Category Archives: Love

The Great American Right to Complain

For 30+ years as a news hound and reporter of weird stuff, I, Xeno, have believed it is the duty of Americans to speak up truthfully about what they like and dislike.

We have the right to complain, to make things better. This was true in the past. Is it still?

I like peace, non-violence, transparency in government and privacy and fair voting for the public. I oppose violence and support peaceful plans.

I try to read a broad spectrum of news and ideas, but don’t agree with everyone or everything I read or see. Reading is not approving, obviously.

Long ago, I found and interviewed a man when researching “reptilian aliens” (they are just metaphorical, in my view) who advocated over email “storming Area 51”. I disagreed with his plan because the real Area 51 is on a US military base, it is still run by the CIA as far as I know and I also thought he might be an agent of a foreign government. You never know. I’m not into anything subversive, I follow laws and believe in peaceful change.

One thing I read about Area 51 that was reinforced by real voices of government employees in the news, was that people working within agencies don’t always agree with policies they are supposed to follow. It is the duty of workers to follow the direction set by leadership, but there were differences of opinion within, just as within the FBI, and also between agencies. I’m no insider, this is just what I gleaned over the years.

I like the idea of humans getting organized as a species, but not under fascism. I don’t like Nazis or any other violent war-promoting control freaks. The idea of people writing about Reptilian Aliens, as I have understood it, is that there are factions of “cold blooded” ideological Nazis in the US government. Some were imported from Germany after the war in Operation Paperclip and these scientists grew in power in the Shadow Government. They are opposed by other groups that take seriously their oath to uphold the Constitution and to protect citizen’s rights to complain.

Until the mainstream news started talking about the Shadow Government after the attacks of 9/11/2001, I didn’t think there really was such a thing. After learning there is, I still placed my faith in the good side of the inner US government, writing articles on xenophilia.com such as 10 Proven Conspiracies and Why I Still Trust the Government. (The upshot was that “the Government” is not a single thing, it is different groups with different goals and ideals, many competing.) Conspiracy is a real thing; we have laws against it in the USA and people, including members of Congress, have gone to prison for it. Not every conspiracy theory is true, but some are, investigators have to look at the facts, the real facts, when available.

I keep repeating that I support peaceful change because it is true and because, on the spooky side, I fear that vocal people who complain peacefully, may one day be attacked, framed as radicals or turned into criminals in political theater by Nazi factions in the Shadow Government using dirty tricks, digital and otherwise. Let’s hope not.

I pray the good and honest people and groups win this epic battle.

Being interested in the culture of oddities, I have driven to Nevada and stayed at the Little Ale’Inn near Area 51 a few times. I enjoy the ET alien thing, the interesting people you can meet, and the science fiction fun aspect of it. I liked the movie Independence Day and enjoyed driving on the ET highway. I also personally like the idea of a US Space Force, although people laugh at it and some strongly oppose it.

How can we fix corruption and undue influence of big business in government if not by “storming Area 51?”

I like capitalism and competition generally, but support an idea by the Yang campaign to reasonably rein in the influence of super wealthy individuals and lobby groups:

Democracy Dollars. The easiest way to minimize the influence of super-rich individuals and SuperPACs in our politics is to drown that money out with contributions by normal Americans. Under my Democracy Dollars plan, every American would receive $100 per election cycle to donate to candidates of their choosing.

Via AndrewYang

I don’t endorse him as a presidential candidate, but I like this idea.

Representative Democracy, allowing the majority of the people (instead of a cabal) to pick the best leaders works well only if we have well informed voters. To make Democracy Dollars work, we first need truth in advertising and truth in news reporting.

Simultaneous with Democracy Dollars, we need laws that provide stiff fines for lies, and even stiffer fines for lies about lies–in other words, an American realist movement.

Candidate Joe Biden made a slip I heard yesterday while he was campaigning. He said, we need to support “truth not facts”. I do not support non-factual “truths” as facts are the basis of truth.

I support accurate and fearless fact checking as the basis for an effective peaceful democracy. We must protect the rights of reporters to investigate and report the truth.

I support local police, the FBI and the CIA and the NSA which I believe to be composed mostly of individuals of strong moral character who sometimes have to fight within their organizations for what is right, for what is truly American, for our rightful way of life.

Please save a copy of this on your computer, in the cloud, etc. and republish the bejeebies out of it if it ever gets “disappeared” by anyone who tries to put other words or ideas into my mouth! 😉

Peace, love and music,

Xeno of True Strange News

Blogging at xenophilia.com & truestrange.com

Xeno is a songwriter who has written over 100 songs, a reporter and blogger for 30+ years and nephew of a member of the band Steppenwolf. He was engaged to the personal chef of a California billionaire and has traveled to all 48 lower US states interviewing people for an eventual book on happiness. He opposes violence and promotes peaceful positive change.

TrueStrange.com

Solutions for Peace

It’s been stomach wrenching, the horrible acts of mass shooters in the USA lately. True Strange News thanks law enforcement for their heroic efforts and hopes the families of victims will find comfort. To do our part to change this horrific hate, True Strange News offers a few rays of hope: promising ways we might end or greatly reduce violence in our nation.

Growing Peace, a Practical Practice

Just Notice and Pause

Here’s a good first step: just notice when you get triggered and pause. Men who did this, account riding to PsychologyToday “are then able to make reasonable decisions. They no longer feed their aggressive emotions with destructive thoughts toward others, which, in turn, stops them from committing acts of violence.”

As I’ve said previously, I spend about zero time feeling anger, and I have a hard time understanding it when I see it in others. This tip, to notice and pause, is for those who do face anger issues, for whatever reason(s).

It is true and strange that individual self-awareness is a solution to many societal problems. Simply noticing and relaxing when someone pushes your buttons is a great diffuser. Why should you, though? You will make better life decisions in a good state of mind, that’s why.

Learn Why People Disagree

Disagreements are found throughout the animal kingdom. Animals have disputes over territory, mates, food, water, and behaviors. We humans are no different, plus we have added layers of religions and politics about which to disagree. We disagree, according to one web site for nine basic reasons. We disagree about

  1. facts
  2. definitions
  3. values
  4. signaling
  5. failures of logic
  6. group competition
  7. information processing methods
  8. default beliefs
  9. self-interest

This is an interesting way to look at the issue, I think. It seems that so much can be resolved, eventually.

It once amazed and frustrated me that basic facts are so disputed, but as I’ve aged, I’ve thought that this may just be the nature of the universe.

Still, are there any facts on which we all, everyone in this world agrees? No. Not in the year 2019.

Are there facts on which most people in a given are agree? Yes.

Are there agreed upon “facts” which are false? Most certainly.

Update Your Views

One solution for peace is to regularly challenge your own views on important facts. Are your facts wrong? If so, update your views. If you are correct, know why, the sources for your beliefs. If you are just believing something because someone else does, realize that your facts are personally unchecked. This is normal, as there is no time to check every fact.

Stay tuned for more workable peace promoting ideas.

Share this please, for the sake of peace.

Xeno, Director, the World peace Research Institute

TrueStrange.com

In Guppies, the Unique Male Wins

Looking a bit different can be a plus if you are looking for love, within certain parameters. At least with guppies, females often choose a mate that stands out from the others. If this applies to humans, might it explain fashion trends? Think about it: First the unique stands out and people see that as successful, then they copy it until it is no longer unique. Rinse, lather, repeat?

In a new study, researchers found that female guppies often choose a mate that physically stands out from the rest of the pack because of a common type of learning called habituation. Through habituation, animals — in this case guppies — stop responding to a stimulus after prolonged exposure.

Read more SciDaily

It’s a good lesson. I think especially so for artists and musicians: take in what others are doing, but don’t be overly influenced. Find your unique voice.

TrueStrange.com

Idaho Woman Sentenced to Wear Charm Bracelet

It’s a strange probation requirement on the face of it, but wearing the faces of her children in a charm bracelet for the next three years to remind her of what really matters in life could be helpful. A judge handed down this unusual sentence in Boise Idaho this month in a drug fraud case to help a woman stay away from drugs and alcohol.

…[the woman] was sentenced in Boise’s U.S. District Court earlier this month for using fraud to obtain illegal drugs from the hospital where she worked. U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge sentenced her to three years of probation and added an extra requirement: He ordered her to wear a charm bracelet bearing pictures of her children to deter her from using drugs or alcohol. …

Read more UPI

I knew a psychologist who could get people out of drug addictions. Transcripts of his group therapy sessions were eye-opening.

It boiled down to admitting the drug addiction, knowing one’s personal “triggers” (things that evoke interest in doing the drug,) replacing unwanted old behaviors with new positive enjoyable ones, having day-to-day self-honesty, getting support of others who made it out, and being reminded of negative consequences of the impulsivity. Repeat as a new lifestyle until lasting change happens.

This freed people from interest in drug use long term because their identity in relation to the drug changed. They shifted from “using will-power to avoid it” to genuinely just not being interested now. Habits can be hard to break, but they do get broken every day.

More people quit addictions than maintain them, and they do so on their own. That’s not to say it happens overnight. People succeed when they recognize that the addiction interferes with something they value—and when they develop the confidence that they can change.

Read more PsychologyToday

The odds are, you’ve quit a past addiction yourself.

… Buddhist nun Pema Chodron, author of Start Where You Are, agrees with Anne Wilson Schaef – we all are addicted to something. But she doesn’t blame it on American culture; she says it’s simply part and parcel of our human nature. Chodron explains that we are restless, irritable, and discontent – we find it impossible to just sit still and BE. So we distract ourselves with activity and entertainment: cell phones, texting, video games, iPods, TV, movies, magazines, non-stop busyness to keep us looking everywhere but inside ourselves.

Via HuffPost

If we are all addicted to something, the trick is to practice, day by day, having healthier happier habits. Meditation is often suggested because mindfulness strengthens mental muscles. Meditation helps break addictions.

Interestingly, meditation itself is a potentially addictive behavior. While it is proven make us healthier and happier, like other healthy activity such as running, use of meditation can get out of control. It usually helps us to focus in other areas of life, but we should be mindful about not overdoing it.

Do you crave meditation? Are you meditating longer than an hour at a time or more than once a day? Are you losing interest in family and friends or social activities? If so, perhaps you are experiencing an addiction to meditation. 

Via Learnreligions

It’s strange to me that there is such a thing as meditation addiction. How do you overcome it?

Direct some will power to keep from overdoing this thing that strengthens will power.

Specifically, I recommend using a timer for a few weeks to make a new healthy habit of having a good daily/weekly schedule.

In a purpose driven life, you set life goals and milestones, say during a focus retreat weekend. Plot out reasonable steps to get where you want to be, then spend appropriate time weekly working toward each of your life goals. Remove from your life all that does not align with your goals. Review and update your strategy periodically.

Vision boarding, putting inspiring pictures of your goals around you in your environment can help. Like wearing a charm bracelet with the faces of your children, images of success are a visual meditation prompt.

Visualize success. What is it for you?

TrueStrange.com

Love is an Effect of the Sun

Illusions are real in their ways, and reality part a party of illusions. I held a one-man private ceremony as the sun set, not at the location of this video, however, this sunset was another, elsewhere.

I let the final handfuls of atoms in my possession rejoin the earth, speaking my prepared words, remembering love, laughter, lessons and shared intentions.

The view (not pictured) was spectacular, arguably the best I’ve seen on this world and the weather was perfect, all fitting, signs of rightness. Voices echoed from distant faces of ice and were then gone.

I next added an element of chance, asking the God of this simulation for guidance, blindly opening a good book while pointing to a passage. No one could fix or influence this, there was no cheating possible, no do-overs on my part. I saw the answer in black and white.

Time cannot be turned, but the heart can recall, after an appropriate span, with help and by grace, it’s former lighter steps.

Returning to me for a time after the fulfilled event was an old younger self, one that could feel genuine joy, one that could play, inventing ice caves and imaginary beasts in the snow. I was now, alone, what I too often looked to others for years in hopes to become: myself, simply content to be here.

TrueStrange.com

Sub-Zero Sun Dogs, Alaska Prep

I’ve seen sun dogs before and have probably blogged about them, but cold weather as a cause got my attention due to my quest to take my fiancé’s ashes up to Alaska.

Here are the sun dogs:

Sub-zero temperatures in West Michigan led to many residents spotting a “sun dog” phenomenon that made it look as though there were two extra suns in the sky.

Photos snapped Thursday morning in various locations on the lower west side of the state show the sun being flanked by two illusion suns caused by the refraction of sunlight off ice crystals in the atmosphere.

The illusion was spotted as temperatures in the area were below -10 degrees for the second consecutive day.

The National Weather Service saidthe ice crystals also created a “sun pillar” above the sun that is visible in some photographs.

Via UPI

I’ve been working hard to prepare for Alaska. In the last few days I cleared out my storage and gave almost everything to charity. Kitchen, bedroom, office, bathroom … how much was it all worth? $30,000? $60,000? But my heart today said give bigger than you think you can. So I did. I let so much go. If you don’t need something for two years, no matter how dear it is to you, you can let someone else enjoy it.

Enjoy the sundogs if the cold ever brings them your way.

Xeno

TrueStrange.com

In Saudi Arabia a Man Must Divorce his Wife by Text Message

There has been a problem of secret divorces in Saudi Arabia, wherein a wife may not even know that she was divorced. Attempting to improve this strange situation, a new rule in that country requires that all women who are divorced by their husbands will be notified via text message.

A new regulation in Saudi Arabia is set to stop Saudi women from being divorced without their knowledge.

Starting from Sunday, courts will be required to notify women by text on rulings confirming their divorces.

Local female lawyers suggest the measure will end what are known as secret divorces – cases where men end a marriage without telling their wives.

The directive would ensure women are fully aware of their marital status and can protect rights such as alimony. …

via BBC

Last year, a decades old ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia was lifted. Seems like a good move to me. In some places, like antigua, men get in way more accidents.

Men far outnumbered women when it came to involvement in traffic collisions on the nation’s roads in 2018, statistics compiled by the traffic department reveal. – Link

In the USA:

Men are 3.4 times more likely than women to get a ticket for reckless driving and 3.1 times as likely to be cited for drunk driving, according to a study by Quality Planning, a research firm that works for insurance companies.  – CBS

According to the BBC, a woman still need a man’s permission in Saudi Arabia for things such as getting married, traveling abroad or opening a bank account.

It’s not my culture, so I do not understand, but does it not make sense that it should be just as easy to get married? As long as the man types “I MARRY YOU” three times, and the woman types “OK” three times, that is… and it isn’t a wrong number.

Finding the right partner with whom to share this life has not worked for me, but some seem to have it happen quite easily.  Take Sarah and Paul Edwards, for example. They met on Bumble (dating app), met for the first time in person at an airport in wedding garb, flew to Las Vegas and got married. Boom. Done.

Sarah said a lot of her friends are “disowning” her but she doesn’t care and she’s certain the marriage will work out. – Mirror

If the universe is a simulation, there could be a secret door anywhere. What if anything you type three times in a row in all caps a text to a certain number will always manifest? What would you type?

TrueStrange.com

Brain Study: Creativity is Supressing the Obvious

Very creative people can be oddly oblivious to the obvious. New brain research suggests that suppression of our most common pathways (thoughts) is the underlying mechanism for creativity.

Remember as you read that brain waves are only patterns resulting from groups of brain cells sending signals. Brain waves are the electrical sums of brain cell activity.

Here’s the article. You might find this useful in your own explorations of creativity.

A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that brainwaves play a crucial role in inhibiting habitual thinking modes to pave the way to access more remote ideas.

The researchers found that these brainwaves, or alpha oscillations in the right temporal area of the brain, increase when individuals need to suppress misleading associations in creative tasks.

These obvious associations are present in both convergent thinking and also in divergent thinking (when individuals have to come up with several creative ideas).

Higher levels of alpha brainwaves enable people to come up with ideas which are further away from the obvious or well-known uses.

The researchers show that stimulating the right temporal part of the brain in the alpha frequency increases the capability of inhibiting obvious links in both types of creative thinking.

This was demonstrated by applying an electrical current to the brain through a non-invasive technique called transcranial alternating current brain stimulation (tACS) which causes minimal to no side effects or sensations.

The findings have implications for how we understand creativity and opens up potential ways of affecting the creative process including by using tACS.

Lead researcher Dr Caroline Di Bernardi Luft, from Queen Mary University of London, said: “If we need to generate alternative uses of a glass, first we must inhibit our past experience which leads us to think of a glass as a container. Our study’s novelty is to demonstrate that right temporal alpha oscillations is a key neural mechanism for overriding these obvious associations.

“In order to understand the processes underlying the production of novel and adequate ideas, we need to break down its constituent processes, dissecting creativity as much as possible at first, and then analysing them in context, before putting them back together to understand the process as a whole.”

The researchers demonstrated the neural mechanism responsible for creativity by monitoring the brain’s electrical activity through an electroencephalogram (EEG) which picks up electrical signals through small sensors placed on the head. Using tACS also enabled them to probe the waves’ causal role.

The experiments they conducted looked at how the brain tackles a series of creative tasks such as finding words that link to one another. For example, every time we search for concepts associated with a word we start from stronger associations to move progressively towards weaker or more remote ones (e.g. cat > dog > animal > pet > human > people > family).

Previous studies show that some people are more creative than others because they are able to avoid strong associations in order to reach more remote ones and this study demonstrates that the alpha brainwaves are crucially involved in this process.

Goldsmiths, University of London’s Professor Joydeep Bhattacharya, a co-author of this study, added: “Two roads diverged in a wood, I took the one less travelled by. And that has made all the difference,’ wrote Robert Frost in his famous poem.”

“Taking a less travelled route is needed for thinking creatively, and our findings provide some evidence on how this is done in our brain.” …

Via SciDaily

Neat, isn’t it? Intriguing, simple and only obvious after you’ve heard it. Does it ring true for you?

TrueStrange.com

British Woman to Marry a Ghost, Have Baby

Does any country or state recognize marriage between a living human and the disembodied spirit of one that has gone beyond? It seems unlikely, but this won’t stop the determined. Why should it?

A British woman’s engagement to a ghost she met in Australia is getting others into the wedding spirit.

Last week, Amethyst Realm of Bristol announced that the unnamed ghost proposed to her during a road trip to England’s Wookey Hole caves in Somerset.

“There was no going down on one knee — he doesn’t have knees,” she said about the proposal. “I could actually hear his voice, and it was beautiful. Deep, sexy and real.”

Now the resort where the caves are located has offered to host the wedding of Realm to her ghostly groom, according to the Somerset Live newspaper.

“Amethyst Realm is not the first and won’t be the last person to experience out-of-body sensations at the caves,” resort director Daniel Medley told the paper.

“They have been recognized as a crossover point to the spirit world since the Stone Age, a place where people can connect with long-lost friends and relatives no longer with us.” …
Last December she confessed her desire to get pregnant with a ghost baby.

“I’ve done a bit of research into phantom pregnancies,” she said. ”There’s a possibility that it is a ghost in you, but people don’t know how to carry it to full term.”

Via HuffPost

Here’s a thought experiment: Would you still marry the person you had plans to marry if they had a laboratory accident that rendered them incorporeal? You can’t see, hear or feel them directly, ever, but you know they are still alive, somewhere, as they communicate with you by telepathy, in dreams, by orchestrating coincidences and with occasional poltergeist activity?

Some would.

As to marrying a random ghost you never met in life … I don’t know. I guess it would depend on the spirit of the spirit.

I once did not believe in ghosts, but I’ve had experiences in the past few years that I cannot explain. My new simulationist world view allows for ghosts, as long as they do not cross the barrier that invalidates the simulations of those who do not believe.

What do you think?

TrueStrange.com