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Selling personal info to marketers

I keep being surprised how many companies are happily selling the information they have on you to marketing companies. Are people that ignorant, poor financially and morally that they just have to do it?

In my email was a notice from Curiosity Stream proclaiming their Privacy Policy which includes:

We may “sell” or “share” your personal information with third parties for targeting advertising when we work with advertising and analytics partners, ad networks, and social media sites to personalize our ads and marketing experiences, and to provide tailored video content. Even though no money changes hands, these partnerships may be considered a “sale” or “sharing” of your personal information under some U.S. laws. Please see Section E(3) of the Privacy Policy for more information.

Maybe it’s just me but I have found that targeted online marketing does not work. But of course I’m old enough to have been part of contributing to the early days of the internet. The newer generations that as a Gen Z streamer proclaimed: We don’t have personal relations ships, we have phones.

In that environment you may prefer to have your personal info spread as wide as possible. I find it shameful that anyone doing any “normal” business would in any way sell that information. I’d expect there to be some Personal Information Disseminator business to be someone you would go to, to get it spread far and wide.

But no, now anyone might do that. All the people who put up advertising to get paid for their content. I’m all for people doing some online service which others appreciate and you get something for that, money, fame or whatever tickles your fancy. From my perspective it has all gotten out of hand, I’m talking about the pursuit of money.

There are at least seven different types of currency besides fiat currency (money). Money is so important in our society that unless you have it you are literally considered a criminal, and people are getting locked up for loitering because they don’t have it.

That is sad.

Two of the key words I grew up with were caring and compassion. Money was just something that made it easy to go to the market, either as a seller or a buyer. You were respected and thought well of because of who you were and what you did, especially to your fellow citizens.

I’m a firm believer that a government is needed, but when people stop looking and evaluating things for themselves to see where they stand on any given issue, then they become truly dependent on someone to tell them how to feel.

Now people are literally sitting in the same couch texting each other rather than talking.

Humans have come a long way down the scale of survival. Only looking back to pirate days of the 1700’s where a flogging by a whip with hooks on it was routine, and you went back to work after one. Today you would not survive because we have gotten that much weaker.

Now our idea of sharing is through this via, no longer person to person. I’m concerned over how I will be able to avoid this downward spiral next lifetime. I grew up partly in the city and partly on the country side. That was a top notch school. Today we are scared for and of everything.

Clint Eastwood in a circa 2010 interview said it best, “People have turned into pussies!”

Obviously we need to be nice, helpful and caring to each other, but to be upset that someone is standing too close to you in a cramped area should not have to be one of them. What path did you have to end up there, and what are you doing to get out of that particular inability? Someone may have done terrible things to you but in the end you are responsible for your own condition.

That may seem a bit rough and unfriendly, true. But if you are to have any hope of having a happy life you need to be able to learn to live with and deal with people including yourself. It’s ultimately up to you to care what condition you are in, or you will be pushed around by everyone.

It is a jungle out there and in the jungle even the tigers have a tough time. Be the best you can be and at the helm of your life!

Security by obscurity…

Today I spotted this reply someone gave to how to secure something online:

I mean its secure, generally, but your best bet is security by obscurity. hide them (robots.txt), make them accessible from only certain ports / IP addresses.

I felt the need to enlighten the thread rather than leaving such a bad advice:

I’m sorry but security by obscurity is not security. No security consultant worth his salt would ever suggest obscurity is secure. True, it can be a layer on the security union, but you sure cannot rely on it.

It takes mere seconds to locate the unusual port or file name.

There are many common misconception and natural conclusion that people arrive at when they are not actually familiar with the details, and there are indeed very technical details behind computers, software and networking. And not to forget social engineering which is a very effective tool. I saw a survey which indicated that a large percentage of people would give away the company login for a piece of chocolate.

Security is one of the least understood subjects. For your own wellbeing read up on some well established professionals such as

Large corporations are, unlike popular belief, not automatically more secure. For one they usually have a much larger attack vector (more things open to attack) than a small operation. Take Microsoft, they had their Crown Jewels (source code to Windows) stolen by some hacker.

My stable rule is that if there’s something I really don’t want to share I don’t put it online at all. Before coming here I saw someone’s website advertising a tool to scrape web pages that are hidden behind a login wall.

That’s not to suggest you can’t put reasonable security on things online, but the operating basis you establish is how to deal with a break-in once it has occurred, not if but when.

If you don’t get violated – great! But you are well prepared for it.

As for reason to hack you is not an applicable logic. I often hear people saying that they don’t have anything worth stealing. For one the criminal hacker does not know what you have or not until after he’s broken in. Secondly you have something valuable to any hacker – a different online identity than his/hers.

That is valuable, nay vital, when you go about your criminal activities. Much better to put you in the middle. There is certainly a lot of organized crime and then you have the script kiddies (people who don’t know how to break in but relies on scripts that does it for them).

I have a great story from many moons ago on a security forum. A person, presumably a kid, was challenging people to give him their IP address, saying he would hack them. After a while we got fed up with the noise and one of us gave him an IP address. (Each computer has local IP address which is there so that you can test networking without having an actual network connection. That IP is, also known as the loopback address.)

So the kid was given the loopback IP which he immediately fed into whatever script he was executing and he was announcing – Ah you have a E: drive. Watch it disappear. Ah a D: drive, C: drive… and then he was gone. He’d just wiped out his own computer. 🙂

We got a lot of laughs from that one.

Election and personal honesty

And we are gearing up for the next presidential election.

I just read a comment on a security blog which proclaimed about politics that “dirty tactics and irresponsible behavior by whoever you oppose. However, most people consider this a bad, but legitimate, part of politics.”

The legitimate part is what I’m having an issue with. This is my reasoning.

Dirty tactics and irresponsible behavior should never be considered legitimate in political elections. If your friends have agreed on using those tactics while playing scrabble, that’s up to you and if everyone knows about it nobody is being taken advantage of.

When money has become so important that honor, integrity and responsibility are waved, then you have lost your bearing. Why, you might ask?

Look around and tell me if you feel everyone is being treated evenly and fairly?

Why do you think this is?

Just human behavior, could be a common reply and it would be partly correct. Partly. The missing point is that we are basically good and caring when all the attitudes, social and financial pressures, peer pressure and so on are washed away, you have someone with inherit goodness. “Goodness” here means having a strong will and desire to do the right thing that is more helpful than destructive.

Various pressures comes down on us and it can be easy and may even appear that the only thing you can do is to take advantage of others, the system and so on, to just survive. And the old if I don’t do it someone else will argument. Which is a beautiful justifier but the point being that when you stop respecting and loving yourself, then you become a burden, a problem and not a solution.

Interestingly, natively (without all the above noise) we are problem solvers, practically running on automatic solving problems left, right and center. It’s what we do.

The point is that not all solutions are good workable solutions as we make wrong evaluations, not using valid information and then just walk away from it even if we see it did not work out properly.

When you don’t know all the relevant facts it’s easy to not to arrive at a proper and useful conclusion.

When you are being marginalized, considered unimportant and ignored, it would be easy to see why you feel you are on your own. And then as not being part of others, at least not anyone that you feel matters, then it’s easy to decide to ignore them in your decision making.

But, here’s the horrible truth. We all share this rock flying through space. We are all more or less dependent on each other. Everything available in society that you did not grow, build, maintain, etc. was done by someone other than you.

You might feel they all abandoned you, went against your wishes and desires!

Do you know why? I mean really know all the facts involved?

Maybe they thought the same way as you… and now you are in a loop of ignoring each other.

This requires that someone steps off and raises to the occasion. You’d be surprised how happy and relieved the other fellow would become. We expect to be met with force and we dish out force whenever life throws a curveball. Force, it seems, is the one thing this universe is full of.

It can therefore be easy to buy into force being the universal solution type of idea.

It is 100% not the case. YOU are the universal solver, or at least have the potential to be so. Your actions matters a whole lot more than you give yourself credit for. You are factually important as a member of this world. Never buy into anyone telling you differently.

They might not, just like you might not, acknowledge your importance because after all you are only you. WHO TOLD YOU SO?

Certainly not those who wish to keep you ignorant and into dark of what they are up to. [sarcasm]

What is vital to have, is knowledge.

