On This Valentine’s Day, If You Love Someone Set Them Free

Dr. Mary J. Ruwart shared a great message today from one of her social media accounts, that reads …

“Valentine’s Day is made for lovers. I like to think that those who love liberty are some of the best lovers of all. Real lovers won’t try to coerce you, manipulate you, or try to take your stuff. Real lovers care enough to give you the very best—freedom of choice. Many people think that lovers of liberty are cold and uncaring, because they don’t support government intervention and taxation. Just the opposite is true.”

To add to that, a number of people today seem to regard the love of liberty as childish; merely a selfish, egoic pursuit of the freedom to do whatever one wishes, damn the consequences. I submit that these same people tend to view the institution of the State through the lens of a kind of ‘parental love’, regarding it as a duty of the mother and father to watch over and protect the child who has not yet the inherent capacity to meet their own needs without possibly falling into trouble and hurting themselves or others, and that this justifies a responsibility to prevent the child from doing whatever they want, thus limiting their freedom.

The fundamental caveat to this viewpoint is that the child must eventually grow up, else they forever remain a child.

At some point, if children are to mature, they must have the freedom to think and act for themselves, as well as the freedom to fail, and assume responsibility for those failures, which is the process of learning and growth. When control and structure eventually cease to foster growth and instead begin to constrict and stifle it, then the parental love that seeks to protect must also grow with it, otherwise, it risks turning into its opposite, thereby ceasing to be love. It then becomes overbearing and domineering, and paradoxically irresponsible. This is precisely what the State has become. [This article originally appeared on Steemit.com. Continue reading here …]

Communism Has Historically Led To Cannibalism

Communism, like other forms of Collectivism, is predicated upon control

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Looking back at the history of Russia during the early 20th Century, those who came to power calling themselves Bolsheviks were responsible for creating conditions under which mass starvation ensued among the Russian population, ultimately leading to the horrific practice of cannibalism.

“The Russian famine of 1921–22, also known as Povolzhye famine, occurred in Bolshevik Russia. Civil war and Lenin’s policy of seizing food from peasants caused the devastating man-made famine. Around 30 million people were affected and around five million died” (1)

Who were the Bolsheviks?

“The Bolshevik party led the Russian Revolution, and under the new name of the Communist Party, would be the only ruling political party of the Soviet Union. The party championed its vanguard role, and operated under the organizational principle of democratic centralism.”

“Meaning “majority” in Russian, the Bolshevik party was formed after the Second Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1903. The Congress as a whole had agreed on the tactics for the coming revolution: the need for a revolution in Russia was clear, and members agreed on the ultimate end: to establish Socialism. The party adopted a stagist theory of societal evolution; that with the yoke of feudalism thrown off, a capitalistic system should be built; i.e. society needed to naturally evolve along a set pattern of progression: from feudalism to capitalism to socialism to communism; one stage needed to be completed before the next was possible.” (2)

Just like many today, the Bolsheviks espoused the ‘revolutionary’ ideals of socialism under a democratic society. But did they come to power organically through force of truth, or by virtue of some ulterior motive? Writing in ‘The Creature From Jekyll Island’, G. Edward Griffin explains, … [This article originally appeared on Steemit.com. Continue reading here …]

Am I Doing Social Media Right?

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A moment of confession: I harbor some uncertainties about my participation in social media. These uncertainties stem from something deeper than social media itself, rooted in questions of relationship, authenticity, marketing and self-promotion, what it means to earn money as a content creator, and more.

At heart, this article is my own exploration into some of the questions that swirl in the back of my brain, in an attempt to clarify the answers and to solicit feedback from you, the reader, in hopes of gaining a wider perspective.

Social media could be defined as the collection of internet based tools that allow us to connect and interact socially with one another. Like any tool, it’s essence is that of utility. That being said, as far as human socialization goes, the healthiest relationships exist at the antipodes of utility. Utility is always a means to some other end, and treating people in the manner of a means to an end only leads to destructive relationships.

So what is social media actually for, and is there a purpose to gaining many followers? Depending how one approaches it, a social network may be either for socializing, or for networking, or some combination of the two. It’s this combination that seems to turn things fuzzy for me. Also, money – another element of utility in our world.

