A Sunday Chat with Myself—”I feel Deeply Offended!”

“People get addicted to feeling offended all the time because it gives them a high; being self-righteous and morally superior feels good.” —Mark Manson

This morning, my mind is on the recent kerfuffle over the removal of the statue of John A. Macdonald from several locations throughout the country. John A. was one of our Founding Fathers, and Canada’s first Prime Minister, spanning a political career from 1867 to 1873, and again from 1878 to 1891.

Macdonald was a leading figure in the discussions that lead up to the creation of the British North American Act, resulting in Canada becoming a nation on 1 July, 1867.

To say that our first Prime Minister was A Character, would be to oversimplify his nature! According to the National Post, when Macdonald dispatched troops, in 1869, to put down the Louis Riel Red River Rebellion, his son, Hugh John, “deliberately defied his father’s wishes to stick to his law studies and instead joined the militias heading west.”

To say that our First Prime Minister loved to occasionally imbibe would also be describing his drinking habits mildly. John A. was a lush! His Kingston address that once housed his law office, is now a “traditional Scottish Pub,” and his Glasgow birthplace is also now a bar! When he was supposed to be protecting Canada from marauding Irish armies, he couldn’t be reached because he “was on a bender.”

Macdonald was an enigma! While he presided over mass die-offs of Plains First Nations, he also proposed giving indigenous people the right to vote, and he really, really wanted to see Louis Riel dead!

In 1880, Macdonald proposed extending the right for women to vote, while at the same time, he “fervently warned” against Chinese immigrants upsetting the Canada’s “Aryan” character, and for years, along with several other Prime Ministers, extorted a head tax on Chinese immigrants.

It’s easy to fill up several pages cataloguing Macdonald’s escapades while he was in government, because he really was one of Canada’s most unique and colorful characters—but then, so were many other political persons during his time. For example, according to the National Post, “It’s ridiculous to judge figures from the past by beliefs of the present. Thomas Jefferson, who declared that “all men were created equal” owned hundreds of slaves and repeatedly impregnated his favourite one. Winston Churchill held a dim view of [East] Indians in general, and Mahatma Gandhi in particular, other than as handy fodder when needed for warfare. Blacks needed the civil rights movement in the 1960s because, 100 years after the Civil war, it was considered perfectly acceptable to practice discrimination in the U.S., and to a lesser extent in Canada.”

And this brings me to my main point of argument. Should we whitewash our history and blatantly discard any part of it that we find offensive? What would our history look like if we just erased all offensive aspects of our history?

It is true, history books are written by the victors in all situations, but it’s also true that we are becoming a more compassionate and empathic nation than our forefathers were, and we are paying greater attention to the way we mistreated the minority of Canadians in our past.

“Tough times don’t define you, they refine you. ‪” —Carlos A. Rodriguez

I grew up in a rural area in Saskatchewan, quite near the Cree Indian File Hills reserve. One of my first, and best friends in my youth was Elmer Ross. In those days, it was quite normal for white people—and even many Indians—to refer to Elmer as an illegitimate Half Breed—a Metis, born of an Indian mother and a French-Canadian father. However, his birth status didn’t matter much to either of us because, I, again, was Canadian born to German immigrants. It was the war years: World War II was in full swing and our family was considered outcasts—Bloody Germans—Hitler supporters— who were responsible for all the war and hatred in the world.

Because we were so discriminated against, Elmer and I had much in common, and it was that, which we shared in common, that made us the best of friends.

When I see how “politically correct” our politicians are perverting Canadian history, I often have to wonder: how should I write my own life’s journal, to be politically correct?

Should I write, “I was born on a farm in Central Saskatchewan?” But, I could take that as offensive. To say that I have been born on a farm denotes I was not afforded the rights of having experienced the amenities that a large city offers. Should I be deeply offended that I wasn’t born in a city?

On the other hand, if I simply say that I was born in Saskatchewan, I might also have a legitimate complaint that I was denied the privilege of having experienced life in other provinces: I was robbed of having experienced life in the mountains, or life in more densely populated areas, or to have experienced what it was like to live near a large lake, like Lake Ontario.

So, to be politically correct, the best that I can do is say, “I was born!” That should be quite a neutral statement!

Next, I would write in my life’s journal, “I went to school.” Well, I can’t see anything politically incorrect here, so we can leave that sentence stand, other than I must investigate any possible chance that I might have attended one of John A. Macdonald’s Indian Schools, which could give me great cause for concern … except, truth be told, I went to a legitimate, all-white, Christian school—as did my good friend, Elmer Ross— so I can’t be “deeply offended” there! I went to school: a politically correct statement!

I could go on and on about factors in my life that I could list as offending me, including times in my youth when the community branded our family as hated “Nazis” because of my parent’s birth origin, but really, all of those rich life’s moments—the good, the bad, the ugly—offered me a chance to grow and develop my character. I am quite happy with the way my life turned out …

… except for the fact that I am deeply offended that Canadian society, in our weak-kneed drive to be fair to all, should allow our “politically correct” politicians to so screw up our history to the point where we no longer know what, or who, we are as a country!

That deeply offends me!

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Me and Mortimer—Chapter Eleven: “Headaches and Cure”

“Oh … please! Do me a favor and don’t make so much noise making your morning coffee?”

