Donald Trump and his new Republican Party proved something: That a Constitution written when indoor plumbing was actually cutting-edge technology, is not itself strong enough to withstand a manipulative assault on it by a modern day organized crime mindset that literally came of age in the dark gaps found between its words.
what can we do when
off the glaciers sheer
and dams burst outward
to peasants in valley
so far away from you
hunched over a teak desk
looking tight for the line
of the feeders on bottom
As the Dome burns its effigy
in Democracy’s last waltz
Words themselves have no real meaning, not on their own anyway. They are really just jumbles of recognizable sounds that we put together. It’s once we collectively agree on a meaning for that group of sounds that, Boom!, you’ve got a word.
When we begin to be mindful of the associations we carry for most words and names we begin to see that our thoughts, feeling, and maybe even many of our reactions, are largely built upon our own unique memories and experiences. Simply put, the word ‘Mom’ doesn’t evoke the same feelings and images to me as it does to you.
As we grow and start to interact with our world, we encounter things and we are told their names by the people around us. “That thing over there is called a bee, Johnny.”. Being curious little kid, Johnny wants to learn more about things so he reaches out grab a hold of the bee and…
Okay, stop a minute…
Now I am going to ask the reader to take a second and pause – Imagine what your initial reaction would be if someone that had never seen a bee before, reached out to grab one right in front of you. What would your knee-jerk reaction be?
If there is any truth to the assertion that we humans actually create our worlds, it is evidenced by the way we attach significance to many of the words that we hear every day, binding them with the bricks and mortar of our own individual experiences, emotions, and attitudes. ‘Mom’ is not just ‘mom’, she is ‘MOM’.
But it is also in this way that we create our own blindnesses, when we allow our distractions, resentments, desires, and prejudices tell us how to feel and react to a single word or phrase.
…And now back to our little bee!
And if you had never experienced a stinging insect before, bees sure do look fuzzy and cute. And if Johnny is curious about his world, he is likely to reach out and pick up the bee. It’s at this point that we experience that initial reaction to a kid trying to pick up a bee right in front of us. And if you have ever been stung before, or you are allergic to bee venom, you’re probably going to have a different reaction when Johnny goes to pick up the bee than someone like, say Steve Irwin would have.
The whole point to this is to talk about the fact that older slang words for cannabis like pot, weed, and even marijuana, by their very nature are slowing the cause of replacing the public perception of cannabis as a real medicine. Let alone as a safer alternative to some of the legal intoxicants people already use.
There is also the added fact that ‘cannabis’ is actually the plants real name. Add to that the fact that there are literally millions of people out there who still believe the antiquated disinformation campaign that pushed the ‘marijuana leads to harder stuff’ idea.
This one single action of carefully choosing our words when it comes to talking about cannabis, will help us more rapidly bring about these reforms because we won’t have deal with accidentally be conjuring up images of Cheech and Chong sitting in a parked and smoke-filled car, as one of them asks how his driving is.
It’s just not as funny when you just say you use a vaporizer with cannabis to treat the pain from your spinal cord damage.
As funny as that is, it has never gotten us closer to the image of seeing a doctor prescribe cannabis for spinal cord pain because of how effective it is. But also because they were concerned about the addiction potential to many of the other pain medicines they used to use.
Cannabis has been proven (not only by modern science, but by thousands of years of human history) to be an effective medicine for many things humanity is plagued with, pain being one of the main ones these days.
Yes, CBD is one of the compounds getting a lot of attention as something that is helping folks. But THC actually plays a very big part in pain relief as well. The problem is, it faces that bane of all middle aged children: A bad reputation!
It’s the compound in Mary Jane that gets you high man. It’s the part of the drug that got saddled with one of the worst parts of adolescence, a nickname. THC is the stuff in Dope that got it the memorable nickname “gateway drug”. And if any 12 year old can tell you, a bad reputation is harder to get rid of than booger on the tip of your finger.
The worst part is, it turns out THC wasn’t the real gateway drug. The real gateway drug it turns out, is and always has been, the pursuit and hoarding of wealth.
I’m just going to put these thoughts down for my own purposes. Predictions for posterity, I guess.
When I run this stuff around in my head, I time-trip and visit each scenario as it plays out, including each possibility in the multiverse of choices that branch off from it. It’s exhausting. Anyway, when I run this stuff through in my head here is what I keep coming up with. (Yes, I keep… Meaning I have done this a few times. I’m in quarantine like everyone else, so I might as well time-travel.)
Pundits and talking heads keep saying Donald Trump is going to fade away once he is out of office. I don’t see it, I really don’t.
Here’s the problem -— Some of his followers think he is the great and powerful Q, and then a bunch of other ones that think that he was sent by God as wrecking ball to help clear out the unworthy. And, as we now know, Trump will do anything to stay out of jail.
When those things get tossed around together, they add up to “He’s not going to just slink off into obscurity”. I just don’t see it. Not him, maybe someone normal, but not him.
