I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me โ that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter โ except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
January 24, 2013 - 1:29 p.m.
I must fight the Chronoklepts. I've been out of class for a hour and have my next class in two hours. I have to so some prep, eat, and write in that time.
First an eye update. I'm not going blind. I washed the outside with soap and water and the eyeball with the eye wash and my vision is fine now. The discharge has ceased or at least slowed down. But There's always a but. I think I have conjunctivitis. Why? My sclera are roseate. In English my eyes are pink. Pink eye seems like a good call. Anyone know what I should do for it? Remember I don't have medical insurance.
I want to go back and discuss Obama's second inaugural address again. There were too many things I missed the first time around.
When singing its praises I didn't mention my favorite thing about it. Invoking the romantic and beautiful notion that America is based on an ideal, not tribalism.
We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional what makes us American is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:
There have always been those that don't accept that and the best name for them was used for their political party in the 19th century, the Know Nothings. I'll take the vision of America as a vision over that of countries based on ethnic origins or ancient history. You are German because your parents are German. You are American because you were born here, no matter where your parents are from, or you chose to come here. I'm have to fight going off an a patriotic tangent now. I'll come back to that another time.
President Obama's address did what a good inaugural speech is supposed to do, gives his vision of the country and the future without getting into the specifics. It shows where he wants to lead us, not the exact path.
He wants the government to have a role in promoting technology and industry. That we must educate our children. He gives us a vision of teachers as fostering the next generation not the parasites that the Republicans governors paint them as.
He says we have a need of economic justice. That everyone who contributes to the economy shares the benefits, not just the few. He acknowledges that people suffer for reasons beyond their control and a responsible nation takes care of them.
We have to protect the environment and fight global warming. I can't believe that people complained he didn't say enough about it. He said it's a priority. He was laying out his priorities. It is a priority not shared by Republicans. Just saying it something to strive for is important.
Everyone noted his vibrant defense of equal rights for blacks, women, and gays. I actually give him less credit on that. He was late to the party but he's still welcome. His support of gay marriage was belated but very important. He changed the conversation in African American culture. I doubt very much if Maryland would have voted for same sex marriage without it.
It was a great speech but ... He used the world "god" five times. Lines like "That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God;" don't even acknowledge that there are those that don't accept that. The need to preserve the planet is not dependent on their being a god. In fact I'm sure that a higher percentage of atheists support environmental causes than believers.
He said that the oath he took was to god. Did he consider what that says to non-believers? I guess atheists shouldn't be president as they could not honestly take such an oath.
Why did Kelly Clarkson sing the obscure fourth verse of America?
Our fathers' God, to thee,
That's a religious text not about patriotism or democracy? It gives all credit to freedom and liberty to god. I guess we atheists are against them. Except of course it isn't true. Imagine in an inauguration saying. "we'll fight the enemies of freedom, the Holy Inquisition, the Puritans who tried to control and limit how people live and express themselves, the crusaders who made war on people for believing in Islam and Al Qaeda for making war on those that don't." It would never happen. It would be wrong. Well so is this.
It made me feel alienated. It made many of my fellow cononreligionists feel aliented and there was no need for it. I don't mind that Obama is a believer. that's the whole point. It's a personal decision, for him and for me.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Follow on Feedly