Monday, February 25, 2019

Why America Stopped Being Great - Corporate Thought

Here's what I'm seeing in life today. "Corporate thinking" has taken over our businesses, our social institutions, our religions, our government. Look. It's really not that capitalism is so very bad. It's that at some point, people stop acting decent and start acting like they are at war.

Okay, fine. Business can be like war and applying Sun Tzu's Art of War can be useful. So can Machiavelli's, The Prince. The problem is at some point they throw meritocratic issues out of the window and go right for the jugular.

And at that point, capitalism breaks down. THAT is where corporate thought kicks in. One no longer has a need or consideration of the "bigger picture." The picture, the situation that is all-inclusive. In the capitalist sociopath's point of view the picture is only as big as they are. They do things like get to where they have power and money and then, change the rules for all those who come after them, or try to dethrone them. Wonderful, right?

I would argue, that benefiting only one person or group, is dysfunctional. Because we are a country, a nation, America. The entrepreneur is supported on a cloud of the nation. While they try to sell the belief they have pulled themselves up by the bootstraps so no one else has any claim on their success or their money or resources.

Hey, if video and fun are your bag and this is kind of try, hop over to Amazon Prime and watch Kal Penn's show, This Giant Beast That is the Global Economy. Try Episode 2: Are Rich People Dicks or Do Dicks Get Rich.

This is (in part) why capitalism is broken: Rent-seeking individual's or entity's use of company, organizational or individual resources to obtain economic gain without reciprocating any benefits to society through wealth creation. An example of rent-seeking is when a company lobbies the government for loan subsidies, grants or tariff protection.

That, is a mistake and that, is where America has been draining reality off of the middle class for decades now to the point of killing it off. Of making a duality of the very rich and the very poor and that is where we are headed. That, has to stop. And where that starts is the lack of responsibility by the individual sociopaths in business and the lack of concern or understanding of how we all really are tied together.

There is a MASSIVE infection of a lack of responsibility in this country. Whenever you push through to something, past reasonable attempts, to what you have no right whatsoever to, merely in order to make money, gain status, or increase your power over others, that is shirking responsibility. There is a huge difference between perseverance and being unethical or immoral.

Because of that, others who do deserve all that do not receive it. We are seeing this too in government from the conservative Republicans who have purposely skewed facts, reality, even our elections. Some with the help of Russian interventions in our social media, or worse. 

Pursuing those kinds of behaviors are harming them, harming us all. As well as the structures surrounding them, in society. Harming our country. 

Many times, if not most of those times, people who do deserve it, have actually put in the hard work, have attained the necessary personality and infrastructures around them, and the understanding of those things. All in order to be able to handle that responsibility. 

While those others haven't. 

That is what corporate thought is all about. It's why I despise it so much, corporate thinking. It's abusive. It's bad, as the old saying goes, for children and flowers and all living things.

An example of this is as recent and relevant as 60 Minutes episode last night on opiates. They had on Ed Thompson who owns PMRS who said that in 2001 the FDA changed the labeling on Purdue Pharma's Oxycontin. Basically heroin in a pill. Ed said that was illegal. I think he was right. He is now suing the FDA over this to change the label back, to make it correct.

Purdue pushed the FDA to bow to their wishes and go from indicating on the label that Oxy was for short term use (which research dictates) to long term use (which research says it is contraindicated for).

He also said that the FDA lit the fire for big pharma to make billions. I disagree. FDA poured out the catalyst, tossed gasoline on the tinder. But it was big pharma who lit that fire.

THAT is an important thing because we have to put the responsibility on the right agency or entity. To think that falls on the corporations is correct. To believe that the government is the one who needs to set the law for this to keep greed from overwhelming corporations is also correct. But let's face it. This is corporate thinking at it's best example.

Purdue and others simply refuse to be responsible, except to their wallets and stockholders. At the expense of literally thousands of citizens lives. At the destruction of communities and families.

That is corporate thinking. 

I can play the game, too. I've just refused to. Most decent people do. That's the problem with our GOP, the party of (mostly) big business. They are happy to take all they can. And with a man as POTU|S who is more con than business, they are following his lead.

