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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Anger Can Shorten Your Life

By Sam Huntington

According to a recently published University of Michigan study, which took place over a period of 17-years, people who are perpetually stressed and angry experience shortened lifespans.  Anger is a normal reaction to external stimuli, and everyone experiences it.  It is not unhealthy to have anger; it is unhealthy to hold it in, and inappropriate to lash out at others because of it.  Anger is an emotion, aggression is a behavior.

We all experience some ire from time to time, but psychologists tell us that deep-seated anger comes from rejection at an early age, which is an obstacle to normal childhood development.  There are many facets to rejection, and it may not even matter why a child has been excluded, only that those rejecting children are more often than not the same people who are responsible for nurturing and security in formative years. Rejection leads to maladjustment, bitterness, and anxiety.  The greatest challenge to youngsters is in learning how to deal with changes that take them outside of their comfort zone; this is particularly true when they face unwanted changes.  

Stress comes to us early in life, always involving a wide range of challenges.  Some of these involve factors beyond our power to change: physical characteristics, mental capacity, sexual orientation, developmental timelines, the order of birth, and/or race and ethnicity.  How does an unlovely child change its physical appearance or the color of their skin?  Nor are children able to deal effectively with in-home abusive relationships, separation or divorce of parents, or homes where alcohol and drug abuse are common. How children deal with these kinds of problems follows them into adulthood; they are factors that impact their relationships with others —even, eventually, their own children.  An insecure child grows into an anxious adult. A child with low self-esteem carries this problem with them throughout their life without significant intervention. Without intercession, the situation feeds on itself: low self-esteem leads to a greater sense of rejection. Bitter, anxious, resentful adults generally do not handle their anger very well.

No matter the cause of one's annoyances, people exhibit anger in fairly consistent ways.  They react to unpleasantness with more of the same. Resentment increases whenever circumstances are perceived as unwarranted.  Psychologists refer to these as emotional triggers.  It might be something as simple as being cut off in traffic, a personal insult, or —dare I suggest it— the election of a president. It was quite disturbing to witness adults crying uncontrollably for no other reason than the fact that their candidate didn't win the election.  The result of this was an outrageous level of post-election aggression: it continues even today.

Individual character matters, of course:  people who are narcissistic, competitive, who exhibit demands of entitlement, those who have a low tolerance for life's frustrations, and the psychotics have the greatest incidents of angry aggression.  The nature of external stimuli matters, too, politics being one of many.  It is not simply a matter of the exterior factors, but also how they are perceived. A self-absorbed person may imagine that he alone knows best; other points of view simply do not matter.  How dare anyone vote for a different candidate! When people already live in a state of perpetual anger, they are more likely than others to respond to these external influences with a disturbing degree of explosiveness.  In the minds of such people, their aggressive behaviors are warranted, even though society eschews acting out irrational behavior. Such persons become even more isolated, over time their bitterness becomes more acute.  

Ultimately, the expression of unnatural anger or aggressiveness leads to unhealthful conditions, both physically and mentally.  The real problem, as it seems to me —particularly as it relates to political anger— is in not being able to let go of hostility.  In our present toxic political environment people not only become angry because the "other candidate" won an election, they quite unnaturally remain angry.  It is this perpetual anger that makes it easy to blame others for perceived injustices.  Another term for this is denial.  Perpetual anger makes it easier to lash out in various, often infantile ways, such as name-calling and liberal use of profanity, which is meant to shock others into silence.  We see a lot of this in our country today, and nowhere more frequently than in matters of politics presented in the blogosphere and within the mainstream media where never-ending panels of self-styled political consultants resort to derisive commentary and ad hominem attacks.

Our society is dysfunctional and growing more so by the day.  If the purpose of the family is to nurture and create new generations of emotionally stable human beings, then they have become seriously defective.  Our population of mentally unbalanced citizens is increasing in leaps and bounds.  Our society today is far too angry for its own good.  This isn't the fault of our government, even though most of us deplore government policies.

What is surprising, however, is how various social institutions go out of their way to fuel irrational anger.  Foremost among these are the political parties and the agenda-driven media, each of whom benefits in numerous ways from instilling our anger and then maintaining it.  Our reaction is almost Pavlovian: they snap their fingers, we react irrationally.  The American people are being manipulated in a manner, not unlike chessmen on a complex game board.  Why do we trust any of these institutions to deal with us honestly? They want us to accept opinion as fact and lies and spin as unmitigated truth.  Our anger, resentment, and frustration guarantee only this: a fractured society.  As Maxwell Smart might say, it's the old divide and conquers ploy.  To those who seek to manipulate us, our anger is the gift that keeps on giving.

Will Americans ever wake up to this scam?  If we ever did open our eyes, what should we do about it?  Democracies demand civic-minded citizens.  If we want to live and raise our families in a healthy society, then we incur an obligation to participate in it as educated, thoughtful, citizens.  We must learn to choose our leaders and representatives carefully.  We can do this by consulting multiple sources to help us in distinguishing truth from fiction.  We can do a more thorough job vetting political candidates before we vote for them.  We have to hope for the best; we have to be prepared for the worst ... and when we have reached the point of doing all that we can do, then we need to let it go.

There are far more important things in the world than a political agenda.  Finally, we need to realize that no matter what we do as individuals, there will always be irrational people who want us to react to their anger and frustration ... and unless these people fall within our inner-circle, we've got to let them go, as well.

82 comments:

  1. Sam,
    What is surprising, however, is how various social institutions go out of their way to fuel irrational anger.

    Even churches!

    I'm not referring to the preaching of the doctrine of original sin, but rather to recent developments in "the social gospel." It's dismaying to hear the active preaching of victimology in a church, the House of God.

