Free Forum Fridays

by Filistro & Mr. Universe

In our quest to be an open and inclusive blog where anyone can feel free to have an opinion, we’ve been throwing some ideas around. Filistro came up with this.
It’s Free Forum Friday! Got something on your mind that hasn’t been discussed during the week?  This is the place to post it. No need to worry about going off topic… the topics are entirely up to you. (I myself have some extremely off-topic things I hope to address if Mr. Universe is actually rash enough to let us have an open thread….) [I am].
We’re living in such fascinating times politically and, generally speaking, it’s impossible for this blog to touch on everything you might want to talk about. For example, Bristol Palin’s surprisingly endearing gig on “Dancing With The Stars”, or those generic polls that seem to be all over the place, to complaints and suggestions about the blog itself, to your favorite recipe for BBQ.  All of you lurkers (and we know there are dozens of you)… this is your chance to sign up and jump in. Come on… it’s easy, it’s fun, and the more the merrier. We’d much rather be a sounding board than an echo chamber.
Anything you’ve seen in the news, or heard during your travels, or wondered about recently, or just want to get off your chest….. feel free.   This is the place, and we welcome your thoughts. Friday is generally the end of the news cycle until the Sunday shows. So we’ll post a teaser with topics from the previous week as an hors d’ouerve (or horse dovers as my Grandmom used to say) to whet your weekend appetites.

Since we’re currently using a linear comment thread, be sure to quote the person you’re responding to. You can use some HTML tags like <b>bold</b> and <i>italics</i>,. Just remember to close them since they appear to affect the entire thread if you forget. Then we have to call shrinkers to fix it and he has better things to do.
This week:

DADT
The Pledge for America
Eddie Fisher died
Stphen Colbert testifies before congress
Lindsey Lohan’s meltdown reaches new temperatures
Bristol can dance!
{your thoughts here}

Ready, set, GO!

 


About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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138 Responses to Free Forum Fridays

  1. Mr. Universe says:

    Hey we’re almost at 200 comments on the previous article. Wonder if Charles will show up?

  2. shrinkers says:

    filistro, I put some information on my contact with Norse poetry on the previous thread. Is “open thread weekend” sort of like “open mic night” at the local coffeehouse?

  3. filistro says:

    YES!! OPEN THREAD!!!Oh, I have BIG plans for this :-):-):-)

  4. filistro says:

    First of all… I was just thinking how much I love the word “refudiate”, recently invented by Sarah Palin. For language geeks it’s a fascinating word, unique and very useful, conflating the elements of “refute”, meaning “to prove wrong or inaccurate” and “repudiate” meaning “to reject, spurn or disavow.” I can’t think of another word in the language that combines those two subtle shades of meaning. I hope it moves into the lexicon and becomes an actual word, because when all is said and done, the invention of this word will be Sarah Palin’s most enduring legacy (well, that and her destruction of the Republican party … 🙂 I like the idea that future generations will open their dictionaries to the word “refudiated” and read the meaning “proven wrong, spurned, rejected”…. and there will be a picture of Sarah Palin.

  5. Mr. Universe says:

    Is “open thread weekend” sort of like “open mic night” at the local coffeehouse?That’s actually an apt description. Hopefully the dialogue won’t be as bad as the open mic at my local watering hole, however. But I beg of you all; no renditions of ‘Feelings’.

  6. filistro says:

    Oh great… the party’s barely started and I already left the bold on. shrinkers… please?… sorry…

  7. shrinkers says:

    Did this work?

  8. filistro says:

    Thank you shrinkers! In abject gratitude I will now go and read everything you linked to about Norse poetry.

  9. shrinkers says:

    gad. I didn’t link anything yet. It may be a couple weeks. I’ll hold you to that filistro 🙂

  10. shiloh says:

    ok, casual Friday 🙂 repost …Speaking of free for all, my last link showed after Bart’s 1994 teabagger tsunami the 1996 presidential election had the lowest voter turn-out 49.1% for a presidential election since at least 1960 …probably because voters weren’t happy w/Clinton, but Dole was too old and as exciting as a Bartles’ family get together :::zzz:::and then after 1996 the wingers further screwed the pooch by impeaching Clinton over a BJ er Gingrich began to fiddle instead of governing.ie be careful what you wish for.Presidential voter turn-out:1960 ~ 63.1%1964 ~ 61.9%1968 ~ 60.8%Interesting America hasn’t had a 60% turn-out presidential election since ’68.Trivia:Perot’s ’96 vp ~ Patrick ChoateWallace’s ’68 vp ~ General Curtis LeMay, who coincidentally I knew all about ’cause one of my dad’s (3) fav movies was Strategic Air Command having served in the Army Air Corp during WWII, I digress.Goldwater’s ’64 vp ~ William MillerNixon’s ’60 vp ~ Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.>btw, whatever happened to Gingrich who resigned in disgrace much like Nixon and have no idea who Patrick Choate is lol even though I voted in that election.>Bonus points if you can guess my dad’s other (2) fav movies … hint: planes :)carry on

  11. filistro says:

    I just heard Bill Clinton explaining that Tea Party folks are sincere, earnest citizens who really want to limit the size of govt in order to make America better. On the other hand (according to Bill) the billionaires who are using, funding and stoking the Teaper fervor want to limit the size of govt so it has less power to limit the ability of business to screw the earnest, sincere citizens.It all seem so simple once you fully grasp that….

  12. shiloh says:

    Breaking per Rachel … DADT shot down by a federal judge appointed by Bush43 in 2002.carry on

  13. filistro says:

    Okay I want some lurkers to log on and say hey. If you’re reading but not posting… or if you’ve only posted once or twice… I really want to hear from you. How many of you are out there right now?

  14. shrinkers says:

    I’m out there. Way out there.

  15. dr_funguy says:

    @filistroLOL… [her] most enduring legacyso true (the other one too)

  16. filistro says:

    So if I were to conduct a little survey related to something I’m presently working on, would anybody be willing to answer a couple of rather odd questions for me? (It’s all in the interests of science. Really.)

  17. Mr. Universe says:

    would anybody be willing to answer a couple of rather odd questions for me? I guess it depends on the subject matter.

  18. Bart DePalma says:

    What do you Dems feel about your reps calling a comedian as a witness in a hearing on illegal immigration?Maybe they can call Robin Williams to testify as an expert witness on DADT because he played a gay guy in the Bird Cage.Every time you think Congress cannot reach a new low…

  19. filistro says:

    Mr U.. It’s about dreams.(No, not THAT kind of dreams, you dummy…) I’m specifically interested in dreams about flying. I mean actually being able to fly, not in an airplane. This is a very hard topic to research. People tend to look askance at a middle-aged woman in jeans and T-shirt who stops them on the street and says, “Excuse me… do you ever dream you can fly?”

  20. filistro says:

    @Bart…Lighten up, Frances.

