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Category: politics

Is Trump a totalitarian?

by Andrea Elizabeth

I think I have an open mind to be convinced of this charge, but so far I’m not. One article went on and on about the beneficial history of regulations against monopolies that was undone by Baby Watergaters, therefore Trump is Totalitarian. I need more of a sequence than that. Another said that because he wanted to prosecute Clinton he was like Mussolini getting rid of his opponents. So if someone wants to press charges against another person for violating a law, they’re an evil dictator? Maybe it was the same one that said, because he asked rally attendants to raise they’re right hand, it was like Heil Hitler. Can’t tell you how many times my teachers or other public speakers have asked folks to do that. The closest I’ve personally witnessed to his being a little like Hitler is listening to his victory tour speech, which was most enthusiastically delivered, and his most eloquent. I thought it sounded a little like the speeches I’ve heard Hitler give in German. But that’s style, which is probably universally successful motivation speak, not content. I’m not that versed on pre WWII German history but if there are similarities in the state of the economy and national competitiveness, then again, improving this isn’t necessarily evil. To what extent is he willing to go to fix things? I’m not convinced Trump wants to invade other nations or line up ethnics in concentration camps. Further, the syllogism that Trump respects Putin and Putin annexes nations, therefore Trump is totalitarian doesn’t work for me either. Crimea’s history is too complex for that simplistic of a comparison for one thing.

I’ll be watching closely to see how his tax plan and scrutiny of regulations, which so far is the method he wants to use to fix our economy, plays out.

Or Mele Kalikimaka

by Andrea Elizabeth

Welcome to The Dao Pali Factor, home of the No Yang Zone

Time for the Dharma Points Memo

Donald Trump’s denial of definitive Russian involvement in the Presidential election plays into the paranoid propaganda of his opponents. A more peaceful Zen reaction to anxiety inducing paranoia would be to take a deep breath and not care. Not caring about worldly affairs is different than denial or not knowing about them. If knowing, whether that Russia influenced the election or that the Democrats want to delegitimize Trump’s victory, brings suffering, then one simply needs to rise above the suffering, not the knowledge. Just say “Pali Anapanasati” several times until you’re not upset anymore. Barak O’bama was very good at this. When he gave a speech amidst disagreeing people he would speak in the rhythm of “Pali Anapanasati” and by the end, no one cared that he was ineffective at solving problems.

This is not the only application of this phrase. Donald Trump should use it at three in the morning to avoid tweeting. The press should use it to avoid twitter talking points. And then nothing would happen. But if nothing happens we all die, you say. Same if things do happen. Kobo Daishi wrote a poem about dead bodies as a help to overcome desire.

Does Donald Trump represent desire? Is he promoting hedonistic wealth for everyone or rather healthy, productive work? Yang alert! He has succeeded in representing both. He also uses wealth as an indicator of a person’s scope and effectiveness. He must say “Pali Anapanasati” at six in the morning because then he seems able to let some things, like his stocks at least, go.

 

 

transcendence and freud

by Andrea Elizabeth

I have been thinking how to articulate my criticism of “transcendence” for a while now. Today I saw a Freud meme that said, ‘A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.’ The single quote marks are because the attribution is not exact. See here.

Transcendence can have gnostic implications regarding escaping present circumstances. Then I hear in Liturgy that God is transcendent. Yes, he is and beyond all that we can imagine. However, we know Him through the Incarnation. Our experience is incarnate, not transcendent. We can’t revert back before the big bang, if that’s when creation began.

The claim we go high when they go low is hypocritical because they are perfectly capable of going low as well. As Trump said, “playing holier than thou doesn’t work for you, Hillary”, who is sick and tired of us deplorables.

Not all claims of going high are hypocritical. Some people can attain a “head in the clouds” level of detachment.* Buddhism can help you escape in such a way. But like Chuck Swindol said once, “I need a Jesus with skin on”.

Back to Freud. If I have fear that leads to escapism into a dream world full of unity, brotherhood, and peace – where the nitty gritty cannot be coped with – it may mean that I have some growing up to do. Where I don’t need a political father or mother to get me out of all my scrapes. A partner, and dare I say, paraclete, yes. We can transcend fear, but not to the extent of denying reality.

So should this make us gun-toting waries? Not necessarily, though someday I may hope someone is if it comes to that. Still, I don’t think we need to be head in the clouds. Just not afraid of death, if we are prepared. And being properly prepared for death is what takes maturity.

*I am currently working on an idea that I think came from the epilogue in The Great Divorce where a couple of people who have reached the heights of heaven are looking down on the world and having some effect on their lives before they died. Timelessness isn’t necessarily transcendence, but perhaps eternal incarnation, so that one doesn’t have to escape the nitty gritty, but can see the bigger picture of what can be done about it and what it means. This way every moment and molecule remains significant and inhabited.

 

Lord help us

by Andrea Elizabeth

I really wish the choice wasn’t between soft racism/bigotry and WWIII/baby killing. I say soft because I don’t see hate behind his comments. Shallow, simplistic, overly and exaggeratedly defensive, yes. Sadistic, premeditated pleasure in causing certain groups pain, no.

why it’s not hopeless

by Andrea Elizabeth

The most popular reaction to the debates and this year’s candidates is that they’re both horrible. Finally people have given up the idea of a utopian glorious leader. This is the year of the inglorious. Perhaps previous politicians, like the Wizard of Oz, have been better at hiding their ingloriousness. What will happen now that the curtain has been removed? Maybe small communities will step up and take care of their own lives? That is if they don’t give up, plug into virtual reality, and float away into nihilistic gnosticism.

racism or cultural preservation

by Andrea Elizabeth

I don’t think there’s a clear answer to this question. The right tends to defend Western European values and culture, the left tends to call this racist. There is much to criticize in western culture, but there is much to praise as well. This is probably true of most if not all cultures. The west tends to be viewed as the biggest and the strongest, so it invites closer scrutiny and criticism. Additionally, great power brings great responsibility, as the latest Avengers movie, Captain America, Civil War, explores. This is probably the reason racism is charged more vehemently against white people than other people. When an elephant steps on you, it hurts worse.

One reaction is to hate elephants. This is popular enough among those whose gardens get ruined. Self-hatred is a human phenomenon.

Another reaction is to be impressed and awed. This is why there is such British and American (especially) influence elsewhere.

It is all very complicated. “Minority” culture in America is very mixed. On one hand, from the western-European American point of view, other culture’s uniqueness is appreciated in a boutique, eclectic sort of way that we all want to preserve. On another, they have assimilated for many reasons. Convenience, attractedness, and pressure, which includes force. It seems once infiltration has occurred, the less powerful culture’s preservation then becomes almost gratuitous.* Having compelling alternatives changes preservation to an act of will in addition to what is natural. Epi-genetics can’t be erased, but new information is quickly absorbed into it.

Feelings of nationalism are also passed down genetically and environmentally. “Feelings” seems too malleable, unless one believes them to be actual entities that can’t be wished away. Feelings can be somewhat ignored and not acted on, however, especially if one is ashamed, or made to be ashamed of them. Cultural bonds is probably a better term.

The percentage of white ethnicity in America is diminishing, so the elephant has to be more careful now. The push-back isn’t just from minority groups though. It’s also from white people who are so quick and shrill in their racist-accusing rhetoric, which could be either politically motivated, or perhaps heart-felt.

