While highly distracted with love and hope (I fell for someone – on my face!), I managed to read three good but very different books…
Trump tweeted that “These Thugs and Radical Left Monsters have just indicated” him.
I believe he wanted the word “indicted,” because he just was for trying to hide the hush money he paid a porn star after having an “affair” with her. It’s the least of his four legal challenges. He’ll play the victim, projecting that others are the very Thugs and Monsters he’s actively trying to inflict on our government and society. He’ll use it and the images of the violent insurrection of January 6th to raise funds and win votes. Sadly, it will do both. It indicates a national neurosis, an embroiled brain imbalance, a dangerous delusion that vile is virtuous, that division isn’t dangerous, that treachery isn’t treason.
I checked out Stormy Daniels’ videos. Dramatic! She’s an actress doing her own stunts in a niche market. It’s not uncommon that powerful men like to dally with pretty hussies. It’s the least of his sins. She didn’t slink away in shame. I’ve come to appreciate her patriotism.
Jesus didn’t pay off Mary Magdeline. Trump is no Jesus.
I doubt their relationship should be termed an affair. For her, it was probably just another job for a rich man. But the news would have come out right after the Hollywood Access tape, where he said, “…when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything,” one month before his eventual election. Support for him was dropping with Republicans over his lewd comments, diminishing his support among evangelical Christians and other Republicans. Raunchy porn might sully his reputation with pristine puritans pretending to be pure.
Trump went on to conclude that we’re, “A NATION IN SERIOUS DECLINE. SO SAD!”
Sad but true.
Funny that he used the word indicated instead of indicted, for it indicates the sorry mess our country is in. Roomfuls of innocent and vulnerable children had their bodies exploded by bullets designed to maim. This is rationalized by those claiming they have a right to self-defense, that the Second Amendment allows all to brandish weapons of war in our riled-up society despite the clear and obvious words “well regulated” in that amendment. Fox News both prevented fact-checking and promoted deliberate lies about Trump’s election being stolen. Russian bots flooded our social media with angry amplification, casting us towards stochastic civil war. We were had. Talk about stolen elections!
The U.S. has had more mass shootings this year than we have had days: 130, so far.
There have been 74 children killed or injured this year – so far.
The violence is growing.
How high could such charts reach? The U.S. had more casualties in the Civil War than any other, yet bullies taunt a widespread renewal of it as if some patriotic First Amendment right.
I follow the tweets of Adam Kinzinger. He and Liz Cheney (neither of them liberals) are the ONLY Republicans to boldly denounce Trump. The replies to Adam’s tweets don’t counter anything he says with fact, logic, or argumentation. Instead, childish insults are flung, calling him a traitor, a crybaby, a pee-on-himself loser. He’s hated because he doesn’t hate our country and its governmental processes. According to this mindset, he and all Democrats are the enemies, not them. Their complaints are volatile but vague, and their recommendations are even more absent, mysterious, and ominous.
Lest you think I think Republicans are only evil, I don’t. They’re mostly evil. But I have gripes about the Democrats too. President Biden is enacting the very deep state processes the MAGA crowd suspects, rattling needless sabers against China and Russia. He avoids admitting how Russia might be paranoid about NATO’s pushing at Russia’s borders. I’m no fan of Putin (is he even a Socialist?) but I remember how many more lives were lost the last time Europeans pushed into Russia, many times more per population than all the allies combined.
Other than the arms makers, who are benefitting from the taunting of new civil and international wars? Just when we need planet-wide collaboration in fixing the enormous trans-historical blunder of fossil-fuel-caused worldwide inflammation, greedy arms manufacturers and social media platforms toy with our collective predicament.
Nor am I happy about my denomination’s and the left’s pushing woke agendas despite other pressing concerns and resentment of how it’s done. The only people being praised and celebrated for their sexuality in popular culture and media are gays and trans. Nor is it distinguished between transvestite and transitioned bodies. Greg likes to wear women’s clothes. It’s odd, but he looks sharp and seems happy. Young Sally, whose mom helps the Le Leche League (promoting breastfeeding), had her breasts amputated. Lifelong mutilation is the result of her typical teenage gender unease and uncertainty, yet to question it or be uneasy about it, is ridiculed as “hating” trans people. At question is not whether a person has the right to their own body and life, it is whether it is right.
The language itself is biased. “Presented as” doesn’t refer to a person’s obvious given and lasting body but their temporary frame of mind. Many if not most people have had body unease, especially in those teen years when volatile chemicals and body ambiguity cascade and tend to mount while trying to fit in. What someone thinks about themselves is influenced by media images and peer group fads. Bugging others with ambiguous or crossed-over gender appearances can feel powerful and popular. But it isn’t as curious and innocuous as the old “Pat” skits on Saturday Night Live. It’s wanting to be a praised star like Bruce Jenner, despite what might end up being lifelong regret. Our default mode network presents thoughts as if they are our own when in fact they’re accumulated largely from culture’s memes.
But don’t dare be ill-at-ease, question it, or make jokes like David Chapelle. Parents who are alarmed at this trend are insulted as if their unease is forbidden and shameful. The president of my former seminary calls for praising the self-worth of trans people as “divine,” but he doesn’t extend that same respect to those uneasy with such radical surgeries, going on to pray for them (but not those alarmed about it) for “generations to come.”
A similar power grab accompanied my denomination’s tactic regarding gay marriage. They summarized their stance as “Standing on the Side of Love.” A brouhaha erupted, blaming them for not including those who have to sit in wheelchairs. Missing was any admitting that those who define and value traditional marriage as between a man and a woman in order to assure continuity and rights to the man, woman, and children are also people who love. Their valuing of the traditional definition of marriage was dismissed as if unloving. It’s fallacious emotionalized argumentation.
I value and love same-sex men and women who desire and deserve the right to be a public couple, but I found the demand to expand the traditional definition of marriage to be rushed and problematic. “Civil Union” and “Domestic Partnership” were both unpoetic labels far shy of welcoming and celebrating same-sex couples, but calling it the same thing as marriage ignores the needed biological rationale for traditional marriage.
Usually, when a woman has a baby we know who the mother is. However, there is always a potential question as to who the father is. Marriage seeks to define, assure, and maintain who the father is. That the family name typically is the father’s is part of this, as is the usual stricture of monogamy, especially for the woman. We resent the inequality of such traditional norms, but ignoring them leads to fathers trying to love and raise the offspring of the man who cuckolded them. A Saint Joseph might father the child just as well, but more likely, resentment can cloud the love. Besides the unjust marred treatment of an innocent child, trauma can divide the marriage, resulting in the mother later marrying a man who will live with daughters coming of age who aren’t his.
Marriage ideally is based on a lifelong love. But it is also based on duty, assured support, and ongoing justice for all involved, the children and both parents included.
It isn’t against gays that I say this; it is for the more usual and lasting need for what we call marriage. I don’t think it will happen that an angry father will say, “You got my son pregnant and so you’re going to have to marry him.” But pregnancy, childbirth, and stable families are ongoing biological and social needs that a caring and just society should value and tend.
This isn’t an argument that gays may not marry, it is that they can not, not according to the now-discarded definition of marriage. (Again, I would have same-sex couples valued, protected, and celebrated in their couplehood, but with a more poetic label.) Saying that any two people who love or want to marry should be able to is a course our society has endorsed. Perhaps it is best this way. But it does open the way for legal maneuvers that play the tax game and it opens up the question of why just two people? Why not threesomes? Why not groups?
I’m not arguing for a conclusion here. I’m a Perceiver, open to the many facets of an issue. But there’ll be those who say this reasoning is anti-gay or homophobic. It is neither. It is the sort of thoughtfulness ignored and denied to those who value traditional marriage and gays. As such, it naturally arouses those who resent being pushed to woke conclusions as if only those who favor transexuals and gay marriage are suitable to consider the issues. Insulting so-called homophobes and transphobes (both labels conflate mere unease with hate and even murder) push such decent people into resented reactiveness. That fascism is on the rise in large measure due to emotionalized argumentation that accuses unease and other reasoning as if only extreme, the enemy.
Well, I’ve wandered far afield from the slip Trump made about his being indicted. But in so doing, I’ve found reason to agree with those MAGA and conservative types who are wary about rousing up a war in Ukraine or China and who are alarmed at the values and tactics of liberals. I see Ron DeSantis as yet another fascist, worse perhaps than Trump. But the complaints of both of them deserve more understanding than we’ve seen so far. It’s the “pinch” we ministers were once warned about. Tend the little reactions lest they become entrenched and out of control.
It isn’t the political leaders here or there who suffer the pain of domestic or international violence, it’s mostly hapless civilians and conscripts mauled in the confusion of emotionalized divisiveness. Our societies are lunging toward the same old foolishness as injured us and the planet so many times. Civil wars, and world wars, they’re all the same wasteful tragedies.
The consequences of letting such weeds grow can be difficult to deal with or eradicate. It’s like the bamboo I naively planted as ornamentation. It spreads and roots beneath the surface, sucking the water from the flowers we really want, difficult to dig up.
With great effort, I pulled up these tenacious roots. They’re only a part of the network now creeping under my sidewalk and house foundation. It’s like my work these days trying to comment on various psychological, social, political, technological, and spiritual issues rife in our shared world.
I used to have intelligent, open-minded people to explore the many facets of life and today’s issues when the Unitarian Universalists weren’t so judgmental, woke, and dismissive as they’ve become. Instead, I tilt at realistic windmills when touring the ADD minefields of the Internet. I engage with strangers online, hoping my contributions benefit our shared plights and possibilities.
