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Control.

It's all about control. If you feel you have lost control over and have no explanations for very important aspects of life, things you can't bear to confront consciously, then you look about to see what you can control, or think you can, and try to explain them. If you can't explain and search for a solution to the biggest problems, you try to find a problem you can control, or, at least, try to explain. Your repressed fears become an atmosphere you can't escape, an intolerable burden to your emotional self, and you look around for something you can project your fear onto, and then attack it. Or, lacking the ability to do battle with it yourself, get authority figures to do battle with it for you. And, all the while, the real cause of your fear, a proverbial elephant in the living room, goes unmentioned and ignored while you and, perhaps, your friends, neighbors, relatives, and others fasten on something else as the culprit, something you can deal with -- which may not even be real. This is how mob violence starts, often aided and abetted by powerful people who can use such fear and violence to further their own aims. It's also how many political movements have gotten their start, and it is rarely productive of anything save a great deal of noise, lots of confusion, and grave injustices which may end up disrupting or even ending the lives of innocent bystanders accidentally caught up in human mayhem directed at a nebulous or even imaginary target. If you feel that your life is spiraling out of control for reasons that have little or nothing to do with you, the human need for the feeling of having control over our lives is such that you are very likely to fasten on something, anything, that gives you at least the deeply-felt illusion that things are under your control, or could be. And it on just that dynamic that so many lives have been heavily damaged or actually destroyed by well-meaning, badly frightened people down through history. If nothing else, the witch-hunts ancient and modern -- the ones of the Middle Ages as well as the political witch-hunts of the 20th Century -- certainly testify to that.Read more...Collapse )

On the causes of war, by Karen Armstrong

"In the West the idea that religion is inherently violent is now taken for granted and seems self-evident. As one who speaks on religion, I constantly hear how cruel and aggressive it has been, a view that, eerily, ix expressed in the same way almost every time: 'Religion has been the cause of all the major wars in history.' I have heard this sentence recited like a mantra by American commentators and psychiatrists, London taxi drivers and Oxford academics. It is an odd remark. Obviously the two world wars were not fought on account of religion. When they discuss the reasons people go to war, military historians acknowledge that many interrelated social, material, and ideological factors are involved, one of the chief being competition for scarce resources. Experts on political violence or terrorism also insist that people commit atrocities for a complex range of reasons. Yet so indelible is the aggressive image of religious faith in our secular consciousness that we routinely load the violent sins of the twentieth century onto the back of 'religion' and drive it out into the political wilderness." -- Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence (http://www.amazon.com/Fields-Blood-Religion-History-Violence/dp/0307957047), pp. 11-12

Just wonderin' . . .

I just wonder, you know, what people would think if they found out at Barrack Obama was the secret head of the global organization of Islamic State. What would it mean to them?

Trend?

All day long I've been feeling a profound heaviness to everything. International news is awful, and so is domestic news. This year should bring some massive changes. But what?
I learned something very important last
Thursday, December 31, 2015:

A couple of years ago I bought a six-bar (a bar with six electrical outlets in it that you plug into the wall, and that also serves as a surge protector). I got it home and plugged it into the wall; since its cord was next to the switch that turns it on and off, by having the cord and plug take the shortest distance to plug into the wall, this meant that its on/off switch was also close to the wall. I didn't even notice the fact that the switch and the cord were so close to the wall; I just put up with having to reach over the length of the six-bar to turn it on and off, although I really didn't like doing that.

But last Thursday I had one of those moments in which I got sick to death of all those cords in a tangle next to my desk. I straightened them all out, then plugged them back into whatever sockets they could reach without tangling.

In the process, I put the six-bat back with the end with the on/off switch toward me. I've had no trouble turning it on and off ever since.

The moral of this story? Don't try driving your car from the back seat, with you facing the back of your car. It makes everything squishier. ;-)

Happy New Year!!! :-D

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


May 2016 be full of happiness, joy, abundance, and good fortune for all of you. :-D

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I feel as if I'd been run over by a truck

This afternoon, when I was waiting for a bus at the intersection of South Weller Street and 12th Avenue South here in Seattle, three gunshots went off maybe 40 feet north of me. I wasn't hurt, but it did shake me up.

Which was nothing compared to what was waiting for me when I got home. My phone has Caller ID, and it said a close friend had called me earlier. So I called him, and he told me that earlier in the day his wife suddenly collapsed and died. He sounded as if a mountain had fallen on him, and, listening to him, I felt like that, too.

He should come out of it okay. He's about ten years younger than I am. I told him I'd be here for him if he needed to talk with me, which I will be. G-d have mercy on us both.

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I stumbled over this by accident while checking something out on amazon.com. This page even references other books along the same lines. One more testament to the disgustingness, cruelty, ignorance, and chronic lying of antisemites. It's the evil that never dies. *Why?* I guess there are a lot of people who need a harmless cat to kick, and who have chosen the Jews as their whipping-cats, thinking Jews don't fight back and aren't supported by anyone. Antisemites are full-bore bullies, and have chosen their targets for all the same cowardly, vicious things bullies do all the time.

The Talmud Unmasked - The Secret Rabbinical Teachings Concerning Christians, I. B. Pranaitis - Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Talmud-Unmasked-Rabbinical-Concerning-Christians-ebook/dp/B0070VVY9I/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1443464198&sr=1-8&keywords=talmud

O Jerusalem!

Recently, Pope Francis said that he believes that Jerusalem should be given over to the Palestinians, to bring peace in the Middle East. This is so wrong on so many levels I have real trouble understanding why he believes this.

1) Such an act would be theft on a massive scale. Jerusalem was built by Jews, occupied by Jews for centuries, and is the holiest of holy places. Taking it from the people who built it, revere it, and live in it to give to the Palestinians is indeed theft, especially because it would be the UN which would back it up and send in soldiers to take it away from Israel.

2) It would most emphatically NOT bring peace to the Middle East. The Palestinians, backed by Iran and other terrorist groups and nations, want to finish what Hitler started, i.e., murder every last Jewish man, woman, and child, and destroying Israel would be a good start. Once in Jerusalem, they and their terrorist backers would use that as a wedge to invade and conquer the rest of Israel, and the streets would run red with blood. They would also murder all Christians and even "wrong-headed" Muslims living and working in Israel, all part of their "universal jihad" that they want to perpetrate on the world.

Please, *please*, PLEASE Pope Francis, reconsider this idea that peace can be achieved by handing Jerusalem over to the Palestinians. The result would be a horror show, and peace would NOT follow after it was over -- because it would never be over. Israel is everyone's bulwark against militant Islam, not just for Jews, but Christians and even Muslims as well as Hindus, Buddhists, and polytheists. G-d commanded us not to steal. Please don't aid and abet the terrible theft this would entail.

Pope Francis, you are a good man, and I certainly agree with most of your proposals and actions. But not this. NEVER this.

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