Wednesday, February 10, 2016

WHAT'S WRONG WITH HILLARY?

I'M GLAD YOU ASKED?  (I'll get back to my travels and other trivia as soon as I solve this puzzle for the nation)
HER INNER CHILD IS DEAD--OR ASLEEP!!
Let me make this clear to those of you who do not remember the Eric Berne discoveries of the 70's Transactional Analysis---"GAMES PEOPLE PLAY")-- wherein he showed that all of us have (at least)3 personality states that we show to the world--Our Parent, Our Adult and our Child.  Our Parent holds our wisdom, our Adult makes decisions and our Child contains all of our charm, energy, and Pizzaz in general--and it churns out a host of lively, fun,  imaginative possibilities that it presents to the Adult for  a decision. Our inner child is the puppy personality we were born with.

If a puppy is abused--- or otherwise damaged--as in cruel,misguided training--it loses its spirit---and forever thereafter it greets the world as a whipped dog--or worse--as a mean dog.

Hillary is as qualified as any of the contenders to be President and would no doubt guide the ship of state with wisdom--BUT HER PUPPY PERSONA IS DAMAGED--OR JUST DORMANT.

We voters want more from her--we want to LIKE our president.  We want a charming president. (Like Obama and Bill Clinton)

So I say to Hillary's advisors:  Help her see the truth of this.  Show her what aliveness and charm look like.   See if you can awaken her inner child.  If not, get her off the American stage.  It pains me to see her speak.  I swear, I was happy to see her soundly defeated by Bernie. (have her watch some of Nixon's speeches to see what  souless speaking looks like.)

Trump has an inner child fully awake and he is as entertaining as a puppy. And I say as a warning to myself and America: SO WAS HITLER.

Friday, January 22, 2016

REPUBLICAN MAN FINDS A SALT MINE---DEMOCRATIC MAN FINDS A SALT MINE


REPUBLICAN MAN FINDS A SALT MINE

It was the 15th century in the end-of-the-world town of Timbuktu on the southern edge of the Sahara desert.  Salt here is so rare and precious that it trades ounce for ounce with gold because it must be transported by camel caravan from eastern Africa.

One day a man of the Republican mentality accidently discovered a vast underground mountain of salt just a mile outside town.  He immediately recognized the immense value of his find; conceals the entrance and ponders how best to profit from his discovery.

He becomes a salt dealer--pretending that he buys from the caravans and resells to the public, supplmenting caravan salt with that from his mine.  His prices are lower than the going rate, so he quickly gains a financial foothold.  He then secures possession of the salt area, establishing a home and pretend-farm. He continues to sell salt at a reduced price and also continues to buy from the caravaners but at a greatly reduced price because he has quietly and carefully satisfied the local demand.  He buys just enough to maintain the public belief  that his salt is being imported from across the desert.

Meanwhile his fellow citizens continue in the same drudgeous lifestyle to afford the salt that they so desperately need.

He quickly becomes wealthy and hires private security to protect his wealth. He hires people to build a new house and also buys a few new wives who live in town.  He funds a few community projects, donates generously to the local mosque and becomes well thought of.  He buys influence in the local power structure.

He buys a few slaves to work his mine, treats them generously but does not allow them off his "reservation" to jeopardize his secret source of salt.  He expands his salt empire by selling to nearby cities.

By carefully regulating the salt supply, he stays rich and powerful--and even popular.  For a lifetime, he manages to stay rich and powerful--protecting his secret mine and even manages to pass the enterprise on to his son who continues the dynasty for many generations.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I believe in my heart that Republicans think this way and are thusly motivated. This man has it within his power to lift his whole society a step or two upward--but prefers to gather personal wealth and status.  No Republican on earth can correctly answer this question:  Who is the rightful owner of that mountain of salt?

DEMOCRATIC MAN FINDS A SALT MINE

Imagine a high-minded guy finds a salt mine just outside Timbuktu.  He too knows that gold is trading ounce for ounce for salt.  He knows that salt in small amounts is necessary for life and that in larger amounts can preserve meat and fish.  He knows that if there were suddenly available all the salt anyone would need--much human work and drudgery would be saved. His entire nation would be lifted one notch upward to a new plateau.

He also knows that if this mine were to fall into Republican minded hands--that it would be exploited for greed and personal power and luxuries.

So he ponders how to avoid greedy exploitation and deliver this boon to all.  He wants a better world more than he wants personal riches or power.

He gains occupancy of the mine and once that is secure, goes into town, announces that he has discovered salt and that everyone may come and take all they want.  The lifestyle of Timbuktu folks
was permanently lifted.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  If this seems like a fairy tale to you--consider that  similar situations are currently happening all over the world.  Consider Benjamin Franklin's inventions--the lightening rod, bifocal glasses, the Franklin stove--discoveries and inventions given freely to the world and each lifted humanity to a higher plateau.  Imagine a Republican discovering the lightening rod.  He would patent it and make a fortune.

Consider that the city of Venice, Italy did in fact discover a vast source of salt and exploited it exactly like the Republican above--and became a powerful,highly stratified, luxury loving  trading empire. Later the "Republicans" of Venice discovered the secret of glassmaking. They hid and exploited it also.

Consider the DeBeers diamond company using every skuldugerous trick imaginable to curtail the supply of diamonds---when in fact the world has diamonds a plenty.  There is no real need for foolish men to spend a months salary to buy a "respectable" engagement ring.

Rest assured it was a Republican mentality that caused that jerk recently to raise the price of a life saving drug from $14 to more than $700. They believe that a fair price is what the customer is willing to pay. (a quote from the hall of free enterprise)

Imagine a Republican discovering how to start  fire--he would exploit it for all it's worth--insist on being chief and Shaman;  Make the local tribes bring goodies for  new fire after a rain.

Likewise imagine a Republican discovering the secret of making Pottery, or Bronze, or Iron. Think he would share it willingly to make a better world.

Obama said it well:  There are two competing philosophies at work in the world: WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER and ITS EVERYONE FOR HIMSELF. Which is Republicanism?

The obvious truth to me is that as we progress technologically we can afford to freely share  the basics of life (NOT THE LUXURIES YOU UNDERSTAND--THEY REQUIRE WORK) salt, water, food, clothing, shelter, basic medical care.  Were it not for the Republican mentality we would already be beyond abject poverty. More than 50% of us would be free to do what I do--travel, enjoy life, write.

Monday, December 21, 2015

DRAMATIC DEEP DESERT DEMOCRACY

I TAKE YOU WITH ME TO THE SLABS---We've been here before. But big things are brewing  now and we will witness them.

If you do not know about this amazing 1 square mile of land, google THE SLABS and then come back for the wonderous thing I'm about to show you.

Salvation Mountain--a painted hillside encouraging you to believe, repent and be born again.
A 25 year labor of love by Lenord Knight, now deceased.  Dedicated successors preserve this folk art work listed on the national registry.

To prepare you for the big event, you need to know that this is the only place in the U
S where you can select a spot and build yourself a domicile---with a fair likelihood of being able to hold on to it without paying for the land.
Here's another example of a squatting homesteader's cabin.

This, I believe is the meeting area for the friends of the library. (building located in the right background) A group of people live around it and keep it up.  ( worth a separate post for its history and thousands of volumes available to the public.)

This leafy bower is the meeting place for the current Slab City Community Group---a legal entity.  Everybody is invited to sit in on council meetings and so I went.  (no pictures)
The meeting lasted an hour and concerned itself with tomorrow's election of a new council.
The intelligence, decorum and good will displayed would likely put to shame your city council meeting. 

Afterwards I engaged a few of them. 


Slab city dwellers have organized themselves legally in response to the possibility that their land may be sold and them evicted.  If  Slabbers can hold on to this land, questions concerning how an individual could  take and keep possession of a campsite is being carefully considered, as this poster illustrates.

This poster was made for those unfamiliar with Roberts rule of order.
(on election day the president explained the gist of them with a single sentence:  We use these proceedures to assure that the majority will prevail and the minority heard).

Additional details cover the distinction between resident and visitor--both are allowed to vote for their representative on the council.
Election day came---the people assembled.


At the famous Range. You can see this very place in the movie INTO THE WILD.

The meeting began--nominations for the new council are made.  One by one the nominees addressed the crowd asking for their vote. I believe that's Builder Bob* speaking at the mike.
*Somewhat like the French Foreign Legion people here often acquire a new name.
This was a surprise.  That's Solar Mike speaking---and he asked that no one vote for him because he is opposed to the entire project.  He allowed his nomination just for the opportunity to have his say.

I think that's Robbie speaking.

I don't know who this was--but he made a good speech.

As did this guy

And this one.

The ballots were cast into this literal ballot box.  Two watchers assured the vote was honest.

You would have been impressed, I think, to see democracy work in so unlikely a venue.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  Oh sweet people--you should have been there.  I was moved nearly to tears. Our founding fathers would have been proud.  I say to the tyrants of the world and to all who believe in force--LET THEM COME TO THE SLABS.
And I say to all the rent collectors of the world.  COME TO THE SLABS--and see a different system.
And I say to economic captives everywhere-- drudging their lives away in the capitalistic system-- yearning for freedom---COME TO THE SLABS.
Glorious it is not---BUT IT'S A START. 

Out of the mud and dust of things
Something lovely sometimes springs














Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A MESSAGE TO MUSLIMS EVERYWHERE

RANDY RANTS----A MESSAGE TO MUSLIMS EVERYWHERE

We, non Muslims in the west are getting increasingly irritated at the whole lot of you.
Out of your 1.2 Billion have come millions of fanatics, intent on doing us harm.

We have been super patient with you---trying hard to separate in our minds—the fanatics from the moderates. Our president is doing his best to calm the building rage.

I want to speak bluntly to you.
EVERY ONE OF YOU BEARS SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE WORLD WIDE CONFLICTS INVOLVING MUSLIMS.

To begin with, every one of you are responsible for your failure to question your indoctrination.
Children are gullible and will believe what they are told. Therefore all of us owes it to the world to question our indoctrination and find our personal truth.

If you had done so with an open mind, you would likely discover that Islam is just one more unprovable religion alongside Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism; each of which has had their extremist.

For the most part, however, they have “tweaked” their “interpretations” of their Holy book so that they can (usually) live peacefully with their neighbors. In short, they have learned to “cherry pick” their ethics from their holy book. YOU HAVE NOT LEARNED TO DO THAT AND THEREFORE YOU ARE IN DANGER OF CREATING A CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS.

DO IT NOW—BEFORE THE WORLD GETS TOO ANGRY AT YOU. Read Hunnington's book: THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS and ponder the consequences if that happens.

I estimate that another 100 or so attacks like the twin towers, Paris and San Bernardino will enrage us to the point where a Hitler type leader will rise up and call for your extermination.

Keep in mind that we really do have the power to lay waste your entire culture.

History records times when an enraged society rose up against a fanatical society and exterminated it.
Google the Thugee sect in India and consider their fate.

I know whereof I speak: My own culture—Baptist in the South—once believed that God accepted Slavery:  Our Bible said it: "Slaves, be obediant to your masters." This noxious idea so irritated our northern countrymen that they waged a fierce war against us and 600,000 people were killed in the process. If need be, they (perhaps) would have killed us all to eradicate that idea from our mind.
A shattering conquest brought us, finally, to our senses, and eventually to the conviction that slavery was wrong DESPITE WHAT OUR HOLY BOOK SAID.

Now—Dear Muslim would-be-friends: You have ideas in your mind and in your holy book that are just as noxious and intolerable. Open your Koran and read the following chapters and verses: 2,6—2,15—2,24—2,85—2,89,90,98—2,105—2,14—2,122—2,126—2,142—2,154—2,162—2,168—2,172—2,175 “God has revealed the book....those that disagree about it are in extreme schism” (2,176)
“slay them wherever you find them"....(2,190,193)
I could list a hundred more—Perhaps this is enough to get the idea of the Koran's extreme intolerance.
Out of this book has emerged tyrannical sexist, intolerant, repressive, ignorant societies---and a few million fanatics who take the book seriously.

At a minimum I ask you to begin “cherry picking” your holy book and learn to tolerate other religions.

At a maximum, I ask you to re appraise the whole idea of a holy book and make common cause with us agnostics and atheist who live with the mystery of existence---generating whatever meaning and joy we can—NEVER CLAIMING TO HAVE ULTIMATE TRUTH.

It may be that the fate of the world is in the hands of moderate Muslims.

Take responsibility for the fanatics among you—expose them, correct them or kill them. If you will not do the job then we may have to do it for you—with blunt instruments and many unintended casualties. It is too much to ask of us to (painstakingly) ferret out the bad apples among you.

I say again: We are getting very very irritated with you.



Tuesday, November 03, 2015

A SKY FILLED WITH WONDER

IF YOU THINK YOUR CUP IS FULL OF GOOD THINGS---If you think life couldn't be better. I invite to join me in early october at the Albuquerque Balloon Festival

and see a whole sky filled with wonder.

This generous casino and this wonderful town will make your cup overflow.

AND IT'S ALL FREE---Yes you heard me right it's all free---for all these folks who've joined me in the casino RV parking lot.  And that's not all--the casino gives away free soft drinks, coffee and hot chocolate--all you want--24 hrs a day. Also $5 Buffets on occasion.  And they will give you $25 of their money to get you started gambling. (clever Laurie showed us how to guarantee yourself $10 take home cash:  Simply bet $10 on black and $15 on red at the same time--one of them is almost sure to win--then pocket your cash)

Back outside we are treated to this astonishing sight---a flying cow and stagecoach.

