Let’s Play Jeopardy

Name this President:[and please remember your answer must be in the form of a question]

If he could walk on water, they would say he was too lazy to swim.

If he could raise the dead, they would accuse him of not letting the dead rest in peace.

If he could heal the sick, they would accuse him of trying to put doctors out of business.

If he does what they would have done under the same circumstances, they criticize his decision as dumb or un-American – and so they oppose him.

If he does what his predecessor tried but failed to do, some would say he was able to do it only because his predecessor laid the foundation.

If he cleaned up the mess his predecessor left behind, they would blame him for the mess – or say that the mess was ancient history.

If he speaks the truth, they shout “you lie”.

If he does something that is obviously good, they say it should have been done better.

If he does something on time, they say it should have been done sooner.

If he calls out an injustice that is prevalent in society, they say he is trying to divide America.

If he talks to enemies of the United States as a first step in seeking peace, they call him weak and conciliatory – an embarrassment to America.

If he kills the enemies of the United States, they’d complain that he didn’t do it the right way.

If he did everything the opposition wanted, they would accuse him of showing off.

If he has a wonderful idea that makes sense, they attack his personality or his heritage.

Finally, if Americans die by hurricane, tornado, earthquake or storm, they blame his policies.

Answer: Who is President ______________________?

Published in: on January 17, 2016 at 4:43 AM  Comments (1)  
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Women and Men – Power and Fear

Having observed, researched and pondered the interactions between men and women across different times and different societies, I’m glad I’m not a woman but I am ashamed of being a man – more specifically, ashamed of how men, in general, treat women.

Why does one half the species, often demean, abuse or even kill the other half? My theory:

Especially in these modern times, men need women more than women need men [emotionally]. Women provide a structure within which men can thrive and reinforce their status. Yes, men and women need each but not equally. This imbalance [perceived or not] is not something men are comfortable accepting. They fear women because women have what men desperately want [sex, support, even to some extent, the basis for a man’s identity]. This gives women power that threatens men. So they erect an infrastructure characterized by persistent, sustained subjugation or marginalization of women. In short, those whose power is illegitimate always fear those they dominate.

To that end: In some societies men tell women what to wear or not to wear – so that men do not have to exercise control over their own libido. In other countries they blame women for being assaulted because they wore one thing rather than another. There are societies where women are considered unclean even untouchable when they are menstruating; in other communities, they are considered chattel to be bought and sold like meat. In general men often judge women by their looks so much so that women even compete against each other in ways most petty, for the fleeting attention of men. In turn women often demean themselves because men cut off their access to opportunity or other resources.  Additionally, a promiscuous man is often lauded; a promiscuous woman, scorned. Men will also pay women less but expect them to do as much as a man. Men are more likely than women to abuse the other – kick, batter, choke or otherwise do what savages do – to maintain power. Thus, if a woman exercises her power, her right, she is often attacked or assailed so as to be put back in her designated place – below that of the man – so that the patriarchal system remains in tact.

Worse and tragically, if a man leaves, a woman may cry; if she dares to leave, she all too often, will die.

Men have developed a system in society that facilitates their longing for and almost genetic need for power because no matter how lowly the man’s stature, he can at least exercise power over another. Power over someone he fears and is angry that he needs her in ways that are fundamental to his well-being or his sense of self. Whether he is a corporate mogul, an important politician, a janitor or garbage collector, he can at least step on someone else and feel powerful. That someone else? Womankind.

I agree I have made generalizations [thus, there are exceptions] but they are more true than not. Women have a power that men fear and that fear is a driving force in how they ultimately view and treat women. I’m glad I’m a man but I am not proud of it. This is not to say that women are saints and morally superior. After all, they are human and as such they are the moral equivalent of men except that, for the most part, they are dominated by men. I can only hope that I have distanced myself sufficiently from the majority of my half of the species in how I respond to the power of women.

Published in: on January 9, 2016 at 11:52 PM  Leave a Comment  
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Penciled-In Thoughts On Paper Minds

One of the most fascinating things about the human mind is that in an important respect it is like paper, especially in the beginning. Like paper, others can write on it (only in pencil), and like paper, the human can decide whether to believe what is written on it or whether to erase it. Most of the writing, however, is never erased.

Humans can be led to believe almost anything. This is especially true if the culture they are born into present certain ideas and notions as true or if they hear something often enough and if the stupidity/ignorance is presented in an organized fashion.

For example: Humans used to believe that diseases were caused by the “gods” because someone wrote that on their minds. Many humans used to (some still do) believe that women were intellectually inferior to men because someone wrote that on their minds. Currently, there are also humans who believe that if the young boys in their village swallow the ejaculate of the older males, their passage into manhood is assured [the Sambians]. They believe that because someone wrote that on their minds. Furthermore, some humans believe Blacks are intellectually inferior vis à vis Whites, and other humans believe that if a woman is raped, her family should kill her because shame is brought on the family. In short, humans will believe almost anything written on their minds and the list of examples (from the bizarre to the sublime) is endless.

Obviously, the more people who believe what is written on their minds, the easier it is to get younger people to accept what is written without fear of the beliefs being erased. Thus, the list of hypothetical beliefs noted below is no more shocking than what was once or is still believed:

• In order to avoid burning in hell after dying, the number 23 must be branded on a child’s forehead if the child is younger than eight (unless the child is a twin, then she should be branded only if she is older than eight).

• Having sex standing up is protection against contracting an STD.

• Spanking a groom and bride on their bare buttocks with a paddle made of pine wood during the marriage ceremony will guarantee a long and happy marriage.

• Running around the outside of the place of worship three times while naked, in the dark, will ensure forgiveness of the sin of fornication.

• Eating snakes is a sin. Eating squirrels once a year is a requirement for redemption.

• Drinking horse urine reduces fevers. Adding a cup full of dog urine to your bath water brings good luck.

• If a woman gets pregnant after eating the root of a certain plant, she has been unfaithful.

• People with gray eyes are more intelligent that those whose eyes are blue or green, and there is no such thing as brown eyes.

• A long tongue portends a long but unhappy life.

The list of hypothetical beliefs as represented above can extend ad infinitum, and for each one, there is a comparably asinine or ridiculous one that was once believed or is still believed. Humans can believe almost anything because they seldom challenge or even question what is written on their minds by their families and the other parts of society. The idea of erasing a belief is as foreign to many as is the idea of cutting off one of their feet. No ideas or beliefs are written in stone; most people simply do not want to erase the penciled in thoughts of their paper minds. If only they lived and breathed the following advice then the stupid would not be so stupid and the wise would be wiser:

“There is no idea or belief I so dearly cherish so as to shield it from rigorous scrutiny or thoughtful challenge. There is no idea or belief I esteem so highly that I will not alter it or abandon it – sacrifice it in favor of standing even closer to the truth.”

Published in: on January 5, 2016 at 5:33 AM  Leave a Comment  
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