Monday, September 14, 2015

All or No Thane

There’s an ancient Babylonian proverb, “God doesn’t deduct from man’s allotted time the hours spent fishing.” Wrong! Hate these homilies that persuade others to produce despite risks. Considered among world’s most dangerous jobs, commercial fishermen frequently drown and occasionally get mangled or murdered. Even recreational anglers accidentally die; there’s also a lot of sitting around and swilling beer, both of which shorten life. But substitute bicycling, and the saying might approach accuracy. Fatalities are few provided you successfully navigate traffic hazards. You get back the years you spent cycling by extending life expectancy (~3 more years, 26,280 hours, for only 6,000 hours of exercise). Consequently, you get to do physical activities and remain vital well into your 70’s. They also say, “In heaven all cycling routes are flat and smooth,” not that you're in any hurry to get there. Rolling landscapes, however, keep you humble by reminding you you’re only human. God is a cypher whose intentions lie far beyond any cleric’s ability to fathom. Why would God allow intolerance, slavery and war? Free will exercised irresponsibly could wipe out life on earth. Where's your towel?

Someone must oppose media’s relentless propaganda. On a “professional” forum originator posted a meme, “Like if you think Democrats are idiots. Share if you KNOW Democrats are idiots,” over a lewdly provocative image. Not a Democrat, was nevertheless offended and said so. This incited a round of name calling spawned upon sheer stupidity. “Libtard”, a portmanteau of liberal and retard, isn’t merely politically incorrect, it insults all intelligence, and maligns the developmentally challenged. "Con-holes" (John Birchers, Klanners, Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists) persist using this label for anyone with whom they disagree, despite the fact that most people are moderate, sometimes conservative or liberal on certain issues but not others. Extremism causes criminal and mob behaviors. Exposing these terrorists invites death threats.

This epitomizes conservative aggression: Limit your choices, narrow your focus, twist your arm to get what they want. All or nothing is a logical fallacy; unlike objects, people and phenomena defy classification, live on continuums, range within limits, switch allegiances, and transcend conformity. Schoolyard bullies never grow up unless community unites against them. They badger and bait as sport, then sidle away when their victims commit suicide or die from mistreatment. Later, they become the domestic abusers and drug users that account for most police calls.

Fishing for dupes and peddling hate, the further you impugn, the further you push cretins to choose dirty, quick fixes. Predation pays so well, they have an entire news network with nonstop programming designed solely to manipulate those who don’t or won’t think for themselves. Conservatism will always be a vicious downward spiral into oblivion, although its core philosophy - grab whatever you can - is easy for dim-witted knuckle-draggers to grasp. Those in power know that lies repeated often enough become policy. Whatever government allows funnels revenue their way. Unfavorable laws may be overturned by executive orders, new legislation, popular opinion, or simply not enforced, like the Sherman Antitrust Act against their monopolies. They use advertising techniques to force people to believe in their self serving mantra, how Hitler got an entire nation to go along with his insane ambitions. Emperors still exist, but seldom emerge from shadows.

You don’t get to be nobility unless born to royalty. Once the next best thing was being decreed a thane, usually some warlord granted land and riches by a grateful king. No thanes are needed anymore. These days billionaires sidestep divine rule, use wealth to wrest power. Wanting to control the masses is a mental disorder. The few rich subjugating too many poor results in destruction, revolution and suffering. Stable societies have a predominant middle class. Oligarchies quickly collapse. People do and think whatever they want until convinced otherwise or incarcerated for breaking laws they never knew existed. Free thinkers figure laws deny freedoms from anyone despots see as threats.

How healthy is America and why should you care? Before Obama, joblessness hovered at 28%. Most Bush-era policies have been reversed, so economy improved among modest income families. Workers paying taxes fight tyranny overseas, foster innovation, keep aid flowing, maintain defense, and secure social programs. Bloomberg predicts another recession in 2018, usually recurring in 9 year cycles, if next administration doesn’t effectively act to maintain growth begun in 2009. Diversity of beliefs, cultures, and professions avoids downturns and promotes commerce. Cycling is surely another facet of a diversified culture, and, unlike motoring, frees your mind to reject what's wrong and see through inhumanity.

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