Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Taken from an article which I have lost (sorry):
>...Thomas Jefferson that the final book of the New Testament is “merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy, nor capable of explanation, than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams.”<
This is an interesting point considering the attitude of some of the early Church Fathers who decided what books would be included and which excluded from the Bible. Eusebius, one of the chief supporters and apologists for Constantine (also the Bishop of Caesarea which we today call Israel), was quite clear in stating that there was no way in which the text could be accepted as an actual revelation and taken literally. It simply contradicted everything previously taught in the Gospels. He also was convinced that the John who wrote the book of revelations was not the Apostle John .
He agonized over including the text in the Canon until finally he decided to include it in both lists, the accepted AND the rejected. It is hard to consider that to be a vote of confidence in the authenticity of the work.
Nevertheless, this highly questionable book, which some Fathers of the Church rejected outright, has not only become part of the Canon, it has become the single most important portion of the entire Bible for a significant number of American Christians.
As for me, long before I ever heard of the name Eusebius, I stated, to the intense distress of some family members, that I felt that Revelations was wrongly included and should never have been part of the Gospels, or any part of the Bible. It was more an emotional than a reasoned response, but I am pleased to say that as I have learned more about the history I find more and more reasons to believe that I was correct.
This is yet another reason I find myself so deeply opposed to the beliefs and actions of the Religious Right. They obsess about this one Book more than the rest of the Bible put together. When they do consider the other Books, it is often to interpret them in the light of Revelations; of Revelations taken literally.
No wonder their theology and mine are at such loggerheads.
I find myself much more in agreement with Mr. Jefferson. I have come to doubt all the miracle stories, although I do not necessarily reject them out of hand as he did. Miracles not withstanding, I can certainly agree that I am a Christian in the sense that our third president was a Christian. That is, I believe in the teachings and guidance of Jesus whatever his actual nature might be.
It is a painful irony to note that those of the Religious Right, who so often and so loudly proclaim their love and worship of Jesus, allow his teachings to be completely overshadowed and even poisoned by the bizarre imagery of the Book of Revelations, which, from the very beginning, has been regarded as suspect and even unacceptable.
Been a busy couple of days, So I'm lumping together some of my Facebook responses to make a single post here.
In response to a left-wing group posting the video snippet that declared that Sean Hannity had raged about those Republicans who refuse to support Trump, I responded:
Point 1: that's the calmest rage I've ever heard. Foolish exaggeration is the Republicans' territory. Democrats please don't wander into that room or I will be compelled to start jumping on you with both feet just like I do on the Republicans.
Point 2: Sean Hannity is not upset that people refuse to blindly follow Trump. Sean Hannity is upset because he just learned that if you pander you must go along with whatever the crowd commands. You don't get to lead. Panderer and leader are mutually exclusive concepts. Sean Hannity is upset that Sean Hannity can't issue orders and be obeyed. He thought he was making public opinion. He just realized that he's been caught in a riptide.
He don't like that.
in response to a post taking apart the arguments of gun worshiper John R. Lott, Jr.
(author of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws), I posted:
A careful analysis of the easily falsifiable claims of one of the leading gun advocates in this nation. Everyone should read it. Conservatives and Republicans won't. This is because this is a set of facts which contradict their emotionally satisfying superstitious belief system. Those who advocate thoughtful gun control should read it because then they will know how to answer those who refuse to let facts interfere with their emotionally satisfying superstitious belief system.
In support of my friend, Charles in his dialogue with a conservative extremist after that individual condemned him for joining Alice in Wonderland, I posted:
I find it a delightful irony that those most divorced from reality and most insistent upon living in an alternate universe are those who most often accuse realists of being deluded.
Ask any UFO nut. He will decry your incredible stupidity and foolishness for not realizing that the aliens have been running the earth for centuries perhaps even millennia.
Hollow earth? Bigfoots? (Bigfeets? Bigfeet?). Hillary Clinton as super villain mass murderer par excellence?
What a fool you are, if you ignore the obvious facts!
I repeat an earlier post I made today:
“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”
Two points: First, from what I read here there does seem to be a difference between a wormhole and quantum entanglement. Both ignore or at least dispense with the space part of the continuum. OK. But quantum entanglement does not permit one particle to change instantaneously in the future or in the past in response to a change made to its partner particle in the present (unless that explains the spooky action at a distance). Wormholes are time machines as much as they are transportation machines. That would seem to be a profound difference between a wormhole and quantum entanglement.
Second, I'm not sure why The author included the video "explanation" of the theory by the theorist. Undoubtedly it makes things crystal-clear to those who understand advanced mathematics. Since I have trouble with high school level geometry and algebra, he might as well have been speaking Mandarin or perhaps even Sanskrit. I expect anyone who viewed the article would be unlikely to be familiar with such advanced mathematics and so I wonder why it was included.
