Tag Archive: philosophy

Study the past“Never Again!”

These words have been used in the past 70 years since World War II ended. During that time, millions of Jews, Gays, “Gypsies”¹, and their supporters were put to death. Most were killed for their beliefs, some by association, many simply because of who they were.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of Godwin’s Law (of the internet):

“As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1”

The invocation of Godwin is used to prevent one side or another to equate evilness or incorrectness with the “Ultimate representation” of ‘Evil’ and/or ‘Wrong’ which for the lifetime of the Internet has been Hitler and the Nazi regime.

The problem with Godwin is two-fold. First on a direct level, secondly on a meta-level.

Directly, the use of “Hitler” and “Nazi” by equating them to “Evil” divorces us from the reason. In general this empowers the words “Evil and Wrong” and trivializes Nazism and the acts of Hitler as merely the natural or unnatural ‘limits’ of the definition of evil. We could just as easily say that anything good would inevitably equate out to Firefly. Eventually the context is lost beyond, Firefly was ultimately good.

I am a 47-year-old Jew. WWI did not affect my immediate family (at least without being removed by 2-3 degrees of cousin-hood). They only had the Russian Pogroms to deal with, and even then this is distanced by 2 generations from me. However, despite a lack of direct contact with these atrocities, I still have personal context as to the horrors done to my race, just as readily as even the most affluent person of color has to the horror of Watts, segregation, or slavery.

But there is a frightening and even more dangerous side to misusing the idea of Godwin’s Law. There is a tangible danger in the invocation of Godwin as a means to diffuse or worse avoid a needed conversation. This is especially the case when that conversation is in true comparison to what Hitler and Nazism represented.

There are many well-defined terms for the actions of the Nazi regime as created and directed by Hitler. All of which are put as off limits by misusing Godwin’s law if the comparisons strike to closely.

Genocide, Eugenics, Racial Superiority, Totalitarianism, Authoritarianism, Fascism, Radicalized Nationalism.

As a result of misusing Godwin’s law… there is a growing fear to confront these topics. Godwin gives a safe blanket to prevent us to from ever believing that we’re heading down the same road as has occurred in the past. Hitler… It could never be as bad as Hitler.

We forget that in 1938 Hitler was viewed in Time magazine as “Man of the Year” Consider at that time, that discussions concerning the most “Evil man in history” might have referred to Pizarro, Caligula, Ivan the Terrible, Nero, Rasputin, Torquemada, or Vlad the Impaler. Does the legacy of making Hitler the “ultimate evil” reduce the crimes of Pot Pol, Idi Amin, or Osama bin Laden?

By wrapping society in the safe blanket that we have seen the ultimate evil and it could never be worse condemns us in an instant to be granted the wish of being wrong. Even in the movies we know better than to posit “At least it couldn’t be any worse”

In 1938 people were singing the praises of Hitler. At least the media was. Hitler was a sense of nationalism to a very battered country. And nobody disagreed with him or his burgeoning government. Granted, by 1938 Hitler had given more power to the Schutzstaffel (SS) and the people that opposed him and his government were evaporating quickly. By 1938, Hitler had already been in power as Chancellor for 5 years. His popularity started building as early as 1927 from his policies and beliefs on a unification of all German speaking lands, the distrust of all Jews and any governing that gave the people any power. Any policy he didn’t approve of, was inevitably dismissed as part of a Jewish Agenda/Conspiracy. After 10 years of this… The US still said he was “Man of the Year.” After 3 years of bloody war, the US hadn’t entered. Not because of isolationism… but because we hadn’t decided which side we were on. Hitler was courting the US as an ally, and the bombing of Pearl Harbor made the decision easy.

Evil… is a relative and flexible term. In ‘entertainment’ we have moved from black and white into shades of grey. In life we talk about all of one ethnic group as evil, while a person who kills 10-15 people as potentially misunderstood.

Terrorism isn’t the act of destroying our bodies. It’s the act of destroying our souls and our wills.

It’s time to stop using Godwin as a crutch. It hides facing a potentially terrifying future which as a path that we’ve travelled down in the past. Stop using Godwin’s Law to excuse debate. Godwin didn’t want it.²

Words aren’t meant to be thrown around. Words are meant to represent something and to be as used as tools, shields, and weapons of truth for what they mean.

“Never again!”



1: A racial slur unto itself

2: “I Seem To Be A Verb: 18 Years of Godwin’s Law” – Mike Godwin; http://jewcy.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/i_seem_be_verb_18_years_godwins_law

Candles of LoveMy dear spouse, Heather​ and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s day. Nor Mother’s day, Father’s Day, etc. Many of these are toted as Hallmark Holidays. In other words, they are really designed as economy motivators to promote capitalism.

