Books, Resources, and Merch

Book 1: Sapience: The Moment Is Now

Back Cover Summary

How do we, the Good People of Earth, avert our fate and achieve our destiny? How do we stop all the death, destruction, and violence happening now to people who are victims of hate, rage, wars, greed, famines (manmade and natural), and climate change? How can we stop ourselves from falling into a future coming for us sooner than we think is possible? A future very soon, we can no longer resist, no longer fight, no longer change.

This is a story about fate vs destiny. Fate is a one-sided thing that is sharp, judgmental, searing, and unforgiving. Fate does not care if you are old or young, happy or sad, rich or poor, powerful or weak. Fate is fueled by fear, rage, and hate. Fate happens when you least expect it, much like death.

Destiny is a two-sided thing. Destiny is hard, and it is soft. Destiny is grueling and effortless. Destiny will make you mad, and it will make you sane. Destiny will make you scream and shout and stomp it all out in hopeless impotence, and it will give you everlasting peace. Destiny requires endurance and inner fortitude. There is nothing easy about destiny. It is a choice that must be seen from both sides and endured with patience, tolerance, and acceptance to what is shows you. Destiny is the beginning of wisdom.

What will you choose? Do we begin our long journey back from perdition, a place we made all by ourselves. Or do we fall back together into the silence? The moment is now to choose because now is the only place of creation.

The first edition of Sapience: The Moment is Now is available on Amazon in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle. Towards the end of July/early August, the first edition of Sapience in paperback and hardcover will go away on Amazon and a second edition of these formats will replace them. This is necessary so that I can make this book available to bookstores and libraries for reduced cost and the ability to return to Ingram if it does not sell. This is essential. As a new Indie author, I want to play fair and help local bookstores and libraries get stories to readers in ways that are sustainable to brick and mortar businesses.

On this page, I will provide updates on the Sapience series, snippets from the books, new Sapience merch and products that are on the way, and additional resources such as the Hall of Ruthless Rulers! Stay tune, and thank you for visiting Sapience.

Sapience: The Moment Is Now

by D. Mann (Author)

Paperback Live: April 24, 2024 | Hardcover and Kindle available soon! | Available on Amazon

How do we, the Good People of Earth, stop the needless death and destruction happening to people who are victims of hate and rage, war, greed, victims of famine (manmade and natural), and Climate Change? How can we stop ourselves from slipping irrevocably into a collective fate, a future coming for us sooner than we think is possible, a future very soon, we, the Good People of Earth, can no longer resist, no longer fight, no longer change? How can we, the People of Earth, avert our fate and reach for our destiny?

This is a story about fate vs destiny. Moment is caught in a web of fate being created for her now. Fate is a one-sided thing. Fate is sharp and judgmental. Fate is searing, unforgiving and stinging. Fate does not care if you are old or young, innocent or guilty, happy or sad, rich or poor, powerful or weak. Fate is fueled by fear, rage, and hate. Fate happens when you least expect it to, a lot like death. Fate is our collective fall over the Climate Cliff.

Destiny is a two-sided thing. Destiny is hard, and it is soft. Destiny is grueling and also infinitely effortless. Destiny will make you mad, and it will make you sane. Destiny will make you scream and shout and stomp it all out in hopeless impotence, and it will give you everlasting peace. Destiny requires endurance and inner fortitude. There is nothing easy about destiny. It is a choice that must be seen from both sides and endured with patience, tolerance, and acceptance to what it shows you. Destiny is fueled by awe, wonder, reverence, and honest self-reflection. Destiny is the beginning of wisdom.

What will you choose? Every person is voting. Do we begin our long journey back from perdition, a place we made all by ourselves. Or do we fall, returning to the silence from which we came? The moment is now to choose something different because now is the only place of creation.

This is book 1 in the Sapience Series.


#climateaction #climate #climatecrisis #ClimateChallenge #sapience #moments #booklovers #bookrecommendations #novel #novelist #sciencefiction #historicalfiction #currentaffairs #destiny #fate #wisdom #adventure #mystery #traveler #knowlege #pyschology #psychopath #narcissist #narcissism #socialgood #taoism #Money #truth #lies #ukraine #Israel #Gaza #hatespeech #change #changeyourmindset #mindsetmatters #mindset #ism #thinking #consciousness #genocide #reality #fiction #fictionbooks #fictionwriter #fictionwriter #fictionauthor #fictionwriting #fictionalworld #journey

No Choice vs Too Much Choice!

How Would A No Labels Presidential Candidate Change the Outcome in 2024?

This blog focus on the idea that the non-profit organization called No Labels plans to put a third party candidate into the 2024 Presidential Campaign. While I agree with Ryan Clancy’s idea of creating more choice for American voters, it is an extremely, short-sighted, ill-conceived, and premature idea to try to do this year.

While 60,000 voters think a third party candidate can win, so far no third party candidate has ever come close to getting a toe hold into the White House. There are so many more MAGA voters inspired by cooky myths, lies, and the very scary Seven Mountain Mandate men, of whom Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert are examples of women leaning heavily into “Let’s Do Medieval Again!

The Stakes

This year, more than any year in American history, the stakes are higher than most people care to believe or admit or reckon with. Having Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cornel West already running on third party tickets is concerning. So now, we want more choice and add a No Labels ticket too?! Really, this year, when King Kong and his MAGA base is coming to rip down democracy and replace it with the Christian Alt Right Stary-Eyed, Let’s Have Kings Again, The Seven Mountains Mandate men?!

Who are The Seven Montains Mandate men and women? Think Handmaids Tale.

From January 2022 blog

Grow up America!

From January 2022 blog

People: Do You Understand How Democracy Works

Do people really understand how democracy works?

  • It is not:Oh the guy I voted for didn’t do the one thing I really wanted him to do, so I’m not voting for him again.”
  • This is an ignorant, short-sighted, and extremely selfish opinion. Running a country of 331+ million people democratically is not done by waving magic wands and fixing this problem instantly, then this problem, then that problem, and so on and so forth…
  • Do you live in reality people who give this as a reason for not voting for Joe? MAGA voters are a whole different story. They are a battering ram. They want to destroy democracy and rebuild America as a Totalitarian Christian Nationalist Country. Do you, ordinary voters unhappy with Joe want to live in a Christian Nationalist State run by one of the stupidest men on the planet… the Orange Baby?
  • Don’t rely on me for raising this alarm, listen to Fresh Air and Terry Gross’ interview with Bradley Onishi: Tracing the rise of Christian nationalism, from Trump to the Ala. Supreme Court

