Monday, May 21, 2018

A Brief Word on Cannabis and Psychedelics

With due consideration to a variety of changes going on in this country, politically but also socially and medically, I thought it might be good to say a word about a certain drug (cannabis) and certain psychedelics.

Check out Nightline's Growing Promises, piece. As for those who would remark about the final scientist's comments about loving CBDs but hating THC.... I would then ask him to compare and contrast it to alcohol which is legal. Because I suspect, that he would rather have alcohol illegal and legalize cannabis for recreational use.

It's really all in the Gestalt of the information, not just the information by itself. That's something that far too many people have no clue or awareness of. Sadly.

Science is about finding truth in our physical reality. It is not to be about partisanship, tribalism, or beliefs over peer reviewed, repeatable and verifiable facts. So why do we base science oriented issues on emotions and politics? Especially when it damages our culture and citizens?

In that vein I feel I need to diverge from the internally organic (legal) to the organically derived and illegal. I came to this article in doing the audiobook for my psychology article (my degree is in psychology and writing) on synesthesia and schizophrenia where at the end I conjecture we could one day train ourselves to use natural abilities to hallucinate as entertainment.

Which we can now do with drugs in using caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, or cannabis, so called "magic" mushrooms and so on. Some of those legal are not that safe, some of those illegal ones, are.

Although the article focuses on the natural and organic, internal forms of doing what people have typically used chemicals or drugs to do, there has of late been an increasing amount of interest in the media about psychedelics. This is in part because of the increasing trend of states in America legalizing cannabis for recreational use.

Briefly, what was once called “marijuana”, mostly in order to vilify and associate it with its use by Mexican, Blacks and the poorer classes, should really now more reasonably be referred to using its proper name, cannabis. Thus shedding the historically negative racist baggage forced upon it by our national and local government and police.

This renewed interest now however is also because of a much more knowledgeable citizenry. This is due in part to the prevalence and evolution of today's media. But as well to the rise of our overall national level, if one can momentarily sidestep concerns of what has generally and sadly been referred to as this “post truth” world, of what we could nominally call, wisdom. That is, we are as a group wiser now than ever before in history.

Even though the news media calls into question just how wise we are anymore, people are in general more aware of what is going on now than ever before rather than just what we were once told to believe. I am sure that one day hopefully soon, we will all learn better how to more appropriately handle this awesome responsibility.

The trouble of late in our transition is an inability of so many, mostly on the political right, to be unable to tell the boundaries of reality and think that actual journalistic efforts are "fake news", and much that actually is fake news, is real news, actual journalism. Not the least for the efforts of those who are trying, like our president Donald Trump, to further their own agendas, at the expense of American citizens, for self aggrandizement and protection.

Reality always needs to trump opinion and lies.

Since as we have seen the government was apparently incorrect in so many of their professed fears about certain “recreational” drugs which they had so disingenuously sown into the fabric of our nation, our citizens are now reasonably beginning to wonder, and rightly to question.

For decades our government assiduously denigrated cannabis since the Nixon Administration first initiated their miscast "war on drugs," with the ensuing devastation it has perpetrated upon the American people. A devastation born mostly by our fellow citizens within our ethnic minorities. But also by every American tax payer.

The Shafer Commission formally known as the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, was appointed by Republican U.S. President Richard Nixon in the early 1970s and concluded that:

"Neither the marihuana user nor the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety," concluded the report's authors, led by then-Gov. Raymond Shafer of Pennsylvania. "Therefore, the Commission recommends ... [the] possession of marijuana for personal use no longer be an offense, [and that the] casual distribution of small amounts of marihuana for no remuneration, or insignificant remuneration no longer be an offense."
What happened was the Nixon commission recommended legalizing marijuana and Nixon completely ignored his own commission's rational and factual assessment, plunging the nation into decades of waste and abuse.

Ever since ridiculously being labeled a dangerous drug, cannabis has been grouped in with such drugs as heroin and cocaine as a Schedule 1 drug. Reality, sanity and facts would include alcohol as it has many of the dangerous and descriptive elements of cocaine. LSD also does not belong listed as a Schedule 1 drug. The categorizing of cannabis and even LSD in this group are therefore political and not rational, factual medical considerations. It is a political boondoggle.

