Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Gary Stamper Design and Illustration

Award-winning artist creates affordable, unique, and imaginative designs & illustrations for all of your needs.

Gary Stamper, a three-time award winner of the prestigous International Sign Association/Signs of the Times Electric Sign Design Contest, Gary has capped off a 27-year career in the sign industry as a pinstriper, showcard sign artist, designer, a contributor to well-known sign industry publications Signs of the Times and Signcraft, and owning and managing several west coast sign companies, large and small. 

Gary's excited to announce his new freelance design and illustration business.
Visit Gary's new website at

     pylon sign in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Gary is a published author and speaker who does freelance design and marketing for commercial and electric sign companies, pet and auto portraits for lovers of animals and cars, Illustration and creative logo designs for small businesses and other marketing companies, the occasional editorial cartoon, and the even more rarified task of airbrushed body painting for parties , events, and photoshoots.

    Pet Portraits, a favorite with animal lovers

Friday, May 18, 2018

It’s Time for America to Face its Shadow around Racism

Making Intolerance and the Intolerant Intolerable

by Dr. Gary Stamper

Yes, I know…The subtitle of this article is a paradox. But since I am supposedly capable of holding multiple perspectives at the same time, I’m perfectly fine with it, especially for the purposes of this article

The Shadow In America: Reclaiming the Soul of a Nation, was first published in 1994. Compiled by Jeremiah Abrams with a foreword by Thomas Moore, and with contributions by Abrams, Jacquelyn Small, Aaron Kipnis, Robert Bly, and others, it presented an optimistic view of the firm ground needed to strip away the darkness that hides our country’s soul: racism.

Twenty-plus years later that optimistic view and the dream of unity has been stripped away and has been replaced by the original sin of  “separation,” the polar opposite views of American Exceptionalism, increasing intolerance against anyone deemed an “other,” not like us, and fear of  “those people.” When did we become such cowards?

It’s easy to blame the racist rants of leaders who loudly denigrate the “others, but if leaders weren’t supported by a large number of people, they wouldn’t be able to get away with it. A leader and a large number of people and their shadow/hatred/fear of the “other”- spurred on by the silence of those may not agree but are afraid to speak up - encourage their hatred to feed upon one another.

Is America standing on the precipice of a new civil war, or are we witnessing the death throes of the hatred-based systems of white supremacists, white nationalists, and neo-Nazis?

In 2014, America’s Southern Poverty Center said the number of hate groups in the U.S. was up from 602 in 2000, to more than 930 at the end of 2014.

Today the SPLC tracks more than 1600 extremist groups in the country.

And while a NBC Political Unit Poll on August 21st  -  taken a week after his first speech on Charlottesville - showed  President Donald Trump’s overall poll numbers were slipping again, what was particularly disturbing in the state-by-state polls was the percentage of Americans who approved of his job rating, ranging from 25 to 56 percent.

One cannot help but remember the words, spoken by Joseph Nye Welch to Senator Joe McCarthy in 1954 as we look today at a president who offered support to the abominable free speech rhetoric to those who were again inciting violence and urging extinction to Jews, including his Jewish son-in-law and his daughter who became Jewish upon their marriage: 

"Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Trump was saying - not once, but twice – that both sides were to blame for the violence that led a white nationalist to plow his car into a crowd of counter-protesters killing Heather Heyer, and the poll numbers are even more disturbing: While 55 percent of voters disapproved of Trump's response, an astonishing 34 percent of those voters approved of Trump’s response.

What can we extrapolate from the 34 percent approval rating of his statement?

It is not a stretch to assume that 34% - or one-third - of voters are, at some level, sympathetic to the white supremacist/neo-Nazi/white nationalist position. Could it be true, that in the 21st Century, one-third of voting adults in the U.S. essentially support white supremacy?

Linguist George Lakoff places those who believe in white power and racial superiority at 35 percent of the country. In other words, the moral universe where male-led white supremacy thrives is rooted in a sobering significant portion of the country.

According to an article on the website AlterNet titled The Spread of White Nationalism Is Taking Our Nation into Uncharted and Dangerous Territory (link), it may take three or more decades for American demographics to change (when non-whites become a majority) to surmount this latest eruption of white supremacy. In the meantime, with one-third of our country eager to enter those unchartered and dangerous waters, with permission and encourasgement from the President of the United States, no less, we are witnessing an unraveling, and it’s only beginning.

A deeper look into these demographics of racism and authoritarianism reveal how a global rise in authoritarian leadership is all too eager to promote fear of  “the other” to their racist bases. Authoritarian leaders, who may or may not be racist themselves, use their racist base as one more tool to take more and more control.

I’m not naive enough to think that it’s possible to completely stamp out hatred and racial intolerance, any more than it’s possible to stamp out authoritarianism, but if the majority of us want to live in a better world, then we have no choice but to make intolerance intolerable, and we need to start now… and that includes the indigenous genocide over the founding of this country.

…and the only way to do that is to show up at the polls, and start winning elections.

But first, we have to care.

(Now, about that paradox…just one more variation of yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater: You can think it, but you can’t say it, a conservative’s politically-correct nightmare.)

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Really? The Wacky Senior World of Meeting Women on the Internet

I rejoined a few days ago. I’ve belonged to Match 4-5 times since the early 2000’s. I rejoined because they have the largest database of potential partners. Before I came back to Match, I was on a couple of smaller “niche” dating sites, but they just didn’t have enough members to be effective in what is essentially a numbers game.

At this point, I’ve recently only “dated” one person I’ve met on a dating site. I was more interested in her than she was in me, and we’ve wound up friends, but she woke me up, lightly cracking me open to realize how much I want a partner in my life. But since I can’t yet speak to the dating part on internet dating this time around, this article is going to focus on meeting people. It will also be focused on a man’s perspective but I hope it will be useful to women as well.

The last time I was on Match, my inbox literally blew up with over 90 responses to my profile in a couple of days, and that is happening again as I’m writing this. I don’t attribute that to me being some kind of fabulous guy (although I think I am!). I think the real reasons my inbox blows up are twofold: One, as a professional writer and a men’s and couple’s counselor, I write a really good profile, and I’d like to think that’s part of it, but I also think it’s because I’m fresh meat.

Fresh, red meat. To quote the Eagles, There’s a New Kid in Town. Aged, yes but there’s a huge market of women 60 and older, divorced and widowed, that are looking for partners.
I only need one. The right one.

Separated,  Not Divorced
I don’t just immediately jump in when a previous relationship ends. I’ve been married twice and my personal style is to get to know who I am as a single person again before I unfairly foist myself on a new potential partner. As a consequence, I’m somewhat amazed that a portion of the women who initiate contact with me are only separated, their divorces not yet finalized.
I can’t help but wonder how someone can proceed to move toward another relationship before their current relationship is complete. It may be over, but it’s certainly completed and it’s doubtful that such a person has had an opportunity to fully heal.  It’s just too fast. My experience supports the idea that these are people who can’t bear to be alone, and they invariably wind up carrying the problems of the last relationship into the new relationship, creating a cycle of broken relationships. When I’m contacted by one of these women, I politely decline engagement as I’m not interested in dating someone who is still married. This is not a moral judgment. It’s a discernment based on knowledge of how things usually work. Not always, of course, but who wants to roll those dice?

The Younger Woman

I’m amazed by the number of “likes” I get from women who are younger than both of my daughters. My first thought is always, “what are you thinking?” Some actually invite me into conversation, but most don’t and are simply flirting through their “likes, likely “fishing” for an older man who will take them on for whatever reason, including supporting them, or being a sugar daddy, or just seeking a father-like approval that they probably did not get from a male figure earlier in life.

Maybe some of them are turned off by the awkwardness of many younger men and are looking for a degree of non-threatening contact by men who are easily assuaging and attending to their own inadequacies around mature women.  There may be a small number of younger woman – and men – who actually benefit from one of these May-December relationships, but here we go again, rolling the dice on something that reasonably has very little chance of working.

My own personal rule about age dating has been that I’ll likely not even consider someone who is not at least 10 years older than my oldest daughter. That’s becoming less of a problem since my oldest daughter will be turning 50 next year.  I also like the concept of dating “age-appropriately,” whatever that may mean to each individual, and it is a personal choice.

You’ve Got A Friend

Clearly, some of the strangest emails I get is where someone claims to be writing for a friend. They begin by saying their account is expiring soon, that they’re not going to renew, and they’ve got a really shy friend that would be a perfect match for me, and here’s here email address, and an admonishment to treat her gently because he’s really fragile.

This is wrong on so many levels. First, it violates Match’s policy of not giving out email addresses in a first contact. Second, there’s no denying that there many fragile and broken people in the world, but (1) why would they accept an email from someone they don’t know if they’re so shy, and (2) why would I want to be involved with someone who is that fragile and broken? My shadow loves your shadow?

This is a scam and I wonder if they’re specifically targeting older people like me, which brings me to….

The Older Man and Ageism

That would be me.  I’m not suggesting that I would or should date older men. I’m touching on how strange it is being in the situation I find myself in: I’ll turn 73 later this month, and I was pretty sure I’d still be happily married for the rest of my life. I never imagined I’d be in a situation where I’m not only writing this article, but actually on looking for a partner, hopefully, the last great love of my life, and trying to figure out what exactly that means.  I mean, 73! Defintely unchartered territory

The first thing that comes to mind is that, at 73, I appear to be at the upper end of the Match group of older men. Not the oldest, but definitely close enough for it not to matter. There’s good news and bad news: The good news is that there are a lot of men at 60 who look older than I do. The bad news is that I’ve got bad knees that are, hopefully, replaceable, and that’s my next step as alternative Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy did not work for me despite the promises.

Earlier in this article, I referred to the woman who woke me up and gave me the gift of knowing I could love again. I’d hoped I could, and that’s why I joined a dating site in the first place. She’s 60 and was at first skeptical of even meeting with a man who was 72 and I was put into the position of pursuing a “younger” woman. Using humor, I charmed her into meeting with me and we both immediately liked each other and I’m extremely grateful for her valued friendship.

One of the challenges here is that, on one hand, some women both young and old, say age is relative, that age is just a number. They are correct. On the other hand, if another woman states a certain age is too old - or a man says a woman is too young – they are also correct. Yes, both things can be true.

When I first got on a dating site a few months ago, I remember thinking, “So many of these women look like my aunt,” and then one morning I walked by my mirror and realized I look like my uncle. Welcome to my awareness of my own ageism.


It’s interesting that the drive to love and to be loved is so strong in us, no matter what our age. I’m grateful to my friend for helping to wake me up to not deciding I’m just going to be alone. I considered it…briefly.

While I’m looking, though, I’m also building the best life I can on my own and I’m going to have fun doing it. In th meantime, I’m now having a relationship with _______ (put the name of your dating site here), and eventually will replace it with someone I meet.

So thanks for reading. My hope is that some of this has given you some insight into your own relationship, existing or longed for. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to fix your existing relationship so you don’t wind up going through this in your life. If you’re not in a relationship, perhaps you’ll be inspired to open your heart to the possibility of love, no matter what your age. Either path is an assurance that you’re still alive and vibrant.

I could go on, but you get the idea.  I’m going to check to see if I’ve got new Match mail!

Friday, April 06, 2018

The Shadow of the Boy who Would Be King

In my 2012 book, "Awakening The New Masculine," I write about how archetypes can be the hidden forces at work in our psyches.

While there are more than enough real life examples of how the four major archetypes play out in our lives, few, if any, are more visible or useful than the shadows of the king as played out by the man who currently holds the highest public office in the land.

Played out on the world's stage for all to see, the shadows of Trump's King archetype are the same shadows - our dark sides - we all express to some degree or other. In Trump's case, it a very big "other, indeed.

The shadows of the King are the tyrant - the active shadow of the king - and the weakling - the passive shadow of the king.

Manifestations of the tyrant include bullying, aggressive and negative behaviors, and resentment. How they show up determines whether the shadow plays out as active or passive. Trump exhibits both at different times.

Trump's tyrant thinks he knows it all and will not listen to anyone else. In the end, he will either be overthrown or just ignored. This will come at a  terrible price not just for just the person concerned but, sometimes, in the case of authoritarian rulers, whole countries who will suffer. The tyrant has no conception of service to those under his care, so this fall is inevitable. He has never "followed his bliss" and so cannot bear to see anyone else follow theirs.

The polar opposite of the tyrant is the weakling. The weakling would rather go sulk in the corner than stand up for what he believes in. He may go off and lie on the beach in Bali for years, thinking he is being really cool but in reality not having a clue what his life is about. Whilst not as destructive as the tyrant, he is still of no use to the world as he is giving nothing.

Trumps' weakling - the passive shadow of the king - cannot bring himself to fire a subordinate face-to-face, but rather, has to resort to "tweeting" so he doesn't have to look them in the eye. He wants everyone to see this as him being powerful when in reality he performs an obviously cowardly act of a spoiled child.

And while using Twitter to destroy his enemies, when you put pressure on the weakling king, he will jump to the polar opposite of the tyrant, screaming abuse to all those around him. The weakling and the tyrant can be very close friends.

If you know someone who is out of touch with their king archetype, ask yourself who dominates them? The ones who dominate Trump are the ones he attacks the most. They are the ones who own him, even though they are powerless and he has all the power. They are the ones who get the blame for everything that is not right in the shadow king's life. His child-like narcissistic ego requires that he not only attack, but demolish those he deems his enemies.

He can’t help being dominated by them. They trigger him when he doesn’t get his way or when they manage to accidentally – or on purpose - touch upon his deepest unowned shadows and his wounded elements that he can’t even see, and denies even when someone hauls them out and he’s forced to look at them. That’s when both the tyrant and the weakling are most vulnerable. It’s also when they are the most dangerous.

Other leaders found in foreign governments, corporations, and politics, who understand the workings of humanity’s deep psychological connection to these mythological archetypes, will find it fairly easy to manipulate the boy/king for their own purposes, seemingly supporting the king’s power plays while all the while serving the interests of their own shadow king in a never-ending cycle of psychopathy, treachery and greed.

So what are we to do? Many of us - in a horrific awakening – have shockingly awakened to the reality that a third of us are perfectly content to support authoritarian leadership, even at the expense of the U.S. Constitution and democracy itself in favor of power, hatred, crony capitalism, oligarchy, and fascist rule. We are not going to change their minds.

It’s up to the rest of us. Simply waking up is not enough. We must also awaken to action, or Sacred Activism. We’ve got to take the Democratic Party back to its roots of being the party of the people, instead of the party of Corporate Lite. We need to get real. We need to stop thinking power is an inherently evil thing. It’s what we do with power that is good or bad. We need to stop fighting power and being squeamish about taking that power and wielding it to do good.

Nothing gets done without power, and no one is going to give us power. Power must be taken. The one-third of the country that supports the current administration is not going to give us what we want just because we marched, signed a petition, or called our congressman’s office. It’s not enough to be right. We need to be winning.

And what, then, happens when we win?

We start to lay some Tough Love on the Boy Who Would be King, and set about helping create a better world that works for everyone. The archetypal role of the King in mythology is to oversee the well-being of their kingdom. These times require that we all become benevolent kings and It’s going to take all of us.

Where can you take power?

Wednesday, April 04, 2018


by Gary Stamper
The Last Third:  Finding Purpose and Meaning After Retirement
Congratulations!  You’ve retired from whatever you’ve been doing in your professional life. It may have been a single career, a journey through a particular industry, or, like me, a continuous birth and rebirth process of many professional lives.  No matter how you pursued your professional life, if you were blessed, that journey filled you with purpose and meaning
The question now is, what’s going to bring you purpose and meaning - and joy - from here on out? After all, there’s only so much rest, relaxation, and recreation a person can take before they start to feel unfulfilled and restless, driving everyone around them nuts!
I know a lot about this. At the ripe old age of 72 years young, and recently divorced, I always knew I wouldn't willingly retire. I enjoy being busy, productive, and being in service to others, whether it's through my real estate investment business, the volunteering I do for the non-profit Real Estate Investors  Association I belong to, my recently closed e-commerce store when I realized it wasn't going to provide me with another stream of income, or this - Helping others find meaning in their retirement, what I'm calling "the last third."
So how do I do this? Like most of the work I've done over the last twenty years, I'm speaking directly to men, but everything I'll be doing will apply equally to women as well.

Like Freud a citizen of Vienna and a practicing psychotherapist, Dr. Viktor Frankl also became a university professor and prolific author. His most widely read work is Man's Search For Meaning, a keenly observed account of his experiences in the Nazi death camps during Word War II.

As he saw in the camps, those who found meaning even in the most horrendous circumstances were far more resilient to suffering than those who did not. "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing," Frankl wrote in Man's Search for Meaning, "the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

Frankl believed that the very pursuit of happiness is what thwarts happiness, but once you have a reason to be happy – i.e. a meaning – happiness comes automatically.

"Happiness is about looking inward. It’s about satisfying your needs and wants. Happiness without meaning results in a shallow, self-absorbed life. When things go well, when your needs and desires are satisfied, you’re happy. When things get difficult, watch out."
"Meaning is different. It’s focused outwards, on others. It’s about taking care of others and contributing to your community or society as a whole. When we see our purpose as larger than ourselves, we no longer need to pursue happiness. It comes naturally, even in the face of temporary setbacks and discomforts."

You could flesh this out working with a life coach - and that may be the best fit for you - or you could join our online cohort of like-minded seekers for a much smaller cost and with my guidance and mentoring, we'll point each other to discovering exactly what it is that gives your life meaning in the Last Third.

I'm goling to lay this out as an online classroom/forum so that over the course of a few months,  through teachings, exercises, and work you'll be doing to uncover your prize. In that time, you'll  have a solid grasp of what's going to bring you meaning, purpose -- and joy in your retirement years.

We'll utilize many varied processes and approaches including guided meditations, altered-states consciousness, pre-rational, scientific, and trans-rational shamanistic modems to anchor and support what has meaning to you.

Whadd'ya think? Is this something you'd be interested in? With approximately 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day*, there should be quite a few of you willing to explore this path with other seekers!



Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hillary Clinton: The Patriarchal Feminine

by Gary Stamper
Hillary-Clinton-9251306-2-402“In postmodernism, many women who have integrated their masculine have integrated the only version of the masculine that has been modeled for them: The Patriarchy, with all of its shadows and pathologies. Unfortunately, there are very few models for what I call the authentic, healthy masculine: A masculinity that has integrated the healthy masculine and feminine within themselves, and women are the losers for that.”

Congratulations. You got past the title of this article. My book, “Awakening the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior,” owes everything to Anyaa McAndrew’s (my wife) work with the feminine.  It was through Anya’s work with women that has helped me more deeply understand the archetypes of the masculine, the feminine, and patriarchy.
In a developmental context, Anyaa’s work with women centers around assisting postmodern women who have become overly “masculinized” to reclaim their more powerful (and more compassionate) integrated feminine, which includes the masculine. By contrast, my work with men in my Integral Warrior Men’s Process revolves around helping postmodern men  who have been “overly feminized” to reclaim the healthy aspects and fullness of the new masculine without shame and with a strong sense of purpose and a clear sense of their sacred mission of service, while still maintaining their healthy feminine, as opposed to the wimpy codependent version of the masculine that often shows up in postmodernism.

Men and women who who display the postmodern versions of masculinity and femininity are trapped, with men denying their authentic masculine and women denying their authentic feminine, unable to express the fullness of who they truly are. This denial can lead to pathologies of the worst kind.*

In postmodernism, many women who have integrated their masculine have integrated the only version of the masculine that has been modeled for them: The Patriarchy, with all of its shadows and pathologies. Unfortunately, there are very few models for what I call the authentic, healthy masculine: A masculinity that has integrated the healthy masculine and feminine within themselves, and women are the losers for that.

I’ve watched Hillary Clinton from afar since since the early days of Bill Clinton’s presidential candidacy, as First Lady, especially through Bill’s infidelity, the accusations from the right and the impeachment, a US Senator from New York, paid special attention to her journey through the 2008 presidential primaries running against Barack Obama, and finally, as Secretary of State in the Obama administration.

