Logan’s Run, and death.

Logan’s Run, and Death 

There was a film, circa 1976, that dealt with a computer controlled society that provided all your needs, but demanded you surrendur yourself for re-birth on your 30th birthday. If you did not surrendur, you were hunted down by Sandmen and killed. I was thirty-four, in September of 76, four years over the film’s age limit. Even knowing what the characters in the film did not, that the promise of re-birth was a lie, It seemed liked a reasonable idea, to me, a kind of cleaning away the deadwood, so to speak.

At seventy-six, two point five plus thirty, tattooed, as I am by the age I am, with all the bodily aches and failings of my age, I am not sure that the idea is not a good one. I have no sense of personal value to the world and when I vanish, I will not even leave a genetic trace in the future; I am more burden than contribution. Intending cremation, I will not leave even a quarrel of bone for future forensics.

I have always been attached to idea of death, of non-being. I have spoken, elsewhere and often, of my childhood habit of attending all wake viewings in the neighborhood. I could gaze wonderingly on bodies lying in coffins. What was it that was gone that had once moved these bodies, made them laugh, made them cry? Had they known death as it came, had they greeted it as a welcome friend? Did they think of death as life’s final gift?

It may be that Logan’s run will be the future of the human race; it may even be less sanguine, if we develop computers to the point they will not even need us to attend to them, but that is a consideration for a another, perhaps, time. Will machines, in their time, seek the peace of non-being?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Beginning Again

From another posting (mine):

I was really disheartened when Multiply shut down. I’d been on it a couple of years and it was a great discipline for me. I wrote at least one entry a week of no less than 400 words and some of the entries were really quite good. Now I’m doing one hundred words a day, which is more in terms of word count, but less in terms of focus on a topic.

“Generally, my whole writing focus has gone to hell after Multiply’s demise. As all of you who have been here a while know, I’ve not been doing much of anything- too scattered in thought and deed-. I used to be a regular, here, but even that has not been true for a long time now.”

Multiply’s demise is some time, now.  When I get disheartened, I get disheartened. 

I will speak a truth, I have no faith this spot will be here for any longer than it takes for someone to make a huge amount of money by selling it.  And the search for a spot will start again.

This time, I’m going to cheat a little and save backups on every important entry.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Nobody asked me, but: On Too Much and Too Little, More and Less.

For a myriad of reasons, among them, individual talent, resource. and opportunity, there are always going to be people who have more, and people who have less. For as long as the human race exists, there are going to be the elite, whatever the, or lack of, government. It is an evolutionary principle. Contrary to Marxism, there will always be a division of stature. Governments will not “wither” away, they will only change. Even Anarchy has it’s rules. The moral/ethical, humanitarian, question, is how to balance, economically, the ratio between more and less. How much less is too little and how much more is too much?

For the purposes of this discurrsion, some terms need defining; government is one of those terms. It will mean, here, an act of counsciously ordering, a setting up priorities, within a group. Two consequences of government seem inescapable, the first that the larger the group, the more intrusive the government, and the second is, you immediately set up two separate statures, the governed and the governing. The goverened status may create the rule by which they are to be goverened, but the governing stature is composed of those who interpret and enforce the rule. The very act of creating government creates “classes”.

While more and less have usable dictionary definitions, too much and too little are more a matter of perception than definition. Can a rich man be too rich, and in what way? How poor is a poor man? It seems to me that, aside from the material, the answer is contained in the word influence, or its synonym, power. The more affluent, the more powerful; the more impoverished, the less. The more the affluent understand the power they can wield, the more they wield it to what they see as their advantage. Power is like opium, the more you get, the more you want, and the less you want to share it. It is a rare Gandalf that refuses a ring of power for fear of what it may do to them.

According to a 2015 analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Americans, because of increased productivity, grew wealthier, but between 2009 and 2015, 90% of the newly earned income went to the top 1% income earners. Income, here, refers to investment, not wages. Wages remained stagnant, or declined; food health care, and education costs, rose. This, perhaps, illustrates not only too much and too little, but also, too few.

The fault lies with the continuing growth of Corporations. They unbalance the usual more/less structure of society. While actual economic parity will never be achieved, Corporate control increases the “have less end” to an ultimate dehumanization of the whole for the aggandizement of a few. The the economic disenfranchisment of the Corporattion is absolutely neccessary to Civilization.

References:
https://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/061016/why-american-middle-class-shrinking.asp

https://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2011/11/20/The-historic-roots-of-the-middle-class/stories/201111200308

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Contact with the Past

thumbnail_raymondweaver

Contact from the Past
Monday night, I received a call from a cousin I haven’t seen, or from whom I haven’t heard, in at least fifty years. The pleasure was increased when he told me that his father had carried around with him a poem I had written, and from time to time, would take it out and read it to himself, or to whomever happened to be standing around. My cousin said it was one of my uncle’s prize wallet collections. I was, of course, flabbergasted and pleased by the news. I forgot to ask the title of the piece, but it had to be a very early scribble.

I have shared pieces, every now and then, but only within a select, and small circle. Telling the truth, I’ve always been reluctant to call my small pieces poetry; I usually affix a question mark after the word when referring to my own exercises

For a man who insists he doesn’t mind criticism, I have to admit to being a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to exposing my work. I’m never sure the work fits a classical definition, and most of it is so supremely personal, that negative comment feels like a physical assault, my Achilles’ heel, so to speak.

If my Poetry(?) is every widely dispersed, it will probably be because, like some poetess whose name I’ve forgotten, it will be discovered in nooks and crannies, and published after death.

Later, in exchange of e-mails, the aforesaid kin sent me a newspaper clipping I had never seen, which I’ve attached in this posting. Most likely it was published in a local Chicago paper, the picture and the information, probably supplied by my parents. I am both affronted and amused by its existance. Ironic that parents who never encouraged me in anything, would seek to add glory, to themselves, by pretending pride in this pathetic way.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An Atheist’s Journey- Slain in the Spirit.

Sometime in the eighties, I’d been invited to attend a Catholic Charismatic meeting by friends at the Church I was attending. O.k., I had a free Thursday evening, and I liked these people, so I went. The closest I’d ever been to charismatic religion was occasional pauses watching Jimmy Swaggert while changing television channels.

The group, about thirty strong. consisting of mostly upper middle-aged widows, met across the street, in the school hall. As is my habit, I came a little early, and was introduced around. They were all very nice, seemingly sensible people, and very welcoming. I was then presented to the leader of the group, a young, Latin-American with, I was surprised to find, less charisma than one expects of a leader.

The group began with a general welcome, at which time I was introduced, formally, a focus point presented by the leader, no duller than the usual Sunday sermon, and a call-out for requested prayers. Most of these prayers were conducted in a semi-hypnoitc state of praying in tongues.

For those not experienced with “praying in tongues”, it is the vocalizing of unrelated syllables in a rhythmic cadence. Some have defined it as a private prayer language between the prayer and God, but there are various defenses and critiques of the practice. Personally, I think it, at best, pretentious, at worse, a diliberate sham performed to impress the gullible. Once I got used to the idea of deliberately voicing gibberish, I could pray in tongues with the best of them.

The meeting took about an hour. After the meeting, the leader came up to me and asked how I felt about the experience; I confessed I was not particularly impressed. He must have had an inkling of my attitude because he pressed a book upon me that he said would explain more about the purpose of the exercise. I took the book, promising I would read it and return it the following week.

I read it. I was not impressed. I went to the meeting the next week, intending to return the book after the meeting and then quietly disappear. Unfortuneately, being of an acommodating nature, I allowed two more books to be foisted upon me. They were equally unimpressive. I pledged myself to returning the two books and allowing no other books from the group to enter my world.

At the third meeting, I deliberately separated myself from the group by standing where the unused camp chairs were stacked. The meeting progressed as usual; the only difference being that this was designated as being a “healing” service. The assembly gathered around a candidate, layed hands on them, and begin to jabber in tongues. It was at that moment, as I remember, I raised my eyes to heaven and said to myself. “God, if you’re here, you are going to have to show me.

No one was more surprised than I was, when I hit the floor in a fit of ecstatic laughing; in the fall, I took a stack of chairs with me.

Immediately, an excited crowd gathered around my prone, giggling. body. When it was revealed that I was unhurt, I heard a gaggle of voices assuring me, and each other, that I had been taken in the Spirit.

To this day, thirty odd years later, I don’t know what had really spiked the seizure, but that moment, it did give me pause. I admit to a moment of susceptibility, but only a moment. My natural skepticism regained control. I didn’t dismiss the esoteric possibility out of hand, but neither did I subscribe to it. I participated in the group for a litlle over a year, striving to be as open and objective as possible. In the end, I decided that while I did not know the cause of what happened, there wasn’t evidence that it was truly esoteric. Reality, 1, Supetstition 0.

I will admit to being disappointed.

Posted in Personal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nancy Pelosi, be a DEMOCRAT, not a closet Republican.

“The House rules package for the 116th Congress will include a pay-as-you-go provision, requiring all new spending to be offset with either budget cuts or tax increases, a conservative policy aimed at tying the hands of government.”

While this sounds palatable, anxious-ass career politicians will not want to vote for either. They have invested interests that are not necessarily in line with public interests. E.g., who has the guts to vote for Defense cuts? I have already let my Rep. know I’m against the Pay-Go idea simply because it WILL limit, maybe even prohibit, Health, and Education reforms.

“In order for #PayGo to go into effect, it needs to pass the House,” wrote Bernie Sanders adviser Warren Gunnels on Twitter on Tuesday night. “If some 18 Dems vote no, it fails. The vote will take place on Thursday. Will enough progressives have the courage to vote no on the first roadblock to #MedicareForAll, #GreenNewDeal & #CollegeForAll?”   I hope so.

“The rules include the re-establishment of a Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, seen by progressives as a vehicle to develop a Green New Deal legislative package. This 15-member committee — nine Democrats and six Republicans — can hold hearings and issue policy recommendations, but those recommendations must go through the committees of jurisdiction, and the committee will not have subpoena or deposition authority.”

It seems to me that not allowing. at the very least, subpoena powers, would make the committee ineffective at gathering data.

“Annual ethics training for all members is now mandatory. Nondisclosure agreements can no longer be used to prohibit current or former staff from reporting wrongdoing to relevant authorities. The rules package also bans members of Congress from sitting on corporate boards, a response to the insider trading indictment of Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., who was a board member of a drug company when he received inside information about a failed clinical trial and leaked the information to his son.”
Here’s a rule I support fully. It’s been too long in the coming.

Data Source: https://theintercept.com/2019/01/02/nancy-pelosi-pay-go-rule/?

Posted in Over The Fence, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Work Together? Hell No!

This was so excellent & worth reading I wanted to re-post it. I’ve left off all the signers, but of course feel free to pass it on. I did not write it.   I do not know who wrote it, originally.
Dear Facebook Friends,
This is where I stand.
I make no apologies to anyone for this. I know some are tired of political postings and rants. But apart from non-committal posts of recipes, meals, flowers, dogs, seashells, balloons, pictures, cats, drama, humor, our own art, and even beautiful expressions of spiritual beliefs, FB is (until it gets taken away) a vehicle to express our outrage at how far our country has currently fallen on the humanitarian scale.
To me, FB is a useful vehicle for my passion and activism. The fevered ego currently occupying our White House, his power hungry cronies taking positions of authority in his Cabinet and administration, and the majority of Republicans & Democrats in Congress are a real and active threat to me, my way of life, and all the people I love. And unless you are worth billions of dollars, they are a threat to you and your life, too. So, I will continue to be a part of the solution by drawing attention to what’s happening and encouraging us to all resist. If you can, join in. If you disagree, fine. But, I refuse to “play nice” in the face of what these people are doing. Our country’s well-being demands that we stand up and resist.
Some people are saying that we should “work together” with Trump because he won the election and he is “everyone’s president.” This is my response:
I will not forget how badly he and so many others treated President Obama for EIGHT YEARS…BUT, apart from that, this is why I cannot support this president’s agenda:
• I will not “work together” to privatize Medicare, cut Social Security and Medicaid. EVER!!! We have paid every single dime into Social Security. It is OURS, not Congress’s to spend to court rich donors from Wall Street.
• I will not “work together” to remove civil rights from ANYONE–like the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 OR the continued partisan gerrymandering by the GOP.
• I will not “work together” to destroy marriage equality and make it a states right to deny love between two people. Your “religious liberty” does not give you some right to take away my rights. Your faith, no matter how deeply felt, doesn’t make our civil laws.
• I will not “work together” to deny health care to people who need it.
• I will not “work together” to increase the profits of the insurance companies. (Notice they rarely, if ever, go bankrupt).
• I will not “work together” to erase or redefine my trans brothers and sisters. I will not subject them to embarrassment in bathrooms.
• I will not “work together” to deny medical coverage to people on the basis of an alleged or actual “pre-existing condition.” (At some point, we will ALL have a pre-existing condition if we live long enough).
• I will not “work together” to build a wall. (Walls have never worked, and eventually they all fall.)
• I will not “work together” to persecute Muslims.
• I will not “work together” to shut out refugees from countries where we destabilized their governments, so that we could have something more agreeable to our oligarchy.
• I will not “work together” to lower taxes on the 1%.
• I will not “work together” to increase taxes on the middle class and poor.
• I will not “work together” to help the president to line his pockets and those of his cronies.
• I will not “work together” to weaken and demolish environmental protections.
.
• I will not “work together” to sell American lands, especially National Parks, to companies which then despoil those lands.
• I will not “work together” to enable the killing in any way of whole species of animals just because they are predators, or inconvenient for a few, or because some people want to get their thrills killing them.
• I will not “work together” to waste trillions more on our military when we already have the strongest in the world.
• I will not “work together” to alienate countries that have been our allies for as long as I have been alive, and longer.
• I will not “work together” to slash education funding.
• I will not “work together” to take basic assistance from people who are at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder.
• I will not “work together” to allow torture and “black op” prison sites.
• I will not “work together” and deny that there is a color imbalance in our criminal justice system. We need to address it.
• I will not “work together” with a mentality that twists peaceful protests into a lack of patriotism. Kneeling is NOT disrespectful to the flag.
• I will not “work together” with a leader who bullies others.
• I will not “work together” to “take their oil.”
• I will not “work together” to get rid of common sense regulations on guns.
• I will not “work together” to eliminate the minimum wage.
• I will not “work together” to support so-called “Right To Work” laws, or undermine, weaken or destroy unions in any way.
• I will not “work together” to suppress scientific research, be it on climate change, fracking, or any other issue where a majority of scientists agree that #45 and his supporters are wrong on the facts.
• I will not “work together” to increase the number of nations that have nuclear weapons.
• I will not “work together” to put even more “big money” into politics.
• I will not “work together” to violate the Geneva Convention.
• I will not “work together” to give the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi Party and white supremacists a seat at the table, or to normalize their hatred.
• I will not “work together” if it means ignoring the fact that a foreign country interfered with our elections while this administration has done nothing about it.
• I will not “work together” or honor a man who is a sexual predator.
• I will not “work together” with politicians who want to criminalize abortion… or regulate it out of existence.
• I will not “work together” to engage in voter suppression.
• I will not “work together” to normalize tyranny.
• I will not “work together” to eliminate or reduce ethical oversite at any level of government.
• I will not “work together” with anyone who is, or admires, tyrants and dictators who murder their opposition.
• I will not “work together” with #45 because I will not allow one man to feed upon the fears of the populace, blaming minorities for their condition or their inability to thrive.
• I will not “work together” to put children in cages.
• I will not “work together” to invite or condone violence against journalists. Or ignore the murder of one!!!
• I will not “work together” to dismiss and demoralize the intelligence community upon whom our national security relies.
This is the line, and I am drawing it. I will stand for honesty, love, respect for all living beings, and for the compassion and humanity that is the center of Life itself.
• I will use my voice and my hands, to reach out to the uninformed, and to anyone who will LISTEN for what’s really so dangerous about #45, his friends and the Big Lie they spin to the world: to wit, that “winning,””being great again,””rich,””beautiful,” or even “white” is anything more than nothing when others are sacrificed to glorify its existence.
PS: If you agree, you can copy and paste this post on to your own FB page, signing your name below those you see listed. This results in larger numbers of people seeing a post.
Consider this an opportunity to make a declaration of commitment, in becoming part of The Resistance.”

