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Happy New Year!
For 2016 blog posts, click here.





Surrealist News 2016 Vision
December 26, 2015



We Can Work It Out, by Lennon and McCartney
Recorded by the Beatles, EMI Studios, London, 1965

Try to see it my way
Do I have to keep on talking till I can't go on
While you see it your way
Run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone
We can work it out
We can work it out

Think of what you're saying
You can get it wrong and still you think that it's all right
Think of what I'm saying
We can work it out and get it straight, or say good night
We can work it out
We can work it out

Life is very short, and there's no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend
I have always thought that it's a crime
So I will ask you once again.
Try to see it my way
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong
While you see it your way
There's a chance that we may fall apart before too long
We can work it out
We can work it out

Life is very short, and there's no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend
I have always thought that it's a crime
So I will ask you once again
Try to see it my way
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong
While you see it your way
There's a chance that we may fall apart before too long
We can work it out
We can work it out

wecanworkitout

Watch at Youtube - click here

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Peace on Christmas Greetings
December 21, 2015

From 1999 to 2005 I worked in retail sales, and that included six Christmases. Here's how I did it, and I recommend this to bring peace in the so-called war on Christmas. For two weeks before Thanksgiving, say "have a happy Thanksgiving." For several weeks after that, say "happy holidays." Beginning two weeks before Christmas, say "merry Christmas" or "have a merry Christmas." From Christmas until New Years, say "have a happy new year." Then for the first week of January say, "So glad we made it through!"

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Three Wise Democrats Debate
december 21

If that's the candidates competing, I would love to see them working together. The three of them, with the support of the People, could mend all the problems in the country. Hillary Clinton was great. Bernie Sanders shined. Martin O'Malley was amazing too. If you missed it, watch it at Youtube Democratic Debate - December 19, 2015 - ABC.

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A Vision for Access to Universal Truths

A Vision for Complete and Utter Freedom

We see a world where the powers-that-be on this planet suddenly see the great benefit to themselves and everyone else that comes as a result of their changing their behavior so that now they no longer attempt to control others by any means whatsoever.

Likewise, we also see a world where the part of ourselves who has allowed us to remain under the thumb of others suddenly sees the great benefit to everyone concerned in changing our own behavior so that we are no longer allowing ourselves to be controlled in any way whatsoever.

In such an environment we are all free to live our lives without the interference, infringement or imposition of anyone else. And this perspective naturally begs the question: Now that we are free what will we do?

What a wonderful question to be asking ourselves, don't you think?

- Tony Burroughs,
Vision Alignment Project

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In the News
December 19, 2015

Tonight the Democrats will debate. Thankfully, the DNC, headed by Debbie Wasserman Shultz, has ended it's siege on the Bernie Sanders campaign. Sheesh, what was her goal in leaking this story? To turn all the Bernie Sanders voters against the Democratic party? I join the chorus calling for her to be replaced.

Last Tuesday the Republicans had a debate where they argued, beat up on each other, and said they would shoot Russian jets out of the sky even if it would lead to World War III. One inescapable fact: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and their know-nothing cohort have big ego deficits to fill.

In the endless commentary, I heard a talking head compare Senator Bernie Sanders to Trump, as though Sanders was the Trump of the left wing. This is an absurd comparison. If any comparisons could be made, Bernie Sanders is a pro-public sector version of Rand Paul. But even in that comparison, Bernie Sanders has more experience and is more realistic.

Third, although there are outspoken racists and anti-government people flooding our election cycles and shooting up our communities, they remain a minority. They are a vocal minority, for sure, but they are a minority. They believe the rest of us are godless heathans who want to destroy everything they cherish (an all-white America? the baby Jesus? fetuses? freedom from the gays, or whatever they think we're out to destroy). It just shows how humans have the capacity to act like frightened animals. They grab their guns and shoot everyone, or get up on their bully pulpit and verbally abuse and troll everyone.

People in recovery from a verbally abusive relationship realize that violence just makes a situation worse. To make things better, we must learn effective communication. Usually things can be worked out. We don't have to shoot and scream to get our way. When the world seems to be caving in, it's called stress. We all hit the wall sometimes, and usually it is us who needs fixing, not the outside world. We can take a break, get the rest or food or knowledge, or whatever we need to solve the problem. Then we can come back to it with strength instead of stress.

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Love Rises Like a Phoenix
December 14, 2015

Even in the fallout of rampant bigotry, love finds a way.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomes 163 Syrian refugees to Canada on December 10. Trudeau will settle 25,000 Syrian refugees in his country and make them feel welcome.

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A viral photo from Facebook: Pope Francis embraces Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Muslim leader Omar Abboud.

Despite all the strange weather patterns and rampant hate propaganda, people are coming together this holiday season.

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Trump Symbolism News
December 12, 2015

Last Wednesday, Trump images were making news. The first was the Time magazine photo shoot for Person of the Year. If Trump won, Time wanted a shot of him holding an American bald eagle for their cover. They posted a short video showing what happened during the shoot.

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First the eagle tried to snatch a lock of Donald Trump's hair, probably to feather its nest. While birds gather hair from the landscape, they usually don't take it from someone's head. However, knowing birds, I can understand why this fella could not resist. The eagle snapped at Donald (below), maybe because he made a sudden movement. Trump is heard saying: "This bird is seriously dangerous, but beautiful."

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The bald eagle is America's symbol of strength and tenacity. The species was declared to be endangered in 1967, however, banning the insecticide DDT led to a revival. The eagles are now considered threatened, but no longer endangered. Trump was taken off guard on how aggressive even tame bald eagles could be. The photoshoot was last August—click here to see the video at Time magazine's Youtube page.

The next image also appeared Wednesday, on the cover of the New York Daily News.

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Completed in 1886, the Statue of Liberty symbolizes freedom and opportunity for immigrants seeking a better life in America. The words in the headline refer to First They Came, by Pastor Martin Niemöller. The poem explains how the Nazis could take over Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, and asks us to stand up for all people, lest there be nobody left to stand up for us.

There's no image of this (except the one you might get in your head), but also last week, David Duke, former grand doofus of the Ku Klux Klan, endorsed Donald Trump. Trump said he doesn't support the KKK, but his rhetoric sounds awfully KKK to the rest of us.

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Will We Get a Sustainable Future?
December 11, 2015

Will the Paris United Nations conference on climate change work? That's what everyone is thinking about, especially people who have children that must live on in this world.

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The Ultimate Ticket for 2016
December 11, 2015

No matter what the Republican leadership tries to do, it looks like Donald Trump is their nominee. Trump is a charismatic who will say whatever pops into his head if he thinks people want to hear it. He's egotistical and immature, and would make a bad leader. However, he can get people out to vote. Our puzzle on the Democratic side is to craft a ticket that will get all the Democrats out to vote. At this moment, the Democrats are split over two candidates. A good way to unite the Democrats and get everyone out to vote is to combine the two front runners on one ticket.

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We have no way to know yet which Democratic candidate will come out on top. That's why this is a good time for the two top candidates to agree that whoever comes out first will uplift the other onto the ticket. If we get the ultimate ticket for 2016 we will win. If one of the top runners is pushed aside, the rejected candidate's supporters may not vote at all. I do not want to go through another election cycle where all our leaders are telling us to get out to vote, when people are not excited about the election to begin with. "Vote, vote, vote" turns into nagging. Then all the Democratic fundraisers will send us depressing, desperate fundraising emails to discourage voting even more. In the last two mid-terms, their favorite slogans were, "Disaster," "We're losing," and "We're finished." Thanks a lot DCCC, talking to you.

Instead of nagging voters and scaring them, we need an organic process that draws people in to vote. Voting is difficult these days. We are gerrymandered, people who don't have ID have to go out and get it, people who live in minority neighborhoods may have to wait in line for eight hours, and the media will probably still cut to Trump like it's breaking news every time he opens his mouth. Further, Julian Castro would not be a useful addition to the Clinton ticket because he is largely unknown and will not fire up Latinos (hint: his name sounds Cuban). The best way to win is the clear choice. Clinton-Sanders or Sanders-Clinton is our ticket to win in 2016.

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Editorial
Our Position on Muslims and Terrorism
December 7, 2015

Speaking on behalf of Surrealist.org News, I want to state my position on Muslims, then terrorism. First, I have had many trusted friends who are Muslim. All my life I have respected the Muslim faith as one of the mainstream religions of the world. I welcome Muslims to be my friend. I defend Muslims whenever one of my red-neck friends slanders them as a people.

Next, I'd like to state my belief about terrorism. First, I see it as a religious addiction. It grows out of religious intolerance and bad leadership. It's like a disease. I was in an intolerant, fundamentalist Hindu group for ten years, so I have first-hand experience of what it's like to be a brainwashed religious follower. Luckily, our group did not engage in terror. Although, they were engaged in other crimes.

Bad cult leaders can use any religion and turn it into poison. Thus, the message of intolerance, hate, and fear can infect any religion. Over the last twenty five years studying religious cults, I have seen dangerous Christian groups, along with Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim groups that go bad. As far as I'm concerned, anytime somebody picks up a gun or makes a bomb, then goes out trolling to upset the delicate balance in society, that constitutes terror.

Over the last few years, I have witnessed horrifying terror, and although some of it comes from Muslims, like last Wednesday, even more comes from disgruntled white Christian men with guns. I've also seen video of police terrorizing black communities.

America needs to get a grip. We have a vicious circle on our hands here. First, we have disgruntled poor people who are undereducated, and especially lack critical thinking skills. They are unhappy and underemployed, and looking for a cause. They are joiners, ripe for the picking, as cult recruiters might say. On top of that, we have disgusting political leaders who are out to exploit people's hate and fear. Follow me, they say. I know the way, they say. Just join me in my immaturity and hatred. That will feel good and you will like me more and more.

To break this vicious circle, I want to extend my hand to any person who feels discriminated against, or who is in fear of another minority (Muslims fearing violent Christians; Christians fearing violent Muslims). Then after I reach out in friendship to someone, I'm asking you to reach out to someone to weave webs of trust. We have better things to do than to fall for immature leaders who are egotistical and spout reckless rhetoric because they want people to adore them. That is a sad spectacle, and one that is unbecoming of our country.

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What Muslims and Police Have in Common
December 3, 2015

Muslims and law enforcement officers may have more in common than they think. Only a small percentage of Muslim people have the potential to radicalize and do something like the thing in San Berdoo. However, about a third of Americans are under the false impression that every single Muslim is a terrorist.

Police have also gotten a bad rap lately. There's been a firehose of video footage of police killing black people. This gives the distinct impression that every policeman is just a hair trigger away from going on a similar video game-like rampage.

At a press conference with California Governor Jerry Brown tonight, the first officer on the scene in San Bernardino, Lt. Mike Madden, described the response at the Community Center. He was genuine, speaking from the heart about what it was like. Listening to Lt. Madden reminds us police are human beings, doing their job like other Americans, and taking their responsibilities seriously.

Both Muslims and law enforcement officials who are trustworthy, and cooperating with the highest good for all need to show themselves. Honest kindhearted people stand apart from those who choose the downward spiral of hate, that gives everyone else a bad name. I suppose liberals should be more self-aware too, but we don't generally participate in gun violence. Admittedly, there are liberals who give other liberals a bad name. Some are argumentative and cynical. I just shared a tense carpool ride in traffic with one this evening.

In the light of increasing hatred and fear in the world, people who can be strong, need to be strong. If enough strong people speak up for what is kind, honest, and good, they can anchor thousands more honest people in their respective communities.

The evening news on MSNBC also showed us an interview with men from the San Bernardino mosque. Although it doesn't fit the corporate medias' agenda necessarily, the TV news reporters need to consult spokespersons from the Muslim community on the news.

Just like MSNBC showed us the press conference and the full Q&A with Lt. Madden, we need to hear from good police. One thing I learned tonight: some police act like the KKK; others are genuine professionals like Lt. Madden. Some Muslims are vulnerable to brainwashing; others are serious about life.

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Who Are These People?
December 2, 2015

What a crappy day. First thing I found out an old pal I call Grandpa died this morning way too young, run over by drunk drivers. My work day: contractors discovered two irrigation pipes broke under concrete. After work: three men in an SUV murder fourteen people in San Bernardino. Now a SWAT team has surrounded the vehicle. And we don't yet know the identities of the suspects—one shot, one escaped, one arrested.

Possible scenarios: 1) people will say it's a government cover-up—conspiracy theorists incite more violence against the government; 2) Isis: end of the world—the media will use it to foster more hatred and fear toward Muslims and conspiracy theorists will use it to incite more violence against the government; 3) whites: whatever; 4) unexpected possible scenario(s): intergalactic aliens; cult zombies; international spy vs. spy; NRA fire drill.

On a day like this, I'll just have to wait and see how things turn out. Nothing is under control, but we're still here to face another day.

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Investigate and Block Isis Funding
November 25, 2015

Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Crimes nominee Adam Szubin's new job in the Treasury Department will include investigating and cutting off Isis's funding. However, the Senate is blocking his nomination. This may be due to a conflict of interest since (to be perfectly cynical) it seems the majority in the Senate represent the oil companies. Oil barons make extra money buying Syrian terrorist oil at a discount, so no doubt they want the US government to stay out of it.

We would like to see this situation change. Isis is already feeling the financial crunch, and as the second biggest employer in the Middle East, they are having trouble paying all their soldiers. Cutting off their oil sales and other means of funding could put an end to Isis in the Middle East. They're only popular because they can afford to hire. Once they can no longer afford to hire, their attraction will end. A serious cut in their funding will put their fancy four-color magazine Dabiq out of business, too.

Editor's Note (12/1/2015): journalists Eli Berman and Jacob N. Shapiro published an article that echoes the same points I made about defunding Isil as the best strategy to defeat them: Why Isil will fail on its own. Thugs looting the local population is no way to fund a government, and they don't have many other options for longterm funding.

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A Vision for Access to Universal Truths

We see a world where all people everywhere now have access to the laws and truths of the Universe—in our schools, in our libraries, in our media, and on our Internet. We see people becoming less enamored with the information being offered to them by the old mainstream media and [lesser quality] educational systems, and beginning to integrate higher truths into their daily lives.

Indeed, we are now a much happier [human race] because our adherence to these Universal truths and laws has brought us a measure of freedom and joy never before achieved in the history of mankind.
-
Vision Alignment Project

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Power Grid Cyber Attack?
November 25, 2015

Ted Koppel's new book, Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath, stokes fears over America's vulnerable infrastructure. One problem with our electrical grid is that it is too centralized. We need a decentralized grid where cities generate and circulate their own power, mostly through renewables like solar and wind. Plus, we need households and businesses to pitch in and generate power too. That will make America safer and less vulnerable to attacks.

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Parisrose

Sympathy for Paris and all who care about kindness, humanity, civilization, and history.

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Financial News: A New Metaphor for "Break up the Banks"
November 14, 2015

The image of "breaking" something up is negative and scary. Nobody wants their business broken up by the government. I want to suggest a better metaphor for what we want. Let's glue Glass-Steagall back together. It's a precious antique that will make life better. First, let's look at what "breaking Glass-Steagall" means.

Glass-Steagall refers to a group of Depression-era laws meant to protect people in case of another financial crisis. In 1929, the stock markets collapsed and people went to the bank to withdraw their money. The banks ran out of cash and closed. This led to ten years of financial depression in America, and other countries as well. To prevent another disaster, lawmakers formed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to insure people's deposit accounts. Because our money is insured, we trust them to keep our money. Thanks to the Glass-Steagall laws, what happened to people in 1929 will not happen again.

In 1999, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act broke Glass-Steagall because it broke the boundary between insured savings accounts and any damned thing a bank wanted to do. Thus, with Glass-Steagall broken, The People must insure nearly all banking activity. As we saw in the 00 market bubble/crash, banks were a big casino giving out home mortgages like popcorn. Their worthless loans destroyed people's lives and wrecked the world financial markets. It takes determination and wisdom to bounce back from that level of incompetence. Plus, we failed to learn the lessons, such as gluing Glass-Steagall back together.

Everyone wants government to insure regular savings accounts, as originally decided in the Glass-Steagall laws. That's settled. The controversy is whether we need to insure everything the banks do. Informed people want the banks to take the consequences if they make bad investments. For example, if they make bad loans that fail, they should buy them back. People who own and run banks must realize that when they gamble and lose, they must take the losses.

In 1999, the American People had to put up billions of dollars to insure the survival of privately owned financial institutions. If Glass-Steagall had been glued back together, the bailout would only go to individuals who had deposit accounts at FDIC insured banks and financial institutions. If Glass-Steagall was intact, the banks would go into bankruptcy and the gamblers would get consequences. The government would insure individuals' nest eggs and get them new savings accounts at better banks.

The banking aristocrats would also be insured for up to $250k if they had personal savings accounts. Insuring their multi-million dollar deals was never part of Glass-Steagall when it was written and passed through Congress. We can glue Glass-Steagall back together without breaking up the banks. See above: government insures only deposit accounts at FDIC certified banks and financial institutions. That reinstates Glass-Steagall. We don't have to preemptively dismantle ("break up") big banks. Simply reinstate Glass-Steagall and banks that make bad investments fail.

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Schizophrenia in Politics
November 14, 2015

Lately we have seen a groundswell of schizophrenia applied to politics. For example, Kevin Barrett of veteranstoday.com says the deadly attacks in Paris were a false flag operation because the terrorists' backers are nervous about a book he wrote that the Charlie Hebdo attack was a false flag. In other words, horribly twisted Western agents of the military-industrial complex carried out the attacks to distract attention from his book, and stoke up the war on terror. This is clearly off the deep end into la-la-land.

Where do such conspiracy theories come from? Here's one source: schizophrenic cult leaders. Although there are many idiotic cult leaders around politics these days, like Scientology and their ilk, one of the most striking examples is Lyndon LaRouche. Here's a great profile in thedailybeast.com that describes LaRouche's paranoid schizophrenic beliefs. I've met followers of LaRouche, and found them to be the fastest to get up in your face, shaking their finger at you, and telling you their leader is as important as Jesus.

The article by Olivia Nuzzi describes LaRouche as "a 93-year-old homophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, climate change-denying possible cult leader who believes the Rockefellers are trying to spread drug addiction, famine, and the bubonic plague throughout the world." Further:
He believes, for instance, that Hitler was acting on behalf of the British government; that the Queen of England "personally runs the military and intelligence services" of the United Kingdom; that Margaret Mead, the anthropologist, tried to get American students addicted to LSD; that the Bush family financed Hitler's takeover of Germany; that AIDS can be transmitted by bug bites; that global warming "is a scientific fraud"; that "the same oligarchy which had run the U.S. slave trade" is the one that "foisted" jazz music on African Americans; he claims he was personally used to help Reagan negotiate with the Soviets through "back channel talks"; and that the Rockefellers and the CIA have plotted against him and his followers.

In many cases, insane ideas are legitimate if large numbers of people believe them. For example, if you are Catholic, and you literally believe Lord Jesus Christ was born from an immaculate conception, rose from the dead, and walked on water, that is not considered schizophrenic. However if you alone believe you yourself rose from the dead and walked on water, that is diagnosable insanity.

Since we have outspoken fringe cult leaders spouting schizophrenic ideas, and they have many followers, schizophrenic ideas have entered the mainstream. This is one of the problems we face in politics. The main problem with a faulty, schizophrenic assumption is when that assumption slams up against the cold, hard wall of reality. One good example is the global climate change debate. In past decades, the fact-free community argued that climate change is a hoax. However, as we have seen in the last couple years, everyone now notices changes in the weather, and nearly everyone now fears something strange is happening. If we had accepted the dangers of fossil fuels in the beginning, we would be further down the road towards alternative energy, conservation, and green technology.

Let's take this as a lesson. If you hear a political position that seems schizophrenic, it probably is. While conspiracies do exist, and there clearly are examples of ill-planned follies (MK Ultra and the Iran-Contra Affair, for example), the mainstream narrative is usually fairly accurate. If you have lived in a right-wing Internet bubble or echo chamber for a while, you might believe the Paris attacks are a false flag operation to frame Muslims and pump up the war on terror. You might believe the American government is plotting to round everyone up, take away their guns, and intern them in vacant Walmarts. You might think there is a gay agenda to turn all children into homosexuals. You might think President Obama is a Muslim terrorist who wants to turn America into a caliphate and institute sharia law. There are any number of kookie beliefs out there lots of people believe.

You might think many schizophrenic thoughts without even realizing it. Even if you are not under illusion, it's so common these days, you probably know someone who is hopelessly lost. Have compassion on people like this, but don't let them influence how you act. Plant yourself firmly in reality, and operate from a basis of reality. If more of us can do that, without becoming angry of frightened at the level of insanity in our culture, we will have a better chance of getting back to the real world before slamming up against a wall of hard lessons.

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Jihadi John Killed / Terror in Paris
November 14, 2015

Two days ago American drones over Syria targeted and killed Jihadi John. Dead at twenty-seven, Mohammed Emwazi, born Muhammad Jassim Abdulkarim Olayan al-Dhafiri, was a British man who joined the jihad and went on to arrogantly behead a number of Western hostages and circulate videos on the Internet. He deserved to die, no doubt. I was glad to see him go—good riddance.

However, the terror attacks in Paris last night show us that the war between the West and disgruntled people of the Middle East continues. Although Jihadi John's heartless demeanor horrified millions, and bombing him seemed sufficient to end his reign of terror, we now have proof that killing him did not get us the result we wanted.

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A Vision for Higher Collective Awareness

We see a world where humanity, as a whole, has risen above all of the mundane dramas, scenarios, and realities that no longer serve us; where we have seen the light of a new day wherein we now know that our wisest, most productive, most joyful course of action in all situations is to love each other, to serve one another, and to see everyone in their highest light.

Thus, by this new course of action we have, en masse, created peace, happiness, comfort, and safety for ourselves and for all living things who inhabit this Earth.
-
Vision Alignment Project

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Kentucky Governor Election Fixed?
November 6, 2015

Did party insiders steal the November 3 election for Matt Bevin? There are reasons to believe it happened:
* Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway led in every poll by three to five points.

* They said Republican Matt Bevin won by nine points, which is considered a landslide.

* Democratic candidates for secretary of state, attorney general, and state auditor received tens of thousands more votes than Conway.

* The voting machines are unverified.

* Election officials are blocking every attempt to examine the paper ballots.

* Kentucky has a history of election fraud, including electronic voting machine fraud that allegedly went on for decades. Several officials were even convicted.

Here at Surrealist.org News, we want to remind people that voting is our sacred right as Americans, guaranteed by the Constitution. Fixing an election violates local, state, and federal laws, and it a horrifying abuse of power. Our ancestors fought in wars to protect our rights. If these tea party people—or anybody—thinks they are above the law, shame on them.

Given the circumstances, and all that is at stake, we call upon the good people in Kentucky to examine the ballots and count them. We call upon attorneys, legislators, academics, and all informed American citizen who care about the right to vote to call for a fair counting of the votes.
* Speak your mind about fair elections in Kentucky on social media.

* Request public records.

* Focus on a better future, and expect more of your neighbors in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

* Imagine Kentucky moving into the twenty-first century with the rest of us.

Here are two articles on the race: dailynewsbin.com * alternet.org Editor's Note (11/14/2015): People tried to justify the election because of the Kim Davis controversy (Kentucky official who went to jail to become a martyr for taking away people's right to gay marry). However, that controversy was out of the news by the end of September.

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Message from Elvira Mistress of the Dark
October 27, 2015

For a better Halloween, you must listen to the Mistress of the Dark! Today Elvira revealed: "I love Hillary. I gotta say, I love Bernie Sanders too. . . . My dream team—oh my god—would be if Hillary ran, and Bernie was VP. Wouldn't it be amazing?"

I believe in her words because a Clinton-Sanders ticket will get everyone out to vote. That means more chance for creating a sustainable environment!

(Let's) Get Together

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More Than A Feeling

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It's Only Love

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I Can't Help Falling In Love With You

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I Got You Babe

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How love will calm the weather:

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Happy Together *And how is the weather?

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You Are The Sunshine Of My Life

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I'll Follow The Sun

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How love works:

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You Got It (Roy Orbison)

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Canada's Left Turn
October 20, 2015

Yesterday was a great day for our neighbors to the north. Congratulations to Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau, and all Canadians, for the outcome of your election.

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"We see a world where people are having breakthrough after breakthrough, leading them to their highest calling in life and their greatest joy. We see this happening all across the globe now. and as a result, our entire world is transformed into the highest light imaginable!"
- Vision Alignment Project

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Take Time to Celebrate Dem Debate
October 15, 2015

The Democratic Debate Tuesday night was a triumph for America, for humanity, and for the Democrats who are running for president. It was a night to celebrate. Now that two days have passed since our latest victory, the mainstream media's job is to beat down our hopes and dreams, and revive their "equivalency" dogma that both sides are the same. The msm will try to focus even more readily on anything that will drag the Democrats down.

However, we can do our part by continuing to celebrate the victory long after the msm has moved on to darker thoughts. We are responsible for what goes on inside our own heads, and this is the time to keep positive thoughts for the future. The msm can only spread its negative propaganda if the majority of us believe it and get depressed. Break out of the mold. Be happy despite the media's indoctrination that we are supposed to believe "both sides" are just as bad.

The Republican debates were a juvenile show of bullying and braggadocio. The Democrats' debate was a high-spirited and rollicking debate of ideas. Let's keep that in mind as we watch the media come out with dogma blazing, trying to put us Democrats back in our place over the next days and weeks. Yes, there will be depressing gun news, and we will have financial worries, and unrest in the Middle East and Russia, but it's time to focus on what's good. Cling to the good because it can be like a raft to get us through it all.

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Our Second Amendment
October 13, 2015

The Second Amendment reads:

"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."

Our question: when did "well regulated" turn into "un-regulated"?

New slogan (instead of gun "control," which sounds negative and controlling):
"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!"

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Thoughts on the Trans-Pacific Partnership
September 30, 2015

While it's not in the news right now, TPP is in the works. There will be a brief window when the public can learn about the deal, before it goes through (or doesn't go through, or is changed for the better before it's enacted). As Americans, we have the right to be free from faulty, dangerous products and services, and we deserve the right to reject corporations that abuse people, animals, or the earth. Our main concern here at Surrealist.org, is that TPP could force international laws on Americans that override our own regulations and protections. We need to be aware of this and act when the time comes. In the meantime, it's okay to remain mesmerized by the media circus if you must.

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Tom Steyer Leads Positive Paradigm Change
September 28, 2015

Tom Steyer said vital, important things about the climate a few days ago, which were broadcast tonight on TV. To summarize: the test of whether our generation succeeds depends on how we take care of the planet. We now have the technology to reach a goal of fifty percent clean energy by 2030. If we can do this, climate scientists believe we can slow down, and possibly halt the dangerous scenarios that could lay ahead.

He made two main points: 1) Americans are ready. Over the last couple years, Americans have changed their opinion and are ready to do right by the earth. This can be seen in the way people responded to Pope Francis, who implored us to pray for our planet and get off fossil fuels. 2) the technolog is there. All we have to do is focus on it and our scientists and engineers will make it better, more compact, more efficient, and less expensive.

Tom Steyer concluded that this is our chance, as a generation, as a country, to solve the problems and lead the world. We here at Surrealist.org from the religious side, we endorse this viewpoint and ask people to pray for the earth. For atheists and agnostics, please add your kind thoughts for the environment, and for better times ahead.

Editor's Note (10/28/2015): in retrospect, the Pope's conservative side came out in allegations he supported religious fanatic Kim Davis. It made us come back to earth, realizing that the Pope has his human flaws and is not the liberal god we projected on him. In other words, Kim Davis showed the Pope's clay feet. Nevertheless, we can take the seeds of optimism he sowed here during his visit.

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Pope Francis Visits, Reignites American Optimism
September 25, 2015

Pope Francis has more confidence in America and the American Congress than most Americans. Yesterday he addressed Congress and asked our legislators to work together for the environment, for citizens' welfare, and for other progressive causes. His words penetrated the hard shell of apathy and anger that had taken over and reigned for too long.

We here at Surrealist News wholeheartedly support the Pope's vision for a more humane America. Up until yesterday, most people scoffed at optimism like it was a dangerous pipe dream. Somehow hearing the Pope express optimism made it seem more plausible. Today Pope Francis is in New York, a city of immigrants, spreading more love and hope.

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The Cultification of God
September 11, 2015

In the twenty-first century, a significant minority of people worship a cultic god. Perhaps there were times in the past when more people worshiped a universal god. However, that has gone by the wayside in recent years. Everyone has their own god, their own path to god, and often god worshipers belong to exclusive groups that could be termed cults. Not all cults are bad, because in a generic sense, the word "cult" simply describes a subset of the mainstream culture. It was around the time of Jonestown in 1979 when the word took on a pejorative meaning. Now the word cult means "dangerous cult." You don't even need the word "dangerous," because people fill that in automatically.

But let's talk about religious cults, because there are a lot more dangerous cults around than there were when I was in my cult. I belonged to the Hare Krishna organization from 1978 to 1988. After that I wrote a memoir called, Betrayal of the Spirit, which became the best selling book on the subject. After that, I did research on the children of cults, and wrote Child of the Cult and Cult Survivor's Handbook.

In a cult, god is often an angry type who makes followers feel ashamed. He may forbid arbitrary issues like gay marriage or abortion, and smite whole populations who dare to ignore him. The god of today's religious cults has spokespersons who are often cast in the same die. They rail at followers who disobey, they may even pummel followers with their fists. We have seen this even in non-god-based dangerous religious cults, such as Scientology. The documentary, Going Clear, revealed the physical and verbal abuse passed around in that group.

To summarize the dysfunction in a dangerous religious cult, I would characterize it as simple immature human behavior. It is natural for children to yell and hit each other, since they have not yet learned how to communicate like adults. Due to the amount of child abuse that goes on in the worst of the dangerous cults, I would also attribute some of the abuse to the leaders' and members' bringing the problems of childhood abuse with them into the cult experience. Many child abuse victims heal, but for those who do not heal, they may suffer from a variety of DSM diagnosable emotional problems including Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID or MPD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), aggressive and mood disorders, schizoid or schizophrenic disorders, and many become emotionally fixated at the age the traumatic abuse started.

Child abuse may also account for the authoritarian model of god, or the cultification of god. Most people begin to fill in their archetype of god with material they get from their parents, especially their fathers. Thus, people with mean fathers see a mean god, unless they can break the cycle of abuse. That is my opinion on why the fundamentalist Christians, Moslems, Jews, Hindus, and new age followers live in fear of god's wrath. They carry the shame of abuse by an authoritarian parent, who prevented them from growing up into mature adults.

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Letter to a Friend about Death
September 11, 2015

Following is an unabridged letter I sent to a friend:
Hi E - I got your message the other day about R. It is difficult to accept that our wonderful friend is probably facing the end of her life soon. We have known her so long. Death is a difficult thing, even though we all know it will happen to each of us.

Even though I'm not very old, I almost always have at least one friend or relative who is dying. Right now I have a second cousin in Georgia who is in hospice. Also, next week I'm going to Iowa, where my uncle has cancer, and two of his cousins are in the process of dying. I heard we will visit one of them at the facility where he is being treated.

Two years ago my stepfather died suddenly of pancreatic cancer. Then I also have a good number of friends who are in their eighties now, [in my neighborhood], as well as my mother, you, R, and two dear friends in Los Angeles.

Although facing death is something I find emotional, I've learned to accept it. My spiritual beliefs—which mostly came to me from using too much LSD as a fifteen year old—allow for other dimensions. In those other dimensions, we are with all our loved ones, with all the time we need for visiting.

Here in the "real" world, there is never enough time to visit. I have gone to family reunions, or college reunions, or whatever, and after the weekend of doing nothing but talking, I go home feeling like there was not enough time to visit.

It's good to visit people at least one last time before they die, and it's not always easy to know when they will die. There have been other times when it was too emotionally upsetting for me to visit someone a last time. When my stepmother in Los Angeles died in 2013, it was after about four years of having terminal cancer, and I had visited and said goodbye every year except the last year. But I did travel out there to attend her memorial. She was surrounded by her real relatives, including her daughter and two grandsons, when she died. At the memorial I happened to sit next to the hospice worker who was with her when she died, so I found out from her what B's last days were like. B was surrounded by love.

I was with my real father when he died. I was also with my stepfather when he died. So, like you, I have had enough of death to know it's a difficult emotional experience. But we all have to go through it ourselves at the end, so I'm in favor of being rational about it.

I admire R's determination to go back to work, and I do hope she can go back at least for some time. Her coworkers are all wonderful, amazing people, who provided friendship and a sense of purpose for her over the last several years. R is a great soul. I want to go see her, but I'm going out of town on Monday. I'm afraid I have so much to do between now and the time I leave, that I can't go out there. It's so hard to talk to her on the phone, because I cannot speak up enough to be heard.

Anyways, we are her favorite writer friends, and I encourage you to visit her. I'm sure you can lift her spirits a little just by being yourself. I will also try to call you, as I believe phone messages must be answered with phone calls. But I also sometimes answer phone messages with emails, especially if there's a lot I want to say about it. I am much better at writing than talking.

Nori

Editor's Note: names were omitted for privacy's sake.

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Recent Additions
September 7, 2015

Over the long weekend, I added twenty-two photos to my sites, beginning with billmuster.com, where I post all the family genealogy info. Because there were three Bill Musters in a row, my grandfather is Bill Muster, my father is Bill Muster, and my brother is Bill Muster. Here's a list of pages that now have new photos added:

Runge and Christiansen Ancestors of Paula Jean Hassler my mother's side.
Moldenhauer and Miller Genealogy Page my father's mother's side.
Molitor Genealogy Page my father's foster family from age fifteen to eighteen.
Bill Muster Genealogy Page my father's complete genealogy with links.
Nuremberg Trials my father's service in WWII as a photographer.
6900 Santa Monica Boulevard my father's office in Hollywood.

I also added my Youtube clips to norimuster.com: click here for videos.

Best wishes for a happy Labor Day! Imagine a better future that includes effective unions, a higher minimum wage, and a better life for workers in America! We can do it!

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One White Lie Our Black Friends May Repeat to Us
September 1, 2015

If your black friends perceive you as racist, they will repeat a white lie to ease tensions: "If black kids behaved correctly, the police would have no reason to shoot them." This is a lie, because impolite behavior to a policeman is a life threatening event if you're black. In some cases, it's likely that no amount of patience and politeness could quell the furor of particularly angry policemen.

There is a lot of black-on-black violence, but when the government (police are a local government entity), it crosses a line. The government should not attack a particular race or religion of it's own people, since the duty of police is to "protect and serve," not "punish and enslave."

Honesty and truth are difficult at first, especially if it's been missing a long time. But there is much more pain in repressing real feelings to go along and get along. Let's live in a world where everyone has freedom of mind and freedom of speech, and where we all love one another for our differences.

America has finally reached the stage of equality for all now, if you want it.

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We Need a Better Tax System and Better Unions
August 31, 2015

A recent Gallup Poll found that 62% of people think the rich pay too little tax; 11% think they pay too much, and only 25% think they pay their fare share. On All In with Chris Hayes tonight, David Cay Johnson said: "At some point, man up and pay your taxes. The capital rate right now is twenty percent and that's not an outrageous rate to pay by anyone's definition—unless you don't want to have our United States with its liberties, our military, and all the other benefits we get from living in this country."

Besides fixing the income tax codes, we need better unions. Some unions are great, but others have had bad leadership. We need more good unions, and fewer unions that give unions a bad name. If we could make these two improvements, people in our country would get along a lot better.

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SHAME on Those Who Fight for Guns
August 26, 2015

Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot to death this morning in Roanoke, Virginia, in the line of their service reporting for CBS affiliate WDBJ-TV. The murderer was deranged and was previously fired for his immature and violent behavior on the job.

This violent man clearly never should have had access to a gun. We must stop unfettered acces to guns. Guns must now replace pot as the most evil thing you can possess without a license.

Shame on anyone who thinks sensible gun control is impossible. Shame on anyone who fights for the guns. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, including Alison Parker's father, Andy Parker.

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2016 Election Karma
August 17, 2015

Everybody is obsessed with understanding how the 2016 presidential election will turn out. Pundits across the spectrum are already registering their predictions, which is why we here at Surrealist.org are ready to state our predictions. Surrealist.org has an accurate track record, going back to 1996, when we accurately predicted marijuana would be accepted, and even legal in some states, in the near future.* They said it couldn't be done, but we did it.

We predict the 2016 race will be good karma for the Democrats. They have a small huddle of sensible people who would make good next presidents. They all want to discuss the issues with us, and they are also quite civil. Everybody stop for a minute to feel gratitude for qualified leaders—even in the midst of this crazy life. They hold out a lifeline to sanity. If the majority of us pay attention to what is good, we would make much faster progress.

On the other side, the Republicans are fighting within their own circles. The domineering figure says something sensible every once in a while, but most of the time he appears egotistical and illogical. What's the difference between them and a schizophrenic standing on the street corner shouting and carrying on? I guess it's like a bad car accident where people can't stop looking. If you must gaze into the Trump ball, at least do it with grace in your heart. Do not fear him. Do not hate him. Do not feel incensed by him. It's a known feeling that focusing on what you fear or hate brings more of it into your life.

America has a good historic record of remaking our country into a better place after times of strife. My advice is to let the circus with its scary clowns pass by. They are on their own trajectory to a place where they will fit in—a place most of us would not want to go. We want to remain here, on earth, and live a good life in America, in the twenty-first century. You can see it in the young people growing up now. The future is good, if we can let it.

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Ask Aunt Nori
August 15, 2015

Friend (by email): Do you believe in astrology, in any form or to any degree, Nori? I don't believe in astrology in any respect. Though, I do believe in the existence and presence of "forces" (for lack of a better word) that cannot be measured or perceived according to humanity's present ability to do so. My point is, a lot of people I know are in a bit of a slump period right now. . . . Maybe it's just a coincidence.

Reply to friend:

I get what you mean. I would say it's somewhere between coincidence and influence of higher forces. My guess is people are stressed out over the problems of the day:

propaganda instead of truth in media
influential figures push for more wars (and show other signs of incompetence)
business interests exploit people, animals, and the planet for love of money
gun violence by the few on the many seems worse
ETC

We live in difficult times. But you could encourage your friends, share with them that people are waking up, that working together we'll find a way to get through it, these are the challenges facing humanity, and the sooner we acknowledge and get to work on the problems, the better. God's love can reach us even with these negative forces at work in the material world.

The more you can be a light for your friends, the less depressed they will seem. Don't get scared and go down the into a negative rut where others are stuck. You're a positive person, stick with that, even when your friends are run down.

I get scared of it all sometimes, but it only lasts a few minutes or an hour or two. It used to get to me much worse. But let's let go and let god, right? Pray, let go, let god.

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Hil or Bernie or Joe B. or Warner for President
August 4, 2015

We all wanted a primary for Hillary Clinton, since it is the American tradition. Coronations are for monarchs. Now we see that Bernie Sanders has struck a chord with many of us. There's also a chance that Joe Biden could get in the race. Even though Elizabeth Warren will not enter the race, she or Joe B. or Bernie or Hillary would also make exceptional running mates for whichever one of them wins. It could be Clinton-Sanders, Clinton-Biden, or Sanders-Clinton, or Biden-Clinton. Or Clinton-Warren, or Warren-Clinton. Whichever way it works out, brains and love will inspire people to get out and vote.

If you like this vision, believe it like it has already happened. If you doubt, say "this or something better is happening." Filling your mind with confidence will prevent mind control by the media and fundraisers' propaganda.

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Metaphor of the Lion King
July 31, 2015

Everyone has commented on the brutal death inflicted on Cecil the lion on July 1, 2015, in Zimbabwe. As a person who is always sensitive to symbols and metaphors, it's apparent to me that this is an appropriate metaphor for right-wing hatred toward living beings associated with Africa. It was a symbolic killing, charged with the archetype of racism. It was perhaps inevitable that some American right-winger gun nut would go over to Zimbabwe to kill this beautiful creature. Here at Surrealist.org, we pray for the truth to come out, and for the perpetrator to realize the full extent of the anguish he caused, and that he live with that reality in a meaningful way. For the rest of us, and for Cecil, I pray there is a better dimension to all this than we now see.

Pictured below: lion talisman.

lionking

Other News

Another tragic police shooting July 19. This time, unarmed Samuel DuBose, shot in the head for starting his car during a traffic stop. The University of Cincinnati police officer and his fellow officers tried to deny what happened, but cameras once again told the truth.

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America Sends Her Regrets for Mass Shootings
July 27, 2015

We have had one mass shooting after another, and the shooters are most often white males unhappy with multiculturalism, women's rights, LGBT rights, the Union gov'met, and other aspects of the twenty-first century. However, law enforcement and the media will not call it right-wing terrorism, and won't do anything to stop it. So until further notice, please accept America's regrets and be happy with that.

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We Will Remember

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Rest In Peace Sandra Bland
Died July 13, 2015, in a Texas jail.

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George Harrison on Change
July 16, 2015

With all the mass shootings, police brutality, flag waving, etc., it shows how resistant people are to change. It reminds me of these George Harrison lyrics:

It's funny how people, just won't
accept change
As if nature itself - they'd prefer
re-arranged
- The Light That Has Lighted The World

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Sunset of the Civil War
July 10, 2015

The Civil War started in South Carolina. It was the first state to succeed from the Union, December 20, 1860, and it was in Charleston, South Carolina, that Confederate soldiers fired on Fort Sumpter, April 12, 1861, to begin the war. It officially ended April 9, 1865, a hundred and fifty years ago. Now today, June 10, 2015, the Civil War has finally ended in ernest in Charleston, South Carolina.

The people of South Carolina came together to move forward, and today their Highway Patrol Honor Guard removed the Confederate flag from the Charleston statehouse grounds. Even the flagpole came down, as it will no longer be needed. It took a tragic mass murder by a white supremacist to end the American Civil War. Finally, the politicized flag is gone.

Imagine if Europeans had waited a hundred and fifty years to remove Nazi swastikas and flags from their government buildings. It would mean people would have had to live under Nazi swastikas until the year 2095. It's true, neo-Nazis are making a political comeback in Norway and other Scandinavian countries, but I have faith that will soon be gone, too. We simply cannot go on as ghosts and ghouls reliving old wars that officially ended decades ago.

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State Rep. Jenny Horne: American Hero
July 10, 2015

In an animated debate in the South Carolina House of Representatives yesterday, Jenny Horne made and impassioned speech that persuaded lawmakers to agree to remove the Confederate flag without further amendments. Jenny Horne, a descendant of Confederate States President Jefferson Davis, is my new American hero. Even though a descendant of Jefferson Davis, she represents twenty-first century values.

My last brush with the late Jefferson Davis was in 2014, when I visited Beauvoir, the Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library in Biloxi, with about three hundred journalists. Director Bert Hayes Davis, g-g-grandson of Jefferson Davis, and his wife Carol greeted us. They lit the place up like it was Christmas, gave us a tour, provided refreshments and dulcimer players, and at the end put on a grand fireworks display on the beach just for us.

I may contact the heirs to Beauvoir mansion to hear their reaction to their South Carolina relative's stand on the Confederate flag. I recall that when we visited Beauvoir, their gift shop was nothing but Confederate flag paraphernalia. Photos from our 2014 visit:

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Director Bert Hayes Davis, g-g-grandson of Jefferson Davis, and his wife Carol (far right).
Below: Beauvoir mansion; dulcimer recital.

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biloxi-dulcimerplayers

Here's a rough transcript of Rep. Jenny Horne's remarks (from Crooks and Liars):
As a member of the Charleston delegation, I would like to express to you how important it is that we not amend this bill, and the reason we need not amend this bill at this time is because if we amend the bill in any form or fashion, it is going to a conference committee. It is not going to end quickly. We are going to be doing this all summer long.

Let me tell you, I attended the funeral of Sen. Clementa Pinckney and the people of Charleston deserve immediate and swift removal of that flag from this ground. We can save for another day, where this flag needs to go, where which flag needs to fly, or where it needs to fly, or what museum it needs to be in.

But the immediate thing that I'm concerned as a member of the Charleston delegation and speaking on behalf of the people in Charleston, this flag offends my friend Mia McLeod, my friend John King, my friend Rev. Neal. I cannot believe that we do not have the heart in this body to do something meaningful, such as take a symbol of hate off these grounds on Friday!

And if any of you vote to amend, you are assuring that this flag will fly beyond Friday. And for the widow of Sen. Pinckney and his two young daughters, that would add insult to injury, and I will not be a part of it!

And for all of these reasons, I will not vote to amend this bill today. We may visit this another session, another year, but if we amend this bill, we are telling the people of Charleston, we don't care about you! We do not care that someone used this symbol of hate to slay eight innocent people who were worshiping their God.

I'm sorry. I have heard enough about heritage. I have a heritage. I am a lifelong South Carolinian. I am a descendent of Jefferson Davis, okay? But that does not matter. It's not about Jenny Horne! It's about the people of South Carolina who have demanded that this symbol of hate come off of the Statehouse grounds.

And I will tell you I do know, and I have it on good authority that the world is watching this debate and there is an economic development prospect in Dorchester county that is in jeopardy, because we refuse to act. We need to follow the example of the Senate. Remove this flag and do it today! Because this issue is not getting any better with age!


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Supreme Court and Other Strides for Liberals
July 3, 2015

In its final two weeks, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, same-sex marriage, the Fair Housing Act, Arizona's independent redistricting commission, black voting rights in Alabama, and other victories for the People. They made a few decisions that went the other way, such as forcing the EPA to rewrite its power plant emissions rules. However, overall, their decisions move us forward into the twenty-first century.

Following the success of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama went on the road to Tennessee to promote the ACA Medicaid expansion that would bring health care to hundreds of thousands of more citizens. He also announced that he will establish diplomatic ties with Cuba and open a US embassy in Cuba. All the while, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has given voice to the liberal point of view to large audiences wherever he travels.

What has become of America? Is our country finally moving forward? Are the timid and negative Democrats still trying to scare us to get donations (yes), but can we overcome even the most wretched in our own party (aka the DCCC)? Yes. Is President Obama still doing things liberals dislike (TPP trade deal, drone strikes)? Does racism, hate group violence, and police brutality continue? Yes, but we are beginning to see it in the light of day now thanks to video phones. Is the sustainable environment still just a wish and a prayer? Yes. However, despite our list of problems that still need to be addressed, the recent strides make this a time to celebrate. Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, our Independence Day, a time when Americans can feel united and strong. We are further along toward the American dream than we were just two weeks ago.

Here are a few positive thoughts for us in this time of rapid change:

We can let go of our false identies and identify as eternal souls, instead.
We can get hold of the dark corners of our minds and force ourselves to be courageous.
Instead of putting off our dreams, we can manifest our dreams now.
We can acknowledge and amplify the good in our lives, instead of the fear.
We can view our mistakes as teaching us the right way, and let go of guilt.
We can use our time on earth to evolve into what we want to become.
We can acknowledge that what we think about is our decision, and reject mental tyranny (propaganda).
We can awaken our intuition and sense when something is true or false.
We are free to love our friends and neighbors, instead of fear them.
We can accept our own self-worth.
We can look forward to living in a world of acceptance and equality.

Although some of us will get there before others, the American dream already exists in our hearts. If it did not already exist somewhere, then how could we imagine it? Instead of falling for DCCC-like propaganda that tells us everything ahead is gloomy and scary, unsubscribe from the DCCC, and any so-called Democratic organization that just want to scare us to get our money. What do they do with it? They use our donations to discourage voting. Look for good candidates and organizations to support that actually have our best interests at heart. Working together, we have already changed the world for the better.

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ICSA Conference
July 3, 2015

From June 19-30, I was traveling in Europe to present my paper, Child of the Cult,* at the annual conference of the International Cultic Studies Association.* We met in Stockholm, voluntarily stayed inside a hotel for four days, and willingly participated in the conference. We identified with the conference organizers, and thereby we all exhibited symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome.

Along the way, I also spent a few days in Iceland and Canada. Here's a photo of me giving my presentation. It never gets dark there, so the screen looks a little faded.

Nori in Stockholm

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Deepest Sympathy to the AME Church
June 18, 2015

We mourn the tragedy at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church last night. Our prayers are with the AME community.

rose

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Why Do Bad Things Happen?
June 8, 2015

People often say, "everything happens for a reason." They may use this phrase to account for something negative, because it seems to ameliorate a bad situation. For lack of better ideas, people often blame it on god. When they say "everything happens for a reason," it may imply that a higher power manipulated us into a bad situation to learn a lesson. But let's not blame our suffering on god. I can clear this up right now. God is beauty, not the cause of our suffering. On one side is god, nature, and other beautiful things in the world, and there are several basic reasons for bad things:

* Things happen for completely random reasons. We need to accept what is, and grieve.
* Things happen due to a chain of events that can be traced scientifically. If we learn from what went wrong, we will do better next time.
* Things happen because we failed to learn the last time.
* Things happen because somebody conned or victimized us.
* Things happen because we failed to learn the last time we were conned (victimization has more to it than that).

We can learn patience, justice, and wisdom from life's problems, but avoid reading too much into it. It must be a burden to go through life always trying to cypher out what god was trying to do to us by making street lights turn red in front of us, or to make us do dumb things like leaving our phone at someone's house, etc.

As for getting conned, the main thing is to learn how to shine a light on a dishonest situation. Trusting the conman, while keeping silent, blaming ourselves or god, is the tool of the trade for trust bandits and confidence tricksters. They learn how to win people over so they can rob and abuse them. Let's rid ourselves of the fear of getting conned. We just need to learn how to recognize unfair situations and work patiently to correct them. We can focus on our own lives first, then when we get good at it, we can work together on the collective problems of worldwide con-games.

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Friends
June 8, 2015

"They say true friends go long periods of time without speaking & never question the relationship." I found this on Facebook a while ago and saved the image. It is true, and it's something my father taught me when I was leaving to start college. He told me to say hello to everyone I recognized every time I walk out of my dorm room, and if I could remember the person's name, he said to say, "Hello [name]." Ever since college I have practiced this.

theysaytruefriends

Another thing he taught me is that it's likely that the people I do not see often are actually my best friends. He said that a couple of his college buddies were his best friends, even though they only communicated on occasion. That was before the Internet and Facebook! It has proven true in my lifetime. Many of my best friends live in California and Oregon, while I live in Arizona. I can't get back to see them every year, or even every five years, but when we do see each other, we pick up right where we left off. The people I see all the time—neighbors, work colleagues, people in my taiji and qigong groups, etc.—are good friends too. But not necessarily better friends than the people I see only every few years.

One problem with long distance is that people might build up guilt feelings that they cannot be in contact enough. Make a decision today to drop all resentment, guilt, or feelings of codependency about your dear friends that you "don't see enough." Trust that they love you, and you love them, even if you can't visit as much as you would like.

If you have friends who died, and you could not get out to see them, or you could not get out to their memorial, let it go. Trust that the love is still just as good, just as valuable, and available in your heart, as it would be if you had gone to visit before they died, or if you had attended their memorial. Of course, if a friend is dying, go if you can go. But in this world, time or financial considerations may prevent us from traveling when we want to. It's just a fact of life.

Here's an affirmation to consider, written by the great Professor Rose Oster:
I know that there is no separation in the Infinite Mind, and on the unseen side we are all one. I now choose to know that all my [friends] are one with God and so are one with me. I turn to God in Love, and as the mood of Love envelops me, I turn to my [friends] in thought and radiate the mood of Love for them. As I do this, they respond in Love and Harmony towards me. I believe this and I gratefully accept this to be so.

If we could all keep the love, and throw out the guilt feelings, the total sum of unconditional love on earth would soar. Let's all do our part.

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Reality Show Scandal
May 23, 2015

I just found out that TLC had a reality show called 19 Kids and Counting, based on the Arkansas family, the Duggars. Four days ago it came out that in 2002, Jim Bob Duggar, the father, consulted the police about his son's sex offenses. This is one problem with reality shows: sometimes reality comes out in the open. Right?

In Arkansas, the officials treat incest as perfectly acceptable. Jim Bob Duggar simply prayed to god to forgive the family, and voila. No worries. In the same timeframe, 1999-2002, Jim Bob Duggar served in the Arkansas House of Representatives, and tried to run for the U.S. Senate in 2002 and 2006. Josh was also active in right-wing politics, and was a member of the Family Research Council, a reactionary fundamentalist lobbying group.

Since I worked with juvenile sex offenders for my master's thesis,1 2 I want to post a couple of comments about junenile sex offenders and incest. First, nearly all juvenile sex offenders are also victims of sexual abuse. If they are under the impression that what happened to them was okay, they try it out on someone else. Second, unrecovered juvenile sex offenders often turn into adult sex offenders. Fixated adult pedophiles are considered incurable; they will continue to abuse children throughout their lives.

Most sex offenders are members of the family, or known to the family. Families that tolerate incest are characterized as chaotic, poly-abusive, patriarchal, and authoritarian. The perpetrators, often at the top of the system, may present themselves as pillars of the community or church. However, it's all for show. Their piety is usually only to cover up for their sick crimes. Everyone in the family system learns to keep the secrets for the family.

Victims of sexual child abuse suffer lifelong consequences, either passing along the curse to younger generations, or hating themselves or their abusers, and feeling intense shame over what happened. Those who do not buy into the abuse as normal, resent the abuse, and may feel violent anger toward the abuser and people they perceive as enabling or ignoring the abuse.

I'm not saying that the Duggar family has passed down incest to their nineteen kids (and counting), but I wouldn't rule it out. My sympathy goes to the family and their victims. Also, to other families in America that carry the secret stigma of incest and pass it along to their children.

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USA Infrastructure Train Wreck
May 13, 2015

Last night Amtrak 188 went off the tracks near Philadelphia and several cars overturned. So far the death toll is at seven dead, with two believed missing. Nobody knows why it happened yet. In Washington, DC, today, the Republicans cut funding for Amtrak.

Although America is too conflicted to get better infrastructure at this time, we will build up our infrastructure. We will remain a developed country, and a beacon of freedom and light. The first step will be to decide what we want for our country. Maybe we will decide that as Americans, we want to live like we respect nature, the public sphere, and our fellow Americans (all Americans equally).

Today I was looking for a positive thought to send to a friend who is going through a hard time. But then I decided to let her solve her problems herself. However, the quote stayed in my mind all day, and I want to share it here at my political journal.

The quote is from the Bible, but I found it in The Teachings of Florence Scovel Shinn. She is one of my favorite early twentieth century New Age writers.

You shall make bricks without straw. God makes a way where there was no way.
- Exodus 5

Take it or leave it, this concept matches my vision of the warrior's courage that we need at this time. The story of Exodus has metaphors for our predicament. It has many more parallels with modern times than Revelations. LoL. Revelations is a powerfully written story, with vivid, terrifying images. It is dreamlike, and may have originated from the author(s)' nightmares. The Jungian take on Revelations is expressed in Archetype of the Apocalypse: Divine Vengeance, Terrorism, and the End of the World, by Edward F. Edinger.

According to Edinger, Revelations is the story of humankind coming to terms with our individual shame and collective secrets. Revelations is NOT proof that we are at the end of the world. Because of how greatly people misinterpret Revelations, it just shows how much work we have to do.

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An Excerpt from the Intenders' Visions
by the Vision Alignment Project

A Vision for Cures

We see a world where every disease known to man has a cure; where every person afflicted with an illness has been cured; and where the cures, in every instance, are soothing, comforting and instantaneous.

Thus, we see ourselves having stepped out of the medical dark ages and into the light of a new day where experimentation on humanity by means of harsh, poisonous chemical substances and obsolete surgical methods has been transcended. Now we look deeper into the root causes, the initial thoughts, the emotional issues that gave rise to our illnesses, and we remove them by applying safe, painless and 100% effective corrective measures as a means of curing and healing ourselves.

And finally, we see all those who have a vested interest in the sicknesses of mankind finding other work to do - work that blesses instead of binds, pleases instead of pains, heals instead of harms, cures instead of causes.


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Weather Engineering Conspiracies
May 2, 2015

As an aging baby boomer, about the only conspiracy theories that get me excited are 9/11 and the assassinations of the 1960s. When I meet my maker in heaven, one of the first things I want to know is, what really happened. Maybe the Lord himself will explain it, or maybe he will direct me to an information desk by the pearly gates. Either way, I am content to let the mysteries remain a mystery for however many happy years I have left on the earth.

Even though I don't believe in all the conspiracy theories of the day, I do have opinions about them. You have probably already gathered that by reading other posts. But in case you haven't, I do give some credence to the theory that certain aristocratic families, especially with roots in England and Germany, think they should control the world. They are always manipulating things behind the scenes to fluctuate the money toward their own pocketbooks.

Aristocrats do abuse us, but I look down on those types. They are hopelessly greedy and insecure, and their disregard for the welfare of their fellow men makes them seem pitiful. Really good people in this world are known for the kind things they've done for the world, and the smart things they've invented or constructed for the highest good.

Speaking of pitiful characters. Another conspiracy theory has crossed the inbox, this time accusing Raytheon and Lockheed Martin of controlling the weather. Websites like geoengineeringwatch.org offer videos that explain this. Watching the videos is a little painful, as they all seem so long and repetitive. Until they learn to communicate better, their message is lost. But maybe I can add a few clarifying thoughts.

The geoengineeringwatch people accuse Raytheon and Lockheed Martin of using our tax dollars to control the weather, creating floods, hurricanes, droughts, earthquakes, and other disasters.

Okay, suppose this is true. What type of human being would want to cause problems with the weather? Some of them might think that what they're doing is good. Or, they may not know for sure what their mission is, because they're just doing a little part of it, under orders from their supervisor. The supervisor is under another supervisor, etc. Presumably, only a few people at the top understand that the mission is to purposely harm our own country.

If there are people at these two institutions who wish to do us harm through manipulating the weather, what might propel them to act this way? Perhaps when they were children, a cruel father (or father figure) forbid them from playing with matches, fireworks, or all the fun things boys want to get into. Now that they are grown-ups, they want to blow things up and start fires. So they get themselves into a karmic position at a big defense company, where they can make up a fake budget, get tons of money, and then proceed to play with the fireworks.

While here at surrealist.org, I cannot pass judgment on whether there is a conspiracy to manipulate the weather, I can say with certainty that I wish it was true! If true, it means that we can shine some light on it, and stop them. If we could cease all weather manipulation programs, we might find that the weather goes back to normal (whatever normal is under the effects of global climate change). But if we caught and disarmed weather manipulators, we might find that god's way is the best way for the weather to be. If we're still killing our planet with burning fossil fuels, we will still have to stop that, too. But for example, if the drought in California is part of a diabolical plot by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, then we could end the drought by putting those menacing souls in jail.

First, let us hope that mankind does not have the power to control the weather. It just seems dangerous and wrong. Second, let's stop burning all the fossil fuels, and let's use organic natural processes, such as bioremediation, phytoremediation, and mycoremediation* to heal the damage we've done. And third, let us pray that if there really are secret plots to control the weather at Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, that it all come out in the open so we can stop it. Now I am curious whether there is a conspiracy to control the weather. At this point it seems too horrendous of a big lie to be true. But if the lie is true, then I would like places like geoengineeringwatch to refine their message so they can get the word out about the problem.

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A note to right-wingers: stay away from all Walmarts, which are obviously in on the plot to take away your guns and lock you up in shackles. (Just kidding. Some conspiracies are too ridiculous to be true. Fox News, Alex Jones: shame on you for scaring our old people.)





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More Liberal Wisdom from Steve Allen
May 1, 2015

Steve Allen, one of America's great early TV personalities, was a liberal. Recently, I read his book, How to Make a Speech, copyright 1986. Here's a great excerpt, and I believe it portrays his liberal way of observing the human race.

Excerpt from a speech in Santa Barbara, 1971
pp. 154-155
Consider the two fundamental concepts by which we locate ourselves, space and time. Concerning each there are two possible positions, both of which are absurd. Either time began, which is preposterous, since we can easily think of a continuum before it began, or it did not begin, which we cannot think of at all. Either it will end or it will not, both of which are obviously impossible.

As for space, either it is infinite, which cannot be the case, or it ends somewhere, which is equally preposterous.
He also makes the point that everything in our lives can be used for good or for abuse. He closes with these thoughts:

This [psychologists'] association merits great credit for its attempts to induce man to make the wisest possible use of his mental, spiritual, and material resources.

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What is Karma?
April 23, 2015

To better understand karma, let's look at an example. Consider the doctor who took a selfie with Joan Rivers before she died by alleged medical negligence at a clinic. How does this affect that man's karma? The first and foremost effect is that he has to live with himself after what he did. That will not go away. For the rest of this lifetime, he will be that guy. That's one of the blessings of reincarnation. If reincarnation is true, even if he never overcomes the negative attitudes that led to what he did, he will be blessed with another chance at life without having to consciously remember the mistake.

Besides having to be that guy, he will probably suffer financially, and if he fails to process his mistakes, he will probably suffer emotional turmoil for the rest of his life. On the other hand, he could admit what he did, make amends to the family and others who loved Joan Rivers, and do some re-ordering of his temperament and consciousness to prevent similar arrogant and foolish behavior.

The same concept applies to bigots. They may have no consciousness or conscience of the harm they cause. However, in some afterlife state, or state of dire consequence in this lifetime, they will have to open their eyes and look at the suffering they caused. This will be extremely painful. You might scoff and say people like that have no conscience. They do have a conscience, but they have repressed it. They rationalize, minimize, and deny the hate that drives them to judge and hurt people based on external reasons like race or religion.

So what is the use of karma? If it cannot stop bad things from happening, why do we have it, or care about it? It has to do with free will. The laws of physics allow each individual soul, especially humans, to behave the way they choose. We make choices, some of them bad, but the aethers do not freeze up and stop us from making mistakes. Once a mistake is made, we carry the consequences. That is just a law of nature, not something we can decide to do away with.

Whether to have karma, or believe in it, is irrelevant. Once an action sets things in motion, the karma exists. Those who believe in reincarnation see that the karma will be answered eventually, even if not in this lifetime. For atheists who do not believe in the continuation of the soul after death, the law of karma still holds true. A person's karma is the reputation they leave behind on earth. Take that doctor who took his selfie with Joan Rivers. Prior to that stupid act, he was a high-flying doctor with celebrity patients. If he chooses to be in denial, the best that can be said of him is that not many people found out what he did, and he was therefore able to muddle through the rest of his life as an unhealed, mostly unsympathetic character.

The people who seek to deprive the poor and sick, or who greedily try to grab all the money and power, will suffer a similar fate. It's not a punishment from god. It's not a thing that god has to step in and fix. The matter is between that individual soul and his own reputation as a decent person. He carries a debt to the people, places, and things he harmed through his bad behavior. It is also sad, because souls that behave in a way to create bad karma, also miss the opportunity to create good experiences that will uplift others, and uplift the world.

If something bad happens to someone, for example they lose all their money to a scam, or the police shoot them for no reason, is that karma? Not always. It could be destiny or fate, but if the person did nothing to bring on the bad event, it may not be karma. It could just be an accident. It could be that the person harmed is a victim of someone on a downward spiral. Many people go to the grave as victims of a bad situation. Their karma is to get vindication, and their deaths may create change in a toxic system. Try to avoid judging why something bad happens to an innocent person. Avoid blaming victims for the bad things that happen to them. Our system of free will seems unfair when people misuse their free will.

When you meet someone who is spinning a web of bad karma, just know that they may not be living up to the potential that was given to them in this life. Try to not feel anger, but compassion. Do not try to help them, unless you are a professional in a position to help them, and do not make excuses for them or try to clean up after them. Do not try to buddy up with someone who is on a negative spiral, because you could end up abused. If you are forced to be around the person, avoid feeling anger, resentment, judgment, or fear. These emotions will also bind you to the person, and make you more vulnerable to getting hurt.

Is there a cure for karma? Yes. There must be. It involves forgiveness, but not fake forgiveness. You can pretend to forgive so well that you even fool yourself. You might have a fireball of anger, self-pity, and resistance building up inside, but tell yourself that you have forgiven. It would take a master's thesis to explain the process of real forgiveness, but we can leave it there.

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R.I.P. Freddie Gray, 25, of Baltimore
April 20, 2015

Another violent death at the hands of police, this time in Baltimore. Before the video started, police subdued Freddie, broke his neck, and Tasered him. Freddie's cries caught on video by a passerby were the anguished screams of a man in the throes of death. The footage caught Freddie's last conscious moments, and he died yesterday, after being unconscious for a week. The autopsy shows that he died of a an eighty percent severed spine.

Kevin Moore, the man who recorded the video, is our redeemer. His courage to record this and call out to Freddie that he was filming it redeemed us as human beings. His courage showed the best in humanity, and he is a hero. His quick camera capture will help Freddie's family to be strong. Because they have the footage, they do not have to accept some lie about how Freddie died. The police broke his neck. You can see from the footage that his neck was broken, almost broken off. I am a good observer of posture, and any orthopedic doctor could look at the video and see that his neck was clearly broken, because it was leaning to his left side quite severely. It was a terrifying sight, and I feel bad for Freddie, and all the people being shot, killed, choked, or beaten to death by policemen (or police interns) these days. I also feel bad for their friends and family, and for our country.

Have the police gone insane, or has it always been this way?* Many of us would like to find out if it has always been this bad, and only the people who feel victimized would be able to answer our questions. If this is normal police behavior in largely black neighborhoods, that is unacceptable. Watching the police put Freddie Gray in the back of the vehicle looked like something that would only happen in some backward dictatorship. It is unbecoming of America. It's troubling, and difficult to accept. But if it's really that bad, then thank god videophones are bringing it out in the open. Our videophones are leading the way. When in doubt, pull it out.

As a side note, not all police are bad. We have the example of the officer of the peace in New Richmond, Ohio, who brought a troubling standoff with a fugitive to a non-violent conclusion. Policemen are meant to be protectors, because after all, that's what we pay them to do. But the records turning up in people's phones show that police act like self-appointed god warriors. Maybe they see themselves as downtrodden heros trying to clean up the country so it can be all white again. It's not going to happen. America has always been a country of immigrants. Unless you are Native American, your ancestors immigrated here too. We can only be our best American selves if we uphold what our forefathers established. We can do it. We are the land of the free, where all people are valued.

Another side note: the Boston Marathon was today and whether you take it for what it appears, or you believe in some great conspiracy, you have to commend the people of Boston. They held the Marathon and they put their hearts into it. Score one for the human race, even if you are a conspiracy theorist who thinks the only way out is that it's the end of the world. Actually, the world has to get better, because it might be all we have. When we die, we mights still have to reincarnate here, or somewhere just as bad. Right? So even if you're an atheist conspiracy theorist, you still need to weigh all this and see that there is good and bad in this world. Bad, frightened and violent police; bad and stupid rich aristocrats who want ALL the money; and then weight it against one good man with a camera, one good cop who spared a probable criminal man's life, and a city that closes down its streets to run a race and honor a tradition.

Editor's Note 5/2/2015: Yesterday the Maryland State's Attorney's Office head Marilyn Mosby announced the indictments for six police officers. The City remains under curfew.

Answer to the question: "Has it always been this way?"
Editor's Note 5/2/2015: about ten days ago, William H. "Billy" Murphy, attorney for the Gray family, commented on the situation on Politics Nation with the Reverend Al Sharpton. He said in his interview:
This hostility toward the police began under slavery, and intensified with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act [1793]. They've always been the enforcers of the existing cultural norms. Norms that were defined by people classified as white. This got worse during the aftermath of the Civil War, during segregation. The police would stand idly by and watch lynchings, and release prisoners to lynchers so that justice could be done that way, in their opinion. This intensified, and it got worse after World War II, because all these G.I.s that risked their lives, got called n[word] when they went back to Mississippi, or Louisiana, or where ever they were from. That led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1965. But it's a history that's never been taught adequately to white people. Even some black people today have not been taught that history. So this is not a new phenomenon. The police have always enforced the social norms, as defined by white people. That's why you don't hear about police brutality in white communities. It's virtually non-existent. But you hear about it all the time in black communities. It's been a constant factor of black life since first of our being imported into this country.

Editor's note: Baltimore police arrested Kevin Moore on April 30. It appears they arrested him to retaliate because he filmed the arrest of Freddie Gray. Check this website for ongoing records: killedbypolice.net.

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Sanjay Gupta: Thank You and CNN for Weed
April 19, 2015

Congratulations and thank you, Dr. Gupta, on a great three-part CNN documentary. You can call it Weed, even though it's not a weed. It's a sacred herb and gift from nature for mind-body-spirit healing. It's also good for building materials, plastic, paper, oil, phytoremediation, and food. Thank you Dr. Gupta for showing us how the herb can help children with epilepsy, PTSD patients, and Alzheimer's patients.

These are my writings on marijuana: Pray for Peace Foundation (PFPF). I wrote a lot more, but this abridged collection is the best of it. I've always been open about it since I renewed my relationship with the herb starting in 1994. Frankly, if pot wasn't so illegal, a lot more people would come out of the closet. I bet we would be surprised at who smokes pot. Just like everyone knows at least one or two LGBT people, and it's no big deal anymore, someday people will realize they already know a few pot smokers.

Finally, thank you Dr. Gupta for interviewing President Obama. The president acknowledged the possible medical benefits of the herb, and encouraged us to make decisions based on the science. His rational and considered observations reminded me of the moment a few years ago when he gave us a rational way to look at gay marriage. Ever since then we have evolved on the issue, and gay rights have come a long way. We have all done our part to push legalization forward, but this remarkable documentary could mark a turning point to finally change people's minds and get the herb off of Schedule 1.

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Steve Allen: How to Make a Speech
April 14, 2015

Steve Allen, one of the great celebrities from the early television era, wrote a 1986 book called, How to Make a Speech. I'm reading it to prepare for a presentation this summer. Yesterday, feeling depressed about the state of the world, I found some enlightening passages that Steve Allen wrote so many years ago. The following excerpts are from p.p. 72-77 of the book:

It might be assumed from such examples [Billy Graham, Robert Schuller, Oral Roberts, Rev. Ike, etc.] that all clergymen are gifted speakers, but this is not at all the case. A good many, particularly those from southern rural backgrounds, speak in a style they must have heard in their own childhoods: the florid, Bible-thumping, southern-fundamentalist-preacher type of oratory which, though it can rouse some audiences to frenzy, is nevertheless remarkably unlike normal American speech. Such orators often have peculiar mannerisms. They may pronounce the word Jesus as Jesus-uh, or God as God-uh. They tend to shout and to sound rather hysterical. Often what they're actually communicating is an air of certainty rather than factual information, and this in an area where true certainty is notoriously difficult to achieve. Such speakers appeal chiefly to the kind of people Eric Hoffer described as True Believers.

In the Germany of the 1930s, Adolph Hitler was just such a speaker. He shouted, raged, stamped his feet, waved his arms, and appealed to the emotions, not the rational faculties, of the German people. One of these emotions was, of course, patriotism.

From this unhappy example you can, nevertheless, learn something about effective public speaking. While it would no doubt be better for the world if you could always truly instruct and enlighten your audiences, the fact is that you will often get more applause and cheers by appealing to their passions and prejudices—sometimes, sadly, even their hatreds. That is why speeches of the older sort abound with such phrases as "the American people," "our great country," "all across this mighty nation," "our brave fighting men," "the insidious enemies of our American way of life," and so on. Patriotism is indeed sometimes a refuge for scoundrels, and by no means only the last.

In considering the following brief quotation from [an essay by by Jean de Sismondi, a Swiss historian and economist], the reader should be aware of the outrageous conditions in which the poor in the England and France of the Industrial Revolution suffered. Not only did they have to labor incredibly long hours for meager wages but they enjoyed practically none of the benefits that American and other workers around the world now take for granted.

Parenthetically it may be noted that such benefits have never been granted out of nothing more than the prodding of a generous nature on the part of the socially powerful. But in any event here is a virtuous member of the upper class speaking with admirable compassion and eloquence.
On whatever side we look, the same lesson meets us everywhere: protect the poor; and it ought to be the most important study of the legislator and of the government.

Protect the poor, for, in consequence of their precarious condition, they cannot contend with the rich without losing every day some of their advantages.

Protect the poor, that they may keep by law, by custom, by a perpetual contract, rather than by competition—the source of rivalry and hatred—that share of the income of the community which their labour ought to secure to them.

Protect the poor, for they want support, that they may have some leisure, some intellectual development, in order to advance in virtue.

Protect the poor, for the greatest danger to law, public peace and stability is the belief of the poor that they are oppressed, and their hatred of government.

Protect the poor, if you wish industry to flourish, for the poor are the most important consumers.

Protect the poor, if your revenue requires to be increased, for after you have carefully guarded the enjoyment of the poor, you will find them the most important of contributors.

The one emotion that can make you appear in the most unsympathetic light, obviously, is anger. The late Senator Joseph McCarthy—putting aside questions of right or wrong for the moment—did himself a great disservice by the vengeful, spiteful tone in which he delivered many of his public addresses. Who will ever forget those narrow eyes, the threatening manner, the cold sneer? Most people are put off by angry rhetoric. McCarthy was a verbal bully. His essential boorishness in time became apparent even to many in his own political camp. It led to his downfall. There are always a few people of an essentially fascistic bent who will respond with cheers to such rhetoric, but you will win more adherents to your cause, whatever it might be, if you come across as personally likable.

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R.I.P. Walter Scott
April 9, 2015

On April 4, 2015, in North Charleston, South Carolina, we lost another innocent black man to unjustified police violence. The police report tried to frame it as a justified killing because Officer Michael Slager feared for his life in a struggle over his Taser. However, undisputed video shows the officer shooting Walter Scott eight times in the back at a distance.

Officer Slager may be a good person to his friends and family, but I wonder if he did not feel angry because a fifty year old, good looking black man was behind the wheel of a big black Mercedes? Maybe Officer Slager assumed that Scott, being all black and everything, did not belong in the car. Officer Slager must have assumed there was a big crime taking place, or else why would he shoot Scott down? A total fantasy. Maybe Officer Slager thought he was in a violent video game-like scenario with a deadly street gang.

Then, what was Officer Slager thinking when he (visibly) moved things around on the crime scene? That act is even more incriminating of his character. It reads like a movie on the theme of righteous arrogance, where the protagonist sees himself as judge, executioner, and slick p.r. guru.

The silver lining for humanity (and purpose of a script like this, if it were to be written), is that Feidin Santana redeemed us. He happened to be walking to work, noticed something happening, and had the insight to video it. Then after much soul-searching, he had the courage to bring his recording to the family. As a result of his good acts, Feidin Santana is now accepted as a brother in the Scott family.

We will wait to see how it turns out in the courts, and in society. Will we continue to pretend that a good old boy can shoot any black man, and get away with it? No. This story will only end when we become civilized people and recognize that every human being, and every living being, has a spark of the divine in the heart. When will we ever learn that all living beings are worthy of our respect?

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Sun, Wind, and Water are the Future
March 30, 2015

Yes, if we had listened to President Jimmy Carter in 1978 when he wanted to promote alternative energy, we would be a lot further along than we are. However, we're here now. We are having the most unusual and harsh weather to date, and we need to do something about it. That's why I say the future is with sun (solar), wind (windmills), and water.

What about water? Water used to fall from the sky in California, but apparently that is changing. I want to suggest that Governor Jerry Brown look into Atmospheric Water Generators (AWGs). See AWGs at Wikipedia; a company that manufactures AWGs ecoloblue.com.

People may not open up their minds overnight, but we need to get the information out there for discussion. It could lead to a requirement that California's largest water users provide a percentage of their own water through new technology. AWGs, desalinization, and new technologies for conservation will help California get along despite the weather changes. Out of necessity, California could lead the way to developing and manufacturing these new technologies.

Even if you think new technology will never happen, open your mind enough to think at least it could happen. If we had opened our minds in 1978, we would be way ahead in facing this challenge. Just think about ideas that could fix the problem. Then maybe someone with a little bit more open mind than you can make it happen.

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The People's Budget for 2016
By the Congressional Progressive Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives
March 27, 2015

Executive Summary

The People's Budget fixes an economy that, for too long, has failed to provide the opportunities American families need to get ahead. Despite their skills and work ethic, most American workers and families are so financially strapped from increasing income inequality that their paychecks barely cover basic necessities.They earn less and less as corporations and the wealthy continue amassing record profits. It has become clear to American workers that the system is rigged.

The People's Budget levels the playing field and creates economic opportunity by increasing the pay of middle-and low-income Americans. More customers and higher consumer spending advance American businesses, not tax cuts and relaxed regulations. The People's Budget drives a full economic recovery by creating high-quality jobs and reducing family expenses, restoring the buying power of working Americans.

The People's Budget closes tax loopholes that companies use to ship jobs overseas. It creates fair tax rates for millionaires and provides needed relief to low-and middle-income families. It invests in debt-free college, workforce training and small businesses within our communities, helping return our economy to full employment and giving a raise to Americans who need it most. Investments in The People's Budget boost employment and wages by addressing some of the biggest challenges of our time: repairing America's rapidly aging roads and bridges, upgrading our energy systems to address climate change, keeping our communities safe, and preparing our young people to thrive as citizens and workers.

A fair wage is more than the size of a paycheck. It's having enough hours, paid overtime, sick and parental leave, and affordable health and childcare. It's being able to afford a good education for your kids and never living in fear that your job will be sent overseas. It's knowing you can make ends meet at the end of the month. The People's Budget helps achieve that with a raise for American workers, a raise for struggling families and a boost to America's long-term global competitiveness.

Click here to read the entire document: The People's Budget

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Why a Democratic Primary
March 23, 2015

Traditional wisdom dictates that when a woman pursues a man, she is too pushy. She's a stalker, or has an obsession. It is said that such unrefined behavior in a woman drives men away. Whether or not this is true is up to debate. But there has always been a thought form that says women are to be pursued, and won. It's the knight in shining armor archetype, where the man in love fights for the woman of his affections. In the end, he gets down on bended knee and proposes.

Although this stereotypical notion seem repulsive, I believe it underlies the Democrats' love-hate obsession for a primary. The voters want to pursue Hillary, hear what she has to say, and choose her if she is the candidate who wins our hearts. We do not want her to throw herself at us. So far she is playing coy. She's interested in running, we think, but we can't be sure. That's interesting for now.

From what I heard, her campaign wants other candidates to get into the race. They stated that they felt it would stop the GOP from attacking Hillary as their only target. I think it would also help us, because a primary with Hillary could be a great sharing of political philosophies. It would be an educational process, as long as it stays intellectual, progressive, and consensus-building. The candidates might disagree on issues, but as long as we argue ideas, rather than make personal attacks, it will be a positive exchange. Editor's note: now that Lincoln Chafee said he wants to get into the race, we can look forward to a good, civil discussion, and progressive sharing of ideas. Hillary is expected to announce her candidacy on Sunday 4/12 in a pre-recorded announcement. I for one look forward to this and I am glad she has a good person running against her. Who knew—a peacenik—that's a good development.

Maybe Hillary will win. Many of us are already in love with her, and want to stand behind her. However, to really hit it off, and do things right, we need to win her over. Call me old fashioned, but I encourage you to consider this metaphor, this archetype, that may be at work in our collective unconscious.

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Christian Group Accused of Cult Child Abuse
March 12, 2015

It all started when parents of a University of Tucson student contacted a reporter in Tucson, with allegations that her son had joined a campus-sponsored Christian cult. The reporter called me, and we talked for about an hour and a half. I was one of forty people she interviewed for the story. The newspaper is investigating the matter further, so there has already been one follow-up article. Here's the first one:

Star investigation: Tucson ministry a cult, former followers say
Arizona Daily Star
By Carol Ann Alaimo and Emily Bregel, March 7, 2015
Tucson.com

Second Tucson.com article (just out today 3/12).

I also gave an interview to KJZZ radio, archived here:

Reporter Emily Bregel and Author Nori Muster Discuss Cults
By Steve Goldstein
Here and Now, Phoenix, Arizona
KJZZ FM

Make of it what you will, but it may explain why I'm always comparing our twenty-first century dysfunctional society to the cult.

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An Excerpt from the Intenders' Visions
by the Vision Alignment Project

The times we live in could be likened to the baking of a cake. First, you break the eggs - that's a violent act right there. Then, you take a bunch of different ingredients and you dump them all together in a bowl, and you whip the heck out of it. And while you're whipping, when you look at the gooey mess that's in front of you, it's hard to imagine that anything good could ever come out of it. But after you pour it in a pan and add the heat and time in the oven, out comes a beautiful, delicious cake for you to enjoy.

It's the same with what we're going through in these times of great change. Almost everywhere you look, people are stressed. Our lives are filled with fear, suffering, scarcity, and deception, and, from the looks of it, you would hardly imagine that anything good could ever come out of the mess we're in. But it can. Indeed, a wondrous new paradise on Earth is in the making, and it is up to us to bring it into manifestation.

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A World in Pain
March 10, 2015

If you pay attention to the news, the big story the last week has been Hillary Clinton's emails. All the Democrats are doing the limbo to defend her. All the Republicans are savoring her emotional pain. This is a sick system.

Advice to Democrats: do not defend her. Let her stand on her own. Trying to be co-dependent and defend Hillary against the Republicans is a full time job nobody wants. Put it in god's hands.

Advice to Republicans: never, never enjoy another being's pain. There is no sense in worshiping Satan, because it may seem like fun while you're here, but don't die. You will not like Satan once you are on the other side.

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A side note:
Would somebody please tell me whose side the forty-seven treason Senators are on?
Also, would somebody please tell me if Netanyahu was involved in planning 9/11?
I never thought about him before, but he seems capable of anything if it would get America to bomb Muslim countries.
#47traitors
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