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Belly Bob

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Belly Bob last won the day on July 1

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  1. 4.8 million people voted. 500 did so illegally. The overwhelming majority of those 500 were ineligible to vote because of their felony records. It doesn't sound like ILLEGAL INVADERS are doing much at the polls. So I doubt that the Democrats are trying to overwhelm the borders with ILLEGAL INVADERS in order to secure their votes. But I guess it's fun to ask the question for the hundredth time.
  2. In LA, the Hollywood Bowl is worth checking out. You can bring your own wine and food and get drunk on the lawn as the sun goes down and the breeze rolls in, bringing that cool ocean air. Big Sur is beautiful. In SF, I can recommend touring the Anchor Brewery. It has been 15 years or so since I've been there, but when I went, it was all you could drink once the tour ended. And they make some good beer. I used to take the bus home afterwards. If you cross the bridge to Berkeley, the campus there is very nice. It's built into the hills. You can take an elevator to the top of the tower and take in the campus and the city and the Bay from up there. In the city of Berkeley itself, Jupiter is good place to take your pints. You can sit outside around a fire. Berkeley and SF have plenty of good places to eat. You won't have any trouble finding good food in either place.
  3. You want half of the porn stars you meet to be Ron Jeremy? That's a surprise.
  4. Dinner? Socrates and Jesus. But I would like to have listened to Beethoven work the keys. And I would like to have chatted with the suicides -- van Gogh, Hemingway, etc. -- just in case.
  5. I meant what I said, but Bach's Concerto for Two Violins has always hit me like a knife through the heart.
  6. I haven't read his stuff myself, but I have a friend who recommends Raymon Moody's works. My friend's view is that the empirical evidence Moody presents for an afterlife is interesting but unconvincing.
  7. I haven't had the same experience, but I have had more experiences that I would describe as experiences of God. It may sound lame, but I feel God's presence -- or maybe I should say, so as not to beg the question against my atheist friends, that I feel as if God is present to me -- in nature, in the soughing of trees, for example; in great works of art, like certain Beethoven compositions; and in certain thoughts, like the vastness of the universe; and in the love of others, like when my wife took care of me through the horrors of cancer, of three major surgeries, of radiation and chemotherapy. Sometimes she'd work all day long and then have to run me to the ER in the middle of the night and then she'd stay with me there all night long. And she'd dress my wounds and help me to the bathroom and give me shots to thin my blood, and she'd do all kinds of other horrifying things to keep me clean and well. I find God in those things, and try to look for experiences like that everyday, and I try to hold onto them when I find them, and I try to remember them when it's hard to find new ones. But I also believe that God is mostly hidden from us. That's part of the Christian tradition to which I belong. And it coheres well with my experiences. What about you? What's your story?
  8. I think it's well confirmed that IQ correlates with graduation rates, employment, income, criminality, and so on. But it's just one factor. There are lots of traits a person could have (or lack) that would help him find success across a wide range activities. And there there are factors that aren't properly traits of a person but which predict success across a wide range of activities. How much money your parents have is probably a good predictor of success. I'm sure there are things you couldn't do if your IQ was very low. And I'm sure there are things you couldn't do unless your IQ was very high. So I suspect that IQ is worth studying and can help us make sense of the world, but it has become politicized because there's evidence that different racial groups have different mean scores.
  9. I never claimed that a black hole has no purpose. I claimed that it's not at all clear why we should think that everything has a purpose or else nothing does, or that everything has the same purpose. And the fact that the number three is prime won't affect how late I stay up this evening. So I don't think that everything affects everything else. Let's try not to ruin this thread.
  10. Why are we supposed to believe that each thing has a purpose or else nothing does, or that each thing has one and the same purpose? We understand biological organism, for example, by determining their purpose or function in a broader biological system. We figure out what a liver is by figuring out what it's supposed to do for the organism of which it is a part. People in social roles, to use another example, uncontroversially have purposes. It's not too difficult to figure out what the purpose of an oncologist is, for example. But it's not at all obvious that the smudge on the corner of my computer screen has a purpose.
  11. In my late twenties, I was house-sitting for a professor of mine and I couldn't sleep and I started to have what I believe was a panic attack. I'm not an anxious person in general -- quite the opposite -- and I won't go into what I was anxious about, but my heart started beating so hard that I thought it was going come out of my chest and I couldn't catch my breath and I thought that I was dying and I was thinking about calling 911 but I didn't want to be embarrassed if the EMTs showed up and there was nothing wrong with me, so I started praying. I was a staunch atheist at the time. But I started praying for God to help me, and I was suddenly overcome with the feeling of being loved and of being protected and of being safe. And the anxiety passed. And that event was the beginning of my turn toward theism. My mom tells a story that when she was in high school, her boyfriend and her brother went on a camping trip, and while they were gone, she had a dream that her boyfriend had died. And it turned out that on the way home from the trip, the two got into a bad car accident and her boyfriend didn't make it.
  12. I know. ILLEGAL INVADERS, Marxists, Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder, abortion is murder, the Republicans freed the slaves, the Democrats started the KKK, Obama was a bad guy -- read all about it yet again today on the OT forum.
  13. @Drummer61 is the new @Scottdale is the new @Sportsnut. We all need yet another instance of the same story that was posted yesterday and the day before that and the day before that etc. etc. etc.
  14. I appreciate your threads and I think it's a shame that threads like yours get buried so quickly under the daily dross of our OT forum.
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