The “Gun Problem.”

We do not have a gun problem in this country. We have a corporatism problem wherein the arms industry is propped up by the federal government and they happily hop along with no care about the lives those industries end. Stop the wholesale arms industry that is backed by the federal government, which is a rather difficult thing to do since most of the guns on the planet are supported by either the US government or the Russian government, and then we can talk about mass shootings.

Favorite quotes

“You’re a daisy if you have.”

– Doc Holliday

“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”

The idea of shame is still ignoble to me, but the meaning of this quote has deeper implications.

– Horace Mann

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s. Look at the tyranny of party — at what is called party allegiance, party loyalty — a snare invented by designing men for selfish purposes — and which turns voters into chattles, slaves, [and] rabbits, and all the while their masters, and they themselves are shouting rubbish about liberty, independence, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, honestly unconscious of the fantastic contradiction; and forgetting or ignoring that their fathers and the churches shouted the same blasphemies a generation earlier when they were closing their doors against the hunted slave, beating his handful of humane defenders with Bible texts and billies, and pocketing the insults and licking the shoes of his Southern master.”

– Mark Twain

“People have this idea that they have to focus on others to be happy but they forget to take care of themselves so that they CAN help others.”

– Jacob Frasier

“To achieve liberty and peace, two powerful human emotions have to be overcome. Number one is ‘envy’ which leads to hate and class warfare. Number two is ‘intolerance’ which leads to bigoted and judgemental policies. These emotions must be replaced with a much better understanding of love, compassion, tolerance and free market economics. Freedom, when understood, brings people together. When tried, freedom is popular.”

~Ron Paul

“I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.”

~Thomas Paine

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

~Edmund Burke

“Hope is a tease designed to prevent us from accepting reality.”

~Downton Abbey, Season 5/Episode 4

“You know what happens when you burn a bridge? You got to learn to swim…or fly.”

~Jessica Jones, Season 1/Episode 7

“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

~V for Vendetta

“Reasoning will never make a man correct an ill opinion, which by reasoning he never acquired: for in the course of things, men always grow vicious before they become unbelievers.”

~Jonathan Swift

“Ya know, the Bible is the Bible and if you live in these United States then your Bible most likely has the same basic layout as the four different versions in my library. So when I can look in the Bible and see that it (not me) says that homosexuality is a sin, then it probably says the same thing in yours. It also says I can beat my wife if she gets out of line or speaks her mind, and that I must sacrifice animals on a burning alter in order to atone for my sins. So why is it that because the guy that bowed out of doing the benediction at Obama’s inauguration is getting slammed for preaching a portion of the Bible he feels is important? Why is there a prayer at the inauguration at all? Why is it a Christian prayer? Why in English? I’m pretty sure all of these issues could be avoided if we just paid attention to the 1st Amendment and pay specific attention to the part that calls attention to “respecting an establishment of religion”. One of this government’s jobs is to protect our right to believe how we wish, without deference to any particular religion, and continuing to have opening prayers and benedictions loaded with political correctness is both unconstitutional and lacking in backbone. Also, defining what a Christian should be, or what a Christian should believe, is not the job of the government. And lambasting a preacher for believing in a concept the Bible teaches in a small handful of the many, beautifully written passages therein is simply an ignorant waste of energy. Every person lives the portions of their respective religions with which they are most comfortable. Not all agree, but we must all respect their rights to believe the way they do. And that’s also why religion is to be protected by government, not taught by it.”

~Jacob Frasier

“When I was a kid I lost both my parents. Freak thing, ten years old- BANG! – mortality. So I grew up livin’ real hard; racing cars, smoking, drinking, sleeping with any girl I could find… Real stupid, dangerous lifestyle… then I turned eleven.”

~ Scene from Mindhunters

“Just because you are a statistic, it doesn’t mean that your life’s worth is in anyway diminished. Statistics add reference, not value. Ergo, vis-à-vis, concordantly, etc…”

~ Jacob Frasier

“Love makes fools of us all.”

~ Salem, S3E3

“The truth will out.”

~ Shakespeare

“She is so over the hill that she is below sea level.”

~ from the movie Valentino

“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.”

~ James Madison

“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”

~ Thomas Jefferson

“Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

~ Nietzsche

“Pompous tools run the world.”