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    1. If I may copy myself from below, this observations relates well to points you've made here, AOW:

      From what I've been able to see "RIghteous Wrath" is all too often conjured up as a way of avoiding responsibility for one's OWN failings and foibles.

      It's always easier to point our finger at ANOTHER and try to blame him or her for whatever may have gone wrong than it is to give an honest look INWARD with the hope of discovering one's OWN weaknesses and failings then striving to overcome them.

      But that is, as they say, "the nature of the beast."


      The Left has made its hideously successful career simply by EXPLOITING and attempting t SANCTION and even GLORIFY every conceivable SIN and HUMAN WEAKNESS.

      That's why I have come to feel jusifed in denouncing virtually all Leftist Initiatves as having been inspired directly by SATAN.

      "In every government on earth is some trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy, which cunning will cultivate, and improve. Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe their minds must be improved to a certain degree."

      ~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

      Precisely HOW our mnds are supposed to be improved, Jefferson left as an open question. How do YOU think he might further have elaborated on the statement?

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    2. Franco,
      From what I've been able to see "RIghteous Wrath" is all too often conjured up as a way of avoiding responsibility for one's OWN failings and foibles.

      Often true, but not always.

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    3. I never sai it was ALWAYS true. AOW, only that it is a possible reason for the perennially strident, fractious, divisive, destructive behavior of which we've seen far too much since the SICK-sties.

      MY point is that most people tend to do anything and everything BUT take responsbiity for their own failings. to attach their moral laziness and recalcitrance to a "RIghteous Cause" gives their bad behavior a false aura of credibility and acceptability –– a phenomenon the Left has EXPLOITED to the HILT as its stock-in-trade since Hegelian-Marxian-Fabian-Freudian initiatives began.

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    4. And I do so wish someine had addressed this question, because it is probably the most signifiant point raised in the [admittedly lengthy] comment.

      Precisely HOW our minds are supposed to be improved, Jefferson left as an open question. How do YOU think he might further have elaborated on the statement?

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    5. Jefferson trusted "the people."

      But the problem is that "the people" can be led astray by astute deceivers.

      So, I wish he would have elaborated by saying, "The people cannot always be trusted to be wise -- particularly when evil forces conspire to deceive the people. The people must always check their own motivations to see if they are purely selfish."

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    6. Fortunately for Jefferson, and our other Founding Fathers, he was never confrinted with advocates of Multiculturalism and Globalism, nor was he beset by Marxism, the Bolsheviks, Freudian Psychology, militant Atheism, or anything as perverse and frankly demonic as The Frankfurt School.

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    7. No leftist I, but I do not see the political left as evil or wicked. We do ourselves (and our nation) a disservice in using such terms, particularly if we hope to either establish or maintain a dialogue with polar opposites. It would seem to me that the survival of our Republic is predicated on being able to find a common way forward. With that said, I do think of certain leftist policy as being dreadful ... particularly as to its impact on our citizens, not to mention hypocritical. I personally do not believe God favors one country over another. I think of God as being more into personal relationships, rather than the collective good or bad of nations. It may have been a different story 3,000 years ago. In any case, what I believe has occurred is a shift of the way we think about “self-interest.” People will always behave in ways that will foster their own (even if only perceived) self-interest. Where we are today, for the purpose of this point, is that for all intents and purposes, government has become “a person.” I think of it as government self-interest in seeking to maintain its collective dominance, which is too often opposed to the interests of a free society. I’ve long given up the notion that we are a nation “of the people.” Jefferson imagined that a society such as he was engaged in organizing would depend on a well-educated constituency. Well, that didn’t happen ... and for all of the money we’ve spent on educational institutions, it has been money wasted. We are more literate today, but I do not think we are more intelligent, or prescient, than the average citizen living in Pennsylvania in 1840.

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    8. I mostly agree with you, Sam, and thank you for sharing your thoughts in some depth. This has proven to be an unusually stimulating, fruitful thread thanks to the inspiring thoughts you posted.

      However, we are always in great danger of being misunderstood, no matter how hard we strive to express ourselves as clearly and precisely as possible.

      I made a foolish mistake when I used the term "Righteous Wrath" above. What I SHOULD have said was SELF-Righteous Wrath –– a very different thing, and much closer to the meaning I sought to convey.

      My error led the discussion down a path I never intended to travel. ;-)

      As to the problem of identifying Leftist Cant and Rhetoric as "EVIL," I don't feel able to back away from that assertion, because I truly believe “RESULTS are ALL that COUNT."

      After, all doesn't the Bible tell us:

      "God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he reap"

      ~ Galatians 6:7

      I do honestly believe that what the Left has wrought since the pernicious ideas of Marx and all his derivatives first became popular, could ONLY be called EVIL. The results of these godless, cynical, frankly depraved machinations glorifying Sin and Selfishness have been uniformly pejorative and hideously destructive throughout the world.

      What else COULD one properly call that but EVIL?

      Please understand, I am not calling those who have been manipulated into falling prey to this vile sophistry ”evil." I am referring to the BELIEF SYSTEM, itself, that has CAUSED so much dissension, suffering, death, subjugation, desperate poverty, bitterness and incredible NASTINESS in the way we now tend to regard and treat one another.

      If that is NOT Evil, it certainly cant be called Good either, could it?

