Tuesday, January 31, 2006



It’s the little things

by Richard E. Noble

Every time I think that I have finally found a satisfactory answer to something or finally come to a definitive conclusion on some subject matter, I read something, or talk to somebody, or see something on TV that throws me for a loop. Dwarfism is a perfect example.
Due to genetic insights and discoveries, it has been determined that the problem of Dwarfism could actually be predetermined and eliminated. It is possible in the future that no parents will ever again be forced by the unfortunate circumstances of nature to give birth to a dwarf. This would be a good thing, right?
There was a society of dwarfs on TV the other day protesting just such an outcome. They claim that preventing the birth of future dwarfs would be tantamount to genocide, or more specifically - dwarf-ocide. They claim that a world without a dwarf would be a lesser world; no more midgets at the circus; no more “de plane, de plane”; no more annual dwarf throwing contest in Missouri or Montana or wherever; no more dwarf artists, philosophers or painters. And I know that you have never thought of this, but could it be possible that God is really a dwarf? We are reminded today, almost daily, that God could be a woman, or black - so why not a dwarf? Why not a black, female dwarf - for that matter?
I honestly never thought, even in my wildest dreams, that anyone would actually enjoy being a dwarf. But then there was a time when I thought the song “I Enjoy Being a Girl” was rather stupid.
Dwarfs have a real tough time in life. They have to undergo numerous operations, have a multitude of physical problems, and usually die at an early age. To the Society for the Preservation of Dwarfs, this is no big deal. Lots of people have problems in life. Why should we single out their particular social or physical problems as so drastic that they should be eliminated for all time?
We have found basketball for grotesquely tall individuals. Just because we haven’t found a profitable sport that features midgets, should they be exterminated from the face of the Earth? - asks the Dwarf Society.
“All men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and among these are the right to Life, Liberty etc.” What … this doesn’t include midgets and dwarfs? Midgets don’t have the Constitutional right to be midgets, to reproduce and make little midgets? - Is that redundant?
This opens a whole new world of thought to me. For example, what about the Elephant Man? Okay, was that a story about the horror of being born an Elephant Man, or more specifically a story about Elephant Man abuse?
For example, if that Elephant child were born into a nice family; got a good paying job as a freak in a circus or something; found himself a nice Elephant girl, and had some little Elephant children, would there ever have been such a movie? What if he made a movie, like Rocky?
Instead of being just stupid and punch-drunk like Rocky was - he could have been an Elephant Man who was stupid and punch-drunk and who also dreamed of being the Champ one day. He wins the crown from an obnoxious and brutally dominating midget, and then goes on to appear on Oprah Winfrey; thus proving to the entire world that anybody - even an Elephant Man - can make it here in America, the land of opportunity where even an seemingly hopeless Elephant Man with a horrible disfiguring disease but who has hope, drive, and ambition - can, one day, become super wealthy, egomaniacal, and totally infatuated with himself. He then could go on to start his own reality TV show called the Apprentice - etc. etc. etc.
Yes, Elephant people have problems in life, but then ... don’t they have the right to life, liberty etc. etc. etc.? Have you ever really sat down and spoken with an Elephant person? Could not an Elephant person, as the midget or dwarf, not have the brain of a Albert Einstein or the writing skills of a William Shakespeare? What have people who look like Bo Derrick or Paul Newman ever done for mankind? Did you ever see a picture of Stephen Hawking?
So now what? An equal rights constitutional amendment for dwarfs and Elephant people? No more feeling sorry and looking down on dwarfs - or Elephant people? Where does this all end? No more Special Olympics? No more Jerry Lewis and the March of Dimes? No more Telethons? No more Wars on Poverty? I’m confused. This sounds like the Reverend Malthus, all over again. Maybe this is all a part of the plan or - de plan, de plan.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Old Is Where It's At

Old Is Where It’s At

But It Takes Getting Used To
by Richard E. Noble
All of the music that I listen to is written, sung and played by dead people - Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Erroll Garner, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Doris Day, etc., and now even Ray Charles - all of these people are now dead.
All the books that I read are written by dead people, and most of them died a long, long, time ago. Shakespeare, Victor Hugo, Tolstoy, Plato, Bertrand Russell, Sartre, Aristotle, Mark Twain, O’Henry, Benjamin Franklin, Adam Smith, Upton Sinclair, Henry S. Comminger, Thomas Jefferson; they’re all dead. Just about every book on my bookshelf or on my up-and-coming reading list, is written by a person who is now dead. William Manchester was one of the few who I have been reading who was still alive, but now, he is dead also.
My very life and experiences, are now the subject matter of history books.
I now make decisions between bending and squatting and whether or not I should buy green bananas.
Everywhere I go today the world seems to be filled with people, who, like myself, are very old or almost dead.
The grocery store, even, is being staffed by people who are almost dead. I think that all the young people today are either so wacked-out on drugs that they can’t pass a pee test, or they are off in some foreign country fighting for somebody’s freedom and are now unable to deliver my newspaper or ring up my groceries at the IGA or Piggly-Wiggly.
The guy checking out my groceries at the store the other day, along with the bagboy, were both older than me. Now that’s scary.
I put my groceries on the automatic sliding shelf and the old man starts running them across the magic price reading thing-a-ma-gig. Everything is going fine until this chicken won’t beep. He swishes it across the magic window three of four more times at varying rates of speed - but not a beep out of the chicken. He shakes the chicken two or three times, as if there must be something wrong with whatever is inside of the chicken that makes the beeper beep - but, no response from the chicken. He then presses the chicken into the magic window and puts his body weight on top of it to try and get it closer to the magic window reading whosey that is inside somewhere. Nothing. The gray haired, partially bald clerk holds the chicken up in front of him and shakes his head negatively. “What is wrong with this chicken?” he mumbles. “I guess that I will have to ring it up by the code numbers.”
He stretches his arms out in front of him as far as they will extend; he tilts his head up, squints a little and makes an attempt to read the code numbers on the price tag of the chicken through one of the sections on his trifocals. “My god” he says. “Ted Williams, who could see the threads on a curve ball coming at him at one hundred and ten miles an hour, couldn’t read this damn thing.”
He lowers the chicken down towards his waist, turns his head slightly to one side and tries to read the numbers from out the corner of his glasses. No luck. He holds the chicken in one hand and then tries to adjust his glasses on his face, up and down, with his other hand. No go. He takes his glasses off, momentarily and tries to scan the chicken bare-eyed - no help. He raises and lowers the chicken - still at arms length - while he nods his head up and down in an opposite sequence from the movement of the chicken. It could be a focusing problem. Doesn’t work.
He takes his glasses off his head and runs them back and forth between his eyes and the chicken - nothing. Finally he lays the chicken down on the counter and attempts to read the code numbers by placing his glasses down on top of the price tag on the chicken, as if his trifocals are a magnifying glass. This doesn’t work.
“Let me see that chicken; maybe I can read it,” I offer. “I think that it is three dollars and twenty-five cents,” I say.
“I know that,” he says. “It is not the price I need. I need all of them little numbers there on the bottom of the price tag, next to all those squiggly lines.”
“Oh, here you mean ... okay, let’s see - four, six, nine, seven, seven, three, one, two, eight, eight, eight, four, one, two, three eight, nine, one, two, one. That’s it. Wouldn’t it be easier to just ring up the price?”
“Oh god! Don’t even talk about that. That’s a book in itself. So, is that it?”
“No. I don’t think that you got my tomato there.”
“Okay, that will be $149.52.”
“Did you get my tomato?”
The man doesn’t look at me and repeats the total bill once again. I notice that he has a buzzer in his ear. My wife has a buzzer for each ear. When you see a person with a buzzer in their ear, that means that they only read lips. The buzzer in a person’s ear doesn’t really do anything; it is, more or less, a symbol or a sign of deafness. It is only there to let other people know that this person can’t hear a damn thing. It is like a pair of sunglasses on a blind person. But because I have experience living with a person with buzzers in her ears, I know how to handle this situation. I tap the clerk on the shoulder - when he turns and looks at me, I say very slowly and in a loud voice; “Did ... you ... get ... my ... tomato?”
“You got a potato?”
“No, did you get my tomato?”
“You don’t have to yell at me, I ain’t deaf for god’s sake.”
“I’m sorry.” I reach down and pick up the tomato that is lying on the conveyor belt. I hold it up and roll it around in front of the man’s face.
“That is not a potato,” he criticizes.
“I know. It’s a tomato. Did you ring it up?”
“Is it yours?”
“Not yet, but I would like it to be - one day.”
“You want me to ring that up?”
“Would you please?”
“No problem.”
The man puts the tomato on a special scale. The computer identifies the tomato as a tomato and suggests a starting price or bid. The optimum possible price appears on the price screen after a series of bids from e-bay have been calculated into the final quote.
“How much is that tomato?”
“Twelve dollars and nineteen cents.”
“You’re kidding?”
“No, that’s what the machine says. I think that they had a blizzard in Paraguay this month or something. All the tomatoes got killed.”
“All except that one.”
“I guess. You want it or not?”
“Yeah, I’ve been planning on having a tomato all this year. I already bought some bacon, white bread, mayonnaise and lettuce. It wouldn’t really be a BLT without the tomato.”
“Okay - got the tomato; now where are those potatoes that you said you had?”
“I don’t have any potatoes. I can only afford so many vegetables in one year. This year it’s that tomato.”
“I get ya.”
“Would you like me to take this out to your car?” asks the bagboy who looks like Mark Twain’s grandfather. I watch the old man bagboy as he struggles to lift the bag off the counter and place it into my shopping cart. As he lowers the bag into the cart the upper half of his body follows the bag into the cart and his feet come off the ground behind him.
“Nuewww. I think I can handle that myself, but thank-you anyway, sonny,” I say.
As we exit the store, I say to my wife: “Did you see the price of that tomato?”
“We forgot to get a potato?”
“No, I said - did you see the price of that tomato?”
She rushes her thumb up to her ear and begins spinning things around on her buzzer. “Holy Cow! What are you trying to do - blow my brains out! Just speak to me in a normal voice. Don’t yell!”
“Honey, I simply said, - Did you see the price of that tomato? That’s all I said.”
“Okay! - my goodness, you are such a baby. If you want potatoes, let’s just go back inside and get some.”