~ scene from Madam Secretary

“He is not deceived who knows himself to be deceived.”

~ Legal maxim

“Beware the fury of a patient man.”

~ John Dryden

“Any day you wake up, maybe you die.”

~ The Wheel of Time, book 11, ch 19

Why you’re special (part deax).

In addition to the fact that you beat over 100 million competitors in the race to the egg your mom had waiting for you, (great job!!), you were born with unlimited potential. And not because you are destined for greatness, or predetermined to have a certain path for your life, or cursed to repeat the mistakes of your forebears…but precisely due to the absence of all of those things.

You were born with a clear slate, a blank canvas. You were not born cursed, evil, tainted, blessed, anointed. You were simply born a champion. You won that race to the egg, and now you open your eyes every day with the option to accept your lot in life, or to live your life to the fullest. Life will deal you all sorts of hands ranging from preferable to painful, but you will choose whether or not they are “good” or “bad.” And if it doesn’t kill you, then it is a good hand because you may have just won another race, another battle, and you may be bleeding but you will still be breathing.

You only have one life, and this is it. There is no guarantee of an afterlife, but you are guaranteed this life now so go with what you know. Believe all you want about what happens after your heart stops, but don’t live your life hoping for the chance of a better one after this.

Find your passion and chase it.

Love yourself. Love your family, then your neighbors and your community. All in that order.

Be kind to others who cannot help themselves if you are able. They only have one life as well and they may have been dealt a less pleasant hand than you were. That doesn’t mean always “give them money or food,” but give them the knowledge that will enable them to get back in the game, and if they show determination and perseverance, then that is the time that considering material help will be beneficial to their success. Invest time and effort in someone to help them. Tossing them a few bills because you’re too busy is cowardly and impersonal and keeps you from growing as a human being.

Knowing how great you are and spreading that knowledge to another is the most empowering thing inside you. You are first among millions, as is your neighbor, your friend, your mate. As champions, settling for less than excellent is beneath us. Don’t miss the chance to live any moment to a lesser level of excellence.

Shrug off ancient dogmas keeping you in chains of mediocrity and slavery. Question everything you were taught as a child. Ask “why” every time you find yourself doing something simply because you have always done it that way.

You only live once, and that is it. That is all anyone truly knows. And you made it to this point. Against all odds you made it.

Don’t take this opportunity lightly.

Live.

Sun-Day

A superstitious belief, at its most potent level, provides a peace of mind born out fear of the unknown. If, instead, you had been taught that “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer to a question; if you had been taught to think critically as a youth; if you had been taught that the only way a species can survive is by members protecting themselves and their ability to provide for their families and the community in turn, and to care for the planet on which it exists; if all of these things had been different in your life, do you think you would still find yourself reading this as a weekly participant in ritual gatherings designed, in most cases, to both inhibit rational thought and promote supremacist ideologies?

Happy Sun-day, all. 🙂

The Easter Holiday

In the English language, March was originally the first month of the year and is named after the god Mars. If you count March as number one you will notice that September through December all have months that start with Latin roots (e.g. Septem-7, Octo-8, Novem-9, Decem-10), and the other months are named after other mythological deities and two Roman Ceasars: Janus, Februalis, Mars, Aprilis, Maya, Juno, Julius Ceasar and Augustus Ceasar.

Similarly, the days of the week are named for Germanic/Norse/Roman deities aside from the first two days named for the Sun and Moon: Sun’s Day, Moon’s Day, Tiw’s Day, Wodan’s Day, Thor’s Day, Frigga’s Day, Saturn’s Day.

Finally we come to the macro timeline where the writers of Caucasian history decided to use the blossoming christian mythology to split its written history into two parts: Before Christ, B.C., and the Latin “In the year of our Lord,” anno domini, A.D.

Since roman mythology paid homage to the yearly sun cycle and seasons, they celebrated with feasts around the Spring Equinox as it signaled the end of the cold weather (defeating death) and the coming planting season (creating life). Particular to most cultures was waiting for the moon to finish its own cycle so that the most important things in the sky would both be in agreement that Spring was officially in full swing. It is during this time that flowers have begun to bloom and open up, which is why this month is called “April” (to open…see the Spanish “abra la puerta” – “open the door”). The week leading up to that full moon would be celebrated by Romans carrying Palm and Pine trees through the streets in anticipation of the coming harvest and life-giving food supplies. Often palm leaves would remain in the streets after having been paraded around during the celebrations. (Please note that these traditions only made sense in the northern hemisphere where the temperatures would be getting warmer, thus “Spring.”)

Taking all of this into account, you now know the history of the traditions that lead up to Easter (or Ostra, Ostara, Eoster, or any other pagan goddess name you like). And it is quite clear to see how Constantine shrewdly assimilated conquered cultures by moving his mythological holidays to match those of the conquered. And since Easter is the christian holiday celebrating defeat of death and the promise of new life, and since the sun’s-day had evolved to be the day of worship for christians, Easter was eventually established to be on the first Sun-day after the first full moon after the Spring Equinox.

And now you hopefully know a little more. 🙂

A quick but really unsavory progression for you:

When presented with evidence that contradicts something you previously held to be true, you instantly enter a state of cognitive dissonance.

**Cognitive dissonance is a theory of human motivation that asserts that it is psychologically uncomfortable to hold contradictory cognitions. The theory is that dissonance, being unpleasant, motivates a person to change his cognition, attitude, or behavior.

Next up, you go through a process of deciding if the evidence warrants a change of position on the subject and if the evidence is strong enough, you would be wise to change your position. However, if the contradictory evidence challenges something in which you have vested your entire life’s meaning then, most likely, you will be subjected to cognitive bias.

**A cognitive bias is a mistake in reasoning, evaluating, remembering, or other cognitive process, often occurring as a result of holding onto one’s preferences and beliefs regardless of contrary information.

And finally, if you have so thoroughly convinced yourself that the evidence presented is not personally acceptable to you, then you unwisely end up in the arena of confirmation bias.

**Confirmation bias refers to a type of selective thinking whereby one tends to notice and to look for what confirms one’s beliefs, and to ignore, not look for, or undervalue the relevance of what contradicts one’s beliefs.

So the question is this: will you choose to grow as a human being and become more intelligent and learn as much as you can in your lifetime, never being afraid to admit when you are wrong, thus becoming a fountain of knowledge from which future generations can draw understanding thereby leaving this world in a better condition than the one it was in when you entered it?

As Isaac Asimov stated, “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny…’”

Choose wisely. 🙂

Why you’re special.

Do you know why you’re so special?

Because out of the estimated 8 million species of animals currently in existence on this planet, which is also estimated to only be 10% of the total species yet to be discovered, your brain has the amazing ability to ask “why?”. You don’t have to settle for the life of a bird and fly south each winter because of instinct; you don’t have to settle for the life of a well trained dog that does what it’s told because it gets a treat; you don’t even have to settle for a life scared of fire because you think it’s magic or evil spirits. You can ask “why?”.

And not just that, you can discover the answer! You can discover why stars look like pinheads of light in the night sky with your own eye using geometry and trigonometry and quantum physics! You can share these adventures with others by learning different languages and cultures! You can do SO much in your life all because you have the innate ability to ask “why?”.

But this growth…this potential for amazing discoveries will only happen if you make the choice to ask that question. It will only happen when you challenge everything you’ve ever been taught as a child and discover for yourself whether evidence exists to support those pre-existing teachings. So ask!

Ask why the earth is spherical.

Ask why it takes light only 1 second to travel 186,000 miles.

Ask why the eastern and western hemispheres of this planet are slowly spreading apart from each other making the Atlantic Ocean a little wider every day; and then ask if there is evidence that they were ever touching!

Just ask “why?”!

And then watch as the wonders of this amazing universe make other parts of your amazing brain start to ask more questions and more questions until you finally realize that you will never, EVER, be able to learn it all.

But, if you can learn to work with others and not disparage or hate them for their beliefs, or the color of their skin, or the mistakes their parents or their parents’ parents made; if you choose to move past the age-old cry for damnation or torture or killing of those who may not think or believe or love the way you do; if you can also take these precepts and teach them to others, THEN…you can live a life knowing that those who continue after you are gone will take up the quest of asking “why?” which will break new ground in science and art and music and diversity and, and, and!…and that is the absolute BEST legacy anyone could possibly ever leave behind.