British blast from the past.
British blast from the past.
Courtesy of Emily Dickinson:
Crumbling is not an instant’s Act
A fundamental pause
Are organized Decays.
‘Tis first a Cobweb on the Soul
A Cuticle of Dust
A Borer in the Axis
An Elemental Rust –
Ruin is formal — Devil’s work
Consecutive and slow –
Fail in an instant, no man did
Slipping — is Crash’s law.
Impressive how she defined so much of today’s America, and she did it more than 150 years ago. How did she know how old Clootie’s minions would be behaving here in 2014? I mean hey, I KNOW that ignorance is pervasive across the ages, but Dilapidation’s processes / Are organized Decays ? Emily Dickinson actually sensed the eventual arrival of, say, one Newt Gingrich? Sure seems like it!
Those brown-skinned devils could come into the United States carrying Ebola! Where they might get it or just how they might carry it — plastic bag? Jar? — he didn’t mention. Still, since Crumbling is not an instant’s Act I guess we’ll all have to wait and see, yet again, the vast extant of Newt.
On the other hand, when Tis first a Cobweb on the Soul / A Cuticle of Dust there’s the US Court of Appeals three-judge panel who just recently
Anything to counter all that voter fraud out there. You know, like when black people vote for Democrats and NOT for old Clootie’s disciples, etc. etc. Unless or until, that is, some little tidbit is discovered that just might NOT work in Republican favor, such as when state law places, because of recent electoral history, the name of the Democratic governor candidate AHEAD on the ballot of the current incumbent Republican, Scott Walker! A cobweb on the Soul / A Cuticle of Dust / A Borer in the Axis! The Devil at work for sure for sure!
Republican legislative leaders filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking changes to the newly redesigned ballot for the November election, claiming the one drafted by the nonpartisan elections agency unfairly benefits Democrats [...]
The ballot design is unfair because Democratic candidates are listed first under the name of the office being sought and Republican candidates are separated by a line, the lawsuit said.
Democrats are listed first, per state law, based on results in the 2012 election where President Barack Obama won Wisconsin. Republican candidates were listed first in 2012 because Gov. Scott Walker won election in 2010.
Meanwhile, an appeal is likely to turn the decision away from the three judge panel and hand it to the full, 10-member U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in an attempt to reverse the decision. Time will tell. Meanwhile, both Clootie and Scott Walker undoubtedly sit in pools of sweat as they wait.
Fortunately, though, that Devil’s work / Consecutive and slow can allow at least a temporary respite, a momentary pause in Clootie’s relentless agenda. That much I myself KNOW to be true. ‘Twas just this morning, in fact, when my bicycle’s odometer turned over to Clootie’s magic number:
I stopped, took a look around; no sign of Clootie anywhere. Just the early morning fresh air, the glassy-smooth lake reflecting the trees, the mountains and sky. No Newt; no Wisconsin GOoPers; no hints of Dilapidation’s processes, no organized Decays, no Cobweb on the Soul, not even A Cuticle of Dust to disturb the moment; nothing more than the peace and quiet, that bliss of solitude that only nature, in this otherwise devilish world, dares allow. All was well and remained well — at least for, according to my odometer’s calculation, another 1.26 miles (that’s 6,666 ft. – do the math) when psssssss — flat tire. Clootie had driven a thorn into it at some point when I wasn’t looking, so there I was, parked alongside the road retrieving tools, patch kit, and pump.
Could have been worse, though. A LOT worse. Suppose Newt was there? Or Scott Walker? A Koch brother?
I’ll take Clootie, a thorn, and a flat tire ANYTIME!
OK, enough silliness. OPEN THREAD begins here. ;)
It’s not hard to tell that this year’s election “event” is getting closer and closer; seems like every two years when elections are scheduled in November, right after Labor Day the rise in the level of stupidity increases dramatically. It’s almost scary, in fact. Here are four quickies in which the highlighted link pretty much says it all.
He [Carson] claimed that “no one has the knowledge” of the age of the earth “based on the Bible,” adding that “carbon dating and all of these things really don’t mean anything to a God who has the ability to create anything at any point in time.”
Carson pointed to the “complexity of the human brain” as proof that evolution is a myth: “Somebody says that came from a slime pit full of promiscuous biochemicals? I don’t think so.”
