The Democrat Debate

During the Democrat Debate in October 2015, Hillary Clinton said, “Diplomacy is not about getting to the best solution. It’s about balancing the risk.”

I have never heard any politician (or any non-politician) say this before. Is it a case of accidentally telling the truth? And is it true?

In dealing with international contention, do the diplomats actually not even try to reach the best (or ANY) solution to the problem—i.e., is this a secondary goal and an incidental outcome of balancing the risk to all parties?

What a revelation!—and a possible explanation for the behavior and apparent motivation of politicians and diplomats. They truly do not care about the effects of their negotiations and it is not their job to care. It might even make it harder for them to do their job if they did care. Instead, they approach problems like mathematicians, accountants, and historians.

Gospel of Positive Thinking

The Bible?
The Bible?

The Law of Attraction: “Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.”

“Think positively and you will attract success, health, and wealth.” “Our supply is unlimited; we only need to claim it.” As modern Christians, we have all heard these sayings. And all we have to do is to get rid of our negative beliefs and think positively?

This is only an intellectualized way of begging God for what we need. “I believe, Lord—please feed me.” Like baby birds with our mouths wide open, or a pet dog standing on his hind legs, as he was taught: see, I believe—please feed me, we plead.

Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life, and have it abundantly.” He did NOT say he had come so that we could be successful, live forever, and have more money than we know what to do with.

How is it that by thinking positive thoughts, we are supposed to attract prosperity? We can have the mental idea or intention to change or use something, but we have to use physical means to affect the physical world.

Illogical
Illogical

It is possible that a person or animal could pick up my thought as a disturbance travelling through the magnetic field–and correctly interpret it–but I don’t believe that physical objects can be (directly) affected by thought.

Electricity just sits there until it is moved: a constant generated push on one end and a demand when a connection is made. (The water did not become wine until it was poured out: a total metaphor for idea + effort = effect.)

The main problem with the “Positive Thinking” method is that if everyone were thinking positive thoughts to attract abundance, there would not be the necessary balance for the transfer of energy to occur. All demand and no push.

Also, as you know, “positive” does not attract “positive” in the physical world (though it may attract “less positive.”) Negative electrons are held in their orbits by a central positive nucleus, which usually contains other charged particles that must balance electrically, or else it is unstable.

So a healthy person needs to balance optimistic confidence with enough ‘what ifs’ to prepare himself for obstacles.

The spiritual realm or level does not work differently from the physical realm or level. They are analogous. We have heard it claimed that there is an unlimited supply of all we need on the spiritual level, and all we need to do is to get access to it, make a connection through our higher consciousness by practicing meditation. However, what we actually receive are ideas, clarified perhaps by the removal of emotional baggage, which makes space for the formation of “Yes, why not?” thoughts. And in all probability, if you work on a win-win proposition, you will get cooperation, you will succeed, and so will others, who will in turn, help you. This works, this happens—I know.

 

 

More Questions

It’s not so much that human beings are limited in their ability to comprehend the non-material or spiritual realm: the brain is unable to think (reason) without limits. That’s why it’s just as hard to imagine having an immortal soul as it is to imagine NOT having one–or just as impossible to prove that there is a God as it is to prove that there is NO God. Finding limits or placing them is the foundation of analytical, rational, deductive, logical reasoning. Anything outside the limits of reason is a matter of conjecture or faith.

MORE QUESTIONS

Experience (noun):

    1. a particular instance of personally encountering or undergoing something.
    2. the process of personally observing, encountering, or undergoing something.
    3. the observing, encountering, or undergoing of things generally as they occur in the course of time.
    4. knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone (as opposed to what one has read about, been taught, or has heard from someone else.)
  •      5. Philosophy: the totality of the cognitions given by perception; all that is perceived, understood, and remembered.

 

(Courtesy of Dictionary.com)

Author’s observation: an experience is a concept, not a thing. It is a set of thoughts, sensations, emotions, and beliefs that is individual to (from the point of view of) each person who has observed, encountered, or undergone (something).

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Illogical
Illogical

Approaching the end of our lifetime as the identity we have come to know and love, and having no memory or premonition of any other, we tend to dwell on the question, “What will happen to ‘me’ when the body wears out and ceases to function?”  Also, we wonder where we were before we took residence in this body.

