Friday, December 3, 2010


Questions I have only recently asked myself for the first time:

What does "In God we trust" mean? And what does it have to do with our money?

Why do we say "I'll be a monkey's uncle" when we are very surprised? Does that mean our brother or sister had sex with a monkey?

What does "e pluribus unum" for all or all for one...or neither?

Who are "the wretched refuse" the Statue of Liberty beckons?

Which President would rather have been right?

Should you really "act as if there is no tomorrow" when at age 30 you've been proven wrong 10,950 consecutive times?

If happiness is derived from the attainment of values, and life is the greatest and ultimate value, why aren't we all happy?

Weren't we better off when we knew less and spent more time wondering?

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I carve soap. The largest bars of soap I can find are 12 oz, about 2 by 3 by 4 inches in size. So the objects, people and events I carve can be thought of as small, but they are very large to me...they express my sense of life.

The Burial Mask of King Tut...who reigned for 10 years in Egypt some 3,500 years ago. I wasn't quite sure why I had chosen to carve the mask unti I had almost completed it. It was not just its beauty, but the fact that that long ago, when people presumably knew so little, they were so advanced in creating works of art: simple exquisite expressive beauty.

A Fiddler on the Roof...projects the idea that one solitary individual, though precariously perched, can draw attention, can make a difference, can change the world for the better.

Michelangelo's Painting og God's Hand Reaching Out to Touch Adam's Hand...there is a force in the world, whatever form it is, that empowers man if he is in touch with it, and moves the world.

Moonlit Treed Glade...a soul's need for serenity, tranquility.

A honor the bovine family, of which I have been a part for the past two years, a cow valve having been implanted to keep my heart beating properly.

Mark Twain...figure representing the blending of wisdom and humor, of iconoclastic rebellion and joy of living.

Caged Black Panther with Chimpanzee Standing Atop...fierce gnarling fanged-exposed beast and smiling, peaceful ancestor. Is this the ultimate choice: natural blessed freedom or enraged restraint?

Waterfall...the force providing to us what we need, in roaring abundance.

Ancient Water Pot...golden container, spout, to behold in everyday simpler things.

Treasure Chest...small and beautiful, to reflect the value of monetary wealth and fortune, and the true worth of those riches.

The Dead Sea Scrolls...the passing along of ancient wisdom.

The force speaks to us, and we respond, in art.

What do these say?

Samson Tearing down the Temple
The Mayflower
Space Shuttle Liftoff
Albert Einstein
Devil's Face, smiling
St. Basil's Cathedral
Female-figured Drinking Glass
Monk Candlestick Holder
Indian Chief/Buffalo Nickel

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


My brother asked me to give a medical examination to our medical industry.

Once healthy and robust, admired as the best in the world, America's health care system is teetering on the edge of fatality. The decline began, I believe, in what seemed innocent, even progressive, at the time. Fifty or so years ago, juries began awarding humongous awards to patients who had been injured, mistreated, in some way by their physicians. Based on an untenable standard of virtual perfection, which few if any physicians could consistently meet, jury awards skyrocketed into the millions.

To protect against the possibility of losing all their accumulated money, physicians turned to insurance companies and malpractice policies. As the awards continued to increase, so did the malpractice insurance premiums. To offset those increases, physicians began to raise fees...easy to do since doctors' fees are rarely discussed with patients before the medical services are rendered. Higher medical fees triggered a substantial increase in the number of people buying health insurance policies to pay the costs of catastrophic illness, and then to pay for all medical services, blood tests, etc. Physicians, who once looked solely to patients for payment of their fees, now had to deal with insurance companies and all of the record keeping and documentation and reporting that the insurance companies required. Their costs mounted, their fees followed suit. Ill people being turned away because the physician does not accept their insurance. The medical profession had transformed into the medical industry.

Compounding the problem, as it always will, was the intrusion of government into this aspect of our lives. Increases in longevity meant greater number of people covered by medicare, medicaid and other government programs. Arbitrarily imposed limitations on fees paid physicians, greater bureaucracy, the requirement that emergency care must be made available to all (overloading emergency care facilities, promoting quicker than advisable treatment and discharges from many hospitals) has brought us to a critical health crisis. The pending takeover of our health care by the federal government makes the diagnosis: terminal.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Aldous Huxley referred to the government as Big Brother. And that is what is now entrenched in our political perspective: the misguided humanization of our government.

The government is all of us functioning as an entity. The government is us. The government is not a separate being.

The government is not a Big Brother in debt to the tune of 14 trillion dollars (some tune!) and I are in debt. We owe that money, and we will have to pay it. The government has no money of its own.

Big Brother has no right to tell me what I can do or must do, no right to my money, my land, my time, my life Why not? Because you don't...and Big Brother is you and you and you...and, yes, from your perspective, Big Brother is me.

When people talk about wanting a bigger government, a bigger Big Brother, they are really meaning a smaller us. When people say the government should help pay for their children's education, or their food or their mortgage, they are really saying you should pay for them. When people say that the government should set a higher minimum wage, they are really saying they will decide for you what you will work for. When people talk about raising taxes, they are really saying they have a right to decide how much of your money you can keep. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Do they? Do you?

Correctly seen for what it is, the government can properly do not one iota more than we individually can do. And that is because, when the mask is removed, lo' and behold, it is us.

Monday, November 8, 2010


The exception does not prove the is a door opener that destroys, decimates, ravages, evaporates, dematerializes, the rule out of existence.


1. Because the exception implies the rule is not absolutely true
2. Because "what does the exception really mean", "You don't have to tell the truth if it will hurt someone unnecessarily"..."hurt", "unnecessarily"? WHO DECIDES WHAT THEY MEAN? THE LIAR?
3. Because the exception implies the original rule has no firm basis in reality.
4. Because the exception, even if specific and well-defined, implies one doesn't really have to follow the rule, there is no punishment for violating it.

Exceptions are destroying morality, destroying our wonderfully-crafted political system:

"We are all equal except for the disadvantaged, the rich, the poor, the handicapped, the homeless, the needy, the have nots"

"You are free to do as you wish unless society believes it is in its interest that you are not free to do THAT...marry whom you choose, smoke what you will, not have health insurance if you don't wish to, etc.

"Immigrants have to enter the country legally and pass certain health and security checks, unless they are Spanish or Latinos or drug dealers or violent criminals or terrorists"

"You cannot lawfully initiate violence against anyone, except if it is your infant or minor child"

Proper rules are right because they are based on objective facts of reality, and objective facts of reality do not change color at will. Facts are facts, they are what they are notwithstanding the anyone's subjective whim or fancy. A is A. If you think the rule has an exception, redefine the rule with greater specificity.

We are equal under our law , not sometimes, now and then, only if...but always.

We are free, not just when others approve of what we do with our freedom...but always.

We have no unchosen duties to others...none.

I have a right to live for my own sake and not for the sake of my neighbors, society, future unborn generations, the world...but for I, me, myself, numero uno, my spirit, my soul.

Absolute, and absolutely simple.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Language, meanr to express thoughts and feelings, has become passe...for most, most often.

1. We say things not because we mean them, but because we think we should.

2. We refrain from using language to say what we do mean because we think we shouldn't, or have no right to.

3. We use words to kill the silence around us, silence we perceive as proving there is something wrong with us.

4. We use words as noisemakers to prove we are there.

5. We use words without having mastered their love, justice, freedom, rights, independence.

6. We use words that are open to multiple fine, better, sure, good, best, cheapest.

7. We use words to moan, groan, complain, about our lives, rather than doing something to solve the problem.

8. We use words to cover up the fact we have nothing to say.

"Thanks to words, we have been able to rise above the brutes, and thanks to words, we have often sunk to the the level of the demons." Aldous Huxley

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


My daughter tells me that one thinks a picture beautiful if it projects the beholder's sense of life. The picture above conveys key elements of my sense of life.

A new day dawning...fresh, bright and getting brighter, untouched, unspoiled

Man capable of controlling great forces of nature

Peaceful relations among men, as the given

The dominance of purposeful action over talk

An unpretended life; bliss in being

The rapture of quiet serenity

The beauty of existence, all about

The undulations of terrain (life) retaining tomorrow's surprises

A masterpiece!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I like freedom, but not all the way
but not whatever you wish to do or say

I define freedom in this way:
marry whom you want, unless they're gay

I like freedom but only in moderation
extreme freedom endangers our nation

I believe what's yours of course is yours
unless it's needed by the growing poors

You can of course smoke all you wanna
but not marijuana

The government can draft you if we want you to fight
freedom is not always an inalienable right

We tax your money when you buy
or if you save it till you die

Your house is your treasured piece of Earth
but we can take it for half its worth

I like freedom sometimes suspended
Isn't that what the Founding Fathers intended?

I like freedom, I didn't say love
that should be clear from all the above

Friday, October 29, 2010


I have long wondered why, when we think of aliens from a distant world, they are generally cast as frightening and dangerous beings who would seek to destroy us and our planet. They are also generally perceived as threateningly super intelligent...smarter than we are. Obviously, we have no direct evidence as to whether they would more likely be friend or foe, but it is my guess that it is not evil design that fueled their interstellar voyage, but life-serving exploratory curiosity.

Evil is not the natural state for living things, whether man, animal or, I would guess, aliens. Life as we know it requires sustenance and nourishment if it is to continue. As between the two choices open to living beings...peaceful co-existence or its only option: force (aka evil)...the former is the preferred choice of intelligent beings. Why? Because the precious values of friendship, love, enhanced accomplishment, shared achievement, security and happiness and extended life can only be found in an environment of benevolence and goodwill, and not one iota of those are to be found in a state of evil.

Aliens arriving at our shore are very likely to be very intelligent considering the profound problems they would have had to solve to reach us. What new, joyful, and glistening values will that intelligence bring to us? It is very likely they, themselves, are on a peaceful voyage of exploration, eager to expand their knowledge and the scope and wonder of their lives.

As always, fear is life's greatest inhibitor. The prevalent fear generated by fictional novels and movies, imagined experiences and hallucinations, can serve only to rein in our adventurous spirit and its rewards.

So, greetings space travelers...we applaud your masterful achievement, we welcome you to our planet. We are eager to join your journey to the distant reaches of existence.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Happiness seems to require 2 beliefs

1. that happiness is possible in your life, and

2. that you are capable of achieving it.

The beliefs may be rational or not, logical or not, mistaken or not. They are based solely on your subjective views.

Belief 1 includes an identification in your mind of what would make you happy:
health, money, loving relationships, celebrity, more work, less work, shining a new Ferrari, etc. There is no objective standard as to what will make you happy. That is not set by family, society, tradition. It could be big things or little things, it could be of monumental earth-shaking historical importance, or it could seeing a beautiful butterfly. It could have its origins in a reaction to something you have experienced. Your parents were poor and unhappy, and you have determined that if you cannot be happy without having money...or, you have determined that you will not let poverty stand in the way of your being happy and your happiness is to be found elsewhere. What would make you happy is as individual and personal a natter as your identity.

A positive Belief 1 relates to having a benevolent view of life.answer

Belief 2 is predicated on some evidence that you are capable of attaining the thing(s) you identified in Belief 1. You and you alone decide what evidence and how much of it is required to convince you. It could be a feeling about your intellectual or social skills, perceived or real, or your particular circumstances, or that you are generally a lucky person, or that you are blessed by God, etc.

A positive Belief 2 relates to self-esteem.

You see the problem: your beliefs are purely personal and subjective. No one can tell you what to believe, what will make you happy. There are those who seem to have everything and are unhappy...and there who retain a basic positive, happy attitude in the face of adversity. No one can appropriately tell you "you shouldn't be unhappy". There are no emotional shoulds or shouldn'ts at play here.

Can you change your beliefs? Yes. You can learn new things about yourself, gain new courage, etc. But the reason you have a particular belief must first be identified...not always easy to do, since that reason may be real or not, repressed or not, known to you or not. It is no wonder that psychological counseling can often be protracted and/o ineffectual.

Two positive beliefs, remember, are the cornerstones of your happiness.

Monday, October 25, 2010


"Local Color" is a small movie, with big meaning and a big big message.

Ostensibly, it is about a young artist who finally induces a drunken, cynical, foull-mouther, reclusive old Russian master to teach him to paint. But in fact, it is a movie about learning how to live.

Ostensibly, too, it is about the classic conflict between traditional painters, on the one hand, and impressionist painters, like the Russian master. But, in fact, it is a movie about the ongoing clash between societal conformity and traditionalism, on the one hand, and iconoclastic individualism, on the other.

On every point, the author of the screenplay, basing it on a true story, and the movie's hero, are right.. I will leave it to you to see and partake of this movie's bounty, if you wish, but here are a few of the

Ideological morsels delivered by the wise and wizened maestro with pungent alacrity:

* If you are not making a point with your painting (what you do in life), it is garbage (a waste)

* The glory of art (life) is in the expression and experiencing of beauty

* We witness objects too quickly, seeing only their superficial coloring and missing all of their nuances and shadings

* One should continue to paint (do) what one knows is the good, regardless of how and whether it is accepted, for one's own sake if not for anyone else's

There is more, wonderfully presented and acted., simply and directly. Finally.

The movie inspired me to get back to writing...for my own sake, if for no one else's.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


If you were diagnosed with a serious medical condition, would you turn to a medical book written 500 years ago to see how that condition ought best be treated? 1,000 years ago? Of course not, because medical knowledge that long ago was primitive, in its infancy, faulty, unsound, incomplete...and often wrong. Dead wrong.

Then why do so many in the world turn to a book written 2,000 years ago,and earlier, to find answers to the deepest, most profound life questions, as well as to critical social, moral and political issues? 2,000 years ago, man's accumulated knowledge in every field of study, can best be described as primitive. Knowledge is accumulated from one generation to the next, growing, hopefully, more astute, more precise, more accurate. It is not coincidental that man's knowledge first began to expand exponentially after Gutenberg's development of the printing press in the mid-1400's...and mankind's new found ability to transmit information quickly and easily.

2,000 years ago, man knew little of mathematics, anatomy, sciences, law, philosophy, psychology. His vocabulary was limited. Which meant his transmittal of knowledge was severely hampered. What exactly was someone referring to, what precisely dis he mean, when he said what he did? Those are valid questions to ask reading something that was written millennia ago. Any wonder disagreements abound to what is found on virtually every page of that book?

That book was ok for those who lived at the time. It was, after all, the best they had. Perhaps 2,000 years from now, it will be widely accepted that our knowledge today was still primitive. For now, however, it is imperative for our well-being to limit our use to the best books we have.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010


The report is that 90,000 stimulus checks, millions of dollars, were erroneously sent to dead people and/or prison inmates. And if the Administration acknowledges 90,000, it is probably closer to 150,000.

Have you heard the President regret the error? Have you heard about anyone being called to task for this ridiculous error running in the tens of millions of dollars...your children will have to pay back? Remember: this was not a few names were on the list that shouldn't have been. This was almost 100,000 errors!

Why haven't you heard anything? Because the President doesn't think there is anything wrong with taking your money from you by government force and giving it to those less "fortunate" (as if your money came to you by the spin of a wheel rather than by sweat and toil)...and who are less fortunate than the dead? The President doesn't think there is anything wrong with redistributing our wealth as he sees fit. The President doesn't think America should be a leader in the world, first rate in power, standard of living, influence, prestige. The President doesn't think America deserves to be anything but a run-of-the-mill third rate country, like the countries from which so many illegals and murderers and child molesters come, in violation of our laws he chooses not to enforce. The President doesn't think...

Do you? The President is counting on you not seeing what he is doing, or not believing what you are seeing...he is counting on your being totally politically blind...HE IS COUNTING ON YOU NOT THINKING.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


As a PS to my recent post, Beautiful Facts...warning of the destruction headed our way because of the entrenched public habit of basing moral and political attitudes, opinions and decisions on subjective feelings, whims and fantasies, rather than on objective facts...and to those who wish to have a discussion with me about those matters, I have set the following two question, pre-discussion screening:

1. Do you believe that all facts of reality are objective and knowable?

2. Do you base all of your opinions about moral and political issues solely on objective facts?

If your answer to either question is anything but a resounding "Yes", I'll talk with you about Santa's weight problem, but that's about it!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


It was easy to forecast the inevitable collapse of America's moral code, as it easy to forecast the pending destruction of our civilized society.

And the reason is simple: a failure on the part of the great majority of Americans to recognize and accept that there is an objectively identifiable and knowable basis for a proper moral wit, the nature of man. Morality is a code of pro-life conduct, and where else to find it than in the particular nature of our species.

In simplest terms: man has only one means of acquiring knowledge, his capacity for scientific thought based on facts about the one reality he lives in, and so rationality is a prime moral virtue. Man's survival requires him to obtain certain values (nutritional food, shelter, etc.) and is enhanced by others (companionship, love, social relationships, etc.), all of which are to be found only in reality, and so productivity and honesty are prime moral virtues.

Those who do not believe there is an objective basis for morality, those who base their moral code on subjective feelings, are destroying our lives. And since morality is the basis of our political beliefs, they are destroying our country as well.

Interviewed the other day by a friend of my daughter, who was writing a paper about atheism, I was asked the predictable question: Without a belief in God, what objective standard do you have for morality? How flagrant the double error! Not only does he presume that without a mystical belief there could be no basis for morality, but he assumes that an objective morality can be found in a nonprovable, unknowable, imaginary. subjective, fantasy.

It cannot. Every parent who tells his child not to steal because "that's not a nice thing to do", is promoting his child's destruction...since "nice" is a subjective term, and when the child grows up, he can and will define it as he sees fit. Every political commentator who supports or rejects a proposed new law because it will "work" or it doesn't "work", is promoting the destruction of our country...since "work" is a term that can and will be defined subjectively and arbitrarily. Every preacher who tells his flock to obey the will of the Lord, is promoting his flock's witness the rationale offered up by today's murderous terrorists.

During a break at one of my classes, some students and I were sitting around talking about extra-terrestrial aliens, and one student asked me: "What do we possibly have that aliens would want?" I answered: "There is one thing". "What's that?", he asked. "Intelligence", said another student.

(And all--all--intelligence is based on objective facts of reality.)

Smart fellow!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I do some carving. Soap carving. It's more than a hobby, it's more important to me than that. A few days ago, I decided to carve a throne, though I deplore monarchies and dictatorships. When my daughter asked me, "Who sits on the throne?"...I reflexively answered, "We each do".

I like that thought. I have always liked William Ernest Henley's "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul." But I like mine better: "I sit on the throne of my life. I am king".

Someone say something that riles you? Worried what others think of you? Think others are better than you? Nervous, anxious, depressed? Life not going as you wish it to go? People telling you what you may say, how you must behave? Ha! Throw it out of your mind, change it, do as you wish. You are king, emperor, potentate, high chief, numero uno. There is no one better than you, no other has power over you. There is nothing to fail at, nothing to lose. Your kingdom is yours to make as you wish.

You are king...and always will be.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I wrote recently about removing the word "easy" from our vocabulary. The next word I would like to see removed is "complaining", and be replaced by "paining".

People complain mostly to friends and family that something in their life isn't going well...which means it isn't going the way they would like it to go...that they have to do things they don't want to do, that others have it easier in life, that life is not fair and "I don't deserve this". Morning to night, day to day, the complaining goes on, spreading like a creeping fog to everything in one's life, captured in the ultimate moan, "life sucks". Complaining quickly becomes, not an expression of sadness over a misfortune, but a way of thinking, a way of life.

Problem is, complaining, as a rule, solves nothing. In fact, the complaining does the reverse. It magnifies the misfortune in the mind of the complainer, generating more unhappiness, it tends to push away those who might be in a position to advise, comfort and help, and perhaps worst of all, it inhibits the action that could help the complainer solve, overcome, or adjust to, the perceived, real or imaginary, misfortune. In other words, it is anti the enjoyment of life.

Why do so many complain so much, despite the many bounties of life? My guess is they likely don't have the confidence in themselves to make their lives better, despite the occasional misfortunes that befall us all. Complaining is, I believe, often a cry of surrender. And often, a needless one.

"Paining" is the far more appropriate and descriptive word to express what complainers do. Want advice, a suggestion, a hope? I'm your man. But "complaining" is not in my game.

Nor are "moaning", "groaning", "griping", "grouching", "squawking", "bellyaching" and "bitching".

Friday, September 10, 2010


There is a word that must be removed from our dictionary. It is no longer applicable, relevant or realistic. It is a word of a bygone day: Easy.

If we wanted to buy something, we went to our favorite store, checked the price, and if we could afford it, we bought it. If not, we didn't...and did without it. There were no "must haves", "have to haves", "can't live without its". That was Easy.

If we didn't yet know what career we would like to work at, we didn't run up a $120,000 college bill to try to find out, we went to work as an apprentice or a delivery boy in the field of our choice, if we could find such a job. If not, we took a job we could find, and put some money in the bank. That was Easy.

When someone we knew needed a helping hand, we helped out, if we could, because that was the right thing to do. We did not need a 2,000 page massive federal bureaucracy to force us to do what those of us who could afford to do, were already doing on their own. That was Easy.

We didn't meddle in the affairs of other countries, it wasn't our place or our right to do so. And when we were attacked, we rallied together and fought tirelessly and with all the might we could muster to protect our country and the lives of those we loved. That was Easy.

And when we fell in love, we meant it to be faithful and forever. That was Easy.

The blessings of our lives were right there for us to see: our families, our food to eat, our beds to sleep in, a day at the beach, a friend to share a smile with. And to those who believed, our God. That was Easy.

Francois Villon, French thief, murderer and poet of the early 1400's, said it well: "Il n'est tresor que de vivre a son aise"...there is no treasure quite like living at one's ease.

Monday, September 6, 2010


I read every word. Everyone should do that. Interesting what you find in the Constitution, and the Declaration. Perhaps more interesting is what you don't find.

I looked high and low but could not find the words "The federal government shall have the power to solve our perceived problems." Couldn't find it, or anything like it.

Also, couldn't find "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but these inalienable rights may be alienated by the federal government when it is deemed by the government to interfere with its solving our perceived problems." Couldn't find it.

What I did find was "To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men."

Also found "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."

In 200-odd years, the federal government , as generally perceived by members of all parties, has gone from protector of our rights to solver of our problems. Virtually all political discussions these days implicitly include the acknowledgment by those doing the discussing that the government should pass a law to do something to "solve" the particular problem being discussed, the only disagreement being what particular law will "work better".

The Founding Fathers declared that one of the "injuries and usurpations" committed by the British King which impelled them to wrench free from his control was his declaring himself "invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever." In other words, to solve their problems for them.

One other thing I did find: "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Including my right to solve my own problems?

Saturday, September 4, 2010


The dominant--dare I say, universal--philosophy in the world for the past 2,000 years has included this premise: to one extent or another, we are each indebted to the group (aka, the society, the collective), and we are each morally bound to sacrifice our property, and even ourselves, for the good of the group.

Every--every-- political system, from communism to fascism to socialism to every other ism, has rested on that premise. That premise is the cornerstone of altruism.

Even America was not exempt. Though the Founding Fathers sensed a wonderful new political system, and crafted a Constitution, that rested on the reverse premise...that each individual owned his own life and had inalienable rights to liberty and the pursuit of his happiness...they had remnants of altruism still flowing through their blood. Which is why they gave the government the power of eminent domain: the power to seize your private property when it was thought that the group needed it. It is why the gave the government the power to seize your property via taxes.

The extension during the past 200 years of the power of the government to regulate virtually every aspect of our lives, as it now does, under its enumerated power "to regulate interstate commerce" (it claims that just about every modern human activity does) is misguided. That power was not meant to give government control over our lives, but for it to serve as an objective arbiter in matters involving different states (which were few, at the time)with conflicting laws.

Similarly, the statement by the Founders in the preamble to the Constitution that it was established "to promote the general welfare" was intended to give the government carte blanche power to do whatever it wished. Quite the contrary. The Constitution was meant to voice the independence and sovereignty of the individual, and to restrain--nay, prohibit--the use of force by the government against any person except in retaliation to the initiation of force by such person against others. It was our liberty, our freedom, that was recognized to be in our general welfare and was intended to be protected.

Those ideas made America the most noble, powerful and productive country in history. Every single restraint on our freedom...every one, no matter how minor it may seem...attacks America and promotes not our welfare, but the sacrificial, slave-inducing, philosophy of altruism.

If you want to sacrifice your life, your freedom in any situation, our Constitution gives you the freedom to do so. Isn't that wonderful? You are free to choose how you will live your life. And so am I. The Constitution does not give you is the right to force me to be a sacrificial animal and to do your bidding. (You are against slavery, aren't you? Or are you?) No proposed solution to any perceived social problem can be right if it denies me my freedom in any regard, even to a so-called "insignificant" degree. I put that word in quotes because there is no such thing in regard to freedom.

Isn't that why the Founders gave me this protection: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be restricted".

Be wary. Force in self-defense is one of my rights.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Glenn Beck, the pompous know it all "know nothing" conservative commentator, has turned to preaching as if he were the second coming of a messiah sent by God. And he pushes his religious convictions into American politics by cajoling non-believers: "The Founders were all religious believers, the country was based on Judeo-Christian beliefs--boy, I'm tired of hearing that term--and without God we would have no rights ("Where else would they come from?").

Why oh why oh why oh why oh why is it so difficult for God believers to see these truths:

1. Religious beliefs are not doesn't KNOW there is a God, one BELIEVES it. Is the distinction between those two words not clear?

2. Since they are only BELIEFS, yours are no more true, no more right...than ANYONE else's. Is that not clearly clear?

3. Because of #2, believers like Beck promote, endorse terrorism. Today's Muslim terrorists base their terrorism and wanton killings on BELIEFS. Throughout recorded history, religious beliefs have been used as the basis fir murderous violence. If your argument for doing right, doing good, Mr. Beck, is based on your unproven subjective beliefs, then how can you say that what the Muslim jihadists are doing is wrong, is evil? Their beliefs, their God, is allegedly commanding them to kill nonbelievers. What makes their beliefs any less reliable, less appropriate, than your beliefs? NOTHING.

4. Believers are frequently heard to claim that God alone is the source of our rights. Nonsense. There are hundreds of religions, hundeds of thousands of different religious beliefs, and each belief system sponsor its own list of rights, and each list would be as valid...or invalid... as any other.

5. I have written before about where your rights come from.

When a cat tries to fly like a bird off the roof of a 10-story building, it is not God that punishes him (to answer those believers who blindly claim that without God there would be no punishment) is his nature. The cat can't fly like a bird. You cannot escape the reality of your nature and the punishments (mental and physical) which it inflicts when you seek to evade or deny it. Quite the contrary to believers' protestations: it is the belief in a God that frees you from punishment. Just pick the belief that suits your fancy and your evil ways.

