Monday, May 25, 2020

Why are Conservative Trump Supporters So Confused?

Two things upfront. Wishing you all a safe and reflective Memorial Day for all those who have gone before us to protect and give us a country we can all be proud of. Also for all those first responders and front line medical workers, and workers keeping our country functional and fed through this miserable pandemic! What has happened of late under the GOP and Donald Trump certainly does them all a disservice and really we must do better in November 2020!

Also as for the title question...we can thank Donald Trump as POTUS for his supporters being so confused, and the Trump Republican party. Both, disinformation machines. Pres. Trump loves all that, loves the chaos. It's who he is, how he faultily "manages" his businesses, and sadly, so very sadly, exactly what was elected as president in 2016. History will not read well over that one.

We can do better! Quite, easily. Just about anybody viable would do better in not wanting to rip America apart for reasons of pure partisan, personal benefit and apparently just sheer joy.

My main concern now in life after Trump is his GOP's continued de-evolving that we've seen now from Reagan through to Trump, an ongoing downward spiral that turned into a rapid straight down plummet in 2016.

What disaster will next replace Donald Trump one day as the next nightmare Republican offering to evoke a political Hades? If Trump wins in 2020 even HE will be worse than 2016 Trump because then all restraints are off and he'll just continue to try getting off the rails.

What massive tragedy next will the GOP subject America to and the world, and humanity, and the ecosystem and planet? I'm just not seeing rational, functional, inductive reasoning capabilities in many of the arguments presented in support of Trump or his GOP.

I long thought conservative's issues were a lack of comprehension (or compassion) of the counter-intuitive for that of, at times ineffectual, straight forward logic. But I'm beginning to think it's actually just something closely associated with it.

Occam's Razor is a good base, but life is complicated. Though in this case, Trump does frequently appear simply stupid and we're now quite used to his typical lies and hypocrisies, all while he continues to play stupid and lie. He is after all, fairly one dimensional.

Bad president Trump! Bad! Down boy!

It seems simple enough, really. But once again, life, reality, politics, national management, and leadership are not as simple as Trump once believed. He's in way over his combed-over thinned hair and thin skinned head.

The conservative ability for deductive reasoning appears faulty much of the time whenever it comers to Trump. When you base your initial data on false evidence or fallacious logical structures, how could you ever come to a reasonable and realistic conclusion anyway?

They seem to go deductive all the way in to the most simplistic forms, frequently stumbling into logical fallacies that simply fit their inbred filters designed within ideologies, not reality.

Ideologies by the way, long since proved faulty. Trickle down voodoo economics? Please...

Trump is one major logical fallacy himself, if not simply a bag of logic traps and flaccid logic overall.

This is why Trump supporters, for the most part, aren't really bad people, or even stupid as they sometimes appear to be. I prefer to think people are in general actually, good people. They are just lost in their own morass of misobservations, Misperceptions? Maybe. Trump's incessant lies, his ongoing disinformation, and fundamentally faulty conservative/Republican platform is something to behold. To be sure. Almost worth the price of admission. If it wasn't all of our lives fundamentally involved at the focus.

So Trump's base end up being honestly and "morally" outraged. But for all the wrong reasons most of the time. I'm unsure if this explains their rage against liberal/progressiveness in merely trying to do good. Their outrange so often for people they don't even know, or understand, or are ever associated with, or a part of.

I don't personally hate anyone for their misguided misapprehensions about non-conservatives. I just feel sorry for them when they can't see it is actually they who are so solidly on such very unsolid grounds. When you make decisions from a foundation of incorrect assumptions, information and your leadership who outright knows they are lying to you, well, you are setting off from tainted realities.

On the other hand, it is much like they are standing on a sinking Titanic. Which should be obvious to them, and yet, what they see is the sea rising all around them, they are  lost. Can't be the fault of the Captain, leadership, form of administering the course of the ship, or the ship itself in any way, and so they are morally outraged at who, at what...the sea?

The sea being, "reality"?

Their frustration is as obvious. as it is misplaced. And manufactured.

Of course, greed and self-interest do enter the Republican picture at some point in their,

"You can't have MY money!" Rather than the more American and decent, "Take some, and it'll benefit me and others as well, others who desperately need it. After all, maybe one day I will too." Rather they prefer the fantasy of pay nothing and then when they later DO need it assume, "Give it the Hell to me because I'M desperate and how am I not more important than all others?!"

Hypocrisy thy name is rabid capitalist Republican.

Sounds a bit to me like the American evangelical Christian movement who allegedly "teaches" Jesus' words, then ignores them for profit, megachurches, and hatred of immigrants, minorities, and others in their xenophobic, homophobic, ignorant and bigoted ways.

When Jesus clearly taught otherwise.

Which I know is counter-intuitive since so many of them seem to think that the seas are not rising and only of late have come to the realization they may be but it WASN'T US! And yet, many still refuse to see the direct evidence of humankind as the accelerator in the climate change formula, and so much else. "It wasn't me!" As if it were their mantra.


Because it lets them continue with short term profits so easily. To have no ethical responsibility or reason to stop their bad behaviors. Behaviors, many of which, have been going on since before any of us were born but in the past thirty years or so, have been militarized in a way, or weaponized seemingly against most America citizens.

Although that is bizarre, it is also how governments work through history and why America was structured differently. But it only took 200 years for conservatives to uncover how to game the system. Democrats aren't innocent, to be sure. But for different reasons and in different ways.

Our priorities have shifted, decades ago. We never caught up as reality whooshed right past us into the future, so now our rather frightening present is killing us. With an even more disturbing, even scarier future around the bend up ahead. The planet is now rebelling against us, and for good reason. We need to change for the better.

Our environmental policies need to change. Our meat industry needs to vastly change. Our economic policies need to change and address not greed but need. Not the poor but our actual economic engine. Not the big corporations, the Trillion dollar elites, but the people, the small businesses and get back to innovation and progression.

It is a future most of us can see now. Unless we have a stock portfolio, apparently.

It is the easy, the short term profit they seems to be killing us most. The Republican mindset. The Trump style business mindset. The greedy, ignorant, short term mindset. When humankind is a long term project, as is America. We need to either all wake up to this, or take drastic action to force those in power to do something, and stick with it. 

In that way, there would no longer be a need for this zombie conservative way of thinking, this big business, multi national corporation, big money, big stupid, big dumb... Trump Republican party.

It is 2020. November will be upon us shortly. We can make changes. Even the Republican party knows we need changes and Trump ain't it.

So, will we finally act like responsible Americans?

Or do we re-elect Donald John Trump and HIS Republican party?

Because it's not up to them. It's up to... US. All of us.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Ten Years of Murdockinations, is Today!

My first ever, Murdockinations blog article was published on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 10:07AM.

It was titled: "First Blog here...."

And, it went something, exactly like this...

"Well, this is my first and official Blog on a Blog site.
"It should be interesting.
"I have blogged on my own site, and on MySpace (killed that account) and on Facebook, and on, but I thought it might be interesting to see how this works out on here.
"Life in the fast lane.... "

Yep, that... was it. Short and nervous about doing it. What WAS I getting myself into? It's been a long and fascinating ride. Through the Arab Spring right into COVID-19! But there were many, many good times, also. Here's some examples of my Murdockinations blog from hashtags on Twitter.

My next blog was of more substance. It took me a while to become confident enough to speak openly, and to find my "voice". I began a blog to make myself more accountable to public comment, to deal with all that can entail. And that can be a lot at times.

And now as of this blog here today, I have now published 1,390 articles in those 10 years.

I was already long a professional writer and Senior Technical Writer in IT around the Pacific Northwest. Initially associated with one of the top, well-respected contract agencies. I'd been published a few times in computer rags and my first short sci fi horror story was published in an east coast quarterly horror magazine in 1990. I'd also worked remotely as an unpaid writer for an east coast narrative film production company for five years.

So much has happened since thit first article. I've written screenplays, though my first, "Ahriman", a sci fi story and was written actually, just after graduating from Western Washington University, in taking one final quarter of summer classes, merely to finish a full screenplay before leaving college. I had a blast. Didn't study, didn't read class literature, just showed up and took tests and still passed all my classes. Sociology, even with a "B"! It was fun not having any stress at all and all I did was leave class for the day, go home and write for up to sixteen hours a day on the screenplay. 

I have published two books of fiction, "Anthology of Evil" a collection of my first short horror and sci fi, and "Death of heaven" (and yes, the "heaven" IS in lower case), and various other short stories. I'm now working on a sequel to my first book of newer, published and as yet unpublished short stories and a novella "The Unwritten". I've also written, produced and directed two short films now.

The one I finished back in March 2020 ("Gumdrop", a short horror) is making the, well, let's call it the global pandemic film festival circuit of 2020. So yea, that's pretty problematic. My first finished short film and there's a global disaster. Just...great. 

My kids have grown up and moved out and on. One now married, both living in other cities. Though for a while a couple of years ago, after selling my home of sixteen years in Suquamish, Washington in 2016, I and actually, we three, rather oddly moved to Bremerton, Washington. 

