Thursday, October 6, 2016

queries, concepts - post-post-modern quiz

I believe that all the lonely peopleshould get together and end loneliness
in our lifetime
I believe in making Peace The issue
I believe we are all part of a plan of our
own forming
I believe people want to get along up
to the point when they want to fight and
expend pent up rage
I believe people project on our opponents what
we perceive as our horrific sins
I believe there is ultimately
nothing to win
and you?
It's just a phase, this material trance. We awake into a world ready made and monkey-see our way into a social construct we call "me". We do this both individually and all together. We go through the metamorphoses of growth and experience, trying to piece it together into useful sense. In that effort, we try out different roles, different styles, different socio-political theories and practices. It is a systemic spiral we travel, incrementally changing until we reach a critical mass, a crisis of belief and boundary redefining. The world we think we know, have created in our own minds, shifts. Before we get to that crisis, we explore and overextend, we wallow to ridiculous degree to fully engorge, to fully play out the possibilities and consequences of the reigning paradigm. We have learned, have seen, that tools, technology can give us the illusion of grabbing more than our hands can hold, of smiting our enemies and increasing our security. We have learned, have seen, that grabbing and hoarding the material luxuries and symbols of power can give small, scared, weak people an illusion of power and command, and the kind of security that implies. However, we are learning, some are seeing, that the material trappings are not the feelings themselves, are not truly worthwhile as goals or means. It is a phase we learn through, then, if we have been paying appropriate attention, move from to try out other theories, other practices, as those possibilities become more obvious. Of course, there is always the chance that what hasn't truly made us stronger will kill us.
why not, while we are having this conversation, create a future through promotion in which, like utopian dreams of fiction and reverie, a world in which our basic needs, even material whimsies, are taken care of by the fruits of our imagination (technology) while we (all our material needs attended) live in creativity, expansive relationship, giving and receiving the nurturance of each other now that we are not bound by "making money" to make us slaves to the shit work of those in charge to survive?
If you start with the assumption that government is the problem, you are negating the possibility of using government sensibly as an organizing entity. If you start with the assumption that government is the solution you tend to look at all problems as demanding laws to manage. If you start with the assumption that government is a tool for use by the people, you can start to look at where it is useful and how, and where other tools might be more efficacious.
It can be argued that more equitable distribution of access to resources is both more democratic as the majority of people can vote with their dollars for the kinds of goods and services we want, and better for economic growth and the optimal functioning of market economy.
Nobody is getting free stuff. This idea is a shared illusion. Everyone is getting paid. Those who produce and sell the products, those who work and pay taxes, those who are paid to contribute economically as consumers while keeping their dysfunctions out of the workplace, are all being paid. No one is losing. It's a win/win/win.
Many of the people reviled with concerned that they get "free stuff" are working very hard; and not getting sufficient compensation to pay for basic needs. Others are seriously disabled, requiring major accommodations to be effective employees. Most employers prefer not to make such accommodations (quite understandably), so these people can not be employed. Government or private concerns could develop special training and projects to employ those who could work, but rarely do.
Others, though not traditionally disabled have such chaotic lives (for any of many possible reasons) that they are unemployable.
Others will be employed and able to make their own contributions to the general revenue; but for right now that has not happened.
Yet, these people are all actively contributing to the overall economy while their lives are sorting out. Fewer people are actively sick and destitute on the streets, and thus not bringing down property values, causing problems for local businesses, presenting disincentives for people of means to shop or enjoy public space, or presenting even greater problems for health care and crime industries.
There appears to be a spell long cast upon the people to integrate into our basic understanding of the world this idea of market based economy as a given. Economics, money, even mathematics, are human constructs, ideas, not reality. When economic systems, ideas we have joined in promoting, do not well serve human enterprise and needs, the people ought not feel it is we who must adjust to serve the economy. Rather, it is those ideas that need adjustment to better fit our purpose.
people have a natural desire to perform useful functions, to grow skills through experience, to feel productive and meaningful within their community, to belongFreud found that our most important values are work and love.Money is a medium of exchange, the way we in modern societies distribute resources. There is no real reason why money need be tied to work.
learning, mentally and physically growing, is what children do naturally
to twist that natural curiosity and expansion into forced inactivity and silence except on command of authority is a great deal of what has made us so much less than we could be, so much worse than we would be
People get the ego all wrong. I do understand -- it is what we are taught.
Ego is meant to be the organizing principle in our consciousness. It is a hard-working, important tool if we are to be social beings in a material world. When ego is well used, it allows us to make sense of the flood of sensations, organize time/space/tools/intent into worthwhile projects, create appropriate interfaces for smooth social commerce, and generally function as strong, self-motivated, sane actors. Because we are misinformed, we often grow misformed egos that are not well used or healthy. This can create deep resentments, anti-social inclinations, general confusion about one's place in the world. Rather than denigrating ego, we would do well to befriend our various strands and become more whole, more able, more socially useful and personally joyful.
Having regard for oneself, respect for that first person singular subjective locus, why would that be considered negative? It sounds like a philosophy which subsumes the self into the benefit of the whole, or of some particular selves who have power over the whole. If the self were like a cell within a systemic whole, though, such self-regard would not be a negative, it would be unimaginable -- unless the cell had consciousness, yet no idea of the greater system, in which case self-regard would be completely appropriate for a creature on its own.Bragging, puffing up, presenting oneself as more important are not attributes of self-regard. They are attributes of insecurity, a need for constant validation, a role played to gain attention or misdirect. The person who is secure within their own skin is generally genial, with no need to take the spotlight, unless that is their role in a particular performance.So why is the ego, the self, the first person singular, the focused consciousness maligned?

the root of oppressive behavior is a complex of pain and fear which expresses as anger against an assigned scapegoat which escalates to violence and institutionalizes as oppression

Violence feels good. It is a cathartic release of rage. When done as a group activity, it helps to solidify the group. Especially in religious cultures that have severe restrictions on sex, tribal violence can be a useful binding agent, and a useful warning to those who might dissent.
What do you think?
One would think (if one were me, I guess, though obviously others) that honesty would be not only a cornerstone, but a rationale for relationship of any meaning. We have the option to find ourselves, learn more than we can alone, in relationship. Not only the reflection, but the changing, the interaction of bonding, the realizing of self that only becomes in interaction or communication.
Yet so much of our time together is about masking, hiding, mistrust and denial of understanding. Is this because our significant role models lied to us, misunderstood their relationship to us, treated us as "children" as if that were a separate species? Is part of it schoolyard divisiveness, taunts and hostilities, groupings and betrayals? Is part of it feeling unacceptable?
Probably the best policy effort for all of our futures would be compassionate emotional education from pre-K all the way through schooling. People need to be taught to dialog, and too much "education" is about keeping still and being led by experts/authorities.People seem to be raised in tightly closed environments where family traumas get to repeat like Greek tragedies without ever being aired to heal. We learn to lick our wounds in the dark and band together out of fear-fed angers against anyone out there. Too many lives are wasted, piled on the heap, left to rot without feeling wanted or alive. All the lonely people who cry silently without seeing all the lonely people crying silently who could become happy kin. We really need to learn to do it better.
Have studies been done on peer therapy, like the AA model of sponsors -- people brought together with others with whom they can talk anytime 24/7 about what is bothering them, training in active listening, teams so no one person carries too much burden on their time and to bring in wider voices and ways of caring and understanding -- kind of like a caring and attentive family?
something more than the absence of war, but including that as well Peace is an attitude of calm deliberation and acceptance of all that is on its own terms with the will to move in a more generally healthy and respectful direction; not lack of disagreement, but lack of disrespect (except for disrespect for the disrespectful) 

What do you think?
so sick (in my gut, in my head, in my heart, in my arms) of all the divisiveness.  Men can't understand women.  Whites can't understand blacks.  Rich can't understand poor.  Left can't understand right ...
That's why we have language, art, long-term complicated relationships, community projects and festivals and  -- tell me your story

Saturday, March 26, 2016


the words that engage my mind come through poetic with important thoughts/feelings melanged; to keep them for further inquiry I record them, then often feel an urge to share
I cannot support a Clinton Presidency because foreign lives matter.
Republicans seem to rule by fear. The current candidates seem like a crusade of paranoiacs vying for the common fear machine. Sanders offers real hope for common cause as an antidote to common panic. The opposite of fear is confidence. Confidence can be created through mutual support.
from my observations, people like to complain but not so much change or act courageously
when the student is ready, everything that comes is a teacher
the thing is, what I described as Democratic Socialism is actually (and I did mention this) classic capitalism as worked out by such as Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek, who were not so inhuman as to desire an economic system that would destroy most of the people and planet.
Yes, people can use these phrases cynically or with a judgmental agenda -- people misuse language all the time, even just out of ignorance.  But all lives ought to matter; it ought not be this group matters and that group matters
for one all groups might not be thought of and given voice to mattering
for another, we now have a splintered array of groups but no actual human beings mattering
for another, responding to "black lives matter" with "all lives matter" ought to begin a conversation, not resentment, if people really want to make their point about what is wrong in their lives and how it could be better if people generally stopped to think about what they might be doing or saying or believing and its repercussions
The same arguments (and there are more) apply to separating pain by gender.  Yes, there are people who are traditionally scapegoated or denigrated or oppressed and we ought to give voice to the wrongness of those practices.  All of those practices that divide us into victims in our prejudged boxes need to be addressed and sent away.
if you want choice that is from your free will you need to back up in the process from the voting booth to the democratic conversation
you are only as free (your choices are only as free) as you are willing to pay for with personal effort, critical thought, authentic action
what to do while awaiting higher consciousness:
slow down
enjoy simple fun
after watching a Bill Press Q&A on C-Span in which Brian Lamb asked the difference between a "liberal" and a "progressive" it occurred to me that difference is for the (modern) liberal the issues seem to be about doing for or solving problems of from an elevated position, while progressives are about working together from within common cause
“Because there isn’t that culture of collective care..."
instead we have many mini cultures of mutual dis-care
we seem to think it is so important to divide ourselves into interest groups without the eyes to see that it is in all of our best interest to care for each other
if All lives matter, if even only Blacklivesmatter (because we gotta get our material back from those slavers -- and what about today's slavers who don't limit by race? --) the important part of mattering is to matter to each other as fellow travelers on this mortal plain instead of pre-creating Hell through meanness, cruelty, indifference, war
the point is that all lives don't matter the same way that the point of "Black Lives Matter" is that the perception is that they don't
thus "All Lives Matter" points out that we discount many lives from mattering in important ways, not just Black Lives, but all of those people who nobody knows, who have no power to insist that their lives matter until we band together and make statements that can't be ignored.  Those who demand that "Black Lives Matter" and put down or otherwise denigrate the concept that "All Lives Matter" are separating themselves from people who could be their greatest allies in moving toward a world in which each life matters.
I saw a Congressman on the news complaining that Congress constitutionally makes laws while the President executes them -- don't understand the complaint since that is exactly what the President is doing, better executing the laws Congress has seen fit to enact to regulate firearms (because as with every Amendment, the 2nd is subject to rational regulation).  I don't get the uproar from the pro-gun crowd when it is the people who suffer from gun violence that really ought to be angered.  I don't know what to do about lessening the likelihood of being killed or wounded by gunplay.  I do know we really need to figure it out.
a great many people use the anonymity of internet conversation to let loose, express angers and resentments otherwise simmering, show off clever retorts (or what we believe are clever retorts), make the arguments we can't in the real world of interruptions; some people simply enjoy arguing or sniping or bullying or sounding off
for people who actually enjoy civil conversation, a chance to get to know more about the people involved and the information they can share and the information we can share and expand and maybe come up with useful or beautiful plans and projects or have the opportunity to develop meaningful friendships, look, see, it's happening
whenever one ascribes to race what is really just ignorance and projection, one is perpetuating racism
all lives matter (or not, depending on your philosophy)
yes, I understand the desire of people who are suffering for a false dichotomy to want to be heard, acknowledged as suffering, healed by retributive justice
but you are perpetuating racism every time you do not take the opportunity to make clear that people acting badly is not about the race or the gender or the identity or the ethnicity or any other attribute of those acted against, but is entirely about the bad actors
I have a theory about the Biblical Revelations opponents:  Trump the archetypal antichrist exhorting hatred; Sanders the savior preaching we are our brothers' keepers
we have rights to redress grievances, call for impeachment, vote out of office, vote for ballot initiatives, all manner of nongun solutions for active citizens -- but people are too lazy to be active citizens; shooting your way out of government disappointments into armed chaos is so much more exciting.
labels matter
interpretations of experiences into a prescribed pattern matter
when people have (really not so) unusual experiences, we could be interested in what they perceive, see it as a gift or merely a glitch or something to discuss and look for underlying messages from that psyche's inner language, or say:  "what you say you see is different from the general consensus -- here is what I see."  Or ...
When we automatically assume illness or a specific syndrome needing professional care (rather than the caring of people in one's life), we are creating that narrative and the subsequent consequences for us all.
Why do all these practices/beliefs/religions want us to self-nullify? This kind of thinking leads to death cults praying to bring on the end for all.
what action?  Can we somehow reach the self-empowered assholes who decide "I have a gun and you offend me"?  Can we give those who have come to a suicidal resolution that they can enlarge their circle of death better outlets for their existential resignation?  Can we convince people who believe implicitly in Second Amendment rights that those rights require more responsibility without instead just arousing their righteous anger -- and I know, it feels so unfair to be lumped in with a few deranged radicals because of your beliefs when you know that most of those who believe as you are good, neighborly, caring and reliable people.
why act violently against a student who is "disturbing" or not participating according to lesson plan?  This ought to be a teaching moment, to engage the students in understanding these social dynamics, what these behaviors are expressing, how to interact as humans so as to respect everyone.  These are important lessons, much more so than a static lesson plan.  And whatever the intended lesson can be incorporated in a way that makes more sense to students, therefore a better lesson.
no US boots, yes US planes dropping sleep gas bombs, yes troops from surrounding countries on the ground sorting out death cult soldiers from civilians -- getting appropriate aid for civilians, appropriate imprisonment for the death cult soldiers
why do not "the coalition" arrange to sleep gas bomb the terrorist strongholds, then have representatives of the more local "coalition" members go through the unconscious and send them to appropriate locations for care/questioning/detention?
the status of refugee is likely to expand enormously from both climate change and armed hostilities
apparently there are already a lot of problems with relocating people to countries where people have issues with such an influx
one idea I had was that since Israel was created to deposit Jewish refugees from WWII, perhaps that use could be expanded by declaring Israel a refugee country -- or maybe some other under used land mass
but then I thought, why not outfit an appropriate number of huge ships to be self-sufficient colonies in international waters or docked to host countries?
