A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down and a spoonful of silliness makes the workday go better.
Last summer, my nephews came to visit me in Rhode Island and they played soccer on the porch in pouring rain and lightning. They were completely unmanageable. A bit later there was small hail. This was the second time I had seen hail. The first was in New Hampshire in the late eighties. Interesting.
Later that same day, we saw a rainbow:
Still later that same day, we saw a whole family of turkeys walk right across the yard. A row of little turkeys followed the adult. After that, we were playing hide-and-seek and I got stung by a wasp. A giant wasp nest was in the hedge near where I had previously found a bird nest. It was a wild day in the middle of a wild year.
Weeks later, I visited my nephews in New Hampshire and took a photo of this creek surrounded by flowers:
Points To Ponder:
“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” – Jesus, Matthew 19:14, NLT
This past summer, I trimmed the hedge around the yard and exposed a bird nest:
The birds never came back ☹
The twenty-first century will one day be remembered as the age when men were free to appropriate the cultural dress codes of women and enter women’s bathrooms and locker rooms at will, yet white children could not darken their skins to transition into a black person on Halloween.
After living in the same house for 106 years, my grandfather died in 2020. I was tasked with helping to sort through the stuff in the house and the barn/garage. Apparently, my grandparents never threw anything away. It was like visiting a museum! Many things were either garbage or commonplace items, but there were also more than a few objects of interest, some of them quite old.
The model barn shown above was under the basement stairs and nobody knows why it exists. There were also a collection of several gas lamps, including one that had been converted to electricity. There were two towel racks of the kind that stick to the wall and splay out. There was a butter churn that I never saw before it was sold, but I am told it was the kind with crank and paddles and it was glass.
Also in the basement was a tabletop grain mill. There was a “demagnetizer.” When he was alive, my grandfather showed me how it would suck a long bolt through it and spit it out the other side.
In the storeroom was what appeared to be a model of a Victorian “fainting couch.” Only later did we find a note indicating that it was once used as a doll couch. There was also a doll in an old carriage.
Paintings found in every room in the house were painted by my mother. Most of them were of birds or landscapes. There were so many, we had to get rid of some of them.
My grandparents also had quite the collection of china sets that they never used, fancy glassware, and fancy candles, such as this snail:
In the barn were cobbling tools. My grandmother used to make clothes for the family, but no one remembers anybody making shoes. There were also milk bottles, potatoe sacks, and nail kegs from companies no one has ever heard of. There were two old metal trash cans. There was a collection of old doors in the slowly-collapsing shed.
There were railroad spikes. There was a railroad lock on the bracket of a shelf in the barn that nobody had ever been able to find a key for. My grandfather did used to work as the guy who put the crossing bar up and down, but this lock was already there when his parents bought the place.
The barn used to be a schoolhouse and we found a single desk hidden in the corner. It appears that when placed in a row and bolted to the floor, the kids would sit on the chair part of the one in back and use the desk part of the one in front. No wonder pigtails were pulled!
Then there were the numerous tools, such as the post digger, and the pitchfork, and the wheelbarrow I used to take rides in as a kid. Look at all this cool stuff!
2020 has been a very strange year. I let the water run dry on my boiling green beans three times! They smelled like burnt tobacco. A lot of my projects were put on hold and I travelled hardly at all. However, I did take a few walks around the neighborhood:
We apparently have some artistic neighbors. A few miles down the road somebody has filled their yard with giant metal insects and spiders. On the way there is a boulder recently painted with an ocean scene and a holly bush.
These are some other things I saw on walks around the neighborhood in RI:
Points To Ponder:
“The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship.” – Psalms 19:1
“Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the glory of God.” – 1st Corinthians 10:31
“I have witnessed real faith and genuine sincerity in the holy places of many different religions, and in every case my heart responded to them. I will be entering many more churches and holy places and see a good deal more, I’m sure; but to me the best church of all is the sky’s starry dome above. The whole of nature is my temple, and so are my room and my small heart, as long as it is alive and beating.” – Svetlana Alliluyeva
“I’ve read enough books in their entirety to know that if I persevere and keep reading, things will make sense, and I might even be changed in the process of making sense of them…God, the Master Author, writes every chapter of our lives with the aim of character development. He patiently works in us through the mundane and the problematic. He adds odd passages and tedious side plots. He weaves our lives with those of other characters through unexpected and even bizarre ways. Yet, when we turn the last page, it will be the beginning. There will be no more wistfulness. There will be no more wondering.” – Klara Holscher
I find it very curious that people find it so easy to believe one guilty of a crime such as rape, murder, fraud, or insider trading, yet find it so difficult to believe one guilty of a crime such as falsely accusing another of such a crime. Curious indeed.
