Browsing Category

Blog – Politics

Blog - Politics

My Crackpot Attempt at Figuring Out Trump Voter Types

A completely inaccurate census breakdown of Trumps 60,000,000 voters:

30,000,000 – uneducated white men and women who are blown away by a man who puts his name on everything he owns, values greed over compassion, is a “baller” and are seduced by the power of celebrity, fame and money. Basically, reality TV culture that has morphed Americas value systems.

10,000,000 – racist white nationalists

15,000,000 – good, hard working folks who vote Republican no matter what and “came home” at the end of the day by voting along party lines

5,000,000 – minorities and angry ex-Dems who got confused and thought Trumps movement was some kind of referendum on something meaningful

Blog - Politics

Seven Things I’ve Recently Learned

Things I’ve recently learned and some that I still don’t understand:

1.) Many of the most passionate Bernie Sanders supporters would now rather listen to Susan Sarandon than Bernie himself (don’t understand)

2.) The alt-left is nearly as dangerous, delusional and as blind as the alt-right in the simple fact that they think Hilary is as bad as Trump.

3.) Again and again I keep seeing people post “I’m going to vote with my heart” – NO!! Please don’t do that. Vote with your brain. Use reason, logic and intelligence and not emotion.

4.) Actual real revolutionary change could happen but Americans don’t want it, they either are too whiny, cynical or ambivalent – 70M people don’t vote. If they did, things would be different (don’t understand)

5.) NLP techniques, even when dumbed down, work – Trump repeats little NLP style nuanced sound bites and peoples eyes light up. “It’s gonna be great!” or “We’re going to make the most terrific health care plan ever!” – positive leaning slogans that have no basis in reality. (don’t understand)

6.) Hillary Clinton has actually never been even been charged for a crime yet she’s had to face dozens of accusations. No one is that slippery – even one would have eventually caught up to her at this point should she be guilty. Where there’s smoke there’s fire sorta thing. Or is she Teflon Hilary?

7.) Smart, well intentioned, liberal people who can’t stomach voting for Hilary Clinton are in fact white, employed and privileged. When this idea was initially put forth (by the Atlantic? I forget the original source article) a few months back I didn’t believe it at first. But now, seeing it in action it’s true. I’m stunned. What they need to remember is that it’s not about them – it’s about the decades (60 years maybe?) of civil rights progress that could potentially be set back should Trump become president.

Other things too: the Russians are playing us like a fiddle, main stream media did this to us, not all Trumpers are racists but those who aren’t don’t mind that the rest are

Note: I originally posted this on Facebook and had a hunch that people would resonate or disagree with it but I did expect there to be so much fiery vitriol to go back and forth in the comments. Some of it, admittedly, by myself, got a little carried away. Simply put – after taking 18 months worth of information from countless sources this is my position. I wanted to post a link to the original FB post below so you can check out the community dialogue should you desire. 

You reached the view limit for this month.
Please get the advanced iframe pro version.
Go to the administration for details.
Blog - Politics

Congrats to the Cubs – But It’s Time to Reset the MLB

So happy for the Chicago Cubs. Clearly they were the much better team and they deserved to win. It’s time for them break this drought. The country is cheering for you – Go Cubs!

Every year when the Dodgers collapse in the post season I always take a look at the salary table and contemplate the concept of how “dead money” works in the MLB. And this year more than ever I think that the Major League Players Association (the union) stranglehold on the flow of the 32 MLB teams money has got to come to an end. The players union is closer to an organized crime racket than any other union in America, even more than the Teamsters and that’s saying a lot.

Yes, it’s great that most players come up through the ranks and have to play at a high level for a few seasons to finally reach arbitration and then get big contracts – that’s a great thing within MLB – for instance, Corey Seager who was one of the Dodgers core stars this year got paid $510,000 – that’s it. But the fairness and work ethic structure ends there.

The Dodgers had more than $70 million spent this year on players on the DL or in retained salaries (released or traded.) What other industry allows this to happen? For instance, if you suck at your job (Carl Crawford) and then get FIRED and no other team wants your services, why should you get paid 100% of your salary ($21M)? This makes no sense. Literally it makes no sense – again, no other industry would allow such a scandal to occur (except for top tier CEO compensation packages.)

The 2016 Los Angeles Dodgers Payroll – Active Players, DL and Dead Money

It’s almost impossible to fix because the moment the owners or the league take steps to address this there would be a strike and an immediate walk out from the players. I think many of the players are whiny and unfair – sorry, but it’s true. Yes, we come to see them and not the owners but still, be reasonable.

I don’t care if it’s popular amongst players or not but I propose the following three conceptual changes and rules:

1.) If a player has an injury that is season ending they get no more than 50% of their salary (tough break, but that’s life)
2.) If a player is released due to poor performance, and no other team picks them up, they get no more than 25% of their salary (The Carl Crawford example)
3.) Once an MLB player get to Arbitration 3 (when big money starts to be on the table) all contracts should be incentive based – like Kenta Maeda’s this year – a solid base of $1M then layers upon layers on incentives (his reached over $13M this year which is more than fair and equitable) – that way there is more incentive for millionaire players to play their ass off. Let’s face it the hunger for a World Series ring just isn’t enough for 21st Century baseball players to play hard. It can’t be proven but I’m willing to say it’s a near certainty than when the majority of MLB players becomes millionaires that they loose a little bit of passion and hunger for winning.

Those three issues alone would completely change the dynamic of baseball and I think create a more competitive atmosphere by allowing teams to have more freedom to adapt when things don’t work out during the season.

It’s worth noting that I think this potential extra money that teams could have would NOT entirely go into owners pockets or profit pools but rather go into the general operating fund for flexibility. Sure, some could go to profit pools because I’m happy to say that I don’t think that Jason Schmidt (a few years back for the Dodgers) should have walked away with $40 million bucks for pitching 10 games. It’s robbery. Literally, free money. Why should he get than more than the owners for doing nothing for the team?

It’s complicated and controversial because we love the players and not the front office, sure. But the NBA and NFL both have structures that aren’t as rigid as the MLB – how the MLB got to this point is a long and windy history lesson. It’s bullshit and needs to end now.

Blog - Politics

Prop 64 and the Awkward Silence

Once again in this upcoming California election Marijuana is up for legalization. Last time around there was Prop 19 and it failed for a variety of reasons – some policy and some perception. Policy aside it did turn out that many voters were confused on the wording of the initiative and thus made the wrong choice in the polling booth. Policy wise, the bill didn’t do nearly enough for a state tax windfall or criminal justice reform. So in a way it’s good that it failed.

This time we have Prop 64 (or AUMA0 – a hefty 62 page bill who’s origins started under the stewardship of Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom. Right away this brings up much tension among the ultra libertarian stoner crowd who doesn’t want their government interfering with their pot. The very suggestion of government regulation hints at an Orwellian table setting that can only aim to bring “the man” even deeper into our lives and now even into our drugs.

There are several problems with this way of thinking. One, the tax revenue from the sale of pot is the only way that this will find mainstream support. And no matter who you look at that, it takes a pretty big bureaucracy to make that work. Two, if drugs have any hope of being legal they do need some regulation for safety, purity and the legitimacy of the sales channels. Three, the medical marijuana boom in California has been a disaster. Most people don’t like to admit that – but it’s not a good thing to walk down the Venice boardwalk and to come across men dressed in green jump suits that will give you a “pot” card for $40 if you say that you have anxiety. That is not a good thing – that undermines the entire integrity of the movement.

Maybe I’ve sold out or maybe I’m just a pragmatist but since we failed with the integrity of Prop 215.  I’m all for setting up a government endorsed structure that allows for pot to be harvested, distributed, sold and consumed in a way that is closer to alcohol than anarchy. Yes, 215 helped countless patients suffering obtain their medicine in an easy and cost effective way but Prop 64 allows for that to stay put while we fix the rest.

