I am trying to describe what I feel now.
Now that this man was elected President.
President of our country
Our new country, America.
This wonderful young country, but mature Democracy, the experiment.
America the magnet, hope for people around the world.
We came here for a new beginning.
My wife, our little daughter and myself.
We decided to leave the Soviet Union when we realized finally that there was no future for us there.
We Jews always felt like second-class, unwanted people. It was not our country.
We were young and determined to do better for ourselves and our children.
We came to America.
And also it took some time to adapt, but we were home, at last.
Life was not easy in our new country. The job, the language, money, life and politics - all was new, unfamiliar.
But here we felt more at home than during our lives in the Soviet Union.
It takes time and effort to fully understand, appreciate Freedom. We know it now.
Freedom is not an empty word or a slogan for us.
We could breathe. It is a feeling of the world becoming wide open for us. We were happy.
To live without fear, without disgust for the life around us.
Disgust, helplessness, fear and apathy - that's what we felt in our old country.
We literally got taller. It is a liberating feeling.
And then Trump was elected President.
And fear came back. And anxiety. And anger.
And old memories came back. And finally determination.
We will not be silent, not again,
We will not be silent.
Sometimes desperation creeps in. And fear about the future.
The future of our country, our future.
There is a crisis in America, in the free world.
The struggle between the future and the past.
The struggle between ignorance, fear and hate wanting to divide us and to hide behind the walls of suspicion and intolerance and a new, hopeful and accepting future.
This man, Donald Trump
He was brought up by all these dark forces that are pulling the world into an abyss.
This man. A phony, a crook, a total narcissist, a nobody.
An empty populist. He is just a mirror.
A reflection of all that had been hiding and now Trump gave them a voice.
All these ignorant hateful forces that are pulling us into the dark alley of fascism.
Trump lifted the lowest common denominator in humanity and was handed the power to destroy.
Crisis is upon us
And despite this sinking feeling
This feeling of despair and hopelessness
We have to prevail. I have to.
We have no other choice.
Now that I know how freedom feels I am not going back.
Because I remember. The old country.
Where I could not breathe.
I am not going back to fear, suspicion and lies.
We have to fight.
To fight so this country and the world will not turn into a terrifying dystopia.
I want to, I have to believe that progress is unstoppable, that light will win.
There are setbacks, there are defeats.
But the future, the best in all of us, will always prevail.
And the future needs us to succeed.
As I get older I think of the end of the road.
Not because I want to get there but because I know I will.
I am not rushing but Time is pulling me. Faster and faster into the abyss
I am not alone. My friends, relatives are around me, getting older
The thought crosses my mind from time to time. Who will be first?
I push it away. It is natural but I don't want to think about death.
Not their death. But I am thinking of mine.
When my turn comes, my family, my friends so dear to me...
They will grieve. But time will move them away, away through the turbulence of life
As days, weeks and years carry them along, the pain subsides. Life takes over. Memories fade.
I hope. I want my loved ones to keep going, to live, to enjoy the ups and downs of this crazy ride - life
As my life in this world ends, will it be the end? I wonder.
The end? Some say our souls are immortal. At least from a human perspective.
I don't believe in immortality. What was the beginning necessarily will end.
But instinctively we do not want to simply vanish forever. It is hard to accept forever.
Our world, our human world. It is in turmoil.
Hate and ignorance, wars and famine, suffering that we brought upon ourselves
Greed and self-importance are poisoning people. Sometimes I feel I am ready for the end, my end.
Why? Why are people doing this to themselves? Are we here to hurt one another?
We are just little sparks, blips on the surface of the immense ocean, this mysterious, scary and beautiful Universe.
We know nothing about it. We do not understand it. But arrogance is our trait.
I wonder if we are even noticed by this living, moving and magical something. We call it the Universe, God for some.
Rich and poor, black and white...we are all the same. Children of our planet. Unwanted children perhaps.
Our Earth is just a little speck at the edge of our very ordinary Galaxy, the Milky Way.
One of billions and billions of galaxies. And yet we are full of self-importance, as if the Universe rotates around us.
But we are defenseless against Time. All of us. Rich and poor. Black and white.
And as the years go by I wonder. Why bother? Are we here for the Universe?
What difference does any of our activities matter?
That some of us will get better coffins or headstones?
Death is a great equalizer. In a few years all the coffins will rot. Cheap and fancy alike.
Headstones remain but the chain of generations breaks easily and memories melt away.
But through all the doubt and anxiety, through the hopelessness and despair,
I hope there is a Reason. Some higher reason, higher Reality
I hope for all of us, for this extraordinary creation that is the Universe
I hope for this breed of life, this species, humanity, also still barbarian and violent
I hope we humans will survive in spite of ourselves, survive and mature.
Survive and join the universal consciousness. And will become one with God
My God - the Universe.
I do not know the Reason. This is the eternal question.
Why are we here? What is Here? Maybe we are not supposed to know. Maybe we are not ready to know? Not yet?
I am reading my scribbles now trying to finish my thoughts, to finish what I started. It has been awhile.
Before I had a cardiac arrest. One moment I was fine and then I woke up in the hospital three days later not having any idea of what had happened.
Against all odds I am back. Thanks to the people who saved my life.
Some consider it a miracle. My guardian angel saved me, they say.
There must be a reason, a purpose for me still being here, they say.
I don't know. What is my purpose in this life? Is there a purpose, a task I need to complete?
My loved ones are happy I am alive and well. They are not concerned about the reason, the purpose.
And I will do my best to keep them happy.
And I appreciate this life more and will try to live in the moment while trying to comprehend what happened...
If the doctors had not been able to bring me back, I might never have known that I had existed...and died.
Think about that!
Strange surreal times, a dystopian universe.
Or maybe just a persistent nightmare?
I want to wake up.
I am losing friends.
Friends? I wonder.
Are they friends?
Whom do we consider friends? Real friends?
What are friends? We consider many people we know as friends.
We all want to have friends. Why?
We are social animals, we have the need to be surrounded by others.
To talk, to share, to spend time together.
We need support and understanding, security being with somebody we share our worldview.
We feel at ease, knowing a friend will understand.
Mutual respect and understanding, that's it.
Even in disagreement.
I do not want to be careful, to avoid some topics, to lie.
That is how we talk to everybody else, those not our friends.
I want to enjoy my friend's company, to relax, to let my guard down, not to try being somebody I am not.
Yes, we may disagree, we may argue, let our voices rise.
It will be boring otherwise, won't it? If we agree on everything?
But there are actions, behaviors and words that are indefensible, immoral.
There are views that cannot be supported by a decent person,
By people I call my friends.
This man that the country elected to be the President of the United States.
He spewed lies, deception, hate and bigotry. This man incited violence and intolerance.
During his campaign he spoke to the lowest common denominator, awaking all that is evil in humans.
A leader of the free world?
Some of my friends are supporting this evil man. They voted for him.
Friends? Are we friends? Is there something I do not know about them?
“Avoid talking politics with them”, I have been told.
During these difficult times am I supposed to avoid discussing my fears, to not share my thoughts?
Talk about “safe” things like the weather, the kids.....What are the “safe” subjects with people we call friends?
Maybe that is what is needed to see who our friends really are?
Crises, difficult and troubling times, tragedy.
But I do know these people. People who voted for Trump.
They would help me if the need arose, they have good families, they are nice people.
And yet they elected this psychopath to be our Commander in Chief!
These seemingly decent people just disregarded all the norms of decency and trusted this man with the Presidency.
They put the future of our country in the hands of a narcissistic egomaniac.
What happened to them?
Was I wrong to call them friends?
It is so sad, so hard to be disappointed in people I respected.
I am losing friends.
I listen sometimes to respected political commentators discussing the president-elect...what he does, what he tweets, who he selects for his cabinet and the White house. What strikes me is they talk about all this as if there is a serious person, a Leader who has been elected to be a leader of the Free World.
Qualities of a good leader: honesty, compassion, integrity, confidence, knowledge, curiosity.
Why Trump cannot be a leader.
Compassion is the response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion
The so-called intellectuals have conveniently forgotten the election campaign and all the outrageous things that Trump said during the campaign. Charlie Rose said this about Trump, the President-elect, that is fascinating - Trump sometimes behaves like a normal person. Not a word about Trump's qualifications and his character.
It is abundantly clear to any intelligent person that this man is a pathological liar, a con man, a psychopath - thin-skinned and vindictive. He has managed to insult almost every group in our country and abroad.
Invasive species: "animals, plants or other organisms introduced by man into places out of their natural range of distribution, where they become established and disperse, generating a negative impact on the local ecosystem and species." And a 2004 paper in Diversity and Distributions that examines the terminology of invasiveness notes that there is a lack of consensus on this topic and lists five dominant definitions for 'invasive,' the most popular of which is "widespread that have adverse effects on the invaded habitat."
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/are-humans-an-invasive-species-42999965/#67GjHJStkA1H1lps.99
One time I was playing a computer game where you, the player, create the planet's ecology and are trying to make a sustainable ecological system. In this game humans are listed under “natural disaster”.
I have been thinking about our place on this planet and lately came to the conclusion that we humans are the invasive species killing off everything living on Earth.
That the planet would be better off without us.
Now, scientists say, the Earth is on the brink of a sixth “mass extinction event.” Only this time, the culprit isn’t a massive asteroid impact or volcanic explosions or the inexorable drifting of continents. It’s us.
There is plenty of information on the extent of the damage we humans have inflicted on our planet. Disappearing rain forests.
Extinction of animal species. A report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has found that populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined on average of 52 per cent in the last 40 years.
And for freshwater creatures the situation is even bleaker, with population collapse of more than three quarters over the same period.
Almost the entire decline is down to human activity, through habitat loss, deforestation, climate change, over-fishing and hunting.
Anyone born in 1970 or before would have lived in a world teeming with animals compared to life today. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/wildlife/11129163/Half-of-worlds-animals-have-disappeared-since-1970.html
We humans are so proud of our accomplishments...science, the arts, philosophy.
Humans are sending spaceships to other planets and are dreaming about going to the stars.
And yet we are not able to save our home planet. Selfishness, greed, ignorance, hate and apathy are ruling our species. None of these attributes are associated with other life forms on Earth.
Only humans are capable of killing their own species for so many “reasons” that are invented by humans. Religion, race, natural resources and many other excuses human species use to fight and kill each other.
We are deeply flawed creatures. Any scientific advances are being used first and foremost on inventing new ways of destruction.
There is a natural delicate ecological balance of life forms on Earth. The only exception – humans. Why are we here? Was Mother Nature aware of what will become of us humans? Do we have reason, logic and intelligence just to use it against ourselves and our planet? Is there a future for our species?
Is Darwinism working on a planetary scale?
There have got to be millions of habitable worlds even in our Galaxy. But is there a critical time in evolution when most intelligent species die out? Are we humans at that threshold presently?
There could be many causes for extinction...a killer virus, meteorites, infertility or wars.
Are we humans capable of coming to our senses and surviving?
I give us a 50/50 chance.
And if we vanish from the face of the Earth, no living thing will miss us.
A good example of when fanaticism and idiocy of an organization that calls itself “friends of parks" caused great damage to a great city. You are not "friends of parks". You are militant fundamentalists who needed to show to the world that you matter. I agree that you matter. You matter the same way as ISIS or Hamas matter. You are a destructive force that does more harm than good.
Juanita Irizarry is a homegrown leader who brings years of advocacy and community-based organizing experience to the cause. Her expertise and energy will be applied to staying the course charted by the organization’s board of directors to protect public trust land and promote and preserve Chicago’s parks.
“The butt-ugly expanse of asphalt where the museum would have gone is Soldier Field's south lot, located on prime lakefront real estate between the football stadium and McCormick Place's monolithic Lakeside Center.”
"At a time when Chicago needs an organization like yours to protect actual parks, please do not waste the time and resources generously donated to you to protect a parking lot from the fate of becoming a world-class cultural institution".
So was Friends of the Parks' opposition to the original Lucas proposal a case of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good? Or is the group the spiritual heir to mail-order tycoon Aaron Montgomery Ward, who famously fought to keep Chicago's shoreline "forever open, clear and free"?
Preserve Chicago's parks!? What parks? Is this a park?
Here it begins...
The rise of stupid in America.
Donald Trump, the new Fuhrer!
A scary thought
I was born after the War but I've read history, the rise of the Nazis.
The mob angry at the world, the mob full of poisonous hate.
Ready to follow the “leader”
The Somebody who will point to the enemy, the culprit, the source of all the problems
These outsiders who are responsible for the suffering of the “great people” of this great country
History is about to repeat itself
Another country, same mentality
The mob is the same throughout the ages
He, the Leader is promising to make America great again!
And who are the supporters of this new “great leader?”
Who is going to make America “great again”?
The Ku Klux Klan, white supremacists, all denominations of bigots and misguided or just ignorant middle class schmucks.
These useful idiots are not interested in the details of Trump's plan on how to “rebuild America”
These rednecks, Trump followers, will not know how to build bridges and space ships.
They don't know nor are they willing to invent, research, use science or any of the “smart” liberal things.
They are anti-smart, anti-education, anti-intellectuals.
A Superior race.
It is a mob, my friends.
And the mob does not have intelligence or reasoning or compassion.
The mob is soulless, mindless, a cruel organism that can do one thing: follow the leader.
It kills, exterminates, destroys, builds concentration camps.
Remember the Third Reich?
I am thinking about all of this and it is hard to believe.
Hard to believe that it can happen again.
But I know it can. People have not changed.
Not at all.
This sinking feeling, this dark and cold fog creeps up inside me
Fascism is alive in the world.
It was just waiting for the right moment to take over power, to rise again
And now is this moment, the moment it has been waiting for.
The world is rapidly changing around us.
Rapid technological changes, global economy,
A disintegrating Republican party, the anti-intellectual culture promoting ignorance
The Trump moment.
And I want to ask Trump and his supporters: what does the phrase mean, the Greatness of America?
The good old time of slavery, no women rights, among many other “perks”
You cannot invent and build. You destroy.
Just like Muslim terrorists you are promising to annihilate.
And lastly to these Jews that support Trump.
I don't know your motivations but, to me, it is a nasty way to commit suicide.
And murder. Jews for Hitler.
Because by voting for Trump, you are subjecting the whole world to grave danger,
In conclusion I have to say that I am ashamed, embarrassed for our country
This great democracy...dissolving into fascism.
Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. Sir Arthur Eddington
Is our universe a simulation?
It is a pointless question. This does not help the bigger question: Who or what is simulating the simulators? As you can see this hypothesis just complicates the picture.
Now there is another question: is our universe real?
What is “real”?
As we know by now there are no “hard” objects in this universe.
All is just unpredictable clouds of “energy”.
What is this energy? Do we know?
Our universe is just INFORMATION. Everything we are able to see or detect is just information changing and developing according to some algorithm.
Who or what created this algorithm?
The moment we ask “who”, we destroy any possible answer because the question leads to “nested” questions without an end.
Whatever it is our universe (or multiverse) is the only reality. There is no city of Zion. Matrix is our only reality.
Where does it came from, this reality? Anybody can guess. Even if the Big Bang happened, nobody knows how and why.
There has got to be a reason and right conditions for any action.
Despite the scientific progress human knowledge of the universe if minuscule, about 0.01%
Dark matter, dark energy-scientists call it “dark” because they have no clue what it is.
Our telescopes can see the distant objects in our universe billions of light years away.
Yes. But we see a distant past and scientists can just guess how these objects look now (if they still exist).
So here is just a crazy guess.
There was no causality before our universe. So maybe the universe appeared here in order to create the universe? To pull itself into existence by its boot straps...a snake swallowing it's tail.
After I wrote this I stumbled on a post about Stephen Hawking's new book.
The realization that time can behave like another direction of space means one can get rid of the problem of time having a beginning, in a similar way in which we got rid of the edge of the world. Suppose the beginning of the universe was like the South Pole of the earth, with degrees of latitude playing the role of time. As one moves north, the circles of constant latitude, representing the size of the universe, would expand. The universe would start as a point at the South Pole, but the South Pole is much like any other point. To ask what happened before the beginning of the universe would become a meaningless question, because there is nothing south of the South Pole. In this picture space-time has no boundary—the same laws of nature hold at the South Pole as in other places (pp. 134-5).
"The idea that being could arise without a cause from non-being seems metaphysically absurd."