Sunday, July 29, 2012

Philosophy and Us

When I write something here, I generally know what to expect whether it will be liked and whether it will get comments (not to say there's never a surprise). When it goes against the grain or makes readers uncomfortable, they are too polite to say anything (I have a very nice group of readers), but I can feel the energy. And I write it anyway because I am expressing something that matters to me. Most of my expectations regarding readers comes from my feeling I kind of know those who comment here-- whether we have met for real or not.  I 'get' from where they are coming.  I think they also 'get' me and are not surprised that now and then we will disagree.

In a lot of ways I like that knowledge. I like knowing when I visit their blogs also more or less what kind of viewpoint I will find. This is true whether that writer presents a view of their own philosophy of life or not.  Philosophy governs a lot of how we operate, and it doesn't require that it be openly discussed for it to show up in words and actions. Personally I think that's good.

Maybe being a writer, I am more aware of these nuances of philosophy than others might be. Although I think it does matter for life, for others it isn't probably as necessary. For me, it's life blood.

This week because I was curious about the philosophy behind the two films that came before the Colorado theater shootings, I watched the first of that trilogy, Batman Begins, and thought that's not so bad as I was expecting. A lot of life philosophy in it even if not all positive. Right off, I admit I have never been a big Batman fan although I did enjoy it when Michael Keaton played him. 

After watching that one, I came across The Dark Knight at a cheap price for a Blu-ray and bought that one. It was a film I definitely had never figured I'd see because I had seen photos of Heath Ledger playing The Joker, and I didn't want any part of it. It seemed evil personified, and I don't go out of my way to experience anything like it.

The thing is the philosophy in the first one was a bit vague. Bruce Wayne really didn't have a handle on right and wrong (as I saw it). He knew wrong when he saw it but didn't know what to do about it. It was his weakness as that villain saw it. That villain got it (played by Liam Neesom, yum) with a personally consistent philosophy for life even if you and I would be horrified by what it was.

One key point about a consistent philosophy of life. It doesn't have to be positive or good. It just has to be steady, constant, and what that person lives by. A philosophy of life can be detrimental and destructive to self and others which is why I say consistent not healthy. Of course, for the most part whether that philosophy is healthy is mostly subjective as it varies a lot from culture to culture and religion to religion.

The second film, The Dark Knight was very disturbing, and I will not keep that one. I'll probably though sell it not destroy it because it wasn't evil but what it presented was more complex.

Unfortunately the only one with a solid philosophy of life in Dark Knight (and I do mean only one) was The Joker. Now it wasn't a good one for society or even himself but he got it for what he believed and he lived it.

Bruce Wayne though, he did not and that was what made it a disappointing film. Batman, as a supposed hero, blew it time after a time for having a vague sense of goals, but no clear idea (at all) how to go about attaining them. In fact some of his ideas were outright wrong (again in my opinion).

Admittedly, I like my serious films to be tidy where at the end you have this feeling of wisdom been shown. Not so with that one. It was very disturbing all the way through with NO reward for having taken the time to watch it. Lots of action, great cast, and maybe for a lot of people that made up for the failure in the hero. Possibly they forgave him because he meant well. Or maybe that's why so many wanted to see the third one to get that resolution.

The philosophy of the Joker, a complete psychopath, was that humans are weak and destructive, selfish and uncaring of others. He set up scenarios to illustrate that, to play with other humans and did it just for his own amusement. Now whether his philosophy regarding human behavior was solid and sustainable, well who knows as a movie is like a book. It's manipulated by its creators. Creators enjoy playing around with solutions and results, and I had the feeling not only The Joker did that in the second of this trilogy.

Whenever the director changed what might have actually been human nature, it fouled up The Joker. He simply could not assimilate it because it went against his own life philosophy. So The Joker did stay consistent at least to his own philosophy even if nobody else did. It led to his demise.