Sunday, January 29, 2006



by Richard E. Noble

There are basically two philosophical positions with regards to war. The first is the notion that war is part and parcel of the human condition. As with death and taxes, war is an absolute. War is as much a part of the human phenomenon as love, hate and sex.
Within this opinion are two groups. Those who consider that not only is war part of the human condition but that it is a good and positive part that should be encouraged. Both the Greeks and the Romans advocated such a perspective. Heraclitus and Plato with his Republic are good examples of advocates of this position. Some Stoics and the Roman Marcus Aurelius hesitated somewhat on this point of view, along with a Greek playwright here and there. Further down the road we have Frederick the Great, Hegel, Nietzsche, Clausewitz and Adolf Hitler to name a few who continued this perspective.
The second subdivision among the pro-war group, are those that feel that war is a part of the human condition, not necessarily good and positive, but nevertheless necessary and inevitable. In this group we have such historic figures as Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Suarez, Grotius, Sir Thomas More, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, Rousseau, Schopenhauer and even Kant, Locke and Spinoza. Some in this group advocate the necessary and preparatory aspects of holding this position. Others campaign for moderation, control, the rule of law, rules and limits, and even the observance of moral decency.
The second opinion with regards to war is that it is not a part of the human condition. It is not like death but more like cancer or disease. War is an infectious disease blighting mankind. It must be challenged and fought against. With proper concern, care and treatment mankind can eventually be cured of this affliction.
The advocates of this point of view are relatively few and for the most part, recent. One of the earliest would be Jesus Christ. Though he wrote no book explaining his position, his actions along with his recorded message has been speaking out for centuries. But, there are many today who insist in denying to Jesus his long held title as the Prince of Peace.
Desiderius Erasmus believed that the normal condition of man was love, friendship and service to one another, and that war was a blatant transgression to the character of man. Bentham, James Mill and John Stuart Mill were on this side of the argument believing that war was evil and primarily prospered to the good fortune of the rich, wealthy, powerful and professional warrior.
Herbert Spencer suggested that war was the inevitable outcome of “big government”. Cut back on government and encourage individual liberty and the causes of war will disappear, he proposed.
John Dewey wrote that war should be declared illegal and that those who participate should be prosecuted as criminals. This point of view was actually taken up and promoted at the Trials at Nuremburg after World War II. At Nuremberg “aggressive war” was declared to be illegal and subject to prosecution under international law. This was a first for humankind. Never before in the history of humankind had it ever been decided or proclaimed that any sort of war was illegal. Of course this decision was made only by the successful allies of World War II and not the decision of the entire world. There is also the problem of the aggressor being victorious, in which case who is there capable of prosecuting the offender.
Bertrand Russell most recently suggested that war could be prevented by the threat of a nuclear Holocaust. This argument has been pretty much defeated today by the successful limited wars of the post World War II era, and the notion of limited tactical nuclear weapons and controlled warfare for the future.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Francis Bacon (1561-1626 A.D.)

by Richard E. Noble

“If one must study logic, let him begin with this book.”
This is the advice of Will Durant in his “The Story of Philosophy” with regards to the work of Francis Bacon entitled “The New Organon”.
Well, I have always been a person concerned with the art of correct and reasonable thinking. Even the word “Logic” has always appealed to me. So I decided to send for the book. But first ... who is this dude Francis Bacon anyway?
Frank goes all the way back to the fifteen hundreds. He was around during the time of Queen Elizabeth, and Queen, I mean, King James I. Frank was from a very prominent family. His father and some uncles were big shots in the government, and his mother was an educator or something. But for some unexplained reason little Frannie gets left out of the will, and ends up going to law school and becoming Attorney General and Lord Chancellor all on his own. How he found the money to do all of this isn’t really explained, but it seems that Frannie had his ways.
He had a rich buddy named Essex who really, really liked him. Essex gave Frannie a home and a pile of acreage, and a monthly check just because he was cute, it seems. In any case, Frannie was so grateful for all of this that when the lord Essex got into a little trouble with the Queen, Frank, the now great orator and barrister, ran to his good buddy’s aid.
By the time he finished speaking, without being asked, mind you, his good buddy and lifetime benefactor who was in store for a slap on the wrist from the Queen, got his head put in a bucket. Frank wrote a lengthy explanation of why he spoke so about his good buddy - which also sold out at the news stands.
His next stepping stone to success came with his defense of King James’ attitude towards people accused of a crime, volunteering information. King James felt that an hour or two on the rack or a couple of twists on the thumb screws was within the realm of reasonable friendly persuasion. Frank agreed with the King, and they became good buddies. And their friendship had nothing at all to do with the fact that they were both inclined to wear pink panties under their blue boxer shorts. Unfortunately, Frank looses his fame and fortune when he gets caught taking bribes. Frank defends himself by saying that he wasn’t doing anything that everybody else wasn’t doing. (He was obviously counseled by Richard Nixon.) Frank tops off this glowing career of logical reasonable thinking by going out horseback riding in a blizzard one afternoon. While out riding Frank gets the notion to kill a chicken and stuff it with snow to see how long a chicken stuffed with snow would stay dead, I presume. Well, while watching the chicken to see just how long a chicken stuffed with snow will stay dead, Frank catches cold and dies. The scientific question here is who stayed dead longer - Frank or the snow-stuffed chicken?
And Will Durant tells me that if I want to learn the art of logical, reasonable thinking, I should read Francis Bacon. I don’t think so! And not only that, I am beginning to have my doubts about continuing to read Will.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Henry Ford

