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Listening to the media reports about Trump and Clinton, I understand the frustration of the majority of voters.  Most of us know that the "establishment" politicians, like Clinton, are part and parcel with the corporatocracy that has made our two party system a joke.  The two parties are simply different faces of the same government which is beholden to big business and rich investors.  While the Democrats make more of an effort to care for the most impoverished, neither side is actually effective at reducing poverty.  The Republicans assert that the poor are not helped by a free ride, and this may be true.  It is true that during the Great Depression here in the US, people got healthier.

Trump, on the other hand, is not part of the "establishment" except in so far as he is rich, and he is stupid enough to become their tool, just as Shrub did.  His daily empty statements, like what I just heard that he "will win" 95% of the black American vote, are lunacy.  There is no way that he is getting 95% of any vote, except perhaps of those white male voters who are angry and desperate enough to commit suicide but would rather have someone else do it for them.  I understand the line of thought that says "crash this train", that is to say, destroying our corporatocracy is the first step toward building something new.  This is more the approach of libertarians who understand that big business will not be dethroned by small measures.  Electing Trump would be a drastic measure that could crash this train, except for the fact that the corporate Republican powers will feed his ego and narcissism and keep him busy and distracted by giving him televised glory while they run things.  In other words, it won't work.  Electing Trump will not derail the corporate train.

The Libertarian and Green candidates are relatively attractive in this election.  Unfortunately the Libertarians appear to be almost as "estalishment" as Clinton, see Gary Johnson's positions here.  Jill Stein of the Green party is a physician and one smart cookie, and she actually makes the most sense to me of any of the candidates.  She knows that our two-party system is broken, and she addresses that question and others with a raft of information instead of party lines or defund-it-all ideology.

I do not know what it would take to persuade a majority of voters to choose third-party candidates, but I pray that I live to see it.  At this moment it appears to me that Clinton will win because so many people are terrified of the specter of a Trump presidency.  His racism, bogus claims and impetuous thin-skinned personality are enough to disqualify him for all but the most blindered of voters.  It is true that if he were elected the Republican party would attempt to control him, but we all know that he would be more likely to push the nuclear button than any other president in living memory.  While it bears discussing why we refrain from using nukes, just as it bears discussing why we can't as a society afford freeloaders, we might want to discuss it very well before we hand any control to a tool such as Trump.

I am sure I've mentioned it before, but it is my belief that in order to build a majority that can beat both established parties, we need to build a bridge between the far right Libertarians and the far left Greens.  When this happens we might actually wrest our democracy back from its service to business.  It would be heralded as a great crisis, just like the Brexit vote, but don't believe everything you hear in the news.  A reduction in our GDP might be good for us.  More unemployment is not an entirely bad thing.  We Americans need to get back to the project of taking good care of ourselves and our dear ones, building community, and being real people face to face with other real people.  This wealthy life of internet and automobiles has created a Great Satan that is making us sad.

** first use of tag: green party

Poem: You Move

Willing to die,

You give up

Your will, keep still

Until, moved

By what moves

All else,

......you move.


--Wendell Berry

Seven Reasons to Love Portland, Oregon

1.  Portland has the best Bitters.  From fresh strong coffee to extremely hoppy IPA's, to unique herbal blends to add to your cocktail, you will not find a town with more depth and variety in its bitter beverages and flavors.  Asheville, NC would like to claim that it is a beer capital of the US, but all they did was win an online survey.  Anyone who has been beer-drinking in both cities knows which one dominates.

2.  Portland has ample fresh water, including a well-protected drinking water supply.  The Willamette River splits the town in half, and the even larger Columbia River divides north Portland from southern VanCouver, Washington.  Hydropower plants on the Columbia provide cheap electricity.  Rains fall predictably from fall to spring.  Climate change scientists suggest that Portland will be getting less long slow drizzles, and more intense downpours, but the total amount of precipitation is likely to remain similar.

3.  It is easy to grow things here.  Portland is called the City of Roses because rose sprigs that came from Ireland in ballast took root along the banks of the Willamette.  Today cultivated roses bloom from February until November.  The climate is so mild that the city doesn't own any snow plows, and many plants survive the winter because it doesn't freeze often or hard.  In the summer, with a little irrigation, food gardens are highly productive.  Those invasive blackberries that people can't seem to kill produce delicious sweet berries every summer.

4.  The city is so liberal that even conservatives are welcome!  Everyone can find a community here.  Local pride about the openminded nature of the residents is relfected on bumperstickers that say "Keep Portland Weird".  Here in Portland it is legal to be naked in public (look up the Nude but Not Lewd Law) but people are so polite that they only get naked downtown during the annual naked bike ride, for which people who can't bear to see are well warned and able to avoid the affront.  There are communities of many ethinicities and religions living peacefully side by side, and great ethnic food too.

5.  The roads belong to everyone in Portland.  Cars actually stop to let pedestrians cross.  Bicycles are given a lane, or at least a little attention and respect.  Public transportation in the form of light rail and busses is busily bringing people into and out of the city to limit traffic and parking crunches.

6.  Nature is everywhere.  In town there are large and small parks and lovely pedestrian trails.  The volcanoes of the Cascade mountains are visible from town, and the protected Oregon coast is only an hour's drive away.  The Columbia gorge begins just outside the urban area and is loaded with gorgeous waterfalls and fantastic hiking trails.  A visitor to Cascadia cannot fail to notice the richness of the green.

7.  People are green here too.  We recycle what we can and reuse everything else.  We refuse to drive our cars when possible, and are mindful to minimize our carbon footprints.  We eat local and organic and support sustainable agriculture.  We have solar panels on our roofs.  We are trying to save the world, or at least, doing our own small part and feeling good about it.

The "Not" Face

As a student of nonverbal communication, I'm always fascinated when a new tidbit comes along.  It appears that there is one more universal microexpression to add to the current list of seven, and that is the "not" face, or the face that says "I don't agree".  It isn't completely unique, instead it borrows from the expressions of digust, anger and contempt.  The other four previously identified microexpressions are fear, sadness, surprise, and happiness. Here's a good explanation of all of this.

Naturopathic Notes

I'm cleaning out my file cabinet and just reached the naturopathic medicine file.  It is full of philosophy notes from my first couple years of nd school.  I'm going to summarize them here so I can toss the paper.

SIX TENETS as taught by Deborah Frances
1. Primum non nocere - first do no harm (suppression is harmful)
2. Vis Meicatrix naturae - the healing power of nature (elemental)
3. Tolle causum - seek and remove the cause
4. Tolle totum - whole person
5. Docere - doc as teacher
6. Praeventare - prevention

OTHER CONCEPTS
Tonify, balance, bring to the middle
Do not Suppress symptoms, allow them to express, or else you push the illness deeper
Depression = suppressed fire: let it out and you have irritation, anger

HERRING'S LAW
Healing occurs in 3 directions
above downward
within-outward (more severe within, less severe the more peripheral)
in reverse order that it happened

ALIVENESS OF MEDICINE
vitamin C from a factory as vs from rose hips
complexity of plant medicine: many constituents with the wisdom of a living thing

HIERARCHY OF CARE
surgery
drugs
hormone replacement
stimulate the vis
tonify
nourish
foundation -- start here and work upward in the heirarchy

OATH
The Naturopathic Physician's Oath as written in the 2008 NCNM convocation brochure is long and wordy and I do not like it.  I must prefer and do swear by the Classical Chinese Medicine Oath:

I will promise to follow the way of the great physician.
I will strive to live in harmony wiht nature, and teach my patients to do the same.
I will stay calm and completely committed when treating disease.
I will not give way to personal wishes and desires, but above all else hold and nurture a deep feeling of compassion.
I will be devoted to the task fo saving the sacred spark of life in every creature that still carries it.
I will strive to maintain a clear mind and be willing to hold myself to the highest standards.
It will be my duty to diagnose sufferings to treat disease.
I will not be boastful about my skills and not drive by the greed for material things.

Above all, I will keep an open heart.
As I move on the right path I will receive great happiness as a reward wihtout asking for anything in return.

OH I just dug deep enough into the notes to find some gold.  I'm not going to dissolve this file after all.  Going in archive.

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.
—Isaac Asimov

tRump as a Warning to Younger Voters

If you don't want the culture clock turned back to the 50's, you better muster the guts to get registered and turn out to cast your ballot.  Else the progress we've made in terms of tolerance and social justice will be undone, by Rump and his old white guy fans.  You may not like Hillary much better, but that doesn't matter.  Vote.  Vote for anybody.  Vote for a third party.  Vote for someone you actually agree with.  Vote for Hillary to be sure Rump doesn't get in.  Vote against destruction, because a Trump presidency will not only finish off the Republican party, but it will also devastate the American Dream.  Be a part of the process and keep the old white guys from making you irrelevant and thoughtlessly destroying any good relations we have with other nations.
He spoke at O'Connor's on June 27 for the FFRF.  Overall what I learned from this retired polysci professor is that the framers of the US constitution intended to create a principle-based document that allows enough structure to prevent chaos, and enough freedom to allow evolution of our society and laws over time.  He never said anything like that, it is purely my restatement of what I walked away with.  Brudley is a good speaker and clearly has taught this subject matter in many different ways over the years.  When faced with a mature atheist audience in liberal Portland, he was able to skim over a lot of topis that he belabors for undergraduates.  One thing I liked about his speaking style (and will borrow): he said that questions for the purpose of clarification or elaboration are welcome during the presentation, all others had to wait until the end.  This prevents diversions from the topic and keeps it all moving along.

He started out saying that the independent judiciary is detailed in Article 1, and that it was clearly a priority for the framers of the constitution.  I also learned that Article 2 is the Executive article, and it is under this article that the constitution says that the president nominates supreme court justices and with the senates advice and consent these nominations can be confirmed.  The president is instructed to choose based on fitness and qualifications, and not on nepotism or cronyism.  The president is selected for this job because he is thought to be more insulated from the "passions and prejudices of the people".

Nowhere in the constitution does it say that the senate, or the people, should have any part in nominating judges.  The Federalist Papers have an article by Hamilton that specifically says there shall be "no exertion of choice on the part of the Senate".   Nowhere does it say that no SCOTUS judges may be nominated in the last year.  To his knowledge our current VP Biden was the first to say that a lame duck president should not nominate--which was an easy gotcha for the Republicans.  Brudney said that our system of checks and balances, and the separation of powers, is sometimes unproductive.  You could say that.  Stalemate potential is necessary in a principle-driven constitution that provides us with freedoms, and protects us from rash decisions by any branch of our government.
This factoid from the documentary on netflix called (Dis)Honesty.  It's about a scientist and his experiments about lying.  He (and others) have found that about 80% of Americans at least believe that they are above average, and this is diplomatically called the Optimism Bias.  So 80% of us believe that we are smarter than average.  Better drivers, lovers, cooks.  You get the idea.

If 50% actually are above average, and 30% more think they are when they are not, then we are surrounded by blowhards, egotists, optimists of the ickiest kind.  I guess the other 20% knows that they are below average or thinks that they are even if they are above average.

Islamophobia may not be such a bad idea

I think this may be part of the reason that so many people have defaulted to supporting tRump.  At a gut level he gets it, that somehow the religion of Islam is motivating some people to kill bunches of hedonistic rich oblivious Americans.  We are The Great Satan, after all.  Our women roam around half naked.  We drink alcohol and eat so much that we can't get out of our chairs.  The Muslims who hate us find plenty to hate.  And the teachings of the religion are harsh.  Unforgiving.  Granted, most religions have some myths and stories that motivate hateful actions.  Most religions have a few fundamentalists whose simplistic interpretations lead them to extreme beliefs and behaviors.  Islam has a lot of people like that.  I am certain that the followers of ISIL think that American Muslims who don't help their cause are apostates, no better than the rest of us.  So given that there are quite a few Muslims who think we all deserve to die, and several at least who've been successful at violently killing Americans, being afraid of Muslims sounds kind of reasonable.  If the Dems don't admit to this, and begin teaching Americans about how they've been attempting to quell the fears of peaceable Muslims in order to prevent religious based warfare, they are missing the boat.  Blaming the Pulse shooting solely on easy access to guns is missing the very important point that currently there are a lot of people with this religious background who are motivated to kill.  We need to study them, to understand them.  They are not necessarily insane, they simply live in a different reality dictated by a different culture.  There are also a lot of Americans who are not Muslim who share their distaste for gays, their disrespect for loose women, and their instinctive hatred of other races.  Maybe you should be afraid.

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