The Pope and Polarization

Polarization is not a political problem.  It is a human one.

As this nation turns into something just short of “armed camps” against one another… black vs. white; rich vs poor; left vs. right; Republican vs. Democrat; Trump vs. #NeverTrump; straight vs. LGBT etc., there is its global counterpart. Russia vs. the U.S.; Democracy vs Socialism; Muslim vs. Christian and now, the old canard and ultimate absurdity…the New Testament vs the Old Testament (the Torah).

In Italy, there is growing concern with the Pope’s use of verbiage and catch phrases that harken back to a time that preceded the progress made in closing the gap between Christianity and its predecessor, Judaism.

Rabbi Giuseppe Laras, the former chief rabbi of Milan, has written an open letter to the Pope expressing what he and many others have been feeling about statements by the Pope.

“The biblical dichotomy between Old and New Testaments, Laras argues, signals “the resumption of the old polarization between the morality and theology of the Hebrew Bible and of Pharisaism, and Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospels.”

The rabbi also underscored the Church’s “embracing of Islam, which is all the stronger as the Christian side is more critical toward Judaism, now including even the Bible and biblical theology.” He also identified an undercurrent “of resentment, intolerance, and annoyance on the Christian side toward Judaism.”

How absurd it is that religious belief and the institutions it has spawned, should become the disseminators of the disease of polarization. Polarization spawns fear of the “other” and it is this fear which allows the few to remain in control by pledging to dominate, control or eradicate the opposing force.

Power by the few over the many is as old as recorded human history. And for all that time there has been a yearning by individuals to throw off the yoke of such control and live as we were created to live: sovereign and autonomous.

Yet, when so many aspects of our global persona are at figurative and literal war with one another, we have lost our inherent sense of oneness and succumbed to the manipulators of fear. Our misperception is what enables them to continue their control.

Only with the realization that whether it be by governmental or religious institutions, no human being was ever created to be held captive by or subservient to another…will we be set free. Only by refusing to be manipulated into intolerance of others to the point that their mere existence becomes the basis for our fears and the justification for our hatreds…will our eyes be opened to truth of oneness.

I respect the right of anyone to choose a path to God other than the one I choose. What I do not respect are religious leaders who use their bully pulpits to spread a political or biased agenda that moves people in the direction of slavery to antiquated thinking.

There are no secrets to power. There is only each individual’s awakening to the truth of free will, which is much more than a religious precept. It is the right of every human being to think for themselves and, by so doing, create a world where creativity trumps control and where polarization is an extinct concept replaced with tolerance.

There is but one unifying principle and one testament:  Love.

Carole

Slavery in America

The black population of Milwaukee is the best example I’ve ever seen of being caught between a rock and a hard place.

slavery

Milwaukee is the 7th poorest city in America. Its unemployment rate among African Americans is 37%. The last time Milwaukee had a Republican mayor was 1908. Yes, 1908. Since then, it has had either Democrat or Socialist mayors. I don’t use the term Socialist loosely. I mean mayors who ran as Socialists.  For 38 of those 108 years the mayors were Socialists.

Now in both theory and practice, there is very little difference between the policies of Democrats and Socialists. Both believe in the collective over the individual. Both believe in massive government programs. Both believe in dis-empowering the individual by keeping them dependent upon 1) the belief that they cannot make it without government assistance and 2) that it is the responsibility of the rich to give up their earned wealth to those who have less and for government to mandate that redistribution.

The effect of 108 years of Democrat/Socialist administration has brought poverty, dis-empowerment and rage to Milwaukee.

Why?

It is human nature to feel good about personal power. It is human nature to feel free to chart one’s own course in life. It is human nature to resent dependency and to feel anger at who, or what, perpetuates dependency.

Progressivism and Socialism are the mainstays of the modern Democrat party. In fact, Hillary Clinton defines herself as “an early 20th century Progressive.” What this means is that she advocates for the very programs that cause outcomes, dependency and dis-empowerment, which run counter to human nature.

Food stamps, Section 8 housing, ObamaPhones, ObamaMoney, endless unemployment income not tied to re-training or efforts to seek employment…these and more keep people, particularly African Americans, dependent upon the very people who falsely claim to be helping them.  And those kept dependent will hate those who give them “things” while denying them the opportunity to become independent and earn their own way in the world. You cannot give enough things to people who are enslaved to get them to like you. However, apparently you can give them enough to get them to vote for you.

This is the “rock and the hard place” between which the poor of Milwaukee finds themselves. They are not alone. The 10 poorest cities in America — Detroit, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Miami, St. Louis, El Paso, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Newark – have all had Democrat mayors from 27 to 108 years!!  They continue to believe the fiction and the lies that their masters tell them and then rely upon those lies to re-elect those masters.

If the language sounds like slavery…well it is. This pattern is modern-day Progressive, institutionalized, slavery as sure as the slavery of the plantations of the pre-Civil War South.

I was never a registered Republican. But I am a Conservative because Conservatives believe in the power of the individual. They are not hard-of-heart nor do they believe that everyone must fend for themselves. They simply believe that those who truly cannot fend for themselves should be helped first by fellow citizens through local communities and houses of worship before responsibility for such assistance falls to government, as a last resort.

Conservatives understand that a person would rather learn to fish than be given a fish…would rather a hand-up than a hand-out. Once you assist someone in standing on their own two feet you empower them.  But when you make someone reliant upon you, when you reinforce a false belief that they cannot make it on their own or somehow need fixing because in some way they are broken…that person will resent you for the condescension and, in the long haul, hate you for the crippling effects of your misguided caring.

This is the rage of Milwaukee. This is the rage of Black Lives Matter. This is the natural and deadly end result of the Progressive approach to government.

The solution to the rage boiling to the surface in our cities is personal empowerment. It is an end to LBJ’s futile and fictitious War on Poverty to be replaced by a Rush to Empowerment. It is the lifting of the veil of illusion that government programs designed to keep people minimally fed and sparingly housed will lead to anything other than cultural paralysis and uncontrolled rage.

We can solve this. But in order to do so we have to, as with any enemy, call it by its name. Its motto is Social Justice. Its goal is slavery.

Its name is Progressivism.

Carole

The Dream of Communism

Decades ago I had the opportunity to travel to Russia. It was still the Soviet Union at that time and not a favorite vacation spot for many in the Free World (except, of course Bernie Sanders who chose to honeymoon there!). But, my opportunity was part of a package sea/land tour through Scandinavia and what is referred to as the “North Cape” which happened to include an overland trip to Moscow and Leningrad and so I booked the tour.

RussiaFlag

I distinctly recall the distress my travel plans caused for my maternal Grandfather and Grandmother who had each escaped Russia and Poland respectively, as little children…my grandfather being a stowaway on a boat that crossed the Atlantic.  “Grandpop” as I called him, sat me down and with tears in his eyes said, “Carole, why do you want to go back? We fought so hard to get out.”

No matter how I explained that “times had changed” and that as a lover of travel this was all quite exciting to me, he remained sad and uneasy until I left…and until I returned home.

My experience in Russia was not what I imagined. My Visa was stamped with a “j” for Jew and those of us who were Jewish on the tour were segregated out away from the others at times and treated royally…along with the oft repeated explanation, “See how well we treat our Jews!”  Despite these assurances, a Russian woman cashier at a market refused to check me out when she saw the Star of David on a chain around my neck. She indicated she didn’t want my money.

Despite what you may think, this isn’t a  post about anti-Semitism. As we exited the Soviet Union after three days of touring, we were given the option of either flying back to Copenhagen where the ship was docked or taking a side trip to Hamburg, Germany. I didn’t need to think about it for a second. I bypassed Hamburg and headed straight for Denmark.

I had seen enough Communism and Socialism in the Soviet Union in three days to last me a lifetime.

When we landed in Copenhagen, having flown out Aeroflot, the Russian state-owned airline, I disembarked from the WWII surplus plane and, at the bottom of the stairs…and the feet of two Russian stewardesses, got down on my knees and kissed the ground in Denmark.

Moscow had been oppressive. The people and the city were “grey.” The city was grey with pollution. The people were grey with oppression. Food was scarce. People whispered questions to us about what life was like in the United States. We were watched and guarded everywhere we went. Red Square was “closed for renovations” and my request to visit the Summer Palace of Tsar Nicholas and Tsarista Alexandra was denied. One of the novels that had been in my suitcase entering the country and taken by a custom’s officer was never returned.  Women in grey “babushkas” sat atop huge tractors in Moscow repaving streets.

Yes, I had seen enough Communism and Socialism to last me a lifetime.

So imagine my wonder at all the people who were rallying and supporting Bernie Sanders and who have segued to yet another Socialist, Hilary Clinton. In fact, an entire Democrat Party that champions Socialist values and governance.

Such misguidance can only come from 1) misinformation; 2) lack of direct experience or 3) illusion. Perhaps all three.

Communism and Socialism have never worked and never will. They subsume the rights of the individual to the will of the collective for the benefit of the few. Nowhere can you point to their success. Yet, millions of young Americans have been sold a bill of goods and even brainwashed through revisionist history controlled throughout public education and, in the case of higher education, by the deadly combination of Leftist academics and foreign money.

We are a people adrift because we have untied ourselves from the anchor. That anchor is the U.S. Constitution.  Without it, we are cut off from the governing principles and constraints that have made this the most remarkable, however brief, experiment in individual liberty ever to have graced this planet.

No, we are not a perfect Union. But the words in the Preamble to the Constitution express the “why” of that effort: “In order to make a more perfect Union…”  We were not perfect and we weren’t claiming we could be perfect. But brave men and women had risked “their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor” for the right to try. And so they did.

Now, having come so far, on the backs of so many, we seem to have lost sight of greatness and devolved to a place where Clinton, Trump, Progressivism, and Socialism (Communism light) are our highest goals and the highest good.