Knowledge is not just for those who live in a library type of thing, knowledge belongs to ALL. When we hide knowledge we are undermining society and indeed ourselves, though it might not be immediately apparent. With knowledge comes security and certainty. Proper pro-survival decisions can be made that does not come back to bite you.

It has been said to never judge a person until you have walked a mile in his shoes. In other words knowing all the facts behind a persons decision makes it easier to understand how his decision came to be. The proper response might be to share some knowledge, to bring about an understanding on the ramifications of his decision. Maybe it is a cry for help by someone lost and feeling unable to win.

Most bad decisions are not made to hurt others, in fact we hate hurting others so much that when we do and cannot stop ourselves, we try to remove ourselves from the situation. Failing that we try to have others remove us.

So what is going on today, I’m referring to having knowledge which applies to the situations we try to resolve?

A big change in society is how cheap, easy and fast communication flows around the world. Never before have this been possible. There’s a combination of a few things that allows things to not work out for the greater good.

People with vested interest, in other words, personal gain, are making the wrong decisions. I’ve talked about being a leader and the importance to be an actual leader by action not by your title. When power and money is more important than doing your job then things will go wrong. Again, someone needs to rise to the occasion. And that someone needs to be heard. Then others need to support such a person.

The vested interest lies with everyone in a position to make decisions which affect others. The more they can affect the higher the responsibility.

When media, with their vested interest of having as many eyeballs looking at them are more interested in that rather than doing factual reporting, then they are undermining society. Not all media is all bad, but many make the wrong decisions too often or and at key points because it appears to solve a problem for them.

I imagine you have noticed how much bad news there is on the news. It begs to ask if there are any good news at all, doesn’t it?

Fact is that there is many more good things that occur in the world, than bad. The definition of news, by the way, is something reported on. It is only news if reported. It is made.

This choice of what to report becomes the job of the senior editor. He decides on what will sell more. And he has to answer to the owner, or board of directors. This process creates an imbalance as what they consider important. They want to see one or more of these; sex, money, celebrity, injury, crime, controversy, danger, and opposing views so that they can be seen as being on Your side against the others.

Look those through and see how much room there is for good every-day news. Someone opened the door for Mrs Smith and complemented her. It might have totally made her day, or more. But for most of us we are sensation hungry and don’t want to read about her.

But without all the above points, good news are rarely favored over bad. Unless something has people’s attention that day.

When I grew up reporting was done factually with no added drama, just the facts ma’am. Someone realized that by adding a bit of drama they got more readers/viewers. No doubt they were not that good at competitively finding stories that they reached for this unusual solution.

Case I point, a Florida TV reporter was standing at an intersection and reporting on the heavy wind while hanging on to his hat and leaning into the wind so as to not loose his balance, occasionally needing to shift his stance to maintain it. Unbeknownst to him an old couple was crossing the street right behind him in a casual and easy walk, and since it was live it was not edited out.

There are moments in life where we as a society establishes new norms or standards. Many might be related to some imbalance such as men and women, majority vs minority, the same vs different. If you don’t have much knowledge about people, someone who’s different in some way can be seen as a threat. When lacking enough knowledge and understanding, life can appear to be mostly threats.

The thing to do is to always seek to understand, and failing that to ask questions. And if asked in a way so as to invite someone to answer, you may find someone valuable to you too.

When you see controversy, seek to understand who’s reporting, and how it might benefit them to do so. Are they sounding like an actor in a drama, or simply stating their observation?

How much “flair” do you add when telling someone about something you saw? Maybe making it a bit more than it actually was?

If you know this about yourself you can be sure others have done the same. Imagine if you got more pay according to how much you add to the story. Things not necessarily being “all the facts and nothing but the facts.”

OK, so you can see how easy it is to give things a “twist”. Which over time can become a big turn far away from what actually was.

Then add the fact that the whole world watches the United States, because we are currently the most powerful. Think of being the fastest draw in the west, or the best boxer. Would anyone want to prove better?

Yeah, that is a silly question as there will always be someone trying to be the fastest, strongest and so on. See the Olympics. When a contender has more to loose than he might feel he can afford to use he may also resort to an unusual solution. See Russia being banned for doping, and many others from many countries in many sports.

The old Soviet Union (United Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR, now the Russian Republic) went on to conquer countries because of their own lack of food resources. You see, the USSR cannot produce all the food it needs. So it steals a country, or twenty, to secure their food supply. And when that is not enough it simply steals from their own, who cannot defend themselves and left to starve to death.

There is something not functioning properly over there. My opinion is that people are so used to living under dictatorship they don’t know any better. Not entirely unlike the so called Stockholm Syndrome where the kidnapped become friendly with their captors to try to have a normal life.

One of those Russian dictators announced his version of democracy, which was even worse than what they had that they wanted back to “good ol’ dictatorship. Ever since, the older generation knows that democracy is “bad”. Fortunately the younger generation have seen a lot more of the world through the internet and may not live under the same illusion.

Russia, Iran and at least China, are known to want to conquer the US in various ways. Much like we try to influence them and their population. Putin made a huge miscalculation when he entered Ukraine, and now cannot get out of it without looking weak. And weak is not working any more in Russia than it does here. They too want to see a strong leader, which explains the pictures circulating of him half naked riding a horse.

Putin used to be in the equivalent of our CIA, the KGB (later renamed FSB) where he was in charge of a section that worked on people control. Meaning he is well versed with manipulating people through social media. The idea that they are doing less to try to manipulating us than we do them is silly.

Russia, Iran and China want to see us weaken. They operate with various degrees of lack of democracy, and certainly less than ours, and when their population see how good it can be here, that undermines their leaders control. Therefore they are all motivated to undermine us here.

That means that it is highly likely that you are reading/watching online facts that are outright lies.

What’s one to do?

When something seems too outlandish, just too much! It probably is. You are looking for people who are more level headed, less dramatic, more actual stats brushing aside so called facts unless you have gathered information from ALL sides and honestly (to yourself) evaluated the stats (accomplishments), good and bad, and come to a conclusion as to where they are at in their actions. Especially looking at what REALLY matters, which ALSO has to be evaluated properly.

This is not an easy accomplishment, there are a lot of vested interest in fooling you. Some may already have done so, thoroughly enough that you are already convinced.

I’m afraid at this point it is probably not about politics anymore, as much as the character of the people who want to be supported.

Let’s put things into a perspective that might help.

If you worked in a business selling things and you are stealing from them and when management announced they were going to make an in-depth investigation, you would not exactly want to support that investigation. And by doing so you may in-fact turn attention onto you. If someone opposed an investigation into wrong doing, you would expect them to not have clean hands.

After all the violence on January 6th, of a mob storming and breaking into Congress. Threatening to hang the VP and the Speaker of the House. You would assume that the people in that building, who worked there, would be very interested what threatened their very lives. Would you not?

Yet, a good number of Republicans quickly changed their mind about supporting it to do all they could to undermine it. Yes, I’m not saying they are all bad or that the party is, but I am saying there are some real issues that needs to be evaluated in the behavior of some of them. Right now the GOP seems too happy to fight each other and damn the consequences for the country.

(Full disclosure, I’ve lived on three different continents (EU, Africa and of course the US of which I’ve seen over 30 states), seen many countries political parties and designs, and I’m surprised how we only have two parties, which lends it self too much to one sided behavior. My own views do not really align well with either, as both have pro’s and con’s. I’m both conservative and liberal in my views.)

But seeing some of the new people in Congress, I cannot but conclude they are only there for their own personal gain. There is nothing about honest caring for the people but mass attempt in manipulating them towards their own personal gain. With all its shortcomings there still used to be a decorum, and agreed upon sense of manners and willingness to come to a mutual agreement, for the good of all the people they represent.

It get’s even more “interesting”. Political parties are huge on research and surveying, they know what people express on most any subject. They have also been aware that some minorities races will overtake the whites in a not very distant future. This is a threat to their establishment, and many a scheme has been and is being dreamed up to protect their future as the ruling “class”. However, this is not what a republic stands for.

What I’m trying to say is that we are having a hard time operating as a true republic, and just because someone is afraid of fair competition is not a valid reason to fall in to anarchy, as that will only make things significantly worse.

The short of it is that there’s a massive amount of information being pushed. Some is more factual than others. Some are more false than others. Which one you have to decide. I once learned to look and not listen to people when trying to learn about them.

