Happy Sunday: The Answer Edition

I had a dream this morning
It ended with a question
The answer was:
“Please God”

I did not remember the question
It was a figment, long gone
The answer was:
“Please God”

A man did speak the answer
A very important man
Spoke the answer:
“Please God”

A voice so crystal, clean clear
A question unknown
And the answer:
“Please God”

It has been a long day of
Getting all that done
The answer still:
“Please God”

I do fly on damaged wings
But I can still fly
To destinations that
Please God
cropped demon chronicles for create space covermaker

Happy Sunday: Are We Really Supposed To Be That Stupid?

It is one thing to live in faith that God will take care of things. It is helpful to chalk up bad things to God’s  will. But it is another thing entirely to live with blinders on; so stubborn that we encourage everyone around us to do the same.

We know that it is wrong to watch neighborhood children playing with matches and to not step in. We vote because we have fought wars for the right to vote. We are pitifully ineffective in protecting children from abuse or bad parenting. We have let predators, racists and opportunists to rule our land.

We have allowed the bad guys to write the laws and we have pointedly ignored our broken contract with the good guys. Our soldiers have put their lives on the line for our global and misguided ambitions, yet we cannot seem to honor our contract to take care of them when they come home.

We allow babies and very young girls to dress and prance around in sick and disturbing ways, whining that “it’s funny” or “we like this, so we do it.”

It is better to have some discomfort now than to suffer great disaster and regret later. Do not worrying about choosing battles. It is too late for choosing. Worry about being able to see the battlefields at all.

The examples that follow are just that, examples. It is up to each person to take a local and personal look around to see where the self indulgent, the evil, the opportunists and the predators have gone way too far in grabbing power and dictating their agendas to the rest of us.

 

Child beauty pageants and dance groups that allow increasingly adult levels of sexual content:

“The sexualisation of children can pose developmental harm and there’s not a single good thing that can come out of the “circus” of pageantry,”

“Direct participation and competition for a beauty prize conveys messages relating to the desirable self, social and personal value and shapes emotional and psychological development.”

“Infants and girls are objectified and judged against sexualised ideals.”

“Anger about child beauty pageants has heightened after the controversial US television show, Toddlers and Tiaras, aired in Australia.”

—The Sydney Morning Herald

This is an area that we think of as a stupid waste of time. We think that only a small number of dysfunctional people, confined to backward regions of the nation, get involved in pageants. That is not true. Pageants are a big money industry and the participants are stubborn about having the gratification that they get from participating.

Here is the problem: child kidnapping and murder is on the rise and we know it. Any public forum that puts children on display with bizarrely advanced sexuality is adding fuel to the fire. If movies, music, games and more can be monitored and rated, then it should not be hard to get some oversight and regulation for pageants and dance competitions.

These pageants and dance programs need to be supervised, sanctioned, and regulated to prevent them from getting even more out of control.  Televised reality shows involving young children need to be regulated and censored to stop the madness of putting children on display as sexual creatures who are not even treated as human beings.

 

“In-Your-Face” racists who have made advances into academics, mainstream entertainment and news media. This kind of discourse resonates with far too many Americans who hide their beliefs while they make biased hiring, firing, supervisory, academic and other decisions. Nothing will ever get rid of America’s overall love of racism and this will continue to be a polarizing force between increasingly hostile camps.

The only thing that can be done is to identify racists and to put a spotlight on their ideas. It is up to people to decide whether they want to vote for them, work for them, hire them, live near them,  attend or send the kids to their schools, pay for their products, or watch their news shows.

 

 

“Stand your ground” laws and their enforcement have effectively allowed local governments and courts to apply the law in ways that are hideously inappropriate and unfair. This makes the law illegal. Laws must be clearly understood, applied uniformly and fairly,  and cause no more harm than they prevent. In many states, boilerplate law was written by ALEC, an unelected and unaccountable group. These laws were pushed through without appropriate debate, judicial or legal review, public input, or challenge.

