Yup … they’re coming to take me away ha ha ho ho he he …

non-conformity

I know that many who disagree with the dumb stuff I post – especially political or religious points of view – think act like there is something aberrant in how I got there (questioning how right they are versus how right I might be.)

Nonconformity and Freethinking Now Considered Mental Illnesses

Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. Defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.

The DSM-IV is the manual used by psychiatrists to diagnose mental illnesses and, with each new edition, there are scores of new mental illnesses. Are we becoming sicker? Is it getting harder to be mentally healthy? Authors of the DSM-IV say that it’s because they’re better able to identify these illnesses today. Critics charge that it’s because they have too much time on their hands.

Seeing the hand of God at this moment in time.

Release-the-kraken

These things come in cycles …

What goes around comes around …

And the wicked (whoever that is) shall harvest their crops …

Our wonderful Episcopal Dean spoke about global warning a few weeks ago from the Gaia point of view. Gaia – you know, Mother Nature, Planet Earth, the orb in space teeming with all the life that is hosted and provided for where we all reside. I can’t remember his exact words, but they conveyed this basic idea:

Mother Earth … our Planetary One is going to be fine. She is not going to be destroyed nor will she die. It is we who are in trouble. Mother Earth is telling us that she will be fine, but that she will no longer provide for our needs, protect us from the elements or the effect of the Sun and space on what happens. As if she says, “I can no longer take care of and protect you. You are on your own.”

So goes it with that mythic and so-called greatest country in the world. We have a young history in the timeline stream of nations and empires. Much of our American History is defined in history books as one long series of wars and political events – as if those are the only things that define us.

We’ve created our myths … notions such as American Exceptionalism, the country that saved the world from colonialism, communism, fascism and Nazism, not to mention Native American Depredations that we mythic-ally did not have coming to us,  a myth about racial and human equality that gets propounded fully so long as nothing happens to our un-admitted white supremacy (oops! I meant white privilege.)

More than one of our prominent and active national religious groups will not hesitate to declare that America is the choicest of global nations, even rumored to have been a country formed by God and long-sustained by a so-called curtain of protection based on our righteousness and rejection of church-defined spiritual “evils” … until by changing our minds we offended a thin-skinned God who – as Brother Falwell and Prophet Robertson insisted – withdrew his curtain of protection, resulting in the tragedy of September 11, 2001.

So in global and national affairs, I am willing to agree with my Dean regarding the fact that God and Nature have always done what God and Nature does and that rather than punish us for abusing the planet, we are entitled and obligated to reap the whirlwind, so to speak, and get what is coming to us.

However, and for me this is the best part about God and Nature whether they have a totally unbounded sense of  humor or a magnificent sense of irony – about which we dumb humans are mostly ignorant, I have a limited and mere mortal observation regarding the Divine (whatever that is) in our American lives.

 

Over the years our politics have careened out of control. When? Hell, I don’t know. But the signs were all there going way back.

We won a war of independence, our revolution, in the usual way. We became models for revolutions in Europe, Mexico and South America and who knows where else in the subsequent 240 years. We seemed to assume perhaps that we were the role models and mentors for the overthrowing of tyranny everywhere. In this we took ourselves way too seriously. (Think the Monroe Doctrine among others.)

We got too big for our britches and challenged a recent loser (England in that prior war) and in 1812 would up having to accept a draw this time that included the British Army sacking and burning our sacred national capital.

We pounded our chests politically for decades and argued about whether or not Black Lives Mattered, tied that question to our expanding statehoods and Manifest Destiny, and ended up in a civil war over that question.

We also experienced one or two come-uppances from the Native Americans over whom we trod with a massive military superiority that left them hopelessly outgunned and outnumbered. And we bragged about our exploits and made heroes of our ego-driven greed-driven and ambition-driven gun toters and money bags. Little Big Horn left us braying like milquetoasts who had been unfairly and undeservedly mugged in Central Park.

And  our white supremacy religion became an aider and abetter to the notion that our superior morale clarity came from one of the worst fundamentalist Christian attitudes ever.

Still we did not learn, initiating wars of conquest (contrary to our National Myth and think war with Spain, the Maine explosion and San Juan Hill.)

We warred two world wars to make the world safer for everybody and that was good.

But we didn’t do it alone. Although some large-mouthed drugstore patriots like to make much of how we seemingly single-handedly won WWII and to quote the notorious Bush-years patriots, “saved France’s bacon,” it was not America that took everything Hitler could throw at them and were still standing at the end (that was Great Britain). It was not America who took everything Hitler could throw at them, lose 20-million citizens which was humongously more than we lost and was still standing (that was the Soviet Union.)

It was true, we got to the big firecracker before the Nazis did and it can be said we ended the war with a bang, rather than with a mature and well-thought out demonstration that might have resulted in a negotiated end.

Hence we today continue our global and national swagger, led by our politicians and more increasingly contributed to by our journalists, our broadcasters and our celebrities of every stripe. The swagger led to wars in which we could not longer claim victory, only stalemate, or worse, humiliation. Our politicians however still maintained the rattling saber in most directions; and new directions as well (wars on drugs, wars on poverty, wars on you-name-it.)

The rattling saber seemed to have become the first tool off every politician’s shelf. Over time it only got worse.

In the 1980’s the religious right woke up and got involved and since they were mostly reactionary amateurs, jumped into the middle of the political fray with little civic understanding and a big ego that insisted that God is angry with the unsaved. They presumed themselves to be the loud, vociferous and indignant voice of the God who had decided to interject his patriarchal self into the national affairs of the world’s chosen nation.

Partisan politics  became to poorly thought-out tactic of the party who had for years been in the congressional minority despite having elected several presidents. That party wanted a political and social reboot, thinking that the only way to get the same would be to overwhelm the opposing but dominant and equally corrupt democratic party.

We continued to advance technologically without the help of God. We continued to advance psychologically and especially did the research and honed the skills in marketing, persuasion and outright brain-washing.

That for the most part is how Conservative politics devolved since the 1980’s into a perceived majority of American Righteousnes. Liberal became a dirty word, a label comparative to communist, traitor, less-than-human and even the N word (although most of the cut-and-paste labelers on social media cannot accurate define or portray a liberal or liberal philosophy.) The simple reason is that in so-labeling a political viewpoint, masses of voters could be trained in a mindless way to reject any idea not Conservatively Approved.

It’s not unlike a fundamentalist religion that trains its members to react in knee-jerk fashion when someone offers a perspective contrary to the group think or questions a perspective commonly-held and revered within the group.  In that regard, a contrary opinion is on the road to heresy and apostasy.

So goes it with our current political environment. We on the same side are the good guys and you on the other side (or vice versa) all are the bad guys the less-than-worthy.

Which brings me to my own intuitive mindset.

I don’t believe in a co-dependent God who interjects himself into human affairs. Such a God would not be God if that were the reality. God would be a partisan, nit-picking, helicoptering heavenly parent who doesn’t trust us to ever be wise.

But … having said that, I would express the idea that if I were the loyal believer in a Divine Meddler, I would have to evoke the Left-Behind spirit of prophecy and make this comment about how such a Lord has decided that silliness has gone on long enough.

In this moment in time only (and not forever and in any way to vindicate or indicate that Democrats are now the good guys,) I come to the idea that started this essay:

These things come in cycles …

What goes around comes around …

And the wicked (whoever that is) shall harvest their crops …

The desperate and radical country-changing plot initiated by party and ideological strategists in the late 1970’s has come to culmination in 2016.

God is about to shake the snow-globe.

Republicans, with a long recent history of propaganda, rhetoric, and broadcast manipulation have created a Krakon-Beast they should have had the wisdom to see coming down that escalator when Candidate Trump first came out of his closet.

That Krakon-Beast has now been release, is on the prowl and about to possibly destroy the party despite the best efforts of party leaders at salvaging. Their downline candidates are at greater risk with the implication being that majorities in the Senate and House are at risk, driven mostly by the Krakon disaster.

That Krakon and his 14 million angry mostly white voters will not prevail in a country where recently the total vote was approaching 120 million, and just might cost the party majorities in both houses of Congress, particularly when anti-gerrymandering legislation is in the wind.

That Krakon has brought out the worst of our human emotions and actions and – aided and abetted by broadcasters who need to make a story where a story doesn’t exist – almost daily lower our national civic IQ.

 

Faux News,the flagship broadcaster, is mired in a sex scandal that tends to cover up the fact of its shrinking audience of viewers who believe that what is broadcast is in actuality fair and balanced. (Think the hysterics of Hannity and O’Reilly – neither of whom are no longer widely admired or trusted.)  Murdoch has to do something about the loss of news credibility. Although the FN audience has not dwindled to the mere 14 million who voted for Trump, but it just may get there before the owners decide to change tactics (thereby causing CNN and the rest to ponder a return to old-fashioned real journalism.)

The intersection of the emergence of the Krakon, the fall of the broadcaster, the cyclic rebound of the opposing political philosophy and – I might suggest – that God is re-shaking the snow-globe … just a little bit.

At least there is more hope than in recent years … from a fundamentalist view, that is.

 

Vote … vote for competence as you yourself define competence. And quit telling me who you will or won’t vote for based on what someone else taught or convinced you to accept without you doing any personal work. Laziness is why we are where we are in this moment of intersecting disasters.

Amber Waves of Grain Trampled by Conservative Crop Circles

goppartyofchange

Baseball, Mom, Apple Pie, Home of the Brave and Land of the Free … the American Homestead of core values.

