Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
We will soon discover if what appears to some to be extreme Fascism will be contained by the United States judicial system. The checks and balances originally designed into our system have been blurred by political power. If religious organizations are liberated to use funds for direct political campaigning we will be in a whole new universe of crossed purposes. Many worry that when the president said he revoked Dodd Frank financial regulations because some of his friends have good businesses and can’t borrow (yes, that is what he said) that we are running fast down the road that brought us to ruin when Wall Street was too big to fail. Since we made up that term we have done absolutely nothing (except Dodd Frank) to address this too big to fail banking problem. The complicated regulations are never well understood by normal people, but we are clearly being told that banks will be able to lend more freely and do as they please (gamble) with the banks’ holdings as soon as this has been enacted. I am no banking expert, but this sounds very fishy to me. We don’t fully understand it, but we have political deja vu.
The executive branch of the government is intended to enforce the laws created by Congress. The president, the military, and the police are “arms of the law” intended not to make law but to enforce it. The judicial branch provides needed expertise to guide the executive branch to stay within the law. It adjudicates disputes about the laws that congress creates. The Supreme Court has been fully politicized to the point that the appointment is viewed now as extreme political victory. It is such a big deal that the present vacancy was “held open” until the election was concluded. This says a lot about The Supreme Court and Congress. This appointment is now a public political wrestling match which is getting messy. Is this how the government is even supposed to work?
The reason to watch the judicial branch very carefully now is that it holds the key to rule of law. With a strong independent and functional judiciary branch we can move forward and resolve disputes without running amok in political expediency. I currently trust the court system more than I trust the other two branches. In my own mind the checks and balances are wildly out of balance. A poorly educated public that does not understand how the government is intended to work is not very likely to be governed by a functional, rational leadership. This is a formula for Fascism. This is how rule of law is destroyed, with ignorance. I am not as much a subscriber to good and evil as I am to real and unreal. The evil I believe we need to fight in the world today is unconsciousness. If we think someone is criminally unconscious it is our duty to persuade them to make contact with reality. That task is much harder than judging or assuming anything about anyone. These are troubled times, gentle reader.
A few years ago I went to California to take a workshop from a group called Tribal Truth. I was invited to go by a good friend who flaked out after I had paid for it. I decided to go because it was taking place at a hot spring I like in SoCal, so I figured I would have fun at the hot spring at least. We were assigned roommates to share dorm style accommodations. The lady assigned to me was a working Jungian therapist who told me right off the bat she had always been a “good girl”. She was relatively sophisticated…I mean, she did actually have a practice in Jungian therapy…but her “good girl” had been blinded by the light. I think her dad had been a preacher. She and I discussed the events of the first night and had different opinions about them. I thought the whole thing was bogus because the meditation they used was plagiarized from Carolyn Myss without crediting her, and they seemed generally lame.
I don’t remember how I found Celina and Donna, my rebel with a cause soul sisters, but we met and conferred about the nature of this Tribal Truth business. We had all paid a lot, and they had driven down from the fabulous east bay to make the most of the weekend. Donna had a lot of experience in the physic realm, along with some bad experiences with a “psychic” cult. She was instantly against the ethics in the room because she was sensitive to the use of so-called truth to control, rob and manipulate others. I didn’t like it because of the plagiarism and this idea that these leaders were somehow gifted, holy, and tribal. Celina is an osteopathic manual practitioner who is highly attuned to dishonesty too. On the first night in the conference room we were given our assignment for the weekend. We were to make up an imaginary business and pitch it to the crowd, like a start-up generator run by plagiarizing glitter fairies. Donna was born in the year of the dog. Both Celina and I were born in the year of the tiger. We decided our business would be the simplest of business plans. Our company, Two Tigers and a Dog Psychic Protection Agency would just sell stickers to put up on any home or business. The stickers would say “This building protected by Two Tigers and a Dog Psychic Protection Agency.” That’s it. We laughed uproariously.
When we told the group we were dropping out because we were all finished with our assignment they went crazy. They tried to shame us into “not breaking the sacred circle”. They made us stay to do something stupid with this circle concept, so I stood up and said something like “sacred, my ass”…and the three of us left to spend our day at the hot spring having fun. Two Tigers and a Dog had so much more fun than those who struggled to identify themselves with these bogus sprit guides. The Jungian therapist moved out of my room because I was a heretic to the tribal situation. This was the best because my room then had 3 beds for…two tigers and a dog to have slumber parties. We partied on, then parted.
We got together years later in the Mission District of SFO with my friend Ardell, a long time friend and personal healer. The federal government had been closed by the Zodiac Killer (Ted Cruz), but we were invited to visit the 9th circuit court of appeals building, probably the most elegant building in the city. We felt so lucky to see the building and meet justices. Then we all got to wear my friend Peter’s robe for a photo shoot. If I knew how to photoshop I would make that sticker for the protection agency, with us all dressed in Peter’s robe. Ardell is a snake, but that can be scary too. Two Tigers, a Dog, and a Snake Psychic Protection Agency is a thing. If you see these women on a sticker….just leave that property alone..don’t take a chance. We are watching you. You never know where we might be.
Terror is the new leisure. We have become so accustomed to the word being used all over the world to describe atrocities, political take overs, and now the rising stars of the terror world, ISIS. The meaning has become scattered and diluted, so now that real sociopathic mobs roam the desert with intent to do massive destruction we have no new way to describe what they do. We have allowed fear and loathing to become part of everyday living. While I am personally glad I am not in a position to direct military or political policy I do see a reason for declaring exactly what we are doing (besides fear and loathing) with our military might. When war is actually declared there is incentive to negotiate peace and end the war. By free styling war with no declarations we have gathered new enemies and spread distrust all over the globe. I have objected and protested publicly against war since I was a teenager, but in all that time the government has never had the guts to declare one. We are just participating in one huge covert operation that changes frequently and irrationally as we become less popular.
John McCain and I have never agreed before and will not be likely to do so in the future. I usually think my Senator from Arizona is a paranoid militaristic dweeb with too many houses. If a bunch of violent punks can declare themselves to be a sovereign nation and run rampant over rule of law the United States needs to declare SOMETHING!!! Are we bullies? Are we cowardly? Are we completely out of touch with reality? I think yes to all of the above questions. I personally think this is more than a decisive moment in history. It is pivotal now to stop this armageddon warm up before momentum takes us to a new world order that we can’t imagine.
What terrifies me is the idea that our government is full of self serving and dishonest people who have no will to act. I am not naming any names because there is no individual responsible. It is a culture that tells us to “support our troops” without telling us what those troops are really doing and why. Going to war is serious business, but going straight to hell because we won’t declare war or peace terrifies me.
What is obstruction of justice, exactly? Many of us feel that somehow our relationship with the government is unjust. We think our tax dollars are spent without enough consideration. We feel cheated. We feel mislead. The formal definition of obstruction of justice is complex and complicated. Federal law defines perjury as obstruction thusly:
II. a. under oath or b. in any
iii. verification, or iv. statement
under penalty of perjury as permitted under Section 1746 of title 28, United States Code376 III. in any proceeding before or ancillary to
a. any court or
b. grand jury of the United States
V. a. makes any false material declaration or
b. makes or uses any other information, including any
v. recording, or vi. other material,
knowing the same to contain any false material declaration,
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.377
So if you lie to the Feds about Federal law you will be in trouble with the court. Richard Nixon was brought down for his mendacity. He made an effort to mislead the judicial system. If you were alive for Watergate his is probably the face of political hanky panky at it’s most absurd. Since Nixon, however, we are not feeling that our democratic tax dollars are used fairly. We see our elected officials blatantly serving the lobbyists who support them. We see the giant and growing discrepancies between the most wealthy and the poverty-stricken. We are watching as liberty and justice for all vanishes from the United States of America. A sliding scale for prosecution of crime fills the jails and penitentiaries with people of color while the banker robbers of the world are still mostly loose on the town. There is now a sense that the government spies on the citizens, lies to the citizens, and often fails to serve the interests of the citizens. The fourth branch of government is now lobbyists. We never see their faces, but we know they are out to lunch with our elected officials and we are not. In our guts we know this is unfair.
