The Tragic Case of the Wanna-be Cop

The Trayvon Martin/Zimmerman case is a tragedy that never should have happened.  Two people and their families have been forever affected by this.  The fact remains that Trayvon was guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  George Zimmerman made a BIG mistake.  He racially profiled Trayvon because he was a young black male in a hoodie.  Trayvon had not committed a crime that day and unless George Zimmerman had witnessed Trayvon involved in a crime he had no other reason to stop him OTHER than he fit the “profile” of a criminal in that neighborhood.  Trayvon was a teenager who walked to the store and was attempting to head home that day.  There is no doubt that both Trayvon and George Zimmerman acted in fear that day, but one had a gun and one had a can of soda.

“Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself” – Samuel Butler

Zimmerman’s only way out of this was to “claim” self defense.  The details of what happened are only known to Zimmerman and Trayvon.  The undeniable factor here is that racial profiling occurred by George Zimmerman and someone lost their life because of that.  If Trayvon was beating Zimmerman it was probably was because he feared for his own life.  Zimmerman should never have pursued the teen with a gun in his possession.  This type of vigilante justice is extremely dangerous for our society.  Call the police and give a description and allow the police to handle questioning.  Under questioning Trayvon would have been found to have every right to be in that neighborhood that day and two people lives would have returned to normal.  George Zimmerman was more of a danger to himself than Trayvon was.  If you want to carry a gun at least have the capacity to deescalate a situation without resorting to violence or the threat of violence.  You can’t solve violence with more violence just like you can’t solve stupidity with more stupidity.  It is far past time to evolve our thinking to a higher level of consciousness because, “Heedfulness is the path to the Deathless. Heedlessness is the path to death. The heedful die not. The heedless are as if dead already.” SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Quantum Physics of the Soul (Life) for Dummies

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

I created a miniature e-book about Life for Dummies (Square Root of Zero Version).

Cliff notes and important terms:

Cartesian Dualism:  In philosophy of mind, dualism is the assumption that mental phenomena are, in some respects, non-physical, or that the mind and body are not identical. Thus, it encompasses a set of views about the relationship between mind and matter, and is contrasted with other positions, such as physicalism, in the mind–body problem. Source:Wikipedia

According to material realists, consciousness is an anomalous (deviating from what is standard, normal, or expected) epiphenomenon (a secondary phenomenon accompanying another and caused by it; specifically : a secondary mental phenomenon that is caused by and accompanies a physical phenomenon but has no causal influence itself.)

Monistic Idealism is a system of philosophical idealism emphasizing the primacy of the One (as the Absolute or Nature) rather than of the many.  The contrasting view is that of Material Realism.

“The principles of Material Realism…

Strong Objectivity, Causal Determinism, Locality, Physical or Material Monism, and Epiphenomenalism…

are metaphysical (of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses) postulates, or assumptions about the nature of being, not conclusions arrived at by experiment.” -Goswami

Epiphenomenalism is a mind–body philosophy marked by the belief that basic physical events (sense organs, neural impulses, and muscle contractions) are causal with respect to mental events (thought, consciousness, and cognition). Mental events are viewed as completely dependent on physical functions and, as such, have no independent existence or causal efficacy; it is a mere appearance. Fear seems to make the heart beat faster; though, according to epiphenomenalism, the state of the nervous system causes the heart to beat faster.[1] Because mental events are a kind of overflow that cannot cause anything physical, yet have non-physical properties, epiphenomenalism is viewed as a form of property dualism. Source: Wikipedia

The last picture is a graphic representation of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Plato has Socrates describe a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Plato’s Socrates, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners. Source: Wikipedia

Consciousness, not matter, is fundamental.  This is one of the most important concepts to understand.