I experience an “I” in the physical form that I find myself at birth. The limitations and strengths of the body are the first things to be dealt with, and if others do not feed me, I will die. The culture, resources, and institutions of the society in which I mature have all been built up by others as part of their experience. Physical monuments, books, legends, and skills learned and passed on, are now shapers and teachers of the “I” that experiences life in this physical interface.

Is consciousness a property of life, as primitive in the bacterium as its physical form, hardly aware of anything beyond its own needs, but creative and imaginative in the human form, where it reaches out to the depths of life beneath it, and to the known universe beyond?

If so, where does conscious awareness go when the body is no longer functional?  Back to where it came from before we were born?  Does it have an existence of its own? Does it break off in pieces (fractals) to inhabit new bodies as they are formed and separated (shed or peeled off) from the “mother?” And does it rejoin the universal fractal after the body no longer functions as its sensory interface? Where and what is “home?”

Is there any continuity that any of us can be personally aware of? Can consciousness survive the absence of a physical interface? Is physical form the only form that can support conscious awareness and experience? It is the only one we know of, though we imagine others. And life in this form is often difficult.

Truth: I am conscious while I am awake and aware of this body’s sensations and this brain’s impressions. I am not conscious of the sensations or impressions of any other body, although I can imagine them, and [a trained technician] can sometimes measure them with instruments that make electronic images of their waveforms.

When I am asleep, I am not unconscious, since I can still react to discomfort and external stimuli, and my brain is sorting thoughts and building habits, as well as replacing cells and keeping the body systems functioning in equilibrium. These are things that I can’t do consciously (intentionally).  They are electro-chemical in nature and marvelous to observe.

But when I am unconscious, I am not aware of anything (and the electro-chemical processes will still go on.) If the body dies in an unconscious state, I will be unaware that death has occurred—or of anything else, since my conscious awareness is unsupported by a functioning physical interface. What am I and where am I then? Do the effects–all that “I” have experienced, enjoyed, suffered, appreciated, loved, hated, feared, wondered, built, achieved, destroyed, learned, and created—including offspring—go away and become someone else’s experience, because “I” as the experiencer, no longer have a means of experiencing anything? I cannot actually experience my own death!

IN OTHER WORDS, WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE ME? Life goes on for those I leave behind, and they will remember me for a while. But DO I THEN EVEN EXIST AS “I”? I only know that none of us can conceive of not existing—nor of a beginning or end of time, the universe, infinity, eternity, or the nature of God. It’s not so much that human beings are limited in their ability to comprehend the non-material or spiritual realm: the brain is unable to think (reason) without limits. That’s why it’s just as hard to imagine having an immortal soul as it is to imagine NOT having one–or just as impossible to prove that there is a God as it is to prove that there is NO God. Finding limits or placing them is the foundation of analytical, rational, deductive, logical reasoning. Anything outside the limits of reason is a matter of conjecture or faith. This would include such things as Near Death Experiences, Out of Body Experiences, visions, ghosts, prophetic dreams, extrasensory perception, alien abduction, channeling, laying- on of hands, and intuitive suggestions. (Yet there are documented claims of these.)

We can never know, by exercising the intellect, the answers to the questions I have posed here. Why do I care? Can I do anything about it? Should I believe a book or tradition because my parents did, or out of fear of execution or Hell if I don’t? There is only relative truth in the realm of experience, and there is no such thing as Absolute Truth: anything that has an opposite is relative, so “Absolute Truth” has no meaning and cannot be defined. It is that which is.

“I think; therefore I am” (at this moment.) What I believe about the next moment is a matter of choice. Perhaps I will survive the chasm of death by taking a leap of faith, by loosening my grip on this world and turning with expectation to whatever awaits me. It can’t be worse than clinging to physical life, however painful, out of fear of the unknown. Perhaps what awaits me is only a long… dreamless… sleep, as I dissolve into the dark matter of the universe, waiting to become.

Politically-Correct Football

No Violence, Please!
No Violence, Please!

I just heard on the radio news that the Texas high school sports team names of Warriors, Indians, Redskins, and Rebels will be banned. What will we now replace them with? Kitty-cats, Hamsters, Bunnies, and Puppy-dogs?