This isn’t over. This wasn’t a protest. This wasn’t a riot. This was, and still is a bloody coup attempt.
Wednesday’s attack on the nation’s capital was designed to negate the presidential election results, and disabled the current and the incoming government. People were purposely killed. Many law enforcement agents helped to enable the breach. Democratically, and currently sitting members of the House and Senate supported it, and engaged in disinformation tactics to further it. The President who initiated it is still in power for 11 more days. His VP refuses to invoke the 25th Amendment. The leader of the Senate is hinting that he would not be calling the Senate back in session for any sort of second impeachment. The siege of the Capitol Building that was very likely meant to remove specific people in the line of succession. And 99% of the people who stormed the seat of democracy are still free to plan, and to act.
I just drove by a gun store near my house here in NH, and the normally sparsely populated parking lot was packed. There is a longer line to get into the gun shop than there is at the grocery store down the street.
But, news outlets keep telling me that it was just a protest. And politicians tell me that these people are just trying to protect their toilet paper supply. I’m sure it’s fine, right?
One of the exercises that I found particularly helpful when discussing the concept of ’emptiness’ in Buddhism, was trying to figure out at what point a car is a car.
For example: We have a car in front of us…
If I remove the engine, and the leave the rest of the body, frame, etc., is that still a car?
What if I then take off all of the doors, is it still a car now?
Or how about if I took out all the wiring and stuff, is that still a car then?
You can see how the exercise goes. At some point the realization began to set in that all things are all composite. We ourselves, are not singular. And we really are not separate from other beings. We are all made of of countless other components, and those things themselves are made up of even smaller elements. You can follow this logic as far down as you like, ultimately splashing around in the quantum foam like are in a 50’s surf movie.
But what if applied this logic to other things? Like what happened yesterday at the capital.
At what point does a protest become a riot?
At what point does riot become sedition?
At what point does a sedition become an insurrection?
At what point does insurrection become civil war?
What I have discovered is that rarely are there clear lines showing separation in nature. We tend only to be able to identify things after a new form has become apparent to us. In Buddhism, I have found this very humbling. When it comes to public safety, things get very messy and dangerous very quickly.
I published the following post on November 5, 2016. I thought I would republish it today.
It’s clear that I have been unsually quiet over the last couple of weeks leading up to this election. While everyone else is doubling down with only days to go, I’ve done the opposite.
I’m fried. Burnt out. Frazzled.
I tend to think through things to see their logical end. When it comes to this election there are really only two possible outcomes since no third party candidate is even within shouting distance of being able to pretend they have a chance. And so, as everyone in the world has noted, there is going to be a President Clinton or a President Trump. Except that’s not the two outcomes I have been thinking about…
If Donald Trump loses, his supporters have hinted, or just plain came out and stated, that they will revolt. And since many of these same people are also armed and more than willing to use their weapons on someone who isn’t American-looking enough for them (or just give them the beat down anyway, as has been happening more and more lately), there is no reason not to take this threat extremely seriously.
Of course, if Donald Trump wins the same people have also made it just as clear that they will take the results as a mandate to get to right to work cleaning up the country and ridding it of anyone who doesn’t look, act, or sound American enough for them.
In other words, the same crap is going to happen regardless of who wins or loses. We are virtually guaranteed of increased violence against certain people based on their looks, their faith, the way they talk, and even what they think.
And so, what I have been musing on is not the election so much as the results. The political pundits have been honing their ability to divide people over the last few decades. The idea has always been to identify the differences between “us and them” and amplify it until people feel that the choice is no longer just political, but existential as well. The resulting divide has already harmed families and friendships, and caused irrevocable damage at the cost of a swing vote or two. But because these political operatives live their lives in this cesspool of divisiveness, they’ve forgotten that everyday people don’t. As a result, voters don’t see things as “just politics” anymore. What was once a “get out the vote effort”, has now become a road map for lasting civil strife in America.
I started this blog with far more noble intentions than bashing on an orange fascist. I wanted to explore the similarities that we all have, deep down. I wanted to unify, not divide. Instead, I too followed the same tainted partisan schisms, in an effort to somehow keep hate at bay. Only, you can’t stop hate, you can really only increase understanding. Understanding leads to familiarity, and with familiarity comes caring and concern. Until we can finally recognize that we are all humans seeking the same basic needs (clean air and water, food, clothing and shelter, as well as safety and security), then we will listen to the political static. We will follow the hyperbolic narrations that are designed to turn our neighbors into enemies, and politicians into saviors.
Unless we are willing to cross the street and shake hands with our political opponents, we are most assuredly heading into a dark period of our history. It will really all hinge on how many kind acts we can perform for one another, regardless of politics. If we can’t do that, then the election itself is meaningless. Hate has already won.
Watching the news right now is like watching that scene in Rocky where they’ve both beaten the shit out of each other and they finally both fall down. Now they’re both struggling to climb up the ropes as the official is counting to 10 in slow motion…
I just willing, openly, and happily participated in the non-violent overthrow of my government!
Please go vote.