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Priam's Crazy Daughter
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David, thank you for your comment. You support a comment I made above on the post about the Senate being called to meet at the WH in regard probably to a military plan in the Pacific. Sometimes I do feel that politicians fight wars when they don't know what else to do about a failing economy. The opening of this post about the cyclical, or repetitious, nature of history mentions several thinkers/philosophers; however it fails to mention my favorite book about the way time revolves.. Most know it in English as the book of Ecclesiastes. Some know it as the Preacher, and those who have really studied the book know the name Qoheleth. All is vanity. There is nothing new under the sun. (And the word "vanity" might have just as accurately been translated as "wind" as I recall.) And,I am quite happy that my car, a 2010, is completely paid for, and that I seldom drive it nowadays, though it is in very good condition. But I do know quite a few people who have let their credit scores tank and who can still drive "new" cars when they need them because they get them at those places that charge enormous interest with no down payment and no credit check required.
And can we count on any of our elected Congressmen/women to speak up and really question anything that is presented to them, whatever it may be? I now remember a German woman who moved to one of the most inhabitable areas of our state. She had rattlesnakes and lizards and bugs for neighbors. She began stockpiling supplies. She said that after WWII she looked at our map and tried to find a place as far away from any area that might be the target of bombs as possible for building her compound. I'm wondering if I should find out if she is still there and if she has room for me. Maybe Trump is remembering how times of war sometimes really improves the economy eventually. Maybe that is his master plan. I'm just rambling and upset at this news.
The American teacher you are probably referring to is Mary Kay Letourneau. Letourneau is the name of her first husband. The student she so famously had the affair with and whom she later married was first in her second grade class and then again later in the sixth grade class she was teaching at the time of the beginning of the affair. Some reported that her first husband was terribly abusive to her. I don't care how cosmopolitan a person is, somehow this sort of affair indicated something was terribly wrong or twisted in the psyches of the two people, though apparently they were able to make it work. The story always shocked me as a mother of two young boys. As for adult men marrying older women, I find that completely acceptable. But personally, as an older woman myself, I would not want to finish the job of "raising" my husband. I thank you, however, for your explanation of the French system of voting. It appears that they have a similar choice as the one we had: the Devil or the Deep Blue Sea sort of choice. When the world is so divided by the factions of people with such differing political beliefs, it makes me nervous. I tend to hunker down with the family and friends I have and hope the rest of the world finds us too boring and too lacking in importance to concern themselves with us. I will, however, remain loyal to English as the best language, which I find actually more cosmopolitan than French, who tried for a long, long time to keep their language "pure." A study of the history of the English language might convince you. Remember that the Norman Conquest of England did do much to "Frenchify" (my experession) the language which was originally quite Germanic: "Anglo-ish." I loved to recite Old English to my kids, especially the opening lines of Beowulf. The gutteral sounds and the sentence structure always convinced them I was putting a curse on them. The French sounds of parts of the Middle English Canterbury Tale sometimes seemed too prissy for my taste, and of course I do believe that Chaucer did that purposely as a reflection of the pligrim he was describing at the time.
To whon did Professor Postal send his report? I ask because I want to know all the people to whom I can send a copy of the report, people in Congress who could possibly care about the truth. I am not sure there are many people left who do care about the truth since to some the truth is whatever they want to think it is. I just get so frustrated that so many supposedly bright and in-the-know people simply spout whatever someone has told them is true without looking into the facts for themselves.
Once when I pointed out that jihadists were killing Christians in Syria that Assad had always allowed, I got a retort from a young uneducated person here (as most are, even with degrees) that she felt Christians had no business traveling there or trying to live there. When I mentioned the people I was talking about were Coptic Christians, she gave me nothing but a blank stare. I had to explain. The complete lack of education in history is making our young--and now many older people (since it's been a long time since history has been taught)--is turning our country into a country of self-centered idiots.
This was the first year that I had rental property. I just wanted to make sure. Besides, he's a family friend.
Toggle Commented Apr 15, 2017 on Tax Time at Sic Semper Tyrannis
My only solace is that I have covered English and American literature as my career. Dunces have been among us for a long time. For example, I think of Pope's "Dunciad." I think more recently of Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces." There are more I could name. Somehow humans have not yet exterminated themselves over all the centuries since humans have existed, despite the prevalence of so many dunces. But maybe that just means we're sort of like lice or cockroaches.
Thank you for all the work in putting these facts in a logical order so that people like me can understand what is really going on. I keep talling others I know to read these reports. It's discouraging to me that so few do. Again, thank you.
Recently, I have been retiring from the world myself, simply because it seems almost that the world has been going crazy. I haven't watched a news or opinion show on television since Trump began making comments about avenging the gas attack by attacking Syria in some way, without clear evidence. I felt dirty for being an American and having some of my tax money pay for that stupid move. So, as an old-fashioned English major--in other words, not one of the ridiculous "reader response" people who think they understand some popular ideology or reader interpretation theory like Marxism, Feminism, Deconstructionism, Gay reader response--I turned to memories of some really good but almost forgotten American literature. Thoreau, Hawthorne, Emerson, Melville, Dickinson,Poe,Whitman, and Twain--for examples. I was so ready to give up teaching in the public schools that I retired as early as possible. The students have been raised up never to sit still very long, to work only in groups, and never, ever to sit and read and think. They spend all their time staring at their cell phones and texting to keep themselves connected to the collective. It has been too long. It's time for getting out "Walden" and reading it one more time before I die. It makes me very sad that most of today's youth couldn't sit still to read any of those writer's works for even five minutes. I am now just trying to live "deliberatly."
I am afraid you are right about that. Resistance was futile. The only slight hope I see is that rather than the Next Generation episodes with the Borg, we think of the Voyager episodes in which at least one Borg was reintegrated into human society, at least in some degree. But mostly, I have little hope that very many people are left who want to resist the Borg or who can even recognize when they have become assimilated themselves.
I am relieved that my two sons are now too old to join and my two grandsons are far too young. But, I am also angry that it's now impossible for me to watch the news. I can't stand the left-leaning MSM, and I can't take the right Neocons and those conservatives who don't dig deep enough to find evidence before they determine what the "truth" is. I am left with the most powerful action I can take, which for many in our country now is not worth much: praying for divine intervention
One of the advantages of not being very wealthy is that tax time, while always a little tense, is just something to get over. I have a great accountant. My taxes are filed. As usually, I get a little back from the feds, but also as usual, I have to pay a little to the state. The opening verses of St. Luke 2, Chapter 2 always come to mind. It's the Christmas story that starts with an explanation of why exactly Christ was born in Bethlehem. "It came to pass in those days that a decree went out of Caesar Augustus that ALL THE WORLD SHOULD BE TAXED. (My caps)" With world events now it's a bit interesting in light of current events. The next line is this: "And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of SYRIA." I wish peace and serenity to all who are dealing with taxes.
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2017 on Tax Time at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Yes sir, Graham, McCain and Hillary as your cheer leading squad should give anyone pause. With Trump it's probably that he is still in scripted "reality" show mode and didn't think that it couldn't be re-shot if it didn't play the way he wanted. Publius Tacitus, I am going to go with my analogy of Trump as Incitatus, at least the back end of him. The whole horse would feel insulted.
I am and have always been quite ashamed of many of the people in the Boomer generation, my generation. But try to remember that one of the major "children" of the Boomer generation was Bomber Billy, a great friend of Obama. Obama was raised on the pablum that came out of many in my generation. Many of us, however, never bought into that mindless "tune in, turn on, and drop out" message, or the "flower power" free sex and whatever ridiculousness they came up with. Many of the young men were drafted of volunteering, while others whose parents had money were partying in college to avoid the draft. On the other hand, many of us were working their way through college and studying hard to become the many solid people I knew and know now. I haven't been able to turn on the news since Drumpf started talking about not doing what Obama did in not going through with his "red line" promise. I was a Never Trump person. I've tried to give this man some respect as our legally elected POTUS. But, quite honestly, I haven't been made proud by most of the legally elected presidents of my adult years. I don't hold out much hope either for the younger generation, the ones I taught before I retired. We turn out awesome singers, musicians, dancers and other sorts of entertainers, however. And most of them could easily fit in on the set of any "reality" television show. My heart is heavy.
Well, it's not as if my generation didn't have to fight an "undeclared war." Please don't think I agree with this action by Trump. I am just plain tired of this sort of behavior on the part of the executive branch, no matter which party is in control lately.
