Thursday, March 22, 2018

American Cyber Protection

It's both rewarding and disturbing to note that in the late 90s early 2000s, I was involved with a group made up of cyber security and law enforcement, nationally and internationally to bring us all together to be made aware and educate one another on cyber security threats. I may have mentioned this before, and I'll mention it again. Because we need good news at this point in our country.

To do something unheard of at the time. To bring good hackers and law enforcement in all its forms, together. To share knowledge and be made aware of things out of the scope of law enforcement and many business entities.

We had speakers like Richard Clarke, I believe Gen. Michael Hayden, the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure, and many others. Attendees included law enforcement from FBI, Secret Service,NSA and other "no such agencies", as well as local state and city police, Royal Canadian Mounties, even some from Australia showed up. Our group set up the first cyber crime team for our local city police department which they then took over.

We discussed avenues of corrections, how to address those in power to rectify situations, and we had a strong concern for our situation at the time . Not enough was being done.

Corporations weren't putting more than a single percentage point of their budget into cyber security concerns at the time (and the government wasn't much better). When it could cost them a lot more and has from time to time. Some of our efforts did save a lot of money, time and resources.

We worried. But our efforts did a great deal in making people aware all the way up to the president. Things did change, but not enough. Still to date we've been effective if not lucky.

Russia has been testing our systems, in event of an all out war. We had discussed our electric grids, black hats, white hats, the Chinese Red Hackers, their China Eagles who were supported by their military who were a problem at the time.

Now it is more Russia who is the problem. And North Korea.

There is one great man in particular whom I worked with, who deserves the credit for this group, for thinking of it, for pulling things together, for having beers with those who would never talk together and then, bringing their knowledge, if not themselves all together in the same room to help one another.

And even we were all surprised how well that worked out. Not a little of it because of that one man and his big heart and his big brain. They were each entity, hackers and law enforcement, both surprised by their overall lack of paranoia toward one another and the understanding each had toward the other, once they had a common goal, to protect America and actually sat down and talked together, easily becoming fascinated by the subject matter and the intricacies of the technologies and dynamics of both cyber and national security.

I will not name him. You will not find him on the internet. I could not, not in this context. I was able to "find" him mentioned, but hat was it and there is no connection to anyo fthis. Nor will you most likely find anything about this group.

Though he may very well end up seeing this post himself, or though someone mentioning it to him. But I thank him now for all his efforts (I have thanked him personally more than once in the past), and for you all and always and again from myself.

Many are unnamed and always will be in this work.

But we were then at a time we needed to be and much was done to help our country and our neighboring countries and friends. And they helped others.

I'm glad to have been involved at that time, I miss those meetings which may still be going on. I've left that business for artistic pursuits.

But there are people out there, working hard, day and night to protect us. And I know our efforts back then and possibly still now, paid off.

I just thought you should know.


Monday, March 19, 2018

So Don't Vote, Ignore Politics, I'm Sure It Will All Be Just Fine....

This...yes. I didn't write this, but this one was once me. Until I started to see my responsibilities as a citizen. In being a writer I had even more responsibility to speak out, to give others insight into what is going on and to offer them counters to the wrongful and the bad agenda based ideologies out there hammering down on America. 

Now that we have things like Russians (under Putin's orders) and Cambridge Analytica hacking us and altering our perceptions to their desires, we now really have to pay attention. That makes what I'm trying to say here, even more paramount and important. 

This is true for other countries to be sure. But so many of them, not having the benefits of being who we are in our positives of prestige, wealth and history, seem to fight even harder for their lives in their countries. Not infrequently as we're seeing in recent years, to the point of their government murdering them in their streets. Or as in Russia, their leader in Putin murdering people who disagree with him and his actions. 

The meme in question:

This was me, full on. Until the 90s when I merely started paying attention. I had gone through life, marriage, the military. I joined the OSI, the Air Force version of the FBI. I was headed into an interesting career fully supported by those in intelligence who met me. I was looking for the covert.

Now, please do not misunderstand what I'm about to say. Because I'm saying this, offering a bit of my history, for two good reasons.

First, I finally realized that I had shirked my duties as a citizen, as so many of us do. We live here, enjoy this life, this country and do so very little to deserve it. Being born here simply isn't enough. Immigrants know that, they have seen what like can and can't be and to live here, they feel, is a gift.

Even though I was in the military, was planning to go into a difficult if not dangerous career, was that even enough? Look, don't be intimated. Doing your duty as a citizen can mean only to vote. But to vote wisely, to take some amount of time anyway, to know what you're talking about, to make good decisions, to share those with our fellow citizens.

Speak out against what is wrong, incorrect, or ignorant as you see fit. But to do something. It's really not that much effort. But to neglect it, that's not earning or paying our way as citizens. And again, it's not really that much effort, so don't be intimated. Just do your part.

