Monday, July 25, 2016

Seeing the Ghost in the Fog

"I've told people that hunting for spies is like trying to find a ghost in the fog. You've got to believe first of all, that they're there. And you have to have enough drive to keep looking."
- Scott Carmichael, Criminal Investigator (Ret.), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA, the Intelligence arm of the Pentagon).

That is how it is with hunting spies. As confusing as it is, this is also how it is with conspiracy theories or divining political maneuvering in real time. While spy hunters are in dangerous intellectual territory by seeking a foregone conclusion, it is typically after being alerted to an actual threat based on real intelligence, having been analyzed by actual intelligence people, and then seeking out more evidence to support it.

Civilians, amateurs, in fact most Americans, do not have that expertise in field experience.

What they  tend to "find" is typically mere conjecture, pure and simple. Pattern finding of coincidences or potential for something where there really is no something there to be found. Much of that has to do with "feel good" findings, possible and sometimes not even plausible situations that support their polarized contentions and beliefs about things that simply do not exist.

And I'm not even getting into things like "confirmation bias".


Yet for some their nice and tidy faux beliefs serve their purpose in the moment, if not in an historical context.

Is the left doing this or that? Are those on the right pulling something yet again? Some easily believe. Some require more proof.

Is Putin attacking the Democrats by releasing a hack of information to Wikileaks to the egoist Assange? Has Putin been working (stealing DNC emails?) to get a most ever defective candidate in Donald Trump elected President becuase they seem to have an admiration society going on between the two of them?

Or becuase Putin thinks Trump would weaken America, especially after a powerhouse like Obama had been in office for eight years as president? Putin manipulating things behind the scenes becuase he wants a defective as president? Trump because he wants to get elected? Two birds on the same branch?
Putin \ Trump, 2020?
People walk past a mural on a restaurant wall depicting US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin greeting each other with a kiss in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.
Is Trump a Russian dupe? If so, congrats Russia. Professionally speaking, nice work. But I doubt Trump's ego would knowingly allow that. So Putin is either manipulating him without his realizing it or there is (more likely) a disconnected monetary element involved.

Putin in having been KGB trained by an organization who's roots go back to those who developed disinformation and sophisticated means of affecting change in foreign governments, certainly has the background for it. The old Soviet being who the Brits learned disinformation from after years of their being manipulated and who who we then learned it from in WWII. Russia has a lot to be proud of.

This it the type of information that travels like wildfire across a nation. Is it true? Isn't it? Just the fear, the questioning of such information can be valuable...to some. Consider that some of what in this current election could seem like pressure from outside forces, can at least in part simply be business as (un)usual.

But then as a friend put it on Facebook today: "Just for a second, ignore all of this noise and consider that Vladmir Putin and Kim Jong Il both want Donald Trump to be President." Trump has said things about NK and has said things Putin would like about his interesting in Eastern Europe, among other things. Even our comedy news people, such as Trevor Noah, who is from South Africa and has replaced the amazing Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, can clearly see what is going on with Trump.

Look. If you support Putin, if you think he's a really great guy and a fabulous leader, fine. It's your country. Make your best choices, if and when possible, like we all do (hopefully). Putin has a lot on his plate as does China, as do we.

It's interesting to note where in the 1980s we were told to learn Russian, now we hear we should learn Chinese and Spanish. And yet, China still looks up to Russia as it always has and Putin as well, as a leader who has a status of respect that Chinese leaders have somewhat failed to achieve.

As is said in that video clip about the question of whether we are now in a new Cold War with China and Russia, back during those days you would never have seen 100,000s of Russian students in American universities (though not the same in reverse), or find at the top levels of Chinese government, American educated officials. On the other hand, we may never have had as many operatives, agents and cyber hackers involved in our information gatherings from either of those countries.

Just consider as we need to in America or anywhere, that nationalism can easily and unexpectedly quickly, turn nasty. Remember that the world isn't just about your (our) country, but people. Yes, fight harder for your country, just remember we all need to somehow get along in a world that is ever getting smaller. One day that person you screw over, may be standing in the same room alone with you, pissed off and asking for explanations and reparations.

By the way, this connection between Putin and Trump is not just in my imagination. US Intelligence officials are showing concern, too. As indicated in a recent Huffington Post article:

"According to a former senior intelligence officer,
“Never have we had a candidate so tied to a foreign power, especially one that is so hostile to the U.S. in many ways, and one that is actively messing with our election. Many [in the intelligence community] don’t care about U.S. politics and pride themselves on being nonpartisan, but the ties to Russia are deeply disturbing.”

People are looking to someone to aim their frustration and anger at the election process. They just need to be accurate as it would have repercussions, whatever they decide to do. Were illegal activities involved or simply skirting what is allowed? Does this have to do with the currently self-destructive GOP and will it bring others down with it?

This type of thing may even keep (and has kept) political candidates from office. Only coming out much later that it was false if not completely fabricated information, depending on whether it was respectively, rumor or propaganda; misinformation or disinformation submitted out onto civil society with purely partisan political objectives.

Though sometimes it is just a money generating effort. A publicity stunt by typically right wing media if not by an opponent's political enemies. Some lightly call it, "spin".

This is the problem with much of our news media today as instant information, twenty-four hour news cycles, and for profit news overwhelm fact and reality. They move so quickly that there is little or no time for due diligence on their part, for triangulation of sources and info so that in the end we receive information that can easily be "off". That is off kilter, or completely wrong.

The speed of news today can do irrevocable damage before reality hits. Too often too many never hear a retraction or a rectification. While those who did the damage even if done innocently, get completely away with what is in effect a cancer on society. Many times bad information is not later corrected or apologized for at all.

Sometimes we get news that is simply describing what we can clearly see onscreen during a news report, in a redundant effort that truly serves no purpose whatsoever other than to fill air time. This all leads to forming an information bubble leading to frustration, a desire in individuals to find closure. When much of the time there simply isn't any to be found. Perhaps never will be. Especially when the information being shared is intentionally wrong.

Try to be aware, but also try to "find" what really is going on if and when it truly exists. Are we in a post fact society?

Speak as if you are offering conjecture when you are, because much of the time that is what you are sharing. Pure conjecture. You do yourself a disservice if you present it as fact just because you think you have "found" something, or have been told by others that it is true, or simply wish it were true out of spite.

Rumors and Propaganda.

When I was in the military one of their biggest efforts on a daily basis was to squelch rumors and propaganda before they start running wild. At first when I heard of it I thought it was stupid. That was in basic training. Then with our quarterly security indoctrination and in seeing these things in practice among fellow military and even among their families, I came to understand what the military has long known. The sheer destructive power of those two things.

We actively worked to keep rumors and propaganda in check because when we didn't, bad things happened. Just as we can see today in America at times with absolute nonsense spreading like wildfire.

Today these are frequently compartmentalized on the internet in graphical memes.

Memes as most of us know can be quite entertaining, funny, even useful. But as with so much on the internet, it should only serve as a starting point to then go search for the truth in what it is sharing. Especially in sharing facts. Though they are prime for sharing factoids, false or unproven facts they are are very good for using sarcasm against lies, propaganda and shear foolishness. Though they can also be destructive as most of us have already seen.


When I was young and in the military one of us would tell our Sgt. what we had heard, concerned about it, looking for more informed comment about it. Much of the time he would consider it, then blow it off as just more Rumors and Propaganda. And just about all of the time he was right. It saved us a lot worrying over a lot of nonsense.

It saved us grouping together against the "other", whomever it was the traveling nonsense was about. Much of the time it would be about the higher ups. Therein you get that polarization of us against them in a structure where there is a command line, control that needs to be maintained. Even if it is merely control by truth and reality over that of incorrect information. Control needs to be maintained or it can become extremely dangerous, or at the very least it can damage morale.

We had been told back then that the military was the "perfect society". A microcosm of overall America. So we had to keep rumors and such in check else they would be even more devastating than they can and have been in America at large.

If only America at large showed as much attention and concern over rumors and propaganda as we did in the military, we might not be embedded in such a morass of ignorance and even stupidity as we are today. Instead sadly, many latch onto nonsense and share it as fact. The result of which is quite apparent.

We need to try to realize whenever we are hearing or sharing information , just what might be rumors or propaganda rather than as solid news and information. If we do that we will save us all a great deal of what is currently going on all across this country.

Lies and misery. There can be lots of confusion and frustration in yearning for, observing whatever information can be found when typically there may be too little. Even incorrect information has its appear at times because it is up against such a strong desire for closure and understanding. However we may not now or within the time frame necessary, ever really know the truth.

Especially if we do not have the capacity to understand it in all its complexities as so many of us don't. Especially when at times, simply none can be found.

Let me restate my point and put it into words some will more betterer understand even more clearily stumble into understanding.

I'm not saying I'm any kind of a genius here. Or that I'm an expert. Though I do seemingly and not infrequently have more of a handle on the extent and correlation of some of these things than do some who speak so boldly, so loudly, on them; who do not think they can ever be incorrect. Or who admit they can be incorrect, but never really exhibit that reality.

Sometimes these are people who very possibly do know better, even if they can't openly admit it even to themselves. Sadly if you are sharp, if you are the type to acknowledge these things, if you do try to curb bad information, then you may be some of those who think that this is you too. A part of the masses of people sharing nonsense, when very possibly that's simply not the case. Maybe, you're one of the good ones.

That is the kind of murkiness we're dealing with here. Not all of us realize that and as I have said, some of those who have loudest voices tend to be the most ignorant of their inconsistencies and incorrectness.

All I'm saying here really is this, and excuse my vulgar irritation:

F*cking pay attention people!
Because some of you out there are just spewing total bullsh*t all over the rest of us!
It's damaging what you claim to love most.
What we all love most.
Our country.

 At times it's even going against your own true desires and best interests.
Not to mention it makes you look like a complete tool to those of us who can see it.
You will lose in the end because reality and truth have to win out because truth falls into a slot that simply fits with reality.

Lies disintegrate over time because the bulk of history simply cannot fit into it.
It takes time but, eventually it happens. The truth wins out.

 As for those of you who are not sharing all this nonsense....
Speak the Hell, up! We need you!

Push back against ignorant bullies.
We need you but we need them too!

We need them to start seeing what they are doing and stop it.
They need to come to realize how they are going so far afield into our collective enemy's hands.

 Still there is hope. There's always a sun on the next horizon.

 It's just a matter of how soon we want it to arrive. To shine on the lies and expose the truths.
To warm us in its brilliance. To wrap us in its protective arms of honesty and reality.

It's really just a matter of how long you may want to push back the inevitable in overtaking all the rumors and propaganda that we have been and will continue to be infected with.

There is still hope.
There is always hope.
It's just not based in lies, rumors or propaganda.

Luckily we have candidates who could out president Trump with their eyes closed, in a sandstorm, with the flu and a band hangover. Either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders could do the job.

And it looks like, Hillary. Putin really isn't going to like this as there's no lover lost between the two of them.

But then, this is our election... not his.

Okay, after all this serious stuff how about something fun? (And no, this is not THE Hillary Clinton, it's just a joke, but a very astute one)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Our Worldwide Carpetbaggers - Saudi Arabia, ISIS and Trump

Loyalty. Something that has become archaic now a days. It suffers because of profit, because of corporate thinking...profit of die. It suffers because of confusion for what direction, what level, that it should be aimed toward. Confusion from a lack of education, information, an ability to ascertain reality.

I'm going a bit off the deep end here, but hang in here with me. In fact, now that the RNC is on this week, and considering the hate speech of the speakers like Chris Christie, Dan Savage pointed out Wednesday night (Dan Savage Compares RNC Hillary Hate To Rhetoric Before Yitzhak Rabin Assassination) on a special edition of Real Time with Bill Maher that this kind of thing was done to Yitzhak Rabin years ago in Israel too, just before someone shot and killed him.

OK. Here we go.

Trump says we're losing to ISIS. I say we're losing with Trump.

But then Trump isn't very bright, except where it comes to promoting himself. One person said his father had dealings with him years ago and after the meeting said it was obvious Trump hadn't at that time, read a book in twenties years.

Now he's just an old, bloated twit who would have been one of the first carpetbaggers and scalawags to have entered the South after the Civil War had he lived back then. Those confidence men from the north who back then had been hated by most of those whom now are his supporters.

Carpetbaggers are defined as such:
- a political candidate who seeks election in an area where they have no local connections.
- (in the US) a person from the northern states who went to the South after the Civil War to profit from the Reconstruction.
- a person perceived as an unscrupulous opportunist.

Some may have had good intentions but so many didn't, it set a new standard for what is an individual of low integrity. Kind of like people like Trump, or Cruz, Newt Gingrich or, well...there's a lot of them anymore in the zombie Republican party that no longer as anything whatsoever to do with the party of Abraham Lincoln.

"During and immediately after the Civil War, many northerners headed to the southern states, driven by hopes of economic gain, a desire to work on behalf of the newly emancipated slaves or a combination of both. These “carpetbaggers”–whom many in the South viewed as opportunists looking to exploit and profit from the region’s misfortunes–supported the Republican Party, and would play a central role in shaping new southern governments during Reconstruction.

"In addition to carpetbaggers and freed African Americans, the majority of Republican support in the South came from white southerners who for various reasons saw more of an advantage in backing the policies of Reconstruction than in opposing them. Critics referred derisively to these southerners as “scalawags.”

Carpetbaggers were men who arrived in the south after the Civil War with their bags, luggage made from carpets, who proceeded to rip people off for their own benefit. Taking advantage of others with no concern for them whatsoever and therein earned the only honest thing they did, a reputation for being some of the vilest people in the world.

And yet, Trump supporters cannot see that in him. That is as stunning as things he has said, things that are blatantly said only for the purpose of getting him into office, of winning, at potentially any, and all costs. As long as he doesn't get caught. But maybe he will. Some of the court proceeding against him are very unsettling.

Like those scalawags of old, Trump lies. He says what you want to hear like a true confidence man. Then he will take what he wants and be damned how it leaves you, leaves us all, in the end. Trump is in this to win, regardless. With no concern or respect for his actions, other than to win. A very archaic, outdated way of doing politics and one that needs to die a quick and painful death. One that it seems to be doing in the zombie Republican Party as they continually eat their own.

What was once a highly despicable type of person has somehow to our conservative brothers and sisters, become a revered and supported one. One spiraling out of control toward the office of president of the United States, the most powerful position in the world. These new (Republican) carpetbaggers aren't just after money as were those in the old days. They're not just after power. They're after ideological power.

From the outside Islam seems in many countries to be afraid of their own religion, their own people. They do not seem to believe in fighting other Muslim countries even when they are bad people (ISIS, Boko Haram, etc.), or they would have policed their own Middle East by now. They fear enforcing laws doing what they claim they are trying to do, what they say they want to do, in order to stop these kinds of practices. And yet it all continues.

But the women are fighting back. Someone there has finally had it. They are risking their lives and but affecting changes themselves. And they may succeed.

You would think people would have more sense, would feel more responsibility, would want for more than just their own selfish, petty beliefs and desires. But no. That is not who they seem to be. That is our new World Conservative.

Extremists and proud of it. They are a disease and we need to irradiate it and inoculate against their arising ever again. They have used religion as the agar in a Petri dish to grow their suffocating, flesh eating bacteria within, but then have moved out into pure terrorism.

Like the stock traders of the 80s these people all still think, "Greed is good", a mantra we should all take to heart and concern. Yet that has proven to be the definition of insanity. Not for the individual but for the whole of humanity. And for our nation. Seeking greed (of money, power, control over women, etc.), destroys and yet, they think they can build a nation, or a religion on it. But you can't. If you do, you are building it on a house of cards. Cards made of an unstable material.

Trump has convinced his people and then as he knew they would, they have convinced themselves (and truth be told, Trump, oddly enough too). He has shown that displays of idiocy such as his are more valued than that of common decency, real knowledge, and the wisdom to use it appropriately. Not just for their group's "benefit" but for all.

If you don't believe any of this, then I would suggest taking in several things right here right now.

A Frontline special titled, Saudi Arabia Uncovered (S34E5 - 2016).
Washington Post, Inside ISIS: Quietly preparing for the loss of the ‘caliphate’.

An NBC News report, Donald Trump Lays Out Foreign Policy Plan, Including How to Fight Terrorism (March 26, 2016):
"If elected, Trump told the Times he might also halt the purchase of oil from Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies because they've been unwilling to send their troops in on the ground to fight against ISIS despite efforts by President Barack Obama to have them join a U.S.-led coalition.

"Hours after the interview was published, the former head of Obama's Auto Task Force, Steven Rattner, tweeted that Trump "has no idea how oil market works. We take only about 10% of what Saudi Arabia produces."

Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producer in the world. While Trump is after money and power the royal Saudi family and friends are after power and ideological control. All while a quarter of the Saudi people are in poverty. Poverty they said they'd get a handle on in a few years, which has now long passed.

Still, with the change in oil commodities worldwide and new sources of energy, it's projected Saudi Arabia could go bankrupt within five years. Then what? It won't be pretty.

They are a highly welfare state. While their oil fields are worth trillions of dollars, their monetary reserves are shrinking. With war in Syria and Yemen, their money is further dwindling and they still have far too much poverty.

Their issue is in supporting Sharia Law and the mindset of many of its people. A mindset that is exported to the world at large, and to terrorist types in particular. It is surely a complicated issue, but one we ourselves as a nation need to get under control to our satisfaction and the world's, in dealing with them, and with their continued existence.

They have religious police who shout things such as, "You can only find peace and joy in God." They do this while curbing individual freedoms, individual's choices in life. There are prejudicial teachings in their schools that say among other things, Christians should be killed.

Any religion that requires people to go around and enforce their religion is really no religion at all. If a people cannot choose on their own what their religion and intensity within that religion should be, then it goes against the concept of free will and so devalues any attempts by others, by religious police, for that religion to be viable or potentially, anything other than anti-human. Certainly it is anti-humane.

It is a mindset that has in part spawned those such as ISIS whose so called caliphate this year has shrunk so far by 12%. If we are to kill ISIS, we cannot avert our eyes from Saudi Arabia. We can no longer ignore the applications world wide of Sharia Law, of misogynistic religious laws, or ancient and foolish beliefs systems, all simply because people hold these beliefs so dearly and as such an intricate part of themselves and their identity.

Extremism needs to be killed when and wherever it shows it's ugly head. Not all forms of extremism are bad to be sure. But when it is exposed to be, it needs to be addressed and dealt with accordingly.

I welcome people to practice their delusional or disillusionment, even their silly beliefs, their ancient religious practices, as long as first and foremost they treat all people as human beings and not just those of their special class. In allowing them to continue, in not doing SOMEthing to dilute and dissemble such beliefs in our own country and worldwide, we have given a nod and a smile to the incessant proliferation of these types of beliefs.

IF you say your religion is not as we see it is in practice, then what is it about your religion that is allowing these things to happen and when will it be rectified? It requires speaking out against at least that form of your religion, to get it under control, to bring those people doing bad things up to modern times. That means picking and choosing better, for yourself, and for those bad people abusing your religion, what is truly important from your ancient religious beliefs and books whatever it is you should be doing and in what you shouldn't.

In my mind a true religion would not allow for people to misinterpret it.
I would argue then, there are no true religions. Just, religions.

We too are responsible and will continue to be as long as we support this ubiquitous stupidity, selfishness and sectism in governments. Including even our own.

Electing elitists and fascists such as Trump are the antithesis of any kind of rational answer. But that would take people voting who are compassionate for the right reasons, using actual wisdom to see beyond their own pettiness, beliefs and desires.

We ARE however getting a handle on ISIS.

Once ISIS falls, for the time being they are going to go underground like cockroaches, become harder, smaller, to deal with. Until we get a handle on not just ourselves, but also on how our government deals with foreign governments like Saudi Arabia, people like Trump and his conservative followers and the Republican zombie party at large are going to have to be dealt with. Dissembled and dispersed. That way of thinking has to be put into the ground, irradiated, salted, fired, and sterilized.

We are America!

Let's make that mean what it should and get back on our rational and useful track. For us. For the world. If we are to continue as a world leader we need to lead. Not business as usual, but business as inspiring as we can make it. We need to be progressive, inclusive, strong, and persevere to see it all one day finally, functional for all. But that means many of that all will need to adjust their beliefs also.

Conservatives fear change. That they will have to change. Let the others change they say. We all however have to change. And that, is OK. I'm OK, you can be OK. But it's a two sided coin. Flip it, and we are both involved. Try to force which side is up, and you are a fascist and you therefore ARE, the enemy. The enemy of Humankind.

Don't be our enemy. Be our friend. Work with us. Stop working against us. Work against the system, not against the people. Work against stupid beliefs, work for beliefs that serve Humankind. And if you believe in God, then it would be working toward God, because as you are taught, he created all things.

If people are going to hate America, let it be only those the entire world wants to see dispensed with.

Then the rest of us will be able to get along with living our lives together, in safety, in prosperity, and in a way that all may pursue happiness for themselves and their loved ones.

Let's put the Scalawags and Carpetbaggers of the world, of our nation, in their place. Prison. If not a prison of the body, then a prison of their mind, their actions and their power and money.

This planet is for us, The People. Not a few wealthy, powerful, religious, or terrorists.

We are the World. Let our feet march on them, trample them into dirt so that we can grow things for everyone and not just those who are bullies enough, terrorists in action and politics enough, to frighten us into submission.

Just as happened this weekend in Greece when the people came out flooding into the streets of Istanbul, overwhelming the military junta's soldiers with masses of people supporting their elected government, we have to take control. Through our voices, our votes, our calls to freedom. To a freedom that is real freedoms and not just words. Human Rights. Civil Liberties. Women's and minority rights. People's rights.

They say a con man, a confidence man, can only work his magic to steal what you have by relying on your own innate greed, ignorance and stupidity. Don't be that guy or woman.

All is not hopeless. Hope is truly everywhere. We just have to apply it. We just have to help.

And have Loyalty. To ourselves, to our people, to our entire human race.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Rumors and Propaganda

"I've told people that hunting for spies is like trying to find a ghost in the fog. You've got to believe first of all, that they're there. And you have to have enough drive to keep looking."
- Scott Carmichael, Criminal Investigator (Ret.), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA, the Intelligence arm of the Pentagon).

That is how it is with hunting spies. As confusing as it is, this is also how it is with conspiracy theories or divining political maneuvering in real time. While spy hunters are in dangerous intellectual territory by seeking a foregone conclusion, it is typically after being alerted to an actual threat based on real intelligence, analyzed by actual intelligence, and they then seek more evidence to support it.

Civilians, amateurs, in fact most Americans do not have that expertise and field experience.

So what they "find" is typically mere conjecture, pure and simple. Pattern finding of coincidences or potential for something where there really is no something there to be found. Much of that has to do with "feel good" findings, possible and sometimes not even plausible situations that support their polarized contentions and beliefs about things that simply do not exist.

And I'm not even getting into things like "confirmation bias".


Yet for some, their nice and tidy faux beliefs serve their purpose in the moment, if not in an historical context.

That is to say, it may be information that travels like wildfire across the nation. It may even keep (and has kept) political candidates from office. Only coming out much later that it was false or completely fabricated information, depending on whether it was respectively, rumor or propaganda; misinformation or disinformation submitted out onto civil society with purely partisan political objectives.

Though sometimes it is just a money generating effort, or a publicity stunt by typically right wing media if not by an opponent's political enemies.

This is a problem with much of our news media today as instant information, twenty-four hour news cycles, and for profit news overwhelms facts and reality. They move so quickly that there is little or no time for due diligence on their part, for triangulation of sources and info so that in the end we are getting information that can easily be "off", off kilter, or completely wrong.

The speed of news today can do irrevocable damage before reality hits. Too often too many never hear a retraction, or a rectification. While those who did the damage even if innocently, get completely away with what is in effect a cancer on society. Many times bad information is not later corrected or apologized for at all.

Other we get news that is simply describing what we can clearly see onscreen in a redundant report that truly serves no purpose whatsoever other than to fill air time. All this leads to a bubble, a frustration, a desire in the individual to find closure when much of the time there simply isn't any to be found, and perhaps never will be.

Especially when the information being shared is intentionally wrong.

Do try to be aware, but also try to "find" what really is going on when it truly exists. Speak as if you are offering conjecture when you are, because much of the time that is what you are sharing. Pure conjecture. Do not present it as if it is fact just because you think you have "found" something, have been told by others that it is true, or simply wish it were true out of spite.

Rumors and Propaganda.

When I was in the military one of their biggest efforts on a daily basis was rumors and propaganda running wild. At first I thought it was stupid when I heard of it in basic training. Then with our quarterly security indoctrinations and seeing these things in practice among fellow military and even their families, I came to understand what the military has long known. The sheer destructive power of those two things.

We actively worked to keep rumors and propaganda in check. Because when we didn't, bad things happened. Just as we can see today in America with at times absolute nonsense spreading like wildfire.

Today these are frequently compartmentalized on the internet in graphical memes. Memes as most of us know, can be quite entertaining, funny and useful. Especially in a sharing facts (not factoids, false or unproven facts) even in using sarcasm against lies, propaganda and foolishness. But they can also be destructive as perhaps you have already seen, as most of us have.


When I was young and in the military one of us would tell our Sgt. what we had heard, concerned about it, looking for comment about it. Much of the time he would consider it, then blow it off as just more Rumors and Propaganda. And just about all of the time he was right. It saved us a lot worrying over a lot of nonsense.

It saved us grouping together against the "other", whomever it was the traveling nonsense was about. Much of the time it would be able the higher ups. Therein you get that polarization of us against them and in a structure where there is a command line, control needs to be maintained. Even if it is merely control by truth and reality over that of incorrect information..

We had been told back then that the military was the "perfect society", a microcosm of overall America. We had to keep rumors and such in check or they would be even more devastating than they can and have been in America at large.

If only America at large showed as much attention and concern over rumors and propaganda as we did in the military, we might not be in such a morass of ignorance and even stupidity. Instead sadly, many people latch onto nonsense and share it as fact. The result of which is quite obvious.

We need to try to realize whenever we are hearing or sharing information what might be rumors or propaganda rather than as solid news and information. If we do that, we will save us all a great deal of what is currently going on all across this country. Lies and misery. Lots of confusion and frustration observing whatever information can be found. Even incorrect information, because it is up against such a strong desire for understanding and closure. We may not now or within the timeframe necessary, ever really know the truth.

Especially if we do not have the capacity to understand it in all its complexities.
Especially when at times, simply none can be found.

Let me restate my point and put it into words some will more betterer understand even more clearily....

I'm not saying I'm any kind of a genius here. Or that I'm an expert. Though I do seemingly and not infrequently have more of a handle on the extent and correlation of some of these things than do some who speak so boldly, so loudly, who do not think they can ever be incorrect. Or who admit they can be incorrect, but never really exhibit that.

Sometimes these are people who very possibly do know better, even if they can't openly admit it even to themselves. Sadly, if you are sharp, if you are the type to acknowledge these things, if you do try to curb bad information, then you may be some of those who think this is you too, a part of the masses of people sharing nonsense, when very possibly it's simply not the case.

 That, is the kind of murkiness we're dealing with here. Not all of us realize that and as I have said, some of those who have loudest voices tend to be the most ignorant of their inconsistencies and incorrectness.

All I'm saying really is this, and excuse my vulgar irritation here:

F*cking pay attention people!
Because some of you out there are just spewing total bullsh*t all over the rest of us!
It's damaging what you love most. What we all love most. Our country.

 At times it's even going against your own true desires and best interests.
Not to mention it makes you look like a complete tool to those of us who can see it.
You will lose in the end because reality and truth have to win out. Truth falls into a slot that fits with reality. Lies disintegrate over time because the bulk of history won't fit up to it. It takes time, but  eventually it happens.

 As for those of you who are not sharing all this nonsense....
Speak, the Hell, up! We need you!
Push back against ignorant bullies.
We need you but we need them too!
We need them to start seeing what they are doing
How they are going so far afield into our collective enemy's hands.

 Still there's hope. There's always a sun on the horizon.

 It's just a matter of how soon we want it to arrive. To shine on the lies and expose the truths. To warm us in its brilliance and wrap us in its protective arms of honesty and reality.

 It's really a matter of how long you may want to push back the inevitable in overtaking all the rumors and propaganda that we have been and will continue to be infected with.

 There is still hope. There is always hope.
It's just not based in lies, rumors or propaganda.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Surviving Our Decisions in Life

There is a lot going on right now. Race relations in America are strained, most notoriously between the Black community and police. There is a lot being discussed on that topic and I needed a break from it. I will just say until we fix the systemic issues involved, simply fixing racism won't fix this issue.

Black Lives Matter. Police Lives Matter. Most Blacks are good people, most police are good people. Some of what is going on has to do with guns, which is another issue. Cops are fearful as well as some of them being racist. Some of the police departments are oriented toward negative expectations about their Black community. Some Black communities are oriented toward damaging themselves.

As I said there is a lot being discussed elsewhere, and a lot that should be discussed on this.

However for this week's' blog I'm taking a different, albeit a somewhat relevant direction....

I admit it. I've made mistakes in life. We all have. Some of us just recognize it more than others. Or at all.

I've thought I was doing the right thing in the past, or that I was doing what seemed reasonable, only to find much later that I had over time gained the wisdom to see reality more clearly with the distance I had gained from those times and events. I always reflect on things.

I reflect on them even in the moment, as they are happening, considering them through various layers of meanings, and perspectives in real time. What some friends and family have called, "overthinking". At times it is a great benefit, at times a great detriment.

Yet, no one can see everything. And we all have our filters. We all are defective. We all are capable of great harm, as well as great good. Those who do not recognize that are called foolish, if not stupid. Those who see it and revel in their great good, who seek it out at all costs are called saints. While those enraptured by their capacity for great harm, who seek it and pleasure in it are called evil.

I've been married, let's say, three and a half times. I count that one as half as we hadn't actually gotten legally married but were together longer than what common law marriage is usually considered to be, though we do not have that in Washington state. But I felt she deserved that acknowledgement for our time together, for any burden I placed on her, for the great times we shared. To be fair to myself, she was at time a burden too, she had her own demons.

I don't know how she feels about all that. Because she appears to not want to talk to me anymore. Not since our last phone call in about 1988 and in some ways, I don't blame her. Sometimes it's best to move on, to leave the past in the past. Still as I pointed out, I like to reflect and part of that is to reconnect, review and put my understanding of myself, who I have been, in proper perspective.

I want to think I'm a good or even great person, but I've fallen down on that after reflecting with others on their shared memories with me. The flip side of that coin however is that I have also discovered after years of feeling bad about something in the past, that others saw my now ancient actions as having been far above expected behavior, and greatly appreciated. You just never know.

I prefer reality, both for myself and others. I want people to have a realistic view of what actually happened in the past. I want to be seen for my actions, either good or bad, accurately. Yet, sometimes, you cannot achieve that closure. And that, can be painful. So I've learned to let it go when that happens.

Sometimes it's just not worth the damage you get in seeking closure. Sometimes it is, and yet you will never find it for any variety of reasons. Sometimes that reason is another person's misperception of what happened. Sometimes, there is nothing you can do about that and you know, they will, you will, both die one day with that having never been rectified.

So when I think poorly of someone's actions in my past I try to keep that in mind. Maybe things weren't as I had perceived them, or how I remember them. Perhaps if we talked now I would discover what damage they did to me, was damage I had done to myself. Were things as I believed them to be, as I remember them? Certainly not always as I discovered in researching for a film I have written. It's now been at one production company, oddly enough, out of London. A very American mob film being reviewed by a very British film studio.

In 1974 I was eighteen. The screenplay about it is called Teenage Bodyguard. I came up with a more poetic title with, Slipping The Enterprise. The executive producer of the film studio said it reminded him of Ryan Gosling's film, A Place Beyond the Pine. I see it in two formats, as a biopic, what actually happened, enhanced to be more entertaining but sticking mostly to the truth of what happened, or a based on type of film where we could cut loose and just shoot for entertainment.

The story goes that I had spent a week with a strip club waitress back in 1974. A friend asked me to give a woman a ride who had been staying with him. When I got her to her new residence, she asked me to stay with her until she could leave town at the end of the week. IF I had a gun. Oddly enough, I did. And she could have made a worse choice in asking me. The local Tacoma mob back then called themselves, The Enterprise. They thought she had witnessed a murder. A murder that she believed they had committed but public records, even today seem to indicate it was a random killing by an anonymous killer.

During my research I came to discover that the "friend" I helped out in giving her a ride, was actually setting me up in a way. He was eliminating a threat to his safety by getting rid of the woman, and putting that threat squarely on my shoulders, probably rationalizing that wasn't the case and that I would drop her off somewhere (he didn't want to know, what was odd and the first warning sign), and that would be the end of it.

I had gone through decades of my life thinking we were friends and finally, over thirty years later came to discover he may have been putting my head on a chopping block. Life, isn't always how we think it is. Obviously.

I'm single now, unmarried since 2002. Single again since 2010 after a few girlfriends. Single to spend my spare time on writing and building a new career in order to leave an old one.

I had originally married the first time at twenty. Proud that I hadn't gotten married in my teens like some of my friends. After that marriage failed, I avoided marriage for some years. I was devastated that I had broken a vow. "My word is my bond", was a favorite saying of mine. In divorcing, I had broken my most powerful bond to date. I was proud many years later, of not having quickly jumped back into another potential mistake as so many do. See, I never wanted to break another vow.

After some years I did marry again. It was kind of against my better desires and I was pretty much pushed into it. Or pulled into it, depending on how you view it. Partially because I thought I owned who became my son's mother, for making me smile again. Partially because the woman from the half of a marriage had told me one day, long after we split up:

"Do something for me. The next girl who wants to marry you? If she wants to get married, just marry her. OK?" That kept resonating in my head for years. I had made her life miserable in not wanting to marry again. I told her we could end up together for the rest of our lives, I just don't want to marry again. But she never understood. We were both raised Catholic, but I was further down that road of casting off that desert religion for a more sane way of viewing life.

So I married again. I married out of obligation. Even though I knew it wasn't a good match for me. However in considering those who I had thought were a good match, they hadn't been either. So I thought if I tried someone I didn't think would be right for me, maybe I could get around making yet another mistake.

Of course, that one didn't work out either. Obviously. As a friend later said, "So you went from making decisions, to making no decision, or worse. Choosing what you thought was wrong. And you thought that was a good idea?"

Dumb and dumberer.

The final time I married (so far anyway, as I guess I'm always looking for my next ex-wife....), I thought I had I had found the sweetest young lady I could ever have imagined. It was 1995. My son was five and rife with ADHD. He was difficult to parent and I desperately needed a partner in raising him.

Life was good for a few years. Then things changed as they so often do. Life as usual got in the way of romance, killing it.

In the end, or even long before that, she wasn't any longer so sweet. In fact she got rather nasty, and then downright angry. I had thought just in keeping her happy, I'd have a handle on things. But some people don't want to be happy. Their expectations are too high and no one can live up to their expectations. I used to be like that in my twenties. I probably still have some of that lurking within me in a cancerous state, waiting to leap out at all the wrong moments. But I sincerely hope not.

For years I looked back over these past relationships, consoling myself in believing that those women did better after having known me. Now with many years distance from those relationships, with having gained more wisdom, with the clarity that comes from being single for a long time, and with actually seeing how their lives have worked out for them, I can see things perhaps more as they are in reality.

Were their lives all the better, or the worse, in having known me? Or were they just as they are for people in life? We experience, triumph or fail, heal our wounds, hopefully become the stronger for it and move on knowing our lives are richer for it all. For the pain, for the love, for the confusion and the frustration.

I made some decisions correctly to be sure, with the information I had available to me at the time. With my limited wisdom. I had the intent to do good, to be a good person. But there were things I simply hadn't known at the time. Things I couldn't (yet) see, no matter how hard I tried.

It all added up in the end to who I was at the time. Had I meant well? Yes. But I was also protecting myself. I was living the life but simply hadn't known everything. Or enough of everything, anyway. But that is how life is for all of us. Isn't it?

I didn't know what charisma was about, how it worked, or that with at least some people, I had it for them and in dealing with them. I should have known it though. I should have seen it. My siblings have it. Yet my own damaged self-esteem wouldn't let me see that I too, must have it.

It wasn't until I was about thirty that I experienced someone leaving me in a serious long term romantic relationship. I always thought that was a good thing. Until it happened. Then reality rushed up and kicked me in the face. I thought, I must be worth staying with if women didn't leave me. Sure I'd had short relationships, one night stands even, but I was always the one to break it off or leave (or so I viewed it up until that time).

Finally one day, as an adult in a long term, live-in relationship, I was left. I found that in never having had the experience of being dumped, I didn't have the tools I needed to deal with it. And in this case I was dumped hard (I discovered she was having an affair). I lacked the experience to know how to handle it. How to handle it in a non self-destructive way, that is.

I spent the next year and a half trying to literally party myself to death. To numb the pain, to kill the bad feelings, the destroyed self-esteem, to just end things. It wasn't an outward expression I could recognize so much as it was an inward desire, striving to get out. I was partying hard like a pro, not partying destructively like a fool.

And yet it nearly did kill me. Multiple times I almost succeeded though I never made it to a hospital. It truly was the lowest period in my life.

And yet, I'm still here.

I've learned a few things along the way. My second legal marriage ended in a similar way. A woman leaving me for another, just as the previous time. Even though she knew my story. Even though I had asked her to just leave me if she wanted out, not to abuse me by having an affair. Because the last time that happened, it almost killed me. But she used that information as a tool to hurt me. I had inadvertently given her ammunition, and she used it.

That speaks to who she was at that time as a person, more than what it says about me. We had a child together, I was working hard, trying to make it in life, trying to support a family and love them. I tried to be a good father and husband. But the women I've been with this last half of my life, wanted a good husband and father, in that order. And that too says much more about them, than me.

In having gone through that once already, and in not really wanting to have had a second marriage anyway, the second time around I found that I much more easily survived it. I realized at some point that I had actually lucked out of that marriage. I finally had a child but not the family I had always wanted. I had made poor choices, yet again. Or perhaps, good choices but for the wrong reasons.

Either way, life tosses you curve balls. Things come out of left field that you never expect. Things you may not have the ability or the life experience to properly ascertain and react to.

Here's the thing.....

If we try hard, if we pay attention, if we consider what is important, not always just about ourselves as the primary factor, we can survive and then later reflect on it all, knowing that we did our best.

Even if we failed.

It is much like it is in parenting. We all make mistakes. None of us knows what is right to do all the time. Each child, each person is different. There really are no cut and dried answers for all situations. But especially with children. If you protect them and most importantly if you simply love them, they will forgive many of your mistakes in their life and they will love you back. They will grow up to be good people. You will have succeeded in doing your job. Just help them to be the best person they can be, and not just what you want them to be. It's about them after all, not you.

They have to find their way too. It is your job to help them in that pursuit. It is that way with those in a romantic relationship with you too, or for that matter with any person in your life. Especially with those you most love and cherish.

So it is with so much of life.

If you are the good person others know you as, if others know you as a good person and you know you try to be the best person you can be, then life, people, children, will forgive your mistakes. Even your shallow actions. Still, they will love you back and you can go on knowing that you mean well, that you do well, that you have a way of viewing life that is productive. Not just for you or yours or just for your community, or only for your beliefs or your God however you define that concept.

But for Life in general. For all of us. And so in the end and most importantly, for you. And then, you can feel good about it, without regret.

Live. Love. Learn. Repeat.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Conservatism and Self-Righteousness

On this 240th Independence Day, it seems appropriate to wish America a very happy birthday and all the best for us and the world, in future endeavors. It also seems appropriate to discuss our conservative disease.

Trump as a social disease along with conservatism. Newt Gingrich as a national case of herpes. Does hearing that annoy you? Yes? Are you a conservative? Does hearing that annoy you but you're not a conservative? Yes? Are you slamming liberals or the democratic presidential nominee?

Ask yourself if you find you are expounding conservative beliefs... and don't really know it. Or you won't or can't admit it.

Just for a focus point, are you purely anti-Hillary? Do you know why? Exactly why? Have you vetted your beliefs and reasonings? Or do you just read memes on Facebook? One thing America has way too many of right now is, the armchair political quarterback. People who now or know what's best, bast on really suspect information.

However it's not just the Joe at home with a beer anymore. Now it's professional pundits and news presenters too. For profit news has ruined our country and our world in many ways. You don't feed the public news they want, you feed them what they need. You certainly don't lead with what they want, you lead with what is most important on that day with a considering for the long term. Otherwise, what in the hell do you think you are doing?

Anyway, we can't just solely blame the little guys anymore. Although the information is out there. But when you have such bad information and web sites, it's hard for some people to know what is what.

How many of your reasons against her are from decades of building and reinforcing the conservative bubble? Are you only seeing her down sides? Because everyone has them as all their opponents have pointed out.

We're all human, after all. Well, considering Trump. maybe not so much, I really donno.

Hillary was against gay marriage, but she was not against gays. Considering what she went through and her background, that she ever changed on that is something to consider. I don't care if it seems someone changes just for political expediency, as long as they stay the course. How does it matter? At issue is if she chooses a position and leaves it once President. As it is with any candidate.

If someone makes bad choices and then they start making better choices, who cares why the reason, as long as they start on that better path? That is the American way. For some of you, that is the Christian way.

So if you are a Christian, get with your own program.

If you're not, then just try being rational.

Do you feel that feeling of revulsion in explaining why you're anti Hillary? Do you feel it possible you could be wrong about her? No? You know what that feeling is? It's self righteousness.

The core of the conservative movement, and of the Republican party anymore ever since it was taken over by foolishness, deviceveness and extremism. This is really about extremism, masked as conservatism. But either way it's here to stay. For now, anyway.

It's addictive, it's pleasurable and it comes out of the religious right. The NRA has used it to boost their agenda. Republicans have picked up on it and used it to boost theirs and the NRA's agenda and they dovetail it nicely into the Christian right agenda.

Are you self righteous? Because if you think you are a left wing liberal and yet you are pushing these right wing bubble points, well, there's your sign. You're now a cloaked conservative.

Don't get me wrong. Self righteousness is fun. It's masturbatory. It's stroking one's ego. It feels like it's right all through you, and through your understanding of things. Even, if you like, up through religion to God. So how can you NOT like that, love it, immerse yourself in it?

Even if you're not religious. Even if you're an atheist, or just a so called atheist?

This is why we're in this situation today in America, and around the world. WE have allowed untruths to propagate because of self-righteousness, because of...religion. People talk about all the good religion has done in the history of the world, which is kind of countered by all the bad it has done, in order to be truthful.

There is one truth however that we have failed to notice and that we are now seeing run rampant around the country, both in our politics and around the world. Believers are following false beliefs. Many are now using those beliefs against others for their own benefit and to the great detriment both indirectly and directly, of  perfectly innocent people.

Be careful the environment you find yourself in, it can seep into your consciousness and you can start to view things differently. If not from "Stockholm Syndrome" then at least from the old adage, "we are what we eat", or more directly, you can start to view things in the ways that are basic to your normal environment.

This is the reason why we need to push back against religion in general as a force to be reckoned with and to be dealt with. Otherwise we will have this insanity just continue on and on. The sooner we all start to believe in reality and not beliefs from ancient times, the sooner we will start to get a handle on world problems. The sooner we will begin to put down and disallow these sociopathic abusers to take advantage of society and our resources for their own and only their own benefit.

I don't have a problem with you being a believer, if you keep it in perspective not just with reality, especially in America, you're welcome to choose your favorite delusion, but you need to if not keep it to yourself, not force it onto others. Especially not at the end of a knife, a rifle barrel or that of a bomb.

Dense information sharing time....

Check out atheist AmonRa's video in part about this: AronRa's Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb's questions for "evolutionists".

Merrian-Webster defines self-righteous as:

:  convinced of one's own righteousness especially in contrast with the actions and beliefs of others :  narrow-minded moralistic

It is a component of the addicted brain, and there is a chemistry to it.

One researcher in Psychology Today labeled it The Goody Two Shoes Syndrome.

"As much as we loathe hypocrites, we may dislike the self-righteous even more. Any person who presents himself as morally unimpeachable is making an "implicit indictment" of everyone else that is "irksome to the mainstream," finds a recent study in Social Psychological and Personality Science."

Which is also to say, not just we don't like them, but they find and revel in their "implicit indictments". We internally object to their narrow self justifications, which frequently aren't based on reality. Ever talked to a staunch conservative about guns?

The thing is here we tend to severely dislike those who are self righteous and obviously wrong with the added issue of knowing they are foolish and ignorant, even in the face many times of easily attainable and actual facts. They make conclusions without enough information out of a frustration typically due to a lack of that information, and of control over their lives. Sometimes, over a false sense of a lack of control over their own life.

For those others however it is also seriously dislikable in experiencing the self righteous in those who are absolutely right and correct in their beliefs and contentions. The issue there especially when you actually are right, is a degree of intensity. IF you are correct, you do not need to force excessive amounts of emotion or disdain into it. If you're right, you're right. Truth usually does win in the end. The trouble comes where and when that will finally happen.

An article in Huffington Post pushes further into the self-righteous syndrome:

"We often engage in internal dialogues with ourselves, some of which we never evaluate or examine. They keep going on and on, driving us to judge and react to situations and people without even being aware of why. We all do these self-talks, but we mess up when we let these have power over us rather than the other way around. There are many irrational thoughts that have no basis in reality. Here are a few of the irrational thoughts that bring about a state of self-righteousness (i.e., “I am right and you are wrong”):"

1. All-or-nothing thinking: When one sees things in black-and-white terms and has very limited vision. If something, someone, or some belief falls short of what this individual sees as perfect, he or she sees it as worthless or a total failure.
2. Overgeneralizations: People who over generalize take a single negative incident and exaggerate it. These individuals have a lot of use for words like “always,” “never,” “all” and “no one,” extreme words that by themselves can create radical thinking.
3. Mental filters: This is when a person picks one or a few negative events and dwells on them to make them look much bigger, darkening his or her vision of reality. It is as if you drop one droplet of ink into a whole bucket of water.
4. Discounting the positive: This is when the person rejects anything positive related to a situation, thinking that they “don’t really matter.”
5. Jumping to conclusions: This is when a person comes up with conclusions when there are no logical, scientific, or unbiased facts to support those conclusions.
6. “Should” statements: This is when a person tells herself that everyone and everything “should” be the way she thinks, functions and is comfortable with. People who make a lot of personal “should” statements usually experience a lot of negative emotions like guilt and frustration, or even anxiety. Should statements that are directed at other people, or at the world in general, lead to anger and frustration (e.g., “He shouldn’t think like this”)? This way of thinking is counterproductive, because it creates feelings of rebelliousness and separates you from those who don’t think the same way.

Then there is this article from Psychology Today:

"The specter of mental illness does indeed loom large over creationists, but they are not alone. Signs of psychopathology can also be seen among their political bedfellows, conservative politicians, especially when you consider a wide range of illness indicators. In his award-winning 2005 book, Dr. James Whitney Hicks discusses 50 signs of mental illness including denial, delusion, hallucination, disordered thinking, anger, anti-social behavior, sexual preoccupation, grandiosity, general oddness, and paranoia. Now I'm no clinician, but in my (admittedly biased brown) eyes it seems that prominent Republicans have evidenced each of these ten telltale signs of mental illness over the past year:"

1) Denial: humans did not evolve;  Obama is not a native-born American Christian
2) Delusion: climate is not changing
3) Hallucination: God ordained me to be President
4) Disordered Thinking: being for small government that's huge in the bedroom;  being anti-contraception and anti-abortion
5) Anger: Newt Gingrich’s perpetual scowl
6) Anti-social Behavior: toward women, gays, minorities, anyone without an umbilical cord or trust fund
7) Sexual Preoccupation: a fervent compulsion to control when we can mate, with whom we can mate, and precisely how we are allowed to mate (which I lampoon in Why Do Politicians Want to Police Dick and Jane's Private Parts?)
8) Grandiosity: even Rick Santorum recognizes Gingrich’s “over the moon” grandiosity
9) General Oddness: Ron Paul
10) Paranoia: pretty much all of them, all of the time
Even (the not necessarily dumb) Pope Francis appears to recognize that “it is a serious illness, this of ideological [conservative] Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?”

Back to less dense information....

Conservatism and self-righteousness, these are just other flavors of a few knuckle draggers who exist the country and world over and who drag along with them the masses who do not see what is being done to them. It is a disease that has been coming out of the woodworks of the world of late. Like mold on food in the back of a fridge that has not been managed well enough or often enough.

We let this happen to us in not standing up to the nonsense from conservatives and religious nutcases, their nutgroups and their nutbelief systems. But be careful, they will mix in just enough truth and reality to poison easily choosing not to believe once you are assimilated into their mindset. It's like quitting smoking to a smoker, for some, it's impossible to quit, even when you know better.

We have kind of asked for this and now we are reaping the detrimental misfortunes of it.

And so we can also rectify it by doing what manages it correctly and by paying attention, standing up to it, speaking out against it and shouting down idiocy whenever it crops up. But it has to be done in such a way as to allow those types to save face and find it in their hearts and minds to alter their addictions. Even then, just as in how long this has taken to get here, it will take time to rid ourselves of it.

I'm talking about pushing reality on people who avoid it, who fear it, because of either defective belief systems, selfishness, or greed.

It will happen, not to worry. Remember when I said the truth wins out?

Reality always wins out. I just hope it's before we destroy ourselves and not through this planet reclaiming its original natural beauty... without humankind.

We have to be careful about delving into the skewed psyche of these new kinds of "news" entities and the conservative mindset itself as it exists today. The question is, does information coming from sites like this count, is it accurate? Specifically and potentially yes, but in the general and long term, no. And that is what you have to be aware of, every second. 

Now that being said and you won't hear conservatives saying this, you also have to be careful of your own beliefs and your greater political leaning. But that does not mean you should abandon your own beliefs for a skew that makes things appear real. I noticed this in someone once years ago. 

Listening to this person I too was upset at what they were telling me. Until...I left them that day. It took about fifteen minutes after I let them before reality started to seep back into my consciousness. I just (luckily) happened to have some relevant facts at my fingertips. When I compared the reality I knew to be true against what this person had told me, the world they had been weaving for me fell away. 

I realized that I had been sucked into their delusions, negative delusions, about people we knew, and the world at large. But while I was with that person listening, I fully was taken in. They were being disingenuous, and negative but I also knew they didn't know what they were doing. I realized two things at that moment. 1) they were delusional, seemed authentic but 2) they were exhibiting evil in a pure, nearly autonomous sense. 

It was that day I realized that true evil existed in the world and it wasn't just murderous warlords or terrorists, but was also simply when someone or some entity professes something to be true for their own devices (or not, though in that case they too are their own victim) and it is not. People then go and act on that incorrect belief and all bad that comes of us affects many, not just the one.

Thus it is the basis of conspiracy theory to weave truths with lies (misinformation), and to skew reality (disinformation) in such a way as to be indistinguishable from the truth, while performing some directed intention away from its original course. 

Enter the world of the insane, and you to them are the one who is insane.
The conservative model of political monitoring as we've seen repeatedly (though apparently only of their opponents as you may (should) have noticed) is that there seems to be a ghost around every corner. Or a commie or a gay or whatever the latest flavor of disdain might happen to be.

Trouble is, odds of there being a ghost around most of those corners is niil to zero for much of the time.

How does one get to a point of distrusting literally everything they disagree with? And one's self? Broken childhood obviously. Which most of us have had in one way or another.

Or a disillusion of some sort. possibly from childhood, something deep seated, some unfilled hole in your logic that one day you find a "logic" that fits and seals up that hole. Even if it couldn't be more incorrect. 

So why did just some of them choose to not trust anything, anywhere? Lack of control in childhood? Raised in a family too religious or strict? Thing is, once we become adults we need to own it. Shrug off the fears, the distrust, the scary monsters and face reality. To think. Not to overthink, but to accurately think. Not finding "truth" through a lack of information, but truth through and when you have enough information.

Study conspiracy theory and those personality types, it's interesting reading. The trouble with most conspiracy theory types is, they never study conspiracy theory themselves, they just dive in thinking they have the skills to survive it. Those who don't are typically the ones we hear from the most and the loudest. 

If someone says something they agree with, even if it's nonsense, then it must be true. Why bother checking into it when there are so many they disagree, so many they can simply push all their fears and distrust, anger and bigotry into? 

Just makes sense, right? And who cares, it feels good.

Besides if you never see the world as shades of grey rather than black and white, only right against wrong, you are always right half of the time. Like the stopped clock, always right twice a day. It's safe. It's too safe. It's defective. 

The most concerning element now a days are these current forms of extremism (see, How extreme beliefs, not mental illness, may fuel mass shooters), they are the brainchild of instant media, and of or-profit news, of the internet in general, and of bipartisanship as it has been taken to its natural conclusion.

Now that anyone can speak out to the masses, we are seeing a great deal of ignorance being sold online as knowledge and insight. When really it is just the lowest level of intellect mixed with a lot of negativity, being sold as correct and proper information. Even though it is the antithesis of the definition of information and just comes off as insane to anyone with a valid sense of what was once called, common sense.

So. Just be negative. Sooner or later you'll probably be right. Besides, most of those liberals are retards and corrupt, unlike good Christian conservatives and Republicans. Those types never do bad things. Name one Republican governor or congressman who has done anything bad, ever.

Best of all? You only need two brain cells to rub together in order to make that model of self-righteousness work. Even if you ARE wrong most of the time, it lights up your inner self-importance and who doesn't just love that?

Kind of brilliant if you think about it. And what a form of energy conservation!

Finally if you cannot buy any of this as presented above, perhaps this presented below will make you happy:

Obama Outed As Secret Muslim By Anonymous - Conservatives Said 'We Told You So.'

Happy birthday America!

Cheers!

Conservatism and Self-Righteousness

On this 240th Independence Day, it seems appropriate to wish America a very happy birthday and all the best for us and the world, in future endeavors. It also seems appropriate to discuss our conservative disease.

Trump as a social disease along with conservatism. Newt Gingrich as a national case of herpes. Does hearing that annoy you? Yes? Are you a conservative? Does hearing that annoy you but you're not a conservative? Yes? Are you slamming liberals or the democratic presidential nominee?

Ask yourself if you find you are expounding conservative beliefs... and don't really know it. Or you won't or can't admit it.

Just for a focus point, are you purely anti-Hillary? Do you know why? Exactly why? Have you vetted your beliefs and reasonings? Or do you just read memes on Facebook? One thing America has way too many of right now is, the armchair political quarterback. People who now or know what's best, bast on really suspect information.

However it's not just the Joe at home with a beer anymore. Now it's professional pundits and news presenters too. For profit news has ruined our country and our world in many ways. You don't feed the public news they want, you feed them what they need. You certainly don't lead with what they want, you lead with what is most important on that day with a considering for the long term. Otherwise, what in the hell do you think you are doing?

Anyway, we can't just solely blame the little guys anymore. Although the information is out there. But when you have such bad information and web sites, it's hard for some people to know what is what.

How many of your reasons against her are from decades of building and reinforcing the conservative bubble? Are you only seeing her down sides? Because everyone has them as all their opponents have pointed out.

We're all human, after all. Well, considering Trump. maybe not so much, I really donno.

Hillary was against gay marriage, but she was not against gays. Considering what she went through and her background, that she ever changed on that is something to consider. I don't care if it seems someone changes just for political expediency, as long as they stay the course. How does it matter? At issue is if she chooses a position and leaves it once President. As it is with any candidate.

If someone makes bad choices and then they start making better choices, who cares why the reason, as long as they start on that better path? That is the American way. For some of you, that is the Christian way.

So if you are a Christian, get with your own program.

If you're not, then just try being rational.

Do you feel that feeling of revulsion in explaining why you're anti Hillary? Do you feel it possible you could be wrong about her? No? You know what that feeling is? It's self righteousness.

The core of the conservative movement, and of the Republican party anymore ever since it was taken over by foolishness, deviceveness and extremism. This is really about extremism, masked as conservatism. But either way it's here to stay. For now, anyway.

It's addictive, it's pleasurable and it comes out of the religious right. The NRA has used it to boost their agenda. Republicans have picked up on it and used it to boost theirs and the NRA's agenda and they dovetail it nicely into the Christian right agenda.

Are you self righteous? Because if you think you are a left wing liberal and yet you are pushing these right wing bubble points, well, there's your sign. You're now a cloaked conservative.

Don't get me wrong. Self righteousness is fun. It's masturbatory. It's stroking one's ego. It feels like it's right all through you, and through your understanding of things. Even, if you like, up through religion to God. So how can you NOT like that, love it, immerse yourself in it?

Even if you're not religious. Even if you're an atheist, or just a so called atheist?

This is why we're in this situation today in America, and around the world. WE have allowed untruths to propagate because of self-righteousness, because of...religion. People talk about all the good religion has done in the history of the world, which is kind of countered by all the bad it has done, in order to be truthful.

There is one truth however that we have failed to notice and that we are now seeing run rampant around the country, both in our politics and around the world. Believers are following false beliefs. Many are now using those beliefs against others for their own benefit and to the great detriment both indirectly and directly, of  perfectly innocent people.

Be careful the environment you find yourself in, it can seep into your consciousness and you can start to view things differently. If not from "Stockholm Syndrome" then at least from the old adage, "we are what we eat", or more directly, you can start to view things in the ways that are basic to your normal environment.

This is the reason why we need to push back against religion in general as a force to be reckoned with and to be dealt with. Otherwise we will have this insanity just continue on and on. The sooner we all start to believe in reality and not beliefs from ancient times, the sooner we will start to get a handle on world problems. The sooner we will begin to put down and disallow these sociopathic abusers to take advantage of society and our resources for their own and only their own benefit.

I don't have a problem with you being a believer, if you keep it in perspective not just with reality, especially in America, you're welcome to choose your favorite delusion, but you need to if not keep it to yourself, not force it onto others. Especially not at the end of a knife, a rifle barrel or that of a bomb.

Dense information sharing time....

Check out atheist AmonRa's video in part about this: AronRa's Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb's questions for "evolutionists".

Merrian-Webster defines self-righteous as:

:  convinced of one's own righteousness especially in contrast with the actions and beliefs of others :  narrow-minded moralistic

It is a component of the addicted brain, and there is a chemistry to it.

One researcher in Psychology Today labeled it The Goody Two Shoes Syndrome.

"As much as we loathe hypocrites, we may dislike the self-righteous even more. Any person who presents himself as morally unimpeachable is making an "implicit indictment" of everyone else that is "irksome to the mainstream," finds a recent study in Social Psychological and Personality Science."

Which is also to say, not just we don't like them, but they find and revel in their "implicit indictments". We internally object to their narrow self justifications, which frequently aren't based on reality. Ever talked to a staunch conservative about guns?

The thing is here we tend to severely dislike those who are self righteous and obviously wrong with the added issue of knowing they are foolish and ignorant, even in the face many times of easily attainable and actual facts. They make conclusions without enough information out of a frustration typically due to a lack of that information, and of control over their lives. Sometimes, over a false sense of a lack of control over their own life.

For those others however it is also seriously dislikable in experiencing the self righteous in those who are absolutely right and correct in their beliefs and contentions. The issue there especially when you actually are right, is a degree of intensity. IF you are correct, you do not need to force excessive amounts of emotion or disdain into it. If you're right, you're right. Truth usually does win in the end. The trouble comes where and when that will finally happen.

An article in Huffington Post pushes further into the self-righteous syndrome:

"We often engage in internal dialogues with ourselves, some of which we never evaluate or examine. They keep going on and on, driving us to judge and react to situations and people without even being aware of why. We all do these self-talks, but we mess up when we let these have power over us rather than the other way around. There are many irrational thoughts that have no basis in reality. Here are a few of the irrational thoughts that bring about a state of self-righteousness (i.e., “I am right and you are wrong”):"

1. All-or-nothing thinking: When one sees things in black-and-white terms and has very limited vision. If something, someone, or some belief falls short of what this individual sees as perfect, he or she sees it as worthless or a total failure.
2. Overgeneralizations: People who over generalize take a single negative incident and exaggerate it. These individuals have a lot of use for words like “always,” “never,” “all” and “no one,” extreme words that by themselves can create radical thinking.
3. Mental filters: This is when a person picks one or a few negative events and dwells on them to make them look much bigger, darkening his or her vision of reality. It is as if you drop one droplet of ink into a whole bucket of water.
4. Discounting the positive: This is when the person rejects anything positive related to a situation, thinking that they “don’t really matter.”
5. Jumping to conclusions: This is when a person comes up with conclusions when there are no logical, scientific, or unbiased facts to support those conclusions.
6. “Should” statements: This is when a person tells herself that everyone and everything “should” be the way she thinks, functions and is comfortable with. People who make a lot of personal “should” statements usually experience a lot of negative emotions like guilt and frustration, or even anxiety. Should statements that are directed at other people, or at the world in general, lead to anger and frustration (e.g., “He shouldn’t think like this”)? This way of thinking is counterproductive, because it creates feelings of rebelliousness and separates you from those who don’t think the same way.

Then there is this article from Psychology Today:

"The specter of mental illness does indeed loom large over creationists, but they are not alone. Signs of psychopathology can also be seen among their political bedfellows, conservative politicians, especially when you consider a wide range of illness indicators. In his award-winning 2005 book, Dr. James Whitney Hicks discusses 50 signs of mental illness including denial, delusion, hallucination, disordered thinking, anger, anti-social behavior, sexual preoccupation, grandiosity, general oddness, and paranoia. Now I'm no clinician, but in my (admittedly biased brown) eyes it seems that prominent Republicans have evidenced each of these ten telltale signs of mental illness over the past year:"

1) Denial: humans did not evolve;  Obama is not a native-born American Christian
2) Delusion: climate is not changing
3) Hallucination: God ordained me to be President
4) Disordered Thinking: being for small government that's huge in the bedroom;  being anti-contraception and anti-abortion
5) Anger: Newt Gingrich’s perpetual scowl
6) Anti-social Behavior: toward women, gays, minorities, anyone without an umbilical cord or trust fund
7) Sexual Preoccupation: a fervent compulsion to control when we can mate, with whom we can mate, and precisely how we are allowed to mate (which I lampoon in Why Do Politicians Want to Police Dick and Jane's Private Parts?)
8) Grandiosity: even Rick Santorum recognizes Gingrich’s “over the moon” grandiosity
9) General Oddness: Ron Paul
10) Paranoia: pretty much all of them, all of the time
Even (the not necessarily dumb) Pope Francis appears to recognize that “it is a serious illness, this of ideological [conservative] Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?”

Conservatism and self-righteousness, these are just other flavors of a few knuckle draggers who exist the country and world over and who drag along with them the masses who do not see what is being done to them. It is a disease that has been coming out of the woodworks of the world of late. Like mold on food in the back of a fridge that has not been managed well enough or often enough.

We let this happen to us in not standing up to the nonsense from conservatives and religious nutcases, their nutgroups and their nutbelief systems. But be careful, they will mix in just enough truth and reality to poison easily choosing not to believe once you are assimilated into their mindset. It's like quitting smoking to a smoker, for some, it's impossible to quit, even when you know better.

We have kind of asked for this and now we are reaping the detrimental misfortunes of it.

And so we can also rectify it by doing what manages it correctly and by paying attention, standing up to it, speaking out against it and shouting down idiocy whenever it crops up. But it has to be done in such a way as to allow those types to save face and find it in their hearts and minds to alter their addictions. Even then, just as in how long this has taken to get here, it will take time to rid ourselves of it.

I'm talking about pushing reality on people who avoid it, who fear it, because of either defective belief systems, selfishness, or greed.

It will happen, not to worry. Remember when I said the truth wins out?

Reality always wins out. I just hope it's before we destroy ourselves and not through this planet reclaiming its original natural beauty... without humankind.

The conservative model of political monitoring as we've seen repeatedly (though apparently only of their opponents as you may (should) have noticed) is that there seems to be a ghost around every corner. Or a commie or a gay or whatever the latest flavor of disdain might happen to be.

Trouble is, odds of there being a ghost around most of those corners is niil to zero for much of the time.

How does one get to a point of distrusting literally everything they disagree with? And one's self? Broken childhood obviously. Which most of us have had in one way or another.

Or a disillusion of some sort. possibly from childhood, something deep seated, some unfilled hole in your logic that one day you find a "logic" that fits and seals up that hole. Even if it couldn't be more incorrect. 

So why did just some of them choose to not trust anything, anywhere? Lack of control in childhood? Raised in a family too religious or strict? Thing is, once we become adults we need to own it. Shrug off the fears, the distrust, the scary monsters and face reality. To think. Not to overthink, but to accurately think. Not finding "truth" through a lack of information, but truth through and when you have enough information.

Study conspiracy theory and those personality types, it's interesting reading. The trouble with most conspiracy theory types is, they never study conspiracy theory themselves, they just dive in thinking they have the skills to survive it. Those who don't are typically the ones we hear from the most and the loudest. 

If someone says something they agree with, even if it's nonsense, then it must be true. Why bother checking into it when there are so many they disagree, so many they can simply push all their fears and distrust, anger and bigotry into? 

Just makes sense, right? And who cares, it feels good.

Besides if you never see the world as shades of grey rather than black and white, only right against wrong, you are always right half of the time. Like the stopped clock, always right twice a day. It's safe. It's too safe. It's defective. 

The most concerning element now a days are these current forms of extremism (see, How extreme beliefs, not mental illness, may fuel mass shooters), they are the brainchild of instant media, and of or-profit news, of the internet in general, and of bipartisanship as it has been taken to its natural conclusion.

Now that anyone can speak out to the masses, we are seeing a great deal of ignorance being sold online as knowledge and insight. When really it is just the lowest level of intellect mixed with a lot of negativity, being sold as correct and proper information. Even though it is the antithesis of the definition of information and just comes off as insane to anyone with a valid sense of what was once called, common sense.

So. Just be negative. Sooner or later you'll probably be right. Besides, most of those liberals are retards and corrupt, unlike good Christian conservatives and Republicans. Those types never do bad things. Name one Republican governor or congressman who has done anything bad, ever.

Best of all? You only need two brain cells to rub together in order to make that model of self-righteousness work. Even if you ARE wrong most of the time, it lights up your inner self-importance and who doesn't just love that?

Kind of brilliant if you think about it. And what a form of energy conservation!

Finally if you cannot buy any of this as presented above, perhaps this presented below will make you happy:

Obama Outed As Secret Muslim By Anonymous - Conservatives Said 'We Told You So.'

Happy birthday America!

Cheers!