Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Night of the Giant Cat Gang

Giant cats have been terrorizing a neighborhood in the Australian city of Brisbane for over a year. Gangs of feral cats, some of them the size of dogs, have been known to scratch, hiss at, and intimidate residents.

Just another of the many problems society has to deal with!

One lady told of the time she walked her terrier puppy one night and a large gang of these monster cats attacked both her and her dog, drawing much blood.

The local government officials said they are taking steps to have the Frankenstein cats rounded up.

I have a better solution for the residents of Brisbane. When you go out of doors,carry a fully loaded shotgun with you.

End of problem.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Haves and the Have-Nots in Our Society

Society is basically groups of people. Some live together, others are co-workers, still others play together.

One of the things that hurts society in America is the huge financial gap between rich and poor. Something like 1% of America's population own and control 90% of America's wealth.

There are more 'have-nots' than 'haves' in the U.S. By far.

And the 'haves' want more.

Here's a good example. The NFL owners and players couldn't agree on a new collective bargaining agreement last week. And this is after two weeks of federal mediation.

In an internet interview, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson compared NFL owners treatment of players to 'modern-day slavery.'

Peterson, who is black, is set to make $10.72 million in base salary in 2011.

How many millions was that?

If that is slavery, sign me up.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Is Hedonism on the Rise?

The definition of Hedonism is: the pursuit of pleasure. If Hedonism is your life's philosophy, you believe that only what is pleasant is intrinsically good. Hedonism in psychology is the doctrine that behavior is motivated by the desire for pleasure.

So, is Hedonism on the rise? If you believe the media, it is. There seems to be a recent upsurge in the reportings of Ponzi schemes and other financial crimes, abuse, sexual promiscuity, violence, drugs, alcoholism, materialism, etc.

I see an increase of these effects in reality TV shows, also. "Eat, drink, and be merry. For tomorrow, we die." The program aims to make someone display the emotion of temporary happiness.

I heard a famous preacher of  a well-known mega-church ask his congregation for something like ten million bucks so the church could pay its electric bill. For the glory of God???

Pornography, both adult and child, brings in more bucks annually than the combined net of professional football, baseball, and basketball. For shame.

It's important to look out for Number One, but maybe we should do it in moderation.

America-Land of the Hedonists

Monday, March 14, 2011

Existentialism-Our Future?

Are you an existentialist? I think there is a little bit of existentialism in everyone. Especially as of late.

What is existentialism? It's a personal philosophy, it's a way or path of life, it's a form of religion, it's all of these, and more. But it is difficult to define.

There are several attributes given to existentialism, not all of which may apply to every person who adheres to this philosophy. First, reality and truth cannot be understood completely. Your own existence, your very life is more vital than someone else's values, religion, philosophy, mores, and spiritual beliefs.

Second, man does not live by reason alone. You are not a robot or a computer. You must balance out your reason with your emotions and wills.

Third, thoughts and beliefs must be turned into actions. Don't think without it having a bearing on your life.

Fourth, realize you are unique, you are like no one else. You must live by your own values and rules, not those of someone else.

Fifth, you are utterly alone. Planet earth and the universe are indifferent to you and death is inevitable. So Man Up.

Sixth, Your appearance on earth is an absurb drama. You are here but for a few short years, you struggle, you die. You will never know why you were here.

And finally, since all else blows, you are free to be who or what you want. You create your own reality, path, way, life, belief, rules, values, etc.

The danger here is that many existentialists have a tough time making a decision based on what they know, on values attributed to their selves or others, or on partial information. Indecision can be Hell.

Existentialism became popular after World War Two, with the advant of the huge, impersonal, and uncaring society man must fit in. People found it difficult to deal with bureaucracies, were confounded with technology, and were anxious of the past, the present, and the future.

I prefer the Joker's philosophy of life: No Rules!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Psyche I

Thinking of seeing a shrink? Need help with depression, anger issues, neurosis?

You're not alone. Recent statistics state roughly seven of every one hundred people suffer depression after age 18 at some point in their lives. That may be over 20 million citizens of America alone.

And that's not counting other nations. Nor is it counting other psychological afflictions.

There are dozens of types of psychological counseling available. One of the oldest is psychoanalysis, developed by Sigmund Freud.

Psychoanalysis involves the id, ego, and superego, all of which are controlled by the unconcious. Treatment is sometimes very long-term, often delving into a patient's early childhood and delving deep into the mind.

Behaviorism, popularized by B.F. Skinner treats the outward modes of our behavior by way of various rewards for good behavior and punishments for bad behavior. There are no deep probes into the mind-merely conditioning of our reactions.

Finally, there is Humanistic Psychology, otherwise known as the "Third Force." The other two are the "First Force" and  the "Second Force."

Developed as a reaction to psychotherapy and behaviorism, humanistic psychology focused on the patient's potential and stressed the importance of growth and self-actualization. From this point, the patient was taught how to make correct decisions.

The three forms of psychological treatment should not be thought as in competition with one another, but as separate choices, each of which has helped us to understand the human mind and man's behavior.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Find Your Path

Ever wonder what your life's purpose is?

Don't be alone-we've all been there.

It seems that the more contented know and walk on their true life's path. Moses' path was to lead God's people out of Egypt and onto the promised land. George Washington's way was to be America's first elected president.

Maybe your path is to be successful in business, to be a great singer, to be the world's fastest sprinter, to be a great parent. It could be anything as long as it's positive. Obviously, Charles Manson never found his true path.

How do you know your path? The ancient Greek philosophers admonished us to "Know Thyself." If you don't know yourself, your soul, your heart, your mind, your interests, your talents, your opportunities, it will be more difficult to find your path.

The next step is a line taken out of William Shakespeare's play, Hamlet: To thine own self be true.
Bill Gates would not have made a very effective stand-up comic. Know who you are and what you are capable of.

I am not a betting man, but if I were, I would bet most people that suffer depression or anger issues are far off their path. It pays to find your path and remain on it. Peace of mind cannot be purchased.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead is still being read and adhered to by some of our nation's young. It tells the age-old story of the struggle of one man-Howard Roark-against the rest of the world.

Naturally, Roark comes out ahead at the happy end of the novel.

Fountainhead revealed Rand's basic four-point philosophy of life:

1. There is no god or spiritual realm.

2. Laissez-faire economies rock.

3. Reason above all.

4. Put yourSELF first.

At first glance, maybe these don't look so bad. Let's take them one at a time.

First, no God.

Are you serious? What, you think this universe is all by chance? Really?

Believe what you want, but never rule out the One Who created the universe.

Second, laissez-faire economies, which are "Government, Hands Off our economy." America used to have an almost pure laissez-faire economy during the late 1800's. But, We the People asked for government help and regulation. Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle opened our eyes to capitalism gone wild so Uncle Sam gave us the FDA early last century.

The Great Depression gave America the New Deal and America's taxes have been fairly high since. However, America gets a lot of goodies for their taxes.

Third, reason above all. Reason is what separates man from the lower animals, right? Well, how about our spiritual lives?

We need reason, but humans are not computer-driven robots. We also need our emotions and wills to guide us.

Finally, SELF first. What was Ayn thinking? What about family, God, country, etc.?

We must take care of Number One, but obsession with the self is fruitless and boring. And it is likely to drive you loony.

Ayn Rand came from the autocratic country of the former Soviet Union, where the government suppressed religion, individuality, the free market, and reason. But she came to America and went overboard the other way.

Like the ancient Greeks preached: Everything in moderation.