Monday, September 18, 2017

Epiphany - Note to self: September 2, 1994

I have been consolidating my old files lately. I have bins and bins of papers from my own writings and notes and just historical archives of stuff. In looking through this, I've found some very interesting things from previous decades.

Regardless what you think about this blog today, let me take a brief aside and offer support to a great project I am involved with from the British based Dark Chapter Press. The A-Z Horror Anthology. Stories are being regularly released on Amazon where different authors are assigned individual letters. This month (9/17) has seen two letters released for I (Imprisoned) and J (Judicator). The entire anthology will later be released as a book once they have all been individually published. Here is my blog article about this project. I'm updating it as each story is released. I have been assigned letter X with a story I titled, X-The Unknown about a Seattle FBI agent who stumbles across a serial killer. As you can see, it will be a while before my story hits the shelves. As I explain in the blog, I had originally written a great story titled Xibalba Unleashed, but I went over the word limit and had to write another. Thanks for excusing this interruption. 

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Here is one I had sent to myself to my home email address, which at that time I was accessing at home from my first purchased home in Covington, WA, right after having gotten married, from my work email address at US West Technologies in Bellevue, WA.

Just to show how far we have come email address wise since then, I think, my work email base was:

I am transcribing this as I found it in the print out and without any editing. Even though hopefully, I have since become a better writer. To understand some of what I wrote, some time after I graduated Western Washington University with a degree in psychology (minor in writing) I found I had a new skill. One that I verified whenever I could as it was, fun, to be simplistic about it.

I found I could ask someone to tell me about their life and I could then tell them in general, quite accurately about their childhood experiences. I could alternatively ask them to tell me about their childhood and I could then tell them quite accurately in general about their life experiences. Yes, it may be nothing more than what a con artist or fortune teller does. But then I didn't used to be able to do that, certainly not so accurately. I remember leaving quite a few people speechless in doing this.

Before I go on just let me say what I was doing was harmless. It was for my amusement. I wasn't offensive to anyone, I didn't abuse it, I didn't use it to scam girls for sex, I just thought it was harmless fun.

But there is one especially humorous situation I remember at a party I attended. It was a party at my friend Liz's apartment. There was a woman I immediately became interested in and Liz knew that. She told me to go talk to the woman and I did. It was myself, some guy and the woman talking together amidst a crowd of people, having drinks, in the living room. Of course I then proceeded to delve into having some fun.

But things didn't go the direction I had expected and was used to. She listened to me for a few minutes, and then she verbally ripped me to shreds. She did it with a sense of humor., a sly grin on her face, and if I hadn't been so stunned, I might have found it funny myself. No one else really got what was going on, not even the other guy in our little threesome. He just stood there stunned himself. I didn't quite know what to do. I'd never had the tables turned on my like that before, because she proceed to tell me who I was and what it was I so enjoyed doing.

I couldn't understand how she could be so full of knowing exactly who I was as a person. She was even better than I was. It was as if... looking for help I turned around looking back down the hallway to the bathroom, hoping to catch sight of Liz and that she might come and swoop in and save me.

However instead I saw my dear friend Liz, hurrying to finish fixing her hair or something, leaning out into the hallway, obviously to see what was happening between myself and this woman. Sigh... Liz. I suddenly realized, I had been set up.

After extracting myself from the woman, I sought out my friend who herself had a razor sharp tongue and a very impressive wit. I loved her for it. In sharing my obvious and cultured confusion, List dropped some obvious hints to me as she tried not to laugh, until I finally came to realize she had fully informed the woman (who by now I was now completely enamored with) about me; about who I was, my history and so on. Needless perhaps to say, this, which was Liz's intention, stopped me from doing this ever again. I realized that even though to me it seemed completely "harmless", it was perhaps in some ways, not.

I remember one other woman who breezed by me. Quite attractive, not exactly beautiful but the kind of person who has much more attraction coming from her sapiosexuality (sexual attraction to one's intelligence). Her apparent intelligence and knowledge fully researched before she needed it, gave her an edge up.

This woman was obviously pushing my buttons, buttons she somehow knew instinctively, stunning me. She had her say, then simply disappeared into the crowd. I didn't quite know what to think. Until my friend who had invited her to the party, pointed out she was a "professional" woman. Not a professional who was a woman but a woman who was a professional at being a woman (i.e., a call girl). I have to say, it wasn't an unpleasant experience in those few moments.

When I asked how she had known things about me, Liz just said it was her job to know things about me, about men. I didn't at first understand until she explained the professional part, and I never saw that woman again. Liz said, probably because at that time in my life I was broke, having just graduated recently. college. As for the other (first) woman, I did see her again, several times, and though we openly discussed what had happened, I never could get a date out of her. Sigh....

Liz died some years ago. Obviously I will miss her always. Her and another special friend of both of ours, Rose. I also just found a 1991 birthday card from Rose while looking through all my old papers. Bittersweet memories, I must say.

Regarding the martial arts reference below, a true martial artist needs nearly to be a mind reader. To be able to walk into a room (or a battlefield) and surmise the situation instantly. Not far removed from using psychology (or the skills of a con artist) in order to read a situation, or a person, and act appropriately to either save oneself or defeat the other. I could walk into a room or down a street and quickly assess the dangers, the people to be wary of and how to skirt problematic situations. Whether I should attack things head on, or simply avoid something or someone. And so I assume my skills learned through my studies in psychology worked hand in hand with my already pre existing skills from years of martial arts going back to a very young age. And so that explains my reference to it below.

I suppose I'd also have to add into that mix my childhood. As I understand it children raised in an environment such as I was and my siblings, but especially myself (see, my step father really didn't like me) requires one to constantly be hyperaware of things. That and other things create in the child an ability to be quick and smart (even though I was seemingly quite stupid about some things). It's also why we see street urchins who make great con artists or criminals.

All that being said, this writing I had found isn't too bad as it is. Here is how it goes:

You know,
I was just thinking:

I get these little spurts of feeling, or imagery at times.
Similar in nature to a "Deja Vu" experience.

I'm not nuts. My degree in psychology was in
Awareness and Reasoning Division,
Phenomenology, Alternate States of Consciousness.

Between that and martial arts training from childhood, it may be easier
for me, than for many, to "see," into their thoughts.
To "feel" things in their mental and emotional processes.

Things that many people don't realize are there, but things that
ARE there. In everyone.
Really, it just takes looking "inward."

I know there are people I've talked to in the past,
that think they were talking to a real screwball (me);
especially, some of the more banal types that I've spoken with.

And it occurred to me, that the only times I'm really happy,
are when I am writing away at a project, when I am deeply involved in
a novel I've developed. Or a project that I have fully conceived;
or, a project I've developed along with a significant person in my life.
As opposed to a project at work, or one given by an instructor.

I get these little flashes of really... good... feelings, that I can only
attribute to being "feelings-of-well-being."
Or euphoria.

Feelings that I can link pretty much, only to heightened emotional
experiences; events from my temporal past.

A moment's "Deja Vu" from being in the mountains; or,
looking out over a spectacular sunset on the ocean,
as viewed from a scenic beach; or,
watching a waterfall unraveling in the middle of nowhere,
while I sit, all alone, with no one around for miles, with
the sun glistening off the cascading flow of water; or,
droplets on the moss in the mountains in the early morning, with
the crisp moist air hugging you, and the fresh smell of life,
biting, deliciously, into your lungs.

These Little Flashes of Moments,
Moments that give me this feeling,
feelings that I can conjure up while writing,
while creating, making a universe
that I've created,
while watching something come to Life.

You know, it just occurred to me,
there must be a reason I like to write,
one, other than the pedantic reason of
simply being able to do it well.