Grandpop escaped. I went back out of naiveté. Our nation is going there by submission to the lowest common denominators. I’m glad my Grandfather isn’t here to see the precious opportunity he risked his life for being destroyed through willful ignorance and traded away for government promises that enslave and the illusion of protections that eventually become prisons.

Carole

How To Overcome Fear

You can be made to physically torture your friend.

Fear1

If you think that assertion is impossible then you’ve never heard of the Milgram Experiment.

In 1963, a Yale psychologist, Stanley Milgram, devised an experiment in an attempt to show the difference between Germans and Americans as it pertained to acquiescence and obedience in performing the kinds of grotesque acts made known during the 1961 Nuremberg War Criminals trial of Nazi SS Officer Adolph Eichmann.

Milgram set out to discover if the Germans were psychologically and culturally inclined towards obedience in simply following orders, as had been the common explanation for the German populace’s general permitting of, and participating in, the atrocities of the Nazi regime.

Milgram’s findings were shocking and deeply disturbing; but, for the purpose of understanding our current circumstances, they are also enlightening.

What Milgram found was that if two people who knew each other were physically separated and unable to view one another, and one was directly under the control of an authority figure, that individual could be directed to torture the third party in ever increasing increments even to the point of death.

So why is this half-century old experiment instructive?

People who crave power, wealth and control have always sought newer and better ways of manipulating and enslaving the masses of humanity who wind up doing the “heavy lifting,” thus allowing for an elite segment of the population in every generation to prosper at the expense of the many. Our generation is no exception.

The newest and to-date most effective delivery system for affecting this end is the Internet. Government, in cooperation with the media, are able to rapidly disseminate the facts of their choosing, generally misinformation or disinformation, to a public that consumes this information with little to no critical thinking. But this fact alone would not achieve the intended outcome were it not for two additional components.

First is the fact that what the government and the media disseminate, generally, are fear-based memes. These are ideas that are intended to confuse, conflate, and overwhelm for the purpose of generating a climate of fear.  Fear is the best mechanism of control. Fearful people are desperate people who will seek any means to alleviate their desperation. The most common means of choice is anger. An angry person acts on offense by striking out at another rather than owning their own voluntary submission to fear. It’s always easier to blame someone else rather than take responsibility for one’s own action or inaction.

The second fact is that the Internet allows for anonymous anger in all its gradations…frustration, aggression, rage, hate and vitriol.  This is the key to why and how Milgram’s findings are relevant and helpful if we are to alter our current trajectory.

Vitriolic hate speech is now everywhere on the internet. It has escalated exponentially during this election cycle. I do not believe it began with Mr. Trump. I believe he is the inevitable result of what was surreptitiously begun decades ago by the Progressive (Socialist) movement and which reached its zenith during the Obama administration, as our President began to make targeted and unveiled attacks upon his political opponents.

Two such examples are the President’s mocking of the Tea Party, a single issue political organization that simply sought a revision of the tax code. Yet, Obama thought nothing of mocking them in derisive and divisive language (“Tea Baggers”) or, in his speech to LaRaza saying, “We are going to punish our enemies and reward our friends” when referring to political opponents of his policies. This type of demonizing and divisive speech brought out of the closet, and sanctioned at the highest level, permission to get personal and condescending with one’s opponents.

When you combine theses three factors 1) the quest for control by fear-based means; 2) internet anonymity and, 3) permission to hate one’s adversaries you have created an environment where a Donald Trump can rise to the level of Presidential candidate and thereby make it permissible for anyone to openly express their fear, and ensuing anger, by way of personal attack and hate speech.

My point is not about for whom you should vote. My point is about taking back control of your own mind, jettisoning fear-based behavior, and realizing that you are being used. I realize that doing that is only half the problem. The harder part is what to do once that’s accomplished.

When I was in law school I had a run-in with a Professor who tried to have me removed from the school. He had a history of harassing students and then, through misuse of his power, frightening them into performing certain favors for him that were outside the scope of the professor/student relationship.  One particular semester he set his sights on me. He intimidated and frightened first year students into doing his bidding or, in the alternative, suffering the consequences of his threats. While this pattern of behavior had been successful for him in the past, I was older than the average first year student and refused to comply.

He filed a formal grievance against me conjuring up false accusations. Rather than submit to his established position of power, I hired a Constitutional attorney to represent me in the hearing on his petition. After protracted hearings, the hearing judicial body concluded that 1) I had done nothing wrong, and, 2) that I should none-the-less offer him a public apology. When I inquired of the panel why was an apology in order for a finding of no wrongdoing they refused to provide the basis yet formalized their finding. I refused.

As a consequence, my graduation date from law school was delayed a year as I had to 1) make up his course in summer session which was the only time the required course was taught by a professor other than him and 2) I became so ill as a result of what I had gone through that I was out sick for one year with a stress related disease before I could return and complete my law school education.

Shortly after I returned to school following my illness, another Professor Emeritus, of national renown, summoned me into his office. He offered me a deal. He said that if I never spoke outside the school of what had occurred, he would allow me to do an extra-credit paper for him for which he would give me the three credits I had missed in having to drop out of the other Professor’s course following the hearings.  When I asked him why it was contingent upon my not speaking of the incident outside the school, his reply was that “you are about to enter a very select profession and we don’t tell on our own.”

There I was studying Socrates, and the most honored legalistic principles humankind had ever created, and one of the icons of that profession was trying to bribe me into keeping silent the shame of this higher institution of learning and by so doing violate the very ethics it was teaching. I refused his offer of a deal.

Fear didn’t work on me. Yes, I paid a price in delaying my graduation. But I retained my ethics, my dignity and my truth. It was a price I’d pay again any day.

Perhaps it’s because I was raised by a father who taught me, by example, that authority, in and of itself, is not to be honored. That respect is earned not freely given. Or perhaps it’s because there is something in my nature that hungers for justice and ethical behavior.  To some extent, it’s probably a combination of both.

More importantly, and of greater influence, is my belief that we are all autonomous beings with the ability to know truth and rightful action if only we demand of ourselves the courage of our convictions.  Without a belief in autonomy and the courage to stand for it in the face of fear, we are all 1940 Germans turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the subtle, and not so subtle, atrocities that surround us.

In the Milgram Experiment there were only two participants who, as the voltage of the electric shocks escalated, adamantly refused to inflict more pain. All the other participants deferred to authority, however abhorrent. Which would we have been?

I am certain of my answer. Do you know yours?

Carole

 

Hate Works Until It Doesn’t

Michelle Obama, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders incite violence.

divideThe only difference between their respective deliveries is that Trump is overt while Obama and Sanders are covert. If not exactly covert, then let’s just say that the First Lady and Senator Sanders are more nuanced than Mr. Trump.

The examples of Donald Trump inciting violence are fairly easy to identify. When, for example, he speaks at a campaign stop to thousands of people and encourages them to “beat the s—t out of” a protestor…it’s a pretty clear cut case of inciting violence. He has repeatedly taken heat from the media and his opponents for statements such as those as he spews forth variations of them fairly frequently and without abandon. You cannot encourage someone else to be blatantly violent, commit an assault and battery, then disavow that you incited it.

Less overt, but as damaging, is the approach used by Bernie Sanders and Michelle Obama. They prefer conveying ideas, both truthful and deceitful, that are known triggers which carry strong emotional charges for certain people or groups.  This approach is more psychologically subtle but no less violent in its outcome.

Today, Mrs. Obama spoke at City College in New York. In this speech she said the following:  “It’s the story that I witness every single day when I wake up in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful black young women, head off to school, waving goodbye to their father, the president of the United States; the son of a man from Kenya who came here to America for the same reasons as many of you: to get an education and improve his prospects in life.”

Mrs. Obama lives an extraordinary luxurious life. Some would say to excess. Yet she never misses an opportunity to pour salt in a national wound well on its way to being healed prior to her husband’s Presidency. She invokes slavery as the root (no pun intended) cause of her personal suffering in having to live in the White House.  (As for her husband’s father, well, there’s a much broader and more damning picture of the man than she selectively chose to give).

Apart from the division and anger her “White House built by slaves” reference causes, it’s also not quite true.  The White House main residence, as well as foundations of the house, were built largely by enslaved and free African-American laborers, as well as employed Europeans. Much of the other work on the house was performed by immigrants, many not yet with citizenship. [Emphasis added].

The first Lady’s selective knowledge (available to anyone on Wikipedia) serves her agenda, which is to continue to bear the resentment she feels towards her country…and to make certain she keeps that resentment alive in others.

Bernie Sanders is a lifelong theoretical Socialist (leaning heavily towards Communist) who in hypocritical fashion lives quite the capitalist life. When inciting his followers, his ideas are expressed within a context of one who sees the Unites States, and those who treasure its uniqueness, as blight upon the world and the major contributor to its suffering. And while Sanders accuses Trump of “literally inciting violence among his supporters” Sanders himself has no qualms in his speeches about turning all those who support capitalism and free markets into boogeymen who his mostly young and idealistic followers then feel justified in railing against and beating up…as they did yesterday outside the Trump event in San Jose.

Like the sins of omission and commission in Catholicism, there are direct and less direct ways to spread hatred and incite violence. Donald Trump’s style may be the most easily identifiable but it is by no means the only game in town.

This is not a pitch for Hillary Clinton. She participates in a different kind of evil. It’s just that in this season of inciting hatred, she’s an amateur by comparison…hardly worth a mention here.

The real harm, whether the incitement is overt or covert, is to the nation in ways as yet beyond the grasp of most people motivated by the divisive and hateful rhetoric. The real harm is that the turning upon one another starts slowly, and in isolated venues, but it will end with neighbor against neighbor. It will end with us cannibalizing ourselves at the altar of hate and all for the benefit of the very few who seek riches by any means, control at any price and power by way of brutality.

