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1. NEVER MENTION A BULLY

2. SKIP THE LIES AND FOCUS ON THE TRUTH,

3. REPEAT THE TRUTH OFTEN,  SIMPLY, IN PLAIN ENGLISH,

4. COMPLIMENT YOUR FRIENDS, THOSE YOU ADMIRE, EVEN YOUR OPPONENTS WHEN THEY MAKE VALID POINTS,

5. WHEN SOMEONE BULLIES YOU, SHOWER THEM WITH CARE AT FIRST, AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS ,

6. IF THEY PERSIST, CUT THEM OFF, SILENCE THEM, ELIMINATE THEM FROM YOUR PRESENCE, BUT DO NOT BECOME THEM OR STOOP TO THEIR LEVEL,

7. STOP CURSING, IT IS NOT DOING ANYONE ANY GOOD,

8. MAKE YOUR EVERY WORD EDUCATIONAL, INSTRUCTIONAL, FIND THE WORDS TO RISE BEYOND THIS TIME AND SPACE, SOMETHING LASTING, SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM A HERO,

9. BE HEROIC, FOR THIS IS YOUR TIME IN HISTORY, AND THE OLD HEROES HAVE PASSED FROM THE SCENE,

10. OFFER HOPE, NOT FOOLISH DREAMS, BUT REALISTIC STEPS TOWARD SOMETHING, ANYTHING, BETTER.

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HIDDEN ALLIES IN THE CURRENT CRISIS

by mgopin on July 16, 2018 · 0 comments

I wonder who knows more about Apple’s astonishing move in China. Could it be that we are seeing resistance to Trump on multiple layers of society and that even the super elite, who we regularly bemoan for not directly fighting side by side for democracy, like Soros, are also in a state of war with each other over the madness that has overtaken the Republican Party, the most dangerous political organization on earth right now.

Think about this. In the middle of a tariff war caused solely by a leader engaged in possibly treasonous behavior, in the middle of a willful and bizarre destruction of all environmental American progress of 50 years that would only be undertaken by an enemy of the state, Apple, one of the backbones of the American global economy, makes a statement on trade and environment of this magnitude.
Maybe we the people are not …

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There is hope if people on the Left and progressives admit how human it is and how human they are to be tribalistic, angry, suspicious and bigoted.

I am from the progressives, and at this stage of American history, there is no question that the lion’s share of actual violence, literal and structural, comes from the white nationalist Right.

But that does not mean that progressives are constructive, brilliant peacebuilders. They are not. Every step of the way progress in human rights has been focused on fighting and victories, not on reconciliation, not on building communities of trust, not on building a new society.

We just build monuments to beautiful words by Martin Luther King, summarily ignore those words, and go on with a tribalistic war.

Winning is through love not hate, winning is caring for your own as well as the stranger, winning is caring for very difficult people …

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DICTATORS AND OLIGARCHS

by mgopin on April 29, 2018 · 0 comments

Throughout history, there are no dictators without oligarchs.

The dictator is the puss pimple on top of the acne of oligarchy.

The system of war criminal justice is designed to deter a very specific kind of man who is inherently a narcissistic risk taker, who believes he is invincible, which means that some vague possibility of justice some day might become reality. But he always believes he will live on forever, or his family.

The oligarch is not a risk taker but a calculator, a blood hound for money, and a preference for money accrued legalistically but immorally off the backs of the unsuspecting who believe in the rule of law.

The laws of war crimes must evolve further. We need a guarantee based on international law that the vast fortunes of industrialists or oligarchs that supported war criminals, will in fact be given, to the last penny, over to …

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TURN BACK THE FILTH

by mgopin on March 23, 2018 · 0 comments

Feeling you can’t take all the filth around you? That the Trump world has made you feel dirty all over? Escape it all and do your bit to save the oceans, and us.

 …

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It is the most frequently commanded law in the Bible. It is the foundation of what should be recalled every seven days, and every single holiday throughout the Bible. It is the foundation of the identity of the physical and spiritual ancestor of half of planet earth’s human inhabitants who call themselves religious. The abuse of this law, it is warned, is the basis of the destruction of society. It is purposefully and explicitly anti-misogynist and pro-women and children.

 

It has many names: refugee, resident alien, illegal alien, landless, homeless. It is the law of Ger, Yatom and Almanah. It is the law that says that no matter what happens in your society, no matter how rich you become, no matter how poor you become, no matter how beleaguered, embattled, selfish, miserable, or confused, you must love the refugee, the widow, the orphan, if you want to survive …

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(As it appeared in the Huffington Post. )

There is a war for your brain in today’s politics, and the weapon of that war is language manipulation. George Lakoff has spent his career demonstrating the power of language and neural nets to trap us into thinking thoughts we do not necessarily want to think, to believe things that we would question if we were not being manipulated. In a wonderful interview , Lakoff describes a series of words that have changed us. For example, people were convinced at a certain point that taxes were not an investment in our future, in our society, but a burden to be relieved. Everyone repeated the phrase “tax relief” that we all forgot that taxes are essential to everything in our lives, our roads, our police, our hospitals, our schools, our safety in every respect. This is the exact neural path through …

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A version of this originally published in the Huffington Post

The largest coordinated national and international protest in American history snuck up on me, like a long-lost friend’s unannounced visit. I spent half my life pining over being slightly too young and too conservative to have been together with Woodstock’s 400,000. But there I was 48 years later, half a century later, on January 21, 2017, stumbling unwittingly out of the Metro red line at Judiciary Square, Washington, DC, and spilling onto a sea of humanity packed like sardines, and into an experience that dwarfed 1969 Woodstock. This was not a sea of kids scared to death of the draft, everyone in their twenties, raucous music and lots of sex. There was no tear gas and rage and throwing stuff everywhere like Chicago 1968.

There was plenty of anger, but there was this strange peace among people of every age …

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Who says commerce can never lead the way? This company had the courage to revive one of the most important moments in history. That day between British and German troops should be immortalized in the annals of peace as one of the central turning points. It should be studied by every person in other parts of the world who suffers under “eternal” enemies at each other’s throats. It is the art of the possible. The art of lone men, lone leaders who pave the way with a different idea in their head of the men they are pointing their guns at. This is leaders, a new idea, and the resulting festival of goodness.…

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LEADERSHIP, IDEA, AND EVIL

by mgopin on December 27, 2015 · 0 comments

 

There is no mystery to evil.
In fact making evil into a mystery,
Is a bad idea.
There are only good ideas and bad ideas.
Anything that brings purposeful, unprovoked harm,
To other sentient beings,
Is a bad idea.
Evil is a bad idea,
In the hands of a leader.
Be a leader only,
With a good idea.
If you must,
Be a follower,
For a good idea.
Be smart enough,
To be aware,
Of your own bad ideas,
And confine them to your head.
If you cannot,
Then you must leave immediately.

The temptation to mystify evil is equal to our bewilderment at humanity, how many good people are led to do the worst things imaginable. The answer is not evil in them, but the evil of bad ideas inside leaders, and the tragedy of human obedience. The one alternative that has always worked is very good …

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