Archive for October, 2005
Traeger is about the only person on earth I could still consider a friend.
We have known each other forever, so he gots no mercy here and expects none.
I now quote what he says and my replies are marked by ***********
Something much more basic is going on:
Computers make for more refined accounting.
More refined accounting means a better ability to find out which parts of a business are making or losing money.
Computers also mean that engineers can incorporate costs into their design and not have to send designs to top management, which will then get cost from accounting, buyer preferences from marketing, and so on. Top management alone has the information. (Engineers design cars that make them happy, but they cost too much and the public won’t buy them.) All this means that middle-management ranks, those who pass informatation from bottom to top and back down again, are getting delayered.
****** While I am the senile one, you seem to have forgotten that all this was the explanation of why, in the Carter years, everybody thought that business cycles were a thing of the past.
***** Nobody noticed that Europe had computers and one long cycle: Down
*********I do love the irony that Yuppie middle management, back in the 90s where you seem to be stuck, said automation was OK and the low-life working class would have to face losing jobs.
****** Those are the guys who are now asking, “Would you like fries with that?”
Computers also mean that it has become easier to buy outside the firm than make it yourself.
Transactions costs are lowered. Did you ever hear of Ronald Coase and a paper he wrote in 1937, “The Economics of the Firm”? Of course *you* have.
****** You know Ronald Coase was a professor of mine.
All this means more and more creative destruction, shorter product cycles, more jobs in design and marketing, fewer semi-skilled and unskilled jobs (code for IQ, mostly), smaller sized plants and firms both.
*********** What is this “unskilled” nonsense? Anybody who can paint a house can get a job. A super specialist in computers can’t.
*************** Where have you been the last couple of decades?
This means a general increase in the tempo of change. Who now plans ten years ahead?
********** I can’t believe you are parroting this “Inevitable incread in the tempo of change” bit.
********** In political strategy, and I mean REAL politics, you plant ideas. I deal in decades routinely.
It means a greater premium on raw IQ. You’re OLD Bob and not as smart as you used to be and are living on you accumulated wisdom. There’s not much of a demand for “experience.” Peak earning years will go down.
******** Lord, man you are really stuck in the nineties!
******** I can’t get it straight whether you are somehow competing with me or making a point.
******** I am very unhappy that I have to keep saying things that are obvious and neitehr young nor old people can see. You yourself said my big contribution was, and I quote:
******** “Things jump out at you that other people don’t even notice.” It is a very uncomfortable talent, because I keep wondering why the obvious never occurs to anybody lese.
********* In fact, it is very much like the old movie about the pod people, where nobody seemed to notice that people with human brains and emotions were being replaced by pods.
************ I want to be frozen and wake in a world where I will be given lotes of extra frontal lobe and taught by people who have already thought of what I agonizingly try to teach people now.
********** I do NOT like being the only sane one around.
Not as much as it should, since our Stone Age brains tell us that with age comes wisdom. It did, when the oldsters were all of thirty.
It all adds up to no more careers, just jobs in the old sense that you get a very specific task.
Tell me, Bob, what are the last three bits of wisdom you’ve acquired.
********** You seem obsessed with me.
******** If you read the blog, you would know that I am Odinistic. The word “Wisdom” is for charlatans.
********* You know I never let anybody get away with the sort of crap you just asked me. What is this “Wisdom” fertilizer?
********** There are things that work and things that don’t work. There are thoughts one comes up with and insights one finds or learns.
********** But “Wisdom?” In all seriousness, what in the HELL is that?
After my second nervous breakdown the friends I still had in Washington were all Catholics.
Conservative Catholics? That is one hell of an understatement.
I have no use for anybody who believes in an omnipotent God of Heaven and Hell and then tries to make this concept reasonable and acceptable to Modern Thought. He is speaking a language that means nothing to me.
If there is no Heaven or Hell religion is silly.
And believe me, at that point in my life I could believe in Hell. You think I am joking?
DEFINITELY no joke.
In my state “Creo in Deo Crudel,” “I believe in a cruel God,” made perfect sense to me. I gave it a one percent chance of being true.
Being true FOREVER.
At that time I was also very interested in the Shroud of Turin. It was inexplicable, and I was ready to be convinced.
One never wholly sheds the faith he was raised in.
So I went to the only religious friends I had. Calvinists required a faith I could not mustger.
Myy friends were so Catholic they weren’t Catholics any more. All of them had decided that, since Vatican II, the pope wasn’t really Catholic any more.
You think I’m joking, don’t you?
Paul Weyrich and the others had gone to the Eastern Rite. They would have gone to the Orthodox Church if the theologians had not stood in the door blocking their way.
So I joined Paul’s church, in which he later became a deacon. That is the order just below priest.
Jesus forgave the repentent thief, so the idea that he had passed on the power to forgive sins made sense to me.
Politics is everything.
By my connections, I got a benefit. To become a member of this sort of church normally requires a year as a catechumen. It took me three months, which was the amount of time I had in DC during that particular assignment.
I spent a lot of my time worrying about the “tonsure.” In order to join you had to have a new baptism and a “tonsure.”
I kept thinking about going around with a monkish haircut, the whole top of my head bald, until the hair grew back.
It turn out this was a fortunate. In fact, the “tonsure” was just cutting a tiny bit of hair off. I still have the hair along with my baptismal certificate. But worrying about weeks with a bald head kept me from minding the baptism too much.
And the baptism was something else.
The Orthodox baptism makes you Baptists look like a bunch of amateurs. I was staying with my ex-wife, and on the day of my baptism I put on a bathing suit. I had to explain to her that I was being baptised.
Being a good Odinist, she had a little trouble understanding why you had to wear a bathing suit when being baptized.
Oh well, you know how ignorant these heathens are.
In the Orthodox Church and the Melkite Church you are not just immersed in water the way the Baptists do it. You are taken to the huge font which is filled with oil and water — you can certainly feel the oil, Lord knows how much they put in — and you are shoved under three times.
Which is just the start.
Over your bathing suit you are given a thin white robe to wear. You are soaking wet and your hair is oily.
There is more ceremony, then you have to stand in front of an icon during the entire church service with a wooden cross in one hand and a burning candle in the other.
Did I mention you are soaking wet and you don’t comb your hair?
Have you ever stood motionless for a solid hour with candle in one hand while you are soaking wet?
For one thing, the candle drips. Having wax on a hand is like having a nose itch. But you have a cross in your other hand.
Have you ever stood for a solid hour, soaking wet, while your nose itches and both hands are full and you have to think nothing but Elevated Thoughts because you have just been baptized and you really want to be good and earn the trust the priest and Paul Weyrich have placed in you by giving you a short catechumen?
At the end of the hour, the service ends with the taking of the bread and wine. The priest had told me that the catechumen was served FIRST, even if a bishop was present.
I wanted to have my Holy Supper soonest for purely spiritual reasons. But the physical part of me was anxious too. It wanted to stop standing there with the nose itch and both hands full as soon as it could.
The priest totally forgot I was there. So I stood there while everybody else went up front and took the bread and wine. Finally I just put down my burden and got to the back of the line.
I never reminded the priest he had forgotten me.
I also never demanded what I should have gotten for this ordeal:
A medal that declared me a Martyr, Second Class.
Peter is still ragging me about finding a book.
This could be useful.
The problem is that most of the time when I tell people first steps in finding things they think I am making fun of them, because what I do is so simple.
That’s not true. Finding an obscure fact in zoology is fairly easy. You just call a zoology department.
But finding something that “everybody knows” can be very tricky.
I was known for finding things when I got to the Reagan Admininistration, so, like all my bosses, my new boss decided to try me out. He wanted to know a quote from Shakespeare.
I called three or four local library reference services, told them who I was, and they went to work hard. They did not find the quote. What they found out was something MUCH harder:
There was no such quote.
Here’s the kicker: Nobody else would have been able to find that out without days of work. My boss was, as they all were, very impressed. It also reenforced my practical Ben Franklin image.
BUT remember that I DID this myself. If someone had come to me and asked me how to do it and I had told a major appointee of the Reagan Administration he should call the local library, he would have been grossly insulted.
In the internet age, our problem is telling the damned machine that we want something very simple. We do NOT want to buy pimple removers.
The advantage of having an institutional memory like me around is that I spent decades finding HUMANS with information.
Peter wants to know if a book exists. He needs to call several bookstores and ask if they have a book search.
You do NOT have to promise to buy a book to get a full search done. Most of these searches are for out-of-print and hard-to-find books.
Your library will also do it for you
It takes a while.
Most book searches also have a list of actual books, books that exist or existed, on hand. When you are dealing with a fake book this is very useful.
Peter’s question touches on an interesting sidelight: Almost everything under the sun, and a lot that the sun never saw, is discussed somewhere in the Congressional Record. Finding it is an art in itself. If your local library doesn’t have the CR, your local college will. But the library can find out where one is.
Never forget the interlibrary loan service. Your library can get you almost any book that still exists. Even if it doesn’t exist, the microfilm archives, world-wide, to which your library can get access, are awesome.
Be very pleasant and as unbending as a California redwood.
Elizabeth, do you have any more hints?
It is funny people think my hints are insulting because they are so “simple.”
I remember one of the top political fundraisers of all time whom I knew well, Richard Viguerie, addressed a group explaining the basics of direct mail. Richard was a poor Texas cajun who came up in the world, so when he discovered how “simple” direct mail was, he honestly didn’t think it took a genius to do what he did.
He said he had more business than he could handle, so he would just tell his conservative audience how to do it.
I know he meant it, because I think the same way. But I have learned that simple is not simple.
So Viguerie went on for about an hour with short hints he had learned by statistical analysis of responses to direct mail:
Long letters with short sentences.
How YOU can help.
Specify how much money you are trying to raise.
How to get a list of uninvolved sponsors with big names.
And on and on and on for a full hour.
Willis Carto could give you days of this.
He thinks it’s simple, too.
Then Viguerie finished with, “So as you see it’s not some kind of science. It’s all very simple.”
When he came down from the podium I said, “Richard, you don’t know it but what you just told people was, ‘Look, it’s very simple. Here’s Volume One.’”
Everything that works is based on something that seems simple once you grasp it.
But with nanotechnology, if we could grasp molecules, making ANYTHING would be simple.
“Once you grasp it” is a hell of a modifier.
It is the charlatan and the priesthood that seeks complication and arcane theories. As I cannot point out too often:
“If you babble in English you are a fool. If you babble in Latin you are a scholar.”
They called themselves “dog faces.”
The reason they were called “dog faces” was because they were put through the Basic Training of World War II. Basic Training made them obey their masters like dogs.
The British Army had a slogan for recruiting:
“It’s a MAN’S Life.”
If Basic Training made a man of you, it was a failure. The purpose of Basic was to make you perfectly obedient.
It takes generations of breeding and training besides to make a dog perfectly obedient.
The Army had eight weeks.
Four years of Obedience Training. That was World War Two in America. You had to unlearn everything our ancestors came here for.
But it got WORSE.
There was the GI Bill of Rights.
Over fifty percent of those who proudly called themselves GIs, “Government Issues,” took advantage of the right to go to college free.
After four years of Obedience Training, their professors taught them that only professors knew how to rule the world. They called it Progressive Thinking, they called it Liberalism.
I have lived a lifetime hearing people call slavishness heroism and hearing people call hatred humanity. So I am not the least surprised that the group that called itself The Greatest Generation called abject, groveling obedience “Being Realistic” and “Being Tough.”
They thought they were mature. They thought they knew what the world was all about.
So when I said they should fight back, they laughed and said I did know the world the way they did. They had learned that the sergeant was meaner than they were. They had learned that you have to “go through channels.”
Above all, hey learned that “You can’t beat Town Hall.”
In the American Revolution, everyone of them would have been a Tory.
