Nothing Makes Sense - a poem

Nothing Makes Sense


A trillion stars glistening like white salt crystals on black velvet;

The Milky Way a band of circling smoke;

A mind to witness the majestic impossibility;

A mind to ponder all possibility;

A sea of questions to founder in;

Answers like driftwood to cling to;

Facts that are a mirage in a desert of emptiness;

Delight in the wonder and the awe.


Sitting on a warm rock with feet dangling in space,

Staring out to sea as the very last hues of the day’s sun fade on the horizon,

What does it matter?

Suspended here between the breath-taking imponderables of macrocosm and microcosm,

Both of whose mysteries lie beyond our comprehension,

Incompatible in their weirdness,

We bask in the glory of our reality

And breathe its beauty.


Yet still we dare to fathom the reality of quarks, quasars and black holes –

As if any of it mattered.

We dare to stretch back through time to the beginning –

Enshrouded in mystery, like Merlin in his mist, we seek to understand.

With senses limited, experience restricted and minds constrained,

Nothing marries, nothing cleaves and nothing makes sense.

All that’s left is to enjoy the moment of being

And cherish our existence

And cling to the warmth of the rock for as long as we are able.




opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 7:53pm
In a poem you can distill a lot of your thoughts. It works for me.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 11, 2017 - 8:31pm
So we're all going to be poets now, are we? :)  Heres one for you.
Are they embryonic mountains, waiting to be born?
Or the sad remains of mighty peaks crumbled
Left barren and forlorn?
Mere wrinkles upon Mother Earth's face,
Memories of a fallen place?
By wind and rain and time undone,
Or a promise of things to come?
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 11, 2017 - 8:36pm
Safe at the quay
Where the cargo was stored
When at end of the day
Our ship came unmoored
There were none at the rails
It was too late before
We could run up the sails
We were drifting from shore
The Captain asleep
The crew drunken from rum
Cast off for the deep
Deaf, Blind and Dumb
The stream current did flow
To carry us toward
A place that none know
Our ship was unmoored
A northeast wind foul
As the tempest it came
Like the Banshee howl
That no hand may tame
Chum in the water
Blood on the deck
Like lambs to slaughter
A noose 'round our neck
Rose higher the storm
Pelting hard rain
A whirlpool did form
To Poseidon's domain
No treasure awaits
There is no reward
And no fury abates
When the ship goes unmoored
So choose wisely your men
Hold fast to the helm
That you be not condemned
To that watery realm
The voyage uncharted
The destination not yours
When from port you have parted
On a ship left unmoored
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 8:36pm
TBH - when they reach puberty they might gain prominence?
Nice one.
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 8:38pm
We are all ships left unmoored me thinks Burghal.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 11, 2017 - 8:49pm
cast adrift into a sea unending, at the mercy of where the winds move the waters
opher goodwin Added Aug 11, 2017 - 8:58pm
Exactly. I didn't know you were a poet as well Burghal.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 11, 2017 - 9:08pm
on occasion. not my strength. prose comes naturally to me, poetry more of an effort. For me it either comes or it doesnt. Actually more of my efforts in this category are like yours, in blank verse or free form. I do enjoy experimenting with it.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 11, 2017 - 9:10pm
you're burning the midnight oil tonight! I'm not much more before retiring for the night. Hope to talk again tomorrow, Opher. Like your poem :)
john guzlowski Added Aug 11, 2017 - 9:15pm
I love its lick
the sweetness of its tongue
its eyes in the dark
its still liquid
its still light
no matter how heavy
your dreams
john guzlowski Added Aug 11, 2017 - 9:18pm
What doesn't kill you
gets you writing poetry!
john guzlowski Added Aug 11, 2017 - 9:20pm
Every poem
asks a questions 
for which
there is 
no answer 
john guzlowski Added Aug 11, 2017 - 9:22pm
Good poetry is like a prayer.
It says just listen.
Don't talk.
john guzlowski Added Aug 11, 2017 - 9:23pm
Poetry is what's left 
after the killing
and the weeping
and the lives left
in rags and brine
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 5:15am
Thank you Burghal.
Wife is away with the grandchildren - I'm taking advantage of a bit of flexibility in my sleeping time.
Catch you later today.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 5:18am
John G - fabulous stuff. You obviously write poetry.
Poetry is the nub, the essence and the flavour distilled into a stupefying brew. That's why it conveys emotion so well.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 12, 2017 - 8:23am
Well that explains why I struggle with poetry then! Poetry is not for the emotionally stunted :)
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 12, 2017 - 8:24am
Good morning btw, or afternoon for you. Been up for hours working on some things
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 8:33am
TBH - I wouldn't have said you were emotionally stunted! I've seen the passion.
And good afternoon to you. Glad to hear you've been busy. What have you been working on?
john guzlowski Added Aug 12, 2017 - 9:47am
Some can hear a poem and some hear other voices. 
Its important onky to listen. 
john guzlowski Added Aug 12, 2017 - 9:49am
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 9:54am
I like the new word John. We'll have to develop a definition for it.
I always read a poem aloud in my head to gain the focus, get the rhythm and understand it.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 12, 2017 - 10:09am
