Friday, April 4, 2014

DECISION TIME

(From Facebook -- it's where most of my activism get its expression.)

Tomorrow, we have a meeting of our free thought group and will try to hash out exactly where we want to go. Some want a formal organization under 501-C or something similar and many of us want it less formal and loose. The more formal we get, the harder the work for anyone in a leadership position and the more hoops to jump through. At my age and as active as I am here and on my blog, I tend to back off on getting involved in all kinds of time, money and labor intensive things.

Sponsoring speakers and advertising to the public brings in a few new associates but gets very expensive, and a couple of more afluent members have been bearing the brunt of that. That can't continue, so some sort of formal dues paying has to begin or we have to trim our sails. I definitely don't want the social outlet we've established to end. We all need the support and interacdtion of like-minded people.

So, this is an important meeting, as I see it. As one who helped get it started, I feel a responsibility to put in my two cents worth and help us chart a course that will work out well.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

SPACE COLONIZATION -- WILL IT HAPPEN?

Will we ever be able to colonize planets outside our own solar system? We're discovering more candidates all the time, as the article cited below reveals. But, they are so far away that many of them would require trips much longeer than the time from the original colonization of this country to now. We only have a dim awareness of our ancestors who took that journey. They all have one thing in common -- they're now dead!

Unless we can find some way of exceeding the speed of light, it looks virtually impossible to even contemplate anyone setting out on such a journey and living to see the end of it. Whole generations of humans would have to survive on a vehicle containing complete eco systems without ever breaking down in transit, evading all the hazards of interstellar hostile environments, etc.

Interstellor space is mostly empty, but not totally so. A host of wandering objects have to be out there and a hurtling spacecraft could easily wind up hitting one. Once in awhile, wandering objects like that have hit spaceship earth, and the dinosaurs didn't fare very well in the last big collision. There's even reason to believe another pretty big one led to the demise of the mammoths and other ancient fauna and a considerable number of humans as well.

For the immediate future, I think we'd better concentrate on maintaining the habitability or our own fagile world and quit acting like we have somewhere else to which we can move. Instead of worrying about maintaining hegemonic supremacy over other nations, we'd better start concentrating on cooperaating to ward off disasters that could very easily be heading our way from way out there and on keeping this fragile old planet hospitable.

Here's the article that set off this train of thought:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/02/exoplanets-best-chance-alien-life-infographic_n_5070763.html?utm_hp_ref=science

VERY DOWN

I'm very down tonight after that damnable ruling by the Supreme Court!

I'm angry. I'm filled with hate and loathing for that damnable republican party monstrousity that has systematically destroyed everything that made America great and turned it into a crock of shit. They're all a bunch of loathsome, lying, deceptive and deceitful dregs of humanity that wouldn't recognize common decency if they stumbled over it.

I don't like feeling this way. I just poured myself about a triple scotch to take some of the edge off, and that's something I rarely resort to. But, I need it tonight.

Right now, if anybody showed up at my door and identified him or herself as a rethug, I'd literally kick them off my property. No republican is a friend of mine anymore. I know the enemy when I see the enemy, and if you are a rethug, you are my enemy and the enemy of every other decent american. Just do me the courtesy of staying to hell away from me!!!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

DUALISM ANSWERS NOTHING

One of the hardest things to rip out of my mind is the old dualist idea that man is dual, having both a physical and a spiritual existence at the same time, that we are physical beings with an immortal soul that lives on after physical death.

This article pretty well debunks that doctrine. I have to admit that I'd still like for the old fairy tale to be true, but there is no real, tangible evidence that it can be.

have a good read: http://oldpiano.org/?p=237

Thursday, March 20, 2014

ANSWERED PRAYER

We jsut answered a prayer.

It came from little Daisy, our pomchi. She was thirsty and knows if she barks and starts dragging the plastic water bowl across the floor toward us, we will answer and fill the bowl. We never fail her, but I can't begin to remember all the prayers I used to waste my time and energy on and never received any answers that couldn't just as reasonably be accredited to pure chance.

Those chances still come to pass with about as much reliability as they did back then but without the humiliating exercise in subservience to an imaginary entity. In fact, all the good things that have come my way in the past few decades came from private action and pure dumb luck.

I know. It's comforting to imagine some transcendent and omnipotent "master" is going to magically cause things to go right for you and people constantly aver how so many of their prayers are answered. They ignore the millions of concentration camp victims who screamed out their desperate prayers in vain and the brutalized women and children who desperately plead in vain for dliverance as they are victimized and murdered. Their phantom is remarkably deaf and dumb in the face of such realities.

We're sort of like gods to little Daisy. However, we are real and we do act. That ethereal celestial phantom isn't and doesn't.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I'M NO DEBATER

We humans are so varied. No two people are exactly alike, even though there may be similariies, such as exist in families and culturally united populations.

I was thinking about myself and my unique talents and proclivities as compared with others I admire, specifically in the area of communications. I admire debaters like the late Christopher Hitchens, but I'm not a debater. I don't have that hair trigger mind and wit debaters have to have. I'd come off poorly, and I know it. So, I'm not about to get out there and do my cause damage by having my ass kicked embarassingly.

I'm an essayist, and I think I'd make a fair lecturer. So, I'm going to stick to what I do well and champion those others who waltze into the lion's den of a debate and carry the day.

Bravo!

I'll cheer you on!

ENSLAVEMENT THEN AND NOW

I get so infuriated with these self-righteous, unreasonable assholes who like to quote the bible proscription against people who won't work eating and then denouncing things like food stamps and unemployment benefits -- even earned benefits like Social Security.

Let's get a few things straight here!

Those precepts were enjoined when people lived in small, mostly self-sufficient little groups where everybody had to pitch in their part in the communal effort to provide food, material and shelter. It was not an industrialized world where people had to scroung around for jobs anywhere they could find them and hope there would be something available that conformed to their talents and skills and paid enough to adequately provide for them and their families.

The modern corporation with the goal of mining a host of low paid serfs for the benefit of CEOs and rich stock holders hadn't come along at that time, but the same self-serving goals drove societal evils like outright and in-the-open slavery. What we see championed now by the extreme right is just the modern equivalent of that slave-supported, poverty-generating social system.

The institutions have changed over the millenia, but the driving goals of enslavement have not.