Henry Ford (1863-1947)

by Richard E. Noble

Henry Ford is one of those positive/negative type guys. No sooner do you read something good about him than you pick up something else that paints him as a demon.
Positive: Henry manufactured an automobile, by an assembly line process, paid his workers an astounding five dollars a day, and produced an automobile that even the workers in his factories could afford to buy. He was a popular national and world hero - a super-wealthy capitalist but yet, the champion of the wage earner and the working class.
Negative: His assembly line process was a stab in the back to craftsmanship and the organized labor force of the day. His system reduced the laborer to a machine. Any bonehead could work on his assembly line, no skilled labor required. His assembly lines were sophisticated, modern, industrialized torture chambers.
He paid five dollars a day not because he was a generous man and wanted to improve the plight of the workingman but because he couldn’t get anybody to work at his boring, monotonous, regimented factory assembly line for more than a short period of time. People felt the work demeaning, and insulting to their intelligence.
No worker at the factory was allowed to learn the whole process, therefore hampering anyone from working for Henry for a year or two and then opening up an Oldsmobile plant in the neighborhood.
Positive: Henry was a peace loving man who advocated against World War I. At one point, he actually sent some sort of peace ship to Europe, in hope of preventing or stopping the war. He didn’t believe in charity, but paid generously and even over paid for items that he wanted to collect for his famous museum - a kindhearted capitalist.
Negative: Somewhere along the assembly line Henry determined that the Jews were the curse of mankind. He published a newspaper out of Dearborn, Michigan through which he “informed” the general public of a “Jewish Conspiracy” to take over the world. He went so far as to publish and distribute this notion throughout the world. Henry Ford is credited with pumping out more anti-Jewish literature and negative propaganda in the 1920’s than Adolf Hitler.
It is said by historian William Manchester that Adolf Hitler had Henry as one of his idols, distributed Henry’s book (The International Jew) at the Reichstag and had Henry’s picture in his jail cell (imprisonment resulting from the 1923 putsch). Henry was to become Hitler’s North American dictator once Hitler conquered the world.
Researchers today are finding links between Henry and Adolf that amount to more than ideology. James Pool in “Who Financed Hitler” devotes a whole chapter to the connection between Henry and Adolf. In “Trading with the Enemy” by Charles Higham, Henry and the Ford Motor Company are significant. In “Hitler and His Secret Partners - 1933-1945” again by James Pool, Henry Ford is also considered. But the most recent and extensive book on Henry, Hitler and Nazism that I have read is “The American Axis” by Max Wallace. This book deals with both Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh and their ties with Adolf Hitler and Nazism. If we can believe all the accusations and information in this book, FDR's famous statement with regards to Charles Lindbergh being a Nazi could certainly be expanded to include Henry Ford. Those interested in current political controversies might find page 349 in this book interesting.
Many others accuse Henry along with Thomas Edison, Lucky Lindy and many more wealthy Americans and Europeans of financially backing Adolf in his rise to power. The wealthy all over the world were very much distressed by the antics of the anti-Capitalist, Russian Bolsheviks and others who were in the process of “redistributing” wealth and encouraging the mass burial of a lot of once respected entrepreneurs.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

She Came to See Me


By Richard E. Noble

I once owned a little ice cream parlor on the outskirts of a small town. Many of my customers were older people who lived in a retirement village up the road. It was hard to build a business in this atmosphere - as fast as I gained new customers, I lost an old one to  … time.
The old folks always came in couples, until one day, one of the two would stumble in, awkwardly ... alone. It was difficult to know the right thing to say. You didn’t want to say; Hey, where’s Rita . . . or Bob? - because if you did, out would come the handkerchief and down the wrinkled cheeks would flow the tears. So if the remaining party didn’t say anything, you didn’t say anything.
Often times nothing would be said. Sometimes there would be a brief announcement that there was no more Herb, or Ethel. Then with others there would be a long involved explanation of the last weeks or months or year.
When I was a young person, I didn’t want to hear such stories. As an older person I no longer had that problem. These were all beautiful stories, filled with love. These were all stories about people who cared about one another. They were sad, but …
On one occasion this very sad, and very alone, old man came into the shop. He had been in a few times now, without his chum. He had gotten his hot fudge, caramel brownie sundae or whatever and had left without saying anything. On this particular occasion, though, he was smiling and seemed relieved. He told me a story that I have converted into a small poem and I entitled it:

She Came to See Me

I saw you in my dream last night.
You seemed to be so happy where you were.
You were laughing once again.

You were frightened when you left.
You wept,
and clasped my hand.

You didn’t know where you were going.
I saw the fear in your eyes.
I saw the tears.

But last night in my dream
you were laughing again.
You were, once again, yourself.

Last night you were telling your jokes.
You smiled.
You were happy and relieved.

Thank-you for coming to see me.
You looked so pretty, my dear.
You were so rosy, my lovely friend.

I feel so much better knowing that you’re safe.
Now I won’t worry anymore.
Thank-you my dear.

Thank-you my darling,
I feel so much better.
My troubled heart is now at peace.

Come again, if you would like.
I enjoyed your visit so.
I’ll be waiting …

by the swing …
with a rose …
I’ll be waiting.

And I’ll remember what you said:
“Don’t forget me.
Don’t think without me.
Don’t be alone.
Don’t be without me.

Don’t forget me.

Don’t think that I have forgotten you.
Don’t think I don’t remember.
I do.
I do.
I remember
I love you, too.

Don’t forget me.”

Never, my darling.
I’ll see you in my dreams, my love.
I’ll see you in my dreams, my friend.
I’ll see you in my dreams …
my dreams …
my dreams.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Summer with Charlie

