Category Archives: Opinion

Interesting Times Indeed.

—  “May you live in interesting times.Wheres_Waldo_Dog_a

An English expression, which supposedly is a translation of a traditional “Chinese curse”.

Although it sounds more like a blessing, the expression is normally used ironically. The implied understanding is that “uninteresting times” of peace and tranquillity are more life-fulfilling than interesting ones. From a historical perspective, “interesting times”, suggest disorder and conflict.

No known source has been attributed to the expression, and there’s only a similar phrase according to sources better informed than myself.  The similar phrase does catch the concept.

—  “Better to be a dog in a peaceful time, than to be a human in a chaotic (warring) period.

—  “World history is not the ground of happiness. The periods of happiness are empty pages in her.”  —  Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

How Society Uses Politics to Decide What’s Racist

The reaction to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s past use of blackface shows how racism gets defined by politics, not morality. Is that a good thing?

 By THEODORE R. JOHNSON |

Northam’s decades-old racist behavior does not inherently suggest he lacks the moral acuity to govern now. If he is to be taken at his word—that he is not racist, ardently supports civil rights and is genuinely horrified by his past attitudes and actions—then his growth and maturation could be seen as evidence of his fitness for office.

This distinction, however, is immaterial because his moral failing in the past is a political liability today. And, especially on matters of racism, politics—and the defining of what is and is not a liability—polices the boundaries of what we’re willing to accept as a society.

Confused_person_2We live at a time that seems more interested in finding social approval than a basis for moral judgement. There’s a philosophy of relativism, without moral absolutes. Right and wrong are an opinion based on current trend and social acceptance.

Somehow, what people have done 30+ years ago is relevant but the current taking of innocent life isn’t. Note, recent decisions by some local governments on abortion at full term.  What people won’t do to puppies or kittens, they appear to have no hesitation in killing babies.

Stealing from people you don’t like is OK, as long as it’s not you or someone you know. Recommendations by some for taxes up to 80 or 90% on the wealthy.

Men lie about rape, women never do. (Unwritten rules probably inscribed in stone).

Men who claim strong religious faith find new ways to lie to the public.

Rules and laws are subject to adherence on the basis of how you personally feel? See sanctuary cities in defiance of federal law. Pay no attention to the parts of the U.S. which at one time went to war over how they felt about sovereignty and slavery.

So, what’s right or wrong? It looks to be all relative.
What do you think?

How do you start your day? They say breakfast is an important meal that shouldn’t be skipped. What about your brain? What do you ingest the first few hours of your day?

Starting Your Day on the Internet Is Damaging Your Brain

You can either start you day with junk food for the brain (the internet, distracting apps, etc) or you can start the day with healthy food for the brain (reading, meditation, journaling, exercising, etc). When you start the day with junk food for the brain, you put yourself at a self imposed handicap that inhibits your ability to get into flow and prevents you from doing deep work. When you start the day with health food for your brain, the exact opposite happens.
 By Srinivas Rao September 18, 2017

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Why is This so Difficult?

Here we are again. . .
Politicians are speaking to their most loyal and influential adherents of their respective parties. Meanwhile nothing of value gets done. Some see this as a good thing, I see it as dysfunctional adults behaving more like children rather than leaders.

constitution-page-portionTo ignore our broken immigration process and to say, just let them in, is to ignore the reality of what is happening to the lives of all involved. For those who say, just let them all in, can we do that? Are the consequences for those involved (not those of us sitting in our over stuffed chairs), mostly positive?

Can we at least admit to ourselves, setting our political and personality hatreds aside for a moment, there are things going on which may require ignoring media pundits and think for ourselves.

I can’t tell you, nor should I, that what is right for others, maybe the perspective needed. I need not tell you that there’s more to what’s going on over the southern border arguments than the personalities of the strange and delirious Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi.