Make pre written “boilerplate laws” illegal. Make the legislatures write their own laws from scratch. Impeach or petition for repeal when the law cannot meet the standards. Make secret meetings illegal. Require transcripts of all ALEC style meetings to be recorded and made public. 

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The Occupation movement has been stopped from assembling in many cities. This goes beyond a reasonable and legal right to break up illegal occupations. Protesters are not even being allowed to assemble.  At the same time, local and regional police have developed combat like attitudes and carry military grade weapons.

Law enforcement is being increasingly militarized, but without the required military training, discipline, command and control, or rules of engagement. There is no punishment for misconduct, breaking the law and police rioting. So called “anarchists” commit violent actions that trigger and justify acts of  “police rioting”. These well trained and well organized rogues have long been suspected of actually being police or government operatives.

The result has been overly violent and aggressive conduct on the part of police operatives without legal consequence or proper judicial review. There is a combat attitude and there is no longer any intent to protect the rights and safety of American protesters.

Demand local and state wide laws and rules that clarify the rights and obligations of protesters. Set up uniform procedures and rules for police operatives. Establish better training, command and control of militarized police agencies. Demand that regional and community aid police comply with the city’s rules and policies.  Set up public oversight committees to review and report on all types of police conduct, good and bad. Prohibit  police tactics like refusing to respond to other emergencies, then using the protests as an excuse. 

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The ALEC government rules this nation, but so do the the drug cartels, the corporations, the NRA and shady or fake right wing “grassroots” organizations. Unelected entities are dictating to our government. The will of the people no longer has an influence on lawmaking or judicial review.

As a result, much of our nation’s policy and law is being devised by unknown and unelected powers in ways that have been overriding the will of the people.  Elected representatives find that their opposition cannot be heard. The goal is to stop the secret, backroom and boilerplate legislation movement.

Petition to prohibit the NRA, ALEC, Right wing think tanks and other shadowy groups from secretly meeting with and influencing legislators. Petition and force state and local legislators to record and release the records of  all meetings with private groups that seek to influence or create new legislation.  Keep track of these groups and monitor their influence on our lawmakers. Make it a federal felony for a politician to take contributions of drug cartel money, no matter how well laundered it is.

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Michigan and Wisconsin have become  testing  grounds for totalitarian government tactics. Look for versions of Wisconsin’s  Public Act 4 to show up in more states. This law appears to be legal and some residents actually claim to believe that the actions will help their  cash strapped cities. 

Wisconsin’s Republican legislature and governor colluded to pass Public Act 4 after the law was pushed by right wing think tanks.  Troubled cities were  stripped of their rights to their run their own governments. Appointed  leaders were put in place.

The problems with these schemes is that a law like Public Act 4 can be used on cities that are predominantly populated by opposition party voters, the poor, the unemployed, people of color, and other unwanted voters.  Since the state legislatures and governors are in charge of revitalizing local economies, they have the power to suppress economic recovery, then take control over whole cities, citing municipal mismanagement. The outcomes of these schemes include:

Immediate removal of the elected mayors and other elected and public officials.

Appointing and paying confederates to exercise complete and unrestricted control over the affected cities.

Using the power to  eliminate or cancel union and collective bargaining agreements.

Privatizing city operations and enriching confederates and political cronies by handing out lucrative contracts without oversight or public control.

The power to declare a crisis, to shut down polls, and to turn away voters on election day.

Virtual dictatorial powers over the affairs of the cities and the residents who have been taken over.

Flint, Pontiac, Benton Harbor,  Ecorse, and the Detroit and Highland Park school districts have been taken over. The city of Detroit is next in the Wisconsin Republican right wing’s sights.

Look for the same attempts in our own states. Find out which organizations are filing lawsuits to stop such laws and support them. Find out what is actually going on in the cities that are affected, and look for loopholes or fine print that would give right wing Republicans chances to disenfranchise even more opposition voters for state and federal elections.

