Book of the year. Peter Wadhams (2016) A Farewell to Ice. A Report From the Arctic.

odonnellgrunting

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A writer has one imperative, or simple rule – read. Often I have little understanding of what I’m reading. Usually there is a but here. I do not understand Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, but…kinda like a meme from T. S. Eliot’s Little Gidding: ‘We shall not cease from exploration/And the end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started.’ Or Rumi’s parable of the elephant and six blind men. One holding onto a leg, or trunk, an ear, and explaining to the other what in the world stands true. Wadhams’ A Farewell to Ice is a familiar tale and it is distilled into a line of poetry he quotes from mystic Francis Thompson: ‘Thou canst not stir a flower/Without troubling of a star’.

Like Jonah preaching to the Ninevites and warning them they have forty days, Wadhams is telling us much the same thing about the accelerating effects…

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Conflicted Elector in a Corrupt College

Though I personally consider voting a civic duty granting assent to a hiring choice, not an exercise of religious beliefs, it was fascinating to read about the philosophical difficulties this elector is wrestling with in deciding whether or not he can in good conscience perform his duty.

The Blessed Path

When running for the Presidential Elector Nominee some six months ago, I had no idea the conflict that would ensue both from without and within. To say that it has been an “educating experience” would be an understatement. I embarked on this journey with a basic understanding of the difference between a republic and a pure democracy. I knew the Constitutional Fathers[1]  set up our government as the former and not the latter[2]. They had wisdom we lack. In my speech before the convention, I mentioned that nothing exemplified the difference between these two forms of the government more than the Electoral College. I admit, at the time, I was ignorant how deeply that held true.

Republic vs Democracy

The essence of a republic is that the authority rests in elected representatives, not in the people directly.  Noah Webster defined a republic as,

“A commonwealth; a state…

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No, I’m not watching the game.

We’re going over to the Boiler Room, to share our food with those who haven’t got enough. (http://ptbr.org)  You can meet us there, but if you’re somewhere else, here’s my favorite Thanksgiving hymn for your enjoyment:

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It Wasn’t Always So Easy

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247. The People’s President

(I hope the original author doesn’t mind my re-publication of his thoughts. I have a soft spot for other geezers who see echoes of the past in our current behaviors.)

A Writing Life

220px-battle_of_new_orleansSince my dad’s younger brother was named Andrew Jackson Logsdon, you might guess that Andrew Jackson was well thought of in my family. He is well thought of by most Americans as the first people’s president, a man who went to Washington, overthrew the elites, and returned the country to its democratic roots. A champion of the common man.

I disagree.

As a person trained in both anthropology and history, I have to declare my biases. Jackson was an important president, with much to his credit. I grant that. But he was also the leader of a successful movement to drive out the legal residents who were owners of vast tracts of land throughout the South, to make way for his white followers.

By the way, I plan to use the word Indian. It’s a description, not an insult, and it is the word that was used in the 1800’s. When…

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Clickbait 1001

I’m interested in the psychology of fascination, and I’m susceptible to this phenomenon if I’m tired or stay on the computer too long. Here’s a clever visual artist playing around skillfully with the concept.

Matthew C. Mariner

Clickbait, 2016 Clickbait, 2016

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… from the first presidential debate

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