Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 2 of ?

The citizens of Dalton Township are afraid to speak out against the corruption in our local government because they are scared of the repercussions. They are afraid that the township officials will target them. They are afraid that if the township can ruin their neighbor's life then they can ruin their life too. And, they're right.

When you are made to be aware of government corruption because it has encroached upon your life and your community it is okay to be afraid of reprisals. In that situation, it is the responsibility of the citizens to make corrections in the government. And it is not that we need to eliminate the fear to act, it is that we must have the necessary courage to overcome those fears.

The tactics employed by the township, led by supervisor Tony Barnes, are bully tactics.

For instance, in the street a bully might trip someone and push them to the ground. Then they'll say sorry and go to help the person up. The victim wasn't looking for a fight. Maybe…

Explorations in Business - Part 4 of ?

Life. Life is a crazy and complex endeavor.

I've bogged down on the business. There are a few reasons.

One, I'm already doing a ton of other things, and then my township decided that they wanted to try to shut down the farm that I get goat milk from, so I decided to take up that fight on top of everything else. Here's an article on that:

Two, my first foray fell flat. I had about a dozen people look at the video on my website: Three people filled in part of the survey. One person left their contact info, and then they didn't respond when I contacted them. I was hoping to at least talk to one person through that process and then take the next step. It was a little disheartening. But alas, that's not the way the cookie crumbled.

But I don't think those are the really real reasons. When that first foray failed it wasn't the disheartening aspect that ga…

Un-Birthday Presents

I've found the normal method of giving gifts on birthdays and holidays to be boring. Oddly enough, I just found out today that Humpty Dumpty thought the same thing.

I'm reading "Through the Looking-Glass" by Lewis Carroll with one of my students, Carrie. It's the sequel to "Alice in Wonderland". Today we read a section where Humpty Dumpty is explaining the concept of un-birthday presents to Alice.

I've thought the same thing for years. Everyone is both expecting and already getting gifts on their birthday and on holidays. What's better is to give them one at some other time, when it's more interesting to receive something you aren't expecting. Here's part of the conversation between Humpty Dumpty and Alice.

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‘It’s a cravat, child, and a beautiful one, as you say. It’s a present from the White King and Queen. There now!’

‘Is it really?’ said Alice, quite pleased to find that she had chosen a good subject, after all.


Understanding Grief

I gave a speech last night at the Red Lotus Art Gallery in Muskegon, Michigan. It's an area that I've been working on for most of my life now, "Understanding Grief".

Here are three places that you can watch the speech:

Most of the world

Russia and a few other places


I'm working on becoming better at communicating the concepts that I've originated in this area. The process necessary to reach a new understanding in a subject for yourself is different than the process necessary to communicate those same ideas to someone else.

I talked about grief in my series of philosophy essays titled "The Most Important Question in Philosophy". It was well received. I wrote an article titled "Aphorisms on Grief, Suicide, and Meaning in Life". It was not well received, specifically be…

Three Meanings Behind Intelligent

The word intelligent is used in three basic ways. It makes sense because these things are related, but it also causes some problems because they aren't the same. By understanding the different ways intelligent is used we might be able to understand some oddities, like intelligent people doing dumb things.

The first way that intelligent (or smart) is used is to mean fluid IQ. Fluid IQ is how good you are at recognizing patterns. That's why some IQ tests show pictures with various patterns and you are asked to complete the pattern. It's your ability to learn in the present.

The second way that intelligent is used is to mean concrete IQ. Concrete IQ is how you have used your pattern recognition abilities over your lifetime to identify different patterns in the world. It's the amount of knowledge you've accumulated. Essentially, this is every test you have ever taken. These IQ tests look like your college, university, or graduate school entrance exams. It's what yo…

Ambitions 2

I've recently tried to formulate and articulate exactly what my ambitions in life are. When I was young I had a unique view of how life should be lived. I wrote an article on it called "Living in Reverse". That worked in many ways, but now I want to transition from collecting experiences to building something. I'm not sure what that looks like, but I'm working on gaining clarity.

In the first "Ambitions" article I laid out the ideas I have about my three key areas in life: business, art, and philosophy. Here is what those look like, then I will attempt to dive into three other key areas that are important supports for the big three.

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Art ambition - remake the literary hero as non-reactionary, change how and why people value literature (an experimental and playful hyperreality for the development of enhanced behavioral patterns, our lives are narratives), make the implicit explicit for all (write on writing while writing), include essays exp…

I Went to a Writing Group Today - May 22nd, 2019

A couple of weeks ago I missed the Left to Write meeting. The next day my friend Jon emailed me and asked if I was going to come to the next one. I was sad when I realize that I had missed the meeting, I had simply forgotten to write it on my schedule. I think I made up for it today.

The meeting was at capacity today with 13 people in attendance. When I walked in I thought the entire table was already full because the only open seats had books in front of them. But, those seats were open. The book was the prompt; dun, dun, dunnn.

I sat down and looked at my book, "Ooh, 'The Law of Love' by Nora Roberts, one of my favorites." I'm joking. I can't remember what I said exactly, but I did mention that it was not a book that I would normally pick to read. I had the option to change of course, but I didn't want to.

Now, I've tried to read romances. I've tried quite a variety over the years. I've tried the classics by the Bronte sisters and Jane Auste…

Leading a Writing Group - Session 1

It's an odd story, how I came to be part of a writing group yesterday.

I went to the Muskegon Comic Con event in the spring. It was fun. I walked into the game room and was greeted by a perky woman named Holly. She convinced me to join a one-off Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game. It's an activity that has always seemed fun, but I've never found the time to participate in that world.

I invited a few people and a couple of kids joined in. Yuke led our session while also managing the gaming sales table. It was a grand adventure that took us deep into a cave looking for buried treasure. Three of the five people came out alive. One girl was able to snatch some of the gold from us, but Xavier and I were able to get most of it. Xavier turned out to be Holly's son.

While talking to Holly after the game she mentioned that she runs a homeschool group that uses the Muskegon Fab Lab, where people can work with 3-D printers, laser etching, virtual reality systems, and more. I …

Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 1 of ?

In Dalton Township, Michigan we currently have corrupt and dishonest government officials attacking small farms and businesses.

It recently came to my attention that the farm that I get goat milk from has been sued by a neighbor and the township. There are three tactics that they have tried to use against Hidden Creek Farm so far. The owners of the farm explain the situation well. Then I will dive into the dishonesty that the township supervisor Tony Barnes has shown so far, the immoral and illegal intimidation tactics that they are using, and what can be done about it. Here's a post that Hidden Creek Farm made on their Facebook page:

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Dear friends, family, customers and small farm supporters,

We wanted to give you all an update on the difficult situation we have been dealing with since last Tuesday…

As you know, Lee and I have put our heart and soul into Hidden Creek Farm. Owning a farm that would serve a community with healt…

Tales Within Tales - Part 1 of ?

Two weekends ago I stayed with my aunt to be closer to the wedding that I was officiating for my cousin. Since I don't have a radio in my car I had a few hours to think about writing ideas on the drive over. I've been wanting to try this crazy idea for awhile, so we worked on it while I was there.

I want to use fables and fairy tales in a multi-layered frame story. I'll talk about what that is in a moment. I wrote down the fables and fairy tales that jumped to mind.

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The 3 Little Pigs
Humpty Dumpty
Little Red Riding Hood
Pietr and the Dike
The Fox and the Grapes
The Boy Who Cried Wolf

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A frame story is when you have a story within a story. For instance, you have a character walk into a bar and he starts talking to someone. This other person begins to tell a story. We become fully immersed into the other story and that's what the book is mostly about. At the end we usually pop back out into the bar scene before the book ends. Frame d…

My Failures - Part 1 of ?

I have been fretting over starting this article for two days.

The basic idea here is that I have made various errors of judgment, decision, and action in the past. Because I have not adequately examined these errors I have not sufficiently developed the ability to avoid them in the future and do better. To do better in the future we must learn from the past. To develop foresight we must develop hindsight. A number of psychologists and philosophers talk about this. My favorite is Jordan Peterson. Here are two selections from his paper "Self-Deception Explained", and one from "Complexity Management Theory". (Somewhere he expresses the exact idea that I'm using better, but I can't find it at the moment.)

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...not only do those who avoid get worse, but those who voluntarily expose themselves to the anxiety-provoking and depressing – even if extremely traumatic – get better! Pennebaker and colleagues have demonstrated, for example, that normal indivi…

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