Pete Buttigieg

Every once in a while I am tempted to switch over to a am news talk radio show.  I used to find them fun. Now I can’t bring myself to listen for more than a few minutes. Case in point is when I turned on one such show recently.  It was a guy talking about

grayscale photo of vintage radio beside stove with cooking pot

Photo by Brett Sayles on

being religious.

This Limbaugh want-to-be wanted said that he is not in favor of people picking the parts of the Bible they want and ignore the parts they don’t want to follow. Sounds reasonable.

Except that every single fundamentalist does this.  They don’t believe they do. Yet they must do mental gymnastics to go around some things.  The acceptance of concubines and letting men rape their daughters. The Bible says that if someone commits adultery, then they and the spouse they cheated on must be killed. (Do they only know the parts of the Bible that is fun to quote!)

He said something about following what Jesus said. If that’s the case, he did not say anything about homosexuality.

So, unless you vilify those that get a divorce as much as someone that is gay. Mark 10:11-12 states: Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery, then you are cherry picking your Bible.

However, I do not disagree with this guy. Believing that you should embrace all aspects of a religion you belong to is the reason….

I stopped going to church.


A Fan in Barn Boots

I recently bought The book Montaigne in Barn Boots By Michael Perry.  I buy every book Mr. Perry puts out as well as his musical CDs.  Here is my review:

In Montaigne in Barn Boots, Mike Perry reflects on the writings of Montaigne as he compares it to his own personal philosophy. For me, I dipped my toes in Montaigne’s essays and they quickly went numb. However, Mr. Perry made those essays with his down-home folksy similes and metaphors easy to understand . I fear that comes off less than a compliment, but it is a compliment. Those comparisons were dead-on and unique.

Even Mr. Perry questions presenting another memoir from him. Do we want to hear more of Mike’s life and his beliefs? Do we want him to get more personal? This books gives a resounding yes. He writes about his own life to investigate what being human means. He is so effective that he can write a whole book discussing himself without over-indulging and getting over personal.

Yes, Mr. Perry, we want more.  We want to know about the man off-stage and those subjects you have not broached. And Mr, Perry we want you to get very personal without going to far and being respectful of our tender sensibilities.

That was his undertaking and he was successful. He does both. For example, he lets us know that his marriage is more than just love poems to her. He reveals that he does have a marriage like ours with its ups and downs while still being as reverential to his wife as our wives wish we would be.

Train of Thoughts


I am not an expert on happiness. I do not even have my crap together. But my biggest advice is to realize that our brain is wired to look for problems- problems in others and ourselves. It’s a survival instinct. That is why we are so quick to judge others and especially ourselves.

What should we do about it? Listen to our thoughts and realize they are just thoughts. It doesn’t mean they are the truth. Our minds are a train station. Thoughts come in, but we decide if they get off the train. We can always decide to let them go past. We can decide to send a thought packing.

Becoming Oprah

I have a confession to make. I like Oprah. Particularly her message about journaling. This woman has achieves her goals with having a lot against her. Oprah had a dysfunctional family. She grew up in poverty and was sexually abused.

And she credits what she has to gratitude, believing that if you want more out of life, you need to focus on what you have and not what you don’t have.

Gratitude changes your way of thinking. We rewire our brain to look for good things- if we see them, and believe we can achieve them, our brain works out a way to get what we want.

We all know people that are complainers- the only see problems- do we want to spend time with them? We want to spend time with joyous people- happy people attract others. Thoughts are like people in that way.

There is a good argument that this “think positively” edict causes trouble, I understand it. If you have trouble with it, then you can  get stressed out. Some people may need medication to help them. Its a chemical imbalance. No more shameful that needing insulin for diabetes.


Science Says People Like You More Than You Know

It reminds me of the thought that at every moment, someone is thinking about you.


Source: Roungroat/Rawpixel

What goes through your mind when you’re meeting new people? Maybe you’re centered and at peace with yourself, secure that you have value to bring to the conversation. Just kidding. That’s not true for most of us. More likely, you’re lasering into an almost imperceptible social guffaw you committed, convinced that your conversation partner would rather be undergoing surgery of the Achilles tendon from a shoddy doctor than talking to you. 

This type of self-critical thinking explains what’s called the “liking gap.” The liking gap describes how we systematically underestimate how much other people like us. In a study by Dr. Erica J. Boothby, at Cornell University, and her colleagues, the researchers asked people how much they liked one another after they interacted, across a variety of contexts: in the lab, in a college dorm, at a professional development workshop. It turns out that across all of these contexts…

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Kids today don’t have a work ethic.

We tell teens and young adults that they are in the best time of their life. Because we wish we could be young again. We don’t think about how hard that time of life was. Especially today. Being adult is hard and becoming one is harder today- it seems can seem insurmountable. Good jobs that can take care of their bills and health care is scarce. Good relationships that can inspire are few and far between. Meanwhile social media shows them everyone’s best life (staged) and they compare it to the suck of their own lives.

Kids today don’t have a work ethic. True or not, it is unhelpful. I believe that many young people are paralyzed by intrusive thoughts- thoughts telling them that they can’t, they won’t. They won’t show it, but they are judging themselves harshly. When we judge them, we make it worse.

