Assorted Thoughts About Everything and About Nothing
Do you ever have one of those days where your brain will not be still, but neither will it focus? Yeah, me, too. I have decided that when such periods appear, one might as well enjoy the ride. It’s a bit like high speed cruising through a bookstore you like. All sorts of interesting odds and ends can pop up.
I made one of those “bookstore drive throughs” recently. I thought I would share with you what popped up. I hope you find some of it amusing, thought provoking, or something in between.
First, a single political observation. It seems to me the pattern of the candidates is now pretty clear, although there is plenty of time for upsets.
Biden has what seems an ever-weaker lead. He likely will not do well in the first two primaries and may falter in one of the many debates still to come.
On paper Warren and Sanders share the liberal wing lead, but it will not last. As they used to say on that great tv show The Highlander, only one can survive. That one will be Warren. She is gaining ground beyond her base.
As Biden and Sanders fade, space might open up for one of the next three to seize some high ground: Buttigieg, Harris, or Klobuchar. If any of these make it into the top 3, they could be the surprise surge of the campaign. I wish Booker was in this group, but it seems now that he and everyone else not yet mentioned are likely to go no further.
When all this is over, remind me on how many counts I was wrong.
Now on to the rest of the tour:
I find it an odd turn of phrase to use the term freedom of religion to describe a tool to suppress and deny the humanity of others. This is not new for religion generally, but it is more wrong than ever.
Speaking of religion, I have noticed that many who are most religious seem to have a genuine fear of dying. They are unsure they will make the cut for what comes next. My atheist friends carry no such burden. They seem mostly at ease with the concept that death is a part of life. We may or may not be ready to go when the time comes but go we will. We all return to stardust. Hard to ignore the symmetry in that. More on all this in a later blog.
Paleontologist Robert DePalma is recently credited with finding definitive evidence of the meteor strike that ended the reign of the dinosaurs. I loved his description of that find. Of his discovery, DePalma said, “It’s like finding the Holy Grail clutched in the bony fingers of Jimmy Hoffa, sitting on top of the Lost Ark.”
Good advice from Maya Angelo: Don’t die with stories untold inside you.
The world could be on the brink of war with the oil facilities attacks in Saudi Arabia and what is our focus? Gas might go up 20 cents a gallon for a while. Sometimes we are not the deepest people.
James Randi, a magician and skeptic in the 1920’s said it well: No amount of belief makes something a fact. Rather current, isn’t it?
When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kind of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt. -Robert M. Pirsig, author and philosopher (1928-2017). Yep.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson wisely observed, “If you are depressed after being exposed to the cosmic perspective, you started your day with an unjustifiably large ego.” How true that is. I love the scale of the Universe, as much as I can grasp it. I feel connected to it all. I certainly need not be the center of it. That would sound foolish, wouldn’t it? Same for our species, planet, and religions, by the way. All nice but get over yourself.
From Shower Thoughts, a Twitter account: The truth is like surgery, it hurts but cures. Lies are like pain killers, they give you instant relief but have many side effects.
Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games. – Babe Ruth
” Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.” ―Anonymous
”When you connect to the silence within you, that is when you can make sense of the disturbance going on around you.” ―Stephen Richards
Two good ones from Confucius (you might recall he had more than a few good ones):
- Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.
- Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues. -Confucius
Charles Krauthammer was not a guy I liked very much. OK, not at all. But he died with grace and that is not a small thing. Just prior to death, he wrote the following: “I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life — full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”
I found this in my notes and failed to note the author. Someone said something truly fine: “We are part of something so huge, and so elegant, and it’s a miracle that it exists. It’s a miracle that we get to understand even the tiny sliver that we understand. It’s a miracle that we get to be part of something so much larger than ourselves.”
And in closing, a final word from Lily Tomlin: “No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.”
I told you it was a rambling trip. Enough for one run. See you next week.
If you find this blog worthy of your time and curiosity, I invite you to do two things:
(1) Join the conversation. Your voice counts here.
(2) Share the word about this blog with friends and colleagues. Share a link in your emails and social media posts. Let’s grow our circle.