That was Mortimer moaning, sitting in his chair and cradlin’ his head in his arms and resting it on his work bench. He came to work this morning suffering from a headache. I was gonna tease him by sayin’, ‘I thought vegetarians don’t get headaches’, but I sort of felt sorry for the guy. I know how headaches can hurt. I’ve often get them a few Sunday mornings after comin’ home late from Saturday night’s Happy Hour at the Tartans and Cream pub.

“Have you taken any painkillers for it?” I asked, instead. “I think there’s some Tylenol left in our First Aid Kit—unless I already used them all.”

“No—Maureen made me a lemon and ginger tea before I left for work. I think I’ve just got an upset stomach and should be feeling better in a while. Just—uh—just don’t make any noise right now, o.k.?” Mort continued speaking softly so as not to make his headache worse. He, being so still, reminded me of a rabbit that’s frozen scared-stiff trying to hide itself from a fox that’s sniffing a rabbit-breakfast nearby … but, I shouldn’t think that. Poor guy’s sufferin’ enough!

“Why’d you come to work with a headache in the first place?” I asked. “You haven’t taken a sick leave this year yet, so you sure got lots of ‘em coming.”

It sure amazes me to try and understand why people like Mortimer don’t take their full entitlement of sick leave, irrigardless of whether they’s sick or not! First thing I did when I started work here was find out how much sick leave I had coming, and I’ve already taken my full entitlement. Ya gotta grab your rights while the grabbin’s good, I always sez!

Mort stirred just a little bit. “I don’t feel like talking right now. Why don’t you just … just go and have your coffee and read your paper?”

Well! If you don’t wanna talk to me, see if I care! So I turns away from Mort and I make my coffee and move over to my desk to read the morning paper, but I can’t help thinkin’ about Mort. “I hear coffee’s supposed to be good for headaches,” I tell him. “That’s what I always drink on Sunday morning after a night at the Tartans and Cream.”

“I don’t drink coffee. I don’t like it!” Mortimer groans.

“What gave you your headache anyway?” I asks.

Mort never even answered. He just continued sittin’ there, restin’ his head in his arms on the bench. I guess he really meant it when he said he didn’t want to talk any more.

Sheesh!

I opens my morning paper and reads on the front page that there was another fight at the Tartans and Cream last Saturday, and I missed the event! The reason I missed it is ‘cause my wife wanted me to take her and the kids to the city to do some shopping for shoes. I swear, them kids can wear out shoes faster than a cop can write out a speeding ticket while you’re on your way to the mall!

Anyway, why I sez I wished I hadn’t of missed the event at the Tartans and Cream is that Baby Lou—his real name is Andy Louise, but he got that name, Baby Lou, ‘cause he has sort of, a babyface, but has a couple knife scars across his cheek from previous fights and that makes him look mean.

Anyway, he was again the main attraction at the fight on Saturday. Baby Lou don’t take no guff from nobody, so most of the guys at the Tartans and Cream stays clear of him, but when Eddie Baxter accidently spilt Baby Lou’s beer by bumping it with his elbow, Baby Lou exploded! He was about ready to send Eddie to the hospital, he got so mad, ‘xcept a couple other guys at the bar jumped on Baby Lou and held him down so Eddie could escape from the bar. That’s when the cops was called and, of course, the local newspaper took pictures of everything.

Don’t know why the newspaper has to stick its nose into our fun time at the Tartans and Cream every time there’s a fight there. All that publicity again aroused that crazy women’s league that’s been demonstrating to close down our source of superior manly entertainment, just like they succeeded in closing down the Crown and Star earlier this year.

I almost feels like writing to the editor of the paper and telling him that I disagrees with that group of silly women, and that they should just mind their own business! Them women’s gotta be told to let us men have our fun! If you thinks we’s settin’ a bad example to the youth of our town, then keep your kids away from us! We has rights to, you know!

Trouble is, I don’t have a pen or paper on me right now, otherwise, I’m so mad, I think I would write to the editor —

Oh, oh! I see Mortimer’s stirring. “Have a good nap?” I inquires.

Mortimer stretches and yawns, rubs his eyes and turns to me. “Yes,” he sez. “I feel much better now. Maureen’s lemon and ginger tea really helped settle my stomach,” he gets up and heads for the door. “I think I’ll step outside for a minute and take some deep breaths. That should clear the remaining cobwebs from my head.”

About ten minutes later Mort returns, looking like someone’s just injected him with a energy hormone. I just don’t understand that guy. How’s he do it?

Sheesh! I wish I could get rid of my Sunday mornin’ headaches that fast! It usually takes three cups of coffee and several aspirin, and my head’s still fuzzy for the rest of the morning … but I will say—and I’m not afraid to tell Mort, that there ain’t no way I’ll ever drink that lemon and ginger stuff! That ain’t no man’s drink, and I’m not about to pollute my body with that feminine vegetarian stuff!

Mort begins checking around his area of the shed as if he’s lookin’ for something. “Lost something?” I inquires.

“Yeah … ” he’s still looking, confused, and searching in more detail. “Last week, after I filled the lawn mower with gas, I brought the can with the remaining gas back and set it on my bench, right there.” He points to a spot in the corner, close to the wall. “Have you seen it?”

“Seen what?”

