Saturday, March 01, 2014

The Postmodern Matrix

I've been studying postmodernism. Why? The culture, worldview and popular mindset has changed radically in the last decade, and I don't recognize it. So, I've studied it, and paid attention to the postmodern mentality because I want to understand it.

The difference between the worldview when I grew up and the mindset of the current generation are as different as night and day. And, in order to speak effectively to someone who sees the world differently, we have to study and listen and learn.

How is it possible? How can a worldview be so effectively and so radically changed, right under our noses, and we don't even realize it until it is done?

Actually, we did have strong clues along the way. But, many of the postmodern values sound good, by themselves. And, if we aren't critically examining those values along the way, we can even be sucked into the perspective, until suddenly we start to observe the results of the applied philosophy. Is it too late?

One of the first things I remember was when women started taking a leading role in news reporting and television news. The feminization of news reporting has had an incredible impact in on social values. From the first time I heard a TV news reporter ask "How does that make you feel?", I've been offended and realized that "news" was no longer news as we had been taught in journalism classes. It was no longer about facts, news became about feelings. And, this was a clear indicator that postmodernism was taking root in our culture.

Through I have written several articles about postmodernism. The challenge is to learn how to communicate with postmoderns, and convince them of the error of their values.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Bowled Over

I don't watch team sports all year long and here I am watching the BOWL!

Can't understand what my fascination is. Maybe it is just the fact that it fascinates so many people.

I've heard so much about Peyton Manning. Sad to see things going so badly for him.

Others may remember this game in 10 years, but in light of what is really important in life, this is such an insignificant event. Brute force applied strategically. Not much different from war. And, millions of fans behaving as though they are really contributing something to the game. Impotent sideline coaches and quarterbacks, telling the players what they are doing wrong .. hilarious.

I'm ready to see another UFC cage fight. At least there it is simply the effort of each fighter which determines the outcome.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

States challenge nat'l driver's license

States challenge nat'l driver's license

This isn't a good idea. I'm already convinced that the required Homeland Security measures required for getting a license in a new State are an invasion of privacy, harrassment of law-abiding citizens, and useless for policing illegal ALIENS! (They aren't immigrants, they are illegal ALIENS. See my earlier post on the baloney required now to get a driver's license in a new state, and then what happened to my wife's granddaughter .. the car she was riding on was hit by a vehicle driven by an unlicensed and uninsured illegal ALIEN! Lot of good the Homeland BS department, eh?

Just say "NO" to Big Brother .. no more invasion of privacy in the name of the unPatriot Act.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Flu shot and tetanus booster

Saturday I received a tetanus booster in one shoulder and the flu shot in the other. About 7:30 in the evening I was so sleepy I had to go to bed and slept all night. I napped Sunday afternoon and went to bed a bit earlier than usual Sunday night. I forgot how much these shots can affect a person. My left shoulder is swollen and sore from the tetanus booster.

Monday, January 22, 2007

What is Important in Life?

Leigh Hunt's poem:

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:—
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
‘What writest thou?’—The vision rais’d its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answer’d, ‘The names of those who love the Lord.’
‘And is mine one?’ said Abou. ‘Nay, not so,’
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, ‘I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.’
The angel wrote, and vanish’d. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And show’d the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.

The prophet Micah wrote this:
What is good, O mortal, and what does the Lord God require of thee? But to DO justice, to LOVE mercy, and to walk humbly before your Creator!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bless and Curse Not

This command by Jesus - bless and curse not, restated by Paul in Romans 12.14 - is amazing, difficult, simplistic and impossible!

There are those who are Christians who teach that our words have creative power. Therefore, for those who believe this, if you speak only positive things, your life will be filled with positive things; and, if you speak curses, your life will be filled with curses.

Interesting, but I know more than one person who constantly talks about having cancer, fearing flying, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah .. yet, they are in good health and in their 80s. And, I also know truly good persons who have died unexpectedly at very young ages in comparison. I mean, people who truly love others more than themselves, etc.

But, in spite of this, there is a real warning that we need to consider about cursing. The mentality behind cursing other people, cursing businesses, cursing government, cursing circumstances .. this mentality is a self-destructive one. It is an easy mentality to slip into, but it will end up destroying us if we continue in it. It destroys integrity and influence. It is a victim mentality. It is non-productive, most certainly, but even more so, it is destructive, because it is speaking curses upon other people and circumstances that we are not responsible for. Thus, if God is the Creator of the circumstances we are cursing, perhaps we are cursing Him. Dangerous ground.

