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"Through desire a man, having separated  himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom."  Proverbs 18:1

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The collective conscience - 25 October 2014

I dreamed I was with Elvis Presley outside his house trailer as he sat in a lawn chair at an edge of the road drinking a bottle of beer as a dog sucked on one of his elbows as though it were a nipple.  In the dream, Presley’s father took me for a ride in a pickup truck, and as I awoke I decided to write a biography of Elvis because I knew him so well.  But soon I awoke enough to remember he’d been dead nearly four decades.

“You are but a thought—a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities.”  “Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”  There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”  “I think, therefore I am.”  “Self is God.”

In a bathroom of my 142-year-old house, after awakening early Thursday morning needing to go there, I said aloud to myself that not everything can be perfect.  But then I remembered that I’m a Hindu Buddhist Taoist believing in Jesus, and that Voltaire’s fictional philosopher Pangloss said that this is the best of all possible worlds, and that accordingly everything is perfect.  I complain only about how things seem to me.


The smell of death by any name - 24 October 2014

Media and government pundits use the word “radicalization” to refer to adults and adolescents becoming murderous in response to misrepresentation of Islam.  Anyone who tries to use that as an excuse to be murderous must have been already murderous.  One question is whether those pundits consult mental health professionals.  Another is from what religion those murderous people “converted.”  Humanity isn’t reasonable.

We train our children for bigotry, telling them that teaming for violent sports is essential to social responsibility, and that God told the Israelites to murder for land.  Christians routinely betray Jesus as did Judas but without Judas’ repentance.  They idealize little league along with Sunday school.   

Look at the battlefields in Hollywood movies and ask yourself what should entertain you more, the killing or the landscape, and which does.


Peer pressure programing - 23 October 2014

Ask ordinary college graduates whether they’ve read War and Peace, and they may reply that they haven’t because they read for entertainment, not knowing that they’re calling themselves suckers.  Entraining is what locomotives do to powerless cars, and entertaining is the process of pulling people into entrainment, as governments induct into war people who are ordinarily live in peace.  It’s all a question of responsibility.

The Director of the FBI said Apple’s security compromises security by being too secure.  He said the FBI should have a way to know what people are doing with their iPhones, and media reporters reporting that news are failing to point out that the FBI director is essentially saying that we should have microphones in our homes or chips in our brains.  The next step in his strain of logic is access to dinner table and bedroom conversation.

That FBI Director is trying to be the locomotive while the media entertain us into his train.  War and Peace entertains me, and I enlisted in the Army and volunteered to go to Vietnam, because I wish to understand both the engines and the freight.  It’s all like churches preaching peace while sponsoring sports teams, because we the people find violence entertaining and deny that sports are basically bigotry.  They train us for war.


Doctors without borders - 22 October 2014

CNN’s Jim Sciutto, talking to Frontier Airlines’ CEO while airing a video of a woman cleaning an aircraft on which an Ebola patient had flown, said certainly she was cleaning it more thoroughly than airlines ordinarily clean aircraft.  I wonder how clean Sciutto’s house is, and who cleans it if it’s any cleaner than passenger aircrafts ordinarily are, and why he took that moment for his slur.  CNN should fly him to Liberia.

And, while ninnies like Sciutto are using Ebola as a bandwagon to publicize other issues, the racism at Texas Health Presbyterian has faded into the hospital’s PR people’s calling the hospital Presby, while people pay more attention to the three U.S. citizens with Ebola than to the African American population of Ferguson and St. Louis.

The most significant aspect of the Ebola problem is the difference between prosperity of people like Sciutto and the prosperity of nearly everyone in the region of the Congo.  And that’s a foreign policy problem more important than ISIS.  It kills more people.


Cacophony - 21 October 2014

Now the bipartisan lynch mob is blaming Obama for Ebola.  He appropriately used the word “hysteria” to refer to how media and government pundits are terrorizing, and he appointed a manager he trusts to coordinate the many agencies and functions necessary for a response, but the terrorist pundit lynch mob is saying he should have appointed a medical specialist to deal with the panic they create.  Let’s be reasonable.

Other pundits are saying he’s become lazy.  What he has become is aware of the futility of expecting them to be reasonable.  And so he’s brushing them off, treating them as the blood-sucking mosquitoes they are, while he uses the big stick of the Presidency quietly but appropriately.

Those ranting racists should pay attention to the three monkeys who advise them and us to ignore them as effectively as Obama does.


Out of touch - 20 October 2014

Classic Rubik’s cubes have two more colors than Mondrian’s most abstract paintings and one more dimension and no more angles.  Since long before the age of reason, painters and sculptures have used literary art to sell their art, while art critics have used literary art either to defame it or to give it literary meaning.  Manipulating Rubik’s cubes requires less physical work than painting or sculpture but more than does writing.

Yet manipulating Rubik’s cubes may be as spiritual as what Hindus call hatha yoga or what Taoists call tai chi chuan.  Certainly it’s far more spiritual than the superstition of occidental religions using “spiritual” to refer to materialistic alternatives to materialistic actuality. “Hatha” is an Indian word for “persistence” while “chuan” is a Chinese word for “fist.”  Both disciplines distract from semantic abstraction.  Neither seeks anything.

But, in my effort to seek nothing, to find everything through accepting whatever enters my mind, I read scriptures of religions both occidental and oriental, and watch news on television.  And I find it all to sink into salesmanship by way of literary art far more abstract than Mondrian’s painting or any poetry I’ve found in literature courses.  I find most of it to be as abstract as what passes for art in Hallmark cards and soap operas.


Can we pluck out pundits? - 19 October 2014

A CNN pundit said two references to beheading are in the Qur’an.  Fact is that two references to striking necks in defensive battle and no references to beheading are in the Qur’an while the Bible says that Jews beheaded Goliath and Saul and John the Baptist.  Other media and government pundits have said ISIS behavior is medieval, but ISIS behaves as the Bible says Moses did a couple of millennia before the Middle Ages, and the Middle Ages were the peak of political power of the Roman Catholic Church.

During the Renaissance, in his play The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare has a Christian say of the play’s Jewish title character that the devil can quote Scripture for his own use.  The Bible’s many contradictions of itself leave its reasonable readers trying to determine their behavior by whatever sense God otherwise gives them.  And, in his play Hamlet, Shakespeare satirizes a pedant telling his son to be true to himself.

