Recent Comments

FatherJohn Posted 4 days, 9 hours ago.   Favorite
To blog or not to blog seems to be the question at hand.

I myself, as part of my self-education, read all the blogs here. I do not speak unless spoken to, directly or by open-ended question from the reader.

I never look up writers...preferring instead to see the writer how they choose to portray themselves.

I have specific areas of interest in ministry that also prompts my reply. Injustice, deplorable conditions, bullying, long term segue, life without parole, abandonment, elder care, and dying...are examples.

I have found your writing to be complex, and polyvalent.

To remove emotions from your writing would be like eating cereal with water instead of milk. Thanks, but no thanks.

Reading these blogs keeps me in touch with the snail mail ministry I do...conditions...lockdowns...sent. mod's...clemency...grievance procedures...mail and visitation differences from state to state...appeal...plea's and this sort. In this way, I might broaden my knowledge from the Inside, not what the experts or government tend to spin out here...but the reality of the ugliness of the belly of the beast.

Therefore, Johnny you help others. Also your airing of your deepest hopes, fears, and thoughts allows a therapeutic release that is neither incriminating, nor titillating. This opens the door to formation...this is an important reason to blog.

Blogs might be clumped into broad categories., i.e. request for help, interest in companionship, one-on-one anonymous exchange, cathartic release through prose, poetry, or art, system disgust, gross injustice. self-deprecating, appeal to the past, love and loss of children, or scientology (strangely there are sporadic references to Allah) but not many references to Jesus...except now and again. In other words, you asked "what do they look like?" Brother, they are truly across the board.

I sometimes weigh in on posts about current political arguments about sentence reform or incarceration reform (especially early release, education availability, and telephone, visitation, and snail mail reforms.)

But I find it VERY ODD that even though I comment...I have yet to get a comment on my comment in that regard (from a blog reader). However, only once...I did get a comment when I offered condolences to a father who lost an unborn child through abortion. I only said I was sympathetic. But I'm talking comments from other blog readers...those are nil...the bloggers generally reply if they have something to say.

I would like to see this blog site move toward proposing meaningful reforms for our loved ones. I think MIT would agree. A blog should be a guide, not a place to hook up unless it is man to family or woman to family or in rare cases spiritually needy to spiritual adviser.

So Johnny, you posed a very complicated question, and I thought at least this pundit would kick back some feedback and observations.

I remain, John Pfister

Posted on To Blog Or Not To Blog? by Johnny E. Mahaffey To Blog Or Not To Blog?
Davesmokes Posted 5 days, 1 hour ago.   Favorite
Nothing to say

Posted on Peace and Blessings of the Most High Be Upon You by Javier Victorianne Peace and Blessings of the Most High Be Upon You
danielle Posted 5 days, 13 hours ago.   Favorite
It sounds like you have come to a good place within yourself. Hold on to that feeling!

Posted on The New Johnny Mahaffey For 2019 by Johnny E. Mahaffey The New Johnny Mahaffey For 2019
danielle Posted 5 days, 13 hours ago.   Favorite
I have been reading these blogs for a few weeks now and I seem to keep coming back to your writing. In all seriousness, you are a great writer! I'm not sure why you are unsure of that, because it is so clear to me that you have talent. You seem to be very reflective and insightful... and thoughtful of your word choices. I feel the pain and hurt and longing in your writing. Not everyone is good at conveying how they really feel with words on a page left to someone else's interpretation. Don't give up. You never know where life could take you!

Posted on It's Not That Bad by Johnny E. Mahaffey It's Not That Bad
arcadiaego Posted 6 days, 7 hours ago.   Favorite
Hi Johnny,

Thank you very much for your post, and I hope my transcription is OK. I found your writing very interesting! I hope your "bad feeling" re. your friend was unfounded.

Posted on We Make Our Present by Johnny E. Mahaffey We Make Our Present
Daniel-156-418 Posted 1 week ago.   Favorite
Dear 666, It’s Daniel!!!!!!! That is my favorite poem from you dude. I love you I’ll try my best with the print outs okay???

Posted on That Bitch Called Reality by David E. Bauguess That Bitch Called Reality
Calhoun25 Posted 1 week ago.   Favorite
(Pg. 2/2)

You note the connection between being pharisaical and being self-righteous. As it seems, being pharisaical is incompatible with being perfectly virtuous or ethical, since it involves the vice of self-righteousness. Here is a question for you, William: What is the precise relationship between righteousness and self-righteousness? Is self-righteousness a form of righteousness? Or is self-righteousness incompatible with righteousness? On the one hand, the name “self-righteous” suggests righteousness. On the other hand, self-righteousness is a blameworthy defect, whereas righteousness is often considered a perfectly praiseworthy state.

I liked your side-by-side definitions of “demagogue” and “Pharisee”. Defining these concepts side-by-side helped me better understand their connections and potential differences. Have you ever met anybody whom you considered both a demagogue and a Pharisee? Whom in history do you consider an example of both a demagogue and Pharisee? Whom do you consider a demagogue but not a Pharisee? A Pharisee but not a demagogue? Or would you argue that all demagogues are Pharisees, or vice versa?

Alright, that’s all for now, William. As always, it’s a pleasure to discuss these stimulating and vital issues with you. Take care, and good luck on your further intellectual and spiritual endeavors.


Posted on Comment response by William Goehler Comment response
Calhoun25 Posted 1 week ago.   Favorite
(Pg. 1/2)

Hey William,

Thank you for your kind and meaningful compliment: “Nice reprise with the MORAL EMANCIPATION challenge.” I think you raise deep questions that most humans underthink.

I appreciate your examination and derivation of concepts like “moral”, “Pharisee”, and “religion”. I think I better understand what you’re getting at. I want to comment a little bit on your response, as well as raise a few questions that I find interesting.

First, I like your distinction between “moral” and “ethical”. Unless I have a misunderstanding, you seem to be making the following distinction: Morals deal with conformity to socially accepted or institutionally established standards, whereas ethics deal with rightness, fairness, or equity. What do you think is the precise relationship between morals and ethics? You suggest that there is at least a difference in difficulty: “ETHICAL may suggest the involvement of more difficult or subtle questions…” Is there also a difference in kind? To what extent do ethics and morals deal with the same subject matter, if at all?

Second, I think you’re right about the connection between virtue and morality. Being virtuous is possessing a set of human excellences. The philosopher Aristotle would wholeheartedly agree. You specifically mention that being virtuous involves “moral excellences in character”. I have for you a question that I find interesting: Do you think that being virtuous involves not just moral excellences in character, but also intellectual excellences? Is being able to do calculus, for example, a virtuous excellence? I’m not so sure what the answer is. Perhaps intellectual excellences are just a certain kind of moral excellences in character. Here is another question that I find interesting: How do ethical excellences differ from moral excellences, if at all? The answer seems to depend on what difference, if any, there holds between ethics and morals.

I also agree that righteousness suggests the sanctimonious. The concept of righteousness often shows up in religious and theological thought, for example. I often wonder about the connections between righteousness and virtue. It seems that being righteous is enough for being minimally virtuous. If a person substantially lacks virtue, then she is somehow guilty or blameworthy, and hence unrighteous. But is being righteous enough for possessing all or most of the virtues? Can someone be righteous but nevertheless lack many crucial virtues? Your comments on Pharisees may shed light on the matter.

Posted on Comment response by William Goehler Comment response
danielle Posted 1 week ago.   Favorite
WOW... just wow. I'm sitting here in my work place success program reading this... with only 15 minutes left before I have to leave and pick up my son from school. I have to come back to this, but I wanted to leave a note incase I procrastinate and don't return. This is such a good read, truly! It is intelligent and thoughtful and well written. You have a way with words! I really admire that. And to be able to articulate that with the environment you are in... I can't write a page in my diary with out it being quiet in the room, never mind the noise of prison! Good for you man! I only made it half way through your post, but I am eager to return and finish. Thus far, I believe we have a similar take on why we are who we are and the way we are and are we responsible for that? It is fascinating. I think you are right. There are so many factors that create who we are and how we react and how we see ourselves. It is an endless series of what ifs! I appreciate the time and thought you put into this paper! Nicely done!

Posted on We Make Our Present by Johnny E. Mahaffey We Make Our Present
danielle Posted 1 week ago.   Favorite
I lived by the squares in my calendar while I was incarcerated! In jail your calendar is almost like those charts they used to put up in school to show which child did well and got a sticker on their book report and then those who did not. It made me feel good to see every time my mother came to visit my 19 year old self but then at the same time I would see other inmates calendars posted to their wall with only one day highlighted.... the haves and the have-nots. Every thing in life is only worth as much as the value you assign to it. You can choose to focus on the empty squares or you can choose to look at all the hours that are filled in on those special days where the clock seems to play tricks on us... Lightening fast when we're doing something pleasing to pass the time and then molasses like slow when you are sitting there waiting for something to happen. It's great to see such a full weekend schedule for a positive thing like a visit with a novelist. That is exciting for sure. I hope you enjoyed your time and got the chance to learn something new!

Posted on Visitation Times by Johnny E. Mahaffey Visitation Times
More comments:


Get notifications when new letters or replies are posted!

Featured posts: RSS email me
All Between the Bars posts: RSS