Faith Is a Double-Edged Sword

Faith Is a Double-Edged Sword

Big Picture / Religion / Faith

Faith gives a person a certain power and confidence, a comfortable and secure belonging to a group that one trusts, and the fellowship that arises from that association.

But the sharper edge of the sword is that faith can also drive a person down a narrow path that does not respect other points of view, with a severe purpose that is stubbornly unshakable. In many contexts, this kind of determination can manifest as a good quality that will deliver successful, sometimes incredible results.

In some cases, however, blind faith can drive people to seriously harm non-believers outside their circle, and also members inside their circle for purposes of accountability and enforcement.

The disastrous irony of blind faith is that it motivates people to do harmful things that, in their heads, they believe are good, right, just, noble and necessary to serve the principles of their faith. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence. What can you say to a person like this to convince them otherwise? Heads are chopped off in the name of faith; horrific never-ending wars are waged that kill thousands.

I ask you, is there a more powerful and sharper double-edged sword in our world than blind faith?


Civil Society vs Dystrumpia

Civil Society vs Dystrumpia

Big Picture / History / World Since 1920 / United States Since 1920 / Dystrumpia

Image result for trump at a rally
It’s all about me.

Do Donald Trump and Dystrumpia share your values and those values of a civil society?

Civil Society...Dystrumpia...
protects familiesseparates families
shuns nepotismbrags about nepotism
tells the truthlies
plays by the rulescheats
repairs, maintains, improvestears down and abandons
supports public education for allsupports elite education for a few
believes in the Golden Ruleattacks, attacks, attacks
is polite to everyoneis rude to many
is kind to everyoneis mean to many
is dignifiedis crude
is unselfishis selfish
talks about "We"talks about "Me"
spends less than they earndeficit spends into bankruptcy
is wiseis chaotic
shows empathy for those less fortunatelooks down on those less fortunate
is measured and strategicis ad hoc
is chivalrousis a big bully
is humbleis vain
respects womenis misogynistic
protects the earthextracts the earth


Human Rights

Human Rights

Big Picture / Human Society / Politics & Government / Human Rights

Do you believe in President Trump’s position that “torture works” such that it justifies its use by the United States during war?

If evidence extracted by torture is inadmissible in court, why the heck are we spending billions of dollars at the Guantánamo black-site prison?

Civil Society: There are no human rights at birth, but there are those social programs we prioritize as a civil society that we want and should maintain to care of the people that need our help. (sp)


Break the Chain of Torture

Is the United States (CIA) guilty of a massive violation of human rights by exploiting torture interrogation techniques (in the name of national security) at its black site prisons?

If we rationalize torture in the name of war and saving American lives, then WE become the barbarians and in so doing, we write a blank check to our enemies to retaliate with the same barbaric behavior.

Much like child abuse which propagates from generation to generation, this vicious cycle of abuse and violence will only stop when someone has the courage and leadership to break the chain of torture, and that should be us.



Co-Working Manifesto

Co-Working Manifesto

Big Picture / Human Society / Production & Wealth / Production & Distribution / Business / Co-Working

Image result for co-working

inside the corporation,

i compete against you, you compete against me,
every person for themselves.

inside the co-working mashup,

you do not compete against me, I do not compete against you,
rather, it is the Cheers effect:
everybody knows your name,
you are happy to see me, I’m happy to see you,
you are interested in my ideas, I’m interested in yours,
you want to help me, I want to help you,
you learn from me, I learn from you,
together, we design and build cool things that make an impact on people.


Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Our Social Hangover

Our Social Hangover

Big Picture / Human Society / Social Organization/Change / Group Structure

Is greed (still) good?

Is greed good?

We live in and willingly accept a fixed social construct fine-tuned for thousands of years that has created a huge set of industries organized around our most addictive impulses:

  • drugs > addiction | opioid addiction: In Pain by Rieder
  • fast food > obesity
  • gambling > addiction
  • guns > violence
  • liquor > alcoholism
  • online gaming > addiction
  • payday loans > poverty
  • porn > addiction
  • smoking > addiction
  • social media > dysfunction
  • streaming > obsession

And then, we spend a huge percentage of the federal and state tax revenues generated by these industries to try and control, enforce, penalize, and rehabilitate the consequences our impulsive and addictive behaviors and social hangover which creates a massive negative social impact and cost, year after year, decade after decade.

  • addiction
  • breakdown of relationships, marriage, families
  • cognitive offloading and erosion of humanness and thinking
  • damage to physical and mental health
  • erosion of truth, trust, and the overall social fabric
  • financial risk, dependency, bankruptcy
  • violence


Many cities, states, and our federal government are on the brink of financial breakdown and desperate for more tax revenue. Mega-billionaire gambling opportunists are ready to step in and take advantage of this desperation by promising a flowing tap of cash squeezed from the weakest impulses and addictions of human beings.

Regardless of what Gordon Gekko said, “Greed will (not) be good” in the long term for society with exception fo the 1% who will make big money from the transactions on both sides of this equation.

A few big winners and millions of losers.


Trust Is The Glue That Holds Us Together

Trust Is The Glue That Holds Us Together

Big Picture / Knowledge Creation / Philosophy / Trust

Trust is the glue that holds us together — the glue that holds together relationships, marriages, organizations, governments, and countries.