Rush Limbaugh isn’t the only hateful, wingnut liar in his family. His brother, author David Limbaugh, makes his money by ginning up hysteria about that damned Barack Obama. The younger brother of the Big Fat Idiot is promoting a book which seeks to legitimize Christianity called, Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel. The good Christians on the couch, especially Hasselbeck in her pure white dress, were gobbling up his hypothesis that Jesus could stand trial and “win” based on the “evidence” in the incredibly human drama known as the Bible.
Limbaugh obviously has an agenda, just like his brother. He seeks to label the Black President and his godless liberal followers as the reason for all our problems. He claims the Ryan tax cuts for the rich plan is really god’s idea, and the (Atheist Muslim) President is demonizing rich people. . . .
3. Last Thursday’s Watering Hole Post was titled The AFM vs. WTP, and it discussed Mitch McConnell’s appearance and speech last June at a Koch Bros. more-or-less ‘secret’ get-together in California. It seems that this week, Harry Reid has been pressuring McConnell to recant some of the idiocy he spewed to the Koch bro clan. Mitch, of course,
didn’t . . . wouldn’t . . . well, you know. See the link for details, if you dare!
4. And finally, here in Colorado the GOoPer, running for governor, Bob Beauprez, has revealed that not only is he every bit as stupid as Cliven Bundy, he also “thinks” (is that a word?) like him. What’s worrisome is that Beauprez currently trails Democratic incumbent governor John Hickenlooper by only a small amount in recent polls. That’s not surprising, I suppose, given that Hickenlooper signed both a gun background-check and magazine size-limiting bill along with the Marijuana legalization bill, both of which are anathema to the unenlightened Wingnuttistanian faction of the Colorado electorate. We can only hope that their numbers remain insufficient to elect each and all the Bagger idiots on the ballot.
In the first debate of the Colorado gubernatorial race last Friday, Republican nominee Bob Beauprez went on the record supporting the seizure of Colorado’s national parks, forests and public lands by the state government, saying “this is fight we have to wage.”
. . . Beauprez, who is challenging incumbent Governor John Hickenlooper (D), claimed that all public land in the state was “supposed to be Colorado’s” and that “if this were private land and the federal government was a tenant, we would cancel their lease.” [ . . . ]
. . . Beauprez is one of several candidates supporting such proposals this election season. . . . [T]here are a number of right-wing politicians across the country who have been advancing proposals to transfer of control of public lands to states, or to sell them off to the highest bidder for drilling, mining and logging.
So there you have it, four partial sums of about five minutes worth of “research.” I was originally going to set this up as a voting contest to choose the most stupid of the four listed. But, sigh, having gone over each of them another time or two I’ve decided to take the Spiro Agnew approach and simply declare the process Nolo Contendre — for probably obvious reasons.
I guess I’m a glutton for punishment, but over the weekend I was looking at the TP thread about
Dick Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson’s recent appearance (apparently as a religious/foreign policy expert?) on Sean Hannity’s RWNJ lovefest, er, ‘news program.’ Robertson was asked about the situation with ISIS, or, more correctly, ISIL. (The full transcript, if you can stomach it, is here.) Here’s the pertinent excerpt of Robertson’s response:
“In this case, you either have to convert them which I think would be next to impossible. I’m not giving up on them but I’m just saying either convert them or kill them, one or the other…I think converting them, maybe has that time come and gone… [I'd] much rather have a bible study with all of them and show them the error of their ways and point them to Jesus Christ…however if it’s a gun fight and that’s what they’re looking for, me personally I am prepared for either one.”
At the TP thread, after reading way too many comments (including this gem: “The next attack in U.S. the only people that will Truly stand against them are Christians”) expressing the idea that ISIL is coming to a neighborhood near you soon – or they’re already here – and we’ll all be beheaded in our beds, so as a good christian nation we should just kill them all, this started:
Dennis Terry ·
“If the liberals had these murderous animals coming into their house, they would do just as Phil suggested, and so would I. We ARE our brother’s keeper, and we should stand in the gap for the innocent and protect them from the murderous bullies that vow to dominate the world. We should get rid of them while the numbers are still on the lower end of the spectrum.”
