Hate To The Left and Right of Us

I’ve never before re-posted a blog. But what follows is my post prior to the election of Donald Trump. It pains me to say it is more relevant since his election than before it. (Originally posted September 23, 2016).

My co-blogger, Steve Clark, texted me a link earlier today with the following comment: “This is what passes for journalism!” So, naturally, I had to click through.

love-and-hate

Where I landed was at GQ online and an article by, correspondent and author, Drew Magary titled, “If You Vote For Trump, Then Screw You.”  Creative and engrossing title, don’t you think?  Yeah, me neither. Not so much. But, in all fairness, and since I respect Steve, I read the article. So I fully understand Steve’s incredulity.

It’s an adolescent, vulgar, profanity-laced rant by…well, an adolescent. I’d say more about the “correspondent” but that sentence pretty much sums up space occupied by nine paragraphs of filth and unrestrained emotional immaturity. I’d much rather write about how Magary’s rant is symptomatic of something much larger.

We are a nation divided and that’s not a bad thing. From true diversity of thought comes new ideas. When it comes to problem solving, difference is the petri dish of creativity. The catch is that each side of the divide has to honor the differences of the other so that they can communicate and, hopefully, zero in on the merits of each others’ arguments. Name calling, accusation, disrespect, hyperbole…these are impediments to problem solving. All they do is cause the object of their slings and arrows to defend positions rather than remain open and receptive to possible solutions.

The real harm of the verbal filth spewed by Magary in his self-indulgent tirade is not done to Donald Trump. To give him credit for his honesty (evidenced by the article’s title) Magary makes his intention pretty clear. His hatred is directed at anyone who sees merit in the candidate or who would vote for him. So, Magary hates his fellow Americans who disagree with his particular political preference.

Where does such intolerance and narrowness of thought leave us?

If we take the Magary approach, close to half the country needs to hate the other half. To me, this is a bit like using your left arm to beat up your right arm if you have an irritation. While it may, in the moment, address a superficial and temporary annoyance, in the long run (and we need to think about the long run) you will have done serious damage to a part of you that needs to be functional and cooperative.

You see, there is only one of us. Yes, you read that correctly, There is only one of us. We are all branches on that one tree called humanity. It serves no one, and nothing, for us to treat one another as if harming someone else never comes back to harm us.  Hatred, whether its the fuel for Islamic terror or fuel for a so-called “correspondent”… is still hatred.  Hatred is a cancer of the soul and does as much damage,  perhaps more, to the host than it does to its intended object.

After all, there are only two emotions. Love and fear. Every negative emotion, including hate, is a derivative of fear. So in the end, the Drew Magarys of the world are afraid. Of what, I don’t know. But so much hate is really so much fear.

So, I would recommend that Drew Magary re-think what’s eating at him ( literally I might add) and perhaps understand that there are people out here who seriously disagree with him but who love him all the same.

The Answer To Suffering

A farmer and a blue collar worker were in line to vote last Tuesday. Someone overheard their conversation in which both were sharing that they had not had a good year financially since 2000. That’s 16 years. They were suffering and they were voting for Trump.

hope

I know a lot about suffering. It’s the same whether it’s an individual or the collective consciousness of a nation.  My knowledge and understanding comes from years of suffering depression which culminated in an attempted suicide at age 24. Individuals, like nations, who misplace hope and choose suicide as an option, don’t really want to die. Notice I said, “misplace” hope. Hope is never gone…but when suffering is prolonged enough and there seems no cure for its cause and no end in sight, hope gets obscured by the pain. And when the pain is bad enough, rational thought is cast aside for any solution, regardless of how irrational or self-destructive.

A person may choose suicide as a seemingly rational end to their suffering. But what does a nation filled with people who have misplaced hope do?

The seeds of national suicide were sprouting in 2008. Barack Obama, and the Democrats recognized this and so, knowing the nation was suffering, offered “Hope and Change”. They ignited the flame of hope that the nation was in need of and with that held out the promise of an end to the early stages of suffering. But the promise was empty and as time passed, the pain and suffering grew more intense.  With that increased pain, came a decreased optimism…hope…that there was a “cure” or light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, from 2008 until now, that light has been progressively (no pun intended) harder and harder to see.

Pain and suffering increased over the past eight years to the point that hope was obscured and with it rational thought.  What resulted was a populace who would, in its desperation, settle for giving the most powerful position in its nation to either a greedy thief or an egomaniacal illusionist. We chose the illusionist.

That is how a nation commits suicide.

My experience of attempted suicide taught me an invaluable lesson. It’s the certainty that hope always exists; it’s just up to us to have the patience and determination find it. Donald Trump will not save us for he was chosen in a period of national darkness. Whether he is well intentioned or not, there are those around him who recognized our perilous time of suffering and glammed on for the ride and for their own agendas, not for the national best interest.

When I was in the emergency room, I had an out of body experience. As they were pumping the drugs out of me, I was up in the corner of the room, looking down at what they were doing, and thinking, “Why don’t they let that body go?” At which point I “felt” a distant voice say, “You have to go back, Carole, you have work to do.”

Our nation is on that table. We are looking at it and wanting the suffering to stop and for the pain to go away. There are no guarantees. But this I know.

Hope exists if we are patient and determined to be the best we can be. No one will save us but for ourselves. Giving it over to someone else is an act of suicide. Its up to us to demand of ourselves personal accountability. Its up to us to demand of our government accountability to the founding principles. So, fellow citizens, we have to go back. There is work to do.

Carole Gold

 

Cultural Suicide

You can build the wall and still fail to protect the country.Self-destructhThere are two kinds of threat: external and internal.  If we build the wall, and monitor it properly, we can go a long way toward addressing the external threat. The internal threat is quite another matter. It’s less apparent, more difficult to counter and much more dangerous.

Terrorists, or anyone else, seeking to do physical harm by crossing our borders unimpeded can do significant damage. Such damage can draw upon our physical and financial resources, from minor to catastrophic levels, in our recovery efforts. Disaster resulting from terror draws upon our collective will and determination in order not to be brought down by harbingers of hate. But, as with 9/11, we have been there. Our national resolve to repair physical destruction and surmount national grief has been tested and proven fit for the challenge.

But what about threats from within? On this front,I have far less confidence that we will awaken in time or that we can survive.

For decades, our children have been educated by Progressive, history-altering academics both in grade schools and universities. They have been taught a selective and self-serving view of America’s contribution and role in the world. Our “contribution” has been narrowed to one of exploitation. Our “role” has been defined as a global oppressor. We have inflicted upon two generations a conscience of guilt and shame for being American. We have inflicted upon one generation a conscience of guilt and shame for being white.

Nations, like individuals, err. Even the best of us stumble and fall. Even the best of us have moments in our lives, if given the chance, we would seize to do over differently. This is life. This is learning. Mistakes are the fertile ground upon which we grow better and, hopefully, wiser. Nations are no exception.

Yes, there have been grave errors committed in the name of manifest destiny (decimation of Native Americans), commerce (slavery) and fear (Japanese internment camps). But this same fallible nation that committed these grave errors is also the most charitable and giving nation in the world. In 2012, the U.S. gave $30B in developmental (i.e. not peace-keeping or anti-terrorism) public aid. The United States is among the first, if not the first, to send monetary and medical aid to victims of natural disasters.

We are a good and caring people. However, even good people who are daily subjected to falsehoods can be brainwashed into believing what is not true. So, by way of a carefully planned, thoroughly executed Progressive political agenda that has been slowly and systematically implemented since the Woodrow Wilson presidency, our self-image and our self-confidence have been eroded and all but destroyed.

Yet, there is still another internal threat as deadly as the Progressive agenda. It is the insidious melding of foreign cultures that have little in common with our own.  I am not talking about immigrants who come to the United States and retain their own religious and cultural identities within their own homes, communities and spiritual institutions. I am talking about immigrants who seek to impose upon America their home country’s culture with the goal of substituting it for that which is uniquely American.

In the fit of mental illness we call political correctness, there is no difference between the people of, let’s say Turkey and the people of the United States. We all want peace. We all have concern for the future. We all seek a better quality of life. We all want the best for our children.

Well, maybe not so much the children.

This week, the Turkish Constitutional Court ruled to annul a provision that punishes all sexual acts against children under the age of 15 as sexual abuse. That’s right. Now, if you are 12 years old in Turkey, you can be said to give consent to having sex… say…with a 60-year -old man (apparently even if you were raped and the offender says you consented!).

In case you haven’t noticed, we in the United States have nothing in common with a Court, let alone a culture, that would make such a law. This is anathema to us. Yet the speech police and the PC police here in the U.S. are so busy hurrying to market the “oneness of Bernie Sander’s-like kumbaya” that they step over the obvious to stand firmly upon the absurd.

We have nothing in common with nations, governments or cultures that abuse children, kill homosexuals, torture animals, behead for sport, cut off hands for stealing or enslave women, to name a few… all in the name of God.

So, as we delay securing our physical border, continue to misinform our young, and remain blind to the insidious invasion of our culture by foreign adversaries who seek our destruction, we remain complicit in that destruction.

Oh, and making believe it is not so… only hastens our demise.

Carole

Focus on The Process

“There are no winners here. The point of Aikido is to train and focus on the process of getting better.”

Trust The ProcessIt took me about five years to learn this lesson from my friend, Brian, who helped me with my training. It was a hard concept for me to grasp. The sports I had formerly played were based upon a performance score that would determine the winners and the losers.

With Aikido, I trained religiously for years, going every day, hardly ever missing a practice.  I realized that the only way to get good at the art was through consistency.  It was doubly hard for me because there were very few tests, and very little feedback.

I sucked at the sport for years! It was only through grit and perseverance that I finally attained a high level of mastery by focusing on one thing:  trying to get better every day. By the time I tested for my black belt, it wasn’t really a test at all. I had been doing Aikido so long –  with so much consistency –  that the results took care of themselves.

While I didn’t learn this invaluable lesson until I was in my mid-thirties, I am able to pass this knowledge and training on to my kids. Three of my daughters now play competitive soccer and they train every day. Come rain or shine… they put their time in on the ball to improve.

Understanding mastery takes a long time and so I rarely get mad at the outcome of their games. As long as the effort is there, and they are learning, I know that eventually they will reach their potential. My goal for them is not to be the best soccer player in the world but rather the best soccer player that they can possibly be.

Rick Barry, the former basketball player for the Golden State Warriors, used to shoot the ball underhanded at the free throw line. He was mocked his entire career for shooting in this manner.  His method was seen as too feminine and dainty for the rough and tumble world of the N.B.A.  Yet, Barry became a Hall of Fame player and retired with the highest free throw percentage ever! When he retired, he acknowledged that he was not the best basketball player ever but shooting free throws in this manner helped him become the best basketball player that he could ever be. For him, that was enough.

Contrast that with his peer, Wilt Chamberlain, who was considered the best basketball player of his generation. Chamberlain was a terrible free throw shooter. Even after being coached by Rick Barry and using his technique to improve his shoot, Chamberlain always reverted back to shooting overhand with the same disastrous results. The reason? He did not want to be seen as shooting in a sissy manner. When asked about Chamberlain, Rick Barry said “Although he was a better basketball player than me, Wilt was never the best basketball player he could have been, and for that he will have to live with that gnawing feeling that he came up short.” ( The insights from the Rick Barry story come from this podcast by Malcolm Gladwell)

Youth sports today are indescribably competitive and getting more so for younger and younger children all the time.  The need to win is so great by parents that the events become tortuous.  Just a few weeks ago, I witnessed an indoor soccer game where the parents came close to blows over the fouls the kids were committing. The behavior of the parents was truly sickening. Mind you, the players were eight year old girls!  It was sickening to be a witness to such twisted values.

On other occasions, I have had parents tell me that my daughters were not good enough or lacked certain skills. It seems most parents have forgotten that kids make mistakes and, in order to get better, they need to make these mistakes.  While its never easy, or desirable, to have other parents criticize my kids, for me its more important that they develop the core discipline that they will then be able to replicate in other areas…on and off the field.

In the seminal book, The Inner Game of Tennis, by Timothy Gallwey , Tim  walked away from his professional tennis career…get this… to focus on becoming a tennis player. He stopped playing competitive tennis and just focused on becoming a better player. What he realized was that his need to win short-circuited his ability to actually win.  Seeing everything through the lens of “winning” or “losing points” actually impeded his growth as a tennis player.

Once he jettisoned his need to win and focused instead on the outcome of his shots, adjusting accordingly without judgement, his tennis game took off.  He became a much better player.  He came to realize that by solely focusing on winning you actually lose more.

Gallwey’s book on peak performance is considered required reading for many professional sports teams. The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks actually make all players read his book to improve performance.

Bill Walsh, the legendary coach of the San Francisco 49ers, was another coach who believed winning was secondary to the process. Walsh, who guided his team to four Super Bowl wins, was almost fired after his first two seasons because of his record: 8 wins / 24 losses.  In his book, he tells the story of how, in the beginning of his career, it got so bad  that one of his assistant coaches complained to the owner that Walsh did not care about winning because he never talked to the team about it.  But Walsh did care about winning. He knew the results were secondary. Before you can win, you have to do things in the right manner that eventually leads to winning. The foundation has to be built first before you can pile up the wins.  The wins are a result of the foundation. It doesn’t work in reverse.

For example, I am fluent in Spanish. However, every day I practice to improve my fluency. There are no guarantees in life, but doings things in the “right way” while staying committed to the process has greatly increases my chances of success in life. In my personal journey thus far, having experienced the highs and lows of life, it is the process that has repeatedly saved me.

Everyone’s process is different; but, for me, getting better every day in every way is the core of my daily practice.

Steve

sleeclark@gmail.com

 

Hope For Veterans

The mind can be friend or foe. For twenty Vets a day, it has become their foe. That’s how many U.S. Veterans per day are committing suicide.

Hope2

I want to address this incomprehensible fact but do so with trepidation and humility as I have never served in the military and, as such, am acutely aware that my understanding of the problem is limited. I tread lightly upon this topic. However, in my early twenties I tried to commit suicide and so bring a personal, if limited, perspective to what drives a Veteran to conclude that taking their own life is a reasonable solution to their suffering.

In fact, suicide is not motivated by reasonableness but rather by misplaced hope and a lack of forgiveness.

For every individual, suffering has its limits. Be it mental, physical, psychological or emotional, pain can reach the intolerable. When it does, without hope that the suffering can end, or at least diminish, a perverse form of reason takes hold and death seems a “logical” even “desirable” option because death holds out the promise of an end to pain. In fact, this conclusion is neither logical nor reasonable but is driven, in the moment of choice, by the void created when one misplaces hope.

Hope holds the promise of a new and better tomorrow. Hope holds the promise of a return to happiness. Hope holds the promise of a life worth living. In its absence, despair fills the void and with it comes the illusion of never-ending suffering. Although it was decades ago, I remember that moment of choice as if it were yesterday. The pain is so intolerable and death so seemingly pain-free, that there can actually be a perverse euphoria in the decision to end one’s own life.

The sights and sounds of war, while beyond my personal experience, are also often beyond the mind’s ability to integrate and make peace with their after effects. I was married to a Vietnam Vet. My current business associate is a Marine Vet who served in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia during the First Gulf War.  My experience is that some Vets cope better than others, but all are scarred.  While some develop mechanisms that permit them to return to various levels of functionality in their day-to-day lives, I suspect that those who are unable to do so both misplace hope and find it impossible to forgive themselves for having participated in what the mind cannot accept.

When I look back at my attempted suicide, understanding how I had misplaced hope came relatively easily after I survived the attempt and began to live my life in a more positive direction. However, understanding the importance that forgiveness needed to play in my healing took much, much longer.

I truly believe that with renewed heart and a commitment to be better tomorrow than we were yesterday or today, God forgives us everything. It is we who do not forgive ourselves. And in not forgiving ourselves, we suffer again and again each time we replay who we were or what we did.  Living in the past, rather than in the possibility of the moment, is too often repetitive, self-inflicted punishment that adds to our pain.

While we cannot go back and change the past, it is the present that is malleable. It is the present that holds the opportunity to be the best we can be. It is the present in which we can affect the past by taking the knowledge, and even the pain, of our experiences and using the wisdom gained to take action in ways that heal the wounds of that past and the actions that caused them.  So, yes, hope and forgiveness are partners in overcoming despair and judgement.

If you know a Vet, or are one, I would gift this message: You are more than what you have done. You have within you, still, a spark of hope and the will to let go of the past by forgiving yourself. Dedicate today to doing one kind thing, however small, for yourself and for one other person and let the healing begin. You have never stopped being a child of God. You have only temporarily misplaced the knowing that all is forgiven and, because of that, all is still possible.

 

Carole

A Post of Inspiration

The decision by FBI Director James Comey not to prosecute Hillary Clinton was a devastating blow to most of us.  Blatant criminality knows no political bounds and people with integrity, be they Democrat or Republican, were infuriated by the obvious disregard for the rule of law. The initial anger quickly turned to depression for some and hopelessness for others. It seems we have reached a new low in our national life.InspirationRahm Emanuel, former Obama White House Chief-of-Staff and current Mayor of Chicago, in reflecting the views of the father of community organizing, Saul Alinksy, once said “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. Emanuel was known for his ruthless and intimidating tactics and had made the statement within the context of taking advantage of a bad situation to force through what could otherwise not be accomplished by straightforward and transparent means.

But there’s an upside to everything, including the ill intentions of the likes of Rahm Emanuel and all the other Progressives, Democrat and Republican alike, intent upon radically transforming the United States of American into something unrecognizable.

In the words of Roy McAvoy, the golf-pro played by Kevin Costner in the movie Tin Cup, “When a defining moment comes along, you define the moment…or the moment defines you.

Comey has given us the defining moment.

It is time to stop being distracted by the upcoming Presidential election. On that front, all is lost. There are as many Democrats who dislike and fear the effects of a Clinton Presidency as there are Republicans who feel the same about Donald Trump. These are two terrible choices.

So how did we get here and what is the way out?

As much as we are taught that politics and faith don’t mix, the reality is that faith is the foundation of any lasting culture. It is surely the saving grace (no pun intended) for those moments in each of our lives when the odds and the circumstances seem to outweigh our ability to go on. Faith is what bridges the gap between where we are and where we want to be. It provides the fuel for how to travel the distance between the two.

We, the people, are momentarily adrift. I say “momentarily” because we are simply experiencing a brief moment within the 4.6 billion years of earth’s total life span to date…a moment within the 6000 years of recorded human history. But brevity does not correspond to inconsequential. A moment, like a light in the darkness, can forever change the outcome.

We are not only adrift, we are plagued by darkness. It is the darkness that envelops a people that has forsaken its principles, values, ethics, morals and its Creator in homage to all things material. In this moment, each of us is being called to perform a specific function. That function is to be the light.

Each of us has been born for this moment. For in the void that we created in banishing ethics and faith from our midst remains a space that each of us can now fill with the spark of light that is found within. The spark of light that is the essence of who we are, not what we’ve allowed ourselves to become through fear and manipulation.

Powerlessness may be real in relation to a corrupt political system. It is false in relationship to Source. When we choose to stand for what is right in the face of what is wrong, we are imbued with the power of God and the effects are exponential and beyond our own capacity. However, we are not asked to take on what is not ours to do. When a Christian Polish woman, who hid Jews in her home just a mile from the Auschwitz concentration camp the Nazi’s had constructed, was asked, “So how did you become righteous?” she replied, “The righteous didn’t just suddenly become righteous. We simply refused to go off the cliff with the others.”

So, back to Director Comey’s decision and the 2016 election. It’s a waste of your time.

What is yours to handle is what is occurring within your own life…your family, your business, your community and your congregation.  It is now our responsibility that each of us stands for time tested principles in relationship to what we encounter personally each day within the boundaries of our own lives.

The same way we got these two, terrible choices for President is the same way we maintain hopelessness within our own lives. We take our attention, and our light, off of the darkness and preoccupy ourselves with inconsequential and material matters. Yes, having enough money to feed, clothe and house ourselves and our loved ones is important…but meaningless if doing so is more important than living and exemplifying honesty, integrity, compassion and diligence.

When we, one person at a time, begin to re-prioritize the use of our intellect, our time, and our energy to first and foremost live ethical lives, the environment in which corruption, deceit and manipulation have grown will no longer be fertile ground for such dis-ease.

Nature is an excellent teacher. It is true that we reap what we sow. We are reaping the diseased crop of the seeds we allowed to be planted under our watch. But one acre at time, we can till the soil and prepare it to receive a new crop of seeds, ones that will grow healthy and strong…imbued with life-affirming nourishment rather than disease.

Victimhood and despair are choices as are empowerment and hope.  We are free willed beings who get to choose not only our state of mind but also our actions and our reactions. Director Comey, taking on what was in front of him and his to decide chose cowardice, darkness and the status quo.  So be it. It is his journey.

You are on your own journey. Take a look around at what stands before you. Then choose. You cannot effect the 2016 election but you can affect each and every person and situation you encounter each and every moment. Its one moment at time.

But what occurs in a moment can change the world.

Carole

A Guy Named Omeleto Has The Answer

Want to watch a five minute video that will change your life? I just did.

Purpose

I can’t say what it will do for you… but I can tell you what it’s done for me.  It’s given me renewed hope that enough people are waking up to the power of the individual that I can remember to ignore the naysayers, the politicians, the fear-mongers, the cowards and the herd mentality that is so deliberately marketed and maintained by the media.

The reason I find the video so profound and inspirational is that I lived most of my life not following my own heart. Not that I was ever lacking in passion; but passion misdirected can be an obstacle at best or a force for self-destruction, at worst.

The passion that creates for the good is that which is born from the uniqueness within each of us. This is the message of Omeleto’s video. (click and wait a few seconds).  This is the message I now live and teach others, through my work, every opportunity I am given. We are born to be unique. We are born to “sing our own song”…much like the bird that sits on the branch and sings its song without regard for how it is received. The songbird sings unrestrained from the sheer joy of existence.

From the moment we are born, we are taught “No.”  We are taught what the rules are. We are taught how to conform. We are taught what to believe. We are taught to comply. We are taught that non-conformity has undesirable consequences. We are taught to hold or tongue. But a tongue withheld cannot speak the truth and a heart devoid of nourishment cannot find the strength to emit its own song.

So my interpretation of Omeleto’s message is, above all, find the joy in you and allow it to guide you to your life’s purpose. If you’re having difficulty doing that it’s because you’re not listening within, or because you’re carrying with you that which was…and is no more.

When you get into your car, and program the GPS to where you want to go, it only needs two set points: where you are and where you want to go. It does not care, and cannot use, information about where you’ve been. No matter what your life has been up until this moment, you have the Free Will, and can summon the courage, to identify where you are and where it is you want to go.  That’s pretty much what it takes, along with a commitment to stay on the road and not turn back to your starting point because it’s taking too long to arrive at your destination. When you deviate from the GPS, it advises you to “turn around”….you’re off your route.

Your heart does the same thing.

When you’re not living your Purpose, when you’re plodding along, stressed and unfulfilled, you feel sad, tired, frustrated, angry, empty…any or all of the aforementioned. That is your heart telling you you’re not living your truth and not singing your song. You’re lip syncing someone else’s.

Whenever I feel less than joyful in my life I think about that. I think about the inauthenticity of singing someone else’s song. I think about how empty that feels. And I quickly shift my thoughts and my actions to something that enlivens rather than deadens me.

It’s clearly learned behavior and, like any other habit, takes practice. But I’ve come to know with certainty that, as Omeleto so brilliantly conveys in the video, I have no intention of my last thoughts being about what I didn’t do in my lifetime or how I allowed the uniqueness that is me to rank so low on my list of things worth discovering.

Carole

#Robot Lives Matter

If “Black Lives Matter and “All Lives Matter” then it’s apparently a stone’s throw to arrive at “Robot Lives Matter.”

Robot

Oops! We’re already there.

In Europe, which in my opinion is already off the rails with its open borders debacle, they are now proposing draft legislation that will make their robotic workforce “electronic persons” in the legal sense requiring that their employers pay social security on their behalf.  Ask yourself why? Will those robots ever collect Social Security? Will they ever need Social Security? If the answer to those two questions is an unqualified “no!” then what can be the purpose of those mandated payments?

Taxation.

Yes, whether it’s the EU or the U.S., centralized governments never tire of 1) growing and 2) collecting your money so they can spend it any irresponsible way they choose and 3) make certain the political class gets its unearned share along the way.

The other disconcerting issue regarding this emerging robotic workforce is its potential for, if you’ll forgive the pun, “out-manning” and overpowering we humans. There are already instances of robots “escaping” or “leaving” their location and taking off on their own.

Promobot, a robot in Russia designed for customer relations work, walked straight out of the lab, exiting through an accidentally open perimeter gate, and ended up on the busy road outside, confounding traffic.  Twice.  Yet, after its designer altered its AI system, twice, Promobot left of its own accord after both alternations. So, they are now talking about dismantling/destroying it and working on a third generation AI to be launched in the Fall 2016.

One can only imagine what thoughts and actions the third generation will choose to partake of.

While it may be a stretch to call unanticipated or unintended actions made by AI “Free Will,” it is none-the-less a serious concern of many in the AI field that robots may, in the not too distant future, begin to “think” for themselves in ways that are antagonistic, hostile and even life-threatening to the well-being of humans.

Many of our myths are founded in fact, but passed down in ways that are story-like in order to simplify or clarify their basic moral or message.  Such is the case in the metaphysical, or psi communities. There has long been talk in those communities that the “lost continent of Atlantis” was, in fact, a highly developed technological culture that at some point lost control of its AI and self-destructed.

True or false, the “myth” can be instructive.

It is becoming increasingly evident that our rapid, technological trajectory has far outpaced out social and cultural advancements. In fact, it could be argued that these have an inverse relationship: the faster we advance technologically the more constrained our social and cultural progress. Such is the primary basis for not only the stress under which we find ourselves – -but also the chaos.

Add to this the EU’s proposed draft legislation to give legal standing of “electronic persons” to robots and we have the making for our own real-time, non-mythical Atlantis.

This is not to say that we should never make scientific inquiry or progress. It is, however, to say that when aspects of an organism are as out of balance and disproportionately relational as is our current reality, there exists fertile ground for self-destruction.

We followed the EU and have opened our borders to un-vetted and potentially hostile persons. Let’s not continue to follow the irresponsible choices made by those who think that being on the cutting edge of lunacy is a good idea whose time has come.

Carole

Do Millennials Want To Overturn The Tables?

As a Jew I’ve always been interested in the story of Jesus, a Jew, overturning the money changing tables on the Temple Mount. He was clearly repulsed and angered that the Pharisees were violating both the spirit and the letter of the Law. In so doing, he declared that it was written, “’My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” He was painfully aware of the hypocrisy of those who were espousing and teaching one set of values and rules while living another.

Jesus overturning

It makes me wonder if that isn’t what has driven the millennials in such large numbers to Bernie Sanders in particular – – and socialism in general.

