Social media is where I make a big part of my living via my buzz biz BuzzBroz. So I have to be on the internet waaay more than I’d like. Sadly the web has become a bottomless quagmire of lies. These lies, also called Conspiracy Theories, have gotten so prevalent on social media these dark days that I’ve been forced to develop some skills for shielding my mind and heart from bad players.
Before you read on for my hard won 10 tips, please see THE GREAT HACK on Netflix. This will allow you to truly understand what I mean by the weapons grade social media. In a nutshell it is the shit storm of disinformation driving our world insane. Here’s the trailer for the amazing doc that I shared many times over the past year.
Ah, for the good old days of social media pre-2015. It all began with such promise. A way for like minded people to gather in love and like mindedness. But never did any of we early users of the medium, before it even had a name, imagine social media becoming a home for haters to gather. And, don’t get me started about foreign governments like Russia and China using social media to foment civil war and manipulate so many minds virtually unchecked.
Next, listen to Morning Joe rage for us, totally losing his cool about the hell hole social media has become thanks to the lack of ethics of billionaire bad boy and wannbe kingmaker Mark Zuckerberg.
OK, if you’re still with me you likely understand, like the Corona Virus in the near total absence of Federal leadership, that we’re all on our own to #FightThePsyop. Here are some techniques, a work in progress, that I’ve developed in my daily battle to earn a living on the web without becoming a brainwashed share-bot.
10 STEPS TO REGAINING DISCERNMENT
Sorry to be the one to tell you… but your closest friends and family may have been weaponized by the unscrupulous to share mind warping links. Be upfront. Tell your pals and fam until FB, Twitter or wherever get their act together to protect us from bad actors. Make it crystal clear that you REFUSE to subjected to the crap getting circulated on the web by Russia, Trump and, yes, the Dems and GOP alike. Warn your peeps if they don’t listen and still persist on sending you PSYOP dross that you will instantly BLOCK them on a one strike rule. Be serious about it. Your life as a free range human is literally at stake.
Speaking of blocking, be ruthless in culling out people you see sharing rotten things from dubious sources in your feed. I know from firsthand experience that this will be hard as hell. But as the debris field of junk on the web clears you’re going to be seeing stuff in your feed that you actually enjoy again.
Once you’ve cut off the flow of weaponized social media from well meaning but clueless or careless friends and family, and from strangers we call “friends” on FB, it’s time to selectively find media sources which you trust. Let your gut, a snap decision survival part of your body, evolved over millions of years, a perfect tool to snap judge the busy mile a minute web, be your guide. The book BLINK, A GUIDE TO SNAP DECISION MAKING is an awesome tool to build up your intuition to sift tact from convenient fiction on the lie infested web.
To avoid being an unwitting share-bot, use your gut, discussed in BLINK, to verify your sources’ news before you post anything to your wall or news feed. Yes, sharing vetted material takes longer. But you’ll be using your amazing gut to root out the snakes looking to twist reality for their own demented agendas. I promise you if you work hard at this that the mental fog will clear and you will learn to trust yourself again. Who knows? If you get good enough at this you might even become a trusted source of news yourself.
Look for the hidden agenda behind anything you share to your wall. Regular news and politics, right or left, is fine if it’s trusted and passes your gut and vetting. But even if a story seems very interesting, never, never share news that’s fake. Never.
Learn stories from all angles. Yes, even those stories that oppose your political beliefs. That means stomaching FOX for CNN fans and CNN for FOX fans. My amazing wife Elizabeth, 17 years military, some of that Special Ops, taught me this technique and to watch unfiltered news with here on Cspan whenever possible. Twitter, once you look past paid trolls (who usually have numerals in their handles making them easy to spot and block), is a good place to see both sides of an issues very quickly and in concentrated trending form. Lots of discernment is especially needed when using Twitter as people with hidden identities free express wildly.
Elizabeth also advises going back to the source of the story when possible.
Avoid talking heads on the news, right or left, looking to stir emotions to fill their gaping 24 hour news cycle. Be your own talking head. Weigh things. Think for yourself.
Get media from audio, TV and reading. Yes, reading. Reading makes the mind stronger.
Last. Meditate on the news. Give it time to simmer and the truth will bubble to the surface. You’ll also be transmuting the darkness that is our news into light. And speaking of light look for happy stories to share. But still make sure you vet them!
OK. Good start here. If I think of more, or you suggest some ideas I like, I will update this list.
Note that in the end people will never be in full consensus. After all we all have unique personalities and life experiences. But that’s exactly the idea here, giving ourselves the discernment power to make up our own minds and not to be programmable share-bots.
Always remember our reality is nothing more than a collection of stories which a majority of us agree upon. And since sharing creates the reality we all agree upon what you share is of vital importance that you must never taken lightly.
Sorry in advance for your pain. Re-engineering how we use social media is going to be hard on you emotionally. Some friends and family who are used to dumping their conspiracy theories and junk on your pages will moan and groan. Tell ’em to wake the hell up. Shake ’em up. Tell them how sharing lies and conspiracy theories like thri dropping by yout house and unloading dumpster of rotting meat in your living room!
We need to do on our own because billionaire social media kings are ruining our lives unchecked by hiding behind the name of freedom. Like freedom for real? Then realize that unless we the everyday users of social media learn to discern the truth of what we post we are on a path to the CWWW., the Censored World Wide Web.
Your mind is sacred. It deserves your very best efforts to be protected from targeted brainwashing on social media and the news in general. #FightThePsyop
Let’s take a break in my blog series Trump’s Fever Dream to take a big picture look at America’s shared fever dream. I will endeavor to show we have fallen into four repeating news cycle of madness, all in the name of ratings. Left and/or right, the politicians and media are feeding on our collective fear. And the best remedy for fear is light. So lights, camera, action.
