Archive for January, 2012
Just when you think it can’t get any more absurd or bizarre…Herman Cain endorses Newt Gingrich. Of course, if I were Newt Gingrich, I’d be standing as far from Herman Cain as I could. But then again, I don’t share the common values of 1) objectifying women and 2) being unfaithful in marriage that these two men share.
I want to believe that we as a Nation, not to mention human beings, have reached a point where we no longer believe the image that politicians and media outlets project but rather make our decisions based upon actions not words. If that is in fact the standard then Newt Gingrich is unacceptable as a Presidential nominee.
Mr. Gingrich was disgraced as Speaker of the House of Representatives, has left a trail of unethical and shameful personal behavior, and is a Progressive. His most admired U.S. Presidents are Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Wilson began the Progressive movement and the drive for big government under which we now suffer and Roosevelt implemented Progressive policies with abandon. In fact, Roosevelt was so power hungry and dismissive of the Constitution that his Presidency led to the passage of a Constitutional Amendment limiting the Presidency to two terms so no individual could ever again so abuse access to power.
I believe that we get the leader we deserve. If we refuse to think for ourselves but instead follow the herd, we will have as our choice either Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich on one side and Barak Obama on the other. Each of those is noticeably flawed.
If, however, we do our homework and look deep into the policies, actions and character of the leader we seek, Rick Santorum will be the next President of the United States. Remember, we get the leaders we deserve. I hope we deserve Santorum.
The Gingrich candidacy deserves the two consecutive posts I am giving it. It deserves both because it’s critical that his candidacy be terminated as quickly as possible. Newt Gingrich is dangerous man, I am sorry to say…dangerous because of something we all struggle with: ego.
So many Americans, in their haste to be entertained and their willingness to abdicate personal responsibility are distracted by Gingrich’s intelligence and showmanship. Intelligence without ethics is a vacuum waiting to be filled by whatever steps up first. Usually, it’s pure ego. The desire, one might even say the inherent need, for self-aggrandizement.
I have no doubt Gingrich will have to bow out… either gracefully or perhaps, with that theatrical “hook” around his throat that you see in comedies when the actor refuses to timely exit stage left. My certainty comes from the fact that he’s left too much ugliness in his past personal and public service lives… and too much of it is recent.
We are a forgiving people, but the mea culpa goes a lot farther when the act(s) needing forgiveness occurred in the distant past. When you’re asking for access to the control button on ultimate power…well…even recent acts sincerely seeking forgiveness will be forgiven. It’s just that the forgiveness will be followed by a “No thank you. We forgive you your past we just don’t trust you with our future.”
So, yesterday Nancy Pelosi hinted at one of the dark sides of Newt Gingrich. Today former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams reveals another. The House Ethics Committee considered his prolific “doodles” where he routinely drew himself as the center of the political Universe. And so it begins. Exit stage left.
My real concern is not if he will go but how soon before damage is done. We are heading into the most important election of our lifetime. Our continued well being depends on its outcome. Literally. Gingrich’s showmanship and eloquence are a distraction.
Newt Gingrich and Barack Obama are examples of intelligence without ethics. The Nation is in dire need of a candidate with an ethical foundation who is bright enough to discern and gifted enough to lead. It’s the ethical foundation that is key.
At the moment the alternatives are Santorum, Romney and Paul. Stay tuned and stay alert. Your voice and your desire to be more than simply entertained for the next 9 months is why you’re here.
There’s an expression among con artists that refers to a habit or gesture that gives away the con. It’s called, if I am correct, a “tell.” Newt Gingrich has a tell. I’ve noticed it every time he is questioned by either another Republican candidate during debate or when asked a question by a reporter. He sort of furrows his brow, squints his eyes, looks somewhat askance and gets a quizzical look on his face as if to say, “huh?” A noticeable uncertainty for a man so eloquent and ready to respond.
I most recently saw that look last night during the final Republican Presidential debate when Mitt Romney accused Gingrich of “influence peddling” and “lobbying” based upon Gingrich’s financial relationship with Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, the federal mortgage giants.
I’ve written about why Newt Gingrich should not be President in a prior blog post. Then, it was based upon his rather unseemly behavior with ex-wives and paramours. Then there’s the whole ethics violation charges while he was Speaker of the House and his inability to garner sufficient votes within his own party to maintain that position. Now there’s Freddie and Fannie.
What is astonishing to me are the amount of people who seem willing to make the same mistake in 2012 that was made in 2008: Take the candidate at face value and rhetorical eloquence even if it flies in the face of reason…not to mention past behavior and/or accomplishments.
I think there are three reasons so many are on the “Newt Wagon.” First, they want to see him verbally crush President Obama. Gingrich is a heady match for any opponent. But it would be darn close to entertainment many would pay for to see the teleprompter dependent and manipulative Obama have to go up against Newt. Second, many people want to believe that words are the same as action and since Newt can speak a good game they want to believe he will deliver one. Finally, too many want to abdicate personal responsibility by looking past the surface razzle dazzle and do the homework it takes to know where a candidate really stands and what he or she has actually accomplished. All together, these three reasons combined make for a tragic outcome for the nation.
If the choice is ultimately Obama vs. Gingrich, we will have to choose between two very flawed men. Gingrich is flawed in both his personal and professional life. Obama is flawed by lacking anything resembling leadership capability. Both men lack integrity.
What’s the solution?
Let’s support integrity over show and values over theology. If we do that, we’ll at least have to choose between either Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
Then, at least, we’ll have a fighting chance to turn this sinking ship upright.
In a recent conversation with a friend, she told me that the reason she has never been interested in politics is because it’s all a lie. However, recently she delved in for a brief visit and came away with her beliefs reinforced. After watching the Republican Presidential debates, she called me and said “Obama has lied to us for three years. I watched those Republican contenders and it’s so obvious they will say anything to get the nomination. They are all alike. Politics is professional lying.”
So, just maybe it’s not a political leader we should be seeking as much as a spiritual one. By spiritual, I don’t mean religious. The bureaucracies, corruption and politics inherent within organized religion are as much the cause of our current state of things as is secular politics.
By spiritual, I mean the likes of Moses, Buddha, Jesus and Gandhi. These were not people marketing religion. They were people who each had a deeply personal and profound spiritual experience and then lived the truth of that experience.
Perhaps Gandhi, a former lawyer, is the best example for our current needs. Mainly because by his applying his spiritual awakening to his beliefs about national autonomy and individual dignity, he achieved politically what all the politicians and militarists were unable to do. One man, certain of his faith, his ethics, and his path changed the destiny of two nations and perhaps more.
So, as a former lawyer myself, I am rightfully an advocate of exercising our Constitutional right to vote. As such, I encourage all to stay alert and involved in the 2012 election process and make your voice heard. However, your greatest impact will be in emulating Gandhi and following his advice to “be the change you want to see in the world.”
You never know.
You could be the spiritual leader that turns it all around.
I read a startling statistic today. Consumer debt increased in November to a decade long high. Not counting mortgage debt, Americans owe $2.48 trillion. Consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 10%, with credit cards rising 8.5% annually and auto or education loans growing at 10.75% annually. I can only assume it was mostly due to anticipatory Christmas shopping.
In memory and tribute to the birth of Jesus and all that he lived and died for, most people decided to increase their enslavement to materialism…not to mention China.
Is this possible?
Can it be that in a world of disintegrating global economies and a national unemployment rate that translates into 23.7 million unemployed who are unable to find work, our collective response is denial? That’s precisely what more debt signals. It signals denial of reality by all those people who are increasing their indebtedness. Denial of what it means to the economic health of the nation…and therefore, freedom and liberty.
I know something about debt. I know what it does to an individual. I also know what it can do to a marriage. I once lived with credit card. Only when it reached a point that was personally intolerable did I do something about it. Now, I use no credit cards and only purchase what I can pay for at time of purchase. The difference is undeniable. Without debt, there is an absence of anxiety and a feeling of security…not to mention responsibility and autonomy. So it’s easy for me to project the exponential threat to our national well-being and autonomy that the effects of exorbitant consumer debt will have. On top of that, heap our national indebtedness to China with the tenuous state of the dollar and, well, you get the picture.
Or do you?
If you’re reading this post and have debt, stop buying and stop borrowing. Do everything you can to free yourself from enslavement to that insatiable monster. Consumer debt and credit cards are like betting chips at the crap table in Vegas. It a fun ride while you’re on it, but sooner or later someone taps you on the shoulder and reminds you that 1) the chips aren’t real money; 2) they represent real money and 3) since you kept asking for more and adding interest to “borrowing”…here’s an offer of repayment you can’t refuse. Pharaoh started this game thousands of years ago and the end game was ugly then and will be again.
Let’s not be distracted by all the hype over the 2012 Presidential election. Our way out of this mess isn’t by way of one single individual. Each of us has to personally step up and disengage from the illusion that has enslaved us to forever needing more.
Disengage from it…not deny our continued participation in it.
I have consistently watched the Republican Presidential debates because I like to form my own opinion of what occurred rather than be told by someone else what they saw and heard… especially when its main stream media doing the recap. Last night was no exception. I watched the debate from New Hampshire and my disappointment was palpable. All of the candidates are, for the most part, missing two ingredients: honesty and passion.
The passion I can live without. I think we all can. While it makes for compelling TV and equally compelling campaigning, I think it entirely possible to have vision without passion. After all, we had a charismatic, passionate candidate in 2008 who took the White House by storm. In hindsight I suspect most of the electorate, given the opportunity, would gladly rewind and trade-in all that “Hope and Change” for “Honesty and Character.” But hindsight is what it is.
However, while we can live without the passion I don’t think we can live without the honesty.
President James Garfield said, “The truth will set you free but first it will make you miserable.” We have arrived at this low point in American politics precisely because we have acquiesced in allowing ourselves to be deceived for a very long time. As long as the money was flowing and our lifestyles weren’t affected, we stayed unconscious. And while we slept, the monster we were feeding grew. I’ve always believed that people get the leader they deserve.
If we are prepared to face the necessary corrections to get the ship of State, and the culture, back on track then I think we will call forth a candidate who is willing and able to speak truth to us. If not, then we will have much more to concern ourselves with than the 2012 election. We will be struggling for our very survival.
I think we are ready for the truth. I think we have exhausted the emptiness of materialism and the alienation of technology. But it’s up to each of us to make that readiness known. It’s up to each of us to say, “No, I will not choose between two people who have been chosen for me by the powers that be.”
We in the West, raised on Aristotelian logic, think there are only two choices. It’s called a dilemma: “di” meaning “two” and “lemma” meaning problem. The 2012 Presidential election is not a dilemma. It’s a tetra-lemma taught by the Buddhist philosopher, Nagarjuna. There are at least 4 possible choices and, maybe even more. And I don’t mean there are 4 viable candidates at the moment. I mean there are many ways out of this situation other than the two obvious ones. But we have to refuse to respond like trained animals that cannot think for ourselves. We have to be heard saying, “I reject A or not A” as my only choices. I demand competency and honesty and until I have that as one of my choices I will not sit down and I will not be silent.
Socrates was one voice. So was Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs. I’m not comparing missions. I’m only shining Light on the power of one voice imbued with determination and certainty who will not sit down, will not be quiet and demands an alternative way of doing things.
You have one voice. Are you standing?
I’m not a scientist so you have to consider that admission as you read on. But I am a thinker, and a mystic, both of which are the basis for my statement that science has just proven what thinkers and mystics have known for a very long time.
It appears (no pun intended) that scientists at Cornell University have discovered a “time cloak.” Generally, occurrences are seen as light from them reaches our eyes. Usually it’s a continuous flow of light. Cornell scientists, however, have been able to interrupt that flow for just a fraction of an instant (4 trillionths of a second)…long enough to prevent observation of an occurrence that does, in fact, occur. It just isn’t visible! The time cloak moves the light beams away in the traditional three dimensions, altering not where the light flows but how fast it moves, changing it in the dimension of time.
As I read about the discovery, the thinker and mystic in me say, “Well, it’s about time” (again no pun intended). If it is, in fact, possible to alter light in relationship to time, thereby obscuring from sight that which is occurring in time, then occurrences and things of any magnitude that existed but were not in the path of light, so to speak, wouldn’t be visible either. Like worlds.
There is a plethora of spiritual and psi literature on alternate realities as well as beings that supposedly exist simultaneously with us and all around us. Up until now such subject matter has been explored mostly through metaphysics and spiritualism. Now, slowly, that may begin to change.
Several years ago, in the middle of a divorce, I was heading upstairs to go to sleep when I fell down a flight of steps and landed with my leg tucked under me resulting in a nasty torn ligament in my ankle. I remember precisely the moment I lost my balance and began to tumble. I described it then, as I can vividly recall now, not so much as an accident as it was as if I was suddenly pushed down the stairs. At the time, no one was in the house but my teenage daughter who was sound asleep.
Perhaps the scientists at Cornell have opened the door to not only new knowledge, but literally, new worlds. And perhaps, just perhaps, I could have avoided that torn ligament had I been able to see what was going on all around me.
I’m just saying…
“Where the rubber meets the road” is an expression used to make the point that whatever is being referred to constitutes a moment of truth. I suggest, along that same line of thought, 2012 is where reality meets spirituality. At least it’s where these two aspects of ourselves must meet if we are to survive and prosper beyond where we are now.
We have made advances in science and technology that were thought to be inconceivable 50 years ago, with greater advances yet on the horizon. But in our blindness, or our arrogance, we refuse to acknowledge that other cultures, other civilizations came before us leaving remnants of their own inconceivable technological advances as well and yet, they vanished in totality from the face of the Earth.
The most important lesson we should take from their disappearance is that it isn’t enough to be scientifically or technologically advanced. It is also necessary, in fact critical, that our spirituality…our humanity…be equally developed and advanced. Without common, life affirming values and core ethical principles to act as a framework to contain our creations we will find ourselves also relegated to the dust bin of history.
Which is why the 2012 Presidential election is so important.
It may seem almost ludicrous to write about concepts so daunting and then tie them to something so charged with corruption and greed as politics. But the import about the 2012 election isn’t about the process or even the candidate.
It’s about you.
This next election is when each of us must step up and take responsibility for what we do with the right to vote. We must look for a candidate to support who stands for those life-affirming values and core ethical principles upon which our future rests. We must not follow the pack or allow someone else to do our thinking, and our concluding, for us. Each of us must realize the crucial transition we, as a species, are passing through and the pitfalls inherent within.
2012 is when the rubber meets the road. Now is the moment each of us must go within and reconnect with our spiritual Selves, allowing that light to illuminate our way forward.
Take this election very seriously. It’s way past the time for complaining about corruption, greed and victimization. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Do that and we may just find our way out of this fire swamp.
Ron Paul as President of the United States will be a mistake. It will be a mistake made for the same reason we elected Barack Obama. We are unconscious and as such have our priorities wrong.
The passionate and dedicated following that the young have with Ron Paul stems from an understandable source: idealism. Most of us, before we have experienced life and what it takes to live it, see things in absolute terms. There are few shades of gray for the young and so, Ron Paul, in his certainty and straight forward talk holds great appeal. For those who no longer qualify as the idealistic young, Paul stands for the straightforward talk, especially about the economy, that many have been hungry for in politics and government.
But as with Barack Obama, too many voters seem unwilling to go deeper into who this man really is and what we know about his character. So let me make just three points as to why Ron Paul should not be the Republican candidate and, regardless of any independent candidacy, should not be President.
1, For 10 years Ron Paul oversaw a newsletter that went out under his name that published racist and anti-Semitic positions. Now, confronted with questions regarding how that could have occurred, he has responded that he didn’t read everything that went into the newsletters and he didn’t know it said those things. Giving him the benefit of the doubt that he neither read nor knew about racist and anti-Semitic comments, he is unqualified to lead any organization, least of all the United States government with such an admission of leadership incompetency.
2. Ron Paul rails against earmarks. Those pork barrel expenditures that members of Congress pack into legislation to bring taxpayer dollars to their districts for pet projects that benefit their constituents. The “game” Ron Paul plays.. and that’s his assessment not mine…is that he puts the “pork” into the legislation, then votes against it, knowing it will pass without his vote. Then he can say “I voted against it” and wave the banner proclaiming he’s on the side of cutting waste and crony capitalism.
3. Friends are important. If you have any you know this. You also know you choose your friends because you and they share certain basic values. Friendships as between nations are no different. Israel is a friend of the United States. Ron Paul is a moral relativist and, as such, makes no distinction between Israel and terrorist states seeking its annihilation. He is very clear that he would cut off all aid to Israel and force that nation to defend itself on its own in the midst of a sea of hostile Arab nations.
Maybe there is more. I don’t really care. The above are enough for me to feel as strongly as I do that electing Ron Paul would be a statement about us. It would say we are still unconscious and that we care more about the economy than we do basic human values and our national character.
As an afterthought, if he is the Republican party’s nominee, he will also guarantee us 4 more years of Barack Obama and, if we are still standing at the end of that, 4-8 years of Hillary Clinton if she runs as his Vice President.
I can close with only two words. Wake up.