SCHEDULE 1 (CLASS I) DRUGS are illegal because they have high abuse potential, no medical use, and severe safety concerns; for example, narcotics such as Heroin,LSD, and cocaineMarijuana is also included as a Class 1 drug despite it being legal in some states and it being used as a medicinal drug in some states.
Even some of our most conservative leaders are now beginning not to see the mistake in keeping cannabis illegal when so many find it so reasonable, safe and useful. Useful both to themselves but also to our society at large.

If cannabis isn't as bad as we were told, people now wonder, what about other drugs? Truth be told we have devastated entire sectors of our society, especially within our social minorities, destroying people's lives, the lives of their families and many of their (and our) social structures.

Mission creep from the war on drug's original intent moved aggressively to one of vast losses to our economy, social strata and national persona. It has jammed up and made defective our police, our courts, our prisons and our social services. It has affected children growing up unnecessarily without one or both parents.

It has forced people into seeking methods of social lubrication limited to what is legal, with dangerous prescription drugs and alcohol and even dangerously mixing them so that now we have had useless deaths and a massive opioid crisis. All perhaps while there were far better, safer and cheaper alternatives.

So why the institutional and governmental allergy to “this” reality...to actual reality? To actuality? Rather than to their own desires of what they merely want to be true for some unfathomable reason with all the damage it has, and they have caused.

This has been a trend lately and one we need quickly to get under control. We have recently seen more authors and self professed experts turning up in the media, trying to sound very politic and clever. If their research is not at times exactly legal, then they attempt to decry professional credentials of, if not medical, then journalistic. At the very least they try to sound educated and authoritative. What they have to say is actually if not simply entertaining, frequently useful and insightful to our newer American consciousness. To our latest, Zeitgeist.

Yet in some ways much of that is just so much nonsense.

We have seen for decades now that drugs aren't what they were purported to be. Some drugs once thought safe no longer are seen in that light. While others are viewed in quite the opposite manner.

Cannabis for instance is now seen as not only benign but indeed, it seems to have a wealth of associated benefits to both its use in imbibing, but also in a variety of manufacturing endeavors which is why our Founding Father grew hemp for very much the same reason. Though hemp has no psychoactive elements, it does have vast uses in making a variety products such as rope, clothes, paper, and even fuel, and so on.

Not to mention the decrease legalizing it would mean for policing, for prison overcrowding, for hampering drug cartels and in using legal taxation for the common good. Also the enhancement that would bring to bettering relationships between police, communities and citizens who use it.

With decades now of experience and of citizen testing, we now as a culture understand it and ourselves far better than we did in the 1980s, the 1970s and before. It is curious to consider that the government restricted agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to research certain things such as cannabis and even, and oddly enough... firearms.

After all, more knowledge is always better than less and is a mainstay of entire article on synesthesia, this present piece developed from. We can now be overall more informed, better aware and reasonably less fearful; not just simply, ignorant and fearful. We should never fear better and more accurate information. It is better to have it and decide what to do with it, than to not have it and base very important things on bad if not false, information.

Consider how seeing someone driving a modern car back in 1900 would appear, a car that could easily do over 100MPH when most cars could barely do 20MPH (in part because of the roads). As extremely novel things pop up we should indeed be wary of them. However wisely so and not just foolishly (or childishly) concerned or fearful about them.

Our world, the entire universe is something to explore, not to fear.

If someone were to drive say, a Chevrolet Corvette back in 1900, under the understanding and consideration back then of what is normal, it reasonably would be to the commoner a little frightening...at least until they better understood it, and what it was, what its potential actually was for safety or for danger.

And so, there we all are now, with things like cannabis and some of the hallucinogens. Not all drugs are good or beneficial or easily and safely administered by the typical citizen. Those who say we are not now at that more informed and aware place are simply fear mongering. If not merely ignorant themselves. However do be aware that those in we put in authority are actually charged by us with shedding their ignorance more quickly than most. And yet, they seem to do that so infrequently.

Whenever they do not update their understanding of things, they are not following their agreed and accepted mandate to properly protect the citizenry whom they are sworn to protect and serve. There may always be plenty of those types around, sowing fear for their own agendas be they personal, or political party (or ideology) affiliated.

However with proper awareness and protection (as one should do in going out drinking alcohol over the course of an evening), many of these drugs in question are actually safer than current legal drugs, like alcohol. In point of fact, much safer. We should therefore give them due consideration and realize that legality and jurisprudence are not the modes through which we should deal with them. Rather we should deal through information, actual and confirmed, freeing them of the unreasonable legal strictures which have plagued us for so very long now.

As I have indicated at the end of my synesthesia article, perhaps one day most people will retire to home after work to organically relax. Perhaps using a method involving synesthetic experiences rather than drugs or alcohol. But until that time isn't it only rational, sane and economically if not sociologically (and psychologically) feasible (and reasonable) to allow other safe and novel ways of relaxing. To seek, if not inner peace then internal reflection and relaxation? In our fast paced world we need that relaxation, but in a more safe and not organically damaging way of tobacco, alcohol or prescription drugs.

I think we "jumped the shark" as it were, when we went from organically available natural drugs (a theist might say ones that |God gave us and that grow naturally and are useful merely by picking them in the world), and without the need to synthesize or even semi-synthesizing them.

There is a fascinating world available out there right before us.

We just need to merely open our minds and explore, rather than closing them, believing whatever a confused and biased government tells us.

Because in doing so we harm not only ourselves, but possibly all those around us.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Easily Debunking NRA's Wayne LaPierre's Lies

"Happy Mother's Day. You're child's been shot and killed."

This is life today in America and around the world. Except America has chosen it outright. We have argued it's a right. We have argued it's just as important as Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, or is even greater than that.

We have got to lay to rest this nonsense about how:

"Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun."

First off, it's not true. Did we not only recently see how a young black man stopped a bad guy with a gun... with his bare hands?

Not that President Donald Trump would mention that in his racistly disparaged beliefs. Weren't there also two Marines in Belgium who did the same on a train just not that long ago?

Yes.

Certainly not the preferred method of going up against a gun, but it doesn't only take a gun, or a good guy.

After all, two guys rob a place, once starts shooting people, couldn't the bad guy suddenly go, "Hey, WTF?" And just shoot his partner because he may be a robber but not a murderer?

Yes.

There are some very serious realities that are being completely ignored in that soundbite pro gun nuts so dearly love to reiterate like (not smart parrots) but dumb mimics. You'll never hear reality (stated below) from these people, because they are in love with their guns and their hero worship complex.

MANY people who carry guns ARE looking to get to use them someday. That is really not what you want in a person carrying because they view it romantically. They see it more as a toy, entertainment, through a kind of faux hero syndrome filter. Not as what it is, a killing tool. Not as a machine of death, as it was designed to be. (oddly enough, they also deny that, much to the offense and confusion of gun manufacturers who put a lot of money and research into just that end)

MANY people who carry guns are carrying out of fear and will NOT use them in a real life shooter scenario unless their life is directly at risk. It just makes them feel safe. To pull a gun in a real scenario takes far more than they are willing to experience, and do not experience UNTIL they are faced with having to pull or not to pull a gun out and face down someone shooting at them. It's all fun and games until someone really is about to get hurt. And they know, they may miss entirely as they get gunned down.

MANY people who carry guns are not trained or not well trained. Sometimes not trained is better as they won't pull their gun when faced with death. A semi trained person can be a danger both to themselves and to others. When you can buy a gun and get a license to carry (or not and still carry), with no training whatsoever, you...YOU are the danger to society.

MANY people who carry guns will NOT ever pull out their gun and use it, UNLESS maybe directly threatened in a mass shooting and possibly, not even then. Facing down the reality of death evokes fight or flight, or FREEZE.

MANY people who carry guns will miss if they do pull and shoot, they will instead hit bystanders, never hitting the shooter at all. They will actually add to the death toll, the maiming count and in the end, the shooter could potentially get away or kill the "good" guy with a gun too, anyway. Effectively having helped in killing or harming as many as possible, which was the shooter's purpose in the first place. And how does THAT help the situation.

Let's not forget, some carring and pulling could potentially be shot by police when they arrive. Especially if you are black or a minority or look like a bad guy, merely from your dress. What if you're Muslim? Or just look Muslim? Police see a white guy who WAS shooting people, but they don't see his gun but instead yours, who's going to get shot?

These are the things you NEVER hear alluded to in that statement:

"Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun."

It's a trap. It avoids reality. It avoids dealing with the actual issues of there being guns killing innocent people in the first place.

It's a stop gap measure to add guns to stop guns, but it's not the solution, not the long term fix.

It just sounds good, and makes people feel like they are important.

And after all, that's what pro gun types and organizations like the NRA, the GOP, are all about.

We're better than that. We CAN be, better than that.

BE, better than that.

Monday, May 7, 2018

SPECIAL - Gina Haspel and Her First Female Director CIA Nomination

I don't feel good in supporting someone Donald Trump does, but he's bound to get something right as POTUS. And I think this is one.

Being an intellectual and with knowledge of the CIA and covert intelligence mechanism in general as well as how covert operations work and the dynamics therein, I have the following orientation on this topic. IF I did not, being the progressive I am and have been, I would possibly be against Gina Haspel.

For I see others like me, who are against her. But I feel in their good intentions, they are simply ignorant overall of how and what we're dealing with here. Even in the knowledge and intelligence of them of them, such as Kamala Harris, who unlike Fox News' juvenile opinion, had very succinct and direct questions, unlike some of the confirmation hearing.

I agree with Michael Hayden who said we NEED someone who will stand up to our questionably qualified POTUS. With all his people whittled down to the current YES men and women, who is telling this child president what reality is? Whomever you'd name, they're not enough. And who from intelligence would really push back on Trump's childish rantings?

That's Gina. Flat out.

If we really want to re-litigate CIA overreach in enhanced interrogations, then it should be those who ordered it, not those who were in the trenches and abandoned or abused later. Look, if you treat someone like Gina this way after what America demanded back in the day, then stop asking those things of our people and later abusing them for it.

As she has said today when testifying she would not follow an illegal order from the president. Odd that is actually a serious potential concern with Donald Trump but we've already seen that to be a serious concern. When you do put people in harm's way, as Gina was, don't later disingenuously claim ignorance and damn them for it.

And that, goes on up the chain right to George W. Bush, the #Republican party and their toxic #GOP methodologies of subverting America.

If you think this is a bad idea, you're just not fully informed and have only a Fox News level and mediocre orientation on this matter.

Let me give you another perspective on Gina Haspel, who, if she gets the position, will be the FIRST FEMALE head of the CiA!

Here's my point.

We had a chance for a woman to become the FIRST AMERICAN FEMALE PRESIDENT..

But NO. People allowed themselves to be easily swayed not to vote for her, which played right into Russia, Putin, Republican party and Donald Trump's grubby little hands.

Remember, if you didn't vote for her, you are part of that. Whatever your reasons.

NOW we have an opportunity for the FIRST HEAD OF THE CIA and what happens?

People are finding reasons not to let that happen. Again. Another women cvould lead but no, a woman has to be perfect to lead, unlike most of the make leaders.

WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? Are you children? Religius with juvenile views of reality? Virgins? I really don't get it.

We're losing to Republicans and conservatives repeatedly because of crap like this!

You don't get to have the perfect person to be the first.And this is really so very important.

On top of which she really is a very good, excellent choice even. But not, not touchy feely enough for you because of following orders at a time that was patently schizophrenic. And now people want to judge when they are calm, feeling safe, not terrorized, as happened back then and I SAID BACK THEN, THIS WAS THE KIND OF CRAP WE'D SEE AND...HERE WE ARE.

We demanded things of the military and intelligence communities I didn't want, they didn't want but it was shoved down their throats. I knew, and they knew they would be the ones to suffer later, and right then if they refused and would be called traitors. Don't remember what it was like then?

JUST THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A MINUTE. I get not wanting her because Trump chose her, I fully get that and I hate he agrees with me. But that's how it is. You don't get a perfect situation to make a woman first in anything and that's how it's going to be UNTIL YOU START PUTTING WOMEN IN CHARGE OF THINGS.

No! De Vos was a horrible choice, but hey, she's there. Now we have a woman I'd bet my life on, but she's not good enough? I wouldn't trust De Vos (or her brother, Erik Prince) to hold my lunch money.

What pisses me off about all this is I said this would happen and here we are, throwing those under the bus who did what we demanded.

Shame, America. All that talk about "Thank you for your service", but this. What do you think soldiers do in war? Hypocrites.

Stand behind the people you send out into harm's way who sacrifice to protect us.

Don't treat them like trash later when your senses return, when the Zeitgeist changes, and when you feel you can now feel pretty and judge others for our acts.

That's it. I'm done. Just consider the next time a woman, appropriate for an important position is up for it, will you support her, or pick at her to find a reason for her to not take the position.

Then wonder if you REALLY DO want women to have positions of importance.

Good grief. America gave Donald J Trump the presidency. And Gina can't head the CIA? Hillary couldn't be president?

Give me a break!

It's weird watching the Gina Haspel hearing and feeling on the side of mostly Republicans.

Surreal, distasteful considering their behaviors of late. It's like that hearing doesn't remember America just a few years ago.

Dems are playing Devil's advocate and that is good, but some very stupid questions, redundancies, lack of reality and history and I find it, disconcerting.

I'm used to Democrats not being bold enough, not fighting hard enough, while not being this foolish. In the most part they're asking the wrong questions. If feels like they don't like her just because Trump does, but let's not act like Trump as he does against Obama. Let's make the best choice.

As for those videos (echoes again of emails?), when I heard they were destroyed years ago, I said good! Because in the future there WILL be a REAL witch hunt, and... here we are. As the Bush administration was forcing things onto our intelligence community, I could foresee the future abuse of our intel officers in the future, it was obvious it would happen. The point being, if  they were going to ask too much, then stand by your people. Who are now being thrown under the bus. It was bound to happen.

I was against torture from the beginning, but if Bush was going to force it, as he did, then let's not wipe out our intelligence community now over leader's damages to the CIA and democracy. This, is ignorance. IF you want to do something now that is decent, put Bush on trial for the murder of thousands and thousands of Iraqis and Americans and others because of an illegal war they knew was illegal but had plausible deniability over. Which they built into it. But let's not now take it out on our foot soldiers.

Yes, we should be pissed, we should not ever have been torturing. But we were scared, we were afraid, and acting as such. Remember that. We acted like frightened children, striking out in the dark. I was embarrassed for us at the time. I still am. And this makes it worse because the reality I saw coming, is here.

We also have to protect and serve. Just let them do that. And don't ask of these people, what you will later chastise them for.

On Being Creative and Writing

I've been asked, as have so many other creatives...

"How do you come up with your ideas for things you write?"

Well...I have a thought, I put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard and, produce. I heard an author once say that the difference between hobbyists or amateurs and professional writers is the latter writes down their good ideas for later and they throw away, nothing. Saving it for a future story. Not infrequently it happens at bedtime, so I keep a notepad by my bed. Or I may get up and go to my keyboard and writer it out, dumping it all into a file for later.

I have a file on my laptop and desktop for ideas and another for titles. I have an "ideas" folder in my short story, screenplay and my novel folders.

A spark happens, an idea hits me, the framework for that idea shoots through a tunnel into the future in my mind, in a multi dimensional pathway from concept to fruition. That journey into a new reality begins. As I write, the structure further reveals itself to me. Logic and satiation fill in the cracks and crevices as I experience the story unfolding within and before me.

At some point I hit a juxtaposition, or a void. At that point I have emptied my mental and creative buffers and need to come up with something new. And that I think, is what interests people.

Brian Eno, once of Roxy Music fame and then from his own, studied art for a short time. He and his cohorts were like many others at the time interested in John Cage's book Silence (1961). Music can be art and why cannot one listen to a waterfall or the wind and experience the same euphoria one could get from say, Beethoven? Eno getting involved with Robert Fripp and his with King Crimson were all expansions of previous leanings.

Six Melodies, by John Cage.

I was very into avant garde and experimental music since my childhood in the 1960s, as well as some classical, pop (as a kid) and much rock music. From as far back as I can remember I have been attracted to the unique and unusual and the beautiful. I didn't even hear of the aesthetic of the ugly until the late 1980s and it went against everything I had believed in to that point. Yet, I had loved horror films and books and I did get it on a visceral level.

I bring all this up because of the need and desire for creativity, for uniqueness and the unknown and for the fascinating. It is a quest always for more and beyond.

Concepts like the synthesis of systems and ideas, the dynamic rearrangement of information, the rearrangement of the echoes of one sense upon or in place of another or synesthesitic observations, all organized to be highly pleasurable and\or productive have always fascinated me. And yet again and again I find myself falling back into formal structures.

And so I continue to bide my time, to explore, and to strive for that uniqueness that I hope one day to uncover. And of course, to share.

A good example of this in my catalog of writings is in my latest novella, "The Unwritten" coming out in the sequel to my first book to be titled, Anthology of Evil II. In the novella, I decided initially to take three disparate universes and write about them, then at some point bring them all together in some way. That is all I had to start with.

It was a singular journey that took me two years to finalize. Once I returned to it, my mind having had worked on it in the dark recesses of thought over the period of my putting off writing the last half of the story, had worked much of it out, unbeknownst to me. It flowed out of me onto the page and it somehow all came together.

That is the way of it so very often.

I had studied what creativity is during my university years. I felt crippled, unable to be creative. Until I realized what it is. Creation. The more you have to bring to that creation, the more you learn in life, the more you practice things, the more interesting and useful will be your creations.

My point being, learn your craft. Learn all you can about everything. Try to experience and produce all types of, all forms of whatever your craft is. And then... the creative happens. It will happen.

Bring your creative voice, or vision to us. Because we want to see it.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Socialism of the New American Republican Right

I keep hearing from the right how the Mueller investigation is off the rails, going on a fishing expedition, how it's not doing what was initially intended and...it should be stopped.

Uh huh, right. Seriously?

Remember Ken Starr and Bill Clinton? Went after him for everything and anything, never got anywhere, kept shifting, pleasuring and satiating conservatives, horrifying progressives, until finally settling on getting Clinton to lie under oath about a sex act between consenting adults? Even if she was an intern.

HOW off the rails was that? Republicans didn't seem to have a problem with it THAT time. Why is now different? It's not. Unless...oh yeah, now it's they who are on the hotseat. And I've (so many of us in America) have been waiting  decades for this turnabout. And it was only a matter of time considering the path the Republican party has been on. Each president they give us is lower and lower on the political evolutionary scale if not, as with Donald Trump, the cultural and actual evolutionary scale itself.

I don't care what Mueller gets Donald Trump on, just that he does it, does it soon, and removes him from office, and hopefully finds away to imprison him . Sooner than later. But why doesn't it matter?

Because of what the GOP has done to America overall and most specifically with this current nightmare example of someone who should never even have been allowed to be invited to the White House, and certainly not to reside there.


Get this POTUS on cheating at golf. I really don't care. Get him for lying to America about his weight and health, and take down with him, the White House doctor Ronny Jackson if he indeed lied to America about the president's health. Whatever works. Clinton wasn't even this much of an issue or a problem. There was so  much conflation involved in the long enduring "Clinton scandals," the right wing's dream crimes, that it's ludicrous.

And yet, this time we actually do have a real and substantive problem in Mr. Trump and Republicans can and do actually even SEE it. Many are even quitting over it.

Whatever it takes to end this mess and punch the Republican party and supporters in the face, knocking a few teeth out along the way so that in going forward both they, we and others like Russia and Putin will constantly be reminded about all this so that they can and will continually remember that... we don't stand for this in our country!

We NOW do have a call to arms to "Make America Great Again". But it took putting someone, another questionable person, another Republican in the oval office. Someone who first had to tear our nation down both domestically and on the world stage for the need to Make It Great Again, because they stopped it from being great in the first place.

And frankly, I don't care if Mr. Trump's supporters ever get out of this trick and their one trick pony in Donald Trump, or not.

You see, you may call someone in to fix your job or career in order to raise your wages, to save your family... but if in the process that "fixer" rapes your wife and daughters and cages or kills your sons and grandparents and friends, destroying your family's reputation, their physical and mental health, but hey, out of all that now you have $10 more in your paycheck...just how badly again did you need that job fixed in the first place?

That's an excessive statement, but it makes the point. Like Michelle Wolf at the Correspondents Dinner, it's appropriate considering the disgusting man Donald Trump is and the moral ineptitude he's brought into the White House.

After all, this is the destructive Donald Trump administration, with a man who is a vulgarian who doesn't care WHO he harms, who he denigrates, who he offends. I fully 100% supported Michelle on her Correspondents dinner delivery. Her joke on Kellyanne Conway and on Sarah Sanders were spot on. Her jokes on the Trump as POTUS could have gone further, but she only had so much time.

There are indeed some things one shouldn't do to get out of a situation. You don't ask the Mafia (certainly not the Russian Mafia, or Putin, or a foreign country like Russia) to help your finances unless you want to ruin your reputation, your family life, or your life itself. Or as in this case, our country.

There are reasons for morality and ethical behavior and there are some lines, certainly for a POTUS, that shouldn't be crossed. The ends do not always justify the means. Something the Republican party seems to fail to even recognize anymore. In that, they have seemed more and more Russian day by day.

Rather than bringing in a criminal to fix your career, try getting another job. Broaden horizons. and remember that one's old reality isn't always sane in a new environment.

There is a Russian proverb appropriate here about the Trump Administration and Donald Trump himself:

Simplicity is worse than thievery (crime). That is... A fool can do more damage than an enemy or criminal. Yes, that is the concern with Donald Trump. Not to mention with Putin in the backdrough dabbling in our culture and government, all to disrupt and damage us, which Trump seemingly smiles and enjoys the chaos as he is so very fond of it since it opens doors for him to continue his questionable practices and potentially, criminal behaviors.

Bringing back coal miners? How stupid an idea was that? But then, the question really is was, how stupid are Trump supporters? Because it worked for him.

Sometimes you just have to alter your status quo and move on... potentially to an even better one. But it can hurt for a while in the transition. And America has been in transition for some years now. You may even have to learn something new. Oh, my God, educate yourself? Say it's not so! And therein lay the problem.

Rather than educate the America people through this period of transition, Republicans have chosen instead (and Putin) to play the fear cards in order to gain and retain as much power (and money) as possible. Regardless the destruction and misery it is causing nationwide.

We actually are in a transitional phase and perhaps we should consider making more money available to more or simply redistributing it, even paying those who do not have jobs available any longer.

THAT may be our new reality. What IF there simply are not enough jobs for everyone? Then what? Let them starve? Because that seems to be the conservative mantra.

Instead the Republican party denigrates those citizens who are suffering because of those destructive conscious Republican actions in the first place. Their allergy to anything that smacks of being a social program, so often necessary because of their actions to move money away from those whose money it was in the first place, who need it the most, are actually the "social programs" of the right and the entitlements they give instead to the rich and the corporate.

Something conservative types cannot fathom, is that their holy status quo of bigotry and ignorance should remain the same just so they feel comfortable and can continue complaining about how bad things are, when it is they who are the ones who are so dysfunctional in the first place and have made them bad, or made them seem bad, to begin with.

This, is not the America we were intended to be.

We just need to find our dignity once again, reorient what is real and what is propaganda, and put down this destructive Republican style, old Soviet and new Russian style, ways of thinking.

Make America Great Again, indeed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Aslan's New Book God and Religious Evolution

Interesting guy Reza Aslan and decent writer, both he and the reviewer are on the right track but still not quite getting the full picture, and delving into the specifics of later orientations merely obscure the reality in all this.

Still, should be an interesting read with some relevant signposts along the way.

However as I've written about over the years about where religions came from, they developed along with us. Right from the start. Or nearly so.

Interdisciplinary studies clearly shows evolution of both our humanoid forms and our humanoid minds, having developed originally with some obvious quirks we brought into our current homo sapien existence.

Ignorance, fear, dream and fugue states, having been a part of but (very importantly) not top of the food chain for so long, nuances of visual and auditory processes, originally with an inability to process information in certain ways, along with trying all along to be scientific and logical through ignorance and later through the occluded filters of religion, all before there was enough information to make at times even reasonable assumptions.

So began our journey.

Then evolving physically and intellectually as our brains evolved and so too our human experience explosading upon us as well as the world at large. All while bringing those very ancient beliefs along with us, and then finding a need to explain and fit them into current but ever changing paradigms, until we are now at a place where we can explain enough to see that we have grown stilllllmore complicated processing capabilities and abilities and yet, due to the form and nature of religion, we  through history as we continued to cling on to and drag along those anachronistic vestiges of our pre intellectual existences with us.

Until and so...here we are. Still killing one another, still seeing ourselves as different from "the other" and feeling our ancient prejudices bubbling up from deep within, and still disrupting societies and governments over these very same fairy tales. myths, fables and ghost stories from our evolutionary childhood.

I suspect Aslan's book might be a good entry for those interested in seeking more clarity and... reality.

