Monday, December 2, 2013


SEVEN QUESTIONS 
ASKED and ANSWERED



1. Why did you start a political blog and when?

I’d been commenting copiously for years at many other blogs, and several friends urged me to start one of my own. I hoped to introduce a friendlier, more broad-minded approach, and also to discuss culture, architecture, literature, poetry, music, theater, movies in hope of generating more awareness of how much an integral part of life –– and thus the political process –– these elements really are. The idea was, as Walt Whitman put it so well, to encourage readers to be more CURIOUS, and less JUDGMENTAL. Unfortunately, this approach generated far more heat than light, and I found myself the target for ugly, generally moronic abuse from ALL directions.


2. Who is the one person still living that you would most like to meet and chat with?

TWO actually: America’s greatest operatic baritone and concert singer, Nathan Gunn and his wife Julie Jordan Gunn. Nathan and Julie have managed to stay married to each other more than twenty years, bring five children into the world, take time to raise them in “as normal an atmosphere possible,”and still manage to pursue  enormously successful international careers in the world of opera and concert music. Having tried unsuccessfully to be a concert artist, myself, I’d like to find out how the HELL they’ve managed to do what they’ve done. 

3. Would you replace Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Roberts if given the opportunity, and if so why and replace with whom?

Replace Roberts? Indeed I would. Either Senator Ted Cruz, Governor Scott Walker, Dr. Ben Carson, or possibly Mona Charin, who is one of sanest, most temperate, keenly intelligent, perceptive, and attractive columnists in the USA. The reason why should be obvious. Each and everyone of these individuals is young enough to last for a good many ears, and each has his or her head screwed on rightly –– and tightly ––, and would do everything possible to help repair the terrible damage leftist thinking has done to our country.

4. If you could visit one nation you have never visited before, what nation would that be?

Impossible to answer, because there are so many, but it might be Russia, because I would like to see –– and judge –– for myself what it’s really like there. 

5. What is something you would collectively change about humanity?

I would love to see an end to SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS and develop deeper appreciation for true Humility.  Again Whitman’s motto BE CURIOUS, NOT JUDGMENTAL if applied would do a great deal to advance Civilization by leaps and bounds.

6. What book has influenced your life (other than the Bible) and describe how?

Impossible to choose one, but the so-called Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, Dickens' David Copperfield, The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James, The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy, and Serious Music –– particularly the music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Wagner, Richard Strauss and Gustave Mahler have had a big influence on me. An ever-deepening awareness and appreciation of the importance of BEAUTY –– in Architecture, Interior Design, Gardens, Music, Poetry, Literature, Art, Theater, Film –– and above all in the rare instances of truly NOBLE, THOUGHTFUL, GENEROUS, genuinely UNSELFISH, KIND, CONSIDERATE, GOOD-HUMORED BEHAVIOR has become my creed.

7. If you were free to live in any city or town you choose in the U.S., which would you choose and why?

My home town, NEW YORK CITY –– or –– LONDON, ENGLAND –– but only IF I had robust health and the great wealth required to live comfortably, stylishly and free to enjoy the immense cultural riches and great advantages those places have to offer. I spent several months in London on two ocasions, and truly loved it, but that was more than thirty years ago. I haven’t been back to New York in twenty years either, so I might find these places have changed so much as to be undesirable now, but somehow I doubt it.


22 comments:

  1. If you could visit one nation you have never visited before, what nation would that be?

    I choose Spain. I majored in the literature of Spain and can speak Spanish well enough to enjoy a visit that doesn't include only tourist spots.

    If I have time later today, I'll be back to say more. Decorate A Vet comes today to tidy up the yard before putting up outside decorations later this week.

    In addition, I'm all worn out this morning. All that interior Christmas decorating that I did yesterday! And I have Christmas cards to address, too.

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  2. Damned good blog Mr Thinke!
    Because of the problems and the lawlessness caused by Progressivism since Barack Obama. And I'm going to give you an example.
    Apparently in the Liberals sick minds the police in are loaded with Tea Party members, out to get black people. As if prior to the Tea Party, there we NO black people in prison. Figure that one out! It’s purely ridiculous!
    I get sick and tired of liberals bitching because Obama says that!
    Progressives don’t want freedom, they want a government that enables their undemocratic mind set. They don’t realize that the problem is not black vs white, it’s more like rich vs. poor. And the“Redistribution of the wealth” scenario sounds very good and tempting to them. Sure spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody, except the people who earned their wealth, and to Karl Marx bless his filthy heart!!
    Their living in a fantasy world if they actually believe in that fairy tale would work here in the USA. The Obama enablers are nothing less than thieves. They are very little less than looters. Taking, but never giving. This is how they live and how they have lived for generations. They have no sense of right and wrong when it comes to government aid. Thats exactly why they all ran to vote for Obama in such vast numbers.
    Progressives, are overturning and trampling all over our Constitutional ever since the election of this sleazy president. I’m sure you folks who visit the Progressive blogs have seem these suggestions before.

