Punchinello’s Chronicles

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Essays

Choice Creates the Concept of Freedom
Trying to define “freedom” is a major problem because it isn’t a thing. It’s not an entity, nor is it an attribute of something, like an adjective. It’s a measure. A measure of choice. Freedom is a result of choice, not the other way around.

Understanding Passion
Lots of people want to find “the reason,” the cause for all the confusion in life these days. It must be the economy, the real estate markets, the war on terrorism, a screwed up government, the Republicans, the Democrats, global warming. It must be a sign from God that we’re about to all be punished, thrown into Armageddon or otherwise boiled in oil. And then, along comes the idea of passion.

Happiness
Just as love is different from passion, so too is happiness different from joy. So many of us search for happiness, yet how many of us know what we’re looking for? What’s the meaning of happiness? How does it work? Is it really that hard to find?

Dealing with Fear
In these troubled times, more and more people will be afraid, anxious, frightened, and wondering what will happen to them. Although Mr. Obama would like to be seen as Franklin D. Roosevelt, he comes to office in a very difficult, much more complex world. And yet, it’s true that the “only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” This is an essay on the nature of fear, and how we can work against it when we understand that nature.

Seeing Shades of Gray
All my life I’ve heard that I see things in black and white; that I don’t allow for shades of gray. I’m told that these two metaphorical ways of viewing reality are the ONLY two ways. If I make an immediate analysis of something, I’m seeing things in black and white. People tell me I need to think “outside the box,” or some such stupidity. What about seeing in color?

Humor, Ignorance & the Coming Reality Crisis
Way too many people in today’s world take things literally and superficially. We live in what many would call The Age of Narcissism, with a comensurate lack of capacity for empathy. To the narcissist, only their own thoughts and beliefs are actually real. They don’t understand humor, and certainly aren’t able to laugh at themselves. Is it lack of humor? Or a fundamental inability to distinguish reality?

The Anatomy of Liberalism

Fear: The Basis for Liberalism — What drives the ideology of liberalism, also known as progressive thought? Why do some people enter adulthood wanting socialism or communism, and others choose conservative ideas and capitalism? College students usually are liberals, until they start owning possessions; then they become conservatives.

Expert Credentials: The Liberal Argument — Conservatives continually lose in arguments, or come off badly because they don’t understand the underlying philososophic arguments made by liberals. Take anyone, elevate them to the status of expert simply by saying so. Then find a single contradiction or inconsistency in that person’s life, and Bang!…they’re no longer credible or worth listening to.

The Mommy-Daddy State — Parents today are only a banker. Anything at all a child wants or needs, the parents find it easier to just buy it, pay for it, or have the child go buy it themselves. Nobody saves up to buy something, and lots of kids learn early that instant gratification and credit cards are the solution to everything. And so we now have a government exactly like the mommy and daddy we grew up with.

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