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    9. Thank you, Franco ... I appreciate your insight. Of course, I was speaking about the American left in our domestic brand of politics. It is certainly true, which is to say factual, that millions of people have died or made to suffer under the umbrella of communist ideology, but we have to understand that it isn’t the words of the ideology that kills people, it is the behaviors of madmen who have acted as the virtuous warriors of this peculiar brand of political philosophy who did the killing or caused such massive human suffering. The numbers by themselves boggles the mind. I am a believer in Judeo-Christian theology, but I am cautious and distrustful of those who seek to foist it upon others. Whenever this happens, then under those circumstances, humankind suddenly faces such things as inquisitions, stoning women, beheading people, or crucifying them for no other reason than they have a different view of life than those doing the murdering. All-in-all, we are probably on the same page. Thank you for your thoughts ...

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    10. I personally do not believe God favors one country over another.

      Well said. Though not a recent concept, technology has allowed us [writ large] to turn patriotism into a form of hyper-sensationalized pornography....ironically including [and diluting] a belief in a deity.

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  2. Sam makes good points, as he usually does. People are hard pressed to change their ways, particularly if they themselves do not understand why they’re always angry. Let ‘em go seems to be a good decision. I’ve seen what AOW is talking about inside our churches, which is why I’m picky about where I attend services. If I want politics, I watch the tube. I attend church for other purposes. I recall years ago a preacher telling his “flock” (which is probably the right word to use) not to vote for Kennedy because he was Catholic. That was the last time I attended services with that denomination. One thing I agree with Ducky about: we are a pathetic people.

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    1. The understanding that God is not always found in buildings that label themselves as "churches," –– or among people who call themselves, "Christians," –– is the beginnng of wisdom, Mustang.

      Good for you! I'm all in favor of using our powers of discrimination –– at least in an honest search for benevolence.

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  3. Great post, speaking truth about our society. Anger is being fueled by two related sources these days - political cultism and the pursuit of victimhood.

    Being a victim was once the domain of a particular end of the political spectrum...whereas recently, all parties engage in the game.

    We elevate our elected leaders to cult status when they tell us what we want to hear, true or not...and we defend their lies - only when their on "our side" of course.

    We employ empty terms like "politically correct", "anti-American", and "social justice".....without comprehending that they have no definition or metric; they only mean whatever we want them to mean....making us the dumber for using them as rhetorical currency.

    Coupled with low self esteem that seems so prevalent in the current social media, disposable, entitled paradigm, this all fuels anger and resentment, most often, for no appreciable reason.

    I don't really see anyway to combat the infectious spread of this disease.

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    1. From what I've been able to see "RIghteous Wrath" is all too often conjured up as a way of avoiding responsibility for one's OWN failings and foibles.

      It's always easier to point our finger at ANOTHER and try to blame him or her for whatever may have gone wrong than it is to give an honest look INWARD with the hope of discovering one's OWN weaknesses and failings then striving to overcome them.

      But that is, as they say, "the nature of the beast."

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    2. That's why I specifically included low self esteem as a driver of anger. Those who are burdened by such, are not likely to conduct critical thought and challenge preconceived notions and assumptions......and are more likely to elevate political charlatans to a level of idolatry, while defending dishonor.

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    3. CI,
      How can self-esteem legitimately be improved?

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    4. CI, I'm glad to see that we fundamentally agree.

      AOW, There is no 'cure' for low self-esteem other than "Reality Therapy." This again brings us to the Serenity Prayer:

      "Lord grant me the serenity t accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change what I can [for the better], and the wisdom to know the difference."

      Gaining "the wisdom to know the difference" is the key, I believe to learning how best to fulfll our lives.

      For instance, you know I made a recording of an especially challenging Beethoven Sinata to celebrate my 77th birthday last spring. It seemed IMPOSSIBLE fr me ever to play that piece to the standards I'd set for myself. It lso seemed giving up would have been the "Smart thing" to do in that case. Instead, I persevered, and kept chipping away at the thing for nearly SIXTY years.

      The successful recording I mad, which I know you have heard ,is PROOF that improvement is always possible, and that overcoming difficulties CAN be done. There is nothing evil about PERSEVERANCE. But it must be fueled by DEVOTION to the pursuit of a worthy IDEAL if it is to work FOR you.

      However, I do know my limitations. I could spend hours listing things i never could and never will do, because either I never had the CAPACITY to perform such feats, - OR - sufficient DESIRE to bother trying.

      Things rarely fall neatly into black and white categories, however much we migt like them to. ;-).

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    5. I’m tempted to echo “reality therapy”.......but barring a major socio-political or natural upheaval, forcing self sufficiency upon the masses.....it’s simply a pipe dream. Mentors and hero’s (actual hero’s) are the products of bygone ages. We have a society where parents are lost in social media fueled alternate universe just as much as our youth. We have political figures from POTUS down, who exhibit the very lack of self esteem and inclinations to anger that we’ve been speaking of. Figures of courage and honor are removed from exaltation and acclaim in lieu of immoral and vapid human shells who play games and make believe.

      There are exceptions to be sure, but there is no consequence or retribution for being a waste of oxygen. Self esteem and self worth have been replaced by the bright baubles of “inclusivity” and “fairness”.

      All one can do is to raise the minority of honorable Citizens who remain, as a bulwark against the tide of intellectual filth and social detritus.

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    6. CI,
      Self esteem and self worth have been replaced by the bright baubles of “inclusivity” and “fairness”.

      No argument there from me. And social media have exacerbated the situation.

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    7. My self-esteem is based on the esteem Christ has for me.
      He saw something in me that I did not and died for me.
      And you.

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    8. Ed,
      Thank you for sharing your testimony.

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    9. Yes, thank you, ED. I was going to try tell CI that "We ARE what we BELIEVE IN" –– regardless of what's going on around us, but he is rght in saying something to the effect that we are currently struggling to stay afloat in tidal waves of Filth, Degeneracy and Corruption most=if-not-all-of-which have been generated by the mistaken belief in utopian, atheistic, materialistic dogmas that promise The Cure for all that is unfair, unkind, unwanted and counter-productive in human society.

      The Left has been in the business of SEDUCING people from all level of society into acceptig the false belief that there is an EASY WAY to achieve a "fair and Just" society. That way? Why turning over all the decision makng power to a presumably all-wise, all-knowing, totally benevolent DICTATORIAL Centralized Government.

      Who needs GOD, when you have a GOVERNMENT of Self-Anointed Elites acting in loco parentis from Birth to Death?

      I'm sure anyone who still loves the ideal of exercising Free WILL in a FREE SOCIETY would fund this abhorrent.

      "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."

      ~ Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

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  4. Talking about Anger!
    More Men (with Guns) were sent to Arrest Roger Stone, then were sent to rescue our Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith,, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, in Benghazi.
    It’s time to STOP this Muller witch hunt!

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    1. What the hell does your irrelevant comment have to do with this blog post?

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    2. That may be "Mort," old boy, but whatever led you to believe that it should be YOUR job to point that out?

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  5. Marxist Nancy Pelosi wants to strike "so help me God" from oath taken in front of key House Committee
    PeLousy can not and will not eliminate GOD from the house vote
    She is another piece of Satanist ....like her sister in crime Hillary Clinton
    I hope that they both will burn in Hell!

    What’s next, throwing Christians to the Lions. Enough is Enough Already!!

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    1. Why don't you try sticking to the topic for once?

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    2. Good. Those taking the oath already aren't required to utter those words [as they shouldn't be]....and those who wish so, can add them if it makes them feel better.

      God is always with whomever believes in him.

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    3. Why don't you try sticking to the topic for once?

      It's actually quite germane....it illustrates the pursuit of political agendas, victimhood, baseless pejoratives and anger.

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    4. I too believe we are past the point of forcing elected officials to swear on Bibles and invoke oaths to The Creator. How many are actually sincere about it?

      Government doesn't have anything to do with God, anyway.

      Then there's this...

      "Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."
      --Jesus Christ Our Lord, as quoted in Matthew 5, vv 33-37

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    5. Yes, SilverFiddle, I see the wisdom in those words, but don't you think –– given our current beetle-shelled cynicism, and belligerent determination to denounce God as a a "FAKE" –– a "Dangersous Delusion" –– then self-righteously attempt to drum ALL MENTION and even the POSSIBILITY of gaining AWARENESS of HIS PRESENCE out of our lives –– that even merely paying LIP SERVCE to HIM, –– as we have always done in the past, since very few have EVER been what-I-would-call "Spiritually-Advanced"–– would be better than bowing to this all out attempt to OBLITERATE any and all awareness of His Presence from public consciosness?

      I have to take exception to CI's saying "God is always with whomever believeS in Him." YES, BUT As someone who has LONG been energized and has derived much inspiration and solace from a lifelong determination TO believe no matter what –– never an easy thing, believe me –– I feel compelled to say that God, who is All-in-All, is ALWAYS with everyone.

      However, those whove made a determnation NOT to believe, will find it it all-but-impossble to benefit from God's Presence, because IF we are to believe, we must keep ourselves OPEN to whatever goOd may cme our way, and be ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS in doing whatever we can to strengthen and increase our faith and confidence.

      A simple analogy might help to clarify my meaning:

      If for the sake fargument God may be likened to the SUN, how could anyone enjoy the benefits offered if he insists on keeping himself locked in darkened chamber with blackout shades and heavy insulated curtains sealing out the light from the windows?

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    6. A secular nation, particularly one that provides for separation of church and state, has no business demanding that its citizens swear an oath “under” or “to” God. If one happens to be an atheist, such oaths have no material effect on the final disposition of one’s soul. In any case, the Supreme Court has allowed for certain examples of ceremonial (traditional) deism, but we’ve seen a shift over the years from swearing oaths under God to simply swearing or affirming our allegiances or in our promise to tell the truth. I dare say that lying in court goes on with uncanny frequency, so one has to wonder about the purpose of swearing to tell the truth. In other areas, such as freemasonry, for example, it is not possible to become part of that fraternity if one does not believe in God, the catch being that no one in masonry ever asks a candidate to name their God.

      I keep wondering why the US House of Representatives employs a chaplain. It is one of the most godless bodies in human history.

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    7. Sam,
      I keep wondering why the US House of Representatives employs a chaplain. It is one of the most godless bodies in human history.

      Yes, indeed.

      I guess that it's all about optics. Or something.

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    1. Indeed, but if you've ever seen –– and appreciated –– Ken Keasey's masterpiece One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, you would begin to understand that having the inmates run an asylum might not always be such a bad idea.

      There are far too many NUrSE RATCHED's in positions of authority these days. The most obvious example being NANCY PELOUSY, of course, but sadly their name is now LEGION.

      If we freeborn citizens of the USA may be likened unto "inmates," –– a trerm that seems increasingly applicable to our current plight –– isn't it high time we DID take charge –– as we are constitutionally mandated to do?

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  7. Excellent Sam! I never got roped into the anger of the 'victimized' and could continue on my cheerful way. However, as I struggle with dementia in my household that brings daily explosions of anger, accusation and recrimination from which one cannot remove oneself, I feel the toll this victimhood culture is needlessly taking on masses of people in physical and psychology trials that result in shortened, unhappy lives. It's criminal that the perpetrators of this garbage are doing this to the "victims" they profess to care about. And, I'm convinced, in many many cases, on purpose.

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    1. Baysider,
      The promotion of anger and victimology is definitely on purpose.

      Dementia in your household? Talk about something difficult! My mother-in-law (1920-2015) had Alzheimer's for some 20 years. We will be ever grateful to her longtime significant other for how he took care of her -- right up to the moment when she forgot how to stand up. Not once did he complain.

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    2. Baysider, I'm so sorry you have to deal with the ravages of senile dementia in a member of your own family, but I hope that at least you may find some degree of solace in knowing your are dealing with a REAL problem and not just some fake, deliberately MANUFACTURED "crisis" calculated to serve an illegitimate Leftist Power Grabbing Agenda.

      It' s been my fate too to have had to deal with tragic events in the lives of others close to me. First my father's invalidism which came upon him when I was only 12 years old, - then my mother's alcoholism which transformed her from a lovely, kind, generous, very attractive lady into a bitter, quarrelsome, paranoid woman grown old before her time. The strain of dealing with father's illness and the relative poverty it engendered cused her to turn to drink, I know, yet she stood by her marriage vows and took care of him for twenty-five inceasingly difficult years. She did shortly after he did. Her life had been all used up.

      After that it fell to me to have to care for an elderly aunt –– my mother's sister –– who was being victimized by a crooked caregiver. That took place while I was trying to look after my former boss who had had a series of heart attacks, then develped cancer after he'd lost all his miney in the '87 stock market crash.

      Through all that which covered the better part of of my life from age twelve until ten years ago, I just did what I felt it was my duty to do.

      It never occurred to me to try to run away. I could never have lived with myself if I had tried to do that.

      It was never easy, but I can honestly say I'm not sorry I was able to be "there" for several who really needed me. I think that's better than going on an endless series of cruises and pleasure trips with no particular goal in mind other than trying to have "fun" when your life no longer has any particular purpose.

      At this point I feel well rewarded by life. I hope you may feel that way too.

      Good luck, and God bless!

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  8. "It is not unhealthy to have anger; it is unhealthy to hold it in, and inappropriate to lash out at others because of it."

    That sounds paradoxical to me –– or do I mean oxymoronic?

    Sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don't position, isn't it?

    I guess I'd better read more. Perhaps the meaning will come clear later in the text.

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  9. "When people ... live [or are kept] in a state of perpetual anger, they are more likely than others to respond to [unsettling] external influences with a disturbing degree of explosiveness. ..."

    Yes, and here is where I believe the ENEMEDIA plays a very large role. By constantly fanning the flames of dissension, suspicion, resentment, dissatisfaction, rage and frustration with lies, exggeration, fabrication, and deliberate distortion of factual evidence to serve a biased, anti-Trump "agenda," as the ENEMEDIA has done since since Mr. Trump announced his candidacy, we the public –– on BOTH side of the political] divide –– have been kept in a perpetual state of anxiety and resentment at a fever pitch.

    Consequently we citizens are now thoroughly cinfused and tend therefore to go at each others' throats. Things have gotten so bad as a result of this DLIBERATE conditioning by the ENEMEDIA that even many who believe they are on the SAME SIDE of the fundamental issues find areas of disagreement that often break out in either a white hot exchange of insults and recriminations or dour, taciturn expressions of cold unveiled contempt.

    I see this primarily as the result of m/edia manipulation In most instances. Most peopl\e don't read anymore, and several generations now have not been taught critical thinking skills. We've also been conditioned to think only in the dullest literal terms. Imaginatiin, insight, intuition, perception, th ability to draw parallells and make allusions to literature and historical events is all-but lost.

    Consequently, WE only KNOW what THEY choose to TELL us. That mean our emotions are being toyed with and too highly cntrolled by external forces that probably do NOT have OUR best interests at heart –– a deadly dangerous situation for the preservatiin of Liberty, the enhancement of Creativity, pique and develop CURIOSITY, and the inspiration and courage to pursue experimental avenues in hopes of finding new knowledge.

    “Woe to the makers of literal translation, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning! It is, indeed, by doing so that we can say the letter kills and the spirit gives life.”

    ~ Voltaire (1694-1778)

    "When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

    ~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

    "Facts are ventriloquists’ dummies. Sitting on a wise man’s knee they may be made to utter words of wisdom; elsewhere, they say nothing, or talk nonsense, or indulge in sheer diabolism."

    Aldous Huxley (1894–1963)

    "Imaginatiin is more important than knowledge."

    ~ Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It just occurred to me that what Voltaire said about "literal translations," and what Huxley said about "facts" is equally true of qooations from the Scriptures.

      Delete
  10. "[W]hen we have reached the point of doing all that we can do, then we need to let it go."

    Absolutely right. That's a highly succinct version of the Serenity Prayer made famous through Alcoholics Anonymous.

    "God grante me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to
    change what I can [for the better], and the wisdom to know the difference."


    Next to the Golden Rule those are possbky the wisest words to live by anyone has yet discovered.

    I would dare add that cultivating a determined FAITH in an all-knowing, all-wise, all-powerful and loving GOD through frequent Bible reading, prayer and meditation is invauable in charting the best possible course through life one may find.

    FAITH is acquired gradulaly by ACTNG AS IF you already HAD IT, despite all the very natural doubts that will forever cross our minds.

    Culivating Doubt and Fear will magnify and produce greater amounts of those undesirable, counter-productive states of mind.

    CYNICISM is the ENEMY of SERENITY.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Franco,
      Letting go takes practice! As a teacher, I've had almost a half century of practice.

      Delete
  11. Franco,
    In re to your comment earlier in this thread....

    Sam wrote: It is not unhealthy to have anger; it is unhealthy to hold it in, and inappropriate to lash out at others because of it. Anger is an emotion, aggression is a behavior.