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  3. A blog lives and dies on the passions of those who frequent it. Those who do not passionately agree/disagree with a posting may read the post, but they won't comment about it. If they are successfully able to do this, and are "intellectually engaged" in the process, they will return. To expect people to suppress their passions, and behave with restrained civility, would by an oxymoron at a successful blog.

    I suspect that your "expectations" with regards to the conduct of the posters who frequent your blog are "unrealistic".

    Your Humble Servant...

    -FJ, et al

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  4. In other words, curiosity is not aroused non-judgementally. Curiosity and judgement are inseparable travelling "companions". for judgement is curiosity's Raison d'Etre.

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  5. I would love to see an end to SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS and develop deeper appreciation for true Humility. Again Whitman’s motto BE CURIOUS, NOT JUDGMENTAL if applied would do a great deal to advance Civilization by leaps and bounds.

    I suggest you do what I did this past Saturday evening. Go see the play "Red". I believe it would put an end to you belief that real "advances" in civilization arise from non-judgemental thinking. They arise from "differently judgemental" thinking. As the philosophper Plato was fond of saying (in other words of course)... "There is generation from opposites".

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  6. ps - What is needed is not that people become more non-judgemental. What is needed is that people recognize the rights of ALL people to be judgemental in their own, unique, ways, even if those ways threaten and/or are harmful to them... yet only act to curtail their neighbors activities when those neighbors begin to actively transgress (in ways more than words) against the rights of all to believe in that which they idividually choose to believe.

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  7. The true form of liberalism today is called progressivism, which is akin to communism to separate it from liberals of the Democratic Party. Progressivism advocates a government with its own economic laws and or polices. The appropriate name for today’s Democrats is progressives, socialists and social democrats. Today’s Democrats are not the President Truman’s or even the John Kennedy’s as we knew years ago.
    Today’s modern Progressives will destroy America if we let them ..Progressives are not your friends. They want to extend the tentacles of big government into every aspect of your life. They want to control what you eat, what you drive, what your kids are taught remember, the Progressive, or should I say the Socialists of today don't even believe that your children belong to you, they belong to the government, or in other words ro Our Dear Leader, Der Fuhrer . America is at a very important time in its history, with Benghazi, ObamaCare, and yes even the Gimmie, Gimmie crowd of Obama’s enablers .
    It is in Obama’s best interest to please that bunch who live off government handouts to get their votes and approval It is my conclusion that America will never be the same after Obama. He is still an embarrassment to what has become of America. And his polls and ratings are at an all-time low. How did all this happen? I would say with his false premisses and his “Hope and Change” slogan. This president was elected and re-elected because of those that voted for him get the free government benefits, and free stuff.
    All I know is that I know Obama is and will continue to be an outrage me and millions of other Americans. What a shame.

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  8. The vision of the Left requires "minions" to "service it". If you favour an existence that is NOT that of a "minion", I would advise you to FIGHT the Left with all your heart and energy.

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  9. FJ said
    " I would advise you to FIGHT the Left with all your heart and energy".
    And I say Amen to that!

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  10. 1. I would never add to the white noise and start a political blog.

    2. Jean-Luc Godard

    3. I would replace Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts with jurists who weren't in thrall to kapital.

    4. India

    5. Complacency

    6. Michael Harrington's The Other America for helping me understand the need for the social contract.

    7. I like Boston fine. Though New York or San Francisco would be better for street photography.

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. I suggest the best way to combat phenomena we find disagreeable is to make ever effort not to be like it -- not to follow its example -- not to give it any power by dealing with it as though it had credibility -- or even a proper right to exist.

    "Be not overcome by evil, but [instead] overcome evil with good."

    By ENGAGING in boisterous, vituperative combat with leftists -- or any other elements whose objectives we despise -- we automatically give them the stamp of CREDIBILITY.

    When we KNOW that argument will produce NOTHING but MORE argument -- an endlessly REPETITIVE series of fruitless exchanges -- it is in my opinion unwise to engage in such activity. UNLESS, of course, one gets tremendous pleasure from pugilistic endeavor, which may be a not-too-subtle form of Sado-Masochism, since generally it has no substantive connection to the issues that purport to generate heated debate.

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  13. The Leftists don't need us to argue with them in order to achieve "credibility". They already control a third of the countries of the world.

    What they would "prefer" is our "silence."

    Qui tacet consentire videtu

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  14. " ... Thereof could I sing a song -- and WILL sing it: though I be alone in an empty house, and must sing it to mine own ears."

    Indeed! My friend, Emily, had her own way of expressing a similar thought:

    Before you thought of spring,

    Except as a surmise,

    You see, God bless his suddenness,

    A fellow in the skies

    Of independent hues,

    A little weather-worn,

    Inspiriting habiliments

    Of indigo and brown.



