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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Open, how can I open up?
I came surely to my senses
Here’s someone I never met before
The clouds are melting

September 22 2015


“Well, you know. We needed to turn a profit on this drug” - Ex-hedge funder who hikes up AIDS pill.

“Well you know we needed to turn a profit on this drug”
Right from the get go. No shame. Pharmaceutical profiteering.

Seriously? Is this the world you want to live in which some rich hedge fund kid gets to decide the profitability of treating a certain disease?

This is not even really news. It is so old. These things go on each and everyday in the “land of the free” and the “home of the brave”.

Let me ask you, what about this persons actions are free or brave? What has he gained for so many others to lose?

The fact that pharmaceutical companies live to make a profit, give your doctors special benefits for giving you samples or prescribing certain drugs to you. Often drugs that come in many varieties you will more than likely be prescribed the most expensive drug.

Not to mention the fact that government agencies like the FDA have also received special benefits from the pharmaceutical companies by approving certain drugs simply because there is a market out there for it.

By market I do not mean that a need exists. By market I mean that they have come up with enough data analytic studies about human beings and what and how to get them to purchase things they do not need.

Suffice it to say that a plethora of natural options exist out there for each of us but lack of education or without a healthy thirst for curiosity the average individual only believe what the mass media teaches them to believe.

Today, we spend more time debating over whether or not a certain word should or shouldn’t have been used instead of trying to prevent the very damage the word symbolizes.

See another important element of our existence is our language. Our language is symbolic of the reality we exist in but not nearly as visually representative of that of the ancient Sanskrit or Hebrew or the commonly understood pictographic language of hieroglyphics which emoji are hoping they become someday.

Never the less what is important to recognize is the fact that language in and of itself is symbolic. As we began to use less pictographic language our language itself became a distance off from the visual realm. Pictographic languages are more visceral.

But our letters became phonic and representative of sound. In continuing to write with the phonic language, our left brain became overstimulated.
The left brain is the part of the brain most associated with all sorts of classifying, grouping, categorizing, and labeling. It is good at recognizing patterns and it is logical. But it is cold.

The right brain, the side of the brain that our society doesn’t give any appreciation; is creative, intuitive, emotional, and warm.
With the visual aspect being removed from the language the meaning and etymology behind those words become far more open to tinkering and interpretation.

Because of this an illusion is set forth in which one can fiddle around with the language itself to be interpreted in a certain desired way.
When this occurs the issue of words, not the actual events or actions taking places, but the use of the words themselves becomes the battle ground. And people begin fighting over words.

While people are fighting over words there are events happening all around us. Sometimes we do not recognize the reality surrounding us because of the language that we use.
You could ask, how can this be? It really is quite simple and profound but for instance you may experience an emotion for which you have no words to describe but a language you’ve never heard has that very word in its pages and you’ve miss it.

Here I feel it necessary to say a few things I know to be true about language. Our language is our biggest box for reality. Everything we put in our box holds a piece of that reality. Additionally, as our language is a living and breathing organism in and of itself breathing in and out all sorts of vernacular and jargon it shapes and molds reality within the box. It cannot understand what is without.

As a result we lose precious perspective but that is a sad fact for even the most educated man. Even as he holds a dictionary in his head he is nevertheless defined by his language.

Language is our programming. Just as a computer program has a framework for understanding how to operate so does our minds and ours does so with the language that we know and understand. And again, for far too many this is too limited.

Yet, a rich language, a rich education, a wealth of health, is something that is denied again, too far too many. As the poverty in our country and around the world grows and those of us that can work or are offered work, as we go into work each day and perform a task for someone else so that they can offer something else to someone else we do not get to hold onto the gifts that we give the world each day. They are taken from us. So we our left empty. We are left feeling defeated.

So many refuse to think about or even acknowledge the injustices all surrounding. Instead because they feel defeated, fearful, and or apathetic they vegetate in front of screens of all sizes and fill themselves up on garbage food and garbage entertainment and soon without them realizing it the beauty and sublimity of their language will suffer a defeat.

But this isn’t a fight just about language. As I have stated before, language is just a representative. Kind of like the people you elect to represent you in office. Yet, it is becoming increasingly more evident that indeed they do not represent you at all. At least not the vast majority of the human race.

The majority of the human race is suffering in different layers because of the actions of people like this. Individuals who view profits to be more important than caring for the sick.
I ask you again what about his actions are free and brave?

Let’s get a closer inspection into those words themselves. I wonder if I could find any individual who is braver or freer than he?

From our etymology dictionary here are some examples of brave being used in different languages throughout history.

brave (v.) “to face with bravery,” 1776, from French braver, from brave (see brave (adj.)). Related: Braved; braving.

brave (adj.) late 15c., from Middle French brave, “splendid, valiant,” from Italian bravo “brave, bold,” originally “wild, savage,” possibly from Medieval Latin bravus “cutthroat, villain,” from Latin pravus “crooked, depraved;” a less likely etymology being from Latin barbarus (see barbarous). A Celtic origin (Irish breagh, Cornish bray) also has been suggested.

Old English words for this, some with overtones of “rashness,” included modig (now “moody”), beald (“bold”), cene (“keen”), dyrstig (“daring”). Brave new world is from the title of Aldous Huxley’s 1932 satirical utopian novel; he lifted the phrase from Shakespeare (“Tempest” v.i.183).
brave (n.) “North American Indian warrior,” c. 1600, from brave (adj.), and compare bravo.

bravery (n.) 1540s, “daring, defiance, boasting,” from French braverie, from braver “to brave” (see brave) or else from cognate Italian braveria, from bravare.

No Man is an Atheist, however he pretend it and serve the Company with his Braveries. [Donne, 1631]

As a good quality, attested from 1580s. Meaning “fine clothes” is from 1560s and holds the older sense.

This word appears to have quite a contradictory meaning. If we mean him to be courageous he is not but if we mean him to be callus, he very much is.

And what of the other word, free?

free (adj.) Old English freo “free, exempt from, not in bondage, acting of one’s own will,” also “noble; joyful,” from Proto-Germanic *frija- “beloved; not in bondage” (cognates: Old Frisian fri, Old Saxon vri, Old High German vri, German frei, Dutch vrij, Gothic freis “free”), from PIE *priy-a- “dear, beloved,” from root *pri- “to love” (cognates: Sanskrit priyah “own, dear, beloved,” priyate “loves;” Old Church Slavonic prijati “to help,” prijatelji “friend;” Welsh rhydd “free”).

The primary Germanic sense seems to have been “beloved, friend, to love;” which in some languages (notably Germanic and Celtic) developed also a sense of “free,” perhaps from the terms “beloved” or “friend” being applied to the free members of one’s clan (as opposed to slaves; compare Latin liberi, meaning both “free persons” and “children of a family”).

For the older sense in Germanic, compare Gothic frijon “to love;” Old English freod “affection, friendship, peace,” friga “love,” friðu “peace;” Old Norse friðr “peace, personal security; love, friendship,” German Friede “peace;” Old English freo “wife;” Old Norse Frigg “wife of Odin,” literally “beloved” or “loving;” Middle Low German vrien “to take to wife,” Dutch vrijen, German freien “to woo.” Meaning “clear of obstruction” is from mid-13c.; sense of “unrestrained in movement” is from c. 1300; of animals, “loose, at liberty, wild,” late 14c. Meaning “liberal, not parsimonious” is from c. 1300. Sense of “characterized by liberty of action or expression” is from 1630s; of art, etc., “not holding strictly to rule or form,” from 1813. Of nations, “not subject to foreign rule or to despotism,” recorded in English from late 14c. (Free world “non-communist nations” attested from 1950 on notion of “based on principles of civil liberty.”) Sense of “given without cost” is 1580s, from notion of “free of cost.”

Free lunch, originally offered in bars to draw in customers, by 1850, American English. Free pass on railways, etc., attested by 1850. Free speech in Britain was used of a privilege in Parliament since the time of Henry VIII. In U.S., in reference to a civil right to expression, it became a prominent phrase in the debates over the Gag Rule (1836). Free enterprise recorded from 1832; free trade is from 1823; free market from 1630s. Free will is from early 13c. Free school is from late 15c. Free association in psychology is from 1899. Free love “sexual liberation” attested from 1822 (the doctrine itself is much older), American English. Free and easy “unrestrained” is from 1690s.

free (v.) Old English freogan “to free, liberate, manumit,” also “to love, think of lovingly, honor;” also “to rid (of something),” from freo “not in bondage” (see free (adj.)). The forking sense in the Germanic adjective is reflected in the verbs that grew from it in the daughter languages. Compare Old Frisian fria “to make free;” Old Saxon friohan “to court, woo;” German befreien “to free,” freien “to woo;” Old Norse frja “to love;” Gothic frijon “to love.” Related: Freed; freeing.

