Heaven Help Us All

Marjorie Taylor Greene is running for re-election for the state’s 14th Congressional district of the Great State of Georgia and she is expected to win., which should tell you much about the 14th Congressional district she represents. To many Georgians, including this one, she is an embarrassment. Her usual countenance is that of someone who is mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore.

This writer has only just now finished reading the article being presented in its entirety. The writer of the article is “Maureen Dowd, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and author of three New York Times best sellers, became an Op-Ed columnist in 1995.

WASHINGTON — Are we ready for our new Republican overlords?

Are we ready for an empowered Marjorie Taylor Greene?

Are we ready for a pumped-up, pistol-packing Lauren Boebert?

“How many AR-15s do you think Jesus would have had?” Boebert asked a crowd at a Christian campaign event in June. I’m going with none, honestly, but her answer was, “Well, he didn’t have enough to keep his government from killing him.”

The Denver Post pleaded: “We beg voters in western and southern Colorado not to give Rep. Lauren Boebert their vote.”

The freshman representative has recently been predicting happily that we’re in the end times, “the last of the last days.” If Lauren Boebert is in charge, we may want to be in the end times. I’m feeling not so Rapturous about the prospect.

And then there’s the future first female president, Kari Lake, who lulls you into believing, with her mellifluous voice, statements that seem to emanate from Lucifer. She’s dangerous because, like Donald Trump, she has real skills from her years in TV. And she really believes this stuff, unlike Trump and Kevin McCarthy, who are faking it.

As Cecily Strong said on “Saturday Night Live” last weekend, embodying Lake, “If the people of Arizona elect me, I’ll make sure they never have to vote ever again.”

Speaking of “Paradise Lost,” how about Ron DeSantis? The governor of Florida, who’s running for a second term, is airing an ad that suggests that he was literally anointed by God to fight Democrats. God almighty, that’s some high-level endorsement.

Republicans seem to be surging heading into November, with Democrats struggling to break through, as voters turn their focus from abortion to crime and inflation. Even if the polls are as off, as pollsters fear, all signs seem to be pointing toward a strong showing for the G.O.P.

For months now, Times Opinion has been covering how we got here. Chloe Maxmin and Canyon Woodward argued that Democrats abandoned rural America. Alec MacGillis traced how the party ignored the economic decline of the Midwest. And Michelle Cottle described the innovative Republican ground game in South Texas.

Opinion has also been identifying the candidates who could define the future of their party. Sam Adler-Bell captured the bleak nationalism of Blake Masters, the Arizona Republican challenging Senator Mark Kelly. Christopher Caldwell described the transformation of J.D. Vance, the venture capitalist from Ohio who went from Trump critic to proud member of the MAGA faithful. Michelle Goldberg traveled to Washington state to profile Joe Kent, a burgeoning star on the right.

And throughout this election cycle, Opinion has held discussions with groups of experts – hosted by Frank Bruni, Ross Douthat and others – that have followed the season’s twists and turns, from reviewing the primary landscape to a Democratic backlash against the Dobbs decision which gave way to a Republican surge in the fall. And we paused to consider the mysteries of polls and the politically homeless along the way.

Much to our national shame, it looks like these over-the-top and way, way, way out-of-the mainstream Republicans — and the formerly normie and now creepy Republicans who have bent the knee to the wackos out of political expediency — are going to be running the House, maybe the Senate and certainly some states, perhaps even some that Joe Biden won two years ago.

And it looks as if Kevin McCarthy will finally realize his goal of becoming speaker, but when he speaks, it will be Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan and Lauren Boebert doing the spewing. It will be like the devil growling through Linda Blair in “The Exorcist” — except it will be our heads spinning.

Welcome to a rogue’s gallery of crazy: Clay Higgins, who’s spouting conspiracy theories about Paul Pelosi, wants to run the House Homeland Security Committee; Paul Gosar, whose own family has begged Arizonans to eject him from Congress, will be persona grata in the new majority.

In North Carolina, Bo Hines, a Republican candidate for the House, wants community panels to decide whether rape victims are able to get abortions or not. He’s building on Dr. Oz’s dictum that local politicians should help make that call. Even Oprah turned on her creation, Dr. Odd.

J.D. Vance, the Yale-educated, former Silicon Valley venture capitalist and author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” who called Trump “America’s Hitler” in 2016, before saluting him to gain public office, could join the Senate in January. Talk about American Elegy.

Even though he wrote in his best seller that Yale Law School was his “dream school,” he now trashes the very system that birthed him. Last year, he gave a speech titled “The Universities Are the Enemy”: His mother-in-law is a provost at the University of California San Diego.

It’s disturbing to think of Vance side by side with Herschel Walker.

Walker was backed by Mitch McConnell, who countenanced an obviously troubled and flawed individual even if it meant degrading the once illustrious Senate chamber.

Overall, there are nearly 300 election deniers on the ballot, but they will be all too happy to accept the results if they win.