Observe as much as you can. Ensure you brush aside your own bias when looking to ensure you don’t color your actual observations.

Is YouTube Clueless?

What’s up with this thing where YouTube shows a number of video’s for your browsing and then pulls a new sample before you get to watch what you see?

Typically I see some that I want to follow up on so I start with the first and then when I return they have decided that I now want to see something different!

These decisions, and the types are not operating intelligently, more like A.I. and very artificial indeed and that goes for whomever decided on the algorithm they use. What I would prefer a lot more is that you leave the selections there, let me scroll sideways and down in search for what I like. And when I get to the bottom show an option to give me a new batch.

Same goes for ads. If I follow up on any one thing, let’s say I’m looking for a plug, I read about it and maybe I buy one. But that does not mean I’m now focused on plugs. Quite the opposite, I’m now done with plugs and moving on. But nope I clearly want to see plugs for a good while now.

Mix it up!

OK, that does not really apply to me anymore as I’m filtering ads out from my network at the border.

Why have leaders, or not?

It seems that there is confusion on what a leader is, or what makes a leader in the first place. We have over and over witnessed a failure to elect leaders, both in local friends to follow and all the way through the top job in the country at our own expense.

It is also visible through various misinformation campaigns created by various players in the local and world scenes that are having success in creating diversion and upsets that is threatening ours and others nations.

In this information rich environment where anyone can say anything from anywhere in the world, it is a big challenge to identify who is on what side of things and what their goal is. There are a few traps that we fall into but before diving into those I want to talk about leading and leadership.

For someone to be a good leader, and one could qualify that to mean who can help improving everyones living conditions and not bring about the opposite. Or, thanks to his/her actions we are surviving better and things keep improving. Happiness is within everyones reach.

A leader must have integrity, must have the family, group, company, councilman/woman, and every other level up through to the US president, have in their interest to forward the survival according to their sphere of influence. Must act unselfishly, and never sell out their responsibility to some vested interest that only think of themselves. Which means causes more harm than help and assistance.

I’m saying that regardless of your sphere of influence you need to also evaluate that with everyone in mind. Otherwise you may easily find yourself up against everyone else who are united and your actions could cause sever loss to your sphere of influence. As in the case of criminal acts where justice catches up.

So, how do you recognize a leader and indeed, separate out the ones that only speaks the speak but does not walk the walk? With all the noise from all the media outlets and everyone having an opinion however unqualified to promote it, how to tell them apart?

There is a saying Look, don’t listen. You need to observe what someone is doing and the results of those actions. You may need to look into their history and see what are the effects of their actions over long time?

You need to be able to evaluate these things to have any chance to make a decision which will increase your happiness, after all the purpose of life is in very plain sight. What do people seek, indeed the constitution guarantee? The pursuit of happiness.

Only a small percentage are in such a bad state that they have given up on surviving and are focused on complete failure – death. Most everyone else are seeking happiness. Starting already with the baby who repeats noises that makes you smile and laugh. Or the joy of having unselfishly helped someone through something.

To the degree your life is not filled with smiles and laughter to that degree you are not actually winning. Winning is not measured by money or power, indeed few people who gain these in quantity are privately happy.

When the pursuit of some goal, of a leader, does not include those around him/her, then that person is not a leader but someone just looking out for themselves. This does not mean you cannot look out for yourself, we all need to, but when a leader is not acting in the interest in those who depend on him/her then that person is not acting as a leader.

Being a leader sometimes includes making decisions that are not immediately appreciated by all, especially when most of us have our own goals and desires that may not always have others best interest in mind. The harder things are, the less we tend to think of anyone but ourselves. This is normal, but not actually the optimum way, and I’m being very gentle in my description.

We live on a planet that is buzzing around in space, and instead of seeking to find agreements and common goals we are sidestepped with misinformation that turn us against each other.

The USA became the super power thanks to the united actions of the whole nation. The single largest contributor to the survival of many other countries who depends on her. Yes, we have also through people pretending to be leaders gotten into wars and caused a lot of damage around the world.

But that which made America so great is almost broken in half. In a matter of a few years the US is not united but split into fighting with each other.

You have to ask yourself who benefits from this?

Regardless of any insight you may or may not have this is the bottom line, are we as a nation stronger or weaker? Where have we been going from election to election? Are we as a country getting happier or more upset on a daily basis?

As people we are, well, people. And people makes mistakes, that too is normal. What you do after the mistake is more telling and more important. A leader have no problems with transparency and will acknowledge the mistake and take corrective measures.

If this all seems a but much for you, a bit too hard to deal with – I sympathize.

But you still need to know that the only way out of this is to be part of the bigger group in some capacity, that means at a minimum taking some time to get familiar with who are those that claims to be a leader and who is not. That cannot be done by listening to any one source on the political spectrum but as many as possible.

Don’t be too hasty to make your decision. There are usually so many factors involved in these peoples lives that it boggles the mind. Discovering them is a very tough job.

Know that there are many many special interest groups in this and other countries that have their own agenda and are NOT working to make America the best it can be. These players often have huge budgets and plenty of people to create good and false impressions of people. You could ask yourself who are most threatened by a united USA?

Congress today are going through a change whereby many are not really standing for anything in particular but are simply pushing whatever line, say and do anything they think will get them what they want. All at the expense of the greater good. Not how a leader behaves.

Also, remember this: you get the government you deserve!

If you don’t participate then you cannot complain.

One more thing. This is the US of A where the political balance ALWAYS swings back and forth from side to side. It’s never “over”. Take your win or loss and prepare to educate more people about your vision of a great country and what makes it so. Never result in violence or overthrow of the government.

If you pursue some activity that is illegal at least ensure that you actually can accomplish the goal and not end up in prison because you, yourself, did not ensure you knew what the legal outcome could be.

Try to set the good example that you want others to follow. Take responsibility of mistakes and try to not repeat them. 🙂

And please, get over the basic facts that all humans are humans regardless of skin color etc. If you are white then know that soon you will not be the majority, and if you are not caucasian see how wrong people can be about skin color and try not to make the same mistake.

Someone living deep in a jungle are no doubt surviving easier and are happier than most people in the concrete jungle. People are pursuing happiness to their best of their abilities all around the world. They are likely to have drastically different views than you do, and frankly from a purely survival viewpoint, since we are sharing this planet, it is in our interest to find solutions that works for all and not limited to the few. Doing otherwise will not work out in the long run.

Get educated and lose the insecurity and join the new civilization. 🙂 Because it is coming as surely as any has in the past. Change is the only constant.

How to be easily fooled

Making your own observations and conclusions is ideal especially when you understand the subject.

When you don’t know you try to pick some source to help you navigate life’s options and challenges. The trick lies within selecting the right source, or sources, to trust.

The most common sources are friends and media.

With friends one get to learn over time what their background is in and how good their observational skills are. With strangers it is obviously harder as one simply does not know what their motivations and indeed what kind of vested interests they might have.

Many unexpected things can and are influencing people in ways that is, well unexpected. I’m not picking on these people but one interesting example are scientists. As a graduating scientist you obviously want to have an income and pursue some direction.

This often means receiving funding in your chosen direction. What if you discover that your funding source is tightly connected with someone with some product line which you have an issue with as far as what your research is indicating. That is what you call a conflict of interest.

How you handle it is a challenge to your integrity.

Do you choose money and work or keeping your integrity? Is there a path where you can keep both?

Never mind if you are researching a subject with, to you, hidden factors? For example, if you are testing the value of vitamins but only do the research using “vitamins” produced with chemical means, rather than naturally occurring ones?

Its easy to see that what you don’t know/understand can affect you.

The more all-round education and experience that you have the better off you are. But is that the only way to tell if your source of information is reliable? Fortunately not.

When it comes to businesses they can easily have hidden agendas and relationships that drives them in some way or another. Large companies are often trading on the stock market. As such they have to disclose a lot of information about their affiliations and intentions. Failure to do so can land them in jail so can be a pretty good source.

When it comes to reporters they, like anyone else, have interests, beliefs and financial motivations. They in turn have editors with their motivations, which in turn have other bosses with their motivations. Therefor it becomes vital to do thorough research before making life changing decisions based on what is reported somewhere.

One way is to never only rely on the view of one side but to gather multiple views.

