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Jul 23 2012

Another Act of Violence in Colorado.

I wrote the following after the horror at Columbine. High School. It seems to apply to what just happened. Just change the dates, places, and names. And that is very sad.

 

ON WHAT WE LEARNED AT SCHOOL ON APRIL 20, 1999

O what is Life and what is Man? O what is Death? Wherefore
Are you, my Children, natives in the Grave to where I go?

William Blake

For the adult and for the almost adult, for the adolescent dead of Littleton, Colorado–for those who buried them, and for all of those who grieve–April of 1999 truly was the cruelest month.

Children killed in school by children, fellow students. A teacher killed, trying to help. Among the fifteen dead, two adolescent murderers, placed by their hands beyond answers and punishment. A year of consciously premeditated plans. On Hitler’s birthday. Black trench coats. Guns, and bombs of propane tanks, and lead pipes set to intentionally kill and maim. A girl shot in her face upon confessing belief in God. More details daily known. Much more no doubt never to be learned.

This was not tragedy–hubris of arrogant pride bringing about some hero’s noble ruin. This was not pathos–a child sudden killed without design by some mute disease or some impersonal fate.

This was horror.

Chorus of whys. Why did it, and how to…. Maybe make propane tanks illegal. Maybe it was the fault of the internet, or guns, or games, or music, or lead pipes, or pornography, or homosexuals, or dress, or television, or lack of prayer, or because the ten commandments are not posted, or because the girl believed in God, as if none had ever died horribly before because they did not believe in any or in the right true god. More laws, more church, ban everything that might cause senseless death. Maybe ban automobiles, baseball bats, bicycles, swimming pools, trees, skis, gasoline, rope, fire, and bathtubs–small price to pay to save one innocent life, don’t you think? Or don’t you think? Protect the flag from protest? Ban knives, so no other O.J. need ever again search golf courses for a killer cheating justice there?

As one is banned, and horror happens still, ban more and more and yet more again, to delude, deceive, deny just why the kids of Colorado died.

And in the growing din of the psychobabble, the hysteria, the fear, stop, be still and listen. There may be somewhere you hear one small rational voice that, from beneath the shouting, quietly says, it happened because those two dead killers killed them.

That’s why it happened. Why did they do it? Maybe they were evil.

So how can we for our fearful, our uncertain, our frightening future’s sake assure and reassure each of us alike that no one’s child ever will ever again take weapon or bomb to school to reduce the human flesh of someone’s beloved child to vicious ruin?

It seems so simple, really, so simple it dare not be suggested, or so it seems. Simply see and assure, each and all of us, that we do not, and that any child within our control and care does not. And then none will. And then must we, through teaching, and through the more immeasurably important medium called example, show that such is not permitted. For such is– beyond all discussion–wrong. For such is something that is simply bad. Yes, and something evil. Something that is never even to be thought. And never ever to be done.

Taboos sometimes attach to such stupid thoughts that they seem silly. Such taboos are useless and ignored when they touch disputed things upon which rational persons do not all agree. Still, some things in fact are wrong and bad. Without dispute, certain matters can be made taboo, things like killing your classmates and teacher at school on a fine spring day, or on any day. And all must agree this must be taboo, and never done, or human kind will not survive.

So long as we blame the horror of that spring day at school, that murdered Littleton’s children, on unmindful things like music, or tools, or lack of religious show, we invite terrible repetition. For we take the fault from, and absolve, those persons whose fault it was and is, and ascribe that fault to dumb, inanimate neutral things–to things that have no thoughts, nor will, and cannot form intent to harm, that fearful ability unique to human kind.

And so we in comfort hear, on distant news, about the grief, the theories, the hows, the whys, the suggestions, the demands, the call for new laws, and the condemnation of all of those related, but really not so relevant, things. And then to relieve this pain we hear, in other news, of how many bombs were dropped by our just side, in that far away war today, on the human kind of the other unjust side, and of how many foreign language speaking civilians were, sad to say, most accidentally unintentionally killed by our made-by-human-hands explosives and bullets deliberately delivered, and of how many more were purposefully on purpose killed for their religious views or because they were of some wrong, improper race, or some–righteously condemned by their right thinking killers–improper creed.

