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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 10/14/20

Expected Countervailing Forces to Trumpism are Failing

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Mental Health Experts: Trump is Dangerous & Unstable.
Mental Health Experts: Trump is Dangerous & Unstable.
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Let's give dangerous, dictatorial, corporatist, lawless, unstable, Donald Trump his due. He has shown us just how weak our various countervailing institutions and constitutional standards are in checking the excesses of the most impeachable President in American history.

After three and a half years of corruption, cronyism, chaos, illegal wars, and destruction of law enforcement protecting people from corporate ravages, Trump a bigoted, racist, serial fabricator, and boastful savage serial predator has not only gotten away with everything but has doubled down on everything. He has intimidated almost everyone with any power or influence into submission or silence.

This unprecedented feat rests on many abdicators:

1. Congress The most powerful constitutional branch is disgraced by the Republican controlled Senate led by the evil Mitch McConnell, a corporation masquerading as a human, bent on installing an autocratic judiciary entrenching the corporate state and blocking bills that may put the interest of the people above the business lobbies. Legislation ranging from omnicidal denial of climate disruption to living wage to universal health care and scores of other measures passed by the House dies in the Senate. He also goes along with everything Trump does like an opportunistic lap dog. By comparison, in 1974, Nixon was urged to resign by Republican Senators, including Barry Goldwater, over one count of obstruction of justice and one defiance of a Congressional subpoena submitted by the House. Trump renders those violations, including defying dozens of House subpoenas, in spades as a daily burst of continued law-breaking. "Moscow" Mitch and Trump have abandoned the people for the plutocracy.

In the House, Nancy Pelosi chose one impeachable offense (the Ukraine matter) out of a dozen ongoing, daily violations constituting "high crimes and misdemeanors" (See the December 18, 2019, Congressional Record H 12197). She could have had held public hearings on numerous continuing impeachable offenses containing "kitchen table" issues but rejected this consequential opportunity to make the Senate Republicans defend Trump in hearings that would have filled the news with his misdeeds and crimes. Trump now accurately believes that he has been inoculated by Congress from House investigations into his walking impeachment behavior daily.

The House didn't even exercise its plenary power to enforce subpoenas without having to resort to the courts and then endure years-long delays. Trump laughs when he is sued, having learned how to game and escape scores of lawsuits during his failed bankrupt business career.

Senate complicity and House cowardliness have damaged the constitutional status of this inkblot Congress in unforgiveable ways.

2. The Courts Increasingly Trumpitized, the federal courts are validating corporate powers and Presidential outlawry with five of nine votes on the Supreme Court. Before Trump, the courts approved extreme presidential powers by inaction, using the medieval English doctrine of "no standing to sue" or saying the case involved "political questions" between the White House and Congress. Other abdications secure dismissal due to "state secrets" in cases brought against the government or on vague assertions of "inherent" presidential powers.

3. The Democratic Party In duopoly politics, the public has to rely on the incumbent opposing party to check Trump. A thin reed indeed. Well-funded Democratic Congressional campaigns guided by Nancy Pelosi have lost four of the last five Congressional races to the worst Republican Party in history. Its anti-worker, anti-consumer, and fanatic determination to repeal environmental protections, that are opposed by a hefty majority of the citizenry is shameful. But Republicans are hungry for power and draconian in their unabashed voter repression and gerrymandering. In the last 20 years Republicans have captured a majority of state legislature and Governors, the Senate, and greater occupancy of the White House. As Republican Kevin Phillips wrote years ago, "the Republicans go for the jugular while the Democrats go for the capillaries." This party is incapable of introspection or revising or renewing its mission.

Most Democrats resent ideas from third party platforms and scapegoat the Greens or any other progressive party that advances new ideas. Election reversing Electoral College, costing the party two presidential elections in 2000 and 2016, induces no opposition. The civic drive called National Popular Vote grows without the Democratic Party's full backing.

Only Trump's madcap self-destructive performance gives the Democrats the edge. Without Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Party reverts to not having answers to the question: What does the Party stand for?

4. The Military Trump has cuffed them around, interfering in military discipline, firing their popular Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. But he has given them more money than they asked for and flatters "the troops" at every turn. What's not to like? Only after Trump's belligerent misuse of the military to disperse a crowd of peaceful demonstrators did a few military leaders criticize the draft-dodging Bunker Boy Trump.

5. The Intelligence Agencies and the FBI No President has ever openly berated these agencies, fired officials, and changed their leaders, including the historically untouchable FBI, other than Trump. He also has fattened these budgets as he allowed their traditional missions except when they declined to support his personal vendettas. They swallow their pride and temper their anger.

6. The Mass Media It used to be that Presidents restrained themselves from attacking the media, apart from a few grumbles. Trump shouts, "fake news," and "enemy of the people." His large twitter following is his own media, along with Fox cable news and heal-clicking syndicated radio talk show soliloquists, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Levin, etc.

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11 people are discussing this page, with 32 comments


shad williams

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This "other" one percent can jumpstart itself. However injections of funds from a few progressive super-rich, to hire 2,000 to 3,000 full time, linked organizers spread through 435 congressional districts can sharply shorten the time span needed to take control of Congress and most of its 535 members who have to heed focused voters far more than campaign money.

Therein lies the problem. The various factions of the ruling elites do not fight among themselves about which public sector assets they want to take, they fight against defenders of the public sector who want to keep public assets in the public domain. As such, the ruling elites have shown that they will always close ranks, regardless of how many of their rapacious class members, lie, cheat, steal and murder members of the 99%.

We should abandon hope that they will ride in at the dawn to make any difference, and begin to think about how to take them out.

Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 14, 2020 at 7:49:16 PM

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shad williams

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Reply to shad williams:   New Content

Can I get an amen??? Damn. Where y'all at?

Don't leave a brother out here on a limb.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 1:59:55 PM

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Wupatki

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Reply to shad williams:   New Content

Amen, bro. Nothing dissolves conflict between members of a ruling class better than a threat to its existence.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 2:42:07 PM

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shad williams

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Brother Wupatki!!@Wupatki.com

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 4:14:33 PM

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ron ridenour

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Reply to shad williams:   New Content

Right on, brother! We the people must act and not with their money and compromises.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 8:28:55 PM

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
       -- Tom Paine

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Reply to shad williams:   New Content

Clean house. MSM needs change in ownership towards Public Utilities, funding Public City Banks at Post Office, with City part of Bank run through City Halls.

Its hard call to figure which is worse, DC or the MSM. Something tells me they have the same owners.

Besides liking lots of out of box stuff here on OEN, been reading some great stuff from UK Socialist Party that has same goal as 1904, before USSR and China gave Marxs a bad name. We all like John Lennon's Imagine better. The UK Socialist Party covers all the renewable common ownership of, I say, at least Utility Services. Keeping profits local could go a long ways, instead of $-Trillions hoarded in Cayman Islands, which I may say more than is true, but they have enough.

"They got our money, but we got our souls."-Lee Camp

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 10:50:23 PM

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Carol Jackson

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George Washington said: "You will get the government you deserve." We the people could not possibly have failed to notice what the people we put in office have been doing all these years, and yet we continued to put them in, year after year. So it appears that Mr. Washington was right and we did indeed get the Government we deserve.

Submitted on Wednesday, Oct 14, 2020 at 8:15:27 PM

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shad williams

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There is a hidden message in the concept of people getting what they deserve. It is this: We should never expect the default mode of human beings to be benevolent...where one could go on vacation and not return to find that a bunch of ruthless, conniving, murderous motherfuckers have taken over your house and are eating your groceries and pissing on your front lawn...

No...humans should never expect benevolence as a matter of course. Which means we should behave as the very christian Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony by sticking the head of a Pequot aborigine Leader on a pike outside the village house, not for a couple of hours or days, even months, but for years.

Therefore as we have learned from our enemies, the ruling elites, we must put the ruling elites heads on pikes as well and leave them out in the fetid air to ward off other regime change bastids hiding out in the CIA and other Murder training academies.

Yes, my brothers and sisters, it is Tit for Tat Time, aka T3. Let us do all of the Titting and Tatting. Regrettably it seems, while our species may aspire for transcendence, we shall forever be dragged down into an eternal war it seems, to completely destroy the Evil currently infesting humans, the ruling elites. Today...E-Vile is winning.

Pity the fooled who won't get schooled.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 1:56:34 PM

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John Zwiebel

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And I thought I was pissed-off.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 6:28:41 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to shad williams:   New Content

Shad,

I have faith in you and Know you can do better than this.

You are just repeating the memes of ~ 5000 years of authoritarianism (which Trump exemplifies), and which includes original sin. IMO you're touting an outmoded version what humans are. If you wish, see the writings of Thich Naht Hanh or the Dalai Lama.

BTW I hear and understand your anger. Who, with a brain, wouldn't be?

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 11:53:15 PM

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Tomonthebeach

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Damn, Ralph! You nailed it. Our government is unsafe at any speed, and you cast a spotlight on the path Dems should take if they take over the Congress.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 1:50:42 AM

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shad williams

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I did not see any mention of executions, did you? We can't really change out the ruling elites without some executions, otherwise, we would not only be insane...we would become dead. Resist!! Strike while they are more discombobulated than we are.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 1:27:46 PM

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John Zwiebel

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After the fiasco of the 2016 Democratic Nomination process and its rerun in 2020, how is it possible you still believe that the Democrats are going to do anything differently should they take over Congress? When was the last time the Democrats successfully opposed any Republican policy of consequence? I have to go back to Watergate.

Are you not aware that the CARES act passed Congress unanimously? Do you not understand how this has set it up for the Oligarchy to consolidate to themselves even more of America's wealth?

It's the Oligarchy -- Stupid!

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 6:25:59 PM

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Don Smith

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Like Chris Hedges, Nader writes depressing truths about the spinelessness and ineffectiveness of institutions that should oppose Trump's wrongdoings. Nader quotes Republican Kevin Phillips: "the Republicans go for the jugular while the Democrats go for the capillaries." Nader suggests mass public protest. It's not clear that the Republicans wouldn't be able to exploit and subvert such protests, by depicting them as lawless, and by infiltrating them with agent saboteurs, with collusion from militarized and often racist police. The article seems hastily written. There were many ungrammatical sentences. I suspect that many politicians, journalists and activists ignore Nader because of his role in the 2000 victory by George W. Bush. Yes, Nader and his supporters did cause Bush to win.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 5:22:33 PM

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John Zwiebel

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It isn't the "Republicans" who will exploit and subvert such protests.

Do you forget what happened to Occupy Wall Street and who was in charge?

Do you forget Standing Rock?

Do you still believe that the ACA was anything other than a fraud meant to enrich the Insurance Companies?

Do you still believe that Obama deserved his Nobel Peace Prize?

Blaming Nader for Bush's victory is just another charade to distract us from the fact that had Gore won, it would not have prevented 9/11 and the resulting invasion of Iraq. It is time to get over pretending that there is such a thing as a "good Oligarch".

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 6:18:17 PM

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Don Smith

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Dear John, you are engaging in "what-about"ism. Yes, the Dems are sometimes bad, and the ACA was at most a small step forward (it covered 20 million additional people, it forced insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, and it limits their profit margins). No, I don't think Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. But your comparing the Dems to the Repugs shows how out-of-touch you are. Trump and the Repugs are quasi-fascist and want to set back the country 100 years, by undoing the New Deal and numerous legal and constitutional changes (women's rights, minority rights, separation of church and state, environmental rights, labor rights, voting rights, etc). The mainstream Dems are just centrist, somewhat corrupt, and spineless. Gore was an ardent environmentalist. Biden opposed the escalation in Afghanistan.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 7:46:55 PM

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John Zwiebel

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"Whataboutism": often used to deflect charges made. Unfortunately, it can also be used to ignore those charges. You are doing both here.

My experience with the ACA eviscerates your claim that more people are covered has any meaning at all. The number one cause of bankruptcy in the USA is Medical Bills. Passage of the ACA did not change that fact.

Have you ever tried to purchase an ACA policy? I have tried on numerous occasions on dozens of exchanges. There is absolutely no way of determining what a policy will cost, or what the offered coverage will be, until you've completed the entire application process. It is like a maze in which one wanders helplessly to get to a finish over which one has no control at all. How do you know there are 20 million additional people covered? Because the MSM tells you so?

If the ACA is so wonderful, how is it that there can be so many surprise bills for "out of network" services?

The ACA is a scam through and through. I would support the Republican efforts to repeal it if I thought for a second they would promulgate a policy that wasn't also all smoke and mirrors.

Sure the Republicans are fascists. (I don't need to soften it by saying "quasi-fascist"). But you refer to the New Deal of 100 years ago as if the Democrats themselves haven't been dismantling it for decades. Look me in the eye and tell me that Nancy Pelosi isn't a fascist. I'll laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh.

There's an interesting analysis of Blood and Gore about how they invested heavily in "Green" projects -- before Gore started his "Inconvenient Truth" roadshow. The failed and poorly produced documentary "Planet of the Humans" was attempting to show how the environmental movement has been usurped by the Oligarchy. It took Max Blumenthal's patient and coherent restructuring of the thesis to make it clear that point. It is called "green-washing".

Funny isn't it that now that Trump has declared that he is removing troops from Afghanistan that Biden has nothing to say about it, but the Democrats are all up in arms about the fake news concerning Russian bounties.

see part 2

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 9:24:19 PM

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John Zwiebel

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Part 2

After the 2016 and 2020 efforts of the Democrats to tell the "rest of us" to go screw ourselves, I stand in amazement that you find a way of trying to defend them. Are you not paying attention?

You are truly trying to make a "lesser of two evils" argument. Haven't you realized that evil is evil? Some can look at Trump and honestly conclude he is the lesser of two evils. I can have it both ways depending on how narrowly I define the issues I care about.

What's your goal here?

So far, Shad is the only one who has presented a plan of action that might accomplish something. I'm beginning to think he may be right.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 9:24:44 PM

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John Zwiebel

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Ho Hum.

Tell me something I don't already know.

There's a reason Pelosi impeached Trump on the one issue that Biden was equally guilty of.

There's a reason Tara Reid has been publicly humiliated and ignored just like Stormy Daniels

There's a reason the farce of the ACB hearings is being played out as if it matters.

There's a reason that COVID is being allowed to spread pretty much unchecked throughout the USA with no political head taking any concrete action.

There's a reason Trump's tweets about Afghanistan sabotaged the Afghan government position and the phony story about Russian bounties spread far and wide as if it were anything but a propaganda ploy.

There's a reason real progressives like Shahid Buttar and Tulsi Gabbard are being slandered by representatives who should be on their "side".

There was a reason that Lehman Brothers was destroyed.

That reason is obvious.

There is no pressure that can be placed on the Oligarchy that cannot be sloughed off without consequence. The Oligarchy owns the American Government because the Oligarchy controls the Dollar, a mystical abstraction that no one, but the Oligarchy, understands.

There is no amount of pressure that can be placed on our political leaders that will prevent them from passing another CARES act; from fomenting a coup in any foreign nation; from ignoring science.

Ralph's criticisms are correct. His solution is still-born.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 6:08:06 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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More on Trump's psychology:

youtube.com /watch?v = Pmfm4Xmenu8

youtube.com/watch?v=2c8IUUEjLTQ

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 6:52:32 PM

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

More boring Thom Hartman stuff. I got over him years ago after his "Crash of 2016 book". 4 years later, still no crash.

Trump is insane, who doesn't know that?

Why is that important? We're suppose to vote for Biden because Trump is insane?

