Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Trump demands Dems pay for corona virus effort by cutting heating oil for the poor

But, of course.  Let's move millions to the soon-to-be-sick folks from the soon-to-freeze-to-death folks.  Another "It's Perfect!" Trump solution.

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/02/trump-demands-democrats-pay-for-coronavirus-effort-by-cutting-heating-oil-for-the-poor/

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Essay about Bloomberg should be read by all Democrats

Bloomberg's ubiquitous ads, on every channel, every day, all across the nation are meant to lure Dem. voters into choosing him as our nominee.  If you agree that this is the most important election of our nation's political history -- and that it's best for us to look into who this man really is before jumping on his bandwagon -- then you will want to read the following:

COMPLETE ESSAY, giving important info. about Bloomberg, with many links to the facts:
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox?compose=CllgCHrjnKdHJJKFTZsFRnWnCcdLPrJFcwrWJBFqGrGpLhdSlMFJnChdnPzphVSXZmSwKXVMmgq

EXCERPT:

Take away the $60 billion fortune that Bloomberg amassed on the backs of his workers too afraid to take bathroom breaks, and there's no way he should even be at 0.3 percent in the Democratic polls, let alone leading in some states. In a time of the #MeToo movement against misogyny and sexual harassment, Bloomberg and his company have settled scores of lawsuits from women over a toxic work environment, including crude remarks from Bloomberg himself about women's looks or their pregnancies. Bloomberg both expanded and praised "stop-and-frisk" policies in which black and brown people — the vast majority of whom committed no crime — were subjected to a cruel and sometimes violent police occupation.

At various times, Bloomberg has bashed the idea of a living wage, waged war on teachers' unions, endorsed the Iraq War and the war-criminal president who started it, expressed nostalgia for "redlining" policies that discriminated against black and brown home buyers, and even — shades of Donald Trump — praised authoritarian regimes like China's Xi Jinping and once said Americans should learn from Singapore, which executes drug dealers.

This ... this is the Democrat? I'm old enough to remember when there was no liberal principle held higher than that the American White House is not for sale, so why the sudden embrace of this billionaire getting away with it in broad daylight? The quiet part of the Bloomberg revolution is this notion that democracy is broken beyond repair in a time of pure tribal warfare, and so the only way to beat their dictator is with our oligarch. But if this is how 2020 works, then who would even attempt to run for president as a small-d democrat in 2024? Or 2096, if we're not under three feet of water?

It's not destined to be this way. I mentioned earlier that I think there's a 50 percent chance that Bloomberg buys his way to the nomination. But I also think there's a 50 percent chance that Bloomberg's billionaire brand is a wake-up call for Democrats. Preventing a Bloomberg-Trump general election could rally Democrats behind (hopefully) the woman who could best fight for actual progressive values, Elizabeth Warren

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Friday, February 07, 2020

Thoughtful and challenging essay from psychology prof. at UC Davis

My thoughts:  Professor Tart's essay would be a good one for politicians to consider as they vote on important issues that affect us all.  And, for all of us who will be voting in the November election, if we are to make wise choices, the question the professor poses is an important one.  To be true to our essential self, we must know the answer to the question Who Am I?  This requires a deep and penetrating curiosity.

I've always loved Einstein's quotes on the importance of curiosity.  "Curiosity is more important than knowledge. I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."

I also read somewhere that, as he approached the end of his life, Einstein reflected on some of the unfathomable mysteries that quantum physics was revealing and said: "I should have listened more to the mystics."  Following is Professor Tart's thoughtful essay as it appears on the PEERS site today. If you think it is worth sharing in this time of our country's turmoil, please pass it on:

Who am I? If you think life is a meaningless accident, your perceptions of the complex world around you will likely be biased toward seeing the meaningless and absurd. If you believe in original sin and the great difficulties of finding salvation, your perceptions will likely be biased toward seeing your own and others' failures. Our beliefs about who we are and what our world is like are not mere beliefs – they strongly control our perceptions. We can gain more control by finding out what we believe and how those beliefs affect us."  ~~  Prof. Charles Tart in his thought-provoking essay "Who Am I?"

Dear friends,

The thought-provoking article below explores the profound question, "Who am I?" Charles Tart, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, has written this intriguing essay inviting us not to take for granted our beliefs and our view of reality. Questioning our own beliefs creates room for personal growth and deeper understanding.

Do you really know who you are? Do I really know who I am? How much is our thinking around this and other deep questions shaped by our beliefs and our upbringing? Read on to explore further into the depths of this mystery and open to a more expanded awareness of who we are.