If you listen/read what kind of things any one reporter is reporting on you can get an idea of what type of reporting the person does, and then to try to find your own source to verify they truth of his or her reporting. Are they using a lot of generalities, only giving negative reports, tend to describe things with their own views or are they simply reporting the facts?

Reporters are supposed to report and share observations, or in short, facts. Then leave it up to you to decide what it means. Often we find reporters becoming actors, adding drama to their report.

One of my favorites is from Florida during a storm where the reporter is leaning into the wind while holding down his hat, clearly having a hard time standing straight. However, an old couple is seen passing behind him some 20 feet back, having a casual stroll without any wind.

When it comes to collecting the all important paycheck that keeps us fed and housed, we sometimes make decisions that comes back to bite us. Once you start violating your own integrity it becomes easier and easier to do it. Having done it one tends to come up with a reason why it was OK in the first place, a justifier.

However the price you pay will result in lost self respect, lost happiness, bad luck, missed opportunities for improvements (real improvements), loss of real friends that actually care for you and eventually your freedom. And if you don’t stop this trend you will make others stop you.

We are basically good, but can make mistakes. How do we deal with the mistakes is the real test of character. What will it take for you to sell yourself out?

The road back to happiness is possible.

Anyway, back to being fooled. Nobody can fool us as ourselves. We know exactly how to fool ourselves. (We also know exactly how to punish ourselves.) Therefore it becomes really really important to be able to evaluate information.

There is this one saving grace which is that we are basically good.

This means that the clear majority of people are trying to do the right thing. They like helping others, and may indeed feel it is what makes them valuable.

The news cycle depends on having as much drama as possible, or dragged out for as long as possible, may it be for or against what any source stands for. That immediately means their vested interest is in saying things that keeps your eye balls on them, and their advertisers who pay their salaries.

Read that last paragraph a couple of times and really see how that could end up affecting your life.

If you have any one national media source as your trusted source of news then you have been fooled, the only question is how much? The truth may or may not lie somewhere in the middle, if reported on at all!

Many really important things that affects the average citizen is not reported in by any national network.

But if I run around suggesting that someone is guilty of something then sooner or later a lot of people are going to simply buy that as facts. Because they don’t do any evaluation of the source or the data, simply accept it as fact. Their emotions have been stirred up by something that if true would probably be nasty.

And emotions have very little to do with facts, when mixed together.

Ask yourself what is the most upsetting thing you get out of your news?

Chances are the news are not based on the real situation but painted to highlight or purely fabricate some view that gets your attention and if possible, keeps you there. Some reporters have been legally classified as entertainers, not reporters in court.

The biggest subjects in most people’s lives, according to news outlets, is money, sex, politics, celebrities and crime. If you are making life decisions based on news rather than your own observations around you, you better ensure you have collect it from multiple opposing sources.

Where does happiness hide?

Watching history, primarily late 1800’s and the first half of 1900’s, during which time Europeans had a lot of turmoil, including two world wars, it becomes obvious that political unrest led to devastation to millions of people and numerous countries.

Knowing what the conditions were that lead to all this death, destruction and misery could be of interest to hopefully prevent them from occurring again.

A few background factors; poor leadership that is not for the people will cause problems with counter survival conditions. When people suffer they will eventually revolt in some fashion starting with making fun of those doing well and eventually evolve into violent revolt.

When people have the idea that “leadership” is all about themselves and against the people it sets the scene for revolt. What kind of person will be supporting this? 

When lies are spread that paints that picture it will attract those who feel they don’t have anything to lose.

Who then would gain from spreading such lies?

If you look at how some thieves promote the idea that nobody actually owns anything. They win if their crimes are actually not a crime. Similarly I’ve watched gang members express that they are only taking what was their birth right but what never received. Righting a wrong. Those kinds of illusions are there to lessen their crimes.

This usually comes from people with extreme views and usually narrow ideas based on partial actual understanding of life and the situation at hand who simply want to push their own agenda and will happily burn, maim and kill anything perceived to be in their way.

See Lenin, Stalin and Hitler to name some well known figures, who in turn killed for their idea of a “pure” society but in reality were simply causing more death and destruction than what had preceded them.

Now we see Putin executing the invasion of Ukraine as the solution to some situation where the death toll looks like it has exceeded 100,000 just on the Russian side.

As a quick reflection on the policies of warring countries; look at countries such as Japan, South Korea, Germany and how they are doing. Now look at countries after Russia’s involvement. The difference is the value of human life that each country places. Russia happily sends the masses, especially the poor masses, to fight their wars and cares more about saving equipment than soldiers.

Whereas the US places real value on people and sees equipment as expendable.

In the case of the Russian Federation it is a collection of some 20+ republics with their own language, legislature, constitution and with some level of autonomy. It is to some degree similar to the states in the US.

The US has a constitution that protects its people and limits government intrusion into our lives.

The Russian Federation also has a constitution but has had a dictator at the helm for 100’s of years and their constitution reflects this.

Unless you have done your homework you may not realize how it is that Russia, supposedly the 2nd most powerful military in the world, did not simply take over Ukraine in a matter of days, and are now losing the war they started.

Something about free will and being in charge of your own destiny or rather the removal of those (slavery) and suppressing freedoms will not be part of a winning formula.

When a condition exists where most anything of value is only available to the few, the masses will not cooperate in an optimum way. When food is not readily available, work does not exist or allow for a proper income, when you see the people who are supposed to be leaders live well and grow fat, when people disappear who express their unhappiness – this is when a country stops functioning.

The whole purpose of a true group is to have a higher survival potential as a team than as individuals. When individuals of different skills, abilities and interests join towards a common goal the impossible becomes achievable. They put aside differences as they recognize the value of the team.

They may promote solutions supporting individual interests but they don’t force their own over the good of the group. For people who have not lived under life and death suppression it’s not easy to fully understand what it does to a people. Not unlike, though on a smaller level, the beaten wife who does not leave her terrorizing husband. 

One may not understand why in the world she stays but if you listen to her she is saying nobody else would have her. Her husband beat it into her that nobody would want her because she’s so useless. Many have a hard time understanding this, never mind a whole country that is living under suppression.

In Russia you have a federation where pretty much all of the power lies in Moscow and total control lies with Putin who can overrule any decision set by the (rest of the) government.

This type of rule has pretty much been the case going back to the first the Grand Duke and later Tsar (king) in the mid 1500’s until present.

Lenin’s solution was to overthrow the government with force (1922) and he used Stalin to rob the bank to finance the operation. After he died in 1924 by the 1930’s Stalin had taken power and continued ruling with even more violence. More people died under his rule than from Hitler’s and on top of it they were his fellow countrymen. (But in the west Hitler is more known as Russia is to a large degree a mystery by design.)

These centuries of rule in Russia have built a nation of people where many are barely scraping by. Living with minimal education and options. Where speaking up is a sure way of not being seen again. Neighbors would falsely report you as an enemy of the state because you had something he or she wanted and with you gone… 

If you were to live under the threat of death or at least prison hanging over you and your family and friends then you will not volunteer doing something that supports that condition. You will end up ignoring something that is failing rather than speaking up or fixing it yourself.

As most others who are starving with an uncertain future, if you see an opportunity to put aside something that can help your family you are more than likely going to cheat and steal. (In Russia it is something literally everyone is well aware of and probably did.)

Russia is vast, it covers 11 time zones and has some 145 million citizens.

Imagine that 99% of them not only feel oppressed but have their civil liberties severely limited. You don’t end up with a scenario of people wanting to support their government.

Where people from Putin down to the maintenance guy of Russian military vehicles and equipment does whatever they can for personal gain. And if you are, for example, a general then you control vast amounts of money and people.

Surely nobody would mind if you put a lot of the military budget into your pocket and built yourself the castle you surely deserve after having worked your way up to that position by any means, including marrying your daughters off to the right families.

Communication is the key to any military success but when your comm gear is barely working and when it is sending communication in the clear because it costs too much to encrypt it, you are giving away all the operational directives to the enemy as soon as you transmit.

And if you are the maintenance guy surely nobody would notice if you sold off the gas supply, and instead of buying oil to maintain the tanks and save yourself from slaving away maintaining them you simply shared the profit with your superior (with each trying to get the upper hand of the other, all the way up to Putin).

