Owls, Spiders, Occupying Wallstreet

I want to thank the people who have gotten out of their homes and gotten together old school to try and affect change. Since Uranus has been in Aries I have been saying privately this is the age of revolutions. I can’t remember if I blogged about it. But probably didn’t because I try to stay positive for the most part on the blog.

I went to Maui and just got back. I really felt the need to reconnect with nature. The balance of the human world feels so off kilter and disturbed that to just remember the beauty of the Creator was much-needed as I felt a great disturbance in energy coming from Iran which I chose not to blog about, and rather wrote down in a private journal. I don’t want to scare anyone – just make people aware that it is my feeling the leader of that country is feeling under pressure to leave and he is a control freak and wants to stay in power at all costs. I think he is trying to bait the US into a war. I received this information in late September, but the feeling was so awful and scary I didn’t feel it was good to put this info out there. Now that it is somewhat known I only want to warn our government not to take the bait. He is using a technique similar to “death by police.” If he can’t have power than no one will – he’d be willing to destroy his own people in mass like some people do by shooting up a public place and getting the cops to kill them – they want to commit suicide, but they are too afraid to do so, and are so angry with the world they want to take out as many people as possible in a final grab for power. We must show great restraint here in dealing with Iran as the leader will try many things to get us to go to war as his power slips. However the people of Iran our currently on our side – they want democracy and we must remember that and not take his bait.

Now onto several other things. I’ve been reading this book called, “The Narcissism Epidemic.” I found it because I wanted to write an article for this blog about this very issue. The 80s notion of “greed is good” and the emphasis on fame and materialism is a disturbing turn in our collective consciousness. Ironically there has never been a more difficult time to actually achieve financial wealth and have real fame (not Facebook/Twitter “fame”) than right now. The American dream has been all but destroyed since the deregulation of corporate America. It’s become a case of feast or famine for most of us and we have been divided to the point where we believe we have no voice, and we have been fed the poisonous soma of vanity, materialism and unrealistic expectations. Although I don’t agree with every conclusion the authors draw from the data they have collected – I have felt for the past ten years (especially) that good manners and caring about others seems about as fashionable as bow ties and sensible shoes.  However it is through helping others that we find true connection, peace, love, a sense of purpose, even our true purpose itself rather than wasting time talking on cell phones, checking facebook every fifteen minutes and twittering about the sandwich we are eating – it’s best to just take in life and process it.

Being a writer and a visual artist as well (who often uses photography) I found that I was unable to be in the moment on a trip when I was behind the camera. I probably take 10 percent of the pictures that a normal person does on vacation because I want to be present – not a voyeur of my life. It seems we have become voyeurs of our lives in every sense – we are one step removed with little fish hooks out on the net, or via our phone, cell phone, etc. Yet we will be out to dinner with a good friend and talk to some random person who happens to call. This is why I never keep my cell phone on. I also don’t check my e-mail everyday – sorry about that – but I refuse to deny life for the sake of false connection. All of those devices leave us empty when we don’t control them. However they are also great when we do apply rules to them. I am a hermit – this is my nature. I need a LOT of time to myself. Some people are not. For them perhaps these tools are fantastic to meet up with friends and go to protests. I think these tools are only healthy (however) when used to actually connect and not when used as a substitute for connection which I fear has been happening to us more and more, leaving us isolated and headed toward delusion.

Delusion? Yes. In real life when you interact with friends they tell you when a hat looks stupid on you. They tease you when you talk to much. They call you on your BS. But when life becomes a monologue there is no one to call us on our stuff and we stop growing. I believe this is partially why NPD and those tendencies have grown to epidemic proportions and this is supported by loads of evidence.

NPD and narcissistic tendencies are not (as previously thought) due to many of the things once thought – they are often a result of delusion – yes, truly when you boil it down – not knowing ones strengths and weaknesses and we all have both – that’s what makes us, us. If we were all totally hot, had 200 IQs and sang like Mariah Carey – we’d be robots. Our weaknesses define us as much as our strengths and there is nothing wrong with weakness. Weaknesses are either things to avoid (like I’m a clutz so I don’t wear high heels or do anything requiring grace and balance – I once spilled hot coffee on my own head – it’s true). So what. I suck at a lot of things. I’m good at things, too. Just like everyone I have gifts and failings. Failings can sometimes be things we can work on to learn from like being a hermit – not always a good thing – but I work on it and often find I have fun leaving my house.

But to bring it all back to where I started the Wall Street occupation – I am so proud that people have gotten together and are actually demanding change. This is the great thing about the loss of materialism – once the cell phone, TV, computer and video games are turned off we find we are actually in a room with a lot of other people who have needs and are sharing this space with us. We are learning the lessons of our great-grandparents who often (unfortunately) had to die for better working conditions and simple basic human rights. They fought not just for their own dignity and well-being, but for the hope of a better future for their children and their children’s children. And then those kids forgot and began resenting other people for “getting” things that they didn’t – hate and racism, divide and conquer tore this country apart. Instead of recognizing the sacred spark of divinity in all living beings we traded democracy for capitalism where everything was a game – and the more unfair your advantage the better off you did.

