Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dogs Explaining Cats To Other Dogs

If you were someone like me who was sitting and thinking one day about how people develop a personal identity, and then you started thinking about how some people strongly identify themselves as "Christian" or any other religion, and then you thought about people you've known who have done this, and what motivated them, and then you thought "maybe I could do a quick search online" and you found an article at Wikipedia entitled "Religious Identity", and read it, maybe you would find a case of Dogs Explaining Cats to Other Dogs like I did.

Religious identity
From Wikipedia

Religious Identity is a specific type of identity formation. Particularly, it is the sense of group membership to a religion and the importance of this group membership as it pertains to one's self-concept. Religious identity is not necessarily the same as religiousness or religiosity. Although these three terms share a commonality, religiousness and religiosity refer to both the value of religious group membership as well as participation in religious events (e.g. going to church). Religious identity, on the other hand, refers specifically to religious group membership regardless of religious activity or participation.

Say what?  This is so stiff it squeaks.  Look, if you're trying to give a good general definition of Religious Identity the first thing to get straight is that identity is personal.  Across the whole spectrum of religion and identity there is probably a portion that will define itself in group terms but there are other large portions that will not. The above paragraph tells me more about the perspective of Dogs than it does about the Cats they're purporting to define.

Similar to other forms of identity formation, such as ethnic and cultural identity, the religious context can generally provide a perspective from which to view the world, opportunities to socialize with a spectrum of individuals from different generations, and a set of basic principles to live out.  These foundations can come to shape an individual's identity.

Dogs apparently believe that religion is given to people along with a personal world view, a group to socialize with and a bag of personal values.  Some people may be given religious indoctrination by their parents, but a lot of people go out for themselves later in life looking for something to fill the spiritual gap.  Dogs don't know about those people I guess. Dogs believe that religion is inflicted on people. Dogs see cats through Dog's Eyes and are missing how cats go about being cats. Dogs believe their own perception entails the subject in its entirety when in fact they seem not to grasp the depth, breadth or diversity of the subject.  I also get the distinct impression that these Dogs don't like Cats, at all.  Cats are stupid.  Cats cannot be explained because they are just crazy for not being Dogs.  There is something wrong with all Cats. Cats are inferior creatures. Cats are plain worthless.

Despite the implications that religion has on identity development, the identity formation literature has mainly focused on ethnicity and gender and has largely discounted the role of religion. Nevertheless, an increasing number of studies have begun to include religion as a factor of interest.  However, many of these studies use religious identity, religiosity, and religiousness interchangeably or solely focus on religious identity and solely religious participation as separate constructs.

Identity formation literature?  Are these studies undertaken by Dogs by any chance?  Is it wise to seek insight on spiritual matters from people who do not even believe there is any such thing as "spiritual matters"?  If the entire concept of human beings having a spiritual component is dismissed as a belief in mythology, would these people be qualified to render a legitimate definition of religious identity?  Can't you just feel the spirituality of this article coming through?

Of these types of research studies, researchers have examined the various factors that affect the strength of one's religious identity over time. Factors that have been found to affect levels of religious identity include gender, ethnicity, and generational status.

Religious identity is so foreign to these folks that they have to scientifically research it. The Dogs seem to miss much of the feline. They are confident that a cat is an unintelligent scruffy mouse eating animal with its back permanently arched as shown in typical Halloween depictions.  It has pointy ears and fish breath, and a tail.  There is no body, no notable differences in fur, breed, size, behavior or temperament.  All Cats are the same.  It is only coincidental that the Dogs went into the studies with the firm belief, which Dogs widely accept as true, that cats are unintelligent scruffy mouse eating animals with permanently arched backs, pointy ears and fish breath.  The Dog Researchers have no personal first hand experience of cats because they hate cats, but they are still sure they are right because they are the experts and they all agree with each other and that makes you automatically right.  When experts agree, as in 4 out of 5 dentists, it automatically makes whatever they agree on TRUE.  Everybody knows that.


During the early 1900s in the field of psychology, research on the topic of religion was considered important and ubiquitous. For example, researchers like G. Stanley Hall and William James conducted studies on such topics as religious conversion. In contrast, the public perspective on religion began to shift two decades later.  Instead of religion being seen as an integral part of an individual's life and development and thus a necessary topic to research, scientists and scholars alike viewed religion as a hindrance to the progression of science and as a topic no longer applicable to the current times.

Dogs believe that people backed away from organized religion because it was a hindrance to the progression of science and was no longer applicable to current times.  Hey!  Everybody thinks like Dogs.  Right?  'Fraid not.
How Dogcentric.

(This is my favorite part)
Contrary to social scientists' prediction of the general decline of religion over time and increase of secularization leading to a complete abandonment of religious studies,  (i.e. the wishful thinking of Dogs),  religion did not diminish and was instead acknowledged by researchers as a topic worthwhile to research. Scientists and scholars, like British sociologist John Thompson, realized that despite the neglect of religion in studies, the presence and impact of religion on individuals' lives were undeniable and did not disappear with time.  Hence, a body of research on religion began to take root. Particularly, a handful of researchers were interested in examining religious identity during adolescence.

The scientific perspective now taught as incontrovertible truth in universities is that there is no God and that religion is stupid and people who believe in God believe in fairy tales and myths.  The scientific perspective sees nothing amiss when it gives its own take on how the universe came into being, which is that it was suddenly and out of nowhere for no reason brought into being in a big explosion that cannot be explained.  Where it came from cannot be explained.  Why it happened cannot be explained. This does not at all seem like mythology to the scientific mind.  It doesn't matter that there is no more evidence for that belief than there is for people to believe in God.  Their own scientific fairy tales which they all agree to be true, are therefore automatic facts and you're stupid if you don't agree.  And that's just so rational and scientific and stuff.

Personally I don't believe that people came out of apes.  I'm sorry, that's just silly.  Tigers don't come out of snails, cows did not come out of squids.  Especially not in the absence of evidence.  Complicated math is not evidence, it is numbers and numbers can be crunched any way you like, ask any statistician or Wall Street accounting firm.  Repeating over and again that a few broken old monkey bones are the missing link until the assertion quietly solidifies into widely accepted truth in their own gated neighborhood, is the basic staple of propagating all forms of bullshit to make people believe it.  That still does not make it so.  Bull is bull, no matter how many people buy it.

Is there a God?  I don't know, but what I believe and what you believe and what they believe is not the issue.  There actually is no problem with a diversity of beliefs, unless some people want there to be a problem. The absolute fact is that nobody knows how the universe came into being or how we came into being or where we came from or why we're here, or any of the other answers to the eternal questions of our existence.  Nobody knows.  That is the truth and that is the fact.  There are plenty of claims to "know" the answers to all of these questions, plenty of ideas, plenty of guesses, lots of meditation on the subject.  It's a part of being human.  But the fact is that nobody knows.  Fundamentalist thinking does not equate to FACT.  Fundamentalists would disagree but they're famous for their objectivity.  It doesn't change a thing.  They don't "know".  Whether they're scientists or popes, nobody "knows".  You can assemble whatever thoughts, facts, reason and opinions you like and cook up a belief system, but it doesn't make you right.  No matter how much you believe it.  Belief is not proof, it is belief.  

Why is this so hard for so many to admit?  Why do they come unglued the moment anybody points out that belief or hypothesis or theory is not hard evidence or proof of anything?  Why the authoritarian attitudes around the entire subject?  Can't help but notice the knockdown, drag-out power struggle between groups who want to own the subject as private property.  Once owned they alone will be able to decide the one and only take on it, forever and ever and ever.  "WE are the sole owners of this subject and only our opinion is legitimate.  If your opinion differs you are a stupid, dirty, nasty poo-poo brain and we hate you and you don't matter anyway because this subject belongs to us and our narrative is the only one that is valid.  Neener neener."  Because after all, ownership determines who has a valid opinion and who doesn't.  It doesn't matter that nobody "owns" any subject.

Science seems every bit as much a religion as any other religion.  It is every bit as self important, prone to conflating group belief with factual evidence, every bit as comfortable with the woo-woo aspects of their story, and every bit as intolerant of other perspectives as any other fundamentalist authoritarian perspective out there.  Pardon me for noticing the hypocrisy and self-important narcissistic arrogance but I will always believe that these things do not equate to PROOF that something is TRUE.  The only thing they prove is that anybody can be a small minded dick head, and claims of status, education, or delusions of self importance do not determine whether something is true or not. 

. . . . .
There was synchronicity at the root of this post that was not previously mentioned.  A video came first.

 What We Still Don't Know: "Are We Real?"

I watched this creepy BBC program on You Tube last night and then today found the Wiki article.  The show left me feeling unsettled, to say the least.  If you watch it you will see the Scientific Dogs I am referring to.  Okay maybe my pounding the snot out of this Wiki article is a slight over reaction after watching this BBC show, but regardless, the Dogs of Science in their own words make clear to me that these are some scary people.  I see in them the sprouted seed of a new Spanish Inquisition, in photo negative. The same monsters, the same selfishness, the same disrespect for people with different beliefs, the same arrogant self-entitlement to take the whole world which is not their personal property and which belongs to everybody, and treat it according to their own whims and not giving a damn what anybody else has to say about it.  Everybody else is irrelevant because anyone who disagrees has an inferior intellect and doesn't deserve an opinion.  Perfectly reasonable attitude, if you're a monster.