That was just from Basic Training. Everybody who got Basic Training in World War II would have been a Tory in the Revolution. They were obedient dog faces and proud of it.
But Basic Training was followed by Politically Correct Training.
After Obedience Training the Dog Face went to college for the “education” they had earned. At the universities they were dog faces again:
At the universities the dog faces learned there that there were Authorities in the world. The Authorities knew what was best.
If you didn’t believe it, the Authorities would flunk you.
Once again, if you didn’t obey, the Authorities would squash you like a bug.
That generation, the people who called themselves dog faces, were convinced that believing professors made them Real Men.
Real Men knew the Real World.
They were Real Men.
They knew how to Obey.
You are now living in the world the Greatest Generation made for you.
Mondo cane, the world of dogs. You are living in the world the dogs made for you.
In response to my “There are no Careers Today” Joe writes,
“Are all the clamdiggers gone too? I grew up on the bay. I don’t see how that could have changed very much. Last I heard duckshit had polluted the bay and the clamdiggers had to stay off the bay. Duck farms, you know. Them ducks have a tendency to dump a load now and again. They tell me it got into the bay and polluted it. Those were the days. I have many fond memories of working out on the bay. I knew nothing about the people who have a stranglehold on our country today. Real freedom seemed to exist in those days. If the criminals in charge today have their way, our children and our grandchildren won’t ever know what that freedom was like. Who would have dreamed such a thing could have happened in our country?”
Last sentence first. As anybody who knew me will attest, I was saying these things would happen in America when I was a teenager.
When I was fifteen I would come back from my lunch to my high school and somebody would shout “Federal Troops!”
Unlike absolutely everybody else who would tell you now they knew it, I took it for granted that the Federal Government would use Federal troops to enforce integration.
Everybody thought “Federal Troops” Bob was being ridiculous.
The list of my ridiculousness back then is endless. My sister remembers when I said the old ladies walking on Green Street near the University would not dare do that in the future and she thought how extreme that sounded.
There is not a thing happening now that I was not ridiculed in the 1950s for taking for granted.
That was then.
It happened in the 1960s when I was predicting fifty years ahead, and no one believes what I say about 2010. Likewise the 70s and the 20s, and so on.
No one takes me seriously today.
I’m used to it.
I’m tired of talking about that, so let’s go on to what may strike a chord with some readers: I do not know the difference between clams and oysters. I do not know the difference between frogs and toads. I expect someone on the Blog to let me know.
I do know that oysters clean the bays.
I watched my father wade with me in the bay and look through oyster shells and find one with an oyster in it and eat the damned thing raw.
But he also pulled his nose hairs with tweezers.
And I worked on the brick plant long before I was old enough and never passed out.
I was TOUGH. And I resent the fact I had to be.
Pain is CHEAP. A decent civilization is one which does not ask people to suffer, but a society that makes people WANT to live in it.
What I realized in the 1950s is that we could have had a joyful future.
We blew it.
I don’t miss the 1950s. I don’t miss outhouses and raw oysters.
But I do miss the future we could have had if they had listened to me.
One of our favorite blacks in the brick plant, Charlie, had to spend several months on the chain gang.
He didn’t like it.
It wasn’t the work he minded. Working on the chain gang was much, much, MUCH easier than working on the brick plant.
Did I mention the word “much?”
On the brick plant there was one major qualification for getting the job. That was not “monkeying.”
“Monkeying” meant passing out. If you passed out twice on the job they let you go.
Did I mention that the chain gang was easier than that?
So Charlie didn’t mind the work. He made jokes about it.
He also didn’t mind the man with the shotgun. The man with the shotgun was a friendly old guy and you would only get shot if you ran.
It was a CHAIN gang. They actually did have chains on.
Anybody who tried to run with chains on would not have been shot. He would have been sent to the State Hospital for mental observation.
So Charlie didn’t mind the work or the shotgun.
No, Charlie didn’t mind the work, Lord knows, and he didn’t even seem to mind the jail.
What got to him was corn bread and peas.
Every day for months he ate nothing, and I mean nothing, but corn bread and black-eyed peas.
We had very little in the sand hills, but we had FOOD. Lots of food. Lots of GOOD food.
Whenever I walked down to the plant through the places that were referred to by everybody, including the blacks, as the “niggah houses,” my mouth watered. The same was true of the rest of my family.
The “niggah house” were shabby, but they were free, and only Charlie and a couple of other black men got them. We gave them to the blacks we WANTED to live near us. They didn’t have to commute many miles to the brick plant as so many others had to.
Work was scarce in the sand hills, very scarce. You had to drive and you could not “monkey.”
Nobody EVER gave up one of the “niggah houses.”
Food and shelter, sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? My family provided that for some eighty people with those throw-away things. Most of the the people we provided them for were black.
Nobody ever gave up a “niggah house.” To live there, you had to be on personal terms with the Whitakers. We were big people in our little world.
So Charlie wasn’t upset with the lack of decor in the jail. What he talked about for months afterward was corn bread and peas.
I could see why.
When you walked by the “niggah houses” all you remembered was the smell of the stuff cooking. It was cooking all the time, and whoever wanted something to eat just took some.
I didn’t go in and eat after I was about five. When I was very small, my parents would leave me with the black folks, and me and the other “niggah” kids would eat whenever we felt like it.
The average African today would give his soul for a steady diet of corn bread and black-eyed peas.
I’ve been there. I know.
Charlie missed FOOD, and he missed it bad.
You can’t have food like that today. It was dripping with fat, it was made to taste good and it made your stomach dance.
My yuppie niece went to a black wedding in the low state a few years back and she couldn’t believe how good the food was. She ate and she ate.
It was her only chance to eat it. It would have scandalized her Yuppie friends. Every bite was verboten, Evil and full of every poison we are warned against.
She just couldn’t stop. She talked about it for months.
Many a person in Pontiac, South Carolina back then died at the age of ninety or so of cholesterol poisoning. So Modern Opinion has to be right.
But nobody out there was EVER hungry.
I don’t know where Jane Fonda found her “children starving in South Carolina.”
But it sure wasn’t in our sandhills.
My grandfather began his work for the railroad about 1900. He retired about 1946. The job changed almost not at all during that entire period. He learned telegraphy and he was a station
My father was the world’s top consultant on brick making. But when he died in 1961 the brick plants were very little changed from the ones in the 1920s. Every single brick had to be moved individually by hand in each stage of the process. The clay had to be found, the clay mixed, then the brick was shaped and cut and dried and fired.
To start with the ground, find clay, then burn that clay into exactly into exactly the color you needed, all this took a lot of expertise.
But from the time he started to the time he finished, it was the SAME expertise.
NOTHING is like that now.
My other grandfather was a Methodist preacher. The Methodist Church like so many other Protestant churches had split before the Civil War into Northern and Southern branches. My grandfather began preaching in the 1870s and retired in the 1930s. During that entire time he was employed by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
If you had asked my grandfather whether he was a fundamentalist, I doubt he would have understood what you meant. All Southern Methodist ministers were fundamentalists. There was no Modern Theology to learn, there was no Political Correctness to keep up with. Even the names for colored people didn’t change every couple of years.
His job was to bring people to Christ.
Not to teach them the latest progressive theories. Today it is hard to imagine a mainline Protestant minister taking “all that salvation and damnation stuff” seriously, but that was all he did.
We had doctors who learned their medicine in practice.
They even came to your house. They didn’t keep up with the latest fads in medicine, which is about all medicine is these days, and they didn’t keep up with “the latest developments in their field.”
They didn’t HAVE a “field.” They were doctors.
As for the latest developments, there were very few to keep up with. There were earthshaking drugs like penicillin developed was huge progress, but they took very little time to learn about.
My father took time out in his teens to read law and pass the bar exam, apparently for a lark, because he was too young to get a license to practice law. Lawyers practiced law in front of a jury or before a judge they knew.
