Archive for the ‘Semantics’ Category

Framing Abuse: “Income Hoarders” are NOT “Job Creators”

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Framing an issue is key to communicating and MIS-communicating. Republicans are particularly adept in framing negative issues to SEEM positive. Unfortunately, they get away with it and the negative consequences of these issues persist.

A good example is the framing of the top 1% of income earners as “job creators” as if they are actually doing something good for the economy. Instead, these “job creators” are “income hoarders” and actually hurting the recovery of the economy.

Nearly 80% of the US economy is based on consumer spending. Part of the problem with the current economic crises is that people as consumers are deeply in debt and are not willing to spend themselves into more debt. In conjunction, people as workers are losing ground because their incomes are not only not keeping pace with their productivity but actually losing ground. (The top 1% are misdirecting the income from the increased productivity to themselves.) Thus, the economy is not recovering because consumers are not spending and they are not spending because as workers they are not being paid their due.

In reality, the top 1% of income earners are harming the economy by hoarding income that would be readily spent by the other 99%. If Board of Directors restore parity to the top 1% compensations packages and gave the excessive income to the thousands of first and second line workers, this money would be spent and the economic would recover.

For example, give a CEO $1 million and he (yes!–still predominately a man) is unlikely to spend more than a small percentage. Give the same $1 million as $20k to 50 first and second line workers and they will spend all of it! Multiple this compensation parity by hundreds of thousands of times and the economy will become robust again.

Ironically, even when jobs are created by the top 1%, they create low paying jobs in order to increase their income hoarding. So even then, income hoarders are not helping the economy.

Board of Directors MUST be held culpable for the maldistribution of income to the top 1% that perpetuate the faltering of their companies and the US economy. They probably need a wake up call from the US Justice Department.

Our Yearning for Consciousness Stated Lyrically & Beautifully By Billy Joel

Monday, March 12th, 2012

In his lyrics of the song “The River of Dreams” from his album “The River of Dreams” Billy Joel beautifully states the human’s desire, fervor, quest, yearning to understand one’s Self consciously and to achieve Oneness with Self, i.e., consciousness and subconscious. Actually the whole album relates to this yearning. The lyrics are below. What follows are some insightful questions I see asked by them.

“In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To a river so deep

I must be looking for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it’s too hard to cross

And even though I know the river is wide
I walk down every evening and I stand on the shore
And try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find out what I’ve been looking for

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the valley of fear
To a river so deep

And I’ve been searching for something
Taken out of my soul
Something I would never lose
Something somebody stole

I don’t know why I go walking at night
But now I’m tired and I don’t want to walk anymore
I hope it doesn’t take the rest of my life
Until I find what it is that I’ve been looking for

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the jungle of doubt
To a river so deep

I know I’m searching for something
Something so undefined
That it can only be seen
By the eyes of the blind

In the middle of the night

I’m not sure about a life after this
God knows I’ve never been a spiritual man
Baptized by the fire, I wade into the river
That runs to the promised land

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of truth
To the river so deep

We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We’re all carried along
By the river of dreams

In the middle of the night”

Here are but a few questions that these lyrics bring us for meditation, contemplation, pondering.

1)
“I must be looking for something.
Something sacred I lost”

What sacred something do we feel we have lost?

2)
“I try to cross to the opposite side
So I can finally find out what I’ve been looking for”

What are we continually looking for? What drives this search?

3)
“I’ve been searching for something taken out of my soul
Something I would never lose, something somebody stole”

What was taken out of our soul? Who stole it?

4)
“I know I’m searching for something, something so undefined
That it can only be seen by the eyes of the blind
In the middle of the night ”

What are we searching for that can only be seen by the the eyes of the blind, i.e., while we are asleep?
Hint: an alternative to sleep is “vivid dreaming” google it and see what it is

5) (My truth included…now give me your truth)
“I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of truth to the river so deep”

Truth is barren, desolate, nothing. The opposite of a truth is ANOTHER truth!
The river so deep is our own subconscious that goes on forever.
I you look out into space you can see/imagine that it goes on forever and ever.
The same is true for our own subconscious. You can look/visualize into it as far as you see/imagine space.
Both the outer world AND our inner world are infinite!!! THAT IS GOD and then much more. 🙂

6) (My truth again. What is your truth?)
“We all end in the ocean, we all start in the streams
We’re all carried along by the river of dreams”

We begin life with minimal (“streams”) of consciousness, awareness of our inner and outer worlds.
As our consciousness grows it joins the much greater (“ocean”) consciousness that is the nirvana, heaven on earth, etc. This ocean is shared consciousness with everyone that has made it that far. Everyone has the capacity to go from their streams to the ocean but few do.

Lies, Liars and Framers: How Republicans Recurrently Win Through Deception

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

For historical reasons, the Republicans have anachronistic values that generally lead to minority positions on most current issues. Paradoxically, the Republicans must still convince enough other Americans to support their minority positions to gain a majority and have them enacted as public law or policy. Framing is the RepublicanÂ’s most commonly used tool for deceiving the general public into supporting their otherwise minority positions. Understanding framing and successfully developing counter-framing terminology is key to overcoming this currently successful and frequent way of lying to the American public.
To frame an issue is to shape or adapt an issue to a particular purpose. For Republicans the purpose of framing is to garner enough support and votes to advance and hopefully enact their otherwise unpopular minority values. Shaping or adapting issues for deceiving and getting their solutions implemented has proven very successful for Republicans.
An recent example of using framing to deceive is the Republican labeling of Obama’s mandate for insurance coverage of contraception as a “violation of Freedom of Religion.” Republican basic values are well known to be against contraception and that is why it is not currently covered by insurance companies. Rather than allowing Obama’s mandate to stand, they framed it as a violation of Freedom of Religion issue in an attempt to garner a majority to oppose it. They did this in spite of the fact that several Republican Governors had signed similar contraceptive coverage mandates in their States.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) went as far as proposing a vaguely worded morals amendment based on Freedom of Religion to an unrelated bill. This amendment would have allowed employers who are predominately Republican not cover anything they believed to be morally objectionable. This would not included only contraception which was not noted in the amendment but any other Republican minority health care value. The Republicans tried to use deception on one issue, i.e., contraception, to advance their minority values on many of their  issues. 
The Republican framing of this Spring’s perennial rise of gasoline prices as a failure of Obama Administration policies is an attempt to frame (pun intended) Obama for something even Republican Presidents can’t control. The same goes for blaming Obama for decreasing but still high unemployment that resulted from the Bush’s Regime economic catastrophes. 
The Republicans have successfully framed the 1% of top income earners in the US as “job creators” even though they have not shown that they are.  A savvy opposition could also frame them as “money hoarders,” “tax freeloaders,” “fair tax evaders” or even, “unAmerican tax dodgers.” For reasons of good media control, i.e., FOX, Republican framing quickly rises to top of news reporting and rapidly becomes the frame of choice leading to mass deceptions necessary to advance their issues.
Historically, the Republicans framed the inheritance tax as a “Death Tax” early in G. W. Bush’s Regime and successfully won. This led to a law gradual decreasing inheritance tax rates to zero in 2010. This meant George Steinbrenner’s inheritors received the billion dollar plus New York Yankee’s in 2010 without having to pay a cent of tax. 
In contrast, the inheritance tax could been counter-framed as a “left behind tax,” “you didn’t take it with you tax”, “time to pay back America tax” or even an “excessive inheritance tax” since it actually applied to very large inheritances only. Small inheritances were exempt from the previous inheritance law.
A series of deceptions through framing have advanced the Republican opposition to abortion. What started as a plain “anti-abortion” stance rapidly became a “Pro-Life” stance. Paradoxically, Pro-Lifers are major supporters of capital punishment! Next, Pro-lifers framed the fetus as a “baby.” When this was not successful they framed the fetus as a “child.” Biologically, pregnant woman have a fetus until it become viable after 22 weeks and pregnancy and then it is a neonate or baby. Being “with child” is a euphemism for being pregnant and not meant to rename a fetus.
Ironically, a Pro-Lifer caller to a recent NPR radio show attacked an opponent of Virginia’s law mandating pre-abortion vaginal ultrasounds as “rape.” She could not understand how she could call, i.e., frame, the ultrasound as “rape” when it was necessary to try “to save the life of a “child.” Obviously, framers for deception cannot tolerate opponents using framing to advance their cause(s). 
More recently, the deceitful and probably illegal framing of the Iraq War to successfully started it has been well documented. Many would have never supported the war if it had not been deceitfully framed as a “preemptive strike against weapons of mass destruction including nuclear and biological weapons.” Not only were there no such weapons, this framing was shown to be based on non-existing or purposely misinterpreted data.
Framing for deception has become a Republican norm since only a minority support any of their minority values. Framing has successfully deceived many majorities of the public into supporting Republican stances they would never otherwise support. Thus, framing is lying.
It is time to call Republican framing what it really is, i.e., lying and call Republican framers what they really are, i.e., liars. Only when framing is specifically pointed out as deceitful will the lying and liars be revealed and the public can truly make informed decisions. Counter-framing is probably a quick way to expose the Republican lying and liars.

