Sunday, August 31, 2014

The absolute necessity of regulations on capital enterprises (#2039)

Left to the concept of "market demand" capitalists would charge millions for a drink of water if they had no regulations on how they apply "free enterprise". When I hear Republicans falsely complaining about how regulations are stifling job creation I cringe at the falsehood. What is stifling job creation is greed on the part of the corporate/company entity and it's at all costs race to inflate it's own "bottom line". If no regulations were required, there would be no protecting our food supply from the most unsanitary processing conditions. There would be no protecting our waterways from the type of pollution now being experienced in North Carolina through Duke Energy waste product dumping in our rivers. There would be no restriction on whatever toxin would be allowed to be pumped into our natural atmosphere that is essential for us to breathe. There would be no restriction on the pesticides and herbicides allowed to be absorbed by us into our bodies through "bottom line" crop management. We would have no protections on what is disseminated as truth, what is left of it, in our news outlets and educational institutions. When I here Republicans advocate for eliminating environmental, educational, energy, labor, commerce and even housing authority positions within our government, as well as ending the social safety net, I know that their agenda is to open up our society to the deregulation theory of every man/woman/child for themselves. A lack of civilized society within the framework of a plutocracy, where corporations are not only people but people with extra-constitutional protections and the idea that money is speech gives those with money the ability to take their speech, regardless of truth, to a level where it drowns out voices that are truthful in their oppositional real speech. The Republican anti-regulation crowd has shown that denying science and climate change, denying voter rights, denying immigration reform, denying women equal working rights, and dominion over their own bodies, among other denials is more important to them than protecting Americans from the greed that capitalism can produce when the wealthy disregard democracy as a their guiding vision.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Order within the chaos? (#2038)

What appears to be a whirligig of motion without rhyme or reason can often be traced back to an order that uses confusion and chaos as a mask to shield it's intent from our open conscious introspection. In other words, if we don't see what is being done to us as an ulterior motive then we are likely to accept it as fate, serendipity, or providence. We have a perfect example of this in our current political structure. An organized attempt to divert attention from the real issues of our lives to instead a package of baser, inflammatory ones. I am calling out  Republicans in this regard. They use issues that divide us as their catalyst for chaos to undermine our collective reasoning. While the tension of this dividing is taking place, they are misrepresenting their agenda to our citizen democratic republic. The media is a crucial player in this as most of us would like to think that "the press" is unbiased. However that can never truly be correct when corporations own and operate the press while controlling it's news content and editorial boards. For a group of greedy, Republican backing, power brokers to have less than democratic ideals as their intent for public policy is a treacherous shame that must be exposed and where applicable, adjudicated. The one constant that we all have is a simple democratic test we can apply to all policy being forwarded, regardless of political party, that being does it stand up to the test of equality, justice and enlightened good will? If it fails any of these tests, it is suspect and needs more debate. Our democracy is unique in all of history and time. We are special in that our forefathers/mothers gave us an evolving constitutional blueprint by which to change the whole world to the better if we remember to humble ourselves first and reach out instead of reaching in to each others' pockets.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Vote or quit! (#2037)

This November will tell the tale of our American society. We will either engage in the politics of our society and vote for what we know is right and good or we will cower to the idea that others know better and we won't get in their way. Voting or quitting will be the final summary of what happens after November 4th. If history or destiny mean anything to all of us then know this, we are judged by our committed acts and also by the acts we don't employ, both commission and omission are the options, what will you choose to do, something or nothing? I like to believe that I am like everyone else but I know that is not true in the sense of time and space. When I was a younger man I was less informed and had a cavalier attitude toward structured society. Surely there are those out there who are of the same ilk and then there are some who are too busy in their structured lives to give a hoot about the abstractions of political theory. Except that many of those who control the balance of political ideas have the power to herd us unwittingly into irrationally harmful polices. If we do not claim our heritage and our duty to have a voice in the process of deciding our own futures, we have abdicated our right to be free individuals. Yes, we are giving away part of our right to our own future. Nothing on this planet is more important than one person one vote. Yes, I said nothing is more important. Not even life and death. For all of those who have fought and died in wars over the span of our democracy, the underlying cause has been for our right to self-determination. Self-determination was the catalyst for the formation of our country to begin with. How precious is the knowledge that others have died for our right to participate in defining our own future. If you think about the value of your right to vote, you will see that it is priceless. No amount of money can be offered to me for the right of my vote to be taken away. Therefore, not exercising my right to vote when the voting time comes is cowardly of me and an utter disrespect toward all those who fought and died for my right to have it.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

You gotta believe! (#2036)

It isn't the first dawning of a realization that something is about to happen for the better, it is a consistent and constant realization that it is going to happen. Now I have been totally expecting something to change that would make my life better and more happy and in the past I have been disappointed. But that isn't what I am talking about here. I am talking about our current political dysfunction that everyone knows is going on. It isn't some secret that is keeping us guessing about it's intent. We have a Democratic president in office until January 2017. So he is not going anywhere until then. So to get our political operations back under control, we must change the makeup of the other two legislative bodies. With voters realizing this, the most efficient method of change is to vote in more Democrats by voting out more Republicans. Simply put, this November can change the current process of ineffective compromise from the minority party Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, with the majority party Democrats, that still control the Senate and like I said, the Presidency. Since the majority of we voters voted in 2012 for the democratic policies outlined by our President who was re-elected then, and have not gotten the sufficient duly bound compromise to that will of the people by Republican office holders then those Republican office holders need to be voted back out. We need serious representation, not obstructive and damaging legislation aimed directly at the American working/middle/poor class. With Republicans and their tenuous hold on the House at stake, we must make Republicans pay for their determined will to only serve and represent the wealthy. I know the national media is saying that because of Republican gerrymandering after the 2010 election, the House is too difficult to take back for the Democrats, however I wholeheartedly disagree. There are enough Republican House seats in play in November that are not locked in to guaranteed victories. If we Democrats come out and vote like our future depends on it we will win the House, hold the Senate and give our President a Congress he can work with to enhance the future of our American working/middle/poor class.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Admission is the first step toward recovery (#2035)

