God and Trump

MIAMI — In his first public appearance since the strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran, President Trump rallied his evangelical Christian base of supporters on Friday, portraying himself as the restorer of faith in the public square and claiming that God is “on our side.” (MSN.com)

$

I wonder:

  1. If God contacted Trump personally
  2. If Trump is dictating what he expects God to do
  3. If Trump made the announcement without God being consulted

The Power of Hate and Fear

Throughout history, one of the most popular–and effective methods for gaining power and influence has been to use hate and fear. People will unite against a threat better and faster than uniting in support of an ideal. Oftentimes the hate was aimed at a minority with claims that “they” were controlling wealth. “They” were a threat to everyday people. “They” would soon take over.

One group who were cast as “they” were the Jews, and not just by Hitler in the twentieth century. The middle ages are rife with similar examples. In the aftermath of the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan not only targeted Blacks, but also Jews and Catholics. “They” were different and if “they” gained power, “they” would upset the status quo.

Are the Jews being targeted again, today?

This isn’t fear of a group as much as it is fear of change. People often say, “The only constant is change.” Their mouths say those words, but neither their minds nor their hearts accept it. Their stance is, “You can have my perception of reality when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.” The more warped the perception, the more fiercely they defend it.

In the meantime, they happily suspend reality and hold on to false beliefs–beliefs based on unfounded fear and undeserved hate. People defend their egos from bruising by lying to themselves. They use whatever means necessary, including, murder, theft, lies, and the other tools of hate.

If there is one person one should be honest with, it is one’s self.

 

 

No Place Like Home

diogenes_04

 

If you ever read about me you know that history claims that I lived in either a sewer or a large pot. Trust me, it was a sewer. If you live in a large pot, before too long, it becomes a sewer.

However, that was my choice. After all, I was a legitimate and, in fact, esteemed philosopher. I am credited with being a major force in developing the philosophical discipline known as cynicism. Me, being a cynic, suspect that you don’t believe that.

Observing events in your time, I must admit it adds great credence to the importance of the cynical philosophy. In fact, while every age needs a certain amount of healthy cynicism, your age will never be cynical enough.

But I digress.

I was thinking, after seeing political, social, and religious interactions over the past decade, how I am perfectly adapted to live in this time. If I had lived in your here and now, I would have readily eschewed my desire to find an honest man. It was a fool’s errand in my time, and today, um, well . . . .

Today, it is often not the person with a powerful title who has power; the power is frequently wielded by those who whisper in the leader’s ear–those once called the powers behind the throne.And, indeed, a throne it is.

If I lived in this day and age I could . . . .

No. Never mind.

I miss my sewer.

Psychological Projection

Your president tweeted* about a young lady who has taken a stand in favor of protecting the environment.

Apparently, she has admitted to Aspbergers, a “disorder” that often afflicts brilliant scientists, engineers, and computer programmers and allows them to focus intently on their work. However, the ability to focus on one thing often makes social interaction challenging. (“Sorry about not engaging in small talk–I’m trying to understand a quantum mechanics algorithm.”)

The president’s tweet said, “Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend!”

She should take his advice to heart–after all, this advice comes from an individual who has significant experience with anger issues as well as extreme difficulty interacting socially.

I guess she did. Her reply? “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”

Problem solved?

 

 

* Are those who use Twitter, Twits?

Great Thoughts

In business, there is the Peter Principle, which states that people in an organization will be promoted until they reach their level of incompetence, after which they will neither be promoted nor demoted. A good clerk, for example, might be promoted to team leader. If successful as a team leader, the next step is supervisor. If less than successful as a supervisor, that former clerk will stay a supervisor. In other words, the cream rises until it sours.

Kings, lords, emperors, and other high personages seem somehow to reach incompetence whether appointed, anointed, or elected without bothering with the intermediate steps. However, the Huns and the Visigoths were interesting, the Borgias intriguing, and the Japanese Shoguns fascinating.

Unfortunately, the current crop seems not to include any exceptional people. No style. No grace. No culture. Almost all of them are cut from the same bolt of cloth.

I can’t adequately describe their approach, but a great philosopher sums it up well:

“I didn’t do it. No one saw me do it. You can’t prove anything.

 – Bart Simpson

Entertaining Judicial Appointments

Since, by virtue of being dead and long gone, I am not impacted by your government’s activities, I can watch them with enjoyment as nothing more than entertainment.

People are being appointed by your president as federal judges who have never engaged in the judicial process to any real level. Have they tried a case? No. Have they deposed witnesses? No. Have they examined or cross-examined a witness? No.

Hey. it’s only a judge. What difference could they possibly make?

Let’s shift professions–if you needed surgery, would you be comfortable if your surgeon:
Had never performed surgery?
Had never decided whether a patient needed surgery?
Had never taken care of a patient after their surgery?

Hey, it’s only a surgeon. What difference could it possibly make?

 

Not Easily Amazed, But . . . .

I like to think that I’m fairly jaded and not much can surprise me, but it still happens. Actually, though, it’s embarrassing to admit it–I mean after the first millennium I’d actually seen pretty much everything. Surprising me should take something like seeing everyone with a supercomputer in their hands or humans on the moon.

I have always valued honesty–even though I admit that my tendency to walk around with a lantern during the daytime was theatrical. However, by valuing honesty, I value facts.

I am amazed that in the twenty-first century so many people vociferously ignore facts. The facts we’re talking about seem fairly concrete–well, actually, concrete is concrete. The intelligence community, which has proven its expertise, has stated unequivocally that Russia was behind the 2016 election interference. Yet, there are those who either outright deny Russia’s involvement or waffle with, “Well, maybe it could have been (Pick one or more: [Ukraine, Peru, Myanmar, Lichtenstein, or Luxembourg])!”

Russia has a well documented history of creating hate and discontent by spreading disinformation. They use this technique in many countries, many of which have established resiliency programs to help their citizens separate truth from fiction. The Finns, and the Swedes (among others) have been very effective. Unfortunately, your United States does not even train their government officials to resist falsehoods.

Your Jesus pointed out that “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” He wasn’t the first to say that, nor did he claim to be. However, Jesus saying that gave it more than a bit of street cred. He didn’t say anything that wasn’t absolutely correct.

Learn–PLEASE.