"Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff" - Matt Kibbe


A Brief Beginning

 As I have hinted at in the past, I have decided to begin posting again on a more regular basis. I'm not sure what the frequency of posts will be.

The title of the blog has changed to "Fundamental Things." The focus is somewhat different and hopefully more interesting. 

As I think of topics or questions that can become clearer when distilled to the fundamental elements, I will post a short commentary pointing it out.

Obviously I do not have all (or maybe any) of the answers, so the commentary will often be in the form of a question, with no answers required. My observation has always been that the most thoughtful writers trust their readers to draw their own conclusions. I aspire to be a thoughtful writer.

The whole point is for all of us to become more thoughtful about how we regard our shared aspirations and problems. But also how we respectfully consider the thoughts of others about those things. Agreement is not necessary, or perhaps even desirable, but respect is essential.

With that preamble, I submit the following observation as a brief beginning:

 The most unfortunate fundamental notion, almost universally held, is that the use of force, or the threat thereof, is the best way to achieve social justice or societal goals.

Most of the problems we face are affected by the answer to that fundamental question. I wonder how many of us have allowed that to become the default belief.

I solicit  comments concerning the post and suggestions for future posts.Thanks for reading.


War is always the Answer

By Grant Davies
This will piss everyone off even though I'm not trying to do that.

The reason is that it is critical of GWB, BHO, and Trump. Something for everyone's tribe to be pissed about when you criticize their guy.

I don't care because I don't have a guy. I have an issue. Being involved in numerous wars for long periods that have nothing to do with our national security is one of my issues.

You can argue all you want about whether we should still be in Afghanistan or Iraq, but what about all these other wars?

If we are the worlds policeman, have we become part of the crime we are trying to solve?


Covington High and News Media Low

Photo credit Chicago Tribune
By Grant Davies
It's time to put this "fake news" story to rest. It's had it's 15 minutes of over exposure. But in my mind, the real story behind this story is about the rate of the crumbling trust of the American media. And it is not going to slow down even when this particular story fades.

The era we live in, with the forty eight hour life span of even important stories, cannot hide the real story of the quickening demise of trust in the "news" media. (I remember when "news" wasn't between quotation marks)

Unfortunately, good journalism becomes the baby that goes down the drain with the bath water. And I'm not sure how to stop that from happening.

I'll let Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass have the last word on this subject. His remarks here are worthy of consideration and should be used as an example of why we should be careful that the baby is not swirling the same drain with those who only pretend to be journalists.

I hate to say it John, but you might be in that unlucky company of soldiers fighting the delaying battle in a losing war as the news media retreats into irrelevance. You're fighting the good fight. I wish you god speed.

John's column can be read here, and you should read it.


You Have the Right to Learn About Rights

Editors Note:

In the past I have been asked to expand on the concept of rights. The following article is excellent in its brevity and clarity in a way I would be unable to improve upon. The links at the conclusion of the article are portals to further exploration of the topic.

Since I have not secured the permission to republish it here in it's entirety I have linked to it. I apologize for the inconvenience. 

 "Despite the centrality of rights in American history, it’s readily apparent today that Americans are of widely different views on what a right is, how many we have, where rights come from, or why we have any in the first place." - Lawrence W Reed

Image credit: Flickr-Ted Mielczarek | CC BY 2.0 

That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety." George Mason, in the Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776)

“Rights” are in the news these days perhaps as much as they were in George Mason’s time. As a score of politicians prepares to announce their 2020 campaigns for President of the United States, we can expect “rights” to be in the news every day, as they are promised to us one after another. “You have a right” to this or that and “If elected, I’ll make sure you get it” will soon be monotonous refrains.
Please read the rest here.


Thanksgiving Prayer Q&A

By Grant Davies

It's Thanksgiving 2018 and I hope believers remember to offer a prayer of thanks.

Not everyone wants to pray in the company of others because they aren't sure of the rules. It can sometimes be awkward, even for the faithful.

So if you are a person who prays on Thanksgiving but wants to feel comfortable at the feast, here is a quick Q&A to set you at ease before you ease your butt into the chair at the turkey table.

If you are one of those uncomfortable people, I'm thankful to be of service to you. You may thank me later.

Official rules are courtesy of John Crist.