Wow, he doesn’t seem free at all and the more I read in that etymologic definition the less free I believe us to be.

How free are we? What do we have choice in? Ask yourself what choices you have aside from those of which have nothing or very little to do with your overall happiness, health, growth or prosperity.

Hey speaking of prosperity what about them banks?

Anyway who is braver than this young hedge fund manager who is willing to profit of the sickness and sadness of others?

Silly Biography.com came up with this crazy list.

List of courageous people throughout history
A list of famous courageous people who have sacrificed their own comfort and freedom to stand up for principles of human dignity and liberty.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) – Galileo was willing to challenge the orthodoxy of the church through his own scientific discoveries. This commitment to truth and science came despite personal threats to his well-being.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906 – 1945) German Lutheran Pastor who was consistently outspoken in his criticism of Nazism in Germany. Preferring to stay in the country of his birth, he was eventually arrested and executed in Flossian concentration camp.

Witold Pilecki (1901 – 1948) During WW2 Pilecki joined the underground Polish resistance. In 1943, he volunteered to smuggle himself into Auschwitz concentration camp so he could report on the holocaust to the allies. He then escaped Auschwitz and took part in the Warsaw uprising of 1944. In 1948, he was executed by the Stalinist secret police for retaining loyalty to the non-Communist Polish government.

Helen Keller (1880-1968) – Overcame the dual disability of deaf blindness to champion the deaf and help improve societies treatment of deaf people.
Moses After escaping from his slavery in Egypt, led his people our of Egypt and across the Red Sea.

Jesus Christ (0 – 33 AD) Jesus stuck to the truth of his message, despite the consequences. On many occasions, he had the opportunity to escape or change his message. But, he felt the right thing to do was to suffer outer humiliation and pain in order to leave a legacy of spiritual truth.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) A key figure in the American revolution and foremost author of the declaration of independence. Jefferson sought to challenge existing policies on religious tolerance, education and slavery.
Giuseppe Garibaldi (1805-1872) – National hero of Italy. Garibaldi led a volunteer army in the Italian wars of Independence. He played a key role in uniting Italy and ending foreign rule. He also fought in Latin America and became known as ‘The Hero of Two Worlds’.

Martin Luther King . A symbol of the fight against racial discrimination. Martin Luther King passionately supported the civil rights movement, despite virulent opposition and discrimination in parts of America.
Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela had the courage to fight against the unjust system of apartheid. For his political activities, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but he was released to lead a free South Africa.

Winston Churchill In 1940, Britain stood, alone against Nazi Germany. Some in Britain wanted to seek a deal with Hitler, but Churchill wanted to fight on, and he inspired a country through their darkest hour.
Rosa Parks Refused to give up seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama and started a mass protest which led to the end of segregation on public transport.

Socrates (469 BC–399 BC) – Greek philosopher. Socrates was willing to die for his beliefs. Arrested for his philosophic teachings, Socrates was willing to accept death rather than change his opinions and beliefs. It is said he calmly accepted his fate.

Muhammad Ali Refused to fight in Vietnam despite having the threat of public opprobrium and jail.

Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941 ) was a Polish Franciscan priest. During the Polish occupation, he was arrested twice by the Nazis but continued to offer shelter to Jews and Polish refugees. In 1941, he was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, where he volunteered to take the place of a man condemned to death, showing great courage, faith and dignity.
George Orwell (1903 – 1950) – Went to fight in the Spanish civil war because of his sympathies for the Republican movement. Also, gave up his privileged up bringing to work as a ‘down and out’ worker in Paris and London.

Mahatma Gandhi. (1869 – 1948) Leader of the non-violent movement for Indian independence. Gandhi led the influential Salt Tax protest and was jailed several times for his protests against British rule.
Aung San Suu Kyi – Leader of Burmese opposition party. Kept under house arrest for several years. She has always sought to fight for democratic principles in her country Burma.

Desmond Tutu – Outspoken critic of the apartheid regime in South Africa. Leading figure in the reconciliation movement in the post-apartheid era.
Dalai Lama – Spiritual and political leader of the Tibetan people. Led non-violent resistance to Chinese rule in Tibet.

Amelia Earhart (1897 – 1937) – First female to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1928. Disappeared whilst attempting to be the first female to circumnavigate the world.

