Personal Notes-1

1024px-Coal_and_Fire  The last year has flown by.  We’ve lost a few more Loved Ones.  Walking seems a little harder and falling on the ice doesn’t help.  Pneumonia seems to come and go on its own schedule. But there are wonders… a great-grand-daughter born, more grand-children coming of age, graduations and the like.  Bernie is as beautiful as ever and spending days with our grandson, Alex.  I’m cooking a little more and playing Apex Legends.  Listening to the incredible free music being made and presented on SoundCloud and, of course, finishing up Jim Butcher’s monumental and masterful classic “Dresden Files” (for the sixth time)–where you can always find some tidbit of wisdom to ponder for the day….

Not writing a lick.  Though I am preparing to start another book.   Actually most of it is already written, I just have to finish two meaty parts and string it all together.  But there is no certainty when, or if, I’ll accomplish that.  There is always the question of why.  After all, I’ve written so many that no one has ever read it has to be vanity or ego that keeps me doing it, n’it?  At least people are listening to some of the music we did now–that’s gratifying in a way that words can hardly express.  It’s not that I haven’t gotten enough pats on the back in my life, I just hoped to excel at something before it was over that people who were not relatives or friends might appreciate. Selfish I know but that’s how we were all raised back then….

My guilts are as heavy as concrete, and my regrets thick as clouds of grasshoppers at an eastern New Mexico truck stop.  I make it by with duoloxetine and valium and a rare nightly breath of hashish (if I’ve got it).  If you’re shocked by that you don’t know me very well.  My hips have long since worn away the cartilage in the joints, so pain is my bestest friend.  I’m probably not thinking clearly to be publishing this to the world on a blog but I’m way past caring about where all this is going.  I realize how much of an over-blown, egotistical, opinionated, right-on-the-edge maniac I’ve always been– best described by the word JERK– but I’ve reconciled myself to that reality.

I started this as a simple update but realize I’ve descended into the depths without giving you any warning.  Perhaps that’s what getting older means.  One is always prone to reflective observations, primarily about the past.   It’s like when you sit down to dinner with friends or relatives your age you haven’t seen or talked to recently and the topic invariably shifts to the seemingly hilarious cliche’; stale; banal: hackneyed; trite; topic of doctors, pains, illnesses, and the passing of familiar faces.  I’m not going to do that here.

Rather I’m going to reflect on the nature of unexpected consequences.  Much of my life seemed directed at determining truths, performing rituals accurately and genuinely in the manner I was taught, denying the inherent power of my actions and thus escaping any responsibility for them.  I moved with assuredness, convinced in our direction, expecting to exert some control on our future–never assessing the weaknesses of my personality, never courting silence, never fully listening.  Rejecting, in every way the traditional lessons I had been encouraged learn and practice, like a snake so intent on the prairie dog I know is in the burrow below that I’ve ignored the shadow of the hawk  stalking me above.

So, in my early elderly period I’m changing my focus. I used to be focused on what to do. Now that I’m able to look back on the actual results of what I’ve done, I realize there is little correlation between what I expected the results of those actions to be and what actually occurred in the lives of the people I both effected and affected.  I know now that I had no clue what the result of my words and pronouncements (i.e. beliefs) would have on my children, how my actions might confuse or inspire them, and what lessons and knowledge they would take away or retain for their adulthood.  Having now been able to assess this subject more accurately, I have determined that the consequences of any one action, let alone the myriad amount of influences and situations each person experiences, cannot be known.

It is now my “opinion” that consequences cannot be predicted.  Despite the scientific search for certainty in cause and effect, the human mind is not currently capable of this understanding.  Take the example of the tyrannical despot, despoiling his lands and people.  An obvious course of action to relieve his people of their suffering would be to remove him immediately from his position of authority, yet when we examine situations of assasination or coup, we find that we cannot predict, with certainty, the outcome of that success.  Often we find the exact opposite.  The same happens when parents assert their opinions, values and decisions upon their children, expecting one outcome and getting another.  If this is true, some might argue, this truth simply relieves us of any responsibility to what we put forth, or do, in the world.  I would argue that perhaps that knowledge obliges us to understand the requirement that we adhere to silence rather than pronouncement; to listening rather than speaking; to questioning rather than answering; to expecting the unexpected rather than pretending we know outcomes; and that when we do speak or act, it is because we revere the power of word and deed, and use it with the understanding that we have no expectation or understanding what the effect of those actions will have on the present–or the future.