This next phase of the #coronavirus crisis, which we officially entered yesterday May 1st, is going be even trickier to navigate because it’s easy to see the political parties and media seek to polarize the people further into red versus blue camps of the masks versus no masks, distancing versus no distancing. Scary. And, baby that sells soap.
Life under poor leadership from both the left and right, prompted by outright manipulation by the oligarchs who run both the left and right, has left the American people abandoned and totally on our own to navigate our lives going into the reopening of our highly divided country.
What a nightmare near zero leadership has turned out to be for us all. Makes me wonder if we are being softened up to want some big daddy dictator or Big Brother government state to rescue us? The shady immoral characters who run this world do think that way. No wonder so many people are taken in by conspiracy theories.
For me life, going forward in the next trickier phase of this waking nightmare is an unhappy but easy call. You see, I want to be out enjoying a more normal life but, silly me, I had a heart failure in 2018. So I’ll be wearing a mask and social distancing as best I can. The root of the problem is that we have no testing.
BTW, no testing is no accident. That cruelty is terribly infuriating as it allows us no real planning. Just what the fear mongers want. Winning an ideological war has been shown to be more important for politicians than taking care of our citizenry.
I am a centrist. And so apologize in advance to readers both left and right if we are not on the same page in this ball of confusion. If I know you, I must decline a hug, I must not share a candy pretzel, I cannot listen to how great Trump really is or how awful. If you miss seeing my face under a mask, sorry. These strange times will end. It’s play it by ear, or by heart as Elizabeth likes to say.
Meantime, it’s far more important than raging about partisan politics that we seek with all our willpower and heart not do permanent damage to our own sense of well being and those of our loved ones by letting the pattern of the warring consciousnesses of the left and right get the better of our understandably short tempers. And I am talking to me here as much as you, dear reader. I am going on a greatly reduced news diet for at least a week now.
Last night after a rough day dealing with a social media client that’s 1000% pro-Trump, after a sound healing by my love who has been working to get me centered and a bedtime meditation last night, I saw a pattern to this insanity we are going through as a country and planet.
NEWS CYCLES OF LEADING TO TODAY’S MADNESS
News Cycle One, The 2016 Elections: 24 hours a day, people on the left and right are told by the polarized media that the “Pussy grabbing” Trump will lose the 2016 elections. This enrages the right and makes the left confident that Hilary will win. Then Trump wins and now it’s the left’s turn to be enraged and depressed as the right delights and gloats. Greater left/ right division results.
News Cycle Two, The Mueller Investigation: 24 hours a day, people on the left and right are told by the polarized media that Trump stands accused of collusion with Russia. This enrages the right and makes the left hopeful Trump will be impeached. Rage on the right deepens as many of Trump’s men are convicted of said collusion. It looks very bad for Trump. Then, when the Mueller report is at last done, $40 million and countless media battles later, William Barr takes over the DOJ and he concludes the Mueller Report totally exonerates Trump. Now it’s the left’s turn to be enraged and depressed as the right delights and gloats. Greater left/ right division results.
News Cycle Three: Unkraine Quid Pro Quo: 24 hours a day, people on the left and right are told by the polarized media that Trump asked for a quid pro quo for Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Trump is placed on trial by the left wing Congress for impeachment. This enrages the right and makes the left hopeful Trump will be impeached. Rage on the right deepens as Congress formally impeaches Trump . Then, when the case moves to the right wing Senate the right majority exonerates Trump. Now it’s the left’s turn to be enraged and depressed as the right delights and gloats. Greater left/ right division results.
Note: I am skipping an unfit Kavenaugh is jammed into the Supreme Court by the right from this game as Trump was not in jeopardy of losing his office. But it was the same “pit the left peeps against the right crazy making” by our left and right media owned by the same oligarchs. Think of it as a little appetizer before the next course of crazy making anger swamp we are now neck deep into.
News Cycle Four, The 2020 elections in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic. January to March, the media of the left point out all of Trump’s shortcomings in handling the coronavirus from big to small. And there genuinely are many. Trump is goaded into doing daily damage control press briefings that eventually lead to Trump’s now famous injecting disinfectant into the body fiasco. The toll of Trump’s fall in the polls enrages the right and causes the left to gain hope that Trump will lose to the Dems propped up candidate Joe Biden in November. And while we the people live an OCD Howard Hughes-like reality to save ourselves from the virus, while we lose our minds, the shit show the is our media goes on. Again, I think the left is being led on for big disappointment in November as overconfidence leads to defeat again. Hope I am wrong but look at the pattern I’ve reveled to you today and you might agree.
I for one want off the the merry go round of media frenzy. So you’ll be seeing a lot less political posting from me on my FB and Twitter apges. I am more interested in building my CoolestTechEver.com business and making my movies. Wake me up when it’s time to vote. I’ve never liked Trump since my days in the 80s as a fellow real estate wannabe big shot and I never will. To me, no filters needed, he’s a bad prez. So why watch the news? Answer: It a sick addiction. We’ve been sucked into four giant cycles of lies and hate. Well, fool me 4 times and I am finally awake and done.
I will continue my therapy project of the TRUMP FEVER DREAM series where I try to process all the rage and frustration that I got sucked into despite all my meditation training and work. But I will be writing with a new inner awareness of the big picture I am seeing and I hope the story will expose the ultimate puppet masters. Wish me luck on my centrist tightrope walk and stay well in the insanity.
Meantime, meditate, do yoga, stay in place of love. And be smart. This virus will be with us all of 2020. Avoid the fantasy it’s over. Stay safe, use a mask, wash your hands and lovingly distance. And focus on positive news like the amazing work of John Krasinski and his beautiful SGN weekly show.
Welcome to my writing therapy and I hope your reading therapy. This blog series is a science fiction parody about a dark future, perhaps coming into sad reality due the “too painful to watch” daily show of Trump’s inability to lead during the coronavirus crisis.