As much as these folks claim to believe there is no God, it seems clear enough that they simply prefer to worship their own idea of God; science.  Where is the difference?

These worshipers of Science own a very specific world view and they have a game plan to promote, one that many average human beings would likely see as insane and disturbing.  But they have convinced themselves of their righteousness and the show is meant to convince you of their righteousness as well.  Because, as if it were God's will and they are on a crusade, they are proceeding onward to achieve silicon personhood for one and all without concerns about anyone feeling disgusted or being strongly against the idea.  Concerns are not legitimate so they will be dismissed out of hand.  Only stupid people have concerns and the concerns of stupid people don't count.  This attitude lavishes the Scientific Dogs with nothing but credibility and a neon sign that reads, "Go!"

Their world view and plan seems to center around the utter destruction of humanity and nature, permanently, and they believe this is not only a good thing but a wonderful natural progression for our species.  Only stupid dumb people who believe in fairy tales and myths like God, or who believe that life has meaning or purpose, will get all upset over violating nature and disrespecting earth, man and animal, because they are too stupid to understand the awesome perfection of scientific anti-God perspectives which are the same as factual reality in these scientific minds.  It is always and only stupid people who don't want the whole world destroyed by insane scientific, military or devil worshiping lunatics in the aim of attaining personal power, fame and wealth.  Stupid people always get in the way of progress and it has to stop.  Gaining total control via Science of a destroyed, dehumanized, for-profit, no rules, privately owned planet that only benefits half-human, spiritually disconnected, selfish irresponsible ass cracks, is the beautiful future of mankind.  These precepts embody man's natural future and they represent the truth and all who disagree have the brains of an amoeba and should not be tolerated.  They should simply be euthanized so that the rest of the intelligent people can get on with turning humanity into digital energy on silicon chips because that's just so GREAT.  That's natural baby.

At the end of the program I decided that I can't wait for every last one of these people to turn themselves into digital human beings with no bodies who live on teeny pieces of silicon.  Don't let me stop you boys.  Knock yourselves out.

I guess it's true, insane people have no clue that they're insane.  The question is, why do insane people always have monopolized access to the control panel?  Why are they always in the driver's seat on this Earth Bus, with the rest of us stuck in the back screaming in fear for our lives?  How do they just ignore us like we're stupid when in fact it is their own spoiled, overpaid social class who has done so much harm, like creating nuclear bombs for instance, or inventing psychiatry, and have made the most horrific "errors", over and over and over again, for centuries, and yet they unceasingly demand absolute respect and our undying belief that they are never wrong? 

I say, let's stop encouraging raging lunatics by treating them like regular people who are incapable of perfection.  But who listens to me?  All I talk about is common sense, and in a crazy world common sense is what's crazy.  Being crazy is what's normal. 

I keep telling myself, I'm not from here.  When the universal soul delivery beam projected my essence out into space it was aiming for a different world;  a world of sane, decent people who don't run around slaughtering each other and who don't take to violence over every little freaking thing they disagree about.  A world where nobody is dying for lack of food, shelter, clothing or medical care.  An abundant world absolutely free of authoritarian control freaks where nobody is forced to believe anything or do anything or not do anything because everyone is responsible for themselves, and yet everyone is still happy to abide by the common sense rules that allow everyone to follow their soul and heart and create a happy, meaningful existence for themselves, and for others.  But somehow when the Soul Laser Catapult 5000 shot my essence into space headed for Gamma Beta Fluffy Kitties world, I impacted a rogue asteroid and ricocheted backward, tumbling through space until I finally ended up landing down on this planet, Earth.  The very moment I got here I started yowling, "You sent me to the wrong place!  This is Earth!  The planet of criminally insane, vicious, barbaric moron people!  NO!  You have to come and get me right now,  I cannot stay here!   This planet is quarantined out in the boonies safely away from everyone else for a reason!  These people are terminally insane!  They are dangerous, incorrigible, they have no capacity for a learning curve and cannot improve over time.  They are hopeless!  The planet is awesomely beautiful but these people are completely nuts! Get me outta here! NOW!

Then a calm female voice sincerely replied, I'm so sorry.  You did end up in the wrong place.  It's going to be awful for you there.  What a shame.  You'll just have to make the best of it.  You're there now.  Once you're there, you're there.  We can't help you.  Sorry about that. 

No wonder so many babies come into this world screaming their lungs out. 
NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Not this planet!  NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

[Taking a long, deep, exhale....]

I'm better now.  I just needed to get that out of my system.

Being that it is now officially Christmas day, I've got some goodies for you.

The first stocking stuffer is a book.  I read it a week ago and got a heaping helping of enlightenment out of it.  It's about authoritarian control freaks and what makes them tick.  If you too have watched the Bombastic Clown Circus, (the loony corrupt lying politicians lying, cheating and stealing the country to ruins), then you too may have marveled at the dishonest control freaks freely reeking hypocrisy as comfortably as snarking down expensive caviar at posh DC social gatherings.  The same politicians who said they were God fearing straight laced marriage defending pro-war Christian followers of Jesus, who railed against sex and drugs and rock and roll, ended up being the same ones busted as scam artists and frauds, criminals, pedophiles, or got busted for buying dope off of same sex prostitutes and for hitting on some guy in the public toilet stall next to his.  If the words spoken by our dearly elected or just about anyone at the White House, have left you confused, aggravated, furious, this book may help.  You've heard the insensate double-talk of politicians, assorted Press Secretaries, Military big wigs, and America loving Zionists devoted to selflessly serving our nation to death.  If you cannot make sense of these people, if you cannot comprehend how such childish, shitty, dishonest felons can be calling the shots for this nation, this book might help you understand what their stupid freaking problem is. 

I read this short book in two evenings and it answered some big questions for me.  It brought me to fully appreciate the resonance between authoritarian "thinking" and psychopathy.  The name of the book is "The Authoritarians".  The author is Bob Altemeyer,  Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba.  It's not a story book, it is the product of this man's observations and analytical processing of the criminal antics of the political bullies in charge, who are, as we all know, complete morons that have ruined absolutely everything.  But more than just revealing what makes these silly people so dangerous and so driven is addressing what makes all of the silly people who support them so incapable of seeing who and what these phony criminal losers really are. 

The book is free and can be downloaded in
pdf form here.
You can get a better idea of who wrote it and what's in it at the author's site.

The second thing in the big red sock tonight is an introduction to the person who recommended the aforementioned book to me. I found this really smart, interesting guy on the a-Infos Radio Project website through one of his audio commentaries.  I emailed him and said, this is great stuff. More please.  He emailed me back and said more was on the way.  He then mentioned that he'd never read Political Ponerology, which I had read, but that he'd read The Authoritarians, and he sent me the link.  At first I thought I knew about authoritarians already, and I did, but I didn't really.  There is much more to it, and after reading the book I felt as if another big piece of the puzzle was solved.

If you like listening to serious minded people who are brilliant and fearless and who tell it like it is, and do it with class, with wit, with a bullwhip, you can find his latest commentary here,  and his blog "On Genocide" here.   If we could push the likes of Limbaugh off the air and replace him with Keiran Kelly for 3 hours a day, our country's IQ would skyrocket.  Keiran lives in New Zealand with his family in a coastal place nearby something called Kaiteriteri that is apparently paradise.  Some people have it made.  Others live in Silicon Valley.

Reaching all the way down to the bottom of the big red sock for the last bit, here is something way cool and positive and uplifting.  It's another BBC program.  "Earth The Power Of The Planet - Earth".  A guy with an accent thick enough to choke a horse takes you on a visually spectacular journey around the world, into space and to the moon, and shows you why life may indeed be something quite rare.  Here's the link.

Life is a miracle. 

And with that final thought I will wrap it up for today.  I wish you everything good and bright and meaningful and happy for the holiday.  Loiter under the mistletoe for me.  I'll just be kissing the cat tonight.  If I can catch him.  He's a fast sucker.  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Comment on "Breaking Point" by Vyzygoth

You speak about the breaking point and, yes, individually we all have been and will continue to be stretched to whatever our limits may be; collectively, society’s behavior will manifest how all of us as individuals react.

That’s why propaganda is important. That’s why 24/7 “information” is important. That’s why 24/7 “entertainment” is important.

In this age of burgeoning electronic communication, people use their brains more as sponges and less as apparatuses designed to critically analyze, to just plain think. Sadly, the masses don’t think, they react, and that’s what our masters wish.

Propaganda isn’t new. It’s been with us for as long as there have been power-seeking people who wish to lord it over their fellow citizens. What is interesting is that, upon the invention of the printing press, our masters discovered that, to propagandize, it was necessary for people to read. Illiteracy was actually an obstruction to manipulation, and without the ability to broadcast information through thin air, our masters encouraged all to read.