It is all about attaining what you deserve to aim for, regardless of your right to it, or your ability to achieve it. Shoot for more than you believe, but don't steal from others who deserve it more. 

When rather than attaining it by your own personal skills, abilities, and resources alone, when instead it is accomplished by breaking rules, ignoring humane considerations, mores, and even laws? You should be brought down. As our Pres. Donald Trump and friends now should be brought down, brought to heel, brought to bear the full weight of national security and jurisprudence.

They are the crowd of the ends justifying the means. Some others will praise you if they know that, merely out of envy. Many will praise that if they don't know because...they think you'd earned it. Or they use plausible deniability and accept all you do for all they can get. It's the new criminal, breaking reality, tossing citizen's on the trash heap, the environment into the garbage, all as long as they avoid breaking laws (whenever possible, but not always, and that is our hope), so they don't get caught. So they can keep doing it. 

It doesn't have to be that way? We can make changes. We can force those appropriate changes.

I knew a guy like, who would do anything to rise above, back when I worked for the University of Washington. He shocked me one day by openly saying he didn't have my abilities or education so that gave him the RIGHT to walk all over anyone, to climb over anyone however he could in order to rise up that ladder to success.

I was stunned. I didn't see the writing on the wall with him that day back in the early 1990s. I didn't foresee a large group of Americans leaning that direction. I just assumed he was a one-off, a low life, a potential criminal. And indeed, he got booted out of that office and off the campus workforce. But, it had to be done in such a way that it was legal, but covert. Which speaks to our current dilemma today. These people are getting away with these things. The laws have been written to allow their behaviors and if WE try to do what is right? Then WE become the criminals. 

It is an upside down reality now.

Today's way is to not EARN a damn thing, merely to attain it by hook, or by crook. 

What the hell do you think "by crook" MEANS? THIS is now the foundation of the Republican party. Of Donald Trump. Of Vladimir Putin. Of many on Wall Street. And THAT is who you are if you support them. Or if you choose that path. 

And if you do? If you do you are disgusting. Statistically speaking you are also most likely a conservative Republican. 

That IS the party of business and corporations. And with the tax cuts they always pine over, it is also the party of giving them(selves) tax breaks so they don't have to make it on their own. It is a kind of socialism they will not point to. Not needing to accept responsibility.

When poor people need help? They can't as the odds are (purposely) stacked against them and so they suffer. That is growing day by day to include all who do not have vast buffers of wealth and money to insulate them from the damages, the lies, elitist plutocratic cultures. 

Some will even kill you for it. Indirectly and at a distance, of course. Our healthcare system is a prime example of that. 

It is a natural and basic function to destroy that which attempts to destroy you. This current defective format of our government, our business, our wealth distribution has got to be eradicated. 

Culture has got to learn that this is unacceptable. So our children don't think they are someone to imitate. How many children right now think Donald Trump in being POTUS is some a role model? How many parents actually ARE teaching their kids that? 

There is even a Republican politician, Ron DeSantis running a political ad about exactly that! It's humorous, but that does not excuse it. It is an embarrassment to America. 

We are now living what government is supposed to be about avoiding. The rule of the jungle. The rule of gangs. It is, what society is supposed to be 100% against. Because it leads to chaos and mayhem which Donald Trump loves so much. Destruction, uneven playing fields. 

A disruption of our society, our government, our Republica, our democracy. A breaking down of infrastructures such as we're seeing today. 

It is what corporations today are all about. 

It is corporate thought. 

It is why American has been stopped from being Great. We didn't need to make America great again. We've been on that path for over two centuries. It is turning us from the path of greatness. It has even been ending our greatness, that effort by the conservative base, the Republican party, the Trump acolytes. They have moved from political party to cult entity.

So stop thinking calling out disingenuous attacks against "socialsm", while having nothing to do with what is going on in American politics today, have any real bearing on your or other's abusive capitalistic practices, if not outright criminal actions. Just because your President in Donald Trump seems to be getting away with it, just because Plutocrats in America have been getting away with it and Oligarchs in Russia are running that coutnry too, doesn't mean we will continue to allow the abuses to continue. Either in America, or Russia. Both Trump and Putin need to find their seats in prison, and soon.
It needs to end. This invasion, this infection of corporate thought into all of our American ideals and ideologies, has got to stop. 