I have spoken of all this many times over the years and in more than one blog post. If you should like to take a look at some of thoser...

See, Creating Religion or Phenomenology of that Good Old Religion Feeling. Finally...A Christian vs. an "unbeliever" Argue the point

Sláint!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Militarized Policing?

Cops aren't the military.

I've been saying that for decades now. Policing, is vastly different paradigm than military action, even when it appears the same. The fundamental principles behind policing are and need to be, vastly different. What's so hard to understand about that for police?

We actually do not need a militarized police force. Not in equipment, certainly not in mentality and especially not in tactics in a civilian environment. Yes, it counter intuitively appears to be the same at times, though mostly by police on the front lines. That's understandable. But that is a misunderstanding both of need and of the design of policing itself.

Why are they there? Why this desire to militarize? To protect the police?

NO. They are there to protect the citizenry. WITHIN that paradigm, there is a need to protect police. However what we're seeing is the opposite far too often anymore. All because of a misalignment of reality between the process and purpose of To Serve and Protect, and that of the military. And a conservative desire to reuse old military equipment, so they give it to the police departments. Dress like a soldier, you begin to think like one.

It's the old psychosocial Stanford prison experiment, take a like group of students, separate them into guards and prisoners and within time, abuse starts to happen, an embattled mindset takes place and we have what we see now. Police and their enemies the public; citizens and their enemies, the police.

Even our citizens now want to militarize. What do you think the pro grun movement is all about? As we see police showing up militarized to public protests, so you see citizens arming up looking militarized too, simply out of protection.

David French, Columnist, (the conservative) National Review recently said:

"They're shown [police in training] video after video and told story after story about routine calls that immediately escalate into fatal encounters. This truth, however, sometimes leads to a deception, to a mindset that enhances the sense of risk way out of proportion to the actual threat."

That is, the truth, the statistics show, in reality, that most police \ citizen encounters are vastly non violent, and not fatal. But that is hard to tell some police who work in intense environments. They may indeed need special training. But they are the few, and they too need to understand that community policing is not military handling.

Even the military in urban environments in the Middle East have had to receive police training to deal with citizens. Because they are vastly different issues requiring an entirely different mindset. Asking soldiers to do this may be asking too much. But it is a new world.

Part of the police problem and the reason for their mindset is consistently abusive under funding. As we've seen with teachers in education. We abuse our citizen servants to the point of twisting their own realities around at times to near and utter dysfunction. Then we expect them to perform at a high degree and abuse them more when they do not.

And so we see illiterate and criminal activities from children and our police killing our kids. Even our kids killing our kids. But blaming them is missing the point of what is really going on. You cannot refuse to pay for services, then expect them to be functional services. It warps reality, mindsets, social structures, and an entire nation. That creeps over into our international relations, actions and support.

We are infecting the world with a bad way of thinking. and it all comes back to how we pay for our own needs and how we rationalize our own dysfunctions.

Jamelle Bouie (Afghanistan Vet), Columnist, Slate, recently:

"Trump is so vocal about what he likes and dislikes--so present in the national conversation--that his omissions are often more revealing than his comments. On the rare occasions when this president is silent, it is consistently when confronted with violence against nonwhites."

And let's face it, Putin, too. And women Trump has sexually used and\or abused.

Donald Trump has consistently been massively wrong about so very many things, so many facts, so much of our reality to the point that it's literally killing us and ruining our lives. He is ruining the reputation of America, he is altering our path in future endeavors that will take decades to get back on track.

But only he can save us, he tells us. Yet it's not just him, it is his entire Republican party in their ignorance and refusal to admit what they know to be right and true. It has bled out in things like the Drug War on American citizens. On immigration issues. On social programs. On protections Americans have paid for and are now told they don't deserve.

All because of mismanagement, poor political thinking and actions and believing in ignorant leaders who have sold us down the road for their own profit and that of their dysfunctional beliefs, party and supporters.

We can start to fix all of this, in small steps. Like policing America properly. Funding police, teachers, education overall, health and mental health care, properly. To see all Americans can have health care, education and that their country loves them and no longer sees them as an old Testament problem and as a cancer to be cut out, but as citizens who are part and parcel of this nation and are our best and only concern.


#Police #NRA #GOP #POTUS #realDonaldTrump #Teachers