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In summary, these are only a few of the dysfunctions that we have allowed, are allowing, or may even be celebrating.

We know that these things are wrong, no matter what our political positions, religious beliefs, or moral stances are.

It is time to take a serious look now and do something before it is too late to say or do anything about it all.  Find a peeve and work on fixing it, but do not ignore the problem.

Happy Sunday: How Christians Are Getting More Public Anger and Disrespect

Is this a dawn or is it a sunset? See answer at the end of this post.

 

 

Dr John Scanzoni wrote this article in 1980, and the words that he wrote resonate even more today. The Christian religion in America has been ripped apart by a patchwork of fundamentalist sects led by those who want to set themselves above, in control of, and in acts of  “purifying” the churches.

The problem is that the most extreme fundamentalist sects and powerful churches want to control the rest of society and especially the government processes that enact and enforce the laws that apply to all.

 

While it is sometimes at odds with society, the church is not inherently suspicious of it, nor is the church viewed with intrinsic mistrust. Above all, this institution is flexible and open to changes in the larger society. Moreover, it seeks to adapt to and with those changes; and it may sometimes seek to precipitate change.

—John Scanzoni “Resurgent Fundamentalism: Marching Backward into the ‘80s?”

 

We are living through a national crisis that we knew was going to happen no matter how many times we turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to what was going on.

As the Bush Administration stole and redistributed the nation’s treasure to its cronies and backers; lied to start two intractable wars; and corrupted institution after institution, the American voter stood by and allowed it all to happen.

Spokesmen and women for the opposing party sat down and gave up the fight, speaking in the most useless and minimizing of terms. With such statements as “It is a little bit off the mark.” and “We could be going in the wrong direction.”, the Democrats, Greens, Communists and more managed to talk too much while saying nothing about the things that were happening.

When the liberals capitulate and the criminals destroy, it is difficult to name one civilization that has not been taken over and brought to a horrible and ultimate demise by right-wing extremists who invest in the perversion of fundamentalist religions.

Christian opportunists, crooks, schemers, crazies and scam artists detected a great weakness in their opposition. They saw a gaping hole in the fabric of society. They smelled different air, and that indicated a massive crack in the protective shield against right-wing extremist sects that seek to oppose anyone who disagrees with them. These elements flowed through those cracks and gaping holes in our defenses, secretly financed by the shady and sinister recipients of the nation’s treasure. They want to impose their will through the passage of laws. They want to influence the government.

 

In contrast, according to Troeltsch, the Sect rejects cooperation with society. It is in constant tension with society, viewing it with suspicion and mistrust. Furthermore, since the sect identifies the church with society, it sees itself in conflict with the church as well. Criticizing the church for having left some earlier pristine state, the sect calls for a return to that state.

—John Scanzoni “Resurgent Fundamentalism: Marching Backward into the ‘80s?”

 

The worst elements of our society have rushed forward, full of hate, loud and perverse, lying through their teeth, and by the tens of thousands to give American Christianity its worst name since the slave era. These elements have redefined reality to fit their desires. They were caught in lie after lie, yet never take responsibility or apologize to their victims or to the nation. They have committed crimes and threatened to do great harm, qualifying themselves as traitors and terrorists, yet they stubbornly cling to their self awarded rights to do as they please.

Here is an example of such behavioral patterns.

Condoleeza Rice attempted to go on news talk shows and to take credit for the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden. Yet she whined and gave great offense that she was not treated with the honor and recognition that she had assigned to herself and her cronies. In textbook fashion, Rice demonstrated a strategy of stubbornly ignoring the truth while aggressively and repeatedly pushing the lie. Leaders of Christian and other religious sects are masters of using the same strategies to reap personal and political rewards.

As a result, it is now more likely to hear and read expressions of hatred toward Christians than it is to hear or read expressions of hatred toward any other religion. Christians are described as being venal, dogmatic, irritating, annoying, infuriating, hateful, hypocritical, intolerant, dangerous and ignorant. Yet Jews, Muslims and others who show the same basic human flaws are nowhere near as excoriated.

Americans know better than to paint the whole group based on the detrimental actions of a few, or they would certainly hate Jews and Muslims as much as they hate Christians. No religion is overwhelmingly populated by a consensus of saints.

But it is Christians who are seen as the loudest, the most opportunistic, the most persistent, the most powerful, the most well-connected, the most hateful, and the most reviled.  Christian sects are feared.  Some Christian sects deserve the chastisement for doing and saying all the wrong things, again and again, in the public forum.

It is the Christian opposition, the church described in the opening paragraph, and the members of such churches, who must start to prevent their own religion from being dragged further into destructive and extremist territory.

 

As Barr and others describe it, that mind-set is nothing more than sheer arrogance — the dogma that “we have all the answers which we must disseminate.” Genuine dialogue, leaving  the possibility of mutual change, is by definition unknown to fundamentalists. “We will talk to you, but never actually with you.” It is that incipient sect mentality that has tended to plague evangelicalism, and which has often kept it from building bridges with mainstream Christianity.

—John Scanzoni “Resurgent Fundamentalism: Marching Backward into the ‘80s?”

 

Is this a dawn or is it a sunset? See the answer at the end of the post.

 

 

 

There is always a disconnect and a battle between science and religion, both being essential social entities that claim to “…have all of the answers which we must disseminate”.  It is impossible to find a government that has managed to cut religion completely from society. Even China recognizes that many religions will continue to thrive there, even under the most oppressive of laws. And, of course, no government can cut science from society.

Government succeeds with a balanced arrangement with the most powerful leaders in science and religion. Science provides essential technology and religion gives a stable and compliant citizenry.  Humans need both science and religion. Science settles the answerable questions and religion settles the mind when there are unanswerable questions. This is why the often opposing forces of science and religion are used by any government that wants to stay in business.

So how do Christians resist the movements toward sects, lies and videotape that is going on today?

It will help to remember that Jesus sacrificed for us with horrible suffering, and he was greatly disrespected for his sacrifice. The New Testament and his teachings are known  for a reason. He said nothing about Gays. He said “do unto others as you would have done to yourself”. He was not a racist, sexist or supporter of the things as they are. He spoke out against corrupted  laws of religion and government. He gave us a good foundation for our churches and for living in any society.

If  we just stand by and watch that foundation being corrupted, as our ancestors stood by and watched the foundations of Christianity corrupted again and again, then we deserve the outcomes of failing to learn from past mistakes.

We must fight the diversion and walk out.  Give that church no more money. Direct any moneys to the services that the churches give to the community and not to the enrichment and empowerment of those who are leading their flocks astray in this declining world.

We can choose to reject discordant, divisive, deviant, dysfunctional and destructive religious movements. We have strong enough minds to know what is wrong and what is right.

 

Evangels want to replace the spirit of sect hostility and conflict (so evident in Brown’s article) with a spirit of cooperation vis-à-vis mainstream Christians. They want to bring whatever insights they have to the common task that faces all Christians of “glorifying God” and of assisting humankind to “enjoy God forever.” Evangels recognize that first and foremost the Scriptures describe a God of love and justice, and that all Christians must shape their theology and practice upon these dynamic potter’s wheels. By comparison, all of the rigidity and vitriolic disputes that inevitably pervade a sect-type institution (fundamentalism/evangelicalism) pale into insignificance.

 

We are the faces, minds and hearts of our religion. Let us go forward as Christians, ready to fight for separation of church and state. Let us oppose churches that attempt to take control of society with laws that are neither tolerable nor legal. Let us get up and walk away from the vitriol, the rigidity and the hate speech. We can stop ourselves from being manipulated and dragged into worshiping at places that are more about the business of money and political power than they are about the business of proper spiritual and religious guidance.