Cultural mendacity is a flawed belief system taught and accepted by groups. Plato and Tennessee Williams were very concerned about this subject. Folklore and folk medicine, like belief in the chupacabra, is brought over from the past. Political and commercial propaganda is created daily to influence cultural habits. Pavlov trained his dog to be delusional, consistently. You are trained to think buying Fruit Loops on credit is a fine practice for your budget and your health. The political parties are training you to donate money to feed the status quo without even knowing what the status quo is.
Lance, the psycho bully, Armstrong needs to stand tall as a role model for all of history. Protesting too much is a classic sign of dishonesty. Willful blindness extends to all layers of our society. Most of it is not as harmless (not to indicate that these crimes were petty) as doping cyclists. Mortgage fraud and investment banking fraud, as yet to explained to the victims in clear terms, are examples of cultural delusion. Sick work ethics that ignore misdeeds and reward anti social behavior fall into this category as well. Systems are mendacious, but cultures are easily duped. Like Pavlov’s dog, groupthink salivates at the sound of the bell because it has been taught to associate the bell with food. Pavlov in this experiment plays the part of the government. The bell is congress. The dog is the tax paying citizen. The dog food cupboard is full of imaginary dog food, known as the budget. Mendacity is the system in which we live.
The all around good time, right livelihood, and value vibe created by Zappos is a result of excellent design. The products we buy from Zappos are of high quality. What is perhaps more important is that they are steering capitalism in a healthy direction by upgrading the way business is designed. Feudalism, slavery, share cropping and all other adverse forms of employment feature happiness for shareholders only. This short-sighted vision produces more unhappy servants of the apparently happy owners of companies than it does loyal customers. With the contentment quotient working in reverse, quality, innovation, and value erode and vanish. I think this erosion is occurring in the public service sector. If Vets kill themselves there is a clear indication that something essential is missing in the overall design of our public business.
How can we make the business of government switch from a stagnant vessel of inefficient service to a lean mean contentment machine? Are there ways to practice the Zap happy values in public service and politics?
I do see a little weirdness, but far too little. The WOW Through Service is just not happening. Imagine the government being passionate to do more with less, or be humble. These core values are created for the benefit of all. Happiness compounds daily, as does negligence. My dream government applies these guiding principles to create a better world. Imagine, gentle reader, a government that makes us as happy as Zappos does, all while being creative and open minded. We can dream.
Now that we can be relieved of the presidential politics for a minute, let us look ahead to the rapid change rolling into the future of the US. I live next to the border where incentive to smuggle is a traditional job creator in the region. Capital creation has historically been based on tax free labor and favorable agriculture laws that made ranching and farming possible in the state. We are now famous for SB1070, the state immigration law mostly banned by the Supremes. The political cartoon of our state is Barry Goldwater in drag flying a bomber over Phoenix to do the business of the people. His legacy lives, but it is demographically challenged and I believe will soon be destroyed by pure and simple economic reality. During Barry’s lifetime the border was a complete joke. All farming and ranching depended on Mexican undocumented labor. All hotels and restaurants in Arizona used the same standards. Tucson was the Mexican dirt weed capital of the great southwest, shipping untold tons to untold trillions of American pot smokers.
The only real change in the government that happened on election day was the legalization of marijuana by Colorado and Washington. Lester Holt cautioned the stoners not to break out the goldfish and Cheetos too soon, which lead to a comment that there is no Entenmann’s way out west. Yes, Brian , we do have Entenmann’s, and excellent medicinal kine bud grown right here in Arizona. Colorado, however, has an advanced business model in play that will be ready for Coca Cola as soon as either the Supremes or the dweebs in congress clear the active for Cannabis Coke. There has been much investment in Colorado into development of products ready to ship across the nation. These legally produced and consumed products replace some of the income lost by the attrition of traditional ( read tax free labor force) farming. Arizona agriculture has been decimated by draught, SB1070, and the same loss of interest in farming as a business experienced by the rest of the nation. We are out of water, but we still have plenty of sunshine. The new pharming is done indoors requiring intense electric lighting to achieve the pharmaceutical quality. Arizona can produce solar electricity, and we already have Dutch people here growing tomatoes in greenhouses.
Lawyers and lobbyists, come on down!!! Let us get real about laws that create liberty and justice for all, and laws that provide incentive for violent criminal smuggling. Arizona can be the crown jewell in the solar pharming phuture of cannabis. We can provide legal jobs and opportunity that will enrich our state tax revenues, or we can continue to play deadly tug of war with the Sinaloa cartel. Some profit from status quo. Incentives for smuggling must always include bribes, as is the nature of the beast. Some law enforcement individuals can and do become extra super wealthy from all this incentive, while the state becomes destitute. By eliminating the smuggling incentives we an make our tax dollars work for the public interest. Even if you are sure you never want to burn one the economic absurdity of pouring tax dollars into making sure nobody else does must be clear. The idea of securing the border is a good one. It is time to cut the cord for the Mexican cartels, and suck up to those cute Dutch people with all those greenhouses. You do not need to be high to see how this works.
What are the factors that leave the bitter and putrid taste we have in our mouths from the election year? Some feel the Supremes let all the dogs out when the allowed superpac money to influence us without disclosure. I believe we know which interests support which candidates, so the secrecy is not the issue exactly. What I notice this year is that wounds are the stars of the show. The festering rust belt unemployment wound is pitted against the draught stricken farmer wound, or the immigration wound, with the neediest winning temporary, meaningless attention. Like siblings in a poverty stricken family who must srcap for everything, childish whining leaders of the government constantly remind us of the undeserving nature of the other side of the aisle. We know never to believe the statements they make or the reason they employ. We know they are all in the pockets of the lobbyists. Nobody has any faith that the greedy, out of control people who spend our tax money have any principals that do not bend for funding. Our government is corrupt, which means that we pay for a lot of action that is destructive rather than productive.
The congress likes to tell the story that they make sausage. They throw all the requests together in order to make laws that will pass both houses. The lobbyist funding that influences every vote speaks much louder than the public interest. The public interest has no lobby, and therefore is not powerful enough to take a senator out to a fancy lunch or ball game to discuss the public’s point of view. The federal government has not had time to do it’s job for years because it is campaigning all the time. The need to feed the political machine to keep the candidate on the trail starts and ends with corporate and industry lobbies built for the purpose of creating legislation favorable to partisan causes. This is why the sausage is always full of disgusting unknown substances and crazy consequences. Nobody is the wiser, since the bills generally are almost impossible to read or comprehend. Nobody expects these laws to be enforced. That is what seems to me to be the big bitter joke.
The most important factor that creates that bitterness is lack of enforcement. The lawmakers put on some Kabuki theater of right and wrong through legislation wars. In the meantime, we maintain gigantic agencies with so little oversight and supervision that nothing works. All these laws on the books require offices full of civil servants, and buildings, vehicles, and infrastructure. None of them seems to require enforcement. The civil servants drive around in the civil vehicles ignoring fraud and corruption. They are concerned primarily with the benefits of their jobs, the continuation of their jobs, and doing as little work as possible. Enforcement is the least of their concern. Since the elected official who is in charge of the office is absent campaigning, waste is the word of the day.