Now we’ve reached a point where our masters no longer wish us to read, to dwell upon and analyze information; instead they wish us to soak in the images they project through TV and movies and music with the goal of inducing visceral reaction—brute, insentient, visceral reaction. They know beyond any doubt that if they get a critical mass of people to stampede and the rest will follow.

That’s why a democracy is garbage. Despite that we’ve all been brainwashed into believing that democracy is such a great thing, no less than Plato, an unabashed elitist in his time, explained that democracy is only one step above the worst form of government know to humankind—tyranny, to which democracy inevitably devolves.

Whoever visits this site and the related sites under the umbrella of thinkorbeeaten.com probably understands there is a movement to bring about a New World Order. That movement has been happening for centuries, but it has gained far more momentum throughout the last century and is now on our doorsteps like it or not.

The final push for totalitarianism arguably began in this country with the events of Sept. 11 2001. That date, not Jan. 1, 2001, ushered in the final millennium during which our masters will gain complete control over the populations of the world.

To attain that goal it will be necessary for our masters to make each and every one of us reach our breaking points. They will create the problems, the catastrophes, the tragedies, the deprivations. They will give us the chaos they are so fond of as a means of making us accept the supposed solutions and remedies they have also prepared, which, on face, will appear satisfactory to us, but which, ultimately, will bring about our enslavement.

Those who know me know I cleave to a particular verse written by Robinson Jeffers in his 1944 poem “Be Angry at the Sun.” To me, it capably embodies the human condition in nine simple words:  “The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack.”

It is doubtful that good people can prevent barbarous acts. I’d like to think they can, but six decades on this planet and an unadorned understanding of history tells me differently. However, each of us can resist joining the mob, choosing rather to live with a demonstrated compassion and intelligence that will keep us from becoming part of the problem.

It is also doubtful that all serial shootings are organic, and that is taking into consideration those that have occurred since Whitman’s rampage in Austin, Texas, in 1966. On one level, the pathology of the shooters and shootings doesn’t matter because the victims are just as dead. On another level, it would be beneficial to study the individuals and circumstances with the hope it would result in timely intervention and future prevention. Strangely, the public never is provided access to this information, which surely exists, and the fact that it does exist but is never made widely accessible suggests that more than one perpetrator was a Manchurian Candidate.

In my mind, the Newtown massacre portends perhaps something much different than you might divine from the event. To me, this event signals that our masters will be busy casting their beloved chaos upon us, but not before they succeed in banning firearms. Bad and crazy people don’t sweat gun control because they aren’t about abiding by the law. Total gun control only totally deprives good people—easily more than 99% of those who legally own firearms—from either defending their families and property or placing a good deal of doubt in the minds of bad people who are more than willing to execute home invasions if only they could be confident they’d meet no resistance.

We will experience choreographed events in the near future that will stampede people into fear and frenzy. It might very well reach the much-anticipated “wild in the streets” level we hope we’d never experience. Then we will scream for martial law. And we will get it. But it won’t be our troops that will be called upon to keep the peace, and it could turn out that their methods of keeping the peace might not be a whole lot different than the methods employed by land pirates who go off plundering to meet their needs.

Dark times are upon us. Don’t think that it can’t happen here because our masters have hinted throughout the past few decades that it will happen here. And those misanthropes would never lie to us about things so dear to their icy hearts.

One last word: I think it pathetically ironic that our President can squeeze out a tear as he laments the horror of innocents cut down, and while that is an unfathomable tragedy, this nation is about to embark on yet another Middle East intrigue that will certainly cut down civilians and among them how many children?

But, hey, they’re subhuman foreigners. Who fucking cares?

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Bringing America to Breaking Point

I heard someone say, "At least we don't have suicide bombers in America." Oh, yeah? I hate to break it to you but we sure do have suicide bombers in America. Ours are the ones using assault rifles to kill innocent people in movie theaters and places of worship. Ours are the ones shooting innocent people in shopping malls, in high schools and universities, in fast food restaurants, on military bases, and so many more places. Ours are the ones flying their small planes into IRS buildings or setting themselves on fire in front of a courthouse. Instead of strapping bombs to their bodies they use guns. Same effect, same outcome. There is no difference between the ones "over there" and the ones "over here".

Mass murder/suicides are carried out by people who have come to the end of their rope. Because they will not be heard and there is nothing else left for them, they decide to lash out at as many people as they can with horrific violence before taking themselves out with more horrific violence. Death by cops in a hail of bullets, death by their own hand, or death by bomb, they decide to make this crime their last living act.

These violent crimes do not happen accidentally. They are not mindless or spontaneous ideas carried out at the spur of the moment. Every incident is planned in advance. The plans are thoughtfully conceived, the dates and places chosen, the weapons and gear obtained all in advance. Specific reasons motivate each and every incident.

What is the usual reason behind suicide bombers? Their crimes are about injustice that has become unbearable, whether real or imagined or somewhere in between, and having no means to make that injustice stop. They feel they have to do something about it. In a mental process we can't understand, they come to decide to murder innocent people, perfect strangers, which of course makes no sense at all. What is achieved by killing people you don't even know who have never done anything to you and in all likeliness never would? What is the point?

Unfortunately, the bloviators of supposed public opinion end the story there, and we are all supposed to end the story there too. Judgment is swift and final. The perpetrators are condemned and branded as insane, as mindlessly violent, racist, extremist, driven by hate without reason, and are then written off as evil people beyond comprehension who deserve nothing from us but our deepest disdain. And then they are forgotten.

The problem is that isn't the end of the story, it is only halfway through the story. The other half, the half they refuse to acknowledge existence of, the half that we are not supposed to care to explore, is as legitimate as the first half. To pretend otherwise only makes things worse. Ignoring the other half of the story guarantees violent escalation and more and more killings. I fail to see much difference between the condemned and those who condemn them when, in the end, both will be directly responsible for the mass deaths of innocent people.

Yes, it is wrong for suicide bombers to kill people. No one can kill their way to happiness, peace or justice. That's just nonsense. Killing innocent people is evil. But there is another evil at play here, one that is perhaps responsible for creating mass murderers and suicide bombers in the first place. One that is responsible for keeping us in perpetual wars. One that has inflamed the whole of the Muslim world and caused America to be heaped with blame, shame and burning resentment. That evil must be realized and held equally responsible for the woes and harms it has always brought upon the world, and it always will. That evil is injustice, indifference to the suffering of others.

Acts of human violence have been with us for millennia. There is almost always a reason behind acts of violence whether those reasons are reasonable or not. Some people aren't very good at being fair minded so they harm others because of their basic selfish inability to see things from someone else's perspective. But if anyone wants to claim to be fair minded it is an absolute requirement to try in earnest to put ourselves in someone else's shoes long enough to be able to see their side of the story. If we fail to do that we are by default being unfair.

Justice is not possible when all involved are not considered. This is true in every situation where disagreement arises, and that includes the cases of American mass shooters and suicide bombers. It includes all criminal acts. If we cannot know the accused's side of the story then justice is not possible. It is impossible because we don't know the whole of the truth. How can there be justice when we don't have possession of the whole truth?

It is often the case that once we understand how others see things we can understand why they feel the way they do. It is not uncommon to realize that if we were in their position, we would feel the same way they do. This isn't always the case but it happens with sufficient regularity that to ignore it or to impugn the process and refuse to engage in it is indefensible. That is, if we care about being fair. At the very least we'll have heard the whole of the truth after which point we are in a much better position to judge things.

A serious complication is that some people are not interested in being fair. They really don't care about how others are affected by what they do. They want their way and will have it regardless of who it hurts. This is the evil we must learn to recognize and reject. That evil is the selfish indifference to other people's suffering, and there is no excuse for it. What legitimate excuse could there be?

When unfair people want their way it invariably causes problems. Why? Because it means that somebody is getting screwed so that somebody else can have something that is not theirs to have. The entire concept of controversial subjects boils down to somebody wanting to be unfair and get away with it. Whenever I hear of some new or old controversy rearing its ugly head I always ask myself one question, who is lying? Because somebody always is. That is what a controversy is. It is rarely about a disagreement between two legitimate sides, it is about one side being unfair against another and people taking sides over it. If fair minded people can see it for what it is the controversy can be put down before it has a chance to take hold. But if people are politically pressured or brainwashed to support the unfair side, the so-called controversy will be able to take root and when it does it will inevitably cause terrible upset because of the injustice it will perpetrate. Controversy is about condoning political injustice and little else.

Take a snapshot of American politics today, foreign and domestic, and you can't help but notice that this country is embroiled in endless controversies. America is at war with itself on numerous fronts and at war with country after country abroad. It never seems to end. To put it in a nutshell, there is a whole lot of political lying and injustice going on. And it's killing us. It's killing a whole lot of people.