ISIS is more like Branch Davidian than Islam -- a doomsday cult intent on destruction of their God's Creation out of existential despair and hatred for life
a thing with mental illness:
we speak as if there is a thing, a particular disease, called mental illness
as if all people so labeled are the same
being given the designation of mentally ill is more like being given the designation of being American or Chinese or Korean -- each individual may have vastly different experiences, behaviors, world views, relationships and so forth
even more apt though,
it is like being a refugee -- having some common problems perhaps, but each individual could be from anywhere, could have left for a vast variety of reasons, are now in any of all possible places, are treated in very different ways depending on the people now in proximity
capitalism ideally encourages people with good ideas and the energy and will to make them happen by rewarding their efforts with financial gain
it can as well be a good competitive game with various ideas for solving problems or entertainment or other desirable outcomes get to show their stuff and be chosen or not by consumers
but it is not the best means of making sure everyone gets a chance at the kind of live they feel best with if it is imposed as the game we are all required to play
surely it has potential benefits for improving conditions above those of the tribe in which some go out and hunt, others tend crops, some go out and gather wild plants, and everyone eats but not much more
obviously it is a better deal than the one where some lord owns the land and most folks have to work the bit they are allowed enough to survive after giving a good share to the landowner
but a system of manufacture and distribution of goods and services does not have to be set to a specific ideology or hierarchy of winners and losers; it can be not a system but co-existing systems each according to the goals and means of those involved 
the world is changing rapidly
what we base our understandings and behaviors on today will not hold for long
meanwhile, we must endure supreme sadness for those who suffer horribly due to situations that soon will no longer apply
saying not everyone is racist is important, because if we insist on seeing the world in black and white we miss all the real relationships
yes, racism exists and homophobia exists and sexism exists and ageism exists and islamophobia exisits and all manner of hate and divisiveness exists among humanity -- but that is only a small part of what exists among humanity
if we want the isms to win, we concentrate on them and ramp up the hate and mistrust and violence
if we want the kind of humanity that works and plays well together, we concentrate on working and playing together
legalized theft is an oxymoron
taxation, if agreed upon by duly elected representatives who are given that power is not theft but a means to finance agreed upon programs of the government, which is the authority that allows for a financial infrastructure
perhaps a better means of taxation, less prone to abuses, would be a tax on all transactions using the financial infrastructure -- made realizable with the accounting power technology now provides
as there are a vast number of such transactions all the time, a rate so low as to be unimportant to those involved in the transactions could bring in enough funding for the reasonable projects of governance
we need to become honest about the costs of warfare
we need to pay our military decently, budget first for all of their needs before, during and after combat
while also clearly delineating the costs of various materials of war, and not in some rosy Rumsfeldesque best case scenario but rather for the quagmire we know is to come
putting the clear dollars and cents value given to such enterprise from our national projects, perhaps we can learn to economize better and truly see war as only a very last resort
how about we find the others who can't live in such a demanding world and stand up against social pressure, which is after all only other people with their own issues
It feels like the "conservative" attitude though ostensibly about sound economics is rather about deep meanness.  In fact keeping a large proportion of the population down and out and desperate lowers vastly possible economic gains while creating a clearly unhealthy and unsightly landscape.  If the politics and practices of America are to keep America great, and allow for the greatest possible economic and moral dominance, we need every American to have these tools for enjoying good lives.
Attention to material gain is only useful to the point that such needs are satisfied.
We as mankind seem to believe life is about more than perpetuation of life.  We want to matter in nonmaterial spaces, to have interconnections and meanings, intrinsic values and noble pursuits.  Art can give expression to, share expression of, in compact delineated form the ghost that moves us.
but that's the point -- the end times
For whatever psychotic reason there are a great many people who do not want to be here, on Earth.  There is a potent mythology that it is God's will that the climate change, become untenable, require Judgment Day at last, the end of our suffering here in this testing zone.  For life on Earth is a test of our immortal souls.  We are sent here by God to be tested.  Those who pass get eternity in Heaven, unhindered by unbelievers or lesser souls.  At last reward of the end of Earthly chores and suffering. (And this too is the true argument against abortion because God wants those souls incarnated for their testing.  No Heaven without birth on Earth.  Though, if life starts at conception, ought not that short womb life be test enough for those so pure that God accepts them back immediately, whether through divine intervention (miscarriage) or human agency?)
there is no good reason to ban firearms outright
We have learned through hard experience that prohibition of items desired by the people only leads to worse conditions than those thought to be addressed by the ban.
There are millions of excellent reasons to regulate/control use of firearms.  The 2nd Amendment does not even need to be addressed.  Business (including the manufacture and distribution of firearms) clearly gets to be regulated through the Commerce Clause.  Laws against mis-use of firearms are prevalent already.  Safety issues as they arise, or as we consider such policies, can be addressed without denying overall rights of ownership and possession, especially since we can demand safety-based constraints in manufacture and in what is allowed to be sold to the public.
I used to say I was a green libertarian (well, I used to say my religion was green libertarian and my politics was pagan polytheist)
Now I am learning to see that I need no label to conform to, to impose rigid opinion.  I can engage with ideas without long-term commitment and be open to wider views.
when was it that the national theme got co-opted by the wealthy who believed they needed that kind of justification? if history is written by the victorious, when did they win?
Of course there are no end to possible weapons (pro-gun arguments about hammers and such have validity in that we certainly can kill and injure without guns).  Guns are useful when we want to threaten or shoot from a distance to avoid in close fights.  Guns are dangerous not just because they physically are, but because they psychologically are as well.  With a gun we may think we have an advantage and learn too late that it was a disadvantage when it is taken from us and used against us.  They are also a present reminder of our ability to use deadly force in the heat of emotion, or in the cold deliberation of emotion that can lead to suicide or homicide or (as in many of the mass shooting cases both).
Yes, guns already exist in large numbers.  Obviously a solution that works for the greatest good is not easy to work out.  Let's work it out.
thinking about the Constitution.  (Don't we all) Based on historical references it became clear to me that the 2nd Amendment is about the States wanting control over the weapons to help keep their independence, a well regulated militia under State control.  So, yes, they wanted weapons controlled, but by the States.  In many cases it does make more sense to have State law over how individuals' and groups' weapons are regulated within the State.  However, as far as weapons manufacture and sales, that is controlled by the Commerce Clause (Federal control over interstate commerce).
even good guys with guns are not immune from being killed by bad guys with guns being good is not an advantage experience, hand/eye coordination, clear focus, protective gear, maybe even the energy of intense intent can be advantages; the man with the plan is more advantaged than the reacting defender
Democracy is damaged by ignorance and instilled divisiveness. If we want a well-working democracy, we must educate effectively lessons of history, processes of legislation and decision-making, practical critical thinking, interactive discussion, social psychology, project creation and management ...
small percentage tax on every financial transaction
proceeds pay for a minimum living with dignity income for all
maybe if it wasn't a perceived battle -- either yay all the potential benefits or oh no, all the potential risks
maybe if we took a position of rational care, yes there are risks and benefits; yes, we can pay close attention to mitigating those risks and not overplaying those benefits, but looking directly at exactly what benefit we are seeking and how to maximize for that and minimize the harmful side effects
and rather than react to fear with sarcasm or dismissal or enmity, address it with humility
It occurs to me that when people respond to "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter" it is because those people experience their own fears of oppression, hate crime victimization, unfair discrimination, and so forth.  They are not saying, "no, black lives are no more important than other lives" or some other privilege-based slight.  They are saying, "yes, black lives matter, and all lives matter because we are all in situations where we can feel at risk.  It is a desire for joining together that no lives have to be singled out to matter because we are all in this together, banding together to make all lives more secure.
the fire in the black neighborhood is not the only fire in town yes, of course, put out the fires with all due diligence and speed -- but that is not really an appropriate metaphor because there is no well practiced procedure for saving this property? no, these lives, except for the patient work of organizing, advertising, making connections, creating relationships that become stronger over time and experience, and so forth, the long, arduous haul to social change but about the immediate danger -- the immediate struggle don't you think ought to be about preventing police from believing and acting on belief that they are licensed to kill
just the cost of the space and tools and trained supervisors
student directed, project based with a strong background ethos of mutual respect
the big chant always seems to be about jobs being taken or jobs being lost so how can we justify this obvious social good
maybe if we were raised not to be job seekers but skill traders, to organize businesses not for bottom up profits but for useful projects, to cooperate not as "soulless Communists" but as sensible citizens we would discover that going well and doing good are pretty much the same
somehow we have empowered people (no matter what legitimate gripes or abusive experiences they might have) to be stupidly self-entitled assholes rather than intelligent problem solvers
black lives matter AND all lives matter
because when all lives matter we don't have to divide ourselves by color
but because all lives matter, when some lives appear to be particularly besieged or at risk, those lives have to be matters of immediate concern
thugs carry guns
prudent pedestrians carry mace
the more adventurous learn to effectively throw sharp, hard objects
the more scientific develop whistles what emit debilitating vibrations, and carry earplugs
what do you carry?
in general we are not usefully taught how to engage socially, how to get our psycho-social needs met
rather we seem to be presumed to somehow automatically know or learn by imitation or experience; but those to imitate, those experiences may be teaching poorly
people who have poor social skills, who as a result get picked on or ignored or otherwise made to feel abused may well decide "it's not me -- not these poor social skills that I am not aware I act on -- it's because they are racist or sexist or idiots or unfeeling or anti whatever identity group I like to believe I are part of"
canaries coal mine
we do not treat our people well
we do not have a kind and welcoming culture in which troubled people are able and encouraged to have resilience-building relationships, places to emote cathartically in an atmosphere of trust and empathy, or usefully easy ways to feel important or even acknowledged
find the truth?  read history, from as many viewpoints as you can find; then look at each point of interest or broadcast from as many viewpoints as you can imagine; then, let it all wash over you like a dream while you decide how you would like to proceed
we each do change the world, consciously or not, in the ways we interact, in the ripple effects of our actions, in the beliefs we help foster, in the small everyday increments that together make a culture and a social world
if we are to effect consciously, better to live a continuing education and well-meditated response
conservatives so-called are not conservative, not interested in protecting our necessary environment or passing on knowledge and skill building information to our next generations or keeping the institutions that have developed well over time; rather, they are interested in destruction of the long-term good for short-term profit or calling in Armageddon because their lives are so miserable that they hope for a Final Judgment to put it all to rest (hmm, perhaps these two interests are really the same -- the point is not so much profit as death)
government is not business and has no business being run like one
business is about trade and profit
government is about structure -- a good government structure helps good businesses (those run in way that benefits rather than impinges on public good) thrive while providing solutions to the perceived public needs that business is not equipped to provide
when I see calls for privatization or unabashed disavowal of government usefulness I wonder why these people don't do the work of providing those solutions outside of government thus proving that they have the better ideas and outcomes thus giving those problems over to private sectors and leaving government to work out what is still undone or what can be more easily and cheaply done as public work
yes, there are a lot of problems with how particular governments operate -- follows the principle of gigo
if we want a government that more efficiently, reasonably, fairly, usefully does its job we really do have to be better citizens that facilitate better governance
the natural progression of capitalist principles leads to a zero sum game in which those who have acquired resources hoard and use their influence to garner power over who can have what, how resources are used while marinating in a narrow mindset
It's like those schoolyard bullies we all face (or are).  It's not really because you're a queer or a jew or black or have a weird name or dress strangely or ...  .  It's that they are secure in their beliefs only if they are denigrating (sometimes quite physically and painfully).  Seems to me the way out is to accept, revel in, being one of those outcasts weirdos, all of us outcast weirdos, who really have much more fun without those normals holding us down.
why not move beyond isms, or create new isms -- these theories are just people suppositioning, not gods or laws of nature
why not figure out what people want and how to get to there
of course as with any interest group the BLM people want their message heard and spread and impelling action to assure their rights are honored
however, interest groups exist within larger social frameworks wherein wider coalitions can become bigger movements that demand with greater force of power
it is best not to disregard nor disrespect the work and good will of potential allies even while loudly proclaiming for your group's cause
you don't have to be black for bad policing to be terrifying
you don't have to be black for poverty, profiling and prison to be morbidly unfair
you don't have to be black to be hated for mere mythologies
you don't have to be black to be angry or profoundly sad
you don't have to be black to matter
government is a human construct which we base on more personal human constructs -- it is not some outside force telling us what to do
the problems we have in this regard are not "BAD government" but irresponsible people who enjoy complaining in camaraderie without meaning to change their lot
The same liberty that allows individual and group accordance with their beliefs guarantees that liberty to all.
Sexuality seems to be an issue for some belief groups, a celebration for others, an integral part of a whole life for many, a subject covered with confusions and strong opinions.
For small tribes that needed to improve their numbers to avoid extinction, it was probably considered a good idea that sexuality be confined as much as possible to reproduction.  It made sense for one man to service many wives or concubines to keep up production. We, here, today do not have that situation.  We generally acknowledge value in nonreproductive sex, in women's rights, in personal choices regarding parenthood. We celebrate joyfully marriage between partners who have no plan or even possibility to procreate.  The important part is the marriage bond, the profound beauty of committed love, of life partnership through good times and bad.  The bond of committed intimacy is what makes a marriage worth celebrating; it is not about the specific sexual acts shared within that bond. 
don't tolerate differences
enjoy, celebrate them
if we were all the same in mind, concerns, knowledge
from where would we learn to be more?
perhaps if there were a long-haul system of honestly interested mentors to work with people, to help build community projects, to give useful knowledge and skill building accumulated over lifetimes of experience human to human
religion is a social structure to bind a tribe together over distance and expansion, a structure built from birth to tell us this is where we belong, this is what we do, this is what we know
we need to be honest in our concerns
we need to actually be concerned about mental health, about what we mean by that, about how such health manifests and can be made and maintained
yes, we are uncomfortable about mental illness, perhaps to some extent because it is not clear what we mean by mental health, that any inadvertent inconsistency of thought might mean we are irrevocably tainted with disease, a disease diagnosed by subjective self-reporting or tailored to insurance payment or tortured out over trials of dangerous chemical treatments
rather, if we were actually concerned with health rather than finger-pointing against fear, we would not need those diagnoses, payments, chemicals, because we would know what makes us healthy rather than merely how to appear less sick or avoid stigma for what is really part of all of us
not Peace as a given, as a victory.  The point is, it is The Issue.  Every disagreement, every disappointment, every interaction held in that medium.  The point is, instead of leaping to combat, or even reason, we look first to the needs of peace, how peace can be arranged for or maintained, while looking at the problem at hand.
a less than 1 percent tax on all economic activities
to remind us we need this social structure for our
trades to make sense
to supply revenue for government functions --
to pay employees, buy and rent supplies to
implement programs deemed best managed in this way.
I don't like this penchant for convincing everyone we are racist/sexist/homophobic/antiwhatever;
I would rather convince us we don't have to be intransigently divisive
I in no way would want to discourage individuals or groups with past trauma to work out from ceremonial or expressive display.  I think my point is that if we go back far enough every group has suffered outrageous atrocities.  It starts to seem like now everyone is playing some game of "more oppressed than thou" thus splintering shared outrage into my group, your group, not us together finding paths to peace.
It's not even about respect for everyone's life (though, of course that needs to be a core value).  People in a democratic nation (no matter how cynical we might be about that self-rule) ought not be afraid of their public servants.  Police need to be made to understand that their job is not that of a soldier.  They are not at war with the people of this country.  They are public servants, paid and trained to be the champions of the people against those few who act with violent disregard for life.
If people in general (not just political junkies and folks with a cause) took on the responsibilities of citizenship, kept informed of both historical and current issues and advocates, spoke up often and listened to others' views, supported potential candidates and office holders with whom they found enough agreement, made democracy a real collaboration, and voted we would not need or have concern about money in politics.
Identity politics does make sense when an oppressed group becomes self-aware as such and rallies to promote the understanding that they are being disadvantaged by others because of their perceived inclusion in this group.  However, underlying all such oppression is not really discrimination due to perceived differences.  The underlying dynamic is that of the bully or amassed bullies abusing their victims.  Though bullies may say they hate [fill in named group or characteristic], that they are torturing you because you dare to represent their hated designation, really they torture because they can.  For whatever psycho-social impetus, people of certain mindsets like to express their pain/rage/turmoil/insecurities by damaging others.  When we allow ourselves to break down our numbers into identified oppressed groups, we drain our strength rather than building it through holding together as we who oppose bullying.
I was thinking that all these conditions which we label illness or otherwise imply as wrong are just different.  The negative behaviors are not so much about bad brains as maltreatment.  Instead of teaching how to be you while acting acceptably you is made the enemy.
Why not use the resources proposed for fighting ISIS instead to help neighboring countries assimilate refugees, get people who want to leave to neighboring countries, defend those borders against unwanted hostiles?
instead of trying to justify hatred of any designated other, so much better use of time/energy/interaction to attend to one's own passions
it does make sense from the perspective of a philosophy based on a belief in harsh individual destiny -- perhaps life itself as a deserved punishment that must be facilitated by true believers
There may or may not be evil.  A lot depends on definitions.
Blame is just stupid.  Yes, discern the cause of the problem and fix it.  Blame wastes time, incites obfuscating emotions, and often leads to unnecessary violence (evil?).
It's not a contest about which social entity executes the worst atrocities.  The point is, it's not the religious beliefs (or secular agreements) that do these terrible deeds -- it's people.  These people may say they act on behalf of some creed; but their real motivations are more complex, more personally based.  People of all asserted belief systems often use these systems for good, often blame these systems for ill.  Stop nattering about who worships what and start looking at true human motivations and how to address them effectively, if what we want is better behavior.
Maybe science shows in the macro it is better for everyone to be vaccinated against every disease possible.
In the micro some people really do have conditions that make at least the kinds of vaccinations (or some of them) generally provided a personal danger.
People, parents concerned for their vulnerable children, may have heard about unfortunate occurrences, may not entirely understand the real risks or underlying issues.  Instead of hateme/hateyou why is there not a more informative stance taken toward medical consumers.  Too much it seems like medicine is something done to us whether we like it or not, not for our benefit but for some policy.
where are our education facilitators, creating easy instructions, mentoring and resource guidance for a reasonable fee to help less self-directed or informed students get their education from free sources?
greed, gluttony, envy
finding wanting when we compare ourselves with those above
rather than examining why we say they are above and where we really are or might fare better
the problem of violence is not about evil beliefs but angry characters
violence is about emotion
we find or invent beliefs that rationalize acting on our desires
If we as communities acted on the understanding that for all of our best interests people with serious issues of any kind are best addressed as people with needs to be worked out.  If we had a designated profession trained to help people figure out how to get from here to there in their lives, in their relationships, how to more clearly, more healthfully, communicate with themselves and others, we could all benefit.
You are not "my depression" -- see, it's not you, but something you own.  It is not just a thought, but a way of thinking that you have held onto.  Habit, fear of change, fear of what might be lurking behind that facade, exhaustion, a blanket to hide under, intimations from within of dis-ease or disease?  It's yours (not you).
Of course black lives matter.  All lives ought to matter to all the living.  Yes, we seem to have a problem in this society of judging people by their implied ancestry.  Yes, law enforcement often seems to be twisted into getting the underclass (as represented by darker skin) out of our way.  But, if we concentrate too much on skin color, we in effect say that these differences matter in ways they ought not.  The truth is, the deadly point is, that some armed officials have it in their minds that murder of supposed perps is ok, even their duty.  Rather than even by opposition make that acceptable, why aren't we turning our energy to outing killer cops, outing bad policies, and insisting that every instance of homicide by cop is seriously condemned and prosecuted.
it is not socialist to admit that a healthy economy is one in which goods and services are distributed such that all get what they need and contribute the work that best applies their interests and talents to providing those goods and services needed and desired
It seems we have ever been at that war of all against all, or some against many, or whoever wants to play.
Maybe the thing is to act as if we did it -- be exemplars of justice?  Or maybe just promote questioning in all the public places.
Dear People,
Your government, your police, your neighborhoods, your laws can be yours, our; acting in our interests, promoting safe, sane, behaviors, not showing favor to those who pay for privilege; respecting our kids and all of our lives, listening to our pleas to breathe.
kids harass because they can -- any epithet will do
if your kids are being harassed, tell them this; tell them the harassment is not about them, but about the bad character of the harassers
if all the harassed kids get together and say "we are fine; you who waste your time and energy trying to get at us are stupid" or something to that effect, or just get together and make a bigger gang less likely to seem a good idea to harass, well...
this issue is not really about race; it is about respect. People who feel that they are not respected, on all sides of town grow anger. The lack of reason in the inflammatory instants is about that anger.
rather than promoting this adversary situation, looking for justification for police to kill, energy of inquiry could go into a teaching dialog to promote alternatives to violence, discussions of what else these police officers could have done, could do, to deflate confrontational relations
the economic system we have developed so far here and now is not based on what we as individuals or social groups or society need, but on the perceived needs of the business to create what we like to call profit
conceivably we could as a nation through investing in cleaner more efficient infrastructure and charging for use of common resources pay everyone a basic income
let's look at capitalism, how it has moved about in practice over time and local interests, how it is really just some shared thoughts about means of distribution, how distribution of resources is not being well served by these ideas, how ideas can be malleable and adapt to better understandings if we work from that basis rather than digging in because we have misidentified ourselves as subjects of outdated ideas.
want better government?  deserve it:
Voting is just a gateway activity.
find potential candidates that you agree with
do what you can to get them elected
meanwhile, write to your representatives clearly telling them what you want them to do/not do
find people you agree with and promote them
find organizations you agree with and promote them
learn about how government works so you can act effectively
It seems to me malpractice to teach not only to the test but to preparation for college in k-12 schools.  Public education ought to be about life skills, preparation for adulthood, including basic knowledge pertinent to creating careers.
how about we don't tax income
how about we tax consumption and/or profit and/or behaviors counter to the public good
and promote more volunteerism, gifting to the community, public benefit projects supported by coalitions of businesses, an attitude of working together in mutual support?
if the 1% control most of the resources and therefore the ability to get things done or undone, we would do better to have a conscious, conscientious, knowledgeable and compassionate 1%
I am in the throes of a new project, theoretically a series of original myths.  I have been going through just the process Laurie (parenthetical tribute to the name) has written of.  There was/is that impatience to go find the thing, put it together, quick now, do it.  All that got me was a couple of days of severe agitation, which was good because I have experience in easing agitation.  Let go.  Let the images emerge from that deep unconscious lake.  Pay attention to what asks to be seen.  Do the grunt work or preparatory work while playing with intentions, ideas, themes as they randomly appear.  If it's not fun, what's the point?
there is not a the political system
there are various political systems in different places and times
there are people who enjoy the pursuit of power through robbing, tricking, subjugating cynicism and an ethic of any means justified by the winnings -- these people of course use political systems and any other systems where they can infect and conquer
the natural antiseptic here would be people actively sharing information and resources to keep our systems healthy
some  people are always talking about how private enterprise is the way to go for any and all public services and supply of needed goods
fine, go for it
government is a way that people get together and decide what goods/services are essential yet unprofitable in the private market, then figure out how to get those to the people by the people's means
it seems to me that it is up to those who insist that their private enterprise can do it better actually, you know, do it better 
pretty much when we speak of the mentally ill aren't we talking about people who evidence
disturbing behaviors/confused thinking/social inadequacies/obsessive passions/strange manners of expression/unseemly beliefs/uncomfortable suffering?
I often wonder about all the lonely people crying to themselves about how terrible they feel -- all of them; each of them alone in a sea of lonely people; the irony, their loneliness in the midst of people echoing loneliness instead of seeing each other and realizing they have no real reason to be lonely
we got social networking that empowers revolution in some places
what do we need money in our election of reps for?  we can easily spread the words about candidates/potential candidates that we want to support/getting out the vote/...
we can make those who choose to pay politics irrelevant
maybe we don't need taxes maybe every monetary transaction (like with credit cards, and those as well) could issue a tiny percentage to the general fund or maybe some other method of paying our bills as a social entity
the fault lies not in our governments but in ourselves for not creating the change we want to be
People talk about robots and automated industry like its a bad thing.
A great many of the social/political/economic/environmental problems we worry about these days are the result of too much time, too much energy, too much human capital wasted on "work" that is really exploitation.
Let the machines take care of the production work (with a few human assistants) and give us all the stuff we can use.  Let us use our human time in human pursuits and in forming caring relationships.
It seems like for the most part we are thrust into the world with little to guide us beyond our own (limited) experience.  Of course we will tend to cling to traits that feel familiar, even if that is a familiarity with failure in our attempts to create social bonds.  It seems that what is needed is clear communicative education.
if we articulate the important questions, take them in as guides, converse with them as colleagues, play with them as children, look through them as windows on our future world, what joy!
sure, most people can do something
expand something enough and everybody has some abilities no matter how disabled generally
what, however, is this need for everyone, regardless of their own values and motivations, to work in some industry?
there is a great deal of work done regularly by people that is not industrialized, or monetized, yet essential
there is a great deal of creative inspiration that comes from fallow time
there are all kinds of social experiments to be devised when people have more disposable time
the problem with generating workers is not the carrot/stick of pay to afford survival (and in these days when automation induced layoffs are more the fear than lack of hands to do the chores) -- if there is a problem in getting people to be active and productive in their lives, that is better addressed by motivating projects than full employment bias
do the schools own the children?
have we as society decided to make our children into indentured servants of the system, to be held to standards and demands outside of their real interests?
this is the problem
it's not simply about people's freedom to own what they like
or even a Constitutional right to self-protection through technology
it's about people who think it's just fine to advocate killing other people for any petty or perceived complaint
and people are are quite legitimately concerned about them having lethal weapons to brandish in public places
This polling says more about the mood of the country than specifically how well or poorly this President does his job.  Clearly divisiveness and hyperbolic rhetoric have become the language of popular media and politics.  Clearly people are stressed, emotional, angry without useful means to affect those perceived to be in power.  The President, along with the bully pulpit has the role of scapegoat in chief when we are railing against powers that be.  Of course this President makes serious errors, especially when judged by their effect on us individually.  It is a difficult, complicated, huge and humbling position, to be a national leader in such a time and place.  I wonder what we could do, individually and together, to make up for his mistakes, to get closer to where we want to be, repurposing energy from angry blame to clear-headed nation building from within. 
I had been musing about how we each live (for the most part without conscious notice) scripts that define our individual worlds.  Perhaps exposure of what we do not even realize we believe can, if we are quiet and respectful of the process, allow for a general broadening of our definitions?
It seems to me that we (humans) tend to invest substances/treatments with magical properties of allowance.  We manifest symptoms of internal distress without conscious understanding of the process, or indeed we feel constrained from antisocial or sanctioned behaviors -- then take a medication or engage in some kind of ritual that allows us to let go of the symptoms/constraints.
the thing is there isn't "the government"
there is a bureaucratic structure, rules of the game, the there isn't a "the game" but more of a gaming, an interrelation of forces and interests
yeah, we could each be our own hero, our own force -- but in a complicated, wide, expanding world we as one are quite limited
yeah, we could band together with others who agree about issues general and specific; then, you know what we are:  an interest group
"the government" we see and decry is not the government we could be, if instead of tearing down or breaking down in tears we got together and acted as a force of citizenry -- if we could get our respective acts together
According to the logic of guns don't kill; people kill, the sensible approach would be to control people -- which is much more fraught than devising and agreeing on intelligent rules about weapons.
spread the message so all who suffer from bullying will understand:
it's not about you
it's even worse than you think
those people tormenting you, implying (outright screaming) that there is something lesser about you than the wonderfulness of them
they aren't even interested in you at all
they are just projecting their own inadequacies rather than deal with them intelligently because they aren't equipped for intelligent dealing, only projecting pain
Gender is a word, socially created.  The map is never the territory.  We as infants take our cues about who we are from what we are told, shown, encouraged to believe or scorn.  Thus we assume markers of our gender without ever understanding just what that might mean.  We are set up to believe that having certain anatomical conditions means we should be attracted to people with certain other anatomical conditions.  If our is experience of attraction is outside that frame, we think or others think we are in some sense heretical or deviant, because, well, the rules.  If we find we prefer to dress, speak, emote, gesture in ways ordinarily connected to the other gender, we think or other think this is some kind of protest or anomaly.   Anatomy is our biological given. 
Gender is socially defined.
this attitude of cost first is pervasive and unhelpful in terms of results
perhaps it is the attitude driving most of what we lament in our economic/political world
the sane attitude seems to be decide on the goal, then do what it takes to get there -- the money is a tool toward goal achievement, not the goal itself
a punishing, brutal god is not what we ought envisage -- life can be far too punishing and brutal
we deserve a loving, supportive friend to tell our troubles, to unburden before, to offer solace and encouragement
People get confused, overwhelmed, find ourselves in situations that we have no tools to know what to do.  People grow up in environments that deny them the opportunities to learn appropriate skills for health or healthy social interactions.  People are told stories about ourselves that, having no other metaphors to counter, we accept and believe this is who we are.  We are bullied or outcast or otherwise made to feel that our concerns, confusions, misunderstandings, inappropriate behaviors are bad, that we are bad or at least unacceptable.  We are afraid to admit to what we need to express and work out.  It's not illness; it's miseducation.
We could get serious as a society about citizen education rather than concentrating on core curricula based on perceived economic utility.
Reading histories from a variety of perspectives, discussion that emphasizes critical thinking, deconstruction of current events, cooperative projects, field trips to courts and legislative sessions and public meetings, all with an attitude of we are all citizens together with the power to effect better governance.
If we really believe that the majority of Americans want to be heard, want government that works for their best interests, wants the kind of reform that will make their voices matter, the way to get the influence of money out is to make that influence irrelevant.  If a large enough contingent could be rallied to put not their money but their mouths and legs and fingers and time into finding, promoting, electing good representatives who are not about money but about democracy, we would not need to bother about the influence of money.  Money only influences politics if it translates into votes.
Healthcare information should be freely, easily available to everyone, in layman's language, along with provision for questions and conversations.  From early childhood education and on useful information about maintaining health, first aid, and how to access healthcare information ought to be taught.  Walk-in free clinics should be plentiful, helpful, friendly, nonjudgmental, community supported, to help with diagnoses, advice and direct care.  Medical education should be available to anyone interested to any level they are interested in learning.
money in politics does not have to be the issue it seems
what is the money used for?  how can people who care about issues and have good candidates sell their side creatively?  candidates/issues do not need bank accounts.  they need advertising and activists.
libertarianism is essentially classic liberalism, an Enlightenment philosophy celebrating the rights of the individual as the primary foundation of the social state
Libertarians are not necessarily politically "right"; there are politically left libertarians.  They are not necessarily capitalists.  They are certainly not necessarily narcissistic nor hard-hearted.  Mostly they are about self-determination and resistance to authority that is not well controlled by an understood acquiescence to individual liberty.
There is nothing wrong with Occupy.  It is a movement of consciousness, which takes place over time, person by person, group by group, as ideas and actions and hopes and knowledge move through.  A real movement, a counterpoint to the status quo in which people can learn how to be something other than unhappily compliant, in which people can invest their concerns and solutions, in which community can form and flow and expand, is not about perfection or immediate gratification.  It is more like a meme, spreading, opening passageways, educating, inspiring, growing.  The only real threat to that growth is if enough cynical negativity crushes it.
have been intrigued by an idea of sovereign money introduced into the system through direct payment for government services, negating taxation and debt-based currency as well as fully funding the projects we as citizens decide to authorize.
It is dangerous to allow a state to execute its citizens as a normal matter.  Even though the argument is presented as an ultimate penalty for truly heinous crime, the reality becomes about "getting tough on crime" politics and dreadfully inadequate procedures for defense of those without means.  It becomes normalized state sanctioned murder, more a means of oppression than justice.
Mental illness can be usefully defined as aberrant thoughts that interfere with a person's ability to cope with their lives.  Whether these thoughts are in the service of spiritual awakening or in the service of urging the person to change their ways or find useful help or whether in the service of escape from overwhelming experiences, the problem is not that they are aberrant or thoughts but that the person is plagued by pain and confusion.
Perhaps a caring professional rather than imparting their understanding of a medical model could start from the spiritual perspective, with respect for their patient's process.  Basically, the confused individual is looking for definitions that will lead to relief.  Basically relief has to come from the individual's own understandings and practices.  To frame this understanding as an urging toward spiritual awakening or as a process for self-awareness and development of useful skills to create a better self-context would give the patient a better frame for their own efforts to feel well.
The body and mind are not separate entities, but defined as parts of a system by those who define.  That said, just because a "physical" cause is not determined by diagnostics does not mean there is not a dis-ease in the body.  The patient, usually not being well versed in medical diagnostics, may well experience symptoms that they interpret differently from what professionals might expect.  The dis-ease may be different in presentation or cause than professionals have experience with.  The emotional components probably do exist.  We all have emotional issues that we are not entirely aware of, and dealing for a time with illness that is not accurately diagnosed or treated can lead to another host of emotional issues.
Perhaps the better course would be to look at the patient not as symptoms but as a whole person with a variety of issues and understandings.  Come out right up front and explain that immediate relief is not always an option, that doctors do not always have the answers, and that the patient is really the person with the best chance of providing useful care by discovering what does help, perhaps in consultation with a caring and open-minded physician who can provide information, feedback, investigation and support.
Perhaps the social investment and return would best be about not the traditional idea of army, standing armed guard against invasion or trained invasive force, but a standing trained resource for any disaster or social project as well as a display of strong defense.  Thus, the emphasis in training and deployment would not be war, but resourcefulness, adaptability, and conscientiousness toward service of the people.
It's all very well to take umbrage over monetary debt incurred without regard to the effect on generations to come -- but, come on, it's only money, a human construct for economic accounting.  The real evil legacy is destruction of the planet on which we all depend for existence.
The underlying force to move humans away from violence is really not about economics or politics or other institutions.  Institutions derive their character from us.  Somehow we have gotten it into our collective minds that it is important to suffer, to judge, to honor revenge, to inflict pain as punishment or for education or to keep each in their appropriate social position based on hierarchical prejudice.
I am recently exploring the benefits of pleasure as reward for learning and motivation for meaningful work as well as healthful social interaction.  An underlying shared philosophy of promoting pleasure, real pleasure as opposed to the neurotransmitter jump from consumption regardless of the healthfulness of that consumption, would potentially bond us in a positive uplifting direction, away from a misery loves company desire to inflict suffering or resolve disagreement violently.
The sensible discussion is not regulation versus no regulation, but the utility of regulation.  Rules should be simple, clear, easily accessed and followed, and comprehensive in addressing pertinent issues of public health and civic welfare.
We need new stories about sex, displacing the idea that it is evil, for reproduction, or not to be frankly discussed.  Rather than promoting abstinence or even "safe sex" why are we not promoting the positive sharing of nonreproductive physical pleasure?
People are not psychosis, some kind of demonic possession translated into medspeak.  People get confusing messaging from those around them at critical times in their development, in their striving to understand and act in the world.  Systems of thinking get caught up in emotion based loops, reasoning twisted.  Surely the "cure" is not chemical invasion nor disrespectful forced "treatment".  Surely helping people to better understand the world and how to act effectively would be a more productive direction to explore.
let's get over this class obfuscation
are we talking middle income, because middle of what -- the midpoint between nothing and billions is not $50,000/year
let's just admit that what we want is an economy in which everyone has the right and opportunity to make a decent living doing something personally meaningful
If we are truly spending our time in personally meaningful activity, how much income do we really want?
until the majority of the people take the initiative and realize that corporate money buys lies and obfuscation to deny us understanding of our true interests, and develop practical methods to engage, teach, organize for our own interests, we will be living in their world, not ours
the thing is, to us it always is about us
we are the one identifying or feeling the anger as against us
we are the frightened, insecure, hiding our own angers, lashing out against perceived threats, wanting it all to just be fine and fun and hey we're all friends together no enemy here, but look at you trying to make that ok not ok.
maybe we could, you know, take a break from the lashing and the harsh re-acting, instead of taking righteous (or desperate) angry remarks personally, take them as solidarity:  we are righteously angry that it is not always all ok, that we are given reason to feel pain by inconsiderate others, that sometimes fear and pain and anger are solidifiers for fearful, hurt, maddened members of a struggling team, and our team is everyone who feels and wants those feelings to be good.
more important than some idea of a plastic brain is that it's not a matter of brain has to change for ideation/behavior to change; rather, it is a system, not physical movement causing metaphysical movement, but both interacting.
We can change our ideas, behaviors, ways of relating, ability to learn -- and, oh, look, physical brain change (or muscle change, or blood pressure change, and any other change that goes along).  It's not that we can't learn what we have no background for, but that we first need to learn the background that allows us to understand the lesson.  That probably means very different methods of learning than we usually fall back on.
What you (yes, YOU) can do for your depressed friend:
Call her frequently and listen. 
Tell her you love her, and listen.
Send her music that she likes that makes her feel good. 
Tell her she is wonderful, amazing, totally awesome,
in every way you can.
Listen, and respond with love.
When we learn of some madman (madmen, madwoman) killing in a seemingly indiscriminate manner, we want to define "mad" as mentally unstable, an inability to behave in what we believe to be a normal fashion.  But these people have little in common with the derelict saying weird stuff on the street and everything in common with the suicide bomber acting to take out as many of the enemy as possible.  This is not the madness defined as mental illness, but the madness defined as anger boiling over and overwhelming.  If we really want to treat the causes of violence, concentration on facilitation of psychiatric intervention is not the solution.  What we need to do is have facilities for reaching out with compassion and good will towards those of us who are victimized to the point that this murderous rage arises.
It occurs to me that not so much opiatelike, but religion is being used in places where people might otherwise look to blame and bring down political and business groups that work against their interests.  The religious teachings give adherents both their comforting ingroup and ammunition for blaming those who they perceive as against their beliefs.  Thus, as I said, not like sleep inducing, fantasy enhancing drugs, but like behavioral conditioning against scapegoats to dissipate anger and energy that might have been turned against those in power.
an addiction can be an important crutch
while such support is perceived as needed, the way to let go of one crutch is to latch on to a better one
or, more generally, a change in behaviors means a change, not just a letting go
thus, to get beyond the need/desire for addiction one is best off finding something better to gain (and not necessarily what others might label better)
I think the kind of democracy we tend to believe in, you know, self rule, would be made more possible through true civic education and a general attitude toward education of project based teamwork.  Even if those who rule would not adopt such for general public schooling, online and in private/public venue alternate education projects could.
People in general seem to treat politics as another form of entertainment, with generally good reason.  It is just another spectator sport if we have no real influence.  Often the only real life interaction with government is of an unfortunate sort -- obstruction against what one wishes to do or compulsion to do what one does not wish to do.  Perhaps if we encouraged politics to be more of a contact sport, a more interactive game, a place for real excitement of engagement ...
what we perceive as being "profitable" under present circumstances and history is not the only way of being profitable
ultimately, the purpose of business is not squeezing "profit" from destruction; it is work and distribution thus that every participant is benefited.
we are not only interdependent, but intrinsically connected to our environment -- that locus we call self is but a point of view;
we have no self-sufficiency, but a constant need for interaction
evaluate, judge, understand the criteria and the focus.  The focus is on what we hope to achieve.  Thus, the judgment is of where we may perceive blocks or faulty vision or unexpected consequences.  Not a judgment of morality, but of practicality.  Not a judgment of people, but of process.  And within this court of judgment, openness to testimony of those who may have other views, other foci.
I see all these anti-government "mavericks" proclaim against voting because it makes no difference, or validates a bad system.  Yet, obviously voting can be a source of power, or why would those who have forced their way into government try to deny it to those who oppose them.  Bad government results from lack of participation, not "the system" allowed to continue because bad actors are not adequately opposed.
I was watching "Angels in America" last night, and was struck by a conversation between two characters in which one told the other that his problem was he saw the world as perfectable and therefore could not be happy in the world as it is.  I thought about this and realized for myself that the world is of course not perfect, nor are we able (individually or collectively) to make it so.  Nor, do I think we would want to if perfection means stasis.  However, of course, each of us can make the world, at least our personal worlds, better by doing/being what we perceive to be better.  This better, however, is not about perfection, or sin, or striving toward impossible goals.  This better is about feeling good, doing what it takes to know ourselves well and do what is in fact what feels good to who we are; then sending that good out like ripples.
Money is not a resource.  It is a social construct.  Raw materials, labor, imagination, cooperation, these are our social resources.  Money is just math, accounting, a convenience.  Not being solidly real, we can make of money whatever we collectively choose.
Anarchism means without government
not having formal governing bodies does not mean suddenly everyone gets along and is free of hierarchies based on power
certainly there should be, ideally, no war, no violence, no oppression
however, have you met us?
It is a fine intellectual exercise to tweak or reimagine how we might all live better together.
But, who is this we that is telling us all what to do, and who will listen or act?  We are talking about whole societies of individuals with various needs and world views.  Perhaps what needs tweaking or reimagining is communication, means to engage and dialog thus that methods of regulation and distribution emerge organically from the people's will?
a just economy would not be based on an economic system
it would be based on just exchanges, enlightened self-interest, a strong ethic of sustainability and good stewardship, and open communication in a social atmosphere of good will and respect
One would think (if one were me, I guess, though obviously others) that honesty would be not only a cornerstone, but a rationale for relationship of any meaning.  We have the option to find ourselves, learn more than we can alone, in relationship. Not only the reflection, but the changing, the interaction of bonding, the realizing of self that only becomes in interaction or communication.
Yet so much of our time together is about masking, hiding, mistrust and denial of understanding.  Is this because our significant role models lied to us, misunderstood their relationship to us, treated us as "children" as if that were a separate species?  Is part of it schoolyard divisiveness, taunts and hostilities, groupings and betrayals?  Is part of it feeling unacceptable?
it was never that everybody had to earn a living
the point for an economics based on what is socially responsible  is that everyone do their share to provide the result of everyone having a chance at a good life
that share is not about earning money, which is at best a second order reward to coerce
that share is about learning useful skills and using them beneficially
any of us can become destitute
no need to look to class or to vilify, except for the need to distance our current having from the possibility of becoming a have-not
rather, though, we could, if we were sane and smart, understand that loss/lack is not a moral issue but an issue of living in an inconsistent world
the best defense, I imagine, against not having is having good, solid relationships that we can fall back on (like those trust exercises) to ease the pain and help us rise
Ego is not the problem, the separation, an enemy of flow or mindful awareness.  It is this misconstruing of Ego's purpose and nature that we have generally accepted.  Ego is an organizing principle, a flowing together of all of our impressions and understandings.  If we were to have the kind of sacred relationship to ourselves that accepts and loves we would have no need to vilify this or any other part of our beings.
Equality in political terms is equality under the law, the stated underlying value that each of us gets weighed according to prescribed measures; and that each of us gets our vote in democracies.  Certainly we are not each equal in a physical, psychological, or even social sense.  We are each individual with our own traits, values, histories.  The point of a more egalitarian society would be that each of us is respected for our own contributions to the whole.  The social equality required is an equality of respect, of awareness that we are all in this together thus that it is to our mutual advantage to behave well.  What really keeps us from that world?
the norm ought to be fining polluters based on the damage (broadly speaking, environment, health, aesthetics, clean-up costs, etc.)
If we are postulating a society in which much of the heavy lifting is done by AI or other machines, thus that the products we need do not require much manpower, there is your value added to the chits government creates and declares legal tender.  Rather than needing to redistribute wealth, the wealth is distributed through the minimum income deposits directly from the treasury.  Everyone gets their basic spending allowance to use as they see fit, sending it out into the community in return for goods, services, investments, without a structure of "social services" adding to hierarchical resentments.
there is power over, the ability to enforce one's own desires to control others
there is power to, the ability to make your will manifest as projects and creations
empathy may well be at odds with forcing others to do what we demand
empathy can well be enhanced when we are able to do what allows us to feel empowered
Too much energy gets depleted in social and personal enterprise when attention shifts from the positive goals and methods to protection from bad actors.  The energy then gives attention to the possible harms, away from the possible goods.  Yet, such bad actors do cause harm.  In many cases they are able to play the system to cause greater harm, such as in expensive legal battles.  Today, more than in past ages, we have the advantage of instant and wide range communication.  We can out these bad actors, shine harsh light on their activities.  Then, the question becomes:  are we strong enough in our authenticity, integrity, and collective power to act appropriately?
it occurs to me that if the bullies have broken down their victim to the point of suicide, that would better be used as a weapon:  if you are ready to die for them, point that out clearly with loud, public displays of self-sacrifice:  "ok, bullies, you killed me -- so, do it, commit murder and admit it or admit that I'm not worth that level of violence and move on."
perhaps the true enemy is not the bully but the lack of affirmative support from the greater community
with actual, authentic community concern the bully would be out-powered and seen for the loser they really are
It's not about religion, not really.  The religion is an excuse, a rallying point, for exclusion.  The bad behaviors, the hatred, the outrageous malice is not about god or greed or genetics.  It's about self-hatred (long hidden fear of abandonment that would mean death for such a helpless infant), that gets projected onto all those who are in competition for survival, who would overcome and kill me if I don't protect myself with power to overcome and kill them.
Diagnoses carry a history of misunderstandings and disproved theories.  Really it is just about difficulties with cognition, social rules, or behavior modulation.  Focusing on the actual situation, rather than some pre-approved nomenclature offers better chance of good result.
I do understand not wanting to validate a bad system.  However, all of us not voting on principle just delivers the system more completely to those who act out of bad will.  Yes, disengage from the market, from banks and credit cards and any dependency on money beyond the necessary.  Yes, find, create, engage with better systems, people of good will.  Yes, protest, make your voice heard, boycott and stand up against corporations.  Speak loudly against politicians who cynically lie and cheat and misappropriate.  And on those few days when the system allows citizens to vote, do so and encourage everyone you can to do so, to vote for whoever is better or even to write in "none of the above".  Make it all about what you have to say; take back government as a servant to the concerned.
A moral economy would allow for authentic interaction, free trade, creative exploration, resource expansion through thoughtful ongoing analyses based on good will and sanity of intent.  A moral economy would not be about what we don't have, but what we can have without destruction or misplaced anger.  As you point out, we each have our own ideas about an ideal life.  No need to ration -- instead act rationally, upfront, transparent, reflective of a philosophy that is not about punishment or shame.
in regard to the "free-rider" idea:  It is counterproductive to the true utility of programs to constrict them or over-regulate in an effort to kick out free-riders.  It would seem more sensible to create a program towards best outcome and let the free-rider solution come from public shaming or other social costs.
we ought to be able to have true citizen reps -- temporary, p/t, minimum wage with adequate expense accounts and paid staff
with internet access they don't even need to go to DC, and can, if they like, continue their jobs and lives with several hours each day devoted to online governing
districts can decide about elections
the problem is, of course, the people who have the authority to make changes in how we govern ourselves are those already in office, who are not going to vote out the system that works for them
we are going to have to find a way to vote them out before we can reframe the system
a person's right to speak, think, act as they choose, to be free of property if that is their choice, to work for their own reasons, to spend energy and imagination and reason as best suits them, these are the freedoms we need to defend
the Repub. reps look like a bunch of whiny toddlers threatening to hold their breath and turn blue if they don't get their way
unfortunately it is not they who will feel the ill effects of hypoxia, but a host of innocent bystanders at much lower pay grades
great idea to vote in these fools who run on a platform of "government is bad, mkay (so send me to D.C. to get my share of badness)
Children are not the objects, consumers, recipients of education.  Children are the stakeholders, the educators, the greatest resource for education.
the problem is not the number of people or length of lives
the problem is we are in general too busy putting each other down, fighting over what we all know are inadequate resources, to get together and figure out how we can all share and benefit
I have been thinking about this idea of the problem being how people act rather than some intrinsic status in terms of religion.  It's not the story that causes the problems, or even that some people want to make that story an inspiration for their lives.  The problem is in the people who interpret the story as an excuse or justification for bad behavior.
there is no reason people cannot as it were sow our own community gardens and sow great ideas about organizing against those who would enslave or thwart us
in fact, talking over good work can be both uplifting and bonding, as well as informing
knowing that we can together create the kind of community we feel good living in gives us empowerment psychologically and materially
getting divided into political camps so our energy dissipates into shouting matches and hatefests is exactly what empowers those who enjoy the results and can congratulate themselves on being the upper class in charge
democracy is best served by people of strong self-respect who emanate that outward into a culture of respect
Indeed, what do we expect a movement to be?  The initial surge of energy, the marching together in the street, the occupation, are not a movement.  They are the call to move.  Once we have become aware, we take that back to inform the long work, the generation and execution of thrilling ideas as well as the every moment of education and distribution of what we can share.
happiness is a state of mind
fine for serendipitous grace
and a lovely feeling from time to time
but not an object nor a place to reside
as if eviction would mean failure or
theft in expectation of entitlement to
often adolescents get taken by what they interpret as Rand's iconoclasm against a stulifying world
a more mature reading reveals she was merely a megalomaniac on a mission of self-glory, not necessarily a bad thing in itself but certainly not a sound foundation for a social movement
the economy is actually not about money
economics is about how a group creates and distributes goods and services
solving environmental problems is an excellent propellant for economic activity
Is it complicated, or complex and thought provoking?
Is it complicated, or are we complicators, busily burrowing through all
the tunnels and interstitial woes
because we could just accept a state of peace as the ground on which
we communicate
this popular dictum against writing with inspiration is totally contrary to my experience
the thinking seems to be that it is easier to write than be inspired
yet, everything/anything can be inspirational, and give so much power/energy/passion/authenticity to what is said
rather than go through exercises to "write every day" go through exercises to find inspiration, and let the writing happen as it will
how about we just treat all bullies as they demand:
point and laugh, kids; look, a bully -- point and laugh
all together now, "Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, a bully, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha.  Ok, that's all the attention you get today."  Everyone, back to your previously scheduled activities.
I have nothing to hide, and freely send my thoughts to any and all who show an interest.  That does not mean I relinquish interest in or desire for control over how my words are contextualized or otherwise used.  Nor does it mean that my thoughts, words, expressions ought belong to anyone but me.  Surveillance is theft.
when the answer is money, I am not interested in the question.
the international "community" has come out unambiguously against use of chemical weapons, in theory
In theory, the result should be severe shunning of the perps, keen surveillance and interference if such weapons are seen to be deployed, ongoing public/media/institutional criticism and protest, and a strong international commitment to creating useful space and services for victims and refugees.  Violence against violence is just more violence.
If the problem is public perception, ought a strategy to be as we have seen with gay consciousness and "dreamers," for people who responsibly, even effectively, use non-pharmaceutical drugs to come out?  Ought we not be advocating, instead of for truncating the "war on drugs" to let it go?  Prosecute the violence, the theft, the coercions that are the underlying crimes people rightly care about.  Forget about the Nixonian theory of rooting out  crime by targeting people who use drugs.
Is it that wages are too low, or prices are too high for the general market?
Employers prefer to base wages on how low they can go while still getting productive workers for good economic reasons in their light.  Prices they prefer to be as high as possible while still getting good sales.  If employers are paying their workers based on profits (no, of course not the huge multinationals, but you know, "Mom and Pop" small business that keeps America moving), perhaps profits could be higher if prices were lower, to accommodate the budget of the average worker.
Libertarianism, like Liberalism, political philosophies primarily based on the Enlightenment idea of personal liberty and responsibility, on the nobility of the common man, have been co-opted by cynical players of political games and their confused dupes.
happiness is serendipitous or it is nothing
happiness is an emotion -- fleeting into the next
along the road happiness may send greetings; it is not the destination
each destination is self-defined by what is learned during the journey
when Pres. Obama said he had been Trayvon Martin when he was young, I wanted to say that if he really cared about young people who are like he was he would do everything to end marijuana prohibition which ruins so many lives
myths that organize our lives over eras can be difficult to defy
in a different world, more dependent on daily physical labor, attitudes against those who did not "pull their weight" made sense
now that weight is largely pulled by machines, and can and will be increasingly so
it makes sense to admire not physical labor but curiosity and problem-solving skills, even more interpersonal skills, to promote a myth more useful for our time
The self-entitled, elite have cynically advocated their redefined simplification of the libertarian tradition so that a perfectly lovely social philosophy based on the dignity of the individual with elevation of the value of personal liberty so each can work out their own destiny has become more of "I've got mine, Jack; so screw you."
it seems basic sense that police, who must respond to all kinds of emergencies, be well trained in such assessment, management, and mental clarity methods to create best practices
we do need real conversations about money -- what it really is; what is real value; how are resources distributed and why; what are the real resources we need to value; how is our time and energy best used and developed; what are our true goals; etc.
but the real problem is not money -- a consensual fiction -- it is the elevation of competition over cooperation, which could be fairly easily addressed within a system of education based on interactive projects and interpersonal respect
rights imply responsibilities
if we do not use our rights responsibly, we are less likely to find them respected
just because our tribe honors us with rights, we are under no obligation to use them in any old way we choose
rather, we are enabled to choose, understanding that our choices define us in the eyes of the tribe
I went through that whole no full-time jobs for those who want them economic blues in the 70s.  Then Saint Reagan came in and made the country safe for the wealthy.  The rest of us pretty much got dumped on until the Clinton miracle sent the economy soaring, lifting all the boats and rafts.  Not saying we need another Clinton (I don't trust Hillary).  What I am saying is that policies that protect/encourage the rich are exactly not what we need.
It seems to me we do disservice when we teach so abstractly.  Of course we get to use what we learn in our daily lives.  Why not teach to engaging projects which directly show students both the utility of these lessons and how to learn to both facilitate and develop projects throughout life?
where are the people's food communities creating community gardens, food distribution centers, pot luck meals where everyone is welcome, information on free food from nature from merchants from programs, information on nutrition and food preparation for a variety of living situations, etc?
healthy ego is simply the operating organizer of the mind
we need an ego to be able to relate
what needs to go are the unhealthy ideas about ourselves that corrupt the ego's functioning
The state is the structure the society create for effective functioning (when they do it appropriately). A voluntary society can certainly construct a state that fits their needs.  It is hard to imagine (at least for me) a social structure that does not in some sense impose the will of some, whether because they have more skin in the game, or otherwise.  Of course the effect of that will might simply be exclusion from that society for those who do not voluntarily participate.
Grand Bargain (Federal Republic)
Give social issues to the states to work out their individual social experiments
(those concerned about each issue can work to facilitate the ease of transition for relocation of people desiring it to states that take their side)
In return, give control of regulations for votes to national office (Senators, Congressmen, Presidents) to the federal government to insure uniformity; and get rid of gerrymandering.
What does it mean to be "pro-life"?  For all of us, life is a temporary, sometimes lamentable, condition.
I tend more to a position of pro-health.  A guiding principle might be to, as much as practicable, do in any situation what would be to the best interest of all concerned.
Of course, it is often difficult to know what that best interest is.  Better not to dictate.  Better to give considered opinion, when honored by its asking.
many people who spittle hate against women who need abortions seem to have this little scenario going on in their head of licentious sex, lust-fueled irresponsibility that must be punished by inflicting yet another unwanted child on the world
Yet, from what I have seen, most abortions are not in any way "convenient". They are often chilling tales of life and death decision based on horrific circumstances. 
Every life is precious. 
There seems to be a narrative, though, about sexuality as sin.  There seems to be a presumption that women need to be controlled so man's precious seed gets its shot.  There seems to be an understanding of life that is about throwing infants into the world to sink or swim and thus be graded, degraded, or elevated.  There seems to be a definition of precious in regard to life that is about market value, or value to be assumed by those in charge.  Every life is precious if it is a life of value to itself, if personal responsibility is cultivated through respect for personal choices, if we adhere to a culture of honoring life on its own merits and by offering to understand and support rather than divide to conquer.
And yet, how dare we presume to speak for those who don't yet have capacity to speak and expect them to be ever so grateful for a life, any metabolic duration, in a world they never made?  How dare we presume any life is owed to us?  How dare we presume to know the plans and priorities of an infinite, omniscient Creator, or if those plans and priorities have anything to do with us or our better interests?  We take on quite the hubris as if it is our self-evident natural right.
ha, ha; won't they be surprised when the outcome of all their studies leads them to understand that it's the mind that makes the changes -- the brain is just a physical substrate
major social unrest we see throughout the world these days is about the end of the Imperial period's untidy transition
duality is a construct
the world operates not as on/off or extreme v. extreme, but rather as gradations along a continuum
when we attempt to contain all this wealth of differentiation into two camps we lose most of the useful information
maybe we could reframe the bullying as heckling.  People who subliminally understand that they are losers heckle those who seem defenseless.  They are not good judges or noble executioners.  They are losers with nothing better to do.  But, they provide a service of practice to inure against all the naysayers and other obstacles of any life.
The 60s – what we call the 60s, late 60s into mid-70s, mostly Nixon years --
were a time of huge cultural transition.  Then we got slammed with the 80s’
subtext of taking back the night for the vampires and thieves.
What you offer is negativity.
We have no use for that.
When you have something positive to contribute,
we will be happy to accept.
perhaps we would better think along the paradigm of bringing in energy from the abundance of the Sun rather than taking it from the burdened Earth.
maybe profit making ought to be voluntary, with people getting together to solve common problems the norm
If our wise legislators insist on cutting aid to the hungry, at least programs promoting lawn and roof gardens, community gardens, sharing of provisions, and such could be supported.
I had just been thinking about archetypes of heroes and villains.  The hero is not out to be hero, but seeking the personal expansion of adventure, thereby being the character who naturally runs in to the fray.  The villain is hung-up on revenge, on proving their worth through destruction or clever schemes, focused in on what was done to them rather than moving forward.
not "yeah, sure, I can do it" but "hmm, how can this be done"
taking the pressure and focus off the actor and onto the solution
tempests in teapots
to tantalize, antagonize
while actual damaging storms destroy
outside the story
I have been starting to wonder if a component in the suicides of those diagnosed mentally ill might to some extent be because of the diagnosis, the label, convincing the individual that rather than suicide being a permanent solution to a temporary problem is a permanent solution to a life that will never be right.
apart from the obvious need to comply with insurers' for payment, why bother with these spurious diagnoses at all
why not just admit we each have our quirks and kinks, and sometimes need help sorting it all out
The suffering from what we label mental illness seems to emanate from miles of layers of guilt, shame, misunderstandings, confusions, conflations ... We don't need these often dangerous drugs.  We need safe places to share our stories with those who can hear and help us untangle, to clarify useful approaches and goals.
Just think about this.  Biological means it's you; you are naturally wrong.  Even if you can be given treatment that gets you functioning like normal people, you are still wrong.  On the other hand, if we understand that all of us sometimes experience confusions of mental processes, can get overwhelmed by stress, can have worries or obsessive thoughts or feel down, we can see that you are not fundamentally and eternally wrong,  You have been brought down by life situations, too heavy burdens.  You are good.  You just need some help.
There are mental illnesses.  Tragic accidents and gestational anomalies cause damage to brains. Infections attack brain tissue.
However, what most of us seem to be talking about is mental confusions, delusions, hyper behaviors, psychological pain.  These have a strong cultural component.  Biological bases are arguable.  It is being shown that brain structure in growth tends to follow function, rather than that we are born with the brains we use throughout life.
The connotation of illness as a call for medical intervention implies a temporary situation which can be cured.  Chronic conditions that one must learn to live with, though also illness, is really a different category.  One has measles.  One is diabetic.  These have different social implications.  One has irrational reactions or episodes or habits.  These can be usefully addressed.  One is schizophrenic or bipolar or autistic.  These are scary people.
Trust works to a point, the point of secure contact.  The positive thrust of dynamic ideas can carry the enthralled few and valence contacts; but then it dissipates, devalues, becomes mist that can't be trusted.  The cynics, the naysayers, the cons and grabbers infiltrate like parasites.  If there is no proper vigilance to impeccable integrity, disintegration too often occurs.
there are certainly government cover-ups, malfeasance, bad actors, wretched policies -- meanwhile the "opposition" goes all medieval on these stupidities, making me think they are the propaganda machine to protect the true lies
an observation from arguments I have seen between "conservatives" and "progressives":
conservative arguments seem to come from a place of entitlement, a narrative about earning what we have through better morals and/or exertions; there is an assumption that their entitlements are being forcibly taken by the less worthy
progressive arguments seem to come from a narrative about getting to our place more through luck and benefits/detriments of social class, that any of us could become unlucky, thus necessitating a strong safety net; that any of us could rise above our class constraints with sufficient help, thus recommending strong social stepladders -- along with an attitude about a strong public sector as an expression of our combined desire to improve the conditions under which we all live
I believe in beauty
I value integrity, authenticity, deep thought, enlarged perspectives
I believe at the heart of human nature is child trying to figure out what this being human means
I want to live in the kind of world in which that child is loved
I have heard as promotion for capitalism that it is a system that uses our faults such as greed and narcissism to benefit a dynamic market economy.  It seems, though, that instead we are lauding characteristics that divide us, and creating a market in which the only benefit is illusory.
Of course there are powerful forces, people, institutions, that lie, betray, are not interested in our interests.  Shooting them, blowing them up, or otherwise reacting violently is not going to get you what you want.  It will only lead to some kind of shoot out in which you will lose.  If you want power against these powerful, you need creative methods and power that does not come from the barrel of a gun, but the power that comes from truth, persuasion, and persistence.
most people in reality do not care about liberty; they just want to get on with their lives.  People want a strong government that they can believe is keeping them safe.  People want threats removed, and the calming presence of protectors.  The kind of liberty most people care about is the liberty to go about their business without having to think about the mechanics.  If most people truly were concerned about liberty, we would not be having this conversation, because our government would reflect that value.
It seems to me it is about trust.  Why would you need a gun?  Because untrustworthy people threaten you.  Why would you fear governmental taking of your weapons?  Because government is out to get you.  Why would you arrogantly threaten those who offer reason to "infringe" upon your rights?  Because you can not trust them to take your needs into account.
all this tired talk of if guns are illegal only criminals will have guns only attempts to obfuscate
obviously many objects are regulated and yet ubiquitous -- they are regulated to allow them to be ubiquitous without incurring too much harm
obviously those who commit crimes and are therefore labeled criminals are not some monolithic group who can be counted on to break all laws all the time
if we are presupposing some mind set in which law-abiding citizens because they are law abiding are happy to do all kinds of harm so long as it is lawful while refusing to break any law, we are not giving the law abiding much moral ground
is this a world in which law/criminality is the deciding factor in most behavior?  but, you know, if we restrict legal gun transactions to legal actors with regulation, we are determining that those who obtain guns illegally are by definition opening themselves to prosecution rather than simply existing in the state of being criminals with guns
a true guide would tell us that pretty much all of us have or could have or did have thoughts/behaviors/traits that we commonly label "mental disorders" because these are not diseases, but confusions available to all in the wrong circumstances
people are capable of being moral and ethical. Those attributes are part of our nature as social beings. It's not so much that there are exceptions, as that these attributes are only part of our nature. We (individually and collectively) can be quite complex. We do generally function according to conventions, habits of behavior that have been useful over time. We also compose rules (sometimes far too many) as we become alarmed by various behaviors that have unwanted consequences.
So, what do we mean by or want from a moral code? I think we want some kind of mnemonic for understanding interconnection, ripple effects, social responsibilities, to ingrain and remind the benefits of social ease.
rise up and throw the shame back where it belongs
out the abusers, the rapists, the accusers of those who are abused
point and laugh and sully their names
As to the government/private sector solutions:  why not have free competition and cooperation thus that projects are developed by public, private and public/private groups to address common perceived problems and commonly desired goods and services.  Let a billion imaginations grow and interact.
I think this idea of taxes is wrong. We think: I create this money and then the government comes and takes a hunk of it to do what they like. No. The government creates this money, then charges a percentage fee for its use. Thus, a more realistic, efficient, method of taxation (or government revenue) would be a tax on all financial transactions.
since law enforcement is where the troubled meet the societal road, ought not efforts be to fully fund, organize, and implement evidence-based mental health programs within the justice system?
what we need is a serious program to weed out outdated or otherwise poorly functioning laws, codes, regulations; trim the system to make it transparent and easy to navigate
it seems like most of the resources that go into a product are not about the product, but marketing, which often seems to be about fooling or deceiving people into buying a product that will be give them what they want or expected
somehow we ought to bring economic understandings into reality
we tend to fight over our (often faulty) understandings of theories as if they were the reality, when economic theories do not even have the weight of theories in physical science, are basically philosophy
in a sane world the interests of the actual people would be in charge of the markets
the whole concept of public schools as top down education institutions needs to be reexamined
schools ought to be framed as learning communities in which the student is an integral part of the experience rather than one who is done to or for
1) First, do no harm
2) Be honest in all your dealings
3) Learn to love yourself, and understand that we are all selves and interconnected
4) Promote the concept that what is good for each is good for all, and vice versa
5) Promote creativity, flexibility, authenticity, communication
Treasury bonds are not mere promissory notes.  They are backed by the US.  They are the trusted safe savings this country has used for a vast variety of projects and prudent investors use to secure future assets.  Say Grandma has been saving from her income every paycheck, investing in US Bonds.  The country benefits from current income from investors (much like most businesses).  In due time the investors benefit from the safe return of their savings with interest.  Just because Grandma's employer arranged for her savings to be invested in a government program for that purpose doesn't make this "entitlement" any less a legitimate savings arrangement.
Humans are biological.  Our lives do include biological imperatives.  Men are generally considered to be more than that, to be full people with minds, wills, vocations, passions beyond the demands of their biologies.
There is a group of people who created the deficit and who could without fanfare eliminate it.  These are the elected representatives we call The House of Representatives who are required to create and pass the national budget.  If these people would merely do the job they are paid for, they would (rather, their staffs would) go through said budget and intelligently figure out what programs need what resources to perform efficiently and effectively.  It would help if our elected reps were not so lazy, dependent on the public trough, and cynically expecting controversy to keep them in office.
People who think differently from what is considered normative in any social context by definition do not fit in.  However, what is the in where they do not fit?  (Is it a fit in to fit in?)
We have this common metaphor of a box we may think within or without.  It is commonly considered that those who think outside the box (are not fitting themselves in) create the important ideas that carry the society forward, or at least solve problems that could not be solved at the normal level of understanding.
Perhaps much of what we consider social deviance in the negative (criminality, psychopathology) is not a result of people thinking differently from the norm, or people who are not normal, but that people who do not fit in are vilified by those around them, learn to vilify themselves, and act out accordingly.
the ego is an organizing principle within the psyche, much like government is an organizing principle within the society
the problem with both is when we mistake a tool for a master
It seems to me that most of us agree about having no problem with gay people marrying, having a big problem with our resources going to unnecessary wars, wanting a good safety net because we know we might need it, wanting our elected reps in D.C. to stop infighting and do their jobs.  It's not about right or left.  It's about getting on with our lives.
Instead of mucking about with incomplete information, attempting to forcibly control brain function with chemical invasion, why aren't we checking how thinking or personal interactions can make a difference in our responses?
maybe we ought not think of these collections of symptoms as illness, certainly not chronic illness, but rather intervals of mental confusion that can happen to anyone
I think we look at this debt thing the wrong way.  Economics is based on debt.  Money is debt.  The problem is not debt, but what is done, what it pays for, what values are promoted.
It often seems that the mental health system (such as it is) is for the benefit of the system and professionals, not the "clients".  Why not have in public facilities like schools, prisons, neighborhood clinics, and also through internet groups people with experiences helping each other through this maze called life?  Both education and health (mental or otherwise) would benefit from a system of mentors to guide knowledge.
Waste of tax revenue is certainly an area in which people generally take an interest.  Perhaps, especially in this era of wide-range instant communication, we could tackle taxes from the bottom up, having fora wherein any taxpayer can learn about tax policies and argue for/against fundings.  Perhaps such an initiative could get more people more involved in civic communication, encouraging more active involvement by the people in democracy.
We always seem to be so concerned that someone might be taking advantage, someone might not be working hard enough, someone might be getting something for nothing, someone might ...  Of course we are projecting our own misgivings about our own secret desires to be taken care of, to have everything we want without effort.  So, why not admit, out loud, we all like the idea of being that special that we are lauded and given?  Then, look at the reality, that such a life would quickly become boring and meaningless, unless what we realize we really want are useful while enjoyable lives.  Then, maybe we can start to understand that we don't all need to be grinding our noses or lifting weights that drag us down.  What we need, and want, are systems in place, leaders at the helm, that organize effective plans to manage resources, create the useful products that help us to live more comfortably, creatively and happily, match up products and services with the people who have use for them, and make it easy for us to interact effectively.
Most people most of the time will do the "right thing" given the chance.  Some people, for whatever reasons, will not.  It is plain stupid to organize our social enterprises based on the supposed recalcitrance of an outlying few.  Rather, we want social enterprises that make use of the willing energies, with enough slop factored in so that the recalcitrant can be discounted.
It occurs to me that instead of taxes, we could have investments.  The natural resources and agreed upon values of a society could be combined to create pro-social industries which are "capitalized" by citizen investment -- monetary and in kind.
Capricorns are Seagoats – at home in rugged terrain and mystical realms.
We prefer to be self-reliant,
mainly because we realize we are more reliable than most.
We think and feel deeply,
so are uncomfortable with light conversation,
even more so with effusive shows of emotion.
Thus, others often label us “cold”.
We are able to do quite a lot with very little.
We can be resourceful and self-sufficient,
which may be seen as unfriendliness or acting superior.
We are persistent in our efforts to reach a goal,
which is labeled ambition.
Capricorns tend to be able to keep it together in situations
of general panic.
I have often seen these typical Capricorn traits lauded and valued.
It makes sense that the better the will of the people, the better the social system they comprise, and the government they devise, will be.  The problem, then, is how to improve or elevate the people's will to be focused on what is good for all.  This is not about toleration of differences so much as it is about not being distracted by differences.
Social philosphers who enjoy pointing out
the worst in us theorize systems that emphasize their favored faults.
From a societal standpoint, guns are perhaps the the essential symbol for what ought to be regulated in a sane society as their primary purpose is to interfere with the freedoms of nonconsenting others.  This does not mean prohibition nor confiscation.  This means sane regulation such that people can feel that their rights are not being overcome by anyone with a grudge and a gun.
Mental health professionals are often viewed negatively because of the perception that they are basically pharmaceutical dealers without the kind of life experience that allows them to understand client issues.  Peer support and counseling, people with similar experiences trained in active listening, compassionate awareness, and resource outreach might well fair better at lower salary levels thus expanding the usefulness of limited healthcare dollars while expanding the benefit to clients and community.
People have been self-medicating to escape their problems since there have been people and knowledge of mind-altering plants. The general consensus is that such escapism is counterproductive to solving said problems. Problem solving is generally about looking at the situation from a different perspective.
Let's be realistic.  Not this fake reality of what everybody knows.  What everybody knows is often wrong -- because we unthinkingly accept that everybody knows it so it must be true.  People are not greedy, lazy or cutthroat competitive as our natural course.  These well known traits are reactions to the world of other people who expect and extract them.  People (look around you) have a vast array of possible traits and ways of expressing them.
If we want (really) a society in which greed is rarely seen, we need to see the underlying perceived need and address it.
To expect to create a society amenable to the kinds of people we want to be, it is sheer foolishness to start with a preconceived system of "economics".  We do much better to propose the world we want, then create a system to work and distribute resources that fits that world.
What is an economic system? It is a way to organize people. What is it that people benefit from in such organization? If we are doing it right, we each get access to the fruits of our labors as a social network. Greed is pretty much based on 1) fear of lack; and 2) desire for social admiration and power. If we are mutually assured the resources necessary for a "good life" and a social ethic that encourages wide avenues for admiration and personal power, where is greed? Where is the kind of hate that comes from hierarchy and shame?
What is laziness? Essentially, it is a disinclination to engage in activity -- specific activities or generally. If a person does not have an interest in participating in x activity, probably there are good reasons. If a person generally does not have in interest in acting at all, this tends to indicate illness. The numbers aren't the issue.
Personally, I don't care whether people own guns or high heels or silly putty.  You stay out of my way; I'll stay out of yours.  What really irks me is all the unexamined talking points and escalated ire.  It ought to be simple enough to understand that people are not likely to respond well to the prospect of stupid assholes with deadly weapons.
all is interconnected
each is territorial
life, death, re-emergence in changed form, a nightmare tarantella
a wiggly microbe dance re-imaged into macro by degrees of the eternal
This culture obfuscates the basics of sex and death -- binds them up in moral outrage
and damnation for the masses to feed upon in maenad frenzy
We expect subterfuge to fuel salvation when all we need saving from is the resultant confusion.
I feel like I am watching a debate between the "get a gun" and the "get a law" crowds of revealed lore.  As humans I guess weapons and laws as weapons (words as weapons) come to us easily.  What if we stopped attempting to beat each other with our weapons of choice and moved through into a discussion about how to better get along?  Maybe we can each have our weapons to work on practice, to feel safer, while looking beyond those defenses to some shared vision of useful interaction, civil dialog?
what is poverty?  a lack of access to needed resources.
Perhaps if individuals/groups/educators would conscientiously figure out exactly what resources are needed and useful methods to acquire/create/distribute/maintain such resources applicable to each situation poverty would no longer be an issue.
I have been thinking about the link between peevish self-entitlement attitudes and capitalism.  Certainly such attitudes could surface in a variety of cultural environments; but the capital investment economy  social structure seems to be based more on this kind of attitude than most.  The idea of taking risk for profit, the idea of encouraging greater production for lower wages from the great majority of the people -- individuals subsumed to their economic role in creating wealth for the risk-takers -- the underlying incentives people are raised on to believe if they fail it was because they did not work hard enough, do not seem to improve our general attitudes toward ourselves or each other.
it dishonors real suffering to subsume this victimizing of innocent bystanders, this destruction of nonconsenting, noncombatants casually as collateral to silly arguments of power, to subsume these insane tragedies to some political preference for causes of outrage.  If you are concerned about outrageous outcomes of violence, what are you doing to calm, uplift, soothe, lighten, make peace?
I am a pagan polytheist pantheist with a sneaking suspicion that this universe is all a game field entertainment for an advanced civiilization
We expand through curiosity, knowledge (which is ever expanding), changing conditions and paradigms, new lamps for old when the new lamps are ever so much cleverer.  We shrink when we insist on stasis or strict rules of status.
when we as society insist that the differences of our anatomies imply that we are of different cultures, when we elevate a notion of biology that we don't really understand above our abilities to work together, when we insist that competition trumps compassion and that boys/girls have "cooties" or are otherwise to be made fun of to lessen our own anxieties about our place among peers, we are inviting tragedy
the problem with creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that government is ineffective by defunding and firing is that we then have created a need for some segment of society to do the work that government had been doing, you know, like a public sector workforce
perhaps the underlying issue is basing government roles or societal definitions on economic theories at all
this kind of precept sets up a dichotomy between the people and business rather than a basic understanding that business is a servant to the people, not the master or even the equal
These children who murder (even those of adult age are still angry, hungry children unresolved), they are so often described like shadows, quiet, in the corner, who nobody knew or gave balance.  We create shadow societies, shadow people, those who feel uncomfortable invisible in the sunlight where "happy shiny" others mock them in ignorance.  They become creatures of fear and distrust, other, outside of normal social conditioning because where is their reward?  It's not about just being physically different, having abnormalities or difficulties in communication -- it's about how the "normals" condition those outside the accepted circle to be shadows.
This is where it all happens -- not in the formal laws, but in the cultural norms.  The people don't want gun violence; they do not make it into a mystique or urge it as a natural right.  Merely declaring an object illegal, if it is an object people are invested in wanting, will create criminals, not solutions.  It is the investment in wanting the object that must be addressed, head on, and negated by social peer pressure.
when the need to kill takes hold whatever object comes to hand will become the murder weapon the things with guns are: they are primarily weapons, therefore bringing up association to violence by their presence; they can more easily be used to fatal effect from a greater distance; they are harder to defend oneself against than inclose weapons; for the most part, guns don't kill people (although they can be used as blunt objects), bullets do.
on another forum someone posted a quote essentially attesting that the universe is about relationships
I acknowledged this sentiment by responding that from my perspective everything in the universe is in relationship to me
singular consciousness is not alone in a vast universe, but in relationship to it and all of its components, including that singular consciousness
we are all neighbors, all family, all in relationship to each other
we grow, as in Dan's analogy [" An analogy from ecosystem biology is that certain species of oak trees have evolved a bond with a native grass. Though the trees can respond to drought by cutting back on the transpiration of water from their leaves, they have no direct means of sensing the early stages of drought. They have, however, evolved the capacity to detect chemicals released by the grass when it adapts to drying soil. It is as if one of the tree's sensory organs is located in its surrounding environment. Remove the tree to a different ecosystem or remove the grass from that ecosystem and you have partially blinded the tree to rain--you have made it nearsighted."] within an ecosystem upon which we are dependent for our growth and survival.
However, this does not mean we consciously embrace, realize, or even consider this necessity of relationship.  We tend to narrow our focus into immediate desires and reactive emotional habits.
it's about the turning of the seasons
the gifts and rewards of getting through
reflection, contemplation as the year dissolves
using up, letting go, centering into the one that carries you
bravely forward
there is no fiscal cliff -- it is media hype
there is political malfeasance -- what the f are we paying these guys for, a freakin' circus?  well, it's just not that entertaining.
children ought not be punishment for god-given physical intimacy
When we look, it is clear that mentally ill individuals (by whatever definition
we choose) kill very few people. Mass homicides of the type that killed all
those children happen VERY seldom. The real problem with violence is neither
about mental illness nor mass shootings. It is mostly about lack of respect for
those targeted, often as a result of lack of respect for those who become the
I tend to wonder how people favoring gun rights can think they are being persuasive by acting like angry adolescents and threatening violence against those who disagree with their position.
nasty, aggressive argument against people who are concerned about gun ownership's possible negative consequences for themselves and others doesn't seem to me to be a good tactic to assure people of the good intentions of gun owners
we easily see that rights of citizens under the Constitution are curtailed in many ways for many reasons; the right to bare arms is essentially a right to self-defense and (well-ordered militia) a right for communities to defend themselves -- this is not specific reference to specific "arms," but rather is open to broad interpretation based on current realities 
the thing is, the shooters generally kill themselves; that was the plan all along -- if they can suit up and bring down a few innocents or enemies before they get out, why should they care or be deterred by armed resistance
I am thinking about a way to allow everyone all the guns they want while keeping a tight lid on them.  Every gun must have a designated owner, who is responsible for it.  Any time anyone or any property is damaged by a gun, the owner is completely responsible for payment to any and all claimants.
living well is the best legacy
disrespect -- treating others and/or oneself offensively, without regard for the possibility of good natured commonality; an attitude of placing others and/or oneself in a low hierarchical position rather than as part of an intrinsic whole.
To me it is foolishness to pressure someone into college.  Especially in today's market whereby longterm debt is incurred, college ought not be the expected next step after high school.  Rather, unless a strongly desired specific career would demand specific higher education, the more prudent course would be to take the time after high school for real world experience, to work at what is available while planning out a practical career path.  Then, if college is an important part of that path, the student can be focusing on where they are going with what they are learning, having learned what real world goals they pursue.
What a good society needs is positive public/private enterprise wherein all parties do well.  How to manage this in an atmosphere of divisiveness is quite the challenge.
Rape for the rapist can be likened to bestiality in that he negates the humanity of the victim.
The sacred is in the creating
which engenders that eternal bond
of responsibility from parent to child.
Concentrating on mere morality or hierarchy
of law disrespects the sacred.
Actual job creators are those who effectively market their skills.
If we had sane, rational people governing, we could take advantage of this situation to take the time and restructure how we spend as a nation.  I like the idea of a website on which each and every budget item is recorded, along with its purpose and objective effectiveness.  People would be encouraged to discuss what items they would like to see stay, go, improved, changed -- discuss what and how and options for government expenditure.
I think that there is great need for organization outside of government, outside of the influences inherent in political process.  Occupy, as an idea, ideal and imaginative reality can energize, organize and expand the social consciousness of people disgusted by politics.  Really, people need alternative narratives, and more immediate ways to improve lives on the ground, every day, without losing faith, hope or charity to "the system".
For a real fair and functioning free market, honesty is a must.  Only if the consumer has honest information about the products from which they choose is the market able to fulfill their needs and wants, and thus act as the ideal market of capitalism's worship.
Lacking voluntary honesty in advertising, the consumer can retaliate with clear, easily accessible honest appraisals of goods, services, and the dishonesty in their ads, along with avenues for expression of outrage against the lies and shoddy products.
Rape is a political statement.  It says: "I am everything.  You are nothing."  When politicians force women to bear children, it is a form of rape.
Public sector jobs are real jobs.  Real people do societally useful work for pay that they can then buy real goods and services that can create more private sector jobs.  Much of today's unemployment has been created or exacerbated by the trend to label public sector workers as the enemy and do away with as many of those jobs as possible.
The truth is most of us will not agree with everything, or sometimes anything, a political representative does.  We may well believe we have better ideas; and often, sitting back and analyzing, we do.  Often political leaders, who need to take the whole of their constituency, the whole of the nation into their accounting in making decisions, decide in ways not specifically suited to each individual, or even large groups.  Thus, we often have serious issues with how things are being done, being run, in our name. 
President Barack Obama has done perhaps not an excellent job in all respects; but he has done a credible job, a generally good job, has shown insight and intelligence, calm deliberation, interest in the needs of all the people.  He has worked smart and hard and with a reasonable amount of integrity through very difficult times and highly disruptive opposition.  Sadly, most of us have not been doing that level of work on our own difficulties, seeming to prefer nasty attitudes and whining complaint.
I had just been thinking about the transition of the work model from long-term employment to project-driven employment.  For those with the needed skills, sailing from project to project can be a good living.  For those whose skills may be outmoded or too ubiquitous, or otherwise not in favor, there is not much available.  I think a general expectation of mentorship might be helpful, and a general expectation of lifelong skill development and project development.  One idea I've liked is primary education classroom modeling of project development with skills taught in conjunction with their practice in cooperative groups.  If the local schools themselves aren't about to take this up, other community groups could do so.
the thing is we wrap up a box of arguments we've heard, words of condemnation or praise, wholesale ideas unexamined, and call the box "liberal" or "conservative" or "libertarian" or what have you.  Then we put that box away labeled "love" or "hate".
the only way to waste your vote is to not use it
for all those weary souls who don't want to be part of the R/D war, please know there are others you can vote for rather then just be seen as uninterested
AND remember, there's usually a lot more to vote for on the ballot than just the President.
In order to confine socially harmful activities to socially nonharmful behavior we develop rules. We do not condemn or confine people simply for engaging in activities that could be socially harmful when adequate precautions are taken. Thus, activity that is always socially harmful -- violence against nonconsenting others -- is severely restricted. Activities that are only socially harmful when done in particular places are restricted from those places (for instance behind the wheel of a moving car). The mindset is not prohibiting behavior or condemning those who indulge, but harm reduction thus that individual foolishness or experimentation or thrill-seeking is regulated in such a way that harmful effects to others are minimized.
We have schooling to keep the young out of the workforce, retirement to take the old out.  What we need is a system of mentorship thus that "the workforce" creates the work.
Prohibition not only does not work, it is rife with unintended consequences.  As you say, people are clever adaptive creatures who find the ways to what we want.  Rather than some group set ourselves up as judges of behavior ready to carry out sentences for objectors, I believe we would do better to have honest dialogs, vociferously address pros, cons and other concerns, and work to honor all.
the whole social world is transitioning through a transformative time which seems to be revolutionizing the fundamentals of economy  -- it could all be quite exhilarating if we would lay down our defensive postures
The brain, the mind, the body -- these are not separable components but elements of a system.  Stressful events that are "nonphysical" leave physical marks.  Healing builds scar tissue, builds resilience, builds awareness.
According to my understanding, the world Marx envisioned was not about the anti-Fascist revolutions of the "Communist" world, but a "withering away of the State" when the consciousness of the workers became such that they were able to come together to use the power of the value of their labor to self-rule and maximize social good.
As to the "Brave New World" vision, or "1984" or other dystopias, we do need to keep in mind that there is always a dark side.  However, a major point of a revolution based in consciousness rather than bloodshed would be the kind of general mystique created.
I see so often a mystique, a social utility assigned to, cruelty, retribution, punishment, an angry populace.  It seems to me that this is not a necessary or fair condition to perpetuate.
There is plenty of work to be done by humans, robots, whomever.  The problem is in the systems (or lack thereof) for distribution of work and goods.  Capitalism is theorized to facilitate that distribution through the free market.  However, markets by the nature of human interaction are not free.  There is always exploitation and energy expended on creating advantages to the few while denigrating the many instead of being expended on useful occupation. 
In the age of computer accountancy, it becomes much easier (if we so choose) to develop and implement fair and good distribution methods.  It becomes a matter of general will.
I have been centering on the realization that money is not the desired goal.  Money is a place marker for ... anything I actually desire.  To focus on the desired experience rather than the generally accepted means moves me into a better understanding of what I really want, a better understanding of the merely metaphoric concept of money, a better relationship between what I want and what I get, a disentanglement from anxiety or compulsions related to acquiring money.
There need be no limit on health care if it is approached as an ongoing relationship between the individual and health, with professionals acting as the advisers they are meant to be, with societal incentives for professionals to be knowledgeable and many.
Labels are dismissive.  They obfuscate consideration of the relevance of those ideas dismissed to the greater conversation.
Have you had to make a horribly difficult choice in your life, one you know has serious implications for the future of you and those you love?   Feel that agony.   Understand that those strangers you so blithefully condemn suffer that pain.
These people's private tragedies ought not be brutally opened to public debate.  This ruthless violation appears to me to be about a bunch of rapists with no legitimate means to sow their seeds demanding a right to reproduce.
Addiction is a loaded word, meant to focus attention on a given point.  What we are talking about is habit; but in this case what we are talking about is brainwashing, creating a hyper-energized environment in which thoughtful, reasoned behavior becomes less the norm.  Of course, one might well argue that such is a perennial strong aspect of the human condition.  We like to be led.  We like to follow the broken path of least resistance.  Probably there is good reason for such herd behavior, the mesmerization of the mundane.
Given that tax policy ought to be about supporting national values, profitable transactions rather than income ought to be the basis.  Income implies people trading their time/energy/knowledge for the ability to support themselves with goods and services -- the basis of economic health.  Profit implies using the societal infrastructure for personal (and remember, corporations are people) gain.  If every public transaction for profit were taxed a small percentage of the profit, no one would be unduly burdened.  Those making the most profit would be those providing the highest tax revenue, in exchange for having a strong structure within which to successfully operate
The problem is not government.  The idea that it is is counterproductive, leading the focus to the wrong place.  It prioritizes the assumption that the solution would be to get rid of government, rather than to make it better.  The problem is in the mind sets, core beliefs, and bad behaviors of those people who we allow to represent our government.  The problem is not government -- a structure on which to build and maintain social organization.  The problem is bad governance.
we have so many people anxiously looking for jobs while so many others are overworked to the point of serious stress -- why not do much more with job sharing?  Why should anyone have to work more than the equivalent of 2-3 work days?  And why should work places not be used 24/7?  There is plenty of work to be done for all -- American humans, those in other countries, and robots.  Yes, we need better income distribution; but, stipulating the desirability of jobs, we need much better work distribution.
It’s not political philosophy, degrees of achievement, or social class.  It’s just that often people behave like assholes.  Perhaps it’s some primal instinct, acting like a jerk to mark your territory.
It is not the archetypal hungry outsider driven to succeed that we need today, but smart people empowered with ample nutrition to keep minds sharp.
Imagine sex separate from reproduction.  Now, understand that abortion is chosen for serious reasons not about irresponsibly giving in to lust.
These Randians seem to have succumbed to over-identification with their favorite fictional protagonists, not having the consciousness to understand that they are not those people (who could not in any case possibly exist irl).
Stipulating that bullying is a natural outcome of power relationships,  the question is how can those who are bullied gain power?  It seems to me that a lot of the trouble comes not so much from the direct bullying (though, of course, that can be quite severe and leave physical and emotional scars), but from the internalizing of bad feelings about oneself as deserving of bullying or undeserving of respect because of whatever characteristics are put down by bullies.  It seems to me that anti-bullies, people who respect, care, and join into forces against the local bullies as mutual aid would help.
I am beginning to think that this whole anti-abortion, anti-contraception idea is about rapists who want to impregnate their victims and then have access to torture them for life.  Mighty big hate on.
The clear evidence is that austerity does not work, if by "WORK" you mean jobs for those who want them, need income for survival, and actually do the work.  So, those promoting austerity are not promoting what is good for the majority.  They cynically propagandize to convince us to support them.
the "mental health industry" is just that -- selling mental "health" as defined by the industry to make profit on the vast numbers of people who don't fit their definition.  We talk about all the money it costs for healthcare, how it breaks budgets personal and national.  The money is not going to better the lives of people who have been pushed down, shut down, looked down upon and generally degraded.  It goes to those with "credentials" and hype, despite their inability to "cure". 
People who believe they have serious concerns about wasting their tax dollars ought to understand that the yearly tax revenue from each of us equals only a portion of the salary of our elected representatives.  Thus, while there is no direct line from your income tax check to a welfare recipient or a soldier, we can each think of ourselves as paying into the salary of our representatives.  Oughtn't we, as prudent consumers/employers take better responsibility to keep these folks in line?
Perhaps a strong reason that sociopaths are attracted to public service is that bureaucracy was developed to separate the personal from the political.  Perhaps a strong reason that citizens do not generally participate in the political process rationally enough to elect better public servants is that the process is alienating, keeping people divided and hostile rather than engaged in enlightened self-interest which dictates that what is good for all is good for each.
Those so-called libertarians that cite Rand do not really understand libertarianism.  It is not actually about business as such.  That is just an extension..  Libertarianism is about liberty -- about the freedom of the individual being the basic value which any government must respect.  What I call green libertarian I think may more officially be aligned with "Left Libertarianism" which does divorce the social aspects from the economic in the sense of promoting what might be thought of as a more socialist economic stance.  Really it is about understanding the role of the commons, the fact that we do not own the Earth, that people and planet do not exist for creating wealth for those who can exploit them, but each for our own quest for meaning.  The natural resources belong to us all (human and otherwise) and thus we have an underlying responsibility to be good stewards and good neighbors -- without any obligation to forfeit our liberty to do as we will so long as we are not harming others (including the shared environment).  Freedom requires the responsibility to respect the freedoms of all.
If we're so smart and productive, rather than spend our resources denigrating government, oughtn't we be doing these better projects and manifestly portraying that government need not bother?
I've been thinking about the social utility of creating an underlying understanding that status be based upon honorable action rather than profitable.
It's not the guns, even the heavy artillery, that is the underlying problem.  We don't kill because we have guns.  We acquire guns because we believe we have reason to kill.  Much more important that convincing others of our arguments, or "doing something" legislatively, would be developing a general atmosphere of respectful active listening, to default to courteous consideration for all.
The brain, the physically observable component, is not the mind.  The mind is about content, about the individual's subjective experience, that brain function merely contains.  Hasn't it long been a fond fantasy of psychology to be able to measure subjective experience?  In science we measure what we can, theorize about what these measurements might mean, look for confirmation or further information.  It is important to remember, I think, that the map is not the territory.  It is important to understand, I think, that we are explorers in a vast territory that we have barely begun to see.
I have vast wealth of food and drink
more than one would need in a week
and nothing to do all day but play and dream
the end of days is better than it might seem
It's not the currency that is a problem.  It is the mystique that conflates mere accounting with actual value.
We look at it the wrong way when we see death as a giver or denier of meaning.  Meaning is the narrative we tell ourselves.  If we are good storytellers, we can recreate it as we take in more experience.  Death is merely a bookend.
The gun debate, as seems to be the norm in American politics, is far too polarized to find sensible outcome.  While pro-gun people seem to have their backs up and hissing with vicarious deadly force they disregard the real and intense fears of people who want firearms seriously controlled.  Thus they seem like angry cultists worshipping deadly hardware against the interests of living beings.  Meanwhile, those who blame the weapons for the destruction may come off as anti-freedom or simply too biased to understand that dangerous genies do not return to bottles.  Perhaps if we came down from our high battle horses and looked from each others' view, then looked to a nonlateral view, then agreed to find common ground in searching for better nonviolent interaction, perhaps we could.