Rise of Christian Nationalism

Bradley Onishi is a former Christian nationalist who's now a professor of religion and the author of Preparing for War, a critique of the movement and its impact on American democracy.
BRAD ONISHI: I think it has. Christian nationalism is having a moment. It's having a moment in ways that it's requiring those who adhere to its principles and ideologies to respond to it. Folks like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert and others have talked about the ways that Christian nationalism not only informs their understanding of politics, but how they identify explicitly as Christian nationalists. And so we are at a point in American politics where Christian nationalism is something that many people are discussing.
GROSS: Are there many people in Congress who are affiliated with Christian nationalism?
ONISHI: I think it's fair to say that, yes. One of the things that's true about our Congress is that it is disproportionately Christian. Now, there are many different types of Christian people in our Congress from various denominations. However, if we look at the GOP and we look at the tenets of the party's policies and its approach to the upcoming elections, we find core Christian nationalist ideals in that platform. And we find many, many, many members of Congress from the GOP who support those principles. So from outgoing Speaker Kevin McCarthy to current speaker Mike Johnson, all the way to senators and other members of the House, there are many folks who I would describe as Christian nationalists in the United States Congress.
GROSS: What are some of the fundamental principles of Christian nationalism? Like, how would you define Christian nationalism?
ONISHI: I think in very simple terms, Christian nationalism is the idea that Christian people should be privileged in the United States in some way - economically, socially, politically - and that that influence and that privilege is a result of the country being founded by and for Christians. Christian nationalism is not the idea that others can't be here - that if you're a Muslim or an atheist, that you have to leave. It's also not the idea that only Christians can be part of the government. However, for most Christian nationalists, there is a core belief that the story of the United States is one where it has been elected by God to play an exceptional role in human history, and as being chosen by God, it's the duty of Christian people to carry out his will on Earth.
So Christian nationalists take an approach to their Christianity that says it should have an undue influence on our government, on our economics, on our culture, and that it is by dint of our history, the religious faith that is meant to be privileged in our public square. With that said, there are different kinds of Christian nationalists and different ways that people manifest their understanding of the term. But when it comes down to it, if we all sit down as Americans at a table and there are people from different backgrounds, different ethnicities, different faiths, and someone who is a Christian says, just by being at this table, I should have a special place, well, to me, that's Christian nationalism because you're saying that somehow this country is yours in a way that it is not for everyone else. And to me, therein lies the problem.

Go to Fresh Air to listen or read the rest of this interview. It is really, really important!

And this is really creepy:

GROSS: An extreme group of Christian nationalists is the New Apostolic Reformation, and they advocate the Seven Mountain Mandate, which is that Christian nationalists or Christians should lead government, family, religion, business, education, media, arts and entertainment, and that they - all of these sectors should reflect the kingdom of God. And I think I mentioned all seven there. So what does that mean to reflect the kingdom of God in family, religion, business, education, media, arts and entertainment, and the government?
ONISHI: The Seven Mountains mandate is a particular form of understanding human society that says that Christian people are not called to persuade their neighbors to practice the Christian faith, to demonstrate to their fellow Americans that the Christian faith is the faith of love and truth. The Seven Mountains Mandate is, as my colleague Matthew Taylor says, a mandate to colonize the Earth for God. The seven domains as you listed them - arts and leisure and the economy and the government, the family - are seen as mountains of conquest. The goal is not dialogue with neighbors who may be Muslim or atheist or Hindu. The goal is not to simply reflect the character of Christ on earth by way of living a life that upholds his glory and his teachings. The goal is to have absolute authority and power over every facet of human society.
And so we can see here what I take to be a very dangerous approach to practicing Christianity in the public square. It is not one that recognizes democracy or dialogue, pluralism as sacred values. The goal is power. The goal is conquest. And so when one hears about a politician or a leader or anyone in influence, especially as part of our government, who adheres to the Seven Mountains Mandate, that should set alarm bells off immediately.
  • Democracy Is Not:Joe’s too old, Joe’s too square, Joe’s too this or that...” This is just as stupid, impatience, ignorant reason to not vote for a known and vetted winner: Joe Biden.
  • There was a time in the not so distant past when age was considered a plus and must for a ruler. Wisdom takes time to ripen and mature inside of people. And it does not come to everyone who ages… look at the overly large, orange, baby King Kong with his revved up mad as hell MAGA base.
  • Do you think they are worried about the Orange Giant being too old… his less than 4 years younger than Biden!! Anyone giving this as a reason not to vote for Joe is suffering from ageism and is pretty ignorant about how a government governing 331+ million people really works! It takes a lot of people to make it work… good people who are appointed to their positions in a timely fashion and have the expertise and experience to do their jobs. Trump had the most vacancies in top, critical positions of any former President. Some key positions were never appointed under the Orange Giant.
  • Democracy Is Not:I’m mad a Joe for aiding Israel.” Modern nation-states are messy… alliances are messy… the world is messy and hard and cruel… that is why nations make alliances, and when Israel was attacked by HAMAS in one of the bloodiest, most gruesome slaughters of innocent people of this century, of course US comforts and supports Israel. There is so much going on behind the scenes that you and I never hear about. The death of any innocent person is intolerable. And Joe and his cabinet are doing their damn best to push for resolution, ceasefire, peace. But, tell me, anyone threatening not to vote for Joe because he can’t wave his wand and make this bloodshed stop… DO YOU REALLY THINK THE ORANGE GIANT (the man to put in place the Muslim Ban days after taking office)…. DO YOU REALLY THINK he is a better option?! I was mad at Obama for not doing more to stop the slaughter of Syrians being bombed by Russia as they aided their ugly ally Bashar al-Assad.

Take A Minute, Learn Something… Maybe Something New

Do Americans really understand democracy? Do Americans really cherish it? Do American comprehend what is at stake this year?

No Labels Debate

It is a choice. Listen to this debate and listen to Fresh Air if you are truly concerned about making an informed, intelligent choice.

The centrist group No Labels is planning to host a bipartisan nominating convention in 2024. This is leading some people to speculate that they may promote a third-party candidate that better reflects the perspective of middle-of-the-line voters who don’t favor President Biden’s re-election bid or Donald Trump receiving the Republican nomination. 

Those who say it will help Trump argue the group doesn’t have enough influence to make lasting tangible change and worry that promoting a third-party unity ticket will give an unpopular candidate like Trump a lower threshold for votes that would’ve gone to Biden. 

Those who disagree say voters who are discontented with both major parties but particularly opposed to Trump, might turn out in support of the third-party candidate, indirectly reducing Trump's chances. 

With this context, we debate the question: “How Would A No Labels Presidential Candidate Change the Outcome in 2024?"  

Rahna Epting argues that the No Labels Party does not have a path to win the presidency. Ryan Clancy argues a No Labels unity presidential ticket has a viable path to win the White House in 2024. Emmy award-winning journalist John Donvan moderates.

Open to Debate: How Would a No Labels Presidential Candidate Change the Outcome in 2024?

Feature Archetypal Animation

Music: Mickey Mouse Operation | Little People — [11] Fisticuffs At Dawn    1:02

When Do We Get to Use Violence

Wanted for Mass Murderer

Putin is a serial murderer responsible for decades of death. In case you have not been keeping count, this is a partial list of his history of mass murder.

And others who should be added to his warrant for arrest include: Trump and his MAGA zombies (failure to past funding to Ukraine), Kim Jong Un (supplying missiles to Russia), Xi Jinping (supporting and supplying Russia with weapons of war), Iran (supplying missiles to Russia), and any Putin sympathizers.

Just Another Da with My Boys! | Music: YMCA — Villiage People

The Russian apartment bombings 

These were a series of explosions that hit four apartment blocks in the Russian cities of BuynakskMoscow, and Volgodonsk in September 1999, killing more than 300, injuring more than 1,000, and spreading a wave of fear across the country. 

Two Chechnya Wars

  • About 300000 people have been killed during two wars in Chechnya over the past decade, a senior official in the province’s Moscow-backed government said. — Al Jazeera
Human rights organizations accused Russian forces of engaging in indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force whenever they encountered resistance, resulting in numerous civilian deaths. (According to Human Rights Watch, Russian artillery and rocket attacks killed at least 267 civilians during the December 1995 raid by the Chechens on the city of Gudermes.[46]) Throughout the span of the first Chechen war, Russian forces have been accused by Human Rights organizations of starting a brutal war with total disregard for humanitarian law, causing tens of thousands of unnecessary civilian casualties among the Chechen population. The main strategy in the Russian war effort had been to use heavy artillery and air strikes leading to numerous indiscriminate attacks on civilians. This has led to Western and Chechen sources calling the Russian strategy deliberate terror bombing on parts of Russia.[65] According to Human Rights Watch, the campaign was "unparalleled in the area since World War II for its scope and destructiveness, followed by months of indiscriminate and targeted fire against civilians".[66] Due to ethnic Chechens in Grozny seeking refuge among their respective teips in the surrounding villages of the countryside, a high proportion of initial civilian casualties were inflicted against ethnic Russians who were unable to find viable escape routes. The villages were also attacked from the first weeks of the conflict (Russian cluster bombs, for example, killed at least 55 civilians during the 3 January 1995 Shali cluster bomb attack).
Russian soldiers often prevented civilians from evacuating areas of imminent danger and prevented humanitarian organizations from assisting civilians in need. It was widely alleged that Russian troops, especially those belonging to the Internal Troops (MVD), committed numerous and in part systematic acts of torture and summary executions on Chechen civilians; they were often linked to zachistka ("cleansing" raids on town districts and villages suspected of harboring boyeviki – militants). Humanitarian and aid groups chronicled persistent patterns of Russian soldiers killing, raping and looting civilians at random, often in disregard of their nationality. Chechen fighters took hostages on a massive scale, kidnapped or killed Chechens considered to be collaborators and mistreated civilian captives and federal prisoners of war (especially pilots). Russian federal forces kidnapped hostages for ransom and used human shields for cover during the fighting and movement of troops (for example, a group of surrounded Russian troops took approximately 500 civilian hostages at Grozny's 9th Municipal Hospital).[67]
The violations committed by members of the Russian forces were usually tolerated by their superiors and were not punished even when investigated (the story of Vladimir Glebov serving as an example of such policy). Television and newspaper accounts widely reported largely uncensored images of the carnage to the Russian public. The Russian media coverage partially precipitated a loss of public confidence in the government and a steep decline in President Yeltsin's popularity. Chechnya was one of the heaviest burdens on Yeltsin's 1996 presidential election campaign. The protracted war in Chechnya, especially many reports of extreme violence against civilians, ignited fear and contempt of Russia among other ethnic groups in the federation. One of the most notable war crimes committed by the Russian army is the Samashki massacre, in which it is estimated that up to 300 civilians died during the attack.[68] Russian forces conducted an operation of zachistka, house-by-house searches throughout the entire village. Federal soldiers deliberately and arbitrarily attacked civilians and civilian dwellings in Samashki by shooting residents and burning houses with flame-throwers. They wantonly opened fire or threw grenades into basements where residents, mostly women, elderly persons and children, had been hiding.[69] Russian troops intentionally burned many bodies, either by throwing the bodies into burning houses or by setting them on fire.[70] A Chechen surgeon, Khassan Baiev, treated wounded in Samashki immediately after the operation and described the scene in his book:[71]

Human rights and war crimes[edit] — Main articles: Chechen genocideRussian war crimes, and Second Chechen War crimes and terrorism

The Second Chechen War saw a new wave of war crimes and violation of international humanitarian law. Both sides have been criticised by international organizations of violating the Geneva Conventions. However, a report by Human Rights Watch states that without minimizing the abuses committed by Chechen fighters, the main reason for civilian suffering in the Second Chechen War came as a result of the abuses committed by the Russian forces on the civilian population.[94] According to Amnesty International, Chechen civilians have been purposely targeted by Russian forces, in apparent disregard of humanitarian law. The situation has been described by Amnesty International as a Russian campaign to punish an entire ethnic group, on the pretext of "fighting crime and terrorism".[95] Russian forces have throughout the campaign ignored to follow their Geneva convention obligations, and has taken little responsibility of protecting the civilian population.[94] Amnesty International stated in their 2001 report that Chechen civilians, including medical personnel, have been the target of military attacks by Russian forces, and hundreds of Chechen civilians and prisoners of war are extrajudicially executed.[96]
According to human rights activists, Russian troops systematically committed the following crimes in Chechnya: the destruction of cities and villages, not justified by military necessity; shelling and bombardment of unprotected settlements; summary extrajudicial executions and killings of civilians; torture, ill-treatment and infringement of human dignity; serious bodily harm intentionally inflicted on persons not directly participating in hostilities; deliberate strikes against the civilian population, civilian and medical vehicles; illegal detentions of the civilian population and enforced disappearances; looting and destruction of civilian and public property; extortion; taking hostages for ransom; corpse trade.[97][98][99] There were also rapes,[100][101][102] which, along with women, were committed against men.[103][104][105][106][107][108] According to the Minister of Health of Ichkeria, Umar Khanbiev, Russian forces committed organ harvesting and organ trade during the conflict.[109]
Russian forces have since the beginning of the conflict indiscriminately and disproportionately bombed and shelled civilian objects, resulting in heavy civilian casualties. In one such occasion in October 1999, ten powerful hypersonic missiles fell without warning and targeted the city's only maternity hospital, post office, mosque, and a crowded market.[110][111][112][113] Most of the casualties occurred at the central market, and the attack is estimated to have killed over 100 instantly and injuring up to 400 others. Similar incidents include the Baku–Rostov highway bombing where the Russian Air Force perpetrated repeated rocket attacks on a large convoy of refugees trying to enter Ingushetia through a supposed "safe exit".[114][115] This was repeated in December 1999 when Russian soldiers opened fire on a refugee convoy marked with white flags.[116]
The 1999–2000 siege and bombardments of Grozny caused between 5,000[117] and 8,000[118] civilians to perish. The Russian army issued an ultimatum during the Grozny-siege urging Chechens to leave the city or be destroyed without mercy.[119] Around 300 people were killed while trying to escape in October 1999 and subsequently buried in a mass grave.[120] The bombing of Grozny included banned Buratino thermobaric and fuel-air bombs, igniting the air of civilians hiding in basements.[121][122] There were also reports of the use of chemical weapons, banned according to Geneva law.[123] The Russian president Putin vowed that the military would not stop bombing Grozny until Russian troops quote 'fulfilled their task to the end.' In 2003, the United Nations called Grozny the most destroyed city on Earth.[124]
Another occasion of indiscriminate and perhaps deliberate bombardment is the bombing of Katyr-Yurt which occurred on 4–6 February 2000. The village of Katyr Yurt was far from the war's front line, and jam-packed with refugees. It was untouched on the morning of 4 February when Russian aircraft, helicopters, fuel-air bombs and Grad missiles pulverised the village. After the bombing the Russian army allowed buses in, and allowed a white-flag refugee convoy to leave after which they bombed that as well.[125] Banned Thermobaric weapons were fired on the village of Katyr-Yurt. Hundreds of civilians died as a result of the Russian bombardment and the following sweep after.[126][127] Thermobaric weapons have been used by the Russian army on several occasions according to Human Rights Watch.[128]

Syria

  • 6,950 civilians dead
The Syrian regime was responsible for 201,055 of these deaths, with the victims including 22,981 children and 11,976 women, while Russian forces killed 6,950 civilians, including 2,048 children and 977 women.Mar 15, 2023 -- ReliefWeb 

