Tuesday, December 13, 2011


"I say we should increase the income tax rate on the rich, lower the estate tax, increase the gift tax, lower the sakes tax, increase the corporate tax, eliminate the charitable deduction, implement a savings tax, increase the excise tax, decrease the medical exemption, stabilize the tax on minors, impose a tax on illegals, tax unearned income, reduce stock transfer taxes, lower gas taxes, eliminate the luxury tax."

"That's nuts.  I say we should  reduce payroll taxes, increase property taxes, lower cigarette taxes, increase the self-employment tax, reduce inheritance taxes, increase consumption taxes, lower capital gains taxes, reduce dividend tax, raise retirement taxes, lower tariffs, increase tolls, lower city taxes, increase state taxes, lower unemployment taxes, raise Social Security taxes, lower fishing taxes, raise hunting taxes."

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Parade magazine headline referred to Matt Damon as "the sexiest family man alive".  The missing words to the headline are "In my illogical unintelligent opinion"...thr "I" being the writer of the writer of the headline.

Why illogical and unintelligent?  Two primary reasons:

 1.  The writer did not meet each of the billion or more family mean alive on the planet to be qualified to give Mr. Damon that ranking
 2.  There is no one objective standard to be used for "sexiest".  Different people of the same ethnicity, different people of different ethnicity, cultures, ages, etc. would define "sexiest" in grossly different ways...from "makes me want to hug him" to "makes me want to jump into bed with him".to "makes me want to ---" (you fill it in).

We humans have a compulsion to label something or someone as biggest/ best/strongest/fastest INin the world, virtually always without reference to the two flaws mentioned above.  Logically, you can't even refer to the Olympic gold medal winner in the 100 yard dash as "the fastest human alive" (which is what he is always called).  At best, he may have been the fastest runner in that race on that day.  The actual fastest human alive may not have competed that day.     Secondly, even the guy who won the race may not be the fastest.  He may have won because he ran a smarter race and in fact may have been the slowest runner in the race, if capacity for speed is what "fastest" means.  And further, why is 100 yards the right distance...what about the guy who won the mile race?...the marathon?

Muhammad Ali may indeed have been right when he referred to himself as "the greatest".  But like Ali, the misguided use of "est" must now be retired.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


(This is a copy of an email I wrote to a CNN columnist.)

Regarding your support of the banning of fur sales in West Hollywood, CA, may I ask :  What did you have for lunch yesterday?  For Thanksgiving dinner?  Do you ever eat hamburgers, turkey, chicken, steak, duck, bacon, lamb, lobster, shrimp  (dear little cuties), etc.  Those all come from animals like the ones you don't want to see killed for fashion.

Are you consistent?  Do you argue against the killing of animals to eat them as you argue against killing them for their fur.  And please don't make the argument that we have to eat to stay alive.  We do...but we don't have to eat animals, we can survive quite well and healthily without them.

I do not favor the wanton killing of animals (I don't support keeping them in a zoo for our pleasure and amusement either, I don't support keeping birds in cages) but these are not proper political matters in a free society.

By the by:  do you own  any leather jackets, shoes, belts, wallets,  handbags, pearl earrings or necklaces ?

Monday, December 5, 2011


I would have liked to see Herman Cain remain in the race for the presidency despite falling popularity presumably due to the allegations that he had adulterous affairs.  I would have liked to see that because whether or not those allegations are true, they are irrelevant to his qualifications for the job.

It is time for America to wake up.  The job of President requires administrative abilities, leadership qualities, in depth knowledge of, and allegiance to, the Constitution,  and negotiating skills.  That is what the President should offer to the American public in exchange for their vote.  Whether or not the President is and always has been faithful to his wife may be of concern  to the President's spouse, but not to the American public.

Some of the most accomplished and admired Presidents are known to have had extra-marital affairs.  Whatever his or her sexual proclivities (if legal), whatever his or her sexual orientation, it is the list of qualities above that determines his qualification for the job.  So many Americans, however, seem more interested in a candidate's personality and how photogenic he or she is (listen to how often you hear that Sarah Palin is too pretty to be President. Newt Gingrich is too angry looking,  Ron Paul is too short). A candidate's  political views, policies and programs?  Eh..  What, after all, did American voters know about Barack Obama?

What is also worthy of note is that the woman who claims she had a long term affair with Cain and who took money from him  was interviewed on tv, with her attorney by her side, looking hurt and unjustly treated because Cain did not acknowledge the affair.  Please, lady, not for you to feel a victim in this matter, nor do you have the credentials to be a moral judge.  By your own statements, you acknowledge carrying on an extended affair without presumably any concern for Mrs. Cain.  If the affair took place, you were a co-conspirator, co-deceiver.  If there is a victim here, it is not you.

Herman Cain can help break this insensible voter practice by getting back in the race.  Then I can listen to him some more and decide if he earns my vote.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I looked up "excitement" in Roget's Thesaurus and it listed the following:

stimulation, provocation, inspiration, interest, fascination, ravishment, entrancement, passion, thrill, intrigue, glowing, soul-stirring, heart-swelling, tantalizing, enrapture, astounding, electrifying

It also listed "spicy"...the spice of life...and if there is one thing that the repetitious lifestyle which society imposes on us is missing from many people's lives, it is spice.  It is excitement (whatever that might be to each of us individually) that revs up our motor and carries us further on our quest for happiness.  Excitement is the best concrete proof that life is the glorious, wondrous, incomparable gift we ever receive.  Don't settle, compromise, merely go along/get along.   Normality, the popular, the usual, are sinister killers...of the human spirit

We each take only one trip down the mountain.   Make it an exciting one.

Monday, November 21, 2011

(Repeat of previously-published post, because we need a starting point to turn our society in a better direction.)


Americans are often thought of as being so in a rush, they do not have the time to stop and communicate with others. And that has some truth in it.

Americans are often thought to be so self-occupied that they have little concern for others. And that has some truth in it.

I think it starts with the very first words we use when we see or greet each other. "Hello" has always seemed to me to convey nothing much other than "Hey, I see (or hear) you". And that short 5-letter word seems too time consuming to say in full, and is commonly reduced to the quicker "Hi" or the flippant wave of two fingers...which may give some credence to the ideas about Americans expressed above.

As a child studying Bible, I was fond of the way ancient wanderers greeted each other. "Shalom"...and its various offshoots, "Salaam", "Shlom", etc... all conveyed so much greater meaning. In various places in the Old and New Testaments, it is taken to mean peace, completeness, health, welfare, safety, tranquility, prosperity, fullness, rest, harmony, absence of agitation, distress and discord.

How wonderfully much to say in one word to the wanderer, to let the stranger know immediately that he is welcomed as friend, as tribesman, as family. How calming to be immediately gifted with spiritual affinity and camaraderie and blessing!

We need a word like that in the English language...a word that expresses the opening of one mind, one soul, one spirit, one universe, to another.

JUBEL!  Enter, be at peace, serene, safe, I am interested in your story.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Virtually all our attitudes in this country about sexuality are unfathomable, infantile, senseless.  We titter, chuckle, guffaw, when the subject of sex is brought up, even just hinted at, seemingly forgetting that all of the following are true:

*  there were likely over 1 BILLION acts of intercourse committed on the planet last nite, and every nite
* Mom and Dad had sex or we wouldn't be here
* sex is natural to our species...even Adam and Eve engaged in it
* sex is a very pleasureable experience
* sexual desire comes early in life, and remains to one's last breath
* most everybody wants more of it
* sex is necessary for the survival of the species
* the advertising business is intentionally sexually oriented
* women's clothing is frequently sexually provocative
* tell a woman she has a great face, and she is flattered...but tell a woman she has a great body, and
  she is overtly offended...but inwardly flattered?
* nudity is smirked about notwithstanding that we are all naked under the clothing mask we wear...and
  not one of us has a body part that every other member of our gender have
* giant biblical heroes had sex...frequently polygamously...and in Solomon the Wise Man's case, a thousand times polygamously
* jokes about sex are considered "dirty", though the cleanest, most upright members of our society laugh hysterically at them
* Hugh Hefner made a fortune showing us pictures of breasts...the first things we came to have
  experience with in our lives when we suckled our mother's breasts as infants
* references to sexual intercourse abound in euphemisms: "slept with". "went to bed with", "had relations with", "was intimate with", "made love to"...as if saying the truth of it makes us, well, dirty and perverted, a deviant, abnormal, when in fact we are as normal, as healthy, as apple pie.

Wouldn't you  like a piece right now?

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Children love play, adults worship pay...where the hell did the l go?

Don't remember the Alamo, remember you are alive to remember.

Today is better than tomorrow,...it comes with more tomorrows.

If a bird in the hand were truly worth more than two in the bush, no one would ever switch jobs...or get divorced.

Silence may be golden, but its a fool's gold.

But you always have something nice to say: the truth.

Others are free to have a low opinion of you...you are free not to think of them at all

Plato was right: perfection exists...in you...find it., live it

Thursday, November 17, 2011


The assistant football coach at Penn State is charged with molesting young boys in his care...and if he is guilty, he violated their rights and ought be punished.

