Trump: Master of Delusion

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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.

I know I am but what are you?

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“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.”

On the heels of Hobby Lobby, Jewish Deli owners follow soup.

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.

Obama Drama

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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

Take the Money and Run

the dukes of moral hazzard

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.

Banksters.

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…”

SAY WHAT?

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

SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Only in America

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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

Dipped in Fear, Fried in Anger

Change?  The election is over.  Obama won and Romney lost.  Where is that “change” we were promised?  Which version of America are we going to get?  First of all, for the average person change does not come from the Government.  The Government does not create “change.”  That change has to come from within.  It is not an external force acting upon you.  Both Republicans and Democrats have dangerously thrown that idea out of their political psyche.

Red, White, and Blue. What went wrong for Romney? The answer probably lies within the Republican party itself and less with Mitt Romney.  The Republicans were unable to win an election by leveraging emotional, not rational, anger about the economy and rouse enough people to vote “against” Obama.  Romney was obligated to indulge in politics Dipped in Fear, Fried in Anger, and served up like chicken and sweet tea on Red, White, and Blue party plates because that is what it takes to get a GOP nomination, but obviously not the Presidency.

Chameleon.  People were asking which Mitt Romney they would get get if he was elected.  Romney became a contortionist to try and please everyone in his Party.  Psychology would suggest that people would pick the Mitt Romney that suited them best by taking the things he said that they liked as the truth and dismissing what they didn’t.  Simply, they will accentuate what they want to believe and ignore what they don’t.  That strategy seems to work for people in Politics in both parties.  However, it seems that Romney had to twist and bend far too much for the average voter.

Race.  Was this about race?  Yes and No.  By and large people that identify with African or Latin heritage have been largely ostracized by the Republican party.  Again, this is based in fear of a America different from the one they know – or want.  Republicans have not been successful in suppressing or distancing themselves from racial attitudes within the Party.  Usually, this dissolves into a Freedom of Speech argument.  I have the freedom to say that women are less intelligent or capable than men, but it won’t get me a lot of dates.  Compassion and understanding goes a long way regardless of religion or situation.  Reaching out to people who are different than you does not mean weakness.

Here is an excerpt of a story written by Calvin Malone called Razor-Wire Dharma that highlights this:

Bulldog was not only loud and obnoxious, he was big and strong as well.  Few people dared to mess with him and he knew it.  I made sure to stay way from him as well.  Christmas season came (as it does each year), and most inmates were not looking forward to the holiday period.  In most prisons, there is almost nothing special done during this challenging time.  In our case, there is a holiday meal: a regular meal made “festive” by the addition of cranberry sauce and stuffing.  The next Christmas, I went to several friends and asked them to help me put on a Christmas party.  Our (Christmas) party was the talk of the prison for a year.  On several occasions Bulldog mentioned that he had heard about our parties, but I never entertained the idea of inviting him.  When I passed Bulldog’s cell something made me stop. I went back and straight out, invited him to the party.  His response was suspicious. “Why you invite me?” he grunted from his doorway.  When they had heard what I had done, two people decided that they would not attend. Others had serious reservations.  I went ahead with the plans and hoped for the best.

It was interesting that all those who attended were dressed in their best “civilian” clothes and made an extra effort to make this a special time for all.  Throughout the party, Bulldog was quiet and nice to everyone.  He got the most animated when we called out the numbers for the gifts. When he received his, he was like a child at Christmas!  Later he told me he thoroughly enjoyed himself.  Bulldog was moved to another prison after that Christmas party.  Three years later I saw him again.  When he saw me he rushed up and gave me a huge hug and flashed an uncharacteristic smile.  Yelling loudly enough for everyone in the next county to hear, he let me know how much that Christmas meant to him and that in all his years in prison that was his best memory.

Common Ground.  Practice what you preach.

The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. – Mitt Romney

 

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America. – Barack Obama

 

They are BOTH right.  It is time that we stop laying blame on one Party or the other, work together as individuals, and not highlight differences, but find common ground no matter how far away it seems.  You will not only find the change you seek, but a life that is better than you imagined.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Out of Control

FOR or AGAINST? I feel that BOTH Obama and Romney are out of touch.  Politics has become a bad joke.  Useless and out of control memes are becoming more powerful messages than the campaigns themselves.  We end up discussing more about “Binders” and “Bayonets” than the important stuff.  Voters are not voting “for” a particular candidate as much as they are voting “against” another candidate.  Extreme partisan politics is becoming more rampant than ever.  Independent voters or moderates are left to swing to one side or the other or else “waste” their vote.  I find it much more admirable to find a candidate that you really believe in and vote for them no matter what the mainstream media, Democrats, or Republicans want you to do if you are one of the coveted “independent” voters.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Purple People Eaters

Good vs. Evil.  The last Presidential debate is over.  What have we learned?  Both candidates are willing to suspend reality in favor of techno-narcissistic-hyper-corporate-self-esteem building fairy tales in order to take the reins of the Ineffectual, um I mean, Executive branch of Government.  Our system of finance is so completely rigged that one good look under the rug will show more dry-rot than a one-hundred year old farm house in a ghost town.  Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney would prescribe cigarettes to a cancer patient instead of face the difficult task of coming to grips with the root of the problems.  Their “cures” are worse than the disease.   Any coming energy crisis will have nothing to do with “domestic oil production,” “energy independence,” or who will be, or not be, “Mr. Oil.”  These are mere distractions for the masses of hypochondriac Americans who are hungry for another quick fix.  I could probably see more thoughtfulness to the gravity of our situation out of a pack of wild dogs.  They have good hearts, but they will bite you the first chance they get.  Even “good” people are showing their claws and teeth when it comes time to blaming the “other party.”  I strongly believe that the coming crises will be a result of failure in the entire system and not because of one political party or the other.  This will be a result of the fact that BOTH parties want to increase their own power and diminish their own responsibility – it has become the American way.  It has become a quest for power for the sake of power and a fight of “Good vs. Evil.”  If one considers themselves “good” then one must find or create “evil” to justify their own goodness.  Justification is like a straight jacket when you are trying to swim.  Justification means you have a need to limit your own faults and increase the blame on others, which is SURE sign of failing leadership and distorted thinking because you only see what you want to see.  When you are wearing your justification jacket you not only need people to cause problems, you NEED problems.

As much virtue 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.  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Change.  The solution to these problems is not to just use your “vote” to command justice, but to hold each individual personally accountable.  AS A PERSON.  Not as a political party and create fictitious “evil” monsters like Purple People Eaters.  Then and only then will we see real change.  The choice is yours because, “Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth.”  SQUAREROOTOFZERO