Monday, November 30, 2015

We for the most are are products of our environment (#2495)

Unless we question those things around us that influence who we are we eventually become those very things. It is natural for that to happen in a state of status quo. Again, unless we question we won't move beyond our immediate environment. I can usually observe someone and their behaviors and generally point out some opinions. Surely just opinions but with an Occam's Razor approach my opinions are at least possible, even probable in some cases. I do not equate myself with being a psychologist/psychiatrist but on a basic level logic can get us to at least a general idea. I look at myself and the family and friends I grew up with and see how I am now. I have carried forward many of the behaviors I grew up around. However, many more I have discarded due to my questioning the behaviors lack of honor or equality. So when I see someone acting out in a behavior that is crude or brutish I can somewhat assume that they are encultured by the behavior or that they are under some force or duress from circumstances that influence the behavior. Now some are just sociopathic/psychopathic but those ones can be singled out through their reactions to other behaviors. Leaving aside the mentally ill, I find that behaviors are linked in some way to past experiences or some form of acting out. I am not saying anything specific here but just that some tendencies point us toward possible causes more than other tendencies. Cause and effect is generally considered a paradigm that explains behaviors and that is all I am saying here. Not that it is the answer everytime but only that that is where I begin. It is difficult to know why some do some things and others don't but given enough patterns we can generally propose why something is happening or at least give an informed opinion as to the observable evidence. All this to say that recognizing our behaviors for what they are in a more comprehensive way is how we conquer them when we keep our own counsel and those behaviors have us strangled and discouraged.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Why I am a liberal progressive Democrat (#2494)

I believe in social security and what it does to keep our seniors out of poverty when they get older and have physical problems, keeping them from working for a living. I believe in medicare/medicaid for our seniors and others who cannot otherwise afford health care. Why wouldn't we want our lives to be healthy while we are alive? I believe in modernization of our country to the point where we are the envy of the rest of the world for our ingenuity and creativeness in aligning our states with smart energy, communication and opportunity. I believe in equal rights for all our citizens, women/men of all persuasions. No one person should be without the guaranteed protection of rights as outlined by the intent of our national constitution. I believe in unemployment insurance that provides for us when jobs are hard or next too impossible to find. I believe in food stamps to help the families who are underpaid or out of work to feed a nutritious meal for themselves and their children/family members. I believe in government sponsored work to create jobs and opportunities for companies and industries to expand to the point of employment for anyone willing and able to work. I believe in taking care of our veterans who have gone into military service to protect and sacrifice of themselves for our liberty and freedoms. I believe that education is a high priority within our society and that all means to allow our citizenry to learn and become enlightened in order to escape ignorance should be explored. I believe in a taxation system that is progressive with fewer taxes on the poor and graduating up to higher taxes on the wealthy. I believe in campaign finance reform so that all candidates are funded the same so that the ideas of the politicians are what gets them elected, not the size of their bank accounts or the size of their influential friends' bank accounts. I have many more reasons for why I am a liberal progressive Democrat but I am out of space that I allot myself for posts.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

We need to protest at fox "news". (#2493)

There is one entity that subscribes to planting hatred within our populace above all others, yes even more than Limbaugh and many church pulpits, and that is fox "news". For all the real news out there based upon facts, few of these ever show up on fox "news". Instead we get opinion pieces that align with biases and prejudices against our citizenry. It is as if fox "news" is a hate channel solely for the benefit of riling up nefarious factions of our society against anything beneficial to the working/middle/poor class that can be twisted into hate. I am past the point of giving fox "news" any benefit of the doubt. They do not align themselves with the pain and suffering of most all Americans, instead fox "news" trumpets out incomplete information that is less than subtle and devoid of hard facts. They take innuendo and opinion and present it as fact with no one on the programming who is able to challenge it. It is legal what they do but not moral or ethical. As the conservative majority on the US Supreme Court have been silent about truth in news laws in order to stop the massive campaign of misinformation, we are left with fox "news" able to frame the narrative of events in a way that riles the most extreme among us. The recent case in point being the Planned Parenthood killings and the Indiana mosque burning. The sick unraveling of news being used to foment atrocities is our current status thanks in large part from fox "news" and it's agenda of disrupting and destroying our working/middle poor class. Everything about fox "news" is aimed at helping the wealthy and large corporations to own more and more of the wealth generated here in America and abroad. If fomenting unrest and taking the focus off of the wealthy getting more wealthy and corporations gaining more control of our government and financial sectors than they are succeeding. It is time to pull the plug on fox "news" and the best way to do that is to protest them at their corporate headquarters and at their national cable broadcasting venue.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Republicans do not understand how facts work or they just don't care to use them correctly (#2492)

I have been amusing myself, since I have grown immune to the despair that I normally feel when someone is a conservative Republican and not able to understand logic, by interacting with some real uniformed right wingers. If they didn't have their hate for our President or for the merits of liberal/progressivism I don't know how they would function at all. Although on second thought, they do know greed so maybe being a survival of the fittest devotee in a free market system is how they function to survive. I say amuse myself but only in the thinnest of a veneer way. Instead of being comprehensive and cognitive of the words they use to defend the policies, or lack thereof they are promoting or disapproving, they throw bits and pieces of illogic out and call it complete. Well I am not completed by innuendo nor am I completed by fallacy. Yet they stand up for it and defend the lack of merit they are unable to grasp. To me they are the ones who took the shortcut to reasoning and instead just follow along some cliff notes that they are unwilling to verify through rigorous research. Such is the way with those who like to think they know things and then parrot off some bits and pieces of that fit their narrative. This example reminds me of the scene in "Good Will Hunting" where Matt Damon's character not only confronts the obnoxious condescending grad student in the bar but schools him on his plagiarism as his own original thought. It seems that the right wing conservative/libertarian Republican party is full of short cutters who want to sound pious and full of gravitas while actually being wholly shallow straw men. There is no nobility, nor pride in a good way, of one's actions when it is not of there own thinking nor their own understanding. Such is the Republican party of today and we are all worse off for it.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