Maybe A.I. will truly understand cause and effect in everything, until then, I’ll take the long view.   Will what we do today, affect the earth in a thousand years?  How many generations ahead will our actions today benefit?  What is the correct amount to demand action? One? Two? Four? Seven?  How many others share this obligation?  Is it enough to make a difference?

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The Simplistic Motives of Donnie Trump

I decided to put this up as an opinion, amidst a plethora of other opinions, to explain the goals of our current President.

First, I have read as much as I can of his personal history, accounts by those who have known him for decades, his books, tweets, film and recorded comments . For some, the determination of motive may be obscure or indeciferable—but Donnie wears his heart, mind and soul on his sleeve for all to see.

Of course he never anticipated that he might actually have an opportunity to be President, but being the promoter and entertainer that he is, the chance to succeed was enough and even if he lost, the financial benefit would be worth the expense. As has always been the case with Donnie, the ultimate measurement of success or failure revolves around money. Every decision he makes starts and ends with that. Along the way he needs to achieve as much attention as possible for every action, or inaction, he makes. He does not participate in moral or ethical judements when making these decisions, the final element always relates to either an immediate positive financial gain or a positioning for future financial gain that to be achieved.

He has worked hard to develop and maintain a base of between 35 and 40 percent of the populace to become the base of his future financial empire, in conjunction with all the contacts and elbow rubbing he can accomplish with forign governments, leaders, and corporations. His real interests in foreign policy have no relation to previous administrations, geopolitical strategy or the goals of life-long foreign relations rexperts. Everyone struggles to understand why he embraces despots and tyrannies worldwide when the answer is simple. When he is no longer President these relationships will present significant opportunities for his future brand and business goals.

The same goals are predominant here at home. Though I do not have any specific cites to prove my hypothesis, his penchant for surrounding himself, and promoting devisiveness and conflict in his businesses and immediate surroundings have been extended, through his office, throughout the nation. He believes, rightfully or not, that this climate is ripe for profit-making and control—the accoutraments of the power he covets most.

No matter how bad it gets, he does not need to extend his influence beyond his base and general presidents bully-pulpit. As an Nationalist Anglo in America, and reflecting his base, the only real issue that stands out is the economy, i.e. the pursuit of personal wealth. In the white man’s world, the definition of the American Dream has never been measured in happiness or contentment but the specific opportunity for increased financial success. You can hear this from his base where the first accomplishment of his administration that comes to their mind is the economy. Of course the economy is important to all, but much of that concern among the rest of the non-Right community is more complicated and ultimately has to do with whether or not they can pay their monthly bills, not what the stock market is doing.

The second most important issue of his base is the protection of their personal wealth from “foreigners and illegals” (read “non-white”) and the power they have to carry a “Culture War” to the Nation– something Donnie could care less about except where it increases the disfunction of normality. The hysteria of his base promolgates a climate that distracts. Like the proverbial wizard behind the curtain, he does whatever he can to further create an “outsider” fear domestically while maintaining a disruptive foreign policy to align himself for future foreign and domestic financial opportunities for profit-making ventures.

For all those who find themselves asking “why” regarding anything Donnie does, it is only necessary to ask two questions: one, does it promote his personal ratings or reputation, globally or nationally with those who support him personally– and two does he stand to personally profit or position himself for future opportunities for profit. If you can anser yes to either of those questions he is achieving his goal and you have grasped the real motive that drives him.

Papal Bulls- Right By Force (Credit to Peter D’Errico)

Romanua Pontifex Jan 8 1455-(edited) ” We bestow favors and special graces on those Catholic champions to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all pagans, to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, and to appropriate possessions to Christian use and profit.”

The ‘Requirement’ of 1513 was to be read to the indigenous populations before any hostilities could commence. (edited)

” …Wherefore we require you acknowledge the Church as the ruler of the world. If you do not do this we shall enter your country and make war against you and subject you to the yoke of the Church. We shall take you, your wives, your children and shall make slaves of them, selling and disposing of them as Their Highnesses shall command; we shall take away your goods and do you all the mischief and damage we can and we protest that the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault!…”.

These Papal Bulls form the underlying fabric of US Law as it relates to Native Americans. Supreme Ct Justice (John) Marshall borrowed from the Papal Bulls the essential legalisms needed for State power over indigenous nations –Johnson vs McIntosh. Native Americans have been denied their rights in Federal Law from 1823 until today–because they were not originally Christian. Since Johnson vs McIntosh has never been overruled, the legal foundations for US Sovereignty over indigenous nations has remained “Christian Discovery”, concealed by the insertion of the word ‘European’ for the word ‘Christian’ in subsequent history and law books. The “age of discovery” became the “age of european expansion”. Even Marshall admitted the doctrine was an “extravagant… pretension” which “may be opposed to natural right” but “These claims have been established and maintained… by the sword.” (Marshall)

Since todays’ Christians rarely speak up to support Indigenous (and Native American rights) around the globe, perhaps we have not progressed so far from these Papal Bulls as some would like to think!

