* Andy Kessler, Round 3: Guilty as charged

I participate on a certain online discussion board.  My premiere antagonist is a man who got trounced by a playground bully in fifth grade.  He never fails to seek to re-enact that battle with me (or any of certain others), hoping for a different outcome this time.  He casts his opponent by turns as the bully he wants to be or the chump he fears he was; and interacts with those projections.  It has nothing to do with me.  He might as well be playing with his G.I. Joe dolls.

Andy Kessler’s 07/08/13 Wall Street Journal op-ed, “Summer Jobs for the Guilty Generation,” is little different.  In his quotations of others’ expressions, I hear compassion; he hears guilt.  I hear gratitude; he hears guilt.  I hear hope; he hears guilt.  What’s up with this?

Kessler projects his own guilt feelings onto his son’s generation.  That’s easier than owning them, but solves nothing.
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Andy Kessler, Round 2: Intelligence received

One may need to take the term “intelligence” here with a large grain of salt.

At any rate, the reader has provided me with the actual text of the op-ed piece.

There is more to this than other commentators have indicated. I will have my own response here within a few days.

Andy Kessler, Round 1: How to do things backwards

A reader just brought to my attention a recent “controversial article” by Andy Kessler that appeared in the July 8, 2013 Wall Street Journal, suggesting that I might respond to it here.

We’ll see.  Thus there may be a “Round 2.”

One response to Kessler’s editorial: “Andy Kessler, Former Hedge Fund Manager, Says Shelter Volunteers Cause Homelessness”

The big obstacle is that the original is available online only to WSJ subscribers.

Quoting from my e-mail reply to the reader:

Thanks for the lead.  I’ll see what I can do with this. 
 
The most direct help would be if you could use your subscription to get us electronic copies of the text.
 
I could submit comments to [reporting on the article, e.g. at HuffPost] — I did that at NYTimes and got some blog views behind it.  I am wary, however, of responding on my blog to anything other than the original, since responses to the original may misrepresent it.
 
WSJ sort of cooks its own goose as to credibility, handling its site that way:  it comes off as, “Us rich folk can just discuss these things amongst ourselves, thank you very much; we don’t need any dissenting opinions.”
 
I do have a October 17, 2012 post noting a different very rich man who’s taken a far better approach.

 

If you’re not familiar with the October 17, 2012 post, I commend it to your attention now.

 

* Prayer is work, too.

(Reblogged 12/02/13.)

Saint Benedict ran a monastery.  He ran into the problem that many monks wanted to spend all their time praying and studying, and not do any of the dirty manual labor — housekeeping, tending livestock, working in the fields — needed to keep the place going. So he adopted and enforced the motto, Laborare est orare — “Work is prayer.”

In excess, religious study can become a drain on society’s resources.  Many Haredi, or “ultra-orthodox,” men in Israel want to spend all their time in religious study instead of earning any money.  (Article.)  Meanwhile, a majority of them live on welfare, with eight to fifteen children.  This places a burden on the remainder of society that that economy can no longer bear.

What about me?
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News 08/17/13: Religiosity and intelligence; NDEs

Links to the headlines within this post:
Tenn. judge changes infant’s name from ‘Messiah’
Religious people are less intelligent than atheists, study finds
Near-death experiences may be explained by brain activity


Tenn. judge changes infant’s name from ‘Messiah’

No comment.

Religious people are less intelligent than atheists, study finds

I know many people who must be exceptions to the rule.

In practical terms: who provide me food, shelter and clothing?

Near-death experiences may be explained by brain activity

Nothing here surprises me.  The NDE is a special case of astral projection, and not to be dismissed completely unless we account for features of clairvoyance and precognition, as for example in the case of George Ritchie.

* Jacob’s ladder 08/14/13

Prayer for myself often takes the form of imagining myself climbing up a ladder out of a pit, the pit being my current circumstances of poverty and homelessness.  Getting out at the top represents a return to the normal life of the American mainstream.  I didn’t start with a ladder in there, but I decided to add one to symbolize the various structures and tools that others have made available to me — and eliminate the possibility of clawing at loose earth.

Here begins a list of “rungs” on the ladder that I’ve become aware I need to “overcome.”  Each one takes effort, exertion, to get over. I will update this list from time to time as I learn of others.

 1. Fear of the unknown.  See From my diary: Learning to pray.
 2. Jealousy of others who seem to be prospering more quickly than I am.  Details here.
 3. Times of despair.  I guess, from time to time, they’ll happen.  Details here.
 4. Incidents of utter selfishness.  Details here.
 5. Moments of unusual hardship and sacrifice. Details here.
 6. Cut loose the losers. Continue reading