Authoritarianism, Bad Ideas, Conservative, Democracy, Freedom, Human Nature, Idealism, Ideas, Ideologies, Liberal, Oppression, Political Ideologies, Political Issues, Politicians and Scoundrels, Politics, Society, Village Idiots

Traditional Conservatives vs Today’s Conservatives

SUMMARY: I make a sharp distinction between true conservatism and today’s most popular conservatism.  I then draw the conclusion that, while true conservatism is both necessary and good, today’s most popular conservatism is a radical and dangerous departure from it.

(About a 6 minute read) 

A curious thing about human politics is that it seems everywhere on earth to be roughly divided between “liberals and conservatives”.   That is, between people who are more or less inclined to experiment with new things, and people who are more or less disinclined to do so.

In recent years, there have been a number of scientific studies to see if there is some kind of biological or psychological basis for the division of human politics into those two camps.  A number of hypotheses have been proposed — such that conservatives lack empathy compared to liberals, or that conservatives are more likely to see the world as a hostile place compared to liberals — but so far as I know, none of those hypotheses has been backed up by a solid weight of studies except for one of them.

Continue reading “Traditional Conservatives vs Today’s Conservatives”

Adolescence, Adolescent Sexuality, Attachment, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Coffee Shop Folks, Coffee Shop Stories, Family, Fatherless Children, Fatherless Daughters, Fatherless Girls, Friends, Human Nature, Jackie, Jerks, Judgementalism, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Mental and Emotional Health, Obsession, People, Quality of Life, Relationships, Sarah, Self, Self Identity, Self Image, Self-determination, Self-Knowledge, Sex, Sexuality, Society

All the Young Women

SUMMARY: I take a look at the women I met some years ago in Colorado Springs, and then draw a few conclusions about the challenges they faced at that time in their lives.

(About a 8 minute read)

People are often more predictable than life itself.  I can often predict, with surprising accuracy, what a long-term friend will do in almost any situation, but my life has taught me that it can be considerably more difficult to predict where I will be in a year or two.

I certainly did not expect when I came to Colorado that I would soon know — at least casually — about 200 young men and women twenty years younger than me, nor that about two dozen of them would befriend me.

Yet that’s what happened — largely as a direct consequence of my choosing to frequent a coffee shop that both served the cheapest cup in town and was the hang out of hundreds of local high school students.  Since it was also the oldest and most established coffee shop in town, it was also the hang out of everyone else — from the mayor and some city council members to several homeless people.

Continue reading “All the Young Women”

Bad Ideas, Citizenship, Class War, Community, Competence, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Democracy, Education, Equality of Opportunity, Freedom and Liberty, Ideologies, Intellectual Honesty, Knowledge, Learning, Life, Living, Obligations to Society, People, Political Issues, Politics, Privilege, Quality of Life, Skeptical Thinking, Society, Talents and Skills, Teacher, Teaching, Thinking, Tomoko, Values

The Value of a Teacher

SUMMARY: Teachers in the US are poorly compensated for the work in comparison to teachers in Japan.  Outside of the best public schools and elite private schools, students are educated to become loyal, obedient citizens with adequate job skills.  This contrasts sharply with earlier educational goals in America.

(About an 8 minute read)

My second wife, Tomoko, spent her early years in Tokyo, Japan.  She attended an elite school whose students were mainly the sons and daughters of government and corporate leaders.

Tomoko’s father, for instance, was an American on loan from Motorola to Sony who headed up Sony’s East Asian quality control during the years Japanese goods became synonymous with “quality”.   Her cousin, who tutored her growing up, was at one point the head of North American sales for Toyota.  His major accomplishment was taking Toyota products from about 6% of the car market in the US to over 22%.

Continue reading “The Value of a Teacher”

Authoritarianism, Bernie Sanders, Class War, Conservative, Democracy, Equality, Freedom, Freedom and Liberty, Human Nature, Ideologies, Liars Lies and Lying, Liberal, Libertarianism, Life, News and Current Events, Political Ideologies, Political Issues, Politicians and Scoundrels, Politics, Progressive, Society

The Future of Freedom in America

(About a 9 minute read)

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” — Warren Buffett

One of the top five or six core issues running through-out all of human history has been the eternal war between elites and non-elites.  That is, those who have the greater wealth, power, and control of resources and those who have the lesser wealth, power, and control of resources in any given society or economy.

In my opinion, anyone who is unfamiliar with the conflict is politically, socially, and economically ignorant.  The primary or most significant conflicts in history have not been between competing systems such as capitalism and communism. Such conflicts are more clearly understood as battles between competing elites and between elites and non-elites.

Continue reading “The Future of Freedom in America”

Abuse, Anger, Emotional Abuse, Emotions, Human Nature, Jerks, Life, Regret, Sex, Sexual Abuse, Sexualization

A Jerk in Bed

(About a 4 minute read)

We had been sitting next to each other at the coffee shop’s counter for a few minutes when she introduced herself to me.  Looking up from her magazine, she pointed to the article she’d been reading and said something about it that I can no longer recall.

I was instantly pleased with her for taking the initiative.  I usually like it when women start up conversations with me, and I tend to think of them as a bit adventuresome for having done it.

After that first meeting, I saw her around from time to time.  She would always say hello and we’d usually exchange a few words.  Things stayed casual though.  There was nothing flirtatious in her manner or attitude.

Continue reading “A Jerk in Bed”

Humor, People, Teresums

“Payback is sweet”

TERESUMS:  Hello?  Acme Rodent Control?  This is Ms. Sunstone. I want my cottage fumigated immediately.  The premium treatment, please.  Don’t bother checking if anyone’s home.  My demented uncle and I will both be gone.  Just go and gas the place.  Can you do that, please?

PAUL: Very funny.  I see you have caller ID now.  I reckon waiting by the phone all day for me to call is about a thrilling as life gets for a virgin.

THERESUMS:  Oh, it’s you, Paul.  How can I help you today?

Continue reading ““Payback is sweet””

Abuse, Jennifer, Love, People, Poetry, Sexual Abuse

A Letter to Find in the Morning

(About a 2 minute read)

“Strange someone would do that to a child.”
It sounds lame to say it, Jennifer,
But that doesn’t make the strangeness go away,
The feeling that something alien, terribly alien,
Once happened to you on that lonely ranch
Near Grand Junction.

You’re restless in your sleep tonight.
Your head tosses this way, then that way.
I worry that when you whisper
Something I can’t quite make out,
You dream of the year of your foster father,
His brother and their cousin.

The moonlight on your face
Makes you look ghostly, those are ghosts
You wrestle with tonight,
Ghosts you’ll always have.

But at least they’re ghosts now.
They once were demons.

I can wish that year had never happened
But it did happen.
I can wish you could forget it had happened.
But how could anyone forget that?
I could wish
I could wish
And I could wish,

But what can I do?

There are healers. You’ve been to them.
You’re healed now — as functional as anyone.
Only the dreams still come at night,
The memories return by day,
The scars still show
In both your beliefs and your actions.

But what can I do?

I try to understand what’s too alien
To understand, what can never be understood.

I accept your scars, your ghosts,
I don’t tell you to “get beyond it”.

But nothing feels like I’m doing anything.

I slip out of bed,
Hoping that doesn’t make things worse
For you in your sleep.

On your desk by the window
I find a pad and your pen,
Write you a love letter to find
In the morning.


Inspired by a poem on Paeansunplugged’s blog that can be found here.