“Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.”

-Jane Austen, Emma

Thursday, June 5, 2014

When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

-Maya Angelou

Friday, May 30, 2014


Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead. (Like a Broken Vessel -holland October 2013)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

From the movie, A Time to Kill: What is truth?

What is it in us that seeks the truth? Is it our minds or is it our hearts?

I had a great summation all worked out, full of some sharp lawyering, but I'm not going to read it. I'm here to apologize. I am young, and I am inexperienced. But you cannot hold Carl Lee Hailey responsible for my shortcomings. Do you see, in all this legal maneuvering, something has gotten lost. That something is the truth. Now, it is incumbent upon us lawyers not to just talk about the truth but to actually seek it, to find it, to live it. My teacher taught me that. Let's take Dr. Bass, for example. Now obviously, I would have never knowingly put a convicted felon on the stand. I hope you can believe that. But what is the truth? That, that he's a disgraced liar? What if I told you that the woman he was accused of raping was 17, he was 23, that she later became his wife, bore his child and is still married to the man today? Does that make his testimony more or less true? What is it in us that seeks the truth? Is it our minds, or is it our hearts?

I set out to prove a black man could receive a fair trial in the South, that we are all equal in the eyes of the law. That's not the truth 'cause the eyes of the law are humanized, yours and mine, and until we can see each other as equals, justice is never going to be even-handed. It will remain nothing more than a reflection of our own prejudices. So until that day, we have a duty under God to seek the truth - not with our eyes, and not with our minds where fear and hate turn commonality into prejudice, but with our hearts - but we don't know better

i am going to paste this on my forehead

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Great Gatsby, a wealth spring of knowledge

Just found this quote from one of my favorite books:

"...I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Time to give power to a third political party

"Since then common sense has been bound and nourished by tradition, so that when traditional standards cease to make sense and no longer serve as general rules under which all or most particular instances can be subsumed, common sense unavoidably atrophies."

-Hannah Arendt

Lets’ give power to a third party. This isn’t such a crazy idea, I promise.

Neither the Republican nor the Democratic establishment represent the American peoples at present, and this division between the “Man” and citizenry is only growing, not decreasing. Just take a poll or ask your neighbor. Each party has become more subsumed in parroting their respective ideological mantra, more infatuated with the cult of personality surrounding X political figurehead of the week, than on focusing on and/or advocating a particular truism or principle, let alone represent the American people. Abraham Lincoln would be upset. Of course every nation deals with the ebbs and flows of various ideological and political cycles, however, there is a point when a remodel of the status quo wastes more time and energy than necessary. Back to the drawing board.

In thinking about what this new third party should be, we first need to acknowledge the age-old, most fundamental question that governments have posed time immemorial—what is the role of government? In order to do this, we first need to define what constitutes a political issue, and what a social issue. This is a nasty, knotted ball of yarn to undo though, living in an age where political and social issues have become fused together, and moderns don’t know what the difference is.

For example, while individuals try and make the legalization of pot or gay marriage into a politically left or right issue, the actual underlying political issue is not about the moral conflict between being a liberal pro-pot hippie and a conservative Christian anti-pot hater—these types of understandings ultimately distort what the real political conflict is about. Legalization of pot, in and of itself is a social issue. I know conservatives who advocate legalizing Marijuana and Democrats against it. No, the correct political question, for these types of situations is about deciding whether legalizing pot should be a state or federal issue. Should the central government hold the majority of the power, or do individual states assume primary responsibility? This is the political question that people need to engage with, not a social one. The national government, as one united entity, does not determine whether smoking pot, legalizing same-sex marriage, or walking outside on a rainy day is moral or not—individuals do. When you get into labeling the “enemy” in a social context, you quickly run into paradoxical conundrums. Who is who exactly? Can you believe in X and Y, but not Z if you belong to group F?  For example, there is more politically in common between the “liberal” urban homesteader and the self-sufficient “conservative” doomsday prepping man, than perhaps liberals have in common with liberals or conservatives with conservatives. Both the homesteader and the Apocalyptic, place a high value on their right to govern themselves, and live accordingly to how each one sees fit (within a limit of course—now entering Supreme Court territory).

Instead of asking the deeper political or more philosophical question though, like what is good governance, as of late, Americans fill their political lives more with the superficial minutia of social issues—yes important, but citizenry should not assign their central government the role of dictating morality about each pot, marriage, homeschooling decision. Because when we, the citizenry, make dealing with social issues the primary concern of our political realm, our candidates for office only talk and think about these social issues, rather than focus on issues of federalism--and the mechanics of government.

Because politicians appear disengaged from discussing these deeper, political, philosophical and mechanical issues, we need a third party that addresses, and delves into these questions: what is the role of government and why do we need it, combining tenets of liberalism and conservatism into one whole. Perhaps, classical liberalism anyone? I don't know.

It is not just the focus on social issues that has made the political scene increasingly vapid and frustrating per usual for the voter, but the lack of dialogue and civility observed within each respective party, and between one another as well. This makes a third party sound all the more desirable.