Posted in POT POURRI | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Just To Be Clear- Travels with an atheist.

December 8. 2018

 

When I describe myself as an atheist, I do not mean that I definitely know there is no god. I only mean to say that I believe there is no god, not having seen credible evidence for its existence. If I were to tell the truth, I am a reluctant atheist. There is a part of me that wishes there is a god; it would make things so much easier to have something on which to blame everything .

I was raised Roman Catholic, and until high school, attended Catholic school, with the B.V.M Sisters of Charity. I have nothing but fond memories of them, despite the number of “I will not” lines I had to write in those eight years; I was a loquacious child. I was also a questioning child. In fourth grade Catechism, when told that we would live in heaven singing God’s praises for ever and ever, I asked Sister Mary Carmina a variation of “Why would anyone think I’d want to do that.” She was not pleased. I learned to keep my dissents quiet, but the fat was already in the fire.

Youthful heresies aside, I loved the sacred rituals. Solemn High funeral masses, particularly, impressed me. The vestments, the chanting and music in a foreign language, candles and billowing incense was, I think, the beginning of my love of theatre. You were convinced that the casket rolling out of the church was on its immediate way to heaven. About the only ritual I did not like, was the ritual of no meat on Fridays. That rule changed around 1984, I think.

After graduating from grammar school, I kept going to Mass, on Sundays and Holy Days, out of habit, but by the time I graduated from high school, I’d kicked the habit. I did not attend Mass regularly. again, until sometime in the eighties. In between, I tried a few years of Nicheren Shoshu Buddhism until I decided it was a cult and left unceremoniously. I only went back to the local Catholic Church to meet people and make friends, not out of conviction. Through the parish, I got connected to the parish charismatic group. I will speak more of my experience with them in a later entry.

Posted in Personal | 1 Comment