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A call for musicians to join the band “Abuse Nation”

Help us change the view of Abuse, all types. Musicians are on the strongest representatives of new ideas, ideas accepted by their listeners. Join us.

Where the buck stops

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I am looking for musicians who would like to be part of a band called Abuse Nation. These musicians would preferably be abuse victims themselves but people sympathetic to abuse victims would be more than welcome. The songs would be about abuse. That could be a song about verbal or emotional abuse or about sexual abuse or human trafficking. While I write songs myself, I am hoping that the other members of the group will contribute songs, creating a variety of music.

Due to the that fact that it’s unlikely that all of the people interested  in a group like this will live in the same area, I expect this will be a virtual group. If engineering and mixdown is needed a kick-starter will be created to fund that.

The long term goal of this band is to be the symbol for a brand, also called Abuse Nation.  I have…

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Amazing opportunity: Download Crazy Writer Couple’s Anthology Free!!

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You’ve been looking for somehing “different” to read. We know the feeling. The Crazy Writer Couple is a married couple who have been working together to create unique fiction for the past fifteen years. Imagine fiction created within the magical world of a marriage. My wife is my best friend and we discuss everything. That is the basis of the stories in “The Crazy Writer Couple’s Crazy Anthology”; stories created through a special partnership and a marriage of two souls and a passion for creating incredible fiction.

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A call for musicians to join the band “Abuse Nation”

abusenation

 

I am looking for musicians who would like to be part of a band called Abuse Nation. These musicians would preferably be abuse victims themselves but people sympathetic to abuse victims would be more than welcome. The songs would be about abuse. That could be a song about verbal or emotional abuse or about sexual abuse or human trafficking. While I write songs myself, I am hoping that the other members of the group will contribute songs, creating a variety of music.

Due to the that fact that it’s unlikely that all of the people interested  in a group like this will live in the same area, I expect this will be a virtual group. If engineering and mixdown is needed a kick-starter will be created to fund that.

The long term goal of this band is to be the symbol for a brand, also called Abuse Nation.  I have found that the majority of the non-abused population are unwilling to discuss abuse, blocking any substantial progress in strengthening laws and helping end abuse. I have settled on the idea of using music due to my feeling that people will listen to music about a controversial subject before they will take time to read a book or watch a movie or television show and they will do this without a lot of conscious thought. Perhaps it’s the fact that music seems to speak to listeners at a deeper level and passes the internal censors without trouble.  I am hoping to put this music on YouTube initially and eventually, have it played on the radio under the “Abuse Nation” brand. In the long run I expect that Abuse Nation will become a musical brand that is accepted by radio and internet listeners. What people become used to, they tend to accept.

The first contribution to this collection of music comes from me and can be found at:

http://www.neildouglasnewton.com/uploads/4/8/7/8/48782169/lamb.mp3

I can be reached at abusenation@gmail.com

Neil Newtonabusenation

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Help to fight abuse, all types of abuse.

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Mental illness: An alternative cause of mass shootings

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Of course this is about the shooting in Fort Lauderdale. I’ve been to that airport several times, for travel, for a cruise. To me it is one of the most ordinary American locations I can think of. But the sad thing is that all locations of mass shootings are ordinary. The nine men and women killed in Charleston by Dylann Roof were in a place that was personally safe, normal and sacred.

After the Newtown shootings I saw one man interviewed with what would be considered a one off explanation and solution for mass shootings. He started by stating sadly that he would probably be a “voice in the wilderness” so out of the box was his opinion. His message made sense to me but I knew that it wouldn’t catch on. I’ve heard that particular opinion perhaps twice since. And, like that first expert, I feel that it is the answer and that we are taking the wrong path in trying to stop mass shootings.

First I’ll mention gun control since that seems to be the cure that most people believe in. I fully understand the impulse to control the sale of guns. We are a gun crazy society. People are shouting the righteousness of the second amendment when in fact it was created only to support a militia. In fact until the 1930’s the Supreme Court did not uphold the right to bear arms outside of the realm of a well armed militia. In other words the right to bear arms for every citizen in the U.S. was not the law of the land. This is not a criticism of the current right to bear arms. Only a reminder that even our most passionate claims are not pure; the U.S. in a country of turmoil and concession based on the ideas of our founding fathers.

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In my opinion gun control will lead down the wrong road. Certainly a ban on fully automatic weapons, supersized bullet clips, and special deadly ammunition might reduce shootings to some extent. But someone who is inclined to get a gun for illegal purposes will be able to get a gun; there are too many sources.

So what is the answer that this “voice in the wilderness” expert was selling? Consider this: not all mass killers use guns and the profile for mass shooters is invariably a young male, teenaged to late twenties, white and mentally ill. That last part is the key here. The Fort Lauderdale shooter admitted to the FBI that he heard voices. The FBI took his gun and eventually gave it to the local police who, in the way of American bureaucracy followed a diluted strain of the law and returned the gun to the shooter.