Without trust, everyday life cannot function effectively and peacefully. Without trust, things break down: people lose confidence, become suspicious, become cynical, become less productive. At some point of low morale, people just walk away.

Trust thrives in an environment of mutual respect, reliability, consistency, integrity, safety, resiliency, transparency, civility, and love. Trust is the powerful all-encompassing principle that holds us together with clear minds and hearts to be happy, productive, creative and innovative, both at work and at home.

Building trust takes a sincere and consistent effort over time, built slowly but deliberately over a marriage, a career, a lifetime. But, trust can be lost in a second by one mean or vulgar word, one act of betrayal, one premeditated snark attack.

The Snarkanator.

Indeed, one man can destroy a country’s reputation of honesty, integrity, and trust, with just one vile tweet.

Should Americans be OK with that?



The SPEED of TRUST by Stephen Covey


Big Picture / Human Society / Politics & Government / Oligarchy

A government in which a small group of wealthy elites exercise control over democratic institutions for their corrupt and self-enriching purposes.

Profiteering and nepotism in plain sight inside the Whitehouse.

Is the Whitehouse for sale? Has Jared Kushner’s nepotistic use and abuse of the people’s Whitehouse created a stink that’s smelled around the world?

Who’s profiting from this administration, and at what cost to our democracy?

Can we be certain there are no private interests of Trump’s shaping the United States’ relationships with Russia, Saudi Arabia, China, India, North Korea, Turkey, or for that matter, any country that develops resort hotels?


American Oligarchs by Andrea Bernstein
Everybody Has an Opinion…

Everybody Has an Opinion…

… or a belief, on which they won’t budge, until:

their son comes out as transgender; or,
their new neighbor is black or hispanic or asian or jewish or muslim or catholic or christian or atheist; or,
their partner suffers an addiction; or,
their relative goes to prison; or,
their daughter says she’s pregnant; or,
as a juror, they must vote yes or no on the death penalty.

Then as if in a miracle, enlightenment and change can happen in an instant and open one’s heart to empathy and support for a loved one to live a happy and healthy life.


Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
Act of War

Act of War

Image result for assassinate Qassem Soleimani
We have now triggered an eye for an eye, the law of retaliation.

Has President Trump violated the War Powers Resolution by assassinating Qassem Soleimani without consulting Congress?

By so doing, has the U.S. instigated an act of war?

If Iran were to assassinate Vice President Pence in his black SUV cruising across Mackinac Island, would we consider that an act of war?

Would we then invoke the Law of Retaliation?


Trump’s Decision Criteria

Trump’s Decision Criteria

Can I put my friends in charge?
Can I put Jared in charge?
Can I build a hotel there?
Will it make me feel powerful?
Will it get me reelected?
Can I announce the decision in 280 characters?
Can I announce this decision in a yelling voice?
Can I decide without reading anything?
Will chicks be impressed?
Will it get HUGE ratings on TV?
Will Putin like it?
Will it make me money?
Can I still make my tee time?


Trump and His Generals by Peter Bergen
Stephen Colbert For a Day

Stephen Colbert For a Day

Would you host the show if given the chance?

If Stephen Colbert ran a contest and drew your name randomly to be the host for one show, would you do it? Could you do it? Stephen Colbert is probably one of the smoothest, most articulate, most relaxed conversationalists on TV today. Could you slip into his shoes and interview a movie star, an athlete, and a politician, without having an anxiety attack?

Let’s face it, for most of us that would be a tall order. Doing what Colbert does takes years if not decades of practice, trial and error, and real show experience. But the simple truth is, you could! You might not believe that now, but with enough preparation and the right mindset, you could do it.

So, let’s get you prepared.

Mindset: The goal of any social conversation is to build a relationship. Sometimes you know it may only be a short-term relationship, but with others you’re looking for a long-term relationship. Face-to-face conversations are the connectors that glue together the continuity of any relationship. You build the layers of a relationship slowly, surely, conversation by conversation, so make each one count

Do your homework: Assuming you know who your guests will be on the Colbert show, do your homework. Study their careers, what they’ve accomplished, what their family situation is and names, and what awards they’ve won. People appreciate it when you demonstrate you care about them and know all about them.

Make some notes and keep them in front of you: Colbert does this. You will see him going back-and-forth from making eye contact and talking to the person, and then turning to look down at his notes so he can stay on track during the interview. So can you!

Stand up tall and walk forward to greet your guest with a smile: Colbert does this and this is just plain old Civility 101. But I wouldn’t suggest giving the guest a hug and a kiss, it’s a little early for that.

Introduce yourself: “Hi, I’m John Smith, I’m a teacher from Chicago, and I won this crazy contest to host the show. I’m nervous as hell, so please bear with me and thank you so much for coming!” There are so many good things going on in this moment. You’re forthright, you’re proud of who you are, you’re painfully honest, and your gracious in your thank you. The guest will probably give YOU a hug!

Kick off the conversation with a good question: You should have a few questions written down on your notes that will invite the guest to talk about their latest and greatest. It’s no secret that guests come on the show to promote their work, so get them started with a good question because people fundamentally love to talk about themselves.

Thank you and goodbye: When it’s time to wrap up the interview, give your guest a smile, shake their hand, and say, “Thank you so much, I really enjoyed talking with you, and please come back to the show soon.“ Then take a long breath.

You did it!