“The gas can! I had some gas left over after filling the lawn mower, so I set the can over there.” He again points to that spot in the corner.

“Was it a red can and had the words, ‘GAS,’ painted on it?”

“Yes! Have you seen it?” Mort was startin’ to get a bit irritated. I don’t know why. I was politely answering his questions.

“Yeah,” I told him. “My car ran out of gas last Friday, so I took it and put the gas into my car—”

You stole company gas?” Mort looks at me like I’m some kinda freak or something.

“I didn’t steal it. I borrowed the gas. My wife gets paid tomorrow, so I’ll have some money, so I’ll fill the can and bring it back to you.”

Mort just stands there and stares. His face is turning red and the two veins on the side of his neck is starting to pulse like they need more oxygen—or something. His mouth opens, and he wants to speak, but the right words just don’t come to him. Finally, he closes his mouth, his shoulders droop, and he just turns and walks out.

“If the boss calls, tell him I’ve gone home for the day. I have a headache!” He sez over his shoulder before leaving.

“You’re headache’s back?” I inquire. “Want some aspirin?”

He slams the door and is gone.

Sheesh! That guy can sure get upset over nothing!

Double Sheesh! Now my coffee’s gone cold, and there’s nothing worth reading in the paper this morning … I look around … and the office boy didn’t even bring me any files this morning to put away! What am I gonna do?

… Guess I’ll just have to make another pot of coffee and make it last the day.

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A Sunday Chat with Myself—”Food Waste”

Love and Food are meant for sharing, not for wasting

I’m sorry, but this morning my column is going to be mostly a rant, and it’s going to be about food waste, because I think food waste is getting completely out of control, and what I glean from statistics, we—yes, including myself—aren’t doing much to stop it, and unless we change our habits, we’re going to ruin our beautiful planet—or, should I be more accurate and say our planet is going to destroy us!

That statement should come as no surprise, because Gaia—Mother Earth, has nearly wiped us off her face on several occasions during our short while on earth, and I would guess for similar reasons that we again face near extinction.

I recently bought a bundle of those juice-sweet, Mandarin-like oranges that are shipped in from Peru. Some of them still had green spots on the skin and still tasted a little bitter, so I left them in the fridge for a week to ‘ripen.’ However, rather than ripen, I found that they started to rot! So, other than possibly storing them wrong, not in a non-professional way like they would be in warehouses, what else went wrong?

I’m too disgusted to dig into the mechanics of how these oranges came from Peru and ended up in our grocery store, but my guess is, they were picked green in Peru, then put on ships that were Canada-bound, stored in warehouses and there ‘force-ripened’ before being shipped to grocery stores. As a result, they did turn ‘orange,’ like regular oranges do, but never had the opportunity to naturally ripen on the vine as fruit is meant to do, to naturally develop their sugars and nutrients that these oranges are famous for.

The result? Besides beginning to rot, they were too bitter and too ‘leathery’ to eat, so they had to be thrown out!

Wasted!

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” —Robert Swan

Then, I read on the FastCompany web site that, “nearly 870 million people in the world are undernourished, but at the same time, approximately one-third of the global food total supply ends up spoiled, thrown out [like I had to do with the oranges], or wasted. That’s about 1.6 billion tons of edible material overall, and projected to reach 2.1 billon tons by 2030.”

Then, a new report by the Boston Consulting Group has “quantified the problem in terms of cold hard cash: The world’s food loss and waste is projected to be about $1.2 trillion per year by 2030.

After reading these reports, I no longer have to wonder why my food bill is so high and why we can’t feed the world, resulting in people actually starving to death! The high cost of food, including the orchestrated scarcity of the food problem doesn’t lie with the producer, nor the consumer, but gets discretely and deliberately hidden within our habits of how we handle food.

I know, there are analysts who prefer more socially acceptable words like, unaware, mismanagement and demand in their reports, but when you blow all the dust off the deliberate cover-ups—the socially acceptable phrases— you end up with the real reason: greed and sloth on the marketing and distribution of food!!

Greed plays a factor in this. The greedy person is usually quite good at deflecting his condition, and make it sound like we should actually envy him. Greed is good for the economy!  Greed wallows in its own luxuries, offering up such comforting, socially acceptable words and phrases like, envy, needed, desirable, to lull us into believing “all is well with the world, just go and tend to your own little backyard incidents, and never mind me.”

And did I mention that greed—accumulation of excessive goods and wealth—is not synonymous with happiness? There’s research out there (again, I just don’t feel like searching for links and posting them here right now) that shows a good number of rich folks live quite a frustrated life, and in fear of losing the wealth that they have accumulated. They have to build security walls around their homes to protect them from the commoners!

That’s not happiness!

“Impossible isn’t something that can’t be done. It’s just something that hasn’t been done before.”

Large factory farms, both in the meat, dairy, egg, fruit and vegetable and grain industries, are the biggest contributors to food waste. They are forever getting larger, inventing new ways to produce more food, at a cheaper cost to them—causing ever more food waste—but there is little or no indication that their penchant for producing ever-more food is actually solving the scarcity of food that could be shipment to underdeveloped areas, nor any real savings for the consumer. Don’t be fooled into thinking that all this extra food produced by these mega factory farms is actually bringing cheaper food to your table. If it were truly so, then there would be no starving people in the world today! Besides, when we do find actual instances of “cheaper” food, it is also of a lower quality than it used to be a generation ago, so you are not getting a good bang for your buck! My oranges that I mentioned at the beginning of this rant, are a good example of what I mean.

