Archives for the month of: November, 2018

I allow two and only two possibilities: All is meaningless mundane, a fleeting wisp of nothingness seeming as more than illusion, though it is even less. Or, there is true transcendence of nature, actual meaning, real reason, true rationale behind it all.

In the first case, nothing matters; so, I dispense with it. The second, I’ve asserted previously that if there is a heaven, there most certainly is a hell, but what might either be? Again, I allow only two possibilities. There is either some unknowable consciousness that resembles nothing anyone has ever suggested, not even in the slightest, some consciousness that may or may not be localized and individualistic, some general awareness of consciousness that overtly defies any pondering. Or, there is a resurrection that is something similar, though unimaginably more, as has been described by religion, particularly the Christian faith.

I am what I am, and if I will be myself in the transcendent eternal, then I must have some form of embodiment. A ghost me cannot act. A ghost me cannot be what I am.

Limitation is undefinable in eternity, where there is no limit on life and action. Yet, I will not be me if I am actually unlimited. There must be some form of embodiment, some limitation on me, defining my boundaries and actually limiting me, or I will not be me.

I say in eternity nothing needing done will be undone, but we will still have work. There will always be action and accomplishment. In this world, in energy-space-time, everything that matters is action, everything that happens uses up time and uses up work (energy). It is all being used up. It will all decay to nothing. It may take trillions of years, but it is progressing, and it is winding down, it is wearing out. We use it up. (It uses itself up.) Eternity is not so. There is no winding down. There is no wearing out. Nothing is used up. Yet, there will always be action and accomplishment. There is meaning. It will remain so. There is reason. It will remain so.

In our physical universe, not only are we limited, but all that we need is scarce. Sure, we are getting better at specializing and cooperating and increasing surpluses, but there is always scarcity. Nothing is ever in such abundance as to be always valueless. Even oxygen, despite its abundance in our atmosphere, it takes scarce little time of deprivation, perhaps underwater, perhaps in an airtight chamber, to realize its preciousness and potential scarcity. In eternity, scarcity will not even be conceivable. Nothing of need will be wanting. 

If anything at all is true, our existence is action, action bounded by the limitations of our bodies and our universe. Assuming continued existence, as I do, we most certainly will continue in action. Eternity will know no limitations, but it makes no sense if we, ourselves, are not still limited. If we are to be “one-with-the-universe” (defining “universe” as all of eternity), then we will be not much of anything. We will be some vague, undefinable consciousnesses smeared together with no standalone sense of self. I think that is inconsistent with existence. Self seems universal. Living systems all seem to be aware of the self in some quantifiable way.

Will all such selves have existence in eternity? Why not? Perhaps so.

Regardless, the orthodox view of resurrection seems among the most reasonable possibilities, and it is the most consistent view considering personal experience and history as we can know it. Yes, I do believe in the bodily resurrection, both of Christ and of us all.

We’ll all know soon enough: https://youtu.be/GyP7iUgLqt8

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2018/11/13/the-best-is-yet-to-come-rjs/

RJS has written a substantive article at the link above. Her article prompted my thoughts for this article.

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I live in Oklahoma House District 94.

Our district is fully within Oklahoma County, and Del City is one-third, with Oklahoma City encompassing the remainder. Most of us consider ourselves Mid-Del, I suppose, though folks south of I-240 might think of themselves more as a part of Moore.

Anyway, there are about 37,000 of us in the district in general. That, of course, includes children and others not eligible to vote, but 19,238 of us were registered as of 01 November 2018 (for the general midterm election). Thus, 52% of residents (whom the Congresscritter is to represent), can vote.

I’m guessing, since my half-hearted effort to look it up revealed nothing; if there are 10,000 residents under 18, then our registered percentage is roughly 72%. Seems decent, but I’m not looking up anything to make a comparison.

8,634 D; 6,707 R; 108 L; 3,789 I (registered voters in our district)
44.88%; 34.86%; 0.56%; 19.70% (percentage of registered voters)

It is sad that so many want to identify with the overtly self-serving major parties. It is sad that so few are willing to identify with the party that stands for the liberty of the people and restrictions on the government. It is not surprising many Okies identify as independent. Most of us are, but politics is politics. Tribalism is instinctive, but we rational and educated adults should be able to do better.

ABSENTEE MAIL EARLY VOTING ELECTION DAY TOTAL
JASON SANSONE (REP) 279 118 3458 3855 39.61%
ANDY FUGATE (DEM) 488 317 5072 5877 60.39%
Total 767 435 8530 9732

The table above is cut-paste from the State Election Board’s official results. Roughly 43% of the district registered voters he represents voted for Andy. Less than a third (31%) of all residents he represents voted for him. I suspect most of the Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents, and some minority of Democrats feel unrepresented (at least at the gut level). That is our system. I do hope it helps Andy keep perspective and a sense of humility.

