Monday, March 28, 2016

Education - America is Waiting

It occurs to me that the issue with conservatives about education is that they have redefined Human Capital to equal zero. Look up the history of America and free education back in the 1800s and see how they talk about human capital.

Back when children worked in factories it was deemed worthy to invest in human people. Thomas Paine, Horace Mann (I went to a Mann elementary school myself), John Dewey and others spoke out and evoked change. They could see the value of increasing the education of all Americans to the point that we as a nation should invest in it to assure that it happens. We then made it a law that you had to attend school. For a reason.

If we now educate people up beyond literacy, into primary and secondary education (K-12) we could enhance the entire lot of our citizens overall, as well as our nation's status in the world.

Education became free through high school which was originally considered only college prep school. It was made legal that you have to attend to fourteen but your schooling was paid for through the senior (12th) year of high school.

The benefits of these changes were pretty immediate and obvious.

Now college (two or four year, depending) is the equivalent to how high school was back then and for many decades since, until we became an information society. We now need to expand that well established free education from K-12 to K-16. Then we will start to regain our intellectual status worldwide once again.

We will NOT do this by giving all our money and benefits free to the 1% wealthy class. How does that make any sense? How stupid does one have to be to believe in trickledown economics, or to think we'd buy that for very long as we watch everything erode around us including us?

While only a few reap these benefits, they then say that they have and should have everything in being job creators, when it is really the middle class who are. They say that to give back (what they stole, what they got us to legislate for them) is giving freebies to the unwashed masses.

I'd laugh if it wasn't such a travesty.

Corporate thinking means only sure things are worth anything, only profit is worthy of contemplation. That becomes, any expenditure in people per se is a complete waste of profit. Nothing beyond mere surface efforts should be tried. Only superficial efforts for people should be done, and only to shut up their outcries.

Thus conservatives, republicans, the rich elite are against more schooling, against K-16 being free. As i is they have been doing their best to decrease what we have already achieved.

They are against now even K-12 being free.

Let's face it, they are against people. Citizens are an ugly necessity. If and when they can do away with them, with people...we be all gone. Except for those elites. Which won't work, someone has to do the labor. But that is what they want it would seem. A binary nation of those few who have supported by those who do not and are too afraid to do anything about it. Afraid to vote for the candidate who can do, for the one who will kind of do.

Act now. Not, when you are being hustled into prison for speaking out. Not once they have monetized our rights, our water, our air, our privacy, our freedom.

So called "Patriot militias" are a voice, typically yelling about things that are counterproductive to all this because of their slight knowledge of all the wrong things. They are merely a distraction and the rich love them.

What they fear is real action.

People abandoning the rotting carcass of the GOP, the Conservative movement, the religious political movement, all the groups so easily deluded. If they once stop, look around, see what insanity they have been immersed in and leave, then we all win.

But they want to keep people ignorant. Or better, stupid. It is a feather in their cap. When they say free education is impossible all while the rest of the world does it before us, listen to your heart, not the rich, not their politicians disassembling among you.

They are not our friend. They (and you) only think they are.

Next time you drive over a bridge and realize that you may die before you get to the other end, wonder where the money went to maintain it.

When your 18 year old child cannot get a job because you and they cannot afford college for them, ask why.

WAKE UP to reality!

Face slap yourself! Shock your mind. Quit your somnambulance.

Come back out into the world if you've ever even been out here. This has been going on for that long. Cold water on your face now, up into your consciousness.

We're all here waiting for you. The few and slightly aware because that's all it takes, having even a partial realization.

America Is Waiting for some sort of a message or another. Well, here it was.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The End is Nigh... But Not How You Might Think

What is the first stage of religious freedom?

No, ot freedom to worship your religions of choice.
No, not freedom to have many religions in a country.
But true religious freedom.
Free of religious thought, constraints and diatribe.

We have here in the United States of America seen an upswing in mostly Christians openly speaking out (other religions are probably afraid to speak out because of them) about their religion. In some cases they demand to be given total freedom in this country for their religion in order to spread the "Word" to everyone, through government and therefore down onto the heads of the people. Believers and unbelievers alike.

Why? Why is this happening?

First off, some people have tried reading the Bible. And became atheists.

The religious, that is theists, have had to live in shame for a long time. Good people just didn't share their religion outside of their home, their tribe, their church, their religion. Back in the 1970s however we started to hear from these people about the word of Jesus Christ. And that opened a flood gate. People began to realize that this was indeed, America. We have freedom here, and the first amendment.

The protests of the 1960s were still fresh in people's minds. Evangelical churches started to get bigger eventually becoming mega churches. Because it enriched their leaders. Some of those who went to prison because of it. Most of them got carried away with it and their rock star status. That even led to some of those leaders enjoying buying sex with their profits.


Freedom of Speech.
Freedom to pursue happiness.
Freedom of religion.

That last one has turned into a killer, as we've seen of late. People began to lose their shame about speaking out. The internet increased that euphoria and if there's one thing theists know, it's how to exploit euphoria in their chosen beliefs.

Religion loves putting shame upon people. Like in the Catholic Church with its concept of "Original Sin" that you are born born with. A sin that was passed down from Adam and Eve. Because Eve ate a piece of fruit and talked Adam into it.

The creation of "confession" in the Middle Ages (AKA, the Dark Ages) allowed some priests an amazing amounts of power and leeway in their potential for blackmail of prominent citizens. That is, the ability to "convince" people of doing their bidding, "for the Lord."

You are therefore born losing and so are beholding to the Church to save you. You have to be brought into the Church as an infant through baptism, thus washing away your "sin" and avoiding ending up in at very least, Limbo. Pretty ridiculous. But it begins "The Shaming".

Once you realize that isn't a concern, then you can speak outwardly and openly.

The trouble is that once you begin to lose your shame, you also begin the long journey of losing your religion. So the 1960s for many was the beginning of the end. Though it really began long before that. This was just its coming out in public, openly, therein laying the foundation for the public origin of the reason of what we're seeing today.

Intelligence, education, even the Internet, are all antithetical to religion. Religion teaches to not think too much about its teachings or else it quickly evaporates in a puff of logic.

Religion has to reward ignorance.

So here we are today with new a generation, a new population of religious ignorants and emboldened shameless people.

It is the beginning of the end of religion but, they cannot see this... yet.

Go out into the wild and fatally wound a wild animal. Let it lay there in pain as it dies. Then try walking up to it and poke its wound.

Would you do that? No? Why not? Because it would be dangerous? Because it is dying, in pain and in its death throes? Because it is using all its power in a binary all or nothing attempt to protect itself at all costs? Yes, quite so.

We see this in many of the religious and religions today. We are seeing the spiritual death throes of many of the religious and many of their religions. It is merely matter of time now that will disintegrate in a serious of half lifes, like with radioactive decay.

Some are dying slower than others, some are younger than others and so will have further to go before they fall. So they will seemingly be around forever, and yet they will be zombie religions. Much as it is now with many, who believe but do nothing about it.

It is happening now all around us.

Religious death cults are not helping things much, in groups like ISIS and other Islamic based death Jihadi type groups. Although all the desert Abrahamic religions are really death oriented and capitalistic in nature. You receive your "just rewards" after death in going to heaven. You receive more of something in death for something lesser in life and so isn't death rather attractive? Proximity to the Lord in Heaven, or 72 virgins, or whatever.

Islamic extremist Jihadis have certainly keyed into that one.

Christian right wing types and apocalyptic versions of religions are looking all the time more the fool to mature rational people. They exemplify the worst religion has to offer and in their actions showcase their ignorance and even that of others who normally are more rational, albeit still religious creatures. Most use it as a method for what they could do with other forms of thought but find beauty in ancient religions. So it's an aesthetic choice.

Still the first signs are in seeing their lack of shame in public, and their inability to any longer be humble. To maintain one's religion in a private belief should require no support from others. It should require no one other than those in one's chosen religion in order to maintain or alter their lifestyles because of their beliefs.

And yet, we are seeing that happening just about everywhere. It will pass, though with time.We are seeing the adolescent phase of religious belief as humanity grows beyond the need for religion as a race of beings. So far we have advanced through paganism, Polytheism, into monotheism and finally in the closing chapter, we will see the advent of atheism spreading far and wide to be replaced by rationality, science and reason.

We see it now in religions in people being of their religion identifying with it (frequently out of fear to do otherwise) while not actively practicing their faith. A good sign that they treat it lightly. Then they get upset when called out about it, as they fear being outed. But to whom? God? Others? Society in general so they have to admit the demise of their beliefs?

What is sad and curious is we began with atheism. Before we even knew what we were doing we had fallen into giving ourselves over to fantastic explanations of the mundane, what really required only simple scientific explanations for and that we did not have, yet.

It is as if we decided to take a boat out from a lakeside dock we are standing on. We decide through new beliefs presented to us, to walk all around the lake first, only then we find our way to other lakes, as more people show up and convince us they are the ones with the magic. Until finally we arrive right back to what had been directly in front of us to being with. That which was in fact originally right under our feet, all along.

Well, at least we're finally getting there.

We just need to continue for the time being to help others along. Those who are still struggling with finding that dock. While there are many fishermen already out on the lake enjoying themselves and having far less trouble existing than the many, than those who are simply lost and continuing to think they have to find some magic element in life.

Even though it is right there before them.

It is and has been, as the Buddha said, always right there before you and within you. You have merely to see it, to recognize it. It's no magic elixir, no magic fix, no ghost in the sky. It's you. You just have to not be so scared that you cannot see it there, right there before you.

Don't worry. We'll get there.

As long as we don't destroy ourselves over literally nothing along the way.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Why America is confused over Donald Trump

There is some interesting research about authoritarianism.

Matthew MacWilliams, a doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, conducted a poll in which Republicans were asked four questions about child-rearing. With each question, respondents were asked which of two traits were more important in children:
  • independence or respect for their elders;
  • curiosity or good manners;
  • self-reliance or obedience;
  • being considerate or being well-behaved.
Psychologists use these questions to identify people who are disposed to favor hierarchy, loyalty and strong leadership — those who picked the second trait in each set — what experts call "authoritarianism." That many of Trump's supporters share this trait helps explain the success of his unconventional candidacy and suggests that his rivals will have a hard time winning over his adherents.

Thus the confusion. We all want our children to have the latter traits but we also want them or we should want them, to also be of the former. The difficulty is in having the intellect to judge when to be which. An issue conservatives in general have missing. 

We need to compartmentalize, to have an overarching mentality allowing us to shift appropriately at the right times. Lacking that you find yourself embedded in less sophisticated pursuits like authoritarianism, conservatism, racism, a seeking for the pure and simple, the righteous, the saving grace of one far above us to "guide" us as in a political leader or a deity.

"For authoritarians, things are black and white," MacWilliams said. "Authoritarians obey."

Authoritarians prefer purity and simplicity in thought and thus the eventual rise and misconstrued application of simplicity and purity that rears its ugly head as bigotry and racism among their rank ranks.

Life is not black and white and some cannot handle that because it requires thought and an acceptance that life is generally messy and we have to deal with that on a constant and ongoing basis. 

There are no easy and simple answers.

Which means that neither Donald Trump, conservative politics, or the Republican party are the answer.

This is clearly where I seem to break with so many people now a days and I wonder why and where their humanity and American spirit went? 

When we are our most as people is when we are at our most dire, fearful, distressed, or unhappy. 
Many people especially Trump followers and many on the right are showing their colors, an ugly blending for many of them of mere whiteness, with no room for color at all. Purity is a child's view of life. 

Real life is messy, not binary, not black and white, but a morass of grey, or varied and many colors, of complexity that is far more sophisticated than soundbites like, "We'll bomb them real good!"
"They're different than us, not as privileged, not as great not as us not as pure not as perfect because we think we are GODS!"
Which only makes you an asshole and a half and then some and you have no place in America. Less of a place is here for you in fact than there is and always has been for immigrants. Especially those in dire need.
We are a country of the many and not the few.
Now we just have to realize that and return not to the greatness we can be but the oneness we should be.

#DonaldTrump #Democrats @GOP

Monday, March 7, 2016

Cannabis as American as Apple Pie

This is a rerun of a very popular blog I wrote back in July 2, 2012. It has gotten so many hits that I thought I might run it again for those who are new to my blogs to have a chance to see it. Have fun!

I found a video on The Power of Raw Cannabis that I found very interesting. It talks about using Cannabis as raw food, as a vegetable with medical qualities far exceeding almost anything we have seen to date. They say that once you burn it, you get a different quality out of Cannabis, which should make those phobic about it feel all warm and fuzzy. But they are taking a different tact in their research by juicing Cannabis and using it as an actual natural remedy for disease.

From The Power Of Raw Cannabis
Now watch this video, especially if you are fully anti Cannabis. This is not hype, it's very reasonable in what it has to say and it has a very good point. If Cannabis had never been heard of and was today discovered in the Amazon river basin, it would be called out as a miracle medicine and hailed around the world.

But Cannabis is as American as apple pie. Albeit a rather abused American, on multiple levels and for multiple reasons.

All this made me look for some interesting and famous quotes and images on hemp and cannabis and this is what I found. I broke out some photos for you that I will comment on, and at the bottom is a link to the actual video which includes fifty and some comments at the end of it. Here are some of my favorites, for various reasons. I've done my best to vet them at least to some degree. Let's start at the beginning.

It's well known that Washington was a hemp farmer and it was actually illegal not to grow hemp if you had a farm. However it was mostly for it's other qualities such as rope, clothes, paper, etc. Still, it's hard to believe there would be an active hemp market and no one knew about smoking it. Have you ever, as a kid, "smoked" on a piece of tall grass?

Typically you didn't inhale as it was harsh, but it's reasonable that someone figured it out back in the slaves days as slaves were made to work closely with hemp. Still, did any of the founding fathers smoke pot? Probably not though it would make a great case for modern pro Cannabis individuals. Napoleon brought hashish to France when his army returned from the Egyptian campaign (1798-1801). America had emmisaries in France over the years, so it's possible some of them tried hash. Hash comes from Cannabis, which was all over the United States. These were smart guys, so it's possible they put two and two together.

This would be great except that Lincoln wasn't known to be a smoker, although I know many people who smoke cannabis but wouldn't touch a ciggarette or pipe, otherwise. It is however plausible that Lincoln had a harmonica.

I would say it's reasonable Lincoln said that one. Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), U.S. President.
Speech, 18 Dec. 1840, to Illinois House of Representatives.


"In the mid-19th century, French writers including Baudelaire and Dumas met regularly to use cannabis. In this extract from his new book, Jonathon Green describes the Club des Hachichins." From an article in the Guardian UK.

I can find nothing to back this up, and he doesn't actually mention "hemp", other than a reference around the internet of a "Dr. Burke" with the "American Historical Reference Society" who doesn't seem to have a presence on the internet.

So you have to be careful about some of these kinds of quotes and references. Since they Founding Father's either left no record of smoking hemp or hash that I can find, it still has very good qualities for production and use in so many other areas. Lately we have been discovering that officially, that being by scientists and medical researchers not under the thumb of government relgulations or the American judicial systems, so that is mostly outside America but also inside prestigeous American institutions, there are incredible uses for Cannabis as you could see in the video above.

So we need to look at other things. Just like with a black hole out in space, if you can't see it, you can tell it exists by circumstantial evidence. In this case, it would be in the areas of prohibition and the "War on Drugs" (and U.S. citizens).

Leave it to a rational and logical thinker (so not a politician or law enforcer), to think, uh, rationally and logically.

So prohitition seems like not a smart thing? I wonder if the Alcohol Prohibition years support that claim at all?

Well, that pretty much jumps right to the point of things. Did Carl say this? Well, he has spoken out about it and there is video to prove it where he asks, "Is it rational, to [keep dying patients in discomfort, from it]."

"Village Voice jazz critic and Crosby biographer Gary Giddins says that Louis Armstrong's influence on Crosby "extended to his love of marijuana." Crosby smoked it during his early career when it was still legal, and "surprised interviewers" in the 1960s and 1970s by advocating its decriminalization." - Wikipedia

I think that pretty much speaks for itself. Now from a couple of politicians.

"Nuff' said" there.

This may hurt the President in some ways, but what would you pay for an honest politician? Well, it would seem we got one, at least to some point.

It's been alleged that British commissioner in IndiaMrJ.M. Campell in "Note on the Religion of Hemp, British Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report 1839-1894" was the one to actually say this. Considering the format of the words, I would say this would sound more like Campell than Carter.