Capitalism is not Democracy and Socialism is not Communism. Democracy is actually antithetical to an entirely “free market” because just like communism it doesn’t take into account human nature – people are greedy, people will game the system when they can and they will find ways to justify their despicable actions when caught doing anti-social things. Everyone is not a saint if they were capitalistic communism would have been a perfect system and as we have seen they are both abysmal failures.

And BTW communism is not the same as socialism. Almost all Western European countries are socialist democracies and nearly all have done better than we have. Our current financial spread is akin to a third world country – all the wealth is in 400 families’ hands. How is that honoring our forefathers belief that “all men are created equal,” and have the rights to, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” How can one purse anything but their next meal when they can’t find a job, have no money and what money they did invest was gamed against them and stolen by crooks with briefcases.

The biggest welfare recipients are corporations. What I want to know is if corporations are people than why do they have so many more rights than I do? They can move overseas and file taxes where its cheapest and not go to prison for fraud. Pretty awesome to be a corporation or as Mit Romney defended them a “person” – of course not a real person like me or you – a paper person where no rules apply except exemptions.

My prayers are with you OWLS and I think you should call yourselves that because owls are wise and represent messages from spirit. Those with owl medicine (such as myself) are unable to be fooled – can see through things, are psychic, clairvoyant and clairaudiant. So embrace the owl. It is not an evil symbol as some reader stated that whenever they saw an owl it was a bad omen – when you see an owl it can mean many things, but it is always a message from spirit. In most people’s cases they don’t usually get messages from spirit unless they are in trouble. Well this country – this world is in trouble so let the message be heard – Time for the spirit to usurp the material and for real change to come from us, the people – the place where true change has always arisen and always will.

Thanks be to the Great Spirit for this beautiful awakening,

Many blessings,

Denise

Oh, and don’t invest in the market unless your part of the one percent. The one percent will just find a way to steal your money. We need  a thousand times more trade, market, corporate and business regulations than we have. Unless you are on the inside –  you are on the outside watching the ball bounce across the numbers on a roulette wheel. Maybe someday when this is sorted, but not now. Don’t give them anymore of your money – PLEASE!!!

Owls, Spiders, Occupying Wallstreet

Capitalism what happened?

As I’ve said to too many and perhaps even here on the blog that what has been happening the past 30 years is the wind up to the end of capitalism as we have known it, just as the Soviet Union’s moment when the wall came down, ours was the last market crash and the forthcoming one that has to happen due to the bubble we are in. Here’s a very interesting economist I thought you might like to investigate:

Capitalism what happened?

Readers…

Hey Everyone,

I’m posting a bunch of e-mails I’ve gotten from people who have things to say from global warming to the domestic issue of healthcare reform.

Global warming is my “thing.” As for effective organizations, I like the Union of Concerned Scientists, the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), Rainforest Action Network to name a few. There are a number of good ones. Follow up on previous email…. One of the sticky wickets for people who are concerned about global warming is that both studies and experience show that the “catastrophe” narrative exhausts and overwhelms folks into putting their heads in the sand. Feeling helpless, they decide to believe the fossil-fuel-funded deniers and not worry about it, or, buy a compact fluorescent light bulb and feel like they have done their part. 

This reader recently went to a conference on the subject and I’ve asked her to write a post detailing the newest science. Hopefully, we’ll get that soon.

And on healthcare reform:

Here are some links for you to post regarding the Bill HR676:
http://www.healthcare-now.org/

And this is a summary of the bill:

The United States National Health Insurance Act (Expanded and Improved Medicare
for All Act) (H.R. 676), is a bill submitted to the United States House of
Representatives by Representative John Conyers Jr., D-MI, which as of March 31,
2009 has 74 recorded cosponsors. It was first introduced, with 25 cosponsors, in
2003,[1] and reintroduced each session since then. The act calls for the
creation of a universal single-payer health care system in the United States, in
which the government would provide every resident health care free of charge. In
order to eliminate disparate treatment between richer and poorer Americans, the
Act would also prohibit private insurers from covering any treatment or
procedure already covered by the Act. The bill is currently in the House Energy
and Commerce Committee, as well as the Committees on Ways and Means, and Natural
Resources. John Dingell (D-MI), former chair of the Energy and Commerce
Committee, has each session introduced a bill with a similar title (“National
Health Insurance Act”) H.R. 15, which was first introduced in 1933 by his
father, John Dingell, but which does not provide for universal health care.
H.R. 676 has drawn significant attention beginning in July 2007 because of the
release of the Michael Moore documentary Sicko which focuses on the status of
health care in the United States, which is the only developed country which does
not have universal health care.[2][3] The DVD edition of the film also included
a segment (Sicko Goes To Washington) promoting the bill.[4][5][6]
[edit] See also
• Canadian and American health care systems compared
• Health in France
• Health care reform
• Healthcare in the United Kingdom
• Healthcare-NOW!
• Medicare (United States)
• Progressive Democrats of America
• Single-Payer Action Network Ohio
[edit] References
1. ^ H.R. 676
2. ^ Insuring America’s Health: Principles and Recommendations, Institute of
Medicine at the National Academies of Science.
3. ^ The Case For Single Payer, Universal Health Care For The United States,
John R. Battista, M.D. and Justine McCabe, Ph.D.
4. ^ American Health Care Reform.org
5. ^ Towards Universal Health Care
6. ^ Universal Health Plan is Endorsed The Boston Globe August 13, 2003
[edit] External links
• H.R. 676 – Information on the act from the Library of Congress Database
• Congressman John Conyers, Jr., sponsor of the bill, official U.S. House
website
• HR676.org – A grassroots effort to inform the public about H.R. 676
Retrieved from 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_National_Health_Insurance_Act
Categories: Healthcare reform in the United States | Medicare and Medicaid
(United States) | United States proposed federal legislation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
In regards to the markets it was always my original feeling that there would be the major crash and then another bookend crash. My biggest fear is that Obama is just helping to reconstruct the same market that crashed and not enough is being done to fundamentally change it for the better. If the game is played the same way, with the same rules and the same mistakes it will just fall to its knees over and over until it is eventually restructured. I hope President Obama is just trying to stabilize things until he can get in there and do the surgery needed to really make the markets work. Those changes are pretty radical by wall street standards and would require not just major regulations and rule changes but also require companies to play by the same rules every other US citizen plays by: for example, if I can’t move to France than why can IBM move to China? Why should they (if they are a US company) be able to move jobs anywhere that’s cheaper. I’d like to live somewhere cheaper and make a higher profit too. Can I stop paying taxes, put my money in Swiss banks and move to France legally? No. So why can US companies ship jobs overseas? Why isn’t making butt loads of money good enough? This notion of constant growth is not only a falacy but dangerous. It is driving this bizarro world new economic model and basically its aim seems to be to turn the world back to a feudal peasant vs. royal class. This is causing so many other dominoes to fall like the reliance on a middle class that these corporations need in order to stay in business. They are actually driving us all into the poor house and themselves out of business because no one is willing to look long term at the big picture. And this mentally has also driven us to the state we are in with healthcare and global warming and nearly every other mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. It’s time to think long term and stop the crazy squirrel disease that has been eating away at the capitalist brain for the past 30 years. Ethics and morality have to come back into play in regards to business. That old expression “it’s just business,” is just b.s. Nothing can be separated out like that, everything is connected.

Best wishes and many blessings to all you good super brilliant people (check out IQ poll results pretty impressive group I must say),

Denise

P.S. I read a study that said people with high IQs and highly educated people were more likely to believe in psychic ability. Interesting, it was opposite of what most people would assume. I think its because the more you know, the more you know you don’t know anything, and you also can understand when someone takes a leap past logic that they couldn’t possibly have done without something else unexplainable by ordinary means.

Readers…

In Memory of Duane Jarvis & Our Broken Health Care System

On April 1st we learned a 51 year old friend, Duane Jarvis, died of colon cancer. I knew him for years before his girlfriend told me he had a terrible, painful case of scoliosis and had spent much of his life in bad health and in pain. Yet, he was a gentle and sweet spirit who relished life and took every opportunity to be and do what his heart dictated. About eighteen months ago he was diagnosed with colon cancer. We found this out because his ex-wife in an effort to help him sent out e-mails to all his friends to help him with his mounting medical bills.

Now this man was no slouch. He worked all his life as a professional musician. But of course being a musician is not like working at Starbucks, there are no 401k plans with health and dental added. Yet, he contributed to the lineage of art so many of us love. He was Lucinda Williams guitar player and co-wrote some songs with her, played with Frank Black, Dwight Yoakam, Dave Alvin, John Prine, Michelle Shocked and many more. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2009/03/duane-jarvis-in.html  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2009/04/duane-jarvis-dies-at-51-la-roots-music-singersongwriter-and-guitarist.html  One could say he made his mark in the music world and on all who knew him. Yet because the life of an artist is feast or famine, up, down and a hustle, he did not have adequate health care. And I’m sure with his medical history even if he wanted to purchase it, it would have been out of his ability to pay for it.

His friends pitched in to help save his life. But he lost his battle at 1:30 in the morning at a hospice with an ocean view, with a smile on his face. He never complained about his pain, his disease or his troubles.

Not only was this poor man fighting a horrible, painful, aggressive form of cancer, he had to worry about the financial cost to him and the loved ones he knew he would leave behind. It has been proven that cancer is made worse by stress and chances are good that if he had good medical care to begin with his colon cancer never would have gotten so out of control, claiming his life at the early age of 51.

For all out there who still believe each one of us should think only of ourselves, and not come together as a nation and take care of each other through a universal healthcare system, I ask do you listen to music? Do you read books, enjoy art, read magazines, watch movies or enjoy any form of art as a release, a way to wind down to reflect on your life in a different way? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then I’d like to burst your illusion that those in the arts, even the people you on the outside would deem successful, have the financial stability to pay for their healthcare. Yet we all enjoy the fruits of their work. Art attunes us with our soul, the universe, God, our spirit and each other. It aides compassion, encourages self-reflection and produces self-discovery. It is actually one of the only things we as Americans still make and export. Yet for more than 90% of professional artists of all kinds there is no safety net in this country (unlike other democratic, civilized places.)