But the tv shows running up to an hour discussing the unfolding case are violating his rights...to a fair trial before an impartial jury.  Most if not all of them, condemn and"convict" the coach (without having all the facts or hearing his testimony or listening to his attorney's defense), label him "sick" (what psychology school did they study at), and tell and retell the alleged sexual acts he performed on the kids...all  to the point of ingraining his guilt on the American public's mind.

Wrong, wrong, wrong!  Unfair and unjust.  Can he get a fair trial in America? The answer to that question should always be "Absolutely", but the answer is now "Maybe" or "Doubtful".

And its all being done by tv networks and stations worshiping the Golden Calf.  And by so many of us who (a) revel in unproven gossip, (b) accept unproven rumors, (c) are somehow validated by a malevolent view of the Universe.

Unacceptable in a country where justice is the main (only?) bulwark against oppression.

Click! off these destructive shows.

Click! off buying the products of advertisers on these programs.

Click! off malevolent attitudes.

Click! on "with liberty and justice for ALL."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I hear people wondering whether tv reality shows are honest or fixed...the contest or competition unfolding as the owner of a show wishes it to unfold.

They're fixed, all of them fixed (did we learn nothing from the $64,000 revelation that it was fixed, the winner given answers in advance of the competition).

How do I know they're fixed?

* most people are not totally honest (for many reasons, including the fact they don't know WHY they should always be honest)

* most people, in fact, take a measure of pride if  they "got away with it"

* most people are even less honest when they can gain something tangible from the lie

* most people are flagrant liars when big time MONEY is on the line

* the ability to lie has gone from a sin to a virtue in the inverted popular mindset

* tv shows are "protected" from accusations of cheating by the catchy cleanser, "it's only entertainment"  (ranking alongside "it's only business", "it's only for fun", "it's only a game")

* most liars find refuge in what is close to a truism: "everybody is doing it"

* it is generally believed by most people that God doesn't watch reality shows

Do you really think the owner of a hit reality show is going to allow that guy/gal attracting all those advertiser-loved viewers to be "prematurely" voted off, taking all those advertising millions with him/her?

They are called reality shows precisely to make you not question what the true reality is.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Democrats are laughing at Governor Rick Perry's inability during a debate to remember the three federal departments he would seek to dissolve should he win next year's presidential election.  The Democrats have conveniently forgotten that their main man has forgotten virtually every significant promise he made during his campaign.   But why should any of this junk surprise us.  Politicians (and I mean all of them) are prone to lie, to forget to remember, to double-talk, to speak half-truths, for the goal of attaining or
retaining power.  You know it, I know it, they know it...and we do nothing about it.

Perry has it backwards.  It is not three departments we should throw out, but three only we should keep:  the military (to repel our enemies), the FBI and CIA (to provide us with needed security), and a judiciary (to provide a forum for the peaceful settlement of disputes and grievances).  That would comply with and conform to the principles set out in our Constitution...particularly that little seemingly insignificant one that recognizes the sovereignty of my life, that I own my life, and that the ONLY function of government is to provide me with an environment in which I am free to choose the course of my life.

Oh, I forgot.  Who reads the Constitution?

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I wrote last time about those responsible for the moral decay in America.

The fundamental reason for that decay, I believe, is the popular erroneous view of what morality is.  It is commonly thought that morality relates to how you deal with others, how you behave toward others.  That the reason to be honest, for example, is that others are entitled to the truth.  Out of this mistaken perspective, understandable that many will choose to be immoral (dishonest, for example) if they think they can "get away with it".  "If nobody knows," this mindset claims, "what's so wrong with being immoral and reaping some benefits from it?"

But, in fact, a moral life is not lived for the benefit of others, but for the benefit of YOU.  Morality is a code of pro-life conduct...not pro-the other guy's life, not pro-society's life, but pro-YOUR life.  Others may benefit from your morality, but they are not the reason you are moral.

And maybe the best way to see that is to imagine being the only one on a desert island.  Choose to sit on your butt and not make the effort to go out and find food, and you are doomed.  (Which is why Productivity is a moral virtue.)   Lie to yourself that the wild beast snarling in front of you is nothing but a chicken, and you are doomed.  (Which is why Honesty is a moral virtue.)  Make your actions for survival  based on the toss of a coin rather than by thinking, and you are doomed.  (Which is why Reason is a moral virtue.)  Etc.

Can you get "get away with it" if nobody is around, if nobody knows?  Of course not.  YOU are around, YOU know...and YOU will pay the price...from a loss of confidence and self-esteem, to anxiety and depression, to a thousand other prices, including the loss of your life.

If you think "everybody else is doing it, why shouldn't I?" is a good rationale for immorality, think again...it does not for a moment postpone payment by you of all the prices mentioned above.  (Which is why Independent Thinking is a moral virtue.)

Saturday, October 22, 2011


There is no sense trying to pinpoint who is responsible for the moral decay that is America...we pretty much all are, including:

* those who would have difficulty stating with certitude why integrity, pride, honesty and independence are, among others, critical virtues

*those who believe morality is subjective:  meaning, you pick the code of morality, if any, that you think is good for you, and I pick mine...and one is no better than the other

*those who base their morality on the Bible of their choice...which is just the way some of those in the previous group do their picking

* those who see that in America's public school system, morality is not taught, but do not complain out loud about that and do nothing to see that it is taught

* those who worship the Golden Calf and will do pretty much anything to gain its favor

* those who value the concrete prizes of life above the serenity, the beauty, of their soul

* those who treasure moral normality...do unto others and unto yourself what others do

* those who keep silent when they witness immorality

* those who stopped reading this post because they feared recognizing themselves.

We have seen in the past that it may take an apocalypse for a people, a nation, to change course.  Has the birth of one already occurred?

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I am on a campaign...to ban the word "too" from the English language.

It's almost always used in a negative sense:  He works too hard, she wears too much makeup, they are too focused on winning, we spend too much of our money on foolish things, etc.  Its as if there is a standard out there for everything in life...go above it and you are in the too zone.  Live below it and you're in the not enough zone (that's for another post).

But there is no standard, no set amount of anything, except for the very very basics of life:  food, air.  Otherwise, you choose the course, the quantity,  of your life.  That may be the most glorious thing of human life:  We choose.  Which explains in a nutshell why America is the grandest of countries.  It was founded on the guarantee to each of us that we will be forever free to choose the scope, the quantity,  of our life.

Fight to the end those who would shackle your life with artificial limits and restraints, who seek to keep you in the middle of life's road, who deplore living life to the fullest (and beyond)..for if you let them do their bidding, if you succumb to their mediocrity, it is the end.

And wouldn't that would be too bad?

Saturday, October 15, 2011


The President has decided to send 100 troops to Uganda to help fight the alleged atrocities being committed there by what is called the Lord's Resistance Army. Soon to be followed by "a second combat-equipped team and associated headquarters, communications and logistics personnel."  He "validates" this move by claiming it is in "our security interests" to do so.

Hogwash!  The LRA does not pose a threat to America.  All of Uganda does not pose a threat to America.  All of Africa does not pose a threat to America.  It is Barack Obama that is a threat to America.

More young men and women are to be put in harm's way, more to be maimed and killed, more to be engaged in yet another undeclared war.  If reports are true, the LRA is committing obscene atrocities on the Ugandan people.  There is reason to feel compassion, there is reason to want to do something.  And in America we have a policy to do just that.

It is called VOLUNTARY.  You want to go over there and fight?  Go.  You want to send money to the Ugandan Army to buy military supplies?  Send.

But no one...not one enlisted soldier...can be forced to go without violating the constitution and the principles of our great country.

(How come I don't see the President offering to go fight in Uganda?  How come I hear none of our brilliant, freedom-loving politicians saying one word complaining about what the President is doing?  None  moving to impeach him?  It is that void, not the LRA, that  threatens America.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


One sentence by Obama reveals completely his anti-American philosophy.  Speaking about Bank of America's policy of charging a $5 monthly to those who make debit card purchases,he said this:

"You know, you can't do whatever you want to do to make a profit if your customers are being mistreated."

Wrong, wrong, wrong, Obama...in this country:

*  you can charge what you want to charge for your product or service

*  you run your business and not the government

*  each debit card holder decides for him/herself whether to pay the fee (or not use the card for purchases)

*  the government does not stand in loco parentis.

We call it liberty, Obama.  We the people will decide our fate, we are not infants needing or wanting parental control by the government.  We live by our standards, not yours.  That the $5 fee comes after another anti-American government interference in the free enterprise system when it cut in half  the fee the bank can charge vendors for purchases, is also revealing.

To those of you who voted for Obama and plan to vote for him again:  Are you happy?  You are not complaining are you?  You got what you asked for.  That liberty thing that hundreds of thousands of our soldiers have died for around the globe, goes too far you think, eh?

Monday, September 26, 2011


"In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked at as something shocking
Now heaven knows
Anything goes"

That song was written in 1934.  Where are we today?

