Is government the servant or the master?

This is the central question facing voting citizens in the US in the approaching November election.  What is at stake is the future course of the country for all citizens, young and old alike, engaged and apathetic alike.

The founders and framers of the Constitution knew this question well.  If you read the US Constitution, you can see that their answer was that government was to be made the servant and constrained to remain the servant of the people, otherwise, if not constrained, the government would inevitably grow in power to become the people’s master.

This election is about us, the people of the US – about who we are, and about what we value.

 

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Capital Punishment is not a Pro-Life Issue

In California, there is a ballot initiative (Proposition 62) this November election to do away with capital punishment in the state. Effectively, there is no death penalty now as a death sentence translates to 20 to 30 years of court appeals, and death row inmates are dying of old age in San Quentin prison. There have been very few executions in the past 50 years in California, yet there have been many, many murders over the years.

The Catholic Church is publicly endorsing Proposition 62 as the Church opposes capital punishment for convicted capital murderers.

Here we reprint with editorial comment our earlier essay (from June, 2012) on this issue.

 

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the Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin is believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

I had wondered about the history of the Shroud of Turin prior to it entering recorded West European history in the 14th century (shortly after the time of the “Black Death” or pandemic of bubonic plague).

 

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mental illness: contagious psychosis

Can mental illness be contagious?  And, if so, how can such a contagious mental illness be spread?

The spread of an infectious and contagious disease usually requires a means or path of transmission called a vector.  In the case of a viral or bacteria infection, a person has to come into physical contact with the virus or bacteria to contract the disease.

If various forms (or “strains”) of mental illness can be contagious, then what are the physical vector(s) in the transmission of the disease?

 

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a zen moment in Mexico

A moment of zen, a brief flash of zen experience, interpretation free experience, or the state of “no mind” can happen anywhere and any time.  It can occur while walking along a beach at sunset, or on a mountain top, or in your mind’s eye, or even in an imagined world.  Perhaps one really experiences zen, or satori, when one steps outside of one’s mind for an instant.

From my wife’s trip to Mexico last week, we have this view of the Pacific Ocean.

 

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copyright 2016 – larrysmusings.com

daily practice

If the soul is thought of as clay, it can be difficult to mould or to shape.  There is a certain resistance or inertia to change embedded in one’s human nature. If one can achieve constructive change in one’s self, there is always the possibility of reverting to an earlier form or going back to bad habits (relapsing, or backsliding so to speak).

 

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ideological colonialism

We don’t know how to mind our own business
‘Cause the whole world’s got to be just like us

Lyrics from the song, Monster – by the rock band, Steppenwolf (1969)

Liberal elites in wealthy Western nations (US, the EU, and at the UN) demand conformity, uniformity throughout the world (in all nations) on some hot button issues.  So much for real diversity, national sovereignty and self-determination.

 

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the greatest conqueror

“The greatest conqueror is he who conquers himself.”

This is a saying or aphorism from eastern philosophy.  A possible meaning is: It is more difficult to gain mastery over one’s self than it is to impose one’s will upon others.  You might conquer a neighboring tribe, kingdom, or nation, but you would not be happy or content.

Another possible meaning is:  If a person has total control of himself, and does not give in to emotional impulses (reactive anger) that often can be self-defeating and harmful or destructive, then he can be free of much needless grief, regret, and frustration in life.

Think about that for a moment.

 

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The real causes of black rage?

Again we see violence in the streets of a US city.  This past weekend the scene was Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The spark that lit the fuse appears to have been the slaying of an armed black man by a black police officer.

But, why do we hear, from audio of the mob in the streets, chants and screams for beating any and all white people who may be travelling down the city streets?

Let’s consider that there are other reasons (than police shootings) for this growing, or at least simmering, black rage in America’s cities.

 

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the nature of God

Do we really know about the nature of God?

Well, yes, we have the revealed religions to tell us of God’s nature.

But, some may wonder: do we humans impute our hangups, our biases, our character traits (or even character flaws) on to God, or at least on to our concept of God?

 

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sexual love within marriage: its giving nature

The sexual love the spouses share with each other is naturally giving.  Sadly, among married Christians there is much confusion on this subject of sexual love, with some spouses needlessly suffering from unhealthy inhibitions and even feeling shame in the marriage bed.  This is so unnecessary.  Letting go of, or shedding these inhibitions and shame will open you to a deeper, richer emotional intimacy with your spouse during your lovemaking.

Mutually fulfilling lovemaking is not the only necessary ingredient for a successful, lasting, happy marriage – but the reality is that it is one of the key ingredients!  And, God intended that both spouses enjoy sexual fulfillment within their loving marriage.  (If you doubt this, consider the sexual capacity (for arousal, desire and pleasure) in both the man and the woman all throughout each month.  Of course, the emotions are also intimately involved.)

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just because we can do something, does not mean that we ought to do it

Why do we humans do the things we do?

Why are we always tinkering?

Why do we show no self-restraint?

Why do we play act at being God?

We may not have very good answers, but it is important to raise the questions in these days.

The small placard on the wooden man says “tinkering”.  (All photos in this essay were taken at the Exploratorium in San Francisco this past Saturday, 20 September 2014.)

 

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food on a vacation – fruit

We now present some pictures of various fruit dishes taken during a recent vacation in Mexico.

A tray full of succulent, sweet Kiwi fruit.  Whether from New Zealand or from Chile, these are very healthy to eat.  We have found that slicing the Kiwi along the length of the fruit allows one to push or squeeze the fruit out of its skin and directly into one’s mouth.  It is an unorthodox way to get to the fruit, but it is much quicker.

 

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