Monthly Archives: December 2013

* Fusion; Scruffy people in commercials; The most bizarre Xmas ever

George F. Will’s 12/21/13 column, “A dazzling bright future dawns in New Jersey,” is an infomercial for a fusion energy project.

Two points:

“Because of its large scale and long time horizon, the fusion project is a perfect example of a public good the private sector cannot pursue and the public sector should not slight.”

Whatever became of the concept of venture capital?

Continue reading * Fusion; Scruffy people in commercials; The most bizarre Xmas ever

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* Nancy Lanza, a mother tragic and infuriating

PLEASE READ THE COMMENTS!


Nancy Lanza, a mother tragic and infuriating

When I saw the TV news segment on the official report a few nights ago, I tried to recall what had become of the mother.

Oh, yes.  He killed her first.

I have to believe there were resources and expertise available that she did not avail herself of, in her decades of dealing with this difficult child.

I still do not understand those who oppose any limits at all on how many guns a person can own.

I strongly suspect karma plays a big role in what happened.

Ultimately, she shares culpability.

Recall that this is the story that made most of us aware of the term “crisis actors.”

Related: Conspiracy Theorists:  America’s Lost Sheep?

(Reblogged 08/03/17.)

* Jesus: born homeless

At Christmas, Christians celebrate the event in which they say God became a human being.

Without this event, according to traditional Christianity, there would be no salvation, and no hope for you and me.

What is called “incarnational theology” tells us that Jesus’ power to save and competence to save both derive from the incarnation — God’s having become a human being.

By virtue of the incarnation, God obtained first-hand experience of everything we human beings have to deal with — all the trials and tribulations we go through from day to day.  In Jesus, God came face to face with physical suffering, pain, bitter cold and burning heat; hunger, anger, lust and love.   The Bible does not tell us all the details of Jesus’ life, but I am convinced he went through it all.  There is no circumstance you can come into, that he hasn’t faced.  Thus he can be present to you, no matter what your circumstances.

In the spiritual (emotional) world also, there is nowhere Jesus hasn’t been.  He can be present to you no matter where you “go” emotionally.

God is with you and for you at all times.

Believe it.

(Reblogged 12/25/17.)

* Aromatherapy, Millet and Celebrities

In the past, I’ve seen many print ads that use the word “aromatherapy.” They seemed to me only to be selling fragrances, and I didn’t see the point of using that word.

Light endorses the Bach Flower Remedies. I’m skeptical.

Continue reading * Aromatherapy, Millet and Celebrities

o Jacob’s Ladder 12/21/13

Prayer for myself often takes the form of imagining myself climbing up a ladder out of a pit, the pit being my current circumstances of poverty and homelessness. Getting out at the top represents a return to the normal life of the American mainstream. I didn’t start with a ladder in there, but I decided to add one to symbolize the various structures and tools that others have made available to me — and eliminate the possibility of clawing at loose earth.

Here begins a list of “rungs” on the ladder that I’ve become aware I need to “overcome.” Each one takes effort, exertion, to get over. I will update this list from time to time as I learn of others.

1. Fear of the unknown. See From my diary: Learning to pray.
2. Jealousy of others who seem to be prospering more quickly than I am. Details here.
3. Times of despair. I guess, from time to time, they’ll happen. Details here.
4. Incidents of utter selfishness. Details here.
5. Moments of unusual hardship and sacrifice. Details here.
6. Cut loose the losers. Details here.
7. Smoking.  See posts tagged “Smoking”.
8. Shame.  See “(3) Baby steps.”
9. Attributions of arrogance, selfishness and greed. Continue reading o Jacob’s Ladder 12/21/13

* The New Age is a lot of hooey

(Originally published 09/06/13 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 07/13/17.)

I keep telling them not to let guys sit on the bench in the shower buck naked.

They don’t listen.

So again, Friday night 08/30/13, when I went to put my stuff on the bench, here was this heavy brown smudge.  I carefully avoided it, but I told the peacekeeper, Philip, since he has access to gloves, rags and bleach, and I don’t.  He was texting.

When I came out of the shower to dry off and dress, the smudge was still there.  Philip was still texting.

This is a perfect example of why I think the New Age is just so much hooey. There is work to do here and now.  That it may not all be pleasant doesn’t change the fact: there is work to do here and now.

HOW IT HAPPENS

The ecliptic is a great circle in the sky along which the Sun, moon and planets all move.  All eclipses occur along this line; thus the name.  The constellations of the Zodiac are lined up along this circle as well.

Although the Sun is on the ecliptic at all times, every day it moves a bit westward along the ecliptic, almost but not quite completing a full circle once every year.  The degree as a unit of measure for angles, came to be as ancient astronomers sought to plot this motion — 360 degrees makes a full circle, just as 365¼ days make a full year.  The Sun moves about one degree westward along the ecliptic each day.

The Sun’s position on the first day of spring is called the “equinoctial point.”  Because the Sun does not quite complete a full circle along the ecliptic in a year, the equinoctial point moves very gradually eastward along the ecliptic, completing a full circle every 25,800 years.  The equinoctial point passes through each constellation of the Zodiac in an average of 2,150 years.

Right now, the equinoctial point, where the Sun is on the first day of spring, is in Aquarius. Thus we are said to currently be in “the Age of Aquarius.”  Since this began only a few years ago, it is being called the “New Age.”  Immediately previous to this was the Age of Pisces (the Fishes), which began circa 30 CE; previous to that was the Age of Aries (the Ram), which began circa 1400 BCE.  It is notable that at the dawn of the Age of Pisces, the New Testament focused on twelve fishermen (Matthew 14:19); and that at the dawn of the Age of Aries, the Bible focused on twelve shepherds (Genesis 46:32).

WEATHER FORECAST

The most familiar expression of the promises that have been made concerning this “New Age,” is in the lyrics of the opening song of the 1967 musical Hair:

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius …

Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind’s true liberation

I have what I feel are good reasons to believe in something like astrology. But as to all this “New Age” stuff, I have my doubts.

SKEPTICISM

On the one hand, I see no evidence that it’s going to happen.

The Age of Aquarius so far seems to me no different from the Age of Pisces before it, nor from the Age of Aries before that.  Human behavior hasn’t changed in the last 10 years, or 50, or 100, or 500, nor 1000.

From the Bible: ca. 1000 BCE, David “defeated the Moabites and, making them lie down on the ground, measured them off with a cord; he measured two lengths of cord for those who were to be put to death, and one length for those who were to be spared. *** [H]e killed eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.” (2 Samuel 8:2,13)

Was that age more brutal than our own?

Pol Pot’s “killing fields,” the genocide in Rwanda, “ethnic cleansing” of Darfur, activities of Charles Taylor, massacre at Srebrenica, and 9/11 were all New Age events.

On the other hand, to lose oneself in dreams of an inevitable wonderful future is the antithesis of presence.  It does not empower one to do the work that must be done here and now; not to deal with an abusive boss, a cold spouse, a rebellious child, a terminal illness.  It will not lift me out of homelessness or joblessness.

The task I face most consistently right now is to see God’s image in my neighbor, who in my current context is disproportionately likely to be ugly, filthy, addicted, deranged, dependent or criminal.  I cannot wait for a time when my neighbors will all be beautiful; I must do it now.  This is my task, without any reference to any New Age.

Don’t get me wrong.  The future has my permission to be just as glorious as it may choose.  Right now, however, someone needs to clean the shower bench.

on air talent, talk show host, talk radio, the homeless blogger

o Jacob’s Ladder 12/14/13

Prayer for myself often takes the form of imagining myself climbing up a ladder out of a pit, the pit being my current circumstances of poverty and homelessness. Getting out at the top represents a return to the normal life of the American mainstream. I didn’t start with a ladder in there, but I decided to add one to symbolize the various structures and tools that others have made available to me — and eliminate the possibility of clawing at loose earth.

Here begins a list of “rungs” on the ladder that I’ve become aware I need to “overcome.” Each one takes effort, exertion, to get over. I will update this list from time to time as I learn of others.

1. Fear of the unknown. See From my diary: Learning to pray.
2. Jealousy of others who seem to be prospering more quickly than I am. Details here.
3. Times of despair. I guess, from time to time, they’ll happen. Details here.
4. Incidents of utter selfishness. Details here.
5. Moments of unusual hardship and sacrifice. Details here.
6. Cut loose the losers. Details here.
7. Smoking.  See posts tagged “Smoking”.
 8. Shame.  See “(3) Baby steps.”

on air talent, talk show host, talk radio, the homeless blogger

* The Rich and the Rest of Us

(Originally posted 04/18/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 07/06/17.)

From a flyer announcing a presentation tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Enoch Pratt Free Library:

Record unemployment and rampant corporate greed, empty houses but homeless families, dwindling opportunitites in a paralyzed nation — these are the realities of America, land of the free and home of the new middle-class poor.

In The Rich and the Rest of Us, award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West, one of the nation’s leading public intellectuals, take on the “p” word — poverty. They challenge all Americans to re-examine their assumptions about poverty in America — what it is and how to eradicate it.

I cannot attend that presentation, even if I wanted to, since as of 3:00 p.m. I must head back to the shelter to stay in for the night.

I know little about Cornel West and nothing about Tavis Smiley, but I do know something about poverty. I do not believe it can be eradicated. Thus any analysis that supposes that it can, is mistaken at its core.

talk show host, on air talent, talk radio, the homeless blogger