Bob Schwartz

TFZ (Trump-Free Zone)?

I intend and promise to make this blog a TFZ (Trump-Free Zone). Very soon. Maybe. For a while. I run away from my favorite news channels, sometimes for hours, while he is showcased. So I understand not to contribute to the overexposure.

But to torture the famous words of St. Augustine:

Lord make this blog a Trump-Free Zone. But not yet.

Thanks for your patience.

The Moral and Legal Responsibilities of Bringing a Wild and Dangerous Animal Into Your House

No one can force you to adopt a wild and dangerous animal as your pet. To bring it into your house. To make it your own. If you do go ahead, against all advice, know the responsibilities.

Some animals are so inherently dangerous that they are not even allowed to be adopted at all. In other cases, if the animal harms or looks like it might harm neighbors, or gets loose and does more widespread damage, you will be blamed. Here is a very rough statement of part of the general law on the subject:

The owner or keeper of a domestic animal has a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent injuries that are foreseeable because the animal belongs to a class of animals that is naturally inclined to cause such injuries, regardless of whether the animal had previously caused an injury or was roaming at large and, accordingly, the owner may be held liable for negligence if he or she fails to take such reasonable steps and an injury results.

Some will say, oh, but it’s so cute and exotic and interesting. It’s the talk of the town. It may seem relatively normal, even lovable, at times. It may even be featured on the local news.

But eventually, neighbors will say: stay away from that house. And will tell others to stay away from your house. And if it does the kind of serious damage you know it is capable of, how will you live with yourself?

Why We Should Teach and Learn Ancient History First

Children in America who attend some sort of religious school, even before going to secular school, may learn some limited sort of ancient history. Ancient in that it concerns purported people and events from millennia ago. Limited in that some number of those people and events, however instructional and enlightening, may be of some historical question.

There is other ancient history worth teaching our kids early, and catching up with ourselves, just in case we missed it in our own education. There are continuous civilizations all around the world that have been ongoing, in the same place, also for millennia.

China, for example. Or India. Or the native populations in the Americas. This is where education should start, before we start talking about admittedly important people arriving on these North American shores and establishing an admittedly important nation just a few centuries ago.

Why? Because it would give us a sense of perspective on what we have, or have not, achieved so far. And because it would give us a missing sense of the scope of history, in that everything comes and goes. Which you could learn from the history of China. Or you could learn from reading the I Ching, the book about things changing, written in China millennia ago. Or if you prefer something more Western and familiar, from reading the Bible itself. A time for every purpose, it says. And so it goes.

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding?

Coldplay Glastonbury

After watching the chaos surrounding the Trump rally in Chicago on TV, I surfed and came across a Coldplay concert, which served to cleanse my soul.

The huge crowd at Glastonbury looked very happy. I wondered if, when the political conventions are held this summer, we can magically replace them with music festivals.

Coldplay performed Wonderful World, and then that anthem of making things better, Fix You:

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

I thought about other positive music I love. Like Elvis Costello’s (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding? What is?

As I walk on through this wicked world,
Searching for light in the darkness of insanity,
I ask myself, is all hope lost?
Is there only pain, and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
There’s one thing I wanna know,
What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?
What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?

And as I walked on through troubled times,
My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes,
So where are the strong?
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony

‘Cause each time I feel it slipping away, just makes me wanna cry,
What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?
What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?