What I can suggest is, how do you conduct your personal lives with respect to people you don’t know? Do you leave your home with doors unlocked? Do you invite a neighbor in for coffee and then find they want to stay in your home? They like your bathroom toilets are not clogged and the kitchen dishes are clean and put away, so why not stay in your place? 49_ford_at_stoplight_c Since your personal generosity has been extended, and they’re asking to sleep in your main bedroom, why not toss them your car keys? They really don’t mind you continuing to make those hefty car payments, but can you do something about changing those radio station selections?

I don’t know about how you conduct your lives, but I’m kinda selfish. Oh I don’t mind helping out a neighbor. I’ve mostly been generous with my money and time. I do have my limits. I lock my doors, hold on to my car keys from strangers, and I don’t have unlimited resources where I can let anyone take over my house while I foot the bill(s). No, I won’t let someone else take over my house payment and car note just because they like mine better than theirs.

I’m even a bit peeved when someone insists I don’t share whatever someone else wants because I have a specific dislike for their accent, language, religion, or skin color. Somehow, laying on guilt or definition changes to words, doesn’t make me want to use as much of my time and material resources just to make you or someone else happy. I’ve tried that before and all I ended up with were a bunch of bills, ugly names, and an unending cycle of guilt tripping because I was never working or budgeting enough to satisfy the demands of the other party.

Your choices may be different.

BTW, can I come over and eat your food, and maybe take your car for a spin? I’m sorry your car ended up in a ditch, you know you should have been spending more on maintaining a proper vehicle.
uncontrolled_immigration
That’s maybe too obtuse for some to understand, but that’s my immigration speech for today. Come back tomorrow after you watch more of your favorite news and commentary to tell me how xenophobic and uncaring I am.

 

A Letter From the Past

The study of history, and learning from the consequences of decisions, all help in determining the future of a nation. No nation is immune to social upheaval or degradation in spite of past success.

A Time Capsule from 1938 includes a message from the physicist, Albert Einstein

einstein_picture_1921_profileOur time is rich in inventive minds, the inventions of which could facilitate our lives considerably. We are crossing the seas by power and utilize power also in order to relieve humanity from all tiring muscular work. We have learned to fly and we are able to send messages and news without any difficulty over the entire world through electric waves. However, the production and distribution of commodities is entirely unorganized so that everybody must live in fear of being eliminated from the economic cycle, in this way suffering for the want of everything. Further more, people living in different countries kill each other at irregular time intervals, so that also for this reason any one who thinks about the future must live in fear and terror. This is due to the fact that the intelligence and character of the masses are incomparably lower than the intelligence and character of the few who produce some thing valuable for the community. I trust that posterity will read these statements with a feeling of proud and justified superiority.”

What’s so sad to me is that people once again swallow the Marxist theories of economic production and wealth creation. Robbing one group of people to benefit another group, is a sure path to crippling both.

I grew up in a dysfunctional impoverished family. I lived with the hope and dream that through education (much of it self-taught) and disciplined work, I would not have to endure a lifetime of poverty. That was the dominant view of the society then, and it shows through because we stand upon the shoulders of those who organized, invented, shared, and distributed those ideas to all those willing to learn and move those ideas forward. Elon Musk named a car company Tesla, based on his respect for his inventive genius.

Today, there’s a different populist message. A message of despair, distrust, and selfishness. It goes something like this…
There are some who are privileged and lucky. We who believe we are not, see your success and believe you cheated others out of their rightful inheritance. We demand our fair share and will use that ballot box, legislation, riots, and personal violence if you don’t comply with our demands for social and economic justice.

I think I liked my youthful hopes better.

Education ~
During the 1920s, high school enrollment increased as a result of higher economic prosperity across the country and higher educational standards for industry jobs. It was seen as an avenue for career success and more young Americans entered high school and continued their education through college to gain an edge on others competing for new jobs.

ve1_vespucci_amerigoThere’s a significant push by some to suggest college is an expensive and un-rewarding choice, or that many would benefit by forgoing that education and taking up a trade. As in every “big idea”, there’s a grain of truth. Undoubtedly many people find themselves with burdensome student loans after they finish college. There are several things to consider when paying for higher education, no matter what choice is made, the end result must be examined before the journey begins. Some people would benefit by looking ahead and seeing what their education will do for them in terms of a career. Obviously some career paths provide greater compensation than others. That should be taken into consideration before considerable time and money are invested.

