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  1. Winston's Avatar
    PW, clear, concise and to the point, as usual.


    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles
    t... Blogs like these are a case in point. If we are confident in our opinions, why vocalise it? I suggest its because we do feel attacked which means we do care about the opinions of others...

    ...I suppose it ultimately boils down to what is important to us - quality of life, or independence, or maybe something else.

    JMO though
    I'm good with what you're saying, totally makes sense.
    I would just add that even Libertarian-leaning misfits like myself feel the need, the duty, to occasionally speak-up. It's like the analogy of the teenager, the bottle of Wild Turkey and the car. The culture I grew up in, we thought all those things were compatible. Obviously, they are not. And there was always one "killjoy" in the group telling us to sleep it off, or hiding the keys so we didn't run over people in a drunken stupor and kill someone. When you respect one another, you listen to everyone. Even the killjoy.

    For me, a lot of society looks like that drunken teenager. So yeah, I speak-up. To not do so would be morally repugnant.

    We're constantly drawing and re-drawing the line between "independence" and "quality of life". Some want to swaddle society in bubble wrap, whereas I'd rather let people learn from banging their head once or twice.
    If no one could ever be hurt, some would consider that Nirvana. I would see that as Hell. No struggle or pain means no growth or advancement.

    Just because I want to peel a few layers of bubble wrap off doesn't mean I hate people and want them to be hurt. However, it does get tedious those times when the power goes out, and a cashier can't make change without mechanical help. So, I'm more than a bit biased on the whole "self-reliance" and "think for yourself" dogma. I'm selfish. I want a to deal with tougher, smarter, more resilient citizens. Not through dogma, indoctrination or conformity. But by insisting that people think. Challenge the status quo. Even if it's a buzzkill.
  2. bdcharles's Avatar
    My personal opinion on opinions is that it doesn't matter whether they're true or not, or correct or not, or well-reasoned or what-have-you. The purpose of an opinion is not to express a truth but to express group membership and one's own identity and place in the world. And actually, that's far more useful. Early humans didn't care a fig whether the world was round or flat as log as they could overpower a stag or some other animal, and club together for warmth and society. I personally don't believe that modern humans are so different. Yes, knowledge is power, but power is also power. We have, should we choose to use it, the capacity for reason and logic and understanding but that doesn't mean that's all we can do. It doesn't also mean that what we reason out is always used for reasonable, truth-heavy, honest purposes.

    If we feel that some people are trying to shut us down, it might be our opinion that they fear what we have to say, or don't understand it, or that their opinion is challenged and something in them is triggered as a result. Again I would say that's an identity statement rather than a truth one. Looked at objectively, if we say we don't care what others feel about our opinions, then, true or not, that puts us outside their group. It presents something potentially inimical to it. That's why those other people react as they do. I put it to such outsiders however that they (okay, at times, "we") are not so different. Blogs like these are a case in point. If we are confident in our opinions, why vocalise it? I suggest its because we do feel attacked which means we do care about the opinions of others. Heresy to suggest it, I know, but most people, under it all, do - apart from perhaps sociopaths, and I've seen no evidence of any of those here. Of course we care. We've by and large evolved to, because the ones that didn't failed to survive for long.

    People often present this "I don't care what others think" aspect as a show of strength. But if that were true, they'd never say it. They'd just be it. There's this narrative that caring what others think is weakness and drives conformity. And I suppose, in a way it is, in terms of who could survive longer on their own. But surviving on one's own is not our default, optimal state. If one is having to do that, something's already gone wrong somewhere upstream and everything thereafter is damage limitation. The strongest state is accepting that we may have to conform to the group to thrive which means occasionally being vulnerable. I suppose it ultimately boils down to what is important to us - quality of life, or independence, or maybe something else.

    JMO though
  3. Plasticweld's Avatar
    Revelation 3:16 King James Version (KJV)

    16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.


    Kind of says it all. You are in an environment here that thrives on fantasy, emotion, and feelings, to expect otherwise is naive.
  4. midnightpoet's Avatar
    Since WW11, the U.S. keeps involving itself in other countries' business, not always successfully (and often counter-productive), and is a legitimate concern, and should be addressed with intelligent and bi-partisan study and comment. In this current climate of internal bickering and blame-making, I'm not sure that is even possible, but I'll give Winston a "E" for effort.
  5. Phil Istine's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    Did you actually just write that? Comparing my blog post with Mein Kampf?
    Wow.
    I was going to respond, but Velo has said what I would have. You can write well, Winston, so I'd appreciate it if you refrained from sophistry; you're better than that. This is not written as a moderator but as a forum member.
    Thanks.
    Updated October 14th, 2019 at 12:25 AM by Phil Istine
  6. velo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Winston
    Did you actually just write that? Comparing my blog post with Mein Kampf?
    Wow.
    No, what he said was he can deal with reading divergent opinions. He has Mein Kampf on his kindle despite not espousing Nazi ideology. This was not comparing your post to that book.
  7. Winston's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Istine
    ...I can cope quite readily with reading views that differ from mine, as evidenced by the presence of Mein Kampf in my kindle.
    Did you actually just write that? Comparing my blog post with Mein Kampf?
    Wow.
  8. Phil Istine's Avatar
    Sorry for any offence. And I don't mean further disrespect, but it's hard for some of us that see your nation, small enough to fit inside the Sate of California, with such intense regional differences.
    I mean, people in Los Angeles make fun of folks in San Bernardino, but they are really the same people.
    But then again, aren't we all, once we shed those labels?
    Take offence over minor factual errors? I assume that people come here to hone their writing skills, so wish to avoid mistakes like incorrectly interchanging UK, Great Britain, and England.