Perhaps, it was taking those little sojourns,
brief intense stays of exotic journeys,
gleamed from books read at a tender young age,

Maybe that has something to do with it.

No matter how I look at it, though,
I will never be happy until I am making a living writing,
and writing whatever I want. What feels like it is being
born from my chest, separating from my heart, springing from
my mind, leaping from my soul.

It's just a thought.
Just a moment.
Just a comment.

An Epiphany upon the Downs.
Thoughts upon the Velt,
in Revelation.
A Splendor in the Grass.
A Triumph at Dawn.

For that is all it is.


This ends that print out that I so recently found. The footer in that email indicated me as a "Contractor/Systems Consultant-Technical Writer" [this was before I was given Senior Technical Writer status]. The last line in the email footer was this:
"The preceding has been a personal comment only, which does not reflect the affectations nor the policy of the US West Technologies organization."

And as they say, that's all she wrote. Well, all he wrote.
Peace. Be well.

Or as I always used to tell my children in parting from me...

"Go out now and be brilliant."


Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Breathing - The Passing of an Old Friend

Okay, so this happened the other night.

As I was getting into bed and was about to turn the bedside light off, I heard breathing. Understand, recently my 80 pound German Shepherd of 15 years died, in my bedroom. A few weeks ago. And I live alone. Now.

July 17, 2017
His mother was a medium sized white German Shepherd. His after was a massive 120 pound German Shepherd. Everyone complimented him on his looks and his confirmation. He didn't have issues with his hindquarters until this past year when it was hard for him even to walk, to go outside. He was always good natured. A good protector. Smart and so funny at times.

He'd been having a hard day and night and over time had been getting worse. That night I let him know as usual when it was time to get up and head to the bedroom. He tried but just couldn't do it. He'd been getting worse over the year since we moved in here last year so it wasn't surprising, but it was.

So I laid down next to him, petted him and talked to him. My daughter and her boyfriend were staying here at the time and they gave him some love and attention before they went to bed too.

We knew he was near the end, but it could have gone on for weeks, too. Finally, as I was very tired myself that day, I dragged him on his living room pillow bed down the hallway into my bedroom and put his bedroom bed in the living room.

He seemed relieved to be where he knew he should be. Lately a few times he had just slept in the living room and the next day seemed fine.

He woke me a couple of times through the night pawing at the wood floor until finally I moved him over to where his nails would touch the throw rug which seemed to calm him. I was sleepy and didn't realize he was trying to get up.

Finally I woke at 4:30AM, his breathing was labored and he seemed a little panicky. I finally realized why. He had relieved himself on his bed. Normally he would tell me, wake me, leave the bedroom anyway but he couldn't. It was then I realized he was in trouble.

Yes he was always clowning around
Again I laid down and petted him and talked to him for an hour. Tried to talk to him, it was hard to talk. Finally at 5:30AM, he passed on. I was pretty emotional and had been for that night and for that final last hour. It had tasked me pretty thoroughly. I had to leave the bedroom. I got up and wrote a friend an email about it, while sipping on a double Taliskers whiskey. That behavior continued throughout the rest day.

That next week my mother died. It's been a long summer all things told, those two things just being a part of what was going on all summer.

Then last night. The breathing.

As a pup
I had checked the clock radio, actually thinking it was on and I was hearing rhythmic white noise that sounded like breathing. It wasn't on. The breathing was as loud as it was the night he died in my bedroom. I'd considered an animal breathing at the window situated next to and behind my bed. But the window being so high off the ground outside, that would have had to have been a very large animal and the breathing would have been louder and I would have had other issues to worry about.

Then just as I was starting to be unable not to get emotional and anxious over it, the breathing stopped. Silence took over. I was finally, hesitantly, able to lay my head down and eventually I fell asleep.

Some might say it was my dog, communicating. But what the hell would that be communicating? I'm sure he'd have communicated something different, happier. Not that I buy into that sort of thing. So no, I don't buy it. Others might say it's an echo from my memories out of my own mind, but then, I've never been that type. Some might even say it's an echo of something that had happened in that room and... I could almost buy into that.

But in reality I think it was just my mind playing back a tape in my head, telling me how much he meant to me. As if I didn't already know that.

Whatever it was, I could use having it never happen again. Regardless, I'll miss him.

I acquired him as a puppy to help my kids with the divorce I (we) were going through. And it worked so well for us all. It was easy to love him, such a little bundle of energy and humor at first.

He was the pet I had the longest. The pet who was our family member and who held such a high place in my kid's lives. He was my home security system. My alert system while I slept. We lived on some acreage in the woods and for some years after my kids moved out, I lived there alone with him.

If there was a noise in the middle of the night, he got up to ferret it out in case someone or some thing was at the far end of the house. And he was the first (and will be the last) pet I had for his entire life, save those first eight weeks before I acquired him as a puppy.

Thanks my old friend. For being there every day, always, for always being there.


The late Great Buddha Thai in his prime

Monday, September 11, 2017

Issues with Authority and Producing Smart Answers

I admit it, I have a problem with authority.

Look, I'm happy as hell to follow when things are working. To offer my best efforts and considerations for bettering what is already a good situation. But when you start to realize you're smarter than your leaders (talking jobs, not government, which can be worse and has so much to do with knowing how to play a dysfunctional game, making others smarter than politicians look dumber), it quickly gets hard to keep things under control. Not speaking out, not losing faith can become impossible.

You should and I do speak when I can. But so often you get cut off at the knees, because of the "bigger picture", or money, or just, "reasons". Typically valid much of the time, it is also typically not valid much of the time. Mostly just excuses for not bucking the system by the higher ups.

It's just how it is much of the time.

I learned two things early on in a sizable corporation. Don't talk to much in meetings. You open yourself up to look stupid. A prime motivator for Republicans in Congress. Except they can't take that advice. They speak up anyway and come up with the dumbest crap believable far too often. Well, not so believable actually.

Whenever asked a question, especially in a meeting in front of others, when you do not have the answer to respond with, just say, "I can't speak to that just now but I'll get back to you after the meeting." Then do that. Never let what you promise to not happen. And always come back with a well researched and viable answer. It will give you a reputation and one you definitely want.

I learned right off, in the beginning to just say yes. no matter what, whenever someone tries to give you work. Take on all you can... produce. Then turn it in before expected and do a job better than anyone else.

I took that to another level as a technical writer. I would turn in before the deadline, do an excellent job on the documentation I wrote and frequently would turn in three versions, giving them a choice. The first version was the one they asked for. Then another I thought they really wanted, and finally one that pushed the boundaries and perhaps was the one I thought they most needed (and frequently they never wanted, until they read it).

Frequently, they did not choose the one they asked for and on occasion, would even choose the one that would have been considered too far "out there" when I was initially given the assignment. Things change and you have to be ready for that, prepared ahead of time.

That led to my acquiring a reputation. And a good one. The other thing I did and this was not intentional, but just how I worked. I would turn in typically three drafts but write more. They never saw the first one. As a professor at my university told me...

"We do not show anyone a first draft. That is like showing someone your shit. We just do not do that!"

My first draft then was not my first I would show them, but was meant to be sure that I was in the ballpark for what they wanted. Because managers were not always clear and did not always know what they really wanted. Even when they thought they did. They would typically be concerned in reading that "first" draft that I didn't know what they wanted. Again, typically they thought they were being clear, when they clearly (to me) weren't.

I would then turn in the second draft, usually days later depending on the schedule. I remember one manager who read it, looked at me and said he was very worried I wasn't getting it at all. I told him not to worry, it's just my process.

When I then later turned in my third and final draft, I got an amazed look nearly every time.

They would be stunned I had nailed it so spot on, especially in considering the previous two drafts. Then I would hand them the other two (third) drafts, usually quite a bit different from the initial one I had just handed over. Frequently they would choose the first, sometimes the second but not all that often the third.

This all led to my gaining an interesting reputation for doing way more work than needed, in far less time than they had expected, for merely a single finished product. And this was in keeping up with any and all of my other work.

First and foremost you have to produce and you have to produce quality. But if you can produce quality and volume, if you can also keep quiet enough to at least appear smarter than you are, never letting them gauge just exactly how "brilliant" you may (or may not) be, you will be far ahead of the game. A game that is generally stacked well against us all.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Did "The Pusher" song by Hoyt Axton save lives?

It saved mine. I have lived through some interesting times having grown up around the 1960s and even 70s drug culture. I've often ascribed my survival to the Steppenwolf song "The Pusher", since it came out. Since I first heard it. Though obviously it also had to be considered with a certain level of intelligence, my own DNA and simply how I was raised.

I got to see a solo John Kay of Steppenwolf on stage in Seattle in the early 80s, which was pretty awesome.

I always avoided anything I thought I wouldn't be able to kick. So I've never done heroin. Opium in the late 70s and I really liked it. A lot. But it was only more the proof to the belief. The 80s were potential for a mistake in the flood of cocaine back then. But somehow I got through it all with my life, my dignity and my friends.

Yet that single line, "...I never touched nothin' that my spirit could kill", resonated in my mind all through the 1970s and 80s. After that things toned down a lot for me.

The Pusher (Steppenwolf, 1968) first stanza:

"You know I've smoked a lot of grass
O' Lord, I've popped a lot of pills
But I never touched nothin'
That my spirit could kill"

"He’s smoked his fair share of weed and messed around with some uppers/downers, which was extremely commonplace at the time. However, he made sure not to cross the line into hard drug territory with spirit killing drugs like heroin."

"The Pusher" is a rock song written by Hoyt Axton, made popular by the 1969 movie Easy Rider which used Steppenwolf's version to accompany the opening scenes showing drug trafficking.

Songwriter Hoyt Axton did not record "The Pusher" himself until he included it on his 1971 album, Joy to the World.[citation needed]

The lyrics of the song distinguish between a dealer in drugs such as marijuana—who "will sell you lots of sweet dreams"—and a pusher of hard drugs such as heroin—a "monster" who doesn't care "if you live or if you die".

Whatever it is that we latch onto that keeps us alive through our formative and into our adult years in helping us to be smarter than stupid, is certainly worth finding and having. What's yours?

August My Birthday Month 2017

It's weird. I started watching Season 5 of Ray Donovan a few weeks ago. This season seems to be all about death. So I watched episode one, I was confused but figured out what was going on. Then I watched episode two, sadder, weirder.

That was Monday. Tuesday morning at 4:30AM, August 15, 2017, I woke to my nearly fifteen year old German Shepherd, Buddha Thai, having breathing issues. He'd been having them. In fact the past couple of weeks or so it seemed he was on his last legs.

I got up and spent the next hour with him, until he stopped breathing at 5:30AM. I had a double whiskey at 5:45AM. It was a rough week after that.

Then today, the day of the solar eclipse, I woke at 4:30AM. My head was throbbing with a sinus headache. I went back to bed.

I had a rough morning overall. In and out. The sun was up so I got up. I noticed a text on my phone from my older brother. I figured it was about our mom. Maybe my sister bugging him to bug me to go see her because she was old and having difficulty. I felt horrible, so I thought to put it off until I felt better. Honestly, maybe tomorrow.

I had a cup of coffee, I never finished, watched last night's episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. It was on nuclear waste. Just as unsettling as last week's show about White Supremacists and our president. But after it was over I started to feel worse, so I went back to bed.