What are offering me that Nader isn't already? I've already explained that Nader is right in his criticism, but he offers nothing that will correct the situation.

I don't know what to do and I readily admit it.

Perhaps Shad is the only one with a clue. Perhaps I just don't want to think that's the only option.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 7:26:30 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to John Zwiebel:   New Content

Actually John, I meant merely to add a comment, not respond to yours.

However, there apparently are some 40% of the American electorate who support Trump and either are oblivious to, or do not grasp the implications of his pathology - so every clear illustration of his sickness is one more possibility (even if remote) of creating a crack in someone's denial.

We can't afford to brush aside anything that may help.

I'm sorry that you're so angry and bored. ('Ho Hum') Very understandable at times like these.

You said that: "I don't know what to do and I readily admit it." That's a common feeling and one with which I resonate - and experience.

In a case like this, the question always is, how badly are you willing to entertain possibilities you haven't thought of, which may challenge your assumptions or habits?

Submitted on Friday, Oct 16, 2020 at 12:08:44 AM

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John Zwiebel

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

I'm very willing to entertain new options.

Perhaps you should ask yourself why 40% of Americans support Trump. I know them. They are not unaware of who and what Trump is. They look at Obama, Pelosi and Schumer and realize that they're getting screwed (come'on don't tell me that they aren't).

This "Trump on the Couch" stuff isn't helping.

Submitted on Friday, Oct 16, 2020 at 4:10:26 AM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to John Zwiebel:   New Content

How badly are you willing to entertain possibilities you haven't thought of, which may challenge your assumptions or habits?

"Perhaps you should ask yourself why 40% of Americans support Trump. I know them. They are not unaware of who and what Trump is. "

I have asked that question. The answers I've come up with can be found in previous my Oped articles dealing with authoritarianism - a mindset and mode of social organization that has been with us for more than 5,000 years. (This has been explored in detail in the work of Riane Eisler and Philip Slater).

It looks like many of the 40% either have a negative (antisocial) ethical base and/or lean toward an authoritarian paradigm and/or do not know how to think psychologically. If they did, they would readily realize how dangerous Trump is.

They look at Obama, Pelosi and Schumer and realize that they're getting screwed (come'on don't tell me that they aren't).

*

"It's organized crime. All you do is you call the Republicans the Genoveses and you call the Democrats the Gambinos. The people at the top, they treat it like a crap game. It's their crap game, like they're making lots of money. Occasionally, somebody at the table shoots each other, but the moment anything threatens their crap game, they all unite to protect it. ... They're both controlled by the same financial, economic and corporate interests."

Michael Ruppert

*

"This "Trump on the Couch" stuff isn't helping."

It may not be helping you (recall that my response to you was an unintended error), but you are not in a position to know whether that Frank's psychoanalytic analysis will not help someone. In today's world people email, etc. all kinds of things to all kinds of people. If his interview creates a crack in one person's denial, you cannot predict the results. Systems theory has shown that events have ripple effects that are unpredictable. Plus, this is a time to do whatever we can to prevent Trump's re-election.

Submitted on Friday, Oct 16, 2020 at 4:58:16 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to John Zwiebel:   New Content

Your anger at the odious situation we face politically is clear and understandable. However, my guess is that it is clouding your judgment - in the way in which an activated amygdala can distort rational thought. (You can now get angry at this statement")

You are understandably focused on the physical plane and its politics. How familiar (even intellectually) are you with the subtle and causal planes of being?

Gandhi said, "When you reduce yourself to zero, your power becomes invincible."

Submitted on Friday, Oct 16, 2020 at 4:59:08 PM

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Don Smith

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content
Apparently the correct Gandhi quote is, "When you make yourself into zero, your power becomes invincible."

Submitted on Friday, Oct 16, 2020 at 6:38:56 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Don Smith:   New Content

Thank you, Don.

Beautiful.

Transcending the ego, for most of us, is a life's work. It's often very challenging! Good thing there can be plenty of satisfaction as well.

