I love science fiction. Absolutely, love, love it. People that know me ask, “why don’t you write science fiction instead of the silly piffle you do write about.” The piffle part is silent of course, but I know what they’re thinking.
The truth is, I can find ample topics to amuse/bore my readers with without having to conjure up wormholes and sentient robots. Here’s some science fiction, sentient Republicans. Ha! Gotcha!
But that’s what I’m talking about. I don’t have to travel to Westworld to get an unbelievable story, they’re right here all around us. You just have to follow the news and cock your head a little sideways and you’ll get the story in perspective.
Will Rogers once said, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” My God, how we could use a man like him today, or a woman like Molly Ivins. Those are two people who could look at the facts and get right to the true essence of the matter. Most importantly they did it with humor, which allowed the person being pilloried the opportunity to laugh at themselves. The medicine goes down a little easier if the administrator can add a little sweetener to it.
This week’s absurdity comes as we find out that the “twice impeached, disgraced former President” AKA the Donald has been hoarding more than empty Kentucky fried chicken buckets at his compound at Mar-a-Lago.
I feel like a fly in a nudist colony, never has there been such a target rich environment. We are talking TOP SECRET DOCUMENTS here people, like the kind of stuff that sent an Army private to Leavenworth for thirty-five years. The kind of stuff when published sends the publisher into exile, hiding out in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for seven years. Said publisher is now fighting extradition back to the U.S. where he faces 18 felony counts. Each count carries a sentence of ten years. Of course, these are “little people” not the Donald.
As long as he is outside of a jail cell the Donald will continue to have ample opportunities to display his self-serving ignorance on almost all topics and the press will proudly broadcast his drivel to his minions. What I am unable to comprehend is how the grandchildren of WWII veterans, Vietnam veterans, the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan can give the Donald a pass on this one.
“Loose lips sink ships” pales in comparison to the security bombshells that the Donald had spirited away with his broken golf clubs and Whopper wrappers. Reportedly some of the documents dealt with “sources and methods”. A source is someone spying for the good guys. We’d really like to keep their identity a secret. We all remember when we had to bring our top Russian spy home after the Donald took office. The intelligence people felt that it just wasn’t safe for him anymore since the Donald was sitting in the oval office.
This theft of documents was a willful action, not an accident, not an oversight. As dumb as the Donald is he knew the documents had value and that’s why he spirited them away with him when he was forced from the White House.
Did some of the documents provide the basis for the 2 billion dollar Saudi investment in the Pale Prince? Did the Donald plan on selling off secrets to keep his properties afloat? Were any of the documents used to re-negotiate his billion dollar debt? Would any of the documents provide the Donald with the ultimate get out of jail free card? Extortion is just part of the Art of Making a Deal right?
The Donald’s hubris, like his sense of ignorance, knows no bounds. Taking documents that are catalogued seven ways to Sunday and not expecting the intelligence services to come looking for them is delusion on a whole new level. Espionage, I think we will agree, is the lowest of the low.
Sadly, I feel the Donald will find a way to sink lower.
There are people that are secure in their belief that evolution is just a scientific theory. Not a theory like gravity, because they can drop stuff and see it fall to the floor. They see evolution as more a theory like the destruction of the ozone layer is causing climate change. They can see the climate change as it effects their daily life, they just can’t see how the use of fossil fuels makes things worse. I just can’t abide that.
Georgia has a Senatorial candidate that has dispelled the theory of evolution with the logic that “if man was descended from the apes, how come there’s still apes?” That’s not the most Herschel thing he’s said, but it does give an example of a person that is ignorant about a topic pontificating to a group of similar minded folk. Their ignorance confirms their suspicions, and everyone is happy to move along.
“Biologists consider it to be a scientific fact that evolution has occurred in that modern organisms differ from past forms, and evolution is still occurring with discernible differences between organisms and their descendants.”
It’s fun to discuss whether babies have innate fears of snakes and spiders and how those fears got planted in their little brains. My take is that it’s a survival of the species, natural selection type thing, but I’m willing to listen to the other arguments. Where I’d like to detour the argument/theory of evolution is in the area of personal growth and how that personal growth affects the general zeitgeist.
We use the word “evolving” all of the time. An artist might say, “my work is constantly evolving”, a politician might say “my position on the matter is still evolving.” What we are referencing is personal growth. We are gathering information; our opinions are becoming more informed and we’re able to make better decisions because of the increase in knowledge. At least that’s how I think it’s supposed to work.