As far as the glimpse of stocking and the other sexual mores it implies, we are now in age of "anything and everything goes".   Sexuality abounds in virtually all aspects of our lives.  And while occasionally it goes beyond my personal taste, I think it is generally a healthy development...greater freedom, confidence and honesty in our sexual feelings and expression.

But the  77  year-old song, sorry to say, must be rewritten:

"In olden days a glimmer of immorality
Was looked on as something shocking
Now heaven knows
Vice, evil, wrongdoing, unvirtuousness, unrighteousness, ungodliness, impurity, waywardness, prodigality, delinquency, scandal, infamy, knavery, nefariousness, baseness, vileness, villianousness, deviltry, corruption, debasement, degradation, depravity, goes"

One line of that popular song remains strikingly relevant today, even more than it did 77 years ago:

"The world has gone mad today"

What goes next, I wonder.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


The fuss being made over that "Jew/Nonjew" app which identifies whether a celebrity/political figure/etc. is or is not Jewish...and the labeling of it as racist...is totally misguided.  Whether or not a person is Jewish or an American or 30 years old or older, etc. are facts...and facts are not racist.  Quite the contrary: racism is the assigning of traits to an individual simply because he/she is a member of a group to which those traits have been assigned...whether they are or are not factually true as to the particular individual.

In other words, racism is at its core a denial of individuality.  That is why it is wrong.  We may be a member of a particular race, religion, ethnicity, whatever...but from the day we are  born to the day we die we are, first and foremost,  individuals.

Monday, September 19, 2011


This country was founded on a unique in the history of the word concept:  equality of all people (yes, the initial application of that concept was defectively applied to slaves and women, but that has since been cleared up).  The Founders had in mind a classless society, no royalty, no special privileges to special groups.  And equality UNDER THE LAW...the government to treat all the same.

Apparently, many people do not know what the word equality means, so here it is:  parity, equivalence, correspondence, parallelism, likeness, levelness, evenness, balance, the same.

So, the next time you hear the president (sorry, no respectful cap) or any of his political supporters talk about "limiting tax deductions for those making over $250,000" or whatever other proposal that sets up classes in our society, you will OPEN YOUR WINDOW AND SCREAM LOUD AND CLEAR: "INEQUALITY, INJUSTICE, BIAS, PARTISANISM, FAVORITISM, DISCRIMINATION, WRONG, UNAMERICAN."

One other thing:  THROW THE BUMS OUT.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Today is Labor Day, so I was thinking about our so-called national holidays ("so-called" because each state determines what holidays are celebrated in its state).

Labor Day, meant to celebrate and honor the achievements of America's workforce, does not, for most people, I guess, celebrate anything.  It's a day off, end of summer, back to school, thing.  Shame.

Same for President's Day, Flag Day, Columbus Day.  Even on Independence Day, I hear no one consciously celebrating the enduring and beautiful achievement of the American Patriots who gave us our freedom.

I think what is missing is the "our".  We are not as united as our name suggests.  We are yet, predominantly, a collection of smaller groups.  I hear little talk, reverence and honor for "our" workers, "our" Presidents, "our" flag, "our " country, "our" freedom.  And it seems to me that our President, who came into office championing a new wave of unity, has, in fact, exacerbated the situation, and has driven the different groups even further apart.

Let's start spelling the word "honor" the way they used to in the old days...honour...it has the word "our" in it.  Perhaps that will remind us what's missing in our holidays.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


When the doctor prescribes a battery of tests for you, is he/she thinking of your health or his wealth?

When a college requires you to take courses not directly related to your career major, is it thinking of your education or its financial situation?

When the auto mechanic says your tires need alignment, is he thinking of your car's balance or his bank balance?

When the carpenter says your roof must be replaced, is he/she thinking of your leaks or his vacation weeks?

When the accountant says the short income tax form isn't good for you, is he/she thinking of what your tax would be or what his/her fee would be?

When the dentist says you need a crown, is he/she thinking of your looks or of his bank books?

When the auto insurance guy says you need greater coverage, is he/she thinking of your possible car crash or of his personal cash stash?

Friday, September 2, 2011


There are a few rumblings that a segment of society's stampeding herd may be about to "break away and go their own way".  The college bubble...built on the premises that (a) you can't get anywhere without a college degree, and (b) college should begin immediately after graduation from high school, may be about to burst.

The realities set to burst the bubble include:

1.  Tuitions, rooms, food and books have pushed many schools to the financial breaking point for many people...$40,000 or more per year
2.  Many students do not, upon high school graduation, know the specific career they wish to have
3.  College curriculums require students to take a host of courses unrelated to any specific career, and which seem to have little, if any, relevance, to the student's future life
4.  More employers are coming to the realization that a college degree is not a prerequisite for many successful careers (salesmen, secretaries and other office staff, customer service representatives, artists, writers, etc.)
5.  Many colleges have become a hotbed of partying (drinking, drugging and sexual activity).

Almost all colleges are businesses and it is in their interest to keep the stampeding herd and  their golden bubble intact.  Hopefully, each member of the herd will choose his/her own course.

Monday, August 29, 2011


I hace come to realize that there are few, if any, problems in life.

Everything that happens in life must be possibles.  By definition, the impossibles cannot, and therefore do not, happen.  Only possibles can happen and possibles are foreseeable.  And when a foreseeable happens, it is not, and ought not be thought of as, a problem.

Getting hungry is not a problem.   Needing sleep is not a problem.  They are normal, natural, possible, foreseeable.  If it rains on the day of your scheduled outdoor picnic, that was possible and foreseeable.  Not a problem.  And the same reasoning holds true for getting ill, not having enough money to buy what you'd like to buy, the show you wanted to see being sold out, etc.  All are possible, normal, natural events.

People moan endlessly about the problems in their life, when, in fact, they have only one problem:  not being alert enough to identify all possibles in their life, and to accept the possibility that those possibles may possibly occur.

And a picnic in the rain can be fun.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


*Irene Menaces North Carolina
**Pakistan: 25 Die in Cross-border Attack
***Brutal Attack on Syrian Cartoonist
****Who was Behind Nigerian Bombing?
*****Smoked Salmon Recalled after Listeria
******Deaths Remind Food Allergy Dangers
*******Dozens Dead in Mexico Casino Attack
********Rebels Seize Pro-Ghadafi Stronghold

That is 1-day's headlines from 1 media outlet.

Earth is really Hell, I guess.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Years and years ago, morality was entwined with the Ten Commandments.  They spelled out what was a code of morality: don't steal, don't kill, don't bear false witness, etc.  And the payoff was clear and personal:  Obey the Commandments and they would be your admission ticket to Heaven.  And the alternative was equally clear and personal: eternity in the Inferno.

During the past 2,000 years, morality has taken a U-turn.  Doing the right thing, being moral, has come to be not something one does for oneself, but one does for others.  How could our interactive society survive, is the common refrain, if we all did whatever we wanted to do, if everybody went his/her own way?  There has to be certain rules, restrictions.  There has to be a moral code of behavior.

The problem with that view is that it runs up against this argument:  Why should I do what's right, why should I toe the line, when no one else is?  Doggie dog world.  If its good for him, its good for me.  I ain't no fool.  Get what you can when you can, and the winner is the one who gets away with the most.

And thus the precipitous decline of morality in a world heading toward its self-inflicted Armageddon.  Check yesterday's headlines, today's headlines. tomorrow's.

Morality is a code of pro-life conduct.  It benefits you, the individual, not indirectly because it benefits society, but directly because it benefits your life.  Productivity, integrity, rationality, honesty, justice, independence and pride (the Objectivist virtues) are moral virtues because they enrich your life here and now, in this world, regardless of your participation in society, regardless of what the other guy does or doesn't do. It has been said that if a man on a desert island were not moral, he could not survive for very long.

Can you sit down with your children this afternoon and convincingly explain to them why this is so?

Now you know the problem.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I received a new real estate tax bill in the mail and saw to my chagrin that over 60% of it is earmarked for our town's public school system.

Now, a couple of preliminary points:

1.  The government should not be in the educational business.  Nothing in our Constitution to sustain it.  And turning the decision as to what should be taught our children over to politicos untrained in education is as foolish and dangerous as is imaginable.

2.  All taxes are a forceful taking of property and a violation of our Constitutionally-protected rights.

3.  It is illogical to ask "What is the right way to do something wrong?"  E.g., what is the proper length of a lynch mob's rope?

Having said all that, I now say this:  It is an absurdity that I be required to pay for the public school system when I have no kids in school.  My family is not using this "free" government service.  Ignoring #3 above, those that are using the service should pay for it, no?  Should I pay highway tolls when I don't ride the highways?  Ignoring #3 again, the government should charge those who avail themselves of government services, and not those who don't.

Further:  does it make any sense that the higher the value of one's real property, the more one pays for the schools (and everything else).  The two are not connected.  One could be a multimillionaire, own no real property, and pay the big fat Zero.  And one could own real property, yet be impoverished, and pay a bundle.