It doesn't matter what the mindset or behavior it is we need to break away from, we must always start with ourselves. Looking in the mirror and having an honest conversation with ourselves is what I have found as the easiest way to finally break through my own stubbornness in admitting what my reality truly was. I didn't have to dazzle myself with brilliance or baffle myself with bullshit, all I had to do was be honest. As I was the one in the mirror listening to me I had no cause or reason to lie to myself when my intent was to be truthful. Lying can be a problem. When I was very young I tried to lie my way through life but found that I couldn't keep up with the complexity with having to remember all the permutations of life my lies created. I cured myself back then by accepting the punishment and humiliation of my bad character and then moving on to reestablish better relationships. Such had been the case with my out of control drug and alcohol behavior. I finally had had enough and applied the same principles of facing my problems and then acting on the solution. It is a time tested process, being honest enough with oneself to break away from those desires I had previously clung too tight. Even in the face of ignorance, I admit when I am wrong and call myself out for it. I find no harm but instead strength in admitting I am wrong when I am wrong. Such is the process for a cure that works for me. No one is a harsher critic of my choices than me, no one. But if I don't hold myself accountable to my thoughts and actions then it doesn't matter if I am being truthful to myself or not. So knowing the truth of my behavior, is the admission part. Next comes the changing of the behavior. Not always easy there but always worth it once it has taken hold. The strength and sense of empowerment is amazing in comparison to the despair and destruction that forced me to look in the mirror in the first place.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The disingenuous Republican party (#2034)

Maybe it's the name that people who vote Republican are enamored with. I am not sure why anyone other than the very wealthy would ever vote for them but I can guess a few other reasons but they are at best guesses. It seems that folks who see race as an issue don't want to vote with diverse races. I think this one is a big part of why people vote Republican instead of Democrat. Especially considering that those folks who are not wealthy are voting against Democrats who actually better represent their interests. But I suppose hatred for other races of folks because their skin color is a different shade is a much more powerful allure than common sense. The other reason is baffling to me but still valid in my mind. It involves people who vote Republican actually not liking equality. Republicans have shown that they are not averse to separating classes of people based upon other factors than race. Republicans like the idea of a readily available servant class that is not entitled to the special privileges and advantages they want to maintain for themselves. Even if the poorer Republican voter is part of that servant class, it makes them feel content inside that they think of themselves as more than the lower servants in that class. It is a head scratcher to me but there it is from my point of view. There is something about being ignorant to the many wonders and creative innovations in the world that is also appealing.  Rather than become enlightened, Republicans would rather fall back on old customs, superstitions and myths as a comfort to their fears than to overcome them. It is what has worked in the past and why change what works is their motto. However, what they see as "what works" only applies when discrimination and oppression are part of it. I will go to my grave with the disappointment that we all could not grasp the idea that we are new and fresh and our world can reflect what is best about our species and not just the same old divisions that Republicans seem intent upon carrying forward.

Monday, August 25, 2014

We must distinguish who is harming us (#2033)

Too many polls recently ask about the performance of Congress as a body and not enough polls ask about the two parties within Congress. Surely congress is made up of both parties but only one party, Republicans, are doing their best to thwart the will of our working/middle/poor class of folks. We in this group are the majority of Americans and therefore we are the ones who are being harmed by Republicans specifically, not Congress. Republicans control the House of Representatives and therefore have the leadership there. As such they determine which bills come up for a vote. Most every bill from the Democratic controlled Senate, including bipartisan supported bills are not getting a vote in the House. Democrats won the election of 2012 and have a mandate to govern as such. Since Republicans won the 2010 elections and gerrymandered US House districts so that it makes it really hard to get them out of the majority in the House, they have decided that despite our country wanting Democrats to lead, are obstructing that will the voters voted for. So from the outside it appears to look like Congress is dysfunctional, however it isn't Congress that is dysfunctional, it is the Republican party who are in lockstep to block any legislation coming from Democrats that are aimed at relieving the pain and suffering the American working/middle/poor class has been enduring since the last disastrous Republican administration. Republicans can block because of two factors, first, they are the majority in the House of Representatives and second, in the Senate they still have filibuster power requiring 60 Senators to agree to bring a bill to the floor for a vote. Democrats currently have the majority in the Senate but only with 55 Senators. So now hopefully all will see why I am advocating so hard for our Democrat voters, who are the majority party in our country, to get registered and vote this November regardless of how hard Republicans make that for us.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ignorance will only get you shame (#2032)

If not knowing is your strategy, then fine, don't expect anyone who has knowledge to respect you. Thieves are ones who takes what they want and leave the rest without regard to what harm and consequences they have caused. Is there much difference when we choose to accept ignorance without regard to what is true or not? The act of omitting is often just as harmful as the act of commission. What we don't do, can hurt us as much as what we actually do. Choosing to be ignorant because of reasons like, it is too difficult to understand or I don't have time for this, are just excuses in order to avoid having a voice of your own. Maybe you don't want to offend someone or you think it isn't attractive? Neither reason nor either excuse is affirming. We have a duty to our selves and our country to have a voice in how we are governed. Period! It is a right that is under assault and if you are afraid of what others think then you are not living up to who you are or what you think you are reflecting out as your character to the ones who might look up to you. If you have any pride in the fact of you being an American citizen and you are unwilling to defend that rightful pride given us by our hero ancestors, who fought and sacrificed for what we have today, then you are shameful in your choice to those who can only dream of having the opportunity to fight for liberty, justice and equality. Ignorance cannot be an option here in America. When we allow ignorance to have it's way with us we are telling the world that we are not courageous nor have the heart to stand up for what is right. If you think that shirking your responsibility and hiding it from the world around you is a better option, then you miss the point of being born in this great country where fighting for what is right is part of who we are.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hard as steel, soft as jelly (#2031)

I think about myself sometimes and the wide variations in how I "feel" about circumstances that arise in my life. One thing for certain is that I will have a reaction somewhere on the scale between these two polar opposites. I will defend the principles I have learned are right and good with all my being while also being sensitive to my compassionate selfless humility. I am touched to the core of my heart by the best of our natures while fighting to the death to protect them. I am like a piece of candy, hard on the outside but soft on the inside. It is perfect for me. For those who are ruthless and harmful I am the solid rock of opposition and they get nothing of the good within me, instead they get the hard wall of anger I am able to produce when I gird for fighting. I know I am not alone in this and so many others, not only in the present, but in the past have been of like mind and a great example to emulate. Having this demeanor is how I am able to exist in this often chaotic and careless world. I have to champion my own life before I can even hope to be a champion to anyone else. I have stated this before in earlier blog posts, I have been raised with the ideal that those who are able to defend what is right and good in the world should do so. A hero's mentality if you will. I don't know why we exist or what life is all about but I do accept my reality. I am compassionate and curious by nature with the ability to function as a biological data processor. This tells me what direction to focus my particular skills in a world I want to be as democratic as possible. I fight for my right to exist in respect and harmony with our Universe and by extension I fight for all others to have the same. If a purpose can be derived from that then that is my purpose short of anything else I have learned. That I have to fight against members of our own species is the troubling aspect of my destiny. But so be it!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Are you tired of this yet? (#2030)

Republicans are threatening another government shutdown and are already blaming Democrats for what Republicans are choosing to do. Does this sound familiar? Republicans just did this last year for 16 days and then relented by passing a funding bill that opened up the parts of government they shut down. Republicans have a 17 seat swing majority in the House of Representatives, caused mainly by their control in 2010 to redraw district maps that heavily favored their candidates in contested districts. Every ten years, because of the census, the party that controls more statehouses is able to protect their party and candidates through the often disproportional redistricting that is allowed. But this year, 2014, Republicans have so turned off the majority of citizens in our country that if Democrats come out and vote there is a good chance to swing at least 25 states back toward Democrats and give Democrats the majority in the House of Representatives. Effectively, ending any shenanigans Republicans may have toward continuing to shutdown the government after this year and to end the Impeachment threat Republicans have planned if they can somehow take the Senate. So instead of electing Republicans, who have nothing but negative and harmful plans in store for the majority of us non-wealthy, we must elect Democrats who have policies that will reward the working/middle/poor class with opportunities to succeed now being obstructed by Republicans. It is really that simple a fix. We Democrats must prepare ourselves by making sure we are rightly on the voter rolls and then every one of us exercise our right to vote. Republicans have proven over and over again that they are only interested in securing a better future for the wealthy at the expense of what little the working/middle/poor class has left. This insanity must stop and no amount of chaos, misinformation nor voter suppression should stop we Democrats and our supporters from achieving an end to Republican majority House representation.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Our vote is our only hope (#2029)

There is one tool left we all have to keep our democracy and to improve it. First, to keep it we must elect candidates that reflect our democratic ideals of, race, sex, gender equality; equality of opportunity for all our citizens; and the end of influence peddling in our nation's capitol. These are but a few ideals and policies we must keep front and center in how we decide to vote. This is how we maintain democracy, by voting for candidates that reflect the majority will of our country and not the minority will of the wealthy. We have two political parties here in America that have staked out their philosophical positions. Republicans wish to tamp down democracy to favor a hybrid oligarchy/plutocracy form of government. What is a hybrid oligarchy/plutocracy you may ask? A government that caters to wealthy individuals and corporations as the vessels of power and giving them the right and privilege of determining the outcomes of our lives. We Democrats have staked out the ground that keeps democracy as our form of government and continues the well established paradigm of elected representative government, where we the people determine the outcomes of our lives by electing representatives who speak with our voice. The days of metaphorical rulers, kings and queens to guide us is not our future, it is our past and those Republicans who wish to continue treating our American citizenry as the unsophisticated, uneducated dirty masses must be made to learn that lesson. Our vote, our individual vote is all that stands between us and the loss of our democracy to the greed and power of egoistic Republicans. This coming November we will all get a real chance to exercise our vote, that is where Republicans have not yet suppressed voting rights, and send a clear message by electing Democrats everywhere on every ballot to continue the march forward our founding fathers/mothers gave us back in 1789.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Democracy must be preserved before anything else (#2028)

