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SEEKONK, MASSACHUSETTS, United States

Thursday, April 26, 2018

ETHICS AND MORALITY. MORAL COWARDICE- WHEN YOU SACRIFICE YOUR PRINCIPLES, SO NOT TO OFFEND. PT 2.



Friends, Lost, People Talking

A major part of the work that goes into publishing this site, is keeping up with current news and events.

However, it also means confronting and understanding opposing viewpoints, not only of those I have never met, but also friends and family.  What I have found to be most interesting is the reluctance of some to voice an opinion, if they are aware of those with a dissenting point of view being present.

I understand that many people will go out of their way to avoid confrontation.  The desire to be liked and accepted is so strong in some individuals, that they will try to find a way to make everyone happy. This includes being a passive witness and listener, even when someone is ridiculing and disrespecting an opinion or belief they hold dear.  Even more disturbing, this can extend to the point of ignoring inaccurate or wrong information being transmitted to others, by an individual who clearly does not understand the facts of a given situation.

I have often found this to be true of a person promoting an idea that supports a certain worldview that cannot stand up to close scrutiny.  They bend or distort information in a way that fits neatly with their conception of reality, even if it violates the Rules of Logic and Critical Thinking.

Now the point of confronting such irrational and clearly invalid lines of reasoning, is not to attempt to change the mind of the offending individual.  Usually, this would be a pointless exercise, for they have already exhibited a capacity to ignore anything that would conflict with their viewpoint.  As we have seen, especially when we examine certain decisions made by Juries in Criminal Trials, that some people lack the ability or willingness to make decisions in a rational manner.
Look for PT 3.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMAS 2015 STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH; A CHALLENGE TO THE INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL OPPOSITION. PT 2.


''DO YOU REMEMBER...BLASTS FROM THE PAST. ANALYSIS OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMAS 2015 SOTUS. PT 1.'' has generated enough reader interest, to the point of reprinting previous sections of PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMAS SOTUS. THE FOLLOWING WAS TAKEN FROM THE 2015 SPEECH.




More of President Obamas 1/20/2015 State Of The Union Speech, Emphasizing content that comes near the end.

"If we're going to have arguments, let's have arguments – but let's make them debates worthy of this body, and worthy of this country."

Translation-  "We are the Leaders of the Most Powerful and Influential Country on Earth.  If there are Disagreements that lead to Arguments, we should Act with the Intellect and Decorum that is Expected of World Leaders.  To do Less, is a Betrayal of the People and the Country we have Chosen to Serve."

After the Previous Statements about Improving the Nasty, Cruel and Often Pointless Nature of Political Discourse that seems to Permeate the Hallowed Halls of Congress, the President Moves on, Touching on Topics that still cause a Great Deal of Controversy:


"... that every woman should have access to the health care she needs."


"...but surely we can all see something of ourselves in the striving young student, and agree that no one benefits when a hardworking mom is taken from her child, and that it's possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants."

"...surely we can agree that the right to vote is sacred; that it's being denied to too many; and that, on this 50 anniversary of the great march from Selma to Montgomery and the passage of the Voting Rights Act, we can come together, Democrats and Republicans, to make voting easier for every single American."

Obviously, These are Meant to Express the Presidents Belief on how WE SHOULD APPROACH THE DIVISIVE ISSUES OF UNIVERSAL MEDICAL CARE, IMMIGRATION LAW, AND THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT.

While there is nothing in the Above that would cause us Pause, for the President is just Reiterating his Beliefs and Goals regarding these Issues, at no TIME DOES HE ATTACK THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY, OR ANY OTHER GROUP THAT MAY DISAGREE WITH HIS POSITION ON THESE SUBJECTS.  HE REFUSES TO TAKE OPPOSING VIEWS PERSONALLY, NOT PUTTING HIS OWN FEELINGS AHEAD OF ANYTHING ELSE.

THAT IS THE BEGINNING OF "DEBATES WORTHY OF THIS BODY, AND WORTHY OF THIS COUNTRY."

ETHICS AND MORALITY. PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD. PT 2.


Coastal Landscape, Sea, Mediterranean


Unfortunately, throughout Human History, Many Religions and Faiths have exported Their Religious Beliefs and Practices at the point of a Sword.  Adapt or Die.

Sometimes it is Different Denominations or Sects within the Same RELIGION, supposedly Worshiping the same GOD, who have engaged in Fights to the Death.

Yet, there are cases of Empires and Nations showing Tolerance to the Belief Systems of People who Inhabit recently acquired Territory or Land.

What causes One form of Government to behave in a manner that Persecutes, and another to show Understanding and Acceptance?