8 Spiritual Laws of Emerson

1) Take time to reflect and see the beauty that exists.  “When the act of reflection takes place in the mind, when we look at ourselves in the light of thought, we discover that our life is embosomed in beauty. Behind us, as we go, all things assume pleasing forms, as clouds do far off.”
2) Do not create difficulties for yourself.  “The intellectual life may be kept clean and healthful, if man will live the life of nature, and not import into his mind difficulties which are none of his. No man need be perplexed in his speculations.”
3) Do not seek evil.  “Our young people are diseased with the theological problems of original sin, origin of evil, predestination, and the like. These never presented a practical difficulty to any man, — never darkened across any man’s road, who did not go out of his way to seek them.”
4) Do not interfere with nature and create your own evil out of ignorance, life can be easy if you let it be.  “The lesson is forcibly taught by these observations, that our life might be much easier and simpler than we make it; that the world might be a happier place than it is; that there is no need of struggles, convulsions, and despairs, of the wringing of the hands and the gnashing of the teeth; that we miscreate our own evils. We interfere with the optimism of nature; for, whenever we get this vantage-ground of the past, or of a wiser mind in the present, we are able to discern that we are begirt with laws which execute themselves.”
5) Nature, like love, is unconditional.  “The face of external nature teaches the same lesson. Nature will not have us fret and fume. She does not like our benevolence or our learning much better than she likes our frauds and wars.”
6) There is no need to have faith in expediency or machines just because we can not learn to sit still or look for a higher purpose.  “If we look wider, things are all alike; laws, and letters, and creeds, and modes of living, seem a travestie of truth. Our society is encumbered by ponderous machinery, which resembles the endless aqueducts which the Romans built over hill and dale, and which are superseded by the discovery of the law that water rises to the level of its source. It is a Chinese wall which any nimble Tartar can leap over. It is a standing army, not so good as a peace.”
7) Cultivate awareness and you will prosper.  “A little consideration of what takes place around us every day would show us, that a higher law than that of our will regulates events; that our painful labors are unnecessary, and fruitless; that only in our easy, simple, spontaneous action are we strong, and by contenting ourselves with obedience we become divine. Belief and love, — a believing love will relieve us of a vast load of care. O my brothers, God exists. There is a soul at the centre of nature, and over the will of every man, so that none of us can wrong the universe. It has so infused its strong enchantment into nature, that we prosper when we accept its advice, and when we struggle to wound its creatures, our hands are glued to our sides, or they beat our own breasts. The whole course of things goes to teach us faith. We need only obey.”
8) Respect simplicity.  “As much virtue as there is, so much appears; as much goodness as there is, so much reverence it commands. All the devils respect virtue. The high, the generous, the self-devoted sect will always instruct and command mankind. Never was a sincere word utterly lost. Never a magnanimity fell to the ground, but there is some heart to greet and accept it unexpectedly. A man passes for that he is worth.”

Only in America

logic

Logic?  Who needs logic when you have an assault rifle pointed at everyone’s head?  I just don’t see why there can’t be more research done on violence, especially with guns.  The NRA released a video calling Obama a hypocrite for having Secret Service guard his daughters at school. Why shouldn’t the PRESIDENT of the United States have Secret Service guarding his daughters?   Just because the President has gun toting Secret Service protection then everyone else should too because that would be fair?  I’m not sure that you can fight ignorant behavior with more ignorance or fight gun violence with more guns.  Only in America can you drive down to Wal-Mart in your over-sized pick-up and park in a sea of asphalt to buy an 18 pack of beer, a semi-automatic rifle, and a set of plastic NASCAR mugs made in China.  Where is the logic in that?

There certainly are reasons to be concerned that Washington is taking more and more steps to limit freedom.  The debate needs to framed logically and not with the tough guy act of prying weapons from someone’s cold dead hands.  Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People by shooting them with a gun.  Some people think the Government should register guns.  Probably not going to happen anytime soon.  Some people think the Government should register “stupid people.”  The Government has already done that and they have given them a number.  I think it is called a Social Security number.  One way or another and at one time or another we would all make that list.  Just because a person has something to make them feel more in control than they really are doesn’t make it so.  A wise man can admit there is much that he does not know and does not need to fear death so much that he forgets to live.  That is the only thing that is certain in this world.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Gun Control Debate in America

Coming soon to a theatre near you.

Clint Jesuswood starring in American Jesus.  Coming soon to a theatre near you.