Thank the Lord, Springsteen saved us from the folkies. I write song lyrics, you can pick up my last CD at Waterloo records, Austin, Texas between 6th Street and Lamar.
   It's my fourth CD, only a few copies available or call me at 1-800-I want your
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 10:12am
Barath - I like Springsteen and Springsteen liked Folkies - he did tributes to Dylan, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. I like all manner of music. What have you got against folkies?
I'd be interested to hear your stuff.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 12, 2017 - 10:23am
It was Bono that said that, but Springsteen said it too early on in his career. He said he didn't listen to Dylan's folk stuff, that was later.
     "Jara sang his song a weapon..." 
Jara was an avatara of Shiva in the Mahabharata. 
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 10:29am
Springsteen did an amazing version of Chimes Of Freedom and used it to spearhead his UN tour.
Words are weapons.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 12, 2017 - 10:36am
I have that song. But, his version wasn't folk. I think after Nebraska he started getting into folk and country. 
      Folk is a little effeminine; I still appreciate it, but I find like Dylan, James Taylor, Bono, that the most appreciated poets are songwriters.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 10:45am
There was nothing feminine about Woody Guthrie. He was a hard-living man.
Some of the best folk - early Dylan, Buffy St Marie, Peter Le Farge, Phil Ochs, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Jackson C Frank - was full of fire.
The best songwriters are Bob Dylan and Roy Harper.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 12, 2017 - 10:54am
I'm familiar with Woody Guthrie, but it's sort of like I don't listen to Skip James, or Charlie Patton that often, though some of that music is good.
   Best songwriters? I don't know, I'm eclectic in my tastes, plus I don't want to be influenced by anyone too much, so I don't get into any one artist too much. I did when I was younger.
   Listening is for enjoyment, I like to write when I can, which is work.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 11:03am
Skip James and Charlie Patton were early country Blues Singers in the Robert Johnson ilk.
I prefer Chicago Blues with its electric drive though I'm partial to Son House.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 12, 2017 - 11:33am
They were pioneers, but most Chicago style blues elements have been adapted first into early Rock n Roll and then just as part of rock style playing, so listening to most Chicago blues now, for most people, is more for historical purposes or musicology.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 11:40am
Not for me Barath - I love putting on some Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf or Muddy Waters and blasting it out. Fantastic music. I never grow weary of it.
Stone-Eater Added Aug 12, 2017 - 11:54am
Hey guys nice ?
To write a poem which does not rhyme is difficult for me, because my vocabulary is still too small. But I'll write one for TBH in German, since he understands it :-)
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 11:56am
SEF - I wish I could speak other languages. Such a boon.
Stone-Eater Added Aug 12, 2017 - 12:05pm
Der Wanderer
Er geht durch Zeit und Raum
wie ich über die Felder
während ich den Duft der kahlen
Winterwiese schnuppere
durchquert er das immergleiche Schwarz
der Unendlichkeit.
Er fragt nicht nach dem Weg wie ich
er ist ihm vorbestimmt
durch kleine, glitzernde Lichter
weit weg, so klein, aber doch
immens viel grösser als er wissen kann.
Sie lassen ihn nicht weg
doch lassen ihm viel Raum.
Die Kälte spürt er nicht, auch nicht
die Wärme, die unter ihm den Schutz
geniesst, den er spendet.
Unbeirrt zieht er seine Bahn
er wartet nicht auf andere
die langsamer sind und nicht
wissen, wie sie ihm folgen sollen.
Er erkennt nicht, dass innerhalb seines
Schutzes gegen ihn gearbeitet wird, denn:
Er muss es nicht erkennen, denn er ist

Bis zu dem Punkt, wenn seine Herrin
ihm zeigen wird, dass auch seine Wanderung
eines Tages zuende sein wird
und sie das Licht löscht, das ihm 
den Weg wies.
Stone-Eater Added Aug 12, 2017 - 12:07pm
Travel and the advantage to be born in Europe where foreign languages are much more present (I guess).
Stone-Eater Added Aug 12, 2017 - 12:13pm
BTW: Your poem was the inspiration - mine is "smaller scale" ;-)
Stone-Eater Added Aug 12, 2017 - 12:14pm
Sorry, above comment for TBH.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 1:01pm
SEF - England is so insular. Such a disadvantage.
Thank you Friedli - I'm glad you found it inspiring. I'm sorry I can't read yours.
Stone-Eater Added Aug 12, 2017 - 1:12pm
But I like England LOL
Google can translate it. It captures about 70% of the sense, better than nothing. It refers a bit to your Milky Way....
Stone-Eater Added Aug 12, 2017 - 1:13pm
BTW: I can only write a poem without rhyme in German. In English something like this would make me look stupid LOL
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 1:20pm
SEF - I like a lot of things about England too - just not its insularity and the isolationist xenophobia of many of my compatriots.
I'll check out google translation. Cheers.
opher goodwin Added Aug 12, 2017 - 1:25pm
SEF - Ok  I got the drift. It was a bit weird in places. Obviously hard to translate. I enjoyed it even with the nonsensical bits that google provided. It added a surreal edge. I'm sure Burghal will appreciate it even more.
Minister Peaceful Poet Added Aug 12, 2017 - 9:43pm
The third eye
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 3:38am
MPP - that sees all clearly!
Mark Hunter Added Aug 13, 2017 - 4:49am
Oh, what the heck:
Books and Trees
I thought that I would never see
a book that didn’t kill a tree.
With pages scented paper sweet;
Appetizing termite meat.

No foliage falls for greater cause
then giving pleasure when we pause
to take it easy, and get lost
in stories great, at discount cost.
A too hot day in summertime
is good enough excuse to climb
into a room, all air conditioned,
assuming readership position.

And winter’s even better, yet
to put aside a day, all set
to ignore the crappy cold and snow
for Kipling, King, or maybe Poe.

But oh, the times will change, they say,
if you’ve the means with which to pay,
and wonders come, by hook or crook
electronically – such as e-book.

What a great way to read a story!
Romance, Sci-fi, or something gory.
The e-book holds a million tomes
that otherwise you’d leave at home.

Much less space used! The paper saved!
No more do printing presses slave
to murder trees and spray out ink:
To get a book, just hit a link

On a little screen, electronic
that can bring your reading tonic
and sooth the soul that needs that book
on Kindle, iPad, or the Nook.

It’s so much better, wouldn’t you say?
Your whole library’s there, all day.
No bending covers – doing that
would break an e-reader’s back.

No new book smell. No bookmark need.
No buying something new to read
from that little bookstore down the block;
they’re out of business. Closed and locked.

No comfort in those overflowing
shelves of print, the joy of knowing
no death of any circuitry
nor slowly dying battery
will keep you from enjoying it
in dull lines, or a bathroom visit.
E-books? They’ll come along, apace.
As new things will, they’ll have their place.

If people read, no matter how
it makes this planet great, somehow.
But print will stay, for fools like me,
who know it’s worth replanting trees.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 5:03am
Danke Stone - eine schone kosmische Reise, um den Himmel zu betrachten. Es errinert mich ein wenig an John Lennon's Mind Games.
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 5:05am
Mark - I enjoyed that. There is something about a book that is more than the words. The physical nature of it - like an old vinyl album. It is substantial.
I'm OK with chopping down trees from plantations - as long as they don't chop old forests and do replant one chopped down.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 5:08am
Mark - clever! A rare occasion to pay homage to electronic medium. I still prefer the musty old pages myself :)
Stone-Eater Added Aug 13, 2017 - 5:22am
Superb !
Stone-Eater Added Aug 13, 2017 - 5:23am
Mind Games ? Auch ein Supersong !
Mark Hunter Added Aug 13, 2017 - 5:34am
Aw, thanks, guys! Still not as deep as opher's, though.
I'm perfectly okay with harvesting and replanting too, but I have to admit that over the last few years I've gotten a lot more comfortable with e-books. We have about a thousand tons of print books in the house, though. And a few dozen vinyl albums.
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:10am
Mark - I think there's a place for both. On journeys it is great to have a kindle but at home I tend to read paperbacks. I find my shelves of books very pleasing. They make a home out of a house. I cherish my books and vinyl.
Mark Hunter Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:30am
They do, and I still want a place with my own dedicated library! It's just not the same, sitting in an easy chair surrounded by Kindles.
Stone-Eater Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:33am
I had a collection of about 400 vinyls when I lived in Mali. One day the house burnt down and all were lost - even my Parlophone Beatles originals from my father. And almost all photos and books. Should have left the stuff in Switzerland....
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:38am
Mark - that's what I've got. I keep all my cherished books and records. It's hell moving house.
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:40am
SEF - that's tragic. Losing everything in a fire doesn't bear thinking about. They all have so much nostalgic memories. A lot of my albums and books remind me of times in my past, or people. That means more.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:41am
Ach verdammt, Stone! Der hochste Unfall!
Mark Hunter Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:42am
Oh, man. In my business I hear a lot of people say, "At least no one was killed--stuff can be replaced". I always think yes, life is more important, but some stuff can't just be replaced.
Stone-Eater Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:42am
I found them all again on the net - except one.....and the photos are on my harddisk aka brain LOL
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:43am
I have a post readied for later this morning which a continuation of my satanic satire. Credit to Michael Dolan for the suggestion....
Stone-Eater Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:45am
....and I tend to be melancholic. So it's not too bad. Imagine: I bought Alice Coopers Killer in 1971 and if I would look at it now - looking almost new - and comparing my image in the mirror....would give me the creeps LOL
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:45am
This morning I have something else I wish to write about so I am a bit torn as to what I should do. My other ideas may not be so timely to the events if I should have to wait another 48 hrs...
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:46am
Quite curious to learn what reporting of the incident in Charlottesville, VA yesterday has reached to our European friends
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:49am
Another thought on your poem Opher.... The relationship between your title and the content. Its a bit like Dylan: things can mean everything and nothing at the same time :)
Stone-Eater Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:50am
We read here that white supremacists have attacked lefties who wanted to remove a statue of a general. Bad idea. As it is stupid to rename a park to Emancipation Park.
The past has to be preserved no matter what Zeitgeist is up. It only reflects us humans - good and bad.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:54am
Stone - Thanks for sharing that. My thoughts are much the same as your own on this. I was concerned that the reporting would have been distorted, but this sounds like a fair presentation of the facts as we know them so far. I would elaborate a bit, if Opher did not object to using this thread as a platform?
Stone-Eater Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:54am
BTW: I guess that stuff is reported here to tell us: See, the US also has problems with racists.
To me it's an easy way out. We can't judge anything from here so we should shut up with accusations.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:58am
I'll await Opher's consent before saying more...
Mark Hunter Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:58am
I had when a small group of idiots (from either side) puffs their chests out and makes everyone think that there are a lot more of them than they really are. Racism is all over, but there are very few that are that moronically extreme.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:13am
That is so true Mark. The picture that gets presented by those holding the megaphone distorts these things entirely out of proportion. That is not to diminish the tragedy, rather to prevent it being inflated into an even greater tragedy
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:15am
My thoughts circle back around to my analysis of the concept of "hate crimes"....Opher must be busy on another thread. Quite the chatterbox, he is :)
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:23am
Well while we are waiting I'll stick to the theme here. Stone I think you will like this one:
Winter Dawn
It is here, The skies shouted
To no one in particular
While the clouds shed their tears
To white powder, floating, drifting
Where even our epiphanies are clouded
Mother draws her blanket
Covers her head and slumbers
A new day awakens unseen
Sun and moon will mark the time
While she dreams of her garden
Her morning bright in the distance
Far beyond low winter sun
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:23am
I think I'll try putting this into German, whatcha think?
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:29am
Mark - so right.
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:30am
SEF - that's not quite so tragic then - but you've still lost the sentimental connection.
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:31am
SEF - time passes.
Stone-Eater Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:32am
True. But I'm not too sentimental. Too much of that prevents you to be happy when you age ;-)
Stone-Eater Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:32am
...from being happy. Sorry ;-)
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:37am
TBH - All I've heard is that some far-right nut has driven into a left-wing group who were protesting a Ku Klux Klan rally of the far-right. He's killed and maimed and been arrested and Trump has refused to condemn the far-right rally.
Looking forward to this next post of yours. It's had a bit of a build-up!
Perhaps the more topical one should go out first?
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:39am
TBH - by all means use this thread. I would like to hear more. I too don't agree with trying to change the past. Leave the statues as symbols of what it used to be. Things move on but the past is a monument to what happened. You can't change that. Can only learn from it.
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:41am
Mark - Yes it is usually the tiny minority extremes of left and right that cause all the trouble.
Somehow we're all going to have to learn to rub along together.
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:43am
TBH - another nice one - sends a chill through me. We're in August and it's cold. What'll it be like in January?
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:45am
Thanks Opher. I went ahead and posted the new that I had prepared. I think I'll belay the other. These articles end up being like a magnet for partisan trolls; like flies swarming onto a turd
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:48am
TBH - that is true. Long live honesty and debate with respect.
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:49am
TBH - so what is the take on what happened?
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:49am
There is one comment you made there that well illustrates my concern, that Trump is refusing to condemn the supremacists. This is completely false. I heard what the man said live and my English is reasonably good. It was quite clear that he condemned "in the strongest terms possible" all racists of any stripe and any who resort to violence. There was absolutely no ambiguity in what the man said
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:50am
SEF - I occasionally like to get stuff out and have a look through my sweet memories. They make me smile. Doesn't make me feel sad - just a little old.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:50am
As with any of these incidents the usual suspects rush to the microphone to try and make political capital out of the event.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:52am
let me provide you some deeper background. I dont know this for fact, but I have good reason to suspect that the city issued the permit for the rally and the passed the word on to the nearby university in the hopes that it would spur exactly the type of result we have seen
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:55am
TBH - yes that is what happens and the reporting gets skewed. That's why I wanted to hear more.
I once was at a conference where Tony Blair spoke for an hour and half. He told us to watch it on the news and told us that they would change round what he'd said to fit their agenda. He openly said they would make him say the opposite of what he had said. He was right. The two minutes of news coverage had him saying the opposite. They selected bits and put them together. That took some time and skill. I found it chilling. That was on the BBC!
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 7:57am
Why do such a thing, you may ask? Well, dig a little deeper.  Charlottesville is not a real big town, about 50,000. It is the county seat for Albemarle County which including the town is a total population of 150,000
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 8:02am
The county is located in the rugged terrain of north central Virginia, nothing at all like the DC area suburbs. The source for much of the city's commerce derives from the student population of the University of Virginia, which is situated upon the southwest corner of the town. Incidentally this is a university which was founded by Thomas Jefferson, whose Monticello estate is only three miles away
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 8:06am
The city has been taking a lot of pressure to remove this Robert E. Lee monument for some time, much of that coming from the University. Now the leaders in the city of Charlottesville and for the County of Albemarle have a serious dilemma. They serve a constituency that is divided between the more liberal university community and the more (much more) conservative population of the surrounding county.  Oh what to do....
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 8:08am
But....wait just a second everybody. There may be a way out of this....What if we issue a valid permit for this white supremacist group to hold their rally in our town and then we invite some of those good folks from the university to come by and "observe"....
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 8:08am
See where I'm going here?
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 8:11am
TBH - I see. But did they foresee some nutjob with a car? Did they hire him?
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 8:33am
No No, I am not suggesting that at all. They just knew that such an event created the strong potential for an incident that would provide them the political cover needed to remove the statue. Got a better explanation? They could easily have said no and not issued the permit
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 8:36am
I utterly despise the term "hate crime". It is a completely dishonest premise. Where there are laws prohibiting assault, murder and other violent crime these statutes are rather clear. Applied equally to any who offend and a sanction defined for a conviction of the crime, regardless the offenders demographics or motive either one
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 8:39am
Adding the further definition of the act as being a "hate crime" does nothing to make the victims less harmed or the perpetrators more guilty.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 8:41am
and we see this very same flawed logic applied to events like Charlottesville. It is not important that the nutjob just happens to be a white supremacist. He deliberately drove a car into a crowd and killed and injured people.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 8:43am
The hispanic gang member who guns down a rival gang member for intruding on the wrong turf, no different. It does not matter that he is a hispanic gang member. He gunned someone down in cold blood. If found guilty justice is to be blind. It doesnt matter what he is or what his motive was. The act was still wrong
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 8:46am
I think that by highlighting the motives, real or perceived, does nothing to further justice. It only elevates the perpetrator and diminishes the victim. It suggests that somehow being the victim of a violent act is not enough in its own right. It suggests that the only factor that matters is the victim's status as a social victim
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 8:48am
It suggests that it is only this which legitimizes their status as the victim of the crime.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 8:50am
It's like applying affirmative action to the workings of justice. We know that the unfair society has made you something less than a fully equal human being so we'll dress up the language to accord you the respect and dignity that you cant attain on your own. Its frankly insulting
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 9:12am
TBH - OK I see where you're coming from and it is entirely plausible. The council could well think like that.
I don't have a big problem with calling things hate crime though. I think that people like to know the motives behind a crime. It is one reason why murder dramas are so compelling and popular. What motivates a person to do something so terrible?
All crime needs dealing with for the incident it was but, to me, sometimes the motive adds a certain extra.
Affirmative action is always disturbing. I'm not certain what I think about it. I think I'd have to look at each instant to decide.
Just had the news here - they reported increasing pressure on Trump from his own party to outrightly condemn the violence of the right-wing white supremacists and say he has failed to do so up until now - making generalised statements about violence instead.
Dino Manalis Added Aug 13, 2017 - 9:33am
Common sense is what we need, while nonsense isn't supposed to make any sense!
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 11:37am
Opher -
This is not a defense of Trump, rather an indictment of the media machine. It wouldn't make one damned bit of difference what Trump said. As the incident with Tony Blair that you described earlier they will spin anything he says and turn it to a negative just because he said it.  He soundly condemned the hatred, bigotry and violence from all sides. In my opinion that is the proper position to take as the president. He is not the president of only those who voted for him; he is the president of the country through a legitimate electoral process. There was no "fixing" of the vote. So like a good parent when you have a pack of children squabbling you take the position " Hey! ALL of you! Knock it off!"
The fact that they do not report, or they edit what he did say, and instead make the story what he didn't say only proves their dishonesty and their true motive.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 13, 2017 - 1:25pm
The Law by its emanations affects attitudes; a hate crime doesn't just punish a crime but a belief which is not permissible. Then any belief about right and wrong can be reached by the law.
You wouldn't say if a Caucasion person committed a crime against a black person it was a hate crime, but if a black person committed a crime because he hated a Caucasion that it wasn't would you?
    I think the idea is to give federal courts jurisdiction over subject matter by classification of motive that they might not otherwise have.
     And okay, yes I sometimes like to listen to folk music:
     Lay down your weary tune, lay down, Lay down the song you strum, and rest yourself beneath the strength of strings no voice can hope to hum.
Bob Dylan 
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 1:30pm
TBH - Yes I get the picture. I despise the guy but, as with Blair, when they've got it in for you they can twist it however they want. Calling out violence on all sides was a sound call. Was there violence from the protestors?
The media are a law unto themselves. They manipulate.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 1:32pm
Stone - Auf deutsch ubersetzt...
Hier ist, hat den Himmel geschrien
Zu niemandem besonders
Waehrend die Wolken ihre Traenen vergiessen
Zu weichem Pulver schwimmend, treibend
Wo auch unsere Epiphanien getruebt sind
Mutter zieht ihre Decke
Haelt den Kopf und schlummert
Ein neuer Tag weckt unsichtbar
Sonne und Mond werden die Zeit markieren
Waehrend sie von ihrem Garten traumt
Ihr Morgen hell in der Ferne
Weit uber die unterer Wintersonne hinaus
Na, was denkst du. Richtig? Ich denke, es funktioniert genauso gut auf Deutsch.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 1:34pm
Nicht Goethe, aber....:)
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 1:35pm
Barath - yes - deciding motive is an added complication. Sometimes obvious and sometimes difficult. As TBH said - you punish the crime. In my experience as a Head of Pastoral - dealing with naughty boys - incidents were rarely black and white. I used restorative justice - brought everyone together and talked it through, unpicked the incidents, established cause and blame and then negotiated appropriate punishment. It worked and removed all feelings of resentment so there were no follow up problems.
There is some great folk music out there - I love that Bob Dylan one.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 13, 2017 - 1:38pm
In the words of John Lambert:
Cogitationis poenam nemo patiatur 
Nemo patiatur prodere seipsum 
, that best of English Protestants, his words later amended to Magna Carta through interpretation by Lord Coke and by the Petition of Right.
Let Right be done.
Stone-Eater Added Aug 13, 2017 - 1:58pm
Hier ist, hat den Himmel geschrien
Zu niemandem besonders

Waehrend die Wolken ihre Traenen vergiessen
Zu weichem Pulver schwimmend, treibend

Wo auch unsere Epiphanien getruebt sind
epiphanyErleuchtung {f}
Offenbarung {f}
Manifestation {f}

Macht keinen Sinn, sorry. Gedichte kann man nicht übersetzen, da der Sinn und die Gefühle nicht 1:1 übertragbar sind. Leider....
opher goodwin Added Aug 13, 2017 - 2:10pm
Barath - Let right be done - I'll echo that. It comes down to whose version of right we are talking about though. ISIS think they're right.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 2:35pm
Ja, ich verstehe :)  Verloren im ubersetzen :) 
Eine wortliche Ubersetzung mit dem Gedichte kann man nicht stellen.
The Burghal Hidage Added Aug 13, 2017 - 2:38pm
Es war einen Versuch wert. Ich habe genug Schwierigkeiten mit dem auf Englisch!
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 13, 2017 - 2:40pm
   No I was referring to the rights created by the Petition of Right, that a person couldn't be punished for their thoughts or beliefs( as in John Lambert's religious beliefs) and the right to Habeas Corpus.
Stone-Eater Added Aug 13, 2017 - 4:04pm
Kein Problem - better try and fail als nicht versuchen :-) That's also was ich all the time probiere LOL
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 4:25am
Barath - I'm all in favour of that - as long as they are not inciting people to hatred or violence. And I'm right behind Habeas Corpus. I think that virulent thoughts should be put up for scrutiny and pulled to bits by right-minded people.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 11:19am
     Why are people protesting?
Because of injustice, correct?
Then those who perpetrate unlawful schemes are the ones that incite, not those that speak against injustice within the law.
" Every idea is an incitement. It offers itself for belief"
Justice Holmes 
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 2:51pm
Barath - I think I agree with that. But one can oppose injustice without inciting hate or violence. Ghandi showed how that could be done. Protest is best peaceful and forceful.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 3:35pm
      Absolutely, then they should do that(whomever they are, on both sides of any issue).
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 3:39pm
   The problem is that I can't differentiate between the expression of an opinion or viewpoint, and incitement in the narrower sense, unless there is advocacy of law violation.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 3:52pm
In any case if the Government breaks the law, and incites people to law violation then I would say it was entrapment.
The objective test being would a reasonably prudent person be likely to violate the(in some way) given what the Government was doing.
It's considered objective because it has nothing to do with you, just an average person.
Subjective test:
Did the Government use coercion or persuasion to cause a citizen to law violation(extreme coercion, or outrageous action by Government would violate due process of law).
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 4:03pm
I guess the Government forgot to go to class the day they taught law in law school.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 4:42pm
President Trump said today,
     "As I have said many times before, no matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws.” 
People are supposed to obey the law.
Mark Hunter Added Aug 14, 2017 - 5:09pm
Two months ago a guy with a rifle tried to wipe out the Republican majority in Congress. Regardless of who might have been instigating what, violence from extremists is never excusable.
(On a thankfully unrelated note, I liked the winter poem way more than I like winter.)
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 5:13pm
Barath - the law of the land is what is important. That is what needs to be abided by.
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 5:15pm
Mark - too right. As my mum used to say - two wrongs don't make a right. If you believe in democracy then you have to put up with the outcome no matter how abhorrent. It doesn't stop you protesting though.
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 5:16pm
Barath - nothing justifies driving a car at speed into a crowd. If a protest is out of order then the people should be arrested and placed before a court.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 5:21pm
Nothing justifies Colonizing India and not giving it Independence until 1948, but you Brits did it anyway.
But, nothing I said justified it.
If you Brits believe in God so much in fairness then why did you go around colonizing other countries?
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 5:24pm
I'm not responsible for the obnoxious behaviour of my forebears. Empire building was simple wrong. Who said otherwise? What has that got to do with anything? Certainly nothing to do with a right-wing idiot driving into a crowd. What is your point Barath?
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 5:32pm
Do then you see the United Kingdom was not right to use violence and war to subdue India. In the battles of the Three Anglo- Maratha Wars India was strewn with the bodies of both Indians and Europeans. You Brits didn't believe in God, you believed in your own (White) Christian Supremacy.
God is only known through a desire to be good, or else one scarcely can say they know God at all.
That's my point.
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 5:41pm
I'm not arguing with it Barath. Though, as we see with partition, the religious hatred and violence was worse Indian on Indian. I don't believe in any supremacy. I believe in equality. You can't lump a people all together. The vast majority of British had no idea what was going on in the colonies anyway. It was the ruling class that did all the hypocritical racist crap.
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 5:42pm
Barath - I do not believe in any God - I think that is all bullshit.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 5:58pm
    The whole country [was] strewn with killed and wounded, both Europeans and (Indians)natives, ours as well as the enemies.
An unnamed British cavalry officer
Anglo-Maratha Wars
   It's historical record is what I am pointing out. Europeans killed off 50% of European males in religious wars, viz. The Thirty Years War, ending in the Peace of Westphalia.
If there is no God why did they fight? To decide who had the right to rule, by God's authority, Catholic or Protestant.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 6:04pm
See also World Order,
     the Thirty Years’ War of 1618–48—a conflagration in which political and religious disputes commingled, combatants resorted to “total war” against population centers, and nearly a quarter of the population of Central Europe died from combat, disease, or starvation. 
Dr.Henry Kissinger
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 6:20pm
See: Thirty Years War
The Thirty Years' War was a series of wars in Central Europe between 1618 and 1648. It was one of the longest as well as the deadliest European religious wars in history, resulting in eight million casualties.
Initially a war between various Protestant and Catholic States in the fragmented Holy Roman Empire, it gradually developed into a more general conflict involving most of the Great Powers.
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 6:30pm
They fought for power, wealth and status Bareth.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 6:30pm
See also Lord Coke:
    One cannot be Judge and attorney for any of the parties.... And it appears in our books, that in many cases, the common law will control Acts of Parliament, and sometimes adjudge them to be utterly void; for when an act of Parliament is against common right and reason...
Dr.Bonham Case
See  also the Star Chamber, right against (religious) Inquisition, and the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights.
opher goodwin Added Aug 14, 2017 - 6:42pm
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 6:59pm
Amendment XI U.S. Constitution:
     U.S.Citizens have the right to trial by jury, Lord Coke's decision in the Dr. Bonham case, and the abuses of the Privy Council and the Star Chamber and the oath ex officio are  considered reasons for the sixth Amendment.
Lord Coke authored the Petition of Right because of abuses by Charles I in regards to taxation and imprisonment relating to the Thirty Years' War.
Article [VI] (Amendment 6 - Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions)
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 7:12pm