So, what’s new in the grocery store salsa aisle in 2020?
Mrs. Renfro’s Craft Beer Salsa:
This medium salsa tastes a lot like bit-too-salty tomatoes with no detectable beer. It contains tomatoe, onion, Rahr Texas Red American Amber Beer, brown sugar, jalapeno pepper, chipotle pepper, ancho pepper, guajillo pepper, cilantro, garlic, citric acid, and corn starch for some reason.
Mrs. Renfro’s Habanero Salsa:
This hot salsa is fantastic and goes with everything. I never get tired of it. The quirky habanero flavor comes through and compliments the sweet tomatoes. It contains tomatoe, jalapeno, green chile, onion, garlic, cilantro, habanero, vinegar, and corn starch.
Mrs. Renfro’s Green Salsa:
This salsa is slimy and contains only jalapeno, which is probably why it tastes that way, but who can be sure?
Mrs. Renfro’s Black Bean Salsa:
This salsa is good, but nothing special. It has black beans.
Mrs. Renfro’s Ghost Pepper Salsa:
It’s very hot and kind of smoky, reminding me of chipotle. Then again, it might have been my tongue that was smoking…
This salsa just tastes like tomatoes in vinegar. It contains tomatoes, jalapeno, vinegar, garlic, onion, green chile, cilantro, and salt.
Jardine’s Ghost Pepper Salsa:
This salsa I thought was a bit runny and very hot. The lime was detectable and it tasted otherwise like bit-too-salty tomatoes. It contains tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, ghost chile, onion, lime juice, and potatoe starch.
Field Day Garlic Cilantro Salsa:
The garlic and cumin were quite noticeable in this salsa. I certainly wasn’t complaining. It contains tomatoe, onion, cilantro, lime, cumin, black pepper, garlic, jalapeno, and cider vinegar.
Siesta Salsa Bacon Salsa:
This very mild, fine-chopped salsa tastes just like tomatoes and bacon! There are no bacon bits in it, but the essence permeates the vegetables. It goes well paired with meat.
Taste of Inspirations Three-Bean Salsa:
This salsa is mislabeled! It is actually chili! Let me start over…
This hot chili is wonderful and can be used in any application that calls for chili. It contains red beans, white beans, black beans, red bell pepper, tomatoe, onion, jalapeno, lime, garlic, and cilantro.
I visited the Fisherville Brook Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island sometime in October 2020. I needed to get out and get some air and get away from people. I was surprised how crowded it was.
It smelled like fall and looked like fall. Leaves were falling everywhere. So were acorns. One missed me by less than a meter. Sometimes I think the trees are trying to get my attention to warn me about something. Then again, they may just be mad I walked on their toes.
In a ten-foot radius from one spot I found seven “oak apples.” They looked lonely, so I gathered them together.
Not far from there was a pond on the other side of which was a house with a giant boulder in the yard, a small cemetery, and some grapevines. I took pictures of flowers and things.
By this time, I had noticed a pattern. Many trees had dark, vertical marks on them, which in some cases had swollen into ridges. Could these be allergic reactions to dragon scratches?
On the far edge of the park was a stone wall bordering a small clearing that appears to be at the end of a long driveway. No houses are in view. It’s as if people wanted a secret spot in the middle of the woods to conduct human sacrifices or something and the Audubon put a trail right next to it. The nerve!
Further along the trail, I found a dragon tooth! Suddenly, it all made sense!
This wildlife refuge is where they sacrifice people to the autumn dragon for a bountiful harvest! No wonder it smells like fall here! The dragon’s scent has even caused the leaves to break out in spots!