A Summer with Charlie
by Richard E. Noble
This is one of those stories that is supposed to make you cry. If you read it and you don’t cry, you’re a better man than I am, Charlie Brown! This is a short story, but it tags all the bases. It deals with the “big stuff’. It deals with life, love, morality, sex, death, religion, friendship, boys and girls, growing up, home, neighborhood and country. For me it is a trip down memory lane. It’s the old days, the old places and the old “gang”. Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, it is a story of memories, youth and laughter.
I feel like a scientist observing the universe in this book. I can tell you about the planets and the stars. I can theorize and analyze. I can tell you a lot of things. I can explain to you a lot of stuff. I can describe events in detail. I can tell you how. I can tell you where. I can tell you when. But I can’t tell you why.
When I was young, I thought of love as a passion. It was a drive, a compulsion, even, in some strange ways, a duty. Now that I am old, I don’t know what it is. I don’t know why it is. I observe it once again like the scientist observing the planets. I don’t know why it happens. I don’t know where it comes from. I have no explanation for “that” look in a girl or boy’s eye; for all those mysterious feelings.
I once thought that it was all about hormones. All my hormones have pretty much dried up and have now turned into liver spots; yet I still love. I still have love. I realize now that life is, as the philosophers say, a phenomenon. Death is the same.
I recently read a book by a man who had lived through both World Wars. He saw a lot of men and women executed. He wrote a section on observing how they reacted to the experience. How some went off kicking and screaming; how some were defiant; how some fell to their knees and begged. Instead of naming this book, “A Summer with Charlie”, it could just as well have been called, “Watching Charlie Die”.
In my life, I have watched a lot of friends, relatives and loved ones die. I have witnessed them turn like the leaves of autumn. I have seen them change from living, laughing, vibrant things, into cold, lifeless phenomena. It is a sad thing, but a happenstance that we will each experience very personally. Once again, I can describe the how, the where, and the when, but I can not tell you why. And if the truth be known, nobody can. Not your priest, not your rabbi, not your preacher. They have been trying for centuries. They are all guessing. No matter how confident they may seem, it is all conjecture. No one knows why. Maybe there is no why. In fact, there is no science that deals with the why of anything. We don’t know why the tree, the bug, the ant, the human, the universe. We can only deal with the how, the when and the where of it all.
Ever since it happened, I promised myself that I would write this story if I ever had the time, the money and, hopefully, the talent. Well, I’ve found the time and the money; the talent has been illusive. I finally had to give up waiting for it to come and take matters into my own hands.
This story is a description of the time ... my time; the place ... my place, my hometown, my growing up; and events - the events of my life and those of some of my buddies. It is what happened.
I hope you all enjoy this book. And strangely enough, I hope that it makes you cry. I hope it makes you laugh also.
This is not a new story. People have been dying for a long, long time; even youngsters like Charlie. You may not be planning for it right at this moment, but your plans could be interrupted; mine also. Death is not something that we like to dwell upon but it does one well to think about it every now and then.
What makes this story unique is that it happened to me and some of my teenage friends. It was an experience that affected all of us, and for the rest of our lives. None of us would ever be the same. Each of us was marked and bound together. The memory of our experience with Charlie that summer, would be forever a part of our being. Charlie was one of us. He was one of the guys, one of the old gang. He was our buddy. He wasn’t old enough to be dying. But he did ... and we watched. Charlie said that he didn’t know how. He didn’t know how to die. We all watched Charlie die and we learned how to do it with grace and style. I can only hope to do it as well myself when my turn comes along.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Whats Wrong with Minimum Wage

What’s Wrong with Minimum Wages?

Why Don’t We Just Leave the Well-off Alone?
by Richard E. Noble
I have worked for minimum wage or below for the majority of my employment career - which started when I was about ten years old. I have always known that it is because of me that the world, at large, and the U.S. in particular, has been going to hell in a handbag. My bosses have explained this to me over and over.
You see, it is because of my demanding this exorbitant minimum wage that we have inflation, constantly escalating prices, unemployment, teenagers idling on street corners and a vanishing industrial and manufacturing base.
Strangely enough, people who make exorbitant paychecks and profits as owners of businesses and CEOs and CFOs, and Doctors, Lawyers, Dentists, Stock brokers, people receiving dividends from their stock portfolios and Indian chiefs who own gambling casinos in Miami have just the opposite effect on the economy. Their pay increases do not cause inflation or increase prices; instead their extra money acts as a stimulus to the economy, promotes investment at home and abroad, creates jobs everywhere and, in general, makes the world a better place for everybody to live.
It goes like this: if you give Michael Jordan or some such wealthy person another billion dollars a week, as opposed to giving another dollar a week to each employee at the Nike factory in Slumbovia, or Bumslavia, or Weallstarvingistan - nothing negative, economically, occurs. Prices do not go up because Michael Jordan or another among the minority of the rich has more money. They already have everything they ever wanted. They don’t need to buy anything. How many Hummers, BMWs, yachts, and diamond rings can one person have? Besides if the price of a quarter mile long yacht goes from 147 million to 150 million who would notice. This increase wouldn’t even make it into the pages of Money Magazine.
You can give all the money you want to rich people and nothing in the economic world will change. This is an economic fact that was proven in the laboratory of real life economic science in 1929 by that great American monetary savant, Herbert Hoover.
On the other hand, an extra dollar in the pockets of a bunch of poor people automatically throws any economy into a tailspin. Right off, the price of M-D 20-20 skyrockets along with bread, peanut butter, and Chevrolet automobiles. This hits the commodity and retail markets immediately. The price of grain and legumes all over the world goes nuts. Farmers instantly begin double cropping, planting in-between the rows, and doubling up on fertilizers and polluting pesticides; government subsidies go through the roof, while profits to the farmers go down and the price of a tomato at the IGA in Wisconsin goes to a buck-fifty apiece. General Motors has to increase production, but the cost of labor in the U.S. is bankrupting them; so their new plant in China gets the contract while the DuPont family sells off all of their shares in Aunt Jemima Pancakes. It’s chaos.
If I, and those of my ilk, were willing to work for half or one third of minimum wage, my boss then could hire two or three more morons like me and, of course, the unemployment problem would vanish. This would also, more than likely, solve the illegal immigrant problem besides.
You see, if I were willing to pick tomatoes and sleep in an abandon building or old slave cottage or a farmer’s barn or root cellar while defecating in the woods or orchards or behind the hedges of better-off people in the San Bernardino mountains like illegal immigrants do, then the farmers would not have to encourage Coyotes to smuggle poor Mexicans and Central Americans across the Rio Grande and into Miami, Seattle, New York, New Jersey and Kalamazoo Michigan. Nor would they have to continue to falsify their labor and Social Security reports.
But because I, and others like me, are unwilling to do this, these poor farmers and packing house owners, and cottage-garment industry sweat-shop owners, and restaurant and construction company owners and landscapers, and concrete company and gas station owners, and grocery stores, and chicken and beef processing houses, and home cleaning and domestic services, and large chain department stores etc., all have to do all of these illegal, immoral things.
We minimum wage earners are like the pornographic video and bookstores in Holyoake, Missouri - we are the evil temptresses that lure the Jimmy Swaggarts and Tammy Faye Bakers into the snake pit of moral depravity; we are the Chunky Cheeses to the video game addict; we are the irresistible impulse luring the unsuspecting all over the world - we are the ones who are ruining the economic world. It is us, with our benign satisfaction with mediocrity, or unwillingness to achieve, and our ignorant and obstinate choice to remain unsuccessful.
Why is it that we continually choose to work at JR stores, and wash dishes in greasy-spoon type restaurants who provide no health insurance? Why do we continually take up residence in crime ridden ghettoes? Why the hell don’t we just move; why don’t we make application to better universities; why do we accept advice and principles from parents who are even dumber than we are?
All of our kind hearted, generous employers are, of course, very good people; they are not criminals - it’s us; it’s me. And you know, I don’t know what is wrong with me. I don’t know why I act like this. I have tried to get help for this problem but I have been unable to find any psychiatrists who are willing to work for minimum wage. They feel that if they work for any less than one hundred dollars a minute, research in mental health will be abandoned and more nutty bastards, like myself, will be put out onto the sidewalks and alleyways of the American inner cities. This, of course, will increase the perv quotient, promote crime, juvenile delinquency and the threat of terrorism everywhere.
It was because of people like me, way back when, demanding their pays to be raised to a minimum, that forced the textile mills to leave New England. It was the same type of ugly Americans in the Midwest and eventually in the South that forced these poor, patriotic hard working mill owners to go to South America, India and Asia where now, unfortunately, they are forced to deal with the same type ungrateful breed over there. We minimum wage earners keep breeding like flies - there seems to be no end to our kind.
What is the matter with us minimum wage workers? When will we ever learn?
If we continually ask for more money, this just makes the prices of things rise; and after the prices go up, we still don’t have any more money than we used to have. So what is the sense to it? What will it take for us to learn that we must figure out how to live on whatever it is that the boss is willing to pay us.
We certainly can’t ask the bosses to take less money. Why just look around - they are barely getting by on what they have now. And besides, there are so few of them and so many of us. I mean, if we took all the money from the 10% who own and control everything - all the rich people in the world - and divided it up among all the poor in the world - the price of peanut butter and jelly in the U.S. would be a thousand dollars a jar - M-D 20-20 would only be served at fine restaurants - golf courses would disappear and America would become one huge bowling alley - yes, every other cardboard house that the poor have built in the garbage dumps of the world might get a new tin roof - big deal.
Poor people just don’t seem to understand - if God wanted poor people to be better off, He wouldn’t have created Conservatives.

