Search This Blog

Monday, March 31, 2008

Lincoln's Depression and the 2008 Vote!

There's a new book out called "Lincoln's Melancholy" by Joshua Wolf Shenk that everyone raves about. If you admired Lincoln before, you'll admire him even more after you've red Shenk's book

I admire Lincoln. He was dealing with a manic-depressive wife who was as much trouble when she was up as she was when she was down. He had the weight of the union on his shoulders. He was a tender hearted man and God placed him in the breach and told him to hold the walls and he did a splendid job against all odds.

AND he suffered chronic depression as well.

The man was extraordinary.

Isn't it amazing that whenever the country has faced a crisis, God always gives us a President with honor, courage and wisdom to stand in the breach and defend us.
When the country was new and threatened by England and virtually every other country in Europe, George Washington set the tone for every president who came after him. When they started a movement to make him King, he had the fortitude to say "NO". His legacy has stamped every man who came to the presidency after him.

When the country was ripped asunder by Civil War, greedy industrialists, arrogant Southern aristocrats and crooked politicians, possibly the last honest man in the country won the presidency almost by accident.

We've had others like Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan who brought a sound practical sense to the country at a time when everything was falling apart and dark forces threatened. We had Franklin D. Roosevelt when the country needed reassurance and FDR was a master at it. We had Eisenhower's steady hand on the tiller when the country was threatened by communism and our own corrupt military-industrial complex as he called it. We got JFK when we needed a cheerful optimism and lower taxes. We got Dubya when we needed to respond to terrorism with strength and decisiveness.

These men weren't perfect. Some I won't mention were pretty dismal. They weren't always right, but they had what it took when we needed it and still, incredibly, America stands.

Remember Lincoln when you line up to vote this Fall. A lot of people didn't think he'd make such a good president. A lot of folks voted for him because they thought the alternative was worse.

Makes me feel good to know Somebody's up there looking out for us. When He stops helping us pick the presidents we need when crisis looms, it'll be because it's time to down tools and go home anyway.....

See you at the voting booth.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fun Diseases and Their Cures!

Well, now, isn't this special. PEOPLE who send excessive texts and emails may have a mental illness, according to an article in a leading psychiatric journal. I wonder who funded that study? Likely it was somebody who wants us to be doing something else besides communicating with our friends.

There is a certain segment of our society that hates for anyone to have unsupervised fun. They are funding research into all sorts of apparently subversive fun in an effort to prove these activities are causing abbherant behavior and draining society's social service resources.

I wondered what sort of other activities I've done a quick survey of on-going medical/psychological research projects and discovered the following:

1. A Stanford study to prove that Diet Dr. Pepper is evil. The researcher first suspected this when he failed to distinguish between regular and Diet Dr. Pepper in a blind taste test. Deciding there had to be something wrong with a diet drink that good, he applied for and received a grant from the American Corn Syrup institute to test his theory.

2. A Columbia university research project by Dr. Harlon P. Fussbudget is looking at APD (accordion playing disorder), common in the Hispanic, German, Italian, Swiss and Irish cultures and medications that will permanently stop the music. So far meds investigated are usually fatal, but Dr. Fussbudget hopes to find one that merely incapacitates.... This one was funded by ASCAP and RIAA. Who'd have guessed?

3. A Harvard Study of people who read science fiction found that SFRS (Sci-fi reader's syndrome) causes independent thinking, excessive consumption of Twinkies with Root Beer and Star Trek conventions. The researchers suggest a new federal "Sci-Fi!" Ban. This one was funded by the Harlequin Romance Foundation and the Fabio Modeling Institute.

4. A University of Boston researcher, Dr. Fedora Fardlewitt, is conducting an extensive study of compulsive banjo playing throughout North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas funded by the Uppity Yankees Coalition of America. Dr. Fardlewitt theorizes that CBP can be prevented by banning corn whiskey consumption in states with high incidences of the disorder, too many bluegrass festivals and/or any state that has a statue of Earl Scruggs anywhere it it.

5. Finally, The National Alliance of Anal Retentive Vegans has funded a study proving that Krispy Kreme Donuts are addictive. They've recently created a pilot 12 step program called Donuts Anonymous (DA) Sponsored by The University of Wisconsin and the state of New York

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Who knows what they'll make into a disease next.

Just a word of caution to everybody. If there is anything you do that's fun, absorbing or makes you happy, DON'T TALK TO A PSYCHOLOGIST ABOUT IT! They'll just make a disease out of it or make it illegal and spoil all your fun!

...I'm just sayin'


© 2008

* Warning: The above essay uses humor, irony and sarcasm to make a point. Please do not read if you are brain-impaired or suffer from PCS (Political Correctness Syndrome). Could be harmful to your complacency or could damage your calm.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tom's Parabolic Limericks - Opus 2

There was a bold guv'ner from Albany
Who wanted but just couldn't get any
Till he transferred some money
In a way clerks thought funny
They discovered he's not gettin' sin free.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Tom's Parabolic Limericks - Opus 1

A bold candidate from Nantucket
Promised all at least one hen per bucket
Make me sheriff next Fall
And from the rich I'll take all
And ban guns so nobody can buck it!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Whatcha think? Why does anyone else care?

Somebody on one of my on-line hangouts started a controversial thread asking what everybody thinks about Ouija Boards, the toy that purports to help you communicate with the "spirit world" and whether they really work or not.

The respondents broke down into two groups. The first group said, "Uh, uh, no way, I ain't gettin' anywhere near one of those things - they're evil!" The second group, scoffs and calls Ouija Board communications a mass delusion, a toy or "harmless".

So what is the right answer? Do dead people or evil spirits communicate with us through a wooden board and a mysteriously moving planchette (the teardrop shaped indicator that jerks around the board when two users touch it and points out the letters of the message)? Spirits or a big hoax? The answer, I'm afraid is not very satisfying if you try to puzzle out the truth of the matter with anything remotely resembling an open mind.

It is as likely that there are creatures we cannot see existing in dimensions or planes of existence we cannot comprehend as not. Physicists have postulated parallel dimensions many steps beyond our own. There is no reason that intelligent creatures should not inhabit those planes of existence.

Science believes what it can prove and supposedly keeps an open mind about the rest. Unfortunately, scientists rather often violate this principle and openly laugh at people who don't subscribe to whatever the current popular view of the cosmos happens to be this week.

But to laugh at the experience of people whom you know to be reliably honest and truthful is, I believe, to discount evidence merely because you don't like it.

For some reason, I have heard many stories from ordinarily very truthful persons that recount messages through manipulation of a Ouija board that were evil, manipulative, terrifying and extraordinarily similar. My own wife who is painfully truthful by habit (often much to my discomfort), tells a frightening story of a "conversation" she and another teenaged friend had with an entity communicating through the board. She began to smell a rat given the story it was telling and she asked it "Are you Satan?" The planchette began to jerk back and forth from 'H' to 'A' to 'H' to 'A' over and over - laughing maniacally at her. She got rid of the board fast.

Before I discount stories like that, I would have to assume that all of those individuals were either (1) Insane OR (2) telling uncharacteristically silly lies OR (3) victims of an almost identical subconscious prank by their own brains that makes the thing appear to work. The fact that Penn & Teller couldn't make it work in their presence proves nothing to me. If the "spirits" possess free will and are able to conciously decide whether or not they wish to reveal themselves to these guys, then it's every bit as likely that that they may keep their secrets to themselves as it is that they speak on command.
Assuming malevolent purpose, it's very possible that they might not want to talk to a Las Vegas magician. Pretty pompous of Penn Gillette to assume he can make "spirits" perform like trained seals.

I'm just sayin'

There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio. I was drummed out of grad school because they discovered that I was a Christian and therefore I was "not a good scientist" by definition. I was told, if asked, "Is there a God?" the proper reply they explained was "No"

Not even "Maybe". There could be no God because Professor Silver couldn't prove there was one. Well, she couldn't prove there wasn't either, truth be told, but the nonexistence of God was a tenant of her particular religion (atheism) and like the most arbitrary priest or pastor she demanded that all her students accept this precept as well - by faith or suffer excommunication from graduate school.

Scientists can be such fundamentalists and these guys were psychologists yet - a branch of study that mathematicians and physicists call a "soft science". See even in science you get the old "Holier than thou" treatment! This bolsters my argument that science is a religion.

I do not believe that there is evidence sufficient to fully prove or disprove whether anyone can communicate with noncorporeal creatures using a Ouija Board. It's one of those interesting little mysteries of life that each of us must solve for ourselves to our own satisfaction and usually without convincing evidence except our own experience.

Ultimately the universe is so vast and so complex that much of what we think we know we must take on an educated faith.

Hey, whatever makes you able to get up in the morning and live a decent and useful life! Nobody has any business belittling you for what you have come to believe based on your own experiences. Ultimately, it's all you have with which to figure out the world.

A little more "Treat others the way you want to be treated" would go a long way to ending all kinds of wars and stupid arguments where neither side can prove its point anyway.

I'm not arguing for or against religion here or even that Ouija boards actually work. Truth is the answer there may be "It depends on who is using it." Nobody can answer that kind of question for anybody else. You have to figure that out all by your lonesome and nobody has any right to belittle you for the answer you get!

Just one man's opinion...

Tom King