I have contended, and still do, that the reason she lost the Democratic party nomination was because she did not have her feminine on board. She came across hard and unyielding—like a man—where Barack Obama was not only able to show his masculine side but was also able to display a softer, more compassionate side—his feminine—and the voters responded. In other words, a woman candidate who exhibited the unhealthy and patriarchal version of the masculine and had not re-integrated her healthy feminine side was not appealing to most voters.

After resigning as Secretary of State on February 1st, her supporters are now urging her to run for the presidency again in 2016. When asked, she says, “I am not thinking about anything like that right now.”

She has also said she’ll “do everything (she) can to make sure that women compete at the highest levels, not only in the United States but around the world.” Bill is urging her to run.
A political action committee has been formed to raise money for 2016, Hillary for 2016 T-shirts are already for sale, insiders say she’ll run, and over 80% of Democrats back her candidacy. Two thirds of American women support her, and two thirds of Americans give her high ranks as America’s top diplomat.  At the peak of her influence, the NY Times called her “an instant presidential front-runner.”

It looks as if she will run, and once again, it’s all about winning.

So who is Hillary Clinton today? Is she displaying the patriarchal qualities of the old masculine, the bully, the tyrant King archetype, the cold, calculating Warrior archetype undeterred by the compassion of the healthy feminine? Is she just more of the same? A wolf in sheep’s clothing?

After eight years of Barack Obama it’s not an unreasonable question. Don’t forget George W. Bush’s famous quote: “fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

Or can we?

Stephen Lendman, a well-known columnist for a website called Veterans Today, and who also hosts The Progressive Radio News Hour on The Progressive Radio Network., points out Hillary’s record:

Obama exceeded the worst of George Bush. Clinton joined his war cabinet. She’s ideologically hardline. She was a Wellesley College Goldwater Girl. She was president of Wellesley’s Young Republicans.

She’s militantly pro-war. In the 1990s, she was very much part of husband Bill’s foreign policy team. As an aggressive first lady, she had lots of influence.

At Secretary of State, Clinton headed foreign policy. She’s complicit in crimes of war and against humanity. She represents the worst of imperial arrogance. She is the old warrior, a reliable spear-carrier.

Her outbursts reflect bullying and bluster, not diplomacy. She’s contemptuous of rule of law principles. She scorns democracy. She’s committed to war, not peace.

She’s unabashedly hawkish. As first lady, she urged husband Bill to bomb Belgrade in 1999. She ignored international and constitutional law. She lied about Slobodan Milosevic.

“You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time,” she said. “What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?”

For 78 days, NATO ravaged Yugoslavia. Nearly everything targeted was struck. Massive destruction and disruption followed. An estimated $100 billion in damage was inflicted. A humanitarian disaster resulted. Environmental contamination was extensive.

Large numbers were killed, injured or displaced. Two million people lost their livelihoods. Homes and communities were destroyed.

Nobel laureate Harold Pinter called NATO’s aggression “barbaric (and despicable), another blatant and brutal assertion of US power using NATO as its missile (to consolidate) American domination of Europe.”

Lawless aggression became humanitarian intervention. An avenue to Eurasia was opened. A permanent US military presence was established. American imperialism claimed another trophy.

Clinton’s unabashedly pro-war. She’s a war goddess. Straightaway post-9/11, she urged waging war on terror.

She said any nation lending Al Qaeda “aid and comfort will now face the wrath of our country. I’ll stand behind Bush for a long time to come.”

She supported annual defense (aka war) budgets. She voted for the Patriot Act and other police state legislation. She endorsed cluster bomb use in civilian areas and refugee camps.

She’s against banning land mines. She’s dismissive of human suffering. Wealth, power, privilege and dominance alone matter.

In 2005, she was one of only six Democrat senators opposed to blocking deployment of untested missile defense systems. They’re first-strike offensive weapons.

She supported restriction-free nuclear cooperation with Israel and other US allies violating NPT provisions. She endorsed nuclear weapons use in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She calls them deterrents that “keep the peace.”

She was one of the largest recipients of defense contractor cash. She backed war on Afghanistan and Iraq. She opposed a Democrat resolution. It would have required Bush to try diplomacy before launching war in 2003.

Her 2002 Senate speech supported war. She lied. She said “intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein rebuilt his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program.”

“He has given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members….It is clear that if left unchecked, (he’ll) continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”

“Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.”

“Now this much is undisputed.” What’s undisputed were her bald-faced lies. She repeated them ad nauseam as Secretary of State.

She supports the worst of Israeli lawlessness. At AIPAC’s 2008 convention, she said:

“The United States stands with Israel now and forever.”

We have shared interests….shared ideals….common values. I have a bedrock commitment to Israel’s security.”

(Against Islamic extremists), our two nations are fighting a shared threat.”

“I strongly support Israel’s right to self-defense (and) believe America should aid in that defense.”

“I am committed to making sure that Israel maintains a military edge to meet increasing threats.”

The only threats Israel faces are ones it invents.

