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Paul Edward Snyder

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Member since: Mon Jun 30, 2014, 03:21 PM
Number of posts: 15

Journal Archives

Patronizing the Less Fortunate

“Usually it ain’t broken for wealthy white males…” is an astute evaluation of a Conservative conundrum,. …everyone else gets the short end of the stick” however is a blanket statement that simply is not universally true.

There is in all of us, especially wealthy white males, a feeling of entitlement, and your conclusion “…everyone else gets the short end of the stick” clearly shows that this feeling of entitlement is not limited to wealthy white males.

I suspect, however that you are not poor and in fact are well educated and enjoy comfortable circumstances. This may be unfair on my part, but I have found that the poor tend not to complain about their poverty, though they have every reason to do so. They seem to be more appreciative of what they do have than those who are more fortunate.

In fact (be aware that this is my cynical opinion of the irony of human despair) the more one has the more one seems to think one is entitled to have (a kind of parasitical expectation that others should serve their every whim and the world that does not even know they exist owe them more privileged circumstances than they now enjoy).

Often this feeling of deprivation is transferred onto the backs of the less fortunate who are then subjected to not only hunger, homelessness, helplessness and hopelessness, but the patronizing attitude of some rich kid.

I will not pretend that I, or any other Conservative (rich or poor), is trying to make this a better world. We simply try to make things work. It is in our nature, just as it in the hands of Liberals to experiment on ways to improve what already is. It seems to be in their nature, though little appreciated by too many Conservatives.
Posted by Paul Edward Snyder | Sat Sep 13, 2014, 01:20 AM (1 replies)

Sanitizing Satinizes

One of the most admirable things about the Democratic Party, in my opinion, is its openness to anyone who wishes to join the party, and its open-mindedness toward new, even old, though controversial ideas. Until recently even Conservatives were welcome,; and I certainly understand the antipathy towards anyone with the audacity to identify himself as Conservative given the rhetorical vitriol and open hatred spewed forth by Republicans (actually by those in the Republican Party who falsely, in my opinion, identify themselves as Conservatives; previously as Neo-Conservatives --- Neo meaning “not really”).

There is, however, in the Democratic Party a Liberal element who would like to see the Party purified. There is this element also in the Republican Party. They call themselves the Tea Party. The problem with purification is that it leads to obsessive behavior and unrealistic expectations. I have noticed this tendency over the past few years also in elements within the Christian Church calling themselves Evangelicals (I would quickly point out that this is not true of all Evangelicals, but it does seem true of the vast majority. I am deeply religious and have Evangelical friends to whom I consistently contend that sanitizing the Church Satinizes it --- justifying them in doing really reprehensible things.

I say all this because I seem to sense a tone of contempt in your request, but it does, of course, require an answer.

A basic premise of the Conservative Movement is “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” This, of course, creates the problem of discernment, a problem with which Liberals have confronted Conservatives with for very a long time. “How do you convince a Conservative that something is broken?” The answer is, “You can’t”. This is something about which a Conservative must recognize pretty much on his own, but once recognized as a problem, he will do everything in his power to fix it.

This brings us to the value of Conservatives. They are slow and they are obstinate (and far too often arrogant), but they are really good at making things work, partly because they are slow and obstinate (the arrogant part has questionable value).

I can expound further, if you like.
Posted by Paul Edward Snyder | Fri Sep 12, 2014, 03:13 PM (1 replies)

I am a Conservative

I left the Republican Party just after President Richard Nixon resigned. Although I did believe and still believe he was one of our finest presidents in spite of Watergate, My problem was with the John Birch Society’s influence on Republicans as they guided them away from the basic principles of Conservatism.

I immediately joined the Democratic Party as the best hope for Conservative ideals. The obsessives (radicals), it seemed to me, were moving out of the Democratic Party and into the Republican Party. Their objectives were different, but their blind commitment to a cause was the same; so much so that their present agenda seems downright anarchic.

I have been much impressed by the Democratic Party and especially by President Obama who seems to be the only person on Capitol Hill who is actually trying to govern this country. Even the Supreme Court has been radicalized to, in my opinion, the point of insanity.