Ukraine

  • 500,000+ killed since Putin invaded
Casualties in the Russo-Ukrainian War included six deaths during the 2014 annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, 14,200–14,400 military and civilian deaths during the war in Donbas, and up to 500,000 estimated casualties during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. -- Wiki
The second year of war dragged on through Ukraine slowly and with little mercy. The first year of the war was a story of the resilience of people amid conflict that has turned into one of perseverance as the conflict has stagnated, with no end in sight.
Bohdan Semenukha and his mother, Viktoria, walk frequently through the Lychakiv cemetery in Lviv, Ukraine, just a few blocks from the new apartment where they moved after fleeing Kharkiv, in the country’s northeast, in January 2023. | Claire Harbage/NPR

Never Again

Music: Jupiter & Jaguar — Blond:ish | Welcome to the Present & Chants of Native Earth | Shamanic Moon (Native American Drums) | From February 24, 2022 | “Never Again” the World Once Said

Alexei Navalny

  • ‘It’s a torture regime’: the last days of Alexei Navalny
Image from The Guardian
Each morning at 5am, Alexei Navalny was roused with the words “Wake up!” as the Russian national anthem played on the prison loudspeakers. It was always dark in the polar night above the Arctic Circle, and the temperature outside could fall below -30C (-22F). The convict would have a sheepskin coat and an ushanka hat to keep warm in a prison colony better known by its nickname: the Polar Wolf.

To read whole article, go to The Guardian for full article by Andrew Roth and Pjotr Sauer
  • Full List of Putin Critics Who Have Died in Mysterious Circumstances
For over two decades, President Vladimir Putin has squeezed dissent in Russia. Critics, journalists, and defectors have faced dire consequences after opposing him. From poisonings to shootings, mysterious falls from windows, and even plane crashes, there is a long trail of silenced voices.
Alexei Navalny, whose death in prison is as yet unexplained, had previously fallen ill on a flight from Siberia to Moscow in 2020 after being poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent. Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy who defected and was a prominent Putin critic, was murdered with polonium-210 in London in 2016. -- Newsweek

Book About the Man Wanted for Mass Murder


Previous Blogs Dedicated to Ukraine & Vanquishing HATE

Feature Archetypal Animation from last year’s blog marking the first anniversary of Russia’s full scale invasion — February 24, 2023 — Ukraine | “Never Again” the World Once Said
February 24, 2023 | “Never Again” the World Once Said
“You Want It Darker? We Kill the Flame!” — Leonard Cohen | Leonard Cohen is telling us exactly what WE need to do in this moment of Ruthless Barbarity, the darkness Putin has plunged the world into once again, WE KILL THE FLAME... We (the Good People of Earth who honor life and respect freedom) WE kill the flame of EVIL Putin lit in 2014 and dramatically escalated last year! We don’t have a tomorrow to do this if we want OUR World Back. | | February 24, 2023 | “Never Again” the World Once Said
“Look Mom! I’m A Monkey for Putin!” | Music: Wizard of the Hood (Collector’s Edition) | Violent J — Shiny Diamonds | Putin should be careful as Xi Jinping may very well turn Putin into his Flying Monkey! | February 24, 2023 | “Never Again” the World Once Said” | And HE is still Putin’s Pigeon… he has simply pulled the entire Republican Narc Bubble into his Pigeon Hole with him | SHAME ON YOU MAGA Republicans who are leaving Ukraine blowing in the disgusting breathe of the Putin fiend.
From March 2023
Feature Archetypal Animation marking Russia’s full scale invasion into Ukraine — February 24, 2022 — Ukraine Letters
Ukraine Letters — February 24, 2022
World of Dictators From February 24, 2023 | “Never Again” the World Once Said” | Or as TRUMP would say: “I’m a really stable dictator!”

Archetypal Animations

Feature Archetypal Animation

Images: Midjourney

Music: Zombies Sound EffectsSound Ideas | [10] Low Moaning Zombie Ambience    0:38

Creepy Collectivism | Part 9: Marvelization of Man

This is part 9 of the series The Marvelization of Man series in which we explore chapter 6 of Joost Merloo’s book: The Rape of the Mind written in 1956 in the aftermath of WWII and the horrors of the Totalitarian Mindset.

Why is the Totalitarian Mindset part of the Marvelization of Man? I mean, really, Marvel super heroes… well, they have super powers, they can fly, they can lift heavy objects with their eyes, they are protectors… right?

Well, yes they are… but I suspect for as high as we fly in our minds with these marvelous super heroes, we also descend deeper in our minds into dark and frightening places. And the more divided we become as a nation, as a group of people trying to work out this really crazy thing called civilization… well, we need to grapple with both sides of ourselves at the same time.

Blaming the Democrats for all the MAGA’s woes isn’t going to save a single MAGA voter from the realities of our time. Any place where you see conflict erupting and one-sidedness erupting into violence and war, the realities of the Totalitarian Mindset need to understood and grappled with. This is why this blog series is exploring Joost Merloo’s book now.

So, let’s jump into it… now.

Chapter 6 | The Rape of the Mind

Part 2: Cultural Predilection for Totalitarianism — Page 76

In the battle against this dread disease, social factors as well as personal ones play an important role. We can see this more clearly if we analyze the ways in which the ideals of a culture as a whole affect its citizens' vulnerability to totalitarianism. The ethics of our own Western civilization are our strongest defences against the disease, for the ideal of these ethics is to produce a breed of men and women who are strongly individualistic and who evaluate situations primarily in terms of their own consciences.
We aim to develop in our citizens a sense of self-responsibility, a willingness to confront the world as it is, and an ability to distinguish between right and wrong through their own feelings and thoughts. Such men and women are impelled to action by their personal moral standards rather than by what some outside group sets up as correct. They are unwilling to accept group evaluations immediately unless these coincide with their own personal convictions, or unless they have been able to discuss them in a democratic way. People like this are responsible to their communities because they are first responsible to themselves. If they disagree, they will form a "loyal minority", using their rights of convincing other people at appropriate times.
There are other cultures which emphasize attitudes and values that are different from these. The Eastern ideal of man, as we find it in China and some of the other Oriental countries, is in the first place that one "oneness", of being one with the family, one with the fatherland, one with the cosmos -- nirvana. The Oriental psyche looks for a direct aesthetic contact with reality through an indefinable empathy and intuition. Eternal truth is behind reality, behind the veil of Maya. Man is part of the universe; his ideal is passive servility and non-irritability. His ideal of peace lies in rest and relaxation, in meditation, in being without manual and mental travail. The happiness of the Oriental psyche lies in the ecstasy of feeling united with the universal cosmos. Ascesis, self-redemption, and poverty are better realized ideals in Oriental culture than in our Western society.
The classic Oriental culture pattern can best be described as a pattern of participation. In it the individual is looked upon as an integral part of the group, the family, the caste, the nation. He is not a separate, independent entity. In this culture, greater conformity to and acceptance of the collective rules are the ideals. An Oriental child may be trained from infancy into a pattern of submission to authority and to rules of the group. Many primitive cultures also display this pattern. To a person raised in these cultures, the most acceptable standards, the best conceivable thoughts and actions, are those sanctioned by the group. The totalitarian world of mass actions and mass thoughts is far more comprehensible to the members of a participation-patterned and less individual-minded culture than it is to Western individualists. What is to us unbearable regimentation and authoritarianism may be to them comforting order and regularity.
An example of an intensified pattern of participation and thought control and mutual spying has been given by the anthropologist E. P. Dozier. [See the "New York Times", December 11, 1955; and "Science News Letter", December 3, 1955.] The Pueblo Indians of the Rio Grande area believe that wrongdoing or wrong thinking of one man in the tribe affects all members. He may upset the cosmic balance by ill feeling toward any one of his fellow men. The moral code of the village is group-centred. The individual who transgresses this jeopardizes the well-being of all. Epidemics, crop failures, droughts are interpreted as a result of "deviationism" of one member of the group. Village members are closely watched and spied on in order to discover the culprit or "witch." Gossip and accusations of witchcraft are rampant, and the Pueblo Indian is constantly searching in his own conscience for harmful thoughts and attitudes. It is as if we watch the ritual of the purge in the totalitarian state.
Such forms of "creeping collectivism" and participation we may see in every group formation where tolerance for non-conformism ceases to exist. Wherever dogmatic partisanship dominates, the mind is coerced. We may even detect such encroaching tendencies in some scientific circles where there exists an overemphasis on group
research, teamwork, membership cards, and a disdain for individual opinion.
The culture into which a man is born and his own psychological constitution interact to produce his personality in much the same way as his body and mind interact to produce his behaviour. Our culture of individual freedom may offer us a partial immunity to the disease of totalitarianism, but at the same time our personal immaturities and repressed savageries can make us vulnerable to it. The participation type of culture may make men more susceptible in general to totalitarianism, although personal strivings toward maturity and individuality can offer them, too, some measure of protection against it.
Because of the interaction between these social and personal forces, no culture is completely safe from internal attack by totalitarianism and from the mental destruction it may create. As I said before, our Totalitaria is a mythical country, but
the brutal truth is that any country can be turned into Totalitaria.
The aims of the rulers of our fictitious country are simply formulated: despotism, the total domination of man and mankind, and the unity of the entire world under one dictatorial authority. At first glance, this idea of unity can be most attractive -- the idea, oversimplified, of a brotherhood unity of nations under a central powerful agency. When the world is one, it would seem, there will be no more war, the tensions that face us will be eliminated, earth will become a paradise. But the simplified conception of a universal dictatorship is false and reflects the danger inherent in the totalitarian goal: all men are different, and it is the difference between them that creates the greatness, the variety, and the creative inspirations of life, as well as the tensions of social intercourse. The totalitarian conception of equalization can be realized only in death, when the chemical and physical laws that govern all of us take over completely. Death is indeed the great equalizer.
In life, all of us are different. Our bodies and minds interact with one another and with the outside world in different ways. Each man's personality is unique. True, all of us share certain basic human qualities with all the other members of the human race, but the differences in personality are also so many and so varied that no two men anywhere in the world or ever in all of human history can be said to be exactly alike. This uniqueness is as true of the citizen of Totalitaria as it is of anyone else. As a human being, he is not only different from us, he is different from his compatriots. However, to create man in the totalitarian image through levelling and equalization means to suppress what is essentially personal and human in him, the uniqueness and the variety, and to create a society of robots, not men.
The noted social scientist, J. S. Brunner, in his introduction to Bauer's book on Soviet psychology has expressed this thought in a different way: "Man's image of the nature of man is not only a matter for objective inquiry; it is and has always been a prime instrument of social and political control. He who moulds that image does so with enormous consequences for the society in which he lives."
Totalitaria fosters the illusion that everyone is part of the government, a voter; no one can be a non-voter or anti-voter. His inner pros and cons and doubts are not private problems of the individual himself any more; his thoughts belong to the state, the dictator, the ruling circle, the Party. His inner thoughts have to be controlled. Only those in power know what really lies behind national policy. The ordinary citizen becomes as dependent and obedient as a child. In exchange for giving up his individuality, he obtains some special gratifications: the feeling of belonging and of being protected, the sense of relief over losing his personal boundaries and responsibilities, the ecstasy of being taken up and absorbed in wild, uncontrolled collective feelings, the safety of being anonymous, of being merely a cog in the wheel of the all-powerful state.
The despotism of modern Totalitaria is very different from the lush, exotic personal tyrannies of ancient times. It is an ascetic, cold, mechanical force, aiming at what Hanna Ahrendt calls the "transformation of human nature itself." In our theoretical country, man has no individual ego any longer, no personality, no self. A levelling system is at work, and everything above the common level is trampled on and beaten down.

Feature Archetypal Animation

Images: Made on Genolve AI technologies

Music: [11] monster    2:20

Past Posts of the Marvelization of Man Series

For the last post in this series, see:

2024

Happy New Year’s! It’s 2024!!

May 2024 bring wisdom to you and to everyone who you know, especially as you try to make sense of the vast amount of nonsense and evil impacting and influencing our imperfect world, especially this year.

This year, more than any other year, each and every one of us needs to find our inner well of wisdom and drink from it. If we don’t find it… if we don’t replenish our drained and drying reservoirs of wisdom, we are not going to survive as a species on this planet past this century… at least not as we have been surviving in it.

Here and now, in this very moment, more than any transition from one year to the next one, we must be able to tell good from evil, truth from lies, right from wrong. This is the year we choose between life or death for all life on Earth.

This is the year (more than any other year) that each and every living human makes a choice… it is a vote… for what our collective fate will be as the 21st Century stretches ahead of us.

The preceding years have filled all of us with so much worry, so much onus, so much weight, and now we hold so much responsibility for our personal and collective fate.

No longer can we deny to ourselves that our personal choices and lifestyles do not affect other living beings on our beautiful planet. No longer can we choose to stay ignorant about our world, the deadly conflicts spanning the global, the deadly famines and diseases caused by our inability to get along with each other, nor our tremendous failure to cooperate with each other to solve the intractable and wicked problems we have created for ourselves as human beings.

The Choice Is Yours

Today is the day you must choose.

Will you choose life, meaning that you accept responsibility for your thoughts, words, and actions?

OR

Will you choose death, meaning you project your unconsciousness onto others and do not take responsibility for your own inner turmoil, hate, anger, and ignorance… and you don’t educate yourself about yourself and the world that offers you this precious human life?

All life is precious. And all humans matter. And each and everyone of us is making a critical choice this year. A choice of consequence that will have lasting gravity on all of life for the foreseeable future.

This is our moment to shine… or it is our moment to fall like a shooting star burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.

Choose wisely.

Feature Archetypal Animation

Art from Studio in Thomas, West Virginia

Music: World of Sleepers by Carbon Based Lifeforms — Proton Electron    6:52

The Chosen — Come They Told Me

Recently, I discovered one of the best TV dramas about the life of Jesus. It is the Jesus my father taught me about, and the Jesus he modeled his life after throughout his life as a Lutheran minister. I grew up in the church, my father being a minister and all. Indeed, I was born far away in Brazil where my father was serving as a missionary with his new and beautiful wife, my mother.

My father was not a perfect man. He could get mad, but he was also the kindest, most compassionate, most loving person I have ever known. He had a way of soothing people and comforting them at their lowest moments or during their darkest days. And, this I would learn, is rare among people, and truly a gift, indeed it is a blessing when someone can be there for another person when they need the kindness of another the very most.

As I grew up in a very religious atmosphere as most of my uncles were Lutheran ministers too and my father served many parishes as a pastor when I was growing up. I saw all sorts of people claiming to love Jesus and love the covenant with God, but then act very badly like the mayor of a small town where dad was the pastor who shot our dog and helped to drive dad out of town because dad believed that God could work through the miracle of evolution and time. Some of the very religious didn’t like his sermons about the wonders and vastness of space and time. They didn’t like that my dad mixed religion and science.

