Monday, October 24, 2016

American Belief of Equality

There is a belief in this country that we are all equal.

We are not.

Under the Constitution we are of course considered equals and that is the spirit of it and our national character. Or is it?

Originally that was not the case as landowners or those with a certain amount of land only, were allowed to vote.

Baby steps. Over time we added in more more equalities.

Until today, when we have the mistaken belief we are all now equal.

We are not.

We are treated as if we are equal in some outward appearing situations. And we should be. But we should in many cases be more equal than we are.

A white and black man are charged separately in different unrelated locations and situations. The white man gets let off or receives a few months incarceration while the black man gets months or years.

A rich man and a poor man are charged separately in different unrelated locations and situations. The rich man walks, the poor man goes to prison for life, or gets death (seriously, avoid Texas with seven executions so far this year).

It is not the system per se, it is the situation. A rich man can afford better legal defense. A white man appears to be less of a threat. Just as a rich black man appears less of a threat, or a poor white man. Which considering Trump supporters of late, could change that mindset entirely. Not to mention how many white male Christians have been involved in domestic terrorism over that of Muslims, blacks or even the poor in general.

Hidden if not blatant cognitive dissonance in either the Judge, Jury, or the Law itself?

It's wrong. Yet, it happens.

That is not where it is imminently necessary that we should  be equals, however.

It is in education or lack thereof and what you do with it. It is in power or lack thereof and what you do with it. Because if we are equal in those two things, all the others fall eventually into place.

An ignorant man wants to feel equal, powerful, and so takes only a little incorrect information from the media, from like people on social media. He will run with it, further spreading incorrect information so others believe and support it. Slander or not, it leaves him thinking how great he is, over that of others who disagree with him.

Under conservative labels if business people are "job creators", a frequent misnomer, then the people they slander are "doers", those who do for us in government. When criticism is accurate it is useful. When it is not, it adds to the burden of those who "do", and who achieve...for us all.

For those who truly are a problem in government or the media, who want to retain and gain more power, more influence, and in so doing knowingly and sometimes even unknowingly, spread more incorrect information to the media, to social media. All in order to, and which affects constituents or potential constituents, to further spread and support disingenuous information in order to stay in public office. Or those in the media may want to spin, even to lie in order to hold onto a position in the media, or to gain a foothold to a higher situation.

It's always about more with these people. When you have a billion dollars or half a billion, or a quarter of a billion, DO you really need more?

These are the kinds of things we've traditionally seen in televangelists. A mindset that has seeped into culture, our government officials.

These people, the citizens spreading lies and spin, the government official doing the same, the media pundit or mogul who works so hard to convey unreality upon what should be an unsuspecting public, to  many of whom should know better, these are the people who are unequal and should remain so.

They are not equal to those of us who are not lazy in mind and action, in our research and speech. Who are not ignorant of how to find correct and valid information. Who educate themselves through public or private institutions. Who self-learn and choose good, not poor information to share, and share it.

And so no, we are not all equal. Some of us may well never be equal. But against their best (or worst) intentions, many of us are going to be. Regardless what underhanded tactic they use against us all.

I do wholeheartedly look forward to the day when we are all playing at least, if not with the same toys, within the same playground.

I'll just leave you with this quote from George Orwell's book, 1984:

And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became truth. "Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. "Reality control," they called it: in Newspeak, "doublethink." (1.3.18)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Alpha Males or the Donald J Trump Syndrome

I've always wondered about this concept of Alpha Male. There seem to be a lot of I don't know, let's say, defective alpha male types around. And let's just jump right to the point, Donald Trump comes to mind, exemplified so well in last Saturday night's SNL opening skit. Which, by the way, Donald really, really hated. Conversely however, the skit really was brilliant and nailed Hillary some too. But Trump is just much the more buffoonish. So what do you expect? It's satire.

I never wanted to be a leader myself. When I was a kid I kept getting thrown into those situations. I've had an unusual, rather unique background as a child. Someone once said that I had done more before high school than many adults do in their entire lifetime.

Adults seemed to like to depend on me going back even to grade school. An adult once told me back then that it doesn't matter that I just wanted to be a follower, I was a leader and the sooner I accepted that, the better. It was a frustrating moment. As was the year that followed.

I've met a lot of guys who acted out being "the leader". It seemed to mean something to them. I suspect it was a psychological failing on their part. Still, people flocked to them. They came across as very self-assured.

You just knew they had the right decisions. Trouble was, many times they simply didn't. They were acting the wise sage but were leading people off a cliff. Eventually people found that out though not always before it was far too late.

In that sense maybe they were the alpha males. Maybe I'm just an almost alpha male.

I just didn't give a damn if people followed me.

The question is, is being an alpha male intellectual or egoistic? Or let's say, psychological or sociological? That is to say, psychopathological or sociopathological? Related more to self, or the group? I'm gathering that the popular understanding of those who support that type is that it's sociological.

And this is where it gets interesting. Because there is a vast disparity between what these people want and expect and what the object of their attention is putting out, or capable of putting out.

Because there are two types of person, sociologically speaking. One who is empathetic to the group and one who is sociopathological. That is to say, one type of person relates to the group, cares about or for the group and the other couldn't care less about the group, only about themselves, so they act like they care and can be very, very good at it.

Who would you really rather follow? Someone who makes you feel good, who makes sense to you, even if they lead you of a cliff sometimes? Or someone who keeps you safe, even though you don't always understand them, even though you don't feel so warm and fuzzy? The former people tend to trust immediately, the latter, with experience in seeing how their methods work out.

Sometimes a sociopath is necessary to lead the way. Sometimes we even need killers to lead us. But typically these are only for short, highly acute situations. Once you get into longer term chronic situations, then you need to expunge yourself of the soc. alpha male for the psych. alpha male.

If you see what I'm saying. Let me put it this way. Trump is a sociopath. Obama and Clinton (either or any of them) aren't. It is the difference between the egoist and the intellectual.

From my understanding, speaking as someone with a degree in psychology (and not the kind of degree people might scoff at)...sociological alpha males tend to be of a lower IQ (if you like that kind of reference..."IQ", but it does acts as a good shorthand).

True psychological versions of alpha males allows for things a sociopath does not. Like reason. Like decency. Like empathy, or suffering maximum performance for considerations of humanity, decency, when they are so good, that even with those hindrances, they can still excel beyond the capabilities of the soc. alpha male.

We have a case before us of a soc. alpha male, or a psychological alpha female as in Trump and Clinton, respectively.

You decide who to vote for. If you can. If you're capable. Because amazingly at this point in the game with twenty-two days left at this writing to the election, there are still people who cannot make up their minds.

That is sad. It means the information they have received isn't conclusive for them. It means, they are getting their information from the wrong sources. And it may very well be that all the sources the believe are available to them, that they would trust, are those poor sources of information.

Mixing this all up with the aggressive sociopathic behavior of a Donald Trump has led to such women as are now coming out against him. I'm saddened by the mono level, single threaded minds of conservatives who can't understand this or to hold two concepts in their heads at once.

We need to end this nonsense of giving so much deference to those who are stupid, greedy, or sociopathic. They use our good and civic natures against us, to make us question what we know to be true. Again and again until we don't know what to believe. But an educated person knows, can judge and can see through the lies and sociopathic behaviors. It takes time, patience and effort. 

Let's also try to remember what it is to have class. To be intelligent. Honest. To seek Truth as the goal and not just self-serving behaviors. 

Let's return again to evolving as human beings and bettering our social structures, our connections between all humans everywhere.

Let's vote for a woman this time, or at least an alpha who is decent and reasonable, with at least some obvious ethics (or for you delusionals, at least she feigns having ethics, unlike some others). Besides, at this time? There is no decent alpha male running for president.

Don't shoot the messenger. I'm just calling it how I see it and how the evidence presents itself. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

We Were America and... We Will Be Once Again

It is sad that a vocal minority of Americans through fear and ignorance, through believing they are not fearful OR ignorant, how they got there having been supported by a major political party in the Republican Party, are shredding our political process.

I lay the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of Republicans who have lied over the years. Who have spun issues for their own agenda, against reality, against science and facts, in choosing what they wish to use to support their ill conceived and mortal policies, simply in order to tighten their grip on America and rise higher in the ranks without any care or fear themselves about the state of the Nation, and its place as The world leader.

