May 31, 2017
Are we stronger than ignorance? It’s a big question for today. Can we change a culture of misinformation into a quest of curiosity? Can we begin the slow process of pulling ourselves upwards so that we are a nation of thoughtful citizens? I sure hope so.
How in the world did we turn into a nation that denies the truths right in front of our faces? We have the facts and figures about health care in front of us and yet we allow ourselves to be manipulated by big business concerns who do not care about our health. We know full well the trauma of a loved one with cancer. We rally together to support a community member who is ill – whether or not we think they have worked hard enough to deserve good health care. We love them because we know them, we know their families.
Anyone who is curious enough to do a little research will find that there are many other countries who have worked through the details of health care, and managed to evolve a system that works well. A little research will reveal that affordable care and prevention is so much cheaper than waiting until a poor soul is sick enough to need the emergency room… because that is all they can afford. We know there is a better way.
If we can lift ourselves from our ignorance for a moment we will notice that the Paris Climate Agreement is signed by the best and brightest countries around the world. Just a little research will reveal that the countries at the leading edge of technology are thriving and will be the leaders of the future. Even disregarding the moral imperative that looms in front of us from a warming planet, the economic benefits of being the leaders of technology should be enough for us to rise up and participate as a nation in a viable future.
Ignorance is not bliss. Time will reveal all. Your grandchildren will know how you voted and where you stood as these great decisions are embraced by our nation. How do you want them to look back on you? None of these things are about “belief.” They are provable, and results will be revealed over time. Please everyone: study, learn, inform yourselves about what is really going on. In the end, the only ones we can rely on are each other.
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Climate change is real. It is caused by humans. And it is fixable. It’s critical to understand that every single step needed to reverse climate change will make our lives better. Renewable energy will be cleaner, cheaper and more fun. Imagine a life where your money is not bleeding out to manage your car and heat/cool your home. Imagine a world where the activities of your daily life bring a feeling of satisfaction with who you are and how you interface with the world. Imagine us coming together in a creative adventure to discover the best and most beautiful ways to live with each other and with our possessions.
There is only one thing we need to do, as a culture, to create this renewable world: We simply need to stop subsidizing dirty energy, and start subsidizing clean energy.
If we turn our collective vision and resources towards living clean, an enormous surge of creativity will sweep the nation. People will be able to have satisfying work that ranges from home gardening to energy technicians. Just look around our valley and notice the number of young people who are out there building barns and digging up new land to plant. We have the most creative generation ever born ready and able to rise up to this adventure.
There is nothing in the teachings of Jesus that says we have to be backwards because we are remote and poor. In fact, it’s the very opposite. My faith tells me that the poor in spirit are blessed and will be the vehicles of a new world. We don’t have lots of money, but we have our hearts and minds. We have an ability to learn, grow and innovate together. We have an ability to embrace any environmental and political change that may arise with love in our hearts and light in our eyes. I ask everyone to look upwards with inspiration; not down into the pit of anger sparked by negative rhetoric. Let us lead with our true spirit.
How progressives can create jobs for all.
It’s not rocket science… if we want a world where everyone has value, then let’s simply guarantee jobs. Imagine how much can get done. Here is a great article that outlines how it would work, what it would cost, and how it would benefit society in the long run.
Collecting solar energy artistically. https://www.smartflower.com
Imagine wind trees as landscaping everywhere!
Remember that idea you have that the Devil can sneak into people’s hearts and cause sin and harm? Remember all the sermons about how the Devil disguises himself and gains an entry point into your life?
Well, it’s happened. It’s likely that you, your church and your fellow Christians are the people who have been seduced into the election of Donald Trump. This is the Devil sneaking into your heart by constantly turning your head towards inflammatory posts full of misinformation and lies… because it feels good. The Devil seduces you with your own fears and pride.
And the Devil is very tricky. Now that you know that the information you have been fed for a year has been coming from evil agents promoting a Russian agenda, you still hold fierce to the darkness – because of your fear of facing your own culpability. The Devil seduces you with your own cowardice.
It matters that Russia interfered with our elections. This has nothing to do with which party won, it has to do with the fact the everybody lost.
The reason it matters is because Russia’s purpose was to prove that democracy doesn’t work and they did it through the ONLY means that it can be broken: corrupting the minds of the people themselves with misinformation.
Democracy relies on an intelligent and morally upright populace to elect representatives. When we turn around and elect someone who is mean, spiteful, uninformed and out of touch then we ruin ourselves. When we, ourselves, are mean, spiteful, unformed and out of touch then we ruin ourselves.
The real hack from the Russians was the erosion of our moral centers by lies and beligerance.
This is what we now need to overcome. Please look in your hearts and take a pause. Is this person you are today a reflection of who you really are? Take a pause and listen to our long-time news media sources… what it is they are actually reporting? You have the ability to tell a truth from a lie, exercise that. Listen to our artists and musicians who have been bringing us beauty and stories of moral courage for decades… what are they actually saying? They aren’t the enemy. They are our voice. Listen with your heart.
Who are you really?
Aren’t you the kindly neighbor? Aren’t you the caring parent and grandparent? Remember when you were full of community spirit? Remember when you felt an openness and appreciation for all kinds of people? It wasn’t that long ago that you saw the world through a different lense. Remember who you were before you started reading news from Facebook. Remember that time?
If you can start to remember, then you will realize how damaging Russian influence has been on our population. That, my friend, is why it really matters. That’s why it really really matters. We want you to come back to being the good, kindly, interesting and involved person you used to be. That is the only way to free ourselves of this influence. We need you.
Keep in mind that there has never been anything like us before. As American people we’ve been used to freedom for centuries. We will not take easily to a demagogue no matter how much confusion he sows. We are also a nation that is still FULL of the old hippy generation. We know how to do this thing… we’ve gotten a lot smarter over the years… we have new tools at our disposal… we have the most educated younger generation that’s ever lived… and we are confident and strong in our goodness of heart and ability to communicate. We are an unbeatable force for good.
We aren’t hearing about it, but every single day a person who voted for Trump is starting to feel uncomfortable with their choice. Some are looking at their families and wondering where this will go. Some are realizing that they missed all the fun of the 60’s and are starting to see the rising up of creativity that is surging from the energized left. Some are starting to listen to their daughter’s, sisters… and maybe even mothers!
Never lose heart for one second. Celebrate everyone who is doing something… do what you are comfortable with. Be prepared to win big. When we are done with this thing we will not take obstruction any longer. No longer will we think that slow progress on climate change is okay. No longer will we tolerate any sort of prejudice in these United States. No longer will we allow companies to spew carcinogens throughout our environment. We will demand good education for everyone… no matter what neighborhood they live in. We will demand good health care for everyone… and demand health care that is actually interested in health (not just responding to disease.) We will demand decent pay for our work, and will stand up for others to have the same. We live in the wealthiest nation on earth… let’s start acting like it.
We will not take it any more. There are more of us than ever before. We are smarter and more competent than ever before. We have huge resources at our fingers.
We shall overcome.
Some assessments after reading the report on Russian interference. Their main goal was to spread so much misinformation about Hillary Clinton that, if she won, she would not be able to govern. The over-riding goal was to prove that democracy, especially as demonstrated by the U.S., does not work… and to hurt Hillary personally.
One of their videos “How 100% of the Clintons’ ‘Charity’ Went to…Themselves,” had more than 9 million views on social media platforms. The most popular video about the President-elect, called “Trump Will Not Be Permitted To Win,” had 2.2 million views. There were many others that were equally popular.
This is where our friends and neighbors got their information during the election.
Most important to know is that this is not the end of it. Russia has not decided to stop now. They are celebrating the success of their propaganda. It’s not in the report, but it is my opinion, that they must be laughing their heads off about how gullible we were.
Let’s un-gullible ourselves!
Here’s a copy of the report for those willing to read for themselves.
I saw another one of those hate posts about Michelle Obama slide across my Facebook feed today, and realize that we’ve missed the whole point. The post was a picture of Malania Trump and basically said “Finally a classy lady in the Whitehouse… Looking at the monkey made me want to puke.” More disturbing than the post were the comments. There were a few brave souls trying to combat the outright mean racism, and they were pummeled with an ever-escalating series of hate speak. I didn’t comment because I knew that would pass it to my feed, and I didn’t want to subject my friends with that. It was a wake-up call.
I realized we have it all wrong. The whole thing is blindly simple. Today’s climate is caused by only one thing: hate against having a black president. Nothing more, nothing less.
For weeks now, since the election, liberals have been analyzing everything from the Democratic party’s agenda, to not understanding white middle-class economic woes, to the faults of Hillary Clinton. It’s useless. That is just “bla bla bla bla” because it has nothing to do with the phenomenon of Donald Trump.
