This Little Group

The Free Thinkers and Peace Builders group I started with a friend has grown quickly. We have 85 members and have only been around 3 months! I thought having this many members would mean good turnouts for the meets I create, with lots of good exchange of ideas.

Alas, I have been disappointed. I know, people join online groups all the time and never attend a single meet. I’ve done that. You get busy and can’t make yoga. Or didn’t write anything to present to the writers group on Monday. I had thought this group was made up of slightly more determined individuals. If we want to make change, talking to each other is key! If we are not determined, why are we bothering?

If you are not committed to making change, how can change ever come? Do people expect things to change simply because they want them to? I know we have leaders out there. Those determined to expose Trump for the racist bumpkin he is. People trying to change the US justice system. They don’t seem to get the media coverage they deserve. Those in power do not really want anything to change. They own the media. All of it, and no one seems to care. Except me.

CNN and the thousands of “independent” news outlets are too busy spending two weeks discussing a hurricane. For 24 hours a day, every day.  For two weeks! And if there is no storm or crisis they still only show you the same 5 stories all day long. It would appear that today’s media does not realize there are more than one story a day.  CNN doesn’t seem to realize what a parody of news it has become. In the US we have CNN or Fox. That explains a lot doesn’t it?

Today’s Newsroom Meeting:

“Ok boys, go out and get those stories.” The “reporters” all look at each other. “What’s the boss mean, “go out”? I pick up all my stories off of Facebook and other social media. I don’t have to “go out” anywhere and talk to people live and in person. I’ve got important shit to do.” So the “reporters” set their interns the task of bringing stories to them off the internet. There are only five reporters, and five interns, therefore, we get only five stories. Not a one with verifiable sources. Are we just lazy? Is it just because my family loves to watch CNN day and night and I get incensed that the story, and clips and interviews that I saw at 9AM are the exact same I see at 9PM.

Today I feel disappointed. I know what I’m trying to do isn’t easy and not everyone can devote the same amount of time and effort. But I can’t do this alone! Have those who have joined my group done so for no apparent reason? Do they care about what I am trying here? My friend who started this group with me has since abandoned the cause. I feel ready to do the same. My WP site costs me money. My Meetup page costs me money. Not much but it’s money that I would otherwise spend on useful things like food. I’d like to think what little I pay out would pay off in a good solid group of people.

Today I am disappointed in my fellows. I sent a notice for a meeting. The topic doesn’t really matter as long as we discuss the important stuff. But only ONE person showed up for the last meet and only ONE has signed on to attend this one. I don’t know if I should bother. You can’t hitch your star to someone else’s wagon.

Same question I ponder daily: Should I give up or keep going?

Racism in America

Do we need to write something under Qualifications for President to specify that candidates should have deep convictions of right and wrong, show a level of morality a step above the rest of us. A candidate must be a person of integrity, honesty, humanity, and humility. In case you hadn’t realized 45 has none of those qualifications. He proved this in wide screen technicolor today.

I have been appalled by Trump, 45, whatever you might want to call him. My preference is Hesnotmypresident Trump. With all the talk about White Privilege, nothing shows it more strongly than our #45. Everything he is and stands for exposes White Privilege at it’s worst. This is the mongrel my country elected. Morals be damned. Both 45’s scripted and impromptu responses to the violence and death in Charlottesville last weekend are as appalling as anything he has said to date. But the fact he cannot and will not denounce racist groups is unconscionable.

I have been trying not to bash Trump for things he’s said and done and work on the issues behind his disagreeable actions. The gloves are off on this. For this he deserves the highest level of denunciation and disgust. He has shamed America and debased the Presidency in his actions since the campaign. This is a new level of shame, combined with a gut wrenching fear.

