Tuesday, November 30, 2010


If I'm tired from work and feel like taking a nap, but there's a local election... I vote.

If it's raining and pouring outside, but there's a little runoff election involving a circuit court judge... I vote.

If I'm sick with flu and throwing up, but there's an election... I vote.

I don't give a damn if I'm on my death bed, I will crawl to the polling office on my hands and knees to vote.

Today the volunteers told me I was only one out of twenty-two people that showed up to vote in a runoff election. I replied, "That means my vote is worth more!" And of course it is.

I vote straight-ticket Democrat. The only exception would be if I have a reason not to like a particular Democrat, and that happens sometimes, especially when a Democrat tries extra hard to be like the Republicans. In those cases, I tend to vote Libertarian, and I'm thankful there is a third party candidate so that I can register my protest vote. A Democrat who talks Republican and votes Republican is for all intents and purposes a Republican. Strange creatures. I suppose they can't win the Republican primary, so they run as Democrats for that reason only. There are probably Republicans that have a similar story--I don't know.

I vote for candidates that are recommended to me by gay-rights groups. If there is a gap, an election where no one is recommended, then I research the candidate online to determine his views and style of thinking. I always favor the open-minded, tolerant, friendly, intelligent candidate, who does not brag about his Christianity, which is typically code for "hates gays" in today's political scene. If the candidate seems more intelligent than me, that's an asset. I prefer leaders to be more intelligent than me.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Arabs Want Us to Attack Iran?

Arab nations want us to attack Iran. Interesting and unexpected.

Who's gonna pay for it, hm? Us? Why should we? Seems like we've paid enough as it is. I think the collection plate needs to be passed around before the next war.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Picking Apart the GPL License

Using an author's essay or for that matter a programmer's code when he has asked you not to do so is uncool. Whether one has the legal right to do so is beside the point. The ethics of the matter are clear. The harm would be compounded by squandering his time on technical consultation without paying for that either and compounded beyond belief by engaging in a lengthy legal battle in order to defend the deed.

I find it difficult to comprehend someone paying his lawyer in order to avoid paying a programmer for his work, but that's apparently what happened in the case of JinChess versus IChessU.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

What is the Situation?

Reading the headlines of the day, it does seem like retardation is the lamentable situation around the globe. Folks are fooled by flimsy lies, whether from gossip, the media, religion, pseudoscience, or ideology. Wanting to believe something is a good enough reason to believe something. Wanting to be like so-and-so is a good enough reason to believe the same way so-and-so does. Advertisers and pundits exploit this vulnerability to their advantage.

Retardation is the situation. The question is, will the human race be able to survive long-term? The answer is unclear. I suppose it depends upon who controls the levers that run human society. If they number among the retards, then no, the human race can't possibly survive, due to the potency of our technologies, which are capable of destroying us in countless different ways.

I do hope the elite really are so in every way, not just in their fortunes. I wonder how much wisdom they have and whether they try to use their fortunes in the service of good. Certainly, some elites make a public attempt via philanthropy, trumpeted throughout the media, to make the world a better place.

If disaster looms, let it be in the future, after I am gone. I would not want to see it. If disaster looms, how sweet it was to live during a time of relative peace and prosperity. Ours might be a rare flowering of an endangered species that endangers itself.

Intelligence is common among life forms, but our superb excellence certainly is unique. It remains unclear whether intelligence will prove to be an advantage in the long term. The problem is that tool-making and tool-using is not enough. Sooner or later, one fashions tools or weapons that can destroy the entire species. Intelligence must be joined in lock-step with empathy and wisdom, or else it is a very dangerous thing indeed.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Forbidden Blood

I have no fear of needles, would give blood if paid or in some cases if it were requested of me, and am not squeamish about the process. That said, never in my lifetime will I give blood, because it is forbidden of gays. And I have no problem with that. The only people that should be concerned are those that need my blood and the blood of people like me, which is to say, everyone else.

I could lie in response to the question, "Have you had sex with a member of the same sex since 1979?" I read online comments from one gay to the effect that he lied for the greater good of giving clean blood to those that need it. In such a case, where a man knows that his blood is clean, possibly because he has been tested and found to be HIV negative, or due to his practicing safer sex, or abstaining--as some do--then a lie is not necessarily unethical, but a white lie.

I still have a problem with lying due to pragmatic reasons. Lying in general is bad policy. I don't like having to remember that I have lied and having to censor my speech forever after in the future. If I were to give blood, I'd have to deny ever having done so to everyone else I met in the future, or else I'd be caught out as a liar, and not everyone may buy the "white lie" argument above. It's just a potential can of worms. I'd rather stick to the straight and narrow, or maybe not so straight.

There is a certain irony in the fact that my blood is much cleaner and healthier than that of most straight men. I appreciate that irony. There is a certain degree of irrationality in society. It would be difficult to argue that society is, or ever has been, rational or reasonable. Instead, I think the diagnosis must be for neurosis, with occasional bouts of psychosis. The world's allegiance is to Thanatos. Hence we have worldwide prohibition of a medicinal herb, and the commercialization and popularization of an addictive poison. Those who contribute to world overpopulation are given welfare and recognition, whereas those who remove themselves from the reproductive cycle are ridiculed, marginalized and punished by a variety of legal sanctions.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

North Korea

The shelling of the island of Yeonpyeong by North Korea, resulting in civilian deaths, was an act of incompetence combined with evil. Evil and incompetence often go hand-in-hand. However, just because incompetence guided the deed does not mean the deed should go unpunished. There should be tangible consequences.

North Korea presents a serious and realistic nuclear threat, whereas Afghanistan does not. North Korea is devoid of any shred of ethics or indeed basic comprehension of the outside world. Their nuclear technology will be sold or given to any villain in the world.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Mohamud, the Wannabe Bomber

“Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia and resident of Corvallis, Oregon, was arrested after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be an explosives-laden van that was parked near the tree lighting ceremony in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square,”the FBI said in a statement on its website today.
I know of a talented person from another country who loves the U.S. and would like nothing better than to be a naturalized citizen. It is my partner, who I would be willing to marry. He cannot become a citizen, due to the law against gay marriage, but anti-American wannabe terrorists from the Islamic world can. Is that justice?

Why grant citizenship to people from alien cultures who regard our culture and way of life as anathema?

