Nori's Peace Blog at Surrealist.org

Comparing R & L Modes of Hypocrisy
Posted on May 23, 2014

When Republicans are hypocritical, people die. When Democrats are hypocritical, they criticize President Obama for being too timid.

Obama has been too reserved at times, but that's who he is. Better to just accept him the way he is than to beat up on him every time he makes a decision that is different than what the person hurling the criticism would have made. Plus, the Democrats who criticize their own president are often just projecting, because they are the epitome of the most yielding type of person on the planet.

Hypocritical Democrats criticize Obama, but they are so timid themselves that they will spend all day looking for new reasons to be depressed. Especially if there is a day or two of good news for Democrats, that sends the hypocritical Democrats into a frenzy trying to relive how awful it was during the bad news cycles.

Here is a suggestion: Democrats, stop projecting your own weaknesses on others. Face it, come to terms with it. Hold your head up high and be proud of yourself just the way you are. Tell yourself this will be a great year for Democrats. We will win every race we think we can win, especially if every Democrat from every neighborhood can vote like they live in Beverly Hills. That means, a voter walks in to the voting place, signs in, and votes. Then the votes are counted.

Generations of Americans have fought hard to protect the right to vote. Women just got the right less than a hundred years ago. We need to exercise this right on a regular basis to make sure we keep it. That includes 2014. Therefore, the precincts must be ready for us. Democrats are coming out to vote in droves! It is settled. The only question is how many minutes must we wait in line?

Also, as far as the Clintons. You can see in the distance, Hillary will run, and she will win. She will be our first woman president. We can focus on that positive thought to give ourselves ideas for the work we need to do to make it a reality.

One comment about small men like Karl Rove who are trying to pick fights with the Clintons. They remind me of angry little jesters jumping about, trying to express their disagreement with the progress of time. Watch out for tiny jesters. They are like mad dogs. Like bad dogs, they are much more dangerous if they sense fear.

America will be a great country again. The turmoil we are going through now was necessary because people failed to learn from the past. We were forced to repeat the past (Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, Nixon, the Civil War, the Great Depression, and all the other lessons of the past we have re-experienced recently). Now that people living today understand more about the past and why we don't want to be forced to repeat it, now is the time to finally learn from it. If we can learn this time, we can make the future more productive, honest, and loving.

Mainstream Medicine Comment
Posted on May 23, 2014

With all the focus on getting better medical care for people, I am glad that people like me can get to see a doctor and it is affordable. Nothing like having an early diagnosis of some developing syndrome, such as heart problems, diabetes, cancer, and the like. Actually, finding out early can save a person's life. I applaud the United States of America for getting people to see doctors.

However, all that aside, the mainstream medical paradigm is broken. They place too much emphasis on "fighting" disease. They attack it with knives, they do chemical attacks, and other invasive procedures. That is all well and good, and it does prolong lives. However, if they put as much energy into prevention and therapeutic treatments, they would not get to the life and death drama where they must pull out their knives and chemicals.

For example, heart problems, obesity, and diabetes are usually tied to diet, exercise, and cigarette smoke. If a person is eating too much junk food, that is bad. If a person is not exercising enough, that is bad. If a person is inhaling cigarette smoke, that can become a problem. However, those things are easy enough to change. You enroll people in a nutrition class to teach them how to eat healthy food, and you enroll them in an exercise class to get them up and moving. You might say, "Oh, nobody wants to eat heathy, nobody wants to exercise. That will never work." However, if your life is on the line, and your doctor tells you "nutrition class, exercise class, come back and see me in two months," most people would do it. Same for smoking. There are tests to detect the presence of nicotine in the urine. A person with heart problems may not even be aware that they have a measurable amount of cigarette toxins that could be causing the heart problems.

As far as cancer, that is the third rail of natural healing dialogue. Nobody wants to talk about alternatives for cancer treatment because that is taboo. However, I want to make a comment about "pre-cancerous" conditions. Okay, if you have been diagnosed "pre-cancerous," then you have a choice. You can get rid of the toxins in your system that may contribute to this difficult situation. Or, you can continue to add more toxins to your system, and proceed along the way to "cancerous." If you go through the mainstream medical system, they will shoot you up with radiation, apply toxic chemicals, and also poke, prod, and cut up parts of your body. They want samples. However, radiation, chemicals, and knives are the same old paradigm of war on the body.

When earth's health care paradigm evolves in the future, the diagnosis "pre-cancerous" will be a cue to detoxify. Thus, the doctor's advice will be: "nutrition class, exercise class, detoxification appointments here at the clinic; come back and see me in two months."

To read my article on the future of health care, click here.

One Small Metaphor - How to Create a Sustainable Future
Posted on May 22, 2014

If you want to ship something, but you want to do it economically for the planet, use less plastic bubble wrap. If you must use products like this, conserve.

One of the companies I like has this unfortunate habit of wrapping anything glass in six feet of bubble wrap. My father taught me that a full glass bottle with an unopened cap will usually not break. It is about as strong as a brick unless something hits it or it falls, unprotected, onto a tile or cement floor.

Because the company ships items grouped together in boxes, the glass bottle would not fall or get hit by something in a way that could break it. But for extra protection, they can wrap a single layer of bubble wrap and secure it with a two or three inch piece of tape.

The photos below show all the packing they sent me, along with my suggestion on how to achieve the same level of safety for their products, while also providing a good example of how to move into a sustainable future. (The first two photos show glass bottles entombed in a total of eight feet of bubble wrap and five feet of packing tape. The second two photos show the large bottle wrapped in one square foot of bubble wrap and three inches of tape.)





Women as Leaders
Posted on May 21, 2014

Nearly everything that has happened for the earth or for downtrodden people was accomplished by a woman. Men are from Mars, as they say, and Martian men do not care about the earth. See, that's sissy stuff. They do not care about the suffering of baby seals, or starving children. Their ideal woman is one who will shut up and stay in her place.

A disclaimer: many decent men out there grew up outside of this box. However, if you look around, a large proportion of American men (and men from other macho cultures) resemble cave men when it comes to their concern for anyone but themselves in the present moment.

That is why women exist, and women have led the way toward a more compassionate world for centuries.

Vote in the Midterms?
Posted on May 13, 2014

People have more confidence now that the Democrats can sweep the midterm elections. However, there are still many pundits and ordinary Americans who are skeptical or pessimistic. Naturally, the doubters want to convince everyone that we will lose, but let me convince you that we can win.

They say it all depends on turnout. So who do they think will not vote? Sure there are a few inflexible liberals who will stay home as a protest because President Obama has not yet fix all the problems. Right? He could reduce the deficit to zero, fix ninety-nine problems, and end two wars, but there are still people who will resent him. They think all the parties are just as bad. They refuse to see the light coming from the honest Democratic legislators in the Black Caucus and Progressive Caucus who have fought bravely for the last two years to stave off the worst effects of the Republican Tea Party Caucus. For that matter, the the Tea Party runs the whole Republican party, because they always all vote together for Tea Party legislation. They have accomplished nothing, except to investigate phony scandals and hold protest votes against us getting health care.

It would be difficult to get the stuck-up liberals to vote if they don't want to. But for every one liberal like that, there are a hundred grass roots Democrats who want to vote. They are scared they could be barred from voting if their ID is deemed inadequate, their poling place may have packed up and moved without notifying them, or if they cannot afford to spend a whole day waiting in line due to inadequate facility.

Yes, there are some liberals who think all the parties are just as bad, and trying to get them to vote will meet with resistance. However, there is a willing pool of qualified voters who want to vote, and deserve to vote. All they need is help. We need to focus on serving the potential millions of voters who are getting hassled. We need to encourage them to vote, and clear the way for them to vote.

We need to get the voting system up and running, and make sure everyone knows. Then we can get everyone to come out and vote. Get the word out where to get help. We need to instill confidence in the forty-seven percent voters. If we serve the forty-seven percent, the stubborn liberals at the top end may decide to come around and help.

Most of all, if we focus on how to get the forty-seven percent to the voting booth on election day, we can win. If everyone who is qualified to vote, can vote, we will win. Yes, there are gerrymandered districts, but the way the Republicans are playing it, they are losing people's attention every time they open their mouths. Even people who live in gerrymandered districts are not always consumed with hatred. Hate gets old after a while, especially if the hatred leaders get so extreme that it appears they are losing their minds.

Benghazi: Is It a Scandal?
Posted on May 7, 2014

No, Benghazi is not a scandal. It was a tragedy. The right-wingers think it will whip up their base to come out and vote. However, every time they bring it up, their base shrinks a little bit. Fewer people want to argue about it. Even Fox News viewers spin past the Benghazi coverage. The attack on Benghazi happened two years ago, for one thing, and it was not the first time people attacked one of our diplomatic outposts.

Although getting mad at President Obama has been popular with the Fox News viewers and other right wingers, people get tired of getting angry. Yes, there will be some people who can still get fired-up on Benghazi rhetoric, but those numbers are falling.

Another boring old non-scandal that has blown over: President Obama is from Kenya, has no legitimate birth certificate, and is a Nazi-socialist-communist. Any educated person must be bored with this. These childish insults have not affected President Obama, mostly because they are false claims that do not bother him.

The IRS scandal could still fire up some right wingers, but even that scandal has not borne much fruit. The IRS has to investigate organizations before they grant non-profit status, and they had a list of buzz words that sound political (not for non-profit purposes) that included "tea party," but also any group with "occupy," or other political sounding words in their name. This scandal is also losing followers.

People are even getting tired of bashing the Affordable Care Act. It used to get right wingers really mad, but in the four years since they started to whine about it, people have been getting insurance. Many people's lives have been saved, or at least improved, through having adequate affordable insurance. One by one, right wingers are realizing that the AFA is not a scandal. It's a real thing, and it has improved the lives of actual people they know.

Gay marriage is also not a scandal that right wingers can get fired up about. In past election years, just the sight of two men holding hands, or looking like two grooms on top of a wedding cake, used to drive people insane. Nowadays, gay marriage has become amazingly non-controversial.

If Hillary runs for president, and the right wingers drag out Monica Lewinsky again, it will flop. Actually, Monica Lewinsky has dragged herself out with a new Vanity Fair article, but nobody really cares. Maybe she will sell some books, but it is such an old scandal, maybe not. She served a purpose back in 1999 for the people who wanted to impeach Bill Clinton, but that was fifteen years ago. To most people, that old scandal may as well be something that happened in a past life. Who cares if some chick back in high school slept with the class president even though he was going steady, or married, or whatever. Monica Lewinsky and her relationship with the Clintons irrelevant to today's world.

The truth is, even the average right winger just wants the world to be better place. Not all right wingers are chronic rage-aholics. Thus, the right wingers must come up with solutions to problems if they want to win votes. However, they will never understand that concept. They will continue to beat the dead horses of their chariot until the end of the world. As they continue to beat their horses, the majority of their followers will lose interest and go back to watching reality TV. At least on reality TV, the writers and producers have a plan.

Donald Sterling: What Was Offensive
Posted on April 30, 2014

Clippers boss Donald Sterling was banned for life by the NBA for racist remarks. His fans and followers think he got railroaded, but there is a reason for the stringent consequences he received. The offensive things he said revealed that he has lived under the impression that he owned members of the team. It was creepy. Then come to find out he was once convicted of housing discrimination. As a real estate agent, that gets me angry. It tells me about the kind of man he is.

He won't much longer—but up until now, Donald Sterling owned the Los Angeles Clippers corporation. The players work for the corporation, just as he does. They are the stars who bring fans to the games. Donald Sterling is the old fella who handles the money.

If he was formerly under the impression that he owned the individual men, he now understands that he was wrong. In the twenty-first century, we can sign people to a contract, but nobody can own another person. Also, because our country will forever carry the stain of slavery, it is best to be cooperative and try to heal that history. If you are an unrepentant racist who downplays the horrors of slavery, you may think all this was a conspiracy of some sort. However, the reality is that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's announcement yesterday was a pointed consequence meant to correct Donald Sterling's racist misconception.

This action was especially pointed, considering that April was the trifecta of racism. We got the Supreme Court decision April 21 to uphold a Michigan constitutional amendment banning the use of race in college admissions in the case Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. Okay, so Michigan, this does not give you a license to make your state colleges all white. If you try it, you will get consequences in the form of discrimination lawsuits, federal investigations, and bad p.r. Offer everyone a good education, regardless of race.

Earlier this month, Cliven Bundy and a gang of armed thugs confronted federal officials who came to move the cows off of federal land. Then Mr. Bundy went on every talk show on TV and said he thought blacks were better off under slavery, and that they are bored now with nothing to do because they never learned to pick cotton. Really?

And now this Donald Sterling mess. I feel compassion for him, but his hateful attitudes have finally caught up with him. It is too bad we cannot just all get along. I am willing to give it a try. But in my vision, getting along includes everyone of all races, all religions, and all political persuasions. Let's live in a world where everyone counts. I am already on my way. Contact me when you get there.

The Cure is in for Red State Medicaid
Posted on April 29, 2014

Red state governors in AL, AK, FL, GA, ID, KS, LA, ME, MS, MT, NE, NC, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, WI, and WY have refused federal funding for expanded Medicaid. These governors deny health care to their poorest constituents just to prove how much they hate the president.

The good news is that thirteen of the nineteen anti-Medicaid governors might get voted out this year. If you care about the country, vote this November, especially where the anti-Medicaid governors are up for election: AL, AK, FL, GA, ID, KS, ME, OK, SC, SD, TN, WI, and WY.

This is another positive reason to vote! Incentive for voting does not have to be based on fear—it can also be based on positive reasons. Especially positive motivation is to get the polling places staffed and equipped with enough voting booths, get people their special ID (if needed), and get them a ride to the polls on the day (if early voting is shut down).

Putin, Putin, Putin
Posted on April 26, 2014

One of my cult friends just sent me some propaganda blaming the crisis Putin is causing on our president. I told my cuckoo cult buddy that Putin would be doing what he is doing no matter who got in his way. How handy he could blame it on us. I told him, "Do not buy into this dangerous propaganda." It's like this. Say you have a buddy who drinks two six packs a day and smokes two packs of cigarettes. That is Putin. Even if you followed your buddy around all day, dumping out his beer and hiding his cigarettes, he would just get more. He will get his beer and cigarettes no matter what you do. It is foolish for the American people to stand divided on this issue. That is the only weakness I see. Putin is doing this, not us.

Anybody ready to join a cult now and believe that what Putin is doing is all America's fault? That is clearly not the case. We are sitting over here trying to save him from himself. If he turns into an international criminal, that is his business. We are witnessing and praying that things go in a more positive direction.

Cliven Bundy Turn-Around
Posted on April 24, 2014

On Wednesday, Fox News and all the Foxheads loved Cliven Bundy. On Thursday the tables turn. Did you notice? It was so abrupt! What changed? It seems even the Fox News community has finally found the right wing rhetoric too extreme.

The Bundy spectacle recalls stories I hear about the world's current weird cults. One symptom of a dangerous cult is they devalue women and children. Right out of the cult playbook, the Cliven Bundy patriots put their women out in front so if a firefight ensued with federal agents, the whole world would see the evil gov'mit killing innocent women.

Dear liberals: when tables turn in our favor, just keep reeling it in. With a show like this going on, we do not have to scare voters anymore with "stop" this, "be terrified" of that. What really scares voters is the prospect of having to wait six hours in line on a work day. Or imagine going to your same old polling place, but it's gone. Where do you go? Or suppose you find it, you wait in line, but when you get to the front they say you hyphenated your married name on your driver's license, but on your voter ID there's no hyphen. So they hand you a provisional ballot and you walk away realizing your vote may not even count.

If we work hard to institute the Bauer Ginsberg Commission findings, then every voter in America can cast their vote in a half hour or less. Places where there are unreasonable voting laws, for example voter ID laws, the entities who passed those laws need to make sure everyone gets the proper ID, and they should pay for it. It's scary that they want to stop people from voting. But instead of saying "stop voter suppression" (a deadly double negative) how about "voter rights" or "vote in a half hour or less." These are positive slogans that tell people what we want.

Plus, we must be open about planning to vote, we must talk about our accomplishments and the successes of President Obama's programs. We must convince the public opinion polls that the voters are coming, so the polling places must be ready. We need to believe that we have the right and the good karma to vote, and that we will. (For atheists: believe in the continuation of a long history of legitimate voting in America; the course our founders set out for us; the sacred goal of all the soldiers who fought and died for our rights to govern ourselves through voting and participating in government.)

We already have a much better outlook for 2014 than we had even a few weeks ago. The Cliven Bundy-like nightmare shadow images will continue to lift as the sun comes up.

My Nose on 3TV News: Affordable Care
Posted on April 19, 2014

Earlier this month, 3TV news reporter Kristine Harrington and her cameraman came over to interview me about my Affordable Care insurance. The story aired at 4:30, 5:00, and 5:30. Each edition was slightly different, here are two of them:

3TV News April 4 @ 4:30 p.m. (Youtube)
3TV News April 4 @ 5:00 p.m. (youtube)

This is me pretending to work while ignoring a news crew in my office:

Our Mothers' Lessons: A Message to Today's Young Women
Posted on April 18, 2014

Dear daughters, nieces, and other young women of the twenty-first century. If you were born in the 1970s or later, you probably grew up in a world where you thought prejudice and discrimination against women were gone. Or at least it was frowned upon. Discrimination against women was like anything else, right? Like nobody would try to impose apartheid in America, or Sharia law, we thought. However, in the last five years (especially), it has become apparent that we need to band together as women and drive these fundamentalist crazy people from public office.

Women have led the fight for social justice in many pivotal times in American history, and in world history, as well. If you grew up thinking the struggle for women's equality was won when your mother or grandmother was young, think again. It may take up to five hundred years for issues of the past to go away. Look at the struggles for Civil Rights. Yes, the battle has come a long way, but it continues. It is the same for us, as women.

Our mothers, the women who were just ahead of my peer group in the Baby Boom generation and older, fought and won the rights for women to plan when their children will arrive. Instead of living enslaved by the body to bear children repeatedly over many years, women finally had the right to plan their pregnancies. If you notice, that worked out quite well for many women, who could find fulfillment outside of motherhood.

Yes, the women's movement had some backlash, especially in terms of both partners in a marriage having to work to make ends meet. However, that is part of the issue of the squeeze on the middle class through export of jobs and the transfer of wealth to the aristocrats. That is another subject. However, if we could vote out the misogynists, they might take their austerity-scarcity-fear with them.

Therefore, plan to vote this November, and get other women to plan to vote this November. The Women's Movement has to get going again. Yeah! Get out that 1967 Mustang and take it for a spin, girls. You finally have a chance to make a difference. Maybe you can fix other mistakes the Baby Boomer activists got wrong. Show us what you can do.

"Good Friday is a very sacred day and it is a special day where pro-death-penalty fans of anti-death-penalty Jesus can celebrate Jesus getting the death penalty." - John Fugelsang

Posted on April 18, 2014

Cliven Bundy's Moooocher Cows
Posted on April 16, 2014

Who is mooching off the government now? This is quite a hypocritical situation we have in eastern Nevada at the Bundy ranch. It's one thing if some big richy-rich land baron owns land and the government tries to take it away by eminent domain. We have restrictions on when the government can use eminent domain, but sometimes people in the government conspire to abuse it. Those cases usually end up in court. The Cliven Bundy situation is different. He does not own the land, he just uses government land as if it was his own.

This week, federal agents of the Bureau of Land Management tried to remove Bundy's cows from the land and it hit all the right winger news shows. The right wingers were outraged! Imagine, federal agnets trying to enforce the government's rights to the government's own land. BLM land is land that is owned by the people, and we graciously allow ranchers, loggers, miners, and energy companies to use the land to graze cattle, log trees, mine minerals, and extract fossil fuels. We charge, but usually the price is really low. Too low. In fact, if we the people charged what the natural resources are really worth, none of us would have to pay tax! The sale of natural resources would pay all the bills.

The right wingers think Bundy has won this round because the federal officials left without a Waco-style fire fight. However, here at surrealist.org, we can tell you this matter has not gone away. Cliven Bundy will find himself in a defendant's chair in a courthouse soon. He is clearly breaking the law, and we generally do not settle legal matters in fire fights. We settle these things in front of a judge, and if Cliven Bundy owes the money to the government, he will pay it.

Plus, I hope this incident will start a discussion about the value of our natural resources, and how to raise the price for private use of our public resources. Besides land, trees, minerals, and fossil fuels, other things that belong to the public are the airwaves (media), and much of the transportation infrastructure, such as bridges, roads, airspace and landing spaces for planes, and train tracks. America could be a great place if we could get past the Civil War. Common people, we finally ended the Vietnam War, now let's work on ending the Civil War. We can do it!

1977: Did Hare Krishna Devotees Murder their Guru?
Posted on April 16, 2014

The elderly A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada came to America in 1965 to save souls. He arrived on a steamship from Calcutta and made his way in Manhattan to collect disciples and eventually build a worldwide Hare Krishna empire. By the time he died in 1977, he had five hundred temples around the world, and thousands of devoted followers. However, he died a mysterious death in India, surrounded by his disciples. Some say he just died. Others say he was poisoned. Nobody can identify the cause of death, because he was not sick and there was no autopsy.

Now, thirty-seven years later, as an ex-member of that group, I just completed a several week online discussion with people who were around to witness those times. Many of the participants were in leadership positions, and many of them continue to work outside the organization to restore the legacy of their guru, Srila Prabhupada.

In the discussion, everyone was clear on who could have been the mastermind of poisoning Prabhupada, if it happened. It was the same man who drew up the list of successor gurus, and the same man who was the biggest control enthusiast in the organization, wishing for the guru to hurry up and complete his earthy business, so the disciples could take over. As soon as Prabhupada was in the ground, this same man led the charge for the "zonal guru" system, where the disciples cut the Hare Krishna empire up like a pie, and gave each zonal guru his own slice.

This mastermind who is suspected of killing the guru died on March 15, 2002, in a horrible car accident in India. So he has been dead for twelve years. Still, the disciples of this alleged guru killer continue to defend the man, and others in the organization prefer to continue in denial that Srila Prabhupada was murdered. Of course, there is no way to prove it. Even if they exhumed Prabhupada's body, the method of death was either sugar (Prabhupada was diabetic), ground glass, or arsenic. If it was sugar, that would not show up in an autopsy. If it was glass, that would be difficult to detect because it would be dust by now, and if it was arsenic, it might show up as consistent with the amount of arsenic in the environment. India has a lot of arsenic in the groundwater.

However, instead of finding a consensus in our discussion, where the disciples could finally admit that their guru was murdered, they seemed to bicker most about how it would reflect on Srila Prabhupada. They believe that if someone is a pure devotee, then poison would not work. If a guru is poisoned and he dies, he was not pure. Therefore, the disciples refuse to see that their guru may have been poisoned.

The conclusion of the discussion was that if Prabhupada was murdered, it would look bad for his legacy. It would be an embarrassment, so stop asking the question. Thus, some mysteries can never be solved because being poisoned is too embarrassing to admit, especially if the guru dies of the poison. That's life in a fundamentalist religious cult. The followers are controlled by their superstitions and guilt, and are not fully in touch with reality.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founding guru of the Hare Krishna movement: murdered by disciples in November 1977?

George W. Bush Artist
Posted on April 10, 2014

Dear friends in the political community, please think twice before you put down our forty-fourth president's artwork. He is good for a beginner, and will get better if he continues to work at it. As an artist myself, I believe it is a worthwhile path. Plus, Bush is already famous, so he can certainly display and sell his artwork, and I advise him to start at an affordable price. I always charged $300 for a large oil and they sold quite well. If GWB starts out too high, they may not sell as fast right now. But as he gets rolling, his early paintings will inevitably fetch high prices for collectors.

Critics ask, is this a worthy post-presidential occupation? Other past presidents are out there saving the world. However, the answer is yes, becoming an artist is a worthy path for a past US president. First of all, in the long run, it will add to the credibility of art as a vocation. Public schools may put it back into the basic curriculum, as it was when I grew up. We painted every day in grammar school in the 1960s. GWB's ultimate legacy may be as an artist, and his influence on art education.

For you political pundits, remember that the Bush Administration was one of the most enigmatic administrations in our nation's history. I believe that George W. Bush's art will lend transparency and commentary to what he did as president. At this time he is just painting simple portraits, based on photos from Google Images. However, as he develops as an artist, I believe his paintings will stand as the final word on what happened in his administration. His paintings will speak louder than any memoir he might write, because as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Therefore, I say "Paint on former president. You have a talent you can develop, and if it makes you happy, do it." I predict that whatever direction Bush goes with his artwork, the art community and the world will ultimately come to prize his creations.

The Battle of Truth vs. Money
Posted on April 2, 2014

Okay, demigods, the game is on. The aristocrat titans on the right will now slug it out with the aristocrat titans on the left. America is your boxing ring, and the referee, the Supreme Court, has left the building. Same for you voting machine hackers. Same for you, the People, who must influence the public opinion polls and media. That is how our future is to be decided. This is the central drama of human life, and we are in it. We are asleep. If we were all awake, we would all be having a fun party, where everyone from both sides were well-adjusted adults and could get along so that everyone felt included.

The Battle of Truth vs. Money played out in ancient India, in the sacred book, the Mahabharata. Maha means great, Bharata is the ancient name for India, named after King Bharata. Enough Sanskrit and Indian history. The story is of a divided family: the Kauravas, a hundred brothers who had all the money; vs. the Pandavas, their five cousins, who were each part demigod. However the Pandavas had become impoverished, having lost all their wealth to the Kauravas in a rigged gambling match.

The two sides stood facing each other for battle in the holy city of Kurukshetra. At the last moment, Arjuna, one of the Pandavas, asked Krishna why he must fight. He started to wake up a little bit. He thought, maybe we don't have to do this. Maybe it is all a big mistake. He thinks he will just end up killing all his relatives, and be miserable. (That is exactly what happened.) However, Arjuna had set his mind to the battle when the tensions were building up, so Krishna, his charioteer, made sure he did not back down. In those ancient times, it would have been a disgrace to the family to back away from the fight. Krishna offered a spectrum of arguments to Arjuna to be a warrior, stand, and fight.

The war was tragic. Everyone died except the five Pandavas, and they suffered the rest of their lives from the loss of their loved ones. That same story plays out over and over throughout history, through our storytelling, through religions, small groups, and families. The universal storyline is:

Side A has all the money, Side B has all the truth.

Side A's leaders are unrepentant lying hypocrites; Side B's leaders are retiring people with a conscience. (The story ends when Side B finally stands up for itself and Truth prevails over greed and arrogance. The irony and tragedy of it is: you won, but at what price?)

The popular media myth of "both sides do it" only holds true in the sense that it is a mirror. Side A puts out lies, then they laugh like hell, then fart in your face, and laugh some more. Side B may be deeply offended, but like any good mirror, B responds to A in an opposite way. B may be annoyed, B may have negative feelings toward the bullies, but B is smart enough to realize it would be useless to respond like-to-like in a ridiculous situation like that. The most honorable thing to do is feel compassion for the bully. The next best thing is walk away from it until you can get hold of your anger. If you have to deal with Side A, minimize your interaction until you can be rational. If Side A continues with the negative behavior, you politely take them aside and say, "that bugs me, stop it." Since A and B are mirror images, it is difficult sometimes to simply ditch Side A. In some situations that works.

The only truth to the media myth of "both sides do it" is that it is a dance. One partner goes one way, the other partner follows, or does their own move. "Both sides do it" is more or less simply a cover-up for people who want to suck up to Side A. That's where we get the word sycophant.

In another story from the Hindu scriptures, Lord Krishna, the King of Dwaraka, India, fought off attackers trying to use a Brahmastra weapon. The Brahmastra was a fire weapon, probably a metaphor for something as powerful as the big bang, which we believe in nowadays. Krishna countered the Brahmastra with a water weapon. Now thanks to the Supreme Court, Side A has a Brahmastra weapon of money, so we need to come back with an appreciation of money, and a big bang of Truth. It is the epic battle of Money vs. Truth. If you are on the side of Money, if you love money more than anything else in this world, get over there with Side A.

But if you appreciate money, and view money as one component of an overall plan for happiness, you are on the side of Truth. Money is fine, but it does not make life care free. In fact, having money creates worry. You have to always be yelling and getting angry if someone tries to cheat you. It can create bad vibes if your friends have less than you, especially if you brag about it. Inheriting money can make people more arrogant and lazy than they already were. Excess money can lead to trouble too. Someone can inherit a million dollars, then end up penniless two years later. Money can turn people into drug addicts, or worse still: irritating ego maniacs.

Money is needed, because like my father used to tell me: if you live within your means and have the money to pay your bills, you have already solved half of life's problems. However, beyond paying the bills and setting some aside for lean times, money cannot fulfill all your needs. You also need activities, friends, hobbies, a connection that allows you to feel like you are contributing to society, to your family, and to your future. You need to find peace with your past. You need your health. You need your mental health. You need to feel welcome in your community, and at peace with the life you have made for yourself. I could go on and on, but you can see that money is not everything. Money is simply a currency that makes our world function better when it flows well.

Therefore, it is fine to like money. Appreciate money. Respect it. Learn how to earn it honestly and save it. Learn to invest it. Learn from your mistakes, get better at handling it. Just don't love it more than truth or anything else in the world. Love of money is the root of all evil. You can decide today: are you on the side of Money, or Truth? The more people who decide they are on the side of Truth, the less time we will have to spend on this nonsense. We have a planet to save, People! We have a sustainable future to build! Getting people health care is a good first step. Now that we have the oxygen masks on our own faces, let's think about the planet Earth, our mother. Let's elect some Democrats who care about the earth and want to take on the Truth. We got some people health care. Yeah! That is a good battle won for the Truth.

Dems: Are You Enthusiastic to Vote in November? Posted on March 28, 2014

Recent polls show that Republicans are more enthusiastic to vote. Why? They see President Obama as a foreigner, and as soon as they get their candidate elected, impeachment proceedings can begin. They believe Benghazi is the worst disaster in American history, and that the IRS is after them because President Obama works on that all the time.

Yes, they live in La La Land, but they are Americans and they vote. They are trying to get back at a world full of black and brown people who they see as taking their jobs, forcing them to the curb. All they have to protect themselves are their guns and each other. Yes, they are enthusiastic to vote.

Now, a Democrat in California may be enthusiastic to vote, because all they have to do is walk in and vote. However, a Democratic-leaning individual in a red state may want to vote, and plan to vote, but they could not honestly say they are enthusiastic. They are saying no because they do not look forward to the long lines. They think it will be hard to get off work; they could lose their job. They want to vote, and feel the urgency to vote, but they do not feel enthusiastic, or even a little bit enthusiastic to vote.

This is where language plays a part. If the people who write these polls phrased the question like this, they might get a better RSVP from Democrats. "If you could get to the polls and had a guarantee that you could vote within a half hour, would you plan to vote this November?" A question like that would get a more positive response.

I urge pollsters do to a survey like this once a week until November. Then, as the enthusiasm for half hour voting rises, the people who put on the elections will roll out more voting equipment, and we can get our votes counted.

The problem with negativity is that it discourages people. Yeah, well, my state is a total loss anyway, and yeah, like they would make the lines any shorter for me?

Versus: I deserve to vote in a half hour or less, and hell yeah, I will hold them to it. Yes, I am enthusiastic to vote [in your thought bubble: in a half hour or less]. If you want to vote, say it. Blog it. Tell the pollster when your phone rings. Tell your neighbors and friends, yes, I am voting, and the Lord will make a way. [For atheists: the humanity that still exists in our way of life will make a way for Americans who want to vote and deserve to vote.]

Also I am getting really tired of all the double negative slogans: just in the last few days I have had "Tell Congress and the SEC: Don't give in to Big Oil!" What's the opposite of that? "Let's stand up to Big Oil" and instead of calling them big oil, which makes them sound big and exciting, how about "polluters." And instead of standing up to them, which is on the defensive, how about shutting them down, or regulating them. So instead of "Don't give in to Big Oil," how about "Regulate the oil polluters." Tell Congress and the SEC: Regulate the Oil Polluters." I would add regulate and tax, but who am I to say things everyone else is apparently afraid to say?

Here is an example of a positive campaign https://my.democrats.org/Step-Up that I encourage you to support instead of all those "stop this" "don't that" double negative campaigns. They will still be trying to figure out what they are for after the dust settles. The definitely know what they are against.

Election Integrity Manifesto
Posted on March 15, 2014

Whereas generations of Americans have fought and died for the people's right to vote and control their own destiny;
Whereas America today has numerous serious problems to solve, and we need to work together;
Whereas dishonestly empowered leaders will govern poorly and bring society down with them;
Whereas the right to vote is sacred beyond any other promise made to Americans by those who have come before;
THEREFORE we ask the powers that control elections:
Allow people to vote, allow people to register voters, as was the normal practice in the twentieth century. The phrase "voter fraud" is highly offensive. Voting is a sacred right, which most people respect.

Facilitate voting, rather than impede it. You owe it to your country to give up passive aggressive behavior. Deal with your childhood wounds in an appropriate forum, with a qualified counselor.

Give federal and state attorneys generals the key codes to the voting machines. Make it an open and honest process. Keep a verifiable paper trail of all voting activity.

Welcome the honest results of the will of the majority of Americans. Work together after the elections are over.

A Message to Women and Other Dem Voters
Posted on March 14, 2014

Women voters realize that the Democrats are the only pols looking out for women's rights, social programs for seniors, and the safety net for families. Democrats believe that getting people back on track is better than letting them fall into poverty.

Once again, history is calling women voters to change things for the better. Republicans are trying to take away our hard-won rights to birth control, health care, equality in the workplace, voting, and other human rights we deserve. That is enough motivation to get us to the polls for the mid-term elections in November.

A message to all other Dem voters: the Republicans want to take away our vote by striking us from the rolls, consolidating polling places, and ultimately making us wait in line. Hopefully, voting will be fixed this year, but if it gets you mad they are trying to take away people's votes, you must exercise your right again this November. Use again it or lose it will get everyone out to vote in November.

Let's make November a big election and swing things in our favor. We need to win back the House and keep the Senate. If news pundits tell us "it cannot be done," that is even more motivation to us all to get out the vote and make it happen.

Missing Malaysian Airline MH370
Posted on March 14, 2014

Editor's note 3/25/2104 - now that authorities have declared that the plane went down over the Indian Ocean, I believe that is true. If you are looking for a psychic to confirm what the authorities say, here it is. At first I thought it was a conspiracy (see below), but like most people, I now accept that the plane was lost due to mechanical failure and everyone on board died. It is incredibly sad to lose that many lives, however, even losing one life can be tragic. Around Christmas of 1955, when I was in my mother's womb, my mother's brother-in-law (my uncle) diasappeared over the Sea of Japan. He was in the Airforce, flying a routine mission, when his plane just disappeared. They were still looking for him when I was born. It was an urgent matter for my aunt, who lived just a few miles from us. At times over the years I wondered if he was really alive, working undercover for the CIA, or something like that. However, about twenty years ago, my aunt and other relatives on that side of the family accepted that Uncle Bob died when his plane went in the ocean. To this day, the military still classifies him as MIA, not deceased. It took a long time for all of us to accept that he is really gone, so my prayer for the MH370 passengers' families is that they will soon find peace in this matter.

Editor's note 3/19/2014 - we need to consider the theory that the plane flew for hours under autopilot after everyone on board died. This could be a logical explanation. See: A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet.

Editor's note 3/18/2014 - if the passengers are still living, we pray for their safety. If the plane was stolen, the thieves must be awfully paranoid and desperate at this point. Being hapless criminals, they probably did not have a plan to deal with the amount of intelligence authorities and the media have gathered since the plane disappeared. They probably thought people would give up, letting the issue lie at the bottom of the ocean. We know the systems were manually disconnected, and experts have calculated an arc where the plane could have traveled based on satellite pings. Further, we know who the pilots are, and intelligence agencies are thoroughly probing into their backgrounds. More rampant speculation from us here at surrealist.org: this could be a collaboration between terrorists and rogue intelligence agents. Intelligence officials may use kidnap, blackmail, or pull rank to get people to go along with them, for example claiming they act in the national interest of some important country. I get the feeling the good guys in the intelligence community will crack this case. However, it could turn into a hostage standoff for the lives of surviving passengers if they are still living.

original article 3/14/2014

Now that authorities have reason to believe the plane was stolen, I encourage them to explore the area on the east coast of India in logical line between where the plane disappeared and Mumbai. There was a high profile terrorist attack of the Taj Hotel in 2008 and the same organization might be planning to attack another Mumbai landmark. Why Mumbai? Because they have a good life there. Terrorists function on envy and fear, wishing to destroy security for anybody they perceive as enjoying life. It must be difficult to hide a plane that large, so it is possible a satellite search of the Indian Ocean coast on the way to Mumbai may lead to the plane.

Does Fear Whip Up the Base?
Posted on March 8, 2014

If you are a snake oil salesman, a confidence trickster, a cult leader, or a dirty politician, yes, fear does whip up your base. You have a bunch of morons following you who will ignore your crimes and faults and still worship you. To rile them up to action, you just pump up the fear. You get them exercised about gay men holding hands, doctors doing abortions, the sin of birth control, and minorities getting out of their place. You show them a Youtube of a coked-out actress reciting a script on how easy it is to get government assistance, and how she spends her days having wild sex and listening to rap music, while smoking pot and drinking a six-pack she bought with her food stamps. Images like that will drive true believers to the polls.

If you are not a snake oil salesman, what do you do to rile up the base? Do you get them easy access to voting? Do you promise and deliver adequate numbers of voting booths and poling places? Do you make it clear what the requirements to vote are, and help people get their ID and a ride on election day? Those are the exact things that will get honest and good people out to vote. Make sure that everyone who is eligible to vote has the facility to vote. That should be our saving grace, our prayer, and our cry.

It is boring to listen to liberals whine about how bad the Republicans are, and why we should be even madder than we are. How much madder can we get? They have trampled everything we believe in: honesty, the public good, and inclusiveness. They are arrogant, full of themselves, and badly misinformed. They have turned our elders into zombies who want war and oil drilling. We have seen them put guns in children's hands and teach innocent children to love guns.

When we turn to our leaders, we want to see what they are going to do about it. Please make it easy to vote. Let's make sure the voting is working. Visualize everyone getting out and voting like they live in Beverly Hills. We have an excellent report from the Presidential Commission on Election Administration as a blueprint to visualize, work toward, and make a reality. Let's call on the Bauer-Ginsberg Commission and our leaders repeatedly to find out that people will be able to vote. Media pundits: please cover this voting rights issue instead of your five millionth story about Sarah Palin.

If people can vote, and the votes are counted, the snake-oil salesmen lose. They know that, which is why they are trying to curtail voting. Watching this should make us even more active to get the voting system fixed right now.

Successful Light Bulb Screw-in
Posted on February 28, 2014

This is what I mean by negative vs. positive visualization:

NEGATIVE: say you are trying to screw in a light bulb. If your mind is thinking about how sharp the glass would be if the bulb fell from your hand . . . . how it would explode, and what that would sound like. Next, you remember a tremor you felt in your hand six months ago and you worry how you would handle it if a tremor hit you now. Your thoughts make you begin to feel hyper-ventilated, so you chant to yourself: "Don't break the bulb. Don't break the bulb. Don't break the bulb." Your mind has you so frightened, your knees buckle, and you, the ladder, and the bulb end up in a heap on your industrial concrete floor.

POSITIVE: say you are trying to screw in a light bulb. You had plenty of chores to do already, but you take responsibility to do the small things in life. You happily walk to your utility closet for your step ladder and a light bulb. In your mind you think about how great it will be to once again just flip a switch, and illuminate the whole room! Sanity returned! Before you know it, the bulb is replaced, and you continue on with your life.

A Message to Thom Hartmann
Posted on February 26, 2014

Dear Thom, thank you for all the many years you have kept us on the razor's edge between reality and conspiracy. You show us hidden things that go on while staying safely within the realm of non-fiction. Thank you for all your duels with right wingers. We appreciate your hundreds of books and your meticulous research. You are beyond reproach.

Nevertheless, I find it difficult to listen to your show sometimes because I want to put my arm around you and try to cheer you up. It seems you are depressed due to amount of betrayal, misfortune, hatred, and destruction you have witnessed through your work. Lately I get the picture of you as a warrior on the end of time, trying to stand up to the downward forces in a personal battle of good vs. evil.

You hold so much personal power. Please use it wisely. Today I heard you say that we may as well all give up winning the House and we will be lucky to hold onto the Senate. Is that any way to talk? How many people do you think will stay home from voting or get super depressed from hearing you talk like that? You will discourage others, and it just spreads.

Your word is your wand, Thom Hartmann, especially a powerful man like you. Please get in touch with what is good in the world, and see the progress we have made. Many Republicans and Independents are waking up to realize it is not "both sides" who push for austerities (although some democrats do stupid things too) and it is not just "Congress" that is broken. It is a systematic plan to dismantle government and push more wealth up to the top.

Thom Hartman, please put a little sweet herbs in with the bitter herbs. You will feel better. When you start to look for good stuff happening, you will cause more good stuff to happen through the words you speak to us. Instead of declaring that all is lost, encourage us to get politically active and bring about a miracle this year.

Stand Your Ground Laws Recall Pre-1960s Lynching Attitudes
Posted on February 17, 2014

There was a time in this country, especially in Florida and other poverty-stricken Southern states, when killing blacks was tolerated. Nearly any white man could kill nearly any black person and get away with it. Often these murders were lynchings, but the whites could kill blacks in any way they chose, and still get away with it.

In this century, two high profile victims, Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, have made us focus on stand your ground laws, which are the law of the land in twenty-six states. In Florida, especially it seems, angry gun owners use these laws to kill black teenagers simply because they feel threatened by the teens' music and manners.

Many of us thought civilization had taken hold since the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, but apparently it has not yet.

Rest in Peace
Trayvon Martin, February 5, 1995 - February 26, 2012
(George Zimmerman killed him but was acquitted on July 13, 2013.)
Jordan Davis, February 16, 1995 - November 23, 2012
(Michael Dunn killed him, but on February 15, 2014, a hung jury could not convict him.)

Happy Valentine's Day and Affordable Health Care
Posted on February 14, 2014

Everyone is so perky on Facebook today, I love it. And we have a lot to be happy about. They finally ended "stop and frisk" in New York. Hooray! Community policing returns, let's hope this has really changed. The Presidential Commission on Election Administration is working with voting districts to improve and standardize the way we vote. Let's get behind them! We need to vote this year! More than ever, people are coming out against fossil fuels in favor of green energy. There have been enough toxic spills lately to wake everybody up who's getting up.

Another thing to be grateful for is that the Affordable Care Act is now up and running. Despite the shaky website launch last year, millions of people are signing up for affordable health insurance. A few things to remember about the Affordable Care Act:

You need to sign up during the open enrollment period, which is still set to end March 31. They might extend it, but best to tie up all those loose ends and get your insurance by the end of March.

To find out more and get started, go to healthcare.gov and fill out the application. They have telephone tech support if you have questions. Also, when you fill in your Social Security number, the system will automatically tell you if you are eligible for a subsidy. If so, you can decide if you want the subsidy applied monthly, or only at the end of the year when you do your income taxes. You reconcile it at tax time if you earn more or less than projected. It goes by your IRS income tax reporting, not your net worth. If you are a landlord, or own your own company, don't worry they just go by your last IRS reporting if you expect to earn the same as you did in the last tax period.

The insurance companies cannot reject you over preexisting conditions anymore, and they cannot cancel you if you become ill after you sign up. They cannot impose annual or lifetime limits. Even if you could not get health insurance in the past, now you can.

Once you are signed up at healthcare.gov, you select a policy from the online marketplace. All policies on the marketplace must offer essential benefits, including mental health (counseling), substance abuse treatment, rehabilitation, and low- or no-cost primary care. You choose a plan that best suits your healthcare needs.

So go there now and get your peace of mind that comes from knowing that an accident or illness will not make you have to go bankrupt or lose your house. Yeah! If you are one of the millions getting good health coverage for the first time in a long time, be sure to tell your doubting relatives and friends that the Affordable Care Act helped you. If they are Fox News viewers, explain to them the ACA is the same thing as Obamacare.

New Information on Negative Images: Where they Come From
Posted on February 14, 2014

Every month, on schedule, the crack writing team for the Republican Petroleum Consortium gets together in their grandpa's basement workroom to prepare the next round of negative propaganda. They look at the horse race in Washington, DC, spend an hour brainstorming with one another about the worst possible outcome for Democrats, then type up their press materials and distribute them through the usual channels.

Their ideas go into the right-wing echo chamber as though the negative scenario is happening for sure. Next, misguided Democratic fundraisers and stratigists pick up the propaganda and feed it back to their mailing lists because they think scaring us will get us to make bigger contributions. Don't we already have enough to be afraid of? We see what's going on. Then you come back to us with nothing but fear and double negatives, which makes life more depressing? A message to political fundraisers: if you send out an email with a negative subject line, I just erase it. If the subject line says "we can win," I open it and give a donation. Look back at your past successful campaigns, like around new years, and see if others react the same way. We went into this year making donations to say YES and now you come back with no. Very frustrating.

Then after everyone gets frightened by the fundraisers, the liberal news anchors pick up the propaganda to scare the viewers because they think it will make their ratings higher. Then you hear people run around frightened, resentful, and feeling powerless. People honk at each other in traffic because they just can't take the pressure anymore. Today is another one of those days. We have yet another plausible scenario floating around on how to lose the Senate, and everyone is feeling as though it already happened.

The only thing the Republican Petroleum Consortium is not counting on is that the Affordable Care Act is working. People can hear legitimate debates about income equality, raising the minimum wage, creating jobs to rebuilt infrastructure, investing in alternative energy, and supporting the middle class. This year is an opportunity to get our message out. Instead of standing there frozen in defeat like everybody seems to be doing today, look for an organization that thinks we can win, and support them. Look for liberal talkers who have confidence in a sustainable future and listen to them. Otherwise it's just the ignorant leading the blind.

Divided Republican Parade Election 2014
Posted on February 7, 2014

The Republican party is in disarray. They have turned over the reins to a bawdy parade of anti-woman, racist, bigots that nobody really likes. How can we lose?

Well, so-called liberal pundits and talking heads have already thrown in the proverbial towel. They see racists with fistfuls of money and cower in defeat.

Is this where things are at? We go from "how can we lose" to "we have already lost" in sixty seconds?

If you think you can do a thing, chances are good you can do it. If you think you cannot do a thing, you cannot do it. So come on, people! Pick yourselves up and make plans for success. A good plan is to lift people out of poverty through the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, creating jobs, rebuilding infrastructure, and staying out of war.

A general reminder: the election has not happened yet. It is too early to give up.

Immigration Policy Statement
Posted on February 4, 2014

Many of us had ancestors who came here in the good old 1800s. Most of mine arrived between 1860-1890. Back in those days, all you had to do was show up in a boat. If you looked reasonably healthy and sane, they let you in. Nowadays America is one of the most difficult countries in the world for immigration. Plus, we have many residents who deserve to be citizens because this is the only country they have ever known, and they love America dearly. I would love to see our legislators work together for progress. We need a sane policy to welcome new Americans into the fold.

Please Help Celebrate
Posted on February 2, 2014

Okay, it's Groundhog Day, my birthday, and I want to invite all my fans and friends to celebrate with me. Last month, my memoir, Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement, came out as an e-book! The University of Illinois Press first published it as a hardcover in 1997, then as a paperback in 2001, and now they have put it online.

If you are a journalist, you will appreciate the fine line of what it means to sell out to an authoritarian system, which I did. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00I14ZP16/steamboatshop

If you knew my father, Bill Muster, you can learn a different side of him. He is one of the characters in the story, as he lived only a few miles from the Hare Krishna temple. He stayed in contact with me through the whole ten year odyssey. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00I14ZP16/steamboatshop

If you already read the book online before January 2014, you read a bootlegged copy. Please go to Amazon right now and you can own an official copy of the book. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00I14ZP16/steamboatshop

If you never read the book, but you are up for a sad story that will make you cry, please buy a copy. It's a quick read. The fastest I ever read it was six hours. Many people told me the book kept them up all night. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00I14ZP16/steamboatshop

If you want to pay me back for some good turn I did for you, please buy a copy: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00I14ZP16/steamboatshop or put this link in your "to do" list, because if you click one of the links on this page, I will get an extra fifteen cents through my Amazon Associates bookstore (yeah).

If you ever wondered what happened to the Hare Krishna movement, this is that sad story. I invite you to see what happens when an innocent religious movement turns into a cult. The editors of Hinduism Today called it "the most tragic betrayal," and it is. It is a bitter-sweet story, and I invite you to share it with me today. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00I14ZP16/steamboatshop

New Years Resolutions Done!
Posted on January 31, 2014

By now, all of the negative thinking people out there have abandoned their new years resolutions. However, here at surrealist.org, my new years resolutions are in full force, guiding my first weeks of the new year. While most people resolve to lose weight, quit drinking, stop smoking, or some such, my resolution was to make a dent in the files in my "unfinished writing projects" folder.

The folder contains seventy-six items, including twelve folders with multiple items, mostly unfinished personal essays and short stories. Some date back to the late 1980s when I was at UCLA Extension Writer's Program; the rest date back to the 1990s or 00s. They have sat there all this time, even though I have wished to finish them. At times I have looked through the folder, but until now I have backed away from it all feeling overwhelmed.

Now I am happy to report that through the power of concentration and "just showing up," I have completed a few of the biggest projects on my list.

Dream Workshop - this was a book for a while, but it did not work as a book. It is now a web site that anyone can access through a simple Google search (or search of my websites).

The Dao of Posture - this started off as a book, but after feedback from an editor, I decided to rewrite it as a memoir. One of the things in my unfinished writing file is to write a memoir, so that is still on the waiting list. But to complete the project for now and get the information out there, I summarized the book in a single web page. It includes a plea to health care providers to consider preventative naturopathic treatments like spinal adjustment, massage therapy, and exercise to treat people with mild scoliosis.

Story Matters - back in the 1990s I wrote a series of essays about the stories of the Vedic (Hindu) scriptures that mirror the child abuse that took place in the Hare Krishna movement. I had taken parts of it off line over the years, but wanted to put it back. Now it is back online with an updated introduction to make it more accessible.

Find Me at the Gates - this was a short story I wrote in Oregon in the early 1990s in a class through Portland State University. I tried to make it into a book length story in the early 2000s, but it did not work as a novel. Since then I shortened it to a short story, and worked on the ending over many years. Finally, I have completed the story and put it online. It is a sci fi that contains many dream images about my years in the Hare Krishna temple.

National Enquirer - last year I was quoted in this super market tabloid, in an article about Vanna White's son joining the Hare Krishnas. I had a copy on my desk all year, meaning to scan it for my site. It is now posted. I was also featured on a TV show, Deadly Devotion, "Temple of Doom," but so far I have not posted any links to it. You can watch the show for $1.99 at Youtube, and you can also search for bootlegged copies posted at pirate Hare Krishna sites. It also replays on TV quite often, so you can set your DVR to record it. At least I can file the National Enquirer and get it off my desk!

Secret Order of the Tarot - I wrote this essay last year, proposing a new interpretation of the tarot deck. Now I have now posted it at my website so people might find it. I love to dialog about things like this, so please write to me if you have feedback on this essay, or any of these projects.

4 pillars series - many years ago I wrote the four pillars of peace in the war on terror. Then last year I wrote the four pillars of a sustainable environment, and finally earlier this year, I wrote the four pillars of the future of health care. They are now all posted on the Pray for Peace webpage.

Steamboat Museum - earlier this month I posted about eighty-eight new acquisitions to the online steamboat museum (photos * illustrations * movie stills). These images had been accumulating since October 2013, so it was great to get them all up on the site. I want to thank my benefactor, Dave Thomson, who buys the photos on eBay and other sources, scans them, and sends them to me to publish at my online steamboat museum.

Capitol Records history - I updated the Capitol Records site to make it more user friendly. My parents were part of Capitol Records in the 1950s, and over the last ten years, I have posted interviews, information, and many scanned documents. This research is mostly for our family, but I posted it to share with people who study that era of Hollywood history.

Family ancestry - the next thing on my new years' resolution list is to post my mother's ancestry. The file is in process and I will post it by early next week. (If you click the link now, you will only see links to my father's ancestry.) I have my mother's ancestry going back five generations, so that is on the top of the stack right now! [posted 1/5/2014—click here]

There is so much to do. Better get back to work.

Women's Rights Redux
Posted on January 25, 2014

Like everyone else my age, I thought we had settled the issue of women's rights in the 1970s. It is disheartening that women's rights have come up for debate again. The only good thing that I can see coming out of this is that younger women (and men) can see what our struggle was about those many years ago. Yes, there are still chauvinistic politicians who see women as baby incubators and nothing more. The rhetoric has gotten especially hateful in recent days, as politicians try to stake out territory that will fire up their fundamentalist Christian voting base.

The new rhetoric is based on fundamentalist religious views, which they expect all of us to go along with. Women should put an aspirin between their knees, because that is real birth control. Women are ten times lustier than men, and their overactive libido is the real problem. Sex is evil and birth control allows women to indulge in this forbidden fruit—and that just should never be allowed. Sex only for the purpose of procreation. Every sperm is sacred. If you support this rhetoric, you may as well join your local religious cult, because most dangerous cults are anti-woman, anti-child, and anti-sex.

Perhaps sex is more complicated than most people believe. It should be entered into only with love and with commitment, although that is not always the case. We cannot afford to investigate and police what is going on in every bedroom in America. Perhaps abortion is killing, but so is cutting people's Medicaid. Eating meat is murder. War is murder. Capital punishment is murder. Selling guns to terrorists and mentally unstable people is murder. Allowing dangerous chemicals in our food, air, and water is murder. Rampant development of natural wilderness areas areas kills animals, so that is also murder. There is a lot more murder in our culture than we like to admit, but pregnancy can be avoided with proper birth control. If they are really against abortion, why are they also against birth control?

Now a little education. As far back as 1920, women recognized the need to control their own reproductive life. Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) was an American activist and nurse, who opened the first birth control clinic in the USA. She famously wrote:

The basic freedom of the world is woman's freedom. A free race cannot be born of slave mothers. A woman enchained cannot choose but give a measure of that bondage to her sons and daughters. No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.

These Republican regressive tea party politicians and their followers would enslave all women if we let them. This is another good reason to vote them out this November. Consider this a plea to young people to support women's reproductive rights. To read the entire 1920 essay by Margaret Sanger, click here: Margaret Sanger.

Editor's note: the DCCC has issued a sticker that I see as less effective than it could be. This is it:

waronwomen sticker 2014-01-25 at 1.49.15 PM

First of all, this slogan, "Stop the Republican war on women," is a double negative. "War on women" is negative, and "stop" is a word that would negate the negative thing we don't want. It is much better to state what you want, "women's rights."

Another reason "Stop the Republican war on women" is negative and less helpful is that it presupposes there is a war on women. There really is no war. It is just a metaphor. It certainly is like a war, but there is no war. Why do we have to use their language to describe what is going on? If we have to take every stupid idea the Republicans throw out and start the discussion on their terms, we will always be on the defensive. Plus, "war ons" never work. It is a violent metaphor.

The simple words "women's rights" express the solution, the thing we want. It also answers the question of what we would get if we "stopped the Republican war on women." We would get peace and we would get rights. Thus, a great slogan for 2014 would be "I [heart] Women's Rights" or simply "Women's Rights."

Exercise for Breaking Negativity
Posted on January 22, 2014

As you notice "negativity" is negative, and we do not want that. "Breaking" is negative because it would negate the thing it breaks. Thus "breaking negativity" is a double negative. Double negatives get us nowhere. What would "breaking negativity" be in a positive sense? Creating something positive! Thus, let us do an exercise together for creating something positive, based on breaking negativity. 1. Take a piece of paper and write down all the negative things you worry about that are rolling around in your brain like stray billiard balls. If you are like anyone else, you probably have a long list. Being the organized person I am, I would start with the first thing, which was in 1963 when JFK was assassinated. That's when I was seven. So my list would go from there. But make your list. Be sure to list the dysfunction in our government that is destroying our social safety net, public education, and everything else our ancestors struggled to build since the founding of our country. Be sure to include income inequality, and how eighty-five men could have more wealth than the poorest half of the rest of the people in the world.

2. When you have listed all your negative thoughts, crunch that list up into a ball. Throw it on the floor and stomp on it. Pick it up and throw it against the wall a few times. Now shred it into little pieces with your bare hands. While you are doing all this, think about every f-'ed up thing that has ever happened to you in your life, including things that your parents did or did not do, siblings who tortured you, or ex-spouses who messed you up. If you are carrying a lot of dark material, and you can scream without alarming your neighbors, go ahead and scream. Now throw the torn up pieces of paper on the ground and stomp on them. Jump up and down on them while you scream and cry. Take a short break if you need it. The world can look pretty depressing if you dwell on it too much.

3. Take a fresh piece of paper and write down a positive vision of the future. If you could have what you want, what would it be? If you are short of positive words, you can draw pictures. Write peace, love, functional society, and sustainable future on your paper, then draw pictures of what each of these might look like.

Thank you for participating. I wish you a more positive future than the one you visualize in your deepest fears and worries. If enough of us envision what we want, we can work together to make it happen.

Chris Matthews Smears Marijuana
Posted on January 22, 2014

On Hardball Monday night, Chris Matthews notoriously dissed marijuana. He said he thinks he buys into the "gateway drug" metaphor. To talk Mr. Matthews down, I want to reprint the essay I wrote for the Pray for Peace Foundation (PFPF) Newsletter seventeen years ago.

PFPF News Editorial, 1997 Marijuana—A Gateway Drug?

In a recent column, Ann Landers published three letters pro and con the legalization of marijuana. This was open minded of her, although she takes a decidedly conservative stance on the issue herself. One of the letters, from Senator Paul Coverdell of Georgia, said, "Marijuana is a gateway drug" and "by legalizing it, we would increase the number of cocaine and heroin addicts as well." Another reader asked, "Why not ban alcohol, since most people drink before they start to smoke pot?"

What is it about pot that makes it more frightening than alcohol? To explore this controversy more fully, let us take a closer look at the gateway metaphor. Imagine hideous wrought iron gates at a dark fork on the road, that lead to burning marshes of sloth and drug indulgence. The moral for adolescents is that along the road of life, if they are foolish enough to approach these gates, they will be sucked in by pot's whirlwind, fall into the quicksand of drug experimentation, and be lost forever. At an earlier fork on the same road, a young person may encounter tobacco cigarettes, alcohol, or prescription drugs, but these substances are more socially acceptable. Society excuses these vices as bumps on the path, rather than "gateways" to drug addiction.

So why does pot get all the blame? Anti-drug propaganda hypes the plant's "mind expanding" powers to imply that once an otherwise innocent teen has tasted smoke-induced nirvana, their morals will fall away, and they will become uninhibited, irresponsible zombies, suddenly vulnerable to all drugs. This is hyperbole.

Blaming pot for heroin addiction is a form of denial that prevents us from addressing the real problem. In this editorial, PFPF offers a peaceful, alternative metaphor for America's drug crisis. Instead of a "war," let us call drug abuse a "disease," like alcoholism. The abuse of any substance (including pot) can be dubbed a "health care problem," rather than a criminal justice or national defense problem.

Honest and realistic cultural metaphors will foster peaceful solutions to the war on drugs. We hope government officials will stop fueling paranoia and lies about the cannabis plant. Instead of wars and iron gates, let's visualize peace and healing, and reach out to those who are suffering from the war on drugs.

Chris Matthews also said that it's not like gay marriage, where somebody is being discriminated against. Well, Mr. Matthews, how would you feel if I invited you to a reception that did not allow alcohol? The rule would be that if you bring your alcohol and pull it out, we would have you arrested and put in jail with a felony that would follow you the rest of your life. In addition, we would all enjoy ourselves, taking a mild intoxicant we call moofawoona, but we would exclude the mild intoxicant you like (alcohol). Come to a party like that, Chris, and see if you feel left out. There are people who are discriminated against, especially people who do not like alcohol.

Secret of the Washington Bridge Scandal
Posted on January 14, 2014

This is my take on it: to sabotage the real estate deal, Gov. Chris Christie and the powers that be thought they could narrow the traffic access with cones for a week, then make it permanent with cement barriers. This would sink the deal for sure!

Editor's note 1-22-14: It looks as though 2014 is turning out to be the year of comeuppance. Maybe we will find out why they shut that bridge down.

Who Blocks Long Term Unemployment?
Posted on January 7, 2014

Okay, they broke the filibuster to vote on long term unemployment. Who was blocking it? It was not the Democrats. It was not the liberals. Democrats and liberals want the government to take care of all Americans and lift up the whole country. So who was trying to filibuster long term unemployment? Is it really a mystery? Anyone who is long term unemployed, and anyone who has a friend or relative in that situation, do not point your finger at "Congress." Do not say "both sides do it." The Democrats clearly want to pass long term unemployment, and more. All liberal legislation is hung up in Congress because Republicans are against government doing anything to help anybody. That is their lame ideology.

Do not blame the Democrats for the inaction all last year. Dems are doing what they can under the circumstances. The Democrats want long term unemployment passed. The Democrats want infrastructure programs to give people jobs and upgrade our country. Democrats want to save public employment, including the Post Office. It is the Republicans—especially the tea party bosses—who want to shut down everything and put people out of work. Tea party Republicans lack compassion for fellow Americans. They ask rhetorical questions like, "How could $300 a week possibly make any difference?" Meanwhile they are lighting their cigars with hundred dollar bills. They cannot imagine what life is like for the majority of us.

The solution for this stalemate is to vote in more Democrats. If we can get more cooperative people in Congress, we can move forward. We must outnumber the Republicans who want to wreck the economy. Republicans' only plan is to destroy things. They are like bratty children who only feel like they are in control if they make everyone else suffer. They must think the economy automatically fixes itself because when they are in office they wreck it, then Democrats get in and fix it.

It is amazing to me how the media can look at what's going on, like this morning in the Senate, and say "both sides" do it. Thank god we have resources for information besides the corporate media. Wake up and look at reality people.

Next Tell Me How You Really Feel
Posted on January 6, 2014

A friend just sent me this email rant, and after asking, he allowed me to post it. I believe he speaks for a great many of us and the frustration we feel watching the Republican tea party try to dismantle the social safety net.

Have you ever seen such a Rogue's Gallery of Buffoons? Their bizarre rationalizations for opposing sensible legislation defies all logic.

Lewis Carroll (of Alice in Wonderland fame knew how futile it was to dispute with such clueless nincompoops):

"I refuse to argue with anyone who I consider to be hopelessly irrational."

Too early to tell much about 2014 except the nasty, sick, cruel and evil Republicans continue to oppose humane legislation such as extending desperately needed unemployment benefits. It's awful to have un-prosecuted criminals in high places, defying us and crushing the hopes and dreams of the good and compassionate people of this Nation. How long can it go on? It's like being in the middle of WW II with the Axis powers kicking our ass while the Democrats and liberals with a conscience seem to be mostly ineffectual or powerless. Shows how a lack of empathy and compassion in high places can spread a black cancer that destroys everyone but the people who are more financially secure than they'll ever need but they still want MORE. Gerrymandering and nefarious schemes to keep honest people from voting keeps the bloated parasites as the majority in the House where craven Boehner* won't bring any positive legislation to a vote because he's so cowardly and shameful, not to mention a Ludicrous Lounge Lizard. Where are the heroes who root out the crimes these villains are hiding, and bring them to the public's attention?

*I can think of a few more men in the House and Senate who are off their wagons, as well.

Daytime of Obama
Posted on January 6, 2014

Here is a chart that sums up the Obama Effect over the past five years:

President Obama accomplishments chart


Things have gotten better, and would get much better if people would cooperate with him instead of fight him every inch of the way.

What does this photo say to you?


President Obama

The caption says, "In January, House Republicans listened and let income tax rates for the wealthiest Americans rise for the first time in 20 years." This was the moment we got rid of the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich. The picture shows House Majority Leader John Boehner holding his paws up like a t-rex plush toy. President Obama looks like a mirror image of the calm and deep President Lincoln on our penny, except that he is reaching out with his right hand to calm the dino. It is a stunning photograph with a positive message. We can learn from President Obama how to get things done despite adversity.

A lesser man in Obama's position would be angry and wracking his brains in frustration. If it was me, I would be kicking metal trash cans into the wall, cussing, and yelling at people on the phone. Luckily, President Obama has the uncanny ability to accept reality in the present moment and continue to look for ways to move forward. He is showing us the way.

2104 Predictions
Posted on January 2, 2014

Dear Readers - since it is that time of year when people make predictions, I may as well pitch in. Happy new year to everyone! These predictions are for the environment. If we can take care of the environment, we will still have a planet to act out our dramas.

I predict that humanity will embrace a new paradigm about nature. In the past, people saw nature as evil or worthless, something to be conquered and exploited. In the new paradigm we will honor nature's wisdom. Nature has been in the chemistry business for millions of years. People who can make changes will work hard to promote natural methods to solve problems for the environment.

Further, I predict that 2014 will bring more awareness of friendly microbes, and the role microbes play in our bodies, and for the earth. We will enrich the earth's probiotic culture, because a diverse friendly microbe culture will allow the earth to digest more of the toxins and trash the human race creates. We must also do our part to honor nature in the spirit of the new paradigm and develop positive energy sources.*

To sum up, I believe 2014 will be the turning point, where we reset our world to begin where we should have begun at the start of this century.

Christmas Greetings
Posted on December 21, 2013

With Christmas just a few days away, I would like to wish all my readers and friends a merry Christmas from the furry-friendly-hippy-left wing of the Democratic party. Here's a beautiful blue Democrat donkey ornament. I love it. If you want one, click on the ornament. Your $20 donation will go toward turning the U.S. House of Representatives blue in 2014!


Missing Mandela, and Christmas Wishes
Posted on December 19, 2013

We all marked the dignity of Nelson Mandela and witnessed his departure. He left his indelible spiritual stamp on this world and this time. He showed us how it is possible to let go of grievances, forgive, and follow a calling. President Mandela inspired many to follow their own callings. Losing Mandela, and things going on in my own life and community, made this a bitter-sweet December. I go into the end of the year feeling happy but tired. One neat surprise today. I found this verse by George Harrison (a final verse to Hurdy Gurdy Man, by Donovan, 1968):

When the truth gets buried deep
beneath a thousand years of sleep
time demands a turn around

and once again the truth is found.

I believe there is reason to believe in a better future, since more people are waking up to the truth. The truth I see is the need to come together to educate and care for the poor, conserve the earth, and protect all of Earth's creatures. Those are my prayers for this holiday season.

Fate of Our Nation Depends on our Minds
Posted on December 5, 2013

"Think you can, think you can't; either way, you'll be right." - Henry Ford (American automobile manufacturer, 1863-1947)

"If you think you can't do something, you can't. But if you think you can, you may be surprised to discover that you can." - Peace Pilgrim (American peace activist)

Now let us think about our liberal outlook. Do we think we can reduce poverty in America? Get good public education for all children? Get healthier food? Better health care? More civility and fairness? Can we win enough elections to take back the House of Representatives? The elections are still nearly a year away, even though some pundits speak as if the results are already in.

Yes, we are up against great odds. We have leaders who act like they want to destroy civilization and dominate—if not enslave—mankind. Why are they like that? I believe it has something to do with child abuse. Maybe they are angry souls who came into the world for help, only to be abused by bad parents. Be that as it may, civilization is a lot better off in 2013 than it was in 1213, the days of the Mongol hordes in Europe, Shoguns in Japan, and slave sultans in Egypt.

Here is another positive quote to consider: "How much we can do depends on how much we think we can do. When you really believe you can do more, your mind thinks creatively and shows you the way." - David J. Schwartz

A good way to visualize a better future is to feel how we might feel a year from now when things turn out good. We might feel excited, delighted, edified, maybe even surprised! The people who remain pessimistic up to the end may feel shock and disappointment when all the energy they invested in self-pity amounts to nothing!

"Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again." - James R. Cook (English explorer, 1728-1779)

Internet Journeys
Posted on December 3, 2013

Over the last few weeks I have logged onto hundreds of websites, as usual, but two visits stand out and I would like to share what I have been up to.

First, I am one of those people out there who pays for junk health insurance. In 1987, while still living in the Hare Krishna community(!), I got [brand X] health insurance and am still with them. Back then [brand X] seemed okay, and luckily, I never had to use it. But over the years it got more expensive, with higher deductibles and co-pays. Now it is at the point that if I ever had to use it (god forbid), I would end up with impossibly huge medical bills anyway.

Because I have felt insurance insecure over the last couple decades, I am grateful for the opportunity to get medical insurance that will make healthcare affordable.

Thus, one of my Internet journeys has been to visit healthcare.gov periodically since the beginning of October. It really is coming along. In fact, I went there again today and it works better than most of the websites I usually use. As far as customer service, I give high rankings to my providers: Network Solutions, Netflix, banks, school where I teach, PayPal, VitaCost, Amazon, and a many others. Not all my providers have drones, but they are all a hundred percent functional. They all have helpful customer support and tech support people to call. They are great. Nine times out of ten, talking to someone on the phone for just a few minutes solves the problem. One suggestion: pay the operators well and train them to be responsive. If a customer walks you through a three minute scenario to describe a problem, if the agent understands, they should say, "I get what you mean," or "This is a common problem. I can help you. Here's what we do . . ."

Anyways, this part of my journey has been a long time in coming, but healthcare.gov may be the miracle that I had envisioned. My first choice would be Medicare for all, or lowering the age for Medicare and raising the benefits. However, the ACA will essentially do the same thing. If you need healthcare and have a low income, I encourage you to log on and look around. If you live in Arizona, and you are of the naturopathic persuasion, here's the insurance company for you: MeritusAZ.com. My insurance agent found this for me (also very grateful). She said in an email today:

Only the [MeritusAZ] silver plans will include cost sharing reductions. The Affordable Silver PPO and Secure Silver PPO options are the ones that includes co-pays for naturopath. Affordable Silver has co-pays for specialists and prescriptions; whereas the Secure Silver is a HSA (health savings account) compatible option with most benefits accrued out of pocket towards deductible.

Find out what is available in your state. Arizona is a red state, but our governor opted for the federal help. If your governor is a Republican who has rejected the ACA, you are SOL. The only thing you can do is move or call your governor's office every day until he changes his mind.

Anyways, the stark contrast to all the good news I found at healthcare.gov and meritusaz.com was when I stumbled into "The Tea Party" fan page on Facebook last night. One of my Republican friends shared a trollish post, a poll where people could vote on what degree of a liar they think our president is. What ever happened to respect for the office of the presidency? I guess they never heard about that at The Tea Party fan page. The rapid-fire posts to this "poll" were like a cascading waterfall of pure liquid hatred. Stay healthy. You would not want to shower there.

Thanksgiving Wishes
Posted on November 28, 2013

From the master minds of history*:

"Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light." - Albert Schweitzer (philosopher, physician, and humanitarian, 1875-1965)

"The most damaging forms of intolerance are connected with religious, racial, and political differences of opinion."- Napoleon Hill (author of Think and Grow Rich, 1883-1970)

"The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession, what there is of it." -Mark Twain (American author, 1835-1910), from Following the Equator

"The way in which we think of ourselves has everything to do with how our world sees us." - Arlene Raven (American author, art historian, 1946-2006).

Updating the Subconscious Mind (Section)
Posted on November 23, 2013

My book, Dreaming Peace, explains how to think positive for creating a positive world. The book is based on the classical positive thinking authors: Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich; Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People; Maxwell Maltz, Psycho-cybernetics; and Earl Nightingale, The Strangest Secret. However, like all good books, it needs to be updated once in a while.

The revised Dreaming Peace is just like the classical Dreaming Peace, but with more Napoleon Hill. If you read the "How It Works" chapter, you will see that it contains not only more Napoleon Hill, but it is more in line with what the experts say about the workings of the subconscious mind.

If you want to use these ashes of society to create a better world for future generations, and you want to use your thoughts to create a better world for yourself, now is the best time to buy a copy of Dreaming Peace. The latest, revised version is now available at Amazon.com, click here.

Today is the Last Day of Fear
Posted on November 11, 2013

We are in the end days, the end of fear, the end of discord, and the beginning of moving forward. Although it is human nature to fall into self-pity, we must remember history and do something to stop repeating it.

Since 9/11/2001, I have noticed that we liberals have our good days, where we feel self-confident determination. However, we also have bad days. Sometimes you turn on the news and all you hear from liberals is self-pity, cowering, and defeat. Those are the bad days. Liberal fundraisers are the worst. But they have to scare us (they think) or people would stop donating money. They also have a double-negative syndrome that instantly scares people, like staring down a chasm instead of looking straight ahead.

To get out of self-pity, there must come a time in our lives when we decide that we love ourselves. We accept ourselves even if we get people's names wrong. Even if we get lost and make everybody late. Even if we do something awkward socially, even if our kids turn out rotten spoiled brats, even if we cannot fix other people's problems, even if we lose a job, get a bad grade, and so on. These are the challenges of life! These offer opportunities to improve.

So what are we afraid of? If our worst karma is that we could not extend ourselves fully to others, or to a demanding situation, or to say no when we needed to, that is some pretty good karma. We can learn and grow, then do better the next time. That's good and people will appreciate us for changing bad habits. If our problems are actually good karma, then what is the nature of bad karma?

If you do something wrong, but you blame it on someone else, that creates bad karma. If you purposely harm someone or something for personal gain, that is bad karma. Starting a bad karma process is like flipping on a switch. You put something in motion, that is out of balance and the natural forces of the universe must go to work to restore balance. That is how nature works, even if it may take a long time. Meanwhile, the liar who is living the lie hardens his heart to justice, creating anxiety, enemies, and more lies.

But starting today, people with good karma can flow with the changes that are coming with the new communication paradigm. Through the Internet and other means, we can reach out to people we love and move toward inner fulfillment. The bad news is that the people with accumulated bad karma on their conscience will become more zombie-like. We can stand in stern disagreement with them without getting angry or frightened. Instead of having days of self-pity and helplessness, we will have days where we take notes on what to do about them. Abusers need consequences if they are ever to change. We can simply see them as the weakest links in the chain of humanity. The people we need to confront are trying to make us afraid, but from today forward many of us will break free of this good-day-bad-day cycle. Let's build a good-day-study-day cycle instead.

Baby Boomer Grandparents
Posted on November 5, 2013

The baby boomers are aging. We were born between approximately 1943 and 1962, they say. Thus, we are all in our fifties or sixties now. That is plenty old enough to be a grandparent, and many baby boomers have grandchildren (I don't but most of my friends do). We baby boomers may feel embarrassed to still be referred to as babies, but many of us are still babies in adult bodies. For those of us who have matured into adults, we can rest assured that all the good work we have done throughout our lives to build bridges and take care of those around us will pay off.

Yes, although our hair may be gray and our skin a bit wrinkled, we can feel good about the old friends we have, and all the good memories. Getting old is a burden in some respects. For myself, my mind inevitably drifts back to better times, or I feel discouraged because the idealism of the sixties faded. However, just like everyone has the experience of at least one favorite pet that lived into old age, we can rest assured that if we have lived a good life, treating others the way we want to be treated, the people we love will love us more all the time.

A message to post-baby-boomers: we are here to support any young people who want to carry the torch for us. If you love your dear old grandparent, step-grandparent, or surrogate grandparent, remember our sacrifices and keep the idealism and activism going. You still have to live in this world for a long time, and ultimately you will leave it to your children and grandchildren. Do what you can to make it a good world that you will feel proud to pass along. Always keep trying, always keep voting and participating, no matter what.

MSM Still Defends Right Wing Revolution
Posted on November 5, 2013

The mainstream media still continues to defend the tea party's notion that the best way to fix America is to destroy the federal government and economy. Oh well, at least the msm is also reporting positive developments. Things are gradually getting better for average Americans, especially our ability to prevent military-industrial-complex wars, win friends overseas, and get ourselves up to snuff on health care. From traveling and having friends in more advanced countries, I realize that most modern countries look at us as backward in our health care, especially. However, we are a huge country with a lot of diversity (including a simmering redux of the American Civil War on the back burner). In other words RTW ["rest of world"] please send us your positive thoughts, and be assured that the educated people here are trying our best to get things going in the right direction. It would help if our media was not dominated by five multinational corporations that only care about love of money. Thank god for the Internet or we would all be in the dark.

Polls Toll for the Republicans
Posted on October 19, 2013

The Republicans have worked hard to offend practically everybody with their fundamentalist paranoia about sex and procreation, their love of big guns even in the face of brutal mass murders, and their latest feat: shutting dow the government. What to speak of their hypocrisy, since practically all they do is bitch about the deficit and ignorantly accuse President Obama of running up the deficit.

Their plan to blame everything on President Obama failed, so what do they have left?

If this ordeal we just went through has any meaning, it is to regard these people as a problem we have to deal with. They are so stubborn that they will still tell their fans they are winning, the polls are wrong, etc. They live in the dark and they have spun themselves a cocoon so dense they do not even realize they are in it. The darker a person's energy, the less power they have. People who live in the light have more power to influence things.

Now that the Republican's poll numbers are so low, what do we do? We focus on what we want to create: a sustainable future. A few months ago, I wrote the 4 Pillars of a Sustainable Future* that outlines the four things we need to do to overcome the environmental problems we face. Let's fix some real problems now that the Republicans are low in the polls. Focus on the goals. We do not have to wait until the next election to begin.

The Republicans will still be bullies and do things to hurt us, but the majority of the public sees them for what they are. We have always had far right wing people and our society allows for freedom of thought, opinion, speech, and so on. To that end, we need to tolerate them, as well as give them consequences when they do thoughtless, hypocritical things, like blow $24 billion dollars of Uncle Sam's money in sixteen days.

Just for the Record: Tea Party List
Posted on October 17, 2013

Just for history's sake, here is a list of the members of the Tea Party Caucuses.

Currently in the U.S. House of Representatives:

Michele Bachmann, Minnesota, Chair
Joe Barton, Texas
Gus Bilirakis, Florida
Rob Bishop, Utah
Diane Black, Tennessee
Michael C. Burgess, Texas
Paul Broun, Georgia
John Carter, Texas
Bill Cassidy, Louisiana
Howard Coble, North Carolina
Ander Crenshaw, Florida
John Culberson, Texas
Jeff Duncan, South Carolina
Blake Farenthold, Texas
Stephen Fincher, Tennessee
John Fleming, Louisiana
Trent Franks, Arizona
Phil Gingrey, Georgia
Louie Gohmert, Texas
Vicky Hartzler, Missouri
Tim Huelskamp, Kansas
Lynn Jenkins, Kansas
Steve King, Iowa
Doug Lamborn, Colorado
Blaine Luetkemeyer, Missouri
Cynthia Lummis, Wyoming
Kenny Marchant, Texas
Tom McClintock, California
David McKinley, West Virginia
Gary Miller, California
Mick Mulvaney, South Carolina
Randy Neugebauer, Texas
Rich Nugent, Florida
Steven Palazzo, Mississippi
Ted Poe, Texas
Tom Price, Georgia
Phil Roe, Tennessee
Dennis A. Ross, Florida
Ed Royce, California
Steve Scalise, Louisiana
Pete Sessions, Texas
Adrian Smith, Nebraska
Lamar S. Smith, Texas
Tim Walberg, Michigan
Lynn Westmoreland, Georgia
Joe Wilson, South Carolina

Currently in the Senate:

Mike Lee (Utah)
Jerry Moran (Kansas)
Rand Paul (Kentucky)
Tim Scott (South Carolina)
Ted Cruz (Texas)
Marco Rubio (Florida)

Here's an idea Democrats! Move to one of these people's districts and vote!

Now a list of tea party people retired from Office (copied from Wikipedia):

Rodney Alexander - Resigned from the House in September 2013 to become Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs
Jim DeMint - Resigned from the Senate in January 2013 to become President of the Heritage Foundation
Todd Akin - Ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2012
Dan Burton - Retired in 2012
Wally Herger - Retired in 2012
Sue Myrick - Retired in 2012
Mike Pence - Ran successfully for the Indiana gubernatorial election in 2012
Denny Rehberg - Ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2012
Roscoe Bartlett - Defeated in 2012 general election
Sandy Adams - Lost renomination in 2012
Jeff Landry - Lost renomination in 2012
Cliff Stearns - Lost renomination in 2012
Joe Walsh - Defeated in 2012 general election
Allen West - Defeated in 2012 general election
Pete Hoekstra - Ran unsuccessfully for the nomination for the Michigan gubernatorial election, 2010
John Shadegg - Retired in 2010
Todd Tiahrt - Ran unsuccessfully for the nomination for the Senate in 2010
Zach Wamp - Ran unsuccessfully for the nomination for the Tennessee gubernatorial election, 2010
Parker Griffith - Lost renomination in 2010

How to Control a Bully
Posted on October 17, 2013

The tea party is a party of fourteen year old bullies in adult bodies. The definition of bully is someone who uses their superior strength or influence to harm those who are weaker. Estimates say that the shut-down cost the federal government as much as $24 billion, and it forced many already financially stressed families to go without a job for sixteen days. Many of the most vulnerable will never be paid. This stresses families, children, the elderly, the poor, and the disabled.

What is the best way to deal with a bully? Our tendency is to react to their immaturity with immaturity. There are four immature strategies: 1) ignore the bully, ignore the harm they do; 2) be frightened, hide, avoid, and cower; 3) fight back; and 4) forgive them and hope they change. None of these strategies are effective, but usually only make the bully more abusive.

The best way to deal with a bully is to have a wise leader who sets healthy ethical boundaries, and gives the bully consequences for crossing the boundaries. Bullies will only change if they get consequences for their actions, and the discipline must be humane, firm, and consistent.

Some bullies will never change, but if you want to change a bully, it requires maturity and good leadership.

Republican Siege is Over
Posted on October 16, 2013

How does it feel to know we will be free of Republican harassment for at least a couple months? They ended their folly to push the economy into default, and agreed to open the government until the middle of January. Just don't let down your guard, because the party is still in chaos. One faction wants to drown the government, destroy the economy, and impose strict religious moral prohibitions. The other side just misses the good old days when they could be proud of their party.

It is a generalization to say that "all members of Congress" are to blame for this episode . We have good people in Congress from both parties who had to work extra hard to pull this out. Psychotic right wingers have always been around, but until recently they simply did not get elected. Americans gave the tea party a try, but now we realize that the best solution is to vote them out and elect good quality people who recognize that they work for us! Enough people are angry at the tea party to override any gerrymadered district. Let's learn the lessons from this, fix the problems, and move on. We have real problems to solve.

People who Can Help
Posted on October 9, 2013

While everyone is busy watching the side show (who is the most insane member of Congress, etc.) conscious people may prefer to focus positive energy on our Congressional Progressive Caucus and Black Caucus. These conscientious members of Congress could use your positive thoughts and prayers during this time of distress.

Bless these members of the U.S. House of Representatives:

Congressional Black Caucus

Parren Mitchell (MD), Charles B. Rangel (NY), Bill Clay, Sr. (MO), Ron Dellums (CA), George Collins (IL), Louis Stokes (OH), Ralph Metcalfe (IL), John Conyers (MI), Walter Fauntroy (DC), Robert Nix, Sr. (PA), Charles Diggs (MI), Shirley Chisholm (NY), and Gus Hawkins (CA).

Congressional Progressive Caucus

Raúl Grijalva (AZ-3, Tucson) - co-chair
Ed Pastor (AZ-7, Phoenix)
Jared Huffman (CA-2, San Rafael)
George Miller (CA-11, Richmond)
Barbara Lee (CA-13, Oakland) - whip
Michael Honda (CA-17, San Jose) - vice chair
Sam Farr (CA-20, Monterey)
Judy Chu (CA-27, El Monte) - vice chair
Henry Waxman (CA-33, Los Angeles)
Xavier Becerra (CA-34, Los Angeles)
Karen Bass (CA-37, Baldwin Hills)
Linda Sánchez (CA-38, Lakewood)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40, Los Angeles)
Mark Takano (CA-41, Riverside)
Maxine Waters (CA-43, Inglewood)
Janice Hahn (CA-44, San Pedro)
Jared Polis (CO-2, Boulder, Fort Collins)
Rosa DeLauro (CT-3, New Haven)
Corrine Brown (FL-5, Jacksonville)
Alan Grayson (FL-9, Orlando)
Lois Frankel (FL-22, West Palm Beach)
Hank Johnson (GA-4, Lithonia)
John Lewis (GA-5, Atlanta)
Luis Gutiérrez (IL-4, Chicago)
Danny Davis (IL-7, Chicago)
Jan Schakowsky (IL-9, Chicago) - vice chair
André Carson (IN-7, Indianapolis)
Dave Loebsack (IA-2, Cedar Rapids)
Chellie Pingree (ME-1, North Haven)
Donna Edwards (MD-4, Fort Washington)
Elijah Cummings (MD-7, Baltimore)
Jim McGovern (MA-2, Worcester)
Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-4, Newton)
John Tierney (MA-6, Salem)
Mike Capuano (MA-7, Boston)
John Conyers (MI-13, Detroit)
Keith Ellison (MN-5, Minneapolis) - Co-Chair
Rick Nolan (MN-8, Crosby)
Bennie Thompson (MS-2, Bolton)
William Lacy Clay, Jr. (MO-1, St. Louis)
Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5, Kansas City) - Chairman, Congressional Black Caucus
Steven Horsford (NV-4, Las Vegas)
New Hampshire
Ann McLane Kuster (NH-2, Hopkinton)
New Jersey
Frank Pallone (NJ-6, Long Branch)
Rush Holt (NJ-12, Hopewell Township)
New Mexico
Ben R. Luján (NM-3, Santa Fe)
New York
Nydia Velázquez (NY-7, Brooklyn)
Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8, Brooklyn)
Yvette Clarke (NY-9, Brooklyn)
Jerrold Nadler (NY-10, Manhattan)
Carolyn Maloney (NY-12, Manhattan)
Charles Rangel (NY-13, Harlem)
José Serrano (NY-15, Bronx)
Louise Slaughter (NY-25, Rochester)
North Carolina
Mel Watt (NC-12, Charlotte)
Marcy Kaptur (OH-9, Toledo)
Marcia Fudge (OH-11, Warrensville Heights)
Earl Blumenauer (OR-3, Portland)
Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1, Beaverton)
Peter DeFazio (OR-4, Eugene)
Chaka Fattah (PA-2, Philadelphia)
Matt Cartwright (PA-17, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Pottsville)
Rhode Island
David Cicilline (RI-1, Providence) - vice chair
Steve Cohen (TN-9, Memphis)
Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18, Houston) - vice chair
Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30, Dallas)
Peter Welch (VT-At Large)
Jim Moran (VA-8, Alexandria)
Jim McDermott (WA-7, Seattle)
Mark Pocan (WI-2, Madison)
Gwen Moore (WI-4, Milwaukee)
Donna M. Christensen (Virgin Islands)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (District of Columbia)

Republican Inflicted Crisis Fears
Posted on October 8, 2013

The economy was getting better for a few years, but now the Republicans, led by the tea party, are in the process of stabbing America to death. This is their dream come true-to destroy the government and the economy. First, they put the government under sequester, now they have shut down the government, and next they plan to let America default. The tea party's vision for America is to turn us into a third world country. That is their goal and it appears to many that they will succeed.

There must be a way to stop them. We need to find it and prevent this disaster. If we save our country, many good things will result. First, more people will understand the value of a reliable and trustworthy government. Maybe we have never enjoyed a truly honest government in our lifetimes, but if we have the power to save it, we will have the power to make it better.

Visualizing Earth within golden-white light and focusing your thoughts and feelings on that purity is prayer—you know the power of prayer! Actions such as signing petitions, donating to organizations working toward the ends you want, or actively participating in those efforts supports your intention to help create the world of your vision.*

The Two Parties Are Different
Posted on September 28, 2013

By now, we gather that the Republicans oppose health care, especially for women and our particular needs. The Republicans are fundamentalist and want the rest of us to adhere to their negative attitudes about sex. They also hate government and got elected to destroy our way of life. It is all in the name of saving some money (then giving it away in tax breaks to the rich). We are witnesses to their king sized temper tantrum. Their plan is to blame it all on the president.

The Democrats are not all liberal, but a great many of them care about the suffering in America during this, one of her darkest hours. Maybe if we all join in sincere prayer (or positive thoughts), we can break through this blockage. There is so much we could do to move forward, but we have watched in horror as the Republicans spent the whole year voting forty-plus times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If anybody tries to propagate the lie that both parties are to blame for this stalemate, speak up. This is bullying and we must stand up to it.

There's Something Evil . . .
Posted on September 21, 2013

After treating victims of the Sept. 16 Washington Navy Yard mass murder, MedStar Washington Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Janis Orlowski, struck a nerve with the American public. On TV the next day, she said that she wished she did not know as much as she does about gunshot trauma. I can identify with that, since I know way too much about childhood abuse, having done my master's degree on the subject, and after writing a book about child abuse in dangerous religious groups.*

Dr. Orlowski made it clear: "There's something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate." What is that something? Well, the root of all evil is love of money. Money is fine, but love of money will make human beings do terrible things. Whatever the evil that makes people shoot one another, it probably stems from the root. In a Jungian sense, violent acting out may start with a lonely childhood, neglect, or child abuse. The neglected and abused child grows up angry, and may expresses their hatred of the world through trying to dominate and torture it.

The NRA tells the politicians and media to love guns, and that is also about money. The right wingers cut people's food stamps, then try to close the government and crash the world economy so people cannot get good health insurance. It's all about power and money.

Pray for Peace on 9/11
Posted on September 11, 2013

The red letter day of 9/11 is a day of note thrust upon us. What do we do on such a day? What is the tradition? Do we go out and shoot a gun? Do we have a parade of military equipment? No! From what I have gathered over the last dozen years since Sept. 11, 2001, we observe the day by gathering to pray and remember. It is a day when we reject guns and bombs. Will we avoid another war today? Or are we doomed due to a dumbed down population, mercury in our water, lack of good public education, or whatever it is that makes America tick these days? Public opinion polls suggest that despite all the negative things happening, the majority of Americans are weary of meaningless wars in the Middle East. Americans want peace. We want people in the Middle East to get along so we do not have to fix everything for them all the time. Please visit our 9/11 pray for peace page today: https://surrealist.org/prayforpeace/911prayers.html

Syria Route to the Sea
Posted on September 8, 2013

Evidence has been out there for a while that Syria is twisting in the wind because it is a good route to the sea for bigger, badder oil producing countries. It seems that Americans, including the president and Congress, realize that going to war is a sham. Evidence shows that nearly every war in the last three decades is based on fake evidence and somebody makes money off the violence.

We want peace. Peace is the route to widespread prosperity, because we can all realize our potential more easily in a peaceful world. Wars only make a few aristocrats rich, while dupes like America pay for everything.

Ask for Peace
Posted on September 7, 2013

If you want something in this world, you need a vision. You need to know what you are looking for. If you ask for peace and affirm a feeling of peace inside, your subconscious mind will look for ideas on how to achieve it. Once you focus your conscious mind on a goal, your subconscious mind will start to move you toward opportunities and people who can make your goal a reality.

What is the difference between asking for what you want (peace) and asking to negate what you don't want ("stop war," "no bombing"). Chances are that if your negation is accompanied by feelings of fear and anger, your subconscious mind will only pick up the words that agree with your mood. If you feel fear and anger while focused on the goal of stopping "war" and no "bombing," your subconscious may ignore your negations ("stop" and "no") and it will only hear "war" and "bombing." You will plant the desire for war and bombing in your subconscious mind.

To read more about the danger of double negatives, please read Dreaming Peace (available from Amazon.com*) or my monograph drawn from the book, The End of Apathy: Our Challenge in the Internet Age. The monograph is available at Amazon*, but is temporarily posted free at my site*.

This is the time to dream peace and pray for peace. Once we all know what we want, we will work together to achieve a lasting peace.

America the Bully
Posted on September 4, 2013

Is it true we must bully other nations to prove how strong we are? This goes to the heart of the peace plan we promote through this website.* It is based on four pillars:

1. Positive energy. Get off oil and other fossil fuels.
2. Out the underground economy. Legalize and tax all drugs to stop the constant flow of money into illegal markets.
3. Achieve transparency in government and business. Daylight helps keep people honest.
4. America finds her place in the world. We surpassed our ancestors in Great Britain when we helped win World War II. Ever since then we have been the big brother of the world, as we struggle to restart the cold war. Is that really helpful? What is the point in the bullying? It shows we are afraid and it is a weak position. Are we just violent maniacs or insecure control freaks? The bullying business will never get us the peaceful future we want and need.

It would help if we sought peace through negotiations, with the goal of reconciliation of the disparate groups that have played their part. We need reforms and meditation talks that focus on peace.

Posted on September 2, 2013

Something to think about this Labor Day. The U.S. Postal Service used to the our country's largest employer. They offered living wage jobs with benefits. Now, after years of greed, the biggest employer is Walmart. They offer mostly part-time, minimum wage jobs with no benefits. Their employees cannot live on the wages, so the government must supplement their income with food stamps, housing, and other public assistance.

This downward trend has been going on for years. Now the people at the top make enough money to light their cigars with hundred dollar bills, while masses of people are losing their homes, their families, and even their cities. Unelected "city managers" are selling the artwork out of the halls of the public buildings in Detroit making sweetheart deals for their rich friends.

This Labor Day let's get a grip on what is going on. We would become a strong country again if we lift up all workers through living wage laws. For example, if fast food workers unionize, it will provide a good living for a large percentage of the working poor.

Peace in Syria, Peace in the Middle East, an America of Peace
Posted on August 30, 2013

Please join us in praying for an America of peace. Instead of dropping bombs, let's drop flowers. The Syrian people have been through so much already, why compound their misery? Military action now is too risky and will just make President Assad want revenge. Instead of military action, let's put the situation in the hands of God and pray for peace. If you are not religious, please read these prayers as metaphors for the higher creative potential of humanity.

Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children. - Matthew 5.9

The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with Peace. - Psalms 29.11

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. - 1 Peter 3:8-12

Who Controls the Media?
Posted on August 25, 2013

Here is a chart I found on Facebook this week, what do you think?

Six companies still control ninety percent of the media: Time Warner, Disney, News Corp., Viacom, Comcast, and CBS.

Because of this, we are lucky to have the Internet. A diversity of people can get free platforms now through blogs, groups, and social media. Despite the corporate moguls' efforts, the balance has tipped toward the People. The Internet is free and equal. Really smart scientists in the twentieth century designed it like that, and they designed it to remain up and running, even in times of catastrophe or war. It is a symptom of our spiritual evolution and love of communication. Because of the fact that we have the Internet, it proves this is a good time to envision peace and trust that the old pyramid system is falling away.

Good news: we are entering a new egalitarian age more like a circle than a top-down pyramid. The power mongers of the twentieth century are losing their power, because their message only appeals to a minority of r-wing extremists. The waves of change in society are coming on strong , and you can see the right-wingers looking more backward and racist all the time.

"We All Go Through Something in Life" - Antoinette Tuff
Posted on August 22, 2013

Antoinette Tuff, the now-famous bookkeeper at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia, will go down in history as a hero. Yesterday, she talked Michael Brandon Hill, an armed potential killer, into surrendering to police. Antoinette Tuff is living proof of the potential of the human spirit. She is a light leading us out of darkness.

Please Drama Down
Posted on July 30, 2013

If you are a sleazy politician who has a sex scandal going on, please resign and go get help. It would be nice to lower the volume. If a man has a sex addiction problem, and the addiction is causing consequences in his life, it is like a practicing alcoholic. The first thing you do is go cold turkey and join a Twelve Step group. However wretched some Twelve Step groups are, it is better to be there and see the destruction up close to strengthen your will to quit. Private counseling is another option. But you go into it for life, at least until you thoroughly absorb what you can learn from the Steps.

If a person has an addiction, but then gets into counseling and changes, that person is deserving of forgiveness. While a man is continuing to do the drama and the sex addiction behaviors, it is a disgusting display that nobody wants to watch. The only person who enjoys a show like that is the man's enemies, because they love to see him suffer. The ongoing displays in San Diego (Mayor Bob Filner) and New York (Anthony Weiner) are sad and disheartening. It is equally sad when anyone hits bottom. Sometimes you wonder how many times a person has to bounce along, or be dragged along the bottom, but it looks awfully painful.

Why the Government gives Stuff to People
Posted on July 28, 2013

I have heard that right wingers do not want to be taxed, and see the government spend it taking care of people. They do not like poor whites or minorities and do not want to help them. For the right, it is every man for himself. I have mine, tough luck for you.

However, these same right wing people would see their own situation improve if the rich people paid their fair share. Also, right wingers should realize how much some rich people benefit from the natural resources of our country. They harvest our mutually owned natural resources like oil, coal, etc., from public lands and pay pennies on the dollar for the amount of profit they make. That is a government handout to the wealthy that dwarfs the amount the government spends on the general welfare.

If all our natural resource extraction was nationalized, skipping the privatized middleman, our country would be rich. Nobody would have to pay taxes because the government would have plenty of money from selling oil, coal, etc. The way it is now, all the profit is privatized because it goes to corporation that do not pay tax. Think about all the handouts the rich get before you go accuse the less fortunate of being moochers.

What is the World Coming To?
Posted on July 28, 2013

On some mornings I wake up worried about the world, the human condition, the amount of prejudice and projection, the lies, and the abuse. But then the sun comes up, I get up, and feel okay to face another day. I remember that there is also much good here, especially sharing love and friendship. Those are the things I enjoy about living, that make life worthwhile.

From my research and life experiences, I believe the answer to the human condition is truth. The gods and deepest recesses of our own subconscious minds do not buy into the human condition. And what does that mean, anyway? It is an excuse, a rationalization, a euphamism to excuse denial. Ignorance is the default for children, but as we grow up, we learn how to communicate in direct ways, so we have clear connections with the world outside.

Getting over verbal abuse would be a big step forward for the human condition. Disclaimer: I am a recovering verbal abuser. My brother said I am scary when I lose my temper, but in a quirky way. He said I am not sadistic like some people. That is good to know, but I apologize to you if I have ever raised my voice to you or acted out a self-pity thing. It isn't pretty and always hurts my self-esteem when I do it. But I forgive myself and erase the bad feelings between myself and the person. That includes telephone solicitors and people who act stupid in traffic. I love everybody, and deep down inside, that is also human nature. Babies, children, and teens tend to be trusting and open to interaction, especially with their peers. The trust stops when a person gets abused. This leads to shutting down, and masking the victimization issues with denial, aggression or passive aggression, self-pity, and so forth.

Once abused, it can have the same effect as breaking a China plate. Another metaphor that fits is topping a tree. Once bad tree trimmers take away a tree's crown, it is gone. The tree can grow sucker branches, but it will never be a normal tree again. However, even terribly hurt and abandoned individuals can heal their wounds sufficiently to have a good, fulfilling, and happy life. People often become stronger in the place where the were hurt. Carl Jung, father of modern psychology, said that the wound is where we begin to connect with transcendence.

What I recommend for curing the human condition is for everyone to confess their secrets to a counselor or friend, or to the proper authorities for past crime. Then we each take the consequences for the harm we have done. Does not sound too appealing, does it? But consequences are the only road to rational life. Rational life is what we want. It is irrational to think we can walk around with a whole lot of secrets and still be fully happy. An old Twelve Step slogan that applies here is: you are only as sick as your secrets. Plus, some people have made terrible decisions that have hurt many people, and they continue to abuse. It is irrational to allow it to continue.

Part of the denial implied in the human condition is to observe unethical, abusive, or criminal behavior in a superior, but look the other way. If we are ever to get to rational life, we have to reel them in. We all have to do it together. At this time we cannot accomplish this step because society is divided and each side is suspicious of the other. My second coming of Christ is your anti-Christ and vice-versa. We have probably all hurt each other's feelings with political points at times.

The new reality of everyone carrying mobile devices is exposing secrets. Having history at our finger tips on the Internet, old secrets are coming out too. Imagine how different this world would be if people kept fewer secrets, made amends for past abuse, and got consequences for past actions. We would all be humbled and amazed. This would be most difficult for those who have the worst secrets, but it would be cleansing. Exposing past abuse would send a positive message that we care about honesty. We want integrity. We take the past seriously, and want to treat everyone equally. Even the celebrity, billionaire, politician, and religious figure will be transparent and show his account. This may sound like the judgment day after death, but maybe we were asking for such in life when we started wiring ourselves up with these devices. This is the new age setting in on us, and to survive, we may have to go through a cleansing phase of fessing up.

The Race Press Briefing
Posted on July 20, 2013

Watching President Obama's appearance at the press briefing yesterday made me proud to be an American. Yes, I am a fan of the President, but my appreciation goes beyond mere approval ratings. Even though Randi Rhodes and others on the left wish he would have said more, for example how to address what's going on in Detroit, and other issues in the news, he said a lot about race. It's about time, too.

I grew up in Los Angeles where people get along good (god bless Rodney King who predicted and called for calm). It is about time the rest of the country admit that the people of L.A. have led the way toward equality this whole time. Think about it! California's good weather has allowed people there to worry about higher points than mere survival for generations.

Outside of L.A., America kept the racism secret in the collective closets that we overlooked until our first African American president took office. His mere presence in the White House unlocked that figment and it has turned into a full-blown monster that currently walks the streets with guns (and laws that allow them to do this).

The problem arose from nightmares of guilt and death. Now that the thing is out, we must find a way to bring it back, integrate it back into our collective psyche, and thus protect ourselves and future generations from its wrath.

The spirit of guilt and death that causes racism is not a thing we can shoot and make it go away. As a matter of fact, our violent reaction to it just gives it more strength. That's a good thing that for now we have people at the center of this calling for calm. We will need a lot of that because of what the fossil fuel business has done to our weather. More of that on the way, probably. So be calm unless it is bearing down on your. Then you can panic and react.

We must look at the context, as President Obama reminded us. Where did this come from? Why are we so cut off from our roots and stories? Now we can see clearly why cutting off one's roots is a bad idea. You end up with a phantom of the past locked in a dark closet, waiting silently to spring forth and release its pent up guilt and death.

The right wingers look at President Obama through the lens of this phantasm and see a communist Kenyan dictator. How can that be? How can there be two realities? Parallel realities. Maybe if more people joined our reality, then we could all be friends. Let go of the beast, give it a place in your garden, but do not invite it into your house to dictate how you live.

Okay, this is a shout out to every discouraged soul out there: come inside. Get inside the Obmacare Obamatrain with us. If you put down your arms and open your minds, we will forgive just about anything. We want you! Uncle Sam wants you! Everyone wants you to calm down.

A Time to Mourn
Posted on July 16, 2013

Last year when Trayvon Martin was killed, it was a sad time. Now, seeing his killer go free brings the whole thing back in a painful way. Maybe it is a symptom of getting older, but I have a lot of friends and relatives who have died in the meantime, lots of them. Even though my friends have died it is always fun to make new friends, so gradually the places in our hearts are replanted with new friends or occupations. For Trayvon's parents, though, healing will take a lifetime. Their precious child is gone. All they have are the memories of him and what his life meant.

Trayvon Martin's legacy is that he has truly become the brother, son, or grandson of nearly all Americans. We realize that the main grievers are the parents, and we also grieve for them. It is a sad story.

All day Saturday I kept checking my iPad for news. When I heard the jury had come back for a question, I turned on the TV. The moment they were about to read the verdict, I still had hope that the man who killed Trayvon would be held responsible. I held my breath. I got up when the judge said to get up. But then had the wind knocked out of me, just like everyone else. I had a few errands to do, so I went out.

I have found in my research in the counseling field, that many people shut their subconscious mind off. They do not want to communicate with it or hear from it anymore. It could be a trauma or mistake that makes them shut down, and in many ways helps some people continue to function after traumatic stress. The secret feelings are still inside, and may try to come back, so no matter how hard people try, the truth can still come out. People who believe Zimmerman's story could still be persuaded to consider the possibility that things happened according to a vitally different scenario.

This case is a good metaphor for the whole situation around us. Defendants and demigogs get up on a stand and speak lies that a percentage of the people will believe. In the trial of George Zimmerman, he made up a story that this big, scary teenager jumped on him, beat his head on the ground, and punched him in the face. Gosh, all he could do was shoot him.

Everyone in the courtroom seemed to accept his story. Even the prosecutor! The only issue was whether Zimmerman had a right to pull a gun under that scenario.

The prosecutor did not have his wits sufficiently about him to propose an alternative scenario. To me, it looked like a clear case of an angry gun lover with a big truck finally having a chance to take out a suspect that the police would have let off. However, he gave the police a fighting chance. He called them while he was in pursuit. He also probably knew the police would be incapable of doing anything to him, even if he killed the child. Plus, nobody would see. There would be no eye witnesses, and he knew that.

However, due to all the mythic themes and archetypes we are dealing with, we have to see at some level a situation out of balance. Just because there were no eye witnesses, it was still a crime. The rain, the air, the earth, and the gods witnessed. Only justice will make the stains of this depraved crime go away. The trial in Florida only shows that we are such a stupid, maladjusted society that we would rather let a dangerous killer go free than offend him. "Here's your gun back, sorry we bothered you, sir."

Why is this? First of all, we are detached from our stories. People are so dense that they believe lies. Really good stories are full of truth. In a great story, false ideas are revealed, justice is done. If you are living in a world of lies, you are missing a big part of what makes life really great.

But, like some people cut off their subconscious minds, others are content to live in a mind control situation. We have many, many codependent people whose lives are left unfulfilled because they must serve others who take advantage of their good natures. This is probably the number one story of our times. Like the Asiana 787 that crashed, I heard it could have been avoided if the pilots had been more direct with each other during the crisis.

Another big problem is that we harbor and protect extreme racists who are stockpiling weapons, yet all of us are such cowards that we are afraid to stand up to them. Plus, people who are not even racist will go along with racist rhetoric to fit in. Doing things because you want people to like you is a red flag for codependency. Like in the George Zimmerman trial, I heard that three of the six jurors wanted a conviction. However, they were content to go along with the not guilty verdict for whatever reason.

Come on people, we do not want to re-fight the Civil War, do we? Look how awful that turned out. I say let's make friends with the different sides of ourselves (north, east, west, and south), accept each other for who we are, and make amends.

Plus, I do not believe that we have a high percentage of truly racist people. You know, people who would kill a black teenager just because they consider all black people suspicious. Most of America left that stuff behind in the last century, right? If you live in a red state ("r" could also stand for predominantly racist), and you do not consider yourself a racist, do something to stand up to racism. Yeah, you probably risk retaliation, but if enough non-racists would stand up to the few racists, they would have to give up.

Are we so wimpy that we will stand back and let the worst people among us grab the controls? Good-hearted people vastly outnumber racist gun nuts all over this country. So let's stop protecting them. We see the problems and have an opportunity to make positive changes. Something good must come from this or we will lose our souls.

Rethink the Death of Trayvon Martin
Posted on July 16, 2013

There was no fist fight, no bashing of a large man's head on the sidewalk. There was a sighting, a man who grabbed a gun, and went to his truck. He drove around until he found the young black teen, then jumped out with his gun, grabbed him, and shot him. The screaming was when the young man saw the gun and knew he was about to die. Screaming like that could mean nothing other.

In a post (below) I complained about having to watch the trial 24/7. I could have turned it off anytime, but I did watch a lot of it. Through listening, I could sense that precious young life and how it ended. It happened like I say it happened, but the prosecution (er defense) led everyone to believe the defendant's story.

Is it against the law for me to suggest that George Zimmerman's version of events was wrong? He was proven not guilty of manslaughter or worse. Still, he took that young life away. Even if you do not agree with my version of events, why did he pursue with a weapon? If he would have stayed back as the 911 operator said, nothing would have happened. Even if his version of events was accurate, you do not pull out a gun and shoot someone in a fist fight.

Okay, so in the light of how inaccurate the Florida trial was, I wonder if people will ever get this one unraveled. That is what is so frustrating to see it on TV so much because now everyone is polarized. But I am glad we are talking about it. Like President Obama said, we have to ask ourselves if we are doing enough about this collective problem of gun violence. Instead of doing anything, we let ALEC run rampant across our country, passing these crazy new laws. We need to take our country back from the crazy gun seller people.

President Obama Statement on Zimmerman Verdict
Posted on July 15, 2013

President Obama made the most sense of anyone in this whole situation, issuing the following statement from the White House yesterday:

The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we're doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that's a job for all of us. That's the way to honor Trayvon Martin.

Jury Decides George Zimmerman Not Guilty
Posted on July 14, 2013

The prosecution could not effectively refute George Zimmerman's story of self-defense. Yesterday was a sad day for justice, and the lack of eye witnesses in the murder means that the killer will go unpunished. My sympathies are with the family of Trayvon Martin, the child who was killed.

My main question is: why was this trial turned into a sensationalistic gavel-to-gavel event made for TV for the last two weeks? I understand people's thirst for justice, and all that, but usually it is only CNN that covers trials 24/7. I am disappointed in MSNBC, including Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, Martin Bashir, Chris Hayes, and all the producers who thought this would be a good idea.

I spent much less time watching news shows the last two weeks, because I could watch an hour show in five minutes, spinning through all the courtroom coverage. It was not that interesting. Perhaps a segment per show per day would be fine, just to hear the highlights. But to watch it, then hear experts rehash it for hours on end was tedious and disappointing in the end.

Covering one event exclusive to all other news for two weeks is lazy journalism. Didn't anything else happen in the world in the last two weeks? I can see why Rev. Al Sharpton focused on the trial, since he helped in the just effort to get George Zimmerman arrested. But then was it an enforced policy on all the MSNBC news shows?

Maybe the producers thought it was a good idea, but I would rather watch news shows that focus on how to build a more benevolent society where unarmed children can walk on the street without fear of being killed by white supremacist gun nuts.

Editor's Note 7/15/13: The wall-to-wall coverage of the trial was meant to expose what would happen. Will there be demonstrations? Yes. We want peace on our streets. If they purposely broadcast the trial to get us angry, it worked. But things being what they have been revealed to be, let us become stronger in working toward our goals of equality, communication, and social cohesion. That is much better than more violence. So MSNBC, if you aired the trial to show us injustice in the making, then bravo. The prosecutor did a terrible job of painting an alternative scenario, but just went along with the defendant's story. If GZ was beaten against the sidewalk, where was the dna on the sidewalk? Anyway, I believe it was a case of this man spotting Trayvon, going after him, jumping out of his truck, following, grabbing Trayvon by the shirt (Trayvon screams). Then after a moment GZ shoots him. Not sure how he got those little scratches on his head. Maybe a mongoose lives under his hat.

Voting District Confusion
Posted on July 12, 2013

As we are aware, our political problems in Washington, DC, have their roots in the way we divide up voting districts. They go to great lengths to create dog-legs and other distortions to include all voters of one ilk in a district. To make things fair, they should base it on the Government Rectangular Survey System.

A grid covers the entire USA, and is broken into states, quadrangles, townships, and sections. Each section is one square mile. I believe they should have a voting place for every few sections, depending on the density of populations. Each voting place should serve approximately the same number of people, and each voting place would be part of a district.

This way, voting would be equal and politicians would serve people equally, based on the location they serve, not the selective population. Just an idea! Yeah, maybe in my lifetime, but we may as well think about what we want (instead of always focusing on what we don't want).

Statement about Women's Right to Choose
Posted on July 11, 2013

Women's rights to contraception and abortion are under attack. We also have issues of equal pay, discrimination, exploitation, and other problems. However, I want to focus on abortion for a minute. Speaking as a woman, I believe that the definition of freedom for women is to have the freedom to choose when to have their children. It is cruel and insane to force a woman to bear a child.

One of the biggest arguments against abortion, and even contraception, is that no sperm should be wasted. If sperm is spilled, it should have every chance to fertilize an egg and turn into a human child. However, killing a sperm is no sin. Trillions of them die every day. Plus, multi-trillions of other micro organisms, plants, fish, birds, and animals die every day. Humans also die every day from accidents, starvation, violence, and by other means. This whole world is full of death. Although there is death, there is also rebirth.

Another issue is the pro-life people's collective belief that life begins at conception. In other words, the soul comes in when the sperm joins with the egg. From that time on, it is an individual. However, I disagree. I am allowed to my own opinion in the realm of spiritual beliefs, as guaranteed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. My concept is that it's like house hunters. An agent (an angel) takes the soul around to view different arrangements within the soul's price range (karma, dharma). The soul might get exactly what it wants for its progress, or it might get stuck with a fixer-upper. There might be a bidding war (competition), or the property could be taken off the market (miscarriage, abortion). Any number of things could happen.

I also believe that each pregnancy is different. Some mothers might call their children's souls to them even before conception. Other mothers may deflect any soul taking up residence, right to the end. Some situations are so bad, maybe a soul would only choose it if there was no other option. Thus, good souls are born to rape victims, circumstances of extreme poverty, disease, violence, and so on, out of desperation. Perhaps also a vision of how to make up for the deficit and have a good life.

If one pregnancy falls through, I believe the soul goes back to the agent (angel) and continues to search. Plus, as far as a woman having to bear an unwanted pregnancy, it seems so cruel. It is one thing for a woman to willingly choose to go through with an unwanted pregnancy. That is a generous act of love. However, being forced to bear a child under penalty of law seems unfair. It also seems unfair to the child to have to grow up knowing that his or her mother was FORCED by the government to give birth. Maybe the child could be spared of ever having to find out the truth, but the truth has a way of coming out. Plus, the person might feel it in the gut, without having to be told.

Why be Brave?
Posted on July 11, 2013

In this day and age of chaos, why should we have courage? Isn't it normal to hit the wall, break down, and have a self-pity hissy party sometimes? Well, of course, but it just gets you more stuck. Under all circumstances, you move forward if you behave in a way to make yourself feel good about yourself. Find out more about what bothers you, and set your mind on looking for a solution. Even our worst problems of today: the weather, the environment, persecution of women, immigrants, and other minorities, and all the other issues in the news these days. We can accept these daunting challenges and make things better. Actually, humanity has been working on these issues for a long time and we have made progress on most fronts.

What about the cruelty we have seen all around us lately? Does it date back to 9/11, or perhaps to the 1990s, or even back to the 1910's, and back into history? It probably just seems worse these days. Whatever era in world history, it probably seemed the worst to the people who lived through it. I am glad that I was not around for the Great Depression and WWII, the Spanish Inquisition, the Reformation, or the Middle Ages in general. History is full of horrible social and political places that we do not want our warp speed spacecraft of the future to take us.

Usually I do not refer to the Bible here at Surrealist.org, but today I heard Joseph Campbell recite these beautiful verses in his talks with Bill Moyers. They seem especially relevant to what we are going through, negotiating good and evil, friends and enemies of the social-political sphere.

Matthew 5:43-45
King James Version (KJV)

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

One of the things everybody asks me is why doesn't got stop xyz from happening? What kind of god could allow xyz to happen? and so on. Well, maybe these verses explain it. God sends rain on the just and the unjust. The verses do not say why God is like that, but we barely understand our own selves. How do we expect to understand why God decides what he decides? I think it's great that God is unbiased, and actually there is plenty of evidence that he helps in many ways we may take for granted.

Why be brave? The answer is that we are almost where we want to be. We have obstacles to overcome and direct opposition from people who share a different vision. Are they for returning to the system of lords and serfs? Do they want no-government anarchy? We cannot be sure of their end game, but the strategy of compassion and disarming enemies with clear vision seems the best path of non-violent strength.

Tragedy in Arizona
Posted on July 2, 2013

The death of nineteen firefighters in Prescott on Sunday is a tragic loss, the worst ever from fighting a wildfire. Sadly, super fires like this are increasing because of the way we have treated the earth. For the last hundred years we have decimated forests, not allowed natural burns, build things and put in roads everywhere, mined hills, burned fossil fuels, and manufactured dangerous chemicals and other products. Our whole system is polluted and we need to turn it around. The new paradigm after the end of apathy must include bioremediation. We can do it. We must do it. We have something that is begging our attention, and we need to pay attention. Learn more about bioremediation here: https://toxiccleanup911.steamboats.com/

People in the News
Posted on July 2, 2013

If I must belong to society, it appears that one requirement is to live in the world of celebrity worship. This practice traces back to Europe, where they worshiped their royalty, still do. However, just because someone is a celebrity, it does not give them a pass. The British have a running debate over who is the worst monarch in their history, and they describe the candidates with words like swindler, useless, cowards, lazy, unpleasant, corrupt, bigoted, psychotic, and conceited.

One of the founding ideals of America was to govern ourselves, not to live under the monarchy. It has been a glorious experiment, but over the years we have spun together an overriding force that oppresses us. Some people experience it as a particular person like their governor, or we could experience it as something abstract like the system, radio and TV, corporations, aristocrats, banks, "Wall Street," "Hollywood," "Washington,"or some such.

Funny how geographical places have come to symbolize perceived evils in society. Not everyone on Wall Street is an abusive aristocrat. Not everyone in Hollywood is in on the conspiracy to create gratuitously anti-family values movies. Not everyone in Washington DC is a corrupt legislator. But we are all familiar with this list of items as the ills of society.

The individuals of the USA celebrity sphere include sports stars, entertainers, eccentric aristocrats, elected officials, writers, journalists, and artists. Before the lens of the kaleidoscope of society, individuals exist on a pedestal at the level of demigods. The super-famous may have a cornucopia of unlimited wealth like demigods, but they may also fall from that great height. Life at that altitude has its drawbacks: the less fortunate project on you and gossip about you, and the constant worship makes you arrogant. That's when things go full circle, because pride comes before the fall.

At this moment the TV stations I watch are focused on the George Zimmerman trial, the odyssey of Edward Snowden, and Paula Dean's predicament on the wrong side of history. The Supreme Court justices just made a lot of statements, Tea-Party-Republican legislators pass laws to restrict women's rights and push the poor further into poverty. Entertainers and the media are obsessing and opining, as usual. This is the focus in this moment, drifting into Fourth of July weekend.

Certainly we face significant issues and the ramifications are enormous, but the way we talk about them is part of the problem. We act frightened, as though these demigod celebrities can send us to the gallows at their whim. Perhaps in past lives we stood up to such monarchs and were hung or exiled.

In America we dream our own lives. Our forefathers envisioned a country where their descendants could prosper in a free world. They also invited others to move here. In the 1800s when my ancestors arrived, all you had to do was show up on a boat reasonably sane and healthy.

Our government is our way of governing ourselves, free from monarchs. So let us stop living in the monarch-serf paradigm and lift ourselves up as sovereign citizens of America. If we stand up and vote in 2014, we will get the government we want. It is okay to learn to love the government. But do not have to do celebrity worship. Just make sure you can vote well in advance. Find out what hoops you have to jump through. Lobby your district supervisors for more voting machines if you were short in 2012. Prepare, plan, and set goals now. Expect the best, but work hard to achieve it.

Like many people, I have hoped at every turn that we could do President Obama's plan. However, due to living in a society where everyone worships celebrity, the Tea Party and their ilk decided to play games instead. They have behaved heartlessly. Should we fear them? Should we gossip about them like they are the worst monarchs in history?

Instead of just talk, I challenge you to read The End of Apathy. This book explains how to change your mind and help pull the car out of the ditch instead of just sitting there in the car.

A New Espionage Conspiracy Theory
Posted on June 19, 2013

Here are some credible, or incredible speculations about the current espionage conspiracy theories, gleaned from a newsletter I subscribe to. Take it or leave it, there is a lot of info. going around and I just want to throw this into the pot for consideration.

President Obama defended NSA's data gathering, which was authorized in the Patriot Act passed during George W. Bush's administration, on the authentic basis that it has led to discovering and thwarting numerous terrorist plans. What the president cannot say—and Bush never would—is that the most extensive terrorist acts that met failure and most of the lesser plots that also got shot down were those devised by the CIA faction under Illuminati control.

Neither can Obama disclose that are working in the NSA and other agencies in that country and in several others. They are collecting and analyzing information on all Illuminati activities around the globe and using it to weaken their operations and obtain evidence for prosecution. When this has served its purpose—bringing to its final moment the Illuminati reign—the Patriot Act and also Homeland Security will come to an end.

During the Bilderberg conference, the Illuminati could scarcely disguise their deepening worries about how much longer they can control banking, lending and investing around the world—they have almost exhausted the means whereby they have been able to keep their fortunes intact. As mentioned earlier, individuals within and outside the NSA have been collecting evidence that the Illuminati acquired those fortunes illegally and unethically; however, until all documentation is presented in airtight cases to the various courts and then justly ruled upon, the funds will remain in Illuminati hands.

Although their global network has come apart at the seams, a few peak individuals are stuck in their delusion that they will take over the entire Mideast and move on to control the rest of the world too. Most assuredly, that will not happen, and when the unrest in Turkey subsides, and it shall soon, some reforms will emerge and further strengthen the country's progressive path.

If the "illumanati" create false flag terrorist attempts, there must be a paper/electronic trail. Former CIA agent Valery Plame was said to be looking into the Bush administration, just when they outed her. She must have shared her suspicions with the Obama administration or Justice Department. Perhaps they are tracking the right people now. Is it not possible that something good come come of all this, especially after what we have been through over the last decade.

The End of Apathy
Posted on June 17, 2013

The June 11 Messages from Matthew newsletter emphasized the need for instructions on how to break through apathy to get out of the repeating problems we experience. This mirrors everything I say in my books, Dreaming Peace and The End of Apathy. Matthew said:

Earth's populace is in fourth density as far as location, but many have not yet reached this density consciously or spiritually. Just as Earth's ascension was predestined, so was her Golden Age, but when that Age blooms in glorious fullness in your linear time depends upon the people's collective thoughts, feelings and actions. We cannot emphasize too strongly how greatly your light is needed to help your society advance in conscious and spiritual awareness!

The universal law of attraction is an essential part of advancement. By concentrating on dissatisfaction with governing systems' injustices and nefarious activities, the populace is sending forth energy that is prolonging situations they want to end!

They need to know that by focusing instead on what they want, they generate the energy that will manifest it. They need to be discerning about information from all sources by asking within, where the truth is known as to whether something is fact or fiction, true or false.

Become part of the solution, read books and find out what is beyond the veil. Learn that this is a benevolent universe where we reap what we sew. It may appear to be hurting us, but most of what we suffer, we can also solve.

Edward Snowden Speculation
Posted on June 11, 2013

Edward Snowden released the so-called secret that the government collects our information through provisions of the Patriot Act. From all appearances, he is one of those government-hating, Ron Paul followers, who wants to overthrow the federal government. He is an uneducated double dropout who did not even finish high school, and therefore is super-paranoid about the purpose of government. He appears to see it as an agency for enslavement, in the process of building confinement camps for those who resist. Ironically, he has now placed himself in the sites of the government by his own illegal actions. Funny how paranoid people bring on the exact things that they fear. This is a case of self-inflicted misery.

Our official position here at Surrealist News is that Snowden was trying to hurt President Obama and that he has failed, and that he deserves to be held responsible for what he did. The only plus is that it could ignite a reasonable discussion about the Patriot Act, which would add checks and balances to protect honest citizens. For example, why was a private company given State secrets to such an extent? What was a dropout paranoid looser doing with such clearance after such a short employment? And other issues that come to mind in this case.

The Truth Shall Set You Free (or Otherwise)
Posted on June 3, 2013

A great kind of climate change would be a change in the political climate emanating from Washington, DC. The truth is good, and the truth will set you free—or otherwise. Jim Graves, the man who ran against U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, said this on TV the other night. For ninety-eight percent of people, the truth will set us free. For the two percent who are chronic liars, the truth would put them in prison. But oh well! If the climate changes to truth in DC, the majority will be happy and free.

D.C. Diversions Pale in Face of Killer Tornadoes
Posted on May 20, 2013

The last couple weeks, the media has had a laser focus on the complaining from Republicans in Congress. It has gone on and on. Their complaints are phony and belie their own insecurity. It is boring to watch, yet the media dwells on it and dwells on it. This may account for people turning off their TV sets, ending their cable contracts, and so on.

However, today these men and their bellyaching are blown away by the storm news coming out of Oklahoma. One of my elderly relatives lives there, so this means more to me than the whole crap-load of political news lately.

We have work to do to reduce the carbon waste because it might minimize the effects of global warming. Oklahoma residents should feel in their DNA the damage humans can do to the weather. The Dust Bowl happened because farmers in the 1930s loosened the earth's crust, releasing massive clouds of dust into the air. How about if we use the time we have to study the environmental problem and do something about it, rather than waste it on piggish legislators blathering in self-pity.

Compassion for Enemies
Posted on May 4, 2013

The enemies of the poor and meek bring us rifles for five year olds, austerity, and fear. They spout their Drudge and command their willing flock. It is horrifying to watch. Even more disturbing is to imagine how the gun mongers and budget cutters would feel if they knew the suffering they cause. I feel ashamed and sorry for them. They must be in heavy denial to think their actions are justified. They are into some heavy karma, dragging their followers with them.

Let's Fund Our Country's Needs
Posted on April 28, 2013

Investment in our country will pay back dividends. Let's educate our children, make sure everyone has the basics to survive, and let's fortify our infrastructure. We can do it, we must do it, and doing our duty will make this a praiseworthy place.

White House Correspondents Dinner
Posted on April 28, 2013

Following are a few excerpts from President Obama's monologue at the annual White House Correpondent's Dinner last night. You can watch address and find a full transcript here:


Now, look, I get it. These days, I look in the mirror and I have to admit, I'm not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be. Time passes. You get a little gray.

But part of the problem is everybody is so cynical. I mean, we're constantly feeding cynicism, suspicion, conspiracies. You remember a few months ago, my administration put out a photograph of me going skeet shooting at Camp David?

You remember that? And quite a number of people insisted that this had been Photoshopped. But tonight I have something to confess: You were right. Guys, can we show them the actual photo? We were just trying to tone it down a little bit. That was an awesome day.

There are other new players in the media landscape as well, like super PACs. Did you know that Sheldon Adelson spent $100 million of his own money last year on negative ads? You've got to really dislike me — to spend that kind of money. I mean, that's Oprah money. You could buy an island and call it "Nobama" for that kind of money. Sheldon would have been better off offering me $100 million to drop out of the race. I probably wouldn't have taken it, but I'd have thought about it. . . .

Groucho Marx once said — and, Senator Cruz, that's Groucho Marx, not Karl. That's the other guy. Groucho Marx once told an audience, "Before I speak, I have something important to say." And along those same lines, I want to close on a more serious note.

Obviously, there has been no shortage of news to cover over these past few weeks. And these have been some very hard days for too many of our citizens. Even as we gather here tonight, our thoughts are not far from the people of Boston and the people of West, Texas. There are families in the Midwest who are coping with some terrible floods. So we've had some difficult days.

But even when the days seemed darkest, we have seen humanity shine at its brightest. We've seen first responders and National Guardsmen who have dashed into danger, law enforcement officers who lived their oath to serve and to protect, and everyday Americans who are opening their homes and their hearts to perfect strangers.

And we also saw journalists at their best — especially those who took the time to wade upstream through the torrent of digital rumors to chase down leads and verify facts and painstakingly put the pieces together to inform, and to educate, and to tell stories that demanded to be told.

If anyone wonders, for example, whether newspapers are a thing of the past, all you needed to do was to pick up or log on to papers like the Boston Globe. (Applause.) When their communities and the wider world needed them most, they were there making sense of events that might at first blush seem beyond our comprehension. And that's what great journalism is, and that's what great journalists do. . . .

Boston Marathon Twin Bombings
Posted on April 15, 2013

Our sympathies go out to the victims and their families in the horrible events today in Boston. Whoever was behind this is living in the illusion that hurting innocent people will result in good karma for them. However, violence will never result in anything positive. Those of us who are witness to this day can decide to pull together in care and love to strengthen our country.

Focus on What You Want
Posted on March 23, 2013

A recent message from Matthew mirrored the premise of my book, Dreaming Peace. He said:

You know that everything is energy vibrating at one frequency or another, and because energy is neutral and has no reasoning capacity, it can't differentiate between what is wanted and what is not. Consequently, as people's thoughts and feelings shoot out into space, the universe provides individuals with circumstances whose energy matches the energy of whatever they have been focusing on—the law of attraction that's in constant motion.

But most souls in your world do not know . . . They're concentrating on situations that they don't want to continue, thereby making more of them. Because so many people are sending out the energy of sad, angry and despairing thoughts and feelings about world situations, your society as a whole is affected by the result: the slow pace of change.

Read Dreaming Peace and learn to focus on goals and positive images. Click here to see the book at Amazon.com.

President Obama's Accomplishments
Posted on March 11, 2013

Despite non-stop obstruction from Republican legislators, President Obama has achieved many of his goals. Here is the latest list:

Washington Monthly
March/ April 2012

Obama's Top 50 Accomplishments
By Paul Glastris, Ryan Cooper, and Siyu Hu

1. Passed Health Care Reform: After five presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance, signed the Affordable Care Act (2010). It will cover 32 million uninsured Americans beginning in 2014 and mandates a suite of experimental measures to cut health care cost growth, the number one cause of America's long-term fiscal problems.

2. Passed the Stimulus: Signed $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to spur economic growth amid greatest recession since the Great Depression. Weeks after stimulus went into effect, unemployment claims began to subside. Twelve months later, the private sector began producing more jobs than it was losing, and it has continued to do so for twenty-three straight months, creating a total of nearly 3.7 million new private-sector jobs.

3. Passed Wall Street Reform: Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010) to re-regulate the financial sector after its practices caused the Great Recession. The new law tightens capital requirements on large banks and other financial institutions, requires derivatives to be sold on clearinghouses and exchanges, mandates that large banks provide "living wills" to avoid chaotic bankruptcies, limits their ability to trade with customers' money for their own profit, and creates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (now headed by Richard Cordray) to crack down on abusive lending products and companies.

4. Ended the War in Iraq: Ordered all U.S. military forces out of the country. Last troops left on December 18, 2011.

5. Began Drawdown of War in Afghanistan: From a peak of 101,000 troops in June 2011, U.S. forces are now down to 91,000, with 23,000 slated to leave by the end of summer 2012. According to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the combat mission there will be over by next year.

6. Eliminated Osama bin laden: In 2011, ordered special forces raid of secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in which the terrorist leader was killed and a trove of al-Qaeda documents was discovered.

7. Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry: In 2009, injected $62 billion in federal money (on top of $13.4 billion in loans from the Bush administration) into ailing GM and Chrysler in return for equity stakes and agreements for massive restructuring. Since bottoming out in 2009, the auto industry has added more than 100,000 jobs. In 2011, the Big Three automakers all gained market share for the first time in two decades. The government expects to lose $16 billion of its investment, less if the price of the GM stock it still owns increases.

8. Recapitalized Banks: In the midst of financial crisis, approved controversial Treasury Department plan to lure private capital into the country's largest banks via "stress tests" of their balance sheets and a public-private fund to buy their "toxic" assets. Got banks back on their feet at essentially zero cost to the government.

9. Repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell": Ended 1990s-era restriction and formalized new policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military for the first time.

10. Toppled Moammar Gaddafi: In March 2011, joined a coalition of European and Arab governments in military action, including air power and naval blockade, against Gaddafi regime to defend Libyan civilians and support rebel troops. Gaddafi's forty-two-year rule ended when the dictator was overthrown and killed by rebels on October 20, 2011. No American lives were lost.

11. Told Mubarak to Go: On February 1, 2011, publicly called on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to accept reform or step down, thus weakening the dictator's position and putting America on the right side of the Arab Spring. Mubarak ended thirty-year rule when overthrown on February 11.

12. Reversed Bush Torture Policies: Two days after taking office, nullified Bush-era rulings that had allowed detainees in U.S. custody to undergo certain "enhanced" interrogation techniques considered inhumane under the Geneva Conventions. Also released the secret Bush legal rulings supporting the use of these techniques.

13. Improved America's Image Abroad: With new policies, diplomacy, and rhetoric, reversed a sharp decline in world opinion toward the U.S. (and the corresponding loss of "soft power") during the Bush years. From 2008 to 2011, favorable opinion toward the United States rose in ten of fifteen countries surveyed by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, with an average increase of 26 percent.

14. Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, Expanded Pell Grant Spending: As part of the 2010 health care reform bill, signed measure ending the wasteful decades-old practice of subsidizing banks to provide college loans. Starting July 2010 all students began getting their federal student loans directly from the federal government. Treasury will save $67 billion over ten years, $36 billion of which will go to expanding Pell Grants to lower-income students.

15. Created Race to the Top: With funds from stimulus, started $4.35 billion program of competitive grants to encourage and reward states for education reform.

16. Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards: Released new fuel efficiency standards in 2011 that will nearly double the fuel economy for cars and trucks by 2025.

17. Coordinated International Response to Financial Crisis: To keep world economy out of recession in 2009 and 2010, helped secure from G-20 nations more than $500 billion for the IMF to provide lines of credit and other support to emerging market countries, which kept them liquid and avoided crises with their currencies.

18. Passed Mini Stimuli: To help families hurt by the recession and spur the economy as stimulus spending declined, signed series of measures (July 22, 2010; December 17, 2010; December 23, 2011) to extend unemployment insurance and cut payroll taxes.

19. Began Asia "Pivot": In 2011, reoriented American military and diplomatic priorities and focus from the Middle East and Europe to the Asian-Pacific region. Executed multipronged strategy of positively engaging China while reasserting U.S. leadership in the region by increasing American military presence and crafting new commercial, diplomatic, and military alliances with neighboring countries made uncomfortable by recent Chinese behavior.

20. Increased Support for Veterans: With so many soldiers coming home from Iraq and Iran with serious physical and mental health problems, yet facing long waits for services, increased 2010 Department of Veterans Affairs budget by 16 percent and 2011 budget by 10 percent. Also signed new GI bill offering $78 billion in tuition assistance over a decade, and provided multiple tax credits to encourage businesses to hire veterans.

21. Tightened Sanctions on Iran: In effort to deter Iran's nuclear program, signed Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (2010) to punish firms and individuals who aid Iran's petroleum sector. In late 2011 and early 2012, coordinated with other major Western powers to impose sanctions aimed at Iran's banks and with Japan, South Korea, and China to shift their oil purchases away from Iran.

22. Created Conditions to Begin Closing Dirtiest Power Plants: New EPA restrictions on mercury and toxic pollution, issued in December 2011, likely to lead to the closing of between sixty-eight and 231 of the nation's oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants. Estimated cost to utilities: at least $11 billion by 2016. Estimated health benefits: $59 billion to $140 billion. Will also significantly reduce carbon emissions and, with other regulations, comprises what's been called Obama's "stealth climate policy."

23. Passed Credit Card Reforms: Signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (2009), which prohibits credit card companies from raising rates without advance notification, mandates a grace period on interest rate increases, and strictly limits overdraft and other fees.

24. Eliminated Catch-22 in Pay Equality Laws: Signed Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, giving women who are paid less than men for the same work the right to sue their employers after they find out about the discrimination, even if that discrimination happened years ago. Under previous law, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the statute of limitations on such suits ran out 180 days after the alleged discrimination occurred, even if the victims never knew about it.

25. Protected Two Liberal Seats on the U.S. Supreme Court: Nominated and obtained confirmation for Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and third woman to serve, in 2009; and Elena Kagan, the fourth woman to serve, in 2010. They replaced David Souter and John Paul Stevens, respectively.

26. Improved Food Safety System: In 2011, signed FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which boosts the Food and Drug Administration's budget by $1.4 billion and expands its regulatory responsibilities to include increasing number of food inspections, issuing direct food recalls, and reviewing the current food safety practices of countries importing products into America.

27. Achieved New START Treaty: Signed with Russia (2010) and won ratification in Congress (2011) of treaty that limits each country to 1,550 strategic warheads (down from 2,200) and 700 launchers (down from more than 1,400), and reestablished and strengthened a monitoring and transparency program that had lapsed in 2009, through which each country can monitor the other.

28. Expanded National Service: Signed Serve America Act in 2009, which authorized a tripling of the size of AmeriCorps. Program grew 13 percent to 85,000 members across the country by 2012, when new House GOP majority refused to appropriate more funds for further expansion.

29. Expanded Wilderness and Watershed Protection: Signed Omnibus Public Lands Management Act (2009), which designated more than 2 million acres as wilderness, created thousands of miles of recreational and historic trails, and protected more than 1,000 miles of rivers.

30. Gave the FDA Power to Regulate Tobacco: Signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (2009). Nine years in the making and long resisted by the tobacco industry, the law mandates that tobacco manufacturers disclose all ingredients, obtain FDA approval for new tobacco products, and expand the size and prominence of cigarette warning labels, and bans the sale of misleadingly labeled "light" cigarette brands and tobacco sponsorship of entertainment events.

31. Pushed Federal Agencies to Be Green Leaders: Issued executive order in 2009 requiring all federal agencies to make plans to soften their environmental impacts by 2020. Goals include 30 percent reduction in fleet gasoline use, 26 percent boost in water efficiency, and sustainability requirements for 95 percent of all federal contracts. Because federal government is the country's single biggest purchaser of goods and services, likely to have ripple effects throughout the economy for years to come.

32. Passed Fair Sentencing Act: Signed 2010 legislation that reduces sentencing disparity between crack versus powder cocaine possession from 100 to 1 to 18 to 1.

33. Trimmed and Reoriented Missile Defense: Cut the Reagan-era "Star Wars" missile defense budget, saving $1.4 billion in 2010, and canceled plans to station antiballistic missile systems in Poland and the Czech Republic in favor of sea-based defense plan focused on Iran and North Korea.

34. Began Post-Post-9/11 Military Builddown: After winning agreement from congressional Republicans and Democrats in summer 2011 budget deal to reduce projected defense spending by $450 billion, proposed new DoD budget this year with cuts of that size and a new national defense strategy that would shrink ground forces from 570,000 to 490,000 over the next ten years while increasing programs in intelligence gathering and cyberwarfare.

35. Let Space Shuttle Die and Killed Planned Moon Mission: Allowed the expensive ($1 billion per launch), badly designed, dangerous shuttle program to make its final launch on July 8, 2011. Cut off funding for even more bloated and problem-plagued Bush-era Constellation program to build moon base in favor of support for private-sector low-earth orbit ventures, research on new rocket technologies for long-distance manned flight missions, and unmanned space exploration, including the largest interplanetary rover ever launched, which will investigate Mars's potential to support life.

36. Invested Heavily in Renewable Technology: As part of the 2009 stimulus, invested $90 billion, more than any previous administration, in research on smart grids, energy efficiency, electric cars, renewable electricity generation, cleaner coal, and biofuels.

37. Crafting Next-Generation School Tests: Devoted $330 million in stimulus money to pay two consortia of states and universities to create competing versions of new K-12 student performance tests based on latest psychometric research. New tests could transform the learning environment in vast majority of public school classrooms beginning in 2014.

38. Cracked Down on Bad For-Profit Colleges: In effort to fight predatory practices of some for-profit colleges, Department of Education issued "gainful employment" regulations in 2011 cutting off commercially focused schools from federal student aid funding if more than 35 percent of former students aren't paying off their loans and/or if the average former student spends more than 12 percent of his or her total earnings servicing student loans.

39. Improved School Nutrition: In coordination with Michelle Obama, signed Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010 mandating $4.5 billion spending boost and higher nutritional and health standards for school lunches. New rules based on the law, released in January, double the amount of fruits and vegetables and require only whole grains in food served to students.

40. Expanded Hate Crimes Protections: Signed Hate Crimes Prevention Act (2009), which expands existing hate crime protections to include crimes based on a victim's sexual orientation, gender, or disability, in addition to race, color, religion, or national origin.

41. Avoided Scandal: As of November 2011, served longer than any president in decades without a scandal, as measured by the appearance of the word "scandal" (or lack thereof) on the front page of the Washington Post.

42. Brokered Agreement for Speedy Compensation to Victims of Gulf Oil Spill: Though lacking statutory power to compel British Petroleum to act, used moral authority of his office to convince oil company to agree in 2010 to a $20 billion fund to compensate victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; $6.5 billion already paid out without lawsuits. By comparison, it took nearly two decades for plaintiffs in the Exxon Valdez Alaska oil spill case to receive $1.3 billion.

43. Created Recovery.gov: Web site run by independent board of inspectors general looking for fraud and abuse in stimulus spending, provides public with detailed information on every contract funded by $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Thanks partly to this transparency, board has uncovered very little fraud, and Web site has become national model: "The stimulus has done more to promote transparency at almost all levels of government than any piece of legislation in recent memory," reports Governing magazine.

44. Pushed Broadband Coverage: Proposed and obtained in 2011 Federal Communications Commission approval for a shift of $8 billion in subsidies away from landlines and toward broadband Internet for lower-income rural families.

45. Expanded Health Coverage for Children: Signed 2009 Children's Health Insurance Authorization Act, which allows the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to cover health care for 4 million more children, paid for by a tax increase on tobacco products.

46. Recognized the Dangers of Carbon Dioxide: In 2009, EPA declared carbon dioxide a pollutant, allowing the agency to regulate its production.

47. Expanded Stem Cell Research: In 2009, eliminated the Bush-era restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, which shows promise in treating spinal injuries, among many other areas.

48. Provided Payment to Wronged Minority Farmers: In 2009, signed Claims Resolution Act, which provided $4.6 billion in funding for a legal settlement with black and Native American farmers who the government cheated out of loans and natural resource royalties in years past.

49. Helped South Sudan Declare Independence: Helped South Sudan Declare Independence: Appointed two envoys to Sudan and personally attended a special UN meeting on the area. Through U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, helped negotiate a peaceful split in 2011.

50. Killed the F-22: In 2009, ended further purchases of Lockheed Martin single-seat, twin-engine, fighter aircraft, which cost $358 million apiece. Though the military had 187 built, the plane has never flown a single combat mission. Eliminating it saved $4 billion.

Show and Tell
Posted on March 8, 2013

Found this website for a bread company that I wanted to share. Click on "explore" - Go to Panera Bread Co. Baking bread has to be the most honest line of business, ever. Plus, this place uses natural ingredients and donates leftover bread to Feeding America and their Panera Cares Community Cafes. Have no idea where this place is, but it looks like fun.

Tarot Deck Revealed
Posted on March 8, 2013

To get a holistic understanding of the tarot deck, turn to the Surrealist.org Oracle Links page: click here to read Secret Order of the Tarot Deck. This information was revealed to me after hours (and a lifetime) of studying the tarot deck. Most people divide the cards by suit: wands, cups, pentacles, and swords, which correspond to clubs, hearts, diamonds, and spades in a regular playing deck. The tarot deck also has a Higher Arcana, which corresponds to archetypal symbols discussed in philosophical works by Carl Jung and others. In my analysis, I have divided the deck into a strata reaching from heaven down to hell. At the top are the planetary cards of the Higher Arcana, then the archetypal forces, then the human level, and at the bottom, the depths of hell. The hellish zones are controlled by the Hanged Man and the Tower.

I identified nine cards that represent the joys of human existence. My article suggests that we get to know these cards and try to attract more of this into our lives.

Those who are familiar with the tarot deck may enjoy reading my interpretation.* If you disagree with anything or want to correct or add something, please contact me.*

Budget Deficit Facts
Posted on March 6, 2013

The deficit has been going down steadily during President Obama's term.

These charts show that the media has not told you the true story. The president has a good plan and things would be a lot better if the Republicans would cooperate with him and stop with all the obstruction.

Practical Advice for Getting Unstuck
Posted on March 2, 2013

Due to our poor communication skills and fatalistic attitudes, instead of managing risk, people cling to it, meditate on it, and feel vindicated when the next bad thing happens. If we focus only on a bad future, we will miss opportunities to improve things, somewhat like brainwashing ourselves into defeat. I remember an email that went around after 9/11, stating that no civilization had ever lasted longer than two thousand years. First of all it is not true, but more important, lies like that are meant as propaganda to make people give up.

Fearful negative thinkers look for the dark cloud within the silver lining, and refuse to acknowledge humanity's potential. This is especially true on TV, radio, and Internet political news shows. Before the twenty-four hour news cycle started in the 1990s, news programs were a public service to inform us of the events, interests, and inventions of the day. News anchors in the tradition of Walter Cronkite gave it to us straight without too much over-interpretation. The talk shows were traditionally on weekends. Nowadays, everybody thinks they host a talk show. News anchors pick a couple subjects and then line up an hour's worth of panels to talk every issue to death. The slick P.R. companies and think tanks have decided for us that scary news brings higher ratings. Thus we are stuck. To find out the news these days, we must wade into an ocean of lies and negative talk.

One of our biggest problems in America is the way we govern ourselves, however, that has been common knowledge for at least a hundred years. Describing a character in one of his short stories, Mark Twain said:

[Jim] grew up, and married, and raised a large family, and brained them all with an ax one night, and got wealthy by all manner of cheating and rascality, and now he is the infernalest wickedest scoundrel in his native village, and is universally respected, and belongs to the legislature.

While Twain allows us to laugh about our misfortune, it would be a generalization to say that all politicians are all as bad as Jim. There must come a time when we all cease to tolerate immature behavior from our leaders. Peacemakers throughout history encourage us to persevere in our struggle for justice. During the Civil Rights movement, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." Progress is happening, but it may be so slow at times that people become discouraged and frightened.

The peaceful warrior's way to combat tyrants is to see them as human beings and hear their cry for love. They are not monsters, aliens, or devils. They want to hurt us, yes, but they were also hurt. They could be fixated in a childhood abuse trauma, or have another psychiatric disability that makes them dangerous as leaders. However, armed with compassion, other people's suffering should not scare you, sicken you, or make you feel hateful. If you can see your enemies as yourself and have compassion for them, you take a big step toward a finer destiny. Even if you just inspire two people and your cat, you are doing your part in humanity's leap into a better future.

Do Republicans Care about America?
Posted on February 25, 2013

What could explain why Republican legislators repeatedly try to crash the economy? Every month or two they seem to have the rest of us over a barrel, threatening to destroy our safety net, our nation's credit rating, people's retirements, etc. Everyone thinks they do this because they hate President Obama. In other words, they wreck the economy, then blame it on him. He will take some of the blame, naturally, but this does not make sense as a political strategy. We suspect there must be something else motivating the Republicans.

Yes, they hate President Obama, but they also hate the American way of life. Our collective efforts have made this country the envy of the world at times. In past decades we had a government that cared about its people, wishing to raise the population up through education and government assistance. Yes, government interferes in people's lives, but it is usually an outstretched hand offering money, food, shelter, and other basic necessities of life. When the government seeks to regulate, it is usually to help build a foundation for commerce, and to protect people's rights. Now the Republicans seek to take all that away from us and plunge America into third world status. They seem to only want to protect rich people from having to pay more tax. It appears that they would rather the rest of us go to hell. Well, here we go, I guess . . . .

A Not So Humorous Look at the American Political Spectrum
Posted on February 21, 2013

Here is an up-to-date list of America's political parties, covering the spectrum from left to right.

ultra-liberal Democrats: the worst nightmare of Fox News, and ironically closest on the spectrum to the other side, as seen in their authoritarian views of what should be

liberal Democrats: includes pacifists and people like me who are liberal on every issue; people who want social justice

Green Party: friendly hippies who want to save the earth and its inhabitants, and legalize marijuana

progressive Democrats: active folks who work for the people, want to see everyone move forward as one

democrat party: a big tent of all progressives and all Democrats, including those Democrats who give in to Republicans because they want the Republicans to like them and not be mad

left-leaning independents: those who are skeptical of both main parties, but tend to share Democratic party values and vote for Democrats

left-leaning libertarians: people who share many liberal values, but hold libertarian views such as "every man for himself" and "smaller government"

right-leaning libertarians: people who want to legalize marijuana, and who believe in states' rights, civil rights, and individual freedoms; however, they also believe in "every man for himself," "smaller government," etc., so they tend to vote for right-wingers

pro-life (with exceptions for rape and the life of the mother): a dying breed of ordinary Christians who believe that life begins at conception, but who are not pushy about their beliefs (these people exist on the right and left side of the spectrum, and actually fall right in the middle of the political spectrum)

old Republican party: a dying breed of Republicans who want to take care of America and believe they can make this a place better

right-leaning independents: skeptical of both main parties, but tend to vote for Republicans; may believe in conspiracy theories that alienate them from the mainstream

Tea Party: dislike both parties, vote for candidates who wish to tear down the American government; may believe in conspiracy theories

Tea Party extremists: revel in the idea of destroying the American government; believe in most conspiracy theories; believe they can break the law for their cause

pro-life (with no exceptions; also anti birth control): would rather see a woman die than lose a fetus; against birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancy

secessionist NRA fundamentalists: people whose vision for America mirrors violent dystopian science fiction movies

Analysis: I have identified fifteen strands of political belief in America. Now, let us crunch some numbers.

Median: At the center of the political spectrum are moderate pro-life Christians and Catholics who used to vote Republican as single - issue voters. They are voting for Democrats these days and may also be pacifists who oppose war and capital punishment as part of their pro-life platform.

Bell curve: If we did a bell curve based on how many people identify with each group, we would find that most Americans identify with the Democratic party. Off on the far edges of the bell curve would be the smallest factions: Tea Party extremists, pro-life extremists, and NRA fanatics.

The spectrum has probably remained about the same over many years. The one big difference could be that recently, the extremists on the far right wing became activated and got some of their own people elected into office. Let us review how that happened. The Tea Party came out as a reaction to President Obama's election in 2008. Corporate interests funded the Tea Party, hoping to take over the government. However, their monster turned on them and now threatens to destroy the country. At least they act like they want to destroy the economy because they chip away at it every few months with their series of crises. The Republican legislators have all joined together to support the goals of the extremist fringe. What a disaster we have on our hands. Not at all funny or attractive.

Well, that's the news today, have a great day! Yes, it snowed in Tucson and Phoenix, but we did not get any out here.

With Loving Gratitude for the New Year
Posted on February 20, 2013

Well into 2013, for most people, life goes on. The vast majority of the human race is tending to responsibilities, pursuing individual interests. A slim minority had been sure the world would end last December. For them, 2013 must come as a relief. Rather than the end of the world, nothing much changed. However, the world is changing incrementally.

We are the first generation of people to live on the Internet. While it is materially just a system of computers, spiritually it is a network that unites us in ways most of us could never have imagined twenty years ago. In a small electronic device, we can access libraries of information, communicate, collaborate., and share our creations. The telegraph made the world seem smaller in the 1700s and 1800s, then radio, television, telephones, and jets made it seem still smaller and more close knit in the twentieth century. Now the Internet has about made the world as small as an iPhone. Not only that, but we have just begun to see the Internet's potential for linking us all together in beneficial relationships.

This is a time to feel positive, optimistic, enthusiastic, and victorious. The human race has come a long way in the eighty years since the last big depression. Many of us learned the lessons and we are ready to put in the fix and move forward. However others among us are slumbering. Our prayers are with you sleepyheads to come along with us, even if you are only half conscious. We love everyone and want to move forward as one humanity. This is a co-creative process with the higher power, and we pray for the peace of god's light to pull us through.

It is true now, and it has always been true: we hold the power within to make the world what we want it to be. It is not only within our power, but it is our responsibility. It is a fait accompli, but in linear time, we still have a few more miles to the finish. What comes next is to restore the earth through a web of love that encompasses the human race, animal nations, plants, and all forms of life. Disillusionment or despair now would only delay humanity's birthright and destiny. Our earth mother Gaia holds this vision for us and we are closer to fulfilling it now than at any time in the last eighty years.

Sure, there are bad fights going on. Enemies are like anti-soulmates, and due to past deeds, they may feel estranged and angry. However, like all soulmates, they are inevitably and irresistibly drawn to each other. You can kill off your enemies a hundred times, but like attracts like, and you will soon be at it again with your anti-soulmate, or someone you identify as a stand-in. If you think of how people in a dysfunctional relationship abuse one another, you can get an idea of the reasons for our big mess this day. But love and communication will get us through this impasse.

In this new Internet age many things have changed. However, the future of earth still depends on the choices each of us makes, and the cumulative choices make up the collective consciousness. Therefore, let us focus on what we want, and not dwell too much on the big mess things are right now. Let's not lament conditions or talk bad about people who do not share our views. Be steadfast in the light. Let our thoughts and feelings about life be with nature, abundance of goodness, and a positive future.

As spiritual awareness continues to expand, all people will understand that violence breeds only more violence. We will learn how to show kindness and respect, thus instead of always fighting amongst ourselves, we will put our energy into solving the problems we face. Good citizens all around the world are standing up to demand solutions. Our voices will force the governments and powers that be to take action. Again, many amongst us are still slumbering, but we pray that the awakened souls will guide us all.

Posted on February 8, 2013

Grandfather - look at our brokenness - - we know that in all creation - only the human family - has strayed from the sacred way — we know that we are the ones - who are divided - and we are the ones - who must come back together - to walk in the sacred way - - grandfather - sacred one - teach us love, compassion, and honor - that we may heal the earth - and heal each other.

Unhealthy Food: Proof
Posted on February 7, 2013

Ever wonder why fried or fatty foods make your heart hurt? Many people have their heart attacks after an unhealthy meal. Here is an article from Health magazine, Jan.-Feb. 2013, quoting Dr. Hensrud of the Mayo Clinic. He says fatty food floods your bloodstream with unhealthy fat, choking out your oxygen supply. It only makes sense.

The Remedy

If you feel your system flooded with bad oil here are some things you can do. Disclaimer: this advice is directed to people in a preventive stage, not for people already seeing an MD for heart problems. If you feel "ugh" after heavy food, take digestive enzymes to get things digesting, and take Co-Q-10 to get more oxygen in your blood. Take mega doses of Vitamin C, one of the best natural supplements for heart and circulatory health.

Long term good advice: consume fine oils like algae or fish oils for EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids), and cook with light oils like grape seed, flax, hemp, and others available in the cooler section of your local health food market.

Strive to eat fewer and smaller servings of "heavy" foods. Heavy can be defined as fried food, snack foods, fast foods, meat; butter and other whole milk products; fatty nuts like peanuts, pistachios, and cashews; hydrogenated and other heavy cooking oils like corn or peanut oil; tropical oils like palm and coconut. Good luck getting anything to eat around here!

A Prayer for Free Skies
Posted on February 5, 2013

We pray for skies that are safe, contrition from the perpetrators of war, and the end of drone bombing when this war's scheduled ending arrives.

On the other side of the equation, we pray for peace in the hearts and behaviors of the American government's enemies, external and internal. The federal government of the United States is not necessarily the cause of your misery. Your aggression sets in motion a spiral of violence that attracts more violence. If you pick on America, you picked a formidable enemy on which to project your inner hurt and needs for revenge. Maybe America did hurt you, but acting out with violence is wrong. You will get more sympathy and better results through non-violent words and clear communication.

DSM New Category: "Homicidal Personality Disorder"
Posted on January 31, 2013

At this time, all counselors are required to report child abuse. For example, if a minor aged patient tells a counselor that her mother's boyfriend is molesting her, the counselor is obligated to report this to authorities. Failure to do so could result in loss of license. Same thing if a patient reveals knowledge of ongoing physical or sexual abuse of a child.

Therefore, I recommend a new category for the DSM: "Homicidal Personality Disorder." The criteria would have to be worked out, but if someone tells a counselor they want to kill their employer, teacher, spouse, or co-worker, the counselor would diagnose Homicidal Personality Disorder (HPD), and under requirement of law, report it. This reporting would ban the HPD person from buying any new guns.

("DSM" stands for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which is a publication of the American Psychiatric Association. All counselors use the DSM codes for diagnosing psychiatric disorders. It updates every few years and I encourage the DSM committee to consider Homicidal Personality Disorder and mandatory reporting.)

Editorial: Surrealist's Take on 60 Minutes Interview Posted on January 28, 2013

President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton went on 60 Minutes last night and answered a wide range of questions from Steve Kroft. Today everybody is trying to read some hidden mean into it. After all, the president called 60 Minutes, not the other way around. What's it really about? Is it for Hillary running for president in four years? That seems like a long time off. But what were they trying to convey????

Now for my take on it, on behalf of Surrealist.org News. This morning I had a dream that I would like to share. From my dream journal:

On a TV show, a gun event. All the people are supposed to hold their guns up and pull the triggers to prove they are empty. One man puts a loaded gun to his own head to commit suicide. Hillary Clinton sees it and says "stop" and forces him to put it down.

My interpretation upon awakening was that Hillary wants to get the GOP to stop what they are doing to themselves. We have been watching a hideous display from them for long enough. In the interview, it was as though she was telling them: "Empty your gun, point it upward, and click the trigger. Then we can work on trusting each other."

Watching the interview made me happy. In this time of strife in the political sphere, it showed how people can create a surplus of good will in their working relationships. Plus, they have a welcoming tone, like "Join us, we have a plan." It was not a stern, top-down, authoritarian lecture full of new rules we have to live up to. These are just my opinions. If you watched the interview, tell me what you think it means!

United States of Love Posted on January 28, 2013

Well, with Monday come the parade of pundits on my TV and radio telling me what to fear next. Everything seems okay to me; still basking in our collective successes. It may get worse and I will have to unplug my TV. Haven't we suffered enough? Everyone alive and following politics today has lived through the Bush Administration. The lessons of life are not just in some distant memory like Vietnam, the Nixon Administration, or the Great Depression. People living right now have been through the worst.

As a society, we have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and create a better future. Plus, this would not be the first opportunity, just the one that is before us at this time. Instead of looking around for scraps of things to worry about, how about if we take a stand on the side of truth, love, and transparency? Maybe it is time for the Pray for Peace Plan.* We are evolving and learning to overcome our problems, not doomed forever to remain victims who repeat the same mistakes forever and ever. That is also the subject of Dreaming Peace, which is selling the best of all my books.

Pray for Peace News - Online Since 1996 Posted on January 20, 2013

Surrealist.org News is one of the longest running blogs on the Internet, having started as Pray for Peace News in 1996. At first it was an email and mailed out newsletter. Then in 1998 it went online as a blog page and newsletter. The name changed to Surrealist News when it became a WordPress publication at the end of 2010. To visit Pray for Peace, click here.

American citizens who support culture peace welcome you to Pray for Peace News We affirm a peaceful social discourse in a world where all people count.

Good Things about the 1960s Posted on January 16, 2013

There are many good things about the past that we could use now. I do not suggest that we bring back everything about the 1960s. Certainly nobody wants to relive the bad parts of that flashback. But the decade had a lot of good, too. Nobody had to worry about outbreaks of gun violence. There were no mass murders, very few serial killers. Heck, back in the 1960s many people did not even feel the need to lock their front door. People bought a car, put the key in the ignition, and left it there until the day they sold it. Crime statistics are usually based on how many teenagers exist at any given time, but even with the Baby Boom, the 1960s were safer.

For another thing, our country was more united. We still saw ourselves as the top world celebrity for helping to win World War II. Millions of men went through college on the G.I. Bill, graduated, and applied their degrees to profitable careers. Many of these men put their children through college, as well. The economy was booming and we spent the money eliminating poverty.

There was no big housing market bubble. Houses were affordable, and an average couple could afford a house based on just one partner working. The streets were clean; the neighborhoods were happy. Families could stay together because they could afford their bills and expenses for their children.The average mother could stay home with her children and play games with them all day, if that was what she preferred. This may seem old fashioned. It was for a while, but now it seems nostalgic. Given, at the time women were frowned upon for taking a man's job, but nowadays women are forced to work to make ends meet.

Healthcare was cheap and readily available. You could visit the emergency ward for $10 and there was no waiting line. Insurance companies were honest and not greedy. Your friendly neighborhood insurance salesman managed your account and you did not have to call a faceless network of telephone agents to get help. Of course, all insurance companies were stubborn, but there was not this widespread fraud and greed that rules the health insurance markets now.

Back in the day, this army of college educated men could expect to get great jobs. Even blue collar workers got their training in a community college on the G.I. Bill and made a good living wage at their jobs. Unions and an educated public made the middle class feel extremely secure. One time I asked my mother how much my father made. She told me not to worry about the exact number, or compare it to what other children said about their fathers, but to just know we have enough.

America was a better place back then for many reasons and I miss it. For the youngsters, here are a few things that are better now:

Electronic gadgets. We had no iPhones,iPods, iPads, or even computers. The cutting edge machine at that time was the typewriter. Virtually nobody had photocopy machines. If you wanted copies, you had to use a mimeograph machine.

Diversity. The American dream of equality for all is closer now than when I was young. This is one advantage of the 00s. You would not want to live in a world like it was back in the 1960s, although we still see pockets of those old attitudes in America today. Those are coming to light now, but it was much denser and more widespread fifty years ago.

Communication. We have thousands of books on how to communicate, which help many people. Parents can choose from hundreds of parenting books. Back in the 1960s there was only one parenting book: Baby and Child Care by Dr. Spock.

Media. We had great TV shows, movies, and music back in the 1960s. Ours have become classics. I wish the same for you. Our music was universal, since just about everyone listened to top forty back then. But there were fewer people on the planet, so maybe you need more kinds of music nowadays.

Food. A few alternative types have always been into organic vegetarian food, but back in the 1960s, it was rare. Nowadays, every big city has at least one natural foods grocery store. Many mainstream markets have natural food aisles. Most restaurants have at least one vegetarian entree, or can put something together. Same for natural healing. Naturopaths, acupuncturists, massage therapists, chiropractors, and other natural healers are abundant and available.

American Peace Posted on January 12, 2013

Affirmations for peace in America:

We envision America as a safe, friendly, and peaceful heart, surrounded by the loving arms of the other countries of the American continents.

We envision safety, goodness, friendliness, and benevolence whenever we give our attention to America.

We invite angels to weave a web of love in the country that brings friendship and love where there was fear. We pray for peace—we pray to live in a world where love prevails.

Lessons of Lincoln Posted on January 12, 2013

On Politics Nation, MSNBC, 1/10/2013, Dana Milbank commented on the movie, Lincoln:

"What the movie helped to show, and what the studying of Lincoln shows, is that even this most sainted figure in our history had to deal with horse trading, and even essentially forms of bribery, and lots of moral ambiguity. We learned that he prolonged bloodshed in the war so he could get the thirteenth amendment through. He tried to buy votes from Democrats by offering them federal jobs, and he misled the public on the state of peace talks."

The sad truth of the moral ambiguity is that while it helped President Abraham Lincoln get things done, it may have also gotten him assassinated. He obviously made somebody mad enough to justify killing him. Therefore, we can be inspired by Lincoln's accomplishments, but also learn from his mistakes. Cooperation is better than a coup, and consensus lasts longer than force.

Gun Laws and Taxes Posted on January 7, 2013

The political spectrum is formed around what each person would regulate more or less tightly. For example, right-wing Christians want more regulation on women's reproductive choices; left-wingers generally want more regulation on guns. As far as taxes, smart people (even rich people) want fair taxes; ultra-right wing aristocrats want no taxes on themselves, even if the poor and unhealthy must live on the streets, and all our bridges fall down. As a smart left winger, I am in favor of women's freedom, fewer guns, lower taxes on the middle class, and higher taxes on the rich. I am for funding the Post Office, instead of making them pay into funds. As a matter of fact, this political blog started in 1996, and I am still promoting smart pro-American values.

A few words about guns: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." I believe the people who own guns should be on the side of the government. Keeping guns to overthrow the government should be illegal. Many right-wing gun rights advocates say they need the assault rifles to fight off a hostile federal government. That is contrary to seeing oneself as part of a well regulated militia, in the sense it was intended. You can consider me a non-armed member of the dream of American well regulated militia, because I have always loved this country, and cared about the people's welfare since I was a child.

A few words about taxes. As mentioned before, I believe the rich should do their patriotic duty and support the country through this time of recovery. Taxes on the middle class could be lower if the rich earners' taxes were higher. Here's how I would structure it: anyone making less than $25k pays no income tax and does not have to file; the middle class rate is 25% (instead of 32% as it is now); more than $250k the rate is 36%, more than $500k a year the rate is 39%, and more than $700k the rate is 42%. Usually the ultra-rich pay only 15% because it is all in capital gains, but in my plan they would pay a true 42%. I have been hammering these tax brackets for the last two years, and I wish someone would listen to me.

Also, I believe the deal they struck on the fiscal cliff debate was great. For one thing, people who earn $250 or $350k a year are protected. Heck, you can flip a house and earn more than that. However, that would be capital gains taxes anyway. But this divides the average American Joe who can earn $350k in a year from the ultra-rich $50 million bonus package CEO. Same with the estate tax. If someone dies with a house or a farm, it means they may have to pay estate tax. Raising it a bit makes sense. However, some of those high rollers who make millions in one year get it by mistreating workers and bankrupting companies. As of the fiscal cliff deal, we now have a Grand Canyon of blank space between the Average Joes here and the aristocrats.

My progressive tax schedule would prevent a permanent aristocracy in America. Higher taxes on the ultra-rich will weaken their ability to buy politicians and manipulate the system through deregulation, allowing monopolies, etc.

"They are mean spirited, grabby liars; they love only guns and money!" "What do you call that act?" "The Aristocrats."

2013 - A Cry for Love in America
Posted on January 2, 2013

Last night in a stunning conclusion to the fiscal cliff drama, we avoided driving the car over the cliff. Congress solved its self-inflicted crisis. Hooray. Immediately after the shared victory, politicians and pundits went wild. As mortal beings with the flaw of aggression, they pounced on each other with threats. "There's another fight on the way! We will break your precious little economy next time, suckers," and cries of despair: "These bad men are out to get us." This is the archetypal perpetrator-victim dance that has played out on earth for thousands of years. It is just too easy to fight someone else to express one's own inner feelings of hatred and fear. And this boils down to a cry for love.

When I break down—usually in a fit of helplessness with a tech support or customer service agent—it makes me feel bad about myself. Like, what is wrong with me that I raise my voice at someone I don't even know, who is trying to help me? The answer for me is that the support I needed all my life has been absent. I have always felt abandoned, and that has made me miserable at times. And I believe this is a common experience of a large number of fellow human beings. Our essence is love, yet generally we go through life isolated, even unable to accept love when it it offered.

We get angry as a cry for love. "You didn't call me" (I wish you showed your love more often). "Oh, so you have other plans. Now I'm a second-rate friend?" (I feel inferior to your other friend), "Who was that other man [or] woman I saw you with?" (I feel inadequate and unlovable), etc.

In the case of a psychopathic bully: "I will break all your toys because you would reject me anyway. Nobody wants to be friends with me. I hate everybody who might hate me, especially you."

The next fiscal battle is a few months away. We have time to live as love for at least a month. The angry pundits and talking heads on TV may decide to bark at each other solid for the next three months. Meanwhile, a growing number of people will project prayers of love onto the situation. Compassionate people know that deep down inside, most of those in Congress want to preserve the good things about America. They do not want to drive the country into bankruptcy or wreck the world economy. After all, the people in Congress are human beings, not devils. Maybe they are a little brainwashed, but this may be a good time for them to grow out of it.

There will always be angry pundits to take care of the hate and fear department. Their dire predictions are a dime a dozen. Instead of growing as fearful as they recommend, let's respond with thoughts, words, and actions of compassionate love.

Editor's note: January 3, the first day of the 113th congress, the Republicans put on a big drama about how uncooperative they plan to be. They made it clear that they plan to obstruct any plans to heal the economy. Their only goals will be to cut taxes for the rich and shred the social safety net, and they still refuse to believe the president is American. They behaved like out of control children all day. This is a cry for love. Further, a cry for consequences. Bullies need consequences for their psychopathic behaviors is they are to change. It takes strong, non-violent, and consistent discipline to make them change.

End of 2012 Dragons
Posted on December 30, 2012

As the year of the dragon draws to a close in about a month, the dragons are coming home to roost. Here is a new collection that moved in at my place today.

Click here to see all the new dragons.

View from the Fiscal Negotiation Mountain Posted on December 20, 2012

I believe they are trying, but Speaker John Boehner offered a Plan B that would raise taxes only on those making more than a million a year. We believe this could work if the tax rate for millionaires went up to fifty percent. Tax cuts on the first million, and fifty percent on everything after that. That way the ultra rich could bail out the country.

Otherwise, I believe that anybody making more than $250k or $300k should pay more. However, people making more than a million should have their own tax bracket that is higher. If someone cannot get by on a million a year, there is something wrong with their spending habits. Most of us must get by on $50k or $80k a year. If we can do it, those smart ultra rich folks should get by and pay more taxes too.

P.S. As of this evening, Speaker Boehner pulled his own bill.

Making Sense of Tragedy
Posted on December 18, 2012

The fact is that America has three hundred million guns, enough for every man, woman, and child in the country. However, about twenty percent of the citizens own the bulk of the guns. Among these are military weapons that spray bullets, meant for killing people in a military battle.The fact is that this is one of the worst in a series of gun massacres that happen more frequently as ownership of military-style guns increases.The fact is that things must change. Like President Obama said, we have to change if we want to stop the massacres.At this time it is fair to assume that the gunman planned and executed this disaster on his own. Nobody in the government planned it. There is no conspiracy to "take away our guns and send us all to concentration camps," as a delusional caller said this morning on the radio. There is no plan to put masses of Americans in concentration camps.This was not god's revenge, as Fred Phelps of Westborrow Baptist Church said. They plan to picket the memorials for the victims (see article).The fact is that we have a lot of broken, violent children in this country. We need to address the mental health issues, alienation in society, and all the issues, including gun laws. Here is a good article by Rosie DiManno, which sets the correct tone for responding to this tragedy: Toronto Star.

Tears for Sandy Hook Elementary School
Posted on December 15, 2012

The ground has moved under us again. It was going to be a merry Christmas around here with the lights, cards on the way, a tree. . . . but then yesterday, news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School came on the TV and I left it on all day. We are allowed to cry during the holidays. It would be insane to just brush this off and pretend to be happy. I pray for the families.

Whatever drove the gunman to do this, it is clear he was mentally handicapped. If we could learn one thing, let's make counseling available to anybody who wants it. Just walk in and get counseling, and stay in counseling for years, if that's what it takes. I pray there is room for counseling in our healthcare budget next year.

And throughout society, let's have more openness about child abuse. The more openness, the more likely we are to learn how to protect children. This young man may have been a childhood victim of abuse. A hallmark symptom of abuse is rage.

End of the World 2012?
Posted on December 9, 2012

Yesterday in The New York Times, Maureen Dowd wrote:

The Mayans were right, as it turns out, when they predicted the world would end in 2012. It was just a select world: the G.O.P. universe of arrogant, uptight, entitled, bossy, retrogressive white guys. Just another vanishing tribe that fought the cultural and demographic tides of history.

That is a great observation, and here at Surrealist.org we agree. The new age will be great for people already humbled by life. For those who have inflicted suffering on others to get their wealth, the time of consequences may have finally arrived. However, after the judgment, the denouement for the arrogant, uptight, entitled, bossy, retrogressive white guys is the point in the story where they change. The message from their story is grow, change, open up to the world, or be damned as misers for all time. Let's see the rich white man show some patriotic spirit and bail the US out instead of the other way around. We helped them when they were down, now in a position to help us, they must act.

Senate Sticks
Posted on December 7, 2012

Following is a list of Republicans who stood in the way of ratifying the treaty to protect the disabled in other countries. They were mean to do it in front of honored elder Republican senator and presidential candidate, who was in the chamber.

Alexander (R-TN)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA) - I remember the lies he told about the esteemed Senator Max Cleland in 2002
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC) - he just resigned, was one of the most extreme
Enzi (R-WY)

Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT) - what happened to him, used to sem more reasonable
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ) - as a longtime resident of Arizona, I apologize for him
Lee (R-UT)
McConnell (R-KY) - losing his grip, sad to witness

Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY) - idealistic angry youth
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL) - hear a lot about him, but I will have to look him up
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

How Bad are You?
Posted on December 4, 2012

This holiday season I want all my relations to be happy, not running around worried about offending me. Or vice-versa. And what to speak of anonymous abuse of professionals such as tech support agents, sales people, telephone operators, and real estate agents. I never took crap from people like I did when I was a Realtor. Some people must hate Realtors pretty bad! I got yelled at by total strangers!

It is my belief that the small cuts and bruises of daily life usually heal. For example, if your feelers get hurt, the microbial life in your immune system will come to the rescue. First they will assure you that you can heal, then soon you are feeling good again. Likewise, if you drop trash on someone in a moment of helpless rage, the strong microbial force of the earth will rush in and start to break down your trash. However, we need not become a nation of feeler-hurting litterbugs. Thus the need for the menace to society scale. Here for the first time, you can rate yourself. The goal is to be a person who gets a high score. The lower your score, the more you would benefit from a 12-Step group, a counselor, or group therapy. The rest of you, party on! It's the end of another year!

Surrealist.org Menace to Society Scale

1. How much of yourself do you feel comfortable sharing with others?
Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10, where one is nothing and ten is everything. Give yourself only one point for your humanity if you are cult-leader-level bad ass crazy with a closet full of skeletons.

2. How well do you forgive yourself and others?
Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10, where a low score is someone who pretends to forgive just to make other people feel better. Give yourself a low score if you always carry old hurts and treat people angry or passive aggressive, including in traffic. On the other hand, give yourself a high score even if you carry anger from actual abuse, especially if the abuser(s) never paid for what they did. Give yourself the highest score if the abusers are the only people you cannot forgive, but you always forgive yourself and others.

3. How much of the time are you on your good behavior?
Rate yourself 1-10, where ten is a hundred percent of the time. We all hit the wall once in a while; have a meltdown or a hissy fit. Watch out for your level of denial if you give yourself a ten.

4. Do you sustain yourself through honest means? How cruelty-free is the source of your money?
Rate yourself 1-10. I include this because if you make your living in some shady way, or by destroying the earth or people's lives, you must reconcile any resulting abuse into your abuse profile. If you are doing honest work as a debt collector, policeman, etc., you may feel like you ruined someone's life, but delivering justice is honest work.

Does this make everybody feel better? Let's enjoy the rest of the year.

Budget Negotiations Language
Posted on December 1, 2012

The right wing framed these negotiations as the "fiscal cliff" because if the legislators fail to reach a deal, all the Bush tax cuts will expire and automatic cuts will ensue, especially on the military budget. However, many people are complaining about the words "fiscal cliff" because it sounds so dangerous. Nobody wants to go over a cliff. A few news people are now referring to it as the "fiscal curb" or the "so-called fiscal cliff."

The problem with this is that it still frames the issue as a cliff, or a non-cliff. But the idea of danger is still there, and the issue is still framed in the right-wing language. A non-cliff still brings to mind a real cliff.

Instead of accepting the right-wing frame job, I propose that we call it "budget negotiations" or "an opportunity to let the Bush tax cuts expire." The main advantage in these negotiations is that the Bush tax cuts might expire. That would be a good, clean break because the Bush tax are probably loaded up with a bunch of evil stuff.

I say let them expire, then they can write new, more effective laws once the new Congress is sworn in. Everyone wants "no deal" rather than a "bad deal." So stop calling it a cliff of any kind, including a curb-like cliff.

Anonymous, Karl Rove, and the 2012 Election
Posted on November 21, 2012

Due to taboos in the American culture, the mainstream media is reluctant to address the issue of Republican election tampering. However, the scandal could come to light anyway.

Rumor has it that the group Anonymous monitored the vote count and prevented Karl Rove's software from swinging the election this year. Anonymous could explain Karl Rove's thirty minute temper tantrum on Fox News just after the media called Ohio—and the election—for President Obama.

If the rumor is true, Anonymous has done a good turn for America and the world. Anonymous is essentially made up of the children of Scientology and their friends. While Scientologists are busy hating on everything, hooking converts up to machines to monitor their brainwaves, and watching people overdose in drug rehab facilities, the children of Scientology are the ones saving the world. Kudos to Anonymous. I love you kids. If this conspiracy is true, I encourage you to get the word out. You can do it!

The rest of us need to get over our stupid taboos. We know in our gut it is true: desperate Republican men have swayed the results of at least two major elections. It is almost time to open our eyes and wake up. Some taboos are good. For example, we know it is wrong to lie or kill. However, we get these fake Victorian Era taboos stuck in our gut and cannot let them go. Maybe it used to be wrong, but now it is okay to call out a liar or a killer. It is okay to stand up to authorities. It is okay to have one set of laws for everyone, even the religious zealots and extremely wealthy.

It is especially okay to look directly at a violation of justice and call it for what it is. That is okay! Even if the perpetrator is someone near and dear. It is better to live in a world of truth because it helps us make better decisions about the future. And what was wrong with the Victorian Era anyway? For one thing the Queen was so wrapped up in her own drama of ruling England that she neglected her son. She had a boy who remained a prince until old age, when he was what some historians characterize as beaten down and bitter as a king. Plus, all sorts of lies were overlooked, especially child abuse. Do we want to go forward into the future, or remain stuck in the Victorian Era? Remember, it officially ended in 1901 when Queen Victoria died.

Last Act of the Civil War
Posted on November 16, 2012

Many Americans have ancestors who fought in the Civil War, as I do, but when will the Civil War end? Must we replay our ancestors' horrors of discontent for eternity?

It is the r-wingers who wanted to break away from the USA in the 1860s, especially with the election of President Abraham Lincoln. Now with the re-election of President Barack Obama, it is the r-wingers again who want to break up the union again. They are much like children who want to break their toys so other children cannot play with them.

Here is a terribly misleading quotation, which seems ironic today:

Haven't we all heard some irritating person saying that if so-and-so is elected, then he/she is absolutely definitely leaving the country? There must be some reason why it is mainly liberals who tend to say this . . . but the chief thing to note about the promise is that it is usually an empty one.

- Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) quotation originally published in an article in the Atlantic Monthly, December 2008; republished in "Thoughts on the Election," Forbes magazine, November 19, 2012 edition.

As a liberal, I have thought about leaving the country over politics, but being a realist, I never considered it very hard. For one thing, where would I go? And secondly, the American president affects the whole world, so leaving would not solve my problems. However, the r-wingers are endlessly projecting things on liberals. That may account for why the late Christopher Hitchens accused liberals of making empty threats about leaving the country.

Now we have r-wingers from all fifty states signing petitions at the White House website to secede from the USA. President Obama previously said that he would consider any petition at whitehouse.gov that got more than 25,000 signatures.

To counteract this age old curse on our country, here are two petitions that ask the rebels to calm down. Take a chill pill. However, if they really want to secede, they should be treated as traitors to the country and exiled. Second, before they go, they need to pay back everything the federal government has given them. The red states are the recipients of federal funds that exceed what their citizens pay in in federal income taxes. Sorry to be so harsh, but how many lifetimes do we have to put up with this immaturity?

Sign today:

Deport Everyone That Signed A Petition To Withdraw Their State From The United States Of America. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/deport-everyone-signed-petition-withdraw-their-state-united-states-america/dmQl1bXL

Force all states to pay their portion of the national debt before they can secede from the union


How Much Does the Universe Love and Support President Obama?
Posted on November 12, 2012

My astrologer-friend in Malaysia, His Grace R.S. Maniam, posts astrological charts for world events, especially the election of prominent leaders. He sent an email on November 10 with his chart for President Obama, whom he calls His excellency Mr. Barack Obama. In just four years, President Obama has won the love of people around the world. Our president lifted us up from one of the most hated and mistrusted countries in the world, to one of the most admired. Confirming him through a landslide reelection creates more goodwill.

I will give a summation, since Vedic sidereal astrology may be difficult for non-practitioners. I am certainly no expert in astrology, but here is what I get from it. The reading indicates that the president is going through a Saturn return (in the sidereal system). This is usually unnerving for a person, but because of the strong placement of Saturn in the president's birth chart, it has been a good time for him.

R.S. Maniam says, "He will do the best of his capacity as president of America and for the rest of the world." The reading includes an analysis of the event's numerology, which he calls harmonizing. He also concludes that the transit of the planets on election day foretold victory for the president.

This reminds me of Hindu prayer, Gayatri:

om bhur bhuvah svaha
tat savitur veranyam
bhargo devasya dimihi
dhiyo yo nah prachodayat

May there be peace on mortal, immortal and divine planets.
I meditate upon the most brilliant splendor of the Sun God.
May he spark our intellect so that we are inspired to take right action.

- translation by Ravi Shankar, sitar virtuoso

Prof. Michael Eric Dyson's Election Sandwich: HAM on White
Posted on November 9, 2012

If the election was a sandwich, Prof. Michael Eric Dyson would call it "ham on white." He explains, "H for Hispanics and Latinos; A African Americans, M the millennials, the young people, and white women."

"What's coming together is a collection of progressive whites, along with Latinos and African Americans, and young people who are forging a connection to a broader future and a bridge to a brighter horizon of possibility for us."

Prof. D on The Ed Show, MSNBC, 11-9-2012

Editor's note: This fits perfectly with the paradigm outlined in Dreaming Peace, available for only $3 on Amazon.com. This book is selling well, month after month, spreading the idea that the future is better if we want it.

Posted on November 8, 2012

"Let Reality govern my every thought, and Truth be the heart of my life. For so it must be for all of humanity. Please help me to do my part. And may the intensity of all our egos become the joy of our One Soul."

- Prayers for Healing, a book of prayers from around the world, edited by Maggie Oman, p. 229

Election Aftermath
Posted on November 8, 2012

Martin Bashir: Republicans threw every dirty trick they had at the president and lost. Voter suppression: failed. Super PAC money: failed. Labeling the president as non-American . . . failed! Every cynical trick failed. Is that the lesson that they had to learn?

Jonathan Capehart: One can only hope!

- Martin Bashir show, MSNBC, November 7, 2012

President Obama: "You know where I stand. You know I tell the truth."
Posted on November 5, 2012

Our tears and faith go out to the East Coast.

Posted on November 1, 2012

I Voted for President Obama
Posted on October 27, 2012

Today I am glad that I voted early along with millions of Americans whose eyes are open. He is betting on us, go Barack!

Give Your Best Now
Posted on October 23, 2012

Instead of going into fear right now in the last two weeks, channel your energy into giving to your preferred candidates. Giving may mean money or volunteer work, or simply your blessings and confidence.. It is time to call upon your courage. We must move forward into the future now.

"I want to be bigger, please History"
Posted on October 9, 2012

Humanity will keep making the same mistakes until we get it right. Certain things we need to learn about honesty, for example. Back in the 00's, there was a political cartoon that showed President Bush hiding under the covers, a night cap on his head, confronted with the ghost of Christmas past. He says, "No History, I am so small. Make me bigger!" We are all made smaller by lies and hidden motivation.

I am also sorry about the lies and inability to confront lies. It can feel physically painful. That is the story of humankind at the moment, served to us on silver platters from the Victorian Era. A word to the wise: the Victorian Era of polite lies ended in 1901. It is okay to structure your life on a foundation of honesty. Think about the lies and what you would say and do to bring the truth out in the open. It is up to all of us to welcome reality when it comes knocking. If necessary dust off your copy of the Twelve Steps, or whatever form of reality therapy you prefer. You will find a consensus that truth is stronger than a lie.

Global Warming Storm Attacks USA East Coast
Posted on October 30, 2012

There has rarely been a storm like Sandy before, although scientists have predicted hybrid storms as global warming progresses.

Rather than face reality, we have dubious right-wing libertarian opinion leaders like Alex Jones blaming the storm on the president, stating that he purposely caused it to influence the election. Stunning crackpot blather. Come on, America is better than that. And anyway, if shadowy elites could create weather events, do you think they just handed over the weather football to President Obama? And if he is their operative, why are the multi-billionaire crowd supporting his opponent? Come to your senses, right-wing conspiracy believers. This is a weather event that perfectly fits the models scientists and Al Gore have been warning us about for decades.

It is heartbreaking to watch footage of the destruction, realizing it is a problem we have ignored and ignored. All of the divination about "whose fault" this storm is or what metaphysical force "caused it" is classic denial. And denial keeps us from taking necessary steps to do something about the problem.

We are drawing our energy from underground sources, running our enterprises on negative energy. We need to look up to the wind and sun, which offer abundant energy without the side effects. Plus we need millions of billions of friendly microbes to clean up the messes we have created on earth that emit anthropogenic greenhouse gasses. Changing our ways and cleaning up with microbes is our future if we choose it.

Give Till It Hurts
Posted on October 23, 2012

Instead of going into fear right now in the last two weeks, channel your energy into giving to your preferred candidates. Giving may mean money or volunteer work. It is time to call upon your courage. We must move forward into the future now.

President Exposes Opponent's Flaws Posted on October 22, 2012

President Obama: What we need to do with respect to the Middle East is strong, steady leadership, not wrong and reckless leadership that is all over the map. And unfortunately, that's the kind of opinions that you've offered throughout this campaign, and it is not a recipe for American strength, or keeping America safe over the long haul.

Now, Governor Romney has taken a different approach throughout this campaign. Both at home and abroad, he has proposed wrong and reckless policies. He's praised George Bush as a good economic steward and Dick Cheney as somebody who shows great wisdom and judgment. And taking us back to those kinds of strategies that got us into this mess are not the way that we are going to maintain leadership in the 21st century.

On Hold for Customer Service Posted on October 18, 2012

Yesterday I heard the CEO of an Internet company interviewed on the radio about his call centers. Previously, he had outsourced the work to India, but this year he brought everything back to America. His call centers now employ about 250 people in Indiana. The interviewer asked him whether it costs more to have the jobs in America, because he has to pay his employees more per hour. The CEO said that it works out about the same because the average call went from twenty minutes down to five minutes. Plus, he said his customers were more satisfied talking to someone in America.

Call centers could further reduce frustration by always having "0" ("operator") as the fail safe. Some of us do not want to talk to voice mail computer voices to tell them how to direct us, or we have a question that does not fall into one of the categories. They need an operator at "0" who can direct your call to the proper extension.

There is another reason I recommend bringing the call centers back to America. Even though I am all peace and love, I can get get irritable and look like an ugly American, and cause offenses when traveling in other countries. While my intention is to show respect when I travel, because I feel the utmost regard for citizens of ROW ("Rest of World"), there are times when I hit the wall. It probably happens to everyone now and then.

Hitting the wall is also possible at times when working on electronic devices, including the TV, phone, computers, web domains, ISPs, printers, etc. It can be traumatic and frustrating. In my belief system, it is improper to get angry at a customer support agent. The agent did not cause the problem; the agent is there to help fix it. However, emotional breakdowns are magnified about a thousand percent when the agent is in India or some other country. It only makes sense that someone in India would resent angry American callers after a while. "Ho hum, this person is having trouble with her printer. I wonder what she would act like if her whole computer broke down, or if one of her swimming pools broke."

To lower the level of confusion and dysfunction in the world, please bring all the customer service call centers back to the USA. Then let us Americans work out an understanding that when we are mad, we learn to be more mature about it. Or, when we do dump on each other, we can stop getting so offended, cursing each other and carrying grudges forever. If one person dropped all his or her grudges, it would lighten the weight of the world by at least ten pounds. Am I more angry that most, or could we all lighten up a little?

This post was precipitated by a phone call regarding my email this morning, where I was on hold for a half hour (gave me time to take a shower and do my qigong workout), followed by a ten minute hold where the agent was trying to verify my account. Finally I said, "Excuse me, but why is it taking so long to verify my account?" She said, "Our computers are down for maintenance and everything is slow." So I said, "Why don't you just tell people that instead of keeping them on hold?" So she gave me a reference number and recommended that I call back in two hours when the maintenance is done.

In my world, India is a sacred place. I have been there three times and love the country. The last thing in the world I want to do is set out to fix a problem with my email, and end up offending a customer support agent in India. Americans are used to offending each other and we are all offensive to each other at times. Let us work out our customer support problems here on our shores, and pray that people we yelled at or cried in front of will forgive us for our millions of angry voices. I never did this, but if somebody said anything like, "Where is this, India? I want to talk to someone who speaks American English," etc., I pray that could be forgiven and forgotten. Americans are at times an angry bunch of mixed up people. Not anything to imitate! Nothing to fixate on too much, because you risk becoming what you hate, and attracting what you fear. Better if you say a little prayer for us to get better someday, and let it go.

"I want to be bigger, please History" Posted on October 9, 2012

Humanity will keep making the same mistakes until we get it right. Certain things we need to learn about honesty, for example. Back in the 00's, there was a political cartoon that showed President Bush hiding under the covers, a night cap on his head, confronted with the ghost of Christmas past. He says, "No History, I am so small. Make me bigger!" We are all made smaller by lies and hidden motivation.

I am also sorry about the lies and inability to confront lies. It can feel physically painful. That is the story of humankind at the moment, served to us on silver platters from the Victorian Era. A word to the wise: the Victorian Era of polite lies ended in 1901. It is okay to structure your life on a foundation of honesty. Think about the lies and what you would say and do to bring the truth out in the open. It is up to all of us to welcome reality when it comes knocking. If necessary dust off your copy of the Twelve Steps, or whatever form of reality therapy you prefer. You will find a consensus that truth is stronger than a lie.

Romney - Obama Past Life Reading
Posted on October 10, 2012

Although nobody in President Barack Obama's ancestry was a slave, I see a past life where Mitt Romney is a rich plantation owner. He owns all the land in the area. Then he encounters the other, the slave, and fills him full of lies. The slave's role is to put his head down and listen. Then everyone in the land makes fun of the slave, and he is once again put in his place. We are not accustomed to this happening, in the twenty-first century, no less. But this is clearly what I feel could have taken place on a semi-annual basis in the Old South. This was a drama brought to you by the grace of god to show you what amazing grace is, and to have a chance to reach for it. Brought to you by Surrealist.org where anything goes.

Examples of a plantation owner's lies: we are improving your health care, we are in favor of your rights. We are fixing up your quarters. You will have things fixed soon. You have it great here. You should be thanking me for all I do for you. I am the job creator. Plus, I can lie to you all I want and you are powerless. Have a good day.

21st Century Manifesto
Posted on October 7, 2012

Surrealist manifesto for the 21st century: that our art, writing, music, dance, stories, and all creative expressions of today's modern artists use reason to address the underlying issues hidden in the blind spot of polite society. No longer will our art tolerate lies, but rather it will expose truth.

Romney Lie Debate
Posted on October 3, 2012

I watched the debate with neighbors but had to walk home for a while because I felt uncomfortable listening to Mitt Romney lie. All of a sudden he is in favor of the middle class and would never try to give more tax breaks to billionaires? Although our president was alegedly too soft spoken, he kept his cool, and provided a positive vision. If it had been me up there I would have been making faces, banging my head against a brick wall, acting out, etc. Lying people make me nervous. No thanks. It is difficult to identify with Romney, so it may make people like him less. Anything is possible. Having five sons who lie does not seem fun or funny, but may reveal that he spent his preparation time rehearsing lies and new positions. That is not admirable or attractive, even if he finds it endearing.

Indiana Vacation Destination
Posted on September 24, 2012

Hi All - here are my photos from the 2012 SATW convention held in Indiana: https://surrealist.org/travel/in-indiana.html posted at this site. I attend the convention to help host a photo contest named after my father, Bill Muster. This was my nineteenth annual convention traveling with the group.

The Microbes Are Winning
Posted on September 14, 2012

This week I discussed microbes with the manager of an organic farm. Part of his work is to regulate the microbe cycle between the farm animals and the fields, as well as to assure the microbe levels in the winter feed. I told him about my Organic Cures microbe blog and my belief that microbes can address petro-chemical pollution and restore balance to the atmosphere. He confirmed this, saying microbes are the most powerful force on the planet.

On the same trip, I conferred with a zookeeper who manages the microbe cycles in the zoo's aquariums. He said one third of the building houses the seal exhibit, the shark petting pond, and the smaller aquariums. The rest of the building houses the filtration system where he manages the microbe cycles. Without microbes, we would not digest our food. Yes, some microbes are germs, but the great majority are beneficial and stand by ready to help us with all our problems. Microbes are our friends and I want to be remembered for my faith in the friendly microbes.

Peace Prayers for the Middle East
Posted on September 13, 2012

Religion does not divide us, but inflexible fundamentalism certainly does divide us. It is possible tp have different beliefs and get along. We just need to be accepting of each other. It seems impossible, but it is possible that all this turmoil will lead to tolerance and acceptance.

Stand Strong this Democratic Convention Week
Posted on September 6, 2012

We are in the midst of watching the earth shift beneath our feet. We are moving to a higher, finer reality, where honesty matters. You may feel battered from a lifetime of force-fed political lies, so you may feel jittery and confused about things ever improving, but yes, we are getting a glimpse of a better future. The battered among us will go around looking for any bit of negativity, such as: we can't do it, we must fail somehow. Or we are afraid somehow that the harbingers of doom will curse us again with their money to fall back into the world of lies.

Worry about that another day. Try to accept the happy events of this week with an open mind. If change bothers you, read your I Ching (at this site!) or just consider this:

Let us, you and me, pray for peace and let us make our hearts fit to accept it when it comes. Let us make our intellect, and our soul, and our will and our feeling ready to receive it and embrace it even before it comes. - Ernest Holmes, founder of Science of Mind

A Review: General Categories of Unethical Behavior
Posted on August 30, 2012

Dear Republican Convention, please stop telling lies about our president and the institutions we love. Most people would feel shame telling such lies. Here are the categories of unethical behavior:

Spreading slanderous information
Hiding important information
Giving or allowing false impressions
Personal decadence
Buying influence or engaging in a conflict of interest
Condoning unethical actions
Permitting systemic abuse
Balancing ethical dilemmas
Interpersonal abuse
Taking unfair advantage
Violating rules

A Savings is a Cut is a Savings
Posted on August 27, 2012

Everyone is arguing over whether the Affordable Healthcare Act cuts Medicare or saves Medicare money. Actually it is the same thing. If you cut fraud, waste, and abuse from the budget, it is a cut. However, it is also a savings that will make Medicare stronger. The money saved, aka cut, will be invested back into the system. It is far more efficient to have preventative care than to have to do crisis management. Investing more in patient care will make the system stronger and cut costs further.

The Obama plan is the best pan. The Republicans' plan would also cut Medicare, but put all the cuts on the public, making the public pay more. What is so complicated about that? Spread the word to your Republican friends and relatives. Just say "The cut is a savings that will go to pay for preventive care." That is thirteen words. Drop it on your pals. Who is in a better position to open your friends' minds?

It is Good to be a Democrat
Posted on August 23, 2012

I am a liberal Democrat. Although the Democrat party's values are to the right of mine, the Republican party is way to the right! Their stated goal is to privatize/deregulate/ corporatize more and tax rich people less.

I believe in a progressive tax system, where the rich pay more. Collecting tax from rich people and rich corporations is good because we the government can spend the revenues to balance our budget and help the people. We need jobs: work on infrastructure, work on education, work on historic preservation. We need public parks, more fresh air and water, more local control over the food supply, and a more humane and free medical system. Investments like this will do good for our country and our children and future generations.

I like President Obama. Even though his values are to the right of mine, more in line with the Democratic party, he is the answer to my prayers for our country. I am grateful to him and want more liberal legislators who will carry the country forward, instead of back to 1952 with their attitudes about women. That seems so cultish.

If the people lead, the leaders will follow. We have been leading, like when we all showed our true colors during the ninety-nine percent movement. Plus we now have a voice on TV talk shows, such as Current and MSNBC. It is a good time to be a Democrat because no matter what happens next, we can rest in peace because we are on the good side of history.

Republicans' Verbal Abuse of Rape Victims
Posted on August 21, 2012

What is the implication when Republicans say that rape victims cannot get pregnant? It is degrading to all women. Only abusers would say such a thing, or even think such a thing. It is a lie and it shows total disregard for the truth.

ID Verdict in Pennsylvania
Posted on August 15, 2012

Come on judge, let the people vote. This is an example of bad attitude. If you want to lead, you need to earn it. It is wrong to cheat an election. This life and this world is a place where we all have a chance to make ourselves a better person. It would be a pity to waste this opportunity just because you can.

This life and this world is a place where you have a chance to make yourself a better person. You may be immature up to the teenage years, then it is no longer cute. A good many people learn how to behave and see life in a progressive way before they reach middle age.

Perhaps about half of the people can be mature and honest, and hold up reasonably well under stress. We all break down sometimes and we have all told lies or said things we wish we would not have said. However, a mature man catches himself, pulls himself out of it, and make amends when possible. Men who lie and lie and lie are less well liked. Less well treated. Living life that way simply works poorly. People who love to lie for power end up unpopular and depressed. Eventually they bust into a holy place or place of learning and commit mass murder. That is certainly a sad end.

Some abuse and steal. In this case, this judge and the cabal behind voter suppression are blatantly trying to take away people's right to vote. That is abuse and stealing. Congratulations for what you have done with your life. A pity.

Today's Weather Report Brought to You by a Dedicated Surrealist
Posted on August 8, 2012

Hello, time again to check the weather at surrealist.org. Let's say it is blue due to the horrible attack at the Sikh temple in Milwaukee area. So sad. Just sad. Other than that, working hard and keeping too busy. Outlook is hazy due to right-wing attack on the truth. Our job is to stand by the truth and defend it. That would be about all we can do right now, but that will be enough. Batten down any loose false beliefs you may have, because we are predicting continued fear storms. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Election Integrity Manifesto
Posted on July 31, 2012

Sadly, it has come to this. Surrealist.org declares this as the Election Integrity Manifesto. All three words are positive and offer a vision for people who are frightened and confused about the changes taking place in our world as we enter a new age. Bad counting mechanisms, restrictive rules about who can vote, poll taxes, and other deceptions deviate from the honest nature of our society. Only a small, and brainwashed, number of persons would blatantly employ fraud to change the result of an election. Persons infringing Americans' right to vote are spoiling their own karma. They would have a hard time in a society where integrity and honest are worth more than gold.
Whereas generations of Americans have fought and died for the people's right to control their own destiny
Whereas America today has numerous serious problems to solve, and we need to work together
Whereas dishonestly empowered leaders will govern poorly and bring society down with them
Whereas the right to vote is sacred beyond any other promise made to Americans by those who have come before
THEREFORE we ask the powers that seek to manipulate and control:

1. Allow people to vote, allow people to register voters, as has been the normal practice in the twentieth century. The phrase "voter fraud" is highly offensive. Voting is a sacred right, which most people respect. 2. Facilitate voting, rather than impede it. You owe it to your country to give up passive aggressive behavior. Deal with your childhood wounds in an appropriate forum, with a trusted counselor. 3. Give US and State attorneys the key codes to all the voting machines. Make it an open and honest process. Come clean now or in the next life. It is better to complete your story here because at least you know the rules here. No living person can know what other dimensions, lives, or levels of consciousness await souls after death.
4. Welcome the honest results of the will of the majority of Americans. Work together after the election is over. It is time to wake up and live.

Poor Misunderstood Candidate Romney
Posted on July 27, 2012

I feel sorry for old Mitt Romney, with all his horrible gaffes in London. He really blew it. But I hate to make fun of the poor fellow, because I have had days like that too. The worst stupid thing I ever did was in about 2005, I was at the neighborhood hardware store picking something up. One of the cashiers was a long hair hippy man, good looking, sweet natured. I was going through his line and said something about people of "our race." I meant the hippy race, but it came out sounding like I was a white racist. Well, that will teach me to never talk lightly about race to someone I barely know. I never was able to dispel that impression, and I pray that the good looking hardware store hippy man would find it in his heart to forgive me even though I sounded like a racist. Sigh. Such is life. We are bound to make fools of ourselves on occasion. But wow, Mitt Romney really went overboard yesterday! What was going on in his head? But I don't want to dwell on it because the poor guy, I mean, he really makes the whole human race look bad! Yikes!

My Zebra Finch on TV
Posted on July 27, 2012

The first segment of the April 6, 2012 edition of Talking Liberally with Stephanie Miller on Current TV included my bird, a little baby zebra finch. It all happened because I sent this letter to Stephanie Miller:

Hi All - My new baby zebra finch escaped to the living room this morning and flew straight to the TV. He was already watching you on the computer practically since birth, but he enjoys your TV show too. Tell Al Gore that your show has fans in the bird kingdom. Nori

She read my letter on the air and held up the picture. Recently, I made a video of my bird watching the segment, which is still on my Tivo. Click here to see the video on Youtube.

A Message to My Wonderful Mike Papantonio
Posted on July 23, 2012

Dear Mike Papantonio - in this time of mourning, please use your influence to lead us toward the light. As long as we are focused on guilt, accusing one anther, our president, and ourselves, we are doomed to live in a violent system. There is a wall of money separating us from our goals, but like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, I am telling you it is just a field of poppies. Keep going! We can solve this, and it is happening. Now is not the time to lash out in desperation! I am offering you an affirmation to follow your Ed Show performance today. Sincerely, Nori, longtime listener and fan of Ring Of Fire Radio

"Let us, you and me, pray for peace and let us make our hearts fit to accept it when it comes. Let us make our intellect, and our soul, and our will and our feeling ready to receive it and embrace it even before it comes. Let us in the stillness of our own soul go back to that ineffable Presence which is Peace and proclaim It even in the midst of confusion - that peace which is the power at the heart of God." - Ernest Holmes (1887-1960)

American Gun Etiquette
Posted on July 22, 2012

In America it is considered rude to be afraid of guns, or to question those who love guns. We have a rich history of love of guns and all the great things guns do for us. We have a national obsession with guns! In America, guns are revered as gods! The main purpose of the gun lobby is to make sure Americans may own as many guns as they want. Not only are large numbers of guns praised, but guns' fierceness is also highly praised. Besides wishing to provide access to frightening weapons, we praise secretiveness. Thou shalt not have a record of who owns even the biggest guns. Thou shalt not question who wants to buy them. Thou shalt not require gun owners to have a license or any required training for their guns. When we see a gun, we feel reverence. Yes, we have police and a justice system, but our freedom depends on citizens having more and bigger guns than the government. Our freedom depends on episodes like what happened in the theater in Aurora, Colorado, around midnight Thursday night. Events like that ensure American freedom, especially the freedom to own guns and use them to prove a point. Even if you are just a Batman fan, and whatever point you wanted to make is completely lost, in America, you have the freedom to load up on armaments, and use them in whatever way you want! What a country! Thank you, Dear Lord, for our freedom to bear arms! If anyone looks at a situation like the Batman massacre and thinks it means we need to curb gun ownership in any way, we call that person a communist! You damned communist, this is a free country, and we have every right to own guns here! Back off! Criticizing guns, even at a time like this, is considered bad etiquette.

Surrealist.org Books: How are They Selling?
Posted on July 12, 2012

As an author in this new age of the Internet, I am proud of my books on Amazon. They are reference books for dreaming a better future. So friends ask me how my books are selling. For a relatively unknown author, I am proud to say that I sell about a book a day.

Dreaming Peace is my best selling book. At times others catch up, but that book always comes out ahead. I started it in 2002, my reaction to 9/11. It took that long to write, and working on it sustained me through the Bush years. All that time, I felt like a cook who was running late. I wanted to share the book immediately, because I thought it woiudl help others as it helped me. But now I believe it came out just at the right time.

A New National Anthem
Posted on June 27, 2012

A country's national anthem sums up the values of a country and its mood. The Canadian anthem is one of the most beautiful in the world, I believe, and speaks for the heart of the Canadian people:

O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command. With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free! From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

The American anthem has long been problematic. Many people dislike it and at various times, movements have started to try to change it. The song is about the War of 1812, which most Americans know nothing about. Plus, it is set to the tune of an English drinking song. It speaks of bombs bursting in air as our sign that we are still a country. It is a song that inspires perpetual war.

When people talk about changing it, the most popular alternative is America the Beautiful. "Oh beautiful for spacious skies, and amber waves of grain . . . " However, what about Amazing Grace?

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me . . . I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now, I see.

T'was Grace that taught . . . my heart to fear. And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that Grace appear . . . the hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares . . . we have already come. T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far . . . and Grace will lead us home.

What song describes our country in a more loving and embracing way? Amazing Gracewould be a fitting national anthem.

READER COMMENT: Author : michael sandoval E-mail : srimukunda@ I think our National Anthem is a great poem about the strength and determination of our founding Fathers and our country. Do you have any idea what it is like to look up to see if our flag is still flying and comforting the citizens during a chaotic war with "bombs bursting in air?" This poem about the Star Spangled Banner is one of the greatest ever written about this country, and this country was founded by wars. They fought hard to create this great country, and the flag is a great symbol to be honored and remembered.

How Do We Go Into the Future?
Posted on June 25, 2012

From my vantage point I can see that light says yes to the future. Dark says no. Dark says the future cannot work, be afraid. They must gain control of all the money and the government to save what they cherish. They may be unhappy about things they cannot change. Yes, America is becoming multi-cultural henceforward. The unseen conservative leaders in the shadows don't even trust white folks who went to the wrong (or no) college. They believe in the rule of the one percent.

What is the game plan going forward?

We look forward to the twenty-first century. We are lifting into a new future with better communication. After all, we have phones, cameras, and the Internet to connect us all. Yes, most of the world is multi-cultural and liberal. We are fortunate to live in these times, when so much change is taking place. People who have built positive connections in their travels, and in daily life, are serving the heart of humanity.

Now, back to the issue of darkness. They certainly are a threat. Look at the wars we have fought, the damage to our economy, etc. Of course, they can always try to blame it on minorities. However, with the Internet and the twenty-four hour news cycle, the aristocrats have had to hire ad men to write daily talking points. Threading the needle of integrity has been outsourced.

How long can this stand? They are on a flimsy platform that has been giving way for some time. Maybe it is taking a long time, but think of how long white aristocrats have been in power. England controlled most of India, North America, parts of Africa and the South Seas in the 1700s. Now they just think they control things. What makes them feel good is when they make us suffer and be afraid of them. That is all they have left.

My advice is to feel sorry for them. The aristocrats and their followers are whipped up into hysteria right now because they think President Obama is planning to take their guns and send them to concentration camps. They live in a frightening world, and it is no wonder they act the way they do. Have compassion.

Sandusky Verdict
Posted on June 24, 2012

On Friday, June 22, a jury convicted this former football coach on forty-five of forty-eight counts of child sexual abuse. It is a great time for all victims of child abuse, because it proves that what this man did was wrong. Sandusky will probably try to think of excuses to appeal his case, but it doesn't matter. Sexual abuse of children is illegal and wrong.

Democrats are the Cool Cats
Posted on June 16, 2012

The other day on talk radio I heard a caller explain that his friend sides with the Republicans because they are a bunch of rich guys who seem cool. The man lamented that his friend, being in the middle class, would be better served by the Democratic party.

I would like to clarify who the in crowd is here. It is the Democrats who are traditionally on the side of the People. Our side includes a majority of the good celebrities now and in the past. We had the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, and the Mamas and the Papas. We have creative people like Larry David, Rob Reiner, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert. We have Stephanie Miller. We have Steve Jobs. Democrats include in their ranks Jack Nicholson, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Spielberg, Willie Nelson, Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lady Gaga, Chevy Chase, Meryl Streep, Robert Deniro, Ben Affleck, Leonardo Dicaprio, Matt Damon, Kevin Bacon, and many others who would be fun to party with.

Plus, the in crowd in this case is for the People and invites you to join us.

As a footnote to this post, it looks today that some people absolutely do stand by the Republicans because they are a bunch of rich guys. Plus, since they are smart enough to see what big liars they are, they must like that too. Lying is cool! Being a bad guy is cool!*

What Happens when Truth Comes Out
Posted on May 23, 2012

The truth may be as plain as the nose on a person's face, but if it is in their blind spot, they literally do not see it. However, when they finally see the truth, it's the final word. It's the truth. There is no logic beyond the truth.

Suppose a truth is a good thing, like you realize someone else was responsible for a bad experience you blamed on yourself. You stop blaming yourself, you forgive yourself, and you can finally move on from a situation. But suppose the truth is harsh. You realize you caused a problem that you had always blamed on someone else. You must stand up and take responsibility. That may be a burden. Say that the truth you must face is that you were suckered. The harsh, but reasonable reaction is to get angry and dislike the person(s) who duped you. Then your task is to resolve the anger without inciting further abuse.

The universe has its ways because of the archetypes we are born into. In a good world, abusers are held to account. That is people's archetypal image of heaven. The logical reaction to be attracted to a fair existence. It appeals to a person's archetype of justice, safety, and sustainability. The natural place we don't want to go is where people get away with high crimes, and where everyone has an ulterior motive. In a negative archetype situation, everyone wants something for nothing. The few control the many and the many get hurt. Therefore, decide which world you want to live in and act accordingly.

Bank Deregulation Laws
Posted on May 17, 2012

Here is a timeline of how the banks were deregulated:

1999 - The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repeals the Glass-Steagall Act, which was enacted after the Great Depression to separate commercial banks and investment banks.

2000 - The Commodity Futures Modernization Act exempts derivatives from regulation, supervision, trading on established exchanges, and capital reserve requirements for major participants.

2004 - Securities and Exchange Commission relaxes rules to allow investment banks to substantially increase the level of debt they take on, fueling the growth in mortgage-backed securities supporting subprime mortgages. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (government-sponsored entities that purchase mortgages, buy and sell mortgage-backed securities, and guarantee nearly half of US mortgages) take on additional risk, beginning in the mid-1990s and continuing until their government takeover in September 2008.

See: https://classes.norimuster.com/fairhousing-timeline.html#1999 for more details.

As a review: in 1933, our legislature pass the Glass-Steagall Act and the Banking Act. This established the FDIC to protect investor deposits, and regulated what types of banks could receive FDIC protection. See: https://classes.norimuster.com/fairhousing-timeline.html#1933

Consider This Instead of Fear
Posted on May 16, 2012

"Let us, you and me, pray for peace and let us make our hearts fit to accept it when it comes. Let us make our intellect, and our soul, and our will and our feeling ready to receive it and embrace it even before it comes. Let us in the stillness of our own soul go back to that ineffable Presence which is Peace and proclaim It even in the midst of confusion - that peace which is the power at the heart of God." - Ernest Holmes

Left Meets Right Dialogue
Posted on May 14, 2012

I am an ultra left wing liberal, but I found some common ground with Bob Livingston, an ultra-conservative. A few years ago I met him at a bookstore event and have been on his newsletter mailing list ever since. First I will outline what I believe, then I will debate several items from the list of lies that Mr. Livingston says the American public believes.

Things I stand for: women's rights, legalization of marijuana, peace, honesty, progressive income tax, cultural diversity, child protection, social safety net, the commons, infrastructure, free public education, free public health care, the Golden Rule, and most recently, gay marriage. My views on gay marriage have evolved along with most Americans, but I have been a liberal since the 1960s. I am also for travel, historic preservation, and art.

Now, let us look Bob Livingston's list of lies perpetrated on the public (posted at his website here: http://personalliberty.com/2012/05/14/the-lies-youre-told/). First, his statement of what the lie is, then my comment in brackets.

Lie: The War on Terror. The so-called War on Terror is actually a war on the American people. [Nori: He makes a great argument that the whole thing is a false flag operation to control the people. I like his argument, and tend to agree with him.]

Lie: The West is in peril from Islamofascism. [Nori: Again, he makes a good argument that the threat of Islamofascism is a false flag operation, the "creation of the shadowy intelligence networks of the United States, Great Britain and Israel, which have provided funding and training for terror networks." This is similar to what I already perceive.]

Lie: President Barack Obama killed Osama bin Laden. [Nori: Well, it could be true that OBL died back in 2001, or whatever. Anyway, now not only is he clearly dead. He's really most sincerely dead.]

Lie: Iran is a direct threat to the United States and Israel. [Nori: As he says, Iran is complying with UN inspections, etc., and I would like to add that Iran is a beautiful, wonderful country. Iranian people are among the nicest people in the world, and it is blatant racist to treat them as though they are all terrorists.]

Lie: America is a democracy. [Nori: Well, of course, but I do not agree with Bob Livingston's disrespecting what we are attempting to do here.]

Lie: The Federal Reserve controls inflation. [Nori: Bob Livingston makes a case for the diabolical nature of the Federal Reserve. Well, there is always room for corruption whenever money is involved, but the Fed is not the all-powerful and all-corrupt institution Livingston presumes.]

Lie: The economy is improving. [Nori: as a real estate agent who has lived out the recent bubble and market crash, I can tell you that it is improving. We sold twelve units in one condo community in the last six months. That is twelve out of forty-four total, and many of them were in distress as foreclosures or short sales all last year. Now everyone wants to buy one! Now that they are all sold! The law of supply and demand is still in effect.]

Lie: Your Congressman is working on your behalf. [Nori: Well, that depends on who you vote into office. Some legislators are working on behalf of the people they represent. People who turn cynical and become bigoted toward all legislators are usually projecting.]

Lie: There is a difference between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. [Nori: This is where Bob Livingston and I part ways. You can tell there is a difference because just look at the people who go to the conventions. The Republicans are for the most part crusty white crackers who have to pretend to like their candidates.]

Lie: The American healthcare system is the best in the world. [Nori: Bob Livingston and I are back on the same page. He compares it to a drug cartel that brainwashes the public and transfers their wealth to the few. I agree. Thank god there is an alternative to mainstream healthcare. We have naturopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists, and others who can relieve your pain, heal your body, and get you on the track to health.]

Lie: American obesity means people eat too much and exercise too little. [Nori: Bob Livingston explains that it is the food supply itself that is making people fat, sick, and nearly dead. Hey, there's a great movie available on Netflix streaming called, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, that discusses this exact issue. We need good nutrition. Processed food will make anybody sick over time.]

Lie: Euthanasia is a quick and painless death. [Nori: I have never thought about this issue. He sees an evil plan behind immunization. Let me research that and get back to you. I have heard that immunizations sometimes contain mercury. If that is true, yikes.]

Lie: Income taxes fund the government. [Nori: he sees all government and all taxing as evil, but I disagree. If there is corruption in government, let's root it out. The days of monarchies are gone. The days of aristocratic rule are quickly coming to an end, especially if we tax their wealth. It is okay with me if people are super-wealthy, as long as they share the wealth with the country that made them great. The American dream is alive and well, so let's decide what we want and work toward achieving it.]

Lie: Savings and retirement. [Nori: times have been tough, so I cannot argue with him. But this points to another difference between the Republican and Democratic parties. When Republicans are in power, they start wars, beat on the poor, deregulate, and lower taxes for the rich. This hurts the economy, including our retirement and savings. When Democrats run things, they find ways to strengthen infrastructure, education, etc., and offer a hand-up to the poor.]

Lie: A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for Obama. [Nori: he goes on to call Washington a cesspool, etc., which I have already said I am against. Let us call Washington a living example of a country that does its level best to govern itself. Although there have been challenges and difficult times, We the People still need to lead, so the leaders will follow. That includes expecting them to be honest.]

Jan Brewer Political War on Women
Posted on May 7, 2012

I am mortified at what our governor has done. She is clearly playing to the echo chamber, to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. She probably thinks her actions are popular. However, women are angry. I apologize for saying mean things, but it's scary to people who depend on Planned Parenthood for their primary health care.

flag in Arizona

This is an Arizona flag I photographed several years ago. Looks kinda flat, or something. What is it with Arizona? The current governor is a dork sometimes, but there's a lot of other weird things about this place. It's one giant vortex of shadow energy. Lots of love and good things in there too, but Arizona definitely has a dark side.

What to Do if Someone Thinks You're a Snob
Posted on May 3, 2012

Someone calls someone a snob if they wish the person was more friendly. It is a cry for love. If somebody treats you like you are being snobby, open your heart. Most people would love to be friends with a kind liberal, a musician, a poet, or anybody with an unusual background. As a writer, I often meet people who otherwise conservative, but they had a relative in a cult, for example, so they are interested in me as an author.

Less enlightened white people on the right side of the aisle may want to make friends with a liberal or a multicultural person, but because we are snobby—or simply afraid to reach out—they turn their backs on us. Liberals need to show their friendly, non-snob sides more often. Therefore, Surrealist.org is instituting make friends with a right winger week. If you have a coworker or acquaintance who is a bull-headed right winged, whom you avoid like the plague, take a week to change tracks with that person. Starting when you read this, and for one week, change your thoughts. Instead of thinking, Here comes so-and-so, who is a brainwashed Foxhead, think, Here comes a person who would like to be my friend. Heck, we may already be friends or enemies in another dimension. You don't need to say anything different to the person, but get the positive thought in your head for a week, and see what happens.

Getting Bin Laden
Posted on May 1, 2012

Not only did the Bush Administration not get Bin Laden, the Obama Administration did. Plus, it was not like someone peeked in the door of the Oval office and said, "Hey, is it okay if we shoot Bin Laden?" No! It took months of planning. In fact, President Obama probably started to work on it in January 2009. It took much work. So not only did he "make the call," he created the situation that led to making the call.

In my opinion, it is an admirable accomplishment. However, as a liberal, I am not so keen on killing in general. I do not eat meat. There are only a couple of pesky bugs I will squish, especially those little black flies that come out of rotting organic matter. I swear they bite. Plus, I am somewhat of a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, and always suspected that Bin Laden worked for the Bush administration, anyway. Other than all that, I believe it is abundantly clear that President Obama is the hero in this situation and the Republicans live in a world of lies.

Shame American Terrorist Torturer
Posted on April 29, 2012

Tonight 60 Minutes broadcast their interview with ex-CIA chief Jose Rodriguez. He is a monster who carried out torture and created even more enemies for us in the war on terror. Especially disturbing is his arrogant and non-repentant attitude about what he did. He even seemed to enjoy what he did, and to project his own evil intentions on the people he tortured. He created shame for America and damaged the integrity of our country. We denounce Jose Rodriguez in the strongest terms. It is also disappointing how sympathetic 60 Minutes was to his utterances of denial. The sooner Jose Rodriguez pays for his crimes against humanity and war crimes, the better the world will be for it.

Refuting the Idiots
Posted on April 27, 2012

We all get stupid chain letters from our right wing friends, and many of these are so insidious that we just throw them away and forget about it. Maybe we take a moment sigh and reflect on how brainwashed our friends are. But my brother took the time to answer this one, and I would like to share it, because he did a good job at something that most of us would consider hopeless.
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul , Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning the last Presidential election aka right-wing nut-case, cherry picking inconsequential details to argue away the landslide presidential election of 2008 and justify a terminal case of ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome). ... And seriously, Hamline University??? Were all the community college professors busy that week? Can you say Harvard-envy?

Number of States won by: Obama: 19 McCain: 29 Less educated, small town folk susceptible to fear-mongering and religious/political intolerance to vote for republicans against their own best interests.

Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 McCain: 2,427,000 Few people, plenty of farms and therefore farm subsidies and corporate welfare that is much more expensive than food stamps etc.

Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million McCain: 143 million The Constitution does not recognize the voting rights of counties and when said counties contain a small population, there are very few votes (funny that).

Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2 McCain: 2.1 There are lies, damn lies and cherry-picked statistics. If true, this says more about police protection for rural communities and suburbs and the lack of police protection in cities.

Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory McCain won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country. A huge simplification of the US tax code and a personal opinion based on zero facts. Probably not true even under his blatant attempt to cherry-pick the narrowest of criteria (does not count sales tax, payroll tax, property tax, auto registration, farm subsidies, corporate welfare, corporate loopholes, wars for oil etc,).

Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low income tenements and living off various forms of government welfare..." The idea that everyone who votes for Obama lives in a tenement is 100% untrue. Most of the city-dwellers that make this statement partially true are the huge populations of found in the very expensive cities of LA, NY, Boston, Philly, etc. Each one of these major cities, with diverse levels of income has more population than the entire mid-west. Accept it or move to a country that has no large cities. Good luck finding one in this world of large population canters.

Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the "complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase. The governmental "dependency phase" is a made up term that improperly blames the poor for our problems. America's real deficit issues are a direct result of republican policies that bankrupted the country with two unfunded wars (a give-away to Haliburton, Blackwater, Boeing, Bechtel and hundreds more), unfunded Medicare part D (a give-away to drug companies) and tax cuts for millionaires during at least one unnecessary war against a defenseless country (a give-away to oil companies).

If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegal's - and they vote - then we can say goodbye to the USA in fewer than five years. Fear-monger about dark-skinned people, much?

If you are in favor of this, then by all means, delete this message. Instead of throwing this away I felt compelled to point out some of the lies, intentional misinformation and countless republican dog-whistles.

If you are not, then pass this along to help everyone realize just how much is at stake, knowing that apathy is the greatest danger to our freedom.. Not nearly as big of a danger as a hundred other forms of corporate welfare. All forms of unfairly targeted Welfare for the least of those among us who are in larger number thanks to policies of the previous administration. And all welfare programs for the poor combined, does not even qualify as a drop in the bucket compared any one of the short list of seven actual deficit busters: farm subsidies, Medicare part D, millionaire tax cuts, government contractors, corporate welfare, foreign wars, and the military industrial complex,

This is truly scary! Yes, the constant stream of lies intended to demean the office of the president of the United States is truly scary. Just because Obama only partially agrees with policies for the uber-rich and only mostly supports corporate welfare, and the military industrial complex does not make the worst person to ever live. I personally believe this is all carefully planned to incite someone to attempt an assassination. And then all republicans will throw up their hands and say, "Well we didn't think someone would be crazy enough to do it. And of course they know that somebody is crazy enough to attempt this especially when repeatedly told that this president is a marxist, socialist, Kenyan, nazi.

Of course we are not a democracy, we are a Constitutional Republic . Someone should point this out to Obama. Obama is completely aware of this and doing the best he can under a historically obstructionist republican party who crashed the economy into a ditch and then shoots out the tires and sets explosives under every tow truck hired to pull us out of the ditch.

Of course we know he and too many others pay little attention to The Constitution. It is the Republicans who wrap themselves in around half of the Constitution and bash the other half is marxist, socialist, Kenyan, nazism

There couldn't be more at stake than on Nov 2012. Unless Obama is found with a dead girl or a live boy before November get ready for another presidential landslide.

Enlightened vs. Unenlightened
Posted on April 17, 2012

What we have here is an archetypal battle between light and dark forces. It kicks up a notch in election years, but it is the latest news in an eternal war. In our situation, as I see it with my liberal bias, liberal people are more accepting and tolerant. They welcome everyone to the table, whether rich or poor, old or young; any race, creed, religion, or ancestry. Liberals like roundtable discussion and brainstorming.They appreciate helping and working together to make things better for everyone.

Fundamentalists like law and order. They consider their own race, religion, and creed superior. They will do anything for their mission, which is often plutocratic and destructive to those at the lower rungs of a perceived pyramid structure. They blame their problems on those at the bottom and thereby justify abusing them.

When you see close election polling, it shows how evenly matched humanity is, or how torn it is between progressive and fundamentalist. What to do if you are a progressive, like me, and want things to get better (not worse)? In the history of positive thinking, you may have seen book titles like Thoughts are Things and Your Word is Your Wand.* Remember that you become what you think about, because that is the Strangest Secret.**

If you are rusty on your positive thinking, you may waver from day to day. One day you feel terrified ("Oh no! It's A vs. B and B is winning!) another day you feel confident (Yeah, A is winning again!).*** However, in general, especially since 9/11, the American psyche goes from neutral to terrified in twenty-four hours or less. Then it takes months, if not years, to crawl out of the negative, self-pitying, victim rut.

To help liberals get on an even keel, I write books, now available on Amazon. Dreaming Peace explains the history of positive thinking and how it works. You can find it, and all my positive reinforcement provisions at norimuster.com. I usually sell one book a day. Days when I sell more than one book, I feel super-positive. Buy Dreaming Peace today. You will be glad you did—and so will I.


* Thoughts are Things was the title of an Ernest Holmes collection; Your Word is Your Wand is a Florence Scovel Shinn book.

** The Strangest Secret was an LP by Earl Nightingale.

*** Alan Watts compared suffering to a lila between A and B, where you become afraid when it appears that B is winning. I am reasonably certain that this discussion appears in the series, Out of Your Mind.

A New Thought for Peace in the Drug War
Posted on April 16, 2012

I would like to thank Jen Rhee for sending this outstanding graphic.

Instead of sending more scatter shot toward President Obama for his recent statements about continuing the drug war, let's give him cover. If the People demand peace in the war on drugs, the good leaders will follow.

Going Green Created by: Online Paralegal Programs

Going Green
Created by: Online Paralegal Programs

A Clear Choice
Posted on April 10, 2012

The choice between President Obama and former senator Mitt Romney is clear. Mitt Romney believes in tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, privatization, and outsourcing. President Obama believes in healthy capitalism and fair taxation. He said today that people who make more than $1 million (PER YEAR) should pay the same percentage of their income in taxes as the middle class. Further, he presented lists of where that extra money could go: education, taking care of our citizens, and infrastructure. It is clear that if we work together, we can make America great again, better than ever before.

Women's Rights 2012
Posted on April 4, 2012

Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, I never imagined we would be debating women's rights again in the twenty-first century. American women fought for equal rights since the 1920s, and probably longer. I grew up thinking the war was over. But here comes the bawdy right wing, digging up old issues.

In 1920, Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, wrote:

The basic freedom of the world is woman's freedom. A free race cannot be born of slave mothers. A woman enchained cannot choose but give a measure of that bondage to her sons and daughters. No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.

Now, I would like to add that all this enforced prudery over on the right reminds me of one of the symptoms of child abuse: low level of appropriate touch.

In the most toxic incest families all touching is considered taboo. Parents do not hug, caress, or cuddle their children, as normal families do. This is perhaps the most telling symptom of incest.

Right wing zealots have made it clear they are against all forms of sex not meant for procreation. Maybe they are so uptight about it because they need to cover up for sexual exploitation happening (or having happened) in their families or institutions. To learn more about sexual abuse, go to the information page at this site—click here.

Meanwhile, beware of hypocritical and dangerous politicians aiming to set women's rights back to the stone age.

World Needs Love
Posted on March 29, 2012

Where does the culture war take place? Where are the battlefields? They are everywhere. The family living room, the office break room, and anywhere people get political. Not everybody is consumed with hate, but everyone senses at least some of the systemic induced hatred. Following is an illustration.

Tuesday night we had our annual homeowner's association meeting at the condominiums where I live. It was a pleasure. Lots of people attended. We talked, laughed, applauded each other, watched a slide show, and held our election. It was full of good memories, up to the end, waving goodbye to everyone and walking home.

Wednesday night was the homeowner's March meeting for the larger association, which controls a 320 acre development. The people at those meetings are angry, have taken sides and see each other as enemies. They have strict standards for how to do your gardens and what colors you can paint your house. Everyone bullies each or flouts each other, possibly to make up for childhood deficits.

At the greater association meetings, what I see is a lot of people who deep down inside love each other. However, they have built up stereotypes, profiled each other, and closed the doors to love. I have been a witness to the contrast between the dual associations for several years now. Our sub-association gets better and better, while the other one becomes more tense.

The point is that it is within our power to cultivate love and work together. Strife is not inevitable, it's a bad habit. To break a bad habit, think about the good habit you want to develop to replace it. Perhaps we could build the good habit of getting to know someone as an individual, reserving our judgments.

Why I Wrote Dreaming Peace
Posted on March 21, 2012

In my books, I have tried to prove to the reader that the unbearable truth about the world is good. There is much pain involved in reality, and the truth is often unwelcome, but it appears eventually even if everyone in the world tries to hide it and keep it down.

One of the most powerful shocks I had after leaving the religious cult was when I realized that the very things I wanted to escape in the cult now permeate our culture. I didn't notice it as much until after 9/11, so I am not sure if it is getting worse, or if it has always been as bad as a bad-ass religious cult in the mainstream world. Specifically, it seems that society is eating itself up from inside. Right now one side of us is trying to mutilate and destroy civil rights, women's rights, and the commons. One of the Republican candidates said he wants to rip government up by the roots. Essentially, he wants the Union to secede from the Union.

In times like this, one of the best defenses is easy access to a peaceful place inside oneself. If we can look inward and find peace, then we can also look at the world. Anyone who lives in the world must suffer grief observing the collective problems. We need to acknowledge the hypocrisy, dishonesty, and abuse, even when it comes from powerful people who could retaliate. Sometimes the darkness seems to surround us and isolate us. However, truth is stronger. Love is real and has been the main thing to see us through so far. God's love, our love for the savior, for the benevolent higher power, for the inner consciousness. It is up to you how you name it.

The pocks of dark must be there for whatever metaphorical or metaphysical reason. How to cope.? Look squarely into the darkness with compassion. Then trust that truth/love is stronger. Go to the forest, read a book, meditate, tackle your new project. Whatever it is that connects you with what is good, go there and leave the world's burden behind for a time. Join others who acknowledge the dark side, but choose a better future. That is the meaning behind Dreaming Peace. Your thoughts can change your own personal life; our thoughts together can change our world.

Posted on March 21, 2012

"With the Internet, we weave a web of love to replace outdated and tangled webs of fear."

Posted on March 20, 2012

Thinking this morning of Trayvon Martin, the seventeen year old slain in Florida yesterday. Each detail of the case is more emotionally painful than the fact that came before. My thoughts and prayers to his girlfriend, friends, and family.

A Few Words about Abuse
Posted on March 12, 2012

Back to my favorite subject. But you know what it is like to be in a cult and to be abused, or to have a dear relative wrapped up with a cult. It is painful to watch. I was in a cult from 1978-1988; members of my family are currently in the cult of Rush Limbaugh. Not sure of how they justify his most recent outrages. But then I think back to when I was in a cult. It was easy to think of rationalizations, even if your guru killed somebody. It is inexplicable, but also more common than you know.

So let's be liberal and focus on making it easier to communicate, easier to forgive, and naturally more accepting and tolerant. How to do? Focus on your own life. Once you get healthy emotional boundaries, you may decide this abusive person is something you need to distance. Then again, you may decide having the person in your life is acceptable.

One thing I would like us to communicate about better is the issue of sex. Anyway, just to open up the conversation, your voice of surrealist would like to put it all out there up front. I am a slut. I am a witch. I am an old bitty. Any of those choices would be accurate, yet I can live with myself. In fact, I love myself. My sluttiness and evil are minor parts of my personality. Plus, I have done my level best to be a better person.

Since I forgive myself, I also forgive you your sluttiness and anger. However, you may not have done that work on yourself yet, so I try to keep it to myself. You have to be the first person to love yourself before you can accept love from others. Still, this is my love to you, inviting you to look into your own darkness. You will come back humble, grateful and sure this is a sweet world we have been given, and only our embarrassments and addictions keep us from living more fully in it. Our own unacknowledged emotional pain is the thing that sentences us to life in a cult.

Hawaii House Proposes State Microbe Posted on March 8, 2012

The State of Hawaii is considering a bill to recognize an official State microbe, the Nesiotobacter exalbescens. If HB2079 passes, Hawaii will be the first of the fifty states to acknowledge beneficial microbes. According to a report in the Hawaii Reporter, Dr. Stuart P. Donachie is the scientist who discovered the microbe in 2000. He is a supporter of HB2079 because it will help to reverse people's "negative feelings about microbes." In favor of friendly microbes, he said they "created and sustain our environment" and their "contributions to our health and the environment are often overlooked."

To find out more about friendly, beneficial microbes, visit the Organic Cures page, click here.

Waste of Time
Posted on March 6, 2012

Tonight MSNBC was fixated on the Republican primaries like it was the end of the world. It was so boring I had to turn it off after about fifteen minutes. Isn't there anything else happening in the world today? Wall to wall coverage of these clowns is a lie and a virtual news blackout.

When you focus on something, you automatically get more of that thing. Dear dear liberal news media, Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, Al Sharpton, Keith Olbermann, Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Thom Hartmann, Chris Matthews, and all: please find something else to talk about that reflects what you want to see more of in the future. We want less of these people. So much focus on them gives them an air of legitimacy they do not deserve.

Cult Dynamics Go Mainstream
Posted on February 29, 2012

How sad that the 2012 presidential campaign is infested with religious cult behavior. Lately, it has been a campaign to return to Puritanical moral codes. The book, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was a nineteenth century glimpse into Puritan fundamentalism of the 1600s in Boston. In the story, protagonist Hester Pryne was forced to embroider a red "A" on her dresses as part of her punishment for adultery.

On the other hand, we have a candidate whose grandfather fled the United States rather than give up his extra wives. Mormonism itself is not a new age cult anymore, but the polygamous Mormon groups definitely fall in the coercive mind-control column. The candidate himself has not done much to address people's uneasiness on the subject.

So what will it be America? Is everybody ready to join a cult? Two new books advise otherwise. Adults may suffer consequences, but it is the children in a cult who are most vulnerable to exploitation. Check out Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment, by Janet Heimlich (see: paperback; see: Kindle edition). Her book examines child maltreatment (abuse and neglect) problems in religious authoritarian cultures in the U.S., whether they are Christian, Jewish, or Muslim-based.

Child of the Cult, my latest book, traces the lives of five people who grew up in coercive new age groups: the Unification Church, Transcendental Meditation, ISKCON, Aesthetic Realism, and the Children of God. It is available as a Kindle edition (click here to preview the book at Amazon.com). The conclusion offers suggestions for reducing violence against children and lowering the volume of cultish behavior in the mainstream.

It is time to get out of the seventeenth century. Consider these two books road maps for healing our society.

America the Beautiful
Posted on February 28, 2012

When you think of America, say God bless America. Our people are waking up. I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see. We are a nation united, including women and minorities.

If your r-wing loved ones begin to awaken, just bless them. Assure them that our country is strong and we will heal the rift. You can go a long way toward planetary healing if you are loving. Don't start an All in the Family-style argument in your living room. Visualize peace in the culture war. There will be time to talk things out later.

State Races Need More Media Attention
Posted on February 25, 2012

Dear liberal news media (Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, Al Sharpton, Keith Olbermann, Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Thom Hartmann, Chris Matthews, and all). As we know, the Republican primary has been the top story for about a year. However, we need more focus on the state races. The success of our president will depend on having a Senate and House of Representatives that is willing and able to work with him.

The Republican primary has been the most covered story, but it is about as interesting as watching Republicans moon each other (and us) and flip off the president. I agree that it is probably worth one segment per night so we can be up on the latest pimples on their asses, but what good does it do us? If each of you focused on three to five state races of interest, you could cover all fifty states, and get the word out about the most important campaigns.

Yes, the Republican primary has been mildly interesting and funny, but it is a distraction. It is more important to cover the state races from here until November.

Update from Rachel Maddow on the Theft of Benton Harbor
Posted on February 18, 2012

Thank god somebody is following the story of Benton Harbor, Michigan. Rachel tells the story well, but it sounds so sinister. This could only happen in a developing country, a banana republic. But it is happening. If this bothers you, complain to the Justice Department, the FCC, the White House, your two U.S. Senators, and your U.S. Representative. Let's occupy Benton Harbor electronically by writing letters, posting to blogs, and sending positive energy to the people who got ripped off by these autocratic power mongers.

Read more about this issue: http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/13/10398925-the-silencing-of-benton-harbor-michigan

God is a Little Bit Scary
Posted on February 17, 2012

God is so big and we are so small. It's no wonder his creation scares us at times. People shake their fists at God in anger for the things he has allowed to happen. God perhaps looks back on us and wishes it could be easier on us. Nevertheless, he would still be full of optimism and confidence that our problems will heal and we will someday rejoin his dimension. Meanwhile, we are in this world, expecting more punishment, wrath, and mistreatment. There is nothing God can do about our attitude. We have to do that for ourselves.

Then sometimes, people get so jaded that they just want to scare somebody else. Here's a hint about what the fear-makers are up to. You continue to insist to follow their every bowel movement, so at least know what they are up to. You watch them all the time, so you are asking them to set the tone of the conversation. Right now it has devolved to men sitting in judgment of women who use birth control.

Since you insist on following this stupid thread of conversation, you are now down in the fearmongers' mudhole shooting brown liquids at them and each other. When you seek revenge, be sure to dig an extra grave for yourself. You get what you concentrate upon. You decide where to put your focus, and where you focus determines your level of happiness in life.

There's another category of fear-mongers, and they are the seriously wounded ones. They have no way to earn an honest living, so they turn to crime, cults, gangs, and abuse. These people are created by the abuses of the simpleton fear-mongers. If we all worked together, we could lift up all those in poverty and feel good about it. As things stand, we believe the fear-mongers and fear them, and nobody can work together to help the meek and suffering. What choice do they have, but to turn to crime to survive?

As for God, I see the Lord sitting in supreme confidence, loving his creation, even the ungrateful ones. If you are jaded and tired of this life, reach out to a higher power. Remember, it is all between you and that inner companion that most people call God. It is real and there is a point of reconciliation. It is easier to do in this world, and since we have no scientific proof of what comes next, it might be more difficult. For atheist friends, instead of God, a being, think of it as a part of your own consciousness, perhaps your conscience.

I don't want to be racist, immature, cruel, or stupid. I try to improve myself, be kinder to the people I meet, and make up for harms I have done in the past. It simply feels better to live this way. If I have hurt you in the past, please forgive me. I am recovering from lifetimes of abuse, trying to make sense of it too, just like most souls on earth.

Happy Valentine's Day
Posted on February 14, 2012

A note to my sisters: if you have a good husband, hang onto him. You would miss having a man who loves you more than anybody else in the world. The only reasons to end a marriage are abuse (physical, sexual, verbal, or abuse of substances) or if he is cheating. Other than that, it's all small stuff.

As Middle Classers, What Bad Karma Caused Our Trouble?
Posted on February 6, 2012

I want to talk about karma, so for my friends who don't believe in karma, just think of it as a metaphor. Okay, what bad karma of the middle class caused all our troubles?

I bring up the issue of karma because perpetrators often rationalize their own misbehavior by imagining that their victims had bad karma. The perpetrator feels like a channel for delivering god's vengeance, so they don't feel bad about what they've done. This was the case in the religious group I was in, where they said the child abuse was the children's own bad karma.

However, it is more likely that the perpetrators against the middle class are just ornery souls. They have a greedy hole that can never be filled. Although the world would be a lot better if they followed the golden rule, they are not god's vehicle for delivering justice. They are simply creating bad karma for themselves.

God does not repay abuse with more abuse. An act of abuse would be repaid with an opportunity to learn why the abuse was wrong, and if possible to make amends.

So the bottom line is, the middle class does not deserve the troubles, but since they are being heaped upon us, we are reduced to prayer. We can pray to get back everything these devils stole from us. We can pray for their souls, that they will reform themselves someday. But we cannot surrender to doubt, thinking that we somehow deserve abuse from greedy CEOs and other vulture capitalists.

Susan G. Komen for the Oops
Posted on February 3, 2012

The Susan G. Komen organization reversed their idiotic decision to defund Planned Parenthood. That's smart. However, in the process, we find out that the organization has gotten top-heavy, with most of your donations going to the one percent-style executives. Also, what is the fascination with finding a cure for cancer while ignoring prevention? Petro-chemicals are responsible for the cancer epidemic. When will we crack down on the chemical companies? They could make non-toxic chemicals, so let's encourage them to do that before we all die of cancer.

Open Letter to the Left Wing Media
Posted on February 1, 2012

This is my second appeal to the liberal media to tune out the GOP primary. The event will be dark in February, since the next primary is February 28. Nothing newsworthy will happen between now and then. You could safely ignore the situation until the last week of the month.

It is time this news cycle ended. A few people may still find it interesting to hear about what might happen, who said what to whom, and to track the candidates' every bowel movement, but many of us have already tuned out. Who cares? All the GOP candidates have miserable plans for mean things to do to each other, and to us, and we are just sick of hearing every detail.

Instead of hyperactive coverage of the GOP primary, please give us news about voter rights, unions, and bringing vulture capitalists to justice. I love all dozen or so of you liberal anchors on TV and radio: Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, Al Sharpton, Keith Olbermann, Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and everyone else. I am grateful to you. You have so much power. Please use it to put the spotlight on good, newsworthy news about how to build up the middle class and empower our country to do better.

New Yorker Financial Page
Posted on January 31, 2012

"The Financial Page: Private Inequity," published in the January 30, 2012 edition of The New Yorker, said in 2004,

Wasserstein & Company bought the thriving mail-order fruit retailer Harry and David. The following year, Wasserstein and other investors took out more than a hundred million in dividends, paid for with borrowed money—covering their original investment plus a twenty-three per cent profit—and charged Harry and David millions in "management fees." Last year, Harry and David defaulted on its debt and dumped its pension obligations. In other words, Wasserstein failed to improve the company's performance, failed to meet its obligations to creditors, screwed its workers, and still made a profit. That's not exactly how capitalism is supposed to work . . .

As if this weren't galling enough, taxpayers are left on the hook. Interest payments on all that debt are tax-deductible; when pensions are dumped, a federal agency called the Pension Benefit Guarantey Corporation picks up the tab; and the money that the dealmakers earn is taxed at a much lower rate than normal income would be, thanks to the so-called "carried interest" loophole.

Sit down right now and write letters to your US Representative, two Senators, the Justice Department, and the White House, and tell them you object to the way Wasserstein & Company's treated Harry and David.


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