2017, a new beginning

American politics, the beginning of the end?

So we made it through what must be about the most damaging election cycle in the history of the U.S. Where I will admit that the winning side was not my choice on the ballot, but the people have spoken, or have they?  This should be the beginning of some real easy days for political comedians.

There have been a plethora of articles and commentaries as to what happened, but I think it can be summed up fairly easily:

  1. The Republican spin machine created a monster that I suspect never expected to win, but his ego will not allow that to be acknowledged.
  2. The Democratic Party alienated many of their voters by sabotaging Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary. The party has shown since the 2006 Mid-Terms that they are about playing it safe, they seem to see their more left-wing aspects as unviable and play centrist to “Republican light”. This will likely create the equivalent of a Tea Party on the Democratic side.
  3. The media’s coverage was not up to any standard of factfinding or depth, they completely failed their duties as the Fifth Estate. The hard questions were not asked, the truth was not praised or supported, while lies and misrepresentations were pretty much ignored.The Alt-Right and many Republicans have declared that we are now living in a “Post Fact World”. I am not exactly sure what that means, but if facts are invalidated for inconvenience or political ideology, as a nation, we’re pretty screwed; hopefully it was only an aberration and not the future.

To my perspective, that seems to sum it up for the most.

There were enough questions as to what the new administration was going to be like when they were elected. Since them, I suspect we have seen a pretty good example of what to expect.

Personally beginning

I have never been a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, they are often failures before they even begin and often most do not make a lot of sense by themselves.

That said, here’s the closest I am willing to make to Resolutions:

  1. Before the New Year started, I have been trying to adjust my schedule so that I can get up earlier and take care of those things that I tend to be too exhausted from or unmotivated after work:
    • Reading
    • Meditation
    • writing on the books or the blog

    This sounds pretty easy, but the hard part is getting home from work and going to bed in one to two hours instead of about four hours of destressing before bedtime.

  2. I have started to do the exercises in “A Course In Miracles” and will actually begin rereading the text again shortly, just trying to finish up some reading that I am already in.

    I do recognize the exercises from some of my other studies, in many ways, they have reminded me of a Brahmin Hindu tradition called “neti neti” or “not this, not that”. It is about changing how one thinks about thoughts, and things around them, to break the links we have programmed ourselves with. Words and ideas are just that, words and ideas, they have no power of their own, their power has been given to them by us and how we relate to them.

  3. I am still working my way through another source language for my religious studies, this time it is Ancient Egyptian and in many ways, I am finding it as fascinating as Sanskrit. Without going too far into the details, where Sanskrit has many meanings based on the roots that make up the words, Egyptian Hieroglyphs do similarly, as well as the glyphs used to write the words. The Ancient Egyptians were also addicted to puns, so that should be fun to get through (hopefully I will do better than my Piers Anthony “Xanth” readings).  More to come.

I have two completely fun books scheduled to read around all this, one recommended by my brother, “Naked in Death“, though I doubt I will be reading the 50+ additional books in the series.  The second, “American Gods“, was recommended by an employee at Powell’s Books.

So, that is how my New Year is shaping up, I hope yours is as interesting for you.

Beginning a healing

I mentioned above about the antagonistic nature that this most recent election cycle had, and still has I am finding.  No matter which side you were on, we have got to find a way to start working together or what is left of the Republic will not last long.  The old expression, “A house divided cannot stand” is extremely true and I am of the opinion that the trendsetters that keep the people of the nation from being able to have an actual dialogue are doing it intentionally.

Talk to those that disagree with what you think, you cannot have a dialogue if you only speak to those that agree with you, that usually is just a “bitch session”.  You may not agree with what they say, but you can begin to understand what they think that is different than your position.

I can only put it this way; if you only speak to those that agree with you, you do not know it, you are only hoping to support what you think you know.  Only differing opinions and the understanding of others can increase the data from which you make your decisions.  Anything less than that is nothing but hiding for fear that one’s belief or opinion may be wrong.  If you have actually read this far, you are already showing that you are smarter than that.

Happy New Year and New Beginnings!

Written by R. A. Burgener

After finishing the 850 mile trek of self-rediscovery on California's El Camino Real from San Diego to Sonoma, California, Robert continued, via Greyhound, to Portland, Oregon, where he is becoming familiar with the concepts of weather and seasons after 30 years in Los Angeles.

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