Blockages come in more ways than can be imagined and be set loose in equally surprising ways.

Some blockages we know about include the following: Physical blockages can be painful – bowels – or death – arteries. Mental blocks can also be painful – phobias – or death – anti-vax. Emotional blockages can be painful – baggage – or lead to death – revenge. Communal blocks can be painful – poverty – or lead to death – poverty.

Blockages are present in every aspect of living. Intellectually, we can live out of yellowed lecture notes of obsolete best practices. Relationally, we know weaknesses and push buttons.

Wherever we look, even at protocols and processes or Robert’s or Senate parliamentary procedures, there are innumerable ways to weight decisions in favor of a status quo that favors the already privileged. A simple thing like a zip code can further disadvantage the disadvantaged – think banks and realtors.

One resistance model with some positive track record is continuing to bring pressure at blockage points until it is released. That might happen quickly with a chiropractic adjustment or traction over a more extended period. 

When dealing with a legal block, it is critical to keep pushing the letter of the law. Every law has a point at which its internal separation from lived reality has to come to a screeching halt. This approach’s downside is the number of people who will have a harder and more difficult time as the pressure to change builds.

A current blockage to a more robust economy, healthier citizens, and fulfillment of constitutional “general welfare” is being blamed on a procedural matter. There is nothing magical about $15 per hour. Considerably more or a bit less is the wrong question. A standard amount will never be right for every situation at the same time. Keep showing the long- and short-term stupidity of perpetuating disposable people. Unless we can find a way to stop such blockages, we will have earthquake after earthquake of reduced progress. Income and class gaps will expand, productivity decrease, and more grievance politics will skew violent. 

Quest Question

To seek – to wonder – both come from ye olde Latin, quaerere — quest/question.

Both “quest” and “question” can cease prematurely. Seeking easily fades when a finding occurs. Questions all too easily stop when an answer is given.

To hold “quest” and “questions” together begins to move in the direction of a fabled perpetual motion machine. Somehow or other, gravity and friction, be they ever so slight, eventually exert their presence. In like manner, “found” and “answer” clog the cogs of wonder.

Throughout a quest, there come new questions. A quest need not be at its conclusion before a new question sets the original quest on another bearing that will hopefully better triangulate an expected destination. Since a worthy quest feels like a Delphic Oracle has set it, there needs to be continual refinements of the initial directive. It is always possible that the quest was completed days or years ago and simply not recognized at the time.

Presuming a quest goes straight through from its setting to its completion, if it doesn’t automatically result in a new question and its implied quest – it was too small a quest.

The same holds true for questions that go beyond a first or incomplete answer. A worthy question looks for responses that will stimulate a finer quest. Answers get in the way.

Try phrasing one of your questions in the form of a quest and see if it increases your interest in more fulsome living. If a quest has drifted away, rephrasing a question may reinvigorate it.


Airplanes build in redundancy lest one failure condemn the well-being of the whole. “Safety first!” allows passengers to arrive back on earth in one piece.

American society and economy also build in redundancy (job loss) for labor. A long line of under-employed and unemployed await their “opportunity” to feed the wealthy as they are plugged into the drudgery required for corporate profit.

Job redundancy keeps stress on laborers to keep them docile. Always there is the promise of better and the fear of other workers conspiring against them for their little cog.

A zero-sum game is a set-up for those who have little, putting that little at risk. This allows those who have much to ride content as their more appears to increase of its own accord, automatically.

Until people are accorded the safety concern given to airplanes, they will continue to crash and crash. In such a scenario, it becomes only a matter of time before there is no safety anywhere and the whole system comes tumbling down.

Blindness to the long-term effect of employment erosion leads to treating labor like any other natural resource – disposable and irreplaceable. This double-whammy has consequences. A plane can fly with half its engines, but not with none of them.

Institutions are famous for responding to a problem with the lowest percentage of an answer as they can. Disposable and irreplaceable is not a complication with only one vector. If applied to a job without including all other components, the problem has not been solved – it will return multiplied and be the more challenging to resolve.

Mad Lib

once upon
a mattress
means anything
can shift
part way
along familiar
time lines

mad libs
jump over
common constraints
setting relationships
awry awhirl
playing silly
opening doors

subject verb
prepositional phrase
coordinating conjunction
another subject
inappropriate verb
modifying phrase
punctuation mark

who could
ask for
anything less
to avoid
while away
whittle down
impending _________

Simultaneous Plurality

I have just spent an hour with a Westar Institute event on engaging others on hot-button topics. A point that kept returning was “simultaneous plurality.” Additional phrases that circle this mouthful are: 1) nothing happens in isolation and 2) there is no position without a location.