Where you as a soldier are poorly trained, have few hopes of a future, with broken equipment and end up being sent off for a military drill (supposedly in Russia) but in reality to war in Ukraine for some, to you, unknown reason.

The military manual on how to conduct war is still the same as it was during WWII and relies on simply sending floods of victims (sorry soldiers) towards the enemy in hope to slow the enemy down and, I guess, drive them into apathy. Which it really does not.

Russia had some 20,000 tanks before the war. As a comparison the US has something like 6,500+ tanks. Remember the maintenance guys above? They did not bother caring for all that steel in the form of tanks that needed ongoing maintenance to not rust away. That added with severe losses in Ukraine and lack of western spare parts they are down to maybe having some estimated 160 operational tanks today.

Electronics have always been inferior in Russia. Partly because of money not being spent where it was needed and partly due to an American spy who, when arriving in the Soviet Union, convinced the leadership to build him a city where he would teach electronics and lead Russian electronics development.

He got his city which must have been great for him. However the combination of Russian slave workers (sorry, willing citizens) and his know-how, Russia’s electronics has always been inferior. (One could say that he made up for his treason to the US by forever crippling electronics in Russia.)

The answer to the Russian military’s losses comes down to key failure in communication, not maintained equipment and lack of purpose and morale. To make things worse supplies are constantly cut off and food is more scarce than ammunition.

The new conscripts that are being sent to Ukraine are forced to fight Putin’s war to “rescue” Ukraine from the nonexistent Nazi threat. They only receive a few days worth of training.

Each US soldier receives approx $1M in training. The Russian have plastic helmets and rusty weapons and eat what they can scrunch up. They are often seen stealing washing machines and the like from Ukraine homes.

Behind the Russian front line is another line. That line is there to shoot anyone retreating from the front line. Who in turn have another line behind them.

The conscripts are often seen drinking into a stupor and getting into fights on the way to the front. This is a normal “solution” in Russia, drink to get away from the conditions they are in. Much like American soldiers in Vietnam getting high even though the Vietcong could attack at any moment and they would be too out of it to defend themselves.

Ukraine’s soldiers are rotated away from the front on a regular basis. Each earns $1,000/month and an extra $3,000 if at the front. The Russian soldier is promised good pay but unlike the Ukraine counterpart does not actually receive any money.

The Ukrainian soldier is considered valuable and is not sent into battle unless they can win. (Though being patriotic surely makes many take more chances, for example the rapid advance tactic that has been deployed which have been very successful due to the enemy’s poor disposition.)

Meanwhile Putin has removed himself from everyone else, he as every dictator knows there’s a bullet with his name on it. To reach him you have to check into a special hotel where you are in isolation for two weeks and only then you can enter the building Putin is in.

You will find yourself at the end of a 20′ table with him at the other end. He can’t afford to trust many people.

OK, enough about Putin. The whole point here was to share how it looks like living in a Russian dictatorship. Which is not unique, look at the American journalist, born in United Arab Emirates, who had been outspoken against the royal family in the UAE, who entered the UAE embassy only to be tortured to death and smuggled out in pieces.

The US constitution allows for anyone to speak out against our government. It is the protected speech we value so highly here.

The inner workings of things such as the government is commonly not well understood. There are so many details of it that we generally hold other things more interesting and rely on the government to do their thing, and for others to let us know about important things.

That which is hidden can hurt you, is a truth that is demonstrated on a daily basis. To the degree you are ignorant about the actual workings of things to that degree you can be hurt.

Imagine growing up on some distant farm and only knowing about things on the farm. No knowledge about any government or rules other than the practical life lessons learned on the farm.

Now imagine you walk (ride) into a city after a long trip, and you are immediately locked up and your horse taken for dropping manure. Let’s say it is illegal in some politically important square.

You inquire who the idiot is that made that law and that he is the one that should be locked up! Imagine that being the Red Square in Moscow and in front of the police you suggest Putin should be locked up. [I made up the horse manure law just to make the point.]

In the US you are not particularly concerned about criticizing the President, but in a dictatorship you and your family could see the gallows. When China executes a person a bill is sent to the family for the bullet.

Be very very careful about what you wish for. As we have seen, the US political experiment of democracy is only as strong as the supporters of it.

As a teenager I was able to travel Europe including visiting one of the camps generally known as Auschwitz. I stood in the gas chamber room, saw the scratches on the tile of people trying to get out, I looked into the dual ovens outside the room where they burned the remains.

I saw the collection of glasses, hair, and personal belongings that had been collected by the Nazis behind large glass partitions. I saw the walls lined with pictures of smiling prisoners that intended to present a different reality of the quality of life in the camp.

If you were looking for hell where the devil resided that would certainly do. Unfortunately Nazis, Russians and dictators are not the only ones who come up with such solutions as killing, maiming, suppressing others as a so called solution.

Mankind seems to have learned that when everything else fails force is the answer. An individual at that point does not have their entire mental capacity available to him/her. They have reached some level of overwhelm and feel so backed up against the wall they can’t properly evaluate solutions that are actually long term pro-survival solutions.

Most people have experienced the feeling of futility of some situation we were in. The world around us continuously creates the impression that what wins the day is force. We feel forced into some corner and are not able to take an exterior view and make an evaluation of all the facts and likely outcomes of actions we are contemplating. Instead we lash out!

So reaching out with force is understandable. However rarely is it the ideal win/win solution. For one we tend to not understand the details of what troubles us, may that be understanding the law, other people, or what drives and motivates them. Often not even ourselves.

One of the most valuable things in life is compassion. How much compassion do you have when you are in the mindset of being the judge, jury and executioner?

How easy and fast do you jump into that mindset?

The speed is partly determined by how freely you can look at all sides and all the facts. If you are fast and in an emotional state, it might be because you are not actually able to make proper evaluations. Evaluations which might come back and haunt you, even if you don’t see how they relate. All because of hasty decisions to be the judge, jury and executioner.

It has been said that man cannot serve justice fairly.

It has also been said that you should treat others the way you want to be treated. Give the benefit of doubt and apply compassion.

I have been in the situation of staring down the blade of a big knife held by a large cop killer in a tight place with just the two of us. He walked away unharmed, as did I. 🙂

I knew something he did not and I was able to handle the situation without any force by simply using my knowledge of ethics and justice. Turned out he was on the run and was seeking shelter. Instead he found compassion and hope, and found that even he had some value and raised the idea that he had the possibility of being valuable again.

I never saw, or read about him again but I’m certain that he never forgot me and what he took with him from our talk.

Criminal reform is possible, but it is based on each person gaining their self respect back. Not by pushing their failures. Sure, they have to make amends, but will they bother when they are constantly reminded of how bad they are? You serve your time and that’s how you pay your debt, except in most places you are not allowed to vote again, and forever have that record. A sure sign or society does not know how to “recover” a criminal.

What have we learned here?

There are those who will saw off the branch they are sitting on, with complete ignorance that they too are on the branch. Maybe they are so far gone they are “going down” and intend to take everyone with them.

Sometimes when your actions lead to so much suffering, or violations of your integrity, that in your ignorance you decide you need to stop yourself even if that means causing so much damage that you get others to help take you down.

For many who make mistakes they feel they have reached a point where they cannot “afford” to be wrong once more so they publicly hold on to how right they are, in spite of being aware they are wrong as it would be too much of a blow to be seen as wrong again. They will take being right to their grave.

When you have pursued some direction for so long that it would be a blow to you to acknowledge that it was the wrong direction. You can often tell if you are there as you are not having as much luck as you once had. You have more things go wrong and you are simply not happy. Life has more unhappiness than happiness.

This is not the moment to dig in deeper but to stop and look around and approach life from a different angle or direction. At some point in the past you made one or more decisions which led to where you are. It might be at a time of great duress. Maybe confusion and uncertainty, but you were not “at the top of the world” when you made that decision.

Look around at who and what you have in your life. What is influencing you the most on a subject you are honestly not well versed in. This lack of full insight is a good area to find things that affect your life in some unexpected way.

A good friend of mine said that insecurity exists in the absence of knowledge. Without proper knowledge it’s a crap shot as to if you will make the better choice. Confusion does not lead to certainty and prosperity.

Backing away from an area means you lack understanding. Blindly following others advice is a good way of making bad decisions.

