The Death Penalty

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VA Doctors Claim Immunity from Malpractice

Paid Student Loans

Shop is responsible for damage from botched oil change - Car Talk

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May I ask you a rather personal question?

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Criticism is welcome to me. Criticism is the honing stone upon which I am sharpened.

In reading the gospels we are reading something that somebody said to yet somebody else a very long time ago. As quoted in the bible, when Jesus spoke, logically and semantically, he was speaking to the person(s) standing immediately before him. But, if we take it personally, if we take it to heart, he is speaking directly to us (the readers), so that, when he said:

“…Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

(Matt. 5:48 KJV)

He was in fact speaking directly to us or, especially, to me – today.

In order to comprehend this, one must first accept certain premises:

1) One definition of father is as the originator, e.g., “George Washington was the father of our country.”

2) God is the Father/Creator of the whole universe, and you, as part of that creation, are thus, his child.

3) You accept Christ as your lord and you become subject to him, (i.e., as one knight accepts another as his overlord), his words become his will and thus a commandment directly to you.

Under these premises, when I read “ye” in the above quotation he is speaking directly to me.

On the other hand, whenever you read “ye” he is speaking directly to you.

Humanity seeks perfection but does it the hard way, pointing critical, accusing fingers at each other, instead of putting forth the effort of perfecting themselves. He did not say: “Make them perfect.” But, rather: “Be ye therefore perfect.”

I’ve given up on trying to make others perfect. It’s just not working. And this begs the question:

Is it even possible for someone to be perfect? And in what way?

I can’t straighten my crooked leg. There is no corrective measure for my lifelong amblyopia. Diet and exercise are hopeless against the ravages of old age. What can I perfect? What about me is perfectible?

Nothing, really, but I hit upon the idea that he meant logic and reason and the taming of the tongue – what pours forth from your mouth must be closely monitored; perfect in all cases. And what of the mind, purged of all sin, all hatred, and selfish motivation? Morally, as the Law is written, I stand condemned; and yet I still continue to strive for perfection. Why? Because God is my judge, and He being perfect, the closer I come to perfection the closer I come to Him. I gain assurance against that condemnation.

I invite you, as a friend, to criticize me:

criticize my spelling, my grammar, and my punctuation; but especially, my reasoning, that I make no error in the eyes of The Almighty.

In this life, on this plain of existence, perfection and it’s attendant assurance of God’s Love is the closest thing to happiness a man can find. So help me in my quest for my own perfection.

Your criticism is more than welcome here.

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I guess you just had to be there . . . .

A joke or story isn’t near as funny if you have to explain it. Sometimes it’s situational and you wind up saying: “I guess you just had to be there . . . .”

Not one Vietnam war veteran in ten could properly explain the burst of laughter at the end of this audio tape.

You just had to be there . . . .

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Pop Culture

Pop Culture? Holy Saturday Batman!

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The Monkey Trap

This is just a rehash of a story I’d read about a long time ago. It took place somewhere in Southeast Asia or thereabouts. It was about how the local natives would, for what ever reason, capture a monkey. The natives would affix a narrow-neck jar to the branch of a tree. They would then place a treat of some sort popular with monkeys inside the jar. A monkey would come along and discover the treat. The monkey would slip his paw into the narrow aperture of the jar, grasping the treat. But in making a fist in order to hold on to the treat the monkey could no longer withdraw his paw from the jar. Being hungry and greedy and lacking sufficient intelligence to let go the treat the monkey was thus forever trapped with his paw stuck in the jar.

Over the years I’ve found this story analogous to countless situations where the very thing you find most desirable and a delight to the eye, is just so much bait in a trap, and you lack sense enough to just let go.

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A Fetus does not have a Soul

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take

A fetus does not have a soul.

“soul” is a word (a noun) that refers to an intangible, invisible, immaterial, ethereal, yet immortal essence; the prime mover of the living human body. The primary evidence for the existence of the soul is the dead body. The body is no longer self-motivated. Arguably, and in mathematical terms, a living human being minus the soul equals a dead body. Conversely, a dead human body plus a soul equals a living human being.

a living human being – soul = a dead human body
a dead human body + soul = a living human being

But the ego is not a soul. All living things have an ego, but not all living things can acquire a soul.

a living ape (Homo sapiens) – ego = a dead ape’s body
a dead ape’s body + ego = a living ape (Homo sapiens)

Opponents of abortion often argue that “human life begins at conception”; conception being that moment in time when the male gamete (Spermatozoon, or sperm) enters and joins the female gamete (Oocyte or egg) to form the single-cell zygote ( or fertilized egg). However, since both the sperm and the egg, even in their viral, gamete stage of development evince signs of life, i.e., motile ego and libido, seeking each other out; their life, such as it is, actually begins prior to conception.