We can keep on doing things this way because we think it's right in spite of everything falling apart around us, there's an oxymoron for you, or we can decide to break through the political barrier that makes us think that seeing the whole story is an act of evil. Clearly it is not. It is the only act of good available to every one of us. I say we break through the barrier and take a good hard look at what the other sides of the stories are, there are a lot of them to choose from. This post is about American suicide shooters. In order to break through the barrier we need only ask one question. "Why?"

Part 2 - The Politicians

President Obama addressed the country after the Aurora movie theater shootings and the shootings just a few days later in the Oak Creek Sikh temple. While the media made hay framing the Sikh temple shootings as an act of racist hate, the president told America that it was time for some soul searching.

I couldn't agree more.

It is well past time to take a sober, naked look in the great American soul mirror. A top heavy number of millionaires in Congress an unelected billionaires buying their services seem to be long overdue for some well lit naked soul mirror time. Too many people living their lives in the first class luxury seats of making, persuading and buying American Policy have clearly never looked in a soul mirror, naked or otherwise. Quite a few seem instead to have walked straight through the looking glass to take up residence in a deviant fantasy world of their own creation, a world unaffected by the laws of nature governing the real and natural world the rest of us live in.

The worst ideologues, fanatics, felons and operatives would become predictably outraged at any suggestion that they too should step into the bright lights and strip down in front of the soul mirror. People like these are dangerous and despicable. They deny outright the existence of another side to any story they wish. No matter how indefensibly heinous and criminally compromised their wrong-minded rhetoric and behavior, they demand to be respected as perfected beings who are always right. Then too are the ones who always want more war, more state secrecy, less rights for Americans, and more heavily armed authorities pointing more guns at more people. These should definitely engage in more than a few seconds of self reflection, but they won't. None of the worst of these people care about anything but themselves, their profits, their status and their power.

If we really want to get some honest to God soul searching done, those are the people we need to start with. Why? Because it is down to these people how this country works. As you've probably noticed, such things are not up to you and me.

The trouble is none of these people want to be revealed under any bright lights. They want to be kept safely apart from the public they feed on and control for their own purposes. Who they are and what they do cannot withstand scrutiny, meaning they can't afford to let anyone hear anything but their own side of the story. Their worst enemy is the whole of the truth. Their doings cannot be defended, explained or excused in the real world on this side of the mirror. They know it too, perfectly well. They know they are responsible for the destruction of our economy, the endless years of senseless wars, the destruction of constitutional law, the destruction of our schools, the division of our people into for or against, haves and have nots and all of the injustice and damage that brings. They know full well that they are responsible for the utter demoralization of our people via the double standards and brutality they brought into being to replace the common sense, justice and legitimacy of our system. They know they are responsible for all of it and they're proud of what they've done. They know what they're doing is unjust, but they don't care that it's unjust. Which goes to prove that these people are not incompetent, they are evil.

Our perfectly good political process has been hijacked and taken over by highly driven scientists of control and deception. They are not invisible and they are not hiding. Their unwelcome presence from long ago has metastasized and grown so strong that like any cancer, it will take an incredible battle to remove them and stay alive in the process.

This system, their system, is catastrophic. It has failed us. We can expect to see more and more acts of violence and killing not because Americans have too many guns or because Americans are violent racist murderers, but because of our government's insane policies, insane dishonesty, and it's intransigent refusal to stop making our system into one that facilitates immoral acts of grotesque hypocrisy and injustice, criminal deal making, and brute force in support of the selfish quests of a powerful few. The lawmakers' "money first" corporate mentality sees the 1% as their clientele and bends over backwards for them, using our money and our lives to service them. There must be something in it for them, but I have no idea what is worth such a terrible price.

I ask you, what are the odds of any of these people doing any soul searching? The odds are zero for the simple reason that they have no souls. Those who have no souls cannot search them.

The dark idiots (D.I.) responsible for the critical meltdown of justice, human dignity and hope that is spiraling our people into a black hole of devastation, that is pushing people beyond their limits, that is slamming the doors of reason, logic and fairness into the faces of hundreds of millions of people, they understand perfectly well what they are doing. The intentions of certain powerful people have been laid out in plain words for decades, they weren't hidden. None of what we are going through now comes as a surprise to those who are forcing millions of people down on their knees into poverty and hopelessness. The D.I. understand full well that injustice makes people angry. They know that treating people like dirt, that ignoring their valid complaints, that shutting people out of any chance at justice and prosperity, that showing people such revolting disrespect, that not caring as our nation bleeds out in front of the whole world, will definitely cause some people to take up arms and start killing.

Dark idiots worship power over all else. Do they honestly believe that a system comprised of the utter desecration of human decency will not have terrible repercussions? No, they don't believe that. They know full well that their unmitigated selfishness and bounties of aggression and deceit amount to making war against the people of America. They are working with full intent and knowledge to strip Americans of all of their wealth and prosperity, health and freedom in order to strip us of all power and ability to fight them. They are only able to accomplish this by doing away with justice. That's where buying off senators and congressmen comes in. For the right price, those who are there to represent us are happy to destroy us instead.

This destructive and self serving vision of the wealthiest few and its servants perpetrates injustice above all else. Injustice is the only means to grabbing hold of all that is not theirs to have. There is no other way to get it. How else could they get so much money and so much power other than through crime? No other way exists. These people are the physical embodiment of evil. They are completely indifferent to the suffering of hundreds of millions of people. They want us all dead. That is not a crazy conspiracy theory. It is the clear and visible result of what these people do. Every move they make makes millions of people weaker. It steals away health and life and eradicates human potential. This is the way they want it and they want it to stay their way forever. We are the enemy and they are doing everything in their power to undermine and eradicate us.

So how just is that?

Part 3 - No Mystery

Is it really a surprise to anyone that America is being pushed beyond its breaking point? Can anyone really claim not to understand that to strip people of all dignity, all hope, and all prosperity is taking too much from humanity? Is that really confusing to anyone?

Is it really unacceptable that people who are insulted, denied, denigrated, lied to and manipulated, ignored, undermined, used, abused and deprived of a voice are going to get angry? Is it really too hard to understand that cutting people out of all chance of living peaceful and prosperous lives will make people very unhappy? Is it really too much to understand that people are inevitably going to stand up and come kick your ass for doing so much damage to them and to their children?

There is nothing confusing about it at all. And that is why the Department of Homeland Security just bought 450 million rounds of hollow point ammunition. And we were forced to pay for it. A lot like being forced to dig your own grave right before they shoot you in the back of the head and push you into it. Who the hell are these evil beings and why are they turning paradise into one great big filthy dirty concentration camp for all humanity? Why won't they just fuck off and leave us alone?

I don't know who they are and I don't know why they can't get a life of their own instead of taking so many other people's lives from them, but there they are anyway. For decades they have poisoned our minds through their filthy dirty media, taking all that is sacred and beautiful and natural and life affirming and sloshing it with buckets of pig shit and blood, and celebrating every moment of it. As they glorify and sanctify death they have stolen the souls of children who will grow up to carry on what amounts to worshiping cruelty and death and doing evil all in the name of self gratification. They are teaching our people to destroy, to have no respect for anything but power and money, and to not give a damn about justice. They are recreating themselves, training people to hate and fear others as well as themselves.

America is dying for lack of love and compassion, lack of respect, lack of generosity and a life affirming spirit.

And you want to know why we have people going crazy and shooting people in movie theaters? Really? It's just not all that mysterious.

Shitty People

I want to ask you for your thoughts on something. While the subject is one that affects me directly, it is also one that affects everyone on a greater scale. This is a kind of problem that can be personal, familial, national, international and global. I am going to come at it from the personal level with the aim of keeping it focused and specific so that I can get your thoughtful insights and feedback.

First I need to set about describing this thing I'm talking about. Bear with me, it's a bit complicated. Here goes.

There is a sad truth that applies to humankind. It seems like such a simple thing and yet it has proven impossible to overcome. That truth, and the problem I'm talking about, are one and the same.

I must try to put this in a nutshell so as not to try your patience. The best I can do is this. While the majority of people in this world are basically good people, there are always some among us who are not good. The ones among us who are not good are responsible for the vast majority of pain, suffering and destruction that affects everyone around them. They make life miserable for others.

I call them shitty people. They are not honorable. They have no concern about being dishonest with others. They don't play fair. They are self serving. They are brutal. They cheat. They lie. They deceive. They destroy. They can be just downright mean. They are either incapable of, or disinterested in, considering the negative effects their words and actions have on others. They not only don't care how much damage they do to somebody else, they often enjoy inflicting it.

There are some people who are nasty through and through. These are people who cannot be reasoned with. They cannot be escaped or avoided and there is no way around them. It is a nightmare to encounter someone like this because there is no chance that you can escape unharmed. You may not even be able to escape at all. People of this type are very scary once you realize what they are. It's not always obvious at first. These types are also very good at pretending to be good, decent, upright, respectable people. They are good at selling appearances of decency and respectability but they are neither good nor respectable. They are nasty and very dangerous people.

