What I know is that Jesus taught love expressed as forgiveness as non-violent resistance against the idea that the only way to peace is through violence. Practicing hope, faith, and love is our tools. I have found the best way to feel hope is to practice gratitude. The question is not why there is evil in the world, the real question is why there is any good! Whether you chose to follow Jesus or Mr. Rogers, look for the good that is all around you, and do not be afraid.

I agree with all of Dave’s points here about the Democrat candidacy for President. As much as I dislike straight party voting, I think in this election, no matter who are the actual people running, our votes are for either a Democrat or Republican governing.

We need to be focusing more on the Senate than the President. The Senate’s power to convict an impeached President is now the only constitutional check against the President. We cannot trust Republicans to impeach one of their own no matter what they do, this is how far over the cliff Republicans have gone.

Finally, I think there needs to be much more talk about how Trump politicized a national emergency (COVID). The moment Trump started prioritizing federal assistance to states with governors who bend the knee to him is the moment he showed how he thinks and feels about people.

Finished reading: Render Unto Caesar by John Dominic Crossan πŸ“š

Most of Crossan’s writing puts the teaching of Jesus within our human evolutionary challenge. Human ego desires to be in control and believes there can only be one, and this norm of civilization sees the only way toward peace is violence. (The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is a metaphor for human ego.)

Jesus teaches that there is another way, one of nonviolent resistance practiced by love of opponent (enemy) and neighbor, expressed by forgiveness. I am convinced that left to our own ego driven evolution, humanity with destroy itself. Only the Way taught by Jesus will save us from what appears to be inevitable.

Finished reading: Naming the Powers by Walter Wink πŸ“š

The way political parties vet their candidates for President is through primary elections. Democrats making claims that Biden’s advisors have been shielding him really ought to be pointing fingers at the DNC. Had Biden been forced to face competition in state primary elections then Democrats would have had the option to determine for themselves whether they want Biden to be their candidate. The real source for the demise of democracy in the United States is the political parties, as Washington warned us about.

Seems to me that the SCOTUS ruling yesterday means that any order the President gives to the military is lawful. In other words, it sure looks to me like SCOTUS has made it perfectly legal for the President to overthrow the government because the military cannot discern what is lawful and not lawful. If the Senate is about to convict the President on articles of impeachment, the President can just order the Military to take over/arrest Congress and how are they going to be able to say that is not a lawful order? Bear in mind, the military is the actual ultimate authority of the United States. No police force and no citizen militia can stand against it, the only possible intervention would be another military. No person given the power of absolute immunity should be commander and chief of the military.

Maybe I was dreaming. I could have sworn I was taught in school that the U.S. Constitution institutes checks and balances between the three branches of government. It is hard to understand after today’s SCOTUS ruling how that remains. I mean, does a future President even have to abide by a Supreme Court decision?

I wonder. Does, the SCOTUS decision today on the Presidential Immunity case put a thumb on the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” for which Congress can impeach a President? I can imagine a future Congress saying, sorry, we can’t impeach the President because he was a carrying out an official act.

I guess Nixon was right. Is what Trump did on January 6 an official act as POTUS? What is the definition of an official act? Anyone celebrating this decision ought to stop and realize the ruling applies to all presidents regardless of party. It applies equally to Obama and Trump. Still happy?

Read a blog post by Doc Searls about the crazy number of accounts one needs to “use” the Internet that directs me to what Searls calls Personal AI, Kwaai. Kwaai sounds interesting, so I want to follow “it” to get updates on progress, but looking around the web site I find no way to subscribe or follow it. For me this is a component of the subscription problem Dave Winer has recently written about, Dave notes the technological issues but there is also an intention issue. Web site owners need to think about how readers such as myself want to “subscribe” to updates to the site. The original model of relying on users to bookmark a site and return to it regularly not only doesn’t work, but is no longer expected. In this case Kwaai is working against itself.

It’s embarrassing. Unfortunately, for too many it is funny, but the consequences are dire. We ought to be asking how it got this way, and I suspect it is as how the oligarchs want it to be.

Should government officials be allowed to receive gratuities from individuals or businesses to which they awarded government business? SCOTUS says yes. Money is at the root of all the cynicism of our institutions in the United States, and the failure of which is slowly destroying the country. We don’t trust government officials because we know they are influenced by lobbyist contributions. We don’t trust doctors because we think they are taking money from big pharma. We don’t trust newspapers, news stations, and cable news because we think they are only publishing stories that make them money. We don’t trust CEOs because we think every decision that they make is to drive up stock price and their own wealth. We don’t trust SCOTUS because we think they are given lavish gifts (gratuities?) from people who may have business before the court, and so there no reason to think they would rule on this case otherwise.

When one violently confronts evil, evil persists because that confrontation in turn makes one evil; this is nearly the whole of the teaching of Jesus, the Christ. By the nature of how the United States follows Christendom, it is a Christian nation. In how little it follows Jesus, it cannot legitimately make such claim. Christianity would know this best if it truly had the mind of Christ and followed Jesus as a movement rather than be a reflection of the human empire that assimilated it into an institution.

Cool cloud formation during my evening walk.

As far as I can tell, one of the main measures that a typical person has for inflation is the price of gas. Many complaints I read about Biden are related to gas prices. I don’t think there is an honest understanding of how gas prices work, in my opinion gas companies take advantage of every opportunity (wars, disasters, oil refinery issues) to bump up prices that rarely return to prior levels for any length of time. Do you think we will ever see gas below $3 per gallon (on average) again? Is this the fault of the President of the United States, or is it the fault of greedy corporations? How gas is priced may explain the disconnect between the graph shown here and general opinion.

Forty years go today the Chicago Cubs signed Rick Sutcliffe and the team would go on to the NLCS for first time in my life. Unfortunately, in 1984 the Cubs blew a 2-0 lead of a five game series against the San Diego Padres, losing three straight in San Diego, so they did not go on to the World Series when they would likely have lost to the Detroit Tigers.

Matt Webb has a different take on AI that appears to be a polar opposite to mine that aligns with personal computing. Webb sees the potential for better collaboration.

The main reason why I have invested in and use Google’s hardware, mostly phones running Android, all these years is that I believe the idea of “organizing the world’s information” best aligns to how I think about personal computing. Years ago I wrote about these ideas and how I saw the emergence of smartphones and tablets as the true, real, personal computing moment. I defined personal computing as hardware + software (apps) + Internet + intelligence and believed then that Google was closest to meeting this definition with what was emerging as Google Assistant. I think now that Apple’s description and implementation of Apple Intelligence is closer to actualizing what I imagined back then.

A People's AI

Over the last year we’ve seen Microsoft, Google, and now Apple demonstrate what they are doing with AI. As a somewhat casual observer, it seems to me all of these announcements fall in what I will call a “me too” category. Microsoft added a ChatGPT bot to Bing so Google had to add Gemini chat to Search. Microsoft added AI features to Office and Google did the same to Gmail and Docs. The problem with this matching of functionality is that both companies are focused on each other rather than their customers.

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I am so old that I know who is the person who does the speaking part and laugh in Thriller.