Emmeline Pankhurst – Leading suffragette in the UK. Emmeline Pankhurst went to jail several times for her protests to gain women the vote.
Joan of Arc -Peasant girl who went to Dauphin of France to encourage him to fight English occupation. Led French army into battle.

St Teresa Avila – Founded many religious orders and wrote about mystical experiences at a time of the Spanish inquisition, when women rarely played any role in public life.

Boudicca – d. 60AD (Also known as Boadicea) Leader of British revolt against Roman occupation.

Edith Cavell – Nurse in Belgium during World War One. Arrested and executed for helping allied servicemen escape back to England. Shortly before her execution, said ‘Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.’

Odette Sansom – British secret service agent during World War Two. She was captured, tortured and sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp, but she survived the war.

Abraham Lincoln – US president during American civil war. Later extended aims of civil war to ending slavery in America.

Martin Niemöller (1892 – 1984) Lutheran pastor and anti-nazi theologian. A founder of the Confessional church which sought to reject the Nazification of churches. He opposed the idea of Aryan supremacy. For his opposition to Nazi ideology, he was imprisoned in concentration camps until the end of the war.

Sophie Scholl (1921-1943) German student who took part in the White Rose Resistance group who opposed Hitler and the Nazi Party. She was arrested in 1943 for distributing anti-war leaflets and was executed.

William Wilberforce (1759 – 1833) – A leader of the campaign against slavery in Britain. He lived to see the passage of the Slavery Abolition Act 1933, which was passed after overcoming opposition from interested parties.

Olaudah Equiano (1745 – 1797) – The first black African slave to write about his experience as a slave. His book ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano‘ played a pivotal role in turning public opinion in Britain against slavery.

Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) Douglass escaped slavery and became a leading figurehead in the anti-slavery movement in the US. His dazzling oratory and powerful writing impressed many people and helped to show the intellectual capacities of those held in slavery.

Chiune Sugihara (1900 – 1986) Japanese diplomat who served as Vice-Consul to Lithuania during the Second World War. He helped several thousand Jews to escape from Lithuania by personally writing exit visas – despite the fact he was disobeying orders from Tokyo not to do so. It is estimated, because of Sugihara’s actions, 6,000 Jews were able to escape from Lithuania and avoid the holocaust.

William Tyndale (1494 – 1536) – Translated the Bible into English, which at the time was forbidden. For his controversial views and belief everyone should be able to read the Bible in their native tongue, he was later arrested and executed.

Leonard Cheshire – British pilot in RAF during World War Two. Made over 103 missions during six years of war. After war, set up charity for the disabled.

Malala Yousafzai (1997 – ) – Pakistani schoolgirl who defied threats of the Taliban to campaign for the right to education. She survived being shot in the head by the Taliban and has become a global advocate for human rights, women’s rights and the right to education.

Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 – ) Gorbachev was willing to erode his own power base, though his policies of liberating the politics and economics of the Soviet Union. His policies invoked the ire of those who lost out, leading to his replacement in 1990.

Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997) Born in Albania, Mother Teresa left for India with virtually no money and devoted her life to serving the poor of Calcutta – overcoming poverty, disease and criticism. She expanded her mission to support the poor and disadvantaged across the world.

David Livingstone ( 1813 – 1872) Livingstone was a popular Victorian missionary who explored the continent of Africa when it was largely unknown. He was also active in the anti-slave movement within Africa, which made him unpopular with local slave traders.

Citation : Pettinger, Tejvan. “Courageous People”, Oxford,
www.biographyonline.net, Updated 18th February. 2014

Now as you read through that list and see the trials those people were up against and the courageousness they displayed are you not awestruck by their bravery and his cowardice?

Are you not stirred deeply to realize how far we have come as a world? How truly brave individuals can make a positive change?

I am absolutely astounded by the progress we have made and continue to make as a collective species but also within that same breath we continue to be ruled by a very small fraction of individuals with whom would have it that they make all the gains and only they and those close to them will reap any of the benefits.

Still waiting for that trickle?

Still waiting for someone else to do something about all the injustice?

Keep waiting. The only way to do something is to do it.
As Amy Pohler said in her wonderful book, “Yes Please!”,
“Doing the thing is the thing”

If you want to make change in this world you have to change your perspective.
You have to change your priorities.
You have to stop and think, what can I do?

What can you do?

Speak out.

Create change.

Vote for Bernie.

Write to your Congressman.


Be Proactive!

The Great Dictator’s Speech

“I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business.
I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost….

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. …..

Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!”

July 09 2015


June 25 2015

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