Me, My Self and I make up each of our Psyche–Our Individual Totality

Friday, October 16th, 2009

The statement “what we all have in common is that each one of us is unique” begs the question who each one us is. Other questions include: Is each of our psyche unique? Is so, why do we all fall in love, have sex and want families? Who are we…as individuals. My perspective on my totality (“My Psyche”) includes the following triad: my character (“Me”), my personality (“I”) and my unconscious (“My Self”)

The “Me” is who I believe I am and how I feel I am, i.e., my character. My honesty, perseverance, loyalty, tolerance, competitiveness, athleticism, etc. are qualities of my character and direct my feelings about me. They are how I see me.

The “I” is the part of my totality that relates to the outside world thus it is what others see of Me, i.e., my personality. My wit, charm, politeness, fine penmanship, cleanliness, etc. are qualities that others easily see and relate to. I present these qualities to the world.

There can be discordance between the I and ME. Many have secret characteristics for which they compensate in their personalities. For example, the Me is a messy while the I is not. The I is highly “moral” while the Me craves “immoral” acts. As a rule, it is impossible for the I to always compensate for a different Me.

“My Self” is my unconscious and it only sporadically messages the Me and I through dreams, voices, synchronicity and archetypes like the anima/animus, Mother, Father, Shadow. My Self sees everything but the I and Me do not. The Self is the source of micro-expessions, “gut feeling” and premonitions. My Self is as vast inwardly and the Universe is outwardly. It became unconscious as to not overwhelm the I and Me. Nevertheless, My Self is where my desires for love, sex and family arise.

The Me, My Self and I comprise my totality–my psyche. Only when we live in harmony with this triad will we be in the world in good faith to one’s Slef. An if we can’t be in the world in good faith…then what can we be?

Value–not Price–is the Key to Future American Sales

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

The days of conspicuous American consumption are over. Just like corporations have “right-sized” their employees numbers for years to stay profitable, it is time corporations “right-size” their sales expectations in order to stay, i.e., survive. And, these sales expectations should be based on value propositions–not price.

Conspicuous and debt-increasing consumption by American Consumers has fueled US and Global economic growth for too long. The American Consumer is not longer capable or willing to continue its participation in the Capitalist’s folly, i.e., spending more for the sake of spending without a definitive value.

Value–not price–will be the new American Consumer’s mantra. The days of disposable products are numbered. American value convenience, ease, usefulness and now green over cheap. Myriads of Microsoft Windows computers sit idle because people bought cheap and did not get value. In contrast, Apple through its iPods and iPhones has finally conveyed its computer and operating system (Mac OS X) values proving cheaper isn’t worth it.

Americans have also figured out that a high price tag does not mean value. May products are overpriced for no reason other than someone is willing to pay the asking price. US Drugs are a good example. Drugs are priced the way they are because third parties, i.e., insurance companies are paying for them. I have frequently stated that the best way to cut the price of drugs by over half is to mandate non-coverage by third parties. Consumers/Patients will then realize the true value of generics and that expensive “me too” drugs (drugs that are no better than other, cheaper drugs in their class) are not worth their asking price. Too often direct to consumer drug marketing is directed a getting insurance companies to pay a premium price for a drug. Shame on these capitalists. The almighty dollar has harden their heart and left them with no conscience. Increasing co-pays and co-insurance is making patients realize that more expensive is not necessarily a better value.

Americans are not opposed to spending money for something they value. Cheap Japanese transistor radios of the 50s and 60s evolved in much valued Japanese electronics of today. Korea, Taiwan and China have taken the same route.

Corporations should and cannot ever expect to return to quarter over quarter sales growth. Smart investors (as oppose to greedy capitalists) know that a good company is profitable and stays that way. Increasing profit usually means giving up something of value. Unfortunately, profits is rarely given up in order to increase corporation value and profits. Instead corporations give up intangibles usually experienced employees that eventually erode profits. So, little or no gain is realized.

I find it ironic and paradoxically that a company suffers for not meeting “analysts expectations.” This means a company producing actual facts suffers from not meeting an analysts guess of the future. My expectation would be that the analysts should suffer for not guessing right. Thus, it appears that ANAL-lysts are part of the problem and not the solution. Companies should stop pandering to ANAL-lysts expectations and instead do what is right for the company. They should make products based on value rather than just increasing revenues or profits to satisfy ANAL-lysts. The best way to do this is not report the irrelevant “numbers” needed by ANAL-lyst to make their guesses and instead concentrate on their value propositions and customers.

Value–not price–is key to surviving in the new American markets. How this value is reached and maintained remains to be played out.