After a while I woke up and it got dimmer than before, with odd colors to the lighting through my blinds in my bedroom. I fell asleep, woke, same colors, maybe dimmer. I feel asleep and seemingly suddenly the light from outside was very bright.

So I got up. I felt horrible. I watched some of the last episode of the Netflix show, The Defenders. Pretty good. It kept my attention until my phone rang. I answered it, though I had to fight the urge to just let it go to voice mail.

My brother told me our mother died last night, our sister was there now, after the helper had found the body and called her, she was waiting for them to come pick up the body.

That all sounds pertty rough. In a week, I lost my country to Nazis, I lost my dog of 15 years to old age and I lost my mother for a second time, also to old age.

Monday, August 28, 2017

RT - (formerly Russia Today) News America?

I'm having mixed feelings about RT, the Russian State news network formerly and more accurately know as Russia Today. Another concern is the Russian Sputnik News Service,.An article from Politico explains what it is like dealing with a state sponsored agency like this:

From my first day at Sputnik, I truly believed that even at a Russian state-owned news service, I could do good work so long as I maintained my own ethical standards. I even believed that Sputnik’s stated mission—to “tell the untold”—is one worth undertaking. Other state-owned news services aim to report stories ignored by other outlets, and to provide a different perspective on the news. Many of them do an excellent job.

But when the “untold” is untold because it’s not true, and the “alternative perspective” is a way to push a hostile government’s agenda by tearing down the reputation of other nations, all the ethics in the world can’t help you. I thought Sputnik wanted me for my skills as a journalist, but what they wanted was to use the veneer of journalism to push their own agenda. I won’t make the mistake of taking someone like Martinichev at his word again.

That is where the problem and concern with agencies like Sputnik as well as RT, lay.

Seemingly too many American journalists and show hosts are jumping on the RT bandwagon. I'm very wary of RT for various reasons in having a very clear and historical understanding of Russian and before them, Soviet disinformation tactics. I don't doubt they may inject specific and targeted tactical information.

For reference, here's a Columbia Journal Review article and one from The Guardian about RT bank account closures in Britain, both from January 2017. Here's another from the New York Times ("Russia's RT Network: Is It More BBC or K.G.B.?):

The agencies issued a report saying the attack was carried out through the targeted use of real information, some open and some hacked, and the creation of false reports, or “fake news,” broadcast on state-funded news media like RT and its sibling, the internet news agency Sputnik. These reports were then amplified on social media, sometimes by computer “bots” that send out thousands of Facebook and Twitter messages.

Another is from Bloomberg , both from May 2017.

From Bloomberg article above, "At RT, News Breaks You"... Did you know? About 17 million U.S. households subscribe to Spectrum, the television provider formerly known as Time Warner Cable. Those in New York City, whether they know it or not, also subscribe to the Russian-funded news outlet RT. Customers can locate it by scrolling past the Chinese Channel and the Africa Channel and into the triple digits, until RT’s radioactive-green logo appears on screen.

From The Economist, June 2017, "America's Answer to Russian Propaganda TV (Current Time Broadcasts in Russian from Capital Hill) [and I don't think they only mean in the Russian language which it is, but the Russian way of thinking]":
Russia’s slickly produced English-language version of RT, featuring American and west European presenters and guests, could pass at times for a non-Russian channel, save for the messages the channel delivers (many of them, in 2016, attacking Hillary Clinton and supporting Mr Trump). The network is just one stream of what RAND Corporation, a think-tank, calls Russia’s "firehose of falsehood”. People do not even have to trust Russia’s propaganda outlets for this saturation strategy to work. Detektor Media, a Ukrainian NGO, found in a survey that only 1.3% of Ukrainians trusted Russian TV channels for news about the conflict in the country’s Donbas region. Yet in the same poll, more than a third of respondents believed the official Russian line on it.

On the other hand it occurs to me that America of late is really quite dysfunctional. Russia does not really benefit from our dysfunction and it leaves us especially, with our whack job of a president in Donald J Trump.