“”If the liberals had these murderous animals coming into their house”
All of you hate-filled “christian” fearmongers keep using this type of argument. Do you believe what some of the R politicians are saying, that ISIL warriors are coming through our southern border disguised as refugee children? Get a grip, and realize that some of the warhawk macho ‘we’ve got the TRUE god so let’s kill all of those fanatics who are killing for THEIR “true god.”
I have no more fear of an ISIL hit squad invading my house than I do of your god striking me dead for not believing in him. I’ll sleep peacefully tonight while you all wet your beds.”
Dennis Terry ·
“Jane E. Schneider First of all, I will not be wetting my bed at night, I am NOT losing sleep over them or liberals, nor am I a “hate filled” Christian. Who the heck died and gave YOU the right to look down your self righteous nose at us when you know nothing about us? I might possibly be the best friend that you ever had. Why are you so angry? I am my brother’s keeper and I want ISIS stopped at any cost to protect the innocent people over there. Is that hating? I think that it is loving the innocent and being forced to destroy evil. I don’t WANT anyone to die, but with these animalistic beings, the only choice we have to stop them is by killing them, just like we did Hitler, or any other murderous personification of evil. If they would live and let live, we could all live together in peace, but these radicals will NOT do that- they have a WELL KNOWN agenda of world domination, so you must know very little about them. Do you NOT think that these people going around cutting people’s heads off and raping the women and cutting off the children’s heads and putting them on poles….do you NOT think that they are acting like cold blooded animals? Do you NOT believe in evil? Do these people NOT fit your definition of evil? Why are you so venomous toward Christians instead of ISIS? Doesn’t that strike you a bit odd? It does me. And YES, if you had a murderer or a rapist come into your house at night, you would either WISH that you had a gun to protect yourself, your children or other loved ones, OR you would call someone with a gun (police), and hope that they made it there in time. If not, you would be a fool…….but wait a minute…..you don’t believe in God, so, according to the Bible, you ARE a fool from the get-go, for a fool hath said in his heart that there is no God. You can sit there and marinade in your hatred for Christians and all other things spiritual instead of directing your anger toward the REAL evil, you have that right., but you are foolish for doing that.
Dennis Terry, I went to Catholic school for 13 years, was raised by very devout parents who actually exemplified Christ’s teachings better than the majority of “Christian” leaders and “Christian” pundits on TV. The very idea of killing anyone for their religious beliefs is abhorrent and a complete contradiction to everything Christ said. That was how I was brought up.
Today’s U.S. religious leaders are a whole ‘nother kettle of fish, and nothing that they are preaching these days has anything to do with actual morality and ethical behavior. And just because they no longer do their conquering crusades with swords or torture devices does not mean that they’re any less dangerous than any other religious fanatics. They have lost their own spirituality, their own morals, their own souls, for power and money and domination of others. The only real difference between U.S. religious fanatics and Middle-Eastern religious fanatics is their methods – both of which I reject.
If you and the other “Christian” commenters here think that your religious views are being attacked, too bad, we “godless liberals” have been under deliberate coordinated attack since at least the ’50s, when “In God We Trust” was added to our currency to distinguish the supposedly-god-fearing U.S. nation from those “godless commies.” So we’re pretty sick of it, because we DO have morals, and family values, and we work hard and pay taxes, and we’re patriotic, too.
[Please keep in mind that it's 2:00am here in NY, so I'm tired and jumping around a bit, since you decided to ask me "20 questions", not all of which I'm going to bother to respond to as they have nothing to do with the topic of the thread.]
I do believe in evil, but not in the satan/biblical way; I believe that some humans either lack or have a particular DNA section that makes them sociopaths. Obviously, people such as those in ISIL take that to a higher level, and I am not defending them in the least. I’m just sick and tired of the hypocrisy of so-called Christians who use their religion as a shield and a weapon, and cannot see that the more they advocate for violence, the less Christ-like they become. Not to mention the danger that they put the U.S. in, loudly calling for their own version of jihad, which does not go unnoticed around the world. But that aspect never seems to bother the growing number of xenophobic and insular U.S. citizens.
