Monday, June 29, 2009


To feel content at morning's start
To play the music in your heart

To dream of morrow though yet awake
To savor again the tempting cake

To bask in sunbeams as life unfolds
To smile when not a joke's been told

To gain or give a helping hand
To confide in one who understands

To brim with courage when all's to lose
To proudly speak your own mind's views

To catch a plum at a surprising time
To find the missing piece sublime

Of these and more I can recall
To hear someone you love say I love you
Is the sweetest of them all


If man wishes to enjoy life to the fullest,
he must choose to be himself, or herself
in the deepest meaning of that expression...

He must think for himself,
live for his own happiness,
act in his own rational self-interest...

He must keep
his mind and his body
from the will of others...

He must revel
in the value
of his own being...

He must first
come to know that
he is

Sunday, June 28, 2009


The French have it right, absolutely right. They do not say "I am alive." They say "Je suis en vie'..."I am in life." What a superbly expressive way of capturing the joy of living!

Life abounds on Earth. There are now 6.8 billion humans. Over 2.6 million new children come into life each week. It is estimated that by the year 2040, world human population will be 9 billion. The number of other life forms is immeasurable. Compare that to the incredible feeling of wonder that we would experience were we to find but one microscopic life on another planet.

And there is life within me. The approximately 10 trillion cells in my body are in life, ever changing, multiplying, healing themselves. As are the 100 trillion or so microorganisms ithat inhabit me.

From the tiniest ant to the 25,00 pound African elephant, we are in life. The sparrow, the robin, the hawk and eagle are in life. The oceans are laden with species in life. The grass and the trees and the lilacs and lillies are in life, growing, reproducing. The seeds of all plants are in life.

What does it add up to? This. Whenever I am dismayed, disappointed, distressed, disillusioned, disheartened, disenchanted, disconsolate, disturbed, distraught, discombobulated, about the state of my life, I need only think to myself, "Je Suis En Vie," and then I quietly and serenely remember there is no other place I'd rather be.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Here it comes, the stampeding herd.

In the name of "the interest of society," "compassion for the disadvantaged" and "economic equality," and a hundred other liberal/socialist slogans, the "I" is being squashed, the individual is being extinguished, the free thinker is being made extinct.

Whether I like it or not, think it's a good idea or not, want to do it or not:

I will have to pay more taxes to help auto workers keep their jobs;

I will have to pay more to see that depositors in inefficiently run banks don't lose their money;

I will have to pay more so that those who don't have medical insurance for whatever reason will have medical insurance;

I will have to pay more so that the children of poor parents can get a college education;

I will have to pay more to provide housing to the homeless;

I will have to pay more because companies will have to make it in America;

I will have to pay more simply because I can.

The rampaging herd crushes all I-rights in its path - the right to property, the right to free choice, the right to life...and now directly in its sight, the right to justice. The leader of the pack proclaims justice must take into account the separate colors and sizes and backgrounds of those it is judging. Lady Justice, he foolishly boasts, is not blind any more.

No, she's not. She's heading straight to oblivion, with the rest of the herd.

One forAll is the call,
I for Me is now Me for We,
One for One is done.

Read Anthem by Ayn Rand.


Lotta lotta talk these days about culture and changing culture and culture wars. I thought it would be worth investigating to see what all the fuss was about, and I began by seeing if I could find a precise definition of the word " culture." I was .particularly curious as to what the terms "American culture" and "Judaeo-Christian culture" are referring to?

Definitions abound. The one that seems to incorporate elements of a majority of the popular definitions is this one: "A set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterizes a group, institution or organization."

Problem #1. What does that mean?

What does "attitudes" mean? Attitudes about what? Justice? Freedom? Individualism? Sexuality? Homosexuality? Prostitution? Marriage? Family? Education? Sculpture?
Painting? Music? Crime? Society? Government? Etc. etc. etc.?

What does "values" mean? Compassion? Consideration? Benevolence? Rationality? Equality? Honesty? Integrity? Fairness? Etc. etc. etc.?

What does "goals" mean? Success? Wealth? Happiness? Longevity? Health?

What does "practices" mean? Social protocols? Religious rituals? Personal habits?

What does "shared" mean? Must everyone agree before it is considered "shared"? Is a majority enough? A plurality? To qualify as "shared," must it be generally agreed upon? Precisely to the last letter agreed upon? More or less agreed upon? Somewhat agreed upon? Vaguely agreed upon?

And agreed upon by whom? Every American, even if they live or are traveling abroad? Or only those physically in the United States? Including legal immigrants not yet citizens? What about illegal immigrants living here? Inmates in prison? On death row? Those in mental institutions?
Children? Over what age?

Problem #2. What if there is a conflict between a "value" and a "practice"? What if most people say that adultery is wrong but most married people have adulterous affairs? What becomes part of our culture? The value of faithfulness, or the acceptability of faithlessness?

Problem #3. Does a country's culture ever change? And if so, how? And by whom? Can it change suddenly or only over a period of time? What period? Can changes in our culture be impl emented by legislation? "Or only by voluntary choices made by free people?

Problem #4. Who is to answer these questions?

What do you say when some presumed pundit pontificates on a political issue like polygamy or same sex marriage or the torturing of terrorists and tells you that the answer can be found in the American or Judaeo-Christian culture or in our roots?

Ask him what the hell he's talking about?

And remind him that Judaeo and Christian attitudes, values, goals and practices sanctioned slavery, treated women as property like houses and farm animals, stoned infidels to death, approved of polygamy and concubines, smoked incense, did not prohibit prostitution, etc. etc. etc.

Enough said?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Linguistically, IN OUT, ON OFF, UP DOWN are like playful little rambunctious kids, jumping about, running off in all directions, doing their own thing, and having fun.

For example, we say:

I slowed UP, she slowed DOWN
I gave IN, he gave UP
I wrote it DOWN, he typed it UP
I cooled OFF, he cooled DOWN, she heated UP
I spoke UP and spit it OUT, she shut UP
They woke UP shortly after they had turned IN
He couldn't live DOWN what he had done when he had lived it UP
She chewed him OUT and put him DOWN
He was UP and DOWN on the issue, she was ON and OFF about it
He was told to bug OFF, but he bugged OUT
He worked OUT, she sat OUT, I hung OUT
She got DOWN from her high horse, he got OFF his
He is UP to page 84, she is DOWN to the last chapter
She tried OUT for the team but was left OFF
He never let ON she ticked him OFF when he was DOWN and OUT
The way it turned OUT, I got turned OFF when she turned UP and turned ON the charm and they turned me DOWN, so I turned IN

I'd be OUT of luck if I weren't ON to what they were UP to, which is why I am IN love with them so.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I attended a high school graduation recently and the speeches by both students and faculty exhorted the graduates to ardently pursue their careers, their dreams and success. And all of that is appropriate and welcomed.

But there was one glaring ingredient missing, one thing not mentioned at all and without which the other things will likely not mean everything they should It was the little word that gives a big kick to our lives: JOY.

The Random House Dictionary defines JOY as :

"the emotion of great delight caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying."

And like all other emotions that we experience, it is based on our evaluation of what we are perceiving.

For example: If two people are waiting for a bus and it is slow in coming, one may feel annoyance at the delay and perceive an inefficient transit system...and one could feel JOY, perceiving the delay as providing more time to gaze upon and admire the beautiful gardens in the park across the street. One perception will put a frown on your face, the other a smile; one suggests the world sucks, the other that it is wonderful.

It is clear, as my wise friend tells me, that JOY comes from within, that it is not something that can be given to you. The reality of the bus delay is the same for all. Whether you frown or smile is up to you, and it depends on a myriad of attitudes, values and priorities you have about yourself, what you are doing with your life, the beauty of nature, etc.

The great popularity of music, dance and the other arts attests to the great JOY we feel when experiencing them. They serve no other significant purpose in our lives.

Note that JOY is both a cause and effect. It is the effect of the sum of all our perceptions of what has happened to us before, all that we have thought before, and is an integral part of the cause of how we will feel about what happens tomorrow. Simply put: Smile today and you are motr likely to smile tomorrow.

When I was a child, my father would ask me when I went to bed what I knew then thatI didn't know that morning. It was his way of promoting in me the value of knowledge. It seems to have worked. There is a second question we would be well served to ask: What did you enJOY today that you have never enjoyed before?

Man has the capacity to think and plan long range, and it is appropriate for us to think of long range goals. But man also lives in the moment, and arguably the long range is but a collection of those moments The wise and happy man lives in the moment as well as looking to the future.

In this sense, JOY has been given a bum rap. It is generally thought of as only something momentary, transient, contrasted with the long range values of careers and hard work and success. But it is quite the reverse. JOY is what permits you to relish and savor your lifelong achievements and brings you nan's ultimate reward: happiness.

It is not surprising that the subject of JOY was absent from the high school graduatioon. What it is, where it comes from, its vital and enduring role in our lives, are subjects notoriously absent from school curriculums. Apparently, to today's educators, not considered worthy enough, important enough, for contemplation and study.

What did you enJOY today that you have never enjoyed before?

Thursday, June 18, 2009


As President of the United States I tell all Americans including illegal immigrants, although no one is illegal since we are a nation of immigrants and we are all immigrants and we are all equal under the law, that we face grave though not serious crises in the world today and I want to assure you that while no one can predict the future, we will overcome them.

We must be true to the founding principles of our great country, for it is they that set us apart. But we must remember that in the modern world, other countries, even our enemies, have their own founding principles they wish to be true to. And it is not in our interest, in the interest of peace and prosperity, that we be set apart. We must meet each other halfway and if that means redefining our principles,or writing new ones, so be it.

We must be firm but not stubbornly resolute, hard but not rigid, flexible but not pliable, conciliatory without conceding, willing to converse but not spout, assert without alleging, tell without revealing, negotiate without bargaining, differing and dissenting without disagreeing or being disagreeable, surrender without capitulation, submit without succumbing, change without deviating, altering but not varying, to some extent, but not not too little or too much, more or less, somewhat, sometimes, usually but not ofte, at times, generally. That is the only road to the future.

We are a nation of one for all and all for one, which after all is a nation where one by one we become all and all is one.

God bless each and every one of you and you all.


Are you as tired as I am of hearing the nonsensical "Every rule has an exception and it's the exception that proves the rule." The exception doesn't prove the rule, it proves that the rule is wrong.

If we have a rule that says "No human can fly" and then we see little 10 year old Johnny flying around like a bird, he doesn't prove the rule right, he proves it wrong.

The love affair with exceptions likely stems from a hatred of extremes and of being pinned down. Rules that are written in absolute terms, that seem to always apply, have no wiggle room, and if there is one thing most people seem to love it's wiggle room.


That is the mantra of the wrigglers.

The next time you hear someone voice the "Every rule has an exception..." rule, ask him if that rule has an exception.

If the answer is NO, then that rule is self-invalidating.

If the answer is YES, then there is a rule with no exception...and such a rule would then be a rule that cannot be proven to be right. Only the rules with exceptions can be. Remember?

To sum up: A rule that is always right can't be proven to be right, while a rule that is wrong can be.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


THE FIRST AND FINAL WAR, aka THE WAR FOR MAN'S MIND. It all began thousands of years ago with the admonition to Adam and Eve, "Do not eat from the Tree of Knowledge or you will surely die."

The cast was set. On one side, THE KNOWITS, those who craved knowledge about the mysteries of the world. They understood that the Universe was a knowable reality, that man had the capacity to know it, to shape it. They savored knowledge realizing it was the key to a more fulfilling, enriched and rewarding life. And they became advocates of Reason, Logic and Scientific Study.

On the other side, THE BELIEVERS, those who disdained the effort and commitment that the acquisition of knowledge entails. They equated knowing what was true with a mere belief of what was true. And their belief of what was true was rooted in blind acceptance of what they were told by others, on their feelings, and on the most casual observations of reality. (They even went so far as to suggest that perhaps reality was nothing more than a dream and that, in fact, there was nothing to know and no one to know it.)

It is interesting to note that in that first skirmish of the war in the Garden of Eden, the KNOWITS lost and were punished with a lifelong sentence of shame for wanting to know more. And the snake, the facilitator of knowledge, was made to crawl on the ground. Notice the derogatory way in which the term "snake" is used today to label someone as sinister and treacherous.

The battle lines were clear:

THE BELIEVERS accepted without proof, sought answers in an imagined world, accepted answers contradicting known knowledge, believed man requires revelations to know things, commanded obedience.