If you are just joining us on the blog here’s a link to read Chapter one if you’d like to enjoy the whole science fictional parody as it builds.
When we last left a feverish President Trump it was May 2022 when he was just dumped buck naked in the thorny bushes of the Rose Garden by a mysterious giant time traveling cosmic butterfly.
TRUMP’S FEVER DREAM
CHAPTER 2 – THE WHITE HOSPITAL
Trump’s former young black personal attendant, Robert, dressed in a hospital gown and mask, helps a badly scratched Trump from the rose bushes to his shaky feet and says,”Whoa. Last time I saw you, I rushed out your bedroom to get the doc. When I came back your were gone! Where’d you go for two whole years? And why are you naked as a Jay bird on the 4th of July?”
Too distracted to answer, Trump notices every window in the White House is brightly lit and wonders, “Why the hell are all the White House lights on?”
“Put on my spare mask and gown on and I’ll show you,” says Robert handing Trump both.
“I’m immune to the virus. Don’t need this junk!” shouts Trump, drawing attention from a masked security guard.
“Sorry. President Cuomo’s executive order of 2021 makes wearing of gowns and masks law,” offers Robert grimly.
“President Cuomo!” shouts Trump. Spotting the masked White House security, pulling out his pistol, Trump angrily complies. As he struggles to gown up Trump says, “Cuomo?! Why isn’t Mike president? He dead?”
“Pence ain’t dead yet… but he’s eating himself there.”
“Eating?” says Trump.
“To appeal to your Trumpers ol’ Pence took over your brand of eating all American fast food. But that shit got way outta control. Last report Pence’s gained 130 pounds since he was ousted from the presidency.”
Trump laughs wickedly and says,”Ousted how?
“Senate unanimously impeached him for slipping ventilators to all his PAC backers. Mikey, never even made it to the elections. Your yes man was lost after you vanished.”
“What happened to Biden?”
“Gone with the Covid. Sweet guy. Don’t think he’d have been much of president in any case.”
“Virus killed old Bernie same day as Moscow Mitch. But not before he gave his spot to Cuomo. Bernie that is,” adds Robert.
“Who’d Cuomo run against?” says Trump in angry wonder.
As Elizabeth and I socially-hibernate — better than social-distancing, right? — here in Sedona, I am in touch with my ancestral spirits, spirit guides, earthly ghost guides, ET spirit guides, multi-dimensional hozenflatters (their name not mine) more than ever.
Within my overcrowded skull, my pantheon of spirit guides are saying, in their own unique and sometimes annoying voices, that as a species humanity is being called into thinking in new ways and transforming into greater love and trust in each other. Love always wins in the end because it’s what we come from, in some form both dark and light. Take that, fear mongers!
But, big butt, much as I love what I am hearing from spirit it’s been hard to listen to as the news is so overwhelmingly negative and FEAR BASED. Ekart Tolle calls this a time of “collective adversity.”
Each day we watch the vast majority of our PAC and lobby-bought politicians — Governor Cuomo of New Yoprk state, has been an awesome exception BTW — from local dog catcher to DC player, fail us in a myriad of ways. We’re like a society of Charlie Browns. Our leaders, all Lucys, keep yanking the football of well-being from us over and over again. And yet we keep taking that emotional spill over and over again, like we’re caught in time loop of Charlie Brown style idiocy.
Yeesh. As a psychic person it’s terrifying to watch our “leaders” make bad choices that have us heading like lemmings off a timeline cliff. Feels like watching a slow motion tsunami getting ever closer to overwhelming our hospital system in the next week to 10 days. This can be avoided by isolating but not enough Americans, old and young (especially) alike, are doing so.
Unfortunately, this is thanks to a large to an anti-scientist president who just does not get he needs to be leading, not hiding the truth, and looking for ways to feather his nest and the 1 percent’s. Indeed, now that the elite he serves have fed from of the FED trough at taxpayer expense Trump’s ready to have everyone back to work and back in church by Easter. Wha?
Add to this mainstream media hysteria the many weird conspiracy theories our spirit pundits are spinning at this time and its enough to make you feel as lost as a kitten in dog shelter. Yes, what we are hearing from the Ickes and Wilcox’s of the world have a grain of truth. But come on! This whole massive pedo arrests thing as a plan to snatch all the bad people under the cover of the Coronavirus is just plain nutty.
Especially when in the players we have a crook like Barr in charge of the DOJ, who wants to steal more of our rights. Are we seriously to believe Barr under Trump — who both let pedo-king Jeffery Epstein be murdered or suicide to escape justice in prison — are heroes who are going to bust pedophiles? NO! Only a psyop could be this convoluted. Wake up, spirit friends. Seriously.
I hate conspiracy theories in general, but especially those targeted at our open-minded spirit community because many good people get snared in these twisted dark fantasies, AKA psyop, AKA targeted weapons grade mind control media.
Despite being wise to the psyop Q-Anon game, it still amazes me when I meet a spiritual person who is pro Trump! Why? Because to be pro-Trump a spirit person must ignore refugee kids held at the border by his administration, Trump’s impeachment for holding aid from the Ukraine for dirt on Joe Biden, disregard for nature, his thousands of lies and on and on darkness.
MY CONSPIRACY THEORY OF LIGHT
So allow me, if you will, to share a counter-conspiracy theory of light I’ve dreamed up for you about the basis for people of spirit getting sucked into the Trump camp by a vortex of lies.