When an Israeli murdered Rachel Corrie by driving a bulldozer over her for standing between it and a Palestinian pharmacist’s home, pundits said she deserved to die for shrieking against Israelis, as though shrieking is a capital offense.


Our artificial hearts - 18 October 2014

Humans named the Ebola virus for the Ebola River.  The river is the headstream of a tributary of the Congo.  Tropical jungles are extraordinarily hospitable to life but not to human life.  That tends to belie Darwinian and general human anthropocentric claims that humanity is the most formidable advance of evolution.  The most formidable human characteristic is our survival despite our tradition of calling killing each other reasonable.

Fox News said that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, which killed African American Eric Duncan and shipped out African American Amber Vinson under outside pressure, said Nina Pham infected herself while “donning” the hospital’s protective gear.  So next a nurses’ union used the fact that Pham is a nurse to accuse everyone anywhere of blaming nurses everywhere for the hospital’s negligent homicide.  That union cares no more for nursing than the teachers’ union that forged sick slips to play hooky cared for teaching.  Maslow’s hierarchy of human “needs” is all egocentric.  Humanity is insanity.

What we call modern science counteracts modern medicine with modern weapons.  And modern mass media broadcast sports more than science because sports entertain humans more.  The word “sports” comes from Spartans using sports as training for war.  I prefer faith, Christian or otherwise, to what we call medical science.  The last I heard from Dr. Jarvik was in a TV commercial for Lipitor.  Beer is a byproduct of bread.


How is “buffalo” a verb? - 17 October 2014

CNN’s Jake Tapper tried to pit his Jewish father against his Irish mother by saying that ancestors of his mother fought for the British during the American Revolution and fled to Canada and funded a Christian church there.  And, in the same broadcast, without saying whom or what he was quoting, he presented a quotation supporting what he called sharia law and said it supported Sunni ISIS.  And he said ISIS behavior is “stone-age,” although stone-age human violence was only for survival, as is Islamic jihad.

And, earlier that day, CNN’s Ashley Banfield, on her show CNN calls Legal View, aired a CNN legal analyst calling school football players raping their teammates, by shoving broomsticks into their anuses, hazing!

What kind of purple mountains’ majesty is all that?


Marching with mendacity - 16 October 2014

Adam Smith, in Wealth of Nations, says that war is the noblest profession.  All war is a fight for land, and warriors tend to try to claim that God is on their side, and a seminal example is the sacrilegious hypocritical genocidal Israelite invasion of Canaan that ISIS is trying to emulate.  Mais il faut cultiver notre jardin,” says Voltaire at the end of his excellent exposition of human violence and greed, Candide, ou l’optimisme.  Except the dead in battle, the land must continue to feed both winners and losers, and can if we cultivate it instead of turning it into battle fields.  Voltaire’s optimism is his hope for that.

But religious hypocrisy and violence and greed are human norms.  That people call Tim Tebow a Christian for praying to win football games is a recent extraordinarily absurd indication of that.  But evangelical Christians promoting hunting capital punishment and war is ordinarily absurd.

And extraordinarily ordinary is humans’ calling themselves humanitarian.


Sucking and slugging - 15 October 2014

A driver jumped out of his car and shook a fist at another driver who may have caused the collision that took the first driver’s car out of the race.  So the second driver drove into him and killed him, and a few weeks later mobs of other drivers had a fist fest on a track, and mass media sports reporters are laughing about it.  And the killer driver is requesting and receiving pity from sports fans after a court acquitted him of criminality.

My brother drinks alcohol once a year.  He drinks a beer or two at the Michigan 400, and tailgating by definition involves having a keg of beer on the tailgate of a motor vehicle, and the custom originated at automobile races.  Until about twenty years ago, my brother routinely drove drunk, and still he succumbs to NASCAR peer pressure.

During prohibition, the copper kettle and copper coil industry boomed, with people doing anything they could to drink booze.  But the question isn’t whether people are desperate to drink alcohol but why.  And the answer may be that violence entertains us.


Conserving what? - 14 October 2014

Why are Christian churches full of sick people saying that their faith can make them whole but that they need treatment from medical doctors?  Why does the “evangelical religious right” ignore that Jesus said we should forgive people 490 times, deny the possibility of repentance by promoting capital punishment, and promote Jihad? Why are people claiming to believe that loving neighbors is like loving God lying to everyone?

Why do we the people of the predominantly Christian United States trust CNN?  Why has CNN hired Mark O’Mara, the attorney who defended the murder of Trayvon Martin, and a gaggle of his politically correct Uncles Toms?  How is training people to hone their hypocrisy “sensitivity training?”

If the Republican Party retakes the United States Senate, will the majority of its representatives in it be of the party of Abraham Lincoln, or of the tea party?


World wicked web - 13 October 2014

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said women shouldn’t request pay increases but instead wait for karma to provide them.  Nadella is from India, where most people are Hindus, and “karma” is a Sanskrit word for “work” that Hindus use to refer to finding bliss by doing the best one can do.  One might expect him to know more about karma than does Islamic Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai, who responded to learning in chemistry class that she’d won the Nobel prize for peace that it wouldn’t help her in her studies, because for that she needed to work to be the best she can be for all of us.

And Nadella left India to come to the United States where he could be the best he could be and receive fair compensation for it.  Malala is in England, but she isn’t there because she chooses to be there but because she isn’t welcome in Pakistan, although irony is that Indians and Pakistanis are the least welcome minority in England.  And more irony is in that an Islamic woman founded Earth’s oldest university.

But that’s like the fact that a descendent of people who immigrated to the United States because of the nineteenth century potato famine in Ireland told me that people shouldn’t immigrate across the Rio Grande unless they speak English.


Frivolously factional faith - 12 October 2014

When the stock market significantly flips or flops, financial pundits insignificantly flip a coin to decide which significant productive or destructive event caused the flip or the flop, or they select the one that other media pundits are selling us as most significant.

Greeks built a temple at the southern tip of Greece, and they dedicated it to Poseidon, their god of the sea.  Greeks, like Hindus and many other peoples, imagined entities and called them gods and said they controlled entities they couldn’t control.  West of the temple for Poseidon is the Mediterranean Sea while east of it is the Aegean Sea, and south of it is a line between them no one can see, except perhaps Greek god Poseidon.

It’s all like any sectarian selection, in sports or nationalism or religion, or geography.  People pick a side and decide to support it reasonably or unreasonably or rationally or irrationally.  Greeks would have crossed either sea to fight a war over adultery.