I’ve friended Andy on Facebook. I have higher hopes for him than our prior representative. We shall see. Still, I honestly suspect that even if Andy treats nearly all his representees with respect and reasonable attention, he is still going to be voicing positions that most of us do not agree with, at least on most subjects. (The situation is similar or reversed in most districts.) Again, that is our system.

How does this situation qualify as a representative democracy?

Our system is broken. It isn’t working. Leaving our system as-is proves we are lobotomized sheep, willing to be fleeced by the political bosses.

By the way, I’d register Libertarian, but I just can’t accept the party system in general. I cannot condone the party system by registering in one of the parties. Thus, I have my registration as an independent.

That causes restrictions for votes. The party system restricts voters in primaries and other “party” elections. Not being an active member in good standing of one of the parties results in one being shut out from most of the political process. Again, a broken part of our system. It is broken and unjustifiable. It needs to be fixed.

The parties get to set their own voting rules for the “party” elections, and they change often. Generally, they won’t let voters registered with a different party to vote on their ballot, but sometimes they allow those registered as independents.

Ideally, our representatives study the legislative issues that arise in the legislature, and, hopefully, they consider our suggestions, weigh alternatives and arguments for and against, and they raise these issues in the legislature for us. Ideally, they spend most of their time improving existing laws, repealing bad laws, and improving the liberty of the citizenry while reining in and restricting the long arm of the law to infringe on the liberty of the citizenry.

Party politics and rules encumber the process and restrict our representatives, especially when in the minority party, but the idea is they take our input, add in all they can learn, and make the best decision they are capable of. If Andy does that, I’ll be satisfied. I’ll feel I’m represented.

Party politics stand in the way, especially for aspiring pols. Scott Inman is a good example. I supported his opponent each of the seven elections he ran for. (Eight if you count his abortive run for OK Governor.) Despite opposing him, I found him to be a great guy, and I liked him. There was even an off-year when I got so annoyed at the OKGOP that I told Scott I was going to support him. Apparently, I had bad timing. That is when Scott stopped listening to me. He became a grandstander, continuously beating the drum for the Democratic Party, continuously denigrating, deriding, and accusing all who weren’t in line with his stances (which seemed fully aligned with DNC policy). Scott went so far as to unfriend me, and block me, on Facebook, deleting many of my comments on his page. (I am (and was) a legal and voting resident of his district. I had known him (as a politician) since 2003, actively (generally cordially) engaging him often.)

It didn’t take me long to realize Scott was first a politician. It truly disappointed me as he more and more routinely threw his constituents under the bus in order to advance his standing in Democratic Party politics. He had his sights set on the highest ranks of Democratic politics and office. His whole strategy of campaigning his last four years in office (and make no mistake, it was a 24/7 campaign from just after the 2014 elections) were aimed at the Oklahoma Governorship, followed by a jump to national politics in the course of time.

Perhaps my opinion is colored by his treatment of me and so much of what I try to stand for. Regardless, I see him as a quintessential example of what is wrong with US politics and what our representative democracy has degenerated to. Scott seemed to represent the district honestly his first four years. He grew more vocal and more confrontational as he became more prominent in the Democratic Party, both in Oklahoma and nationally. He proved to be corrupted by his power. He ruined his life and family because of it. He failed to represent his professed Catholic faith. He did not represent the people of District 94 in any reasonable and honest way his last four years in office, especially for those who are not staunchly aligned with the DNC.

Following up, on 06 November, shortly after the polls closed, I walked over to our precinct to review the vote-tally that is always posted in the window by the door. Two fellows were eagerly helping the pole official complete the task. (I mean that complementarily; they were being appropriately helpful.) They quickly took a couple of notes and snapped a couple of photos, and they were hurrying on (obviously collecting information for a campaign or party). And, I recognized the voice of Scott Inman. As he hurried off, I queried. His associate heard me and responded in the affirmative. That caught Scott’s attention, and he waved and shouted, “Good to see you,” as he hurried to their vehicle. I asked how life was going, and he replied, “Quite well, thank you, but we must hurry to the next precinct.” Fair enough, but no, his life isn’t going well at all by any standard I hold. Oh well. Not my business. Not my call. Regardless, it shocked me that I would see him in our district. After his fall from grace, Scott reportedly moved to Tulsa as a banking executive. (Tulsa World) I still cannot fathom why he was collecting poll results in his old district so far from Tulsa. I assume his disgrace has been forgotten by the Democratic Party. I won’t be surprised if I start seeing his name in the news again.

I’ve waxed too verbose. I’ve vented, but I mean it. I’ll never succeed in politics if I unwisely decide to try, because I’m too open, too transparent. I have no intention of changing that. I’m getting better at keeping my mouth shut (face to face), but when asked, I’m going to be as clear, and honest, and open as I can be.

Here is looking forward to representation by someone more focused on representing us than on headlines and securing votes for higher office. Andy Fugate, we are counting on you.

 

State Totals 781,091 D; 1,003,182 R; 8,675 L; 327,895 I; Total 2,120,843
Oklahoma’s 2017 estimated populate was 3,930,864. (Approximately 54% of residents are registered to vote.)

 

I appreciate all who have signed a blank check and served our USA.

It is significant that World War I is now a full century in the past, but the War to End All Wars did nothing to accomplish such an ideal.

We can help today if we, as a nation, refocus our international goals and make the top priority of the Federal Government to provide for the common defense, with strong emphasis on defense.

Our defense budget is overly stingy given the objectives our foreign policy sets. It would be lavish and gluttonous if the national focus was on keeping our own homeland safe and adequately defended.

War is hell.

We, the USA, are doing too much to add to the hell on earth.

May we honor our veterans and current servicemembers by refocusing and bringing most of them home. May we stop contributing so much to the unrest and bloodshed of the world.

 

The New York Times restricts readership, but if you visit them infrequently, you should be able to read this entire article:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/09/opinion/expanded-house-representatives-size.html

The article is even and well-reasoned. It is the kind of useful journalism the Times used to be known for. Perhaps they can still do it when they block The Donald from their minds.

We simply must increase the House of Representatives. It is a major factor in our current political unbalance and unrest. People know they are not represented, yet they are taxed more and more. It is hard to shake the adversity of it. It is, after all, what separated us from British rule.

I’m generally opposed to anything that increases government, and I may regret it, but this seems too essential. The pros outweigh the cons substantially. We must increase the number of seats in Congress substantially. I honestly don’t think the proposed increase here is enough. Perhaps going back to the Constitution and per-30,000 is too many, but I believe changing the rules to do most of the Representative’s work from their respective home districts, and coordinating everything on openly viewable social-media-like electronic-media, it can work well, and openly, and with solid representation for the people of these United States.

It is doable. It is workable. It may take a few election cycles to iron out the kinks, but with so much more accountability, I bet it gets done. I bet it will work well and solve many of the political problems within a decade of implementation.

The first step is to increase the number of Representatives. It is an essential step in trying to balance the many diverse concerns and interests of We-the-People. Let’s all push to increase the size of the US House of Representatives. Write your Congresscritter and Senators. Start talking about it when political and governmental subjects come up.

Shouting louder and instigating violence is certainly not helping. This suggested change is positive and doable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My comments:
793 seems an easy yes. Your current doctor will keep the same office. This will allow normal competition and eliminate the state-imposed restrictions that keep costs high and horn out the little guys.
794 seems good, but it will increase costs for law enforcement.
798 seems silly and irrelevant either way.
800 sets up a retirement fund for the state. That is, we start putting in a little now, and that amount increases a little each year as we go. After five years, some of the gains from investment are used to fund regular state budget. After 3 or 4 decades, there will be enough money in there, and enough gains, to start paying for most everything the state does, and hopefully, that will reduce taxes. The notion of making it constitutional is intended to make it hard for short-sighted lawmakers to screw it up. Of course, no guarantees. The question is, do we want to set up a retirement-type fund for our state government (to fund the government, not retirement)? I say we should try.
801, well, it won’t help much, but probably a little. It gives more local control and less government control. That is a general positive.
• State Question 793 – a citizen-initiated referendum to allow optometrists and opticians to operate in retail establishments;
• State Question 794 – expanding the constitutional rights of crime victims, known as ‘Marcy’s Law’;
• State Question 798 – providing for the election of Governor and Lieutenant Governor on a joint ticket starting in 2026;
• State Question 800 – creating a new budget reserve fund, the Oklahoma Vision Fund, to receive a portion of gross production tax revenues;
• State Question 801 – allowing local building fund revenues to be used for school operations.
 
Learn more about each state question with our fact sheets, which include a brief summary of the state question, background information, what supporters and opponents are saying, the full ballot language, and links to other resources. Find links to all five fact sheets on our #OKvotes page: http://www.okpolicy.org/OKvotes
https://okpolicy.org/state-question-798-governor-and-lieutenant-governor-joint-ticket/
https://okpolicy.org/state-question-800-new-reserve-fund-for-oil-and-gas-revenue/
I don’t understand calling this a “reserve” fund. It will be a state-owned asset for the state budget. It isn’t reserved. It will be five years before it pays back anything to the state budget, and it will probably be at least 30 years before it puts substantial money into the state budget, but the idea is that it will be a self-sustaining asset for the state budget. It is like a retirement account, an investment account. Save a little today so tomorrow eventually becomes more well funded. The notion is to reduce taxes eventually, especially considering we may stop using oil and gas in a few decades. Without them, the state will have MUCH less tax base. This “Vision Fund” will hedge against such possibilities, and will probably be able to lower the state tax burden in coming decades.
https://okpolicy.org/state-question-801-allow-building-fund-revenue-for-school-operations/
If you want to help the schools, make a state question that constitutionally bans truancy laws and any other attempts to coerce people into schools. Let freedom prove education can be done better.
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