Nothing rises to the level of democracy as the structure of our society. Nothing! Our capital economic system is not more important than our right to have an economic system at all. The structure that allows for creativity and scientific advancement can only come about when our society is free to choose those paradigms. Our freedom to be part of the political system is the heart of democracy and anything that restricts or takes that away is an attack on the very heart of democracy. Never be fooled by those who would liken one class of citizenry above another. It is an attack on what makes us most enlightened and most human. We are not a progressively petty species, we are a progressively diverse and tolerant one. If what we are considering in our current social and political realities is a harness on rights and privileges we are not moving forward but instead we are moving backwards toward division and loss of self-determination. If the equality of a foundational beginning and equal opportunity are not front and center in every aspect of law then we have failed to uphold the ideals of democracy. Shame on us for accepting less than what we should rightly demand and even more shame on those who fail to offer democratic principles as our choice. That we should have to settle for less when all is at stake speaks more about the corruption we allow in our governing and less about the ideals of governing democracy has gifted us with. When we are forced to compromise with those who are moving further from democracy toward plutocracy or oligarchy, we are not struggling to be better, we are instead compromising to be worse. The fight should not be about how little we can change our reality but in how greatly we can change our future. Any attack on the sacredness of democracy is an attack on the fundamental right to exist we all should be proud to defend.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Seeing the world through a child's eyes (#2027)

The day you think you have grown up is the day you start to die. I never want to grow up and accept what fate there is for me without me being able to change it whenever I want. I am not satisfied with what there is, enough to say to myself that my comfort is good enough. I want some comfort but not at the cost of giving up my imagination and my will to improve our society's condition. I am not one who waits for his due for being a good player of games. I will upset the game board if that is what shatters the old paradigm of not enough or unfairness. The motion of my life is not to sit back and admire what I perceive as accomplishments, rather the motion of my life is non-stop and the time for reflection on what I may have achieved will be in the last of my breaths here on Earth. I will not stop looking at the world with the eyes of the child I began my journey as. The wonder and awe of all that surrounded me. I know that often the consequences of great achievements have been on the back of notorious and unscrupulous actions but they didn't have to be. Great achievements in our society could have all come from the function of honorable and scrupulous behaviors if we would confine our activities to principles of humility and respect. I see the possibilities of our species, not the dastardly processes that are cynically forced upon us. We are better than our past behaviors as not only a species but as a society of humans. I refuse to relinquish my vision of our world. I want for it to be the special existence it can be before my time here is over. I am but one person yet I see my oneness as an indomitable force that when I have my bearings under me will not and cannot be stopped. Just think how much more powerful the force could be if others would unleash their force in like manner. It all stems from the innocent perception of a child who is seeing our amazing existence and wanting it to be the normal and not the exception.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Controlling the narrative (#2026)

The fatal incident in Ferguson Missouri has become a flash point and a line in the sand moment for those of us who see racism as all too prevalent in our society here in America. Besides the fact that the 5 conservatives on our US Supreme Court have erroneously concluded that racism is not prevalent in our society, we see an all too different reality. As these 5 conservative justices are wrong so are the actions of police forces around the country who often militarize their actions against minorities all too often. The media for it's part has been culpable in this as well. Often just reporting what it is told regardless of whether what they are told is factual. A mindset of giving authority the benefit of the doubt is disturbing. I need to be held accountable for all that I do, not just some of what I do. So it should be that all that authority does should be held accountable. If equality doesn't mean what is defined by equality then that needs to be explained. If the police are going to treat citizens differently based upon the color of their skin then we need to expose that and rectify it according to justice. If justice is also allowed to be subverted then what hope is there for the rest of us who are held to a different standard of equality and justice. I am a white man, so my perception of the harm being done to those who are not white is limited to my own sense of what should be honorable and what isn't. I can also ascribe to the feeling I get within my gut when I see injustice done to those for no other reason than their skin being a different shade than mine. I believe in democracy and as such I have a core of democratic principles by which I live. These core values of mine are being tested by the powers who are in control who do not believe that democracy is for all citizens regardless of wealth or race. I rant and expose the Republican party for it's anti-democratic platform and as well I rant and expose racism where ever I see it. Who controls the narrative of what the truth is? We do, every one of us.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The fate of our nation is in each and everyone who can vote (#2025)

Being proactive is choosing to vote for what you want for our country. Being inactive is to abdicate our right to be heard. Which one will be the majority come this November? Few things in life are more important than being heard. If we are to measure the knowledge we have with the silence of expressing that knowledge does the scale weigh more heavily for one over the other? What good does it do us if we spend our lives gaining knowledge and the wisdom that comes with that knowledge if we don't express our view on it? Voting allows us that opportunity. Though we may be one among countless, we are still one and with one voice comes another and another until there are many who express their knowledge with like affirmation. There is a battle for the soul of America and it is being raged in political and social gatherings, press, radio, television and Internet. All of the noise of this battle is mind boggling in that the variations on the truth outweigh the truth itself. What will always guide one through the morass of misinformation is a personal code of ethical principles that stand for democratic ideals over the push and pull of lesser considerations. John Stuart Mill proclaimed that all of society can be measured by how much we harm one another. If we harm each other less then our society is to be congratulated, if we harm our each other more then our society is to be condemned. How would you like to be treated in the most equally objective manner is how we should all gauge our future. We are not here on Earth to prioritize competition with each other, instead we are here to maximize the opportunity for all of us to have a respectful and harmonizing life with ourselves, our planet and the Universe we inhabit. Whether we can realize that simple vision will be determined this November when our time to be heard is given to us. Will we speak through our right and ability to vote?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Why am I a Progressive? (#2024)

