Archive for April, 2014

Just for Today Reflection on Fear

“We have found that we had no choice except to completely change our old ways of thinking or go back to using.” Basic Text, p. 21

Many of us find that our old ways of thinking were dominated by fear. We were afraid that we wouldn’t be able to get our drugs or that there wouldn’t be enough. We feared discovery, arrest, and incarceration. Further down the list were fears of financial problems, homelessness, overdose, and illness. And our fear controlled our actions.

The early days of recovery weren’t a great deal different for many of us; then, too, fear dominated our thinking. “What if staying clean hurts too much?” we asked ourselves. “What if I can’t make it? What if the people in NA don’t like me? What if NA doesn’t work?” The fear behind these thoughts can still control our behavior, keeping us from taking the risks necessary to stay clean and grow. It may seem easier to resign ourselves to certain failure, giving up before we start, than to risk everything on a slim hope. But that kind of thinking leads only to relapse.

To stay clean, we must find the willingness to change our old ways of thinking. What has worked for other addicts can work for us—but we must be willing to try it. We must trade in our old cynical doubts for new affirmations of hope. When we do, we’ll find it’s worth the risk.

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April 27, 2014 at 9:37 pm Leave a comment

Proof That America Is Dumb About Politics

Vox reports

o put this in context, as of December 2013, 91 percent of immigrants who took the full citizenship test passed it by getting six of ten questions correct. (They’re given a list of 100 possible questions and answers to study beforehand.)

POLLS OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC SHOW THAT NATIVE-BORN CITIZENS AREN’T EXACTLY “A” STUDENTS IN CIVICS

By contrast, of the 15 people whom the Immigrant Archive Project people interviewed, only one got six out of ten questions correct: that’s a pass rate of less than 7 percent.

Now, it’s possible that the US citizens in the video weren’t representative of the country as a whole. But polls of the American public show that native-born citizens aren’t exactly A students in civics. When USA Today asked ten questions from the citizenship test in a poll in 2012, only 65 percent of Americans got a passing score. The year before that, Newsweek found just 62 percent of Americans could pass their own citizenship test.

Even more embarrassingly, in the video above, the interviewer himself gets one fact wrong. He says that George Washington signed the Declaration of Independence. Washington was busy fighting the Revolutionary War at the time, and wasn’t a signer.

That is shows that Americans are morons are about civics and government.  But perhaps, this means another issue.  That is why we created the Congress that we did because Americans are so dumb about civics that they get sucked into believing the ads pumped out by big money donations.  Better awareness of civics and political issues would make Americans more alert about the issues and perhaps, all of the big money ads would be ignored.

Perhaps, this is why the wealthy do what they do.  They know that the populace is moronic and so they can continue to pump millions and millions of dollars into ads that result in negative policies.  The people that are aware of the issues like myself often feel powerless, because we aware of the problem, but we have little recourse to accept things as they are because we have been disfranchised by big money that allows the low-information voters to make bad decisions in the voting booth.

April 27, 2014 at 2:55 am Leave a comment

Clive Bundy and Race

The New York Times has an excellent piece on what the Republicans do not understand about race

On Saturday, Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who has risen to prominence because of his dispute with the Bureau of Land Management, held forth about “the Negro,” and how black people may have been better off under slavery than now.

When I read Adam Nagourney’s exclusive account in The New York Times about the remarks, my first thought was: How did Mr. Bundy even get on this topic? It turns out, Mr. Bundy’s mind ran to the condition of black Americans because the activists who have flocked to his ranch to defend his right not to pay grazing fees are almost all white.

The Washington Post later obtained video of his remarks and it quotes him: “Where is our colored brother? Where is our Mexican brother? Where is our Chinese? Where are they? They’re just as much American as we are, and they’re not with us. If they’re not with us, they’re going to be against us.”

Mr. Bundy, weirdly, is onto something here. The rush to stand with Mr. Bundy against the Bureau of Land Management is the latest incarnation of conservative antigovernment messaging. And nonwhites are not interested, because a gut-level aversion to the government is almost exclusively a white phenomenon.

