Appeals to authority, parental intervention, and a sense of justice exist across species — at least, among mammals.
“Generations of slavery and discrimination make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower classes.”
Do you agree with that statement? If not, you harbor resentment toward blacks.
That is the premise, not the conclusion, of a recent study by three political scientists. As reported by James Goodman in the October 6, 2013 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the study’s conclusions seem indisputable. I question its premise. I ask whether “resentment” was the best or right thing to measure; whether this criterion statement was the best or right way to measure it; whether the criterion statement is factual, and if so, whether it matters.
Continue reading My homeless self: White “resentment” and black power
… when first we practice to deceive.
I have had direct contact with trials involving Edward Smith, Jr. in the past, such that his antics here come to me as no surprise.
The question I ask is whether it’s worth it to tell the truth, and what happens when we don’t.
[To be continued …]
(Originally posted 05/09/12 at Trojan Horse Productions.)
———— ♦ ————
A new page has appeared at The Homeless Blogger: “Choose your name.”
One can also take a sneak peek at the related post scheduled for release 2014-03-12, “What’s in a name?”
(Originally posted 01/01/14.)
talk show host, on air talent, radio talk show, the homeless blogger
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Monday, I lived my life the whole day the way I’ve always said one should, consistent with The Way of Peace. This was an accomplishment, and has been a long time coming. At bedtime, I was so proud of myself, I fully expected to be rewarded with a pleasant dream.
That didn’t happen.
The dream I did have was all about concepts, and wasn’t pleasant. It said, “Conservatism is tight; liberalism is loose.” It said I am currently being tight. I didn’t like being told that, and I didn’t like the fact that it was so.
Not because I have anything against conservatism. Though I tend in a more liberal direction, conservatism and liberalism are both largely immaterial to me.
But I would wind up pondering a lot, Tuesday, about how I would rather be.
It came to me that liberalism is like an open palm — one is ready to give someone something, or to accept something — whereas conservatism is like a closed fist. The conservative wants to keep what she or he has, and isn’t interested in accepting any handouts.
Now, it’s not that one is right and the other wrong. In life, both are necessary. And that insight opened up a different point of view.
That explains much more than I supposed.
The Qabala says there are ten sephirot, or dimensions, through which the Life Force may express itself. Two that are normally juxtaposed are Chesed, or Loving-kindness, and Gevurah, or Severity. These correspond well to the open palm, on the one hand, and the closed fist, on the other, respectively. The question is not choosing one over the other, but holding the two in balance; for in life, we need both.
One is not right and the other wrong; instead, each one has its own “good” or light and “evil” or dark potentialities. A “dark” potentiality of Loving-kindness is permissiveness, which can lead to a complete loss of order in society. Some people keep their hands out all the time, and that’s not good. A “dark” potentiality of Severity is that one may use the closed fist to beat up on oneself or others, to engage in tyranny or extortion.
Severity pertains less to the imposition of order than to the restoration of order (Hebrew: Tikkun) after disruption occurs. Chesed will express itself in making and serving a meal — but also in making a mess. Gevurah expresses itself in washing the dishes.
And taking out trash.
And picking up litter.
It pertains to the establishment of social norms, and to encouraging people to conform to those norms. For example, pee and poop belong in the toilet bowl, not on the toilet seat or on the floor. But when I worked at City Hall, it was clear that many men haven’t learned this.
Some social norms express themselves as laws. Thus all police activity expresses Gervurah — both its use and its abuse.(*)
But a complete lack of Gervurah is equally devastating.
It is telling that the concept of accountability is controversial among black Americans. Dez Bryant’s April 2017 remarks got scant attention in the mainstream press, but lots of pushback from the only black voices America is allowed to hear. D. L. Hughley said, “There’s no such thing as black-on-black crime.” Stephen A. Smith questioned Bryant’s blackness. The ideal of a black world without norms manifests in the murders of Carter Scott , Chanetta Powell and Charmaine Wilson.
Chesed and Gervurah in balance would be like a parent who corrects her or his child with love. We don’t have many good models for this. The current American correctional system is not, in fact, about correction, but retaliation. Likewise, the God portrayed in the Book of Numbers in the Bible does not correct, but retaliates. But putting the toys back in the toybox does not require scolding. Putting an errant object back in its right place does not require anger. Love can be constant.
That’s how I want to be.
(*)(The auric color of Gevurah is blue, which is why police wear blue uniforms. The color of compassion is green, so the Green Party is so named. But green is also the color of envy.)
Reasons to seek prosperity
At any given moment, it may help me to have an actual reason to seek prosperity. As my moods and POV change from day to day, however, a reason that I may have believed in one day, may not be credible the next: “I’m not feelin’ it.” So I may do well to have several reasons, different ones of which may be credible on different days. Continue reading Reasons to seek prosperity
This article by Nick Morrison originally appeared in Forbes on 11/30/16, but for some reason is almost impossible to access now. I reproduce here below the cached version; if there are legal repercussions, I’ll face them when the time comes.
By The Time They Start School, For Some Children It’s Already Too Late
(A message I sent family on 26 April 2006.)
Disease, or sin?
To the best of my knowledge, the “disease theory of alcoholism” began with Dr. Robert Silkworth, at the time of St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio, coincident with the beginnings of A.A. “Dr. Bob” referred to the condition as an “allergy”; for whatever reason, these folks’ bodies respond to this substance differently than others’ do.
This theory and its ramifications are, today, largely taken for granted throughout the scientific world. Whatever the disease’s cause, behavioral strategies are needed, too, if the subject is to manage the disease and live a normal life. The same is just as true of diabetes or near-sightedness or hay fever.
The competing view, that drinking problems reflect sin or some kind of moral deficiency, still has its grip on the popular mind. The predicaments that problem drinkers create for themselves and for others, are bad enough in and of themselves without the added burden of this stigma. My late father insisted until his last lucid day, that it was all a question of “will power.” I remember visiting Mom at home sometime prior to 1990, and finding on the bookshelf different books by Hazen G. Werner, an Ohio Methodist bishop whom my father fervently admired, and finding certain passages that my father had marked wherein the author discounted the disease theory and blamed it all instead on, as it were, sin. I shook my head at the untold, needless damage such words do.
Continue reading Alcoholism basics
But for the racial aspect, the Trayvon Martin case would not be noticed.
I admit being less concerned about him than about the dozens of other teens who are gunned down every month across the country for no better reason and by people of their own race. Someone will object that a black perpetrator would have been arrested. I answer that an arrest and prison term won’t bring back the dead.
talk show host, on air talent, talk radio, the homeless blogger
Transcribed from my diary for Sunday 2017-03-12, for now I am intentionally leaving this unfinished.
Rough day at BK. I may not have the guts to recall and tell it all. But behind it I feel certain of (1) what Jesus did among the poor, and (2) what my task is at the shelter, and what it takes for me to leave. (3) I have suspected for some time that the real means of wealth creation, of upward mobility, is different from anything we have ever imagined. I have a notion of what it may be, and enough confidence in it to act on it, but it’s still very hard to believe.
The question is whether these certainties are enough to overcome my fear of uncertainty, my fear of the unknown.