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May 11, 2019
There are two realities now - where do you want to live? On one hand you can go with tradition, science, reason, and facts. If you don't like that reality, a new one has opened up: you can follow Michael Savage, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Bill Barr, and Donald Trump, where you can live in an alternative reality. In that world, the object of working in the government is to get money and get revenge on your enemies. It's also a chance to cozy up with dictators that offer money. In their world, the system is rigged against the president and his family. In the alternative reality, there was no collusion, no obstruction!! The Mueller Report is finished - any further investigation is harassment. Many people apparently want to live in this reality and hope it works out.
Unfortunately for them, the world of reason is the only real reality we have. The other reality sounds great - until you try it on and find out how it runs. If you just imagine there's an engine in the thing, but there is no real engine, it will not get you anywhere. If you're a farmer, you can do your best to visualize future abundance that will come from Donald Trump's tariff wars. However, something better start happening soon or you'll be out of business. You can get enthusiastic wishing to shoot immigrants in the panhandle . . . . but you could end up in jail for the rest of your life if justice prevails. The real facts do not support the imaginary world.
One good way to get architects of the faulty alternative reality to stop is to hold them accountable. I'm terrified we could lose our democracy and all of us would have to live in the opioid pipe dream of reality. I'm in favor of holding these people accountable with every means available, and to shed light on what is in the Mueller Report. I read it last weekend, but understand I'm one of only about three percent of Americans who have read it cover to cover. I "read" the free audio book version from Audible.com.
I heard someone say on TV nothing will happen unless we can get hearings like the Watergate Hearings. He said the Mueller Report was too hard for most Americans to understand. But I disagree. The Mueller Report was the most edifying book I've read on this subject. It was absorbing and hard to put down! I first tried reading the PDF, and got about a quarter of the way into it, but the Audible version brought it to life. So everybody who cares about our democracy - click the link and get the audio version free. The only boring part was at the end when he cited a long list of similar obstruction of Justice cases.
Watergate Era vs Russiagate Era
May 4, 2019
When Watergate was going on, I was in high school. The secret stuff started around the time I went into high school, and Nixon resigned a few weeks before I started college. Being a teen at the time, I didn't watch much news, but I remember when I worked at the Forum in Inglewood at age seventeen, they were running the hearings on a number of television sets inside the main office area. I was one of the telephone operators, so we were in a closet. But we walked through the main office to get in or out. I remember feeling crushed when Nixon first won in 1968 and was disgusted when he was reelected in a landslide. It was a hard time.
The main difference between then and now - from my perspective and what I've learned - out in California we were a bunch of peaceniks who were nearly universally in favor of the Civil Rights Movement, Women's Movement, legalizing pot, and withdrawing from Vietnam. We knew there were racists out there, but we only had a few sprinkled in here and there. I grew up in a bubble. When they got bussing, we were taught to see it as a great opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds. We embraced the children who were bussed in. I attended Van Nuys Junior High and had friends of all backgrounds and faiths. It was like heaven.
Imagine my disillusionment later in life to learn Jim Crow laws were in effect at the same time I was growing up in paradise. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 finally abolished Jim Crow. So I only know about America's racist and cruel past as a student of history. I lived during that era but lived in California, a place that's always head of it's time, and always a barometer of where the future is going.
The difference between now and the 1960s-1970s is the rest of the country has come a long way embracing race, nation of origin, religion, etc. I've traveled all over the world, and while other societies may be more sophisticated and civil than ours here in the United States - we are strong in one sense. In American we mix it up a lot better than most other countries. Like - we already all live together. We have Fair Housing laws that protect home buyers. If you have the green and the means, you can buy it, or rent it, or get a loan for it. This is an established fact! If you are a real estate agent and you do something wrong, you get grilled, fined, and censured, and you can lose your license. This is a good thing, and social mobility is a good thing. Our country is not a caste system, although there is a caste-like system in packets of the South, for example. Anyways, we've found out more about racism in the last few years.
Real estate brokers get in trouble, but who gets away with breaking Fair Housing laws? People who work in a lawless underworld, where you willfully break laws, cover up, pay people off, threaten, blackmail, slander, and make a hit list, until you get your way. In other words, a two year old in an adult body.
We have come a long way on a lot of issues - and that's why we feel so terrified. Our sincere values - America welcomes immigrants - America helps its poor - America has universal public education - in America we have fair elections. These are things we hold dear. When we feel our values threatened, we are afraid.
That's another difference between the Russiagate Era and the Watergate Era. Back in the sixties (apart from California), Americans openly trampled American values for anyone of a different race from the dominant race. Like I said, I can only look back on the non-California 1960s experience through history books. But from what I know, modern era - Americans are polarized about race now. A majority are for equal opportunity, but with a vocal minority of white supremacists. Luckily, the majority of the younger generation are open to people of any race, any background, and judge people only by the content of their character. If we stick with the Preamble to the Constitution, we will be okay. Meanwhile, we can feel grateful the truth is on our side this time, like it was in the Watergate Era.
Mueller Report Revealed
April 18, 2019
Now that the Mueller Report is released, we see the darkness of the last several years chronicled and committed to history. Surrealist News editors recommend approaching this fresh - ignore everything Ugly Tom Bosley said about it. The thing is detailed and speaks for itself. That must be why they had to do one final obstruction dance . . . yes, what we've been watching could be continued obstruction. Anyways, happy Easter! You know how we spend every holiday these days (who can forget the joy of the 2018 Christmas shut-down?) - keep calm and carry on.
Read the Mueller Report*Listen to the Mueller Report free at Audible.com*
AG Bill Barr testifies before the Senate, May 1, 2019.
(Photo from driftglass.blogspot.com)
Government by Lying Blowhards
April 10, 2019
America is in a real fix, and thank god for the blue wave. The Republican party launched this investigation into the Trump campaign when they heard Russians were interacting with people from the campaign. This is an investigation of Republicans, by Republicans. Now the Republicans have turned on the Republicans and they are all fighting with each other and fixer AG Barr is threatening to investigate the investigators.
Meanwhile - border crisis, Homeland Security Department crisis, all "acting" cabinet leadership, trade wars, and don't forget the government shutdown - how we spent the holidays. The most scary part for me ("boo") is that my friends - even my next door neighbors - might believe God appointed Trump to be president. How do you argue with that? Any judge who believes God appointed Trump president should recuse themselves from any matter concerning Trump or the Administration. Same for jurors. By the way, how do you prove whether God wanted Trump to be president?
We live in an insane world at the moment, if you follow this. We need to know what's going on, so we follow. We are Americans and we will not be told what to do by arrogant incompetent blowhards. This is a country of laws. We have work to get back to - we need to lead the people of the world to a freer, better world. That's been our job all along, but especially since World War II when we won the war for the Allies. Then we helped form NATO, the United Nations, and all the international institutions that have ensured our freedom. Now we get a message that Putin dismissed the Mueller Investigation saying, "The mountain gave birth to a mouse." But I've got news for Putin - if the mountain gave birth to a mouse, that's because the mouse is the mountain.
Fictional Characters vs. the Actors Who Play Them
April 4, 2019
When an actor plays a character, they are a different person from the character. Quite often, the actor is quite different from the character they play. Here are some examples:
This is Margaret Hamilton in her role as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz in 1939. The actress does not look like that, or dress like that, in real life. In real life she is not a wicked witch. In real life she was philanthropic, kind, and loving.
Here's another example. This is Stephanie Miller on stage at the Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Phoenix, with her impression of former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. In 2012 Governor Brewer met President Obama on the tarmac at Sky Harbor and shook her finger in his face. That was the incident where Governor Brewer got the nickname, "Bonefinger." Stephanie Miller is a generally happy person, however on stage, she played the role of a woman expressing anger. Seen below is an actual photo from the 2012 encounter.
The last example is Donald Trump. On The Apprentice he played the role of an honest businessman. In real life he has had multiple bankruptcies, and is accused of bad business practices. He has been the plaintiff or defendant in as many as three thousand lawsuits, and mainstream media has counted his lies since taking office. Just because Trump played an honest businessman in a reality TV show does not make him an honest man. However, his followers probably believe he is the fictional character he played, and they trust the fictional character. They will be surprised when they find out the real Donald Trump is not the honorable mentor they know from TV.
How Do You Change Trump?
March 21, 2019
First, it is highly unlikely you can change Trump. He is what he is. What you see is what you get. Maybe a better question would be, How do you make Trump be the man we knew from Art of the Deal and The Apprentice?
How do you take the patriarch of a crime family and make him into a brilliant and commanding real estate developer? Apparently that is possible. All you have to do is start with a large fortune, hire a man to write a flattering book about you, then get buddies to do a flattering TV show about you. After that, it's just a numbers game. You can fool a certain percentage of the people all the time.
Now, back to the first question, How do you change Trump? How do you change him into that wonderful TV character? Good luck.
Collective Life Hacks
March 21, 2019
Here are a couple of suggestions to help our civil discourse. This may seem paradoxical, but we need to say "thank you" less. Our parents taught us to say "please and thank you," but not "you're welcome." It's time we learn to say "you're welcome." If you notice, most people will say thank you back if you say thank you. It seems like an ego problem, like people cannot accept praise.
I've made it a point in my life to say you're welcome. Depending on the situation, I may say something else, but I try not to say thank you after someone thanks me. When you say you're welcome, that's what the person wants to hear. It completes the circle. Try it out if you're one of those people who says thank you back.
News people do the "thank you thank you back" routine all day and night. Back in the 1990s, Andy Rooney did a 60 Minutes editorial on the way news anchors always thank their reporters. He went on a rant, pointing out the reporters are just doing their jobs - you don't have to thank them. I want to second the late Andy Rooney and say stop thanking your reporters. Just say "good job," or "we appreciate your reporting." Bas.
Here's another life hack for collective problems. America needs a collective history. Maybe it's an acquired taste, but growing older is one reason people become interested in history. The first sign you're growing older is when you begin to see childhood things in the antique stores. After that you may want to find out more about your ancestors. Then after looking into it, you might find out you had a Civil War ancestor, then that makes you want to learn all about the Civil War. America needs a common history, because you turn around and now everyone has their own version of American history.
If we could synchronize our history, we could find a lot more to love about ourselves. It could be a bridge toward more unity in America. Here are a few ideas: 1) teach all Americans the names and locations of all fifty states, plus when and how they came into the Union. 2) teach all Americans the names of all the presidents in our history, plus something about each president and what was happening during their administration. 3) write a national timeline everyone can embrace. The timeline would include only concrete facts that are acceptable and confirmed on all sides, such as the dates states entered the union, dates presidents were in office, dates of wars, significant natural disasters, significant achievements, and so on. If all Americans could agree on the basic facts of our shared history, we would feel more like we are a part of something together.
My final life hack for a better collective experience is to use a common language. We need widely understood terms for our political discussions, because as it stands, our words contribute to keeping us divided. Here are a few examples of words we use but peple interpret differently: liberal, libertarian, conservative, right wing, left wing, moderate, centrist, not political; recession, GDP, deficit, debt, trade wars, stock market, recession, freedom of speech, etc. If we could establish a common language, then we could all communicate. It would also be great if we quit calling human beings "evil" and quit attributing god-like qualities to human beings.
Trusted US History Timelines
Editor's note 3-21-2019: why wait? Here's our shared history on the Internet! We don't need one monolithic timeline because everyone would want to change it and argue over what can be added. Right now we can't agree across the aisle on anything - even if the sky is up and the ground is down. Until the world changes for the better, here's something we can all agree about right now!
1) The list of American presidents, including dates when they were in office.
2) The list of American states and when they entered the union. These facts have been disputed, but only by a day or two, especially in the 1700s.
I've added several links for each category, so you can confirm the common version of history you trust. If we can agree on two things, that's enough to say "we are all Americans" for the first time since 9/11. A lot of people may be too young to remember it, but even people who despised George W. Bush pulled together to absorb that terrible shock.
Our Nation's List of Presidents:
Library of Congress - loc.gov | whitehouse.gov | house.gov | wikipedia.org
Our Nation's States by Date of Admission to the Union
wikipedia.org | simple.wikipedia.org | britannica.com
Is it a Witch Hunt?
March 18, 2019
Here's a list of good books:
The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, by Andrew G. McCabe book e-book
House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia, by Craig Unger book e-book
The Plot to Destroy Democracy: How Putin and His Spies Are Undermining America and Dismantling the West, by Malcolm Nance book e-book
Russian Roulette, by David Corn and Michael Isikoff book e-book
Kushner, Inc., by Vicky Ward book e-book
Editor's note 3-24-2019: Today AG Barr let Trump off the hook so all the Republicans are happy now. It made me think maybe the JFK and 9/11 investigations ended in just such a way. Many people may have perceived a conspiracy - they may have had a theory and evidence - but after a couple years of trying, it was too hard to prove. So it didn't happen. That's one reason America should be in the dog house after this is all over. There are times when our leaders are not honest with us. We need justice on this, and more importantly, we need to protect our elections. Plus, we need to pass a lot of progressive bills in the House to set up our platform. Now's a good time to think ahead - using the Preamble of the Constitution for guidance.
March 17, 2019
The ability to recover quickly is part of growing up. Some people never grow up, but die angry, self-pitying deaths. The goal of life, or one goal anyway, is to learn to cope with what life throws you. Lately, life has been throwing up all over us. But it's life. It's reality. This is really happening, so we must learn to be flexible. If we were planning a good year, but it's interrupted by government shut-downs, states of emergency, rampant racism, and natural disasters, we need to be flexible.
The world is not exactly like we want it, but there are a ways to think about it that make it easier to take. First is humor. If you tune into a comedian who makes you feel better, do that more often. It helps to feel validated, and a good joke can make you feel like other people get what you're going through. Another outlet is music or a good novel. You can escape for hours on end before you even need to know what's going on outside your four walls. That's healthy because we all need a break from stress.
Another way mature people think about stressful situations is to find a way to feel gratitude. One good thing is the blue wave. The blue wave covered the country and now we have one functioning level of government. This helps. I like to think of the blue wave as a blue silk fabric weaving us together as Americans. We need the blue wave, so let's focus on the blue wave. If we can stay united in the blue fabric that blinds us together, we will have more blue wave. Whatever you concentrate on tends to expand in your vision. Thus, you feel less stress, and you are able to be more flexible. Ultimately we need a good counterpart, but not a party that will turn us against ourselves to get their way for the rich.
There are inevitably many more things deserving of our gratitude. Part of it is to be proud we are united and we stand up for each other. Part of it is to be satisfied with life - our work, our neighborhoods, our friends, and our legacy.