“I am deeply concerned about the growing threat in Gaza (and) Hamas’ campaign of terror.”

She lied saying its charter “calls for the destruction of Israel.”

She lied again saying “Iran threatens to destroy Israel.”

She lied a third time, saying “I support calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard what it is: a terrorist organization. It is imperative that we get both tough and smart about dealing with Iran before it is too late.”

She backs “massive retaliation” if Iran attacks Israel. In 2008, presidential aspirant Clinton said:

“I want the Iranians to know that if I’m president, we will attack Iran. In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.”

In other words, she threatened to murder 75 million people. Today it’s nearly 80 million. She’s extremist on all foreign policy issues. She favors police state harshness domestically.

She endorses outsized military budgets. She’s done nothing to contain nuclear proliferation. She supported Bush’s unilateral nuclear first-strike option, including against non-nuclear states.

She represents the worst of America’s dark side. She’s a war criminal multiple times over. She’s arguably America’s most shameless ever secretary of state.

She’s clearly the most brazen. Her language and attitude exceed the worst Cold War rhetoric.

Her take-no-prisoners thinking, character, and demagoguery tell all. She’s addicted to self-aggrandizement and diktat authority.

She relishes death, destruction, and war spoils.

She’s indifferent to human suffering. She’s a monument to wrong over right. She’s a disgrace and embarrassment to her country, position and humanity.

She may become America’s 45th president. Perhaps she won’t get a chance to try. Humanity may not survive its 44th. The fullness of time will tell.

If it walks like patriarchy and talks like patriarchy, it’s probably not a duck.

Update, March 7, 2014: Hillary Clinton just compared Russian leader Putin to pre WWII Hitler for his actions in the Ukraine, ignoring that the side "we" support in this danderous dispute are the neo-cons and neo-nazis. Typical.

Addt'l Update, March 7, 2014: I've received from flak about this article from women who are criticizing me for not supporting women. On the contrary, I'm not anti-woman, I'm anti-patriarchy, no matter who exhibit it...even women.

*Disclaimer: Not all men carry a preponderance of masculine energy just as not all women carry a preponderance of feminine energy. There can be many variations of these energies within one person, and not all are unhealthy. Regardless of gender, healthy integration is the key.

Monday, December 31, 2012

There’s Something Seriously Wrong With Men In America

by Gary Stamper
Originally posted on Speaking Truth to Power

There’s a passionate outcry in America to legislate gun control. By most accounts, the major culprit in the Sandy Hook killings is the proliferation of guns in our culture, and there’s a lot of information and statistics to back up those sentiments. Fareed Zakaria just penned an article on the Washington Post Opinion Page entitled, “The solution to gun violence is clear,” where he notes “People point to three sets of causes when talking about events such as the Newtown, Conn., shootings. First, the psychology of the killer; second, the environment of violence in our popular culture; and, third, easy access to guns.”

However, Zakaria uses hard data in social science that blows these generally accepted causes out of the water, pointing the finger directly at the third cause of easy access to guns as the primary culprit. The data “strongly suggest that we have so much more gun violence than other countries because we have far more permissive laws than others regarding the sale and possession of guns. With 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States has 50 percent of the guns.”

In the article he further writes, “There is clear evidence that tightening laws — even in highly individualistic countries with long traditions of gun ownership — can reduce gun violence. In Australia, after a 1996 ban on all automatic and semiautomatic weapons — a real ban, not like the one we enacted in 1994 with 600-plus exceptions — gun-related homicides dropped 59 percent over the next decade. The rate of suicide by firearm plummeted 65 percent. (Almost 20,000 Americans die each year using guns to commit suicide — a method that is much more successful than other forms of suicide.)”

Last, he claims that:
“The problems that produced the Newtown massacre are not complex, nor are the solutions. We do not lack for answers.”

“What we lack in America today is courage.”
And here, he is absolutely correct. However, Walter Shapiro, a Yahoo! News columnist examines how character collides with policymaking in Washington and in politics and sadly concludes that there is “no plausible remedy since we are neither going to disarm Americans nor are we going to pass out guns to elementary school teachers as a just-in-case precaution.” To add credence to his assessment he writes:
Four days after the shootings, the NRA’s official statement said, “The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.” By the end of the week, Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre shattered any misguided hopes of NRA compromise by poking his head out of his bunker and calling for armed police officers and more guns in every school in America. “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre said. It brought visions of a crusty Charlton Heston waving a flintlock: “From my cold dead hands!”
As difficult as it will be to actually implement meaningful gun control, we have to try, but as long as we have a government and a president who has a hit list of targets he approves and SEAL assassin teams and drones to do the dirty work. moral concerns have been suspended. The tally of CIA drone strikes just in Pakistan between 2004 and 2012 stands at a minimum of 176 children, nearly nine times the number of dead children in the Newtown incident.
American politics are enforced at the point of a gun. Our military and police agencies depend on lethal weapons for their authority; intimidation is an important aspect of military/police authority, and civilians are meant to know this. This is why the 2003 bombing attack on Baghdad was called “shock and awe.” Lethal weapons are meant to suggest opposition is futile.

Consequently, having the government tell an individual citizen that they can’t have a gun is pure hypocrisy and begs the question: Can a violent government prevent more Newton-like tragedies?
Gun control alone, even if possible, is not going to solve the immense problems we have with violence in America.

Since 1982, there have been at least 61 mass murders carried out with firearms across the country, with the killings unfolding in 30 states from Massachusetts to Hawaii.” In forty-nine of the mass murders, the killers had obtained their weapons legally. This only includes mass murderers, not all of the gun-related murders in the U.S. Those numbers are much higher. This indicates that even if we only succeeded in taking away legally owned assault weapons, we could dramatically decrease the violence.

So, who commits mass murders in America? The vast majority of them are committed by men, and the majority of those are privileged white men.

What is it about the white, male, American middle-class experience that makes it easier for troubled young men to turn schools and movie theaters into killing fields? In an online article Hugo Schyzer states:
“White men from prosperous families grow up with the expectation that our voices will be heard. We expect politicians and professors to listen to us and respond to our concerns. We expect public solutions to our problems. And when we’re hurting, the discrepancy between what we’ve been led to believe is our birthright and what we feel we’re receiving in terms of attention can be bewildering and infuriating. Every killer makes his pain another’s problem. But only those who’ve marinated in privilege can conclude that their private pain is the entire world’s problem with which to deal. This is why, while men of all races and classes murder their intimate partners, it is privileged young white dudes who are by far the likeliest to shoot up schools and movie theaters.”
But it’s not only Mass murders. It’s also the level of violence by men in America. We have raised an entire generation of young males that don’t know how to be men, and many of them feel completely lost.  Sometimes they feel so lost that they “snap” in very destructive ways.  Adam Lanza and James Holmes are two names that come to mind.  Why is it that mass murderers are almost always young men?  Why don’t young women behave the same way?  Sadly, Adam Lanza and James Holmes are just the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem in our society.

When our young men grow up, many of them are extremely averse to taking on responsibility.  They want to have lots of sex, but they aren’t interested in marriage.  They enjoy the comforts of living at home, but they don’t want to go out and pursue career goals so that they can provide those things for themselves.  Our young men are supposed to be “the leaders of tomorrow”, but instead many of them are a major burden on society.  When are we finally going to admit that something has gone horribly wrong?

There is even a name for this generation of young men that does not want to grow up.  It is called the “Peter Pan generation”.  They want to enjoy the benefits of being grown up without ever taking on the responsibilities.  But it’s not just young men who haven’t grown up. There are a lot older “Peter Pans” as well.

What is it about men?

There is plenty of blame to go around. Certainly parents and our education system have to bear much of the blame. Traditionalism says that in the old days, young men were taught what it means to “be a man”, and morality was taught to young men both by their parents and in the schools.  But today, most young men have very little understanding of what “manhood” is, and our society has taught them that morality doesn’t really matter.  Instead, television and movies constantly portray young men as sex-obsessed slackers that just want to party all the time, so that is what many of our young men have become. We have an enormous cultural failure around instilling values and helping young men transition into responsible adulthood.

In the introduction to my book, Awakening the New Masculine, I write about the root causes of why boys don’t develop into men:
 “Western culture does not adequately support boys or men, or boys becoming men. We have completely lost touch with the concept of elders as wisdom keepers, and the elders we do have were not given the tools they needed to become those wisdom keepers. Today, elders are burdens instead of valuable resources. Our elders have not been taught how to pass on wisdom, identities, and boundaries to the next generation. And in a society without fathers, most of us have been under-fathered and over-mothered."
We’ve created a world of Peter Pans, or puers, who never grow up and want to marry trophies instead of wives, and girls who want someone to take care of them instead of bold partners. The current older generation of men, especially in the United States, has, to a great extent, not been mentored by their own fathers.

The levels of depression, suicides, drug abuse, alcoholism, and violence among men are all rising exponentially to the point of being staggering and frightening. Ninety-four percent of all inmates are male. Men live an average of seven years fewer than women, suffer far more from ulcers and stress-related disease than women, and are far more likely than women to die from the fifteen leading causes of death.

Over 80 percent of all suicides are committed by men. In the twenty-to-twenty-four age bracket, males commit suicide six times as much as females, and over the age of eighty-five, men are fourteen times as likely to commit suicide as women.”

This, and numerous other articles, books, and blogs, are all pointing at the same thing: Why haven’t we come to terms with the crisis of modern male immaturity?

It’s been reported that Adam Lanza’s father, Peter Lanza, a tax specialist with GE, is clueless as to why his son snapped. It appears that, as pointed out above, Adam Lanza had been “under-fathered and over-mothered.” How might things had been different had Peter Lanza continued investing in his son’s personal development? In the end, the tragedy speaks volumes about the capitulation of family dynamics and how sometimes a festering of resentment and hostility can unwittingly manifest itself in the most violent form when much needed redress fails to manifest itself.
Again, from Awakening the New Masculine:
“The problem, of course, is much larger than just bad fathering, although that is an issue. The bigger issue is a lack of any father or other healthy masculine influence in an age of single parents.”
 Make no mistake: the solution is complex and must dealt with from a wide range of issues including gun control, mental health, socio-economic and cultural  issues, government, movies and video violence, and other contributing factors. There can be no doubt that this is a problem with men.

What can we do?

In spite of what Fareed Zakaria said in the opening paragraph of this article, as complex as the problems are, the answers are even more complex, but there are few places we can begin.
We have all been wounded by our primary caretakers, by our culture, and by each other. We must begin heal these wounds if we are to begin stepping back into sanity. The difficulty of doing so is compounded by the clash of differing belief systems and worldviews that don’t agree on what should be done, and about another worldview, called apathy. We can only solve the last by somehow reconciling these other opposing worldviews. One way to do this is to create a system that recognizes the truth and values in the contrasting worldviews, understanding that they are largely developmentally organized. In other words, some approaches are correct for some, other approaches are correct for others, but some approaches are correct for everyone at their particular level of development.

In America, most young boys are at either a power or traditional stage of development. We know how to nurture healthy development in both of these stages, but we don’t seem to have the willpower to do it. Plus, our cultural and educational system is geared toward turning young people into obedient workers rather than critical thinkers. Ultimately, this is a continuing problem with cultures, empire, elitist values, patriarchal rule, and dominance of the human spirit.

From Awakening the New Masculine:

“We have surrendered to a hero image that we can’t possibly attain and the accumulation of wealth, disregarding everything but our own ego and power. Patriarchy is the consciousness of greed, the conqueror, and moves forward willfully, throwing its weight around and bending all before it to its will. The patriarchy is the bully … and worse. Patriarchy is the enemy of the healthy masculine.
As men, we are the product of all that has come before us: the Mesolithic hunters, gatherers and Neolithic farmers of matrilineal culture (7000–2000 BC); the Indo-European warriors emphasizing the male sky gods in the centuries of the Bronze and Iron Age (2000–800 BC); the turn of the millennium with the advent of Christian mythology and its concepts of dualistic division between body and soul, world and spirit and Original Sin; and finally the age of scientific rationalism that allows for nothing supernatural or spiritual and reduces the universe to a language of numerical abstraction―mathematics.

We are also the wounded warriors.

Centuries of patriarchy have numbed our souls, our feelings, and our spirit, and we are beginning to awaken to the need to love and work in ways that heal our lives, the lives of those we love and the lives of those we want to love and want to be worthy of.”

Joseph Campbell states that it takes a “hero’s journey” for boys to become men and for men to revitalize themselves within the context of our twenty-first century culture and immediate life circumstances. Postmodern man, by and large, has been lulled to sleep, and it both is and isn’t their fault. Men either have succumbed to the pursuit of things or have gotten stuck in overfeminization rather than learning to feel, followed by owning those feelings and reclaiming their masculinity. Both the pursuit of objects and the overfeminization of men are at fault. We must learn to pass on our own healing to our sons and to all of the sons of the world. It will require creating a new world, and it will be hard, but what choice do we have?

To not engage with creating this new world means that the stunted masculine will remain fixated at immature—and possibly pathological— levels. This “boy psychology” shows up as abusive and violent acting-out behaviors against each other, women, the planet, and in the cultural and social organization of patriarchy that has ruled much of the planet for thousands of years.
In Creations Magazine, author Robert Moore points out, “Patriarchy, in our view, is an attack on masculinity in its fullness as well as femininity in its fullness. Those caught up in the structures and dynamics of patriarchy seek to dominate not only women but men as well. Patriarchy is based on fear—the boy’s fear, the immature masculine’s fear—of women, to be sure, but also fear of men. Boys fear women. They also fear real men.”

If men can begin to take on the task and responsibility of their own processes and those of young men moving from boyhood into mature manhood as seriously as our tribal ancestors did, then maybe we can move into new ways of being and beginnings instead of the beginnings of the end of our species.
All of this, of course, depends on how well and how fast we can step into facing our own immaturities.

Last-minute addendum: While getting ready to send this out, new developments emerged that are seemingly connected to both the Connecticut and the Aurora, Colorado shootings. CNN Money is “reported to have reported” that the LIBOR banking scandal is growing as the fathers of Adam Lanza and Colorado movie theater shooter John Holmes were allegedly expected to testify “before the US Senate in the ongoing LIBOR banking scandal. The London Interbank Offered Rate, known as LIBOR, is the average interest rate at which banks can borrow from each other. 16 international banks have been implicated in this ongoing scandal, accused of rigging contracts worth trillions of dollars. HSBC has already been fined $1.9 billion and three of their low level traders arrested.” Still fairly unknown to the general public, it is the biggest banking scandal of all time that almost no one has heard of.

I could not find a CNN Money article to verify the claims above.

This article from Talking Points Memo by Benjy Sarlin states, “This rumor is 100% false,” a Senate Banking Committee aide, who asked not to be named, told TPM by email. “The Senate Banking Committee does not have any LIBOR hearings currently scheduled, and has never considered either of these men as potential witnesses.”

The biggest banking scandal of all time and the Senate Banking Committee has no hearings currently scheduled? No wonder the conspiracy elements are out in full force.