Republicans will belly ache about personal responsibility, yet it costs more for us to foot the bill for radical treatment that could have been avoided due to prevention then footing the bill for radical treatment when someone cannot afford their care. And is it fair that after years of giving to the world these individuals and their families should be punished with outrageous bills because they don’t work for a corporation that gives them health insurance?

Our health care system is absurd. There is no reason corporations should pay for our health care and there is no reason people who are self-employed, whether in the arts or otherwise, should be punished with outrageous costs they often opt to avoid.

More than half of all Americans walk this tight rope every day, hoping and praying they don’t get sick because they can’t afford a trip to the doctor’s office let alone several hundred dollars a month to an insurance company who will then, often fight to make sure they pay as little as possible.

Our country has the highest infant mortality rate of any industrialized nations. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2091rank.html

And our life expectancy is at #50 of all countries in the world, ranking well below all western European countries, Canada, Hong Kong, South Korea and Bosnia for God’s sake.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2102rank.html

How could it possibly be that we are the wealthiest country in the world and yet we let ten percent of our population control about 70 percent of the wealth? How can anyone who is not in that top echelon actually abide this? Why is it that any rational human being who works and pays taxes is not absolutely outraged by this? And how is it that the Republicans have managed to sell us on the idea that our system is fine?

Oh, yeah, the amplified fear of communism (aka more aptly dictatorship) which is actually just faked for the benefit of those who don’t understand why there would literally have to be a civil war in our country for a dictatorship to occur although we did get just about as close as we could with the Bush administration with their tactic of not counting the votes. According to the Limbaugh’s of the world it appears going back to the tax code of 1993 which was a 36 percent tax for the wealthy 10 percent to a 3 percent increase at 39 percent is a communist plot and of course so is universal health care. Hmm, I wonder who benefits most from that position. Oh, yeah the rich like Limbaugh. So he’s basically arguing from an entirely selfish point of view but trying to sell it as some sort of great American ideal when it’s nothing but more money for his private planes, which by the way he has, I know someone who was picked up and taken to his mansion in Florida by one of them. (Yes, I do have all kinds of friends.)

As I pointed out in an earlier post, communism is not the same as democratic socialism. In communist countries where they took Marx & Lennon’s ideas and ran with them they all ultimately turned into dictatorships because there was no accountability written into their ideology. The notion that a group of people would take everyone’s stuff and then divide it up among all the people evenly is insane and of course was an open invitation for graft, power hungry dictators, and greedy buerocrats. This was beyond psychologically naive, it was ideologically irrational, unsound and irresponsible. No checks and balances, no elections, hell, with all of Marx’s good intentions of lifting up the poor, he may as well have slapped a “rape the people of this country here” sticker on whatever flag adopted those ideas.

As out of whack as the US has gotten with capitalism swallowing our Democracy through corporate lobbyists and special tax laws and loopholes for the wealthy who could pay their way into the halls of power, we still have the power to pull back the reigns on this out of control buggy. And as a people we obviously have started yelling, “whoa!” by ousting the Republicans who have for the past 30 years aligned themselves with corporations, big money and lobbyists in a much more extreme way than Democrats. 

But Democrats have to start really pulling the reigns back before we leap off the mountain here. And let’s get real; they aren’t all that much better than Republicans. They take money from special interests, lobbyists and play all the same games. There is just a bigger percentage of people who identify with the working/middle class in the Democratic party but that’s been drifting away over the past 20 years as well. Which is why Obama was and is such a breath of fresh air. He actually seems like he has, can you believe it, IDEALS! It’s been a long time since we’ve seen that in a politician.

In my humble opinion this form of out of control corporate capitalism is at odds with Democracy at this point in our history. There are laws that need to be put into place, such as, if you are an American company, your product should have to be made in America. As a private citizen if I wanted to go live in France I couldn’t because I’m not French. I’m American. So why is it that corporations started by Americans and incorporated here, can make their crap in China, and then put an office in Guam and avoid paying American taxes? If you ask me this behavior is anti-American and one of the big dark roots of the economic disaster America is finding itself in. All that talk about how unemployment wasn’t that bad during the Bush administration was B.S. Besides changing the rules on how unemployment statistics were reported to only reporting people on the unemployment rolls in the unemployed statistics and cutting unemployment benefits back to 6 months, I hardly think working part-time at Wal-Mart for the minimum wage while being taught how to get food stamps and welfare by the corporate douche bags at Wal-Mart qualifies as the kind of good manufacturing jobs we shipped overseas. You know, the ones where people actually got paid a living wage, one they could feed and clothe their families on.

Another point I’d like to make here is the big mistake of the 1970s when women entered the work force and ERA was not passed. What people didn’t get was paying women 70 cents to the dollar a man would make for the same job drove down wages to the point where now both parents have to work in order to support a family.

It’s the very same principle Lou Dobbs complains about with the Mexicans driving down wages and taking away jobs because they are willing to work for less. Well, guess who relaxed the boarder laws for this very reason? The Reagan administration. Yes, that’s right folks. Allowing illegal people to stream across the boarders was a way to modernize indentured servitude. Again the goal was to make the rich, richer without any consideration of the other 90% of Americans. I’m in no way blaming the Mexican people who have come here in search of a better life. Our country is a hodge-podge of people from all over the world who came here for the very same reason. As a matter of fact the way the Mexican people have been exploited and then demonized is very much akin to what happened to the Irish who came here as indentured servants. Their pay was a ticket on a ship to America and they spent years as slaves until working this off only to find there was tremendous animosity for them because they were poor, and often in desperate straights.

Enough of my blabbing. I just want to point out that history repeats itself. It mutates and grows new claws, but there are patterns. Unfortunately, these facts are not pointed out or even noted for people to consider. I hope to at least try to illuminate those who have been seeing things through the lens of FOX news. By the way I want to note here that numerologicaly FOX = 666 for those who are of the Christian faith.

Here’s how that works:

1    2  3  4   5  6   7  8  9

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I

J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R

S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

This is standard western numerology. As you can see FOX is spelled out under the number 6. Each letter has the value of 6.

I always wondered if Rupert Murdoch knew that and thought it was ironic or funny or if he saw himself as being in league with Mr. Satan. Or perhaps it’s all of the above. All I know is it’s dang ironic.

Best wishes and many blessings,

Denise

In Memory of Duane Jarvis & Our Broken Health Care System

Answering Readers and other things…

I just wanted to address some of the points Jeff has made. I think he really clarifies the differences in the two viewpoints between conservatives and liberals very well. I understand the lack of faith in our government and the fact that there is corruption and stupidity on all sides of every issue in politics. I would never advocate a one party system.

My back was fractured when I was 12 and a disc herniated. I spent the entire year laying on my back, by myself in my bedroom. The only education I received was American history and the constitution as I had to pass (this was in Illinois) a constitution test in 7th grade in order to move onto 8th grade. Needless to say, I got one hour a week from the principle who would come to my home and tutor me. I spent a lot of time reading the constitution, the bill of rights and reading about American History. The ideals and people that founded our nation were profound and beautiful. Our forefathers did an amazing job of working out potential problems. They had incredible foresight. However they did not foresee all things that came up in the last century which have truly corrupted our government. And of course they had built in the 2nd amendment not so people could hunt animals, but so we could have a revolution if the government got out of control. Problem is of course (which of course they couldn’t foresee, perhaps if DiVinci had been one of the founders) the advent of nuclear weapons and military technology that no rag tag militia could fairly fight against. 

I really don’t have total faith in the Democrats. I just think they are less corrupt, more like normal politicians than the Republicans. And not all Republicans fall into that category. And especially regular American people who are not politicians but who identify with the party and vote Republican. They are not any better or worse than people who vote for Democrats. I’m talking only about the leadership of the Republican party; since the Nixon administration there has been a clarion call attracting many corrupt politicians with agendas to exploit the common working American people for their own personal gain on that side of the fence.

There are 2 types of politicians, those who get into politics to serve and lead. And those who get into politics to exploit, loot and are on power trips. I don’t think the Republican party has always been this way, and certainly the vast majority of people who vote Republican are not this way. In actuality I think the Republican party has manipulated many people’s deep love of this country, of tradition, stability, pride and our identity as self-reliant people against us.

But if we left morality up to the wealthy one percent to take care of the poor, the sick and whoever else, do you think they would do it? No. Certainly the feudal lords of Europe weren’t going around giving out loafs of bread to starving children, they were to busy denying them education and prosecuting them for stealing bread so they could put them to work in prison camps. With Democracy and laws, came taxation built on levels of ability to pay, the end of debtors prisons (when you could actually go to prison for life for not being able to pay someone you owed money to, can you imagine how many people would be in jail now if this law hadn’t been changed.) Government can’t solve all of our problems, but it can and should create a moral bone structure to hang our civilization’s body on.

As much as we like to pretend that we are all working on a level playing field with the same amount of talent, intelligence and acumen as everyone else. This is just blatantly untrue. Many of us our handicapped by our environments as children. We seem to be able to muster compassion for the abused child, but as soon as he turns 18 we seem to expect this person to magically be able to shake off the horrors of their childhood and compete in a game fixed by the wealthy.

I grew up in an area of Chicago that was very wealthy and I knew countless kids who were of average intelligence who went to ivy league schools because their parents were wealthy enough to give endowments to those institutions and it was family tradition to go to Harvard or Yale or Dartmouth. Is that fair? No. All the conservatives who claim B.S. on the whole affirmative action thing don’t complain about the wealthy legacy kids who get in with subpar SAT scores and average grades. Because it’s really not that they mind the game being rigged, they just want it rigged in their favor. And the people who are in power in the political arena (especially on the Republican side) are from extremely privelaged backgrounds. This hasn’t always been the case, but in the last 30 years the Republican party has drifted into the lane that promotes corporatism, gives a pass to the wealthiest one percent and turns a blind eye toward graft. The Democrats still have real people participating, like Bill Clinton (despite his personal sex addiction problems and foibles) he was a real guy who was raised by a single mother, in a poor family and through his brilliance and determination made something of himself. This is the America I believe in. This is the America I want to see win out. I don’t want our country to become a feudal one, where the wealthy one percent control us through their lobbyists and corporations. I want all Americans to be represented and to have a voice. I want to stay a democracy and not be bowled over by corporate interests masquerading as moral voices.

You know, the Democrats aren’t all that. They are really annoying and pretty lame. They don’t take the reigns, they blather around, seem to try to bend to too many voices and don’t have the passion it takes to convince others to get on board. This has been their problem now for over 30 years and I totally understand why they upset people who want things to be dealt with cleanly. Democrats don’t do this. For those (and this is the majority of Americans) who want decisive, clear leadership the Democrats don’t always know how to provide this. The Republicans have a huge advantage here, they have a common goal that binds them together which the Democrats don’t have. Democrats go into public service for all kinds of different reasons with all kinds of different agendas and are forced to compromise and work together in a quilt work fashion.

The Republicans have the binding passion of greed which they found a way to sell (ironically) to average Americans as Christian morality. However their policies and private lives show nothing of them living up to their supposed morality.  I’m going to refer you to an earlier post here about the shadow self as it applies to the split that Republicans utilize to sell their advocacy for the wealthiest taking not only the share they already have but more of yours too so that the money can “trickle down.” Or so they want you to believe.

So far I haven’t been to any developing nation or as Jeff aptly stated, communist country, where the money ever managed to trickle down. Once those on top have anything their heart could ever desire at their fingertips why would they randomly want to share it with strangers? This goes against human nature. We are naturally selfish creatures which is why we have laws, moral codes, and religions that teach us how to be more than just self-absorbed, self-satisfying, opportunistic, uncompassionate beasts.

Let me just say here as an example I’ve known many very famous people (through my work). They can have anything they want whenever they want it, no one ever says “no” to them. They often surround themselves with adoring admirers (not all but many do this) and see themselves as better than everyone else. They often get sucked into a weird cartoonish state of being where they are living entirely a life of the ego. They may have started out as good people and are not necessarily bad people, but they loose percpective and do horrible things to others because they  no longer see other people as human beings anymore. And how could they? They are not participating in real relationships anymore, just the ego heroine of fame feeding their insatiable insecurity and making them more and more pathologically narcissistic. 

My point is, we all need to be held accountable. And we live in a very narcissistic culture where value has been placed on being special, famous and wealthy to the exclusion of common sense and common decency. It seems anything goes if you can get rich or famous from it.  I don’t believe in that. I believe in personal integrity and spiritual growth both of those values are almost impossible to hold onto once a person becomes famous or insanely wealthy (I’m not talking comfortable or even rich but in that one percent club wealthy.)

Spiritual growth requires honest mirroring by loved ones and the world around you which the obscenely rich and famous don’t get from others anymore because that person becomes objectified and identified as a symbol, no longer allowing others to have real exchanges. While this is great for the ego, no one ever disagrees with you, you are always the greatest genius and everyone stops to listen to what you have to say, you actually, eventually become something of a persona, an empty shell, and often this can lead to great feelings of isolation, depression and obsessive behavior. Which is why so many celebrities have drug problems.

And of course in the case of the insanely wealthy, everyone wants a piece of their pie, and they can’t trust anyone around them. They never really know if people love or care about them for who they are or for the money they have. You think this problem sounds easy, but it’s actually very messy and dark and leads to behavior like Bernie Madoff who so desperately needed to stay in that special billionare club that he started ripping people off when the market started going down and he realized it was easier to con people than to actually invest their money. This is the sickness that can happen with outrageous overabundance as Christ said, “it’s easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven.” Because the disassociation that happens with that sort of wealth leads to callousness, and  bad behavior.

Average people like my in-laws, who are Republicans, make the mistake of believing that heads of corporations and the super wealthy have the same values they do. Let me tell you, they don’t. Their values are so far a flung from ordinary Americans that they may as well be Martians. There are of course good people who are exceptions and do amazing humanitarian work with the money they have made, but really they are probably less than one percent of the ubber rich.

While we all fantasize that our problems would go away and life would be perfect if we were just rich and famous, the opposite is actually true. Being in the spotlight only magnifies problems and immense wealth creates an emotional telescoping phenomena where your ability to relate to people who are struggling financially disappears and instead of feeling compassion for those people the wealthy find a bizarre righteous anger toward the unfortunate so they can stave off their guilt at not doing anything to help.

So what I want to say is that I don’t believe we can leave people’s lives, health and education up to the potential good graces of the wealthy one percent. I’ll leave everyone with this weird random example. The first time I went to London, when I was in my early 20s I met a guy who was a monarchist. I actually didn’t even know they still existed. He believed that the best form of government was what he called a “benevolent monarchy.” He explained that in that system things got done quickly and the benevolent king to good care of all of his subjects, sort of like a good dad takes care of all of his kids. But then I said, “But what happens if the monarch is not benevolent, like King Henry or Caligula.” 

“Well, I’m talking about a benevolent monarchy,” he firmly stated again.

“Yes, but that’s the problem if its a monarchy the people can’t do anything to get rid of the next in line and what if they’re crazy or a horrible person. In a democracy you can vote a nut jobber out of office. There are checks and balances in place that help eliminate the possibility of someone terrible taking over.” 

 And again his answer was, “Well, I’m talking about a benevolent monarchy.”

What we do in our Democracy with checks and balances, laws and amendments had its counter part in the world of business as regulations and the notion that corporations being led by the best people would perform the best and therefore those leaders would continue to move skyward. But instead with deregulation came easy money through scams, the ability to lie about your company, to cheat your shareholders and to fail upwards based on lies and fudging numbers. 

Our country is as much about capitalism as it is about democracy. And in order for capitalism to survive it needs to have enforceable rules to play by or no one on the world stage is going to want to play with us anymore. Those toxic loans we bought up that have been helping the stock market, are helping because by our government standing behind our corporations we are saying to the world, we screwed up and we won’t let everyone fall down, we stand behind our system and we want to continue playing ball with everyone. If we didn’t do this the entire world economy would fall apart due to lack of confidence in us the champions of capitalism.

Anyway, enough blabbing.

Best wishes to all and many blessings,

Denise

Answering Readers and other things…

Answering Readers.

Here’s something from Jeff I’d like to address because I think there is a lot of confusion over this subject among many Americans especially oder Americans and those who are more conservative in their bent.

jeff

Hi Denise, I’m a recently new visitor to your blog. Your politcal pursuasions are obvious. Isn’t it wonderful we live in a free country where you can say and write about just about anything you want. For that, I know we are both thankful. However, with all due respect, I must say that the socialist countries I have traveled to all have a HUGE gulf between the rich and VERY poor – and if there is a middle class (European countries) it is not nearly as broad of a spectrum as it is here. I am not saying capitalism is the answer to everything. It does however encourage personal responsibility much more that socialist idealism (hence the whole mortgage bailout here in the U.S. will discourage personal responsibility). I really feel you are being dishonest by painting republicans with a broad brush (many of them have very socialist tendancies) that they want the rich to get richer and poor to get poorer. That is ridiculous and dillusional. Please tell me one socialist or communist country where a poor person has the opportunity to better their life than the U.S.A. Do you know any Venezuealens or Cubans that live here in the U.S. who are anxious to return to their homeland? I do not. These are socialist countries where the leaders always speak about the “common good”, yet their intentions are really more about their own power and insecurity. Please Denise – do some soul searching and be honest about this subject. You know very well that human tendancies, whether they be conservative or liberal will veer selfishly out of control if there are no checks and balances. As you also know, the wisdom (of check and balances) our founding fathers had in writing our Constitution and founding documents was influenced by the Almighty himself. By the way, as perhaps you can tell with your psychic abilities, I am a sole provider supporting a family (a wife and 3 small children) and I have come from very modest beginnings. Respectfully, Jeff

 

Hi Jeff,

I’m so glad you brought up these points. Firstly Cuba is not a socialist country it is a Marxist Communist state. And so are the other examples of countries that you noted. They are not actually socialist countries. Socialism is very different from Communism and Communism is horrible. Marx and Lennon didn’t take into consideration people’s greed and need for power over other people. I totally agree that people in (actually I think all of them) nations which are Communist not only fail their people in the most basic of principles but also generally turn into dictatorships. Marx didn’t take into consideration that politicians once they are in office, are not likely to spread the wealth but rather let their darker nature take over and hog the wealth and they literally rob their own people. It is disgusting and I revile it.

What I advocate is a socialist Democracy closer to what the Europeans and Canadians practice, where there is a built in eject button and safety measures against abuse of power. I am a staunch supporter of our constitution unlike the people in the Bush administration. Here’s a short definition of socialism: social security, the fire department, police department, public education, the library system and in other democracies it includes health care, college education, maternity & paternity leave, guaranteed paid vacations for anyone who works, arts funding, psychological services for those who need them. Socialism can be worked into any other system of government like a democracy or theoretically even a dictatorship but of course it isn’t because it is based on compassion for humanity which dictators usually don’t posses. Communism is based on the writings of Karl Marx from a book called the Communist Manifesto. His ideas were later championed by different dictators as a way to get into power only to have everything change once they got in. Marx’s ideas were (as I see it) psychologically naive and childishly idealistic.

I actually have traveled around the world many times over. I’ve been to pretty much every western European nation numerous times, have been to Australia a couple of times, and have traveled to Indonesia and of course Mexico and Canada, so I’m not speaking from an abstract point of view. According to reality and against many people’s desire to say that America’s always #1, the standard of living is visibly much higher in Scandinavian countries than it is here and that’s a fact.

Here’s a link to the ranking in terms of standard of living you can check out. We have 92% of the world’s wealth controlled by just 5% of Americans. Many countries with GDP’s much, much lower than ours rank higher than we do in quality of life because of that, even though technically they have less money. This is what I’m talking about. We are ranked at number 10 for standard of living.

 http://skeptically.org/economics/id21.html

I advocate eliminating poverty and giving all of our people the respect and help they need to contribute in the most useful way they can, not becoming a communist dictatorship. Ironically, the closest we have ever gotten to true corporatism (which by Mussolini’s definition was what fascism was) and thereby a dictatorship was via George W. Bush. Not only did he bow so heavily to corporate interests and put everything into the private sector including warfare, but also went ahead and finished deregulating everything in the corporate sector so corporations didn’t have to play by the same rules that we as individuals do.

I think Greenspan showed either his stupidity or his immense naivete when he said that he believed corporations would self-regulate. That worked so well in early 20th century America, and Dickinson’s England and now is working wonders in China. Unchecked capitalism is just as naive and stupid as communism because both fail to take into account human nature, greed, power plays, corruption, selfishness, nepotism and just general psychology. This is why we have laws to protect ourselves from one another. We are not made of love, purity, light, goodness and angels. We all have our darker natures which I talked about in the entry about the shadow self. 

My husband’s parents are very conservative. They are wonderful people who, I’ve come to realize, see America through the fixed lens of their own childhood imaginings. Where everything is black and white, good guys and bad guys, and we are always on the side of good. Although they mean well, there is a general lack of self reflection about how our government works. It is not a fixed entity but a living organism that changes and grows. The America of 2009 is not the America of the 1950s when they were coming of age and it never will be again. We have grown, changed and become intricately connected to all the nations of the world in ways we never could have imagined back then.

It has been my observation that conservative people tend to have a sentimental view of America and constructive criticism about making it a better place is greeted in the same fashion a nasty comment about their mother would be. Liberals on the other hand are a diverse group, have different agendas and often not only criticize the government, the opposing party but their own party as well. They are by their very nature self-reflective and idealistic. And it doesn’t always serve them well because often they can get too far out on a ledge and all the petty bickering can lead to a lack of seeing the bigger picture. 

I actually see myself as a pretty moderate person. I’m compassionate, empathic and want all people to have a good quality of life. I really don’t think that’s too crazy considering we can do a lot to accomplish this with very little sacrifice. I don’t think that a 36% tax going up to a 39% tax on the 5% of people who control more than 90% of the wealth is anything close to socialism. One of the richest men in the world is the founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad and since he lives in Sweden pays at least 50% income tax, yet he manages to do just fine without belly aching because he knows that his money is going to make his country a better place and he has more than enough for generations of his family to live like royalty.

I personally think if you make 10 billion dollars a year you should pay the government half of it because it is your karmic duty to give back when the Universe has given so much to you. And if you are so greedy that you’d rather step over people living in tents with their kids by a river who are slowly starving to death so you can have that extra 1 and a half billion dollars you are a despicable human being who deserves to trade places with that person in the tent. Anyone who can tell themselves that people should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps and buck up is not only uncompassionate but naive. There are many people in this world who don’t have the same advantages that everyone else has, such as the mentally or physically handicapped, or even people who are of below normal IQ’s. Should they just shrivel up and die because they can’t do it alone? Ronald Reagan the great advocate of this ended up with Alzheimer’s, if he had been dealt a couple of hard blows and lost his fortune, who would have taken care of him? He got rid of all the halfway houses for people with mental problems back in the 1980s when he was president.

As a mystic I see this issue as much bigger and perhaps one of the greatest tests of human character. We are meant to help one another, learn from one another, have compassion for each other, love each other. Those are the messages of Christ. His message was clear and ringing yet instead of the compassion, non-judgement and love he preached Christians and our “Christian” country has taken a very old testament view of things. When Christ said, “I am the way,” he meant follow his example. But this is a tall order and one that requires intense spiritual, psychological and emotional work to accomplish. It’s a whole lot easier to turn the other way when your brother is starving and say, “It’s his own damn fault. He should pull himself up by his bootstraps. Look at me I had it hard, blah, blah, blah.” Yet that person has no idea the struggles the homeless person they are judging endured and if the right set of circumstances hit anyone could end up in that situation as so many are finding themselves now. And then would you want people to judge you? Having not walked in your shoes? Or would you want compassion and a helping hand.

We come into this world dependant on our mother. Our whole life is intertwined with other people and we are given things, opportunities, education, and countless other things, even just support and love from our families, yet we seem to forget this. No one does anything alone. No one person is better than another. No one person more valuable. We all have something to give and we all have something to learn. It is a sin of vanity that makes a person judge another and a sin of selfishness which allowed capitalism to run amok just as communism did before it.

Both have fallen.

Now lets move on and stop playing this game, the game of division, lets stand together and help one another become a strong tribe, watch each others backs. Let’s take this opportunity to reinvent ourselves so we maybe born again into a greater version of who we are, let’s face our nation’s shadow self squarely (and it does have a shadow as all living things do) and grow into a more evolved, compassionate, educated, civilized and decent people. This is all I advocate. You can call me a lefty, a communist, a socialist or whatever makes you comfortable. But the truth I’m writing about here will make itself known. I only hope you learn the lesson before the hammer comes down and this lesson is learned the hard way.

Honestly, I worry that our country still hasn’t really gotten what’s going on and it’s going to have to get worse before it gets better before the lessons of compassion can be learned. I also worry that President Obama will be too pliable and take a long time to slowly change things to where he wants them, but for many on the left they may feel disheartened as he won’t go quickly enough for them. And for many people who are desperate right now, they too might be upset because they need quick help, not a slow moving tortoise approach while they are drowning. 

Best wishes and blessings,

Denise

Answering Readers.