Saturday, October 29, 2011

Another Brilliant Analysis by Ms. Peggy Noonan

Peggy Noonan is a proverbial breath of fresh air when it comes to discussions of politics and policies. Her insight into the problems facing our country and the divisions caused by both government and the private sector is penetrating and complex. She realizes that there is no simple "the other side is evil and uncooperative" fix-all argument for the situation at hand.

I will let her say it in her own words in an article she wrote for the Wall Street Journal.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Future + Children

It must be one of the more well-worn cliches that our children "are the future." This would seem self-evident, as without children our race would die out. Without children, there is no one to appreciate or keep alive the legacy of the parents. Without children, there are no new human eyes that still behold creation with wonder and delight and teach their parents to marvel again. And yet, as self-evident as this truth would seem to be, we as a society are shockingly negligent of "the future."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rest in Peace, Dan Wheldon

A bit of a departure from my usual content, but I thought this was worth noting.

So far as I know, the funeral for IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon is today, Saturday October 22. British champion Dan Wheldon was killed in a 15-car pileup in IndyCar's season finale race when his car flew through the air and smashed into the outer fence of the track.

May he rest in peace, and may his family find comfort and solace in the months ahead.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Schizophrenic Man

If you know anything about history you know that, besides just the drastic change in fashion statements and political structures, our world looks vastly different than the world of the early 1700's. “Lawn” was not a word used frequently, if at all, in the lexicon of middle to lower class families anywhere in Europe, America, or Asia, at least not to refer to their own land. The soil was something that produced edibles, like fruit and vegetables, or grass that was grown as food for the family cow. A cellar dug into the soil also provided a place to protect food for the summer and winter time. Trees provided shade against blistering sunlight when being indoors proved unbearable. Life, although highly imperfect, was an organic whole.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

And the Violence Begins...

As I said in my earlier article about the Occupy Wall Street protest, they were only a few steps away from becoming a violent mob. Ambiguity of purpose has led to a global movement that is only too easy to coopt for one's own agenda.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Fashionable Despair

Flannery O'Connor once wrote in her own penetrating way that, “At its best our age is an age of searchers and discoverers, and at its worst, an age that has domesticated despair and learned to live with it happily.”* She was writing in the middle third of the twentieth century when this observation was made, before the extensive outlets of media that are available today even existed or had come to maturity. The world was not the globally connected place then that it is now; there was no mobile internet (no internet at all, actually), no streaming video, no up-to-the-minute news. Only radio and, later on, television. And yet how true her words still ring, even more so now. We have the power of fantastic technology at our fingertips (created by 'searchers and discoverers'), and yet in spite of all of those things we are possibly even more despairing than Miss O'Connor's generation. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Alec Baldwin and the Children

Alec Baldwin rubs me the wrong way. He just does. Sure, he can be kinda funny sometimes (the movie Elizabethtown comes to mind), but he is to me like petting a cat the wrong way (the cat being me, of course.) So I naively thought that I could escape the man by simply not watching any movies or shows he is in. I was wrong.

Random Cute Non-Obese Child
I was listening to some radio program recently on my local station, and the commercial break came up. And lo and behold, a PSA came on starring (you guessed it) my favorite star. His Baldwinian gravelly opening words were something like, "Like any parent, I worry about the health of our nation's children." He went on to talk about obesity rates among children and eating healthy, and ended by plugging whatever foundation was sponsoring him.

Once the mind-numbing effect of the PSA wore off (they all seem to be mind-numbing, regardless of their content), I was left with an oddly uneasy feeling. What was wrong?

And We are Here to Protest What We are Here to Protest!

I recently saw a sign from the ongoing "Occupy Wall Street" campaign that got my attention and provoked a bit of a laugh. I don't recall the precise wording, but the gist was very clearly this: "Wall Street is responsible for all poverty in the world."

I had to chuckle ironically as I read it, and also had to chuckle with a steadily lessening enthusiasm as I read more and more of the material coming from the Occupy Wall Street movement. There were dozens and hundreds more signs, facebook comments and Tweets with similar slogans, their spelling ranging from fair to incompetent, and with growing dubiousness as to the truth of their content. The first sign mentioned here was clearly an unresearched statement at best, as there are many other demonstrable causes of poverty in the world such as war, confiscatory governments as in the case of China and the former Soviet Union, and other causes having nothing to do with Wall Street. However, not only was some of the other content on this issue even more assinine in its name-calling and wild accusations, it also demonstrated a disturbing muddle of reasons for why these people were even protesting in the first place.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Welcome. And Be Aware.

It has taken me approximately a year and a half for this project to gestate in my tangled mind, but now it seems that the spigots of the brain have gotten leaky and the project has begun to ooze out more or less on its own. I have a somewhat dull day job and it leaves plenty of time for solitary thought and deep reflection on issues and problems that are important to me. I like to think thoughts about politics, about religion, about society. I like to reflect on wealth and poverty and what they mean, and I like to contemplate the reaction of different people to all of the aforementioned things.

All of these things I find fascinating. What frustrates my enthusiasm (or whets it sometimes, maybe?) is the lack of coherent thought concerning the issues of the day. Pontificating news anchors and posturing politicians, televangelists and talk show hosts; they are all guilty of muddying the proverbial waters at one point or another in their careers. The muddying has never helped before, and it helps even less especially now with a precariously balanced country, a tanking economy, and a youth run amuck.

We are a society that came from somewhere and is going to somewhere; in short, we are a social continuum. Let us have a conversation about who we are, where we are trying to go, and how we plan on getting there, and let us have that conversation in a setting that encourages real thought processes rather than wild conjecture and name calling. I love a heated argument, but not an unreasonable one!

Let us be intellectually honest with ourselves. An argument that is born in well-founded reasoning and ends in a well-reasoned conclusion is a true argument, and truth demands acceptance. So welcome, and Be Aware!