A small handful of troublemakers…

troublemakers webI ran across this phrase in an old email and realized how prophetic it is.

Whenever you hear the dismissive phrase, “They are just a handful of troublemakers”, you are listening to the opening bars of an organization’s or country’s swan song.

It is the most accurate sign that an organization or country has lost touch with its public. It signifies that the person, organization, or country no longer feels the need to keep a finger on the pulse of the group which is supposedly supporting it in some way. By support, I mean both voluntary and coerced support.

Voluntary support of a country’s administration is shown through voting and other supportive actions like donations of time and money.

Coerced support is through taxation and enforced following of arbitrary regulations with penalties for noncompliance.

You begin hearing this phrase long before popular sentiment approaches open revolt and public ridicule. It is used by clueless rulers or cunning administrators with delusions of grandeur who think they have full media support and complete control of public relations messaging.

The handful of troublemakers who are angry enough to be noticed are the tip of a volcano full of seething people who have not had enough upset to explode yet. The troublemakers may be sincere or criminal, but their presence is a sign that communication has been cut between the governing and the governed and the end result is almost always explosive if communication cannot be restored.

When the explosion comes, those who consider themselves in the ruling class are always surprised by the enormous response to what they may consider a trivial act.

It was a handful of trouble makers who triggered America’s move from a colony to an independent nation.

It was a handful of initial troublemakers who sparked the protests to the Korean and Vietnam and subsequent wars and served to change our opinion of our military and political leaders.

Today, in our world of almost instant communication, a handful of dedicated troublemakers can expose the frailties and insanities of our political leaders within hours of any stupid or criminal activity.

It could be an incautious remark by a public official in a public or private statement or it could be the self-centered focus on vacations and golf by our president while the country is assailed by enemies within and without.

We are all sitting on a volcano of suppressed rage that can find an explosive outlet at any time.

Ignoring or dismissing troublemakers and failing to understand their grievances will result in eventual mutiny and breakdown of law and order.

The Declaration of Independence says, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

When consent is withheld, government puts itself at risk. Good government and good leadership alike pay attention to all constituents, including those handfuls of troublemakers.

Posted in Challenges to overcome, Expanding our horizons | Leave a comment

German Television does first Edward Snowden Interview (ENGLISH)

This is a powerful video. No wonder the government is trying to block this interview from being seen.

I wonder how may other people are willing to put their lives on the line to stop their government from doing criminal actions?

You need to watch this video and forward it. Read more at:

Posted in Government Insanity, Totalitarianism in a new dress, Your Government at work | Leave a comment

Does this remind you of anything that is happening today?


Posted in Simpler Lifestyle | Leave a comment

“Glory Days” and the inexorable progression of games

Glory DaysThe Bruce Springsteen song “Glory Days” captures our nostalgia for times when we were young and strong and successful in some extraordinary way. Any mention of those glory days is a poignant reminder of our current inability to recreate the  magic of those moments.

If this is the case, we are stuck in a win and cannot adjust to the realities of our current existence because no matter how we frame it,  our present career and life do not give us the admiration we received during our glory days.

A possible way to unstick ourselves from past glory days is to look at the games we choose to play during our lifetimes and see how one is replaced by the next. Life is a series of games, each with its own rules, teammates, goals and opponents. Sports are obvious games, but education is another game, and so is marriage, and so is a career. Some games last a long time and are played simultaneously and others are played intensively for a few years and give way to replacement games.

Games become important in school where winners get admiration and approval from others. Physical prowess gives a person an edge in almost all of the games that are played in school and the social rewards are significant.

Once we leave school, the games become more varied, and social skills and specialized knowledge become the keys to success and glory although there is still a place for athletes of extraordinary ability. The games we play involve larger teams and higher stakes and there is so much glory in winning that these games attract highly talented players.

One of the important things to learn is that you can always choose not to play a particular game. There are always alternate games with different playing fields, different rules, but which can still earn you the admiration you seek from being a winner in the game. Playing a game you are not suited for will usually end up in disappointment. Picking a game in which you have a natural advantage makes it more likely that you will succeed in garnering rewards and admiration.

You need to realize that most games require high levels of skill and stamina and that your participation in any game has a natural duration dependent on the level of mental and physical performance you can maintain. Thus, your game participation is finite and one should always be preparing for the next game to come.

The high school football player should be prepared for college football or to transition to professional studies. The high school cheerleader should be prepared for a similar transition to other games. In college, or work, or in a professional career there should always be an awareness that there will be another game following this one. If every game is played as a stepping stone to the next game, there is less chance of becoming stuck in your “glory days”

At some point you may even become a “maker of games” and create opportunities for others to have careers and interesting and productive lives. Once you attain this viewpoint, you are truly free of the constraints imposed when you play other people’s games. You are no longer a “PLAYER”, you become a “GAME MAKER” which is a higher order of game indeed.

You can enter this state of becoming a “game maker” at almost any age. You devise a game where others play and if you make it so your teammates keep winning, the game can grow to incredible proportions.

The final point to remember is that there is always another game coming up. Have a great time playing your present game, but be prepared to shift gears and get on with the new game when it presents itself.

Create an unending succession of glory days.

Posted in Expanding our horizons, Expanding Your Opportunities | Leave a comment