Monday, January 23, 2006



by Richard E. Noble

“Nothing” has been on my mind, ever since I can remember. As a child I often thought about “nothing”, day on end. As a teenager it was a constant pre-occupation. Little did I know that “nothing” was really that important. I have since discovered that “nothing” really matters.

“Nothing” is a key concept in Philosophy, Religion and Science. If you believe that “nothing” is possible, religiously speaking, you can be a Jew, a Catholic, a Protestant or a follower of Islam. If you believe that “nothing” is impossible you can be a Hindu, a Pantheist, an agnostic, possibly some type of Protestant or an atheist. Followers of Confucius, Tao, and Buddha don’t really care about “nothing.”

They care about other things but not about “nothing.”
In Philosophy John Paul Sartre wrote a whole book about “nothing”. It was entitled “Being and Nothingness”. I’ve never read any book about anything that was more confusing than Mister Sartre’s book about “nothing”. Trying to figure out “nothing” isn’t easy. There is more to “nothing” than meets the eye.

Lots of Greek philosophers thought about “nothing” - Empedocles, Zeno, and Epicurus to name but a few. In Philosophy all of those who believe in “nothing” believe in God. In fact, they believe that God is “nothing.” If God were something, He could be defined, and God is beyond definition. Christians are the most devoted followers in their belief in “nothing.” To say that “nothing” is impossible would be to deny the divinity of Jesus. Because If God were something, He would have to be all things. He can not be one thing in particular. If He were all things, then all things would have to be divine. If all humans were consequently Divine then what would distinguish everybody else for Jesus? They had a big vote on this at the council of Trent or Nance or someplace. At this council the Pope and all his Cardinals voted strongly in the favor of “nothing.” The Roman Catholic Church has played a big part in establishing “nothing” throughout the world. Martin Luther once proclaimed that God was busy cutting rods from birch trees for those who persisted in asking questions about “nothing.”

Science is in a big ta-doo about “nothing” also. Lavoisier came to his notion that matter could neither be created nor destroyed. This is now called the law of the conservation of matter. Mayer came to a similar conclusion about energy. Now we have the law of the conservation of both matter and energy. But these laws or theories give confirmation to the impossibility of “nothing”. Both Lavoisier and Mayer had established that something is always something and can never be turned into “nothing.” But then came that famous war correspondent and part time scientist, Albert Einstein. As a part of his theory of relativity he proclaims that Space and the aether are “nothing.” He claims that space and the aether are a mere attribute of matter. This is confusing but as long as matter and energy are still indestructible and only convertible, science is still Hindu. But recently some folks are talking about anti-matter and matter and the notion that when they collide they annihilate one another and turn into “nothing.” If all the matter in the Universe could be annihilated then “nothing” can be possible. If nothing is possible then science is no longer Hindu but Judeo/Christian. God would be “nothing” and “something” would be His unexplainable miracle.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Escalating Real-estate

Escalating Real-estate Values A Mixed Blessing
by Richard E. Noble
I was sitting on the front porch of my 1983 model, single-wide - out on my one acre lot on the old Escape Rd., reading the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon, when a lady driving a Hummer pulled into my oyster-shell drive.
A Hummer is truly an impressive vehicle but I’ve always felt that if I had enough money to buy a Hummer, why not go all the way and get an armored troop carrier or a full-fledged legitimate tank. You know - how impressed the other little children at the schoolhouse would be, if my little junior tumbled out of a tank along with his camouflage lunch box and one of them hand-held shoulder rocket launcher things. Even without the green barrette, I’m sure little R.E. Noble Jr. would be the talk of all the third grade wannabees. Driving a Hummer has always seemed kind of like the Drug Store Cowboy kind of a thing to me - but, whatever.
The female driver of the Hummer parked in my oyster-shell drive was equally impressive and appropriate to her choice of vehicle. She looked like a cross between Gloria Swanson and Erma Bombeck. She was a little chubby but dressed as though she wasn’t. She was beaming as she approached the wooden steps of my Home Depot, personally constructed, wrap-a-round porch. I was really proud that my wife had finally put up the two-by-four hand railing on the side of the steps - if this lady happened to fall climbing up my steps, I’m sure that my insurance wouldn’t cover the cost of one of her high heels.
“Tell me,” she inquired exuberantly, “would you happen to know if the owners of the lots on either side of you are looking to sell their properties?”
“No I don’t, but why do you ask?” I queried.
“Well, property values in this neighborhood are escalating rapidly and I was just wondering if they might be interested in listing their properties with my realty company.”
“Well, I don’t know about them, but, if the price were right, my wife and I might be willing to sell,” I offered, brazenly.
“Oh really?”
“Why not? What do you think that I could get for this place?”
She looked around the property, slowly. She spent a few seconds eye-balling my two out-buildings. I had built one of the buildings from wood and tin that I had gathered out on the Island after hurricane Elena; the other was constructed from some slab cypress that I had gotten for free over at the old sawmill a number of years ago. As she scoped out my single-wide with the rear add-on addition, I secretly wished that my wife had not painted the darn trailer pink. The paint that she had bought on the discount shelf at the Ace hardware was labeled Dusty Rose, but now that it was on the trailer, it sure looked pink to me. I was sure that the pink color would knock a couple of hundred off her evaluation.
Finally, she took a pad out of her suit jacket pocket and with a gold pen that sparkled with embedded jewels she scribbled something onto the pad. Then she tore off the page, folded it in half, and handed it to me. I unfolded the paper.
There was nothing written on the page but a long series of numbers. I couldn’t figure for the life of me, why the woman would scribble down the current National Debt onto a piece of paper and hand it to me. After inquiring, she explained; “That is not the National Debt. It is my estimate of what I think you can sell this property for.”
“Yes, really.”
I was tremendously excited, but being a very shrewd businessman and experienced in the deceptive art of the “poker face”, I remained quiet, motionless and excessively non-plussed. I wanted to say something calm and casual. I wanted her to think that I actually had the ability to express verbally the long line of numbers she had written onto that scrap of paper; but truthfully, after so many digits I get my millions and billions all jumbled up. After a very pregnant pause, I scratched my chin and asked thoughtfully; “Did you get my wife’s potting shed in the back?”
“No, where is it at?” she asked.
I took her for a walk out over my mounded septic tank to the potting shed. It was only tin and chicken wire but it was really neat. A few years back we had a few chickens - none of them were much at fighting, so we ate them. My wife then converted the chicken coup into a potting shed. She had some of those plastic tomato sprouting things, a bunch of clay pots, some gloves, a funny, purple hat with a big floppy brim, and a Garden Way wheelbarrow. The Garden Way wheelbarrow, itself, cost over a hundred bucks. The Hummer lady said that the potting shed was really sweet and that she could see no reason why it would not add twenty to thirty thousand to her estimate. I, of course, nodded thoughtfully in agreement.
We walked back to her Hummer chatting casually. I told her that I would have to talk it over with my wife, but I would definitely get back with her. She handed me her card. Her card had a picture of her way back when she was still in high school. I thought the jumping rope in addition to the prom dress was a little tacky. I helped her up into the cab; she backed out of the oyster-shell drive, and hummed on down the Escape Rd.
When I showed my wife the piece of paper with the lady’s estimate of our property written on it. She was speechless for a moment or two but then finally she asked; “Did she get my potting shed on there?”
“Yes, she did,” I informed her.
She then quickly and quietly rushed to the bedroom and got on the phone to her sister. After a number of hours of giggling, laughing and screaming into the telephone receiver, she returned to the kitchen table with a very serious look on her face.
“I don’t think that we should sell,” she said.
I could hardly believe my ears. Was she crazy? What could she possibly be thinking.
“Why not?”
“Because, like Sallie says, if our property is worth this much today, what do you think that it will be worth a year from now? And, don’t you think that if this stranger is willing to offer us that much money, she must know something that we don’t know? Maybe Publix wants to buy this whole neighborhood - or Disney or Donald Trump! If we sell it now we could possibly lose millions.”
The greediness of her remarks at first shocked me, but then after a moment I began thinking of Andrew Carnegie and J. P. Morgan.
Andrew Carnegie sold U.S. Steel to J. P. Morgan for two hundred million dollars, only to learn years later that J. P. Morgan would have paid him three hundred million if he had only held out a little longer. Andrew Carnegie never got over the humiliation and embarrassment and went to his grave feeling cheated and outsmarted. I certainly didn’t want to spend my last days living like Andrew Carnegie. Sometimes, I’ll bet he didn’t even want to come out of the suite of his luxury liner yacht. What a horror it must have been hiding away in that big lonely castle in Scotland. Not me. One should learn something from reading history.
Carol and I have decided not to sell, even though nobody has actually offered to buy our property yet. I can’t imagine what type of person would want to pay all that money for my pink single-wide, with a re-cycled chicken coup. But then in today’s world, I suppose that there could be a nice, rich lady out there driving a pink Lamborghini with a very prized and much beloved pet chicken - it could happen!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Hobo-ing America

Hobo-ing America
by Richard E. Noble

What is the big deal about seeing the U.S.A. anyway? Ten million Americans go off to see the U.S. every day. How many trite descriptions of the Grand Canyon does one need in his library?

Well, to put it mildly, I think that seeing America clinging to the elbow of Carol and Dick, will be an awakening for most Americans no matter how many times they have toured the U.S.A.

If you toured America by way of Ramada Inns across the country, you would undoubtedly consider the U. S. to be a country full of well dressed salesmen. If you went by way of McDonald’s franchises you would, more than likely, consider acne to be a major medical epidemic in the States. If you drove one of those big trucks, America will be an interstate highway, gas stations, bathrooms, and a never ending chain of sleepy eyes, cigarettes, blue jeans, giant belt buckles, and little girls knocking on your sleeper window saying ... Can you spare fifty dollars for a cup of coffee, Sir?

If you toured with Charles Kuralt, a fine adventure indeed, you will nevertheless see America as a country full of semi-retired, middle-aged folks or better, all of whom can knit, sew, weave on a hand loom, whittle a Louisville Slugger from an old scrub oak tree, or construct a Stradivarius in their barn using nothing but popsicle sticks and a rusty, old, double-edged razor blade.

Come along with Carol and Dick and live in the places where Charles Kuralt was afraid to park his bus ... even for an overnight stay.

Meet, and tour the homes of the ninety-eight percent of America that will not be televised on the lives of the rich and famous.

Come with us and grovel in the dust, dirt, and sweat ... feel the pain, joy, and anger and shake the calloused hands that make America what it is. We’ll tip it all upside-down and see America bottom side up.

Stay with us in the fields, groves, orchards, under equipment shelters and county bridges.

Meet the homeless, the helpless, the bent over, the rich, the poor and the ugly.

See America in its glory and its shame.

See it from the highways, the sidewalks, and the gutters.

Meet Asians, Indians, Jamaicans, Haitians, Mexicans.

Meet most of them in one chicken factory in central Arkansas on the third shift.

Find out the answer to the question that has plagued most of America for three decades ... Why don’t tomatoes taste like they did when I was a kid? ... At the same time, find out why you can jump up and down on the top of a bag of peaches and barely bruise the skin. Find out why you can hardly tell the difference between an apple and a banana if you eat them both with your eyes closed. Learn the author’s, not yet famous and soon to be forgotten, apple theory of value. Find out why it makes no difference whether you eat a tree ripened sweet cherry, or a chocolate bar. Find out why you should eat up the box and throw the corn flakes away.

Find the answer to all of these burning questions and many, many more.

See America from the bottom of the cracker-barrel. Come along with Carol and Dick. Talk to the “Crackers” and fill the barrels. See our America.

I don’t know if following Dick and Carol up the furrows, and down the assembly lines of this land will change your lives as it has changed ours, but I can guarantee that you will see America as you have never seen it before.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hooked on Books - Merchants of Death

Merchants of Death
by Richard E. Noble
‘Merchants of Death’ is a book published in the 1930’s dealing with the history of the Arms industry. It is rather shocking, but not surprising. It has made me ask the question; What is treasonous in Arms selling - and if not “treasonous” how about simply immoral.

In the beginning no one would consider selling arms or weapons to anyone but their own clan. But in 1576 (and I am sure we can go back earlier than this) we find arms makers in Liege, Belgium, selling arms to the Spanish which were being used to kill their own countrymen. The Germans and Austrians acted similarly during the French Revolution.

Well, next we might ask how about selling defective arms? How about selling defective arms to your own people?

During the Civil War, J. P. Morgan bought rejected, known defective carbines from a government arsenal out west. He paid $3.50 each. Then he sold them as new, to General Fremont for $22.00 each. When the soldiers tried to shoot the Carbines, their thumbs were blown off. Consequently the Government refused to pay Morgan. But after the war, J. P. took the nasty old Government to court, and in a U.S. court of law, J. P. Morgan won his claim to payment on the grounds that a contract, even one involving the purchase of a defective, misrepresented product, was “sacred.” It goes without mentioning that no Civil War soldier was repaid a penny for the loss of his not so sacred thumb.

In 1893 Andrew Carnegie sold defective armor plating to his country; plating that was rejected by government inspectors during the day, and then shipped out at night.

He was caught.

He didn’t go to jail but was fined 15% of the total sales.

After Andrew had a little talk with his good buddy President Cleveland, the fine was cut in half. Again no payment or compensation was made to any of the soldiers and sailors who went down with their unprotected ships.

During the American Revolution a guy by the name of Deane was sent to France to negotiate with the French for weapons for the continental, revolutionary army. He got plenty, and for free.

The French who were, as usual, at odds with the British, gave Deane, for free, all that he wanted. He, in turn, sold them to the Continental Congress for six times their current market value and only added, patriot that he was, a 5% service charge or commission.

This scandal was exposed by Tom Paine and others. But Deane was “exonerated” with the help of some of his other patriotic friends, like both Gouvernor and Robert Morris. In fact, after the smoke cleared, Paine's head was the one put on the block for breaking the code of secrecy the French had demanded in return for their gift of ’free’ arms to the colonies.