But there are others who only behave in these ways situationally, in other words it's not their usual way of behaving. It is due to group influence that they behave in ways that would ordinarily go against their values and beliefs. Like George Carlin said, and I'm paraphrasing like crazy here, one on one people are great. Sit and talk face to face with someone and they are reasonable, intelligent, good. But get them into groups and they become insane and monstrous. I guess it's the gang mentality. Us against them. Separatist, aggressive, competitive, violent. All of that holier than thou crap comes in along with all of the self justification that allows and encourages breaking the rules of human decency in the name of taking their cause to victory.

There are also others who behave very badly due to their own life experiences. The accumulation of scars and damage they have received in life, instead of strengthening them in a positive way, makes them cruel. They want to take it out on others. It's a form of payback, only instead of paying back those who harmed them they transfer their vengeance onto people who have never done anything to them. It's no surprise that taking it out on innocent people is so devoid of satisfaction. By never addressing the actual problem they never achieve what they need, which is full and sufficient justice. Therefore they must constantly seek new victims to brutalize, and on and on it goes. It becomes even more complicated when the humiliation and rage they feel are not legitimate because they are essentially nuts to begin with. Not fun to be around people like this at all.

There are other reasons that people behave badly as well. Emotional immaturity, lack of knowledge about the world beyond their own tiny piece of existence, lack of education, even being born psychopaths. There are a great many reasons that people behave badly, but regardless of the reasons, the outcomes and effects are the same. Serious damage is done to others. Worst of all is how impossible it is to stop people behaving badly, and how often there is nothing the victims can do about it. Justice will not come. Often the victims cannot even explain to someone else what they are going through. They are not believed, or they are accused in some way. Too many times, legitimate victims have no means of defending themselves and the nasty persons win. They often win big. And the victims simply fade away, broken and demoralized and alone.

That's a general description of the concept I'm talking about. Shitty people. People from all walks of life, all social and economic backgrounds, whether they do it alone, do it with a family, do it with a group, organization or on the job, rich or poor, old or young, all races, both sexes, all of them have some shitty people. Now here is the question I have that I would love to get your reasoned and thoughtful responses to. How do we deal with such shitty people?

There is an old saying in America, "You can't fight City Hall". What that means is that one wronged person alone cannot take on City Hall and win. One person fighting for justice against a larger group of people, people enclosed to themselves, people all on the same page, corrupted, self serving, for a plethora of reasons and motivations, will be able to use an assortment of tricks and tactics, while backing each other up, in order to close ranks and present an impenetrable wall to the seeker of justice. One person cannot win against such a group. The group has strengths and resources that the single individual does not have. And when you throw into the equation that the group is a shitty group of people it becomes all the more impossible to prevail against them. It can often become dangerous to even try to take them on.

When we're talking about formal, organized groups like the police, the courts, the government, institutions and so forth, you know that as a single individual you have no chance whatsoever of being heard or getting a fair outcome. This is about power. The group has it all, the individual has none. One person cannot prevail here. It is much more likely that he will be crushed out of existence. It doesn't matter that he is right and they are wrong, all that matters is who has the most power.

Historically though, when groups become abusive their abuses are seen by the general public. The more abusive they become the more visible they become. And the more people they victimize the more chance there is that those victims will become a group that will then begin to have some power and can begin to fight back. The general public can see both the abusers and the abused and some of them will stand up for the abused. This is political and there have been countless successes against abusive powers. It's not always pretty but success is not out of the question when groups take on other groups to force shitty people out of power and restore justice into the status quo. When power is equalized you can fight for what's right. When you have no power you just get victimized.

But how can a single individual fight back? Is there no hope at all for individual justice?

Something that I find deeply disturbing is that there are a lot of people who have a nasty value system. We see this in the military, in those who remain invisible to us but who are the ones responsible for long range planning and overall military philosophy. We see this in big business, in Wall Street, in the class wars we're in today like hair on fire. Some people consider the world and the way it works and they ask themselves, what can I do to guarantee that I will get my way and have everything I want? And the answer to them is a no brainer. Use force. Force overcomes everything. Force, violence, the more overwhelming and unnecessary the better, literally reduces the enemy to ashes. This is the guarantee of total success.

It means dropping all human decency, ignoring every law standing in your way, behaving as badly, as madly, as it takes to crush the opposition. The only rules that matter are the ones you make.

This "philosophy" of total selfishness and brutality is in direct opposition to my own philosophy of life and my personal values. I feel respect for others. I do not believe that I should have whatever I want at any expense to others. I am a firm believer in the golden rule. But then I also have a fundamental desire to see everyone do well. I want everyone to be happy and get their needs met and live wonderful, free lives. But there are many others who do not want these things. They do not share my desire to see everyone else doing okay. On the contrary. They have no respect for others. They don't care about others. In fact, some of them despise others and want them all dead. There is nothing new here, this is imperialism and it's been strangling the world for millennia.

But that same imperialist attitude is encountered at the personal level too. It is so common it's not even funny. We have a lot of names for it, racism, sexism, etc., but it boils down to that same exact mentality of self over others. There are people today snatching people off the streets and selling them into slavery, sexual slavery, labor slavery. It's happening in our midst, not just in far away places. This is a mindset that is pervasive. Other people are exploited for personal benefit without a single thought given to the injustice done to the victim. Nobody cares about the victim in their circles. In fact, people like this feel absolutely entitled to victimize others as much as they like.
ENTITLED to have a sexual slave. ENTITLED to exploit individuals or groups of people because it is what they see as beneficial to themselves and somehow that translates into entitlement to destroy other human beings at will.

I can't speak to that because I don't understand it other than to say it is wrong and they are wrong and they are nasty, shitty people. I don't know how to not give a damn about doing harm to someone else. I don't know how to not care about someone's life being stolen, about enslaving them and using them for whatever I please. I could never do it. I don't even like being waited on at a restaurant because nobody is supposed to be subservient to me or to anyone else. But I'll tell you what, you'll find no shortage of people feeling entitled to top notch "service", and demanding it in the most obnoxious, snarling and insulting ways. As if it were owed to them to have someone else think of nothing else but serving them, breaking their back to keep them firmly ensconced in their delusions of superiority and entitlement to be treated like a king. To me people like this are just plain nuts.

The reality is that people like me are snack food for people like them. Even though there are many more people like me than there are people like them, they have power. Shittiness is power. Full blown shittiness, the kind where the shitty person feels entitled to be that way, can make millions of people's lives absolutely miserable. They do more damage to more people in a day than I could ever do in a million lifetimes. I would never hurt anyone on purpose, it's not in me.

I do believe in defending myself against shitty people who harbor the delusion that they are entitled to do harm to others for no good reason other than they want to. I know they're not entitled. Their personal delusions don't bind me or anyone else. I'll shoot 'em if they're fixing to shoot me or if they're shooting other defenseless people. Hell yes, I wouldn't hesitate because they don't get to force their personal will on others. I know the difference between right and wrong and nobody gets to run around stealing people's lives and happiness. No such creature exists who has any such right. It's nonsense. I wouldn't relish shooting someone in self defense, and if I killed them it would be deeply upsetting, but I wouldn't bear any guilt over it. Standing up for your own life in the face of imminent destruction is fair and square. They started it and if I have to finish it, I will.

Not every situation is that clear cut and it's not always about imminent threat to life. At the personal level it's usually about beliefs, insecurities, immaturity, selfishness, jealousy, things like that. It's not a life or death situation, but the damage done is still very real. Being insulted, dismissed, ignored, being treated thoughtlessly or unjustly, these are all things that take a very real toll on human beings. It's that imperialist attitude of entitlement to not consider others again, it's amazing how common it is.

What do you say to people like this? You have to deal with them. If you don't they'll just run over you like a Mac truck runs over road kill. But what do you say? Remember too how easy it is to become what you hate, we see it every day on the world news reports. If we say we must fight fire with fire then we become what we are against. We become the same as they are. We are not the same, and I won't have that taken away from me.

So far I have found that the way to deal with these people is to simply speak the truth. State the facts of the situation in a way that is succinct, deadly accurate, and without anger. Truth is a mighty weapon and it can and does take down giants. Sometimes the truth is dismissed and I am accused of all sorts of preposterous nonsense. Sometimes people caught with their pants down will stand and angrily deny their pants are around their ankles and they will attack you for the rest of their life rather than take a look at their own ankles and see for themselves how silly they are.

In your own daily life, how do you deal with the petty imperialists that stomp in and stir up discord? What is the best way in your experience to deal with the bullies, the liars, the cheats? Conversely, what is the worst way?
What has worked in the past and what hasn't?

If anyone would care to offer anything up from their own personal life experience I'd be delighted to hear from you.


