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Parallel Worlds and Skew : Essays and Reflections: Essays and Reflections

By Johnson, Kevin, Wade

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Book Id: WPLBN0100749959
Format Type: PDF eBook:
File Size: 0.1 MB
Reproduction Date: 9/17/2023

Title: Parallel Worlds and Skew : Essays and Reflections: Essays and Reflections  
Author: Johnson, Kevin, Wade
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, General Works (Periodicals, Series, idexes, Almanacs, etc.)
Collections: Authors Community, Literature
Publication Date:
Publisher: Self-Published
Member Page: Kevin Johnson


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Wade Johnson, B. K. (2023). Parallel Worlds and Skew : Essays and Reflections. Retrieved from

Originally a blog, now 300-plus essays and articles on subjects from critical thinking to history to relationships to humor, with a little politics. (Updated September 24, 2023 to fix a typo.) As with all my works, it's free to read, download and share; but all other rights are retained by the author (the book is copyrighted)

Ten years work and 150,000 words on subjects from critical thinking to history to relationships to humor

Define "Great" "America's the greatest!" "Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time." "William Shakespeare is the greatest writer of the English language." No one can argue with those sentiments, can they?  No one can argue with wanting greatness, right?  Everyone's in favor, right?  You all agree…right? After the most recent (March 2017) Super Bowl, there's been a lot of commentary about the winning quarterback being the greatest ever.  But Otto Graham took his team to the championship every year he played, and still has the highest overall winning percentage.  Bart Starr has as many championships as Brady (or more, depending how you're counting), and the highest playoff winning percentage.  So, one of them is the greatest…right? I wrote about Shakespeare being the greatest near the end of the Decisions section; I think there's general consensus on that, but not everyone agrees.  Not everyone agrees on any of these.  And the reason is because it depends on how you define "great." Income inequality, social safety nets, military prowess, individual freedoms, degree of regulation, economic strength, education levels…there are a ton of factors to rate a country on.  What about morality?  How close do its actions hew to moral correctness?  And which system of morality?  Which you choose will determine how great you think a nation is. Moving on…winning?  Role-modeling?  Versatility?  Longevity?  Innovation?  Which of those do you think makes a quarterback great?  I tend to love how much they innovated, myself, and always favor Johnny Unitas for inventing the two-minute offense.  (I also put a lot of strength into role-modeling; given my long career in the Defense Department, it shouldn't surprise you that I think the "greatest" football player of the last few decades was Pat Tillman.)  But not everyone values what I do.  (That's for sure.) My previous Shakespeare entry gives you an idea of what I think makes for a great writer.  But others may value other factors: prolificacy (yes, that's the noun for being prolific), sales, weightiness of themes, literary references, innovation, or any number of other things.  (What I like most of all is whether they give me a sense of wonder; but what I like is irrelevant, a matter of taste rather than quality.  Or greatness.) I think about these things too much, and analyze not just why I think someone or something is great, but what I consider the factors of greatness to be.  (I think about and analyze everything too much.  But at least it gives me a lot to write about.) Still, if you have at least some idea of what factors you value, you can turn arguments into discussions, and then exchange ideas and gain insights, on what makes America, or anything else, great.  Which not only increases understanding, but might show you the path you yourself want to follow, to approach, if not attain, greatness.

