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Rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies © Robert Sommers 2017

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Clouds got in my way.

Amazing clouds and sunset yesterday evening in these parts. If you missed it, you really missed something. Unfortunately I had a really long lens on the camera and couldn't come close to grabbing it properly.


I managed to grab this one inadequate shot to give you a hint. Epic, nuclear and biblical. Angels singing, trumpets blaring, a lion tamer, the whole sheebang. Guess you had to be there.

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I have come to the conclusion that the whole world is suffering from a giant case of ADD. The new social and communication tools certainly aren't helping. Now Cecil the lion is muscling Iran off the front page, or was it the latest cop killing or another theater shooting? I forget. So glad I don't have television. Is this reality or the latest Marvel release? Sorry, the drone just knocked on the door, it's either the NSA or Amazon.

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I think the Trump phenomenon follows the Arnold phenomenon, which followed the Reagan phenomenon. Death Valley days and a chimp named Bonzo made Reagan a known commodity to the public, it familiarizes and humanizes them and it's a tremendous advantage for a candidate to be a known televised commodity. Usually doesn't end up real well, but I guess that's just my opinion.


Warren, who has gotten a little snarky and sort of borderline nasty with me of late, sent over this really interesting Camille Paglia interview in a chain letter which I was c.c'd, “Liberals think of themselves as very open-minded, but that’s simply not true!” Really good read, much of which I heartily agree with. If you don't tow the liberal party line, you are toast. No room for nuance or objectivity. White hats and black hats, baby.

You’re an atheist, and yet I don’t ever see you sneer at religion in the way that the very aggressive atheist class right now often will. What do you make of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and the religion critics who seem not to have respect for religions for faith?

I regard them as adolescents. I say in the introduction to my last book, “Glittering Images”, that “Sneering at religion is juvenile, symptomatic of a stunted imagination.”  It exposes a state of perpetual adolescence that has something to do with their parents– they’re still sneering at dad in some way. Richard Dawkins was the only high-profile atheist out there when I began publicly saying “I am an atheist,” on my book tours in the early 1990s. I started the fad for it in the U.S, because all of a sudden people, including leftist journalists, started coming out of the closet to publicly claim their atheist identities, which they weren’t bold enough to do before. But the point is that I felt it was perfectly legitimate for me to do that because of my great respect for religion in general–from the iconography to the sacred architecture and so forth. I was arguing that religion should be put at the center of any kind of multicultural curriculum.

I’m speaking here as an atheist. I don’t believe there is a God, but I respect every religion deeply. All the great world religions contain a complex system of beliefs regarding the nature of the universe and human life that is far more profound than anything that liberalism has produced. We have a whole generation of young people who are clinging to politics and to politicized visions of sexuality for their belief system.  They see nothing but politics, but politics is tiny.  Politics applies only to society. There is a huge metaphysical realm out there that involves the eternal principles of life and death. The great tragic texts, including the plays of Aeschylus and Sophocles, no longer have the central status they once had in education, because we have steadily moved away from the heritage of western civilization.

The real problem is a lack of knowledge of religion as well as a lack of respect for religion. I find it completely hypocritical for people in academe or the media to demand understanding of Muslim beliefs and yet be so derisive and dismissive of the devout Christian beliefs of Southern conservatives.

I have certainly taken my shots at religion but honestly I don't know how many of my religious friends put up with me? Because they are far more tolerant than I am, much less inclined to allow me my opinions and belief systems than I am of theirs.

You’re an atheist, and yet I don’t ever see you sneer at religion in the way that the very aggressive atheist class right now often will. What do you make of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and the religion critics who seem not to have respect for religions for faith?

I regard them as adolescents. I say in the introduction to my last book, “Glittering Images”, that “Sneering at religion is juvenile, symptomatic of a stunted imagination.”  It exposes a state of perpetual adolescence that has something to do with their parents– they’re still sneering at dad in some way. Richard Dawkins was the only high-profile atheist out there when I began publicly saying “I am an atheist,” on my book tours in the early 1990s. I started the fad for it in the U.S, because all of a sudden people, including leftist journalists, started coming out of the closet to publicly claim their atheist identities, which they weren’t bold enough to do before. But the point is that I felt it was perfectly legitimate for me to do that because of my great respect for religion in general–from the iconography to the sacred architecture and so forth. I was arguing that religion should be put at the center of any kind of multicultural curriculum.

I’m speaking here as an atheist. I don’t believe there is a God, but I respect every religion deeply. All the great world religions contain a complex system of beliefs regarding the nature of the universe and human life that is far more profound than anything that liberalism has produced. We have a whole generation of young people who are clinging to politics and to politicized visions of sexuality for their belief system.  They see nothing but politics, but politics is tiny.  Politics applies only to society. There is a huge metaphysical realm out there that involves the eternal principles of life and death. The great tragic texts, including the plays of Aeschylus and Sophocles, no longer have the central status they once had in education, because we have steadily moved away from the heritage of western civilization.

The real problem is a lack of knowledge of religion as well as a lack of respect for religion. I find it completely hypocritical for people in academe or the media to demand understanding of Muslim beliefs and yet be so derisive and dismissive of the devout Christian beliefs of Southern conservatives.

The interview is actually in three parts and I look forward to reading and digesting it more thoroughly. Maybe even challenge some of my own sacred cows.

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Lindsay Graham made another Israel/Iran holocaust reference today.
"The Munich deal would have made sense if Hitler just wanted German-speaking people under the German umbrella. Munich partitioning Czechoslovakia, and giving him more power and reenforcing his belief that the West was weak, was a terrible deal. He in fact, wanted to kill the Jews and have a master race," Graham told the Newsmax host. "This is a bad deal because the Ayatollah gets more money and more weapons and a clearer path to the bomb. Here’s what the deal does: It gives him a bomb, a missile to deliver and the money to pay for it. What would he do with a missile and the bomb? Does he feel compelled by his religion to attack Israel and destroy democracies like ours? I say yes."
What does Graham say here that is not absolutely factual and correct? I am sure that he will be completely lambasted. Because god forbid we ever bring up the holocaust in regard to the jews or Israel, it is now officially off limits and certainly not de rigueur. Risk being labeled a zionist war monger or something.

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I feel like a man without a country in the way. I can't stand either side, hate when people feel so confident that they are right. I don't want people to think the way I do, would frankly get scared if they did.

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Mullah Mohammed Omar is no more. The popular one eyed terrorist leader apparently died in Pakistan last year. They just don't make them like Omar anymore and I must assume that somewhere, the guy will be missed.

What a punim on the irascible taliban chief! It is said that he made a mean strogonoff, was always a willing fourth at bridge and would hum the entire Seals and Crofts discography when he wasn't too busy at work, reestablishing the global caliphate.

Hey Omar, we'll keep an eye out for you when we get to the oasis with the virgins and palms and all. You were a hoot. Cool partying with you, dude.

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Probably should kick back and have a smoke.



12 comments:

Anonymous said...

F- in history as Munich was about territory and dealing with Nazi Germany's overwhelming military might, not a bomb that is a "gleam in the eye". Self serving use of Hitler omitting Stalin,Genghis Kahn and Mao. Hard to believe in Israel centered universe that 60 Iranians million do not spend all day obsessing about Israel. Some even have families,need to make a living, and are interested in sex..warren

Sanoguy said...

During our Cold War with the Soviets, which lasted about 45 years, there was a concept referred to as MAD. That stands for Mutual Assured Destruction. The idea was if the Soviets launched a nuclear strike at us, we would fire back. We would each destroy the other. That concept probably kept us from having a nuclear war. Neither side wanted to be annihilated.

Why is the MAD concept not valid as it applies to Iran vs. Israel or, really, Iran vs. the rest of the world? Does anyone really believe that they are crazy enough to launch a strike against Israel or anyone else for that matter? I am sure Israel has enough nuclear capability to utterly destroy Iran, We do as well.

Blue Heron said...

Unfortunately Mike, and I hesitate to bring this up because certain people get pissy when I note that they have never been there and that their knowledge of the region is totally academic, not you I am speaking of, the offensive power in such a scenario as you envision, has a tremendous advantage. In a country that is nine miles wide at its narrowest point and really quite tiny, there will likely be nothing left after they entertain the first salvo. So any MAD philosophy is completely pyrrhic and certainly not a win in any way.

Sanoguy said...

BH, I disagree. I realize the small size if Israel, but, if Iran attacks them, we will respond in spades, I am confident of that.

Blue Heron said...

You don't get it Mike. It will be too late. Over. Nothing left. Kaput. Arrivaderci. Saynoara. That's all folks.

Anonymous said...

I do get it. If they destroy Israel, they will be destroyed. I have no doubt. I don't believe that Iran will commit suicide.

It is a dangerous world!

Mike

Blue Heron said...

Suicide is the standard currency in the moslem world, Mike. That is how they like to go out. This is from Issa Tabatabai:

“A Lebanese Shia cleric issued a fatwa saying, ‘Under the present conditions, fighting Israel is like committing suicide and suicide is haram in Islam.’ I quickly hurried back to Tehran to see Imam Khomeini and told him about the fatwa,” Tabatabai said. To fight back against the Israelis, the cleric asked Khomeini if suicide bombing could be justified under Islamic law. “Imam Khomeini said, ‘No, this is not suicide, this is martyrdom, this is jihad [holy war], this is definitely permissible.’ This is how I got the fatwa on suicide bombings from the imam and how everything changed in Lebanon ever since,” Tabatabai said.

Anonymous said...

I just don't believe they are going to risk obliterating their entire civilization.

M

Blue Heron said...

If they can get first licks in maybe the Iranians will be okay. Always going to break a few eggs to make omelets and you get a guaranteed trip to the 92 virgins to boot.

Anonymous said...

Robert..the problem I have with not having a deal now, is that I don't see another alternative short of war. I don't think another war in the Middle East does anyone any good... the residents of the countries in the area including the Israeli's nor the U.S. We would be opening Pandora's Box once more ( the first time for that was in 2003... And that did not work out so well).

I don't think that the coalition of countries that we have been negotiating with will hold together if we walk away from this deal.The Russians and Chinese will walk for sure and start trading with Iran. Hence, the chances of negotiating a tighter deal is not possible.

The Iranians having been working on their nuclear technology for years. They are smart people and surely know how to build a bomb. They also have most of the materials. I believe that having a treaty which does offer the probability of keeping track of what they are doing is our best bet.

We can always bomb them later!!!

In January, 2017.... President Trump, and Secretary of State Palin could always do that!

Your friend!

Blue Heron said...

Mike, I am not advocating anything one way or another. And even if I was, who gives a fuck what I think? I just think this president treats his allies like shit.

Anonymous said...

Uh nice sunset photo Blue. JH