If the Democratic Party can keep control of its emotions as it has done so well over the past fifteen years, I will remained a registered Democrat voting a pretty much straight Democratic ticket. I do however very much miss the Republican Party of my youth.
Posted by Paul Edward Snyder | Wed Sep 10, 2014, 06:22 PM (8 replies)

Would You Like Some More Tea, Sir

We united the fringes
Those without hinges
Thought we could tame them
Thought we could blame them
If hate did not sell
And spiteful rhetoric fell
On deaf ears
Igniting no fears
Among those held in contempt
By this heartless attempt

But should we succeed
Create a new creed
Then we could gloat
As we counted the vote
Celebrate our successes
Excuse their excesses
As signs of distresses
And glorified hatred
As sacred
As the thrust of the sword
In the coming of the Lord

Though they were without hinges
These erratic fanatics
Coming from fringes
Proved charismatics
Turned
On their masters
Spurned
Our disasters
Hubris had earned

Oh what the hell
Let the healing begin
Let the other side win
Posted by Paul Edward Snyder | Wed Sep 10, 2014, 06:53 AM (0 replies)

Dancing with the Devil

His arm around her waist
Her hand upon his shoulder
Around the room
They spin

He whispers
Not endearments
Not the flattering tongue
Of the rogue he is
Being a man

But truth
A baring of the soul
He sings
A song of dread
And deep foreboding

A song of love
He never can truly feel
Being a man
But can idealize
Blindly

Stumbling
As he bares his soul
His self
For her ears alone
To hear
Her eyes alone

To see
He says
I kill
I destroy
It is what I enjoy
It is what I am
Being a man

Her hand tightens
His arm relaxes
Her lips tighten
And in her eyes
He sees disgust

He bows his head
His eyes fixed on the floor
He chokes
The words
He cannot easily say
Being a man



There is something of you
Somewhere
Deep within me
That curbs my appetite
For seeing
And exulting in the pain of others

The terror I hear from them
While tearing
Limb from limb
And being a man
Rejoice
As their screams
Split apart the soft and silent fabric
Of the night

Through your eyes
Being a woman
I share their pain
And do not exult in it
But would allay it
Would prevent it

Heal it
Offer comfort
Soften my touch
Sooth
And
No longer a man
Feel shame

For being a man
And doing what I do
Driven as I am
As a man

Her hand falls away
And rises to his cheek
He backs away
A bit
His arm lifts
To just below
Her shoulder blade

And around the room
They spin

She whispers
Not condemnations
Nor contempt
Of the rogue he is
Being a man
And she
A woman



But truth
Sharing her soul
She murmurs
Sweet sound of sympathy
And a warning of her own

Of objectivity
She cannot truly feel
Being a woman
But can idolize
Blindly

Softly
She says
I do not bare my soul
I say what others want to hear
Commonality is my goal
I want to feel what others feel
And others to be like me
Or I like them

I say I understand
When I do not
I feel your pain
Being a woman
She says
I am who I am

Her hand tightens
His arm relaxes
His lips tighten
And in his eyes
She sees incomprehension
And just a bit
Of domineering disdain

She looks into his eyes
Concentrated
On her face
And realizes
He does not want to be understood
Being a man

There is something
Of him
Deep within her mind
That disturbs
Complacency
A feeling that there is no feeling
In him
Being a man

And being a woman
There is nothing more comforting
Than the joy
Of sharing feelings with another
Of being one
Being cherished
The focus of another life

She bows her head
And being a woman
Tries to find some commonality
Some point at which they touch
To step outside herself
Which she cannot
Comfortably do

But being a woman
And somewhere
Buried
In a deep dark hidden place
A manly part
Restrained
Struggling to speak
She tries
And tries
And tries

And thus
We have
The interplay
Of a predator
And its prey
Posted by Paul Edward Snyder | Sat Aug 9, 2014, 12:50 AM (0 replies)

Delusions

Narcissism is an obsession with oneself. By focusing on the results of obsession, we are distracted from the cause, and as a result are unable to clearly see the real problem – obsession, a tendency to which we are all susceptible and which many who are aware of this vulnerability are more than willing to use to exploit those who yield to it.

The most common and effective tool for fanning the flames of obsession is fear, and following close behind is hatred, but there are countless other stimulants; ideology, religion, causes, loyalty, (even patriotism, family, community, city, state can become obsessive), all commendable in moderation, but potentially destructive of ones self and others should they become obsessive.

Obsession is often confused with commitment. In fact obsession often begins with commitment. You might say that it is at times commitment out of control. And it is not limited to the Christian right, nor is it limited to the Church or to any other religion nor even to religion in general. It seems to lurk in the background of all of us, but there seems to be those who just naturally obsess about something and everything. Those are the ones who at the moment dominate the Republican Party. And there was a time, in the late thirties and early forties, when they had a huge influence on the Democratic Party.

The amusing and somewhat sad fact is that Conservative Republicans deliberately recruited these fanatics, financed them, trained them as organizers and sent them into the mainstream churches and other civic organizations to challenge just about everything loudly (to overwhelm or stifle with sheer noise more thoughtful responses) and repetitively (to evangelize a paranoid view of the world). The assumption was that the Party Leaders could control those with extreme views and win their support for the largess of their Republican benefactors. They failed to realize that fanatics will trample friend and foe alike should they impede their blind, stumbling progress down their delusional path..

Republicans never imagined that these obsessive radicals (This is the term used by Republicans to vilify Liberals, and it is very effective, because at one time this was pretty much what many Liberals were. It is also interesting that much of Republican Rhetoric is the same as much of the rhetoric of Democrats in the distant past, almost as if the obsessive radicals who besmirched the reputation of the Liberals of one era have renamed themselves Conservatives and are now besmirching the reputation of the Republican Party in this era) would prove ungovernable.

The remnants of those of true Conservative inclination, and of Republicans who remember their past with pride, are now in an uncomfortable position. In order to save the Republican Party from extinction they must vote secretly a straight Democratic ticket in this next election (but just this next election).
Posted by Paul Edward Snyder | Sun Aug 3, 2014, 04:24 PM (0 replies)

The Problem with Manifestos

Karl Marx was not in the late 19th century the monster he is today portrayed as being. He was more of what might be seen today as a particularly gifted union activist concerned with the powerlessness of the working poor, and who had apparently read Thomas Mores’ book, Utopia, about a fictional country whose society was pretty much based on Christian values. Being intellectually inclined and idealistically motivated, he researched the possibility that such a state might be attained and, based on his research and his background in Hegelian philosophical logic, he concluded that such a state was inevitable and proceeded to explain why it was inevitable and how it would come to be.

Unfortunately, though a Communist State sounds wonderful, it is fictional. It cannot possibly work beyond a relatively small community and even then in a world of ever expanding community it would be short lived. Marx speculated that it could only work under a benevolent dictator (much as Democracy has worked so far under an American Republic and similar government institutions), but he assumed the dictatorship would wither and die as the populace became accustomed to mutual cooperation.

Two problems (probably more) were not considered; number one, a benevolent dictator will not live forever and there is no assurance that a benevolent dictator will be followed by another benevolent dictator – in fact, history suggests just the opposite – and number two, though evolution is not the survival of the fittest, life does survive by feasting on other life (we are combative and personal advantage is inborn, part of who we are and may be suppressed for a time, but probably not eliminated altogether (even if it could be, we would be at a serious disadvantage if a situation should arise that threatens our life or the lives of our loved ones and we are unable or unwilling to fight back effectively).

Even if the above were not true and a successful Communist State were possible, all visionaries become the victims of their disciples. I am pretty sure that the authors of our Holy Books would be horrified and mortified if they could see what their followers have done with their message. The same is true of a lesser book, “Das Kapital” and its related pamphlet, “The Communist Manifesto”.
Posted by Paul Edward Snyder | Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:49 AM (0 replies)

The Question of Existence

I have never really found a good definition of existence. If it means that which can be affirmed by our senses, then there are a great many things that our senses cannot directly affirm, but that do impact our awareness – electricity and magnetism, for example. Do they exist? If not, then if they do not exist what are they, or does only whatever it is that causes them to happen exist (much like a collision between two cars)? Does the collision exist? If so, where does it go when the cars are immobilized?

This is the problem with words. They confuse us as much as they enlighten us. A good argument could be made that existence does not exist. It is a consequence, not an object or even a collection of objects.

To my mind God does not exist. It/He/She created existence

In fact, I believe historically we have come to view God from at least three different angles (perspectives that cannot possibly be reconciled with one another) simultaneously if our view is even close to being accurate. I call these perspectives “God Without Us”, “God With Us”, and “God Within Us”.

“God Without Us” doesn't care. It/He/She is Brahman in concept, not something we could possibly imagine, much less understand. This would be the creator God. This would be the God that created existence, whatever that is. This is the awesome God; the one that strikes fear into our hearts This is the God who would send us to Heaven or Hell arbitrarily (should Heaven or Hell exist) just on a whim

“God With Us” is the companion (compassionate) God. This is the God we talk to; the one we confide in (confess to). It/He/She is the one who forgives us for anything we feel we have done wrong. This is the personal God who cares for us so much It/She/He would give Its/Her/His life (if She/He/It were alive) to protect us from harm

“God Within Us” is a kind of spark, a kind of perfect (or perfectible) us. It/She/He is what we perceive as an inborn awareness of what is right and what is wrong, a kind of depersonalizing of ourselves to the extent that we interpret it as not us, but something within us guiding us; a kind of very personal mentor always with us and very judgmental though not necessarily vindictive.

All this speculation is, of course, ridiculous but it gets me through the day and it does confuse those who would convert me to their just as ridiculous delusions (God Fearing and Atheist Aggressive Evangelicals alike).
Posted by Paul Edward Snyder | Tue Jul 15, 2014, 02:00 PM (0 replies)

Gods the Atheists Worship

The idea of godly entities has always intrigued me. I am deeply religious and strongly drawn to the Christian concept of the Jewish God, Yahweh. No one seems to know exactly what the word Yahweh means, except that it means something like “I am I am”, which seems redundant. I suspect its actually a startled response, something like, “It’s me!,” or “I am who I am,” suggesting the idea of a god without the company of other gods.

