Just an Observation

The biggest lie mankind has told itself and continually bases decisions on is that humans, for the most part, are rational beings.  I dare you to sit and think of one thing mankind has done that has not been perverted, abused, or taken for granted.  If mankind were rational, would we still have wars, murder, or rape?  Would we have arguments over silly things because we no longer see what is really bothering us?  Would there be greed, corruption, or lust?  Our very irrational nature, do to the multitude of variables in our physical make-up, will eventually be our undoing.  Not because we have them, but because we failed to learn to account for them.  If we do not account for greed, corruption, hate, lust, violence, etc. in our governing processes, they will grow unchecked.  To put it bluntly, humans are ruled by their emotions, which are in turn greatly affected by nature.  Changes in our environment will change our own reactions because, like it or not, we will always be a part of it.  Even more important, we are all connected in this world.  There is nothing that you do that will not have an effect on everyone else in the world.  Welcome to chaos theory 101.  Thus, the irrational/emotional actions of someone in China will affect you and vice versa.

Can We be Forgiven? (new $1 reward from my Patreon page)

It is time for a story.  This month’s story is “Cast the First Stone” and here is the write-up I did on my Patreon page:

This month’s story is a controversial one.  I sent this one out once and besides some pointers on the need for action, the editor stated that he felt my points were invalid.  Since then I have tried rewriting the story to address the style issues without changing too much of the core.  In addition, I added some writing to clarify the underlying premise of the story but have mostly left the idea as stated.  The idea in a nutshell is God’s, at least as stated by several religions, insistence that a repentant person can gain admittance into heaven.

I decided to take that idea to the extreme in dealing with the issues I have struggled with in that belief.  In other words, if Hitler were to repent or had in a twisted way kept faith with God, would he be admitted into heaven?  So, here are my thoughts, for good or bad, on the subject.  I give you “Cast the First Stone”. “

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

From time to time I will still post thoughts on events or topics in America, and the world, that I have formed an opinion on.  In this case it is on the subject of free education.

While I am for it, this post is not about the pros and cons or even the moral reasons about making education accessible to all, but rather that the moniker of “free education” is incorrect and hurts progressive democrats’ abilities to sell a larger portion of America on the subject.  Progressive democrats would not in truth be giving Americans free education.  What they are really doing is spreading what has become an outrageous burden of obtaining higher education for a better lifestyle over the life of the person getting the education.  In effect, they are amortizing the cost of the education.

Whaaaaa …!  What the hell am I talking about.  They tell us that we will not have to pay for an education.  Well, the truth is that they aren’t lying to you technically.  Whaaaaa …!  It can’t be both.  Ah, it isn’t.  You have to read closely what I stated.  Technically, you would not be paying for your education upfront.  Right now, higher education has become so expensive that to pay the upfront costs demanded by schools, we have to take out hefty loans, which not only leave us with the burden of the cost of the education but also the profit margin desired by the loan companies.

The progressive method would change that dynamic by shifting the cost from upfront to over the lifetime of the person being educated.  Again, what the hell am I talking about?  Just this, in the progressive scenario, how are the educations paid for?  Taxes.  That’s right, through increased taxes on all of us.  This is the huge sticking point in most people’s minds.  Why should I have to pay for someone else’s education? Yes, it seems that way by the how it has been presented by the right, the media, and even the progressives.  The fact is that the person getting the education will still be paying for it.  Whaaaaa … t?

What happens after a person finishes college?  Hopefully, they get a job, right.  Then what happens?  Boom. You guessed it, they pay TAXES.  They will now be paying back into the system that helped them get their education so that the next person can be educated.  They don’t get a “get out of jail free” card.  They will be paying into the system like you did and are to give future citizens a chance at a better life.  Finally, for those that will say “What if I don’t want or can’t get into college? Why should I be taxed?” there are several answers.  One, I think the definition of higher education needs to be broadened to include non-traditional forms that help people better their situation, trade schools for example.  Two, improving the success of our people improves the condition of our people and improves the lives of us all.  Last, the person educated this way may be the person that saves your life, or wins your court case, or takes us to the stars.  The progressive plan for what is mistakenly called a free education is really nothing more than a nationalized system of paying it forward, which is what the new testament is allllllllll about.

So what the hell is so wrong with that America?

This Week’s $5 Reward (from my Patreon page)

Here is what I posted about the attached image:

 

This week’s reward is a pencil sketch I did some time ago but I think the idea behind it is more and more important today.  It depicts creators and their creations.  The background is a giant eye representing God.  The foreground is a set of hands reaching out to clasp.  One is human the other is robotic.  Will we treat our creations with love or exploitation?  Will we consider the responsibility attached to the act of creation or will it just be about profit margins?  Heavy things to think about.  What do you think was on God’s mind?

Why Fund Arts? (also on my Patreon page)

Our illustrious leader has sent a budget to congress with the idea that we can no longer fund a program without concrete evidence of its effectiveness.  Putting aside the reality that many of the programs he plans to cut impact large segments of our population, while requiring less money per person than if the resources were not pulled together by the government, there is the fact that the results of these programs can not easily be distilled down to profit/loss statements.  Also, put aside that the so-called savings will be offset by increased military spending and tax cuts for the wealthy.  Well one of the programs to be cut is the Endowment for the Arts.

I find it laughable that the President and the people he has surrounded himself with are so clueless as to the amount the arts affect the world around them and us.  Do you have an Iphone, twitter account, or television?  Well all of these are influenced by the arts.  The screens on your Iphone and the layout of Twitter were all designed by graphic artists who may have gotten support or been influenced by someone whom got support from the Endowment for the Arts.  Graphic Artists design how our cars, computers, and appliances look.  They give your favorite websites the style that catches your eyes.

Musicians make the music for your TV shows and Movies, making them more entertaining and life more enjoyable.  They play the songs writers create or create them themselves.  The commercials our economy depends upon feature music from all walks of life to connect with customers on an emotional level, including ads for political candidates.  Writers come up with the stories that become the movies we can’t wait to see.  They also write the commercials that help businesses survive, as well as the manuals that help their customers use their products.  Writers even come up with the lines in political ads.

Wow, there sure seems to be a strong case here for the benefits of the arts.  Without all the things creative people do for business, our economy would be much weaker than it is.  Hell, the Iphone’s ability to stream live music and television is a major selling point and they seem to constantly be trying to improve those abilities.  What would be the point of that without the arts?  The days of the public being wowed by watching a train arrive at a station, one of the first examples of motion pictures, are long gone.  Providing content solely by what we observe is in the past; now the public demands more and you can’t get that without art.   So, does funding the arts have an impact?  Hell yeah, if you aren’t stupid or greedy.

Cultural Decline (from my Patreon page)

No, this is not a post about the United States, although, given the threat to our cultural programs, it is oddly appropriate.  I am actually posting about next weeks story for the month of March “Lepidoptera”.  This is the story of the Sindain, a culturally advanced race that has lost all of their creativity to the necessity of surviving a thousand-year war with a brutal warrior race called the Hadar.  Every family bears the scars from generations of fighting.

Hope is an ever dwindling commodity for the children of the Sindain whom will soon face their rite of passage into adulthood through the Forest of Calling.  The Forest of Calling is the center of Sindain life and is where all the young of the tribe must go to commune with their God, Sky Father, and learn the place where they are needed.  Into these trying times come Diocles and Maia, the children of Androcles and Melina, respected members of the tribe.

Diocles is troubled by his pending rite of passage because he fears having to become a warrior and fight.  His dream is to re-learn the ancient artistic skills of his forefathers.  Maia is the sister he adores and a gentle soul.  How will Sky Father’s need for the Sindain change their and the tribes fortunes?  Will their culture survive?

Hopefully, you will subscribe for $1 a month at my Patreon page to find out.  Fun fact: the title “Lepidoptera” is the scientific order name for moths and butterflies, which figure prominently in the story.

Art Does Matter (from my Patreon page)

I want to make a case for funding the arts for obvious reasons and I don’t mean because I am an artist.  Of course, I am an artist so I do lean toward an artistic point of view.  Also, the arts are more than just images, they are music, they are writing, and they are theater.  How many of these affect your life?  Well, by how much money actors, singers, and writers can and do make, I would say a lot.

Where to begin?  First, let us deal with the fact that Republicans once again want to scrape funding for the endowments to the arts and public television, which make up a small percentage of the governmental budget.  Why do they target these programs?  One, they are rich and can afford to get any art, entertainment, and learning for said they want so they feel they shouldn’t have to be taxed to help people who cannot afford access to same.  Classic “if it does not benefit me directly, I don’t want to pay for it”.  Unfortunately, it does benefit them greatly but they are too myopic and greedy to see that.  I will explain later.  In addition, they are not the only ones being taxed for these programs and the voters should have more say in what is cut.  You know, that whole  “taxation without representation” jazz the Republicans spew when it is not in their favor.   Two, cutting such programs make them look like they are fiscally responsible without having to dig into programs that benefit their largest donors.  Note, I do not say base because their base does not count, only their largest donors.  Finally, the artistic community is in general one of their biggest oppositions, so it is logical to do all they can to undermine that sector.

Now, let us focus on why the arts need funded.  The basic reason, and one that is directly in their favor, is that the arts take peoples minds off their woes.  After dealing with all the pressure of work, what is one of the first things people reach for to relax, TV – entertainment.  What makes entertainment possible?  Art, music, and theater.  The arts help soothe the frustrations we all feel.  Music calms the savage beast.  Next, the arts directly influence scientific discovery.  How many times have you heard that Star Trek has influenced a scientist or astronaut to become who they are?  How many ideas have been generated from artistic endeavors?  Also, the arts help to relax the minds of people so that they can better focus on the work tasks that are given to them.  Finally, by limiting art access to only those you are willing to pay for directly, you risk becoming frozen in a set of artistic values that will eventually erode their worth.  You in effect create a stagnant pond that begins to have a negative affect on scientific and technological creation.  How many great artistic and technological innovations have come from random citizens in our country?  The bigger the pool of talent, the better the results.

So, are the arts important?  Hell yes!  Where do the Republicans think the ideas for their ad campaigns come from?  Where do they think the ideas for wrist watches and cell phones came from?  Star Trek and Dick Tracy!  How do scientists and movie makers visualize for the public their ideas?  Artwork!  Where do scientists and engineers get a lot of their ideas about the future from?  Science Fiction Writers!  Life without the arts would be dull, meaningless, and dangerous.  Hey, I can understand that cuts need to be made, but you don’t have to totally wipe out these important programs.  Try dipping into all the items in the governmental budget evenly and quit lining your pockets with our tax dollars/future.  Quit shifting the burden solely onto the middle class you claim to care for so much.  Try trimming some of that corporate welfare fueling the 350 to 1 income differential between the top 1% and middle class incomes.  Take your stinking paws off the arts you damn dirty apes!