Monday, January 26, 2015

Denying History

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana
Charlie Brown has a DEJA VU experience with Lucy and a football – she’s REALLY going to hold it for him this time so he can kick it. Was Charlie Brown insane? Or just na├»ve? He hesitates, definitely remembers how often Lucy has failed him, but HOPES that things will be different.
Of course, when Charlie Brown trusts Lucy and she once again tricks him, Charlie is the only one hurt. The rest of the Peanuts community doesn’t come crashing down as jobs disappear. The comic strip isn’t filled with a mushroom cloud. They don’t lose their heads. Charlie Brown falls on his butt to give us a lesson in resilience, and faith – showing us how we should all be in a PERFECT WORLD – what we should strive for. Lucy reminds us that there are people out there in the REAL WORLD who don’t have our best interests at heart.
Departing from Mr. Santayana’s statement, Charlie Brown DOES remember the past – he just chooses to try again and hopes for the best. 
Why would someone be unable to remember the past?
  • ·        Blocked because too unpleasant – or would rather not think that it could happen again?
  • ·         Never learned it, either through neglect or revisionist history?
  • ·         Relativism – the past isn’t THEIR past – it was someone else’s and they are disassociated from it?

This last seems the most likely in the continuing strange case of the supreme narcissist Barack Obama and where he has taken U.S. foreign policy (and the world along with it.) He doesn’t seem to have any regard for history, and those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.
The North Korean nuclear program is a remarkably clear template for how not to handle Iran’s ambitions. Our leaders at the time thought they could convince an evil regime - through talking - to not pursue their evil aims, and two liberal, Democrat Presidents (sorry, but that’s what Carter and Clinton were) left the doors open for Beloved Leader to get the nukes he wanted – even with a little help from us.
But this is not a learning experience for Mr. Obama, because:
  • ·         It just hasn’t been tried by the right people yet.
  • ·         It was only impossible because I wasn’t been here before.
  • ·         Carter and Clinton just didn’t have my personality or charm.
  • ·         Neville Chamberlain had nothing on me.

Albert Einstein is attributed with giving a definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” 
You can’t argue with crazy people; to win an argument with anyone, you must first have some common ground. Sometimes the talking has to end, and YOU JUST HAVE TO STOP THEM.
Just saying…
William Mangieri’s writing (including his latest ePublication “Dredging Things Up”) can be found in many places, such as:

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Hey - It’s Not Your Birthday!

It’s MY birthday – time for more FREE STUFF!
It used to be that the Birthday Boy (or Girl) was the one who got presents on their birthday. They’d throw a party and invite their friends, and everyone would bring a gift to honor the special day AND NOT EXPECT ANYTHING FOR THEMSEVES (other than a little fun with each other, of course.)
Something went wrong a few decades ago – when we started throwing birthday parties for our son, we found out about GOODIE BAGS. Oh, no, you can’t invite children to your child’s birthday party unless you’re prepared to give the invitees presents, too.
What do we blame this on? In traditional Hobbit birthday celebrations, the birthday Hobbit would give gifts to his guests; Look - I know Tolkien’s books were among the most popular works in history, but that wasn’t anywhere near universal saturation. I know plenty of those parents (and certainly their kids) hadn’t read it, so I don’t think that’s what caused it. 
I think it was part and parcel of the DON’T INJURE THEIR LITTLE EGOS movement – you know, the same one that says there can’t be winners and losers – everyone gets a ribbon or a trophy or a present JUST FOR BEING HERE, and if they can’t have something, well, it’s not because they didn’t EARN it - someone must be keeping it from them.
These people grow up and think they’re entitled to whatever they want for FREE. They’re in a store and decide they want something, so they just take it. Either they don’t know (or most likely DON’T CARE) that their shoplifting is paid for – not by the store, but by the other customers; the prices we have to pay (those of us that do) has shoplifting losses built into it.
They think they can get FREE medical care – someone else will pay for their insurance, their medicine, their doctors. They DON’T CARE that the money is coming out of someone else’s pocket – sometimes it’s even someone they know.
I remain baffled to this day why these people were unaffected in 2012 by the simple argument that our country can’t continue to spend money we don’t have because WE ARE STEALING IT FROM OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. I would think that would make a difference and change some minds, but maybe they don’t care about their own children, either. (I’m probably being unfair – I’m sure they’re busy teaching their own kids how to get their own free stuff even as I write this.)
Our Redistributor-In-Chief’s latest contribution is FREE COLLEGE FOR ALL! He just has to make sure to make those evil rich people pay for it.
People used to joke about politicians promising A CHICKEN IN EVERY POT. The politician would get elected, and then he’d fulfill his promise. Funny – why does the chicken in your pot look like the one that used to be in mine? Except it looks smaller; it’s missing a drumstick. Oh, look what the new King’s chomping on…
Ever wonder how people who’ve done nothing but run for public office all their lives seem to become rich?  
There is no FREE LUNCH; we all pay for it in the end.

Just saying…
William Mangieri’s writing (including his latest ePublication “Dredging Things Up”) can be found in many places, including:

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Climate Common Sense

Beginning, middle, and end; those are what we’re told stories are supposed to have. We need to know what happened in the past (where we started), what’s happening now (here in the middle), and that there is a conclusion coming (the end.) If these things are missing from a story, we become disoriented as readers and – well – it’s not a story. It’s a sketch, or some other odd writing exercise with no purpose other than for the writer to practice putting ink on paper.
I always thought one of the things that made humans special was an awareness of time/history/the past (how much do dogs even THINK about time travel?) Maybe that’s WHY we have a need to see cause and effect. AND why, if these aren’t readily apparent to us, we try to figure out the answer to what the cause and effect are. Sometimes we even MAKE THINGS UP so we can feel like we understand it (and are in control.)
Unfortunately, we live in a time where people think there’s only HERE & NOW, and can’t interpret how we got here (because they don’t know where we’ve been.) It’s hard to judge cause and effect if you have no past to study. If all you are aware of is that it feels warmer (or colder) this year than last year (or heck, last month), it’s really hard to understand that there are natural cycles occurring.
Climate doesn’t stay static (stationary) – it’s dynamic. Over the time that there’s been an Earth, how many “climate changes” have there been? How many warmings? How many ice ages? I don’t know the answer to this, but my COMMON SENSE helps me to remember that there have been several, and that we HUMAN BEINGS have had nothing to do with causing them. So, why would anyone think that climate change is something new?
COMMON SENSE would lead you to believe that if something has been going on for thousands (or millions) of years before we could have an impact on them, MAYBE WE’RE NOT CAUSING THEM.
It was warmer in the Middle Ages than it is now. How? Were there more SUV’s back then?
It was warming on Mars at the same time (20 years ago?) that it was warming here (when it used to be called Global Warming, as opposed to the 1970’s, when they thought we were headed for another Ice Age.) How can that be, unless there’s something impacting both planets (the SUN, maybe.)
A few years back, it was revealed that the climate alarmists were actually HIDING DATA that didn’t match their theories, and BLOCKING discussion and publication of conflicting viewpoints. That is NOT what REAL SCIENTISTS do. And yet, the carbon demonization movement rolls on and takes up more and more of our economies. There are people in this movement who won’t be happy until they can regulate how many times you and I exhale (carbon dioxide.) Or stop our cows from flatulating (expelling other greenhouse gases.)
While trying to reduce carbon footprints, have they figured out how to maintain the forests (those things made of trees that need carbon to live), or do they think we need fewer of those, too?
Does this sound sane? What does your COMMON SENSE tell you?
This is not the hottest of times. It is not the coolest of times (sorry for the paraphrasing, Mr. Dickens.) It was both colder and warmer at other times. Just because a little chicken (several little chickens) who wish they were bigger have declared that doom is at hand and are having a pecking party about it doesn’t make it so. Listen to your common sense.
Just saying…
William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest ePublication “The Final Ending?” (and “Dredging Things Up”, scheduled for release January 16th) can be found in many places, such as:

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Wild Horses

I fell off the horse in 2014. The writing horse – a metaphorical horse, not a literal one. I set my goals to write a certain volume of words and a certain number of stories, and fell short in each case.
I suppose I shouldn’t kick myself too hard – I did write one more story than last year, and we should always try to see the silver lining in things. But the second half of the year I almost completely FELL off of the HABIT of writing, and that’s a hard thing to get back onto.
Getting back on the horse,  or on the bicycle: these are metaphors for the times when you experience the pain of falling on your butt (another metaphor – my pain is embarrassment at failure), and it’s time to stop thinking about the pain and get right back on whichever mode of transportation it was that threw you off.
Of course, when we’re talking about transportation, then that implies a destination. And (at least in my case) that is almost always undiscovered country. No, not THE undiscovered country – I’m not dying, it’s just that, the way my writing happens, I almost never know where it’s going to end up.
The horse metaphor is probably a better one for me – you can imagine a wild horse just deciding to take you where it wants, possibly throwing you off along the way, but probably not a bicycle. Of course, I don’t have to IMAGINE it – I once had a bicycle throw me off, run over me, and keep going down the hill until I caught up to it and put a stop to its foolishness. I’m not sure where it thought it was going…
The fear of the unknown can be stifling, can keep you from taking that step into a darkened room (I seem to have whole mansions of those in my mind), to see what’s waiting for you. That’s the fun part for me, though – finding out what the story is and where that wild horse is going to take me. The scary part is the not knowing whether I’m up to staying in the saddle and finishing the ride.
“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish” is true enough in just about everything. As long as you finish, does the start really matter. AND as long as you DO start, so it’s time to get back on. I don’t know where I’m going this time, but wherever it is, it’s better than going nowhere.  
Just saying…
William Mangieri’s writing (including his latest ePublication “The Final Ending?”) can be found in many places, such as:

Connect with him on Facebook at: