A Demonstration of Strength

Fear rears it ugly head again this morning. I have no further wisdom to add to this, and last night’s events in Manchester do not shake my hope.

everdeepening

The juxtaposition could hardly have been more jarring: after completing today’s post, at morning break the lead story reported the attacks in France. In the worst violence since WW II, in coordinated attacks jihadists murdered as many as 120 people at three separate locations.

The reference to WW II is notable in revealing how much the world has changed. In relative terms, civil war and ISIL’s terrorist opportunism has brought Syrian suffering comparable to that of European populations during WW II. However, where indifference allowed Hitler to spread war across the continent from 1938 to 1944, cautious intervention in support of the rebels coupled with airstrikes and economic isolation has limited the spread of violence from Syria. As a result, to date the net cost to France of its intervention in the Middle East is tens of thousand of times fewer deaths than it suffered in WW II.

The natural…

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How to Save the Federal Legislature

Our Congressional system currently operates on the worst kind of winner-take-all cronyism: the majority party controls all of the legislative committees.

Here’s an alternative: Count up the number of committees, and divide into 100%. If there are 20 committees, that would be 5%. Every party with more than 5% representation in the chamber gets to pick a committee to run. The largest party picks the first committee, on down to the smallest qualifying party. Continue the rotation, skipping those parties that have more committees by percent under their control than has been allotted to the larger parties.

So if a party has 5% representation when there are 20 committees, they don’t get to pick any more committees at all. If they have 10%, they have half as many as they are allowed, and they don’t get to pick another committee until every other party has at least half as many committees as they are allowed.

So if the party has 7%, they only get one committee.

This allows single-issue parties to manage the committee they feel most passionately about – although with only a single committee member, they still have to convince the larger parties on the merits of their policies.

And the majority party can’t prevent legislation from advancing from committees that they don’t control. So they’ll have to learn to negotiate, instead of acting like little tyrants.

My Little Voices

I’m going to be 57 in a couple of months. I’ve tried to gather the wisdom I’ve been granted in this blog.

I say “granted” because I am conscious that it’s not mine. When I wrote the introduction to “Love Works” back in 2008, I remarked

I have benefited again and again from “private conversations” with people both living and dead. I am honored by the association with their company.

Sometimes that’s beneficial – even if a little later then I’d like. After I posted “Extinctions” last week out at Love Returns, I had a voice come in to observe that hemoglobin is red because it combines iron with oxygen. So when John spoke of the oceans becoming “blood,” he may have been seeing that bacteria that bound oxygen to iron bloomed in the ocean. That’s a stronger interpretation than the one that I offered – but I wasn’t about to go back and rework the clip.

I’m tired.

Part of surrendering ownership of all of these ideas is that I am also conscious of interactions with personalities that work to push me down. When I posted Trial-by-“Fired” last week, I had also put a comment up on the Washington Post site. The Republican retirees that haunt cyberspace put pressure on my employer to try to discipline me.

Whatever. F’em if they can’t take a joke. Even if the joke IS true.

But more typical are these voices: when I post a comment on a pretty lady’s site, the thought “See. All he wants is sex.” Or when I check my blog stats at work “You’re just a click whore.” They used to be loud, but they’ve become quieter. They can’t help themselves, but they’re trying to avoid my attention.

I don’t give energy back to them, so when they broadcast into the space of my intentions, I heal them. They are dissipating.

Every now and then I hit a powerful reserve, though. These are things hidden deep in our subconscious, in our Freudian behaviors. When I finished taping this week’s video, they came at me hard last night. The ancient reptiles: “He’s telling them everything!”

Yes, I have been. For a long time. But they enjoy their fantasies more.

Everybody wants to be God of their own world. Nobody wants to contemplate how much effort it takes to clean up afterward.

Yeah. “Bruce, Almighty.”

You’re the POTUS

The most disturbing statement I’ve heard Trump utter came in his conversation with Lester Holt. After admitting that Putin asked Trump to meet in the Oval Office with the Russian foreign minister, Trump said “and, you know, who am I to say “No”? Nothing speaks more to me of the fact that Trump lacks the confidence to lead our great nation than his failure to understand that he CAN stand up to the leader of the greatest criminal enterprise in the world – they being Vladimir Putin and the Russian state.

Either that, or it was Trump’s folksy way of saying that he really admires the guy.

Trial-by-“Fired”

Donald Trump’s presidential reality show is finally hitting its stride. Rather than betraying his promises to his blue-collar loyalists, this blogger has learned that Trump’s cabinet of big-money, corporate-welfare advocates was carefully selected for a humiliating process of elimination. The juiciest moment yet was the Russian Foreign Minister’s sneering “Really? He was fired?” response to the news of James Comey’s elimination. Rupert Murdoch and his team of script-writers at Fox are preparing even worse for the rest of the team that Trump gulled into serving in his Cabinet.

Las Vegas odds-makers are setting up betting pools now. Who will be the survivor of the ultimate reality show? The reality show that is, in fact, reality?

My money is on Kim Jong-un.

But until then, of course, every week the voters that elected Trump will be able to cheer as another swamp-monster falls. Price, Mnuchin, Tillerson: the end is near!