What could possibly go wrong in 2020?

I have always loved getting those little stickers as I leave the voting stations, the “I Voted” ones, you know.  My chest even sticks out a little more, at least in my mind.  This is a feeling that we all can partake of in this country, and at least in some other nations that right of voting is also enjoyed, although often surrounded by controversy.

I have no doubt that the election in 2020 will be surrounded by just that.  I have no doubt that BMT (aka…..crazy hair guy in the Oval Office, better known on my blog as Bottomless Moral Turpitude) will lose the popular vote by a wide margin, regardless of who the Dems put up to run.  However, as in 2016 the electoral college voting may very well  be that breathes new life into he who sucks life out of America.

The Republicans, aka Citizens Council, have totally stalled Congress from providing the level of funding to states needed to replace their voting machines and provide for backup paper ballots.  So, that is one problem.

Then there is the matter of alien forces diligently working to throw the swing states and the electoral college in their favor.  Russia obviously will want him re-elected, because many of the oligarchs stand to come out better in the long run with him remaining in office.  China and Iran likely will endeavor to push the vote toward the Dems.  So will the net result be a zero sum?  No one knows of course, but given the coziness of BMT with Vlad, and with BMT on record saying he would take information and assistance from Russia (again), the odds would tend to favor him.

I have no doubt at all that If BMT does not get the win, he and the Citizens Council will file many, many lawsuits to confuse the entire election decision, very likely the matter winding up at SCOTUS.  Well, we know how that will go.

So with all the excitement presently as to who will win the Dem nomination, ultimately it may not matter.  However, if the election seems to be going in BMT’s favor, I am equally fearful that Dems will pour into the streets in protests across the country, and do everything possible to block his “coronation.”  This could get very ugly, very fast.

I am always an advocate for having a Plan B.  I highly advise Americans who long for a new president, to have a Plan B, and be ready to put it into effect immediately at that time.

 

Advertisements

The Intergenerational Tipping Point.

As I see our American society today we are at the tipping point, the fulcrum being the foundation of what America will look like the next 100 years.  On one side of the lever are those who “want to make America great again,” and on the other end of the board is a conglomerate of Millennials and Gen Z, of all colors and persuasions, who have little knowledge of the “before,” but are grounded in what they daily see around them.

It is clear that the advantage is with the newer generations.  They will win.  The only question is how much damage, direct and collateral, to our society and our environment during this civil war.  It appears those now in control continue accelerating their “rape and pillage” mentality, rolling back environmental laws put in place over the last 100 years by those who understood at least some of the values needed to preserve our natural resources, and attempting to change laws protecting women, infants, poor and elderly people, all in the name of their “God.”

So the next few years will tell the final tale, as some factors such as global warming may go beyond any retrievable dynamic, setting the conditions for Earth’s ultimate demise as a habitable, heavenly creation.  Moreover, if certain measures being implemented by the current “old school” reach full criticality, such as rolling back Roe vs. Wade, killing Medicaid and reducing Medicare, messing with Social Security, inflicting untold misery on those seeking asylum at the foot of Lady Liberty, and continuing to start wars that they themselves never personally have to fight, then the next 100 years of potential will be sucked into cleaning up the muck they are spreading.

I remain positive however, and know the energy of the younger generation to effect the needed changes is limitless.  They are “woke,” and “overstand” clearly what they must do.

 

Jazz, America’s Classical Music

If you are not a student of jazz, nor even very familiar with its vastness, that’s ok, I just hope you will hear me out on this, and then think about how what I say applies to the music idiom you prefer or love even.  I assure you it will apply, you may just need to do some substitution.

I chose the photo above, two empty park benches, side by side.  Now imagine, on one bench is seated a single musician, playing jazz, all alone.  My vision is of a sax player, but maybe it’s a cat or a lady horn player blowing on the trumpet or coronet or …….you name it.  Now it could even be a guy on a trap drum kit, but I prefer to think in terms of a horn’s vibration.  An acoustic guitar will do well though, in this discussion.

Here you come, out for a leisurely walk before it gets too warm, and hearing the wafting notes of extemporaneous composition floating through the trees, you follow these, curious and perhaps bewitched.  Finding the player, who only acknowledges you with a quick glance, after standing a moment listening, you say to yourself, “I think I will just sit and listen for a while.”

Being a jazz aficionado of many years, you just close your eyes, and listen, non-judgmentally, as the player experiments, stuttering on this note, then hesitating, then repeating and repeating again, until satisfied with that stroke of the painting.  Each note you hear takes you somewhere in your soul, your memories, your very primordial essence, carrying you along the strands of your DNA to experiences and relationships of your countless ancestors, and even (in my way of thinking) your many reincarnations.  You sit listening, hearing but not analyzing, for it cannot really be analyzed, as it is “jazz,” a fully-constituted quantum wave/particle having only the smaller parts that make up your very body and all that you perceive around you and all that you do not yet perceive, the very web of the Potentiality that is what many call God, others just know no name may be assigned, for It is neither this nor that.  Of the infinite possibilities of each note you take in, your neurons fire collapsing at each moment the probability wave into that special note that you and only you can claim.  You own each note, just as much as the lady playing.  You become an Eulipion.

The thought may come to mind, does the player hear her notes and feel what you feel listening to his notes?  A little perhaps, but what she is laying down is a river, she is pouring in the sacred water, shaping the twists and turns and rapids and falls, which she navigates, but you are in your own boat, free to also navigate as you feel, or are drawn to do by inexorable forces that you have little control over.  It is her journey, her creation, but she gives openly for you to enjoy in your little “mind skiff.”

A large part of listening to jazz is just relaxing into what you hear, letting the mind and spirit, mind/spirit, synthesize the extension of the notes that are only yours alone to enjoy in the way that you do.  Each person will enjoy the same music differently, because what we hear is what each of us process as our personalized perception of those lyrical dimensions.  This is also true of what we touch and what we see, but that’s another story. All is Mind.

Of course, as I said above, please feel free to substitute your own idiom, your own instrument, and then just visualize mentally, let it be a brief meditation.  Your surely will “see” that of which I write this morning.

Enjoy your day.  Listen to some great music!

Just Being…

We had some hard rain yesterday, but after some hours it let up so I could take a short walk to the grocery nearby.  On the way back it occurred to me that a topic for today should be about “being in the present.”

As I walked along I traversed fallen twigs, leaves, and other unrecognizable “stuff,” much of it left by the force of the rain, knocked from bushes above, or blown from some other spot by the winds.  I allowed myself to become very thoughtful about this, and yet allowed my mind to just be open to blending with what I perceived, visually and mentally.  I thought about how each leaf stuck to the sidewalk had a history that was infinite.  The same for even the bird poop, and how leaves and poop were directly connected and essentially part of the whole.

Take one leaf for example. We can examine how it came to be a leaf, and we can examine how it came to be one of the leaves that was displaced by the rain water, and how the wind and the rain and gravity all conjoined to place the leaf in the exact position and orientation that I saw it in.  We can trace this history of the leave, from being a sprout on a twig, to being part of the bush or tree, to the seed that the tree came from, to what carried or placed the see where the tree grew, and if carred there, how and why, did a bird carry it, and what kind of bird and the full history of that one bird, such as its migration, the food it consumed…..and well, as one quickly sees there is no end to the investigation that one can do if one wishes.

The “bottom line,” (a favorite term in the West, since we are all about the almighty dollar) is that all things if explored thoroughly, are seen to be part of the web of life, and more so, the quantum web when we drill down to the ultimate state of perception.  This is what is called “sunyata” in Sanskrit.  It is the “emptiness” of all that we perceive, meaning empty of inherent existence.  The entire universe contains nothing that is not interdependent with everything else.  It’s really quite simple, yet so illusive to those never presented with such philosophy (and physics).  By just being in the present, observing each thing and phenomena and our own thoughts at the moment, we can be transported into the heart of this concept, and for at least a few seconds, or minutes, arrive in this suspended “place” that has no time nor space nor gravity.

That we can readily access this state of being anytime, anywhere, is really “pretty cool.”  If we do practice this, the least benefit we will attain is the realization that we as a person are fully connected with the ultimate creation.  No need to do much more than this, no need to prostrate, no need to cross the heart, no need to go to a formal place of worship (except for the social experience and support).  We each are given the full throttle power to simply, “Be.”

Enjoy Being today.

Death by blogging…

For my avid readers (all three of you?), no I am not hinting of anything related to my mortality.  But, “One never knows, do one?” (Fats Waller).

After the attack on the WTC (9-11), my ability to write creatively just suddenly stopped.  I found myself, voluntarily, caught up in the anti-war movement, and creative writing just seemed to take a distant place in my ranking of importance.  For years I felt this way, and in spite of attempts over those years to break out of that quagmire, writing attempts that went nowhere, dampened by the continuing sickening news of death, mutilation, PTSD, civilian casualties and displacement, war, mayhem and terrorism (let’s remember one man’s terrorism is another man’s overt strike, e.g., a drone with Hellfire missiles on a wedding)…..well, I just could not bring myself to begin to write about something that was not serious, and yet I was just sick of “serious.”  Do you feel me?

