The Sunday Sermon: “Bertrand Russell’s Message to the Future”

 

I have watched this old video clip many times. I have never read or heard a more condensed, powerful, and comprehensive bit of spoken wisdom. Russell’s message speaks to humans of all religions and no religion. Listen carefully and more than once. Then, share! 🙂

For more information on Bertrand Russell:

Bertrand Russell on Wikipedia

Text of video clip:

“One last question: Suppose, Lord Russell, that this film will be looked at by our descendants, like the Dead Sea scroll, in a thousand years’ time. What would you think it’s worth telling that generation about the life you’ve lived and the lessons you’ve learned from it?

I should like to say two things, one intellectual and one moral. The intellectual thing I should want to say to them is this: When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only what are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed, but look only, and solely, at what are the facts. That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say.

The moral thing I should wish to say to them is very simple. I should say love is wise; hatred is foolish. In this world, which is getting more closely and closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other. We have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don’t like. We can only live together in that way; if we are to live together and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet.”

– Interview of Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher and mathematician and Nobel laureate, on BBC’s Face to Face (1959)

Here is a version of the video with Spanish subtitles:

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My 2014 Blog in Review- Thanks to My Readers for a Great 1st Year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

After deciding to start my blog at the beginning of 2014, I have been diligent to post regularly on a variety of topics. I am very excited to have had readers in 94 countries! Thank you for reading, enjoying, and sharing my posts. Please continue to in 2015! I also mirror some articles on my blogspot site, http://lukeaustindaugherty.blogspot.com/ and Google+.

For all of my articles, poetry, essays, and updates, follow this blog on WordPress AND follow me on all the primary social media sites!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lukeaustindaugherty

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LukraticMethod

Tumblr: http://lukeaustindaugherty.tumblr.com/

2015 will be a big year for me and my readers! I will be publishing my new book, “Love is the Middle,” in the spring. So, be looking for updates.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Under $10 Canadian Whiskey Taste Test Shootout! Mist vs Black Velvet vs Supreme

Under $10 Canadian Whiskey Taste Test -Picture by Luke Austin Daugherty

Under $10 Canadian Whiskey Taste Test: Canadian Mist vs Black Velvet vs Canadian Supreme -Picture by Luke Austin Daugherty

As a lover of whiskeys of all stripes, I thought it would be fun to do a “shootout” between several cheap Canadian blended whiskeys. I set a top price of $10 a bottle (5th) to ensure that only low-brow, bottom-shelf swill (I use those terms  as a terms of endearment) would be included in the battle. Though I have a deep appreciation for fine, expensive whiskeys, I tend to agree with this sagely quote…

“There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others.” -William Faulkner

So, having set the terms, I picked up three bottles from as many sources over the course of several weeks. The three whiskeys tested were:

-Canadian Mist: 80 proof, medium color- I actually grabbed that bottle at Meijer in Plainfied, Indiana with a clearance tag of $6.99 under it, but realized that I was actually charged $9.99 on the receipt a few days later when I pulled the bottle out for my taste test. The Mist website is http://www.canadianmist.com/

-Black Velvet: 80 proof, light in color- I paid $9.99 at Parsley’s Package Liquor Store in Plainfield, Indiana. It used to be only $8.99 until the ownership recently changed hands. You can find out more about Black Velvet at http://www.blackvelvetwhisky.com/

-Canadian Supreme: 80 proof, medium color- (not to be confused with Windsor Supreme Canadian) I grabbed this bottle at Red Barrel in downtown Bloomington, Indiana after playing a singer/songwriter gig down there earlier this month. It was only $7.99 and found on the farthest, dusty corner of the lowest shelf in the store. I found very little about Supreme online, so this bottle may have been on Red Barrel’s bottom shelf since the olden times. Here is one of the few links I found relating to Supreme http://www.barnonedrinks.com/tips/dictionary/c/canadian-supreme-canadian-whisky-2044.html

I invited a good friend and connoisseur of cheap booze, Rob Monninger, over to my house to participate in my cheap whiskey shootout of the ages. We did a “blind” taste test. I gave him three glasses without him knowing which was which. Then, I recorded his feedback and ranking. I had my wife give me the three anonymous glasses when it was my turn and I wrote my own feedback and ranking. We also listened to a couple great jazz albums on YouTube for background music. See the links for our Shootout Soundtrack at the bottom.

Rob Monninger and Luke Austin Daugherty at the Under $10 Canadian Whiskey Taste Test- Picture: Angela Daugherty

Rob Monninger and Luke Austin Daugherty at the Under $10 Canadian Whiskey Taste Test- Picture: Angela Daugherty

Our personal rankings for the whiskeys and aroma(nose)/flavor(mouth) notes are as follows. They are ranked in each person’s order of favorite (#1) to least favorite (#3). Also, we ranked each individually according to our own subjective 0-5 scale of taste and had other various whiskeys on that scale for the sake of general comparison.

Rob’s Personal 0-5 Whiskey Ranking Scale:

0 = Jim Beam, 1= Calvert Extra 2= Evan Williams 3=Jack Daniels 4= Jameson, Johnnie Walker Red Label 5= Johnnie Walker Black Label

Rob’s Taste Test:

1st Place: Canadian Mist- nose: woody, mellow

mouth: sweet bite in a good way, woody aftertaste

3 out of 5 on flavor ranking scale

2nd Place: Black Velvet- nose: not much noticeable, very light aroma

mouth: sweet, crisp flavor, woody aftertaste

2 out of 5 on flavor ranking scale

3rd Place: Canadian Supreme- nose: sweet

mouth: lacking development in flavor, smooth, no real aftertaste,

1 out of 5 on flavor ranking scale

Rob’s Wrap-up: All drinkable, but nothing remarkable

Luke’s Personal 0-5 Whiskey Ranking Scale:

0 = Calvert Extra 1=Evan Williams, Jim Beam 2= J & B, Old Overholt 3= The Glenlivet 12 year, Great King Street 4= Johnnie Walker Black Label 5= The Glenlivet Nadura

Luke’s Taste Test:

1st Place: Black Velvet- nose: slightly woody, warm, sweet/lighter, almost a sherry casked aroma

mouth: crisp with nice, fading finish. Sweet aftertaste

2 out of 5 on flavor ranking scale

2nd Place: Canadian Supreme- nose: oaky, smell the cask, the most aromatic, but, gets harsher when swirled prior to smelling

mouth: Smooth, but lacking complexity. Slightly woody. Medium finish.

1.5 out of 5 on flavor ranking scale

3rd Place: Canadian Mist- nose: unpleasant, thin, rubbing alcohol-esque

mouth: spicy, gets in the nose, burn stays in palate then finishes dry, fairly smooth, tastes better than it smells

1 out of 5 on flavor ranking scale

Luke’s Wrap-up: Nothing to write home about here, but all enjoyable enough if you want some whiskey and only have 10 bucks. All are serviceable in cocktails as well and make a tolerable whiskey and coke.

In summation: Interestingly enough in our subjective worlds, my last place was Rob’s first place. More importantly, we had a great time!

During the taste test, we listened to:

1. Thelonious Monk: Monk’s Dream 

2. Charles Mingus: Moves 

Adventures in Picking- I Witness an Epic Battle of Wills at Goodwill- Old Man vs Lady

Besides being a writer and singer-songwriter, I operate three ebay stores to pay the bills and allow for a free-spirited life. I pick things to resell on my ebay stores at all kinds of places, including the Goodwill Outlet Store.

Since you just grab stuff out of the bins at that store, there are lots of people, and new bins are rolled out regularly, it is a recipe for frequent drama between shoppers. I was able to capture a fairly mild example here…

When the new bins were just rolled out, this lady and old man snatched for the same Carhartt coat like ninjas and an epic battle of wills ensued. But, the old man won… I have seen way crazier fights than this at the Goodwill, even to the point that management called the cops.

This is just a reminder to keep it classy when shopping, especially with the approach of “Black Friday” next week 🙂

Be Sure to Vote in the Mid-Term Elections Today!

i voted

My “I Voted Today” sticker from the polls today- Luke Austin Daugherty

I made it out to my local polling station with my wife this morning. We intended to miss the heavy traffic there by showing up after early morning voters and before those coming at lunch. Our strategy worked and we were in and out in less than ten minutes 🙂 Not much of a sacrifice to do our civic duty.

I encourage you to make your voice heard today as well! Do your due diligence, inform yourself on your candidates, and vote your conscience. If you don’t like any of the candidates, write one it or vote, “no confidence.” Just vote. It’s not too late to go to your local polling station today. If you don’t know where it is, please click this link to find out:

https://2014.votinginfoproject.org/

If you need more encouragement regarding the importance of voting in this mid-term election, please watch this satirical, yet important segment from Last Week with John Oliver:

How to Make the Best, Easiest, Cheapest Quick Refrigerator Pickles

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Ingredients for Quick Pickles – Photo: Luke Austin Daugherty

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE pickles! Not only that, but my wife and kids all love pickles! We can go through a jar of pickles in no time. By that, I mean if a new jar of pickles lasts more than an evening in our house, that jar of pickles should consider itself lucky 🙂

The trouble is, the really good pickles tend to cost anywhere between $3.99 and $5.49 per 24 oz jar. So, if you love to eat good pickles, it can be an expensive habit. You can get into canning pickles of course, but it can be a tedious process, expensive if you don’t have canning supplies, and not worth it just to make small batches.

Enter… THE REFRIGERATOR PICKLE!

We have been making these for years and have tweaked our recipe to find the easiest and cheapest way to make super-tasty pickles quickly in small batches at home.

What I am giving you here is my recipe for basic, but very tasty dill pickles. I will tell you some easy variations along the way. Also, I have tailored this recipe for a single batch of pickles made in a common 24 oz pickle, sauerkraut, or similar glass jar that you can reuse from another purchase. That way, you don’t have to spend extra money on a Mason jar.

You will need:

1. White Vinegar

2. Apple Cider Vinegar (this is optional, but I like the subtle flavor it adds)

3. Tap or bottled water

4. Kosher salt (regular table salt will work too if that is all you have)

5. Fresh garlic bulb

6. White sugar

7. Black pepper or pepper corns

8. A small white or yellow onion

9. One large cucumber (3/4 lb-1 lb) or two smaller

10. Fresh dill or dried dill seed

* You will also need a 24 oz glass jar/lid, a sharp knife, small pan, cutting board, one cup measure, and measuring spoons

Step One:

Mix together 6 oz of white vinegar, 6 oz of water, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 1/2 tbsp salt, and 2 1/2 tbsp sugar in a small pan. Heat the solution on medium and stir frequently to avoid scorching the sugar. (If you desire more sweet or salty, adjust the mix according to your tastes. Also, you can use all or part brown sugar instead of white)

quick pickles, step #1

quick pickles, step #1

quick pickles- step #1

quick pickles- step #1

Step Two:

While the solution is heating up, cut up all fresh ingredients, pack them tightly into the jar, and add the pepper/dill. I like to cut 1/3 of the cucumber into 1/8″ slices and 2/3 of the pickle into spears so I’ll have a mix of finger pickles and pickles for sandwiches. You can cut them any way you like.

Thinly slice about 1/2 of a small onion and chop about 3-4 cloves of garlic. After packing all the ingredients into the jar, sprinkle in 1/2 tsp of ground pepper or pepper corns, then add a few sprigs of fresh dill or 1 tsp of dill seeds.

You can also add a pinch of ground mustard, celery seed, sliced scallions, and/or thyme for complexity.

For “spicy pickles,” all you need to do is thinly slice one jalapeno and put in the jar. You’ll have TASTY spicy pickles that are of a medium heat.

quick pickles- step #2

quick pickles- step #2

Step three:

Your pickling solution should be done about the time you are finished putting the ingredients in the jar. Carefully, pour the hot solution into the jar. Make sure the ingredients are all covered with liquid, but leave about 1/4″  of space at the top of the jar. Let the jar cool to room temperature, then put it in the refrigerator overnight or until it is cold. Then, enjoy the best fridge pickles you ever had! Make sure to keep them refrigerated since they are not canned/sealed and not intended for room temperature storage.

Easy Refrigerator Pickles- Luke Austin Daugherty

Easy Refrigerator Pickles- Luke Austin Daugherty

If you are making pickles in a different sized jar, here is the easy way to judge how much water/vinegar you need to start with. If your jar is tightly packed with cucumbers, you will need about 1/2 the volume of the jar in vinegar/water. So if you were using a 1 qt. jar, you’d need 16 oz of solution total- 8 oz of water and 8 oz of white vinegar. Adjust all other ingredients accordingly.

Another thing you can do when you have eaten all the pickles is just add some more cucumbers to the solution. Since it isn’t hot when the cucumbers are added, you may want to let them sit for a couple days before eating for the solution to work into the cucumbers. The onions that are pickled also end up being very good on hamburgers or plain.

Happy pickle making! -Luke

 

Homeless Man Shares His Beautiful Melody on Piano- A Lesson on Humility and Compassion (Video)

The only real difference between a homeless person and a non-homeless person is a home. People with and without homes can have all the same wonderful personality traits as well as faults, successes as well as failures. Sometimes, people who find themselves homeless may have had great successes at times, but run up against an insurmountable problem that left them on the streets. Other times, addiction may be a driving force. Among all the reasons that a person ends up without a home, that person is just “us” in a different reality. Who knows if the shoe was on the other foot, that you or I would not be in the same situation or worse. Also, some people choose to live a transient lifestyle for more esoteric reasons rather than homelessness befalling them.

Some may protest, “BUT! Many of the homeless have problems and are on the streets because of their addictions to drugs and alcohol!” Sure enough. Some of the “homed” do as well. They just happen to have the luxury of their own roof over their head.

Last week, immediately after leaving the TEDx Indy convention, I met a guy on the street looking for work (honestly) who was homeless. I took him to grab some Steak ‘n Shake and we chatted for a while. I have done that same thing on multiple occasions before. I have never had a bad experience. It is rare for many men and women who find themselves living in shelters and on the streets to have a “homed” person relate to them with no condescension. Relating to a homeless person as your honest human equal is a great gift, not only to that person, but to yourself as it requires personal humility and perspective. What you may find when taking a  bit of time out of your life to related to a homeless human is that, not only do you have something to offer them, but that they have experiences and friendship (even if very temporary) to offer you. I have had a few experiences with homeless people during my life that have left a positive, permanent mark on me.

I believe that the small, positive actions we share with our fellow humans can make a huge impact. Please visit my blog site, “The Butterfly Flutter Project,” at the link below for more information on having a direct, daily impact for the better. Also, check out this man sharing his melody on piano in the video above. His talents can brighten your day! Thanks for reading, sharing, and have a wonderful day! -Luke

http://butterflyflutter.com/

The Butterfly Flutter Project

smile lydia drawing

Happy Face drawing my daughter, Lydia, did for me

Please check out my new blog page, “The Butterfly Flutter Project.” It is singular of purpose and intended to inspire people to encourage others in their day to day life. I appreciate you checking it out and sharing! Just click the link below. My main blog here will remain my primary blog and will be updated regularly with new posts, poetry, and articles as always.

http://butterflyflutter.com/

NYPD Transit Authority Cops Assault/Arrest Legal Guitar Player (Video)

Given the current state of authoritarian Cop Culture in the USA, would you expect anything less than this? That being, the wasted use of police resources at the expense of an unjustified arrest to appease the self-important, egotistical whims of an NYPD Transit cop. At the end of the day though, if you escape a run-in with the law in America and don’t end up shot or beaten, you can count yourself lucky. Merely being unlawfully arrested or given an unjustified ticket or fine is nigh to desirable given the experiences that many US citizens have with law enforcement officers (corporate code enforcement servants) in American weekly. There are plenty of dangerous criminals out there, of course. Yet, regular citizens going about their business are often treated as dangerous criminals.

I have personally been illegally searched before under my protest by aggressive law enforcement officers. I give kudos to singer/musician, Andrew Kalleen, for knowing the law, asserting the law, and standing his ground. Though, after he had proven his case, he was still forcefully cuffed and arrested by a chagrined gaggle of cops…

For more information, please refer to the article below:

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/nypd-assault-arrest-subway-musician-reading-broke-law/#hxR2bMGTmIdHbT7u.99

Take that Pence… Gay Marriage for Indiana

DING DONG! THE WITCH IS DEAD! The appeal by the Pence administration to overturn gay marriage in Indiana has failed. Gay couples MUST be allowed to marry in Indiana 🙂

I am very happy for my fellow Hoosiers who are LGBT and their newly affirmed legal ability to marry. I used to actually be on the other side of this issue. To read my story of what caused me to change my mind, please read this previous blog (and please share):

https://lukeaustindaugherty.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/confessions-of-a-former-homophobe-same-love/comment-page-1/

I also expect the obvious trolling by fundamentalist about how our State has gone the way of Sodom and Gomorrah now, destined to be rained upon by supernatural judgement. Get over it peeps…

By the way, I am an ordained “Universal Life Church” minister and can legally perform marriages in Indiana. If you are an LGBT couple in my area (Central Indiana) and are having a hard time finding a minister to solemnize your marriage, shoot me a message. I would be glad to provide a simple non-religious/secular ceremony for you if our schedules allow. It can be penance for my former bigotry.