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

July 14, 2015 - 12:04 p.m.

There But For Fortune

Wow I thought I had already started writing this and was taking a break to take a picture. I hadn't. So now this is my ridiculous start.

Yesterday was Monday so I had therapy. I chose to deal with something rough. I have my strategies and eased into it. Yet somehow I finished early. I always run overtime. So I spent the rest of the time telling about how my mother could never leave when we were visiting as she always had more to say and that I inherited that from her. I then went overtime.

Ugh, I forgot to put away the bagels I bought after therapy. Now they are stale. Oh well I will cut them after I write this and freeze them. I hate being an idiot.

I was thinking of it as a bad day but it had two very good things in it. First not only did I get this in the mail:

But I also got a note from the three wonderful women on the cover. Not just the Harpeth but my spirits were rising. Listening to it was ever better. I'm going to have too many songs on my top albums of the year list. This clearly makes it. It's special. I'm not going to try and review it today. I might never do it. Reviewing is hard let's go shopping.

Then I tried something new for dinner, sweet coffee chicken breast. I based it on a recipe I saw online, one that did not give quantities of the ingredients and suggested cooking times that would have made it a piece of dry leather. Here's how I made it. took a chicken breast and pounded it with a mallet to make the thickness uniform and increase the surface area. Then I combined in a sealable container two tbs of brown sugar, one of finely ground medium dark coffee, a few shakes of red pepper, unmeasured garlic powder, and a pinch of salt with enough olive oil to make it a viscous liquid. I then put the chicken in the container and shook it till the chicken was covered. I let it sit for a few minutes. Then I grilled it in a skillet. It came out looking like this.

Next time I use more garlic powder and less pepper. I will measure the garlic. I might just add the coffee to my sweet garlic chicken recipe. Along with hassleback potato and cold brew iced coffee to wash it down it was a good dinner. I watched one of the best episodes of Buffy the Vampire, Some Assembly Required. That's the one the guy tries to make a girl out of dead girl parts for his brother who he brought back from the dead. It was essentially The Bride of Frankenstein. Buffy in its heyday did riffs on classic horror films; they also did The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dead of Night (The ventriloquist segment), Nightmare on Elm Street, and .The Invisible Man.

Now for a topic I've been waiting to write about the next slow day. This is a slow day. I want to talk about a group that's heavily discriminated against, they have been called lazy, stupid, criminal, and smelly across many, no most, cultures. I'm talking about the poor. I don’t want to talk about the poor as much as attitudes towards the poor and what makes people rich and poor. One great political divide is defined by this one question from the Pew Political Typology Quiz.

Which of the following statements comes closest to your view?
Most people that want to get ahead can do so if they are willing to work hard.

Hard work and determination are no guarantee of success.for most people

Or to put it more poetically if you agree with Phil Ochs you are a liberal. If you disagree a conservative.

As you know I am a liberal. I don't think that masses of people got stupider and lazier when the economy tanked in 2007/8. When the industrial base left the inner cities the people left there did not become more feckless.

Jeb Bush is a big admirer of Charles Murray. He blames poverty on the breakdown of social values. He also thinks blacks are genetically less intelligent than whites. He does not consider that the poverty causes the breakdown in social values though it's a pattern that repeats itself. The economy collapses and so do social values. When young men can't make the money to support a family they do not marry. People find solace in drugs and alcohol.

The conservative stance that poverty is the fault of the poor is convenient for the rich. That means they have no social responsibility towards the poor. The social safety net is a hammock. Not only that but it gives them the ego boost that they are rich because they are better people.

Richard Nixon was a crook and Bush an incompetent that led us into war and economic collapse but Reagan is the president that did the most damage. He changed the conservative viewpoint into the dominant one. He got the working class blaming their lack of gains on the welfare queens driving Cadillacs not that he was funneling money from them to the rich. He set the country against unions the only effective counterforce to big corporations. Unions fight for the workers and Reagan turned them against unions.

All economic decisions, even total lasses faire picks winners and losers. Some people will be helped but others will be hurt. We want to do what's best for the most people but that can mean hurting some people. Pretty much all economists are in favor of free trade. When economists object to trade agreements it's not because they increase trade, it's because of the rules they put in that have little to do with trade. The problems with the TPP involve things like intellectual property rights. But let's think about a good trade agreement that the country should make. Some people in industries that had been protected will lose out. Companies might go out of business and people will lose jobs. The people that gained on the deal, the rest of us paying cheaper prices and the businesses gaining from the cheaper imports should pay to help those that lost out. That's the heart of economic liberalism. Free trade was just one example. When we raise interest rates to curb inflation we make unemployment rise. The people losing their jobs aren't at fault. The decision can be the right one, the fed actually knows what it's doing most of the time, but that doesn't help those losing their jobs. And they can't just find new ones, there aren't new ones to find. Economic liberalism works on the same principle as insurance. We share the risks. If people lose their jobs then we all help them out.

On a personal note Bastille Day brings memories of something I would rather not remember. Bathing in the Lethe is not an option.

OK now it's time for me to eat. Bacon and eggs? Sounds good. I'll eat a toasted stale bagel with it.

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 July 14, 2015
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