    As for the regional differences, I imagine they are the product of being populated from a time when people rarely travelled outside their own villages, never mind to other regions. Had there been a road and rail network a thousand or so years ago, I suspect today's regional differences would be far less pronounced.

    Please don't assume that everyone is taking offence. I can cope quite readily with reading views that differ from mine, as evidenced by the presence of Mein Kampf in my kindle.
    Updated October 12th, 2019 at 06:31 AM by Phil Istine
  9. Winston's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Istine
    Hi Winston. I hope you don't mind me mentioning a couple of facts that could help improve the quality of your piece. These concern the United Kingdom or, as I currently refer to it, the Disunited Kingdom...I hope that helps.
    Sorry for any offence. And I don't mean further disrespect, but it's hard for some of us that see your nation, small enough to fit inside the Sate of California, with such intense regional differences.
    I mean, people in Los Angeles make fun of folks in San Bernardino, but they are really the same people.
    But then again, aren't we all, once we shed those labels?

    And Sue, I appreciate you reading my blog. I knew that the title would attract people because of the universal emotional draw to "friends fighting". I was also aware I was abrasive in my opening line. Both were intentional.
    I have written (IMHO) other posts that were more "bland" and inoffensive, yet received little to no feedback.
    Yet, in this short amount of time, I already have two comments. Does that say something about me, my writing, or perhaps something else?
    I did not say criticizing The President was asinine. I implied that the continuous, partisan badgering was. If you read through my entire blog, I spell out why Trump may in fact be correct in this case. If you, or anyone else, was triggered by my assertion that he could sometimes be correct, I apologize.

    I'm not selling soap, or kissing-up to endear myself to the masses. If you are somehow implying that I should change my writing style to do so, I humbly disagree.
  10. SueC's Avatar
    Winston, I would like to add my two cents worth as well.

    From your first sentence - "This relentless bashing of The President over Turkey and The Kurds is asinine and needs to stop," you might put anyone reading on the defensive. You are making an attempt, IMO, to minimize and degrade ANYONE else's opinion on the matter, especially those who don't agree with your abrupt statements, and to be honest that tactic sounds a little too familiar. Instead of a personal rant, if your blog was an attempt to dissuade others from "relentless bashing," then again, IMO, it failed to do so. I think to be more effective, it would be necessary to at least acknowledge reasons why others may disagree with you. Certainly, adding your opinion is important, but doing so in such a disrespectful way is probably going to gain you more nay-Sayers than fans.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

    SueC
  11. Phil Istine's Avatar
    Hi Winston. I hope you don't mind me mentioning a couple of facts that could help improve the quality of your piece. These concern the United Kingdom or, as I currently refer to it, the Disunited Kingdom.

    You mention Great Britain and England in regards to the Falklands War. I know this can be confusing for many non-Brits, and quite a few Brits get it wrong too:
    The United Kingdom is England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland plus many smaller islands that surround our shores.
    Great Britain is the island that comprises England, Scotland, and Wales (the term "Great" is a reference to it being by far the largest island of the group).
    England is one country in the UK, though it's the largest and, to varying degrees, determines the laws of the other three (their levels of autonomy vary).
    As far as the military is concerned, I believe it's regarded as the United Kingdom's military force. Sometimes you might hear the term "Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

    You appear to have used "Great Britain" and "England" interchangeably, but they aren't.
    I hope that helps.
  12. Kevin's Avatar
    Winston,
    A very good review of the movie's basic messages and how they apply to us in our personal lives...

    In the future families won't even be necessary. Government child care will be 24/7. You can't trust individuals or family structures with something so important as a child's future. Look at the mess we're in now.

    the movie:
    First off, while the death penalty (and other similar) may seem extreme, we actually do need to reduce our populations in order to conserve the world's resources. The government needs to enforce this.

    Second off, as in the movies there are many unnecessary luxuries like vaping that shouldn't even be available as they are merely symptoms of our current culture's spoiled overindulgence. The government does need to enforce this as people on their own obviousely aren't able to make correct decisions. So many of what portrayed as 'draconian ' measures taken in the movie- the strict prohibitions and extreme punishments, are in reality totally reasonable and responsible relations by the government, and necessary. That's how you get people to behave. It's scientific, phychiatric conditioning/education, negative as well as positive.
    From a moral standpoint, as long as there is inequity of wealth, poor people, anywhere, these frivolous luxury items should not be available.
  13. Winston's Avatar
    Just as a post-scrip, one of my favorite quotes, and guiding principles:

    Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
    Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French aviation engineer.
  14. midnightpoet's Avatar
    It's the poet in me, I see bare trees in winter not as a scientific process but as "bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang." (Shakespeare sonnet)

    This morning my yard guy and I are building a wheelchair ramp for my wife. Hoping she'll be home from the hospital today (her blood sugar got down to 28. I told her later I was jealous because she got a helicopter ride). Life can be hard despite all you can do, but that's the thing. Do or do not. Some movie character said that, I think.
  15. Winston's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasticweld
    Just last month, 53 Americans died in mass shootings…while 40,000 died from obesity
    That was heavy, man.
  16. Plasticweld's Avatar
    Just last month, 53 Americans died in mass shootings…while 40,000 died from obesity
  17. midnightpoet's Avatar
    There are some things, unfortunately, that are simply not fixable. Change human nature? Good luck with that.
  18. midnightpoet's Avatar
    The Captain obvious solution is of course for all of us to treat each other with mutual respect and understanding regardless of color, sex, ect.

    Is that possible?

    I wonder.
  19. midnightpoet's Avatar
    One more thing, is our current American culture encouraging the development of psychopaths? I would say that encouraging hate is not helping, and both sides are doing this.
  20. midnightpoet's Avatar
    Oh I should have said any firearm/
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