The question was whether a guy was guilty or innocent and what to do about it. Like a preacher saving souls, this is now an old-fashioned and irrelevant business in the modern legal profession, but back then that was what they did for a living.
There were many last-minute decisions by the courts to keep up with. The law changed very slowly back then.
Preacher, station master, brick maker, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief. These were careers.
There are no careers today.
A driver who is going 55 mph in the passing lane, along with another car on his right, holds up every rush-hour driver, thousands of people, for about ten to fifteen minutes.
The police, naturally, go after “aggressive drivers,” tired people who want to get home and resent spending an extra fifteen minutes on the road, a total of at least a thousand hours, so some impotent old man can prove he knows how fast everybody should go.
Thousands of people spend thousands of extra hours on the road for that one clown.
“Yesbuts” are exactly like that.
A “yesbut” is somebody who makes a promise to get back to you and doesn’t.
When you are trying to get something done, you will call people and clear it with them. Then you run into a “yesbut.” He doesn’t get back to you and everything gets jammed, like traffic behind that impotent clown in the passing lane who wants his one chance to bully the world.
One “yesbut” holds EVERYBODY up.
A “yesbut” doesn’t last long in serious business. Grownups don’t play that game.
PS: A yesbut is also known as a “flake.”
Twelve thousand years ago, give or take a klick, there was a huge land which was below sea level.
It was very warm and very fertile. It was protected from the sea by a solid block of land many miles across.
But over the years that land block became smaller and smaller. Today, we would blame global warming and people driving SUVs. But there weren’t many SUVs back then.
Finally the land block collapsed and a wave came larger than any seen since came in all at once. It was unimaginably large. Within months thousands, yes I said thousands, of square miles were inundated. We do no know how much of it was coverd in a matter of days by the first titanic wave.
Today that once-fertile valley, easily large enough to put a sizable country in, is called the Black Sea. The Black Sea has several hundred feet of river water on top, but the rest of the way down it is still the heavier sea water, the salt water that came across in the first giant wave.
And a Kyoto Treaty would not have stopped it.
Hollywood celebrities, almost all of them hard-line leftists, are always complaining about how they are insulted by the press and their privacy is invaded and they have no legal recourse.
To me there is a good, solid revenge in that because their problem stems mostly from the Sullivan Case. In the Sullivan Case the Supreme Court ruled that a “public figure” could only sue someone for libel or slander under extreme, almost impossible conditions.
That is what Hollywood stars are whining about now.
Before the Sullivan Case, celebrities had the same right to sue as mere mortals.
But when a leftist cries about the Sullivan Case, Ole Bob is the only person on earth who seems to REMEMBER how the Sullivan Case came about.
During the early 1960s when Saint Martin Luther the King was undergoinghis martyrdom in Alabama, one city official who opposed him was attacked by the New York Times.
The New York Times attack included and lies and terms so extreme that it was almost impossible for said official, Sullivan, not to collect huge damages from the New York Times.
The Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren could not let the New York Times lose the case.
On the other hand, if they let the New York Times get away with this under a complete new definition of free speech, the entire libel and slander law in America would disappear.
The New York Times had met EVERY criterion of malicious slander against Sullivan.
Nonetheless the Warren Court HAD to let them get away with it.
This is why the New York Times HAD to get away with it:
In the 1960s liberals operated under the rule that, “There is no room for racism in America.”
So the national media used lies and personal attacks against segregationists as a matter of course. TIME magazine put out a book on the segregationists which quoted every white segregationist in ebonics. Every white segregationist was quoted as using “thuh” for “the,” “hawses” for horses” and “seguhgation” for segregation.”
I knew a lot of the segregationists quoted, and they didn’t use that kind of English.
Every integrationist in the book, white or black, was quoted in the King’s English.
But this was standard practice against segregationists. It was REQUIRED practice against segregationists.
As the British court said in the 1987 case of The Crown versus Joseph Pierce, “The truth is no exuse” for racism. They sent Pierce to prison for telling the truth for racist purposes.
By the same token, malicious and personal lies about anyone liberals and respectable conservatives agree to call “racists” is the highest morality today as it was inthe 1960s.
If anyone challenges the right of “anti-racistgs” to use slander conservative spokesmen, to prove their respectability, will lead the lynching party.
So in the 1960s lies and libel were routine against us segregationists and everybody knew it.
So the New York Times COULD not he allowed to lose the case against the segregationist Sullivan for doing what every liberal was SUPPOSED to do and every respectable conservative had to accept.
But here was the New York Times with its pants down. They had met every conceivable criterion of the malicious libel law that every American depended on to keep anybody with a printing press from destroying him.
If everybody were suddenly deprived of their right to sue for libel by the Supreme Court, even the slavish World War II generation would have revolted.
So how could the Supreme Court save the right to libel segreagationists for the national media and not destroy the entire libel law?
To do this, the Warren Court invented the “public figure.”
It turned out that the minor official Sullivan, down in Alabama, was a “public figure.”
So Sullivan was subject to an entirely different libel law from the one that applied to mere mortals.
In order to save the New York Times and in order to justify the liberal duty to libel segregationists, the Supreme Court had to invent a “public figure.”
And a “public figure” had tp include a minor Alabama official. In order to make Sullivan a “public figure” they had to extend this category “public figure” not just to movie stars and presidents, but to anybody who had been in the public eye at all.
Even Old Bob fell into that category when he was Young Bob.
Now leftist show people are subject to the same libel law SGREGATIONISTS were.
They don’t like it.
Now the Jane Fondas and Warren Beatteys cry and moan because they have no protection against libel. But they would have cheered the Sullivan Decision when it first came out.
In fact Hanoi Jane did just that.
What goes around comes around.
In my youth, the more I learned the worse it got.
My entire society was dedicated to destroying everything my life was based on, beginning with my race and my Southern identity.
And they sincerely believed that destroying everything I cared about about the highest morality. They felt that everything I cared about just showed my ignorance, my shallowness, my lack of serious feelings for the Universal Concepts they were dedicated to.
And now I am watching young people in our movement going through exactly this same agonizing process. It took me decades to develop and elephant-thick skin and a a sense of humor that keeps me out of the loony bin.
When I was young I was resentful and I was MEAN. I hope our fellowship on the internet will help that happening to young people now.
This process HURTS. I took almost everything as an insult because so much of it was intended to be insulting.
I was ALONE. The media were dedicated to making me and people like me feel that we were the only people who believed what we believed and who felt what we felt. They made it clear that they were not only the only legitimate view, but they were the ONLY view.
The concept of Political Correctness had not occurred to anybody. Colleges were the seats of Wisdom, universalist, anti-racist, anti-provincial — by which they meant Southern — feelings.
Yes, every nightmare you could imagine is true. Yes, the entire world is run by bigoted fools who think they are sophisticated, educated, and noble. That is a hell of thing for a young person to have to learn straight out of the box.
Yes, we’ve got to learn to live with it. But we must also realize how HARD it is to be an intelligent and perceptive and loyal young person today.
That makes you intolerant. That makes you mean.
I would have given anything for this internet fellowship.
One thing I hate about Europeans is that they take their own particular national feelings very seriously, but they laugh at my being a Southerner. When I was young and I told a Scotsman that it really hurt me to be called a “Yank” he was too wise, he thought, to take that seriously. He had read all the stuff about how silly Southerners were.
I hated his guts for that. I wouldn’t now. But I still think very little of him.
I didn’t hate him because he took HIS identity as a Scot seriously. I admired him for that. But when he then turned around and laughed at MY identity, it was more than a young man could take.
What made me think of this was reading the comment I just answered by Jehovists.
They always start off by insulting me. THEY know their Bible. My ideas are navie and wishful. THEIR ideas are based on reading the Book, which I obviously never did.
THEY take their religion SERIOUSLY. Mine is just superficial.
After saying all that, they give me extensive quotes with which I, a fairly intelligent Bible Belter, was very familiar before most people living today were born.
But the insults have to come first.
THEY have a religion they take seriously. THEY have read the Bible.