When identity politics is based on isolated positions separated from their values and become undebatable or able to be thought about in relation to multiple senses of reality, it isn’t easy to find any ground where we can stand together. A King-of-the-Hill approach leaves only one standing. For creatures that survive through social structures that shift over time to meet new conditions, this sort of extreme individualism is tantamount to genetic suicide or environmental murder.

One of the possible values of religion in such a polarized situation is a remembrance of its reliance upon trust (a better translation than “faith”). Trust has a communal/social component at its center. This can be seen when it is contrasted to viewing life on the basis of commodification or creedalism, that which can be owned and held over another.

An appreciation of provisional truth asks that its antecedents and consequences be part of the conversation. It is not sufficient to boil things down to a single sense of reality. When a professed truth tries to stand on its own, it wraps everything into a crisis point of a tribal identity only supportable by becoming self-referential to the point of constructing interlocking conspiracies that deny everything but itself.

Our current tendency is to divide along the lines of those who see eternal doubt about everything and those convicted that certainty requires uniformity. Symbolic language becomes weaponized, and a war of words directly leads to a battle of bodies seeking to claim the center of nothing but itself.

There is no final resting spot in a system of dynamic relationships. So, we are called to the difficult work of 1) not making stuff up and 2) trusting beyond our self-referential self.


not everything true
is provable
so goes certainty
that brings us around
to deeper dreams
beyond such limits
of false positives
and positive falsity
wearing a façade
of coherence
grounded in consistency
within a granular universe
with multiple faces
leaving little choice
but to smile
as there we go
take my surety

Beyond Local

Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle plays speed off against position – it is not possible to localize anything. While applying to matter and space, the Uncertainty Principle does have implications for other disciplines, such as politics.

There is an old saying that all politics is local. I imagine this was first articulated by someone frustrated at effecting a change of any sort and fell back on a hope that a butterfly here might be a contributing factor for change at some remove.

Political change is challenging to determine, like that of quantum speed or position. Locality is but one small factor. It is not unusual for people to vote against their own best interests (no matter where such might be identified). A classic example is that of voters who elect trickle-down representatives if they promise to outlaw abortion. A recent example is that of voters who acquit DJT and simultaneously indict his responsibility for acts of insurrection.

It turns out that economic stability is one of the most significant factors for reducing abortions. This means that a local morality against abortion, counter-intuitively, results in poorer economics because of a false theory of common good and more requests for an abortion. This goes beyond “fool me once ….” To become doubly fooled the first time around with increased poverty and increased abortions.

Those who have been shutout of the economy (grievance voters) have recently found comfort in a false theory of strength – it is best seen in the mirror of yesterday and personal independence. MAGA Militia is alive and well and doing real harm based on faulty data and doubly false interpretation of the same. Their unconscious has been groomed to be scammed by the latest con-artist with a lie to sell. The alternative is the difficult work of wrestling with the uncertainty of multiple factors and degrees of confidence in evaluating them. Admittedly, this is difficult to do in the best of situations and doubly difficult in a time of felt survival by narrowly local tribes.

We need better analysis of intersecting global speed with local position. Where is a political M-Theory when it is needed?


I know it is not the season for sugarplums dancing in heads. I’ll chalk mine up to shoveling the sidewalk with the temperature at -2°F.

Having dealt with cultish Christians insistent that it is imperative to impose their creed on all people at all times and just happens to benefit themselves, I know their ability to shift gears between whining when caught out and accusing when not. Their 180° turns are not only to save the day but become a part of their long-term strategy by keeping everyone off-stride and more malleable (eternally forgiving; never holding them to account).

That same response is still available to the Republican Senators who will decide the impeachment of DJT (a veritable political poison—DDT). The picture here is an evaluation that the best Republican long-term strategy is to remove DJT from ever running again. Such a decision would allow them to campaign on their integrity of holding one of their own to account and also claim they are running on his policies (even though his policies were disastrous — children caged, environment raped, citizen set against citizen, pandemic response….).

I’m not sure how that would play in the coming mid-term election. Still, current Republican leadership may see it as preferable to defending their acquittal of DJT from the consequences of impeachment and stimulating more Georgia-like organizing that could still overwhelm their next attempts at voter suppression.

I have no way of evaluating this possibility. Still, I would find a conviction on the charge of impeachment easier to deal with in the public discourse and see an acquittal as a continuation of the big lie that has begun to be revealed and will be further revealed through criminal charges.

I mention the above without hope that conviction will occur. It would make a final reckoning more difficult because people will think, once again, that we have turned a corner. No matter what the Senate decides about impeachment, we still have miles to go.