Some have wondered if the Colorado shooter, because he called himself The Joker, had been influenced by the films. I don't personally think so-- unless it was the joy of being a psychopath or fascination with destruction. I don't think he 'got' what they were even about and he didn't wait to see the third to find out what the eventual resolution would be and whether Bruce Wayne could come up with a sustainable life philosophy.

The actions of the humans though in the theater that night, illustrated that anybody who bases their own philosophy on thinking they can always predict human responses-- didn't get it either. We saw the best and worst of it in the stories that have come out.

Unfortunately I really don't think a lot of people think enough about philosophy; and the kind of readers I believe I mostly have here, who are living a philosophy with which they feel it fits life, people who live aware lives, I think that's rarer than it should be.

Schools used to do more to teach different sorts of life philosophies and let the students look at the results to see what works. I have a feeling there is less and less of that. Too often a philosophy of life comes from a religion and frankly we see how consistently that works with Mitt Romney...

After I had written this, I did a little search to find out what others had come up with regarding this latest Batman trilogy and what they believed it taught philosophically. I thought this one was worth putting a link.

Masked Morality Batman Trilogy

Photos from the gravel road alongside our land
of wildflowers-- although some might call them weeds

Friday, July 27, 2012

Philosophy and life

This topic is something I wrote for my blog on writing. Sometimes something there though seems apropos for here which requires some tweaking. After writing on evil, this seemed to follow along-- our own life philosophy and how it impacts decisions and actions.

There I was discussing how philosophy can impact writing and be used within the story as well as a part of character development. Here it's about our lives, our choices, our decisions, about basically anything we do from creative work to living life to voting. I honestly believe having a solid philosophy of life improves everything. It allows for quick decisions and gives us confidence when we step out on those choices.

Without a personal life philosophy, we will be unwilling or able to take a stand on anything. We will be one of those who says we can't decide or who believes assume is a bad word. I 'assume' we then will have to let others decide what is okay or not-- others wiser than ourselves?
If our philosophy of life has come from say a religion, then we better find it compatible with how we actually live and our own set of values  for the times when the rubber hits the road. If not, we will find ourselves screwed time and again. When we realize how we live doesn't fit that religion, then it's time to rethink the religion as I think a lot of religious people run into this. They give lip service to something but when a problem arises, they find it wasn't really their inner creed.

Whether someone thinks about what their own philosophy is or just lives it, whether they can express it in words, I don't think that's so important. What is important is to have one, and it will make all choices easier. The hard work was done. 

I am not suggesting which philosophy you should adopt. I am saying that having one that works for your own life and in your culture is important. 

The following all appeared first on the topic of writing books, but it has a lot of my own life philosophy in it. I don't suggest you adopt mine. I suggest you be sure you have one of your own. 


phi·los·o·phy  (f-ls-f)
n. pl. phi·los·o·phies
1. Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline.
2. Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.
3. A system of thought based on or involving such inquiry: the philosophy of Hume.
4. The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs.
5. The disciplines presented in university curriculums of science and the liberal arts, except medicine, law, and theology.
6. The discipline comprising logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology.
7. A set of ideas or beliefs relating to a particular field or activity; an underlying theory: an original philosophy of advertising.
8. A system of values by which one lives: has an unusual philosophy of life.

Although I have read a lot of books (and enjoyed them) with no clear philosophy of life in their plots, it's not what I like to write. Philosophy has been a major interest of mine from as far back as I can remember. Why do we do what we do? What would be better? If we follow this path, where will it lead?

Even an action story set into the world of rodeo, like Luck of the Draw, can have a philosophy of life within its pages.  When men and women live life on the edge, might they not even more than others, stop sometimes to consider what makes it worthwhile? Well, not all of them and that's why a book has different characters to juxtaposition ideas with how they are lived.

Frankly I'd find it boring to write any other way. Sure a writer can put together a plot with some characters, have this and that happen, but in the end-- why? I like to come up with an interesting plot, set of problems, intriguing characters, good love story, but put within ideas regarding life and how we benefit (or not) from certain actions. The problems in that story will determine the themes of the philosophy.

This kind of writing doesn't have to come out like a lecture. It just requires a few characters that think about more than making money, physically surviving, having sex, or finding adventure. IF the characters are also looking for meaning in their own lives then it's not hard to find places to put that into the book.

It's not only not hard but it's extremely rewarding as a way of writing. For me, philosophy belongs in fiction.

Excerpt from Luck of the Draw:
She remembered then a quote by Tagore, one she’d memorized. ‘Let my love like sunlight surround you and yet give you illumined freedom.’  The words fit this situation for what it’d be like if she loved Billy.
With some man, someday, she’d learn to love that way. Love but don’t hold too tight. Even if she had thought she loved Billy, he’d not have wanted such words from her, not now. She would though share it with Jean someday that she knew she had been right. Jean might blame herself for the accident, but she would be wrong to do so. Nick had made his own choice.
If she had loved Billy, she wouldn’t let her love box him in, try to change him into something he wasn’t. She would not let love do that to her either. This wasn’t the right time for such words to Jean or Billy. It was how she wanted to live, but the knowledge was new to her. She had to live with it for awhile to be sure she could really follow that road.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Does evil exist?

Once in awhile I feel I should repeat what should be obvious all the time with this blog-- it's about my opinion.  Regarding this particular issue, I am not a doctor, seminary graduate, or trained professional in the mental health field. I am also very open to others posting opinions that differ. 

Real discussions, when politely done, come out of such open discussions and differences as issues are explored from various angles. I mention this here because the following is one of the issues that can excite passion as it looks at religion as well as human behavior.
Does evil exist? If it does, how can we explain it?

You can find dictionary definitions to evil but they don't really explain the primal feeling that we experience at hearing the word. Maybe we cannot explain and because we cannot, many people want to say evil does not exist. They do not like to hear the word used. Some of that is because of how it has been misused in the past. Religions have jumped on the word as a way to attack anybody who is against their religion. Evil has justified more evil.

The thing is, for me, even knowing some would say I am being judgmental to use the word, there is no other way to explain certain actions. It's not hard to see how early man came up with mythical demons and why religions created a Satanic type figure. If we cannot understand how men can do evil things, then we have to make there be a reason. The Devil cuts it when looking at our fellow man does not.

Evil is there; and if we don't name it that, we call it something else. The thing is what explains it or can we? When something seems so bad, so feckless, so inhuman, so mean, so horrible, the usual words simply don't cut it.

Religions provided what mankind needed-- a personification of evil. Man needed it because frankly evil is out there and can be seen. What we see, we would like to understand and control. Christianity named it Satan and gave control of it to Jesus whose protection man could then utilize through prayer and proper living.

Because of religious misuse of the word evil for witch burnings and wars, many rebel at even hearing it. If something is defined as evil, what comes next?

Most recently we had an example of something I would call evil with the shootings in Colorado. It's not the first time I've seen such a tragic happening and won't be the last no matter what we do (if anything) about this one. Each time it is beyond understanding. Evil describes it, but doesn't fix it or even necessarily help us figure out why it happened as there can be many ingredients.

We see personifications of evil with serial killers also. It's when something is so bad that we simply cannot grasp how anyone could do it. The Holocaust certainly qualified to anyone willing to use the word.

So what happened in Colorado was simply evil in my mind. Plain out evil. But it's not that simple and never has been with evil as I don't think its source is always the same.

I think there is evil done by perfectly sane people. They are those who are sociopaths with no sense or rules nor compassion for others. It is all about what pleases them.

I also think sometimes it comes out of something else especially when it's a horrible act carried out by a young person, who is at the perfect age for the onset of schizophrenia, a little understood disease and one that often is hidden by those with it. Does it being named a disease mean there should be no consequences for the deed? Not in my mind.

If you have had much experience with people who have schizophrenia, you know one thing, most don't want treatment. They hear voices. They see visions. They don't see the reality everybody else does, and as long as possible, they hide their own reality. If they are found out, they hate the medicines that can control it because of their side effects.

Some of them have a god complex and feel those visions (evil or benign) are a sign they are special. For many of the schizophrenics, who are not dangerous, it is difficult for family and friends, but it doesn't endanger anyone except maybe themselves. Those voices, those visions can be benign in a sense, but they can also make a normal life nearly impossible as the disease takes more and more control over their ability to function.

Do we, as a society, have to force them to take the medicines that will allow them to conform to our standards if they hurt nobody else? But what about when they have the potential to do just that? What about the 10% of schizophrenics where it can turn violent?  Is there a way to find the potentially dangerous ones, and then do something about it? When they do turn to bad, there is only one word that I can think of for what comes next-- evil.

We are already hearing from those who want to understand what happened using religious justifications. [Shooting result of ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs]  So no church goer ever has schizophrenia or does something evil? Surely he knows better but he's counting on votes from those who don't, I guess.  We also heard from the ones who say they were protected from the carnage by their god. Guess that means the ones who died were meant to die?

The guy who killed Trayvon Martin has now gone on an interview program to declare it was all god's plan. I am not sure how he meant that other than it would sound good to those who think like the paragraph above. I won't say that shooter in Florida was evil. He was certainly misguided and ruined his own life along with taking that of another's. I also believe serial killers and mass murderers can be not only evil but sane. They aren't all schizophrenic.

And whether the Colorado killer is schizophrenic, only experts can probably identify and with someone who knows a lot about the illness, faking it wouldn't be impossible. To me a dangerous schizophrenic, who has committed such an act, should never be out of prison regardless of the diagnosis. He could have gone to a doctor and been taking medicines to control the symptoms-- if he had chosen to do so.

So mentally ill or not, what do we do about evil? One thing is face up to the word. Another is be more proactive where it comes to mental illness. We don't deal with it. It's not evil to be mentally ill. It's evil what some might do without treatment. Certain religious sects would still call it possession by the devil.

Evil has been in mankind all along. It was feared in cultures like the Native Americans where they often banished or killed someone who was deranged. It is feared for good reason. But when we don't face it, we are not only dooming many innocents to face its wrath with no protection but also the one suffering from it when today there are drugs that can help control it before it goes "postal".

I know there is much fear of over-diagnosing, of looking over everyone's shoulders for some reason to lock them up. That concern has been with good reason too. But we are supposed to be a more advanced society and yet it looks as though we wait for it to strike and then it's too late for the victims.

Most of these mass murderers, not all, have been shown to be worrisome before the slaughter. In the case of this young man, he left his home zone. He kept to himself. He was hiding something because he didn't want to be found out. He was capable of plotting his massacre. Does he not have accountability even if he's proven to have that disease-- especially when he did know what it was.

Ronald Reagan, the prince of the right wing, had a lot to do with how we treat mental illness when he put so many out on the street. Our culture has put rules in place that even families can't react until something violent has happened. Religion also has accountability when it named it possession by the devil. Science has some answers but more could be done if we faced it as we do an illness like diabetes without judgment unless/until it commits an act that goes beyond the pale. When that happens, we lost. That doesn't mean we should quit trying to fix it before disaster strikes.

Before we can do something about a problem, we need to define it, try to understand it, name it. Being willing to call out evil when we see it is a start. If that word doesn't work for you, what does?

Pre-publish update: After I had written this, I came across an excellent piece on mental illness and why don't we do something before the shooting (or bombs or knives or...) starts. That's the question I am asking and frustratedly heard Chris Matthews try to justify not looking at people for this kind of problem as it would infringe on their freedoms. Seriously doesn't he get it that another life was lost that night in the theater and all the other times-- the killer's. We have to get more proactive on this in a positive and effective way.  Will we? I wish I believed we would. It's commonsense but frankly that's in short supply these days.

Monday, July 23, 2012

gun control as a solution?

My suggestion for a first step on stopping the kind of mass carnage we just saw in Colorado was to ban assault rifles-- at the least reinstate the ban Clinton got passed in 1994 which expired in 2004. It was an attempt to limit access to the kind of rapid fire weapons and magazines developed for military use. These are weapons only intended to kill other humans. They are not needed for home defense. You can't use them to hunt.

The right wing claims such ownership is a Constitutional right which if anybody reads the Second Amendment, they can see says no such thing. Do you see the right to have cannons or any specific weapon?
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Some say militia means our national guard and the second part of the statement doesn't mean our own right to have guns, but to me, that's not a logical interpretation.  Most probably it took into account that at the time often all able bodied men could be called upon by their government to be part of a defense. This was a government without the kinds of arms that it has today.

America has a long history of gun ownership and trying to eliminate all guns not only won't happen, but isn't going to stop mass murderers. Assault rifles though, that's a different story altogether. Seriously you can't stop an intruder threatening your life with a regular gun? If you can't, you shouldn't have it either.

Assault rifles have been used over and over again to shoot so fast that no one can stop the shooter. It enabled 70 to be shot at that theater-- and more would have died had it not jammed. No routine handgun (with a regular magazine) or rifle could do that.

 I've heard the arguments why assault rifles are needed-- what if the citizen has to fight their own government? The NRA is supporting a bill in one state that would allow for the times when a citizen has a right to fire on the police. I didn't read the details of the proposed bill but that's the kind of thinking that convinces yahoos they do need an AK-47.

For Obama or Romney to suggest (what both have said before) that there should be a ban on assault rifles would require the kind of courage that I haven't seen in either these days. Because the NRA is so powerful, they can stop Congress from proposing anything with no chance for more draconian measures. The NRA is supported by a very powerful guns and munitions merchandizing business-- around the world.

Farm Boss was in the NRA when we were a young married couple. He and I were both gun owners when we married, and he was in favor of supporting not only the right to own guns but also be well trained in their use. He quit it for some years, but then joined again when there was talk of taking away all guns probably twenty five years ago or more. Then he got so disgusted by how the NRA promoted the right to own  human killing weapons that he got out again-- that was about twenty years ago. It looks like they have only gotten more mercenary in the years since.

Some are saying we shouldn't even talk about solutions right now as this is a time to mourn. Or get more clear-headed. Or wait until nobody is talking about it, then discuss solutions. The some who are saying that want nothing done as people in this country only operate under drama queen/king times.

So we are bombarded by who this guy was, as we were after Tucson and after Virginia Tech and after _____________. Fill in the blank as it's been all around the world including that horror in Norway. Does the media realize that they only exacerbate the problem when they give these shooters fame? When they go into their family history back to the Mayflower? Media, despite what they say, doesn't care that they may lead to copycat killers because, as much as arms manufacturing is a big business, so is media.

 I don't really care who this guy is. I don't want to know anything about him except one thing-- what can we do to catch someone like him before midnight in a crowded movie theater? At first it sounded as though he was so intelligent, such a successful person, that there were no tell-tall signs; then other information trickled in like--gun club turns down membership request.

As with many of these shooters, it is beginning to sound as though a few people did see something was out of whack with him, but what could they do? What options are in place to look at this kind of person and evaluate what's going on? Our fear of offending someone's rights is running smack into our desire to not see carnage in a mall.

Right now-- pretty much nothing can be done even knowing that schizophrenia does develop at about this age. The thing is most untreated schizophrenia, although hard for the family, difficult to be around, is not deadly. 10% potentially is. Seriously we cannot get a grip on finding these people first for their sake and ours?

Some are suggesting that more people owning guns would be a solution and would have stopped the shooter after only a few deaths. How exactly? Say 20% of the people in that theater were carrying guns, would a shootout have saved lives or cost more? Nobody was going to the theater with an AR-15 at their side.

This man was thoroughly armored. Who would know that when they started shooting at him? The gas canisters he threw out doubtless confused vision (what's with permitting just anybody to buy those?). In a shoot-out, how many more would have been killed by friendly fire which happens even with our trained police and military?

If it's unrealistic to think the government could stop all gun ownership and confiscate what is out there, what about evaluating those who are trying to purchase a gun-- especially the kinds he bought? From what we heard at first, it sounded as though this guy would likely have passed all tests... except now we read this from the shooting club, and it sounds like his problem wasn't so deeply underground as it at first sounded.

Somehow he went into stores, maybe stayed very quiet while doing it and didn't ring any bells. Should it have rung at least one that he purchased so many?

With generally no waiting period to buy a gun in most states, there are no phone call checks which again might've stopped a purchase as it stopped his right to be in that gun club. The NRA, with the support of the right wing, rebel at any waiting period to buy guns, any check on background but they don't over the same kind of thing to get a concealed weapon permit. What's with that?

Another thing that could have helped (besides a ban on assault rifles) would be a computer system that could catch when someone bought so many 'war' weapons within a short period of time as well as all that ammunition online.

Suppose we had the manpower to investigate that kind of mass purchaser (even when he didn't have a Muslim sounding name), maybe do an onsite interview or at least a phone call? Talk to those who know the person? Or have we cut budgets so much that isn't possible?

The thing is a lot of us already worry about 1984 and a police state. Do we want to head further in that direction? Well when it stops the killing of children, I think we should be at least thinking about options. Next time it could be our child or grandchild.

So some potential steps that don't seem draconian to me:

mental health checks on weapon purchasers (phone calls would be good)
no assault rifle purchases to civilians
limits on rifle and gun magazine sizes

Not so much but more people would be alive today if they had been in place. Do we have the courage to stand against the NRA? Our Congress doesn't. But maybe we need to make them more afraid of us than them!

And for god's sake what will it take before we start finding better ways to deal with mental illness? When Gabby Giffords was shot, I said the same thing. What has happened since? Nothing that I know of!

Friday, July 20, 2012

more insanity

Once again we have had a catastrophic shooting with a mass murderer who had the kind of weapons that enabled him to kill and injure so many. We will be reading again and again about the victims, about who this shooter was, but can we, as a people, get a handle on the fact that having ordinary people able to buy weapons that are intended only for killing humans, this is as insane as this guy obviously was? When will we get a grip on it that to have a right to own a weapon doesn't mean an AK47 or AR-15? Yes, he'd have killed a lot even with a shotgun, ordinary rifle, or handgun, but it'd have been easier to stop him.

We are clearly in a very violent time with people feeling they have a right to kill others. What can we do to protect ourselves from this? We do know at least one step we could take. Why don't we have the guts to take it and take on the NRA and the idiots who defend the right to own these kinds of weapons because they might want to take over the country someday...

This is just heartbreaking and when you do live in such a violent time, you know it could be you or your family next time. We can't stop all of it but we can take some intelligent steps to at least stop the sale of such weapons. And if we can't, then tell me who runs this country and are we really just rabbits whose lives don't count?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July in the country

The big news on the farm is getting in the winter's supply of hay.

This is the first year I didn't buy flowers for containers on the deck. A few pots of red geraniums and some red petunias lived over in the greenhouse as we had a very mild winter with only a few spells of ice. I opted to see how I liked less on the deck. I liked it fine.

I also have the most meadow looking flower garden ever as I didn't pull grass and ended up liking the feeling of a meadow right outside my window. Grasses this tall are only seen on my side of the fence.

Some of us never want to come inside-- but we will anyway!

The young coyotes are coming out from the protection of their parents making for daytime yodels and even those young adults running right through a group of humans with children. That won't last long in our area because ranchers carry guns and use them. It breaks the habit fast-- for the survivors.

Farm Boss asked how I'd like to play in the creek-- but ruined it all when he said to help set the irrigation pump. That man does NOT know how to play at this time of the year!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Drought and fires

If you don't think this map regarding drought is about global climate change, if you don't think mankind (in particular our nation) did anything to cause it, don't you at least think we oughta figure out what we can do about it for the people in the zones that are drying up and burning? Or would you rather wait until the people who used to live in those red zones move into the white ones? Is everybody really on their own according to right wing philosophy?

Has it occurred to the climate change deniers that they do need to grow food somewhere?  Manna does not fall from heaven these days. We buy it in stores or at markets. It has to be grown or produced on land last time I checked. The area worst hit by the drought has been considered our bread basket. That word give anybody a clue what is at stake?

 Yes, it's bad that homes have burned with year after year of disastrous fires in one state after another, but there is more at stake and it's food production and likely, if the forests burn off, further climate change.

With people in charge of the US Government who don't believe in government, who are cutting programs left and right to get to a point where nobody has the expertise to even figure out what to do, what is their solution? Private enterprise? Those guys don't want to put out a dime right now as they wait to get rid of the president who might get in their way with regulations and while they donate heavily to usher in the one who has no intention of doing any such thing.

Here's the thing, the arguing over why this is happening, that is old news. I remember writing blogs about why it mattered in 2004 and it might've been too late even then. By now, this might be a direction that cannot be turned around even if the right admitted they had been wrong (not holding my breath on that one), but what do we do about it?

Somebody with the money of a Rush Limbaugh or a Mitt Romney, they can move where they want, where the weather is better if things turn dire in the United States. Now exactly where that might be is iffy. Europe might not have the heat but they are the ones predicted to get the mini-ice age (something that earth has done before). When humans had these things before in the world, millions died off from starvation. There are a LOT more of us now.

It seems to me (and has for a long time) that we ought to have a national plan. Even naysayers about carbon dioxide do know about the earth's history (I think). If there is a plan in place, I don't know what it is. From what I have read, we are seeing more government fire fighting ability cut back by the starve the beast mentality of the right.

Possibly this is just going to happen and it won't be pretty. Maybe government can't really help with natural disasters. Maybe it's only good for fighting wars overseas (Cheney thinks Romney is the only one running for president who is capable of dealing with foreign affairs. Cheney was so good at that himself.)

If a large population of people are forced to migrate from one zone where nothing can grow and the heat is such that they can't live, are other regions ready for that kind of migration? What about growing food?

You know plastic can only fix so much...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Isn't this cool?

With all the negative stuff out there, this is what made me smile this week whenever I saw photos or read about it. One word fits it-- beautiful.

As a leftie, of course, I always like to hear Barney Frank talk on any interview show. I think he's intelligent and a cutie. His spouse is hot ;)

Not going to say Frank has never made mistakes in what he's done but who can someone point to where there aren't a few of those kinds of things. Overall I see him as an honorable man and he'll be missed in Congress!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Lan Su Chinese Garden

Sunday we went with two of our grandchildren to Portland's Lan Su Chinese Gardens (classical Chinese gardens). If you have not been there and visit Portland, I consider it one of those must see locations. It is one full luxurious block of examples of Chinese garden design. Fascinating for all ages with beautiful vignettes and ideas for our own gardens.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Fairy Tales

Some inspiring (and fun) Albert Einstein quotes:
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” 

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”
"Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere."
 I was drawn to look at these and many more by Einstein because the first one was on Facebook as a share from Diane Widler Wenzel. I had to double check to be sure it was really from him. Too good to be true, except it is. I am a huge believer in imagination. It doesn't mean we ignore the existence of reality. It means we know how to let our minds soar free sometimes and take us into unknown realms.

Since I have long called my romances fairy tales for adults, I think there can be made an argument for their equal benefit to our continuing development of intellect as well as emotional satisfaction. ;)