The caution is very old.  In Mark 3:25 it says, “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

There are people in both parties who know the power of that caution and they are using it against you to advance their own agenda. Your well being is of no concern to them. They are selfish, self-absorbed, egotistical people lusting for power. Some wear custom-made $5000 suits; some were ties stained with their last meal and some wear couture dresses. So long as you continue to think there is a difference between them is how long you will allow their agenda to divide you from your fellow citizens, people you have more in common with than not, and to feel baseless hatred of them for no real reason.

Carole

The Trashing of Beck

Here I go again.

Shut up

 

I can hardly believe how many posts I have written in defense of Glenn Beck.  They haven’t been so much about the man as about the obviously coordinated and escalating efforts to discredit him and silence his voice. My concerns go way beyond Mr. Beck. He is but the platform from which I continue to launch my grave concerns for honest journalism, free speech and our nation’s future.

Decades ago I visited the then Soviet Union. I took photos of much of what I saw and, shortly after returning home, had an African-American repairman at my home for a service call on an appliance. As I sat in a nearby room reviewing my slides, he overheard the presentation I was putting together for a community meeting. From his vantage point, he was able to view the slides as well. He suddenly interrupted me and asked “Where were you. It looks and sounds awful!” To which I replied, “I was in the Soviet Union. You know, no matter how much racism you may experience here in the United States, on any given day you can stand on any street corner and proclaim the injustice of that racism and no one will come and arrest you. This is not true elsewhere in the world.”

It really doesn’t matter what you think of Mr. Beck, his political preferences or his opinions on anything for that matter. What matters is that he not be precluded from voicing them. You see, the effort to silence Glenn Beck is but a first step, a prelude to a more expansive effort to silence any speech that those in power decide is antithetical to their agenda.

Our Founders were indisputably brilliant and foresighted individuals. Their thoughts and discussions memorialized in the Federalist Papers underlying the ratification of the Constitution evidence the depth and scope to which they anticipated the then current and, to the best of their ability, future needs of the nation. They had lived under governance where such freedom was prohibited and punished. It was their experience that the inhibition of speech was for the purpose of preventing the people from organizing for “peaceable assembly” and when necessary, “petitioning the Government for a redress of grievances.”

So bitter was the taste of King George’s ability to silence the free expression of ideas, that the Founders made it an absolute right placing it squarely in the Constitution’s First Amendment. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

I’ll tell you why the coordinated harassment and punishment (by SiriusXM meted out this week) of Glenn Beck is the flash point for me on this fundamental right. It’s because history is a great teacher and reliable indicator of the worst of human behavior.

In January 1946, Protestant pastor and social activist Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller gave a sermon in Frankfurt, Germany. In it he warned of the catastrophic danger of silence in the face of evil. He was citing the silence and lack of push back by German society, as a whole, when Hitler first came for and silenced the communists. If you were not a communist you were not at risk, so the majority of German citizenry said and did nothing.  But the silencing and killing of the communists quickly morphed into the same ends for social democrats, trade unionists, Jews, homosexuals, the handicapped, gypsies…literally anyone who believed or spoke out in ways that were antithetical to the Nazi agenda.

This is the harbinger that the oppression and hunting of Glenn Beck foretells.

It is worse than irresponsible, for those of us who understand the intention of the Founders to create a society wherein every individual is free to express even the most noxious ideas, to remain silent. It is a total and complete abdication of our responsibility as citizens of the most remarkable experiment in liberty ever to grace this planet. Speak now or we will perhaps, for all time, lose this precious fundamental right to speak truth as we perceive it to be.

Yes, Glenn Beck is the first but he will not be the last. You and I will.

 

Carole

Silencing Speech

“Let’s keep our voices down.”

Keep Quiet

A good friend of mine was visiting me last week in Austin. As we leisurely sat conversing in a local bar, he made the above statement. It seems he didn’t want anyone to hear our conversation. Our crime? Talking about Natural law.

What is natural Law?

Natural law is defined as a philosophy that certain rights or values are inherent by virtue of human nature and universally cognizable through human reason. Historically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze both social and personal human nature to deduce binding rules of moral behavior. The law of nature, being determined by nature is universal.

We live in a time when many people are discontented with what Natural Law has offered them – especially as it relates to the LBGT community, so my friend wanted to keep our conversation as private as possible. As he went on to say, “There are some things no longer allowed to be said in public.” You see, he works in the technology field where having an opinion contrary to support of homosexuality, gay marriage or global warming can adversely affect his career prospects.

We now live in a day and age when simply expressing an opinion different than the prevailing “wisdom” can land you in the poor house.

This movement to restrict speech is specially prevalent on college campuses.  There, students are demanding “safe zones.” A safe zone is essentially a zone where people will support and help each other and where no conflicting points of view are allowed. It has gotten to the point that Yale University  is considering a campus ban on the First Amendment in order to create “safe zones” for students. The point of these zones is that students won’t have to hear anything that will disturb their sensibilities.

At Yale it began when Yale Professor Nicholas Christakis sent out an email to students in advance of Halloween suggesting that they shouldn’t be overly sensitive about costumes.  He further encouraged the students to be tolerant and avoid trying to censor expression. For this, Professor Christakis had the pleasure of being screamed at by Yale students for his insensitivity.

Needless to say, it is disturbing to an increasing number of people that free speech is being stifled or, in some cases, even prohibited.  This trend began when the culture allowed itself to go down the road of Political Correctness. Political Correctness prohibits a whole slew of words and phrases that are no longer allowed expression in the public domain.  We no longer use the term “Black”…but instead must use African-American.  Illegal immigrants are simply immigrants, lest we offend. The permissive use of some words while banning others has caused massive confusion in the workplace and legal profession as well.

A few years back, I was friendly with a financial advisor, Eric, who was from Jamaica but worked in our California office. There had been numerous complaints within the company about about office policies. Finally, a lawsuit was filed against the firm by its employees. A large number of African-American employees were suing over what were alleged to be discriminatory practices. In particular, the issue was how and to whom accounts were referred out. Eric was part of the lawsuit. When I asked him how was it possible that he was involved in the case he just laughed.  He said ” Steve, get with the times. You and I both know that I am from Jamaica; but, here in the U.S. I am seen as an African-American because I am black.” He laughed because he knew that what I was questioning was a legitimate issue. However, once all blacks were reclassified as African-Americans, Eric knew he could jump on board (and gravy train) of the class action lawsuit.

On numerous occasions, a good friend of mine has told me that he feels the Left’s ultimate goal is the annihilation of free speech. He argues that, toward that end, the Left was smart in establishing dominance in the Arts.  Since since the 1960’s, there has been a dramatic assault upon traditional American values by way of  television and film. The intention has been to mock and denigrate American values. In T.V., it is virtually impossible to find a show that reaffirms the American family or American values. This relentless assault has taken its toll.

The Left was able to market its lower standards and, dare I say, filth claiming their protection of free speech. Now, with the culture conquered, the Left attacks the Right with censorship, politically correct language and safe zones.  Given the Left’s control of the arts, the only way conservative projects get done these days is usually by independent means. Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ was totally self funded because Hollywood studios did not want to finance the film. Seems a bit strange that with over 240 million Christians in the U.S, Hollywood would not want to fund a movie about Jesus.

In fact, this double standard is a classically Progressive approach that can be seen in taxation as well.  Once the Left gets rich, they want to shut the door on everyone coming up behind them.  Once wealthy, Leftists, avail themselves of the same tax loopholes for the rich they complained of on the way up… while creating economic policies that unduly burden the middle class with paying for more and more ineffective big government programs championed the Left…making it harder and harder for others to climb their own way up the economic ladder.

The fact is that if We The People don’t start pushing back and expressing our beliefs on controversial topics, using language that is accurate and truthful, albeit offensive to some, then we are all doomed. The Left has done a remarkable job at silencing dissent against the things they believe in; but, be assured this is just a prelude to a time when all dissent will be silenced.

Just today, SiriusXM radio “suspended” The Glenn Beck Program for one week pending a reevaluation of its propriety and acceptability because fiction author Brad Thor was on Beck’s show last week where he posited a hypothetical proposition which some people interpreted as calling for the assassination of a potentially dictatorial future President serving with an impotent Congress.  The hypothetical (read as: “make believe”) proposition was subject to interpretation; yet, it has ended in the convenient smack down of a personality many Progressives from both parties, quite frankly, hate.

While censorship and censure of Beck may not concern you, Protestant Pastor Martin Niemoller’s oft quoted words should:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Twelve million died and, apparently, we learned nothing.

 

Steve

Carole (contributing blogger to this post)

sleeclark@gmail.com

 

What’s Real?

We humans draw an arbitrary line between the literal and the figurative.

Reality

Figuratively living in two worlds is something most people can wrap their minds around. Literally living in two worlds is quite another matter. While the former seems plausible, the latter does not. It’s appears to be a paradoxical statement.

Yet life is paradox personified.

This week Rabbi Daniel Lapin, author, public speaker and head of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, posited that we no longer live in “one nation, under God, indivisible…” He observed that we are, in fact, a nation divided. The dividing line, Rabbi Lapin continued, is between those who are grounded in the Constitution with certainty in the undeniable part which Judeo-Christian values played in the founding of this nation, and those whose faith is solely in statism with the resulting belief that the Constitution is a relic from a bygone era that needs to be updated or ignored altogether.  While Rabbi Lapin presented his view as a literal reality, one could argue that it can also be seen as a figurative attempt to identify the cause and effect of the conflicts and challenges we as a nation are currently experiencing. So is Rabbi Lapin’s division figurative or literal?

I have personally experienced this dilemma most of my life. As a trained lawyer, I experience, rationally and logically, a fact-based world. However, as a natural Intuitive, I experience another reality that is just as “real” and just as manifest in my life. Until recently, I kept them separate because of both my inability to coalesce the two combined with society’s propensity to characterize one as fact and the other as fiction.

Those days are over.

The nation is divided and we are living in two worlds. Whether you use the words “literal” or “figurative” matters not. What matters is that you can choose to live in whichever “world” you want and your choice will determine your reality. How does this work? Let’s take the example of a divided nation.

If you think the Constitution is the founding and indispensable basis for the United States, and that its principles are inviolate, then you will draw to you and feel a kinship with like-minded people. You and these people combined create a world (a/k/a/ a reality) that is a manifestation of what you think. You may be small or large in number; but, the world you create will none-the-less be one in which this belief prevails and becomes the factual basis for your external reality.

If, however, you believe that statism is the answer, and the larger the government the better the result, those who proceed with this thinking will follow the same process as those who do not but with an opposite end result. Like-minded people will be drawn together to create a reality based upon what has been put into that particular belief system.

Until the recent past, the commonly marketed meme was that wherever the greater numbers coalesced is where, and what, the reality was based upon. If more people believed in statism than the Constitution and God, then the nation’s governance would be the product of statist principles.  It was a forgone conclusion.

The problem with this conclusion is that a close examination of history proves it false.  Jesus, Gandhi, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King…these were individuals with certainty of mind and passion of heart who, at first aligned with a few others, created realities that defied the commonly held meme of their time.

It’s not about the numbers. It’s about certainty and passion. Look at the successes of ISIS, Trump or Bernie Sanders. Without making a judgment here on the any of those, they are present day examples of the power of creation founded and grounded in certainty and passion.

So it turns out, literal and figurative are relative terms. Perhaps it is even more accurate to say they are irrelevant terms.

What is relevant is what type of world, what reality, do you choose to live in? How focused are you on that which you seek to create? How emotionally engaged are you to that creation? Stop worrying about whom else agrees or sees it your way. Care not about the numbers. Care less about how “realistic” your view is to others or the odds of it becoming a reality.

The odds against Creation were astronomical (no pun intended). But a force emerged with singularity of focus and no concept of anything other than its intention.

Now it’s your turn.

 

Carole

Bill Gates’s Biggest Regret

It’s a somewhat shocking regret. Bill Gates regrets that early on in the development of Microsoft he resisted hiring lobbyists. Apple’s Steve Jobs made no such error.

regret

When I first heard what Gates said I immediately thought of the disparate lives and alliances of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. If you’re unfamiliar with the politics of one or both both of these men, here’s the abbreviated version.

Tesla, inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist and futurist is best known for having discovered alternating current (AC). He was backed and financed by entrepreneur George Westinghouse and Westinghouse Electric Company. Edison, inventor and businessman, is best known for inventing the light bulb and phonograph. He was backed and financed by Edison General Electric, which came into being in 1889 as a result of a merger spearheaded by J.P. Morgan’s Drexel, Morgan & Co.

What do Tesla and Edison have to so with Gates and Jobs?

While a great many people recognize the names Thomas Edison and General Electric, the same cannot be said about Nikola Tesla and Westinghouse (although Elon Musk has certainly brought “Tesla” into vogue). The reason for our “education” into the first two and not the latter is, arguably, politics.

General Electric was, and still is, a highly “political” corporation that established a relationship with the federal government that persists to this day. In case you doubt that just look at what happened in 2008. Over a period of several weeks, GE borrowed $16 billion by selling commercial paper through the Federal Reserve. While such purchases (short-term IOU’S) are not uncommon for companies like GE in order to fund daily operations, at that time the credit crisis had begun and private markets were frozen as a result. And that was just a snapshot of the collusion between GE and the government. In fact, GE did not initially even qualify for the any of the bailout programs it utilized but after lobbying by the company and assistance from then the secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson, the FDIC changed the eligibility rules and GE was accepted.

(As you finished reading that last sentence you may have heard Bill Gates’s greatest regret about not having hired lobbyists echoing in your ears).

Edison and GE understood, as did Jobs and Apple, the benefits, perks and power inherent in aligning with government and using lobbyists to court and payoff politicians. Which is why the federal government’s Department of Education authorizes text books that teach about Edison not Tesla and why, in 2014, GE ranked among the Fortune 500 as the 6th-largest firms in the U.S.  and the 14th most profitable. As of 2012 the company was listed the fourth-largest in the world among the Forbes Global 2000,

Oh, there is a Westinghouse Corporation of today that flourishes as a global nuclear power company; but, it was founded in 1999.  George Westinghouse‘s Westinghouse Electric, founded in 1886, ceased to exist due to a series of mergers. It ceased to exist because Westinghouse didn’t play the same corrupt game as GE. As for Tesla, he believed with every fiber of his being, that energy was free and able to be extracted, or harnessed, from the very air itself. He worked toward revealing that process until his death. Imagine how freaked out the powers that be were at the thought of free energy for every citizen to access without government control or profit!

So Edison’s reputation and “celebrity” survive today as does GE’s profitability and near zero payment in federal taxes. Tesla’s notoriety and accomplishments, by comparison, are in relative obscurity but for those who self-educate and Westinghouse…well you have the picture by now.

