"Patriotism is good here, but not for people in other countries"
(Started late in the month; many other comments were not recorded. Readers, this is just some of what I write in online forums. It deals with the weapons of war, Ukraine, Communion, the Bible, the Republican Party, Electric Vehicles, taxing large, heavy cars, Ashland Mayor Julie Akins’ quitting, Trump’s buying off of Stormy Daniels, a Dutch underwater parking garage for bicycles, and Ralph Nader and the 2000 presidential election. My apologies for the format oddities; going from online to Word to back can be tricky.)
Sent to Daily KOS on Ukraine Update, 1-25-23,
then responded to,
then sent to my Senators and Congressman:
I once asked the Blind Saint of Vrindavan about war. He said it is due to “men’s minds and fascination with the products of their minds,” an odd answer that made me ponder.
Viewing the dialog in these Comments, he appears right. Which tanks do what? What are the latest weapons?
As an anti-MAGA voter, I was glad to vote for Biden and I’m proud of the much that he and his have accomplished. But I am utterly against his anti-negotiation approach to Russia’s interests and paranoia about Ukraine. As we approach the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad, which the west rewarded not with thanks but with accusation, the budding of a Cold War is headed hot.
Given that this and most wars injure and kill mostly civilians and given that this war is profiting the arms industry and letting it try out its new expensive weapons, and in the midst of talk of using tactical nuclear weapons that could trigger transnational strategic ones, and against the ominous backdrop of the transhistorical, already worsening threat of global warming, I am aghast and against ramping up of this war.
What a waste of human intelligence and ability!
The first two wars started largely when Germany invaded Russia. Now we taunt their realistic paranoia by toying with pushing NATO in Ukraine, Finland, etc.? Germany sends its tanks because we sent ours. It appears the Trumpist accusations of a deep state and fake news are playing out. Every week, it seems, billions more for weapons taunting the suicidal idiocy of war while the real human and planetary needs go neglected as the press cheers it on.
We don’t need more “rah-rah;” we need more “Hell? No.”
Reply to Byrd on KOS
Okay, I’ll play. On what basis would you negotiate? Assuming “negotiation” means the two sides involved give things up to reach a middle position that neither really likes, but is acceptable to both:
- What would you see as the end position of those negotiations?
- What would Ukraine give up to reach a middle?
- What would Russia give up?
- What would secure the results of those negotiations to assure agreements are adhered to?
We’ll start with those and move on from there.
My response to 22Trucks:
Good questions, Trucks. Many of our world’s countries were defined by historical forces that grouped people together, or against each other, in ways not promoting the well-being of all involved. Could this be the case in Ukraine? I don’t know.
If the people of eastern Ukraine are mostly Russian, and if they were to vote on that (not at the barrel of a gun, but under a neutral international monitor) and wished to be Russian, their wishes should be respected. Ukraine might have to give that up.
As stated above from my relatively ignorant position, it seems Russia has a legitimate gripe and paranoia about NATO. It appears and could become aggressive. I would rather their fear at least be acknowledged and even fairly placated. No NATO in Ukraine, a dividing line, and an enforceable pledge that it ends there for all involved. Better that than more and worse.
Hate though I do the carnage Russia has inflicted, I hate also that their conscripts are commanded to do it. Everyone is being injured, Ukrainian civilians, Russian and Ukrainian soldiers, and the world is pulled into food disruption and yet another round of tragic PTSD. Such trauma infects psyches and history for generations. The most injured are the least in charge of the mess. Prolonging and expanding this war is already a tragedy and could get worse.
Hence, I am suspicious of my own country’s deep-state agendas (again!) and that more tanks and media rah-rah will improve the horrid situation. Russia and China seem concerned for their near neighbors and borders, whereas we are systematically surrounding them with rhetorical and actual threats from our safe home on the other side of the planet.
Rather than allow or invest in WWIII, all our ingenuity and iron put to weapons and waste, I’d rather all people be safe and secure in communities and countries, perhaps developing doughnut economies and synergistic ecological practices, competing, and even cooperating on addressing the huge mutual problems of industrial and agricultural toxicity — such as global warming, sickening soils and oceans, and widespread psychic and social malaise.
So, hell? No.
What are your answers to your questions?
My responding to Thomas Reece article on the meaning of Communion on ReligionNews.com. Reece argued that it isn’t to worship Christ by making Him present:
Emerson quit the ministry rather than try to pretend in transubstantiation. His enthusiasm for miracles applied to the larger life around and in us. His Transcendentalism (Idealism) opened the inner world to a Deistic understanding of reality.
As a former Catholic (I renounced it at age 14) I appreciate the more nuanced explanations in this Conversation.
Spiritually powerful communion wafers may have included the molded ergot of rye, an early form of LSD. Preparing for that and consuming it in a spectacular cathedral is part of the “set and setting” that helps such entheogens work.
Jeff [reply to Byrd]
48 minutes ago
“Emerson quit the ministry rather than try to pretend in transubstantiation.”
And this means what to anyone else?
“As a former Catholic (I renounced it at age 14) I appreciate the more nuanced explanations in this Conversation.”
No one who is 14 has the mental capacity to renounce much of anything. Sorry to hear you haven’t advanced since.
“Spiritually powerful communion wafers may have included the molded ergot of rye, an early form of LSD.”
Obviously, you’ve been “partaking” of such oddities.
My reply to Jeff:
You can check Ralph Waldo’s story on that if you like. He was offended by pretend and wouldn’t help do it.
At 77 now I remember the clarity of my decision at age 14, and I’m “advanced” enough to tell when some stranger tosses out ignorant insults.
I have partaken in various entheogens. I recommend their use in spiritual awakening. They are odd in fascinating and potentially beneficial ways.
T Cranmer reply to Brad (and Byrd):
23 hours ago
No one cares except you and Byrd that Emerson was a scoffer.
It supports nothing at all.
Yes, we are all sorry to hear that at 14 you made bad choices.
But that is not relevant to the article.
Replying to T Cranmer
I scoff also at your reply, Cranmer. Your flippant dismissal and ignorant judgmental ness speak for themselves.
(It turns out ReligionNews.com is largely read by conservative Catholics.)
1-28-23 to Religion News thread on Pope Francis on homosexuality, responding to someone pointing out various bible verses on the topic:
1 day ago
So what, what the Bible says?
They are for sale and on-line for free.
- brad carrier
I have tried to read it but agree with Thomas Paine that it reflects poorly on God. That children are taught to “believe in the bible as God’s word” alarms me. That any words in it can be used for the most atrocious reasons and rationalizations is spiritual stupidity.
It’s not God’s book to humans, it’s a very human book about their various and evolving views of God. It should be read with intelligence and skepticism, occasionally awe at its wisdom, not gullibility.
Replying to brad carrier
So, you’re a non-believer.
That should alarm anyone who values human society and moral values.
- brad carrier
Replying to John_A
I don’t believe in books or stories just because others do. I value human society and moral values, especially those that promote happy, healthy people living in harmony with an ever-improving ecological environment. Tragically, it is often believers who ruin both.
1-27-23 to Daily KOS in reply to “The Republican Party is Dead”
The Democratic party is weakened by not explicitly appealing to, welcoming, and celebrating white heterosexual men like me. Are we all only guilty, the enemy? Should white straight men go to the Proud Boys for any affirmation and community? Are blacks, gays, and women the only hope for Democrats? By not doing this, the Democrats alienate and waste a valuable part of their base. Less generalized accusation and more affirmation and glad inclusion, please.
(Same diary, my responding to btzimmer’s quoting Lincoln and bemoaning the GOP’s fall into fascism.)
“The party of Lincoln” is entirely RINO.
Perhaps this crisis will spur a renewal of their more decent values and drop their fascist trend.
1-28-23 my reply on Next Door Neighbor on the post asking why Ashland mayor Julie Aikens quit:
I’m guessing she’s worn by all the vitriol and overwork. She seems a tender-hearted person who tried her best but was exhausted. Her interview on KSKQ related how the mayor only makes $500 a year for nearly full-time work and that the health insurance she had assumed would continue was suddenly dropped by the new city manager. I don’t blame her, nor the president of New Zealand, similarly haggard by the process. In the era of sniping at anything governmental (the whipping boy of a wayward society) I appreciate our representatives for their public service. (There is to be a public meeting of the city council Monday at the old Armory. As noted here, they will pick the new mayor and councilperson.) [received 12 likes in two days]
1-28-23 to Cleantechnica article on new TV ads for EVs (Electric Vehicles):
Good job on rounding up the EV ads. They’re suddenly all over the place showing diverse happy people enjoying them – typical advertising tactics. We’re on the verge of a huge buy-in for EVs, and I’m glad to see the legacy carmakers jumping in.
The EV-1 ad was truly spooky. Were those the shadows of people after the atomic blast? And some ads, not shown here, show cars sliding sideward. I don’t want my car to go sliding sideward!
