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"Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom." Proverbs 18:1
|Politics & Religion
||Literature & Cinema|
Falling down with the Joneses
- 11 March 2014
- 11 March 2014
An 18-year-old honor student cheerleader is suing her parents because they told her they wouldn’t pay for her college education unless she obeyed the rules they set for their home until she left it for college. “Liberal” media pundits are siding with the cheerleader while “conservative” media pundits are siding with her parents, while none of them is asking pertinent questions. No one, for examples, is reporting the details of the rules or who’s paying the cheerleader’s attorneys.
And those two details might raise the question of how honorable is the honor student, and answering that might raise the quest of how honorable is the school, but a more fundamental question is what flows from affluence. “Liberals” would have schools take parental responsibility from parents while “conservatives” would have parents jerk their offspring into their particular ideals. And “liberals” teachers would put “conservative” parents into psychotherapy.
But bipartisan actuality is that all of them, teachers and parents and students and pundits need parenting or therapy or both, and neither parents nor mental health professionals nor media pundits have proven themselves exclusively or predictably productive. And part of the their “American dream” is the ability to give children the toys their parents had or wish they’d had while they weren’t acquiring productive values. That’s what flows from affluence.
Crass conscienceless creep
- 10 March 2014
- 10 March 2014
Media maniacs are calling Cackle Clinton tough while she’s calling Putin thin-skinned. Heehaw Hillary, whatever the character of the skin of Stalin wannabe Putin, is thick-skinned. One indication of the thickness of her skin is her asking “what difference” makes whether Benghazi was a spontaneous reaction or an action an organization planned. And another is her saying she was running from sniper fire while she was accepting flowers from a little girl in Bosnia. Either incident should cost her the Presidency as Kerry’s cowardice cost him.
And all anyone should need to do to defeat her campaign is to keep reminding the electorate of those two incidents. But, in our democracy where CNN is the most trusted name in news, where MSNBC is the most trusted name in news for Democrats and Fox News for Republicans, less competent candidates may rise to fall beneath her. It’s an American tragedy.
Her speech writers are making her look silly, and she will make herself look sillier in debates, but immoderate media moderators will argue unreasonably both for and against her.
9 March 2014
- 9 March 2014
Contrary to partisan propaganda, the “worst President ever” is neither Jimmy Carter nor Barrack Obama, and neither was it Richard Nixon. Carter managed the economy through the demand for jobs for returning Vietnam veterans and for women braving the job market through the women’s rights movement he supported and through the chaos the creation of OPEC created, and he did it so well that Reagan inherited the ability to call the inevitable result Reaganomics, and take credit for it. And Nixon acceded to the inevitable removal of the United States from the gold standard and ended United States military involvement in Vietnam as Obama is ending it in Afghanistan.
But neither was the worst President Lyndon Johnson. Johnson mainly continued Kennedy’s policies, from faking concern for civil rights for votes to escalating Eisenhower’s military advisory capacity in Vietnam to building a troop strength of a half million to kill what Johnson called “little yellow people.” The worst President ever was either Truman, who ordered the only deployment of nuclear weapons ever and started the Cold War by giving Eastern Europe to Stalin and the War on Terror by giving Palestinian land to Zionist terrorists, or Kennedy.
Kennedy’s hypocrisy regarding civil rights improved the plight of African Americans in the United States, but his approach to the Cold War would have turned it into a nuclear war, had not someone assassinated him. The U-2 project revealed the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba but gave no indication that the missiles had nuclear warheads or that the Soviet Union would provide them to Cuba or enable Cubans to use them. We the people needed Kennedy to blink out.
Truth to thyself -
8 March 2014
- 8 March 2014
J. B. Phillips, a twentieth century Anglican clergyman, “translated” the New Testament and the epistles separately from the Gospels into what he called modern English, ignoring the history of the English language and his church.
Linguists and historians say “modern English” began when England’s monarchs stopped trying to be French and began speaking English because Joan of Arc defeated their last effort to unite France with England, and that was about a century before Henry VIII beheaded Catholic Thomas More to found the Anglican church because the Pope wouldn’t sanction his divorce, and that was more than a half century before James I commissioned fifty Anglican Oxford scholars to translate the Bible.
Maybe that more modern Anglican “translator” was trying to keep up with the French, by ignoring the King James Version’s distinctions between the objective and nominative cases, such as by “thee” and “thou”.
Unprofitable pecuniary posturing
- 7 March 2014
- 7 March 2014
Since 1964, when I was a high school senior and the project’s first volunteer, reconstructing the 1882 Tibbits Opera House has been the primary pride of Coldwater’s civic activity while the city’s civic leaders have demolished many other historic buildings for parking space.
Now I own a house in which a judge, who had been the county’s sheriff and a member of Coldwater’s founding city council, hosted the last meeting of Coldwater’s founding settlers after building the house for his family in 1872 in the French architectural style the Tibbits emulates.
And Coldwater’s civic leaders have expressed no interest in preserving it but have initiated a half million dollar project to restore a nondescript building that housed a hardware store and calling it historic, while planning to use the building as I’m using mine, for apartments.
Carrots, glass houses, and politics
- 6 March 2014
- 6 March 2014
Each of the United States’ six main mass media news outlets is calling the situation in the Ukraine a chess game. CNN’s Jive Jake Turkey Tapper asked Gary Kasparov, who was world chess champion through years before and after the end of the Soviet Union but now has fled Russia because of Putin, whether it is a chess game. Kasparov said a difference is that chess has rules, but that “anchor” for “the most trusted name in news” exemplified the meager mass media by rejecting that point, as though chess pieces are weapons of mass destruction.
Nations against nations have but two tactics besides the words of such as chess. “Economic sanctions” punish the people of nations more than they do the governments causing the problems. The “military option” punishes everyone, leaving “economic sanctions” the lesser of the two evils, unless it’s in defense against the opposing nation’s “military option.”
And terrorism is the same. We have people terrorizing by murdering people in the name of al Qaeda. And we have people terrorizing by giving that name economic power.
Dark ages -
5 March 2014
- 5 March 2014
Putin apparently wishes he were Stalin who tried to be like Hitler. Fortunately geopolitics have evolved since the Holocaust enough that the world won’t let him, as it isn’t letting Netanyahu be quite as murderous as Moses and Joshua and David were, but humans keep rearing up to try.
Surely it’s partly from greed, as was the Israelite land grab and is the Israeli land grab, but the popularity of football suggests that violence for fun is part of it. And another indication of the discordance between religion and the Ten Commandments is the popularity of the Hollywood films The Passion of the Christ and Son of God. The apparent purpose of The Passion of the Christ was to motivate vengeance against Jews, and “evangelists” are promoting Son of God as though its title is Son of Elmer Gantry.
A relevant indication of the problem and its age is the etymology of the word “bigot”. Normans originated it after the Norman conquest of England as a pejorative term for the Angles who swore “by God.” By the end of that century both Normans and Angles were crusading.
Fiercely friendly fire
- 4 March 2014
- 4 March 2014
Northwestern University’s football team is trying to unionize. Part of the absurdity of that is that Northwestern is in Chicago, the home of Al Capone and other gangsters on whom Hollywood continues to capitalize, and football teams essentially are also gangs violently entertaining. And part of that absurdity is that unions notoriously affiliate with such as Capone since the Teamsters organized drivers of trucks that delivered hooch during Prohibition.
But maybe the craziest part of unionizing football is that unions wimpify. Football players are already crying about concussions they give themselves by playing their violent game. So they’re paying dues to have someone help them take the violence out of the game. And, if that succeeds, they’ll lose their audience. And that’ll cost them their jobs.
But that could have social value. They may have to join street gangs or the military to be violent, and either option may get them out of peaceful people’s faces, into prisons or cemeteries. Remember what happened to Pat Tillman.
The Holy Grail -
3 March 2014
- 3 March 2014
Another Kennedy has slicked people into thinking their table is round. She tried to drive to a gym on Ambien, and she told the court that she was too rational to do that, and the jury swallowed that Camelot crap. And the audience in the courtroom gave it a standing ovation.
Three wrong motives for calling oneself Christian are to make money and to stay out of hell and to think oneself better than other selves. Two wrong motives for calling oneself Judaic are to kill or rob anyone uncircumcised. One wrong motive for calling oneself Islamic is to kill any others.
Adam Smith, in Wealth of Nations, says humans don’t exchange goods or services out of humanity but out of egocentric greed. Yet we humans say that charity is a defining element of humanity and call compassion humanitarian. Actually dumb animals are more rational.
The little people -
2 March 2014
- 2 March 2014
Al Qaeda and the Tea Party have three things in common. One is that both try to terrorize the people of the United States, and another is that neither has central leadership or any official existence, and the other is that mass media help them terrorize. It’s time to call Ghost Busters.
MSNBC said a few days ago that the Tea Party was celebrating its fifth anniversary, and the “anchor” saying that said it makes it old enough now to enter kindergarten, and that’s like saying al Qaeda is old enough now to be sophomoric.
Such reporters sophomorically ignore the concrete sensibility of kindergarteners to use labels to misrepresent disjunct fragments as powerful unities as parents do fairies and bogeymen.
Sparta, Notre Dame, Israel
- 1 March 2014
- 1 March 2014
CNN said Syria may be the most serious threat to the U. S. homeland. The most serious threat to the U. S. homeland is trusting CNN’s xenophobic propaganda. The most serious threat to the U. S. homeland is its universities fostering xenophobia by idealizing through “competitive” sports.
If Syria is a threat to the Middle East, let the Middle Eastern nations deal with Syria, Israel or Jordan or whatever coalition agrees that Syria is a threat. The most serious threat to the U. S. homeland is its government picking sides in wars that don’t threaten the U. S. homeland. That’s what provoked 9/11.
But we the people of our democracy trust CNN as we pay to see schools fighting each other on football fields as we elect xenophobic politicians to government office. To be superior to other people we the people must stop fostering ignorance for bellicosity. But we find it fun.
Henry IX -
28 February 2014
- 28 February 2014
CNN Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin said United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas “hasn’t asked a question in eight years” and accordingly is inattentive and disrespectful to his colleagues. Thomas said he reads the briefs and listens to his colleagues’ arguments and otherwise researches situations and knows precedents and accordingly needs to ask no questions. Toobin replied to that by saying that not asking questions just looks bad.
CNN AC360 anchor Anderson Cooper, interviewing a supporter of Arizona’s legislature’s recent response to the United States’ legislature’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, said that Jesus forbade divorce and having children out of wedlock and that accordingly SB 1062 would permit refusing service to divorcees and unwed mothers.
The Gospels say nothing about unwed mothers, and what they say Jesus said about divorce is that divorce for any reason other than adultery sanctions adultery, showing that Cooper’s as anchorless as Toobin.
The Advil anthem -
27 February 2014
- 27 February 2014
El Chapo is an American. Mexico is one of three nations on North America, and his primary market is the United States of America, and that market passes his product on to Canada. The most certain and basic way to shut down any commercial business is to stop buying from it.
“Scientists” who “conducted” a “study” showing correlation between mothers taking Tylenol and children having ADHD said it showed that Tylenol causes ADHD. Another possibility is that people who habitually pop pain killers are likely to wish to avoid anything they find troublesome. Maybe the kids only want attention.
George Bush said that soldiers don’t say “woe is me” is me when they return from war but instead seek to continue serving. The comparison to people who refuse to take a job paying less than the one no one needed them to do is implicit. Maybe more civilians are on drugs.
- 26 February 2014
- 26 February 2014
Wealth of Nations, a book Scotch Adam Smith wrote in the eighteenth century before the American Revolution, defines “conservative” economics. And Smith says early in the book that taking the skill out of labor is good for both the general welfare and the laborer! But now we have the productivity of WhatApp’s 55 employees worth 19 billion dollars?
Sunday on ABC’s This Week, “conservative” Bill Crystal replied to the question of the effect on the general welfare of letting computers do jobs people did by saying he has “no clue.” Those WhatApp employees have computer skills, and you can be sure that they would not be happy working on an assembly line, because it would bore them. That’s a clue.
My first job after I returned from Vietnam was inspecting wheel cylinder castings in a foundry. I had to sort them into three buckets, one for one type and one for another type and one for the defective ones, and I couldn’t do it! Why was I so far off into my imagination that I couldn’t think which bucket was for which after less than a half hour of trying?
Dealing delusional dereliction
- 25 February 2014
- 25 February 2014
I evicted the tenants from one of my apartments. The county’s main “behavioral health” agency paid their first month’s rent, and no one paid rent for any of the other four months of their occupancy, during which they trashed the apartment. One of the tenants talks about drugs she receives from more than one agency taxes subsidize, and the other pled guilty of “attempted possession” of a facility for producing methamphetamines in exchange for his snitching on his partner, and the agency that paid the rent is treating me as though my evicting them was criminal, while “Enabling” is a term such agencies use, to refer to helping people degenerate.
I sent several e-mails to the agency, to let the “caseworker” know the problems I was having with the “client,” and that I preferred not to evict the client but would were the problems to continue, and I received no reply. My last e-mail to the agency was to inform the caseworker that a court had approved the eviction and that tenants had vacated the apartment but had left furniture and other belongings and that I would be available were they to wish to remove them. The response to that e-mail was a SPAM rejection saying the agency had blocked my address.
And the story has not ended. The day an officer of the court posted the “order of eviction” on the apartment door, the agency’s “housing coordinator” telephoned me and refused to identify herself or her agency and demanded that I do what I’d said I would do in that last e-mail of mine, and she hung up when I told her I can’t responsibly divulge tenant information to someone whose identity I don’t know. I learned her identity by calling the number my phone showed.
Letting go -
24 February 2014
- 24 February 2014
I learned to write through schools and independent reading, and I found reasons to write through a half century of traveling all over Earth, and through working more different jobs than I can count. Now, I’ve stopped my Wednesday visits to Lefty’s Lounge and am leaning toward selling my apartment house, to focus more on writing and realizing in the tranquil order of my home. Anyone who wishes to communicate with me may through the World Wide Web or at my home.
Hemingway called writing the lonely profession, but he also said his habits kept him company, and I feel lonely in the madding crowd. And Hemingway traveled the world to learn what to write, but he idealized killing while I idealize living, and so won’t kill myself for loneliness. I expect my Taoist acceptance of whatever falls my way to keep me enjoying the stream of life.
And I won’t stop traveling. I have plans to visit Roncesvalle and Bayeux and Domremy this autumn and to travel around the southern hemisphere with stops in Alice Springs and Kinshasa next autumn. A problem I had in making this decision was the egocentrism of being reclusive.
To whom can I turn?
- 23 February 2014
- 23 February 2014
More than twenty years after a court decided he murdered several people, a man escaped a few weeks ago from a prison in Ionia, Michigan. He did it by spending about an hour cutting through a fence with a clear view of a guard tower, and none of the area’s affiliates of national television networks raised the question of why anyone would give him the assistance they said he must have had, to elicit the ignorance of the guards. Michigan is reminding me of Louisiana.
Edwin Edwards, while Governor of Louisiana, was on television shooting craps in Las Vegas with the developers of New Orleans’ Harrah’s Casino. He went to prison, but a few months after his release was Grand Marshall of New Orleans’ St. Patrick’s Day parade, and the people of Louisiana reelected him between his shooting craps and his imprisonment! Why did they?
Ionia is the town of my birth, and my father worked as an accountant in that prison when it was a hospital for the criminally insane, and I retired to New Orleans before returning to Michigan to escape the legacy of Huey Long because it has replaced the music with the gambling.
Hapless trails -
22 February 2014
- 22 February 2014
Ted Nugent called Obama a subhuman mongrel, and Wolf Blitzer interviewed Tea Party Ted Cruz and Religious Right Rick Perry, and asked them what they thought of that.
Both Cruz and Perry said they wouldn’t have used Nugent’s words, but neither of them said Nugent shouldn’t have used those words, and neither said that they aren’t true.
But Whoops Perry, who campaigned for the Presidency with Nugent by his side, reasonably told Blitzer he doesn’t know why anyone pays any attention to Nugent.
Not ready for prime time
- 21 February 2014
- 21 February 2014
ABC News’ Soapy Sawyer said on World News Tonight that the United States Food and Drug Administration is considering letting drug companies stop reporting some harmful side effects because long lists of them bore customers.
That suggests that drug company lobbyists may be more dangerous than NRA lobbyists and that that drug companies are bribing the news media with advertising revenue.
Long lists, whether or not potential customers listen to them, let them know the drugs are dangerous.
Faith and trust -
20 February 2014
- 20 February 2014
How can we trust any mass news media network? MSNBC said a child wailing in Syria was wailing from the killing of his brothers before CNN said he was wailing from the killing of his sisters! Maybe they depend on people blindly trusting one network and ignoring the others.
And now “news” media are saying that a woman in prison telling stories no one has confirmed is a ”Satanic serial killer” and that the Bible supports the mania of man who died of a snakebite in church while saying Jesus told him Christians needn’t fear any harm from snakes.
The Torah says a snake caused all the problems of humanity. And the Gospels say Jesus rejected Satan’s efforts to tempt him into testing God’s power! Have you or anyone I’ve mentioned in this posting read the Torah or the Gospels or the Qur’an?
Cheap talk -
19 February 2014
- 19 February 2014
“Scientists” recently said they proved humans have social values before they can talk. Their method was to have infants watch a rabbit puppet in a green shirt try to open a plastic box while a rabbit puppet in an orange shirt tried to keep it shut, and afterward have the puppets offer plates of cookies to the kids, and vary the ratios. The kids took from the less plentiful of the two plates when the ratio was three to one but from the more plentiful plate when it was six to one.
The studiers, ignoring the possibility that the kids were trying to punish that puppet by taking its last cookie and ignoring how the kids may have felt about the two colors and about the box being empty, decided that the kids wished to reward the puppet trying to open the box!
How long ago did scientists decide Aristotelian logic is too ancient to be smart?
Audience suitability ratings - 18 February 2014
The people of Florida have spoken against their “stand your ground” statute. The “prosecutors” in the Dunn case tried to blow the case by charging first degree murder, but the jury blew off that nonsense and delivered to that murderer the promise of imprisonment until he’s 107 years old, if he lives that long. Mark O’Mara can fool some of the people some of the time.
Before the jury convicted Dunn, CNN’s Uncle Tom Lemon argued with CNN’s Legal View Banfield about the case, after telling his “viewers” that they should have all their friends listen to him but might not wish their children to listen to him. And he followed that silliness by ranting irrelevance against Banfield’s irrelevance, suggesting that he was trying to atone for his having agreed with Bill O’Reilly on affirmative action, but neither he nor Banfield has contested CNN’s calling Mark O’Mara an expert. The whole bunch apparently has sold out to the Tea Party.
Meanwhile, in other news that isn’t new, pundits blaming Obama for Hillamneycare are now saying he shouldn’t have used his final term flexibility to delay the “employer mandate,” until 2016. That delay will increase the power of Hillamneycare to influence the outcome of the next presidential election. And that influence is likely to help the Party of Lincoln.
Straw men -
17 February 2014
- 17 February 2014
CNN’s Jive Jake Turkey Tapper asked Comedy Central’s Bill Maher whether he’s thinking running for election to government. Maher, replying to Tapper’s sucking up to him, called himself an atheistic pot-smoker. The exchange reminded me of the big bang theory.
Physicists, calling themselves scientific, say that an explosion created the universe. Those physicists, proving themselves neither scientific nor reasonable, ignore the question of what exploded. Such is the logic of atheism and the mindlessness of Maher and the trustworthiness of Tapper.
Two kinds of atheists seem to me to exist. One kind is those who ignore their own definition of God by such as saying God needs life they say god created to feed God by sacrificing to God other life they say God created. The other is those defining “God” only to deny.
Sacking for sacrilege
- 16 February 2014
- 16 February 2014
Lindsay Graham is recommending that the United States behave toward Afghanistan now as the Soviet Union did forty years ago. He’s saying that the United States should stop aiding the people of Afghanistan because their government is complaining about the United States killing them. The Soviet Union responded to the Mujahedeen revolution first by withdrawing all aid and next by a full scale invasion and finally by withdrawing entirely as Obama is trying to do.
But that’s human, trying to stuff values down other people’s throats, and calling them villains and trying to punish them for not swallowing them. The main difference between Hitler’s notion of “the master race” and the bigotry of the “religious right” in the United States is scale. And the “Judeo-Christian” approach to the “promised land” defines it.
Were all on Earth claiming or denying any sectarian religion to set aside their bigotry long enough to read Kipling’s Kim carefully, they would lead the rest of us to understand and enjoy one another, and stop waging war.
15 February 2014
- 15 February 2014
I bought 391 South Jefferson Street in the town where I grew up to offer affordable housing to people who need and deserve it. But, for various reasons, I’m evicting three of the five tenants who have signed leases to reside there since I bought the property in June of last year. The next paragraph, which I posted on Facebook to see how people of the town feel about the town’s problems, is an example of the problems I’m having.
Let’s test the power of Facebook, in Coldwater, Michigan. Weeks ago, state police removed the license plate from an F-150, and now it has a plate with the number that was on a plate on an Explorer and a sticker on the plate saying it expired in June 2010. The number of the plate that was on the F-150 is DBF4560, and the number on the plate that was on the Explorer and of the plate now on the F-150 is CAX2039, and the number of the plate now on the Explorer is DCB3034, and both vehicles ordinarily park at 391 South Jefferson Street, and have for months. Let’s see how information filters through my Facebook friends in Coldwater. I’m just curious.
The persons driving the vehicles reside in one of the apartment but are not on the lease, and another person living in another of the apartments is begging from the tenants I’m not evicting, and neither is he on a lease. Coldwater has had economic problems since interstate highways replaced the main highways between Detroit and Chicago and between the capitals of Michigan and Indiana. Maybe now the people have quit trying.
No valentine -
14 February 2014
- 14 February 2014
The Clintons are doing it again. Bubba, as a 52-year-old President of the United States, destroyed the career of a 21-year-old female intern in his care, by being unable to preside over his own zipper, and Heehaw stood by him. Now Heehaw, while trying to be a 69-year-old President of the United States, has called the intern a narcissistic loony tune.
Yes, many men would do what Bubba did, but few men have the responsibility of training an intern, and fewer have the responsibility of presiding over the government of the United States, and few men who do such claim to support education and women’s rights.
And many women stand by their men for the sake of their families, but Heehaw’s only child now has her own career, and also claims to support women’s rights.
- 13 February 2014
- 13 February 2014
Why would someone who says he’s not “book smart” say that people who talk about “common sense” don’t have any? Why would he call potato chips and oatmeal cookies junk food as though potatoes and oats are junk? Why would he call people from Mexico dumb Mexicans as though all Mexicans are “dumb?”
Books, essentially, are collections of labels! Labels inherently generalize, implying similarity between categories of objects or actions or beliefs, the basic element of prejudice! They obviate common sense!
Humans claim to be superior to dumb animals in their ability to reason while talking themselves silly.
On whom is the joke?
- 12 February 2014
- 12 February 2014
Each of Fox News’ The Five lacks fairness and balance, and so does MSNBC’s Ed Show Ed Schultz, and that’s not news. Some people say they get their news from Comedy Central, and other people say the only part of any newspaper they read is the editorial page, and all those people say that the reason they do what they do is that they don’t trust the news. But essentially they’re saying that they don’t trust themselves to sort out the facts and validly evaluate them.
The Five try to emulate Comedy Central, and both The Five and the Ed Show are fat on editorializing and skinny on facts. So their target market is those people who don’t take themselves seriously. Trying to take everyone seriously I try to evade both those shows.
And I laugh more with people ridiculing themselves than with people ridiculing others.
11 February 2014
- 11 February 2014
People said the Governor of Georgia didn’t prepare them well enough for snow.
And a drunk on a plane, following the example of the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber and the guy who tried to blow up Times Square with a bomb the FBI gave him, promised to blow up the Olympics.
And Congressman King, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said Sunday that Snowden succeeded in stealing most of the documents he wished to steal, as though anyone could have previewed and indexed all the NSA’s documents, to select the thousands he copied.
Letting such diversionary deeds and punditry terrorize us is like ignoring the probability of competence to believe that insanely inane Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy with that mail order rifle.
The Governor of Georgia responded by terrorizing his constituents next time.
Looking for trouble
- 10 February 2014
- 10 February 2014
CNN’s Legal View “anchor” Ashley Banfield, referring to the 72-year-old man who murdered a man for texting in a movie theatre called what happened what went down, as though she were a cop or a criminal in a crime movie.
But she didn’t use the phrase “itchy trigger finger” to refer to him, and neither have I heard any other media or government pundit to use that phrase in regard to “gun control,” although it points directly at what conspicuously is the problem.
The question is why the old man took a pistol into a movie theatre, as the question regarding the guy who murdered a kid for playing loud music in his car is why he didn’t just go on by to his destination, where he couldn’t hear it.
Paying for inattention
- 9 February 2014
- 9 February 2014
Random Romney is plainly running again for the Presidency while saying that he isn’t. And Cackle Clinton is plainly running again for the Presidency while saying she hasn’t decided whether she shall. That is, both are lying to the electorate, and we the people aren’t complaining.
And, more tragically, every person with a chance at winning election to the Presidency lies, and so we the people have no choice but to vote for a liar, or to abstain from our democracy. And the batch of front runners for 2016 are grotesquely absurd besides being conspicuously dishonest, with the possible exception of Jeb Bush, who hasn’t proven himself either. But he’s laying low.
My preference remains Condoleezza Rice, because she has proven herself both diplomatic and nonpartisan, but she’s given no indication that she wishes to be President. So our choice may remain between bogus buffoons and another Bush. And we’re buying it with Hillamneycare.
Poisoning the waters
- 8 February 2014
- 8 February 2014
When I graduated from Coldwater High School, the only persons in the small Michigan town of Coldwater I knew to know the difference between marijuana and heroin were my English teacher and the Theatrical Director of Coldwater’s Victorian opera house, but in one day this week Coldwater’s only newspaper reported arrests of four people for using heroin.
But disturbing me more is that I’ve never heard of anyone arresting anyone in Coldwater for selling or distributing heroin. Considering what I’m hearing about Philip Seymour Hoffman, I have to hypothesize that the Coldwater Police Department and the New York Police Department have different priorities, and that suggests corruption. But it doesn’t surprise me.
I’ve known attorneys and government officials to hang out in a bar I’ve known drug dealers to frequent. And an attorney who was the county’s prosecutor shares his last name with an international drug dealer who operates in the vicinity of Coldwater. I think a problem might be small fish might coming to this small pond to think they’re big.
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.
Oranges and Sunshine -
This is a
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.
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 filmEvery 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?
Flags of our Fathers - two 2006 films
The second of these is Letters from Iwo Jima. The first looks at Iwo Jima from the United States side, and the second looks at that island from the Japanese side, and both show flagging responsibility, of fathers. Anyone seriously considering these films in tandem with the rest of life will ask why so few humans look at the Israeli/Palestinian situation from both sides, and whether Stephen Spielberg does! Maybe he does, but when shall humanity in general learn that compassion is the only salvation?
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?
Shine – a 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 Glory – a 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.
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,
|We must remember Rachel at the well !|
Text on this page represents only the views of
Billy Lee Harman .