Should that they will feel the wrath one day of all Americans, especially those they have deluded into this tipping point of thinking the current national consciousness is accurate, and the wrath of a world now watching in horror and suffering from it themselves, as it has all now culminated in the figurehead of a very base, reality TV show star as the leading figure of a mindset, a nearly insane constituency. all to the point that this will take, even if sanity rules and a true leader is chosen in November, years and decades to bring America back to being the sane and intelligent leader that it once was.

As we are seeing this insanity has also opened us up for attacks from without as well as from within.

We will need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, kick the chaff and filth from those boots, and kick ourselves out of the muck and mire of our present conditions in order to again be what we once were.

We don't so much need to make America great again, as we need to make it great once again from those who claim they wish to make America great...again.

Julian Birkinshaw of the London Business School has written a very enlightening article titled:

Beyond the Information Age

Julian's article points out four issues of our current situation that truly explain what we are seeing in many areas, including...the rise of the Trump supporter and the Trump itself; conservative mentalities and mindsets confused by, something; and Republican efforts able to skew, trip up, mis and dis inform the public for their own benefit and not the American people or the world.

We are being damaged through:

1. Paralysis through Analysis
2. Easy access to data makes us intellectually lazy.
3. Impulsive and Flighty Consumers. 
4. A little learning is a dangerous thing. "


"So what are the consequences of a business world with “too much information”? At an individual level, we face two contrasting risks. One is that we become obsessed with getting to the bottom of a problem, and we keep on digging, desperate to find the truth but taking forever to do so. The other risk is that we become overwhelmed with the amount of information out there and we give up: we realise we cannot actually master the issue at hand, and we end up falling back on a pre-existing belief."

I'll leave you with this. Just as we passed through the industrial age into the information age, we will make it through this transition to the next age. Perhaps the age of Big Data where we will learn to deal with those four elements Julian points out above.

The current issue is with the present and how we make it to that next age. 

Honesty, transparency, effort and putting out in the cold that which subverts reality.

Otherwise, we are doomed.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Is Trump Finally Stopping

Before I say anything, the title of this blog today is perfect and summarizes Trump's speech. Tom Hanks has now perfectly summarized whether anyone should vote for Trump now. People are voting for him just because, apparently. They don't seem to fact check him. They don't want a professional who can do the job, just some lout who thinks he can because he's so full of himself.

Republicans are voting for him because they know he's a fool, but they want that all important Supreme Court nomination to be a conservative. Like we need that kind of a nightmare to continue. Bad enough we have had to put up with Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. One down, one to go. My apologies Justice Scalia. Though now that he's gone some interesting things are happening.

Let me just say that I've been proud all my life to be a non-partisan voter. I've voted for candidates in the past of both parties. But in recent years I find more and more how necessary it is to vote against conservative interests and the Republican party. Republicans have done this on purpose. For the first time I have registered as a Democrat to vote for Bernie who is now out of the race.

I was supportive of Hillary even through all the white noise that has been generated against her by the right all these years. I've been trained at my university years ago as a researcher and a psychologist. I'm above average in my opinion, as I research, look for neutral sources, compare positive and negative sources, and have a history of understanding the bigger and smaller picture.

Republicans have gone for ideology over the citizenry since the 90s which was the tipping point after a decade or two before that. Led by Newt Gingrich and on the side by that nutcase Wayne LaPierre from the NRA along with his power and money. Republicans gave us the likes of Dan Quayle as vice president and yet, I voted for George GW Bush. He was a smart guy. His sons, not so much.

Then we saw others, George W Bush, and sadly fooled once, America voted him back in, mostly because of 9/11. Then we saw John McCain bring the fool Sarah Palin into the national spotlight. I don't blame John, he assumed a state Governor wouldn't be a nutcase. Well we know better now. Especially after the likes of others like Rick Snyder who has actually killed people. And Rick Scott, Mike Pence and others.

And then there is, Trump. Most recently with the release of his lewd comments toward women from some years back with Bill Bush. The one time he did have a good mic, but didn't know it was on. This is a disgusting human being, who found himself in a situation to do what he does but it doesn't make him a genius, a brilliant businessman, or a good human being.

All of which discounts the reasons many have for voting for him as president.

Even his old accountant has said Trump barely knows anything about business, finance or the tax codes. It makes you wonder then, why do people want to vote for him. What is it about him they find, attractive? And what does that say about those who have been supporting him and who still support him?

Yes. Stop listening to this blowhard. Stop listening to the Narcissist. The Authoritarian. The Man Who Doesn't Walk the Walk, who tells Soldiers who have, who have suffered for it, how they are weak for acquiring PTS, a normal reason to insane and terrifying environments Remember how Trump opted out of when others had to go to war. But he didn't. Because he was rich. And afraid.

Fear, a normal reaction. Fearing Trump. A normal reaction. If you don't fear him, you're not normal. Or you're simply not paying attention to everything, discounting this, elevating that, picking and choosing in what he says. As people do with other things. Like the Bible. No, I'm not equating Trump to the Bible. I'm equating how people are delusional about things, picking and choosing what they believe should be relevant, when it's all relevant.

Start talking about what "matters".

Stop talking about Trump's nearly $1 billion in loses that allowed him to claim 18 years of tax breaks giving him an edge up on the competition and on his own follow up efforts... for 18 years. That's a genius. But let's face it. He's not a CPA. He pays people to figure that out. As for who he surrounds himself with, it's been shown that many of them are not that great. As Trump has said, surround yourself with idiots and you look great!

Stop talking about how his own ex wife had enough animosity against him (very possible and reasonably so) that it's highly plausible she turned in those pieces of released tax returns to the media. Pieces that show there is more available, and more coming. Stop talking about Trump's latest and greatest campaign manager and spokesperson, Kellyanne Elizabeth Conway. The supplied link to a recent SNL skit is hilarious and, all too accurate. Too soon? Too close to the truth? Too much? Too real.

START talking about how this business "genius" (and yet mental and emotional midget) lost nearly $1 billion dollars leading him to claim those losses against taxes owed. Talk about how that could have spanned 18 years. How that meant many public entities suffered for Trump's benefit: children, the poor, infrastructure and who knows what else.

Start talking about how Trump isn't presidential material. How he's all smoke and mirrors. And how those who support him have been duped and are now apparently too self involved (or stupid?) to rectify their choice of candidate for President of the United States of America now that he has shown (though he has all along) who he really is and what he really thinks.

Realize... reality.

Stop thinking you're a patriot if you support a low IQ, low EQ, bully who will damage America as President; who already has damaged this country merely in saying things, and further in running for president.

Supporting someone like Trump as president isn't patriotic, it's.bleeding Americanism. And you're almost on empty. And you're draining America. Draining the world's view of America.

Trump CAN make America great again, by dropping out the the race.

Or as George Will's brilliantly put it, saying exactly what I've been trying to put into words myself this past year:

"Donald Trump is the GOP’s chemotherapy." 

Perhaps, but will he really purge the GOP after he loses the election of their stupidity. Really I don't think they are even capable of that after their failed elections of 2012 and 2008. By the way, also check out Timothy Egan's piece on our piece of garbage candidate, Trump.

Before you're thoroughly depleted start talking about what matters. It's not about Hillary's emails, a moot point blown out as usual into a morass of conservative diatribe. Or her abilities... ones that far exceed Trump's. It's not about another non issue like Benghazi. Or Whitewater. Or her husband. White noise tossed out by those who have nothing of substance, and taken up and run by supporters who do not know any better.

This isn't about her at all, not about all that she actually HAS done for others and constinues to do all while Trump does for himself, his ego, his portfolio.

Stop with the bad you think Hillary did, rather than the good that the public record shows she did, and continues to do.

So in the end, what has Trump done in comparison for our benefit? Destroy himself? Perhaps that will one day be considered his greatest accomplishment and gift to the United States, and the world.

Perhaps. Still I would have to say that in the end, he has really done nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Should we all be allowed to vote?

Consider yourself lucky. As a voter. You can vote.

I recently sold my house, and land. I'm just renting now. When this country first started out, I wouldn't have been allowed to vote as I'm no longer a land owner. Though, I am white.

Non landowners couldn't vote. I wouldn't have been able to vote. Slaves couldn't vote back then. Many couldn't, few could.

What we have now though is that many allowed to vote. Citizens in general can vote. Republicans have abused America for going on thirty years now, even longer. Because they find voters easily swayed to vote poorly.

As it is said, "Democrats are not very good at selling good ideas while Republicans are very good at selling bad ideas." An informed citizen will vote for a good idea poorly sold but not a bad idea well sold.

Donald Trump could now potentially become president because of that after all. Is THAT a good thing? No. If you really need to be told that, it is not a good idea. Also, Trump's choice of collaborator Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate as a calming and stabilizing factor was sensible, but Pence also has his serious deformities as a politician.

There are many people who mistakenly believe he'd make a great president. Because they listen to him. Because they believe his lies. Because he exerts authority and acts like he knows what he's talking about. It is also said that to act like you belong, no one will ask questions.

All that is true because those supporting bad ideas and people, are not politically well educated. Because they are easily swayed. And because they can vote.

Is that really a good thing?

From Fair Vote:

Consider the realities of the election of 1789, the first election of the new Congress. The overall number of people who were allowed to, and actually voted, was miniscule in state after state. For example, Delaware had a total state population of just over 59,000, but only 2,059 ballots were cast, meaning just 3% of the population. Georgia’s turnout was around 5%, New York about 3% and Rhode Island has what seems to have been lowest turnout of all at an abysmal 0.7%.

Typically, white, male property owners twenty-one or older could vote. Some colonists not only accepted these restrictions but also opposed broadening the franchise. Duke University professor Alexander Keyssar wrote in The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States:

At its birth, the United States was not a democratic nation—far from it. The very word "democracy" had pejorative overtones, summoning up images of disorder, government by the unfit, even mob rule. In practice, moreover, relatively few of the nation's inhabitants were able to participate in elections: among the excluded were most African Americans, Native Americans, women, men who had not attained their majority, and white males who did not own land.

John Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence and later president, wrote in 1776 that no good could come from enfranchising more Americans.

In the beginning of America democracy itself was considered bad.

Now a days social democracy is considered by many to be bad. Bernie Sanders' political affiliation, though all it really refers to is sane democratic governing, is in effect just governing with an appropriate consideration for the people that the government is governing. Social democracy should really just be called, democracy.

But people now are really not at the center of all our considerations. That's just lip service politicians feed to the people. Money and power are at the center now and really always have been, all in the hope that their benefits will filter down to the people.

Those people who are apparently just an afterthought. If they don't have the money themselves to assure they are above the problems in the country at any one time, then they are lost. Some social programs to be sure to help the worst of them, but the majority of Americans are just getting by.

Taxation at the beginning of America was important and if you paid taxes, you could vote. You had after all, a right to as you'd paid for your vote. You'd invested in America. You deserved a say in things. Restrictions were placed upon either the amount of taxes you paid or the amount of land you owned, in assuring who could vote.

Landowners paid taxes. It was an easy way to assure investment in the country. There was a solid connection. Governors needed to implement changes. They needed lawmakers to invoke taxes so they could afford to make those changes.

Landowners also tended to be more highly educated than the unwashed masses. A vote they cast the hope was, would do something. It would affect positive change. It would bolster the economy, strengthen the nation, make life better and safer, by association for everyone.

On an associated topic, is it a good idea for the common man to become president? We so love the ideal of a "common man" or person. One of us ascending to the highest office in the nation. It's romantic. It's hopeful. It gives us a sense of community, of greatness, of one of us running things. Of not being ruled by the upper class, or by royalty.

So is it really a good idea for everyone, anyone, to vote? 

As John Adams put it (again from 

Depend upon it, Sir, it is dangerous to open so fruitful a source of controversy and altercation as would be opened by attempting to alter the qualifications of voters; there will be no end to it. New claims will arise; women will demand the vote; lads from 12 to 21 will think their rights not enough attended to; and every man who has not a farthing, will demand an equal voice with any other, in all acts of state. It tends to confound and destroy all distinctions, and prostrate all ranks to one common level.

It does beg the question: Should those who are not knowledgeable about issues and politics have a vote? isn't that dangerous? Look at the state of things? On July 1, 1971 the voting age was lowered to eighteen. It was lowered because we were sending eighteen year old males and even younger with their parent's permission, off to Vietnam to die. To be maimed.

In the 1960s the mindset was one of inclusiveness. Which sounds great and all. However, do you let the ignorant, those with little physical if not just emotional investment in the country to vote? Is a vote something to play with, to experiment with? Or something to be judiciously cast with wisdom and restraint?

I might agree that if you are a citizen you should be allowed to vote. That would however include criminals. It delves into, crosses over to not killing American citizens in a "war on terror" or a "war on drugs". It encroaches into just who should be allowed to become president.

Would you allow for instance, some commoner to run your large corporation as CEO? Or would you want someone who has experience and education, a proven ability to handle that type of a position? That massive of an undertaking?

Let's say you own a professional race car. You're driver sucks. He keeps losing races. In your mind anyway, he's not doing a good job. You find  you're sick of race car drivers. So you get someone who says he can win. He's competent but is driven around for a living and doesn't actually drive himself.

He professionally produces and films car races. He knows a lot about the process of the actual races, but not the specifics about actually driving a race car. And you are going to put him in the driver's seat of a million dollar race car and think he will win a race and won't wreck it, potentially killing himself, if not others?


And yet, who do we allow to be president? Shouldn't there be some kind of a baseline for who can become president? So we don't have only the elite, the wealthy always and only becoming president, we need to fix out schools so anyone can educate themselves and become president.

In THAT sense, it could be great. Yes, that is potentially possible now. President Barack Obama is in fact, a case in point. But some do not even have his advantages in life. So we need free school for everyone, not just the wealthy or those who find enough advantage in life to be able to attain a higher education and in the end, possibly become president of the United States.

It's a noble thing to be sure, how we have set things up. But is it truly functional? 

To slightly paraphrase what an anonymous poster said on Political Pistachio

There were black and women landowners at the time of the founding of the country. There were free black men in America at the time and when a man died, his estate became his wife's, thus she was a landowner.
This practice ensured that those voting had something to loose....

But the few and far between there I'm sure. Part of the article on that page offered a quote to give one pause:

When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. - Benjamin Franklin

It is perhaps, what we are seeing today in things like Citizen's United.

I'm not really saying we should limit who can vote. I love the inclusive idea. But we seem to have a broken system that is being sustained as it is, and therefore it is rapidly becoming worse in many ways, because it is broken. Certain politicians like Newt Gingrich going back to the 1990s have polarized the country and government in a disingenuous way for Republicans and conservative ideals to take control, even when it wasn't wanted.

Through various dirty tricks like gerrymandering, spin, disinformation, misinformation and even outright lies they have gained control. Even when there are more democratic voters in a state or area. The damage they have wrought is legion. In putting their conservative extreme ideals into practice they have killed and poisoned people in Flint, Michigan and elsewhere. They have lost literally billions of dollars with HB2 an anti-LGBT law in North Carolina. It goes on and on like that.

In the end, should we restrict voting then?

I would say no. Somehow we need to wrest control from those who would damn us to this cycle of bad and educate our citizens. Somehow we need to fix our schools, better our laws, remove from power those who do not belong there, and affect positive changes. Not through revolution. But through the system we have had for over 200 years.

Can we get there?

I believe through social media and simply the growing of the baseline knowledgebase of America and the world, we will one day have to face the facts. We will find one day that we can no longer not see reality for what it is. We will laugh at, decry, shout down and eliminate those who make up anti science arguments that win in congress and at the pools. Eventually we will wake up.

There is hope. We have hope. And we have time on our side. And what is right. Because in the end, the truth always wins out. It always escapes the darkness it is immersed in by those who wish to hide it for their own purposes.

The issue is not if, but when. Not when but how soon. Not how soon but how can we affect more immediate changes.

See what is going on. Not just through superficial sound bites. Not through lying politicians and ignorant citizens. but through education. Both through our school system and through ourselves.

Because in the end this is our country and it is up to us, each one of us, to educate ourselves. To be involve in our nation. To know what is really going on in the world at large and to put down those who would subvert reality for their own self interests.

To answer the question, Should we all be allowed to vote? I'd say the answer is yes, but no. We should not allow stupid to vote. We need to wipe out stupid and ignorant. We need to allow, to enable the intelligent vote to make it to the ballot box, to the mail in ballot. We need to see that all who should be allowed to vote see their vote cast.

Mostly however we need to make sure that the vote they cast has behind it intelligence, accurate information and a desire to see the nation prosper, to survive and remain strong for all American citizens and not just the few. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Still Foolishly Waiting For the Old "Great" America?

People regret how America isn't the America of the 1950s. Are YOU the person of your younger years? No, and neither is America. Do you want to be? Disconnected from the world at large as it has moved on, even if you haven't? Therefore being completely dysfunctional, rather than just somewhat dysfunctional as any normal country is?

Obviously, this involves Donald Trump. Sadly.

Tonight is the first debate between candidates on both sides. America's and the world's hope for decency and progress, Hilary Clinton, and the InternNational Embarrassment that is... Donald Trump. It should make for interesting political viewing. Interesting Reality TV viewing. Interesting studies in the path politics is taking in the world. Because we're slow to follow other countries in some of this (like fights breaking out in congress...see Japan, Italy, etc.), but we're blazing the trail on other aspects of this complete nightmare.

Not American? Then Hope, and if you're into that kind of thing, Pray (not that it will do anything other than make you feel better for a little while, then let you down in the end), that this kind of thing doesn't befall your own country!

For the record, I don't believe any of those things in this article from the Washington Post on "Why Smart People Believe all the Crazy Things Trump Says", except the Bush Administration knowing about the WMDs in Iraq. That, as it indicates, shouldn't be on that list. Why? Because it's true/untrue in the best of presidential plausible deniability. From what I've gathered over the years from what those who have spoken out on it (and in some cases you have to read a book, remember those?), the Bush Administration pushed the intelligence community into finding what they wanted to hear. They had wanted to go to war in Iraq before Bush became president in 2000. And so on. All documented. All easily and reasonably pieced together. 

So no. The Bush administration WAS told there were WMDs in Iraq. But it's not that simple. It is in part how our government works, but in this case it was above and beyond and led initially to a reasonable conclusion which later turned out to be an unreasonable one.

But this here and now deals with things like Hilary's reputation, who she is, who the Clinton's are, who she would be as president. 

Right wing conspiracy about her as usual in these kinds of things, paints a picture of her as world class James Bond villain. It's a child's view of the world, such as Republicans and conservatives tend to paint it in "knowing" what they expect to believe, what they want to believe, what assuages their need for information where there is none. It's an amateur, arm chair quarterback view of the world. 

With just a little bit of knowledge in how to research, in digging into disparate information sources and discounting and supporting reality, in listening to and triangulating what those in the know, those involved in these things have said and shown to be true, the actuality is sometime, quite obvious.

It is the information and political form of seeking a black hole in space. A scientist finds what is there through what is available and what isn't. An amateur does not have full access to the same kinds of information and therefore there is a lot of chaff and fluff in that arena. To be sure there are professional style amateurs, but they are few and far between compared to the more lazy forms out there. 

And so we have a mass of people beleiving in conspiracies. And now they have a leader. First the Republican party since the 90s if not 80s, and now in Trump who will fight to win at all costs, at any price, even that of the veracity of America across the world, the ideal and substance of America itself, and the self respect and sanity of the American people, themselves.
Have you ever noticed how parenting, even just making it through life is a series of guesses and hopes that you got it right? Some seem to just slide through life making all the right decisions. Many seem that way but it's just their deftness at making people believe that is the case. Most of us make mistakes along the way and then it's about how quickly and accurately we react to make things work right. Sometimes it's a series of corrections we make to make our mistakes functional. Most of us find a way to make that appear effortless so our boss or coworkers or the public thinks we are brilliant when really, we are just making it through life. Those are the things conservatives yearn for. That illusion of our greatness rather than our effective humbleness. We present this bold and brash cowboy attitude to the world, but we're just doing the best we can. Bullies too, fearful of the world unless they are sociopaths, put forth a brave and brash face which behind that facade is a scared and ignorant child. The world has gotten so complex, no one really knows what the right answers are. Those who tell you they know, are liars and charlatans, or politicians. People we hired to make us feel safe and when we don't, we blame them, rather than ourselves. Once you realize... "We have met the enemy and he is us." You are only then approaching adulthood. Then you can look around and see how frightened and ignorant we are. Then you can realize those who profess greatness and wisdom, are just expert actors displaying to you what they know you want to see. You complain when you don't get what you want, and then when you do, you see how things don't work right and you complain. rather than tearing down, try to support and build up, to see the bigger picture, to see you count as much as everyone else and they as much as you. Once you see that, things will start to become more functional again. Until you see that, it will just be more of the same and you have to understand, we have built the world we wanted. Because what you do, is what you have done, have allowed to happen, have asked for. At some point ignorance is no excuse, not a justification and you have to take responsibility because being a part of a nation requires that. If you don't like it, leave. Because going up into the wilderness isn't disconnecting yourself from the nation, only leaving it, rejecting citizenship, does that. And you're not willing to do that. So get involved, learn reality and stop with your wishing for what never was or what you really don't want to go back to, when you merely think you want to because in your colluded memories, the past last sloughed off the bad and you're only remembering the good. Good us all around us. Make that your reality. And work to bring us all as citizens of one nation, as much more as we can, not just for you, but for Americans. Otherwise, you are not an American. You are an old Soviet comrade, bitching at real Americans who ARE trying while you call THEM comrade, push your form of belief onto them, those who have no idea what you're talking about. You need to grow up. That is why things seem so bad for you. Hurry up, because the rest of us are waiting on you.

