A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.
This does not describe our current president, who seems abnormally focused on not just winning. He wants others to feel like losers.
I’m not a liberal. Well, I don’t think of myself as being a liberal: though I do admit to liberal views on some topics. One thing I believe is:
Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).
Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.
And I believe our current president has made a mockery of individual rights.
I also think he is the latest in a line of presidents taking us down a dark road:
We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.
All these quotes are from the same person. A person in my opinion who would oppose Trump. This person values rational discussion:
“When I disagree with a rational man, I let reality be our final arbiter; if I am right, he will learn; if I am wrong, I will; one of us will win, but both will profit.”
Our president does not.
At the end of the day I believe:
Government ‘help’ to business is just as disastrous as government persecution… the only way a government can be of service to national prosperity is by keeping its hands off.
And finally a note to many who have “demonstrated” against our president since his election:
Rights are not a matter of numbers – and there can be no such thing, in law or in morality, as actions forbidden to an individual, but permitted to a mob.
I stand here on the summit of the mountain. I lift my head and I spread my arms. This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest. I wished to know the meaning of all things. I am the meaning. I wished to find a warrant for being. I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction. Neither am I the means to any end others may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a sacrifice on their alters.
Since the tapes of Trump talking about abusing women has come out there have been a number of odd responses from the right. And in my opinion they miss the point. They point to lyrics in songs, and other uses of the word pussy in popular culture. Then claim since there hasn’t been a reaction to the examples, any reaction to Trump is hypocritical.
For example, recently Madonna told a crowd she’d give out blow jobs to people who voted for Hilary. On a brief aside, I find such language to be vulgar*. But there are a couple important points to be made. One is we are not talking about the candidates own words. Madonna is not running for the office of president (and she can’t.) You can call out Beyonce as someone did on a news show. But she isn’t running for office. We are talking about the words which came out of the candidates own mouth.
Okay, what about when Obama was filmed saying “you got to have pussy, and ribs too…” You may have seen the video on YouTube. Or rather part of the video. It still isn’t the candidate, but as the sitting president and the leader of the same party as Clinton it could be germane. The first problem is the video takes the quote out of context. Obama was reading from his book to an audience, before he was president. The words which have been highlighted were spoke by another person in the story.
But the problem isn’t Trump saying the word pussy. Madonna can talk about blow jobs, Obama and his friend can talk about wanting pussy. And they would still not compare to the real problem with Trumps conversation on the tape. What Trump is talking about is sexual assault. None of the previous examples clearly dismisses the consent of the other party. What Trump does in the tape is dismiss the consent of all women as un-necessary. The closest example would be Bill Clinton and the accusations made by women against him.
One Trump defender pointed out the part of the tape where Trump says, “and they let you.” The person suggested this meant it wasn’t forced sexual contact. But consent is one person agreeing with another. While it is true, no means no, and no means there is no consent. You have to understand consent is deeper. Not only does no mean no, silence means no. If you know someone is unable to consent, then it isn’t consent. No one expects someone to grab them by their genitals. If the response wasn’t a kick in the balls – like it should have been. Or if the response wasn’t to scream and yell or run to the police. The response may have been a deep shock and uncertainty about what was going on, and what to do next. Maybe their first thought was just to escape the situation.
In some ways his defenders upset me the most. And this is where the accusations against Bill touch Hillary. I personally believe Bill Clinton sexually assaulted women. And in all likelihood Hillary was aware and defended him. If she had confronted the problem years ago, would it have saved the women who followed? We are nearing a point where we can’t be honest with ourselves in politics. It would be better if Trump supporters just stated: we believe his actions are indefensible, but we choose to support him because fo what he can do for the country. I feel like Democrats said something similar about Bill Clinton. Republicans can point at Democrats and say they don’t have solid standing to be condemning Trump. And they would be right. What they don’t have is a good reason for not looking in the mirror and asking themselves why they don’t condemn Trump’s words on the tape and refuse any defense.
If you want to know what consent is, it is this: yes means yes. Only yes means yes. Anything less is assault.
*Then again we are talking about Madonna.
I’ve lost my pace, and I’ve lost my focus. My life story is nearing a point where I can’t say much more. Clearly it isn’t over. But it is easier to write about things years ago. And I’m not sure what else to write. I’ve been working, and eating, watching Netflix and working out with a friend. Then it is time for bed. Like right now, it is time for bed and I should already be sleeping. Then I think tomorrow. But I think tomorrow again and again. And it is always today. Maybe tomorrow.
Today is Friday the 13th.
But I think 13 is a lucky number. There are 13 full moons in a year. In the pre-Christian calendar of Europe there were 13 months of 28 days. But there was an extra day, this was Halloween. Since it was an extra day, it was a day between the worlds. As such it was a day were you could talk to the dead. The spirits of those who had passed on were said to be closer. It was also their New Years Day. It was a day when the normal rules did not apply. So, 13 is about the cycles of the moon and the earth. Of course it is lucky.
I was at work watching TV. It was some Law and Order show. They mentioned a person who had a total break from reality. And I thought to myself. How do I know I’ve not had a total break from reality? I mean really. It scares me a little to think about if I would even know. I’m not suggesting I’m really tied up in a bed somewhere, like in The Matrix. Though of course this is possible. But even worse. What if none of the things I talk about make any sense to anyone else in the world. What if the people around me humor me the way you would a child. How do I know anyone actually likes me as a person? And they’re not just being nice. At the one end of the range everything we think we know to be true could be a lie. And in some ways it would be okay. And on the other end, everything we think is true is 100 percent true. But I have strong reasons based on experience why I know this isn’t true either. There have been too many women I thought were interested in me – and they were not. So, I am stuck with a world where somethings I believe are true, and some aren’t. And this is harder. Because if it was all a lie, there would be no truth to worry about knowing. But is a world where our minds fail as often as they get it right. You have to figure out what is real and what isn’t real. And the only took you have to do it is your mind. Which is a tool you have no accurate way of testing to see how well you can trust its results. I could check my scale by standing on another scale. But I can’t look at my mind from another person’s mind. While a friend may tell me, “no, it is okay,” I don’t know their motive do I? And it doesn’t have to be a bad motive. How do we know what is true and what is false in our worlds? Again, I am not worried about the big things. I want to know about the little things. The things which are the hardest to look at and the hardest for people to be honest about in life.
And if you could be sure you’re sane. Is there any way to know for sure you wouldn’t lose it at any moment. Some organic or chemical trigger inside your brain. Or a mental, emotional, spiritual, physical trauma. Like a light switch you go from being you, to being someone else. Someone lost in their own mind.
Well it looks like we have another sad day in the world. The forces of evil have struck out. And if we are not careful we will feed the flames of hate and violence in response. I’m not sure what we do to stop this terror. I believe you cannot use terror and violence to counter terror and violence. But, at the same time we aren’t going to hug this out.
There is not enough love and compassion in the world. What we can do is create as much love as we can. And maybe it won’t end the violence. We can’t end violence in the world all at once But maybe a smile and a friendly word can change hearts one person at a time. It is in the human heart where acts of hate and love are born. It sounds trite to suggests terrorists blow up airports because no one loved them. It is clearly more complex. But what are the hearts who turn to hate? And are they given the choice of love?
There must be a path which leads us away from doom. One person at a time. We don’t know the people we meet on the street. The people we cross paths with on the subway. Smile and send loving energy into the world. Offer everyone a spirit of warmth. If one person can smile and bring some peace to a persons souls. Maybe two people can bring love to their heart. Three people, or four people, or five can chase the darkness out. We are one human race. The clear message of events like this is we cannot isolate ourselves. We are not islands living within our own perfect worlds. We are souls living together in a troubled world. A world which needs healing. What can we do to bring healing to the world today.
Striking back with bombs, terror and violent acts will not heal the pain in our world. Even if not a single innocent person was killed. But in every war inoocent people are killed and hurt. Families are torn apart. Communities left without working men. The bombs falling after one attack become the seeds for the next. We have to find a way to love each other more.
We are talking about people who choose to die. People who go to their deaths to kill others. If we believed we were one? And we made everyone feel a part of the whole. How could anyone choose to blow themselves up? Who would choose to die if they could choose to live? Who would choose hate if they could choose love? Would you?
We are living in a rapidly changing world. On ourside of the map we have Donald Trump. He has became the face of what people fear. Many people who are afraid of the changes in our world turn to him. For them he has become a guiding voice. But he has blamed the others for our problems. It is the fault of rapists from Mexico and terrorists from the Muslim world. On the other side of the world things are also changing. Cultures are being overturned in part by western influence through the internet. People over there like over here may be questioning their place in this new world. Their leaders blame the west. The evil imperialistic west has caused their problems. The bombers who blew themselves up in Europe were puppets. Their strings being pulled by people with their own agendas.
I believe it is isolated, lost, hurt and lonely people who turn to terror. They are being led and direcred by people who fear the changes in their countries. Maybe they believe if they could stop the tide of change the world would return to the way it was before. But they can’t turn back the clock in their countries. Anymore than we can turn back the clock in our country. They like us need to find ways to adapt to the new world we are living in today. And it isn’t going to be easy for any of us.
We have a choice to make ourselves in this world. We can choose more hate and anger. Watching events on the news makes these easy options. But if we think in our minds about how evil “those people” are, we are not going to be sending them loving energy. Not in the abstract – and not in the concrete daily one on one interactions. If we can try to understand, and have compassion, we are moving in the right direction. Maybe we can see how they struggle in the same world we struggle in to survive. Then we see them as brothers and sisters on the path. And we love our brothers and sisters even when they haven’t made the best choices. It will take a total change of our own hearts and minds away from fear and hatred. To love and understanding.
Love and fear cannot exist in the same place at the same time. Remember only love is real. The Course in Miracles tells us everything is either an act of love or a call for love. It isn’t easy for me to explain how these acts are calls for love. But I believe it is true.