Excerpt from the Bhagavad Gita, Part 1

……..Virtuous people find it difficult to believe that such evil exists on earth. It’s proponents, moreover, often proclaim (if they have a degree of intelligence) teachings that are designed purposefully to win others to their side: teachings like “the greatest good for the greatest number” and “each according to his need, from each according to …

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Light relief (you may have seen these gems before)

Why people need to learn grammar, spelling and syntax.   Actual announcements found in Church bulletins to the congregation or announced at services: ————————– The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals. ————————–     Scouts are saving aluminium cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children. ————————–  The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus …

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Filling the day with ……..what?

“We are born once and cannot be born twice, but we must be no more for all time. Not being master of tomorrow, you nonetheless delay your happiness.  Life is consumed in procrastination, and each of us dies without providing leisure for himself.”     (From “The Essential Epicurus”, by Eugene O’Connor, Great Books in Philosophy …

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Mis-use of taxpayer money

I was intrigued by an article in the Washington Post, which reported that most US Catholic parishes had applied for taxpayer money, namely the small business stimulation package handouts to help them through the virus epidemic.  13,000 Catholic parishes have received our money out of a total of about 17,000.   In the first round 6,000 …

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Glasses are forbidden

Tokyo Thousands of Japanese women have taken to social media to share their experiences of being discouraged from wearing spectacles at work since the practice was exposed in two recent reports. It turns out that a range of firms tell their female employees not to wear glasses, including a domestic airline that cites “safety” issues, …

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Welcome to a world of neontocracy. A review of “Raising Children”

We live in a neontocracy, a world that revolves around the needs of children far beyond the basics of food and material comfort. It seems vital to maintain children’s happiness, status, self-esteem and protection, and to provide constant stimulation. Anthropologist David Lancy of Utah State University (who coined the term neontocracy), writes that modern parenting …

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BabyBoomers then and now

To The Guardian. March 2018, from a baby boomer:  “As a 70-year-old baby boomer I read and learnt from Phillip Inman’s article. As usual, though, there is no comparison made between the life circumstances experienced during the youthful years of baby boomers and those of today’s young people. “Most of us grew up without central …

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Meditation

There seems to be good evidence that regular sessions of mindful attention have a calming effect on the amygdala, the brain’s emotion processor, and reduce impulsive reactions to stressful or negative thoughts and experiences. Mindfulness, they say, can help mute our emotional response to physical pain, and lessen anxiety and mind-wandering (not the kind that …

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Light relief

An email to my son, USA to U.K.: On 31/03/2020 Robert Hanrott wrote: Will,  I am going to phone you tomorrow, Tuesday.  I am concerned about you all.  Dead ……………………………………………………………….. And a reply…….. Hi, Dad, We are all fine. Please do call. It’ll be nice to speak to you. One thing though. When you sign …

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Why are guns and ammo essential items?

Across America, people have been told to take refuge at home and to venture out only to get things they really need, like groceries, prescription drugs and petrol. But should weapons also be on that list? Gun rights advocates think they should. They’ve now achieved a federal shutdown-order exemption for gun shops( guns and ammo) …

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Auotopsy on the American Dream, part 2

Continued from yesterday: The core promise of the American dream has always been that you can do better than your parents. But we have to deal with the fact that our values have been hi-jacked. We decided that we needed more democracy in our politics. What better way to do that than to allow people to …

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An autopsy of the American dream, part 1

Over the past 50 years, lots of things have changed in the United States. Here are a few examples. 1) A child’s chance of earning more than his or her parents has plummeted from 90 to 50 percent. 2) Earnings by the top 1 percent of Americans nearly tripled, while middle-class wages have been basically …

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How Democracy Ends, Not With a Bang But With a Whimper

“In this fast-paced century, rife with technological innovation, we’ve grown accustomed to the impermanence of things. Whatever is here now will likely someday vanish, possibly sooner than we imagine. Movies and music that once played on our VCRs and stereos have given way to infinite choices in the cloud. Cash currency is fast becoming a …

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Racial replacement?

“The middle-aged man who shot dead nine people in two shisha bars in Germany last week appears to have been motivated by a hate-filled ideology. Tobias Rathjen subscribed to the idea of the “great replacement”, which argues that white Europeans are being “replaced” by an “invasion” of brown and black people.  At this point, the …

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Negotiating in bad faith? Who is?

The EU’s negotiating tactics are shockingly “dishonest”, said Daniel Hannan in The Sunday Telegraph, a very right-wing publication.  For three years, Brussels’ negotiators have refused to consider British proposals for a bespoke Brexit deal, on the grounds that that meant “cherry-picking”.  Michel Barnier has maintained that, if the UK didn’t want to keep free movement …

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The President’s teeth

Mount Vernon, Virginia “A souvenir model of George Washington’s dentures has been withdrawn from sale at his Mount Vernon estate because of evidence that the real version included teeth pulled from the mouths of his slaves. “According to popular myth, the false teeth worn by America’s founding father were made from wood. In fact, they …

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