Our government makes citizens out of our enemies and denies citizenship to our most loyal friends. Is that wisdom?
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Friday, November 26, 2010

Alanis Morissette

Who knew that the music industry would offer up a Bodhisattva?

Do you derive joy when someone else succeeds?
Do you not play dirty when engaged in competition?
Do you have a big intellectual capacity but know
that it alone does not equate to wisdom?
Do you see everything as an illusion
but enjoy it even though you are not of it?
Are you both masculine and feminine, politically aware, and don't believe in capital punishment?

These are 21 things that I want in a lover
Not necessarily needs but qualities that I prefer

Do you derive joy from diving in and seeing that
loving someone can actually feel like freedom?
Are you funny and self-deprecating, like adventure, and have many formed opinions?

These are 21 things that I want in a lover
Not necessarily needs but qualities that I prefer
I figure I can describe it since I have a choice in the matter
These are 21 things I choose to choose in a lover

I'm in no hurry; I could wait forever
I'm in no rush cause I like being solo
There are no worries and certainly no pressure
In the meantime I'll live like there's no tomorrow

Are you uninhibited in bed, more than three times a week, up for being experimental?
Are you athletic?
Are you thriving in a job that helps your brother?
Are you not addicted?

These are 21 things that I want in a lover
Not necessarily needs but qualities that I prefer
I figure I can describe it since I have a choice in the matter
These are 21 things I choose to choose in a lover

--Alanis Morissette, "21 Things I Want in a Lover"
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Blessed Reticence

I say that reticence is blessed, because it will save me time and energy. I am not and never have been reticent by nature. I'm bubbly like champagne when in my element. I am cultivating reticence. It is best to be cautious when encountering strangers, either online or in the real world. Proceed with caution.

I contacted people associated with several different web sites recently in hopes there might be opportunities for cross-pollination of ideas. I regretted doing so. It was a waste of my time. It is usually a mistake to attempt to contact anyone on the Internet that one does not already know. The most probable response is tepid to ice-cold, if any response is offered at all. Common courtesy has gone out of style. Trolls, spammers, viruses and con artists have poisoned the online environment. People are unwilling or unable to conceive of a possible scenario where, instead of a mere annoyance, a new voice may represent a potential friend. There is an epidemic of impatience with other human beings.

In many cases, I sent email to a webmaster only to receive no reply at all. This is the most common scenario of all. I don't know whether my email gets lost in a spam folder, the webmaster simply doesn't check his email, or the webmaster's email address has changed, and he neglected to update it on his web site. In one case, I established contact with a webmaster whose site was static, with no updates in two or three years. He gave me terse, one-line responses to my messages. Many of these web sites are on the ropes, financially or otherwise, and their content will be lost forever in the near future. Since the webmasters are incapable of communicating with other webmasters, their fate is sealed, and no one will be able to help them.

On several web sites, I attempted to locate an email address for the webmaster, only to find that the page with the email address was blank. The webmaster had simply deleted his email address without removing the link to the email page. In other cases, an online forum was offered, but the forum software reported an error, and the forum never loaded. In one case, on someone's blog, I attempted to leave a comment, but found that I had to register in order to do so. I registered, and the software told me an email had been sent to me, which proved to be the case. The only problem was that the email was entirely blank, without any link or instructions, and my registration was invalid. It is obvious to me, based upon these experiences, that many webmasters are avoiding the public due to unpleasant experiences with spam, trolls, or other annoyances. Rather than arrive at an elegant solution for the problems, they simply remove themselves entirely from contact with the outside world.

On my blog, at least, it is possible for people to leave comments. At one time, I used to allow anonymous comments as well, but I stopped doing that because of spam and a flurry of insults from an anonymous troll. So, perhaps I am headed in the same direction as the others. The spammers are accomplishing rather dark ends that they themselves probably never considered in their selfish quest for pennies. Such is often the case with capitalists who never for a moment think of anyone but themselves, in the process polluting our world, destroying the economy through incompetence and negligence and creating new wars.

I don't think we have a civil society on the Internet, but rather atomization of selfish individuals who dwell in isolated fortresses, only peering over the ramparts on occasion to throw derision upon the other fortress-dwellers.

Based upon my thoughts above, I've decided to reinstall my email address in the right-hand column, in order to fight against the prevailing trend towards inaccessibility and remoteness.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Tiger's Eye Ring

There are certain stones I prefer over others. One is the Tiger's Eye. A long time ago, a friend asked me to pick out a ring for her, and I chose the one with the Tiger's Eye.


In sixth grade, our homeroom teacher was a hip young lady, liberal enough to favor such things as field trips, unlike the old relics who never left their classrooms. She allowed us kids to go exploring by ourselves in the Epcot Center. Ever independent, Alice ventured off by herself. I was with my friends, David and Carol. They helped kill time and boredom. Together we acted like The Three Stooges. I played along with them for an hour, until I realized that I would much rather be alone with Alice than with my friends. However, she was nowhere to be seen. The building had several floors and was not exactly small. I looked within my heart. As sure as following a map, I walked up two flights of stairs, turned left, then right into another room, and found her.

She was alone, as expected and desired. When she saw me, she greeted me neutrally. She discussed the exhibits and the science behind them, which fascinated her. I recall nothing of what she said. She was simply thinking aloud. I liked watching her, being in her presence. Her mind was active and alive, never idle, and her store of knowledge was more than can be imagined for a girl of that age. She was full of contagious energy, eager to learn and discover. If there was anything she could not do, I was unaware of it. I was euphoric, feeding off of her energy.

She said, “Do you think we should go and find the others? The teachers may be wondering where we are. We shouldn’t make them worry.”

I shook my head. No! This was the last thing on earth I wanted to do! Rejoining the others would mean the end of our conversation. She would prefer the company of her friends, other girls. We went searching for the others, but I directed us to places where I felt the others would not be, until she gave up. My legs grew tired with the walking, but hers did not, and so we continued examining the exhibits. Eventually we came upon a gift shop, and Alice found it irresistible.

“Oh, do you want to go in?” she said.

“Not really. I have no money!”

“I do. My father gave me thirty dollars and told me to buy myself something nice.”

“Well, I’ll just wait outside.”