IF RT were to do what they claim, to give us (mostly) free and honest information without corporate and capitalistic maneuverings as our own media does, it could actually be a benefit to all involved. As in an environment where there is no monopoly, it could affect our own media and news in a positive way. One can only hope, anyway.

Let's face it, our media sucks too much of the time. Not all of it, there are some very good reporters and journalists out there. But the nature of our media is such that it requires some degree of pandering to the audience. Give them what they want, less than give them what they need.

I watch about an equal amount of non American news just to balance reality. Watching your enemies is a very good way to get a balanced view of things, even if they are lying.

It's not that our media is state news, or bad news, or corporate news, it's just that if nothing else, in a capitalistic society, news takes a certain slant regardless. In no longer being a loss leader for a network, it has become complicit in catering to news we simply do not need and should not have.

I remember decades ago people crying out for some lighter news in the news. How about a nice short story about a fuzzy doggy? Well, they heard them and we now have that. Much to our detriment. It probably has something to do with our educational system crashing and burning because we won't fully fund schools, we've abused and ignored them, and we've treated our teachers like garbage.

I fully believe we need to better understand Russia and they us. We need more dialog not less. Same goes for Iran, and North Korea. But I find it hard to believe we will see much progress on this plane until Putin is gone. He has been in control for far too long and has to go. He is corrupt. He is a murderer, in at very least ordering executions and assassinations. The FSB, once the KGB, which Putin "grew up" in, has as an arm of it's reach, the Russian Mafia, as it has always been. Crime and State tied closely together. Putin is doing nothing to correct that. In deed, he relies on it.

We have a similar situation in America with Donald J Trump who also needs to go even in being in control for only the short amount of time he has been, as well as the mindset that follows him around like a terminally bad case of genital herpes.

As we have seen with our less informed and more poorly news vetting fellow Americans who only watch news sources such as Fox News, or Breitbert, you cannot only watch news from a single source. You need at least three as in the old journalism methodology of vetting any news from at least three triangulated news sources that are not similar nor connected in anyway. In that way you can trust news you discover and only then, after reflection and analysis, submit it to others.

What we see in too many people is they trust not only questionable news sources, but memes that anyone can and do make up. We have seen this far too much in conservatives, Republicans and Trump supporters where they do not research even a single level into the news. Especially if they agree with it.

They do not research down into several layers, much of which immediately can show some news to be utterly false and may even explain why it exists, which may give one an entirely new side of things. But we are too untrained in this, we are too busy, or simply too lazy. I blame our schools system over past decades for making this even worse, and which has been targeted by the Republican party and American's ignorance in general about our educational system and exactly all it affects in how we have been treating it and our teachers.

What worries me about entities like RT is that even if they show what we should and need to see, they may show it in a way we don't even notice is making us uncomfortable so we discount what we need to count, and count what we need to discount.

So maybe an RT network could work to our benefit, and Russia's as well. However, we have GOT to always be 100% aware they are, first and foremost, a Russian State news agency.

#RT #RussiaToday #RussianStateTV #Putin #POTUS

Monday, August 21, 2017

Shouldn't We Be Appalled?

Shouldn't we? Well, um, yes, I do think we should. Just look around us lately. Watch the news. Look at just about any social media. I know I'm appalled, and in no particular order by:
  • Support for authoritarianism. Especially stupid authoritarians.
  • Greed in general and especially in politics.
  • Big money. 
  • Conservatism, especially extremists forms.
  • Did I say, Extremism?
  • Religion, especially dumb ones, especially in politics. 
  • News as entertainment with little concern about the consequences. 
  • Racism and harm as some kind of populist activity.
  • Did I say, sexism? Racism? And classism, that is abuse by the rich of the poor.
  • Over concern about one's sexuality. TMI already.
  • A lack of more than superficial understanding of reality by far too many if not most.
  • A need to feel important by randomly killing people who have nothing to do with you or your especially ridiculous faux ridiculous issues.
  • Mistakenly believing some issues are more important than actual imminent issues and ideals over real human beings.
  • Presidential support for white supremacists where even speaking out against it falls hollow.
  • Entertainment as news replacing news as a necessity.
  • "Privileged" believing they are being persecuted.
  • "Privileged" believing they are being persecuted while persecuting others.
  • Drone strikes where and when innocents are harmed or killed with rationalizations for their allowance as collateral damage.
  • Ridiculous support for ridiculous issues such as racism, religion and conservatism or authoritarianism. I would rather be an extreme progressive than an extreme conservative because one leads to progress and one leads to stagnation.
  • Lies becoming truths when spoken loudly enough or from a great enough position of power so that they are believed.
  • Such a disregard for the truth that it becomes not only utterly inconsequential but an irritant.
  • Constant wars.
  • War too closely associated with monetary issues and mere imperialism. 
  • Corporations and money controlling so much of our reality, our government, and religions.
  • Religions controlling so much of our governments and our money.
  • Art and the Humanities in education so frequently being considered unnecessary when they are extremely necessary to our remaining human and humane.
  • Not understanding there are and should be limits to wealth.
  • Thinking that freedom of speech means freedom to speak anything, no matter how destructive or meanly intended.
  • Seeing the poor, the uneducated and the homeless (for whatever reasons) as a burden and an irritant.
  • Seeing immigrants especially refugees as an irritant and as criminals merely for existing.
  • Finally a president who is crude, ignorant, arrogant, an utter bore and just pretty much pathetic as presidential offerings do tend to be from the Republican party. 
And of late simply too many other things....

I'm feeling like it's utterly useless. There's just too many ignorant people about, too many twisting reality and knowing it merely to serve their own superficial and selfish purposes. There's too many lies and liars, too many bullies, and far too much abuse.

Here's what I think is happening.

We (Americans) set up a country with good intent. But once we really started to think about it, things went immediately awry, plummeting downhill. It brought on the Civil War for one.

A rational description of what's going on from Christy Coleman, the black CEO of The American Civil War Museum in Richmond, VA went like this:

"I realized that an important flashpoint had been reached. We go through these cycles whenever there's forward progression on social movement and social expansion of civil rights. There's always a very violent, quick and very hot pushback. This, is how the cycle works. This is what happens when we turn history into nostalgia."

That's refreshing to hear. Rather than feeling as we have that we've suddenly gone two steps back in our social progress, it's just a temporary pause for those backward types to catch up and just let us know, it hurts them to become more mature more than it hurts most of us. Still, they do have to catch up.

Whenever we try to implement a functional version of our American ideal we get push back, we get anger, hatred and at the bottom of it all, fear, if not outright terror from those whose lives would change, who might have to give up some of their privilege which they should never have had, or shouldn't have gained on the blood and backs of others they had control over.

This seems to come from the right, from conservatives, from extremists in religion, in Christianity mostly. Odd that. Not all, just for the most part the easily frightened, greedy or ultimately ignorant ones.

In modern times here, this nearly always seems to come from Republicans.

All we have to do to stop this is to stop trying to implement America as a real and living concept and go back to simply giving lip service to what we have professed is our ideals, what has drawn so many millions to our shores. Back when we wanted them. If ever we did. Kind of like how we treat religion. And yes, even the religious.

Sometimes, I wonder though.

I guess what we have to ask ourselves is, who do we want to be and do we want to do what it takes to implement it? Because if we do, well, it's gonna hurt. It's hurting already. Just in the right claiming we're hurting them and that being so very abusive and selfish, it hurts.

In the end we could have what we have always been labeled as being:

The greatest country in the history of the world.

The question that really who we want to be?

Because according to Donald J Trump and supporters, they simply don't. But then, simple minds and all....