Tuesday, April 22, 2014

An Almost White One



An Almost White One!
When I speak of the black ones I advise paying attention to their subtle methods, and discerning how patiently they creep to the goal and how they choose shoulders behind which to screen themselves. You do not see the black ones, but the grey ones and almost white ones. However, this telegraph requires great attention. Hierarchy, 284

The other day, I came across a piece in the New York Times opinion pages, “Capitalism and the Dalai Lama” by a person named Arthur C. Brooks. The article had a kind of wonky frequency to it. I had a quick look into who Mr. Brooks is. Well, turns out he is the president of The American Enterprise Institute. His co-workers are individuals like John bolton,  Newt Gingrich, Paul Wolfowitz, Michael Novak, Richard Perle.

Mr. Brooks article is rather disjointed and confusing. He seems to want to understand The D.L.’s thinking, but at the same time he is trying to justify what he calls “Free Enterprise”.

For example, Mr. Brooks writes that The D.L. “insisted that while free enterprise could be a blessing, it was not guaranteed to be so. Markets are instrumental, not intrinsic, for human flourishing. As with any tool, wielding capitalism for good requires deep moral awareness. Only activities motivated by a concern for others’ well-being, he [the D.L.] declared, could be truly ‘constructive.’”

This bit of, well, logic or wisdom is pretty much the last thing in which the vast majority of corporations worldwide are interested. Can you imagine what the result for an IPO in which the the corporate Business Plan listed a concern for right sharing or the well-being of others as the Corporate Goal?

Mr. Brooks goes on. “Tibetan Buddhists actually count wealth among the four factors in a happy life, along with worldly satisfaction, spirituality and enlightenment. Money per se is not evil.”—I wonder if the Dalia Lama is referring to “money” when he speaks of wealth?—“For the Dalai Lama, the key question is whether “we utilize our favorable circumstances, such as our good health or wealth, in positive ways, in helping others.” Mr. Brooks continues, “There is much for Americans to absorb here. Advocates of free enterprise must remember that the system’s moral core is neither profits nor efficiency. It is creating opportunity for individuals who need it the most.”

This is the kind of sophistry and double talk that allows the many of the super wealthy to see themselves as “Job Providers”, and along with “supporting the arts” and other such charitable enterprises provides a “moral cover” for their basically separative sense of privilege and the right of ownership. I am quite sure that the vast majority of CEOs and Corporate Board Members—who tend to be the same  individuals and who, by the way, comprise an infinitesimal fraction of the present human population—would all resoundingly claim, with righteous indignation, that helping others in positive ways and creating opportunity for individuals who need it  is exactly what their corporations are doing.

In his citation of a paper entitled “Parametric estimations of the world distribution of income Xavier Sala-i-Martin, Maxim Pinkovskiy,  22 January 2010”,  Mr. Brooks does exactly that. “Historically, free enterprise has done this (creating opportunity for individuals who need it the most) to astonishing effect. In a remarkable paper, Maxim Pinkovskiy of M.I.T. and Xavier Sala-i-Martin of Columbia University calculate that the fraction of the world’s population living on a dollar a day — after adjusting for inflation — plummeted by 80 percent between 1970 and 2006. This is history’s greatest anti poverty achievement.Parametric estimations of the world distribution of income
Xavier Sala-i-Martin, Maxim Pinkovskiy, 22 January 2010
Well that all sounds great, like the D.L.s’ simple message of compassion,  “a happy life for all” is  really making an impact here. However, looking at the “remarkable paper” cited by Mr. Brooks revealed this astonishing bit of information, which Mr. Brooks neglected to include in his quot. “World poverty is falling. This column presents new estimates of the world’s income distribution and suggests that world poverty is disappearing faster than previously thought. From 1970 to 2006, poverty fell by 86% in South Asia, 73% in Latin America, 39% in the Middle East, and 20% in Africa. Barring a catastrophe, there will never be more than a billion people in poverty in the future history of the world.”
This highly dubious manipulation of numbers presenting the marvelous display of our deep moral awareness does not indicate the number of people presently living in poverty, but it offers the comforting projection that says it is really great that, barring a catastrophe, sometime in the future only 1,000,000,000, or so children, women, and men will be living the happy life of poverty.
Today, right now, according to numerous reports by groups around the world who collect and publish such data like the Statistic Brain and One.org,  nearly 1/2 of the world’s population, more than 3 billion people, live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty.  That is less than $1.25 a day. In the past 35 years income levels for all sectors of the world population with the exception of the top 10% or so have dropped significantly.
Mr. Brooks dismisses discussions about fair sharing as “dubious”, and goes on to make several high sounding suggestions for solutions: a reliable safety net for the poor, attacking cronyism that protects the well-connected, lifting poor children out of ineffective schools. He ends his piece, by placing the blame for and responsibility for fixing the problems squarely on “Washington”, which is code for the Government. “In other words”, Mr. Brooks says, “Washington needs to be more like the Dalai Lama. Without abandoning principles, we need practical policies based on moral empathy. Tackling these issues may offend entrenched interests, but this is immaterial. It must be done. And temporary political discomfort pales in comparison with the suffering that vulnerable people bear every day.
The above are instructions for the ineffective politicians in Washington. Not a word about the Corporations who exercise enormous self centered  control over what does and does not happen in Washington and who have prevented or watered down even the most modest effort to alleviate suffering among the people. These individuals are not the least bit interested in personal discomfort of any kind at any level and will have none of it.
If this is what free enterprise means, Mr. Brooks, NO THANKS.  We prefer Democracy, government of for and by the People. We have had your version of “free enterprise”.  Been there for millenniums. Since it fails to understand the basic concepts of Democracy, The Common Good and the General Welfare, Happiness for All its applications are simply impractical. In other words, they lack what The D.L. would call HEART, or a true moral core without which "practically" is im[ossible. Solutions which are not heart generated do not work. 
We need equality, right sharing, and real freedom for all. This, I take it , what the D.L . meant when he said truly "constructive". 1,000,000,000 below the poverty line is unacceptable in a Happy World. 