See your spiritual Trumpy spirit friends as having volunteered, on a higher level of reality, to partially return to slumber, numb to all the evils of supporting Trump entails, to be secret agents, secret even from themselves, as catalysts of the light and love. Each are then inserted into a very core of a dark consciousness founded on greed and hate which Trump is not the be all and end all, but who simply represents the dark energy rotting America from the inside. Ohom, my ET spirit guide has been telling me since Trump won that he will have an awakening in office. Perhaps the death toll of the virus will be the trigger. Or perhaps Ohom meant Trump’s awakening will be a dark one.
Looking ahead, perhaps we are not social-distancing but socially-hibernating, as I wrote top of the blog. We’re certainly in a chrysalis locked away from one another. Try to see that when we human butterflies emerge from the cocoon of our homes, and hug each other like its D-Day, we are going to bring a whole new consciousness into this glorious world. And Trump’s hate based politics will have no place in that shinny new world. Night.
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Last night Elizabeth and I fell into bed exhausted from a day of preparing for what seems to be an inevitable shut down on our food supplies. Heck, normal life in general is shutting down in light of what was upgraded to a global pandemic by the World Health Organization this week.
Seeking to calm my nerves after our President’s Rose Garden press conference failed to, just can’t trust a man who lies for sport, I meditated to fall asleep. The last thing I expected was a spiritual message from my subconscious as to a possible meaning of life here on good old planet Earth.
I breathed deeply and rhythmically, grateful to be virus free. Quick as it came up, I banished a worry about a little tickle in my nose. Soon I was rewarded with a vision of the entire multiverse as a vast globule of, get this,… soup.
Here, on earth I saw it was humanity’s job to collectively generate a bitter ingredient, one made of a dash of mass hysteria and a pinch of sorrow over our the loss of enjoying each other’s daily society. Once our bitter contribution was made to the cosmic soup it was served up to a being so gigantic I could not make out anything but the gaping mouth of a spinning black hole.
Activated to full wakefulness by this cool but strange vision, I slipped from bed and raided the fridge, seeking to nosh on supplies we’d bought that day to tide us over from a food shortage. Call it controlled panic eating.
I made a snack of white mushrooms with the stem sockets filled with mustard and contemplated my vision of the cosmic soup we are all a part of making to create this reality which we both love and hate.
“Was this a vision of the meaning of life?” I wondered for a few munches. “Nah. Seems more like an elaborate cosmic rationalization,” I grumbled to myself, washing the mushrooms down with a Mexican bottle of Coke made with cane sugar. Way better than American corn syrup Coke, but not exactly a healthy dietary habit.
I flashed back earlier shopping of the day when Elizabeth stopped me from grabbing a pack of salami, “Ken, just because we’re stocking up to beat the Coronavirus outbreak does not mean you should abandon your healthy eating habits!”I chuckled about that and agreed Elizabeth was right, grateful I was noshing on mushrooms and not fatty salami.
Content this was enough deep thought and stress eating for one scary day on planet Earth for a man in his sixties, feeling vulnerable after March 2018 heart failure. I slipped back into bed with my love Elizabeth and snuggled up to her warm body. Soon I drifted off to sleep, grateful to have at least one human being to share this strange and bitter time in our world with.
Elizabeth and I wish you and yours perfect health in this crisis. Please check out our cool wellness products we use ourselves at CoolestTechEver.com products page.
Can you feel it? America is at the global epicenter of a low tide for the forces of good. It came to full light today in the bankruptcy filing of The Boy Scouts of America in the maelstrom of the horror that over 100,000 Boy Scouts may have been sexually molested by Boy Scout leaders.
The Boy Scouts are following the lead of many Catholic Archdioceses that have filed for bankruptcy protection from similar sexual misconduct against unsuspecting youth. Sadly, if this betrayal of basic human rights is happening in our upper echelon social and religious establishments we must conclude this is the tip of the iceberg in a plague of sexual abuse happening across America and the world.
This low tide for the good is also evidenced in a lawless corporatacracy running our world off the climate change cliff, cheered on by the followers of the poster boy of greed and power gone mad after his tragically farcical Senate trial.
Elizabeth and I enjoy C-Span as a way to avoid the filters of the media’s slanted coverage. But to our horror we saw a Congressional hearing this week about the rise of White Nationalism in the armed services. Incredibly, we learned, along with the shell-shocked bipartisan panel, that there is no provision to reject a card carrying member of the Nazi party from joining the military!
At this low point I offer the blog over to my spirit guide Ohom for wisdom on how we climb out of this black hole in our ethics field. Ohom…?
OHOM’S (OPEN HEART OPEN MIND) ADVICE
Hello, Ken and friends of Ken. I am ready to share some observations as a frequent ET thought travel visitor to your beautiful world.
Know in your heart of hearts that the sickness you are seeing has been in America’s soul from its inception. So rejoice in darkness coming to light. For a wound cannot heal unless the sickness is drained. And although this experience is most unpleasant it is the first step in true healing.
Know that all happens in divine order. It is inevitable that the darkest night becomes the new dawn.
Stay positive. Relish in meditation, song and laughter as it makes you ready for the beautiful global awakening growing up to overtake the ugly establishment.
Be a beacon of positivity to those in despair.
Visualize the world you’d like to see manifested rather than focusing on the death of the old ways.
Love each day and love each other. Your future is bright and cosmic. High tide is coming with more freshness and vitality than you can imagine.
My dear mother Georgiana turned 91 yesterday. And so I began meditating on the amazing change she’s seen so far as it relates to the changes we will be seeing in the next 91 years and setting intentions in the quantum field for a bright future.
Born in the roaring twenties she’s lived through the Great Depression. What might the next recession or depression look like and what can we do to prepare for it?
She lived through World War ll, and many other American wars from Korea to today. Today the Middle East is more unstable than ever. A black hole for politicians. Witness Syria news of the day and the US abandoning our ally the Kurds.
She’s contributed to the world population quadrupling in her lifetime with three boys of her own. Where’s overpopulation heading?
Countless inventions have made her life easier and advances in modern medicine have given her great odds of living past 100. But are we heading for a TERMINATOR like future with our outsized military budgets and technology?
She’s seen the pollution of our planet wax and wane and wax again. Sadly, she has lived long enough to see the oceans begin to die and global warming threaten all life.
My mom has thrived and survived under 16 presidents from Coolidge to Trump, who BTW she considers our worst president ever. And considering she lived through Hoover’s Great Depression that’s saying a lot. Are we heading for a Civil War as the Dems seek to oust Trump before he can use foreign powers to influence our elections?
Music has gone from the Charleston to rap. The Hippies became the Yuppies. And the Millennials emerged. Guessing where music is going is impossible. But I certainly like to see an end to corporatized music.
She has seen the rise and fall of the American middle-class, the outbreak of AIDs, the rise of gay rights, mass genocide, the legalization of Marijuana in her home state and the epidemic of opioids. Are we likely to see the integration of technology and biology?
But in all this change and more, despite the loss of so many loved ones, my sweet if unpredictable little brother Fred included and pictured below with me an Mom, she has remained a rock and a loving mother, grandmother and now great-grandmother.
Happy birthday to my mother, Georgiana. And here’s to the next 91 years.
It’s happening right before our eyes and it ain’t pretty. Our president has come to loggerheads with the weather. Hurricane Dorian to be specific.
Like some kind of modern day Don Quixote, our Don is locked in a twitter snit over a freaking weather map. He, or someone in his employ, modified a weather map with a sharpie to include Alabama as being in danger from hurricane Dorian.
Note the hand-drawn sharpie extension of the hurricane’s range into Alabama. Thus birthing a new Twitter trend #SharpieGate and endless humorous attacks on the president’s manipulation of reality.
Call me Trump-fixated in this ongoing series of Meditations On Trump that will be book one day, but as a political film satirist of 25 years in my other life with PBS creds, I could not resist making a Sharpiegate meme myself. This electric-doodle of mine mocks his idea to nuke Hurricane Dorian. What Colbert said in his monologue on the topic would be like creating a radioactive hurricane, a “Chernobyl on jet skis.”
Backtracking, #Sharpiegate was born of Trump’s pathetic and ridiculously predictable response to heavy criticism he took for tweeting this gem:
Then twenty minutes later NWS (National Weather Service) Birmingham tweeted:
None of this had to happen. It’s a tar baby birtherd from Trump’s super-sized ego that makes him utterly incapable of admitting he is wrong about anything. Anything, including climate change and the weather in general.
Now, many in the media are saying #Sharpiegate is a sign decline of our president and that we need to use the 25th amendment to take him down as being mentally unfit for office. But I was in DC to wish him well, despite all my misgivings, at his inauguration with my love Elizabeth and…
.. the day after the inauguration the crowds at Women’s March the next day far exceeded his. This drove Trump’s ego into a fury. Trump then famously started his term’s first press conference directing the obsequious Sean Spicer to deny reality, angrily claiming Trump’s was the biggest inauguration crowd in history. This despite photographs to the contrary. Sadly, the #SharpieGate thing is sadly nothing new.
So what’s at the root of all Trump’s persistent denial of reality? Three letters.
Yep. Trump is suffering from an outsized out of control “YUGE” ego.
Meditation teaches us the ego is like an elephant that will sit on your house unless you put it on a starvation diet. Only the soul must steer us on the river of life, because only the soul can see life objectively. And when you mediate you make the ego, sometimes called the monkey mind, take a backseat to your soul.
So while the world marvels and worries in terror about a Trump losing his grasp on reality, relax and realize it’s all fear based reporting out there. The media, as always, just wants to sell you anti-depressants and booze.
Gaia, the universe, God, whatever you want to call it is simply using Trump to teach us how petty and downright stupid the ego is. It’s a valuable lesson for an American society that fosters beating out your fellow man to have more material possessions and dominion over other people.
My advice? Forget Trump and go within to manage your own ego. Here’s some great mediation music to do it with. Aho.
I first learned the potent force of positive thinking — a skill set that paid my college tuition and as an adult allowed to me to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for everything from building skyscrapers to making movies — quite by accident back in 1971.
Here’s some 70s music to enjoy while you read this personal tale that will eventually wind it’s way to my thoughts on how our current president is breaking the laws of positive thinking laid out by Norman Vincent Peale in his groundbreaking book THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING.
It’s the fall of 1971. As the autumn leaves sparkle in the sunset I am worrying how I am going to make tuition for the second semester. Back in high school I only got average grades except for English and Art, and barely squeaked by in anything math related. So Art college is all I can get accepted into. Layton School of Art & Design to be precise. Conveniently, Layton is only about a mile’s walk from the new home my parents bought in ’69 on the banks of the Milwaukee River.
But after almost flunking out in my freshman year, in part because working night jobs to make tuition leaves me no time to study, this year’s grades and finances are looking no better. I am a nervous wreck, because if don’t stay in college it’s straight to Vietnam for my sorry ass, stuck with a lousy #15 draft lottery number.
Born 17 months after me, my kid brother Fred lucks out and pulls a draft # 265 in the lottery. He promptly drops out of college and starts apprenticing in the trades as a welder, our dad’s lucrative job. But for draft #15 me, it’s a matter of survival I keep my butt in college. A lot of us Boomers have Uncle Sam’s terrible war with Vietnam to thank for being the first in their families to graduate college.
One Tuesday night, fed up with cleaning bed pans at a local nursing home on the graveyard shift — the latest in a succession of lousy night jobs like bottle inspector at a Pepsi plant, pizza chef, window display artist, and more I’ve chosen to forget — I’m pouting in my parent’s beat up recliner that faces the Milwaukee river.
