The Day The World Changed

earth-1170492_1280I think everyone, at some point, is emotionally involved in a campaign where the person running shows a side of himself/herself that we could not predict or accept, hence the title, “The Day the World Changed.”

Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton yesterday. While yesterday was not a world changing day for me, I know some very good people who are likely to be really struggling with that one. Their world probably feels like the earth has spun off of it’s axis. How do we now wrap our heads around the fact that he or she is not the person we thought?

I remember the day when I learned about the fallibility of Ronald Reagan. I learned that he may have had knowledge of drug sales to illegally raise money for weapons purchases for freedom fighters. Whether he knew or not, he should have.

Today, my interest in that moment is not for the details of the day. My interest is in how my hero, Ronald Reagan, could change when I was so sure he was the embodiment of all I believed in.

I’m very fond of Ted Cruz’s positions, as I understand them (notice now I use qualifiers). His ideas represents the ideals I hold dear. In today’s vernacular I would be called a ‘Reaganbot” or a “Cruzbot”. Not to worry; I don’t take it seriously.

I think the problem is that we all think everyone is just like us, so we start feeling we can relate to the persona these politicians create for our consumption. Of course we know this persona is not the actual person, but the repetitious exposure to this public persona on all forms of media, serve as conditioning. At first, we start to relate to the benevolent or empathetic side of the person. He or she believes in humankind, and cares! We start to project on the candidate the good person we wish to be.

Simultaneously, we project the parts of ourselves we hate and can’t accept in ourselves on our favored candidate’s opponent. Of course, since these phenomenon are largely or completely subconscious activities, nobody reading this will be convinced this describes them. I hate to tell you folks; we all do it.

A personal favorite, that I became aware of not long ago, was pointing out the intolerance of the left – who rose to popularity for preaching tolerance. It took me a short time to see that they were being intolerant of me, and considerably longer to see that I was being intolerant of their hypocrisy, which is hypocrisy! On and on we all go.

The part of this dance I find the most distressing is that these days, people are projecting their negative qualities on the supporters of their candidates political opponent. Really? Hey, let’s hate the haters! Objectivity is really hard work. Those who claim to possess it are the ones who generally have no idea what it looks like. I can’t remember ever meeting someone who wants anyone to suffer. Nevertheless, we all have a different prescription on how to fix suffering. Today I think I will support that scoundrel Bernie Sanders, said nobody, ever. We all come by our political opinions as honestly as the next person.

Earlier I wrote: “My interest is in how could he change when I was so sure he was the embodiment of all I believed in.” The answer is that he was never who I thought he was. He is the person he’s always been. I just completed the circle of his persona with my projections.

Like it or not, these psychological phenomena are part of the human condition. I’m going to try to remember that if you were a Bernie supporter, you are suffering through really bad feelings today. I personally know suffering. Look, already we have something in common. Maybe today will be the real day the world changes.

The Inevitable – Groundhog Day Election

800px-Groundhog3It’s not funny anymore. I keep waking up thinking that the nightmare will end, that goodness and reason will prevail, and that good normal people will, once again, be in possession of their wits. Chaos seems inevitable. I live in trepidation that the day after election day I’ll wake to find its Groundhog Day!

In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray keeps waking up to the same scripted events every day. For seven and a half long years many, including myself, have awoken every morning to the Obama administration singing “I Got You, Babe.” We all arrived at Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania clamoring for the promises of hope and change. Life was going to be good: Health insurance for all; The end of war as we know it; The most transparent government in history; Gay marriage; An end to corruption in government; An end to gun violence, and an end to racial tension. It was going to be Grand! The promises were nearly endless.

As I look around today, I see people acting like they are in a full blooming case of Stockholm Syndrome. It is a psychological symptom that occurs in some persons in a captive or hostage situation, where the hostages develop a paradoxical emotional bond with their captors. It usually happens to those that feel as if their situation will never end. They grow fond of their captors.

Today I see groups of people willing to vote for candidates who violate the very sacred morals the people espouse and govern their lives with, all under the heading: God can use the ungodly! I see voters supporting a Black President who forgot what religion he believes in, and cannot fathom what it is like to be an average Black in America today. I see Christians supporting a man who brags about the married women he has bedded, and has lied so many times he cannot remember what he said last. I see women concerned about women’s issues but voting for a woman who ran intercept for her philandering husband who takes advantage of weak women, who also has also lied so many times she can’t keep the truth clear in her head, and stands accused of violating laws for mishandling top secret information. What more do you need to conclude that voters are acting like they are captives?

Will we ever grow bored with our suffering and stop voting to win, and start voting our conscience? According to Eckhart Tolle’s interpretation of the movie “Groundhog Day,” Phil (Bill Murray) is released from the cycle of suffering when he begins to surrender and accept the present moment, and becomes a positive force in the present moment. I believe that requires us to accept that we created this mess, and vote our conscience, not our fears. That is what it means to be a positive force in the present moment.

Phil” (Bill Murray) is responsible for his happiness in this movie, as we are in our lives. When the alarm goes off every day, it can be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton singing “I Got You, Babe,” or it could be someone else singing a completely different song, because in the end, its not the inevitable. It does not have to be another Groundhog Day election. We can end this cycle of captivity we have chosen.



Death By A Thousand Cuts


black-and-white-branches-tree-high-mediumAmericans regularly lament the current state of affairs in our country. I hear about it, and see it written about daily. Their frustration is palpable. The longer it remains unchanged the more people are willing to believe in ambiguous platitudes from politicians like, “Hope and Change,” or “Make America Great Again,” or “Every Man A King.” Meanwhile, nothing changes and people are seeing their country go through death by a thousand cuts.

We want to think our government is supposed to save us from all evil. On public radio recently the shows guest was talking about the sense of hopelessness felt in different groups, and how for the first time in our country’s history, the white man has the greatest sense of hopelessness over all other groups. While I can’t verify this, the program’s guest and interviewer seemed to think that this is something the government should be concerned with, and find a solution to.

Think of our country like a tree. The roots and trunk provide freedom for all those who are native to the trunk or all those who are grafted in. Branches must reach out and send leaves skyward in search of nourishment from the sun. The act of that effort gives strength to the whole tree. It nourishes the branch and the trunk. Much like grafting is done with trees, the sap from this tree is capable of supporting huge numbers of branches, so long as they produce leaves and stretch themselves reaching for the sun; for nourishment.

Now think of every small branch that does not reach and produce; it becomes an insult to the overall health of the tree. Everything that prevents or discourages the branches from doing what they were designed to do is an insult to the overall organism. Every competing tree that shades us, is an insult to our overall health. Every crazy demand on our country from within or otherwise is an insult to our overall health. In today’s world, every branch is told it is entitled to something more than it is. Entitlements, excessive taxes, excessive regulations, laws so long that nobody has ever read them, a government that is no longer answerable to its people, etc. are all cuts in the tree. Cuts are places for the vital sap of the tree to leak out. From my perspective, we are dying a death by a thousand cuts, and it is torturous to watch. We have to stop thinking the government is our source and remember, we are the governments source. It is said that if you aren’t part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem. What can we do to do our part?

Death by a thousand cuts,” originally known as “Ling Chi,” “Leng Tch’e,” “slow slicing,” and various other names was a form of execution used in China from around 900 A.D. until around 1905 when it was banned. It was a form of torture or lingering death reserved for the worst crimes, such as treason, patricide, or matricide. The following links are interesting for reference.

One is a Wiki page on the subject while the other is a “song” by the title “Leng Tch’e.”





Experience Democracy


Recently, I chose to experience democracy in the first person by collecting nomination signatures for Jon Rygiewicz who wants to run for the Wisconsin state assembly. Here in Wisconsin, you have to get a certain number of signatures from your prospective constituents in order to get on the ballot.

He is a brave man. He is running as a Conservative Republican in an area known far and wide as the most liberal place in North America – Madison’s Isthmus. I admire his bravery. Besides, it’s impossible to affect change in a group if you aren’t part of the group. Well, he’s in the group and representing his values with his actions! Congratulations Jon!

I remember a fellow that came to my door wanting me to sign his petition to get on the ballot. We were in different political camps. I signed his petition, and thanked him for being willing to risk personal loss and humiliation. I told him that I didn’t like his politics, wouldn’t be voting for him, but that this is the USA and anyone should be able to run for public office, and let the best person win! I shook his hand and he was on his way. I believe it was a good experience for us both. I signed his petition because, no matter how misguided I felt his ideas were, he probably came about his ideas as honestly as I did mine, and if my sides ideas are as good as I feel they are, they will survive the arena of public scrutiny.

At each door, I explained that Jon was not asking for their endorsement or approval of his ideas; that it is a sort of permission for him to get on the ballot. What I found was people wanted literature and explanations of his positions, despite the fact that without enough signatures there would be no campaign or literature. Many seemed suspicious of me or what I was doing. Some were very rude. Most were just curt and said “I think I’ll pass.” I wondered how most could call themselves democrats. Jon is the consummate “little guy!”

What happened to all the people on both sides who claim to be fed up with the establishment? This district Jon runs in is “Bernie Central!” Aren’t those “feeling the Bern” the ones who claim the loudest to be so upset at the democrat establishment? Our young watch our every word and action. The next time someone comes to your door for a nomination signature, remember, your kids can see if you are really as confident in your ideas as you say you are by seeing if you allow your ideas to be examined or challenged. I’m guessing that many of these folks instruct their kids how to vote rather than trust they possess a solid ability to reason.

Let me encourage you to experience democracy by finding a guy like Jon, with a dream, and show some support, even if you don’t fully agree with him. Everyone deserves a chance to try.

Here is a link to his page in case you want to show him some support:

Socialism and Taking One For The Team

stalinValues Clarification” is one of the names of a curriculum that has been taught in American middle and high schools since the 1970’s. I believe it is an effort to condition children to accept socialism and moral relativism. It is cleverly disguised as a social studies strategy. Who said the “Department of Education” was outside the reach of politics? Are they teaching “taking one for the team?”

The most famous values clarification exercise was widely known as the “life boat” exercise. The class has a discussion where there is a life boat full of people from various walks of life. There is always one more person than the boat can hold. As a group, their job is to figure out who is of real value to the group and who is of little value. This exercise was used in the middle school my oldest kids went to. The outcome is predictable; someone always has to die, and the kids make the decision about who. They refer to this as teaching “decision making skills!” Really; who could throw out a sweet little old lady?

They are learning to determine, by democratic means, who is not worthy to live. They form a consensus on what makes someone a value to their society. Nobody in the class is allowed to sacrifice themselves, because they aren’t on the boat. This is not actually an exercise in exploring what a student’s personal values are. For that to happen, the kids would have to be on the boat, defending their existence, facing being disposed of by their peers. No, this is an exercise in teaching students to accept the determinations of the group, before the determinations of the self.

Our founding fathers, by their writings, envisioned a new world where society was a loosely knit group of individual people all pursuing their own individual self interests, while government kept foreign invaders at bay. Our founders envisioned a world where the voluntary acts of its citizens, and its greatness was built on the individual, not the collective.

The byproduct of curriculum like values clarification is large groups of people who no longer believe in individual responsibility or sacrifice. Read the news if you doubt. In case a student has a strong set of values from their parents, it utilizes peer pressure to encourages them to abandon those values, in exchange for the values of the group. Not so transparently, this exercise is taught at an age when the children are most susceptible to peer pressure. In short, it prepares them to accept socialism. Sounding familiar?

Socialist societies forget that motivation for sacrifice and industry spring from a persons sense of self, not their sense of belonging to a group, because the building blocks of every society is a bunch of “selfs” (individuals). The current state of the Venezuelan economy demonstrates what happens to individual effort when the state elevates the collective above the individual; productivity dies. America has been indoctrinating it’s children for decades in the fallacies of socialism.

Socialism, appeals to peoples desire to be caught by the “safety net”, to be dependents, but in its end game, socialism keeps no dependents. Few words work as effectively at obliterating a persons sense of reason more powerfully than the word “FREE.” History shows that those who were attracted most to the socialist offer of a “FREE chicken in every pot,” and worked hard to realize this grand scheme, in reality are the first to be thrown out of the life boat because they fail to understand that their role in the collective is to be the producers of those chickens. Fathom that: socialism turns out to be giving one for the team instead of taking one for the team!

Seven million Ukrainians were killed, starved to death, working the richest soil on the planet during the Bolshevik take over of Russia. It was a crime against the state (collective) to grow vegetables for your family even out in the forest because it is “the peoples” earth and, by extension, the peoples vegetables. Many became thieves this way. Those caught paid dearly. When being sold, socialism plays to peoples individual needs and wants. But pursuing ones own individual self interest was a crime. It’s kind of funny how that works. Values Clarification and Socialism both share the stated goal of “making the best decisions for everyone.” Remember, there is a big difference between everyone and every one.

Interesting links:

Is Changing The Rules Unfair?


Is changing the rules unfair? I learned long ago that disappointment is the child of unmet expectations. Know these facts and you won’t be disappointed!

Delegates to the national convention are elected at states conventions by party members. Senator Cruz spent big effort getting his supporters elected as state delegates; Trump; not so much.

National convention rules governing delegates and all aspects of the convention are always subject to changes by the convention rules committee. Rules won’t change if the rules committee does not propose change, and if they do, then rules cannot change unless 1237, or a majority of the duly elected national delegates, vote to approve any change.

A pledged delegate is someone who ran and was elected at the state convention and signed an affidavit or pledge to support the winner of the caucus or primary in their district. It is a pledge to the state they reside in. The problem with this is that our constitution guarantees its citizens to be free to vote their conscience, so signing this pledge is considered by many to be coercion.

Curly Haugland, a North Dakota Republican Party member, a former North Dakota state party chairman, a member of the RNC rules committee, a delegate to the national convention, and a member of the 2016 national convention rules committee, stated that the RNC rules do not require a delegate to be bound to any candidate. He further said that the convention rules and the RNC rules have been tested in court all the way up to the supreme court. The result is that the states rules lack the power to enforce any binding their state rules might wish.

…so long as the 2016 Republican National Convention adopts as standing rules for the

convention what are now the temporary rules, or at least does not substantially

change Rule 37 (b) and Rule 38, then the freedom of delegates to

vote their conscience will be preserved. “

Curly Haugland – Unbound©

Link To A FREE pdf copy of Unbound© can be found on the following site.

 Is changing the rules at the national convention unfair? No; it happens often. That’s why there is a convention rules committee. Last cycles standing rules become this years temporary rules. This years temporary rules, can be changed or not, and however ratified, become the new standing rules. What Donald Trump is wanting, though he says the opposite, is the convention rules committee to change the rules to force delegates to be bound to state primary results. For a man who panders to the angry that “They want to change the rules on us,” his hope is that the rules do get changed, to include binding delegates to their pledge. He and the media have worked hard to convince the people that this binding rule already exists. His Obi-wan “these are not the droids you are looking for” mojo, appears to be out of gas.

Should “Gun Free Zones” Be Regulated?

gun-free-zoneAll of the major terror attacks in the U.S. for at least eight years, where guns were used, the shooters had licensed weapons and many had background checks done. This recent shooting was done in a gun free zone, as were most. If it wasn’t a gun free zone, he likely would not have been able to kill so many. It could be said that one of the problems in this latest shooting is that people followed the rules and left their guns at home.

There are many that are quite able at figuring out how to craft laws around this subject that will limit the people from getting weapons. I want to know which of you can find a way for people to reject their evil ways and embrace love for their fellow man? Aren’t gun control laws just a less-than-clever idea to separate the evil from the man? Great Britain outlawed guns long ago; now they have a stabbing violence issue, and are trying to get people to turn in their knives.

Laws don’t prevent the evil from having their way with the law abiding; they prevent the law abiding from stopping those under the control of evil from following through. Since the gun free zone very likely created the environment that made the carnage worse, could it not be said that, however well-intended, the gun free zone affected evil on the law abiding? Is it also possible that all of the law tweaking suggested lately, no matter how well-intended, may also become the partner to evil in the same way?

It should be at least a point of interest that Chicago, the US city with the strictest gun control laws, has near the highest gun murder/gun violence rate in America. Also, the states with the least restrictive conceal carry laws, have the lowest gun murder/gun violence rates in America. If you think regulating guns more because you think they are evil is a good idea, then be consistent and propose regulating gun free zones because they exacerbate the carnage. We cannot stop the evil, but we can make them think twice.

twig tree1

The only known picture of government regulation!


Would Jesus unfriend me?

ChurchIf asked to describe jello, most would say “Jiggly.” It’s funny how we have associations we make for virtually all words in our languages. It’s part of how the human brain works. We also just can’t stand to have uncomfortable feelings about any issues. We just seem to find ways around that, even if it means changing our version of truth to get there. It is referred to as cognitive dissonance. The most interesting part is that Christians are not immune to this quirky design issue. Just look on Face Book.

If you look at the current American political puzzle assembling itself, and how can you not, you have to be scratching your head. There are evangelical Christians on all sides of the “Trump Divide.” We are all witnessing some of the most unkind exchanges ever. Much to the surprise of many, a goodly amount of this behavior is coming from Christians! The whole world is watching how we define Love. My brother Philip used to say “Love is a verb; an action word.” Nevertheless, love is very hard work!

For those who aim their stone at me for being a stone thrower, this isn’t a stone; it’s a reminder that only sinners need Jesus, and I know that I’m one too. Meanwhile the world, who desperately needs all the good that can come from us behaving like Christians, sees the fruit of our behavior with all of its ugly warts and blemishes. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up being one family they don’t want to be a part of.

Who would bet that the non-christian political world sees us as that wacko crazy cousin that they tolerate because they need our vote to form a majority? I don’t think that Jesus wants us to be known by our lack of self control! How can we tell people that we just can’t vote for Mr. Trump because his ethics and morals don’t meet our standards when we have degrading names for Trump supporters like “Trumptards?” As much as we don’t get how people cannot see the contradiction and dichotomy that is Donald Trump, we should get it that we all see differently. We should get it that they think they are doing the right thing by supporting Mr. Trump. While many of us don’t get how this can be happening to our country, the people who support him came about their opinions as honestly as we do.

I have been unfriended for not agreeing with Trump supporters. I was referred to by one man as his “natural enemy.” I have been told that I will be responsible for the election of Hillary Clinton, and the loss of all that is great in America. It’s pretty plain to see that manipulation is afoot in America on a grand scale. Using guilt as a tool is a sure sign that bad things are happening between us citizens and to American politics.

Phil Robertson is coming out with a movie called “The Torchbearer.” The title makes me think of our mission as Christians. How can we contend for peoples hearts if we stop speaking the truth IN LOVE? What good does it do to unfriend someone? How can you reach out and be salt and light to someone you severed ties with? Would Jesus use the unfriend button? Jesus died for all mankind; not just the ones that think Donald Trump is up to no good. The devil would like to divide us. Don’t let him. What if the one word that the world thought best described Christian faith was “Jiggly?”