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      "Bad artists copy, great artists steal." - attributed to Pablo Picsso and others who stole from each other.

      (JULY 08, 2020)    The trend of shuttering ideas, thus canceling open, good-faith based debate, is a dangerous path for any free society to follow. Only through the tolerance and protection of diverse (yes, I'm using the word's correct meaning) ideas can a society advance through accepting that which is beneficial and rejecting that which is not. 
      However, censoring history's landmarks and the diverse ideas behind the shield of 'social progress' is another form of tyranny claiming moral authority over all. 
      My faith in the creative and academic communities is buttressed by a letter ("A Letter on Justice and Open Debate") to be published in October's issue Harper's Magazine signed by 150 members of those communities and is an admonishment of the 'cancel culture' which calls for a summary retribution against people whose ideas are perceived as being outside of an abstract rule, or politic, of acceptability.
      Many of those who signed the letter embrace ideas I find incompatible with mine yet I fully agree with the assertion our differences be allowed and be allowed without mob justice being the determining guide for what is, or is not, acceptable.
      The full letter is here.  

      (JULY 04, 2020)    It is increasingly difficult to commemorate or celebrate a holiday without mobs appropriating the time to amplify their anger and unhappiness on the cause de jour and if there isn't one, one will be provided by a politician or the media. 
      I asked a local journalist when, for the sake of accurate reporting (chuckle), does language require a 'protest' be described as a 'riot.' The answer was a glazed-eye stare as if I asked her to explain Russel's paradox.
      But, it's the Fourth of July. It is a historical memorandum which cannot be removed like a statue. Americans have a common DNA which has no toleration for tyranny or oppression regardless of origins; foreign or domestic..

      (JULY 03, 2020)    It was the right time. There was no plan and planning these days of self-quarantine has come down to making the most of any brief trip into the post-apocalyptic, infectious zones where every cough and sneeze receives pointed fingers, nasty editorials in the Gainesville Sun, and snarling teeth behind masks which have a better chance blocking hate speech than a nano sized virus.
      Having two feet of hair removed at the barber shop was the right thing to do since the world as we know it has been replaced by the 'new normal' because that's what people are saying on TV. This was a real barbershop complete with striped pole and hunting magazines in the waiting area. Girly men go down the highway to salons where they can be poodled up for $20-$30 more minus tip.
      With a haircut that will suffice for another four or five years I returned home to watch 'The Road Warrior' and took notes on modification ideas for my Pickup truck.   

      (MAY 08, 2020)    A picture is one choice available when I lose my train of thought. 
      It is thought 17th Century philosopher Thomas Hobbes first coined the 'train of thought' phrase in his work 'Leviathan' which described the 'train' as one thought connecting to another. 
      Hobbes' social contract theory was an influence on our Thomas Jefferson as he contemplated government's role over the citizen and citizen's consent to be governed. Articles 1-3 of the U.S. Constitution establishes the scope of powers held by the three branches of government; the separation of powers idea came from a 17th Century French political philosopher named Montesquieu.                

      (DEC 12, 2019)  A 'rest' area.     
      Holidays - religious and secular - in North Central Florida are opportunities for ghost markets to set up shop on any vacant lot near a well-traveled highway. The 'good stuff' sells fast and if the shopping traffic is heavy expenses can be covered with a little left over to pay a bill or two.
       What doesn't sell - the rest - is often left for the 'pickers' to take to another lot on another day in North Central Florida.