So, if you’ve read this far, be warned that what follows is two months’ worth of morning meanderings, copied into a file and not arranged for your viewing ease. Too much unpaid work for this profitless prophet to organize it for the five people who visit my website. Admitting that here you go:
BBC Says in February and March of 2023
2-1-23 a continuation of the examination of the election of 2000 on KOS:
My reply to Too Shy: It was a coup that the American public had to swallow, a choreographed collapse that led to more fossil fuels being burnt without question or restraint, a huge delay in developing and deploying a clean renewable energy supply, and an increasingly militarized assault on blacks and the frustration of environmentalists.
reply to Byrd on KOS
Not to mention neglect for intelligence on AL-queda that resulted in the death of 3000 people on 9/11, followed by an illegal war for oil and empire, war crimes and, for its final act, the near economic collapse of the global economy. Let’s not forget that W and Cheney were just as bad, if not worse, than Trump, but without the overt racism, penchant for political violence, love for Kim and Vlad…and all that natural charisma.
My reply to cosliberal:
Nor to mention that the Al-Qaeda attack on 9/11 was mostly peopled and financed by Saudi Arabia, not Iraq. The Bush/Saudi alliance goes back generations. (See Russ Baker’s “Family of Secrets”) Such deals with the devil go on. Witness the fist bump to ignore the murder and dismemberment of Khashoggi. Witness our hounding of Iran on their behalf. Witness the $2 Billion deal via Jared Kushner.
Same day to Facebook post of Energy Switch, episode 2 on the costs of wind and solar.
This program was a set-up to repeatedly dwell on any and all conceivable and bogus objections to solar and wind. The moderator was dull and passive, giving the argument over to Robert Bryce, who trotted out his typically trite objections. Yes, it takes materials to create solar and wind, as it does to create methane gas plants and transmission lines. Yes, it takes materials to make electric vehicles, just as it does to make gasoline, diesel, or hydrogen ones. Yes, it takes investment in transmission lines, which then will bring essentially free and regularly produced power for generations to come – as opposed to the costly, extractive, and poisonous technologies of ground gas and nuclear. Microsoft and the U. of Texas at Austin sponsored the program. Unknown is whether Koch and such ilk are funding this FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt). Bless Leia Guccione, of the Rocky Mountain Institute, for gently and intelligently fielding the negative barrage from the host and Bryce. Even the sum-up points at the end doubled up on the exaggerated troubles and utterly ignored the important point that fossil fuels are poisoning us and ruining our formerly reliable climate. It highlighted costs and barely mentioned that they are investments on a healthier, less costly future. I’m disappointed in PBS and the U. of Texas at Austin for pushing a propaganda piece.
2-2-23 to KOS on Jesus ads at the Superbowl:
Suspicions aside and considering how horrid so-called Christians have been over time and of late, it’s good to see the man Jesus’ humane and compassionate values put forth. He would have called out the Pharisees and money changers of our era infecting the temple of our Democracy as hypocrites. He would have overturned their tables at Congress and J Street. Poor Jesus, either still stuck on the cross or it’s empty, with a “this space available” there. Jesus was no Christian.
2-3-23 to KOS photo of big AR-15 pins on Republicans Santos and Edwards:
Republicans, celebrating the guns that explode children by the roomful!
2-5-23 to Cleantechnica article on phony grassroots organizations pushing “natural” gas.
Thanks for this, Matt. I posted it to Facebook. Slick, highly paid liars infecting our planet and future with trouble.
2-6-23 to Cleantechnica article on individual actions matter:
I have a dryer but hang my clothes on a line, either outside or inside, and either way, they get dry eventually and humidify as they go. It’s clean, simple, quiet, better for the world (to not needlessly draw on problematic energy supplies), and last and least important to me, it’s cheaper.
Does this decarbonize and save the planet? Only a bit. But it’s bits of habitual energy waste that got and gets us in our collective mess. Does my clothesline, compost bin, or electric bike help? A bit. My bit.
More importantly, Festinger’s Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (lately called bias) leads me to find reasons to reinforce my decisions. (If I buy a Chevy, I notice Chevy ads more.) Self and socially-reinforced reasons and ways to decarbonize then magnify. Collectively, we find ourselves hanging clothes on the line (or whatever our little bit), driving EVs, and asserting our social and political voices.
We help each other on towards the better, quieter, cleaner, less expensive lives mentioned in the article, and we assert our social and political voices to sway the vast momentum of collective improvements.
I’m with Bill McKibben in wanting a WWII-level mobilization towards rapid decarbonization (and other such urgent environmental needs) in my yard, city, corporations, state, country, and other countries.
We in the U.S. should be competing to catch up with China’s cleaner investments, promoting such improvements worldwide, and showing we have the will and the ways for better lives for all. What starts with individuals can become a collective shift.
Same day to KOS on Trump cult family’s suicide:
Responding to Bob Candelmo’s reply about religion and politics lights up same areas of the brain:
a recent study of young adults suggests that liberals and conservatives have significantly different brain structure, with liberals showing increased gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex, and conservatives showing increased gray matter volume in the in the amygdala…
… The anterior cingulate cortex is responsible for a host of cognitive functions, including emotional expression, attention allocation, and mood regulation.
The amygdala is commonly thought to form the core of a neural system for processing fearful and threatening stimuli (4), including detection of threat and activation of appropriate fear-related behaviors in response to threatening or dangerous stimuli.
My reply to him:
I’d appreciate a good source to study this more, Bob.
I’ve long thought that much political and religious difference is really brain difference, types of persons contending.
I also speculate that those caught in the throes of an enlarged amygdala (rage is all the rage these days) get their dopamine rush from anger and colorful parading.
DD on KOS responds: “Bet you’re right, Byrd.”
JFXChicago responded to Bob C
I don’t know why that bit about larger amygdalas is not more widely known. Are people afraid to even take about this?
If their amygdalas are where fear response is processed, and are larger, then YES, they might be more afraid to talk about this difference, or about everything…
…But remember that psychopaths are missing most of their amygdalas. Hey not that I’m a psychopath or anything (far as I can tell) but I also choose not to live in paranoid fear of everyone and everything that isn’t like me, the way the Trumpettes do. Anyway very interesting about more gray matter in the amygdalas, but I think that indifference to life on planet earth, lack of acceptance and compassion for people who are different from your own tribe, hatred of those who don’t worship your deity of choice, and treatment of animals as objects might just mean you’re somewhat psychopathic.
To which I replied:
Yes, and respond defensively to any slight or attempt to consider an idea.
2-6-23 to NextDoor on people being frightened by fast bikers on the bike path:
I regularly ride my electric bike on the bike path. At most, it will do 20 MPH. I can go faster on my regular bike. When I come up behind someone, I gently ring my bell and slow. Usually, “Thanks” from walkers and me. The point is to keep people moving safely.
Many people may not know that Oregon has relaxed the laws for bikes at stop signs and flashing red lights. Cars must always stop no matter the need to or not. Bikes can roll on through when there is no cross traffic to stop for. In my experience, it is a superior law that regulates the flow of traffic without needlessly impeding it. I’m proud of Oregon for trying it. I see it as both safer and superior to the former “You Must Always Stop” law. On a bike, I only stop at stop signs when it is my duty to do so because of traffic in the right-of-way. When there isn’t, I roll on through safely and efficiently.
2-6-23 to KOS article on lithium/air batteries as a probable breakthrough:
This article and all the interesting options mentioned in the forum remind me we’re already creating EVs that are better than ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars in terms of pep, quietness, the cost to run, and preventing further harm to our planet. We’re “good and getting better.”
All this reminds us that as we develop the will, we will find the ways. Humanity is doing both.
Same day on Twitter, responding to an AOC tweet about Ilhan Omar:
I admire both AOC and Ilhan Omar. They’re each more intelligent and principled than all the Republican “nattering nabobs of negativity” sniping at their every move and offering nothing but shallow insults. I’m for more of them in our Congress.
2-7-23 to ReligionNews article on psychedelic churches in the US emerging:
Readers might like to check out MAPS (Multicultural Association for Psychedelic Studies), which publishes guidelines on conducting such public or private experiences. MAPS is affiliated with numerous university research projects legally exploring such promising agents as MDMA and other aids to our spiritual and psychological well-being. Here in Oregon, legal psilocybin mushrooms are around the corner, and sitters are being certified starting this year. Some may want to explore such entheogens in a religious community for spiritual purposes, and some may just be curious to work with a sitter or two. While psychological therapy and healing may occur, there is no requirement that seekers be mentally sick or that professional therapists be present. I’m proud of Oregon and other such states and cities for opening our culture to such potentially beneficial substances.
To which Sandi replied:
So, you are looking to a university for spirituality? Wrong place
So, I replied:
I look to science to help explore spirituality, much better than old books, presumptive authorities, and group beliefs. I look to Nature, outer and inner. That universities are studying these helpful entheogens and cities and states are creating legal and safe ways to explore them is a good thing for people and our culture. That we used to do it on our own, with so-called guides but not guidelines, was also a good thing (which will continue) but this way is better.
Sandi replied to me:
Actually, the “old books” are where things of God are taught, Brad. Nature displays the glories of God, but are not God.
If you want to understand God, look to Him and His Word. Otherwise, you are getting a counterfeit.