Secondly, I'm uniquely qualified most than the average citizen, to see much of what is going through the same information most of us can get. It's all about how you go about it, what and how you vet (verify) things and how you assimilate it with a history of what has gone before and where those things have led.

And so my first assignment was to be Berlin, Germany, where the agent I was to replace, had been killed getting into his car, due to an alleged, KGB bomb. The position had been opened for a year. No one else wanted it, for obvious reasons. I wanted to learn, to get my hands dirty, so I asked for it.

My point in mentioning all that is more than it sounds and I was more devoted to that career than most who would go into a career. I had a background in that kind of a job since grade school. I won't bore you here about it but between activities and studies, I was very, very well prepared for that kind of a lifestyle and career.

And the Commander of the OSI who interviewed me repeatedly, fully agreed, saying I had the highest score he'd ever seen on an OSI entrance exam. Which honestly, gave me concerns about support when in the field. I agreed that I was uniquely qualified before even going into training for the position, and others I planned beyond that which I had shared with him. As the OSI was only a stepping stone to where I was headed.

He aid he appreciated that and fully supported me in it. not because he was only focused as so many are anymore, on his department, or the military but for our country. The bigger picture. I'm just saying in all this, I'm uniquely situated from an outsider's point of view, and from what I hear from other citizens, to have a deeper understanding of many things that are going on in the world and in our country.

This, unlike our president Trump's proclivity, isn't about braggadocio, it's just an honest statement of fact. I had been practicing, studying and researching things uniquely situated for my selected future for years, and then....

My personal life took an unexpected change. A crisis of life, of conscience happened upon me. My career in espionage, that I had planned on since high school...gone, overnight. It took me two decades to completely reorient myself.

I got divorced. I lost nearly everything. I was adrift, until my older brother talked me into considering higher education.

I started at a two year college. Got an Associated Arts degree. I thought that was it. But then I ended up getting accept by and attending a university. I got another degree, a B.A. in Psychology, Awareness and Reasoning division, focusing in Phenomenology.

Having nearly enough credits to get a second degree, instead I opted for a minor in creative writing, focusing on fiction and then mostly screenwriting. I hadn't realized it until later, but I was being trained as a researcher. If only many more had only a few decent research or journalistic skills, our country would be more cohesives and intelligent, today.

Later I worked at the University of Washington for nearly a decade. Pretty much all the time uninterested in politics. Just living my life. Minding my own business. Putting all that previous understanding of government and world politics in my back pocket.

Constantly wondering why things seemed so messed up from a distance. But it wasn't about me, I figured. Other's could handle it. I didn't care. It wasn't, my thing. I think that may have been an over reaction to abandoning my planned career. It hurt. It took me an entire decade to let it go and become whomever it was I had become instead.

Then... Al Gore won the 2000 election and yet, Bush was the one inaugurated into office.

Stunned, I'd finally had it. I began to wake up. To look around. Not at the specifics of covert actions, of espionage, of world politics at the granular levels but at the larger scope of things. I had always been of the mindset that the government knew what I should do, they would task me, I would achieve the goal, accomplish the mission.

But now as a civilian for the rest of my life, I had to look at the bigger picture. Covert ops in intelligence need to understand the world, politics, but their orientation is different than ours. It has to be. They have to accomplish a mission, or acquire information and stay alive.

We have to see things from our perspective and that of leaders and our lives are not directly at risk. It was a paradigm shift for me. Having abandoned all the studies I had done on world covert ops and the Soviets, the KGB, now I had no use of that. But then, more recently, it all came back in a hollow echoe.

In reflecting over the 1990s at that point I realized just how ignorant I had been and how glad I was to have finally started paying attention all through the 90s.

I started hearing about this guy Putin. Ex KGB. I looked into him. I didn't like what I found. I told people. No one cared. He became Russian Premier in 1999. I was upset, and still no one would listen. Who cares, it's Russia, a weakened State, they had said.

I thought about post WWI Germany and how badly they were treated and abused. Maybe rightly so, led to WWII. We won the cold war, why should we treat Russia like Germany. Because in doing so, won't we will reap the benefits of not being decent and useful? Of missing the opportunity to build them into a friend and a partner?

Again, no one would listen and besides, who am I?

I started slow. In the late 80s I tried to make it a thing simply to always watch the State of the Union address. It was an effort at first. Yet I felt more patriotic, adult, aware, at least politically. I started paying attention more to news pieces I might hear bits and pieces of. I started looking a few things up. Over time it became easier and more interesting. And disturbing. My old habits started latching onto bits of things that grew in information and concern.

Through my job in the late 90s and early 2000s, I found (I maneuvered myself) into a position of being involved with an adhoc cyber security organization. A quasi secret group of national and international cyber security experts and law enforcement going from local Seattle Police Department (our group set up their first cyber security response and monitoring team), to the FBI, to the President's Commission for Critical Infrastructures and that, was an eye  opener.  We educated ourselves and corporations as wella s laws enforcement at all levels and in our country and others.

After 2000 I started seeking out more news. We talked about Bin Laden and other groups. Through the group, I once had Bin Laden's cell phone number. Though he was no longer using it, it was still being monitored and we joked about borrowing a friend (or enemy's) cell phone and calling it, thus getting them automatically put on a "no fly" list. Not so funny, but kind of funny.

Then, 9/11. I started really paying attention. I spoke out online. Calling out and pointing out things as I discovered them. Terrorists seemed to in some cases, have legit claims of dissatisfaction and no one listening.

Years before beginning in 10th grade in 1970 I started to feel my Irish side (from my dad's family), and my interest in the Irish "Troubles", in the IRA, grew. I wanted to help them push the British out. But, I was just an ignorant, testosterone filled kid. Still my interest and studies continued.

I knew what I wanted to do, and I already had a background in martial arts and various military endeavors, guns, and so on. Like no other kid I had met, I had already flown planes before high school and taken pilot ground school. I had various other skills and certifications. I wanted to be able to at least do anything I need to for any possible situation I might one day find myself in.

Name it, I probably practiced it or had become competent at it before achieving a high school diploma. Which in part explains the veracity, the reality of my somewhat unbelievable character in a true crime screenplay I wrote, The Teenage Bodyguard (FB). The protagonist in that story is not unreal by any means. Just me.

It all started in my being a scared little kid, afraid of his stepfather, moving schools almost yearly, dealing with bully after bully, and being a kid who finally refused to be scared of the dark anymore. I faced my fears down, one after another. Someone said to me once, face your fears or run from them the rest of your life. I stopped running from them many decades ago.

Anyway, in college in the early 80s, I read about Cuba and their revolution, Che Guevara and his book, Guerrilla Warfare. Interesting book, read it sometime. His reasoning was enlightening. They fit the terrorist's issues. America had hurt others in corporate interests which we saw as national security issues. Maybe they were at one time, but not after a while. Not now that we have multinational corporations with more money than some nations.

At first that may have had legitimacy but we saw too often other's resources as ours. It was a different time, a different mindset. Nuclear weapons, the Soviets, "red" China, all made things different than the are now. We were fighting for our lives. And after the cold war? It did come back to bite us.

But terrorists and rebels can and do go easily off track. There is a fine line as they say between what is a "freedom fighter" or a terrorist. Between courage or cowardice. Between legitimate actions or terrorism or simply, being murderers.

I personally find terrorism disgusting. The IRA had it right at first. Bomb for attention, warn to save human life. But then they splintered among themselves and things went wrong. That being said, I really hate the indiscriminate nature of bombs.

I prefer someone look at a victim and kill them,  specifically, surgically and directly. The Mafia had it right, kill your enemy, leave innocents and family alone. Gangs are a bunch of animals. Drive by and spray a crowd, completely missing your enemy? That's what you get when you let children have access to guns. No responsibility.

This drone business leaves a bad taste in my mouth, not to mention and bad reputation for the US, world wide.

Killing innocents, regardless your agenda, abuse put on you, is never reasonable. And so I am staunchly anti terrorism.

My anger against bullies and terrorists became apparent. And now we have a bully in the oval office and much to my and our consternation and disgust.

After the first part of my life studying espionage, and heading into that as a career, then turning into a university life, I felt I had wasted those previous years of my life studying useless things. Who cared about the Soviet Union? Who cared about Russia? Who cared about the KGB? Who cared about various techniques of espionage, killing, altering the course of other nations?

I then started to notice some things in the years after 9/11. Over time it increased my curiosity and confusion, how there were parallels to old information I had with new information I was hearing and running across.

Then, the Arab Spring happened. I did what little I could online through finding and sharing information and sure enough, I saw Egyptians and others hit my blog to get daily updates of  hard to get and much needed and openly available to us, but hard to get information for many of those in the streets in Cairo and elsewhere.

Skip to Donald J Trump on the scene, berating Pres. Obama, a president light years beyond the previous Pres. Bush.

Obama was our last decent president and a decent man as #POTUS. More parallels. Then Trump actually and ridiculously ran for president. He couldn't win. To be sure. Everyone I talked to who should know, said he either wouldn't win, couldn't win, or certainly shouldn't win.

More parallels showed themselves. I began to realize that much of what I had studied for years since high school was suddenly useful...again. How odd that was to realize.

Then... Trump won. He was inaugurated as POTUS and much of America and the world watched with mouths agape. The #GOP swallowed him whole as candidate, regretfully. Now even more regretfully on a day by day basis.

With help from some questionable characters, like Putin in Russia through his various illegal entities dabbling in America and other countries elections. A man who situated himself yet again to be national leader of Russia in a travesty of a maneuvered and rigged election on March 18th, 2018.

I've gone on about this jackal of an ex KGB agent, before. Even his ex wife said about him that, "Unfortunately, he is a vampire." In Russia they do not have the same capability to remove a cancerous anal cyst like Putin as we do here. Russians can be forgiven for making Putin leader yet again. My condolences to Russians everywhere.

A state murdering its own citizens either at home or abroad, be they citizen or ex spy, is a disgusting practice that requires the execution of a leader who would do what Putin has done. And now in America we have our own form of cancerous cyst in Trump.

As for which of these men is worse, we'd have to look at which is more professional and functional and that would have to be the Russian leader. The American one is a travesty wrapped in an inmate's cotton gown and stuffed into a dirty clothes hamper. While the Russian one is a real bastard wrapped in a nightmare wrapped in Russian's paychecks stuffed into and falling out of his pockets.

Yet, the American's own Republican political party had spent decades setting the scene for someone like Trump to appear and become president. They did this to us. And only NOW are they realizing it and not even all of them as yet, actually realize it. Amazing. Yet, we'd been headed that direction, directed by the #Republcan party for decades. Now finally, they got what they hadn't realized they had wanted. Be careful what you wish for....

Then even more parallels through Trump's first year as president. And again, while Russians are stuck with their system and their own nightmare of a leader, we do have a chance still, before things are too late. But i wouldn't waste time screwing around thinking about it. We need to act boldly and directly.

And now, we are here.

So go on with your little life. Watch The Bachelor. Enjoy Survivor. Watch The Voice. Have fun! Ignore what is most important in your world. In all our word. Just don't complain about it later when it all starts to unravel and crumble. But then, isn't it already, now? Can't you see that?

Well? Whatever! Right? No. You are not alone....

Besides, I'm sure it will all be just fine. Right?

It's not like we're seeing any indication in America, or the world in general, that things aren't going as planned. Or that we are now headed into a direction (or already there), that we had worked so very hard for so many decades to not be in.

Again, the Meme that started this blog. Does it seem AnY different now?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Putin's Dictatorial Attacks While Holding Russia Hostage

This March 15, 2018 interview by Christiane Amanpour from London, was a VERY important and interesting one. I hadn't thought about polling in Russia in this way. I hadn't thought about Russian actions as not the actions of a State, but of Putin. I knew it as Putin, but through the State. A very interesting set of issues were brought up in this interview.

I've said this many times having studied USSR, their State apparatus, Russia, their people, their leaders. I have great respect for the Russian people, but in a way as we are with Trump, only for them it is far, far worse, they are held hostage by Putin and his criminal elements in the Russian State secret services, their oligarchs and mafia.

Ex world chess champion and activist Kasparov had run for president in Russia and well, they didn't let him. Another ran and was simply shot. Murdered. He murdered an ex spy in the UK just before his election. Why? REALLY? Why? Seriously. It's quite obvious, isn't it?

Life in Russia under Putin, right? That's what you get in an ex KGB operative becoming leader of a long abused culture, the freedom to continue to abuse it, only in using Soviet and KGB tactics to run it. Like murdering political opponents and ex spies as allegedly just happened in the UK.

About expelling Russian diplomats Garry said:

They're still treating them as a state. Go after those individuals, oligarchs, Putin, go after the money. THEY don't care about the State, about national interests! Don't go after the State. Go after people who actually make the difference. Make them choose between following Putin's criminal orders and their fortunes, their money, their families. Stop looking at this as there is war or no war

Not unlike putting someone like #realDonaldTrump in power as #POTUS. He's going to do what he learned to get away with as a corporate leader who had free reign and cleaned up any wrong doings he did to achieve his status and then do it again. And now, he's president.

Surely, Trump isn't smart enough to be a Putin, nor brave enough (but definitely foolish enough), nor can he have the range of actions Putin does in a Russia of today. Give him time. Do not, allow him a second term or to complete this one. The damage he already has done will take decades to rectify, or even to discover.

Garry rejected Christiane's contention that Putin is popular in Russia, saying, you cannot apply western things such as voting and polling and so on to Russia. It has no meaning there. When there is only one restaurant in town, how do you say it is the most popular one when it's the only one available?

If Putin were popular, why does he have to run for president in this fashion to guarantee a win. Why has he never once been involved in a single debate? Why did Putin clearly murder a dissident in London, other than to solidify his dictatorship control, to warn those who might go against him, to quiet dissent.

Putin believes Garry said, that "his dictatorship must be refreshed from time to time by blood and fear." Dictators and Mafia bosses, don't ask why, they ask, why not?

It's interesting and relevant to note that Garry included there, "Mafia Bosses", almost as a tossed off comment it's so entrenched in the reality of Russia.

And here we are.

Isn't that exactly what we're seeing in Donald Trump, only in an Americanized version of what HE can get away with? He has even said that, time and again.

Putin, is Russia's enemy too, not just ours.