Freedom is not a right given to us by God; it is given to us by our nature. Humans are not programmed by instincts or anything else to do the right things to sustain and nourish our lives. We have to make choices using the facilities nature has given us...our thinking mind, our 5 senses to learn about and KNOW the world we live that we can make good decisions that further our lives.

Are you not yet sure where your rights come from? Take that "fly off a 10-story building' test and find out.

6. In line with #5, political policies are not right because the Founders believed them. I enormously admire their contributions to civilization, but they were not always right (remember slavery), THEY WERE NOT GODS. And even if they were all believers...they weren' is not their BELIEFS that made them right when they were right. It was the fact that they recognized man's natural state, and needs. See #5 again.

7. America was not formed on Judea-Christian beliefs but, in part, on a separation of Church and State.

Mr. Beck believes you should act not on knowledge but on beliefs. That is why I refer to him as a "know nothing".

Correction: He wants you to act not on beliefs but on HIS BELIEFS.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


America has converted from a nation of laws to a nation driven by politics. And the conversion, random and unplanned at first, is now calculated and deliberate.

America was founded as a republic, with the powers of government clearly enumerated in the Constitution, and its encroachment on our individual lives specifically limited to those powers:

"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."

"The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

Could it be any clearer? Bred out of the tyranny of a monarchy, America was brilliantly conceived as a country of limited government that was restricted by constitutional principles and laws.

A few examples of America's conversion to a country ruled by political ideology:

* Should embryonic stem cells be used for medical research? The answer is a legal one: Does such research violate any person's right to life? Is an embryo a "person" within the meaning of the Constitution? That is a question to be answered by the law, and not by religious or personal beliefs.

* May the federal government implement a mandatory health care program on its citizens? The answer is a legal one: The only issues are whether the power to implement such a program is within the government's enumerated powers in the Constitution (it isn't), and whether that program violates a person's Constitutional right to liberty (it does). Politically-tilted discussions about whether Americans will be "better off" with such a program are totally irrelevant.

* May gays legally marry? Here's the law "(N)or shall any State deprive to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

* Notice that the President refuses to enforce our immigration laws, as the Constitution requires him to do. Notice that the President conducts war, and refers to it as such, without obeying the Constitutional requirement that he first obtain a Congressional declaration of war. Notice how the President spearheads a "progressive" movement that labels the Constitution as out-of-date and argues it must be interpreted to reflect "modern times"...that is, his political philosophy.

Bailouts, stimulus handouts, government encroachments into and takeover of energy, oil, auto, banking, automobile companies, are outside the government's Constitutionally enumerated powers, and illegal. Even those who are on the right side of those issues generally base their positions on personal political beliefs. We pretty much know how people will feel about an issue if we first ask them their political persuasion.

The very concern the Founders had of runaway government intrusion and control over our lives, is now the guiding principle of the Obama administration. It is intentional, devious and dangerous to our eroding freedom.

Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter: "Fragile as reason is and limited as law is as the institutionalized medium of reason, that's all we have standing between us and the tyranny of mere will and the cruelty of unbridled, undisciplined feeling."

Friday, August 20, 2010


Humans have a unique type of brain. It can:

Ask questions
Seek answers
Contemplate the world
Determine what is true and what isn't
Make decisions
Choose a course of action
Make judgments
Question itself
Make long term plans
Create new ideas, new things
Turn itself on or of

We call all of that Thinking, and it is what distinguishes humans from all other living things and everything else that exists. It is, I believe, at the root of all of man's successes and progress through the ages, and for all his failures and despairs.

This is the first in a series of posts on Thinking. When you have read them, you will know why I said "I believe" in the preceding paragraph and not "I know".

This series will look at:

Why do people have to think?
What type of Thinking is Good Thinking?
What are the benefits of Good Thinking in your day to day life?
What are the common errors people make in their Thinking?
Why do some people choose not to think?
What are the penalties of poor Thinking or of not Thinking at all?
Are you a Good Thinker?


Monday, August 16, 2010


The raging controversy in the U.S. over the proposed building of a Muslim center, including a mosque prayer facility, within steps of Ground Zero, have centered on freedom of religion (supporters) and on insensitivity to families of World Trade Center casualties (opponents). Both arguments miss the critical point.

WE ARE AT WAR. President Obama repeatedly uses the word "war", but refuses to acknowledge whom we are at war with. Strange. We are fighting a war against no one in particular! He refuses to have Congress declare war, as the Constitution requires, presumably because he would have to identify whom we are at war with. He insists on having our troops unnecessarily risk their lives and fight with one hand tied behind their backs, and refuses to use our full military power in our defense.

WE ARE AT WAR with Muslim jihadists, fanatics, who preach the "destruction of Western civilization from within". During the past 12 years, they have attacked us in New York City. Oklahoma City, Ft. Hood, Riyadh. Dhahran, Amman, Damascus, Athens, Algeria, Yemen, Karachi, India and on the seas (USS Cole) addition to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan.

Bang! Bang!'re dead.

Those who call for, encourage, incite, violence against us, who give financial and other support to our enemy, are our enemy. If what is said about Sharia, the fanatic Islamic law, is true...that it serves as the basis for Islamic fanaticism and violence against our country...then those who preach it are our enemy...every bit as much as the Taliban and Al Qaeda soldiers and suicide bombers trying to kill us.

Bang! Bang!..your family is dead.

Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of anything, does not include the right to initiate force against others. And the reasoning for that is simple: force initiated against others denies to them their freedoms, their political rights. You cannot logically claim the right to freedom for yourself while denying it to others. Sorry, you are not free to start or support a war against us. Not near Ground Zero nor anywhere else in our country.

Bang! Bang!...we'll bury your daughter up to her shoulders, cut off her ears and nose, and, together with her husband and children, we'll stone her to death.

Yes, by all means, it is certainly insensitive to build a Muslim center, often put on the site of a military victory, at Ground Zero. But in a free country, sensitivities do not as a rule generate legal rights or restraints.

Bang! Bang!...down come your buildings, your government offices, your consulates, your schools, your shopping malls, your hospitals, your country.


Thursday, August 12, 2010


I have heard many reasons why so few people achieve the happiness they seek, why so many are unhappy...but I have never heard this one:

Societies are not set up for happiness.

Here are some common classic attributes of civilized societies inimical to happiness:

1. CONFORMITY: Societies tend to accept the idea that more will be accomplished, it will be easier for people to live closely in harmony with each other, if they abide by the dominant way of life in the society. This conformity--voiced as "don't rock the boat", "get along or get out", "that's not the way we do it around here"--curtails individual expression, an important characteristic of the happy person.

2. CROWDING: Urban centers get more and more populous, believing that will produce more goods and services for its residents. But the (over)crowding) makes more people feel invisible, not just to others but even to themselves. And if you are too crowded in to be able to see yourself, you will not be able to be proud of what you have made of your life, a precondition to happiness.

3. COMPETITION: With so many people living in such close proximity, a natural competition develops for jobs, lifestyles, accomplishments. Where you rate in that competition is readily visible...size of home, make of car, place of vacation, quality of clothing, etc. Problem is: competition provides a few winners and many perceived losers. Losing is not conducive to happiness.

4. COMMERCIALIZATION: There is a nonstop bombardment of advertising for new, better, more advanced, goods. Last year's prized, innovative, cherished acquisition is out of date. Having the best feeds into winning that competition.

5. CONCRETE-MINDEDNESS: The emphasis is on the visible, tangible "things" of life, the seemingly endless details and demands...the spiritual beauties of the soul are set aside for a later day.

6. CACOPHONOUS: Commotion abounds, quiet reflection, contemplation, elusive.

7. CYCLICAL: Society has fallen in love with a repetitious, recurrent, monotonous, humdrum, model of life...none of which is conducive to happiness.

Time for civilized man to change course.


Ben Quayle is running as a Republican for a seat in the House of Representatives. He has said that Barack Obama is "the worst President ever". To answer that position, to illogically attack Mr. Quayle and keep him and his political views out of Congress, his opponents have seen fit to advertise that four years ago, when Mr. Quayle was 26, he viewed a porn site on the Internet.

Well, what better response to Mr. Quayle's characterization of Mr. Obama could there be? There are a number of reasons why someone clicks on a porn site--curiosity, desire to be stimulated sexually, etc.--so, since we don't know why in this case, let's ascribe to Mr. Quayle the horrific sin of enjoying looking at nude women.

Horror of horrors! Sex is dirty, vulgar, disgusting, and so must be anyone who is interested in this basest of human activities. The few who are so interested are depraved and deranged. And we don't want such Representatives in our shrine to unstained, unblemished purity, The Capitol. At least, not any more.