So, I replied to her:
Sandy, I don’t say I am God. I say I’m of God, the God of our Declaration of Independence, the Creator as known in this Creation, outer and inner. It is insulting to God and misleading to us to direct our awe and belief to those old books as if anything and everything it says is the “Word of God.”.
“It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man.”― Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
Paine is the philosophical founder of my country, the U.S. His “Common Sense” launched us to be free to worship as we will and not be told by kings or popes what that should be.
“Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.”― Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
Like Thomas Paine, I admire some parts and detest others. To “believe in the Bible” without intelligence, skepticism, or conscience is a bad idea.
2-8-23 reply to a tweet from Adam Kinzinger regarding the rude showcasing at Biden’s speech:
She and her ilk are annoying embarrassments, an obvious threat to civil society and a reasonable government. They’re proud of being obnoxious.
I credit you, Adam, for still standing strong despite the cheap and cruel vitriol you inherit here.
Same day to Chris Hayes’s tweet on the same subject:
What got me was how the camera director skillfully avoided showing how often Republicans sat on their hands. They’ve gone from deplorable to despicable, but the viewing American public is prevented from seeing it.
2-11-23 to NextDoor Neighbor re: $500 for an ambulance ride:
When I worked for a funeral home in Michigan, which used the hearse as an ambulance in the 60’s, we charged $40, which seemed high to me at the time. We weren’t as trained as the EMTs of today, but mostly we tended people and saved some. Today’s prices seem exploitative: people in desperate need are charged a lot for a ride. Often, it’s only a ride that is needed.
Mark replied: Brad thx for doing your part all those years ago. The benefit we have now is 24/7/365 coverage, short response times, all with trained medical providers that could save a life in a good number of rides prior to getting to a hospital. The equipment onboard is incredibly expensive in addition to labor costs, as is the 911 communication system. Your might like reading about Mercy Flights history which started the first US civilian air medical transport service in the Country, right here in Medford,! They start with any ole plane they could fit a patient in to get them to Eugene or Portland, now they are like flying ICU rooms. So many lives saved then and many more now with the advances.
Christine added: I was billed $485 for the Ashland ambulance to take me three blocks to the hospital with a broken hip. They gave me oxygen and a dose of morphine. That’s it.
So I replied to her on the topic: Despite Mark’s detailing of all the advanced equipment and training on ambulances, it just seems unfair that those in need are charged so much for care. I once had a concussion and had to argue with the ambulance attendants to not let them take me to the hospital. I went home and rested in a dark room but didn’t sleep. That’s what the expensive trip and stay would have ended up doing, only for thousands of dollars. I wonder how much people in Canada pay for such services. No blame on the local ambulance and hospital crews, but our system leads us to avoid very expensive care. That the billing for such services comes from a remote place only adds disinterested bureaucracy to what should be a community affair.
Same day to KOS article on Republicans weaponizing their agenda:
What do people expect of a party that believes “government is bad for us”?
I’m so sick of shallow-minded reactionaries imposing their idiocy on us all. If it weren’t for the utter and blatant liar George Santos, we wouldn’t have to put up with these cheap antics.
2-13-23 to Angry Staffer, regarding shooting down unknown objects, retweeting:
Shooting down unknown objects that we fear might not be a good idea.
Shooting them down because a plane might hit them is a rationalization. Why not escort them, photograph them, etc.?
If they are extraterrestrial, is it nice or wise to shoot them down?
Same day reply to Richard Brien Kaiser’s tweet mocking Trump’s windblown hair after he had criticized Rianna’s stylist:
I disagree with your nasty tweet! Sure, you can mock him for a windy day photo, but admit it, of all our presidents ever, Donald Trump should be acclaimed as having the best hair-do ever! He quaffs it!
Same day reply to an Adam Kinzinger tweet accusing Elon Musk of not being on the side of Ukraine:
Whatever the logic and secrets about Starlink, I agree with Musk’s last point that we not escalate this dangerous and tragic conflict. War ruins reasonableness. Hapless civilians and young people stuck in armies are the ones suffering, not those taunting it from safe places.
Same day to J Street, a Jewish group trying to get Israel to shape up:
Thank you for this. I sent in a small donation.
Israel is creating very antisemitism it cries victims about. They’re misbehaving, then hiding behind the skirts of charges of antisemitism. Thank you for helping change the narrative about things Jewish these days.
Noa, of J Street, replied:
Thank you, sincerely, for your email. We appreciate your support in the work that we are doing and cannot do it without members of the community like you. Have a great rest of your day and don’t hesitate to reach out again.
2-14-23 to KOS article on the conservative cause publishing the Jesus ads during the Superbowl:
Responding to Sockpuppet:
I highly recommend interested readers check out the array of early Jesus Movement scriptures unearthed at Nag Hamadi in 1945. Elaine Pagels does a great job of translating academic understandings into a common language. These other scriptures were tossed out of the canon. Sensible ones like Philip. One describes how Peter would get mad and jealous when Jesus kissed Mary of Magdaline on the mouth. I like to believe she is the secret jewel hidden in the heart of the story. Were they lovers? I hope so. She helped revive Jesus after his foreshortened execution. Some say they then went to Gaul (France). Others say northern India, where a tomb exists said to be his. They had a few children. A much better story than insisting on the supernatural Christian message, as if merely believing in him fixes all your sins. Jesus was no Christian!
2-15-23 to Just a Guy tweet on Nicky Haley’s run for the presidency:
The only time I admired her was when she dared to criticize Trump early on. Then she, as you say, capitulated. Policy-wise, she’s also deplorable, only she’s less obnoxious than The Lying Loser.
Same day to Cleantechnica review of electric scooters made in India:
I visited India in 1972. Saw lots of bicycle-driven rickshaws, but also more and more stinky engine-driven ones. These electric scooters will change their streets to quieter and cleaner. Even if the electricity is generated by a coal plant, it would mean fewer pollutants in the air than thousands of fossil fuel engines. India is also investing in large-scale solar projects.
2-17-23 to NY Times article on “use it or lose it.”
Great advice in the article and in the comments.
I’m now 77. A few years ago, persistent mouth sores led to avoiding eating and drinking, coupled with a bleeding hemorrhoid that infected and taking too much ibuprofen all led to weakness, lack of urine, and muscle loss. I went from 150 pounds to 130 and had skinny, floppy muscles.
I got out of it by eating sardines, using some energy drinks (which have their own drawbacks), and making myself get out of bed and going active with muscular work.
Now I avoid most sugar (the plant sweetener stevia works great!), eat greens and veggies mostly, some meat, and work out vigorously three times a week. I get my heart up to 140 BPM on the stair step machine and then work my big muscles. I then use the Y’s sauna. I do some yoga. I get good sleep.
I’ve totally recovered, back up to 150 lbs., and I am more muscular than ever. The workouts not only make me feel symmetrical and strong, but they also improve my mind and mood.
Exercise, diet, no sugar, yoga/meditation, ample water, and good sleep and attitude are my medicine for health in general.
Same day, my tweet with link to Democracy Now! interview with James Cavarallo, dropped from an appropriate post because of pro-Israeli pressures:
Nothing contributes more to antisemitism lately than Israel’s racist apartheid policy towards the Palestinians. They act badly and then hide behind the skirts of the charge of antisemitism. I am angered and ashamed that this good man was dropped by the U.S. State Department.
2-19-23 to NYT letters to editor:
I missed the comment period for Magdalene Taylor’s pro-sex article but wanted to add this:
As a minister, I agree with Magdalene Taylor’s pro-sex article. We live in a puritan society titillated by sex but ashamed about it.
There is a correlation between how repressive a society is and how violent, while permissive societies are more peaceful. We have a neurotic society partly because we don’t have an erotic one.
Scripturally and naturally, we were “naked and unashamed” until we ate of the supposed god-like “knowledge of good and evil,” alienating us from our genitals, each other, our garden, and our God.
We’ll get back to the Garden and each other when we move from shame for our bodies and our attractions to celebration of both.
2-20-23 on Cleantechnica article relaying a George Soros speech, responding to NiCuCo’s remembering the change from “global warming” to “climate change.”
Thank you for this. “Climate change” is ambiguous. It says nothing. True enough, the weather is always changing, so why worry? “Global warming” told it like it is, but the media and some activists wimped out, reverting to an innocuous term. We have an overheating catastrophe looming, affecting our oceans and all life, including humanity, yet slick liars like Luntz sneak the profitable evasion into the framework of what we hear and how we think.
If that word wizard has accepted the science telling of this transhistorical predicament, what words would he (or we) advise to admit and fix it? What words tell the truth?
Same day, reply to David Munson on Next Door re his upcoming book, Wake up Laughing.
By nature and habit, you’re the man to publish this book. It’ll be good for people.
Same day, reply to Adam Kinzinger tweet celebrating Biden’s surprise visit to Ukraine.
I like your integrity and courage, Adam, but worry you’re too rah-rah towards war. I’m for the new “Rage Against the War Machine” movement. We need negotiations, not ongoing and escalating war. Too much tragedy for all involved, mostly hapless civilian and soldier victims.
Same day to KOS long comments section on Jimmy Carter’s imminent demise:
I love Jimmy Carter for many reasons, one of which is how he confessed to looking at women (or pictures of them) with lust. A humble man. An honest man!
I remember well how a dishonest man, Reagan, conspired to hold back the American hostages in Iran so he could secret money to a blatantly illegal war in Central America. The “Hostage Crisis” was used as a wedge to prevent his reelection. Reagan fits in with all the other scoundrels the Republicans have inflicted on us.