Table of Contents
Decisions Hard Choices Meyer's Law and No Regrets A Calm, Rational Discussion of Gun Control—Hah! A Historical Look at Gun Control Social Controls, Culture, and Gun Violence When Fear Might Overwhelm Time's Running Out Leave It to Kevin Buy, Baby, Buy Buy A Darned Good Farmer Sound Bites and Simple Solutions The Insidiousness of Depression The Beatles in Perspective Nothing to Do/No One to See Pretty? Not at All Get a Horse? Barbarians Setting a Societal Minimum Barbarians II Lawyers and Statesmen True Believers Leavings of a Life A Creation Created Long Days, Nights Reading Is Thinking? Try Not to Look Like a Nail Under the Knife Fragile The Society and Culture Curve "Progress" Mind, Emotion, and Making Decisions Fearful Decisions Sometimes All We Can Do Is Endure Women as Role Models for Men Get the _________ You Deserve Politics of Entitlement What Do You "Deserve"? Acumen or Authority? Socialism's Fatal Flaw The End of Capitalism? How Well, Not How Long Life-or-Death, Split-Second, Go! No Smoking If You'd Been Through What I've Been Through… We Aren't Scandinavia Don't Follow Your Dreams (Follow Your Talents) Politicians and the Perception Game What Socialism Means to Me Digital Groceries Throwing Caution to the Winds Class and Distinction Dumbocracy Who Needs a Rear-View Mirror? Skin. Deep. Ration the Passion It Does Not Loom "All Lives Matter" Misses the Point Science! Constraint Gentle on Our Times 1, 2, 3, Many Principle vs. Pragmatism vs. Expediency Why I Dislike Politicians Very Important The Truth Hurts, But Post-Truth Hurts More Galileo, Darwin, 2020 Environmentalism Is a Matter of Degree How Green Is My Alley Representative Democracy Art/Artist A Note on Punishment The Rule of Law Justice and the Law A Consideration of Cultural Conservatism Culture Wars Cell Phones and Culture Wars Culture of Deceit So Get Over It Already We Are Our Choices It All Comes Down to Eating Words of Power Where Does God Draw the Line? I Am Nothing I Am Someone Meaning in an Uncaring Universe: As Above, So Below It's All About Potential Redemption Culture Democracy and Power Democracy and Power II Half My Life Results > Intent Unconscious Bias Enforcement Presidential Power, and a Cushion I Wouldn't Call It Privilege He Stood Tall and Strong Our Future in the Past Typhoid Mary(s) Let Me Help You with the Covid-19 Risk Assessment Covid Percentages Vaccination Percentages Infection by Status Conclusion I Conclusion II GMO All Natural! Unfaithfulness Independence Car Democracy's Weakness "American" Disinformation "Have the Guts to Betray" Where We Should Spend the Money Uncharted Territory The #1 Thing You Can Do for the Environment What Bites Bureaucracies Books, Movies, Dune A Vision of Loveliness Are You "Cool"? Summer's End Wasted Years Staring Beauty Is in the Eye Choose Beauty Inferior Superior? A Baker's Dozen Epigrams It Only Hurts When I Care The Bureaucratic No Background Noise The Logical Endpoint of Voting Restrictions Time Raised on Television Celebrity Culture Wants < Needs Invalidating Experiences Echo Chambers? Better Death than Dishonor? A Quarrel with Quibbles Make Do Complaining A Century's Perspective Life on Fast-Forward It's All an Adventure Till Someone Gets Hurt Blame, Guilt, Embarrassment, Shame Part 1: Blame Part 2: Guilt Part 3: Embarrassment Part 4: Shame The Greatest Writer of the English Language Time to Let Go What's the Point? Ephemera A Moment in Time Bubbles in My Backyard Critical Thinking Facts vs. Judgment Evolution and Science Facts, Theories, Judgments, Opinions, and Beliefs Part 1: Beliefs Part 2: Opinions Part 3: Judgments Part 4: Theories Part 5: Facts I Part 6: Facts II The Big Lie In the Cross Hairs Facts vs. Bias "Not in My Experience" Not So Fast, Nessie Just One Blade of Grass 1/6: An Unconventional Angle Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 George Washington, Edward G. Robinson, and Insurrections "News" A Moment in Time That Years-Ago Grin History, and Some Beowulf A Word Shows Historical Change Luddites He Never Saw It Coming Caesar The Seventies and How They Turned Out That Way The Struggle for America's Soul, Part V A Desert Analogy An Unlettered "Barbarian" in the White House Statues and Shortsightedness Have You Heard of Isaac Murphy? I'm Telling You, Jack, It's Every Tom, Dick, and Harry Cowboys of Color Hiroshima Towering Complacency Twenty Years and Two Days Only Somewhat Supreme A Judge's Misjudgment? From Republic to Empire "Black Death" Halyards and Carburetors Spoiled vs. Entitled Hollywood History Man on Horseback The Nuclear Lesson Progress Is a Modern Concept Part 1 Part 2 "Hapax Legomenon" Lost to Time A Very Simplified Introduction to Understanding China The Redcoats Are Coming! Basic Napoleonic Tactics Two