Saturday, October 18, 2014

Withdrawal Symptoms


Bobby! I'm a little late in answering your question, even for me, but nevertheless, here it is. (Back in philosophy club. I made a comment about if horses had gods, their gods would be horses. You asked me who said that? I responded some Greek guy. That was because I couldn't remember who. I wanted to say Zeno, but I knew that was wrong, as I usually think Zeno said everything. So, here's the answer:


But mortals suppose that gods are born, wear their own clothes and have a voice and body. (frag. 14)

Ethiopians say that their gods are snub-nosed and black; Thracians that theirs are blue-eyed and red-haired. (frag. 16)

But if horses or oxen or lions had hands or could draw with their hands and accomplish such works as men, horses would draw the figures of the gods as similar to horses, and the oxen as similar to oxen, and they would make the bodies of the sort which each of them had. (frag. 15)"-Xenophanes

Profound philosophical question for the day : Is science-fiction related to ancient Greek philosophy? There are a lot of people with x's and z's starting their names in both. Just wondering.

Also: What are the odds that Jesus had blue eyes?

Finally, I am upset. You have been to California at least twice without spending time with me. You are therefore and hereafter banned from the state unless you come and teach me something. I need a sharp philosophical debate. It doesn't matter about what, as long as it is philosophical in nature.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pardon Me, But Your Panic Is Showing


Want to talk about the Ebola crisis? The one that's threatening the end of America? The one that's going to kill every single human being in the country over the next couple of days?

Tell you what. I'm going to go to the bathroom. Trim my beard. Maybe take a quick shower. Next to the kitchen. Get a nice cold beer. Make myself a really good sandwich.

Meanwhile, you do all the screaming, shrieking, foaming at the mouth, and soiling yourself in terror you want. But when I get back, maybe we could talk about some of the serious problems confronting this country.

Please?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It's The End Of The World -- Again!


In response to the latest Right Wing Bizzaro rants about Obama and Africa and Ebola and plots to destroy America, I posted:

While I rate Obama as an above average president, I nonetheless do have some very serious concerns with his administration. There are areas in which I believe he has seriously failed in his duty to the American people. (Most of these are areas in which he is continuing the practices of past presidents.)

I find it very sad, and quite disturbing, that there is so much fantasy based bigotry and hatred directed at this man that it is almost impossible to discuss these real world issues. Instead, when I am trying to debate these matters I find myself spending my time trying to convince people that he's not the antichrist, secret Muslim plotter, evil Kenyan destroyer of America... well you know all the weird accusations that have become Gospel truth to terrified, but otherwise reasonable human beings.

They then begin to attack me as a member of the cabal who believes Obama is perfect. We never get to reality or considered critique.

There is so much smoke and mirrors and so many absurd accusations (the situation reminds me very much of a Hollywood special-effects blockbuster -- all smash 'N crash and flash 'N splash with absolutely no substance or meaning whatsoever) that serious discussion or thoughtful consideration become impossible.

That is not a healthy situation for the obsessed and terrified hate mongers or for our nation.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

An Immiscible Day


What a strange day it's been today. I actually slept seven solid hours. While this doesn't sound like much of accomplishment, it has been months since I've slept for such a sustained period of time without awakening. I've also been up and active for far longer than seven hours. It's been several months since that's happened also.

Obviously, physically I'm doing better than I have in quite some time.

However, I also had to speak with an old friend about his wife's death. I've known them about 35 years. They were married for 41. I told him that I always envied him in that; that he had married once and stayed married. That I never managed.

As I said to my middle daughter, as odd as it sounds, it's hard to imagine one of them living on alone. You simply never thought of one of them without thinking of the other. It's as if one dying would mean the other one would die also.

Then again, when is life ever so simple? It's always messy. Which is why we try to cherish every precious moment that is good and do our best to get through the bad as quickly as possible.

I ought to make a poem of this, perhaps I will. The arts are good at expressing emotions which otherwise can't really be explained.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fear Is The Mind Killer


I shared the comment below. In response to friends' comments, I added:

Republican Maine state Representative Lawrence Lockman said in 1995, “If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.”

Once a group, perhaps especially a political party, becomes dedicated to the tactics of hate and fear they find themselves carried along by their own self generated avalanche. An endless barrage of new, ever more shocking declarations are required to maintain their movement's energy.

Apparently this individual has already apologized for his statements, but the mere fact that he felt not only free but even obligated to make them means that no apology is sufficient. Worse, he doesn't seem to repudiate it. He's just sorry he said it and it got reported. Every parent knows this one. "I'm really sorry I got caught. I'm not sorry I did it, only that you caught me."

My question is, why do any women vote Republican? Why are there still Log Cabin Republicans? Even allowing for gerrymandered districts, how can any Republican be elected to anything?

Much of the answer lies in taking a closer look at a phrase from the cult classic Dune. "Fear is the mind killer," say the Bene Gesert Witches. Partly correct. Any truly powerful emotion is the mind killer. Fear and hatred, currently all that the Republican Party has to offer, can very quickly destroy the already limited capacity of the human mind to think in a rational manner.

Note: I have long thought someone should rewrite the novel and call it Prune. The Benihana witches are seeking the ultimate household appliance, the Cuisinart Hat Rack... There's lots more but there's no point in going on because either you like Dune and don't appreciate my trying to spoof it or you don't really know what the hell I'm talking about, so I'll just hush up.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Dancin' The Hypocrite Rag

The oh so very Christian Republicans adore the teachings of Ayn Rand. They say "Jesus" endlessly while doing the work of the implacably atheist Rand.

-- Think of it like a vegetarian opening a steak house. --

Matthew 6:24
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."

But the Republicans sure try hard!

(Oh, on a side note, Ayn Rand died poor living off Social Security. So much for opposing big government programs and rallying for “personal responsibility.”) Jesus Christ believed in helping the poor; feeding the hungry; opposing greed; believed in acceptance; taught to provide for the needy, all while preaching love and generosity. Ayn Rand believed that we should only worry about ourselves, that the “self” is the only thing that matters and essentially charity was stupid. - See more at: http://www.forwardprogressives.com/republicans-trying-mix-ideologies-jesus-christ-atheist-doesnt-make-sense/#sthash.7LGSTLGZ.dpuf

Everyone In Rome Wears A Toga!


In response to the often repeated Internet meme regarding how Republicans cannot possibly be anti-minorities since Lincoln freed the slaves:

The facts do not support your position. Yes, the Republican Party was once the most liberal party on the face of the planet. Conservatives all over the world bitterly condemned Abraham Lincoln and his supporters. They were called the Radical Republicans because they were so extremely liberal. Does this mean that the Republican Party is liberal today?

That was 150 years ago. It does not mean they are liberal now. The Romans threw Christians to the lions in the past. That does not mean the Romans throw Christians to the lions today.

In the 1960s when the Democrats became the party of civil rights, a group of Democrats called the Dixiecrat's rebelled. They ceased being members of the Democratic Party and became members of the Republican Party. They did this because the vinaigrettes were in favor of civil rights and the Republicans were totally opposed to them.

The Democrats were supporters of Jim Crow over 100 years ago. They became the enemies of Jim Crow in the 1960s. The Republicans were supporters of Jim Crow only 50 years ago. And much more recently than that.

People change. Political parties change too. To say, "my party was liberal during the Civil War" does not say anything about what your party is today.