Nature Therapy for SCOTUS of the American Soul

I want to share a comment/essay that I originally scribbled on the blog of Nan Yielding, author of the 2012 book, Things I Never Learned in Sunday School: Facts about the Christian faith that will surprise and astound you.  She wrote:

If you’re going to put all your faith into something, you need to thoroughly examine it to make sure your faith is justified.

… Of course, when I was a Christian the Bible was my source of truth. It was the “final word” and beyond it there was no discussion. In fact, anything that was not based on “Biblical truth” was most certainly from Satan!

However, once I got the courage to look beyond the “Holy Book,” I discovered there is a whole world of available information (historical facts) about the Christian faith. What I learned was so fascinating that I felt compelled to share.

Thank you, Nan.  As a former (more than 30 years ago) fundamentalist evangelical with the Christian & Missionary Alliance (I was not an adherent or member of the “Evangelical” political movement or voting block – I was politically inactive), I appreciate what you’ve done for our world.

My philosophy is now generic Naturalist, as a world view, not by affiliation with any organization, and not by adherence to any program or particular school of thought.  I sum up my personal brand of Naturalism as, “I don’t believe in anything supernatural.  Nature is super enough.”  In my comment on Nan’s blog, you’ll see this reflected in my prescription for a world gone mad.

You can learn about a formal treatment of Naturalism at Naturalism.org:

Naturalism as presented here is a comprehensive worldview based in a scientific, empirical understanding of reality. It offers a positive, rational, and fulfilling alternative to faith-based religions and non-empirical worldviews.

This website, Naturalism.Org, serves as a resource for those interested in worldview naturalism, its personal, social and existential implications, and its practical applications.

My comment was on Nan’s post, Can the Supreme Court Be Fixed?  As they always do, her post sparked a lively discussion by people with strong opinions, many of whom are insightful, well-informed, articulate, and fed up.

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CDC Funding for Research on Gun Violence as Public Health Threat Denied for Decades

I have mentioned elsewhere that the CDC was forbidden to conduct research on gun violence as a public health crisis.  It is not quite that, but in the ’90s there was legislation (the 1996 Dickey Amendment) prohibiting CDC from promoting gun control, thus Congress defunded gun violence research by CDC, which the legislation did NOT require.  In other words, the gun lobby got Congress to abuse that legislation as an excuse for defunding research on gun violence as a public health matter.  This is changing lately, but in relatively meager amounts of funding (it has been called “a drop in the bucket” by public health people).  In 2012, Congressman Jay Woodson Dickey, Jr. said that he regretted the outcome of his amendment in blocking CDC funding of gun violence research.

How do you define gun control promotion?  Research showing that lack of gun control is a public health threat?  Does that count as promoting gun control?  To a member of the Autocracy Party?  Whatever Dickey’s conscience may have attained, to a member of today’s Autocracy Party, of course anything showing that guns are a public health threat is deemed gun control promotion.  No wonder a leading Autocracy Party senator was vociferously booed by his own people the other day when he promoted meager new (and useless) measures of gun control in the wake of the Uvalde school shootings.  If you try to do anything to improve gun safety, you are anti-gun-owner, in the minds of the power-addicted party faithful.  That’s not just political power they are addicted to.  It’s their adolescent sensation of phallic power in firing a gun, along with loud exhaust pipes and burning rubber.  “Look at me, I’m powerful.”  Bang bang dipshit.

Content of the NIH article The Dickey Amendment on Federal Funding for Research on Gun Violence: A Legal Dissection (2018 July), Allen Rostron, JD …
 

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The wicked game of religion, politics, wombs, and the lust for power

From renowned journalist Christiane Amanpour: “Frank Schaeffer once produced propaganda films that helped launch the Christian right [and the anti-abortion political movement]. Now he feels regret for what he calls an ‘anti-family’ movement.”

This is Amanpour’s recent interview of Frank Schaeffer.  20 minutes.


At the moment it has 350,000 views and 5,000 comments since posted on May 4, 2022.  And, from the dozen I looked at, they’re actually reasonable comments, not loony crap like a lot of comments in popular media.  I guess that’s because loonies don’t follow serious journalism.  If you like it, share the link and help reality catch on at least a tiny bit before the November 2022 and 2024 elections.  Thanks.  https://youtu.be/25JyC5Whhvc

Christiane Amanpour’s show, Amanpour & Company, is almost entirely interviews with people who are either subject-matter experts or the subjects themselves.  She just did the first ever interview with the head mucky-muck of the Taliban, wanted by the FBI, never did a TV interview before.  He is a masterful liar.  It was disgusting.  He can pee on your head and politely tell you it’s raining.  But I mention it to show that Christiane can get people to talk on air that others can’t, or she’s the first.  I have great regard for her service to humanity by airing interviews that we really need to hear.  It is a CNN show, but aired also on PBS.  The full show is also available by podcast, and individual interviews on YouTube.  Each show usually has 2 interviews, one by her and one by one of her team, who are also among the best-in-class.


Long Live the Dead

Watch this 97-minute Netflix documentary now released for free viewing in YouTube (or catch it on Netflix if you have it), “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom.”  It is about the 2014 Maidan (or The Maidan Revolution) by fearless, relentless, unstoppable, unarmed, non-violent protesters against ruthless militarized police forces and brutal mercenaries in Kyiv, Ukraine when the president sold out to Putin instead of signing an agreement with the European Union as promised to a People yearning to build upon the freedom they claimed when they declared their independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 (is this still a sentence?).

This is a story that we can learn from, if we are to defend our freedom when our time comes, and it seems to be coming sooner than I ever believed it could.  Democracy in the United States is at greater risk than ever.  I know people don’t get it, don’t think so, can’t believe it.  They just don’t know, because, like Putin’s duped citizens, they can’t.  Some others may have to die because of it, if we are to succeed.

Watch this documentary and see what the dead can do when they know the truth and fight for it, when their courage inspires victory for the living, when they find out just how fragile democracy can be, and how precious, and give their lives for it.

Don’t waist your brain energy calling me pessimistic.  It doesn’t matter anymore.  Whether I am pessimistic or not, the warning must go out.  Whether my efforts are pessimistic or not, I must continue, especially because so many others will not prepare for the trouble we so likely face.  The Autocracy Party has just about all the guns, and the willingness to use them for delusional reasons.  Are you ready for that?

I am preparing for the fall of democracy in the United States.  You should, too.  You have nothing to lose by being prepared, and a free nation to gain.

My truly optimistic take on it says that with preparation and dedication to protecting our civilization, we can succeed.  Otherwise, we go into something like a Dark Age.  An optimist looks ahead and sees ways to succeed, not ways to act in the future, or to hope to do, but ways to act now for the sake of the future.  Preparation is optimistic.  It says there is a way, so take it.  Optimism is not merely about hoping for the best.  In fact, that’s just stupid in many instances.  Hope can be stupid.  I am preparing, not hoping.

Now, in 2022, Putin wants to take away from Ukraine what they earned in the past, what death bought for them in 2014.  Watching this documentary, you’ll see why they will NEVER let him take it from them, and they will continue fighting from the grave that they do not fear.

Me neither.  My grave is not something to fear, except by our enemies.


Slava Ukraini!  Glory to Ukraine!  Learn from them to never give up!

Long live the dead.

Olena was wounded on February 24, 2022, the day Russia invaded Ukraine.  She and over forty-four million Ukrainians and other residents there need our help.  Helping them helps us.  It may even save us from ourselves.

Wounded Olena Kurilo in Kharkiv Feb 24, 2022 color pencil

Wounded Olena Kurilo in Kharkiv Feb 24, 2022. (Color pencil derived from photo.)


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George the Prophet

There were no official political parties when they wrote the Constitution.  It was not a negotiation undertaken by political parties.  It was an agreement undertaken by the people.

Below are crucially important and prescient excerpts from President George Washington’s Farewell Address in 1796.

I wrote some comments that I may post another time. For now, I’ll shut up and let George do all the talking. If you listen, you may wonder why nobody told you the so-called Father of the Nation was a profound prophet, as if looking right at our generation when he wrote this.

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Dennis Koenig, The Balsamean, from Long Island to the Adirondack Mountains

The Balsamean; Scribblements from Balsamea (thebalsamean.com or thebalsamean.worpress.com) is a blog written by Dennis Koenig. This page is to identify him for people seeking to contact him.

  • Born in central Suffolk County, Long Island, New York
  • Graduated from Riverhead High School, 1974
  • Served in US Navy 1974-1980; Aviation Electronics Technician; tech school at Naval Air Technical Training Center, Millington, TN; served with Fighter Squadron VF-102 at Oceana Naval Air Station (Virginia Beach) and aboard the aircraft carriers USS Independence (Norfolk, VA) and USS Eisenhower.
  • Worked as service manager for computer dealerships in Riverhead, Rockland County, and Syracuse before joining the New York State Judiciary.
  • Worked for the District Administrative Judge of the ten-county Sixth Judicial District in Central NY, based first in Wampsville, then Binghamton, NY.
  • Founder and manager of the first statewide information technology unit of the four Supreme Court Appellate Divisions, including their statewide agencies: Mental Hygiene Legal Service, attorney discipline units, law guardian units, law libraries, court clerks / administrative offices, judicial chambers, and assigned counsel units.
  • Worked for a statewide law firm based in Rochester
  • Retired to “Balsamea,” a small, private forest preserve in the northern Adirondack Mountains.
  • No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other so-called social media accounts except YouTube Channel of (pen name) Balsamea Walker containing things posted in the blog.
  • Married to Jovita, then Ann. Two stepchildren.
  • To contact Dennis, use the CONTACT PAGE.  Available via encrypted communication services by request.

URL of this page: https://thebalsamean.wordpress.com/dennis-koenig-the-balsamean


Town of Islip, NY

Central Islip, NY (Wikipedia)

Riverhead, NY

Suffolk County, NY

Navy Fighter Squadron VF-102 (Wikipedia)

Naval Air Station Oceana (Wikipedia)

USS Independence (Wikipedia)

New York State Supreme Court Appellate Divisions

City of Rochester, NY

Adirondack Park Agency

Adirondack Park (Wikipedia)