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
-Bertrand Russell

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

November 07, 2014 - 12:37 p.m.

Cycling to Rights

Hey I left the house yesterday. I went down the block to buy plantains. That's it. This is not good. I'm glad I have plans for tonight. So what did I do good yesterday? I started watching Ken Burns' "Jazz." That's about it.

Last night I knew what I was going to write about. How come I don't remember it? Oh right I'm an idiot. Well I do remember one part, my thoughts in my shower. OK I don't even remember that but I sent a FB message to Carey where I recapped my thoughts and I can use that as a cheat sheet. I have often thought it would be perfect if I could just transfer my thoughts in the shower directly to the blog. Of course it would look something like this.

Why do people believe in god? Why do I so often think about why other people believe in god? Is this shampoo or conditioner in my hair? Have I rinsed yet?
I have been thinking a lot about god and maybe I'll come back to it but this was my last line of thought in the shower last night.

I do a thing I call cycling. It does not involve a bicycle or any other form of transportation. It's a list of things that I worry about or I'm unhappy about. Thinking about one leads to the next and so one till I get back to where I started, thus the cycle. I came up with the term when I observed my friend doing it. I tell her "you're cycling" in an effort to help her break out of it.. I'm better at breaking out but it still can be difficult. OK now with that background here's what happened in the shower.

I caught myself cycling. That got me thinking about cycling and the explanation that I just told you. Then I realized that what I often do is pull out of very high anxiety financial thoughts by thinking about long term interpersonal problems. They are more depressing but less scary and for someone with anxiety that's what matters. And that made me think about Chuck Yeager and The Right Stuff. "Huh are you on crack?" No I'm not and I resent the accusation. There's a scene in the book where Yeager hears some pilot who thinks he's a hot shot bragging about how he got his plane out of a spin. Yeager flew the most dangerous experimental planes and sometimes they would just tumble end over end. He would struggle to put the plane INTO a spin because that's something he knows how to get out of. That's what I do with my anxiety. I channel it into something I know how to get out of.

But that's not where my thoughts ended. I started to think about the The Right Stuff and the culture of test pilots and the mercury astronauts.. That book really sticks with me. I still think of Edwards Air Force base as "Holy Muroc." But back to the test pilots and astronauts. They were shall we say promiscuous. They treated women as another conquest, something they were entitled too. But unlike most guys that feel that way at least they felt special because they were special. Not many people can be in a plane out of control and instead of screaming his head off follow procedure. First you try A, if A doesn't work you try B, if B doesn't work you try C, and so on till you get out of it or you die. I genuinely admire that. That doesn't excuse bad behavior though I don't know of any who were really terrible to women. They used women that used them for the most part. Then I thought about James Branch Cabell's take on great people. In a 100 years anyone they killed would have been dead anyway but their achievements will still be there. We don't care that Wagner was a schmuck, we care that he created great opera Then I thought of Jian. Jian is not nearly great enough for me to not care about him physically abusing women. And then I washed the conditioner out of my hair and dried off..

That's about as much as its like to be me as I can get. I'm leaving things out though. The entire part about god. That was before all this and I don't know how I jumped on to that track. So here's my latest god cycling. Let's say in the future we get the ability to create fully realized virtual worlds complete with people with artificial intelligence. What would you think of someone that created such a world and made the virtual people worship him and if they don't send them to a virtual hell and rewards those who do with a virtual heaven. You'd think pretty pathetic guy. But that's not that far from the traditional view of religion. Oh there are variations on the theme, it's not all about heaven and hell, but gods pretty much always demand to be worshiped and most people think nothing of it. I don't get it at all

I had something important political to write about. I have no idea what it is. Oh now I remember but I'm not going to start on that now. Yes I am. it is important. A three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit reversed a ruling that struck down a same-sex marriage ban, The Wrong Question to Ask About Same-Sex Marriage. I'm not going to write in support of same-sex marriage. That would be preaching to the choir. I want to write about the way democracies should function. Democracy is not just majority rule. That become mob rule. If 51% of he population believe in something they cannot automatically force the rest to do so in a functioning democracy. To give a ridiculous hypothetical; New York City could not force everyone to be a Yankee fan and ban people from wearing Mets caps. There has to be a balance between the will of he majority and the rights of the individual or the government loses legitimacy. This is what people on Iraq don't understand and it's what the two judges in that panel don't understand. The common good but be served before the majority inflict their will ont the individual. The reason bans against same-sex marriage have been ruled against in every other circuit is that there is no such public good involved. Would those judges have accepted a ban on wearing Mets' caps? By their logic they should. These are the temporary majorities that the Bill of Rights were put in place to protect the individual against and the judges are abdicating their responsibility to protect those rights.

Invoking states rights are almost always a cover to protect prejudices of the local majority.. You notice that most of the conservatives who usually invoke states rights all of a sudden call for federal supremacy when it comes to legalizing marijuana. Of course states rights were most strongly invoked in defending the Jim Crow laws that denied blacks equal rights. I thought of the great line from Hubert Humphrey's 1948 Civil Rights Speech at the 1948 Democratic Convention;

The time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of states' rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights. People -- human beings -- this is the issue of the 20th century. People of all kinds -- all sorts of people -- and these people are looking to America for leadership, and theyre looking to America for precept and example.
Thinking about that made me want to hear the speech. You can read it here. You should really listen to it. I did last night. The recording quality is terrible but bear with it and be inspired

In response to that speech Strom Thurmond and much of the southern contingent walked out of the convention and created their own party, the Dixiecrats whose campaign slogan was "Segregation Forever!" Thurmond eventually became a Republican and leader of the party. Trent Lott, the Republican Senate Majority Leader said in 2002 that it would have been better if Thurmond had won the 1948 election. Thurmond's spiritual heirs have great power in the current Republican Party and the two judges who voted for the same-sex marriage ban followed in his reasoning.

I've said it before but it bears repeating. There are no gay rights or women's rights or African American rights. There are only human rights. Gays, women, blacks, Hispanics, transgenders, Jews, and others don't get rights because of who they are. It's that they shouldnt be denied the rights shared by everyone and there is a history of just that happening. The bell does toll for thee. Dont hide discrimination behind legalism.. States aren't people. Corporations aren't people. Only people are people. It's sad that needs to be said.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile November 07, 2014
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