I don’t hate all Christians; like Ghandi said, “I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians.” If someone who claims to be Christian acts like the Christ that I learned about, I’m just fine with that, I applaud them. Just because I believe that most organized religions are a menace and hinder human progress, doesn’t mean that the particular set of moral values ascribed to Christ is dangerous, it’s the exact opposite. But these days I guess Christ isn’t described as the “Prince of Peace” anymore, right?
You can sit their with your own shield and weapon of your “Christianity” telling me that I’m the high and mighty one looking down my nose at you, but you’re the one marinating in your own assholier-than-thou [HT Zooey] stew telling me that I’m the fool “from the get-go” for not believing in your god and your holy book. You mind your own soul, and I’ll mind mine, thankyouverymuch. Goodnight.”
~ later, not as a reply ~
Dennis Terry ·
Look, I was minding my own business and from out of nowhere, you started attacking me and my God and Christianity, and making very goofy accusations which you had NO clue about. And THEN, you made the stupid statement of “’we’ve got the TRUE god so let’s kill all of those fanatics who are killing for THEIR “true god.” “ What? Where did that come from? It has NOTHING to do with Who I follow or what god THEY follow- ISIS needs to be stopped, NOT because they are Muslim, but because they are vile, evil , murderous thugs, so why did you say something that bizarre to start with, and why did you attack me instead of them? I haven’t murdered anyone or cut off anyone’s head!
Then you said, “And just because they no longer do their conquering crusades with swords or torture devices does not mean that they’re any less dangerous than any other religious fanatics.” Again, a stupid statement- Protestants never engaged in the Crusades, that was strictly a CATHOLIC doings, and what dangers do Christians have in store? Post the 10 Commandments in our schools to teach them moral values to protect society and to keep them from a life of crime? Or teach abstinence instead of having babies out of wedlock? Or lead some prison inmates to the Lord so that they stop their lives of crime, and become law abiding citizens? Or give Hope to the Hopeless? OMGosh! Call the National Guard! What happened to you to make you so angry about religion, Christianity in particular?
Then you said- “So we’re pretty sick of it (being attacked), because we DO have morals, and family values, and we work hard and pay taxes, and we’re patriotic, too.” But you are an atheist, so why do you have morals? Aren’t you a biological accident from some primordial slime? Aren’t morals God’s values? They aren’t biological in nature. The Bible talks about people like you, having a FORM of Godliness, but denying the Power thereof. This is going to sound mean, but I don’t intend for it to. I am GLAD that you had some wonderful parents that taught you morals, and that you are honoring them for that, but you need to get your priorities straight about what you are going to believe. If you are an atheist, act like an atheist and give up EVERYTHING pertaining to God, including morals and values.
Why are you liberal atheists “under attack”? Because a small, handful of atheists go out of their way to take Prayer and Bible out of school and our sporting events and our graduation ceremonies and are trying to remove ALL aspects of Christianity from society, even though the VAST MAJORITY do NOT want them removed. We KNOW that Christianity teaches those same morals that you are so proud of having, taught to you BY CHRISTIAN parents, and we know that THAT is WHERE your parents got them from to teach to you in the first place! Can’t you see the hypocrisy there? You have morals and values, that YOU ARE PROUD OF, TAUGHT TO YOU BY CHRISTIAN parents, yet you want to prevent other people from being taught those same vales and morals that you seem to hold so dear! The Bible, once again talks about atheists who in the Last Days will call GOOD-EVIL, and will call EVIL-GOOD.
You say that you believe in Evil, but NOT in a Biblical way, but evil “IS” a moral judgment FROM God. From an atheistic, evolutionary point of view, we are animals, and animals do whatever they do, there is NO right or wrong, good or evil- THOSE ARE moral judgments, straight from a Moral God. The atheistic, evolutionary view is, Survival of the fittest, kill or be killed- THESE are natural events and actions WITHOUT God, without Morals. THAT is why atheistic regimes and dictators murder multiple-millions of their people, their subjects, to make examples out of them to keep the rest in line to maintain their death grip on their selfish, atheistic power.
And then you sink to your atheistic true colors by calling me, “assholier-than-thou “ comment. I would NEVER say that to you, and I believe that your atheism is overshadowing your “moral” upbringing.