She was gone for about ten minutes. I remember wishing I had money and wondering whether it even mattered. She came out and asked if I would give her advice. I said yes, of course. She wanted to buy herself a ring, but couldn't decide which one to buy. She wanted my opinion. I had no clue about girls’ rings and said as much, but she insisted. I entered the store with her, took a careful look at all the rings, and chose the one with a tiger’s eye. She said she preferred another stone, a green one. I told her it was all right, and she should get the ring that she wants, not the one that I picked. I left the store and waited outside.

She emerged with a new ring on her finger. It was the tiger’s eye. She smiled, admiring her ring, and I smiled, very pleased.

Soon after that, we found the other students and the teachers. As expected, Alice deserted me to talk with her girlfriends. I rejoined my friends with regret. We walked around for an hour or so until it was time to head back to the bus.

All of us were waiting in line to go to our next destination, the airport. The bus was being refueled. Alice was in the middle of the line. My buddies and I were in the back. We were bored, standing around doing nothing, just waiting for the bus to arrive. David asked where I had been, because he had not seen much of me at the museum. I confided that Alice and I had gone off alone together, not realizing the implication. David’s eyes lit up in amusement. “You like Alice, don’t you?” I was startled into silence, and then denied it, too late. A grin spread across David's face. “Hey, Carol, guess what! He’s in love!”

They reacted as boys do at that age to the spectacle of love, giggling and doing their utmost to embarrass me. David began singing a silly rhyme:

Alice and Igor, sittin’ in a tree!
K – I – S – S – I – N – G !
First comes love, then comes marriage!
Then come Carol in a baby carriage!

This was a common schoolyard rhyme. The person in the baby carriage could be anybody at all, but using Carol was funnier than others, because he was a runt. A chorus developed. I did not participate. I was mortified. I told them to shut-up, but my threats were ineffectual, as I wasn’t any bigger than anybody else, except Carol, though Carol was strong and stocky and capable of defending himself against me. They started making comments about her breasts—far too small, in David’s opinion. So why did I like her? You can just imagine how Alice felt. She heard every word that was spoken. Noticing her deep scarlet blush, they laughed all the harder. I hated my so-called friends just then.

How to salvage the situation? I sensed that it was my duty to protect her. I approached her with arms outstretched and my palms raised, as if to say it’s not my fault. In retrospect, this was a stupid gesture, but I was young, and did not know what to do. I said, “Hey, Alice, I didn’t... I hope you don’t think that..."

Suspicion was written all over her face. Her face was livid, her eyes burning into mine like hot coals. She thought me the ringleader.

I said, “I’m sorry that they are acting this way, and...” I stopped. My words were not having any effect. She hated me for standing there, for drawing attention to us, because that was making things rather more embarrassing for her, not less.

Her anger I perceived as dark waves flowing from her body. I was startled by the thought of her as an enemy. She hissed, “Why don’t you just leave me alone! Go away!”

Our teacher seized me by the shoulder and snapped, “Get back in line, right this minute!” I was pushed back to my place in line, where I stood defeated. Alice smiled, saying, “Good!” Then she turned around and never looked at me again.

David said, “Look at him! He’s head over heels in love!” Carol made smooching noises. But seeing that I was in no mood for jest, and with the teacher now exercising new vigilance, the joke died away, though the damage was already done.

I foresaw that she would give the tiger’s eye ring away to one of her friends. She never wanted to see it again. In the days that followed, she was implacable. She avoided me. If I ever spoke to her, she ignored me.

After a few weeks, I conveyed a message seeking reconciliation through a mutual acquaintance, a girl named Shannon who had volunteered her services to me. This proved to be another indiscretion and resulted in a different girl’s feelings being hurt, though that was not my intention. I had failed to detect Shannon’s feelings for me, being focused upon Alice. If I had known that Shannon was interested in me, I certainly wouldn’t have agreed to her being our intermediary.

Alice responded with a written note dictating terms. I was to agree that we would only ever be friends, and I was never to mention the incident on the field trip again. I tried to see if there was any wiggle room, but her position was take it or leave it. I reasoned that friendship was better than nothing. I liked her company and hoped that she might come to appreciate me better in time.

A sad little sideshow then developed in the melodrama between Alice and me. Shannon sent another written message through David to me, but it was not from Alice, it was from her. She confessed that she liked me and gave me her phone number, asking me to please call. I was quite surprised, since I had not suspected this at all. I am sorry to say that I felt completely indifferent to Shannon. She was pleasant and polite, but unfairly treated by other boys owing to her proportions. Upon consideration, I borrowed Alice’s line (“friends only”). Unlike some boys, I have never been one to pretend just for the presumed prestige of having a girlfriend.

When I shared my opinions with David and asked what he thought, he agreed, and cruelly, without my permission, revealed my thoughts to Shannon, casting them in the crudest and most hurtful light. Weeping, she came to me and asked if it were true. I grit my teeth and lied as much as I could bear. I at first denied all that my insensitive friend David had said just to heal the hurt, but she became encouraged and pursued her cause, asking me whether I actually liked her. Alarmed, I felt compelled to concede that some parts of what David said had a small basis in truth. Shannon ended up by blaming David for his cruelty.

If I had been attracted to Shannon, we might have been happy together, because she was a decent person. Human beings are far too fussy about the physical appearance of their mates. I always have been, and the same can be said for Alice. Most people are judged unattractive due to weight, age, or facial bone structure. In truth, Alice’s rejection more likely finds its basis in my physical characteristics rather than any faux pas. Her boyfriends were not more refined than me. Brutes are forgiven a thousand slights, have they a handsome face. The best strategy for most people is to indulge the powerful passions of romantic love through movies and stories, rather than seeking it in reality. Experience the strong passions vicariously, if at all! This is my best advice.

A few weeks later, I spoke to Alice during recess, and she could not bring herself to snub me, since we had signed a peace treaty. Of necessity, I obeyed the ground rules she set down for our platonic friendship. I never spoke of the incident at the airport again, because it was forbidden to do so. She was firm and of an iron discipline, but hungry for conversation, so I endeavored not to bore her. She found in me a good listener, ready to absorb new ideas. Despite herself, she found my company agreeable.

She warmed up to me sufficiently to teach me the Basic version of Dungeons and Dragons during recess. She played the Dungeon Master, and I played a rather clueless fighter stumbling about her dungeon, slaying goblins only because Alice fudged dice rolls out of kindness to me. I was fascinated by the colorful, gem-like, nontraditional dice that she used: a four-sided, eight-sided, ten-sided, and even a twenty-sided die! It was because of Alice, and out of boredom with an easy academic curriculum, that all of my friends and me soon went deep into the world of role-playing games.

We were to all play D&D for the next three years, cycling through the Basic edition to the Expert edition and finally ending with the Advanced version, a complicated system at which I became the master, absorbing every one of the many rules.

[The End.]



I submitted an earlier version of this story to an online writer's group for critique. One writer praised it with many reservations due to stylistic errors, which I felt was the most honest and helpful response. I have great difficulty with style issues, such as logical errors, redundancies, telling instead of showing, and stating the obvious. One writer praised it too much, and I felt she was just being kind, in hopes others would treat her stories with a similar kindness. One panned it, and made a snippy comment about writers like me jumping on the "Harry Potter" bandwagon, which was strange, because I've never read HP, and the first draft of this story was written before HP existed.

One writer had a violent reaction against my story, and I do not know why, other than it had stylistic errors, as he pointed out, which I already realized at the time. Maybe he found my story too sentimental. Perhaps it is or was at the time in its earlier incarnation. Maybe he was competing with the other reviewers in cutthroat fashion, trying to sound witty and original. He told me, in public, to shove a broken glass bottle up my ass. I was not interested in anything else anyone in that group had to say after reading that. I envenomed a dagger that would do the maximum damage possible to his public reputation, which I perceived he valued, as it was the only possible motive for his insult. I posted my sharp reply without any concern for what the moderators might say, as they had said nothing to the troll. How deeply my poison dagger penetrated his black heart, I cannot know, because I left soon after the stab. For a week later, in my email box, I received thirty replies from various writers, as well as the moderators, and they ranged the gamut, sympathetic, neutral, and skeptical, all of which I ignored, because I had concluded the writer's group was not for me. The troll, however, did not dare to write back, although I had planned to ignore him as well.

Many people have difficulty coping with online trolls. Here is my advice. Don't read their words. You are in control of your own internet browser. Not anyone else. You can control what and who you read. If you are curious and want to monitor what is said, but fear getting caught up in a flame war, wait a month, six months, or a year, then read. In this way, it is a simple matter to avoid involvement. But once you have identified an online personage as being a troll, is there any point in reading anything that they say? Would you pay the slightest attention to such a person in real life? In all probability, no. You would ignore such a twit in real life. It is ridiculous to give more attention to online twits than to real-world twits and even rather unfair to the real-world twits. Also, just because a message is in one's email box does not mean one must read it. Consider the source. As one would not read spam, one should not read scum. Kill filters are a perfect solution, deleting such emails based upon the sending address.

I don't know who my writing is for or what the purpose is. Publishers have never been the slightest bit interested in any of my material. I enjoy capturing certain experiences and imbuing them with a permanence beyond my own memory. Whether they are later ignored or lost is not in my power to foresee. Most writing is lost. All writing prior to a certain point in ancient history has been lost. Better writers than me have been silenced forever.

Some people say, "Why bother writing?" But if that is the attitude one takes, one could take it further: why do anything at all? One does what one knows, likes, or thinks is important. Money is not the sole motivation for doing things, or it shouldn't be.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Too True

Sixteen of the dumbest things Americans believe.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

How Many People Believe the Craziness?

How many Americans believe the distortions of FOX News and other rabid right-wing media pundits, who do nothing but lie all the time? Judging by the recent election, plenty. Here's an article in the Irish Times on the subject. I know why the right has gotten into the habit of calling liberals "Nazis." They misapply the term because they fear its being used, with better accuracy, upon themselves. They torture, start wars, discriminate against minorities, and spy upon their fellow citizens.

If the Right is again installed into power in Washington, D.C. in 2012, then the number of calamities the United States must face will multiply. I expect more war, more pollution, more negligence, and more corruption. The poor will get poorer, and the middle class will continue its vanishing act.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Friday, November 19, 2010

No Eval

Early in the semester, I was planning to give my conservative professor a bad evaluation, due to her habit of preaching on religious and political subjects unrelated to the subject of the course. I changed my mind. I have decided not to fill out any eval. Hear no evil, see no evil, fill out no eval.

Why the change of heart? She's got her flaw--the preaching--but her qualities compensate for the flaw. On a personal level, she has really won me over with her politeness and fairness. When someone is polite, that carries much weight with me. So maybe I'm a pushover. I don't care. The bottom line is that she's better than most of the other professors I've had.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Psychic Power?

I watched a documentary this evening on Robert Jahn, a Princeton scientist who researched psychokinesis. This led me to check out a web site where anyone can test themselves for psychokinetic ability. A javascript picks a number, either 0 or 1, hundreds of times, and the goal is for the user to influence the computer somehow to pick more of a certain result.

I performed seven tests, but the site informed me my results were statistically inconclusive. Nevertheless, each result slightly favored the digit that I wanted the computer to pick.

I decided to favor 0's.
0's: 526
1's: 498

I decided to favor 1's.
0's: 505
1's: 519

I decided to favor 1's.
0's: 498
1's: 526

I decided to favor 1's.
0's: 500
1's: 523

I decided to favor 0's.
0's: 525
1's: 499

I decided to favor 0's.
0's: 522
1's: 502

I decided to favor 0's.
0's: 539
1's: 485

Weird, huh? I tried to examine the javascript, but it is encrypted somehow. However, there is no way for the site to know which digit I preferred. Perhaps my results are just a coincidence. Also, as the site noted, my results are not statistically significant.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Evil is a Burden

Doing evil is a burden on the soul. Sometimes I hurt another unintentionally with careless words, spoken without thinking. My filter is not intact. Sometimes I blurt out what I am thinking, having calculated it is socially acceptable, without evaluating whether the words will hurt another person's feelings. Sometimes it is difficult to really know whether a remark will be taken in jest or taken ill. I think fatigue plays a role in this ethical lapse. My body may be taxed by a virus, and my mind exhausted by fatigue. I may have slept poorly the night before. I have many excuses, but nothing seems to ease the pain of knowing that one's words have done psychological harm to another, especially a person that one otherwise admires.