Taxes are wrong and have no place in a free society.  B ut they are here and will very likely remain here.  Can't we, shouldn't we, try to see if we can imbue them with a drop of smarts?

(I forgot.  What do smarts have to do with our public education system?)


 Here is the new phony language of the Customer Service Representative.  It is the robot-like song-and-dance you are victim to when you call any major company to inquire about its product/service, question an invoice they have sent, etc.

Listen to the music:

"Thank you for calling XYZ Corporation"
(Can't you figure this out by yourself?)

"If you would like to continue in English, press 1"
(I hope you didn't understand what I just said)

"If you would like to continue in Spanish, empuja dos"
(And I won't have to handle your annying, complaining call)

"This call may be monitored or taped for quality purposes"
("May be" means 1 in 17,000)

"Your estimated wait time is about 5 minutes"
(How would we know?)

"Pay close attention as our options have changed"
(Changed them some time in 1998.  But it spreads out the call and we take fewer calls each day)

"Please key in or speak your 22-digit account number"
(About 30& of our calls can't find it and have to hang up+
"It's in the lower left hand corner of your bimonthly statement "
(Love that one, too, no one ever has it)

"Did you say 233967545637530098H55?"
(Probably not)

"I can't hear you, I will have to transfer you"
(That' was a short one)

"Who am I speaking with?"
(They're all  the same)

"For confirmation purposes, what is your last 4?"
(No, not children)

"And what number are you calling from?"
(As if my Call Waiting isn't working today)

"What's your mother's maiden name?"
(Was she ever a maidenBut you shouldn't give that out over the phone)

"How can I help you?"
(Quick, I'm already late for lunch)

"Oh, I have to transfer you to another department.  Thank you"
(Whew, really hungry, maybe sushi today)

"If you get disconnected..."
(Which you probably will)

"...call back"
(Just joking).


Wednesday, August 24, 2011


The federal government oversteps its constitutional bounds (what's new?) when, through the FDA, it restricts what medicines we can lawfully take.  To cure my ailment, I can swallow defecation and a thousand other self-prescribed "medications"...but I can't take a drug prepared by a major pharmaceutical company after investing millions of research dollars until the FDA (Forbidden, Dumb Americans) says it is safe for me to take.

And no, I cannot take that drug even if I assume all responsibility and sign a release in triplicate absolving everyone from any harm that drug may cause me.  The FDA (Federal Dictator Agency) is determined to keep me safe from myself.

And therein is the error.  The function of our government is not to keep us safe from ourselves.  Quite the contrary.  It is to protect our right to live our lives as we choose...it's called freedom.  The government's function is to keep us safe from OTHERS who would use force against us to deny us our freedom..

People facing terminal illness and immediate death have been denied the right to take new experimental drugs.  Why?  They might cause harm!,  says the FDA (Foolish Damn Absurdity).

Time to FDA (Forever Demolish Altogether) the FDA (Freedom Denying Arrogants).

Monday, August 22, 2011


"Jarenc," said the young god Amera to his friend,  "I have 9 commandments, I need one more, it will make the tablets look better, more balanced, 5 and 5.  What do you think of this:  'Thou shalt not lie."

"No, no, dear friend, there is great fun in lying, in getting away with things.  I wouldn't want to have to punish the People for enjoying their life.  That's the purpose of life, isn't it?"

"Ok, what about: 'Thou shalt believe that the world revolves around yourself."

"No,no.  The god Solar wants everyone to think the world revolves him, and I don't want to fight with Solar."

"How about: 'Thou shalt think rationally."

"Ha, ha, "chuckled Jarenc, "I don't think so.  We do need some people to get into heaven, don't we?"

" 'Thou shalt not be proud'.  D you like it?"

"I love it.  The people wo break that commandment will be happy about what they did, and we can have the other non-proud people ostracize them.  I love it.  It is a great commandment.  Which is why we should feel good for having thought of it."

"We?  You did not think of it, Jarenc.  I did.  This is totally my idea, and I deserve full credit for it..  You shouldn't want to take any credit for what is my idea."

"Why not?  I deserve the credit as much as you do.  I want that credit.  Why should you have it all to yourself?  It's our game,isn't it?"

And Arema and Jarenc lost their friendship.

And so the 10th commandment came to be:

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his servant, , nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's."


I thought that the hippie generation starting in the 1950's was, although I was not directly a part of it, a good thing.  It was, it seemed to me, to be a call to individuality. "Do your own thing...whatever.  No social restraints.  Everything goes.  Live YOUR life."  And to some extent, that is what happened.

But then along came the internet, and...wham!...the pendulum has swung completely around, away from individuality and pointing today totally outward to a world of conformity more inclusive, more expansive, then pre-hippies ever knew or could ever imagine.  From what I see and hear, youngsters today measure themseles in every imaginable way by others, by what others are doing, by what others have.  It results in nonstop competition that can never be won.  Making everyone, everyone, losers.

"I only have 550 friends on facebook...most kids I know have close to a thousand."

"My ipod is out of date., it only has 1200 apps...new ones have over 3,000."

"I make $9 an hour...some of the guys make nine fifty or ten".

"Check the internet.  See what people are saying, the way it's done these days, the way you must do it if you want to make it in the world."

Can't win.  While conformity in the old days was with the few in the neighborhood, it is now aimed toward a global standard of seven billion others.

Can't win.   It is no longer a question whether the glass is half full or half empty...it is a third full and leaking.

Can't win.  There is always MORE.

There are to be sure some unique benefits to being in touch with the world...but none at the cost of losing one's self.  There are to be sure advantages to be gained from others, but none at the price of losing one's own identity, one's personal values.

With the help (?) of modern technology, the herd--horde--is now stampeding itself.

In the 1967 Broadway musical Hair, touting the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, one of the new age's dominant features is said to be "the mind's true liberation".


Friday, August 19, 2011


Arema and Jarenc, two very young gods, hovered in the stratosphere, and contemplated the universe.  It. was complete.  They had nothing to do.

Arema was suddenly inspired.

"Let us create a new world to place in the universe, a world totally different from all others we have created.  Let us infuse this world with irony, contradictions, antithesis, perversity, paradox and ambiguity. It will be fun.

"I shall begin by creating little bits of life...people, I shall call them...millions of them, to inhabit and rule this new world."

"Let us give them great intelligence, like ours," said Jarenc, "but keep from them the answer to what will be their most perplexing question: What is the purpose of  life?  It will frustrate them not to know, though the answer be close at hand.  It is, of course, as it is ours:  to be exhilarated by being alive and  to rejoice."

"Let us give them more of our god-like powers.  I give them the power of choice."

"And I," said Jarenc, "shall include the seemingly pleasurable choice  to choose not to choose.  Ha ha."

"Jarenc, you are a devil.  I give them endless desire to enrich their lives."

"And I offer them laziness."

"They will have our power to create."

"And, of course, to destroy."

"To love."

"And to hate."

"To be good."

"To be evil."

"It will be fun to see how their life unfolds, what they choose or fail to choose..  We must not interfere. Should we let them come to know, Jarenc, that it is but a game?"

"No, the fun is in their thinking otherwise, they must think everything is important or they may choose not to play our game, and how then shall we spend our eternal time, Arema?"

And so it came to pass that Earth was formed, and People came to be, with the unrecognized powers of gods...and the choice not to use them..

And Arema and Jarenc saw all they had made and behold it was very good.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I am writing a series of articles called ThinkRight...it's about good thinking, the elements of good thinking, the benefits of good thinking, and the penalties we pay when we fail to ThinkRight.

This question comes to mind:  Does not a person living in a free society have the right to choose, intentionally or by default, not to engage in good thinking?  And the answer, generally, is Yes,   I say "generally" to limit that right to those whose thinking, whose decisions, affect only themselves.

But the answer is a resounding No when that person's thinking and decisions impact other people.  And that is the case with regard to our public officials.  Their ability, and propensity, to ThinkRight is critical and consequential to the rest of us.   We can check the propensity part by examining their prior actions, their record.  But how do we check their ability?

My suggestion:  half of the LSAT  exam, taken by those seeking to be admitted to law school, is Critical Reasoning, and tests their ability to think logically.  I propose it be given to all those running for, or being appointed to, elected office.  The voters would remain free to vote for whomever they wish, including those who fail the test...but at least the voters would have critical information about those to whom they seek to give authority to pass and regulate laws that affect, restrict and tax our lives, send our people off to combat, etc.

Thought you might like to test yourself on a Critical Reasoning type question:

Advertisement:  "My doctor prescribed this new headache pill and, boy, was he right.  Took one the other day and my headache went away in less than an hour.  You have a headache?  Take this new pill."

Identify three logical fallacies in this advertisement.

1.  The fact that a doctor prescribes some medication does not mean it is the right, or a good, medicine to take.  Doctors are not infallible and we DO NOT KNOW why he prescribed it (perhaps he owns stock in the company that produces it).

2.  There is NO PROOF the pill cured the headache.  The fact that the headache went away shortly after the pill was taken, does not prove cause and effect.  The headache might have gone away even if the pill had not been take, perhaps even sooner.