With best wishes,
Fred Burks for the PEERS empowerment websites

Who am I?

The question is an eternal one. If you don't answer it, you may never be able to distinguish between what your essential self wants and what other people manipulate you to want. Each of us may do best to answer it for himself or herself. Yet the answers given by others do affect the way we approach (or avoid) this question. Several general types of answers have been offered.

The most traditional answer in Western culture is that you are a creature, a creation of God, a creation that is flawed in vital ways. Conceived and born in original sin, you are someone who must continually struggle to obey the rules laid down by that God, lest you be damned. It is an answer that appears depressing in some ways. One the one hand, it can lead to low self-worth and the expectation of failure. On the other, it can lead to the rigid arrogance of being one of the "elect." Further, this view doesn't much encourage you to think about who you really are, as the answer has already been given from a "higher" source.

The more modern answer to "Who am I?" is that you are a meaningless accident. Contemporary science is largely associated with a view of reality that sees the entire universe as totally material, governed only by fixed physical laws and blind chance. It just happened that, in a huge universe, the right chemicals came together under the right conditions so that the chemical reaction we call life formed and eventually evolved into you. But there's no inherent meaning in that accident, no spiritual side to existence.

I believe that this view is not really good science, but rather what we believe to be scientific and factual. More important, it's a view that has strong psychological consequences. After all, if you're just a mixture of meaningless chemicals, your ultimate fate – death and nonexistence – is clear. Don't worry too much about other people, as they are just meaningless mixtures of chemicals, too. In this view, it doesn't really matter if you think about who you really are – whatever conclusions you arrive at are just subjective fantasies, of no particular relevance in the real physical world.

Psychologically speaking, this materialist view of our ultimate nature leaves as much to be desired as does the born-into-original-sin view. As a psychologist, I stress the psychological consequences of these two views of your ultimate identity, because your beliefs play an important role in shaping your reality. Modern research has shown that, in many ways, what we believe affects the way our brain constructs the world we experience. Some of these beliefs are conscious. You know you have them. Yet many are implicit – you act on them, but don't even know you have them.

If you think life in general is a meaningless accident, your perceptions of the complex world around you will likely be biased toward seeing the meaningless and absurd. Seeing this will in turn reinforce your belief in the meaninglessness of things. If you believe in original sin and the great difficulties of finding salvation, your perceptions will likely be biased toward seeing your own and others' failures, again reinforcing your belief in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our beliefs about who we are and what our world is like are not mere beliefs – they strongly control our perceptions. So we can gain more control by finding out what we believe and how those beliefs affect us.

Between the traditional religious and materialistic views of who you are, there are a variety of ideas that embrace elements of each which include rich possibilities for personal and social growth. The common element in these other views is that life and the universe do have some meaning and that each of us shares in some form of spiritual nature. Yet they also recognize that something has gone wrong somewhere. We have "temporarily" lost our way. We have forgotten the essential divine element within us and have become psychologically locked into a narrow, traditional, religious or materialist views.

There is an old Eastern teaching story that illustrates this – the story of the Mad King. Although he is actually the ruler of vast dominions, the Mad King has forgotten this. Years ago he descended into the pits of the dankest cellar of his great palace, where he lives in the dark amongst rags and rats, continually brooding on his many misfortunes. The king's ministers try valiantly to persuade him to come upstairs into the light, where life is beautiful. But the Mad King is convinced these are madmen and will not listen. He will not be taken in by fairy tales of noble kings and beautiful palaces!

We have a lot of evidence in modern psychology to show how little of our natural potential we use and how much of our suffering is self-created, clasped tightly to our bosoms in crazed fear and ignorance. Yet the ministers do carry a light with them when they come down into the cellar, and they do bring the food which keeps the king alive. Even in his madness, he must sometimes notice this. In the real world, events keep occurring that don't fit into our narrow views, no matter how tightly we may hold them, and sometimes these events catch our attention.

So-called psychic phenomena are like that. They certainly don't fit a materialistic view, just as they challenge the traditional religious view held by many that this kind of phenomena only happened thousands of years ago, and are thus to be believed, but not pondered.

Psychic phenomena are disturbing to both the traditional religious and materialistic views of who we are. It is one thing to consider abstractly that our true identity may be more than we conceive, or that our universe may be populated with other non-material intelligences. It is quite another thing, with channeling for instance, when the ordinary looking person sitting across from you seems to go to sleep, but suddenly begins speaking to you in a different voice, announcing that he is a spiritual entity who has temporarily taken over the channel's body to teach you something!