Admirable that Tesla continues to outsell others using no ads – just word of mouth and reputation. I’m disliking Musk for other reasons, but I credit him and his for ushering us towards a transformation of our mobility.
My comment on a Cleantechnica article on Porsche’s new approach to regenerative braking:
I once got a hitchhiking ride with a guy in a small Citroen, the French version of the VW bug. It had a three-cylinder engine. He claimed it got about 60 MPG, partly because when he let off on the gas, it coasted as if in neutral.
Nicely explained article, Jennifer, and interesting and informative comments from readers. I’ve never driven a one-pedal car, so it’s nice to hear the nuances.
1-30-23 I jumped into a thread on big SUVs and Trucks on Cleantechnica’s GM-Wuling small cars
We also need to make large SUVs and Trucks more expensive to own and run.
That is already the case in several places where new car sales tax is decided both by emissions and by weight
Yep. But Taxes need to be much higher
More expensive than what? They already are more expensive than smaller, cheaper, more efficient alternatives.
More expensive than they currently are. Perhaps double the road Tax for a start.
Yep. It is actually important to give it a good name. The “Anti Social Vehicle Tax” so everyone gets the problem.
(My reply) They take up more parking space, block the view on the streets, and crush smaller vehicles in accidents. But I doubt their drivers are anti-social so much as unmindful that their vehicles automatically create such problems. The Big, Heavy Vehicle Tax, or some such descriptive rather than offensive name, would suffice. We’re all caught in old technological systems that slowly change what should go quickly. Ways to have and promote small, light vehicles that get us around and get our stuff done as efficiently, cleanly, and affordably as possible is needed. Charging the old big, heavy vehicles more and promoting safer, more efficient vehicles are both needed.
1-31-23 to Cleantechnica article on Dutch underwater parking garage for 7000 bikes. Check out the fast time-lapse video on its construction, linked in the article:
I am astonished and impressed.
Can we have Dutch representatives educate our government and society on doing things that favor humanistic ethics, health, and freedom?
1-31-23 I had jumped into a thread on Daily KOS about Trump paying off Stormy Daniels. Someone had suggested Merrick Garland for Attorney General. This reply came in from cosliberal, to which touchdown then replied:[cosliberal] Merrick Garland, too feckless. Biden should fire his ass and make Adam Schiff the AG. [touchdown] I hear you, but Schiff wouldn’t want it, he wants to be Senator from California. Garland should be on the Supreme Court, or as my son says a librarian.
Damn, we need a real prosecutor, a decent but nasty mean SOB.
Would all of you please stand up and be counted?
So I offered this suggestion:[Byrd (me)] Ralph Nader [touchdown] A little old, and he was a muckraker out of court. [Byrd] I have resented him for the ‘no difference between Dem and Rep’ cynical misleading, but his radio hour is always intelligent and conscientious.
Wish campaigns came with possible assignments, like Bernie for Health and Human Services, James Hansen for the EPA, Obama for next Supreme Court, etc.[touchdown] I have resented Nader because he ran for President as an independent and took enough votes away from Gore so that Bush could win. [Byrd] I have to agree with you, Touchdown. Gore was/is an entirely superior person to Bush. Imagine where we might be in terms of our Supreme Court and the Climate Emergency had he won. Nader should apologize. He knew he would lose and could have asked his supporters to back Gore in the last weeks of the campaign. [Too Shy] enters the thread: [Too Shy] I can remember (amazing isn’t it) when Ralph Nader was on Bill Maher, along with Michael Moore. Both Bill and Michael got on their knees, pleading with Nader to not run. They all three knew that he wouldn’t win, but Nader ran anyway, taking enough votes away from Gore for Bush to win. Our country would most certainly be in a different place if Gore had won. Our climate would have been far better. [Byrd] Ouch! I remember two other things about that stolen election. Enron planes had flown in a bunch of angry men who pounded on the windows of the [Florida] election office, a forerunner to a larger use of violent intimidation to sway elections. And instead of heeding reporter Greg Palast’s report of thousands of black voters’ names being purged from the eligible voters, our media instead zeroed in on close-ups of dimples on cards (remember hanging chads?) as if they’re trying to count every vote. The Supreme Court then hurried us past all that to install Bush and Gore was too polite to contest it. Talk about stolen elections!
(So, there you have it, dear readers, my attempts to add to conversations about our earthly plights and possibilities. Thanks for reading, and as always, I welcome your further comments.)