NOTE: Now, post first debate between the two candidates, a lucid and accurate journalist in a Sydney Morning Herald speaks out. I give you, Jonathan Bradley: Donald Trump's debate performance shows he has no business being president.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Calling for New American Party Mascots

I wonder sometimes if our political party's mascots have any relevance whatsoever to today's world. They are established, traditional, and let's face it, weird.
"In a cartoon that appeared in Harper's Weekly in 1874, Nast drew a donkey clothed in lion's skin, scaring away all the animals at the zoo. One of those animals, the elephant, was labeled “The Republican Vote.” That's all it took for the elephant to become associated with the Republican Party."
“The Third Term Panic: An ass, having put on the Lion’s skin, roamed about in the forest, and amused himself by frightening all the foolish Animals he met with in his wanderings.” Thomas Nast for Harpers, 1874.
I think we can all agree, the Democrat and Republican mascots have outlived their usefulness. While they may have at one time been effective, when the parties switched their political paths in the late 1800s, the mascots should really have switched with them.
"So, sometime between the 1860s and 1936, the (Democratic) party of small government became the party of big government, and the (Republican) party of big government became rhetorically committed to curbing federal power." Natalie Wolchover - 9/24/2012

The party of Lincoln, is no longer Lincoln's party. He simply wouldn't recognize it now.
So when Republicans say that, call them out. They're lying, or possibly more reasonably they're simply ignorant. The true mainstay of their party platform, Ignorance.
I'm proposing here however that we just kill them off. The mascots. We could have a big Republican sponsored game hunt. They should love that idea. Right?
My replacement suggestions are a slide for Republicans and a ladder for Democrats. Democrats are always trying to raise us up above the muck and Republicans are always trying to slip us back down into it, unless you have the money to save yourself. Which let's be honest, most of us don't have.
Republicans want things to be easy, not grey but black and white, good vs evil, as children view the world. They view things as simple when usually they are complex. Even if it kills people. Then they point the finger at their opponents, typically Democrats, liberals, progressives... or science.

When they do try to think in complex terms they tend to go in useless directions, spinning up obfuscations, improperly weighted situations, getting nowhere but wasting vast amounts of energy in looking like they are doing something, when they are just spinning their wheels and wasting as well, huge sums of OUR tax dollars with no apparent end in sight or purpose.

Other than self aggrandizement or extending their typically silly if not utterly destructive agendas. Ideologies based in make believe. Make believe frequently based in religion. Religion typically of a Judeo\Christian form. More of the three main defective revealed harsh desert religions from the Middle East.

Democrats however seem always to be trying to progress up to better things. While also sometimes using a slide for a short time...WHEN it just might be useful and helpful, overall it's hard and usually harder for them to do so.

And yet they keep on climbing, keep on trying, though usually too quietly.

While Republicans if they ever even try a ladder, only seem to make it up a step or two and then start in on any distraction they can think of. They don't want to do much, just appear to be doing much. Like a morbidly obese person trying to be distracted from doing exercise. Or in the case of extremist conservatives, to distract from any real thinking or analysis, or from doing any actual work and this is imperative...that they could be held accountable for.

So I give you our new modern political mascots: The Republican Slide and Democratic Ladder!

Now you just have to ask yourself. Which side of the platform do you want to be on?