My only complaint about Carter was his doing volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity. Sure, it is laudable that individuals lend their hands to house construction for a worthy cause. Better than that would have been a president who reinstitutes something like Roosevelt’s CCC, paying people decent but not opulent money to create enough housing that wouldn’t be so prohibitively expensive. Staffing a soup line is a decent act; having a government where soup kitchens aren’t needed is a better one.
2-22-23 to ReligionNews article on protests against Netanyahu in Israel, responding to Todd4Truth: “Once again an article that promotes anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric and sentiment. What this article wants you to do is hate Israel and ultimately hate Jews, even though it is positioned as an article promoting democracy and human rights. Not a new tactic.”
Almost every day, another Palestinian was murdered. Entire buildings exploded and collapsed. Israel hides behind the skirts of charges of antisemitism even as it gives fuel to that problem. Netanyahu’s Israel is a shame, a fascist threat in that region and beyond. It is only the protest movement against him there and U.S. organizations like J Street that are redeeming the Jewish reputation.
My post was taken down by Religion News Service with no notice or explanation.
Yet another example of how religion can be pernicious. Todd’s defensive and accusatory post stands. Israel continues to murder about one Palestinian per day while they steal their homes and land and bomb their buildings. Yet to criticize this is to be excluded, exemplifying the very points I tried to make. Israel’s policies create the very antisemitism that hurts Jews. Religion News Service won’t let that point be made.
I wrote the RNS directly with this response (which was never answered):
I joined the Religion News Service newsletter because I saw it as a place where the spectrum of religious differences could contribute to their various perspectives.
Then you deleted a post I made, leaving only the hyper-avid pro-Israeli perspective.
As such, you showed your unbalanced perspective.
Here’s (posted just above) what I posted to my website about the experience. If you do not explain why you pulled my post, I’ll just leave and regard RNS as a propaganda device.
Same day to a Cleantechnica article on Lectric’s Xpedition big electric cargo bike:
We have one of their smaller, earlier models and like it. The company is good to work with, and quickly responsive. I’ve been noticing lots of these long, strong haulers around town, often rigged for carrying children. An extra battery for only $300 is a good deal, as is the base price.
2-23-23 to Cleantechnica Steve Hanley article on red states resenting the government that funds them:
Conservatives conserve the status quo for the entrenched elite, certainly not our formerly reliable weather. They’re reluctant to consider new ideas and technologies. As the IRA funds kick in, they’ll likely grab ’em and pat themselves on the back for taking money from their resented government.
The government has become the whipping boy of our society. Despite all the entrenched efforts against it, we expect it to moderate a fair and healthy economy and environment. We’ve lost the humanistic faith that we can devise a government that serves all of us. We’ve given over our ethics to the invisible hand of the market.
The invisible hand of the fossil fuel industry invested a bit of their stupendous profits to systematically lie to us about the known trouble their fossil fuels are creating. They still take subsidies and refuse to pay for the worldwide problems they help create.
I want a government that intercedes between corporatism and the people and our only environment when appropriate. Secret money and massive lobbying buy off our government and deliver it to amoral corporate forces. I want an EPA (NOAA, FDA, etc.) that isn’t a revolving door with industry, and I’m appreciative of all those who work in such agencies who try to do decent work despite periodic purges and ongoing pressures to placate corporate interests.
That EV factories are popping up in Georgia is a good thing. It’s a crucial political state in preventing the largely successful conservative and corporate (dare we call it fascist?) takeover of our government. A similar barely successful change is underway in Michigan, where an end to gerrymandering accompanies a surge in the EV industry.
If red states benefit, that benefits all of us, for as we invest in cleaner, more affordable transportation, and housing systems, it’ll pay off for all of us. Gradually we might shift our memes to look for win-win solutions that include and serve all of us.
Same day and place, responding to Jennifer Sensiba’s review of wildlife crossing messages:
As with racism, it isn’t a group that has an identity or behavior, it is individuals. Clunky maps of red and blue states belie the reality of mixed reality. Many rural people or those without advanced education feel defensive about being labeled. Truth is, many such people aren’t as uniform as such labels project. Certainly, rural people care more for the environment and its animals than supposed, and a lack of higher education doesn’t mean stupid.
We need less alienating and more inclusive language. We’re all in this climate predicament together. Also, some government pronouncements seem written by a cautious, contentious committee stumbling into bureaucratese instead of using plain-spoken sentences. (Better sentences, for instance, than my last one!)
2-24-23 my reply (name withheld) to a very long email (2,637 words!) to me replete with scripture passages and warnings about hidden chips and the reality of hell:
Thank you for your long message to me.
I don’t see the Bible as God’s Word to humankind, I see it as a small part of humankind’s views of God, history, and various zealots pushing their nonsense on others back then, and it gets used that way still.
I feel sorry for people who gather scattered scriptures to construct a metaphysical story.
There is no hell except in mean and frightened people’s imagination.
Mere belief will not save you.
As with other major world religions, knowing we are one and that treating others with the same respect and care we’d like for ourselves is a common teaching.
My interest is not in the Bible or belief, it is in caring for each other and our natural environment. I’m not interested in scriptural arguments.
Thank you for sending me your views but I don’t think we think alike enough to continue. Fair thee well!
2-25-23 Feedback to News from the States Evening Wrap on their round-up of a stuffy, counter-productive system of courts, bail bonds, and jails.
This overview on over-incarceration fails to mention that jobs are being created in the business of confining innocent people (or those with minor offenses). There’s money to be made by stuffing a system with stupid cruelty.
Perhaps this mail link will let you read it: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgzGrcjTfbcpffkjBZKHRgLFgkrxD
Same day to a Cleantechnica article on Ford’s 2000 HP electric van to take on Pike’s Peak (it’ll do 0 to 60 in less than 2 seconds!), responding to this post:
Actually thoughtful 21 hours ago
The irony is we have a vast, deep need for electrified vans, and Ford, so far, simply has underperformed with the weak Transit. So yes, let’s bring this, or a longer range, less souped up one – so that we tradesmen and women can join the Renewables Revolution, too.
My reply to him:
Ford should read your message and apply it.
2-27-23 to a Facebook post by Martin Ball on psychedelics and churches:
As a minister with a lifelong interest and involvement with religious and philosophical ideas, congregations, and institutionalized religion (UUA) as well as a parallel interest in what we now call entheogens, I can attest to concern that such sacraments might not be best explored in a church setting. Churches can be creepy and controlling. As usual, I like what Martin writes here, but I note that Oregon’s upcoming use of psilocybin is not intended or restricted to therapy. While they are marvelous vehicles for therapy, a simple interest in exploring consciousness is reason enough. What an exciting and promising time that Oregon, Colorado, and some other locations are opening up to not just personal betterment, but also social!
Same day, reply to Ramesh on Facebook about the authority to teach about kundalini:
My lineage came from the Blind Saint of Vrindavan to Dr. Vasavada to me and from Ramana Maharshi to Shri Sunyata to me. None of my teachers ever claimed some special authority. I once asked the Blind Saint, “What’s it like to be a saint? How is that different from anything we know?” He replied, “A saint is a member of the universal human family.”
3-2-23 to KOS long thread decrying MTG’s rude antics, responding to Citixen:
It’s political vandalism. What are vandals? People who don’t give a shit.
Truth is, this was inevitable, considering the peculiar nature of the American apportionment process, which gives that job to the beneficiaries of that process. All other democracies in developed countries see this as a basic conflict of interest in distinguishing between ‘the Government’ of public institutions, and the political parties, which function as a kind of department of Human Resources for the staffing of positions of public power.
Why would you want to put HS in charge of running an organization instead of staffing one? The invitation for self-dealing is almost too obvious. They can appoint the board (Congress), the CEO (executive), the CFO (treasury), and Risk mgmt (Justice), and make sure they all remember who gave them those cushy jobs.
Ok I’m making a facile analogy. But it illustrates the nature of what our political parties once were, versus what they are now, one still clinging to rule of law, with a fidelity to constitutional self-governance, and the other committed to minority-rule authoritarianism. But both, as incorporated representatives of the American political process, are allowed direct and unchecked power over both the state and federal apportionment process. One is unethically exploiting that power, the other recognizes the conflict and is working to remove the apportionment process from being politicized.
Why are we accepting this double-dealing? Because the political parties of America are not what they seem, compared to other democracies. It’s a cliche I admit, but it doesn’t make it less true: the political parties of America are hand puppets for Wall Street generally, but more to the point of what interests are being represented through Wall Street’s capital, are America’s billionaire donor class bankrolling the MAGA GOP machine, through grift and graft, that has been able leverage a manufactured minority into a vandalizing legislative majority, who’s task is to delegitimize American government in particular, and representative democracies more generally. If the wealthy, libertarian, Republican donors can’t convince voters to buy into their libertarian notions of unfettered capital, then they’ll bankroll the manipulation of the constitutional apportionment process in order to manufacture the extremists that will persist in grinding down the patience of Americans to allow elections to resolve our differences. The MAGA mega donors, now fronting a party that is in full alliance with constitutional insurrectionists, backed by Christian white nationalism, are spoiling to either overcome social taboos against political violence, making the nation ungovernable, or make Americans lose faith in their ability to create change, and walk away from the system, ceding the political space to them.