3.  The fact that the pill may have worked for the person in the advertisement, DOES NOT PROVE it will work for you (not all headaches are the same, not all people respond the same way to the same medication).

Wouldn't you like to know if  that person seeking your vote, or to be appointed to public office, can  THINKRIGHT?

Seems logical to me.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Here are the 3 R's of good thinking:

  REALITY...thinking deals with what is...it is intended to fundamentally answer the following questions"  Is it real?  What is it? 

RELEVANCE...thinking about something should entail only matters that relate to, and affect or are affected by, what is being thought about.

RATIONALITY...requiring sensory proof as a condition to accepting that something is true, and avoiding the following common thinking errors:

   * blurring the distinction between proven knowledge and unproven belief
   * basing truth on mere assumptions
   * using analogies as proof
   * failing to recognize that we live in a cause and effect world, that everything that happens is the effect of some cause, or mistakenly believing that the fact that B followed A is proof that A caused B to happen
   * generalizing from a sampling
   * attacking the arguer rather than the argunent
   * believing that was is true of the whole is necessarily true of the parts, and vice versa.

Good thinking is rooted in precision, exactitude, definiteness.  What is it?  What did he say?  What did she mean?  It offers the joy of reliability, confidence, certainty.  


Friday, August 12, 2011


No, of course, you need not ..  Look around.  But your life requires thinking, either yours or someone else's.  It will not continue automatically.  Except for a few biological functions (heart beating, breathing), decisions must be made, action (which is the physicalization of thought) must be taken.  At the minimum. food must be acquired and consumed, shelter must be obtained, medical treatment may be required for survival.   If you choose not to do the required thinking, it must be done for you.  That is a fact of life.

Choosing not to think when you are capable of doing so places your life under the direction of, and at the mercy of, someone else, with all the risks that entails. (In the most extreme and vivid case, it was the decision by thousands of German soldiers to have Adolf Hitler do their thinking for them that allowed the holocaust to happen).  But the greatest damage of the choice not to think is not in the overtly bad things that may happen, but in the good things that won't happen:  the loss of the self confidence and self esteem that comes from successful personal thinking...and the consequent difficulty in acquiring and enjoying a happy life.

Why then do so many choose so often not to think for themselves, with such a large, potential downside?  For many reasons, I guess, but perhaps mostly because of the fear of responsibility for making wrong, improper or less than the best of decisions,  The deflation  of one's balloon.  Nonthinking also seems to save you time, and perhaps it does so, in the short run,  In the long run, it costs you time and just about everything else of value.

Interesting to note that society promotes non-thinking by offering acceptance to those who do what is expected of them, those who "follow the rules", adhere to protocols, proprieties and the "should do's" and "must do's"....and sentences those who do not to unfavored status and expulsion.  I suppose it is not surprising that society's public education stem omits this whole subject.

And that is something to think about.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


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:

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?
What are the penalties of poor Thinking or of not Thinking at all?
Are you a Good Thinker?


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


There is a tribe I heard about that is among the happiest of all beings on the planet. And since happiness may be the ultimate goal for all of us, I thought it worthwhile to study how this tribe lives, their customs and mores, and what they are doing that makes them laugh and seem to enjoy life so much. Here is what I learned:

They tend to weigh under 150 pounds, which suggests they avoid many fat-related diseases. Also, their lighter weight no doubt puts less stress on their hearts and other organs. Is health a factor in happiness?

Their brain size is about half the size of that of most people. Perhaps that suggests that overthinking a problem is not psychologically healthy since it may produce feelings of doubt and uncertainty, all of which attack and lessen the level of self esteem thought by most psychologists as the prerequisite to attaining happiness.

Their average life expectancy is 15 years below the worldwide human average, suggesting they avoid the debilitating illnesses and limitations of older age, and the knowledge of even middle aged people of what is likely in store for them. So while they may live shorter lives, they may be in fact more fearless, less incapacitated, ones. Happier ones.

They are polygamous, most often bisexual, and crave and engage in frequent sex...which no doubt explains a lot. Their main work is hunting, suggesting perhaps that civilization hasn't worked out as well as expected. They are altruistic and show great empathy toward other life forms. They are extremely curious, have exceptional memories, and appreciate natural beauty.

Can we learn from them? That is for each of us to answer for ourself. With so many of us finding happiness so elusive, I would think it best to leave no stone unturned.

For more information on the tribe, check out Pan Troglodyte or Pan Paniscus on your computer.

You know them as chimpanzees.

Our ancestors.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


We know the upside of marriage.  What we do not often hear is the price we pay for that upside, so here is some straight talk on that price:

LOSS OF VARIETY...the spice of life...sexually, and to some extent, intellctually, psychologically, emotionally

LOSS OF SPONTANEITY...off the cuff spontaneous activities are harder to pull off when there are two involved, not one...rare that two will feel spontaneous about the same thing at the same time

LOSS OF SURPRISE...an offshoot of less variety...greater familiarity, more known, "knew you'd say that"

LOSS OF CHANGING COURSE...harder to change your mind when another is dependent on your living up to your word

CONFLICTING PRIORITIES..."I think this is more important," "We can't do this without first doing that"

NEED FOR MORE SCHEDULING...free wheeling upsetting to planner type

LOSS OF UNQUESTIONED BEHAVIOR... "Why'd you say that, you should've said this,"  "Can't understand why you would do that"

DOUBLE THE BURDENS...of psychological pressures, worries, fears


Small price to pay for that upside, yes?

Thursday, August 4, 2011


The title should reveal to you how I feel about our Founding Fathers, who conceived the most wonderful of societies based on the most enlightened of ideas.  History testifies to how right they were.

But, alas, alack, they were not infallible nor omniscient nor free of error.  They were human, and in the writing of our glorious Constitution, they made errors.

Herein is my list of those errors…ideas incorporated in the Constitution that are flat out wrong, some that are arguably wrong, and those that are wrong because they are lacking in clarity:

Article I, Sec. 2
“Representatives…shall be apportioned among the several states…according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons…three-fifths of all other persons.”

“All other persons”, I guess, was a euphemism for “slaves”.  The FF could not say “all other men” because then it would clash head-on with the principle tenet of the Constitution they spelled out in the Declaration of Independence:  “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are…Liberty.”

The FF should have rejected slavery as an abhorrent denigration of the luminous concept of liberty, which they extolled.  Instead, they confirmed it.  ERROR

Article I, Sec. 8
        “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises”

All taxes of any kind, shape or manner, are violations of a taxpayer’s freedom.  They are the forceful taking of my property
without my consent…property to which I have an unalienable right, as a product of my life, to retain and/or dispose of as I, and I alone, see fit.   No matter the uses, benevolent or otherwise, to which taxes may be put, each and every tax is contradictory to, and a repudiation of, the concept of freedom.  If the government needs funds, in a freedom-based country like America, it must do so without denying that base on which it rests.  ERROR

      “The Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce …among the several states”

This so-called interstate commerce clause is one of the most egregious errors made by the FF. Virtually every good and service has been deemed to be in interstate commerce.  If a single nail used in the construction of a building located in State A was made in State B, the building and all activities therein are considered to be in and affecting interstate commerce and subject to government regulation.  Under this interpretation, the federal government has the power to regulate just about whatever it wishes…and it has been upheld by the Supreme Court in doing so.

The government’s intrusion into, and its issuance of regulations, in one of the most significant of human activities…commerce, the making of money…is antithetical to the fundamental concept of the sovereignty of the individual, not the state,  America’s unique foundation.  ERROR

       “The Congress shall have power to establish…an uniform rule on the subject of bankruptcies”

See prior analysis on the government’s intrusion into commerce.  ERROR

       “The Congress shall have power to establish post offices”

The sole proper responsibility of government is to maintain an environment in which we are free to live our lives as we choose, provided we do not initiate force against others and thereby deny them their comparable freedom.   Ayn Rand has pointed out the three ways in which the government fulfills that responsibility, to wit, maintaining police forces, military forces, and law courts to peacefully resolve disputes.  It is certainly not a proper government function to be in the mail delivery business.  The fact that a national postal service was “needed” in the time of the FF is not a valid reason for the government to unilaterally extend its Constitutionally enumerated powers.  The fact that, today, the government is in the postal business in competition with private firms, and is financed in part by taxes collected from those private firms, is doubly onerous.  ERROR

       “The Congress shall have power to raise and support armies”

Certainly, a function of the government is to maintain a military force (see above).  The question is: Did the FF envision the manning of that force solely by voluntary enlistments, or by a military draft, or both?  If a military draft was meant to be permitted, then the FF failed to see the contradiction of forcing  someone to fight for his freedom.  If a military draft was not intended, then the FF failed to make that clear.

Article 2, Sec. 2

        “The president…shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States”

The granting of reprieves and pardons for criminal offenses is properly done by an independent judiciary.  Giving the power to grant them to the Chief Executive made them political in nature, and we have historically seen the not unexpected abuse of that power.  ERROR

Article 4, Sec. 2

            “No person held to service or labour in one states…escaping into another, shall…be discharged from such service or labour, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be due”

Reinforces the legitimacy of slavery and the immoral premise on which it rests: the treatment of  humans as chattel.  ERROR

Amendment I

                    “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble”

The listing of specific rights suggests they are the only rights, or the only ones protected from government interference.  In fact, freedom is  an individual’s right to do an endless array of peaceful choices , all unalienable at all times.  ERROR

Amendment II

              “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to bear and keep arms, shall not be infringed”

The awkward wording of that Amendment does not make clear whether the FF intended to recognize the right to private gun ownership.  ERROR

Amendment V

               “Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”

This, the eminent domain clause, gives the government the right to seize privately owned property, if paid for.  It is a clear violation of the unalienable right to one’s property and implicitly sanctions the use of force against  innocent property owners.  If the government needs a particular piece of property for government, it must seek to acquire it within the framework of individual property rights and freedom.     ERROR

In addition to the above overt errors, the FF made a significant error of omission.    They failed to acknowledge that women had co-equal rights with men, including the right to vote, and that when they had referred to “all men are created equal” in the Declaration, they meant both men and women.  By such failure, they supported and continued an irrational and discriminatory practice toward half the population.

The Founding Fathers were indeed men of outstanding virtue and vision.  Their invention of a society rooted in the sovereignty of each individual ranks as the greatest of human achievements, despite the errors I have noted.   I applaud and revere them for the grandeur of the country they fashioned for us all.  

Saturday, July 23, 2011


by ray newman

The dominant topics of most people's conversation these days circulates around what I refer to as 'management of life" issues...earning or not earning enough money, paying bills, finding cheaper sources for a host of perceived necessary insurances (including auto, health, life, disability, travel, funeral and more), scheduling, confirming, changing, medical, dental and vision appointments, how friends, family, the famous, are mis/handling their personal disasters and setbacks, and on and on.

And not one of them interests me a whit...because they don't qualify as life living because:
   * they are all concretes which do not touch our spirits, our souls
   * they all lack the sweet and spicy aspects of life living...to wit, passion, excitement, thrills
   * they lead not to an enhanced sense of well-being but to stress, despair, depression
   * they are never endingly, monotonously, boringly, repetitious
   * they utilize not one iota of our gifted capacity to explore, to contemplate, to create.
And therein is the major reason why cavemen, aborigines and primitives were  more advanced than we are and lived fuller lives than we do.  Yes they were and Yes they did.  They did not mismanage their lives.  Think of all the things they didn't spend time with:  keeping up to date on cell phones, ipods, blackberries, computers, storing records for tax returns, listing access passwords, remembering  zip codes, area codes, pin numbers, garbage pickup days, credit card numbers, etc., etc., etc.

Oh what a tangled web and mess
When first we practice to progress

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I think it ironic...and sad...that when we count our blessings and think of all the things we have, we most often do not think of the prime blessing, the one without which the others would have no meaning. It is the blessing of being alive. First and foremost what we have is life.

The expected not coming to pass, a relationship gone awry, some rain on our parade, all pale when sidled up to the sublime joy and blessing of being alive. And I think the prime reason for that awareness generally not being at or near the forefront of our minds is that we were not taught that when we were younger. And the reason for that is likely because to think about life is to think of the alternative--death--and that is a subject most prefer to put out of their minds, and the minds of the young.

Yet it seems clear that those who have that awareness sparkling in their minds are much more likely to attain the treasure of happiness.

So, suggestion: Each morning when rising, each evening when lying down to sleep, each time one of life's hurdles pops up in your way, first think but two words (with a smile on your face): I Am!...alive, blessed, among the chosen, lucky.

Not bad to think it when things are going well, too.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


An aide to another Presidential contender said "Michelle Bachmann will be tough to beat in the Iowa caucus because she has hometown appeal, ideological appeal and sex appeal." The sex thing set off a bit off a furor. Bachmann was insulted for someone to say her appeal was sexual (sorry, Sigmund, we are a sexless people after all). The aide hadn't said that exactly, he sais one of her appeals was...oh, well, here's a scenario:

The Presidential election has been held and the votes are being counted. It is a dead heat between Bachmann and Obama. One guy's vote is all that remains to be counted and whoever he voted for will be President.

He voted for Bachmann...and announces he did so solely because he lusts after her, he thinks she is blazing hot and he would love to ravage her.

Bachmann is insulted, I assume, rejects the vote, and Obama remains President for another four years. Right?

Of course.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I like to walk. In the park. Quiet, empty, serene, beautiful.

Yesterday, one of the other few walkers had gathered a group of 5 other walkers and told me he had something to discuss. He wanted to form a walking club.

"It will be nicer walking as part of a group"

(Walking is walking, it'll be the same, but less private)

"We can call it 'The Sparta Walkers' or 'Drifters' or 'Nomads' and we can have t-shirts made up with our name on the front or the back, we can vote on that...and we can meet here every other day at 9 am...and of course invite other walking groups to join us"

(I don't always feel like walking at 9 and I wish I were a real nomad)

"I think dues of $15 a month will cover a group party on the last walking day of each month, unless it is already a holiday, in which case it will be the first walking day of the following month. As President for the first 6 months, I'll collect the money , cash or bank check only. Presidents can only serve for 4 consecutive terms unless by unanimous vote that rule is waived"

(I don't pay 15 cents to do what I do for free...and one President in my life is more than enough)

"Dogs can be brought along if on a string not longer than 50 feet"

(Goodbye serenity)

"It'll be great"

(Yesterday was Independence Day...but you'd never know it)

Saturday, June 11, 2011


* The people people who scream the loudest about "the lewd, lascivious and otherwise disgusting display" by Rep. Weiner of his private parts, are the same ones who seem most interested in seeing pictures of them.

* Democrats who fervently favor freedom for gays to marry, women to have abortions, and illegal immigrants to enter this country, also fervently favor greater and greater government controls in every sector of the economy...meaning they favor liberty and justice but not "liberty and justice for all" as the Pledge of Allegiance calls for.

* Who better for Rep. Weiner to ask for advice than Bill Clinton, who refused to resign after having oral (it wasn't) sex in the Oval Room with an aide?

* Even atheists say "God bless you" when someone sneezes.

* In most states, youngsters may be old enough to marry and have children (or an abortion) but not yet old enough to have a beer.

* The loudest voices urging Obama to restrain domestic oil exploration and development, are the same voices who bellyache the loudest about the ever increasing fuel oil prices spurred by those restraints.

* Most colleges and universities admit only brighter students, which is as misguided as if physicians were to treat only healthier patients.

* American citizens can kill only in self-defense, but virtually all politicos believe our government, which derives its powers from the people, can bomb and kill those around the world who pose absolutely no threat to us.

* White bridal gowns don't mean what they used to.

* Telephone callers who prefer to hear the message in French, German, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Chinese or any one of hundreds of other world languages and dialects, including Zulu and Papuan, will be able to do so by pressing a special number...an innovation that will be considered technological progress though it will take up to an hour and a half before some can start speaking.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Where has morality gone? With all the scandals in the news these days, it is a natural question. The previously prevalent code of morality seems to have disappeared.

But from one perspective, it is clear to me that morality has not disappeared, has not gone anywhere...because it never WAS. The dominant philosophy in our society has been a subjective one...not something real to be found in reality, but anchored in people's feelings...feelings of what is the right way to live, a good way to live...anchored ultimately in "what works".

But "what works" is itself subjective, no reality-based standard being used to set its standards. If Sam gets a job and his hands on some money by lying, though he is less qualified than Tom, Sam thinks lying "works", but Tom does not, since he is more qualified. Who is right? What standard should be used?

* Should Sam get the money because he was more skillful at getting what he wanted?
* Should Tom get the job because he is more qualified?
* Does Sam deserve to get the money because he violated a Biblical admonition against lying?
* Should they share the money from the job because everyone needs money to live on?

And on and on.

These questions would not arise with regard to pebbles. If the question was: Is it moral for Mary to give pebbles to her starving infant child to eat for breakfast, the answer would be a resounding, and unanimous, NO. Why? Because pebbles are real...their effects, if eaten, are real and known...the child's inability to digest pebbles is real and known...the likely damage to the child is real and known. Why no questions regarding pebbles? Because they exist in reality, they are objective. Pebbles are provably harmful to a human's physiology...and since morality is a code of pro-life conduct, feeding them to your child is immoral.

Is there a moral code that is based solely in reality? Are there facts in reality that determine whether it is moral to lie to get a job, to prove whether integrity and independence and pride and productivity are moral virtues? There are.

Is there a philosophy that spells that all out? Yes, fortunately and thankfully, Objectivism.(What other name for it would be more appropriate?)

Friday, June 3, 2011


When a physician refuses to perform an operation because of the elderly age of the patient, or because there is a risk of complications or even death, he/she is violating a specific vow of the Hippocratic Oath and the hoped for reward of being true to it:

"I must not play at God."