This nonsensical, foolish, irrational view of sex and sexually-interested men has been promoted by religions since their advent thousands of years ago. Sex, other than for child bearing, is purveyed as Satanic and must not be seen nor practiced nor embraced as an expression of human love, admiration, desire, or as a source of human pleasure. To view sex that way, is to be immoral and unholy, and to suffer the unremitting guilt that only the church can erase.

What else could be expected from those who daily work to convince fellow humans that their sole means of acquiring knowledge, rationality, is invalid and must be suspended, and that knowledge can only be obtained via faith, random feelings and unproven fantasies. To make man believe he is incapable of surviving on his own, that his natural state and the judgments of his mind are inefficacious to his survival, are critical to religions leaders seeking power over their flock. (Is this view of man not a slur on God's skills as the Creator, or am i missing something? I could have sworn God saw all that he had made and "behold it was very good".)

Ben Quayle sounds like a normal, psychologically healthy individual that, if I voted in Arizona, I could support. He is is certainly a politically intelligent one.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


In a segment on his tv show, Bill O'Reilly addressed the story of a Muslim father who shot and killed his two teenage daughters allegedly because they were dating non-Muslim boys. Muslims refer to them as "honor killings" on the argument that the girls dishonored the family by violating Islamic law. There are thousands of such killings around the world each year.

O'Reilly asked his guest whether there was a deeper problem behind the killings. It was an excellent question. Unfortunately, he did not get an excellent answer.

Man is a rational animal. His unique and fundamental trait distinguishing him from other living things is his ability to use reason. Man must make choices as to what action to take in the course of, and in the interest of, his life. His rational faculty gives him the ability to learn the facts of reality...the think about them, contemplate them in the context of other knowledge he has, and to make appropriate choices. We call it "thinking". It does not automatically guarantee the thinker will arrive at the right, or best, decision. But it is man's best means of making informed and life-nurturing decisions. It accounts for ALL of man's progress through the ages.

Rational thinking takes effort, the more complex the question, the more effort required. Unfortunately for man, in this regard, is that he has a much easier, quicker, way of coming to conclusions: relying on his feelings. Ask most people what they think about certain issues (gay marriages, legalization of marijuana, changing the minimum age for drinking alcohol, should we have a military draft, etc.) and you are likely to hear something like: "I haven't considered it all that much, but I think...this or that".

Wrong. That person does not THINK something, but FEELS something, and on the basis of that feeling has come to a preference, a viewpoint, a conclusion. While feelings serve a purpose in our lives as indicators of how we SENSE our lives are going, they are open-ended, subjective not objective in nature, and contain no standard to prove they are "right"...that is, based on reality, on truth. That is solely in the province of rational thought. Making important decisions on the basis of feelings, as most seem to do, is risky business. It is not acting as man: the rational animal. It is a violation of man's nature, it is sub-human. Irrational. Catastrophic.

And that, Bill, is the deeper problem. "Mercy killings" are irrational. The planes flying into the Twin Towers were driven by irrationality. Politicians who flaunt the law and their responsibilities are acting irrationally. The moral breakdown we are seeing in the world, the rampant cruelty and violence, are all effects of the spoiled seed: irrationality. In each case, the perpetrator knew, or would have known after some minimum rational thinking, that what he or she was doing is wrong. But they CHOSE to act on the basis of whims, wishes, feelings, detached from reality. "Go by your gut" is in. Very in.

The solution? Start teaching rational thinking, rational decision-making, in elementary school...and reinforce that teaching in high school and universities. Teach young children the function, the value, the beauty, and the glorious potential of their reasoning ability. Honor and reward those who act rationally.

Or we will all pay the price.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Yesterday's decision by Federal District Court Judge Susan Bolton one in the Arizona immigration law case, is a dangerous and horrendous one, and symptomatic of the escalating decline in respect for the law in our country. The decision is seemingly rooted in political ideology rather than judicial principle.

Judge Bolton forbids Arizona police from inquiring into an individual's legal status to be in this country, even when he is being interrogated in regard to, and suspected of committing, another crime. To protect its citizens from rampant crime, including human and drug trafficking and violence being committed by illegals, Arizona passed a law parallel to the federal law which Pres. Obama has steadfastly refused to enforce. Her rationale, allegedly, is that immigration questions are solely within the province of the federal authorities.

The Constitution grants Congress the power "to establish a uniform rule of naturalization". First, it is not been shown that all illegals seek to be naturalized. Second, if the entire immigration issue does fall within the authority of the federal government, there is nothing in the Constitution that prevents a state from seeking to fulfill its responsibility to protect its citizens by upholding federal laws. States do so all the time when they work closely with the feds in interstate crime cases, kidnappings, terrorist-related cases, etc. And no sensible reason for them not to do so in immigration matters. Under Arizona's law, those found to be in the country illegally are to be turned over to federal authorities.

Illegals are committing crimes in Arizona that certainly do fall within the province of Arizona authority. To restrain its police officers from fully questioning suspects, is to tie its hands to the endangerment of its citizens.

America is at war. The President refers to it as a "war of containment". Soldiers complain they are asked to risk their lives and to fight with one hand tied behind their backs. Sound familiar? The President's policy is to seek to contain our sworn enemy, the Taliban, to countries outside our own. How in heck does he propose to do so when he chooses to leave our borders wide open for terrorists to enter with impunity...and with increasingly dangerous weapons?

The liberals' rantings that the Bolton decision is correct because "we don't want to violate the Constitution, do we?" is hypercritically laughable. They avidly support the President's violation of the Constitution when he refuses to enforce federal immigration laws, as he is Constitutionally required to do, and when he fights a war that has not been declared a war by Congress, as it is Constitutionally required to be.

The President is succeeding in destroying the safety of America. That is the only way in which he is succeeding.

Wanna bet who the President's next nominee to the Supreme Court will be?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


"And I say unto you, he that presumeth to tell another how to live his life has forfeited his own"

"You shall one day face Final Judgment for the way of your life, but your feelings punish or reward you today"

"It is not for you to know your future, the wise man remembers his past"

"If you think you have not enough, think again"

"Far greater are the riches of spirit and courage and hope than all the jewels of the sea"

"It is folly for man to think he should not think"

"Trust yourself first, and last"

"If you open your mind to the unknown today, you shall become wise tomorrow"

"Action without thought is like a fruit without seed"

"The true bonds between us are golden, beware of offerings falsely gilded"

"Life is like a symphony: the more you play it, the richer and more meaningful it becomes"

"What's true for you but not for me is not true for either one of us"

"Wishful thinking, isn't"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


From todauy's ;local news headlines, to be tossed into the What's It Got To Do With Me file, aka the Who Cares? file:

"Obama to appear on View"...can't wait for the incisive probing into the Obamas' sex life

"Inmates are sick of Lohan"...nahhh, you're kidding

"Jury finds she killed for love"...imagine that, first time, what are humans capable of?

No Clinton wedding for Obama"...too busy with the View, I guess

"Boy falls 16 stories, lives"...whew, finally, no need to worry about our kids bouncing around drugged on roof tops

"Humans now power"...what next, for heaven's sake

"Marriage counseling saved my marriage"...first time, made my day

"Vagrant breaks into bar, sells drinks"...hooray, the American entrepeneurial spirit at work, made my day II

So the venerable accounting proverb GIGO has been recast as GIWO: "Garbage In, Wisdom Out"? Wishful thinking!

Monday, July 26, 2010


I have written before about the "truth be damned" mentality in modern civilization. Three stories in the news this morning reveal that mentality is flourishing.

1. WikiLeaks released thousands of national documents which purport to show that our "ally" Pakistan has been cavorting with, aiding, the Taliban in Afghanistan: The response by National Security adviser General James Jones: "the release of the documents was irresponsible". But do the documents tell the truth? Truth be damned.

2. Howard Dean accused Fox News of being racist because one of its talk show hosts released a portion of a videotape in which Shirley Sherrod, a Dept. of Agriculture official appointed by Pres. Obama, made racial comments, without having first checked the full video for the context in which those remarks were made. The host has since apologized for his negligence.

Does that error make the host a racist, or is he a non-racist who made an error? If he is a racist, does that make the Fox News organization, presumably as reflected by its policy, a racist network, as Dean labelled them? Does Fox News have a policy with regard to racism? What is it? Truth be damned.

3. Lieutenant Dan Choi was discharged from the US Army for openly opposing its "don't ask, don't tell" policy. (Is there a more vivid example of truth be damned then that policy?) Lt. Choi fought for 2 years in Afghanistsn as a platoon leader...that is, risked his one life in defense of America. He is a graduate of West Point, fluent in Arabic. He was openly gay. Did his sexual orientation provoke military problems? Did it make him an inefficient soldier? Truth be damned.

Truth = reality, since reality is the only thing that can be true. To hell with reality. Let's survive, say the the truth avoiders, on the basis of unproven facts, feelings, biases, whims.

But we won't survive. Not that way. Reality cannot be avoided or denied. If we are to survive, reality, the IS, must first be obeyed.

"The truth will set you free" says the Bible. That does not refer to being politically free but to being psychologically free to enjoy the full glorious potential of being alive as a human being. Adherence to truth is a precondition of such enjoyment.