Again, there’s a lot of major liberal conspiracy mis information out there about how it’s over regulative by essentially just being a product of big brother thus it’s passing will only pave the way for Monsanto to get its hands on cannabis, as an example. Additionally there’s some fear that AUMA will destroy the medical supply chain already created by Prop 215. Both of these are not true.

Small farmers also seem to be uneasy about it because it sets provisions for local governments to still ban cultivation and sales as they see fit within their local communities.

None of this is explicitly true – dots can be connected on theory because AUMA does in fact completely re-arrange the Prop 215 eco-system mainly because it’s completely broken and needs re-arranging.

There is no question that AUMA is an overly complicated document that is extremely difficult for even a lawyer to get through (A GREAT RESOURCE) – even the DPA admits that. I admit, that’s not a good thing. It’s possibly an over burdening government web that will only create more Sacramento red tape for something that may be very simple.

What we have to work through and with is the idea that it’s a great place to start. Period. And from this we can build and refine as we go along. The time is now to stop the madness, to free thousands of inmates (if it passes) to put money back into the troubled communities from sales, to stop racial profiling of black and brown people because they may or may not have grass on them and to finally allow a 21 year old adult to think for themselves by making their own decision on whether or not they can walk into a store and buy a joint.

It’s 2016 – the federal political system is a mess, Trump may win, climate change is a real devastating erosion for our species, natural resources are in short supply, there is a global tension amongst Islam and non-Islam and there is an economic disparity that is threatening to create two classes of people for the entire planet that are very far apart from each other. And we’re still worrying about a fucking plant. Stop. Legalize it. Let’s move on and focus on what really needs focussing.

The SF Chronicle says “Prop. 64 would bring discipline and oversight to an industry that is operating in the shadows, to the detriment of public health, the environment and public safety. Vote yes on 64.”

Blog - God Blog - Politics

The Landscape of Being on Team Human

As you traverse the landscape of this thing we call life there are an endless amount of activities to take note of. Some of that activity manifests in a way that takes on physical shape – energy and matter are made of the same stuff, that sort of thing. Other activity takes form in how you see other humans living their life and their own personal lila.

Very quickly – the word lila comes from the sanskrit language and translated it means “divine play” in the context of ones own life. So you’r entire life is a play of divinity in which all the ingredients that make up a play thus make up your life. Success, love, tragedy, heartache, all of it. That’s your lila.

When observing someone elses lila why is that most of us fall into the mode of judgement and ridicule? Why is it that we simply can’t create a world in which literally everyone can live in peace and prosperity without active judgement and persecution?

There may be logical answers to this question. Morality and values comes mind. For instance, someone like Sam Harris can make a very articulate and thoughtful case that in order for our society to evolve that we must take note of ISIS and break down why their entire theosophical way of living is completely fucked up and thus a detractor of progress. I’m certainly not going to spin any new age anti-intellecualism and suggest that who are we to say that our morals are better than theirs? Certainly, I agree that it’s impossible to form a world that abides by a doctrine that says you must kill those that leave the faith. There is a certain barbaric aspect to much of the radical tenets of Wahhabism. I agree.

Where I get lost however, is the suggestion that the entire muslim faith is out of their minds (and then list reasons) much like Harris and Bill Maher do on a regular basis. When one side elevates themselves into a realm of superiority based on logic and reason it gets into the game of separation. No one benefits from saying that 1.6 billion people are out of their minds and need to change the way that live. With the modern world the way that it is that sort of dialogue will do nothing but result in more war, finger pointing, name calling and political escalation that ends up being a policy based excuse to escalate the war machine.

I’m tellling you – this method will not work. I think the doorway in needs to be far more compassionate and systemic.

Until we learn to not install our values on the entire world, no matter what, we will never know peace. I’m not suggesting ISIS gets a free pass but I suspect that if the US didn’t conduct so many foreign policy blunders in the first place that combined with the US idea of manifest destiny that ISIS would be in the forefront of the current conversation. ISIS just didn’t rise out of nowhere, out of nothing. It didn’t just appear because there were such a surplus of radical Islamic practitioners that needed to form their own state, an Islamic State.

