Category Archives: Philosophy

“To each according to his need…” – even snacks?

It’s been a lot of years since I was in grade school, and I’ll be the first to admit my memory isn’t what it once was, but I don’t remember this “daily snack” thing that the gradeschools do here.  I think I remember getting a carton of milk half-way through the morning – maybe that was our snack.

Anyway, for those who aren’t in the know, what happens is this.  Starting at the beginning of the year, the school “requests” that you send in a month’s worth of snacks for the upcoming month.  They also send out their list of suggested healthy snacks.  Of course, my idea of healthy doesn’t match up well with theirs, mainly because their healthy needs to also be easy, convenient, pre-packaged and not refrigerated.  Can’t expect bananas and apples to last a month, right?  So, the list tends to point towards things like fruit-rollups, fruit bars, and many other little bundles of high-fructose corn syrup goodness.

So, at the beginning of the month you grab a box of these goodies at the grocery store and send them to school with your kid.  End of the story, right?  Well, no.  When your kid turns in his goodies to the teacher, she takes his box and all the other boxes and mixes them together in a big box-o-goodies.  Each day the kids all walk by and grab anything they want from the box.  Anyone with kids can identify the problems with this:

  • All the really good stuff will be gone right away, then the okay stuff through the middle of the month, and then the stuff noone likes will all be left to the end of the month.
  • Not all parents will contribute.  No matter how much peer pressure or shame you bring down, some people are just bad parents and don’t play nice.  Don’t give me any crap about people not being able to afford it – everyone seems to have enough money for smokes.
  • Some people will eventually cut back on the quality of their snacks if they notice that others are being cheap.  “Why pay extra for name-brand stuff when my kid isn’t going to get any?”

So what’s the solution?  If snacks are necessary, the school should be buying them.  That cures all 3 problems.  The only problem left is how to fund the purchase, and I think there should be plenty of money left over from the “book rental” fees to buy a bunch of snacks.

Lack of decency

Anyone who is anyone knows about the Patriots on the Prairie (or Tea Party) celebration here in Quincy last weekend.  I mentioned in another article I could not attend, but I DID get to catch a quick interview Glenn Beck did with Andrew Breitbart, who spoke at the event.

Breitbart was falling all over himself talking about how nice people in the middle of the country are when compared to those in the big metropolitan cities on the east and west coasts.  For the most part he’s right.  People here ARE nice.  They wave at complete strangers.  They stop and help people with car trouble.  We have extremely few poor walking around asking for money, mainly because our charities are overflowing with contributions.  I tried to donate a good used refrigerator to a charity here once, and they were so flush with things already they turned it down because it wasn’t brand new.

But, even here in Quincy, there are a few rotten apples in the barrel, which leads me to a story.  I dropped my wife off at Walgreens a few weeks ago to pick up something.  The parking lot there is awful, so I usually drop her off at the door, take my time driving through people and other cars, get turned around, and pick her up on the way back through.  Hence the reason why I didn’t get to eye-witness this.

Anyway, my wife was waiting in line behind a fairly young guy, probably late-twenties.  In front of him was a well-dressed woman in her thirties and her daughter.  While paying for her items, the woman dropped a 5-dollar bill on the floor and didn’t notice it.  My wife did just what I expected and spoke up, “Ma’am, you dropped some money on the floor.”  At the same time, the young guy bent down and picked it up.  The woman turned around and the guy handed the $5 to her.  Then the guy turned to my wife and said, “Idiot.”

My wife was so flabbergasted that she didn’t even have a response.  It’s one thing to find money and not turn it in to lost and found, but it’s completely another to KNOW who dropped the money and just stay quiet, hoping they’ll not notice so you can “find” it.  I figure if that guy had any soul left, what was left of it that day was worth less than $5 to him.

When we talk about taking our country back, it’s not just about politics and policy.  It’s also about bringing back values and decency and honesty.  It’s about knowing what’s right and wrong and doing what’s right even when it’s not the easiest or most popular thing to do.  Keep waving at strangers, keep helping the unfortunate, and keep being honest.  Even if the rotten apples don’t appreciate it, the rest of us and people like Breitbart do.

Time slowing down?

I love theoretical questions about space/time relativity.  Questions that only God can truly answer because He’s the only one who can comprehend the whole thing.

Here’s a new one titled, “Bizarre theory suggests time may be running out“, published in Ireland’s BreakingNews.ie.  One of the theories that has long been tossed around has been that the universe, or at least the universe that exists in our dimension, is expanding at an accelerating rate.  The theory suggests that some “dark energy” is causing the expansion.  No one knows what the dark energy is, and can’t prove it, which is probably how it got it’s name: it’s energy and we can’t see it so we’ll call it dark.

So, previously the idea is that the speed at which the universe is expanding is growing over time, and that time is a constant.  This new theory suggests that time itself may be slowing, causing us to perceive that the speed has increased (the stars have moved farther because the seconds are longer).  Our universe isn’t expanding any faster, our time is slowing, causing us to see more per unit of time than before.

The final suggestion is that at some point time will slow so much that it will disappear and we’ll be frozen in an instant in time.  I don’t think so.  I think that if things keep changing at the rate they are, from OUR perspective the universe will expand faster and faster – more change per unit of OUR time.  If someone were to exist out in that expanding universe in IT’S timeline, they would see us slow down more and more – less change per unit of THEIR time.  However, OUR perception of OUR timeline should remain constant.

Unless somehow someone another dimension with an accelerated timeline can move ahead of us and affect our timeline, which is where people get ideas about building time machines.  They figure that it’s easy enough to travel from one point to another through our first 3 dimensions.  The fourth dimension, time, is a little trickier – it’s easy to travel forward in time at the same speed as time.  It’s difficult, however, to travel ahead or backward in time.  If someone can figure out how to travel through the time dimension, then combined with being able to travel through the first 3 dimensions, they could jump from one moment/location in space/time to another.  When you start looking at dimensions 5-10 (10 is the highest possible – I’ll find the reference to that and post it someday), the goal would be to be able to cross universes and timelines as well.

Obviously, if anyone ever figures out how to do this, we’ll most likely be screwed.  People will be wanting to go back and adjust history, both for good and bad reasons.  For a humorous look at problems with time travel, check out the Back to the Future movies.

Wow. That’s just wrong.

There are some things that you find on the Internet that are just so, so, so wrong in so many ways that you just can’t find the words to explain it, other than to just keep repeating, “Wow, that’s just wrong”.

I just saw one of those things.

No, I’m not going to link to it, and I’m not going to give out any search terms to find it.  It’s wrongness will remain with me for some time, and I won’t be responsible for bringing that wrongness to you.

I just hope that whatever is wrong with the person involved, they find some kind of help and find peace with themselves.

Larry King at his most classy

From a Doug Powers article on Michelle Malkin’s blog about Larry King interviewing Levi Johnston:

Is it legal for a 75-year-old man to ask a teenager to describe his sex life with another teenager? Larry King did his best impression of that creepy guy who used to hang around the malt shop when you were a kid by prying for some intimate details about the conception of Sarah Palin’s grandchild during an interview with Brisol Palin’s ex-boyfriend Levi Johnston.

Are you sure Larry was trying to do an impression of a creepy guy?  I doubt that he would have to work very hard at it.

As for Johnston, he declines to get into specifics because he’s “a gentleman”.  A real gentleman would keep his mouth shut and not appear on every talk show that would take him.

Common Sense – another human skill

Wow.  I started trying to write about common sense last night, and my mind just blocked.  How could something that seems so obvious to me be so hard to explain to others?  So this morning, I had a few minutes before work, and thought I’d try again by starting with Wikipedia’s definition.  Who’d have thought something that seems so obvious, so easy to grasp, so commonsensical, would have such a complex definition?  Apparently I’m not the first and by far not the most well-known person to think and write about this topic. Continue reading Common Sense – another human skill

Valuable Skills to Have

I wrote an article yesterday called Personaility Traits, in which I talked about Observaton and Anticipation.  After reading Angel’s comment, I think maybe I should have named the article Valuable Skills to Have.  After all, these really ARE skills, and somehow certain people learn them and others don’t.  These skills, along with others that I’m going to talk about next, are, I feel, what separate the “cream from the crop” so to speak.  Angel used 3 words – conservative, effective, and efficient –  that reminded me of a phrase that I’ve always liked: Continue reading Valuable Skills to Have

Ouch – think about this one.

You know, I’ve had a lot of various pains in my life, mainly because I don’t take very good care of myself.  I’ve head migraines that curled me into a ball in a dark corner, and I had a stomach virus once that made me think I was dying a slow death.  Pain sucks.

What sucks more than pain?  Maybe an eye infection.  I managed to get something in my left eye one night while sleeping and I woke up with my entire left eye swollen shut, sore and itching like mad.  Well, as usual, I avoided the doctor and waited a week for it to cure itself.  It probably would cure itself if I were willing to wait long enough, but I finally broke down and went to the clinic.  Turns out my eye got infected, so I’ve got some eyedrop antibiotics to clear things up.

I suppose that even with the annoyance, I should be happy that I still had one eye that worked.  Some people don’t have any.  Which brings me to an interesting philosophical question:

Which would you rather: To be blind from birth, never to see anything, but also to never experience the loss of sight?  Or to have eyesight and see many beautiful things, only to lose that eyesight later and know then what you are missing?