A 2011 National Journal poll found that 42 percent of white respondents agreed with the statement, “Government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.” Just 17 percent of blacks, 16 percent of Asians and 25 percent of Hispanics agreed. In 2011 and 2012, the Pew Research Center found that 55 percent of Asian-Americans and fully 75 percent of Hispanic-Americans say they prefer a bigger government providing more services over a smaller one providing fewer services, compared with just 41 percent of the general population.

Conservatives often talk about Republican underperformance with minorities in economic terms: Minority voters with lower incomes tend to see themselves as benefiting from government programs. Or they blame the underperformance on loose-cannon Republican politicians who make offensive statements, as with Representative Don Young, of Alaska, talking about “wetbacks” or Representative Steve King, of Iowa, warning that the Dream Act would give citizenship to drug smugglers with “calves the sizes of cantaloupes.”

Those problems are real, but Republicans’ biggest problem with minorities runs even deeper than economic disparities and racist gaffes. Asian-American voters broke nearly 3-to-1 against Mitt Romney in 2012, even though they have higher median family incomes and higher average educational attainment than whites. Economic prosperity alone will not make racial minorities eager for antigovernment language.

In 2012, when I attended the Republican National Convention, there was one phrase I heard over and over again: “You built it!” Republicans thought this was a clever rejoinder to President Obama’s comments that people should be thankful for the role that government plays in individual success. The comeback was not the blockbuster Republicans thought it would be, because America is not the overwhelmingly white country it once was.

Cliven Bundy gets that. Will Republicans?”

I believe that most of this problem has to do with cultural issues especially for White Americans.  Most of the channeled up support for Clive Bundy comes from the race that colonized most of the west from the Native Americans.  Most of this whites that probably support Clive Bundy have probably strong revere historical accounts of the Old West where landowners rights were superior.  Or they believe in the same principles of the oil barons and other industrialists of the late 1800s and early 1900s that exploited the land for industry and mining concerns.  Most of all of these peoples were white males

Yes, part of this issue has to do with race, but in reality, has to do with historical concentration of economic power at the beginning of the country’s industrial roots in the West.  This concentration of this economic power favored white males and not people of color in this period.  Since conservatives of other ethnic races do not share the same fondness of these historical memories, they are really not interested in Clive Bundys struggle or cause even though they might share the same views of free market capitalism as Bundy.

This is really not about race, but rather shared collective memories that the white race has and therefore, these types of attitudes are generally held more by whites who have more sentimental views about anti-government campaigns. 

April 26, 2014 at 7:25 pm Leave a comment

Putin is Better Than Obama

So this guy wrote this in Alabama newspapers

“Barack Obama is a military genius. He splits 600 soldiers — roughly a battalion — and sends them into four different countries as a show of force for Vladimir Putin.

I wish Putin was our president and Obama was Russia‘s president. America would be much, much safer with a stronger and more intelligent president like Putin.

That is really stupid asinine comment about our President.  Can really afford to be world’s policemen by having a huge military?  In reality, having a such huge military is why I am not getting unemployment benefits. 

Again, another GOP moron making another dumb GOP statement.

Barack Obama is a military genius. He splits 600 soldiers — roughly a battalion — and sends them into four different countries as a r Putin.

I wish Putin was our president and Obama was Russia‘s president. America would be much, much safer with a stronger and more intelligent president like Putin.

Billy E. Price

Ashville

April 26, 2014 at 3:40 am Leave a comment

Overcoming Fear – Just for Today 04/21/2014

I really like this Just for Today meditation today and I would like to share it 

“Many of us find that our old ways of thinking were dominated by fear. We were afraid that we wouldn’t be able to get our drugs or that there wouldn’t be enough. We feared discovery, arrest, and incarceration. Further down the list were fears of financial problems, homelessness, overdose, and illness. And our fear controlled our actions.

The early days of recovery weren’t a great deal different for many of us; then, too, fear dominated our thinking. “What if staying clean hurts too much?” we asked ourselves. “What if I can’t make it? What if the people in NA don’t like me? What if NA doesn’t work?” The fear behind these thoughts can still control our behavior, keeping us from taking the risks necessary to stay clean and grow. It may seem easier to resign ourselves to certain failure, giving up before we start, than to risk everything on a slim hope. But that kind of thinking leads only to relapse.

To stay clean, we must find the willingness to change our old ways of thinking. What has worked for other addicts can work for us

but we must be willing to try it. We must trade in our old cynical doubts for new affirmations of hope. When we do, we’ll find it’s worth the risk.

Just for Today: I pray for the willingness to change my old ways of thinking, and for the ability to overcome my fears.”

April 21, 2014 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

The Koch Brothers Are Obscenely Wealthly

This how much the Koch Brothers are worth

“Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who run Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries Inc., added $1.3 billion to their collective fortune yesterday on reports that U.S. industrial production gained more than forecast. The surge elevated their net worth to more than $100 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The Koch’s ascent comes as Freedom Partners, one of their fundraising networks, last week aired its first batch of television ads targeted at this year’s U.S. Senate races, including commercials knocking Democratic Senator Mark Udall of Colorado and Representative Bruce Braley of Iowa for supporting President Barack Obama’s health-care law.

“The Koch brothers are pouring millions into this,” Chris Harris, a campaign spokesman for Senator Udall, said in an e-mail yesterday. “They’re only fighting for their own interests, not Coloradans’. Mark Udall has a long record of fighting for the middle class and stops at nothing to protect Colorado’s special way of life.”

The ads represent an escalation in TV warfare among outside groups intervening in the Iowa and Colorado contests. In both cases, Americans for Prosperity, another Koch organization, criticized Democratic candidates for backing the health-care law.

Because the Koch’s have so much wealth, the only way to deal with them is for the government to tax their huge wealth.  This is not redistribution of wealth, but rather people who obscene wealth that needs to contained and is very threat to the long-term sustainability of competitive, free-market capitalism.

The wealthy and idle rich do not understand is that their wealth that will swallow the entire system and threaten us all.  This country needs a vibrant free market economy, but not at the expense of people who have obscene wealth which only contained by government intervention. 

April 19, 2014 at 2:50 am Leave a comment

Bengahzi! Well, that is all just a Political Farce

On Truthdig,  Juan Cole gets a good scoop on Bengahzi.

Republican Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, declared on Thursday that the US military did all it could during the chaotic two days of September 11-12, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya and that his own investigation of the US response to the violence of that day is over.

There are several other GOP investigations of Benghazi on-going, as the party attempts vainly to keep the issue alive so as to use it against the Democrats.

What I can’t understand is if the GOP is so concerned about Benghazi and Libya as a security threat to the US, why aren’t they voting more aid for Libya and more help to establish a new Libyan army loyal to the elected government? If they believe Benghazi is al-Qaeda territory, why aren’t they eager to cooperate with the GNC to push it back? They are only interested in 12 hours of postrevolutionary Libya, the hours where they think they can make political hay in the US.

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Demonstrations in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere in the Muslim world were provoked by a fake “film” made by the Muslim-hating network in the US, with which some Egyptian Coptic Christians are allied. The Copts involved tried repeatedly to get the “film” shown on Egyptian t.v. (it was made with a different dialogue with actors who had no idea what they were in, then dubbed with shocking hate speech against Islam and its holy figures). The Muslim-haters succeeding in having clips aired by fundamentalist Muslim channels, which provoked anti-US demonstrations and attacks at US embassies, in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. In Libya, the demonstrations were used as a cover by a terrorist cell, which fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the temporary US consulate, catching it on fire and causing Ambassador Chris Stevens to die of smoke inhalation.

 

So in reality, it was not a terror attack, but a massive overreaction to a person who wanted defame Islam.  This is a normal behavior in certain Islamic country where the groups overreacts to perceived threats to its religion. In reality, I believe these “terror attacks” are really used to control local populace in subjugation to the local religious authorities.  The religious authorities use these incidents are methods to stir up the local population to blame an external threat to the faith than rather focus on internal matters which would force the religious leaders to take an inventory of their own oppressive behaviors.

 

April 13, 2014 at 5:52 am Leave a comment

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