Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Therein lies madness

Last night at 1:00 am, I finished a short report for a friend.  It took me almost two weeks for something that should have taken two days at most.  I could not focus, could not concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time until last night when I put in three solid hours to finish.

Blog reading will get caught up on tomorrow and writing will continue sporadically as usual.  I read the other day that when you don't do what you are supposed to do, you have no time for anything else.  Mostly I read the news articles that showed up on my Facebook news feed and in my email and played solitaire.

Today I did nothing.  Slept for a while this afternoon. Read a couple of articles but couldn't bring myself to read anymore.  I feel as low as a snake's belly in a wagon rut as the saying goes.  The troops in the Debaltsev pocket were finally given the order to retreat and are now streaming northwards.  The Russian troops promised safe conduct if they gave up but remembering Ilovaisk, it is a bit like Lucy's promise to hold the ball for Charlie Brown.

There have been several ambushes along the way. One soldier comments he had to change vehicles several times as they kept getting shot up.  Used to be horses were shot out from under you, now it is trucks.  I guess most of them are getting out at least.  Ukraine is the only side that seems to be expected to abide by Minsk II.  Russia claims it is not part of the problem so is not part of the  Minsk agreements.

A BBC news crew were set up at the Donetsk Airport and narrowly escaped with their lives.  They were being toured around by DNR officialdom and an escort, which then left them alone to complete their shooting.  Mortars were being fired the whole time they were in their and they were told that they were incoming from the ATO and outgoing "suppressing fire" which was not so; they were all outgoing fired by DNR.  Suddenly, after the escort had left the mortar rounds started dropping right into the middle of the crew.  They ran for their lives.  The intent was to kill them and blame the Ukrainian military for breaking the truce etc.  Great propaganda.

Why do we do this?  All living creatures have lived out their allotted time and been replaced by the next generation since the dawn of time.  To what end? Humans live their three score and ten, yet we fight over riches and power and land as though we were here forever.  Empires come and go and have done so in an endless cycle over thousands of years.  To what end? People have suffered  the inhumanity of man to man for eons.  To what end?  You can't take it with you and if you have no intention of leaving it, I have news for you.  You will and there is no prize for the most toys.  So why do we do this?

Instead of trying to beat each other, why don't we help each other?  There is enough to go around, even for 7.5 billion people.  We could all have good education, clean drinking water, shelter, food...a very comfortable life.  It will not happen as we are as as species thousands of years too late to start.  The evils of today trace their roots back untold generations.  To what end?

The seasons go round, the generations go round, on and on ad infinitum.  To what end?  What if it stopped?  The doomsayers predict we will destroy the planet or it will destroy us.  What difference would it make?

Those who believe in a higher power have invented religions to explain the ends and why it matters in the name of their god. It seems that mostly they have served to tribalize and excuse the killing of any who are "not like us". To what end?

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.
 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.

You, indeed, have made my days short in length, and my life span as nothing in Your sight. Yes, every mortal man is only a vapor

"Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.

Our veterinarian Andrei was here at 7:00 tonight to give our cats some kind of medication.  They had to do without food all day (they have food in their dish at all times) and were they antsy by supper time.  I cooked Andrei a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches while he and Tanya treated the cats. They are now eating and will likely sleep all night with full tummies.


  1. I enjoyed your blog Allen, although I am sorry you feel down. I wonder why, when so many feel this way, we cannot seem to change the world?

    1. Thanks, Donnelda. I guess because we are all human and because a bad system can always beat a good person.

  2. It is too bad that we were intelligent enough to identify the Seven Deadly Sins, but not intelligent enough to avoid them.

  3. If I could wave a magic wand, Al... I would.

    1. I know, Barb. It is beyond magic. I am reminded of the joke about the highway to Hawaii. Impossible. OK, then how about I understand women? Do you want two lanes or four.

  4. People as individuals are likable enough, but let them form into a clan, a religion, a nation, an ethnic identity and they begin to think with a mob mentality.
    This is who we are - to the world's detriment.
    the Ol'Buzzard

    1. Insanity in individuals is something rare -- but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule. -Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

  5. I'm sorry you're feeling down - hope it passes soon. But contemplating the atrocities done in the name of religion is enough to depress anybody.

    1. Religion or any other ideology that can be driven to fanaticism, though it is easier with religion. Communism became a religion in its own right.


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