Monday, September 19, 2011


Along the lines of my last blog, a good friend of mine wrote a very thought provoking blog of his own on the 9/11 anniversary.  It shows up what we rarely think about when we contemplate the usually sought after goal of eternal life. 

Rather than add my own musings on the subject, I'll just refer you to his blog:

I will content myself with this quote from Mark Twain: 
"I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


From little children on, most of us were assured there was a great supernatural being called "god" somewhere "up there" controlling and dictating everything.  The concept is rather universal in the Western World.  It has become such a set part of our thinking that even atheists like myself find our minds reverting to the concept that was drummed into us early on in our lives when we aren't on guard.

This illusion has held sway in the world from ancient times.  The Greeks envisioned it all as a pantheon of gods and goddesses (a divine family) residing invisibly on Mount Olympus.  Other nations and tribes had equally fanciful ideas about deities inhabiting holy parts of the earth and the heavens and showing up as planets, constellations, etc.  It was not too hard to imagine these things prior to our modern technological and scientifically advanced age.

We tend to imagine souls floating off into the ether and continuing to surround us unseen.  I still find the thought comforting, but it is most likely a complete illusion.  It's probably just the last vestige of my former superstitions still trying to assert themselves in my mind.

As I asked in a previous blog, just where is "up there?"  Certainly not Mount Olympus, nor any of the planets and celestial bodies we now know about and have studied ever more thoroughly.

Go to Google or some other search engine and type in "maps of the cosmos."  You will be amazed at what you find.  Surrounding us in every direction, more than thirteen billion light years in all directions, is an "up there" that is totally unfathomable.   Among all the galaxies, stars, nebulae, black holes, etc., there is no "up there" one can point to as the abode of any fantastic being like "god."  The vastness and the distances boggle the mind.  Billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars and attendant planets and  multitudeness wonders yet to be discovered.

The "faith slaves," are absolutely convinced that some magnificent, super-intelligent and utterly omnipotent anthropomorphized being created it all, but they never try to explain where such a being could have originated, or where, exactly, he resides.  Of course, he has to look like us because we are the pinnacle of earthly creation.  We have to be a mirror of the source.

It wasn't too long ago that people thought lightning was Thor (or some other god) hurling his hammer.  We now know better, but many people will still think someone struck by lightning was being punished by god.  We still view diseases and natural disasters as instruments of punishment wielded by "god." 

Superstition survives intact in this enlightened modern age. 

We aren't that far removed from our superstition-ridden ancestors.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Rick Perry came out and labeled Social Security a "ponzi scheme." 

In this world there are "lies" and "damn lies."  Perry's statement is a "damn lie," and he's a "damn liar."  I think he knows it, too.

If Social Security is a ponzi scheme, your life insurance policy (if you're wise enough and employed enough to have life insurance), car insurance and homeowners insurance and any other type of insurance you carry is a "ponzi scheme."

I carried life insurance for many years.  I never collected a dime because I was lucky enough to escape the "grim reaper," until the present anyway.  Somebody else got a share of my premiums when someone in their family or business suddenly and unexpectedly died. 

Do I consider myself a victim because I personally didn't get my money back?  Was I "ponzied?"

Of course not!

I had the protection of that policy during the time I carried it to protect me and mine against the vagaries of happenstance.  If I had suddenly died, those dependent on me would have had something to fall back on while they got on with their grieving lives.

I've paid out a whole lot more in auto insurance premiums than I have ever collected.  Same with homeowners insurance.  I don't resent or feel victimized when I pay my premiums and I hope I never have a future claim.  What I pay in goes into a big pot that protects a huge pool of policy holders against possible future disaster--including me.

Social Security is a national insurance policy everybody pays into.  A certain number are never going to collect on that policy because they won't live that long.  But, if they do, the protection will be there, and I can tell you from personal experience that it means a great deal to me.  I would be destitute and homeless without it.

Social Security will be solvent for a long time.  It has had to be tweaked in the past, and it will need tweaking in the future to keep it viable.  Do you still pay the same auto insurance premiums you paid a decade ago?  Of course not.  Why would you think Social Security won't need any adjusting?  Economies don't stay static.

This is just more of the push to return us to a Dickensian world of robber barons and basically destitute masses of underprivileged serfs who have nothing to protect themselves from total penury.  It would be nice if we could all be as lucky as Rick Perry who can look forward to a comfortable future as he continues to drink and eat from the public trough--with guaranteed retirement, medical coverage, and a host of other perks that would be a "ponzi scheme" if they were directed toward common citizens.