Friday, January 31, 2020

Midnight in Washington

If you watched or listened to the Impeachment trial of DJT as much as I did, you probably agree that what we are going through in our government, our media, and in our social institutions is historic.  We are watching history walking through our lives in a way that many have never seen.

Not since the 1930's has the American public moved towards the de-evolutionary urges that are found in the current political landscape.  In his closing argument Adam Schiff characterized it as "Midnight in Washington."

Congressman Schiff does his best to awaken the souls of those who will vote their political expediency instead of their moral conscience.  This is history.

But he knows that it is Midnight in Washington.

He knows that the Senate Majority that did not want to bring the testimony of John Bolton into their deliberation is a majority that is not deliberating but instead perseverating.  They are mentally stuck and unable to shift gears.  They repeat and repeat that this impeachment reverses the election even though their VP and their party would still have the White House.  They can't go beyond their own talking points to allow the  light in to see the possibility that their leader has corrupted their party, the executive branch, and the institutions that touch it.

Some would say that the R's are voting out of fear.  If this is true, then we are indeed in a dark time of ignorance....for fear is indeed a scary thing.

This Un-President will take his coming not-guilty verdict next Wednesday and attack everyone and thing that he blames for his richly deserved impeachment.  He will attack Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff.  His sycophants will gather in the White House to laugh and clap at his off color remarks as he basically threatens revenge on all who would stand in opposition to the imbalance that reigns supreme in his infantile ego state.

Meanwhile, the Coronavirus threatens our social welfare  as cities, ships, and travelers become quarantined and markets react with uncertainty. All the while, Climate Change continues to stalk our civilization into a corner brought about by our own inaction and the inherent greed of our economic system.

So where do we go from this dark night?

How do we right our ship?

Is the answer an aging lovable Jewish socialist, a moderate but damaged vice-president, a  super- bright young gay mayor from Indiana who speaks 7 languages, or a energetic female Harvard professor from Oklahoma?  Or is the answer a real oligarch from New York?

As the Poet says, "There is a crack in everything...that's how the light gets in."

Maybe this Unpresident will overplay his hand, maybe the plague will kill his economy, maybe the far right fascist will march with their torches one time too many and light the hearts of  Christians everywhere.

Maybe Frogs will drop out of the sky.

Maybe the Dawn will come.


And here is Mitt Romney Feb 5th, 2020. The first senator ever to vote for impeachment of a president from his own party....THE FIRST

I can run no more
With that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places
Say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up
A thundercloud
They're gonna hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in 

Leonard Cohen

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Monday, December 30, 2019

The Trouble

The end of the year cannot be discussed without talking about impeachment.  DJT, the impotus, has finally reached his rightful place in history as only the third president to ever be impeached. If the "R"s are right about anything, it's that this event was seen as necessary from the day he was elected with 3 million less votes than his opponent.  We have arrived here not because of the "D"s, but because of the man himself, and the party and its base that will not put the good of the nation over the power they crave.

So as the world ends another year without significant action on  Climate Change, we focus on the Trouble of our body politic.

Perhaps the most surprising and well crafted speech of the entire process came from  Steny Hoyer, the Majority Leader:

In this speech, Rep Hoyer is the first D that I can remember who responds to the Republican cry that this process reverses the vote of 63,000,000 voters.  "There has been a lot of talk about the  63 million votes for DJT, little talk of the 65,000,000 who voted for Hillary Clinton."

In a clear and slow delivery, Rep. Hoyer crafts a story of the need, indeed the constitutional obligation for the House to pursue impeachment.

Immediately after, Speaker Pelosi announced that she would not send the impeachment articles over to the Senate until she was satisfied that the Senate would do its constitutional duty and hold a fair trial of the evidence.  Only then would she appoint the prosecutors from the house to pursue removal.

A few days later, in the well known Christianity Today,  Editor Mark Galli wrote this equally brilliant and well crafted editorial about DJT:

It’s time to say what we said 20 years ago when a president’s character was revealed for what it was.

"We love and pray for our president, as we love and pray for leaders (as well as ordinary citizens) on both sides of the political aisle.

"Let’s grant this to the president: The Democrats have had it out for him from day one, and therefore nearly everything they do is under a cloud of partisan suspicion. This has led many to suspect not only motives but facts in these recent impeachment hearings. And, no, Mr. Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story in the House hearings on impeachment.

"But the facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.

"The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused."

Galli goes on to quote from CT regarding their positions regarding President Clinton during his impeachment and then writes:

"To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. 

"If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come? Can we say with a straight face that abortion is a great evil that cannot be tolerated and, with the same straight face, say that the bent and broken character of our nation’s leader doesn’t really matter in the end? "

Galli closes his argument with this:

"To use an old cliché, it’s time to call a spade a spade, to say that no matter how many hands we win in this political poker game, we are playing with a stacked deck of gross immorality and ethical incompetence. And just when we think it’s time to push all our chips to the center of the table, that’s when the whole game will come crashing down. It will crash down on the reputation of evangelical religion and on the world’s understanding of the gospel. And it will come crashing down on a nation of men and women whose welfare is also our concern."

Of course, those who still embrace this gross immoral president, clamored back.

But new subscriptions at Christianity Today have outweighed cancellations by 2 to 1.  And that is the ratio we will need in the Senate to rid this nation of this trouble.

But it won't end.

Not while the Russians are running the "R"s.

And the "R"s are running Red.

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Saturday, November 30, 2019

A Death We Can Survive

It occurred to me just recently that the world's inability to actually respond to the climate change emergency should not be considered odd or irrational or perhaps even insane. Rather, it is the natural response of any organism that upon understanding that some day it will die, uses it's creative power to manage that understanding.

Humans especially.

We have learned that in order to keep the thought of our impending demise from destroying our ability to enjoy the life that we have, we as the mafia phrase goes, "Forget About It".  We forget about it by inventing a belief system that we don't really die, but rather, we will translate our consciousness into another realm called heaven or the happy hunting ground or wherever.  Or, we will add our life of experience into a soul field that will reincarnate into another individuated life form at some future time.  Clearly, our rational fear of death brings about arguably irrational belief systems and behaviors.

Few of us are able to make the knowledge of our mortal end an ally in our path through this field of light and time.  Making death an ally is a rare trait and gift.

And so it is true of the knowledge of the death of our civilization, at least as we know it.  Some of us simply ignore it, some of us come up with elaborate schemes to marginalize its reality, some believe that the same God that will take them to heaven will handle it without their active response to deal with it.

Death, whether individual or civilizational is a tough thing to digest.  Yet, most of us go to doctors when we get sick.  Some of us go to our doctors early and do what we should to avoid sickness.  Many of us eat less meat, avoid fatty fast foods, and get enough sleep so our bodies can repair themselves as we rest. We do this to remain healthy.

Some of us do something similar with our world body.  We go to city council meetings, we march every now and then, and some of us go to large global meetings sponsored by the UN or C 40.  This from the Guardian:

"The World's governments will meet in Madrid this December to discuss the climate emergency, it has been confirmed, after a last minute intervention by the Spanish government to save the talks.

The Conference had been set to take place in Santiago, Chile, but the government of President Sebastian Pinera decided on Wednesday to call it off because of the unrest in the capital.  Scores of people have been killed and injured in weeks of rioting over economic inequality and social problems.

After Chile withdrew, there was concern that the annual talks might have to be scaled down, postponed or even abandoned.

However, on Friday afternoon, the UN's top official on climate change, Patricia Espinosa, issued a terse statement that COP 25 would go ahead on the original dates, 2-13 December, but in Madrid.

Scientific warnings have become increasingly insistent that time is running out to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stave off the worst damages of global heating. But international negotiation under the UN have been slow and plagued by upsets and backsliding, such as the US plans to withdraw from the Paris agreement, Brazil's rejection of its commitments by President Jair Bolsonaro, and the rise of political populism in other regions."

The big thing at these talks is to try to come up with the most rational and fair approach that the governmental community can devise to account for the rather large reality that in the world economic system right now, it is legal to emit chemicals and climate changing gases into our common air without paying a tax or a fine or even a tipping fee.  Imagine a city where everyone simply discharges their human waste right on the street.  You don't have to imagine it in some cities today.

Should we limit CO2 emissions by country or by per capita?  China may emit the most with their large population, but in terms of per capita emissions, each Chinese citizen emits 5 tons of carbon while each American is responsible for almost 20 tons.

Political strategies range from a carbon tax to carbon trading to carbon sequestrations and combinations of them all.  Given that the Madrid Conference is sponsored by large, yet progressive energy companies like Iberdrola, it's not hard to imagine that progress will be at least slow.

But the world's scientists are telling us that this is an emergency.

Yet, I believe that most of us don't consider it that way.  It's more like death.

It's inevitable.  And there's not much we can do about it.

Or perhaps will do about it.