The video below deals with OCD thoughts, but explains why bad thoughts lead to more bad thoughts and how to deal with them.


How to Deal With Intrusive Thoughts

Are we a democracy?

Are we a democracy?

I recently had a relative argue with my mom when she called us a democracy. He said we are a constitutional republic.

The argument that we are not a democracy, is a false dichotomy and appears to be an argument made by republicans that do not want the label democracy simply because it is similar to democrats. We are a republic because we vote people to represent us. We are also constitutional because we have a constitution. However, we are a democracy because we also vote directly. Even the fact that we vote indirectly makes a democracy because we each get a vote to decide who represents us.  All terms can apply because we have a system set up to meet our needs, not meet a label.

To say (as many do) that a true democracy would take away all God-given rights does not make sense to me.  The question is how (a democracy would have a constitution)? If a congregation of fundamentalists got together and vote on things, they would not take God-given rights away, but that would be a direct democracy.

However, many communities in America function as a constitutional republic and they vote people in that then make laws that take God-given rights away. Constituents go to school that interfere with their right not to hear creationism.  In Montana, “any teacher, principal, or superintendent may open the school day with a prayer.” That means a jewish student must attend to a religious experience in school. On the other hand, with constitutional republics, we can force religious parents to make their children get medical attention.


Whatever label you give to our government, it works (imperfectly) because we are not a theocracy.



The Great Wall of Jesus

I have been thinking about China and Jesus. Wondering wouldn’t God have done more good by having his son born to a Chinese woman. If God loves humans, then wouldn’t he want to gather as many of them as He could. 

I thought about counter-arguments- what a religious person that took the Bible as…well…gospel. They might argue that Eden was in the middle east and thus that is why the Jewish people, the people of God were in that area. That the Jewish people were the chosen.  However, That God means he chooses who he loves and thus does not love everybody.

That’s another conundrum though.  If the Jewish people, which became Christian people are descendants of Adam and Eve that explains why Jesus was born in Jerusalem. But aren’t all people from Adam and Eve? Asian people? Did God lose track of them. If the Jewish people knew about Eden, then so should all cultures. They could not lose all traces of their history in 6000 years. Why would God let them.


Why would God give the Jewish people guidance with Moses and the prophets, but not provide any guidance for other nationalities to reject. If the Jewish people were the chosen people, then we are in trouble because we are not Jewish.

More Than Chores

My children are grown now.  They are great people- smart and kind. Yet, if I would do thing differently. Maybe I would give them more chores. But especially in the summer, I would have them work on the emotional intelligence before video games and times with friends.

On my todo list, I’d have meditation. Just five or ten minutes a day listening to music and focusing their breathing or guided meditation. Then I would like them to do a physical activity. A walk or yoga. I know yoga sounds like new agey junk, but a friend of mine in his seventies once told me his advice is to stay flexible.

I would have them write in a journal. The action of the hands writing or even typing activates a different type of thinking and helps you get to know yourself. It helps you work out problems. Reading and writing (studies show) is the best way to grow and maintain your brain.  For a kid that hated writing, I have them color or do a craft.

These things connect the brain and the body. They reduce stress. Especially if they can do it for 21 or more days so that it becomes a habit.

9/11 First Responder Who Asked Congress To Extend Victims’ Fund Dies — Health News

NEW YORK (AP) — A former New York City police detective who was a leader in the fight for the Sept. 11 Victims Compensation Fund died Saturday at age 53. Detective Luis Alvarez’s death from cancer was announced by Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea, who tweeted that Alvarez was “an inspiration, a warrior, a friend.”…

via 9/11 First Responder Who Asked Congress To Extend Victims’ Fund Dies — Health News

A Strong Nation Under Science

We are in danger as we stray from the Bible.  That is many people’s opinion. However, I see us as getting better and that is because of Science. Don’t get me wrong. Our government and Christianity has many ideal. I respect our system of government.

Yet I see that the christian values that began our nation as causing violence and hatred. The failings that needed to be rectified were caused by religion. Men used the Bible to create a government where women did not have rights.  Black people were not considered people. The Bible told people of old that they were righteous and this caused atrocities.

Religion caused men to see Native Americans as heathens that had no right to their land. They could be slaughter so that christian men could get their wants.

Science showed us that people of color were human just like us. It showed that Native Americans did not have white culture, but did have an advanced civilization.

The study of psychology is only recently sent us the message that women were not Jezibels who were somehow not worth anything. In the past, prostitutes did not have to be treated as humans because they chose to be wicked.  We now know they were traumatized and abused in younger years and felt they did not have a choice. The Bible may called them whores and concubines, but they were sex trafficked.

Without asking ourselves why God would put a soul in a fetus that was destined to be miscarried, we believed the religious leaders (not the Bible) as they told us God put a fetus in a woman and a soul in that fetus. Now through the science of In vitro fertilization, we know that it can work without God.

The modifications that fixed our original documents did not come from further reading of the Bible. It came from secular court cases and amendments.