UC Santa Barbara:
TO THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY
By now I am sure that every member of the University of California community is aware of the horrific rampage near UC Santa Barbara this past Friday night that took the lives of six of our students and injured nine other students.
Words cannot adequately express my shock over this senseless event and my profound sadness about the loss of these young people. I ask that you join me in sending thoughts and prayers to the victims of this tragedy, their families and the entire Santa Barbara community.
This is a time for mourning and grieving, and for consoling and supporting each other. It will take time for our UCSB colleagues to recover and heal from this. To begin that healing, UCSB has canceled classes on Tuesday, May 27, and declared the day one of mourning and reflection. A memorial service organized jointly by students, staff and faculty will take place at 4:00 pm on campus. In the days and weeks ahead, as the campus continues to recover, I ask that you please extend understanding and compassion to our UCSB colleagues.
To honor the memories of the victims of Friday's senseless and tragic events, I am ordering flags at all University of California facilities to be lowered to half-staff through Sunday, June 1. As you look upon those lowered colors, I hope you will pause to reflect on these lost members of our UC family.
During this terrible time for our UC community, I ask that you join me in the belief that the process of healing and reflection we will go through in the coming days will draw us closer as a university community. Together, we will get through this.
Yours very truly,
A message from associate Vice Chancellor of Development & External Affairs.
We at UC Santa Barbara are touched by the outpouring of care and concern from many of our alumni, parents, and friends in the wake of Friday's devastating occurrence. As University supporters you are an integral part of our Gaucho Family. While we continue to mourn and reflect upon the recent tragedy, we can already see the seeds of hope growing after our campus memorial on Tuesday, May 27. We are comforted by the solidarity and deep compassion coming from our many friends and families. In the Development and Alumni offices, we have heard from hundreds of our alumni, parents, and volunteers with supportive messages and stories that reinforce our close community. Our Gaucho Family is strong and resilient and our wonderful students are taking important steps towards healing. We deeply appreciate the support we are receiving from the entire University of California community, their respective campus vigils for our students has been a display of overwhelming union and partnership.
Here at the beginning of the long process of healing, we know that our routines and outlook will be permanently altered by these tragic events. We will continue to communicate with you as our key stakeholders the important developments and updates on campus. Thank you very much for being an integral part of our community and for your continued commitment to UC Santa Barbara.
Still I Rise
Maya Angelou, April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shame
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.