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Final Word

Sadly, Robert Shelby died of natural causes on the morning of March 15th, 2016. A memorial is planned for Saturday April 30th at 2pm in the Benicia Public Library’s Doña Benicia room. All are invited.

Introduction To “Self.” (Transtheism over belief v. disbelief.) 244 —Robert M. Shelby, 10-10-14. [879 txt wds]

To slightly paraphrase Jalal-ud-din Rumi: One day, you will find yourself outside this world which is like a mother’s womb, to enter, while yet in the body, indefinite vastness, and know that from there come saints and sages. Distinction between religiosity and spirituality is a subject I treated for many years. I find that Sam […]

Financial predation. 243 —Robert M. Shelby, 10-8-14. [845 txt wds]

[C.J. Polychroniou, interviewing Noam Chomsky (Truthout, via Alternet 10-7-14.)] C.J.P. asks: “Since the late 1970s, most advanced economies have returned to predatory capitalism. As a result, income and wealth inequality have reached spectacular heights, poverty is becoming entrenched, [world] unemployment is skyrocketing and standards of living are declining. In addition, “really existing capitalism” is causing […]

Endurance, or departure? 242 —Robert M. Shelby, 10-5-14. [300 txt wds]

In the few years left to my life, I will be happy to contemplate being out of this world that holds so many people who call themselves “conservative” but  who really mean they oppose social progress and any improvement of the common lot save what they wrongly think should “trickle down” from them, the wealthiest. […]

How do we come to this? 241 —Robert M. Shelby, 10-3-14. [565 txt wds]

When, like me, our octogenarian and still older folks were kids back in the nineteen twenties and thirties, most Republicans were still sensible people who meshed with the common life of our communities. Of course, there were already a few nut cases, heads-in-cloud evangelicals, rich folks overcome with greed or the imagined superiority of wealth, […]

American Malaise, the U.S. Malady! 240 —Robert M. Shelby, 10-1-14. [1020 txt wds]

This is being written from my wit’s end. It feels as if I write from the middle of Bedlam. These United States of America have become a madhouse. To some degree they always were, but, in the last thirty years, insanity has worsened acutely, dramatically, exponentially. Today we are poised in a moment of calm […]

Sky parents, airy allies? 239 —Robert M. Shelby, 9-30-14. [414 txt wds]

Recently a writer struggling with mentality, and needing to pose as if proposing a useful idea, wrote an article claiming that a need to believe in God may be inborn, that is, hard-wired in the human nervous system. I’m much more inclined to suppose cultural evolutionary survival as a basis for metaphysical ideas than genomic […]

God on trial in Near East. 238 —Robert M. Shelby, 9-28-14. [538 txt wds]

Religion as exemplified by the three “Book Religions,” Judaism, Christendom and Islam, has always been a substitute for knowledge, courage and personal integrity. It works, or fails, as a crutch, a shield, a warm blanket or a tool of navigation in life. Religions have tended to become the enemy of spirituality, not its source. Spirituality […]

Correct name?: Carbon Death Cult! 237 —Robert M. Shelby, 9-27-14. [511 txt wds]

Quite a number of otherwise intelligent citizens here in Benicia take so limited a view of life in this world that they mistake personal, near-term gain for lasting, universal good. To shore up a personal interest in the corporate carbon-fuel complex, they latch it on to community benefit, as if the town’s finances justify playing […]

Ideas of war, war of ideas. 236 –Robert M. Shelby, 9-15-14. [468 txt wds]

So far, no one gives U.S. strategy against ISIL its proper name: Aerial Guerrilla Warfare. Between congressional conservatives and President Obama’s team exists a war of ideas about war. The conservative idea, as usual, is rooted in traditional images reaching back through european history and practice to the Classical Era, even as far back as […]