James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Friday, December 20, 2019

19 additional thoughts from 2019



39. An NPR review of the movie Cats contained a profound idea, that Stockholm Syndrome might kick in when we're watching a movie. This refers to the potential of hostages empathizing with their captors. I know that if I spend travel time and money for a movie theater experience, I want to like it; I want to remember the movie fondly. I tend to be less critical at the movies then at home.

40. Tom Coughlin was fired from his job running football operations by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was the recipient of 25% of grievances filed with the NFL Players Association. As a coach with the Jaguars previously and with the Giants, he would start team meetings five minutes early and then fine players for being "late" when they arrived at the announced time. In this job, he would fine players who didn't show up at voluntary workouts. He was thought of as a strict disciplinarian, but he was a tyrant.

41. Authority figures who abuse their power are bullies. I can think of four kinds: the tyrant, the fanatic, the hypocrite, and the corrupt.

42. The tyrant makes up rules as he goes along.

43. The fanatic doesn't care about the human cost. They're eager to crush dissent and go to war. They're not fueled by the love of their ideal, but by hatred.

44. The corrupt enrich themselves at the expense of others.

45. The hypocrite proclaims certain standards in order to judge and scapegoat others to evelate himself, then rationalizes exceptions for themselves.

46. Hypocrites are usually despised for exempting themselves from what they condemn in others, but I don't think that's the real problem. They shouldn't be condemning others in the first place.

47. I find it easy to tune out people who prosper in civil society as currently constructed by telling people that civil society as presently constructed is evil.

48. The CIA's 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion was, I believe, the beginning of 15 years of political chaos in the United States, with repercussions including an assassinated President, a ruined President, and a resigned President. I saw a documentary suggesting even the disappearence of Jimmy Hoffa was part of the blowback. The fanatical anti-Castroism was bipartisan, yet Castro had the last laugh.

49. I wonder if the bi-partisan, fanatical anti-Putinism that triggered the CIA's 2014 coup in Ukraine is creating similar, though less violent, chaos. I wouldn't be surpised if Putin has the last laugh.

50. History is more fun to study than to live. The 60's and 70's had J. Edgar Hoover, the Mafia, and the Dulles brothers as participants. Today, we know the FBI is even more lawless than it was, but it's hard to put names to the planners of all the shenanigans. People tend to blame the Clintons by default.

51.  I checked to see if I predicted on social media before the 2016 election that the winner, whoever it was, was going to be impeached. I can't find evidence I wrote that. Too bad. Easiest prediction to make.

52. Political scandals are like Jeffrey Dahmer accusing Ted Bundy of shoplifting.

53. Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano and Rep. Justin Amash were dismissed as cranks until they said Trump committed impeachable offenses. Only then did they become credible, although their principles never changed from when they criticized Obama. This is why I think reading the news may actually make us less informed.

54. I've opposed U.S. wars, and so have some pretty reprehensible people. I don't cite those people to bolster my arguments.It just won't do to oppose everything the Catholic Church stands for, and then embrace the Pope when he supports totalitarian economic measures to combat climate change. His opinion should have no credibility to you. Same goes for those who hate on American Evangelicalism, but then point out that even Christianity Today supports impeachment. Whether impeachment is justified or not, their opinion should mean nothing to you.

55. All my life I understood the phrase "the pen is mightier than the sword" to mean that ideas, not violence or the threat of violence, is what moves the world. But I'm beginning to realize the pen's work is mainly spiritual and only secondarily intellectual. To "spell" something out with a pen, and to "cast a spell" with the spoken word, is to fix in the inner world that what one desires in the external world. It's not only about changing minds, it is speaking something into existence.

56. If there's an American flag there to remind you who's the real boss, is it really a sanctuary?

57. The world would rather be left alone and will resist your attempt to change it. Your own well-being - your happiness - is all you can control.

James Leroy Wilson writes from Nebraska. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. If you find value in his articles, your support through Paypal helps keep him going. Permission to reprint is granted with attribution.

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