Compared to them, they say, I am just an ignorant piddler.
I respect that ranting, Bible-believing “little” preacher out in the sticks. I respect his beliefs, and I don’t care how much education he has.
I respect a European’s dedication to his own identity.
But if you want to turn a potential ally into an enemy fast, tell him how much you know about identity or religion and tell him how REAL and SINCERE your ideas are and how superficial and ignorant HIS feelings and beliefs and knowledge are.
There is a piece of wisdom in the North Carolina saying, “You’re ugly, your feet stick and you don’t love Jesus.”
That saying ridicules people who are not aware that they are assuming that if someone is against them they are evil or insincere or ignorant in every way. Jesus said the same thing: There are people who say you are either with us or you are against, but we — his followers — are not of that sort.
A couple of commenters have used the usual lengthy Biblical quotes to prove that when Jesus spoke of God, he meant Jehovah.
I have a very simple, one-two-three kind of mind.
When I was in the hospital in my youth, the preacher visiting me made the same point twice: the Old Testament gave him a despairing view of God. It was only when he got to Jesus that the weight lifted and the judgmental, cruel and immature view of God was taken away.
The only reason I have the slightest use for Christianity is because of Jesus. I rejected it because of Jehovah.
If Jesus’s only concept of God was the titanic bully of the Old Testament, then I wouldn’t have the slightest interest in him or the slightest respect for him.
So how did I reconcile this?
First of all, I repeat for literally the fortieth time, a) Jesus was speaking in a PARTICULAR society and b) it was not a FREE society.
If Jesus had not concentrated on Jehovah and Moses, how long would he have stayed ALIVE, much less been listened to?
Jesus fulfilled ALL testaments. That is MY interpretation.
You may be a Jehovist if you wish. As I say, MY choice is simply between accepting the realities I know about a person speaking in a particular society and my long experience in dealing with vicious restraints on free speech, or simply rejecting Christ entirely.
Every word you quote sounds like a man staying alive and proving he was the fulfillmentof the PARTICULAR testament of that society.
He did NOT say, “I am the fulfillment of that one, TOO.” They would have stoned him or at least silenced him.
The words Jesus used to deliver his message in the society he was in have been used to take attention away from him and to spend time concentrating on the Old Testament.
That is choice I have. I would take Odinism, the faith of MY fathers, over the Old Testament in a split second if it were a choice between two old concepts of God.
What justifies the “Christian” obsession with the Old Testament — the Book of those who crucified Jesus — are the word he HAD to say: that he came not to destroy it but to fulfill it.
He also said Caesar’s property was sacred. But comehow nobody gets obsessed with THAT idea, though that is a direct quote, too.
Jesus could not say, “I come to supplant the old ideas.” He had to say “I come to fulfill it, totally and completely.”
Just try to imagine what would have happened if Jesus had said, “I come to supplant the old ideas.”
Please, just try to imagine it.
Jesus also said, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.”
That was used by many a secular authority to prove that Jesus demanded obedience to any tyranny.
Do you REALLY think Jesus said that in defense of Caesar’s property?
Jesus didn’t care about Caesar’s property, but he was NOT in a free society.
Jesus was not in a free society.
Jesus was not in a free society.
Jesus was in a PARTICULAR society. He spoke the language of that society. He spoke in the TERMS of that society.
Once again, please try to imagine what would have happened if he said EXACTLY what he meant.
When you do that, his words look ENTIRELY different to you. It gets your nose out of the Old Testament and makes you look to Jesus.
Or you can believe that the bully Jehovah was the Father Jesus was actually describing. I sure can’t do that. But I also can’t believe that Jesus was saying that he was just as interested in protecting Caesar’s property as he was in God’s property, our souls.
You have to decide one or the other. If every word Jesus spoke was exactly what he meant and his objective view in a free society, then all state property is holy and the Old Testament is holy.
You are free to believe that, and I’ll fight for your right to believe it.
You are also free to worship trees.
What I am saying is my opinion, nothing more. But don’t assume I haven’t READ all the words you quote.