    With specimens of song,

    As if for you to choose,

    Discretion in the interval,

    With gay delays he goes

    To some superior tree

    Without a single leaf,

    And shouts for joy to nobody

    But his seraphic self!


    ~ Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

    And I, who once dreamed of playing concerts to packed houses and much critical acclaim, and went to extraordinary lengths to become educated and sufficiently well-schooled to fulfill those visions, find myself quite content to continue to learn new repertoire, practice the instrument as carefully and thoroughly as ever, but after having faced the massive indifference, fierce hostility and proud ignorance of the world for several decades to lille or no avail, find myself quite content, today, to work hard with no greater object than pleasing myself.

    Like the little bird in Ms. Dickinson’s poem “I shout for joy to nobody for my seraphic self” -- giving concerts for God, who is after all the only audience who matters -- gives satisfaction enough for the immense amount of time and energy sacrificed that might have netted greater wealth or higher standing in the world community.
    Again Miss Dickinson comes to the rescue by perfectly expressing my meaning:


    To be alive is power,
    Existing in itself,
    Without a further function,
    Omnipotence enough,



    It is only after we finally give up caring what others may think of us, that we finally begin to come into our own.

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  15. btw - I object to the underlying premise of Question 5. It pre-supposes a "correctable deficiency". NOT attempting to "correct" humanity, on the other hand, is the "classical liberal" position. Accept man "as-he-is" and design institutions which separate powers and prevent him from doing harm (ie - picking economic winners and losers).

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  16. You seem to miss my meaning, Thersites. I have never suggested NOT fighting whatever-we-perceive-as evil -- and Marxism and all its hideous, pseudo-benevolent derivatives is certainly that. Where we probably differ is in HOW it should or must be done.

    Why do you -- and others -- suppose I post so many items that do not deal directly with political issues?

    My hope is always that others may draw what-I-see-as logical INFERENCES. It rarely happens, which is disappointing, but I'm not yet ready to give up and descend into the trenches to start throwing brickbats and stinkbombs from behind the barricades in the hope I may end up as the last man standing -- in a ruined world devoid of comfort, pleasure, solace, understanding or companionship.

    Only an imbecile would aspire to be King of the Dunghill.

    It's not so much that I wish to avoid confrontation as it is my intense desire to provide examples of many different kinds as to how we might better spend our time than merely calling each other silly names and spamming BOILERPLATE all over the place -- not that I would ever accuse YOU of the last.

    After all, you too take a decidedly oblique approach to discourse when you offer copious quotations from sources most would regard as "esoteric," if they bother to regard them at all.

    I am not against argument per se, but rather against argument for argument
    sake -- especially when it descends to the level of prolonged petty squabbles, that are more about personal feelings of antagonism and trying to have the last word than advancing any of the significant aspects of whatever issue may be under discussion.

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  17. What is it about India that attracts so many leftists? Nearly every leftist I know has either already spent considerable time traveling in India -- even in one instance an entire sabbatical -- or expressing the burning desire to be there?

    One would think that the darkest, dreariest, most untamed areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, or poorest areas in Central and South America would be the geographical loci of primary interest for leftists, wouldn't you?

    I have nothing particularly against India, but having seen much of it through documentary films and the seemingly endless slide shows and home videos of liberal friends who've been there, I have no great urge to see the place.

    But then, having more the temperament of a Bilbo Baggins than the typical Questing Male of Historical Fame and Legend, I am not predisposed to travel of any kind anymore.

    And anyway, as my favorite poetess so famously said,

    There is no frigate like a book
    __ To take us lands away
    Or any course like a page
    __ Of prancing poetry.

    This traverse may the poorest take
    __ Without oppress of toil
    How frugal is the chariot
    __ That bears the human soul!


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  18. FT......

    " the darkest, dreariest, most untamed areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, or poorest areas in Central and South America would be the geographical loci of primary interest for leftists"

    I would think that their dreams would come true in North Korea!

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  19. TOUCHE, JonBerg! Excellent point.

    That, of course, is where these -- I can't decide whether to call them fools or fiends -- probably an analgam of both -- are determined to take us.

    I happened to catch a GREAT lecture by David Horowitz on C-Span a couple of days ago, and Boy! does HE ever have "them" pegged!

    DH is totally believable, because he was BORN a COMMUNIST, RAISED by COMMUNISTS and WAS a COMMUNIST for many years, before he finally saw the life and realized what a deadly thing it was.

    David Horowitz really KNOWS what he is talking about when it comes to the utter viciousness of the leftist infiltration and ultimate takeover of our culture.

    To put it bluntly Horowitz IS the "horse's mouth" on this subject.

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  20. He's the horse's something, alright.

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  21. Canardo,

    Isn't about time you pulled up stakes and moved to North Korea? Given your obvious distaste for the USA -- and all the Western World by extension -- I think North Korea would be JUST the place for you. Either that or Bangladesh, Somalia -- or Mogadishu.

    I'm sure a year or five in one of those places would soon inculcate appreciation and a deep affection for the land of your birth.

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