On the plus side of managing our food bill and what we “commoners” can do about it. The David Suzuki Foundation has some excellent ways in which we, as individuals can not only save on our own grocery bill, and at the same time, reduce waste, world-wide.

  • Meal planning. My wife has a monthly meal planner that she consults before doing any grocery shopping. It’s helped to reduce buying stuff she hadn’t planned on using in making meals, thus there’s little left over that could go to waste.
  • Make lots of soup. When food gets close to the expiry date, making soup out of it is an excellent and nutritious way to use up those older vegetables.
  • Leftover food does not have to be thrown out. Place the leftovers in freezer bags and use them at a later date.
  • Create an Eat-Me-First bin in your refrigerator. In that way, it is less likely that you will ever have spoilt food to consider in your meal planning.

With a bit of serious planning, one can easily find any number of ways to cut back on food waste—and need I mention our misuse of plastic bags? Also, if you see “bargains” at the grocery store, check carefully to see if it truly is a bargain, and not just a ploy to have you buy a cheaper quality food for that lower “bargain” price!

Food waste is not a community or government problem—however, admittedly, they can help—but it has to start with the individual—me—and the family—we. This is such a beautiful, wonderful planet that we live on, and technology has helped us enjoy Nature’s abundance to hights undreamed of in the past! Just imagine how wonderful it would be if all of us took waste seriously.

Waste is not the world’s problem: it’s my problem!

We are trashing our land to grow food no one eats.”

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Me and Mortimer: Chapter ten—”Mortimer is Back from His Honeymoon!”

Good mornin’! How was your weekend? My wife’s mother came to visit for the weekend, so I took the occasion to go fishing up at Pine Lake, but the mosquitos was really bad up there, so came back a bit early. Brought back two beautiful lake trout, though. Since my wife don’t eat fish, I had both of them beauties to myself. She did fry them up for me—a bit of butter and some sauce. Mmmml! I can still taste them!

I thought I’d try something different and come to work on time this morning, just to see what it felt like. The clock said exactly nine o’clock when I walked through the door, and sure enough, Mortimer, the ol’ company brownnoser and fresh off his honeymoon, was already at work, polishing his garden tools and placing them carefully back on their designated place he had marked for them on the wall rack.

Save time by always knowin’ where your tools are, he keeps tellin’ me. I swear, the greatest fear rust could have with Mort’s tools, would be to appear as a rust spot on one of them! That rust spot would be polished away faster than Russian President Putin could say, ‘nyet’!

I did—again—make note that Mort forgot to put the coffee pot to boil. Since he’s always the first one in in the mornin’, I naturally figures, first one in to the office should make the coffee, but he always keeps forgetting to do that.

One of these days I’m gonna have a real serious talk with that slacker about the importance of havin’ that first cup of coffee in the morning. However, considering the good mood he was in, I didn’t want to spoil it. I’ll have that talk with him another day!

“Mornin’, Mort!” I greeted him, sounding as cheerful as I could, hoping that would keep the morning pleasant. “How was the honeymoon?” Not that I really cared, or that it was any of my business, but it was a conversation starter.

“It was great!” He replied, turnin’ hisself around and actually looking directly at me. Usually he just answers with his back to me, so I figured he really must feel special this morning, if he’s facin’ me directly.

“We stayed in a beautiful, self-contained log cabin in Jasper National Park that had a small kitchen unit, so Maureen was able to brush up on her cooking skills.”

“Your wife can cook?”

Mort broke out in a amusin’ type of chuckle, like as if I had something funny. “She’s a very good cook,” he said. “She worked for an entire year as the Master Chef in the Rolling Hills Restaurant on the north end of town, but didn’t like the long hours, so she returned to teaching. Right now, she’s teaching a primary class in a small, rural school about five kilometers east of here.”

“Teaches?” I guess my face musta showed surprise, ‘cause he chuckled that stupid chuckle again. “Maureen has her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education.” Mort rehung the grass sheers he’d been sharpinin’. He seemed sorta proud that his wife was so smart and educated, and that observation really alarmed me. It’s my superior opinion that a woman should never be smarter than her husband! They gets real bossy if they thinks they’s as smart or smarter than you.

I was about to correct him and explain that it was a bad idea, letting women get higher education. I mean, sure, they can go to grade school up to Grade Eight, so they know how to read and write and answer a phone, and make up a proper grocery list, but high school and university was a man’s world, and should stay that way!

Sheesh! Next thing you know, women will want to become boss of a company, and hire men to work for them! No way! I ain’t subjecting myself to any of that kind of inequality!

By this time in our talk Mort had finished polishing all his tools, so he picked up his car keys and said, “I have to go to the gas station and fill up the gas can so I can cut the lawn this afternoon. They have a snack bar there. Would you like me to bring you a sandwich for your lunch? Treat’s on me.”

“As long as it ain’t one of them vegetarian things again,” I reminded him of the last time he bought a sandwich for me. I took one bite of that last sandwich and had to throw the rest away. Veggies is for kids and some lower-class animals, but real men that’s got a superior taste for food, eats meat!