  21. shrinkers says:

    Anyone interested, some unapologetic self-promotion … a wallpaper for my novel and an advance (first draft) cover for the freebie epic poem.Totally safe links. Promise.

  22. shrinkers says:

    Bart:Did you see Stephen Colbert’s testimony? Talk to me after you’ve watched.

  23. shiloh says:

    @ Bartlesa new low~~~~~~~~~~Republicans who childishly coined the phrase Freedom Fries re: the distaste for all things French, even though pommes frites originated in Belgium! ;)Indeed, teabagger Bart, whose Rep party currently includes bachmann, palin, sanford, ensign, vitter, beck, hannity, billo, limbaugh, angle, o’donnell, paladino, etc. etc. talkin’ ’bout a new low …Interesting! ;)take care, blessings

  24. filistro says:

    shrinkers, you are one fascinating dude. I’ve spent the last week musing over how your novel achieved a level of “simmering” (was that the word?) sensuality when the protagonist is a machine.I’m so intrigued that I may have to break my own long-standing rule about never buying anything online, and actually order a copy 🙂

  25. shrinkers says:

    Republicans once had a Muppet give congressional testimony. I think it was Elmo.Just sayin.

  26. shrinkers says:

    filistro:If you go for a copy, get the .PDF download form the publisher. It’s the cheapest and most efficient.Monotreme read it, maybe I can get him to give me a plug 🙂

  27. Bart DePalma says:

    shrinkers:I caught the Colbert schtick which made the evening news.The Congress refuses to enact a budget or deal with over three trillion in tax increases looming on January 1, but it has the time to send in a clown to testify on illegal immigration it also refuses to deal with.In November as I cast my ballot, I will not be the only one thinking: “Kick out the clowns.”

  28. filistro says:

    @shrinkers “Republicans once had a Muppet give congressional testimony.”And Mitch McConnell is obviously a ventriloquest’s dummy. You can even see the little hinges at the sides of his mouth.

  29. shrinkers says:

    Ah, so Bart, you are deciding based on limited data. Low-information voters. Got it.

  30. filistro says:

    so does anybody want to tell me whether they ever dream about flying? If so, I have a specific question about the TYPE of flying dream you have.(I wish the monotreme was around to address the neuroscience aspect of this phenomenon…)

  31. shrinkers says:

    filistro:I have not dreamed about flying since I was a teenager. But I would answer your question(s).

  32. filistro says:

    So here’s my generic “dream” survey (adapted for present purposes):”Hello… I’m a serious multi-published novelist and would really appreciate your help with something I’m currently working on. I would like to know how many of you have ever had dreams about flying. (I don’t mean in a plane, I mean actually being able to fly.) As far as I have been able to determine, there are two kinds of flying dreams…. some people have “soaring” dreams, where they can actually fly like birds over mountains ranges, cities and forests. (I’ve never experienced this; it must be an awesome dream.) Others have “skimming” dreams where they drift across the ground, down flights of stairs or whatever, going very fast as if running in the air, but with their feet never touching the ground. I sometimes have these dreams, and it’s a truly marvelous feeling. I’m presently trying to find out how many people have these dreams, and which type they have. My current belief is that about half the general population has flying dreams, and of these, skimmers outnumber soarers by about 4 to 1. But it’s a pretty hard topic to research. You can hardly stop people on the street and say, excuse me, do you ever dream you’re flying? And when you look it up online, you just get a bunch of New-Agey stuff about dream interpretations, “soaring above your personal limitations” and so on, and that’s not at all what I’m concerned with… I’m actually more interested in the analytics of this than the metaphysics.”So that’s it. I’d really appreciate your reports on your own experience since I suspect we have a pretty large, representative group here. If you don’t have these dreams I’d like to know that too, so I can get an idea if I’m correct on the 50% thing. It would be even greater if you could enlarge my sample by asking anybody else who’s handy in your world, and reporting back their experience as well. I want to know a.)out of a given population, how many people have flying dreams and how many don’t and b.)of the flyers, how many are soarers and how many are skimmers. (I’ve never heard of anybody who has both kinds of dreams, but who knows what you all may turn up?) If I get enough responses …(I’m really hoping for dozens… ATTENTION LURKERS!!! HELP ME OUT HERE!!!) I’ll tally the results carefully over the weekend and report the results back to you. Thanks everybody. All help greatly, gratefully appreciated. Now… back to Free Forum Friday!

  33. filistro says:

    I’m sorry, didn’t mean to stop the entire conversation. Anybody want to talk about that Sharron Angle supporter punching the Harry Reid lady in the face?Or Chris Christie”s “Ah am the toughest dude on this here stage,” schtick? ANOTHER GOP presidential hopeful! How many more can we stand?

  34. Monotreme says:

    I have soaring dreams. I have had them all my life. They are less frequent now, but sadly for me, they frequently ended as falling dreams. I would suddenly lose all power during my flight (say, over the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge) and begin to plummet. Then I would wake.If you want to know more, I think you know how to find me.

  35. shrinkers says:

    I had flying dreams about sort of running, and that made me fly.Also about having this wooden contraption I pedaled like a bicycle, but it looked like the Wright Bros plane.Does that help?(I think people are reluctant to talk about it, because Freud says it’s all about sex.)

  36. shiloh says:

    Re: Charles ever posting here, it’s a double whammy. ;)Not only did Chuckles along w/PK and MR say they would never join the fun! 🙂Charles said… I don’t even bother with Mr. Universe or shiloh anymore. March 30, 2010 1:17 PM~~~~~~~~~~And since this is Mr. U’s blog lol>>>ok, ok, Charles said many times he was gonna ignore me and many others, but didn’t have the fortitude/willpower to follow thru ~ typical conservative winger troll, eh ~ all hat, no cattle!And of course how many times did neurotic, passive/aggressive yada yada yada Mule I’m gonna gut you like a fish Rider say he was 100% finished w/Nate’s blog.Oh the humanity!It’s always especially amusing when a childish winger threatens to leave a progressive blog ?!?Go!>Which begs the rhetorical question: Bartles, why are conservatives on the internet such whiny, sore losers …

  37. shrinkers says:

    @filistroshrinkers, you are one fascinating dude. I’ve spent the last week musing over how your novel achieved a level of “simmering” (was that the word?) sensuality when the protagonist is a machine.The word was Smolder. 🙂

  38. Monotreme says:

    I would be fascinated if we all popped over to the Political Compass site this weekend, took the quiz, and posted our scores.I had mine posted up here above my desk for a long time, but can’t find it now. I recall that it was in the -2.5, -2.5 range.I will re-do mine if y’all will.http://www.politicalcompass.orgNext weekend, we can all post our Myers-Briggs type.

  39. Mainer says:

    I’m in fili. Yes I have had said dream experiences. I don’t soar with eagles what I remember of it as more of a hovering sort of thing. I doubt I would ever do the soaring thing as I have a pretty bad fear of heights both when awaks and when asleep.And Bart get off your damned high horse. Considering the damned clowns asking the questions it was some what refreshing to see some one that used satire as a focus. Sad that you and others are to busy being enraged to get it.Hmmmmmm planes. 12 o:clock high and that one that Howard Hughs did on the WWI fighters either that or flight of the Phoenix

  40. Monotreme says:

    Loved Shrinkers’ book! Loved, loved, loved it. Filistro, if you want to keep your record unblemished I would buy you the pdf, print it out, and mail it to a PO Box so you could have it. It’s that good. I would not only recommend it to a friend, I would give it to a friend.Shrinkers, I tried shutting off the formatting with closing tags (/i, /b, etc.) and with “font” tags and neither one worked. I must learn your secret.

  41. filistro says:

    shrinkers I think people are reluctant to talk about it, because Freud says it’s all about sex.)Oh, what nonsense. Freud thought EVERYTHING was about sex.I have various theories about what causes these dreams… (for one thing, they seem to happen more often to very creative people….) All of us, say, ride bicycles… but we seldom dream about it. NOBODY has ever flown, but lots of people dream about it. Maybe it’s some kind of species-specific ancestral memory of a time when humans COULD fly… or lived in a lower-gravity environment… or lived in trees and “flew” from branch to branch? .. It totally fascinates me.Thanks for your responses. So far, we’re 2 for 2… one soarer, one skimmer.(Well, counting myself, 3 for 3, one soarer and 2 skimmers. My dreams are a lot like what shrinkers describes.)

  42. shrinkers says:

    Shut off italics.

  43. shrinkers says:

    Computers like me.Monotreme, thank you so much for the endorsement :-)Come to think of it, computers liking me, and the novel … not coincidence 🙂

  44. filistro says:

    Thanks mainer! I’ve written you down. So far we’re ALL flyers. 4 for 4… three skimmers, 1 soarer. Looks like I had THAT distribution right at least… but had no idea we’d be batting 100% on flying dreams overall.Anybody who’s NEVER had them? My stats are getting badly skewed here.

  45. filistro says:

    Mainer… do you have more media exposure to NJ’s Christie out there? What do people think of him?

  46. filistro says:

    Mr U said Muley contacted him during the lead-in to the blog and indicated he was anxious to come over here and trash the place.I assume he hasn’t been able to find us, otherwise I’m sure he’d be here.

  47. shiloh says:

    dream about flyingDidn’t have to as back in the day, before 24/7 tv channels ~ when tv stations actually had to sign off, after the late/late show …HIGH FLIGHT ~ 1960’S originalHigh Flight Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there, I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air…. Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace Where never lark nor even eagle flew— And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God. ~~~~~Reagan quoted High Flight after his State of the Union had been delayed by the Challenger disaster when White House officials insisted NASA launch the space shuttle so Reagan could talk about it in his S of the U speech even though: The failure was due to a variety of factors, including unusually low temperatures prior to liftoff.Was on the Saratoga in the Med at the time, Jan ’86 and they sent us out a video of the disaster and we saw it probably 6/7 hours after in occurred.>Sorry if I broke the mood re: dreams about flying lol as let the psychoanalysis continue …

  48. shrinkers says:

    I’m pretty happy about the quality of commentary and discussion we’ve had here.Some of us are… well… obsessed with politics. And now, with the community we have established. Even though I disagree with Bart on, well, everything (I bet we would disagree on favorite ice cream) I am impressed and happy he’s here.Grog, you too.And Parksie,Some of us gather on Friday nites. Some are day owls. The world is Big.

  49. filistro says:

    Aw… everybody’s gone away…’Treme, just wanted to tell you I did the Political Compass test… fascinating questions! (Pretty much any one of those questions could start a lively discussion on Free Forum Friday…)I came out just as I suspected… slightly left-leaning, strongly libertarian.

  50. Mainer says:

    Really not that much coverage fili. One has to get into the NY/NJ market to get much more than you are seeing off the national links. In NJ I would say the jury is still out. Those you would think would love him do and want to see him keep hacking and cutting, those you would expect to see dislike him….really dislike him. Between the two is what seems like a fairly large group that don’t know what to make of him. If we consider each group to be about 1/3 then he could either come out looking good or really bad. The betting I have heard from quite a few folks I know in the area is that he is heading down because he isn’t going to be able to slash enough to keep the right happy and may have already slashed enough to adversely affect quality of living issues for the rest. When the cops and firemen start turning against him then we will probably know which direction it will take.Oh and apparently I am much more left than I feel. I took the test and came out with an E of -7.50 and an SL/A of 3.90……Hell I make Ghandi look like a teaper…..who knew? oh and I have taken the Myers Briggs a number of times and for some reason keep coming out as either a ENTP or ENTJ now being that consistent in 3 cats and then bouncing between the last one has even confused some pretty clever people that deal with the stuff. Who knows maybe I’m also bi-polar too.

  51. shiloh says:

    it’s all about sexhmm, did someone mention sex ~ surely not Christine O’Donnell …She was against sex, before she was for it ~ channeling John Kerry 😉

  52. shrinkers says:

    ‘m going to do the Political Compass test. Tomorrow. Into some fine scotch tonight 🙂

  53. filistro says:

    Question… would you say “socially conservative” is the opposite of “libertarian?”

  54. shrinkers says:

    social conservative wants to get into your bedroom. Libertarian would not.

  55. Mainer says:

    Fili from those of both predispositions that I actually know I would have to say yes. The whole concept of big or small gov is to my Libertarian friends with out question centered around government not intruding into the lives and freedoms of the people. I find it interesting though that many Libertarians can be quite progressive. It is almost as though they understand the need for government to keep a level playing field so that every ones rights have a chance to be exercised. Not sure if that is just the nature of the cross section of more Libertarian people I know or a regional thing or what.

  56. shiloh says:

    From the previous thread …It’s been YEARS since I last worked as a Playboy bunnyFili’s legend continues to grow ;)btw, are Hef’s Christmas parties as fun as they look?Rhetorical question lol

  57. Mr. Universe says:

    And Mitch McConnell is obviously a ventriloquest’s dummy. You can even see the little hinges at the sides of his mouth.No he’s totally that cartoon turtle in the back of comic books that you could draw to get into some bogus art school. Snappy, I think his name was. The other thing you could draw was a pirate. Anybody remember that?

  58. shrinkers says:

    O. M. G. Mitch McConnell as cartoon turtle.Perfect..

  59. Bart DePalma says:

    Is there any leftist cliche put in absolutist terms that the political compass test did not include?If you want a more (not perfectly) balanced test with a similar political distribution, take the World’s Smallest Political Quiz.http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz

  60. Mainer says:

    Yes I remember that. Being an individual that couldn’t draw a straight line with out my Mutoh SAR I kind of avoided the draw the turtle thing. But he does kind of resemble McConnell doesn’t he wonder if one put an orange tint on the pirate if they would have Boehner?

  61. filistro says:

    @Mr U No he’s totally that cartoon turtle in the back of comic books that you could draw to get into some bogus art school. I remember that! And there was a girl with dark hair you could draw, plus a dragon. (The dragon was really hard.)They were in the back of my Little Lulu comics. I did all of them and faithfully sent them away… though in retrospect I have no idea how I expected to go to “art school” when I was 11…

  62. filistro says:

    @Bart s there any leftist cliche put in absolutist terms that the political compass test did not include?I’m going to be so happy when this election is over and you settle down and get back to being Bart. You’re just WAY too shrill lately.I miss the old Bart, who looks positively mellow by comparison…

  63. shiloh says:

    @FiliI miss the old Bart~~~~~~~~~~?1?Define old Bart lolHaving quickly surfed Bart’s winger blog posts both before and after Obama’s election.And of course his 538 posts, didn’t find any differentiation.Just sayin’But if anyone wants to point out any nuances, please do.>Again, if Bart didn’t exist at a progressive blog, someone would have to create him :)carry on

  64. shiloh says:

    @FiliI miss the old Bart~~~~~~~~~~?!?Define old Bart lolHaving quickly surfed Bart’s winger blog posts both before and after Obama’s election.And of course his 538 posts, didn’t find any differentiation.Just sayin’But if anyone wants to point out any nuances, please do.>Again, if Bart didn’t exist at a progressive blog, someone would have to create him :)carry on

  65. shrinkers says:

    Bart ….Are you interested in honest discussion?Or do you only want partisan diatribe?Either is okay. Let us know.-

  66. filistro says:

    @shiloh But if anyone wants to point out any nuances, please do.I’m pondering…. okay, here it is. Bart used to seem more like a human being, and less like a right-wing fortune cookie spitting out conservative aphorisms and talking points.He used to discuss issues, make jokes, even concede points occasionally. Nowadays he’s like this relentless, unstoppable propaganda machine. Poor dear… I think he’s a bit scared about November 🙂

  67. shrinkers says:

    Poor dear… I think he’s a bit scared about NovemberScared? But there is a tsunami of epic proportions coming. SURF’S UP!.

  68. shiloh says:

    ok, in a nutshell, since the polls started to turn in Bartles’ favor, he’s become more passive/aggressive in his disingenuous sarcasm.Again, like peeps personalities change when they get behind the wheel of their car.>Indeed, his whole life is 24/7 political hyperventilation wanting wingers to rule the universe at all costs … and as another election gets closer Bartles has a very difficult time keeping his shit together! as we used to say in the military. Like a little kid before Christmas hoping/praying he gets his G.I. Joe lol>So yes, there are different degrees of neurosis …and then there’s 538’s Bart!as again, after Obama’s election, like most wingers, Bart was in the fetal position for quite some time.>Myself, having voted for McGovern in ’72 at the age of (18) got used to being in the minority er disappointment at an early age, but I believe Bartles came of age when his demigod Reagan was in control ie Bartle’s thought there would always be a Reagan in control of his beloved Rep party.So he has no grasp of political reality!btw, they changed the voting age to 18 just for me in 1971 🙂 Trivia: Goldwater was against changing the voting age to 18 until someone pointed out there were soldiers in Vietnam dying at age (18).This concludes my Bartles’ psychoanalysis ~ As always, no charge!

  69. Realist says:

    @filistroNo flying dreams here.Oh, BTW, I’m a -6.38, -4.05…around Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Not bad company, though I would have guessed I was more right than -6.38.

  70. shiloh says:

    The obvious re: 538refugees and new visitors:If wingers do well in Nov. expect a tsunami er all/most of 538 conservative winger regulars to drop by and give us a kiss! 😉 Yes Virginia, even Charles, PK and Fifi.Again, the yin and yang of political winners and losers, except of course the fact liberals never go away win or lose …>Nate’s new user unfriendly site notwithstanding. btw, having to click a new page every (25) posts is particularly annoying as one would think The New York Times could easily incorporate state of the art 21st century computer technology, eh.Or not …

  71. Monotreme says:

    Interesting. I seem to have drifted leftward and libertarianward in the last couple of years.Your political compassEconomic Left/Right: -4.38Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.23

  72. Monotreme says:

    Y’know, Bart, about 5% of us are walking around with an undiagnosed brain aneurysm. Let the blood pressure get a little too high, and POW! thar she blows. You’re out like a light. It’s happened to some friends of mine.Is there any leftist cliche put in absolutist terms that the political compass test did not include?Lighten up, dude. As Warren Zevon said, just before he died, “Life’ll kill ya.”

  73. Mr. Universe says:

    Ah, my Echidna friend. You appear to be nocturnal as well. Zevon also said he would sleep when he was dead. Sweet dreams. And speaking of dreams; mine are no one’s business. They are simultaneously tumultuous, frightening, sensual, provacative, and mysterious. I have no idea why. And it’s probably why I am an insomniac. The bags under my eyes are a testament to that. But my dreams are the source of inspiration; the realm of creativity and simultaneously a cruel mistriss for a muse.

  74. filistro says:

    @ Realist No flying dreams here.Thank you. That puts my numbers right back on track… 4 yes, 2 no, 3 skimmers, 1 soarer.I love it when the numbers support my hypothesis. :-)So, speaking of Lindsey Lohan… (Mr U was, up top)… I’ve been wondering how you can be sent to jail for doing drugs. I realize it’s bad thing and all… but how can a free country remove a person’s freedom for committing a victimless crime that harms only oneself? Why aren’t all the libertarians marching in the streets?

  75. filistro says:

    Bart, I did your Little Political Test and came out as an exact Centrist. I mean, smack dab in the middle of the chart, a total bullseye… which is pretty ironic since I’m the one who always argues there’s no such animal.

  76. Bart DePalma says:

    filistro:I tend to have dreams about being in the wilderness or back in the military. (These are dreams, not nightmares, so no PTSD diagnoses.) No soaring or falling dreams.

  77. filistro says:

    @Bart..I tend to have dreams about being in the wilderness or back in the military…. No soaring or falling dreamsThanks, Bart. I, too, have dreams about jobs I held years ago, especially my early teaching days. Not traumatic, just interesting…. and extremely vivid. I’m absolutely facsinated by the dreaming process. I think it’s nonsense when people say dreams “mean” something, or reveal hidden angst or mental turmoil. I think dreaming is a necessary physical maintenance process inside the brain, sort of like a computer at rest busily humming away doing random searches, defragging itself, ordering its files, refreshing its memory..I’ve read sleep deprivation studies that show we don’t need sleep so much as we need to dream. If people are allowed to sleep lightly for hours but interrupted each time they go into the dream state, they will begin to hallucinate and show signs of mental deterioration within three or four days.

  78. filistro says:

    TV on in background… MSNBC anchor earnestly questions poilitcal commentator: “Why ISN’T Christine O’Donnell’s message resonating with Delaware voters?”LOL…

  79. Monotreme says:

    Filistro:Your ideas about dreaming are exactly in line with current thinking.My first neuro teacher (who, incidentally, was a cocaine abuser who propositioned students…guess which behavior lost him his job…but I digress) called dreaming an epiphenomenon. That’s when I had to go to the dictionary and try to find out what that word meant.I believe (and I think a majority of echidna neuroscientists believe) that dreams are a necessary part of memory processing in the brain. The analogy I would use is shelving books in the library of the mind. Then, the more important or evocative the memory being shelved, the more time spent processing.If you were to interrupt the librarians as they did their work, you might not understand the processes they were going through. Since the process of memory is metaphor, we are left to interpret the metaphor in our own rational, waking world. In short, epiphenomenon.(My iPad’s internal spell checker knows ‘epiphenomenon’. Wow. That Steve Jobs always surprises, and not always in a good way.)

  80. shrinkers says:

    And it’s probably why I am an insomniac,Don’t let that worry you. Insomnia is nothing to lose any sleep over.

  81. filistro says:

    @TremeYour ideas about dreaming are exactly in line with current thinking.Oh, never fear… I’m not nearly as rational and up-to-date as I sound :-)For instance, my theory is that our brief stay on earth is just a tiny interval in a long, long journey through the universe. I think we arrive here with our little memory chips scrubbed… but not perfectly… so about half of us retain a subliminal memory of a place and time when we WERE able to fly (or, more commonly, float…)… and that’s so different from our experience here on this heavy gravity planet that when our random memory search comes up with it during dreams, it tends to be a memorable experience.(I tried to wrap my mind around “epiphenomena” but it gave me a brain cramp. I’m going to need another cup of coffee before I tackle it again.)

  82. Mr. Universe says:

    Insomnia is nothing to lose any sleep over.Ba-dump. SPISH!Thank you, ladies and germs.I’m not sure which I find to be more alarming; that your Ipad knows how to spell epiphenomenon, or that you know how to use the word.Martin Luther King had a dream once. I bet he was a soarer.Ah well, to sleep; perchance to dream.

  83. Bart DePalma says:

    filistro wrote:”I think dreaming is a necessary physical maintenance process inside the brain, sort of like a computer at rest busily humming away doing random searches, defragging itself, ordering its files, refreshing its memory.”I suspect that the mind is also performing some deep thought without the distraction of all the sensory input. The old cliche “to sleep on it” is true. I seem to be able to solve many of my problems while dreaming.I know this may sound out there, but dreaming may put your mind in touch with the time continuum in some manner. I swear I have had vivid dreams about places I visited the first time some weeks later. It is a bit disconcerting.

  84. Monotreme says:

    Bart wrote, in reference to the Political Compass:Is there any leftist cliche put in absolutist terms that the political compass test did not include?That’s how these tests work, Bart. You deviate from the center point to the extent that you are unable to recognize political clichés (from both left and right, authoritarian and libertarian).I detected both liberal and conservative clichés in the Political Compass quiz. I find it amusing that you spotted and called out the liberal ones, but not the conservative ones. Sort of a “Where’s Waldo” or Ishihara Colorblindness Test.Because I like you and I want you to be happy (honestly, I do), I took the World’s Smallest Political Quiz.Your PERSONAL issues Score is 80%Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 30%Your EVOLUTION/THROWBACK Score is 0%Same as the Political Compass. So dere.

  85. Bart DePalma says:

    Mono:I do not mind recognizing cliched opinions, but they make lousy questions because they take reasonable positions to an extreme, forcing you to disagree when you would otherwise agree – or vis versa.Ex. “I’d always support my country, whether it was right or wrong.”I believe that the US is a special nation and do support it under most circumstances. However, this question makes me take the opposite position and seem more relativistic than I actually am.Then there are the cliches which provide you a false choice and cannot be objectively answered.Ex. “If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.”I’m sorry, this is just a bad tool.The World’s Smallest Political quiz is a bit more neutral, but not perfect by any means. The Libertarians use this as a recruiting tool to show folks that they may actually be libertarians rather than liberals or conservatives. However, they accomplish this by leaving out foreign policy questions where many potential libertarians (like me) would fall out by supporting an internationalist foreign policy rather than libertarian isolationism.

  86. filistro says:

    @Bart…where many potential libertarians (like me)Bart, you are NOT in any way libertarian… (well except maybe for your left earlobe and a small portion of your littlest right toenail.)You are pretty much across-the-board authoritarian and socially conservative. Neither is compatible with libertarianism.

  87. Monotreme says:

    Fili:That’s one of the fun and interesting things about these quizzes. A well-constructed survey instrument can “hide” its topic and “trick” the user into answering questions honestly, rather than the way the user feels they “should” be answered to get the desired result.For example, the long-form, expensive Myers-Briggs inventory, the questions on the MMPI, and the Strong Vocational Interest Inventory are all pretty good at measuring things because they’re well-designed psychometrically.The Political Compass and World’s Smallest Political Quiz, not so much.Still, as icebreakers and discussion points, they have their uses. It’s just like being good at Trivial Pursuit doesn’t mean you’ll win money on Jeopardy.

  88. Mr. Universe says:

    fili said:I know this may sound out there, but dreaming may put your mind in touch with the time continuum in some manner.You might find it interesting to know that some think this is the basis of prayers. You ask for a solution/outcome before you go to bed and God delivers an answer in the night.RE: Bart as a closet Libertarian. Now THAT’S funny

  89. filistro says:

    @Treme… A well-constructed survey instrument can “hide” its topic and “trick” the user into answering questions honestlyYes, of course. So a clever, cunning guy like Bart can think “Aha, this is trying to trick me into saying ‘A’ which will show I’m ‘B’…so I’ll choose ‘C’ instead”… but the test KNOWS YOU’RE GOING TO THINK THAT and pre-emptively corrects for it in the internals.It’s pretty much like trying to win an argument with your wife; a totally futile exercise because it doesn’t matter what you say… she knows what you’re thinking.🙂

  90. filistro says:

    Mr U… I thought you’d just gone to bed. When do you ever sleep?I worry about you, I really do.PS… the thing about dreams “putting your mind in touch with the time continuum”… Bart said that, not me. There’s more to Bart than meets the eye.

  91. Mr. Universe says:

    My mom did the Myers-Briggs test on me when I was a kid. My score was off the chart. But now I’m a part time college prof living in abject poverty in a hippie town in Oregon. So, in retrospect, all that intelligence isn’t serving me so well. Or is it? I can never tell.

  92. Mr. Universe says:

    fili said:Mr U… I thought you’d just gone to bed. When do you ever sleep?I worry about you, I really do.It’s good to know that there are better angels who are concerned about my well being. 🙂

  93. filistro says:

    Wow… Nate’s NYT blog has had a grand total of about 70 comments since Wednesday. Clearly a lot of folks are giving up in frustration… and I think that’s probably the plan. NYT doesn’t need the comments section to get hits, they get enough more than enough from the mass of readers checking in every day to see what Nate has posted.But there’s got to be a lot of lost souls wandering around in severe withdrawal, missing the lively interaction of the old comments site.Why don’t a couple of you venture in there this weekend and re-post our URL? I don’t think the NYT minds (they’d clearly just as soon discourage commenters altogether) but I’ve probably done it too often to try again.I feel so sorry for the regulars who’ve been brutally cast adrift. I’d miss this place terribly if I didn’t have it 😦

  94. Realist says:

    @filistro,The latency of comment postings at NYT forces a shift from “conversation” to “drive-by posting.” That’s fine if Nate wants to know how people feel about the article, but it’s useless in expanding on the topic into new and interesting areas unexplored by the article.I hoped that NYT would be more aggressive in getting the comments posted. Barring that, I hoped that the lack of discussion wouldn’t be that much of a loss. I’ve come to realize that even my fallback hope was in vain.Lastly, I hope this doesn’t do damage to Nate’s brand. We’ll see.Perhaps we should have some sort of more formalized tie to his blog? I’m sure there are some NYT lawyers that would have issues with this on its face, but perhaps we could work something out. This would seem to be a win/win outcome. Granted, when lawyers get involved win/win seems to go out the win/window. 😦

  95. filistro says:

    Realist… I think the NYT has no interest in hosting a comments section that becomes a massive chat site… which, let’s face it.. was what “comments” evolved into at the old blog.But I don’t see how there can be any legal complaint about regularly linking to posts on Nate’s blog and then talking about them over here in real time. That’s already happening all over the web. Since the NYT gig started, I’ve even seen Nate’s articles linked to several times at FREE REPUBLIC, of all places, and then discussed at length by the Freepers.Bart… would it be any kind of copyright violation to do that?

  96. shrinkers says:

    I took the Political Compass test. Here’s where I came out:Economic Left/Right: -8.50Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.21 Didn’t surprise me. Pretty far left politically, far more libertarian than authoritarian. It was nice to have my internal view of myself get some outside validation.

  97. shrinkers says:

    World’s Smallest Political QuizYour PERSONAL issues Score is 100%Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 10%Okay, I’m out there ….

  98. filistro says:

    @shrinkers.. Okay, I’m out there ….LOL… no kidding. If we put you and Bart in a blender, we’d probably come up with an Average Voter.

  99. Jeff says:

    Love that political compass test. Perhaps it should be a requirement to post your scores before you can respond. It would be a fascinating separate thread.My score came in as: Your political compassEconomic Left/Right: 1.38Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.10 Slightly right of center on economics, slightly more libertarian than authoritarian. In other words, I can safely call everybody here an extremist!I also like the Friday open. Just wondering if you stole the idea from Rush Limbaugh, who has “Open Line Friday.” After all, as a open-minded liberal, surely you listen to the other side? (chortle)And to complicate your dream analysis… I rarely dream, and when I do, I don’t think I fly. Maybe I’ve dreamt it, but can’t recall it.Just more proof that I have my feet firmly planted on the ground …. (broad smile).

  100. GROG says:

    @fili,In regards to your post earlier, why do you think it would benefit billionaires in corporate America to fund the Tea Party. Why would a bunch of old, rich, crotchety white guys want to kick out “the establishment” in Washington in favor of Washington outsiders?

  101. filistro says:

    @Jeff… thanks for the response. Just more proof that I have my feet firmly planted on the ground I never doubted it for a moment. :-)The problem with Open Friday is, the more we chat and get to know and like each other, the harder it is to stay mad when the topic turns back to politics…

  102. filistro says:

    @GROG… why do you think it would benefit billionaires in corporate America to fund the Tea Party. Why would a bunch of old, rich, crotchety white guys want to kick out “the establishment” in Washington in favor of Washington outsiders?They don’t necessarily… they just want to make sure no uppity young sheriff rides into town with some idea he’s going to clean the place up. So they recruit a bunch of outlaws, gunslingers and sheepherders, stir them up to white-hot rage, give them all six-guns and pitchforks and send them out to make sure that never happens.

  103. filistro says:

    Groggy… aren’t you going to tell me if you dream about flying?

  104. Jean says:

    Here’s my World’s Smallest Political Quiz results:Your PERSONAL issues Score is 70%Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 0%A Liberal, by Bart’s quiz. I can’t disagree with most of the description: Liberals usually embrace freedom of choice in personal matters, but tend to support significant government control of the economy. They generally support a government-funded “safety net” to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and tolerate diverse lifestyles.However, I do disagree that liberals “tend to support significant government control of the economy”, but that depends on what you consider “significant”. We’ve all seen what not supporting a government-funded “safety net” to help the disadvantaged, advocating against strict regulation of business and the environment, to say nothing of what the free trade race-to-the-bottom has wrought.

  105. GROG says:

    Of course I will fili. I don’t have dreams about flying, but I do have falling dreams. I’m falling off a cliff, sure I’m about to die, then I wake up at the last moment.I also have recurring dreams that I’m in college and I show up for a particular class for the first time. I’m surprised to find out the prof is handing out the final exam which I’m obviously totally unprepared for. When I look around at my classmates who are prepared, I realize I’ve missed the entire semester of class.I have another dream that I’m in college and I can’t find any of my classes. I’ve been out of college for 15 years, but I still dream about it. No idea why.

  106. filistro says:

    GROGGG!!! ME TOO!!!! I also have recurring dreams that I’m in college and I show up for a particular class for the first time. I’m surprised to find out the prof is handing out the final exam which I’m obviously totally unprepared for. When I look around at my classmates who are prepared, I realize I’ve missed the entire semester of class.I have the EXACT SAME DREAM!!! It’s the most horrible feeling. And when you wake up and realize it was just a dream, the sense relief is absolutely exquisite.Funny why I’d have that kind of dream since I was such a diligent little Goody-Two-Shoes in college, I would never miss an assignment let alone a whole semester. And yet that very same dream haunts me to this day.

  107. GROG says:

    Wow! That’s weird! Great minds think alike. I’ve heard we dream about things we fear most in life. Which is strange because I never dream about Democrats.

  108. Jeff says:

    I don’t buy Bart’s test. I come out as a centrist, but borderline to a liberal statist.If the quest is “who’d have thunk it,” the answer would be “NOT ME!”

  109. filistro says:

    @GROG… Which is strange because I never dream about Democrats.LOL.Yeah, sure, GROG. You’ve got Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Rand Paul… Mitch McConnell… Tom Delay… DICK CHENEY……and you think DEMS are scary?

  110. GROG says:

    Hahaha. I love those people!

  111. Jean says:

    And here’s my Political Compass results:Economic Left/Right: -5.88Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.26 According to the graph, in the same general neighborhood as Ghandi, though somewhat more libertarian leaning on social issues.BTW, one of my favorite quotes from Ghandi: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”fili, re: just wanted to tell you I did the Political Compass test… fascinating questions! (Pretty much any one of those questions could start a lively discussion on Free Forum Friday…)Great idea! Let’s do that – pick one or two questions every Friday for discussion.

  112. Monotreme says:

    I recall reading somewhere that 80+% of college-educated people had that “last day of class, unprepared for final” dream.I’m pretty sure President George W. Bush never did, though.I will go see if I can find a cite.Even after I finished my formal education, my dream mutated into a “you have a critical presentation at a scientific meeting and you’re not prepared” dream. I assembled a lot of posters in fitful dreams in lousy overpriced hotel beds.

  113. shrinkers says:

    I’ve noticed something.No George W or Dick Cheney doing any campaigning for any Republican candidates this year. I wonder why that is?Actually, I don’t wonder. I’m just being a bit of a snot.

  114. shrinkers says:

    I’ve had that unprepared-for-class dream. And the can’t-find-the-classroom. And forgetting the combination for my locker. Not for many years, though. I guess my subconscious has gone on to other things.

  115. shiloh says:

    @filiIt’s pretty much like trying to win an argument with your wife; a totally futile exercise because it doesn’t matter what you say… she knows what you’re thinking.~~~~~There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither one works. ~ Will Rogers>@JeffreyJust more proof that I have my feet firmly planted on the ground~~~~~Indeed like Bartles, you are the life of the party as one wonders when was the last time conservatives let loose, if ever.Jeffrey, everyone wants to party w/you dude! ;)>hmm, one suspects inside Christine O’Donnell’s body there’s a Shakira waiting to break out! :)lol just judging by how many conservative evangelical preachers and politicians have, like Jimmy Swaggart: I have sinned against you my Lord … over the past 10/20 years, eh.Of course my study is not scientific. But probably a tad more scientific 😉 than Where do you stand on the political spectrum quizzes …Just sayin’I dreamed I was in a Hollywood movieAnd that I was the star of the movieThis really blew my mindcarry on

  116. Jean says:

    shrinkers,re: No George W or Dick Cheney doing any campaigning for any Republican candidates this year. I wonder why that is?Probably for the same reasons the Teapers are appearing only in “friendly” media environments, a la Sarah Palin. The only thing voters disapprove of more than Republicans is the extremist policies of the Tea Party. Republican leaders know that, which is why they are working so hard to stop their major tea party Senate candidates from speaking to the media.And notice that Republican and Tea Party candidates on TV and print ads make absolutely no mention of any party affiliation.

  117. ted says:

    Call Pelosi, Reid, the DCCC, your congress critters et al and get them to take a vote on the tax cuts before they adjourn. Pelosi is trying to pull it off. Give her reason to do it.

  118. Bart DePalma says:

    In the Quiz, I am 80/80, with a couple maybes on each side.In the Political Compass, I am close to Jeff as a moderate. Who here thinks I am a moderate?

  119. Bart DePalma says:

    Jean wrote:However, I do disagree that liberals “tend to support significant government control of the economy”, but that depends on what you consider “significant”. We’ve all seen what not supporting a government-funded “safety net” to help the disadvantaged, advocating against strict regulation of business and the environment, to say nothing of what the free trade race-to-the-bottom has wrought.Ummm… Regulation and protectionism is control.

  120. shrinkers says:

    @tedIt would be amusing to watch all of the Republicans voting against extending the tax cuts. I really can’t understand any reason to avoid having the vote.

  121. Jeff says:

    @Bart.”In the Quiz, I am 80/80, with a couple maybes on each side. In the Political Compass, I am close to Jeff as a moderate. Who here thinks I am a moderate?”====You forget that where you stand on the political spectrum depends on what the spectrum consists of. In 1780, you and I would have been raging liberals in France. And I suspect filistro would be terribly out of place at a Code Pink convention.This may say more about the people on this site than you’re realizing…..

  122. shiloh says:

    @JeffreyThis may say more about the people on this site than you’re realizing…..~~~~~~~~~~Jeffrey, you and Bart are on this site …Just sayin’ ~ indeed, Bart has been a regular at 538 longer than myself.Progressive sites are fun and interesting ~ winger sites freepers/redstate etc. not so much :::zzz:::take care, blessings

  123. Jean says:

    Bart,re: Ummm… Regulation and protectionism is control.I stated that it depends on what you consider “significant” government control.And my view is that we’ve all seen what not supporting a government-funded “safety net” to help the disadvantaged, advocating against strict regulation of business and the environment, to say nothing of what the free trade race-to-the-bottom has wrought.So Bart, what do YOU consider “significant” government control? And what do you not?

  124. Jean says:

    Bart,re: Who here thinks I am a moderate?News flash, Bart. Anyone who vets potential candidates with a tea party purity test is not a moderate.

  125. Monotreme says:

    The problem here is that the Tea Party supporters are in no way articulating a clear political philosophy of any stripe. That’s why no one knows where they stand on anything. They’re true zeligs.All they are is against, against, against. Don’t tread on me. It’s tiresome and puerile.So, wherever you are on the compass, they’re 180 degrees opposite.

  126. Justsayin says:

    First, this is for Filistro, My re-occuring dreams are always when I am levitating. I can get around really fast when I am about a foot off the ground, the last one I had was about 2 months ago and I was so un-nerved that I told my husband and he said that he had those same dreams all the time as well. My dreams are very specific in that I have a tremendous energy that allows me to jump and stay in that place of one foot off the ground. As far as your theory of being apart of the universe, I at this stage of knowledge disagree. I feel that we are apart of the earth, and when we die we simply become apart of it again, “the circle of life” from the LION KING suffices. My limited study of physics supports this. I believe in a limited after life, that disapates after some time. I don’t believe in a devine creator, primarily because I can’t prove that one exists, nor can anyone else. If you believe in one, and it comforts you, go for it.This is for Bart, “you protesteth too much about Stephen Colbert”. He runs circles around the hipocrocy of the GOP and the Tea Party, probably why he got on your last nerve.

  127. shiloh says:

    @Justsayinprobably why he got on your last nerve.~~~~~~~~~~No, when Barack Hussein Obama, a young, bi-racial, African/American, Muslim born in Kenya, Communist, Socialist, Marxist, Islamo-Fascist, wealth distributor, Satan, The Devil Incarnate, The Anti-Christ, who wakes up every morning hating America and Americans! 😉 (((easily))) became the 44th President of the United States of America! was when Bartles’ nervous system became totally discombobulated …Indeed, he’s still trying to reconcile (8) years of cheney/bush FUBAR’ing America so bad, that as D.L. Hughley mentioned early 2008: America may elect a Black man president!Just sayin’ 🙂

  128. filistro says:

    Justsayin’, thanks for the dream info. My dreams are just like that… a leap into the air that goes on and on, about 2 feet above the ground… and all the time I’m thinking, “this feels so great but it can’t be happening, I HAVE to touch down soon…”I do believe in some kind of creator because it seems to me we’re just too intricate to have happened by chance. But I think that creator is immensely, vastly removed from us and takes no interest in our day-to-day lives. We humans were programmed with some innate rules and instincts and then left to do our best. I don’t believe in “miracles” or “prayer”. I think life is enough of a gift without demanding constant help all along the way.I’ve always believed this, as long as I can remember, but only recently discovered there’s actually a name for my odd “religion”… it’s called “Deism” and was a belief system shared by a good numer of America’s Founding Fathers, including James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Ethan Allen, and Thomas Paine (which makes me feel really close to thsoe wise old fellows :-)Interesting to think many Founding Fathers probably wouldn’t be welcome in today’s version of the Republican Party. Just not devout enough…

  129. Justsayin says:

    First, this is for Filistro, My re-occuring dreams are always when I am levitating. I can get around really fast when I am about a foot off the ground, the last one I had was about 2 months ago and I was so un-nerved that I told my husband and he said that he had those same dreams all the time as well. My dreams are very specific in that I have a tremendous energy that allows me to jump and stay in that place of one foot off the ground. As far as your theory of being apart of the universe, I at this stage of knowledge disagree. I feel that we are apart of the earth, and when we die we simply become apart of it again, “the circle of life” from the LION KING suffices. My limited study of physics supports this. I believe in a limited after life, that disapates after some time. I don’t believe in a devine creator, primarily because I can’t prove that one exists, nor can anyone else. If you believe in one, and it comforts you, go for it.This is for Bart, “you protesteth too much about Stephen Colbert”. He runs circles around the hipocrocy of the GOP and the Tea Party, probably why he got on your last nerve.

  130. Justsayin says:

    Filistro, Are you saying that human beings are too intricate to have sprung up by chance, or life on this planet in general to have sprung up by chance?

  131. filistro says:

    @Justsayin’.. life on this planet in general to have sprung up by chance?Yes, that. “Life” in any form is just too amazing to contemplate. And I think life much like ours exists on billions of planets. In fact I think we were probably put here, genetically engineered on a carefully selected and terraformed planet by some other human civilization who “created us in their image” (but who knows who created them?) The whole Old Testament sounds to me like a straightforward description of visits from some other star system… people who “rode in the sky,” spoke in “voices of thunder from the mountains”, drew people up into flying vehicles (“wheels within wheels”), issued the new species with rules for proper behavior, and dropped highly nourishing “manna” from the sky to the lost Israelites.I don’t think other stars and galaxies are “impossibly distant.” Their great distance is just a function of our incredibly brief life span. If humans from elsewhere lived, say, a million earth years, then a planet that’s 10 light years away wouldn’t be all that far for them. They could probably get here in a matter of weeks or months 🙂

  132. Justsayin says:

    When I was in high school back in the very cool late 70s, I did a report on extraterrestials, and came away with the impression that they indeed exist. As far as how they may have influenced human beings or enhanced us, we have yet to prove that, but it is a great theory, and would explain the link between neanderthal man and modern man, Love the “Clan of the Cave Bear” series.There is also the original Star Trek Series from the sixties that has Capt. Kirk on some primitive planet where he is hailed as a god. I was reading genesis one night back in the 80s when I was watching that and declared god was Kirk. The bible is a great text to retrieve ancient stories. Was Jesus an alien? Were the angels trumpeting his birth, aliens? Yawah (spelled it wrong) was the mountain god at the time of Abraham. He became the god of choice for him, hence the god of the Jews and future Christians and Muslims, you must research this further, I think it will intrigue you.

  133. Justsayin says:

    Filistro, one more thing, I have been reading the 1000 page “The Tale of Gengi” it is the very first novel ever written by anyone. It takes place in the 9th or 10 century Japan. One of the things that I thought was interesting that many of the rituals that I took for granted to be just Christian, like the rosary, or prayer beads, the insence, the devotionals, the monks, nuns, priests, prayers to the gods, and so forth. The way we worship seems to be universal. I didn’t know the europeans were influencing the Japanese in the 9th century or were they influencing the europeans?

  134. Mr. Universe says:

    Bart asked:Who here thinks I am a moderate?(laying a finger aside of my nose) Not it.I suspect filistro would be terribly out of place at a Code Pink convention.Now that was funny. But fili would be totally representin’ at a Code Pink Con Fab cause she’s cool like that.

  135. filistro says:

    @Justsayin’… The way we worship seems to be universalIt certainly does. Not only that, but some of the most revered “Christian” celebrations have deeply pagan roots. Christmas is a modification of an old Roman festival that was held in January to honor the god Janus, where people decorated their houses with red ribbons and pine boughs and gave each other gold-wrapped gifts.Easter, of course, is even more ancient, a co-opting of the fertility rites honoring the time of “estrus” (hence all those eggs and exceedingly fertile bunnies.) When it comes to religion we’re all just brothers and sisters under the skin… that’s why it’s so silly through the ages to have fought all those bloody wars over religion.As one of my favorite writers, P.J. O’Rourke, says about our much-fought-over racial, ethnic and religious differences… “We humans are actually so much alike, if we were dogs we’d all be the same breed.“:-)

  136. Justsayin says:

    I have always hated religious wars, and have thought that they are more territorial than religous. Religion was just an excuse to overtake another. And I feel thats the same today as it was 500 years ago. It’s nice and tidy and rallies the troops. Love Christmas its my favorite time of the year. Its time for nightie night, you all have a great weekend!

  137. shrinkers says:

    @filistroBeing an actual Pagan, I can vouch for the points you make about the roots of so much Christian observance. I will now drop that topic.A lot of my fiction has to do with some of the themes that have just come up tonight. What makes a human? Who decides? Was life designed?I’m deep into the sequel to Still Life. It’s going to turn into a series. This theme really fascinates me. The series will eventually get deeply into the origin of life and consciousness and even of reality. I write philosophy, and pretend it’s fiction. Sorry for rambling. Way too late on a Saturday night.

  138. mclever says:

    Re: dreamingI experience recurring flying dreams where I skim over the ground, and then suddenly soar up above the rooftops and then swoop back towards the ground again in a major swandive that levels out at the last second. (No, I’m not a daredevil pilot!) It feels like I’m on a rollercoaster ride, until I swoop too fast towards something solid, and then I wake up. I’ve always blamed these dreams for my fear of heights. They were more frequent when I was younger.Political Compass score:Economic Left/Right: -5.12Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.46 Close to Ghandi, apparently. In the past ten years, my score has moved noticeably Leftward.Quiz results:Your PERSONAL issues Score is 70%Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 30%Did I miss anything? 🙂

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