Saturday, October 31, 2009


My mind
One of a kind
I cannot find

Do as we say, my parents did remind
Do as we all wish, it has been signed
Do as God commands
And divines

Our lives are intertwined, they opined
They must be wined and dined
And I resigned
Or I left behind

So I was benign
To those who would my arms bind
I surrendered what I mined
Smiling under the grind

My vision declined
My spirit confined
My being misaligned
With Hell's despair entwined

My mind
One of a kind
I cannot find



We are a civilization addicted to noise, and a civilization that derogatorily designates the lover of quiet as an antisocial recluse, a thoughtless fool, a studious nerd, an iconoclast, a rebel, a religious ascetic, an eccentric, standofish, recluse. I proudly wear all those labels.

The past 50 years has significantly swelled global noise. Television sets blast away even with no one watching ("keep the set on, robbers will think there's someone home", "I feel lonely without the tv on"). Advertisers grab your attention with high-pitched blaring announcements of pending sales and giveaways rather than with facts about their product. Cell phones have people talking while walking, while driving, while sitting in hospital waiting rooms. Rock and roll, hip hop and other modern music genres are premised on screaming vocals and electronically amplified sounds. Motion pictures have turned to explosive mindblowing ear-shattering acoustics to lure your attention and your dollar. The two minutes of silent thought or prayer to honor the fallen, in my youth, has been shortened to one fleeting moment..."let the games and the noise begin."

I know that noise can philosophically be associated with the physical in our world...and quiet associated with the thoughtful and spiritual. It is difficult to be in touch with your inner self amidst clamor, racket, uproar, pandemonium. Quiescence is the quintessential need of the human mind, and the human soul.

Throughout the centuries, the pendulum has swung from one sphere of our lives to the other. One or the other has dominated, when ideally both are a vital part of, and contributor to, the beauty of our lives. Today, the pervasive attention by so many on the physical in our lives, coupled with the ascendant use of mind-numbing drugs, makes me wonder: When and how will the pendulum start to swing again?

Friday, October 30, 2009


What seems like 100 years ago, Vaughn Monroe, Frankie Laine and a few others sang a catchy and popular song, Ghost Riders in the Sky. But it wasn't the tune that has haunted me all these years, but the meaning lurking in its lyrics:

An old cowpoke went riding out one dark and windy day
Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way
When all at once a mighty herd of red eyed cows he saw
A-plowing through the ragged sky and up the cloudy draw

Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel
Their horns were black and shiny and their hot breath he could feel
A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky
For he saw the Riders coming hard and he heard their mournful cry

Their faces gaunt, their eyes were blurred, their shirts all soaked with sweat
They're riding hard to catch that herd, but they ain't caught 'em yet
'Cause they've got to ride forever on that range up in the sky
On horses snorting fire, as they ride on hear their cry

As the riders loped on by him he heard one call his name
If you want to save your soul from Hell a-riding on our range
Then cowboy change your ways today or with us you will ride
Trying to catch the Devil's herd, across these endless skies

Civilization has developed and shaped most of us into a herd of Riders forever chasing a herd of cows...whatever they may be: fame, fortune, power. The chase is a tedious and tiring one (their faces gaunt, their eyes were blurred, their shirts all soaked with sweat)...and for most, an unsuccessful one (but they ain't caught 'em yet). Better change your ways, the song warns or you, too, will become an eternal Ghost Rider (trying to catch the Devil's herd across these endless skies).

What are we chasing? The greatest value is life itself, and that each of us already has. The intoxications of life...the bounties of life...sights, sounds, aromas, textures, music, beauty, love, serenity, spirituality...are always at hand. They abide within us, they abound around us. If we don't take the moment to stop and rest atop the ridge, to gaze without and within, to contemplate and to feel to the depths of our soul, then we are destined to a life of mournful cries.

It is a haunting song.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


If you do not see the beauty of a blank scroll, you have nothing to inscribe on it.

Temptation addresses your soul, embrace it.

We are each more than we seem to be, less than we can be, and always what we choose to be.

Knowing what is irrelevant is most relevant.

If a rainbow could speak, why would it?

A man is never alone, his soul walks astride him, whither he goes.

A wise man knows he cannot love and lose.

The serene soul sees only serene skies.

The majesty of the eagle emerges when it soars above and beyond where it can walk, and so, too, man.

Where you arrive is a matter not of an unchosen destiny but of a chosen destination.

The wise man savors the known and relishes the unknown.

It has been said that life is a dream; if so, dream on.

Virtue and beauty are as critical to our being as is the beating heart.

The scholar is a warrior, too, fighting for what is right with a sword of curiosity.

Remember that we are just around the bend from what is just around the bend.

Welcome the stranger for we are all on the same journey, though we take different paths.

The greatest miracle of all is to be in the Universe.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Imagine that 2 + 2 = 2 in the Normadic religion, based on a statement in its Whispers of the Wind that says: "Two shall forever be as one, and the One shall be as Two."

Imagine that 2 + 2 = 5 in the Rhapsodic religion, based on a statement in its Book of Divine Wisdom that says: "Take 2 handfuls of grapes from the vine and 2 handfuls of oats from the field and you will be blessed fivefold."

Imagine that 2 + 2 = 6 in the Cascadic religion based on a statement in its Scroll of the Ethereal that says: "Two by two shall ye go, but three by three shall ye returneth."

Imagine that 2 + 2 = 16 in the Ethna religion, based on a statement in its Lymarcus Fatis that says: "Two eyes of the dove and two eyes of the hawk can see the 16 sectors of the soul."

Imagine that 2 + 2 = 4 in the mind of a 5-year old child based on what she can see.

Imagine that!

Friday, October 23, 2009


A super liberal Congressman was asked by a reporter "Where in the Constitution does it say the Government has the power to mandate that we all have health insurance?" The answer given was "No one questions that anymore."

Good question, no answer. Obviously, any first day student of our country would know that the Government does not derive its powers by the silence and implied acquiescence of the people. At least that is not the way the Founders intended it to be. which is why they included this unequivocal language:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

What we are seeing in Washington today is the unprecedented dictatorial grabbing of power by a political horde that outright rejects this country's very basic ideals and considers nothing outside its grasp. Automobile company not doing well? Take it over. Banking industry hurting? Take it over. Insurance companies charging too much? Take them over. CEO's earning too much? Limit their pay. People drinking too much soda to our liking? Tax them. People having more than one child? Sterilize them. Older people needing medical care? Let them die.

By what authority do they do this? By the ridiculous, inane, stupid and untrue "nobody argues about that anymore."

It is not surprising that the Administration has sought to cultivate silence in this country by launching a smear campaign against those who do speak out against its unAmerican activities...and it has gone so far as to label them "the enemy." (A label to be worn with pride.) If they are successful in shutting up everyone who disagrees with them, they will then, I guess, claim total acquiescence with their radical agenda...and move forward even faster and further. If there ever was a time to speak out, it is now.

Hold onto your hats, ladies and gentlemen, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


If, indeed, the proverbial wisdom that "you are what you eat" is true, then cannibals have the best diets on the planet since you should logically and enthusiastically eat what you want to be and I don't think many of us want to be cows or pigs or ducks or snails.

After all, do not pregnant women eat hamburgers to enhance their breastfeeding capabilities? Are not Olympic swimmers known to gorge on fish to increase their speed and improve underwater endurance? Why do skydivers tend to favor duck soup and eagle salads?

The Obama Administration, which came to power calling for change in America, may soon act to legalize the practice of eating other humans with the view of making America healthier, reducing health care costs and aiding its economic recovery program.