Well, to be politically correct in our new gentle society, there should be nothing in the names to denote killing, warlike aggression, ethnic slurs or stereotypes, or anti-social behavior. Really? Isn’t the idea of physical sports games to score more goals or points than the other team by out-running them or blocking them or knocking them down and taking the ball away from them?

Football and hockey are especially violent. Players are required to wear padded uniforms and helmets, but they still get hurt. Many men–and some women–enjoy the primitive aggression of these games, either by active participation or by watching the games from the stands or on a wide-screen TV with other “fans.” The more action, the more they yell and cheer.

Does this help to vent or provide a healthy outlet for normal aggressive urges? It is claimed that without sports and other dangerous competitions, a society controlled by laws and regulations against aggression and injury will in time turn against each other or the government with riots and destruction. (Prediction: One day it will be a major discovery that terrorists were never allowed to play or enjoy viewing football games with their friends.)

Football teams are usually named for animals with predatory or aggressive behavior, though there are notable exceptions. Team sports are competitive, and someone is expected to win. But to take away any “hurt feelings” caused by politically-incorrect names, perhaps we should change them to something more socially and culturally responsible. But wait: that could have the psychological effect of taking all the “fight” out of the players. And do you think anyone would watch a game between the Cleveland Cooperators and the Washington Compromisers? 😉

Sis  G.

What does 7.9% Unemployment Really Mean?

…is it a straight percentage of all the people between the ages of 18 and 65 who could be working for wages, but are not, because they can’t find jobs? Of course not. Some of these people own businesses, are self-employed, or work for cash at whatever they can do. Some of these people are artisans and craftsmen who make items and sell them. Some of them (though not so many now) are famers and ranchers. Some are investors, buying and selling; some are artists, musicians, and writers. Some even make a living by panhandling. And some sell their bodies in one way or another for money…

How does the US Government calculate the percentage of people who are unemployed each month? A more fundamental question  is, “What is this figure a percentage of?” (Yes, I know I ended that sentence with a preposition, but it reads better that way.)

Moving on–is it a straight percentage of all the people between the ages of 18 and 65 who could be working for wages, but are not, because they can’t find jobs? Of course not. Some of these people own businesses, are self-employed, or work for cash at whatever they can do. Some of these people are artisans and craftsmen who make items and sell them. Some of them (though not so many now) are farmers and ranchers. Some are investors, buying and selling; some are artists, musicians, and writers. Some even make a living by panhandling. And some sell their bodies in one way or another for money.

So who are the people who are represented by unemployment figures and percentages? First, notice that they are reported in round figures–9,000,000 today–a frank estimate. How are the figures gathered? They are reported to the government by employment agencies where people who work for wages come because they have lost a job that they had and are looking for a new job. They come there to collect unemployment insurance checks, and in order to collect them, they must be looking for work. People laid off from jobs where they did not have unemployment insurance, or who were fired for cause, do not collect unemployment checks and are not counted (at least this used to be the case.) People who have never had a job yet don’t count.  Also, those who stop looking for work and are no longer in the “system” are not counted. Those people may become part of another government system of welfare recipients, who may be employed or underemployed, but no longer have to be.

Did anyone think the government got its unemployment figures and percentages by sending counters around to knock on doors and ask if the people living there are employed?

Did anyone think the government sent out surveys in the mail or made phone calls to every household in the country asking how many of the residents were employed, unemployed, looking for work, how long, or had given up?

Even if government did such things as samples of the national population, and even if they gave them a dollar to answer the questions and paid the postage to mail back the envelope, could the results of such methods of counting be useful or reliable?

So what does it REALLY mean when we hear that the percentage of unemployed people in Amercia is, say, 7.9% and inching up to 8.0%? It means that OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR WAGES, FOR EMPLOYERS WHO PROVIDE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (GUI), THAT PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION SYSTEM AND WERE LOOKING FOR WORK IN THE MONTH JUST PASSED——IS 7.9%. Edit the statistics to include only certain high-risk ethnic groups, and the numbers go much higher.

More meaningful to most people is how many of their family members, neighbors, friends, and former co-workers are out of work. But it’s apparently the best that the government can do to keep a running count, and the method that produces the most cosmetic figure for the public media.–Kaye

“2016 Obama’s America”–a mini-rant

Liberty

And now, appropriate or not, I feel a moral responsibility to present a mini-rant here–not about my church, or about religion in general, but about something that is hugely important. I may not persuade anyone who reads this blog, but I need to share what I believe. This is my opinion, and I am responsible for it.

Have you seen the movie “2016 Obama’s America”? I saw it with 4 friends on Friday. You need to go see it.

Does Pres. Obama not see that America really is the “Shining City on a Hill,” where even the poorest citizen lives in a higher standard than most people in the Third World countries? America was not taken over by exploiters, whose purpose was to use its resources for their own gain. Once our founders declared Independence, we were here to build a country such as had never existed before on earth, where its people had as much freedom as possible, and were governed by its own representatives. It has been a country that developed the greatest economy in the world by a system of free enterprise, where anyone with a good idea could invent something, provide a service, find a better way to power our industries and transport our goods, or communicate information, and can not only prosper himself and his employees, but improve the standard of living of the entire country–or the world.

We built a country from the bottom up, admittedly at the expense of the native people who were already here, and in our early years, by using slaves. But since 1865, we have done all in our power to enable these people to have the same opportunities as anyone else to become the best individuals that they are capable of being, if they are willing to work for it.

The first Americans may have come here as colonists from England, France, and Spain, to develop the natural resources of the land for the benefit of those empires, but once we became the Republic of the United States of America, we were building a home for our descendants and all who wanted to come here to make a new start. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama does not see the difference. In fact, he appears to hate America and wants to bring it down to the level of the “Third World.” I guess he believes that if no one has more than the rest of the world, there will be peace, and no one will be able to take over another.

Nothing could be farther from the truth! Why should we feel guilty for our success? Why would anyone want to regress to a common level with the rest of the world, seeing the conditions in which most of it lives, and has been unable and unwilling to drag itself up from? Have all our dreams and struggles been for nothing? Will we tear down the Shining City on a Hill?

DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN !!

SO GLAD TO HAVE LEARNED ENGLISH FIRST–it’s really tough as a second language!

The Professor

I was thinking today of all the words beginning with “Wh–.” Four of the five main journalistic questions are words that begin with Wh–. They are What? Where? When? and Why? (wot, ware, wen, and wy.) The other word/question is Who? All of the first four are pronounced as if the H were not there, or sometimes, as if it were faintly present before the W. The word “Who” is not. It is pronounced “Hoo.”

I wondered wy. So I mentally started going through all the words I could think of that began with WH.

 what when where why wheat white while wheel whine whisky whale whack wharf. All of these were pronounced with the w or (h)w sound.

However, the few words beginning with W-H-O–who whom whose whole whore–were pronounced hoo hoom hooz hole hore. Two words that may be exceptions are “whoa” and “whooping” (crane or cough.) I grew up among people hoo said “hooping,” and it was only as an adult living in the south that I heard someone call it “wooping.”

“It must be the O that changes the pronunciation,” thought I, although I could not see any reason wy it should. It is no more difficult to say woo, woom, wooz, wole, or wore. It just does not sound right! Is that a good enough reason? Or is there an ancient rule for these words that I do not know? (In WH combinations, pronounce H before W except before O, in which case, the W is silent and the H is pronounced, unless a word is excepted by local tradition.) That may be it… 😉

English is a language mostly borrowed and evolved from other older languages that have stayed as they were originally–Latin, Greek, and Germanic. Because it is mixed, we can have soft G(J) or hard G before E and I, and sometimes Y, but not an H sound.

We can have strange spelling rules, such as “I before E, except after C, or when it sounds like AY, as in neighbor and weigh.” We get used to these things, and they do not seem difficult, if we started learning them as infants.

My hat is off to anyone who learns to speak and understand English as a second or third language, and even learns to sound like an American. If he has also learned to spell and write with correct English grammar, I am in awe.

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PS: More Wh– words! (Once I get started, my brain keeps looking for more examples, all day long.)

whip whisper Whig whisker whelp whey–all (h)w sounds.

whopperanother exception.

But try as I might, I cannot come up with a word starting with “whu.” But I have not tried looking in a dictionary yet. Please let me know if you find one!