Saturday, March 11, 2017

In Defense of Democracy

            Trump is dangerous. He has proven that his policies are beyond the realm of conservative or liberal. His politics are Machiavellian, and purely out for his own interest. He came to power with hate speech. He is gutting the agencies that benefit the American people the most. He is doing all of this because he is a business man. Business men are not statesmen. The purpose of a business is to make money, and he is setting himself and his supports (large donors) for massive payouts. This small pamphlet with argue how his latest scam will play out with the evidence I have at my disposal. Trump will propose a large increase to military spending, gut the state department to make diplomacy fail, then shame any politician that won't back his large increase when he takes us to war.
            Trump has already proposed a large increase to military spending at the expense of other departments. This is nothing new to our war opposed country. There are reasons why we fueled and created our military industrial complex during the cold war. However, the predictions of President Eisenhower on January 17, 1961 has come true (search Eisenhower's farewell address for more information). America spends more than the next eight militaries combined (number taken from politifacts.com). The richest county in the country (Falls Church, VA) is home to five companies that are heavily involved in weapons research and development. War is huge business in this country, and Trump seems determined to make his donors and himself as much money as possible.
            Trump on his first few days in office fired all foreign ambassadors, and now wants to gut the State Department and USAID by 37% (stories taken from independent.co.uk and politico.com). Firing all the ambassadors will put all our alliances at risk, and will create chaos abroad that will raise tension in high risk countries. Cutting the budget to the State Department drastically reduces its ability to be effective abroad while it is already in chaos from having its ambassadors fired. This drastically increases the possibility that we will go to war with a country we already have tense relationships with.

            The final nail will be to convince the country that war is necessary, then shame any politician that dares to claim that the war in unjust. This tactic is the simple and has already been done by so many politicians throughout our history. The Bush administration put out a slogan about "Supporting the Troops". They did this to distract the American people from the unfairness of the war. People spoke out against the war, but their voices were ignored as unpatriotic. Trump as already put Iran on notice (story taken from The New Yorker on February 2nd). This shows that he is already creating a war movement. All he has to do is pick a fight with this country, then order troop into the fight. From there he just has to shame politicians into being quite while he uses the war to justify drastically boosting the military budget.  

Friday, August 21, 2015

Is Chaos Logical?

In many religions there are two powerful figures that represent the two sides of human nature (God, Satan; Appollo, Dionysus; Loki, Thor). These are all metaphors for the two sides of human nature. Yet, what if chaos is not madness, but logical...what if the only sin our dark sides have committed is outliving its usefulness.

Let me give you a few examples to help be clear.

Conflict: this seems to part of human history and the darker part of human nature. On the surface, humans fight over the stupidest things. Yet, what if our instincts for conflict come from a time (paleolithic period?) when threats were everywhere, and we did not have time to think through things. Therefore, an "instinct" developed in our nature.

Love: this has been the cause of many rock songs. Many people have made impulse decisions in the name of love, and said "it just felt right". Yet, is this chaos logical. Maybe it developed during a time period when people needed to stick together, which led to only those that felt this new instinct "love" that stayed together and succeed.

Anger/Jealousy: this leads the opposite side. The Greeks believed that love and hate were two sides of the same coin. Yet, what if this new instinct developed alongside the instinct of love, because there had to be a punishment for betraying love...because the instinct of love was needed for humans to stick together.

I could go through all the emotions, but I'm sure you get the picture. What if our emotions/chaos is really just a logical instinct that developed within our subconscious to help us survive? 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Welcome Back!

I hope everyone had a wonderful break. We are now all back at classes and work. I will be launching my next post Friday. We will be posting new blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I am personally committed to building the blog bigger and better! Thank you all for your support and I will see you Friday!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Adult Bullying: Why We Need to Shed our Animal Instincts