But, going back to the idea of gods and where it came from. Being an Evolutionist as well as being deeply religious, I suspect it had something to do with the evolution of human speech. Evolution is seldom sudden and it must have taken thousands of years for articulation to attain some semblance of coherence, but there must have been some survival value to the articulation of sound without words for it to be an advantage strong enough to develop into speech.

I suspect that the manipulation of sound became an advantage when it was used to lure prey close enough to make it the next meal. As manipulating sound became physically more precise, there may have been an attempt to call to the invisible spirits that moved the leaves of trees and whispered from the treetops. An awareness of the power of these invisible creatures may have occurred later when powerful winds (storms and tornadoes) hit and hurt.

The next step would be to try to placate (“Please do not kill me!”) these entities by attempting to figure out the sounds that would summon the murmur of seemingly benevolent entities for comfort and advantage, and other sounds to placate or divert the more powerful and destructive ones. When the sounds developed into actual words in a societal context, an attempt may have been made to discover what these invisible creatures were and how not only to understand why they did what they did, but how to communicate with them and, being human, how to manipulate them.

Worship, putting ourselves in a position of absolute submission (rolling over on our backs or prostrating ourselves on our bellies as the natural sign of submission), was an obvious response to overwhelming power, and flattery an obvious attempt to manipulate. Thus we had the power of sound to summon gods and the power of words to negotiate with these invisible beings.

The irony is that the words we created to protect us from something that does not exist have seduced us into creating other entities that do not exist, but nevertheless control our behavior so much that they could in themselves be considered deities. The words that can have such an overpowering control over our lives are societal words when they cease to be tools, and become living (though non-existent) entities.

Friendship, when it becomes more important than our friends, is one. Marriage, when it becomes more important than our spouse, is another. When Family is more important than the members of our families, Community, city, state, even country can take control of us at the expense of family, friends and countrymen, justifying even their extermination and even our own.

We, of course, can exercise our freedom, our expression of ourselves, in walking away from a friend, a spouse, a family, a community, a city, a state, a country, but to do so because a word requires it is worship just as much as the worship of Greek gods, the gods of other more recent religions, or the one god of the Judaic/Christian/ Islamic religion,

Interestingly enough, we seem powerless in their clutches, as if some inner compulsion draws us into their machinations. The only avenue to a clear view of the control words have over our attitudes and our actions, I would suggest, would be an entity with which we struggle (much as a child wrestles a parent or dances with a trusted partner); an entity that guides rather than controls us; an entity that does not encumber us with dogma or literal translations of some Sacred Text that could otherwise be helpful in guiding us in our decision making. The problem we create in this relationship is when we wrestle to win, to hurt, to bend our opponent to our will or when we draw away from our dance partner and seek to impress it/he/she with our devotion to the dance and our enthusiasm to perform perfectly (to purify), what was a shared experience.

And finally, in my opinion, it doesn't make any difference if such an entity exists or not. I can’t imagine why any deity worth worshiping would care if we believed it existed or not.

Let Atheists pretend they have no gods. It is just my opinion, of course, but I would maintain that they have lots of them.
Posted by Paul Edward Snyder | Sun Jul 13, 2014, 04:56 PM (0 replies)

Exploitation

Having recognized Corporations as people and money as speech, it does seem logical that Governments be given that status also and exploitation an exercise in free speech.

I am not sure how governments profit from exporting their children to the United States. Perhaps you could clarify that for me. On the contrary, I would guess the governments are somewhat embarrassed by the exposure of their inept governance so serious that hordes of children are fleeing their county.

Drug cartels might profit, but I’m not quite sure I understand how. Surely they realize that such a rapid and large influx of refugees would force the United States to pretty much shut down the border making it more difficult for them to do business.

If a country is so badly governed or so poor it cannot support its children and keep them safe (in fairness I probably should point out that our putting guns in the hands of the psychologically impaired is not keeping our children safe either), further impoverishing that government doesn't seem like a very good solution. Our country is seen world-wide as extraordinarily prosperous and unbelievably generous. Even in a moderately affluent country parents surely see better opportunities for their children here. In countries pretty much overwhelmed by drug wars, indiscriminate killing, and a repressive (often by necessity) government, sending their children into the unknown with even a small chance of reaching such a promising land must be overwhelming.

The choice with which we are faced determines our character. To send these children back is heartless, but to allow them to stay would encourage more and more refugees until our resources would be strained to the breaking point. We can’t shelter everyone in the world, be they the very young or the very poor or (less emotionally acceptable) those vaguely dissatisfied with their government or their way of life. Nor do we resolve the problem by demonizing their governments or its citizens.
Posted by Paul Edward Snyder | Wed Jul 9, 2014, 12:40 PM (1 replies)
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