 

Happy Sunday and Happy New Year.

 

 

Both photos were taken at dawn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Sunday: Happy New Year 2012

 What has been will be again, 
   what has been done will be done again; 
   there is nothing new under the sun.

—Ecclesiastes 1:9

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012

2012 will be the last year for standing up to the evil, greed and opportunism of the charismatic creeps who have ruined our nation and our world.

2012 will be a test for American Christians to reject the wicked agendas that are being pushed by extremist religious leaders. This is the year to start being the people that Jesus taught us to be. We have been wasting and betraying our greatest gift.

2012 must be the year when the majority of the voters step up and vote, not just for themselves and because of themselves, but with respect to the good of the nation and the good of their neighbors. Many will have to step in and help when corrupted local and state governments attempt to deny their enemies the right to vote.

2012 will be a year toward recovery only if  America is willing to do the  hard work needed to express the truth and the whole truth. The lies that the right has been pushing and the pseudo academic arguments that the left has pointlessly engaged in will simply not do.

2012 will be the year of the charismatic creep; the charismatic opportunist; the charismatic bully and the charismatic liar. If America cannot get off of its dependency on charisma, then 2o12 needs to be the year of the charismatic hero, the charismatic savior, and the charismatic leader of the majority of the people.

2012 is the last chance to force the government and the corporations to carry out the will of the  majority of the people. This will be the last year to make it so that the middle class constitutes the majority of the people. This is the last chance to save democracy as we know it. Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving With Some Goodies to Cook And Eat!

Here are some of my latest efforts in the areas of learning how to cook. The holidaze are the perfect time to try something new!


I will be doing all of the other rices in the future, as each type has a different cooking method!

This pancake is done in the same way as Yorkshire pudding, where a well whipped crepe batter meets a hot pan that has a buttery, hot fruit syrup in it! There is no baking soda or leavening! The heat and the air inside of the batter do all of the work.
Believe it or not, the crepe recipe is the same as the one for the puffy pancake!
Simply put some oil or butter in a flat 9 inch pan, put in enough batter to thickly coat the pan, roll the batter around and cook until the top is dull. Flip, brown the other side and voila! A Crepe!
It may take a few practice crepes, but once learned, you will be in charge of them!

Happy Sunday: Mental Illness Edition

Let us face it, we are facing a rise in mental illness for obvious reasons. It would be lovely to find one person who does not suffer from some form of mental illness that ranges from persistent anxiety to full blown and debilitating disorder.

We are calling more people “evil”, which is the only word for a human who does things that we cannot understand or process in our minds.

We are hearing more words and phrases like “coo coo”, “looney tunes”, “ditzy”, “not wrapped too tight”, “batshit” and so on.

We are using more of those words and phrases.

The only action that we can take right now is to get a better understanding of all of the forms of mental illness, whether we are suffering  and can still admit it, or whether we must deal with someone else who is suffering and cannot admit it.

With better understanding and knowledge, family and friends have better odds of getting help and of evaluating the quality of the help.

Even when the relationship or situation is a dangerous, abusive or harmful one, it is best to know more about any illness or behavioral problems that have the potential to put others in harms way.

THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTS TO KNOW ARE: That fear, ignorance, stigmatizing and social disapproval will drive people to lie, deny, withhold, enable and to block efforts to put a person into care. There are a lot of horror stories and myths about putting a person into “the system”.

THE TREATING PHYSICIANS ARE NOT THE MAD SCIENTISTS FROM THE MOVIES AND TELEVISION. These hard working folks need to know as much as possible in order to make a sound diagnosis. This is not an easy job, since flawed and limited anecdotal or statistical evidence may be all that they have to work with.

THE FAMILY, CLOSE FRIENDS AND OTHER CLOSE INDIVIDUALS NEED TO GIVE AS MUCH USEFUL AND TRUTHFUL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PATIENT AS POSSIBLE. In many cases, the most important witnesses will lie, do not know what information to give, lack trust, or will not want to get involved.