In areas where it is hard to identify facts your only options are to educate yourself as much as possible and to find wide and varied views from different sides to see what is being said. Usually the truth is somewhere in the middle but rarely at any extreme side.

In public relations it is a well known point that if you repeat something often enough people will believe it. In some areas millions of dollars are being spent to push some version of reality as the actual reality towards some end that may or may not be in the public’s interest but more likely only benefits an individual or small group.

A trained eye can spot these but for most it is simply accepted and used as the truth from there on. We have seen enough lies and misleading statements that we know there are unjust things going on, we simply don’t know how deep it is.

The answer is simple, ask yourself if it is bringing happiness to your life? Happiness is overcoming problems. Solutions solve things whereas lies “sticks” and does not resolve things.

Voting is by some seen as a waste of time as they are only one. By supporting non voting you are simply getting the kind of government you deserve. You are telling the government you don’t care – go ahead and do whatever you want. By voting we send the message that we are looking, maybe we even get our candidate to win.

It looks like most don’t know how the government works and are happily accepting them as the why for any and all wrong in the world without any thought because Everything is their responsibility. Maybe forgetting their own responsibility by not only educating themselves and doing their civil duty by voting.

In the end ask yourself are you actually honestly happy? Maybe a closer evaluation of where you are at and how you got here is in order.

Steve Szmidt

Lies, Death and Misery

At least in the West we have some interesting ideas about Death. When someone’s body dies we have the idea that misery needs to follow. The funeral and reception is where we dress in our best black, avoid smiling at all cost and end up in debt if the family member did not have death insurance. Then the probate comes and takes half of any assets.

What’s wrong with this picture?

At the end of a lifetime one should have lived a full life, helped a lot of people and garnered many friends. People should be happy that you lived! Your life should be celebrated with a colorful, cheerful and exuberant party!

The state should not come in and claim more of what has already been taxed. And since people who are generally well off are not willing to help those less well off, I understand that in order to have roads utilities etc. these functions in society needs to be funded.

This touches upon one of the worst things in our society, selfishness.

I don’t know when people started to be so selfish, so unwilling to help. But I can imagine that when we agree to be temporary taxed to pay for a war (The United States War Revenue Act of 1917) where the 2% tax bracket for people earning less than $20K was lowered to 2K while the top income bracket was raised from 15% to 67%, did not really motivate people to work harder, and when the war was over the temporary tax did not prove to be so temporary after all.

As a result churches who used to help those less fortunate from the collections by the congregation, received less and less and ended up no longer able to contribute. When income tax hurt families so much that both parents had to get a job. Where children started growing up under someone else than their parents, who frankly may not have the same amount of willingness to care and appreciation for others children.

Labor laws forbade children to work which created delinquency and crime. About the only good to come out of it was getting them out of the mines which was the problem the law supposedly tried to solve. Of course simply saying using poor families children (or any other children) in mines is illegal was too simple.

This cycle of individualism, not feeling able to care for anyone else than yourself, type of ideas grow and fester in a society where media is doing all it can to scare people into buying their exaggerated bad news. Where the front page (or web page) is trying to scare us into buying their news. Which today is an online ad driven enterprise not motivated to help but to make money, because money is seen as scarce and everyone needs to grab as much as they can.

Compare that with native tribes in various parts of the world where happiness comes from helping others, from being part of a group that cares and nurtures each other, where that group spirit is so high that being kicked out is practically a death sentence because of shame and lack of belonging.

The idea that you need to keep up with the “Jones’s” is a good example of materialism being adopted as the indication of your value. The more you have the more valuable you must be. We value people for amassing large amounts of money, which certainly is a good feat, but is not as important as helping others, in creating and contributing to an environment where all win.

It is still commonly recognized that a team does better in life than individuals. Yet we seem to forget that so easily.

Maybe those who lead are not so good at being leaders as they too are focused on self.

Society is validating the wrong things keeping the cycle going. Which so far has been a downward spiral more than a circle.

Maybe I’m more fortunate in that I’m pretty good at telling when a person is doing things that are unselfish or selfish. Where what they say is not what they do. Maybe I’m just one of those few who are more willing to observe the actual actions of people, can see when people around that person are good helpful people and not exhibiting criminal traits.

It seems that so many are happily buying the most outlandish lies that are so obviously false that a 5 year old can see it but adults fail to do so.

Something happens in our society to people’s ability to be there and simply observe. To be willing to see what they are looking at. To realize that this person who said things you wanted to hear are not doing the things we hoped to see. Maybe it’s too much of a let down to accept the truth of the reality?

I look at a persons environment and ask questions such as; are their children happy children, are the people they keep around continuing setting the kind of examples you expect someone of high values to set? Sometimes the truth is really simple and right in front of your nose!

This next sentence will be hard to take. It’s not that hard to assume a little bit more responsibility for self rather than blaming others.

When you blame others you give them power over yourself. You have said they have more control over me than I do, at least in that situation. Which certainly can be true. Point being that that is not a happy situation, at least for you. Not one that will improve conditions.

If you look hard enough you can find one small point where you can assert a bit more control over your own life. It does not have to be an all out grab of full control over all areas of your life. Which might not be so desirable anyway. It’s nice to have friends that can express their own ideas. A society filled with people who each have areas they like to be, do and have in.

Anyway, life can fall to a point where one have all but given up on any possibility to be happy. This is where those still alive start thinking of overthrowing whoever is controlling their area. Could be a sibling, parents, extended family, local leaders, and the federal government.

So where do you start?

A gradient approach is the easiest and most likely to give you a win.

Riots start because the injustice has been too large. Unfortunately the riots rarely attack the real source of their suffering and just increase the amount of misery. Being able to identify the real source of the troubles in society becomes all important if you want to improve it.

Your immediate environment is bound to offer opportunities where you can make things better, even if nobody else notices – you notice! Do something nice to someone, especially if they don’t expect it. If this is entirely foreign to you then you simply need to do it more often. At some point, maybe sooner than later, you will have some unexpected luck coming your way. It all depends how deep you have buried yourself in using blame to explain your life.

Thing is that one can ALWAYS decide to change and if it makes life better than its a good thing. Ignore that potential of it meaning that you must have been wrong for all that time. Ignore it!

Look around and find things that you can admire. Could actually be how beautifully bad things are. How perfectly bad everything is. Admire it!

Once you are able to admire it you can step “outside” and look at life from a different perspective. When you can look at all the crazy things and admire them then you can get free of them. By the way, admire does not mean agree! You would be a fool to agree.

No, admiration is like a secret power that can tear down any wall or injustice. If you can add persistence in spite of whatever odds to admiration then you have a winning combination!

From that newly gained viewpoint You can find and create opportunities to overcome lies, misery and even death as death is only a physical thing. Which is a different story. Point being there is a lot more to life, happiness in life, than society leads you to believe.

Is Peaceful Political Justice Possible?

Peace, something which statistically has been hard to accomplish for any duration. Let’s look at it from a different viewpoint – what drives war from a democratic government viewpoint, comparing with dictator driven, and all the way down to the individual.

My last blog talked about the bully and how his/her insecurity is resulting in well, bullying and physical attacks. Some groups of people have adopted the viewpoint that the individual is nothing, maybe from thinking he’s too weak, and the group is everything.

It’s pretty clear that a group of people can generally survive better as a team, sharing duties and being able to accomplish more together. Just the simple increase from one to two people makes many tasks so much easier and certainly allows for it to be more interesting or pleasant.

If we scan to the war Vladimir Putin started and see how the Russians military is suffering as of this writing, you can see that one immediate problem is their supply chain. It is very visible, and easily attacked. We can look at US and China navy’s and see their supply problems are equally challenging.

This gave me a thought, what if we stop wars the way they are being fought. Because until man can be cleared from his pathetically irrational behavior to solve his problems, we are stuck with them for now. What we need is a solution which does not look on an individual country but on all countries.

The primary barrier appears to be something very basic – communication. The ability to communicate towards a solution where everyone wins. And though wars do create apparent benefits they are not long lived. They are not sustainable.

Why do we have individual countries, areas such as states within the US, for example, where different policies apply.

I believe the basic of that is related to wanting to survive well. In an apartment building some might make enough noise to keep others from sleeping. One party feels that loud music is how to loose stress from the daily grind, while another prefers to just sleep.

One might feel that cows are sacred animals, while others don’t eat during some parts of the year, while others cannot allow a drawing of their spiritual leader. Those are examples of attempts to increase their survival potential.

We are all of us just trying survive the best we know how.

Most people unfortunately appears to be completely and utterly without any practical knowledge of what is or is not pro-survival. When someone steps up and says something often or loudly enough, it will convince some that this is a way to improve their living conditions. To increase their survival potential or identify some injustice being committed.

Too often they lead to what I call unusual solutions, they are not good, standard (and workable) solutions that takes everyone into account. They cause NEW problems for others. For a solution to be good it must be MORE beneficial for ALL than destructive.

Of course who today think of anyone but themselves?

Life is being seen and promoted as something difficult and hard to understand – and nothing could be further from the truth!

But hang on here! If it is so easy why do so many have such a hard time?!?

Yes, why indeed?

What does it take for a person, a family, a group, the city, county, state, country and planet to flourish and prosper? Why are there such disparities (difference in quality) between them?

I’m sorry to say it first comes down to personal integrity. Because if you don’t have it you will not only loose sight and forget what that is but you will hold yourself back as you have lost your self respect.

Then caring and having compassion for your fellow man (as in mankind). Because if you don’t care and are not able to be compassionate then not only will the person you are supposedly helping notice that your help is not sincere, your help will not be very helpful.

Next comes a tolerance to operate even if there’s a lot of confusion. You have to be able to deal with those random particles or you will get confused yourself and take wrong actions.

Now you will need to have some understanding and be able to acquire knowledge even though you might have an innate (built-in) knowledge already, you need to be open and willing to learn, to observe others and the environment. Without proper observations you are not operating with the current situation and the outcome will be random.

These points are not trying to say that you should stop helping or anything, these are guidelines for how to do it more successfully.

Lastly, if you can look on any person, regardless of who they are or what they have done, and be WILLING to give them care and compassion, now you can look beyond their deeds, their crimes and shortcomings and evaluate what a proper path would look like for them. For it is not correct to blindly do nice things for someone actively engaged in some criminal activity. But they do need our help.

They must first stop and come clean if they are to have any chance. They have to come to realize the errors of their way, to see what the urge was to commit their crime, what problem it supposedly solved. Only then will they be able to come up the conditions.

OK, so we need to be able to rehabilitate people. This in essence means getting them their self respect back. Which only they can give to themselves. We can accept them, but they need to say “I’m once again standing tall and able to face the world, their group, their family and feel not good but great about it. Because this will be a great burden lifted off their shoulders.

Once we can give this priceless gift to ourselves and each other we can truly move towards peace everywhere.

That adventure starts with maybe a small group that is successful. Others who notices and inquire how come they are doing so well. Then others adopting their methods and policies, repeating over and over until whole nations can walk tall.

When people see something that is working well, something that is not what we today call political, but something that helps them, then we will be well on our way. Politics have a bad reputation because people are not taking part.

When people are not taking some active role, especially voting, then you are telling the elected that you don’t care. Even if you only have one vote. It is not about if your vote will change the outcome it is you telling the elected that you better pay attention or you will be voted out next election.

Of course if enough people feel the same way then you help making a change.

Today with societies being well established and not easily changed, it will take a big disaster for people to not only wanting to change things but to agree how. The politicians role is to work things out in such a way that as many as possible get the best possible improvements.

And yes, it does require more integrity than less in the involved.

If you don’t vote you know they don’t care what you think.

Let’s circle back to wars. Neighbors might conduct some limited war against each other, generally it does not get too out of control with the military called in to stop the unrest. States certainly made war as in our civil war. Countries have been and are conducting war, whatever they call it.

These wars are started by individuals.

Individuals, in the case of countries, where they have the power to call men to war against others. But why are they even calling for war? Something is obviously wrong, at least in their mind. Look at Putin, his motivations might be to be the big ruler that made Russia great again as in days when they indeed controlled much more land than presently.

How about the probably more than 100,000 men, women, children and animals that have been killed and injured during this war. That is a horrific number, mostly caused by one single person.

Russia due to their climate have a harder time to growing food than many other countries. One solution has been to conquer neighboring countries and take food from them. With the fall of Soviet Union a number of these countries managed to leave Russia.

Russia has been made up by over a dozen different countries and is now called the Russian Federation. Putin has done a decent job of moving Russia forward but began implementing a number of changes to laws which once again prohibits disagreeing with the government (around 2005 I think).

Before this Russians enjoyed a high level of freedom similar to ours.

Unfortunately, due to centuries of hardship Russia is a very corrupt country. The corruption is on every level, and each level take “their” cut. In the end financing is not reaching where it is supposed to. The corruption is a direct result of living conditions so bad you have to cheat the system to stay alive.

This is one of the fundamental flaws in their “system” which stopped them from being able to simply walk in and conquer Ukraine’s capitol Kiev. The volunteer soldiers were supposed to earn money, even good money, but are not getting paid. Unable to send money back to their families. Why?

Each level taking “their” cut. In the end nothing is left for the guy actually doing the work. This has eaten its way into every part of the Russian society.

If you were to take my suggestions for having more success in life and apply that to the Russian situation, you can see it is an uphill battle. [Now I do understand there are underground Russians sabotaging Putins war efforts by blowing up supply trains (Russia is primarily using trains for their military supply lines) and other efforts to bankrupt the war and ultimately bring a stop to Putting one way or another.

Civil unrest comes from the people not being able to survive.

In Russia many top oligarchs (the richest business people) have suddenly had incidents such as fallen out of the 6th floor window in a hospital, being blown up when their car exploded and so on. What they had in common was not agreeing with the war as this is being very costly for them and so they speak up.

The Russian government did not even tell the Russian soldiers where they were going or why.

This should give some indications, and just touching the surface, as to how things can go here if our democracy fails.

Whatever you think is wrong with anything here in the US, it cannot be compared to how it is now in mother Russia. If you are any kind of free thinker you would be concerned about some nosy busybody reporting you for something, probably not true, which you would suffer for whether real or imagined.

Imagine not having freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, speech, religion and so on. Where at anytime they might come for you and you had little recourse. Imagine how it would be to live with a constant worry, or fear, of someone reporting you for anything.

This is one of the great things with our Constitution, the land of the free! If you have never lived outside that freedom on a daily basis it is not obvious what that does to you mentally and physically. You reach a point where you no longer care. You can’t afford to care to keep some semblance of life. Your life is built on one loss after another.

This is actually what is at play with the attack on Congress. It might seem like a horrible injustice if an election is stolen from you, but compared to a dictatorship it is NOTHING.

And it is possible that the democrats had an election stolen just a few cycles ago in Florida. It was settled legally. No violence. And our social experiment rolled on to see another day.

Once you seize control illegally, very few people who are willing to be violent, and my guess is none, are fully aware of where that road leads to. I bet none has lived in Russia or under any other long term dictatorship. The common dull look in their eyes, not daring to get excited should it too be removed.

Imagine being a child under parents that think you are a problem and a bad slave. No love, no care, no affection. Not allowed to do anything really, just expected to be silent and invisible. Beaten regularly and told how lucky you are. If you survive mentally you are planning your escape. Do you think a country can be the country of the free, of We the People, under anything but a republic?

The Right to Post and Not Socialize

The world is a moving target. New ideas comes up all the time, some are great in forwarding our survival potential while others are not offering much and can even be counter survival.

We’ve recently seen how some were forced to socialize with fellow employees after work or get fired while others feel they have the freedom of speech threatened if they can’t express whatever they want wherever they are. I’m going to express my views on the above and how it’s easy for me to make the right decision.

I start with looking at the intention behind a communication. Some people manages to make you feel uneasy using words that does not necessarily sound, well, bad. This is where I ask myself and often the person – What was the intention with that communication?

That tends to instantly make it obvious to me that the other person is indeed trying to squash my survival potential. Or, it might just show the the amount of insecurity the other person is suffering from.

When someone lack understanding of a subject or person(s) they may resort to attacking others to cover up their own insecurity. Bullies are prime examples of this. If they did not feel insecure there would little reason to belittle others. The instinct is to shift attention away from themselves so nobody notices. And if people, especially kids, were not so quick in making fun of others the world would have fewer bullies.

Children are typically not very educated and lack answers to a lot of things, so it’s not all that surprising that they ridicule each others. When I grew up one learned to grow a “thick skin” and not take things so personally. Why take to heart things people say that are clearly not me?

Have you noticed how friends and family can hurt you more than strangers? You have many more agreements and often depend on them and any disagreement is a larger threat to your survival than a what a stranger says who don’t know you from a hole in the wall.

These days there is definitely a generation of people coming into adulthood who grew up with little tolerance of anything not absolutely clean and socially perfect. And though these are not bad things in and of themselves, they tend to come with a limited ability to deal with things that are different, or could have a single bacteria. In other words low tolerance.

Wanting a perfect world might be a perfectly valid goal – but should not come at the expense of not being able to deal with anything out of the ordinary. I call this having a lowered survival potential.

A high survival potential means being able to deal with a large variety of things. Have little to do with what you desire or want. Simply, can you handle what is going on in your environment?

One should be able to sit back and view the world from three feet behind it and simply observe.

Free from social ideas and pressures one has a vantage point to observe things that might not be clear when being in the middle of it. This is a simple yet very powerful ability to assume. From here one can make decisions that benefits more than it hurts (if it hurts at all).

Having a good understanding of people you can see what is going on and come up with a way to improve the condition they are in without getting bent out of shape because they said, for example, mean things.

I grew up intensely interested in people and what makes them tick.

In fact I spent my years up to 18 studying them to learn as much as I could about people. After having satisfied that I decided to observe myself in different situations and how I handle life. With that I arrived at a very stable place where nobody could easily shake my certainty. I discovered that I had a much higher survival potential than most. (I was able to make decisions that had a high level of success and it brought me a lot of happiness.) Unfortunately I also became arrogant which was not helpful.

It was not until I realized that compassion was something that helped others at a level much higher than just my own survival. I really should have learned that lesson sooner but I was happily “coasting” through life and livingness with few cares.

Fortunately I arrived at realizing that my happiness depended on others happiness and that to be able to help others you had to be able to equally carry a big stick and have a lot of compassion for your fellow man. (Yes, I know that this is not politically correct and I should say person. But in my eyes mankind means all people not just men. And certainly mankind would not survive (biologically) as a species with only men, or women for that matter.)

OK, looking at being compassionate, the ability to look at people with love and a desire for them to succeed and win in spite of. That clearly does not mean help a person committing crime or other actions that lowers people ability to survive. So where is the line, the line that separates pro-survival and counter-survival?

In actuality it is rather simple – does that action help or hinders the greatest number?

For example, if someone is about to blow up a building with people in it and the only way you can prevent that from happening is to kill the person about to do so, that is pro-survival. Sitting back and while in disbelief and horror and simply let him do so would be counter-survival. Taking the risk of personal injury while attempting to stop him is your decision. But doing so could be something you would do because of personal integrity.

Personal integrity is a key ingredient in having a happy life.

Many have lost track of what that means, often because no or few examples was present while you grew up. Life can be a jungle, where life can appear to have little value. We do have an innate (built-in) sense of integrity. There are things we would not do, or always do. Defending mom, for example, is a common always-do. These are the things that makes up each of our’s integrity. Thing that makes us feel good or bad about ourselves when dropping all the social attitudes and honestly look ourselves in the mirror.

If there has been enough violations of our own integrity we might find ourselves in situations we don’t really want, bad luck might be increasing. Right and wrong might be not clear due to having collected too many justifications in an attempt to not feel bad about wrong decision and not knowing how to correct those decisions. I consider luck being closely related to how I feel about myself and my personal integrity.

OK, let’s look at the right of free speech.

If you have your own or are visiting someone else forum there are typically rules of what is acceptable and not. In other words the owner can dictate what goes and does not go on their forum. Free speech is not a universal thing you have and can do as you please.

Free speech is the First Amendment in our Constitution and relates to what the government can silence or not. Not what others can enforce in their home or forum. In other words you can cry foul play if it is the government that tries to stop you from expressing something.

In a public place you have the right of free speech and you can seek help, and protection, by the government to be able to publicly express yourself in a public place or forum.

The First Amendment struggles with where to draw the line. For me it once again is a simple call – does the expression suggest or motivate people to commit legal and ethical crimes? Back to the greatest number of pro-survival or counter-survival acts.

The US is a country founded on laws. Laws that is intended to be pro-survival to ensure the people in the country survives. However sometimes they are out of date, out of touch and even plainly wrong.

One can commit crimes to try to correct the laws but that is ultimately not resulting in an increase in survival, even if it appears to do so in the short term.

Our laws are governed by the Supreme Court. Their job is to be the legal back stop, to ensure that when a law is applied it is applied fairly and justly. The Supreme Court adjust its view as the popular view changes. They are however usually many years behind.

When we dislike or even hate what others think there is a great possibility that we are not relying on our own observations but what someone else says is so. In other words we often rely on “knowledge” from others. Knowledge that might not be so much like free speech like but colored by someones personal gain.

How does one make one’s own observations when it seems too difficult or entirely impossible and out of reach?

Clearly in that situation one can’t.

In that situation one has to get good at evaluating the source of the information. Do they have personal observations or in their turn relies on someone else? If you read it or hear it in the news what is the actual observed evaluation you have done of what they say? Are they mostly forwarding bad news, speak in generalities with few or no specifics?

I do my own investigation of the type of articles a reporter writes. What is the language and the intention in their message? Is it promoting pro or counter survival actions and views?

Again, here it is important to see if it is legal to follow their suggestions?

Some people (and reporters) tend to hide their intention behind a message that promotes something that might be good for some but is destructive to others, and also have a tendency to not offer a legal solution, one that could result in jail time, physical damage and even death.

Having evaluated the above points one then looks over the balance of the various points to see where do they fall? When adding them up you must brush aside personal views and simply evaluating it from greatest good for the greatest number, which includes legal options.

Look at it this way. If you go around violating the law you are promoting not following the law, which is why often laws are enforced in a way as to set an example. Unfortunate for the person in question, even bad luck, but without following our laws we will not have a country of the free.

Laws are broken down into civil and criminal law. Which breaks further down into levels of severity.

Traffic law is usually a violation of civil law but when the violation is sever enough becomes criminal.

Running your car into a group of protesters that you feel are a threat to your survival might seem like the thing to do but ask yourself this question, does it violate any law, and in this case criminal law? The person doing so might think it was the right thing to do because of the perceived vile nature of the demonstrators.

However a quick evaluation show that the demonstrators were actually exercising their First Amendment. Hitting people with your car is not a protected action but falls under criminal law (murder or attempted murder). Looking at both the short and long term potential solution to whatever problem that person thought he was solving that action did not make any difference other than get him sent to prison.

Therefor it is a good practice to evaluate the action, and to do so more thoroughly the greater the liability involved.

For example, regardless of what you think of any political party, having an armed insurrection and storm a sitting Congress, even if the sitting president says so, is filled with huge liability with next to no positive potential outcome.

It might be considered a fun activity, lots of challenges and excitment. You might feel you have the opportunity to be part of 1776 part 2 and have your name in the history books.

It is however full of really real liabilities. In 1776 we fought an invading force trying to remove our independence. If you have looked at all at US history you can see how political things swing back and forth and does not go over the edge in either direction.

Inciting a violent overthrow of the government is not the American way. That happens in countries where people don’t have a strong constitution such as ours. They do it because their living conditions are so poor their only hope of actual survival is to force a new government into place.

Unfortunately for those countries, it never ends up with a fair government by the people for the people. Look at Russia, several countries South of the border, throughout history people in these countries have very low survival potentials. Something I hope the US will never sink to.

If you support illegal actions you never end up with in a long-term increase in survival potential.

The excitement of a successful coup is quickly squashed when the new dictator grab the reins. Russia has never had anything but a dictator in office, except for a short period which resulted in the end of the Soviet Union and brought democracy to the public. Putin ended that over a number of years but slowly installing new laws that limited, for example, free speech. Now it carries 15 years to speak up against him.

The way to happiness does not come from or is accomplished through illegal and violent actions but from caring for your fellow man, from showing him compassion and support, from increased education about people and certainly from knowing the laws of the land and how to successfully operate within it.

Remember, lies persist and truth solves problems.