Now you have to really look at what's going on. Who is that so-called "entity?" Who is that person who channels? If someone else can have his or her apparent identity change so drastically, do we really know who they are? Can I even be sure about who I am? If you have been conditioned to believe that who you are is meaningless or inherently bad or sinful, you might not welcome this stimulation that the phenomena of channeling gives to the question "Who am I?"

We have many ways of psychologically defending ourselves against dealing with things that don't fit into our organized and defended world. You could just say, "This person is crazy, or maybe even deliberately faking this stuff." It's a good defense, for of course there are some people known as channels who are probably just crazy or deliberately faking it. The best lies usually contain a very high proportion of truth.

You could also just naively accept whatever the ostensible channeled entity says. "Yes, you are Master Shananangans from the 17th planet of the central divine galaxy Ottenwelt. Teach me Master, I hear and obey." This overenthusiastic acceptance can be just as much of a defense against deeper thinking and questioning as overenthusiastic rejection.

Channeling and other psychic phenomena are having a great impact on our culture today. We can use this impact for personal and social growth if we are willing to think about the deeper implications, and examine the things we take for granted about our inherent nature.

If we just believe or disbelieve without really looking, this opportunity will be lost. Read, reflect, examine your own beliefs, argue, go meet some psychics or channels. Perhaps you will decide that they are "real." Perhaps you will decide they are not "real" in the ordinary sense of the word, but are somehow psychologically or spiritually real or important. Perhaps you will decide that some (or most or all) of this stuff is really crazy. But in the process, you will learn a lot about who you are, and who we are.


Note: The above essay is an edited version of Charles Tart's foreword to Jon Klimo's well researched and intriguing book titled Channeling. For a powerful essay inviting you to open to more fluid intelligence and transparency, click here. For excellent evidence that there may be more to ESP than meets the eye, click here.

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See the treasure trove of resources in our Inspiration Center

Explore the mind and heart expanding websites managed by the nonprofit PEERS network:

www.peerservice.org - PEERS websites: Spreading inspiration, education, & empowerment
www.momentoflove.org - Every person in the world has a heart
www.personalgrowthcourses.net - Dynamic online courses powerfully expand your horizons
www.WantToKnow.info - Reliable, verifiable information on major cover-ups
www.weboflove.org - Strengthening the Web of Love that interconnects us all



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Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Check out this incredible ad using Adam Schiff's impeachment closing speech

If you like it, please spread the word by forwarding it to friends and relatives. Everyone should see this!

https://twitter.com/Eleven_Films/status/1224906560616316930

It should be shown every hour, every day on every news channel until the November elections!
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Monday, February 03, 2020

"It's Midnight In Washington" -- Adam Schiff's most important closing speech today

WELL WORTH VIEWING IN ITS ENTIRETY! Please pass this video along to friends, including Trump supporters who most need to hear its message. You know Fox won't be showing it, and Trump warns them against all other media, so how will they ever have the chance to hear the truth?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQEH62vbwoQ

This great speech of warning should be viewed by every American.  It is destined to be remembered as one of the greatest and most important in our nation's history  -- a most impassioned plea for truth and a rousing call to patriotism, for the salvation and preservation of our democratic republic.  It ranks along with the most famous and revered speeches recorded in the Revolutionary period, when our forefathers were desperately trying to free us from the authoritarian rulership of a heartless (and insane) king.  It's amazing how history repeats itself.

Today, we are continuing that fight from the 1700s between the progressive minds, who want to save and protect the Constitution, and the conservative minds who, in their entrenched greed and lust for power, will sell out the country and the democratic principles upon which it was founded, without a second thought. Today's Republican senators are the "loyalists," fearful of voting against the would-be dictator in the White House. They are a present-day incarnation of those cowardly and fearful "loyalist" defenders of the British king back in the 1700s.  Like a present-day Paul Revere, Adam Schiff is sounding the alarm!  We must listen to him -- or pay the price of giving away our democracy to a ruthless (and insane) dictator who will stop at nothing to achieve his own selfish ends. 

The pathway we take is even more crucial in this period of history than it was in the 1700s.  In today's corporate/political world of unfettered greed for money and power, not only does our republic hang in the balance, but the world itself is in jeopardy. The planet itself is in grave danger from its serious disease of "humans."  Our decisions now will crucially affect the future for our children and grandchildren -- and for their actual physical survival on our planet.  Scientists are warning that thousands of planetary species are disappearing daily and weekly. They are rapidly being annihilated by climate change that has been caused by human actions -- and exacerbated by machinations of greed-and-power-mad leaders bent on enriching themselves at the expense of the planet and its inhabitants. 

