Thursday, February 26, 2015


   Four pieces of sun play. This series was shot within an hour in Park Hill, Cambria.
   The frame below is my favorite.  I love how the light plays with the lines, angles and brings the plant leaves to life.

    Things are a little tough in the "Spin Zone" eh? Maybe a little of that spin is puffery huh?
     In my edition of the Mind's Eye Dictionary, Bill O'Reilly's
picture illustrates the definition of pompous.
     It's been fascinating to watch him wiggle over accusations that he exaggerated his reporting experiences.  Some of his former colleagues dispute what big, bad, Bill has said. He's been accused of doing a "Brian Williams," inflating his resume. 
      Have you too been surprised at O'Reilly's threats to other reporters who have called him out? That's not how a journalist responds to those who pursue a story? To quote Shakespeare's Queen in Hamlet "He does protest too much, me thinks!" 
      Fox News bashers have said, "Well what do you expect from Fox News?"  Not fair. O'Reilly has passed from the ranks of working journalists, as have others of that networks personality "stars." He's one of their "franchises" albeit a blowhard and bloviator. What's "truth" got to do with his spin and opinions? He's in show biz and is busy making millions. For the record though, the truth about his reporting career should affect his credibility in our eyes.
      Things are not going well under God's banner, nor has it ever, I guess, as long as bipeds have breathed the air of this garden planet.
      It seems nastier and more worrisome now. Perhaps because we are close to it-it's in our time, the information age. It looks as if we have slid backwards.
     Jews in Europe are targets of increasing anti Semitism.
     Racism in America bubbles to the surface, giving lie to the claim things were "fixed" years ago.
     We've become multi cultural but I wonder if we've lost  the civility that attended the idea of the "melting pot?"
      Economic divide rips the cultural fabric and exacerbates  problems.
     History reveals that all religions and faiths have extremists. As the band of criminals calling themselves the Islamic State continue to grind on in their pursuit of the 7th Century, religion takes a hit.  
     It is no more fair to Muslims to consider them and their religion an agent of terror than it would be to consider Christians as such. Muslims, Christians and Jews all have seen devotees of their belief do violence, kill, and behave  inconsistent with the principles and higher calls of their faith.
     Fundamental extremists can be troublesome, meddlesome, narrow and irrational, but they are not dangerous unless they take their God into the practice of violence and lethality. Terrorists do that, perverting articles of faith. ISIS does a lot of what I'd call evil, including destruction of their own alleged faith. They are a mutant virus.
    The earth has always had zealots, true believers, armies of violence, maniacs with visions, ignorance with a thirst for power, barbarians, and those with a blood lust who ordain themselves as God's agents. Different now is a global media awareness and the huge number of dislocated, disenchanted, unemployed and somewhat hopeless generations raised in war. ISIS has become quite good at media manipulation. The Nazis were also masters of propaganda.
     There was a time when the three Abrahamic religions were all on the fringe and counter to the larger culture. They became normative not by violence, rather by the values they inculcated, by moving their society into a future, where human life is sacred and where community has value. Education, science, medicine, artistic visions co-exist with faiths and beliefs in a variety of hue and texture. 
    The violent extremist's toll on modern life, diversity, and faith principles totals a negative sum.
     Not all white male teens are school mass killers, not all young blacks are thugs, not all cops are insensitive or ignorantly racist, not all Christians are killers of planned parenthood doctors, not all Jews throw stones at modernity and not all Muslims believe in terror.  
     Changing the equations and balancing the life in between is a challenge for all of us.
     So, Bill Maher shove that into your partially closed and  prejudiced head!

 Mid 1960's at Ball State University as our chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha was planning for a national fraternity leadership event.  George Spasyk, who went on to years of distinguished and innovative national leadership is the national rep on the left. Bill Moorhous and Tom Maddox from Ball State are seated. The name of the other gentleman eludes me now as does how I was so thin in those days.

   See you down the trail.


  1. Well said re: extremists and dunderheads. As to the final photo, looks to me like you're planning some kind of subversive football play.

  2. I believe that's an early edition of Penthouse magazine

  3. Actually the quote from Queen Gertrude in Hamlet was: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." But I get your meaning.

    Nice photos.

  4. Fine words. As for Bill OReilly, anyone relying on FOX News for accurate information is foolish.

  5. TC -- I agree (as usual) with almost all you say, but you may have overstated this: "It is no more fair to Muslims to consider them and their religion an agent of terror than it would be to consider Christians as such. Muslims, Christians and Jews all have seen devotees of their belief do violence, kill, and behave inconsistent with the principles and higher calls of their faith."
    Graeme Wood's Atlantic Monthly article "What ISIS Really Wants" is MUST reading.
    (You've prob already read it.): "Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.”
    "He regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous, sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he said. “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra."
    You are quite familiar with the scriptures of the other two Abrahamic religions. To be sure the Tanakh is chock-full of God ordering the Jews into military action of one kind or another. But there is no prophetic call to arms, and the rules of life written 1000 years before Mohammed are genteel by comparison and the most extreme orthodoxy is the profound opposite of violent. And obviously there is nothing remotely like the Koran in the Christian scriptures.
    You are right that extremist groups from all three religions have made scripture the basis of their terror. But I think you would be hard pressed to dispute that the Christian and Jewish extremists are wrong in their interpretation of scripture, but the Islamic extremists are correct. THIS is a big problem.

  6. Excellent essay. Too bad you can't take over O'Reilly's time slot (or better yet Jon Stewart's)
    Was just listening to the Neville Brothers cover of With God on Our Side. Dylan's last lines said it all(back in 1963)
    If God's on our side
    He'll stop the next war

  7. Watching O'Reilly "spin" has been a pleasure. Sad thing is he is so good at it, that his followers are more sure than ever that he's spot on and that the poor guy is simply the target of the "liberal" media. My oh my...