Friday, January 22, 2010

Heading For The Ozarks

My brother lives in Ozark Mountain Country Missouri I will be there for a week. I was going to make a post with my thoughts on this, but I do not have the time. Just please read and tell me what you think.

"Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another?" These words of the prophet Malachi (2 :10) were repeated several decades ago by a Jewish rabbi as he extended his congratulations to a Catholic bishop on the occasion of his consecration. The belief in one God should indeed awaken in the faithful among all the high religions the consciousness of belonging together in one family and their obligation to stand together fraternally. It is understandable that those who profess a divisive form of national polytheism should think of themselves as enemies not only for political reasons but for religious ones as well. National strife is for them also a war of their gods. But at first glance it seems inconceivable that those who profess faith in one God or one divine essence can combine with it a spirit of mutual estrangement and hostility.

But thus it has been in the history of religions. The faithful among the higher religions have opposed one another again and again, indeed if not engaging in bloody persecution, then despising the followers of other religions as deplorably ignorant persons who must be led with all possible speed to the true church and religion. How many human beings have become the victims of religious wars, how frequent the oppression of other religious consciences, how numerous are the martyrdoms suffered in courageous confession of individual faith! Think of the repeated instances of cruel persecutions of Buddhism by Confucianism in China and of Islam in India! Or of the outlawing of the Jews and their segregation into ghettos in the Christian Middle Ages, the ecclesiastical enforcement upon them of baptism and the attendance at sermons! Think of the Christian Crusades against Islam with all their brutalities, and in turn, the pressure of Muslim rulers upon Christian nations. Even in the religions familiar with the concept of tolerance, such as Hinduism, the converts to Christianity have been expelled from their families and castes and treated worse than pariahs!

Although in more modern times religious persecution has passed from the hands of religious to totalitarian political powers, the deeply irrational contempt for other religions is still widespread. Indeed in Western Christendom today it has in certain respects become more widespread than in the eras of the Enlightenment, Classicism, and Romanticism.

Churchmen and theologians today are far behind that strong sense of unity that permeates the cultural work of UNESCO. If we ask why this sense of unity should be most hindered from that quarter where it ought be most vitally fostered, we will find the reason for this paradox in the sense of absoluteness characteristic of one segment of the higher religions.

In An Historian’s Approach to Religion (Oxford University Press, 1956.) (the best theological book of the last ten years, though not written by a theologian), Arnold Toynbee suggests that those three religions of revelation which spring from a common historical root -- Judaism, Islam, and Christianity have a tendency toward exclusivism and intolerance. They ascribe to themselves an ultimate validity. While the faithful among the Indian religions recognize the other religions insofar as they discern in them another manifestation of the essentials of their own religion, the three religions mentioned above (especially Christianity) are so exclusive that their followers often enough look upon other religions as the outgrowth of error, sin, and malice. Thereby they transfer the absoluteness which is an attribute alone of the divine and eternal to their own system of faith without seeing that this divine absolute can also be comprehended in entirely different forms of thought and devotion.

There is indeed something essentially correct in Toynbee’s objection. The Indian religions are a treasure of more than two thousand years of tolerance. Two hundred and fifty years before Christ, King Asoka, one of the noblest figures in world history and the great promulgator of Buddhism, proclaimed to his subjects not only tolerance but also love for other religions. He states in one of his famous edicts carved in rock:

The divinely favored King Piyadasi honors all sects, the ascetic as well as the local. He honors them with gifts and tributes of all kinds. But the divinely favored one does not lay so much weight upon gifts and tributes, but rather that in all religions there might be a growth in essence. The reason for this is that no praise for one’s own religion or reproach of other religions should take place on unsuitable occasions. On the contrary, every opportunity ought to be taken to honor other religions. If one proceeds in this way, he furthers his own religion and renders good to other religions. Otherwise he does harm to his own religion and reproaches other religions, and all of this out of admiration for his own religion When he would magnify his own cause, he rather does all the more harm to his own religion. Unity alone profits, so that everyone will listen to and join the other religion.

Your thought advocates Judaism, Brahmanism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. In my thought there is only one universal religion, whose varied paths are but the fingers of the loving hand of the Supreme Being. In your thought there are the rich, the poor, and the beggared. My thought holds that there are no riches but... life; that we are all beggars, and no benefactor exists save life herself.

Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth. I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.
Kahlil Gibran

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rules of Greatness

Greatness is not achieved by words but by hard work, difficult choices, actions and sacrifice. It takes more than intellect and general knowledge to make a leader ethical and moral. It takes courage and ethics. Certainly evolution's path towards greatness is not easy. The problem before us is how can courage and ethics be concentrated so that society can create ethical men, women and leaders. History has been dominated more often by unethical men and women who have rejected the principles of life "awareness" and embraced the principles of destruction (happiness without awareness and domination of some aspects of Machiavellian philosophy). Ethics are rules of optimal behavior. The ethics of life are the pursuit of awareness for ourselves and others. Awareness implies the ability to understand a problem domain (without dogma) and apply it to a solution domain, to predict and control. Our "total awareness" is measured by the extent to which we can predict and control our total environment -physical, biological and social. Ethical ends can only be achieved by ethical means.

In order to define rules of optimal behavior throughout human history, it is important to examine human emotion. Human emotions such as fear, hate, greed, jealousy, and anxiety are destructive and prevent expansion of awareness. The only human emotion that can serve a constructive purpose is love. "Love" is defined as the state of mind in which the welfare of other persons is sufficiently important to us that we are willing to sacrifice part of our own welfare for theirs. Love will be the binding force that will enhance the initial joining of the human societies. It is only through love that it becomes possible to achieve the intimacy of communication with persons, which enables us to amplify our individual awareness. Love makes it possible for the awareness of one to be communicated to others at the unconscious level. Only love and awareness give quality to human existence. It is only by understanding ourselves that we can eliminate all emotion except love.

The above brief description for greatness, ethics, and human emotions are used as a basic guideline to identify the most ethical and greatest political leaders throughout human history. One of the most difficult tasks involved in writing this is the relative importance of various political leaders. For this purpose the following moral and ethical criteria is chosen.

The primary evaluation criteria and rules of optimal behavior that it has been identified and selected are as follows:

· Was in position of high power (head of state).

· Influenced the world in a positive direction.

· Believed in Liberty & Justice for all.

· Proven record for high ethical and moral values.

· Despised cruelty.

· Non religious leader

· No thirst for bloodshed

· No interest to abuse their great power.

· Desired to change and create a better world.

· Positive effect on human history.

· Brave and was an icon for just principles.

· Their positive effects will be seen forever.

· Respect for human rights.

· World wide acceptance

· Icon of religious and cultural toleration.

· Belief that all men are borned equal.

· Had a great and innovative contributions toward human history.

If we examine and evaluate leaders throughout human history with the above criteria, we observe that some of the most powerful, successful and influential political leaders and empires of the past are the most ethical ones with total awareness, like Cyrus the Great, Thomas Jefferson, Gandi,

Masoud Marvasti 1993

Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth. I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.
Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Persian Philosopher in Damascus

Of ancient Gods and new

I cannot tell the fate of this man, nor can I say what shall befall His disciples.

A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible. Yet should that seed fall upon a rock, it will come to naught.

But this I say: The ancient God of Israel is harsh and relentless. Israel should have another God; one who is gentle and forgiving, who would look down upon them with pity; one who would descend with the rays of the sun and walk on the path of their limitations, rather than sit for ever in the judgment seat to weigh their faults and measure their wrong-doings.

Israel should bring forth a God whose heart is not a jealous heart, and whose memory of their shortcomings is brief; one who would not avenge Himself upon them even to the third and the fourth generation.

Man here in Syria is like man in all lands. He would look into the mirror of his own understanding and therein find his deity. He would fashion the gods after his own likeness, and worship that which reflects his own image.

In truth man prays to his deeper longing, that it may rise and fulfil the sum of his desires.

There is no depth beyond the soul of man, and the soul is the deep that calls unto itself; for there is no other voice to speak and there are no other ears to hear.

Even we in Persia would see our faces in the disc of the sun and our bodies dancing in the fire that we kindle upon the altars.

Now the God of Jesus, whom He called Father, would not be a stranger unto the people of Jesus, and He would fulfil their desires.

The gods of Egypt have cast off their burden of stones and fled to the Nubian desert, to be free among those who are still free from knowing.

The gods of Greece and Rome are vanishing into their own sunset. They were too much like men to live in the ecstasy of men. The groves in which their magic was born have been cut down by the axes of the Athenians and the exandrians.

