Some Thoughts from the Front Lines

Some Thoughts from the Front Lines

By

Casey Stengel

Editor - One of the ways we avoid catastrophe fatigue and protect our denial is to avoid knowing the details, the day to day trials and tribulations of those directly affected by whatever disaster, natural or man-made, is unfolding before our eyes. We maintain our standard of living and its accompanying point of view, deliberately entangled and mutually dependent, by expressing empathy when convenient or necessary to defend our emotional and physical status quo.

Essentially we ignore what is inconvenient or painful to ponder. Like a complex pattern made out of dominoes, once one is unsettled, all are eventually disturbed. To deeply and honestly consider the plight of faraway refugees in Greece, Turkey or wherever they flee ultimately leads to direct acknowledgement of the deliberate and unconscionable political meddling and war making foreign policy of the United States, enthusiastically supported by both political parties, and its compliant allies.

From there, it’s just a short leap directly to you and me. And that’s just a little too close to home, isn’t it? So why even go there? It’s so much easier, and emotionally safer, to swallow whole without chewing the comforting pabulum served up by the US Government and its propaganda arm, the mainstream media. We like our truth carefully filtered and pleasantly intoxicating.  

By accident of birth I was born a US citizen, therefore ‘entitled’ to various rights and opportunities which, while under direct and sustained assault from all quarters, still greatly exceeds those afforded the majority of people on our planet. I do not possess the courage to wade directly into that ocean of misery and despair, but Mr. and Mrs. Stengel, friends of ours for several years now, have and do. The following was written by Casey Stengel (and lightly edited by me) during a particularly difficult time in his work when he was struggling to find the proper mix of empathy, constructive assistance and inner peace. – Cognitive Dissonance

 

Mrs. Stengel and I are working with refugees from the Middle East (ME) and Africa. Not because we especially want to, but we sensed that little voice within saying we should do this. Several years ago, in the wake of the financial coup d’état of 2008-09, Mrs. Stengel and I made great strides in our awakening to the reality of the corrupt central bank warfare model the US lives under and propagates on a global basis.

We began to ask ourselves what our role was going forward and we both came to the same conclusion: we should live our lives in such a way that others will benefit from the blessings we enjoy. We endeavored in our hearts not to waste the years between 60 and 70 solely on selfish pursuits, but to use those years to make the world a better place for at least a few people. Continue reading Some Thoughts from the Front Lines

It Takes a Village…

It Takes a Village…

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

Mrs. Cog and I live at the end of a dead end private dirt road off of a dead end state dirt road off of a paved road out in the middle of nowhere. The two combined dirt roads are a little more than a mile long and the paved road is five plus miles from the center of the local gas station/grocery store/tourist stop huddled just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

We think of our place as a slice of heaven. Others might think of it as isolated at best and the last place they’d want to live at worst. Needless to say, there is not a lot of traffic passing in front of our home. We get the post man six days a week, the UPS man when we order something from civilization and the FedEx man once in a blue moon along with the occasional curious local checking out what’s going on up our road.

So when there is a knock on our front door, it is an extremely rare event. There was that lady a few months back who was lost and looking for someone we had never heard of. She didn’t even have a street address, so we shrugged our shoulders and sent her on her way. Then there is the neighbor from down the road who stops by every few months to see if the damn Yankees have died and are stinking up the place.

You get the picture! Continue reading It Takes a Village…

Shadows

Shadows

by

Cognitive Dissonance

 

Elevation changes the way the sun and atmosphere interact. In the visible spectrum, colors and contrast appear to be especially clear and sharp, at least to this set of eyes. It is one of the joys I experience living at 3,000 feet. Not so high that it causes shortness of breath, but high enough so humidity levels in general are lower and the air is clearer.

The last few days up here on the mountain have been a joy to behold. Very low humidity, clear skies and temps in the mid 70's are a dream come true. Two evenings ago I decided to partake of the front porch rocking chair and enjoy the setting sun and scenery. It was spectacular.

Anyone who has followed me for a few years knows I enjoy the interplay of light and shadow. It is one of the reasons the fall and winter months are so special to me, particularly up here on the mountain where the low humidity and elevation seem to energize the contrast.

While the spring and summer seasons have their own special magic, there are less days where it all comes together to produce the dazzling contrast I love so much. The other day, especially the evening, was one of those glorious days. Continue reading Shadows

Learning from America’s Forgotten Default

Learning from America’s Forgotten Default

 

 

As originally posted on Project Syndicate

 

One of the most pervasive myths about the United States is that the federal government has never defaulted on its debts. There’s just one problem: it’s not true, and while few people remember the "gold clause cases" of the 1930s, that episode holds valuable lessons for leaders today.

LOS ANGELES – One of the most pervasive myths about the United States is that the federal government has never defaulted on its debts. Every time the debt ceiling is debated in Congress, politicians and journalists dust off a common trope: the US doesn’t stiff its creditors.

There’s just one problem: it’s not true. There was a time, decades ago, when the US behaved more like a “banana republic” than an advanced economy, restructuring debts unilaterally and retroactively. And, while few people remember this critical period in economic history, it holds valuable lessons for leaders today.

Continue reading Learning from America’s Forgotten Default

Propaganda, Human Consciousness, And The Future Of Civilization

Propaganda, Human Consciousness, And The Future Of Civilization

By Caitlin Johnstone

As Originally Posted on Medium.com on August 21, 2017

 

While researching the subject of propaganda for an article I will eventually write, I stumbled upon this little gem by Caitlin Johnstone on Medium.com. I have been following Caitlin for several months now, but this article predates my awareness of her. It's a short but powerful read. When you are finished, I strongly urge you to pop over to her website and sign up to be notified of her future articles. She's a keeper. - Cognitive Dissonance

 

A duck floats past two fish, looks down and says “Morning boys! How’s the water?” The fish swim on for a bit, then one of them turns to the other and says, “What the fuck is water?”

Corporatist propaganda is to western civilization what water is to fish. Our culture is saturated in it; it informs so many levels of our worldview and most of us never even examine any of them. It informs all aspects of culture, from our beliefs about what’s going on in the world to our understanding of history to what issues we think we’re supposed to care about on a given day to what opinions we think we’re allowed to choose from. People think they know what’s going on in their society, why their country fought this or that war, how their nation’s government and economy operate, when really they don’t know any of those things. All their most basic assumptions about their world, their culture, and even who they are as individuals is fully pervaded by mass media propaganda narratives. Continue reading Propaganda, Human Consciousness, And The Future Of Civilization

Thoughts From Cognitive Dissonance Ψ ψ

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