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Monday, March 5, 2018

California: America's Future

** Silverfiddle Dispatch **

Since the Gold Rush days, California has pointed the way for the rest of America.  From music to fashion, exercise, food and fad diets America follows the lead of LA, Hollywood, and latterly, Silicon Valley. California sets the trends, and whatever is going on there will soon be the rage in the rest of the nation.

NBC Investigates San Francisco's Diseased Streets

"How dirty is San Francisco? An NBC Bay Area Investigation reveals a dangerous mix of drug needles, garbage, and feces throughout downtown San Francisco."

"“If you do get stuck with these disposed needles you can get HIV, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and a variety of other viral diseases,” said Dr. Lee Riley, an infectious disease expert at University of California, Berkeley. He warned that once fecal matter dries, it can become airborne, releasing potentially dangerous viruses, such as the rotavirus."

"UC Berkeley professor Lee Riley, who specializes in infectious diseases, told NBC Bay Area that the level of insanitary conditions on the worst SF blocks is “much greater than communities in Brazil or Kenya or India.”

El Lay Times: Why is liberal California the poverty capital of America?

"Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor."

"55% of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits, compared with just 30% of natives."

VDH: Understanding the California Mind 

Listen to him; he has lived and worked in California his whole life.

"... one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients lives in California and that one of four state residents was not born in the United States ... one in four homeless people lives in California."

VDH describes the scenery on a trip to town...

"...several families are living on lots zoned for single-family residences in an array of illegal sheds, shacks, and stationary trailers.

"The premises are characterized by illegal dumping, zoning and building code violations, illegal electrical hook-ups, and petty misdemeanors of unlicensed dogs and strays.

"I remember similar such rural settlements from my early youth in the 1950s, over a decade after the final end of the Great Depression. Now, in our back-to-the-future state, we see some concrete reminders of what my parents used to relate about life in the 1930s.

"...trash piled by the almond orchard: two infant car seats; one entertainment center, three bags of wet garbage, one mattress, one stroller, five tires, and a stack of broken cement, paint cans, and drywall.

"The California solution is always the same: the law-abiding must adjust to the non-law-abiding."

"Some time ago I was bitten by two dogs while biking down a rural avenue nearby. The animals’ owners did not speak English, refused to tie up the unlicensed and unvaccinated biters, and in fact let their other dogs out, one of which also bit me.

"It took four calls to various legal authorities and a local congressional rep to have the dogs quarantined in an effort to avoid rabies shots. The owners were never cited."

Cynicism is rampant. Law-abiding Californians do whatever is necessary not to come to the attention of any authorities, whose desperate need for both revenue and perceived social justice (150,000 households in a state of 40 million residents pay about 50 percent of California income tax revenue) is carnivorous.... 

...it is always legally safer to allow your dog to be devoured by a stray pit-bull than to shoot the pit-bull to save your dog.

* * *

Sounds like a third-world shitehole to me. Are you looking forward to the Brave New World California Progressives are leading us to?


  1. California sets the trends, and whatever is going on there will soon be the rage in the rest of the nation.

    Yes, indeed.

    The migration of California trends in education typically took five years some years ago.

    My brother-in-law, who worked as a teacher and headmaster for a while in Southern California used to call me up to warn me about the latest educational fad he was seeing -- in private education. Sure enough, in about five years, the same thing was on my doorstep. Very rarely were the trends of any educational benefit.

  2. California sets the trends, and whatever is going on there will soon be the rage in the rest of the nation.

    Let's see....A few of the trends I noticed when I visited Southern California between 1975-2006 in no particular order; before too long, these same things arrived to Northern Virginia:

    1) smoking bans in restaurants

    2) salad bars in restaurants and fast-food places

    3) no more corporal punishment in schools

    4) vegetarian menu items, even in steak houses

    5) sprouts on every sandwich

    6) smoking bans in bars

    7) tickets issued to any car parked on any street, even residential street, for 48+ hours -- we had to keep moving our rental car every two days while we were visiting my sister-in-law in 2005. Now we have that same rule here in Northern Virginia -- except for handicapped vehicles, thank God.

    8) all kinds of zoning ordinances to the point that everyone was putting up privacy fences to prevent their neighbors from reporting anything they consider unsightly.

    I could go on, but will not. The satellite TV technician has arrived to effect repairs; we've had no TV service since Friday!

    1. I went to school in California and remember receiving a "paddling"... circa 1963.

  3. Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable. -Mark Twain

    The proof of this would appear in the way the Broward County School Board and County Sheriff's Office manipulated statistics about juvenile delinquency; I'm sure that Broward County shenanigans are not an anomaly.

    I was in California about a year ago. I wanted to take my sweetie to Hollywood. While there, we stopped in to a McDonald's for coffee -they generally have great coffee. That was a huge mistake because the restaurant was filled to capacity with the dirtiest, grungiest, most dangerous looking thugs I have ever seen assembled in one place. One thug decided to lay down in the drive-through lane, impeding traffic until someone gave him some money. No one called the cops. I suspect that every one of these thugs were drug addicts, alcoholics, and emotionally disturbed homeless. I have no doubt that these miscreants were dedicated to the progressive cause. We left Hollywood disappointed ... not because of the existence of thugs, or even their numbers, but rather because this is the California its people have created through the body politick, and over the past fifty years. Interestingly, you don't see that sort of thing in Beverly Hills ... which I assume is because the people in Beverly Hills refuse to put up with it. Who can blame them?

  4. Sam, lived here all my life and have never seen 'that sort of thing' ...Hollywood has the dregs of young punks who've come to California to be a star and are now drug-addled prostitutes because their Illinois or Oklahoma parents didn't raise them smarter or better..sad... Hollywood also has gorgeous places to see/visit.

    AOW...sprouts on sandwiches are noteworthy to slam California!? !!!

    I'm going grocery shopping now, under a gorgeous blue sky, palm trees, bright, cool sunlight this morning..I'll turn to my left crossing Wilshire Blvd. and see the ocean...

    YES!! Stuff starts HERE...No doubt about it, and most of it is BAD!...I'm not sticking up for the whacks in Sacramento, but to read stories about things I have literally not seen in my whole life (and no, I'm not sheltered) is odd.

    None of the stories above has come to my attention...odd. Not saying they're not true, every neighborhood in this great country's got whacko stuff...

    AND I hate this liberal political situation, believe me!...and I know MANY MANY solid Conservatives, and George Deukmejian grew up with my father in Dad's family home....a conservative governor who should be in office NOW :-)

    1. We've also got some great Conservatives trying hard to take over...running for governor. Start praying! I want to add that the Hispanics I know here, as much as I HATE the illegal alien situation at least as much as all of you, are THE kindest, hard working, sweet and cheerful people I've ever met. GO figure.

    2. Hi Z,

      Apologies for beating up on your state, but California really does set trends for the rest of the US, so none of this is anything to rejoice over. It's alarming.

      I purposely sourced all news articles from California, San Fran and LA news outlets so no one could accuse me of cherry-picking news items.

      Governments of cities and the state of California acknowledge the alarming number of homeless, the state's highest poverty rate in the nation, and the exodus of Cali residents to other states. Were it not for people coming in from other countries, California's population would be shrinking.

      I have lived in some stunningly beautiful places in Latin America... that also had depressing social conditions and grinding poverty.

      Your point is well-taken on Hispanics here legally/born here. You know my personal situation; I certainly am not an anti-Hispanic bigot.

    3. Z,
      AOW...sprouts on sandwiches are noteworthy to slam California!? !!!

      I'm not particularly slamming California.

      I choose sprouts because I got food poisoning from sprouts on a sandwich I ordered in Altadena the day before Thanksgiving in 2006. I didn't get Thanksgiving that year.

      Yes, California is beautiful in many ways.

      BTW, I know what it feels like to live in Liberal Land. Northern Virginia has shifted so far Left in the past 10 years that it's surreal.

    4. SF,
      Yes, alarming! And trends travel even faster today than in "days of yore."

    5. I can only go on my experience of the last more than half a century....homeless? All gone from the Santa Monica beach bluffs....do we still have them? OF course. All I'm saying is you have to LOOK for the monstrous situations relayed above in comments....One doesn't walk down every California street and see anything but blue skies, palm trees, nice people, gorgeous cars and nice shops.........unless you go to the areas every city's got, but even our downtown is gorgeous.
      Anyway, thanks, SF and AOW......I hope I made clear in my comment above that I GET IT, I GET that we're represented by dopes who actually think a country or state can stay sovereign if they offer sanctuary!? Ridiculous. And you know how I feel about the marijuana leniency, too.....
      Homeless, by the way, are offered true sanctuary downtown in many shelters. They won't go. They don't like it downtown. (I'm not kidding) So, there are many sides to every story.

      And I sincerely hope more and more move from California....the traffic is worse than anything described above! at least on the highways!

      No need to apologize for hitting on California....it's intriguing and good fodder for insult (much of it earned) to many who haven't ever been here...
      I NEVER post on California negatives on my own blog because the pile-on isn't always helpful , correct, or kind.

    6. @Z: "And I sincerely hope more and more move from California."

      I don't. Colorado is suffering a serious Cali Prog infestation. They have turned the state blue and are voting for everything that is destroying California. I wish we got Californians like you here! :-)

      We have laws to keep state government from taxing and spending, but they are sapping the foundations and drilling loopholes every year. Once that fiscal bulwark falls, we will be California.

      We are the 10th fastest growing city in the US, and it feels like it. Wife and I are already making plans to get the hell out.

      Californicators have turned Colorado blue. Montana and Idaho are next, and Texas will be the crown jewel. Once the Lone Star State goes blue, we are a permanent progressive nation ruled by Democrats.

    7. Remember Z, gay marriage started in Massachusetts.
      We do our part.

    8. Mass backdoored it through the judicial branch. Only Maryland had the stones to do it right, put it on the ballot.

    9. DUcky, that made me laugh! Yes, you definitely do your part :-)

    10. SF,
      Californicators have turned Colorado blue. Montana and Idaho are next, and Texas will be the crown jewel. Once the Lone Star State goes blue, we are a permanent progressive nation ruled by Democrats.

      At this point, most Texans whom I personally know don't even see that coming.

      I do -- because something very similar happened to Northern Virginia. Government workers, along with everyone that comes along with those government employees, instead of erstwhile Californians caused the changes here.

    11. AOW, Progressive California refugess, fleeing the destructive policies they voted for, and moving to Texas and previously-red mountain west states. They are not checking their idiotic socialist policies at the state line.

      They will do to these states what they have already done to your Virginia and to New Hampshire, now flipped over, prostrate and being vigorously rogered by swarms of Red Massholes seeking shelter from all the taxation and regulation they voted for.

  5. With any luck, the next earthquake will drop off much of CA into the ocean.... well, not really, but..

    1. Z,
      Bunkerville is not a fan of California politics -- and that's putting it mildly.

    2. I'm not a fan of California politics...not sure I'd wish an earthquake on us....even in jest.

    3. 32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
      He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

  6. Note to Ducky Here, who doesn't have a blog.
    Please STFU!

    1. At least Ducky named himself well. All he does is quack, flap and crap.

  7. I missed this news yesterday (busy getting a free iPhone 8 and an almost-free iPad 5th Generation from AT&T if we switched our carrier from Verizon):

    Trump administration can withhold grant from California over ‘sanctuary’ concerns, judge rules.

    1. Minor, but a ray of good news. the law is not on Cali's side on any of this. I hope the Justice Department starts prosecuting government officials who refuse to obey federal law.

      What really needs to happen is we let California secede and build the wall, with California on the other side.

  8. My last visit to the Golden State was with my extended family to San Francisco. Dirtiest city in the US, New Orleans and Philadelphia notwithstanding.

    Also, home to the world's fattest bums. These beggars are huge, and look to have not missed a meal in decades, and they are aggressive as hell. Went to Haight-Ashbury to see where it all began, the place is an absolute hell hole, with bums and junkies laying all over the place. You have to step over two or three bums to even enter any business there. And the stench.....if this is the Future, I want no part of it.

    1. Fredd,
      I haven't been to San Francisco since 2000 --and there were serious problems in the streets back then. A lot of homeless, even in the posh wharf area, and they looked like walking cadavers. I'm guessing that many had AIDS.

      Occasionally an ambulance would roar to a scene and scoop up someone.

      I'm not speaking on back areas. My husband and I didn't venture there.

  9. http://symbolic-mirage.blogspot.com/2018/03/life-on-slabs.html

  10. Just a thought to try on for size:

    LAW versus REALITY:

    There have probably been BILLONS of laws enacted through millennia.

    Unless those laws are backed up by FORCE including the twin threats of financial ruin and imminent DEATH, many will simply yawn, shrug their shoulders and pay no attention.

    The TEN COMMANDMENTS say "Thou shalt not commit ADULTERY."

    All right, but in REALITY how well has that worked out, since Ecclesiastical Courts, Inquisitions, and Medieval Dungeons got thermselves phased ot of exiistence?

    My point?

    People WILL do whatever they FEEL like doing, as long as they feel reasonably sure there's good chance they won't get caught and punished.

    In truth "The Popular Mind" sets the standards above all other forces.

    If the majority think something is acceptable, no "LAW" passed against it is EVER going to persuade them to think otherwise.

    To be effective The Law must be based on FEAR of the loss of Liberty, Property and LIfe, itself.

    In a very real sense The Law is a brand of TERRORISM.

    The only hope we have that REALITY could ever embrace the SPIRIT of the LAW, would be if the majority could be persuaded once again of the vital necessity of teaching our children to develop a SINCERE CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE.

    1. Agreed, and allow me to add:

      Healthy societies structure themselves to lessen temptation to violation of mores. For example, in old-fashioned societies, married people did not become too familiar with others of the opposite sex, and certainly would not spend time alone together.

      Of course, everything under the sun happened in those old-fashioned, moralistic societies, but people had to work harder and be sneakier to misbehave.

    2. Our laws are supposed to reflect the social contract, and perhaps would, were it not for the large number of people who vote party rather than integrity. We have no one to blame other than ourselves.

    3. Christianity is completely unnecessary to understanding the categorical imperative.
      Would those who fail to act with a sense of compassion or fairness be improved by having to live under the random laws of an unknowable god?

    4. Thank you Silver and Mustang for responding honestly and soberly instead of combatively.

      I wish Blogger would allow us to post directly under EACH individual answer to a statementt. It would be less awkward.

    5. Ducky,

      I know you identify as s Roman Catholic –– or so you've said in the past ––, so I can't understand why you would give voice to such a notion in the context at issue.

      I've been aware of –– let us be kind for a change and call it your perennially CHALLENGING ATTITUDE –– for nearly twenty years, and I have yet to see you issue a statement ever expressing harmony, approval, recognition of merit in others, or ENTHUSIASM about ANYTHING outside the realm of Music and Art and even on those rare occasions when we've managed to have civul exchange you still never fail to affect a superior, condescendng attitude.

      I wonder if any of us will ever learn WHY you feel compelled ALWAYS to express dissonance often couched in terms of sarcasm, insolence, and outright contempt?

      It's certainly no way to garner support for the unpopular, contrary views you seem to favor. You'll never win any friends or make any converts acting as you invariably do, so WHAT is the POINT?

      Why do you seem to ENJOY generatng animosity so much?

      What could you possibly hope to GAIN from such an attitude?

      Curiously yours,


    6. It's straightforward, FT.
      The nature of an infinite being is unknowable by a finite human mind. Certainly the superstitions of a bronze age tribe are inadequate guides for contemporary life.
      I believe we CAN find comfort and guidance in Christ's teachings in the gospel but I don't find Paul's letters as much more than a history of the early church asking burning questions like should the Gentiles be circumcised.

      I do not feel it necessary to always express dissonance but I am likely to be in constant dissonance with people who are so blind that they consider anything to the left of Ted Cruz to be communist. I have just about given up hope of understanding them and find they are much more capable of anger than I am myself yet they see me as the angry one.

    7. Paul on Charity (Love) in Second Corinthians is probably the most profound and beautiful statements defning the undefinable ever made.

      Not even Shakespeare ever surpassed it –– at least not to my admittedly incomplete knowledge.

  11. Ducky, I disagree, and the myriad religions and systems of morality across the span of human history and all cultures says you are wrong.

    Deontology? Really? I'd human history and contemporary experience refutes that philosophy.

    No, there has to be a teleological component. Humans are hard-wired for self-preservation and defense of family and tribe at the expense of those outside that circle.

    Also, The Bible is much easier to understand than Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.

    1. I vacillate from christian existentialism to pantheism and back.
      I also question that we are incapable of expanding the tribe and find my strongest disagreement with conservatives to be over that very question hence my disagreement with FT who argues for an extremely small closed circle.

    2. Duck,
      I vacillate from christian existentialism to pantheism and back.

      Wow! Sounds like the kind of lukewarm faith about which Jesus warned.

    3. Systems of morality and law from the whole span of human history have varied a lot, but there is much that they have shared in common. I've linked to it before, but here's Donald Brown's list of universals: http://condor.depaul.edu/mfiddler/hyphen/humunivers.htm

      And of course, many cultures are totalitarian or otherwise morally compromised, but that only demonstrates the tendency for the powerful protect their vested interests. Nevertheless, the appeal of Kant's Imperative is strong (how would you argue against it?), and while Kant's metaphysics might be a bit of a slog, is it any more challenging than than comparable catholic philosophy? Normal folks don't need to follow the details of Kant's working, nor the Church's. I'd say that the imperative itself is barely more subtle than the golden rule, and a lot easier to understand than eg. the beautitudes.

    4. Jez, Thank you for the link and the comment. The Beatitudes are much easier to understand than Kant!

      I completely agree with Kant's categorical imperative, and I think most rational people would when presented with it.

      But, I agree with Miguel de Unamuno:

      “Man is said to be a reasoning animal. I do not know why he has not been defined as an affective or feeling animal. Perhaps that which differentiates him from other animals is feeling rather than reason. More often I have seen a cat reason than laugh or weep. Perhaps it weeps or laughs inwardly — but then perhaps, also inwardly, the crab resolves equations of the second degree.”

      ― Miguel de Unamuno, Tragic Sense of Life

    5. Yes, feelings are very important. I'm not a philosopher; I like the categorical imperative for how it makes me feel.

      IMO, man is better said to be a social animal. We display our emotions because we survive by cooperation, and they are useful signals to our peers; cats do the same in their own way and with the gamut of emotions that is useful to support their cooperative behaviour. Humans also became adept at disguising or counterfeiting emotions, in order to deceive one another (think how much more effective a deception can be when it has an emotional dimension to it) -- IMO this is what drove the adaptations that enhanced our capacity for reason.

    6. Wasn't it David Hume, –– a skeptic, an agnostic or an atheist, I'm not sure which best describes him ––, who claimed Reason to be the Slave of Passion, or something much to that effect?

      I do my best to preserve, and maintain the Gift of Faith, and try to enhance it in a world incresingly hostile to the very idea of reliance on anything beyond the painfully limited capacities of the human mind as governed solely by the five physical senses.

      Therefore, I see my limited capacity to reason things out, based, perforce, on my own experience, as a means of finding ways to bolster –– and never to challenge –– my faith.

      However, from where I stand what satisfies my needs does not have also to satisy yours and vice versa.

      I am not against "community" per se, but because of my lifelong fascination with and devotion to understanding and interpreting the works of men like Beethoven, –– one of the greatest creative geniuses in recorded history whose most significant work was accomplished in ISOLATION –– i.e. he could not hear a living sound during his most productive period! –– I see the very best in human accomplishlent to have sprung largely from the Vision, Character and Spirit of extraordinarily gifted human beings, which seems obvious on the face of it.

      Of course it takes groups of dedicated individuals working in harmony to implement and make manifest the IDEAS discovered in the Mind and Spirit of extraordinary men, but "teamwork," is of little value without a PURPOSE defined by a true "Guiding Genius" behind it.

      For instance It takes a well-trained chorus and orchestra led by a conductor of remarkable courage, strength of character, insight and commitment to bring the score to life, BUT without the COMPOSER, who in effect took dictation directly from God while working in virtual ISOLATION, there would be no reason whatsoever for a chorus and orchestra to assemble in the first place.

      The same could be said of building a significant work of architecture, writing a novel, Inventing Electric light, or developing the Salk Polio Vaccine.

      Life would be nothing but a bestial struggle for day-to-day survival were it not for our innate capacity for Imagination and Vision fueled by Longing, Hope, Determination and Courage to keep striving for something better, finer, higher, nobler, more beautiful and more delightful.

      Give that up, while abandoning RECOGNITION, ADMIRATION and RESPECT for the very best that is in us, and we cease to be human.

    7. Ducky, as usual, doesn't seem to understand me at all. What he wants to see as "an extremely small closed circle," I see as a NICHE i have laboriously carved out for myself in a world dominated by an ever changing maelstrom of enervating confusion, relentless hostility and bizarre, self-destructive impulses.

      My faith is my COPING MECHANISM, –– a well-crafted SHIP, if you will, –– that has carried me safely through many a storm at sea and myriad other threatning, potentially demoralizing crises.

      Because it has worked so well for me, albeit after a long period of trial and error, I suppose it's only natural that I bridle when I feel others' apparent eagerness to attack and puncture holes in something as precious and highly personal as my determined belief in an almighty, wholly beneficent Author of Life and Governor of the Cosmos.

    8. We are surrounded with an overabundance of evidence that "reason is the slave of passion," which is why I say any person of average intelligence could understand and agree with Kant's Categorical Imperative, or the Golden Rule, and which is why people so often violate them.

  12. @ Nostradumbass:
    Buffet Catholic, buffet intellectual. Picking pieces and rejecting anything substantial, especially anything that triggers your "dissonance", leaves you with pieces that don't fit together in a real world.

    Your dissonance smells of OCD. Your own disagreement with FT places you in another extremely small closed circle. Your innate ability to pick these very small pieces and accentuates your inability to see the greater whole limiting any intellectual process you claim as a sham.

    For instance, your smarmy comment about Paul's letters, "as much more than a history of the early church asking burning questions like should the Gentiles be circumcised", ignores the greater question; can non-Jews become Christians? Paul answered that question and thus every Christian, in a very real way, acknowledged or not, is a disciple of Paul. But to you, it's just about circumcision. My best guess would be that his doctrine of salvation through faith and not good works rubs you the wrong way.

    Your attitude enables your dissonance, not others beliefs.

    1. I don't often "talk religion" -- but no conclusion should be drawn from my typical silence on matters of theology.

      In fact, when I first started blogging -- back then exclusively about Islam -- I deliberately decided to make reasoned arguments, not arguments based on the Bible. That said, I have no objection to discussing matters of theology.

      In my view, Paul's letters should be of great value to those who call themselves "Christians": Jesus presented "philosophy," and Paul presented the application of that philosophy -- of necessity often within the context of the early church. IMO, this context in no way negates what Paul wrote. Human nature doesn't change over the centuries.

      The doctrine of salvation through faith and not good works wasn't invented by Paul. Rather, that doctrine can also be found in Jesus' words found in the Gospels.

  13. Perhaps as 'all politics is local' it might be said that
    'all religion is personal'. We refer to the third president, on of the founders:
    "Jefferson loved what he called the good and simple religion of Jesus. His problem was not with Jesus but with how, so he believed, his followers distorted his teaching. The two Christian figures Jefferson reserved his harshest literary venom for was St. Paul and John Calvin. For Jefferson, Paul turned Jesus, the great moral deistic teacher (Jefferson actually referred to Jesus as a deist) into a divine Savior who redeemed the world in slaughterhouse fashion for a blood-thirsty deity. Calvin adds to Paul's distortion of Jesus with his doctrine of original sin, which erroneously claimed humanity's helplessness before God, and double-predestination in which God decided by fiat who was to saved and who was to be damned. Jefferson found all of this to be absurd."

    1. BB,
      God decided by fiat who was to saved and who was to be damned

      After years of struggling with the matter of predestination, I look at it this way....

      A sovereign God Creator can do as He pleases -- much as a writer can choose whether or not to keep or destroy what he writes.

      Furthermore, who are we humans to question His ways? Compared to God, Whom we cannot begin to fathom, we are nowhere nearly as smart as ants as compared to humans.

      How predestination balances with free will is a mystery to me. I have come to accept that I cannot understand this mystery in this life and, at the same time, am grateful that I can claim Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

      As for the doctrine of original sin, I think that the Scriptures throughout show us that we are all sinners from birth: "All we have gone astray." God's mercy provided us a path to salvation -- and He was in no way obligated to do so for we his creatures. That latter clause means, at least to me, that we have no right to be arrogant in any regard.

    2. "a writer can choose whether or not to keep or destroy what he writes" only as long as his material is not sentient. I'm not sure that recognising God's "rights" solves the problem: as I understand it, Jefferson's absurdity arises not from a consideration of God's rights, but from God's supposed benevolence.

    3. Jez,
      "a writer can choose whether or not to keep or destroy what he writes" only as long as his material is not sentient.


    4. You are sentient, unlike my collection of short stories. I believe this difference is highly relevant ethically.

    5. Well, Jez, my point was that a creator can do as he wishes with what he has created. Ethical relevancy is not a factor in the analogy I drew.

    6. Jez,
      You have piqued my curiosity.

      Do you write short stories?

    7. Long Oerserver said

      How could he? It's obvious the poor fellow has no inagatuin and little or no ability to see the parallels existing between different phenomena.

      He seems to rely purely on materiality, i.e. data discovered using the scientific method, and established facts and figures loved in academia and generated by statistic mills whose data too often may be tendentious and agenda-driven. Without awareness of the Holy Spirit –– the Flame of Life –– that dwells in all of us how could the imagination thrive, and how could anyone so limited possibly be actively creative?

    8. Long,
      Even IF your observations about Jez are true, that doesn't mean that he's incapable of writing good short stories?

      As a teacher of Literature & Composition for over 40 years, I have learned that creativity is possible without awareness of the Holy Spirit.

    9. Note to "Long Observer":
      Not all are privy to a 'road to Damascus' experience and we are limited to our own perceptions. That quite voice that admonishes us to refrain from "sinful" behavior could be the Holy Spirit or it might be a personal choice to be a moral being. Even in biblical teaching we see those that do not believe touched by the Holy Spirit. Who are you to say?

      All except the extremely mentally deficient are born with imagination. It is one of the things that makes us human.

      Outside of what he chooses to share with us, I don't know what Jezs personal beliefs are and it doesn't matter. That which he chooses to share with us makes him a valued member of the community.

      Be respectful to Jez, you have no reason to be otherwise.

    10. Thanks Warren.

      Hello, freethinke. Our conversations have been mostly limited to historical and political analysis, which I do not consider to be any kind of exercise in creative fiction, instead I have attempted to soberly assess the facts. Hope that clears up some of your confusion.

      AoW: not for a few years. My children have stolen all my time and surplus energy. I'm reading more (and not just to them) recently though, maybe that's a good sign.

    11. Jez,
      Reading more is definitely a good sign.

      I'm curious, but don't feel obligated to answer...How old are your children?

      And one more thing, and certainly not an obligation....I'd love to take a peek at a story you've written -- rough draft or polished draft. I promise that I won't grade it. LOL. My email address is on the right sidebar.

    12. Warren,
      Jez and FT don't see eye to eye with regard to the use of and the changes in the English language. I'm not sure that they've spatted about that topic here at this blog, but I have seen spats on other blogs.

  14. I grant that Jefferson was a wise man ... at least, one who was willing to think about the ideas of earlier generations and apply those to his present-day. He was also a flawed man, as we all are. I'm not sure we can connect his notions about nationhood into any blanket acceptance of his religious arguments. He was surely entitled to his views, and I assume he lived his life accordingly.

    Religion is deeply personal; we all get to choose our own path. I'm not ready to condemn Saul of Tarsus on the strength of one man's opinion, no matter how great he might have been in other areas (which did not include any business acumen). To use Jefferson's shaded opinion as justification for how we view religion today seems ... puerile.

  15. @ Sam (first comment): our expanded train system has allowed these denizens you saw in Hollywood to move west (I'm on the coast in Soviet Monica). Many have taken up residence in my alley - yes behind my home! Cops do nothing. It's a game. They only come if they're on your property. Since they pee and poop here then run, that's hard to do - even though I have pictures. So unsanitary, the place stinks, and I have started thinking twice about going out at night the last year after running into 2 bad situations within a block of home. A BIG change from most of the years I've lived here.

    A client has moved to within 2 blocks of the Metro rail station 15 miles from here. I live 5 blocks from the other end here. I wouldn't dare chance those 5 blocks alone in the dark walking home. I used to do that ALL the time with the bus and no worries.

    1. Baysider,
      How awful!

      When did these denizens of Hollywood move into your neighborhood?


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