Saturday, April 09, 2016

Yin and Yang in American Politics and the Reason for the Success of Bernie Sanders

I woke up dream-talking as a speaker in my Public Speaking class about polarized politics and the concept of Yin and Yang… which is the idea that Yin and Yang are—and need to be—in a continual dynamic flow from one into the other and back again. The concept is based on the natural order of things on the planet. Yin (winter, nighttime, cold) has a spot of Yang (summer, daytime, warmth) and in Yang the opposite is true. Too much Yang and things burn up, we can’t sleep, and if it goes on too long we die…by Fire. Too much Yin and things freeze, we can’t move (we hibernate), and if it goes on too long we die…. by Ice. Things need to flow from Winter to Spring to Summer and back again to maintain life, healthfully, on this planet as we know it.

What has most concerned me about our current political situation is the hijacking of the system in order to control things by one side instead of allowing for fruitful interplay with opposing forces to come up with ideas that are better, more balanced and ultimately more well-thought-out enough to be acceptable and positive enough for the country as a whole. 

We could think of what is happening as a pendulum swing—the Bernie Sanders campaign being the ultimate polar opposite of the right wing Tea Party-demanded Republican obstructionism we have seen for six years. Which, of course, completely freaks out those who benefit from the status quo and, rightly, is of concern even to centrist or more moderate (so-called Liberal) people like Barack Obama.

Barack Obama believes in compromise—he offers compromise positions right out of the starting gate and then, of course, refuses to compromise even further. In other words, I believe he doesn’t succeed at bargaining much because his opening position IS the compromise most real Liberals MIGHT be willing to settle for. There’s never been enough Yang in his position to balance the Yin that is an obstructionist Congress.

In my opinion, you have to have a leader who is way more Liberal than Obama—or Hillary Clinton—in order to succeed at, ultimately, creating a good enough compromise position that contains elements that are essential to the other side. Deadlock comes from unwillingness to reach middle ground (at least part of the time) because there is not enough interplay of true opposites. Eventually Bernie Sanders in Congress learned to play with the opposite side—hammering out numerous amendments to bills, mostly though bipartisan coalition building—that he has time and again been successful in getting passed. That is why he is called the Amendment King (see this excellent article to find out more: Bernie learned that he would never be able to get his so-called Radical ideas across full-force in the system that exists, but by sheer persistence he has managed to amend more bills to be much more acceptable to a Liberal position than any other person in Congress.

It is possible—likely—that this pendulum swing concept we see in politics IS the balancing Yin-Yang effect. That after six years of Congressional Yin—freezing out of the president and doing NOTHING of actual substance—that the biggest call to action is to put in place the opposite balancing reaction.

If Bernie goes on the attack TOO much, the tide turns back. The real moderating effect is exactly what he faces: pushback from Hillary Clinton, mainstream news media and any number of opposing forces. The payback is that he knows this. He’s already experienced it throughout his career. So this week we have already seen him come back to earth in regards to the Clinton campaign announcing quite loudly that they intended to “disqualify” him as announced on CNN ( immediately after his primary win in Wisconsin and in the Washington Post’s choice of headline ( within a day or two afterwards. He plays the game the way he needs to by saying on Charlie Rose ( that attack mode is NOT how he wants to play this game… but not without having gotten his point across first. Shoot a cannon ball across my bow, he says, and I will defend my turf. 

Believe it or not, no matter what happens, he got the job done. And that’s why I support what appears to be (in today’s worldview) a more extreme position on the part of Bernie Sanders. I know he is unlikely to get his policies accepted without a fight in the current Republican-controlled Congress BUT he has to put out these positions as his starting place in order to get anything accomplished. Being able to work with opposing forces, and rally enough people to push forward enough of his point of view to force a compromise from the other side, has been the cornerstone of his success in Congress and as mayor of Burlington, Vermont for more than 30 years.

And I am certain—because he says this is his continued strategy straight out—that this is how he will successfully get at least some significant things done when he is president of the United States. 

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Calling Out the Washington Post for Creating a Controversy for Bernie Sanders

Excuse my "South Boston" English on this one! (Even us spiritual types need to vent!)

Media manipulation, "creating news" and the purposeful distribution of propaganda is a pet peeve of mine. So let's take a look at two very recent articles by the Washington Post. The first has the headline "Clinton questions whether Sanders is qualified to be president". (And CNN repeated this "news report" along with the headline.) And Bernie fortunately or unfortunately either rose to the occasion or took the bait and fell into their trap. Now look at the headline for the next story the Washington Post ran with: "Sanders's incorrect claim that Clinton called him 'not qualified' for the presidency." Those @#$%^&*%#@! 

Then here is the #$%&@ statement from the second article that supposedly excuses them from running such a series of misleading headlines: "Headline writing is an imperfect art. The editor often has to summarize the meaning of a complex and nuanced article in just a few words." NO! Yes, it is an "imperfect art"... except when it is DELIBERATE. Oh, the poor little Washington Post can't be responsible for creating this controversy, headline writing is such an imperfect art? No, they are pros. They have been in this business a long time. They know exactly what they were doing.

Hell, skewing the news by how you write headlines was included in Journalism 101 in one of the classes I took at Simmons College in the 1970s. It is COMMON KNOWLEDGE... only we were taught to NEVER DO IT.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Latest Newsletter is Online for Mama Love

Clover Field Impressions © 2016 Sheryl Karas

Our latest newsletter is online now...

I'm thinking about new Mama Love formulas. Care to help me out?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Angry about the 2016 Election?

Peace and Goodwill Flower Essence Aromatherapy Spray

Soothing the Angry Heart Flower Essence Aromatherapy Oil
LOL! Well, you're not alone! The top sellers in my shops right now are "Soothing the Angry Heart" and "Peace and Goodwill." (And I'm using them myself!)

Organic flower essences and essential oils are a powerful combination. And my products are infused with Reiki to make them even more effective.

Need some help regaining your cool? You can find my products on my own website and on Etsy.

Good for Bernie supporters and Bernie haters, Trump supporters and Trump haters, Clinton lovers and Clinton haters, Republicans, Democrats and Independents! Name your hot button candidate or issue -- Mama Love can help weather the storm!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

The Grass and Me

"Know that, as in life, there is much that many have looked upon but few have seen because, as my father told me and his father told him, you will come to learn a great deal if you study the insignificant in depth." --Buckaroo Banzai

I do a lot of photographs of grass. And I have learned a great deal because of it.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Flower Essences for Abundant Prosperity Can Sometimes Have Unexpected Effects!

Tonight I was restocking my "Abundant Prosperity" flower essence aromatherapy spray and decided to spray some on myself. I've made this formula for 13 years, have used it often for myself, and think I ought to know what to expect! I sprayed myself specifically because I wanted to feel lifted up.

Well imagine my surprise when I suddenly felt my energy shift down instead of up.... but down in a good way. I had been feeling angry and frustrated about an exchange I had with someone on Facebook. (SOMEBODY'S WRONG ON THE INTERNET!!! Yes, I admit it, I am occasionally susceptible to getting upset about that.) After I sprayed myself, I instantly felt more grounded and calm. Not happier and uplifted but less knocked off my apple cart. In fact, I felt like "So what? Somebody said something mean-spirited about Bernie Sanders? Am I going to spend all night being upset about that? No, I am not."

Paul posted something on his Facebook page today about having improved his ability to suffer fools -- not gladly but he's happy for any improvement he can get. And that's exactly what that spray of "Abundant Prosperity" did for me. I'm not glad about the interaction but what's done is done and I can't take on the project of monitoring the entire internet for mean-spirited comments!

Abundant Prosperity means a lot of things. Feeling fortunate, like you have enough, like you're going to be okay, like there's plenty of positive opportunities and help all around. Lots of love, too. And tranquility. No need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps all the time anymore. No need to fight.