“How about I buy you a Sauerkraut and a Bratwurst in a hotdog bun? I think they still sell them at the snack bar.”

Boy, marryin’ Maureen and the honeymoon must of really have changed Mort. I never seen him this generous before.

“Sure,” I said. “Now you’re talkin’ man’s food!” Sauerkraut on a real, German type of Bratwurst was a Friday night special at the new Tartans and Cream pub. That new pub opened up shortly after the Crown and Star had to close down. You could buy a bratwurst and a beer at their place for five bucks. That was my choice every Friday night when I went to the pub instead of goin’ home and eating that mushy stuff my wife is startin’ to make for me. My wife’s also got herself on one of them health food diets, and is trying to get me to eat that stuff, too. She sez it will make me healthier, but to my superior way of reasoning, it’s my eating at a sauerkraut on a bratwurst at the Tartans and Cream pub once a week —or sometimes, for a change of diet, I orders a Super Burger with a side of fries and a pickle at McDoogle’s Burger Stop that’s made the he-man out of me that I am today!

While Mort was gone to the gas station I thought I’d take the opportunity to read the morning newspaper. Not much news in the paper today. The editor used up a whole page just to give his opinion against that ring road the province wants to build around the town. The editor figures it’s gonna allow a lot of traffic to be routed away that would normally stop and shop in town, so the ring road would be bad for business. But the province figures it would speed up north-south traffic that crosses the province every day, and wouldn’t have to slow down while going through town. Especially them big dual-rigged transport trucks; they’d be free to just honk their horn and happily wave goodbye while speeding past our town.

I’m with the province on the idea for building a ring road. I want to keep our town small! It’s more peaceful and quiet that way, not having to deal with all that through-traffic. ‘Specially not having them big trucks slow down as they pass through town. Right now, they use their engines instead of their air brakes to slow down, and that infernal pop-pop-pop their engines make as they slow down was often the cause of jolting me awake too early on Sunday morning! I swear, them truck engines make more noise than a battery of artillery guns can make while firing blanks on celebrating our national holiday!

I see where ol’ Jake Osgood finally died. He had turned a hundred and three last January.  Earlier this summer, the town had made him Citizen of the Year to honor him for all the good work he done in the past for organizing kid’s hockey teams. All his family—it sez here that he had thirty-one great grandkids—and some of the retired hockey players that are still around, had a special honoring-wake at the funeral home. One thing I know for sure, Osgood didn’t have any beer at his party. He was a teetotaler.

Sheesh! How can you have a party if you don’t allow beer? I suppose some of the women got together and made him a frosty orange juice! Sheesh! What’s this world comin’ to when a guy turns down a beer for orange juice?

Mortimer just came in and handed me my bratwurst. He even bought a root beer to go along with the bratwurst!

“Thanks, Mort! I owe you one!” I gleefully unwraps that beauty and admires that culinary delight.

“Just remember to do the filing before you go home,” he reminds me, while digging into his own veggie salad. I had to wonder: how can a man eat that stuff that he’s eating? He ain’t no rabbit!

But I got something better to concentrate on than rabbit food! “sorry for cutting our conversation short but my bratwurst is waiting …

Talk to you again next week!

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A Sunday Chat with Myself—”Accepting Cosmic Law: Cooperation, not competition”

“Minds are like flowers, they only open when the time is right.” ― Stephen Richards

Can we still—or could we ever—really have trusted science to deliver the truth to us? Next question: what is truth, and will I recognize truth when it’s presented to me?

I recall, in school history, reading all about the Flat Earth Society. Seems amusing to me now to think that some people did actually believe during the “four-corners-of-the-world” belief period, in a flat earth. In fact, there was a time in our history when a person could be burned at the stake if you believed otherwise!

But, to have believed in the Flat Earth theory, you would have had to be living in Galileo’s time and a common belief system.  Although, historically, and to be fair to real science, there never was a time when scholars ever considered the earth to be a flat disk. There was just too much evidence to the student of real knowledge to accept “Biblical proof” that the earth was flat.

There also was a time when opinion-of-the-day science—common belief science–could “prove” that objects heavier than air couldn’t fly. Fortunately, the Wright Brothers didn’t believe popular science, and they went on to invent the airplane.

“Our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes.”  ― Stephen Richards

When I was in high school (circa 1940), our science teacher taught us that the smallest particle in the universe was the atom. Today, physicists are talking about protons, neutrons, and smaller stuff called quarks. And, to make things even “smaller,” physicists are now talking about the Super String Theory.

On the opposite end of the scale, how large is the universe? Ever-better telescopes, satellites and space probs are continuously setting farther boundaries to our universe. Could the day come when science has to admit that our universe is infinitely small, and at the same time, it’s infinitely large? And, even more interestingly, can physics and science ever deal with that infinity? How do we make laws—hypothesis, theories and postulations—when dealing with infinity?

And, before I leave this problem, there is one more of my favorite ‘scientific’ vexations that I’d like to address: Darwin’s theory of evolution! Just like physicists continuously have to “upgrade” their theories on matter and the universe, so, too, should the Darwinian theorists of evolution ‘upgrade’ their ‘facts.’ Especially with the new discoveries now made in human DNA, the evolutionary theory has taken some serious hits, and one of Darwin’s inaccurate theories that is of special annoyance to me, is his theory about the survival of the fittest. Admittedly, Darwin wasn’t the first to use the phrase, survival of the fittest, that honor goes to the English philosopher, Herbert Spencer. But Darwin certainly made it popular in his works, and popular science of the day carried it forward, and still maintains an iron clad hold on a disproven theory.

In the first place, popular science insists on ruling out any possibility of a divine force in Nature. According to them, to consider intelligence in a non-conscious universe is out of the question! Their view? Roll the dice. What you see is what you got! Personally, I think that way of thinking is so far off the mark it should have been taken out of our physics texts a long time ago!

“A thought is a Cosmic Order waiting to happen.”  ― Stephen Richards

No matter how hard you try, if you give a hundred monkeys a hundred typewriters, and in a hundred years they will still not have printed out an intelligent copy of the Gettysburg Address; unconsciousness cannot deliver in an orderly universe! therefore, although there is some truth to be gleaned from the survival of the fittest theory—the part that involves consciousness—an unconscious universe cannot produce order no more than rolling a pair of dice can give you a predicted, orderly result every time.

So much for truth theories in an unconscious universe. Let’s consider a conscious universe. A Conscious universe can pre-program a hundred monkeys so that they can, even in much less time than a hundred years, type out a copy of the Gettysburg Address. Secondly, using today’s technology, it takes no great feat of ‘magic’ to preprogram a pair of dice to roll, roll after roll, and give you the same results. And, how easy is it, using your computer keyboard, to type out anything that you want and have it displayed instantly on your monitor in a predicable, orderly fashion?

Sure, the information that appears on your computer monitor is, by itself, an unconscious manifestation, but it can only happen because of the conscious, orderly mind behind that monitor’s manifestation.

That brings me to my final argument against Darwin: it takes co-operation, not competition, to make our universe move forward! Competition can only work in selective instances, and usually involves just that: conscious selection within a species. For example, a feral cat can lose its natural instinct to hunt insects and mice for food after several thousand years of domestication, and eat only prepared meat and clean water, but it’s still a cat! It hasn’t evolved into a tiger or flying ‘fur-thing.’

An article in NewScientist, titled “Suicidal Cells,” explains intelligent selection very clearly. “When cooperation breaks down, the results can be disastrous. When cells in our bodies turn rogue, for instance, the result is cancer. So elaborate mechanisms have evolved to maintain cooperation and suppress selfishness, such as cellular “surveillance” programmes that trigger cell suicide if they start to turn cancerous.”

Advanced science understands this quite clearly; but popular mainstream, every day non-thinking science still has to catch up and this leads me to my main point that I’m wrestling with today: that cooperation, not blind unconscious is the “new truth!”

The same article in NewScientist continues, “the concept of the survival of the fittest could be used to justify socialism rather than laissez-faire capitalism. Then again, the success of social insects could be used to argue for totalitarianism. Which illustrates another point: it is nonsense to appeal to the “survival of the fittest” to justify any economic or political ideology, especially on the basis that it is “natural”.

Survival of the fittest is not a blanket truth that applies in all cases. Think Einstein, Gandhi, or Martin Luther King and compare them to war generals, greedy corporations and invasive aggression—survival of the fittest—although there is selective truth here, that truth needs “upgrading,” like so much of science also needs upgrading.

In order for us to survive and continue our struggle upwards where we can dream of one day being invited to join our galactic cousins, we really need to update our social sciences and bring them in line with cosmic law—and learn cooperation—then demonstrate this new-found knowledge, that we can be a valuable contributor to our universe.

Cooperation, with a healthy touch of intelligent, (not natural) selection is the New Truth!

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Me and Mortimer—Chapter Nine: “Mortimer’s Wedding”

You remember me tellin’ you last week that Mortimer was about to get  hisself married? Well, he actually found a woman that would tolerate his company brownnosing attitude! Honestly, I didn’t think ol’ Mort could do better, matrimonially, than find some desperate old widow needin’ help with her half-dozen out-of-control brats left over from a previous marriage, but he surprised me.

But, last Saturday, it actually happened! Mort got hitched! My wife and I was invited to the wedding, and I met Mort’s wife for the first time. I was quite surprised—and had to admit, Mort made a pretty good catch! She’s really a good lookin’, sexy broad and seems like she’s got smarts—at least more smarts than that company brownnoser she married! I just hope she can educate Mort so that he can get along better with me at work than he has in the past.

The ceremony was the usual schmaltzy stuff, with each of them trading mushy vows that made some of the guests wipe tears from their eyes. About those vows, I say there’s only one important one. A man marries a woman to take care of him, period! And that’s all he needs to tell her. I can’t understand why it’s necessary to have to add all this lovey-dovey stuff to the vows! If my wife feeds me and washes my clothes, I respects her. Sheesh! What more could a good wife want from a guy?

They also put on a pretty good lunch. My wife said—at least I think that’s what she called it: Balsamic glazed chicken thighs. Whatever—the main thing is, it was chicken, and it was good! I don’t understand why some folk spend so much time giving fancy names to what they’re eating. As if it’s gonna make the food taste better! I was gonna go and have a third helping, but my wife stopped me. She said I shouldn’t make a pig of myself.