Publius Tacitus, thank you for being here to help some of us remain sane. If this is not turned around and soon, we are lost as a nation. The Republic seems dead now after a last effort to revie itself, and the Empire will fail. We don't need Caligula and Nero, we have McCain and Graham. Can't figure out how Trump fits in this analogy, except maybe he's Incitatus.
I once wore a "Nietzsche is Dead" T-shirt to a class under the direction of a Marxist professor, who got his degree from Cambridge, where it must be a requirement to be Marxist. I did it because so many of the others in the class were contorting themselves to try to figure out how to show their Marxist creds in a class where the discussion of the material didn't necessarily have to be stuffed at all into the Materialism that directs the underlying philosophies of Marxism. I was having to direct the questioning on an I.A. Richards essay that contained only one incidental passage that might fit into the materialistic Marxist worldview. When no one could answer my questions about the main points of Richards' essay, I forced the professor to answer those questions. He could, but he was clearly annoyed that I asked the questions I felt Richards would want me to ask. I, as I have pointed out, am a Christian. It seems smug to me to assume that God has been proven not to exist when we have little idea what really happens after death. I was, and still am, fond of Henri Bergson's Creative Evolution. Bergson's philosophy was eventually given more credit than when he first debated Einstein. The rationalism of Descartes is important, but keep in mind that Descartes used his sort of rationalism to prove to himself that God exists. Einstein's early abstract rationalism had to eventually deal with quantum physics, while Bergson's intuition and experience based theories were better able to handle that. I like the references to God in politicians' speeches, and I pray to God that they are referencing him sincerely. As for Bergson, my experiences and intuition are as important to me as are the use of logic. I say that I have experienced God's presence in my life. For someone to tell me that I am imagining it, is an insult. I once had a discussion with the surgeon who operated on my mother as she died on the table. He asked me to come in to talk with him because he knew I was the one who intuitively knew she would not survive the operation. He wanted to talk because he, as a surgeon, had been in discussions often with patients who wanted to tell them about their "out of body" experiences while under the knife. To claim that anyone can know how God is worshiped currently on earth means that the research is based on on perhaps a faulty understanding of how many people actually do worship God.
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2017 on Smoke By Walrus at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Walrus, I read this post late yesterday. It made me think. Thank you. Rather than thinking about current situations in the world, I prefer to think about what we do know about the history of Mankind (I am not sorry, Nazi feminists. I like that word.) and the philosophies, ideologies, religions that guided people in the past. One book came to mind for me: The Alphabet vs the Goddess, by Leonard Schlain. I can't remember when it came out, but I remember reading it in the late 90's. I thought Schlain came to some very interesting conclusions about how human societies change from linear thinking societies (the alphabet) to a more artistic thinking societies (goddess) and back again and round and round. I am simplifying it, of course. Have you read it? And since I loved my readings in Middle English literature, after reading your post, I recalled the importance the concept of the Wheel of Fortune had for that time and which could still provide insight today. I think of Newton and his ideas of centrifugal and centripetal forces. That came to mind because in the Wheel of Fortune meme, those on the outer rim are buffeted about all the time, while those who find their way to the center are the ones who find truth. Anyway, your post started me thinking on those ideas and readings from my past readings. My final thought was about your comment about how Religion has failed us. I do agree that the institutions that claim "control" of various religious systems have certainly failed us. However, as a person raised in a Christian family and having attended Sunday school, Bible school, confirmation school and having joined a voluntary group of people during my MA program to read and discuss Christian mystics, I can say that my religious beliefs are about the only reason I am halfway sane in this current crazy space of time that we are on in the great Wheel of Fortune. Last night I watched two shows late into the night: one on the experiences of the soldiers in WWI from the beginning to end, and a similar show on WWII. I cam away thinking how war brings out the most noble side of humanity while dealing with the most fallen, degraded side of humanity. A trite, thought, perhaps, but watching these shows keeps me searching for that center. Again, thank you for posting your thoughts. I look forward to more from you.
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2017 on Smoke By Walrus at Sic Semper Tyrannis
I have no military experience at all. So, I base my opinions on nothing but my intuition, which of course is not infallible. However, I remember coming home from a spring break in San Diego where I was flabbergasted by all the people just itching for a war with Saddam. Then soon I was curled up in fetal position watching as they dropped the first bomb on Bahdad, knowing that it all just seemed to surreal and wrong. Our going into this now will not help any of those beautiful little children like the ones in the video. Please let cooler heads prevail. Is it not time for McCain to develop dementia, or maybe he already has.
My hidden script, if you want to insist I have one, is that choosing something like "IQ," which is a designation based on nothing often but a person's ability to read, study, and remember, to compare different cultural groups (or races--if there really is such a thing) is a ridiculous exercise as far as I am concerned. There is no "smarter" ethnic group than another. Each group of humans must deal with their environment and the times they live in. One human trait at any given time might be valued or not valured. On our farm, my IQ often meant I was called "supid." I remember an incident when my sister and I had been asked to round up two horses from the pasture. We walked out with his horse and two bridles for the two we wanted to bring in. After we bridled those two, my father rode his in the lead. I was on the second horse, and my sister on the third. We were coming up a hill on which a tree stood. I was lost in thought. My father turned to yell at me, "Watch the tree." So I watched it, since i was a good obedient girl, as a branch hit me and knocked me off the horse. That kind of thing made me "stupid." But I was livid because they were laughing at me and calling me that. I yelled at him that he should have told me to "Watch out for the tree." So tell me now how important IQ tests are and then rethink what they really mean.
Another grasping at straws attempt, it seems. This event happened after the election and involved the brother of Betsy De Vos. (Please, everyone, don't even think of associating me with my own brother's beliefs. He's a good guy generally, but has no clue about how to connect to real people.)
I am also becoming a little jaded in my reactions to reports of chemical attacks. Give me a break from the emotional guilt, you ME throwbacks to WWI gas attack tactics. They are, of course, horrid when they are being used in situations where innocents can be caught up by them. I does sicken me to think people would carry them out or even think of carrying them out. But I've been sickened by this sort of news since the Halabja attack against the Kurds, and I am still questioning who really did the attack in Syria while HRC was in the midst of her gun running and shortly after Barry gave his red line warning. Did no one read Sy Hersh's "Red Line vs. the Rat Line" piece? I never find a good counter analysis to that. And being of the Vietnam generation, I still remember Hersh for the My Lai story. I just wish we could invent a gas that targets only certain types of people, those who believe gas attacks are still something humans should do to other humans. And I do hope this currently reported gas attack is just "fake news."
Thanks for your comment. I think I do understand how the FBI as an intelligence is different from the others. But, his opening statements clearly seemed to say they though HRC fit the definition of someone who should have been prosecuted. It did not help that Slick Willy and Loretta "Stand by her Pres" Lynch had met in that Phoenix airport to discuss grandchildren--or something. You are absolutely right though. I remember the mess of the Watergate hearings and the Whitewater hearings. We really need our politicians to govern and quit getting caught up with hearings. Too bad we have so many crooked--er quesionable--politicians.
I agree with you, of course, and did know much of this. I am a new person to this site. I am used to sites where the people who comment do not really know much about foreign affairs--and sad to say--don't seem to care. So, you can't really say much on them. I am enjoying getting far better information here. Awhile back, I did step in an advise an old high school friend and her husband NOT to visit Istanbul. She had asked me about it because I had been there back in 2005 or 2005 (can't remember which right now). Erdogan had not yet taken over. But I had been watching the news. I remember when it seemed the biggest problem with Turkey was their refusal to admit the Armenian genocide.
Thanks to all who answered me. I do appreciate the insights. I taught in a public high school with a large population of students from various Asian countries: Cambodia, Thailand, some Hmong, Chinese, and a few Koreans. For some reason we did not have many Japanese. I enjoyed most of those students but was aware that the different nationalities didn't mix much in the halls. And, of course, the Asian students were graduating with the highest grade point averages. But, I had not really ever, for some reason, studied anything about what happened in Korea and/or why the Japanese and Koreans dislike each other so much. So, I will view KJU slightly differently now, but you do have to admit that he is some strange dude, as some of my students would have said. And....didn't Slick Willy do a lot of messing in Russia's economy, too? I'm not talking about the current Clinton Foundation stuff, but earlier.