Archive for November 2020

Best Wishes for 2021   2 comments

Today is the last day of the church year 2019-2020.  Tomorrow will be the First Sunday of Advent and the First Day of Advent.  Today, therefore, seems like an appropriate time to write this blog post.

This has been an especially difficult year for the world.  One major reason, of course, has been the COVID-19 pandemic.  Other difficulties have spun off from it.  Human irresponsibility, both individual and collective, has been a complicating factor.  This year has confirmed my lack of faith in human nature.

This year, out of an abundance of caution, I have, for the first time, decided not to celebrate Christmas with any relatives.  I have mailed presents and purchased Christmas cards.  My family has expressed understanding in this matter, fortunately.

This pandemic may get worse before it gets better, for a host of reasons, not the least of which is human irresponsibility.  Perhaps we will get past all this by next summer.

My prayer for every person, town, community, neighborhood, congregation, state, province, region, nation-state, et cetera, is simple:  May God’s best for you be your reality.  May 2021 be a blessed year for you.  May you be a blessing to others in 2021.  May others be blessings to you in 2021.  And, if you refuse to be on God’s side and be a blessing to others, may you stay out of the way, at least.

Pax vobiscum!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 29, 2020 COMMON ERA

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Political Statement–November 8, 2020   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of the United States of America

Image in the Public Domain

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I, as one trained in historical methodology, prefer to think, speak, and write in the past tenses.  This tendency spills over into the rest of my life.  Therefore, when thinking, speaking, and writing of an episode of a completed series, for example, I do so from the perspective of one looking at the past.  I also place that episode in context of that series, for context is key to interpretation.  I know this from my historical training.  This is how I think, speak, and write.  To expect me to do otherwise is to expect me to be someone other than myself.

Many people have attempted to transform me into someone other than myself.  All of them have failed.  They have not transformed me into a fundamentalist, a social-cultural historian, or anything else I find repugnant.  I have maintained my integrity as myself, sometimes at a high cost.  I have decided to accept the advice (ironic within the context of Hamlet),

This above all:  to thine own self be true

And it must follow, as the night the day

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

I have long been reluctant to issue statements about unfolding events.  I have wanted to watch them play out before commenting on them.  I have had opinions, of course.  I have “cussed and discussed” in private.  And I have kept almost all of that between God and myself.

Today, however, I am ready to make the following statements, in no particular order:

  1. I continue to reject debunked conspiracy theories and those who peddle them.  I reject the vast majority of conspiracy theories anyway.  I prefer Ockham’s Razor and have a healthy respect for objective reality.
  2. I reject politicians and pundits (especially Donald Trump and cultists thereof) who lie at least every other time they speak or tweet.
  3. Donald Trump and cultists thereof are menaces to the republic.
  4. Counting votes cast within the scope of the law is crucial to the democratic system.  Doing so is not a threat to that system.  If counting votes in a state in which one’s preferred candidate is winning is okay, so should counting votes in a state in which one’s preferred candidate is losing.
  5. Presidents of the United States of America come and go.  The United States of America persists.
  6. Nobody who uses totalitarian language and tactics (certainly not routinely) is worthy to be the President of the United States of America.
  7. Remember that members of the United States military swear loyalty to the Constitution, not the President, of the United States of America.
  8. As many leading Republicans lament, voter suppression has become a major tactic within that party.  Whenever a political party’s base keeps shrinking, that party’s responsible path forward, for the sake of the country, is to broaden its base, not seek to decrease the number of voters.
  9. The United States of America will be stronger when both major parties accept objective reality, including science, such as that of climate change and COVID-19.
  10. People are entitled to their own opinions, but never to their own facts.  Objective reality is what it is.
  11. The United States of America should have a finely-honed election infrastructure.
  12. Given the Electoral College and the state (Georgia) in which I reside, my vote may count this year–for the only time since 1992, my first Presidential election.
  13. I support the abolition of the Electoral College.  Every vote should count.  I grant that this is easy for me to write, given that the Democratic Presidential nominee has won the popular vote in every election from 1992 to 2020, except for 2004.  I also note that the Democratic Presidential nominee lost the election in 2000 and 2016.  Furthermore, I acknowledge that John Kerry would have become President, despite coming in second place in the popular vote count, in 2005 if he had carried Ohio in 2004.  I try to avoid hypocrisy.  “Every vote should count” is a mater of principle for me.
  14. Bigotry should have no place in electoral politics.  It does, unfortunately.
  15. I have spent most of the last four years tuning out the news most of the time.  My refuges have included cat videos, Bible studies, hagiographies, and science fiction.  I have tuned out most of the news to preserve my spiritual and emotional health.  I may pay more attention to the news on a regular basis soon, if the political atmosphere becomes less toxic.
  16. I stand by every statement I have made about Donald Trump on this and other weblogs I maintain.
  17. I anticipate the administration of President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.  I do not envy them, however.  They have their work cut out for them.
  18. This country and the world will suffer from the effects of the Trump Administration for a very long time.
  19. Whenever a political party becomes indistinguishable from a religious cult, something has gone terribly wrong.
  20. I, as a matter of principle, refrain from participating in a political cult.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 8, 2020 COMMON ERA

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Enough, Already!   Leave a comment

I am tired of political advertisements.

My eyes usually glaze over and I tend to start humming, “la, dee, da,” to myself when I see or hear an advertisement.  I skip past them in podcasts, too.  I am a person.  I am a human being.  I am not on this planet to consume any given product someone is advertising.  I do not exist solely to keep corporations profitable by purchasing their wares and services.  Advertising is frequently dehumanizing.

I have managed to avoid many political advertisements by not watching television.  I cut the cord more than a decade ago, so avoiding cable and satellite television has become part of my lifestyle.  And I dropped out of Facebook about four years ago.  I have also promptly added political mail to my recycling bin.

That leaves YouTube.  I skip advertisements on YouTube whenever I can.  Unfortunately, that is not always possible.

I have an appointment to record a podcast on episodes 21 and 22 of Starhunter Redux tonight.  Yes, I have also watched these episodes many times and written blog posts about them.  I also like to discuss an episode or episodes when it is/they are fresh in my mind.  At lunch time today, I started watching episode 21, Travis (Redux) on YouTube.  (These episodes are available for free at the Sci-Fi Central channel.)  I had to watch a political advertisement before the episode started.  I had to watch a second political advertisement before the opening credits sequence ended.  Then I had to watch a third political advertisement before the first scene after the opening credits concluded.  I closed my browser, switched to the computer to which I had downloaded the episode, and started watching the episode minus advertisements.

Victory!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 1, 2020 COMMON ERA

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