Americans don’t have to accept such willful, manipulated, misrepresentation in their public institutions, once we understand how the persistence of Wealth is vandalizing institutions that are designed for the resolution of political disputes, and not as the venue to exhibit a persistent, toxic and inflammatory behavior designed to disgust voters rather than inspire them. That’s why MAGAs, writ large, are to be considered Vandals, and representative imposters, fronting for their campaign and party paymasters. That’s why they have no shame, why politics doesn’t matter to them, and why they won’t be reached until we pull them off their (donor-manufactured) pedestals once and for all.
To which Firesideman replied:
Well aimed, super laser and just my kind of definitive, local political “Vandalism” definition. Description, really, it was.
To which Citixen replied:
Thank you for your kind words. The thing voters need to realize is that the private wealth isn’t just buying our politicians, or paying for the gerrymandered district maps; what that Wealth is really buying for the wealthy is the persistence of their vandalizing efforts to undermine the ability of democracies around the world to function. That wealth is buying them a staying power today that threatens the ability of citizen-voters to remain engaged as a viable political opposition, attempting to preserve a democratic order, both here and abroad.
In the Civil War era, an era where the agenda of undermining Government had fewer avenues to exercise that influence, which made it arguably more visible, the ‘fight’ lasted roughly between 1850 — 1880, signifying the political disengagement of the generation that drove political support for the defeat of the antebellum South in the war. By 1880 that generational coalition could no longer hold back what became known as Reconstruction, and we suffered through almost a century of two, unequal, Americas, until the 1960’s witnessed the re-emergence of a political coalition to right those wrongs.
I fear that today’s mega-donor class, empowered from the 1980’s forward, utilizing the latest psychographic marketing techniques and media technologies, are now almost 50 years(!) on the job, trying to reverse those gains. And I can’t help wonder whether the vast majority of Americans that do not want to turn the clock back, will be able to match the ‘persistence of Wealth’ that we have, collectively, allowed to illegitimately influence America’s electoral system, in ways that could only be dreamed of in the worst days of the 19th century. I feel we’re in a race against time.
So I chimed into these wordy exchanges:
You should write a book, Citixen, reminding us of what a citizen is. Thomas Paine and other founders feared political parties because they might become factions, which is what we now have. We’ve grown cynical and passive, inured to the stubborn system that allows just enough breadcrumbs to keep the uber-wealthy wealthy.
Or perhaps I’m being too cynical here. Most of us live with automatic luxuries only kings and queens used to enjoy. We’re wealthier than ever, but we’re aware of even more wealth, and we resent those who have that and won’t share or accept taxes. We’ve become bored with the simple wealth of clean water, ample food, comfortable shelter, and even comity in the community. We idolize the preposterously rich (CEOs, celebrities, sports stars, market wizards) and demonize those protesting that their lives matter too.
Whatever became of teaching civics in high school? What became of the radical American faith in ourselves? We were to run our own humanistic, dynamically balanced government free of popes and priests telling us how to be. Jesus turned over the tables of the money-makers in the temple, and we once cut our ties with money-takers across the ocean, but now armies of well-paid lobbyists buy our government and others finance decades of fossil fuel liars and, as you note, the vandals parading their deplorable antics for our amusement. Empire, declining.
I groan to see Biden and the ever-tenacious war machine, the “deep state,” rousing up our hatefulness towards Russia and China. Just when we all should be cooperating in mastering the transnational, trans-historic threat of global heating (and other such vast environmental challenges) we see images of vast stockpiles of ammunition, expensive war missiles, and planes. Lucrative to the makers of weapons but tragic for all the hapless soldiers and civilians involved.
The irony is the only ones to confront the deep state are the MAGAs who tear it down for vague reasons and have even vaguer ones for what would replace it.
Spoiled, cynical, passive citizens let this tragedy accumulate. We gripe from the edges as it goes down for all of us. (And that “us” is not just the U.S.) Where are the real leaders and citizens we need?
3-3-23 to Washington Post on Groupthink towards China
We’re taunting Russia by pushing NATO and China by “defending” Taiwan. We have by far the world’s largest military. We’re eager to be hateful, ramping up arms sales and testing, towards what? A new needless war replete with all the tragedy and waste wars always create? Who is the bully now?
Just when we need worldwide creative cooperation at confronting and fixing the drastic predicament of global heating and other transnational problems, we’re instead spending multibillions on weapons bound to spiral into the need for more.
I was glad for Biden being our president until this xenophobic blunder. I won’t hate the Russians or the Chinese. Instead, I have preemptive worry and compassion for all the soldiers and civilians, theirs, and ours, thrust into mayhem by sloppy diplomacy, mean thinking, and a lack of positive vision.
3-4-23 reply to Dan Rather about anti-wokeness:
I’ve spent 50 years as a liberal minister for the UUs, but now I’m estranged from all their woke pressures. While I agree with the overall thrust of humanistic affirmations such as women, blacks, and gays, I don’t like being expected to make those my main cause in life. I don’t like being told what pronouns I should suddenly declare, and what words I should use on topics far narrower than the plights and opportunities we all share.
My denomination is being wracked by a mean cancel culture that shuns and excludes those who dare voice any objection to being so-pushed. It is so presumptuous, pretentious, and pushy. We ministers used to be warned about ignoring the “pinch” that becomes a disaster. The same rift that wracks our denomination is in danger of scuttling many liberal causes on the left.
The last elections had the Democrats pleading with blacks to save us. True enough, and I love them for helping. But where were there any appeals or welcomes to white, heterosexual men? Are we only guilty of their unearned privilege, excluded from the comity of community? The same ignoring of the pinch in our denomination is undermining liberal causes nationally, pushing the reactionaries towards fascism for want of any respect or inclusion.
This is exemplified by the new reactionary woke shaming the phrase “It’s OK to be white.” (or however it goes) Well, it is OK to be white, just as it’s OK to be whatever color you are! I’m glad we just had Black History Month. It inspired me with that epic story and ongoing plight. Should there also be a White History Month, or a coming out parade for Heterosexuals, a celebration of men? Why not? Aren’t we all part of the same oneness?
I sometimes imagine wearing a tee shirt that reads, “Woker than you!” just to tease the issue.
Are there marginalized people, victims of an unkind, uninclusive society? Yes. How to say “yes” and “welcome” them without blaming others for their plight? How to be mindful, open to compassion and betterment, socially skillful, and successfully inclusive?
Egads! I don’t know how to work this site but the comments on woke on this site generated responses suitable for its own book. I had to glance through the hundreds of comments to find yours. Along the way, gobs of intelligent, empathetic, savvy comments!
I served the Red Hill Universalist Church in Samson County, North Carolina, for five years, and I’ve attempted to serve other UU settings in Urbana, Illinois, and southern Oregon. I wince at and grieve what some interest groups have done to my denomination. Too much, too many take the ministry as an opportunity to hold forth in a showy, judgmental way, waving the nagging finger of guilt on submissive, paying congregants.
If any readers have waded through these many comments and wish to read about our UU situation, I recommend Todd Eklof’s “The Gadfly Papers” to start in order to understand this bruhaha, for it roused up hundreds of condemning conclusions of those ministers who hadn’t even read it, and Anne Larason Schneider’s “A Self-Confessed White Supremacy Culture” and David Cycleback’s “Against Illiberalism” for heart-felt, mind-active considerations of the divisive issue.
I’d enter the fray but have been estranged for over 20 years from the denomination and minister’s association over these same issues and power plays. One minister was disfellowshipped over her online comments, so if they find my entry here and want to treat me the same way, have at it! Though emeritus at my last fellowship, I’m already declared “out of covenant” by a small committee for refusing to update my original covenant letter to include the 17,000-word code of ethics, recently toughened up and expanded by the new UUMA. For this egregious offense, they stopped sending me their electronic newsletter. Fine. If UUs want to substitute power plays for religion, I’m out.
To which Linda replied:
Brad, you are writing about the same situation I was writing about in my first paragraph! Small world! I’m having lots of trouble wrapping my head over it. I’m a third generation Universalist who stopped attending any and all gatherings before this really broke. I have joined with an online group that supported Rev. Todd Ecklof to seek a better way. The name is to long for it to be remembered but if you’re not aware or want the name I’ll look up up and send it. They meet online once a month for a service and a Q & A.
So, I replied to her:
Egads! I don’t know how to work this site but the comments on woke on this site generated responses suitable for its own book. I had to glance through the hundreds of comments to find yours. Along the way, gobs of intelligent, empathetic, savvy comments!
I used to care, 50 years worth. (Most of the sermons (and similar assorted essays and rants) on my site at www earthlyreligion dot com were created for the fellowship I’m now supposedly “out of covenant” with.) But I don’t care to contend with those all hyped up on how woke they are. I find myself more in sympathy and appreciation for David Chapelle, Jim Jefferies, and Steven Colbert, comedians who tell the funny truth even when it offends the woke. I’d go into comedy, were I funnier.
Oh my god. I have been to Red Hill when Justin (was it Trudeau?) was ministering to them, or am I thinking of Richard? My former church, Our Home outside Ellisville, MS, hosted Universalist Convocation several years ago before I left.
Red Hill, Outlaws Bridge and other southern Universalists church were looked on as sister churches; we had strong ties to them.
I didn’t leave because of “Woke” although I could feel It coming. It involved a “friend” (take that with a grain of salt) who had lived at a distance for many years but who returned to the area to retire. I had bad problems with her gaslighting me since I had served for many years as lay minister while we had no minister. It’s a situation that my PCP suggested I withdraw from for a time which I eventually made permanent. The sad thing is that since I wasn’t ordained there were no UU ministers who could speak with me about the situation. I felt ostracized. It began to feel like ministry had become a special privilege that had gone awry. Most Universalist ministers never felt that way.
