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 — 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 — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
June 17, 2014 - 10:40 a.m.
OK, time to write. I want to get out of here early. I'm visiting Cassiope in the hospital today. It's a new hospital, Beth Israel, much easier to get to. Visiting hour is at 1 PM. For most people that's not early, For me it is.
So yesterday's trek started with therapy. I am pretty sure I was entertaining. Do other people feel good about entertaining their shrink? I also like when I break down her professional reserve. Sometimes I make her laugh. Once she gasped an "Oh no!" when I told her something bad that happened. Therapy is supposed to be a sport, right? I'm winning.
Then I stopped at the Strand then went up to Columbia University Medical Center, you know the idiots, to see Cassiope. Then she was moved to Beth Israel and I went down there. I got a ride from another friend of hers. Of course Beth Israel is right near my therapist. That would have been a ten minute walk. I didn't get to see her there but I got the information I needed to see her today. Oh and I have to bring her insurance card as Columbia didn't send it on to them. They said they needed it to make a photo-copy. They couldn't believe it when I told them that Columbia didn't do that.
I then rewarded myself with therapy food. I went to a new chicken nugget place on 14th street. I was good not great. So I went down to Sundaes and Cones for Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream with hot fudge. I know what makes me happy.
I'm making progress in Wise Man's Fear and I'm not as enamored of the section I reached. Kvothe is living with the Adem. They are people but their society is like no real one and goes against biology. Smiling is not a social convention, it's biological. Chimps smile and laugh. If a culture is so different it needs an explanation. A strong need to make these changes and he doesn't provide it. This is disappointing as Rothfuss's approach is otherwise so rational. He makes the magic follow laws of physics. I'm still enjoying it tremendously I hate that I'm going to have to perhaps wait years to read the conclusion of the trilogy. He hasn't finished writing it yet.
I don't really have time or this but I want to write about Iraq and Syria. Terrible things are happening there. Thousands of people are being killed and millions displaced. There are plenty of terrible villains ISIS was too extreme for Al Qaeda. They are trying to establish fundamentalist Sunni state between the two countries. They consider Shiites heretics and deserving of death. They are committing mass murder. In Syria they oppose another villain Bashar al-Assad who has gassed his own people and sets his minority Alawites, similar to Shiites, above the majority Sunnis. This is a human rights disaster. It's an unmitigated disaster.
The world's response is to shrug. Nobody wants to take the time and thing about it. There are two camps, those that want to use military force reflexively in every situation. It is not clear how to use it there and who to ally ourselves with. Very few of my friends are in that camp. My friends reflexively reject using military force They act like if we aren't involved the people being killed don't count.. Doing nothing and watching the slaughter is not a moral choice. Now it might be the least bad choice. There are no good ones. And I don't pretend to know the right action to take. But I know to say that fighting never helps is just wrong. There is fighting whether we are involved or not. Interventions have helped. We stopped the genocide in Bosnia. France stopped it in Mali. OH and there's that little matter of the US fighting Hitler. You can't run a country on sound bites and slogans.
And we have to realize tha military action is never going to be enough. Iraq can't have peace as long as Maliki excludes the minority Sunnis.
OK now for bacon and eggs then I'm off to see Cassiope.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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