No wonder the parking lot was so full! It’s not because this is a popular hiking spot; it’s because most people never leave! I should have known all along!!!
I also saw a woodpecker. That was nice.
There are those who say war is never the answer. Strictly speaking, this is not true; sometimes war is the only answer we have left. It’s just that war is the type of answer that only seems to raise more questions.
I visited Queen’s River Preserve in Exeter, Rhode Island in August 2020. It was nice, but nothing too special. There were pines, rhododendron, and sweet fern. In several places, the trails continue onto private property. Existence is forbidden there. The highlight of the trip was when I startled a huge garter snake. On my way back to the car, it started raining. That is all.
2020 was a strange year. I hardly wrote or travelled, but I did spend a lot of time on YouTube and stumbled across some relatively unknown musical talent (at least in the US). One artist led to others showing up in my recommendations until I had listened to them all. Below are the top thirteen in ascending order of rating.
Faun: While I would never say any of their songs are among my favorites, there is a certain fairy-elf atmosphere to the sounds that would make them great movie background music. The video for Walpurgisnacht makes this clear. The language is German.
Gealdyr: Borrowing from Nordic and Celtic culture, Gealdyr sings mostly repetitive simple songs about nature, life, and death. It makes good background music. I like Kauna and Deyr Fe. The language is old Norse.
Sabine Hossenfelder: Theoretical physicist and professional pessimist of the direction science by day, Sabine has put together some decent lyrics and simple beats. The videos are clearly homemade, but the sound to my untrained ear is as good as anything else. I especially like When They Ask Us, This Is How I Pray, Theories Of Everything, and Ivory Tower. The language is (usually) English.
Isla Vista: This group sings of God and his love in a style reminiscent of Sam Smith or Marvin Gaye. Captured is a good example of this. The language is English.
Beabadoobee: Soft, sweet, quiet, cute, and pensive, Beabadoobee sings of ordinary things and extraordinary love. I like Coffee the most. Also good are Dance With Me, 1999, Ceilings, Everest, Art Class, and The Way I Spoke. The language is English.
Erutan: Erutan sings songs inspired by fairy tales and stuff. Tarts and The Willow Maid are good. The language is English.
The Hu: No, they aren’t The Who, but they are at least as good. Blending Mongolian throat singing with modern rock, they sing of the glory days of the Mongolian Empire. Yuve Yuve Yu, Wolf Totem, and Shoog Shoog are good songs. The language is (usually) Mongolian (of course).
Ella Roberts: Ella sings traditional folk songs from Ireland and Scotland. Her version of The Bonnie Banks Of Loch Lomond is amazing. The language is Scottish English.
Kati Ran: Her other songs don’t touch me much, but Suurin is a full-blast power song that can make anybody feel capable of anything – and I thought that even before I saw the translated lyrics. The end sounds like someone running for their lives. The video is awesome too. I never get tired of it. The language is Finnish.
Blackbriar: An excellent example of female-led metal, I really like I’d Rather Burn and Beautiful Delirium. Arms of The Ocean, Until Eternity, and Ready To Kill are okay too. The band is Dutch, but the language is English.
Rachel Rose Mitchell: Singing along to what can only be described as symphonic rock, Rachel sings songs powerful, sad, or sometimes a bit creepy. I really like Alice, which somehow makes me think of a character who has defeated every enemy in every battle and yet still lost things most people will never understand. I also really like Thorns, Something You Don’t Know, Carnival, The Ticketman, Lantern In The Night, Wither, River Run Red, Farewell Song, Glow In The Dark, The Hollow, Everything You Want, and Collateral. Just listen to the entire playlist. The language is English.