We then take our growth and share it with our children so that they don’t have to learn by repeating our mistakes. It’s bad enough for one generation to test sticking a paper clip into a wall socket, no need to let our children experience the shock of learning the hard way. We can inform them of a dangerous situation, and they can put it into their lexicon and pass it to their children. The family evolves and prospers from not continually repeating mistakes made by the previous generation. At least that’s how I think it’s supposed to work.
Think about the things we’ve had to learn over the centuries that we bake into our daily lives to keep us safe. Fire, floods, lightning, high winds are natural occurrences that our past experiences have formed how we prepare for them today. Past experience forms current policy, and we learn “never get involved in a land war in Asia” and to “never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.” I digress, but only to point out that as we evolve, we learn what works, but more importantly what doesn’t work.
On August 25, 1994, the assault weapons ban was signed into law. We can argue at length why a sunset clause was written into the legislation, but let’s just agree that the sunset clause allowed politicians to “do nothing” and allow the manufacturers of assault weapons to continue on as before. I can just visualize the NRA congress critters meeting with the weapons manufacturers over brandy and cigars explaining to their donors, “It’s just for ten years and then think about the pent-up demand when the law is repealed. Here, we’ll sweeten the deal with constant ads appealing to law-and-order acolytes.” The death-dealers took a ten-year hiatus on some of their wares and then this happened:
We’ve seen the videos of the Uvalde police, et. al. paralyzed by the fear of facing an assault weapon while children were being slaughtered. A suggested cure for their paralysis was to up armor all police with assault weapons. Watch this video to see how that might not really be a viable solution. The chief of police in the video recognizes he has a teaching moment.
We learn what works, and what doesn’t work and then we pass that knowledge on to our children and their children and collectively as a society we grow and prosper. Banning assault weapons works, unrestricted guns don’t. It’s time to evolve to where we were in 1994, with no sunset clause. Evolve.
The way I see it, there’s nothing good going to come from allowing a minority group of small thinkers to determine big decisions for the rest of us based on their limited understanding of a topic. I bet you could still find people that think the Earth is flat, or that the Sun revolves around the Earth. Just because these people believe what they believe with all of their hearts and souls, doesn’t make their conjecture right, right?
To give another example of small-minded thinking that is not only wrong in its supposition but runs contrary to the values that it states to purport, are the assorted Religious Freedom Bills that are being proposed in various states around the country.
First we have to lay to rest this silly idea that the Christians in this country are being persecuted and that they need a special bill to “make them free”. Nothing further could be true.
Sadly, the only the example that I can give for the Christians behavior is similar to when a child tries to run across the street against the light and you grab them and keep them from being crushed by a truck. Rather than thanking you, the child screams “you don’t love me”. The child doesn’t understand that society has created rules for behavior that are for the betterment of the group, not just him.
The reality of living in Democracy or a civilized society is that not everyone gets their way all of the time. At least that’s how it used to work before this group of simple-minded politicians took office. Now the zealots are trying to claim their “religious freedoms” are being impinged on when they are required to allow others their basic civic freedoms.
According to the title, “SB 129 “Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act”; provided for the preservation of religious freedom” and was pushed through the legislature ahead of other bills more worthy of consideration. The immediacy of the bill was that “religious” shop owners needed the “right” to tell gay people to go to hell when they requested service. Perhaps, I oversimplify, but I like to cut to the quick of the matter.
People who have been taught to “love others as themselves” want to deny service to gay people because their “holier than thou” sensibilities are offended. I’m not sure how religious people resolve the “what would Jesus do?” component of this question. Maybe they’re tired of trying to do what Jesus would have done because it doesn’t feed their bigotry and homophobia. Maybe this group of “Christians” just needs to bash folks who are different in some way to feel better about themselves.
Outside of reestablishing segregation, I don’t know what the long-term purpose of this bill, and these simple-minded individuals, hope to accomplish. You can’t make gay go away. You can’t pray it away, and it won’t starve to death because you didn’t make it a wedding cake. It is the Civil Rights issue all over again with a different victim, a different face. It is quite easy to see how these types of bills can be extended to refuse service to blacks, Hispanics, anybody that didn’t pass the shop owners narrow spectrum of approved people. That’s fine if it is a private club, but, once you are open to the public, you must serve the public. A lot of people lost their lives to gain this right. We don’t need to relive this period of time again.
The overreach of the persecuted Christians has now gone to reproductive rights. Tantamount in their view of their persecution is the belief that blacks and browns will outnumber the “superior white race” and that the white Christian’s “way of life” will come to an end. I won’t get too deep into the illogical assumption that denying people the ability to control their population will somehow help reverse the demographic trend, I’ll just point out that nothing short of genocide will change the “minority” becoming the majority. I guess the “persecuted” will be ok with the genocide component. There’s probably some Bible verse that can be re imagined for their use.
I’ll leave you today with the definition of persecution from the webmd website: “The most common is delusions of persecution. It’s when you’re convinced that someone is mistreating, conspiring against, or planning to harm you or your loved one. Another type is grandiose delusions, where you have an unrealistically inflated sense of yourself or your achievements.”
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms please report them immediately to your health care provider, not your preacher. The world will be a better place.
“Imagine there’s no heaven”, the song appeals to our higher level of consciousness. It asks us to discard the notion that there is an all-powerful benevolent father figure that has prepared a life everlasting in a land of milk and honey, free of want forever.
The Lennon dichotomy challenges the Christian belief that all we have to do is successfully negotiate the minefield God placed before us on Earth to attain our reward. Complete the course under par and you’re in. Unless you’re a Catholic. If you’re a Catholic, you can admit all of the bogeys recorded on your scorecard as par at the time you sink your last putt on the 18th. The act of contrition will gain you admission to the club house where seventy to eighty virgins will attend to your every need. Whoops, I combined religious philosophies.
I ramble into the religious because of a post I made a while back that brought brimstone down on my head and apparently a pox on my house. I refer to my “If Men Could Get Pregnant” post.
In the post I posit the theory that the Christians are acting very un-Christian in the rabid pursuit of overturning Roe v. Wade and the controlling of the process we will generically call “birth”. The Christians will have us to believe that conception (or birth as it is known to the Evangelicals) begins with the look across a darkened room. Anything that impedes that furtive glance from resulting into a potential acolyte is anathema. There is no scripture to support this philosophy, they just “imagined” it. I’d like to imagine further.
Imagine you saw your child blazing an ant hill with a magnifying glass. You might watch out of amusement for a few seconds before recommending the child pursue a better activity. Imagine you saw same child pulling the wings off of fly. The child argues they’re not killing the fly like they were the ants, but you would still discontinue their behavior. Next you catch your little darling tying tin cans to the dog’s tail. “It didn’t kill him or dismember him” your precious argues, but you still send him to time out because you know cruelty when you see it. Particularly when it involves animals.
Now imagine all of the stories you read in the Bible are true, gospel as they say. Start with Genesis when God’s perfect creations are found to be guilty of lust (you didn’t really believe the snake story did you?). God cast Adam and Eve out of Eden because he knew (all-knowing remember) that someday that lust was going to become an issue. Why he didn’t order the Adam and Eve models without lust mode is open to interpretation( free will, yadda, yadda, yadda).
Humankind bops along for a few millennia until the lust situation becomes such an overwhelming concern that God decides the answer is a complete reboot (see Genesis chapters 6, 7 & 8). Now with Earth 2.0 and an almost clean slate, God watches his experiment with eager anticipation. Humankind eventually reverts back to its sinful self and God decides to correct course using a different tack. He sends his “only begotten son” to die a cruel public death. We assume there were some serious “perks” involved in getting his son to endure the corporal plane. Imagine explaining to Jesus when he got back to heaven why gnats were necessary or hemorrhoids?
Anyway, Jesus died for our sins, and we are all square with God except for the occasional World War, small war, earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, typhoon, flood, tornado, and school shootings. We do have that big bang foretold in Revelations when “the earth shall be scorched by fire and the blood will run to the horses mane” to look forward to. Don’t wait, you need to get all of the lust in you out before then. Just be sure to keep track so that you can confess it all at the end, if you’re a Catholic.
“Confession is good for the soul” and it will help you to ascend into the kingdom of heaven. Just don’t try to sit in the chair on the right side of God. That seat’s reserved. One of the “perks”, remember?
Imagine that I have been astute in my analogy of the cruel child to the “just and loving God.” Imagine my incredulity that so many people need to force their personal beliefs on others? Beliefs that were imagined.