With Age Comes Wisdom

A 72 year  old man had one hobby – he loved to fish. 
 
He was sitting in his boat the other day when he heard a voice say, ‘Pick me up.’ he looked around and couldn’t see anyone. 
 
He thought he was dreaming when he heard the voice say 
again, ‘Pick me up.’
 
He looked in the water and there, floating on the top, was a frog.
 
The man said, ‘Are you talking to me?’
 
frog
The frog said, ‘Yes, I’m talking to you. Pick me up, then kiss me; and I’ll turn into the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. I’ll make sure that all your friends are envious and jealous, because I will be your bride!’
 
The man looked at the frog for a short time, reached over, picked it up carefully and placed it in his shirt pocket.
 
The frog said, ‘What, are you nuts? Didn’t you hear what I said?’ 
I said, ‘Kiss me, and I will be your beautiful bride.’
 
He opened his pocket, looked at the frog and said, 
Nah. At my age, I’d rather have a talking frog.’
With age – comes wisdom!

A Look at the World’s Potential Hotspots

Beyond the Cusp

There are a number of places in the world which are potential eruption points outside of what the American media would have you believe. President Trump does not even rate a mention in the top few hotspots with a potential for great harm. Some of the places are more of a danger to their own people than they are to the world and others should be center of the rest of the world’s concerns before they explode onto the world scene forcing a response twice has hard, as that is what will be required almost as punishment for allowing these threats to materialize. So, let us look around the world and we can even make some happy and begin with the White House.

President Donald Trump in a Moment of Grimace President Donald Trump in a Moment of Grimace

President Trump’s largest threat is to self-injury often through Tweets. He could be the first President to be Tweeted…

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Censoring You to ‘Protect’ You

In the culture-wars currently rocking US campuses, the enemies of free speech have plenty of tools on their side. Many of these would appear to be advantages. For instance the employment of violence, thuggery and intimidation against those who disagree are generally effective ways to prevent people hearing things you do not want them to hear. As are the subtler but more regularly employed tactics for shutting people down, such a “no-platforming” people or getting them disinvited after they have been invited, should the speaker’s views not accord 100% with those of their would-be censors. As also noted in this space before, many of the people who campaign to limit what American students can learn also have the short-term advantage of being willing to lie without compunction and cover over facts whenever they emerge.

The important point here, however, is that word “short-term”. In the long run, those who wish to cover over a contrary opinion, or even inconvenient facts, are unlikely to succeed. Adults tend to be capable of more discernment and initiative than the aspirant-nannies believe them to be, and the effects will always tend to show. Take, for example, events in Portland, Oregon, last month.

In April, a gathering took place at the Portland State University. The occasion was billed as an interfaith panel and was given the title, “Challenging Misperceptions.” As this is an era when perceptions, as well as misperceptions, of religion are perhaps unusually common, there might be some sense in holding such a discussion, even in the knowledge that it is likely to be hampered — as interfaith get-togethers usually are — by the necessity of dwelling on things that do not matter and focussing attention away from all things that do. Thus, by the end of an average interfaith event, it can generally be agreed upon that there are certain dietary laws that certain religions have in common, some agreement on the existence of historical figures and an insistence that religion is the answer to most problems of our world. Fortunately, at Portland, there were some people in the audience who appear to have been happy to avoid this sort of boilerplate.

A young woman raised her hand and asked the Muslim student on the panel about a specific verse in the Koran which would appear to approve killing non-Muslims (Possible verses might have included Qur’an: 8:12; 22:19-22; 2:191-193; 9.5; 9:29). The Muslim student replied:

“I can confidently tell you, when the Koran says an innocent life, it means an innocent life, regardless of the faith, the race, like, whatever you can think about as a characteristic.”

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