Oonagh: German pop sensation Oonagh is best known for her catchy songs inspired by Lord of The Rings, such as Orome, Eldamar, Silmaril, Numenor, Tolo Nan, Arien, Ainulindale, Yalume, and Gaa. The verses are in German, but the choruses are often in Tolkien Elvish. Even the videos are works of art and Oonagh’s bubbly personality and natural good looks put the frosting on the cake. She also sings many other good songs, such as Eine Neue Zeit and Zauberwald, and has even collaborated with Celtic Woman to create the fairy magic that is Tir Na Nog. The woman is the best thing to come out of Germany since Albert Einstein and puts even The Beatles to shame – and yet she’s still second on this list…
Eivor Palsdottr: Sometimes creepy, sometimes lovely, sometimes nostalgic, her music sometimes reminding me of Paul Simon, Ringo Star, or a James Bond intro, Eivor’s voice is always beautiful. Common themes include the ocean and lost love. My favorite songs include Surrender, Into The Mist, Rain, Far Away, True Love, Undo Your Mind, Green Garden, Let It Come, and I know. Most of her work has English and Faeroese versions. One song in which I think I actually prefer the Faeroese is Mjorkaflokar – not that there is an English version. Why isn’t she more popular?
What a great year!
Contrary to its name, Providence Coal-Fired Pizza is not in Providence. It is in East Greenwich. I visited in February of 2020 just in time for lunch.
Also contrary to its name, they don’t have pizza – or at least not pizza I’m used to. These are not your usual standby pizzas with tomatoe sauce and cheese, such as pepperoni or sausage, these are crazy pizzas made with steak, spinach, and vinaigrette dressing. I ordered one of these with extra mushrooms. It was very good.
One way they could improve is not to make the crusts so thin. Mine had soggy spots that broke open, spilling my mushrooms everywhere. I had to eat it with a fork – and anything eaten with a fork can’t possibly be pizza.
I also never saw any coal.
In 2010, I started a blog called The Understanding Project. I tried to promote productive conversations between those of different political ideologies by educating my readers about what people actually want instead of what their opponents accuse them of wanting. After three years, I had never been so frustrated with anything in my life. I gave up on politics to focus on writing, art, and forest rambles.
Now I’m bringing the blog back, but there will be some changes. I used to ask questions and invite people to educate me. It didn’t work. I’m no longer going to waste my time in conversation. The blog is now nothing more than a resource on using critical thinking to cut through news media BS.
I have no reason to think that I will convince anybody of anything, but something desperately needs to be done and I have no reason to think that violent retaliation or sacrificial love or any other tactic will work either. All options are on the table.
I’m speaking out in faith. If I were to win by destroying my enemies, I would still have lost because that’s not the type of world I want to live in. Only by convincing others with force of logic do I truly win. I have to try.
Points to ponder:
“To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.” – Thomas Paine
“Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again.’” – John 11:25
“Don’t be intimidated by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself.” – Philippians 1:28
“The Lord replied, ‘If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak words that are worthy, you will be my spokesman. You are to influence them; do not let them influence you!’” – Jeremiah 15:19
Dan’s Law of Psychology: For every scientific study establishing the existence of a psychological phenomenon, there is an equal and opposite study refuting it.
I visited The Bike Stop Café in Narragansett, Rhode Island with my sisters in late December 2019. It is less of a café and more of a pizza shop. The stone oven is right near the door and you can watch them make the pizzas. We shared a chicken pizza that was very good. The walls are adorned with bicycles. I have no idea why. Every table is stocked with ten or more types of hot sauce from every company imaginable. There is also a bookshelf in the corner stocked with more. When I placed an almost invisible amount of a carrot-habanero-based sauce on my finger for tasting, I almost died. So, I put it on my French fries next.
Considering what has been going on recently, I thought it was important that I say something: Two things can be true at the same time. This is a theme that runs through my life. I am often caught between two positions or two factions that are both right and both wrong – and so everyone hates me. This is especially true in the current war between the police and Black Lives Matter.
Anyone who actually watches the news already knows that the cops are jerks. It isn’t simply the ratio of bad cops to good cops, which is debatable; the problem is much deeper than that.
To illustrate what I mean, I need a few examples. It is entirely possible that I have been misinformed on the details of these events, but that isn’t important because I’m only using them to explain principles as you shall see in a moment.
The first event occurred in New Hampshire. I heard that in attempting to arrest a suspect at a gas station, the police threw flash-bang grenades at his vehicle. I know that if I was suddenly surrounded by explosions and fast-moving armed people shouting at me, I would assume that I was under attack by those wishing me harm and would have nothing to lose by fighting back. In this situation, as everyone should have predicted, the suspect shot back at the police, forcing police to return fire, who killed him and his girlfriend and somehow missed hitting the baby in the back seat and everyone in the surrounding neighborhood. If they had simply cut off his exits and invited himself to surrender, things might have gone differently.
I have also heard of many cases, such as the recent one in Kentucky, of cops storming into houses with guns drawn and the homeowners being charged with attempted murder for firing at the cops. Common sense dictates that even if the intruders identify themselves as cops, this is likely to be missed in the chaos. Common sense dictates that these could also be fake cops since it has happened before that imposters have robbed people. Common sense dictates that these could be crooked cops sent by an organized crime syndicate or a government-turned-tyrannical, since those things have also happened before. No-knock warrants terrorize even law-abiding citizens, since it has happened before that police had the wrong house and they have been known to cover up their mistakes with lies. When police put people into a legitimate self-defense situation, no one should ever be charged with a crime for killing them.
Note: There are probably rare times that it is worth the risk to do these things, and I’m not saying that the cops should necessarily always be charged. All I’m saying is that the accused must not have resisting arrest, assault, murder, or attempted murder added to their charges, since it is possible none would have happened if the police had acted differently.
That these mistakes sometimes happen isn’t the real problem. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people and things are bound to go wrong sometimes. The problem is that other cops, their supervisors, and their allies support these types of actions. I even heard Brandon Tatum, former cop, say on Dave Rubin’s show, The Rubin Report, that cops need to enter unknown situations with their weapons drawn for their own safety. That’s insane! By the same logic, I should point my gun at the police during routine traffic stops just in case they get out of hand. “Keep your hands where I can see them and no sudden movements,” I should say. Somehow, I don’t think it would end well for either of us.
Idiocy doesn’t even begin to describe it. There can only be one explanation: Brandon Tatum is a very evil man. I’m through messing around pretending that all ideologies are equally valid. The gloves are off. If you advocate for the police to be allowed to do these things you are evil incarnate. It isn’t just that a minority of fringe wackos like Tatum support these ideas. The problem is widespread. Even people I know support them.
People also tell me that I must always do whatever an officer says and sort it out later in court if it was wrong, but this is completely unreasonable. I can’t be unkilled or uninjured later in court. I can’t get my moment of indignity back later in court. It isn’t “resisting arrest” if I am rushed and grabbed without warning or explanation and I instinctively pull away. It isn’t “disobeying a lawful order” if the order is so preposterous that I assume I must have misunderstood and seek clarification first. Yet there are those that blame anyone who does not immediately follow orders and place zero blame on the one giving the orders.
Deaf people cannot always understand orders. Mute people cannot always answer questions. Blind people sometimes bump into officers. Autistic people are highly sensitive to touch and sometimes misinterpret social cues. Schizophrenics are sometimes paranoid and nervous. Claustrophobic people might not want to be cuffed and placed in a vehicle. Cops should be trained how to deal with these people, but it seems many cops don’t even have the basic social skills of a kindergartener.
The problem isn’t just “police brutality.” It’s all the lies and minor injustices done. It’s false traffic tickets. It’s that the judicial branch is often biased in favor of the police. I have no idea how to behave around police. The news tells me there are imposters out there, so I should never give out my license or anything with my address on it to anyone I can’t verify has a right to it. At the same time, lawyers tell me to never utter a word to cops because they can twist my words around to make me look guilty, or claim I slurred my words in order to accuse me of intoxication, but how can I verify their identity without talking to them? At the same time, advice is circulating that if I have a gun on me, the very first thing I need to do before anything else is announce this (by talking) and allow the (possibly fake) cop to disarm and search me so I don’t get shot. There is literally no way to win. There is no way to stay out of trouble.
Lawyers tell me that I have a right under the first, fourth, and fifth amendments not to answer questions or volunteer information about what weapons I might be carrying, yet I have heard countless anecdotes of people “remaining silent” who were detained, arrested, and even ordered out of vehicles they were not driving for failure to identify. I was taught in school that America is a nation of laws and it is laws we are to obey, not the whims of government agents, yet as an adult I am told that police have huge leeway in managing emergency situations and that any disputes must be handled later in the rigged courts or at the ballot box where I am repeatedly outvoted – and this is assuming the ballots were counted fairly.
Police have also abused me and people I know. When I checked up on an old friend I was very concerned about, those around her started harassing me. I considered reporting them to the police but wasn’t sure their behavior quite rose to that level. While I thought it over, she went to the police first and accused me of harassing her! Without ever reaching out to me to get the whole story, the police chose their side and actively constructed lies to hurt me. They searched completely unrelated public posts of mine, construed them as veiled threats against her, and showed them to her, knowing perfectly well at the time how mentally unstable and paranoid she was already. I could no longer report that I was harassed to the police because they had already chosen sides and I believed they would use any words I spoke against me. The court did not allow me to make a defense and the judge ruled against me even though what the police falsely claimed happened didn’t even fit the legal definition of harassment in that state.
Furthermore, when I complained to the police chief, they brought charges against me again – claiming that my complaint was a roundabout way to contact my accuser in violation of the court order. The entire department is corrupt!
For months, I wondered if the next step was for them to claim I violated the no-contact order so they could drag me out of bed in the middle of the night. They had already lied once, why not again? I worried over everything I posted online, thinking it could be construed as a threat. I wanted to be a writer. How could I ever promote my fiction books or my non-fiction blogs safely? Since what happened to me was so lawless and so detached from truth, I fully expected that if I submitted to arrest, the cops might beat me or kill me in custody and then claim I started the fight. Why would I ever submit to arrest? What do I have to gain? What do I lose by fighting back? Considering that I had reason at the time to believe my ex-friend was suicidal as well as paranoid, and the court system had already failed me, it would not have been unreasonable to go full vigilante after these cops and stop them by any means necessary. I would be doing the world a favor.
For years the story has been burning to get out of me, but I held back from going to the national press only because I didn’t want to hurt my ex-friend who is as much victim as perpetrator. I have also been told by well-meaning but misguided individuals that any public mention of the incident will only invite further abuse and also prevent anyone from hiring me because hiring managers and the public at large are predisposed to believe the police and predisposed to believe women. So be it. I refuse to work for cowards who won’t stand up for truth. You don’t deserve me.
People are now saying “defund the police,” “abolish the police,” and “abolish the courts.” It sounds crazy – and it is – but they have a point. If you lived in a city with cops so corrupt that if you called them for help with an intruder you were as likely as not to be mistaken for the intruder, or as likely as not charged with an unrelated crime, or as likely as not to just have them not show up (this has happened to people I know), you might think you were better off abolishing the police and taking your chances with the criminals. What loss is there if they don’t even show up half the time?
Some people say we should reform the police rather than get rid of them entirely. I agree, but people have been screaming for reform for years. The system and its countless clueless allies have resisted change. You can’t blame people for wanting to tear it all down. Maybe recent events will be a catalyst for reform. I hope so, but it could also be used as an excuse for police to crack down harder.
There is nobody in the country who hates the cops more than I do. Nobody has more reason to be angry than I. The protestors and I have the same enemy. The problem is: I’m the wrong color.
Why are so many black people so stupid to think they are the only ones with problems? Don’t the lives of the homeless matter? Don’t the lives of ex-cons matter? Don’t the lives of the unborn matter? If you have a job (or at least had one before COVID-19 hit), you are doing better than I am right now. If you have your own room and your own bed, you are doing better than I am right now. If you have more than one friend, and those friends live in the same state as you, you are doing better than I am right now. If you have ever had a girlfriend or boyfriend in your entire life, you are doing much better than I have ever done.
I’ve been bullied and treated as different my entire life. I’ve been a victim of prejudice for being male, for being Christian, for being single, and treated rudely many times for reasons mysterious to me. For all I know, it might have been for being white. I once lost my home and thousands of dollars in investment because of a crooked judge. I’ve been charged with a pretend crime by crooked cops. Twice patrol cars have slowed down while passing me as if I was being profiled somehow. I’ve been robbed at gunpoint. I’ve been fired from jobs twice for no fault of my own. When I was a child, my father was passed over for a job because of affirmative action, fired from another job over a false charge of sexual harassment, and evicted without mercy for being one day late on rent. Where is my white privilege?
