Thursday, July 27, 2017

I think therefore I must be thinking

Related imageWe have had years, thousands of years of thought, trying to figure out if our thoughts have merit. Philosophers have pondered the mental questions with their own mentality and have come up with a variety of mentations that upon reading have only provided me with an almost endless variety of choices. Are we what we think?
“Cogito ergo sum, I think therefor I am” RenĂ© Descartes believed that our thoughts, our conscious doubts was sufficient proof of our own existence. This suggestion of mental sovereignty gives rise to the basic premise of thoughts being a foundational platform of not only our existence but our lives in total as well.

Nietzsche held the view that all human actions are motivated by the desire “to increase the feeling of power” Desires are brought on by our minds and given credence and substance by our thoughts. How we act upon those desires and thoughts may be an indication of our motivations, our choices and our desires regarding who it is we really want to be.

Who do you want to be? That thought drives our actions in a profound way creating with it a  pattern of behavior that instills in us the practices of our success and our failures. Who we want to be may never be fully realized and in some cases causes great concern over the realities of ones life. The media, social media, peer pressure and the many other ways our thoughts can be manipulated, interfere with our initial desires to balance our inner cognition with those realities that surround us.

I wanted to be an artist. In some respects I have accomplished that desire but only after I realized and balanced what I wanted with what was needed, not only for myself but for my family. In retrospect I could have done a better job at symmetry but I also believe that as we learn we improve, also understanding that learning is the fundamental process of growth. It really doesn’t matter where we start from; what matters is how we progress.

My goal of being an “artist” was never fully realized in the financial sense but I can fully appreciate and utilize my gifts, my desires and my talents in that specific direction, but only after I balanced and harmonized my thinking. I used to compare my talents with others who were more successful but were not as good and wondered what I was doing wrong or what I could do to be more than what I was or am.

It took me a few years to understand the differences between wanting something and being something. Being something requires a level of thought and action that transcends the basics of wanting into an almost spiritual level of searching for who we really are and what are true potential is. Becoming an artist is what I wanted but being an artist was always there, all I had to do was let it out.

How we think, what we think about and the time we devote to thinking is the determining factor of what we are. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” telling us that our thoughts are important to control. Proverbs 23:7

The above scripture bridges the gap between the mind and the heart with the warning or promise of where we spend our time determines who and what we become. Spend out thoughts on negative, soul draining endeavors and we soon become enamored with the spirit of those thoughts. Spend our thoughts and time in positive ways and we soon become more positive, more enlightened, more kind and more Godlike.

The term Positive Thinking as coined by Dr. Norman Vincent Peal was a standard in creating what was thought to be a ground breaking process of mind focus and control. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill was also a treatise on focusing the mind toward your desires. Both works have had a profound effect on the mental outcomes of hundreds of thousands of people wanting to improve their lives.

Both writers understood that as we think we become, the more we think the faster we can become whatever we choose to spend out time thinking about.

There is ample evidence to support the process of thinking positively and the mental and physical benefits of moving our minds away from the negative and destructive emotions like hate, revenge and fear. In her landmark study Barbara Fredrickson of the University of North Carolina has been able to show surprising results from her study and associated experiments in relation to the negative and positive impact in relation to brain activity.

When we think or are forced to think negatively our brains produce certain chemicals that literately narrow our minds and in the process narrow our perception of the events and the world in general. For someone who is facing real danger the exception of this narrowing of the mind can be very useful, especially when all of your mental functions are needed to escape or to simply survive.

The opposite is true with positive thinking. As we are faced with real world problems those who espoused a positive outlook were able to draw upon an increased tapestry of options where those who were negative were forced to deal with less options.

Positive thinking does not solve the worlds problems. Man must be ready to initiate the protections and the defenses needed to protect themselves from those who would harm or kill, but thinking with a more positive attitude toward life, opportunity and gratitude for what we have will always generate more options to any given problem than those that are negative.

How you reach that symbiosis of mind is primarily an individual process. You are responsible for how you think, how you feel and how you view the world. You can either have a glass half empty perception or a glass half full attitude. When both are equally available it seems to me that the simple view of half full is the only healthy perception to take. Both are equally real but the more positive affirmation carries with it more possibilities and opportunities.

Our attitudes do encourage the attitudes of others. And sense our positive attitudes actually produce increased mental possibilities the very personal act of thinking positively should not be ignored nor discounted due to “real world” or “life experiences”. We can all overcome the negative and foster a more positive outlook that will strengthen our health, our minds and our reality, or you can continue to live in fear, distress and anger, it is after all, your choice.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Rights vs Privleges

Image result for conservative differences between rights and privileges cartoonThe discussion between rights and privileges may seem archaic in todays current level of acceptance based on feelings and internally driven, self worth criteria that espouses freedoms for all based on the premise of personal choice but there is a reality that helps to define the differences between what is a right and what is a privilege.

So many in this day care about what happens to those who seemingly cannot take care of themselves and from that caring comes a reluctance to define the right and wrong of that blanket acceptance.  Is their a right and a wrong, is there a good and evil or a can anything be defined as an absolute?  The absolute principles of the past have been marginalized and manipulated with a constant barrage of inconsequentailism as to make even the most basic of principles nothing more than a whim or a  desires.

Let’s start to unravel the differences between these current chaotic movements to destroy the foundation of what we used to be and hopefully establish a level of understanding that will assist others to make decisions based on the truth rather than a purely selfish approach to life in general.

As you all know I love to define the words we use in order to sustain the meaning and maintain the consistency of our language so that all can access that same language in order to forward the ideas necessary to promote a unified society.  Let’s start with the word Rights:  “A right is something that you as an individual own.  A privilege, on the other hand, is something that another entity owns who then grants you the ability to do something.  A privilege definitely can be taken away if it is owned by someone other than you because they own it and you don’t.” Unknown

Ask yourself, what is it that you truly own?  Do you own your health care?  Do you own the right to drive or the privilege to breath?  Do you own the right to eat or is that dependent on your ability to earn a living?  Do you have the right to work?

There are but a few of the many questions that could be asked but in the end, what do you own, what cannot be taken away from you and in relation to privileges who owns those privileges that you seem to think are rights?

Health care has been a major source of contention for quit some time.  The politics of Heath Care is divisive and complicated with the social issues of the day demanding that all should have the “right” to Health services.   The definition (I did not make that up by the way) has to do with ownership and the ability to control what you own.  If you do not own it, someone else controls it and they will make the decisions regarding it, whatever it is…

There are different definitions discussing where I rights come from, suggesting that our ownership is contingent on the vast reaches of space and and an overshadowing deity but for now and within this finite and temporal existence ownership will have to do as a guide to the differences between privileges and rights. 

What aspects of your heath care do you actually own?  Do you control the company you work for and therefore can also control the finances that allow you to pay yourself to buy the health care you desire?  Even if Health Care was adopted as a single payer system with free access who would manage those affairs and who would ultimately control that system? 

The real issue here is in how our rights are being usurped and redefined.  Gun ownership is another hotly contested topic with one side demanding their rights be allowed while the other side demands for more oversight upon those rights.  Inevitably the debate turns to compromise and when it does the rights of ownership are subject to that compromise, magazine size or the number of bullets etc. and with it the rights of ownership.

The right to own a gun is a determination of our constitution, some agree with the wording and some do not. That determination of a right has been altered by how the words of the constitution have been defined.  Others may not agree with that expression of freedom and often try to limit your right to expression through the process of compromise.  The problem with compromise is that rights cannot be compromised or negotiated.  Once you relinquish a portion of your rights your rights are gone.

Our rights under the law are written with our Bill of Rights.  Those are our rights but those rights have been compromised and the outcomes and expectations have changed.  Free speech is not always available or allowed, property ownership is contingent upon the taxes you owe, gun ownership is also dependent on the bullets you can buy or the size of the clip your allowed to install. 

We have allowed our rights to be compromised and altered and that has altered our basic rights into privileges and with those privileges the risk of reprisal from the owner who will at some point recall those privileges and with it our supposed rights.