Other shooters, such as the Aurora shooter, took a film of himself walking through a deserted area, babbling and ranting; it was seen by a number of people. The way to prevent the odd and infrequent phenomenon of mass shootings is to detain and examine people who show signs of violent schizophrenia. I know what you’re thinking, you of high morals, and you are correct. There is more than enough room for abuse of this process, for corrupt officials to detain people they hate or who cause them trouble. To detain American citizens under false pretenses.

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This give me the same chills up my back as many of you must feel at this “opening the door” to the misuse of power that hangs over our heads at all times. So I have a suggestion: each of these detainees be assigned an advocate, a lawyer to oversee the progress of the investigation and to protect the rights of the detainee.

Expensive: yes. As an alternative, this one is far more disturbing and difficult than passing laws with a few constraints on buying firearms. But ask yourself this question. If you consider the possibility that gun control won’t, can’t stop mass shootings, what is your alternative?

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The marvelous habits of high acheivers for planning the coming year: The myth of achievement through business success.

Last night I read a free download of a pdf that features the words and wisdom of a number of “high achievers” discussing how they can make 2017  better than 2016. Of course I jumped at the chance for a free download and started reading right away. I mean, Tommy Robbins, Dave Ramsey?        There had to be wisdom there.

There was some very intelligent advice. Reflecting and meditating on the previous year for a day or more. Enumerating past victories and well as past mistakes. Listing what you wanted to accomplish and being clear about it. Breaking the work down into manageable bites. Keeping yourself positive and playing down your failures. Then there is focus. Focus on the bites sized tasks. Outline your goals so the path is clear. Know what you want.

 Groovy.

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I tried to put myself into their shoes. I tried to see how their methods would translate to my ambitions and goals. I tried to pull myself out of my not quite so “high achievier” way of thinking. Maybe I could jumpstart my existence.

I’ve discussed this with many people whose opinion I trust. Being positive, having the right attitude to counter a life “badly” lived is the way to go. I’ve seen that message in countless inspirational writings that state it unequivocally. The right attitude brings you to your optimal existence.

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Sounds like food for the Gods. If you grew up, as I did, dragging your butt and not quite achieving anything as noteworthy as Mr. Robbins or Mr. Ramsey, being a “high achiever” seemed like the answer to absolutely everything that might be missing in my life.

Let’s stop for a second. All the research and advice I’ve seen on these important topics leaves out some very important points. In the midst of the hype that has existed for  the past few decades surrounding self help and self-improvement,it seems odd that the  words “High achiever” have never been even vaguely defined; it seems that we’ve all  taken it on faith that it means something significant.

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Then there’s another reality that is significant but certainly would never be brought up by anyone promoting “high achievers” and the cottage industry that surrounds it. There are many people in the world that you could call “achievement challenged”. The point is that some of us can have the carrot of positivity dangled in front of us endlessly and still not be able to take it to next level. There’s a reason: some of us can’t look back at our achievements and build on them because we don’t feel we have any. And maybe we don’t. Many people would call that pointlessly pessimistic. The point is that some people need help to believe that a self-actualized life is possible before they navigate the difficult maze involved in reaching full potential. Those good at it need to dial down their elite platform and deal with the fact that some people need to take baby steps just to figure out what their “bliss” is.

A final point may seem obvious to some but not necessarily to “high achievers”. I will admit that this part is only my opinion but I still feel it significant and helps expose the nature of “high acheivers”: if I had tens of millions of dollars why would I feel that gaining another hundred million dollars is more important than helping people who need help improving their lives. The question is: how much is enough? And if you truly are a “high achiever” with a track record of success and wealth, shouldn’t your achievements have to eventually include pulling people up from the ground? Doesn’t needing more and more money betray weakness?

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So we have a disturbing disconnect. Is the fact that “higher achievement” is defined by a cottage industry that’s dedicated to making money from the same concept a sign that its premise could be flawed?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to define it by the millions by the millions of ordinary individuals it is aimed at helping?

Notice, if you will, that most of the high achievers activities involve business, cash flow, business plans, and social media. Granted, none of these things is totally unimportant nor are they completely unrelated to an improved life.  But it’s long been said that not everyone can improve their lives by becoming rich or working on business development. While people like Dave Ramsey can be said to substantially help quality of life by helping people plan for retirement, most of the other high achievers promote “success” without really defining it.

 

If there are millions of people who are not already on the path of “high achievement”, one that requires a sort of mentality built on success based on a business model, then how many people can we “save”? I once heard Tony Robbins say that his self-help method can be used for anything, including improved relationships. Not just business. But his infomercials in the golden years of his career featured him landing in helicopters at glamorous locations and making conspicuous use of his financial muscle.

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For those of us who may be dealing with depression, anxiety and other plagues, this path to high achievement might require that we get some help defining what success means personally, something that is not really emphasized in many high achiever’s teachings. For me it follows what I like to call the “New York City Beggar” rule. I am from New York and, for years, I watched more poised, physically appealing beggars who get more money and help than the beat up, unhealthy and bloody ones who really needed it. We are conditioned to pick the “sexier” of any two polarities. Money and business is sexy as is marketing. Landing in an undisclosed location in a helicopter to “do exciting business” is sexy. Helping people less focused and in need of guidance to simply live a good life is not sexy. The perception that people who aren’t driven movers and shakers display a Darwinian weakness, makes it far more likely that they can be overlooked.

In my opinion, our priorities as skewed badly. For the average person who may not be business and marketing savvy, the perceptions that these skills define success is harmful. For those that have obstacles in their way, such as depression, the perception is part of the problem. Those who can help, should. And, in my opinion, once they hit their stride, they shouldn’t charge more than most people can afford.

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Donald Trump vs. the American way.

Yeah, Yeah. More anti-Trump stuff. Not a billionaire. Sexual predator. Blah Blah.

I hope I can say that this blog will be different and maybe, significant even to Trump supporters. Today I stumbled on a post on Facebook. Someone read her anti-trump post and started arguing. The result was that the Trump supporter told her to “leave”.

The meaning was clear. This person was telling her tow leave the country because she had trouble with Trump. I will admit that I went ballistic but only when I read that word: Leave.

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Trump voters have the right to make their case and, as a constitution loving American I will defend that right to the death though I don’t agree with them. The same goes for Hillary supporters. For those of you that missed civics 101, that is what we do in America and what defines our country. So what is wrong? I believe that Trump has injected an idea into the American consciousness and it’s a toxic, ugly, incredibly un-American idea and has no place here. It’s something that people have died for on a hundred battlefields throughout our national history.  It’s called the constitution. The idea that Trump is selling is that the way to be an American is to push for your own agenda and ignore the basics of what a democracy is. Ignoring the basic nature of the electoral process and deciding that your “right” is to ignore the rights of any other American to speak their mind and, worse yet, remain in the United States, is nothing but fascism, something that has always been poison to American values. While this Trump supporter I’m describing undoubtedly felt he was being patriotic because he was lucky enough to be born in the US and decided his “passion” for Donald Trump is the same as patriotism, he ignored our history where soldiers have died to defend the meaning of being an American as laid out in the Constitution.

It isn’t the same as patriotism; being an American is a responsibility, not a privilege, one that requires discipline and a willingness to put the Democratic systems above personal desires; the opposite of Trump’s philosophy. At the risk of being corny I will run down the high points of what is most definitely the nature of our country. At the time of the revolution, clearly fascist British royalty had been oppressing colonists both in terms of basic freedoms and unfair taxation. As we all know, the colonists fought back. But in establishing their new republic, rather than repeating the ugly repression of their oppressors or even ignoring ethics and moving on, they did an extraordinary thing, something that hasn’t been done before in history.

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They esblished their new nation as being founded on the idea of individual liberties, being part of God’s legacy. There is both faith and unparalleled morality in the acts that preceded the formation of the United States. The contract that our founding fathers made required an awareness of exactly what had brought about the revolution in the first place: a selfish fascist agenda that suited the needs of the powerful. What seems to confuse many Trump supporters is that, when people talk up the United States, comparing it to fascist states like Russia, it is always the freedom aspect that makes us superior. That freedom involves an implied compromise in the form of state sanctioned free expression of political points of  view and, more to the point, elections. Every four years we gamble that our “side” will be the dominant side. But, as Americans, we can’t ignore the rights of the other “side” who may very well win an election. For Americans, real Americans, the preservation of this system is far more important then their own agendas. For selfish Americans, it about them. To me that’s pissing on an amazing concept of democracy that has never been repeated in history.

It bears repeating: this is what our founding fathers had in mind:

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Thomas Jefferson

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Now I know that most Trump supporters would support this. How easy would it be to ignore it? Millions of people in the military have died preserving the philosophy in these words. It is the hallmark of the American system, one that makes us respected around the world. But Trump himself has always played fast and loose with the idea of democracy. He has stated unequivocally that he would not necessarily respect the transfer of power after the election, a complete misunderstanding of his duties as a citizen of the United States. He has also proposed ordering soldiers to commit war crimes. He has impugned the skill of our military. Though he has never come out and said it, Trump feels that he will able to be president following his own rules backed by old style bigotry and un-American sentiments. And he has passed this message on to his followers, many of whom have accepted it.

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What trump has sold to many of his supporters is the idea that force, bullying and unilateral agenda are what America is all about. But if you respect your country, you’ll have to admit it isn’t. This isn’t the first time that would-be dictators have pushed their way into influencing policy by using paranoia and fear. Look up Joseph McCarthy. There have also been braindead actions like imprisoning Japanese Americans during World War II or Operation Wetback which caused among other things, several hundred United States citizens being illegally deported without being given a chance to prove their citizenship.

All these disasters, sometimes resulting in ruined lives and enforced financial reparations by the U.S. government, were brought about by selfish people who thought they were the only important people in the United States and that they were only true Americans.

The erosion of democracy should be the biggest boogeyman in our national consciousness. Even staunch Trump supporters should be shaking in their boots at the thought of the destruction of what has distinguishes us from the dictatorships around the world. A failure to maintain our democracy is a failure that everyone in the United States will regret, though they might not realize it at the moment.

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