Deciding who will and who will not receive medical treatment to relieve pain, discomfort or distress because of potential risks, is indeed playing God. That decision belongs to, is the property of, the patient, and the patient only. It is the life, and the quality of life of the patient, that is at stake, and not that of the physician. The obligation of the physician is to give the patient all of the available information on which the patient can make an informed decision.

"May I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help."

"Healing" is far more than merely extending life. It includes the amelioration of all sorts of physical. mental and emotional afflictions, ailments and conditions. It includes the enhancement of the comfort of life, for as long as it may last. For a physician to pick and choose those patients in need of and desirous of care that he will treat, is to violate the spirit of the Oath and demean the medical profession.

Monday, May 30, 2011



We are addicted to rating ourselves. Glibly summing up the event, the result, our lives. We are a numerical species, we use numbers to measure everything. The most popular numbers we use to rate ourselves are:

Amount of our money
Number of offspring
Numbrt of friends
Years of marriage
Time at same residence
Square footage of house
Job longevity
Number of trips

And they all add up to...? Nothing.

Try these instead:

Percentage of each day your soul is at peace
The number of times you smile each day without a joke having been told

Works for me.

ucks! The ups and downs of life.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I was sitting outside by the lake, and a small bug/fly flew onto my shirt. I brushed it off and after a few moments, it landed again on my shirt. Three times, four times, a dozen times, I brushed it off and it came back.

Ha, ha, I thought, that must be it. Those more in the know that me say that our setting up a lifestyle with...dare I say, monotonously boring...repetitive acts done generally at the same time each day, in the same way...that our penchant for doing so is in our genes. Bugs do it, bees do it, birds do it...chimps probably did it...and so we humans, despite our unique capacity to exercise free will and to choose...we do it, too.

So, a toast to irregularity, spontaneity, the changeable, the unfixed, the unsteady, the indecisive, the unpredictable, the fickle, the erratic, the impetuous, the whimsical.

I ain't no bug/fly.

Are you?

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Freedom and force are the two combatants. Make your choice. You cannot have both. They cannot live together.

Properly seen, the function of our government is to eliminate force from our lives, thus letting us bask in freedom. The preamble to the Constitution saying it was enacted "to promote the general welfare", was a recognition that freedom was to everyone's welfare and benefit.

Today, those few words are mistakenly interpreted...worse, intentionally misinterpreted...as authority for the government to do basically whatever those in office wish to do, imposing restrictions, limitations, on our freedom...and worse, forcing us to do things we have not individually chosen to do.

Every...EVERY...government law, ruling, edict, agenda, is backed up by FORCE.

The beast has turned and is feeding on us. Its hunger appears insatiable. Control this, regulate that, give money away to foreign nations , refrain from enforcing certain laws, favor one group over another, impose higher and higher taxes to pay its freight. Worse....run up $14,000,000,000,000 in debt for us and future generations to have strapped to our backs.

The illusion that this evolution is in our general welfare has long since been buried. A few choice words in the Preamble now ignored: "TO SECURE THE BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY TO OURSELVES AND OUR POSTERITY". Obama has intentionally and maliciously, with the aid of his blind supporters, has run our country over the edge. And I hear no voice of reason, of intelligence, of sanity, to turn back the political tsunami that has engulfed us. So that does away with the idea of a second American Revolution as a possible fix.

The major force exerted against me today comes from the government, the organization set up for the purpose of protecting me FROM force. That is unacceptable

Anarchy looms. Couldn't be worse.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


A friend of mine asked me where morality in our society has gone. I have not taken a verifying poll, so I cannot say with certainty whether there are indeed fewer moral people than there were, say, 40-50 years ago, though it sure seems that way. But what seems clear to me is that those who believe in living by a moral code that encompasses integrity, honesty, independence and productivity, have gone underground.

Concerned about being classed as being "square", living by old rules, being out-of-date, and ridiculed for "not being with it", many, many moral people have chosen, I think, to be relatively quiet on this critically important issue. Their choice to keep their morality to themselves is further spurred by their general inability to prove the validity of their moral code, based as it most often is on subjective feelings, whims and unprovable ancient dogma.

And their silence has devastating consequences. Youngsters struggling to define a way of life for themselves, hear little to rebut the immoral onslaught coming at them daily from friends, in popular music, new wave movies, and just about everywhere else:

"It's a dog-eat-dog world"

"Gotta do what you gotta do to get ahead"

"Everybody's doing it"

"Times have changed and we have to, too"

"Everything's in"

As always, when the good, the right, the wise, are silent, the bad, the wrong, the unintelligent and uninformed, win...by default.

Time to come out of the moral closet before the door gets jammed shut for a long, long time.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Research reveals:

The Philistines complained to the Israelites that David's use of a sling and his beheading of Goliath when the giant lay wounded on the ground, violated the rules of combat at the time and that recrimination against the Israelites would continue for thousands of years.

The Philistines further argue:

1. That though Goliath had daily dared a soldier to fight him, David was but a child and Goliath would not have harmed him;

2. That Goliath's proposal that the war be decided by one battle between him and an Israelite soldier was designed to save lives and was in harmony with the Elaj accords;

3. That at the time of the beheading, Goliath was not attacking David and David was not in harm's way;

4. That slingshots were not an internationally-approved weapon of war, and could have injured non-combatant civilians who were interspersed with the non-uniformed Philistine soldiers;

5. That history has unfairly portrayed Goliath as a cruel, killing machine, when in fact he was a brave, heroic warrior.

There is much to think about and to learn from this ancient tale, though it is not likely ever to be repeated, is it?

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I’m running
Who asked?

I’ll announce by July 1 if I am going to run”
Did you announce when you were going to announce if you are going to run?

I may run
Me too

I might not run
Same thing

My family doesn’t want me to run
Who does?

The polls say I should run
Who knows better than 348 people out in Wyoming?

I never thought of running before

I don’t know if I can raise the money to run
Why is that, do you think?

My health is good
What better reason to run?

My health is not great
Better run soon

I don’t know who else is running
Anything else you don’t know?

A lot of good people are running
Is that a Yes or a No?

Maybe I shouldn’t run
Now you’re talking

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Now here comes the sophisticated analyses by the political intelligentsia, academia and think tankers, of the "legality" of our killing of Bin Laden:

On one side:

"The raid was conducted in a manner consistent with the laws of war"

"He wasn't armed but he put up resistance"

"He didn't hold up his hands and surrender"

"The U.S. gave OBL the possibility to surrender, but he refused"

On the other side:

"He was not moving at the time he was initially shot"

"Were arresting officers in fear of their lives?"

"Was it lawful for one country to conduct a raid in another country?"

"Bin Laden was shot shortly after he had eaten breakfast and the food was not fully digested, no doubt causing him undue and unnecessary and unlawful indigestion before his death"

"The bullet that killed him was made in Mexico and that country had not been consulted about, nor had it approved, our use of that bullet in this international murder"

"Bin Laden was killed on Tuesday, and in that region of the world, the Goddess Tushi, after whom the day is named, is a symbol of pleasure and delight"

Good arguments all for our elimination of the man who had declared war on America, attacked us, and in every waking moment, plotted, orchestrated and directed his plan to kill us all. What could we have been thinking?

And, Mr. President, I trust you were kidding, talking tongue in cheek, when you said your reason not to release the picture of our dead enemy was that it would inflame anti-U.S. feelings around the world. What you should have said was: "Attack us and we will destroy you with unremitting and unparallelled force," and then dropped pictures of it in every town and hamlet in the anti-American regions of the world." Never took "Bullying 101" did you?

Monday, May 2, 2011


Any reference to the killing of Bin Laden as an American victory, triumph, or achievement is an absurdity and insulting to the thousands of Americans Bin Laden killed, and their families. It took 10 years for the most powerful, technologically sophisticated country in world history to locate and remove this one, weak, hapless, enemy...while he continued his destructive ends.

And what I sense will likely be the characterizing of this event as a political success for the President and the Democratic party is an abomination and reprehensible.

Americans are fighting and continue to be killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and a host of other regions of the world. Contrary to political garbage-talk, we have no business being in those countries, they pose no immediate threat to us, we have no responsibility to dictate in any way what happens there. Our enlarging of the Gunfight at the OK Corral to world scope is not OK.

From any and every perspective, Bin Laden was a tragedy for the U.S. His removal from the landscape is of course positive...but it fills not one empty chair.

Friday, April 29, 2011


In a review of the movie based on Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged", the comment was made that Miss Rand was opposed to "natural law". Not so.

Early man must have marveled at the order in the Universe. The sun rose, traversed the sky, and set. Over and over again. The seasons came and went. The harvest was gathered, and renewed. Life begat new life, which begat new life. There was order everywhere.

Our distant ancestors were also, no doubt, baffled by the order they perceived. Without science to guide them, the order was incomprehensible, unexplainable, to them. And where did the flowing streams, the schools of fish, the mountains and clouds, come from? And most importantly to them, where did they come from?

It is not in the least surprising that our original forefathers the world over answered these questions, and many more, in one word: God. The Creator (of all order), the Almighty (the power to produce all order), the First Cause (of all order). All questions answered.

Miss Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, at the heart of the new movie, is rooted in the recognition that it is the nature (order) of man and the world in which he lives that is the only proper standard to apply to all philosophic questions... including: What is the proper code of morality for man? What is the only political system suited to man? How does man find happiness and fulfillment?

What Miss Rand was opposed to was the understandable but unreasoned ancient anthropomorphizing of the source of order. Science has since taught us what caveman did not and could not have known...and what the nature of our reasoning mind can learn.

To those who still feel the humanizing need, may I introduce you to Mother Nature.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


How I deplore the mindless fawning over, and reverence extended toward,royalty again with the pending wedding of William and Kate. I cannot and will not refer to them as Prince or Princess.

Royalty is code wording for majesty, high and honorable descent, upper class... abhorrent concepts that are the enemy of the American dedication to equality, and repugnant to the memory of every soldier who died to preserve it.

William/Kate is not the wedding of the century...that will be reserved for my children, and yours and yours.

And no, Americans' celebration of this event is not innocent...it implants in the minds of the young the insidious specialty of some and the bestowing of totally unearned and undeserved honors to them purely on the basis of ancestry or marriage.


Monday, April 18, 2011


I have designed a new pill...actually 7 new pills. Each pill will give you one of the following ailments for 1 day:

alzheimers, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, autism, pancreatic cancer, parkinsons, multiple sclerosi. Other pills are being worked on.

No politician voting on any issue affecting those diseases, no politician voting on any expenditure bill of any sort, no politician giving his opinion about any expenditure bill in Congress, in public, on television, may lawfully do so without first taking the pill that produces the illness(es) affected.

When the President speaks about sending millions and billions of dollars to help the Libyan or Egyptian people, or any other people around the world, he must first sequentially take all 7 pills...so that he can begin to know and experience first hand the craving needs of the American people whose money he is giving away. Right now, he has not a clue. The funds he proposes to give away ought AND MUST first be given to drug research companies to be utilized to find cures for these afflicting ailments, diseases, conditions. And, yes, those cures should then be given to the Libyan and Egyptian people and to all the peoples of the world.

There is an old Chinese saying to the effect "You cannot really know my plight until you have walked a mile in my shoes".

Or one day, Mr. President...just one day.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


It has traditionally been believed that happiness is derived from the attainment of values, most commonly identified as tangible goods. And there is certainly a measure of truth to that belief. But the new toaster, the shining new car, the exquisitely furnished home, do not bring enduring happiness on their own. Their impact is muted and/or short-lived unless they are coupled with the primary value: recognizing the glory of life.

Benevolence, compassion, kindness, concern, are not mere social graces, manners and niceties. They are not mere acts of religious tenets. They rest on, and reflect, the deepest conviction, persuasion, and affirmation, They cannot be bought in a store, they cannot be gifted to another. Each of us must must come to own them on our own, through our own quiet reflection on the grandiosity, the majesty, the nobility, of life itself.

It is goodness not goods that measure a man and his ultimate bounty.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I used to think "Of course,not everything those in political office are doing need be revealed to the American people, that there is a greater, more pressing, need for top secret and 'need to know' classifications...to keep our country's enemies from knowing everything we are doing".

Wrong! First, our enemies likely already know pretty much everything important we are doing...and if they don't they will soon find out. In the modern technologically-based world, secrets are not easily, if at all, kept from those trained to unearth them.

But secrets, lies, half-truths, and feigned ignorance, can and have covered up truths from the American people and have created a political dictatorship by those in key offices that rival the oppressive, ugly classic dictatorships found in other countries. Our dictatorship may in fact be worse, for it's existence is hidden behind historic slogans of equality, fairness, morality, justice, freedom and individual rights...slogans we grew up learning identified the American spirit and the American way. They don't anymore.

The first step to ousting our dictatorship? Open truth, revelation, to the American people. Total. Let our enemies hear it all. Let them know full well the country they confront, the strength and will and consequences they face. We can handle and survive our enemies...but we need to know the total, unrestricted, truth of everything being done by our political leaders, our guardians, on our behalf. We are not the enemy, although at times we are treated as such. The potential damage to our not knowing is infinitely greater than the potential disadvantage of our enemies knowing. Our need to know far outweighs our need for the enemy not to know.

And that's the truth.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Time for another war (Libya):

* Gaddafi, a bad dude, poses no threat to the U.S.

* We haven't the money, the resources, the personnel, to fight another war

* The war has not been officially declared, as required, by Congress

* We don't know, or won't admit knowing, the make-up of the "rebels and protesters" we are supporting...they are incited, led, financed, by Al Qaeda and Muslim fundamentalists and terrorists, Gaddafi's sworn enemies, who seek to impose sharia law in Libya

* Americans are still seriously hurting economically, and if "humanitarian aid" (a euphemism for unauthorized foreign involvement) is to be doled out again, it ought first be doled out to the needy, the deserving, here at home

* Libya has Africa's largest oil reserves

* Our involvement in the war is being claimed to be legitimate by the State Department due to its initiation by an international community. Without a functioning President, we do need someone to call the shots, don't we?

Ready or not, wise or not, legal or not, bang, bang.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


What is Art?

"Treating the commonplace with the feeling of the sublime"

"The conveyance of spirit"

"The expression of one soul talking to another"

"An instant arrested in eternity"

"Life upon the larger scale"

"The perfection of nature"

"The wine of life"

"A shadow of divine perfection"

Now you know why I don't watch reality shows.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Most of my expertise in psychological matters comes from fortune cookies.

It is commonly presented as a life and death battle: the past versus the present versus the future.

"Don't live in the past, it's over and done with"
"Live in the present, that's all we have"
"Prepare for the future, it'll be here before you know it"

One critical thing I noticed recently is that living in the present, today's dominant advice, has a generally unrecognized downside: the short life it gives happiness. It is generally accepted that the lion's share of happiness comes from
the attainment of desired values, the achievement of desired goals, and it ought be easy to recognize, too, that they were garnered in the past, and that failing to think about, harbor specific memories of, and relish the past, is probably happy's deadliest enemy.

I have too often seen a truckload of happiness, loaded with dear relationships, laughter and good fortune from the past, skid and crash on a few drops of spilt milk in the present. Haven't you?

They say that the failure to remember the failures of the past dooms man to repeat them. Perhaps so. But the failure to savor the glories of the past costs even more.

Of course we should delight in where we are walking, but we ought treasure where we've come from and dream of what's ahead.

Past, Present, Future are not enemies of each other. They are reflections of each other, each contributing to the enjoyment of the other.

Anyone got another cookie?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The world has changed dramatically in a number of ways since I was a teenager, and perhaps the change with the greatest impact has been the loss of our country's moral underpinning.

Morality ran high during WWII. The world consisted of the good guys and the bad guys...the line of delineation was clear...and the bad guys had to be beaten down at all costs. It is not to say everyone was honest and moral. I am saying that there was a pervasive feeling that one ought to be honest and moral...and that those who weren't were failing to live in accordance with the proper standard. That was the dominant moral fibre in the country.

It was exemplified in the 1952 movie, High Noon. The sheriff stays to fight the bad guys, although his new wife pleads with him to leave when the townspeople refuse to fight with him to protect their homes, their lives. because he had given his word to do so when he put on the badge. (Over 400,000 American military men and women died protecting our homes and our lives in WWII.) Perhaps, as John Wayne suggested, the first crack in our country's moral fibre showed up at the end of the movie when, after having killed the bad guys, the sheriff takes off his badge, throws it to the ground, and stomps on it. Wayne called it "unAmerican", and in the way I see it, it was...a change in our moral outlook.

Shortly afterward, the moral unraveling sped up, spearheaded by our political leaders and by events involving our country's leaders.

1963: the assassination of JFK, America's perceived prince

1963-75: the questionable reports by President Johnson on which our involvement in the Vietnam War was sustained

1968: the assassination of Martin Luther King, one of America's outstanding moral leaders

1968: the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

1972: the break-in at Watergate, orchestrated by President Nixon

1974: the resignation of President Nixon

1998: the impeachment of President Clinton on grounds of perjury and obstruction of justice arising from the Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones affairs, though subsequently acquitted by an essentially political vote (were there any who thought Clinton had not lied?)

2003: our invasion of Iraq and the prevalent belief today that the George W. Bush administration had lied to us about Hussein's having weapons of mass destruction to support that invasion

Today: President Obama refuses to live up to his oath to enforce our laws, who treats the Constitution as a piece of political trash

I could cite other triggers to our loss of moral standards...such as the scandals unveiled in the Catholic Church, formerly accepted as a moral voice in the world, and wanton promotion by political hacks of the immorally applied concept of "entitlements". One is entitled to what one earns and to be left free to earn it. Period. Every other so-called "entitlement" involves the taking of something...property, rights...from A and immorally giving it to B. And, if I am entitled to something, then morality be damned. I will lie to get it, steal it, or kill for it if I have to.

Here's the real killer though about the missing fibre: no one seems to be looking for it.