It is not too bold a warning to say that the fate of the human species hangs in the balance and will be decided by this generation and the direction we take.  Two paths are clearly being laid out before us. Which one will we take?  Adam Schiff is laying down the gauntlet for our Senate representatives to truly represent the people, instead of the mad dictator who will lead us to ruin.  Sadly for us all, it seems the craven Republican senators are willing to sell us out for a tiny pittance of present gain. Where have we heard this story before--where truth, right and goodness were sold for a few pieces of silver?  Will the human consciousness never rise above the low level being demonstrated now by the Republican party, in this so-called "illuminated" time of history?  

Adam Schiff is a true patriot, pleading for us all.  We must follow the lead of this good man!

Benjamin Franklin's warning comment at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence bears repeating:  "We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."   Only this time, with the planet itself in play, we are talking about the fate of all humanity.
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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Waiting for lightning to strike Moscow Mitch McConnell, PERJURER

MOSCOW MITCH, PERJURER   http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/joan-mccarter/88378/moscow-mitch-perjurer

Excerpt:

As we head into Donald Trump's impeachment trial next week, it's worth remembering this promise from Moscow Mitch McConnell:

"I'm not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There's not anything judicial about it. […] The House made a partisan political decision to impeach. I would anticipate we will have a largely partisan outcome in the Senate. I'm not impartial about this at all."

On Thursday, McConnell stood with his hand in the air in front of Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts and took the oath "I solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of Donald John Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help me God."

When he took that oath, when he signed his name to the book proclaiming that oath, he became a perjurer. It's not just crazy liberal bloggers saying so. Former chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter says so, too.

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Friday, January 17, 2020

What are the earliest signs of gaslighting? Every girl/woman should read this

I lived many years in a gaslighting relationship -- sure wish I'd had the following advice way back then.... I even saw the movie Gaslight during that time period, but didn't recognize myself in the Ingrid Bergman character.  Now when I re-watch that film, I truly empathize with her (and wince inside with remembrance of myself being that weak in self-esteem, which was true of many women in my generation). I know how it feels to be put down over and over and over. I especially relate to this sentence in the following advice:  "I remember thinking that if I could just figure out the rules, and be good, I could avoid another person ever being mad at me."  With this idea, you just keep trying over and over to try to please the gaslighter, bending over backwards to gain his approval.  It never works.

Standing up for yourself is SO IMPORTANT!  Teenage girls need to be taught this -- teenage boys, too, because gaslighting can occur in both genders, although it does seem to occur most often with the man putting down the woman.  I think the following advice is well worth passing along, especially the very last sentence that advises "See yourself for who you are."  That is most important of all.  Once you find out who you really are, you will never tolerate abuse ever again:

Natalie Engelbrecht
Natalie Engelbrecht, Psychotherapist, Researcher at WNHC (1996-present)

Highlights

Gaslighting works in stages. In the beginning you may not even notice it. You pass it off as the person having some stress in their life. After a while it begins to preoccupy your life and, as more time passes, you doubt yourself and your point of view and eventually become joyless and hopeless.

Image source: Gaslighting

Stage 1: Disbelief

At this stage the gaslighter says something outrageous. For example, before the movie starts you excuse yourself to go to the toilet and when you get back your gaslighter is fuming. You ask what is wrong and he says: "How can you be so inconsiderate, I have been sitting here waiting for 20 minutes, who were you talking to?" You think to yourself, I can't have been gone that long, the movie has not even started. He says maybe you were not keeping track of time, puts his arm around you and says that perfume you are wearing is lovely, you should wear it more often.

Entering stage one: A crucial turning point.

The most tricky thing about stage one is that what happens seems so minor—a misunderstanding, a moment of disagreement, a tiny temper outburst. The challenge with this stage is that it is difficult to tell whether these are little annoyances to be dismissed, problems for which you are to blame, or warning signs of a pattern that is unfolding and what is yet to come.

This stage offers two options: a way to continue to move forward into gaslighting, or a way to stop those tendencies and move the relationship into something healthier—leave or identify.

Recognizing gaslighting at this stage is difficult, but if you can, it will save you a lot of pain and suffering down the road. You need to stop playing into the pattern that I discussed in a previous post:

Natalie Engelbrecht's answer to What is gaslighting?

You may also decide once you recognize this stage that you would prefer to leave the relationship as it will involve far less pain than if you stay in an abusive relationship.

Finally if you can identify gaslighting at this stage, it will help you see your own part in the gaslight dance.

Natalie Engelbrecht's answer to What are 10 things you should do to protect yourself from a narcissist?

These are the signs that you have entered stage 1:

How to figure out if it is gaslighting or not:

  1. Frequent feelings of being bewildered or confused.
  2. Inability to remember details about what is happening with your gaslighter.
  3. Somatic indicators: sore throat, upset stomach, tight chest.
  4. A sense of hyper-alertness when they call or are coming home.
  5. A sense of tolerating treatment that compromises your integrity.

At this stage the victim has started idealizing the gaslighter and begins to need his approval—and therein lies the trap that engages the gaslighting dance between victim and abuser.

So what can you do to avoid this dance? Every choice we make feeds one outcome or another.

Avoiding being gaslighted—you can see the behaviour of the person getting upset with you as their problem, not yours. And you can also decide if you want to have a relationship with a person who is so easily frustrated. You can choose not to dance this dance, or just walk off the dance floor.

Promoting being gaslighted—If you are striving for this person's approval, you may blame yourself for their annoyance. If you are looking for this person's approval, you will begin to do what you need to gain it… and so the dance begins.

You are more likely to be gaslighted if:

  1. You are very responsive to people who seem hurt, needy or easily frustrated.
  2. You have a strong need to be right and seen as right.
  3. You care deeply about being liked and appreciated.
  4. It is important to help people and make things turn out alright.
  5. You have a great sense of empathy and are able to see things easily from your gaslighter's point of view.
  6. You want to maintain the relationship.
  7. You have a hard time letting go of relationships.
  8. It is difficult to acknowledge when someone treats you badly.
  9. You are more comfortable relying on another person's opinion.
  10. You find conflict very uncomfortable.
  11. You are worried about not being good enough.
  12. You feel more comfortable with other people's opinions than your own.

How to protect yourself:

  1. Refuse the Urge to Merge—maintain that there are two separate views. If your boyfriend raises his voice at you, and you calmly say, "please don't yell at me," and his response is "I did not yell at you," you now have choices. Your best choice is to not say he is right. You can say, "I guess we see things differently," or "I don't want to continue this conversation." Being receptive to criticism is important for any relationship. However, if you feel anxious and reduced to feeling 'not good enough', then you are in trouble. The problem with gaslighting criticism is that it is designed to undermine, not help.
  2. Stop listening to the words the moment you sense you are being attacked and focus on the main point. YOU DO NOT DESERVE TO BE TREATED THIS WAY no matter what you have done.
  3. Never ever listen to criticism that is intended to harm, even if it contains a grain of truth.

What does criticism that intended to harm look like?

  1. Name calling, insults, exaggerations.
  2. Is intended to win the argument.
  3. Seems to come out of nowhere.
  4. Changes the focus from the other person to yours.

The Explanation Trap

The effort we make to explain away behavior that bothers us.

  1. It's not him, it's me—This allows us to maintain a sense of being in control, and if we just avoid the behaviour or work harder at the relationship in the future, we can avoid the outcome we don't want.
  2. They feel so bad—The gaslightee sees the abuser's behavior as caring because they are upset. For example, in the movie example at the start of the post, the gaslighter seems upset that his date took so long, and confuses that with caring.
  3. I should rise above his behaviour—And when nothing else works, you can try to convince yourself that you should not be affected by another person's behaviour. We try to not be affected by another person's behavior by becoming a better person ourselves. I remember thinking that if I could just figure out the rules, and be good, I could avoid another person ever being mad at me. This is impossible unless you are fully subservient to another person. Instead of seeing the person for who they are, and whether they are meeting your needs, we cling to the fantasy that if we were more loving, more giving, less selfish we would have the love we were looking for.

Stopping the Gaslighting Tango

TIP #1 : Do not ask yourself "Who is right?" Ask yourself "Do I like being treated this way?" Remember the need to be right is one of the biggest traps to being gaslighted.

Don't ask yourself if your boyfriend is being reasonable about getting upset about you taking long in the bathroom. Ask yourself if you want to be with someone who gets upset that you take long in the bathroom.

TIP #2: Don't try to be 'good' Ask yourself if you are taking on all of the responsibility for the relationship being good.

TIP #3: Don't debate what you know to be true. The point of gaslighting is to make you wrong.

TIP #4: Tell yourself the truth about who you are. This one can be really tough for anyone who has been abused, but see yourself for who you are.



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