Oddly because it is the only place I have ever been incarcerated, at seventeen years of age, back in 1973, but only for a few hours and then let go. Though someone of the thirteen of us jailed that day did get charged. Just with cannabis possession. And I had only been in Bremerton from Tacoma that day on a mid day break in classes from Lincoln High School, to see my girlfriend at the time, Char, who was a student at Olympic College. Never did get to see her that day. And I ended up missing my last class back at my school and then, had to go to work that night at the Auto-View Drive In where I was either Snack Bar Manger, or Box Office Cashier that night. I can't quite remember. now. But I worked my way through all of high school there.

I was also age seventeen at the time of my true crime biopic screenplay, "The Teenage Bodyguard", which details some of my exploits back then which involved Tacoma's Carbone mafia crime family, a murder of their own bouncer, and a terrified murder witness. This film project now has producer Robert Mitas attached to it who previously produced films with Michael Douglas (their last being, "I Have Always Lived in the Castle" with the weird uncle played to perfection by Crispin Glover).

The Suquamish house was one we moved into including my last most recent wife (or my in total 3.5 marriages...long story) and my two kids back in 2000. I didn't know then it was near the end with my wife as we then divorced in 2002. Then I moved into a rental in 2016 with my son and two years later he moved out and my other child moved in and then we both moved into another. Once another place was found, I was then alone. And where I am to this day.

Our German Shepherd, Buddha Thai (named after my ferret from my college years who I had for five years), sadly died at the previous huge house in 2016 at just a couple of months shy of his fifteenth year of age.He was a great dog.

After moving to Bremerton I continued my association and friendship with producer/director Kelly Hughes. We have since founded and started both the Gorst Underground Film Festival and the monthly Slash Night horror series at The Historic Roxy Theater downtown Bremerton. All on hold now for a global pandemic. Weird times.

Initially, I began publishing two blogs a day, seven days a week. One hopefully a funny one, and one a serious one each day. I wanted to get as many blogs online as quickly as possible. To get normalized in coming up with, seeing in daily life what to write about and writing these blogs as quickly and qualitatively as I could. 

To learn in a way, a journalist's life in finding, seeing what is interesting all about me, and writing and publishing quickly and qualitatively. It was a great experience and enhanced my longer-form writings.

Confidence grew, speed grew (though I've always been an incredibly fast writer and speed typist), and eventually, the quality grew. 

One day I was corresponding with a professional talent manager on LinkedIn and she suggested that I quit blogs and just write, write, write. But if I wanted to keep blogging, then I should cut down to once a week or once a month. I thanked her for her well-intended advice and considered it. 

I began a process of cutting back.

I cut back to one a day, but every day. Then five days a week, with a weekend blog. Then the weekend blog became merely a collection of interesting quotes that were actually popular. I can see that they still to this day trend from time to time. Then I stopped those. What I was calling, "Weekend Wise Words".You can see an example at that link. I would pick a theme and share interesting, educational, or funny quotes.

Finally, I got down to what is now my standard, single weekly Monday morning blog released at 4:20AM. And as my blog header says, also "elsewhen".

It's hard to believe that so much has changed since I began this blog. I blogged during the "Arab Spring", when I blogged a lot. I felt for the Egyptians and their desire for more freedom and information all of which I curated and disseminated. I was paid back for it with a lot of hits to my blog. I became one of a number of conduits of information for many Egyptians and those who were simply interested in what was happening there. 

That felt really good, much better than simply railing against abusers and bad government and people into the ether and with so little response. I shared thoughts on the arts and education, psychology and sociology, science, and fantasy.

I pounded down on terrorists (even long before I had a blog I did that since 9/11 and before) and against injustices and our government when they screwed up. Or I would praise them and others when they did very good things worth mentioning. I tried to give voice to others not as used to communicating to unknown others and publically and to offer them ways to argue against those who were wrong but always seemed to win arguments against what was good and best in life for people.

I have tried to share information and inform on interesting and progressive, and future-related topics. Science and fiction, horror and comedy, real and the unreal. It's been fun, stressful, even at times fear invoking.

But it's all been interesting and worth the time. My writing got better, my having to face others online, and deal with not bickering but decent debate and argumentation.

Ten years now. It's hard to believe. My kids now grown, one is 28, one is 31. I'm now 64 (65 in August) and I can't help but reflect on that famous Beatles song about "...when I'm 64". I saw the Beatles in 1967 with my sister, three years my senior. It was at the Seattle Coliseum and an amazing event, mind-blowing, at my age of thirteen.

Ten years now since 2010 when I was still working in IT at a four-state health insurance company. I retired from there after twenty years in September of 2016 so I could write and produce films from my old and new writings. To do the creative work I had long wanted to do and to work only for myself.

As I mentioned, I've started the annual Gorst Underground Film Festival with  Kelly Hughes and until this pandemic, our monthly local indie horror film night called, "Slash Night", at our local Bremerton, Washington Historic Roxy Theater where other local filmmakers have faithfully attended. Like the Darkow crew and the Laslos. And others...

Through all of that, I kept writing this blog, for better or for worse.

I have now written, shot, and produced a couple of short films. "The Rapping", which won a weekly film festival online and was a "festival selection" in the January 2019 Midnight Film Festival in New York.

My newest film, 'Gumdrop", a short horror, is a prequel based on my true crime short story published in 2012 titled, 'Gumdrop City". That film is going around film festivals through 2020 and as I said during a global pandemic. So, hard telling if that will damage it being seen, or appreciated. If it deserves any, that is.

Yes! Finally, I got into filmmaking and...the world stopped! Story of my life! But, at least it's all been interesting. 

I've finished working on the DVD for "Gumdrop". All the actors and crew have their copies. And a few others. I am also preparing my latest manuscript for publication as a sequel to my 2012 book of short stories which will be titled, "Anthology of Evil II". It is as I said above, full of my more recent short stories some unpublished, some published in magazines or anthologies with other authors and finishes of with a new unpublished novella just as the first book, "Anthology of Evil", had.

A Global Pandemic. Yes. I caught COVID-19 myself. At least I'm pretty damn sure it was, in still not being tested, regardless what some politicians have said. There still isn't one for anyone who wants one.. The experience was pretty horrible, but I got over it. I've been here at home since I first got sick on February 9th, 2020. 

Once I understood I was no longer contagious, I did attend our next Slash Night event for March, the first Saturday as usual. But that was the last one. I do not know if it will be the last one ever and we are now trying to plan our annual Gorst Festival. But will it happen? We have no idea. Time will tell.

I also helped Kelly on several Saturdays to shoot his now finished short film along with our local friends who show films at our events, the Darkows. It was difficult for me as I was easily winded and my lungs still hurt while healing up. But I pushed through it. I'm feeling much better now. No one else in that crew got sick and yes, I'm the oldest of them at 64. Kelly's in his 50s and the Darkows in their 30s.

All these things along with a pandemic, a highly problematic government administration, and my creative efforts which have all lent themselves as fodder for my blog. 

And for the future? I plan to continue with the blog. So much is changing it's really hard to tell what the future will bring us all.

But, I'm still here. I'm still going. And I wish you all...

Sláinte! And Very Good Health!

Monday, May 18, 2020

"I'm Smarter Than The Experts!" Really?

Regarding this current issue of Americans thinking: "I'm smarter than the experts"...(check out the article, it's pretty interesting and enlightening).

First of all, allow me this. For the record? I do NOT think I'm smarter than experts. Question, but verify. Not disagree and denigrate.

I grew up thinking I was stupid. My step-father didn't much like me. ADD helped with that belief in just making life more difficult. I read a lot in getting "grounded" at home a lot and so I actually knew a lot. When I shared those things, most others had no clue what I was talking about and so to them, and they weren't reticent in sharing it with me, they just assumed I must be... if not just weird, then stupid. 

I've written about all this before. I've shared my past like this from time to time for the most part, for those others who are going through the same kind of thing. All in an attempt to give them hope. I never thought I'd amount to much of anything or make a decent living and I've done quite well. I'm not rich. But I'm not poor either and I have worked with some brilliant minds in IT and in general. I've met very interesting people. I've raised two amazing kids to adulthood. I've had a very interesting life. How could I ask for more? So yea, there is hope. Always. 

For those considering suicide? Remember this. You can always just walk away from your life and let that be your suicide. But you'll always be there you go to. So seek help. Help yourself. Never day die. Never give up. I know, superficial view of depression and suicide. Some cannot be helped and will die. Others however, can be, and will survive, if they just keep these things in mind.

It wasn't until my third year of university in working closely with my psychology department professors, with my primary department advisor, Dr. Rees, that I was convinced I was not stupid, but quite the opposite. It's hard to counter a lifetime of belief, proven in poor k-12 grades and life being more difficult than others around you. 

But I was getting a degree in psychology. And these guys were the experts.

I learned three very important things, evolved through three very necessary stages in my college career.

The first was that I learned in college was, "Damn this is hard, but kind of fun in a painful sort of way." I could "feel" my brain (mind) at times, literally (seemingly) stretching. It was hard to find time to assimilate it all att as the pace in college is fast, at university it's light speed. In case you do not know already, colleges have masters level professors, while universities have doctorate level professors.

The second thing I learned and evolved through in college was, "Damn, I know a LOT now and I'm learning more all the time!" But I kept that quiet until my third year, at university. I got a two year degree, then transferred to Western Washington University, in beautiful Bellingham, Washington.

However, once my university professors saw that kind of behavior in me, which they were quite used to from undergrads I'm sure, they smooshed it right down and put me in my place. Usually, it just took talking to them at THEIR LEVEL, not MINE, and in doing so, realizing that compared to them, damn, was I ignorant! 

Two year colleges tend to do their best to build you up, to be able to handle being at a four or more year university. While universities realize they have to continue to build you up, but also keep you in your place to be as rational and realistic as possible. Although, some colleges one wonders about that latter part, such as with the "Ivy League" schools. It's easy to become full of oneself. 

One has achieved a lot by graduation. so enjoy it. But at tomse point, and as soon as possible, do come back down to earth. Yes?

Ever hear someone say, "I wish I was as smart as I thought I was at 16?" There is a reason for that.

Thus the third and most important thing I learned and evolved through at university. Something most armchair quarterbacks or those who just think they are smarter than the experts, may never have the opportunity to achieve as they do not have a structured course, or professors watching out for them. That being that the more I learned, the more I realized the less I knew that I knew. The semi educated know they know more than they knew, that they may know ore than many others in their group, or bubble. 

However, if you do not ever realize as you gain knowledge that the more you know, the less you know in the ever expanding envelope of the greater knowledge of he universe, then you are setting yourself up, and others around you, for a good deal of misery. 

Or appearing vapid and ignorant to those who truly are more aware of the all the universe has to offer one, overall. That is part and parcel of what we are seeing now in so many who think the Internet, is in some way an education. It is not. It's is an increasing of awareness, without form or structure in education.

My appraisal at that time at university was that for every single thing I learned, there were four or more things I didn't know. I felt I was becoming dumber and dumber, not smarter and not necessarily wiser. And indeed in the face of all experience and knowledge, so it is. Past experience, incorporated with current knowledge, can offer one some form of wisdom. But it is not the same as achieving knowledge and then applying it to current experience.

Along with that, however (luckily) went the appropriate feeling of my being humble, and in working with my professors, of being humbled again and again, before their vast knowledge and that of the universe at large. And of those others who were true experts. Those I should show respect to, 

All of who are what Kate Bush is referring to in her song, "Them Heavy People." Oh, don't know who Kate Bush is? You've missed the amazing and genius then, but...her videos and documentaries are still available. 

Those who were not only more knowledgeable, but more importantly, wiser, and that is very important, do deserve our respect and at times, our great respect. Knowledge and experience can become wisdom. CAN...become. Too often, they are not. Thus the importance of higher education in a structured form and Socratic and didactic methods with those far wiser than you.

Earth may now have the most knowledgeable people in human history, but we do not have the wisest people to be sure. And that is part of the great problem we are now faced with.

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

After I graduated university and went through the omnipresent and rather annoying graduate's period of "I know everything, let me share!" ....something not everyone "graduates" through and so remain an asshole the rest of their lives...I began to see in others less educated, a disrespect toward the educated and those far more knowledgeable. Even those far more educated than I would ever be.

And that truly puzzled me.

People I would feel honored to meet, to be among those types so much greater than myself in wisdom, while far too many seemed to feel bitterness or even anger toward them. Weird. Truly, really weird. Because being in their presence for a time can enhance who you are as a person and can alter your life going forward, making it easier, better, with more quality or even wealth. Which really in this context is the least of considerations. 

But surely, not to detract from it. I also always felt honored to share what I knew with others, and this is where some get caught up in thinking sharing, is about ego and it's not, and it shouldn't be. But a gift. Yet I was outwardly perplexed at how few were interested. Interesting in learning, in replacing lesser ideas with greater and more accurate ones. And for free. Without all the suffering and pain and effort I had to put into it all to finally achieve.

Seeing those wiser than oneself in a negative light merely puts one's own ignorance and ego on display for all those more knowledgeable than you. It can be seen like a beacon. When instead in seeking knowledge and sharing it, should make one appear brilliant both to oneself and to those less educated.

We have fallen down on this as a nation and a species. The Chinese in their "Cultural Revolution" for the People, actually murdered their elite thinkers, but luckily for them, only imprisoned some for many years. Some eventually brought back out when their communist nation remained their massive mistake. 

 All for feeling these educated people, doctors, scientists, historians, philosophers, were "elitist" (as opposed to being "elite" and an entirely different thing altogether), and not party of the common People. All which put China back by at least 50 years at the time. 

Just as America, in a way, in our own way, are doing to ourselves today. 

I suppose that is some of what annoys so many here and today. To feel looked down upon by those who consider themselves elitists. But too often that is a poor self esteem issue in oneself and hast utterly nothing to do with our elites whom we desperately need. IF you feel belittled in being ignorant, something I've always deemed as noble, everyone is after all, ignorant of something... then use the great inoculation against ignorance. Education. It's expensive? And why do you think that is the case? The ignorant are more easily manipulated and governed. 

Which America political party seems more against education, finding and supplying money to those institutions? Well, to be sure it is a complex subject. I did go to college in hope of better job prospects.

My older brother, after I got out of the USAF and had Vietnam Era VA benefits, seeing how down and out I was (I had lost my marriage, job, could not find a good job and that's why I went in part, into the Air Force, and I was floundering and on food stamps), tried to talk  me into college. He convinced me to think about it. 

When I graduated High School, K-12 as such a miserable academic experience, I swore to never go to school again. I took two weeks to think about it. I realized as much as I felt life, as much as it hurt emotionally at times, were I to become educated, I would find life even more in depth, I would understand everything better. I would feel greater pain in life. 

But I realized in the pro side of the pro/con list, I would also appreciate lief more, the quality of my life would be better. I would look at a picture, or film, or piece of music and have a greater appreciation of it. Or for human interaction. Or it would hurt more. 

In the end I decided the pros outweighed the cons and I started college. Never planing on more than a two year AA degree. But my girlfriend wanted a university degree. So I followed her. That was the catalyst. 

But then I was fully invested. My first college class toward an AA was Study Skills. I learned there is a way to learn in school. No one ever told me about that and so I suffered through K-12. None of us are taught that. But most of us make it through our "cookie cutter" 18th century style school systems Which has been changing to some degree of late. Having ADD just made it more difficult and yet, someone I graduated 12th grade. 

So in the end, I got a university degree. Something I'd never have though possible. Yet I did it. And others can do it. No, of course everyone doesn't need a college or university degree. Vocational schools are great things. It's really about what will make you happier, more fulfilled in life. It's not all about money! But we do have to make a living. We have to survive. But we don't have to be miserable all our lives, either. Sometimes only a little educate is all we need. For some of us we gleam that from living from day to day. But not all of us.

The important things is, remember that those who truly know more than us, should be listened to. Peer review is important. Picking out one "expert" because he agrees with you is foolish. Also ignoring the outlier can also be foolish. Confusing? Yes.

But that is why we need to educate and lean into knowledge, but ever more so...wisdom.

Yes there are indeed those who are bullies who lord it over others less educated, or poorer, or less advantaged. Many of those people however have psychological and personality issues have nothing whatsoever to do with wisdom. They give all others who are wise and would be helpful to us a bad name. 

Don't become sucked into that distraction. Too many of those bullies want you to hate all those smarter than you, merely so you will listen only to them. They can be hard to spot. But many times easy to see as those who claim they are the ONLY solution. ONLY they can save you. These are confidence hucksters, con men and women and do not trust them! Even though we have no elected on as President of the United States of America. But that too will pass. 

Still, that is no excuse for what we are seeing in America today.

Yet, there we are.

In America.

The future is ours. It is yours. Make of it what you will

Just remember, you are not alone. What you do affects us all.

For better or for worse. 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Life Through A Seinfeld Filter

Just watching Seinfeld's latest standup on Netflix:

First off, how does this happen? I'm watching the show, eating lunch, finish lunch, pick up my laptop to share what he said, and as I type it, I completely forgot what the quote was!


But Jerry reminded me of a few things with my ex-wife. Yes, my most previous ex-wife as my friends and family know, I've had 3.5 of them... marriages, and thank you very much for that clarification.

"I dreamed what you did...."

I woke up one morning next to my very lovely wife as she woke up and looked over at me she had never before seen me and had just woken up next to some stranger. It gave me a weird feeling.

I queried her and she responded that I had done something completely and utterly her dream. I replied, knowing I was potentially in trouble here, that 1, I would 1 never do that thing, and 2, IT WAS A DREAM.

And it was YOUR dream, your mind. NOT my mind that came up with that.

She grinned, fighting back her feelings, knowing I was right, and even said so and that she just needed to work it out in her head.

Which took most of the day. And yes. it an interesting day. Not one of my favorite days.

"Tone of your voice...."

We sometimes had arguments at times over one thing or another, that began as discussions, moved into argumentation, and rapidly devolved into bickering and confusion (one my part) and irritation (on her part). And she would wind me up pretty good. And apparently, I was winding her up. But that was most definitely not my intention. 

Until finally, usually, in my trying to pull things back to calmness and reality we would attain some degree of rationality And no this ia not all just me trying to look good here. That's actually what would happen.

For some of these, I actually have witnesses. AND, her family already knew all about this of course, and actually tried to warn me about her when we were first dating, which...was weird. They would laugh about it and tease so I wasn't sure if they were serious. But they would always, en masse, make it clear, they were serious. But they were still laughing. And I know now, why that was.

Usually, once I got us back to an even footing she would then take the lead and attempt to maintain her lead,. But sometimes, I would hear her final justification for her irritation being that it was... the tone of my voice. That I didn't sound like I believed what I was saying.

What? At first, when this happened, it left me very confused. What did the tone of my voice have to do with anything? My words carried the content of what I was being honest about. My word is my bond as they say. As I've said. If I said it, I was being honest about it. I hate lying. I always tell the truth.

But that's another story. You have to be smarter to always tell the truth, learning to handle sharing reality with diplomacy, compassion. Or at times, simple avoidance. If not outright refusing to say something rather than lie. But too many prefer a lie. Because it's just easier. And faster. 

Whenever this was about child-rearing between us, it was beyond my being able to let it go or cave to her demands,  and I would dig in. If it was just about me I could maybe let something go. But I was (we were, we ARE) responsible for our kids and so you can't let it go when you're fighting for another's rights or fair treatment. The issue there?

A combined front against the kids, even if one of us were wrong (I hated that). And what's this "against" our kids? 'You can't be your kid's friend and a good parent." Nonsense. You just have to have the fortitude to stand your ground when needed and remind the kids, "I'm still your parent." It always worked for me, as it did with teams of adults I led. "I AM your friend, but I'm ALSO your boss." What's so difficult about that? 

I can remember one time that exemplifies what frequently happened. It wasn't about the kids that time. But she had wound me up pretty good and I finally agreed to disagree and do what she wanted. In my trying NOT to wind HER up, she had won. Essentially. But she was still irritated and I asked why? She said:

"It's the tone of your voice. I don't think you believe what you're saying, or that you'll do it (or sometimes... 'do it as well as you would if you believed it')."

Which always annoyed me because I have always seen myself as a professional and like it or not, I'll always do the best I can regardless. Or I won't do it at all or agree to do it. Because once I'm done with whatever it is, it represents me and who I am after I am part with that person, task or item. 

I replied that she had gotten me to agree to do something that I did not want to do and did not believe in at all. But she won. I caved. I agreed to do it. And I will do it, and do the best job I can of it. As always.

I then asked her if she thought she was the Mind Police or something, because that definitely IS being unreasonable. You can win the argument, but you cannot make me believe something I fully do not believe in. That's unfair. It's wrong. It's... bizarre. It's mind control. I think it's why I don't like Donald Trump so much. His personality seems very familiar to me in some small ways.

So what was it exactly that she wanted of me, then?

That stumped her. In the end, she agreed, still somewhat frustrated, to settle with mere winning and my agreeing to do it. I then did what I agreed to. She liked the job I did. And that was the end of it. For the time...

One thing I can say, that was many years of an interesting living situation.

Now I'm single (stop laughing!). No stress in any life relationship or in my household whatsoever. Since my German Shepherd of fifteen years died in 2016, I don't even have a pet anymore to have to worry about. Yes, I sometimes miss someone around the house. And yes, it's nice having a life partner. But now I can take off at a moment's notice, come back home days later without notifying or scheduling or anything, and all is good and peaceful in my life. 

Sure, I do at times miss living with a best friend, a life partner, lover, pet whathaveyou. 

But there's definitely an upside to it all.

And part of that right now is that I just remembered what I was going to quote Jerry on that started me down this list of past bizarre situations in living arrangements.

Bucket lists. 

Jerry had said:

"I made a buck list. I changed the "B" to an "F" and I was done with that too. I just want you to all have that option. You can either check off all your items or change one letter at the top and you're in a lazyboy watching a ballgame."

Now that's funny. And cathartic. And useful. Or not. You're choice.

We're not living together. So I'm not trying to tell you what to believe.

Or to have to bend to your bizarre mental gymnastics. 

Thanks, Jerry. I'll keep that all in mind.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Fear Or Respect

You've heard that,: "When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." - Thomas Jefferson.

I've said this before myself. Except, who said that, and how? Because Jefferson didn't say it.


Earliest known appearance in print: 1914.
Earliest known appearance in print, attributed to Thomas Jefferson: 1994.
Other attributions: Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine.
Status: We have not found any evidence that Thomas Jefferson said or wrote, "When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny," nor any evidence that he wrote its listed variations.
As things have been going lately, with armed citizens protesting in crowds, mobs more like it, I've rethought this consideration, this belief. I'm not talking about 2nd amendment protests, that very well may be different. But all other protests.

Fear and respect are often confused. Fear breeds contempt tas they say. Respect breeds loyalty.

Because what I'm seeing in this, is not people protesting, but bullies invoking fear and building up their own egos.

I always thought it's good for government to fear the people, but when rethinking it now, I see it differently and realize my mistake.

Poor leaders rule by fear. I've been a leader of men myself. I led with respect. Over the many teams I've run, in the military, some later with women in them, I've always had a great deal of loyalty from my teams. To an almost embarrassing degree, at times.

Respect and fear are often misconstrued with fear the easier to implement and for some, to want to utilize. Easy to use, powerful to experience, and thus the attraction. Especially by those with inflated egos. As it is quite clear, with Donald Trump to be honest, and those like him.

Small men use and are attracted to using fear. It's effective, but has its issues. Great leaders instead, use respect. I heard that once as a child and used it to my advantage and that of the teams I led. Which began in Civil Air Patrol in junior high. Even going back to martial arts in grade school

My point in all this? We do not want our government to fear us and we do not want to fear our government. What we need from them is what we do not have, their respect. We appear to be their wallet. When a government fears it's people, bad things happen. When people fear their government, oppression happens.

What we need to have once again is mutual respect for one another. That is not going to happen with this president Trump, now with his GOP, nor the GOP that was there before him.

Protest yes. Invoke fear, no. Make our point, strongly. Threaten, no. Demand, yes. But demands with weaponry, are threats.

It's our choice. Fear? Or, Respect?

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Armed Protestors

What do all these armed protests, this religious-based hatred of government and news media all have in common?

A desire by those involved to be superior, but really, just to "feel" superior. It really sounds very Donald Trump-like.

Lansing Michigan: "Armed Idiots Storm Michigan Capitol"

That desire to feel more than.
To be considered with due respect to all those others who have earned it.

Which these protestors obviously haven't earned or deserve.
And boy, that pisses them off.

One has to have done something to deserve all that.
So, do something? Something of actual substance.

Because hat you're doing just isn't it.

But there is nothing. Is there.
And that frustrates you.
Doesn't it.

I feel your pain.
Welcome to most of the human race. Most of us aren't that special. Deal with it.

We're all so very happy for you in you're scaring the living hell out of others with your guns and anger. Like in the state capital in Michigan.

And in doing your best to neutralize actual journalism and continuing to prop up misinformation and disinformation.

That's not the answer you're seeking. It's a temporary fix. It's a short-sighted, short term "fix". and it's not a fix at all. Is it. But ego-stroking, inflating your ego. Your "Donald Trump" moment.

You're spreading a very bad virus. Stop. Think for a change. Seek real information. Learn. Get out of your bubble. Review all the information out there, not just yours, Not just want makes you feel good.

Because reality can be ugly. But not as ugly as what you are eating.

Read a book maybe...

Friday, May 1, 2020

Happy May Day! America Is for All Americans

First...Happy May Day! What is May Day? Interesting to note several things about it.

May DayMay Day, in medieval and modern Europe, holiday (May 1) for the celebration of the return of spring. The observance probably originated in ancient agricultural rituals, and the Greeks and Romans held such festivals.
Mayday is the word used around the world to make a distress call via radio communications. ... It was the idea of Frederick Mockford, who was a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. He came up with the idea for “mayday" because it sounded like the French word m'aider, which means “help me."
Remember this? 30 work week? Of course not.
Because corporations and the GOP has convinced you
it is impossible and somehow anti-patriotic.
Research shows it's 100% reasonable and possible
May Day is a May 1 celebration with a long and varied history, dating back millennia. ... In the 19th century, May Day took on a new meaning, as an International WorkersDay grew out of the 19th-century labor movement for worker's rights and an eight-hour workday in the United States.May 1, 2017
Remember that and a happy May Day to all! Moving on...

I don't understand some people. I'm American. I see it as being part of a very lucky club of only 330 million people. IF I look down up, denigrate others for whatever reason, I diminish belonging to that club. Diminish the value of that club. Tarnish the names and efforts of all those who came before us, all those who died to shine this club to a high luster.

BEING American gives us certain rights and privileges.

I've never understood the tribalism or bigotry of race, color, or creed. Being American includes whites, the rich, the three major economic classes, which includes the poor, and the middle classes.

It includes all skin colors, all religious beliefs, all political beliefs, all skills and professions, blue and white-collar workers, and no-collar workers. Hetero, homo, gay, queer, binary, non-binary, or otherwise.

Able-bodied, and not able-bodied.
Professionals and slackers.
Military and pacifists.

Republicans and Democrats and anarchists and others.

What it does not in my way of thinking include is for any of us to be racists, or spawn or foment violence, or hatred. Or to lie to one another, or steal from one another, or attempt to harm one another.

It also does not mean those who do those things, should be treated like animals once judged, sentenced, and locked away when they fully become 100% and by our own design and desires, dependant upon us literally for everything.

Including orienting them once returned to public life to be free and valued citizens if not once again, then once and finally. Valued. Free.

Just as we all are.
Just as we all should be.
Just as we all should be seen as.
Just as we all are...

Monday, April 27, 2020

Trump Blind

How can Trump supporters not see Trump for who he is? It took some very gullible misinformed, disinformed, low information people to elect him and now, to still listen to him. to be fair, many of us are low information people. Today's life is all about lots of information at very shallow degrees of dissemination. We are today, the most educated, best informed, and yet most ignorant people in human history.

Whether it's a massive need to switch to vote by mail-in ballot, or to social distance while some protest it, America is a morass of confusion, aided by Pres. Donald Trump.

Let me share this incredibly well-stated article I heard of from one of my favorite actors for decades now, John Cusack, from Fintan O'Toole from The Irish Times:


Filters. Trump is adept at getting people to use filters of his own sad design.

Conman. Mesmer. Donald Trump.A new American disease brought on by a longer-term conservative and Republican disease.

Do NOT get me wrong. We NEED a Republican party. We need a representative for the conservative voices in America. But we do NOT need THIS defective faux democratic lobbyist's dream for big money and power-grabbing at any and all costs to not just America but their own base. A base mostly of middle and lower economic classes, but seen to the party as the big and rich and powerful. The party is there to support business, big business because that's where they see the money and power are.

I'm really now seeing it as Trumpblindness. We have heard Trump cult followers label anyone shoving facts, reality, or truth about Trump in their faces as victims of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome), which does not exist.

Which actually is Trump Delusional Syndrome in never seeing Trump do anything wrong and any facts about him showering light and truth about him as "Fake News". TDS does not exist on Trump opponent's side, but the other TDS most assuredly does. We've all seen it.

As for Trump Derangement Syndrome, it could really be referred to as Trump Dissemination Syndrome as people angered justly about how Trump acts, try very hard, and passionately to share the facts about Trump, which his supporters turn a blind set of eyes and ears and mind into the darkness. Yes, when people do that, and it's dire, it's frustrating and angry invoking, but in a deranged fashion but in a rational and justified fashion.

It's as if someone is attacking your neighborhood, lying about it, claiming those trying to stop it are actually doing it, and those who are trying to stop the attacks are being called deranged, and liars, as at they watch more and more damage and irrational behaviors. That SHOULD make you angry, that should invoke action! But how is it deranged? And how are those ignoring reality NOT deranged?

This is a religious near-cult style belief system. Why is this happening? What is going on?

Trump has been supported by some church organizations. Trump has paid them back for their support. Their foolish and yet productive support. Why has he turned so Christian when he is obviously not, even by his own supposed "Paster's" comments.

What is all that about? No one has known. I have however talked about this kind of thing before. I've talked about many of these things involved with American Evangelical Christianity and Mega Churches and the Republican party and the past few years, Donald Trump. But I never quite put them all together as well as one person has in her book.

I highly recommend anyone interested in this, in what's been going on, WATCH this video interview from C-SPAN 2 with Katherine Stewart. It's a real eye-opener.

Katherine Stewart
The Power Worshippers

Journalist Katherine Stewart argued that religious nationalists are waging political war on American democracy and institutions. This was a virtual author program.

This information may well stun and shock you. It's a real eye-opener, It's not conspiracy theories. It's not Fake News. It's not TDS. It's reality. I'll also bet many who watch this will also have a feeling of epiphany. "This makes so much sense! Finally!"

 Like I said, I've been sharing this information for years. I just never put it together like this until now. My first blog on this Christian connection goes all the way back to 2015! It actually goes back even further to I think 2011. I started this blog in 2010 and I know I was talking about it even before that.

There is a video with Trump and Acosta which is pretty much a Trump training film. You can see the good questions. You can see how Trump answered them in such a way so as to give his believers, and this is a near-religious belief, offering them just the basics of plausible deniability so they can go wait, what? OH, OK, we're good and yeah, Jim, what kind of question was that. Why are you the creep? ETC.

NOTE how Trump in this video never answers the question, he deflects, he blames, he bullies and turns things around. But doesn't face his own reality.

It's really a good study in this kind of delusion, forced delusion, desired delusion, evangelical power implementation. Confidence work (as in conman). I really wouldn't say Trump's a pro, but an Adept. Trump really isn't a genius, but is very functional as a one-trick pony of sorts.

It's an interesting confluence of disorders and abuse. Trump uses his natural propensity as a bully, along with his narcissism which sucks people into a kind of Trump reality bubble. If you've ever been around those people, ti's amazing and disturbing. At times, frightening.

You become delusional with the person. Until you walk away leaving their realm of influence and you wonder, what were you thinking? With Trump as president remotely manipulating... some people never get that chance to walk away.

Plus, it's simply the Republican culture. The conservative culture. That bubble where, when the needle approaches to prick that manufactured reality, to deflate it, those inside the bubble simply say their mantra of "Fake News" and move on feeling catharsis and having neutralized the reality invading their dream.

And we're dealing with the syndrome of victims of the authoritarian personality.

Others bang their head on the wall because in talking to Trump supporters it's like talking to someone who is drugged, insane, or completely unaware of reality. Or simply incapable of seeing anything Trump did wrong. You see, Trump never does anything wrong. For one thing, he tells you he never does anything wrong. How can he say that and it not be true? Right?

Here's a book by a retired professor of psychology that is very interesting. It may help YOU from going nuts too, albeit in a completely different way.

Why do Trump’s supporters stand by him, no matter what? Read, The Authoritarians, by Bob Altemeyer, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
Trump offers things people want, lies, or not. Trump lies are easier and massive, and as has been documented, very well used and abused. Desperate people cling to them. Something that, thanks to the GOP who for years now, has built up an environment that was ripe for a Donald Trump.

For a conman who took over their party and forced it to devolved ever further, ever faster into whatever Trump wanted, and needed. In Republican efforts to slow down, and kill progress, ni our not having the advancements and money we need, people have become desperate. In the "frog in a boiling pot" way then haven't really noticed, until so far underwater, they see no hope.

The lies from a Republican party, The "Grand Old Party' who people once trusted. A party that people used to be able to trust. But no longer.

We've been completely set up for this.

I don't think it's a conspiracy. I think it's a lot of greedy, self-interested people following a questionable faux conservative ideology, who came together and set the stage, one step at a time, never looking much forward, for a leader, unknowingly for a conman, a Donald Trump if you will, who would be attracted to this situation, so very obvious to the right person.

"OMG," Trump said, "there are all these 'marks', a country full of easily fleeced people, begging to be ripped off, and they would be so damn easy to fleece. AND they would THANK me for ripping them off!"

And so we have and are seeing it, daily, right before our eyes. So obviously none of his supporters can believe it, or anything like it is happening...TO THEM. While the rest of us watch in wonder and disbelief and it happens again, and again and again. Then they turn to us and say, "You are really so very stupid. Ignorant. Low Information people." Really? We are? I'm so glad to know that finally. Thank you, so very much.

Just as some bad guys are attracted to certain women, and those women to them who life has pushed them into being victims who then become victimized. It's not unique, it's not a surprise. Only to those involved. Yet, not always. And yet, they become victimized again.

Welcome to Trump America, today.

I'm serious here, there will be white papers and doctorate thesis about this situation for many decades to come. Hindsight consideration about this time in American history will be exemplified by a very serious disbelief that any of this could ever have happened. And yet it has. We''re living in it right now.

And it has happened before. It most likely will again.

We are human beings, you see.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Strange Angel... and the rest

So. kind of...SPOILER.Strange series, so...strange blog today.

I watched the last episode of Strange Angel. It's been an interesting two seasons that went in a direction I didn't see coming at first. Hard to believe how much I know about so much of this and entirely somehow missed some of the most interesting aspects of it. And then some.

I wasn't sure about this show until I realized that one of my lifetime favorite film directors, Ridley Scott was involved. So, I checked it out. It's certainly, well done, entertaining, disturbing, challenging at times and unusual. I first learned of Ridley as many did, with his release of maybe my favorite sci-fi film, Blade Runner. Because of that great film (and on the controversy of the two versions of the film, I love them both for different reasons),

I started following the late great actor Rutger Hauer after that film, too. Eventually, I got to interact with him online years later. At one point I was selected to be in a special book of fiction stories after he chose one of mine he said "had heart" (which was why I chose it) an said that was how he chose his film roles also.

There is more to that story but not for here. Besides, I've addressed it elsewhere. I looked back into Rutger's filmography and watched all his first films. Which led me to his first film, Turkish Delight, and another favorite director and friend of his, Paul Verhoeven (who eventually got to Hollywood to do Robocop and other top films). Which led mt to Paul's film, The 4th Man. Which led mt to actor, Jeroen Krabbé. And so it goes on.

I also went back to Ridley's first film, one of my top favorite period piece, The Duellists, with some great actors, Keith CarridineHarvey Keitel, and others. Love that film. And now apparently Ridley's new project, "Blade Runner: Black Lotus", an anime TV series. Sadly, I'm not a fan of anime or cartoons as much as say, my adult children are.

All that being said now, and I'm trying to drag this out considering the spoiler so there's some text at the top here before it hits...

I did not know that sci fi author and founder of a ridiculous "religious" that has evolved into a monster... L Ron Hubbard. I read him as a child. I had no idea he had anything to do with Aleister Crowely's Thelema or Jack Parsons. Or that L Ron got his idea for starting a "religion" from Crowely. I remember reading I think it was his contemporary, Isaac Asimov saying when he and other Golden Age sci fi writers heard L Ron was going into the religion business, they all had to laugh about it. It's no joke now. A joke morphed into a ridiculous problem today.

But that explains so very damn much about the blight that is Scientology. Not that it's any more ridiculous than the conman Joeseph Smith founded and ridiculously named, Church of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons.

I first read L Ron in the 1960s as a kid. I had to laugh, as I said, as many of his sci-fi author contemporaries did when I discovered years ago he had founded a ridiculous faux "religion" who eventually blackmailed their way into being a registered, "legitimate" US Government recognized religion and thus, tax-exempt.

Ludicrous. As are most churches in general, in being tax-exempt anymore. Especially with those who get into politics, who abuse our politics, who push politics when they are supposed to be focused on non-material issues of the mind and spirit. Which mostly is untrue and we have far better ways to deal with reality in these ethereal issues than make-believe pie in the sky anachronistic models from ancient and more ignorant times. But that is another matter for another time and one I've addressed many times before.

Scientology uses some pretty basic psychological principles and can be useful... up to a point. The point at which it turns into a ridiculous con, or a cult, or a money-making machine like many religions or churches and mega-churches, and even more so under recent Scientology leadership.

Like charleton and conman, David Miscavige, in the best sense of a Donald Trump, conman. If Trump goes into religion, we're screwed. At least his followers would be, much as they are now in a political sense. But again, another matter for another time that I've addressed many times before.

As with religion in general, you can always do far better using tried and true established psychological principals. Not to be fair that there are any set up in a church, congregant format to fully replace much of what a church would give you in the social aspects. So perhaps it is a moot point. But the far better potential is still there.

And anyone putting themselves between a person and an ethereal power is subject to abuse and being corrupted as power tends to do. More easily with some than others, more easily in some organizational formats than others.

But if you get the right therapist, and they are to be sure difficult to land on one who matches up with what you need they are far more useful to a human being. Applying therapy as a therapist, after the basics in helping a client, really is an art to apply. Too many practice it as rote and mechanical, when in reality it should be and is a fine art of psychological enhancement and self-actualization.

Getting back to old L. Ron Hubbard:
From Thelemapedia
"Lafayette Ron Hubbard was born in Tilden, Nebraska on 13 March 1911. He is better known as L. Ron Hubbard (and often referred to by his followers as LRH), was an American pulp fiction author and the founder of the Church of Scientology."

"While being discharged from the Navy, Hubbard met up with Jack Parsons in Pasadena, California. He started to read the works and writings of Aleister Crowley and started to engage with Parsons in various magickal practices.

"L. Ron Hubbard died in 1986. The autopsy revealed that he had Vistaril, a prescription anti-psychotic drug, injected into his butt. Before the coroner could do a more complete autopsy, the Church of Scientology took possession of his body, cremated him and buried him at sea."

About that last:

Hubbard suffered further ill-health, including chronic pancreatitis, during his residence at Whispering Winds. He suffered a stroke on January 17, 1986, and died a week later.[263][276] His body was cremated and the ashes were scattered at sea.[277] Scientology leaders announced that his body had become an impediment to his work and that he had decided to "drop his body" to continue his research on another planet,[278] having "learned how to do it without a body".[279]

Who should not take Vistaril?
low amount of magnesium in the blood.
low amount of potassium in the blood.
wide-angle glaucoma.
closed angle glaucoma.
a heart attack.
prolonged QT interval on EKG.
chronic heart failure.
abnormal EKG with QT changes from birth.

So...was Hubbard murdered? Probably.

Who would have done it?

Pretty obvious really...

As for Strange Angel? Watch it yourself.

It is if nothing else, still a Ridley Scott production.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Path to Sanity Again in America

Conservatives have no place whatsoever being in control of America. Really, it's a worst-case scenario. Their death grip on the throat of America, cannot be allowed ever again. The tools they use for the management of their people is fear. Their policies are regressive. Isolationist. Backward.

They deregulate regulations in place to protect all American citizens, and our environment, our water, and air. They which to protect the corporations who gather more profit if they can give little thought to those things so important to the perpetuation of the human species overall.

Let me be clear though. Progressives, liberals also shouldn't be in control of America. Because America was designed to have both sides work in tandem, to come to a middle ground, to compromises, and that is the honing of the sharp knife that is our government.

But as it is, we are defective. Back in the 1990s after the loss to Bill Clinton for the presidency, Republicans took stock. Newt Gingrich started subverting how Congress worked, unintentionally with the aide of the new cable network C-SPAN. He saw it, how it worked and weaponized it against the Democratic party of America. 

People like this, professional politicians and lobbyists, are very close to what they do. It becomes a game, or more serious and a belief that, "Our ideology has to beat your ideology!" It morphs into a competition, which it always is, to be sure. But an all-out cold war-style competition.

And that is where everything went seriously awry.

If one party needs ever to be more powerful than the other, it is not necessarily the democratic party, as parties sway and change, but the more progressive party, the more, we could say, liberal party But really the party with the most correct judgment of reality, the best ability for risk assessment, the best sense of moving the country forward, staying on top of global changes in relations, technologies, and yes, climate.

What is so wrong with conservatives in control? As mentioned, you do not lead with fear as a focal point. It is effective, yes. that is why tyrants, dictators, despots, and strongmen types use it to abuse their citizens. For power. "You shut up, let me do as I will because only I know best!" We heard our current POTUS Donald Trump say that, clearly, and repeatedly.

I just noticed something. It's amazing how Donald Trump is such the antithesis of President Harry S Truman. Seriously. Check out some of his quotes on that link, it will blow you away.

Interesting that is so much more me, and so NOT Donald Trump
If you think that's an odd comment that I don't seek or want attention, I don't. Becoming a writer demanded you seek attention and it took me years to get functional and somewhat comfortable with it. But I still have to grit my teeth and make myself do it, and of course, attempt to make it appear effortless. Trust me. It's not.

I used to help my now ex-wife with her volunteer work but only on the condition no one knew. It wasn't until years later I realized it wasn't so much about me as her being proud of her husband. My problem with that was, she was so much the attention seeker and sure, she earned it. For me, it wasn't so much her being directly proud of me, but her being proud in that others appreciated that her husband helped.

If you see what I mean. It was her wanting the attention, again. Besides, she knew I helped her anyway. I get that knowing others respect you and all that, but this was different. Trust me. I just grew up believing you help others, and that's all you need as reward, no attention, no medals, not applause.

It's really about orientation and priorities in life.

Conservatism is best used as a constraint, a governor on an engine, but only when you NEED a conservative approach to change and progress. As in disaster situations, be they physical or economical. But Republicans act like we're always in a financial disaster in that sense. And we are, but mostly due to their beliefs and actions.

It's a very detrimental way to lead a nation over time. It leads to anxiety, fear, austerity, fearing risk, and fearmongering leading to fascism or at least authoritarian and fascist actions. It's really best for emergencies, or during wartime. And therein lay another problem. America has been at war for decades. But that is not a reason to remain conservative through all that. One, or the other, or both need to be ended. 

I would argue sanely, rationally, wisely...both.

Donald Trump has been boasting he's now a wartime president as this coronavirus is a war situation. Naw, Wrong. It is a socioeconomic medical and scientific time. Not a war. Besides, he's not acting like a wartime president at all anyway. He's refusing to take responsibility. He's refusing to lead, or use the Federal Government to help the states and leaving them to fend for themselves for the most part.

It's led to capitalistic price gouging and states being outbid for equipment by other states, other nations, and the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. Who said their stockpiles are theirs. Who do they think they are? They re OUR employees. They seem to think it's the other way around. 

Anyway, all that being said, what we need, is for both parties to functionally work together again.

To stop the WINNER TAKE ALL NONSENSE! Because therein leaves us only those in power as the winners and all the rest of America, except those wealthy enough to survive the nuances of a very bumpy ride, as losers Over time their cost of living only continues to rise, while their income decreases.

As we've seen now for years. But that isn't just conservatives being in control. It's also our SCOTUS. Our greatest court has been subsidizing corporations with the most ridiculous of things, Like Citizens United. Bizarre, but understandable and if one is aware and informed, inevitab.e

Still, it was the conservative base who led us there, albeit that of one from the very richest among them. And then they convinced the majority of their base that what was best for them, was best for all. They invented now ridiculous economic policies like "Trickle-down economics" or "voodoo economics". Economics by magic never meant to enrich the economic majority but the minority wealthy.

We can get back to sanity in America. But it is very complicated to see all the moving parts that led us here and how to rectify the situation. 

The most obvious way is to only vote for smart people, regardless. To not vote for ideologists but rationalists. To vote for progressive and liberal agendas for a while. Though conservatives started this mess, progressives then joined in. We need to right the boat, first. Smack the conservative power block in the head, finally wake them up. And then when they start to see reality, start to bring sanity back into the mix.

Working together Compromising for the best situation.

Sounds great! Right?

Except when you are compromising with some about certain issues, there is no common ground. Corporations who want to use our public lands, to pollute them for profit? You cannot allow that.

So what's the answer? This brings us back to voting only for smart people. We also need to remove the new old dogs who are stuck in their Winner Take All mentality. Mitch McConnell is perhaps the biggest one. Those who constantly bow to Donald Trump, when they know, we all can see, they need to go up against him. They have to go. 

No more weaklings. But also, no more pretend "strongmen" like Donald Trump. A one-trick pony who is useless for much of what any nation like America needs, requires from its leadership.

This is going to take time. But remember, this isn't just for you, this is for all of us. We have the time. As long as we don't let this country go down hard, once and fr all.

Of late, we've been close. All we have to do is all want it together and persevere.

We have a strong country. We just have to slice off the chaff and let it breathe. 

Monday, April 6, 2020

The Exception That Proves The Rule

First up, I'm on a podcast about the making of my new film, "Gumdrop", a short horror. Now...

"Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis." That is: The Exception That Proves The Rule.

I've seen this misused so many times, it's embarrassing. Typically I hear it used to rationalize and justify a thing that is patently incorrect.

SOMETIMES it is used to show that something nearly always one thing can actually be another, typically the opposite, under present constraints or conditions. That is to say, they agree with you that what they are saying is usually wrong, but in this case, as they see it, with how things are, they are correct in their assumptions about it.

How that typically is used however is as a logical fallacy to justify their foolish contentions, because so many get lost in the phrasing.

Or as rational wiki puts it:
"You are most likely to encounter this phrase when somebody is speaking in generalisations or stereotypes and somebody else points out an example that clearly contradicts their comments. Retorting with the platitude that this is just the "exception that proves the rule" is an easy way of handwaving away this inconsistency."

But that all require a sense of understanding where one has a greater sense of reality and extenuating issues we seldom see when applied today, especially as regards politics.

Trump is the exception that proves the rule, that all conservatives are stupid."

I'm not even going to bother disassembling that one. But we do see this frequently among those not as educated or aware as they wish to project they are. Frequently we see this in conservative's arguments in support of ridiculous doctrines, policies, or politicians (see above).

"The exception that proves the rule."

As the puts it:
"A proverb often quoted, but many find confusing. A proverb is a short, common saying or phrase that particularly gives advice or shares a universal truth. We will examine the true meaning of the phrase the exception that proves the rule, its ancient origin, and some examples of its use in sentences.

"...often used to justify something that seems to contradict a rule. However, the term the exception that proves the rule actually means this exception, under these parameters, proves that the rule works in all other circumstances. In this case, the word proves is used in a semi-scientific sense to mean test."

For instance,

If a sign at a bakery states “Doughnuts available Sunday morning”, this is the exception that proves the rule that doughnuts are not available at the bakery at any other time.

This is not how most people seem to use it.

The term, "the exception that proves the rule", is derived from a Latin phrase first used by Cicero, "exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis", which means the exception confirms the rule in cases not excepted.

This is typically beyond the mentality of most who attempt to use this phrase.

Is THAT the exception that proves the rule?

Monday, March 30, 2020

We Need to be Smarter in America

First of, let me say I hope everyone is doing well during this global pandemic. Leadership in something like this, something somewhat unprecedented for this generation, is always going to be difficult.

Some do better than others, some countires having a tough time of it than others. But being smart about it, learning, going to your best minds and information, will ALWAYS win out over the opposite end of the spectrum.

All the best to all of you and everyone, everywhere! Moving on...

First up, this just, after this blog went live, I did a Kelly Hughes podcast. Now also on Apple. It ended up being about the production of my new film, "Gumdrop", a short horror. He has others that are all actually pretty interesting. He has two, a podcast on cult figures and indie filmmaking. Our last podcast together was a fun with about one of our favorite actors, Steve Buscemi.

So, if you're looking for something different and especially if you're into indie filmmaking...well, there you go!

Also, if you're into ebooks, all my ebooks on Smashwords are free for the next couple of weeks in their sale, asked for by the authors because of the coronavirus situation. Many good authors on there besides myself are offering their books at a discount, or free.

Moving along now...

I graduated from Western Washington University in 1984 with my second degree, one in Psychology in the Awareness and Reasoning Division of that department. Realizing I could have gotten yet another degree, I went instead with just getting a minor in creative writing. That ended up going into fiction writing, screenplays and team scriptwriting (an amazing series of classes I was chosen for along with seven incredible other theatre department students, from our Playwriting 101 class).

Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA
I learned there that what I had been doing all my life and in college was pursuing life as an "intellectual". ALL that really means is that my focus in life was to exercise my mind in the most effective and efficient ways possible and seeking the best available information, updating it always.

Please bear with me, because this is not going to end up where you may think it is, from where it is starting. I'm trying to lay down a very important point. And you may find something useful unrelated to the primary reason for this blog today.

Once I found the label for what I was, I owned it. I was proud of it. And rightly so. As anyone like that should. Do you see football players going around hiding their chosen orientation or professional in life? No. Typically they are praised for it. Not always the same for those in the Arts or intellectual fields.

I've come to learn there isn't a lot of awareness and reasoning in America. Our current president Donald Trump is a case in point. But this is not a new thing. I was surprised while at my university, to discover just how much that was true in those outside of higher education. Also, just how many viewed an educated mind with suspicion. I was at times, stunned by it.

I knew that was true of my family as my parents, who weren't highly educated. I was the first to get a college degree. My mother had a sharp mind, but it was unfocused and to be sure she had some emotional issues.

Although a few after I graduated had great respect for someone with a higher education, I was very surprised at how many people (or any, as I saw it) outside that protected life at university, looked down on those who had a higher education and could think to an exceptional degree and depth.

And I literally have a degree in that.

After decades of considering all that, I began to say that "Ignorance, is noble."

We are all ignorant of something. Stupidity however has no nobility in itt. "Selective ignorance", as I understand stupidity, is not noble and should be seen as anathema. That seems to be a central tenet however of some political parties. Of the conservative GOP for one, or at least some of their more easily swayed, and apparently ignorant, believers. I tend to lean as many do, to a more enlightened party. Inclusive. Aware of exigencies in life, repercussions, and the future. These things do not seem to be of great consideration with Republicans. Here, now, profit does.

If you take offense to that, I suppose you may be one. That's fine. We're all people. Here, we're all Americans and that earns you something. By birth, or choice. I don't have anything against Republicans anymore than I'm not really a Democrat. I'm for the best idea, the best action, being better. I just don't see that much with Republicans. They can't seem to see the forest for the trees too often.

Look. I'm not offended by being called, ignorant. IF I am actually ignorant about something. I would then review to find if either they are the ignorant one and merely lashing out at me, ignorantly and immaturely (which I see a lot of anymore). Or I have to change my condition, my orientation, my view on whatever the topic at hand, is.

I don't have a problem when I met someone smarter than me, more educated. I actually find it kind of an honor to be allowed around them. Unless they are jerks about it, or just jerks period. Either way, I gleam from them whatever I can. And if they are decent people I offer them whatever I have to offer. I try to understand or learn the way they think. Is it better than mine? Cool! Awesome! Do they know things I don't? Even better.

Sometimes they already know most of what I know. Or they are so much smarter than me I can't really learn that much from them. It's another level beyond me. And that is also awesome. Because I met that person. Any action you have like that, betters you. But it's you doing the bettering.

I have some sayings I like. Even a village idiot has his story. Meaning you can learn from anyone. You can learn sitting in front of a blank wall. You can learn talking to your self. Try carrying on a debate or conversation with your self. Play both parts. I first tried that in junior high and was shocked to learn, I learned something.