Double Take Truths vs Beliefs: What Makes Some Human And Others Self-Serving Hypocrites

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

I saw a t-shirt with “Never Say Never” written on it and it made me smile because of my personal truism. It is “My only intolerance is intolerance”. My other double take truth is “What we all have in common is that we are each unique.” Some say what makes us human is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time. The double take truths above are such ideas. Yet, many think that holding contradictory beliefs makes them human but instead it just makes them self-serving hypocrites.

For example, many Christians believe worshiping Christ (his mystical side) and ignoring his teachings (his ethics) is being a devout Christian. This is not true. It makes them a half Christian. Thomas Jefferson rewrote the Bible and took out the mysticism and left only the ethics. It is how Jesus wanted us to behave. Most Christians do not behave this way.

Many hate their neighbors because they hate themselves. They assuage this self hate by giving money to a church and preachers promote this giving and self enrichment through “prosperity ministries.” Today these preachers would be thrown out of their “Temples” along with their “money changers” supporters by Jesus himself. These churches and their teachings are an abomination of Jesus’ life and death.

Though good deeds alone cannot get one into heaven, being good enough to get into heaven means by nature doing good deeds. It is paradoxical to be heaven good and not do good deeds. It is consistent to be an evil doer and attempt “good deeds” to make up for the evil deeds. Unfortunately, the so-called “good deeds” evil doers do are not truly good deeds since they are self centered and selfish. So, evil doers delude themselves.

These delusion are not limited to Christians. Islamic “Jihadist” a.k.a, terrorist, suicide bombers, etc. delude themselves into believing they are doing “good deeds” when they are actually being selfish. Is it not selfish to want a harem of “vestal virgins”? Is is not selfish and self-enriching to impose ones beliefs on others?

If the leaders of these Jihad movement are so committed why do they have to convince others (usually the poor and ignorant) to die for their cause? Why are they not suicide bombers themselves? The answer is they have too much to gain by letting others die for their beliefs. Deeds for self-enrichment whether monetary or otherwise are evil even in Islam.

Double take truths make many of us human while double take beliefs make many self-serving hypocrites. There are worlds of differences.

Is There a Difference between Govt vs. For-Profit Bureaucrat in Health Care?

Friday, June 26th, 2009

It is laughable (and pitiful) how some in Congress are against a Government Health Insurance Plan because they don’t want put a government bureaucrat between the patient and the doctor. What makes the current for-profit insurance administrator, i.e., for-profit bureaucrat, between the patient and the doctor any better than a government bureaucrat?

Once again personal (mis)understandings are leading to automatic political reactions before all the facts and plans for health care reform are fully vetted. It is time that our Congressional Representatives and Senators start thinking and individualizing responses to the question on hand rather than just give a political stance knee jerk jerk reaction.

It’s About Tribes! Balance of Power Necessary For Minority Tribes

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

All conflicts are tribal. Even those conflicts within Tribes are about factions (‘sub-tribes’) within tribes. How sub-tribes and minority Tribes are allow to participate in governing determines the way they are respected and how they survive.

Take Iraq for example. The major tribes are Shiite, Sunni and Kurd with many other minor tribes (e.g., Christian Iraqis). Since the majority of the country is Shiite and if they can come to vote as a block, the Shiite’s will control the country and the Sunni and Kurd Tribes are powerless. Even if the Sunni and Kurd Tribes could form a political alliance, they would still be in the minority. Is there any hope for Iraq as country then? The answer depends on their governing structure.

If a super majority such as 60, 66 or even 75% is need for major constitutional and oil revenue redistribution then the minority tribes could garner enough influence to demand respect and prevent a simple majority overwhelming them. As an alternative a majority of each tribe’s representative would have to support the measure. In these situations, the minority Tribes/Parties cannot be ignored.

Ironically, in the USA W. Bush and his VP Dick saw a 51% slim majority as a “mandate” to lead all the people the way this slim majority desired. They railroaded the other 49% and caused them enough pain to throw the Republican Tribes out of office and also take their ruling majorities away. The Bush Republican Coalition was made up of the Conservatives, Capitalists and Christian Tribes. This coalition fell apart due to the Conservative’s hegemony and Capitalists’ financial mismanagements.

Does this mean the Democrats can govern at will? No because the “60% filibuster rule” in the Senate allows a minority to maintain power by preventing the majority to act. Thus there is a mechanism for minorities parties (‘tribes’) to be respected. Paradoxically, this minority power that the Republicans hold on to so dearly, is the same power they threatened to take away from the Democrats when they lead the Senate. Their “nuclear option” to get rid of the 60% filibuster would not be serving them well at this time. Republicans need to know that what goes around comes around.