On the other hand, if we get an attitude of blessing .. blessing our mean neighbor, blessing our stingy relatives, blessing those we do business with .. perhaps even having an attitude of blessing those who we are paying when we write out the check to pay our bills.... after all, if we can bless others, we are obviously blessed ourselves, and we will end up being blessed even more. Hey! If you are able to pay your bills, you are blessed!!!

We are blessed with good health, we are blessed to live in the USA, we are blessed to have heat and airconditioning, we are blessed to have great health care, we are blessed to have three good meals per day, we are BLESSED!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Haiti's Economic Struggles .. Solveable?

Haitians are worth understanding. They are incredible people. In case you don't know it, the suicide rate in Haiti is one of the lowest in the world. Even though Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, they have the best attitude toward life that I have ever seen in a culture .. well, attitude toward accepting one's "lot in life", that is.

I learned a long time ago that if I speak truthfully about the problems and deficiencies of a culture / people group, that some people think I'm speaking hatefully about that culture / people group. This just isn't true, but I've also learned that it is just too much for some people to really think .. they prefer to go around spouting judgements and opinions based upon their willful ignorance. Anyway, if you are one of those kind of people, you'll probably think I hate Haitians after reading this article. Which will prove my point, eh?.

Anyway. I speak fairly good Haitian Creole. Can get around the country without a translator. Stay in the homes of the poor. Have been in country at least 25 times. Port-au-Prince, Leogane, Fouche, Les Cayes, Jacmel, Gonaives, Veudreuil, Cap Haitien, Bassin Bleu .. I've visited perhaps half of the country, and know some areas (Leogane, Callebasse, Petite Place Cazeau) very well.

So, why does the nation continue to struggle economically? That is the main point of this article. Because of my love of Haiti and the Haitians, I've studied their culture and history diligently. And, I've sought to understand the fundamentals of economics, looking for answers for Haiti.

One of the most important things I've learned about economics came from a Tom Clancy novel. He stated a foundational principle of economics so succinctly and clearly: The more times a dollar changes hands in a day, the more dollars there are in an economy! It seems so simple, and yet so profound and complex. It is, because why economies change or remain stagnant are not the sum of one cause .. there are complexities in a nation / culture which contribute to what is.

So, in my reading about economies, I came across a great article about Hong Kong, which has the fifth strongest economy in the world, according to that article. Why? Under the English Governor (colonial government), the government stuck to it's job: security, infrastructure and enforcement of contracts.

This made it possible for the peoples' natural entrepreneurial abilities to take over and build a thriving economy. Understand, Hong Kong is overpopulated and has no natural resources to speak of. And, like Haiti, it is an island nation. Haiti too is overpopulated and has no natural resources. So, would it be possible for Haiti to become like Hong Kong and have a strong economy? I believe so.

HOWEVER, certain conditions will have to exist before this can happen. There will have to be a stable government that provides equal justice for all, enforces contracts, provides security for the people and provides infrastructure. WoW .. these are all things that the government has never been able to provide in Haiti.

It seems that Haiti is the poster child for that principle "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Every man who has become President of Haiti has manifested some level of corruption. And, only a handful have died natural deaths .. most have died violent deaths while in office at the hands of political enemies.

There is a clan mentality in Haiti. The Haitians joke about the reality that when a Haitian gets a job in the government, soon all their cousins are driving Toyota SUV's! It isn't that government jobs pay that well. It is that the government workers take bribes to do their jobs and they take care of their clan. Well, it seems the President usually has the same mentality. When it comes to law and government, there really is not a national identity or psyche among the Haitians. Just stating reality, not putting them down.

So, if the Haitians want to see their economy change, the mentality toward the government and justice for all must change. This will probably take a couple of generations of specific educating. And I suspect it might have to be under the rulership of a benevolent dictator. Sorry. I just know Haitians too well.

Wait. There is one more thing. I know this about Haitians, too. Haitians are very industrious and have an entrepreneurial spirit. There are perhaps 1.5 million Haitians in the USA, and they are very productive financially. Given the opportunity in Haiti, Haitians will prosper and build a strong economy. They just need the security of a stable government that provides justice, security and infrastructure.