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Monday, November 14, 2016

Reflections

I try to stay apolitical on here. But ... It's a grave error, rather bigotry itself, to label every person who voted for Trump a racist, a hater, or a bigot. This is the same country that voted twice for Obama. Democracy is about political dialogue and meaningful discourse. But when that discourse makes some people feel unsafe, then I believe all fair-minded people should reach out to their fellow humans.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

System of Nature - Preface

"Truth speaks not to those perverse beings:--her voice can only be heard by generous souls accustomed to reflection, whose sensibilities make them lament the numberless calamities showered on the earth by political and religious tyranny--whose enlightened minds contemplate with horror the immensity, the ponderosity of that series of misfortunes which error has in all ages overwhelmed mankind. To error must be attributed those insupportable chains which tyrants, which priests have forged for most nations. To error must be equally attributed that abject slavery into which the people of almost every country have fallen. Nature designed they should pursue their happiness and by the most perfect freedom.--To error must be attributed those religious terrors which, almost every climate, have either petrified man with fear, or caused him to destroy himself for coarse or fanciful beings. 
To error must be attributed those  inveterate hatreds, those barbarous persecutions, those numerous massacres, those dreadful tragedies, of which, under pretext of serving the interests of heaven, the earth has been but too frequently made the theatre. It is error consecrated by religious enthusiasm, which produces that ignorance, that uncertainty in which man ever finds himself with regard to his most evident duties, his clearest rights, the most demonstrable truths. In short, man is almost everywhere a poor degraded captive, devoid of greatness of soul, of reason, or of virtue, whom his inhuman gaolers have never permitted to see the light of day." -Baron d'Halbocc

Strange are the times we live in: Religious fundamentalism is on the rise, medievalism making a comeback, religious terror and tyranny and racism becoming common, and our politics is theater to entertain. And so ever foreign is the candle of rationality, reason, and common sense; the jewels by which the mind is elevated to greatness. It seems to me the masses, overwhelmed by life and dogmatic beliefs and propaganda, want simple solutions to life's complex problems. To escape from reality and into reality shows, facebook sound bytes and tweets, is a path towards destruction. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Eden Prairie

There is legal justice and there is moral justice, and killing police officers is neither. Man needs to respect man. Police present in the park. Charge or no charge, respect is a must between EP man and police. Expose those who do harm to people in park. Witnesses or no witness, do the right thing. Eden prairie news is free and available at starring lake park to read, and I don't care for that paper. Goodbye.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Religious Faith is Not a Virtue

"Religious faith should stop being considered a virtue.
I define blind faith as choosing to believe in something absolutely, without doubt or openness to change, and without proper scientific evidence – i.e. wishful thinking. Though blind faith in itself need not be religiously affiliated, this type of irrational thinking is very common in religious institutions and almost unanimously supported by them. So I will use the terms religious faith, blind faith, and blind religious faith interchangeably.
Religious faith is not a trait to be considered worthy of praise because it blinds those who carry it to live a life that is less responsive to changes. It is unopen to seeing mistakes in its own ways of thinking in order to find new and better ways of living. It is a fundamentally dishonest trait as it does not seek to reconcile belief with reality, and there are consequences to this. It is comparable to driving a car and only being able to see out of the front windshield. Though plenty of people get hurt and killed driving as it is, undoubtedly more would get hurt if they could only see out of the front.
It is obviously true that there are merits to this type of living: a source of comfort and security in this harsh world, a sense of belonging in a community, a faster way of establishing a moral foundation – which absolutely seems to help in the creation of a more intimate character and disciplined style of living, and increased motivation for community service. However, the consequences of holding this trait far outweigh these surface merits. The primary consequence of blind faith is its grave social irresponsibility. Blind religious faith is at the root of some of the worst social problems of our time (and in times past). Some examples include harsh discrimination – oppression of gay people’s rights and punishment for homosexuality; social isolation and sometimes aggressive punishment (even death) for infidels; class distinctions with oppression to those in lower classes; slowing of scientific and moral progress – stem cell research, drug legalization, discrediting the theory of evolution, sex education, birth control; most forms of terrorism – ISIS, 9/11 attacks, Charlie Hedbo attacks, some school shootings; excessive shaming and verbal/ emotional abuse to mothers who have chosen abortion. It even ranges to subtler issues such as refusing to tip at restaurants, social isolation or guilt creation in schools, and creating fear in children needlessly with teaching beliefs in Hell or other variations of this.
There are other ways to cultivate the merits of religion without practicing or supporting any irresponsible forms of blind faith. Some ways include joining non-faith based communities and learning about different spiritualities that do not include blind faith (some forms of Buddhism, Taoism, Unitarianism, Pantheism, Confucianism, etc.). Even learning about different religious philosophies without embracing or supporting the blind faith elements can contribute to a growing spirituality.
To the moderates of religious practice who claim that their faith is not one of the extreme forms of faith that directly causes negative social consequences, the act of supporting these institutions by participating and donating money is perpetuating these issues. It is the sheer number of moderate believers who give even mild support towards these large religious institutions, and thus large social problems, which gives them their enormous power. A quote by the Polish Poet Stanislaw Jerzy Lec describes this phenomenon elegantly: “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible” (1). Only by each individual revoking their faith and support in the massive oppressive systems can these avalanches be stopped.
Therefore, one carrying the trait of religious faith is a supporter of unjust social systems - which is quite obviously unvirtuous."
Reference 1. Lec, S.J. (1969). More Unkempt Thoughts. Funk & Wagnalls.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Fundamentalism

"Fundamentalism presents real dangers to the lives and liberties of all Americans. It is not merely an acdamic problem or a problem for people who find fundamentalism a little strange or irrational. At risk are women, children, fair elections, society as a whole, the rights of Americans to reproductive choices, their freedom to choose sexual partners, freedom of religion, the freedom for all kinds of dissent, and their rights to privacy and to die with dignity." --The Fundamentals of Extremism.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Lynching 1930

"A mob of 10,000 whites took Sledgehammers to the county jailhouse doors to get at these two young blacks accused of raping a white girl; the girl's uncle saved the life of a third by proclaiming the man's innocence. Although this was Marion, Ind, most of the nearly 5,000 lynchings documented between Reconstruction and the late 1960s were perpetrated in the South. (Hangings, beatings and mutilations were called "Judge Lynch.") Some lynching photos were made into postcards designed to boost white supremacy, but the tortured bodies and grotesquely happy crowds ended up revolting as many as they scared. Today the images remind us that we have not come as far from brutality as we'd like to believe." Life. 100 photographs

Sunday, May 1, 2016

An Egg Oddity: Eggs Without Yolks

This morning my wife cracked an egg, and to her surprise, there was no yolk.  Being a woman with good judgement, she tossed it. Have you ever seen that? (not the woman-with-good-judgment part, the egg am talking about) ... And what are the chances of that? I am curious. The chances of an egg with double yolks are 1 in 1000. So I googled around and found a few entries: Eggs without yolk are called "dwarf" or "wind" eggs. Such an egg is most often a pullet's first effort, produced before her laying mechanism is fully ready. In a mature hen, a wind egg is unlikely, but can occur if a bit of reproductive tissue breaks away, stimulating the egg-producing glands to treat it as a yolk and wrap it in albumen, "membranes and a shell as it travels through the egg tube. This has occurred if, instead of a yolk, the egg contains a small particle of grayish tissue. This type of egg occurs in many varieties of fowl, including chickens (both standard and bantams), guineafowl and Japanese (Coturnix) quail."

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Another spring

A glorious spring day here in the heartland, and you know you made it through another long, dark, and harsh winter. The birds are chirping, and have returned after a long, arduous journey to assure us that the circle of life continues. Whatever your cares are, Nature seems to suggest, they shall pass and everything will be OK.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Zachary Khalil Khelah Loves Music

Music is the most beautiful thing humans ever created. Music transcends all divisions and heals the soul and uplifts us all. It has the power to connect us in the most tender and loving way. What beauty.

Zachary Khalil Khelah good EP man!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Uphemism

Propaganda is not an exclusive property of the conservative right, but also the liberal left. Well, you know I am not impressed by the human specie.

Jihad

Jihad means to wage ware against the infidels in the name of Allah. This is based on the Quran, the teachings of Muhammad and conduct and conquests, and ample history. In fact, according to the salafi school of thought, which is ubiquitous thanks to the petrodollars, it's the sixth pillar of Islam. This is not an opinion, but a fact. Euphemism will not help liberal and decent Muslims against the fanatics, but honesty might. Islamic scholarship at the highest level need to delete jihad from the books. Will they ever? No that optimistic ... The elephant is in the room. When most Muslims view the Quran as human literature about the divine, and NOT divine literature about humans, and therefore should be subjected to scrutiny and careful critique like any human literature, then we won't be having this conversation. Jihad is EVIL! Must stop.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Illusion of Liberty

Waldo writes on Fate "And though nothing is more disgusting than the crowing about liberty by slaves, as most men are, and the flippant mistaking for freedom of some paper preamble like a " Declaration of Independence," or the statute right to vote, by those who have never dared to think or to act ..." Trump or Hillary, Sanders or Cruz, like it or not, are us in the mirror. Trump is a symptom of our sick society, riding high on anger and disappointments and illusions, however misplaced.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

On the Spirit of the Times. I bet Waldo Emerson is turning in his grave. "But the mind, once prepared for the reign of principles, will easily find modes of expressing its will. There is the highest fitness in the place and time in which this enterprise is begun. Not in an obscure corner, not in a feudal Europe, not in an antiquated appanage where no onward step can be taken without rebellion, is this seed of benevolence laid in the furrow, with tears of hope; but in this broad America of God and man, where the forest is only now falling, or yet to fall, and the green earth opened to the inundation of emigrant men from all quarters of oppression and guilt; here, where not a family, not a few men, but mankind, shall say what shall be; here, we ask, Shall it be War, or shall it be Peace?" He had high hopes for our nation. What a disappointment we have been.
Since WWII we have been at war. Only one president never fired a missile or drop a bomb, he went on to become a great humanitarian with a cultivated soul that inspires the world. Jimmy Carter is not just a good man but also a great human being!

War or Peace or illusion

Some sobering facts about Yemen: GDP per capita In 2014 per day = $2.
Literacy rate 40% for females and 77% for females.
And that's before this genocidal war even began. The rich, gluttonous, good for nothing but excrement and offal Gulf Arabs - with our high-tech weapons and cluster bombs and support - have been bombing the poorest Arabs. Can you imagine living on that WITHOUT bombs, proudly made by uncle Sam and the UK, being dropped on your head for 10 months?. These prople are so poor, on the brink of starvation, so let's drop bombs on them and we'll call it mercy. Alleluia, praise the lord. How can our government particpate in such atrocities, in our names? Who is profiteering from these perpetual wars? ...
Since WWII we have been at war. Only one president never fired a missile or drop a bomb, he went on to become a great humanitarian with a cultivated soul that inspires the world. Jimmy Carter is not just a good man, but a great human being! Jimmy Carter did not kill.
We really need to stop enabling the killings of colored people. Poor people need schools and clinics and water and food - not bombs. I wrote to the president, in vain of course, on multiple occasions to at least stop supporting this war. Am still waiting for a reply.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

War or Peace

"The cause of peace is not the cause of cowardice. If peace is sought to be defended or preserved for the safety of the luxurious and the timid, it is a sham, and the peace will be base. War is better, and the peace will be broken. If peace is to be maintained, it must be by brave men, who have come up to the same height as the hero, namely, the will to carry their life in their hand, and stake it at any instant for their principle, but who have gone one step beyond the hero, and will not
seek another man's life;—men
who have, by their intellectual insight, or else by their moral elevation, attained such a perception of their own intrinsic worth, that they do not think property or their own body a sufficient good to be saved by such dereliction of principle as treating a man like a sheep." Waldo Emerson
I have been reading his essay on war. Since WWII we have been at war. Only one president never fired a missile or drop a bomb, he went on to become a great humanitarian with a cultivated soul that inspires the world. Jimmy Carter is not just a good man, but a great human being! I am tired of hearing about war. I am tired of our support of the genocide in Yemen. I am tired of our indifference. I am tired of the warmongering. I am tired of the war profiteering. I am tired of Trump. I am tired of hate and violence and terror.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The English Language is Funny

We say things that make one wonder how it all began. For instance, bite the bullet: the bullet is too hard to bite into, and who in the right mind would want to bite the bullet? Suppose I am crazy and I bite the bullet and I bite too hard and the bullet explodes in my mouth? ... here is another one: shoot: shoot who? You? Me? The dog? Makes no sense at all to shoot anyone or anything. And why? ... a million ways to skin the cat: which cat? Mine or yours? I don't like to skin cats. We don't eat cats to skin them. Do you kill the cat first, and then you skin it? Or do you skin it alive? No matter how you dice it (wait ... dice what, the tomatoes? ) It sounds cruel to me. Or, this one, she's a ham. Wait a minute, I thought she was a person not a meat cut.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Supreme Court

Article II, Section 2: “[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…Judges of the Supreme Court, EXCEPT when serving his last year in office." What's the fuss all about? The constitution is crystal clear. I learned something new about our conversation. ...
Honesty in politics is an oxymoron; it would throw the whole thing out; can you imagine? The whole system would collapse.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Honesty in Politics

Honesty in politics is an oxymoron; it would throw the whole thing out; can you imagine? The whole system would collapse. And I don't believe the masses would like that. Hence, the folly of life.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Body image

People often, very often, think they look much better than they actually look. Why? So they build up this image in their head and expect themselves to look that way, fiction. But when they look in the mirror, they're looking at two images, the real one in the mirror and the fictional one in their head. Disappointed. But I think women and men should be kind to themselves and love the person they see in the mirror. Because it's them. The blemish and the wrinkle and the loose belly and the sagging butt tell a story about who we are, what we've been through, and that you're beautiful and fine the way you are! Just be kind to yourself and love the person you see in the mirror.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Caribou in mn

Legend has it that Caribou once lived there, and there were sightings in the 1980s. I stand corrected however, there are none today. But again, this is a humble attempt to capture the majesty of this special place that's dear to my heart.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Potato Chips

Black history month: potato chips. Love that crispy snack? Legend has it that potato chips were invented by George Crum, an African American who ran a restaurant in Saratoga, NY. And the story went something like this. A fickle unhappy customer complained to George that his potatoes were too thick and not salty enough. George, a bit irritated, went back to his kitchen and sliced some fresh potatoes thinly and added some more salt and fried them. The customer still complained that they still were not thin enough and not salty enough. By now George became angry, and went back and sliced them so thinly and dumbed so much salt on the crispy potatoes, and thought ... that would teach that annoying  customer a lesson, there! To his surprise, the customer loved them. George Crum started then serving Saratoga chips with every meal at his restaurant. He never patented his invention however, but still retired a wealthy man. ... (George was smart on more than one account. Apparently he didn't eat that many of his potato chips: for he was a thin man.) How did I know this? I helped my son do a school project on potato chips last year. But beyond potato chips, African Americans have contributed enormously to our nation, in science, music, sports, in war and in peace and many great writers and poets and so on. I truly believe they have enriched us and made us better. I tip my hat.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Art make us wholesome

Art, in all its forms, make us wholesome. Art is the epitome of civilization. I keep looking at this painting ... I see hope I see despair, I see beauty I see anxiety, I see confidence I see bewilderment, I see peace I see the storm, and I see the inherent complexity of being human. And I see the impermanence of things: that that sweet face shall one day fade away.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

People are mirrors of their god.

People often become like the god they worship, the stories they tell and are told, the images they see and help create.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Forgotten War - Yemen

I always try to focus on positive things and uplift all who come my way. But tonight, my friends, I am thinking about the poor people of Yemen.  Please forgive me. I don't mean to cloy your ear. ... Yemen GDP per capita In 2014 per day = $2. And that's before this genocidal war even began. The rich, gluttonous, good for nothing but excrement  and garbage gulf Arabs - with our high-tech weapons and cluster bombs and support - have been bombing the poorest Arabs. Can you imagine living on $2 a day WITHOUT bombs, proudly made by uncle Sam, being dropped on your head for 18 months?. These prople are so poor, on the brink of starvation, so let's drop bombs on them and we'll call it mercy. Alleluia, praise the lord. How can our government particpate in such atrocities? Who is profiteering from these perpetual wars? But then again: There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Minnesota nice

When God decides to send his arctic -50 weather somewhere, he doesn't send it to Honolulu, he sends it to Minnesota. Why? She figured in her ultimate wisdom that Minnesotans are hardy and they're just too nice to complain (I can tell you they don't like people who complain.) and mild-mannered and not confrontational and they keep their heads down when walking - I know I am married to one - so the icy sidewalks are just fine and they never stare (I love that about them: what I call public-privacy). He must've known all of this and he decided they're even better for it and a bit of suffering is good for their souls. For if she were to send it to Honolulu the people would perish and freeze to death. And God doesn't like that, sometimes. The only thing is God never consulted me in the matter; and knowing him I doubt that he will. But I have good options for him. Good night.