The Winter Solstice is the beginning of winter. It is the shortest day of the year with the most hours of darkness. This winter portends to be long, dark, and cold. It could last four years. Our hope is that beyond the dark is light, mysterious powerful creative energy.
November 9, 2016
Graduation is an occasion by the bright and brilliant to share their big ideas about what is important. This important speech was given at his graduation from the presidency Jan. 17, 1961.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower as he was leaving office on Jan.17,1961 warned us of the military industrial complex. We have failed his warning. But like most things in life there is always opportunity for change. The real threat we face in America is not a military invasion. The real treat is effectively educating our young people, providing jobs that pay a real living wage, health care for every citizen, increasing our investment in research for curing or preventing Alzheimer’s. Our country is threatened from within not from outside.
We often hear terms used in the public discourse that we may not fully understand. Seems it might be useful to have a quick lexicon of a some of those terms. Believing as I do that words matter, here’s my contribution to a more informed debate.
Source…The Random House Dictionary Of The English Language
Narcissism…1. Inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity. 2. Psychoanal. Erotic gratification derived from admiration of one’s own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development.
Bluster…1. to roar and be tumultuous, as wind. 2. To be loud, noisy, or swaggering; utter loud, empty menaces or protests.
Bully…1. A blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people. 2. Archaic. A man hired to do violence. 6. To act the bully, toward; intimidate/domineer.
Xenophobia…(Merriam-Webster) if you look back to the ancient Greek terms that underlie the word xenophobia, you’ll discover that xenophobic individuals are literally stranger fearing.An unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange.
Nationalism…3. Excessive patriotism; chauvinism. 5. The policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one’s own nation, viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or common interests of all nations.
Misogyny… hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.
Machiavellian…2. Being or acting in accordance with the principles of government analyzed in Machiavelli’s The Prince, in which political expediency is placed above morality and the use of craft and deceit to maintain the authority and carry out the policies of a ruler is described. 3. Characterized by subtle or unscrupulous cunning, deception, expediency, or dishonesty. 4. A follower of the principles analyzed or described in The Prince, esp. with reference to techniques of political manipulation.
Racism…1. A belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others. 2. A policy, system or government, etc. based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination. 3. Hatred, or intolerance of another race or races.
Ill-Mannered…having bad or poor manners; impolite; discourteous, rude.
Crude…2. Lacking in intellectual subtlety, perceptivity, etc; rudimentary; underdeveloped.
Vulgarian… a vulgar person, one whose vulgarity is the more conspicuous because of wealth, prominence, or pretensions to good breeding.
Superficial…4. Concerned with or comprehending only what is on the surface or obvious; a superficial observer.
Bludgeoning…3. To force into something; coerce; bully: The Boss finally bludgeoned him into accepting responsibility.
Cocky…arrogant; pertly self-assertive; conceited: He walked in with a cocky air.
Condescending…showing or implying a usually patronizing descent from dignity or superiority.
Duplicity…1. Deceitfulness in speech or conduct; speaking or acting in two different ways concerning the same matter with intent to deceive; double-dealing.
Self-Aggrandizement…increase of one’s own power, wealth, etc., usually aggressively
Conceit…1. An excessively favorable opinion of one’s own ability, importance, wit.
Selfish…1. Devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc. regardless of others.
Provocateur…1. A person who causes trouble, causes dissension, or the like; agitator.
Provocation…1. The act of provoking. 2. Something that incites, instigates, angers, or irritates.
Provocative…1. Tending or serving to provoke; inciting, stimulating, irritating, or vexing.
Obscene…1. Offensive to morality or decency; indecent; depraved; obscene language. 3. Abominable; disgusting; repulsive.
Superior…5. Showing a consciousness or feeling of being better than or above others; superior airs.
Materialist…1. A person who is markedly more concerned with material things than with spiritual, intellectual or cultural values.
Trickery…1. The use or practice of tricks or stratagems to deceive; artifice; deception.
Arrogant…1. Making claims or pretensions to superior importance or rights; overbearingly assuming; insolently proud.
Vain…1. Excessively proud of or concerned about one’s own appearance, qualities, achievements, etc.; conceited. 2. Proceeding from or showing personal vanity: vain remarks. Syn. 1. Egotistical, self-complacent, vainglorious, proud, arrogant, overweening.
Vainglory…1. Excessive elation or pride over one’s own achievements, abilities, et.; boastful vanity.
Unfounded Claims…1. Without foundation; not based on fact, realistic considerations or the like
Haughty…1. Disdainfully proud; snobbish; scornfully arrogant; supercilious.
Cruel…1. Willfully or knowingly causing pain or distress to others. 2. Enjoying the pain or distress of others. 3. Causing or marked by great pain or distress; a cruel remark; a cruel affliction. 4. Rigid; stern; strict; unrelentingly severe.
Con Job…Informal. 1. An act or instance of duping or swindling. 2. An act or instance of lying or talking glibly to convince others or get one’s way.
Patronizing…displaying or indicative of an offensively condescending manner.
Self-absorbed…preoccupied with one’s thoughts, interests.
Self-justifying…1. Offering excuses for oneself, esp. in excess of normal demands.
Hypocrite…1. A person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs. 2. A person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.
Delusional…3. A false belief or opinion; delusions of grandeur. 4. Psychiatry. A fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact: a paranoid delusion.
Are You Alarmed?
The heightened emphasis on Christianity in the current election cycle is alarming. A constant declaration by political candidates about their religious beliefs and its place in politics is a red flag.
People running for political office have the right under the Constitution of the United States of America to express their views, including religious ones.
The problem with the emphasis on religion by political candidates Cruz, Rubio, Trump, and Carson et al, is that the emphasis on Christianity is coming across as superior and exclusionary – a moral test leading to fear of those with differing beliefs.
Constantly announcing one’s credentials of religious faith is no verification that a politician is fair, compassionate, and tolerant. The opposite is evident in statements that Muslims should be barred entry into the U.S., a Muslim can’t be President of the United States and that under his presidency we’ll make the sand in Syria and Iraq glow…because we will carpet bomb “them.”
The placement of Christianity in a central position of this political process is antithetical to Article six of the U.S. Constitution.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that and Article VI specifies that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” The modern concept of a wholly secular government is sometimes credited to the writings of English philosopher John Locke, but the phrase “separation of church and state” in this context is generally traced to a January 1, 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, addressed to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper.
History shows us that when religion and politics are married the birth child is a monster of exclusion, oppression and an attitude of superiority. The irony is that religion talks about promoting love, compassion, fairness, and justice; but more often than not, the talk and actions of these politicians focus on hate-filled anger of the “other.” This attitude is one example of Fascism.
Perhaps we can agree on one thing. This election is a contest of moral values. Will we as the electorate allow a politician to turn us away from our secular foundation and toward a Theocracy?
There are a few items I always travel with: a copy of The Constitution of the United States of America along with a copy of The Declaration of Independence.
Last week may go down in American history as one of those milestone markers in the evolution of The United States as it strives for the higher good and a more perfect union.
The three decisions last week by the U.S. Supreme Court once again reaffirmed our nation’s commitment to be guided by the principles established in the Constitution. I celebrate these decisions by the Supreme Court that recognize and reaffirm the commitment of the U.S. Constitution to: “Liberty to all, Dignity, Moving the Nation toward a more integrated society, The power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people, The role of the Supreme Court is to say what the law is, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them”
Friday brought the eloquent eulogy by President Obama for Charleston pastor Reverend Clementa Pinckney. The speech was equal parts catharsis and content. Truth was spoken clearly. We as citizens must now do our part and take action to right the wrongs of racism among us. Working for real equality and dignity for African Americans and people of all races and ethnicities makes life for me as a white man more freer and full of liberty. As the President said, “We don’t need another conversation about racism.”
This modest post is one action I can take to speak up for fairness, justice and equality. I walk and work with those who want to move forward toward the common good.
“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here is a summary of the monumental decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court:
1. Obergefell v. Hodges The right for two people of the same sex to marry.
JUSTICE KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Court.
2. Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. Reaffirmation of the Fair Housing Act.
JUSTICE KENNEDY delivered the opinion of the Court.
“Much progress remains to be made in our Nation’s continuing struggle against racial
isolation. In striving to achieve our “historic commitment to creating an integrated
society,” Parents Involved, supra, at 797 (KENNEDY, J., concurring in part and concurring in judgment), we must remain wary of policies that reduce homeowners to nothing more than their race. But since the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968 and against the backdrop of disparate-impact liability in nearly every jurisdiction,
many cities have become more diverse. The FHA must play an important part in avoiding the Kerner Commission’s grim prophecy that “[o]ur Nation is moving toward
two societies, one black, one white—separate and un-equal.” Kerner Commission Report 1. The Court acknowledges the Fair Housing Act’s continuing role in moving the
Nation toward a more integrated society. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is affirmed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. It is so ordered.”
3. King v. Burwell Affordable Care Act upheld.
Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion of the Court.
“In a democracy, the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people. Our role is more confined—“to say what the law is.” Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177 (1803). That is easier in some cases than in others. But in every case we must respect the role of the Legislature, and take care not to undo what it has done. A fair reading of legislation demands a fair understanding of the legislative plan. Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter. Section 36B can fairly be read consistent with what we see as Congress’s plan, and that is the reading we adopt. The judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is Affirmed.”
The human character has the capacity for doing good and being greedy. Throughout time a few power hungry people have tried and more often than not succeeded in dominating the many. The central hope within the idea of democracy is that we each have equal power to determine our way forward. That power is the vote. Fellow citizens and patriots through the ages have worked hard, sacrificed and fought so that the power of the state stays invested in the will of the people. We must protect that legacy and sacred RIGHT. It is our time now and we must work hard, sacrifice and fight for our right to use our vote and determine our future.
The insane amount of money being spent by both Democrats and Republicans borders on the vulgar and is an insult to the democratic process. Democracy assumes that we the citizens are intelligent enough to make good choices. The hundreds of millions of dollars being spent to advertise each parties message belies that concept. The very nature of the political advertising is an attempt to manipulate us, heat up our prejudices and exploit our fears. As one citizen I can and I will do the one thing I can VOTE.