I am reminded of an ancient incident. Possibly no one remembers it now except for me. I learned certain lessons from the experience, but don't always practice what I know 100% of the time. To be sure, when I'm fully rested, my batteries fully charged, I usually conduct myself better.


In my tenth year, my friend Joe was out with a cold. For the first time that year, I sat alone in the school cafeteria at lunch. I was eating a dry and leathery soybean burger and washing it down with sips of chocolate milk, a nasty combination. I wasn’t in the best of spirits, and I felt it was just as well that Joe wasn’t at school today, because I might say the wrong thing and offend him.

The night before, I had played my mom and dad at Risk for three hours. The two of us eliminated Mom’s military forces in less than thirty minutes. The game changed into a battle between my father and me. The game was longer than most, spanning three hours, but in the end, I lost as my father invaded my stronghold in Australia and destroyed the last of my armies. I wept. My father shook his head in anger. He said, “Why are you crying? You’re taking all of the fun out of the game for me. Why are you taking it so seriously?”

I had cried because my dad wasn’t a great military genius. Losing to my dad meant that I wasn’t as clever as my idol, Napoleon. I was not born to dominate others, to conquer and to rule. My fate would be different. If I wasn’t borne to be a conqueror, then I must become one of the vanquished. This is why tears fell from my eyes. All I ever wished to do back then was be the last one standing in all the games I played.


From the corner of my eye, I saw Alice standing before me with her tray in her hands.

Alice said, “Is it okay if I sit here?”

My heart quickened with surprise. I looked away and waved my hand in the air. “I guess.”

She took a step toward me and then paused. “Sure you don’t mind?”

My voice softened. “Nah, make yourself at home.”

She laid her tray on the table and sat down. As she opened her chocolate milk carton, I said, “How come you’re not sitting with your friends?”

“Oh, I don’t know. They’re kind of boring sometimes.”

In a sarcastic tone, I said, “Well, I’ll try my best not to bore you, then.”

She laughed, as though I was just teasing her. Her eyes were gleaming with happiness. I couldn’t imagine the reason. She was insane. I took another bite of the bland soybean burger. She took my cue and started eating. After we had finished our food and were sitting idle, she said, “I was in gifted class all day yesterday. You might have missed me.”

The mention of this gifted class struck a bad chord in me, because I desperately wanted in. “Missed you?” I said coolly.

“Gifted class is so much fun!” She smiled.

I gripped the empty carton of chocolate milk until it crumpled in my fist.

"We did an experiment in gifted class yesterday. The teacher had us all bring old shoeboxes from home. We lined them with aluminum foil and placed them on windowsills where they caught the Sun. We did something else and then around lunchtime, we found that the hot dogs were cooked and ready to eat! It was a demonstration of solar power. Neat, huh?”

“You know what?”


“I don’t care about your stupid hot dogs. That’s what.”

She stared at me with surprise and hurt written upon her face. “I thought you were interested.”

“I’m tired of hearing you brag about the stuff you do in gifted class. So you go to gifted class! Big deal! I heard from other people that you’re stuck-up, and I have to agree. You’re just a big fat snob!”

Two or three kids turned around and looked at her, with smiles written on their faces, pleased by the unfolding drama. Alice‘s face assumed a bright red hue. Alice was on the verge of tears when she said, in a quite reasonable tone, “W-Why are you saying these things? What have I ever done to offend you?”

“Alice, we all know you think you’re smarter than everyone else! But you’re not as smart as you think you are! So just buzz off with your solar-powered hot dogs!”

She cried. Right there in the cafeteria, in front of everyone. Those who take pleasure in the suffering of others grinned at the spectacle. There was one exception. A black girl with kind-looking eyes, Charlotte, appraised the situation at a glance. She scolded me for making Alice cry.

I opened my mouth to make a witty retort, but changed my mind. In a flash I had full awareness of what I had said. I felt diminished, much diminished. In a low voice, I said, “I’m sorry, Alice.” She would not look at me. With more urgency I said, “Please forgive me.” I tried to touch her hand, but she flinched away. Through her tears, she said, “Stay away from me!”

I learned on this day that there are words that cannot be taken back. If we could live our lives over again, how perfect we would be! Each vulnerable moment would be rehearsed. Forewarned, we would avoid many temptations.

An apology only ever works in part, not in whole. The wound remains. Sometimes apologies are not accepted. People clutch the evil words that others have said to them, but dismiss praise as false or worthless, even when the praise carried more sincerity than the rash criticism spoken in haste. The analytical mind is implicated in this, because it is hungry for knowledge. There is more information contained in the exception than the norm. The analytical mind focuses upon exceptions--bad things--to satisfy its craving for answers, which may lead to a distorted perception of the overall reality. People think things are worse than they really are. In this way, they place limits upon their powers of perception. They see part, but the totality escapes them.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Complete Body Scanners at Airports

Here's a news report on the man who is being paid to promote full-body scanners at airports.

According to the mainstream media, we are now willing to let the Man look at us naked if he wants. People don't care if some stranger touches their genitals and peeks at what they have beneath their underwear. All in the name of the war against terrorism? I think that the terrorists have already won. This is a major victory all by itself, leading to the further regimentation and dehumanization of American society. We are just numbers, not people. Nothing remains private. Nothing remains personal. We're livestock, the property of the U.S. government and large multinational corporations.

This is just another consequence of permitting corporations and the government to demand urine samples from their workers. It's a consequence of the insipid war on drugs and all the sacrifices that people have made to let the government spy on them.

What's coming next is the complete elimination of the search warrant requirement. Police will simply enter any house for any reason, arrest anyone for any reason and keep them in prison for as long as they feel like it, with or without a trial. They can always make the case that this will improve security and fight terrorism.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments


I don't know which will break down first--my car, which despite being eighteen is far past its prime, or my body. Yesterday in class, I felt a numbness in the tips of my left fingers. I don't know what could have caused it, other than eating too much candy in the morning. Maybe I'm getting close to a diagnosis of diabetes. I usually avoid sugary treats on general principles. But my body may have developed insulin resistance anyway due to my habit of sweetening tea and coffee.

Add that complaint to chronic lower back pain that never seems to go away, and arthritic pain in various joints, and not the fun kind of joints either. I'm reminded of a meeting at my previous job when the middle-aged managers and senior programmers sat around bitching about their "failing body parts" for the better part of an hour. Now I'm at the stage where I can do that too. It makes one aware of death, first of all, that the end is in sight, at least, no longer hidden behind the horizon. And it makes one worry about the future, about becoming incapacitated in some way or losing functionality for good.

My response is stoicism, because there's not much I can do besides diet and exercise, which only help so much. I know all of the good things that one can do to fend off ailments. I try to sunbathe whenever conditions are favorable in order to absorb valuable vitamin D. I go for walks on a regular basis, although probably not as often as I should. I avoid the desserts that all my other friends crave.

The thought of death does not really bother me as much as it seems to bother other people. I like living, of course. But if I'm dead, well then, there's nothing to worry about. The main thing is to take each day as it comes and do the best that one can, so as to make a good impression on others and set a good example for others. To be well-liked and well-thought of supplies motivation for most people. One exists because one loves the world and the people, animals and things that are in it. One wants what is best for them.

I really wish that more people would move past the God nonsense when discussing life, death and the human existence. People say, "God wants me to do this," or "God will take care of things." Both sentiments seem dangerous to me. People are placing the label "God" upon their own impulses. God stops all discussion. It's just a big elephant trampling upon philosophy, science, and psychology. Suddenly there's God, and that explains everything.

My professor makes the case that one should believe in God for health reasons. She claims that faith makes people healthier and happier. She didn't make the claim, "wiser," which I think is more important, but probably would have, if she had only thought about it longer. History does not support her hypothesis, and she probably knows that, but she claims science does. "There's been research." I'm sure.

How does one measure happiness, anyway? That is no small problem. Health is easy enough to measure. I suppose a group of clean-living church goers who don't drink or smoke stacks up well against the general population with its array of addictions. But in that case she is comparing against gen-pop, not atheists, who form a smaller subset. Even among atheists, there are a hundred different varieties: the moral and philosophic, the immoral, and shades in between. Some dabble in mysticism. Some attend church for the social benefits or at the urging of their spouse. Let me pick my group of atheists and compare them against a church of her choosing for health and happiness, and we will see which group is ahead.

As for theists, some are Pagan, worshiping Set, Zeus or Apollo--does she endorse that? To be consistent, she must. Perhaps if she felt at liberty to elaborate upon her beliefs, she would claim Christianity is superior to paganism or, for that matter, any other version of theism. It is one thing in our society to offend atheists. She can probably get away with that. It is quite another to offend theists. She has cunning. She knows which groups she can give offense and which groups she must avoid offending. Although staking a claim to morality, in truth she is nothing but a common bully looking for easy targets, minorities over which she can claim superiority. "Look at me, I am a believer in God like 80+% of Americans, and what is more, a heterosexual. Also, I'm healthy and happy, pure and good, and destined for Heaven. Aren't I something? Aren't I really, really something?" Yes: unoriginal, unenlightened and unpersuasive. Brag about something other than the way you were born or the beliefs that you accepted without examining them. As long as believers display arrogance, there will be new atheists created in churches and classrooms around the world.

I do not believe that atheism is lacking in resources as suggested by the oft-repeated canard, "there are no atheists in foxholes." The idea that humans are wimps that grovel back to God is preposterous. God doesn't help, anyway. My worse moment came when I suffered spinal disc herniation. My lower back sent waves of agonizing pain on a regular basis, every two to twenty minutes, for forty-eight hours or longer. It was like being tortured by an indefatigable torturer. I was immobilized and could do nothing but suffer. Sleeping was little help, because no sooner would I fall asleep than the pain would wake me up and force me to change position. If God had offered pain relief, I would have accepted it and offered my allegiance to him thereafter. Although I did not find God, I did find Ibuprofen, and my allegiance to that entity can be appreciated on various posts throughout this blog.

My professor expresses the insulting assumption that atheists are immoral, which is a common belief among theists. She will gain no converts from the atheist camp with that tactic. I say let her continue to insult, to display arrogance. I would not give her advice. She would not have any of it, anyway.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

There is a Publisher

Some writers are told "No" so often that they give up writing and are effectively silenced forever. I am here to spread the light of hope and joy. Yes, there is a publisher that seeks good writers. This publisher is rather unusual in that it does not trot out imitations of bestsellers, but looks for original content. To submit your manuscript, build a spaceship and travel millions of light-years. I'm not sure which direction to go or how far to go. It may be necessary to hire a translator. But the odds are in favor of the determined writer.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Sigel

After everyone had gone to sleep, I walked into the dark woods. A fell voice that I recognized called unto me, saying, “Pray, what do you desire? Is it power? Power over men, power over nature, power over life and death. Surely you want power, mortal.”

"Everyone wants power, that much is true, but I already have what is needed.”

There was a long pause as the Shadow weighed my words. Then the voice spoke again. “If not power, then knowledge. Would you learn the secrets of the world? I see much of what was, what is, and what is yet to pass.”

“So you have said, but you lied to me about the Morning Star. It is not accursed, but brings light to the hidden things of darkness.”

The Shadow said, “You should not speak this way to me, because I can destroy you.”

In my left hand was the Sigel. This I revealed, and light surrounded me. "Can you destroy the light? The light spans alpha and omega and all the points in between, and I am joined into the light. There is no end to me and no beginning. Come to me, you will be my servant now.”

And so the darkness joined into the light, and the light shone ever brighter and stronger than before.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An Old Friend Doesn't Say Hello

An old friend of mine from the eighties friended me several months ago, and I accepted his request. I shot him a brief email asking him how he was doing. No reply. Two weeks later, I observed on his Facebook page that he had logged in a couple of times and presumably checked his emails already. I don't like being ignored, and it creeps me out that somebody friends me after thirty years but refuses to communicate, so I unfriended him. I've been wondering at his motives since. Why friend somebody if you don't want to communicate with them?

I have to leave the familiar settings of my own style of thinking and enter into the Repitilian mind, which is cold and motivated by fear and greed. It is easy to divine the motivations of the Reptilian mind. I think the motive has to do with cultivating an impression of popularity through a lengthy friends list and attracting a captive audience for Facebook postings. In other cases, "friends" from the past are interested in whether any of their former acquaintances have become successful, and if so, whether they could be useful. Networking.

I've considered more unlikely motivations, as well, that border on the territory of paranoia, such as "a mutual friend (or not such a friend) of ours asked him to friend me to check up on me and see how I was doing," but decided that I really don't care. If someone chooses to go the stealth route to obtain information about me that I would freely offer if simply asked, that reflects poorly upon them and amuses me. I say let them spin their wheels.

What amuses me further about this old friend of mine is the memory I have of our last contact, long ago when we were in middle school. He was fonder of me than I was of him, because I think that he had a crush on me. But he was too small, frail and not my type. I remember his mother used to call him "Peepee." He moved to Florida. As promised, he wrote to me--in those days, that would mean a handwritten letter--and I did not write back for several months or possibly even a year. That meant the score was 1-0 in my favor, because I had ignored one of his letters and he hadn't ignored any of mine.

Later I reconsidered, because I am always impressed by people that like me, whether I like them back or not. Sometimes I fear I must be mistaken about people, that they are better than I think they are, if they show any appreciation of me. I wrote him a letter, but perhaps I did not strike just the right note. To my surprise, he ignored my letter and never wrote back. That evened the score to 1-1, and I thought that was the end of the matter, and we could call a tie to the competition, until he friended me three decades later. Perhaps he friended me just to ignore another one of my letters, to make the score 2-1, meaning he wins and I lose. Oh well. I'm a good sport. I find it rather amusing. I wonder if he still holds a smoldering flame for me, after all these years. That would also explain why he could not manage to compose a simple email reply.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Always Love

I love the song by Nada Surf, "Always Love."

Half the charm lies in the lyrics.

To make a mountain of your life
is just a choice.
But I never learned enough
to listen to the voice that told me,
"Always love.
Hate will get you every time.
Always love.
Don't wait til the finish line."

I cannot make out the rest, because the guitar swallows the words.

No one seems to know about Nada Surf.

They are just the best band ever.

There is great power in their music--transforming power.

Also listen to "Blonde on Blonde."

Cats and dogs are coming down.
Fourteenth street is gonna drown.
Everyone else rushing around.
I've got Blonde on Blonde
on my portable stereo.
It's a lullaby
from a giant golden radio.
I've got no time I want to lose
To people with something to prove.
What can you do but let them talk,
and make your way down the block.
I've got Blonde on Blonde
on my portable stereo.
It's a lullaby
from a giant golden radio.
I've got Blonde on Blonde
on my portable stereo.
It's a lullaby
from a giant golden radio.
I've got Blonde on Blonde
on my portable stereo.
It's a lullaby
from a giant golden radio.
It's a lullaby
from a giant golden radio.
It's a lullaby
from Wonder Woman's radio.
It's a lullaby
from Wonder Woman's radio.
It's a lullaby.
It's a lullaby.
It's a lullaby.
It's a lullaby.
It's a lullaby.
It's a lullaby.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

More than Sour Grapes

I read Aesop's fable about the fox and the grapevine when I was a child. The fox found a grapevine hanging along a tree loaded with grapes. He jumped, but just couldn't reach the fruit, at which point he said, "they're probably sour, anyway!"

I'm reminded of that fable as I reflect on some of the characters I fell in love with in my younger years. There were quite a few--I'd say a dozen, at least. Maybe two dozen. At the time, I thought they were possessed of sterling qualities through and through, which made it all the more unpleasant when they passed on my offer.

It is only in retrospect, decades later, that I can look back and realize that their chief virtue was their face. What was in their heart was not fully considered. I think that most of them lacked virtue. All that they had to boast about was beauty. They were doing me a favor by passing me by, although I didn't know it at the time. I think this is more than sour grapes, but whether it is or not, I believe it to be true. To be with a beautiful, but shallow person may be satisfying for an evening--and I have had several such evenings--but over time, there can be only discord. I remember the flame of passion, but then I reflect on the person that I used to love, and I realize that he or she was just another selfish bastard, no better than anyone else.

Love is certainly a species of delusion, possibly among the most dangerous kinds. I'm lucky I didn't suffer any terrible consequences. An acquaintance of mine was recently fleeced by a good-looking con artist that he fell in love with. He lost tens of thousands to an obvious lie. Such an excess of trust! We lock our doors and windows against the burglar, who never shows, but leave our hearts wide open for theft by the liar! I never lost money, at least. That is a consolation. I only lost my sense of peace, and only for a few months at the most. I have grown more resistant to the immoderate passion as I've grown older. Where I used to seek love, now I am content to appreciate what I already have and augment it.

I could wish that I had been more discriminating as a young man and reserved my affections for people that were really virtuous. But what young man ever does that?
I'm at least fortunate that I found a beautiful and virtuous partner in my late twenties, with the bloom of youth still upon me. I would not swap my partner for any of the selfish bastards that I knew before.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Monday, November 8, 2010

FOX News, Bastion of Ignorance

FOX News and the Republicans have taken Obama to task for visiting India. They complain that the visit costs too much. Such nit-picking, I can't understand. Hate the President at all costs, even to the detriment of the United States itself?

India is important. It holds a large chunk of the human population on the planet Earth. It is a growing power--growing in wealth as well as population. It also happens to be a republic, unlike some of our other "friends." I say visit India and reassure our friend that the U.S. remains a friend. It is worth doing at least once every Presidency. There are diplomatic motives, but an ever stronger incentive is the influence Obama will have upon young Indians. Obama's a charmer and plays well to public opinion everywhere he goes. It helps that he's not white and that he's from a different party than Bush. We need such a man traveling to countries around the world to heal some of the wounds sown by the previous Administration.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Pope and The Associated Press

The Pope has taken the opportunity to chide Spain for moving in the direction of greater individual liberty. Meanwhile, the mainstream media, as usual, has lavished praise upon the dictator of the Catholic Church.

"Pope defends family as Spanish gays hold 'kiss-in'" reads a headline by The Associated Press. This headline is misleading. It portrays the family as being under attack by Spanish gays. Oh dear! And only the poor old Pope is defending the family! Meanwhile, those bad Spanish gays are holding a mysterious 'kiss-in.'

What nonsense. The family is not under attack by anyone. Do not gays have families? Gays do not arrive from outer space on a UFO. At least I did not. I had a mother and father as well as siblings. I have a partner and two cats that I love very much. Will the Pope defend my family? Or is my family not worth anything to him?