    My interpretation of the above is that what Same wrote is similar to the idea that it is not cowardly to feel frightened when under fire on the battlefield, but it is unhealthy to desert the field.

    I believe that, in many ways, we sometimes cannot help the way we feel. But acting upon -- or uttering -- the way we feel may well be wrong. Even if it is justified to be angry (righteous anger).

    I hope that my comment here makes good sense. I'm on my first cup of coffee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Although I'm not sure it's an exact parallel to my observation, what you said makes perfect sense.

      Thanks so much for responding –– an all-too-rare treat for me. };-)>

      Delete
    2. But then there's always this cynical-but-humorous corollary:

      He who turns and runs away
      Lves to fight anther day.


      There's a lot f truth in that too.

      After all given the nature of today's insane policy of Endless War I think it entirely reasonable for those young souls now being cynically used as "cannon fodder" to ask loudly,

      "WHY SHOULD I be EXPECTED to DIE WILLINGLY for some idiotic, venal POLITCIAN'S FATAL ERROR in JUDGMENT?"

      Delete
  12. Sam,
    Good post.

    It seems to me that self-control (self-discipline) is in short supply in our society. I see this manifest in parents who are 45 years old and younger.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Related.

    Excerpt from the above:

    ...The urge to believe in something can be so great that people can sincerely see things that aren't there. The social media obsession with racism and toxic masculinity eventually turned the Covington boy's "smirking faces" into the new Evil Clown sighting of 2019....

    Read the rest at the above link.

    ReplyDelete
  14. A THOUGHT OR TWO FOR THOSE FEW WHO HAVE NOT ALREADY BEEN HOPELESSLY IMMUNIZED AGAINST USE OF THE REASONING PROCESS:

    I don't really beieve in "Progress." History seems all about trying to find ways to make life easier and more comfortable, –– too often by invading other peoples' territory and stealing what's rightfully theirs –– BUT –– as we have seen –– with each new "labor-saving" development and "scientific advance" comes a whole new set of problems and threatening challenges, so things never really get easier. In fact get harder –– or certainly more difficult to understand.

    I love the way some old Pennsylvania Dutchman –– or woman? –– put it.

    "The farther ahead I go the behnder I get."

    As a species we always give the Devil something that feeds his relentless cynicism and makes him cackle and guffaw.

    If only we could learn to love God (GOOD) unconditionally, and put our trust in Him, the Devil (EVIL) would eventually starve to death.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm surprised you advocate for Shumacher's, Small Is Beautiful .

      It deserves much more attention than it has received.

      Delete
    2. The thoughts I express come from my own consciousness and no one else's, Ducky. I take great pride in THINKING for MYSELF.

      If by any chance some of my ideas should coincide with those of a better-known pundit or philosopher, the best thing to say in resonse would be ,"Great minds think alike."

      };^)>

      Delete
    3. The difference is that Schumacher gives a reasoned and detailed program free of the emotional superstition and narcissism of your rant.

      Delete
    4. As always,we learn a great deal more about DUCKY from what he says about FRANCO –– and many OTHERS -–, than we learn about FRANCO.

      We do have to give you credit for one thing, however, you are remarkably CONSISTENT in you eagerness always to belittle, insult and wound those you, apparently, LIVE to "cheese off."

      Your verbal "self-portrait" shows you to be desperately unattractive, even REPELLENT.

      Delete
  15. OFF TOPIC, BUT NOT REALLY, BECAUSE IT DEALS WITH PRIMARY MORAL AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN A PINGNANT, FRANKLY HEARTBREAKING CONTEXT:

    Too Fearful of Man to be Fearful of God

    by Michael Walsh

    January 31st, 2019

    Of the many memorable scenes and sequences from the film, “Casablanca¸” one that stands out for both its subtlety and its continuing resonance comes when the Bulgarian Bride — her name is Annina Brandel in the script — sits down with Rick Blaine and asks for some very important advice.

    The young woman ... wants to know whether she can trust Captain Renault to deliver exit visas for her and her husband, Jan, if she sleeps with the the captain?.

    She poses her question to Rick as a hypothetical, but we know the central moral issue of her query cuts deep: it’s basically the same choice Rick’s lost love, Ilsa Lund, had to make when she left Rick standing in the rain at a Paris train station in order to rejoin her husband.

    Annina doesn’t know that, of course; when Rick abruptly excuses himself. She has no idea that rick is about to rig the roulette wheel in Jan’s favor making it possible for them to win enough money to afford the exit visas and then get to America.

    It’s a quandary to which we can all relate. One of her lines, however, has an especially timely meaning: “The Devil has the people by the throat.”

    In the context of the film, the Devil was Hitler; whom the Brandels were lucky to escape with their lives.

    Today, the Devil is much closer to home. I’m speaking, of course, of the recent “Reproductive Health Act” passed by the New York State legislature and signed into law by a nominal Catholic governor, Andrew Cuomo. It is the greatest moral disgrace in American history and, if we don’t stop it, it’s just the beginning of what Ramesh Ponnuru has called, correctly, “the infanticide craze.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Left has gone far beyond "CRAZY," friends.

      By sanctioning, then wildly applauding a Woman's "Right" to Choose INFANTICIDE, they've transformed themselves into HOMICIDAL MANIACS.

      And that's a simple statement of absolute FACT –– NOT hyperbole.


      "First they came for the fetuses ..."

      (:-x

      Delete
    2. Sacrificing babies to "Moloch"?

      The fact that they wildly applauded infanticide is disturbing in the extreme -- and that's an understatement.

      Delete
    3. In my view, fury at people who applaud infanticide is justified. In other words, righteous anger.

      Thank God that a similar bill did not pass here in Virginia. And just this afternoon, one of the co-sponsors of that bill apologized and said that she had supported the bill without reading the bill. Political malpractice!

      San Fran Nan when promoting the national healthcare bill back in 2010: "You have to pass the bill to find out what's in it." Again, political malpractice!

      Delete
    4. Virginia lawmaker [Dem Dawn Adams] apologizes for co-sponsoring late-term abortion bill without reading it:

      A state lawmaker in Virginia apologized to her constituents Thursday for failing to read controversial abortion legislation before she co-sponsored it.

      Del. Dawn Adams, D-Richmond, said she “made a mistake” when she did not read fellow Del. Kathy Tran’s bill that would allow abortions in the third trimester.

      “I vaguely remember signing on to this, and I did this in solidarity with my colleague and as a symbolic gesture for a woman’s right to choose,” Adams said. “I am sorry that I did not exercise due diligence before this explosion of attention; had I done so, I would not have co-patroned.”

      Delete
    5. According to Wikipedia:

      Adams is Virginia's first openly lesbian member of the Virginia General Assembly.

      Delete
    6. Sounds like the PARTIOT ACT as well. Does a Members sexual orientation matter, if they perform their job or not [not in this case]?

      Delete
    7. GETTING BACK TO THE HORROR OF LEGALIZING THE COLD-BLOODED MURDER OF INFANT BABIES FOR THE OTHER'S "CONVENIENCE:"

      The next logical step in that demon-inspired March to Perdition will be the killing of infants and toddlers when they start to lose their novelty appeal and start to make too many "demands" on young parents who simply want to be FREE to LIVE their LIVES as THEY choose without regard to any OTHER considerations.

      Once we accept the cold booded murder of infants and toddlers as The New Normal, it won't be long before before killing pre-adolescent and adolescent children will become acceptable. After that murder of an annoyng or inconvenient SPOUSE, AGED PARENTS –– and finally ANYONE who gets in our way will be considered AOK in the Satanic New World Order.

      In this way Civilization will be LOST and GONE ––– FOREVER and we will return to our origins as WILD BEASTS in the JUNGLE.

      Thanks to the growing popularity f the Detructive, Depraved Demented, Disgusting Dictates of Hegelian-Marxian-Progressive-Socialist-Statist Collectivism and every one of its equally vile offshoots we're now blithely CAREENING DOWNHI at reckless, ever increasing rates of speed toward HELL.



      The next logical step in that demon-inspired March to Perdition will be the killing of infants and toddlers when they start to lose their novelty appeal and start to make too many "demands" on young parents who simply want to be FREE to LIVE their LIVES as THEY choose without regard to any OTHER considerations.

      Once we accept the cold booded murder of infants and toddlers as The New Normal, it won't be long before before killing pre-adolescent and adolescent children will become acceptable. After that murder of an annoyng or inconvenient SPOUSE, AGED PARENTS –– and finally ANYONE who gets in our way will be considered AOK in the Satanic New World Order.

      In this way Civilization will be LOST and GONE ––– FOREVER and we will return to our origins as WILD BEASTS in the JUNGLE.

      Thanks to the growing popularity f the Detructive, Depraved Demented, Disgusting Dictates of Hegelian-Marxian-Progressive-Socialist-Statist Collectivism and every one of its equally vile offshoots we're now blithely CAREENING DOWNHI at reckless, ever increasing rates of speed toward HELL.

      Delete
    8. You pack the court with reactionaries and you don't expect a response?

      Delete
    9. CI,
      Does a Members sexual orientation matter, if they perform their job or not [not in this case]?

      No.

      But her sexual orientation might have a bearing as to how she feels about late-term abortion. Notice that I said might. Although she seems to have admitted that her co-sponsorhip goes mostly to her simply not doing her job and blindly standing in solidarity with her political party.

      Delete
    10. Ducky is the poster boy for the demented demonic left, enraged a GOP president has put constitutionalists on the federal bench, so they seek rabid revenge by killing babies.

      Delete
    11. Actually, sexual orientation does come to bear on decisions they make.
      You don't agree, and that's your prerogative.

      Delete
    12. I don't agree, because that is a blanket assertion. As AOW stated, it might have been a factor. But if so, without some corroboration by the person in question, why? Certainly sexual orientation comes into play when discussing civil liberties....but it is not intrinsically tied to the subject of abortion.

      Delete
    13. I must state that open homosexuality in the 21st Century is mostly the purview of the Left -- including those Leftists who are advocating what amounts to "fourth trimester abortion," which is infanticide.

      Delete
    14. I think sexual orientation matters in the way people perceive the world around them. More than that, I cannot say since it is impossible to lump every category of citizen together. Groups of people may think in similar ways, but it is irrational to think that all Hispanics think the same way about every possible controversy, or blacks, or whites, or Democrats, or homosexuals, or bus drivers.

      Delete
    15. Let me add this assertion based on considerable knowledge of the world –– gleaned as a natural-born New Yorker from the time when New York truly was in the avant garde: –– as the world really is, and not as most of us would have it be:

      For every Screaming Queen, Prancing Pansy, Flapping Faggot, Grotesquely Aggressive Drag Queen, Galumphing, Cigar Chomping, Crew Cut Desel Dyke in Combat Boots, and every Dour, Bossy, Mannish, Desperately Unattractive Unmarried Women Who May or May Not be Homosexual there are at least ten, twenty, fifty or a HUNDRED people of homosexual or bisexual orientation who look, and behave to all intents and purposes like perfectly normal fellow citizens, and pass unnotcd among the rest of us.

      I daresay the vast majority of homosexuals want only to live their lives quietly, peacefully and productively without calling any special attention to themselves.

      And most have done exactly that for countless centuries.

      Again it has been the LEFt who has insisted on making homosexuality a an in-your-face Cause Celebre cynicaly designed –– as everything ELSE they've ever done –– to GRAB more DICTATORIAL POWER.

      The Left as always CREATES greater social problems by trying always to EXPLOIT them for the left's iwn nefariiys purposes..

      Delete
    16. Franco,
      The Left has captured that platform -- along with many others.

      And most have done exactly that for countless centuries.

      They should speak out and recapture the platform!

      Delete
    17. I’m in complete agreement with FT and AOW; further......the political Right should have worked to OWN this issue, as Civil Libertarians.......and denied it to the Left. But even today, that end of the spectrum seems immune to the prospect.

      Delete
    18. CI,
      The Right, including Civil Libertarians, often miss the mark and are steps behind the Left. **sigh**

      Delete
  16. Thanks for your kind thoughts, FA. And encouragement. One thing I've learned through being a small group leader in our bible study is life is HARD. No one skates through unscathed. My husband seemed to be the exception ... until now. Dementia followed by alcoholism. I am looking forward to that day of feeling rewarded but often feel I won't live to see it. 20 years? Not even conceivable, 20 years of raging agitation and no sleep. We're already 5 years in, the last 3+ super intense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Baysider,
      I had no idea of the details of your intense difficulties on your home front.

      You will be in my prayers.

      Delete
    2. Yes, Baysiuder, life IS hard, but as theologian Oswald Chambers said somewhere in his collection of daily thoughts for prayer and meditation My Utmost for His Highest,

      "The strain [we experience in our daily walk] is [the source of] our strength."

      I paraphased hat, but got the sense of it right, I'm sure. Not to sound sanctimonious but I have come to believe that we are NOT here to have FUN, as too many have been encouraged to believe in the past century or more. Instead we are here to LEARN through [often bitter] experience how to COPE with adversity WITHOUT succumbing to the temptation to abandon our faith, and end up aa cynics who do nothing but mock, scorn, deride, beittle, denigrate, and complain thus making life LESS pleasant for those around us.

      I have drawn encouragement for several decades from this hymn text among many other poems and spiritual treatises:

      Shepherd, show me how to go
      O'er the hillside steep;
      How to gather, how to sow,
      How to feed Thy sheep.

      I will listen at Thy voice,
      lest my footsteps stray.
      I will struggle –– and REJOICE ––
      All the rugged way."


      ~ Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910)

      A line from the German Requiem of Johannes Brahms, which I first sang as a teenager, stays with me also, and has com to mean more and more as time has gone on.

      "They that sow in tears, shall reap in joy."

      In plain English SELF-righteosness masy stink to high heaven, but TRUE righteousness [motivated always by Kindness, Consideration and the Desire to makeevery attempt to be a Helpful, Understanding, Constructive Influence at every turn] transforms Anguish into Hope and Suffering into Joy.

      Thank you, Baysider, for telling us what you must endure. I hope my words have helped –– if only a little. AOW has my personal email address. I'm sure she would gladly give it to you, if you'd ever care to write to me away from the blogosphere. God bess you!

      Delete
    3. Thanks again. This is one of the big problems in purposely creating snowflakes. The slightest thing and they melt. I can fully understand Virginia Woolf's end in a way I never did before. Once my eyes drift away from Jesus ... wow, that could be me, too easily.

      There is another hymn:
      Christian do not seek repose
      Cast thy dreams of ease away.
      You are in the midst of foes.
      Watch and pray. Watch and pray.

      Delete
    4. Thank you for reminding me of Virginia Woolf, baysier. I've read To the Lighthouse, Orlando, and Mrs. Dalloway with great pleasure as a young person, but I was unaware of the tragic circumstances of her life. A beautiful, exquisitely talented, well-educated woman of great accomplishment who committed suicide by drowning herself after filling the pockets of her garments with stones at age 59 made of herself a figure more pathetic than genuinely tragic.

      I read of her bizarre, dissolute, "Bohemian," avant garde lifestyle with a growing sense of distasteand unease. She, her entire family, and virtually everyone with whom she associated may have been brilliant, but they were all LEFtISTS dtermined ] live just as they pleased with no regard or respect for established norms. At this I'm fairly certain none of them knew Jesus, –– else had smmarily rejected him early on.

      I guess The Bloomsbury Group along with Oscar Wilde and the early Marxian-Fabian radical "reformers" of their day formed the nucleus of much of the havoc that has been wrought on Western Civilization that plagues us now after having metastasized to epic proportions over the past hundred years.

      Yet, I still admire and take great pleasure in the literary WORK Virginia Woolf accomplished in her short, sadly turbulent life.

      Delete
  17. A progressive private school that used to play athletic games against Pence’s Immanuel Christian School is refusing to play against them at their facility, on grounds that playing basketball at a Christian school makes children “unsafe.” Yes, really. The "Progressive school" says it feels uncomfortable playing at the Christian school.

    I guess that Rodney Kings "Can't We All Just Get Along" isn't working anymore.!

    ReplyDelete
  18. As a paid up member of the Church Militant, I have to agree. Being angry all the time, which is easy in the current state of things, is debilitating. And it's most definitely the hallmark of the revolutionary left.

    Still, when it comes to the latest craze for infanticide it's hard to not get mad. We'd be wrong not to be.

    So let's fight the war, and we're in one, with hope and confidence. That's my advice and I'm sticking to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LSP,
      when it comes to the latest craze for infanticide it's hard to not get mad. We'd be wrong not to be

      I agree. The murder of infants is beyond the pale.

      Delete

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