I saw a story on the news last night that “Winter Storm Neptune” (They’ll name anything) that this weather may be economically damaging because restaurants, florist, and a myriad of other retail outlets will lose business. Business based on self perpetuated false need. This is the day you are supposed to show love, that is the day you’re supposed to honour mothers or fathers. And of course don’t forget to buy your unreasonably, overvalued diamonds from the slave trade they don’t tell you about.

My issue is companies that create products for reasons they don’t care about. They sell flowers but they don’t give a rats ass if it’s out of love; trying to save your ass; or hoping it will be an easy in for being a sexual predator. This extends to diamonds as gifts, fast food, and super cheap retail that abuses their employees.

My take on all these holidays is similar to how the Jews treat Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is not the day you spend in Synagogue to assure you don’t sin. Yom Kippur is when you atone. It’s the day that you recognise, admit, embrace, and pray to do better over your failings for the last year.

I saw an interesting post that St. Valentine was pretty much killed and his body violated and we celebrate that with Pink Hearts.

Today… talk with your loved ones and ask them not what you can do today… but what you can do for all of next year.

To me… Love means “Not having to say ‘I love you'” It is a simple fact that you and your loved ones know. If that fact is ever weakened… you realise it and then you find the ways to make it better. Let me assure you… The Addams Family love each other dearly… In their world they throw knives at each other on a spinning board. (THAT is so hot)

I love my family. (ALL OF THEM) I also love the lovers that I rarely see. I also still love many of the people that I am no longer dating/in a relationship with. We parted because of situation. We parted because of difference. But I remember what made them special in my heart. And I love the people who truly do not know the depths of affection I have for them. (Let’s see how many friends freak out over this)

Today, I am away on personal business. I miss my family very much today, not because the vicious egrigore that is Valentines Day tells me that I have to. I do it because I always miss them when I am away from them. Today it’s just essential to step back and hold a shield and a sword to this day and say… You Are Not The Boss Of Me.

Aiden, Heather, Susan (and even David and Kelita) I love you so very much!

Joy, Jaisan, Jenn, Jade, (and people wonder when I talk about my Js)  (and in no specific order) Megan, Cristen, Carolyn, Stephanie, Andrea, Carrie, Kayla, Kori, Liz, Cyn, Lainie, Illy, Tess, Lynne, Erica, Holly, Kristie, Carleen, Cindee, Courtney, Deborah, Sooj, Ken… I will always love you. Even if I’ve never been able to, or had the opportunity to.

(I would never try to dare to put this list into order) Betsy, Prose, Joanna, Joa, Ananael, Winna, Barbara, Rebecca, Alex, Elissa, Deena, Dena, Emily, Erin, Erin, Hannah, Brianna, Gale, Jennifer, Amy, Michelle, Michelle, Nicole, Sandra, Kylie, Kris, Lecion, Pixi, Blue, Shira, Maeghanne, Maggi, Chrisa, Alice, Amanda, Kathy, Kathy, Kathy, Kat, Kate, (And people wonder why I’m a Kat person) Martha, Melissa, Melissa, Marie, Marie, Rubiee (And ’ember and even Nessa), Sami, Zoe, Holly, Mindy, Laurel, Kristina, Anne, Karin, Judy, Stacey, Al, Patrick, Adrian, and even Amy… And so many more that I can not think of. (And trust me, I resent myself for each person I haven’t thought of)

You will probably never know how much I have adored you; wanted to tell you how much I could love you, have grown to love having you as part of my life; have been privileged to begin to know you; have wanted/want you to be closer to me; could lay on a bed and just hold and talk with you (maybe while stroking your hair); could lose myself with you; and/or many other things (Not necessarily everyone of these for each of you… Sorry guys… Kinsey isn’t wrong about me) But if you’re ever honestly curious ask me.. I’ll be honest back to you. There is no need to ever feel the need to return my feelings or feel threatened by them. They simply are what they are… And I am in fact happy with our interactions… though it’d be nice to see and interact with each of you more often.

I am poly, because the love in my heart doesn’t diminish for anyone just because someone else gets a piece of that flame. There are a few people on this list that I have gladly given a piece of my soul to. No matter how far we may have drifted… no matter what has come between us, no matter if we ever talk again or if we find our way back to each other… I would never trade that memory, action, or feeling.

For each of you I have mentioned above… And for those that I am sooo sorry if I have left off the list. You’re existance and falling into my path in the universe makes me what I am. You have all touched me… Some of you I have tried to do the best by, Some of you I have lost touch with, and a few of you, I have been very dumb and horribly hurtful to. For that last, I curse myself for everything I have done and wish I had the opportunity to make amends. One in particular… I will never be able to apologise enough.

Today is not a day of love… it is a day of remembrance, and a promise to be better. Single does not mean alone… Single means accepting and loving and accepting the past… the good, the bad, the unrealised, and the downright horrible) and seeing a bright tomorrow.

I have never been single since the first person I loved past my own family.

I do not celebrate Valentines day. I celebrate love.

hc-questAs 10 minutes have just opened on my schedule and I didn’t get lunch, I’m taking 10 minutes of a philosophical smoke break. Here is my question:

Obviously I am in support of the ACA from what would be viewed as the left side because I believe in universal healthcare. I’m even more of a socialist here as that I don’t believe that healthcare should be a for-profit business but that is a larger issue. We live in a capitalist society where health care is for the most part for-profit. Doctors pay to be educated (at great expense), Medical innovations cost money, blah blah blah.

Many uninsured folks who had held off medical care until begrudgingly (and without insurance) would resort to emergency rooms will now have insurance so they do not have to wait until emergency care is needed. The offered solution there is to go to a PCP who they are now insured to see.

The statistic I am now seeing is that we as a nation have a dearth of PCPs. In general Primary Care doesn’t pay as much as specialization and even doctors are having problems covering medical education costs as PCPs and thus are choosing specialization.

So even though you now have insurance, there aren’t doctors available to take you on as a PCP and you are left still needing to use the emergency room as a first line of medical care.

While the long range fix I see is like the Peace Corps or the GI Bill where if you do service as a PCP in conjunction with being a specialist, the gov’t pays some of your medical education.

So… My questions to my other “labeled leftist friends”:

Are these statistics and observations accurate or merely more ‘Anti-Obamacare’ rhetoric?

Does this actually form the grounds of a problem with the ACA that does require further intelligent investigation and legislation? (Yes, don’t say it… I’m thinking it too)

Does this run the risk of the ACA actually causing problems that even the left can say, “We need to fix this, too”?

Of course this is a deep post and even putting it on FB and Twitter isn’t likely to get anyone to read or respond to it.

I love the idea of blogging. I love having a platform to stand on. It’s my place, my words, my ideas, my philosophies; It’s my ball, that I can take home when I will.

In the wise yet untested words of The Doctor,

“Am I an old misery? Life and soul? Right-handed? Left-handed? A gambler? A fighter? A coward? A traitor, a liar, a nervous wreck? I mean, judging by the evidence, I’ve certainly got a gob.”

So why do I post with such forthright interest and intent and then walk away for weeks or months at a time? Honestly, as I type this introduction I don’t have an answer. I do have some theories and speculations percolating; however, these could merely be excuses rather than a deeper understanding.

So, for anyone who bothers reading this (assuming I let anyone other than myself read it) you will be asked to accept a few things that happen on occasion in my posts.

1) This is written in the voice I speak in; not the voice that is used for written posts.

What this means is that I am going to write what I think, not for format. There will be sentence fragments, poor use of written punctuation fitting a written post, and occasional things left dangling more than occasional participles.

2) I will make effort to ignore the first item from time-to-time and write as if I cared about how it looks on the page.

What this means is that I will embellish, rewrite, run things through grammar and spell checkers, and do many things to try to reduce the lack of faith I and others have in my intelligence and measured solely by my writing quality.

Yes, I was one of those kids who cursed a B- that was graded down solely for the grammar and spelling especially when informed that it would have been an A+ paper for the content if the grammar hadn’t gotten in the way.

3) Unlike a lot of my writing there is no planned out organization in advance of my thoughts. I will write until I am content or bored. There is no outline for this post nor is there an expected narrative, nor (Crap linked negatives, stay with me here) intended direction. I’m just hoping for insight into my posting morass.

4) This trip is like driving cross country without a map, GPS, or asking directions.

What this means is that I’m going to let my ADHD out in its fullest so there will be digressions, side trips, and getting very lost.

Okay, rules are in place. They aren’t for you; they are for me. To reassure me that there aren’t any seat-belts and the car is full of gas.

I’m full of ideas.. I’m full of opinions… Why do I post with great intent and then walk away.

Digression the first… not the last… and probably not to be counted further.

Normally, I find myself most wanting to post when I am emotionally attached (Usually annoyed) enough to be wanting to talk on a topic. And there are plenty of topics I want to rip off about: (Politics, Social Justice, Organizational Dynamics, Media, The Patriarchy vs. Feminism, Stupidity, The Dumbing Down of our Culture, The Engineering of Our Cultures Apathy, Thelema, Fundamentalism, Fundamentalist Thelemics, oh the list goes on)

I also find that when vaguely depressed (which considering all these topics, can be fairly easy) that my desire to write about them gets mixed with sour feelings, apathy, and a general belief that nobody cares (including myself)

Tonight… I find myself neutral. I find myself desiring to write; but having nothing specific to write about. Which seems like a perfect time to turn the magnifying glass on the one thing that annoys me most but doesn’t have me depressed. My own writing.

As mentioned, I love to blog. I love to put the proverbial “It” out in the proverbial “there.” I have high admiration for many people out there who maintain constant media creation. My two highest regards are for “The Ferret” and for “Ken Ray.” Both of them create consistently powerful content. In the case of Ferret, he produces amazing writing. Every time I read his material I feel like running away and hiding. Even the most common things show me someone who lives life as fully as they can while still being a fully relatable human being. I am envious of his writing. Ken Ray has been podcasting as long as I believe people have been using the term podcast. He has a daily show that almost never misses and when it does miss a day he either warns people in advance or throws an announcement on. He may be the first person (not initially a commercial venture) to bring the concept of 5 9s (99.999% uptime) to a podcast.


There is a quotation from Aliester Crowley’s ‘Book of the Law’,

“For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.”

For those of a Thelemic bend I will now wax in a manner described as a Centre of Pestilence. To those uninformed of such punishments, I choose to interpret what this means. I do so for me, not you. If you disagree so be it, if you agree, you have to agree for yourself, not because I interpret it that way. 93==YMMV.

This concept of Lust of Result was something that took me a long time to understand and to navigate around. To me, the statement suggests that you do not do things for the recognition of the ends but you focus on the doing. Of course this begs the question, “But what about the idea that the ends justify the means?”

Many people get into blogging for the recognition. Lately I watched and quickly thereafter weaned myself off of a program on the SYFY (which like others I pronounce Siffee) cable station about Cosplaying. The accolade more important than the effort, the love, the pursuit of perfection… the show really wedged me away from the representation shown.

My wish to blog is not based in a desire to be a blogger. I don’t want any recognition for having an awesome blog. I don’t want people to flock to my blog because they heard it’s great for A or B or C or worse… Because it’s the blog that everyone is following. (A slight delay while I ask a friend for a vocabulary word I couldn’t remember) God help me if I cultivate hipsters and please stop me before I become a religious or philosophical icon.

I should point out that neither Ferret nor Ken Ray I believe are bloggers for the sake of being bloggers, I think their content speaks for itself. (Not the first of my potential self contradictions)

I’m trying not to run out of steam already.

So, I want to post; but I don’t want to post because I’m supposed to post. Isn’t that just a recipe for having an excuse not to have an excuse.

In general, I know that I can easily frighten myself off of a post. Partially with audience reaction, or the lack thereof; which is interesting when I think I should be posting for myself.

Now I’m pushing myself to write because I know that if I stop; this post will not get finished at least to a degree of what I want.

I find as I begin to lose steam, I allow distractions to intervene into my writing. Opening up chat conversations, looking up things on the interwebs, or in general losing my place in the writing.

I like Journaling. I like writing my thoughts but I really feel judged; even by me on them.

Let me do a recap.

I want to blog; I admire bloggers who have in my eyes succeeded without compromising what they are doing. I want my words to be what is important not the action of blogging. I want my words to have impact without impacting… Well, hopefully impact because of the thoughts not because I wrote them. (Yeah, that Lust of result thing… it’s a bitch) I want myself not to be scared of what I’m writing; but I don’t want to force myself into a block.

Are we having fun yet?

I think I see a trend. I think I see some things… Not sure what yet. But I think I might come back sooner rather than later… But then again… I probably won’t.

Sha… So, Doctor… Did I make any progress this session?

Book Meme

Taken from a post on the blog: “In Her Web She Still Delights

List 15 books you’ve read that will always stick with you: list the first 15 you can recall in 15 minutes. Don’t take too long to think about it.

In no particular order besides coming up with the list:

  1. Fahrenheit 451
  2. A Wrinkle In Time
  3. Flatland
  4. Planiverse
  5. Stranger In A Strange Land
  6. Cat’s Cradle
  7. Godel Escher Bach
  8. Liber Al vel Legis
  9. The Riverside Shakespeare
  10. Wizard of Earthsea
  11. Octagon
  12. Links
  13. Beneath Apple DOS
  14. Unix in a Nutshell
  15. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Composed on the bus ride to work