Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yes We Can (Maybe)

Here's another;

The new change taken place in this country resembles hyper-apathy. The trickery of election politics puts the population into a somnambulist mentality talking gibberish. They voted, everything will be better... as troop call up increase, the dollar is nosediving on the global market and the ever vigilant prosecutors and local police look and find perceived enemies of the state.

The war(s) continue unabated and, in fact, are escalated into more sovereign countries. St. Patrick Day parades continue to draw drunken revelers of record crowds and antiwar marches of substance, empathy and political importance receive not a line in the local newspaper or spot on the news. I predict the new/old spin soon will be that war is positive force on this American society as it cleans the population of undesirables and helps focus us on a collective patriotic mission, while we are eating at a mission or ignoring the Mission Statement of "faith, hope and charity" many of us still think is relevant to our humanness.

The masses are not empowered in any way, shape or form. Being bossed around their entire lives - teacher, crossing guards, sports coaches in childhood to harried, psychotic middle managers and spouses in their adult years - they look with dear-in-spotlight animation when confronted with a simple moral decision of the rightness or wrongness of immoral, illegal warfare. A Leader is what is needed, someone to make all the decisions, and removal of those that make them think is what follows. Comfort, security and a maintained state peace at all costs, just take my money and acquiescence to do it. Similar to eating beef without ever visiting a slaughterhouse. The philosophy of It's Just The Way It Is prevails.

Needed: original ideas of any stripe raising the dignity of fellow men and women. Start at the earliest opportunity. Pay low, difficult circumstances ahead, people skills a must.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

O is for Olympics?

from September 2008:

I went to the Oprah show at Millennium Park this morning. I couldn’t resist another huge feeling of alienation – I’m pretty sick that way.

She invited 150 or so American Olympians from Peking as her guests and Mayor Daley weaseled a tough ticket, to boot. Yes, the stereotypes were there – the fawning women, the inside knowledge of Oprah and her friend Gayle, the cultishness was thick. But this wasn’t just the usual morning shtick. We were enveloped in red, white and blue confetti, chants of “USA, USA”, and a declaration of a mystical national spirit that made them run faster, jump higher, and kick foreign ass in sports no one else plays.

Michael Phelps seems like a normal enough guy. They all wanted to marry him, or at least, were real interested in his sexuality (aren’t we all?). His mother was there and we cried right along with her (didn’t we all?). He won his race, as Dana Torres lost hers, by .001 of a second. I don’t feel that’s Olympian, that’s just plain petty. Let these people swim the English Channel and talk to me about thousands of a second.

A gymnast stated that after watching Oprah’s show and buying the book O recommended, she compiled a “vision board” with a printed gold medal in the center and then went on to win in Peking. The fact her parents were Olympic champions, has been coached since the age of three and trained 8 hrs a day was happenstance. She won the crowd bowing in the Church of Oprah.

I can’t think of a more undeserving bunch than the Men’s basketball team. These men have been coddled since showing any talent (and height) from a very young age. Full scholarships through college, million dollars contracts upon graduation. And they squeaked through Spain. Kobe, of all people, implied they were redeeming the reputation of American basketball players. Keep it in your pants would go a long way towards that, Kobe.

Oprah did highlight the achievement of the Afro-American swimmer and fencing medal winners from the Bronx and Brooklyn, respectively. Good for them.

Three quarters of the women’s relay team was there and as the replay on the screen showed, the final runner caught and passed the Russian on her last strides. That got one of the largest ovations of the day. Quite apparent to me the Red Scare still exists. Ms. Oprah asked her if she received the extra boost of energy from all the national spirit sent halfway around the world. The runner replied that she did. She didn’t get mine; I was asleep on the couch at the time.

Kerry and Misty gave O a volleyball and it wouldn’t do her any harm to get out to North Avenue beach for a game or two. Misty will be Dancing with the Stars this coming season, now can’t you just wait? OMG.

Along with Oprah, Obama and Olympics this was and Overt commercial for the Chicago 2016 bid. The suburbanites want it and fighting it seems like energy spent. In my worst moments I can’t even see the world in 2016 existing, but like the Columbian Exposition of 1898 it will be here with the accompanying 40% unemployment and it will be like a Hollywood western town set, a la, Blazing Saddles. Meanwhile, the poor will continue to have their land grabbed and huge money will change hands for speculation. Nothing will be improved except new ways to fleece the tourists.