I know that many if not most black people have things very tough, caught between failing schools, limited economic opportunities, drug problems, gang warfare, and corrupt police. I sympathize. I’d like to help, but we can’t work together so long as your loudest voices perpetuate an us versus them mentality. Black Lives Matter has made all white people the enemy.
Black Lives Matter is a black supremacist group and I can prove it: On more than one occasion, their leadership has prematurely taken sides in high-profile shooting cases before all the facts were in and solely because of race. They held a rally where whites were told not to attend. They have waged a war of words on their own allies who agree and sympathize when they innocently state in support that all lives matter. The only explanation for this can be that the Black Lives Matter leadership believes that only black lives matter. They should change their name to Only Black Lives Matter.
By bringing race into it, Black Lives Matter clouds the issue and prevents unity. One prone to conspiratorial thinking might think they are working with the cops. That some police have started kneeling to them isn’t helping. That in many cities rioters were released while those merely defending themselves from being beaten or killed by them were charged isn’t helping either. Our legal system is completely arbitrary at this point. Either way, so long as Black Lives Matter dominates the conversation, I can’t help you.
Whether you are black, Hispanic, Native American, or whatever, renouncing Black Lives Matter (and Antifa) is the first step you have to take if we are ever going to fix this. Making enemies of the white majority is a sure way to get crushed. Remember, there are white supremacists out there too. Black Lives Matter is the best recruiting tool they have.
There are people now saying that white silence is violence. While not strictly true, they have a point. I think we do wrong not to speak against evil when we see it. This is why I’ve been speaking out my whole life against cops, government in general, and partisans that would pointlessly divide us along racial, religious, or even sexual lines. I’ve written books. I’ve written blogs. I’ve invited anyone who will listen to talk politics, but nobody listens and some of them tell me I have white privilege and thus have nothing to say worth listening to. What difference does it make if I stay silent?
Universities that try to protect their students from hearing controversial opinions do them a great disservice. One might be able to make the case that children should be shielded from certain ideas, but university students are adults!
If you are old enough to vote, you are old enough to discuss public policy. If you are old enough that no one should stop you from viewing pornography of your choice, then you are old enough that no one should stop you from listening to political opinions of your choice. If you are old enough to own a gun or join the military or police force, you had better damn well be mature enough to peacefully negotiate with those you disagree with. If you are old enough to be trusted with driving a car or raising children of your own, you are old enough to trust to fill out a ballot. It is time for university students to choose: Are you adults or children?
Nudge coffee butter is what it sounds like: a mixture of vegetable oil, sugar, and finely ground coffee beans that you can spread on toast like Nutella. It’s not bad, but I don’t think I’ll buy it again. I prefer sunflower butter or cashew butter. Almond butter and peanut butter are good too.
I have been so busy writing books and taking care of my grandfather that I didn’t visit many parks or write many blog posts last year. Here are a few things I did do:
I discovered YouTube channels DrBecky and Cody’sLab:
Doctor Rebecca Smethurst is an astrophysicist who covers the latest news in cosmology, gets really excited about black holes, and sings.
Cody takes care of bees, chickens, extracts valuable metals from catalytic converters, plays with mercury, turns everything into charcoal, and is currently building a habitat to simulate Martian living.
In the meantime, I posted another article to LovesTampaBay.com, this one written by my mother about her visit to Sawgrass Lake Park.
I also saw a GIGANTIC beetle in the summer. It resembled a Japanese beetle, but was bigger than a June bug. Unfortunately, I got no pictures.
What I did get a picture of was the night sky when it was every color of the alphabet and then some. It is hard to see in the photo, but they are there.
Another day I went to check the temperature and found I was not the only one:
I made chili using leftover Lima beans:
Here are some other pictures:
Patriotism and treason have no meaning when a country is at war with itself.
My name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small.