Farfetched you think? I don't. The Administration has already talked about "death panels" that will withhold medical care from the elderly who are seriously ill. It has floated the idea that special benefits be given to couples who have no more than one child, on the theory that the air humans exhale contains carbon dioxide that is polluting and warming the planet. A well known super liberal has called for the outright murder of millions on the ground the planet is overpopulated. Can the reinstatement of cannibalism be far behind?

Of course, Congressional hearings will be held to discuss and hopefully resolve some of these meaty issues:

Will mixed cannibalism be permitted...that is, will whites be permitted to eat blacks, and vice versa?

If a white does eat a black, is he still white or is he now black?

Will you be guilty of discrimination if you eat only those of a certain gender or age or religion?

Will you be permitted to eat only humans already dead, on the theory that an individual's right to life guaranteed by the Constitution gives him freedom from feasting while he is alive, but expires when the individual expires?

Will we all have to have tattoos detailing our sugar content, iron deficiency and nondigestable implants?

Will fast food chains be allowed to offer family discounts... "eat two members of the same family and the third member is free"?

Though stories of cannibalism go back to the Bible and it is often thought to have been engaged in only by a few remote uncivilized tribes, in fact it has been practiced in China, Russia, North Korea and other civilized countries as recently as World War II.

Will "what do you want for dinner?" be soon replaced by "who do you want for dinner?"...?

Monday, October 19, 2009


I am not an economist. Quite the reverse: I do not like the subject nor do I like talking about it. I think of myself as a logician... someone that deals with the rules and tenets of sound thinking and proof by reasoning. I would like to utilize logic in the examination of the cuurent depressed state of our economy and the efforts of the Obama administration to cure it.

I heard a very very successful businessman being interviewed on television the other day and he repeatedly argued "It's all about jobs. If people are working and making a living, they will buy the things they want to make their lives more comfortable, more enjoyable, that will spur the production of goods and services and will propel the economy to recovery."

That makes sense to me. But the question I have is this: How do we get people jobs? Unless the Government goes out and directly creates jobs, as FDR did in the 1930's to get the country out of The Great Depression, what can the Government do to spur private industry to create new jobs? The creation of jobs is not a primary. It is the effect of something else. What?

Confidnce. When people feel generally optimistict that their future and the future of the country is bright, and are optimistic that today's problems, some of which there always will be in life, can be and will be soon overcome, and that new opportunities abound and wealth to be made. they will seek to be a part of that future and partake in that wealth...and create new jobs to help them do so.

Let's see what the Administration is doing:

1. Running up the country's deficit to astronomical levels, which we all know, despite the usual protestations to the contrary, will result in increased taxes and a burden on the possibility of future success.

2. Repeatedly stressing the terrible state of virtually every segment of the economy...including financial institutions, the automobile industry, manufacturing, and our health care system, perhaps the best in the world, etc. In other words, rooting the country in a climate of negativity.

3. Wantonly turning over billions of dollars to mismanaged, unprofitable, companies, and restraining profitable companies by limiting executive pay, restraining profitable outsourcing, and mandating employee benefits.

4. Looking to take over more and more of our business enterprises despite being the most inefficient bureaucracy in the world.

5. Showing indecisiveness about the war against terrorism, seeming not to have the will to do what has to be done to win it.

6. Reducing our missile defense systems, keeping open borders, and contemplating the elimination of the most powerful weapons that shield our freedom.

7. Scaring the country into giving it greater powers with questionable claims of global warming and pending disasters.

8. Destroying our individual right to make our own choices in life.

9. Polarizing the country by accusing those who disagree with them of being racists.

10. Apologizing for our actions despite the fact that America has contributed more, by any measure, to the safety and freedom and well being of the world than all other nations of the world combined.

Confidence builders? Confidence killers?

The very very successful businessman was right. It's all about jobs. And unless and until the Obama Administration reverses the negative climate it promotes, and does its job of restoring Americans' pride and confidence in themselves and their future, our economic recovery will be slow and very painful.