Friday, April 11, 2014

THE ALIENS!

Alien is a scary term that gets thrown around a lot when we are trying to exclude some brother or sister from participating in one of our ventures. For example, Alabama Republican Mo Brooks, concerned about the dangers of allowing citizenship in the United States of America on the basis of military participation, was asking, "How do you ensure that illegal aliens are loyal to America and not another country? Is it wise to entrust illegal aliens with questionable loyalties with America’s military secrets and weapons, including weapons of mass destruction?”

The aliens in this situation are not the individual humans to whom he is referring. The alien is a thoughtform embodied in Mr. Brooks thinking. Any impersonal, detached observer can see that the planet operates within an integrated, unified paradigm and a totally cooperative ecosystem.

Everything that is natural to this system, such as a human being, is interconnected with everything else and the harmonious interplay between all of these interconnected and related bits give the planet its equilibrium. All parts are equal, and the continued manifestation of the planet in space depends upon this balanced harmony.

Alien thinking is thinking that is not harmonious with the  natural laws of a system.  Alien thinking justifies the excluding of individuals from the right sharing of the fruits of a system based on their skin color, sex, income level, etc. Alien thinking justifies the killing of brothers and sisters in wars over perceived threats. It justifies the destruction of the environment in the name of profits and progress. It posits a certain amount of poverty as a natural occurrence in the system and so on and on.

On the other hand, alien often means "something, some form or body, that is not natural to a given system". From this point of view then, the most obvious alien form on this planet is the Golem we call a Corporation. And, corporations, as presently constituted, are actually uber dangerous to the Way of Life of this ecosystem.

A Corporation is a bodiless totally self-centered energy system. It is a voracious Alien entity; i.e.;  not of or compatible with the energy system of this planet. Lacking a dense physical form, it is a huge vortex of negative energy that is consuming Light at an alarming pace, sort of a bad dream "black hole"!

Corporations are concerned only with their own survival which they pursue with all their power and with zero consideration for any aspects of the ecosystem, including human beings, that get in the way of its progress towards its goal. The goal of a Corporation very clearly expressed by Steve Jobs of Apple, is to make money or profit. Corporations are literally heartless, and they work ceaselessly to achieve their heartless ends. As Steve Jobs put it the corporate goal of Apple--and all other corporations--is to “tie all of our products together, so we further lock customers into our ecosystem.”

Corporations enjoy all of the privileges of human beings. However, they are citizens of no Nation. The owe allegiance only to themselves or what are described as "Stock Holders". A large percentage of these "stock holders" are also not human beings but other corporations. At the end of this very complicated chain, the corporations are actually the personal property of a tiny, tiny handful of the 7 billion humans on the planet.