I heard the Good Morning America today anchors all agree that racial, meaning black/white, tensions have never been this high. They were covering the recent police shootings and protests. Observing from my armchair, I am dissatisfied with the coverage. The black accusers seem too quick to dismiss the shootings as hate crimes. The white dismiss-ers of this charge ignore that the trigger finger could have been too quick to fire. However, I do not see an acknowledgment of this as an admission of guilt, as the cop-defenders seem to. This thinking is too black and white. In many cases, it seems the cops are genuinely afraid of lack of complicity, especially in black people who are challenging their authority. Fear can lead to rashness and over-compensation. Some of the cases however do seem racially motivated in a disrespectful way. But there also seems to be an “I dare you” kind of stance in some of the black people. It’s almost baiting to make the cops look bad in the news. If this is an element, I do not think it is helpful for Obama and Hillary to take sides. I feel they are exacerbating the tension and therefore causing the incidents to escalate.

*guerrillas and underdogs can counter this, but I’ll not evaluate this at this time. Not out of fear of giving other cultures the power to topple “white supremacy”, but because the whole point is that we don’t want to erase people’s cultural identity, even white people’s. But what if white culture became gratuitous? This seems almost like revenge. We’re going to make you know what it’s like. My first reaction is that modern education and developments did come from the white people and to use them against us (I don’t think one should be ashamed to say “us” or “them” or “other”) is cheating. I say “modern” because I recognize that the Chinese invented gunpowder, and ancient Arabic culture developed mathematics and science, and that Ethiopia was quite advanced at one time. I don’t think our advancements makes us superior though. I’m somewhat of a Luddite and lover of the primitive as a purer way of life. But if domination is the bad-side of western culture, and it’s only seen as worse because it could dominate more people than less-powerful cultures do (and they do have what is now considered abusive dominations in their societal structures) then to use our more powerful, in the technological sense, tools against us is revenge.

No, the solution is peace, not more might makes right.

right vs might

by Andrea Elizabeth

I am a traditionalist, but not a lay down and die one. Tradition is right, but hard liners who say, ‘agree with the fathers or you hate Jesus’ rub me wrong. As do those who think Jesus has changed his mind, or that the fathers were wrong. I often find myself without a country. There is peace on both ends but not in the middle. Yes the fathers were right, but might there be room for mercy and non superiority-complex hard line tactics? Maybe even a little room for understanding something with a little fuller picture of things that might have been learned throughout the ages? For instance, the fathers were big on personal guilt, individual free will which leads to total individual responsibility. I think there’s room in Christ’s words, ‘it would be better for a millstone be tied around your neck and hurled into the sea than to cause one of these young ones to stumble,’ for a bit of an external cause for one’s stumbling.

But I don’t like for that to be used as an excuse or a dead end. Stumbling can be recovered from and the fathers have the cure. Or at least the path of mercy. The unworthy and those who have no wedding garment have a path to boldly approach with confession, some measure of repentance to be determined by a fallible father confessor*, and a constant request for mercy.

I read a comment on facebook that the recent aggressive liberal agenda isn’t so much directed towards Christians as towards those who stand in the way of egalitarian marxism. Namely white authority structures, which usually do play the Christian and thus persecution for righteousness sake card. If you don’t submit to me, you aren’t submitting to Christ. Firstly, I don’t know why they aren’t so much against “ethnic” male authority, such as Mexican Catholics and Muslim subjugation of women. I guess it’s because European power structures are traditionally the biggest and strongest. I think there is a lot to criticize about white domination, judgmentalism, and destructive profiteering in the world, but these politicians do not offer a good solution. Marxism is tainted with violence and corruption too. But I don’t blame the peasants and former slaves for falling for it.

*Traditionalism is big on authority figures who must be obeyed. Yet they are fallible and sometimes destructively selfish. It is easier to surrender your mind and gain cozy favor by submitting to a demanding authority. It is lonely and difficult to not totally lean on someone that way and take responsibility for your own moral and mental development. Ignorance and blind submission may be bliss, but I can’t rest in it.