During W.W.I and W.W.II numerous companies in the U.S., France, and England conducted business in arms as usual before, DURING, and after these wars with no disgrace to their status, and virtually no public exposure (See Trading with the Enemy by Charles Higham and The American Axis by Max Wallace).

These days American weapons companies are selling to both the Arabs and the Israelis, and if we can project from past history, to the Chinese, the Russians, the Taiwanese, Japanese, and whoever has the where-with-all to purchase them, while we here at home argue over hand gun control, and the morality or immorality of getting a “Lewinski” in the oval office.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Socrates 470399

Socrates (470-399)
by Richard E. Noble

My opinion of Socrates, which, I presume, must have come from my brief inquires into Plato, was that of a moral hero; a man of great principle, who stood up courageously against authoritarianism, and tyranny; a philosopher of the noblest type with a deep love and respect for knowledge in its purest state. Not in the farthest reaches of my deepest cynicism had I ever contemplated Socrates as a Nazi; or somebody who might be inclined to lead others into the militant revolutionary overthrow of a democratic government.

This never occurred to me even though I was aware that Socrates was a political critic and cynic living in what has become to be known as the greatest democracy of all time. So then why it never occurred to me that Socrates didn’t care very much for democracy, is rather shocking to me. How many other rather obvious facts of history am I, or have I been, blind to because of personal preferences or prejudices, or just plain lack of objective insight. I always thought that I was insightful and observant but then again there was that introduction to a U.S. Mail Box and a Campbell’s soup can a little while back. It is amazing.

I must admit that I did always wonder what that charge of “corrupting the youth” was all about.

In any case, if you would like to read a new and extremely interesting point of view in regards to the legacy and memory of Socrates, I recommend a book written by I. F. Stone, the political writer, who should not be confused with the romantic writer, Irving F. Stone.

I. F. Stone did his homework on this one, even going so far as to make a study of the ancient Greek language. As amusing as it seems that radical critic of American Democracy and its political shenanigans, I. F. Stone comes to the aid of the Greek Establishment in their condemnation of the “gad-fly” (more appropriately, great big pain in the butt) Socrates.

This is a real eye opener for Socratophiles. I have no doubt that I am going to read it again, and maybe then once again. It is so filled with common sense, and historical insight that it makes me just want to slap myself in the face, and say wake up, Dumbo!

It is great fun to see not only how un-insightful one can really be, but even more fun to have a darn spotlight turned onto your gropings at the bedroom night table.(Speaking of bedrooms and gropings, we won’t even get into Alcibiades).

I really enjoyed this one. I have no doubt that I will be looking for more books by I. F. Stone.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sex is Normal

Sex is Normal?
by Richard E. Noble
I have always had a problem with the concept or definition of the word normal. People are prone to say things like; “That just ain’t normal ... why that’s against human nature ... leave that boy alone, Ethel - he is just being a normal all-American boy.” But what is normal anyway?
Normal is what everybody else does. As long as you do as everybody else does, you will be considered normal. In this country you can do a heck of a lot of weird things and still be considered normal. You can wear rings in your ears and that is perfectly normal within a certain group - be they male or female. But, if you stick a bone through your nose, you will probably be considered abnormal - even at a rock festival. You can grow your hair long or short; you can color it purple; you can shave it all off; you can shave just some of it off and leave parts of it growing here and there; you can even carve little slogans into your scalp - like; “Billy-joe dumbo 1991” or “Go Red Devils”. You can do just about anything and still be considered normal - right up until the time that somebody comes up to you and says; “Sir, you have the right to remain silent, anything that you say from this moment on, etc.”
It has always seemed to me that as long as there are enough people performing a certain type of behavior, then, whatever it is that they are doing, is considered normal.
If, for example, you eat spaghetti by snorting each strand up one of the nostrils of your nose, you will probably be considered abnormal. But, if you can get twenty million other people to eat spaghetti in a similar manner, it will not only be considered normal behavior, but probably a social custom and/or national tradition.
My problem is that I seem to have been born with my own personal, built-in genetic sense of what is normal and what is not normal. If it attacks my sensibilities as abnormal then, by golly, it is abnormal even if the whole world is doing it.
For example, let’s take sex. Sex is abnormal. I don’t care how you do it, or who or what you do it with - it is abnormal.
I have always known this - even as a little boy. In fact, I can remember to this day, the first time that another little boy tried to explain to me what my father had done to my mother in order for me to be born. I was very upset, because I knew that the behavior that he had just described was not normal. I knew that my father was much too intelligent and possessed much too much pride in himself to be acting like that. And even if he did have, hidden somewhere deep inside, such a kinky-ness, my mother would never have allowed it.
But, you say, what is so abnormal about sex? Everybody does it and if they didn’t, the human race would have died out long ago. You are exactly right. And clearly, extinction was God’s plan for the human race. But, that is a discussion for another time and another place. Sex is our topic here; its normalcy or ab-normalcy - as one Republican president would have put it, many decades past.
To get a clearer grasp of the abnormalcy of sex let change things around slightly.
What if, at a certain age - let’s call it fool-berty - every time a little boy looked upon a pretty little girl, his big toe suddenly and mysteriously swelled up to three times it’s normal size. Is this normal? Would any of you consider this normal? I think not, but let us continue.
Let’s say that each and every time this little boy sees this pretty little girl, he is struck by an overpowering desire to run up to this pretty little girl and rub his big, swollen toe into her right ear. IS THIS NORMAL? Tell me, in all honesty, DO YOU THINK THAT THIS IS NORMAL?
Let us continue. Let us hypothesize that if this little girl allows this little boy to rub his swollen big toe into this little girl’s right ear, there is the distinct possibility that her head - over a period of months - will swell up to two, or maybe three, times its normal size; AND, at the end of a nine month period, an eight to twelve pound baby will be secreted, forcibly, through one of the nostrils of her nose - right nostril, it is a boy; left nostril, it is a girl. This is normal? This sounds normal to you? Even if it happened to everybody would this seem normal to you? Come on? You all know better. Deep down inside you all know, as well as I do, that sex just isn’t normal. Despite Alexander Pope, just because something is - that don’t make it right. You know it; and I know it. I can just hear the conversation in the back seat of that old Chevy right now;
“Okay Leroy! Just keep your shoes on.”
“But . . . but . . . you just don’t understand how this feels - look.”
“I don’t want to look at your big toe, you moron. Just keep that thing tucked in your sock; besides, I have an ear ache.”
“Oh come on? It won’t hurt. Nothing will happen.”
“Yeah, right . . . you’re not the one whose head is going to swell up. How would you like to have a bowling ball stuffed up your nose?”
Now seriously, my friends, what is the difference here? All that I did was change around a few body parts here and there. Clearly using the proper body parts makes this no saner an act or circumstance. The whole situation is totally absurd. This so called
normal sexual behavior is just as ludicrous no matter what body parts we substitute.
Let’s get real! The baby grows on the inside of the woman? Then this eight or twelve pound monstrosity is forced out of the woman’s body via a hole the size of a walnut? THIS IS NORMAL! As that goofy looking guy on the TV would say - give me a break will you please.
Let’s wake up and smell the roses here. God is trying to tell us all something but we just aren’t listening.
You see, after Adam and Eve screwed up in the Garden of Eden, God decided that the human race was just a big mistake. He was going to put Adam and Eve to sleep, but He just didn’t have the heart. Sure they were dumb, disobedient, and a total pain in the butt, yet they were, nevertheless, kind of cute - in a stupid sort of way. Instead of simply destroying Adam and Eve, He decided on another course. He would make sex, and the process of reproducing, such a ridiculous, embarrassing, idiotic, and physically painful experience, that no human being in its right mind would actually consider it an option. But as you all can see, God severely overestimated man’s sense of dignity and self-respect, and woman’s innate curiosity and obvious masochistic tendencies.
In any case, sex, no matter how it is practiced - with whom or with whatever - has always been a clear perversion of God’s Plan as far as I am concerned. Whether you are a heterosexual, a homosexual, a bisexual, a mono or mano-sexual, a shoe or sox fetish-ist, or find yourself attracted to watermelons; whether you choose the missionary position, the military position, the Marquis de Sade position, the Monica Lewenski position or even the Abu Ghraib prisoner of war position - you are all a bunch of perverts to me.
My personal philosophy with regards to sex is pretty much the same as the philosophy of most of the girls that I have dated throughout my lifetime. I don’t care how you do it, or who does it better - just so long as you don’t try to do it to me. YOU GET ME!
And that does mean YOU! Any of you!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Jews History

Jews – History

by Richard E. Noble

In this process of my self-education - and I must educate myself, because no one else has the patience - as far as history, philosophy, theology, science ... man, just about everywhere you turn, there are Jews. So I decided that I had to read some books about the Jews.
I followed the Jews back to Moses. But there is a controversy about Moses. They are not even sure he really existed. But Mark Twain helped me out there. Mark said that if Moses didn’t really exist, there was probably someone around about the same time with the same name.
So okay, we have Moses, “the Law giver”. But Moses wasn’t the first Jew. Moses was found floating down the river by an Egyptian Princess who took him home and raised him as an Egyptian Prince. Moses has it made; but Moses messes up. He gets into a fight with an Egyptian Foreman who is whipping a Jewish bricklayer whom the foreman feels is screwing up one of the pyramids or something. Moses wins, but he wins too good. The other guy is dead. Moses then tries to defend and explain himself, but the only people who agree and understand his point of view are Jews - kind of like the 0. J. Simpson trial. So Moses heads for the hills, and moves in with a bunch of Jews.
But then I ask myself, if Moses wasn’t the first Jew, I mean, he was no Buddha. There were Jews all around even before Moses showed up at the construction site. So who was the first Jew, and where did all this Jew stuff really begin?
So I find the oldest Jewish historian that I can find, a guy by the name of Flavius Joesephus - no relation to Bo-sephus, the red-neck country guy. This is Joe-sephus. This guy is a story in himself we will do something on him another time. But, in any case, I start reading in order to find out who the first Jew in history really was. And this book written by Josephus starts off like this:
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
It’s the Bible, man! Can you believe it? According to Josephus, the first Jew is Adam and the first Jewish Princess is Eve. Now I wish that this Josephus had done a little more research, because I’m wondering now, was God really Jewish, Himself?
But whatever, the first man and woman were Jewish. Well, I’ll be damned, who would have thunk it? And if that is the case, then we are all basically Jews. I mean everybody!
But what if I don’t want to be Jewish, I don’t even have one of them little beanies. The Pope even has one. But why shouldn’t he? He’s just as Jewish as all the rest of us.
I just don’t get it. If everybody is Jewish, what has everybody been arguing and killing one another about for all of these centuries?
More books to read, I guess. You know, I’m beginning to think that there is no end to all this reading and educating business. You’d think if God wanted me to know all of this stuff, He would have created me as an Encyclopedia salesman or Funkend Wagnall or somebody like that.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Greeks- Philosophy

The Greeks - Philosophy
by Richard E. Noble
You can’t have an interest in philosophy and not be exposed to the Greeks. In fact, you can’t have an interest in learning and not be exposed to the Greeks. I have in my love of learning and knowledge read a lot of Greeks and about a lot of Greeks. I’ve read the playwrights Euripides, Sophocles, and Aeschylus. I have, of course, read Plato and Aristotle, and I have always been fascinated by the life and trial of the great moral thinker, Socrates. I’ve read about Greek wars, Greek Coliseums, Greek art, Greek everything. At least that is what I thought. Then just a few months ago, I picked up an old book at a yard sale, and once again, as happens so often in reading, I was made to feel like a complete imbecile. The book dealt with Greek love. Now I don’t know why it had never occurred to me that the Greeks were somewhat unique in their love making habits. I have heard all of the jokes about Greek style love and the Greeks with their ‘backwards’ ways, but yet it never sunk in. And I can honestly say that in all of my Greek studies, I can not remember Plato, or Aristotle, or Socrates ever mentioning the subject. Needless to say, I was shocked. By our American standards the Greeks were a whole nation of perverts. We here in the States believe that for every man there is a woman, the Greeks, I’m told, believed that for every man there was a cute young teenage boy. They actually had public debates as to who made the better lover, a woman or a young boy. The book goes on about a well known affair between Socrates and some young seductor of his. I can’t believe it!
I mentioned this to a well read friend of mine and he said … so what?
So what?
Is he kidding me?
I mean this changes everything. This puts all of those Greeks statues of the naked guys throwing a discus, or leaning on their elbow thinking, into a whole new dementia. What’s that naked guy sitting there thinking about? Why the hell is he naked? Why are all of these guys running around nude? Why all the statues of nude... GUYS? Why was Socrates’s wife always out in the street nagging her husband to come home and stop playing with all of his young ‘students’. I can’t believe it! I am totally shocked! And now I have to wonder, was it really the lovely face of Helen that launched a thousand ships... or was it Harold?
My God!

Thursday, January 12, 2006



When I was little, I had a friend.

We said that we would be friends,
     … until the end.

We didn’t lie.

And when he died,
     … I cried and I cried
… and I cried.

Richard E. Noble

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Cattle Theory
by Richard E. Noble
The cattle are all grazing in a pasture not far off from the farmer’s house and barn. One of the cattle wanders away from the herd. He ends up grazing in a patch of tall grass just behind the barn. Suddenly he hears the farmer’s voice. The farmer is talking to the butcher. They are negotiating a price for the cattle. The bargaining is tight and in the debate the butcher bemoans the depressed price of meat and the excess of hides for sale at the market. By the end of the negotiation a price for the cattle is agreed upon. The butcher hauls off a load of squealing pigs, and the farmer returns to the farm house with a freshly killed chicken for supper as a celebration.
The steer, who was silently grazing behind the barn, is in total shock. He can not believe what he has just overheard. He runs back to the pasture where all of his compatriots are grazing peacefully.
“You are not going to believe this!” he screams. “I have just overheard farmer Jones. He is about to sell us all to a butcher. The butcher is going to slit our throats, drain our blood, cut and grind our flesh, and sell it to other humans for food. They are going to pickle our brains and tongues, boil our hooves for glue, make chip dip out of our livers, kill and fry our babies. They are even going to tan our hides and make clothing out of our skins. These humans are insane beasts. It is all a trick! The farmer only cares for us and shows concern for our health to fatten us up for the kill. He feeds us cheep free grass, and then sells our flesh, blood, and bones by the pound to other of his horrid merciless human neighbors. Our friends, the pigs, have already gone off to their deaths, and I saw with my own eyes the slaughter of a defenseless chicken. The farmer grabbed the poor thing up by the feet and then with one blow, lopped off its head on a stump. It was the most horrid thing that I have ever seen in my life. We must do something! We must unite. We must organize against the human beasts before it is too late and we are all hopelessly murdered and slaughtered.”
The cattle in the pasture all simultaneously lifted their heads and moo-oaned...
“Oh no, not another conspiracy theory!”