The frustrating part of the refreshments, though, was they didn’t serve real refreshments like they do at football games. They served some kinda imported wine from Chile. My wife said—again, that’s what I think she said—I don’t pay much attention to them fancy foreign names, but I think she called it Merlot, and it was a red wine. Too sweet for my taste. I prefer beer, so I only had two glasses of the stuff. They also served the wine in those long-stemmed crystal glasses. At first, I was scared to pick up one of them glasses in fear I’d break the stem, but at this point, I really needed a drink, so I took the risk. Again, I prefer good ol’ beer glasses. They’s tough and they’re used to rough handlin’ by guys like me.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot to mention the preacher that was there to marry Mortimer and his lady. Surprising thing is, it wasn’t a he: it was a she preacher! She was dressed in a ordinary business suit and looked like anybody else at the wedding. If my wife hadn’t of pointed her out to me as being a preacher, I’d of guessed she was just one of the several other women there who didn’t have a man to support her.

I don’t think God intended women to be preachers! Personally, I prefer the old-fashioned men-type preachers: men dressed in black with all kinds of fancy gold and white decorations on their robes and hats. Makes them look important and reverend and pious sounding—something like a politician who’s just got caught committing a mortal sin and needs confessing: makes you almost want to believe them!

After lunch they cleared the floor and brought out the band. Not a superior quality band, like we used to have when I was younger, but a bunch of kids with those loud electric guitars and drums, and they was yellin’ into their mics and jumpin’ around and twistin’ on stage like their jeans was too tight and they needed to scratch but couldn’t reach the itch! That’s when me and the wife left the wedding! It was even too much for her.

About eleven o’clock, Mortimer and his new bride took off on their honeymoon, and Mort will be gone from the office for the rest of the week.

That’s all the news I have about the wedding itself.  Right now, I’m sittin’ here at my desk in the office, just twiddlin’ my thumbs while I’m talkin’ to you …

sheesh! … Good thing you’re a good listener! Makes it lonely, not havin’ Mort here. Thank goodness at least I got you to talk to and tell you about the latest happenings here at the company and between me and Mort. Makes the day go faster when I can just talk to someone.

… Yeah, I know, know!  I could put away those files before going home early again, but the office boy only brought a few files for me to file today, and Mort’s not here to check on me, so I think I’ll wait ‘till tomorrow to file them.

What do you think of the two extra police the town’s hired last week? One of the cops is even a woman, can you believe that? What if she has to arrest some big, drunken bum? How’s she gonna get the cuffs on him?

Personally, I don’t see where crime is on the increase in town. Just ‘cause there was a drunken brawl outside the pub that hurt that one woman and her kid and the news carried it for nearly a week, don’t mean we need more cops! What was the woman with her kid doing on the streets so late at night, anyway? And where was her husband? He shoulda been there protecting his wife and kid! Anyone with superior sense, like I have, knows that women are the weaker sex and shouldn’t be on the streets at night without an escort! That’s what husbands are for: to protect their wives if they ever has gotta be out late at night.

And, as for the kids, they shouldn’t be on the streets after dark to begin with. Sure, there are more cases of drug use in our area today then when I was a kid; break-ins and vandalism, but I say, all the more reason for women and kids to stay home after dark where it’s safer and they can be better protected by their husbands.

Also, I gotta ask your opinion about our town paper. I read in the editorial that the owner is askin’ the town to pitch in with some money. The owner figures that, since his paper is a small-town paper and don’t got the circulation a big city has, nor the advertising revenue, that he needs a little extra help in keeping the paper going. He sez that a newspaper is a town’s life blood and information source, but I disagree with him.

I’m sure you still remember the Crown and Star pub that used to be located on ninth street and second avenue.  It finally shut its doors about six months ago. It wanted some help from the town, but the town said that the pub wasn’t a vital business, like a newspaper, so they wouldn’t help them, even though the pub ran weekly bingos which, in my superior opinion, made it a social center for town gossip and news, no different than a newspaper.

Sheesh! Some folk is sure picky about what they calls news!

Speaking of news and newspapers, I gotta tell you, one thing I faithfully reads every morning in the paper, it’s my horoscope. If you really want to know what your day is gonna be like, read your horoscope. Just to show you how accurate them horoscopes are, here’s what mine sez for today. By the way, I’m a Libra.

It may at times be annoying that not everyone sees things the same way as you see things, but if they did, life would be hugely boring, which is far worse.” See how factual a horoscope is? That defines me to a “T”. Not many folks agrees with my superior views, but I just gotta accept that most folks just ain’t as smart as I am!

… Oh my gosh! I see it’s almost three o’clock. I hope you ain’t gonna be mad at me for running out on you like this without tellin’ you more news, but I gotta rush or I’ll miss my bus. My wife needed the car this morning, so I had to take the bus.

See you next week!

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A Sunday Chat with Myself—Satan Never Lies to You!”

“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” —Oscar Wilde

I’ve often heard people make a comment, then close that comment with, “and that’s the truth.” I don’t doubt that what they’ve just said they believe to be the truth—for them! But is it universally true, and will their statement—their truth—stand the test of time?