THE KNOWITS required proof before accepting, sought answers in the known world, rejected the arbitrary, knew it is man that reveals, questioned.

For 1,500 years, THE BELIEVERS reigned supreme. Fear, doubt, ignorance and despair enveloped mankind and plummeted the world into the appropriately-named Dark Ages, where it wallowed for 200 years.

And then the War turned. Perhaps because of the depths to which it had fallen, THE KNOWITS' message of hope and achievement resonated throughout much of the civilized world, and the Age of Enlightenment was born and with it came progress galore in medicine and technology and production and in the enrichment of human life.

Another 200 years has passed, the pendulum swings again, THE BELIEVERS are surging. Their rallying cries bellow out across the land and seas:

"You can't know anything for certain" (except presumably that)

"The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing" (including that?)

"What's true for you may not be true for me" (that's not true for me)

"What you don't know can't hurt you" (I didn't know that)

"Ignorance is bliss" (how do they know that?)

"Too much knowledge is a dangerous thing" (or that?)

The onslaught continues. THE BELIEVERS own many of the print, radio and tv media. They set the curriculums in academia. They are the preachers in the pulpits. They run governments and foster policies that are forced on all. They spawn terrorist groups and suicide bombers. Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung were BELIEVERS as is every other murdering, enslaving, dictator. And in an ultimate irony, THE BELIEVERS have redefined "I think" to mean "I believe" rather than "I know."

The attack on knowledge is serious and sinister. It is a frontal attack on man since it is his mind, its capabilities and potential, that is man's distinguishing characteristic. The mindless man, the man who accepts the belief that knowledge cannot be acquired or cannot benefit his life, is malleable and easily manipulated. And easily conquered.

Adam and Eve, it is said, were punished for seeking knowledge. Does that portend what will happen, again?

Sunday, June 14, 2009


A concept that has always intrigued and puzzled me is the concept of ownership, particularly as it is manifested by the word MY.

For example, what does it mean when I refer to MY real estate? Does that actually mean that I and I alone own a piece of the planet Earth? How far down from the surface do I own it, all the way to the molten center? And what does that mean? Can I do anything I want to do with it? Can I destroy it and leave a gaping 12,500 foot hole there? Can I give it as a gift to my pet dog, who now owns a piece of the Universe? Can the world really go to the dogs?

How did I get to own that property? I gave the prior owner some money for it? Where'd he get it? From a prior prior owner. How did the first owner get to own it? Who did he get it from? Or did he just declare "This MY property"? Is that enough to get to own property? If the Indians had said that, would they have owned all of America?

When I die, if I don't gift the property to someone it is owned by my estate...that is, a piece of the Earth is owned on behalf of someone who may be in Heaven!

And what about when I refer to MY face? Or MY arms, MY legs, MY heart, MY soul? Who is it that is speaking and claiming ownership to all those things? And who am I talking about when I use the word "I", as I just did? Or is the "I" the collection of all those things, and if so, why do I use the possessive word "MY" when referring to MY brain rather than the more accurate words
"I IS" in "I IS brain"?

And then there's the "MY wife" problem. She's not mine, I don't own her, do I? Shouldn't we more accurately say, "She IS the collection that has entered into a legal arrangement with the I collection"?

What about MY thoughts, MY feelings, MY beliefs? The I collection is not just tangible stuff, is it?

And a big one: MY God. In what conceivable or inconceivable way can it be said that the I collection owns an all powerful Supreme Being? And if it could, what would that make the collective?

My gosh!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Almost 100% of the time a "problem" is perceived in our country, that familiar and predictable call can be heard throughout the land: "There oughta be a law to take care of that." A law to restrict people from doing this, or a law forcing them to do that. You would think with all the laws we have adopted in the past 230 odd years, there would be no "problems" left, but 'taint the case.

I put the word "problem" in quotes because if we are going to pass laws based on the existence of one of them, it behooves us to know what them are. To most people I've ever heard, apparently, a problem exists when the world isn't functioning the way they would like it to function. Some people can't afford health care? Problem. Gas prices too high? Problem. People preferring foreign to American goods? Problem. With that subjective definition in tow, there will never be an end to perceived problems since human life is far too broad and complex for it ever to be totally working precisely the way you or I or anyone wants it to work.

But the real problem is in the identification of what is a "problem." The unique distinguishing feature of human nature is that we, and we alone, have the power to choose how to live our lives. And as long as our choices do not forcibly restrict the power of others to choose, we ought be free to do as we wish, and what happens happens. Choose to eat healthy food? Good. Choose to eat junk food? Good. The only soci0-political concern is when that freedom to choose is limited, restrained, restricted, abrogated, or threatened to be. It is then that the government should step in to assure that we each enjoy our natural power to choose. That is the government's sole responsibility. There is never a problem with the choices we make, and only a problem when we are not free to make them. It is the government that becomes the problem when it defaults on assuring us that freedom.

It is worth remembering that human life comes in only one form: the individual. People frequently think about and talk about corporations--particularly big corporations--as if they were another breed. But they arem't. They are individuals who have chosen to act in concert with other individuals in a corporate form. And whether we function as individuals or as members of a group or as a government, we remain individuals with no greater or lesser powers than we each individually have, and we should all be legally treated equally. That is the premise behind the "unalienable rights" pronounced by the Founding Fathers,

So, the next time someone is unhappy with the choices free people are making and bellows out "There oughta be a law to deal with that," tell 'em there already is such a law: the Constitution.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I was reading an article the other day about self-esteem and it talked about happiness as being man's ultimate goal, that self-esteem is crucial to happiness and that self-esteem all begins with the feeling that you are worthy of living.

Yeah, sure, like bugs all feel worthy of living and they've been around millions of years longer than we have and will probably be around for eons after we have extincted ourselves. But we're not bugs, you say? Oh, no? What then are we? We walk around this planet like we're big shots for awhile and then -bingo-we're gone forever. For eternity, no more. Nothing. And what are we when we're here? Even some of those who claim to have insight say that we're nothing but dust, from dust we came, to dust we shall return. That should give us a pile of self-esteem. Yeah!

And we are so dishonest. We have this very special brain, we say, with a way of thinking that's better than than every other living species' way of thinking. There are maybe 30 millions of species and we are numero uno, we think. That's where we've placed ourselves. Top of the heap! Why not? Can any other species solve algebraic equations? O recite an alphabet backwards? Or fly to the moon? We must be great!

But let truth be known...we don't know one thing more than the tiniest bug with the tiniest brain about life itself: What's the point of it all? How'd we get here? Who sent us here? Why are we here? Where do we go when we leave here?. We just love thinking about all these "deep" things, when truth be told we don't know know know the answer to any of them. Not think or believe or imagine or dream, but know know know.

And with regard to this wonderful brain of ours:

* it gives us the power to choose, and we frequently choose not to use it

* we often confuse facts with fiction

* we make logical flaws and fallacies, errors and mistakes

* we believe beliefs=reality

* we think because we want it to be so, it is so

* we live as if all of the above are not true.

Animals, on the other hand, except maybe for a lemming or two, are evolutionarily programmed to always do what is the right and best thing for them to do!

We study philosophy and psychology and sociology and theology and most of us wind up in mindless, uninspiring and unsatisfying work, suffering from despair, disappointment and disillusion. Happiness is our professed goal but it is the rooster that crows each morning.

We've come up with open heart surgery and kidney transplants and drugs drugs drugs for every human ailment, disease and condition, real or imagined, and our life expectancy is 75 years...the turtle's is 100 (do they have shell transplants?) and it's a whopping 220 years for the deep sea clam. We wouldn't last ten seconds in a fight with a big cat, a polar bear can smell its prey 20 miles away and we can barely tell which way the wind is blowing. And despite pesticides of deadly force, it is the cockroach that is winning the war...and it and not us that would survive a nuclear holocaust. Some numero uno!

We talk up a good storm about justice and virtue and decency but in fact no two of us would define any of those terms the same way, nor agree how they should be applied, nor in fact do we usually think of them when making decisions in our lives. We often say one thing and do another. Power corrupts, we say, but we want it; money is the root of evil but we'll do most anything t get all we can; we preach humanity but when push comes to shove, we often treat humans like... like, bugs.

It's all a joke, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


The error in the concept of eminent domain begins with its name. Neither the word "eminent", meaning prominent or preemptive, nor "domain", meaning territory over which absolute dominion is exercised, properly applies to the government and your private property. The Founding Fathers were dead wrong when they granted the government the power of eminent domain in the Constitution.

Your inalienable right to life inextricably includes your right to acquire, use and dispose of property as you and you alone desire. My alleged needs...the public's alleged needs...have NO proper claim on your property. Your rights cannot morally be made the subject of a forced sale AT ANY PRICE. The government, as is true for everyone, must deal with through your unique human power: your power to choose. To deny you a choice to sell your property or not, is to remove you from the human race and dump you into the animal kingdom. Where there are no rights.

I am tired of hearing the constant and inappropriate sanctification of the Founding Fathers. Their idea of centering our country around the sovereignty of the individual, rather than around a group or the government, was enlightened. And daring. For that wisdom alone they are deserving of honor and praise.

But they were not omniscient nor error proof. They countenanced slavery, they relegated women to second class citizenship, they attributed our rights to an unknown, unknowable god rather than to our visible and knowable nature. And they erred by granting the government the power to alienate our inalienable rights via misnamed eminent domain.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


The most frequently asked and unanswered question in the world is: "What is the meaning of life?" It is sometimes asked as "What is the purpose of life?", and though the words are different, the question remains at its core the same. "What is it all about? Why are we here? Is there a substance, a significance, to our lives beyond what we can see?" are all the same question. Who hasn't wondered about the meaning of life and felt somewhat dismayed and lost in the absence of a clear cut answer?

I began my quest for an answer by examining what people do...unique things that are done by humans, and humans the hope that the meaning of life may be found in the doing of life. Here is my list:

We discern beauty in the Universe.

We fashion our own identities.

We contemplate the unknown.

We poetically and musically express our feelings.

We care for other species.

We invent and create new beauty.

We celebrate.

What, I wondered, what the world be like without us, without the glorious arts and spirituality and devotion and honor and romance...and candlelights and helping hands and smiles?

Man is traditionally thought to be the last Creation for it is only man that perceives the world in all its splendor. There would be no rainbow without a human eye to see it, a human heart to adore it, a human soul to be exhilarated by it. Without man, things would be only what they are...a tree, a cloud, a waterfall, a sunset. With man, they become exquisite things of grandeur, and wonder, evoking feelings of significance and importance to existence...and to the treasure of the moment.

The answer to the eternal question is clear:


Saturday, June 6, 2009


Twi judicial rules:

Under the 5th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, no person shall "be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself."

The judicial subpoena power allows a judge to order someone to testify in a case involving another party if that person's testimony is thought to be relevant to the case.

So a person may be forced to testify against others but not against himself. From where I sit, those two basics of American jurisprudence are clearly contradictory.

The classic reasoning given for the rule against self incrimination is that it precludes a government from using abusive kangaroo court tactics to obtain confessions and convictions by making those confessions unreliable and inadmissible. But if that reasoning is valid, then it ought also be applied to preclude the government from using abusive tactics to obtain subpoenas.
And if subpoenas are believed to eliminate the abuse problem, why doesn't it also do so in regard to self incrimination?

Interesting, too, that our system excludes spouses from having to testify against each other. Justice, apparently, is not as socially important as happy marriages. Other family relations and friendships are not so protected and vulnerable to the subpoena power.

It is argued by some that no one with relevant information regarding a case involving a third party could have any moral reason to withhold such information...that the failure to testify as to known facts could contribute to an injustice being perpetrated in the courtroom. and make the person refusing to testify a contributor to that injustice. If that is so, which it appears to be, why does that argument not override the 5th Amendment? If we advocate, and herald the glory of, justice, should we not want it for ourselves as well?

The resolution of the self incrimination/subpoena contradiction is this:

We are each free and the government has no right to force us to do anything other than as punishment for a criminal conviction. ANYTHING.

Freedom is an absolute, or we are not free.

No moral goal can be obtained at the cost of our freedom, no matter how noble, how desirable, that goal may seem to be.

The government solution to every perceived problem must be made with the protection of our freedom, and not the abuse or limitation of it. No exceptions.

The subpoena power must go.

Friday, June 5, 2009


I have been thinking lately of how life has changed since my childhood some three score and eighteen years ago. Many changes...high speed travel via jet supersonic planes, expansion of worldwide human contact via television and the Internet, the explosion of many social constraints, and more...are readily visible and significant. But what is of interest to me is a much greater subtle change that has taken place, a consuming change with seemingly endless manifestations and Earth-shaking effects .

It is thet transformation of the world from a mind-centered, contemplative, spiritual focus to that of a body centered, physical, sexual one.

Think of learning. When I was a child, studying the ways of ancient tribes and peoples was of interest in and of itself. We wanted to know all we could about those that had come before us...they were our ancestors, our history. And we wanted to know about their lives and the civilizations they had created not because it would help us to get a job and make more money and acquire more things... but to fill a hunger we had in our minds to learn all we could about precious life and the beautiful world we lived in. The payoff for knowledge was in our souls not our pocketbooks.

Human virtues of honor and respect and compassion and benevolence and honesty and justice were of paramount value because each individual life was of paramount importance. We cared that others were well. We stooped to lend a helping hand. We smiled in recognition of those we passed on the street --recognition that the glory of human life related us. And whether one believed a god had created all life, or not, was not the issue. Human life was considered to be holy, in its secular meaning of worthy of devotion and respect.

And because of that, we dealt with each other differently.
We talked with each other. We wrote letters to each other. Telephones were answered by humans, not machines. And we listened. What other people knew was something that we might benefit from knowing, what other people believed might be worth our considering.

The music we enjoyed was mostly soft and melodic, with words that expressed feelings of tenderness and beauty. The dances we danced were joyful and loving. Today, the music is blaring, raucous, with words of anger and unrest. The dances are sexually explicit gyrations meant to provoke and inflame. The physical rules.

We know why the use of drugs in our society is rampant. It is because the quick temporary physical fix drugs may offer is seen as of greater import than the inevitable long term mental anguish and despair the drugs bring with them. The physical outscores the mental.

Success in life in the past was measured by how well a life had been honorably and nobly and humanely a life had been lived. Wealth and celebrity and power were not the measure of a man, as they are today. The size of his heart was!

I forever believe that what distinguishes us from all else is our minds and our souls. They are deserving of primacy in our lives. Again.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


and YOU
and YOU and YOU
and YOU and YOU and YOU

are a society

which has no greater rights
no greater powers
no greater entitlements
than do

and YOU
and YOU and YOU
and YOU and YOU and YOU

Monday, June 1, 2009


I SUSPECT most television reality shows are not totally reality, but are manipulated by show producers, when deemed propitious, to increase the number of viewers and advertising revenues.

I SUSPECT the amount of self-esteem a person has directly correlates with the amount of courage he or she has.

I SUSPECT that most Americans still believe America is a democracy where majority rules, when that form of political system is nothing more than bullyish mob rule.

I SUSPECT that the price that has fallen the most during my lifetime is the price at which most people would sell their souls.

I SUSPECT nothing distinguishes people more than their love of, or lack of love of, mathematics.

I SUSPECT the human species will one day be extinct, made so by cataclysmic nuclear miscalculation.

I SUSPECT the reason why there is no reason logical reasoning is not taught in our public schools is that if there were a reason not to teach it, that would be the most powerful reason to teach it.

I SUSPECT some of us have died and don't know it, which is the way it is, after all.

I SUSPECY one day soon sex will have had its day and man's prime desire will be chocolate lattes topped with whipped cream.

I SUSPECT if there is another dimension to which we go after we die, it does not have automated phone calls.

I SUSPECT caveman had the best of it -- no jobs, no money cares or concerns, no shaving, no traffic, no alimony, lots of fresh air and sitting around bonfires, and the freedom to spend abundant time communimg with nature and contemplation.

I SUSPECT that spanking a child is one of the vilest human actions since it teaches a child that violence is an appropriate way to achieve goals, that prior proclamations of love are of little value, and it fails to teach the child what the child needs to know: why the actions that spurred the spanking were improper.

I SUSPECT that worrying about every little thing in your life ultimately gives you something important to worry about: your mental health.

I SUSPECT that many of us don't know what our lives are all about because they aren't.

I SUSPECT most people say both "I love you" and "Go to hell" far too quickly.

I SUSPECT that one day cats will evolutionarily come to realize how smart they are and rule the world, which they already do in some households.