Russkie Propaganda - How it Worked in 2016
March 7, 2019
Here are a few words of complaint to Paula Duncan, one of the jurors on the Paul Manafort trial. Tonight in an interview with Lawrence O'Donnell, she asked for peace in the Russia investigation. She said pursuing the truth behind conspiracy to sway the 2016 election is dividing the country and she just wants it to end. I have the utmost respect for her, since she is a reasonable person with a good sense of judgment. LIke her, I want it to end. But unlike her, I want it to end when all Americans acknowledge the danger of anti-American propaganda. It divides us and makes us mistrust our form of government.
In the interview, Paula Duncan posed the argument that since no Russians were at her polling place telling her how to vote, she thinks Russian interference in the 2016 election is fake news. She said she voted for Trump of her own free will, and would do so again.
Even though the Russians did not persuade her to vote for Trump, the campaign of lies and conspiracy theories suppressed the vote for Hillary Clinton. People who might have voted for Hillary were swayed to vote against her or decide to not vote. Hillary was the victim of propaganda held above her head like a basketball in play, passed between several parties. First, we had the National Enquirer running frequent front page, top-of-the-fold stories. Clinton's the anti-Christ, she's a mass murderer, she works for the Saudis, she has cancer, she has a brain tumor, she's a lesbian, she eats babies, etc. On top of that, the Russian government formed the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg to built argument bots and open fake accounts on our social media. These fake accounts promoted the lies and conspiracy theories ad nauseam. Fox News was also in the game of demonizing Hillary based on the same lies. The most vocal person pushing Clinton conspiracies was Trump himself. He worked in concert with the rest of the players.
The most important conspiracy theory was Hillary Clinton's email. They never spelled it out, but I suppose the conspiracy theory alleges she was selling off America's secrets from the private server in her Chappaqua home. They investigated endlessly, but nothing ever came of it. The reason, they say, is that the entire government colluded to cover up Hillary's sins . . . because . . . deep state.
Wikileaks hacked the DNC servers and released damaging emails that showed internal bias against Bernie Sanders. This forced the resignation of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on July 24, the day before the Democratic Convention. CIA Director Mike Pompeo called WikiLeaks "a non-state hostile intelligence service." Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is a fugitive living in London in the Ecuadorian embassy with multiple legal charges hanging over him.
Eleven days before the election, breaking news flashed across the media - FBI to reopen investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. It was a false alarm and never should have been mentioned in public, but it happened. Hillary herself said it was a hurdle too close to the election to overcome, and she blames the incident as the reason for her defeat. However, all along, the Republicans, the National Enquirer, the candidate himself, and the Russian argument bots and the memes in social media and Fox News had built up the scandal of Hillary Clinton's emails.
What was wrong with Hillary Clinton's emails? After investigating and interrogating her multiple times over years, the inquisitors produced zero indictments, zero guilty pleas, zero convictions, and zero jail time for anyone. Thus, you have a lesson in how propaganda works. You get people to believe a hallucination, then you use that illusion to destroy your opponent. If you still believe there is some big unsolved crime in Hillary Clinton's emails, you are living proof of the effectiveness of anti-American propaganda. Even you believe it.
Representative Adam Schiff's Advice to Republicans
February 22, 2019
Many of you have acknowledged your deep misgivings about the president in quiet conversations over the past two years. You have bemoaned his lack of decency, character and integrity. You have deplored his fundamental inability to tell the truth. But for reasons that are all too easy to comprehend, you have chosen to keep your misgivings and your rising alarm private.
That must end. The time for silent disagreement is over. You must speak out.
People who want the highest good for all stick together - let's show them how it's done.
A free country makes it easy for citizens to vote.
America's New Role in the World
January 23, 2019
After the Trump era has passed and we reach a time when we can heal our wounds, we will face the world a changed country. The current tragedies are making us a more humble nation. We are not the best country in the world, and maybe we never were. We were definitely the most egotistical country in terms of how great we thought we were. Our greatness began when we entered World Wars One and Two, and tipped the scales toward democratic self-governance. We then carried the banner of a leader for freedom. We won the Cold War against the Soviet Union because we were a better country - more free, more educated, better quality of life, etc.
Now we are in a new landscape where all the things we once valued are scattered about as if in a storm. Trump seems to really like this drama! He'll get the best ratings yet for this! He's Norma Desmond calling out as he descends his marble staircase: "Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my closeup."
However, all things must pass, and when this show ends, we must pick up the pieces.* One outcome Putin and Trump may not like is how this disaster has shown all Americans the valuable things our government does for us, and we miss them. I got divorced in 1995, and after about six months, my yard was a wreck! I realized somebody had been taking care of it and he was gone.
When we do get through this - and we will - we must come back renewed and work on rebuilding bridges. We must build up our identity as Americans and what that means for us as a people with a shared history. We need to be able to talk about issues and find solutions. When there are collective problems, it's up to everyone to fix them. We can work together to fix things how we want them, and rise with the help of better angels. We must learn from this and never let it happen again.
Peace Plan for the Twenty-first Century
We move into a sustainable future as we move away from oil, coal, gas, and nuclear power. We research and develop new forms of green renewable energy all the time.
Out the Underground Economy
We redeem our lost wealth from the black market economy. We legalize, tax, and regulate all drugs to keep trillions of dollars from going into the hands of criminals. We institute more progressive tax brackets. We expose networks of mafia-like cabals that control vast amounts of wealth dishonestly; we bring them to justice.
Achieve Transparency in Government and Business
We open up our government and corporations to the light. Transparency and good communication keep people and organizations honest. We make it easier for American citizens to vote, and we count the votes accurately.
America Finds its Place in the World
Our country acts responsibly, focused on the American dream of equality and justice for all. Instead of manipulating other countries, we find our own purpose in the world and work toward benevolent goals.
How To Start Up the Government
January 11, 2019
If the Senate will pass bills the House of Representative passed on the first day of the new Congress, it will reopen the government. Due to the dire threat to our way of life, the Senate and the House can muster a veto-proof majority. Thus, the government would open and everyone could get paid for their work. We can negotiate border security once the government is open.
Peace to the New Year
January 2, 2019
Peace to the human beings
Peace to Life
Peace to the skies
Peace to our bodies
Peace to the wind
Peace to the soil
Peace to the weather
Peace to culture
Peace to all demons
Peace to the rebels
Peace to all
Shanti shanti shanti
We weave a web of love over the earth that brings love where there was fear.
A Vision for Responsible Government
December 27, 2018
Following is from the Vision Alignment Project
I see a world where our politicians are, each one, striving to tell the truth and will not participate in slander, mudslinging, or anything that would or could cause harm or hurt to another person, even if it would be true . . . either to those involved politically or not involved in politics.
I see a government where old fashioned values and trust have been restored . . . where all the parties work together for the good "of the people" regardless of party affiliation, structure or dynamics. I envision a government where each individual fulfills his or her office without thought of greed, aggrandizement, self-absorbancy, filling their pockets with others' money and instead are keeping faithful watch over the duties of their office and their promises and pledges to their fellow citizens of this planet . . . instead of watching the Perks file and seeing what they can get for themselves.
I see a government that respects the "workers" and all those who struggle to pay the taxes, fees, fines, penalties etc that have become such a burden to free people . . . While some of these monies are necessary . . . I see a time when unfair or dubious monies collected are returned to the people . . . and any monies collected are only under a democratic vote and a majority rules guideline.
I see a time when faith and trust in our government is restored to the extent that our young people are given qualified heros and people of honor to look up too . . . and they, our children, and grandchildren, themselves would choose to follow on a path where they can truly be a blessing and fulfill their duties toward democracy and their constituency, when they enter the arena of politics. And I see a day when we can stand tall and proud when we tell someone that our child, grandchild . . . niece, nephew etc. has decided to enter into politics to make this a better world to live in. I see a time when this is not a dream . . . but a reality . . . where all people and all races are living together in Peace and Harmony. . . .
Political Chaos Comment
December 21, 2018
Tonight on the 11th Hour with Brian Williams news, historian Jon Meacham offered this explanation for Donald Trump's wrap-up of 2018:
He doesn't see us as a country. He sees us as an audience and he sees himself as the entertainer in chief. And I just think the show is wearing incredibly thin.
The Four Pillars of Freedom
by Nori Muster
Based on the principles described in the book, On Tyranny, by Timothy Snyder.
Personal Code of Ethics
Under tyranny, people anticipate what the leaders will want, then they voluntarily comply. Voluntarily giving up power alerts the tyrants on how far they can go, and just makes them worse. Live by a personal standard of ethics and don't do things that feel wrong.
Under tyranny, a friendly smile or a few friendly words can provide reassurance to people who feel oppressed. On the other hand, looking away and offering only silence promotes fear. Therefore, smile, make eye contact, and small talk. It promotes trust and breaks down social barriers. Friendliness and helpfulness to strangers are signs of a free society.
Be as courageous as you can. Under tyranny people are hypnotized to conform. However, if even one person stands out as an individual, it can break the spell. To build up your courage, develop interests and seek people, places, activities, and beliefs to make you feel happy. Enrich your inner life so cruel people can no longer control you.
Live by Truth
Investigate truth and argue based on facts. Watch out for abuse of language and refuse to speak in clichés. Take the time to make up your own way of saying things. Timothy Snyder said, "Our integrity makes us who we are. Collective trust in common knowledge makes us a society."
To maintain freedom, act like a person who is free. Never let tyrants change your behavior, and never give in to tyranny or lies.
"Both Sides Do It" Philosophy
December 15, 2018
Toward the end of the year I get philosophical. Lately I've been contemplating the philosophy pushed in the mainstream media they call "both sides do it." I agree with some parts of this. For one thing, look up in the sky - we have the sun and the moon. Both are considered planets, they can both be seen from earth and both orbit the sky. From our perspective, they both appear to be the same size. Thus, they may eclipse each other. Therefore, I believe the sun and the moon are useful metaphors for the "both sides do it" theory. We can agree "both sides do it" applies to the sun and moon, since both have many of the same characteristics.
However, if you look closely, there are differences. The sun emits light while the moon reflects it. The sun rises and sets in a year-long cycle and looks the same; the moon is on a monthly schedule and changes shapes. The sun is actually larger and farther away, and consists of gasses and fire. On the other hand, the moon is made of cheese, and is so close we could build a ladder to it.
Now let us consider the differences within the cable news networks. On one end you have MSNBC and on the other, Fox News. Do both sides do the same kind of nonsense? I'll let you decide.
Will America Unite
December 15, 2018
We are Americans and we can come together to save our sovereignty. I have lots of conservative Trump-supporting friends and relatives. We get along just fine. Fighting mostly happens on social media where many of the arguers are anonymous, covert - or not even human (bots). Thus, I believe we can come together if we learn to recognize propaganda meant to divide us.
To show my sincerity toward cooperation and compromise, I will say one nice thing about the president: he signed the Coast Guard Authorization bill December 4, 2018. Now the Delta Queen Steamboat has cleared the first of three hurdles - the largest hurdle - to going back into the American cruise business. Hooray for the Senate, the House, and the Executive who came together to save our boat after ten years of diligent effort.
I'll bet there are many conservatives who could say something they appreciate about President Obama.
I also want to say two nice things about Senator Mitch McConnell. He was one of the main people who promoted Save the Delta Queen legislation. So thank you. In addition, he just added agricultural hemp to the Agriculture bill, then signed it with a hemp pen. Agricultural hemp can help us out with the climate change problem - grow it everywhere, even in toxic waste dumps. The plant can purify any chemical waste.
I bet there are conservatives who would gladly say at least one nice thing about Representative Nancy Pelosi.
Let's come together for America, and for all stripes of people we encompass. We're Americans and we must be the shining light of freedom for the world. If we lead, the world will follow. Let's get back to it.
Special Counsel Documents - Cohen, Flynn, and Manafort
December 8, 2018
Michael Cohen guilty plea - November 29
Michael Cohen District of Columbia Sentencing Memo - December 7
Michael Cohen Southern District of New York Cohen Sentencing Memo - December 7
Michael Flynn Sentencing Memo - Flynn - December 4
Paul Manfort Filing - December 7
Who's Allowed to Vote?
November 16, 2018
Florida and Georgia election officials, including their candidates who "won," or are considering themselves to have won, are affront to our democracy. Our Constitution clearly outlines who is eligible to vote, and it is not up to election officials and specific candidates to decide.
I for one would like to know who, or what group, likes to rig ballots in Florida. Also, I would like to see these individuals brought to justice.
November 7, 2018
The Democratic blue wave flooded the House of Representatives, but fell short of washing across the Senate. I'm grateful for taking the House, so we have a place to stand up to Trump, and protect the general welfare.
I would also like to expose voter suppression tactics in Georgia, North Dakota, and other states. On TV yesterday, reporters asked random people lined up at polling places if they cared about voter suppression. Most of them answered with something like, "Why would I? I'm white."
The Talk of the Town, Comment: Not Every Vote Counts, The New Yorker, October 29, 2018, p. 13.
How to Vote
November 5, 2018
Vote because our children deserve a good world.
Vote early - have your say.
Vote for a more perfect union.
Vote for your future.
Vote like the future depends on it.
Vote like you will inherit the world.
Vote vote vote - as many of us Democrats do.
Vote with your heart.
Be assertive and you will win. Vote.
Brawndo - it's got what plants crave - but people need to vote.
Counting down to the November 6 - historic election. Join in and vote.
Courage and optimism are your best friends - vote.
Early vote now - avoid the rush.
Exercise daily and exercise your right to vote.
Fate loves the fearless. Vote.
If I only get one thing done this November, it is to vote and make this world a better place.
If you have your ballot, vote now.
Join the crowds - vote vote vote.
Lead with your actions. Vote.
Losers visualize the penalties of failure. Winners visualize the rewards of success. Vote.
Make midterms your time to vote to support your country.
Midterms are a great time to cast your vote.
Mother Earth wants you to vote this time.
Peace begins with your vote.
Success indicated through cooperation. Vote.
Together we can do what we can never do alone. Vote
Voting is good for you - yum yum.
Voting is like taking vitamins - makes you healthy and strong.
We have your back - it's a sane reaction to an insane situation. Vote.
We're strong and proud - voting is our right.
You will have many bright days soon. Vote.
You will soon witness a miracle. Vote.
Your choices will change the world. Vote.
Your efforts are building - results will appear soon. Vote.
Your ideals are well within your reach. Vote.
America needs your vote - get out and serve your country.
