Amendment 25

morning joe

Interesting morning on “Morning Joe”—the early-morning news show that I watch.

It’s kind of a-love/hate-relationship-with-politics show that praises/scours those who competently/incompetently play at politics.

This morning’s topic was the first I actually 25th amend.jpgheard the often verbacious commentators use the term, “Amendment 25” during a discussion on the latest lunacy sting of tweets from Trump (of which a couple more tweets came through during the show itself, which further made their point).

For myself, not knowing what Amendment 25 was (although I had a pretty good idea from what they were referring to), I had to look it up.

When these folks start talking “Amendment 25” you know things are serious.papers of pres

Amendment 25 is the “Presidential Disability and Succession” amendment to the Constitution.

Joe and others were saying it is now time to seriously consider this Amendment as the current President’s mental stability and competency are more frequently coming into question.  Here is the entire Amendment which speaks for itself:

25th Amendment to the US Constitution

(The 25th Amendment, proposed by Congress and ratified by the states in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, provides the procedures for replacing the president or vice president in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation.  The Watergate scandal of the 1970s saw the application of these procedures, first when Gerald Ford replaced Spiro Agnew as vice president, then when he replaced Richard Nixon as president, and then when Nelson Rockefeller filled the resulting vacancy to become the vice president.  Read more from the Congressional Research Service here….)

Amendment XXV

Section 1.

In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2.

Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

nixon.jpgSection 3.

Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4.

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

Taken from Cornell University Law School (https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxxv)

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Anger Only Breeds More Anger

Fshirt.jpgor me the message on the sweatshirt says what I’m honestly feeling right now: “I’m practicing mindfulness, compassion and loving kindness so don’t piss me off.”

The latest homicidal lunacy in San Bernardino, California, Dec 2, 2015, conducted by a few misguided and deeply unstable individuals who were trying to find some sense of meaning to their lives by killing others and themselves in the process, is both heart-sickening and totally stupid. I mean, when is homicidal-suicide ever meaningful?

And since I don’t handle intentional stupidity well; especially the malevolent stupidity that brings harm to others, I get angry. But like the shirt mentions: I’m also trying to be loving and compassionate and not allow my anger to consume me, so that inner incongruity creates tension within me over this sad and senseless replay of group-inspired insanity. I’m sure many of us are feeling this same thing.

I mentioned November 16th in the posting on Assessing Terrorism that “Most people fear and powerwho use this “fear” tool are banking on the flight response more than the fight response.”

Do they not yet understand that freedom-loving people everywhere do not flee when threatened? We fight!

When we (who love freedom and the right to make our own choices about our lives) are threatened, we react immediately with anger not fear: Angry words, angry gestures, and anger-based counter threats at those wishing to harm us. Didn’t wars in Afganistan and Iraq show assaulters anything about how nations with epic arsenals react to homicidal attacks?

However sometimes there are those who may over-react to threats of being assaulted and use a very broad rhetorical brush to paint ALL members of associated religions or races for the homicidal intentions of only a angerfew individuals. That is unfortunate and equally stupid, and because I don’t handle “stupid” well, THAT makes me angry—again, the shirt sentiment.

With political campaigns in full swing, there is no excuse when idiots on podiums in front of television cameras use these incidents to inflame their vocal audiences with unified hatred and spewed bigotry.

The problem is that idiots are idiots, no matter the national origin or the party affiliation. And audiences who buy into their political messages of hate are just as malleable as the misguided recruits for homicidal suicide—they only hear what fuels their fears and their anger, because anger makes them feel more powerful.

So lehold angert’s all get a better handle on our OWN anger and let’s make positive changes in our lives and in the world around us. As I mentioned previously, I am far from a pacifist and I tame myself down daily in search of a solid, positive solution to the festering wounds of wide-spread racial tensions, religious intolerance, and opportunity inequality.

My premise is pretty simple: I know that I can’t help spread peace if I can’t hold it within myself, so it is extremely important for all of us to acknowledge our own anger at these senseless and misguided actions of individuals and groups bent on creating chaos and social anarchy.

Don’t allow it. Take a deep breath, and then another one, and say aloud:light

“I am love, I am light that outshines any darkness, and I am deeply at peace within myself as I spread this inner peace throughout the world now. And so it is.”

Don’t give in to your own anger, and for certain never allow fear to cloud your thoughts, but foremost above all else, recognize that only you can decide how you wish to react to any challenge you may face.

peace.jpgMy suggestion is to face it with grace and determination to make this a better and more loving world for everyone. That really is the only rational choice that we have here.

Assessing Terrorism: Homegrown and Elsewhere

paris peace signPretty hard not to be affected by the degree of homicidal mania throughout the world right now.

First and foremost, I want to offer my condolences to all involved in these violent acts everywhere in the world, and to pray that Divine Light and Love flows effortlessly into every affected heart lightening the pain and healing the gaping wounds left in the wake of such senseless destruction.

Secondly, my opinions on the matter are pretty inconsequential to any aftermath outcome, but I think there is something that needs to be said on it because this is not a subject I would normally write about, so I’m feeling Spirit-nudged to put my two-cents into this for what it’s worth.

Three words that come immediately into my humble mind to now address this terrorism assessment are: perspective, context, and overview. So I’ll address them one at a time.

  • PERSPECTIVE on the “WHY?”

Acts of violence and barbarism are initiated to create widespread fear in the populace because FEAR is a tool for controlling others. FEAR is the adrenal gland’s natural fight or flight trigger. We tend to simply react one way or the other when we feel fear.

Most people who use this “fear” tool are banking on the flight response more than the fight response. fear and powerIt is also likely that those who feel the need to use FEAR as a tool are the ones who would otherwise feel the most impotent and powerless without using it.

The IMPOTENT and POWERLESS category can be a large one and include people who feel isolated, disenfranchised, unappreciated, unsure, and generally hopeless about their lives changing for the better anytime soon.

So to counter their feeling of impotence they force a change, and they use FORCE to make that change happen. These are not really powerful people—they are people who want to FEEL powerful in some way by creating that same powerless feeling in others.

  • CONTEXT on the “WHO?”

Rosse quoteAttributing widespread acts of terrorism and genocide to any particular group of combatants is to trace the “fear” tool back to the earliest forms of human competition for limited resources and community security. It can be tracked century by century through the annals of recorded history as the means that any conquering group used to eliminate their competition in the region.

Add some ideology and religious fervor to it, and you’ve got that ignominious term “religious war.” Lots of those have and still are occurring in various places throughout the world.

Or in large metropolises it can be gang-waged wars for the same basic principles of competition for resources and security. A year of drive-by shootings can be just as deadly as one-time staged assaults on what security analysts call “soft targets” of gathered citizenry.

  • OVERVIEW on the “Aftereffects of Terrorism”memorial

Terrorist assaults can occur anywhere in the world whether by a mentally ill sociopath locally in a movie theater or a grade school, or by two or more individuals who claim a unified common-cause but kill others and themselves more so because they feel no sense of purpose to their lives and are easily manipulated by charismatic leaders who appeal to the lesser person’s festering humiliation and anger toward others.

The aftereffect of terrorism is the same: Other people take notice of those offending individuals and provide them with exactly what they want the most: attention and false feelings of momentary power—created by the best tool they have in their arsenal—FEAR.

fearlessBut do you know what is most discouraging and disheartening to those homicidal individuals we commonly refer to as “terrorists”?

What returns that offender’s momentary feeling of power back to his original feeling of impotence is when the community and society that has been so maniacally assaulted by him don’t give in to the FEAR that he tried so hard to create. His efforts were in vain. He was simply ineffective again.

When the community and society adopts that “refusal to be fearful” to barbarism and violence, then these so-called “terrorists” have lost their main weapon.

* * *

Personally I am far from a pacifist. I wish I were more loving and forgiving about the abhorrent actions of a few deranged or maladjusted individuals trying their best to destabilize communities and regions. But it doesn’t matter what my personal feelings are on this matter. What matters is that:

  • we never give in to fear.
  • We do what is necessary to defend ourselves and our families/communities, and
  • we work toward a better world where violence is never the answer to anything—where people actively engage in creating peaceful co-existence with their neighbors after finally realizing that basically we are all the same—
  • we are ONE PEOPLE—ONE WORLD.one love

In truth, fear is a weak motivational substitute for the overwhelming POWER of LOVE.