And it can be done. WE can do it. We will do it. 

Monday, February 18, 2019

Foreign Language at Work?

I've had this come up at companies I have worked at before, this issue of people speaking in a foreign language at work. I never could figure out what the problem was. But some people get very upset if people around them at their job are speaking in a language they cannot also understand.

Some people even assume they are being talked about or laughed at. Seems like issues of self-esteem there rather than anything about the foreign language being spoken.

Whatever. It just never bothered me.

Now, if they are being rude about it, that's another thing. If two people are speaking a foreign language they know you don't know, if they are obviously looking at you and laughing, or point (pointing is not a foreign language by the way), or looking angry and staring at you (again, staring is also not a foreign language), that's another matter.

Those aren't matters of foreigners, or a nonstandard language being used int he workplace. Those are management issues that need to be dealt with.

But if in the course of the day one walks up to another and starts talking a foreign language together, I guess I always just thought it was kind of cool. Especially if they are enjoying themselves. Actually, even if I think they are talking about me, blowing off steam isn't a bad thing. Or maybe they're not saying anything bad.

I've worked with a lot of people from India and China, as well as other countries. I know that sometimes it's simply faster for them to speak their native language and it's just more effective. Native speakers can simply cover a lot more territory more quickly.

Once three of us were working on a problem, and two of us were Indian. At one point, the guy I knew best asked if I minded if they just spoke their own language for a few minutes because they were both programmers and I wasn't, and they needed to hash something out between them.

I said it was fine with me and busied myself with something in the room there with them until they worked out whatever it was. They spoke intensely for about five minutes, stopping, starting, considering, disagreeing and finally agreed on something. I thought it was nice they asked about it as I was then being purposely excluded.

But I would also have been fine with them simply acknowledging it and telling me they were going to do it. Asking was just overly nice and polite. And in the workplace, perhaps necessary. I'm just saying, I'm not negatively phased by it. As long as the mission, the work, the job, is progressing and if faster than before, excellent.

In the end, we saved time and I'm sure they saved some energy in just going for it. Yes, they could have spoken English, they spoke good English. But frankly, I can't talk English as fast as they could speak their own language. Maybe they even have to speak more words than I would have in English to convey the same messages. I don't know. And I really don't much care, either.

I think it's good for us to be in a rich, multilingual environment.

Not to the point that people can't work together, however. Obviously. English as the common language is a good thing. Not that English, traditionally the worlds business language, has to be THE language. But it is America. If I were in India, we'd probably still speak English. But I don't see a problem speaking just English with another American or English country born worker in a foreign language environment either.

According to Babbel Magazine languages spoken in the world in order are:

1. English 1.121 billion total speakers
2. Chinese 1.107 billion total speakers
3. Hindi 534.2 million total speakers
4. Spanish 512.9 million total speakers
5. French 284.9 million total speakers
6. Arabic 273.9 million total speakers
7. Russian 265 million total speakers
8. Bengali 261.8 million total speakers
9. Portuguese 236.5 million total speakers
10. Indonesian 198.4 million total speakers

We're number one in the world. Though I'm unsure if that's because of us at all or the United Kingdom's rule worldwide for so long. I do wonder at times if we are sometimes sensitive because of what some consider a lower class in Spanish speaking Mexicans rub people wrong. Again, that seems a problem mostly with the English speaker.

I do find it sad that most Americans can speak only a single language. I've met many people from Europe who speak at least three and many five, six or more. And we're afraid of more than one? It makes one wonder if we don't feel somewhat less than in the midst of multiple language speakers.

And we should consider that when we feel a need to denigrate another for their having more capabilities than we do. Have some respect.

I never understood people who have less respect for multi linguistic foreigners who actually seem to have more brainpower, than our conflated American ego can handle. Those who have such poor self-esteem that they fear people are talking about them.

That doesn't strike me as a national thing so much as a poor mental health issue or simply low emotional maturity. I think sometimes we can just be bigger and greater than we are by not making a mountain out of a molehill.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Deny Nationalist Separatism - In America, or in Ireland a mess. Ireland, Scotland, and England are in one now, too. And so this blog this week will also be a bit messy. That's how I got to here, to now. It's how we all got here. We see now an example in other nations, like in Ireland, and in England. But first here in our own country.

What the hell happened? What the hell is happening?

This was all made to be this way by extremists and with the help of both Republican and Russian intervention. A similar situation is happening in the UK. Here, leaders in our GOP like Mitch McConnell, who has been a bane upon this country for years now, has deluded half our nation, and angered the other half.

And for good reason. They have forced us into separatism and now isolationism from the world, removing us as much as they can, especially Pres. Trump, from our leadership role. As if trying to hand it to Vladimir Putin and Pres. Xi in China. Two other leaders who need to be removed from the world, and their own nation's, stages.

McConnell's predecessor, the travesty known as Newt Gingrich, first dragged us into this new age using new media in the early 90s when video cameras were first allowed into Congress and he utilized and abused that format late into the night, kickstarting if not all that we see today in American politics, so very much of the bad of it.

This is no longer about the best ideas and people rising to the top. To the point of Republicans now conflating what socialism, democratic socialism are, or what the difference is between that and Nazis Germany.

It is now all about the people desired to be at the top by a few, being forced there by illiberal means and through underhanded means, at times bordering on the criminal.

It has given us a polarized nation. And that, is never a good thing. Except for those who are doing it and for all those issues used to obscure the truly important issues being back tabled by divisive issues used and abused for merely political purposes. Just as we're seeing today.

We have other examples of this being done around the world and throughout history. Brexit is another example in the UK. France just had its tussle and won over the right-wing nationalist. They, were lucky.

I am myself part Irish. I have felt Irish since I began high school when in 10th grade I saw a documentary about "The Troubles" going on in Ireland back then. I began to learn more about the Loyalists and the Separatists, the Catholics and the Protestants, the British and the Irish.

I was fifteen when my consciousness became raised about The Troubles, in that land of my ancestors so very far away.
The Miami Showband in the 1970s - from Irish Central 
There is a Netflix documentary coming out about the forty-year-old massacre of a band: "Remastered - The Miami Showband Massacre". I had not heard of it until now. I saw and read about, and researched many of the things that happened in Ireland during The Troubles. But this one I missed.

I had been paying attention to Ireland throughout the 70s. But the summer of the year this happened in 1975, my younger brother was dying of liver cancer. He didn't make it to his 15th birthday on July 5th. Then not long after the Miami Showband Massacre on July 31st, I was in basic training in the Air Force and had other things on my mind, and no access to media.

I kind of lost the world for a bit that year. Learning of all this now just makes that year hang even heavier in my mind.

A survivor of that massacre, Stephen Travers, warns that this Brexit issue, could bring up old issues long laid to rest now. Brexit, as I understand it, is an ill-planned, pie in the sky belief pushed along by Russian interventions and mostly a divisive British conservative right wing run amock. Reminds me of the GOP here in the States.

It is as much a mess there as we have now in America with our own elections. Could the mess in the UK and Ireland restart, The Troubles? It has much to do with border issues. And feelings that have been long buried. We have ridiculous border issues here in America because a devisive president in Donald Trump and his insane posse the GOP, have blown up a situation into a fake "crisis". Much as had been done with Brexit.

Feelings no one wants to see surface again are being called up. While a younger group of Irish citizens do not fear the return of those Troubles. Those, who either no longer remember The Troubles because they were too young to know what was going on back then, or because they weren't even alive at the time.

Much of what both countries have been in and are seeing an echo of now, are born from abuse and a lack of care or understanding for those being abused. People trying to be together and yet, are being separated upon ideological lines for reasons having nothing to do with the cohesion of a nation.

For me, this all began during a time when I was young. A time in America of the Vietnam War. Of civil unrest in America because of a war no one understood and an awakening of America's youth. Of my orientation in having grown up so close to an Air Force base that I could play outside and watch planes taxi for takeoffs at the end of our road.

That had to have had an effect on me. And it did. In junior high, I joined an auxiliary of the USAF, the Civil Air Patrol where we were trained in military forms related to aerospace and search and rescue of small downed aircraft. This after my years in martial arts and fighting in tournaments. It was during a period of my being on a youth pistol and rifle team (I later got my letters in high school being on our school rifle team for three years). Eventually, perhaps it was inevitable, I went into the Air Force. All those things affected me growing up.

Much of all that is detailed in my true crime biopic screenplay titled, The Teenage Bodyguard. In the hands now of a major management agency in Hollywood, it details my history and a week I lived in 1974 and a bit of 1975. Hopefully, we can all see all this on screen one day. It is a fascinating story, even if I do say so myself. And I'm not the only one saying so as industry insiders who have read it also liked it very much.

Vietnam. I saw my brother's friends come home from that war. Mostly messed up in one way or another. One of my brothers is seven years older than me. None of those people we knew who experienced Vietnam are alive now. Those whom I knew growing up.

My brother was lucky. He wasn't taken for the war and is alive today. I was ready to go to the Vietnam war for my country. I was young, foolish, lots of hormones, lots of experience in practicing things and not using them. Raised Catholic, I had reasons to stand for the abused. As head altar boy at our church, I was used to being in charge. Both then and in the CAP where I was a young "Flight Commander" leading others.

Eventually, I joined the real military during that war in Vietnam, right at the end of it. Though, I never got to go over there. I was lucky. I spent my military years in peacetime.

After a lifetime of confusion and frustration in my home life, in our moving so often up until fifth grade, my parents splitting up in Spain when I was three and we were living there. Growing up bicoastal, in living in Tacoma, WA and visiting our main family back on the east coast in summers. Our mother remarrying when I was five to a man whom I did not like much at all. Our home life growing up was a confused situation between a loving mother and a step-father who had his own emotional problems and who did not much care for me.

I'm not complaining here, I'm just trying to explain how an orientation developed and how it can lead to taking sides, to wanting to lash out at perceived, if not real, abuses and abusers. An orientation that even today comes out in my standing against an excessively foolish right-wing GOP.

It was in tenth grade at fifteen when I first began to desire to learn about my Irish heritage and really delve into it. And I was horrified by what I discovered.

Like about, The Troubles, recently starting up at that time, exposing long-buried scars from the 1916 Easter Uprising and before. In learning of all that, I wanted to go fight for the freedom of Ireland.

I grew up loving the Brits, to be sure. I loved their old films. Their history. Winston Churchill still to this day is one of my heroes. More for his intellect than anything else. I loved British humor. Month Python for one and so many others.

It was confusing to me how the British I had loved as much, as much as my own America, turned quite suddenly for me into the abusers of the Irish. A country so very close to their homeland. Then I learned about other issues through the history of India, Africa, the Boer War, and colonialism overall.

Still, I was ready and willing to go fight for the IRA. I began to learn about the history of the Irish in America, in Ireland and how the British ruled over them. About the Potato Famine and so much more.

I took all those confused feelings and the bitterness from my childhood and channeled it into my desire to push the British out of Ireland. But I was only fifteen and I had no money. I had worked at a job since ninth grade. I worked nights all through high school. But I never had money for a plane ticket.

I tried to convince my friends to join me. Maybe together a few of us could gather the funds and go fight. But I didn't know any other Irish kids. Or perhaps some I knew didn't know or care that they were Irish. Or what it meant. No one seemed to care what was happening in 1970 in Ireland. Perhaps rightly so, as we were Americans. And everyone thought I was nuts anyway. Maybe I was.

In 2015 I finally got to travel Ireland. Walking mostly, also bus, train, and car. I saw Dublin, Galway, Cork, Belfast. I got to share most of the trip with my daughter. From the moment I stepped off the plane until I felt the pain of having to leave at the end. I hope to return.

This all affected me to the point that years ago I began and half finished a manuscript of a fiction novel that began in Ireland and ended here in America. It was a kind of horror story involving abuses by a splinter group of the IRA in using four college friends on vacation for their own purposes. I never finished it.

Perhaps it's time? If I get my screenplay produced, maybe then I can afford to return. My first ever short story which I wrote during a period of illness over a week when I was fifteen was about a youth abused by those in power for political and imperialistic purposes.

There is a thread of this all through my life and many of my writings. How the people are so often abused by those in power. How we are sometimes driven by things we don't even understand and could, if we just stood back for a moment and took a look around us.