Let’s wax profoundly now. Let us unsophomorically observe we simply cannot cure the world. The problems are too many and too vast, too complex and too misunderstood. And let us further understand the world itself has no problems of its own, for such as seem are such only as are and may be defined by us. We are the measure of what is right and just and true and good and of all things visible and invisible. We are the definers. We do it to ourselves and teach it unto our children. We are the didactic doomed.
We cannot be responsible for all of it. No. No we can’t, no not all of it at all. Perhaps maybe we should just neglect to try.

But we can, can we not, be responsible, each single human one of us, for all the time, for each of us alone and among ourselves. And to large measure for our children, for what we teach and what we do has much–not all, but much–to do with what they are and will become. That’s all we have to do.

And if we are, each one of each of us, for all the many things and moments and times that are, and are to come upon us unannounced, if we are then, in each and all of those uncertain times, and words, and worlds and whens, within ourselves controlled, then somehow things may just be more okay. And that’s what we can do. And that’s really all that we can do. And that’s really all that we need do.

There still will be tragedy. And there still will be pathos. Because it is part of the price of being human. It goes with the deal.

But maybe we can stop the horror.

Edwin Kagin

May, 1999.

Jul 22 2012

The Ten Commandments Would Have Prevented the Shootings in Colorado

A fundy type, one Jerry Newcombe, has claimed that the shootings in Colorado were proximately caused, according to an excellent article by Justin Vacula , by “…lawsuits filed in attempts to remove displays of religion in the public sphere…” http://www.examiner.com/article/truth-action-ministries-church-state-activism-to-blame-for-colorado-shooting

According to this article, this opinion vender thinks all would be set to rights, and there would be no such horrible attacks on fellow human beings, if only the Ten Commandments could be available in public. Thus, he reasons, the evil happened because American Atheists, and other patriotic groups and individuals, want our government to follow our Constitution.

My, my. All we have to do, according to Brother Newcombe, seems to be to restore the Big Ten.

There is a great pooling of ignorance just now over the so-called “Ten Commandments,” found in the “Holy Bible,” with many holding the incorrect belief that they form the basis of the laws of our nation. This is not true of course because our nation is a democracy and democracy is not mentioned in the Ten Commandments or anywhere else in the Bible.

Unfortunately, many also hold the dangerously incorrect view that humans cannot live a moral life without this set of rules, and a few seem willing to use somewhat uncivilized means to insure that those rules are posted where everyone can see and benefit from them, no matter what the law says.

We know, of course, that all of the problems in our country have come upon us because our government ignored the clear instructions of the deity not to take his name in vain and have plastered it onto our money and improperly used it in the Pledge of Allegiance.

But in the event that those who hold that our earthly salvation hangs on Hanging Ten are correct, to help save the world, I here present the Decalogue in its entirety. Numbering, absent in the Bible, has been supplied in the traditional fashion.

Those who feel they cannot refrain from robbing, murdering, raping, stealing, etc. without this Bronze Age code to guide them can now have their very own copy by copying and printing this thoughtfully offered document, which can be easily enlarged or reduced as desired.

Readers can now “Hang Ten” everywhere they can find wall space to do so.

If everyone has their own copy to read or worship, and every child has one to put on the front of their school binder, we should not need to have further fuss over such debated issues as unlawful postings in schools, court houses, and other public places. There would be no need to do so, because everyone would have their own easily replaceable copy of the deity’s commandments. Some may want to paper their homes with them.

And, if the theory of those who want them displayed everywhere is correct, then crime, immorality, and all nature of bad things should soon disappear.

Readers can print all of the copies they want and distribute them freely.

Here presented as a public service by me are:

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

From the Holy Bible (King James Version of 1611), Exodus 20: 1-17:
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God,
which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

I. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

II. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

III. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the
LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

IV. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

V. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

VI. Thou shalt not kill.

VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

VIII. Thou shalt not steal

IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

X. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy
neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

There you are. Print them out and all will be set to right again.

by Edwin Kagin (the blurb, not the Big Ten)
© 2012 by Edwin Kagin.

Jul 20 2012

My Made in China Tool

 

Don’t know what it is called now. When I was a boy, it was called a pick axe or mattock. Wikipedia knows all about them and can tell you of them.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattock

My father, the minister, had such a tool for years. He used it to dig rocks out of the ground, chop through fairly big roots, and lots of other things. It was quite useful. It worked as it should. And it was made in the USA. My sister inherited it and probably still uses it.

In furtherance of one of my rare home improvement projects, I acquired a modern version of this classic tool. It has a yellow plastic handle, probably made out of three different  kinds of industrial waste, rather than the traditional wooden handle that was usually made out of hickory or ash. The advertisements on the display rack in the store (which I will not name to avoid the possible problem of a lawsuit against me for libel—which I could win because truth is a defense—over which I do not care to be bothered), said this yellow handle is stronger than wood. May be. It hasn’t broken yet. And it will not get the chance to do so.

This modern rendering of the farmer’s mattock was used once by me.

The first (and only) time I used the artifact was to attempt to dig a hole in the ground to plant some ornamental grass. No big deal and the ground was soft from several days of rain. However, there were some old tree roots in the place where the hole wanted to be. This digging and cutting project was the kind of duty a mattock was made to perform. A mattock made in the United States, that is. The same kind of mattock my father had bought in the USA before I was born, and used successfully the rest of his life. But this wasn’t a new version of my father’s mattock. My new tool was made in China.

There is nothing inherently wrong with something being made in China, or anywhere else. China has produced quality goods for centuries. Old Yellow Handle was not one of them.

One day recently I spent about an hour in a huge hardware store trying to find something that was made in America. The only thing I could find that was not made in some part of Asia, India, or somewhere else that was not my homeland, was Gorilla Glue, made in Cincinnati, Ohio.

And some people actually wonder why Americans do not have jobs.

If you want good tools that work, you should go to used-stuff stores, yard sales, auctions, antique stores, and that sort of thing. Most of those old, well used, tools will still do what they were made to do.

Here below is a photo of my tool a few minutes into its first use.

Jul 15 2012

I Know as Much about God as the Pope Knows about God, Part I.

Really, I do. I know every bit as much about god as the Pope knows about god. The Pope probably knows a vast amount more about church rules, customs, bank accounts, and beliefs than I do, but this does not give him the right to talk about god. Because he knows he knows no more about god than I know about god.

Clearly, this must be the case. Indeed, I might know more about god than the pope knows about god.

The Pope claims god is against abortions, yet god is the biggest abortionist of all time, causing the deaths of many millions of petri people before they ever even get to be in petri.

With god being such an active abortionist, it is difficult to understand how His Holiness can say, with any kind of straight face, that god is against abortion.

The Pope says god is against condoms (rubbers in my time) or anything else that could possibly prevent any couple in coitus from making another little miracle. Thus, the Pope’s god (the god) has no problem over people getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) because they are trying to make babies as the god said they should do, even though the god may abort such babies after they get started as a fertilized egg. And in this reported view of god, it is, according to the Pope’s understanding of god’s thought processes, better to die of AIDS, or some other deadly STDs, than to wrap the tool of personhood implantation in latex (alternatives readily available for the latex intolerant) thereby preventing a fertilizing intent sperm from seeking its target and keeping disease and death outside of the heaven forbidden flexible shield.

Clearly that Pope knows less about the god than I know about the god. Because I do not think it rational to say that the god wants people to die horribly when they need not do so, and it is irrational to say that the god is against abortion.

God makes miscarriages, i.e. abortions, happen to a lot of washed-out-of-the-uterus little miracle embryos. Those that have gone down the drain of destruction were taken away by the Pope’s god. Some of those that do not go down the drain are frozen into “snowflake children.” Really. There are adoption procedures no doubt under way somewhere in “god has his reasons” land.

The Pope’s understanding of the will of the god is that the god loves each of these products of conception as real live “people” that should, by law, be given “personhood.” The Pope, as mouthpiece for the god, says it should be a crime to in any way interfere with the development of a kicking, breathing human being after the sperm of a male human has been planted like a spear in the egg of the recipient of his sexual urges, in this analysis a female human. This goes on all of the time. Humans seem to like to engage in activities that cause the release of sperms seeking eggs to fertilize, and male and female humans practice the art of creating this situation all of the time. The activity is particularly popular on Fridays, Saturdays, holidays, prom nights, and honeymoons.

We will, for the next few blogs or so, look at other obvious reasons why I, or you, know as much about god as the Pope knows about god.

Readers contributions to this dialogue are most welcome.

Edwin

Edwin Kagin, © 2012.

Jul 10 2012

The Best Way To Make Hard Boiled Eggs.

Start with room temperature eggs. If not at room temperature, put them into a pan of tap water that is neither cold nor hot, and heat them up a bit on “low” until they get to roughly room temperature. We are not yet cooking the eggs; we are bringing the eggs to proper cooking temperature. It would be better if they were at room temperature to start with.

If an egg is not floating in the water, it is a good age. If it floats in the water, it is a bad egg and should be discarded.

When the eggs appear to be at room temperature, turn the cook stove to “High” (or build up the cooking fire) and get the water, with the good eggs in it, to boil. If you start off with room temperature eggs, put them in the tap water and bring the water to a boil with the eggs in it.

When the water starts to boil, add two (2) tablespoons of salt to the water.

Boil the eggs, water, and salt for twenty (20) minutes.

Turn off the stove.

Using hot pads or oven mitts, put the pan with the eggs and the salt and the water under a faucet in the kitchen, or wherever you do these kinds of things,

Turn on the cold water and let it run into the pan with the eggs, salt, and water until the water and the eggs are about room temperature, or cooler.

Remove eggs from the now cold water and dry them.

The shells will (should—this is not a precise science) come off of the eggs very easily without having to be pried off in a manner that disfigures the eggs and annoys you.

NB. It is anticipated that there will be all sorts of ill informed commentary on the above method of producing perfect boiled eggs. These will (may) include suggestions that 5 (five) minutes of boiling the eggs is enough, or that one should use vinegar, instead of salt, to create easy shell removal, or that the eggs should not be put into the water until the water is boiling. If you wish to test Edwin’s Theory of Boiling the Best Eggs, you are free to do so. This is not cultish material. Test out the other ways. Try to falsify the Edwinian way. That is how science works. Let us know the results of your experimentation.

Edwin
Edwin Kagin © 2012.
(Permission is hereby given to reproduce the foregoing, without profit, so long as credit is given.
If you make money on it, I want some of it. Edwin)

Jul 08 2012

Why the World Will End In Fire

It is 98 degrees in the shade before noon.

Maybe we have actually finally destroyed ourselves. Maybe the warming of our planet will continue faster than imagined and the ground will crack and the crops will not grow and the dried trees and grasses will ignite and spray all life with death and make a desert of our once green world.

Our only option will be to die well. No funeral expenses. We will all of us and each of us be melted and flamed.

Our species listened to the demands of the greedy to make more things and to the calls of the Church to make more children to consume more of the stuff of life to replace the good with poisons and to deny that the Earth was warming or they had anything to do with it and that it was either some god’s will or some god’s test of our faith that we do nothing to save ourselves.

And so we must all now die because of fools.

 

Edwin
© 2012 by Edwin Kagin.

Jul 02 2012

Pope Replaces Thomas Jefferson on Mount Rushmore

 

By Kathryn Kagin. (c) 2012. All rights reserved.

Reproduced by permission

Jul 02 2012

Porn Junction Revisited

Jul 02 2012

Christians At Play

Jun 24 2012

Sphinx Inquiry About Baptists.

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