The thing is that Trump gave people permission to voice their rage. Once they went into it, and opened the floodgate, it was an unstoppable force. It was opening Pandora’s box. All that hate and rage was then poured into Hillary Clinton. That’s why people were willing to believe anything they saw posted about her. That’s why the “final straw” of more emails showing up in the last weeks of the election put a nail in the coffin of us all.
It was one simple thing: hate of a black president.
Suddenly seeing this I can at least understand it. And with understanding perhaps a path can be found to move forward.
Just think about it. Approximately 62,000,000 people in this country have been sitting around for 8 years with a knot in their stomachs every time they see or think about having black people in the Whitehouse. Imagine the rage to see constant pictures of those black faces, black hands, black children. There they are, walking around the beloved Whitehouse, dirtying everything they touch. During this whole time they haven’t heard a single thing that has been said, or noticed a single change. Their rage has been tongue-tied so that they can only mouth sideways, “niggers…” They nod at each other silently. Maybe complain in closed groups, but their ears are shut to details. Facts and figures are meaningless. They are frozen back to the day that Barack Obama was elected. In their minds it is still 2009, they are stuck in their losses of the financial crises. Rage has frozen time. Many have actually transposed their emotions back to 9/11/2001. It’s a deep, gut-wrenching angst, ready to boil over.
And then, suddenly, they were given permission. Not only were they given permission to “speak the truth” but they were given numerous targets on which to unleash their rage. Mexicans, Muslims, gay people, and Jews. That’s why it feels like a regurgitation of hate… because it is.
It’s so hard to see because it is just so blatant. No conscious thinking person would believe that this could be true. We’ve ignored it, and analyzed it to death in every attempt to turn our heads and not really see what’s going on. That deep sense of, “It can’t possibly be true” has colored our thinking.
It’s just like a mystery novel. Usually the culprit is found by following the money. But in this case all we need to do is follow the result. Look at what has happened since the election. There are so many hate crimes happening around the country that the New York Times has started a Hate Watch page. These posts referring to Michelle Obama as a monkey are everywhere. People of color are being yelled at in grocery lines. Just ask any person of color what their lives have been like since the election… I’m sure you’ll hear a story. This is the single, pinpointed, cause.
There is no logic in this at all, so trying to regain our country through “opening up a dialogue” will do no good. Surveys show that Trump voters passionately believe that the economy is worse now than when Obama took office. They believe the stock market has fallen. They believe that “Obama Care” is evil… simply because of the source and the name that has been given to it.
Hillary Clinton took the brunt of it. Bigotry turned to misogyny and was an unstoppable, invisible, force of destruction. On November 8th love didn’t trump hate. It got really, really, close. It would have won without interference, but with the constant barrage of needling against her, hate slipped us into the constitutional nightmare of the Electoral College.
Many people believe that Bernie Sanders would have won if he had gained the Democratic nomination. But I think it would have been just as bad. He was relatively unchallenged at primary time – Hillary was never nasty against him – but Trump would have come up with something. Do you really think we would have elected a Jew after a black? And a socialist at that?? Trump would have named him something like “Commie Bernie” and it would have been all over. No amount of talking about issues would have or could have had the slightest effect on this kind of blind hate.
It’s important to know that it is blind hate. I don’t think that, in the 21st Century, anyone would consciously talk themselves into this amount, or type, of hate. It’s unexamined. It’s a blind repression, deep deep down. It is a serious, deep-gut nag that has been eating away at voters as they sit on their couches and eat potato chips. It was a lethal poison ready to explode.
So what now? What happens now? If you are starting to see that this is as simple as I think it is, then there is actually room for hope.
Trump voters don’t give a twit about Donald Trump. If you listen to any of their arguments for him they have no substance. “He’s a good business man – He didn’t really mean the things he said – He tells the truth.” All that really means nothing more than, “He’s a white man.”
What’s going to happen is that on January 20th they will get to see a white man take the oath of office, and the black family will skulk away. They won!!! Just watching those black faces get into a car and drive off will be the end of it. 62,000,000 people will take a deep breath and turn away. They won’t have to face themselves any longer. They won’t have to grapple with their inner ticking’s. Some of them are really unconscious people and they will go back to drinking beer and scratching their balls. Some of them have better hearts and will start to be available to their communities again. Some of them may even start to notice as the new president does things that they never thought possible to do from the presidency.
After January 20th we may be able to have a conversation about issues again. I hope it’s not too late.