I Care, Therefore I Am.. Arrogant?

This is a phenomenon I began witnessing in 2016 and am seeing it on the rise again. The accusation of arrogance, falsely applied. Often directed toward myself when I post one of my own articles in response to a complex discussion. It is being used by members of both major parties.

I will note that I tend to spend a lot of time, thought and research on each article I write, so if I have already written an article on a subject, it’s a waste of time and energy to rewrite that same article during a discussion online.

The definition of arrogance means having an attitude of superiority. It really comes down to not caring about dissenting opinions. If you do not care about the opinions of others, it literally means you don’t care about other people. Only yourself, your own profit motive. Arrogance in itself is immature, the inability to think beyond yourself.

Basically every article I write focuses on issues which affect millions of people, often in ways which do not include myself. I propose ideas which may cost me personally in some ways but find them beneficial because they would benefit society in some way. The very ability to think beyond yourself, to be able to comprehend consequences, to listen to dissenting viewpoints are signs of emotional maturity. So, if I possess the characteristics and am aware of them, does that make me arrogant? Or does it mean self-awareness?

The defining characteristic of those who direct these accusations against me are that they have either no actual thoughts on a subject or they will post articles written by someone else. Most often a corporate source. They literally do not think or they seek out sources which concur with their own existing bias. They refuse to even discuss any subject enough to address what they feel is inaccurate in any way. They throw tantrums, insults, accusations and refuse to acknowledge possible consequences of their decisions.

Tell me, which do you think is arrogant?

Yes, I have flaws and often admit to them openly. I’m sure as hell not perfect. I will admit to a “flaw” in my own personality. I think about others too much. I am a nurse. I have spent 24 years thinking of others as a career. I consciously chose this profession because I knew this to be a strong characteristic of my personality. While I write prodigiously, in real life I tend to be the opposite too often. I spend a lot of time listening to others, including in friendships and relationships, while my own needs and feelings are forgotten in the process. As a result I’ve lost sleep and money which will never be regained while ultimately feeling alone many times. Do I regret it? No. Am I trying to do better? Yes.

Some people would call me co-dependent. However, I don’t enable damaging behavior. I view society as a system of relationships. Friendships, romantic arrangements, social structures, business, etc are all forms of relationships. Relationships are cyclical, where each member of a relationship contributes in some way. Each gives, each receives, either monetarily or emotionally. The exception to this are hoarders, such as the rich, who give an infinitesimal fraction of that which they take. That’s when it becomes damaging and hence truly co-dependent and unhealthy to continue supporting or defending them. Or in abusive relationships, where one partner takes by force, abuse and neglect. Like political parties. Both political parties. We have to examine the cycles involved to see who gains, who loses and strive to attain balance between the two if we want our society to be a healthy relationship as a whole.

I’ve written extensively about economic systems and the cycles involved. How our own system is unbalanced, how it could potentially become more balanced. I have written about wages, food stamps, universal healthcare, weapons contractors, the stock market and on and on. I have a habit of going into more detail than many people ever attempt to understand while doing so in simple language. To date, I have yet to encounter an opposing opinion which was lucid enough to sway my opinion. Not because my views are set in stone, because I examine things closely and any opposition has always come from an uninformed and/or selfish stance.

I think about, examine and write about things because I care. I care about the victims of US wars, people in poverty, the sick without healthcare, the hungry, the disabled, victims of prejudice, victims of police abuse, people working multiple jobs to make a basic living, people who lose their jobs/savings/homes because of corporate abuse, those who have their human rights trampled on. In short, anyone who is treated as “less than”.

So, go ahead and call me arrogant. Call me any name you like. When you have a rational view which you can personally discuss without resorting to insults and posting thoughts which have been dictated to you, I will happily listen and converse accordingly. As long as you continue seeking corporate, political, religious “leaders” to speak for you while being unable to define your own thoughts on a subject in detail, I will view you as a child seeking a parental figure. As long as you use insults, accusations and refuse to recognize opposing rational views, you have no right to use the term “arrogant”.

Oh, yeah. Another flaw I have is using too much profanity for some people. Another is that if someone offends me (which takes a concerted, intentional effort), I tend to come out of a corner fighting. Just keep in mind, my fight is for a lot more than myself. Who and what are you fighting for?

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I am an independent writer with no corporate sponsors or backing. The only income I make from my writing comes from views. At least I have reached the point where it makes more than it costs me! lol! My writing is done in between full time (and overtime) nursing, shared custody of my brilliant daughter and mundane existence.

Please consider becoming a patron on Patreon. I try and average at least 20 articles a month, so a $1 a month donation would come down to 5¢ per article to support independent, non-corporate writing. My Patreon page is here.

If you care to share articles with those who do not have Medium or Patreon accounts, I also post most of my articles on my own website, which has no advertising and I pay for with income from writing. My website is here and all articles can be shared freely. You can always quote me, no attribution required. My goal is spreading information and awareness. The whole point is building a better, more peaceful, more equitable world for us and future generations.

The Programming of America: Pt II, Selling War

This is part II of my series on how Americans are programmed to think in certain ways without thinking, without questioning. If you missed part I regarding marketing in various forms (not always called marketing and advertising, sometimes called many other things), you can find part I here.

In part II of this series, I focus on war (military adventurism) and how it is sold like everything else in this country, though in a more complex form. We are sold warfare as a positive from early childhood until death. This is something I have written about previously, though often split between different subjects and articles.

Corporate (Military Industrial Complex) influence does not begin with the news media, as far as our life exposure is concerned. It begins in grade school. Think back to history classes and how past US wars were presented to you. Heroism throughout. Never the slightest question that each and every conflict we have been engaged in was justified and ethical. Never a hint that our soldiers and officials issuing orders have committed war crimes, which they absolutely have when you omit “patriotism” as a rationale. Protests against Vietnam barely gain mention and the protests which happened against WWII, Korea and Iraq are never mentioned in grade school. For all I know, they’re not even mentioned in college. Nor is it mentioned that the Nazi and Communist parties had wide support in the US prior to WWII. The Communist and Socialist parties had wide support in the US right up until McCarthyism.

For this, we have to look at the tangled ties between textbook publishers, politicians and the deep pockets of weapons manufacturers who donate to the politicians. Then the politicians set the standards by which textbooks are chosen. This is stage one of selling war to the American public, beginning with childhood.

Then the next stage comes as teenagers. Partly through movies and TV which glorify warfare without showing images of the reality involved. Military recruiters at schools and patriotic displays at sports events. Commercials showing someone in a uniform, then transitioning to that person in civilian life, uninjured, no PTSD from horrors they have witnessed or directly taken part in. They are all smiling, clean, drug-free, no therapy.

Who pays for all those displays and commercials? You do. Who pays for those textbooks? You do. Who acts as consultants to Whollyweird for the movies and TV shows? The military. Who pays for them to act in that role? You do. If a movie tries to show the military in an unflattering light, the military will bring pressure against the studio. That pressure can include coercion by coordinating with local authorities for licensing purposes. The military has “consulted” on tens of thousands of movies and shows over decades. Who pays for their “consultations”? You do. Who pays to prosecute and incarcerate peaceful antiwar protesters? You do.

Only after considering all the above do we reach the point where we can consider corporate “news” media and their paid portrayal of our military endeavors. Try and name a US military conflict which the media has ever opposed. I’ll wait. I’m 57 years old and have never seen the media object to a US military action. Look at the reactions we have seen when it was even suggested decreasing military presence in Middle Eastern countries or any peace efforts with Russia and North Korea.

No, you will never see anything more of the devastation wrought by US warfare beyond a few ruined buildings, blamed on “terrorists”. You will not see children splattered on walls and streets by our bombs. You will not see victims with limbs torn off and open head injuries showing exposed brain tissue. You’re more likely to see video of our missiles and aircraft launching, preferably in low light so it highlights the afterburner effect to make it visually appealing or exciting. You will hear rave reviews about drone warfare which makes warfare bloodless and without physical risk for our soldiers. You will not hear that drone pilots get PTSD too. You will not hear that children in the countries being bombed by drone warfare are terrified of blue skies because that’s when the drones are most likely to strike.

Cue the advertisements for Boeing, Raytheon and Northrup-Grumman. Paid sponsors of your favorite corporate news outlet. Who pays for the ads you see from them? You do. That is your tax dollars at work. Who pays for the drones? You do.

Up next, interviews with high ranking military officials and veterans speaking of how we need more bombs, more guns, more drones, more troops to kill more terrorists (children, mothers, grandparents living in their own countries, sitting in their own living rooms). It’s their own fault for living there. Their existence on top of “our” oil fields makes them enemies. Saying we need to invade another country and another. Never once do you hear a diplomat saying we need peaceful negotiations to end a conflict.

When the media and politicians talk about manufacturing weapons, they consistently do so couched in terms of “creating jobs”. What they fail to mention is that building bridges also creates jobs while not intentionally killing people. Universal healthcare would creates tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of jobs while improving and extending lives. Yet that we cannot afford. They fail to mention that to keep producing weapons means we must keep waging wars for as long as possible. When one war ends (if ever), another one must be started and another and another. We keep paying for each and every one of those conflicts with money ripped from our social support programs and educational system. We pay with creating more enemies and with trade losses. They fail to mention that producing weapons is only part of the cost. Then we have to pay for shipping those weapons, providing security for those weapons, targeting systems with training and salaries to operate them, and launching those weapons with training and salaries.. They fail to mention that weapons manufacturing frequently does extensive environmental damage long before the damage from using those weapons. Domestic environmental damage which we pay for in dollars, ill health and deaths. Yay, jobs..

Cue ads for oil companies who profit from our seizure of resources in the countries where we murder innocent civilians.

Next up, a report on how we cannot afford universal healthcare but we need to give more money to the VA for their limited socialized medical system which spends tens of billions per year on drugs and medical equipment. Wecan consider those VA costs to be subsidies for the oil companies, military contractors and drug companies who bribe politicians and advertise on corporate media to sell you on the next war. Who pays for the VA, even if you receive no care from them? You do. Who pays for the advertising? You do.

Cue ads from drug companies and medical insurance corporations. Maybe with big flags in the background telling you to support the troops. Yay, ‘Murca.

Up next, a report on the homeless epidemic. Many of whom are veterans. An epidemic, stated as though it’s a disease. As though the homeless are a disease, rather than victims of a diseased system which rapes them violently, bleeds them dry and leaves them to die by the roadside like bags of garbage thrown away by our government.

We have the VFW, the VA, insurance companies that specialize in veterans, magazines targeting veterans, Memorial Day, Labor Day… Have you ever noticed we do not have a single day or nationally recognized organization dedicated to the propagation of peace?

From childhood to death Americans are sold sterilized images of warfare. Shoved into developing minds in between basic math and English, as though mass slaughter is a mere fact of life. As long as it happens in other countries, not our own. Deaths at the hands of our war machine are sold as entertainment. The next war is sold as “humanitarian intervention” yet we are never shown the results when the bombs have stopped. Disease, famine, poisoned water, decimated economies, destroyed lives. Effects which take generations to “recover” from, as if recovery is possible. No reviews of success or failure, just advertising for the next war, the next “threat” which is never actually a threat, the next country we must save from themselves, the next investment opportunity.

Never question the advertising, the programming of your children or of yourself. Cheer for the veterans, pray for the widows, widowers and children of veterans but never ask why the war was fought. If you ask questions or object, you will be branded a traitor, un-American, unpatriotic, a pariah. Maybe a Russian troll.

Asking questions means you are brainwashed, not questioning means you think for yourself. Just believe, have faith, wave your flag and hold your hand over your.. eyes and ears. Keep telling yourself, “We’re the Good Guys©” until you convince yourself. Then keep watching the marketing machine, keep cheering as you act as free advertising for the death machine.

The Programming of America: Pt I, Marketing

This is my first installment of a series regarding how marketing pervades our lives in ways most do not realize and what the negative effects are. Be sure to subscribe to know when a new installment drops.

I continuously see Americans claiming to think for themselves while their words, opinions, attitudes and behaviors tell a far different story. This is no surprise. We live in a society that is ruled far more by marketing (advertising) than most Americans ever grasp. That’s because they fail to understand the very nature of marketing at it’s very core.

If you study marketing, what you find is that the core structure of marketing lies in a distorted study of psychology with the express intent of manipulation. In other words, it’s brainwashing on a massive scale.

If you look at a syllabus or course description of college marketing programs, you find references such as “customer engagement”, “consumer behavior and analysis”, “expanding value” (in other words, exaggerating claims) and so forth. You may have already heard such things as “creating a market”, “identifying a need”. What these things come down to means convincing people they need something they did not need last week.

Yet even that does not go far enough to explain how people are manipulated. One must understand that corporate news and political campaigns are forms of marketing. I’ve said before and say again, follow the money. Look at who is paying for advertising on a network. Look at who is donating money to campaigns.

Marketing is most frequently based on emotion. The emotion used most frequently is fear. Fear of social isolation. Is your breath fresh enough? Is your shirt white enough? Is your cologne as good as the next guy? Does your bra lift enough? (Look at old bra commercials, claiming to lift and separate and compare to push-up bras today.) Fear of pain. New insoles? How much pain medication can your liver withstand? Fear of illness. Fear of depression. In other words, using emotions to make you fear your own emotions.

Political campaigns use many of the same tactics and people with the same training in marketing techniques. That’s a large part of what campaign managers do. Identify “needs” of voters. Identify or manipulate fears to exploit.

The most interesting part of this is that it takes very little effort to convince people to be afraid and immense effort to convince them their fears are unfounded. The vast majority of people are programmed to react emotionally, rather than think critically.

Know who else makes extensive use of the exact same psychological techniques? The “intelligence” agencies. The CIA, NSA and FBI are well known to use propaganda in other countries and to have used propaganda in the US itself. For some reason, Americans think that any such manipulations inside this country are things of the past. Citizens also think they are not prone to being controlled by these techniques, even as they tune in to corporate media and watch people like James Clapper being used as a source of information on major networks. Even as “intelligence” agency veterans run for public office.

There are no Jedi mind tricks at play here. People are actually easy to understand, easy to manipulate. Most people want some authority figure telling them what to do, what to think. More “likes” means something is valid. Bigger is better. More viewers means higher quality. Join the crowd, march in line, buy the most popular items, watch the latest blockbuster on opening weekend, vote for the popular candidate but keep telling yourself how you’re different from all the rest.

Even here on what is supposedly independent media I see articles from major media sources with the highest views, likes and comments. Nothing about those articles are any different from what is published on the core websites of those corporate sources. So, why are readers even bothering to be on independent media sites if all they are going to do is follow corporate media?

Does it make any sense? Or have they just programmed themselves by their own choice?

Rebel? Revolutionary?

You are not a rebel when you need a large group to affirm you.

You are not a Revolutionary when you are willing to surrender.

You are not different when you change yourself to other’s expectations.

You are not independent when you follow some “leader” blindly into needless war.

You are not your own person when you allow corporate media to tell you what to think.

You do not seek what you want by passive-aggressively stating what you don’twant.

You do not expand love by expressing hate.

You do not increase freedom by endorsing oppression.

You do not support democracy by cheering for invasion or coup.

You do not convince me by repeating the same argument I rejected the first time.

You do not fix problems by assigning blame.

You do not gain unity through insults and attacks.

You are not innocent just because you deny your guilt.

You are not the center of the universe.

You do not learn by closing your mind.

You do not enact change by doing the same thing over and over.