I think it may lie with THE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, OR THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH THAT IS ESPOUSED BY THOSE IN POWER OR AUTHORITY, THAT WILL GIVE US AN INDICATION OF HOW OPPOSITION RELIGIOUS GROUPS WILL BE TREATED.

To Clarify, consider the following Two examples.

Government # 1 is Ceded Land that was Formerly controlled by an opposing Nation.  This Government is now responsible for Administering and Enforcing Economic, Social and Legal Programs that are part of its Infrastructure, into the Newly Acquired Territory.

There is a Problem;  The Dominant Religion in this Area, by number of Adherents, is Relatively Small compared to other Faiths within Government #1's Borders.

However, the New Government has a Policy that Recognizes the Following:  THAT LAWS GOVERNING MORAL BEHAVIOR AND RELIGIOUS FAITH, ONLY ADDRESS ISSUES THAT WILL AFFECT THE STABILITY OR PROPER FUNCTION OF THE PRESENT FORM OF AUTHORITY. This may include such Concepts as CIVIL RIGHTS, TAXATION, CRIMINAL ACTS etc.

THIS GIVES US THE FOLLOWING:  RELIGIOUS FAITH AND WORSHIP ARE MORALLY NEUTRAL CONCEPTS LEFT TO INDIVIDUAL EVALUATION, AND ARE NOT TO BE SANCTIONED OR PUNISHED UNLESS THEY INTERFERE WITH THE GOVERNMENTS ABILITY TO SUCCESSFULLY OPERATE.

LOOK FOR THE SECOND EXAMPLE, ALONG WITH THE COMPARISON AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO, IN PART 3.

Fiction-, Stories, Myths, and Legends. THE LESSON. PT 2.


"IT IS SAID THAT THE GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT OF ALL, IS TO STAND UPON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS, AND CONTINUE THEIR GOOD WORKS. IS THIS SO?"

"NO, IT IS THAT IN THE FUTURE, THERE ARE THOSE WHO SEEK TO STAND UPON YOUR SHOULDERS, AND CONTINUE YOUR GOOD WORKS."

Nature, Sky, Green, Water, Clouds

The Young Graduate, of course, knew the story. Although he had only seen the "Wise One" once at a Distance, he felt that such an Intellect could Set the Course of his Life with Ease. It was decided, he would Search for this Eminent Sage of Great Wisdom, and seek his Council.

He Told Family and Friends nothing of this Decision. "Just a Short Camping Trip, by Myself, to Clear My Head and plan out the future." Although it was an Unusual and Odd Proclamation, his Parents and other Adults in his life did not seek to Dissuade him. "Ah, Youth", his Uncle had said, "it will do as it will, and live with the Consequences."

The Young Man planned his Trip as carefully as possible. Although he wanted to keep the Real Reason behind the Trip a Secret, the seeming Impetuousness of this sudden change in Personality Puzzled those who knew him.

"Where will you go," They asked, "how long will you be gone," They Continued, "What if you are Hurt or Injured, what will you do?" and so it went, question after question.

The Young Man Answered Their Concerns as Best he could. In Fact, if he had not shown such Intelligence and Ability at a Young Age, it was almost certain that he would have been prevented, Physically, from pursuing a Solitary Trip into the Wilderness.

However, his Reputation for keeping a Level Head, and Thinking before Acting, separated him from other Men and Women his age. While Immaturity, and the Desire for a "GOOD TIME" had Derailed many future plans of other Classmates, he had Stayed the Course, and earned a Reputation for Sensibility at a Young Age.

It soon became Mid- Summer, and the Time for his Departure came near. The Young Man prepared his Supplies of Food, Water and Medicine carefully, just enough for him to carry comfortably. He knew that Foraging for Food at this time of Year would be easy, and the Numerous Streams that Dotted the Landscape would prevent any possibility of Him Suffering from the Debilitating Symptoms of Thirst.

The Morning of Departure Arrived, and with a Brief Good- Bye, Together with an Admonishment by his Family to be careful, he set off.

END PT 2.

Fiction-, Stories, Myths, and Legends. THE LEGEND OF THE VANISHING LIGHTHOUSE KEEPERS. PT 2.



Lighthouse, Night, Tower, Illuminated
Harvie turned away from Moore and stepped outside the bridge. Though the weather had improved, it was still icy cold.  The Captain turned up the collar on his coat and looked out on the foredeck of his ship.  Several sailors were busy with the daily routine of ships maintenance, under the supervision of his second mate.

"Mr. MacDonald," Harvie called out addressing the mate, "Secure the detail and prepare the launch for going ashore.  Then report to me on the bridge."

The reply was immediate. "Aye Captain, who will be in the landing party?"