PEOPLE MUST GET OVER THEIR FEAR OF GETTING HELP, OR MORE TRAGEDY IS ON THE WAY. More knowledge will help that process.

AT THE VERY LEAST, MORE INFORMATION WILL HELP TO UNDERSTAND HOW AND WHY A PERSON IS BEHAVING AS THEY ARE, AND TO HELP THEM.

We are going to find out about a different kind of “bible” today. This bible is the guide for health professionals and for all of us when we are confronted by mental illness.

The best resource for all is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Volume IV. (DSM-IV-TR). AllPsych Online has made this all important resource available for free to anyone who needs it.

In May of 2013, the DSM V will be published. This greatly improved diagnostic and statistical manual has changed a lot about the way in which mental health problems are diagnosed. Inputs were taken from a much wider group of concerned individuals and organizations, including families and friends, a wider range of professionals, and the general public.

These manuals are published by the American Psychiatric Association and covers all diagnosed psychiatric disorders for children and adults.  This manual will help to understand the self and will help to understand loved ones who are in distress.

There are four Axis of diagnosis that are important to know.

The general understanding is that there are diagnosed disorders, there are the psychosocial stressors  that affect or trigger the disorders, and there are levels of functioning that change from time to time when a person has a disorder. All three planes are used to identify the troubles and conditions.

Axis I disorder are the actual diagnoses, with schizophrenia, social phobia, or depression as examples.

Axis II disorders are the diagnosed developmental and personality disorders. Autism, retardation, social phobias, and  borderline personality disorders are examples of Axis II disorders.

Axis II covers the physical conditions that make disorders worse, or that involve impaired mental function on their own.

Axis IV describes the severity of psychosocial stressors. The thinking is that certain events in a person’s life will affect their mental health.  People do not just “get” certain disorders, so Axis IV describes events that are known to trigger or aggravate Axis I and II disorders. Key stressors, such as marriage, divorce, losing a job, death of a loved one, trauma and more have been identified and rated in terms of severity.

Axis V describes the person’s highest level of functioning. This axis compares the patient’s functioning from one year to the next, and helps to understand what kinds of changes to expect.

All of this is done with evidence gathering through personal observation, interview, theraputic sessions, physical medical examinations, testing, research and statistical analysis.

This can be a long, painstaking and arduous process, especially when the patient cannot speak for him or her self. In those cases, the only information comes from witnesses and others who may or may not be reliable.

So take a few steps on this journey of understanding today. Take a few more tomorrow. Then take a few more into the future of  understanding more about mental illness. This will help to end the reluctance to tell the truth and will help to stand up to  shaming and stigmatizing. We can all become more observant and proactive, rather than having to react blindly in the heat of a crisis.

Flouncing History and Techniques for Men and Women

Blogger’s Note: I have been doing scholarly study on the art of flouncing for decades.  Know that men as well as women have mastered the art of the flounce, so enjoy a historical summary and some tips for mastering the art of the flounce!

 

The History of Flouncing

 

The origins of flouncing

Do not let anyone bamboozle you about flouncing as a modern phenomenon. Mankind has flounced since humans began to walk upright. On the day that the first man or woman found a way to wrap the body in flouncy furs, flouncy leathers or flouncy feathers, then it was on with the flounce!

But there was a darker side to flouncing. On the day that the first hominid went too far, then just know that the second hominid packed his or her belongings and flounced right out of that camp, tribe or pack!

The Greek Philosopher Ludicrous wrote the earliest known statement about flouncing when he made the famous statement:

“Mankind is conditioned to the beauty, art and taste that is reflected in a proper flounce.”

French Philosopher Montmarte Jones focused on the rhetorical value of flouncing:

“Flouncing is very persuasive. I myself bear the hidden emotional scars of engagement with a skilled flouncer.”

 

 

READ MORE HERE!