Let’s fast forward. We’re about to elect a new President.

Even if we take the most cynical view that every one of the current candidates is an establishment politician and political insider it does not alleviate us of the responsibility to none-the-less make our choice.  While certain candidates entrenchment is more patently obvious than others (Hillary Clinton more so than Donald Trump), they they have all emerged out of a broken system that is at least 150 years in the breaking.

My suggestion is that each of us voters looks beyond the self-serving labels these candidates give themselves, beyond the rhetoric and puffing and looks instead to the issues and solutions that they identify and propose. Because in the end it will still be the power brokers, in and out of government, who move and shake the economy and foreign policy. At least if we refuse to allow ourselves to be conned by such things as a bumper sticker (“Hope and Change”) or a slogan (“Make American Great Again”) and instead, pull that lever or punch that chad based upon policies and principles… we’ll have a prayer.

If enough of us refuse to play the game, if enough of us start to make informed decisions, if enough of us stop rewarding the crooks and ignoring the patriots we have a chance of creating a future where the nice guys finish first…not last.

Carole

contact@carolegold.com

Exodus from Materialism

Tonight begins the Passover. It is the ageless story of release from bondage. As I prepare to align my mind and heart with this theme, I cannot help being struck by how much the story and its message is ours for the taking… if only we are not too blind to see and too unconscious to care.

 

Exodus

There are many types of enslavement. Surely we can be enslaved physically as the Hebrews were to Pharaoh. This part of the lesson is well known. But the Hebrews were enslaved in another way. Their consciousness had become enslaved in much the same way as our consciousness is today. They were enslaved to the materialism that was ancient Egypt and they had become dependent upon Pharaoh for their livelihood, their sustenance and their protection.

So too, have we become enslaved to government. Our enslavement has never been clearer to me than during this election season.

Regardless of whether you look Left or Right, what you find thus far is that the voters are buying into, and passionately supporting, the candidates on both sides who are promising (both implicitly and explicitly) that they (Clinton/Trump) and it (government) will provide, protect and take care of our most basic needs. Their combined message is that they will give us “lots more free stuff” and they will “make us winners.” In exchange for free stuff and winning, we are apparently eager to relinquish the personal freedoms upon which this country was founded.

It does seem like a “great deal” for those in power; but, for the rest of us not so much.

We’ve been on this slippery slope of relinquishing our personal liberties for quite some time now. It didn’t start with this Administration, although President Obama certainly put the pedal to the metal. And this is where I think the Passover story of the Exodus is timely and instructive because, at some point, you’re just too far down the slope to ascend.

The back story to the Exodus is taught in Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism. Egypt was more than just a geographic location or a nation. It was a level of consciousness that represented total immersion in materialism. The ancient Hebrews had become so much a part of that consciousness that they were all but detached from their spiritual selves. The story of their rapid exit from Egypt, so rapid that the yeast in the bread “had no time to rise” wasn’t about bread and yeast at all.

In Kabbalah, it is taught that there are 50 levels of consciousness. At the 50th level you’re basically a rock. The enslaved consciousness of the ancient Hebrews was at the 49th level. Had they remained within “Egypt”…the consciousness of total materialism…there would have been no way for them to “ascend” back to a level of conscious awareness where they would have been able to connect with their spiritual selves and, by extension, God.

Hence the hurried exit and, relatively soon thereafter, the First Commandment.

When asked, most people will tell you the First Commandment is “I am the Lord your God.” Well, that’s half of it. In Hebrew it’s, “I am the Lord your G‑d, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

The Ten Commandments are the spiritual foundation upon which those of us who are of Judeo-Christian lineage are encouraged to live our lives/ So, then, that first one must be pretty important to remember. In that first commandment, God wasn’t just saying “I’m the One.” God was saying “I’m the One and remember that but for what I did for you, you’d be a rock.”

We were taken out of enslavement to materialism and the adherence to it that prevents us from achieving a connection to our higher selves and God.

Now, we are once again living in culture that has become enslaved to materialism. We know that it is both unsatisfying and wrong. Yet, with an opportunity to exercise the governmental equivalent of Free Will, our vote, we clamor for more “stuff” and less freedom…another Pharaoh and more slavery.

Pharaoh had the slaves build the pyramids on swamp land so no matter how hard they worked it all kept sinking so they had to come back the next day and do the same work again. Apple and the other gods of materialism make products that are obsolete by the time you figure out how to operate them so you need to buy the newest version. Keeping up isn’t only exhausting, its demoralizing.

Look around. The hour is late.  We’re at the 49th level. You don’t have to be a Jew this time. You have to be awake and have the courage to not go off the cliff with the others. As they’re heading for the cliff, you head for the desert.

Yes, I know. The desert looks dry with rugged terrain, while the view from the cliff is breathtaking. But I can promise you this: going over that cliff will, literally, take your breath away. Head out into the desert.

There you will find all that you’ve been looking for… and the breath of life.

 

Carole

contact@carolegold.com