And in this land also the high places are made low by the lawyers of Beirut and the young hermits of Antioch.

Only the old women and the weary men seek the temples of their forefathers; only the exhausted at the end of the road seek its beginning.

But this man Jesus, this Nazarene, He has spoken of a God too vast to be unlike the soul of any man, too knowing to punish, too loving to remember the sins of His creatures. And this God of the Nazarene shall pass over the threshold of the children of the earth, and He shall sit at their hearth, and He shall be a blessing within their walls and a light upon their path.

But my God is the God of Zoroaster, the God who is the sun in the sky and fire upon the earth and light in the bosom of man. And I am content. I need no other God.

Your thought advocates Judaism, Brahmanism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. In my thought there is only one universal religion, whose varied paths are but the fingers of the loving hand of the Supreme Being. In your thought there are the rich, the poor, and the beggared. My thought holds that there are no riches but... life; that we are all beggars, and no benefactor exists save life herself.

Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth. I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.

Gibran Khalil Gibran
* Bsharri, Lebanon, 6 January 1883 - † New York, 10 April 1931
Poet, painter, philosopher.
Variations on the spelling of this Arabic name include Jubrãn, Gubran, Jibran, Kahlil and Kalil. It is written جبران خليل جبران from right to left.
Merging Eastern and Western philosophies, Gibran was influenced by his Lebanese childhood, his adopted America, and the time he spent studying art with Auguste Rodin in Paris. Read how he lost his first name, made his first fame, and more in a short biography. Shorter still, but no less illustrative of the artist is this quote

“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans; in one aspect of You are found all the aspects of existence.”
Lebanon had been convulsed by religious violence only twenty years before his birth, but for Gibran the underlying unity beneath the various forms of religion overruled all differences. As a student he even drew up plans for a opera house to be built in Beirut with two domes symbolizing the reconciliation of Christianity and Islam. The dream eventually bore fruit, albeit only on paper, in Almustafa, "the chosen and the beloved", who is the main character in his best known work. The Prophet is said to be the second best selling book in the United States, after the Bible.

Gibran's influence on popular culture in the twentieth century cannot be overestimated. When the American president John F. Kennedy in his Inaugural Speech famously cautioned his fellow countrymen

“Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”
he was quoting from The New Frontier which Gibran had written thirty six years earlier:

“Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you or a zealous one asking what you can do for your country?”

Monday, January 11, 2010

India's Uneducated Villagers and the American Congress

By Dinesh Shah

As I look at US Congress voting on the Healthcare bill without reading what's in it, I can't help thinking of India's uneducated villagers voting in India's elections.
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives voted on this bill. Most members voted without having first read it. Now the US Senate, too, has approved the bill without knowing what's in it.
In India where I grew up, the Constitutional democracy was established in 1950. During the first couple of decades the Congress party (then officially known as the Indian National Congress), won the majority and hence the privilege to elect the PM.
Most notable leaders of the Independence movement belonged to the party. So, riding the wave of post-independence patriotic passions, it would have been natural for the Congress party to win, as these leaders were well liked and looked up to.
But although they were well liked and respected, it was not enough to ensure victory at the ballot box. The majority of the population lived in rural areas, uneducated and unable to read even the candidates' names on the ballot. So, there had to be a fail-proof way to translate the party's popularity into votes, to ensure that villagers voted for the right candidate and right party.
The Congress Party's symbol "Two Bullocks with Yoke" helped overcome that hurdle. To rural villagers, "Two Bullocks with Yoke" symbolized plowing/farming, and hence prosperity. Two-Bullocks occupied the top-rung position in voters' minds in the days well before the positioning concept was popularized by Al Ries and Jack Trout.
Voters were constantly hammered with a message to just put their voting stamp on the "Two Bullocks" symbol. It didn't matter who the candidates were. This made it convenient for politicians to campaign and easier for uneducated voters to remember what to do. A voting stamp? Yes, it meant not having hanging chad problems even in those early primitive days.
Today, the words "Health care" in the bill' title is the American equivalent of the Two Bullocks symbol. Congress, not unlike India's uneducated villagers, is hammered by the President, House and Senate leaders to just vote "Yes" – to put their stamp of approval on the bill – without having ever read it.
Indian villagers were uneducated and couldn't read the ballot even if they wanted to. America's Congress is mostly made up of highly educated lawyers. So, what is their excuse? In reality, how are these supposed erudite solons any different from those uneducated Indian villagers?
These representatives are expected not only to read the documents, but to thoroughly understand all the pros and cons before casting their vote. They are predominantly lawyers who would fight in courts on behalf of their clients to nullify any contracts being signed before being fully read or understood. Yet, they blithely shirk such a basic responsibility.
In the private sector, executives and professionals are disciplined for misconduct, often by their respective professional organizations and sometimes by law. Shouldn't members of Congress be subject to similar discipline? Has the American Bar Association stated its position on such misconduct by its members?
Organizations that don't take corrective actions end up destroying themselves, ruining lives and destroying investments. Think of Enron, Madoff, housing and the sub-prime lending industry, just to name a few. Can the American Congress and hence America survive?
What is the people's recourse? The only solution bandied about so far is to wait until the next election cycle. Live with it until the next November and take chances with the unpredictable memory and mood of the fickle population?
Perhaps it's time to revisit the Constitution for a little timely updating. Maybe it's time for a "Read to Lead Amendment. In short, those who won't read can't lead. I jest, of course. But, the truth is: since Congress sets its own rules of conduct, it should surely establish such baseline standards – even if it takes an occasional pop quiz to enforce them. Oh, how low the Republic has sunk!
Dinesh Shah, a management consultant for Fortune 1000 companies, is a guest Liberty Features Syndicated writer for Americans for Limited Government.

Your thought advocates Judaism, Brahmanism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. In my thought there is only one universal religion, whose varied paths are but the fingers of the loving hand of the Supreme Being. In your thought there are the rich, the poor, and the beggared. My thought holds that there are no riches but... life; that we are all beggars, and no benefactor exists save life herself.

Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth. I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.
Kahlil Gibran

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Tool of American Politics

Or maybe should I call this post The Energy Crisis, Stimulating The Economy, Global Warming, The War on Drugs, Homeland Security, The War on Terror, Or Health Care??

Below excerpt is taken from the book 'In Sheep's Clothing' By George K. Simon

Psychopaths in Sheep's Clothing Two Basic Types of Aggression There are two basic types of aggression: overt-aggression and covert-aggression. When you're determined to have something and you're open, direct and obvious in your manner of fighting, your behavior is best labeled overtly aggressive. When you're out to "win," dominate or control, but are subtle, underhanded or deceptive enough to hide your true intentions, your behavior is most appropriately labeled covertly aggressive. Now, avoiding any overt display of aggression while simultaneously intimidating others into giving you what you want is a powerfully manipulative maneuver. That's why covert-aggression is most often the vehicle for interpersonal manipulation.

The Process of Victimization

For a long time, I wondered why manipulation victims have a hard time seeing what really goes on in manipulative interactions. At first, I was tempted to fault them. But I've learned that they get hoodwinked for some very good reasons:

1. A manipulator's aggression is not obvious. Our gut may tell us that they're fighting for something, struggling to overcome us, gain power, or have their way, and we find ourselves unconsciously on the defensive. But because we can't point to clear, objective evidence they're aggressing against us, we can't readily validate our feelings.

2. The tactics manipulators use can make it seem like they're hurting, caring, defending, ..., almost anything but fighting. These tactics are hard to recognize as merely clever ploys. They always make just enough sense to make a person doubt their gut hunch that they're being taken advantage of or abused. Besides, the tactics not only make it hard for you to consciously and objectively tell that a manipulator is fighting, but they also simultaneously keep you or consciously on the defensive. These features make them highly effective psychological weapons to which anyone can be vulnerable. It's hard to think clearly when someone has you emotionally on the run.

3. All of us have weaknesses and insecurities that a clever manipulator might exploit. Sometimes, we're aware of these weaknesses and how someone might use them to take advantage of us. For example, I hear parents say things like: "Yeah, I know I have a big guilt button." - But at the time their manipulative child is busily pushing that button, they can easily forget what's really going on. Besides, sometimes we're unaware of our biggest vulnerabilities. Manipulators often know us better than we know ourselves. They know what buttons to push, when and how hard. Our lack of self-knowledge sets us up to be exploited.

4. What our gut tells us a manipulator is like, challenges everything we've been taught to believe about human nature. We've been inundated with a psychology that has us seeing everybody, at least to some degree, as afraid, insecure or "hung-up." So, while our gut tells us we're dealing with a ruthless conniver, our head tells us they must be really frightened or wounded "underneath." What's more, most of us generally hate to think of ourselves as callous and insensitive people. We hesitate to make harsh or seemingly negative judgments about others. We want to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they don't really harbor the malevolent intentions we suspect. We're more apt to doubt and blame ourselves for daring to believe what our gut tells us about our manipulator's character. [...]

While, from a certain perspective we might say someone engaging in these behaviors is defending their ego from any sense of shame or guilt, it's important to realize that at the time the aggressor is exhibiting these behaviors, he is not primarily defending (i.e. attempting to prevent some internally painful event from occurring), but rather fighting to maintain position, gain power and to remove any obstacles (both internal and external) in the way of getting what he wants.

Seeing the aggressor as on the defensive in any sense is a set-up for victimization.

Recognizing that they're primarily on the offensive, mentally prepares a person for the decisive action they need to take in order to avoid being run over.

Therefore, I think it's best to conceptualize many of the mental behaviors (no matter how "automatic" or "unconscious" they may appear) we often think of as defense mechanisms, as offensive power tactics, because aggressive personalities employ them primarily to manipulate, control and achieve dominance over others.

Rather than trying to prevent something emotionally painful or dreadful from happening, anyone using these tactics is primarily trying to ensure that something they want to happen does indeed happen. [...]

Denial - This is when the aggressor refuses to admit that they've done something harmful or hurtful when they clearly have. It's a way they lie (to themselves as well as to others) about their aggressive intentions. This "Who... Me?" tactic is a way of "playing innocent," and invites the victim to feel unjustified in confronting the aggressor about the inappropriateness of a behavior. It's also the way the aggressor gives him/herself permission to keep right on doing what they want to do. This denial is not the same kind of denial that a person who has just lost a loved one and can't quite bear to accept the pain and reality of the loss engages in. That type of denial really is mostly a "defense" against unbearable hurt and anxiety. Rather, this type of denial is not primarily a "defense" but a maneuver the aggressor uses to get others to back off, back down or maybe even feel guilty themselves for insinuating he's doing something wrong. [...]

Selective Inattention - This tactic is similar to and sometimes mistaken for denial It's when the aggressor "plays dumb," or acts oblivious. When engaging in this tactic, the aggressor actively ignores the warnings, pleas or wishes of others, and in general, refuses to pay attention to everything and anything that might distract them from pursuing their own agenda. Often, the aggressor knows full well what you want from him when he starts to exhibit this "I don't want to hear it!" behavior. By using this tactic, the aggressor actively resists submitting himself to the tasks of paying attention...

Rationalization - A rationalization is the excuse an aggressor tries to offer for engaging in an inappropriate or harmful behavior. It can be an effective tactic, especially when the explanation or justification the aggressor offers makes just enough sense that any reasonably conscientious person is likely to fall for it. It's a powerful tactic because it not only serves to remove any internal resistance the aggressor might have about doing what he wants to do (quieting any qualms of conscience he might have) but also to keep others off his back. If the aggressor can convince you he's justified in whatever he's doing, then he's freer to pursue his goals without interference. [...]

Diversion - A moving target is hard to hit. When we try to pin a manipulator down or try to keep a discussion focused on a single issue or behavior we don't like, he's expert at knowing how to change the subject, dodge the issue or in some way throw us a curve. Manipulators use distraction and diversion techniques to keep the focus off their behavior, move us off-track, and keep themselves free to promote their self-serving hidden agendas. [...]

Lying - It's often hard to tell when a person is lying at the time he's doing it. Fortunately, there are times when the truth will out because circumstances don't bear out somebody's story. But there are also times when you don't know you've been deceived until it's too late. One way to minimize the chances that someone will put one over on you is to remember that because aggressive personalities of all types will generally stop at nothing to get what they want, you can expect them to lie and cheat.

Another thing to remember is that manipulators - covert-aggressive personalities that they are - are prone to lie in subtle, covert ways. Courts are well aware of the many ways that people lie, as they require that court oaths charge that testifiers tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Manipulators often lie by withholding a significant amount of the truth from you or by distorting the truth. They are adept at being vague when you ask them direct questions. This is an especially slick way of lying' omission. Keep this in mind when dealing with a suspected wolf in sheep's clothing. [...]

Covert Intimidation - Aggressors frequently threaten their victims to keep them anxious, apprehensive and in a one-down position. Covert-aggressives intimidate their victims by making veiled (subtle, indirect or implied) threats. Guilt-tripping and shaming are two of the covert-aggressive's favourite weapons. Both are special intimidation tactics.

Guilt-tripping - One thing that aggressive personalities know well is that other types of persons have very different consciences than they do. Manipulators are often skilled at using what they know to be the greater conscientiousness of their victims as a means of keeping them in a self-doubting, anxious, and submissive position. The more conscientious the potential victim, the more effective guilt is as a weapon.

Aggressive personalities of all types use guilt-tripping so frequently and effectively as a manipulative tactic, that I believe it illustrates how fundamentally different in character they are compared to other (especially neurotic) personalities. All a manipulator has to do is suggest to the conscientious person that they don't care enough, are too selfish, etc., and that person immediately starts to feel bad. On the contrary, a conscientious person might try until they're blue in the face to get a manipulator (or any other aggressive personality) to feel badly about a hurtful behavior, acknowledge responsibility, or admit wrongdoing, to absolutely no avail.

Shaming - This is the technique of using subtle sarcasm and put-downs as a means of increasing fear and self-doubt in others. Covert-aggressives use this tactic to make others feel inadequate or unworthy, and therefore, defer to them. It's an effective way to foster a continued sense of personal inadequacy in the weaker party, thereby allowing an aggressor to maintain a position of dominance. [...]

Playing the Victim Role - This tactic involves portraying oneself as an innocent victim of circumstances or someone else's behavior in order to gain sympathy, evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. One thing that covert-aggressive personalities count on is the fact that less calloused and less hostile personalities usually can't stand to see anyone suffering. Therefore, the tactic is simple. Convince your victim you're suffering in some way, and they'll try to relieve your distress. [...]

Vilifying the Victim - This tactic is frequently used in conjunction with the tactic of playing the victim role. The aggressor uses this tactic to make it appear he is only responding (i.e. defending himself against) aggression on the part of the victim. It enables the aggressor to better put the victim on the defensive. [...]

Playing the Servant Role - Covert-aggressives use this tactic to cloak their self-serving agendas in the guise of service to a more noble cause. It's a common tactic but difficult to recognize. By pretending to be working hard on someone else's behalf, covert-aggressives conceal their own ambition, desire for power, and quest for a position of dominance over others. [...]

A recent scandal involving a tele-evangelist resulted in his church's governance body censuring him for one year. But he told his congregation he couldn't stop his ministry because he had to be faithful to the Lord's will (God supposedly talked to him and told him not to quit). This minister was clearly being defiant of his church's established authority. Yet, he presented himself as a person being humbly submissive to the "highest" authority. One hallmark characteristic of covert-aggressive personalities is loudly professing subservience while fighting for dominance.

Seduction - Covert-aggressive personalities are adept at charming, praising, flattering or overtly supporting others in order to get them to lower their defenses and surrender their trust and loyalty. Covert-aggressives are also particularly aware that people who are to some extent emotionally needy and dependent (and that includes most people who aren't character-disordered) want approval, reassurance, and a sense of being valued and needed more than anything. Appearing to be attentive to these needs can be a manipulator's ticket to incredible power over others. [...]

Projecting the blame (blaming others) - Aggressive personalities are always looking for a way to shift the blame for their aggressive behavior. Covert-aggressives are not only skilled at finding scapegoats, they're expert at doing so in subtle, hard to detect ways.

Minimization - This tactic is a unique kind of denial coupled with rationalization. When using this maneuver, the aggressor is attempting to assert that his abusive behavior isn't really as harmful or irresponsible as someone else may be claiming. It's the aggressor's attempt to make a molehill out of a mountain.

Although all aggressive personalities tend to use these tactics, covert-aggressives generally use them slickly, subtly and adeptly. Anyone dealing with a covertly aggressive person will need to heighten gut-level sensitivity to the use of these tactics if they're to avoid being taken in by them.

I would like to think that our leadership in this great country of our's was not always like this.

"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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."