A Beginning

A couple of years ago, Looking Backward, Forward was published. I wrote the book and placed it on Amazon to copyright so to speak a concept.  It wasn’t ready. At the time, having a Website and Blog had not entered my radar; I had no idea what it could be.  This is the first in a blog series that is what that book should have been in the first place.

Looking Backward, Forward – the Blog

Some 40 percent of our culture contains adults who are locked into thinking characteristically like an adolescent child, a term coined as Adult Arrested Adolescent or Tri-A.  It is derived from my reading of Eric Hoffer’s book, The True Believer, thoughts on the nature of mass movements, (1951.) Hoffer was the first to give us definitions and an understanding of how mass movements work. Central to his concepts is the idea of the true believer. True believers see themselves as damaged. They instinctively look for a way to fix themselves by becoming part of something bigger and not always better. Being famous for crazy stuff is good enough. Ideas like Progressivism, Socialism, Catholicism, Christianity as a religion, Protestantism, and Islam also contain a large number of fanatics. Social Reformers like Barack Obama seek out these who mistakenly or foolishly see themselves as nonredeemable. They offer them glory by “hitching themselves” to their movements. To accomplish that ruse, Obama bastardized an idea of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s whose suggestion was for the individual to personally set high goals, “hitched to stars” rather than subsume themselves to lower expectations. To be fair, warrior chiefs, generals, and all other forms of totalitarians seeking cannon fodder have used the same spiel throughout history. From those ideas I began to look at them as seeds of a latter-day behavioral disorder I previously called Tri-A or Adult Arrested Adolescence.  Hoffer didn’t say a word about the Tri-A himself, my research following his line of thinking lead me to the Adult Arrested Adolescent.  

Utopian schemers have created the Tri-A to be the ideal follower to their causes.

Then as now, Hoffer showed us that Utopians are constantly trying to make their fiddling a needed control mechanism of mainstream American culture. If then the Tri-A concept takes that one step further, and they do line up very well, I contend it was not an accident. By manipulating the American school systems quietly and promoting politically correctness culturally Utopian schemers have created the Tri-A to be the ideal follower to their causes. On this topic I will be discussing the entire issue as if preparing a probable cause statement by an investigator. Developing the idea of cause is part of my background and training. Perhaps one day a psychological tool can be created to determine by a set of established standards if the Tri-A as a legitimate addition for the Desk Reference to Diagnostic Criteria. It may become a diagnosis like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Depression.

After WWII and the revelations of what fanaticism had done to millions in the world, Hoffer could study the direct cause and effect of manipulative governments and populist leaders.  Hoffer watched these activities as they occurred during the 1930’s through the 1950’s.  He then compared them in The True Believer to ideas that are more ancient and the words of commentators who spoke on similar eternal truths of those periods.  What he taught us has passed the test of time.  Hoffer understood mass movements because he immersed himself in the topic. Since 2006 I have spent hundreds of hours studying the Tri-A.   For the last three decades since first reading his book, I have applied his ideas to what has happened in America.  Since the lure of Utopian ideas and political movements are highly attractive to the person who feels he is damaged and incomplete they are interested in changing things.  Change — without any further definition has become a war cry for Progressive partisans trying to recruit those who seek to reinvent themselves. The same partisan evangelists promise that change will make the damaged person whole but offer only fairness, equality, and promises of creating new legislation.  Each evangelist hopes that their one great effort will guarantee equality and fairness.  They tell every listener the solution is to promote the concept of centralization of all matters to the highest authority.  The first problem with all their solutions is that fairness and equality are concepts that work between individuals.  A third party, unless it is a judge deciding a fact of law, is a poor choice to determine fairness for others. So is a judge, but that’s how we set it up in the legal system. Fair solutions cannot be enforced by a top-down structure that comes from an overeager government.  As far as centralization and dictation from government on the outcome of things is concerned – why do we think people in government know better?  The kids of my heyday would have said, “Who died and made you king?”  Secondly, teaching that there is an ultimate authority to which all disputes can be referred does not teach self-reliance and the ability to negotiate with your friends and neighbors.  In early civilizations, the elders of more organized societies met at the city gate to act as judges in disputes.  It is an ancient method.  But involving the police or courts in your affairs speaks of weakness of character and that you cannot reach a constructive agreement.  At that point, the only thing left is to recover damages from whatever the elements of the dispute show are called for. Letting others decide how to live your life is like shooting nuclear warheads.   A real rocket scientist who worked in the intercontinental missile program told me, “No matter what happens, if we use these things; we lose.”  To teach children that they cannot get through life without handouts or help from the “boss” is to teach them to be peasants.  We lose. Have you not asked yourself if there is something more serious going on when grown people have no understanding of things taught in high school.  They cannot understand or construct simple sentences or grasp more complex issues like cause and effect?   Were you slightly amused at the number of people who went to psychiatrists because their candidate lost the election in 2016?  Do the people who serve you, work for you, sit next to you at a ball game sometimes amaze you with their childish view of things?  Do you wonder how they arrive at concepts like, “Drug free zones” or “Safe Spaces” since those are hopelessly childish views of how social control works?  That is the point.  They are not just acting like kids; they really are still adolescents behaviorally. They let others tell them how to live and so nor understand why it does not always work out in their favor, interpreting fair and equal as “The way I want it to be.”  

In later posts I will continue to layer evidence that will point to the validity of the Tri-A or Adult Arrested Adolescent. Follow us and leave your email so we may keep you updated. WDE

Mistakes

Today’s blog is by Spencer A. Allen

So much of life is about mistakes. It was once a problem of enormous importance to never make a mistake, thereby never revealing the depth of my ignorance. I took to heart Lincoln’s warning: “Remain silent and be thought a fool or speak out and remove all doubt.”  In my mind, the the likelihood that revelation was more likely than not.

But the only way we learn is to make mistakes and repair them. Even when we receive training on some discipline, then actually doing them poorly is first required before we become accomplished.  School kids, like I was, often get the idea it is not safe to make mistakes.  I tell those I teach the reason they are in school is because it is a safe space to make mistakes and try not to react badly when they do.  Many instructors fail to support the idea of a safe mistake place by overreacting to minor spills, slow trips to the restroom, or failing to recharge computers.

We send our athletes to specialized training camps our dancers and cheerleaders to places where they can accel, but that is all about excellence.  How about the rest of us who need to learn from our mistakes to become competent – especially those whose parents can’t afford dance or training camp. 

Kids are loud. Adults sometimes find that annoying, kids get into scuffles, adults get very emotional about potential injury. But locking down the education process to the point of regimented 50-minute classes where students complete 10 or 20 multiple choice questions by reading several pages in a book.  They don’t get to stretch their imaginations or time to complete more complex or in-depth study.

Maybe high school should adopt the college model. Two-hour classes and one and a half hour classes on alternating days.  Let them find something that brings them joy – not be crammed full of facts in preparation for a test. That will keep statisticians busy appeasing state legislators with tests results that tell us nothing about learning.

Thanks for reading, Spence Allen (SAllen@woodyedmiston.blog)

High School

Senior year. A final year of learning supposed to get us ready to enter life as an employable person, able to cope with others and make some contribution to society. Or something like that.
Have you ever noticed in this over psychoanalyzed society how often those four years of high school enter into our adult lives. For instance, movies include all kinds of high school events that spill over into adult behavior and cause by all sorts of bad things. Serial killers; dissed as kids for their disabilities, their weakness or poverty become murderous. Shy teens decide that attempting to better themselves is impossible because they are of the wrong “caste.” Carrie, of course is one of the more calamitous. In how many Criminal Minds and SVU episodes have the high school victims becoming the adult bullies. Former high school heartthrobs are dead at the hands of this person who has become a predator?
Even Hallmark Romances are heavily sprinkled with stories of high school sweethearts who are reunited. They are popular. They feed upon the regret of an audience who all wish some lost love would have worked out.
But twenty years later, many of us are still reacting to today’s events based on what happened to us in High School. We still see ourselves as outside the “cool kids” group. We are afraid to talk to a co-worker because he or she is too pretty. Worst, we refuse to talk to co-workers because we think we are too pretty. Alternatively, we live on those high school memories of long-ago football or Class Favorite successes without every accomplishing much more. High School is a place to make mistakes. It’s not a launching ground that defines who we will be in the future. It’s just supposed to educate us at the lowest level. We should never stop learning and we don’t need school to do it. We never finish learning, and that is the successful way to approach life. We must not have college to succeed, but we must keep learning. Never before has this been easier. Learn something today, it will do you good.

Swimming in the Ocean

Your potential of having a life full of accomplishment is your ability to be comfortable with uncertainty.

Arlington J. North

Why do we ignore the risks while blithely swimming in an ocean full of man-eating creatures? Those who are close to the seashore almost completely ignore that risk unless sightings are posted. There is some uncertainty in that – but not a lot — attacks are one in 11 million. But people do get attacked and killed.

Many more are afraid to fly although there is a one in five million chance of dying from it. Walking down the street is 1 in 400. We hop in our cars to just go for a drive when the chance is 1 in 103 of it killing us. But our fears and uncertainties paralyze some of us over the more mundane unfamiliarities.

The uncertainty of going to college in another town; taking a job in a state where you have never visited, much less lived; these are things many of us face. College in another state, hum? It is comfortable, and certainly cheaper, to go to a local community college. Where you live may have a very low cost of living, parents, friends and all sorts of things like that. Those things are real and sometimes limiting. You cope.

But It is a little sad to watch fear of risk stop talented people.

 But human beings have a need for a sense of awe and it is important that we tap into it. We look at the stars and wonder what they mean; why do we find them fascinating? Nature constantly amazes us, and we wonder how it all works. What makes it do those things that give us awe. It is their uncertainty that causes awe in the stars and nature and in other people. Every human has a need to be awed and when we are, we are better for it.

 Young people, strong and capable should try as many new things as possible. I don’t mean just teens; I mean young strong healthy people. One day you are going to be old and your biggest regret will be not taking a chance at being awe; of learning other things.

You don’t know what you don’t know. When you take that chance to be awed, to see the other side of the mountain, to plumb the depths of the ocrean; you will be awed by what you did not know. Take a chance don’t be reckless, but start small, get our adventure legs under you. Then GO!

Everything I know about the Current Political Climate I learned from Dr. Seuss

By W.D. Edmiston

There is a big divide over politics today. I have my opinion, you have yours. But those not as familiar with the commonality of political rancor over the ages – it can all be summed up well with what we learned from Dr. Seuss.

Everything stinks till it’s finished.

That true of politics. But the great thing about how our world has worked out for over 200 years is that when the people get their wish, not those of one extreme are the other, it smells relatively well in the end.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not. The more you read the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.

So, since the founders left the power vested in the people who are all in the same pot, not the uber rich of the average politician, we make better choices for the public. That means all of us should read up, get up and do something about the things we really want to happen in our world.

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one Alive who is Youer than you.

This is encouraging to those of us who have never been involved in “campaigning” for something you want. You. Everyone in America is an individual, given a voice by those who founded the nation. The idea that some people try to shush you because they think their ideas are better than yours, or call you names just means they haven’t read enough and just don’t know.

Only you can control your future.

This could be either an encouragement to those in the above paragraph or a warning to those who want to control you. But it is also a warning of sorts to everyone. Both what you do and what you have done helps define who “you are Youer” than. Doing defines us much more than what we think or say. It indicates more than anything what you will do in the future.

Sometimes the questions are complicated, and the answers are simple. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.

This is also both an encouragement and warning. Some call  it Kharma, some say “what goes around comes around” but the fact is what you put out is what you get back.

If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew. Just go right along and you’ll start happening too.

Those who encourage the division and the discord in their lives get division and discord. Eventually, we tend as humans to sweep the discord away and search for tranquility. Keeping positive as an individual is more powerful to your future than staying mired in the discord. Those who continue to trouble us tend to get their comeuppance one way or the other. Mr. Trump seems to take a little more direct response to what’s happening in his world. It is something that seems uncharacteristic of a President. Especially those who are unfamiliar with Eisenhower and Theodore Roosevelt.

 I’ve heard there are troubles of more than one kind; some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve brought a big bat. I’m all ready, you see; now my trouble are going to have troubles with me.

Thank you Dr. Seuss.

Thinking about thinking

 “We are normally blind about our own blindness. We are generally overconfident in our opinions . . . We exaggerate how knowable the world is. . . people don’t think very carefully.  They’re influenced by all sorts of superficial thinking in their decision-making. . .”

Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking Fast and  Slow

Making an unqualified statement about your decisions is as difficult as having dinner with your future in-laws.  Having an idea is so threatening to other people we must qualify it with an “I think” disclaimer.  It’s that or be labeled as not being nice – or worse, racist.

Try saying, “I think the third quarter figures indicate greater investment in marketing is needed.”  You might as well say, “The third quarter figures indicate greater investment in marketing is needed but my Ichthyology degree from Thunder-Bolt Community College and Stock Car Racing Track, doesn’t really give me much credibility on the subject.”

“I think.” in a sentence asks permission to say something, as if you would modify it if no one agrees. Really, would The Terminator have scared anyone by saying “I think I’ll be Baaak.”

Welcome to My Blog Page

Hello, and I hope you enjoy a wide range of discussion topics. If it is social, religious, political or just nutty, you may find it here. We are anxious to hear your feedback and hope you will subscribe to the site as well. When really great opportunities come up or we would like specific input from you, we might send you a short note. Sincerely, OGSB Partners. Please follow my blog using the last entry at the bottom of the blog roll.

Bread and Games

We live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, and political groups.  I ask in my writing ‘What is real?’ Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo realities manufactured by very sophisticated people use very sophisticated electronic mechanisms.

Phillip Dick, Philosopher

Writer, Novelist [1]

Using a Hegelian concept of “being” or “reality” our society is offering more and more opportunities to participate in activities that create an alternative reality.  That is why the young person who handed your coffee and change this morning seemed not to connect with you at all.  The place where you intersect with their world is not on that easily accessed, safe, electronic media.  His reality does not include you. He does not belong to your reality.  That can’t be good.

[1] Phillip K. Dick, Philosopher, Writer, Novelist who wrote Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck, Next, Screamers, The Adjustment Bureau

The Statue of Liberty has little to do with Immigration

The history of Liberalism and Marxists is full of instances where the words and symbols they use to promote their causes are pirated and redefined. History is full of instances and none more glaring than that of the Statue of Liberty. It was never about immigration, it was about American Exceptionalism as exemplified by the Civil War.

It is easily researched that Bartholdi (sculptor) and Laboulaye (visionary financier) intended the Statue to be representative of America’s courage to fight a Civil War over the rule of law regarding slavery and the state’s right implications therein.  It was about the abolition of slavery and the establishment of liberty.  The evil of Jim Crow laws had not been completely realized when Laboulaye had the original vision or it might not have happened. Nowhere in its dedication were the words immigrant or “give us your tired” used at all.

Then, a few years later, “The New Colossus”poem was hung on the wall of the Visitor’s Center in 1903 during a dedication in memory of those raising funds for the statue’s pedestal.  Notice that I did not say it was there to add or subtract to the meaning of the Statue of Liberty.  Immigration idealists have ever since have been gradually obscuring the original message of the Statue of Liberty.  They want to say it is about modern day immigration and always had been.  A myth converted or pirated to their truth.

The idea that thousands of immigrants may have been inspired, brought to tears or given hope at the sight of Lady Liberty is not an argument that I make.  The important point is that its original intent was to honor that honest brand of American exceptionalism that lead to the Civil War because of American courage.  It also stands for the Rule of Law we are still trying to appropriately enforce over the idea of basic human individuality.  Something, I might add, neither our government nor any other person can take from you in this country.

Commentary: Sutherland Springs Church Shooting

My comment is a direct response to those who say “The politicians should do something.” Politicians make laws. Cops like me respond after shooters DO something. Laws have no inherent power to stop DOING just like the white stripe in the road. Evidence shows so far this individual had an evil hatred in his heart against this church because his wife’s family attended there. He beat her, was incarcerated and dishonorably discharged. He had a grudge. It appears it was premeditated since he went to the church on a festival day to reconnoiter.  He was mentally ill at some level. He could have driven his truck into the building, burned it, bombed it, flew a plane into it. We had laws against everything he did and it didn’t stop the hate in his heart. A man with love for his fellow man stopped him with his personal weapon.

The hard heart is the problem. What I suggest is that the sociological – one of three degrees I hold – or legal issues are not the problem. The problem is a culture that is so far from the principles that created this country that people fear each other. They collect firearms, bump-stocks, dream-catchers, dried food, astrologers, and other errata to protect themselves. We were supposed to be individuals who protected each other according to the Bible. I’m not preaching, its just history. I am not “suggesting” that we do nothing; I am saying that the law has no inherent power to  stop violence. The white stripe does not disable your car, sent you a summons, or hinder in any way your ability to cross it. You decide by social contract and self interest to stay on “your side” to stay safe. It is a representation of a legal contract you got when you passed your driving test. We “agree” to always drive on the right side of the road. You, me, most people — can do that. Then the adolescent adults of the world say of laws they dislike “you are not the boss of me” then the police show up. If we would just stay on “our side” and only reach across when we are asked for help, or need help, the world would be a better place. The biggest problem we face is two arguing sides of the political spectrum who both “suggest” that they can create a Utopian safe place with laws. They suggest they can “Fight crime” and “Win the drug war” when it is impossible. They promise fair and equal when these are ideas that are not practically achievable. We as individuals fare best when we cling to our families, love our neighbor, love those that hate us, love ourselves without boasting, trying to do the right thing, and having compassion for others. It’s not a perfect way, but it is the better way.