            Bullying is based in a power play. Such power plays are going to happen for the rest of our lives. Adults just call it office drama. Nature also shows us that predatory creatures like lions and wolves play fight to practice for the hunt. Wolves fight each other to establish who will be alpha, beta, gamma, etc. These wolves will protect their pack at all cost, but also fight viciously for rank within the wolf pack. Humans have refined their razor teeth into polished rhetoric and gossip, but make no mistake that the majority of humans are still a predatory based creature. Notice I said the majority of humans.
            The current fight is not between humans, but between the new evolution of humanity and the old predatory instincts. Humans have finally developed to a point where everyone is waking up to the fact that we need each other. We have developed weapons that can kill everyone; economic systems that can impoverish entire populations with one economic bubble bursting; and heavy machines that are polluting our earth with filthy energy (seriously, so many better options out there). This has led to a painful fact. Humans are either going to evolve and shed our predatory instincts like a winter coat, or we will all die together in a blaze of glory from climate change or World War 3.
            We have even glorified a system that harnessed our polished animalistic instincts to shocking success. We call it capitalism. Capitalism works due to the fact that it harnesses our animal instincts, but it does not work for everyone. Granted, there have been those that have evolved past this wolf pack greed such as Gandhi, Bonhaufer, and Martin Luther King. However, even these men had their weaknesses. Humans are a work in progress to say the least. However, even predatory humans are still different from animals in one key area.
            Humans are the designers of their own hell through cultural pressures, expectations, and social narratives. It never ceases to amaze me how much humans miss that fact. Is Sally in accounting really a slut, or has biology just given her a high sex drive and you're being a rude gossip? Granted, she might be making things messy with the raging hormones of her gentlemen callers, but is that really your problem or the manager's (the one responsible for keeping the office productive and professional)? Let's flip that logic on its head. Aren't the "studs" down the hall also making things messy by hitting on every secretary? To deny our basic instincts is to deny we are human, and did not God create us flaws and all? Jesus taught us how to love others past these social controls created by humans to enslave us.
            If we are a Christian nation, then why are you following the father/mother of lies and gossip into his/her hellish den. Notice I gave Satan both genders. (If feminists can have a debate about the gender of God, then we should also have a debate about the gender of Satan). Need I mention movies like basic instinct and mean girls? Both genders are equally capable of being mean. Moving on, to understand adult bullying requires looking at humanity as a whole. We have created a system of hierarchy in the modern world, and we ruthlessly punish those on the bottom of the hierarchy. We cannot change human nature. We can create a system with a different incentive motivation for our energies. Cruelty will remain in our world as long as there are incentives to backstab each other and climb the social ladder. What we keep forgetting is that the social order was created humans, which means it can be redesigned by humans. I am not saying we should all hold hands and sing Barney songs together, even our founding fathers wanted a meritocracy (meritocracy: a system were ones skills and abilities determine social rank. Even meritocracy acknowledges rank of some sort). However, have you seen how broken and corrupt our system is? Really? This is the best we can do with the wealth of America?
            We must acknowledge that high school drama is a direct reflection of adult society, because teens and young adults model themselves after the society around them and learn from the adults in that society. The first shots in the battle for the next evolution of humanity were fired in the high schools of the current generation. Our generation here and there began to realize that no one is free until we are all free to be ourselves. It is time for this evolution to carry over into the rest of society. These ideas of loving each other and working together are not new. Jesus preached this amazing message over two thousand years ago. Where do you think society got the message of love and equality? The Greeks and Romans never mentioned it in their writings of power and empire! Humans have the ability to work together, but fear keeps holding us back.
            Everyone is trying to claw their way to the top. Therefore, what happens if our kindness is perceived as weakness? This is a valid question in a world of ruthless individualism. There is no easy answer to this, which is why it must happen on a society wide scale of small victories: turning off nightly news and reading a book full wisdom, or donating to a company on kick starter. There are lots of great ideas on such websites bringing jobs back to the United States. It could be as little as shopping at a farmers market to help grow small farms instead of big agricultural corporations. These farmers spend their money locally, which pumps money into the community. Plus, you get fresher produce - everyone wins! This is going to be a long road ahead of us. The only decision the current generation of young people must make is whether we will continue to be predictors with winner take all ideology, or whether we will evolve into the next stage of human social evolution and shed our predatory instincts!  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Life Lessons from Literature, Part 2

            The majority of people want to fit in. There is something primal about being left out of some type of group. There will always be those that act like they do not care, or maybe they are an introvert that prefers to be alone with their thoughts. However, most humans want be feel apart of a group. There is something primal that goes all the way back to our survival days that makes us want to be a part of a group. The safety of knowing that someone will help us or be there for us when we fall is comforting. We go to great levels to know that people are friends with us. Honestly, we don't really need fake friends with the amount people on this planet (there are 7 billion on this planet. Surely, you can find someone who enjoys your company). Yet, we still have this desire to belong to a group. The main character, Charlie Brown, in the comic strip Peanuts is always trying to fit in, and is even willing to get abused.
            Lucy keeps pulling the football from him. Charlie Brown continues running toward the football like it will still be there. Surely, Charlie Brown has figured out that the football will be pulled from him. The only conclusion is that he does it anyway knowing he will get hurt. Humans will sometimes even take abuse or negative attention rather than be alone. He even goes to Lucy with his problems for five cents. She keeps tricking him, and he is paying her for nonsense advise? He knows that Lucy is a bully. The other characters ignore him for the most part. They treat him with apathy, and that seems to be worse than abuse to poor old Charlie Brown. He is neglected and even left out of things throughout the series (going all the way back to the November 1950 comic about being not allowed to play football - page 14 of The Complete Peanuts 1950 to 1952). The sad thing is that this wonderful piece of art is reflecting back something that happens every day.
            We see this type of willingness to be abused in exchange for acceptance everywhere from high schools, to colleges, work place, and love relationships. There is no stage of life that does not have these people in the group somewhere. It keeps happening due to the fact that there is a primal need to feel a part of something. Granted, there are those that have become wise enough to learn how to be content alone. There are also those that are devious enough to wield these internal problems of their fellow man against them. Playing with people's emotions is the oldest trick in the book for manipulative people. Charlie Brown is a sad case of someone that is willing to run toward the football hoping that Lucy with change and he will have a friend. Yet, it is this internal need of Charlie Brown that keeps Lucy confident in her ability to keep tricking Charlie Brown time after time.