Thank you for this focus of attention
TimeSpace charged excites transmitter flow
highlights conscious glow
reminds my mind of minds I feel I know
or have felt a knowing toward
inspiring my wiring to grow
Morality is about living as social creatures, each figuring out how best to proceed between cooperation and competition.
Even if you created your product with your own hands out of your own skin and hair, you still need the trade routes and all that entails, the marketplace, the monetary system, all the influences on your customers’ lives that allow them to desire and pay for your product, or you haven’t got a business at all.
I am concerned that there seems to be a general consensus that medication may be necessary at the start before therapy.  Part of the very real problem is overmedication and poor diagnosis wherein the psychiatric profession is seen as basically pill dispensers and maybe we'll get to "therapy" once you are stabilized.  As is often pointed out, many people are given these diagnoses and pills which become their self-identities, the way they are seen socially, and often to horrible detriment. Though there may well be people that are in a position to benefit from such treatment to an important extent in the short term, overall this mass medication syndrome is not healthy for anyone.
People want confirmation for their views, to feel part of a warm fuzzy family of folks like us.  A lot of "political" hate fests are rationales for feeling a need to attack out of our own feelings of inadequacy, free-floating rage, desire to matter.  The actual "facts" are not what is relevant.
In a discussion about the possible political consequences of Romney's Mormonism v. Christian Evangelicals on some tv political show it was brought out that we tend to hate the people we see everyday, along the borders of beliefs and ways of seeing the world.  Some say homo saps got our starring role by killing the competition.  Apparently this has been a time honored method of evolutionary advantage.  Yet, there is much to be said for cooperation, enlightened self-interest understanding that what's good for everyone is good for every one, the benefits of not having to do it all but rather sharing labor and resources for greater return in general.  Is this some kind of struggle, now, at the borders of fear and love or pulling back into self aggrandizement v. pulling together in mutual support?
The searching through murky thought feeling
experience still processing, testing connections
slowly breathing to taste those complex flavors,
break them down into sense
Isn't that what artists do?
If as so many say the creation of jobs is the province of private enterprise, in this time of low interest, large labor pool, wealthy consumers at the high end, and great changes in science and industry, where are the jobs?
People like Romney who always had the advantages of wealth seem to believe that they got to their positions of wealth and power through their own hard work, determination, sacrifice and superior values.  After all, there are plenty of people in their circle of wealthy who do not  work so hard but just coast on what they've been given.  Thus, anyone who has not evidenced such values with financial success and power must simply not be worthy, are inconsequential.
What do we English speakers mean by “hard work”, “smart work”, “productivity”?
How do we know to measure the value of labor, of skill, of attitude?
We may say that the leveling power of the market will sort it all out, match popular desire with profit motive, pay more for the work that garners best market results.
Yet, the lauded market is not what we seem to think it.  It has succumbed to successive generations of manipulation, to become less transparent a tool, more a convoluted snare.
What can be understood as value from such a cynical view?  The system is the system as defined by the victors who continue to reign victorious.
This is the logical evolution of market theory, of the game for dominance to call the price, to make the rules.
So, how do we define value, even as productivity may devalue product price; smart work may become simply working the system for fairy gold made real by fiat; hard work may be a fool’s errand?
Where is the humanity in this equation?  You know, the people, the race of wizards that thought and broadcast theories for the betterment of Man?  Where are our deep ideals, our longing passions, poetry, in our plans?
I have been thinking about intelligence as mental organization, disciplining within to enable useful order of chaotic experience
self-sufficiency would be a fine option if most people were self-sufficient, or even had a clue or the interest to bother to figure out and apply useful solutions to disasters or even everyday ills
The main reason the healthcare act does not do what would be most economically and socially advantageous, and probably the reason CJ Roberts ruled to basically keep it intact, is that in this precarious economic environment to severely dislocate a major industry would have serious adverse side effects.
It's not that enjoying the theater without paying is unethical or a problem; it is the attitude of cheating that fills the mind with rationalization, the heart with anger, the soul with fear of retribution and the life with falsity.
art is reflection and inspiration integral to culture
those hellfires need constant replenishment to keep angry souls burning
what current system works best at providing excellent affordable care for everyone while flexible enough to adapt to changing understandings about health and medicine?
I see when I look around a culture of punishment and blame.  Strangely, this seems to be an outgrowth of Christian thought, or to be fair the whole Abrahamic tradition.  Perhaps more basically it is about fear of bad things happening, so distancing from those to whom bad things happen as deserving of such, thus if we are good we have nothing to fear. 
Meanwhile, we have developed institutions based on such presuppositions, even when we couch our motives in more humanistic terms.  And we can see that a great many troubled people end up in prison to be made an example of where behaviors troubling to the general population lead.  More, the clamour is for greater punishment, more distancing, only allowing aid in terms that make contempt clear.  Of course there is also the war mentality, the vilifying of the designated enemy thus that annihilation is the obvious and only expected conclusion. 
So we are raised and learn as best we can to live in this insane/mad culture which denies reality and thus denies the real possibilities of creating the institutions and social behaviors that would best mitigate the bad things that happen to us.  Thus we layer more bad things against those designated as so deserving, including those parts of ourselves that we believe don't measure up.
perhaps we could counter the effect of big money media hype by requiring that every political ad be accompanied by fact checks
Of course we can each have it all, if it is idiosyncratically defined to fulfill us as individuals.  The problem is when we think we are supposed to have a particular it defined outside of us.  Since this, most likely defined by those with something to sell, it is not intrinsically ours, even if we could get it we would not be fulfilled.
there is not capitalism nor communism.  there is power, and how it is administered.  we seem to want a world in which power is abundant and fairly distributed.  for that we need a paradigm of expansion, open exploration, good fellowship and mutual respect as fellow travelers in this adventure, compassion for our limitations with encouragement for doing what we can within them, adaptability as a cardinal virtue, a deep understanding that we exist within a complex living system, respect for the curiosity, dignity, and intelligence of the young and old.
I had an "aha" moment thinking about the haters online who decry the possibility of someone getting "their" money as benefits which are not deserved because of laziness.  It is not that the person getting the benefit is lazy, but that the hater is.  They hate work, and so lash out at those who they see as not suffering as they do to make a living.  Wouldn't it be better to end the work ethic in favor of the play ethic?
I am so glad we all have our hate on.  But, wouldn't it be more meaningful to support those who support our causes regardless of political affiliation?  Because, you know, we are not fundamentally Republicans, Democrats, Progressives, Neocons -- we are human beings each with our individual histories of experiences, ideas, ideals, actions.
Hyperbole decreases credibility
The challenge is not playing against the opponents, but playing against the game
something compelling
something that says
“HEY, you can’t ignore me”
prison is pretty useless for most of its current uses -- except of course to make profits for those in the industry
nondangerous criminals really ought to actually pay for their crimes, make restitution to their victims.
dangerous criminals really ought to be locked away from others and treated to become socially integrated, or, if they won't/can't, stay locked away or otherwise contained (and by danger I mean ready willing and able to do physical direct harm to nonconsenting others).
then we have to start really looking at what we call crime, and why.
I think the whole label of mental illness misunderstands that what is really happening is a human being with difficulties in a human world.  It is as if we grab on to this idea of the disease rather than accept the responsibilities involved in actual relationship.  It's like the magick principle of controlling by naming.  If we confronted each individual's pain with respect for the uniqueness of their life, we would not be operating in such a manner as to invite many of the misunderstandings that keep health at bay.
Generally "health insurance" is not a useful way to cover regular medical expenses.  Insurance is for unusual, unexpected large expenses which get paid for by the unusual expenses that don't happen for others in the pool.  Regular medical expenses ought to be affordable by regular users.  For those with unusually high regular expenses, a subscription health service would be better.  For the possible big unexpected expenses a medical savings account and a high deductible emergency insurance would keep costs down.  For those who can't afford these, a medical savings account for the indigent system could be developed. 
Meanwhile, probably most people do not have major medical expenses.  Many people do not need health care at all.  Many people who get health care are made worse off for it.  There are certainly many people who prefer other models than that we assume is health care in the US.  Most importantly, there is a vast difference in kind and appropriate response between medical care and paying for it.
Health insurance for major unexpected events is probably a good idea.  For your regular preventive maintenance, it is just plain stupid.  How about getting information out so generally that everybody really does know how to stay healthy and access useful health information rather than depend on people spending time dealing with often confusing, arrogant, or otherwise offputting medical "care".  Or just let each of us do as we feel best for ourselves.  As to lower cost medications, why not join buyers clubs, or health help groups?
If we want to message, expend energy, gather troops for a good fight, why waste it on promoting the medical insurance industry?  You want good medical care for everyone regardless of ability to pay?  Promote community nonprofit clinics with sliding scale subscriptions and an attitude of we'll figure out a way to get the care to those who need it; the money will be figured out separately. 
Ayn Rand 50s pulp genre romance – a dime a dozen w/o the back cover (front cover seductive soft porn)
Words are just symbols – I want the ideas to be alive.
Open the corrals
Let all the pretty horsies fly
Desire is about relationship, even if a relationship within oneself, like orgasm – which casts one into another kind of being.
rise in unemployment is systemic
this is a transitional era of great untidiness
it is not up to elected representatives to fix the economic upheavals because it is not possible for them to do so ultimately, it is up to us, each and all, to stop screeching like headless hens and figure out our own better methods, that the system bit by bit may evolve in a direction we like
In interviews with the financially successful, they don’t talk about doing it for the money.  They speak of following passions, or sometimes, playing a game.  Even when we think it’s about the money, it’s never about the money.  It’s about what the money can buy.
What did you think of when you read that?
What does money mean to you?
It is a fungible matter.  The reality is always elsewhere.  Concepts like ownership are much more basic.  We own objects that we see every day, have relationship with.  This money fellow, he is not around.  He’s just a messenger.  You are just another stop on his route.
He is a government employee, a creature of state control and definitions.  Like a stamp, proof of payment, of rightful expectation of the benefit paid for.  Legal tender for all debts, as long as all creditors agree.  Yes, legal fictions employ real force.  That is only because we have agreed to our part in the system.
It’s not about greed.  Not really.  Unless we are stupid we understand this world is a dangerous place.  Yes, there are indefensible attacks, earthquakes, tsunamis, asteroids, plague and famine.  Yet the greatest threat in the everyday is from other people.  “Hell is other people.”  We fear from experience with the idiotic assholes we meet wherever we go.  We figure out that we need power over them for self-protection.  The push is for palpable power that will keep them at bay, whether weapons, wealth, position, reputation, whatever we can pull together that will impress them into rigid respect for our power.
Why wouldn’t that be a popular motivation?  It is primal instinct to prevail, to do what takes to survive.  Even when we transfer that survival need to a group or cause or ideal we still understand the benefits of power over any who might pose a threat.  Especially then, we can feel righteous in our power.
The point of spells, incantations, mixing herbs and oils, and such is to focus intent.  The mere doing of the this or that without that intent and its power is like trying to start a fire without oxygen.  It is not "belief," but something involving much greater commitment.
If the fact that fewer resources could be taken up with better results were usefully motivating, national (as well as state, local and even personal) budgets would break down very differently.
Why not celebrate ourselves, our lives?  Why not take some special time for reflection and affirmation?  Why not give a holy structure to each personal Solar Return with ritual?
a nuanced relationship with truth
obvious cognitive dissonance among fundies who as Conservatives tout the holiness of personal responsibility while assuming that we are helpless against our human sinner natures
the normative thought seems to be "these criteria define appropriate ways of being human -- reality need not apply."
When you judge a group by the most egregiously extreme of their members, of course you will judge that group poorly.
Fighting to survive, responding to threats with aggressive action, does not jump to wars of convenience or even necessarily war at all. Of course the living will violently DEFEND themselves from perceived attack, or kill for food. We think through enough to build weapons, strategize, create armies. We could, with a better will, use that energy to strategize for peace. Certainly, thinking,communicating beings can develop more useful strategies for dispute negotiations. That is once we get over this silly notion that armed conflict is honorable, or inevitable.
Everyone can be as successful as they want, if they define success as the stretch they get from reaching for personal goals.
science is a creature of culture; we see what we have the vision to see
economic thought and therefore policy is too dependent on unproven theory
It can be argued that more equitable distribution of access to resources is both more democratic as the majority of people can vote with their dollars for the kinds of goods and services we want, and better for economic growth and the optimal functioning of market economy.
Nobody is getting free stuff. This idea is a shared illusion.  Everyone is getting paid. Those who produce and sell the products, those who work and pay taxes, those who are paid to contribute economically as consumers while keeping their dysfunctions out of the workplace, are all being paid. No one is losing. It's a win/win/win.
Many of the people reviled with concerned that they get "free stuff" are working very hard; and not getting sufficient compensation to pay for basic needs. Others are seriously disabled, requiring major accommodations to be effective employees. Most employers prefer not to make such accommodations (quite understandably), so these people can not be employed. Government or private concerns could develop special training and projects to employ those who could work, but rarely do.
Others, though not traditionally disabled have such chaotic lives (for any of many possible reasons) that they are unemployable.
Others will be employed and able to make their own contributions to the general revenue; but for right now that has not happened.
Yet, these people are all actively contributing to the overall economy while their lives are sorting out. Fewer people are actively sick and destitute on the streets, and thus not bringing down property values, causing problems for local businesses, presenting disincentives for people of means to shop or enjoy public space, or presenting even greater problems for health care and crime industries.
There appears to be a spell long cast upon the people to integrate into our basic understanding of the world this idea of market based economy as a given. Economics, money, even mathematics, are human constructs, ideas, not reality. When economic systems, ideas we have joined in promoting, do not well serve human enterprise and needs, the people ought not feel it is we who must adjust to serve the economy. Rather, it is those ideas that need adjustment to better fit our purpose.
However, as the logical progression of market thinking dictates, those who have benefited, who have bases of power that serve them well by their lights, want the rest to live and die in thrall to the system that these powerful command. A useful subterfuge is to convince the bulk of us that the system is not only inevitable, but in our best interest if only we will work hard enough and cast our doubts and blame into burning hatred for the designated losers.
At this time business and social enterprises of all kinds are going through revolutionary changes thus that business experience of the past into the present will be irrelevant to enterprises of even the near future.
Until we get somebody born in space, we are all tied to Earth.
when most of us are complacent, or too busy trying to tread water to notice much beyond our immediate sea, those with ugly axes needing grinding or with excellent profit projections on destruction are going to set the scene.
If they were listening, I would say:
figure it out
but first, think about your precepts
and, most importantly,
where you want to be
(not where you should; or where you could)
on the other side.
So envious of the unwanted?  Quit your lousy job, too taxed, too overworked, too ignored.
Surely you deserve better those under.  Enjoy your natural bounty, and all that our country offers.
Taxes?  Ever it has been so in our culture.  Jesus was born, so the story goes, when his mortal parents were on the road to pay required tithes of their livelihoods.  For the privilege of doing business, trading our time and skills for pay, the top takes their cut.  We pay our homage and percentage to our lord, and hope his armies will protect us from invading hordes.
If you don’t like the system developed over eons for the benefit of those who have forced their way
to be in charge, create a better one.  Then (here’s the trick) sell it to a majority; and make them care enough to follow through.
Money will never be out of politics.  It’s too attractive a game.  The only way around that is to make money irrelevant.  The people would need to understand and agree on better leadership, better policies, that are personally meaningful to them.  They need to feel a real stake, real reason to believe it’s not all fixed beyond their ability to make a difference.  And, it’s got to be easy to begin.
take the time to feel the music and dance where no one is watching