As I move increasingly into the world of content creation, my ability to draw an income from my efforts ties directly to the size of my network and the number of those that not only follow me, but that consume what I produce. To put it bluntly: Content creators depend on content consumers.

Writing has always been a passion, and something I mainly pursued in the past without too many thoughts of remuneration. While SteemIt appears to offer some glimmer of hope in getting paid for my writing, it has also dawned on me that I have so far woefully neglected any real effort at building an audience… [This article originally appeared on Steemit.com. Continue reading here …]

Statues As Symbols, Symbols As Triggers

Last night, four Confederate statues were quietly removed from the University of Austin campus in response to the recent events at Charlottesville.

The City of Baltimore had already taken the same steps, with statues having been removed across the city several nights ago, and no doubt the same is happening throughout other towns and campuses across America.

Regarding the act of toppling statues, there is much to be said, but I don’t have the time to say it all, and so will confine myself to the following for now:

University of Texas president Gregory L. Fenves was quoted as saying the reasoning behind his decision was that the confederate statues had become “symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”

Implicit in President Fenves statement is the assertion that symbols have power over people; real power, not imagined. For if they did not have the power to affect and influence people, what would it matter?

We are immersed in a symbol laden world, from symbolic cultural artifacts, such as statues and flags, to corporate logos and insignias, to symbolic acts and gestures such as the shaking of hands or giving of roses on Valentine’s Day, to the emojis adorning our text and social media messages, and so much more.

Our interpretation of a given symbol may be determined in part by our own cultural conditioning, personal history, or a shared set of values. Yet there is also a level upon which at least some symbols are considered ‘archetypal’ and suggestive of a more universal meaning rooted in the very physiology of the human mind-body complex that is our common heritage regardless of color or creed. [This article originally appeared on Steemit.com. Continue reading here …]

Blockchain Technology: The Ultimate Boon Or Bondage?

In a recent blog post, author and international investor Simon Black (aka ‘Sovereign Man’) raised a good point, yet one that is seldom considered:

“Cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology are the final nails in the coffin, making it possible to hold your savings in the cloud rather than at a bank.

And if that seems too esoteric, consider that your savings is already ‘digital currency’.

Banks don’t keep bricks of physical cash in their vaults; your bank balance is nothing more than an accounting entry in your bank’s electronic database.

It just happens to be 100% controlled by your bank.

They can gamble your savings away on some idiotic investment fad, charge you ridiculous fees without your consent, and even freeze you out of your own account (‘for your own security’) or deny you the right to withdraw funds.”

Black is correct. When you hear of the trillions in government bailouts and ‘quantitative easing’, it isn’t as though Uncle Sam is lowering the machine arm on ye’ ole’ printing press and printing up trillions in new paper currency. Far from it. Fiat dollars are for the most part already digitized.

Yet another recent article on cryptocurrency appeared a few days back in The Atlantic, which takes a contrary tone, entitled Cryptocurrency Might Be a Path To Authoritarianism, and asks whether blockchain technology is paving the way toward a more centralized and troubling authoritarian agenda, rather than increasing people’s independence as Black argues.

The author of that piece, Ian Bogost, is right to voice a concern, arguing in part that the blockchain has the potential to unleash the kind of surveillance state apparatus few tyrants have ever dreamed of. [This article originally appeared on Steemit.com. Continue reading here …]

Can We Escape Our Own Shadow?

Ancient Cave Art That Shouldn’t Exist Pointing Back To the Human Condition

bull-bison

On another social media network that shall remain nameless, Graham Hancock, a noted author and researcher into ancient mysteries and the hidden origins of human civilization, recently posted the following update:

“Some years ago there existed an ancient painting of this species inside the Hypogeum of Malta. It was scrubbed off the walls of the Hypogeum on the orders of a former director of the National Museum because it suggested that the Hypogeum — a truly amazing rock-hewn underground structure — might be much MUCH older than archaeologists want it to be. Specifically it raised the paradigm-busting possibility that the Hypogeum might not date to the relatively recent Neolithic, as preached by archaeologists, but to the Upper Palaeolithic when humans, according to orthodox teachings, are not supposed to have had the ability to create massive rock-hewn and megalithic structures like the Hypogeum…..”

Here is a link to the article he referenced: The Higgs Bison—mystery species hidden in cave art

Is something such as the denial of ancient cave art by an ostensible archeological authority merely a telling symptom of the greater human condition?

Perhaps a large part of human kind’s problem is that when confronted by some bit of reality that doesn’t fit with the carefully constructed maps we’ve created and by which we pretend to actually know about ourselves and our world, that we would much rather ‘scrub it off the wall’ than be unsettled by it. Ultimately we can’t scrub away whatever is, no matter how uncomfortable, any more than we can scrub our own shadows off the ground … [This article originally appeared on Steemit.com. Continue reading here …]

The Ephemeral Cairn Gardens Of the Austin Greenbelt

A Photo Journal and Meditation

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A friend and I met for lunch at a local taco shack near the city’s greenbelt, where he planned to take his mountain bike out for a cruise along the trails. As it was a pleasant Autumn afternoon and there was nothing keeping me, I decided to take a walk through the beautiful sun-soaked woods myself.

After tacos we made our way to the trail head together, at which point he asked in what direction I was headed.

“I don’t know,” was my reply.

Mounting his trusty carbon-fiber steed he took off and soon disappeared around a bend leaving me there alone.

Looking down the trail to my left, then up the trail to my right … then back to the left again, as if awaiting some unseen force to propel me in either direction, but feeling no particular pull, I finally rested my gaze upon an opening in the trees just in front of where I stood, and so up the middle I went.

Stepping through the woods about forty or so feet, I came out onto a bone-dry creek bed which I then followed. Poking along haphazardly up the old creek bed for ten minutes or more, I looked up and was suddenly bewildered by what I saw.

Not far off in the distance I could just begin to make out what seemed to resemble stalagmites – a group of twisted, spindling, rocky spires that reminded me of something I might have once seen in Southeastern Utah or the caverns of New Mexico.

As I drew closer it was impossible to suppress a smile.

Here is what I found ….

[This article originally appeared on Steemit.com. Continue reading here …]

Sizing Up the Georgia Guidestones

More Proof Government’s Alleged Duty To Protect Is Arbitrary At Best

The Georgia Guidestones are a modern-day megalith erected in 1980 in Elbert County, Georgia, by a mysterious benefactor whose identity to this day has never been revealed.  The giant stone tablets contain a series of commandments that, among other things, call for maintaining a global population under 500,000,000.

It doesn’t take a Doctorate in Mathematics to conclude that this number represents a more than 90% reduction in the world’s current population.

Given the US Government’s war on terror and purported stance against weapons of mass destruction, one would think this ought to warrant looking into. It is therefore curious that they have never issued a public statement or news of an official investigation into who is behind this veiled global death threat.

Leaving aside talk of the New World Order and of conspiracy theory for the moment, let’s explore instead the notion that the Guidestone’s very existence represents something of an obvious double standard. [This article originally appeared on Steemit.com. Continue reading here …]

Vote Smeagol 2016 – A Candidate You Can Trust

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m honored and excited to bring you this special announcement.

Though the media has not yet picked up on this story, word has just been leaked to this author through an inside source, of an official latecomer to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election race.

The candidate in question is none other than Smeagol, a former hobbit best known for his role in The Lord Of The Rings.

The initial press briefing took place behind closed doors, yet Curving.org has had the good fortune of obtaining these unreleased still photos of Smeagol’s early campaign platform.

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One Of America’s Great Literary Icons On What It Means To Vote

With November just around the corner in this election year of 2016, partisan political discourse is at its usual 4-year fever pitch.  In antidote, I present the following collection of quotes from one of America’s great literary icons of the 19th century, Henry David Thoreau.

Thoreau is best known for Walden, his widely celebrated ode to nature and radical self-reliance. Tragically, few today are as familiar with his other works, which are no less superb, including his withering critique on the character of voting and obeisance to the State from the classic, On the Duty Of Civil Disobedience, that is said to have influenced Tolstoy and Gandhi.

As we are made to suffer yet again under a delusion that the future of the free world is staked on the outcome of another ham-handed dog and pony show, these words are worth bearing in mind, as well as taking to heart  …

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