On a very personal note, my Dad passed away on Oct. 2nd. Cancer. I didn't get to be with him when he died. I didn't get the chance to say good-bye or to tell him things I wanted him to know before he went away forever. Although we didn't see eye to eye on some things and our relationship has always been a difficult one, there were some things about him that I admired very much. He was a dignified man. He had diverse interests. He had a creative streak which he often shared with me, like his love of stamp and coin collecting, Far Eastern culture, leather working. He could even knit amazing sweaters. He built a huge boat all by himself in our garage, it was amazing. A cabin cruiser. Once it was finished he sold it without even taking it out on the ocean. He'd spent twenty years in the Navy and retired, coming then into the private sector where he got a regular job like everyone else. He tended to be rather serious and could be quite intimidating at times. But he was also superb with people, a perfect host or guest. He treated my mother with great respect and never abused her in any way. He loved her very much and that's a fact.

One of the things I liked most about him was his willingness to hear information contrary to his current opinion, and to see my point, and even then to change is position. For instance, I remember once being at his house and george w. bush was on the TV. President bush was saying that we really had to do something about frivolous lawsuits. He then claimed that 60% of lawsuits against corporations were frivolous. They were a waste of tax payer money. He was talking about abolishing lawsuits against corporations. My Dad was listening and immediately was on the president's side. Sixty percent was over half and it was not acceptable at all. He would have been willing to go along with whatever the president said he was going to do about it. I looked at my Dad and asked, even if it's true that 60% of those lawsuits were frivolous, what about the 40% that aren't? He quietly thought for a moment then said, "You're right. I hadn't thought of that." How can you not love that about somebody?

I'm going to miss him. I'll miss his strength. I will miss the feeling that no matter what, my Dad's got my back. He was a pretty good guy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Wonder If...

I wonder if there would ever be another war,
instead of mass slaughtering civilians, civilian homes, schools, and critical infrastructure... only heads of state would be bombed. If the innocent civilian populations of all countries were strictly off limits in times of war, not to be touched by violence or destruction and instead only those directly responsible for war, those crying out and clamoring for war, would be the only ones targeted by the machines of war... I wonder, would we ever see another war? If only the presidential estates, the war think tanks, the political institutions, the highest seats of governments, parliaments and congresses were the sole targets of cluster bombs and land mines, if only the luxury homes and neighborhoods of the wealthiest and most powerful people were bombed to oblivion, if only the major corporations and major financial institutions and financial districts would be singled out for bunker busting, targeting by drones and D.U. munitions, which is only fair and right because these are the people responsible for war, if this was the way that wars were fought, do you think we would ever see another war?

And what if the nation's capitol was in flames after being brutally bombed into ruins, after white phosphorous bombs were liberally dropped from the sky, as the guys in thousand dollars suits and ties were burning and screaming in agony, (at least the ones who survived), along with the ladies in high heels wearing those huge Pebbles and Bam Bam pearl necklaces, if these utterly important worldly men and women were trapped and bleeding underneath smoking rubble, skin burning unstoppably, limbs torn off, brains on the walls, instead of sending in help, we sent in heavily armed troops and police, not to assist these people, but to point machine guns at them, at the politicians and heads of state, you know, to prevent looting. I wonder how well that would go?

I wonder if the bombed and injured politicians would applaud us and tell us we did the right thing in looking out for "stuff" in the midst of incalculable human suffering and need, instead of bending over backwards to save lives and help people. I'm sure they'd say it was the right thing to do. They've told us such behavior is the exact right thing to do, in Haiti, after Katrina, all over America, they've said so over and over again.

And what if we rounded up the filthy criminal bankers and corrupt liars and insiders and all of the cohort of official criminals and we hooded and shackled them, stripped off their clothes, gave them drug filled enemas so they'd pass out and put them on airplanes, headed to points unknown, and 12 hours later we dropped them in a foreign country and left them there to be brutally tortured, anally raped with sticks and bottles and gun barrels, and hung from their wrists in some dark and filthy cell for days at a time without food, without medical attention, where they were beaten daily and their bones were broken and they were injected with drugs against their will and mentally tortured every minute of every day with no contact with the outside world and no hope, how do you suppose that would go over? Do you suppose the self same politicians who enabled the crimes and created these laws in the first place would still stand up for their laws and say, "It is good that you've done this to protect us all". Do you suppose that could ever happen?

And what if any of those banker criminals and their partners in crime in congress and the greater political cesspit began to protest, saying, "You can't do this to us! We have legal rights! We demand a trial! We demand a lawyer! We demand the right to defend ourselves! We demand to know what we are being charged with!" And we said, "Shut your face, you ain't getting any of that. You're guilty because we say you're guilty. You're going to be in prison in a shit hole getting tortured for the rest of your life, you ain't got no rights, you don't deserve the benefits of our precious American rights", how do you suppose that would play out? Would the self same politicians who created all of this in the first place say, "Righto! Well done! It's the best thing for our country! That's freedom and democracy baby! That's genuine bona fide National Security!" Or instead, might they mess their own pants in fear and panic that it was all turning around and coming back to them, to the people who created all of these despicable practices in the first place?

How can it be that we are supposed to see no hypocrisy in the way the rules apply to all of the equal beings in our free and democratic country? How can it be that some things are unthinkable wrongs when they are done to some people, but are heroic democratic patriotic goodness when they are done to others? Which is it? It can't be both. It is either good to do these things or it is bad to do them. Unless of course you believe that some people are better than others so they don't deserve equal justice, they deserve to elude justice and be rewarded for their crimes while everyone else receives injustice and pays the highest price possible for crimes and misdemeanors, whether they are guilty or not. Is that free and democratic? Is that good and right and National Security and Law Enforcement O-Tastic goodness? Or is it total crap? I think it's grotesquely obvious total crap but what I think is not the question. The question is, what do you think?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mass Media Illusion

The people I know who are still sound asleep don't see anything going wrong.  They are content and distracted, completely disconnected from the world that sustains them.  They have no understanding of this. They think their state of disconnection is actually being connected.  What are they connected to?  The mass media.

Some folks sit in front of a television set for hours every day. They will turn on the TV in the morning and leave it on all day whether they're watching it or not. The TV is the last thing that gets turned off at night.  When they do sit down to watch it, their favorite shows are interrupted every few minutes with groups of advertisements trying to sell products of every conceivable kind.  The ads don't just play once but are shown over and over and over again.  The constant interruptions are outrageous and insulting but they don't mind.  They don't feel the insult of it and won't refuse to put up with it.  They would never say "Enough is enough", pull the plug on the TV set and cancel the cable TV account.  It would never occur to them to phone the cable company and say they are no longer willing to be abused and exploited by people who want their money and that they're closing their account and won't be back until the commercials are gone.  They will probably never just walk away from it all and go do something else instead.  No.  For the rest of their lives and their children's lives they will sit in front of the TV set for hours each day and night and intake the commercials as if the commercials are a part of the show.  As if commercials naturally belong there like unavoidable thorns on a long stemmed rose.  As if commercials are a natural part of television.   It's a trade off they have come to perceive as normal and expected.

Trade offs in nature are not unusual.  Coconuts have impossibly hard shells to break in order to get to the edible white nut inside. Watermelons are unfortunately studded with little black seeds that are not pleasant to bite on.  Bees make honey but they also sting people, and so on.  In nature the upsides often come with downsides.  But there is an important difference between coconuts and TV commercials.  TV commercials are not a naturally occuring phenomenon.  In fact they are wholly unnatural.  There is no human need for them.  For the most part people don't like them or want to watch them. After an established fifty plus year track record it is safe to say that TV advertising is pernicious, destructive and hated.  Any sane person of sober mind would undoubtedly agree that TV commercials should be abolished.  

Television should be for people. It should be about people.  It should benefit the public, not the ethically crippled profiteers who feed on our minds, bodies and cash.  Television as a technology has the potential to reach, teach and inform.  It could also facilitate two way communication as opposed to passive one way output,  allowing people at both the local and national levels to actually talk back and to participate and do interesting things, even paradigm changing things.
For instance, we could use the TV for voting. We could stop voting for personalities that pretend to represent us and instead we could directly vote on the issues that affect our lives ourselves.  We could do that and actually have a say in how things are done around here. TV could be a people empowering technology that makes us stronger, smarter, wiser, more knowlegeable than we have ever thought possible. TV could lift the whole world higher. But no.  Instead, the commercial TV product makes people passive and stupid, disconnected from reality, insecure and covetous.  It addicts, disables and disempowers people, turning their brains to mush while making corporations richer through carpet bombing the human psyche with unmitigated idiocy and scientifically perfected mechanisms to undermine and destroy the capacity of people to think for themselves at all.  TV is nothing more than a tool of exploitation of all of our people so that the rich and powerful can get richer and more powerful and maintain an ever increasing control over all of our lives to an extent that is truly horrifying.  It's really quite rude.

When I say things like that to those who are still asleep they look at me like I'm crazy.  They don't deny what I'm saying they just don't see it as that big a deal.  They are sure that they are too smart to be affected by anything on the TV set, programs or otherwise.  They feel informed and in control and are not concerned about what I'm saying.  By the same token they don't know anything about the economy or history or what their dearly elected are doing.  They often don't even know the name of the vice president or for that matter the names of their alleged representatives.  They can't name or describe a single piece of legislation that has ever been on the table or was passed into law and don't pay the slightest attention to all things political.  They can however tell you all about Bart Simpson, sports, their favorite soft drinks, the Oprah show and their favorite places to shop and go out to eat, what the kids want to buy and have and do and with rare exception no one in their family ever picks up a book or considers reading or taking a trip to the library.  They think I'm funny for even bringing it up.