For example, if you know that the climate change emergency is real and you don't drive an electric car right now, you are missing an opportunity to show yourself, your family, and your friends that you  really do care about our world body...that you understand that only electric driving can be powered by carbon free electric power plants.

That the horsepowered world we have known for 100 years will and must pass on.

It will be a death we can survive.

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Monday, October 21, 2019

The Future We Want

Thanks to Mayor Adler and his appointment of me to be a Special Envoy for the City, Dr. D and I found ourselves on a 777 headed for Paris in early October.  We were ultimately headed for Copenhagen which would be the site of the World Mayor's Summit, a C 40 event dealing with climate change.

We decided to spend several days in Paris, mostly to see my pal Jim Haynes.  Jim has been my anchor in Paris for over 30 years ever since he spent the night at one of my apartments in Austin in the late 80s while he was on a book tour.

Jim Haynes is the guy in Paris who has a Sunday night dinner at his house in the 14th arr. every Sunday, and he has been doing that for decades.  This from Wikipedia :

In 1966 Haynes relocated to London in the middle of the "swinging 60s". He became deeply involved in the underground cultural scene, co-founding the alternative paper International Times, known as "I.T.", together with Barry Miles, John Hopkins, and others.[1]
In September 1967 Haynes co-founded the Drury Lane Arts Lab space for mixed-media; it closed in late 1969. That year he co-launched with William Levy, Germaine Greer and Heathcote Williams Suck newspaper in Amsterdam to promote sexual freedom; it was also distributed in the United Kingdom. The first issue contained a long and unrestrainedly descriptive erotic poem attributed to W. H. Auden and an explicit photo of Germaine Greer.
In 1968 he co-founded Videoheads with Jack Henry Moore in London.
In 1969 Haynes moved to Paris, where he taught Media Studies and Sexual Politics for 30 years at the University of Paris. He frequently held open house dinner parties on Sundays in Paris, and published an irregular newsletter about his life and times. In addition he has written an autobiographical memoir, titled Thanks for Coming."
We were pleased to learn that Jim was still holding his dinners but now just the first Sunday of the month.  We had learned from other mutual friends who had just come back from Paris that Jim had a serious health event  that had knocked him off his feet for several months, but that he was on the mend.  (He was born in 1933)

We elected to take the Uber deluxe down to his place in Alesia.  It's hard for me to say something nice about Uber, but in this case it is easy.  They were fast, efficient, and reasonable.

Jim is such a good and genuine human being.  He loves people.  And he has touched perhaps a half a million lives in his soon to be 86 years. His autobiography is worth the read.  And the documentary of his life entitled Meeting Jim  should soon see distribution.

In one of my favorite escapades, Jim once developed and printed up an Earth Passport.

As he said, "I got into a little trouble for that"

By Tuesday, we were on our way to Copenhagen for the Summit.  We arrived a few days early so we could see and walk the city.  I had been told that the city employed bicycle transportation extensively but you have to see it to believe it.  Fully 50% of all trips are made on bicycles of every stripe. Whether it is raining, you have children, or you are an executive, Copenhagen loves their bikes.

At the C 40 Summit, the production values were really strong.  Bloomberg does it right.  The curved screen behind the speakers was at least 100 feet wide.  It was a strong backdrop for great speeches from Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, from Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of LA, for Al Gore, for the Secretary General of the UN, for the Mayor of Rome, and for the Mayors from every continent.

When I bumped into one Mayor, I asked how big is Karachi?  "Guess?" he said.  "A lot!" I responded.

He responded 30,000,000.  I said if he was a state in the US he would be the 2nd most populous.

He liked that.

The closing speech was delivered  by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and it was a hum-dinger.  Inside the naturally lit, tree covered conference hall, once empty seats were now taken.  She spoke passionately of a Global New Green Deal.  The standing ovation she received agreed.  And the new Chairman of C40, Eric Garcetti is on board with that direction.

The 100 Mayors attending represented 25% of World production and population.  Inside that Summit, the future we want not only seemed possible, it became an imminent reality.  For two days I lived in a bubble of hope that we just don't get to feel in the US.

Now that bubble must harden into a crystal ball of prophesies and actions that will transform the entirety of our little blue ball so it will once again become a suitable habitat for all of life.

The Future we Want,

Must become the Future we Demand.

