Wednesday, May 9, 2018

For Erich Ferger

Hello, Erich, I am writing this to you in the hopes that one day you'll come across it, and read it. A shout-out across cyberspace, if you will.

First of all, I feel proud of you, a precise feeling that simply means I am pleased to know you are doing well, and have some awesome accomplishments to your credit. Two beautiful sons, a beautiful wife, a career in the Air Force-I heard that you just recently became a tech sergeant. Congratulations! Good job! Oh, and I also heard that you are teaching children how to play chess-nice! Chess is an excellent game to teach children, for it contains a lot of practical lessons for living life in the real world.

I wish you and your family the best, and I hope you continue to succeed and prosper. Maybe we can play a game of chess. You can find me on chess.com as "jrturner" and/or "johnrussellturner". I've learned how to play a much better game since last we played, and I bet we can have a good game or two. Wow, that would be great!

This is a recent picture of me; I took it last week while doing some on-line research (aka "YouTubing") at the local library here in Tucson. Right now, I'm about to go to chess.com and see if I can get my rating above 1500-I play blitz chess only. 10 minute games are the most fun, but sometimes I enjoy a five minute blitz.

Well, so long, dude. I'll always have a place in my heart for you. No matter what. I think of you from time to time, and I wonder what you are like, what you are into these days. I imagine you're quite busy raising your family! Don't ever be discouraged or doubtful that you are on the right path. God bless you, Erich Ferger, and keep you well!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

On Self Image, and Life

"Selfishness--self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles..."

-popular 12 step (AA, NA, et al) qoutation, from the book Alcoholics Anonymous. Also called "The Big Book".

I am here to tell you that the root of my own troubles in life were precisely the opposite: it was a profound lack of self-respect, a mental state of bizarre and crippling selflessness, that messed me over. In every moment of my past life when I committed major mistakes, the pain I endured was in direct proportion to the amount of selflessness and self-hatred I felt, and the actions I took based on those feelings.

AA had the whole thing backwards, in my case. So am I about to write a hit-piece here, criticizing AA? No. It seems strange, but AA 12 step philosophy has helped me gain insight into my mind's labryinthine channels. I'm sure others can say the same. AA taps into a deep pool of real wisdom, as well. For example, their take on humility, serving others, and daily ethical concerns (don't litter, respect others, etc) is spot on. Sage advice is always welcome, and as for humility, the first step in grasping its' value is to admit you are by no means humble at all.

What selfishness means in an AA context is what I, and others, have called irrational selfishness. The "walk on everybody you can to get ahead in life" mindset. The belief that an action is moral because I want it. This type of selfishness is not self-serving in the long run, and usually ends in deleterious consequences. Therefore, it is irrational.

Let me be clear: on the day I grasped the truth about the primary, existential need for rational selfishness, to love and respect myself, I had my drinking problem solved. And that's good news-because this absolute necessity to be rational in all things, this necessity to embrace the truth in all things, especially the self, leads people to understand themselves better. It lead me to my own understanding, and to a small, quiet, and firm belief in God. This necessity to be rational in all things is that hole inside of us, that empty, yearning feeling for truth, for total victory over our dark sides. In other words, the fountainhead of passion is the presence of God in all of us; he leads us to him in all things, and the moment we listen is the moment we are saved-from irrational selfishness, from sin, and from depravity.

Love yourself for real, and your love for others will increase. Respect others for real, and your self-respect will grow. Remember, Jesus said it is good to love others, as you love yourself.

God gave us reason for good purpose. It is the pathway to faith. Reason gets us to the bridge, faith gets us to the other side. God does indeed reward the faithful, and I am a very grateful man for that.

As for me, I have no need to seek the oblivion of drink because I woke up and accepted reality. I take care of me first, and only then, can I take care of others. And although I know that it's not about me at all, it's the vast and magnificent mind of God, I also know that I am, of necessity and by nature, personally responsible for my life and what I do with it. This is the case for rational self-interest, and an excellent cure of the need for alcoholic oblivion.

Friday, July 14, 2017

How to Save New Orleans

A Call for Action

I'm aware of the mystique that surrounds New Orleans. Born there in 1962, lived there thirty years.

And I'm also aware that this mystique is mostly of my own making. In my mind, New Orleans is intrigue, adventure, culture, history, romance, and she's stunningly beautiful, as well. What's more, there's the joie de vivre and laissez les bon temps roulez, y'all!, a spirit of good times eating red beans and rice (and what not). But here's the thing: we all make up this mystique about New Orleans, I am by no means unique here. Many visitors to this town wind up moving to the city on the broad banks of the wide, muddy Mississippi. They see the mystique, the absolute joy it is to "have a drink, and walk around", the ubiquitous street performers, the excellent food, the European feel of the buildings, landscapes and history, the street names (Tchoupitoulas, Nashville, Esplanade, Elysian Fields, St. Claude, to name only a few), the friendly locals, the neighborhoods, the traditions and frequent holidays.

In short, New Orleans is a very special place, a place to enjoy life, raise children, and live life to the fullest. Our zoo and aquarium are run by the Audubon Institute. The surrounding countryside makes for excellent outdoor activies, especially hunting and fishing. City Park, one of the largest urban parks in the world, is a jewel. "Wux, daddy, wux!", the smell of hot dogs and popcorn, the Delgado Art Museum, landscaping so beautiful in a lush, sub-tropical garden. Love City Park, especially at Christmastime...

For all the above reasons, what is happening in New Orleans is tragic, sad, and infuriating. Widespread poverty, and an alarmingly high crime rate. These things lessen New Orleans in many ways. People stop coming to visit; locals leave. 


We need to do something, now, this very day. I have a suggestion.

New Orleans hasn't had a Republican mayor in well over a hundred years. For multiple generations, New Orleans has been run by Democrats. I ask you to review city history, and to ask yourself if they've done a good job. I ask you to vote for candidates who respect the culture and traditions of New Orleanians, promote success and prosperity for all, by removing the bureaucratic obstacles to market entry. This candidate will not be corrupted, and thinks New Orleans is great. To a large, significant effect, specific liberal policies have caused the problems, or exacerbated them.

If you can run for Mayor, city council, police jury, etc, you should, and run a good campaign. New Orleans needs a huge dose of conservatism/libertarianism in her politics.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Elitism of Certainty

Someone once told me that my views on leftism versus rightism made him think I believed that leftism is inferior to rightism. I do. I am absolutely certain that this is the case. Moral relativists do not believe anyone is either right or wrong when it comes to matters of morality, so when they encounter moral certainty like this, they assume it's either psychopathological, arrogant, or else, silly. This was the case with my critic, because after he made the observation about my moral certainty, he proceeded to inform me how exclusive and elitist he thought I was because of it.

When anyone claims to be certain about something, that does not necessarily make them an elitist, and I don't suppose this is what prompted my friend to lay his claim of elitism on me. But yet, when I say "leftism is evil", I am certain that this is true. Therefore, rightism is superior to it. Certainty is the result of a careful, deliberate, logical, rational thought process. I am right about this, not because I say so, but because I can prove it with logic and reason.

So, let me define my terms:

"rightism": one of many words used to describe a system of thought based on reason, rational, non-emotional thinking, and a complete embrace of objective reality.

"leftism": one of many words used to describe a system of thought based on emotions, fuzzy logic, and narcissistic self-interest.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Garbage - Stupid Girl Live at Letterman 1996