Monday, July 18, 2016

Economics


In response to a post from my friend, Charles which asked who agreed that the media was responsible for promoting racial division, I responded:

Well, yes. In the same sense for that the drug dealer is responsible for spreading drugs around. If nobody came to buy the product, they would sell a different product.

Remember that even supporters of the right wing media lie machine state freely that the "Conservative" venues were created in order to give conservatives the news they wanted to hear as opposed to all the news they didn't want to hear. They don't understand that the news they wanted to hear wasn't being promulgated because it was lies and deceit. The bottom line is millions of Americans are saying, "I will make you rich, famous, and powerful if you tell me the lies I want to hear."

Is it so surprising that there are people out there willing to sell that product?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Doing It Right


In response to a post suggesting that Ruth Bader Ginsberg has nothing to apologize for in having made statements regarding Donald Trump's candidacy I responded:

There's no doubt how much I despise Trump and believe his presidency would destroy America so thoroughly that he would make George Bush Junior look like the greatest president in history by comparison. I also have a deep respect for Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Having said that, I must say she did the wrong thing. It is true that the Supreme Court is very political and the conservative Justices are more political than judicial, yet it remains inappropriate for a Supreme Court Justice to speak up and attempt to influence voters in an upcoming election.

Certainly Republicans in general and conservatives in particular demonstrate no regard for common decency, or manners, or politeness. Trump himself regularly declares that you can say anything you want because even opposing insults and racial smears is only political correctness. This does not mean the moderates, independencts, and liberals need to descend to those levels. Nor does it mean they should.

Finally, I think her actions are understandable and are therefore entirely forgivable. This doesn't change the fact that they were wrong. She did apologize, so as far as I'm concerned, apology accepted.

Friday, July 8, 2016

I Don't Got A Problem..,

Charles posted an article stating that Obama is too intelligent for Republicans to understand.  I responded:

It's not the first time I've said it but:   It's an excellent point though I must add a caveat. It is that the Republicans are not able to act intelligently, but not because of low intelligence quotients. It's because of that most memorable quote for the science-fiction classic "Dune".  "Fear is the mind killer."

The quote is accurate, but  incomplete.  A brain  awash with the biochemicals produced by fear and rage is a brain incapable of higher cognitive functions.

All propagandists know this. This is why propaganda focuses heavily upon emotions. This is why the emotions propaganda focuses upon are generally fear and rage.  In my posts, I often ask Republicans who are addicted the right wing media when are they going to get tired of being wrong and when are they going to get tired of being constantly terrified and enraged.  It's the same pair of questions I asked when I spoke to loved ones who were addicted to self-destructive, self delusional behavior patterns.

In other words, Republicans have this problem not because of a low intelligence level, but because they, like any addict, are incapable of facing reality. They are in a state of clinical denial.

And the answer to my questions is that someday they will either hit rock bottom and begin a long hard climb back up to self-respect, or they will die still wrapped up in their self delusions.  It is up to each individual.

I fought this battle with those I loved who were alcoholic and/or addicted to drugs. I know how clear reality is and how bitterly they will ignore the most obvious facts.  Trying to have an intelligent conversation with a Republican is exactly the same; and for exactly the same reasons.

I don't make my posts in response to their inanities in an attempt to convert them. I know better. I make my posts to let them know that their delusions are not shared by the whole world, to make sure that my non-addicted friends and associates are aware of what is happening to the addicts, and to help people understand the bizarre beliefs that are driving Republicans to commit otherwise inexplicable self-destructive acts.

Also, sometimes I get so angry that my higher brain functions shut down and I simply must make a response which is not a slap in the face to reality.  Still, I never get so confused as to think that it will actually reach any of them, or do any of them any good. Which is sad. No one likes to feel helpless when seeing others suffering, even if they are inflicting that suffering upon themselves.





Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pity Trip


The article, which claims regular Christians are being rejected by society:  http://time.com/4385755/faith-in-america/

This article is a pile of self-deluded nonsense. It defines "regular Christians" as the most extreme and most politicized members of the minority known as fundamentalist evangelical Christians, aka, the Religious Right.  Apparently the author defines "regular" as "the people who think the same way I do and believe exactly the same extremist, narrow dogma that I do". Sorry, but regular Christians are all the Christians who are embarrassed by your extremist antics.

She is correct in that extremist Christians are becoming less and less welcome in society. This is because the rest of society is becoming more tolerant and therefore less accepting of bigotry. It is because the rest of us do not want you to force your religion upon us with special laws that give you special privileges that none of us share.

A few corrections:

When you say you want prayer in schools you mean you want your prayers in schools interpreted according to your version of the Scriptures. You claim you only want tolerance, but what you really want is the same thing the Puritans wanted when they came to America, the religious freedom to persecute all other religions.

You demand tolerance for yourselves and deny it to everyone else.

Ever wondered just whom Christ was talking about when he spent such a large amount of time on earth condemning the sanctimonious, overly pious, smug, hypocritical Pharisees? Look in the mirror. That's what he condemned when he walked this earth.

