The Texas Bohemian

Word artist. Jack of all Trades.

Paranoid people, their own worst enemy

Response to “CHK” post on the Peaceful Choice weblog:

The web blog “Alligator Farm,” linked to from a comment on the Peaceful Choice blog (http://peacefulchoice.wordpress.com/), is an example of the paranoia I wrote about there.  Headlines above the featured article are enough to make most people move on to something more sensible.  “500,000 FEMA Coffins in USA Wilderness,” is one.  Another is the one of those headlines bandied around the internet for a year now: “Barack Obama: Antichrist or Precursor?”  Good grief!

If an ounce of paranoia was worth a dollar CHK would be a millionaire.  Really, CHK, do you think anyone will ever take you seriously?  If you’re up to it you might want to check out this link: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/4312850.html

Let me first of all comment on the specifics of the post itself, “Eyes Wide Open…”

Your opening statement reveals a world view and a hostility that creates far too strong of an impression for the rest of your piece to be taken seriously.  “This is a rant,” I thought, “and I am not going to care for it.”  Thus whether or not you say anything I can agree with your tone is counterproductive.  This is an important point and one I made in the Peaceful Choice article.  Image is everything.  Some people speak the truth all day long and nobody will believe them.  Others can spin the most fantastic lies and lead people off a cliff.

The second thing is, you are badly mistaken if you think America’s eyes are open.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  All the people referred to in “Second Revolution,” the militia, the Tea Baggers, the totally paranoid and the right wing Christians, put together make up only a fraction of the population, far less than half.  And most of those are hardly as “wide awake” as you think they are.  I have little doubt if most of them read your blog they’d think you are nuts.  They may be angry and frightened and worried but they are not really “awake” to reality at all, much less the skewed view of it you suggest is acurate.

The third and to me the most ridiculous part of your post is its entire focus on Obama with no mention of the eight years that preceded him.  I will grant that Obama holds more of an imperialist throne than he does a true presidency but he did not create it, Bush did.  This is one point that really drives me up a wall.  I have been writing and speaking about the destruction of this nation under Bush for eight years but the right wing religious people have followed him like lemmings.  I liked Bush when he became governor of Texas.  I was uninformed!  While he was governor I went to work for the state and started seeing his true colors.  They’re not pretty!  Where is your condemnation of everything he did?

All that stuff about FEMA and the Feds and the CIA, who do you think was running all those programs six months ago (and who do you think is running them now)?  I mean really, folks like you who have chosen to blame every ill in this world on Obama as if he somehow magically converted the world into this horror you describe are re-writing history better than Winston Smith in 1984.  Talk about doublespeak!

On to your predictions.

If you think the American public is going to unify and create a “third party” you’re dreaming for sure.  America does not need a third party anyway, it needs to eliminate the party system altogether.  Read up on your history.  Parties have forever been the curse of American politics.  They are political machines that inevitably wind up in the hands of powerbrokers who push their own agenda.

Second, your reference to women being leaders is really kind of …um… weird.  Humans are humans, the type of genitalia they possess does not make them so different.  The perception that “all men are animals” is created by a minority of men who are the most talked about who act stupid.  I will agree that some men are terrible but never that women are somehow superior.  The only reason more men are abusers than women is because of their size and place in society.  My mother was a very abusive woman when I was a kid.  She badly mistreated my dad, a mild mannered, kind hearted man.  I’ve known several relationships that were very similar in my own family and in others.  Moreover I am a foster/adopt parent and my kids are my kids because their birth mother was incredibly abusive in every way possible.

Women are hardly “sinless” creatures.  We are all victims of our biological nature.  We will always cause suffering and experience suffering until we choose a better path.  Gender has nothing to do with it.

Third, Sarah Palin is an air-headed bimbo who can’t even handle a small town, much less a political party or god forbid (whichever god is handy) the presidency.  I wrote extensively about her in the local paper last year and on my blog.  I am most exasperated to see so many people enamored over that pretty face with little behind it.  I said it back then and I’ll say it again, if Palin gets into any position of leadership in this nation I’m leaving and taking my family with me.  There will be no hope at all.  I’m dead serious about this one, too.

On point three you contradict yourself by saying the two party system is a hoax and then claim “Both existing political parties will take more and more desperate measures to hold onto power.”  Which is it?  If the two party system is a contrivance whichever party that is in the majority does not matter.

On point four, impeachment of Obama, again your words defy logic.  If, as you say, the two party system is a hoax and Congress is loaded with stooges of the “illuminati” or whomever, what makes you think they’ll impeach Obama for anything?  Congress doesn’t listen to the people, does it?  Bush could have been impeached a dozen times over but nobody did it.  Obama has done nothing worse than carry forward the Bush agenda with a few tokens tossed at his liberal “base.”  Bush threw the pass.  Obama caught it.  And you think Congress will turn and serve the people and cast Obama out?

I would suggest that you should not be so naive.  If you think all those rednecks and ex-military militia guys are “disinformation agents” (prediction 5) you don’t know much.  I don’t know where you live but I live in Redneck Heaven.  Those guys wouldn’t take orders from their own mother.

Another thing on number 5, if a violent insurrection does erupt you can rest assured Homeland Security will crush it and even the slightest possibility any other kind of effective change, peaceful or not, will be crushed along with it.  Once such an insurrection occurs and the federal government takes the measures it will under the Patriot Act to end it our Constitution will no longer be valid.  If I could say anything to all right wingers and have them listen it would be to say calm down, people, you’re shooting your foot off!

Your next two points regarding states “asserting their own sovereignty” is a pipe dream.  With a very few exceptions no state has ever been “sovereign” since the revolution.  Only one state has a legitimate claim to sovereignty: Texas.  I see no scenario at all that would lead Texas to withdraw from the union, even if as a Texan first and American second I would like to see it.  State governments are more broke and screwed up than the Federal government.  They’ve survived for decades on federal welfare checks and still depend upon them.  Without them they would all disintegrate into chaos.

On point seven, the idea of state currencies is, again, just silly.  I don’t quite see the obsession with currency, anyway.  End times prophecies always bring up this idea and I’ve never quite understood where they got it.  Money systems are always contrived.  People figure out how to get along with or without it.  Why the obsession?

Your spiritualization of national events I take extreme exception to.  I am a Theravada Buddhist.  I am agnostic.  I reject the notion of a “Holy Spirit.” If these events are the “will of God” then “God” is fickle and cruel.  The “spiritualization” of everything from what kind of shoes to wear to who will run the world next week really annoys me.  It always has, even when I was an evangelical myself.  It’s like telling the guy whose wife left him, kids were murdered by a sex crazed serial killer, house demolished by an asteroid, car stolen by a crooked cop, and who was abandoned by his parents that everything will be OK, God is in control.  “Oh yeah?”  I can hear him, “well tell God to leave me the hell alone!  I can’t take any more.”  The story of Job is a fable to convince people they should “never give up on God.”  I’ll stop there since this subject is a sore one for me and I do not want to be too unkind.

On the last two points, “private Internets” and involved youth?  Good luck with that.  If all those behind-the-scenes powers (ie. illuminati, etc.) exist now it must follow they have existed for a long time.  Alex Jones and friends have been ranting about such things for decades.  If they’ve been around so long and have established themselves so well what makes you think they do not control every single PC internet link in America?  If they are the big bad guys you think they are then they’re monitoring this very letter as I write it.  So how in the world will a “private internet” ever exist?  All wires go through central hubs and wireless networks are wide open.  You’ve been watching too many movies.

I can agree entirely with your conclusion that it’s not the state of the union–or anything else–it is a state of mind.

I must reiterate MIND, too.  Thought, contemplation, logic, intelligence, these are the tools humanity has to work with.  Spirituality is nothing more than a sop to the conscience or a way to answer the unanswerable.  Religion is relative to the believer, no matter what religion one refers to.

In your writing I hear the same paranoia and fear I spoke about in the article you responded to.  No matter what our future may hold those emotions are counterproductive.  Fear, paranoia, despondency, hatred, anger, these are all hurtful.  All of them can be overcome and eliminated.  Of this I am sure.  I have removed them from my life.  Removing these elements must be a priority for anyone who truly cares about what America’s future might hold.

Now let me tell you an interesting story:

A few years ago I got the idea to write a book called We’re Screwed as a sort of humorous jab at conspiracy theories, disaster threats and worst-case scenarios.  Some of those I was concerned about and others I believed absurd.  For three months I conducted intense research into every possible scenario I could find.  After that time I concluded that we probably are screwed, that “if the right one doesn’t get us the left one will,” and most importantly that the subject was not funny any more but nobody would believe me if I wrote the book.  I packed all my materials in a big file box and stored it.  Right then I decided whether or not any of the multiple terrible possibilities are going to happen I was not going to go tell anybody.  It would not matter anyway and they would not believe me.

I see several of the subjects I investigated in the titles of articles on “Alligator Farm.”  There may be some validity to a few of your fears but besides fellow conspiracy theorists do you really believe anybody is listening?  Chicken Little could have been right.  It would have made no difference, he was still the butt of jokes.  When it comes to the plethora of conspiracy theory blogs and websites, to paraphrase Gump, sometimes there just isn’t enough silence.

I’ve lived on this planet for more than fifty years.  I’ve heard it all, or almost all.  I’ve gone from a flag waving, fatigue wearing, right wing evangelical Christian zealot to a pacifist agnostic Buddhist.  I made that journey because I learn from everything I encounter, I reject anything that is obviously false and turn away from suppositions and beliefs that can not be validated.

At last when I discovered a philosophy that promised a way for me to get out of suffering, a way of lovingkindness and selflessness, a way of logic and Truth, I grasped it, studied it, applied it, and revolutionized my life.  But all that I’ve seen, heard, known, and now believe is only within myself.  The idea of “transferable joy” which is part of Christianity is a false one.  I can do nothing for anyone who does not want to do something for themselves.  When they do, when their heart is focused on seeking truth, they will find it.  I can help then, and only then, by sharing that truth in the simplest terms but I cannot make them believe it.

One thing I’ve learned is that when people don’t want to listen it’s a waste of time to talk.  In fact, when people refuse to listen and what you have to say is frightening, confusing, or damaging to their faith you will be the focus of their hatred and ridicule.  With every word your credibility slips until people would not believe you if you told them water is wet while they stood in the ocean.  I learned that as an evangelical zealot preaching on street corners.  This truth has been reinforced over the years as I’ve seen so many smart people reject so many obvious facts for no good reason except that it screwed with their paradigm of life.

Whatever frightening facts I might know to be true in this world I do not write about when to do so would damage other people’s faith, disrupt their lives, or cause them unnecessary pain.  It is my responsibility, according to what I believe, to relieve suffering, not cause it.  What I do, instead, is look for solutions or make critiques of real situations in such a way as to encourage people to think for themselves and possibly choose to change their lives and make the world a better place.  I take every step I can personally take to make this world better myself.  It’s all I can do.  For all you may know or think you know it’s all you can do, too.

There have always been things in this world most people never dreamed of.  There has been power brokering and back-room bargaining and manipulation of presidents, governments, and peoples.  This has always been part of humanity.  As a historian I have studied many of these kinds of things.  “Common knowledge” is never accurate.  High School history books are not accurate.  The whole truth of every event from the revolution to the Obama election and to now is not known and never will be.

Do you really think if such conspiracies existed that you speak of you would be able to discover or uncover it?  Hardly.  Were anything you said a threat you would vanish as would your writing–if what you believe is true.  I  have, in fact, discovered vanishing acts, things I researched and wrote about that later disappeared, never to be followed up again.  I’d have to go back to my old notes to figure out what they were and I’m not going to take that much time.  Just think about what you say and the true implications.

I believe people focus far, far too much on the grand schemes, the great conspiracies, the world-wide mess of governments and politics, and ignore the most important element: humanity.  Change does not come through rallies or mass movements.  All such things do is create a mob rule without changing the people within the mob.  You and I and all who care must focus on individuals, starting with ourselves.  We must learn and practice compassion and respect, forgiveness and consideration, towards every person no matter who they are.  There is no such thing as an “evil” person, there are only “evil” acts.  Understand the person and you’ll understand the acts.  This is the beginning of change.

There are a few traits I admire above all others: honesty, courage, compassion.  My kids certainly learn this over and over.  No trait is more important to me than honesty.  This world is full of liars.  It is because of lying and deception that we all suffer.  Every lie degrades the human race, whether it’s a world wide conspiracy or a kid lying about eating a cookie, lies cause the most suffering.

People lie because they do not have courage.  It takes true courage to tell the truth when one knows the telling will probably cause them harm.  It’s far easier for most every person to hide, to lie, to sneak around, than it is for them to be honest.  In all I write I never fear the government, my neighbor or any kind of god or spirit that might exist.  I do not because I am honest, I am compassionate, and I have done nothing wrong.

I do not fear putting my name online attached to the work I do.  If there are such things as you describe, malevolent forces human or super-human, then I am here for the taking.  My life is a vapor and insignificant in itself.  The only value in my life is what I can do for others.  I am limited in what I can do but what I can do, I do.

The simple fact is that if a majority Americans were honest, compassionate, and had courage no so-called illuminati could ever exist.  Honesty and courage eliminate fear.  Fear is the tool of the oppressor.  Compassion eliminates threat.  But I am dreaming now.  This is the real world, isn’t it?

The world is not as it appears to the average American but neither is it what you think it is either.  Life, government, and humanity are all far, far more complex than any of us can imagine, much less understand.  Like the Christian Apostle Paul said, we “see through a glass darkly.”  I would suggest, CKH, that you try focusing on doing something good for others rather than obsessing over the terror that may or may not be real in the world beyond your control.  There’s nothing you will ever be able to do to change any force the size of those you describe other than to plant the seeds of honesty, courage and compassion in the hearts of others, one person at a time, until those seeds flourish and create a garden of Eden where once existed a dung heap.

Ted Gresham

July 16, 2009 - Posted by | Blather | , , , , , , , , ,

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