We Who Are Willing

A few days ago I got to sit with an old friend who happens to describe himself as “a liberal-conservative”.   I must also warn you that he believes Rush Limbaugh is “right 99.9% of the time” and that he is a very “wise and knowledgeable man”. So, depending on which side of the scales of morality you sit on, this will either be an agreeable or a disagreeable statement to you. Either way it gives you a pretty clear indication of what I was dealing with.  But, I really desire to expand my mind, keep it open and hear all sides of an issue – because no matter how much I see something as insanely wrong, i know the  the person who believes it, really and truly believes in what they believe.  Just like I do. So, if what they believe is “inconceivable to me”, then it’s me who is missing something, not them.  My job is not to change anyone’s opinion but to allow everyone to live as they are while still maintaining my own beliefs which include:

Non interference. I don’t care what you believe in as long as you don’t hurt anything.

On the other hand if you DO intentionally cause harm, then I also feel it is incumbent on me and all of us, to disallow and repair this harm. Eg: American Slavery, Treatment of First Nations People, ecologically irresponsible natural resource extraction, treatment of wildlife…this is a very long potential list. You get the picture.

If we can allow, we can also step in when something is truly fundamentally wrong.  Like – extracting more coal from the earth.  This is CLEARLY a bad idea for the planet.  The fact that it contributes nothing positive to the earth that supports us, should naturally extricate it from consideration as a resource for humans, by default. So, why is it still being pursued?

Because throughout our evolution we have prioritized comfort and self gain over the planet.

Some beliefs are difficult to questioned and must be recognized at least, by each person: we must become consciously aware of what we believe and why we believe it.

In your discovery of your own beliefs (from the heart) as opposed to opinions (of the mind), you will find beliefs come from a soulful place, and certain things will always remain inconceivable to you.  For example, war will never be ok with me.  There is no rationalization for war. There can never be a “good reason”. You can’t Shawn Spicer away any war, they are all bad – for me.

But, my opinion on universal healthcare – is something more elastic.  Something that requires room for growth and further understanding.  There are ideas in our minds that must always be questioned. But when we enter a “fundamental” approach to life – through religion, or political culture – we eliminate the questioning and become pre-programmed without plasticity and allowance for individuality. We become soldiers of a belief system which does not represent us.

Leaving ourselves open to really engaging and hearing the other side, has the two fold positive effect of allowing us to maybe take in more useful information, or it can substantiate what we have already come to understand about the world.

We cannot be FUNDAMENTALLY anything, because everyone believes what they believe based on a lifetime of their own experiences, and no religion, political system or even culture will completely support what we as individuals have come to see and understand from our own particular lenses.  That’s why communism doesn’t work – its why it is fundamentally unfair to the human spirit; because it does not allow for the individuality of a person and all of their understanding to flow freely through their life choices.

Fundamentalism in politics, business, religion  and culture no longer have a positive or productive value for human beings.

The man I spoke to who is a supporter of Trump seemed to be adamant in his belief that the “left wingers” were responsible for all of the violence happening around the planet, indeed, and that all of the protestors that we are seeing for climate change, the pipe line, the women’s march for example, are all paid and bought for by private interest organizations.

Yes a perfectly intelligent person said this to me.

Of course you would not believe me if I aid he was a minority, or short or poor, fat, gay or a woman – you know, any of those things that make you sensitive to the needs of the world. No, he is a half-read, fully brainwashed and fear based representative of a massive number of people who believe

1- that the country they live in owes them a certain lifestyle

2- that this lifestyle does not include anyone who does not look are act like them

3- that isolating people based on their beliefs or cultural values makes some sort of sense to them

4- building walls is the solution to a moral problem they themselves have created

There is a cloud of paranoia covering this country which is beyond description and magnificently terrifying and its starting to make my country stink.  I’d like it to stop right now.

How will it stop?

Well like other kinds of dysfunctional family squabbles, such is the relationship between the United States and Canada. the United States right now is like the drunk uncle who shows up every single Christmas, and predictably gropes you and all your cousins.  That is the united states right now, and its pretty much how Canada is feeling I suppose.

Remember how in the Walton’s whenever they had a big fight over  little Ben would go out missing in the woods and get surrounded by wolves, or Elizabeth would have a temper tantrum and run into an electrical storm atop a mountain?  The point is, the family had to work together!

And that’s what is goign to happen here – with four famines rising up in our world, there will come a point where we cannot ignore the real and terrible things that we could be alleviating if we could just focus our thinking in the right direction – towards each other.

The good news about all this is NOW you know what it looks like, acts like, sounds likes – and how it makes decisions based on fear, and disillusionment.

Consider creating some personal guidelines and become aware about what you support:

For example:

If it increases hate – don’t support it.

If it decreases health in communities – don’t support it

If it can cause harm to the planet – don’t support it

If it creates tiers of advantage – don’t support it

If it causes war and people to die – DO NOT support it

If it hoards things we have too much of when other people need it – Don’t support it

Basic rules. Compassion we all have and can easily access.  And anyone who believes even ONE of them to be true, cannot support Donald Trump.

The bottom line  is that we need not support anything that doesn’t not support us.  WE are the living things on this planet.

There are VERY VERY few human examples of people like Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong whats-his-face. Thank whatever God you believe in that this is true.

And there are a hell of allot more people like you and me, who want health and happiness and are willing to live a more simple life so that the whole world can get better. We who are willing to open our minds and our communities to those that need help. We who are willing to share our food, time and talents to increase the “happiness quotient” of this planet.

We who are willing to live together.

 

America is NOT an Assh*le

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I am Canadian and I need to vent.

We are different from Americans in case you hadn’t noticed. For example, we are often said to be friendlier, and can have healthier eating habits like…moose and stuff. Also, if you dial a wrong number in Canada – you may be in for a ten minute conversation and a new friend. We really are like that.  We apologize for stuff we don’t need to apologize for – like the couch or other inanimate object for running into it.

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Our other massive difference – is our political system and well – most of the entirety of our culture and how we relate to each other and our government.  We are a British constitutional monarchy. We have a  parliament and ministers and provinces – not congress, and states. Still a democracy, and also in dire need of electoral reform wehave had our share of stories to tell about our colourful political past, like the time the country tried to split up and everyone freaked out and moved to Toronto. But I have never felt fear – pure and undaunted – as I do now.

What we see across our border is anything but normal, positive or progressive. In fact it stands to put back our efforrts on behalf of the planet and its people by so many light years – I fear we will never recover. It’s really frightening. So scary I almost broke down and wrote a letter of apology to my children for bringing them into this shit hole beautiful broken world. I cannot imagine what their future will be now. And until November this year we had never seen anything as terrifying as the behaviour of the American people through their federal election and the final devasting result.

yes – devastating.

 

For those of you that aren’t scared – wake up.  Maybe like many I have heard, you “don’t like politics” and are busy ignoring the rest of the world in lieu of your small personal universe. Let me say: This is not the time to shut out world events and say “its none of my business” -0h that is a such a cop-out.

But what do we do!!??

We do THIS.Image result for plato on the importance of participation

This conversation of politics, philosophy and the changes emerging in our evolving cultures is REALLY important. even if its just an exchange between you and another person – there is ALWAYS something to learn from each other. Learning here – is the key. We learn from each other, from online resources, books.

We feel ineffectual and powerless to manage the grand enormity of the problems facing north america and the world in general. THIS CONVERSATION is our part in it – it is our connection. The exchange of what we know and understand.

 

ANd maybe we don’t “agree” but I will assume if you believe somethign it is because you feel it is best for your situation. I want to know why that is – because that is how we learn. By listening – an dexchanging. Open the mind people!

And please – read good sources…many sources. And by the way you can’t get all of your political education on YouTube and The Google (as my mother in law calls it) and say you know something.

I just had to say that out loud.

So meanwhile, while the new administration of the USA works very hard to pull the wool over the eyes of its public, by sequestering the media, I am going to say any damn thing I want. If you don’t like it…oh..please read the warning:

CONTENT WARNING:

Do not read any further if you are a supporter of the “Unnameable one”.  11214118_885394291555162_7326107206868106102_n

You’re not going to like what I have to say.

In fact if you are any one of these:

  • a card-carrying member of the KKK
  • a misogynistic prick
  • anti-women’s rights (abortion lets say)
  • A wall builder
  • a race separator

Disclaimers over  – we go on….Image result for canadian prime ministerdownload

Let’s get this straight right now – Our leader in Canada (called a prime minister ) – is handsome and smart and good. let me repeat: handsome smart and good.

The new president in the united states – we will call him “the Unnameable one” is the opposite: Ugly, really really dumb and bad bad bad. “bad to the bone” yes indeed.

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Dear America – wtf were you thinking??

But he appeals to folks because he is “not a politician“, and you the American public don’t like politicians anymore. Well good for you.

For fuck’s sake. I don’t like doctors but I am not going to ask the mechanic down the street to check me for cancer because well – he would not want to do that and would be very bad at it I suspect. But I like my mechanic way more than doctors so…

You don’t like politicians, and you don’t want to get involved (most of you didnt even vote!!! SHAME ON YOU) because pfft politics is beneath you, or you’re too smart for it or something, so you elect Delirium Tremours to represent you.Image result for democracy plato

AMERICA IS NOT AN ASSHOLE – but you have elected a Tyrant.