Although in reality such a homestead does not exist, we still talk of the American Dream – core values that have been the specific notions around which elections have been won and lost. As an internal visualization tool, The American mythical homestead has driven the grandest, most successful and most popular events, changes, adjustments, creations and repentances that we’ve seen in our history.

This idealized homestead never included a unanimous endorsement of supposed free-market economics dominated by naturally sociopathic corporate entities. It never included subordination of individual rights and freedoms to the priorities of corporate dominance and certainly did not include evolution of the government into a source of camouflaged corporate welfare.

In that regard, a pure and successful free-market society has never existed, has never proven itself a success nor proven itself a universally beneficial system for public well-being.

Chartering corporations in the 19th Century was a means of financing expensive public works for the common good and was never intended to create non-human “entities” with citizen status who would eventually pool vast amounts of cash for legislative bribery. The consequence of that action has been the current lopsided economic oligarchy in which combined financial assets beyond the means of individual citizens have overwhelmed equality – creating instead a vastly uneven field upon which life and subsistence in this country occurs.

Such could only be accomplished through political activism driven by cash offered to humans who could and would follow the money with those same votes they were elected to wield on behalf of individual human constituencies.

When pondered and considered honestly; when valued for what they truly represent, our mythical core values reflect the undeniable rebuttal to politicians who declare that government should be run as a business.

At best, that notion reflects a very narrow view of economic reality in this country and is perhaps best exemplified by the recent candidacy and foolish economic speeches of supposed successful capitalists. Such candidates have used an inappropriate logic from a prior time and circumstance that suggests a weak grasp of anything below the affluent level of life in this country.

Candidate Trump typifies many politicians who have come to equate their personal financial success as a blend of entrepreneurial wisdom and determination fortified by civic understanding of the laws of economics. His opinions reek of a condescending self-interest based that suggests economic ignorance regarding the value of working and middle-class America.

Most of these prominent megaphones want you to believe that justice for all is found on the back of a dollar bill more so than in any Constitution and for decades the Republican Party has portrayed itself as the home of the most fiscally wise and honest conservatives.

In reality, once unleashed by their political successes beginning in the 1990’s, with great fanfare they put on the Sacred Miter of reform, picked up the Scepter of change and Vestments of political righteousness to affect a “fiscally responsible makeover ” that in reality more than anything else set in motion today’s most powerful contemporary economic embarrassments.

For example we saw a welfare reform in the 1990’s that has only marginally resolved even half the problems of poverty in this country.

We also saw an irresponsible and self-interested repudiation of the Clinton presidency’s attempt to address national health care inadequacies. Resistance to the Clinton efforts was foolish, ideological, partisan and primarily greed-based.

We also have seen going back to the presidency of Reagan how the “fiscally responsible” party of change actually changed many American core value freedoms into unprotected vulnerabilities subject to the whims and greed of corporate capitalism.

Somewhere along the line came the idea that government should be run primarily like a business.

Republicans have never satisfactorily explained at a national or state level how running the government as a business specifically benefits and protects the physical and economic well-being of the majority of citizens.

While any business will look at its bottom line and look for ways to refuse to spend money,  such is not the principle priority of government. We do not need first and foremost a government that from the outset looks for ways to say No.

What would a government do with “greater profits” created from denials and refusals to spend on the social infrastructure that supports and protects all citizens?

If not the citizens, then who are the shareholders to whom government business-runners owe their highest allegiance? We have already seen what they would do.

A simple examination of the Medicare D legislation reveals that the single most effective use of government surpluses is not unlike what Republicans did with Social Security dollars. By arm-twisting and with no eye single to what’s best for Social Security recipients, they twisted so-called reform into a slop trough for business – forcing greater sums of tax dollars directly to businesses in the form of required choice of allotment of citizen-owned government cash.

You are now required to spend part of your social security dollars by legal allotment. The government will give it only to a corporation – all you get to do is choose which shark you want to pay..

Having taken some whacks at Republicans, I’m not about to imply that even a victorious Democrat would be able or even willing to reverse many of the legislated mistakes of the past 20 years in this country.

It is obvious to those who are not blinded by partisan advocacies that neither party’s victories in the future will guarantee any movement for genuine reform unless among those victories a specific mandate is included. It must be a mandate that reflects the will of the people; a mandate opposed to bought-and-paid-for civic policies enacted at the behest of monied lobbyists.

Voters must simultaneously have opportunity or means of formalizing a mandate to remove, severely restrict or equalize the playing field when it comes to lobbying our representatives for change. We need to intervene and force corporate lobbyists out of our elected officials’ waiting rooms.

We’re losing our trust in whatever the Mythical American Core Values ever were. Nothing is taking the place of that trust except perhaps cynicism and an ever deepening self-absorbed behavioral pattern; a pattern that only underlines what historians will eventually describe as the reason for the collapse of the middle class and the slide into economic disaster of every low-income family and single citizen in this country..

A future mythology may be only a speculation about an American Dream once believed to exist.