Most of these individuals are not even remotely interested in such meaningless concepts as living wages, or adequate food supplies, or sanitary water, let alone such grandiose fantasies as equality and the inalienable right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We have liberated ourselves from the alien concept of Kings attempting to lock up all of their serfs or subjects, only to be replaced by an even more amorphous slave master. At least we could see the Kings and do something about them.

Big question: What are we going to do about these Aliens?

Suggestions are greatly needed.

lots of love

-tom

Friday, March 14, 2014

Note to Paul Krugman, Economist.

Dear Paul:
I marvel at the way you skirt around the edges of fact rather than coming right out and calling greed, greed. This article is full of it. An example, "Finally, although the current monetary debate isn’t as openly political as the previous fiscal debate, it’s hard to escape the suspicion that class interests are playing a role....It’s almost as if they identify with the investor class,..."

The individuals, whom you do not mention, are totally identified with the investors who are themselves. Their arguments stem from their self-identification and the felt need to protect their positions of comfort.  They are based on ignorant assumptions regarding the nature of reality. AS in the article where they argued that imbalance is good for efficiency... What can one who thinks say in response to that bit of absurdity?

I am urging you, Dr. Krugman to be more forthright in your observations. That you can find a bunch of data that supports an opposite conclusion to the one that they propose is sort of a waste of time. It leads to endless sophistry and a dead end.

Looking at the issues of the circulation of energy through the system we call humanity from the point of view of the  Principles of  physics would serve you and the country well. Also it would not just prove them wrong, it would eventually get rid of them. Nothing like a little Light to dispel the darkness and unemployment, poverty, disease and so on.

lots of love
-tom

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Dear Mr. President:

RE your recent note to me concerning the Drone issue.

I think it is probably pretty easy for some individuals to sit in the chair that you are presently occupying. Narrow minded individuals who are driven by illusions of personal greatness and the seduction of  power can easily make the kinds of decisions with which you are confronted on a daily basis. Also, some of our idealistic friends who can see the future of a just and equal society, and demand it right now...regardless, are pretty good at advising others to "just Do It" and criticizing as weak and timid those who, perhaps, see more clearly.

Truthfully, I would like it if you were a bit more forceful on some issues. And yet,  when I get into it, I try to think of how I would deal with your situation. I can only imagine the kinds of pressures you are constantly under and I know how concerned I become when I think about how the unemployment thing is affecting my children, or how a friend had to die because she could not afford some drug, and some kids I know who could not finish their degrees because they were already 40 or $50,000 in debt and had to go to work... if they could find jobs.

I can read between the lines of your message re the Drone Policy. I sense that you realize that is not Barack Obama but the United States of America that is taking these actions and will bear the responsibility for them in the future. I sense that you see the often relative goods that decisions must in reality weigh and choose between. More often than some would like, the good is the lesser of two evils. One thinks of the choice confronting President Truman and the atom bomb.

So, I support your choices in this matter.

When I was thinking about it I wondered if  we could not employ some form of a Court of Law, subpoena these individuals and give them a public trial even in absenta. Then pronounce a sentence, putting the individual on notice. This may, at least, make it more difficult for one to hide out among others who know that if he is found it could be rather terminal.

lots of love
-tom

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014
Dear Mr. President:
I am sure that you are well aware of the importance of the upcoming election. It presents an unprecedented opportunity to break the grip of those forces which are retrograde to our evolution, who have blocked, and rolled back many of our efforts to expand government of, for, and by the people.

Elections are the one opportunity for the people to let their voice be heard.    They are the moment for action. The action is the vote.

I ask the individuals I encounter if they are registered voters. Almost half of them are not. A large percentage of those who are do not vote regularly. The Bipartisan Research Center places the voter turnout in 2012 election cycle at 57.5% of the eligible voters.

The question is how can we reach those who are not voting. I know that we have registration and “get out the vote” campaigns. But in 2012 42% of the eligible voters were not involved enough to bother to vote.

And yet, those with whom I talk, even the majority of those non-voters, are aware of and have real concern for the suffering of individuals. They have a sensitivity of the heart for suffering and inequality. Most people have a relative or close friend whose family has and is suffering from unemployment, lost pensions, homes, lack of health care, etcetera.

I think the weakness in our approach to these citizens is that we speak to them about policy, about budgets, costs and technical details of legislation and economics, and about personalities. This stuff is very boring to most people.

What the people care about has to do with dignity, with their rights, with equality. When I chat with these folks, I encourage them to vote for their dignity and equality, I suggest that when they vote they listen to what their heart tells them, that the vote be cast, not against anything and certainly not for a personality, but for those programs and those individuals in whom they can see the heart at work for the advancement of equality, the relief of suffering, the generation of beauty, the care for our children. I am sure you know these things.

I think that by appealing to our brothers and sisters hearts, they may be encouraged to vote. I think that if you talk to us about the things that matter we can we ignite that spark of fire that that we know lies in the breast of every human being into some kind of a blaze.

This is the path out of the morass of egoism and illusion and into a greater manifestation of Democracy.
Lots of love
-tom



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Servitude Circa 2014

February 6, 20114
Dear Mr. President:
You are aware of the House Committee Report on Education. The report was really old news. My data on this particular manifestation of servitude which goes by the euphuism of adjunct teachers comes through my daughter. My daughter had to give up her quest for a PhD with only the dissertation still to do. Overwhelming student debt and the servitude wage she was paid for adjunct teaching at the University, forced her to find a job.

She did secure a "decent job" i.e. free person's work that pays a living wage in turn for the labor worked, at McGraw Hill as an editor. Like so many of the other Owners/Managers, the Owners/Managers of the McGraw Hill Plantation, or Corporation as they are now styled, instituted the profit enhancement practice called "outsourcing"  i.e. moving "decent jobs" to a place where they could obtain servitude rather than employees.

It is interesting to note, that the big change that has occurred in our Nation since the Emancipation Proclamation is that rather than shipping the slaves to this country, the Owners/Managers ship the work to where they can maintain slaves, i.e. "pay" them the least possible amount to maintain their physical ability to do whatever the work is.

In addition to the new slave trade called outsourcing, the fact that we are locally "maintaining" our teachers, whose work cannot be outsourced, as appendages in subordinate capacities of servitude, and the  resistance to a national minimum wage of $10.10, indicates that certain vestiges of the Owner/Slave mentality are still well entrenched in this Nation.

A little hard data: When the amount of wages that my daughter is paid for teaching English to 5, 30 student classes, is divided by the number of hours that are essential to do the job in a decent way, she earns $8.00/hr. This level of servitude carries no health benefits, sick or vacation time. She drives 140 miles a week to 3 different colleges.

Teachers who are exposing young hearts and minds to the Principles, like Equality, upon which our Nation rests are the absolute essential cog in the wheels of any nation that wants to be a Democracy. I think that you understand this, and I wonder how we can move this issue to the front of the line of issues.

Education is not a business, especially not a "for profit" business. It is an absolute essential right of any human being, the cornerstone upon which this nation was built and without which this nation will not stand.
-tom




Friday, January 31, 2014

Start With The Children

Dear Mr. President:

In the State of the Union message you talked about how to approach the problems of our economy. I wonder if we realize that our children are our economy. It is our children without whom we have neither future nor economy.

I was grateful for the focus on high-quality pre-K for every 4-year-old. This is probably the most important thing we could do to ensure a future of equality for all.

Two issues with this proposal need serious consideration. First, an adequate amount food essential for a young child’s growth. Vast numbers of the four year olds who will show up at the pre-K schools do not get enough food to eat.

Food is fuel for our children. Take the $4 billion a year from the bloated fossil fuel industries and invest it in food/fuel for our hungry future, our children. Veto the Farm Bill if it reaches your desk with the insane $8 billion cuts to the FS program. It is irrational to start a pre-K program for four year olds and to eliminate the fuel that large numbers of them need to run on.

The other issue is that “reaching more kids” means more teachers. More qualified teachers is probably the most significant problem we face in building our future. Our educational systems which drive the entire economy are in a deplorable state. We have millions of children who need to be educated. We have maybe one teacher for every couple hundred children. Many of these teachers are woefully under educated themselves and lack any real understanding of what children are, how they grow, what the need.

To make the envisioned pre-K program work, we need to recruit, educate and pay many thousands of teachers. This will be hard because the position of teacher has been denigrated to a point where only the most heart driven individuals will choose a discounted, third class job.

You have spoken to the need to produce individuals for our technological industries. The place to start such a program is to resurrect the teaching profession to point of respectability. The ignorance which fails to understand the essential role that teachers fill in shaping the consciousness of our children is a major source of our problems.

I guess what I am trying to say is that our children are Humanities’ first priority. Children need fuel/guidance or food/teachers, teachers that understand what “Teacher” means and signifies.

Fix this and the rest will follow.
-tom