Then, not too long ago I began to feel like I must force myself to sit down once again, and write.  Life is short – I finally had to admit to myself.  So, I started this blog, and just in the last six months I have self-published a few small non-fiction books (available on Amazon).  But once again I am finding it so hard to push away the thoughts and images of the slings and arrows of our political, and generally societal at large, landscape.  There seems to be no news outlet that is not engaged in debating the daily shifts in this terrain…because it is so important….but god don’t we all need some fresh air?

I was born about four score years after the American Civil War, and until 2016 I could never have dreamed the foundation of what it means to be “America” would begin to fracture again. I thought for the longest we might be finally escaping our past divisions and angst, coming together to address common threats like global warming or exploring space, feeding the starving and “all that.”  How wrong I was.  Now we are literally in a “civil” civil war once again…there is no way to deny that, and anyone who scoffs at that I say, “you better look deeper.”  (Note that when I say “civil,” I am not over looking the bloody violence committed by domestic terrorists.)

Our country is being consumed by the “perfect storm.”  A consummate ego-maniac was elected due to the amplification of factors that individually would not have resulted in such as travesty:  egotism of the Democratic party machine, an outdated electoral college system built on gerrymandered districting, neglect of our heartland and our once burgeoning industrial cities and the thousands of small towns and rural folk, the failure of our education system to teach citizens how to critically analyze information, xenophobia inflamed by poverty of large swaths of America, outright racism, the selfishness of the major social media corps, the degenerate state of politicians within in D.C., and the failure of government to protect against cyber attacks by malevolent actors (e.g., Trump’s best buddy, Vladimir Putin).  Had any one of these factors been neutralized, we would not be in a civil war today.

Now we are faced with a highly divided nation, so divided it has wrecked marriages and families, just like the bloody Civil War did, and I fear it could easily get much worse.  We have a man occupying the presidency who knows no limits, recognizes no restraints of law or norm, will do absolutely anything to remain in power and have All the power, who has infected Washington with a fast growing carcinoma.  It is obvious he will use every trick in the book, supported by those who are too blinded by hate, or too greedy to care about the principles of our very nation.  He will not be impeached, and even if he loses the 2020 election (which certainly is not a foregone conclusion) he will not vacate the White House peacefully, for he knows prison and the collapse of his finances await him.  Inauguration day, January 20, 2021 may turn into another day of infamy for this country.

Notwithstanding all this bullshit, I will continue to blog – till death do us part – and give free reign to my mind, allowing it to roam as freely as I can given day to day matters, and moreover, abide in the firm belief that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” (Theodore Parker).

Concluding, I know this nation will get through this.  We have met and beat all other fiends, and we will beat this, even though a large part of the fiend’s protoplasm is within our collective self.

 

Happy Earth Day?

While home on leave in 1971, my future wife and I attended the second Earth Day celebration in Austin, Texas.  I don’t remember much about it, except it was a beautiful day, and I was with the beautiful woman that I would spend 25 years with on this beautiful Earth.

Today I am not sure it is appropriate to wish someone “happy Earth day.” Is it?  As a Buddhist I strive to keep a happy mind, which I do believe allows clear insight and comes by negating ignorance, anger and confusion about the things we all deal with on a daily basis.  However, a happy mind requires equanimity, a challenging matter given what we observe humanity doing to – committing against – our Mother Earth.

AI, artificial intelligence, is one of my favorite topics, which I have written about previously.  Being a positive soul, coupled with faith in what I observe in the young generation – their concern about climate change, to the point of global walk-outs by school children –  I do feel somewhat better that AI will be shaped by our progeny toward arresting the slow decay of our space-ship/biosphere.  On the other hand, there is the very real threat of high-tech gurus attitude of never looking back, and only concerning themselves with accomplishing technological steps that really remove humanity even further from our Mother.  Without heavy ethical push-back, there is extreme risk of technology being grasped by near fascist political regimes that will push the curve downward, continuing the decrement of the life-force that sustains all life.

In democratic nations, people can push back by voting for those who do cherish the Earth, who do work in evidence-based policy formation and who do what must be done.  Democracies that follow an environmental friendly state policy-making can also greatly influence the  non-democratic and developing nations.

So, let me end on a positive note, and do wish everyone, all my fellow humans, orangutans, and all Mother’s “creatures”, Happy Earth Day!