So we left that small town in South Dakota and dad transitioned into being a Hospital Chaplin. He would remember everyone’s names and greet them by name every time he saw them. We would go with dad when he took paraplegic patients fishing. He would be there for any patient during any crisis, big or small, and offer support and compassion.

I would also learn about a vengeful god through some of the more conservative members of my family… and as I grew older… I grew more cynical about religion and religious people, except, not my father. Mega churches, mega cons — like Tammy and Jim Bakker — would further cement my cynicism and distrust of religion. The kicker would come when my beautiful father died, five years ago now, and I was fired by a Lutheran organization for being with him in the 10 days he lived after his heart attack.

This is the post I wrote in the wake of my grief the first year after his death:

Celestial Tendencies — A Daughter’s Journey After A Father’s Death

My faith in religion was pretty much crushed after dad’s death. Until this… very tender, gentle retelling of Jesus and his life. No one alive today knows, not really, what Jesus was like or how his life unfolded. But this series, it comes so close to what my father taught me about Jesus and how my father lived his life.

On this day, the eve before Christmas Eve, when the Western World celebrates Jesus’s birth… Eastern Orthodox celebrates it January 7th… and there are many other celebrations in the Northern Hemisphere about the turning of the darkest day back to the lightest day, such as:

Hanukkah is an eight-day winter festival of lights, observed through nightly menorah candle lighting, special blessings, songs, and prayer. 

Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African-American culture from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a communal feast called Karamu, usually on the sixth day. It was created by activist Maulana Karenga, based on African harvest festival traditions from various parts of West and Southeast Africa.

Bodhi Day is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that Gautama Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment, also known as bodhi in Sanskrit and Pali.

Ōmisoka. Green and red fireworks at night. Culture: Japanese. Celebration date: Dec. 31. 

Islam has two official holidays: Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. The former is celebrated at the end of the month of Ramadan, whereas Eid Al-Adha lands on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah (the final month of the Islamic calendar).

The Winter Solstice … On this day, the sun shines directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, making it the shortest day and longest night of the year. 

One of the oldest winter festivities globally, Yule is a pagan holiday celebrating the winter solstice. Celebrated over 12 days – the twelve days of Christmas.

Along with a bunch of other observances Christians make around this time too”

For Watch Night, Christians will thank God for the safety they received during the year, according to Interfaith Calendar.

According to the Interfaith Calendar, this is known as Posadas Navidenas is known as a Hispanic Christian holiday. It commends Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.

Catholics celebrate the day of Immaculate Conception to honor the Virgin Mary, who is believed to have been born without original sin.

Santa Lucia or Saint Lucy’s Day is a feast day in the Christian calendar celebrating Saint Lucy, a martyr.

Advent is a season observed in most Christian denominations as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Christ at Christmas and the return of Christ at the Second Coming.

Holy Innocents Day — Christian. Christians solemnly honor the deaths of children killed by King Herod, who was attempting to kill Jesus.

Boxing Day originated in the United Kingdom and is celebrated the day after Christmas. Originally, servants who had to work on Christmas day received boxes.

Feast of the Holy Family — Catholic. Catholics use this day to honor Jesus, Mary and Joseph, according to Interfaith Calendar. 

Sources for above from: Religious holidays celebrated in DecemberFrom sources across the web

So, here are a few links to this series about Jesus that has rekindled my faith. You can watch the first season on Netflix or download The Chosen app and see all of them.

Joseph & Mary On the Road to Bethlehem
The Chosen | A Special Christmas Presentation: The Shepherd

And this one looks really good too, but a different one, a movie called The Young Messiah (2016).

Young Jesus Tested by Rabbi

Feature Animation: The Little Drummer Boy — The Harry Simeone Choir

I choose the Drummer Boy because this was one of dad’s most beloved Christmas songs and story. I think dad often felt himself to be the Little Drummer Boy!

Merry Christmas to all … or Happy Holidays whatever bring joys, meaning, and love into your life this time of year or any time of year.

Hate Is A Habit: Part 8 of the Marvelization of Man

This blog post continues Joost A. M. Meerloo book The Rape of the Mind published in 1956. What Joost observed more than 65 years ago is as relevant today as it was then, perhaps even more, especially if we fail to learn the lessons from our failed and terrible collective past. The section below gets into the psychology of individuals and groups that allows totalitarian thinking and regime to take command of everybody in a society that succumbs to the totalitarian mindset. No one is immune to it. It is ancient, coded deep inside our DNA and running hot between our ears and behind our eyes. When we become tempted by a totalitarian regime, we have succumb to our own phantoms and depravities first. Hate is a habit. Practiced faithfully and rigorously, it becomes a ravenous, vicious rage that only knows how to destroy.

Below are Joost’s words. I have added the animated images, comments in parathesis, and/or links to relevant current events that draw a straight line from man’s psychology right after WWII to now.

The Robotization of Man

p. 74, The Rape of the Mind

First, let me utter a word of caution. We must not make the mistake of thinking that there is any one particular nation that can be completely identified with this hypothetical land. The characteristics to be discussed can come into existence here. Some of Totalitaria’s characteristics were, of course, present in Nazi Germany, and they can today be found behind the Iron Curtain (and 67 years since this book was written, they still can), but they exist to some extent in other parts of the world as well (for instance, the Orange Jesus of the MAGA Party in the Good Old USA). Totalitaria is any country in which political ideas degenerate into senseless formulations made only for propaganda purposes. It is any country in which a single group — left or right — acquires absolute power and becomes omniscient and omnipotent, any country in which disagreement and differences of opinion are crimes, in which utter conformity is the price of life.

Hail! Orange Jesus! | Music: Bad Dream — Stellar

Totalitaria the Leviathan state — is the home of the political system we call, euph-emistically, totalitarianism, of which systematized tyranny is a part. This system does not derive from any honest political philosophy, either socialist or capitalist. Totalitaria’s leaders may mouth ideologies, but these are in fact mainly catch-words used to justify the regime. If necessary, totalitarianism can change its slogans and its behaviour overnight. For totalitarianism embodies, to me, the quest for total power, the quest of a dictator to rule the world. The words and concepts of “socialism” and “communism” may serve, like “democracy,” as a disguise for the megalomaniac intention of the tyrant.

Megalomaniac | Music: Pop/Stars Vs Megalovania — Dj Cutman

Since totalitarianism is essentially the social manifestation of a psychological phenomenon belonging to every personality, it can best be understood in terms of the human forces that create, foster, and perpetuate it. Man has two faces; he wants to grow toward maturity and freedom, and yet the primitive child in his unconscious yearns for more complete protection and irresponsibility. His mature self learns how to cope with the restrictions and frustrations of daily life, but at the same time, the child in him longs to hit out against them, to beat them down, to destroy them — whether they be objects or people.

LiveNOW talks with Rayna Exelbierd, Granddaughter of Holocaust survivors & CEO of The Rose Grow Joins us to share those stories of horror. I would like to draw your attention to about minute 7 of this interview when Rayna describes the induction of children into a culture cultivating hate. I understand huge injustices have been inflicted on the  Palestinian people for decades by the world and Israel. But growing a culture of hate is not going to solve these injustices and the people of the world mainly sit on our hands again while so many innocent Palestinian people die. We (the people of the world) could do more. We could insist our governments send Mercy ships to evacuate the people of Gaza. We could insist our governments aid Egypt in setting up refuge centers outside of Gaza. But I think we (the people of the world) have also grown too accustom to the habit of hate.