Trump, is our American Putin.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Beware, we're beginning to see the battle we're actually fighting.

I've posted this a elsewhere.

Because it's not just about this.I realized I needed to say something. There is more to this article than I at first realized, once I started considering it more deeply. Is what's going on because of NRA money to Congress so they do their bidding? As we're seeing? Or are we not fully understanding what is going on?

Most likely, the latter. Otherwise, things would have changed by now. We're obviously fighting a different battle than we thought we were.

We need to be very careful from here on.
We are being sold a bill of goods for something that is nothing if not standard operating procedure.
But also by design or coincidence, simply basic old Soviet practices.
Espionage gone mainstream.
Marketing on steroids, using what they've learned from professionals.
Wall Street working to drain us for their benefit using enhanced business and marketing practices.

Words at this time rise to the surface like bacteria on cream. Like subliminal. Like Social Engineering. Like PsyOps (psychological operations).

WAKE UP! Pay attention. Be aware. Educate yourself in areas most vital that you know and understand. So you can see it is actually happening.

This isn't a sci fi story. It's not an action adventure, a thriller movie, a horror film. Donald Trump as president thinks it is. More importantly he wants YOU to think it is. Or at least, to reacts as if it were.

"Are You Entertained?"!

This is for real. All of it. It's not huge evil monsters. It's not just an ultra right wing conspiracy. It's not just Putin abusing Western Democracies, in protecting his vast wealth and enabling his remaining outside of Russian gulags.

It's just people, doing a job, with a boss, with an agenda, with a goal, maybe even with what they believe to be higher purposes....but where any means justifies their ends. We are the target of a lot of people holding political, social and psychological "darts" aimed at our weakest emotional and intellectual and financial spots for their most benefits.

It's the usual misdirect by magicians and conmen.
Con People.
ConGressional Confidence People.
And their cohorts outside of Congress.
Their minions in and all about Congress.
We need to look at the actual problems, not the ethereal facades painted over to look like the problem.

Focus. Learn. Push back in ways that actually move the needle for us. It can happen. We can do this. Why haven't we yet been able to affect positive change in OUR direction?

Because we just didn't know the game we were all playing, or clearly understand just who the opponents were whom we hadn't recognized, or so very often, even seen. So much has been obfuscated, obstructed from view, redirected as our attention has repeatedly been sent off into directions having no bearings on our realities.

But we see you now....

Monday, March 5, 2018

Film "The Death of Stalin" Banned in Russia

Rumor has it, Steve Buscemi's new dark comedy, "The Death of Stain," by the guy who brought us the awesome Veep, and others, Armando Iannucci, has been banned in Russia of all places. Jeffrey Tambor is also in the film. Steve plays Nikita Khrushchev.

Nikita Khrushchev.
According to the director Armando, Russians have told him they loved it and one Russian man told him it only took a few minutes of the film before he felt he was right back there in those dark and brutal days of Stalin. He also said that one cinema did run it until it was shut down by the police, but at the end of each showing, the audience stood and applauded.

Armando said when they started production he made it clear he wanted to be very respectful of what actually happened in the USSR under Stalin, and that the jokes are all on the people inside the Kremlin.

Regarding Russian's availability in seeing American films, Steve Buscemi said on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert that he had once directed a film and was at a film festival where it hadn't yet shown. A Russian gentleman came up to him and said how much he liked it. Confusing Steve because it hadn't yet been shown there at the festival. The man laughed and said he had already seen it, back in the Russian homeland, on TV.

On the other hand, Russians are not quite the servants of the Oligarchs they used to be, as they have defied the government's wishes to ban the film.

Apparently the Russian government feels it may skew the upcoming Russian election. I wonder if they think this is our push back on their hacking our election that brought us a ridiculous Donald Trump as the questionable consideration of an American president as he has turned out to be.

The best thing America could do now to send Russia down the wrong path would be to simply stay out of the way of Putin's next rigged election and allow him to become president yet again to continue his destruction of such a great nation.

I hope we don't see things that way. Russia needs oru help, just as we need theirs.

I have to say that I find it personally painful to think, even though Russia helped to give us the current travesty of a president that Trump is, that Russia should have to suffer even one more year under Putin's ridiculous charade of another of his presidential terms, as well as the oligarch and the vastly wealthy criminal that he is. That he has made himself, as leader of Russia. As the KGB thug he has always been.

At least those Russians who will get to see the film, will have a moment of catharsis over the nightmares tha have been perpetrated upon them decade after decade. It saddens me to see a great people and a great country such as Russia, or America for that matter, to be subjected to such unworthy individuals as these two losers as national leaders. As the economic rapists we have come know in reality that they have been and continue to be.

We all need a good laugh once in a while. Though sometimes just seeing that someone acknowledges our pain and suffering, is worth its weight in gold. Or polonium 210, as the case may be.