We here at the Square Root of Zero are sick of reading the news about another tragic shooting. The list is long and the one in Newtown targeting schoolchildren seems to transcend even the unthinkable.  These individuals have a societal cancer, a psychosis, that is obsessed with violence and sense of worth derived from how other people view them.  People are sure to ask, “how did this happen?” and “he was such a nice boy.”  The only thing worse than being lost in a cultural wilderness where the Will to Power has taken place of the Will to Meaning is our ability to suspend ALL reality and be willfully ignorant of the warning signs.  We know more about building cars, making satellites, and powerful telescopes to see farther into the infinite universe – as if the solutions lie OUT there somewhere – than we know about what goes on in the human mind, right here on this very planet.  These “cancer” stricken deny thier connectedness and alienate themselves from thier OWN nature.  The confused individual sleepwalks through their life by living in a memory of the past or dreaming about the future.  If spirituality comes from somewhere up in the sky then we might as well believe, if it suits us, that a book is the same thing as knowledge or the same thing as our brain.  Our lives are little more than an anthropomorphic manifestation of our own thoughts and OUR OWN choices.  This once “nice boy” who killed 20 elementary school children, probably, held the belief that his life had no meaning, but he forgot that it is he who must ask the question and he who must be responsible to answer it.  The Society Cancer grows because, “it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to ‘be happy.’ But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.”  These “cancer” stricken individuals do not realize that it is okay to feel fear or anger, but it is how they choose to act on those feelings.  The cancer forms in an inability to grasp that nothing happens to them, it happens within them.  Cultural conditioning encourages people to ignore and push away these feelings and leads us to believe we can and live in world of gain, fame (or respect), pleasure, and praise, indefinitely.   Tens of thousands of people will sheepishly whack at the branches of evil for every one person who wakes up and strikes at the root.

“All the great dangers threatening humanity with extinction are direct consequences of conceptual thought and verbal speech.”

Our weapons “technology” has outstripped instinctual restraints of their use, and we find ourselves in the situation of today, with a power to destroy and a willingness to do just that.  The solutions are incredibly simple, but we feel that complex problems must have complex solutions in our lives of ever increasing, unnatural, and useless commotion.  Again, we have iPods, cell phones, and airplanes, yet we still haven’t come to terms with existential problems of maintaining an identity, confrontation with absurdity, and the distinction between phenomena and noumena.  While the solutions are simple, the real difficulty is reminding ourselves to do what we already know how to do.  My deepest sympathies go out to people who have lost loved ones in the face of senseless violence.  I maintain hope that they will be able to keep the strength to deny credence to these acts and continue their own lives in good health and peace – no small challenge.  But as Viktor Frankl said:

“For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.  Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.”

Out of Thin Air

Why the Right is Wrong and the Left Isn’t Right.

The Politics of right and wrong becomes so ambiguous.   Each party wants you to see them as the “good guys” and the other party as the “bad guys.”  Which is which?  Republicans have been infighting with “liberal” Republicans since Theodore Roosevelt right up to Rockefeller Republicans and RiNO’s like Arnold Schwarzenegger in California. Democrats have also had their own internal party struggles.  In the Southern United States, today, we find a large stronghold of Republicans.  The South was largely made up of Democrats up until Alabama Governor, George Wallace began to fade from the spotlight and racial divides seemingly morphed into Foreign Policy, Energy, and Economic problems similar to the ones we see today.

Line in the dust.

George Wallace set in motion a conservative movement that would divide the Nation, “at age 14, George Wallace had vowed to someday become Governor. In 1958, at age 39, he made his move. But he now faced a new political force, one that would pit his compassion for the poor against his hunger for power.”  During his run for the Democratic Gubernatorial primary election against his KKK endorsed opponent, John Patterson, Wallace said, “I want to tell the good people of this state as a judge of the 3rd Judicial Circuit, if I didn’t have what it took to treat a man fair regardless of his color, then I don’t have what it takes to be the Governor of your great state.”  Unfortunately, for Wallace, the idea of running on fairness didn’t work out so well.  When the results came in, “the final runoff wasn’t even close. Patterson was swept to victory, Wallace was devastated, his lifelong dream shattered.”  The things that mattered to the average Alabamian were, “the arrest three years earlier of Rosa Parks in Montgomery for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man, (that) had grown into a Negro boycott of the city’s segregated buses, and had given rise to a mass movement for civil rights, led by a young minister named Martin Luther King, Jr. The protest left white Alabamians feeling under siege. In his campaign, Wallace tried to find some middle ground. Though he supported segregation, his moderate position gained the endorsement of the civil rights organization, the N.A.A.C.P.”  Wallace took the defeat extremely hard and, “with his keen political antenna, understood immediately why he had lost. And I think he decided at that point that he would exploit race to the extent it took necessary that we — that he considered necessary to win.”

Four years later, Wallace did win.

Wallace’s 1963 inauguration speech included something that would follow him forever, “In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny and I say, segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.”  Perhaps the turning tide was attributed to the fact that, “in that time, those days, people didn’t want negroes to be upgraded.  And that’s why he hollered.  Because he knew, you know, the white people (were) against negroes and he wanted to be against negroes so he could be elected.”  Wallace also declared his intention to run against John F. Kennedy for the Democratic nomination for President just a few days before Kennedy’s assassination.  Lyndon B. Johnson would succeed JFK as the President of the United States.  Then, “in early 1965, Selma, Alabama, became the site of a civil rights campaign to enable black voters to register. On Sunday, March 7th, 600 people set out for the state capital in Montgomery, 50 miles away, hoping to gain national attention. Wallace had issued an order to prevent the march. His state troopers were waiting at the Edmund Pettus Bridge at the edge of town.” Civil Rights Leader, John Lewis, would recall, “in the beginning, I thought we’d be arrested and just taken to jail. Uh, but when I saw the troopers putting on their gas masks and raising their sticks and the bull whips. Those moments when the troopers came toward us, I knew then we would be beaten.”

Things would change.

“The violence in Selma had immediate impact. Days later, President Lyndon Johnson asked Congress for the most comprehensive voting rights bill in the nation’s history. Then, a federal court in Alabama ruled in favor of the protesters.”  After that, a lot of things happened that almost seem too strange to be true.  Wallace’s wife became Governor of Alabama.  Wallace ran for President several times and lost.   He was shot, but not killed.   Wallace said at one point, “We’ll use the power and prestige of the Governor’s office to try to awaken the American people to the trends that are rampant in our country. A trend that says we must fight the Communists in Vietnam while at the same time the Communist-controlled beatnik mobs in the streets influence national affairs in Washington, D.C.”  Peggy Wallace Kennedy, his Daughter, would go on to say, “Well, we were at dinner one night and, um, we were just talking about politics and, uh, things that were important in life. And he said, ‘There, there’re two things that are most important in life,’ and he said, ‘that’s money and power and I don’t care for money.’ He loved the power.”

Mr. Conservative.

Barry Goldwater, a Republican, became associated with anti-communism and labor-union reform.  Goldwater became a magnet for Conservatives.  He opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  It was proposed in secretive meetings, by George Wallace and his associates, that Wallace switch parties to become Goldwater’s running mate.  Goldwater eventually declined.  Goldwater’s conservative campaign was based on States Rights, and possible repeal of the Civil Rights Act.  Goldwater was the first Republican since reconstruction to carry South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.  However, Goldwater lost in a landslide everywhere else, most likely, on his vote against the Civil Rights Act to the incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson and would help, for better or for worse, to solidify the New Frontier of domestic programs.  The South found a new champion and Conservative Republicans found a new home just as more “moderate” Republicans were moving, or being pushed, towards the Democratic Party.

Chickens come home to roost.

One of Wallace’s supporters who was horrified about him turning to the Race issue, said, “George, why are you doing this? Why are you doing this?’ And Wallace, sadly he thought, said, ‘You know, I tried to talk about good roads and good schools and all these things that have been part of my career, and nobody listened.  And then I began talking about niggers, and they stomped the floor.”  Today we have “makers and takers” to inflame the same sort of tensions.  I am not sure if it is working.  Yet.  We are more than political parties, we are individuals whose lives should transcend these invisible barriers.  There is plenty of blame to go around, but it just seems senseless to me to keep pointing fingers and creating our own truth out of thin air.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

To Be Continued…

Circles

This is a variation on an old joke, but I thought it needed updating.

The world was embroiled in war, political turmoil, there was famine, and there were water shortages.  Every day the people prayed to God. “God, save us from these things.”  But God was silent.  People died from violence, famine, and thirst.  Again, they prayed, “Please, please God save us, help us.”  Things only appeared to get worse.  Still, they prayed “God, please send us a political leader protected by your Grace and a Government more worthy of you.” Again, nothing was found to be acceptable.  As each person passed and they reached the heavens many of them asked, “God, why didn’t you save us? You did nothing.”  God said,  “I gave you fields and forests so you may grow more food, but you chopped them down to make room for your buildings.  You paved over the fields with your roads and put up fences.  You needed your Government only to protect what you thought of as yours.  You only had respect for things that which you created, not the rocks and trees.  I gave you rain so that you could replenish the water that you drank, but you laughingly poured it into the oceans.  I gave you metal so that you could build tools, but you built weapons to, also, protect what you thought of as yours.”  The people looked perplexed, and said, “But you gave us those things to overcome and conquer our harsh environment and to vanquish evil, how could that be?”  God continued,  “I am the earth and I am not the earth.  I am the sun and I am not the sun.  I am your eyes and I am not your eyes.  I am the tiny little spaces that holds all of nature together.  When I tried to hold it together, you tried to pull it apart.  You looked everywhere for Me and could not see Me, but I was there all the time.  I am like a circle, My center is everywhere and My circumference is nowhere.  My circle is your eye and My circle is not your eye because the eye can only be aware, but not see itself.  I gave you everything you needed.  I showed you in the reflection of a pool of water, all those tiny little circles, that was also My eye.  What you didn’t realize was that you only saw a reflection of reality.  You built the jar to hold the water, but you easily forgot about the space inside the jar.  All the seemingly empty spaces that hold nature together is reality.  The closer to reality you were, the closer to Me you were.”   Some people respectfully protested, “We read the Bible and went to church almost every week.”  God said, “Knowledge is not the same as a book nor is a book the same as your brain.  A book only contains a thimble full of knowledge in an ocean full of thought, but it is you who must go beyond what you can see and accept that there is much that you do not know.  If you wanted to compare Me to a sentence then I can be as complex as a trillion words or I can be as simple as One single word.”

Queen of Denial

 

 

Next Door to Reality.  What we have are two people competing in the Miss Clueless USA pageant but, they will both win the title of “Queen of Denial.”  When we talk about Government waste what we are talking about is somebody’s profit.  Ten million dollars on weapons that don’t work or are obsolete a week after they are made?  PROFIT.  Ten million dollars trying to make solar panels that never will see the light of day?  PROFIT.  On and on, ad nasueum.  Both parties are in collective denial that we can continue living in a world of financial rackets and swindles, indefinitely.  What we are arguing about is WHO will PROFIT and who will not.  From Medicare to the Federal Reserve playing a shell game just like common street hustlers, Romnobama tells us it can just keep going and going and going, like the Energizer bunny.

By not quite accepting, because they do not please us, things that are so, we spend our entire lives making meaningless gestures somewhere next door to reality.

-NAN SHIN

 

Self-image.  We are attached to the idea of the self-image.  We believe that we have very defined roles to play with our families, in society, and at work.  We start to limit our thoughts, actions, and words to conform to those expectations about our perceived importance to play those roles.  Living in this way sets the stage for rigidity and a lot of resentment when you realize the role that you are playing really isn’t what you wanted after all.  Identifying so powerfully with a religion, political affiliation, or race serves only as a point of separation from everyone else.  The way we are approaching things is like getting in a car and not knowing where we are going but, because we are driving forward we feel like we are doing something. Not only that but, we get in a vehicle driven by desire in which we abandon reality in favor of a imaginary world, full of concepts, that we created.  Thinking this way is also like buying a chair and identifying with it so closely as YOUR chair that you start to think of the chair as a PART of you.  That is complete nonsense.  Yet, we do things like this everyday and wear our own “Queen of Denial” crowns. SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Kicking back, bro

Economy.  The FED built the “explosive” device, Big Banks pushed the button, the Bush Administration fanned the flames, and the Obama Administration is kicking back having a beer and waiting for the smoke to clear.

Puppet show.  At the very best we are letting the same stupid policies come back to bite us in the rear.  I am tired of watching the corporate puppet show.  I might as well buy all the political talking bobble-heads, line them up on the desk, and have them run the Government.  Raise taxes? Bobble-heads? Lower taxes? Bobble-heads?  Drill the Arctic for oil?  Bobble-heads?  Raise the debt ceiling?  Bobble-heads?  Did Democrats get drunk last night and give poor people free Martinis, again?  Bobble-heads?  Did the Republicans steal your lunch money and make inappropriate comments about rape victims, again? Bobble-heads?  Shall we just throw out the rule-of-law, agree that corporations are people, and refuse to acknowledge the rampant financial fraud, swindling, and shenanigans?  Bobble-heads? I think they are saying, Yes.  They are saying Yes and No. Yes and No?  Right?  Left, right, yes, no.  Okay. Got it.

Election season diarrhea.  Is is just me, or does political discourse in America grievously resemble a misleading attempt to sit down to tea and Cheetos with the Mad-hatter inside the oval at a Nascar race within a vast cultural wilderness of bewilderment?   The spectrum of “Save money, Live better” party politics would be much more informative interesting with interpretive dancers dressed like Elvis and Jesus, dipping marshmallows into a Chocolate Wonderfall provided by the Golden Corral.  So far the 2012 Election is a few kittens short of a Pussy Riot and a couple of Budweiser’s short of a Joe-six-pack.  Pass the remote, I’ve fallen and I can’t reach the TV.  Pause.  (Sound of static)  I will take your silence as nonverbal agreement.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

The Great Deception (pt. III of III)

…cont.

Oh, that is a piece of bad luck. -Caesar Flickerman, in the Hunger Games

Morality, some people would argue, is the one part of our lives in which how we fare is dependent on our own choices and not by unpredictable forces outside of our control, sometimes called “luck.”  Is it possible that, like President Snow, some people are so lost in their own vice that they can not even see how horrific some of their actions really are?  It is very difficult to ignore the parallels between the Ancient Greeks, the Gladiator Games, and the Hunger Games.  Katniss, Peeta and all of the other tributes are slaves, even if they do not realize it.  They must please the Capitol.  The Capitol uses fear of death to infect them with its corrupt ideals in the name of “Law and Order.”  The “Bread and Circuses” for the Capitol are provided BY the enslaved districts.  When people refuse to play their role as slaves, whether they “think” they are slaves or not, only then will they have the ability to fight for their freedom.  One of the most Machiavellian instruments of tyranny from the Capitol forced upon Panem is the promotion of vice within the citizenry:   servitude within the districts, and excess and luxury in the Capitol.  Both of which, involves clinging subserviently to preferables as if they had some real value.

Thus, the State never intentionally confronts a man’s sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength. I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest. What force has a multitude? They only can force me who obey a higher law than I. They force me to become like themselves. I do not hear of men being forced to have this way or that by masses of men. What sort of life were that to live? -Thoreau

The Great Deception.  The Capitol is great at hiding its real intentions.  The subtle trick is not to control others, but to get them to control themselves.  By walking a fine line between vice and virtue you can get people to fall into certain habits in an effort to perpetuate the current social order.  Education, or mis-education is a very powerful, but hidden, force of social control.

If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go; perchance it will wear smooth — certainly the machine will wear out.  Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.  -Thoreau

So what do we do?  The prescriptions are easy, however, the medicine is much more difficult.  There is a difference between knowing how to do something – or even talking about it – and actually doing it.  Politics and society today are all about showmanship over reality, vanity over self-preservation, preferables over good, and talk over action.

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell. -Buddha

Katniss and Peeta also recognize that “a wise man will only be useful as a man, and will not submit to be ‘clay’,” and that “a wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority.”  Peeta himself ponders how to do this when he says, “Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to…to show the Capitol that they don’t own me.  That I’m more than just a piece in their Games.”  Katniss and Peeta use this to gain their control back and ultimately shows the readers that the most important thing in life is not “the hand we are dealt, but how we choose to play it.”

The end.