If you forgot what the concept and mission of “manifest destiny” is and how it is defined, I encourage you to look it up and revisit it. It is so brazen and arrogant that it may shock your sensible values of the spiritual aspirant.

I initially got worked about this topic because of some podcast that Sam Harris rambled on about when trying to get everyone to read Dabiq, the magazine of ISIS. I too posted the same quest on Facebook thinking that it’s a good idea to understand how everyone is thinking, even if they are mad. It really pissed me of that Sam Harris called Chomsky and Greenwald “dangerous” for suggesting that US foreign policy played a part in ISIS’s hatred to us and that in fact George W. Bush was correct when he said “they hate our freedom.” First of all, Bush was not talking about ISIS when he said that – the landscape was so different back then that’s it not fair to say this was in fact true.

Many dozen global economic chess moves were played for decades that allowed that soil to get so fertile in the first place. Again, these things don’t appear out of nowhere. The basic problems of the US middle east policy still remain true – the presence in Saudi Arabia (the holy land), the support for Israel and the destruction of Iraq that split the country into warring tribal factions that we don’t understand.

Foreign policy dissection aside, I do come back to the idea that the attitude that exists  that suggests being a muslim sympathizer isn’t morally correct is also faulty. I realize that it’s often not so simple but I’m a human being sympathizer. I think we all have a place here to worship, exist and govern in the way that makes sense to ones true nature. The fact remains that a large portion of the global Islamic population enjoys being Islamic. It speaks to their heart and path. Yes, I find many of their extreme dogmatic instructions to be slightly insane –  however, I wish to leave them alone and let them figure out their own karmas. Again, a very powerful coalition of governments telling them that they are dangerous only makes them more dangerous. This is a fact. Instead, if we lead by example and make the opposite of their lifestyle attractive, calm, wise and loving that that will follow by attraction.

A few days later, Harris once again sent something out to his people, a speech that he thinks Hilary Clinton should make in regards to the muslim faith and how her position is different than her opponents. He was right on in saying that “Every religious community must interpret its scripture and adjust its traditions to conform to the modern world.”

That may be the best thing he ever said. The rest gets a little murky because he’s once again making Islam the hyper-focus here when it is not. It’s a symptom of the world not getting along and a symptom of dogma once again leading the left foot along the path.

For as long as we’ve recorded history we have known war. It haunts us like a virus that can’t be killed. What will change? I don’t subscribe to the philosophy that some war is just and therefore we must arm ourselves and constantly prepare because the enemy is near. That is a hallow and empty way to live. That is akin to settling for less. I’d much rater accept that peace is the only option and war is a strange anomaly that happens from time to time, but must be extinguished as quickly as possible when it does. And until we start changing our attitudes in how we see each other on the landscape of life nothing will ever change.

I’m on Team Human. I’m not on Team America, or Team Christian or Team Democracy. I’m on Team Human. I’m not going to go point by point on why 1.6 billion people need to change their way of life. Even if they probably do. But so do the people we now call the “alt-right” (Trump supporters) or so does a country that throws out 50% of it’s food. Think about that. This amazing nation of bounty and progress throws out 50% of the food it makes. Are we that fucked up and self destructive to think that’s ok? To me – that’s just as twisted as Islam extremists murdering women in these so called honor killings. Some people may find that offensive and I don’t mean it to be. I don’t think it’s ok to engage in these honor killings at all, obviously. But the point is no one here is getting out free of charge. No one can turn the lens on the other and place blame entirely on them.

Once again – I’m on Team Human. We all need to collectively view our part in this lila and take accountability for what we can immediately fix within our own sphere of influence. We need to do this while we simulatneously stop pointing fingers at others and what it is THEY need to do. If we could all exhibit a little humility here and admit that we’re in this together and we’re all complicit in the insanity, then we may have a chance in fixing all this.