Hundred Years? A Moment in Time When I Look into Your Eyes Rating Presidents Rating Presidents Rating Presidents: Washington Rating Presidents: FDR Value Judgments Worst Election Ever? Rating Presidents: Nixon Rating Presidents Plus: John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Elitism vs. Common Man Even Today Rating Presidents: Lincoln Outsider Presidents Rating Presidents: Ford, Carter, Obama Rating Presidents: One Who Wasn't, Colin Powell Rating Presidents: Not Quite Rating George W. Bush Rating Presidents: Clinton Rating Presidents: Reagan Rating Presidents: LBJ How Presidents Get Hammered by Historians Rating Presidents: The Seven Worst? So What Do We Expect from a President? A "Better" Country A Moment in Time That Little Heart, Beating So Fast Leadership "Hey [Expletive]!" Learning the Wrong Lesson Mama Boss Breaking Point Discussion Production: No Deflection or Reflection Obligation and Duty A Moment in Time Water Always Wins Relationships The Two Required Words in Relationships Hearts Like Cement T-Man: Relationship Power Ratios Alone Isolation Alienated Friends or Family? Is It Love? Is It Love? Us Against the World Hey Good-Lookin' Looks Warmth in the Night Growing into Ourselves Forgive? Or Forget? Liking and Loving Don't Always Go Together Flirting Incorruptible Love Polyamory May-December Outta My League I Made Love to a Dinosaur A Moment in Time She Cried Everyone Is the Hero of Their Own Story Relationships Sexual Harassment Leadership Bullying Narcissism Dishonor A Historical Example: "The Slave Power" A Moment in Time Lord of the Clouds Self-Identity Who Are You? Memory Who's in Control? Blame, Guilt, and Control Wired for Grief "How Well You Run!" Making Widgets? Wait, I'm the Smart One Failed Yet? "Failure Is Not an Option" Cheating Those Shining Years of Childhood Validation? Real ____________ Who Do You Identify With? Who Do You "Other"? A Moment in Time Rain Life Events The Pond Next Door The Ragged Edges of Death Almost Fatherhood It's Not What You've Got (Farewell) Our Song Bonus Time Outliving Your Loved Ones One Way Forward A Word on Weddings Just Believe? Pretty Death Still I'm Sad Slipping Through My Fingers Is It Worth Dying For? Magical Thinking Frightening Shock to the System I Am a Rock God Broth A Moment in Time 220 Volts, Right Through the Heart Memorial Bring Out Your Dead Cousins Life and Love are Warmth—Farewell, Dearest Friend Crisis in Heaven Plastic Animals Not Much of a Life Living with Sadness Death? Unacceptable A Moment in Time Broken Handle Pets and Fostering Daddy's Best Boy A Skittish Cat Surf Dog Child's Best Friend To Our Current Foster Dogs Such an Aggravating Dog That Cat Taught Me a Lesson Destination: Oblivion Emotional Relativity They Don't Understand I Wish I Could Promise Him Safety Walking the Gravel Don't Give a Pet for Christmas Saved! Girl Power? Goodbye, Baby Lose Again Nobody's Girl A Moment in Time Miles and Miles Holiday Martin Luther King Day "I Have a Dream," He Said Valentine's Day A Loyal Heart Spring Equinox A Fine, Exquisite Equinox Memorial Day Memorial Flowers and Graves Memories, After They Died to Keep Us Free Juneteenth My Freedom, and Ours Why Juneteenth? Summer Solstice So Long, Solstice July 4th No Taxation without Representation The Nobility of Freedom Why Freedom Matters Labor Day Labor Autumnal Equinox An Equinox in the Balance Veterans Day In Flanders Fields Veterans Day November Rain and Chill Courage Winter Solstice The True Meaning of Solstice Christmas The Most Loneliest Time of the Year A Moment in Time Snowflakes LGBTQ Transympathy Gender Identity A Moment in Time Magic Is All Around Words High Summer, High Noon We Were Meant to Be Together "Culling the Herd" Honey Sugar Sweetheart Objective/Subjective "Ecstatic" A Moment in Time Fire Flies Netiquette Define "Great" Taste vs. Quality Taste vs. Quality and Reviews Taste vs. Quality and Authors (Like Me) A Moment in Time Mystic Highway KWJ's Laws KWJ's First Law KWJ's Second Law What Doesn't Kill You…KWJ's Third Law You—Today! And KWJ's Third Law Sitcom Advice, and KWJ's Fourth Law KWJ's Fifth Law: If You Have to Ask the Question… KWJ's Sixth Law: You'll Never Get Better… KWJ's Seventh Law A Moment in Time Soaring Humor Fifty Shades of Old Bay This Internet (of) Thing(s) The Singing Sword… Efficient English! Two Dozen Non-Epigrams All Light Nong Unintelligent Design A Moment in Time Warm Me A Curious Feeling An Unexpected Visit I Survived Forgotten How Would I Like to Be Remembered A Moment in Time A Flight I Never Imagined Poetry Shadowed Train Song Have a Heart But She Never Believes A Seussian Valentine's Poem?! Lay Me Down in Winter A Moment in Time "So What's This?" About the Author "Legend"


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