A week ago I was afraid of an imminent nuclear holocaust. Thank goodness Kim Jong Un has decided to continue to watch the antics of our crazy, crazed and definitely deranged president.  Whew! At least we’ve put that on the back burner and free us up to confront violence and destruction closer to home. Incidents like this are not at all helpful in bridging the gap between White Privilege and Brown Suppression. But what is the answer?

charlottesville
Charlottesville 2017

We all know what happened in Charlottesville, the dozens of people seriously injured and one killed by one guy using the latest weapon of mass murder; driving through a crowd. I understand the young man driving that car was confused at best, uncaring possibly, and likely was very lonely. The perfect candidate to be lured into believing the garbage hate groups like to spout. Playing on a person’s ignorance and fear. These are the exact tactics used by other hate groups, like ISIS, Al Queda, NRA, IRA. They find the disenchanted, disenfranchised, lonely (mostly) young white men and feed their fears.

The young woman he killed was a respected professional with a family. Nothing about her was violent.  For our president to diminish her life and death by claiming both sides had a part in the violence is at a minimum ridiculous.  The only part she had in the violence was being a victim of it.

The violence this past weekend didn’t end there.  The leader of the KKK publicly stated he was “glad” of Heather Heyer’s death.

“I’m sorta glad that them people got hit and I’m glad that girl died,” Justin Moore “a Grand Dragon” in a KKK organization, told WBTV.

The Neo-Nazis want to have a visible presence at the funeral for Ms. Heyer.

Andrew Auernheimer, known by the online pseudonym ‘weev’, said: “What’s the location of the fat skank’s funeral … get on it, e-sleuths. I’d do it myself but slammed with current logistical issues. I want to get people on the ground there.”

And my president can’t denounce these losers? I have never known this level of disgust.

An Open Letter to Trump supporters

Dear Trump Fan

You must understand that the anti-Trump group is not simply upset that there are questions as to foreign manipulation in our election process.  It’s not simply that my preferred candidate did not win.  It’s not because most Trump supporters are Obama haters.  It’s because the man is simply UNFIT.

He lacks the knowledge of how to govern.  You might say, yeah, it’s one of the things you like about it.  But knowing how to govern involves understanding others’ points of view.  If I read a book, or several books, about government and how to be effective doesn’t mean I know how to govern.  But I would have a leg up on Trump.

He lacks the diplomacy that is required when dealing with foreign dignitaries.  Sure, you say, he knows plenty of foreign big wigs.  Yes, but those big wigs only deal with Trump on business.  They may respect that, they may not.  It could be they just put up with his lack of grace and humility because he is making them money.  Well, the government is NOT a business, and probably shouldn’t be run like one.  Businesses look at the bottom line, profit and loss.  A country doesn’t profit from its people, but is supported by them via taxes.

To be an effective leader, one must have empathy for the other guys.  Something Trump certainly appears to lack.  In fact, I’m not even sure Trump can define ’empathy’.  Nor can many of his supporters.

One must have compassion for ALL citizens, not just those who agree with you.  Belittling other groups is counterproductive, and makes one look small and childish.  Very un-Presidential.  Disrespectful.  Something Trump seems not to understand.  Respect is earned, and treating others disrespectfully diminishes one’s chance at being respected.

I don’t believe our President should be tweeting criticisms about TV shows, or people who disagree with him.  My President has more important things to do.  My President barely sleeps, has no time to watch TV, let alone have twitter wars.  It diminishes respect for My President in the eyes of other countries, which reflects badly on me.

For a democracy to work, it cannot be run like a dictatorship.  The American people will not yield their rights to a dictator.  Perhaps Trump and his supporters don’t know what a dictator is.  Well, it is exactly what Trump proposes with his refusal to meet with certain members of the press.  The elected leader of this country is bound by the Constitution to allow Freedom of the Press.  There are plenty of Trump supporters who know the Second Amendment very well, but many seem to be ignorant of the rest.

I won’t even go into the lies.  I don’t expect politicians to tell the truth, but I do expect them to own up to their ‘misstatements’ and offer a clarification, or an apology.  And an apology is not “I’m sorry you got mad at me when I called you stupid.”  It is “I’m sorry I called you stupid.  That was untrue and unkind.”

Yeah, your candidate won.  And since no charges are forthcoming from those who claim voter fraud or foreign influence, etc., I’ll go so far as to say he won legitimately.  That still does NOT mean he is a suitable representative of me, or people who think like me.  He can’t legislate people away.  He can’t ignore the majority, not for long, anyway.  One group of people does not have more privileges than another.  At least they shouldn’t.  Trump and his supporters seem to think it’s ok to ignore the rest of us.  The British didn’t take the resistance seriously either.  You do know how that ended, right?

Moving On

Despite my best efforts to ignore the holidays, they are still just around the corner.  I did manage to do a little holiday baking, for the sake of being neighborly, but not being religious, nor a rapacious consumer, it gets harder and harder to participate in the holidays.

I am thankful for all the things I have and continue to work on being kind.  To others and myself.  Thank you, all my readers, followers, and friends here.  I appreciate your time and effort in reading and commenting on my little blog, and for supporting me during my Midlife Crisis and Beyond.  I have been getting less and less active, both posting and reading and have decided, that, while I will continue to miss all of you, my mind is currently occupied elsewhere.

I send you all the blessings of the universe and fulfillment.  Thank you for being part of my life.  Remember to be kind, and if you can’t be kind, be silent.

 

About Paris

About this awful attack in Paris.  Horrible.  Horrible for these ISIS/ISIL people to decide to commit mass murder in the name of their god.   They need to be caught and punished.  We all know that.  But how is bombing the people of Syria going to do that?  Do the people of Syria want ISIS in charge?  I didn’t think that was the case.  If so, wouldn’t killing thousands of innocent people be just as wrong?  Or even more wrong, in my opinion.

I don’t understand that there are apparently rules to war.  Apparently it’s ok to wipe out one group to get at another.  It’s illegal to take out the head of a country.  Stupid, but there it is.  I know it really doesn’t apply to zealot groups like Al Queda and ISIL.  Their leader doesn’t count as the leader of a country.  Yet we sent in a specialized team after Osama Bin Laden.  They were successful.  Why can’t we simply eliminate these zealots?  Shouldn’t our vast system of intelligence be able to find these people?

Probably not.  The US is too busy spying on all the innocent people in the US, searching for people who do a google search for ‘pressure cooker’ or similarly [non] threatening items.

The Reagan Administration, with their Iran/Contra affair, helped put Al Queda in power.  According to the linked article, Iran is still funding Al Queda.  (http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/02/22/iran-hezbollah-reportedly-backing-al-qaeda-attacks-against-us-interests-in-the-middle-east/#)

During the long-running Iran-Iraq war, the US had defended Iraq, providing troops, weapons and training.  Only to bomb them years later.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Iraq_War#U.S._involvement)

Bush I put on a show with a ‘bomb the hell out of ’em’ attitude, which everyone said was a ‘good start’ to the problem but he didn’t take it far enough. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_War#Run-up_to_the_war)

Bush II brought us to an illegal war that we’ve been fighting for 14 years!  After 14 years, isn’t it clear to anyone else that our current system of warfare is a waste of time, money, resources, and most of all, people.

And that’s just the last 30 years or so.  Haven’t we figured out this idea of bombing works, but not very well.

They say “well, we have to bomb the people of Syria because that’s where the bad guys are.” We’re the ‘good guys’, here to save the people of Syria– by bombing them?  Well, sure, if we kill everyone in Syria we may catch the people behind ISIS.  But our military loves to play with their million dollar jets, and tanks.   They want war, it’s what they do.  The military is by it’s very nature, a killing machine.  How does killing bring peace?  Shouldn’t we have a Peace Department instead of a War Department?