I’m still cooling off from a bad phone argument with my girlfriend from South Milwaukee. She’s away attending the University of Wisconsin Madison to learn to be a physical therapist. Her help correcting spelling and grammar on my term papers is raising my grades, but it’s a helluva lot to ask of her when she has her own schoolwork. I don’t blame my straight A student lover for listening to her mother that maybe she should dump me. Our relationship, like everything these Nixonian days, hangs by a thread.
Desperate to make tuition, I decide to put up with the inevitable mind numbing grief of hitting Dad up again for a small loan, but he’s been gone a week. I ask Mom, sitting mesmerized by a cartoon black bear paddling a canoe in a Hamm’s Beer commercial, where Daddy dearest might be. She shrugs and says in a hoarse whisper. “Off on another of his damned benders.”
Anxiously, flipping through the Help Wanted ads in the Milwaukee Journal I spot a winner: “PART-TIME WEEKEND DISPLAY WORK, EARN UP TO $1500 A MONTH. I hop from the easy chair, revealing a cigarette burn my Dad left behind after passing out in the middle of his third six pack, and dash for the phone. I dial, my fingers so shaky I’m barely able to spin my family’s dirty yellow rotary wall phone. Dad’s a mechanic plus a welder and his grime coats everything in the house in a thin black film.
A man with a buttery voice answers my desperate call. I blurt out my experience doing window display work at Des Forges Book Store on Wisconsin Avenue. The soothingly confident voice on the grimy phone tells me, “Come on in for an interview Thursday night, Ken.”
I holler for joy startling Mom. When I explain my thrill about the interview she says dryly, “Kenneth,” as she always does when lecturing me, “There’s no part-time job on earth that pays $1500 a month to do display work. It’s a scam, hon. Don’t go.”
I not so politely remind my Mom, “Well, I am over 18 now and I’ll decide what jobs to check out. That is unless you and Dad want to help me make tuition.” Desperation makes me sound whiny. Chastened, Mom returns to watching BEWITCHED in silence.
It seems like forever until Thursday night. As the big interview approaches all I can think of is, “Mom’s right. How the hell can I earn $1500 a month just doing part-time display work on weekends? I’m an idiot.”
The day before the interview my, lovable half the time and hateful the other half, father returns to home base. Thankfully he’s backed off beating mom on his frequent reinsertions into our lives. He’s stopped taking his self-hatred on out on Mom ever since I tossed his drunk abusive ass down the basement stairs a few months ago. I’m both ashamed and amazed I’m still alive after getting away with that angry stunt. A shrink will later explain my father was happy he forced me to sink to his level and confirm his claims I am a bad son.
Dad pops a Pabst Blue Ribbon and chortles, “Your ma tells me about this dumb ass interview you’ve set yourself up for. Ha. This how you think you’re going to make tuition? Get real. You’re on your own, Kenny boy, and I hope you flunk out. Maybe the Army can make man of you.” I storm out of the elegant north shore house that my blue-collar house poor family is over their heads owning.
His stinging words echoing in my head, I listen to my dad, except in the reverse. His disdain for the job is a huge endorsement for me. A challenge. I shout to the stars, “Fuck you, old man!”
Damn, I’m such a punk to think a man in his 40s is old.
Thursday comes at last. The glass entrance door emblazoned with gold letter reads: RAINBOW GREAT LAKES DIVISION. I am stoked. This feels like it’s the real deal, even though when I turn a corner I am taken down a set of grungy narrow stairs to the basement.
I open a flimsy hollow-core door labeled reception. My heart sinks to my shoes at the sight of a dozen other young people jammed into the dingy room built for 6 people max. I take a seat next to a kid my age and whisper, “Any idea what this job’s about?”
He shrugs and whispers back, “Fuck if I know.”
I wisecrack, “$1500 a month on weekends? Hey, maybe they’re looking for male strippers.” I get nervous laughs from the gang of applicants, but I wonder in my fevered brain, “Am I willing to turn male stripper to stay out of Vietnam?”
Before I can answer, “Hell yes!” a roguishly handsome blonde haired man, not much older than we anxious job candidates, spins into the room. Dressed in a cheap looking plaid suit, the toothy dude wisecracks, “Any of you gents wanna to learn how you can make $1500 a month or even more working part-time follow me.” He herds our bewildered clan into a crummy classroom adorned in fake wood paneling, and I grow ever more anxious.
The man in the plaid polyester suit vigorously writes his name on the chalkboard, like a teacher on crack:
Now Tom asks for our first names and rapidly jots them all on the chalkboard one at a time with intense stares that seem to be some kind of memorization thing. When my turn comes I’m tempted to give a fake name but decide, “What the heck do I have to lose?” and answer, “Ken.”
Tom tells us with broad smile that never leaves his mustached puss, which does not make him look older, “Hi. I’m Tom Deere, Branch manager for Glendale’s Wisconsin Rainbow office. I’m 24 and I make seventy grand a year. More on that later. For now there’s some questionnaires for you guys to fill out before we get rollin’.”
After hearing the fantastic five figure income Tom makes, we’re all ears.
As Tom hands out questionnaires he coyly adds, “Don’t answer the last question until I give the OK.”
The questions are super easy to answer, written at 6th grade level, but give no indication whatsoever of what the hell this job is. I eye the door ready to bolt, thinking, “This dork makes 70K a year? Right. For once Dad and Mom are right. I’m outta here.”
Seeming to read my mind Tom pats me on the shoulder and says, “Relax. You’re gonna love this, Ken.” The shock Tom remembers my first name feels kinda magical and his warm hand on my shoulder quells some of my anxiety. I settle into the cheap folding chair.
A gruff Italian guy in a dried-blood-colored leather jacket slinks into the room through a half opened door. Now my overactive imagination starts to concoct a Mafia story of us all being candidates for stripper hit men when Tom speaks up, “Everybody meet Antony. — Tony, tell the guys how much you cleared working part time for Rainbow this month.”
Tony’s grimace shows he’s not loving the idea of sharing. “Tony?” says Tom, asserting some will Tony’s way.
Tony bows his head a little. After a brief internal struggle, he finally fesses up in a barely audible mutter, “Almost two K.”
“Thanks, Tony. You know, guys, Antony was a Milwaukee public bus driver before he started raking in the dough. Wanna hear how he did it and how you can make big bucks too?”
Tom cups a hand to his ear and about half of us all quickly say, “Yeah.”
Tom shouts, “Can’t hear you!”
Now we all shout back, “YEAH!” in unison. The group energy changes. We’re all in the palm of Tom’s hands. Soft hands I can see have never seen hard labor. I look at the fresh scar from a serious wound on my left index finger, a lifelong souvenir of my bottle inspecting night job at the Pepsi plant.
Tom pulls a little machine out of a box. It’s about the size of beauty parlor’s hair dryer bonnet with a chrome dome. An air slot is mounted over a brass colored base. It all sits atop clear plexiglass basin filled with water. The damed thing looks like an astronaut from a B sci-fi movie.
Tom flicks the switch and a gentle breeze flows from the noisy gizmo, stirring the stagnant basement air. Pollution is a huge issue in 1971. Tom demonstrates this air cleaner is dubbed the Rainbow because it filters out particulates through water. I’m sold.
Tom draws a line down the center of the chalkboard. He labels one column SALARY and the other COMMISSION. On the salary side Tom writes “$500 a month”. On the other Tom takes his time to diagram how by selling 30 $399 Rainbow air cleaners a month we can make $1500 a month in commissions.
He casually adds, “It’s easy to sell Rainbows because we do all the hard work of making the appointments. You simply visit potential customers and display what this beauty can do. The Rainbow has been around since the 1930s. Stellar reputation. Gents, I promise you it sells itself.”
I wonder, “How the hell has a company I’ve never heard ’til now been selling air cleaners since the 1930s; way before air pollution was a thing?”
Then Tom adds pine scent to the water. I have a pitiful sense of smell, so the fragrance of this forest scent is magic. A memory of a happy family visit to Whispering Pines State Park, when I was two and Mom and Dad were still in love, warms my heart. My worries vanish in the piney fresh smelling air.
“Ok,” Tom instructs we eager applicants, “Time to fill out the last question. Write S if you wanna work for Rainbow on a monthly salary of $500. Or write C top have the chance to make 3 times that much on commission. Ah, but wait! Hold your pens. Almost forgot to show you why the Rainbow is even more of a synch to display.”
Tom takes the grill off the Rainbow, whips a hose out of the box, and proceeds to vacuum the cheap carpet. “That’s right. The Rainbow not only cleans your air… drum roll please… it cleans the carpet.” Tom displays away, and now I finally get this ain’t window display work! I almost say “Fuck!” out loud but manage to hold it all in with a giggle internally at my dense take on the help wanted ad for “display work” that brought me here.
“Now fill out the last question, S for salary, C for commission. Tony will grab your questionnaires on the way out the door. Night and thanks for coming, gents,” says Tom bowing out the door, not giving us a chance to ask questions.
My Bic pen hovers over the questionnaire. I’m pretty shy and I think, “Better $500 a month than nothing on commission.”
I am about to write S when Tony pipes up, “Guys, I ain’t never sold nothin’ before. But if a freakin’ bus-driver-dego-whop like me can sell 40 of these Rainbows a month and knock down a legit 2 K you can too. My advice? Check C for commission.”
Feeling a little nauseous, I check C. First to make the big decision I head for Tony at the door. As I hand him the questionnaire I ask, “When will I know if I got the job?”
“Mr. Deere will hit you up quick if you’re in. If you don’t hear nothin’ in the next 48 hours, well, you’re toast,” says Tony with a mischievous grin.
When I get home Mom barely notices me slip in. She’s glued to BONANZA on her new color TV.
Recently, after a terrible fight, one that ended up with a visit from the cops, cops who always let Dad off easy even after my Mom is left black and blue — a thing still going on today in domestic abuse cases all too often — I ask her, my voice ash, “Ma, why don’t you divorce Dad? He’s going to kill you or me if this shit goes on much longer.”
Her terse answer, “Can’t afford to leave your father. He’s a good provider.”
Mom spots me pouring a milk at the fridge and asks, “How’d the interview go, Kenny?”
The dirty yellow wall phone rings before I can answer her. I’ve just gotten home so I don’t expect it to be Tom Deere on the line when I say, “Hello?”
“Tom please. Ha. You make me feel like I’m fifty. Congrats! You got the job.”
I cover the receiver and holler for joy, “I got the job, Mom!”
“What kind of job?” says Mom dryly.
“Selling home air cleaners,” I quickly tell Mom, leaving out the vacuum cleaner part of the Rainbow out.
“Sales? You get a salary?” Mom asks, her mouth full of potato chips.
In an instant the risk I am taking sinks in. It’s sell or off to ‘Nam and good chance I’ll die or be fucked up like the students I meet coming back the States after a tour of duty. The poor vets remind me of zombies. I shake off my fear and get back to Tom on the phone, dodging Mom’s fateful question, “What’s next?”
“Come in Saturday 9AM for training.”
The training is surprisingly good. My shriveled self esteem begins to blossom. I’m clumsy at first but soon I’m stunned to discover that I’m a natural born salesman. Thanks to my mother’s well-off side of the family buying machines as I train, in a matter of weeks I am the #1 part time Rainbow salesmen in Glendale. A title I never give up. It’s my first win-win experience of my life as my many aunts and uncles all love their Rainbows. I learn the lesson to offer customers advice on the best products and let stuff from vacs to skyscrapers sell themselves.
Even my hard case father is begrudgingly proud of the fact I’m learning to be a good provider like him. Tuition becomes a breeze and I even have enough money left over to, I shit you not, own a classic Lincoln Continental on campus.
My kid brother Fred seems to down on my selling to earn my way through college. A jealousy takes seed in his mind that contributes to killing him one day as he drowns his rage of never making big money in drugging and drinking. Fred never copes well with my entrepreneurial successes compared to his playing it safe as a master welder on salary plus overtime. Also, he never sought therapy to heal from Dad’s epic physical and mental abuse like I did. Hell, I had a fleet of therapist help me rise from the ashes when my $162 million skyscraper project ruined me and my marriage.
My offer to set my little brother Fred up in business, him welding sculptures I’d design fell on deaf ears. Sad. He was so talented. I really regret not pushing my Gemini brother to do that. He simply was not prepared for the Obama years when America’s jobs left for China. Being laid off finished him off.
Back to 1971. My girlfriend hates my Lincoln’s big sidewalls, but she loves our expensive dates. She will become my wife over the objections over her mother. And one day my ex-wife to her mother’s delight.
So weird my wife’s mom hated me one for not being a doctor, like she said it right to my shocked face. A constant thorn in my side, even my becoming Chicago’s #1 commercial real estate broker according to the Chicago Times 15 years later and making her baby rich, never earns my mother-in-law-from-hell’s respect.
As part of my Rainbow sales training I am given some wonderful books to read by Mr. Deere. All of which add to my successes in life, including the building of Oprah’s Harpo Studios and developing a $162 million dollar skyscraper. Sadly, I lost touch with Tom after I graduated college and no longer wanted to sell Rainbows. He took it kinda hard I left to be an interior architect. But the most amazing of these books is Norman Vincent Peale’s THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING.
By the way, later as I become the number one part-time sales person on the Great Lakes region for Rainbow, I learn from Tom the only question he ever checks is C. If an applicant is willing to work on commission. Applications checked S for salary are placed in the circular file.
TRUMP’S ABUSE OF THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING
Now, I don’t know if Trump’s father was even half as abusive as my messed up drill sergeant dad, but it’s well known Trump’s father Fred was a hard-case father. So much so I think Fred Trump may have shattered Donald’s self worth. In fact, as junior shrink after so much therapy, I theorize the Don’s daddy issues made him the crazed narcissist we all either love or hate today.
As for me, it will be my “accidental” introduction to the power of positive thinking that serves to rescue me from the bone crushing barrage of mental negativity that my father subjected me to from birth. I remember reading these words at age 19 of Peale’s and feeling it a godsend, a life raft that saved me from a life depression and anxiety like my brother’s:
“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” ― Norman Vincent Peale
Note that I italicized humble but reasonable. Assuming Trump read the same book, a bit of stretch given his dislike for reading, and like me he learned how to rebuild his self worth from an abusive father through the power of positive thinking, it’s obvious Trump has either forgotten or intentionally ignored that self-belief has to be humble and reasonable.
Now, this might not sound like big deal, but without the restraints of being humble and reasonable in one’s confidence, positive thinking has a dark side. Indeed, without tempering, someone with the gift of charisma can literally become a confidence gamer or a con man, as Trump has.
My friends, there’s a simple reason conning people is illegal: It works all to well. So don’t be hard on a loved one or pal who has been taken in by Trump’s abuse of the power of positive thinking. You see, humans are conditioned by millions of years to trust our tribal leaders.
Especially, leaders who act with great confidence, as to having the greater welfare of the tribe at heart. Trump, unfortunately, is far from humble. To me he comes off as a compulsive liar. It’s sickness. I worked for one who shall remain anonymous as he’s as vindictive as Trump. “Buh-lieve me,” as Trump likes to say. Yep. These kind of mind fuckers lie for sport.
How disgustingly different the modern world that rewards lying leaders with wealth and fame is from the caveman days when the tribe stoned or hung bad leaders. Leaders today who are truthful are as rare as the 1 million endangered species Trump could give a shit about.
Lest you think Trump’s our first unethical leader, well, please read some history. To my heightened sensitivity as an abuse survivor, Obama, the drone president, the oil president, the surveillance president, was not much a more truthful a leader than the Cheet-oh Jesus as he being called, Trump. Nope. Pretty boy Barrack was just way smoother at his political con game. Still is. Though he has nothing on Bill Clinton for being a charming liar. Reagan? Don’t get me started. What a mess we’ve been in for decades.
Folks, and I am sure you know, Super liars are in charge of our world and it must change. Humanity can no longer function this way. We, the stable clan of geniuses who have created so many endangered species are now on our own endangered list. So thank your lucky stars the clumsy buffoonery of Trump has ruined lying for all future leaders. That’s where I see some hope.
The Amazon is on fire. The vast majority of scientists and his fellow G7 leaders are telling Trump that the environment is in crisis. But “the chosen one” prefers to proclaim that it’s all a Chinese hoax. He tells his followers to support fossil fuels, avoid solar power, avoid “cancer causing” wind power. He joyfully invites his loyal followers, a loyalty he does not deserve as he’s sticking it to most of them, to think positive as he proclaims global warming is liberal lie. “No biggie, so keep on gas guzzling, everyone!”
Trump’s irresponsible lack of humble leadership is a horror show on a scale never witnessed before in human history. And sadly it comes at a time when we can least afford it. The clock is running out fast on humanity’s ability to shirk off its responsibility to Gaia.
Take it from a man who worked his way through college selling Rainbows to stay out of a war he did not believe in, versus the one in DC who gamed the system with a fake story about bone spurs: We need a total reset in 2020 with young people taking the reigns from the old who cannot fully grasp that our very existence is at stake. Sorry Joe and Bernie/