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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Driftwood

"'To do our best' means that at all times in everyday life we should probe our minds so that we don't feel guilty about our mistakes, even though others don't know about them. If we do that we are truly doing our best."

-- Dalai Lama

More driftwood.

"The observation that good people suffer and evil people enjoy success and recognition is short-sighted. Also this conclusion might have been drawn in haste. If one analyzes carefully, one finds that troublemakers are definitely not happy. It is better to behave well, take responsibility for one's actions, and lead a positive life."

-- Dalai Lama

#Truth

"Through universal altruism, you develop a feeling of responsibility for others and the wish to help them actively overcome their problems."

-- Dalai Lama

While I am no Objectivist, I really don't see a contradiction between what the Dali Lama says and Ayn Rand's condemnation of altruism.

I know Rand does, but an individual voluntarily given to another without coercion is positive. Forcing someone to give to another is not altruism. There is only a problem, in my opinion, with the latter.

Driftwood

"Learning to forgive is infinitely more useful than merely picking up a stone and throwing it at the object of one's anger, especially when the provocation is extreme."

--Dalai Lama

Yet it seems some people spurn forgiveness, and seek to provoke. That they will continue to provoke until they can get a negative response from you. And that the more you refuse to be provoked, the madder they get.

I think these people are lost, and they want to make you lost as well, so that they are not alone. They want you to share in their misery.

I think these people should be avoided to the extent they can be avoided.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Super Bowl disclaimer: Confessions of a Carolina Expatriate in Denver.

I have been in Denver, for good, since September, 2002. I remember seeing the Denver skyline rise from the horizon, the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, as I cruised west on Interstate 70 as Ted Nugent blared over my car radio. Good times.

As a child, I lived several years in Fort Collins while my dad got his Ph.D. at Colorado State University. Growing up, we returned almost yearly to ski. My parents helped build a house near Salida in the ‘90’s which we still use. So my Colorado connections are solid.

But, historically, my Carolina ones may be stronger. My family moved to Greensboro in the middle of my ninth grade year. I went on to attend college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for seven straight years. (And I’m THIS CLOSE to getting a degree…). I was there long enough, I became a local in the college town.  I eventually got married. I worked in Carolina. I was involved in the state.

Then the NFL started talking about expansion. My wife at the time and I lived about 90 minutes north of Charlotte. We got on board the Permanent Seat License express, where we paid money for the right to buy season tickets if Charlotte got a team. (Hey, I didn’t say we were all that bright).

The NFL awarded Charlotte and Jacksonville, FL, teams. (I remember one jilted city complaining that Jacksonville beat them out: “Jacksonville!? Jacksonville makes Charlotte look like Paris!”). The Panthers first home game was played at Clemson University, in South Carolina, in 1995. I was there.

Their permanent home was built in Uptown Charlotte (Yeah, “uptown.” Not “downtown.” Forget the good ol’ boy NASCAR stereotype. Charlotte is a town run by bankers. They can be pretentious.) Each of the original PSL owners had their names inscribed on the base of one of six huge Panther statues circling the stadium. My name is among them.


I was a regular until I left Carolina in the fall of 2002. I still have a Julius Peppers’ #90 Panthers jersey.

So, I am conflicted. I admit it.

But I have been here, in Denver, for nigh on fourteen years. I’m ready to commit.


Go Broncos.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Eric Garner and LaVoy Finicum aren't that different.

Eric Garner was killed by government agents attempting to arrest him because he was violating a government mandate by selling untaxed, loose cigarettes. He was harming no one.

LaVoy Finicum was killed by government agents attempting to arrest him because he was violating a government mandate by squatting in an unoccupied building. He was harming no one.

Of course there are important differences between the two deaths. But we should be focusing on the similarities.

Government agents are not keeping the peace. They are violently breaching it.

Let's quit arguing about our differences. Let's focus on our similarities. Let's unite against the abuse of government power.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Libertarianism. It's simple.

Libertarianism: Just quit using the government to force other people to do what you think they should do.

I know you think you are smarter than they are. I know you think you are more righteous than they are. Maybe you are.

So what?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Best BlueCarp comments o' the day.

‪#‎sotu‬ If he really wants to end torture, he should end this speech.

‪#‎sotu‬ Didn't he start by saying this was gonna be a short speech?

‪#‎sotu‬ ‪#‎potus‬ just put Joe Biden in charge of finding a cure for cancer. May god have mercy on our soul.

Republican AGs in NE & OK begging the feds to crush CO's sovereignty & put final stake in 10th Amdt. ‪#‎CoPolitics‬ ‪#‎CoLeg‬

‪#‎sotu‬ Audience gets more excercise standing up and sitting down that at a Catholic service.

‪#‎sotu‬ Technology kills jobs. Damn that cotton gin! Damn those textile looms! Damn those computers!

‪#‎sotu‬ ‪#‎potus‬ taking credit for economy is akin to rooster taking credit for the sunrise.

All of the ass-kissing sycophants trying to touch the ‪#‎potus‬ as he walks in the room is obscene. ‪#‎sotu‬ Have some respect.

If we start making lying a crime, that's not gonna turn out well.
Making money based on a lie is fraud and already illegal.

Republicans LOVE the Tenth Amdt.
Except when they hate it:
"Oh, please, big daddy Federal Govt, stop Colorado from being free!! They are annoying me!!"

GOP AGs in NE & OK to the feds: "Don't tell us what to do with healthcare! Tell CO what to do with weed!" ‪#‎CoPolitics‬ ‪#‎CoLeg‬ ‪#‎Inconsistency‬

If you are a limited govt conservative but automatically give law enforcement the benefit of the doubt on every issue, you're doing it wrong.

Every juror in the US should watch Making a Murderer as part of orientation.‪#‎CoPolitics‬ ‪#‎CoLeg‬

The bill to audit the Fed died, of course. (It needed 60 votes to continue. Didn't get it.)
End the charade.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the oligarchs' power remains in the dark and unexamined.

Treating Ann Coulter like a serious person is akin to treating a squirrel like a donut.

Absurd. If it costs too much, don't buy it. Problem solved. EU complaint: McDonald's gouging consumers https://t.co/rmbBBuYHUP via @usatoday

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Intercept thinks trespassing is cool as long as you are expressing yourself.

https://theintercept.com/2016/01/06/why-its-scary-that-the-mall-of-america-can-crush-dissent/

You are losing it, Intercept. Private property is private property.

Or may I hold a demonstration in your lobby next week?

If only we had some way to reach the entire world via electronic means and we could say whatever we wanted to say....!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Green movement in action.

Jeremy Meyer, Denver Post Editorial Writer, recounts how he "recently cut down a big cottonwood" in his yard in preparation for installation of solar panels on his roof.

Then he decided not to install them. 

Friday, January 08, 2016

Conversations about voting

"I'm voting for Gary Johnson for President."

"Why? He can't win."

"Not with an attitude like that he can't."
===

"I'd vote for Gary Johnson if only he had a chance to win."

"You know, if everyone who said that voted for him, he would have a chance."
===

"I really like Gary Johnson, but I don't want to waste my vote."

"So, you are going to vote for someone you don't really like so you don't waste your vote?"

"Yeah. I want my vote to count."

"Tell me again how you define 'waste?'"
===

"I believe in limited government, but I want to win, so I can't vote Libertarian. I vote for the GOP nominee: Trump, Christie, Rubio, whoever this year. Mitt, McCain, W, Dole, W's dad in the past."

"I think you should reexamine what you consider 'victory,' my friend."

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Addressing Colorado's old time liquor laws

Grocery stores in Colorado are allowed to sell beer and alcoholic beverages as long as they do not contain more than 3.2% alcohol. Hence, if you want regular strength beer or wine, or any liquor at all, you must go to a liquor store.

Liquor stores, however, may only sell alcoholic beverages and whatever the State regulatory agency deems a related product, like limes for your Corona.

There is a move afoot in Colorado to allow grocery stores to sell full strength beverages and liquor.

And, by all means, they should be able to do so. Unfortunately, this movement, as currently comprised, would not remove restrictions from existing liquor stores.

This is untenable.

Existing liquor stores should be able to sell potato chips, toothbrushes and snow tires if they want.

Both restrictions should be lifted.

I understand that the initiative process in Colorado only allows for a single subject to be voted on at a time, and this makes it more difficult to remove both restrictions in one vote.

There is nothing to prevent two complimentary initiatives being run at the same time: One removing the grocery store restriction, the other removing the liquor store restriction.

Doing one without the other is hardly an improvement.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Unjust federal prison sentences and social justice

I remember reading about a time when "progressives" would join a protest about a federal prison sentence that "shocked the conscience" of the very judge forced to hand out the sentence.

Now, "progressives" sound like "law and order" "conservatives:" "Kill them!" "Kick those terrorists out of the country!" "Love it or leave it, teabaggers!"

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

A Christian sinner's thoughts on some gospel stuff

First, I am neither biblical scholar nor apologist. I am merely a failed Christian who attended church, Sunday School and Wednesday night fellowship for about 18 years. With that unimpressive resume established, I have some ideas about how ordinary Christians, going about their daily lives, treat the Gospel

Living according to Jesus' teachings is impossible. He was perfect, and we are not expected to match his perfection. We are merely expected to try. And that is hard enough.

Let us take a segment from the Sermon on the Mount:

Jesus said

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."

-- Matthew 5:43-44 (King James Version).

Jesus tells us to love our enemies, among other things, in these two verses.

How many Christians even attempt this? Not many, I submit. I do not even grasp the concept. I don't think many do.

This is just one example of many of Jesus' teachings that Christians fail to live by.

I think Christians treat the difficult parts of the Gospel in one of three ways:

1. Treat the passage as metaphor that is not to be taken literally.

2. Treat the passage as literal and ignore it because it is too hard.

3. Treat the passage as literal and try to live by it, but fail.

The problem with the first, and I think most frequent, interpretation is that it leaves us in charge of deciding when Jesus meant it and when he did not. We say, "Yes, Jesus said 'love your neighbor,' but what he REALLY meant was . . .." or "Sure, Jesus said 'turn the other cheek,' but what he REALLY meant was . . .."

The problematic nature of this interpretation is self-evident. It is akin to letting a basketball team decide its own fouls. Or letting a politician decide what a bribe really is. 

The problem with the second interpretation is that we are giving up. We are excusing our failure because trying to comply is just too hard. 

I submit the third interpration is the only legitimate interpretation. This is problematic because it sets us up for guilt, shame and perhaps even despair for our failures. But that is where the concept of Grace comes in. Jesus knows we will fail. He knows we all fall short of the Glory of God. But he forgives us anyway. 

That forgiveness is difficult for many of us to accept. But we must try. Just like we must try to grasp the message, and try to live by that message, we must try to accept His forgiveness.

We will fail. But that is ok. We merely have to try. Not half-heartedly, but really try. That is all that is expected. 

I think.

Further thoughts are appreciated. Thanks.

Monday, January 04, 2016

This is powerful.




The Laughing Heart

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.
--  Charles Bukowski

Sunday, January 03, 2016

What would be an appropriate response?

We will have a new president in a year. That president may decide to enforce federal law and crack down on marijuana businesses.

Should we acquiesce? Should we leave it up to the cannabis industry because it's their fight, not ours? Should we fight in the courts? Should we forcibly protect the private property of Colorado residents from federal seizure? Should we forcibly protect Colorado residents from being put in handcuffs and locked in a cage?

If you think resistance is necessary or appropriate, then you should have at least a quantum orf sympathy for the occupation of the Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge.