Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blame the Mirror


Too often, people will point to an uncaring and unconcerned god as proof there is no god. That is only proof, as people see it, of a god that does not love and does not care for his children not of lack of proof of a god. What is really at issue is that the god they have been taught to believe in, the fire and brimstone-breathing god of vengeance, the loving god for whom all is forgiven, the god who demands obedience and submission, the god who is going to smite or reward followers as deemed fit by the gods' infallible and incontrovertible sense of right and wrong.  The god of such trivialities, preferences, and ego is a god made by men and worshiped by men without too much interference. We point to the old gods -- Zeus, Hera, Jupiter, Janus, Zoroaster, Ba'al, Odin, Thor, Quetzalcoatl, etc. -- as having been gone for a long time, far longer than modern man has known and of no consequence, except for those pagans who refuse to move with the times. We no longer believe in the old gods of civilizations long past but in the gods we were brought up to know: Jehovah, Yahweh, Jesus, and Allah. These are the gods that govern our thoughts and our actions and to whom we turn in times of need. Why do these gods not protect a young child from cancer when life is just beginning or give us, the faithful, a reason why such a young and innocent soul is taken? Why? Why? Why?

People are barking up the wrong tree, expecting answers from a god that is as false as the gods the ancient peoples believed in and sacrificed to. Their idols, or statues, still need to be mended, which the Jews and Mohammedans avoided by making their gods invisible with no need of mending, setting them in the imagination of the believers' minds and thus inviolate. The Jewish god will not allow his believers to submit their faith to Asherah poles and will have no god before him as stated in the First Commandment of the Ten Commandments. You can't state the rules clearer than that. The Jewish god, Jehovah, Yahweh, or the dozen or so other names he is called in the Torah, is a jealous god and will have no other gods before him. That is presupposing there are other gods out there vying for the same throne. You do not have jealousy when you are the only one and jealousy cannot exist in a vacuum. So, why was Jehovah a jealous god? Vacuum or contenders?

We as modern humans see the ancient gods of Rome, Greece, Egypt, South American tribes, and others as no longer part of the game, no longer relevant, so why do we continue to submit ourselves and our beliefs to the so-called modern gods of Jehovah, Yahweh, Jesus, and Allah. Sure, Jesus was the purported son of god, but was he merely a teacher who got caught up in the media hype and branded as God's Son? Did not Jesus say he came to fulfill the Law and offered a very different way, one which he taught as The Way, which was to be spread among the Gentiles who did not and had not been circumcised as a sacrifice to God? Is that not why the Jews do not see Jesus as the Messiah they had been waiting for, the one who had been prophesied? The Jews, devout as they may be in following the Law and living the kosher life (Hassids) are not the genetic children of Abraham, but a group of Eastern Europeans who have accepted the Jewish beliefs and follow the Jewish law, keeping the customs of the Jewish law, who are not the remnants of the 12 tribes of Israel. The remnants of the 12 tribes were lost hundreds of years ago and have not resurfaced as far as we know.

Jesus taught us the way of peace and loving your enemy as yourself, spreading his beliefs in the slaves and among the Gentile for which Saul, now named Paul, acted as teacher and for whom the Roman Catholic Church is built even though the Romans killed him and Peter, Jesus's chosen disciple who envisioned the spread of The Way to the Gentiles. The Pope is the heir of Peter, whom the Romans also crucified.

Gods appear and disappear unless someone rebrands them and gives them new life as the Roman Catholic Church did with the Gentile version of the Jewish faith spreading it throughout the conquered world by the Jesuits. The Romans couldn't eradicate the slave religion not even after Christians were murdered in the Coliseum by the Emperor Nero and his followers and the Emperor Constantine realized if he couldn't destroy it, the slave religion would be the new way to save the Roman Empire through the sign of the cross.

All worked well until Martin Luther rebelled against Rome and spoke of another way, a schism in the Roman ranks that was sparked by the availability of printed bibles that were affordable by the man in the street. Luther sparked a rebellion and others followed with their own take on the official Roman religion that was part of the Protestant rebellion that made the Holy Bible easier to understand and to spread throughout the Protestant ranks.

In the 6th century Mohammed decided to make his views of Allah the basis of his religion, giving voice to the forgotten son of Abraham, Ishmael, and giving the sons of Ishmael more power. Allah is all about submission. I believe that is what Islam means -- submission. The whole point is rewriting the focus of Abraham's relationship with God/Jehovah/Yahweh that makes Ishmael his heir and the sons of Isaac the pretenders to the throne that must be wiped out and destroyed utterly, so says the word of Mohammed writing for Allah.

It's all ego. From the gods to the prophets to the teachers to the faithful of all kinds. Everything is about ego -- how I and what I believe is powerful and how I must get everyone to submit to me and what I stand for.

What we as humans should be doing is following our ancient ancestors who out grew their gods and became autonomous, looking to the stars as destinations and not for the face of god. That is what artists, writers, and poets have done for centuries and what beauty they have left us with their talents. What ultimately matters is what is inside of us, what Jesus began to teach with his The Way that was all about love and peace and avoiding violence.

We have examples in modern day parlance on how to live a good life. We call it by including magic in the message, but it's not magic in the sense of witches and demons. Magic is what we have all around us every single day and fail to see. There is no need for lies or ego or power, except the power that resides in each of us. We do not need to pray to gods because they do not exist. We need to look inside ourselves, face the wo/man in the mirror and see what is there, and choose to deal with the outside world with peace and friendship and the tenets that Jesus taught in his sermon on the Mount where he fed thousands with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. He shared all among the gathered and taught the most important lesson of all -- peace and harmony.  Balance. We do not need Gods' or gods' permission. We do not need to submit to gods or Gods. We need to face ourselves and accept that we are all we need, that all the power was inside us all along. All we need to do is cast off our shackles and ignorance and embrace the true peace and enlightenment that is around us and within us.

We are all we need.

It will take time to get over the need for violence and force and it will take generations because violence and force have been such a part of our lives for so long. Peace is within our grasp as long as we stop praying and look inside, see ourselves as we really are, and manifest what is inside us all around us.

It has taken me a lifetime to realize what I knew as a small child. It takes me time and struggling against what I have learned to choose the peaceful path. It is there inside me. All I have to do is keep facing myself and choosing the right path, the right way, the peaceful choice. I will slip and stumble, but less so each day. Each right choice brings me closer to what I have spent my whole life believing in and manifesting in small ways. This time I choose truth and peace. Each time is easier. Peace is the only way.

That is all. Disperse.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire


While reading a report on rises in violence against Muslims, I was struck by the feeling that I had when I read "Peter and the Wolf" as a child and the lesson that is part of the story.  I felt sorry for Peter and in my child's mind cam bubbling up the question, "He was telling the truth. Why didn't you believe him?"  I still wonder why.

Then again, I had not lived through the decades where I became all too familiar with the lies the government -- and my family -- told me for my own good. I still do not agree that lying is the best policy, but the best policy is not what tripped up Peter when he lied the first time.  It was fear. Fear is at the heart of every lie, big and small, and why those who know the truth go along with the lie, a new version of the emperor who has no clothes.

Though we don't know it, and often don't find it out, most of the reality we allow is based on lies . . . and has been from the beginning. The lies begin with how Man came to be and how man owes his allegiance and submission to an All Powerful God. The names change as do the manner in which we pray and how often we pray. We get our visions of God from artists who chose people in the street to paint to serve as the model for our views of God and the prophets, sybils, Adam and Eve. The same is true of Hell and damnation, burning in a fiery pit for all eternity, a concept I could not understand and would not believe because I had not read Dante where he created the circles of Hell and who is tortured and punished at each level. Artists, poets, and writers fashioned the very Heaven and Hell we believe in. The artists and writers and poets of antiquity used their imagination to create the horrors and the pleasures that await us and we accept them because the ones that stick with us, the visions that remain, were fashioned by the most adept and most talented among us. We accept them, marvel at the visions, and take them with us through every hour of every day and night . . . and they are all lies. We base our whole existence on the pretty lies because we are creatures of mind and fear and we fear the punishment we deserve when we believe in the tenets and pronouncements of our leaders and teachers, parents and wo/men of faith who have fashioned the path we are to follow. Gods' retribution, Gods' punishment for disobedience will be swift and terrible and the rewards great . . . if we believe. And they are all lies.

Taqiyya is one technique that is part and parcel of one branch of faith.  Taqiyya is codified and is a keystone of the Islamic faith that allows adherents to lie to a friend or a foe secure in the knowledge that Allah will forgive. If the kaffirs (unbelievers) fall for it, so much the better for Allah and his followers. After all, everyone lies and everyone believes the lies even after they find out the truth. Look at all the countries where taqiyya has helped carve out a space for the adherents and faithful followers of Islam to understand how taqiyya works. If the kaffirs fall for it, so much the better. The kaffirs will either convert to the true religion, to submit themselves to Allah, or they will die and water the earth with their blood.

A child brought up in a devout household learns taqiyya and knows to lie to unbelievers, to kaffirs, and to keep the truth for only the submissive and devout Muslims who taught them taqiyya. A child learns taqiyya at the earliest moment of life, imbibing it with the mother's milk and reinforced with the father's and siblings' pride or condemnation. Children are natural liars and will use their Allah-given gifts to perpetuate the lies. In this modern world with cameras on every phone in every pocket, lying comes easily and frequently and the warm feeling that suffuses the body when submitting to Allah's will to further the cause of jihad and the earthly Caliphate are reward enough -- as long as the ultimate reward of Paradise will also warm you on cold nights for your loved ones after you have gone on to enjoy the virgins of Paradise and the warmth of Allah's regard.

Jesus Christ and Yahweh also promise their obedient followers a paradise of their own devout belief that will fade when the Final Battle is fought and the true and faithful warriors have been raised to Paradise to Gods' reward on a mountain of the skulls of kaffirs and sinners and Jews upon the bedrock of taqiyya.  How could the unbelievers be fooled? It is Allah's will.

When all is based on lies, what can we do but continue the lie and deceive the followers so they will not lose faith?

That is all. Disperse.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Fake You All!


It's everywhere you look. You wanted to change your life so you decided to become vegan. No problem. You don't have to give up eggs, meat, or cheese because there are smart people out there willing to give you eggs, meat, and cheese that will not conflict with your becoming vegan. Add some chemicals, take some vegan food, tart it up a bit, and voila! eggs, meat, and cheese -- as much as you want without cheating or giving up being vegan. You've been faked. The world has been faked and lines up to play the vegan game with faked eggs, meat, and cheese.

The same goes for the gluten free crowd. A little almond meal, ground up flax seeds, and a touch of gluten-free flour made from grains that do not contain gluten stirred together and mashed up with chemicals and substitutions that do not contain gluten and you have bread. The bread is mealy and gritty and doesn't taste all that good since you left out all the spices and chemicals or other substitutes and dyes made of foods that also do not contain gluten to maintain your gluten free status, and you will get used to the off flavor or the hint of chemicals that comes through when all the ingredients are baked up together at sufficient heat. After all, you don't want to look like you've gone back on your pledge to go gluten free or pretend that changing your whole lifestyle isn't worth the struggle to appear to being going along. What does it matter that you look like you're still going along with the majority of the pack while giving up gluten for your health and to prolong your life?

It's popular to go along with the rest of the world who have decided it is best to fake it until you make it. Food is just one area where faking it is acceptable. Nothing is worth the struggle to give up whatever you grew up with and nothing is worth giving up the appearance of going with the crowd. You are strong. You are ingenious. You are adaptable. You can fake it until you make it.

There is no part of life that is immune to the philosophy that faking it is acceptable until what you look like you're doing will finally catch up with doing what you were faking all along. After all, the ends justify the means.

Doesn't it?

We lie on our resumes, padding the facts with half truths and outright lies to fake it until we make it. Who's going to know? You're new at the job, fresh out of training or school, and it takes time to get up to speed. You are willing to fake it until you make it, or at least until your manic study habits catch up with the person you're replacing has clued you in on what to watch out for and whom you need to avoid until you're up to speed. You pray every morning, noon, and night that you will be able to cram years of study into reading the stack of books that educate you on what you need to do. The universe owes you a favor -- or at least the person who hired you for the position owe you for that gift or favor you did for them to get hired in the first place. The same goes for promotions and newly created positions that you maneuvered yourself into because you need the money, need the prestige, or simply need to get away from the hole you dug for yourself with your attitudes and/or lip. You faked it until you made it this far, so why not fake it until you make it wherever you go or whatever you do?

It's not a crime (yet until you've been caught) and it's certainly not going to cost a person their life because you haven't faked it as a nurse until you felt confident you could fake it as a doctor. Okay, the diplomas on your new office wall were created in a computer, but you have at least a decade of working under some egotistic doctor and making the doctor look good while you did all the heavy lifting and closed his operations. No one could leave the patient with a fine scar that disappears with time the way you did. After all, you turned your sewing skills from cloth to people and the results have garnered the doctor kudos and awards for the fine stitchery. He never told anyone he couldn't sew a straight seam if it killed him and you saved him from criticism far too many times for him to fess up now. How would it look if his patients knew a nurse had finished his surgery and left a fine, nearly invisible scar? The doctor couldn't justify his high fee and there is no way the doctor is going to give up the awards and professional kudos you earned, so there is no way the doctor is going to refund the fees or give you a rise in salary. The doctor faked it and you made it happen. It's a win-win situation and no one willing gives that up, certainly not you.

There is no part of life where someone isn't faking it until they have made it. No position, office, restaurant, cafe, or arena is free of the fakes, especially when the faking ended with success. When faking didn't end with making it, there are plenty of other paths to take. Some end in death from too many drugs or tangling with the wrong person that ended with tears and death. After all, faking it until you make it is not without cost. To everything there is a cost -- not only with magic but with every single venture undertaken in the name of faking it until you've made it. With life -- and with faking it -- there is risk. It's a gamble and sometimes gambles pay off. Ever hear of junk bonds? Horse races? The first gender reassignment surgeries? Prospecting? Divorce? Life? Money market trades? Bad reviews? Blind dates? Arranged marriages?

When we get down to it, life is about risk. Life is a gamble. There are people who have power and are willing to exercise that power to fake it until they make it . . . no matter who or what it costs. In the end, when all else fails, fake the data, fudge the truth, cite an anonymous source, set someone else up for the frame so you can get away with whatever you want when the fake is discovered or when it fails. Humanity is wired to look for the brighter side of things, to be positive, to make the best of a bad situation -- or a bad fake -- and to keep going. Sure, there will be suicides and deaths, but who will miss a few people, except for the ones who knew them best. Nothing is guaranteed except for death and taxes; everyone knows that.

If nothing else, faking it until you make it can be chalked up to sacrifice in the name of a greater good or some god or famous person, and wars are good vehicles for sacrifice in the name of the greater good. It doesn't matter which side you chose as long as you died for a cause. Even if you didn't believe in the cause and were drafted, none of it matters because your death will be numbered among the other clueless and numberless dead where someone will be ready to fake a reason until the people believe it. When the people who know the truth are gone, history will remember. So what if history is made up by your enemies as long as there are gullible people who remain and will spew the slogans they read or were taught until the truth is no longer relevant.  It doesn't matter if history is written by the winners because the historian with the best story will be read and repeated drowning out the truth and those who wrote and knew about the truth. The weight of evidence is in the loudness and prevalence of the voices. The voices of truth that remain will either give up or they will be criticized, reviled, and buried when their positions are taken away and their truth called into question by the loudest voices and the strongest bullying or at least by whoever has enough money and power to destroy the evidence of the truth until only the false history remains and has passed into the realm of fairy tales and deluded scholars.

All that remains will be those faking it until they make it -- or at least convince those who have been paid and derailed with some bright new toy. Truth doesn't matter as long as faking it until you make it is the first long step into the abyss of ignorance and popularity. Everyone remembers the famous, especially those who die while faking it. In the end, they faked it until they made it -- posthumously -- and history will write it so.

That is all. Disperse.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Biased or Straight


I was watching an episode of Supergirl, who as Kara Danvers, had written an article after interviewing Lena Luthor about her brother, Lex's, open dislike of aliens like Supergirl and Superman and where the newly branded L Corp (Luthor Corp) stood on the POTUS's stated policy to welcome aliens without reservation. Lena had her own corporate take on welcome aliens and showed Kara a new device that would identify human from alien, demonstrating how she, Lena, turned the device green when she pressed her thumb to the button to initiate the device. Of course Kara was leery of the device -- what alien wouldn't be -- and stated in the article she turned in to Catco's head of the news division. He turned it right back over to Kara and admonished her that her article was biased.

That's when it hit me that my posts here and on Facebook are also biased. I make no secret of what I find devious, incorrect, and obviously wrong-headed. I call out others who point to the facts that define their views and yet all those facts are based on biased reporting. Some, like you will find here, are factual, but they are not at all without bias. Yes, I do know that my views are biased. Of course they are because I write from my heart and my views. When I write for newspapers and other strictly news venues, I stick to the facts: who, what, where, when, why, and how. I don't deviate from the facts even when my personal views conflict.

That is the difference between reporting as I learned it growing up and what passes for reporting currently in news reports, talk shows, etc. The problem is that the average person not schooled as I was doesn't know the difference. At least in that respect, Supergirl the show gets it right. What passes for news reports in the mainstream media are little more than Op-Ed pieces that may or may not contain facts, but are based on the station or corporate policy as it was with Kara Danvers working for the Catco magazine views. You will find the same bias no matter where you look. The news reporters are hired for good, photographable looks or for their ability to stir up the public -- and guests -- in order to provide sound bytes that can be played over and over. Reporters like Bill O'Reilly lost their jobs not only because of their alleged sexual practices making the workplace hostile and/or sexist but because the corporation was not afraid to throw Bill O'Reilly to the sacrificial fires in order to promote their newly branded image that steers clear of sexual harassment and a supposedly hostile sexual environment at Fox news. Too bad no one cared about the appearance of sexism or favoritism in the administration of the President of the United States when another Bill was accused publicly of sexual harassment. It really didn't matter that Bill O'Reilly didn't have a long list of women suing him for sexual harassment or even a handful of women publicly claiming he had in the past or is currently sexually harassing them, but O'Reilly doesn't currently have a wife like Hillary running interference for him in order to use his name to spring board back into the political limelight.

Greta Van Susteren had publicly stated that Roger Ailes, now dead, had sexually harassed her while she worked for Fox New and was likely instrumental in her taking the job at NBC, putting her Fox years behind her. Roger Ailes, like many powerful men, were brought up with the belief that as a man, a powerful man, he could use the women under him as he pleased, using his power and position to maneuver women reporters into position that served his carnal needs, or at least his carnal pleasure. No play, no advancement. It is that kind of thinking that men have exercised for thousands of years and it goes back to the idea that women are less important than men, except when it comes to giving birth to more men.

Women are second class citizens throughout the world because of Eve eating the apple from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and coaxing Adam to follow her in sinning against the dictates of the god in whose garden Adam and Eve lived and served. You might have heard of Original Sin as it has been central to the belief throughout Judeo-Christian religion that woman (Eve) is the source of sin and must be controlled, marginalized, minimized because of her gender as the fallible and sinful daughter of Eve. The Original Sin was eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but tempting Adam to do the same. For that sin Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden by God, who also posted angels with flaming swords at the entrance to Eden to keep Adam and Eve from ever returning to the Garden.

My view of original sin is much different from most people's perspective since I believe that the Serpent didn't just tempt Eve and urge her to taste the fruit (apple) but did far worse. The Serpent lay with Eve and got her pregnant with his child. I see God as furious for Eve being able to procreate and the Serpent for getting Eve pregnant. More than likely God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden because Eve was pregnant with the Serpent's child, a child that became Cain, the first proof that Adam and Eve were no longer children unable to be fruitful and multiply. Cain was a demi-god because he was the product of Eve losing her virginity to the Serpent. Evidently God could not countenance the murder of a half-breed child of the gods (the Serpent was the half brother of God in other accounts of this story) and God would not allow Adam and Eve, who was at least fertile, to continue to live in the Garden with the bastard child of the Serpent, at least not until after he had warned Eve that having a child would be accomplished after much pain and labor and that future generations that would come out of her womb would also come after much pain and excruciating labor, all of which she would have to endure outside of the Garden of Eden as Eve had doomed all future generations to living in the wilderness toiling for the bread that they must also plant and grow for themselves. No longer would Adam and Eve live in a garden where their every need was met and food and water were easily obtained from the trees and plants they tended in God's Garden. Eve had doomed future generations when she listened to the Serpent and heeded his words. At least, Eve would be granted the privilege of striking and killing every serpent that crossed her path because God decreed the serpent was Eve's enemy now and always.

Adam eventually sired another child by Eve and he was named Abel. Finally Eve gave Adam a son who was taught to herd sheep and a herd was put in Abel's control while all his elder brother Cain received was the privilege of growing the crops that sustained the family. Abel in some stories about the brothers was a jerk. He led his sheep into the fields where Cain worked and allowed the sheep to feed from the crops and drink from the streams that provided water to the fields. After all, Abel was the golden child and as he reminded Cain, God loved him better than he loved Cain.  Considering Cain's actual sire, that is no surprise, nor is it a surprise that Abel was a selfish brat who lorded his status over his elder brother as was his right as Adam's favorite son. One might say that Cain didn't kill Abel out of pique or because Cain felt that God preferred Abel's sacrifice of a lamb over his sacrifice of the first and best of his harvest. Cain killed Abel because Abel was a jerk who taunted and teased his older brother, flaunting his position as herder over Cain's position as farmer and lording God's obvious preference of him over Cain. From this perspective, the murder that occurred in the wake of this uneven sibling rivalry has nothing to do with the Bible's version of events and everything to do with rivalry between a hard working brother who was mistreated because he was the child of the Serpent and not the child of his publicly acknowledged sire, Adam. No wonder God decided to mark Cain so that he would be set apart from other humans.

The mark was not a burning finger of fire that incised a symbol of protection or God's power. The lasting mark was God making it impossible for Cain to grow a beard, relegating Cain to eternal childhood by being unable to grow a beard. Had Cain been so cruel and inhuman in murdering Abel, it is doubtful God would have dealt with him by allowing him to live, albeit without a beard or any facial hair. What matters is that Cain, also driven from life with his parents among his own kind, was driven out of the human settlement and set to wander on his own until he met up with a woman of the Tribe of Man whom he married and settled down to have children with, forging his own group, siring children that carried his curse to future generations. There are those who look throughout the peoples on this planet and only one group of men carry the curse of Cain -- those whom we now call Native Americans, among whom the men do not grow facial hair and have no beards. These Native Americans are the children of Cain and it may be that European settlers who immigrated to the Americas realized that taking land from the people which are the offspring of Cain was not a sin nor was it sinful to make treaties with the natives and allow future generations to break those treaties. It was not a sin to separate the children from the offspring of Cain, make them cut their hair, teach them in European schools, or be rewarded for learning English and forgetting the language of their forefathers in order to erase all ties with the people of their birth, severing  all ties to their culture and their people so that they would be at last able to put Cain and Cain's mark behind them and be at last able to become one with the settlers who came to the Americas to forge a new life.

The first settlers from Europe, man fleeing religious freedom and putting the Roman Catholic church behind them as they strove to create a religion that was without the power and sins of the Catholic clergy behind them. The chose to forge a new religion, but also to forge a new country that was not controlled or sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church that had such power and presence in Europe. They were putting the religion of Christ into a form that was easily accessible by men and women who had not been trained in the tradition of Greece and Rome but were set free by Martin Luther and the rise of the printing press that made the Bible available for the masses. The Jesuits were spreading Catholicism throughout the southern parts of America and in the far west of the northern American continent while the Puritans, Lutherans, younger sons of England and European nobility, and the poor and middle class of Europe took whatever land they could get and spread their Protestant beliefs in the lands where they set down roots and discovered as they moved outward from the eastern shores of the New World. This New World and the schisms of the Protestant beliefs provided fertile soil, once the natives taught them how to grow crops and feed themselves, in which to grow communities and towns and eventually to grow a nation. These new people took hold where and as they could and from their broadcast seeds a new nation was planted and eventually grew, embracing what they could and growing as and where they could.

We may have never known the real struggles they met and mastered as they grew on this foreign soil, nor do we know the struggles Cain and his new people met and conquered as they moved out into the wilderness and grew from tribe to people in this new land they discovered when they first landed on the American shores and spread out into the land. Some remained farmers like Cain and others wandered here and there following the game they hunted and killed to provide food, clothing, and shelter. It doesn't matter how Cain's offspring came to the Americas or who they fought and killed as they made the land their own. It doesn't matter that Cain's generations of beardless offspring fought among themselves, destroyed the indigenous people they found, or were in turn conquered by Europeans who eventually discovered the land they called the Americas and conquered or absorbed the indigenous natives who were here before them. That is the cycle of life that continues wherever mankind sets up house and sets roots while a new cycle of life sprouts from the seeds sown by the generations before them.

We are all aliens in one form or another. The alien immigration began generations ago in the wake of Cain killing his brother and forced out of the only home he ever knew. Cain was taken in by another clan or tribe, married a woman who found him attractive, and sired a new family, a new clan or tribe, and moved to another land so the generations that followed would take up where Cain and the first immigrants to this land set down permanent roots. Those people supplanted others that arrived before them and were in turn supplanted by the immigrants that in time took possession of the land by whatever means necessary. The cycle of life continued and will continue as long as there are those who are willing to come and set down their own roots, growing or dying in the soil they find so that future generations will craft stories meant to put their stamp on what they find, fighting for a place in the community or struggling to fit in or be forced out the powers that be so that someone will tell the story in such a way that the storyteller can slant the tale to promote their views or change the minds of anyone and everyone who reads it, forging new ideas and a new vision for the future. After all, every version of the story will contain some facts, but in the end what remains is the storyteller's version and bias. Even Scheherazade's 1001 tales have been rewritten and re-imagined as new storytellers put their bias to work.

What you will find in my posts is fact. What you will also find is bias -- my bias -- my take on how the facts relate and how the emergence of hidden facts change the narrative. My views change over time as I learn, read, and experience more. The same is true of all people. The objective is to grow into a better version of myself and a better version of humanity as they read what I write. In the end, I hope we all reach the best version of ourselves and thus the best version of the coming change that is part of the Cosmic change coming to us all.

That is all. Disperse.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Meditate on This!



I don't know about you, but meditation scares me.

I can't keep strange thoughts out of my head and often struggle to clear my mind. The problem is that my mind is only clear when I sleep and it takes me long enough to quiet enough to get to sleep. How can I meditate if getting to sleep is such a problem?

My mind is always full of something. Grumbling about co-workers and politicians and people who irritate me (and not just people who are family). Research keeps my thoughts busy and keep me far from the calm I seek in which to meditate. My mind is never quiet -- at least not for very long.

About the only thing that clears my mind is calling someone and having to deal with leaving a message on their service or answering machine. Then I go _______________ BLANK! I fumble for the right words. I struggle to get past the blank in my mind that contains information and a not so witty message to leave and not get immediately erased or ignored. I finally manage to say something that doesn't make me sound like an idiot who got caught off guard when the answering machine or service asks me for the reason I called. Saying, "Because you called me first," is not an option and I don't want to seem like a bigger idiot than I already do. I'd rather be caught in public naked than to deal with leaving a message. It doesn't matter if I've called a business with a specific issue in mind or a friend just to say hello; I am flummoxed and silent. My mind is blank. I've nothing to say and yet I cannot hang up like a stalker. I must leave some indication that I had a reason for calling.

Why can't I call up those blank moments when I want to meditate? That would be perfect. My mind is blank and I need not say anything because I am listening to the cosmos or the universe or the silence in my mind waiting to be filled with shining purpose as I wait to be guided, fulfilled, or empty so that I may at last move toward the purpose that motivated me to meditate in the first place.

I get messages from a service every day and this message about meditation for beginners, something I need assistance doing, was perfect for me.

MEDITATION FOR BEGINNERS

By


The following is an excerpt from the "Meditation for Beginners" on-line course. If you would like to enroll in the course, click here.



If the mere idea of meditating feels uncomfortable--or scary even, that's okay. Exploring unknown territory usually does. But don't worry, you won't turn into a hippie, have to change your friends, or pack up and move to a commune in order to reap the benefits of your meditation practice. This is a gift you're giving yourself and nobody even needs to know you are meditating, but you just might love it so much that you will want to teach your friends and family.

Let's take a moment to get clear on what meditation really is. The term "meditation" can refer to any process that leads you to an inner state of relaxed awareness. There needn't be any big mystery or drama about the process itself, and there's really no right or wrong way of doing it. There are simply different techniques that can be used as tools to help you focus and quiet your mind, and we'll work with some of these as the weeks unfold. This will allow you to choose which method works best for you as a person. I still have a hard time quieting my mind and I find that my meditation practice is more fulfilling for me while I'm in nature. Our main purpose here is to help you develop a meditation practice that's right for you. It'll be something you feel comfortable doing and that you're willing and able to do regularly.

For those of us who already have a meditation routine, we've come to depend on the way our practice enhances our lives. We've discovered an ever-present source of inner peace and wisdom from which we can now draw strength, courage, clarity and compassion. It has become easier to respond to situations from a calm and grounded place, rather than acting out old dysfunctional patterns. We're also better able to navigate our lives in alignment with our own needs and goals. A morning meditation will give you the quiet confidence and the strength you will need for your day.

Research has linked a regular practice of meditation to reduced levels of anxiety and stress, in addition to improved immune function and a host of other health benefits. Studies have shown that the nervous system actually begins responding differently to stressful situations--creativity flows more freely and new solutions begin to emerge. What's wonderful is that many of these advantages occur after just one session and continue evolving with regular practice. As you develop your own meditation program, you'll be able to track the benefits for yourself, from changes in your mood to improvements in your energy. Soon you will find yourself reacting from a place of centered calm rather than from your head. 

***
 

And then there is me. Meditation is supposed to reduce anxiety and stress and nothing makes me more anxious and stressed out to the max than contemplating meditation. 

It has taken me a very long time to figure out that it is normal for thoughts to intrude when beginning to meditate. Minds are seldom blank when beginning to practice meditation. The trick is to push the errant thoughts out of the way and breathe, just breathe. The more we practice clearing our minds and listening to the world around us, the easier it becomes. Meditation isn't forcing your body and mind to obey. Meditation is finding a quiet moment, pushing rampant thoughts out of the way, and breathing in and out, being aware of the passage of oxygen into the lungs and out through the nose or mouth, and allowing yourself to focus on the breath. Thoughts will intrude, but push them out and focus on breathing -- in and out -- again. Being aware of breathing and relaxing into the breathing helps to calm the mind and still the thoughts. Thoughts will intrude and be pushed out again. Thoughts will continue to intrude and continue to be pushed out until the longer one meditates, the easier it will be to breathe and relax. 

When the mind refuses to calm and clear, simply get up and go about your day until the time comes when you can relax and focus on breathing -- and listening. Listen to the world around you. Listen to the sounds of life inside and outside of your space. Take a walk in the yard or the park or wherever you happen to be and focus on breathing in and out. The more you practice paying attention to your breathing, the easier meditation will become. 

One thing I have also found is that working on cross-stitch or writing help calm my mind and make me more receptive to meditation and listening to the world around me. I am concentrating on putting the stitches in the right place with the correct color and shape. My mind is calm and clear. The only thoughts are focused on stitching whatever I'm making. I am unaware of time passing and my mind is calm and uncluttered by random thoughts. It is while I'm thus engaged that I meditate -- and I breathe. I don't keep track and I am not overwhelmed by questions. I listen to the sounds around me and feel the stress and anxiety leave my body and my mind. For me, cross stitching is a form of meditation -- and I get something done. My mind is open and receptive and the universe (or the story I'm working on) is clear. I am meditating. 

I don't fall asleep because I'm not clearing my mind in order to allow to rest my body and mind. I have no purpose in mind other than the piece I'm stitching. I am meditating. 

I discovered how to find a way to clear my mind and listen to the world around me -- and inside of me -- without really looking for it. I didn't struggle to quiet my mind. I discovered the key to meditation for me was through cross stitch and the rest was added without me turning into a lunatic or an idiot. I found what was always available to me by simply being myself. Everyone can meditate and sometimes the key to meditation is already within your grasp. Special music, prayers, mental gymnastics, and other methods that seem to work for everyone else may be totally unnecessary. Within you is the key to unlock the method of meditation that works for you. All you need to do is stop, breathe, and wait for it. No matter how unorthodox or strange it seems to someone else, go for it. 

We are all individuals with different ways of learning and listening. There is no wrong way to learn to meditate. All we need to do is stop struggling for what may already be in your grasp. You will find it and meditation will manifest itself in your life when you least expect it to. In the meantime, relax, go about your life, and breathe. It will find you if you don't find it. 

That is all. Disperse. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Wolf Never Listens When Sheep Bleat


Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

That is what I was taught and what I have learned as I go about the world is that no truer words were ever spoken. Power and corruption go hand in glove, one often inextricable from the other. We see it all around us as the police who are paid to protect us against criminals are often as criminal as the men and women who transgress the bounds of laws. The government that pays the police to protect us are often busy locking arms to prevent the abused from getting justice and the adjudicators paid to serve as advocates for Lady Justice have locked arms with the government and the police to deny the victims access to justice and will wrap their refusal to serve Lady Justice, that blind-folded lady holding the sword and the scales in double-speak and soothing disinformation in order to provide cover for the abusers of our rights and freedoms while proclaiming their innocence. Once again I return to the time will Bill Clinton lied about his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky and defended his lie by saying that truth depends on the definition of what IS is. Typical lawyer speak for yet another lawyer who has used his training in the law to deny justice and truth.

In watching The Keepers, a video series available on Netflix about who killed Sister Cathy Cesnik and the priest who went from parish to parish bringing his power and his sexual abuse with him, the story about Sister Cathy Cesnik takes on a whole new meaning -- and a much broader scope. Didn't a pope recently step down because of his involvement in protecting the Roman Catholic Church in cases where priests were sexually abusing children? There is that sexual abuse angle in Sister Cathy Cesnik's murder and the priest, Father Joseph Maskell, who was involved in sexual abuse in the Archbishop Keough (pronounced kee-oh) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Father Maskell, in his position at Keough High School as guidance counselor and priest, used his power and position to systematically female students in his charge. Sister Cathy Cesnik was the English and Drama teacher who became involved in helping her students fight back against this pedophile priest and ended up dead for her efforts, though no one knows who killed her. Father Maskell took one student to where Sister Cathy's body had been dumped to illustrate the lesson that people who talk about who, what, where, and when they are being abused end up dead. Father Maskell blamed the student for confiding in Sister Cathy for killing the 26-year-old nun and, he warned the student, if she continued to talk about what happened to her, he assured the girl she would follow Sister Cathy Cesnik and end up another dead body on a secluded hill.

Sister Cathy Cesnik's life up to the point of the series, The Keepers, is not the focus of the abuse or the power Father Maskell corrupted, but brings me back to the presidential election last year when Hillary Clinton ran and all the secrets and scandals that swirled around the Clintons and the powerful company they kept that ensured that Hillary would never have to face prosecution or even a grand jury as long as she continued to abuse her power as Secretary of State and ex-First Lady when her husband Bill was president. Hillary's crimes would never pass muster with the Justice Department not as long as Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, was in charge (as James Comey clearly demonstrated) or Obama was still present exerting his power behind the scenes while claiming ignorance until he hears about yet another scandal in the news. Loretta Lynch would prove to be just as ineffectual as her predecessor, Eric Holder, had been in dealing with scandals swirling about the powerful center of Obama's administration.

Even with thousands of classified emails turning up on Anthony Weiner's laptop, courtesy of his wife, Huma Abedin, close confidante of Hillary Clinton, and destroyed subpoenaed evidence from her server in the basement bathroom of her home and 14 iphones and similar communication devices with BleachBit and hammers, and even losing a laptop in the mail when it was being sent to the FBI for investigation, the power surrounding Hillary and Bill Clinton locked arms and protected them from Lady Justice. Comey said as much in answering questions before a Senate committee looking into the FBI's investigation of Hillary, though Comey did not go into detail since he could not/would not be specific about investigations ongoing or currently under scrutiny. Comey's comments during his July press conference informing the public of what had been discovered about Hillary's use of a private and unsecured server handling classified material walked the razor's edge between listing Hillary's extremely careless handling of classified material as Secretary of State and her well known destruction of evidence did not, in his opinion, stand up to scrutiny legally as no prosecutor would try a case that could not win beyond a reasonable doubt. Government, how reluctantly, will lock arms with the privileged and powerful to deny Lady Justice the opportunity weigh the case in her scales or deliver justice with her upraised sword. It is probably a very good thing Lady Justice is blind-folded since she cannot criticize what she is never allowed to see.

Hillary continues to quip at commencement speeches and in 6-figure speeches about how she was denied the presidency because the Russians interfered in out democratic elections (no evidence at this point), James Comey's investigation into her handling of classified government material on her 1 device (there were 14 at the last count) using her private server in her home's basement bathroom (no one told her it was illegal, not even the times that the State Department's IT staff told her she must use the government servers and a government-issued device) to access her state department emails and classified material because that way the government could protect the information in-house. Of course WikiLeaks is also one of the excuses Hillary gives for her loss, after Russian interference and James Comey's investigation, and never mentions that she never showed up to campaign hard in most of the states in which Trump won victories after huge rallies. Hillary counted on dogged Democrats doing what Democrats have done since LBJ and vote for Hillary even after Hillary and the DNC colluded to deny Bernie Sanders voters could even cast votes when the election was rigged, even when WikiLeaks published emails from John Podesta, Hillary's campaign manager, surfaced laying out how Bernie Sanders would be brought to heel with Russian hackers leaking the information to WikiLeaks and its Russian hacking cadre were unmasked (yet another Russian conspiracy with no teeth and no evidence).

The fact is that Hillary is ill and cannot handle the crowds (or evidently the rallies since none were scheduled) any more, but Hillary is well served with handlers armed with injectable medications ready at a moment's notice and with access to a get-away car as we saw when Hillary left the 9/11 celebration in September in New York City when she stumbled and was thrown into the van unconscious or at least unable to manage on her own and driven to Chelsea's apartment from where she emerged moments later having fully recovered from her heat stroke.  Hillary even hugged a small girl when she emerged fit as a fiddle from Chelsea's building sans Secret Service or her protection brigade and handler even though she was reported to have a serious lung infection that laid poor put upon Hillary low so she could fabricate a new story about having to run hunched over to safety in Chechnya or possibly some YouTube angered Muslims upset about a cartoon making fun of the prophet Mohammed that ended in 4 dead Americans while she ran guns to the Islamic State fighters or some other spontaneously triggered Muslim rebels in Benghazi or possibly New Jersey.

Power corrupts and, like welfare recipients, the more the power (or food stamps) the more corrupt and corruptible the powerful become.

It seems like Hillary and Sister Cathy Cesnik have nothing in common outside of powerful individuals reaping the benefits of their hard won corruption, but think again. The power that protected Father Joseph Maskell from justice is the same powerful height from which a pope fell to be replaced by a new pope who urges the world to erase the boundaries and embrace the New World Order of togetherness and friendship like the European Union which is crumbling before our very eyes. Britain was the first to flee the EU, but is being rapidly followed by other nations either marginalized by EU policies or strangling under the weight of Syrian refugees, many of whom have come from Africa in the wake of Qaddafy's death, to flood the social welfare that once was a shining light beckoning all in Muslim countries fleeing before the Islamic State's fighters or the devastation of climate change, according to Obama, for the wealth and generosity of Chancellor Angela Merkel's open arms in Germany. Meanwhile, France narrowly escaped being corraled with US President Trump and his refusal to bow to Muslim sheikhs or cover Melania with a hijab in deference to fragile Muslim sensibilities, thus hopefully avoiding the need to apologize for poor Muslim men faced with beauty in a woman who is not advertising her willingness to be bombed or mounted by Muslim men starved of beauty openly and brazenly shared.

I do wonder if Father Maskell was also dazzled by the beauty and wantonness of girls barely pubescent and uncovered with their Catholic school uniforms not buttoned up to the neck and with their bobby sox not completely covering the lower calf. It seems, from testimony, that Father Maskell exercised his power over male and female pre-pubescent and pubescent children equally, more of a 'leave no child behind' attitude while exercising his abuses.

Power corrupts without equal even among Muslims. The Muslim belief is that women are for breeding and men are for pleasure in spite of their anti-homosexual attitudes. Smacks of have fun, but don't get too comfortable -- or familiar -- while having your fun with men when there are so many women around to take advantage of. Women are hidden and not given voices to complain. Then again, who knows what is underneath the head-to-toe covering of a veiled and carefully hidden form? Dress in an old-fashioned nun's habit and even a man sporting a full black mustache can appear to casual glances as a woman.

There is no lack of powerful men and women all too willing to abuse the innocent when there is no one to complain except the sheep. When the wolf is listening a sheep bleating, or a hundred sheep bleating, makes no difference. The wolf wins. Father Maskell was a wolf and so is Hillary Clinton. Anyone else is just another sheep bleating into the wind and the sheep bleating after another Muslim attack that turned children into body parts and blood after a concert in Manchester is more loud bleating in a herd of sheep no one is really listening to except for the usual virtue signaling and publicly praying for the fallen.  Don't worry. Lamb will be served following a concert near you soon.

That is all. Disperse.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Kicked Out of Eden


In fantasies and dreams we think of Eden as the perfect place to live: peaceful, without war or strife, where bountiful food grows and drops into our laps. We won't have to struggle to exist and we will fight no more forever.

On a cloud not far away is the dream of Paradise where all our desires are fulfilled and we live in bliss plucking harp strings and singing praises to our god. Some are taught that Paradise is inhabited by virgins ready and waiting to be plundered, taken, and then what? Virginity is fragile. Once the virgin has submitted to the pleasures of sex, the virgin is used and no longer the epitome of innocence. Once a virgin has given up virginity, all that is left is life among the rest of the mortals, child birth if the virgin is fertile, raising up children, breast feeding, diaper changing, eventually adulthood and then death. That is where Paradise begins to look like the rest of the world full of noisy people where virgins are virgins only once and then become one of the noisy rabble of humankind.

In short, Paradise has a very short shelf life. Maybe that is why Paradise is only a dream, a fantasy of immortality and perfection that last as long as a Hershey's Kiss in the hands of a hungry child. And that may be part of the problem -- children.

How long will Paradise last once children are born? Once children grow up and decide they have destinies of their own, they are no longer children and will have to face the unknown country of adulthood and children of their own -- and on and on and on...

Unless Paradise is made up of immortal children who never grow up and want to take charge of their own destinies, Paradise is doomed.

Let's face it. God didn't set Adam and Eve free or post cherubim with flaming swords at the entrance to Eden because he wanted Adam and Eve to come back and visit once they got settled out in the wilderness. God drove Adam and Eve out of Paradise perhaps in hopes that they would perish in the wilderness and Paradise would remain unsullied by Adam and Eve's offspring or the generations that would follow. Paradise would once again be peaceful and quiet and messy humanity would take their chances, slim as they were, in the wilderness where wild beasts and marauding tribes would kill and destroy them. It was unthinkable that Adam and Eve would live to have children of their own that would grow up, marry, and have children of their own and so on and so on and so on...

And yet here we are, the 9 billion offspring of Adam and Eve -- if you believe the story about Eden and Adam and Eve and all that. The point is that Paradise was never meant for adults because adults get together with other adults, virgins give up their virginity, and children are eventually born, grow up, become adults, and carry on meeting, getting together, having children who have children who have children and so on. That's how we got from 2 people in Eden to 9 billion people as the result of Adam and Even being driven into the wilderness where they survived and thrived and created generations of children who grew up and so on and so on and so on....

Did you get it yet? Paradise is a dream humanity was never meant to make into a home. Paradise, or Eden, or Utopia, is a fantasy of peace and tranquility that will suit only the dead -- or children.  Only immortal children can exist in such a paradise because children are content to be led, guided, and willing to play forever . . . as long as the children are immortal and never grow up. It is not children that can live happily and comfortably in an unchanging landscape without struggle and without advancement beyond the next hill, the next corner, the next mountain. Children are content (for the most part) to play and never think about tomorrow because tomorrow is the same as yesterday and today. The thing is that a human child grows up and struggles to take the next step, pull away from the parents, and decide what's next. Without the natural growth of the child into a teenager willing to face down the parents -- or guardians -- and demand to take their lives into his/her own hands, to take the next step -- or the next bicycle ride without training wheels -- into adulthood and self determination and the future that can be molded, chosen, and mastered (after a fashion), humanity stagnates and eventually dies.

I don't think Adam and Eve would have been driven out of Eden if it had not become apparent that they were no longer biddable children. Adam and Eve had taken the next step. They had chosen to become adults and as adults they could no longer live in Eden. There were rivers to cross, paths to travel, mountains to clime, and a future full of uncertainty and possibility to conquer.

Once the fantasy and dream of Paradise and the unchanging landscape of virgins and innocent play palls, there is only the future: adulthood and self determination that results in another generation that will begin as children and struggle against the restraints of rules to take the reins of their own lives in their own hands and venture out into the undiscovered country of possibility and the future.

Children don't want to remain children forever. They want to grow up and be adults, to grasp the reins of their own lives and take their first steps into the future where anything can happen.

God may have driven Adam and Eve out when they were no longer biddable children, but no doubt Adam and Eve would have walked away once they became aware that life meant struggle and self determination even though it also meant children of their own who would travel the same path from innocence to knowledge and finally into whatever lies ahead. Humanity is driven to evolve, to succeed, to fail, to lose, to gain, and to stretch the boundaries of complacency and innocence even if it means pain and struggle along the way.

That is all. Disperse.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Day in the Life



Every day there is something new that drip, drip, drips through the mainstream media blinders that cover the eyes of most people turning to the newspapers and TV set to get their news. This drip, drip, drip is full of poisons, chemicals, and lies, the propaganda of the elite, like Oprah, intent on selling the last ditch attempt by the global elite to destroy at least 95% of the world's population. It should surprise no one that widely recognized icons, like Hillary, Oprah, and Obama, funded by George Soros are dazzling us all with free cars, houses, and gifts while surreptitiously lining us up for the death chamber, smiling and patting us on the shoulder while shuffling us off to the Grim Reaper.

Do you think I believe in their glad handing, smiling faces as they stun is with beautiful rhetoric or promises of the peace and wonder that is the Eternal Hereafter? Puhleeze. I was not born this morning.

The MSM have narcotized humanity with narcotics in our city water while stunning us with endless loops of circular logic and faux science guys like Bill Nye to cudgel our brains with what seems like truth and logic and has no resemblance to either.  The global elite strive to rewrite history by tearing down statues to heroes of our troubled past as though destroying the idols commemorating our mistakes and errors will erase it from our collective minds. While that may work for millennials, Generation X-ers, and children of the 21st century, it will not work against those who have spent their lives watching, studying, researching, and remembering the past so the rest of humanity won't make the same mistakes this time around.

We have failed.

Those few, like you it seems since you're reading this, are not enough to spread the word and speak out about what is being done in the name of progress and liberalism while continuing to dumb down the current population while inflaming the terrorist arm of the global elite as they have done since the armies of darkness descended on this planet in the 7th century beheading and taxing all nonbelievers in the name of the moon. At least the army of terror chose a god we could look up to every night as it spins in its monthly orbit as hollow and false as the civilization that created it to send the survivors of their galactic wars to this green and fertile world where their offspring could renew themselves and spread out across the globe building new cities and tending the crops that would sustain us, and ultimately poison us, as they sought domination over the races they created in their own image and taught to pray to a god they created -- also in their own image. The fallen angels have been destroyed and their culture and history erased to make room for the hatred and horror of war as the marauding mindless hordes sweep all before them and chosen Judas goats lead the tagged races to death while their hatred for civil dialogue, facts, and truth are lost in the rising clamor of gunfire and screams. No single voice of logic and reason will be allowed to remain and their only hope is ascension -- or at least death when they can become once again a part of the universal zeitgeist for their chance to reincarnate in a brighter, better, and more peaceful world where the din from murdering hordes can no longer be heard, seen, or felt. What then the hopeful people that remained?

They will be absorbed by the chaotic body until it's their turn in the death chamber when their turn comes to die for this cleansed world where memories of them will be lost and forgotten until some time in the future when an enterprising group of archaeologists will unearth what remains -- if anything remains to mark their passage -- and their surgeries, drugs, and physical enhancements are little more than social anomalies left to the Ages.

As for me, I will continue fighting, speaking, and praying for the global elite to be rooted out and saved from their masters' destructive plans to ascend with the rest or be buried in a world of their own creation when the solar winds come to free the faithful and sweep away the master that had us all bound in their deftly woven web of lies and deceit.

That is all. Disperse.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Scrooge, Before or After?


No, it is not Christmas; it's Mothers Day, the day we celebrate all the mothers: good, bad, and indifferent. On Mothers Day we haul out our good memories (if there are any) and triumphantly hand over cards, gifts, flowers, and chocolate to say Thank you for being our mother. It doesn't matter if your mother was less than loving and kind or if she was sometimes abusive or thoughtless, we change our hearts for one day and celebrate mothers who have had a difficult job to do, take a small child and mold that child into an adult. For this one day, we put aside grievances and petty differences and choose to be happy and thankful we were not raised by wolves.

Okay, stop that! No giggling when I'm making a point. Yes, I know wolves would be far superior to some of our mothers. That's not the point. The point is that on Mothers Day we offer those mothers who, for whatever reason, had a rougher time of being a good and kind mother the chance to change her heart and live up to being the best mother she can be.

Think of it as though it is Christmas Eve and the ghosts are giving Scrooge his last chance to give up his miserly and unfriendly ways, embrace the spirit of Christmas, and be a better man with holly in his heart celebrating the spirit of Christmas every day.

Not long ago, millennials demanded that the Minimum Wage Law be changed so that employees in low paying jobs would get $15 an hour instead of the current $7.25 an hour, which is more than double what the law requires. The problem is not changing the law. The problem is changing employers' hearts much like Scrooge's heart was changed.

The CEO of Sam's Club pays $8.89-$11.40 an hour for new employees on the bottom rung of the hiring ladder, which is higher than minimum wage. One could say that Sam's Club is not a fast food restaurant chain and the work requires a bit more of the employee, but that would be missing the point. The minimum wage law is to set a limit on how little employers can get away with paying their employees. The law does not limit how much an employer can pay an employee because the sky -- and the employer's assets -- will determine that.

And that is the point.

Think of raising the minimum wage in terms of Ebenezer Scrooge and Bob Cratchit.  Scrooge is a miser and prefers to get the most from his measly coins. Since he concentrates on how many coins he has and how best to increase those coins, Scrooge skimps on coals to keep the office as cold as he can stand it just as he skimps on how much he pays his clerk.  Scrooge's mind is on keeping his wealth to himself and grudging every request and duty to spend what he has. Scrooge's heart is as cold as his Christmas Eve office and Bob Cratchit's hands. No doubt Scrooge believes that if his office is as cold as the winter streets visitors will think twice about stopping by and won't stay long if they do stop.

Until the spirits of Christmas visit Scrooge Christmas Eve night to remind him of old Fezziwig, Scrooge's boss at his first position, and shows him what could be at his nephew's home where Scrooge has been invited, and where his nephew, Fred, stands up to his friends to speak kindly of his miserly uncle, and the impoverished home where the Cratchits put together a meager Christmas Day feast from what they can afford, Mother Cratchit refusing to drink Scrooge's health until Bob reminds her that his miserly boss employs Bob and has paid for the feast. This Christmas story is not one that should remain only a holiday treat and a Christmas seasons lesson, but should be read every day and the lesson kept close to our hearts especially when people are rioting and demonstrating for a change in the minimum wage law without understanding what it is they are really doing.