If our only likely and viable candidates for the 2016 Presidential Election are Democrat contender Hilary Clinton and the Republicans’ Chris Christie, with the possible Jeb Bush/Marco Rubio thrown in there, America’s future political outlook is even bleaker than I previously anticipated. These candidates make social issues paramount, and do not delve into the mechanics specifically, of what makes good governance. Should we require that candidates write their own version of the Federalist Papers, as a qualification to run? It is not necessarily that these candidates are inherently evil, arrogant, or incompetent (as I am sure many would argue), but rather that if these folks, with the addition of maybe a “Hail Mary” candidate jettisoned into the race at the last minute, are the best and the brightest representatives America has to offer...the 2016 race should take a rain check (if only). 

If people don’t start examining the root of current political discontent, looking at what the real political issues are—how much should the state be “left alone” and when should the federal government intervene, we will be looking at candidates that increasingly talk more about social issues, until the louder voice wins or the popular one triumphs—rather than dealing with age-old questions about the necessary components of good governance, diminishing true political debate and inquiry. People should ask how we should govern, not what should we govern.

The meager selection of qualified presidential candidates however, is only one symptom of the dissonance, discontent, and incivility that has manifested itself in the realm of politics. Making social issues the main issue has contributed in significant part, to the oversimplification and dumbing down of the electorate, because people do not think or ponder enough about how they should be governed. Parties are more concerned with disseminating their ideological slogan, propaganda, and rhetoric about  gay marriage-this, homeschooling-that than in applying practical solutions or employing moral methods to build a stronger country, looking at the political aspect of these issues. When parties are more concerned with rehashing various ad hominem attacks against each other (Reid vs. Boehner, Hilary vs. Obama, list personal squabble of the week.) rather than engaging in productive dialogue about what constitutes good governance, it’s time to reassess. However, this “reassessment” is not panning out to well. For example, recently, Republicans created a think tank in order to revamp their image (which is in sore need of a makeover) called, Para Bellum Labs. So, what is the problem? The GOP not only named its innovation lab after a Nazi Pistol, but in Latin, the literal meaning is “prepare for war (see Gawker for further details). Huh? I don’t understand how this approach cultivates a more engaging or productive political climate, or fosters deeper thinking beyond, “you—bad, we—good.”

But, while Republicans scramble to upgrade and improve their image, appeasing all their Tea Party, moderate and Libertarian members alike, the Democrats aren’t exactly a winning team to pick either. From Obama’s usage of executive orders to the less-then-stellar implementation of Obamacare, a lot of Democrats are finding themselves increasingly at odds with their own presidential elect. For example, Democratic congressmen are just as infuriated with Obama, as their Republican counterparts are, when Obama’s imperialism begins to undermine their congressional authority.

 Listening to enraged citizenry on the phone during the government shutdown of 2013 only furthered my general awareness, of the seething and, also, not-so-subtle anger and angst which Americans harbor towards their government right now. I mean, I don’t really know if Todd from West Virginia is serious about storming the Capitol alongside his comrades in arms, but I certainly don’t want to find out.

How about that third party anyone? Who is in charge anyway?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Myers Briggs personality test...I am an INFP

I took the Myers Briggs personality test and while I was once an INTJ, ENTJ, and ENFJ I am now an INFP. You should take the test too here: Myers Briggs Test

And INFP means....what exactly?

Introverted (I) 
Reserved, listen carefully, prefer solitary activities, more comfortable when alone than when around other people, get exhausted by social interaction

Intuitive (N) 
Introspective, rely on their imagination, absorbed in ideas, focus on what might happen

Feeling (F) 
Sensitive, follow their hearts, keep feelings close to the surface, focus on harmony and cooperation

Prospecting (P) 

Probing, prefer keeping their options open, reluctant to commit, relaxed about their work, seek freedom

INFP strengths

  • Passionate and energetic. INFPs tend to be very energetic when it comes to causes they believe in and are willing to fight for. They may be quiet and even shy in public, but their passion should not be underestimated.
  • Very creative. INFP personalities find it easy to interpret signs and hidden meanings – furthermore, their well-developed intuition has no difficulties connecting the dots and coming up with interesting, unusual ideas.
  • Open-minded and flexible. INFPs dislike being constrained by rules and do not seek to impose them on others. They tend to be fairly liberal, open-minded individuals, as long as their principles and ideas are not being challenged.
  • Idealistic. INFPs are perhaps the most idealistic of all personality types, believing that people are inherently good and everyone should do their best to fight evil and injustice in the world.
  • Seek and value harmony. INFPs do not want to dominate and work hard to ensure that everyone’s opinion is valued and heard.
  • Can be very dedicated and hard-working. As mentioned above, INFP personalities are both very passionate and idealistic. Not surprisingly, they can also be unbelievably dedicated to their chosen cause or an organization. It is unlikely that an INFP will give up simply because everyone else has abandoned the cause or it is getting difficult to keep going.
My favorite bit was this one though: 

INFPs may also often retreat into their “hermit” state (this personality type can easily switch between the two states), withdrawing from the world and getting lost in their deep thoughts – their partner may then need to spend quite a lot of effort to energize and “awaken” the INFP."

Hahahahaahaha. I guess I am a hermit.