Sympathies and Grief
Saturday October 27, 2018
Read the Nixon Indictment
November 1, 2018
Yesterday the government unsealed the Nixon Indictment and made it available to all Americans and others to read. This is also called the Watergate Roadmap. Click here to read the Nixon Indictment at Scribd.com.
Mail Bomb Suspect Arrested
October 27, 2018
Fingerprints, DNA And Social Media Posts Helped FBI Identify Bomb Suspect Cesar Sayoc
Thank you to those who worked together to make an arrest quickly, and continue to investigate. Thank god this man was not a good bomb maker. Please stop the insanity people - pray for peace and pray we can work together to solve our collective problems.
Russian National Charged with 2018 Election Interference
October 20, 2018
Yesterday we learned the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of Virginia filed a criminal complaint against a Russian woman, Elena Khusyaynova, for conspiracy to defraud the United States. Instead of wallowing in our wounds, let's read this and educate ourselves. Read the complete document here: lawfareblog.com or here: cnn.com.
Indivisible in Phoenix
October 19, 2018
The Indivisible groups in the Phoenix area just held their eighty-ninth protest in front of the offices of Senator Flake and the late Senator McCain. Senator Kyl now occupies McCain's old office. Indivisible has demonstrated in front of their offices every Tuesday morning since the Tuesday following the January 21, 2017 Women's March.
Affirmations for Abuse Victims
October 5, 2018
I have a right to fair treatment and protection. I am healing day by day. I am stronger in the place I was wounded, and my fulfilling life grows from my wound. The dogs may celebrate and lift up abusers, but decent people support and lift up victims and do their part to make the world safe for women, children, and all people.
What is True?
September 13, 2018
Since truth has become controversial, Surrealist News will supply an easy-to-follow guide about what is true. We'll give you a few options, and you decide what you want to believe.
It is true you can influence and change your own reality for the better. Usually, this change is made through positive attitude, a good plan, listening to the subconscious mind for ideas on how to reach your goals, followed by hard work.
It is true there's a strong possibility the president conspired with Russia to win the 2016 election. It's true the Mueller investigation has been tracking true facts and finding large and small pockets of illegal activity. It's true they have put several people in jail, obtained cooperating witnesses, multiple guilty pleas and indictments, and one extradition so far.
It's true there are multiple hurricanes. This is most likely due to climate change, specifically warming oceans. You may not want to believe it, but think about it. If we extract and burn ever-increasing amounts of fossil fuels, it must have an effect, most likely a bad effect. Increasing hurricanes could be a conspiracy, such as a deep state attempt to control the weather through the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP. Or HAARP could be the Geophysical Institute for scientific research into the ionosphere, as it says it is.
Which is more difficult to believe? 1) burning fossil fuels has changed our environmental, or 2) a large swath of scientists work for evil forces that want to control the weather to secure world domination. You can decide, but (hint) the best explanation is sometimes the easiest explanation. Burn some fossil fuels and put your face in it. If you feel sick from inhaling burning fossil fuels for one minute, imagine how much damage it does to our Mother Earth.
It's true they investigated Bill and Hillary Clinton for years - beginning in 1998 - but it's also true all they turned up was infidelity and a couple of #metoo victims from Bill Clinton's extramarital affairs. They never found Hillary to be guilty of anything. The investigations into her role in Benghazi, or having a private server for her email, turned up no jail time for anyone, no cooperating witnesses, no guilty pleas, no indictments, and no extraditions. People accuse Hillary of killing Vince Foster, but most likely he committed suicide.
There is a difference between the two parties, even though two dogs in a fight both look vicious. Democrats are the party of choice for people who want a strong public sector, a progressive income tax system that puts the higher burden on those most able to pay (the aristocratic class), and equality, and justice. The Republicans used to be the smart dad who reminded you to watch your budget, and would have good advice if you got in a fix.
However, the Republican party has devolved into this. They've become more racist and corrupt in other ways. You would hardly recognize them. They've become a cult of personality, and the number one star of the Republican party is their president. The current Republican party is an arm of the NRA, then we learn the NRA is channeling money from Russia? That could be true.Republicans also get the bible-based anti-abortion types, and people who mistakenly think they will become rich aristocrats if they support the Republicans. We think this could be what they learn in their church, which may have cultic control over their minds. Bible-based cults are rampant these days, replacing the Indian guru cults of the 1960s and 1970s.
It's true the Russian military spiked our social media to make Americans angry at each other. They studied our social fabric to find the little flaws and pulled threads. They turned a little lost stitch in our fabric into a big gaping rip. Russian propaganda discouraged voter turnout by making everyone angry at the whole system. They turned Hillary Clinton into a caricature - deeply despised evil woman. But now people are wishing we had a qualified executive, and she was over-qualified. And we can't follow the Russian propaganda to hate our government. We need to fix it by overpowering the Republicans - or whatever you call this thing that has taken over our government. It's like a giant Russian harvesting machine, that is trying to destroy our democracy. After more than a year and a half, people have realized it's a bad idea to uproot and destroy our institutions, laws, and traditions.
To look for true news, tap into reliable established sources such as the Washington Post, The New York Times, the L.A. Times, Time magazine, the New Yorker, the Associated Press, most city newspapers, and most TV news. I'm not saying everything they print is a hundred percent true, and especially not their editorials. But that's different from purposely spreading propaganda. The fake news propaganda comes from InfoWars, Fox News, and fake websites with snappy names like "pro-trump.com" or "god.com" or the like. If you have doubts about a news source, find out how many Pulitzers and other journalism awards they've won in recent years. Yes, good journalism is still a thing.
You are free to believe everything happening is part of a vicious Democrat plot to defeat Trump because we lost the election. Or you can look at reality. Democrats and most Indis oppose Trump because he's unqualified, unhinged, and he won the electoral college by extremely narrow margins only with the help of Russian propaganda, voter suppression, and who knows what-all. Polls show more and more people are looking at reality all the time. I encourage everyone to tap into reality.
Witness and Testify
September 5, 2018
This is a plea to the person(s) responsible for today's opinion piece in The New York Times, "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration." Get yourself a good attorney and turn yourself in immediately. You need immunity to tell them what you know about what's going on, or risk becoming the scapegoat. It's a moral failure on your part to continue to prop up a leader you deem as unfit. It may also be illegal if people are taking papers off his desk, etc., as described in the forthcoming book, Fear, by Bob Woodward.
A Dred Scott Plessy v Ferguson Waiting to Happen
September 5, 2018
Although the Dred Scott and Plessy v Ferguson cases took place long before I was born, I did live through Bush v Gore in 2000. It would be fine with me to not have to live through another notoriously bad Supreme Court decision. Who would want to? That would be like wishing to be born between 1830 and 1850 to be swept up in the Civil War. The Dred Scott decision is cited as one of the causes of the Civil War, so bad Supreme Court decisions can have dire consequences.
However, with Brett Kavanaugh, the Republicans are exorcising themselves, struggling to prove everything is normal. They're on the brink of realizing their dream of an apartheid America, where they privatize and loot all our public treasures.
Fun Activities this Labor Day
September 3, 2018
Today celebrates unions. While you're out having fun, please give a shout out to the value of good unions. Not unions that function like the mob. But let's celebrate unions that reach out to the other side to negotiate. When you dream your future, always think about the highest good for all. If your visualization of your future includes enriching yourself, while ignoring other people, institutions, traditions, and history, or abusing the animals, plant life, or overall environment, then your visualization is faulty. My only advice is, always consider the highest good for all when you practice auto suggestion or affirmation.
Another bit of Labor Day talk here at Surrealist News is advice for the Democrats. The only story on TV so far this Monday is talk of what might happen in the next two big elections. What "might happen" is not really news. But if you have nothing better to talk about, it's okay. So here's my two cents.
Democrats and Independents - especially the Parkland generation - this will be an epic passing of the torch to the next generation. The people who grew up in the era of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Bing Crosby are running. Let's visualize intergenerational peace. We respect generational boundaries.
People on the left have a reason to stick together as Dems and Indis from all ages, religions, race, and geographical location who vote together. We are a web of love and faith in America now draping the country. The Russians cannot divide us. We can continue to work together in the draping wave, and speak out when we need to. We are strong together. We come from the majority who want civil society, and a leader who is capable and not influenced by un-American forces.
We can also continue to try to get through to our loved ones who still believe all the lies. Just for example, they continue to persecute our grandmas in the Senate: Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Elizabeth Warren (and others, as well). Hillary is not a serial killer - all r-wingers believe she is. Pelosi is not a radical socialist, and Warren did not get special privileges based on her ancestry.
Starting early next year, let's discuss amongst ourselves to work toward consensus on two people going into the primaries in 2020 - one candidate born in the 1940s to early 1950s, and the other younger than me - so born in the late fifties or younger. It can be civil and would be an interesting contrast. It cold even be a teaching experience, where we have a chance to learn a positive from one of our elders. Having an older and younger candidate is archetypal, and it is after all, a time when we have a strong younger generation.
When I was young, protesting for peace in Vietnam galvanized people to vote. Now, sadly, it's mass murders with military-like weapons. However, our dialogue between the older gen candidate and the younger gen candidate will be a beautiful scenario, and one we should work toward. If it turned out to be a unity ticket and everyone likes both of them, it would bring the voters together as well.
Think about this sensibly, friends. Just forget all the lies the media and propaganda efforts have put in your head. We were subjected to military-grade Russian propaganda. All the lies they put out are fake. The Russia investigation into the lies is real.
We have good choices in both generations. Here's my list of people in the House and Senate born in the late fifties or later. Scroll down or click here. I want to add governors too, since many US presidents were governors before being elected.
Remembering Senator John McCain and the McCain family today in Arizona. RIP.
"Serving something more important than myself . . . and I am so grateful."
What Makes Writers Write?
by Nori Muster
August 28, 2018
I can't say for all writers, but in general, writers have something to say. We feel a need to express ourselves. This may trace back to our childhoods, or it may have taken root later in life. Writers of history have brought out ideas nobody else would have thought of, and their words have changed the world. Writers are activists for their own views. Many of us have set views on how things should be, and through our words - our swords - we go to battle. Good writers wouldn't have to resort to physical violence, but some have.
Here at Surrealist News you have an editor who has gone to the mat for writing. At times when I was in my forties, I asked myself if writing might not be the right career. In those days I would pour over the classified ads in the newspaper, searching for jobs that might be more financially fulfilling. I struggled with it, but when things got going, I always came down on the side of continuing as a writer.
After college I was trained as a copy writer. I rarely took a byline, didn't worry about how the editors fixed up my simple stories. Some of the complex ideas I fought for, but small stuff never bothered me. After that I wrote for a lot of other publications for many years. It never made me much money, but luckily I had real estate. I now teach real estate as a side-job. Teaching earns more than writing, but not by much.
My subjects are politics, paddlewheel steamboat history, history, art therapy, cultic studies, dream studies, and real estate. My websites are Steamboats.com, Surrealist.org, and NoriMuster.com. I also post my genealogy research at BillMuster.com, named after my father. I write the websites by hand in html code. Here at Surrealist News I try to promote communication and investigation. Fight hate with love. If you find anything you consider hateful in my writing, please contact me. I would love to hear from you.
History Mirrors Itself
August 15, 2018
They say history repeats itself, but what it really does is mirror itself. Why is that? Probably because the same sorts of things happen over and over until we learn how to prevent those exact problems.
Here's an example of a mirror image. The forty-fourth president never reacted to insults or other incitements of his opponents. He just never took the bait. He was so cool, he got the nickname "no drama Obama." On the other hand, the forty-fifth president is just the opposite. He seems unable to let anything go.
This gives us the opportunity to reflect on whether we prefer a leader who is qualified and mature, or whether we prefer someone who will bring chaos to every situation and light fires to distract from his other fires.
Courts of Hearing Trump's Case
August 12, 2018
They say there are different courts where people are trying Trump's case. On one level, there's the judicial court, the traditional common law place to try legal cases. Common law dates back to the early beginnings of England, our parent country. Old English common law derives from previous legal systems, so trying a case in court is as old as history.
Another court is the court of public opinion. That's where Trump's attorneys are working. They have a following of true believers who apparently care nothing for facts, but want to go with how they feel. If Trump and his attorneys make them feel good, such as feeling love for their country, or for the Trump family, then they will ignore facts. It's part of human nature, and common. It's especially common in incest families, where abused children feel conflicted over their parents, especially the perpetrator. On one hand their parents provide a level of basic security, and all children naturally want to be loved by their caretakers. On the other hand, most abuse survivors hate their perpetrators. Trump supporters share certain characteristics with incest victims who blindly love their parents and deny, repress, or rationalize the abuse.
There's another court, where I've witnessed this playing out, and that's the court of Yamaraja. Yama means Lord of Death in Sanskrit. Raja means king. Hindu mythology (in the positive Jungian sense) goes that when a soul is getting ready to die, the Yama dutas, The Lord of Death's angels, surround the soul with their dogs, and begin to bind the soul and lead it toward Yamaraja's court. In court, the barristers call witnesses. One side will bring in witnesses who attest to the defendant's guilt on earth, while the other side brings in witnesses who attest to the defendant's innocence.
This is Hindu mythology, so I'm not saying it's literally true. But for me, any myth that's still powerful after many years, is a valid as well for good metaphors. So you don't even have to be religious to understand what I'm trying to say about the court of Yamaraja.
Let me explain a few more details from the Hindu scriptures. First, because this occurs in the defendant's afterlife, and takes place under the rules of a benevolent but strict supreme being, all the testimony is fair, true, and abundant. If necessary, the underworld barristers can summon any witness to testify living or dead, from this life, or a previous life. Therefore, the trail is conducted fairly. It's analogous to Western religious concept of a Judgment Day.
Another, colorful part of the story, the angels of Yamaraja are not your typical white-gowned glowing angels. Those are the angels of Vishnu. Since the Hindus, as in all Eastern religions, do not have a concept of a split god/devil, there is no devil character in the Hindu religion. They accept darkness as necessary in a great tapestry of yin and yang, dark and light. Thus, while the Vishnu dutas are glowing angels of light, the Yama dutas are detestable, violent, dark beings. They have fangs and look like human-animals. Their dogs are vicious and dangerous, and the dogs, called rurus, which means savage animal in Sanskrit.
If you look at how things are going in the Court of Yamaraja, you will see a court awaiting the arrival of the defendant. The Yama dutas are doing their best to surround Trump, bind him, as his followers swirl around, as if in a carnival at the gates to the underworld.
Space Force Dream
August 11, 2018
A year ago, white hate groups held a demonstration and one of them killed Heather Heyer when he plowed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters. This weekend is a time to acknowledge the great demographic change taking place in America. I for one celebrate the change. However, I empathize with white people who are frightened. Plus, whatever anxiety they naturally would have, the Russians have stoked to dangerous levels. No wonder the white people are upset. The Russians organized hate group gatherings, and their puppet president stokes racism with his tweets.
What to do? All Americans must stick together. Remember, people who want to hold it together are in the majority. The white hate groups in the minority. Even as their auditoriums bulge with angry white people, they're still a minority. Most Americans are good natured and want to help and be kind when they can, and most Americans easily overlook race and other physical traits. Most Americans get it - they're kind, tolerant, generous, and smart.
To straighten out this mess, we must start with an agreement on the facts. There's a segment of Americans trained to reject particular facts. The main false scenario they are trained to accept is to hold Russia harmless for attacking our electoral system. They believe either it didn't happen, or it doesn't matter because Russia is our new best friend. How convenient for the perpetrators if they have a cult following of people who don't care about free and fair elections, the basis of our system of democracy. More about why we must stand by and defend the truth: The Four Pillars of Freedom.
And what about Space Force? Psyche! It's just propaganda to distract from what's really happening.
Happy Birthday President Obama
August 4, 2018
Our best wishes to our President Barack Obama and his family on his fifty-seventh birthday. Loved having you as our president for eight successful years, and thank you for continuing to light the way forward.
An America of Peace, Rev. 2
August 5, 2018
After much protest from my readers, I will try rev two of An America of Peace. We have to do something, because people in our society currently live in an alternative reality where Trump is the victim of legal persecution. In reality, it becomes more clear every day, there's something going on here. We don't know for sure what it is, but we've heard many experts give their opinion on TV these days. There's a strange twist to this whole thing that started a couple years ago.
To find peace with a bunch of brainwashed people, do what my dad did when I was a Hare Krishna devotee. For him it was like a chess game. His first move was to meet the leaders at the temple and befriend them. Check. That way he could stay in contact with me. Second, he never told me to leave. He approved of certain aspects of my situation. I had a good place to live and was working hard at the office and at the temple. He accepted it as a cross between the military and a monastery. Lots of rules, lots of renunciation.
At this point, our relatives are reluctant to share the cult with us. When we arrive unexpectedly, they reach for the remote to lower the sound or pause. They do not share their strange beliefs with us, then we see someone who could be our own relatives shouting profanities at a fake news camera. It's getting scary out there, as if things will boil over.
Instead of changing how we discuss the Koch and Bush families, I think we need to speak up to our relatives. Ask them to share their thoughts and beliefs. Like my father, don't do it to pry me away from my beliefs. Do it out of concern. Like, my dad might say, "I saw this article about your group in The New York Times . . ." So you might say, "I saw this [latest wacky thing] and was concerned. What do you think about it?" Then let them tell you. Then after they clarify, either elaborate or change the subject. Do not interrogate your loved one. My father never, ever yelled at me about being in the group. He watched over me and raised legitimate questions when it was appropriate. We should learn something from that, and show some interest in the alternative world.
If you attempt this, remember relatives are precious, same for close neighbors and friends. We don't want to wreck anybody's world. Live and let live live we've done for the last two years. If anything we want to offer them a bridge to the real world where the news is not fake. Betrayals can be emotionally devastating. We need to be kind if they share parts of their worldview, and listen out of love, never during an episode of anger. If you're angry, say, let's talk about this later. Then leave or hang up after saying a polite and concise goodbye.
An America of Peace [please see revision, above]
Let's Begin with our Words
People Left of center change the following language: instead of "Koch Brothers," we will use the more respectful "Koch Foundation." Saying "Koch Brothers" sounds like "coke" brothers - Left leaners stop making fun of their name.
While still studying the past for useful information, people on the left Left give the Bush family the recognition, love, and honor they deserve.
The sane Right blesses Left of center grandmothers in the House and Senate, and other elected office. The Right acknowledges the sincerity of Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and other women who proudly serve their country.
People on the sane Right stand up to Russia instead of abusing their conscience, embodied in the voices of the Democratic party. America wins the Cyber Cold War when the sane Right and Left of center come together to solve the problem.
Call of the Forest Documentary
July 25, 2018
This documentary on the value of trees offers a ray of hope, and how trees can reverse climate change. To watch Call of the Forest, click on one of the screen shots, or the link at the end.
Watch the Documentary
Read the July 13, 2018 Netyksho et al. indictment - click here.
Families Belong Together
June 30, 2018
Families Belong Together rallies took place in cities across the country today, including Phoenix. Here are some scenes from the Phoenix State Capitol this morning.
The rally was peaceful because everyone was focused on the general welfare of our country, and specifically how we treat people who seek asylum in America. People come here because they've heard this is a great country. Everything was going great, but then we got pro-Trump counter protesters.
Here come the counter protesters - there were about twelve - and they were all extremely angry. The person standing to my left had a "Tuck Frump" protest sign, and the counter protesters singled him out for their hatred.
The counter protesters mostly yelled things like, "Trump is your president," because they wanted to make us feel unhappy.
Luckily, nothing came of it and the counter protesters carried their hatred and scorn on with them when they walked away. All the TV stations broadcast the rally on the evening news.
June 19, 2018
Zero Tolerance means to take children, put them in cages, and also disappear them? There's no mechanism to reunite families. The children will end up dead or in the child trafficking system and everyone knows it. These parents deserve to have their children back and emigrate. Don't make America worse than oppressive dictatorships in Latin America to discourage asylum seekers.
Good people are organizing a march this Sunday from El Paso to the first tent city. Most of us cannot travel to Texas, but we can support the march. Go to stopseparation.org to donate. Doing something - anything - might be the only way some of us will get some sleep.
Parents of Korean War Dead
June 14, 2018
In today's headlines - and it makes us wonder, how old would Korean War veterans' parents be now? My uncle died in the Air Force when his plane fell into the Sea of Japan on a training mission after the Korean War. So that was 1955, while I was in the womb about to be born. So My uncle was old enough to die in the Korean War. Okay, working back from there, my grandparents would have been roughly the same age as his parents. My mother's parents were born in 1894 and 1904; my father's parents were born in 1868 and 1886. So Let's say any parents seeking the remains of their children killed in the Korean War would now be well over a hundred years old.
So why would Trump claim thousands of grieving parents would come to him to ask for the remains of their sons? Was it a hallucination? If not, why did he make it up? Maybe he meant the children and grandchildren of Korean War veterans approached him. Was it just one person? My aunt never got her husband's remains, nor did the military ever recover his plane. So I can understand this as an issue that could be resolved through diplomacy.
However, why did he make such a big deal about this? It's risky to tred on sacred ground, especially concerning people's lost relatives who were veterans. Our theory here at Surrealist News is that Trump has no idea when the Korean War took place. Maybe he thinks it was that one right before George Bush or George W. Bush attacked Iraq. It's been fun being an extra in the cast of this grand reality show.
Better Dead than Red
June 6, 2018
What ever happened to America that believed in herself? We stuck together through World War II. Now we're polarized. Who is controlling the frequency? As a veteran ex-cult member, who probably underwent spiritual abuse, along with indoctrination, what's happening these days is like indoctrination.
When it comes to "political ads" and "fake news" - some people even think fake news is fake. Everybody learns to think of themselves as a suspect. We've been trained to do this because we have to take off our shoes and throw away our liquids before we can fly. It didn't used to be this way.
It's highly likely the Russian military is in control of our thoughts. We are on one of those board games where the player controls the way the board tips to send a metal ball through a maze. We are that metal ball and Russia is turning the leavers to keep us off balance.
The best way to combat mind control is to learn to think for yourself. When you're thinking for yourself, think about how you would want to be treated in this world. The world is difficult enough. We don't need people judging us or telling us what to do. At work your boss can tell you what to do, but unless you're a minor aged kid, you are the captain of your own ship.
Evidence of Russian propaganda: things that would turn you against your own country and lose faith in your contry / things that make you mistrust groups of people - specific races or any non-white race (do your DNA test - most of us have unexpected exotic genes to discover and that's part of the fun) / fantastical stories that disgust you - if it seems like there's something wrong with it, investigate. Learn to stand behind the things you say. Use your real name when you express your opinion on the Internet. Reporters have to do it. Celebrities have to. I do it because I have books in print.
One good way to keep our freedom and our healthy economy is to educate ourselves about reality. There is a large segment of Fox News viewers who believe a whole distinct story about recent history that is a fiction. If you're tempted into that land, resist. If you live in your imagination already, try to free your mind. If you've been following the Russia investigation, just try to not bite your nails too bad. Keep following the news - it's valuable to know what's going on.
Senator Joseph McCarthy: Agent of USSR?
May 27, 2018
Listening to Jon Meacham's new book again today, I thought about Joe McCarthy. Recently my mom told me they were concerned about the situation when they were young, and heard on TV the phrase "at long last have you no decency."
From what we've learned about the behavior of bullies lately, one thing we've learned is their tendency to project. Jon Meacham's Joe McCarthy was a bully. He was an out of control bully like we have now, and nobody could stand up to him. He was as frustrating and scary as what we have now. He also projected and acted like a toddler that never grew up. What does this mean?
What if McCarthy was an early enthusiast of Russian (at that time Soviet) money. What if he called everyone else as working for "the communists" because he himself worked for communists. Perpetrators must cover up for themselves, and where better to hide than to pretend you're a great hero? What if Joe McCarthy understood the dark future the Soviet's intended for America, yet he could not quit. It drove him insane and when he finally fell, he crumbled like a body with no soul. He had sold his soul.
May 25, 2018
Happy Memorial Day weekend. So is it a witch hunt? Many Americans think there's something hinkey about the Russia investigation. They may want to give Trump a chance and they can ignore his erratic words and behavior. This may account for Trump's slight rise in his approval rating.
The moderate Republicans might feel how Democrats felt when Republicans were investigating Hillary Clinton. The only problem is, Trump probably did launder money, knowingly accept campaign assistance from foreign entities, maybe even with a quid pro quo. At any rate, to those of us who follow the Russia investigation, Trump seems dangerous. If there's nothing to it, how come five guilty pleas and all those indictments?
If Hillary had been guilty of nefarious crimes, most Democrats would have turned on her. Just like with Harvey Weinstein - once we found out he was accused of rape - we changed our minds about him. Or people who had just heard of him like me, didn't like him from the start. If it is proven Trump operates more or less as an agent of Russia, surely the moderate Republicans and Independents who recently turned back to supporting him will change back to not supporting him.
Granted, he will always have his true believers. But those who graze on both sides of the fence may decide Trump is guilty, and feel betrayed. We'll just have to wait to find out what the evidence is. It's been like putting together a picture puzzle where you cannot yet see the picture. Be patient - not cynical or scared.
American Leadership (1944-2018) RIP
May 9, 2018
During World War II, America became a recognized world leader. Then during the Cold War, we rose to the level of one of only two superpowers. However, our time as a world leader has ended, per abandonment of trade deals and the Iran nuclear treaty. We have given in to the other superpower, or what's left of it - Russia.
Our time as a leader on the world stage lasted seventy-four years, if you count from 1944, when WWII was ending, the Allies were winning. We were recognized for our fast mobilization, and our parents' and grandparents' sacrifices to put all our energy into going to war. It was a nostalgic but difficult and blood time in our history, but we made a difference for Europe. That episode is what made us a world leader.
There's an old story on how to find out how important you are to any situation. Put your hand in a bowl of water and splash it around. Withdraw your hand. We've withdrawn and the world will do without us now. The rest of the world got on for centuries before we came along, and they have the collective wisdom to accept what's happening and take up the slack.
The editors at Surrealist.org apologize to ROW (Rest Of World) and ask you to pity us. Like people living in other failing democracies Russia is attacking around the world, there are still good people here who are suffering.
Disney's 1943 Chicken Little
Undated - was kicking around the green room too long, now back on stage:
Disney's 1943 Chicken Little: Youtube
The Internet research agency of Saint Petersburg
And update on information operations on Facebook
Trump Half-Learned Positive Thinking
April 29, 2018
Donald Trump and his father were acolytes of Norman Vincent Peale, a best selling author in the positive thinking movement. In my post-9/11 research into positive thinking, here's how I described Norman Vincent Peale:
The mid-twentieth century brought a revival of new thought ideas among Christians. The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale, became an instant classic when it came out in 1952. The book updated Christian new thought for a modern audience, supporting the power of thought with quotes from the Bible. Dr. Peale also founded Guideposts, a Christian magazine that offers a spiritual message of positive thinking.This explains a lot about Trump's audacious confidence. Look at all the attention he has gotten - he well knows how to magnetize the media with the power of positive thinking. However, Trump only gets it half right. He gets the part about Autosuggestion. In positive thinking, you plant positive thoughts in your subconscious mind, usually through affirmation. Trump probably learned to do it growing up attending Peale's church with his father.
However, he missed the other half of what it takes. To create win-win outcomes with Autosuggestion, a person must also develop Positive Mental Attitude.
Learning to meditate on an affirmation is good, but as soon as you put down the index card, entrenched negative attitudes come back and plant along with the affirmation.
Here are two negative attitudes Trump has likely cultivated over a lifetime:
Chronic Anger - Anger is a powerful emotion. It tells us someone or something has crossed our emotional boundaries. Anger points to situations we need to address. To handle anger appropriately, we must recognize the cause of the anger, release the emotion, and solve the problem. Although anger has a legitimate purpose, it can be dangerous. Like fire, it can get out of control and cause extensive damage. Developing an angry temperament is especially unfortunate and a key ingredient of apathy. If you are excessively angry at the world, you certainly do not want to help fix it.Also, it's dishonest to try to make something true by repeating it over and over. This is not a tenet of positive thinking, in the sense you can change reality, or redefine reality to fit a narrative. Rather, it's typical of tyrants, and is called "the big lie," propaganda, or simply a lie.
Half-learning the power of positive thinking is dangerous, but quite frankly, many of us make similar mistakes. We usually are our own worst enemies when it comes to self-defeating attitudes. For one thing, we can't always see reality; we often project our own feelings on the outside world. There's also the disastrous, but common practice of covering up for incompetent people in positions of power over others, and helping them save face. I describe all the negatives of positive thinking in my book, Dreaming Peace.
Who's peekin' out from under a stairway
Calling a name that's lighter than air
Who's bending down to give me a rainbow
Everyone knows it's Windy
Who's tripping down the streets of the city
Smilin' at everybody she sees
Who's reachin' out to capture a moment
Everyone knows it's Windy
And Windy has stormy eyes
That flash at the sound of lies
And Windy has wings to fly
Above the clouds (above the clouds)
Valuable Insights from General Ret. Barry Mccaffrey
March 16, 2018
Ret. Four Star US Army General Barry McCaffrey
A 21st Century Dem Strategy
April 23, 2018
The year is 2018 - and everything has evolved. Now evolved applies to LGBTQ and marijuana! Here at Surrealist.org, we've been waiting years for people's view of marijuana to - but finally - marijuana gets some recognition. Another sign of evolution is young people standing up to take on problems adults are too afraid to confront. I was also activated at ages twelve-thirteen due to growing up at a time and place where people demonstrated frequently for a variety of issues.
Here's a bright new idea for a 21st strategy to rake it in at election time: Know the Democratic heart and vote for candidates who are true to heart. That means social safety nets, abundant opportunities for education, more tolerance, joyful inclusion of immigrants and all diversity, support a strong middle class, progressive income tax policies, appropriate regulation of business - all the things Democrats support.
This weekend I heard a Republican woman pundit on MSNBC say Democrats must appeal to moderate Republicans and Independents to win votes. I disagree. First of all, we must stand by our values - we risk losing the Democratic base if we pretend to be conservative. Second, there are many more Democrats - we just need the Democrats to vote. Republicans and Russians strive to make it more difficult for Democrats to vote (everyone knows), and to discourage Democrats from voting. So our mission is to get out the vote and the lock for that key is to have good candidates. The Parkland students are wisely focused on voter registration, as well as town halls.
So that's the gameplan. It will make us strong. If we stick to Democratic values, we have a good answer when people ask what the Democrats believe. We stand for equality and justice for all Americans. That's the complete opposite of Republicans so it gives voters a clear choice.
Barbara Bush Funeral
April 21, 2018
Thank you MSNBC for airing the funeral at St. Martin's Church, Houston. Crying practically through the whole thing I let go of the anger I'd been holding inside from the Gulf War and the Iraq War. Now I don't hate the Bushes anymore. That's completely gone, washed away.
I am a lifelong pacifist and idealist who keeps foolishly believing someday the human race will evolve to learn to communicate and use nonviolent means to settle differences. You can just bet I was a tortured soul during both Bush presidencies and hated the Bush family.
The last few days I've learned much about Barbara Bush. I had no idea the Bush family was coming from a place of love. Now I get it. All I saw before this was her gruff exterior. Many people I know are having the same realizations, maybe especially people who were alive and voting in the years of both of those wars.
I want to take Barbara Bush's love with me into the next week when I must bear the next chapter America's "situation." For one thing, I will memorize this feeling of what love feels like and think about how we were trying to achieve the American dream. The dream still eludes us obviously, but like a war - maybe it's not any one person's fault.
Life is incredibly complex. However, it's clear today: love of feeling American and working together to make our country what we want it to be is the shield to protect us in the Cyber-cold War. The Russians want to destroy us by dividing us. They want to make us hate our government. But I'm not the only one who sees through their hate and jealousy. People across the country are crying and praying America will heal. Now today achieving forgiveness - we win.
How Today's Young People Roll
April 20, 2018
Today is nineteen years since Colombine. God that takes me back. I remember where I was sitting when I saw that on the news, and how shocked and depressed I felt when I heard it. Where your parents and grandparents grew up it was much, much safer because not every nut job had these weapons. It's tragic that despite everyone's most sincere efforts, the money spigot on the NRA (and Russia?) has won so far.
Surrealist News shout out to the students who walked out of their classes today. Please continue to speak out. This world is your inheritance, so dream it how you want it to be. Thank you for being so pro-voting - that's what we need.*
How Today's Old People Roll
April 20, 2018
Happy 4/20 old people - this is the first year we've heard the words "evolve" and "marijuana" in the same sentence. Celebrate!
On the Passing of Former First Lady Barbara Bush
April 18, 2018
Yesterday we witnessed the peaceful passing of a great soul. My sincere apologies and sympathies to the Bush family and others who loved her.
Now I realize we're all on the same side against a common threat: Russian military-grade propaganda influencing our culture. If you don't work for Russia, I want to reach out and be friends, so we all need each other a lot more in light of all that has come to pass since 2016.
So just for today, this week, or as long as you can - be one of those Americans who stands united in sadness for what we could be if we would just treat each other with respect. All human beings deserve respect.
March for Our Lives
Thousands gathered at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix on March 24. Following are photos by Louise Harris.
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
March for Our Lives in Santa Barbara
Marches took place on the same day across the country. I was in Santa Barbara, so I attended the march there. People gathered at De La Guerra Plaza, then marched north on State Street, around and back to the Plaza. It was a great day. - Nori
#MarchForOurLives Phoenix, Arizona
March 24 @ 10:00 am, Arizona State Capitol
Student-led protests in response to gun violence continue. We encourage everyone to attend. This is our time to push for gun regulation and mental health counseling. We will be heard and things will change.
Getting out to protest is the best medicine for these times.
Events are happening on a daily basis, and the best place to find out what's going on is here: https://azresist.org
The weekly protests continue in front of Senators McCain and Flakes' offices Tuesday mornings on Camelback Road. For more information, contact:
Haunting Words from 4-Star General Ret.
March 16, 2018
Ret. Four Star US Army General Barry McCaffrey
America's Teenagers Demand Safety in Schools
March 14, 2018
High school students across America walked out of class today to march in solidarity for gun control. Today marks one month since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and students across the country observed seventeen minutes of silence for the victims of Parkland.
Here at Surrealist News we are proud of these young people and stand with them. Enough is enough. Our country is divided, and putting military-style weapons on the streets is wrong. These young people recognize the truth and we support them.
Rebirth of the Cold War
March 14, 2018
Russians have reignited the Cold War with their March 4 chemical attack in Salisbury, England. This, following their meddling in other country's elections makes them a menace to the world. Unfortunately, Russia has followed in the footsteps of its ghost father, the Soviet Union.
Why has Russia done this? We may never know, but from what I can tell, it's probably because Russians feel cheated. They gave up their totalitarian ways to form the Russian Federation in 1991, then the rest of the world abandoned them. Yes, the world left the swaddling new country on the church doorstep and said, "Good luck! Call us when you graduate college!" It was a perfect set-up for a tyrant like Putin to step in and take over. He's so good at it, he steals everything and the people cheer him.
Putin wants all the money, like any good oligarch. He's also a ruthless murderer and sex symbol sociopath with deep insecurity and pain. If America can unite, we can win again, just like we did the first time. And if we do win Cold War II, let's help Russia get it together this time.
How do we win the Cold War? Let's look back at history:
• Rattling our military weaponry
• Competing in the space race
• Better educated population
• Stronger middle class
• More free enterprise
• More social mobility
• Well-regulated business world
• Government more honest
• Better social safety net
• Better public infrastructure
• Better public colleges
• Freedom of the press, speech, and religion
• Better modern artists*
Plus we already had a few things in our favor - we were already leaders because we helped win World War II, we have a history of freedom, and our Constitution and other founding documents guarantee our freedom. But all these factors combined to help us win the Cold War. We must get back to that solid moral ground, and try again to be a beacon of light to the world.
Beware Bible-Based Cults
March 1, 2018
The biggest cults in America these days are what they call "bible-based cults." Cult leaders exploit the bible to attract followers. Cults revolve around charismatic leaders, define the outside world as evil, and manipulate followers to reject non-group friends and family. They may shun members who leave. They may demand extreme tithing and investment of time. These groups may be violent toward women and children.
Most evangelical sects are not bible-based cults, but pretending to be evangelical is a good way to fool people to think you're super-religious. That's why some bible-based cults portray themselves as evangelicals. Evangelical sects have been around for hundreds of years; but in the last ten years violent bible-based cults have proliferated on parallel tracks with hate groups, such as those the SPLC tracks.*
Bible-based cults can be as dangerous as any religious cult. Notorious bible-based cults include: Jim Jones (Jonestown), David Koresh (Waco), Charles Manson (the Manson Family), David Berg (Children of God). So if you feel your church could be a cult, listen to your gut feeling. There are plenty of legitimate churches around - stay away from any that creep you out.
Why Trump Won't Talk Russia
February 28, 2018
For a year or more, all the news show talking heads say Trump won't acknowledge Russia hacking because it would delegitimize his victory. That's not it and I yell this at the TV sometimes to no avail: "Trump knows what he did and doesn't want to talk about it."Mueller's 37-Page Indictment
February 16, 2018
Click here to read the full document.
What Divides Us?
February 12, 2018
An old website, 3rd Party Central,* published this list of criteria to help people decide which political party mirrored their interests. Their premise: our political preferences rest on what we would regulate more, or regulate less. This, and what to fund with your tax dollars, are the arguments that form the basis of our culture wars. Back when they published this list in 1998, times were more progressive than now. However retrograde we have become in the new century, these are still the issues that divide us:
1. regulation of radio, TV, press, and internet content.
2. regulation of licensed gun ownership.
3. regulation of the health care industry.
4. regulation of minimum worker wages, and benefits.
5. regulation of hiring practices, and quota legislation.
6. restrictions on immigration.
7. regulations on use of natural resources.
8. regulations on use of private property.
9. regulation of marijuana and other drugs.
10. regulations on sex by consenting adults.
11. restrictions on abortion.
12. subsidies for the poor.
13. subsidies for scientific research.
14. subsidies for businesses and farms.
15. regulations on lobbying and campaign financing.
16. federal involvement in public education.
17. federal involvement in entitlement programs.
18. federal law enforcement agencies.
19. subsidies for foreign democracies.
20. military defense of other nations.
21. US commitment to the United Nations.
22. taxes on personal income.
23. taxes on corporate income.
24. taxes on gifts and inherited wealth.
25. taxes on imported goods (tariffs).
This list was originally published with this attribution: "Upsetting the political machine since February 1996. 3rd Party Central is a service mark of Keynetic Systems, LLC. Web design by Keynetic Systems © 1998."
February 10, 2018
Dear Democrats - so the Administration has declined your request to release your memo. Now you have more proof they are hypocrites. I can solve that one for you right now: they are hypocrites. You don't need to look for more proof. They are also bullies. You don't need a fight with them.
Instead of sinking to their level, turn it over. You are obviously the adult in the room here, so act like it. It would be great for the rest of us if you let the Dem memo go. You don't need a parade. You don't need to refute them. You need to outsmart them. Being smart is the answer right now. So think - think - think. Observe, listen. Then get some rest. Then come back to the House renewed - and outsmart them.
Why is the Stock Market Crashing?
February 6, 2018
Economic boom and bust cycles do not happen automatically. There are many factors, but in general, good economies are the result of good leadership, needed regulations, progressive income taxes, a well-functioning government, and fair business practices. Bad economies are the result of bad leadership, bad laws, bad tax policies, and incompetent, self-serving leaders.
Phoenix Women's March in Photos
February 2, 2018
We had 20,000 people for the Phoenix Women's March, held Sunday January 21 at the State Capitol. I was there, but intentionally left my camera at home because I had so much to carry. Luckily, one of my contacts sent a great collection of photos by J. Holden. Her photos catch a feminist wave that takes me back to the seventies. Back then I took a lot of women's studies classes in college and accepted women's rights as an established fact. It's been hard to watch, but over the last couple decades we've seen an erosion of our rights, and the rise of conservative people who want to take away our rights. Thank god women are speaking out now. We are the conscience of humanity. Our voices are strong now, one of the brightest moments for women in the history of the world.
Photo by J. Holden
Photo by J. Holden
Photo by J. Holden
Photo by J. Holden
Photo by J. Holden
Photo by J. Holden
Photo by J. Holden
Photo by J. Holden
Photo by J. Holden
More photos - click here - or scroll down.
Let He Who is Without Sin Cast the First Stone - Please
January 30, 2018
Surrealist calls on Republicans in the legislature to stop this president. Is there anyone on the Republican side who is not living in sin with Trump/Russia? If you are not taking money or other help from Russia, you are without sin in this situation - so let's go. Cast a couple stones. The rest of us see what's going on and we want you to protect our status as a sovereign country. Wake up and look at what's going on. He's a useful idiot to Russia, he's obstructing justice, and he's destroying America's reputation worldwide.
If you really are without the sin of Russian complicity, they you have to lead your followers. Don't look at the polls and say, gee everyone else is brainwashed, guess I'll follow the herd. You must lead your people to the light. You are no better than the worst Russian spy or useful idiot if you look at the polls and try to pretend you support this president so you can get reelected. That's a disgrace, and not something you can just rub off. Lies and cowardice stain your soul.
More photos from the Women's March
These are by Louise Harris, one of our protest pals!
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Photo by Louise Harris
Louise got one of me - seen holding a sign that says PRAY. While I'm not a religious fanatic anymore, if there ever was a time to pray, it would be now.
In Fire and Fury, author Michael Wolff came in and worked half our national jigsaw puzzle for us.
Russia Investigation - New Details
December 30, 2017
Today The New York Times reported there was a meeting between foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and Australia's most senior diplomat in the U.K., High Commissioner Alexander Downer, in May 2016. At that meeting, Papadopoulos bragged about dirt the Russians had on Hillary Clinton that could throw the election to Donald Trump.
On MSNBC Live today, Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor Nick Ackerman summed this up:
"It seems pretty hard to believe [Papadopoulos] didn't pass this information along to the Trump campaign. . . . this puts the Trump campaign right into the conspiracy to steal these emails and to use them to throw the election to Donald Trump. That's the crime that's being investigated, conspiracy to violate the federal computer hacking law and to use the fruits of that crime to get Donald Trump elected."The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) was put in place in 1986. Listen to the discussion: Ackerman-MSNBCLive12-30-2017.
Russia Investigation on its Tracks
December 17, 2017
Today on MSNBC Live, Richard Painter gave the following remarks:
I think if [Trump] fires Robert Mueller on December 22, we're going to have to have a House and Senate Judiciary meeting on December 23rd, on Christmas Eve, on Christmas day, and if we don't get Mike Pence in there in the White House by New Years, then we're going to have a disaster for the Republican party. . . . And this is not like Watergate. This is much worse. This involves collaboration with a foreign adversary to disrupt our democracy.Click here to listen to Richard Painter on MSNBC Live today.
Most Americans Don't Own a Gun
December 10, 2017
This graphic tells the story of America and guns, published earlier this year in the Washington Post. We have 19% who are gun nuts, and 3% who are extremely nuts.
Further math. There are 245,556,000 American adults. Nineteen percent, or 46,655,640 people, own all the guns. Three percent, or 7,366,680, own half the guns.
There are an estimated 270 million to 310 million guns in America, so let's take the average - 290 million guns. If 46,655,640 people own fifty percent of the guns, that makes roughly three guns each. If three percent, 7,366,680 people, own 145,000,000 guns, that's an average of nineteen guns each.
Any gun can be dangerous, but crazy people who hoard guns seem especially dangerous. Out of the three percent who own lots of guns, some are collectors or dealers. The rest are plotting mass murder, a military takeover of the government, or both.
How to Fix Gerrymander-Problem
December 8, 2017
In most parts of America we use the Governmental Rectangular Survey System GRSS to describe the land - and it ought to be the basis for drawing districts. Congressional districts would be adjacent sections inside a township. If the population is too low in one township, group townships together in quadrangles. That's the only fair way to do it. Then put the polling place near the middle of the townships (or quadrangles). Or simply mail in the ballots - the best and least expensive system. Here's a drawing I made of the GRSS for my real estate students.
Why Trump Voters Support Trump
December 3, 2017
An article in The Atlantic looks at who voted for Trump and still supports him. Contrary to the popular narrative, Trump voters are not generally financially distressed. They are mostly white people who strongly identify with being white, who feel minorities are holding them back or holding back society. Further, they tend to think society has gone downhill since the 1950s.
The article is "The Nationalist's Delusion: Trumps supporters backed a time-honored American political tradition, disavowing racism while promising to enact a broad agenda of discrimination" - theatlantic.com.
Editor's Note: I've been around since the 1950s. The fifties were great for mid-century architecture and furniture, flashy cars, and the birth of rock 'n roll, but I'm grateful I was never exposed to signs of segregation when I was growing up in Los Angeles. The fifties was a more difficult era for women and people of color. I'm glad to be here in the twenty-first century with better equality for all and fun electronic gadgets.
Women as Equal Humans
November 29 2017
Today on MSNBC's show MTP Daily, Maria Teresa Kumar, Susan Glasser, and Michael Steele talked with Chuck Todd about politicians who treat women like objects. Maria Teresa Kumar made the point we are not as far ahead as we thought culturally. We had our first African American president, then we thought we were ready for our first woman president. Michael Steele made the point - overall, sexual harassment and treating like women has gone on since the beginning of history.
We are witnessing a paradigm change—the emergence of women as equal human beings. This is good news because women have not at all appreciated all the inappropriate touching and other disgusting behavior. We expect a lot from men, and when you turn out to be that type of man, it's disappointing. For the victims it's a disgusting experience.
I want to add, the 2016 election racked up this giant leap for mankind. Hillary Clinton, the wife who was faithful to her sexually promiscuous and abusive husband, lost to Donald J. Trump, a sexual harasser. Maybe it made women more determined to speak out. We have had to be extremely brave over the last year, and that courage is only getting stronger.
The real story here is the emergence of women as equal human beings worthy of respect. This is not the end of that journey, it's the beginning. Be nice to each other people because life is difficult and the goal is to make it better for everyone. Men could start by 'fessing up and stopping their bad behavior. Women can help by remaining calm, honest, and brave. Keep the #metoo movement going.
Trump Mortifies Himself Again
November 27, 2017
Today while Trump was supposed to be honoring Native American Code Talkers, he went off script and called Senator Elizabeth Warren Pacahantas again.On the news tonight, Chris Hayes interviewed Gyasi Ross, attorney, and member of the Blackfeet Nation. Here's part of their exchange.
Chris Hayes: Your response to that scene in the White House today?
Gyasi Ross: Well you know, I want to push back a little bit that this wasn't an insult to Elizabeth Warren. This was an insult to the descendants of Pocahantas.
This was an insult to Native people generally.
This was an insult to Native women.
I would like to paraphrase my elder, my esteemed elder Faith Spotted Eagle, by saying that Donald Trump, his filthy nasty lying deceitful lips do not deserve to utter Pocahantas's name.
And moreover, he certainly doesn't deserve to do it while honoring these men who fought and were willing to use their heritage; use every single resource that they had to leverage to bring victory to the United States.
He certainly doesn't deserve to utter those words at that time.
Editor's note: This statement speaks for me too. Another thing that bothered me was when Trump placed his right hand on the Code Talker's shoulder while telling his little story about Pocahantas. Think of what he has done to innocent women with those hands. It would probably be better for him to keep his insults, racism, and dirty hands to himself.
My Two Cents on Sexual Harassment and Abuse
November 19, 2017
My master's thesis is on whether to use art therapy with juvenile sex offenders. Since earning my degree in 1991, I have used art therapy with abuse victims and people leaving religious cults. Because it's been a continuous thread in my life for twenty-six years, I find it amusing to watch society at large learn and become more aware of sexual harassment and abuse. I also find it interesting society is becoming more aware of the problem of cults, thanks to Leah Remini and other cult discussions on TV.
Although everybody fears and dislikes sexual assault, it's especially difficult for children. They generally find it humiliating, confusing, deeply disturbing—even terrifying. At least adults know about sex and have some experience with it. American parents typically shelter their children from sex and some families never get around to discussing sex with their children. It's terribly hypocritical, since where do children come from? Sex! Plus, knowing nothing about it makes them more vulnerable to abuse.
Nevertheless, if exposed to sex, or talk of sex too young, it can have an adverse effect on children. Thus, parents usually avoid the subject. When a pedophile attempts to lure a child in, the child has no idea what's happening. Children are born innocent, and unwanted sex takes away their innocence. A metaphor I've always used is of tree topping. It's less common today, but back in the 1950s, people routinely topped trees. Topping means men with chainsaws climb up in the tree and cut off the crown. They throw the crown into a chipper and voila—they've taken away the tree's ability to live a normal life. The branches will never grow back the way they were, even if the tree develops suckers and continues to live.
Raping a child, or even harassing a child, or otherwise breaking their emotional boundaries with sex, takes away the child's crown. Acute help from a qualified counselor can mitigate the abuse, and it also mitigates the abuse if the abuser is caught and punished. However, too often, children grow up confused about what happened to them, and often feeling guilty, alienated, and angry after what happened. Victims who never get into recovery usually either turn their anger on themselves, or on others. If they turn it on others, they typically pass the abuse on to younger generations.
The word pedophilia technically refers to abuse of children, and there are other words for sexual abuse of teenagers (hebephilia, early adolescence, and ephebophilia, mid-to-late adolescence). However for legal purposes and otherwise, we typically use the word pedophile to refer to adults who abuse anyone under the age of consent. Pedophiles always try to get the age of consent lowered, so in backward places, the age of consent is too low. Ideally, children can grow up at their own pace, and experiment with physical intimacy toward the end of high school and in college. In the best case scenario, young people fall in love with a compatible mate, marry, and raise a family.
Life is not always a fairy tale, but the more people who are allowed to grow up and take on the world of sexual experience on their own terms, the better. Having sex too young, especially if the experience is violent, leaves lifelong scars. The worst tyrants in history are often unhealed childhood sexual abuse victims. Do your part to raise awareness of the damage sexual abuse causes, and make sure to protect your own children, or get them appropriate qualified counseling if they are abused.
For more information, check out my books and web pages on the subject, listed here: childabuseinfo.
Full Transcript of George W. Bush's Speech
October 19, 2017
Transcript of George W. Bush's speech delivered at the at the "Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In The World" event in New York, October 19, 2017.
Thank you all. Thank you. Ok, Padilla gracias. So, I painted Ramon. I wish you were still standing here. It's a face only a mother could love - no, it's a fabulous face. (Laughter.) I love you Ramon, thank you very much for being here.
And, Grace Jo thank you for your testimony. And, big Tim. I got to know Tim as a result of Presidential Leadership Scholars at the Bush Center along with the Clinton Foundation, with help from 41 and LBJ's libraries.
I am thrilled that friends of ours from Afghanistan, China, North Korea, and Venezuela are here as well. These are people who have experienced the absence of freedom and they know what it's like and they know there is a better alternative to tyranny.
Laura and I are thrilled that the Bush Center supporters are here. Bernie [Tom Bernstein], I want to thank you and your committee. I call him Bernie. (Laughter.)
It's amazing to have Secretary Albright share the stage with Condi and Ambassador Haley. For those of you that kind of take things for granted, that's a big deal. (Laughter and Applause.) Thank you.
We are gathered in the cause of liberty this is a unique moment. The great democracies face new and serious threats - yet seem to be losing confidence in their own calling and competence. Economic, political and national security challenges proliferate, and they are made worse by the tendency to turn inward. The health of the democratic spirit itself is at issue. And the renewal of that spirit is the urgent task at hand.
Since World War II, America has encouraged and benefited from the global advance of free markets, from the strength of democratic alliances, and from the advance of free societies. At one level, this has been a raw calculation of interest. The 20th century featured some of the worst horrors of history because dictators committed them. Free nations are less likely to threaten and fight each other. And free trade helped make America into a global economic power.
For more than 70 years, the presidents of both parties believed that American security and prosperity were directly tied to the success of freedom in the world. And they knew that the success depended, in large part, on U.S. leadership. This mission came naturally, because it expressed the DNA of American idealism.
We know, deep down, that repression is not the wave of the future. We know that the desire for freedom is not confined to, or owned by, any culture; it is the inborn hope of our humanity. We know that free governments are the only way to ensure that the strong are just and the weak are valued. And we know that when we lose sight of our ideals, it is not democracy that has failed. It is the failure of those charged with preserving and protecting democracy.
This is not to underestimate the historical obstacles to the development of democratic institutions and a democratic culture. Such problems nearly destroyed our country - and that should encourage a spirit of humility and a patience with others. Freedom is not merely a political menu option, or a foreign policy fad; it should be the defining commitment of our country, and the hope of the world.
That appeal is proved not just by the content of people's hopes, but a noteworthy hypocrisy: No democracy pretends to be a tyranny. Most tyrannies pretend they are democracies. Democracy remains the definition of political legitimacy. That has not changed, and that will not change.
Yet for years, challenges have been gathering to the principles we hold dear. And, we must take them seriously. Some of these problems are external and obvious. Here in New York City, you know the threat of terrorism all too well. It is being fought even now on distant frontiers and in the hidden world of intelligence and surveillance. There is the frightening, evolving threat of nuclear proliferation and outlaw regimes. And there is an aggressive challenge by Russia and China to the norms and rules of the global order - proposed revisions that always seem to involve less respect for the rights of free nations and less freedom for the individual.
These matters would be difficult under any circumstances. They are further complicated by a trend in western countries away from global engagement and democratic confidence. Parts of Europe have developed an identity crisis. We have seen insolvency, economic stagnation, youth unemployment, anger about immigration, resurgent ethno-nationalism, and deep questions about the meaning and durability of the European Union.
America is not immune from these trends. In recent decades, public confidence in our institutions has declined. Our governing class has often been paralyzed in the face of obvious and pressing needs. The American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach for some who feel left behind in a changing economy. Discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts. Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.
There are some signs that the intensity of support for democracy itself has waned, especially among the young, who never experienced the galvanizing moral clarity of the Cold War, or never focused on the ruin of entire nations by socialist central planning. Some have called this "democratic deconsolidation." Really, it seems to be a combination of weariness, frayed tempers, and forgetfulness.
We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times, it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization. Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions - forgetting the image of God we should see in each other.
We've seen nationalism distorted into nativism - forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America. We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade - forgetting that conflict, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism.
We have seen the return of isolationist sentiments - forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places, where threats such as terrorism, infectious disease, criminal gangs and drug trafficking tend to emerge.
In all these ways, we need to recall and recover our own identity. Americans have a great advantage: To renew our country, we only need to remember our values.
This is part of the reason we meet here today. How do we begin to encourage a new, 21st century American consensus on behalf of democratic freedom and free markets? That's the question I posed to scholars at the Bush Institute. That is what Pete Wehner and Tom Melia, who are with us today, have answered with "The Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In The World," a Call to Action paper.
The recommendations come in broad categories. Here they are: First, America must harden its own defenses. Our country must show resolve and resilience in the face of external attacks on our democracy. And that begins with confronting a new era of cyber threats.
America is experiencing the sustained attempt by a hostile power to feed and exploit our country's divisions. According to our intelligence services, the Russian government has made a project of turning Americans against each other. This effort is broad, systematic and stealthy, it's conducted across a range of social media platforms. Ultimately, this assault won't succeed. But foreign aggressions - including cyber-attacks, disinformation and financial influence - should not be downplayed or tolerated. This is a clear case where the strength of our democracy begins at home. We must secure our electoral infrastructure and protect our electoral system from subversion.
The second category of recommendations concerns the projection of American leadership - maintaining America's role in sustaining and defending an international order rooted in freedom and free markets.
Our security and prosperity are only found in wise, sustained, global engagement: In the cultivation of new markets for American goods. In the confrontation of security challenges before they fully materialize and arrive on our shores. In the fostering of global health and development as alternatives to suffering and resentment. In the attraction of talent, energy and enterprise from all over the world. In serving as a shining hope for refugees and a voice for dissidents, human rights defenders, and the oppressed.
We should not be blind to the economic and social dislocations caused by globalization. People are hurting. They are angry. And, they are frustrated. We must hear them and help them. But we can't wish globalization away, any more than we could wish away the agricultural revolution or the industrial revolution. One strength of free societies is their ability to adapt to economic and social disruptions.
And that should be our goal: to prepare American workers for new opportunities, to care in practical, empowering ways for those who may feel left behind. The first step should be to enact policies that encourage robust economic growth by unlocking the potential of the private sector, and for unleashing the creativity and compassion of this country.
A third focus of this document is strengthening democratic citizenship. And here we must put particular emphasis on the values and views of the young.
Our identity as a nation - unlike many other nations - is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. Being an American involves the embrace of high ideals and civic responsibility. We become the heirs of Thomas Jefferson by accepting the ideal of human dignity found in the Declaration of Independence. We become the heirs of James Madison by understanding the genius and values of the U.S. Constitution. We become the heirs of Martin Luther King, Jr., by recognizing one another not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
This means that people of every race, religion, and ethnicity can be fully and equally American. It means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed. (Applause.) And it means that the very identity of our nation depends on the passing of civic ideals to the next generation.
We need a renewed emphasis on civic learning in schools. And our young people need positive role models. Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children. The only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them.
Finally, the Call to Action calls on the major institutions of our democracy, public and private, to consciously and urgently attend to the problem of declining trust.
For example, our democracy needs a media that is transparent, accurate and fair. Our democracy needs religious institutions that demonstrate integrity and champion civil discourse. Our democracy needs institutions of higher learning that are examples of truth and free expression.
In short, it is time for American institutions to step up and provide cultural and moral leadership for this nation.
Ten years ago, I attended a Conference on Democracy and Security in Prague. The goal was to put human rights and human freedom at the center of our relationships with repressive governments. The Prague Charter, signed by champions of liberty Vaclav Havel, Natan Sharansky, Jose Maria Aznar, called for the isolation and ostracism of regimes that suppress peaceful opponents by threats or violence.
Little did we know that, a decade later, a crisis of confidence would be developing within the core democracies, making the message of freedom more inhibited and wavering. Little did we know that repressive governments would be undertaking a major effort to encourage division in western societies and to undermine the legitimacy of elections.
Repressive rivals, along with skeptics here at home, misunderstand something important. It is the great advantage of free societies that we creatively adapt to challenges, without the direction of some central authority. Self-correction is the secret strength of freedom. We are a nation with a history of resilience and a genius for renewal.
Right now, one of our worst national problems is a deficit of confidence. But the cause of freedom justifies all our faith and effort. It still inspires men and women in the darkest corners of the world, and it will inspire a rising generation. The American spirit does not say, "We shall manage," or "We shall make the best of it." It says, "We shall overcome." And that is exactly what we will do, with the help of God and one another.
SOS Message to ROW (Rest of World)
October 14, 2017
Message to the rest of the world from Surrealist.org editor Nori Muster. This situation with the big orange is terrifying. We protest, we call our senators, representatives, governors, and mayors every day. We are suffering because this was inflicted on us. The vast majority of us voted against him, or not at all. He was elected by Russia with the help of Facebook and Twitter. Also with preparations from the Republican advance party, which spent decades on voter suppression.
As one individual here, I offer my sincere apologies for what big orange is doing to Iran, North Korea, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and all others he has harmed. Unfortunately, he gets his information from Info Wars, Fox News, and Breitbart, the biggest Russian propaganda stations besides Sputnik and RT.
Most Americans are with me - upset about what's going on. No matter how much we call our public officials, so far they have been completely powerless to act. We will keep trying. Please pray. Our prayer is to protect ourselves from big orange, and bring him to justice. He is finally about to spend the last few pennies left in his karmic savings account. This circus you see taking place here is the theater at the gateway of hell. They allow us to see the play so we get why it's important to be honest, to have an ethical standard, to be kind, to know the truth.
I'm a writer who studies cults and people who were abused in cults. Sadly, the biggest cult in America right now is the network of bible-based cults. Cult leaders can use any philosophy and turn it into propaganda. "God wants you to . . ." goes a long way if you believe in god, and the person saying it is your guru, your link to god. Americans used to go for guru groups, but not so much anymore. That's why bible-based cults have taken over. Most Americans are Christian, so parents are not immediately alarmed when their kid away at college writes home to say they joined a church. Okay. Then it can take years before the parents realize their children are in a cult and their grandchildren have suffered physical, emotional, and spiritual abuse the cult teaches. Here's an interview I gave about a violent bible-based cult in Tucson, Arizona: Steve Goldstein interview,KJZZ FM.
October 8, 2017
Sociologists, political scientists, and futurists have long predicted minorities, all counted together, will outnumber whites in America in the twenty-first century. This destiny has already come to pass in California. Although America is a place where people from around the world can live together free from tyranny, a minority of whites reject this vision.
Unfortunately we have white supremacists, people believe the white race is better than everybody else, and should therefore run the world. They've come together under the slogan, "Make America Great Again." This has come to mean "make sure we never allow people of non-white background to share equally in power ever again."
That explains a lot. Think about it.
Hurricane Maria: West Side Story Redux?
October 7, 2017
There's an old story, West Side Story, where two street gangs fight it out over Maria. The Jets are the white kids and the Sharks are the Puerto Rican kids. Tony, a former member of the Jets, and best friend of the Jet's leader, falls in love with Maria, the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks.
West Side Story, a mid-century modern Romeo and Juliet with music by great American composer Leonard Bernstein, came out in 1961. Then fifty-six years later Puerto Rico is devastated when a hurricane named Maria hits. It could be ancient karma, or simply a strange coincidence.
After seventeen days, people are still in danger of dying for lack of clean drinking water. Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico the morning of Wednesday, September 20. This could turn into another Katrina. People can only go so long without food and water. Wake up and deliver, America.
After reading this, a friend added:
"Every time there's a disaster, anywhere, it's always a delivery issue. Let's get creative out there. How about horses, hot air balloons, fishing boats and immediate air drops? You don't need to 'assess' anything to know that people need water and food." - ltbl
And bring solar panels . . .
Russian Bot News Today
November 5, 2017
Russian bots are still insinuated in our social media. Their latest messages to us are meant to sow confusion and dissension over the sports stars who take a knee during the national anthem. Bots have planted fake news about the shooter in Las Vegas. You can always tell fake news, unless you're already bot-brainwashed.
If you find a bot spreading misinformation on Facebook, report it. This is the second best option, since the people who run the social media companies are apparently helpless to do anything about this. Traitors to the country by neglect.
Another way to call out bots is with your friends. We often have friends we don't know in the "real" world, and we may have accepted their friend request because they were apparently friends with your real friends. If one of these unknown people sends you fake news or hate news, first tell them to stop. However, if they appear to be a fake curated account, unfriend and flag them.
If it's a friend in the real world, or a realworld friend on Facebook, inform them of their mistake in sharing fake news. If they can't get it, unfollow them. You'll still be friends, but won't have to put up with the stupid posts they share. This will also prevent people on your feed from seeing their erroneous postings.
Also a request to the media: please keep reporting when you find Russian fake news propaganda is circulating. Quote the headlines and sources so people like us can look for, and flag it. If we flag fake news on social media, it might also alert the social media corporations, who appear to be pretending to sleep.
Most Lethal Mass Shooting
October 5, 2017
On Sunday night, terror broke out at the Las Vegas Strip when idiot madman and millionaire scum Stephen Paddock broke the windows out of his hotel suite above the Mandalay Bay resort and showered bullets on a crowd watching the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. Fifty-eight innocent people died, and more than five hundred were wounded.
The Route 91 festival website now shows only this statement:*
On behalf of the entire Route 91 Harvest Family, we are completely devastated by the events that occurred on the night of October 1.
Editor's note: While watching and waiting here at Surrealist News, I already called my legislators begging for gun control. America is awash in a sea of assault weapons and gadgets to make them fire like automatic weapons. The abundance of guns enables senseless violence to continue to take place.
This tragedy strikes home for many, especially here, Las Vegas, being one of my favorite cities.
Senators Report Russia Investigation Progress
October 5, 2017
Senators Richard Burr and Mark Warner, chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence committee, delivered a chilling progress report yesterday on the Russia investigation. They confirmed with absolute certainty Russia meddled in the 2016 elections. They confirmed the Facebook, Twitter, and other social media's part in Russia's plan. They said they have concluded parts of the planned interviews, but have twenty-five more interviews scheduled for this month.
They Think True Americans are Stupid
September 27, 2017
The Republicans in Washington, DC (with the exception of a few) think we're stupid. Their president promises better health care with lower premiums, then they repeatedly try to shove through a bill that would cut millios of people off their health insurance and reinstate preexisting conditions.
Republicans hold the majority of States, the federal House and Senate, and the White House, but instead of doing something good for the country, all they do is salivate over cutting taxes for the rich. Today they put forward ideas for a tax bill that would raise our taxes and lower theirs.
The Republicans in DC (with the exception of a blessed few) are out of touch. Either they can't hear us, or they pretend they can't hear us. Republican legislators, listen to us: We want good health care we can afford. Also, we want the rich to pay more tax. If you pay more, we can pay less. We want you to pay your fair share to finance the country. It's a good old country.
Myths about Health Insurance
September 23, 2017
My US Senator Jeff Flake went on TV and ranted about how evil and bad Affordable Care Insurance is, and how desperately we need to get rid of it. The Republicans have lied and lied and lied, then topped it off with abuse. They are stingy when it comes to reimbursing the insurance companies for the subsidies, and threaten to not pay at all. They've cut back enrollment times and cut budgets to advertise.
In truth, the ACA has been a godsend for so many Americans. Maybe that's what Republicans don't like about it - anything good for America seems to get under their skin. They say they have to "repeal and replace" because that bit of propaganda got stuck in people's heads. It was pure propaganda and most people who are now in danger of losing their insurance either don't know about it, are too stupid to believe what's at stake, or a few are worried. However, "repeal and replace" is just another lie Trump and his ilk planted in people's heads. It's just another lie, like the birther controversy, or the Hillary email controversy. The Republicans are awash in an ocean of lies and propaganda.
How We Won the Cold War
September 23, 2017
In the opinion of Surrealist.org News, good public education and a social safety net helped America win the Cold War. Rattling our weaponry and using diplomacy also helped, but a big factor in our victory was to provide good public education and good social institutions. We also had more freedom of press, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech than Russia. While Russia invested in their military, they neglected their people. During the Cold War, they did their best to cover up rampant poverty and lack of freedoms. They wouldn't even let visitors into their country for tourism for many years. People still live in poverty in Russia, while oligarchs operate the country like a kleptocracy.
America has always been different, we care for each other, and great presidents of the past have instituted pillars of the social safety net to care for Americans in distress. However, beginning with the twenty-first century, it's been a crap shoot. Will you die in miserable death in a broken down public hospital after bankrupting your family? Or will you get your basic needs for medical care taken care of efficiently and go on with your life?
Connecting the dots: who is out to destroy the social safety net in the USA? The Russians? The Republican legislators? Apparently. Who wants to see Americans fighting with each? The Russians? The Republican legislators? Apparently, yes. For example, why would Senator Mitch McConnell refuse to consider President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland? Answer: apparently to drive a wedge and drive good Americans insane. Republicans who benefitted from his obstruction say "bravo, well done," and they get the Supreme Court justice they wanted. They think it's great. They don't even realize how bad it makes the rest of us feel. What happened was not fair. It reeks of anti-Americanism because it gets Americans fighting with each other.
Dear Petroleum Industry
September 9, 2017
Dear petroleum industry, the storms and fires are here, so as a nation, we've rescued and ushered victims from their soon to be damaged or destroyed homes and cities. Dear petroleum industry, would you please pay for the damages? Even if you didn't cause the climate to go out of wack—and nobody is saying you did—but you have more money than all the rest of us put together.
Strengthen Voting Systems
September 7, 2017
On TV yesterday, Rep. Eric Swalwell said the House Russia-investigation committee is going off off-track again, wasting hours cross examining former National Security Advisor Susan Rice. Rice rightly unmasked Americans suspected of playing with Russian election interference. Rice did nothing wrong, so it looks like House members are just trying to stall. Maybe that's to make the yahoos think both sides played a part in something totally on the Republican side. No Hillary did not collude with Russians, sorry. Neither did Susan Rice.
Rep. Swalwell said the number one goal of the House investigation is to secure our voting systems. We know for sure Russian hackers broke into the voter rolls in about half the states. Further, Russians placed propaganda ads in social media, and yesterday Facebook issued a statement admitting they sold ads to a shady Russian p.r. company. We also know Russians troll farms opened thousands of fake accounts on Twitter and other social media, where they launched argument bots with links to to propaganda.
Further House dysfunction: Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes subpoenaed documents from the FBI and Attorney General, without agreement from the rest of the committee, and without first asking for documents without a subpoena. Nunes took this step, even after recusing himself last April because of inappropriate interactions with the White House.
Luckily, there are other investigations and lawsuits on Russian interference into our democracy. However, we need the House investigation to move forward too. There's a lot to do and we have elections coming up in a year. First, we want social media companies to shut down all Russian troll farms on their network. Second, we must use paper ballots - like they did in European countries who realized they were under Russian attack. They are smart and their elections were honest, with the result their citizens wanted.
How stupid are we in America? How aggressively have the Russians infiltrated our system? Without the House investigation, we may never know. Get with it House. We deserve the right to vote because our forefathers died by the thousands to keep us a free country. We win our future when we vote Russia out. If Russia wins, we lose by voting more Russia in. Do you want to wind up like Russia, where the head of state steals all the country's assets for himself? Think about it and call your Representative. Tell them you support Rep. Swalwell and the House Russia investigation and you want them to show their support even if they're not on the committee.
The Art of The Deal
September 6, 2017
Okay, debt ceiling, here's the headline of the day (so far): "Trump Sides With Democrats on Debt Ceiling Extension, Harvey Relief." That's the kind of deal making that could work. However, we never know what to expect next. This has been a stressful, confusing phase of American political history.
Crazy Making Over DACA
September 6, 2017
We support the Dreamers and resent the crazy-making statements about their immigration status yesterday. In the morning, AG Jeff Sessions announced they were out after six months - make plans and pack your bags. Then in the evening, Trump said if Congress doesn't act within six months, he might revisit the issue.
Trump, if you love the Dreamers, stop messing up their lives. Your cop out is not welcome. This is cruel and unusual punishment for people who did nothing wrong.
September 3, 2017
Leaving St. John's Episcopal Church this morning, a reporter shouted: "Mr. President - will you attack North Korea?" Trump said, "We'll see." That was a terrifying moment and hopefully he will not attack. In fact, that was really a bad question. I'm usually not fussy over grammar, specifically double negatives, but this is an example of why we want to think about what we want, instead of what we don't want.
I take the reporter to be a good man, but he got his question so wrong. To the twisted mind of President Trump, he could hear it as, "Mr. President - will you attack North Korea? Pretty please? You can do it, don't be a wimp." Plus it's a double negative - attack is negative and North Korea is negative. If you only get one shot, the proper question would have been: "Mr. President - what will you do about North Korea?"
Somebody should tell Trump he has a chance to show self-control and possibly turn his presidency around. All he has to do is don't react to Kim Jong Un, except to get together with like-minded world leaders and work out a plan together. That's just one of many ways Trump could demonstrate self-control this weekend.
September 3, 2017
You can't prepare for a hurricane like Harvey, I guess. Also last night, apparently Kim Jong Un of North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb. You can't plan for that, either. Thus, today our world is holding together through crisis management. This is the default method of running things for people, and groups of people, who don't plan for emergencies.
During this time of crisis and chaos, we also have a threat hanging over our heads. Will the president turn on the 790,000 Dreamers? America needs to hang together right now, not split ourselves apart at the seams. All this hassle over immigration.
Here's my ancestors' story: they came here on a boat, proved they weren't sick or crazy, signed some paperwork, and got in. Right now we can't be that lenient, but can't we be lenient when there's a good reason? DACA helped our country because it gave a lot of good people a chance to contribute. Isn't that an American value?
Suggestions for Effective Tax Reform
August 30, 2017
These are concrete steps the Senate can take to make taxes more fair for people who make between $9,000 and $400,000 a year.
• Lower or eliminate tax rates for people in the lowest tax brackets. For example, people living in poverty at $9,000 a year currently must pay $900 in federal income taxes, leaving them only $8,100 to live on for a year.
• Lower payroll taxes - let working people take home more of their paychecks.
• Deduct credit card interest - relief for people with heavy credit card debt.
• Tax benefits for people who make their student loan payments in good faith - relief for people struggling under student debt.
• Keep capitol gains low for people who make less than $400k - tax relief for people in lower income tax brackets.
• Keep the $400k tax bracket - people who earn more than $400k per year continue to pay higher capital gains, etc., as instituted five years ago to repeal GWB tax breaks for the rich.
• Set new progressive tax brackets for annual incomes of $1m, $25m, $50m, and $100m. Currently, people who make a hundred million dollars a year pay the same tax rate as people who make a half million a year.
August 26, 2017
Note to history: we are in the second day of Hurricane Harvey, now a storm flooding Houston. In this difficult situation, we bow our heads, no matter what religion (or no religion) we are. We are Americans grieving for our country, and for the people affected in this storm, and for everything that's been going on. It's a gathering of sad events in a scary time.
We pray for peace between America and North Korea
Russian Sub Surfaces
July 25, 2018
With the arrest of Maria Valeryevna Butina a Russian submarine surfaces in the Great Lakes. They're already here. Here's what Russia has so far wrought on America.
1. Infiltrated the NRA and Republican party to make them more favorable toward Russia. Apparently Butina slept with men if that's what it would take. Through the NRA, which we now know is aligned with the interests of Russia and operates on Russian money, has flooded our streets with guns. Through Russian military-grade propaganda, they have convinced many Americans anarchy would be better than the government our forefathers made for us.
2. Using our social media, the Russians managed to divide and suppress the vote, tipping the 2016 election to Donald Trump.
3. Through their useful idiot, they have almost kiled our country and we fail to see it. However, look at what their wild card asset has done so far:
a) Insulted our friends, Canada, Mexico, Western Europe, Australia. Rocked NATO and for some unknown reason, singled out Montenegro. Meanwhile, clearly favors North Korea and Russia.
Instead of loving or hating Trump, let's find out what's real. If it's raining outside, that's not a debate. It is or it isn't. So come on neighbor, let's not argue - let's look out the window. Is the Russia investigation real? Yes. If you are a Republican who thinks Russia is just great, please get your head examined. Russia is our avowed enemy and they have got America down on the mat. If you are standing there nodding your head and thinking everything is going just fine because you get the judges you want, then you are under the spell of Russian propaganda. They have lied to you. They want to destroy our country.
August 18, 2017
Find the facts about the Trump-Russian connections at the PBS Timeline: pbs.org. The Bill Moyers Interactive Timeline now redirects to the Committee to Investigate Russia. Link here: investigaterussia.org. Or go directly to InvestigateRussia.org. Log on to confirm your worst fears. Read the July 13, 2018 Netyksho et al. indictment - click here.
Unite-the-Right Tiki Light
August 15, 2017
Tiki Brand published this statement: "Our products are designed to enhance backyard gatherings and to help family and friends connect with each other at home in their yard" - a little flower growing from the crack of this racist sidewalk. Another advantage of the Tiki Brand lighting - the world can see the faces of the supremacists. Being a racist may feel so natural, they were ready to come out of the closet. They probably didn't calculate they would get consequences for their display of raw hate.
The best way to heal hatred is to experience the consequences of the philosophy. Just by virtue of being a supremacist, you turn parts of the world against yourself. You even turn parts of your inner self against yourself. You deprive yourself of the ability to improve. The first step to becoming a better person is to admit to yourself the obstacles you face in daily life are either of your own making, or things you can overcome if you try. You might even try making friends with people outside of your own race.
My theory is hate is rooted in child abuse. Unhealed child abuse victims become fixated at the age the abuse started. It's like topping a tree. Once the crown of the tree - compared to the child's innocence - is gone, the tree cannot grow into a mature tree. The abuse prevents victims from growing emotionally into adults who can handle life's problems. They remain emotional children. This brings me back to child abuse, or growing up powerless with no sense of justice or friendliness.
Child abuse victims begin to heal once they tell their stories to an empathetic listener and feel validated. Abusers begin to heal once they tell their story and get the negative consequences, scorn and disapproval for their actions. Abusers of all sorts - alcoholics, supremacists, egomaniac sociopaths, pedophiles, and liars - can reach healing through the gateway marked "here are your consequences, come on in." Other that that, there is no other way for sociopaths to begin to heal. Unhealed living a life in denial, they must blame their inner state on someone else. It's all about avoiding consequences for the hurt they have caused. They can only work out their victimization issues if they're also willing to work on their perpetrator issues. Especially after this weekend, shame on supremacists everywhere.
So give the ID'd supremacists a piece of your mind. Give them disapproval. Tell them what you think of them. But do not hit them. Do not send them death threats - the Russian bots will take care of that for you. If you want to, forgive them, but you don't have to for now. There will be plenty of time for forgiveness later if the situation evolves and supremacists change their ways. Imagine welcoming them back to society when they recant their racist ideology. This is already happening, because we've seen several former white supremacists interviewed on TV news shows.
For now most of us don't even understand the iceberg we're looking at. One thing we do know, immaturity and hate attract negative attention - that's why the old KKK wore hoods.
The President Rambles Threats to North Korea
August 10, 2017 - 11:58 a.m.
August 10, 2017 at noon here in the western USA, the President is giving a rambling press conference provoking North Korea. He says the whole world is behind him. Then he's called a national emergency on the opioid epidemic. He's like a child on a ride at Disneyland. Please please do something about this, Republicans. Nobody is behind him, admit it. We are all contemplating our mortality this week. Everything he does or says makes us more upset. You can't fix this, just as you cannot fix an addict.
August 3, 2017
Long before Trump associates started forgetting all these meetings with Russians, we had American values. These have eroded gradually over the years. Is it from years of psychological warfare from Russia and other anti-American forces?
Just a reminder of our traditional American values:
A pledge we learn from childhood we are one country indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. This has been more of an ideal than reality, but it's something we strive to achieve.
Protect the environment. This was always a bipartisan value until big money interests came in to buy off legislators. Voting rights and fair elections are American values.
Immigration is an American value. Although at times in our history, people have tried to limit immigration, we are a nation of immigrants.
Promoting the general welfare is provided for in the Preamble of the US Constitution and remains an American value. Legislators who try to sabotage the general welfare are knowingly or unknowingly working to undermine the country.
Americans Come Together Amid Threats from Inside
July 27, 2017
There's one thing we can do, as Americans, to hold our country together. We can unite. The storms are mostly coming from inside. According to Huffington Post,* Trump asked Russia for help with the election one year ago today.
And what has he done with the power selling his soul gave him? He's left a wake of abuse. For example yesterday, the headline:
Today in 1948: Truman racially integrates the military. In 2017: Trump bars trans people from serving. Two very different decisions on the same day, decades apart.*
Our health care system, and therefore economy, is hanging by a thread. People's lives and jobs are in danger. And why? Our Republican legislators are spinning out of control, while the Democrats stand on the sidelines wishing they could help. It's like watching helplessly as your companions are pulled inextricably into an eddy. Some eddies will eventually release you back to shore or a safe rock, while others will slam you into the rocks or pull you under water and kill you.
What can we do to minimize the damage? First, realize this is being done to us. An unseen hand is orchestrating the chaos. What if key members of the legislative and executive branches work for anti-American forces, and their goal is to destroy our country? Everything they do seems to promote exactly that. Erase all notion of truth, then sabotage the health care system. That would pretty much do the trick.
To get out of this situation, we have to come together and unite as Americans. People eligible to join: anyone who does not work for Russia, is not being blackmailed by Russia, is not being threatened by Russia, and does not owe money to Russian banks. If you are in this category, you have a lot in common with right-wingers who regret their vote for Trump. You're kissing cousins with Republicans who were never-Trump. If you wanted Bernie, you have a lot in common with every American not under kompromat with Russia.
If we stand united, we can take our country back. Why? Because non-kompromat politicians will come forward and take back our halls of government from compromised politicians. Then we can get some work done to make things better for everyone.
How to make it happen: show extra kindness, forgiveness, tolerance, and love you might not otherwise show. Every time you see a fellow American, nod with the knowing we must come together to save our country. Pretty soon we'll be see the hundredth monkey effect, and we'll all be nodding and shaking our heads, realizing we have more in common than we have differences. We all want good health care and good jobs, a social safety net, an educated population, and a leadership role in world affairs.
If you are a rebellious young James Dean or Courtney Love, you can stand side by side with your fellow Americans and contribute to the common cause. No matter your race, creed, religion, income level, profession, background, or political viewpoint, you are an American, and you fit in the spectrum of our heritage. We are a rainbow of people and we stand united against Russians invading our elections, or our minds.
We the People . . .
Our Constitution was signed September 17, 1787, then ratified June 21, 1788. The real birth of our country is June 21, 1788. Note three often-overlooked benefits to the People enumerated in the first paragraph—the Preamble—of the Constitution.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Where Democrats Stand
July 17, 2017
Democrats believe in health care for all. They brought us the Affordable Care Act and want to make it even more inclusive. If Democrats had their way, we would have a public option in areas where zero or only one plan is available. If Democrats would get everything they want, we would have universal health care provided to everyone without the need for insurance companies. All doctors and hospitals would be financed by The People, and all people could go to the doctor and hospital of their choice. Democrats want people to get good health care without financial hardship.
Democrats believe in taking care of the planet. They brought us the Paris Accords. If Democrats had their way, we would convert to renewable energy and leave the fossil fuel paradigm behind. Democrats have fought forever to get higher standards for environmental protection. Republicans used to care about the planet, but now they only seem to care about making money at the expense of the planet.
Democrats believe in equality and justice for all. They brought us gay marriage and laws, and other laws that prohibit discrimination. In the past, Republicans also wanted equality, but lately the Republicans have become the party that wants to restrict transgender access to public restrooms. Even with such stupidity, Democrats continue to be the party that fights for equality.
Democrats believe in regulation, especially regulation of financial markets. Although regulation makes it more difficult for big corporations to make big profits, Democrats believe in protecting the consumers. The Democrats brought us the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2011 to protect against financial abuses, especially by banks and credit card companies. The Republicans have fought and fought to try to prevent/not staff/or close this agency.
Democrats believe in progressive taxation. They brought us financial reforms, such as rolling back some of the George W. Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. They also brought the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010 to prevent another market bubble-crash. The Republicans want to repeal it. The Democrats want the rich to pay their fair share to lift up the whole country. Democrats want to see a healthy middle class, while Republicans believe it's every man for himself, and those who fall in to poverty probably don't deserve a good life.
Ryan, McConnell? Et tu?
July 15, 2017
Google this: "Ryan and McConnell on tape about laundering Russian money through Super PAC." How far and wide does Russian influence go in our elections, and how long has Russian money been in the system? Although I hate fake conspiracy theories, this one could be real. At any rate, Ryan and McConnell have done their best to break down the American democratic system and punish minorities, the poor, and women. Just what Russia would want.
The Trump-Putin Meeting at the Hamburg G20
July 7, 2017
Suggestions to Fix the Affordable Care Act
July 6, 2017
Here are concrete steps the House and Senate can take to improve the ACA:
• First step: The federal government assures the insurance industry it will fund the ACA as obligated by law. The federal government accepts the existence of the ACA and agrees to move forward and make it better.
• Close the donut hole for people who make too much money to qualify for subsidies, but still can't afford health insurance. Offer them a subsidy if they can prove a hardship, such as a high debt to income ratio due to student loans; having to support a disabled child, or other hardships.
• Cover more Americans. Allow additional states to join the Medicaid expansion with no penalties.
• Allow a public option for insurance in areas that have zero or only one option for insurance available.
• Negotiate prescription prices.
• Increase fraud investigation.
• For healthy and moderately health patients, put more focus on prevention and mitigation, including guidance on diet, exercise, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, etc.
Another simple fix: strengthen Medicaid and allow people to buy health insurance through Medicaid. In other words, a public option, Medicaid for all.
Please join us in affirming peace in the world, and an America of peace.
We believe in a rich country with an inheritance in the public sphere for all citizens.
True Americans Indivisible
True Americans is a registered IndivisibleGuide activist group.
Meet us at 2201 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, Arizona.
Summer hours for protesting - Tuesdays from 7:30-9:00 a.m.
Bring your protest sign (or borrow one when you get there) and write a statement expressing your views to drop off at the Senators' offices. Senator Flake's office is on the north side of Camelback Road and Senator McCain's office is on the south side.
If you have a particular issue you want to discuss with the Senators in depth, make an appointment in advance:
Senator Flake (602) 840-1891, 2200 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Senator McCain (602) 952-2410, 2201 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016
If you can't be there, please call to express your views:
Senator Flake - Washington, DC - (202) 224-4521
Senator McCain - Washington, DC - (202) 224-2235
Tuesday February 14 in front of Senator Flake's office.
Find Events and Meetings in Arizona
Visit the AZ Resist Calendar to find demonstrations, meetings, and other opportunities to meet with like-minded people to make your voice heard: azresist.org.
Donate to the Indivisible movement - click here.
Find local events through the Indivisible site (also please post your events here): act.indivisible.org/event/local-actions
Nori Muster, Facilitator
This page is the latest page of a longstanding political blog, click here for the archive of previous posts.
"Truth is always strong, no matter how weak it looks; and falsehood is always weak, no matter how strong it looks." - Phillip Brooks (American clergyman and author, 1835-1893) •"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley (English writer, novelist, philosopher, 1894-1963) •"If you shut up the truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way." - Emile Zola (French novelist, 1840-1902) •"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer (English philosopher, 1788-1860) •"Truth may be stretched, but cannot be broken, and always gets above falsehood, as oil does above water." - Miguel Cervantes (Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet, 1547-1616) •"Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love." - Peace Pilgrim (American peace activist, 1908-1981)