I don’t understand the double mindedness, and double standards of atheism, or why you work so hard to fight against something that you claim to NOT believe in. There are people who believe in unicorns- I DON’T believe in unicorns or UFO’s so why in the world would I waste my time fighting them for their beliefs? Something to consider- WHAT IF, the Bible “IS” TRUE, and where the Bible says, If God is NOT your Father, then you are of your father, Satan, what if- your hatred toward Christianity and all things pertaining to God is actually a SPIRITUAL matter, and you atheists are pawns, being used by Satan and not realizing it? That’s something to consider.”
Adm Andrew J. Walker ·
“Good arguments my friend. An atheist wouldn’t actually have the time to debate a religious article because they would see it as a waste of time (a total rejection of all forms of theology or anyone who practices them.) It sounds like this guy is looking for justification for deviating from what he was taught growing up by attacking others. The goal is to see if his arguments stand, so that he can feel better about his decision to reject what he or she learned at an early age.
So basically the comments on the message board are his or her way of dealing with repressed feelings of anxiety about the afterlife. Better not to let someone drag you into a circular debate that at its root isn’t actually about religion, or the lack-there-of, at all.
What I am really saying is that there are some mommy/daddy issues here.”
Dennis Terry ·
“Adm Andrew J. Walker I believe that is very perceptive of you. But atheists do this all the time, and the person I was talking to, there is a double mindedness that she is proud of, yet hates and wants to destroy, all at the same time, so something else is brewing underneath the surface it seems. I truly believe that it is spiritual warfare, and these people, as I said, are being used as pawns, and have no idea of what is REALLY going on. She said things about the Catholic church which I wonder is the root of her hatred, and if so, I can understand it, as the CC has ALWAYS had many, multiple conflicts with the Bible, and a history of unBiblical, unhealthy, spiritual issues. Thanks for the comment my friend!”
Becky Marsland-Hill ·
“Wow, that is spot on Dennis……I am sorry someone attacked you. But those are truly words of wisdom you replied back”
Dennis Terry ·
“Becky Marsland-Hill Thanks Becky. I’m not saying that I am perfect or that I am wise in anyway, but I “DO” know God and He wants us to take a stand against evil and to help others in need. God Himself waged wars against evil doers to protect the world, and His people. He also had a lot to say about those who would reject Him and His incredible sacrifice to purchase our Salvation. This person was spewing hatred toward the Christianity for the Crusades, and that was bogus. It was NOT Christianity- it was the leadership of the CATHOLIC church, of which she, herself was raised! The leadership of the CC was NOT acting as agents of Christianity- they were engaged in unGodly activities such as murdering Christians, and burning the Christians and anyone else who DARED to disagree with them at the stake. They went around in the Crusades and other areas DOING EXACTLY OPPOSITE OF WHAT JESUS TAUGHT! They were doing exactly what atheists have always done- silence those who disagree with you, however you have to do it, and isn’t smart enough to see that she is hating Christianity for what the atheists were doing, under the guise OF RELIGION! Anyway, I feel so sorry for people like her and wish her well”
Wow – just wow. As badmoodman commented on this last week, “Irony facepalms itself, then throws up its hands in unconditional surrender.” Perfect, bmm.
This is our daily open thread, please talk about anything you want to. I’ll just be over here banging my head against the wall.
John Denver summed it up:
So. No politics today; no current events. Not after a drive into the Colorado Front Range a couple of days back. Nice way for three folks of similar mind and spirit to spend an afternoon — 10,000 ft ‘up there'; hunting for mushrooms; no crowds; no noise; cool temps; occasional distant thunder; forests and meadows; silence; mushrooms. If ’tis true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then below is my 7000 word “essay” designed to both define and share at least a small part of that Rocky Mountain High we encountered in this, the last full week of August, 2014.
A final note: the King Bolete and Bear Claw mushrooms were delicious, and the Chanterelles and the Puffballs were pretty decent as well! Oh, and the scenery, the silence, the cool breezes, the scented air, . . . well, you know. Didn’t miss that other world at all. Y’all know the one I mean.
I’ve decided to be brief today and instead allow someone else to, sotospeak, “guest post” today’s Watering Hole. Why? Because it’s become increasingly obvious over the last two or three decades that Wingnuttistanians — especially the interbred hyper-Christian and “Tea Party” elements thereof — have adopted the mission of misreading and misrepresenting the intent and ideas of the American Founders in nearly every context. It seems timely, therefore, to allow a legitimate voice the privilege of restating original doctrines and, in the process, clarifying and/or refuting various modern contorted interpretations — all in his own words.
So: following are a few dozen refreshing thoughts and ideas on a wide variety of topics including, in no particular order, government, law, war, foreign affairs, God, religion, Christianity, we the people, the Constitution — allathat and more — in words written by none other than America’s own Thomas Jefferson (specific attributions noted when available). Enjoy.
“Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.”
“No society can make a perpetual Constitution . . . The earth belongs always to the living generation.”
“The most effective means of preventing tyranny is to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts.”
“The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.” (to Lafayette, 1823)
“Constant apprehension of war has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force with an overgrown executive will not long be a safe companion to liberty.”
“Habeas Corpus secures every man here, alien or citizen, against everything which is not law, whatever shape it may assume.” (1798)
“The country is headed toward a single and splendid government of an aristocracy founded on banking institutions and monied corporations, and if this tendency continues it will be the end of freedom and democracy, the few will be ruling and riding over the plundered plowman and the beggar.”
“I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”
“I hold it that, a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”
“Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights.”
“Law is often the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” (To I. Tiffany, 1819)
“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.”
“The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be . . . The People cannot be safe without information. When the press is free, and every man is able to read, all is safe.”
“No one nation has a right to sit in judgment over another.”
“We wish not to meddle with the internal affairs of any country, nor with the general affairs of Europe.”
“I am for free commerce with all nations, political connection with none, and little or no diplomatic establishment.”
“We have produced proofs, from the most enlightened and approved writers on the subject, that a neutral nation must, in all things relating to the war, observe an exact impartiality towards the parties.”
“The insulated state in which nature has placed the American continent should so far avail it that no spark of war kindled in the other quarters of the globe should be wafted across the wide oceans which separate us from them. At such a distance from Europe and with such an ocean between us, we hope to meddle little in its quarrels or combinations. Its peace and its commerce are what we shall court.
“The essential principles of our Government . . . form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety.” ~(From First Inaugural Address, Jan. 1 1801)
“If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.”
“It is the old practice of despots to use a part of the people to keep the rest in order.”
“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”
“What a stupendous, what an incomprehensible machine is man! Who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment & death itself in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment . . . inflict on his fellow men a bondage, one hour of which is fraught with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose.”
“Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.” (From “Notes on Virginia,” 1782)
“A groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstitions, fanaticisms and fabrications.” (Assessment of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
“I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition [Christianity] one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies” (In a Letter to Dr. Woods)
“Our Revolution commenced on more favorable ground [than the foundation of the Ten Commandments]. It presented us an album on which we were free to write what we pleased. We had no occasion to search into musty records, to hunt up royal parchments, or to investigate the laws and institutions of a semi-barbarous ancestry. We appealed to those of nature, and found them engraved on our hearts.” (In a Letter to Major John Cartwright, June 5, 1824)
“In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
“I have sworn eternal warfare against all forms of superstition over the minds of men.” (Words engraved on Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC)
Context of the Jefferson “quotation” carved into the Jefferson Memorial (From a Letter to Benjamin Rush, 1800):
“DEAR SIR, . . . I promised you a letter on Christianity, which I have not forgotten. I do not know that it would reconcile the genus irritabile vatum [the angry poets] who are all in arms against me. Their hostility is on too interesting ground to be softened.
“The delusion . . . on the [First Amendment] clause of the Constitution, which, while it secured the freedom of the press, covered also the freedom of religion, had given to the clergy a very favorite hope of obtaining an establishment of a particular form of Christianity through the United States; and as every sect believes its own form the true one, every one perhaps hoped for his own, but especially the Episcopalians and Congregationalists.
“The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes, and they [the preachers] believe that any portion of power confided to me [such as being elected President], will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough too in their opinion.”
“A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt. . . . If the game runs sometimes against us at home, we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake.” (1798, after the passage of the Sedition Act)
“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding . . .”
“Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage to reason, than that of blindfolded fear . . .” (In a letter to his nephew, Peter Carr)
“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”
“If my neighbor believes in twenty gods or no gods, it does not pick my pocket or break my leg and therefore it’s no harm to me.”
“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
“Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the ‘wall of separation between church and state,’ therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.”
“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”
“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”
“No generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence.”
“The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.”
To Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, Monticello, October 16, 1815:
“I grieve for France; although it cannot be denied that by the afflictions with which she wantonly and wickedly overwhelmed other nations, she has merited severe reprisals. For it is no excuse to lay the enormities to the wretch who led to them, and who has been the author of more misery and suffering to the world, than any being who ever lived before him.
“After destroying the liberties of his country, he has exhausted all its resources, physical and moral, to indulge his own maniac ambition, his own tyrannical and overbearing spirit. His sufferings cannot be too great. But theirs I sincerely deplore, and what is to be their term?
“The will of the allies? There is no more moderation, forbearance, or even honesty in theirs, than in that of Bonaparte. They have proved that their object, like his, is plunder. They, like him, are shuffling nations together, or into their own hands, as if all were right which they feel a power to do.”
“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like the evil spirits at the dawn of day.” (In a letter to Pierre S. du Pont de Nemours, 24 April 1816)
“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.”
“If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”
“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”
“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” (To George Logan, 1816)
“. . . freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation.”
“[T]he mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.”
“It is not only vain, but wicked, in a legislature to frame laws in opposition to the laws of nature, and to arm them with the terrors of death. This is truly creating crimes in order to punish them.” ~Thomas Jefferson in a Note on the Crimes Bill, 1779
That’s the sum total of my diminutive collection of Jeffersonian thoughts and writings. It is, I’m sure, little more than a nibble from the entire of the T.J. Pie, but even such a small smidge comes close to totally refuting a huge percentage of today’s Wingnuttistanian Politic, the vast bulk of which is NOT oriented toward Jeffersonian Constitutional Democracy, toward the well-being of the individual, toward prosperity for all, but rather is offered in the interest of money and power only. All of which seems to make it perfectly clear that Thomas Jefferson was neither a Corporatist, an Oligarch, or a Fascist, and therefore he would NOT be, today, a participant in the GOP/Republican/Tea Party, the AFM (American Fascist Movement). How sad for them, but how grand for those who actually believe in the worth of we the People!
A final thought: reading and pondering Jefferson’s own words always reminds me of something JFK said in the address he gave at the White House Dinner and Reception honoring Nobel Prize winners in April, 1962:
“I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the white House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”
About a dozen years back (plus or minus one or two), and after watching the Dubya Bush administration make one mess after the other, I decided to sum up my impressions of the clearly failing human experience via a poem — a Shakespearean-style sonnet, to be exact. It turned out thus:
Paradox of Humankind:
Brash vanity ordains that Mankind be
Superior to all other life on Earth,
And curious source of this Mythology
Derives from Bible’s unintended mirth.
Thus bold is he who advocates the case
Of Genesis errant, where metaphor,
As whimsical devise, cannot replace
Realities which each confirm the Core
Of Life: that every living form appeals
To Duty greater than itself alone.
A single moment’s intellect reveals
One Truth, as if inscribed in tempered stone:
Each bird and beast, each flowered weed, each tree
Expounds on Man’s Inferiority!
My conclusion was obvious: humans are absolutely and positively INFERIOR to every other life form that exists, probably even to such brilliances as light and the empty space it illuminates. In any case, every now and then “the course of human events” causes me to reflect once again, then to explore the thesis of “Superior Inferiority” that inevitably seems to define the human species.
Following is the latest exploration. The large photos are my own; the small ones are captures, over the years, from various internet sites and are, far as I know, unattributed. Still, comparison does seem to tell a tale, to support said thesis. Am I wrong? Y’all be the judge.
* * * *
Natural Black Fly on Natural White Flower:
Natural Black on Natural Green!!
Tan Bugger and Black Bugger on a Yellow Background?
How about a Tan Bug on a Black and Yellow Background?
Next up, the Natural Void: Solar, anyone?
I’ll tell you how the Sun rose / A Ribbon at a time
Rooftop Solar is Ugly??
NO WAY!! Rooftops Themselves are Ugly!!
Solar Solar Solar!
Maybe it’s Frogs that are Ugly?
Nah. Frogs are NOT Ugly, esp. when compared to their Human Counterpoints, e.g. ex-POTUSes.
The Prosecution Rests.