I was raised in that church but I choose to leave it and have been happier. I’m glad to make your acquaintance over the Internet.
Take care of yourself.
And I replied to her: The Universalists (the “No hell Christians”) were once one of the fastest-growing denominations in the country. As preaching and fears of hell declined, so did they. Too bad, for they were heartful and inclusive.
Congregations can ordain ministers who then have legal standing. The UUA can fellowship those ministers they’ve passed on who join their sort of union, the UUMA. When I worked at Red Hill I was ordained but not yet fellowshipped. (I returned to my seminary and completed the master’s and got fellowshipped in 1985.)
I have admired many things and people in that heritage but also became increasingly estranged, as detailed above. Whether some good can be salvaged, revived, and furthered is currently questionable. It’s sadly contentious, divided, and dwindling.
Glad to meet you too, Linda, even if we’re the only ones reading this.
Same day reply to an Adam Kinzinger tweet of a largely empty CPAC room for Don Trump, Jr.
I see your tweet has elicited the same array of shallow, stupid, insulting replies, all ignoring how depleted the CPAC conference is. MAGAs’ time has passed. They’re somewhere between irrelevant and annoying.
3-6-23 to Cleantechnica article on the advantages of induction stoves over gas ones:
To avoid indoor pollution, gas stoves should be replaced with induction ones.
However, I have an electric stove. Not as efficient as induction, but induction stoves are way more expensive than justifies the switch.
So, my question is, are there simpler and more affordable induction plates that would simply plug into the wiring on my existing electric stove?
Same day to KOS on a ludicrous Republican tweet that government should be so small as to be invisible:
Well, what do Americans expect when they vote Republican? The one campaign slogan the Republican party honors is “government is bad for us.”
True enough, everything they do is bad for us!
They want a wimp government unable to monitor or regulate anything corporate or environmental, yet they impose mean-minded moralists to impose puritan control on our sovereign bodies and cry victim when they’re prosecuted for attacking our government, wiping their sh-t on the walls of our once-revered center.
Hopefully, Americans are waking up to the menace they are.
Same day to KOS on the rise of theocracy as attendance to church dwindles:
Americans began losing it when they didn’t develop the Deist theologies of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine.
Founding father Paine was a hero until he published “The Age of Reason,” critical of both the Bible and Christianity. He died lonely and broke, a martyr for the cause of a humanistic democracy.
Soon, there followed The Great Awakening. (The Great Awakening is not to be confused with being woke now. It hyped up belief rather than behavior.)
America was founded on the rational fear of letting any religion rule. As a life-long minister aware of European history, I affirm that apprehension.
Thank God (“the Creator”) and the Founders that we have the freedom of religion and the freedom from it.
3—8-23 to Ramesh’s Facebook post about Tantra not being the primarily sexual form many take it to be:
Great clarification, Ramesh. The finding of many early Jesus Movement scriptures at Nag Hamurti in 1945 reveals a far more human Jesus. Especially interesting is the Gospel of Mary and other ones that tell how Peter was jealous of Mary because Jesus would kiss her on the mouth. That he once rescued her, and she later rescued him at the tomb is a jewel in the shadows of Christianity. (Perhaps they left after the crucifixion. One story had them going to Gaul (France) and another to northern India where a tomb is said to exist for him and their children. I prefer this ending.) As to Tantra not being primarily sexual, great, as long as it includes and celebrates sensuality and sexuality as a vital part of wholeness.
Same day reply to a Peter Sinclair, in Yale Connections, video of a small band of interrupters who regularly show up at county meetings regarding solar and wind projects:
These people (perhaps paid) think they’re being brave by being rude. Rude loudmouths have attracted the media’s cameras. Little but loud, they serve the delay in our switching away from poisonous and problematic fossil fuels to clean, renewable, less costly energy. A few will profit for a while from such obstruction, even though our children and theirs will inherit climate trouble. They’re stupidly stubborn, an annoying intrusion into formerly civil society.
3-12-23 to KOS on a cartoon agreeing to pull “Zip a dee do dah” for being part of a racist movie:
The first song I used in leading worship was “Zip a dee do dah.” In and of itself, it is a perfect hymn. I resent it being pulled.
Wokesters forbid we imagine a happy moment when their narrative supposes and imposes only sadism and agony.
3-13-23 to Religion News article on J. Edgar Hoover’s using the FBI to push Christian Nationalism:
Ever since the serpent in the Garden, those claiming to know the will of God have been confusing us about just what is good and evil, thus expelling us from the Garden. This line tells of his tragic misdirection: “Hoover saw anyone who upset the status quo and pushed for goals like “love, justice, and the brotherhood of man” or “personal freedom” as part of an atheistic communist plot.” God forbid (Hoover’s god) we have goals like love, justice, the brotherhood [the familyhood] of man, and personal freedom. He exemplifies a spiritual, psychological, and social problem in the U.S.
Same day to Cleantechnica article on an Australian farmer with solarized EVs and an ancient technique for building the soil:
His use of “waste” reminds me of Bucky Fuller’s definition of pollution: wasted resources.
3-14-23 to NextDoor lady who had suspected a restaurant of helping mess up her credit card only to discover they hadn’t and so posted a new notice of it all.
an admirable fessing up, benefiting all involved, especially you!
Same day to Dave Munson, local community radio DJ at KSKQ (via text). He was giving good advice about getting out and walking as part of a healthifying and happifying of our lives. I encourage him often because he’s the sort of voice our culture needs. Most of which he appreciated and read on the air:
You, your radio shows, and book, all soon to go viral,
(then, in response to a favorable comment about being good to people, like in China):
China, especially because we’re being set up to hate them and menace them with needless war threats.
That internationally, and stopping a needless and dangerously ominous Cop City nationally.
(then he gave out a funny fake news alert of how the U.S., Russia, and China all have met and agreed to cooperate in confronting planetary challenges, etc.):
That’s the vision we need in our leaders!
(then, I had to try to correct my ungrammatical comment on China and Cop City and hurriedly make a pledge during Pledge Drive. However, he got it too late to get it on the air.)
I needed a comma after the “That” to make it grammatical.
I liked your vision of all three [nations] together.
OK, because of you, I’ll up my pledge from $20 to $40!
Same day a sign-up tweet to Mnar Adley, a journalist admitting Israel’s recent atrocities:
I heard Mnar Adley’s excellent comments on Israel’s atrocities on Project Censored today and so signed up for her tweets. She needs to be seen and heard more in our media!
Same day reply to a George Conway retweet of Trump warning if they go after him for paying off a porn star or finding 11,780 votes:
But I’m not worried about being busted for finding 11,780 votes. Let them come for each of us.
But I’m not worried about paying off a port star. Is Trump?
Nor am I worried about being busted for stealing nuclear secrets. I appreciate his trying to warn me, though.
Then, later, replying to Lawrence Tribe’s retweet of the same Trump tweet:
I’d like to thank President Trump for offering me this warning, except I’m not worried about being busted for paying off a porn star, stealing nuclear secrets, or “finding” 11,780 votes for me. Is he worried?
Same day, replying to a Rex Chapman tweet of three men competing on who can add another drop of water to a glass that’s already full, specifically to Kealan Symes for bringing up surface tension:
I studied surface tension in Chemistry 101. It’s a “skin” on water because the attractive forces within the water are stronger and unequal to those above it. This simple principle has served me in many ways all my life since, like using a damp cloth to pick up water, sweating.
Same day reply to a Rex Flipowski tweet of Trump warning us about new wars:
I agree with him about this needless taunting of a new war, but I doubt his taking over the White House would help any of us in any way.
Same day, my post to my Facebook on the Pros and Cons of setting the time to Daylight Savings:
Instead of bouncing our circadian rhythms back and forth twice by changing the clock twice yearly, legislators have opted for switching to DST (Daylight “Savings” Time) permanently. Good to stabilize it, but they picked the wrong side! This makes us and our kids wake up too early, permanently putting us at odds with our own natural sleep/wake rhythms. It’s mean. It doesn’t help that much. I hope others will lobby to switch it to Standard Time (which puts midday and midnight near when the sun is directly above or below us). Real time, natural time, is part of who and how we are. Artificial time, imposed by well-meaning but confused legislators should align with our own inner rhythms instead.
Same day to Religion News Service on Pope Francis’ lasting more than the two expected years:
As a former Roman Catholic who went on to a career in the liberal ministry, I can sincerely attest to my appreciation of Francis. He loves people and the planet as well as God. Only when the church serves all three is it worthy of praise! In my view, he is the best pope ever.
I see much hatred here towards him from traditional conservative Catholics. I regret such stances, and I fear for the church when he passes. Already, Steve Bannon is plotting to bring him down.
I hope his vision involving economics and ecology becomes a turning point that lasts in the Catholic tradition.
Same day reply to Lisa Freidman of the NYT on her article on fossil fuel glee at recent trends in their favor:
Excellent article, Lisa!
No place to comment online, so I’ll say it here.
Dragging out the transition with silly attempts like algae and capturing carbon slows the inevitable widespread use of clean renewable energy. The whole world and our future need a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. EVs, etc., are inevitable, but greedy, frightened fossil fuelers are trying to get their last exorbitant profits, despite the ruin that causes.
