10 People Fund the Best Democracy Money can Buy!
The oligarchs are making their voices heard this election. A new analysis of SuperPAC donations by the Center for Public Integrity finds that just ten donors are responsible for one-third of the $202 million of SuperPAC money so far this election. Of those ten donors – seven are individuals and four are billionaires. Leading the way is casino mogul Sheldon Adelson who’s dished out $26.5 million so far – mostly on Newt Gingrich’s failed campaign. Others on the list include billionaire Texas home-builder Bob Perry who’s spread his 6.7 million around between Mitt Romney and Karl Rove’s SuperPACs, Libertarian PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel who bankrolled Ron Paul’s campaign with $2.7 million, and bankster Foster Friess who propped up Rick Santorum with a couple million dollars. And then there are the anonymous donors out there who the American people will likely never know about – spending tens of millions of dollars on right-wing SuperPACs. I’m guessing Mahmoud Amadenijad is one of them, considering how good the Republican Party has been to the Iranians – selling them weapons in the 1980’s – material to build nuclear bombs in the 1990’s – and taking out their top enemy, Iraq, in the 2000s. Ahmadenijad is just making an investment for another decade of good relations with the Republican Party.
Detoxing The Ego Of Being Right
Since the mid 60's, my family has owned a cabin on a beautiful, North Texas lake called, Possum Kingdom. Over the decades, rarely a weekend has gone by when one, or often a mass of us haven't taken up temporary residence there to charge up our batteries, splash around in the water and nurture our family structure. My Mom and Dad raised us three kids to be quite an independent lot and a common phrase that was often used to highlight that point, as well as defuse minor disputes was, "We have too many Chiefs and not enough Indians."
Compared to the rest of my family, I guess I was endowed with a greater wanderlust -- as a well as a firm dislike for much of Texas. Consequently, I rarely lived close enough to The Lake to be known as a regular participate in this, our true family home. However, in the mid 80's, I was enticed back to Texas, from the San Francisco Bay Area, in order to help my Dad computerize his real estate holdings and, as a result, I was able to spend many more wonderful days and nights with my family and friends at The Lake.
One spring, during this period of my extended visit, my father, being a psychologist, came up with a very interesting "game." It went something like this: Whenever someone was found to be incorrect in something that they said or did, they had to vocally and publicly acknowledge their error by making the following statement, "I was wrong ... you were right ... AND I apologize!" This "game" went on for most of that summer and I still reflect on the powerful affect it has had on me as well as most of my family. In the early stages of this "game," vocally acknowledging a fallible point was extremely difficult! It ran contrary to many of the lessons I'd learned in life -- with the primary one being that I was always right and when I actually wasn't, it should be kept a secret and/or ignored ... or even, in extreme cases, covered up. "Failure was NOT an option!" Being wrong cost imaginary "points" and somehow moved one in the direction of being less trustworthy, to be looked down upon ... to become an ego of lesser value -- a loser. Also, being CONSISTENTLY wrong eventually eroded credibility and face was thus lost, to the point of becoming faceless in the crowd of others who were, of course, continually deemed -- all right. I sensed the same discomforts and even fear in the eyes of my other family members, as they too confronted these same challenges to our previous false paradigms of our imagined perfect status quo. As the summer evolved and we all became more comfortable with this "game," a subtle but remarkable shift occurred! It rapidly became obvious to all, that the previous imagined concealments of the past had, in reality, usually existed as faintly realized (but usually unacknowledged) points of fact by the others. Our tortuous admissions slowly became easier to state. As the resistance fell away, we communally found that we were all fallible and that our personal confrontations with our own truths began to separate us from the burden of denial that we had all lived with -- most of our lives. In fact, the "game" became a fount of liberation that began to extract smiles and often even squeals of delight, when acts of contrition were eventually avowed. Rather than experience the traditional breakdown of communication, we began to thrive on the development of new levels of deepening trust. The almost instant release from what could have become a pernicious thorn to be stuck in our psyche for an indeterminate period of time, became instead a little Memory Flower, watered with the pure rain of truth and full of the potential for healthy growth. -- Over the years, I've often reflected on that wonderful summer and our playing of that, "game." The lessons I learned have often contributed to my fervent and ongoing attempts to rapidly acknowledge my failures and thus free me from the confines of prolonged inner self-doubt, fed by denial. I've tried to imagine what it would be like to scale this "game" up, in order to internationally return the ancient concept of self-acceptance of our mistakes to that higher standard of character evaluation that it once possessed. What kind of a world could we create if all of us volunteered to perpetually participate. What could the replicated experience do to/for all of us on personal levels, especially for our children? How could it affect business ... even more crucially, our divisive politics? How could this "game" possibly spread? What kind of name, meme or framing would it require to take it viral? Could it become one of those chain emails that could, if everyone passed it along to just 10 people, deposit good fortune on all that participated? What would be the possibility that someone of note -- maybe Oprah, Deepak or even Obama -- could endorse it and thus make it the "game du siècle" for all of the world to benefit? Should, or even could it become an international focal point on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the various non-partison evening news outlets? Perhaps a scholarly scholar could do some research, write an authoritative best seller and then have it made into a movie. Whew! It may very well be that this is just too simple a concept. Maybe it is, and always will be, of little value to anyone -- other than my family. Perhaps I should just firmly and unequivocally state outright that it is a useless drop of thought in a sea of superior ideas, worthy of not even another particle of argumentative consideration! But then, I would certainly welcome someone trying it out to the point that one of us could eventually state to the other, "I was wrong ... you were right ... AND I apologize!" --- Terry Sneller A patriotic expat -- now living in Hudson, Canada.
And just think, if all that money had been spread out to the American taxpayers, our economy would be in fantastic shape.