Totalitarianism appeals to this confused infant in all of us; it seems to offer a solution to the problems man’s double yearning creates. Our mythical Totalitaria is a monolithic and absolute state in which doubt, confusion, and conflict are not permitted to be shown, for the dictator purports to solve all his subjects’ problems for them (e.g., Orange Jesus of USA in 2023). In addition, Totalitaria can provide official sanction for the expression of man’s most antisocial impulses. The uncivilized child hidden in us may welcome this liberation from ethical frustration.

The uncivilized child… and the expression of man’s most antisocial impulses…” | Music: XANA – My Therapist Told Me

On the other hand, our free, mature, social selves cannot be happy in Totalitaria; they revolt against the restriction of individual impulses.

The psychological roots of totalitarianism are usually irrational, destructive, and primitive, though disguised behind some ideology, and for this reason there is something fantastic, unbelievable, even nightmarish about the system itself. There is, of course, a difference in the psychic experience of the elite, who can live out their needs for power, and the masses, who have to submit; yet the two groups influence each other.

Haunted By Our Thoughts | Music: Body Count / Haunted by Our Thoughts — Deadwood:

When a dictator’s deep neurotic needs for power also satisfy some profound emotional need in the population of his country, especially in times of misery or after a revolution, he is more easily able to assume the power for which he longs. If a nation has suffered defeat in war, for example, its citizens feel shame and resentment. Loss of face is not simply a political abstraction, it is a very real and personal thing to a conquered people. Every man, consciously or unconsciously, identifies with his native land. If a country suffers from prolonged famine or severe depression, its citizens become bitter, depressed, and resentful, and will more willingly accept the visions and promises of the aspiring dictator.

A History of Hamas | Photo: GAZA CITY, GAZA- Palestinian Hamas militants are seen during a military show in the Bani Suheila district on July 20, 2017 in Gaza City, Gaza. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty ImagesProduced by Throughline (this is well worth your time to listen to)

If the complexity of a country’s political and economic apparatus makes the individual citizen feel powerless, confused, and useless, if he has no sense of participation in the forces that govern his daily life, or if he feels these forces to be so vast and confusing that he can no longer understand them, he will grasp at the totalitarian opportunity for belonging, for participation, for a simple formula that explains and rationalizes what is beyond his comprehension. And when the dictator has taken over finally, he transfers his own abnormal fantasies, his rage and anger, easily to his subjects. Their resentments feed his; his pseudo-strength encourages them. A mutual fortification of illusions takes place.

Orange Jesus | Music: Orange Jesus · Sheamy Rock


Totalitarianism as a social manifestation is a disease of inter-human relations, and, like any other disease, man can best resist its corroding effects if, through knowledge and training, he is well immunized against it. If, however, he is unfortunate enough to catch the totalitarian bug, he has to muster all the positive forces in his mind to defeat it. The raging internal struggle between the irresponsible child and the mature adult in him continues until one or the other is finally destroyed completely. As long as a single spark of either remains, the battle goes on. And for as long as man is alive, the quest for maturity keeps on.

Archetypal Animations

Feature Archetypal Animation: Hate Is A Habit

Music: Hate Is an Attractive Force — SLEEP RADIO

First Archetypal Animation

Music: Bad Dream — Stellar

Second Archetypal Animation

Music: Pop/Stars Vs Megalovania — Dj Cutman

Second Archetypal Animation | Music: XANA – My Therapist Told Me (Official Lyric Video)

Music: Body Count / Haunted by Our Thoughts  — Deadwood: The Movie (Music from the HBO)

Orange Jesus — Sheamy Rock

Music: Scream & Shout (sped up) [Remix] — Xanemusic

Thanksgiving — Try Stuffed Pumpkins!

To save Tom the Turkey from the chopping block, here are two recipes for my favorite Thanksgiving dinner dish ever: Stuff Pumpkins! You can serve them as your main course or as a side to your turkey.

Stuffed Pumpkins!

Image: Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Thanksgiving Stuffed Roast Pumpkins

These vegetarian-friendly stuffed roast pumpkins give people who prefer a plant-based diet a main course worthy of a Thanksgiving centerpiece.

By Sasha Marx — Senior Culinary Editor | Serious Eats

Updated September 25, 2023

Sasha is a senior culinary editor at Serious Eats. He has over a decade of professional cooking experience, having worked his way up through a number of highly regarded and award-winning restaurant kitchens, followed by years spent in test kitchens for food publications.

WHY IT WORKS

  • Par-roasting the pumpkins ensures that all components of the dish are perfectly cooked.
  • Adding layers of kabocha squash purée intensifies the deep pumpkin flavor.
  • This recipe can easily be adapted to use ingredients that you already have on hand for Thanksgiving dinner.

Click here for fabulous step by step directions.

Ingredients

For the Roasted Pumpkins and Squash:

  • 4 small sugar pumpkins (1 1/2 to 2 pounds each; 675 to 900g)
  • 1 large skin-on kabocha squash (about 2 pounds; 900g), halved and seeded
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Mushroom and Kale Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound (450g) shiitake mushrooms (or a mix of mushrooms, such as oyster, chanterelles, and beech), stemmed, cleaned, and thinly sliced (see note)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces (225g) lacinato kale (a.k.a. dinosaur, Tuscan, or black kale), tough stems removed, leaves cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 medium shallots, finely minced (about 1/2 cup; 80g)
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) sherry
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) sherry vinegar

For the Spiced Cream:

  • 2 cups (475ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Glaze (optional):

  • 2 tablespoons (40g) red miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) honey
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) water

To Finish:

  • 10 ounces (285g) high-quality rustic bread, cut into 3/4-inch dice and toasted until dry
  • 3/4 cup (120g) pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), toasted
  • 3/4 cup (90g) pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces (225g) shredded Gruyère cheese

Learn about Serious Eats’ Editorial Process

The Best Stuffed Pumpkin Recipe

By Taylor Stinson | The Girl on Bloor

Click here for fabulous step by step directions.

Ingredients 1x2x3x

  • 4 mini pumpkins you may want to double this number if they’re really small. Mine were 3 inches tall.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup kale finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp dry white wine optional
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese grated

Turkey sausage

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper

And Pie!!

Also, I happen to discover this very great way to help people who need extra care and support, especially around the holidays through the work that Food & Friends does, as well as local business Whisked! And get two very awesome pies for Thanksgiving Day!!!

Food and Friends is the only community-based organization in the DC region providing home-delivered medically tailored meals and nutrition therapy to our neighbors living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other serious illnesses.

Whisked is A Women Owned Business in the DC Area. Jenna Huntsberger started Whisked by Jenna as a single farmers market stall back in 2011. These our desserts can be found in the aisle of retail giants like Whole Foods. Staying true to our roots, we’ve also collaborated on unique flavor combos with a variety of DC local eateries, like CAVA and PLNT Burger.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 2022 | Bake for Ukraine | Acts of Creativity Are Acts of Resistance
Home Is Everything Under the Sun | 11/24/22
The Rarest Spirit of Them All: Peace On Earth & Goodwill to All | Christmas Day & Hanukkah | 12:25:2

TOTALITARIA | Part 7: Marvelization of Man

PART 7: Marvelization of Man

Part 1: Marvelization of Man

Welcome to TOTALITARIA! A wonderful world based on the highest ideals, most moral codes ever conceived by man!