What he HAS said was this:

"In a message to Congress in 1977, I said the country should decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, with a full program of treatment for addicts," Carter wrote. "I also cautioned against filling our prisons with young people who were no threat to society, and summarized by saying: 'Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself.' "
"Those ideas were widely accepted at the time," Carter wrote. "But in the 1980s President Ronald Reagan and Congress began to shift from balanced drug policies, including the treatment and rehabilitation of addicts, toward futile efforts to control drug imports from foreign countries."
"One result has been a terrible escalation in drug-related violence, corruption and gross violations of human rights in a growing number of Latin American countries," Carter wrote.
"Maybe the increased tax burden on wealthy citizens necessary to pay for the war on drugs will help bring about a reform of America's drug policies," Carter wrote. "At least the recommendations of the Global Commission will give some cover to political leaders who wish to do what is right."
Okay, enough already. Let's hear what some other entertainers have to say. Right?
Okay, did Arnold really say that? It would seem so: Mail Online UK October 2007.
Kind of shoots downn that highly addictive thing, don't you think?

This from a woman who is pretty productive in her life and doesn't seem to be drawing attention to herself because she's out of control or a drug addict.

Nice to hear someone just spit it out how he reallys sees it.

That my friends, is a very viable point. It's the type of comment I have heard from many people over the years. They didn't like the harsh drugs their doctor gave them, with the side effects, when they could just use cannabis as it was lighter on their systems, cheaper, and seemed to do a far better job in many cases without the side effects which in some cases, are actually, death.

Obviously we had a couple of indivduals who simply had to be mentioned here. Willie, of course, but also....

I've been saying for years that I cannot understand how Cannabis can be illegal for an entertainment drug when you have things out there that are legal like Lord King, Alcohol. Makes you wonder doesn't it (it should). When you consider the size and money involved in the alcohol industry and they size of their lobby, how is it cannabis is still illegal? Alcohol is very similar in affect to cocaine, it numbs you out, you can easily overdose on it, it leaves you feeling like crap after using it and especially over using it, it can put people into a rage where they hurt or kill people, you can't drive very well on it and it can kill you simply by using it.

Let's jus point out that the Declaration of Indepence is written on parchment which is treated animal skin. However, the drafts I believe were very likely written on hemp paper.

Hmmm... is there an echo in here?

The "War on Drugs" is an embarrassment and should be wiped off the face of the judicial branch. Even if you consider it now dead, which many don't, it is still being enforced under the Obama Administration and has been a shameful effort perpetrated on the American people by the judicial branch for decades now and have caused many indivduals and their families great pain and suffering.

And finally....

We should be listening to the man holding the highest office in the United States when even he thinks this. See the full quote at Reuters April 2012.

There is no doubt that we need to rethink and reinstitue our laws on Cannabis. No matter how you view the subject, if you are pro, question if you should be such an advocate; if you are against cannabis, question if you should be so against it. Ask yourself why you feel how you do and if you know everything to be as sure of yourself as you are. No one knows everything. America has made legislative mistakes before. What makes America great is when we see our mistakes, and do some thing to change them. To make our country greater, to make our citizens not just happier, but better off. Sometimes what makes our life better, makes us unhapy, until we see just how wrong we had been.

Have an open mind. Educate yourself. Then, make an informed decision and share it with those who used to look at things how you used to. Don't let America be ignorant, but more so, seek out that ignorance and help remove it.

Video with full run of photos and audio.

To finish up, here is another video of a very good argument for legalizing Cannabis, given by a Judge! If you are anti Cannabis, at least listen to this Judge making his plea to help the citizens of his state.

We can make things better, one step, one state at a time. But it all starts with removing the ignorance that is running rampant around our country, by making ourselves more informed and seeking out changing our opinions when necessary. Especially if your feel adamant that you are right about something, really vet it, check it out. Things change. Maybe you were right once. But new information is in. People are different today than in, say the 1960s. Don't listen only to people who agree with you.

America is a great country, but not as great as we once thought we were. We can again be that Greatest nation in the world. But we need more education, understanding, compassion and action.

Let me leave you with this last, scary quote and think about this for a moment. This man, in charge of police, is talking not just about people who use drugs, but American citizens. That seems to be something we forget in these talks about who is right or wrong. The subjects of these things are people. Consider too by the definition used for cannabis usage, having a drink after work is also a casual drug use, having a cigarette is a casul drug use, and even some would argue coffee or tea as caffeine could be therefore considered a drug. How would you like those people in charge of who should be charged with casual drug us, or as Daryl says:

Finally, if you really found that too depressing, watch a nice little history of "Marijuana".