Even the Democrats have sub-tribes. The Minorities (e.g., Hispanic, African-American), Liberal and Moderate Tribes. The Liberal Tribe’s Health Care Reform is garnering some resistance from the Moderate Tribe and will have to be changed to get passed. Compromise and accommodation (‘two dirty words’ to Conservatives) will be required to have a measure passed.

Israel is a reverse example. Israel’s major Tribes are so evenly split that very, very small Minority Tribes (e.g., Ultra Orthodox Jewish Tribe) have garnered unprecedented control to make a majority. If a super-majority was required to bring down a government, then the power of very small Minority Tribes can be prevented from becoming controlling.

Successful governing is about including all tribes and balancing power. It is not about a majority takes all because this leaves out a significant number of citizens. It about inclusiveness, compromise and respect of all citizens.

We will never have our ideal Father, Mother, Children but….

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

It is a perfect world. Our parents and children are unique and imperfect. They will never be the “ideal” figment of our imagination person we want them to be. But, they are the persons we do have and we need to deal with them.

Our hopes, wishes, aspirations, wants, etc., etc., etc. and so forth are intermingled with our father, mother or child. This is who we are. Yet, it is NOT who they are and that is the issue.

We must internalized our ideal (archetypical) relation and then deal in the real world with the person who is our parent or child. Accepting them for who they are is the basis of charity love … love that does not have expectations in return and is selfless and quiet.

Nothing hurts more than “I-would-love-you-more-if-you-would…” change message. The message heard is “you don’t love me now and there is no guarantee you will love me even if I change.” Since the other person can never be ideal in our mind, the latter heard message is the correct one and change is inhibited rather than encouraged.

Unconditional acceptance without putting our personal burdens on others is how we show our charity love for others, especially to fathers, mothers and children. And this should be done daily….not just on special days each year. Living charity love is living in the world in good faith to One’s Self and Others.

So, maybe we should be the ideal parent or child we want to our parents and children. We can than have our ideal by living it and thus being a example of who we are. Such a gift of the love is priceless.

Intent is Key: Jihad, Wars on…, Suicide, Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

For most things in this world intent is key to deciphering meaning. A killing is either murder, accidental or something in between based on intent. Yet, intent can only been known to the doer and then only relatively. Others can only guess at someone else’s intent. How intent colors understandings and changes it is an never-ending struggle. Here are some examples and considerations.

First, the word ‘jihad’ has taken a political meaning although it is seen as a moral issue by most Muslims. Jihad translates as “struggle” and is typically used to denote the struggle each individual has with his or her own internal demons to do the will of God. Christians also have this struggle but don’t have a specific word like Islam. The intent of terrorist is to make the personal “struggle”, i.e., jihad, into a political rather than religious issue. The vast majority (>90%) of Muslims do NOT buy in to this politicization of their personal religious struggle. Thus, the word ‘jihad’ has whole different ramifications if one’s intent is religious versus political. Unfortunately, Western misunderstandings only see ‘jihad’ as a political movement ignoring and usually alienating the vast majority of pious Muslims.

Second, ‘War on….(fill in the blank)’ such as terrorism, drugs, cancer are frequently heard but what are their intents. The War on Terrorism is considered by many as a euphemism for Imperialism and imposition of outside values and this is wrong. Instead, the ‘Wars on …’ are just capitalists’ intents to make boatloads of money. It needs to be understood that more people live off wars than from wars, e.g., more people live off cancer than from cancer. Wars are capitalist enterprises in which some (usually the corrupt) become wealthy or usually, wealthier at the expense of the many. Therefore, it needs to understood that the intents of ‘Wars on …’ are capitalist in nature. Follow-the-money and you will find the ardent supporters of the ‘War on ….’ efforts.

Next is the intent behind suicide. The action in suicide is to take one’s life. In Asian societies, suicide is seen the ultimate protest against a government and that why it is prevented by these governments. Political protests were intended by the Buddhist Monks in Asia who burned themselves publicly in the 70’s.

In the West, suicide is a personal protest against or surrender to ones current perceived intolerable conditions. People commit suicide when accused of wrong-doing even before a trial and all the facts are known. Death is preferred to the ordeal of the forthcoming proceedings. Thus the intent is to spare oneselves suffering.

Those who surrender to their perceived intolerable circumstances by committing suicide also intent to spare themselves continued suffering. It may be seen as selfish but one really rarely knows the full extent of some else’s suffering; therefore, it would be righteous to determine their actions as wrong.

Finally, a simple answer to the frequently stated conundrum “Is the glass half full or half empty?”. The answer is “It depends. Are you trying (intending) to fill it or empty it?” Intent determines meaning.