What about all the good guys?  All the collateral damage.  Bridges, roads, homes and farms destroyed.  What about the women, children, old men that are killed in these assaults?  I’m lead to believe there is no other way.  Don’t innocent lives of Syrians matter as much as the lives of the people killed in France?

If We are supposed to be the good guys, shouldn’t we be able to come up with a better way?  Ideally the elimination of organized religion would be my choice.  Of course, you can’t do that.  Deny someone their religion, and the wars just continue.

So, people will want their religion.  Some people obviously need their religion.  Yet, when religion goes wrong, like it does in Islam as well as Christianity, we just nod and say, well that’s the way it goes.  “Those” people aren’t as good as “my” people.  They are not as important as I am.

There are plenty of people think religions other than Christianity are wrong.  Do I have to mention the Jews here?  Sure, ISIS isn’t a bunch of innocent German Jews, they are vicious, horrible, immoral people.  Intent on doing what they believe is right.

This is and has been a war of religion.  As it has been since the beginning of religion.  The Christians have fought the Muslims for thousands of years.  There seems there is nothing to be done about it.  Can we intercede, take these deluded individuals out of the equation?  Why should 1000s of people die?  We need good intelligence on where these people are, how they operate.  Obviously, our intelligence is pretty lousy.  Too many hands in the pot, diluting our resources, taking the long way out.

There is no end to war, because so much of it is caused by a few deluded  religious zealots have decided the rest of the world is wrong, and that it is up to them to change their world more to their liking.

I don’t mean to disparage people’s religions. Certainly, religion in and of itself is a good thing.  Brings people comfort to believe there is a power bigger than they.  Gives people a sense of security.  Churches and synagogues are gathering places for people of like mind.  A community.  I understand that, but the facts are there folks.  Just open up your mind and look.

Instead of killing innocent people, isn’t there some way to target only the terrorists.  Individually, if necessary.  We have highly trained snipers.  Once one of the terrorists is identified, I should think it wouldn’t be difficult to dismantle ISIS by simply eliminating those responsible?  What if we don’t get them all?  We won’t.

There will always be religions.  Therefore there will always be zealots, there will always be war.  Unless people want to change.  Sadly, it is very apparent that most people would not like to change.

We’re all grown ups, we all have the ability to speak.  Is there no way to speak to zealots?  A way to stop them before they start killing?  I truly believe there is something, some way.  I just don’t know what it is.  To me it’s a simple matter, but it has been pointed out to me many times that it isn’t simple.  I still think governments create chaos and confusion because they still operate with a First Century idea about winning a war.  We need 21st Century thinking.

 

 

 

 

Injustice in America

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reblogged from Everyday Gurus

 

 

EMERGENCY Peace Challenge: Help Rarasaur!

I skyped with a dinosaur!

Those of you who know Rarasaur know in your heart of hearts how loving, generous, and inspiring she is. Bloggers for Peace would be a figment of my imagination without Rarasaur who designed both the logo and the Peacecat t-shirt for free.

Rarasaur Peace Cat

Recently, I’ve realized that at every moment, we have the choice to serve ourselves or serve others. Rarasaur spends a majority of her time serving others.

For those of you who don’t know, Rarasaur was falsely charged with a crime she did not commit. With no resources to defend herself, Rarasaur has become a pawn in the criminal justice system.

I am asking you to reach into your hearts and give to help one of the greatest peacemakers in the blogosphere. If you have ever visited Rarasaur.wordpress.com, please donate to her freedom fund by clicking here: http://rarasaur.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/i-didnt-go-to-jail-today-and-other-notes/

bannerI’m also asking all Bloggers for Peace who know Rarasaur to publish a post devoted to Rarasaur that links to this donation page.

We often are unable to see the ramifications of much of the work we do for peace. In this case, every post you publish and every cent you donate has measurable and concrete effects on the peace in the world. Please help Rara now.

May you all find peace and joy. May you be free from suffering. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo Hattori

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://rarasaur.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/i-didnt-go-to-jail-today-and-other-notes/