To them I am the disconnected one.  I am the one who does not see the way and the light.  They are plugged in to "the happening" as it unfolds each day and is presented to them.  They know who's who and what's hot and what's not.  They know the latest movie that everyone wants to see and the newest cool cell phone model and all about cell phone plans and costs.  They know all of the pop stars and all of the popular songs, the TV shows and TV stars and hottest people and movies out of Hollywood.  When they turn on the car radio they enjoy listening to it while I can't stand the car radio for two seconds because it is sheer insanity.  Insanity is the norm in this country.  Insanity is good.  Insanity is fun.  Insanity for one and all is the goal and the reason for living.  Plug in to the insanity and join the insanity collective and you can be normal too.

Here's the thing.  There is no such thing as "the happening".  It is all an illusion.  It is believed to be real because it is an ongoing story that people identify with.  People live their lives vicariously through identifying with an externally generated stream of illusion.  They take their identities, perspectives and values from an externally generated, pervasive, all encompasing, non stop, 24 hours a day, illusion stream.  It feels real to them.  It is real to them.

Take away the TV set, the movies, the advertising, the pop stars, the radio, shut it all off.  Now tell me who you are.  Tell me what is real.  Tell me what matters now.   

A shock of silence happens when the external bombast of the mass media collective is removed from conscious awareness.  Attention is abruptly focused within instead of everywhere else except within.  In that silence you can hear yourself think.  Only in that silence can you hear yourself at all.  The question is, can you stand it?  

Can you stand hearing your own mind and no other voices?  Can you sit in silence and think?  Can you bear being all by yourself?  Have you ever considered doing something on your own, without anybody else being with you?  Does the very idea of being alone frighten you?

If you feel that being disconnected from everything happening out there would be horrible and unbearable and that you'd feel lost and alone and wouldn't know what was going on and wouldn't have the slightest idea what to do with yourself, then I have a question for you.  Do you actually exist?

Would there still be a "you" if you were blocked off from all of those external things and other people?  Do you exist as a unique individual with your own identity and ideas that come from yourself and are not dependent on what anybody else thinks or says?  Who are you?  Do you know?  Do you know what the meaning of your life is? Do you care about what it means to exist in a world floating in space, or why you are here, or why it matters?  Does it even matter to you?

I can't show you proof to support this, but my guess is that most people ask themselves questions about meaning fairly early in life.  Around the time we're becoming teenagers we start to wonder about things like why we exist and where we come from and what it all means.  This is the time when we stop being Mom and Dad's little acorn, a product of the trees they are, and we start to become a tree of our own.

The first thing a tree has to do is set down roots.  Unless and until it can do that it can't do much growing.  If the spot it tries to grow its roots into isn't optimal for growth then it won't become a big strong tree.  It might not die but it will be limited in its growth and will likely come out small and scraggly and unable to produce much, if anything at all.   

You are a tree.  I am a tree.  We are all trees.  The difference is that we can decide when and where to grow our roots and just as important, what we want to use as our life's ground.  Whatever we grow out of will be the foundation of everything about us. What we grow into and become is inextricably linked to that foundation.  The roots I am speaking of are not physical, they are mental.  The roots of our mind will determine who we are.  

It's easy to see how plugging in to the collective mass media illusion seems like an easy and obvious way out of facing up to and dealing with the questions of identity and meaning churning around in the turmoil of everything else inside us.  It's also very difficult to ignore the mass media or avoid it.  It's as if there are enormous flat screens floating over our heads at every moment of our lives depicting the ongoing stories, the illusions, of the collective. We have no control over what is projected nor are we a part of its story.  We don't personally know any of the familiar people on its screens or anything about them and yet we feel as if we do know them and they feel like real and authentic people to us who are somehow a part of our lives.  Nothing on the screens are our own story and nothing we see and hear has anything to do with our lives; but there it is anyway and the people projected there are glamorous and beautiful, wealthy and successful.  They are cool, they are right, they are popular, or authoritative, or extreme or geeks or they're angry, rebellious, fighting back, lashing out, being stalked by a lunatic with a chain saw, having sex with everybody and anybody, there is always somebody up there to identify with.  Whether we know it or not or like it or not we will emulate these illusory people.  We will dress like they dress and try to look like they look.  We will say the things they say and behave as they behave.  They are our illusory role models, digital projections who are not even real, but we don't think about that.  We just take it in as our reality.

If the collective mass media becomes the soil we put down our roots into then illusion becomes the foundation that supports our world view.  Illusion becomes the source of our personal identity. And illusion becomes what interests us most.  Life is easy to understand because all questions are already answered, all values are already assigned, and everything is pre-labelled, pre-chewed, pre-discovered and provided.  Life becomes effortless.  All you have to do is choose.  Choose an identity and go buy the accessories that go with it.  Life is but a dream.

Nothing in the illusion can answer our questions of meaning, self worth or true identity.  No illusion can supply the real meaning that is the only soil we can grow in.  Even our growth is an illusion.  Our thoughts and opinions are based on illusions, along with our self image and ideas about everything in the world.  Our thoughts, feelings and values about these things don't come from our own tree, they come from a tree of illusions and we are only pretending they belong to us and are us.  We will never feel whole or satisfied without answering those questions ourselves.  Those questions will be like sneakers in the dryer of our minds, banging around waiting to be pulled out and dealt with.  If we ignore them long enough or talk ourselves out of paying attention to them, eventually we won't hear them anymore.  If we fear facing those questions, if we avoid them, deny them, or tell ourselves that they are proof that we are not like everybody else and we must hide them or nobody will respect us anymore, then eventually we will learn to successfully block out the noise they make inside our minds.  It is a choice.  Listening to our truth within, or choosing the collective mind.  We can choose reality and truth and grow ourselves, which is plenty interesting and rewarding. Or we can opt to allow exciting and beautiful illusions to define us.  We can let other people form our mind, construct our self image, think for us, and make us believe that we are no more than what they want us to be.  If we allow the illusion stream to define us then our life is an illusion and we will be entirely unequipped to handle reality when it inevitably rears it's terrifying head and vomits into our lap.  

Please, if you have kids, pull the damn plug on the TV.  Don't let your kids sit in front of the thing morning, noon and night.  They still have a slim chance to exist for real, not as an illusion.  I don't know what life will be like when nothing is real anymore. The day is coming.  In fact, it's pretty much here.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Politically Correct

Are you, or is anyone you know, Politically Correct?  
If so, you may want to consider the consequences.

Consequences, you say?  What consequences? 

Well, how about this one.  Being politically correct runs the serious risk of you reducing yourself to a junk yard dog for the Thought Police.  Are you the property of the Thought Police?  Are they your masters? 

No, you say.  I am no one's property but my own. 

Oh really. 
Well here's a test. 

You hear someone saying, "I am against all of this illegal immigration.  I absolutely believe when illegal immigrants are caught they should be deported back to where they came from".   

Or, "I can't stand homosexuals.  They make me sick.  They are all going to go to hell".

Upon hearing these things, how do you react?  If you are a junk yard dog of the Thought Police, your reaction will be something like this:

"Woof!"  "Woof Woof!"  "There is somebody thinking incorrect thoughts!  How revolting they are!  I despise them! They must be corrected!  I will go tell them how despicable they are and let them know they are not okay with me!  I am entitled to do this because my masters told me so".

If you are not a junk yard dog of the Thought Police your reaction would be more along these lines:

"Whether I agree with them or not, everybody is entitled to their own opinion".

Which of these reactions is closest to your own way of thinking? 

This is no small thing.  You may honestly believe that your politically correct opinions are your own, but they may not be.  The more adamant you are about your popular politically correct opinion the more likely it is that your opinion is really not your own.  The more intolerant you are of other people's viewpoints and opinions, the more likely it is that you have been brainwashed into holding your politically correct opinion.  To put it simply, you have been cultified.  You have been Jim Jonesed. You are no longer you.  You are the property of the Thought Police and will spend years of your life barking at, snarling at, attacking and reporting on anyone you run across who is thinking unauthorized thoughts.  Is that really something you set out to be?   An intolerant attack dog of the Thought Police? 

Do you believe that what other people think needs to be policed?  Do you believe that people with viewpoints other than your own are automatically bad?  Do differing viewpoints offend you and make you angry?  If so, why?

If I like yellow and you like blue does it take anything away from you?  No it does not.  The same is true even if I am a racial separatist.  A militia member.  A neo nazi.  A felon.  Even if I question the holocaust.  Even if I am a Muslim, or an atheist, or a Christian or a Jew.  Even if I'm a liberal or a conservative.  The nature of the difference is irrelevant.  I can feel 100% different about a barrel full of things than you do and it will not affect you in any way.  It does not take anything from you.  It does not prevent you from having your own thoughts and feelings and viewpoints.  You will retain everything that is rightfully yours.  It is not a threat to you in any way when I see things differently than you do.