The minimum wage law prohibits employers from refusing to pay their employees a living wage. The law was enacted in order to keep employers on the straight and narrow as long as they do the least possible for their employees. Employers get around the law by hiring illegal immigrants to work as cheaply as possible, subverting the law and effectively placing desperate and hungry people in a no-win situation. As the immigrants are illegal, they have no recourse to the law to protect them because they are illegally in the United States. By banding together with other illegal immigrants, they pool their resources, cramming into cheap apartments where the landlords only care about being paid and not about how many people are living, eating, and sleeping in one room as long as the rent is paid on time and in full. There is no law to protect the immigrants who flaunted the law after leaving their homes, fleeing grinding poverty, -- often little better than plywood packing crates -- without running water and with safe sewage/trash disposal to travel north to the United States where at least they will have a job even if it means living two, three, and four families to a one-bedroom apartment in a tenement with running water, toilets, and a kitchen where there is heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer.

The thing about the law is that the law only works when everyone follows it. There are always ways for the greedy to ignore the law to take advantage of others who have also ignored the law.

That's the thing about minimum wage. The law protects the greedy misers from cheating lawful American citizens and paying them less than the minimum wage.

There is no law that prohibits employers from paying higher wages. All that keeps employers from paying a living wage is selfish greed. Like Sam's Club's CEO who pays his entry level workers a better starting wage, there are many employers who choose to pay their workers more than the minimum wage. Those employers also supply good and affordable premium health care plans and offer generous vacations and sick leave policies. The trick is finding these generous men and women and being hired.

That is what fast food chains were supposed to be, a place for young workers to get their feet wet and where older workers could supplement their retirement income. Minimum wage jobs were a place to begin, and often unfortunately to end, but such jobs were never meant to be a place to grow, evolve, and climb to better and more lucrative positions.

I worked at McDonald's for a few months as a teenager, earning less than minimum wage, which was $1.65 an hour, when I was 16 years old. I didn't work there long because I had my sights set on something else. The something else was a job making $2.50 an hour as a keypunch operator, what would be called now a data entry operator. The technology has changed and I have changed along with it, advancing from a low level clerical worker to a trained and experienced medical transcriptionist with more than 30 years of experience, knowledge, and education. The sad fact is that I make less now than I did when I started in medical records 33 years ago, a third less than my starting wage.

That's the thing about employers. The employer wants to make money and to do that s/he must take a cut from employees' salaries in order to make enough money to pay the bills, buy and maintain equipment, expand facilities, and still have enough money left over to afford their own car, house, vacations, and retirement. If the employer keeps salaries down, s/he will end up with a nice bank account that pays the bills and leaves enough to buy their house, car, insurance, utilities, vacations, and still pay for their children's education so they can find a better job than their parents offer to people without a master's or PhD in education. Their plans are for themselves and their children and their children's children and not for their employees who must manage for themselves. After all, one must think of oneself before thinking of others. They do what the law allows and that is enough. Their fellow men and women must think, plan, and work for themselves. It's a dog-eat-dog world and there is always another dog hungrier and more desperate willing to take advantage and take the food and money right out of your mouth. And then there are the illegal immigrants willing to work for slave wages and live in tenements with other families who have illegally entered the country so they can pool their wages so their families can live better lives that is better than what they had in their home countries.

Jobs in food service are allowed to pay less than minimum wage because they earn tips every day or because they get part of their wages in food. After all, they work in a restaurant or fast food establishment and should be paid in free food. Tips are supposed to be declared and taxed (they usually aren't) and will also provide a steady stream of daily income that will even out the rough spots (it doesn't, especially if you work in a restaurant or bar where the patrons stiff you or believe a dime or quarter is sufficient tip for serving a family of 10 for two hours). No matter where you turn, someone is willing to cheat you in order to keep more of their money for themselves.

Fast food chains are franchises and, if the corporation will not change their policies on how much money an owner/manager may earn, it is unlikely the pay will be much beyond the corporate set pay scales. The only way to earn a good living in a fast food franchise restaurant is to own the corporation and set the prices. If minimum wage is raised, the prices for their products must also be raised to offset the cost. After all, what owner/manager will willingly take a cut in their pay and what corporation would opt to take a cut in profits to pay their workers more than the minimum wage the federal government has set?

What is needed is a change of heart. Corporate CEOs and boards need to choose accept lower returns on their investment, which would mean less profits, which would mean spending profits on premium health care coverage that would not take most of a worker's salary to afford, which would mean higher wagers for all workers, which would mean more money for the worker to spend on housing, food and gas allowances, and savings for the worker's children to get a quality college/university education that would make them fit for better jobs and a better future. Of course this plan would only work as long as the focus in on the future of the worker and their children and not on buying another home in Gstad or a month-long vacation in Bali or they Seychelles or even buying an engagement ring for one's fiancee that costs six months' wages for the owner/manager and paying for a 500 guest wedding with a sit-down catered dinner and a $50,000 wedding dress. It all comes down to priorities.

Are the priorities yourself and your lavish comfort or making the world a better place for those less fortunate, and that does not include spending $20,000 on a ticket to a masquerade ball where you dance fore Dyslexia or Polka to prevent Alzheimer's. Let your heart make the choice.

We can live in lavish luxury in a mansion so big you and your spouse and 1.1 children reside alone or you can live in a two- or three-bedroom home in a good neighborhood and host parties for your employees on the big holidays while making sure every one of your workers has a substantial Christmas and annual bonus with top wages and a health care and benefit package that provides for all their families' needs.

Do you want to live your life as Scrooge before or after the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future have visited? Let your heart be the judge. The law of minimum wage or the generosity of what the market will bear?

That is all. Disperse.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Ethics In Your Face!


I read an article this morning about how a government worker was embarrassed as she explained the US policy of governmental ethics while instructing foreign governmental officials how the US holds its leaders to a high standard of ethics and how the ethics standards are checked and double checked. Instead of sitting awe struck and attentive, one of the government officials basically asked how their policies are going with Trump as president. I can imagine how the class broke up as the educator was laughed into embarrassed silence. I'll bet she would have handled open disdain better if they had taken off their shoes and thrown them at her as once happened with George W. Bush when he was president. I remember the outrage of the Right and the braying of the Left when that aired on the news.

I doubt if the blank-eyed stares of previous foreign students was due to awe at how well ordered the ethics policies, checks, and balance were in the past. The dumb-founded foreign officials were because the foreign officials didn't understand that the oh-so-helpful US government educator really had no idea that ethics in the USA were about as useful as tits on a boar hog and about as airtight as Hillary's excuses for why she lost the election last year.

People's hackles will become fully erect at the hint that the USA is not the epitome of ethics and that no government official at any level has ever engaged in anything that hints at conflicts of interest. How dare they?

Moreover, how dare we?

What gives the United States the right to tell other countries how to run their own countries? One might quip, "The CIA," since the CIA has been actively involved in meddling in who is elected as a country's leader for decades. There are lists of budgets and documents that detail exactly how the election of leaders in South American countries have been handled and who was chosen to win and to lose.

And here comes the conspiracy theorist name-calling.

If you don't already know about it, George W. Bush had a list of which Middle Eastern country leaders and governments were to be removed from office. Cheney knew about it of course since George W. delegated most presidential tasks to Cheney so George W. could practice his painting and vacation on his ranch in Texas. Bill Clinton was more hands on than hands off when it came to meddling in other countries' democratic elections and took no small pleasure in toppling leaders left and right. Slick Willy has changed his tune since he is too busy -- or at least was until Hillary lost the election -- soliciting funds for his and Hillary's retirement funds and private island resort where all the world's leaders can bask in the sun while pledging and paying millions to the Clinton Foundation to combat hunger in Africa and cure AIDS around the world in the form of private clubs like the facility in Haiti while the people continue to live in squalor in shanty towns around the island. And all those jobs, the Clintons promised the Haitians when they promised to help clean up the hurricane damage from 2013 are about as illusory as the clean water and 21st century sewer treatment facilities that were built by the Clinton Foundation.

The Clinton are really too easy a target when it comes to ethics since neither Bill nor Hillary know the first thing about ethics since they are still demanding to know what the definition of IS is.

Obama, masquerading as a Christian while still practicing Islam in a private room in the White House, was busy buying American hostages from Iran to seal the deal while urging the world to give up sanctions against Iran and chip in with some enriched uranium so the Iranians could build nuclear power plants to ease the burden on the average Iranian citizen. After all, don't Iranians deserve to have lights and electricity for their illegal satellite dishes when the Ayatollah cuts off their Internet?

Seriously? The US has no business teaching the world about ethics or complaining about how Trump turns his back on ethics and continues his conflicts of interest. We do not really want to get into the conflicts of interest that are rife in politics in the US or this post will be so long no one will take the time to read it.

Amidst calls for Trump's impeachment, the ethics committee is having a hard time keeping a straight face while they educate foreign governments how to keep their own governments ethical and conflict of interest free. Okay, so foreign officials are laughing boldly in our faces. Isn't that better than sniggering behind the country's back?

Ethics is a word college students learn in a class and thumb their noses at while they dive into the swamp of politics stroking hard for the filthiest spot in the pool.

The US has no business teaching the world about anything except how to keep its nose out of the world's business. Point to World War I and World War II if you like, but the United States didn't get into those world wars until the wars were almost over and the hard work done. The US should have stayed out of Vietnam and Korea as well. We have not done the world a bit of good and the good that those wars did the United States has long been bankrupted.

Trump is doing for $1 a year what presidents before him did for hundreds of millions of dollars and he does it in the clear light of day. Trump is rude, crude, and socially unacceptable, but that is who the people elected instead of some speechifying hypocrite whose only aim was to destroy the USA and bring it to its knees. Job done!

Keep your spy hats firmly on your heads and the blinders blacked out because Trump is not going to change and for once the abuses of power are done in the full light of day instead of covertly while claiming to be aghast at the scandals he found out when it broke in the news on CNN. Welcome to a really transparent government at last. Sorry if it looks a little dirty, but at least now you know.

That is all. Disperse.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Balancing on a Razor's Edge


Whatever you think of FBI director James Comey, it seems he is still a political football. I'm sure he was not surprised when President Trump called him on the Oval Office carpet and fired him. I am surprised Trump didn't fire him sooner. Then again, I am surprised by much of what Trump does. Trump seems unfocused and far too often emotional, acting out rather than acting from a stable emotional base, but then he's Trump and his emotions seem set to a hair trigger attached to his mouth and his tweeting fingers. Neither a good or stable position from which to act. If Trump was a warrior with decades of scars and battle experience to his credit, I'd guess he was a berserker.

I've heard and read comments from Democrat and Republican views that Comey is a nefarious master mind, that he is a dirty cop, that he is an honest dupe, that he was colluding with Hillary, that he is now colluding with Trump or at least has been backed into a corner where he has been forced to dance to Trump's since last spring, and on and on and on. The Democrats and Republicans and yanking on Comey from both sides, blaming him, challenging him, lauding him, applauding and demonizing him. My views are far less quixotic and less changeable.

From the beginning when Comey laid out the results of the investigation into Hillary's server, I believed he was honest and doing his best to stand up in a hurricane clinging to the nearest upright and stable anchor doing what he could. I was outraged that Comey gave Hillary a pass especially after stating that the Secretary of State had been extremely careless with classified documentation but that no prosecutor could prove she had the intent to commit an illegal act.

What?!

Hillary installed a server in her home and ran all of her emails through it. Hillary, when subpoenaed by Congress to answer questions and produce all devices had her server treated with Bleach Bit to erase all traces of her communication from the server, lost devices, and destroyed devices even with a hammer. I guess Hillary had been watching too many movies where junkies tossed their stash in the toilet and flushed it all way. No evidence, no crime.

There remained evidence on Anthony Weiner's laptop in his home for instance and in thousands of emails sent to people all around the world, including emails to Obama who was president at the time, and many of the emails still had evidence of classified markings on them. She was seen in photo and video tap, tap, tapping away at her Blackberry here and abroad and it was public knowledge that her communications were not secret even when sending and receiving secret information and that Hillary had been hacked by operatives from governments, allies and enemies. How does none of that provide enough proof of intent that a prosecutor wouldn't give his pension and eye teeth to prosecute? Such evidence is a game changer, a career maker, a lock. And it wasn't enough to prove intent? Was Comey high on crack? Was he insane or in the early stages of Alzheimer's who no longer recognized friend, foe, or family? How do you state publicly that the Secretary of the State of the United States of America under President Obama, a woman who has served in high office, and who was married to the president of the USA and was First Lady for 8 years, didn't know what a classified document looked like and lied about sending and receiving classified information was extremely careless when handling classified documents is not guilty of a crime? American citizens who were attached to the military services are still serving jail sentences for less and one general at least in recent memory was destroyed by being extremely careless with his pillow talk to his mistress when divulging classified information. How does Hillary get a pass?

Well, Hillary's husband, ex-president Bill Clinton, flew down to Phoenix and entered Loretta Lynch's plane where Mrs. Lynch dismissed her aides, companions, and guards and spent 30 minutes in the plane on the tarmac in Phoenix purportedly discussing grandkids and golf while Hillary was still under investigation. That had to have given Comey pause that the head of the Department of Justice (DOJ), his boss, was carrying on a private conversation with the husband of a woman under investigation by the FBI and the DOJ that none of her entourage were allowed to hear. Loretta Lynch, instead of recusing herself and allowing someone else to take the lead on the investigation, said in a press conference a few days later that she did indeed meet with her old friend, Bill Clinton, wife of Hillary who was under investigation, and that they talked about their grandkids and golf for 30 minutes and that she would accept whatever the FBI and the DOJ teams suggested. I knew then, if I hadn't figured it out before, that the fix was in. Hillary was going to get away with her extremely careless handling of confidential information.

Hillary was also going to get away with her extensive attempts to get rid of the evidence of her carelessness. Obama had covered for her and covered for Hillary still. Lynch was obviously in the bag and Lynch was the only person who could convene a grand jury to indict Hillary so she would stand trial before a jury. James Comey was obviously caught in a no-win situation no matter what he did, which is why he outlined Hillary's actions and summarized his findings by saying that no prosecutor would touch the case given the fact pattern he found because Hillary was not guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt. Huh?!  Isn't that something the prosecutor has to determine? Did Comey talk to a prosecutor, see a prosecutor, hear a prosecutor say there was insufficient evidence or cause to get a clear verdict on Hillary's guilt? Did Comey have a secret meeting with a grand jury and prosecutor to claim Hillary's case had insufficient evidence to prosecute and indict? What was going on? I was back to Comey must be high on crack again because nothing else made sense.

I watched Comey give evidence in congressional hearing after congressional hearing and he seemed lucid and honest, but I've been fooled by pathologic liars before. Was Comey another such sociopath?

No, Comey's background and family were involved and "...being paid millions of dollars that Comey accepted from a Clinton Foundation defense contractor, Comey’s former membership on a Clinton Foundation corporate partner’s board, and his surprising financial relationship with his brother Peter Comey, who works at the law firm that does the Clinton Foundation’s taxes."  Seems Comey isn't so honest after all. 

Stories that follow the money dog Comey and the people that read such stories question Comey's integrity and his honesty.  No one has mentioned whether or not Comey was a Hillary or Trump supporter that I've seen, but how Comey votes isn't supposed to matter; he's a cop, and agent and director of the FBI, he doesn't have a political voice in all of this -- or does he? 

Hillary claims that FBI director James Comey was the reason she lost the election. Hillary also claims the Russians were the reason she lost the election and then further claims that she lost because of . . . well, there's a long list of reasons, including Anthony Weiner’s cellphone, Fox News, WikiLeaks, and the fake news of the alt-right. I'm sure as the days go on and Hillary continues her many $250,000 speeches the reasons will accumulate as fast as the donations to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments that only want to do good. 

Oh, wait, those foreign government payments ended before Hillary lost the election to Trump and have failed to begin again when the Electoral College certified Trump's win. That must be a big blow to the poor and needy the world over who were being helped by the Clinton Foundation. I'm certain the hurricane victims in Haiti will continue to send their regrets for the loss of their share of the charitable donations from the Clinton Foundation.

I prefer to think of James Comey as a good and honest cop who was caught between Obama and Hillary on one side and Loretta Lynch on the other side and doing the best he could to keep his head above water even though it no longer matters because Comey was fired as director of the FBI this week. Congress has found no evidence so far that Russia hacked the elections or were in any way involved in hacking documents and emails from John Podesta, the DNC, and Hillary and her team. Those documents and emails, none of which Podesta, the DNC, or Hillary and her team have been refuted, were leaked by people within the Hillary camp and/or working for the DNC and John Podesta who wanted the American people to see the real Hillary when the cameras are off and the reporters have gone home. The American people saw and chose Trump over Hillary and James Comey, with all of his double talk, will fade with time or end up covering the bird cages around the country for his trouble. I would imagine Comey will heave a sigh of relief once he is finally out of the crosshairs and off the public's mind.

I do believe Comey was an honest cop caught in an impossible situation and unable to do his job, relying on someone -- anyone -- to figure out what was going on and realize that Hillary would get away with her actions as she has so many times in the past, not because of her lame excuses or her paranoid scapegoating, but because the powers protecting her were more powerful than the truth. James Comey will have to rely on short term memory loss amidst the inundation of persistent data dumps and media howling that shift with the constantly changing mainstream currents. Maybe now Comey can relax since he is no longer balancing on a razor's edge.

That is all. Disperse.