"Never mind that now", was the answer, "Carry on with the orders."

Harvie stepped back inside the bridge, and observed Moore still staring straight ahead, as if in a trance. "No", thought Harvie, "Moore won't be a problem. Nothing on Gods green earth could keep him off the launch with his comrades missing."

However, choosing the right men to accompany him might be a problem.  Sailors, by nature, were a superstitious lot.  Given the situation and history of the island, proper selection was a must.  He couldn't risk sending someone ashore who believed that the supernatural was behind the disappearances, without considering alternative explanations.

Eilean Mor is the largest of the Flannan Isles, which are part of the Outer Hebrides that lie off the western coast of Scotland.  Uninhabited for much of its history, it does contain a chapel dedicated to St Flannan which pre-dates the Lighthouse by hundreds of years.  Built in the late nineteenth century, the Lighthouse became operational in 1899.  Attempts to settle the island never lasted very long, and it was considered to be inhabited by spirits who did not like visitors, even for a short time.

Both Harvie and Moore were aware of the islands history, but nothing from the past had ever occurred that mirrored the present day mystery.  James Ducat, Thomas Marshall, and Donald Macarthur seemed to have disappeared from the face of the earth.

The first sign of trouble was reported on Dec. 15.  A passing ship, the Archtor, reported that when it passed the island in foul weather that the light was not operating.  Other ships had reported the same, so there was little doubt that there was something dreadfully wrong on the island.  Neglecting the light was a serious offense, and it was inconceivable that all three men would allow such a thing to happen if it was in their power to prevent it.
End of PT 2.

So inspired by these 36,000 women. HILLARY CLINTON.

David,

I've been closely following the updates on women stepping up to run for office, and I am blown away by the latest numbers:

More than 36,000 women have told EMILY's List they want to run for office.

This isn't just a year's worth of candidates. It's the next few decades. It's a whole new generation of leaders, and I'm so inspired by their courage.

These women will need you to support them just like this community supported me when I ran for office. That's why I want to help EMILY's List— so we can keep working together to elect pro-choice Democratic women this year, next year, and beyond.

...help elect the next generation of women leaders.

EMILY's List is a community near and dear to my heart. This community supported me during my Senate run in 2000 and endorsed me on day one of my 2016 presidential campaign.

I couldn't have done any of it without you. Now, I'm hoping you'll send that same strong support to the next generation.

It's made up of women like those who broke glass ceilings in the Virginia House of Delegates last year: Danica Roem and Dawn Marie Adams, the House's first openly LGBTQ delegates; Kathy Tran and Kelly Fowler, its first Asian American women delegates; and Hala Ayala and Elizabeth Guzman, its first Latina delegates.

It's amazing how much different the Virginia legislature looks — and votes — from a year ago!

Like them, the women we're going to elect this year and in the years to come are the women who will help build a country rooted in equality and tolerance, where our children can grow up with every opportunity they deserve.

I hope you'll be there for them just like you were there for me.


Thank you,

Hillary

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

SOUNDS GOOD TO ME...

Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery? (detail of bookd cover)
In this week’s eSkeptic, Harriet Hall, M.D. (aka the SkepDoc) reviews Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery? by Kimberly Blaker (Green Grove Press. 2018. 78 pages.), a delightful new book for children age 9–13 that encourages readers to ask questions and gives them the tools to find the answers for themselves.

Not in Your Stars

Astronomy is science; astrology is superstition, mythology, and pseudoscience. Depending on how surveys ask the question, anywhere from 22 percent to 73 percent of people believe astrology is valid. Horoscopes still appear regularly in newspapers. Over 90 percent of adults know their zodiac sign. It never occurs to some people to question whether horoscopes are valid, and if they do think to ask the question, they may not have the necessary critical thinking skills to find the answer.
Kimberly Blaker has written a delightful new book, Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery?, that encourages readers to ask those questions and gives them the tools to find the answers for themselves. It is aimed at children age 9-13 but is also suitable for adults. It is short, entertaining, easy to read, and is illustrated with cartoons. She begins with her own horoscope and shows how the description seemed to fit her perfectly. Then she asks if there is a scientific explanation for why it seemed so true.

She covers the 5000-year history of astrology, how it was originally used as a guide for when to plant crops and as a source of omens to guide the state, and how zodiac signs and horoscopes were a later development. She goes over the evidence for astrology and shows how it is flawed, based on unreliable testimonials and flawed reasoning. She says, “Scientific studies make it possible to examine a claim and determine its validity.” And then she goes over all the scientific studies that have shown no correlation between astrological bodies and personalities or life events. She points out that the position of the Sun shifts over time and is now off by one whole zodiac sign, and astrologers have not made any adjustments. […]