Which brings me to my own question regarding spooky action at a distance. Bobby, I assume you will be seeking a position at a University now that you have your PhD. I also assume you will make friends with everyone in sight as you usually do. If one of those people deals with quantum theory maybe you could ask him a question that's been bothering me. If we have multiple dimensions in excess of the four currently known and which are curled up into a very tiny state, is it not possible that the information which seemingly travels faster than light in a quantum entanglement situation is in fact traveling through one or more of those dimensions? Information traveling at the speed of light across such a tiny dimension would seem instantaneously transmitted
I assume this will result in an amused chuckle from said quantum physicist. That's OK. I don't deny my ignorance of quantum physics. I would just like to know why I'm wrong.
Sunday, August 14, 2016
In response to a Republican post which claimed that pilots defied Obama and attacked ISIS when Obama wants ISIS protected, I responded:
Once again, I'm reposting this so that those who don't follow Republicans can understand just how insane their beliefs are. If commanders went over Obama's head to make an unauthorized strike, they have committed mutiny, an offense punishable by death after a general court-martial.
When your Republican friends act in a manner that makes no sense at all, remember it's because they believe these bizarre and utterly unfounded statements. If these insane statements were true, the actions of Republicans would make sense.
What they don't understand is that this post is intended to deny Obama the credit for what Obama has done.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
A friend posted a report that the DEA continues to regard marijuana as a dangerous drug requiring a high level of illegality. A lengthy series of interesting comments followed. I'm really not feeling well enough to repost them, so anyone reading this blog will have to do without them. Nevertheless, the discussion was interesting enough that I also commented.
My post: The government's position is, and has been since its inception, irrational and self-destructive. John Erlichman has stated that:
“You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
Other former members of the Nixon administration have insisted that this must have been a satirical, non-factual statement. This is almost irrelevant. The effects of the war on drugs have been essentially identical to conducting a decades long assault on American society.
An enemy nation would be hard pressed to plan a more effective method of destabilizing and damaging the United States economically, socially, and morally. I sincerely doubt they could effectively implement such a plan.
When the war on drugs was first announced, I was still a student. At that time many of us immediately responded, "Isn't this just Prohibition all over again? Wasn't that a miserable failure? Isn't this just going to make gangs more powerful and hurt the people it is supposed to protect?"
In Washington, and sadly much of America, the obvious is irrelevant.
(For the record, I don't use marijuana. I don't even use it medically.)
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
This is a most interesting post. I am generally regarded as good with words, yet I always found diagramming sentences onerous and difficult. I thought it was a pointless and obfuscating exercise with no benefits. Then one of my colleagues told me how much she loved it when she was a child. She declared it had given her much insight and helped her to write better and comprehend more.
A good teacher teaches in many different ways because students learn in many different ways.
I went to preschool reading years ahead of expected grade levels. Phonics was a senseless burden for me -- confusing, meaningless work.; but for other students phonics opens the door to reading itself.
Good teachers teach in whatever way it takes for their students to learn.
Forget the best of times...though the worst of times is not quite here. It's odd that I have made so many posts today. I've barely made it through today. I don't remember making all those posts. But there they are. And here I am posting again. Odd.
I forgot a pill yesterday morning. By the time I realized that, it was too late to take it because the next dose was due in a while. This only happened once before, and I was sick for four days before my body got back in balance.
Today was very confused. It was mostly a dark silent room day. I made sure I took my pill, but it didn't really help. I should eat regular meals. That helps a great deal. But food was and is quite disgusting. I made myself to eat one light meal and I managed to eat most of a second meal at night. That didn't help.
I only made it to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee this morning. I really need to make a pot of tea for the day but I didn't manage to do that. The kitchen is too many steps away. Thankfully, the bathroom is closer. Bills are not getting paid and things aren't getting done, but somehow I made all these posts. And I am making this post. Nothing really makes much sense right now.
Hopefully, things will get better tomorrow. Until then this is your friendly local whiny guy, whining all he can.
Sometimes getting through the next hour is very, very hard.
Monday, August 1, 2016
As strongly as I support the Black Lives Matter movement this is a foolish, divisive, evan a self-destructive concept. It can only cause resentment and exacerbate racial divisions. Black people don't need special help. They need justice and a fair chance like every other American.
Consider the possible ramifications. If a person is half Black and half White, it can be argued that they should receive no reparations since 50% of their genetic ancestry cancels out the other 50%. Also, how would a possible recipient prove that their ancestors were here in America held in slavery as opposed to having come to America at a later time or under different circumstances? Shouldn't a White person who could prove that their ancestors were abolitionists be exempt from the reparations? Maybe they should even receive some reparations themselves.
And if we grant reparations to slave descendants, what about American Indians? What about French and Spanish individuals who had their land stolen by American settlers without any compensation? And so on, ad finitum.
Reparations? Of course, for anyone who was held in bondage. Not for their descendants.
Note: There are living individuals who suffered under Jim Crow laws...