speaking of Brexit

by Andrea Elizabeth

I wonder what Queen Elizabeth thinks about it. Apparently she is officially “mum” on the subject, because, how weird this sounds, “the Queen does not engage in politics“. But people believe she is for it because of her views of how Europe’s policies make them vulnerable to terrorism. She is a very interesting figure regarding Britain’s positive self-identity. I recently watched Prince Charles’ tribute to her on her 90th birthday where he said one of the most remarkable occasions during her reign was when she visited the Republic of Ireland in 2011 at the invitation of President Mary McAleese, which was the first visit by a British Monarch in 100 years. He had recounted how horrible the tensions were especially in the 1970’s, and how wonderful it was to finally be on better terms. This is a good picture of how Queen Elizabeth II is able finesse very delicate waters. People can easily vilify British colonialism, but not really Queen Elizabeth. Ireland had invited her despite “The Troubles” when

“Angry crowds burned down the British Embassy in Dublin in protest at the shooting by British troops of 13 civilians in Derry, Northern Ireland on Bloody Sunday (1972) and in 1981 protesters tried to storm the British Embassy in response to the IRA hunger strikes of that year. In 1978, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) trial “Ireland v. the United Kingdom” ruled that the techniques used in interrogating prisoners in Northern Ireland “amounted to a practice of inhuman and degrading treatment”, in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.” source

Maybe the Prime Minister was more to blame than the Queen. Yet, even though she doesn’t have official political power, she still has influence.

cleaning house

by Andrea Elizabeth

Sorry I have been out of pocket lately. We have had a renter turnover, and I have been busy cleaning, letting in contractors, and painting.

The Donald may be a bit too self-referential and unclear in his bombastic and shorthand way of speaking, but I agree with those close to him that he is a warm, caring, practical and effective person. Those close to Hillary, and my husband works with a former IT person in the White House, say she is extremely mean, nasty, rude, and ruthlessly ambitious for no one’s good but her own. They say Chelsea’s niceness comes from Bill. Hillary is known for saying “F*** off” if she passes underlings in the hall who say Hello. My husband told his co-worker about the new book, Crisis of Character, written by a Secret Service person in the White House, and he very enthusiastically agreed with the description.

The Secret Service agent that wrote “Crisis of Character,” a tell-all book about Hillary Clinton and her violent temper, should be believed, a prominent writer claims.

Ronald Kessler, who wrote the book “The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents,” said the current book by former agent Gary Byrne about Hillary’s violent “erratic, uncontrollable” actions follow along with the material in his own book, according to the New York Posts Page Six.

“My Secret Service sources tell me that Gary Byrne was a respected Secret Service uniformed officer who can be trusted to tell an honest story,” he said. “Byrne’s accounts track completely with the material in my book … The agents portray Bill as being like an abused child, treated by Hillary as nastily as she treats her Secret Service agents.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/06/09/author-secret-service-hillary-tell-all-should-be-believed/#ixzz4BBiCPuLF

It’s Jefferson’s fault

by Andrea Elizabeth

Transgender bathroom rights was discussed in the Diane Rehm show today. The leftists were so definite that gender identity can be different than the one “assigned at birth”. The rightest lawyer’s best argument was that discrimination is clearly defined as illegal against sex, not gender identity. The left’s best argument was the sound of a female now male identifying guest’s masculine sounding voice. And their argument that the right is engaging in fear mongering that men are going to pretend to be trans to get access to women’s bathrooms. This may be naive, but it does sound like it is more for the sake of argument than based in experience. They also said predators don’t care what the law is anyway. I do think there needs to be more privacy within all bathrooms and changing rooms.

I am wondering if the Founding Fathers started this “leftist gender theory“. The notion of inalienable rights and the pursuit of happiness has always sounded governmentally overreaching to me. I do not know how these are determined. Even though this article says this notion was used to challenge the divine right of kings, it sounds theological and based on the intentions of the Creator for mankind. Otherwise I don’t see a basis for rights at all for randomly occurring self-determining life forms. So either there are divinely given rights and a hierarchy that can protect them, or it’s a free for all or an agreed upon democratic society that can change with the wind. Google says the nation is pretty split about transgender bathroom rights. The right has the problem of basing its morality on religion.