News For Profit/Reading Critically

 

I am constantly reminded of the importance of reading critically and not giving too much importance to headlines. In the context of the discussion of “what we know” to be true, I offer this to support my contention that a sizable amount of the information we base our opinions and beliefs upon these days can easily be called into question.

Take, for example, the recent headline that marijuana can lead to psychosis. While I don’t dispute that use of any medicine may have side effects, we should have become inured to the seemingly endless litany of the potentially harmful use of almost any drug or ingested substance. A critical reading of this article illuminates why it received headlines and who stood to profit from its “scare” value.

First, the propaganda.

“Using marijuana seems to increase the chance of becoming psychotic, researchers report in an analysis of past research that reignites the issue of whether pot is dangerous. The new review suggests that even infrequent use could raise the small but real risk of this serious mental illness by 40 percent.”

Then the caveat.

The researchers said they couldn’t prove that marijuana use itself increases the risk of psychosis. There could be something else about marijuana users, “like their tendency to use other drugs or certain personality traits, that could be causing the psychoses,” Zammit said. “The overall risk remains very low.”

Then, the real truth. (The study isn’t conclusive at all.)

Scientists cannot rule out that pre-existing conditions could have led to both marijuana use and later psychoses”, Dr. Wilson Compton, a senior scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Washington said.

Finally, the most interesting information.

Two of the authors of the study were previously on the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs Cannabis Review in 2005(and were probably compensated handsomely for their participation).

Several authors reported being paid to attend drug company-sponsored meetings related to marijuana, and one received consulting fees from companies that make antipsychotic medications … (Ahhh, pharmaceutical reps – and we consider these to be unbiased scientists?)

Even the scientist who led the effort to discover the human genetic code has written extensively about the landslide of corruption in the scientific industry, paid by corporate drug pushers to influence public opinion.

I’m not sure that the interests of William Randolph Hearst are not being represented. He was the man responsible for getting marijuana declared a dangerous drug to precipitate its being made illegal to eliminate the rapidly burgeoning commercial hemp industry from effectively capsizing his timber industry profits. To wipe out the vast and cheap multitude of hemp products threatening his empire, he initiated the attack by focusing on the accepted medical use of marijuana at the time and generated the brainwashing of generations to its dangers.

Certainly the pharmaceutical companies consider medical marijuana a threat to their profits, and the misuse of science for commercial gain is increasing exponentially.

As I said at the beginning, I’m not questioning the findings so much as why the study was conducted at all. Who stood to gain financially – that’s always the first question to ask. Perhaps a study is in order to determine whether or not people who hate their jobs are at increased risk of psychosis, or whether people stressed by being unable to meet healthcare bills or day to day economic realities might be more apt to suffer psychosis.

I haven’t seen these studies. Why not? Because it isn’t really about protecting the public – it’s about influencing public opinion for economic gain. Read critically, the fine print often unintentionally reverses the impact of the lead line.

An Open Letter Specific To Lake County (And American Citizens In General)

Much of the pride of Lake County citizens issues from the beauty and purity of our natural resources. This beauty is not guaranteed to us eternally. It can be spent, degraded, and destroyed in only a few generations. The Native memory of Lake County remembers a much different landscape—with different plants, different animals, and an even more pristine environment. At one time, in the not too distant past, Clear Lake was a seasonal source of drinkable water. One of the tests of our maturity as citizens is to popularize our priority to preserve the resources that are the essence of why we raise our children here. Any temptation to allow the degradation or destruction of those resources to promote the financial well-being of a few generations must be resisted.

As the century progresses, the value of the resources of water, arable land, space, and natural beauty will become more and more precious as we see the rest of the world struggle to attain our excessive standard of living. Young Chinese are already parroting the modern view that the sacrifice of nature and resources is necessary to their achieving a position of consumer equal.

The concept of endless growth and mindless development has been the accepted model for economic success for the last century. No one admits that it is the model of our success—yet the issue of how to maintain or improve County standards and economy always begins with a discussion of how growth may be achieved.

Common sense tells us we can put only so many fish in a fish bowl before the balance of water, air, and sustenance becomes taxed and the health and well-being of the fish are threatened. It is time to recognize that our previous models of “progress”, supported by seemingly inexhaustible resources, are obsolete and that sincere programs of resource preservation and a dedication toward achieving environmental purity must be adopted. It is time to change direction. As an alternative to growth for solely profitable reasons, we should make it our priority to see that any growth will enrich and enhance the quality of the lives and environment of the inhabitants of Lake County. We must search for economic models that are not based on eternal growth but move toward developing an internal economy that is self-sustaining and resource generating.

We are at a turning point in the economic and environmental life of our County. Our leaders should dare to be unpopular. We should welcome the ideas of all citizens, not just the commonly recognized pundits, experts, and policy-makers. Our most pressing need is for creativity and innovation in our planning and development concepts. Clean air, clean water, and unspoiled lands are the measure of our true wealth. If you doubt this, travel to places deprived of these and you will find a predictable poverty and despair.

Clear Lake is our most profound resource, yet we treat it like a child treats a taken-for-granted toy. We allow livestock to graze close to its banks. We allow unidentified private septic systems to leech into its reservoir. We don’t fund the necessary comprehensive tests for MTBE, methyl bromide, petroleum products, herbicides and pesticides in plants, water-fowl, animals and sediment. A satirical song by the band Pink Floyd, describes how a future alien anthropologist is forced to conclude that the extinction of the human species occurred because it “amused itself to death.” We are concerned that our toys and playtimes are affected by water-weeds, and we throw tantrums over foul smelling algae, yet we typically ignore potentially serious dangers, particularly when solutions would require difficult, demanding, and unpopular solutions.

The new paradigm could begin with the concept of developing an internal “second support” economy. We begin by asking, “What do we need to sustain ourselves, besides a clean and balanced environment?” To maintain our lifestyles we need to add to our national infrastructure, creating a local second support system of food, fuel, and energy production. Our development must take into consideration the most advanced technologies and community planning to provide efficient public transportation and public service systems. Organics and clean environmental policy should power our tourist economies. We should commit to the most advanced information, media, and communication technologies. Our school system should be overhauled to reflect a commitment to an up-to-date educational model for our children.

The creation of a second level internal economy through business and tax incentives would create a climate for new local businesses to emerge. We should encourage the cultivation of local arable lands to grow organic foods and sustain local livestock for locally based retail grocery, meat processing, and sales. The planting and harvest of local fruits, nuts, and vegetables for locally based community co-op enterprises has proved successful in other areas. Drying, canning, jerking, smoking, and the preservation of foods not only develops an economy prepared to deal with catastrophe but encourages a philosophy of eliminating waste at a most basic level, and recognizes the need for diminishing our dependence on immediately perishable foods. A need for processing, packaging, and transportation of these products could support additional local industries.

A commitment to alternative energy development on a local scale could support specialized agriculture, processing, and fuel supply businesses. The opportunity to build a tourist fishing industry that relies on electric and alternate–energy crafts lies within our grasp. If it was publicized that the County had made a commitment to supporting businesses specializing in these types of new technologies, we might see an influx of new businesses geared to this development. Petroleum power boat fishing contests could still be tolerated, but be limited to special occasion events.

The publicizing of this commitment to a self-sustaining economy and environmental purity could, in itself, represent a tool for drawing new people and industry to the community. It would be better to be able to pick and choose new entities that fit into a pre-engineered plan than be desperate to accept any technologies, industries, or businesses as policy. If we were able to hammer out a consensus that convinced people they would be participating in a novel, innovative, and wholly necessary experiment; the restoration of a truly magnificent resource—Lake County and Clear Lake—by appealing solely to their pride and common sense, we could breathe a sigh of relief on behalf of our descendants.

A County that has made this type of futuristic commitment would prove to be a valuable resource to California. This is not stepping backward, it is the wave of the future in a world of diminishing resources. In only a few generations, we would see the payoff. Water will be at the heart of the crisis of the future. Unspoiled lands and clean air will represent important attributes of community wealth. Those who oppose these ideas, oppose them because they personally stand to gain from disregarding the big picture, or because they are philosophically entrenched in an obsolete and dying perception of what progress means. At the heart of their beliefs, they are unconcerned with the health and well-being of subsequent generations.

Our commercials should cry out—“Come to Lake County! Breathe the freshest air; swim and fish in the cleanest Lake; drink the highest quality water, dairy, and wines; eat the freshest organic meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts; hike and bike in the most pristine environment; and frolic at the best County parks, casinos, restaurants and resorts in California.” If our lands and waters are spoiled, crowded, burnt-up or over-developed, and if our economy is corporately controlled at the national, not local, level—on what will our future generations depend in a moment of crisis? Who will be provide our net of safety and security if it is not us? What is to keep us from becoming just another suburb of the Bay Area Megalopolis—despoiled and overrun?

The rush to social and economic ruin always takes place upon an easier path—but we can choose to take the road less traveled and leave a satisfying legacy for the children of Lake County. Their future must be considered now.

New Directions

I do a lot of criticizing modern western civilization and its time that I began to write a little bit beyond the doom and gloom. Yes, I believe the civilization is headed for crisis beyond our present comprehension, and yes, I also believe that the suicidal adherents to nationalism will eventually cause the US to either become rabidly facist–resulting in a revolution of some kind– or lose its position as a world power and become a militant threat to global survival as it goes down swinging. But I also take a long view and that is that most of that is relatively unimportant, except as it relates to the quality of life our children and generations ahead will experience.

There are already those who have, and will continue, to challenge the powers that be publicly on national and global issues. I’ve written my fair share on those issues as well. But the power of the people resides most effectively on the local level, and that is where I believe any change must begin, and solutions originate.

It is becoming more apparent every day that the global economy is serving the interests of a minority, while consumerism in the more powerful nations is hell bent on a crusade to export corporate capitalism to the world to satisfy the philosophies of endless growth and technological progress without examination of the consequences or recognition of finite realities.

On a national level, the average citizen has come to expect the central government to rally to every cause, provide every service, and uphold the present standard of middle class life despite the inability of any government, capitalist, communist, or socialist to meet these expectations indefinitely.

As the population becomes more and more diverse and the values and priorities of each political and social splinter group force the gap of common goals and purpose to widen, the central government will be less and less able to provide expected services without passing the cost on to the populace. The present difference between contemporary liberal and conservative economic principles revolves around those expectations, and whether or not it is the responsibility of the central government to meet them, I could go off on a tangent here discussing the relative merits of each philosophy–but I’ll forego that pleasure and make a simple statement.

I believe the monster has gotten too large to serve either ideal. The failure of representative government to provide for the welfare of the people, on the scale we demand of it, is becoming more and more evident. The central government will never be able to meet all the needs of all the people all the time. Neither can faith-based groups, volunteers in the community, and reliance on charity organizations put food in the mouths of the needy, a roof over their heads, or give them access to medical care, not to mention education and opportunity.

Our central government has simply become too bogged down with bureaucratic mismanagement, pork barrel spending, and entrenched political institutions to withstand the influence of amoral corporate power in its decisions and legislation.

It’s time to forge a new alliance. Washington should be downsized to a Ceremonial Center. The United States should become a loose Confederacy of Regions that taxes, or not, their own, fully utilizing any taxes to fulfill the service expectations of their citizenry. Those regions should treat with the central government for the amount of capital necessary to fulfill Washington’s responsibilities to the Confederacy. Those responsibilities should include; the maintenance of a modern capable defensive military, the production and maintenance of a national currency, the keeping of a well-balanced budget, and the appointment of a judicial branch whose sole purpose is: to see that the literal Bill Of Rights is upheld throughout the Nation and that commerce proceeds without one region holding unreasonable control over trade, natural resources, etc., common to all. (thank you, Gore Vidal!)

Local regions would choose to govern themselves democratically utilizing whatever system of economics suited 2/3 of the populace of that Region. The goal of each region would be to accomplish economic self- sufficiency supplemented by domestic and foreign trade.

The period of transition would be hard. People’s ideals of what they deserve from government and what their responsibilities to their neighbors might be would be challenged. The vampire of consumerism would be vanquished. Media would serve local interests again. Local capitalism would reclaim its dignity, its ethics, its morality and its accountability to its citizens. Economics would flourish as previously centralized systems of producing and providing necessities would return to local community control. All the tax monies that presently go to the central government would be retained in the Regions and local communities. Each region would be free to establish its common interests again, and develop local policies.

Does this sound like starting again from scratch? Certainly! Would it be less painful than letting the present system’s disintegration run its course? Certainly! The re-engineering of America must begin soon. The minds and the intellects are there to make it happen. But can the American mind give up its pride, its ego, and its maniacal belief that it, and only it, is the savior, the policeman, and the market mechanic of the world? Can the head of manifest destiny be severed once and for all? Or will the colonial traditions of old Europe continue to drive us to arrogantly believe in our superiority and our system, at all costs?