Justice

Politics & Anxiety: More is coming

This blog isn’t a political blog, so have no fear I am not going to go on a political rant here. We do however cover Anxiety issues a lot and in the U.S. we are entering a new political season. You could argue that politics is always in season in the U.S. As an example in the community I live in, we have people with signs in their yards regarding politics, it comes up in conversation regularly. For my non U.S. readers a quick aside so you have a more accurate picture of the political climate in the U.S.

The narrative of political divide, the splintering of the culture etc. is partially true. People here are more galvanized then ever politically but we are not at each other’s throats. The overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens are normal, quiet people who go about their business and take care of their family and friends. They aren’t light flags on fire, at protests, storming the capital. Those are the exceptions not the rule, but if you were watching news on the U.S. that’s what you would see. The U.S. is in a transition period; this has happened many times before.

Back to the anxiety. So what is happening now is you are seeing the political apparatus in the U.S. “Heat Up”. You will see more arrests, more investigations, more foreign policy moves, more scandals. This is par for the course really, our mid-term elections are coming soon and the heat will be turned way up. Soon we will know if Trump is running for President or not and that will likely make things even hotter.

Vote
Liberty is paramount

I wish I had great news for you. I wish I could say there is a remarkable candidate who will unite American’s under one platform and a reconciliation and rebirth is to follow. If I did say that I would be lying to you. I think things are going to get more stressful and anxiety is going to spike. This won’t resolve until the presidential election of 2024 and even then one side will be unhappy. Expect viral protests, some violence, gas lighting, fear mongering… Everything will be on the table.

How you deal with all of the noise is really subjective. I stopped listening myself. After 52 years on the planet I have lived through Democrat and Republican regimes neither have been great. I would encourage you to invest your time into those who are important to you first. Your civic energies should be focused on your locale. Get involved in your town or city politics, this is the most effective way to steer changes that immediately impact the people you know. National politics is theatre; dangerous theatre I concede but it’s designed to anger you to affect a specific outcome. Once that outcome is achieved, they don’t want to hear from you anymore.

You are going to be fine, things will heat up. Things will look dyer for a time. Large scale upheaval is highly unlikely its only happened a few times in U.S. history. I realize this post isn’t painting a particularly rosy picture but knowing what is coming is at least one advantage. Hopefully it helps you prepare for the inevitable. The political season in the U.S. is on its way, buckle up.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

Justice

Politics & Anxiety: More is coming

This blog isn’t a political blog, so have no fear I am not going to go on a political rant here. We do however cover Anxiety issues a lot and in the U.S. we are entering a new political season. You could argue that politics is always in season in the U.S. As an example in the community I live in, we have people with signs in their yards regarding politics, it comes up in conversation regularly. For my non U.S. readers a quick aside so you have a more accurate picture of the political climate in the U.S.

The narrative of political divide, the splintering of the culture etc. is partially true. People here are more galvanized then ever politically but we are not at each other’s throats. The overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens are normal, quiet people who go about their business and take care of their family and friends. They aren’t light flags on fire, at protests, storming the capital. Those are the exceptions not the rule, but if you were watching news on the U.S. that’s what you would see. The U.S. is in a transition period; this has happened many times before.

Back to the anxiety. So what is happening now is you are seeing the political apparatus in the U.S. “Heat Up”. You will see more arrests, more investigations, more foreign policy moves, more scandals. This is par for the course really, our mid-term elections are coming soon and the heat will be turned way up. Soon we will know if Trump is running for President or not and that will likely make things even hotter.

Vote
Liberty is paramount

I wish I had great news for you. I wish I could say there is a remarkable candidate who will unite American’s under one platform and a reconciliation and rebirth is to follow. If I did say that I would be lying to you. I think things are going to get more stressful and anxiety is going to spike. This won’t resolve until the presidential election of 2024 and even then one side will be unhappy. Expect viral protests, some violence, gas lighting, fear mongering… Everything will be on the table.

How you deal with all of the noise is really subjective. I stopped listening myself. After 52 years on the planet I have lived through Democrat and Republican regimes neither have been great. I would encourage you to invest your time into those who are important to you first. Your civic energies should be focused on your locale. Get involved in your town or city politics, this is the most effective way to steer changes that immediately impact the people you know. National politics is theatre; dangerous theatre I concede but it’s designed to anger you to affect a specific outcome. Once that outcome is achieved, they don’t want to hear from you anymore.

You are going to be fine, things will heat up. Things will look dyer for a time. Large scale upheaval is highly unlikely its only happened a few times in U.S. history. I realize this post isn’t painting a particularly rosy picture but knowing what is coming is at least one advantage. Hopefully it helps you prepare for the inevitable. The political season in the U.S. is on its way, buckle up.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.

Enough

Anxiety issues – It’s about to start again – U.S. Politics

Many of my readers reside overseas. I can never thank you enough for your support, truly thank you. I am U.S. based and a lot of my readers are in the U.S. As many of you know the U.S. has 3 distinct branches of government, Executive, Judicial, Legislative. I’m not going to rail on and on about politics here, but there is a reality if you live in the U.S. everything is very political. It stems from the very origins of our country, it was literally a political revolution and centuries later many of us in the U.S. have very deep rooted political beliefs.

Now for those of us with anxiety? It’s another thing we have to deal with and in 2022 it’s a mine field. You see cancel culture is real, mob mentality is real, identity politics is real. It’s all abstract of course if you happen to be on the right side of the current narrative. Until you aren’t, and then it all goes to shit fast. This is why it’s an anxiety mine field because many of us, tens of millions don’t fit into a simple definition. You might be in favor of let’s say gay marriage but the notion of abortion may make your stomach turn.

Where do you fall then? There is less and less flexibility within the U.S. culture. There is extreme vitriol and empowerment to many bad actors on both sides. This is not an exclusively left or right issue. Alas those of us with anxiety, we have to navigate this mine field of correctly assessing the people in the room and what they might think if a particular issue comes up.

Vote
A two party system doesn’t have enough options

Let me give you an example. What if you are at a bar having a drink with a few friends. The place is packed, people are chatting and one of them says “So do you think Trump should run in 2024?” Or maybe you are asked “So do you think Hilary should run in 2024?”. No matter where you are now seemingly easy questions based on you personally feel can become social land mines. Your answer, depending on who hears it could result in someone physically assaulting you. It could result in people buying you a drink.

The point is politics in the U.S. has become so divisive that we are nearly (and in some cases are) at each other’s throats. So what does this have to do with now? In the U.S. we have something called the “mid-term elections” basically every 2 years we have some form of state and local elections that affect the federal landscape. The terms of our elected officials are staggered so we always have something….

In the U.S. and likely abroad you are going to start to hear more and more about these and the potential outcomes. Villains will be trotted out, Hero’s exclaimed etc. The end of the world might even make an appearance “If this many seats change hands we are doomed” (something along those lines). So for those of us with Anxiety it’s just more B.S. we have to deal with. Very little changes in a two party system anyway. Democrats and Republicans are not vastly different, if we look at the ACTUAL RESULTS PRODUCED.

What they say of course are remarkably different but really not much changes day to day for average Americans. Sure media outlets and your favorite commentators on social media will get more clicks and they make more money but hey, who said the business of politics is clean? So hang in there, it will pass but the volume will be turned up this late spring into summer. The regular shenanigans will occur, you have survived it before you will make it this time too. Just remember, do your part and vote.

Thank you for coming by and supporting my blog I really appreciate it. Want to see another post like this one? Click here.  

Enough

The louder you shout, the less I hear ( a quick, semi poetic rant)

You can scream and shout all you want, I’m not listening to you anymore. I am entitled to think whatever I want, I am entitled to feel how I want. You are not entitled to scream at me for what I think or how I feel. You lost me this time, this time I am truly done with you.

I used to care how you felt, I used to work to be considerate and accommodating, no longer. You’ve spent years now shouting at me. I am not a racist, I am not a soy boy, I am not a fascist, I am not a deplorable, I am not anti-gay, I am not against women, I am not a socialist, I am not a bleeding heart democrat, I am not a bible thumping republican.

I’m just me. I live as best I can. I try and do the right thing. We don’t agree on a lot but I don’t hate you. We disagree on how things should go, but I’m not going to yell at you because you won’t agree with me. You must be exhausted, you must be so filled with hurt and anger that you don’t care anymore. I’ve tried to understand your need to yell at everyone and everything that doesn’t agree with you.

I’m done, I’m moving on. You have one less person to shout at. I was always on your side too, I was always rooting for you. I admired you, I thought you were someone to emulate. A person of conviction, a true believer, but you changed. You became angry, mean, destructive, and toxic. I understood you were frustrated, but you just kept shouting. I couldn’t hear myself think.

You’ve gone too far down the road to turn back. Your words live forever, no amount of sorry can erase them. Years from now when you wonder why there are less people around you, and the ones that are just nod and say “yes” and provide nothing more, maybe you will remember this post. Maybe then you will see, the most valued friends are not the one who tell you want you want to hear, but rather tell you what you NEED to hear. I tried, you wouldn’t listen, you just shouted at me.

The louder you shout, the less I hear. Now I will listen no more.  

Are you tired of being shouted at? Share this with them and anyone else you think might want to end the shouting. It’s okay to disagree, and it’s okay to stand up for yourself.

A little rant on news, facts, views etc….

The older I get the more I begin to see clearly the evolution of news and how it is delivered. Given our current state of global pandemic, how we get news is critical. This post is my opinion and observation over time. Regardless of what kind of news you watch, political, social etc the change has been very subtle but based on a simple premise due to how the economics of the visual medium has changed.

Basically news now is delivered to get your attention not to deliver facts primarily. This is extremely important to understand because this largely how many outlets generate revenue. “Views” are king and drive revenue. In the past there were simply way less outlets for people to get news. Let’s face it, you can get a decent summary of the news and events online via umpteen sources.

This has left traditional media outlets in a tough place. They have to create more sensation around news so that the delivery is more appealing than the notion of actually getting meaningful information. Many news outlets have learned from the demise of newspapers. Remember those? There was a time when they were king. Real journalism based on facts researched and verified. Now if you spend the time researching and verifying you miss the news cycle.

Literally hundreds of commentators all over the world on the web have already drawn a conclusion and professed the issue done and moved on to the next. Hence many large outlets have had to begin entertaining audiences and slant messages to draw specific audiences. This isn’t a left right issue, both sides do it. The key here is to remember and be honest about the motivations of the person delivering the information. In today’s news world you want to tell people what they want to hear, because often people are not looking for objective facts but rather verification of how they feel.

It’s dangerous really, because what happens is you get these echo chambers that in the end up making villains of anyone who does not agree with the point of view of said echo chamber. It happens all over the place too, conservative, liberal, male, female it’s largely issue driven now. You can find someone out there who perfectly fits the narrative you want to hear, not necessarily the truth.

In the U.S. we had a huge wake up call to this reality in 2016. Outlet after outlet after outlet told us Trump couldn’t win. When he did those outlets began to create the narratives of why, and villainize any and all who had a contrary point of view. How many did take a deep dive into why? How many bothered to try and understand the tens of millions of people who voted for Trump? Very few.

The same can be said for the other side, labels on supporters of the left are horrible as well. Crybabies, whining, soy boys, incels on and on and on. In the end it’s really up to you to decide what is important to you. What are the issues that mean the most to you? Once you do that you need to go deeper, you need to do a lot of research to understand the entirety of the issues you care about.

There is so much noise out there now and it is so easy to just give over to the outlets who parrot nearly what you want to hear. What if they are wrong? What if their intent is to just capture and hold your attention as long as possible? Follow the facts, they are out there. A quick example before I end this rant. I read an argument on twitter about gun rights in the U.S. none of the participants were able to accurately state what the 2nd amendment stated literally, but were both using it as an argument to support their point of view.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, just remember there are facts, not “alternative facts” go find them.

Just Vote

Politics: Wisdom from a 50 year old

Won’t be a very long post today on this. If you live in the U.S., you know that we are in the throws of the 2020 presidential election . Many people seem to be very invested, if you go to twitter (which I don’t recommend you do) you will find it a cesspool of anger. Nearly everyone is angry about something and woe unto you if you attempt engagement with someone who has an opposing view.

So first let me say that I was born when Richard Nixon was president (yes, I’m ancient) so Trump is the 9th president of my life time. I suspect I will survive a few more elections to boot and there is something very important to remember. National Politics, while important, rarely have an immediate impact on you locally.

What this means is very simply, when you wake up after the 2020 election there will be little to no change at all in your life. Unlike other countries where there are riots, executions, coups, genocides… The U.S. presidential election is often very uneventful. Things will continue on as is, even if your chosen candidate does not win.

The best most immediate impact politics can have on your life is the local level. Yes, town halls, cities, local councils. “All politics are local” Tip O’Neil.  

Are your roads plowed? Is the fire station under staffed? Does the homeless shelter have enough canned goods? Are after school programs fully staffed? Is the dog barking next store ever going to shut up?

The president isn’t going to help you with that. National politics is often a game of anxiety, working you up to a frenzy as the inference is if candidate “T” wins the stakes are immeasurable, we can’t let this happen !!!!!!

I get it but remember the day after the election your local parks dept still has to empty trash cans. The water dept still has to test the water supply. Take some of your investment nationally and redistribute it locally to really impact your life. Presidents come and go, someday you’ll be on your 9th, or maybe 10th too. 😊


 

Just Vote

A quick indulgence on politics, my politics.

I was asked via email by someone who follows my blog what my political affiliation is. Let’s be honest, politics invades all our lives in some form, its everywhere. I vowed to not use this blog as a platform to pontificate about my politics, and rather take a general overview when I do talk about it. I have a you tube channel where I talk politics almost exclusively (link above). I recognize that with the 2020 U.S. election right around the corner politics are on people’s mind.

I will never beat people up for their views, I will not censor people (unless they go after, harass and insult others) and I will not go issue by issue on what is going on in politics. That said let me be clear, I am a Libertarian, I used to be democrat/liberal. I have voted Libertarian the last few elections and while I don’t agree with 100% of the party platform I found many things about the party that I do in fact identify closely with.

Libertarians believe that the equal rights of all people matter all the time. Your gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, make you unique and that uniqueness should not exclude you from the rights and privileges others enjoy. We believe that individuals should be judged by their actions and held accountable as such.

The core beliefs that have drawn me to the Libertarian Party are:

  • Protect freedom of religion, association, speech, press, and assembly.
  • Reverse the militarization of law-enforcement agencies.
  • Restore Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.
  • Restore voting and gun rights for those convicted of non-violent drug offenses.
  • Fight against federal overreach and government spying programs.
  • Restrict law-enforcement use of general surveillance technologies.
  • Protect internet freedom & privacy.

This is found under the “civil liberties” section of the Libertarian Party official website. Since I was a young man I have always believed that the rights of the citizen far outweigh the powers to be afforded to the government. In the U.S. we have drifted further and further away from this principal under the two-party system, infiltrated and influenced by large multi-billion-dollar corporations.

Libertarians rally around the definition of Liberty: “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.” We believe that law abiding citizens who are good neighbors and productive community members should be allowed to live in peace and pursue their own interests as long as this does not conflict with others liberty.

I used to be very liberal, I find more and more as I age the system, regardless of what side you profess to be on works less and less for its citizens and more and more for a small minority. That’s it in a nutshell, if you want to engage me deeper on politics I would encourage you to visit my You Tube channel or contact me via email (contacts on this page).

Your Pagan Friend,

Karac

Just Vote

Don’t let the political season stress you out

It isn’t enough that many of us live with Anxiety, we are now entering the throws of a U.S. presidential election. This one looks like its going to be the most divisive and vitriolic one in most of our live times, certainly in mine. The issue really becomes when our anxiety is heightened we end up conveying it to those around us.

Politics is going to come up, its 2019, its everywhere. If you can avoid it, I salute you. For me I talk about politics in some form at least 2-3 times a day with family and coworkers. Because things have gotten so divisive its harder and harder to have a rational conversation with people. Not solely because some are extreme but more and more you find yourself tempering what you say to people because of what you believe their reaction will be.

I found a pretty good article about this subject here.

From the article: ““What government does can affect a lot of people, but I think a lot of people take it far, far too seriously that all of a sudden it’s become an attack on them, you know who’s not going to follow your logic, you know uncle Fred is not going to follow what you say—no matter what you say, almost every family I know has that one person in the family that’s kind of like: Let’s all work together type— that sort of appeaser or at least the conciliatory type actor may be find that person and see if we can maybe come to some sort of agreement to disagree,” said Rausch.

Yes, its great to find someone who will be the appeaser, particularly with friends and family. Let’s face it, politics isn’t black and white. On one issue you might be traditionally conservative, on the other traditionally liberal. It’s challenging to navigate politics today with friends, family and coworkers. Here are 5 things you can do to mitigate your anxiety when discussing politics.

  1. Talk locally: local politics is usually a great place to find common ground. “The side walks need to be redone” who would disagree with that? When you talk locally, you talk about a shared experience, political affiliation is much less important.
  2. Watch the body language: is the person you are talking too, tapping their hand on the table when they make a point? Are their arms folded? Are they looking down waiting to speak and not really listening? You are engaged with someone who doesn’t really want to talk at this time, they just want to literally hammer their point, change the subject.
  3. Refer directly to the divisiveness: When the discussion gets heated, without citing them directly use a phrase like “I just wish we could go back to the days when we could disagree but still get along” this disarms people, and most rational people will understand the cue and tone it down.
  4. Don’t profess expertise, on something you aren’t an expert in: If you know environmental issues, go ahead talk about it. If you aren’t educated about a subject, its better not to say much because you may be conversing with someone who DOES know a lot about it and you will irritate them to no end. Unless you truly know that mythical person “They say”
  5. Change the subject: when in doubt, change the subject to something unrelated.

These are by no means full proof, but you are going to be having more and more political discussions through 2020. It will be everywhere, it will invade most of your spaces. It is a perfect storm of anxiety it will be hard to escape it. Hopefully this helps a little bit but remember no matter how hard it gets VOTE !

Just Vote

Brexit – A quick note on politics

I follow the news like most people, maybe a little more than most but one of the biggest international stories of the last decade has been Brexit. This was a vote held in the UK to decide if the UK would leave the European Union. The English voted to leave, but the resulting political farce is a great snap shot of what is wrong with politics today in western society. The long and short of it is the two major parties in the UK have been unable to work together to find a compromise deal that benefits the voters.

This is what’s happening all over western culture right now, people are so entrenched into their position they have no willingness at all to work with people who don’t share exactly the same ideology. Meantime voters/citizens go about their business and try and live a normal life. So what’s the point of having a vote if the politicians will not work together to make it happen? Your elected officials help formulate laws that are supposed to govern us to produce good outcomes for EVERYONE.

Not just people who adhere to their political ideology but everyone. We see this partisan ship in so many facets of life now we have become divided and vitriolic. There are serious issues that we need to tackle collectively. Mental Health, Global Warming, Disease…. The list goes on and on. However we have politicians worried more about scoring political points with their group rather than compromising on policy to enact law that will benefit the majority.

Nothing illustrates this more than Brexit. This is going on years now, where citizens voted in the majority to leave the European Union. Granted no specifics were given in the mandate, that was up to the government to negotiate, which for the last two years they have not been able to do. The result of this failure is both major parties in the UK are losing support ahead of new European elections and they are panicking.

We have a similar situation here in the U.S., our politicians are still in “gotcha” mode with no end in sight to the sniping back and forth. Unlike the UK we don’t have viable third party options by which we could throw our support behind to send the clear message we are unhappy. This two party system we are trapped in has perpetuated the “us vs them” with no end in sight. I am watching the UK closely in the news to see how it pans out. I think it will be a very good exercise in democracy to see how the major parties, when they choose not to enact the will of the people pay at the polls.

Here is a decent article I recently came across about the potential impact to the major parties in the UK. Politicians are elected by the people to represent the peoples interest. It’s time we all examined what we want and who is best to help us achieve it. Being locked into a political ideology is harming us as a whole. We have serious issues that need collective agreement to tackle, and we are trapped in the is cycle with no end in sight. Perhaps Brexit will be the issue that puts all western voters on notice, it’s time to look beyond “conservative/liberal/democrat/republican” and seek out alternatives.

Justice

A quick post on politics

I know, there is no escape LOL. I usually find myself in neither the “right” or “left” camp. I often find that dependent on the issue I could go either way. As an example, I believe our military is way too large, we have bases all over the world and for what? To defend against whom? To base operations/attacks against what country? On another issue, I believe if you work hard you should be rewarded, and if you don’t work (and you can) you should not receive benefits funded by those who do work hard.

On and on we go the merry go round never ends. We are entering the political season, you’re going to start to see political ads, debates etc. This time though it’s going to be Democrats front and center, in 16 it was republicans. Trump won as a populist, without getting into the whole Trump good, Trump bad debate, he won and here we are.

What I am looking for is an alternative that has a good platform. Many democrats seem to believe that “trump bad” is enough to run on, but what are they really running on? We have one notable policy from Bernie Sanders, he wants “Medicare for all”. Okay that’s something I can actually research, debate, discuss etc. Everything is polarized now, and it’s not one person, one policy, one event that got us to this point.

In the coming few years a lot of crap is going to be out there, collusion, obstruction, horror, famine… you know the deal. Every scare tactic in the book will be used to frighten you into voting one way or the other. Both sides do it, it’s not exclusive to the “liberal media” as many on the right would have you believe.

Take the time, look at the candidates and consider what they are actually proposing to do. You knew with Trump he wanted to “build the wall” like it, hate it, whatever at least you had a definitive policy to look at and assess. These policies will start to come out more and more now, keep your eye open for realistic policies that improve the lives of Americans. Those are the people I want to vote for and I don’t care what political party they are a part of.