I’m not buying the Trump brand. America doesn’t need cheap ties and ugly buildings. Trump brand brings appeal to the 1980’s Izod wearing preppie in a Member’s Only jacket and then sort of got stuck there. His major retort to anyone that disagrees with him is that they are a “loser” or “failing.” It is a throwback to an era of excess, hedonism, and a time before the country-club was over-run by Mexicans. No amount of wish-upon-a-star is taking us back there again. No matter how “great” Donald thinks it was. Perhaps some of the GOP are upset that they have to say these things out in the open rather than wear a pointy white hat that hides their faces. The GOP is in a bit of a quandary itself having to mostly back Trump, but when the chips fall there will be more backwards two-stepping going on than at a country line dance in Texas. That is modern day politics: the art of being spineless but still try and hold your head up. The main exception will be Ted Cruz who sustained an ugly personal attack on his family by the Donald. The GOP attacks on Hillary somehow just keep missing the mark. One has to question if Trump even really wants the job at all or whether this was a publicity stunt gone awry.
“All religions are equally false and equally true, depending on how you use them. You can use them in the service of the ego, or you can use them in the service of the Truth. If you believe only your religion is the Truth, you are using it in the service of the ego. Used in such a way, religion becomes ideology and creates an illusory sense of superiority as well as division and conflict between people. In the service of the Truth, religious teachings represent signposts or maps left behind by awakened humans to assist you in spiritual awakening, that is to say, in becoming free of identification with form.”
When discussing Obamacare, Joshua Flickenstein, the owner of J’s Deli said, “We are tired of Obamacare forcing us to pay for heart disease treatment and medication to employees who eat bacon for breakfast, lunch, or whatever.” People in the Jewish community are getting really frustrated about the new healthcare law also known as Obamacare. The complaints are numerous especially among tea party conservatives. Mr. Flickenstein went on to say, “Ever since Obamacare started they built several new Wendy’s restaurants near my deli. Some of my employees have been whorishly sneaking around at eating Baconators for lunch.” Mr. Flickenstein said his concern is how he can afford to pay for heart transplants for all the people that work for him. “The best part of running a restaurant is paying my employees 2.13 and hour and I still charge them 14.50 for a sandwich.” He says that he doesn’t believe that people should eat bacon because it says not to (eat bacon) in the bible. I asked him where in the bible it says that. He casually tells me, as he places two soup bowls down on the table, that he doesn’t know where it says that, but that is what his Grandma Ruth has always told him that’s what it (the bible) says. He tells me that the soup is his Nana’s famous vegetable soup and has secret ingredients. Mr. Flickenstein laments, “I am afraid that with all the changes and Obamacare that will no longer be able serve Nana’s vegetable soup. They are forcing bacon and communism on us as a people. Why should I pay for heart surgery and all that?” Mr. Flickenstien is afraid after 20 years of business he will be forced to close his doors forever. “The Baconators are too much fat and cholesterol and even the Son of a Baconator isn’t that much better. It isn’t fair,” he continued. “Hopefully, Hobby Lobby will win in the Supreme Court. I want to travel to the courthouse wearing my ‘Eat Mor Matzah Balls’ T-shirt for the verdict.” Well, we will just have to wait and see. Stay tuned.
Benghazi. The IRS. PRISM surveillance. It keeps going on and on. Throw in Obamacare, Bradley Manning, and Guantanamo and have a good old fashioned craptastic feeding frenzy. Lets begin to chew our own arms off.
The Government can commit unspeakable atrocities and when someone speaks up about it, they are revealing “classified” information that is “vital” to our security? Let us open the debate. Why is certain information classified and for what purpose? At some point there needs to be transparency. Perhaps that transparency doesn’t need to be realized right away, but after a specific threat has, or has not, materialized. The government needs to stand behind what it chooses to do. People should not be able to hide behind the veil of “sensitive” or “classified” information indefinitely. What is the purpose of hiding civilian casualties in war, military sex crimes, and/or sorting through people’s personal e-mails or telephone conversations? Have we become so overcome with fear that we are willing to give up freedom?
As far as the Bradley Manning case, which is older than the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden situation, Matt Taibbi wrote over at Rolling Stone, “Because in reality, this case does not have anything to do with who Bradley Manning is, or even, really, what his motives were. This case is entirely about the “classified” materials Manning had access to, and whether or not they contained widespread evidence of war crimes. He goes on to say, “This whole thing, this trial, it all comes down to one simple equation. If you can be punished for making public a crime, then the government doing the punishing is itself criminal.” Matt drives home his point when he clearly sates, “Manning, by whatever means, stumbled into a massive archive of evidence of state-sponsored murder and torture, and for whatever reason, he released it. The debate we should be having is over whether as a people we approve of the acts he uncovered that were being done in our names.”
AND STILL we have refused to prosecute people responsible for the economic crisis. All we have is a bunch of Obama Drama and it appears that anything goes and nothing really matters. SQUAREROOTOFZERO
Republicans and Democrats alike have backed the same failed materialist techno-narcissistic pro-corporate PR-machine policies with “growth at all costs,” debilitating rational selfishness, and a nefarious embracing of a Dukes-of-moral-Hazzard business model. Ethics, behind closed doors, is something you flush down the toilet along with your brains. The whole machine will eventually grind to a halt. It is going to happen piece by piece rather than a big spectacular Hollywood style explosion.
Eric Holder said, “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy…”
We can’t prosecute Too Big To
Fail Jail institutions even though they broke the law. Matt Taibbi writing about HSBC sated, “For at least half a decade, the storied British colonial banking power helped to wash hundreds of millions of dollars for drug mobs, including Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, suspected in tens of thousands of murders just in the past 10 years…The bank also moved money for organizations linked to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, and for Russian gangsters; helped countries like Iran, the Sudan and North Korea evade sanctions; and, in between helping murderers and terrorists and rogue states, aided countless common tax cheats in hiding their cash.” He also notes, “Yes, they issued a fine – $1.9 billion, or about five weeks’ profit – but they didn’t extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses.”
This should be the new definition of insanity.
Chase and the London Whale. UBS and Libor Scandal. Corzine and the MFGlobal scandal. The Raj Rajaratnam scandal. Goldman Sachs thinks everyone but themselves are “muppets” that they can knowingly sell garbage to. And on and on. There isn’t one single adult running the system. These are the largest subsidies in the world and people are complaining that someone bought junk food with food-stamps. You would go to jail longer for stealing a couple boxes of Tide from Wal-mart than people who have screwed around with trillions of dollars and millions of people’s lives. I guess the Steve Miller Band is right, we’ve got nothing better to do.
This here’s a story about Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue
Two young lovers with nothin’ better to do
Than sit around the house, get high, and watch the tube
And here is what happened when they decided to cut loose
They headed down to, ooh, old El Paso
That’s where they ran into a great big hassle
Billy Joe shot a man while robbing his castle
Bobbie Sue took the money and run
Go on take the money and run
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. 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.
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
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.”
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.”
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…