THIS IS SO CATHARTIC, I'M REPRINTING THE WHOLE THING!!!

This is from April 2009, just a beauty and one of my favorites from the year coming to an end.

"G.O.P.: R.I.P"
By STEVEN WEBER

"So there it stands: a naked, pigeon-chested old man, random strands of white hair on its boney shoulders; its swollen-knuckled hands clasped over its dead genitals, looking at once forlorn and menacing, shivering with self-loathing and xenophobia, raging pathetically at its timely and appropriate defeat at the hands of Reason.

Ladies and gentlemen: The Republican Party.

With every passing day, the people who stubbornly, maddeningly cling to an obsolete ideal and who stand in the way of the cultural advancement of this country, this America, spew the base reality of their caustic ideology into the air.

The Republican Party is like a dying tyrant, mad with syphilis, ironically like that very Stalin they would accuse their enemies of associating with. How else to account for their desperation to resurrect the wraith of Joseph McCarthy; the hammy and baffling utterances from high level party officials like Boehner and McConnell; the blatant desire on their part to let the country fail out of sheer resentment; the wanton sedition of Conservative shit-stirrers ranging from the quasi Madame Defarge Michele Bachmann to the porcine, pill-popping porcine propagandist Rush Limbaugh?

It is an all out assault on reason, on progress, on truth. What is the difference between the Republican Party and, say, the Taliban? A rogue by any other name would smell as rank. Their frantic accusations all churned out in a futile effort to explain their current pariah status is as pathetic and draconian as stoning a woman in the street.

I feel I must apologize for my own particularly febrile anger. It's unseemly and ugly. But finally, the enemy is clearly outlined. We can see it for what it is and what it always has been. It exists not in myth but in a reality which has plagued humanity for millennia: utter, hateful ignorance born from a fear of truth, indeed a fear of life itself; a mad and impotent pursuit of some long-forgotten ecstasy having spawned generations of paranoid power addicts who chase the past at the expense of the future, cloaking their real intentions in perfumed patriotism and the seductive swoon of religion.

It's so fitting that we are living in an age where beheadings, torture, piracy and now unbridled power mongering are all common place. Perhaps that element of humanity is going back into hibernation and is snapping at any and everything before its eyes finally close. In our lifetime the choice has never been so stark.

Don't be intimidated by that naked, pigeon-chested old man. His party's over."

HOW STUPID WERE WE?!

Working on some selections for the stupidest primates of the 00 decade.

Here's a few to start with:










WHEW!

MORE ON THE DECADE FROM HELL!

Perhaps more than anything else, this says it all:

In 2009... FOX NEWS HAD ITS BEST YEAR EVER!!

Just take a minute and think about that.



WHEW! That is a year to top off a decade from hell!!

SEXUAL REPRESSION STILL KILLS, AND WE STILL DON'T GET IT!

I have written many posts on this blog and posted many articles by others here as well on the very serious damage that sexual repression does, individually and to our societies. And you know what? Most people don't get it. Most people still think that a vibrant sex life is a luxury, like playing tennis or watching a football game on Sunday. But it isn't. Our sexual energy is one of the most powerful forces within all of us, and when that energy is distorted or blocked as it is in so many individuals, the results are disastrous, whether in the causation of personal disease or social ills.

HERE is yet another headline about somebody who was sexually repressed trying to blow people up:
Terror Suspect's Web Posts Reveal Desire For 'Great Jihad,' Shame About Sex.

"The Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, accused in the Christmas day attack on a U.S. airliner, reflects on a blog about a growing alienation from his family, his shame over sexual urges and his hopes that a "great jihad" will take place across the world."

Come on, folks! This problem isn't going to go away. Violence, fanaticism, paranoia, maniacal repression of others, Republicans, these illnesses won't be contained by anyone's military or police force, or by any protest movements, anymore than an adolescent's sexual feelings can be successfully contained by threatening or inane pseudo-religious dogma or preposterous, Flintstonian policies like "abstinence only."

Work on yourself, people! Help your children free themselves. This is only going to change one person at a time. If you have been ignoring or neglecting or minimizing your sex life, do the world and yourself and your children a favor and get on it! Make a New Year's resolution that will really mean something.

MORE ON HOW SEXUAL REPRESSION KILLS! "TEACHERS: LEAVE THOSE ('SEXTING') KIDS ALONE!!"

I've of course written before on the rampant damage that sexual repression causes. Here's another example from this week's news...

In a piece on The Daily Beast last week, entitled "Leave 'Sexters' Alone!" Conor Friedersdorf writes that "stories that begin with 'sexting' become tragic all too frequently only when principals, police officers, or district attorneys get involved. In most cases, teens who conceal their sexting from authority figures suffer negligible adverse consequences; they're hardly the first generation to play 'I'll show you mine,' and even Verizon's 3G network cannot yet transmit sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy."

Exactly! How sadly often is it that suppressed, repressed and oppressive adults inflict their own festered ire from a sex-life gone dead on their kids who might actually think their sexuality is a cause for exploration and celebration.

Here's more from Conor's article:

"The two known suicides attributed to 'sexting' actually resulted from adults who exacerbated, rather than stopped, the abhorrent 'slut-shaming' that peers callously directed at girls whose naked photos were spread around school; and authority figures in at least six states charge less troubled teens who send naked pictures of themselves with distributing child pornography! Yes, it is possible to be charged with distribution of child pornography for sending out a photograph of yourself—and to be charged with possessing it when a naked photo sent by your high-school girlfriend is stored on your cellphone. Should technology ever permit humans to download our brains' mental images to a hard drive, every last teenager in America will wind up prohibited from living within 10,000 feet of themselves!"

TODAY'S QUOTE: PAUL KRUGMAN JOINS IN W/PL ON "THE DECADE FROM HELL!"

Here's Krugman:

"What was truly impressive about the decade past, however, was our unwillingness, as a nation, to learn from our mistakes. So let’s bid a not at all fond farewell to the Big Zero — the decade in which we achieved nothing and learned nothing. Will the next decade be better? Stay tuned. Oh, and happy New Year."

Read the whole essay HERE.

THE WORST OF TIMES OR THE BEST OF TIMES: WHO'S DECADE FROM HELL WAS IT?!

What kind of decade is coming to an end this week?

Some, including TIME Magazine, have called this "The Decade From Hell!"

Well, indeed, it was certainly pretty bad from a collective perspective, that's for sure. Unless you were a hedge-fund manipulator, or a banking, insurance, or pharmaceutical crook, or a politician on the take from same, the decade just ending, the one dominated by maggot-eating, obeise-berating reality TV and eight years of surreal, sexless saber-rattling and pseudo-religious posturing by the worst leaders in American history, you were pretty much screwed at every level in the 00's.

If you were in the 98% of the population not worth $50 million or more, you worked harder and longer this past decade and got less compensation in current dollars for your efforts. You were told that the schools your kids had to go to, the roads you had to travel on, and the levy's built to hold back hurricane flood waters from your city were all in fine shape, even though your reality said otherwise, often tragically. You were convinced that global warming wasn't real, but Saddam's weapons of mass destruction were, and in spite of the evidence, you were told that just telling teens not to have sex was the best way to prevent them from doing it, even as teen pregnancy rose and rose. But the good news was that you were systematically prescribed drugs to help you get it up, lower your blood pressure, emotionally numb you and basically keep you from complaining too much while you were being raped and robbed blind.

Here's a bit from the TIME piece:

"Bookended by 9/11 at the start and a financial wipeout at the end, the first 10 years of this century will very likely go down as the most dispiriting and disillusioning decade Americans have lived through in the post–World War II era. Call it the Decade from Hell, or the Reckoning, or the Decade of Broken Dreams, or the Lost Decade. Call it whatever you want — just give thanks that it is nearly over."

And let's not even talk about the levels of inanity and stupidity diving ever-downward with the likes of Sarah "Wilma Flintstone" Palin, Joe The [not really a plumber] Plumber, Glenn Beck, Orly Taitz and the birthers, tea-baggers, end-timers and assorted other overmedicated Barney Rubbles.

But... was it truly "the decade from hell?" The interesting thing is that the answer to that question depends on from where you answer it. We are always creating our reality at two levels - individually and en mass. In spite of it all, I know people who fell truly, deeply in love during the 00's for the first time, or who created a masterpiece in their chosen art form, or found abundance without cheating or stealing from anybody else, or who healed their minds-bodies-and-spirits in miraculous ways without the slash-and-burn mideaval methods of mainstream medicine. Yes, a lot of good most definitely happened to many individuals, all within the larger context of debacle after debacle at the public levels of reality.

So, can the best decade, personally, simultaneously exist within the worst decade collectively? Of course. As long as you're not thinking and living your life from a strictly dualistic place.

A concomitant question that arises is: Can we be evolving collectively as a species if as a species we are collectively doing so poorly? Well, I suppose that's like asking if an alcoholic is evolving when he's in the process of hitting bottom. The answer is to some degree unknown because it all depends on what is done at the bottom, what choices are made there, and then, what the follow-up is. As a country, we may certainly be at our bottom, although just when it seems that our degree of denial has brought us as low as we can go, Joe Leiberman and John McCain raise a toast and take another swig of single malt bullshit!

Nonetheless, folks, you create your own personal reality from the inside out, and our collective reality, just like the weather, is a manifestation of all of our personal realities combined. So, as we approach a new decade, my advice is to continue to be as conscious and loving and connected as possible in your life, and perhaps you will be the Hundredth Monkey.

[Read about the HUNDREDTH MONKEY here.]

GET RICH OR GET OUT!

Two years ago, I posted a long piece entitled "THE END OF THE JOB!" It was about many things related to our changing work-life consciousness, and worth reading if you have a bit of time over the holidays. The title itself came from the September 19, 1994 cover story of Fortune Magazine, of all places. Again, worth reading if you have the time. In short, what the Fortune article made clear was something I had already come to realize - that working by the hour at a traditional "job" was not going to cut it any more in terms of providing financial well-being or stability down the road, unless, of course, you were either willing to live a minimalist subsistence lifestyle through old age, or work full-time well into your 70's and beyond.

In 1994, when that article came out, I had just turned forty. I didn't have any fears about getting older. I still don't. In fact, I always have and still do look forward to getting on in years. But what I did realize at that time, as I began my approach to mid-life, was that the country I grew up in economically was gone, a country in which my working-class parents could buy a 4-bedroom house on a quarter of an acre of land, half-an-hour from New York City, for substantially less that I just paid for a 4-cylinder car in 2008! Yep. You heard that right. And furthermore, in my childhood, all of my friends - the sons and daughters of house painters, carpenters, plumbers, garbage collectors, school teachers, deli-owners - all lived in comfortable private houses, as well, and like my dad, the fathers were the only wage-earners in the families. Get it? One working-class level income got you a roomy house, at least one car, a yearly summer vacation and a college education for the kids, if they wanted one. Today? Well, you know the story. Two, three, even four incomes per household barely gets you a living, and only at that if you go into substantial debt to boot.

I took up a mission in the mid-nineties. I began telling everyone, including the people that I advised as a therapist, that they needed to understand not just the realities of their own financial situations, but even moreso that they needed to understand that the infection of deregulated greed and corruption ravaging the body of America's economy wasn't going away anytime soon. Working for a living just wasn't going to cut it anymore, if you wanted to finish out the last rounds of your life at any level of comfort and quality. Nor were you going to be able to live on what, if anything you'd put away for the future. Most working or middle-class people didn't have any kind of significant savings or pensions they could rely on, and even if they did for a while, the debacles caused by the nefarious bank and hedge fund managers and other market manipulators eliminated those modest nest eggs for 95% of the population.

So, what was/is one to do in the face of these harsh realities?

"Invest in yourself" became my mantra.

In a piece I wrote earlier this year, entitled "YOU ARE THE ONLY GAME THAT ISN'T RIGGED," spinning of a brilliant piece of journalism by Matt Taibbi, that's what I advised. If you have a gift, a talent or a passion, then explore it, develop it, express it in the world somehow, especially if it's something that doesn't require working for a wage by the hour. And if you find yourself blocked in that area, then, for your sake, do the self-work necessary to unblock yourself, whatever it takes.

That's how I started on my own track to become a writer 8 years ago. As much as my work as a psychotherapist was a true calling for me, it was nonetheless a by-the-hour proposition, and therefore had a ceiling in terms of its capacity to produce wealth for me. So, in 2001, I began what I now call my "GET RICH OR GET OUT" journey. Simply put, I set myself on a course that would inevitably end with me becoming financially independent, either because I'd become wealthy enough to enjoy the material benefits of western society without having to "work for a living" until old age, or because I had dropped out of mainstream culture altogether and gone off the grid.

I still can't say yet which of the two alternatives will play out for my future. Last week, with the help of the wonderful director/actor/author, Paul Michael Glaser, I held a staged reading of the pilot episode of a television show I created. Last month, a screenplay I co-wrote with someone won Best Action Adventure Screenplay at the Gotham Film Festival. Clearly, I haven't given up on writing as a potential road to abundance for myself and my family. However, last night, I found myself talking with the love of my life about the possibility of moving to Canada sometime in the future to escape the crooks and liars that are gutting this country and make a fresh start in a healthier land.

I'll keep you posted.

YES!! DINOSAURS AND ABSTINENCE ONLY PROGRAMS ARE NOW EXTINCT!!!

During President George W. Bush's administration, abstinence programs received more than $100 million a year directly in federal funding and about $50 million in federal money funneled through the states. But the effort came under mounting criticism when studies concluded that the approach was ineffective and signs emerged that the long decline in teen pregnancies was faltering under abstinence only

As part of President Obama's first budget, Congress approved a request for more than $110 million for a new "teenage pregnancy prevention" initiative that would only fund programs that have been "proven effective through rigorous evaluation," which would effectively eliminate abstinence programs. James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth, a Washington-based advocacy group said: "This is the end of the failed abstinence-only model that research has shown is ineffective."

3 RESPONSES TO PL'S "GET RICH OR GET OUT!" PL RESPONDS!

anonymous said...
Great picture of you and Mr. Glaser.

I sure wish I could join you in Canada. Definitely agree about what is happening to this country.

caseydancer said...
Wow, congratulations on the Gotham award and thanks so much for this article.

It almost brought tears to my eyes because it is this exact concept I cling to when the fears about my future creep in. That my gift, my passion and my joy is writing, and so writing must be the path I'm meant to follow to lead me out of this dark, suffocating, dead-end, hand-to-mouth-til-the-day-I-die life.

You're inspiring.

Two anonymouses said...
We need you Peter; don't go to Canada!!! I & F

PL says:

Hang in there, everyone. It ain't over 'till... And remember, sometimes you just have to be willing to do something in order not to have to do it!

TONIGHT'S QUOTE!

“It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations.”
Kahlil Gibran

THERE ARE NO "NATURAL CAUSES" OF DEATH FOR A 32-YEAR OLD!!

Of course, now we know about the slew of prescription drugs found in Brittany Murphy's bathroom.

"A check of the nightstands revealed large amounts of prescription medication in the decedent's name. Also noted were numerous empty prescription medication bottles in the decedent's husband's name, the decedent's mother's name and unidentified third party names."

The medications included Topamax (anti-seizure), Methylprednisolone (anti-inflammatory), Fluoxetine (anti-depression), Klonopin (anti-anxiety), Carbamazepine ( a bipolar med), Ativan (another anti-anxiety), Vicoprofen (pain killer), Propranolol (for hypertension, used to prevent heart attacks), Biaxin (antibiotic), Hydrocodone (pain killer) and, oh... miscellaneous vitamins! It was noted that no illegal drugs were discovered.

I have been saying for 30 years that history is going to look back upon the medical-pharmaceutical-insurance complex of the late 20th Century/early 21st Century as a heinous perpetrator of crimes of the worst order. Dealing not just in staggering amounts of theft and deception, but in death, literally mass murder, these criminals in suits and white coats have engaged in an appalling, scandalous and barbaric war against a dependent, naïve and ignorant population.

This is beyond political or economic philosophy, folks. You can’t blame capitalism or partisanship for what’s happened to millions of people who’ve lost lives and limb, or beloved friends and families, or their financial solvency because of the lies and nefarious acts of these assassins and drug dealers. This is rampant sociopathy, pure and simple, beyond the typical brand of psychopathic disorder so prevalent in our society, beyond even greed or hate. This isn’t about money or power, either. These serial killers have no empathy. Their victims are not human to them, but merely a source of supply for the insatiable needs of their egos from hell. They have no more conscience or compassion than an army of red ants does while eating its helpless prey alive.

Like the worst nightmare or horror movie, where the killer first numbs or paralyses, then rapes, robs, tortures and dismembers his victims before finally ending their misery, the doctors, pharmacists and CEO’s in this criminal conglomerate keep you terrified with diagnostic proclamations of doom, and drugged and anesthetized with toxic prescriptions, while you are slashed and burned beyond recognition until you finally die... or run out of money.

Brittany Murphy, Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith are not even the tip of this iceberg. The number of people slaughtered at the hands of these sociopaths amounts to a genocide, an extermination of human beings over not just years, but generations.

Now, let me be clear about one more important point before concluding. No one is innocent here, except our children. If you are an adult and you surrender your mind and will over to a doctor because you want to believe in a fairy godfather, or if you pay huge insurance premiums and then don’t hold your company’s feet to the fire when they refuse to pay your claims because you reflexively defer to “authorities,” or if you blindly take drugs or give drugs to your children to solve problems that a knowledge of nature’s wisdom and a determined amount of personal research can resolve, then you are no victim. You are a colluder, an enabler, and most certainly stuck in an oral-masochist character structure! You are, in other words, lunch for the psychopaths and sociopaths of the world.

So, as always, I end with the same dictate – if you want to get out from under the control that the manipulators and mind-fuckers have over you, get serious about your self-work!
That is the only true vaccine there is against whatever ails you.

Happy trails, Brittany!

P.S. To my readers who will remind me that they personally know of good doctors who strive to be true healers, just as they know of good cops who aren’t on power trips but want to be of service to their community, I will answer in advance that yes, I know there are, just as there were Nazi party members and sympathizers who didn’t actively participate in the slaughter of millions of Jews, and some who even helped them escape. I honor those individuals, like myself, who work out of the box in an otherwise dysfunctional profession. But just as one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch, one good apple doesn’t exonerate the rotten bunch.

TODAY'S YOU GOTTA LOVE THIS PICTURE!

THIS IS ON PAGE TEN OF THE CURRENT ISSUE OF VARIETY!

HOW STUPID ARE WE? JUST ASK ANYONE IN THE GOP WHO STILL SUPPORTS "ABSTINENCE ONLY!!"

THIS is from today's NY TIMES:

"Federal support for the wishful abstinence-only approach, which began in the 1980s, ballooned during George W. Bush’s presidency. As the funding grew, so did evidence of the policy’s failure. A Congressionally mandated study released in 2007 found that elementary and middle school students who received abstinence instruction were just as likely to have sex in the following year as students who did not get such instruction. Many states rightly declined to participate in the abstinence program, forgoing federal money. Most of the nation’s recent progress in reducing the abortion rate has occurred in states that have shown a commitment to real sex education."

Get it? Get the stupidity? No one who piously opposes things on moralistic grounds ever actually reduces the problem they're pretending to address. Why? Because the intention of piety and moralizing is not to solve problems, folks, but to aggrandize the egos of those who judge and throw stones. That's why Conservative Christians never actually follow the teachings of Jesus, because he espoused humility and tolerance, not bombast and hatred.

Ugh!

STILL STUPID AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!

Here's some excerpts from Frank Rich's editorial today in the NY Times on how stupid we are:

"As cons go, Tiger Woods’s fraudulent image as an immaculate exemplar of superhuman steeliness is benign. His fall will damage his family, closest friends, his PR company, Accenture, and the golf industry much more than the rest of us. But the syndrome it epitomizes is not harmless. We keep being fooled by leaders in all sectors of American life, over and over. A decade that began with the “reality” television craze exemplified by “American Idol” and “Survivor” — both blissfully devoid of any reality whatsoever — spiraled into a wholesale flight from truth.
"After his 'indefinite break' from golf, Tiger Woods will surely be back on the links once the next celebrity scandal drowns his out. But after a decade in which two true national catastrophes, a wasteful war and a near-ruinous financial collapse, were both in part byproducts of the ease with which our leaders bamboozled us, we can’t so easily move on. Only a few years after Enron’s very public and extensively dissected crimes, the same bankers, federal regulatory agencies and securities-rating companies were giving toxic 'assets' a pass. We were only too eager to go along for the lucrative ride until it crashed like Tiger’s Escalade."

ONCE AGAIN - HOW STUPID ARE WE?! ON MENOPAUSE!

It's a question I've asked often in relation to the insane and inane behavior of human beings when they blindly follow their irrational fears and the nefarious promises of psychopaths to alleviate those fears.

Today's example of our stupidity is on the subject of menopause.

MILLIONS of American women in the 1990s were told they could and should help their bodies ward off the manifestations of menopause and could even prevent major illness by taking menopausal hormone drugs. Major medical associations said so. Gynecologists and physicians said so. Respected medical journals said so, too. And of course, Big Pharma really said so.

Well, here we are again, a decade later, finding out how harmful our trust of Big Daddy is and how equally destructive our lack of trust in nature can be. In a piece in the NY Times today, entitled "Menopause, as Brought to You by Big Pharma," lawsuits and internal documents now show how one drug company, Pfizer, and its predecessors promoted the idea of hormone drugs and how they have made women severely ill.

Here's an excerpt from the Times article:

"Television commercials positioned hormone drugs as treatments for more than hot flashes and night sweats — just two of the better-known symptoms of menopause, which is technically defined as commencing one year after a woman’s last menstrual cycle. One commercial about estrogen loss by the drug maker Wyeth featured a character named Dr. Heartman in a white coat discussing research into connections between menopause and heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and blindness.
'When considering menopause, consider the entire body of evidence,' Dr. Heartman said. 'Speak to your doctor about what you can do to help protect your health during and after menopause.'
Connie Barton, then a medical office assistant in Peoria, Ill., was one woman who responded to such messages. She says she took Prempro, a hormone drug made by Wyeth, from 1997, when she was 53, until 2002, when she received a diagnosis of breast cancer. As part of her cancer treatment, she had a mastectomy to remove her left breast.
Now Ms. Barton, who said in an interview that she used Prempro in part because her doctor told her it could help prevent heart disease and dementia, is one of more than 13,000 people who have sued Wyeth over the last seven years, claiming in courts across the country that its menopause drugs caused breast cancer and other problems.
The suits also assert, based on recently unsealed court documents, that Wyeth oversold the benefits of menopausal hormones and failed to properly warn of the risks.
In October, a jury in a Pennsylvania state court awarded Ms. Barton $75 million in punitive damages from Wyeth on top of compensatory damages of $3.75 million."

I've said this dozens of time on this blog, folks - Nature doesn't screw up, people do!

Why would we need to drug ourselves to counteract a natural process like menopause? Think about it. I know, when you're stuck in a character structure, and stuck in childhood emotionally and psychologically, thinking is a very threatening challenge, but try. Do we think that nature itself is psychopathic? That a natural process built into the life cycle of all women could somehow simultaneously be life-threatening? Really?! Is it really easier to believe the drug merchants and slash and burn sociopaths masquerading as doctors than to trust in nature?

Please! Grow up, people! Big Daddy is an abusive, greedy drunk, and he does not have your well-being in mind. What he does have in mind is how much money and power he can steal from you because you want to stay a child.

How stupid are we?

WHAT IS OBAMA MISSING?

President Barack Obama, as I've written on this blog often, has many qualities that our previous president did not: intelligence, emotional maturity and the presence of mind and selfhood to not be ruled by dogma and ideology. After eight years of the moronic, debased, retrogressive debauchery of W and Darth Cheney, Obama's election was a breath of fresh air and, yes, hope.

The end of the new president's first year in office is still 5 weeks away, and throughout the last eleven months, he has maintained a poised, rational demeanor, even in the face of the most despicable obstruction by the trash heap that has become the Republican Party, and in spite of the vile, racist hatred that has erupted like a fetid volcano from the right wing lunatic fringe that infects the United States like an incurable venereal disease.

Yet, something seems amiss, or perhaps, is missing in Obama's leadership so far.

Last April, I wrote about the president's "Rigid Character Structure," and how his desire to get things done, as with all who have this personality make-up, may supersede his higher wisdom. Obama was elected with a strong mandate to lead the country into an era in which the debacles of unregulated trickle-down economics, xenophobic and militaristic foreign policies, and the suppression of civil liberties would be reversed and our course set straight. It was not only clear when Obama was elected that the Republicans would be a negative force against any progressive movement in these areas, but likewise, it was clear that the Democrats would continue to be the useless, mealy-mouthed, two-faced wimps and shills that they have been for the last thirty years.

So, as he seemed to understand early on, Obama, in league with the majority of citizens that elected him, would have to take the fight to the career politicians and incorrigible psychopaths and fat cats who have become a modern plague upon our world. The hope was that the new president would lead by leading, not by compromising with the crooks and liars, not by patiently tolerating the constant stonewalling for obstruction's sake alone of any and all positive change, and not by listening with an open mind to those who would advise the president to surge into his own Bay of Pigs gambit in a country whose resistance we cannot defeat with brute force or technologically advanced weaponry.

At the end of John Kennedy's first year in office, he, too, seemed to be off the mark he had set during his exhilarating, hope-inspiring campaign. It didn't look good for the young president at the end of 1961. Yet, by the time he was killed, almost two years later, JFK seemed to be hitting his stride and arriving to the leadership potential so many had expected.

Barack Obama may yet arrive and become himself fully as he grows into his office over the next few years. 2009 comes to an end as a dire year in American history, yet perhaps, we are at a moment of rebirth. All such moments include labor pains and fear and resistance before the glory of the delivery.

I still hold hope.

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"YOU'RE SCREWED!"Democratic Representative Michael Capuano, upon his return from a primary campaign for the Senate seat in Massachusetts vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy. Capuano, who finished in second place, was asked to share the wisdom he learned on the campaign trail.

TODAY'S QUOTE!

"Those at the top are separated from the consequences of their actions. They are exemplified by Robert Rubin, formerly of Citigroup and a mentor to both Obama’s Treasury secretary and chief economic adviser. He looked the other way when his bank made ruinous high-risk bets, and then cashed out and split, leaving taxpayers to pay for the wreckage while he escaped any accountability. Such economic wise men peer down at the country from a hermetically sealed bubble of privilege and self-interest. And they tend to think, as Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs notoriously put it, that they are doing 'God’s work' to sustain our free-market system."
Frank Rich (in today's NY Times)

LOFF56 IS BACK AND TALKING LIFE AND DEATH! PL RESPONDS!

Here's LOFF56:

Hey PL - Long time no comment...

Yeah, someone posted this on Facebook a couple of days ago and I read the article. Interesting, yes, but my initial reaction was that I was a little suspicious of motivation.

I'm familiar enough with the quantum science that Dr. Lanza employs here. It's incredibly fascinating, completely mind boggling and really makes you think about the nature of reality. But applying this incredibly complex theory which very few people in the world, if any, can actually wrap their minds around the mathematics of to anything tangible or even intangible seems at best extremely mis-guided or excessively optimistic.

I mean I guess anyone can make a theory about something, so I guess he's not at fault for mis-informing anyone. But what's the goal of this theory? As far as I can tell, it seems like he's trying to provide a methodology of coping with death. The article starts, "Many of us fear death." Isn't that like a big neon sign that says: "Read on - I can tell you how to not fear death."?

From a logical standpoint he says: "Death does not exist in a timeless, spaceless world." Ok. Yes, I guess that's true. But if so then you have to concede that LIFE doesn't exist in a timeless, spaceless world. It's comforting to wrap your mind around an uncomfortable abstraction like death by putting it in an equally abstract context, but when you do the same with life which is more easily... felt (for a lack of a better word)... it seems wholly uncomfortable. "What, you're telling me that life doesn't exist? But I experience it as existing." You can't have your cake and eat it too.

From a psychological standpoint the quote that he uses to bolster the practice of his theory seems incredibly psychologically naive: "I grieve that grief can teach me nothing..." Really?? I'll defer to PL on this one, can grief teach us nothing? Is he suggesting that we just forego with any practical or well established methods of grieving and instead just convince ourselves that this scientific theory eliminates the need for us to believe that our loved ones are actually dead? ???

I'm as interested in the scientific answer as anyone, but I think the application of science in real life ought to be carefully checked when people start making claims about it that push it into the realm of religion. At this point in scientific understanding, I don't think it's any more Truthful to suggest that when we die we live on in a parallel universe as it is to suggest that we live on in either heaven or hell.

Yes Einstein said that we live in a "stubbornly persistent illusion". I have the intellect to imagine and comprehend what that means, but I don't have the physical, mental or emotional capacity to actually live outside of that illusion. Enlightenment, I think, would get me closer, but probably still light years away from being able to do that.

I'm curious as to your opinion on this PL. Usually you give it away with your comments when you post an article, but all you said was "interesting" this time. Perhaps you're on neutral ground?

Here's PL:

Welcome back, L56! Good to have your thoughtful ponderings about ponderous matters.

Here are some of my thoughts -

Trying to understand life beyond a space-time continuum, while living in one, is a major challenge, but do-able. A knowledge of quantum physics can give us that understanding. Actually experiencing life outside of the space-time continuum, while living in one, well, some would say that happens all the time - when we dream. Often in dreams, "we" are in two or more places at once and traversing the past and present simultaneously. I actually do think, L56, that there is ample scientific evidence that consciousness continues after the body "dies," but the fear-of-death business is a very lucrative one, so mainstream culture is indoctrinated with that fear. Religion is worse than useless in this regard, because religions push a reward and punishment philosophy more relevant to controlling children and prison inmates than alleviating irrational fears of death.

Does life exist outside of the space-time continuum? Well, unless you are strictly defining life as only that which is physical, why not? I take it you don't subscribe to Descarte's "I think, therefore I am" position?

On the subject of grief, well, to be human is to feel, and to feel must include feeling loss. Knowing that a loved one who has died may yet exist in another realm does not mitigate the need for grieving the loss in this realm. And not fearing death, or understanding that death is an illusion in some ways, again does not eliminate the need to experience loss at the emotional levels of our being. We are, after all, only human!

Thanks, L56!

"Does Death Exist? New Theory Says 'No!"

Check out this interesting article by Robert Lanza, M.D.

"Many of us fear death. We believe in death because we have been told we will die. We associate ourselves with the body, and we know that bodies die. But a new scientific theory suggests that death is not the terminal event we think."

ARE YOU READY TO HATCH? FEAR NOT!

Inevitably, when someone working with me has a breakthrough and comes out of their character structure - that conglomerate of defense mechanisms created to survive childhood - the response is the same. It's like they've just hatched from an egg or awoken from a dream. The sense of freedom, exhilaration and clarity is striking initially, like they're seeing the world around them for the first time, and it is often startling, as well.

It is almost assured at some point early on that said "hatchling" will express dismay in this way to me: "Oh my God! Everywhere I look, everyone seems crazy!" I reassure them, sort of, by confirming that perception with a calm, "Yes. Most people are."

The next very important phase of acclimation to sanity and freedom, then, is to adjust to that reality. Being a sane person in an insane world can stir up fears of being isolated and lonely forever, and even inspire wishes to be insane again, so as not to be alone.

Undaunted, I continue on: "Yes, most people regularly lie, even to themselves." "Yes, most people cannot truly love, but substitute co-dependence for the real thing and call it love, utterly confusing the children they bear in far too many numbers." "Yes, most people resist growth and change vehemently, at times even violently, and call it being 'traditional' or having 'values." "Yes, sadism, the flip side of the rampant masochism infecting most people, is experienced as pleasure, while affection and sensuality are decried as weakness." "Yes, running up deficits to start wars and give tax cuts to subsidize the extravagant lifestyles of the rich is not thought of as spending, but using public funds to build better roads or schools or environmentally safe industries is thought of as wasteful." "Yes, it seems like we live in the Bizarro World of the Superman comics where up is down, square is round and bad is good." "And yes, Glenn Beck is really getting paid big money to break down and have psychotic episodes on television."

But not to worry, I insist. True loneliness comes from being alienated from yourself, from living inside the cocoon of a character structure, separated artificially from life. As you get used to being free internally, the fear of loneliness will be replaced with a confident, grounded, empowered sense of self and a oneness with all of those around you, even with those whose toxicity may be such that you cannot directly engage with them. You will realize that while we are all human, we are not all the same, and especially not all the same in terms of "soul age." Many people on Planet Earth, in fact, are still relatively young in that regard, and so still given to the delusions and dictates of the ego. Your presence as a mature, older soul, whatever chronological age you are, will ultimately be a guiding light for those who only appear to be in power.

And to boot, your health will improve - physically, mentally, emotionally, financially and sexually - and again, regardless of what age you are when you break through.

So, come on out. It's not only safe out here in the light, it's fun!
 

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