An acorn is not an oak tree, but it is potentially an oak tree. The sperm and the egg are viruses, and taken in isolation, neither the sperm nor the egg is potentially an ape nor are they potentially human.

While the host-dependent zygote is potentially an animal, a great ape or homo sapiens, it is still not yet human.

A fetus does not have a soul.

Human life is a dichotomy of the physical and the spiritual. We are all born animals, only potentially human. We grow physically and evolve socially, acquiring as we go, new motives, complex skills, knowledge of relationships, and status symbols indicative of those relationships. But without the soul we are still motivated only by our basic animal instincts and ego/libido.

When the neonate draws its first breath it is a fully formed yet immature and dependent animal whose behavior is ruled strictly by its animal instincts; still not as yet human. Over the course of several years during its early stages of development this ape, this animal, this Homo sapiens, learns to use and respond to symbols; it learns symbolic vocalizations, gestures, signs, etc.; and may even learn the alphabet and how to count; but the understanding and manipulation of myriad symbols are used strictly in the cause and service of the basic animal’s ego and libido. They become a symbolic animal. Still not yet human.

Hidden beneath, encrusted in all the social status symbols and verbiage you are still just another ape.

At some point in their young lives some Homo sapiens receive the word. The word is soul. Prior to receiving the word their behavior, however complex and symbolic, is egocentric and still fully in the service of the animal.

The soul is divine. That which is divine pertains to God. Picture in your mind’s eye a vine dangling from a cloud in the sky down to the earth. The soul connects Heaven and Earth – it connects you and God.

Soul is a word comprised of the sound symbols S, O, U, and L. It is an idea; a concept; a noun and a label for something intangible, invisible and immaterial. One cannot capture a soul in a jar like a firefly (or Tinkerbell) or place it under a microscope to view it or place it on a scale to weigh it, although it’s been tried. Not to be confused with the ego that all plants and animals have, nor is it the will – an offshoot of personal taste and judgement; but something said to be immortal and divine.

The word, once received, modifies, motivates, ameliorates, and alters the behavior of what once was a purely symbolic animal. The word transforms an animal into a human.

One can condition an animal, a dog or a monkey, to do various tricks; but all within the parameters of its stimulus/response instincts. Animal behavior is highly predictable and manageable but the symbolic ape, once infected with the word, becomes, as it is now motivated by something intangible – unpredictable in its behavior.

A rough and ready definition of a boss as applied to mechanics is a fixed, static or stationary part or protuberance of a complex machine that limits, directs or redirects the motion of moving parts or objects around it. At some point in some people’s lives the soul, even the immortal soul, becomes a boss.

However immaterial, the word, the very concept, may become a propellant force. In consideration of the status of one’s immortal soul one is moved to take action of some sort or other. On the other hand, again in consideration of one’s soul, one is prevented from taking certain actions. If the soul sets one in motion it is a force. If the soul obstructs the direction or intent of the ape’s ego/libido it is an object.

A word that names or describes an otherwise immaterial concept enters the realm of Newtonian physics and acts either as a propellant force or barrier to the ape’s ego/libido motives; thus transforming it into a spiritual rather than purely symbolic animal. The ape becomes divine.

The word becomes real. The soul may well belong on the Periodic Table of The Elements as it sometimes acts as a material thing – a barrier. At other times the soul acts as a propellant force – interacting with the material world. The soul may well possess magnetic properties – attracted by good and repelled by evil. When the soul modifies or ameliorates the actions of a member of our species it is a material thing.

We are born one of the great apes; great in the denotation of large; not in the connotation of superior. We are the only species able to acquire a soul. We are born animals and only some of us acquire a soul and become human. Looking out upon a throng; let us say, a stadium filled with people; how many would you guess have souls and how many of them do not?

Driving a school bus, doing a weekend charter, I picked up a group of elderly Jews and drove them to to their synagogue. Having ears, I listened to their conversations. Having the usual aches and pains of the elderly, they went on and on about their latest illnesses, praising certain doctors, giving detailed accounts of their latest surgeries, and generally kvetching about this and that. On arrival at their destination, while the group vacated the bus, an old man put the frosting on the cake with an old Jewish adage:

“When you’ve got your health – You’ve got everything.”

