The Book of Good Living: Innocent Until Proven Guilty

A common thread that has run through many of the stories we’ve seen in the last few years, about the public outcry over genetically modified crops, and over the PCBs which GE dumped in the Hudson River here in Upstate New York, is that there is insufficient proof of the dangers. The implication is that anyone harboring baseless suspicions about these things, which are after all the result of scientific progress, is either a Luddite or a superstitious primitive.Nobody ever says it out loud, b … [Read more...]

The Wrong Answer on Race

race copy

This is my second Charles Barkley-inspired post. You can find the first one here – Assholes and the Umbrella of Safety – but I’ll echo the quote from that first one: When asked about a report that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson isn’t seen as “black enough” by some of his teammates, the NBA Hall of Famer went on a rant about how “unintelligent” black people believe they have to hold successful African-Americans back.“For some reason we are brainwashed to think, if you’re not a th … [Read more...]

The Book of Good Living: Favors

I was in a position to witness a young woman asking people for a cigarette at a highway rest stop a few days back. “Could you give me a cigarette? No?? Oh, please, please, please! It’s just one cigarette, and I really NEED it. It’s just one lousy cigarette!”She ended up crying (!), complaining tearfully about how rude people are nowadays. “I just don’t understand (sob) how people can be so RUDE. Anytime I have cigarettes and someone asks me for one, I (sob) give it to them. Some people are su … [Read more...]

Assholes and the Umbrella of Safety

Retired NBA star Charles Barkley said something recently, something probably reported with the intention of shocking readers, but actually fairly tame, all things considered. Here: When asked about a report that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson isn’t seen as “black enough” by some of his teammates, the NBA Hall of Famer went on a rant about how “unintelligent” black people believe they have to hold successful African-Americans back.“For some reason we are brainwashed to think, if … [Read more...]

Carrie Underwood Click-Bait. Meh.

Chicken

We had chickens when I was a kid -- White Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Bantams -- and I loved feeding them. I'd go out with a bowl of cracked corn and call "Chick, chick, chick, chick-EE!" And they'd come running, looking up at me with their stupid prehistoric faces, brainlessly eager for something tasty. Never realizing that they were OUR food, that this was all a scam to get their eggs and meaty selves on our table in the near future.I hate to think of people like … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Blowing in the Wind … Ordinary People.

dust bowl

I’m thinking all at once about government and royalty, churches and corporations, unions and cultures. And us.Some of what I try to do in attempting to understand the world around me is to take a distant look at what’s going on, rather than a close-up look, searching for broad patterns and underlying motivations. I sometimes even joke that I’m an alien just visiting here to study Earth humans, expecting that eventually my real people will show up and take me back home.I’ll tell you someth … [Read more...]


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