People voting for these crazies think they’re punishing Biden, Barack Obama and the Democrats. They’re really punishing themselves.

These extreme Republicans don’t have a plan. Their only idea is to get in, make trouble for President Biden, drag Hunter into the dock, start a bunch of stupid investigations, shut down the government, abandon Ukraine and hold the debt limit hostage.

Democrats are partly to blame. They haven’t explained how they plan to get a grip on the things people are worried about: crime and inflation. Voters weren’t hearing what they needed to hear from Biden, who felt morally obligated to talk about the threat to democracy, even though that’s not what people are voting on.

As it turns out, a woman’s right to control her body has been overshadowed by uneasiness over safety and economic security.

To top it off, Trump is promising a return. We’ll see if DeSantis really is the chosen one. In Iowa on Thursday night, Trump urged the crowd to “crush the communists” at the ballot box and said that he was “very, very, very” close to deciding to “do it again.”

Trump, the modern Pandora, released the evil spirits swirling around us — racism, antisemitism, violence, hatred, conspiracy theories, and Trump mini-mes who should be nowhere near the levers of power.

Heaven help us.

Spinoza

Today is the birthday of the philosopher Benedict Spinoza,

https://dialecticspiritualism.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Benedict-Spinoza1.jpg
https://dialecticspiritualism.com/about-benedict-spinoza/

born in Amsterdam in 1632. Spinoza was the descendent of Portuguese Jews who immigrated to the Netherlands seeking religious tolerance. Young Spinoza studied Hebrew, the Old Testament, the Talmud, and Cabala’s traditions of mysticism and miracle. Fluent in five languages, Spinoza wrote in Latin, which he learned from Christian teachers who introduced the young scholar to mathematics and philosophy.

By age 24, Spinoza had developed his own ideas. He asserted that everything in the universe was made from the same divine substance, possessing infinite characteristics. He defined God and the laws of nature as one and the same, a part of this infinite substance. All of this was too far-flung from the dominant vision of an almighty, singular godhead for Spinoza’s religious contemporaries to tolerate, and Spinoza was excommunicated.

This did not deter him from his intellectual pursuits. He said, “Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.” He left Amsterdam and supported himself grinding lenses while writing books of philosophy. He lived in solitude and studied the work of Bacon, Boyle, Descartes, and Huygens. Spinoza published three books while he was alive, though more of his writings were published later by friends. The only book that named him as an author was Principles of the Philosophy of René Descartes (1663). He withheld much of his work because he feared retribution from a group of theologians who had publicly accused him of atheism.

For more than a century after his death, Spinoza’s work was widely considered heretical and atheistic. But toward the end of the 18th century, his ideas underwent a revival. Thinkers called him “holy” and “a man intoxicated with the divine,” and he influenced philosophers such as Goethe, Herder, Lessing, and Novalis. According to the philosopher Hegel, “to be a philosopher, one must first become a Spinozist.”

Spinoza said, “The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”

And, “If you want the future to be different from the present, study the past.”
https://www.garrisonkeillor.com/radio/twa-the-writers-almanac-for-november-24-2021/

How God Plays Chess

An article, How God plays chess, by Frederic Friedel, was published 1/23/2018. at the Chessbase website. It contained this story:

“One day World Champion Garry Kasparov,

who towers above all his rivals, reached an Elo of 3000. When the rating list was released the heavens over Baku opened and an Angel of the Lord descended. He approached Garry and said: “For what you have achieved you are invited to play a game of chess against God.”

Garry was overwhelmed. He dressed into his finest and got onto the golden escalator that transported him to heaven. There the Angel led him into a small room where God was sitting, drinking coffee and looking at a computer screen. Garry was somewhat surprised that He was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and had a fairly unkempt white beard. He bowed deeply and said:

“Oh Almighty Lord, Creator of the Universe…”

“Just call me God,” God interrupted. “Or G, which is what most of my friends call me.”

“Okay, God, it is a great privilege for me to stand in your presence and to actually play a game of chess against you. Of course I have absolutely no expectation of winning. I assume you play a perfect game!?”

“Yes,” replied God, “I have done the 32-piece endgame.”

“Ahh,” said Garry, “Of course that is trivially easy for you.”

“No, no,” said God, “it was really tough. More than 10^35 legal positions — it took the matter from a good-sized planet to store. But let us play. You can have white.”

So Garry played his favourite 1.e4, expecting an exciting Sicilian. But after a few moves the game had left all known theory and a weird position was on the board. Actually God’s position was in shambles. “This is divine humour,” Garry said, “You want me to have a chance, God?” But He just smiled and said “No.” Soon Garry was two pawns up and had an overwhelming position. “But I am winning for sure now,” he said. “No,” said God, “it is a draw. The whole game is a draw. Can’t be won.”

Garry was not convinced. He played on with great attacking moves, and even won an additional piece. Surely now he was completely winning. He reached a stage where it was clearly only a matter of technique to mate the opponent. However, try as he might, he was not able to actually deliver mate. There was always some unexpected defence, some bizarre move that prevented it. He tried this and that, but somehow could not succeed.

Then suddenly God interrupted a phone call he was making and stared in disbelief at the board. “My Self!” he said, “It’s a win! I haven’t seen one in a billion years.” “But I can’t find it,” said Garry, “I cannot seem to convert my advantage to a mate.” “Oh, no,” God said, “it is a win for me — for Black. This only happens once in a decillion times.”

The game proceeded, and God, now fully concentrated, started making moves that were completely incomprehensible to Garry. But they slowly improved Black’s position. Soon the game was equal, and then Black started to take what for Garry seemed to be the “initiative”. Then, in a flurry of unexpectedly brilliant moves, he found himself mated.

“I will be eternally grateful, God, for this demonstration of your omniscience,” Garry said in parting. “I thank you for a very interesting game, Garry,” God replied. “A one in a billion experience.”

The entire article can be found here:

https://en.chessbase.com/post/how-god-plays-chess

Trump Victory Due to an Intervention from God

“Minister Lindsey Williams obtained executive access to oil company documents as a chaplain to the workers building the Alaskan oil pipeline in the 1970s. In the first half, he shared his insider knowledge (through a contact he’s maintained from that era) of what the Global Elite have planned for the world. The Elite or New World Order (NWO), he said, were quite confident that their candidate Hillary Clinton would handily defeat Donald Trump, and were shocked when she lost. His victory was due to an intervention from God, Williams asserted, and because of this, the NWO has been set back years from their agenda.”

https://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2018/01/24

Needing a picture of God to go with this post I wondered if such a thing existed, so I went to startpage.com and discovered Pixabay (https://pixabay.com/en/photos/god/), where there are thirty six pages of pictures of God!

This picture of ‘God’ reminded me of a song we sang as children:

This one caused me to recall a song first heard when a friend, Gentleman Jim Kraft, made a compilation of songs cassette tape for me:

Just Got Fooled Again

It has been announced on Chessbase that current, and long-time FIDE President “Kirsan Ilyumzhinov remains FIDE President.” This is yet another hammer blow to the Royal game. This comes on the heels of an announcement, also on Chessbase, that “The Chief Arbiter has told us there has been cheating at the Olympiad” according to the people in charge of security in this area.” (http://en.chessbase.com/post/tromso-08-it-s-all-about-china) Chessbase first posed the question, “Also,is it possible that there is cheating in the Olympiad?!” My first thought was that this concerned the election. It is an open secret that FIDE, and the election, is complete corrupt.
There is an article in the most recent New York Times Sunday magazine, “Garry Kasparov, the Man Who Would Be King,” by Steven Lee Myers, dated Aug. 6, 2014. This is written concerning the still FIDE President:
“In 1998, one of his aides was convicted in the murder of an opposition journalist and political activist, Larisa Yudina. Earlier this year Sergei Mitrokhin, the chairman of the Yabloko Party, the biggest liberal party in the 1990s, cited the murder as a reason to oppose Ilyumzhinov’s re-election to FIDE, describing his Kalmykia presidency as “a disgusting merger of authoritarian rule, corruption and crime.”
The spook agencies call this “plausible deniability.” Lyndon B. Johnson, as far as is known, did not actually murder anyone. He had Malcolm Wallace, his “professional assassin of choice” do it at his behest (Richard Belzer and David Wayne, “Dead Wrong: Straight Facts on the Country’s Most Controversial Cover-Ups” and myriad other books). People like LBJ and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov do not get their hands dirty, they let others stick their hands in the mud for them.
Mr. Myers describes the FIDE President, writing, “He seems, in person, not nearly as eccentric as the reputation that precedes him, one based largely on his repeated accounts of what happened to him one night in September 1997.
It was a Wednesday, and he sensed a spectral presence on the balcony of his apartment in Moscow (almost all regional leaders in Russia keep a home in the capital). When he went to investigate, aliens in yellow bodysuits transported him to an enormous spaceship and then to another planet. They did not talk much, but he emphasized that he needed to get back soon, because he had a flight to Kalmykia the next day. They assured him not to worry; there was plenty of time. In Ilyumzhinov’s various retellings, his tale remains remarkably consistent, and he has stood by it, despite skeptical and amused questioning from journalists. Over the years, he has expounded on his views of extraterrestrial life, comparing them to the belief in Jesus Christ or Buddha. He also has opined that chess itself comes from a higher plane, either God or outer space: It certainly is not of this world.”
This makes me think of another Georgia chess legend, former Georgia and Georgia Senior Champion, David Vest, the man from the “High Planes.” Anyone who has heard Mr. Vest expound on his “atmospheric occupation” theories will understand why he is thought of as being in the “High Planes.”
The newly re-elected President of FIDE has people opposed to him killed, and thinks the Royal game “is not of this world.” And there are those who deny the game of chess is in trouble.

The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again