We are now experiencing it again here in America, openly and I'm stunned it is happening. And Ireland is going through some of it, hopefully not all of it, again also.

I am now much older. I see our country here in America being so polarized, so unnecessarily divided.

A situation brought on by small minded people for personal greed and power. And a foreign government for purposes of disrupting our nation and western democracy overall. As we're seeing in the UK, in Ireland. Even in Scotland. Where a petty little man in Vladimir Putin and his connections to organized crime has helped to damage so much for his own personal reasons.

Perhaps just like our own President Trump. And an extremist right wing and their dying political party aiding them whether knowingly or otherwise.

We need to learn from Ireland's past. The UK. Ireland, both south and north, need to learn from their histories. I am not the only one who sees it that way as I mentioned above. One article by Clarin Tierney, British Bullying on Brexit border issue may reignite The Troubles, points this out clearly.

My point in all this? History, and what we grew up with, predisposes us to manipulation. By those who love us and those who hate us, as well as those who can use and abuse us. We have to be aware of it. We have to be careful. We have to fight for us, not them. Because they are fighting us, for them.

I grew up with an orientation as have others. Ireland has lived what it is like to be a nation divided and a country at odds with itself. We, especially they, both Ireland proper, Northern Ireland, and the UK, need to not return to a period of time when people, their own people, died over issues both political and polarized, used and abused for the purposes of a few over that of the many.

We need to see behind these curtains at what is really going on and put a stop to it. Before The Troubles begin anew in Ireland. Before they begin again in America. For we had our own Civil War and it wasn't very civil. It nearly destroyed us. And now we are seeing people pushing us in that direction, not for the good of America or our citizens, but for their own political, monetary and power.

This planet, all of us, have been infected by a right-wing agenda, based in a desire for power and control, money and riches. That cannot be what we are about as a human race. Not based in corporate thinking, in political gain, in greed, but in truly humane thinking.

Long term planning, not just short term gain. We need to see ourselves, each other, outside of those above us making our decisions. We need to see the forest and the trees. Not just the trees in getting so specific we are lost. We have to see the big and the small and realize, we are the small. It is and can be confusing. But we have to remember we are one, not many separate, but separate together.

Yes. It can be counter-intuitive and I know that is something most conservatives struggle with as it goes against their mindset. The mindset of many today in being overwhelmed and wishing for easy answers, quick choices, and binary, black and white reasoning. But that is not life. What is life is, we are all of one nation. Nationism is not the solution. Togetherness is.

Small, as one wise man once put it, is beautiful. With one foot before the other, we need to walk together into the future and remember who is in charge.

We are. Unless, we allow others to tell us what to do, who to be and to distrust our neighbors. Be they next door, in another county, in the next state to us, or on another coast entirely.

We need to draw the line at killing one another. And a line against those who would pit us against one another.

A Nation Once Again (Wolfe Tones) (The Dubliners)

When boyhood's fire was in my blood 
I read of ancient freemen, 
For Greece and Rome who bravely stood, 
Three hundred men and three men; 
And then I prayed I yet might see 
Our fetters rent in twain, 
And Ireland, long a province, be. 
A Nation once again!
A Nation once again, 
A Nation once again, 
And lreland, long a province, be 
A Nation once again!
And from that time, through wildest woe, 
That hope has shone a far light, 
Nor could love's brightest summer glow 
Outshine that solemn starlight; 
It seemed to watch above my head 
In forum, field and fane, 
Its angel voice sang round my bed, 
A Nation once again!
It whisper'd too, that freedom's ark 
And service high and holy, 
Would be profaned by feelings dark 
And passions vain or lowly; 
For, Freedom comes from God's right hand, 
And needs a Godly train; 
And righteous men must make our land 
A Nation once again!
So, as I grew from boy to man, 
I bent me to that bidding 
My spirit of each selfish plan 
And cruel passion ridding; 
For, thus I hoped some day to aid, 
Oh, can such hope be vain ? 
When my dear country shall be made 
A Nation once again!