Economies of Scale ~
Mass production improved the economic output of the USA through the manufacture of many identical products by the division of labor into many small repetitive tasks. In the 1920s Henry Ford revolutionized the mode of production to produce inexpensive automobiles that could be purchased by many Americans.

The cost of bringing beneficial and useful appliances, tools, and entertainment, is expensive and risky in the initial phase, with no guarantee the item will be fully functional or desirable to a large group of people. There are a number of economic levers that must be pulled in order to create and launch a new product. Investors risk their reputations as well as the money from others when they support a new idea. Should the ‘product’ be in demand, everyone has a potential for a large economic reward. There are many instances where we see that success happening, but many which are no more successful than the Titanic.
titanic_sinking_drawing_1930s_magazine

The Constant Obsession ~
There are patterns and habits among many, which humanity clings, the need to compare. We constantly compare our lives in a never-ending chase of dissatisfaction. We feel the need in one form or another to “keep up with the Joneses“. This insatiable pull doesn’t take into account the myriad of differences and abilities each of us possess. The emotional draw ignores facts or discrepancies in order to satisfy the urge.

It’s Official: Wall Street Topped $100 Billion in Profit

This article focuses on the profits made by people on Wall Street. It’s ironic that the company on which this Masthead is posted was founded by Michael Bloomberg. In 1981, with the help of Thomas Secunda, Duncan MacMillan, Charles Zegar, and a 30% ownership investment by Merrill Lynch, Bloomberg launched his successful self-named business. Bloomberg installed his ‘market terminals’ in investment firms, as well as many publicly traded companies. His net worth is now over $58 billion.

In its strongest forms – greed, avarice, jealousy, are a perverse way of keeping score. It’s been said he (or she) with the most toys wins. What do any of us win with that type of focus? We all end up with the same amount of material possessions with which we came into this world. This obsession over what others have instead of ourselves must be tempered by some reality.

There are differences between people, their abilities, their strengths, weaknesses, discipline, goals and consistency. Obviously preparatory education helps, but execution and a willingness to take risks and failure are hallmarks of most successful people. If the game is rigged, either play the game or learn ways in which you will be satisfied without the need to constantly compare and fret over things beyond your control.

The pursuit of happiness (or the movie title misspelling – Pursuit of Happyness) isn’t necessarily about pursuing wealth but there needs to be freedom in which that’s possible. The economic system must allow room for that to occur, even though it’s not always achievable, there’s a need for those who pursue it, the possibility of upward improvement. Economies must not be rigged in such a way that fortune follows only the well-connected and powerful. Many understand it to be that way, based on the considerable pandering and inside deals made between business and politics. This “crony capitalism”, is a cancer on a country’s economy, and perhaps a start point for revolutionaries launch.

What we mustn’t forget are the false promises made through the disenfranchisement and disenchantment by some, to another grand scheme of lofty promises of a group or leader who claims if we only give them the authority, a utopian society will emerge. Such were the promises of Lenin based on Marxism. A society of fairness and higher order doesn’t evolve through more centralized control of production and distribution.

• Marx stated that the revolution of the working class was inevitable; this is why he even state that all history is a history of class struggle.

• Lenin pointed out that along with imperialism a condition for revolution does not emerge. Although heavily influenced by Marx  he diverted from the original ideas of Marx.

•  The communist revolution of Lenin took place in Russia which was economically stagnant.

• The nazi revolution of Hitler took place in Germany, economically ravaged by the outcome of World War I.

• The fascist revolution of Mussolini took place in Italy, because of its economic position after World War I, even though it had sided with the allies.

Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” G. K. Chesterton

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