There are over seven billion people living on earth at this time, each with our own particular beliefs, and an estimated 4,200 belief systems. I also maintain that the word, “religion” doesn’t necessarily mean belonging to a religious organization. Although there are those who will vigorously deny it, every person is religious, whether they belong to a ‘religious’ organization or not. You may believe that having lots of money is the single source of happiness. Fine! That’s your belief; your religion!

Personally, as a practicing Christian, I believe in certain principles and follow certain dogmas. On the other hand, Muslim’s beliefs, although similar in most areas to Christianity, has its differences from my religion, yet we both claim to believe in the same God who created both of us, and is our salvation.

Even in Christianity itself there are diverse beliefs and ‘authoritative’ interpreters of what Jesus claimed to have said, so my question is, who heard Jesus correctly, and who understood Jesus correctly—and is my interpretation and understanding the only right one?

I often envision Jesus tuning in on his diverse followers and shaking his head in disbelief: “how can some of my acclaimed followers misquote and misinterpret me so badly from what I had originally said? I taught love and forgiveness, not hate and war!

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” –Plato

Then there is the matter of faith. According to Wikibooks, “Faith is the basic ingredient to begin a relationship with God. Faith is the assurance that the things revealed and promised in the Word are true, even though unseen, and gives the believer a conviction that what he expects in faith, will come to pass.” Sounds so simple and beautiful, but it is exactly that element in our nature that also causes more wars and anguish than anything else.

I often envision an army, drummed into full, passionate hate, getting ready for battle against their assumed foe. In the last act before actually engaging the ‘enemy,’ they’re blessed by their ‘God-appointed’ Padres and assured that “God is on our side,” while at the same time, our assumed enemy’s Padres are also blessing their troops and told that “God is on their side.” Now they feel most energized to mercilessly slaughter one another, all in the name of the same loving God who created all humans! There’s something wrong with that scenario!

I can’t help but think that there is also something very wrong when I hear both our religious leaders and politicians excite crowds into states of separation, hate and violence against the ‘chosen foe.’ To me, these ‘rabble rousers’—politicians and preachers—are the real Satans—the Lucifers of the world mentioned in Scripture, who use religious texts, twist the contents ever so slightly, then have us believe that what they speak—the twisted truth, is actually the real truth!

This is another example of what I mean when I say we have accepted certain men and women in our lives to lead us, and often that truth gets twisted to suit their agenda, not Jesus’ agenda for us. In John 13:34 Jesus is reported to have said, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Do you see any room here for isolation of a neighbor, separation of loved ones or hate because they didn’t follow our particular wish, or reason to hate someone enough to go to war with them and kill them? And remember, Jesus didn’t just wish that we would love one another: He gave us a commandment to love one another. That truth is direct and straight forward. Pretty hard to change facts and their meaning—or is it?

So, how would Lucifer twist Jesus’ command to love one another to suit his own purpose? Simple! Lucifer would stand on his podium and piously agree with the truth that Jesus spoke: “love one another,” but in a quieter moment, he’d simply add, “as long as people repent and do what I tell them to do!” And, in just that simple, innocent-sounding short addition, he’s completely turned love into hate, and given you your ‘righteous’ excuse to go to war with your neighbor!

Another example. I wake up one morning and find that my house has been broken into, and my money stolen. Immediately, in a great fanfare of emotion that an-injustice-has-been-committed-against-me,  I call the police—and the news media, eternally seeking for that dramatic moment in one’s life (especially if their cameras can capture a tear or two in my eye. That would help), is hard on the heals of the police, looking for that dramatic cry of ‘injustice’, and, I-need-to-be-avenged, while shaking my fist and declare in rightousness that the perpetrator be justly punished.

Lucifer, and his band of dedicated followers, feed on hate and intolerance of this kind. That’s their food! War is a banquet to them.

Back to my story. Instead of getting all hyper and vengeful, why not stop and ask—as Jesus would certainly do—why did that person go to all the trouble of breaking into my house and robbing me? Maybe he has been unemployed for some time and he and his family are having trouble meeting their bills. He needs money. Where can I help? Maybe he has an addiction problem and his sense of morals have been perverted. Again, where can I help? Or, could it be that the guy is simply a sociopath and doesn’t know any better, thus needs more than my help: he needs professional help.

Jail is a punishment invented by man, not The Christ! Jail is not compassion!

In either case, when the man is brought before the judge for trial, am I there to help decide a compassionate solution to his problem? Admittedly, the man does have a problem because a normal, balanced person is not going to deliberately commit a crime against his fellow man. And that is a truth!

Sometimes, when I look at the world and see all the cruelty, suffering and hate that we foist on each other, I have to wonder just how far—if at all—we have evolved from the primitive savage that our anthropologists and archaeologists tell us we supposedly came from.

I also look up at the stars and think, is there intelligent life out there? If there is, why haven’t they contacted us? Could it be that they are patiently waiting for us to grow up: to throw off our primitive habits and become kinder, and more honest with each other; to evolve to a point where we are intelligent and spiritual enough so that Satan no longer has the power to twist the truth to his morbid pleasure and our suffering?

I believe that only then, when we’ve outgrown our weakness to accept“twisted truth,” will we be formally visited by Extraterrestrials and invited to join the Cosmic Community!

Posted in Drugs, God, Quality of Life, Religion, Responsibility, Spirituality, Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment