Sunday, October 15, 2017

Real Christians exist, they just rarely make the news

I don’t consider myself a Christian, just a person who tries to be considerate of others.

However, I find it hard to be considerate of those who claim to be Christian but ignore much of the generosity preached by Jesus.

What is a real Christian?  One who
Doesn’t throw the first stone,
Doesn’t pray in public to be seen by man,
Forgives others as he or she wants to be forgiven,
Helps someone not like him or her.
If there are any Christians in Congress as defined in the Bible, they rarely make the news.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Let’s have facts, not factions

Every year the Senate reads George Washington’s Farewell Address, and every year they ignore it.  This also leads to the break-down of the deliberate designation of three INDEPENDENT branches of government.

The quiescent Republicans seem to have ignored Washington’s warning agains factions more than any Congress in decades.

“All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations under whatever plausible character with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle and of fatal tendency.

They serve to organize faction; to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphsof different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common councils and modified by mutual interests. However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves theeins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

Please send this to your Senators and Representatives, regardless of party.  Your letters may give them some backbone to take action on George Washington's warning.

Monday, October 09, 2017

One Representative’s take on “terrorism”

”Now we're obsessing over whether the (Nevada) carnage was 'terrorism'," he wrote in a tweet. "If we decide it is, we'll mobilize untold resources. If not, nothing.”’
Jim Times, Rep. Connecticut

“Terrorism, Race, Religion: Defining the Las Vegas Shooting”, Associated Press, reprinted in New York Times, 2017-10-02, https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/10/02/us/ap-defining-terrorism.html.

Jim Himes has also stayed away for the “prayers” for the victims of Orlando shootings.  “There would be, for the umpteenth time, a moment of silence. To ‘honor’ the victims.”
“Why I walked out of the House’s moment of silence for Orlando”, Washington Post, 2016-06-14, https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/06/14/why-i-walked-out-of-the-houses-moment-of-silence-for-orlando/?utm_term=.0511e903c97b.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Wisdom about war from "The Lord of the Rings"

I am rereading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings many years after my last reading.  At the front of the copy, on 11 Jan 2002 I wrote:

“Do we Orc-hestrate our wars?  We are the Fellowship and our enemies are the Orcs.  We slaughter hundreds of them without qualm and bury with great honor the few of us who suffer more than scratches.  See p. 58.”

On p.  58 I bracketed:
‘Deserves it!  I daresay he does.  Many that live deserve death.  And some that die deserve life.  Can you give it to them?  Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.  For even the very wise cannot see all ends...'

Gandolf gave this response to Frodo’s condemnation of Gollum who is “as bad as an Orc, and just an enemy.  He deserves death.”

Staying home changes nothing, you must vote for change

“The real change will come when those who felt compelled to stand on principle and not participate in an election in which they felt they were being forced to choose between “the lesser of two evils” realize the staggering magnitude of the gap between those ‘two evils.’”
Soul Survival in Trump’s Hell”, Charles Blow, New York Times, 2017-09-11.

Ignoring important papers while praising a piece of cloth

“It amazes me that those who are so adamant about the public standing for the national anthem seem to ignore the Constitution and Washington's Farewell Address, the latter just after having it read as a ritual.”

My comment to “A Rebel, a Warrior and a Race Fiend”, Charles M. Blow, New York Times, 2017-09-25, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/opinion/columnists/trump-race-nfl-nba.html?comments#permid=24189583.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Lord giveth and the Corp taketh away

The New York Times had an article on Mary D. Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, the work the board does, and some of the opposition to the this work.  See “U.S. Climate Change Policy: Made in California”, Hiroko Tabuchi, 2017-09-27

It is amazing the corporate and “conservative” opposition to this work.  On the other hand, the comments were overwhelming in favor of clean air and the necessary regulation to obtain it.  And the profits to be made by leading the world in providing a clean environment instead of making matters worse.

Thus my title.  You would think that “conservatives” would be all in favor or preserving the clean air and water that “God gave us”.  Instead, they seem hell-bent on destroying them, bringing us back to days of heavy smog and burning rivers.

My own little comment was to a contributor who had been in China recently where pollution is endemic but the government is taking steps to improve the air quality.  I pointed out that “we the people” had enough of the pollution from backyard burning barrels.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Simple solution for a vexing problem

The Logitech Solar Keyboard for my iPad stopped working.  No matter how long I pushed either of the two switches on the right, the keyboard did not work.

My only choice was to type with one finger on the screen.

I looked on the web for a solution, but none seemed to work.

I looked at the situation again a few minutes ago and one suggestion had about having Bluetooth connected.  I checked the Bluetooth settings on my iPad and they were all off!!!  I had turned them off to avoid a Bluetooth connection from my iPhone.

i reset the Bluetooth setting on my iPad, and voila, the keyboard works.

I figure that I saved myself $600-800 dollars.  I was getting closer to replacing the iPad with a new one including several add-ons.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Donald Trump has worn me down

When I read the reports of Donald Trump’s address to the United Nations, I could not get over the feeling that it was George Washington’s worst nightmare.

Washington warned against factions.  Donald Trump is creating them faster than I can even type “faction”.

In his Farewell Address, which the Senate reads every year and then ignores, George Washington warned against factions:

“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.”

Donald Trump railed against North Korea and Iran.  George Washington warned against being too close to other nations and against being too hostile to foreign nations:

“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp
the applause and confidence of the people to surrender
their interests.”

I plan to send this reminder to my Senators: Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar.  If you are a U.S. reader, I hope you will send something similar to your Senators, regardless of their party.

But I have no idea how many real, live U.S. readers I have.  Every so often I get a big wave of Russian readers.  My feed is generally United Kingdom readers.  I get a lot of French readers, but I only have three correspondents in France.  Are these other readers really French, or are they Russian trolls?  I do know that at least one U.S. troll site is really a Russian front.

These trolls and Donald Trump have worn me down.  I don’t really know when I will be inspired to post more here.