Oooops! Do you really want to live in a Totalitarian society where your neighbors and creepy people spy on you and report you to the Morality Police overseen by the Minister of Interior, a guy responsible for the interior thoughts inside your mind?!

Totalitarian Mindset

This blog explores Joost Meerlo’s chapter on the Totalitarian Mindset, which is a mindset that serves as a fundamental building block of totalitarian societies. This mindset does not just infect Totalitarian Rulers. It infects lots of people in a society who become susceptible to it for a variety of reasons

Totalitarianism is a form of government and a political system that prohibits all opposition parties, outlaws individual and group opposition to the state and its claims, and exercises an extremely high if not complete degree of control and regulation over public and private life. -- Totalitarianism -- Wikipedia

In fact, there are recognizable personality traits for forming and holding a Totalitarian Mindset.

These traits include conventionalism, authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, anti-intraception, superstition and stereotypy, power and "toughness", destructiveness and cynicism, projectivity, and exaggerated concerns over sex. -- The Authoritarian Personality -- Wikipedia

There is even such a thing as a totalitarian democracy, which is a state is said to maximize its control over the lives of its citizens by using the dual rationale of general will (i.e., “public good”) and majority rule.


Recap & Current Events

Previous blogs of this series explore why we need heroes, super heroes, and strong stories that activate and workout the body parts of our mind: Archetypes. Like the rest of the world, I am shocked and horrified by Hamas October 7 attack and anyone celebrating this attack. What were they thinking is beyond what a normal person can conceive. Only people who have broken their minds and eviscerated their hearts are capable of cutting the fingers off a little boy before executing him and cutting heads off of babies. Only people who have turned themselves into monsters spend 16 years and billions of dollars building underground tunnels while not dropping a dime to build a bomb shelter for the 2.2 million people of Gaza and then build their underground bunker headquarters underneath refugee facilities and hospitals.

The killing of any innocent person–baby, child, woman, or man–is wrong… be it by knifes and guns or bombs… and yet, here we the people of the world, stand again looking into the jaws of violence, which breeds violence, which breeds violence and revenge and more violence. The same killing is happening in Ukraine implemented by another crazy totalitarian monster who is cozying up to this favorite totalitarian dictators in Iran, North Korea, China, and now Hamas, Hezbollah, and any and all extremists, violent visionaries who want to rule the world.

I have been devastated by images of death and destruction in Israel and Gaza, but one picture caught my attention in a curious way. This is the picture of the captured soldier recused by the IDF from Gaza.

IDF soldier Pvt. Ori Megidish (center) with her family after being rescued from Gaza, October 30, 2023. (Shin Bet) — Times of Israel

I cannot fix or change this torn and tattered world. I can only reflect and notice and try to understand what makes a person lean into a Totalitarian Mindset and Life that never ends up serving the good of all. It only ever seems to serve a few living like rats in tunnels or cockroachs in golden palaces.

So let’s dive into Joost Meerlo who was a Jewish psychiatrist who survive the Nazi holocaust and thought a lot about what makes such men do such monstrous things.

TOTALITARIA

CHAPTER SIX: TOTALITARIA AND ITS DICTATORSHIP

The Rape of the Mind, Joost Meerlo

There actually exists such a thing as a technique of mass brainwashing. This technique can take root in a country if an inquisitor is strong and shrewd enough. He can make most of us his victims, albeit temporarily.

What in the structure of society has made man so vulnerable to these mass manipulations of the mind? This is a problem with tremendous implications, just as brainwashing is. In recent years we have grown more and more aware of human interdependence with all its difficulties and complications.

I am aware of the fact that investigation of the subject of mental coercion and thought control becomes less pleasant as time goes on. This is so because it may become more of a threat to us here and now, and our concern for China and Korea must yield to the more immediate needs at our own door. Can totalitarian tendencies take over here, and what social symptoms may lead to such phenomena? Stern reality confronts us with the universal mental battle between thought control (and its corollaries) and our standards of decency, personal strength, personal ideas, and a personal conscience with autonomy and dignity.

Future social scientists will be better able to describe the causes of the advent of totalitarian thinking and acting in man. We know that after wars and revolutions this mental deterioration more easily finds an opportunity to develop, helped by special psychopathic personalities who flourish on man’s misery and confusion. It is also true that the next generation spontaneously begins to correct the misdeeds of the previous one because the ruthless system has become too threatening to them.

My task, however, is to describe some symptoms of the totalitarian process (which implies deterioration of thinking and acting) as I have observed them in our own epoch, keeping in mind that the system is one of the most violent distortions of man’s consistent mental growth. No brainwashing is possible without totalitarian thinking. The tragic facts of political experiences in our age make it all too clear that applied psychological technique can brainwash entire nations and reduce their citizens to a kind of mindless robotism which becomes for them a normal way of living. Perhaps we can best understand how this frightening thing comes about by examining a mythical country, which, for the sake of convenience, we shall call Totalitaria.

Page 73 — The Rape of the Mind, Joost Meerlo

Additional Resources

Click Here

While writing this blog, I heard this on NPR. If you are interested in Totalitarian Societies and Mindset and what can happen to ordinary people just trying to live their lives in such societies, you should listen to this episode that tells how things can go sideways really fast, especially with social media and modern technologies.

In this episode, you meet a man in Iraq and the new app called Snitch, a woman in the US who was giving birth at home and arrested because her baby was a still birth, and what has been happening in Iran for decades with its brutal Morality police. The very same Iran supplying Putin with drones and Hamas with rockets.

Click Here is a five-part special series telling true stories about the people making and breaking our digital world. Hosted by former NPR Investigations correspondent Dina Temple-Raston, Click Here uses deep reporting and investigative journalism to introduce listeners to the people behind today’s cybersecurity and intelligence headlines. You’ll meet not just the hackers, but the people who are chasing them – without all that insider jargon that makes tech shows hard to understand.
What happens when authorities use digital weapons to impose their vision of morality on the people they are supposed to serve? Across the globe, rulers have launched apps, tracked phones, and used personal data in increasingly hostile ways, and it has sparked some very creative responses. -- Listen to this and other episodes of the Click Here podcast at clickhereshow.com or wherever you get your podcasts.

Midjourney generated Peace Art

Peace Forward

Hoffer seeks to provide non partisan and non bias information from both sides to help people understand the different sides, perspectives, and history of the conflict in the Middle East. It is a big lift and hard to do, and it is hard for people to reach out and seek more information to understand more about the horrors taking place. It is the only way forward for every individual to do this work, to check one’s own biases and blind spots. It is hard work, thinking, but without this hard work… there is only one place the world is going to land… and it’s not a peaceful place.

Harvard student launches hotline to promote peaceful dialogue amidst ongoing Israel-Hamas war

Following the onset of the Israel-Hamas war, Harvard University junior Shira Hoffernoticed a lot of one-sided and polarizing narratives around the conflict.
In an effort to promote peaceful dialogue across differences, Hoffer launched the Hotline for Israel/Palestine, an educational texting hotline that seeks to provide users with nonpartisan information and resources.
The initiative already has two dozen volunteers, spanning across religions, ethnicities and countries.
Here & Now's Jane Clayson speaks with Hoffer for more details on this peace-forward effort.

This segment aired on November 3, 2023.