I chose to be a progressive. I didn't inherit it from my parents, although they have been, like my grandparents most always Democrats. I chose progressivism because of it's overall outlook. From Wikipedia: "Progessivism is a broad political philosophy based on the idea of progress, which asserts that advances in science, technology, economic development, and social organization can improve the human condition.". In other words, being progressive endears itself to democratic principles. I have not been one to only look out for myself. It is a quality of mine that I believe is shared by the majority, if not most all, of our civilization. So any political affiliated system that does not have a caring for others component to it will never be able to justify itself through truth. Nor will any political affiliated system that does not have an enlightened component to it. Curiosity is our calling and our natural abilities allow us to answer that call. It is instinctual for us to want to know and no imperfect answer will suffice. Our civilization of humans has been on a quest all of our human existence to better understand what we are doing here in this environmental existence. The questions of our human era drive us to want to know, hence the need for logic and science as processes for that impetus to know. Progressivism allows for those processes of logic and science coupled with care for each other to prosper and grow. I have used this short saying I have coined to illustrate what our progressive policies envision. "People and planet before profit." it puts all things into perspective in a panoramic comprehensive way. People and planet are the highest priority. This is the progressive way. There is no other political affiliated group that has this simple rule of purpose to it. No other political organization has the heart and mind of humanity and the environment we exist within at it's core. Shall you join me in being progressive?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Humility in the face of arrogance (#2023)

I love how our President of the United States remains calm and focused on the long term and short term problems that are part of his job. He is great example of being in the moment and not tooting his own horn about his accomplishments. That is how we all should be, quietly solving problems without needing the ego driven fanfare many choose to want. Humility is a powerful behavior to live. It is unique in all the world in that, usually, no one can see the intent that created it. It requires someone who is confident enough in themselves to know that they did the right thing without doubting or needing to be validated. Now is our President perfect to me? No, he needs to reconsider some courses he has chosen but they are not irreversible nor are they set in stone with him. As time goes by even he will see that in those cases there are other considerations he must value to a higher order. Yet all in all, he has done a remarkable job when the time had come for someone remarkable to be in the office of our President. What is even more telling is the level of hatred and disdain he has been rudely offered as too many folks have bad behaviors that are nothing short of embarrassing and shameful. This time in our history will show him to have done exceptionally well for all Americans and fellow travelers on our planet. he asks for nothing himself but instead asks for everything for us. He shepherds us through his own example. He lives an admirable and exemplary life within in his own family and extends that out to the rest of us. He expects us to work for our country with pride and dignity, respecting others as we would like to be respected, while extending out the hand of friendship and empathy. Humility is a behavior that needs more of us to embrace while we continue to fight for the best for all of us.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Vision and policy come from the bottom up in a Democracy (#2022)

When did the idea that we follow leaders become the normal instead of leaders following their constituents? We elect leaders in our governments so that they can represent us, if they choose not to represent us then what is their function otherwise? We may just as well employ direct democracy to pass legislation that we majority clamor for instead of being told that we cannot have the solution to our problems. It does speak volumes about the lack of intellectual integrity we voters have and the intellectual dishonesty that too many of our politicians have. We move away from democracy when we allow a handful of people to dictate our future while undermining our right to protest and vote. Our democracy must be the ultimate priority when it comes to vision and policy for our futures. Our democracy guarantees us a voice and vote in our desire to maintain liberty and equality. When the powerful interests, driven by capitalism's profit before people and planet, are catered to by leaders of our country more so than the idea of our collective voice being the impetus for change our voice is weakened to favor only those who have the loudest and most expansive voice. That is not a democracy, that is more a plutocracy where the wealthy have a greater say in how our society functions than a much larger collective group of us. There is a choice this coming November in how much we want to keep our democracy. Those of us who see the Republican party and it's followers as the ones who would further weaken our democratic ideals are screaming from the very bottom of our lungs for all voting Americans to participate in this coming election and show for once and all that we want our democracy to decide our future and not the greedy capitalistic plutocrats who don't see that people and planet come before their profit.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Following through is not easy but the right thing to do (#2021)

It seems that I have been making more principled stands lately that deny myself of certain desires more than anything else. Apparently it is the metaphorical turning of the worm. We are defined by our actions based off of our words. If I say a thing then I had better live it. "My word must be my bond" in this world where that is considered a cynical phrase. Very few have the expectation that anyone else will sacrifice when given a choice. It seems that only looking out for oneself is the accepted method of action regardless of words out of one's own mouth to the contrary. I am not trying to be an example to anyone else other than myself. I want my life to mean to me what I think, say and do. That is the stuff that brings me peace and harmony in a world of chaos and confusion. When John Stuart Mill gave us the principled ideal of "do no harm" he advertently unleashed within me a sense of purpose. The cost/benefit analysis of my principles is the path I chose to follow. The circumstances of which are inescapable if I follow through with them. Sometimes it is hard, very hard to follow through, yet the hard needs to be overcome with my intent to do as I say. There are enough souls out there who have already decided that hypocritical concepts like, "do as I say, not as I do", are justifiable when it gets tough for them to follow through on their principles. I wish to remain free from that pitfall and instead just follow through as consciously as possible with acts that reflect my thoughts and words. Hypocrisy is not to be acceptable as an excuse to shirk my duty to myself. I know better and although I will deny myself the desires I wish for, in return I get to respect myself. I don't have to forget all the disrespect I cause for myself and for those who witness my failures. Instead I get to live with the consequences of my choices with honor and dignity. Following through when it is tough to do so just exposes the depth of our character.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It isn't enough to question everything (#2020)