Life is amazing, if you let it be. Be positive. Try to be around people better than you think you are. Don't let it increase your lack of self-esteem. Allow it to build it to reasonable and accurate levels. We have resources surrounding us daily. Most people don't' see or use most of them.

Can I think like a genius? Maybe not but then, good for them and I wish I could do what they can do. I sure as hell don't hold it against them, or feel bad because of them. It's a gift to meet a Van Gogh, an Einstein, an Aristotle, a Michio Kaku. But you don't have to meet a genius to be impressed or feel you've elevated yourself. It could be anyone, even people you know now.

I have repeatedly felt awed by my children, even when they were four years old. I learned from them. All it takes to self educate yourself is to start doing it. Pay attention, think of the connections, the relative issues and things involved with whatever you are thinking about. Stretch yourself. Expand your mind.

That's what that means. It's what being "Enlightened" is. When you eat an apple, you "see" the seeds inside, the store or tree you got it from. The box it was transported to the store in or perhaps the tree it came off half way around the planet.The people who picked it, the ground it grew in, the sun above it, that is the same sun now above you. And so on.

You don't have to see everything, you just have to try to. And when you hit a wall, find the next connection, the next associated route or pathway or thing, Strive, enhance, build, rebuild, add, synthesize, repeat. Alter. Combine. Invent.

When you are around a muscle builder, or a professional athlete, you may be able to learn knowledge from them, but you cannot gain their body and form through osmosis. The wondering things about thinking, how one things, methods or even tricks to increase brain horsepower...ANYONE can gain that through osmosis. That's how learning works. ,

Yet oddly enough, many people take a negative orientation to smarter people, the more educated.My grandmother had a lot to do with how I am today. She was self educated. Read the dictionary. Always said to try to be around people smarter than you, professionals.And I have, and I've been around a lot of them.

I would learn to end my ignorance. It's NOT that hard to do. Though apparently it is for some, for too many. For too many today, in this era of instant communication and a vast wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. It's a truly curious phenomenon. Apparently, on a daily basis we survey much, but only to a shallow degree.

I've discussed all this before. I used to say and to be proud of it, that I was an intellectual. I still ama and always will be, it's merely a definition I fit. Just as I am caucasian. Something I used to adamantly disagree with. "White"? Sure. Caucasian? No. My father was Irish, as were his parents, my grandparents, and so I am. I lean more to the Irish side of my heritage going back to my first months in high school

My mother was Czechoslovakian, as were her parents, and so I am. But :"Caucasian: means, from the Caucus Mountains, which are in eastern Europe. So one day I looked it up and to my surprise, yes indeed, I am Caucasian. The map dictated my reality. So I changed my long time orientation.And that is what an intellectual would do. So if you've done such a thing, you too many be an intellectual. However you have to live in that way, make that you life. Update.

What I see in the world around me today are people who retain their beliefs over and against realty. They would see the map and say, "I don't care, I'm not Caucasian!" They would rationalize around it so they could believe whatever it is they wish to believe.

That seems apparent and rampant in the Republican party of Donald Trump today. Trump isn't presidential material and they believe he is. Many were climate change deniers, then climate change by human means deniers. See how that progresses and rationalized as they find necessary?

Friends finally warned me years ago to stop saying I was an "intellectual". I rally was surprised by it. I was proud of it. I had worked really, really hard in college at it. I had earned the title, not even considering I had simply led me life like that since childhood. How would you like to be a football player with all the bangs and bruises and workouts and games only to be told you are being looked down on for it. It's a shock to the system. Violence is rewarded. Intellectuality, like sexuality in many cases, is not.

It's why historically we have seen so much violence in films but not sex to the same degree. And why there are more war films than films about intellectuals and artists.

That the basis of my entire life was taken wrong...I was shocked, frankly. I thought everyone should be an intellectual, at least to some degree. Doesn't that just make sense? But that was not the case and some are proud of being just the opposite.

So I stopped using that world. I saw it as merely saying, I'm into sports, or into movies and so I was cinephile. What's the big deal? Yet, some, too many, were offended by it? Weird. Right?

Look at it as a bodybuilder who exercises their body with all the same oriented at their physical form and health. It's no different, only for the mind. I wasn't elitist about it, I wasn't being superior, or lording over others with it. It was just my orientation and seemed to be the best way for me to exist.

But then, people do look down on bodybuilders, I guess and some on sports types, there there are a lot of sports types in this country. Following sports teams. Betting on games. Fantasy Football leagues. But I came to realize that in just exercising one's mind among others, they took it as lording over them. In sharing knowledge, it was seen as being superior, even when going to great lengths to avoid that.

I was very proud of what I had learned. NOT that I WAS learned. But that I had had, had taken, the opportunity to learn and achieve the level I had. And it took me four years in the USAF to get college paid for so I could get a four year degree in eight years, essentially. It was hard, and long work. To be sure the military work was physically demanding for me in my career field. I earned my position in life! As much as or more so than many.

I had believed it was a human being's highest goal, to be as smart and educated as possible. So pushing the limits with the most accurate, cutting edge info/knowledge made even more sense. Right? To achieve, Wisdom. Intellect combined with experience and knowledge. I worked hard at that, and for that.

Late nights at the library, studying not partying, talking to my professors after classes. Even getting to know them outside of school. Finally being told by my department advisor, my main professor that I was in the top 10% of the top 10% of all psychology students nationwide.

Something to be proud of, right/ Although, I found I had to hide that, keep it to myself. I honestly cannot remember if he said 2% or 10%. It feels like he said 2 but it seems like he might have said 10. So, best to err on the side of discretion and not eqo. Now, consider by comparison, if I were Donald Trump. Then I would have said the top 1%.. Or more accurately, "the number one student!" And then gone on more about it.

Then after I gradated, it did me little good in finding a job. Though eventually it paid off rather well.

After receiving my university degree, I discovered in public there was a trend against education. Maybe it had always been there, but I was now acutely aware of it. I heard terms, I now realize from conservatives, people I was not aware of yet back then, who "joked" about things that don't exist. Like how college graduates are "college stupid". An obvious contradiction in terms and oxymoron.

Here now, today,decades later, we hear things spoken aloud, like, "Fake News". A natural extension of all that animosity toward knowledge. And ever more so, those who actually buy wholeheartedly into it, and believe it, with a degree of glee, some of them.

They now have a US president in Donald Trump, a failed TV reality star and businessman, a self proclaimed "King of debt" (a warning sign for one who wishes to be POTUS, President of the United States), who perpetuates that mindset. A man who relies on it, who avoids responsibilities and honesty through it, in order to free himself up to achieve even further power, while diluting our democracy all for the purposes of more wealth and autonomy to fo even further. This does not bode well for the future of the presidency in America.

There is even an entire news network in Fox News who are dedicated to it. Russia has also pushed it. They developed the covert paradigm of REAL fake news as disinformation. Using their word for it, dezinformatsiya. Which took the UK to teach American intelligence agencies about during WWII. We're new to it. But eventually it seeped into our right wing political party and they have now made it mainstream. Much to our, all of our, detriment.

Donald Trump supports it. As does the conservative right-wing. Their, "MSM", Fox News, their mainstream media, their Trump State TV, also supports it. Fox News has become the American version of Russian Pravda newspaper, or Sputnik or RT (Russian TV), all State branches of the Russian government, the Kremlin, all run remotely by Vladimir Putin.

In dealing with Russia over the years, their criminality has seeped into America. The Soviet Union was massively corrupt. Russia today is also. They have fake democracy. Putin is situating himself as President for life now. The Russian government, their intelligence services, the Russian mafia and crime syndicates, are all dynamically joined. But America remains ignorant of it all. Even while our intelligence agencies try to warn us. And our POTUS denies it, trusts Putin over our own intelligence people.

There is really no way to avoid it. Trump has had massive dealings with Russian in business, in enriching himself.

But his supporters are incapable of seeing it. The harden themselves against believing it.

It's amazing really. Truly amazing.

We have a subculture who have bought into this old Chinese belief during their "Cultural Revolution" that had set THEM back 50 years. They murdered their intellectuals, their scientists, their doctors.

The Chinese Comrades looked down on their educated because most of them were not. And because it served the purpose of their new Communist Party. When all it really serviced was those in power. The ignorant are far easier to manipulate. To control. To abuse.

And here we are today, in America. We elevate not the old, not the wise, but the young. We elevate not the intellectual but in many cases the very dumbest among us. Those who know how to pander, to divide, to separate and weaken for their own strength.

And so we see...Donald Trump as POTUS. Finally now, during a global pandemic everyone is beginning to see his weakness, his ignorance and how he has gathered his power. Trump's lies now, kill. And it is becoming quite clear to all.

To be sure, we need to be "America Strong".But strong should no longer also mean dumb. Or uneducated. Selectively ignorant. Stupid.

We now need no longer to be, "America the Stupid".

Because in the end? All our lives depend upon it.