DT is a horrendous disgusting, materialistic, sexually abusive, insane racist, culturalist, misogynistic – ok I could go on but lets admit it…he does NOT represent the great nation that is the ONLY one to help other nations (what? you gonna wait for the brits? The dutch? oy…)  out of everyone in the WORLD – the only nation to consistently provide help to nations that needed it in the past fifty years.

Americans are AWESOME: Beautiful, brave, big-hearted warm people.

So, who is this asshole who you have chosen to represent you??  Cause it seems shit is now running uphill…

I was just at the grocery store and the cashier there, a nice older lady named Donna and I were chatting.  She told me she was just back from being sick – suffering from extreme anxiety. I assume any interchange with a Canadian about American Politics will result in the same conclusion.  Generally in Canada a conversation about the Unnameable One is friendly because we all mostly agree. All except for Donna I found out.

LIke most friendly starter conversationsm, American politics is a good way to find common ground normally. “Oh my god they’ve gone nuts. who is that arsehole they elected?”, is mostly what you get, whether you are in small town rural like where I live, or big town city – Canadians do not like “the Unnameable One” (not using his name to give him more air time. The man needs to get off Twitter and read a book or two).

So I say to Donna with a smile:

“Yes! I understand your anxiety – its been a rough ride with the American elections. I have not slept properly since the horrible morning I woke up and saw the awful results”.

She looked at me with drawn eyes and then quickly down to her register again, I could tell a little afraid to express herself.

Then she says carefully;

“Yes well – maybe some people are tired of politicians. Maybe the media is so evil we really don’t know anything that is going on!”

Oh.

He has convinced Canadians that ALL media is out to get them too?

Great.

I understand the perspective, and can truly and probably more than most people relate to the feeling that politicians are generally asshats, self serving, egomaniac, selfish, liar, cheater – this is what has emerged over our years of developing Western democracy. A sincere hatred of the political archetype. But if we want a democracy there is work to do for us all! Image result for meaning of the word democracy

A democracy isnt just freedom and no work or involvement. It is indeed the opposite!! If you want no work in your political system then just head to Russia where the government just makes all the decisions for you. Easy Shmeezy. Here in north america, we like freedom. and freedom takes work. A democracy is where a political system involves an election of people to represent YOUR INTERESTS to the rest of a culture.

Are these really your best interests? Becasue if “Delerium Tremours”dumb dumb is what America thinks of itself – I think we are in a stellar amount of trouble as a planet.

Let us remember that those people who would run for office are NATURALLY not the best leaders. Who are the people you admire? The ego-less ones: Martin Luther king, Gandhi – now THOSE guys had serious leadership and support that caused enormous social and cultural reform.  Their power did not come from an election though. It was Natural Acceptance. Not much of that happening with the DT eh? And that is what we need right now – a popular leader who is bent on freedom, inclusiveness, kindness, peace and non-violence.   Image result for gandhi peace

I have no answers, no conclusions – but for poor Donna and all the other beautiful Canadians who are being led astray by these contemptuous morons I say – hang on to your inner Canadian! Don’t get sucked into the rhetoric!  People have told me I am opinionated.  Yes probably.  I think we are all opinionated – but I know how to use my words to express it, and because I care very very deeply about the future of our world.  Plus,  I have actually really given considerable mind-space to politics and culture – maybe because I am a political scientist so that’s what we do.

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But please
– if you want to know more, go to something better than the University of Google.  Don’t just read MSN and Facebook. YouTube is NOT a course. Please read something that is not online. We call them books. Marcus Aurelius comes to mind. Maybe a little Plato to spruce up your democracy seeking day?  Definetly: Humes, Kant, Locke, Rousseau – now those guys know their stuff.

And be KIND to each other. For god’s sake. I don’t care what you think or what you believe – not one bit. I dont even want to change your mind – because I know that is quite simply impossible.  But I guarantee you that if you are passing around rhetoric to increase the fear and sadness, hatred and intolerence  in this world (that our children have to take over) – whether you are Canadiabn or American – I will have a conversation with you that you may or may not enjoy.  Better get your big-boy/girl words ready.

I am done being quiet and letting idiocy run rampant.

So….Peace America! Stay beautiful. You dont need to be “great again” – you already are. Please start acting like it.

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The King is Dead! Debating 101

Have you ever seen someone who just heard something unreal and is incapable of responding, stands there gasping like a fish with their mouth agape?

Image result for shocked expression black womanThat’s me – after last night’s “presidential debatable  debate”.

When i was a kid I was on the debate team. It wasn’t an “uncool thing” where I came from, because it allowed us to travel – to different states provinces and even countries. Image result for greek debaters

 

Mostly, I loved the art of debating. Well done – it is like a dance of ideas between unwilling partners.

As opposed to the ridiculous Hollywood crap farce stupid shit thing you saw last night.

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How do I really feel?

Debating is meant as a formal intellectual exchange of concepts which lead participants to a higher understanding of a carefully selected, well researched and prepared for topic.

It is the debaters job to be the MOST convincing, and the rules about HOW to be convincing are strict.

Pathos and drama are fun but manic snaps of rage and outbursts of hatred are seriously frowned upon. Image result for pathos mask

Ideas that intentionally or cruelly demean or insult participants were strictly penalized. You had to be smart – not mean.

The times to address the judges were strict.

You didn’t interrupt a judge, for god’s sake.

And the words we used were precise and polite:

“If it please the Judges,”

If I may…?

Point of order,

Point of personal privilege!   Was my favourite: That was what you declared when you felt you had been “unfairly bashed”and were “insulted”!!  by your fellow debater then you got to address the monitor of the debate and tell him all the reasons they had been wrong.

The rules allowed for the development of bigger ideas. In any democratic culture this is not only important, but critical for forward growth.

However, it is clear that long ago the United States lost its forward growth in critical areas like – compassion, love and morality.

These were the true issues presented to the American people in last nights “debatable debate”.

Speech-making, debating – these are old and beautifully evolved arts that we have developed the best parts of our democratic processes upon.

We can all admit that there are ALLOT of things that are messed up in our world-

so why are we breaking one of the only things that works – the democratic debate process.

We have lowered our bar.  Image result for lower the bar

Better get a shovel.

Plato called everyone to the mountain to exchange ideas and vote.

Socrates died for want to telling a lie.

Martin Luther King

John F. Kennedy

Malcolm X

And the native forefathers – where are they in all of this?

Take the land, screw up the land – then destroy everything with your stupidity.

Oh my god. stop it.

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And so, what have we come to?

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Are you kidding me? Wake up America!

A Hollywood debacle and media circus show will be the progenitor of the ideas for how a group of clearly delusional people choose the most powerful politician in the world?

 

Wake up people.

The King is Dead.

Who will champion the sword?Sword in Stone Magical, Free Facebook Timeline Profile Cover, Other Cool

Dear America…

A Poem for Peace in America

indexI don’t know who you are or what you do.
I don’t know the colour of your skin,
Or what elevates you,
Or makes you cry,
On warm summer nights,
when the rain falls softly ,
And the coyotes dance in the field
Soft dew sliding down the side of the places you dwell.
I just know we have all danced in this rain.

I don’t know what food tastes like on your tongue,
Or the heat of a kiss on your lips.
I don’t know what it was like for you to hold a child,
And see the eternal quiet in limpid pools of dark blue newness.
I just know we all have seen this.

I don’t know what it felt like for you,
When your heart was broken
And you thought you couldn’t live another day
With the one taken away by the grief of change
I just know we have all had our hearts break.

I don’t know what compels you
To follow harsh and hating men
Who bring you further from what you seek.
All you really know it is only love,
But your mind has become foggy
Crazy
Insane.
Only re-membering (reassembling indeed!)
Can cure what ails us .
I don’t know what has made your heart black
I just know that’s not the Truth.

I know that we all wake up in the morning
Looking for our first comfort
In a companion or a book
Or a cup of tea.
I know we all want thiswith caralin an dbill and sara in Old Orchard beach.
The Peaceful knowing of a safe landing
For the mind and heart.
We need food in our fridge
Shelter over our heads
Friends and family
I do know that you want this.

Please allow me
To offer unsolicited advice;

Turn away from the things
that make your heart say no to me
Or him or her or anyone.
We are you.
And know that bliss and joy and passion and
Having a deep romance with everything that is alive
is your absolute birthright.
It is your path
It was made just for you.
You deserve it.

Remember to see your self
Your SELF
In all those that you oppose.
And then forgive your own trespasses
Don’t wait for some fictional deity
To wave a magical wand over your soul
The soul is YOUR ONLY business.

 

Say yes to the foggy mornings223091_156393474751794_6878518120718011651_n
Skies cascading with sparkling singing geese
The peaceful smiles
The friends and love.
And like a warrior be diligent!
Turn your back and mind and heart and all your parts
On the purveyors of dismal thoughts.

The ones who love you are waiting!
They are your ally – your gift
They are here to show you who you are
Be grateful! And follow their lead
Towards what you know has always called you;
Home.

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