Sometimes a balloon will visit you right outside your door.  You may want to know that ballonist who bring their balloons here are given free propane to power them, free hotel rooms and free meals.  I'm guessing that the town somehow makes its money back from the tourist.


Remember Kat and Carol from Salida this summer?


And up from Sedona these two old friends Laurie and Lisa--Singer and Drama coach.

Invited them to stay the night with me--Laurie on the left couch--

Lisa on the right.
Kat at the end

Next morning I make breakfast for all of us.

Friends make living worthwhile.

Next day featured special shapes: Pigs flew, Boots lifted into the air--and much much more.

When those guest left---bingo--a new one arrives.
Her readers and fans will instantly recognize the wondrous wagon of  Kimbopolo.
Check out her blog here.
None other than the editor of my soon-to-be published book.
We have a week together to iron out the details.
We selected a hundred of my best poems and we will produce a Kindle/Amazon download book.
Here's a teaser:

How to Beat the Casinos

Says every casino from Yuma to Reno,
Free parking to all who ramble.
Come on inside, pull out your slide,
Lay down some dollars and gamble.

For the freebie you’re getting, the casino is betting
You cannot resist their bait.
That you're a weak-willed critter sucked in by their glitter,
Whose pocketbook they will deflate.

But if you choose, it’s a bet they will lose,
Certainly for this wandering chap.
Slick as you please, I eat all their cheese,
And scamper away from the trap.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  Consider this view of Judgment day:  Every person will be made to see life as it really was----will be overwhelmed with wonder---and will be inwardly compelled to admit that it was worth it to have been born.







Tuesday, October 27, 2015

RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD--IN RHYME---Part 5 --HINDUISM

This is the poem I'm most proud of.  To digest a vast religion like Hinduism and dare to summarize the gist of it into a short poem was my most ambitious project. To test my accuracy, I sent it to a Hindu teacher and asked if I'd gotten it right. He wrote back and congratulated me and said yes.
I (modestly) believe that the 5th verse of this poem is the most condensed theology ever written as it states in 11 words the essence of nearly all religious belief: That eternity is acting in time.




Hinduism

Only one thing has ever existed:
Hindu’s call it Brahma.
The universe is Brahma “dreaming.”
Hindus call this “cosmic drama.”

All the stars and all the planets,
Real and solid as they seem,
At their core are purest spirit;
Grand illusion, Brahma’s dream.

Thus the universe is Brahma’s
Grand and cosmic stage
Where He’s playing all the parts,
Directing, writing every page.

The play began at zero
With the bang of cosmic shatter.
In a billion fleeing galaxies
Spirit “descended” into matter.

Omnipotence--self-limited,
Oneness--multiplied,
Omniscience--went to dimness,
Omnipresence--localized.

In breathtaking cosmic self-deception;
He put divinity “on the shelf”;
To go adventuring in time
Simply to amuse Himself.

Somewhat like the king who,
Bored with endless royal pomp,
Slips into a pauper’s clothes
To enjoy an earthy romp.

There were things He yearned to do,
Commonplace with you and me,
Simple finite earthy things,
Impossible in eternity:

Like risk, make love, learn and grow,
Strive and fail, hurt and cry,
Do great evil, be redeemed,
Live a life, be born and die.

So Brahma put Himself “to sleep”
In an act of Godly scheming,
And dreams a dream so cleverly,
That He does not know He’s dreaming.

Our galaxy is Brahma whirling;
He hides inside a trillion lives,
Enjoying bold performances,
Creativity and surprise.

He is the cobra and the mongoose;
He is the innocent child at play.
He’s everything both good and evil;
He’s both predator and prey.

Both tragedy and triumph are
Equal fun in Brahma’s eyes.
It’s all a game of let’s pretend;
No one ever really dies.

When our bodies die, we are reborn,
Shortly back into the game.
And our new body is what we’ve earned
With deeds of good or shame.

Our duty’s to play the role we’re “in,”
With all the courage that we’ve got,
With depth of feeling and fervent passion
Like the actor George C. Scott.

You and I are Brahma conscious,
Dim and flickering though it be,
And when I look you in the eye,
It’s Brahma looking back at me.

Once you know that God is you,
You are free to enjoy the game.
Or you can opt yourself right out;
Return to Brahma whence you came.

The thousand gods that Hindus worship
Are merely aspects of the one,
As a thousand rainbows are
Reflections of a single sun.

Since life is drama, Hindus can answer
The toughest theological knot:
Why is there evil in the world?
Why, just to thicken the plot!