As a fellow Christian, I say to you, it's way past time to repent.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Endgame


As some of you know, my ex-wife has just been put on hospice. The doctors have given her no more than six months to live. Medical circumstances are complex but they include the need for open-heart surgery without which her heart will give out but which cannot be performed because the anesthesiologist says that putting her under anesthesia will kill her in her weakened condition, pernicious MRSA infection which has gone on for years and already cost her one leg, organ failure… Well, you get the picture.

I've been through this too many times before. When someone you care about reaches a point where you begin to pray not for recovery, because you know that's impossible, but just for an end to the suffering. The good news about hospice is that she now has drugs available to her that are not available to patients expected to live. This means she will probably sink deeper and deeper into a haze and be less and less alive even as she continues to breathe, but at least the suffering will have the edge taken off.

Again, any of you who know us know the divorce was long and bitterly fought. While it did put an end to my being in love with her, it did not stop me from loving and caring about her. Nevertheless, most of the suffering I experience is the suffering of my children.

There are different ways to handle grief. For me the good poem helps a lot. So today I wrote four brief ones. They follow.

Seasons End

The tree no longer as yellow with fruit
As it still is with leaves
The ground beneath its skirt
Littered with the ruins
Pecked, nibbled, rotten
Rich with next year's nutrients

The Crowning jewels
Given back
Returned for rebirth

Why must seasons end?

6-28-16

Ode to Nefertiti

Once she entered in a room
And The Beautiful One Was Here

Men stood tall
Women smiled

She did not walk across a room
She sailed

Every chair
Became a throne

Her diamonds
Were crown jewels

She was always a woman
As Billy Joel sang

Her flaws
Were just her frame

Where has Nefertiti gone?
When will she come home?

6-28-16

Superposition

Those we love that we have lost
Are Schrodinger's cat made manifest
Dead alive
Both and neither

In memory so vibrant
In reality so macabre,
Dead alive
Both and neither

This is true
That is true
Dead alive
Both and neither

6-28-16

Verbiage

Words are only words, you'll hear
Sounds that signify the insignificant
Often true I don't deny
But also often false

Words can cut and words can heal
Words are the heart and soul
Struggling to be known
Striving to be born

Words are the sweat and tears and blood
Of the living us encased in flesh
The real you and the actual me
Reaching out to touch

Unsaid, they mold and spoil
Said, they may dry out and die
But at least they have a chance
To act as seeds of grace

6-28-16




Friday, June 3, 2016

Check...mate?


Here's an interesting thought. Below is Jon Ronson's psychopath checklist [source-- psychologist Robert Hare's widely used psycho diagnostic tool, the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R)]. How many of these traits do you think apply to Donald Trump?

You have glibness and superficial charm

Grandiose sense of self-worth

Need for stimulation/proness to boredom

Pathological lying

Cunning/manipulative

Lack of remorse or guilt

Shallow affect/emotional range

Callous/lack of empathy

Parasitic lifestyle

Poor behavioral controls

Promiscuous sexual behavior

Early behavior problems

Lack of realistic long-term goals

Impulsivity

Irresponsibility

Failure to except responsibility for own actions

Many short term marital relationships

Revocation of conditional relief (recidivism if paroled)

Criminal versatility

Juvenile delinquency

Democracy For All (Educated, Wealthy, And White)

An OpEd in the Washington Post suggests Americans should be required to pass a test before  being allowed to vote. The idea is that this would weed out ignorant voters.

I responded:

Define ignorant.  My definition will be wildly different from Trump's. Who designs the test? Administers it? Scores it?

This reminds me very much of an old ploy used by the Soviet Union. Public relations were an important aspect of the Cold War. The Soviets made great gains in this area out of America's treatment of minorities and out of our Jim Crow laws.   We made great gains in this area out of the Soviets treatment of dissidents.

In order to protect themselves from this effective criticism, the Russian communists came up with a very clever solution. They started with the undeniable fact that communism was a scientific system of governance and economics.  Since it was the only scientifically designed government, it was proven to be the most effective and best government available on earth. Therefore, anyone who thought that it was a bad system must be insane. This person was not a dissident. This person was mentally ill. In order to protect these poor victims of their own delusions from harming themselves and others it was necessary to place them in a mental institution.

You get the picture.

In an age when there is a serious attempt to destroy democracy in America by rigging elections through computer guided gerrymandering and voter ID laws, it should be obvious to everyone that this is just another way for government to deny people the right to vote if those people are likely to vote in the "wrong" way.

Down south it was the literacy test which prevented minorities from voting. It's remarkable how many college graduates and professionals, who happened to also be Black, failed the literacy test. It was also amazing how many Whites, many of whom had difficulty reading the TV Guide, passed it easily.

So unless they're going to appoint me the test creator, chief administrator, and creator of the criteria for passing or failing; this is a bad idea.

PS, I wouldn't test for trivia regarding details of governance. I would test for critical thinking skills.