Songwriters: Sean O'riada
A Nation Once Again lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Bardis Music, Usa Attn: Peter Bardon

Monday, February 4, 2019

On Being a Man Today

What does it mean to be, a "Man" in today's world? That's a good question. One that is leaving many confused, flustered, even angry and bitter. We are also seeing this in the workplace when jobs disappear when businesses fall by the wayside. When we refuse to change with the times. to learn new things, to adapt as our ancestors did with changing environments during the ice age and beyond up until today.

I'm not talking about macho bullshit. I'm not talking about homoerotica. I'm not talking about self-involved obtrusiveness, aggressiveness or arrogance. I am not talking about misogynistic ridiculosities.

I'm talking about being, a Man. Not just a male. Bu a useful, respectful and decent human being. it is about at least understanding humility if not exhibiting it openly.

Note that there are many things similar to being an enlightened being, to what it means to be a woman, a minority, a person in a weak position in a culture. Or a human. When you have to watch out for all you do every day or suffer the consequences, you have to be more aware. And when you do not and "suddenly" find you have to, it's a shock which elicits anger and a lashing out. Better to stop and think and react appropriately.

Due to a variety of factors including not being a woman, a minority, in my view as I am a man, I really have no right to tell women what to do. I have no idea why men do not seem to see this. Fear of a loss of control one might presume. When I'm holding a deciding factor (as an elected official, as a legislator) I would need to be aware of concerns outside my realm, my comfort zone.

Yes, we all make mistakes. We may be raised with a belief system that is challenged once we get out into the world and as an adult. And so we pick ourselves up and try to do better with each day.

Still many male American politicians seem to think they have or should have, just that right. As if, God-given. Some of those "rights" some "people" also seem to believe are God-given rights. Obviously, they are among some of the biggest assholes on earth. Obviously, those types got us into this situation in the first place.

Abraham Maslow  (1954) came up with several things that all humans need in order to survive.

Late in the process, however, thank "God", he added in sex as one of those elements.

Good for him. Good for us.

Here's his list:

1) Physiological: hunger, thirst, bodily comforts, sex, etc.;

2) Safety/security: out of danger;

3) Belongingness and Love: affiliate with others, be accepted; and

4) Esteem: to achieve, be competent, gain approval and recognition.

5) Cognitive: to know, to understand, and explore;

6) Aesthetic: symmetry, order, and beauty;

7) Self-actualization: to find self-fulfillment and realize one's potential; and

8) Self-transcendence: to connect to something beyond the ego or to help others find self-fulfillment and realize their potential.

To address these issues in the context of being male, I would offer this...

We seem, especially some on the right in this country, to stop politically at number four.

We keep the first one, our physiological needs as primary and so it should be. But we need to realize others have those needs, too. At times we seem to forget that.

As it is with #2, safety, #3 association, social needs, #4 self and group esteem.

But one does not need to put down others in order to raise oneself or one's group up. It leads to racism and bigotry and the "us against them" tribal mentality so prevalent today in American politics.

We need to move beyond into the latter numbers. The argument has always been lame: "We don't have the money for less important issues." Then where is the money? We had it, where does it go?

We need as number four indicates, to think more, to see beyond ourselves, to see the entire picture, not just our own, or our own group's view. That is what being enlightened is about, in seeing all the associated issues and having the wherewithal to address them in productive and helpful ways. Not ignoring them because, they are too hard. That means that sometimes we may even need to take a backseat to others' needs when it is appropriate.

Self-actualization means we need to move beyond ourselves to be better and to always try to be even better tomorrow than we are today.

Self-transcendence is taking our higher selves and actualizing that part of ourselves. To see beyond our self and our concerns and that of our group. To feel empathy for others and compassion, and to seek not just our better position in the world but our ability to be a better human this world. That one thing could make this world a better place. Not just for ourselves, but for others and for others who have little say in how things are done, when, or where.

Truth, decency, compassion, understanding. Being a "man" is not just about the old paradigms. It is also about being aware of, and being better than, and even outside of our personal understanding of the world. It is about being more than we are and think we can be.

Yes, being a Man, being a Person in today's world is not as easy as it once was.

But this is the world we live in today and we need to at least try, to understand when we fail, to know that our attitude about all this has much to do with how we view the world and how we are perceived and so too, how we grow as a person.