While I regret Biden’s approval of oil from Alaska (and his war-mongering towards China) I admire his IRA. (I use my electric bike almost exclusively around town, leaving my Taurus V-6 at home. It has saved me and the planet about $2000 in gas costs and pollution. I hope to get a heat pump with help from this incentive; an electric car? maybe.)
I also regret the sudden rise in the cost of heat pumps. If they were profitable at the going price before, what justification do these companies have for taking more than their fair share when it is so important and timely to hurry the transition now?
Anyway, good job at fairly telling the current situation and trends.
Reply to a report from News from the States Evening Wrap on the ruin of a decent mental health bill in Georgia and the rushed passing of a “let everyone openly carry unmonitored, unregistered guns” in Florida:
Shallow, cynical anti-government rhetoric is putting our whole society in harm’s way. Stupid, cruel people are running the show.
Same day reply to a typical objector to Adam Kinzinger, calling him a liberal:
To the extent that’s true, that’s why I like him.
And to another, calling him a traitor:
A traitor to the traitors, yes.
3-15-23 Mail with a distant minister colleague:
He wrote back about a vision I had as a young boy:
I appreciate you sharing your vision of Mary. I had some inmates (during my prison chaplaincy time) and some veterans (during my VA medical center chaplaincy times) tell me similar stories of seeing visions during times of near death or great danger . . . and not a single one was particularly Christian in their religious orientation. (They didn’t identify the vision as Mary or Kwan Yin. They just reported seeing a vision and after the vision appeared the danger subsided or disappeared.)
But Brad, how do you reconcile your 3rd grade mystical experience with your current profession of atheist humanism?
My vision of Mary was of a statue. I take it as generated out of my need. It was Mary, but what can a plaster statue do? It was the other soldier coming into the room that got me out.
I’m open to fantastic visions and miracles – if they occur, which is somewhere between rarely and never. I’m more of an Emerson guy regarding miracles, though I had high hopes for divine beings visiting me from the ethers in meditation or life, especially when I was seeking out gurus and saints. (See my “Gurus” for some stories there.) I can’t jump to miraculous conclusions just because they’d be neat or because others believe them. The stubborn Facts of life are ours to live with.
However, I have two actual lightning stories that fit synchronicity, both times. The second was at Red Hill.
By the way, it’s atheist ethical hedonistic humanism with a scientific faith and a mystical bent.
3-16-23 to Good News Network:
Just found your interesting site via Circular Ecology News. If you publish a regular newsletter, I don’t see how to sign up for it. (OK, I found it, below on this page and signed up for weekly summaries.)
“Good” is an important word and guiding principle for me. Check out my explanation for what I’m up to and why on the sidebar on my website, www.earthlyreligion.com to see what I mean by good.
Your 3-d printing of batteries caught my eye because I believe one of the best ways to promote things good in life has to do with the technologies we often use. I’ve subscribed to Cleantechnica for years on this account.
Thanks for your good work!
Same day reply to a prompt from a bike group asking us to contact our city to create bike lanes:
I disagree with this approach. We overcomplicate solutions and make traffic worse. I’m in favor of considering sidewalks as siderides, giving way to pedestrians, of course. Side street routes also work as well as busy main ones. The Bike Path is wonderful.
Our town recently changed a two-lane highway to one to accommodate bikes. Hardly ever is there a bike, but regularly, there’s a long line of cars, making it hard to get in.
I bike daily across town. I find most laws and street designs to be made by people in offices who don’t know what the situation is.
The only progressive law change I’ve seen in my life is here in Oregon where I can roll through a stop sign or flashing red light WHEN THERE IS NO ONE IN THE RIGHT OF WAY TO STOP FOR! It is a superior system that regulates traffic without needlessly impeding it. I would extend it to cars once people understand how it works and how to work it.
3-18-23 reply to a Trump tweet saying Russia is not a threat, quoting him:
“The greatest threat to western civilization today … it’s probably, more than anything else, ourselves and some of the horrible U.S.A.-hating people that represent us.” Exactly! Like the MAGAs and their perverse patriotism.
Then, replying to another Kinzinger retweet of Trump’s longer rant:
I admire you, Adam, and disagree with almost everything Trump says, except he’s right about a “deep state” rousing up needless wars. I’m sick of my country’s repeating war nightmares! Waste. Ruin. Tragedy. Let Kucinich lead.
3-19-23 Reply to Kinzinger retweet of someone comparing Trump to Jesus’ rising on the third day:
I look forward to Trump’s rising on the third day – after a torturous execution! Will Melania come to rescue him from the cave?
Same day responding to tweet cheering “Go Brandon!” when driving Trump to prison:
Rather, I say, “Go Stormy!”
Same day, reply to Filipowski retweet of MT Green tweet threatening fear and anger:
Ah, good old fear and anger, the only argumentation the right wing knows or uses.
Same day reply to Adam Kinzinger tweet on T going to jail:
It’s amazing and amusing, Adam, how many shallow-minded right-wingers hang out on your Twitter to repeat their dull-witted insults. Lots of childish snickering and never an intelligent comment.
Same day reply to Heather Cox Richardson’s recalling the 1980 Republican-orchestrated arms for hostages trickery going on behind Reagan’s bringing Jimmy Carter down:
Talk about Fake News and in-your-face coups!
Same day retweet of a Lawrence Tribe tweet of Contragate as President Carter is about to die:
This was an older Fake News coup in your face, the most disgraceful assault on our democracy until January the 6th! It also led to the Contra atrocities and the ongoing refugee crisis we’re still dealing with. An utterly illegal and immoral event dismissed with a mere “..gate.”
Same day, adding my comment to Marc Gafni’s sermon on being an “outrageous lover” as a unique expression.
I have long been an outrageous lover, but at the end of my 50-year career in the liberal (UU) ministry, I’m more jaded about any organized religion actually being involved in outrageous loving. Eros lives in us despite religion far more than because of it.
3-21-23 to the Tiny Desk competition:
My old hippy friend Jim notified me about the Tiny Desk competition and urged me to submit my “Who Dat Dog?” So, I did. Even though I couldn’t work out the chords for the background or do the video editing to bring in photos of dogs, I simply recorded it as it rides in my mind while sitting at my desk. I had hardly any familiarity with other entries and now I see how peppy and produced they are. I like my little song, an homage to dogs, our loyal and easy companions.
Same day, my reply to a retweet of a photo of Bill Gates holding a sign reading “It is as easy to buy a scientist as it is to buy a politician.”
Cynical, passive, and misleading. Easy to buy a spot on Twitter to discredit scientists and science so only stupid people rule. Since Citizens United, Dark Money floods our political process (as well as our Media), yet shallow retorts like this confuse the issues.
Same day reply to a Stormy Daniels tweet, copied, and posted on KOS in general about her:
I object to the news calling it “an affair.” An affair implies caring. It was a paid sex fling. I don’t criticize him or you for that. I appreciate you for your work in the sex trade, not Trump’s “work” in attacking our government and society. Sex? OK. MAGA? Deplorable.
3-22-23 to NYT on cannabis and sleep:
Here in Oregon, we can grow it and give it but not sell it, a sensible solution to preferred use and preventing the silly waste of incarcerations and the related profits to cartels. Small farmers can grow and sell to legal pathways. We’re also about to allow psilocybin (magic mushrooms) for our own reasons. I’m so glad to live in a liberal state!
I like the THC in pot a lot. I prefer a Sativa strain, which energies me for working out, music, writing, sex (I wish!), and oddly, meditation. I avoid smoking in the evenings because it interferes with my sleep. I don’t go for the Indica strains because they make me too laid back. Perhaps seekers of sleep could try this type.
Lots of interesting info and side comments here in the Comments. While I have publicly recommended cannabis from the pulpit for decades, I get that it’s not for everyone, can be problematic if over-used (I call it, “Always stoned but never high.”) and can be addictive for some. As with all drugs, less is more. Also interesting is how use during the day lessens dreams at night.
Good sleep and vigorous exercise during the day are part of ideal health. Pot can interfere with that or enhance it. I’d be glad to share mine with those who are curious. Try an entheogen, legally, here in Oregon!
Same day to Elie Mystal tweet on Trump going humble:
Trump could now win the humility contest!
Same day to Cleantechnica article on the IPCC dire report:
I am alarmed at how easily (once again!) Americans are at hating some new supposed enemy. Instead of competing and cooperating with China toward ending our common transnational predicament, Biden is ramping up the weapons industry towards – what?
I see China as centering on itself – like it long has done, not engaging in militarized imperialism – like the European nations used to do and the U.S. recently has. I credit them for advancing solar, wind, and EVs far more aggressively than the U.S. has, though the U.S. has begun to match that.
Have we not had enough of transnational PTSD to follow the waste and ruin of wars? If we had ethical and creative leadership here, we’d lead the way to rescue, restore, and revive our Edenic planet. Biden’s IRA helps start that, but his war-mongering towards China negates and ruins that effort.
To which Farticustheseeker replied:
I would ignore the militaristic nonsense.
This is a war of words not bullets. China is outcompeting Western economies and will dominate the globe. The EU doesn’t like it: they used to numero uno a few centuries ago and didn’t like being demoted to number 2, soon number 3 status beckons.
The US really doesn’t like it because their standard of living is going down the toilet and they think being number one is effing birthright! Idiots.
The thing about competition is that you have to keep running flat out, none of this go slow so we can suck extra goodness out of obsolete tech.
All the old fossil fuel industries and their dependents are heading for the scrap yard of history. Since the US and EU have tried to slow the transition they will be the biggest losers and China will win all the marbles.
