Saturday, April 21, 2018

Starbucks And The Evolution Of A Religion

Blogging Note: I need to spend mornings doing something other than writing, so I'm scaling back from obsessively blogging every day to committing to a Monday and Thursday blogging schedule. I might still jot something down or share a photo on the other days, but I'm not promising anything.

I haven't kept up with the news lately, but as I understand it, two black guys were arrested for loitering in a Starbucks, leading Starbucks to have a thousand (was that the number?) stores stand down for racial sensitivity training.

When Congress passed Hate Crime legislation several years back, part of it mandated the FBI to maintain statistics on hate crimes. Here they are for 2016.
In 2016, race was reported for 5,770 known hate crime offenders. Of these offenders:
  • 46.3 percent were White.
  • 26.1 percent were Black or African American.
Blacks are about 13% of the population which means that blacks double up on hate crimes on a per capita basis.

So I get why Starbucks wanted a refresher course on race relations, but where are the corresponding ones for other groups? There are all kinds of other statistics that could be trotted out, but I'm not going to give the Stormfront cretins more ammunition than they already have. The thing that hits me is not just the Nazi-esque nature of our dominant racial narrative: the Jews whites are exploiting the Germans people of color, it's how it is in direct contradiction of the facts. It's doubtful that many people are even aware of the hate crime stats. I wasn't until very recently.

Is this how Jim Jones worked? Did he control the flow of information in order to create a narrative for his followers and confirm the beliefs of his cult in their minds?

How do you deprogram a nation?

These cult things rarely end well.
Bonus tidbit: I just found out that Jim Jones was a socialist. Well, that caption goes double then. These socialist things rarely end well. (Someone tell Bernie Sanders, OK?)
He considered Jesus Christ as being in compliance with an overarching belief in Socialism as the correct social order.

Friday, April 20, 2018

SJW Joke

While driving yesterday, I was talking with a friend from work and the topic turned to politics. We thought the same way and swapped stories. When we got out of the car at his offices, we both agreed to not tell others what we'd been saying. Our ideas weren't all that controversial 3-5 years ago, but now it is verboten to even speak of them. We made Gestapo jokes as we walked into the building. It was pretty creepy and it was very real.

Soviet / Nazi jokes are funny again, adapted for our times.

A university professor who is secretly conservative sees his pet parrot fly out the window and escape. Terrified, he goes to the dean of his department and reports the bird missing. The dean looks at him incredulously and says, "Why are you telling me this? Just go report it to the police or animal control."

"I will, but I just wanted to let you know that I don't agree with a single word that bird says."

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Pushing Against A Building

Going through old draft posts that I never published, I came across this one. I'm not sure why I didn't think it was worthy of sharing. Oh well. Enjoy!

... and trying to get the building to move.

I was walking between buildings at work yesterday, grinding my teeth and grumbling about some issue so small that I can't remember what it was, when I realized I was just wearing myself out. I was tired to begin with, having stayed up reading far too late the night before and this was not helping at all. I realized that my aggravation wasn't accomplishing anything but self-exhaustion and I suddenly felt very silly, like I had been spending hours pushing my hardest against a building, trying to get it to move.

When I studied Kung Fu, the school had us study some Tai Chi as well. Favoring the far nastier and more kinetic Kung Fu, I didn't spend much time on the Tai Chi, but I did learn the lesson of going with your opponent's energy instead of pushing back. In Tai Chi, you relax and feel the flow of the motions, trying to get your opponent off-balance to take advantage of the situation. When you're the one pushing, you end up tired and usually on the ground.

Solving problems in life, like winning a fight, requires calm thought and energy. Draining your energy through anxiety and anger doesn't leave it available for constructive use.

Phillipians Chapter 4:
Always be joyful, then, in the Lord; I repeat, be joyful. Let your good sense be obvious to everybody. The Lord is near. Never worry about anything; but tell God all your desires of every kind in prayer and petition shot through with gratitude, and the peace of God which is beyond our understanding will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


... play a big part in your success. That is, the expectations your parents (or caregivers) have on you as you grow up.

In both Hillbilly Elegy (poor white folk), My Grandfather's Son (poor black folk pre-civil rights) and Please Stop Helping Us (poor black folk post civil rights), the authors talk about how they made it out of poverty, drug abuse and crime while so many of their peers did not. Money plays some role, but not much. None of them were starving or living in migrant worker camps. They lived above that level of subsistence, but not by much.

What made the biggest difference in their lives were the expectations of their parents and grandparents. They grew up under expectations of hard work and sacrifice to get ahead in life. Each author notes how this made them unusual in their communities in some way. Each went on to achieve success.

There are similar common threads in the self-help books I read such as the ones from Zig Ziglar, Jordan Peterson and Brian Tracy.

Something to ponder.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Lessons Learned From A Digital Fast

It's all about the gas tank.

Every day, you only have so much energy for thought, emotions, work and watching those really horrible daytime courtroom things on TV.

Stimulants like the Internet, politics, caffeine and dealing with flaccid Nazi progressives, but I repeat myself, use up that energy to no practical purpose. They are effectively entertainment.

My 7 day Digital Fast taught me that life was better without them. I could get just as much information by sampling them once in a great while, if at all.

Caffeine: By the end, I was down to 1 cup of coffee a day. The results were excellent. I had my cuppa in the morning and could be productive, but I didn't come home with chemical stress and anxiety from caffeine crashes. The last two days, I felt great driving home, something that was new to me. No kidding. I have a pretty great life right now and this little experiment showed me I was unhappy coming home because I was going through a caffeine crash.

Politics on the Internet: Curious about my 401K, I opened this morning to see how things were going. On their front page was an article about Sean Hannity having ties to Argle Bargle. Golly! I'm sure that was important. It's all a bunch of high school gossiping. Yawn. I can definitely afford to tune in once every week or so. After day 2, I didn't feel much temptation to look at it.

Smartphone Games: I was seriously addicted to a brick breaker game on my phone when I started. It was one of the reasons I decided to try the Fast. I realized that it was just a space filler. I was desperately trying to fill every second of my life with stimulation, not realizing those stimulants were all draining fuel from me. I might play now and again, but I recognize them for the parasites they are.

Music: I still love it, but I love it now as a treat, not a constant companion. When I decide I've worked and thought enough, music is a nice way to force my brain to switch off. Now that I see it for the distraction that it is, I can find times when embracing that distraction is a good thing.

Social media: I don't miss Facebook or Twitter. Thanks to flaccid Nazi progressives making everything political*, there's a certain amount of anxiety to checking out relatively harmless Facebook. Even my religious Twitter feed can sometimes get polluted with politics. I refuse to surrender my time and energy to that.

Result: I feel GREAT! I started running again, too. I have a lot more energy and I'm not wasting nearly as much time on silly things. Coming home, I still have gas in the tank for wife kitteh. That's important.

I'm going to make a few changes here on the blog that I'll discuss later. For now, that's my lessons learned from the last seven days. I'm glad I did it.

* - Remember Mussolini's dictum: Everything inside of the State, nothing without. All of the marches and protests and politically-based mob actions on campuses and in the tech companies are Mussolini (and Peron and Obama and Sanders), straight up. The State is driven by politics and politics is arguing. The bigger the government becomes, the longer its reach through regulations, the more we'll be at each others' throats. Yay.

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Perfect Song To End A Workout

... when you're getting as older is this one.

As a result of my Digital Fast, I've started the Couch to 5K program. It's a lot better than just walking the Catican Guards, but not as good as weight training which, as ligneus says in a comment on an earlier blog, is essential. I need to find time to start doing that. In the meantime, running won't hurt.

Tomorrow is the end of the Fast and I plan to blog my findings.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Parade Of Songbirds

... at our backyard birdbath. I set up my little point-and-shoot to record the birdbath for half an hour and then edited it down to just the birds. There is an apricot tree out of frame on the left that they love and that's why they all come from that side.

Don't worry, none of them are bathing so this is rated G. The video is HD and I think the little guys are pretty, so it might be worth watching in fullscreen mode. Enjoy.

As far as the Digital Fast went on Day 5 - more of the same. I'm coming to a conclusion on the set of changes I'm going to make as a result of what I've learned.