Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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1

Jul

2018

Elites profit while their nations drown

Author: Jim Taylor

King Canute sat on his royal throne. His courtiers grovelled at his feet. “Hail to the King,” they chanted, “You are all-powerful.”

            “Take me to the beach,” the king commanded.

            So they carried him to the edge of the ocean, and set his throne down on the sand. And the waters rose, and covered the king’s toes.

            “Make the sea go back,” the courtiers urged. “Stop the waters from rising.”

            “Idiots!” snorted the king. “No human has that power.”

            “Then we’re doomed!” the courtiers wailed. “What can we do?”

             “Sell the beach for a tourist destination,” King Canute ordered. “By the time it’s underwater, we can all be living in Switzerland with fat bank accounts.”


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29

Jun

2018

Skinny dipping

Author: Jim Taylor

I slide into the water,

like slipping into a silk robe.

I have left my concerns with my clothes.

In the water, I have no weight, no body, no burden.

Soft velvet caresses me everywhere; 

I have no private parts. 

 

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Categories: Poetry

Tags: skinny dipping, naked, free

27

Jun

2018

Living with a stopped clock

Author: Jim Taylor

My watch quit, at seven seconds after 5:16 p.m. I can be absolutely precise about the time, because I consulted my watch several times over the next few hours.  I can’t imagine why I kept checking my watch, when I knew it would give me the wrong time, but I did. Time seems, for some reason, to be important for me. 

            Finally, I gave up fighting the inevitable; I went to a watch store and got a new battery. My watch is working fine again. 

So why, I wonder, do some church-goers prefer to live with their clocks stopped? Why won’t they do, for their faith and doctrine, what they do for their watches?


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24

Jun

2018

Beware of politicians quoting Bible verses

Author: Jim Taylor

For a hundred years, the Canadian government took children from their parents and incarcerated them in Indian Residential Schools. For their own good.

            The feds have since issued apologies. They’ve paid around $5 billion in compensation. And all governments have paid many billions more in welfare, prisons, and social assistance.

            In the 1950s, the B.C. government took Doukhobor children away from their families, and locked them up in a prison camp in New Denver. For the children’s own good, of course.

            In the 1960s, various governments did the Sixties Scoop. Once again Indigenous children were separated from their parents and placed with white foster families. For their own good, of course.

            We’re now reaping a bitter harvest of alcoholism and drug dependency, of depression and suicide, of adults who don’t know how to be parents.

            And then the Trump administration set a policy of removing children from parents who enter the United States illegally, and locking the children up in detention centres.

            Can’t we ever learn from past mistakes?


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20

Jun

2018

Free will changes all futures

Author: Jim Taylor

“If I could only go back and do it again,” I hear people lament. “If I only knew then what I know now, I would have done it differently.”

            But, says logic, if you went back in time, you would still make the same decision, for good or ill. Because at that time you acted on the basis of the knowledge you had. All of the knowledge you had. And if you went back, that would still be the same. Because you can’t take 50 additional years of experience and learning back with you. 

            You were what you were. And your decisions were determined for you by your experiences. 

            All of this depends on an underlying assumption – that we humans are nothing more than a product of our environment.

            Or, to put it in more traditional language, that we have no free will. 


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