IRA is an act of desperation. It should work except the idiot GOP are trying to sabotage it. Much like Germany snuck in biofuels as a token of affection to OPEC+.
So I replied:
Ouch! We’re living in a declining empire. We needn’t decline, but we’ve lost ethical vision and faith in ourselves as a part of nature that could prosper for all involved.
Same day to Cleantechnica regarding Boston’s building code:
Whatever became of the large building in Boston constructed above a cold-sink basement designed to cool the building in the summertime?
So-called passive heating and cooling principles are still operative, even if we’ve concentrated on PV and wind. Roman towns used to be laid out to take advantage of the winter sun and summer shade. Such principles still work whether we use them or not.
There is an ice cave in California where the surface can be 110 F but you can stand on solid ice at the bottom of the cave. That’s because heat always rises and cold sinks. Wisely received, the cold of the winter might be cooling our buildings in the heat of the summer.
Does anyone know what became of that innovative experiment?
Same day to Michael Dowd’s YouTube:
Michael, I read mention of you on Cleantechnica and wondered if you are the same person I admired and conversed with a decade ago. You are.
(I’m a life-long UU minister, now estranged. My stuff is at earthlyreligion dot com where readers can view my sermons and rants and sign up for rare mailings.)
Proud of your work then and here.
Our society is a victim of its own cynicism. Passive pessimism would have us create our own slow suicide in terms of our democracy, society, and environment. It’s great to hear a preacher offer some practical vision. Eden is hurting. It’s ours to tend.
Same day, reply to a Sierra Club mailing on World Water Day:
Funny – and impressive – how four-billion-year-old water is constantly refreshed.
3-23-23 to Religious News Service regarding bishops decreeing an end to gender surgery, responding to One Voice:
Notice how the left changes the meaning of language. Gender affirming actually means gender changing. . . Giving children and adults drugs to suppress their genes and chromosomes is not gender-affirming it is gender-suppressing for the purpose of gender change.
I agree. “Gender-affirming” is gender denying. It turns the born structure over to a temporary frame of mind highly influenced by cultural trends and group identity. A popular fad can lead to the regret of life-long mutilation.
3-24-23 to Aeon, reply to coincidence article:
The best overview of meaning and coincidence I’ve ever read.
When I was reading lots of Jung in seminary, I got to see synchronicities frequently, especially if I had smoked pot. A sort of paranoia grew, some test the Illuminati had for me involving snooping by the Chicago police. Then I realized it was egotistic of me to think they were spending resources to spy on me. Embarrassed to myself, problem solved. Synchronicities are just over-eager mind tricks.
However, two lightning strike coincidences make me wonder.
When getting a degree in psychology I was trying to make a negative reinforcement experiment with a rat and an annoying thunder-wheel keyed to a cue light that had nothing to do with whatever the rat did. (This copied Skinner’s similar work with positive reinforcement with chickens who would dance certain ways at the cue light even though it had nothing to do with the reward coming, thus demonstrating “superstitious behavior.”) While designing my thunder wheel for the rat, lightning struck our building, sending shards of rafter pointing down from the shattered plaster. I went out and yelled at the sky, “What’s that supposed to mean?” The rat never conditioned to the cue light. (Perhaps, being raised at the university, it was an atheist rat.)
The second was when I was a preacher for the Universalists in North Carolina. Their church had a sturdy steeple. A steeple is said to be a finger pointing to God. I suggested it would better be a hand that receives the breezes of God via an eggbeater-style wind generator that could be there generating electricity for the sign out by the highway. Then, lightning hit the steeple, blasting it all apart. Ignoring their prophetic preacher and that inviting synchronicity, they built it back like regular.
I wrote a song about it all:
I wrote a little song about coincidence
Cause of late I’m seeing fate with common sense.
I ain’t been one to put much faith in providence
But man, my mind keeps gettin’ blown by accidents.
I heard about a Chinese book called the I Ching
I put it in a class with stars and magic rings
But just to see I threw the coins and got The Ting
You check it out and you’ll see why of this I sing:
Synchronicity, how’d it know what to say to me?
Synchronicity, there’s meaning in all I chance to see.
There was a time I thought my mind was really mine
But things outside kept being there and right on time
You might laugh and say to me “it’s all in your mind.”
That might be true; you check it out and see what you find.
Since I stopped to see what comes to me by way of chance
Been walkin’ round, my eyes all glazed, in some sort of trance
Ol’ Mother Fate she got me by the seat of the pants
I can’t get loose, and when she goose, I gotta’ dance.
Synchronicity, coincidence is following me
Synchronicity, there’s meaning in all I chance to see.
Now every time I fight my fate I end in a bind
If I go against my intuition, boy does it grind.
It puts me straight; I think it’s great, I think that it’s fine
But man, you know sometimes it’s hard to tow that line.
Synchronicity, I better learn what it says to me.
Synchronicity, there’s meaning in all I chance to see.
Author Paul Broks replied:
Thank you so much – and what a brilliant story about the lightning strikes! I suppose we all do our fair share of metaphorically “shouting at the sky” but to do it literally in the middle of an operant conditioning “superstition” experiment is something else
3-27-23 to Wordsmith regarding his love of bicycles:
I’ve heard the second most efficient way to move weight over distance is the bicycle (the first being a freight train running on steel rails). I love bicycles. So did Gandhi. There were once more bicycles in the United States than there are cars now? Hard to picture.
I liked biking as a boy. Somehow, we hardly ever got flats then. Now they’re frequent and the devices used to put air in them are harder to work. They still don’t park well.
Two years ago, I moved from a regular bike to an electrified one. I still get to pedal as much as I like (and I like to do that) but can start out easily and zoom along as easily as I like. I figure I’ve already saved enough in gasoline expense (and that much less toxic and problematic pollution, too) to pay for the bike a few times over. My big old V-6 Taurus mostly sits, ready for the occasional trip to carry weight or go to distant towns. Almost all my local travel is now by bike.
As bikes and cars get electrified, and as we quietly, cleanly, and cheaply gather the needed electricity via solar cells and batteries, simple transport will become available worldwide. Things are, as I like to say, “good and getting better.”
3-28-23 to Linkedin to a comment about Daylight Savings Time:
They picked the wrong side. I’m glad they stopped switching twice a year, throwing our circadian rhythms whacky, which is a good move. But they picked Daylight Savings (a lie built right into the title), causing all to wake too early. It’s mean.
Same day, comment on the Washington Post article on the effects of the AR-15’s 223 bullets:
Sure, the AR-15 can be used for self-defense. It’s also great for exploding the bodies of innocent children by the roomful.
We should enforce the Second Amendment, especially the entire dependent clause that intends a “well regulated” militia. It was never intended to let any hateful person have any sort of gun for any purpose.
Why are Republicans pushing guns into our former civil society? Republicans are, in a word, hateful. Deranged, they toy with taunts of a new civil war. They are the enemies of our society, government, and ecosystem.
I agree with many comments here that the article still sanitizes the reality of a 223’s effect on the body. It becomes a cartoon. The actual photos should be glued on the offices of every congressman promoting this collective madness, every lobbyist, and every manufacturer.
3-29-23 reply to an Adam Kinzinger tweet for his daring to criticize Republicans while remaining one:
I notice all the cheap insults regularly thrown your way by the trolls and bots who harass you via Twitter. Never an intelligent argument. Only mocking. It shows how shallow, stupid, and cruel right-wingers are. You’re a patriot. They’re too dull-witted to be embarrassed.
3-30-23 to KOS article on serial liar Dinesh D’Sousa:
Remember the iconic photo of George Bush out in the snow, clearing brush? Near his cowboy hat, slung over his shoulder, an eight-pound splitting maul! No one uses a maul to clear brush. This staged shot reveals what a phony he was and how eager some are to create heroes out of nerds.
3-31-23 to my Facebook regarding sneaky BLM move:
Once again, the BLM is turning our forests over to those eager to exploit it, denying our ability to know ahead of time and object, increasing the potential for catastrophic fires, and injuring our vital and unique ecosystem. This sneaky move, born of the Trump era of attacking our environmental laws, would negatively impact our region for generations.
Same day, retweet a Tonight Show parody of Trump “singing” “I’m so Excited.” (Or is it “I’m so Indicted?” Certainly, something here is indicated.) Here’s a version:
This shows Trump can sing and dance!
Well, if you’ve read this far, you deserve an award! It was one thing to write it over two months; it’s another to read it as a long, jumbled rant. I hope you see how my ranting and reasoning try to help move us to revive, restore, and renew Eden, outer, inner, and for all of us.
OK! What’s my award? I read all the way through while searching for the place to make a comment on your writing, “Indicated!” Brad, not many people will spend so much time reading through all your comments while looking for the place to make a comment!!! I suggest you move this comment box to a space just below “Indicated!”
But I found “Indicated!” very thought provoking. It is one of your better writings. You provide the reader much to ponder. Thank you!
I’ll take it as a compliment that you found it one of my better writings. It was entirely all first draft, churned out on the last day of the month to meet the automatic mail to subscribers. Knowing you sometimes don’t appreciate my leftist bent, but also knowing you stay up on current trends in ideas, I suspect you found an affinity with some of my ideas that might rile up my leftist cohort.
Thanks for reading and responding, Vernon.
Hi Byron Bradley!
I read the first part, but not the rants…. Too much for my brain…. Wow, you did a lot this past month!
Funny re “indicated” …. This next week should be interesting.
Thanks for all your good works!