How subtle! - 11 October 2014

Of course Duncan died of discrimination.  He denied having been in contact with any Ebola patient for the same reason that African American Indiana family refused to get out of the car.  Besides that the hospital sent him home, every other Ebola patient in the U.S. received the experimental drug, and they were all white.  Why the people directing the sanitation of the apartment were so sloppy is obvious.  The neighbors weren’t white.

Why did Michael Jackson try to be white and threaten to drop a half-white child of his from a balcony and drug himself to death?  Why did John Rolfe, after Pocahontas saved his life and bore him a son, send her off to England as a curiosity?  Why did Israelites say God preferred them to all the other peoples he created?

Oh Lord, how long will humans try to lord over other humans, and how long will the humans other humans oppress react with vengeance or shame?  Humanity now had a worldwide social network!  Let’s be social.


Black and white - 10 October 2014

A kid from a Chicago suburb paid $4000 for a round trip ticket, to Istanbul by way of Venice and other places, ostensibly to join ISIS.  Wolf Blitzer asked Peter King why the ticket was round trip and the route so circuitous and who gave the kid $4000.  King said that the route was to conceal the kid’s intention and that a “jihadist” group must have funded him.  Surely whoever funded the kid must have known the circuitous route would attract attention to him.  But Blitzer didn’t point out King’s obvious irrationality to King or to us.  And a question Blitzer didn’t ask him is why Istanbul.  It all smells of Mossad.

In another Chicago suburb police stopped an African American family in a car because they weren’t using their seat belts.  A policeman drew his pistol, when the father tried to find proof of his identity in a bag at his feet, and both the father and the mother refused to “get out of the car.”  So another policeman smashed a window and tased the father and dragged him out while the seven-year-old daughter in the car cried for her daddy. 

Before the policeman smashed the window the mother called 911and said she was afraid because of the pistol.  The official police explanation was that the police were afraid of the family.  Perhaps they thought Michael Jackson was Michael Brown.


Pillbox - 9 October 2014

“I think, therefore I am,” says Descartes near the middle of his most famous essay.  When he says it he says it’s all he’s sure he knows, and before he says it he discredits the teachers and schools and learning that made him a prestigious philosopher, and after he says it he suggests using it as a starting point for methodically building more valid learning but instead shows how logic generally leads itself to absurdity.  Yet prestigious philosophers from then to now tell us he did build more valid learning.

Yajnavalkya, the most prestigious sage of the primary scripture of Hinduism, does the same with the mythology and rituals of Hinduism.  But, centuries later, because Hindus were praising Yajnavalkya while ignoring him to continue their rituals and polytheistic mythology, the Buddha left Hinduism and preached Yajnavalkya’s notion, but now Buddhists ignore the Buddha to worship the Buddha.  And Jesus tried to free Judaism from the materialistic violent sectarian superstition Pharisees rationalized.  But now people saying they believe in Jesus worship the materialism of Pharisee Saul of Tarsus.

Jim Garrison responded to the John Kennedy assassination by fabricating a load of crap he proved to be crap by using his position as a New Orleans district attorney to try but fail to prosecute the only person anyone has tried to prosecute for that killing.  I’ve found reason for a hypothesis that George Herbert Walker Bush engineered that assassination, to keep Kennedy from making the Cold War a nuclear war, but Kennedy is more popular than Bush.  And people believe what they wish to believe.


As American as apple pie - 8 October 2014

A half hour on the World Wide Web could tell us that Earth’s Islamic population is more than five times the total population of the United States while Earth’s Judaic population is less than five percent of the U.S. population.  So, if all Muslims were terrorists, as Yahoo Netanyahu and U.S. media and government pundits say, they easily could crush Israel and incorporate all the Levant into an Islamic state owning most of Earth’s oil reserves, and wage war against the U.S. far more formidably than did the U.S.S.R.  But we gave Bill Gates more money than anyone else on Earth for access we twitter away.

Steve Jobs named the iPhone appropriately.  The pie some guy threw into Bill Gates’ face should have been an Apple pie.  People use their iPhones to clog the World Wide Web with their I faces on Facebook.  And people use their smart phones to do the same, instead of using them to access more useful information than they could find in any public library, before Gates gave us the Windows gateway.  What a weird waste.

Neither do as many of us watch the evening news as we watch the evening sitcoms or the afternoon soap operas or the morning talk shows, but justification for that is in that the broadcast TV networks cater to trivia, and so do the cable TV news networks.


Mindless murderous mendacity - 7 October 2014

Why, when children die, do we say parents have lost their children and not that children have lost their lives?  And why do we say that we “have” children rather than that we “give birth” to children?  What does abortion contracept?

Have you heard any media or government pundit point out that nearly everyone ISIS has killed is Islamic, that everything ISIS is doing is in the interest of Israel not only by killing Muslims but also by calling itself Islamic, or that Yahoo Netanyahu is arguing against the United States government’s currently focusing on ISIS more than on Islam?  Do you know that Muslims are a fifth of humanity?  What if a tenth of them terrorized?

What do we mean by “pro-life” or “pro-choice?”  Do we think embryos wouldn’t choose to live if we let them live?  Do we think people shouldn’t choose to be responsible for choosing to commit the act they know results in life?


Promoting peewee profit - 6 October 2014

Media are using the insanity in Oklahoma to accelerate the insanity.  Nolen, like ISIS, calls his insanity Islamic, while neither he nor ISIS accords their behavior with the Qur’an, and media misrepresentation inspired that Oklahoma misrepresentation.  What that guy did was terrorism, but so is every other violent crime, as is media slander.  Mongering “terrorism” as a synonym for “Islam” is one of the ways media terrorize us.

But it sells advertising, and advertising sells other products, and production provides jobs.  It’s a productive but often vicious cycle of profiteering by purveying ignorance and calling it competition.  Look at the people fighting over Christmas gifts in stores every year.  And ask yourself what you mean by “special” or “heroic.”

Hallmark hawks the word “special” without needing to define it, and we call heroic anyone we call special, including anyone who scores at football.  Michael Vick is as heroic as pit bulls are special.  Let’s get a grip.


Ethics and egocentricity - 5 October 2014

The Ten Commandments say we shouldn’t kill, but the Israelites made killing people not Israelites an exception, as they made them an exception to the commandment to love their neighbors.  Also, the Bible says God promised to destroy all the Canaanites to give Israel the land he promised, but other people still live on that land while Israel keeps trying to kill them.  And Israel made Ishmael and Esau exceptions to God’s promise to give the land to the descendants of Abraham.  And Judah is making the other eleven tribes of Israel an exception.  They’re the Samaritans the Israelis treat as Palestinians.

With all the scriptural contradictions, a reasonable person must rely on the sense God gives him, and no one should need anyone to command him not to kill.  Yet we have pastors trying to blind their flocks’ conscience to lead them into the ditch of the pastor’s doctrinaire dilemma.  Christians should note the contradictions between what the Bible says Jesus said and what it says the apostles say he meant and heed their conscience.

Note that two whole tribes and a half tribe of Israel took land east of the Jordan while the Bible says God promised only land west of the Jordan.  A message clear in that is that the Israelites ignored God to favor their greed.  Or they lied about the promise.


Back to basics of bigotry - 4 October 2014

Look for common denominators.  Pierson received little respect from the Secret Service as Clinton received little respect from the State Department.  Both resigned, but pundits generally are pushing Pierson out into the cold with Obama, while the same pundits generally are supporting Clinton.  Obama is black, and Pierson and Clinton are female, but Heehaw Hillary stands by Bubba Bill.  It’s typical Jefferson Davis old boy partying.

Such is how “intelligence analysts” think, but pundits aren’t talking that way in regard to any of that, or in regard to Israel and ISIS.  They’re talking as though they think as people apparently do in Boston, when they shovel snow out of their parking spaces and throw old furniture or other objects into them to reserve them, and return home from work and find someone else’s car on top of the trash.  They call the other person wrong.

The old boy mentality of Jefferson Davis and Benjamin Netanyahu and the religious right and football fans and ISIS is typical of humans.  It’s egocentrism contrary to the common decency that scriptures of each of the half dozen most popular of humanity’s religions offer humans.  Most of us, instead of loving our neighbors as ourselves, love our neighbors only if our neighbors seem to us to love us more than we love them. 


Benefits of doubt - 3 October 2014

ISIS hasn’t killed as many civilians as Saddam Hussein did, and Saddam Hussein didn’t kill as many civilians as Israel has, and Israel hasn’t killed as many civilians as Nazi Germany did.  Media and Government pundits and popular opinion say that killing Hitler was right while killing Saddam Hussein was wrong and that destroying ISIS is right while destroying Israel is wrong!  What are our criteria for deciding who shouldn’t live?

Pundits and other people are saying the Secret Service shouldn’t have let that guy get into the Whitehouse.  But I’ve heard no one say how they should stop an Iraq veteran with a three-inch knife pocket knife in one of his pockets trying to warn the President of imaginary danger!  And how could the Secret Service have known any of that?

People imagine fault as that guy imagined danger.  And, had the Secret service killed him on the lawn, the people now complaining about their not stopping him now would be complaining about their stopping him!  Does everyone have PTSD?


Making bones - 2 October 2014

We the people are back to trying to lynch Obama.  He’s doing as well as anyone can in dealing with ISIS, but pundits Republican and Democrat and ostensibly independent are saying it isn’t enough, because he didn’t finish destroying ISIS yesterday.  And Yahoo Netanyahu is trying to use ISIS, which is acting almost entirely in the interest of Israelis, as an excuse to murder more Palestinian civilians because Hamas operates in Gaza.

Propaganda is by definition semantic or other symbolic misrepresentation, and U.S. media and government pundits are supporting ISIS by agreeing with its calling itself Islamic and a state, and Netanyahu on TV this week mistranslated the Islamic assertion that no god exists other than God.  He translated that maxim from the Qur’an as “There is no god but Allah” as though “Allah” isn’t an Arabic word for “God” and a cognate of the Hebrew word “El”.  “Israel” means “fights God.”

But perhaps the most extreme example of propaganda is using the word “anti-Semitic” to mean against Judaism.  Arabs, most of whom are Islamic, are Semitic as Arabic is a Semitic language as is Hebrew, and so that use of that word in that way denies the existence of most of the Semitic people, while claiming to defend them.  And success of the propaganda is evident in that Israel has killed more than have ISIS and al Qaeda.


Sidelines - 1 October 2014

Mass news media have said the Kurdish civilians watching an assault on ISIS and cheering behaved as though they were watching sports.  The only difference between war and sports is that sports aren’t as lethal.  Both involve bigotry and violence.

When I was working for the Defense Intelligence Agency in Afghanistan, a Lebanese spy owned the only bowling alley in the country, and a CIA agent was copulating with the wife of the U.S. embassy’s Consul.  The United States government sent the Consul home but left the CIA agent on station.  And we all liked Wahib and his bowling alley.

I’ve enjoyed the film Casablanca and the book Kim, and I’ve enjoyed drinking beer in Casablanca and India, besides Afghanistan.  But I don’t enjoy war or sports or sitting on my sofa suffering media propaganda.  I wish I could do something for those Kurds. 


The libertine media - 30 September 2014

A fox news pundit said on the most recent Jewish Sabbath that the Qur’an has “two references to beheading.”  “Strike above their necks” and “strike them in the neck”, the two phrases in the Qur’an that come nearest to indicating beheading, both direct behavior in defensive battle!  And how about the beheadings of Goliath and Saul and Sheba in David’s efforts to lead Judah to dominate the other eleven tribes of Israel?

A sermon on the website of Coldwater’s Church of the Nazarene says that a woman who “still lives in the Soviet Union” went to prison in Siberia for trying to share Christ’s joy and that Paul wrote his epistle to the Philippians while he similarly suffered in chains and near death in prison in Rome.  Russians renamed Leningrad St. Petersburg decades ago, and Paul used his Roman citizenship to flee to Rome to escape Jewish prosecution, and so his imprisonment there was what we call protective custody.  I listened to that sermon because Jesus was from Nazareth but Saul from Tarsus.

And such hypocrisy isn’t exclusive to religion.  David Muir may be the most successful groupie ever, now that ABC is representing him as a field reporter by showing pictures of him in dangerous places, under the protection ABC bought for for Diane Sawyer!  Why do we swallow such hogwash, follow people like that pastor and David Muir into the ditch they dig for their fame or fortune, pouring our fortune into their plates?


Insanity and asininity - 29 September 2014

Consider this intelligence.  ISIS is killing Syrians and Iraqis and has beheaded a French citizen and a British citizen and two United States citizens while killing no Israeli other than one of the United States citizens it beheaded.  And an Oklahoma wacko promoted converting to Islam before beheading a co-worker after losing his job.  All that, except maybe beheading the American Israeli, is in the interest of Israel.  Think about Mossad.

Also consider that Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper and top executives of CNN and MSNBC and Fox News are Jewish, and ask why media pundits have coined the terms “Islamist” and “jihadist” and use them to refer to behavior the Qur’an proscribes, and consider why that Oklahoma wacko thought he was Islamic.

The irony in Jake Tapper’s sarcasm is either in his ignorance or in that he isn’t ignorant.  Either way, the twitter generation is buying it as it’s buying those propaganda terms, as it trusts CNN with its 140 character ADD.


Mob mentality marketing - 28 September 2014

A female media pundit said a male media pundit’s saying Goodall is a “fucking liar” is “locker room language.”  That people generally call such language locker room language shows that people generally know what scumbags jocks generally are.  Yet both men and women pay them to entertain them by being that way.

So those people, like Goodall, are liars.  And another liar is the chief of the Ferguson police chief.  He said that he knew members of his department were like the cop who murdered Michael Brown and that he’s sorry he did nothing to change that.  If he let that be, he’s a person who would let it be, and that makes him a hypocrite.

People like him and Goodall and the people who pay them are who killed Norma Jean.  They’re the people who thought Kennedy was a brave young man when he took the world to the brink of nuclear destruction to “make the other fellow blink.”  They’re the people who find his charming Jackie and Marilyn charming.


Never ending story? - 27 September 2014

When I was in Afghanistan helping the United States government end the Afghan monarchy, citizens of Kabul set their watches by an old cannon on a wall Afghans built to keep Genghis Khan from conquering the country, as Chinese built the Great Wall of China to stop earlier Mongols. 

An old man fired the cannon each day at noon, and Afghanistan had but one department store then but now has some modern shopping malls, while that old cannon lies idle in the dirt on top of that old wall. 

“Does anybody really know what time it is?” asked the band Chicago Transit Authority, when Vietnam was the main problem.


The rabid hole - 26 September 2014

Obama did what McCain and Graham and King said he should do, and McCain and Graham replied by saying he should extend that to “barrel bombing” Syria, and King is keeping silent.  Now we know that Obama has a strategy, and that he isn’t tipping his hand before plays it, as McCain and Graham and King have said he shouldn’t.  Maybe they can barrel bomb the egg from their faces.

People like Complaining King and Cackle Clinton are people like those who said the United States should have rid Iran of the Shah and supported the Ayatollah.  And they’re still denying that the United States embassy in Teheran, with its CIA and DIA contingencies every United States embassy has, was the nest of spies the Ayatollah said it was.  And then and now they’re supporting the people who made the Ayatollah popular by such as barrel bombing their neighbors.

Calling ISIS a state, like not calling McCain/Graham a two-headed monster, is the opposite of the China absurdity.  The United States government for decades refused to call a state the People’s Republic of China’s more than a billion civilians and more than three million square miles of land.  And still we humans say our tirades are more reasonable than the barking of hyenas.


War and piecemeal - 25 September 2014

Did the Iraq veteran who jumped over the front fence of the Whitehouse and ran through its front door while the Secret Service and its dogs were guarding the President in its back yard from which he was departing intend to load the 800 round of ammunition in the car he’d driven there into the three-inch knife he took over the fence?

Famous mental health professional Abraham Maslow said we humans try to satisfy our needs in a hierarchy satisfying our most physical needs before satisfying our needs less physical.  His hierarchy, from most basic to most abstract, is physiological before safety before love and belonging before esteem before self-actualization.  A question I have is where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and people with PTSD fall into that hierarchy.

“Live on CGI” is how Heehaw Hillary Cackle Clinton defined her presence at a fundraiser for the Clinton Global Initiative!  She claims to care for the esteem of women but stood by Bubba Bill when he showed he cared nothing for the esteem of a female intern in his care or for the esteem of the Presidency!  Yet she receives respect!


Afghanistan without kings or communists or theology:

Dust, a novel  
Ashes and Angels
works in regress and progress

Kim - a 1901 novel

Were all on Earth claiming or denying any sectarian religion to set aside their bigotry long enough to read this book carefully, they would lead the rest of us to understand and enjoy one another, and stop waging war.


The Red Tent - a 1997 novel

This is a beautiful book, a song from the spirit of bold-faced truth, selah.


Philomena - a 2013 film

A danger of this wonderfully accurate presentation is that other poor people might regard the heroine’s continuing loyalty to the Church as promoting such.  Saul of Tarsus suckered Jesus’ disciples into perverting Jesus’ ideals into the mammon mongering and power grubbing we now call Christianity.  And that perversion intimidated that poor woman and keeps intimidating countless others into paying to burn candles in fear for God’s eternal goodness to goodness.


Oranges and Sunshine - a 2011 film

This is a love story.  British and Australian government conspired to kidnap about 130,000 children and ship them from Britain to Australia for agricultural and sexual slavery.  This movie depicts the heroic efforts of one loving woman standing against all odds to return those children to whatever remained of what they’d loved.

What we the people of the United States call Jacksonian democracy was President Andrew Jackson’s telling the Governor of Georgia to ignore the United States Supreme Court’s support for the unalienable rights of the natives of the eastern side of this continent and kidnap many thousands of them and send them to the western side of this continent.

Decades after kidnapping the children, the British and Australian governments apologized to the children they’d kidnapped and enslaved and raped, but the United States government has never apologized to the thousands of men and women and children they kidnapped and killed by what reasonable people call the trail of tears.


Wrong is Right - a 1982 film

Every politician or soldier, every media executive or producer, every news media anchor or reporter, every sexist or racist or nationalist or Republican voter or Democrat voter, every Yankees fan or Red Socks fan and every other bigot picking one side against all other sides, for no reason other than putting his or her interests above all others’, without regard to history or common decency or other facts, should see this presentation and go back to school.


Modern Times a 1936 Film

Suddenly we live in a time long past the political issues of this film.  We have risen from all that to a complacency that has us calling communication tweeting and sexual companionship hooking up.  Such is how Greece and Rome fell.


Catch a Fire - a 2006 film

This film implies that white communists fronted Nelson Mandela and that he was sexually promiscuous, more than forty years after J. Edgar Hoover used the same approach against the junior Martin Luther King, and less than three years before Dirty Harry implied that a white soccer player saved South Africa.


Nixon - a 1995 film

This film begins with the correct caveat that it isn't the whole truth and may wholly misrepresent any truth, and the next screen quotes the evangel Matthew quoting Jesus, implying that Nixon sold his soul.  CNN calls Oliver Stone a controversial director, after his wife has turned the American Broadcasting Company's evening news into an all Advil Oprah drugh opera, like Stone's movies.

Whether or not Nixon told his mother to think of him as her faithful dog, a fact Stone tries to soap or drug is that Nixon ended Johnson's insane war.  History allows no excuse for either Nixon's hubris or stones.  Or Hirohito's or Truman's or Kennedy's or Hoover's.

History allows no excuse for Hitler or Netanyahu.  Democracy needs objective reporting from ABC to Hollywood.  Stone is at least as contra-factual as Nixon.


Avatar - a 2009 film

The weirdest thing about this film is that nearly every mass media critic said its point was commercial technological superiority.  The point fair watchers find from this film is that technology should serve democracy, not superiority or demagoguery, not alienation.  Families risk death to flee Mexico to pick fruit for the free and legally republican citizens of the United States.

And, instead of welcoming them, the people too lazy to do such work create laws to keep them out.  They say that those people who can't afford immigration lawyers should not be allowed to attend their tea party.  They call fruit pickers drug dealers to get them out of their faces.

America, the land illegal immigrants stole from its natives, allows a population that sucks up to advertizing that it should be all Advil, while calling people not on Face Book degenerate.


Network - a 1976 film

Netflix, a generation after this film appeared, bills it as a prediction.  What it is is a fact of human life, recognizing that Jewish gold and Arabic black gold are no different in their effect on the ecumenical economy, the power of abstraction to make humans value hubris more than their lives.  It sold Archie Bunker and Tide as it sells Oprah Winfrey and Tylenol.


The Devil's Arithmetic - a 1999 film

The Israelis should remember the holocaust when they do what they're doing to the Palestinians.  Arithmetic is that the Israelis keep building settlements while the United States tells them to stop building but never to dismantle.  The "com" in compassion means with, and so compassion is a two way street and not a path of vengeance, and the Palestinians are more Semitic than the Israelis and neither German nor Egyptian.  Nothing is more holy than home, and God made the land three religions call holy the homeland of  people of many religions, long before crusades or jihads or the unprovoked Jericho slaughter.  And the land of the free calls the Israeli theocracy, Irgun terrorizing Fatah, democracy.


The Celestine Prophecy - a 1993 novel and a 2006 film

The novel is one of the few books whose promise bore out so poorly from its beginning that I couldn’t finish reading it.  And the film was more inane, beginning with someone saying he was a history teacher responding to someone saying he was an archeologist saying that the early church had buried the title prophecy in the 6th century A.D., by suggesting that Franciscans might have done it.  Francis began his life in the 12th century A.D.

The title prophecy says that the present millennium shall begin with people’s recognizing the violence that has pervaded history and stopping it.  Instead, the new millennium has begun with the historical inaccuracy of the Da Vinci Code making it the most selling novel of the first decade of this millennium.  But maybe we can take hope from that.

The prosperity of the last decade of the second millennium after Christ caused the recession of the first decade of the third millennium after Christ.  We hope that that might force teachers and students and everyone else to work for all living for awhile.



The Ten Commandments a 1966 film

This film begins with its producer saying its basis is scripture and historical documents and that Moses’ accomplishment was to free people from slavery   Next, the film misquotes the Torah and says Pharaoh’s daughter named him Moses because she drew him from water.  “Moses” is from Egyptian for “son”.

Dan Brown admits The Da Vinci Code to be fiction and still has nothing on Cecil B. DeMille for hogwash misrepresenting the Bible and history, and so we have to ask why this film raised no Roman Catholic outrage.  We’re thinking that maybe it’s sexism, since nearly no female character in it shows any purpose other than to fawn over men to give them sons or suck.  But the next question, after how the Motion Picture Association of America ignores its violence to rate it G, is why no Judaic outrage.  We’re thinking the Chosen might still be choosing the golden calf over the Ten Commandments, with help called Christian. 

The Bible says  the Israelites did to the Midianites, the people it says took Moses in and gave him their king’s daughter, worse than what Egypt did to them and worse than what the Nazis did to the Jews.  Maybe Israel let the film slide because it glosses over that and what Israel keeps trying to do to the Palestinians.


On the Trail of the Assassins - a 1978 book

The author, Jim Garrison, Orleans Parish District Attorney, the only person to prosecute anyone for the assassination of J. F. K., is as crazy as Ann Coulter and the persons he accuses, if he wrote the book.  The book falls apart in many ways incidental to Garrison's hubris or paranoia.

One way is by its inclusion of the terms “false sponsor” and “sheep-dipping”.  The people Garrison tracked must have been sheep-dipped false sponsors, as he must have been on the other side of the coin his book flips like dice.  The people he accuses range from the CIA to Johnny Carson, as though that huge body of people could have kept such complicity from the huge body of people with whom they associate, and so on to all of Earth.

Another way is in its assignment of motive, a factor essential to any prosecution in court.  Garrison would have us believe that hundreds of people in a dozen government agencies conspired against Kennedy on the basis of their belief that he was going to prevent the war in Vietnam.  Besides the question of why anyone wouldn’t like that, a fact is that Kennedy sent more troops to Vietnam than Eisenhower had.  We suspect a more obvious motive for that assassination, far beyond New Orleans.

Kennedy killed those people at the Bay of Pigs, by changing the original CIA plan and refusing to accept responsibility.  Kennedy changed United States relations with the Soviet Union from checkers to the verge of nuclear destruction of all life.  So, a few genuinely concerned persons at top levels of the Soviet and United States governments killed him to prevent that destruction.  The false sponsors must have been after the fact.   

I have no doubt that the assassination was a conspiracy, as we agree that Oswald couldn’t have done all the shooting.  But the human resources management of the deed must have been more constrained, leaving the smoke and mirrors the book sells to people as crazy as Garrison.


Idocracy - a 2005 film

This film predicts a future when people try to grow crops with Gatorade, where the hero saves the world by watering the crops.  In the present, people calling themselves environmentalist are trying to save the world by putting corn into gas tanks, while people around the world are starving.

That hero's name is Not Sure, while in this day and age people claiming to be smart say they're not sure, when truth they know is that they simply don't know.  Those people are the people who say we should do something for the people of Darfur while saying we shouldn't have done anything for the people of Iraq.  They are people like Mitt Romney and John Kerry, like Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.

Those people are the people who put criminals above persons, who haven't had a chance to choose life better than crime and say their choice is compassionate, liberal.  As this film indicates, those people are already taking their world into the dust this film predicts.



Across the Universe a 2006 Film

The Beatles are a microcosm.  Kids sing about holding hands until they acquire power, and then they let go of their friends’ hands and their own minds, for what Solomon called vanity.  Like Greece and Rome, the United States were a world power before they alienated their kids in Birmingham and Vietnam, and those children turned their nation into an escape from everything.

The Beatles said they named themselves for the Beatitudes, before they turned to drugs, or after they rode them, to compromise, for fame.  Now, Lennon is dead, and McCartney is white bread, and the First World is all Advil.  Now, Lenin is dead, while Liverpool and the Irish suffer.  Viva Las Vegas, the ways of the world.

Irish and Iraqi suffer for no reason beyond the I in their names, as Israel suffers for no reason more than that humans prefer bigotry and drugs to the Ten Commandments, from the diamond minors in South Africa to the diamond merchants in New York, to you inactivists.


The Cotton Club - a 1984 film

My favorite lines in that film are from a white couple entering the club.  The white man says, “At least they don’t let niggers in here!”  The white woman asks, “They don’t let them into their own club?”

So Richard Gere gets billing over Gregory Hynes, two decades after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and now two more decades have passed, making more than forty years.  Bootleggers like the Kennedy’s owned Harlem in the roaring twenties, and now the Clintons have moved in!  How long, O Lord?

Now we’re engaged in a great civil war, to see whether Obama can run the Clintons out of Harlem, and the Whitehouse.  Cotton is white, while pickers are black, and now black has another fight to pick.


The Order of the Phoenix - a 2007 film

Harry Potter answered a question most of us think impossible.  The way to world peace is through the understanding that is friendship.

Nearly everyone claiming a religion claims it as a superstition, although every founder of every remaining major religion argued mainly one point, the sharing essential to prosperity, loving one’s neighbor.

Terror isn’t Islamic, as it isn’t Mosaic or Christian.  Terror comes from such as Crusades and Jihads.  Terror is in what Joshua did and in what Osama Bin Laden is doing and in what Hitler did and in what Israel is doing.  It's in what every bigot does, and it won’t stop until all of us stop trying to blame it on Moses or Muhammad or Jesus, on everyone but ourselves. 

It won’t stop until we stop making excuses to covet our neighbors’ land, until we stop perverting the teachings of the founders of our religions from the Rishi’s to Muhammad, into ignorance of them.

Only then shall we have something worth fighting for, and stop fighting.  The essential weapon for peace is not secret.  It’s plain.


The Last Hangman a 2005 film

Tolstoi said, in War and Peace, that the cause of the Napoleonic Wars was the first French corporal.  This film says the same, that the cause of killing is rationalizing some excuse for it, be it vengeance or following orders, or supporting one’s country, or one’s family, or oneself.  This film also says that we’re all in that craziness together, but it does not loudly enough say that, were each of us to refuse, it would all stop.  Snail darters would die of their own accord, and they and all else could rest in peace.  That Pierrepoint fellow was not the last hangman.


Meditation XVII - a 1623 sermon

John Donne, not Jack Kennedy or Ernest Hemingway, said this:  "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."


The Wind that Shakes the Barley - a 2006 film

This film shows that Ireland and Iraq are similar far beyond the fact that the names of both countries begin with "Ir" when written in the Roman alphabet.  Ireland means anger land, and anger dominates both countries.  And so does greed.

When an Irishman told us that the strife between Catholics and Protestants in his country has nothing to do with religion, we didn't understand.  This film explains.

And neither is the strife between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq religious, and nor is Israel.


Eight Men Out a 1988 film

Consider the operant steps in this plot.  A team conspires to throw the World Series because its members think they’re underpaid.  Late in the series they decided not to throw the series because the bookies aren’t paying them.  None of them considers his family’s welfare until a thug for the bookies threatens to kill one’s wife.  A judge a salary offer before accepting responsibility for correcting all that.  A kid asks one of the players to say the mess ain’t so about baseball.  Joe, it was so in all professional sports then, and it’s so now.


Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid a 2006 book

Although Mr. Carter writes from the point of view and with the tone of his claim to Christianity, sometimes uses words and phrases particular to popular expression of persons calling themselves Christians, and occasionally points out facts particular to such persons, this book is nearly all factual.  That is, rather than expressing opinions, it mostly points out circumstances and events verifiable through public records.  Yet, it has a reputation for being controversial.

Of course the reason is that few people bother to differentiate between facts and opinions, because most people are as opinionated and biased as some say Jimmy Carter is, and few people bother to research public facts, much less see for themselves, as Mr. Carter has.  In fact, if the book has any shortcoming, it’s that Mr. Carter doesn’t succinctly point out the most significant facts defining the situation.

Those facts are: that Israelites or Israelis have been oppressing Philistines or Palestinians since the battle of Jericho, an onslaught with no provocation whatsoever; that Israelis have killed far more people and broken far more promises than Palestinians have; and that the 1967 Israeli state was not one nation until 1949.

Moreover, if that former head of government of the United States of America were to carry religious metaphors in defense of the United States of America, he might have pointed out how David defeated Goliath’s superior physical size.

Now, Israel has nuclear weapons and air superiority through military aid from first world nations, as European nations took superior weapon technology on the Crusades.

So, now, Islam is continuing Saladin's jihad, against the world whose trade center is now Wall Street.

All a president needs to do to stop the terror is be fair.

Smart is truth, beauty.


The Sound of Music - a 1965 film

This film, set at the beginning of World War II, screened at the beginning of the United States presidency's escalation of Truman's advisory mission in Vietnam into a full scale war Nixon would would end.

Three years earlier, West Side Story screened, asking the same questions.  One film is about nations, while the other is about gangs while the only difference is scale, while presidents have ignored the politics of both.

Both films, in retrospect, should cause us to ask why they didn't change humanity's prospects.  That is, we should ask why we care more now about American Idols than about the ordinary people of Iraq or Darfur.

Both films have iconic weaknesses.  In one, a poor nun saves a family of aristocrats, and the other's title suggests that west is better than east.  But the two share an eminently importantly iconic question.

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

The Time of Your Life - a 1948 film

This film set the theme for the best of Hollywood since.  We had a problem with its epitaph, when the bar owner took the sign out of the window inviting folks in to be themselves and tore it in two, saying that enough is enough.  But then we remembered that integrity is always exactly enough and shouldn't need a reminder!  What's your dream?


Shinea 1996 film

Nothing is more important than music.  Nothing is more important than the harmony of inspiration.  This film says that.

The horror of the holocaust lives on, from the horror of the captivity.  This film tries to deliver a lesson to the Germans and the Egyptians, and the Israelis, all of us.  The holy land is hardly holy, despite how the sun shines on Karn Hattin.  Why don't Christians visit the Mount of Beatitudes?

In the sixties, when the great society sent millions of Americans to kill Vietnamese doing nothing but trying to live their lives as best they could, a popular song borrowed a melody from Rachminov s second piano concerto and assigned it the lyrics “When I was young, I never needed anyone.  Making love was just for fun.  Those days are done.”

Rachmaninov’s third piano concert is more difficult to play than his second while his second, played more in the film, is more sweet.  And popular music is more sweet now, in the war on terror that has made Bethlehem a combat zone.  How is Christ's birthplace in the shadow of death?

Astrology, psychology, stars and butterflies, what life comes down to is common sense.  This film is quite lovely.


somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond - a 1931 poem

A Harvard poet wrote that poem between the two world wars, between his imprisonment in France for driving an ambulance and German imprisonment of France for nothing.

Films we find near to that poem are The Painted Veil and The Tiger and the Snow.  Both films show what love between two people should be, as they show what love is.

Imagine Nero walking the Great Wall, if you wish such as that.  We all must remember that our enormous room is a small roe's chest.  Otherwise we cannot love.



Paradise Road - a 1997 film

"Oh, my dear, that's one to tell your grand children. . . .  Don't worry:  I love God, even though I sometimes don't know what he's doing. . . .  Love is like a flame; it burns and is visible to all. . . .  None of us will ever leave Sumatra. . . . Amen."


Bound for Glorya 1943 autobiography

This book is exactly an autobiography.  Other works in that genre try to explain the effect of the life in question on others’ lives.  This book tells succinctly how Woody Guthrie grew to produce his effect.  Woody and his story are works of dynamic integrity.  We need to listen, closely.

Woody Guthrie was communist, in the sense that we all should share God's bounty.  He was not a Marxist or a Leninist or a Stalinist.  Nor was he a Washingtonist or a Jeffersonist.

Nor was he an Amerigo Vespugian or a Paulist or any other kind of excuse for a name.


Reflections of a Cold Warrior and From the Shadows 1996 memoires

Both authors were at the top level of the Central Intelligence Agency.  One planned the U2 project and the operation Kennedy turned into the debacle at Bay of Pigs.  The other, recruited into the agency from college during the Johnson administration, worked his way up to directing the agency during the first Bush administration.  But the first declines to blame Kennedy for the mess he made, and the second hardly mentions the former Director of Central Intelligence who appointed him to that position while President, making both books smoke screens for coversion.  But any competent CIA analyst could synthesize truth from the details.


Jude the Obscure - an 1895 novel

"Because we are too many."


Babel - a 2006 film

With great technical and aesthetic prowess, this film shows how cheap and cowardly and stupid humans have become, the abstraction of the word “humanitarian”.  Many of its details and time lines don’t work together, but neither do many humans attend much to what’s in their faces, rationalizing private greed against public concern.  Journalists and politicians and doctors and lawyers keep trying to take advantage of the weakness of humans trying to be as suicidal, self-destructive, as they are.  One of the twelve tasks of Hercules was to kill the Titan Antaeus, the difficulty being that Antaeus regained his strength whenever he was down to Earth.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences keeps proving itself Herculean.  But most important are our children.  Note the dedication.


The Milagro Beanfield War a 1988 film

This was a Sundance production.  It’s set in New Mexico, the state of the united ones whose flag represents the sun.  Its theme is the power of the people, and it shows how humans can unite for the best of their life and love, against the power of humans who unite for smaller selves.

But it waves a rabbit dead to excuse firing to frighten humans.  Beans contain as much protein as animal meat, leaving killing cattle less practical than killing trees for golfing.  Humans eat like pigs, but we work harder at it.

This film promotes considering the lilies of the field, while it promotes eating sparrows.   It does not pass through the eye of the needle.  But it helps.


Hollywood Ending a 2002 film

In this film, Woody Allen closes his career by admitting the cause of his success, that he has catered to hypochondriacs, people who seek only pity.  Aristotle pointed out the technical difficulties of the staging of his time, and the French called those limitations an ideal and adhered to that absurdity long after Shakespeare freed the rest of us, and long after Eisenstein offered us Shakespeare’s best wishes, and now their pride is in ennui.  Cinema, at its best, goes straight to our hearts by opening our eyes, not by giving us more weak excuses.  In this film, Allen admits he has nothing on Eastwood.  And cinema is still beginning.  To show, to move.  Just see.


The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter a 1940 novel

Richard Wright said that Ms. McCullers accepted blacks.  More recently, linguists have called the non-white grammar and diction of blacks the “negro non-standard dialect”.  African Americans no longer wish to be called Negroes, and Ms. McCullers did not accurately represent their dialect.  But she did faithfully represent the lonely hearts of the down and out!  Can Mick ever rediscover her music?


The Last Samurai - a 2003 film

What’s the difference between a protagonist and an antagonist?  This film is a story of redemption, a story of love for the best and worst of us.  If one can divorce oneself from merchandising and violence, this film is beautiful.   In its beginning, the protagonist is a soldier who failed to die in battle, a person dead of his past and living without future.  In the end, his horse’s head is above his, as he bows to “the peace all of us seek and few of us ever find.”


Sister of the Road - a 1937 novel

This is another beautiful book. The man who wrote it must have been in love. Maybe a little as Mark Twain must have been to write Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.


War and Peace an 1869 novel

Tolstoy, while fathering thirteen children with a woman he married when she was half his age, is mostly about his love for her.  The last hundred-some pages of the book he wrote while she bore most of them try to justify the book otherwise, as an essay on war regardless of peace.  And, maybe so, he died leaving his wife, the mother of his children, to justify his thinking.  Many of us live and die that way.  We ignore our life.


"Nothing on Earth is worse than bigotry,
and bigotry cannot survive without hypocrisy."


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