15 Years After

I live only a 2.5-hour drive from New York City. When 9/11 happened, I was working for the local newspaper, and we stayed up half the night putting together the 9/12 newspaper, covering all the known details of the event. I still have a copy of that next day’s newspaper as one of my prized personal mementos. There was a surge of locals rushing to New York immediately after the event. To assist with the rescue work. To make sure… Read more

Beta Culture: Transcendence

I was thinking about the concept of transcendence today as I worked on my roof. To give you some idea what I think about it, I have to tell you a couple of stories. The Heifer Who Almost Killed Me I grew up with rodeo cowboys, as I’ve said here more than once. There are cowboys who ride and cowboys who rope (this is drastically oversimplified), and my people were that second type. The riders ride either bulls or broncs… Read more

The Horrible French vs. One Poor, Delicate Muslim Beachgoer

A constant for those of us on the left is our “rage against the machine” vibe. When it comes to the power of government or the rights of the individual, we’re totally tuned in to those individual rights. When a story floats across our attention about a kid sent home from school for wearing “inappropriate clothing” — a provocative blouse, for instance, or a t-shirt with a comically dirty picture on it — we’re right there swinging, often screaming that… Read more

The Book of Good Living: Left Lane Driving

The Book of Good Living, if you’re new here, is my concept for a broad, basic guide to living well and living with others. It’s all the stuff we SHOULD know about living life among other humans and on Planet Earth. Rather than some silly Ten Commandments focused on duties to a mythical god, this would be a searchable online multimedia encyclopedia something like Wikipedia, constantly updated by users and powerfully cross-referenced, covering every area of life, everything from basic… Read more

The Shocking Truth About Hillary Clinton

I came across this incredible article about Hillary Clinton: #HillaryCoverageIsCrap. It is >>shocking<< because it’s not only true, but glaringly obvious. And yet nobody  talks about it. Media coverage of Hillary Clinton — Hillary the candidate, even Hillary the person — is so blatantly vicious, so casually demeaning, so gleefully mean-spirited, it’s … disgusting. Horrifying. SICK. I’d like to select out a pithy quote from it, but the whole damned article is so good, so obviously true, it’s hard to… Read more

Randall Eades: On Beta Culture

Randall Eades is a Facebook friend, and is responding to the four-part intro post on Beta Culture. He posted on Facebook, but is allowing me to echo it here. ———————– I have to preface this by stating it is coming from an autistically wired brain, i.e., high intelligence and analytical skills, minimal social connectivity and a penchant for systemizing the world around me. So my opinions may be a bit atypical. I am a Betan. I am an atheist. I… Read more

Beta Culture: New Intro — Part 1

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 [ The original posting date of this was July 30. It was updated with a substantially rewritten version on Oct. 15. ] I had a request for more information on Beta Culture, to help readers better understand where I was going with the idea. Coincidentally, I’ve been asked to contribute a chapter on the subject to an upcoming book written by Patheos Atheist writers. I worked for weeks to… Read more

Beta Culture: New Intro — Part 2

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 Full Culture Already described above, full cultures cover every aspect of life, providing both game and gameboard for living. They present an elaborate social framework with all the details worked out. In New York state where I live, full cultures include the Amish and Hasidic Judaism. However confining or silly they might look to those of us outside them, from the inside they provide a place of warmth, safety… Read more

Beta Culture: New Intro — Part 3

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 Culture’s Gifts The Home-feeling — which I call “Place” — is only one of the assets of a home culture. Cultures also offer Values, Ways and Goals. Values serve as the guides and arbiters of good behavior: Honor your mother and father. Be generous to the less fortunate. Never lie to a child for any reason (which apparently is not a widespread cultural value!). Ways are all the outward… Read more

Beta Culture: New Intro — Part 4

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 The Flaw in Unbelief Compared to religion, atheism is really rather fragile. It has sprung up and died out several times in the U.S. alone. Its recent resurgence is probably due to the existence of the Internet. Outside that, there’s really not a lot to support and preserve it. Here’s the eye-opener I realized a few years back: Under the lash of strong emotions, humans become less intelligent. Scary,… Read more


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