This political situation seriously disturbs me because I would like to see the Russian and American people get along and be good friends. One of the few things Donald Trump is right about. Just no in the way he intends it, in ways to not enhance the world, but his own power and wealth. Just like Putin, by the way.

There really is no reason we shouldn't be friends. Typically, when we meet we can be friends. Except for our governments. As it's nearly always been I suppose.

As for Armando, his next film will not sadly be a biting satire about a ridiculous GOP political party and their leader, now Pres. Donald Trump's rise to ludicrosity. Rather he is going to do a family costume drama period piece by Charles Dickens, David Copperfield.

It's high time. Time for a biting comedy satire movie about Donald Trump. Film titles?

The Golden Wrecking Ball?

The Great White Dope?

Hair Furher?

Too soon?

The list is seemingly endless.

On the other hand, we could also use a good film about Vladimir Putin.

We've already gotten one now about Kim Jong Un and that caused all kinds of disruption. So a film about Putin should be right up his alley of contention.

One way or another, I am looking forward to seeing, The Death of Stalin. Let the humor wash over you and cleanse your soul. Because seriously people, we all need it right about now.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Having Constitutional Awareness

I grew into adulthood thinking there was the great disparity between the haves and the have nots. I cane to realize it was also between those who knew and those who did not, the educated and the uneducated. As I matured in my learning and understandings I came to find that the haves did not always know, even if they were uneducated. Their wisdom was problematic.

I'd assumed they didn't pay attention in school or to life. Then I thought they may have or not, but they followed a path of ignorance in the realm of knowledge.

Then I discovered that there is not just objective truth and subjective truth. That there is subjectivity in objectivity and there can be some objectivity in subjectivity.

Finally I came to the realization that if three people take a path to knowledge, but very dissimilar ones, you could find one who was on one path, and correct. One on another path and incorrect. But then the third could also be on a correct path.

I found that curious.

Until I discovered that there is a truth that is objective. But the orientation behind it, or the desire for what it should lead to, could be very different, even opposing in nature.

And so that brings us to our current political climate.

Even if considering only the best in this situation (that is sans Russian intervention in our culture, both social and political engineering), we could still have a situation with two passionate parties, each arguing opposing things, with very different and moral reasons. Where the question at hand isn't: are they right or wrong (they both are or can be, specifically). The issue is more all encompassing.

Even if your desired path achieved the goals you strive for, are the priorities "correct"? Will they have any collateral damage you SHOULD be aware of and concerned over and are not seeing, or considering?

When you then bring into the mix the paradigm regarding how this country was set up and how it has evolved, what should be morally correct? What is considered by some, of typically fewer numbers and in an Elite, supportive of the structure of the nation? Is the nation built upon the ideals of humanity? Economy? Or merely an elite who should make the important decisions?

If you study those questions and the reality supporting them, it is rather amazing.

When you try to make a situation (or yourself) look better than it (or you) actually do, or change the narrative to seem more positive or reasonably productive, we call that reality, "spin".

When it is used in a negative fashion as weaponized information to hide something or change the narrative in a negative way against others, we call it disinformation (from the Russian, Dezinformatsiya). A favorite Russian, Donald Trump, GOP and NRA tactic.

Also that of the tobacco and car industry. But those two have been slapped down and told in courts to stop it. And it was very costly in the end for them, but no where near the amount of money (or "winning") they did for decades (or the innocent lives lost to line their pockets with money).

Then there is the Russian concept of Maskirovka, using a mask or camouflage in your actions, using the fog of war (or society, or media) to your benefit. Be that in war, or peace time actions. It is in the grey area between war and peace. It is subverting your enemy's processes (America mostly and western democracies) to the abnormal. It disorients. Unbalances. Disrupts. And it is effective. At times, even when the subject (victim) knows about it.

What we have today are people on both sides doing what they believe is their best for our country, while having opposing paths and not giving due consideration for the fundamental concerns of "the other" or "others". For the most part regarding considerations one does not fully understand, gives priority to, or even sees as essential to the goals. It's the old situation with two opposing armies, both praying to God to help them win because they are in the right. It's ignorant. And dangerous.

That being the goal of, a healthy nation. One would presume....

But there are objective truths. It just depends on what what dimension(s) you are viewing the situation from, and are you selecting the appropriate dimension(s) to begin with?

Constitutional originalists do not give as much weight to the reality of our evolved constitutional laws as the original, or original intent of the Founding Fathers with little or no consideration for a "living" US Constitution (ratified 1788) meant to evolve to enhance the original intent.

The argument for a living, evolving Constitution is inherent in its existence.

It has after all, been amended. By the Founding Fathers themselves, who wrote it. Which therefore makes it a living evolving entity by definition. Not a religious tome, those which are defective in that sense from the day they are born into existence. IF they did not mean for it to be a living document, they would have rewritten it, added in the amendments as the original documents, and resubmitted and ratified it.

But they did not. They chose instead to amend. Arguments that ratification was too delicate to have gone through again is merely divisive and subjective, by those who desire one thing against all history and reality. You cannot argue that the Founding Fathers knew what they were doing in the 2nd Amendment, but did not know what they were doing in making it to begin amendment.

Much therefore is against those arguments of those 2nd Amendment (ratified in 1791) types who demand it is written in stone. Or given to us, as some have actually said, Wayne LaPierre of NRA for one, from God. Because after all, their favorite amendment then, which they would argue gives them the right to own and bear arms, regardless if they are war weaponry or not, regardless if for militia use or not, evaporates quickly.

We can end the confusion on the 2nd Amendment. And then there is the related slavery issue. Many have said that part of the reason for the odd wording of the 2nd Amendment does have to do with this issue of slavery and slavers protection and control over their "property". The north and south had contention on this and so, best not to be too clear on certain things. I doubt the foresaw the issues it would cause two hundred years later when this was no longer at issue and this oddity was still abusing our nation. Only now it's a matter of children being murdered in their schools and in the streets.

It just takes good men and women to do what is most needed and greatly desired by many. So too about issues of the fundamental structure of America being built on money and not people. Humanity.

The US Constitution actually begins....


Why? If then not for the people rather then starting with, "FOR OUR MONEY AND WEALTH"?

There is a reason for that.

Another interesting phrase says:

"...promote the general welfare...."

It does not however say:

"...promote the specific and minimal welfare...."

We have our path. We just need to stay on it and if necessary, continue to evolve America as our Founding Fathers set up for us to do and to beware, those who would abuse our charter and our ideals.

Now, all that being said....

It is interesting (and greatly concerning) how the alleged basis of this gun issue is about citizen gun owners who continue to disingenuously claim that their guns protect their rights. They say they are the protectors of all our rights, even those of us who do not even want some of those "rights".

Some even being questionable rights at this point in history anyway. Some not even being the rights they were given and utterly misunderstanding the intent and meaning. In part due to poor education that continues to be made worse on purpose (uneducated being easier to control), but in greater part due to those elected representatives who with a wink and a nod, control their electorates opinions. Distract them. Abuse them.

There is nothing more powerful, certainly no gun, no weapon, that is able to achieve as much as... a vote.

But because of voting incorrectly for so very long, because of voting against one's own best interests for that of the proffered shiny objects in the room, some citizen's (mostly #Republican it seems) have put us in this dire position.

They (yes, we too) have allowed Citizens United, Gerrymandering, and money to have a vote for the lofty and the few, until finally we have this counterintuitive situation wherein they cannot think themselves out of...except to repeat the same tired old dysfunctional mantras and sound bites they have been peppered with to say by their enemies whom they believe to be their friends and leaders.

It is a position from where they have convinced themselves to believe (unknowingly having been convinced by others for their own benefits divorced from those concerns of these poor citizens) that their need for guns against their own government does something for them. Arm everyone. Arm teachers (who mostly do not want that, just school supplies they cannot even afford).

Where their available and allowed personal weaponry along with a manufactured and delusional conceit of a how a citizen militia could outflank the US Military, Our standing army was not at first desired by the Founding Fathers and a state by state militia could potentially counter that. And so we have that in our National Guard. But people believe it was in Joe Bob's weekend militia were we seek our counter to the federal military branch?

Laughable really, but we do love our delusions.

And so, our children continue to be slaughtered.

And their suggestion to resolve this is what?

Simply more and more of what is killing us by adding gasoline to the flames with the only and ever the same mantra from the NRA and gun owners:

More guns, more guns!

Vote. But vote, correctly for a change and see life, not death in a gun culture such as we are and such as we have been.

Humanity, is more important than any of our devices, or our games, our toys, our guns.

Change American culture to something that can again be respected. Not just in the homes of gun owners and the boardrooms of gun manufacturers and the NRA, but the entire world. To once again look up to us and appreciate us for who we are and not who would once were, or certainly who we now could be, if only....

The situation as it is, in even considering repeal of the 2nd Amendment was brought about greatly by the NRA and extremist gun supporters who wouldn't give even an inch. So here we are. Your bed, you made it, you set yourselves up for this possibility. Your actions have demanded, either giving into anything you want, or repeal.

You are also somewhat culpable in these mass shootings.

According to the 2nd Amendment, let's start slow and take it's lead. That should satiate the NRA.

Also why has, why WOULD, the government block research on this issue?

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

So ONLY those who have been militia'd (current and ex military), who had training ("well regulated" and "Militia" (capitalized)), should have greater than hunting weapons?

Let's face it. ALL citizens having weapons is not well regulated or a Militia.

Perhaps then when ex military are no longer of military age, their military style weapons could go away, as they are no longer useful as a fighting force, so why would they needs military weapons?

Or we could leave them with them as award for services rendered (not all of them, perhaps).