Just because I know where to start does not mean that I have arrived. It just means that I am ready to begin. Too many quit thinking when they realize that they must think. It is strange that the work required to be objective is mostly avoided when it is the work required that gives us our own unique perspective. It is not enough to go with the flow and allow others to think for us, we must be part of the thinking as well. Just because we are not well versed in the subjects we need to consider does not prelude us from learning and evaluating the other possibilities. I am not showing wisdom by spouting out someone else's conclusion as my own. Like in Good Will Hunting when the character played by Matt Damon confronts and exposes the college grad student who was trying to pawn off others' opinions as his own. We need to consider others' opinions, give the others that due, and then combine that with our own logical imaginations and thoughts of right and wrong. Learning is the most fascinating thing we do as humans. Consider once again the logic of what we humans are gifted with. We are biological sensory beings, capable of taking in information and with the development of our five senses and our empathetic emotions, in conjunction with our minds and memories, we can reason, analyze and conclude. We are masterful, advanced probes if we so choose. Not dissimilar from what we do when we send out a machine to discover and accumulate information. Although our technology is still in it's infancy as to replicating with a machine what we do as humans, the technology does reflect our nature to explore and learn. It isn't enough to question everything, denotes that nothing is perfectly certain. Although we find that some things prove themselves as far as we are able to understand, we also know that nothing is impossible.

Monday, August 11, 2014

We can break the chain (#2019)

We don't have to treat others the way we were treated. I look back within my myself and remember the cruelty that I offered to some with little to no hope. It was who I was for a time and a shameful memory indeed. How could I have been so insensitive to others when I had known what cruelty felt like. The lesson I learned from that is the cruelty done to me was not justified in doing to others. I just passed along a horrible behavior not worthy of human interaction. Now I wasn't some stone cold harmful person but I was less than honorable enough to know that I needed to humble myself and accept my part in the cruelty that I embraced. It was my choice and regardless of how I justified it to myself at the time, I was wrong. It is common from my perspective to react in ways we are taught when we are younger. So for me to express cruelty was the continuation of system of behavior I had unfortunately become accustomed. So many times I had heard that it was weak to forgive and move on. The people in my life expected a hardness from me and in my desire to fit in with my peers at the time I needed to be cruel to be respected. It didn't take me long to figure out that the people I wanted to fit in with were not worthy of my time. I quit fighting against my noble principles of life and dismissed cruelty out of my life. I am now free to be sensitive to others and stand up for what is right and virtuous without needing anyone's approval. I may be alone in my daily life because I won't tolerate being around people who are still living hard against what they know is right, but at least I am satisfied in my soul. I broke free from the chains of bad behavior and so can everyone else. It was life affirming once I found my own path for behaving and I wouldn't trade any of it for all the whatever in the world. I feel the sting of my past actions to this day but that is my burden for not recognizing that my "need" for acceptance should never have gone before the honor I had within me.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The lack of courage is underwhelming (#2018)

Maybe I am just having a bad day but it seems that too many people are too easily scared from what they know is right. It is like political bullies know they can avoid facing the consequences of their acts simply by scaring the electorate. It is troubling that the media is as gullible as the scared ones in that too many in the media portray this scaring tactic as fact instead of what it is, bullshit! The human experience should be about empowerment, not about cringing. I have had enough of it and will not tolerate it in my presence. I cannot teach anyone how to be courageous but I can call it out when I don't see it. We are better than this and the bully politicians, which are mostly all front and center in the Republican party, need to be confronted everywhere and every time they show the audacity to force us into not doing what is right. Bullies are really cowards so when we give into a bully we are giving into cowardice. Not a welcoming thought is it. How does that play out as an example to those who care about us and who look to us for guidance? It is time for all of us to recognize when we are being used against our own interests. We are not dummies, but we need to show more courage when the time for courage is needed. I know my vision of our species is not wrong. There are too many examples of folks who have proven their courage in the face of overwhelming loss. I know that is the case for all of us when we are at our best. There is nothing in this Universe worthy of taking from us our right to be who we are and in that being who we are we is magnificent. Never should we abdicate our amazing abilities to make a better world in the guise of being forced from that making the world better. It is time we put the bullies, especially the Republican party to rest. They deserve nothing more from us except our utter contempt and our determined will to shut them down as anything more than a sniveling greedy group of cowardly thieves.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Our subconscious is our friend (#2017)

Well, for sure mine! lol. I always think in terms of myself as a laboratory and what happens objectively and with natural emotion with me normally is likely the same for other humans. My subconscious is like a quiet unnoticeable friend who gently reminds me of things that are not quite right. For example, in yesterday's blog post, I used a word to describe tradition. Moray, but as you can see it is spelled incorrectly for the definition I was using. Moray is a type of eel, not a custom or tradition like I was utilizing it for. So in the night last night I was restlessly sleeping and half awoke to the fact that I had used the wrong word. I got up and checked my blog post from yesterday and sure enough I had used moray, instead of mores. I edited the post and went back to sleep thinking about how such a trivial little thing had come front in center in my mind. What I realized is that it wasn't an insignificant little thing, it was important in that I didn't want someone reading that post and then thinking how ridiculous it reads with the obvious mistake glaring out for all to see. It takes away from the overall message. So in retrospect, I came to realize that it was important enough to me subconsciously, that my mind would not let me dismiss it. This is how I have come to know that my subconscious is looking out for me in the subtle ways I often do not pay enough attention to because of my current inability in striving to be less imperfect than I could be. That is a failing on me due to a lower expectation of me, for myself. This one little subconscious realization is having a profound and fundamental effect on me that is a bit overwhelming. It not only helped me to make my daily post more clear and precise, but  it now motivates me to do better in every facet of my life. I see a more comprehensive and panoramic purpose for my actions and place a higher degree of expectation upon myself to be less imperfect than I have been trying to be.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The purpose of integration (#2016)