My thoughts and opinions, viewpoints and beliefs have nothing to do with you.  These are a part of my identity and I have every right to them, as much right as you have to yours.  My beliefs coexist in this world with your beliefs, there is no problem here.  So why then should you feel offended and angry at my rightful opinion?  You could only feel offense and anger if you are intolerant of other people's rightful opinions.  Your intolerance is a form of aggression against me.  You want to use force to try to take away what is rightfully mine.  Now which of us is wrong?  Who is harming who?

The simple reality is that everyone has their own thoughts and feelings and these are not up to anyone else to determine.  I feel and think what I feel and think, and so do you.  There is nothing wrong with this, it is normal and healthy and necessary.  The one thing any of us have to offer is our own unique way of seeing things.  It behooves us to listen to each other.  If we don't agree it doesn't mean anything.  It is not a reason to become enemies or to fight. 

If we try to understand each other's position we will probably be able to understand why we feel the way we do.  Once we understand why certain feelings and beliefs are held we can see that there are reasons behind them, that it's not just senseless or hateful thinking.  It may be misguided or mistaken, but we can understand that if we saw what they saw, we would feel the way they feel.  This is not a crime.  If we honestly care about justice and peace then we are obligated to make the effort to understand other people's positions.

Once we understand each other, we can see the bigger picture.  We don't have to agree or  embrace each other's beliefs.  We can retain our individuality totally, but we can at least understand why we feel the way we do.  We can see it is not a threat to us.  We can simply agree to disagree.  We can still be on courteous terms, we could even go out to lunch with each other.  This is a good outcome.  If we are civilized people we want a good outcome.  We want to be able to get along with everyone we can.  All it takes is some tolerance, some respect, and to make the effort to understand why other people see things the way they do.  If we do this the odds of experiencing good outcomes and improved relationships are much improved.  We can still respect the person but disagree with their opinion.   We must make room for one another because the alternative is destruction.  Will we kill our way to happiness?  It doesn't work that way.  It never has and it never will. 

If we don't even try to understand someone else then how can we judge them?  If we don't understand why someone else sees things so very differently than we do, then we do not know the whole story.  We only know our own side of the story.  It is always a terrible mistake to tell ourselves that only our side of the story is the whole story.  It is not.  As long as there is someone else involved then they have a side of the story too.  To ignore it or dismiss it without listening and apply our judgment to them is evil.  That's right.  It is sheer evil. 

It is evil because we don't care about knowing the truth.  When we don't care about what the truth is, then we are lost in dishonesty.  We are dishonest with our own selves.  Who can we be without truth?  What will we become when we don't care what the whole truth is?  Can we become wise and just when we don't care about truth?  No. We can only become ignorant and unfair when we care more about protecting our own position than we care about understanding the positions of everyone involved.  This is the only way we can get to the whole truth.

But what do we do when somebody is saying something that we strongly disagree with? 

Until you develop skills like tact and humor, there is only one acceptable way to respond, and that is to shut up.  If you are incapable of letting someone have their opinion then the problem is with you, not with them.  They are not doing anything wrong.  They are not doing anything "to you".  If however you attack them for their thoughts and feelings then you are definitely out of line.  You have no right to batter anyone with your fists or your words.  After all, who the hell are you and what makes you better or right or anything else?  You have no right to dictate what others must think or feel.  You wouldn't appreciate someone doing that to you, would you?  Then don't do it to anyone else.  If you truly can't tolerate what someone else is saying then leave.  Be polite, but walk away.  It's really that simple. 

Ostensibly, you hold your strong politically correct opinion because you want the world to be a better place.  But if you truly want the world to be a better place then you must instinctively know that we can't get there through violence, abuse and anger.  We have to learn to accept one another as is and never make the mistake of stepping on people by dictating to them what they must think and feel.  They are capable of doing their own thinking and feeling.  It is not our place to dictate anything to anyone else.  Policing other people's opinions is not our job. 

What our job is, is to learn how to handle it.  Gracefully.  Fairly.  Objectively.  Respectfully.  That is, if that is the kind of world you want to live in.  If that is the way you would like to be treated.  If it is, then you had better treat others that way, and not just when it's easy but when it's hard.  That's when it matters most. That's how we make real changes in this world, changes for the better.  When we are fair with people.  When we show respect for people by making human life more important than being right.  When we make sure to preserve other people's dignity when interacting with them and don't feel entitled to tear into anyone for what they believe.  There is no such right, I don't care what your cause is or how strongly you feel about it. 

Understand, this is not about what other people think, this is about you.  This is about who you are.  This is about the kind of person you are.  Are you a good and decent person?  Then act like one.  If you behave like a bully, like a junk yard dog of the thought police, then that is what you are.  That is not being a good and decent person.  That is being oppressive and controlling, judgmental and small minded.  Hello?  Think about it. 

Letting other people be who they are is the most powerful truth in the world.  Let them be who they are.  Let each of us decide for ourselves what we think.  If we don't do that, if we slam doors in people's faces, if we treat them with disrespect because of their beliefs, we are bringing misery into this world.  We are bringing resentment and injustice into the world.  We are forcing the creation of separation between equal beings, making some "good" and others "bad".  This is wrongful and destructive.  It does not make the world better, it makes things harder for everyone.  These are the seeds of war.  What do you help by planting them?

It is so important to show respect to everyone, it is absolutely necessary.  That we disagree with them is irrelevant, that is never grounds to treat people with disrespect or cruelty.  How could it be?  What nonsense.  We are not the end all and be all of the world, no one is.  We are not special, no one is.  We are all equal beings.  We all count.  Regardless of whether or not WE happen to agree or disagree with anyone else we are still equal beings and we still deserve to be treated with respect. 

As long as we can agree to disagree, we can find a way to get along.  It is only when somebody somewhere decides they must have their way and refuses to show a basic respect for others that everything comes apart.  That is when violence begins. Injustice, cruelty, torture, imprisonment, intolerance, taking sides, name calling, nasty lies, manipulations... all of the things that tear relationships, friendships, and nations apart.

Everyone deserves to be heard. 
Every side must be given equal time to tell its portion of the story.
All sides must be considered before we can draw conclusions about anything.
It is far better to assume that everyone is at least partially right, rather than to assume only you are right.  When everyone has a valid viewpoint, when everyone is right, we are much more likely to work together to find answers than we are if we refuse to acknowledge that other people actually have reasons for feeling what they do.

Political correctness is a lie.  It is exactly the opposite of what it pretends to be.  Political correctness is a method of controlling the minds of others.  It is oppressive and deceptive.  It turns people into monsters.  It broadcasts orders to attack others, to behave with incredible selfishness and intolerance, it makes people feel entitled to behave rudely.  What is "correct" anyway?  Correct is different depending on the people looking at the equation.  To be so arrogant as to presume that you are automatically correct and no one else can be correct is dishonest at best, and fascistic at its core.  If you believe in freedom then being politically correct is a total contradiction.  It can only be one or the other.  Either you believe in freedom or you believe that people must be controlled by force.  Which is it?

If what someone else is saying makes you want to get in their face or hurl labels at them like racist, or denier, then you must stop yourself and ask yourself one question, "What's it to me what somebody else thinks?"   Is it your problem what they think?  No. Is it within your control to make them think otherwise?  No. Is it your right to dictate to them what they should believe?  No.   Are you responsible for what anyone else thinks?  No.  Then why are you carrying their luggage?  Let them carry their own luggage while you relax.  It's not yours to worry about.

You must accept that you have no power to change anyone but yourself.  You cannot make people see things differently, at least not by attacking or disrespecting them.  They will definitely not consider your perspective if you show no respect for theirs.  You get back what you put out and if you put out a brick in the face don't expect hugs in return. 

It is also worth questioning why you feel the need to be so controlling of others.  If you're losing friends over disagreements in matters of opinion, maybe you need to look at you for a change.  Maybe you need to mind your own business instead of somebody else's business for a change.  Why do you expect anyone to embrace your position in lieu of their own when all you do is come at them with insults and disrespect?  You are only throwing gasoline on the fire when you do that, and yet you expect them to forfeit their honest beliefs and step over to your way of thinking?  Is that silly or what?

No matter who anyone is, or what they think, treat them with the same respect you want to be treated with.  It is never about them, it is always about you.  Your behavior is all you have control over, are you doing your best?  Really?  Is showing off your intolerance for others something to take pride in?  Or is understanding that everyone has equal rights to their beliefs something to take pride in?  I'd say it's the latter.

Anyone can be intolerant in the name of some greater good.  Just like the Spanish Inquisition.  Be careful who your masters are.  If you don't you will soon find yourself steeped in hate and self-righteousness even as you claim to be against them. 

Bottom line:  don't ever let anyone else tell you what to think.  Think for yourself.  And when you get to the point that you can defend someone else's right to their opinion, even though you disagree with what they're saying, then you'll have done more to do good in this world than you'll ever know.