These sorry citizens need something to cheer for – give them circuses. “We won more medals than any country on Earth!” Oprah crowed. No kidding. “How did feel to hear the National Anthem on the stand?” she gushed. I refuse to stand for it; the war song makes me cringe. These athletes were supernatural, Ubermen, godlike, according to the show. Drunk on sports this society is with a decision quick and final, unlike any other aspect of this government, like war and health care for instance, subjects that take so much disturbing effort to think about. Let’s make idols out of our well-to-do beautiful youth. Let’s pretend they are perfect and a perfect reflection of our racist, classist, sexist, mean spirited society.

I Heart Oprah, it’s so easy to go with the flow. What took me so long?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Comin' To Getchya

Mandela's a hero? Lama's a slug?:

In every single case before the rise of totalitarian government there had been a period dominated by economic planners.

Each of these nations had an era under starry-eyed men who believed that they could plan and force the economic life of the the people.

They believed that was the way to correct abuse or to meet emergencies in systems of free enterprise.

They exalted the state as the solver of all economic problems. These men thought they were liberals. But they also thought they could have economic dictatorship by bureaucracy and the the same time preserve free speech, orderly justice and free government.

They might be called totalitarian liberals.

Directly or indirectly they politically controlled credit, prices, production of industry, farmer and laborer.

They devalued, pump-primed, and deflated. They controlled private business by government competition, by regulation and by taxes. They met every failure with demands for more and more power and control...

Then came chronic unemployment and frantic government spending in an effort to support the unemployed.

Government debts mounted and finally government credit was undermined.

And then came the complete takeover, whether it was called Fascism, Socialism or Communism.

Herbert Hoover, 1940

Monday, March 23, 2009

What War?

Drugs, friend or enemy?:

Seven thousand people protested the Wars in Washington DC this weekend. I don't imagine anyone saw a report on television, radio or newspapers. Admittedly, a meager turn out. The minds of the population have been invaded, taken over and programmed by false hope of the electoral process. Not being seen is as good as not existing in the quick turnaround meme world of modern America.

I could take a pessimistic, angry attitude towards my fellow citizens and decry how "stupid" they are, or "fat and stupid", or how "ignorant, fat and stupid" they are, but this time I refuse to get my undies in a bunch. I will continue to go along and do what I can do to bring attention to the daily atrocities this governmental administration continues to do (yes, Obama is a war criminal, too. He doesn't get a break because he didn't start it. His policies maintain the oppression.) Contempt won't help this country heal, but smash face truth will. Along with all the false hope it seems that false empathy and compassion for our veterans is the rage. Like we care a bunch, face it, we don't. Out of guilt, shame and embarrassment we'll cough up a quarter to the guy on the off ramp, but basically the killing, maiming and psyche damage rolls merrily along.

I'll dig in further pissing on patriotism, jeering at jingoism, and challenging stupid parents happily sending their children to the war machine expecting my sympathies and support. I can not care, too. Send them to the Army all I expect is death, half death or zombie death, I sure don't know what they expect is going to happen. They obviously didn't raise bright kids. Support the troops? What for? Only the ones working for peaceful solutions is where my efforts will lie.

Half the people leaving DC will be agitated to begin another phase of antiwar work. The other half will be disenchanted and dragging them down. Such is the dynamics of organization, as best as I can tell. I'll try to focus on my own talents and resources and avoid those defeated by exasperation. I can't live with myself doing nothing.

Friday, March 20, 2009

To Loath Or Not To Loath

Lovely video:

I want to move to France:

I've been pondering the idea of self-loathing and the pain it brings.

Meditation has brought back the idea to me that I can live with myself in a moment by moment basis. It slows down the mind to manageable levels. When in doubt bad decisions are made because the thought process is scrambling with the resultant action incorrect. Many instances of bad decisions makes one hate oneself. This seems to be unnecessary, but the stress induced outside world demands a pound of flesh each and everyday.