And that's the truth!

Friday, July 23, 2010


I had occasion the past few days to be out on the highway the past few mornings and witnessed a portrait of modern urban civilization: rush hour traffic. It poignantly exemplifies and captures the following:















Every human being on the planet could stand on the ground in the state of Texas and each would have over 1,000 square feet to themselves. Space enhances identity.

Why oh why were they all on the same highway this morning?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Shirley Sherrod, coerced into resigning from her post in the Department of Agriculture because of statements she made at an NAACP meeting about racist attitudes she had had 15 years earlier, sought to explain them away by saying they taught her that her job was not about blacks or whites or Hispanics, but "it's really about those who have versus those who have not".

Sorry, Shirley, that doesn't pass muster. That is but another form of racism, of discrimination. As a government employee, implementing and enforcing the law, you must do so uniformly without regard to irrelevant groupings or classifications. Our government represents all the people all the time all the same.

* It is not about being rich or being poor, as federal and state governments believe when they tax higher income earners at higher rates;

* It is not about chronological age, as the Obama administration believes when it proposes to reduce health benefits to older people;

* It is not about sexual orientation, as the federal government and 45 states believe when it fails to recognize same sex marriages;

* It is not about religious beliefs as President Obama believes when he proposes to use NASA to help benefit Muslims;

* It is not about the nature of the organization as federal and state governments believe when they exempt religious and charitable organizations from paying for government services;

* It is not about the identity of your employer as the federal government believes when it provides immunity from criminal prosecution by foreign diplomats-.

What it is about, Shirley, is E-Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y. So, take out a clean piece of paper and write the following 100 times:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal"

Then, take out another piece of paper and write the following 100 times:

"Neither the Federal Government nor any State shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of its laws"

Then, take out another piece of paper and write the following 100 times:

"Equality, parity, identical, exactly alike, evenhandedly, impartially, same-O same-O, even stephen, justice"

Got it?


On his Fox News program yesterday, Bill O'Reilly argued forcefully that "mainstream" news stations, including ABC, CBS and CNN, do not cover news worthy stories that might put the present Administration in a bad light. And he is 100% right. He said something to the effect of "The news media is hurting and not doing its job".

True, but it's worse than that. There is no news media. It is dead, deceased, expired, kaput. ABC, CBS and CNN...and, yes, Fox News, too...are not news stations, they don't air news programs. They are opinion stations, predominantly one opinion stations, presenting a particular view, a biased nonobjective slant, of the Administratin in power and of events. O'Reilly's show itself is loaded with opinionators, like Alan Colmes and Monica Crowley and Dennis Miller and Laure Ingraham and John Stossel, etc. All of whom smilingly spew their predictable harangues absent convincing proof that their views are correct.

Typical support by opinionators for their positios sound like these:

* "Look at what the political party you support did years ago"...the two wrongs do make a right argument

* "Most people don't agree with you"...the old mob rule argument that supported slavery

* "It won't work your way"...the old undefined argument, leaving unanswered what standard is used to rank the betterness of different positions?..and why is that the right standard

* "Your position is not in the Judeo-ChristIAn tradition on which this country was founded"...the old can't you just feel it, baby, argument.

Why the demise of news--objective facts--and the rise of personality-driven subjective opinioN shows? In what conceivable way does it matter to me what Alan Colmes et al think about a particular matter? Do they represent some influential groups in our country? When Stossel says he is a libertarian, does he speak for all libertarians? Or Crowley speak for all conservatives? No, no, no.

News programs give you untainted, uncolored, facts. And now you, the viewer, the listener, must do something to make those cold facts meaningful, relevant, to your life. That doing is called "thinking"...and it is something many of us, unfortunately, are not willing to do, or capable of doing very well. Takes effort. Takes time. Takes knowing how to go about contemplating and evaluating those facts. Few of us are intellectual artists: few of us enjoy drawing our own conclusions.

Most like to be spoon fed ideas. Problem is, most only like to be fed that which they already believe. Though, in the last poll I took, 12 people in the country, more than I thought, had actually once changed their minds after listening to an opinionator.

I guess there is still hope.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


When I was young, I was brought up religious and each morning I would begin the day with a 5-minute or so prayer to God, and each evening I would say a 1-minute prayer. When I got older and became an atheist, I, naturally, stopped saying the prayers.

I have come to realize recently that the prayers had more than just religious meaning. They also brought me important secular benefits:

* They were palliative, calming my spirit, healing my psychological setbacks and wounds, and allowing me to enter the day's work enlivened and inspired, and my rest time, composed and relaxed.

* They prioritized my focus on various aspects of my life, very clearly placing at the peak the preciousness of life, and the splendid power I have as to how to live it.

* They endowed me with feelings of positivity, the ability to solve life's problems, the great likelihood of success in my endeavors.

* They kindled love in my soul for all the beauties of life in my life.

* They heightened my sense of self.

To recapture the serene healings of prayer, in all its manifestations, I quietLy and alone begin and end each day now with my silent reflections on the glory of my life. Unlike my childhood prayers, they are not the same each day, but are fashioned anew from the feelings within my soul. I know no more from whence they come.

I have found my reflections to be, as were my prayers, the pathway to my entering a spiritual dimension, where the enduring wisdom and rewards of life are to be found.

This morning's reflection, in part:

"I have awakened. The day has awakened. I am a part of the day, a part of nature, the infinity of goodness, which abounds. The painting of my life is replete with faces and stories, sentiments and passions, and I shall embellish it yet more today.

"What is that new color over there? Something I learned yesterday, something yet unclear, something, perhaps, I shall refine today. Yesterday's travails are muted and gone. I am blessed, for each day my will, my courage, my strength, are unabated and brimful.

"It is time to celebrate the grand creation."

Friday, July 16, 2010


The glory of the individual or of the group? The subservience of the individual to society, or the reverse? Are you an independent sovereign soul, or a link in a chain? Those are the fundamental questions at the root of all political systems.

The group/society/link in a chain philosophy is at the heart of all statist/socialist/communist/authoritarian/dictatorial governments. The glory/nonsubservience/ independence of the individual philosophy is at the heart of capitalism. To be sure, differences exist in the extent and application of these fundamental views to particular issues, but they remain true and valid.

I was thinking the other day that honesty and honor are virtually nonexistent among politicians. Statements/promises made in campaigns are 100% meaningless, bogus. The candidate who resolutely announced "You will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime" is now President of the United States and is promoting increased income tax rates, estate tax rates, a federal sales tax.

Why the blatant lying, deception, dishonesty? It's easy to say "Politicians want to get elected and they'll say whatever they think they have to say to get your vote". And, no doubt, there is some truth in that. But I think another phenomenon is at play here: the growth in power and influence of yet another group/collective, the political party.

The identification of a candidate is by political party. A candidate's qualification for office is heralded by his being a member of a particular party. Few voters know the details of a candidate's political philosophy, specific voting record, nor do they seem to care. "He or she is a Democrat, or whatever, and that is good enough to get my vote". What exactly qualifies a candidate to label himself a member of a particular party? Must he agree with all of the party's positions on issues? "Don't know, don't care. He says he's a blank and that's all I need to know".

The political party has power: financial support for expensive campaigns, the availability of prominent speakers to appear at rallies and fundraisers, campaign management and administrative technicians, promises of future political endorsements for favored appointments, etc. A politician's loyalty and allegiance and commitment are no longer to the people he represents, though he will continue to say they are, but to the party, the group, that helped him get elected. States are no longer individuals who happen to live in proximity to each other, but are political enclaves. We now refer to states by the assigned color of the party in power.

George Washington warned of the potential dangers of political parties in his Farewell Address. We are seeing some of those dangers manifested today. The critical separation of powers endorsed by the Founding Fathers collapses when the head of the executive branch is also head of the party to which a majority of the legislative branch cower and bow.

The growing rise in the number of people who now label themselves Independents is a breath of fresh political air...perhaps a sign that the spirit of the individual, the spirit that founded this country,the spirit that made us free, powerful and prosperous, though under attack, is still alive.

I hope so.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


We have all sorts of annual awards: Emmys, Tonys, Oscars, Nobel Prizes, Time Man of the Year, Playmate of the Year, etc. But there's one mising: Thinker of the Year.

The Thinker of the Year award will be given to that person who met the following 3 criteria during the year:

1. Listened to at least 500 hours of political debate during the year, on radio and tv news and talk shows

2. Those debates were between dems and reps, liberals and conservatives, tea partyers and libertarians, anarchists and atheists, and included a fair share of ardent, angry, verbal scrapping, bickering, wrangling and squabbling over nonessentials, irrelevancies, incinsequentials, immaterialities, trivia and trifles.

3. As the result of those arguments, the Thinker changed his mind on a political issue.

In this year 2010, I nominate...let's see, I nominate...which one?...there must be many...uh...what's wrong with me?...can't think of anyone who qualifies for the award this year...not one. But there must be someone, some 1, no? Otherwise, what's going on here? Those are professional talk show hosts and commentators earning lots of bucks, that are doing the talking, and with all their research people to help them look good...someone must have learned something and changed his little ole mind, wouldn't you think? Know anyone?

Did YOU ever change your mind?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


A New Jersey court just ruled that a police officer who stops a driver suspecting he is DUI, must advise the driver that there will be penalties if he does not consent to a breathalyzer a language the driver understands. If the officer does not speak the driver's language, he must take the driver to the police station, where the warning about penalties may be available in the driver's language. If not, the driver must be released.

Of course, the time it takes to get to the police station can affect (lower) the driver's alcohol/blood level content. And, oh yes, there are over 150 languages spoken in New Jersey. There are over 300 languages spoken in the U.S.! Miranda rights, too, must be understandable. And, if a driver speaks one language fluently, and "some" English, how and when and by whom will he or she be tested to see if he knows enough English to "understand" the warning.

Wanna see a "Right Turn on Red Light Permitted" sign in hundreds of languages? And wait 10 minutes while somebody finds a language he understands? I'll bet you he understands the honking and fingers he gets. They are universal. And if a driver can't read and understand English, what's he doing driving on our roads in the first place, unable to read signs, and endangering other drivers?

For 82% of American residents, English is their native language. 96% speak English well, or better. Time to do what should have been done hundreds of years ago: declare English to be our native language, to be used in all official matters. And if anyone says that that is racial discrimination, ha, I am going to say this to him: "Gergund frisplinus yunderon" and laugh all the way home.

Don't know what that means? It's Ytsvekian.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


You may ask why Helen Mirren, renowned stage and film actress, Academy Award winner, chose to pose nude in New York Magazine recently at age 65. Age 65, for heaven's know, over the old hill! Why would she dare to do that?

* Because she is alive, perhaps more so than many of her critics

* Because today is a new day to her, and its purpose is not merely to repeat yesterday

* Because she is proud of who she is

* Because she refuses to allow others to delimit the spices on her plate

* Because she knew it would be fun

* Because you only live once

* Because the proper question to her is not "Why?" but "Why not?"

* Because she is beautiful, inside and out.

Why'd you ask?

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Americans, for the most part, are not socialists...their talk sometimes is, but their thinking is not.

Fueled by lack of education and knowledge in politics, philosophy and history... spurred by random feelings of empathy, guilt for their success, or jealous of others' success...subservience to an unidentified "common good"...many talk socialism.

But at heart in their thinking, deep within their souls, there lives a "don't lean on me, don't tell me what to do" attitude...and they love HAVING: success, pride in achievenent, money and all it can buy...and they'll fight like crazy if the poorest person tries to steal from them. That is not socialism...that is capitalism.

Confronted by an Administration that is to the left of socialism, by an influx of demanding illegals bred on socialist principles, the at heart capitalists are rebelling. Polls that not long ago ran in support of Obama and his socialist or worse programs (mandatory universal health care, open borders, bailouts to failures, redistribution of wealth schemes), have turned and now run against them all.

A shadow world will begin to emerge. Off the books employment to avoid taxes on all or a portion of one's income, will be common. Assets will be kept in secure places inside or outside the country immune from accessibility to government. Fraudulent identity cards, Social Security numbers, driver's licenses, will be in vogue. Real estate will be purchased in the names of the unborn. Lies and deception will rule. (It has already begun.)

Or, the phantom capitalists will shed their masquerade, throw the anti-Americans out of office, and proclaim, loudly and forcefully, "Don't push me around".

That is the choice: fight in the shadows or fight in the light.

But fight we must.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Hundreds of millions of barrels of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico. What will President Obama do? (Blame BP)

Ten Russian spies are caught in the U.S. What will the President do? (Send them home)

Our country is over 12 trillion dollars in debt. What will the President do? (Spend more)

Unemployment is over 15%. What will the President do? (Discourage hiring by raising taxes on businesses)

Iran is close to having a nuclear weapon. What will the President do? (Bow)

A new Supreme Court justice must be nominated. What will the President do? (Nominate someone who hasn't one day of experience as a judge)

A new commander is needed for our forces in the Middle East. What will the President do? (Appoint someone who thinks its fun to kill)

Arizona wants to protect itself from criminal illegals. What will the President do? (Sue to stop them)

Those are the easy questions. Now let's get to the hard one:



"If I am ever really in power, the destruction of the Jews will be my first and most important job. As soon as I have power, I shall have gallows after gallows erected, for example, in Munich on the Marienplatz-as many of them as traffic allows. Then the Jews will be hanged one after another, and they will stay hanging until they stink. They will stay hanging as long as hygienically possible. As soon as they are untied, then the next group will follow and that will continue until the last Jew in Munich is exterminated. Exactly the same procedure will be followed in other cities until Germany is cleansed of the last Jew.

"Why does the world shed crocodile’s tears over the richly merited fate of a small Jewish minority?"

Adolf Hitler

"It's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you. I like brawling. You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

General Mattis, Obama's pick to head the Central Command of American Forces in Middle East

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Among the groups, the people, the sources, the statements, I assume are not being honest, valid or true, are:

Politicians explaining their background, what they really meant when they said what they said, what they plan to do.

Advertisements, commercials, salesmen, heralding the value of products/services and the competitive nature of their prices.

Anything said by anyone who says "to tell you the truth" when they don't say "to tell you the truth".

Anything said at the United Nations.

Anything said/promised/agreed to by leaders/spokesmen of immoral nations.

Surveys which fail to prove they are of a representative group from which a generalization can be made, which means all surveys.

Arguments based on an unproven cause and effect relationship.

Oaths/promises by men of sexual fidelity and lustlessness.

The alertness of television news alerts.

Anyone who claims to be doing "all I/we can".

Anyone who professes to tell me what God wants.

Anyone who claims to be clairvoyant/have extra sensory perception or can levitate at will.

Antique dealers.

Pool players who say "let's play for a few bucks just to make it interesting".

"You have the cutest baby".

"Like new".

Cosmetic surgeons who promise "no one will know".

"Your expected waiting time is 2 minutes".

And, of course, ".........................".

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Human beings have the capacity to make choices...something no other species, to our knowledge, can do. And we love to do it. Choosing new friends, new clothes, a new car, new software for our new computer. Isn't that all a helluva lot of fun?

So why then the great irony? Why have we set up a society that minimizes choices, if not eliminating them completely. in so many aspects of our lives? I was driving somewhere this morning and saw lines of cars carrying people to work. And I thought: How sad! For years and years, they drive the same route each day, at about the same time, see the same signs on the road, perhaps listen to the same morning hosts on their radios, get to the same office, sit at the same desk, handle the same problems, lunch with the same coworker(s)at the same time at likely one or two of the same restaurants, return to the office at the same time, return home at the same time, to eat the same foods they ate last week, to watch the same tv shows. to go to sleep at about the same time for about the same length of time, to awaken at the same alarmed time, to wear the same clothes, to get back on the same road heading to the same office. What happened to the variety we love?

We...that is, whoever set up this anti-human idiocy...must be nuts! Totally.

Why would they have set up rigid routines and taken away our beautiful ability to choose, which no animal can do? Why would they put us on the same roads, reading the same signs, riding behind the same people, doing the same work for year after year? Don't we really like variety in our lives?

But, no. Goodbye variety, goodbye choices, get in that same car and drive the same route to work, reading those same advertising signs, to work in the same colored building, on the same floor, at the same desk, same phone calls, same food at the same diner for lunch with other workers, home at the same time, looking forward to watching the same shows on television (saw this one before, but it was good, like to see it again).

Were the people who set all this up, were they not humans who had the same unique capacity to choose as we all do, and didn't they realize that ironically they were taking away the variety we enjoy so much?

Why would they (humans?) have set up a society of repetition, duplication, regurgitation, rehashing, redundancy, parrotlike, regularity, uniformity? Why?

Isn't it a helluva lot of fun to make choices and have variety, changeability, modifiability, permutability, plasticity, instability, mercuriality, oscillation, pendulation, in your life?


The liberals' vitriolic disdain for Big Business, and denunciations of BB and their characterization as "the enemy", are as spurious and phony as is imaginable.

1. Tens of millions of them invest in BB, directly own shares in BB, or indirectly do so through mutual funds, participation in pension funds, etc. One in four American households receive dividend checks from BB.

2. They continue to crave/purchase/use BB products, and when they get ill, they are delighted to learn of kidney transplants, cancer cures, potent medications, virtually all of which are enabled by BB.

3. Millions of them are members of and support unions, major BB's.

4. Millions belong to, support and revere a worldwide BB: the Catholic Church, despite its known abuses.

5. 99.9% of them would be delighted to discover they have been bequeathed sole ownership of their family's BB...and would pay out a small fortune in legal fees to protect their larger income fortune.

6. They actively support enlarging the largest BB in the country: the federal government despite its known deficiencies.

So, unless you renounce at least half of the above, keep your anti-BB hypocrisy to yourself.

By the by, is that an Apple BB computer you're using? Gonna drive to work in your Toyota BB auto or you gonna take your new Harley BB bike? Still using Exxon BB fuel? Did you save a few bucks shopping at Walmart BB yesterday? How's the quality on your SONY BB stereo? Prefer watching WNBC BB or CNN BB?


Tuesday, July 6, 2010


For centuries, we have been taught to engage in a moral cover-up, which has been promoted under the admonition to "judge not lest ye be judged." When coupled with the idea that we should only speak well of each other, that admonition could be paraphrased into "If you don't say anything bad about me, I won't say anything bad about you." At least, not publicly.

I call that the "nonjudgmentality." It is one of the most dangerous errors to commit: not to judge. Judgment, ultimately, is the assessment of whether someone or something is good for your life, or isn't. The purpose of judging is not to put someone else down, but to lift the odds that your life will be safe and successful. It is moral to judge because, properly done, it is pro-life.

Judgment presupposes two things:

First, that your life is not predetermined or preordained, but that it is determined, in substantial measure, by the choices you make. Judgment is a prerequisite to making rational choices. Were your life predetermined, pre-set, there would be no choices you need make, no choices you could make.

Second, judgment presupposes a standard against which everyone and everything can be measured. Without a standard, there could be no judgment. The only rational standard for life is your life and its happiness. If you believe life has no value or happiness is impossible, judgments are unnecessary and irrelevant.

Some of us refuse to judge, or to acknowledge our secret judgments, out of a reluctance to hurt someone else's feelings and of making them feel bad. But that is unjust. A person who has done something morally wrong, ought feel bad. If a person ought not feel bad when he does something wrong, then he ought not feel good when he does something right.

The well-being of your life demands that you treat people for what and who they are. It is a moral imperative that we judge and pronounce our judgment, and that we be prepared to be judged.

Life requires judgments...a daily host of judgments as to what actions to take in various facets of our lives. And because most actions involve other people, our judgments often rest on our judgment of their character, their integrity, their trustworthiness, their honor. The ones who think they have something to gain from not judging others are likely those who have something to lose by being judged themselves.

That's the cover-up.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Our Constitution needs to be amended. Articles II and III dealing with the appointment of judges to the U. S. Supreme Court. Here's why:

1. The growing belief that the Constitution is a "living document", to be seen not as a statement of enduring principles but as to be interpreted by the sway of changing times, places undue and inappropriate importance on the subjective beliefs and attitudes of individual members of the Court.

2. The appointment of new judges by the President and the consent of Senate members has become a politically-based, rather than a judicially-based, matter. Particularly true when, as now, the President and majority of Senators are of the same political party.

3. The appointment of judges for life was likely meant to keep them independent of political pressures by excluding them from the need to be re-appointed after a period of years. That may have made sense in 1776 when life expectancy was 35 years, but no longer true today with life expectancy is at 75(M)-80(F) years. And the pressure can be avoided by simply setting a specific period for service on the Bench (eg, 6 years, 10 years), with no re-appointments possible.

Judges appointed today can be expected to remain on the Court for decades...too great a power to give the President and Senators in a separation-of-powers government. And because of the for-life appointments, we can anticipate having some senile, doddering, dotards sitting as judges making vital decisions. Have some now and they aren't even all that old.

4. No requirements for service on the Supreme Court is required. No minimum age requirement, no educational requirements, no prior experience as a judge required. Odd. Few of us would hire someone who has never repaired one before, to fix that clogged and leaking toilet bowl in our home. But experience as a jurist for a Supreme Court nominee? Nah!

I am not 100% certain yet how to solve all of these critical problems, but solve them we must. Our future, the future of our country, depends on it. Send me your genius solutions to one or all of the problems I have outlined above and I will be happy to post them.

Listening to the Senate confirmation hearings going on today, a nominee's sense of humor seems to rank higher in importance to the Senators than top level, astute, legal wisdom. (Come to think of it, how would they possibly recognize that even if it hit them in the face?) And their priorities shouldn't surprise me. The whole confirmation thing is a public relations joke.

Problem is: the joke's on us.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I looked up "unalienable" in the dictionary and it said: not transferable to another, or capable of being repudiated, inviolable, absolute, unassailable, inherent. Clear? Crystal clear? Untouchable. Unassailable. Sacred. Sacrosanct.

So, I wonder on this July 4th, if the Founding Fathers described our rights, our freedom, as unalienable, by what conceivable contorted reasoning do virtually ALL politicians and political pundits blithely say as a presumed given that "of course, we must balance (aka, give up) our individual rights when the public good, the public welfare, the public interest prevails".

So, yes you have the right to choose the course of your life...but, no, not if society "conflicts" with what is deemed to be in the public interest. Yes, you own the money you earn, you can save it in a bank or buy and own real property with it, etc., but we can forcefully take it from you via taxes and eminent domain when we, society, wants it. In the name of the general welfare, we can limit what you can legally put into your body, we can require you to risk your life in a war you do not believe in, we can force you to stay alive when you no longer wish to do so.


Our Founding Fathers understood the destructive nature of big government, and specifically and deliberately crafted a country rooted in the unimpeachable sovereignty of the individual. The government did not rule the people; the people ruled the government. The government does not tell us what we must do, we tell it what it can do. Every balancing act of our rights with anything...ANYTHING...every diminution, qualification, of our rights is an obscene violation and denial of the precious wisdom and ideals that our country and our flag were based on and represent.

Today is Independence Day. But it is not the independence of our country that we celebrate with parades and fireworks. It is our own individual glorious independence and freedom.

So, happy 234th birthday, America...and happy Independence, my fellow Americans!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


There is a question most of us never seriously ask, and fewer of us ever convincingly answer, even to ourselves. It's the "What's it all about?" question and it comes in various forms:





The answers are as varied as the questions, including:





Each of those answers has a sub-question: How?

And a second sub-question: Am I certain of my answers?

Ironically, these pivotal questions are not only rarely seriously addressed, but the raising of them is disdained with a casual, blow away "Hey, Buddy, lighten up, you're too serious."

So we go through life often without knowing if we are going in the right direction, achieving less than we could if we only knew what it was we wanted to achieve. And some of us reach the conclusion that there are no answers to what glorious life is all about.

Is it time for questioning? The reward is energy, motivation, excitement, passion.

I have designed a set of T-shirts. On the back there is a choice: FUN, GOD'S WILL, SERVE OTHERS, MOVE THE WORLD. Or you can make one of your own.

Which one you want?

Friday, July 2, 2010


Last time, I wrote about EXTREME BEAUTY. Here are some of one morning's headlines from CNN on the news of the day:


Nary a word about the wonderful inventions patented this day, the beautiful children born, the number of safe airplane travelers, the successful kidney transplants, the just published book of poetry.

And the main blame for the torrent of depressing world-sucking, spirit and energy draining, negativity? The public, who watch it, read about it, love to talk about it, do nothing to stop it.

Tell CNN and all other purveyors of rampant hell on earth stories what you think BY NOT WATCHING ANYTHING THAT OUTLET PRODUCES. NOTHING. That drop off in audience, no matter how small, will speak louder than any complaints you send them in the mail. They do what they do for the money which is produced by advertising revenue, which is determined by size of audience.

That's us. Shut them off. Today. Now. Off.

And if you try to talk with me about negative stories in other than a positive, constructive, healing way, I shut you OUT.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


America's greatness comes from its principles...from the principles of the Founding Fathers as enumerated in the Constitution.

"WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT" Truths, not opinions, beliefs, whims, but truths, absolute truths. Not sometimes Truths, maybe Truths, occasional Truths, but Truths period, absolute forever Truths.

And they are SELF-EVIDENT. Open your eyes and look and you will see them. Open your mind, clear your vision of subjective feelings and see the objective Truths.

ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL. Not some men, not these but not those men, not men of certain groups or sects, but ALL men. EQUAL. Treated the same by the government, entitled to the same, held to the same standards. No political privileges, no special favors, no royalty.

THAT ALL MEN ARE ENDOWED WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS. Not sometimes RIGHTS, occasional RIGHTS, only-in-this-situation RIGHTS, but immutable solid as a rock always RIGHTS.

Before the President enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: "I DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR (OR AFFIRM) THAT I WILL FAITHFULLY EXECUTE THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND WILL TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY, PRESERVE, PROTECT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES" Not interpret the Constitution to my liking, not ignore its provisions when I don't think they apply anymore, but PRESERVE it as it was written, as it was intended.

Extreme, yes? Yes. Principles are extremes, absolutes about truths in reality, enduring, unchanging. America's greatness comes from its extreme once-in-the- history-of-the-world glorious principles.

When Sen. Arlen Specter said in the hearings on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court that he admired her sense of humor because "we want somebody to moderate the court", make no mistake, he meant someone to moderate our Founding principles. Which ones? In what way? Of course, no specificity because specificity = exactitude = absolute = extreme.

But principles are not "moderatable" and that should tell you something about where Senator Specter is, and where our country is heading.