If I were between the ages of 16 and 36, which is the general age range of millennials, I’d be looking around at adults (both in and out of positions of power) and thinking that regardless of what they tell me, these people are living lives of not-so quiet-desperation. I’d see adults trapped in debt from college loans, credit cards, automobiles, and mortgages to name just a few…working as hard and as fast as they are able to just keep their heads above water…so to speak. Debt they will likely never fully discharge, suffering from stress related illnesses; over-medicated and under-insured; divorced or divorcing. I’d see a society trapped in materialism without an anchor in either God or the Constitution. I’d say to myself, “I think what I’ll try is the opposite of that.”

On the surface, the opposite of a deteriorated culture lost in crony capitalism is socialism. Not because it’s an actual solution to the current state of affairs but because it rightfully identifies the current state of affairs. But the naming of a problem is but half the battle and it’s the easiest half. Coming up with a viable and constructive solution is the tougher half.

What millennials are missing, and it’s not their fault as they have been deliberately mis-educated by the Progressive agenda, is that Socialism has been tried repeatedly throughout history and it fails every time. Even our most faithful ally in the Middle East, Israel, began as a socialist society but quickly learned that in order to 1) protect the rights of the individual, including private ownership and 2) to innovate, it was necessary to move away from a political system where the encroachment upon personal liberties leads to fascism, where innovation is nearly impossible due to centralized governmental control, and, where a select class of people are economically privileged and granted political access denied the general population.

Millennials want to rent not own. The smaller the better. They want to take Uber not own a car. They want to live more simply and with less stress. The look to Bernie Sanders…at all the Bernie Sanders hawking socialism and they see a panacea. Well, they think they see a panacea. There is no cure-all for all that ails us. There is no one answer that will right all wrongs. There is no one solution to all life’s problems. To think that socialism is that panacea is to naively march down the road of disillusionment only to find you have arrived at a place of enslavement.

The millennial perspective of what they are seeing is pretty spot on. We are a nation (politically) and a people (culturally) adrift. We are seduced by our technology and owned by our possessions.

We have no anchor and this is the greatest danger.

This is why our choices in November are Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson or the write-in of our choice. It’s because we arrived at this moment having jettisoned, actually devalued, time-tested principles that matter. Principles that keep us anchored in the values to which we humans need to be oft reminded.

For thousands of years those principles were found in the Judeo-Christian heritage. They were also valued. For hundreds of years, other principles were founded in the Constitution of the United States. They too were valued. But in the mid-to late twentieth century, the Progressive movement took God out of our culture, starting with our schools.  About the same time, they began to diminish the importance of the Constitution to where we are now – – hearing daily attack after attack upon its relevance.

I do not believe that humankind in meant to stand still or live in outdated conditions or under irrelevant precepts. But removing the structural underpinnings without being able to replace them with something better is naïve at best and self-destructive at worst. It’s always easier to tear down than to build up.

The solution? I have only part of it.

We, the adults, have to stop living a lie. We have to walk the talk. We have to disengage from the “more is never enough” addiction and the belief that living a life entrapped in acquiring more money and more things is why we were born. We have to be able to put down the competition that has become a way of life (for us and for our children) and be open to admitting how wrong we were to think that more physical stuff is the answer to finding love, peace or happiness.

We, adults, are in the unique position of having lived through a world that preceded most of the technology we take for granted today. We are the “bridges.” If we are willing to be brave and honest we can testify to what values matter, which are necessary to construct personal and cultural foundations, and which are illusions that seduce us into complacency and apathy.

We, the adults, can give the millennials the anchors they are in search of – – for all extremes are dangerous. It will be just as destructive for them to follow the empty Pied Piper of non-ownership through socialism as it has been for us to follow the Pied Piper of materialism through crony capitalism.

We, the adults, can give the millennials something real and lasting by which they can shape better lives and a better world than we have brought them. We can give them the truth by our words and through our corresponding actions.

And we can give them back the fundamental principles that made this country the greatest living experiment in individual freedom that has ever graced this planet.

 

Carole