One could also argue MOST citizens do not need hunting weapons (is it a weapon if against a defenseless animal?)

The 2nd is not open house on doing whatever you want. Only an uneducated child would read it that way. Or an addict.

It's a complicated and long term issue going back to the founding of our country.

But really, it's not all that complicated. Some people just want to make it out to be complicated.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Mental Condition(ing) of Our Society

It occurred to me it would be interesting to consider America today as a person and its relation to actual psychological conditions. The same can be applied to other dysfunctional countries. North Korea. Countries in Africa. Russia.

There is precedent for something like this in America. Corporations are "people" here, one of our more ludicrous decisions which has led to the demise of the middle class and an ever growing oligarch, draining money into the coffers of corporations and the wealthy, and has bastardized our election process.

Money, is a vote now. Offensive, and ridiculous. America has always been somewhat that way. In the beginning, only landowners could vote, and a few others specifically indicated. Not women. Not blacks, not many. America was founded to allow anyone to make a profit, to eliminate castes and a protected elite strata so the playing field is open to all.

That is America today. But it has been purposefully hampered. The way out of the pain of being an average American is multiple jobs, and to become wealthy enough that you are above the masses drowning in debt and a lack of funds to give them a decent living, healthcare, mental health care, and a secure future and retirement, and for their children to have a better life than they did.

Much of that has been retarded in this country. On purpose. Then they profess the way to fix that disparity is to do more of the same, assuring more of the same, against all logic. And the masses for the most part, certainly on the right, with the Republican party, have been delusionally convinced of it.
Art by Marvin Hayes
It is madness and it is making us mad. Someone posted this weekend, "boys are broken."

America, is broken. Functional, but in the wrong ways much of the time.

From that platform, we see America as having been a more or less (as much as a country can be) cohesive nation. Some of that from our ignorance of our own reality. Our ignorance of ourselves (the white nation ignorant of the human experience of the black nation, native Americans, Mexicans, immigrants in general, and so on).

As media and education, science and in our facing down and beginning to face down religion in a more enlightened and advanced environment, the complexity of responsibility has become more intricate and burdensome. Some (many?) cannot handle this. They want their old reality back. A dysfunctional reality but a familiar one to them. We have not been educated to understand we have to always change, and change is good, it should be good, we have to make it be good. And we're not too much of the time.

Instant media has magnified everything. For profit news has exaggerated the unimportant over that of the important, due in part to people's attention spans, lack of interest in reality, too frequent traumatic events and so much through overwork and underpay, we have a need for escape.

As we come to terms with things we have long been ignorant of, or simply ignored (and through that and the structures of society), we have even enabled some of the wrong things, as we try to find our lost selves, and wonder at our personality as a nation, in observing it splitting all around us. We continue to polarize, we continue to fracture. We choose opposing viewpoints and rationalize our goodness, sometimes leading us along the right path, sometimes down the darkness of the wrong path.
Art by Marvin Hayes
We are becoming schizophrenic, or at least schizophreniform in nature in going temporarily from insanity to insanity. We have a short memory, selective memory. Memory affected by media and politicians who don't want us to remember to make their life easier, to make them more money. We are frustrated, fearful, but traditionally we are Americans and leaders. So we demand we lead, even if and when we are simply too fragile to do so.

That leads at times to bravado, to over self assurance, even to delusions. All so well exemplified in the Republican party and its leader now, the foolishness of a President Donald Trump. It means we act on things we try to fix, but inappropriately, IF we even do act. Mass shootings, we do nothing? NOTHING is the answer? How can that be?

Turning Americans into poor, allowing the killing our children - Art by Marvin Hayes
We find we are failing at things (war on drugs, for instance) and we keep pushing those failed agendas, because they are familiar and we lack the knowledge or refused to find it, in order to move forward correctly albeit painfully. We avoid pain, which increasing our pain. Even though repeating actions while seeking new, varied and unachievable reactions, continues to fail over and over again.

And we keep moving forward(?) with our eyes wide shut, until we are lost. We choose the wrong leaders. Our leaders choose the wrong goals. Our chosen priorities are skewed, even diametrically opposed at times.

How can we stop this, fix this, become rational, sane, functional and productive again?

To paraphrase what my university psychology professor and primary adviser once said:

"Order your mind and you will order your environment. It works the other way, too. Start small. Act. Evoke change. Change is good. Try things and when they fail, try other things. Doing nothing is not the solution. Build on your building and finally you will realize one day, that you are there."

First, we all have to want to be whole again. Sanity will follow. We need to come together again and glue our fractures with the adherence of our recognition that we are all Americans and more importantly, we are all human beings.

And that's the rub, isn't it? How to get there. But we can, and if we wish it to be so, we will.

We are simply not there now. Not yet.

#America #GOP #realDonaldTrump is making us crazier along with his #Republican confused Congress and their at times ridiculous paradigms of how to govern.