    The fruit is present in the action, make the action good through faith, and one has jurisdiction over its fruits(the wealth from one's efforts).
Bhagavad Gita
They came to steal.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 7:23pm
    Nature rejects Jesus the way birds, and deer reject a scarecrow. Show me where the cross appears in nature?As a symbol of what?
   The Cardinal points of the compass? It has 4 Cardinal and 4 subsidiary, that makes 8.
    You don't believe in God, but I do. In fact what other people think makes no difference to God, if everyone wants to follow in the devil then their ends will be as they should be.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 7:31pm
    Jesus on the Cross is an imitation of death. When does nature imitate death?
When does God imitate death, the devil? Never. God never imitates death. It would confuse people and nature.
 Go look at the Catholic cross and see whom you worship.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 7:41pm
    Why would they worship the crucifixion?
Only to win. People worship the Devil because he says you can commit sin to rule the world.
You said religion scared you. Why would it scare you if there is no God?
They came to plunder and steal in the name of their Lord and Saviour.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 7:47pm
    That's why Jesus was the Devil because people won't just worship evil unless they're are really evil. He deceives people into believing he was good by saying "Love, forgiveness, there's no right and wrong"
No justice, then why do you believe in God and not just do whatever you have to in order to win?
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 7:52pm
   How can you fix it? This country was founded as "One Nation Under God" which we are taught as mandatory in grade school. Which God, you mean Christ the Devil?
   That devil was a God too, but he's not good or evil, he's both. They didn't know.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 8:01pm
   Check the history of your country.
.  The Edict of Expulsion was a royal decree issued by King Edward I of Englandon 18 July 1290, expelling all Jews from the Kingdom of England. The expulsion edict remained in force for the rest of the Middle Ages. The edict was not an isolated incident, but the culmination of over 200 years of increased persecution. The edict was overturned during the Protectorate more than three centuries later, when Oliver Cromwell permitted Jews to return to England in 1657.
    Jews returned to England only after the Peace of Westphalia and the end of theThirty Years' War. Everything including history leads us to the same pivotal moments in history, the same answers.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 8:09pm
Catholics fought against Protestants, Protestants against Catholics, Christians against Jews, Christians against Muslims and everyone against Indians.
Why? Because your God is a God of peace?(I know you don't believe in God.)
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 8:34pm
    You say you don't believe in God. Strategically you've placed yourself in advantageous position with cleverness. But, as has been said before, and as Ronald Reagan would probably have said,
    " The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was to convince people there was no God".
Jesus was the Devil because he wasn't good or evil, he was both, that's how he confused people. He has two nature's, but his evil nature means he wasn't God. He was a God who was a devil.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 8:47pm
See the Gospel:
     8“So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. 9“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous d mammon, that when e you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home."
Jesus was the unjust steward because he was unjust.
See you worship the Devil.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 14, 2017 - 8:49pm
So why did they believe in this? Because they're racist. They wanted to rule the World.
opher goodwin Added Aug 16, 2017 - 4:43am
Religion is about power Barath - all religion.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 16, 2017 - 1:05pm
Religion is a tree Opher, which produces; lawyers,doctors, scientists, athletes, music, art, culture as it's branches, leaves, fruits and flowers . It organizes society into common interests and goals, and a common aim.
  I'm not sure society works well without it.
opher goodwin Added Aug 16, 2017 - 6:55pm
Religion is a lie created by people for power Barath. Society would function a lot better without it.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 16, 2017 - 8:54pm
I find that people who don't believe in religion want power all the more, but don't believe ethics should control their actions.They believe in their own power, want privilege and respect, but don't obey any rules of Justice. 
   They have no merit to acquire in the life hereafter so there is no reason they should respect virtue. Those that follow virtue do so as not to transgress the conduct of the good and the ordinance, knowing for certain it brings reward in this life, or the life hereafter, but those that don't believe in religion are often unhappy with even that much that they have here in the world.
opher goodwin Added Aug 17, 2017 - 4:32am
Barath - I do not think that is true at all. It seems to me that religious people are the ones after power.
There is plenty of merit to acquire in life as an atheist. When your existence is measured in seconds it is best to live each and every one to the max.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 6:34am
     Christianity leads to atheism, atheism destroys morality and society, irreligion is hatred of God, and bad for the world, therefore it is hate speech and proscribable.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:16am
    I'm religious. Atheism has no value to me.
opher goodwin Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:30am
Barath - I don't know what religion you have but you seem to have a down on Christianity. I have a down on all religions. I think they are all manmade and detrimental to human culture.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:37am
Maybe there is more to reality than you know, wouldn't you like to find out more about what cannot be known through the simple use of the senses, or even reason?
opher goodwin Added Aug 17, 2017 - 7:50am
Maybe there is? There is bound to be. I use my senses and reason to investigate the fantastical wonder and awe of it. I just totally reject all this god stuff. There is no reasoning in belief. It is the end of reason.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 9:42am
   I experience the same feeling of awe and wonder, but then I say that's why there is a God, not that's why there can't be one.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 9:53am
   You can limit reality to what can be understood by secular science, so that you can say miracles are not possible. Or you can expand it beyond what people uderstand.
What if I said, even the birds and nature have knowledge and know things like  the Constitution of the United States. They learn it from us, like children learn from their parents, since we've been expounding its principles for 241 years.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 10:16am
Birds are like the town crier, they sing the song, nature picks up the message.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 10:47am
My religion exists in nature, even if every page of text was burned, the Lord would teach us the ethical import again, and create a new story, and the birds would whisper the names and meanings of the religion again.
  The Lord communicates to people throughout time, through history, music, scripture, nature,science and through all knowledge.
opher goodwin Added Aug 17, 2017 - 11:55am
Well I'm all for nature, music, sunsets, space, science, dance, art, rocks, seas, lakes, trees and the wonders around me. If that is what you mean - I'm all for it.
Barath Nagarajan Added Aug 17, 2017 - 12:12pm
   Have you heard this One.The Rhythm of the Saints:

Spirit Voices
Paul Simon

We sailed up a river wide as a sea
And slept on the banks
On the leaves of a banyan tree
And all of these spirit voices rule the night
Some stories are magical, meant to be sung
Songs from the mouth of the river
When the world was young
And all of these spirit voices rule the night
opher goodwin Added Aug 17, 2017 - 1:24pm
Barath - I like Paul Simon - Rhythm of the Saints was a great album.