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Monday, September 30, 2019

Our 130th Birthday Party

I turned 70 years old this September.  And my partner turned 60 in late August.  So we decided to have a 130 year celebration on the Equinox. We did it at the big house.  It's not that big, but by using the outside courtyard in back and the large front porch, we can entertain about 125 people.  And we had that plus some.  Since it was a UT football game night, we were nervous about the parking so we urged everyone to Uber/Lift over and quite a few did.

We like throwing big parties.  For the most part, we produce them.  That means we do most of the work like renting the tables and linens, the plates and the silverware, putting up the tents, and giving the house and outside areas a good 3 year cleaning. We could not have done it without Ted and Kevin, and a host of others, including my grandson Lex and his pal Will.

It all starts of course with a good invitation.  Then we have to line up the entertainment.  We were lucky to get Kimmie Rhodes, an old friend and prolific song writer.  She brought along her son Gabe, who is one of the better guitar players in Austin these days. We also got Beth Lee and the Breakups for after dinner.  After many years of hard work, she may be on the verge of a break out herself.

With all that talent, we of course had to have really good sound for our two stages. That includes stage monitors and sound checks.  My experience from the old Armadillo days seems to always pay off in wonderful ways.

As for food, we brought in food with our favorite dishes from our favorite restaurants.  We had food from 34th street, Asti, Utchico, Santa Rita, and Quatro Gatti. We served our favorite wines and our house specialty drink was  the Moscow Mitch, basically a Moscow Mule with a little bitch in it.

I planned some smart seventy year old stuff to say and I think I said some of it:

"Thank you all for coming…I want to offer an apology for the heat.  I spent most of my adult career fighting climate change and pretty clearly even with all the great battles we have won over these years, I fear we are losing the war.

I also want to apologize for the lack of parking. The connection to the previous sentences should not be lost on us.

Many of you know how I often talk about how being human is a struggle between being in your Buddha Mind or your Bubba Brain, and somewhere in-between.  And how being the best of who “you are” is what matters in life.  Not the best of who “you think you should be”, but the best of who you really are... that we should be kind,  be thoughtful, and be respectful as Steve says, of place, others, and self.

In short, most of us try to not be an asshole.  But we also need to be courageous, to be smart, to be focused, and in some cases cunning.

I told Cousin Lisa that when I was pretty young,  I made a vow to peak in my sixties…And in many ways I was successful.  Seventy seemed like a really long way away back then.  As the invitation said, I thought it would take a lot longer to get old.

Later in the evening,  Mayor Adler came by and made the announcement that he had appointed me to be Special Envoy to the World Mayor's Summit in Copenhagen.  This event is a C40 event primarily sponsored and funded by Mike Bloomberg.  In my view, C40 is now the most important governmental organization dealing with Climate Change.  

After the Mayor's announcement I read out of one of my favorite little books called "Spiritual Notes to Myself" by Hugh Prather.

"One man drinks beer, watches television, wildly cheers for his team at games, and sometimes says, Pull my finger"  Another man reads books, attends meetings on spiritual subjects, and at games, takes no sides.  We say the second man is more spiritual than the first. Yet the first man may be a very loving father, a devoted spouse, and a good friend, whereas the second man may be righteous, rigid and uncaring.  We all know relationships in which one partner attends the meetings and talks the talk, and yet his or her spiritually illiterate partner clearly is a better human being.  Even most little kids are better human beings than the adults around them-and young children can't even grasp a spiritual concept! 
As we awake, our actions will change.  But we can't awake by changing our actions."
We awake through the Heart. We grow in the Buddha Mind.  And the Decades, they run like a River.

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Frank Alan Osborne

Frank Alan Osborne  1946-2019

About three weeks ago, I got a call from my brother's son.  He asked me if I knew about my older brother Frank.  I responded that I had just talked with him on Friday, but tell me what's happening.

Apparently, Frank was rushed to the hospital there in Dallas on Tuesday morning after a really bad night.  It was now Thursday, so I booked a ticket for an evening flight to Dallas and rearranged my schedule to make it happen.  I called Frank and he answered sounding a little out of breath but basically more or less OK.  I wondered if maybe his son was a little over reacting to talk about DNR's with the doctors.

When I got to Dallas,  I called again after checking into the Melrose Hotel.  He was tired so I caught some dinner.  The next day, I got to his room just in time to watch a covey of white coats come into the room.  The head doctor asked if she could be frank with me in the room.  Frank made a joke, then corrected his tongue in cheek response.  As she was getting into to her speech about how grave his condition was, Frank interrupted, "Now let's not be so pessimistic, I intend to be out of here by Saturday or so."

Frank had been a successful businessman for 45 years and he was not about to be told he was going to pass.

Later that afternoon, after spending 4 or 5 hours of quality time together, I left thinking I would catch the flight back to Austin so I wouldn't miss a dinner engagement with friends.  When I got in the hotel car, I began to sob, and I realized what a dumb plan that was.  I went back to the Hotel and called my Dr. partner and asked her to fly up to Dallas too.  We spent the next 2 days with Frank and his wife and family.

When we left, he said, "I'm going to make your 70th Birthday party in September."

For the next week, I called him everyday and listened as his voice grew weaker and his need for oxygen increased.  His lungs were basically shot.  Then he went into intensive care.  Then he got a Tracheotomy.  The Staff infection in his lungs was on its way to another morbid victory.

Frank was three years older than me.  Once, when I was four, while living in Amarillo, a bully named Craig, pulled us both in our little red wagon out into the large sticker laden vacant lot that would someday be Wolflin Village.  Craig then left us in the sticker patch barefooted.  I remember Craig laughing as he walked away.  Frank pulled us both to safety, he doing the pulling, me doing the crying.

As a young man Frank was credited with saving the life of the foreman of the Chambers Ranch as a sand bank collapsed burying the crew.  Frank was a trained Eagle Scout and his quick response and mouth to mouth resucitation brought Mr Schaef back from apparent death.

When he was three years old, he found a picture of Jesus and asked Aunt Francie who is this?  Francie said, "that's Jesus Christ".  Frank responded, "well it's a good picture of him".

Thus began Frank's long life of opinion.

When I graduated from high school, we went to Europe together for three months. We traveled to Rome, to Paris, to London, to Munich, and all over in our $450.00 red Volkswagon.  Frank accidentally hit a bicyclist in Italy which almost got problematic.

Frank and I were business partners in conjunction with our mother. We bought real estate in Austin, fed cattle in the panhandle, and bought oil deals in Oklahoma.  And even though we had been room mates in college, and I had been his best man in his marriage, we pretty much  drifted apart in the eighties.  And it wasn't until about 10 years ago, that we found each other again.

That came about for several reasons; one, my therapist brought me to understand that hating your brother for his political beliefs wasn't that smart, and two, Frank joined AA.  Also, our mother passed.

On Saturday August 10th, I once again headed for Dallas thinking that we were somewhere between the beginning of the end and the end of the end.  It was the latter.

Frank passed at 7:09 there in the Clements Southwestern Hospital.  He was surrounded by his wife, son, daughter, grandson, daughters in law, son in law, a former business partner, and his younger brother who knew him longer than any of them.  But they knew him better.

Here is their version that they posted as his obituary:

Frank Alan Osborne, faithful husband, devoted father, and beloved grandfather, peacefully passed into the Kingdom of God on Saturday, August 10, 2019. He was in the loving presence of his wife and family. Frank was born in Amarillo, Texas, on June 27, 1946. The firstborn son of Joan Chambers Osborne of Canadian, Texas, and Jack Harold Osborne of Miami, Texas, Frank spent his youth earning his Eagle Scout badge, learning to ranch and wrestling up trouble on the wide-open ranch lands of the Texas Panhandle.
Outside of school, ranch work and play, one of his favorite pass-times was smoking cigarettes, a hobby he took up at the age of 14. Hours before Frank’s passing, he asked, please write in my obituary that I died from lung cancer, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, and emphysema. We expect he wanted this written as a public service announcement against smoking.
In his early college career, Frank attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he joined the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He finished his studies at the University of Texas at Austin graduating with a BBA from the College of Business Administration in the Spring of 1969.
Frank met the love of his life, Jane Anne Osborne, his senior year of college. He hastily proposed to this beautiful woman from high school. Knowing she was way out of his league, he married her within the year. Frank and Janie would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this November, a feat Frank boasted proudly to all who would listen.
The young couple began their life together and started a family in Lubbock, Texas, where Frank had a successful banking career. Yet being a family man was Frank’s most important ambition, so after 15-years of banking, he and his young family returned to their childhood home of Pampa, Texas, to raise their kids with extended family.
Until retirement, Frank served as the Chief Financial Officer of the family-owned and operated oil and gas business. A devout Christian, Frank served on the vestry and as treasurer at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. He loved to coach his son’s soccer games and sleep through his daughter’s dance recitals. When his children moved to Dallas to attend college, Frank and Janie soon followed. Family always first. Frank’s life is characterized by three pillars of dedication – his faith, his family, and Alcoholics Anonymous. Frank had a zeal for the Lord and an insatiable appetite to grow in understanding his calling as a child of God. Both his home and office bookshelves overflow in theological texts and personal journals on his spiritual musings.
To his last breath, Frank wanted nothing more than to be there for and to be with his family. His wife, children, and grandkids felt likewise. Frank’s calling as a Christian servant was fulfilled in his passion and commitment to the men and women of Alcoholics Anonymous, where he brought both leadership and compassion to his multi-level involvement. His thoughtful, articulate manner of expressing himself was an inspiration to all who knew him and his leadership on The Adult Rehabilitation Ministry Executive Board was an excellent example of how he put servanthood to others above his personal needs.
Loved ones who will miss Frank until we meet again are his wife Janie Osborne, daughter Erin Osborne Schmerbeck, son Ryan Osborne, son-in-law Vic Schmerbeck, daughter-in-law Susanne Osborne, grandchildren Sarah Kate Farmer, James Farmer, Estee Piccagli, Reese Osborne, and Sydney Osborne, brother Michael James Osborne, sister-in-law, Dana Sprute, and brother-in-law Rick Leverich. A memorial service will be held in the chapel at Saint Michael and All Angels Church, 8011 Douglas Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75225 on Tuesday, August 13, 2019, at 3:00 PM. A celebration of Frank’s life will follow at Dallas Country Club from 4:00-6:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, Frank would be blessed by a contribution to Alcoholics Anonymous – 

Frank was a pretty rich man.  His house at 3900 Stonebridge in Dallas earned him an internet posting as the "King of Turtle Creek".  For the last year, He and Janie lived high up in the Ritz Carlton in a big residence with a huge covered patio and outside areas on three sides.

But like many successful men who are looking at their mortal end, Frank grew more and more spiritual in his later years.  In one of our last talks alone, he talked about the writings of some Jesuit Priest that he liked a lot.  As he talked about the writings, I interrupted and said,  "Do you mean Pierre Teilhard de Chardin?  He is one of my favorites."

"Yes", he said.

We had reached our own Omega Point in our own Noosphere.

And there was no place left to go.

So long cowboy, Vaya con Dios.


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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Mendacities of Madness

The press doesn't seem to know how to handle the amazing river of mendacity that flows from DJT's mouth or wherever.  But with the R's, its been going on for decades.

Here is a piece I wrote in 2006. (some of the links are dead)

The Liars Paradox


Here is Jon Stewart on the recent Politburo elections.

Wow, why do all of these guys look like car salesmen?

Actually, I'm rather fond of car salesman.

They are equal opportunity opportunists who will full pop their


and then brag about it.

They have transcended right and wrong.

Many many years ago when I was a young ad man,

I decided to work for Car Dealers,

because I knew where I stood with them,

(they were liars)

Then one afternoon, one of them told me,

"You know Max, car dealers always lie."

I was stopped in my tracks.

I knew I had heard a modern day version of the Creton paradox.

The Creton Paradox is a bipolar paradox

Bipolar paradoxes are meta statements (statements that refer to themselves) that result in a self contradiction. The classic bipolar paradox statement is “All Cretons are liars” voiced by a Creton. If the statement is true, then, when applied to the statement, we conclude the Creton lied and, hence, all Cretons are not liars – a clear paradox. "

Statements like,

I am lying now.

This statement is false.

They all fall in the same category.

So, if all Republicans are liars,

Let's hope that we do not hear a Republican say it,

For then it will be a bipolar paradox,

instead of the truth.

And then they will be just like the car dealers.

Now, if a Republican is also a car dealer,

we get into some serious metaphysicalities.

It's like trying to figure out if its a worse sin when a priest

uses a rubber.

But the paradox with Republicans is even deeper.

Why would these conservatives be liberal with our finite resources?

Why would these lovers of individual rights support warrentless spying?

Why would these fiscal conservatives be fiscally irresponsible?

Why would they protect life in the womb

and destroy it everywhere else?

Why would they come to Washington to bring integrity,

and instead bring corruption?

Perhaps Bertand Russell has the answer.

Here is the end of his Nobel prize address.

"Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power. When you see large masses of men swayed by what appear to be noble motives, it is as well to look below the surface and ask yourself what it is that makes these motives effective. "

For as Lord Acton said,

"Power tends to corrupt, and

absolute power corrupts absolutely."

That may be a paradox,

but it's no lie.

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art courtesy of Sergey Kryshtapovitch
posted by oZ @ 12:07 PM

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