When I was leaving junior high and moving on to high school, we knew we were being bused to a minority majority neighborhood high school. I didn't think much about it at the time except that the high school was a lot further away then the nearest one where we lived. However, I was anxious to see how the my life would change with the new experience of meeting many more new people. We were a high school that was about evenly divided between Caucasians, African Americans, Latinos and Asians. We were truly a diverse melting pot of cultural differences. I learned very quickly the acts of respect and humility as I came to know my new friends. I found that we had many of the same hopes and dreams when it came to learning, social activities and sports. Our unique blend of cultures didn't drive us apart, instead it drew us together as we learned that despite the color of our skin or our previously held mores, we were no different from each other. We bonded like I would never have believed. We even painted on the front of our school, in a large picture, four arms of yellow, brown, black and white interlocked together to form the shape of a square. Where one race ended the next race began so that there was no break in the link of our bond. That symbol on the front of our school was what defined our school and the students who attended it. We learned about each other and became comfortable in our own skin. What we didn't know then was just how profound a role integration played in our lives. Today I have no fear of anyone who is different than me. I only have a willingness to get to know them. I learned that what scares too many people these days is the lack of understanding. Integration at that young time in my life gave me the comprehensive understanding that we are all human, none better or worse than another.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

We must verify our information sources are correct (#2015)

Like all of us, we usually gravitate toward positions and statements that reflect our own personal beliefs and intuitions. Not that that is a bad thing but beliefs and intuitions are not facts so in order for us to hold to these beliefs and intuitions, they must be correct. How can we tell if they are correct? We search out references to our positions and then validate them with researched facts. Some are easy like statistics showing one thing or another. Numbers are usually easy to verify given that percentages of things can be mathematically quantified. It gets more difficult when subjects within polling questions are ambiguous or not succinctly structured. It is also harder to quantify polling when the sample sizes are so small and less than reflective an overall mood about a subject. But even beyond these peccadillos is the idea that when we see a meme or a judgment about a belief or intuition of ours making claims without supplying a source for the accuracy of the claim we must not accept it as truth until we verify for ourselves the underlying proof. Validity of a claim is crucial to any logical argument. Therefore, we must never allow ourselves to be emotionally charged about a subject that "feels" right unless we can also prove our position. I have been caught several times in the past putting the cart before the horse, metaphorically, by sharing information first without verifying it's accuracy. Even though I knew I was on the right side of the subject, the individual claim was less than totally accurate. So instead of folks accepting the information I passed along, they challenged the degree of the validity of the information and then succeeded in changing the subject from the intent behind the message to the dismissal of the message's purpose because of the minor error within the message's claim. I am now better at verifying the subjects I pass along to make sure that it is the message of the claim that is critically addressed by first verifying that the message is truthfully accurate.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My church is the Universe (#2014)

Everywhere I am, I am in my church. By church I mean my sanctuary with all that I am as a live human being. I know what it is to being human and I have an existence within an environment that allows me to be that human being I know that I am. I realize this phenomenon every day I wake up and know that I am still here. How fortunate for me that the journey to "find myself" has concluded in the sense that I am found. I have much to learn about the vastness of my own capabilities but that is just going to happen as I continue to exist. Hopefully I will continue to give myself the chance to learn and grow with the passion I feel about keeping objectivity as my guide. It is not easy working diligently to remain unbiased or prejudiced about certain things that I personally like, but that is what I must do, remain objective, otherwise I will lose my way. That does not mean that I cannot have strong opinions about what I already know regardless of whether it is perfectly provable but my strong opinions may not become facts within me until they are facts in the eyes of others as well. Take for example an odd position I take on our current numerical system. I find it difficult to accept that equations should at times go off into infinity without an end. It makes me think that we are using rudimentary tools as we advance into further enlightenment. Yet I know I cannot even tackle that odd occurrence in our numbering system because of the too many other more important practical problems/solutions we, as a species, have yet to address. I know I have gotten off point here and to get back to the Universe being my church, it all follows from conceptualizing that we are all made up of the same stuff that has come from everywhere existence is known. I am a child of our environment more than I am a child of anything else. My Mother and Father may disagree with how I use the word child, but that is just semantics. lol.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What is it to being human? (#2013)

My take on this is in the description of my blog. I talk about our natures of compassion and curiosity with a heavy dose of wanting to survive. I thought it important to give us all a place of shared commonality so that from there we could move forward on a strong and enduring foundation. But it seems that I am overruled by too many who think that compassion, or empathy is not a natural instinct by their words and actions. It is strange to consider their position logical since if they had not been nurtured by their guardians, parents, and other family members, they would not now exist. However that may be, the reasoning behind their lack of empathy or compassion for others is not understandable. It is a disease we mostly attribute to those diagnosed as sociopathic or psychopathic. Anyway, the need to lack empathy is not why I write this blog post, instead, I write this because for the most part, most of us have empathy not only toward human life but all of life. It is natural within me so I suppose it to be the same for others. I am like Aristotle in this respect, I use myself as an indicator of how humans think and or act. I am nothing special, so for me I feel like I am as ordinary as anyone else in the basic ways. I do care about others, I love and I really need love in my life. I am curious about so many things that I don't know, that it is obvious enough to me that I have a natural instinct to know things. Compassion and curiosity, my two main motivations. I also know we have 5 known and easily recognizable senses, I smell, I hear, I see, I taste and I feel. I am a living breathing information processor. The reason I am not just a collector of information is because I have a mind that can analyze and reason to logical conclusions about the information I receive. And to top it all off, I remember for the most part all the information I have processed. What is it to be human? Not just looking like one but also thinking and acting like one as well.

Monday, August 4, 2014

People and planet before profit! (#2012)

People and planet before profit. This sounds reasonable since everything else stems from our lives and upon the planet we live yet there are too many in power who see profit as their priority and people and planet as less so. How is that possible? Greed and selfishness as their goal while lacking empathy for humanity and our environment is how. Why do we let these people maintain power? The media and the wrongheaded politicians lie to us about the truth of things. They scare us into accepting their illusion for us. Too many of us do not take the time to inform ourselves nor stand up for what is right. So in the world of those who see the survival of the fittest as their ally, we are getting what we deserve by keeping them in power. They dare us to fight them and when we don't for various reasons they continue their assault against civilized society and intelligent planet management. Given this equation, the only real chance we have of reclaiming an enlightened approach to living is to finally say enough of this squandering of human and natural resources and fight back against them regardless of the perceived cost. We will never gain in this world waiting for too many who won't fight for us. We must put our own capital, thoughts and actions into the contest and then protect it. It is always a gamble to put oneself on a side of a fight but this fight for humanity and our environment is the right side to choose. We all must validate our duty to our democracy and our expectations of that democracy by taking a stand. Otherwise we will end up being ruled by those who don't and won't respect our opinions or our hopes. None of us will live forever so fighting for what is right, not only for ourselves but for our future generations, is as noble a way to fight to the end if that is what must happen.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The great American ignorance has to do with capitalistic intellectual dishonesty. (#2011)

There are too many people out there being paid to lie to the rest of us. Those who remain who don't lie are drowned out by the ones who can afford to do the most lying. If you have the misfortune of being raised in communities where established morays and cultural myths are rampant, the chance of you getting objective information is minimal. Despite the great advance of the Internet too many, in poorer states where having a computer or a connection is far too much a luxury than a necessity in this current modern world, have little hope of utilizing it. There are those in old power paradigms that will resist any significant change to the status quo thereby leaving many with no knowledge of the power they could be exerting on these privileged paradigm institutions to change. What I take for granted here in California as normal, in Louisiana and other poorer southern states, is like a fantasy there. Such is the reason we see people often and willing to vote against what would make their lives better and more opportune in favor of policies that don't while keeping the existing power structures in place. There isn't enough courage and will power to change the prevailing dynamic, although many are courageously and willfully trying with all their might, to overcome the customs that have permeated certain regions of our great nation. As a democracy we allow for not only federal rights but states rights and those too many who do control the levers of power in the states have little to gain personally by allowing their power to be shared. So they employ tactics that intellectually harm their populace in order to satisfy their own brand of political satisfaction. Eventually this will end for the populace as the truth of things will bend the arc of justice their way but in the meantime we are stuck with those who use some of our inadequate laws to their selfish advantage.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

We should never sell ourselves short (#2010)

There are enough cynical people in the world who think nothing of selling us short, so just as a defense mechanism, we should never allow ourselves to do it to ourselves. In a perfect world we are all so very worthy of great outcomes with our lives, yet we don't live in a perfect world and the cynical ones who have given up ever trying to change our world for the better slink among us churning up the waters of despair whenever it profits them. They have quit any semblance of humanity and instead have traded their humanity in for lustful greed. Their conscious is not that of the normal person, they have abdicated empathy for the sensations of power and grandeur. I understand their choice, it is a feverish addiction not any different from drugs, sex, gambling or other overwhelming desires that prioritize themselves above all other sane avenues of living. Though I understand the siren call these cynical ones have come to be mesmerized by, I thoroughly disdain the capture. When we allow ourselves to quit on life it is only then that other more nefarious choices become addictively attractive. None of these cynical ones are totally lost to shirking off their cynicism, yet I don't have a cure all for them. I know what they must do but how they must do it is on them to find. Which is why I suggest first accepting that humility should be our first act toward contrition. I know that I don't know, so quitting on life is not an option for a guy like me who never stops wanting to know. I will always be that blank slate I started out in life with. I have added a few principles to my slate but mostly it is still blank. Which for me leaves enormous space for growth, which is the building block of my life, growth that is. Selling myself short despite the motives of others to sell me short has no bearing on what is right, only on what is wrong. So to get to what is right in life I must never sell myself short nor let anyone else do it to me either.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The incomprehensivness of Republican conservatism (#2009)

The party of exclusion, Republicans, want all Americans to vote for their candidates. The chutzpah of that alone is worthy of a good head shake. In essence, Republicans want the vast majority of Americans to vote against their own interests. The very idea that a major political party here in America would want to snooker what voting electorate remaining that they haven't disenfranchised into giving them political power is shameful to begin with but even more than that it is arrogant that they think we won't notice their strategy. What is even worse than that is that they continue to double down on their agenda even when it is debunked by facts and truth. How can they continue to present their illusion and expect to win elections? First off they count on Americans giving them a pass on the fact that they have sold out the American working/middle/poor class because most Americans trust old paradigms and Republicans in the past have not been so unworthy. Yet today's Republican party is unworthy and yet too many Americans have been slow to learn this reality. Second, Republicans have effectively walled off truthful forms of information to large segments of their base so that their base is not given objective news but instead news that is not factual or truthful. Oh it is similar enough to the truth but success is given to themselves while all failure goes to the Democrats. Propaganda at it's most devious. In today's enlightened world however, the Internet offers all Americans the opportunity to learn information from more than the traditional news outlets so propaganda can only go so far. Third, and probably most effective for Republicans is to talk about how much they want to help the American people but in action do nothing of the sort. A two faced approach that has kept most of what honest media remains stymied and unprepared for debate in real time. This con game by Republicans will eventually collapse but will it serve them again in this coming election in November?