Monday, February 26, 2018

Having Constitutional Awareness

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

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

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

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

I found that curious.

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

And so that brings us to our current political climate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The US Constitution actually begins....


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

There is a reason for that.

Another interesting phrase says:

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

It does not however say:

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

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

Now, all that being said....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Laughable really, but we do love our delusions.

And so, our children continue to be slaughtered.

And their suggestion to resolve this is what?

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

More guns, more guns!

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

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

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

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

You are also somewhat culpable in these mass shootings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, February 19, 2018

Mental Condition(ing) of Our Society

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are simply not there now. Not yet.

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