A more accurate headline would read,

"Pope speaks in favor of oppressive laws against gays."

I don't know why the Pope speaks with ignorance, but perhaps his misspent boyhood among the Nazi Youth is to blame. The best that can be said about the present Pope is that he seems milder than his Nazi teachers, friends and mentors. He was able to overcome some, though not all, of their instructions.

As for the AP reporter that penned the headline, he should be asked why he is editorializing in what is supposed to be a factual report.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Specialized Batch File

This batch is of limited use, but I am archiving it here because there may be code snippets that may be cannibalized in the future for other batch files.

@echo off
set error=0
if exist parse.txt del parse.txt
dir "\newdir" /b /a-d > temp.txt
if not exist temp.txt echo No files found!
if not exist temp.txt pause
if not exist temp.txt exit
echo Temporary file has been created.

rem -----------------------------------------------------
rem The following FOR statement must be one line, not two
rem (Beware of Blogger's word wrap.)
rem -----------------------------------------------------
FOR /F "usebackq tokens=* delims=" %%a in (temp.txt) DO call :process "%%a"
rem -----------------------------------------------------
echo Alas, We Have Reached The End.
echo Errors: %error%

rem echo 1 %1 2 %2 3 %3 4 %4 5 %5
rem pause

set VAR1=%1
rem Trim quotes
for /f "useback tokens=*" %%a in ('%VAR1%') do set VAR1=%%~a
rem echo VAR1=%VAR1%

rem determine length of filename. if less than five, skip.
set filename=%VAR1%
set #=%filename%
set length=0
if defined # set #=%#:~1%
if defined # set /A length += 1
if defined # goto loop
rem if %my-number% gtr 10
rem echo %filename% has a length of %length%
if %length% lss 5 echo skipping %filename%!
if %length% lss 5 goto :EOF

echo filename=%filename%
rem pause
if not exist "pictext\%filename%" echo ******************************************where is pictext\%filename% ?
if not exist "pictext\%filename%" set /A error+=1
if not exist "pictext\%filename%" echo %2,%3,%4
if not exist "pictext\%filename%" pause
if not exist "pictext\%filename%" goto :EOF

if not exist "trees\%filename%" echo %filename% not found in trees!
if not exist "trees\%filename%" pause
if not exist "trees\%filename%" goto :EOF

rem set caption=
rem FOR /F "usebackq tokens=* delims=" %%a in ("pictext\%filename%") do set caption=%%a
rem set /p caption=<"pictext\%filename%"
type "pictext\%filename%" >> parse.txt
rem echo %caption%@%filename%
echo @%filename%>>parse.txt
goto :EOF
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Thursday, November 4, 2010

On Being Liberal

I had attained a high level of competence in one profession, only to cede my status and position in order to try something new. Now I am at the bottom again, struggling upward. Humility is a new feeling. I think I like it. Pride is such a burden.

I've always liked a change in routine and detested monotonous routines. I like change more than most people. I think that's why I'm liberal. I see possibilities where other people might see insurmountable problems.

The recent election results hints at a conservative resurgence in the country. I have never seen so many signs for conservative Republican candidates. I don't know why so many people seem conservative in the U.S. I think it has to do with religion mostly, particularly the fact that minority Protestant denominations flocked to the new world in large numbers over the past four hundred years.

I also do not understand why these religious people seem to think the Republicans are on God's side. That seems naive to me. In reality, Republicans are on the side of big money all the time. They serve their rich masters with unwavering loyalty. I realize that the same can be said for some of the Democrats, but not all of the Democrats. Also, the Democrats are willing to listen to workers. They have to, in order to survive, because workers are their core constituency. Republicans do not listen to, and do not care about workers. They are completely at the bidding of the owners of capital. Does money equate to holiness nowadays? Some churches actually preach this. The more money you have, the closer you are to God. I wish Jesus would return, if only for the chance of a rebuttal!

I remember once a conservative fundamentalist contrasted the reproduction rates of conservatives with liberals. He noted that "my side" is being out-bred and will therefore become extinct. Well, that should have happened a long time ago. Besides, where did all the liberals come from in the first place? Is one to believe in spontaneous generation? Or did liberals derive from conservatives? Perhaps conservatives derived from liberals in some cases as well. This is all very confusing, and I haven't a shred of evidence either. Oh well, neither did he!

It is true that most liberals I know do not tend to have big families, but I also know many conservatives that have no children at all. I have not taken a census, but my guess would be that the rates of reproduction are approximately even. I may be mistaken, but I think most people these days, whatever their politics, have one or two kids. The reason they don't have more is that they just don't have the time and energy. Each parent tends to work a full-time job these days, and there's only so much time left for parenting.

Should liberals fear their side being outnumbered? That is a typical conservative right-wing way of thinking. Winning or losing. Winning or losing are not serious alternatives. I won't say it doesn't matter, only that the question does not rise to the philosophical or ethical level of discussion. So what if liberals dwindle in number? Then a section of the conservatives will become the new liberals. And so it will go, perhaps. There will always be political conflicts of some kind or another. Perhaps it is enough that both liberals and conservatives agree on democracy, and neither side seems to want a monarchy.

In Merry Olde Englande of the 1660's, the liberals were the religious zealots. The conservatives were the monarchists. Isn't that confusing? The liberals wanted more democracy. The conservatives, less. The liberals won, for a time, and then the conservatives regained some of their power. And so it went.

Some of the sillier issues that have arisen in politics concerned the squabbling between Catholics and Protestants in many different countries in Europe over the centuries. I am glad the two sides have learned to get along for the most part.

The liberal and conservative divide is misleading. In reality, most conservatives today would have been considered liberal half a century ago. Remember, racism was a core component of conservatism until recently. Homophobia went along for the ride. Women were supposed to stay in the kitchen and out of the workplace. Conservatives of the past were even opposed to magazines like Playboy. In Kentucky, a victorious conservative candidate (a man!) posed nude for Playgirl, or some such magazine (I forget which). One must take the "conservative" and "liberal" labels with a grain of salt. Liberals are ahead of their time. Conservatives haven't caught up yet.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Take on the 2010 Elections

Reason.tv said it best. 2010's election proves that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments
techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions