Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Extant Legacies of Dysfunctional Human Behavior

It is what it is....just deal with it. 


We are at a time in human history in which we show great impatience with anything that seems to nail us down to the past. We like to see ourselves as liberated from the past and summarily ditch what we see as unenlightened superstitions or twisted schemes that would rob us of personal liberty. To many, religion is simply a blind to fetter and enslave us on a cross of high-jinks and sham. I do not share this point of view.  The Ten Commandments instruct us not to covet:  “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”  (Exodus 20:17  NIV).  Likewise the Seven Deadly Sins are set forth as a caution for the ages:  According to the standard list, they are pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth ..(

We find that envy (jealousy) has always been a threat to stability in human relationships.  We have not, and probably never will, be able to chalk off envy as a purely historical deadly threat to human happiness and to that persistence born of stability.

It is my contention that the underlying drive causing havoc for American unity is the inability to humbly assent to the valid and legitimate (and often exclusive) role of others --especially when conceptualized as societal institutions.  It has long been a viewpoint of mine that those who insist that the 2nd Amendment treatment of arms (guns) is open-ended and unlimited is driven by envy.  Private citizens and groups envy governmental power and hence seek to usurp and posses the legitimate governmental role and power known as the Sword of the State. (I hasten to add that the Sword of the State addresses not only lurid street crime or joining an international military alliance but also to me personally if I should decide a legitimate civil contract I have entered is something I find too inconvenient to perform—an officer of the law can sooner or later be knocking on my door with a lethal weapon in tow).  I don't see all guns as an exclusive province of the state, but military style weapons capable of killing hundreds of people in seconds arising from personal impulse and anger certainly are. (And we can address later the extent to which "road-rage-type episodes" and "coolly exercised envy" are in fact instances of mental illness worthy of classification and treatment). In short, those who assume that human equality should project an institutional role identity husband an insidiously destructive ideology fueled by the human nemesis--envy.

I must add in closing that role uniqueness applies as well to other institutions including the family, the creative enterprise sector, and religion.  The generation that ignores personal and institutional limits and the duty to respect the legitimate and special role of others in our community will be blind to human virtues--the essential ingredients needed for trust and goodwill in any democracy..

A feeling of resentment and displeasure toward others by reason of their belongings, prosperity, advantages, position, or reputation. Envious persons want what others have and may feel that those possessing what is coveted are not entitled to it.  [Thanks to my JW friends for this entry.] 
(From Jehovah Witness publication: )

The Seven Contrary Virtues which are specific opposites to the Seven Deadly Sins: Humility against pride, Kindness against envy, Abstinence against gluttony, Chastity against lust, Patience against anger, Liberality against greed, and Diligence against sloth. 

Print Page

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Like Son, Like Father

George Hall
(Nurideen meaning “enlightened” in Islam) 

Today I visited the grave of my son George.  He was shot and killed last year.  I was there with Jerome--the older brother of George (and another son of mine).  One of the sayings on the grave marker is:
"You will Always Live in Our Hearts."

Yes I do want George to live in my heart in a way some may find surprising.  George had very high expectations of me--especially as to the trust he could place in me.  This he had from a very young age.  Some time ago, I knew of an incident regarding a brother of his who was incarcerated.  I did not tell him what I knew of the matter until several weeks later when he happened to phone me.  When I told him, his reaction was immediate and full-throttled. I understate the case to say that he burned with a righteous anger for my thoughtlessness in not notifying him immediately upon my first hearing the news of his brother.  His fierce but short-lived conflagration resulted in his enrolling in an anger management class.

You may find what I prayed at his grave-site today misled, but I prayed to God that when I find flagrantly thoughtless, disrespectful,or hurtful behavior (including lack of action when action is due); I pray that my anger will grow so strong and totally sufficient as to get me off my ass to do something--even if that merely means panoramic firework conflagrations accompanied by spectacular holy ruckus explosions. I fondly hope that the target of my wrath will understand that I not only wish to protect his victim, but that I also have high expectation of him.  And when (not if) my own dull-headed behavior hurts others, I will then heap opprobrium upon myself until my Savior forgives and, on turning a page in his Great Book, says with a consummate straight face: “Well son, there’s always a first time for anything."

Print Page

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Embedding Diet Pills with Tape Worms

Verb: diminish
1. Become smaller or less in size, extent, or range
2. Lessen the authority, dignity, or reputation of


diminish /di-minĖˆish/
transitive verb
1. To make less
2. To take a part from
3. To degrade or belittle

[Chambers Dictionary (13th Edition)]


To use an old term, my physique is rather “stout.”  For those uninitiated in ancient polite discourse that means “fat”.  Everyone, it seems, is ready and willing to give me advice that for better health I should lose a few (say 75!) pounds.  And I am certain that everyone offering this advice loves me and has goodwill in their hearts.

But one must always beware of predators who yearn infinitely less to see you fit and trim so much as weakened, savaged, and utterly diminished.  I fear that many of my conservative friends who idealistically yearn to improve the commonweal through developing a leaner and healthier government institution may precipitously fall prey to the encroaching menace of roving jackals. These dangerous predators--habitually emboldened and buzzed-out on high-grade hegemonic envy--may end-game immolate democracy itself.

Print Page

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Estrangement Predicament that Faces God

A recent blog (found here) discusses the movie Evan Almighty.  The next link places the above snapshot from Evan within movie context..(click here).  The theater marquee displays the title 40-Year-Virgin -- a relatively concurrent but earlier film also staring Steve Carell.  Nevertheless, the altered movie title on the marquee in Evan Almighty suggests a Biblical/spiritual reference. A family man with wife and children, Evan clearly is not intended to be seen as a sexual virgin.  However God makes it very clear that He and Evan had a relation much less close than the Almighty would prefer.

Print Page

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Hi Jimmy Cliff, So Glad You Could Come By

jimmy cliff by nancybanksp

Artist: Sarah Neely        Jimmy Cliff poster available here


The other day I brought home a freshly framed poster of Jimmy Cliff.  I love this particular poster because the artist who painted the original captured the authentic and generous goodwill reflected in much of Cliff's music--music that has helped nourish me over the (sometimes discouragingyears. Once I studied a book that elaborated at great length the importance of the facial area adjacent to the eyes. The book supported the idea that if we feel that one is not telling us the truth, it is this facial area that signals the dishonesty  The frank and affirmative face looking down on me from this poster tonight  I have seen many times before from friendscoworkers, family, and even strangers. 

Jimmy this evening  I would like to talk with you directly. Things are kind of messed in our society because we seem to have let go of creativity and generosity and bit hook, line and sinker for the fool's gold of glittering rationalizations intended to hide (even from ourselves) unseemly and gratuitous infliction of pain for selfish ends. Even our cherished commitment to equal human worthiness is twisted by self-serving rationalistic pretense to mean that since all are dealt an equal number of cards, the shame for those who lack resourcelies squarely upon their own Looser backs. 

Sad to say JimmyI see presumed rank substituted for creativity in my own religious persuasion of Christianity.  can end up contending that I'm holier than thou because dotted an "i" or crossed a "t" or piously employed a hat full of shibboleths that no one else (outside my own mutual admiration society} knows or has any decent reason to know.  Pompous asses of this sort love to consider themselves victims of heathen persecution.  They just don't understand that those lambasted by their condescension are the real victims.

Finally, we come to politicians who hate government and would tear down every pillar of it.  Their insight is truly awesome if not entirely original.  Justice is better served in their view by standing militia rather than by a national military or sworn local officers.  Government and its justice department use timid, tentative judgment whereas vigilante justice and roving militia are by their very nature more virtuous and efficient than a deep state enmeshed in bureaucracy and stultifying process 

Jimmy Cliff, thanks for letting me vent a bit.  I see by your smile (and music) that even if I should pass gas now and then,  you will hang close just a little bit longer.


This following song though not by Jimmy Cliff helps me feel at ease.

Print Page