About Alden Loveshade

Alden is a philosopher, personist, writer, playwright, screenwriter, director, actor, poet, photographer, dumbek drummer, roleplayer, and educator. Worked for others and freelance as a journalist, investigator, columnist, reviewer, teacher, animal caregiver, photographer, and dishwasher. Claims e doesn’t care about money, but always needs more. Recognized by Phi Theta Kappa, Golden Key International Honor Society, the U. S. Jaycees, and groups of like ilk. They don’t necessarily like em, but they recognize em. Graduated summa cum laude from some university that apparently figured the best way to get rid of em was to graduate em. Alden has worked with Emmy, Oscar, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize Nominees and Winners but they never shared their awards! Alden has dual citizenship in the Principality of Sealand and the United States of America. His official title for Sealand is Lord Alden Loveshade. E thinks that makes em sound impressive.

Lowlife Slimeball Salacious Oligarch Kakistocracy

 

American flag with today’s trending words.

Merriam-Webster (to which I, ahem, made extremely small contributions) has words Trending Now on its website.  One of the foremost dictionary producers in English language history, it works not to set trends, but to report them.

In today’s political and social climate, what were the five top recent trending words in the English language?

  1. lowlife ‘a person of low moral character’
  2. kakistocracy ‘government by the worst people’
  3. slimeball ‘a morally repulsive or odious person’
  4. salacious ‘arousing or appealing to sexual desire’
  5. oligarch ‘government in which a small group exercises control’

Welcome to today’s America.
Merriam-Webster.com

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

Original flag image by Dawn Hudson was released into the public domain; our version here with Merriam-Webster’s Trending Now words we also release.

White Evangelical Christian Hypocrisy

Donald Trump and Barack Obama.  How you speak about them tells more about you than it does about them.  And you may not like what people are seeing.

If you want to skip my introduction, you can go and read John Pavlovitz’s editorial White Evangelicals, This is Why People Are Through With You.

If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s hypocrisy.  If you recall, Jesus of Nazareth didn’t tolerate it either.  And right now, America is rampant with it.

This isn’t just about Donald Trump and Barack Obama.  This isn’t just about politics.  It’s about fundamental Christian values.  To understand where I’m coming from, you need to understand where I came from.

I was raised in church.  For churches, I was a child acolyte, child/teen/adult choir member, janitor, website and business card designer, Bible school worker, assistant production director, production director, young adult group leader, adult Sunday school teacher, communion server, bylaws reviser, and administrative board member.

I am classified as Caucasian, and I voted in the last presidential primary as Republican.

With that in mind, I remember how Jesus loved and helped sinners, but spoke very, very strongly against religious hypocrisy.  Like what is happening in America right now.

Now please read John Pavlovitz’s editorial White Evangelicals, This is Why People Are Through With You.  It says what I would say if John hadn’t already said it very, very well.

An opinion of an individual members of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

Donald Trump Lies

“I’m not gonna play much golf, because there’s a lot of work to be done.” –Donald Trump

All right, so the title of this entry is hardly ground-breaking.  Even supporters of Donald Trump say he lies (and may justify it by saying all politicians lie and they don’t care).

But comparing the number and type of Trump’s documented lies to those of hundreds of people in studies reveal a couple of startling things.  Social scientist

For one thing, he apparently lies much more often than the average person.  For another, Trump’s lies are rarely made to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, like many of us do (“Why yes, I really do like your new, whatever-it-is you’re wearing.”)  Instead, Donald Trump’s lies are often the opposite: insulting and hurtful.  He lies to insult people much, much more often than almost all of the rest of us. In fact, according to records of his public comments, his lies are 10 times more likely to be malicious.

Come to think of it, having listened to Trump speak, maybe that isn’t too surprising either.

I study liars. I’ve never seen one like President Trump.
Voter’s don’t seem to care whether candidates tell the truth

Linked photo is listed as REUTERS/David Moir

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

End of the Year Letter 2017

xmas_flowerxmas_flower2To see the full graphics and the Christmas poem described in this letter, check the attachments at the bottom.

Say kids, what time is it? It’s End of the Year Letter time!

I had some guests this year. They included:

1) some welcome out-of-state visitors for the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love
2) a neighbor’s heifer (a young cow) who decided the grass was greener on my side so loved spending the night here while her “parents” were out of town
3) some pretty white wildflowers that when I touched them lovingly gave me a rash
4) some fire ants that loved biting my feet
5) some busy bees that loved being busy inside of my bird feeder
6) an opossum (“possum”) lying by the side of the house that I thought was dead–until I remembered they love “playing possum”
7) and an unwelcome but clever wild mouse that loved the food he took from the shelf, two live traps, and the cats without getting caught. (I did catch him in the third trap, two cardboard tubes I stuck together with peanut butter inside, although to keep him from escaping again I had to cover the tube hole on each end with my bare hands).

My Mom got her formerly fibrillating heart rebooted which helped her a lot.

The year wasn’t without bad news. I lost an uncle, a neighbor’s house burned down, and another neighbor’s house exploded. And I had to file several DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) claims which fortunately worked, but then my computer went kaput.

I got my weight back down, and am weighing helping design curriculum for Abrahamic religions for a religious studies series. I’m finally entering the 21st century by switching my photography from film to digital. I partially built a barn floor, and am working on a special project, writing, editing, and doing graphic design for publications (I created the 21st Centuryesque font used in the heading, and graphics and border of this here letter).

Back to the 20th century, I’ve included the very first piece I ever professionally published, a Christmas poem I wrote when I was 16 years old. Keep in mind I wrote it when I was 16 years old.

Have a Great Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Chanukah, Wonderful Yule, Fine Winter/ Summer Solstice, Terrific New Year!

End of the Year Letter 2017 and Christmas poem

End of the Year Letter 2017 _AL_ digital

What is Christmas (AL)

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

The Second Amendment is Dead

Image from http://awselby.com/?p=331

Image from http://awselby.com/?p=331

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, born 226 years ago today, is dead.  Defunct.  And it has been dead for a long time.

Many of you will say it’s not dead.  It’s never been revoked, it’s still in the Constitution, and it’s still the law.  And I would agree.  But as it existed originally, and from a practical point of view, it’s deceased.

The Second Amendment harkens back to the American Declaration of Independence.  No less that President Abraham Lincoln believed that the Constitution should be interpreted through the Declaration’s principles, according to Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by historian James M. McPherson.  And that says it is “the Right of the People to alter or abolish” a despotic government. “It is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” It is “the Right of the People to alter or abolish it.”

To throw off a hostile government, and to provide guards for the future, means having and using arms.  The right to bear arms goes back much further, back 100 years to the English Bill of Rights of 1689.  And in the 21st century in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court proclaimed the right to bear arms was “clearly an individual right, having nothing whatsoever to do with service in the militia.”

While the nation’s founders did not state a constitutional right of the people to “throw off such Government” once they founded a government, they did continue the tradition of giving people, including individuals, the right to bear arms.  In 1791, the Second Amendment passed which says, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

So why do I say the Second Amendment is dead?  At its acceptance, and by the traditions that preceded it, it gave people the right to bear arms against a government.  From a practical point of view, that means people having arms that could be used to defeat a nation.

In 1791, this was entirely practical.  A person of relatively modest means could buy a Kentucky long rifle, then arguably the most effective weapon in existence.  (I’ll leave it to munitions experts to debate on whether a field gun or something else was most effective, but in any case, a person could buy one).  For something larger, you and your associates could buy and use a real, deadly cannon like members of private groups, including the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, used.

But things have changed, radically.  There was the Civil War’s Gatling gun, which was nearly an automatic weapon; and the 1880s Maxim gun, which was.  These weapons were not readily available, and were very expensive.  The Second Amendment, in its original meaning as interpreted through the Declaration of Independence, was dying.

In today’s world, it’s all over.  None of us can go to our local gun shop and pick up a arsenal of thermonuclear weapons.  And you can’t go to Walmart to get yourself a nuclear submarine and an armed aircraft carrier.  They’re too expensive, and too illegal.  That’s what someone in the modern world would realistically need to “throw off such Government.”  Thus, by its original meaning, the Second Amendment is dead.

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

The Media is a Myth

Dennis_Prager_by_Gage_Skidmore_media_danger_quote

“The news media in the West pose a far greater danger to Western civilization than Russia does.” — Tweet by Dennis Prager

People talk about “the media” almost as much as they talk about “they.” But who are “they?” And what is “the media?”

“Media” is the plural of “medium.” A medium, in the media sense, is something that’s used by one person to communicate a message to others. “The media” includes every single medium. Every newspaper is part of “the media.” So is every magazine. So is every radio station, television station, movie distributor, blog host, chat group, social network. “The media” is Twitter and Google+ and My Space and Instagram and Facebook. Everyone who communicates on paper, radio, television, film, or Internet is part of “they” and part of “the media.”

“The Media” is actually a concept that exists in the human mind. But in terms of physical reality, there is no such thing as “the media.” You can’t smell it, feel it, taste it, hear it, or see it. You can sense a part of it, like watch a television news program or listen to a radio show or read this blog post.

But what about the conspiracy of “the liberal media” or “the conservative media?” I’ve worked for “the media” for a long time. I’ve written for newspapers, magazines, books, radio, television, the Internet, and more. For years I wrote five days a week for a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper. I don’t remember even once being told if I was supposed to be liberal or conservative. And I don’t remember ever talking to someone who worked for another medium to coordinate what slant we were going to give to the news. I was much too busy doing my job.

But Dennis Prager, and apparently many others, sees the media in the West as a vast conspiracy, a greater threat to America than Russia. Interestingly, Dennis Prager is a radio show host (media), a columnist (media), an author (media), a public speaker (media), and has his own “Prager University” which is actually his media company (media) that posts on Facebook (media), all coming from the West….

Photo of Dennis Prager by Gage Skidmore is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Dennis Prager’s tweet is here.

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

Emma Watson Can’t Be Sexy!

This photo of Emma Watson is by Georges Biard (and “censored” by us). It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Emma Watson must stop claiming to be a feminist right now! I don’t care if she has been a champion for women’s rights.  I don’t care if she has a HeForShe campaign for personism or equal rights, or wrote a feminist book, or has been a UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador.

She posed for Vanity Fair in a photo that shows parts of the bottoms of her breasts.  Her feminism days are over!  Feminists cannot show certain parts of their bodies in public!  They certainly cannot appear to be sexual beings.  Men can, but women can’t.  That’s a fundamental part of feminist thought, that women aren’t allowed to do the same things that men….

Wait.

Emma Watson’s Boobs Prove Why We Still Need Feminism

I acknowledge the Vanity Fair appearance was earlier this year.  However, I believe this still, unfortunately, applies.

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

 

The War is Over

Exhibit in the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. Photo, taken by Daderot, released into the public domain.

Confederate flag exhibit in the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. Photo, taken by Daderot, released into the public domain.

Little known historical fact: the American Civil War, aka the War Between the States, is over.  It ended in 1865.

I say that because it appears many people are still trying to fight that war.

I remember years ago visiting the capitol of Alabama in Montgomery.  I was astonished to see both the flag of the United States of America, and the flag of the Confederate States of America, flying above the capitol building.

It was not that I had anything against the flag of the Confederacy being at the capitol.  It is a part of Alabama’s history.  Many brave and noble people lost their properties and their lives fighting for their homes, for Alabama, and for their view of America.  The war, in many ways the most costly in American history, should not be forgotten.  The Confederacy should not be forgotten, nor should its flags.  I would have been perfectly happy seeing the flag openly displayed inside the capitol building.

But Alabama has not been part of the Confederacy since 1865.  Neither has Texas.  Texas has been under the flags of six different nations, including itself.  Those fly over Six Flags amusement parks, as well they should.  But not over the capitol, any more than the capitol of California should fly the flag of Mexico.  Nor should Washington D.C. proclaim allegiance to the Nacotchtank.  They inhabited the land long before Captain John Smith discovered them at the beginning of the 17th century, and even longer before it became the capital of America.  But the flag that flies over the center of government should represent that government and its allegiance, not allegiance to another nation.

We’re now having a battle over statues of the Confederacy.  Again, I have no problem with the statutes themselves, even after I learned there were more erected during the assertion of Jim Crow laws over “negros” than at any other time.

But if they’re displayed, they should be displayed as a symbol of American history.  They should not be a sign of its allegiance.

An opinion of an individual member or associate of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the entire family.

Republicans are in Denial Over Donald Trump–Says a Republican Senator

“Who could blame the people who felt abandoned and ignored by the major parties for reaching in despair for a candidate who offered oversimplified answers to infinitely complex questions and managed to entertain them in the process? With hindsight, it is clear that we all but ensured the rise of Donald Trump.”  That’s by Jeff Flake, Republican senator from Arizona.  It’s in a piece entitled, “My Party Is in Denial About Donald Trump.”

Admittedly Flake is from Arizona, a state where Republicans like he and fellow Senator John McCain can say what they really believe about Trump without fear of it destroying their re-election chances.  But in this excerpt from his new book Conscience of a Conservative, he points out how conservatives focusing on fighting Barack Obama instead of working for conservative values helped put Donald Trump in the White House.  And while he says liberals are to blame as well, he wisely leaves it up them to “answer for their own sins.”

It’s pretty clear that virtually no leaders in the Republican or Democratic Party are happy with Donald Trump as president.  No living president of either party voted for him.  Even Vice President Mike Pence strongly disagreed with and distanced himself from Trump more than once before the election.

I believe, as does Flake, that’s it’s time for the Republican Party to assert its own values.  It may be necessary for the party to recreate itself.  It’s done that successfully before, notably after Republicans Vice President Spiro T. Agnew and President Richard M. Nixon both resigned from office in the midst of scandals.  A few years later, it was a new Republican Party, and the new president was Ronald Reagan.

But things have to change if the Republican Party is to retain any semblance of its values.  “If this was our Faustian bargain, then it was not worth it. If ultimately our principles were so malleable as to no longer be principles, then what was the point of political victories in the first place?”

Read “My Party Is in Denial About Donald Trump

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/31/my-party-is-in-denial-about-donald-trump-215442

 An opinion of a member or associate of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

Alden Loveshade End of the Year 2016

alden_loveshade_aura_explodes-_sYes, it’s that time once again, time for another missive from moi.

This year is perhaps most significant for what has not happened; nobody I’m really close to has passed away.  For that I am very glad.

However, it has been a year for things falling apart and needing repair.  I fixed a gutter that leaked; got a computer working; got a modem working; cut/sawed/pulled/mowed small mesquite trees, wild grasses, and cat’s claw to make a path to the front tank (what those of you outside of Texas might call a “pond.”)  Am I handyman or not?

Well, not.  My intense mowing caused the lawnmower to start puffing out copious quantities of white smoke.  I looked at the mower and discovered what looked like a major problem–there was a hole in its side.  So we checked with the dealer–the hole had always been there.  It was the exhaust.  Oops.

Then just days after the warranty ran out on the television, the sound went out.  Great timing.  Did you know almost nobody fixes televisions anymore?  Just throw it away and buy a new one.  Anyway, this one got fixed, but certainly not by me.

My mom didn’t get a new hand with a carpal tunnel problem, but did get surgery to help fix it.  Mom is scheduling surgery for the other hand.

My long-running animal care gig is over, at least for now.  But I do have a couple dozens puppies–which are also kittens.  Both terms apply to baby mice.  I’m getting a young black-and-white mouse used to sitting on my brown-and-white dog’s head.

In the writing/publishing gig, I published some articles, edited a magazine issue, and did some graphic design for a couple of magazines.  I recently learned a book I helped with five years ago is being published.  Finally.

I finally got dragged to Six Flags for the first time.  I got pushed to try a “mild ride.”  I asked, “If it’s such a mild ride, why is it called ‘Pandemonium’?”

From a recent doctor’s visit, I learned that my weight is the highest it’s ever been.  Oops.  So it’s more exercise and less late night snacking.  And more mowing and sawing.

Have a Great Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Chanukah, Wonderful Yule, Fine Winter/ Summer Solstice, Terrific New Year!

Alden Loveshade

alden.lovehade.org

www.facebook.com/aldenloveshade

An opinion of an individual members of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect that of the whole family.

Photo of Alden on the wall from self-portrait by Alden with graphics from http://cliparts.co added by Vance Lizza.