Friday, October 16, 2009


This is my 100th post to this blog and when I saw that number come up on the screen,I felt a bit proud about reaching a milestone, that this was an accomplishment worthy of celebration. And that made me wonder why we don't tend to feel that way virtually every day about many things in our lives.

We humans have the unique capacity to think and plan long range, and to set substantial and life benefitting long range goals. That ability is a powerful one that enables us to attain values in our lives that might be outside our reach if we could only think short range. The squirrel cannot build a dynamo.

I have to wonder, however, whether our focus on our long range goals has blinded us and numbed us to our short term accomplishments, and has contributed to our general failure to celebrate them.

For example: Our long range goal is to establish a successful company that will market worldwide and that will make us wealthy. After 6 years, we are marketing in the U.S. and Italy only and we are netting $175,000 annually...a measure of success, but still a way from our long term goals. How do we feel...unhappy that our company hasn't grown as swiftly as we would have liked, frustrated at our inability to more quickly establish ourselves in the global marketplace, secretly embarrassed that we cannot afford a larger home or send our children to private school? Or, pleased with our success to date, happy to be the main support of a healthy and loving family that eats 3 square meals a day and has a comfortable roof over their heads at night, and proud to be an independent and free spirit pursuing our dream?

Many goals are prematurely abandoned because of our failure to identify and take pride in the triumphs achieved along the way. Seemingly unrewarded effort can impel us to turn away from our most treasured dreams. And the reverse is equally true. Feelings of accomplishments along the way can fuel our drive for the journey ahead.

Humans can think of the path ahead. And that is a blessing. But we can also contemplate the path we have travelled and be proud of the distance we have come...and that may he the greatest blessing of all.

So, this is post 100 and I am celebrating. What can you celebrate today?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Ever notice that when we react to something said or done to us in an unusually angry or extreme way , we tend to say things like, "I don't know why I reacted that way, that wasn't really me, I have to get back to being myself."

Ha! Of course it was you. It is always you. It may not be part of the dominant side of the character and personality you exhibit, but no matter how small, it is still a part of you. Who else was it? How many people are living under that skin of yours, eh?

So why then the obviously transparent attempts to deny ownership of and responsibility for those extreme and unusual reactions? Three reasons quickly come to mind, though I am certain there are many others:

1. Image. We present a certain image to others, presumably one that socially works and we resist showing that that image, though substantially true, is not totally true. We fear it will cost us to reveal those socially-undersirable attributes of ourselves.

2. Self Esteem. We dislike what those reactions say negatively about us and we refuse to face the reality that there, in fact, things about our character, that do not meet our own standards and shakes our self love.

3. Privacy. We enjoy having aspects of ourselves that only we know, aspects that lay hidden to even those who know us best. It gives us a sense of individuality and secret pleasure in knowing the unknown. And it is disturbing to us when one or more of those aspects are illuminated and the veils that hide them torn asunder.

But it is critically valuable to us to readily acknowledge to ourselves, if not to others, the totality of who we are, for to fail to do so is to anchor our psychology on shaky ground. In simplest terms, how can we understand ourselves if we do not acknowledge all of who we are?

And if we do not understand ourselves by admitting the totality of what constitutes our character and temperament and psychological makeup:

Are we not destined to make uninformed and unwise decisions for ourselves? Yes.
How do we fix aspects of ourselves if we do not see them as broken? We can't.
How do we find the confidence and courage to make this glorious journey of life, if not within our true selves? We don't.

"Resolve to be thyself; and know that he who finds himself, loses his misery"...Matthew Arnold

"The ideal is in thyself, the impediment too is in thyself"...Thomas Carlyle

"He who knows others is learned; He who knows himself is wise"...Lao-Tzu

Remember, too, that trying to deceive YOURSELF is ultimately an exercise in futility...YOURSELF already knows the truth.


The super liberal administration in Washington, DC proposes to place a tax on soda in an attempt to dissuade us from drinking soda and protect us from the "harmful" sugar it contains. A similar tax on fast food hamburgers and other products have been talked about.

The super liberals obviously have never studied the Constitution and my unalienable right to pursue my happiness my way, and not their way. "Unalienable" is a good word here because it is alien to the spirit of America that I be punished and forfeit my property (money) for exercising my rights. And since many of those super liberals believe my unalienable rights are God-given, how do they think God feels about and will respond to their burdening His creation and violating His wishes?

The super liberals obviously never learned, or have forgotten, that humans are a species with the unique and glorious capacity to CHOOSE, and that any constraints put on that capacity by others, including the government, is a direct assault on my nature as a human being and on my life.

The super liberals do not understand that the proper function of our government is to protect us FROM OTHERS, not FROM OURSELVES. They seek to demote you from master of your fate and captain of your soul, to obedient deckhand.

Taking away my unrestricted right to choose converts me to quasi-animal status. But animals are endowed with instincts to direct their actions, I am not...and since choices must be made about my life, if I am restrained from making them, someone must make them for me. And that is what the super liberals propose to do, utilizing the force of government to impose their will on my life.

I heard a discussion yesterday between some television commentators, one a Conservative, one a super liberal, and their only disagreement was how dangerous the choice we are making must be before the government ought step in and make it for us. The Conservative thought the government ought step in if the choice is a "really dangerous" one. The super liberal thought the government ought make any choice if it "enhances our well being." Both don't think we are smart enough, nor sould we be free enough, to make all choices for ourselves.
Woof, woof!

And both are on the same side, waging an internal war of terror against us that may, in the end, prove more dangerous and potent than the one being waged against us from abroad.

Monday, October 12, 2009


The sign on the store window said "It is against the law to buy cigarettes for a minor."

Presumably that is because there are 19 major carcinogens in cigarette smoke and smoking is a major risk factor in heart attacks, strokes, cgronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema and cancer...because it increases the risks of miscarriages and premature births, erectile dysfunction and impotence...because it can cause harmful genetic mutations...because nicotine is addictive and can cause physical and psychological dependency...because it can reduce life expectancy, according to some studies, by up to 10 years...because it is alleged by the World Health Organization to cause up to 5,000,000 deaths worldwide annually...the equivalent of 6 World Trade Center disasters every day!

OK, those are good reasons to make cigarettes available to minors, who are the age to consent to assuming those risks. But here is my question: If it is socially and legally acceptable for adults to purchase and use hazardous cigarettes, why is it illegal for them to purchase and use marijuana and other hard drugs, or to sell them to other adults?

My view is that a mature person ought be free to put into his body what he or she wishes, and that includes hard drugs. But, alas, consistency has never been a government virtue. And that is because, for the most part, government does not act on principles but avt, surprise!, for political reasons and interests, which pulls it in conflicting and contradictory ways. Representatives from tobacco growing states, who wish to get reellected, do not seek to ban the sale of cigarettes. Tax collection agencies relish the huge sum of taxes that is a sizable part of the cost of tobacco products. Hard drugs are ungodly, say Bible belt officials, who probably would support the banning of those devilish ciggies. As perhaps will President Obama, who might be inclined to ban cigarettes to help reduce health care costs in our country. Except, of course, he is an inveterate smoker.

"Push comes to shove" is an apt expression for our unprincipled law-making process.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Let's remember that our first President was a military man. It was understandable that the Founding Fathers, knowing George Washington would be elected President, would include a provision in the Constitution making the President the Commander in Chief of the military.

Washington had been Commander in Chief. As were Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ulysses S. Grant. None of our other Presidents held that rank in the military. Nine other Presidents were lower ranking Generals, 19 others served at below General ranks, and 13 Presidents, including Barack Obama, never served in the military at all.

So what makes Obama qualified to be Commander in Chief and make critical military decision about required troop levels and strategy, as he is now doing in regard to the battle lines in Iraq and Afghanistan? If he and other non-General Presidents and Secretaries of Defense are so qualified, we ought shut down West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy and other military training institutions.

As political leader, the President should be the one to set the mission and to decide on war, with the consent of the Senate. But once that decision is made, the operation of the war should be placed in the hands of the military. That is what they have been trained to do, and it is in our interest to let them do it. Only our most trained and best military minds should be leading the way through the hell of war.

The traditional reluctance to place military controls in the hands of the military rather than in the hands of civilians, is misguided. It is placing those controls in the hands of the untrained and inexperienced that is the source of my concern.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Ever notice that when someone is telling you about a discussion or debate or argument he (or she) had with a third party, or telling you about something that third party did, almost always the third party is presented not just as being wrong, but as being stupid?

I have to think that the popularity of the stupidity attitude suggests that it makes the teller of the story feel good...or, at least, better. The classic explanation is that there is a see-saw effect: by pushing the other guy down, you indirectly push yourself up.

I am not sure, however, why that would work here. First, it entails my thinking that I am a member of a species that is mostly stupid ...which doesn't say much for my human genealogy. And secondly, all it would mean is that I am smarter than some dumb guys... which doesn't give me much of a boost since I already know that.

Without the slightest bit of study or research in the field,
I have a completely different view. A reverse view. I think that the prime reason we categorize others as stupid is because, down deep somewhere in the recesses of our souls, every once in a while, without warning, the thought crosses our mind that maybe we're not as smart as we make ourselves out to be. When we look around, others often seem to be more successful in their careers, presumably make more money than we do, and generally seem happier than we do. They seem more content with life, seem to be having a better time of it.

And those are not good feelings to carry around. So we roll out the stupidity attitude: "Can you believe someone would say that, believe that, feel that way? I thought he was smarter than that. Who's being stupid now?"

And that erases the negative thought I may occasionally have about myself, the one I push under the carpet and don't wish to confront, and levels the playing field. Now, that does make me feel better. Much better. Whew!

Make you feel better, too?


So, someone tried to extort 2 million dollars from David Letterman under threat of revealing to the public details about Letterman's sexual affairs with members of his staff. Letterman reported the extortion attempt to the police, and the man was criminally charged. On his television show, Letterman acknowledged having such affairs.

Now, I myself am not convinced the attempted extortion is criminal since, presumably, telling the truth about a celebrity...something done every day and night by gossip reporters for protected under free speech. But that is not my focus in this post.

My focus today is this: Who is the guilty party? Who is it that is engaging in unseemly behavior that triggered this event?

Letterman, for having sexual encounters with coworkers and/or subordinates? No, presumably everything was done voluntarily by all parties concerned.

Letterman, for apparently being sexually active? No, sounds healthy to me.

The extorter, for trying to make money in what many would say is a dishonorable way? No, unless you also say that all those gossip and sensationalistic television shows and magazines are equally dishonorable.

So who is the guilty party?

You. Not you individually, but You the Public that cares about, relishes hearing about, is voyeuristic about, other people's private sexual activities. Shut off the light when it's you under the covers, eh?...but turn up the spotlight when its someone well known. Who's he doing it with? What does he like doing? How often does he do it? Gotta know, gotta know, gotta know.

We have a litany of words to describe the activities of those who "overindulge" in the activity almost all of us would love to overindulge in: licentious, lewd, lascivious, lecherous, libidinous, lustful, libertine, carnal, debauched, profligate, ribald, dissolute. They are meant to be negative words, but they continue to titillate most of us. Sexual stories were understandably titillating to us when we were young teenagers because sex was new and provocative to us at that time. But we've all grown up, haven't we?

I, myself, don't give one whit as to who Letterman, Clinton, Edwards and all the rest of them sleep with, and care only about how well they do their jobs. Sex involves private parts...underline private. The public would be well advised to keep it that way.