I've been watching people's habits and sensing their disposition upon meeting them. How they carry themselves or the carefulness of their speech is an indicator of their internal self value. I wish not to believe that a person would come to self-loathing on their own. I prefer to think the world has done an injustice to an innocent being. I also believe training in life skills does not stop in adolescence. I'm an example of learning at a late age, but never too late.

Regardless of past decisions, one has to develop a confidence in speech and manner fueled by self compassion that mistakes may have been made but will not consciously be done again. Making the same mistakes over and over is childish, emotionally clouded, and destructive to the relationships around you. No mistake cannot be corrected, outside extreme cases. Words cannot be put back into your mouth, so be mindful before letting them go. Silence should be comfortable, not angry, and if it is it should be diffused with kindness. Easier said than done, that is why education on emotional stability and human psychology is a lifetime effort.

Very few have it together their whole lives. One half of adults have a severe emotional crisis sometime in their lifetimes. We work along and never tune up our psyche, thinking we have the plan or secure in our surroundings not realizing the temporary nature of materialism or the fickleness of others. We don't take well to perceived betrayal or use hatred and anger as energy sources. One half fall to the negative side, functioning but denying their better nature, living in guilt based, fear based, anxiety based view of their condition. They don't want to be there and have lost the skills to get out. It's easy to find companionship in this state, misery loves company afterall, with the result of a swirling, reinforcing loathing for all people starting with those closest. The downward spiral is long in the making, but the end comes quick.

There are institutions available for these searching souls. Organized religion exists for them, but my viewpoint is that the soul is not soothed, it is only controlled by fear. The idea of a damnable hell existing is the antithesis of compassion. The great comfort of AA is guilt based. And the AMA will drug you up, put you in a corner and declare you cured.

This society needs better mental health programs based on respect and dignity of the individual. Let's get off the corporatist, Reaganite, Japanese style of workplace belligerence and spend a more life affirming time each day at the job site. A tone of loving harmony must prevail and the arrogant meanness must be dissipated. I want to believe that those we spend most of our time with are responsible for our state of mind. One gets what one gives.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Full Circle

Medical Whores Accept Societal Sickness:

It's almost too easy to focus on the miserable. Doing exactly that is what brought my mental state to sub-basement level. The right temporal lobe is the agent for that. When a portion of your brain takes over, especially that one, trouble is due. Using one's entire consciousness takes recognition, training and desire to see the world in its entirety.

I'm very concerned that a large segment of the population cannot or does not handle their interpersonal relationship with dignity and respect. Of course, it's because they don't get dignity and respect in their work lives and often, and they are connected, in their home lives. It's hard to give when you don't receive.

Shock jock radio. Not funny comics, but mean. JackAss as a way of life. So much that passes as entertainment is the degradation of our fellow man. The spirit of competition fosters so much of this thinking, everyone looking for that edge. Wiping our shoes on our fellow workers backs as we climb the ladder of capitalism. For many of us, it doesn't come easy and we don't want to do it. We want work to be satisfying and fun. It's just too much to ask, I know.

So, I want to be optimistic. I'm smelling roses. I see hope and want to share the book readings and practices that show this frame of mind. The population loves its misery. No new ideas allowed. I shrink my circle and share with those receptive until I'm back to my left frontal lobe, sitting alone.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rocks Needed

... so the war(s) drag on. The local police get more tasers. The State gets more ability to read your private emails and track your movements.

What is the point of working? You now fund your own health care. Your pension swirls down the toilet. Corporations and institutions lay off because they can and the remainder workers will press ever harder to make up the loss. Management resents your hourly status. Labor is phased out, teched out and farmed out without concern. The Corporation is a legal person and a sociopath to boot. Adopting corporate thinking in your low level job is dangerous for you and all your co-workers.

Where is your lifeline? Your spouse or loved one who will stick by you through and through? Your community? Your faith? Your faith community? Where are you going to put your life when things really become unstuck?

Emotional disorders, afflictions that happen to one in two adults over the course of their lives, will rise and have been rising. What side of the divide are your going to be? The solid rock or the puddle of tears? We need more rocks and we need them now.

It's time to organize soup kitchens and garden clubs. To reach out a hand and meet your neighbors. To share more of your hard earned wealth if you have it. To work for people instead of profit and that is going to take an enormous shift in values, ethics and programmed thinking. Scrouge McDucks will be vilified, not glorified. Some people have money, some people have work and they will have to be persuaded to share. When leadership does rise from the ashes we must recognize it and support it. To rip it down before it can grow should not be tolerated. Look at a persons' motivations, analyze their direction of thought, be respectful even in criticism and the better nature of humanity will be shown. It's not about money anymore, it's about survival. Puddles of tears will be turned into rocks, thrown or to be leaned on.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It Could Be You

Monkeys go Postal, too:

Just let it die:

Now who hasn't done that?:

The finalists for Coward of the Year:

a) The military person flying pilotless drones over Pakistan shooting missiles, killing innocents, sitting safely in his/her cubicle in Nevada.

b) The police informer that tricked on the 8 young kids currently sitting in jail around the Republican National Convention

c) The torturer inflicting pain on a bound prisoner.

d) The workplace brown nose snitch.

e) The government employee whose job it is to read personal emails, listen to personal phone calls, spy, snoop, and entrap civilians.

... and the winner is ... The entire American Population! This has got to be the most cowardly group of people ever assembled under a national flag. They have allowed an extremely small group of bullies to take over their government, economy and environment and lay waste to all of them with minimum dissent. In fact, they have convinced a large portion to hand over their sons and daughters for sacrifice and the parents proudly do it. These people talk a good game about freedom, but wouldn't recognize it if it spit in their eye.

Six years of brutal war is upon us. The reasons for going to war have all been discredited, now just jokes for Jay Leno. Young men and women blown to bits, maimed, and psychologically damaged for life. Innocent civilians of Iraq killed by missiles launched hundreds of miles away, bombs dropped from airplanes, snipers hiding on rooftops, for what? The crime of living in a country with a brutal dictator? Americans the last 8 years deserve the same.

Enough with the John Wayne hooey. I've had it with so-called patriots. They are just little boy cowards hiding behind the school yard bully. It is the American way to stand up for the little guy, to be a safe harbor for the dispossessed, and these values have been replaced by greed and arrogance. This government had an opportunity (remember the peace dividend?) to bring cohesion to earth and they spread destruction instead. It's nothing to be proud of.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Death from Above, Life From Below

The company said he quit last week and was considered a team leader and well liked by employees:

Article for below comment:

Two Hundred and Twenty Million Dollars for a Killing Machine Airplane

Yep, that is what it costs for the F-22 to be built. The diabolical aspect is over forty states are involved in production of this monstrosity. Forty governors and eighty senators won't disturb the economic effect of eliminating "good jobs". The Machinist Union just thinks that is A-OK.

What this machine does is, once again, is kill. Nothing more, nothing less. American ingenuity at its worst. Science and technology at its most macabre. Slap an American flag on the side and let 'er fly. Another example of why we begin baseball games.

AFL-CIO doesn't want to end the war, it want you to fill out postcards. It's a middle man in capitalism. It handed over our pension money to the bankers instead of forming its own bank. It can't give you health care, only beg employers for it. It can't guarantee job security, except for a few of their bargaining unit. Organized labor today in America has been infiltrated and mislead since WW II. They have nothing to be proud of as the economy stands today. They are not a player, only provide diversion and false hope to desperate people. Point to a success in the last fifty years.

It's time for working people to look at each other differently. As someone does a service for you, reply with Thank You. As you leave a coffee counter, leave an extra quarter. Let's not be impatient with the bus driver, let's remind him how we understand how tough his/her job is. Break down the divisions of chauvinistic battling, the fratricide, of trade unions, there is nothing to fight over. Recognize each worker as the depth of the working class, and treat that person accordingly - as said, like you might be seen and treated doing your job, as you would like.

There are no representatives of labor, just you.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Working Within Ourselves

Another reason not to go BigPharma:

The concept of workplace must be reconfigured in these changing times. The time clock must be declared illegal. No corporate entity owns time and sells it at a price. No one charges for time, but for labor, and ingredient that is absolutely necessary and payment will be made. We are not 'man-hours' or 'labor units' but men and women and we should act accordingly demanding dignity and respect.

These organizations that claim to represent us are filled with misleaders selling our souls. They tell us the benefits of joining, only to hand our pensions over to the banker class. They can't deliver health care nor job protection. They are staffed by frustrated management types and the ones with principles of rank and file advocacy are removed with a hatchet from the payroll. Sticking up for a person and sticking up for a person's right to a pension are two vastly different things. In the first case, it's the welfare of the complete person, and the second is overwhelming concern with the person's money earned and parked under someone elses' control. So is the source of corruption, putting dignity second.

The resentment towards hourly wage earners has to stop, but not by screaming in emotional outbursts, "Stop resenting me". To get respect one must respect themselves first. We must lift a person's self worth having them realize just how important they are. One of the more empowering moments of recent history was calling out all the undocumented workers to march in May Day parade. The employers couldn't resist, none were fired, the streets were filled and the city stopped. Everyday and every way through all sorts of media these folks are told they are 'illegal', 'unworthy' and 'unneeded' but on that day (like everyday) they were important.

The self esteem of the American worker is nil. We are beaten down and frightened by a management class that if we pulled back the curtain are just as scared. We are allowing this to happen to us, we are causing much pain to other working people in the flailing around in frustration over this issue. We must settle our minds and focus on our commonality, realizing our role in the job site is a life giving situation and not a demeaning daily experience. We must turn around the downward spiral with calm reasoning using only the emotions that grow constructive relationships among each other. No leader, no organization, no ideology will lead us to a better life.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mirror World

Self awareness is no sweet dream.
Destructive emotions
of the past have no statute of limitations.

Does one ever see oneself as
one is
or will the doppelganger
mean certain death?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pragmatism is Hell

Capitalism is dying like a cancer ridden loved one. It's only a matter of time. Morphine or LSD-25 is needed to help the transition. It is not passing easily.

How will the world make another rotation? How will the seed sprout? How will people survive?

This society, right wing or left, seems to have such faith in money and cannot describe a problem or solution except in these terms. The alternatives of spiritual nature are not taken seriously despite the positive addition to life it brings. Existing structures, commented on ceaselessly, are only left to be replaced by another unproven money game prone to corruption. This passes as higher political thought.

I'm looking for a counterculture left. A commune, perhaps, better described as a mutual aid society. Value is plastic and flexible. Pain and suffering is addressed immediately by the participants, not debated until the problem goes away. Authoritarianism and its bulliest nature would be exorcised. Life would slow down to a crawl. The slave mentality would not drive our existence. Someone else's profits would not be a problem until it appears to threaten the peace (and it would someday.) At that point money intersecting the personal relationship links would be disregarded and the spiritual connection between us would be reinforced. This is my big dream, an ideal ground down to dust in present sick society.

The rich elites rule because we allow them to. There's no health care, public schools, free transportation, unpolluted air and water because the citizens allow it. Finding a new boss will lead to the same results of oppression and repression. When will political active people be active for their own self interest, organizing outside of definitions given to us by the elite owned media and institutions? Speakers seem so sure in their direction, but listening closely, I hear only demagoguery appealing to the emotions not controlled by the listeners and leading the lost into another dangerous situation. Money, of course, being the glue of discourse. Eugene Debs' quote "If I could lead you into paradise, I wouldn't, because someone else would lead you out" applies. With all the talk about personal responsibility it can be amazing to see how gladly individuals give it up in exchange for false hope. We seem so insecure, individually and collectively.

What's the problem of living in this mindset except the ultimate end of dying in a cardboard box under the highway overpass? The benefits are my good nature humor has returned, my compassion for my fellow man has increased, and instances of peace of mind are making it worthwhile. I enjoy being around people more as I am on top of my emotions (most times). I aspire to the snow on a bamboo leaf as it slides off onto the ground (another Buddhist metaphor that helps me understand). As the tensions add up I'm learning to let go without involving others in my pain. Passing the stress to the undeserving seems to be the source of negativity. A lot less sure of my Big Fat Opinion, relying on Maybe as a guiding force. I'm not attaching myself to those so sure in direction like a NASCAR roadster bound for a crash. I'm preferring a long, meandering ride in the country. It's life worth living, regardless of the ultimate end.