Health care never was a right but you have the right to treat yourself anytime you like, just don’t make a mistake in the process, you may be in violation of some medical statute for competition infringement….

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Violence and Entertainment

Violence or entertainment?

Image result for world wrestling trump cnn cartoonProfessional wrestling had it’s beginning in the early 1920’s. Since it’s inception professional wrestling was a choreographed and “fake” event and is and has always been a “performing art”.

You may refer to it as violence and due to it’s graphic nature there is a substantial level of violence perceived within each episode.  But when we talk about violence It's important to understand what is  violent and how the shows portraying these rambunctious actions are different than the real thing.

Violence: the use of physical force to harm someone, to damage property, etc. : great destructive force or energy.

Although the process of this performance art is graphic, it is seldom violent. There is no great destructive force, no harm to most of the participants and no real destruction of property.

Remember, it is performance art, similar in many ways to the sports we watch, similar to the games our children play on their computers and similar to the way our kids used to play with each other before the introduction of video games.

When President Donald Trump reposted the GIF of his past performance between Vince McMahon (with the CNN logo placed over McMahon's face) CNN went ballistic. Was it in good taste? Was it funny? Was it appropriate or timely? The answer to these questions depends almost entirely on your present ideology, with conservatives comparing the “event” to over the top shenanigans dutifully created by the likes of Hulk Hogan and Dwayne Johnson (the Rock) and all the others who are “professional” wrestlers.

If the argument is to ban violence then I could understand their reasoning and actually empathize with their position. If the argument is only to curtail the video due to it’s embarrassing portrayal of the left and their hyperbolic sensitivity and their hypocritical stance on the violence supported and condoned by the left (CNN) then I would continue to remind them that the video was not violent, brutal or sadistic, unlike the riots on college campuses of late, the shooting of a Republican congressman or the rhetoric that threatens the lives and freedoms of all those who must endure the daily onslaught against our President and his ideology.

We have taken a paradigm shift away from the way it used to be, civil and polite to chaotic, rude and decidedly uncivilized. The problem is that the left has skewed their own minds into thinking that they truly need to force their issues and demand their “rights” based on how it used to look and feel to them. Their self inflicted wounds will only continue to fester and eventually, like a gangrenous and infected hand, untreated will demand the entire body, sacrificing that body (the nation, other peoples rights, society in general) to the psychosis that they are right and the Right is wrong.

When they cannot see the similarities in their rhetoric, or their actions with the performance art of the video then it must be concluded that they are, in part, psychotic and cannot see that their emotions and their thought processes have been compromised to the point that their ability to understand the obvious external reality has ceased to function.

The same is true to a lesser degree with the Republicans. This creates an interesting dilemma of consciousness. If I know that my ideology is marginalized by the very party that I belong too and I know that the same is true for the other parties as well, how can I in good conscious promote one over the other? Is it simply by virtue of hoping for less evil or is their a way to actually change the outcome for a truly representative leadership, leaders who act responsibly and morally for the benefit of those they serve? A lofty dream perhaps but one that we should all entertain and strive to accomplish.

To some degree I believe President Trump is governing according to his beliefs and trying to accomplish the promises made that got him elected. I don’t have to agree with all he does, all he tweets or in the process he takes to accomplish his goals but I do, we all should agree that he is our President.

Trump is obviously not a politician and he has taken the fight that has been taken to him with an in your face strategy, that to many, including me, has been effective and welcome. It is not my place to tell him how to run his affairs, nor is it the place of CNN, they should lean from this latest scuffle and move back to honest reporting, if they ever, really knew how.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Liberty and Justice

Image result for Liberty and freedom cartoonLiberty and justice, two words that mean so much more than most can describe. Let’s start with Liberty:                               
A condition in which a man’s will regarding his own person and property is unopposed by any other will.  

That my friends is the definition of liberty. When you understand the basic premise of an ideology it is then easier to ascertain the motivations of others in respect to that singular understanding.

Our government proclaims liberty and justice for all but who among us really believes (according to the above definition) that liberty is within our reach or supported by our present laws and regulations? Property ownership is always encumbered with yearly fees and taxes, some more egregious than others but all encumbrances are attached to laws that require payment with penalties that will eventually cause the owner of the property to forfeit that property if those bills are not paid. Try not paying your property taxes and see what happens. True and complete property ownership is not a part of our lives or Liberty.

Liberty is a goal to some but a realization to others that a mans will is often regulated by an others will for a variety of reasons. Society demands that we all subjugate our dreams of liberty to some extent through the process of imposing boundaries on our utopia. Liberty is a dream that cannot be fully realized and must have limits in the form of laws to balance our desire and the practicality of it’s ideals and goals.

Laws are necessary in a society that defines itself as offering liberty. The idea of liberty requires a balance of intent with all who proclaim liberty for themselves. If one among the throng fails to sustain the precepts of liberty than in a sense liberty for all is threatened. Hence the excuse for laws made to regulate those who would not or could not maintain their own liberty by requisite demands of protecting the liberty of others.

The goal of a society of liberty is perhaps like teaching to the lowest common denominator of any given group of students. It is precisely those with the greatest need that disrupt the idea of liberty for others that must be regulated to protect the vestiges of liberty for all. The more responsible individuals act and react to those around them the more liberty can be enacted for all. This process can also be explained in the terms of an individual with an overactive dog. Leash laws in some areas are required forcing the man to walk his dog in safety.

The dog does not understand but the leash actually protects his freedoms and future from devastation and disaster and protects the owner from liability and heartache. We often forget how certain laws actually enhance our liberties and freedoms, like the leash does for the owner and the dog.

But it must be understood that liberty not fully enacted is not in line with the definition. Another example and an argument used on the right and the left suggests that when an ideology is not fully implemented the potential for that ideology is never realized. The same is true with Liberty. We are allowed some of the benefits but until it is fully and completely implemented we will need laws to regulate those who would do us harm and forcefully alter our designs for freedom as defined. And therein lies the conundrum; laws my protect but they also regulate, limit and prevent the open and free exercise of individual will and choice.

The simple example of gravity and choice illustrates this problems between liberty and laws. A man standing next to a very high and rocky cliff has the choice to jump or not to jump. A sign clearly states “No Jumping allowed”. If the man jumps he disobeys the law but also looses his life and any further choices. If he follows the law and steps back the choice still remains but he needs to evaluate his position, hopefully realizing that the law (in this case) was made to protect his choice and liberty, as are many of our laws today designed to protect us from others and ourselves.

Justice: Depending on where you look the definition is open to interpretation. It is generally agreed however that justice includes an agreed to fairness that is derived from the social construct of any given society. In other words justice can mean anything from Plato’s version of an “issue from God” to Egalitarians view of equality, and John locks contention of justice being the result of Natural Law. There are others but what does Justice mean as it was written in our Pledge of Allegiance, which by the way was not adopted by congress until 1942 with the added “under god” adopted in 1954, on Flag Day.

In order to understand the term justice as used by our Founding Fathers we need to go back to the Preamble of the Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

We the people establish Justice. We established the definition of what justice means. In our original declaration for independence we recognized the need for a new standard of Justice based on equality and our divine relationship with our Creator, endowed by Him with the understanding that we all have “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Justice for us is in the process of how we treat each other and how we view one another as equally recognized under the slogan “liberty and Justice for all.”  

For some, however, "liberty" has been reduced to a license for self-centeredness and "justice" has been diminished to mere retaliatory or punitive action.”

Justice for all requires action and motivation for the benefits of others not so blessed. Justice has to include all or there is no Justice at all.

In the first time in Human History a government was created to establish the process to create “a more perfect union” between Justice and Liberty, in order that all would be benefited by the process and recognition of our endowment from God. This history was a fundamental shift away from the prevailing methods of governance. No longer did we kneel to a king or queen. No longer did we fear the reprisals of an unspoken but all powerful government (we’re talking history here folks). For the first time ever, we were given the opportunity to self govern, to vote, to engage in free speech and to make laws that would assist us in all achieving the goal of complete “Liberty and Justice for all”.

Now all we have to do is earn it….