Have anyone or any sources been useful to you in this regard?

Submitted on Friday, Oct 16, 2020 at 7:25:09 PM

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Douglas Jack

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I'm surprised that; Ralph Nader of all people has bought into the bi-partisan oligarch-controlled violent colonial political narrative. Trump is just a two-bit actor on the US sitcom apprentice TV show. People should know there is a higher level of puppeteers stemming from worldwide multinational minority shareholder control of the US-Federal-Reserve, Bank-of-England, Bank-of-International-Settlements, World-Bank & International-Monetary-Fund. Control for the issue of false 'money' (Greek 'mnemosis' = 'memory') gives oligarchs control over every aspect of human life. Oligarch directed violent genocidal colonial invasion-murder of many 10s of millions of 1st Nation 'indigenous' (Latin 'self-generating') peoples in the Americas ongoing throughout the world goes unnoticed. Coordinated usurping of power to oligarch-campaign-finance-controlled false Congress puppet-actors, such as Trump, often portrayed as 'the-villain', have distracted the settler audience. All settlers to the Americas came as economic-ecological refugees from oligarch 'exogenous' (L 'other-generated') mismanagement failure in Europe, only to be bound by the same dysfunction here. Its time 'settlers' learn about their own ancient worldwide 'indigenous' heritages guided by 1st Nation indigenous Economic Democracy to become whole real-peoples once again in harmonious human & environmental relationships. Click Here

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 8:17:47 PM

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John Zwiebel

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Reply to Douglas Jack:   New Content

You are right but...

Couldn't you simplify your message?

I like to say, "It's the Oligarchy -- Stupid!"

Sure you can expand on that, as you've done here, but folks don't relate. They need a central focus. I surely need that central focus. A foundation from which to grasp what is happening around me.

Submitted on Thursday, Oct 15, 2020 at 8:52:11 PM

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Jim-el Moore

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Reply to John Zwiebel:   New Content

But wait, John Zwiebel -- to simplify the statement to "It's the Oligarchy -- Stupid" is to reduce an entire gestalt to a projected blaming, as if naming the offender is the equivalent of establishing justice! Please -- let's let go of this cultural habit we've developed, to leap to a conclusive accusation, such that we can shift our attention to other critical matters: racial strife, economic stratification, global warming, depleted and/or polluted resources, personal alienation, increasing rates of suicide, etc. By engaging, we take responsibility; we contribute to wellbeing; we make a difference. A "central focus" might be: "What can I do?"

Submitted on Friday, Oct 16, 2020 at 7:21:10 PM

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Blair Gelbond

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Reply to Jim-el Moore:   New Content

Well said, as usual, Jim. Meg Wheatley's new book is titled: Who Do We Choose to Be?

She is her usual brilliant self, and yet she seems somewhat depressed at world conditions (understandably); she also seems naive re- blaming "conspiracy" theories" - in the process ignoring, for example, the very real government conspiracy behind 9/11.

I'm curious: do you have a spiritual practice or primary spiritual teacher? Your posts reveal that you are on a path involving the evolution of consciousness.

Submitted on Friday, Oct 16, 2020 at 9:24:01 PM

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Jim-el Moore

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Reply to Blair Gelbond:   New Content

I haven't read Wheatley, but I do my best to rise above being "somewhat depressed at world conditions," knowing very well how little that can help. Yes, there are conspiracies at high levels in governance and in subterfuge of the powers that be ... and when we acknowledge our own sovereignty, our non-dependence on the consensus structure, our affinity for and our commitment to the interdependence of the natural ecology provided ... (which brought us to Life!), it becomes easier to let go of the political, social and economic inequities that divide us.

Yes, my belief is that we are collectively on the path of the evolution of consciousness. We participate in that, whether we consciously choose to do so or not. I don't ascribe that belief to any spiritual or religious leader or organization ....

Thank you for your question, Blair, and thank you for being the authentic you.

-- Jim-el

Submitted on Saturday, Oct 17, 2020 at 1:44:41 AM

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