I thought to myself: “That is essentially wrong. Health is a temporary thing.” You can be sickly; you can be (like my other clients) severely handicapped; you can be on your Death Bed – yet still have your immortal soul. While you may gather to yourself property and riches and all manner of material things, those are all eventually taken away. You may be one of those lucky few who enjoy good health and vitality throughout the whole of your life, but eventually even your health goes away and you die. Of dust thou art and to dust thou shall return. Everything in this material world is taken from you – even your body. So, what then is left?

I argue that your immortal soul is a real and material thing. It is as solid as a stone wall and has the attributes of a propellant and repellent force and magnetic, and when you lose your wealth – when you lose your health – when you lose your body – you still have your soul. Your soul is the only real and lasting thing you’ve ever really had.

Jews in general are materialists and this old man in particular gives no consideration, as a Christian or Muslim would, to the spiritually divine and immortal soul. The only thing a man has of any real and lasting value. Mortal life without an immortal soul is zero sum.

We all start out as animals. If we acquire a soul we become human. We all start out as materialists. Some of us acquire a soul and become spiritual beings.

A fetus does not have a soul.

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The Accountant

This pertains to the husband of The Hobbyist. Presumably, an accountant is relatively smart. Also presumably, an accountant is formally educated if not to say college degreed and licensed for his profession. Presumably, an accountant can count past ten without taking off his shoes. But here we have  an accountant and his wife who both know and acknowledge that her working outside the home racks up expenses and puts them in a higher tax bracket and, in sum, makes them worse off financially then if she’d simply stayed home.

The Hobbyist is surrounded by men struggling desperately to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies; but The Hobbyist is completely oblivious to the struggle going on all around her. She just wants a hobby.

The Accountant, on the other hand, in full knowledge that he’s bleeding money, just wants to keep his wifey-poo happy – who, in turn, keeps his dick happy.

As often as I might, I tell my son that every man has two heads – but only one of them has a brain in it. So, which will you follow? The one on your shoulders or the one in your pants?

The Accountant is a dickhead; he thinks with his dick. With his college diploma in one had and his dick in the other, he wanders through life prodding and prodding and probing about here and there with his penis like a blind man with a white cane.

Aside from boredom or low self-esteem or just the herd instinct to follow the brainwashed feminist crowd, who can account for the Hobbyist’s thinking?

Just as asinine Adam conceded all judgment, wisdom and reason to the silly simpleton Eve, The Accountant concedes all his years of education – his college degree, to his wifey-poo, just to keep his dick happy.

The Accountant is a dickhead. And as for his hard-earned sheepskin, his college diploma – he may as well wipe his ass with it, for all that it’s worth.

The United States of America is a nation of dickheads a hundred and fifty million strong. We may excuse those who never studied Economics, Finance or Accounting and say such things were never taught in Public Schools. But how do you account for all those allegedly well educated, college degreed doctors and lawyers; business men; bankers and investors? Dickheads all. Know they not they and their children would be better served if the wifey-poo just stayed home?

And don’t get me started on those Feminist Economists who make exception for themselves; who claim to be pro-women yet fail to recognize their own deleterious place in the labor market?

Everybody’s born stupid – most remain stupid the whole of their lives.

The United States is a nation of cuckolds and dickheads and spoiled, silly women. There shall be an accounting.

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Nuzzing . . . Nuzzing . . . Nuzzing . . . six destrroyahs . . . Nuzzing . . . SIX DESTRROYAHS!

I don’t recall where it came from but this dialogue popped into my head when my brother got a letter from his doctor reminding him it’s been over five years since his last colonoscopy. Someone might recognize it.

File it under Nazisploitation . . . .

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Shipping and Handling

Dear Shutterfly,

Just what part of the term “FREE” do you not understand? I believe that anyone who uses that term engages in FALSE ADVERTISING. I believe those who do should all be arrested and publicly flogged.

In large print you say the promotional item is FREE but in tiny print you say “Taxes, shipping and handling will apply.” You offer an item of dubious worth – a few pennies to produce; and then gouge the victim for Shipping & Handling. That’s how a lot of people get very rich: Shipping & Handling. If such economic activity ruffles any government bureaucrat’s ethical feathers taxes are included to hush them up.

I set out to receive your proffered FREE gift then hit a wall at the Checkout – there demanding outrageous Shipping & Handling.

Now comes The Catch (there’s always a catch): Your website states (among other things):

“100% happiness guaranteed”.

I am very “UNHAPPY” on two counts:

1) Your use of the term “FREE” in large print is both false and misleading.
2) Your program automatically cropped my father from the personalized photo I proposed to use.

Is this damned shopping bag FREE or not FREE? And do you stand by your customer GUARANTEE?

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