When the white race here in America refuses to acknowledge the effects of slavery from our past (#2491)

There is so much push back from the new confederates of the Republican party who are flailingly trying to blame black folks for the current racial tensions. Sure black folks are out there protesting the disproportionate killing and maiming of their race at the hands of the police and vigilantes. That is right of them to stand up to injustice especially since it is being tolerated and even accepted as reasonable by the Republican party and it's sub base of confederate apologists. I am even getting illogical arguments back to me about how the black folks are the real agitators and they are the threat. It seems to me that if someone had no idea that slavery was law here in America for over 300 years and that even after the Civil war, and the reconstruction period of about 12 years, slavery just transformed from outright ownership of black folks to them being relegated to second class citizens and still being treated as a plague. The new confederates of the Republican party do not see black folks as equal in our democratic society and the Republican party does not dissuade them. Instead the Republican party has embraced these new confederate Republicans as well within their agenda of maintaining a white majority through law and strong armed tactics. I hear these new confederate Republicans complain that the black folks are the ones who are stirring and creating racial discord. As if it isn't black protesters being shot or black folks being murdered, when that is exactly what is happening. In the view of these new confederate Republicans any protest by black folks against white folks is an attack on white folks, not a cry for justice in an often unjust reality. The ignorance or cognitive dissonance it must take for white folks to ignore history and the present to complain about themselves being victims is monumentally absurd. We white folks did and are still doing horrible things to black folks and yet we still continue to deny we are the problem.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Testing my resolve (#2490)

I have to live with who I am and if I am not being who I am then I am betraying myself. I have to find my way to doing what it is that best defines my own being. Most times the attractions and addictions of life are manageable to some degree in order to combat their control over me but there are times when it is so difficult that the only way forward is to rebuke my better instincts and give in to the guilty pleasure whatever it's form. Yet, even then I know what I am doing is wrong and the pull to stop and rationalize the bigger picture does have some positive effect. The struggle is do I allow myself a modicum amount of bliss as a benefit and then live with a guilt that not only weakens my character and resolve but also crushes my ability to be totally honest and forthright as a cost. Upon further reflection I have concluded that I must continue to sacrifice my own desires in order to preserve my own dignity and respect. I cannot judge others for something I find above being judged. Life is never just black and white, there is always some mixture of grey that moderates our thinking when confronted with choices that are strong within us. The same it is with me. A crossroads has been reached and I have a decision to make now that I thought earlier I had already made. This recent reflection has given me a much clearer perspective on a unique but harrowing situation. Although I find my decision now is against the grain of my needs and desires, I am still willing to make it based upon the greater cost not only to me but to others. The idea that I should have to sacrifice given my disdain for the myths, mores and superstitions that govern things is what grinds at me the most. But I don't get to define anything beyond my own life when my decisions positively or negatively impact others. I know this posting may seem personal or strange but it is not unique in the annals of human experiences and this time it just happened to me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fear of what could be instead of fear of what is (#2489)

Once again the illogical fear of the Republican/conservative movement is showing. As the racist and intolerant members of the Republican voting block go out and kill those who have philosophical differences with them, while claiming they are scared of those who have those different philosophies, expose their flawed logic. Racist and intolerant Republicans are the ones everyone should be scared of. Somehow these Republican/conservatives see themselves as a more privileged human being than other human beings. That is racism at it's core where the whites in the Republican party see themselves as better than the minorities in the Democratic party. How that cowardly nefarious type of thinking has evolved for them is disturbing while ultimately being dangerous. These Republican racists arm themselves with weapons and parade around at gatherings where Democrats hold rallies and then claim they are the ones in fear. These pitiful Republicans have so ingrained into their belief that whites are under attack by everyone else that no amount of proof or reality will change their view. What they fail to understand is that we are all human beings regardless of the pigmentation of our skin. We were all from the first humans to reproduce yet that concept doesn't fit into their encultured racism so again, nothing that isn't at least white will ever do. I am sick and tired of the ignorance that is allowed to breed, and sanctioned by the Republican party. Especially since no amount of proof or evidence is ever given to show that racism is right and good. Racism is bad yet people will defend it like it is an honorable principle for living. It isn't the perpetrators of racism that should be scared of those who are under attack by racists, it is the victims of racial targeting that are the ones who need to be afraid of Republican conservative narratives that actually lead to dead non-whites by Republican/conservative white racists.

Monday, November 23, 2015

My life was shaped at an early age (#2488)

Some monumental events happened in my youth that have served as a floor from which I have built my life. The death of my biological father when I was 6. The assassination of President Kennedy when I was 8. The landing on the moon and then quickly followed by the Woodstock festival when I was days short of being 14, which defined my generation's angst against the Vietnam war. These four significant events have been at the root of who I am and who I will always be. I am not one of those who changed his principles with age, on the contrary, I fight for the vision of my youth harder now than at any time in my life. Nothing compares to an eye opening events that fill our souls with so much enlightenment and chaos that can never be duplicated. So losing sight of significant events that make us consider our future when we hardly even know what a future really is a tremendous waste of who we are. Staying focused on the ramifications of these four major events is my equation for advocating and finding purpose for myself. The idea that we go from being liberals in the hubris of our youth to a more sedate conservatism has no logic for me. The reason I suppose is that I am still that little boy inside who experienced all those events in my youth and nothing in life since can change that. I am who I was in the past as well as who I am presently. Back then time was irrelevant to me. I had to live as me and nothing could nor should replace that. So today I am that liberal/progressive democrat I became as a youth with even more conviction now that I am wiser to how other people work hard to destroy what brings us together. My perspective was shaped by tragedy and jubilation. The two will co-exist since we are human and frail, but we also are formidable and capable of imaginings that astound and motivate our species. I can't trade my life for a do over but I can take what is best about me and my experiences and turn them into something greater than what they were separately.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The poorest among us are not the problem (#2487)

The wealthy have turned a dirty trick on most of us. They keep our wages down so that when we see those folks who are in need of public assistance, workers get angry at them for having some of the things the workers have to toil for. The problem here though isn't that folks need help it is that the wealthy keep workers in a low standard of living. It is the wealthy who are hoarding and hogging all the profits off of business instead of sharing the wealth with it's hired hands. The destruction of unions and collective bargaining have allowed the wealthy to dictate what workers wages are and with so many still out of work or working lesser paying jobs, the greater competition for a decent wage forces workers to accept even less for the same work as before unions and collective bargaining were crushed. The wealthy and their Republican political party have brought this about and that they get workers to vote for them because workers are angry at the less fortunate, (ie..greedy freeloaders off of Democrat social programs) is a bonus Republicans are giddy about. I don't know how much longer workers will remain fooled by this sleight of hand by the wealthy but for now it is working. People like me who see the dastardly duplicity Republicans have pulled on the working class are required as a duty to scream it out to the world to see. The wealthy have created the greatest income inequality our history has ever seen yet they get those who are unfairly affected by it to blame the even more less well off. It is sad to see that the deception the wealthy and Republicans have turned into a cruel success is so ingrained now with the working class. We working class are being paid less and less and the wealthy are acquiring more and more wealth yet we blame the poorest among us for it. How sad indeed and how utterly cowardly of we workers who cannot nor will not see the truth of what is going on. I suppose workers condescending to the most vulnerable in our society is better than standing up to the most despicable in our society. What the hell does that say about us workers?

Saturday, November 21, 2015

We must never lose our comprehensive perspective (#2486)

Comprehensive perspective, a wide mental grasp of most or all things. This is what we are capable of as human beings. We should strive to be nothing less than a being that can take in the whole panoramic view and then analyze, reason and conclude for our present and future. The current refugee crisis that we have helped to create by through our foreign policies gives us a chance to exhibit our grasp of most or all things by doing our part to help alleviate the regional displacement of Syrian, Iraqi and Afghani families. Furthermore, as Americans, who for the most part are immigrants ourselves, should welcome this new opportunity to add to our "melting pot" heritage. America is the cauldron that boils out our differences in order to give us liberty and freedom to become more enlightened. We don't have to live under the myths, mores and superstitions of the past if we so choose. Adding the mostly Syrian refugees to our open culture will allow them to add to us and inversely receive from us. We must not allow Republicans to demonize others because Republicans see an advantage in making us afraid. We need to welcome the refugees and allow them to see what it is about America that we fight so hard to protect. In time they will love our democracy as much as we do and will fight just as hard to protect it. We are undergoing an internal attack on our democracy by the Republican party and their wealthy donors but putting that aside for now, the refugees deserve to have a life like the rest of us that allows us to protect them from the worst of what is out in the world. Nothing is easy or black and white, yet we do know the difference between right and wrong and allowing the refugees to assimilate within our society is just part of who we are as Americans since the founding of our country.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The difference between Democrats and Republicans (#2485)

As I watch the presidential and congressional election process heading into 2016 one thing has become crystal clear. Democrats are talking about the positive nature of our species and Republicans are talking about the negative nature of our species. So with Democrats it is about attracting our hopes and dreams for a better world by activating policies that actually move us forward with finding solutions to shrink poverty, create more work for our workforce and establish a better quality of life we all should have as a default. Whereas with Republicans, it is them talking about how they can restrict our rights, segregate our populace through intimidation and fear, while arguing among themselves who can be the worst humanitarian. Democrats want universal voter registration throughout the country, while Republicans want to make voting harder for the poor, students, elderly and transient among us. Democrats want to create work through national work projects that tackle our crumbling infrastructure and reinvent our energy and communication systems. Republicans are against any national works programs and their failure to produce legislation for rebuilding America is the de facto evidence. Democrats want to raise the standard of living for workers given that capitalists rarely are the ones concerned with quality of life issues when their bottom line is affected. Republicans want to protect the capitalists bottom line and actually legislate to destroy worker's rights by ousting unions, eliminating collective bargaining and eliminating the "minimum wage". Democrats want to give women equality with men as a rule not a privilege. Republicans want to keep women in a "less than man" status despite the conflict with the founding principles of our constitution. After you have filtered out all the rhetoric from this coming election remember that Democrats actually represent the working/middle/poor in our country and Republicans do not. Vote accordingly.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Right wing dirty energy owners and the Republican party (#2484)

Why is it that the dirty energy owners are all in for the Republican party? Because they were invested so deeply into dirty energy that they condescended that despite their opportunities to invest in clean energy they would force their dirty energy upon us regardless. This is who the Republican party represents. Why is it that the NRA are all in for the Republican party? Because the NRA are supported by the same dirty energy suppliers that could care less about safety and common sense when it comes to gun ownership, and instead condescend to put our citizenry at risk in order to wedge an issue of discord aimed at logical Democrats. Why is it that education is not considered a priority with the Republican party? Because those same dirty energy owners like the fact that the less intelligent our citizenry is the more we are dependent on them and therefore the dirty energy owners can condescend to pay us less and less for more and more production and ultimately profit. Why is it that healthcare is being attacked by Republicans as a waste and wrongful use of government? Because the dirty energy owners can't have social programs that unite us because we being united is a direct threat to the dirty energy owners. Dirty energy owners can't condescend to us if we have some power. They are forced to treat us with less contempt since we are then able to control some of the overall narrative. This is why the Republican party is going after the other social programs that unite us like Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Food Stamps, Unemployment and Veterans Benefits. These social programs take power away from the Republican party and their dirty energy owners who control Republicans. It is all very clear if you can just try to see who is making national policy for the working/middle/poor class and who is making policy for the wealthy and powerful. It is time for all of us to decide which side we are on. There is no more time from committing to a future since all of our futures are being decided right now!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Life would be so much better for everyone if Democrats had the political power here in America (#2483)

Yes, even the 1%ers would be doing better. Surely they would be paying higher taxes but their quality of life would be one of respect, not like it currently is as one of disrespect because of their greed. The rest of us 99%ers would have a better economic environment with higher minimum wages, more work available through jobs programs and easier access to education to enlighten ourselves and improve our lot in life. Access to health care and voting would be universal, retirement benefits would be gauged upon real cost of living formulas that are directly linked to older age spending and costs. Homelessness would be addressed not only for our veterans of the military but for our overall population. Immigration reform would be achieved in a common sense way that values the effort of all who would be Americans or transitional workers between our nations. Our public schools would be funded at levels that account for modernization in order to better educate our children and adults to the ever growing technological boom that is part of all the modern industries. There would be laws that uphold the rights of all citizens to be equal in every respect of endeavor that does no harm to anyone else. Women would receive the same pay for the same work as men. Women would also have control over the functions of their bodies as they rightly should have. Elections would be made as easy as possible for all to participate without special rules for the wealthy to dominate the narrative. I could go on for a lot longer about how our society would operate better with Democrats in control but I generally limit myself to a word count on each of these posts. Suffice it to say, with Democrats in control, there would be serious folks working on our most troublesome problems to find the most effective solutions that do the greatest good. I for one remain hopeful that Democrats can get back into the leadership of all the most important political positions.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bullies need to be confronted (#2482)

Whether these bullies are children bullying other children or Republicans trying to force the rest of us to adhere to their ideas of inequality, segregation and lessening of our inherent rights as Americans, or the world's bullies trying to scare us from stopping them on their quest to dominate the world through force, we must always stand up to them. At all levels we are faced with decisions that effect who we are as individuals and as a society of humans. It is important that we maintain our dignity and our honored principles at every turn. I have not always been this stalwart but I have learned that not standing up is a fate worse than any perceived or actual threat at the moment. Come what may is my motto now when faced with a bully. I will not tolerate being ordered around by anyone who takes my life or others' lives for granted. Bullies are just cowards who need to be shut down however possible. Our world has enough work to do just to maintain equality let alone increase it and for any bully to come along and divert us with fear from our duty to make our world better than when we found it will and shall not be tolerated for any second beyond that step to rebuff and put it down. There are many challenges our world needs to address with as many of us as possible involved in finding the solutions. Bullies are not part of that and instead they represent what is wrong with our society as a constant reminder. The quicker we quash the bullies from being at all successful the quicker we get back to facing our real problems like poverty and a broken education system. One could actually make the correlation that bullies are spawned from our inability to address our most inhumane practices. However, bullies have chosen a path forward that gets no sympathy from me unless they are willing to express and then act in a humbled remorseful way. There is redemption for any of us as long as we draw a breath but notwithstanding a turnaround, bullies must meet their end at bullying no matter how hard it is to stand up to them.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Poverty, despair and suffering are our problems (#2481)

If we are ever going to stop the perpetual paradigm of unrest and upheaval we are going to have to get serious about how we work to solve poverty, despair and suffering. The purpose of our lives is to experience what tremendous abilities we all have, not just to exist for ourselves to the exclusion of others. Do you hear me? This existence is not about survival of the fittest or chasing some bottom line. This existence is about celebrating our perfectly recognized humanness. We, each of us is the the most amazing organism that also has the ability to define it's own destiny beyond any parameter known in this Universe. Not only do we have the opportunity to excel within the boundaries of physical laws but also beyond them. There are new and exciting scientific discoveries happening all around us that defy what we knew as common sense, so much so that what we take for granted as absolute truth is being tipped on its head with respect to natural law, physical law, superstitions, myths and mores versus enlightened mechanics of logic. What I am saying is that we have not arrived at anything that explains much more than we exist. So, unfortunately, because of that we are in a never ending struggle to mold our societies to fit into old paradigms that are obsolete nor should never have been actualized in the first place. What we need to do is to recognize each human being as the most valuable and precious creation to exist in this environment. To make that a reality none of us should have anything less than what would grow us into mature human beings able to contribute to the next generations in more and more dynamic ways. We all need a solid floor from which to grow from, one that does not have the hint of poverty, despair or suffering. The solutions are out there but we must reexamine our priorities by shifting from a "dog eat dog" reality to a nurturing and benevolent reality.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Please everyone prepare to be registered and vote (#2480)

I have no doubt that most Americans know which party to vote for given the stark differences in our two parties. The time now isn't so much comparing and contrasting the differences between us but instead mobilizing our voters to actually vote. We have seen what low voter turnout can do when we see what happened in Kentucky. A rascal and scoundrel can be elected by any less informed radical electorate if they are the only ones bothering to vote. One thing is for certain, if we do not protect our democracy with our right to vote we will lose it to Republicans who have aligned themselves with the thought that discrimination is good when it can punish those who don't agree with them. If we continue to allow for Republican politicians to get elected because we can't take a moment out of our lives to cast a ballot then all of us will be punished as a default. Democracy is under attack and the fight is now to save it. We only have to vote to save it. If we don't, later we will need to actually fight and die to save it. Which seems more reasonable to you? If you doubt my conclusions here just look at the Republican agenda to disenfranchise voters wherever and whenever they can. Also look at the Republican agenda to shrink education and increase prisons. It is all happening right in front of our eyes but if we are not paying attention to what is happening to our country then we will surely pay for that inattention. The look of a surprised deer in the headlights is what we are trying to avoid here so pay heed to the obvious strategy Republicans have of lowering voter participation so that they may continue to wield the power to decrease freedom for the rest of us. We all must think of voting as our badge of honor we wear to show the world that freedom, justice, equality and opportunity for all is not only doable but necessarily vital . We get to do that with our individual votes, but only if we actually vote.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Is reality so bad that we have to live in an illusion? (#2479)

Why is this so hard to understand? Reality is true and factual. There is nothing about reality that is not real except our own insecure desire to make it less so. Our species has this idea that reality is too much so we must invent myths and superstitions that help us to cope with what we don't know. Enough! We have the scientific method and logic to help us learn and know what we don't know. Not some set of standards or dogmas that rely on a version of the fantastical that no living reaoning human being should ever consider to be logical. I am not saying that possibilities for some otherly world paradigm is not out there but we do know there isn't one given our present understandings. That is where we all should chose to live our realities, not in some concept that is unproven and designed to restrict our natural instincts to command and control our own existence. The absurdity of any argument that would placate our manifest destiny to explore and master our own reality is the first step toward what Voltaire aptly defined in his truism, "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities". We have seen the absurdity and we have seen the atrocity, may we now admit to ourselves that belief systems are not facts, they are not truths, they are not absolutes. Instead they are pacifiers designed to alleviate our own fears about why we exist and what we have as a purpose. Yet, even more belief systems are used to manipulate us against ourselves in ways that belie any rightful suggestion that belief systems are a moral imperative. Our own ethics derive from our own natural instincts to do no harm, to care and to wonder. Why would we bind and fetter ourselves with constraints designed to debilitate us. Enough of belief systems and instead more of reality. It can be a hard world but we are an amazing species able to adapt to anything this existence puts at our feet without the need to create an illusion to supplicate our fears.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The secret to life (#2478)

Always look for happiness. Never take your eye off the ball for one second. yes, things happen in our lives that distract us from our happiness, like tragedy, loss and oppression but whatever it is that takes from our happiness is not satisfying nor worthy of our time. I have had many setbacks in my life and yet none of them is greater than my search for happiness. I have had some terrible losses in my life and they hurt me emotionally and physically, yet none of them can really change the very next second of my life. I have been oppressed in many different ways but still I find that despite the oppression, my will to have a better life is greater. So despite any terrible or horrible event or circumstance, I am on a focused mission to find whatever happiness out there I can find. Sadly, nothing I do in the big picture of human life is going to stand out as an historical event worthy of notation or mention. I accept that and although it is hard on my ego, it is the fact of things. Yet I can do one thing that many fail to recognize as the real purpose in life, to enjoy and share that enjoyment. Happiness can be had at almost every situation or circumstance. It takes looking at life through a lens of possibilities and hopes. I can't always say happiness is there for the taking but I can say that the effort to achieve happiness is always there for the taking. Pessimists are those who cannot find optimism palatable for whatever reason. Those who are like that have never understood that happiness is more important than a bottom line or a never ending quest to accumulate. Happiness is soul fulfilling and when the soul is fulfilled, there is nothing left to be cynical about. Not much of a secret to living but few truly understand the perfect view of how we see the world when we are happy and just what it takes to help all others to find their happiness as well.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

"Free market" is an illusion, everything has a cost (#2477)

When I hear Republicans talk about the free market taking care of things it astounds me that they don't get that having a market that costs just to visit is the first evidence that a "free market" is an illusion. Just to get to the market I need electricity, an Internet connection and some kind of device that will get me to a page where I can then potentially buy something. Or I need gas for a car, or money for a bus ride just to get to a market. Everything after that is cost prohibitive based upon factors that are due in most ways to some form of subsidy. So even the concept of bringing a product to market has a cost. Nothing is free about a market. So when few have most of the available money and many have but a little of the money we get poverty on a level that is unsustainable. What we should be doing is reducing poverty anyway we can since we see that having the illusion of a free market does nothing but exacerbate poverty. The reason I say that is because Republicans want to lower taxes for the wealthy and as a result the wealthy have less incentive to cycle their profits back into the economy in search of profit. Instead they bank their profit for various selfish reasons in order to accumulate unfathomable amounts. While this banking of profits is going on less work is available for the many and because of that the cost of wages is lowered through increased competition for work. Republicans do not want to expand our economic possibilities since increased competition would threaten their already secured profits. The Republican cold hard fact of keeping poverty as a paradigm is strategic and well worth the cost benefit they realize. Yet the illusion of a free market continues and the rest of us are left with little to no way to participate in the uneven practice. Our society needs more than an illusion, we need to effect economic policies that not only regulate how much wealth one can attain, while never letting anyone try to survive with no wealth or an opportunity to attain wealth.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rise above the mundane (#2476)

Life is not about the automaton actions we force ourselves to live with. Our expectations of what life is should be greater than it actually is. I have no fear of losing everything I have since it is just by chance that I wasn't born into poverty like in other parts of the world where strife and oppression are the daily norms. I don't want to be part of a machination that only secures a better life for some while leaving others out in the cold. A cog in the wheel of less than is not how I want to spend what little time I have living my life. There is great potential within me and I want to rise above the ordinary and mundane to experience it. The narrative most of us live within contains only some of who we are and for all its good intentions the narrative is faulty and inconclusive. I am not one who settles for incompleteness as a rule nor am I one who settles for less, especially from myself, when so much more can and should be done. The only way I can become more of what I should be is to stop with the incessant ambivalence to not care or to act as if everything must be fought for as a survival instinct. Our human species is not at the beginning of our evolution. We are well into our evolution and the time for us to be moving into the renaissance of enlightenment is waiting for us to embrace. We know we can do better with our society and our individual lives yet we are stalled for too many reasons that are not noble. We often live in fear of what we may lose of a lifestyle value instead of preparing ourselves for a necessity based existence that relies on whatever our endeavors will supply. We are not beholden to anyone who would control how we think and feel. Yet we abdicate that and our reasoning in order to fulfill some need to have more and be liked. The essential point of our lives is to be ourselves, not some expectation that we have created in our own minds that helps us to fit in to something that in actuality is inversely proportional to our better natures.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

We baby boomers (#2475)

Those of us born between the years 1946-1965 are the baby boomers. Our best memories are behind us but our best abilities are ahead of us. Not in a physical sense of our own power but of the leadership role we all are able to wield. Our hopes and dreams of our youth are now in a position to be realized. We just have to remember their priority and then accept that what we thought back then in our youthful hubristic days is the real deal for life. The greatest challenge of our generation back when we were young was finding peace in the world and eliminating poverty. We know the causes, racism, inequality and too many sociopathic tendencies among our elected and capitalistic leaders. We can create laws that deal with any form of racism because we know what the ideal is, to give everyone an opportunity. We can end poverty by giving living wages as a baseline and paying for merit according to it's function. Our greatest challenge though is eliminating those who would lead us that have such a disdain for human life. Regardless of party of politics, no politician or wealthy capitalist should be allowed to denigrate one faction of our society over another. We boomers are in a position of high influence, now is our time to put a stamp on our amazing vision for the present and future. In all walks of life our example should remain consistent. We are not about vainglory or obscene wealth, we are about making our society function for all of us out of a sense of duty to each other. Peace and prosperity has been the clarion call of our generation and we are now in position to answer that call and create results. Let us not forget what drives who we are as a generation nor let us not forget the mighty vision we have that is especially ordained just to us and those who now follow us to remedy.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Social justice through modern culture (#2474)

I have been thinking about how many of the African American Missouri Tigers college football players have decided to stop playing football right in the middle of the football season in order to protest prevalent racial incidents related to their university. I have been thinking on this for a little while concerning other southern schools who still practice overt racism while fielding and rooting for African/American student athletes. The inherent power of these athletes is monumental. What the African/American Missouri student/athletes are doing is what I suspected they could do all along. Force a majority of our culture to face and acknowledge racism for its vile nature. Nothing gets the attention of our society like our sports teams and our loyalty to those hallowed learning institutions that field teams. Anything like what is going on with Missouri is bound to capture the attention and the emotion of the core of our society. Our allegiance to sports is where the majority of Americans find commonality. Our sports endeavors have no boundaries when it comes to the fans they attract. If you want to get at the heart of our citizenry, just mess with their sports teams. Well, let the messing begin and it is starting with the University of Missouri. We will see how quickly this particular racially based problem is dealt with. The passion for sports too much of the time overshadows the despicable nature of inequality and unfairness in our society on whole, so linking the two now is a unique opportunity to turn that passion for sports into a genesis for upheaval in the too often accepted nefarious paradigm of racism. Other southern college sports teams will have an example to follow hopefully from this courageously stalwart Missouri break from the status quo. Societal change through sports in a way I hadn't fathomed not much more than a year ago.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

It is time to have a direct cost/benefit voting law (#2473)

It seems that we citizens are not aware of how important it is for all of us to vote so I suggest we pass a national law that mandates every eligible citizen to vote while making voting as simple and easy as possible. For those who see this as an infringement on our right to do whatever the hell we want to do I say tough. Our nation has had enough of this "I don't care" attitude about our democracy. We mandate other things in our democracy so it isn't so outlandish to require eligible citizens to have a say in how they are governed. If we weren't having such a problem with citizens actually voting or if some states weren't about making voting harder this kind of mandate wouldn't be necessary. However we have too few people taking the right to vote seriously enough not to have some law that incentivizes voting participation. I suggest that we offer citizens who vote some kind of tax break that has a positive effect and is genuinely a reward, while at the same time having a punishment meted out to those who refuse to participate in voting that is also not insignificant. We are all part of this democracy so sitting back with the excuse that we have a right not to vote is just not cutting it anymore. If there are no candidates worthy of your our vote than we can always leave the choice blank or write in a candidate. What me must do however is turn in a ballot. Sometimes measures need to be taken that propel our society toward our future and making voting a mandatory requirement to rectify a real problem with non-voting citizens then so be it. For those who cannot vote who are otherwise eligible there will be dispensations that are agreeably reasonable. However, we all need to make the time to know what our society is about on at least a basic level and this is my solution toward that end. I can see our democracy and the intellectual growth of our society as being enhanced through mandatory voting.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

For the pure moments (#2472)

Those moments when all is perfect. When I was younger I had an expectation that these types of moments were the normal not what I found out much later in life as the exception. There are some regrets I have now and it is that I didn't fully see those moments of purity were rare and not to be treated as anything less. I should have known that in my youth I was going to be living the greatest part of existence. I always thought that life would get better with age but that is not the case for me. Maybe it is just me but my youth was a force of nature. I had the world in front of me with so many ideals to live up to and to be inspired by. I loved and was loved back in ways that I have not been able to recapture as I have gotten older. Maybe it was the hubris by which I behaved or maybe it was the vigor I had about my role in existence. Regardless of the underlying genesis, life when I was younger had been the greatest store of memories for me to earn. Not that I don't find satisfaction and gratitude in my intervening years it is just that the world is not my oyster to retrieve my pearl from anymore. There was a strategy to my life that I purposely constructed, and that strategy favored my youth to the extent that even then I knew I was at my best as a fresh being starting out in life. What I didn't include in my strategy was an appreciation for those special moments I thought would be woven throughout my life. I didn't safeguard what pearls I did happen upon and now that those pearls are gone and just memories I find the regrets of lost pure moments that still linger and haunt my conscience are my only condolence. There is a lesson here and although I have lived a remarkable life by my own standard, I came up short in the area most desired by myself. Our lives are a comprehensive series of trials and errors and how we match up our successes with our failures is always going to be the panoramic view for how we find our way to our very own precious moments.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Quitters don't win (#2471)

Even when the reality seems unfavorable, quitting on whatever it is I had set my sights on is not how to succeed. I may lose or not fulfill my quest, whatever it may be but giving up takes all doubt away as to the final result, which is defeat. There is one thing about me that is indomitable. I may not win at whatever I have set my mind to but I know I am right about it regardless of outcome. I only back hopes or visions that are positive and helpful so that my energy and effort at making them come true are solid and determined. I don't give up just because things aren't going my way. Instead I fight the good fight with all I have until I can no longer breathe. Such is my life when it comes to honor and respect. I am not perfect nor most effective at all times but my resolve and my momentum will not be swayed. I know that outcomes can become very disheartening and even seem impossible but I am not a quitter, nor am I one to sit about with a woe is me attitude. Instead I am a bulwark for whatever progress I have set myself to represent. I may be beaten down 100 times before I finally succeed but that only makes the victory that much sweeter. When you know you are right about something and you persevere at it, being defeated or failing to succeed is only fuel to the fire to keep going. Eventually right will succeed if we don't quit on it. I have quit before so I know the nothing that accomplishes. I have also felt the sting of rebuke in utterly unfathomable ways and instead of being crushed by how a devastating defeat may feel I allow myself a moment to rebuild my momentum and then head right back out defending and advocating for what I still know is right. I cannot quit on what is right and accept what isn't. That is not in my nature nor is it naturally in anyone else's either. We are human beings capable of majestic things and quitting isn't part of any majesty that I know.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

No fairy tales here (#2470)

What are we doing to ourselves? We pretend more than we face reality. I would rather face the darkest part of our species' behavior than to lie to myself by ignoring it and playing at make believe. Enough of these sugar coated confusing mores, myths and superstitions! What is wrong with reality? Tell me, why I must live as a man who is proud of being an amazing human being and willing to face any danger this existence can conjure up, but unable to because too many of us are not willing to live as boldly as we could? I am stuck here in a societal existence that underplays our abilities while creating obstacles out of thin air as if they are of solid form. This current era of the human species will be marked in history not by courageous boldness but by a timidity that is more reminiscent of self loathing. We have not arrived folks! We are just at the beginning of a great quest before us. It has taken all of our previous history just to get to this magnificent point where we don't look back but instead look up and out. there is nothing stopping our will to innovate and create an Earthly force aimed at expanding our understanding and feeding our curiosity. Yet we cannot find that traction to move forward when we keep looking down and back to where we might have come from. This existence isn't about where we came from, on the contrary, it is about where we are going. It has always been so, whether we admit the truth of that or not. So instead of cowering behind some illusion no one can ever hope to prove, let's take our science and our logic, two superlative tools, and build our future around what is possible in reality, not what is impossible in the past. I know I have been waiting my whole life for a chance to find out just how incredible life can be when we decide that incredible is not the exception, but the rule.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

To vote is to take a stand (#2469)

It seems that there are people out there who are more interested in intimidating other people not to vote. They use tactics that are fear based. Intimidation in order to keep the status quo from changing. Well I know how hard it is to make your desire known to vote when there is a consequence that is real and threatening. I can understand why some are not willing to exercise their right to vote because the cost is too fearful. I get that. But there will come a time when fear will have to take a back seat to courage and a come what may attitude. Eventually we all must face our fears and how we do that will define our lives and the lives of those who would emulate us. The right to vote is enshrined in our laws and no amount of direct or indirect intimidation should ever prevail over it. Much of our livelihoods depend on our associations and it is through these associations we are pushed and pulled to only advance by conforming. I get that also. In a real sense we may tell ourselves that our one vote is hardly worth the hardship it may bring upon us so we just don't vote. Here's the deal though, too many others are doing the same thing and whether it is difficult to vote or we are intimidated not to vote, the stench of it lives within us. Not doing our duty to fulfill what it is to be a citizen of our country because we are too busy or too afraid to vote is the downfall of our society, not some attack from without. Eventually we will hit the tipping point in our own lives where we finally win wrestling match with ourselves over whether fear or courage is our legacy. What good is our life if we are less than worthy? Are we okay with being ostrich like and burying our heads in the sand when danger approaches to save what little we have sold our souls for? Nothing replaces the fear in our lives like taking a stand and letting come what may!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Belief systems are rotting our democracy (#2468)

I personally have nothing against individual people reconciling their lives with a belief in a deity if that is how they are able to cope with their own frailties. But when belief systems cross over into the civil life of our society then I have to call a halt. Never, ever should some belief system, and I don't care which one anyone can imagine, be allowed to infiltrate the ideals of liberty, justice and opportunity for all. The first amendment to our constitution explicitly states: "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,". It should be absolutely clear that no religion is deemed as the religion of America, while it should be absolutely clear that no denial of a religion is to be tolerated in America. Which puts belief systems squarely as an individual choice with no effect on how the civil life of our society is governed. If a belief system is needed by any individual to guide them in the pursuit of their own happiness then that is their absolute right as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others to either follow a different belief system or no belief system at all. What we have today are citizens who are disregarding the separation of belief systems and our civil government. they are attempting to force their religion upon the whole of us despite the law of our first amendment. They are also attempting to exclude all other belief systems that do not hold to the same orthodoxy and dogma. How this has come to pass is that an arrogance by some today is being allowed to run roughshod over our founding constitutional document. We have a supreme court that is supposed to be the protector of our precious document, not protecting it when its explicit nature is absolute. I will call out the wealthy theocratic conservatives and the Republican party on whole for this debacle. We know what we must do to save our constitution and our freedom given to us in the first amendment and that what we must do is to vote in every election for candidates that are neither conservative nor part of the Republican party.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Life is an adventure, not an accumulation (#2467)

Why do we forget this? Life is an adventure to be lived not some race to accumulate! What good does it do a person to shelter themselves in some safe harbor if all they are doing is hiding from life? Life is the reason we are here. We have all these individual abilities, everyone of us, that not experiencing them is against our very nature. I know we all get tired from the struggle and we want to prepare ourselves a comfortable respite. but that should not be our goal, it should just be a byproduct of how we live. A now deceased friend of mine used to say all the time that he could have lost everything and left with walking down the street in just his underwear and he would be fine. It is that type of mentality that I have adopted myself. The trappings of accumulation are not what defines me but rather the character and personality I have evolved. I could pick up today and leave for anywhere in the world and not have a care about it. I would have to take my two little animals with me but most everything I have is not enough of an anchor for me not to pick up and go. It is funny that what I would miss the most are the friendships I have worked to attain. But like all things friendships can also be made anywhere I go. I suppose I know this from all the moving we did during my formative years. Despite having to start over several times as a child I learned to do it quickly and effectively. Our society has become this great machine that we feel as if we are not able to break from but we can and should when the point of it doesn't help us along in our natures to enjoy and experience our lives. What this has reminded me of today is that I have stuff I never use and it is time to go down to the local food bank and donate clothes so that some in need person can have something decent to wear.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

To solve a problem I have to face it (#2466)

Unlike an earlier version of me who would rather ignore a problem in hopes that it would go away, I am now in realization that most problems need to be faced. I cannot face them all since I am only one person living in a fixed time and space frame but those that I can face need my attention. What I find is that no matter what the problem, my mind has a way of adapting to it in ways that are mysterious to me. Once I learn of a problem or face an old one I had been ignoring I find that initially I have some real fears but as I continue toward thinking and acting upon the problem it becomes less ominous and more readily solved. The fear is replaced with a acknowledgement that there are solutions I just need to act upon and then move along to the next problem to solve. Always though is the first step toward making my world better and that is facing my problems. I can be a one man wrecking crew at times and in that wake I end up creating problems I hadn't intended. Such is the nature of this man who at times, less so now as I am getting more mature, doesn't weigh the cost/benefit of every action I take. It would behoove me to slow myself down long enough to realize that my actions and reactions need a better construct of application. A process by which I keep myself within parameters that exclude most if not all unintended consequences. That is more like an overall solution to life and that is being worked upon as I write this, however, the past has my mess in it and that is what this blog post is about. Facing old problems that don't go away, instead they just fester and irritate me when I think about them. I need to resolve some situations that are lingering, albeit, not horrific or detrimental, but nonetheless not acceptably honorable. Honor today is the code by which I base my decisions and those principles of honor are the ones reminding me that I am responsible for my life and taking ownership of it requires me to accept the truth of what I have thought and done.