Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Spontaneous mutation

In 2009 we need a spontaneous mutation in the species homo sapiens if we are to change the direction of America. All evidence shows that nothing’s changing in the biological synapses of our citizens. We act irrationally and irresponsibly too often and without regret. Partying persists when any holiday or occasion arises. New Year’s Eve, we’ll toast to that! Americans still admit and submit to risk for the sake of thrill-seeking. For example, a skier who knows the facts, says he wouldn’t trade a clear morning in the backcountry for anything. "It’s the last bit of serenity we have in this world," ... "You get out and up and away from everybody." Yet, getting away from everybody alternates with being near friends and relatives as proof of prevalent, contradictory behaviors. Another tradition that doesn’t change is that the only thing New York City is ‘good for’ is the dropping of the crystal ball at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Americans always act unpredictably, despite analyses of soothsayers to the contrary. The unlikely gaming system, Wii, has sold as many consoles as Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 combined. Common sense has abandoned our human condition. What we can hope for in 2009 is a spontaneous mutation in homo sapiens, a genetic leap that allows him (and her) to advance beyond emotion to reason. Of course, this would allow Americans to recognize, for example, that our newly elected President is a self-centered, empty-headed, power-driven politician.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

vive le difference?

"To live! How sweet it is! How good! despite worries, husbands, boredom, debts, relatives, gossip, despite bitter pain and tedious difficulties. To live! It’s intoxicating! To love, to be loved! It is happiness! It’s heavenly." Over-the-top emotional outbursts should be cautionary. They never last. They pour out from overwrought imagination and passions such as reflected in this reading from George Sand, notorious for her immoral and often bizarre behaviors. Words ( in the millions ) from George Sand can often be dismissed as meaningless once one knows the story of her life. George Sand’s definition of liberty and freedom from tyranny includes freedom from permanent commitments to marriage, children, men and women. Her versions of love and life embrace both the intellectual and physical, mind and body but the devil is in the details. Hers was both an external and an internal conflict (and reconciliation) between love and the law. Her conflict resolution flaunted both passion and society. Her wellspring of words embellish her pursuits. I point this out today to show how much deeper is George Sand’s hedonistic life of self-satisfaction than our President-elect’s of demonstrable shallowness and absence of intellectual content. Non-literary and pro-pectoral, Barack Obama fills his daily schedule with zero sum gains. Evidence of his eloquence or emotion only flows via his speech writer when he reads from a teleprompter. Evidence of his lightweight life comes from hours passed at the gym, on the links and at the alley. ( He stinks worse than I with 20 yard drives and a 37 bowling score). I know my strong points and weaknesses; I have lined up my priorities. The same can be said for Sand and Obama, but who can celebrate their deviations from my norms?

Monday, December 29, 2008

How they die

2008 statistics for a local hospice show that 148 patients were served. The average length of stay was 59 days; the average age was 74. Diagnostics of these patients show 39 pathologies: lung cancer led the way with 28 followed by debility with 15, Alzheimers with 9 and congestive heart failure, renal disease and colon cancer with 8 causes of death. 20 physicians contributed their time and talent to this hospice. As most Americans know, hospices provide a wonderful way ‘to go’ into eternity. How do my local numbers compare with fatalities around the globe just within the past two days? In Palestine the toll is over 300, in Pakistan, 36, Kabul 14 (children) and Iraq l ( or more). When I hear a news reporter warn me about the ‘winter blues’ in states like mine that will experience 12 more weeks of winter, I want to take my radio out with a mortal attack. Please! Let’s talk about worthwhile and real issues. People die every day. Some with dignity; some in ignominy. Some ignominy is of the victim’s own doing or calling, but all loss of life calls for a few tears. I knew this on Christmas morn as I buried a cat companion of over 13 years. My hospice served his needs and in return he blessed me with his deeds. Let’s face it, no death is a blessing in disguise.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Both ways

Can life be lived both ways? George Sand the writer observes: "On the one hand, the absolute annihilation of intellect and sentiment for the sake of personal salvation; on the other, the development of the mind and heart for the sake of a communal religion." She partially experienced this dilemma early into her adolescence. About the age of 14, she writes about an evening when "the fragrance of honeysuckle and jasmine drifted in on a cool breeze. Lost in the vastness of the night, a star twinkled in the window frame and seemed to watch me attentively. The birds sang. There was a stillness...a charm...a mystery...a gathering of spirit...that I never dreamed could be." She felt her "being begin to tremble, and a flickering like a white light passed," ... "I felt that I loved God, that my mind accepted fully this ideal of justice, tenderness and holiness which I have never doubted since then, but which until then had not touched me."

The hormonal, endocrinal and emotional changes occurring during childhood development account for much of the romanticism and fantasy of youth. George Sand was no exception. But when should illusions be shed? For too many adults they have never been lost. For too few adults, the processing of thought has never been found. To have it both ways, to fully become human and to balance the relationship between mind and heart - as George Sand eventually learned - one cannot be locked up in a world of perpetual illusion. Choices must be made; pain must be felt. The balance must be struck between truly human and truly divine.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Storm before the calm

Here’s hoping the close of 2008 represents the storm before the calm, 2009. Conflicts of man vs. man and nature vs. man just won’t go away. Two facts persist. Man has never possessed a pacifistic, egalitarian core since Eden, but continuous calls for a change in his behavior persist over time. Secondly, the power of the government to make any pain go away does not exist, but dependency remains traditionally appealing. Both wishes (or resolutions), repeated year after year, will never be fulfilled. What hope for change remains? Something inner and individual; something outwardly unrecognized.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Day 1

Day one without the red cat. No aroma therapy, acupuncture, reflexology, herbal supplement or alternative medicine will do or can undo the passing of a fellow traveler for over 13 years. Anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of alternative medicines merely represents random tales such as the one I can tell of the decline of fluffy, feline perfection over the span of a few months. Or try to explain the random inevitability of life and death. So no ‘here’ or ‘there,’ hit-or-miss alternative medicine for me. Just the ‘everywhere,’ time-tested remedy for the crush of sorrow - a long sob, perhaps two.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Why is it a creature of God
Instinctively knows how to lay down
And die, blood draining from ears,
Mouth and eye, signs that its time
For the human to cry, cry for times
Good and bad gone by, in spite
Of the Hellish drift in the feline
As Phoenix, whose random birth
In innocence deserves no less than
A full, deep, heartfelt cry for what’s
Now lost, until visitation in eternity?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Unlucky 13

What more is there to say? He’s 13 ½ years old, today’s my 13th blog in my 4th year on another Christmas eve before another new year. Unlucky is the name of the game. Phoenix, the cat from Hell, red as the fire from which his namesake arose - is dying. The coat of a lifetime, long, lush, clean and flea-free has retreated to a dull, listless condition, evidence of an emaciated cat. When the beast who would eat anything, whether vegetative, milky or carnal shuns food, I know a fever feeds his lack of appetite. His gums are inflamed and his breath reeks. New to the equation, his ears bleed. Have the eardrums burst or is his brain feeding upon itself? Antibiotic infusions have not done the trick. Numerous lives that have been allotted to him have been used up over the years by his hair’s breath escapes. Now it come down to this - the sad fadeout. Without a meow, Phoenix just grunts his disapproval. What more is there to say? Emotions rule.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pick one

"The contemplated monument shall be like him in whose honor it is to be constructed, unparalleled in the world... (It) should blend stupendousness with elegance, and be of such magnitude and beauty as to be an object of pride to the America people and of all who see it. " Is this the objective for the Washington Monument,1832 or for the Obama monument, 2017?

"His genome is global, his mind is innovative, his world is networked, and his spirit is democratic." Are these words applicative to George Washington or Barrack Obama, as literally and metaphorically, time’s "person of the year?

The choice of President-elect Obama for both questions would be a metaphorical slam dunk for liberals because he is their only ‘One.’ For conservatives, the double choice must be our number one President,Washington, who represents the original mold from which a true American is cast.

As a marble stiletto, the Washington monument symbolizes an upward thrust towards heaven, that has and should represent the best efforts of American history. But whatever the final creation commemorating Obama, some artistic rendition of a zero is appropriate.

Monday, December 22, 2008


"One great advantage in America is, that there is nobody to overshadow men of moderate property; no swaggering, shining, tax-eating wretches to set examples of extravagance, pride and insolence to you own sons and daughters, who are brought up in the habit of seeing men estimated, not according to the show that they make, not according to their supposed wealth, not according to what is called birth, but according to the real intrinsic merit of the party: this is a wonderful advantage." Since a Britain made this observation in 1829, we have come a long way to unravel each advantage once offered to emigrants to America.

Liberals, recently elected to ‘run’ America, will now overshadow men of moderate means, taxing them to the hilt, repressing their aspirations in order to raise the incomes of the ill-defined ‘middle class.’ Being poor will remain O.K. because liberals already benefit from government subsidizes, but financial gain for those with more than modest means is now a no-no. Arrogant, boastful politicians with empty rhetorical promises love to eat the working man’s breakfast, lunch, dinner and most especially because they reek of ‘junk’ ingredients, treats and snacks. The infamies of Madeoff, the ponzi tzar, and Illinois’s Blogo, the crudity king, only top the iceberg of perpetual corruption based upon extravagance, pride and insolence. Women like Hellary Clinton and Caroline Kennedy are not estimated by their intrinsic merit; wealth, birth or political purchasing power determine their worth. What one great advantage is left to us citizens, descendants of emigrants and immigrants to America? The leavings. We Americans who have advantaged ourselves with proper, responsible living will get the leftovers of government interference, like the leavings of a picnic or like crusts on bread.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Can the center hold

Give us a person with common sense, who is "always happy at the center," like John Muir. Muir calls for moderation when as he writes: "Kill as few of your fellow beings as possible and pursue some branch of natural history at least far enough to see Nature’s harmony." Ever the optimist, Muir preached preserving wildness because it creates mental stimulation learning the ways of nature which is necessary and useful. "There is love of nature in everybody," Muir believed. "In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world - the great fresh,, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness." His was a long life lived, according to his 2008 biographer, Donald Worster, to "bag a few more bracing, aurora-filled nights." Worster also tells us that Muir exhorted each person to "bend with the trees in the wild. Plunge into whitewater rapids like the cheerful little ouzel. Observe the chattering confidence of squirrels that they will survive." On this gusty, bitter cold December day, my sympathies lie with the trees straining, the birds swooping to feed on seeds and my resident squirrels taking advantage of free meals.

Wackiness did not become Muir. He avoided the current curses of isms - atheism, vegetarianism, socialism, liberalism, materialism, progressivism, fundamentalism, hedonism, consumerism and environmentalism. Yet he skirts Transendentalism when he writes profoudly:

A multitude of still, small voices may be heard directing you to look through all this transient, shifting show of things called "substantial" into the truly substantial, spiritual world whose forms flesh and wood, rock and water, air and sunshine, only veil and conceal, and to learn that here is heaven and the dwelling-place of the angels.

Yes a little dab of Muir would do nicely nowadays to help the center hold.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Laughter as naturally best medicine

What ‘anointed one’ could pronounce a need for "more perimeter with their little quick guys?" A coach of high school basketball, of course. What philosopher could write, "Everything in nature is lyrical in its ideal essence, tragic in its destiny, and comic in its existence?" George Santayana, of course. The Spanish born and Harvard educated professor famously warned that: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Unfortunately few listen to Santayana these days; instead, many hang upon every word of a sport’s coach. Also, behavior continues to be repeated that does not offer up different consequences - though such misdirection should be labeled insanity.

Clinton re-runs and sympathizers make up the Obama Cabinet. New Deal spending programs of Roosevelt repeat themselves as bailouts and loans today. With Spinoza and Muir, Santayana floated above the mortal fray supported by the thought that there is no distinction between God and nature. Our outgoing President Bush also sees that "God is good....all the time." But down here on earth, few have time for God or nature. Many down here hang around the bounce ball courts like our incoming President who wastes time where perimeter is shared with "little quick guys." Down here in 2008, nature is red in tooth and claw. Reality is messy, man-eating, greedy, shallow and unreal if seen through liberal eyes. The lyrical ideal being unreachable, the consequences of present strategies and policies being tragic in their implications, only the third component of Santayana’s statement is worth considering. You just must laugh! The platitudinous never equals the profound.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A life in vain?

Wide eyed and ultra enthusiastic, John Muir, American naturalist and writer, exalted after visiting a sequoia grove in autumn, writing to a friend and counselor:

"The King tree & me have sworn eternal love - sworn it without swearing & I’ve taken the sacrament with Douglass Squirrels drank Sequoia wine, Sequoia blood, & with its rosy purple drips I am writing this woody gospel letter. I never before knew the virtues of Sequoia juice. Seen the sunbeams in it, its color is the most royal of all royal purples (.) No wonder the Indians instinctively drink it for they know not what, I wish I was so drunk & sequoical that I could preach the green brown woods to all the juiceless world, descending from this divine wilderness like John Baptist eating Douglass squirrels & wild honey or wild anything, crying, Repent for the Kingdom of Sequoia is at hand."

Over the top yes, but Muir literally climbed over the tops of America’s highest mountains. To this same, dear friend, Muir, who read "the great book of Nature," exclaimed: "I am hopelessly and forever a mountaineer." In 1861 at the age of 22, he agreed with a college Professor friend that "nature is the name for an effect whose cause is God." He also sympathized with Charles Darwin who in the 1830's wrote that the Amazon rainforests in South America are "temples filled with varied productions of the God of nature."

John Muir continues in the tradition of believers in the divine. The heretic priest Giordano Bruno who was burned at the stake in 1600, always saw God as "an all-pervading world-soul." The author G.K. Chesterton who died in 1936, said: "I had always believed that the world involved magic: now I thought that perhaps it involved a magician." Following in Chesterton’s footsteps, the author of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis, who incidentally died on November 22, 1963, the same died President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, penned into the jaws of Aslan, his Christ-figure, words of a "deeper magic," an obvious allusion to divinity. A current film critic, pretentious in his film reviews, likes to use phrases like "authentic beauty and commanding consequence." Too bad this critic rarely fathoms that such words apply to a divine presence. That God and nature interchange and intersect to the benefit of man with both inexplicable beauty (and sadness) and eternally spiritual consequences.

Unfortunately, the Sierra Club that Muir created to preserve the wild and natural, has been hijacked and perverted by wide eyed and ultra liberal environmentalists who have abandoned the transcendental and spiritual quality of Muir’s thoughts and actions and forsworn the divine inspiration that drove his passion for nature. Today, environmentalism itself is a religion, a substitute for God. How sad that the mountain man who died in 1914 seems to have lived in vain.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

7 Deadly sins

First order on the day I occupy the Oval Office, will be to eliminate the Department of Jobs and Family Services. That little dab of welfare that Roosevelt believed would do for certain aged persons, has become a coast-to-coast smear on our nation’s moral character. My second order would be address the liberals’ list of deadly sins. These evils are actually politically incorrect freedoms that liberals wish to eliminate. Their definition of a sin is a preventable condition besmirching America. Sins include: tobacco, poor diet, inactivity, alcohol use, drug use, motor vehicle crashes (DUI’s ?) and firearms. The goal of liberals is to regulate ‘sins’ out of existence - and don’t think politicians and Congress don’t waste a single day planning their demise. Multitudinous programs under the Dept. of Jobs and Family Services have eroded the freedom of self-sufficiency. Multitudinous rules and regulations continue to restrict ‘sinful’ choices. Recent government bailouts and takeovers are taking our beloved country down the European road of socialism. Cry, beloved country! There are no longer just 7 deadly sins; sin is ubiquitous in liberal land. The government’s fire and brimstone will burn it out of the soul of ‘real’ America

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Person of the year

Time magazine person of the year 2008, is Barack Obama, the O (or zero) representing total accomplishments. Time’s person of the year, 1940, could have been according to American sportswriter, Grantland Rice, Seabiscuit, who "proved his value of character and courage" with his "double value of heart and hoof."... Beauty is only skin deep, Rice said about the great thoroughbred turf stallion, but "true greatness must reach the unfathomed soul."... There "will never be another Seabiscuit." B.K Beckwith, who wrote a brief, celebratory biography of this deserving ‘person of the year,’ concluded that the "fire flame in his soul will burn in the tunnel of time forever." Seabiscuit for whom even a memorial coin was cast citing his "noteworthy courage and triumph," lit up the American stage for 6 years, setting speed records, making courageous comebacks, defeating all challengers and earning him the reputation of an athlete for the ages. These accomplishments displayed with dignity, perseverence, passion and grace burnished his image of equine greatness. How long a shadow will Time’s person of the year, 2008, cast?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lack of dedication

Admiral Onishi, the creator and perpetrator of kamikaze operations, in the Pacific theatre towards the end of World War II, committed ritual suicide, hara-kiri, when his ‘operations’ failed to win victory for his fatherland. Bleeding to death he ‘confessed’ his failure to his fellow countrymen and his Emperor and created a Haiku: \
I feel like a clear moon
After a storm

What a pure, sacrificial sentiment. In contrast, one of the sailors who survived a kamikaze attack on the aircraft carrier U.S.S.Bunker Hill somewhere off the island of Okinawa, May 11, 1945, and who witnessed horrendous tragedy and loss of life on the ship, returned to his homeland to go on with the business of living. He believed that you "just cannot let it rule your life." What a truly, courageous statement.

We need not imitate the code of honor of bushido prevalent before and during World War II in Japan, but perhaps we could take a valuable lesson from that sailor who won the Navy Cross. Given a choice between the two ‘ways of the warrior,’ shouldn’t life triumph over death? Given the choice between a code of morality instilled in youth which governs their conduct and a philosophy of moral equivalency and relevancy in America today, shouldn’t our nation reconsider the course it pursues? Our educational moral standards for its youth and its citizens are sorely compromised. Furthermore, who can be refreshed like a clear moon after a storm lacking dedication to a good cause?

Monday, December 15, 2008

You should know

A photo from Pakistan of a sea of humanity speckled with green and a masked soldier wearing a green headband and holding a large gun speaks loudly. Behind the scene are the words of a leader of Hamas who brags about violent exploits, promises money to the poor as a bribe for patronage and who rejects continuing a cease fire with Israel. 200,000 supporters cannot be wrong - or can they? Yes, they can. President-elect Barack Hussein Obama should know they can. A shoe thrown at the leader of the free world, our President George W. Bush, proves that democracy, perverted by Arab Muslims, hasn’t died. The ultimate insult of ‘dog’ accompanied by a size 10 toss, merely proves that inversion of reality characterizes terrorists whether Arabs, Palestinians or any other anti-democratic factions. Liberals also love to shut down dissent as they live in their alternate universe. Can so many people can be so wrong? Yes, they can, president-elect Obama, yes, they can. You should know.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

9th Crusade

When Christians launched the 1st of 8 crusades around the year 1000 A.D., they utilized only single horsepower and single or double masted ships. Today, 1000 years later, around 2000 A.D., a 9th Crusade is underway globally to rid the world of Islamic and other ideologically driven terrorists. Horsepower available since the Medieval Crusades had dramatically increased. An Essex class aircraft carrier can cruise the seas under 150,000 horsepower. To the infidels in the millennium past, happiness in the next world trumped earthly satisfaction; their ideology today has not changed. 1000 years ago, suicide as a tactic did not exist; today suicide as a tactic is sui generis. To quote a Nobel prize laureate, " terror is stronger than the sum of anyone’s happiness Victory, therefore, in this new war, depends upon the quality of the combatants and the legitimacy of their cause. One true God cannot serve two competing mortal Crusades, nor can two conflicting human allegiances serve the same God.

Saturday, December 13, 2008



Friday, December 12, 2008

1 and 10

First blog of my 4th year begins today, the purpose of which seems to be self-stimulation. Ten billion appears to be the revenue of spas in the United States. Body pampering has reached the heights of essentials like botox and alpha hydroxy. One in ten also appears to be the number of Americans (31 million) that have benefitted by federal food stamps, freebies that shall not be bypassed. Mike Huckabee, former Republican presidential hopeful, might have written a book called "Do the right thing," but few seem to heed his call. Carly Fiorina, former head of HP (Hewlet-Packard) points out an America that experienced the dot com bust, the collapse of Enron now wallows in the current financial crisis because business people, politicians and CEO’s do not ‘do the right things.’ Going forward, how many relevant individuals will heed her warning?

The data above seem to indicate that the ignorant and greedy are many, but do-gooders are few. The efficacy of spas has always been nil; they are expensive placebos. The need for food stamps has always been nil (even though government has been soliciting recipients vigorously); they are theft from one’s neighbor. As radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, likes to point out frequently, especially in these ‘tough economic times’ ( in reality a media blitz covering up years of governmental, union and leadership misconduct) - "ignorance is America’s most expensive commodity."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hope for change?

Hope for change? Is it hopeless? Will things ever change? Will anyone read me here in the wilderness where I’m wandering around now into my 4th year.

Will advocates against child abuse stop using phrases like "non-offending care-givers" or words like "pro-active" as if all parents and guardians must be suspect? Will advocates cease the assumption that regarding youth, "any unruly case" equals abuse? Will advocates who are courageous enough to use the word Christmas for fund-raising events stick to their guns when the politically-correct and anti-religious liberal left criticizes and challenges them? Will smart advocates shun government ‘help’ because it usually hurts the welfare of children?

I see the blessings of present and future scenarios about the welfare of children as mixed. Can we hope to change the continental divide between liberals and conservatives ( forget the political labels of Democrat and Republican because we all know Americans are separated into franchised halves)? Can we hope to change absent parenting by replacing it with hired care-giving?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How are we doing today?

I would like to rip the lips off every principal of a public school because as liberal, bureaucrats they spout drivel about the value of their educational programs, but in the spirit of our founding revolutionary fathers, I’ll reminisce on what initially made America great. We still function (hopefully) on our unalienable rights of life, liberty and the freedom to pursue happiness.

In 1810 a Prussian, Friedrich Gentz contrasted the American and French revolutions. He said that the "American revolution escaped the most dangerous of all the rocks, ... the deadly passion for making political experiments with abstract theories, and untried system." "Never in the whole course of the American revolution were the rights of man, appealed to, for the destruction of the rights of citizens..." "The preciseness of objects, the uniformity of means, and the moderation of principles, "... "distinguished the American revolution..."

Gentz observed that the French revolution, "wished to tear up the world from its poles, and commence a new era for the whole human race." It attempted to use the "sickle of equality."
"The absolute indefinitude of object, that inextinguishable character of the French revolution, discovered itself in a new and terrible light. The republic ...was a word without definite meaning..."

What’s apparent is that America succeeded, where other revolutions have failed, in maintaining a system of representation in which not a too great discrepancy exists between the privileged and the poor. Gentz puts it this way: "The most easily one of the constituted authorities can resist the other, by its appropriate weight, the less will be the necessity of appealing to arms. On the other hand, the more imperfect the balance is, the greater will be the danger of civil war."

Even before Gentz’ analysis of our successful experiment, in 1788 the Marquis de Condorcet noted that America guaranteed four rights of man: 1. safety against force and a guarantee against transgressions of others, 2. security and enjoyment of private property, 3. a system of laws applicable to all citizens and 4. the right to contribute through representation to the enactment of laws.

How are we doing today? Rich, elitist politicians are increasingly removed from the lives and interests of common men and women. The gap leaves too many citizens without representation or remonstration. Also, socialism awaits. The sickle of equality is on hold in Obama’s left hand until he takes office in 2009. The moral fabric of our society slowly unravels, unalienable freedoms erode and the prospect of the oppression of higher taxation looms. How are we doing today?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

7 druthers

Here in fly-over land, I can confirm the melting pot in America still simmers. I am surrounded on my lane by 7 disparate lifestyles which include myself and my neighbors. For the most part, each homestead minds its own businesses. Acquaintance rather than friend defines my relationship with 5 of the 6 residences. Alphabetically, B is disabled, F, retired, L, self-employed, L (and L), retired, M (and M) retired, P employed (and P), and S, employed. The labels can be expanded to B, middle-aged, disabled but hardest worker and most physically active ( I don’t ask), F, senior citizen, retired but least physically active, L, middle-aged, self-employed, well-known locally with well-trafficked business, L and L, aged pair of seniors, both dealing with recurring health issues, M and M, seniors retired but most interested in fresh air activity and mental refreshment, P and P, middle-aged couple, an employed male adverse to physical exertion but complemented by stay-at-home mom with 12 cats who rescues and rehabilitates rejected felines, and S, middle-aged, divorcee, employed mom with a 30-something dress code, who never stays at home. I note further distinguishing features like potent ingredients in a stew. B’s the renter is a smoking fiend ( compensating for the six smoke-free homes. F’s fond of Schwans food offerings. L packs heat and uses it. L and L dispel mutual loneliness. M and M depend on each other to the exclusion of all others. P and P function separately. S dispensed with a man. For B, F, L and S, marriage is not the option picked up by L, M and P. Only B has opted out of home ownership. To F, L, P and S, country living is irrelevant; to B, L and M it’s intrinsic. The preferences of these 7 can be further broken down in the area of motor trips out and back down my lane. B holds the record for one day at 40 something. F ventures forth often but rarely for long. L, with 2 vehicles, definitely doubles his fun by being obtrusive especially for frequent business trips and for meal trips 3 times each day. L and L travel only for family visits, shopping or health reasons. M and M mostly stay at home. P and P with 2 vehicles manage to remain unobtrusive. S uses the automobile for daily flights to nowhere? I dislike both gluttonous writing and gluttonous driving. I may claim I have a right to not have my vista impeded by continuous automotive traffic, but my claim does not include a duty on the part of my neighbors to respect it. So I’m left here to do my duty and watch the melting pot simmers.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Old-time visions

In this month of non-common sense, I think we could us a lot of Plotinus, a Greek philosopher who lived 205-270 A.D. In his Enneads, a series of 9 tractates, he says "you must close the eyes and call instead upon another vison which is to waken within you, a vision, the birth-right of all, which few turn to use. ... The Soul must be trained - to the habit of remarking , first, all noble pursuits, then the works of beauty produced not by the labour of the arts but by the virtue of men known for their goodness... But how are you to see into a virtuous soul and know its loveliness? Withdraw into yourself and look. Act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful; he cuts away here, he smoothes there, he makes this line lighter, this other purer, until a lovely face has grown upon his work. So do you also: cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is overcast, labour to make all one glow of beauty and never cease chiselling your statue, until there shall shine out on you from it the godlike splendour of virtue, until you shall see the perfect goodness surely established in the stainless shrine. When you know you have become this perfect work, ... when you find yourself wholly true to your essential nature...wholly that only veritable Light which is not measured by space... now call up all your confidence, strike forward yet a step - strain, and see."

"Thus our freedom of act, our self-disposal, must be referred not to the doing, not to the external thing done but to the inner activity, to the Intellection, to virtue’s own vision. ...virtue is a mode of Intellectual-Principle, a mode not involving any of the emotions or passions controlled by its reasoning, since such experiences, amenable to morality and discipline, touch closely ...on body... herein lies our will which remains free and self-disposing in spite of any orders which it may necessarily utter to meet the external."

"It is not in the soul’s nature to touch utter nothingness; the lowest descent is into evil and, so far, into non-being: ... There is thus a converse in virtue of which the essential man outgrows Being, becomes identical with the Transcendent of Being. The self thus lifted, we are in the likeness of the Supreme: if from that heightened self we pass still higher - image to archetype - we have won the Term of all our journeying. Fallen back again, we awaken the virtue without until we know ourselves all order once more, once more we are lightened of the burden and move by virtue towards Intellectual-Principle and through the Wisdom in That to the Supreme."

Plotinus’ ideal sounds like the celestine prophecy to me. It reads as an aspiration to the good in literal sympathy with God. It sounds like each one of us could use some transcendence and transformation in this December, 2008. Each of us could strive to attain a vision of - and then the embodiment of - a good life. The assumption being - there exists a contrast between the Light of virtue and unnatural vice. The assumption being - one is free to choose to see and act.

At the moment of death it is reported that Plotinus declared to a friend, "Now I shall endeavor to make that which is divine in me rise up to that which is divine in the universe."

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The 'look of eagles'

When he held his head high looking into the distance as if he were seeing a homestretch, himself streaking down toward the wire, Seabiscuit had ‘the look of eagles.’ He felt the urge to run. Instinct told the great horse not to bottle up his spirit to race. Where are the Seabiscuits now? Where is the ‘look of eagles’ in any competitor’s eyes? Dollar signs are there. The pleading, helpless, hapless look to government for help is there. The look of greatness absented itself when Gerald Ford in the swearing-in ceremony after Nixon’s resignation in 1974, invoked the higher power "by whatever name we honor him." Ford displayed his cowardice, political correctness and inability to look God in the eye with confidence and call him by his proper name. The ‘look of eagles’ absented itself for a local evangelist who today December 7, 2008, from his pulpit, preached a Jesus/God filled self-doubt and insecurity before his death and while hanging on the Cross. The Reverend pandered to a solidarity of human weakness with Jesus rather than embracing an understanding of the willing, self-sacrifice of our Savior. The ‘look of eagles’ embodies self-knowledge and self-confidence’ it lifts up a soul assured that what must be done is necessary and right. Seabiscuit and Ronald Reagan and Jesus come to mind. On this ‘day of infamy’ I’m sure that many a soldier in World War II, with the ‘look of eagles’ were inspired to fight for victory in what they knew to be a innate and compelling, just cause.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

U.S. will join EU

Universal health care, widespread unionization, stronger regulations on business, profit-sharing for employees, higher taxes - European socialism is a worthy model for America according to the President of the SEIU (service employees international union). He thinks that "Western Europe as much as we used to make fun of it has made different trade-offs which may have ended up with a little more unemployment but a lot more quality." This is the way our country is heading. Data proving disasterous results, will not matter. Americans won’t need to ‘do the right thing’ by living and saving responsibly because they will live in a land of levelness. Since1960, the savings rate has fallen from 9% to 1.4% as financial and non-financial debt ( household, government, business) has risen accordingly. Any rationalization will do to justify America’s ‘loss’ (or gain if liberal leftists present the argument) to European socialism.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Read and weep

From one former Communist, Edith Bone, who knew, to those who doubt, read and weep so that history does not repeat itself here in America, that does we no embrace a socialistic, atheistic agenda led from the top by ‘enlightened’ leaders.

"Here, I felt, I had reached a turning-point.... now the wheel had come full circle - my revolt against inhumanity had bought me into the Communist Party, and the deeply rooted inhumanity that cried aloud from every page of that horrible book... destroyed the last traces of illusion, and lifted off my back the incubus I had carried for thirty bitters years full of doubt..." "So it had been a mistake to believe that the public ownership of the means of production would transform men, would make them more concerned for the public good, more cultured because more leisured, and, above all, happier." "The degeneracy of the Communist Party stood out all the more clearly. When I read a historical book, I noted with disgust the false rewriting of history. Thus, in a long book about Ivan the Terrible, he was made out to have been the most benign and amiable ruler;...""The constant barrage of lies presented as the only sterling truth, opposition to which was a sinister crime against humanity, meant that all standards were falsified, twisted out of shape."

A Russian poet reinforces the sentiments of E.B. by succinctly noting that the "only ones who smiled (during Stalin’s reign of terror in the 1930's) were the dead, glad to be at rest."

Is there any connection between the above horror and our present political situation? You betcha! Ignorance! The American public is shielded from the truth about anything that does not promote the liberal, socialist cause and future presidency of Barack Obama. Lies and misdirections mask the truths about who is behind the present recession, about the banking and housing crises, about these ‘tough economic times.’ Lies and misrepresentations abound; facts are dear. Contradiction and hypocrisy common; ignorance the sad result. Government bailouts and subsidies, even outright takeovers of the banking industry, the mortgage industry and , soon, the auto industry, are motived by liberal, socialistic ideologies. The truth behind the causes of these economic meltdowns remains hidden to the American public but is well appreciated by the wealthy politicians, CEO’s and patrons who benefited from the breakdown of these relevant systems. Millions milked will never be lost by them.

Sub-prime loans as far back as President Carter’s presidency, were ‘mandated’ under ‘pressure’
from the government. CAFÉ standards for cars were ‘mandated’ under pressure again from government. Unsustainable salary, medical and pension benefits were ‘mandated’ under ‘pressure’ from the unions of the Big 3 auto companies. The common denominator of all failures, if truth could be told, is prevention of the free market system to exercise its built-in principle of the freedom to fail, to pick up the pieces and to move on. Any ethical person knows the rules of life’s game where fairness is accidental as well as ornamental. Common sense, hard work and responsible behavior guarantee any player the possibility to hope for change, to achieve personal success.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I know mine

"I know mine and mine know me," meaning the enemies of freedom. So let’s get this America as the ‘bad guy’ thing put to rest. The idea that torture, guilt, innocent victims, ‘show trials‘ and abuse of human rights are the domain of America rather than the repeated violations of Communist, atheist or terrorist organizations is nonsense. Take the chapter headings of a book by an innocent British victim, a prisoner of the Hungarian Communists for 7 years in solitary confinement: A curtain of fear, Every wait is a long one, A sinister farce, The black hole, Civilization vs. Barbarism, Laughter is better than tears, Unexpected victory, Liberation of the spirit, A bright dream fades, Books that opened doors, Thaw, Brainwashing in reverse, The beginning of the end, and Resurrection.

Dare to ask yourself what any one of these headings means, what happens ‘behind the scenes,’ how devilish are the details. Then read and weep. The delusions of uneducated persons and extreme liberals are dangerous; the denial of historic realities is a disservice to freedom. Americans should know the facts about enemies of freedom. But because ignorance is bliss, I suffer when I inform myself about the enemies and abusers of freedom who have ‘done many prisoners to death,’ leaving them unknown, unwept and unsung. One book read could be enough to wake up those who trash our country, because given a choice, where else would one rather live?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth; socialism is the equal distribution of poverty. Obamerica, here we come! Elite intellectuals (including our President-elect) call for wealth re-distribution, but they themselves never will experience any diminution of their wealthy status. If wealth trickles up from the proletariat, as believed in Obamanomics, the proletariat will achieve enough wealth to become bourgeoise, and then Obama’s socialism necessitates their ‘smacking down.’ A Catch 22, if you know what I mean.

The free market in our higher education system allows for masters’ degrees in renewable energy, as it cries out for renewed brain power. A Catch 22 occurs when we dumb down learning but increase spending in our grammar and high schools and in our colleges and universities yet still decry their current state of failure. Obamerica is already here!
As elitists preach that wealth must be equalized from their bully pulpits, poverty in common sense, morality and reason suffer because equal distribution of ignorance among the populace is the goal. Obamerica, here we go!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Bolt for "Bolt"

From $.60 an hr. to sell popcorn in a theatre ( my first job in the 1950's) to $15.00 an hr. to canvas for the U.S. Census ( applications are available for work early in 2009 , America has seen many ‘tough economic times.’ So have I. From a literary expression like to "board a bus" to its academic re-iteration, "to be drawn upward into the interior," America has tolerated many pretensions. The culmination of our rise to economic and literary superiority seems to be the re-definition of bigotry as tolerance by the liberal left in America. Oh, for the golden days when musicals from Hollywood were all about escapism and nonsense rather than boorish, indecent portrayals of liberal agendas. The public luckily still gets it. Give them a choice between a computer generated white dog, ‘Bolt’ and a politically correct romantic panorama of Australian revisionism, Americans with their feet and their pocketbooks, will take the feel-good diversion every time.

Monday, December 01, 2008

No resistance

"Another circumstance was, that a great many of the inhabitants, both men and women were killed, which is most true; and the case was thus. The inhabitants, to show their over-forward zeal to defend the town, fought in the breach; nay, the very women to the honour of the Leicester ladies, if they like it, officiously did their parts; and after the town was then, and when, if they had any brains in their zeal, they would have kept their houses, and been quiet, they fired upon our men out of their widows, and from the tops of their houses, and threw tiles upon their heads; and I had several of my men wounded so, and seven or eight killed. This exasperated us to the last degree; and, finding one house better manned than ordinary, and many shot fired at us out of the windows, I caused my men to attack it, resolved to make them an example for the rest; which they did, and breaking open the doors, they killed all they found there, without distinction; and I appeal, to the world if they were to blame. If the parliament committee, or the Scots’ deputies, were here, they ought to have been quiet, since the town was taken; but they began with us, and, I think, brought it upon themselves. This is the whole case, so far as came within my knowledge, for which his majesty (Charles I) was so much abused."

How are circumstances different today from those described by Daniel Defoe about an attack on a town in the middle 1600's in England? The king at the time, Charles I, eventually was beheaded on the scaffold, but his death unfortunately, is just a footnote to disagreements that see-sawed throughout history. Those sacrificed in Mumbai recently didn’t (couldn’t) even choose to fight back like the women and town folk of Defoe’s reported incident. The fact that the women had the ‘b...s’ to fight back infuriated the cavaliers and soldiers causing them initiate the retaliatory slaughter. The leader of the attack justifies his actions to the reader and the world. If no resistence were offered, supposedly the resistors would have been spared. Not today. When killers take up arms - driven by insane logic - all bets are off.