Curiously, Hindus believe that history
Rolls faster and faster downhill.
What began as splendid perfection
Decays to the darkest of ill.

The universe will end in chaos.
Our world will vanish like steam.
As matter dissolves into spirit
When Brahma wakes up from his dream.


RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  Einstein's idea that matter creates space and that time is relative to speed is considered the most subtle thought that humanity has produced.  I agree---and I propose that the second most subtle thought was this GUESS at what existence might be all about.  The Baghavad Gita has dazzled thinkers all over the world.  I have attempted to boil it down to these 21 verses.

Sadly, most Indians know almost nothing about the religion they profess---any more than Christians know theirs.  They are caught up in superstition and magic like all the others. No better--no worse.

That we do not know the purpose--if any--of existence is a bitter pill for all of us to swallow.  Only the brave can do it.  ONLY THOSE WHO HAVE SWALLOWED THE PILL CAN LEGITIMATELY SPECULATE.  All others are brainwashed and cowardly believers--who will wreck our world (overpopulation, crazy, frozen ethics, pretensions to certainty, taliban-like fanaticism) if reason does not prevail.

After you have swallowed the bitter pill--you can legitimately speculate. It is a fun and perhaps psychologically useful thing to do. The Baghavad Gita is the most elegant speculation to date.  Far better than Christianity.  So If you feel the need for a WHY to your life---try this theory on.  It is a happy why-in the big picture.  And it has a plausible answer the question of why is there evil in the world, (verse 19)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD---IN RHYME--part 4 BUDDHISM




Buddhism

Buddha said he didn’t know
How or why the world was made,
And he knew nothing about any God.
But as he sat in the Bo Tree’s shade,

He experienced enlightenment and in a flash
saw the pain of the world all about.
"Everyone has an arrow in his heart,
and I see how to take it out."

The 1st Noble Truth

Pain is inherent in life,
Unavoidable, necessarily so
Because of adjustments we must make
To the world’s unceasing flow.

Pain is the challenge of our existence,
Sufficient reason and rhyme,
To stimulate our grand adventure
Of eternity acting in time.

The 2nd Noble Truth

Suffering, however, is needless.
It comes when we struggle and resist
The flow of our own experience
As life makes turns and twists.

Wishing things were different,
Endless cravings and desires
Cause our upsets and frustrations,
Discontents and inner fires.

The 3rd Noble Truth

But we can learn to know ourselves;
We can diminish our cravings,
Which in exact proportion will
Dampen down our  ragings.

It is possible to be happy,
To cultivate a mind
That’s open, passionate and awake,
Responsive, involved and kind.

The 4th Noble Truth:
The Eight-Fold Path

And here is how that task is done:
Right views, intent and meditation,
Right effort, speech and mindfulness,
Right action and occupation.

The Illusion of Self

The deepest truth we need to know,
Buddha’s profoundest conclusion,
Is that none of us are “real;”
Our very self is an illusion.

Like Bruce Willis in the movie Sixth Sense,
The truth we need the most
Is to discover for ourselves
That we are only a kind of “ghost.”

When our inner eyes are opened,
When our ego comes undraped,
We see ourselves like fleeting whirlwinds
A swirling breeze has shaped.

We are not a solid self,
And we will vanish back to wind.
Our ego is only a clever illusion
We foolishly promote and defend.

Reincarnation 

 Over and over egos are born
Over and over they die.
Only a Karmic core of tendencies
Pass on to the brand new guy.

Karma

Each new personality and life,
Making advances or retreats,
Determines the status of the next-to-be-born:
The gutter or easy street.

Nirvana

If somehow you become enlightened,
 You break the cycle of Rebirth,
Are absorbed into Nirvana
And never return to Earth.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Origional  Buddhism was not nonsense---and it was not religion.  It was PSYCHOTHERAPY.
And good Psychotherapy---and still is.  But the doctrines of reincarnation, karma and nirvana were added later by enthusiastic diciples---along with a host of other superstitions like prayer wheels, prayer flags, demons etc.   Subsequent followers could not resist the temptation to wrap this fine philosophy in crazy superstitions like all the other major religions.  Tibetan Buddhism evolved into a theocracy with the monk class exploiting the working class.  I don't know how I feel about Japanese Zen Buddhism--they focus on the enlightenment aspect--and leave off the superstition.

Perhaps some of my readers have a better take on the evolution of Buddhism to its current state.

Next up:  HINDUISM-- (my finest poem I promise you)

ADDENDUM: I urge my readers to scroll down to the  comment posted by Michael for a profound take on this series.
It delights me that I have readers of such acumen.