Posted tagged ‘perspectives’

Stupid? Or Not?

August 31, 2021

dunceToday a friend sent me an article from the Wall Street Journal by Lance Morrow titled You Are Living in the Golden Age of Stupidity.  The article pretty much describes everything that has happened for the last four plus years as stupid, regardless of political party.  We live in a golden age of stupidity, he says.  It is everywhere. President Biden’s conduct of the withdrawal from Afghanistan will be remembered as a defining stupidity of our time—one of many. The refusal of tens of millions of people to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus will be analyzed as a textbook case of stupidity en masse. Stupid is as stupid does, or, in the case of vaccination, as it doesn’t do.  Every buffoonery of the president and his people was answered by an idiocy from the other side, which in its own style was just as sinister and just as clownish. (more…)

COVID Roulette

August 5, 2021

covidEverybody, I assume, has heard of Russian Roulette , the game you play with a revolver pistol for thrills (in this case the thrill of risking your life).   You need a revolver, a bullet and at least two players (I suppose you can play with one but in that case you might as well load six bullets and get it over with).   You put the bullet in one chamber, spin the cylinder, then the first player puts the barrel to his head and pulls the trigger.  The odds are 1 in 6 that the gun will fire and end his life.  At this point there are two variants of the game … the gun can be passed to the the next player without re-spinning the cylinder, in which case his chances of blowing his head off is 1 in 5.   You can see where this goes … on each turn that the gun doesn’t fire, the odds of the next player dying increases.   OR, the players can spin the cylinder before each turn, in which their odds of dying are the same each time.

I bring this up because it seems to me that many people in this beautiful country of ours are playing COVID Roulette, a game in which you choose not to not be vaccinated, risking illness or death for no good reason at all.   Yes, I know the odds of dying are much smaller than with a bullet and I know that it is your fundamental right as an American to risk your life if you want.   But here’s the thing … unlike Russian Roulette, COVID Roulette risks the lives of others.   What?  You say they can get vaccinated if they want to reduce the risk.   That might be a pretty good argument if it weren’t for the COVID variants you’ve probably been reading about.   Let me talk to you about variants for a moment**. (more…)

Where to Go?

June 17, 2021

clark park

Back when I worked for big industry, Hughes Aircraft Company, to be exact, I used stop at Craig Park in Fullerton, CA on my way to work to do my reading, writing and  sometimes-meditation.   Craig Park is one of the beautiful and expansive parks in the Orange County Regional Park system, this one built into a hilly piece of land near the 57 Freeway.  Every morning, a small brown woman in a traditional saree would walk slowly by, stopping to say, Good morning, Sir.   She shuffled more than walked and up close I’d have guessed she was in her eighties but she still navigated the three mile perimeter of the park everyday.   After a while, we began to talk, her about her family here in California or her life in India before moving here to live with her son, I about what I did sitting in my car by the lake every morning and what I did for a living.   Her name was Hasna, and we became friends, even though she always approached my car as if she were afraid to interrupt and never stopped calling me Sir.   She told me that it was hard living with her son because her daughter-in-law didn’t like her, which was why she walked so much.   Still, most times when I asked, How are you doing? she would simply respond, Oh, I’m alright for a woman my age in an Indian accent so heavy that I sometimes had to ask her to repeat herself several times. (more…)

Memorial Day

May 31, 2021

This is has become my traditional Memorial Day Post.  I think it captures the spirit intended for the holiday.

I have traveled the political spectrum from fairly far left to fairly far right and back toward the middle in my seventy-six years.   But as I traveled that broad spectrum, I think I’ve always been a patriot in the sense that I love my country dearly and believe for any faults it may have, it is unique in the world.   When I was protesting the war and voting for George McGovern, I believed My Country Right or Wrong, but not America – Love It or Leave It or America, Fix It or &%$* It.  Every Memorial Day, I get to think back on my decision to seek a deferment from the draft based upon my employment in the defense industry, a decision that might lead some to question my claim of patriotism.   I won’t deny that my motivation wasn’t entirely selfless but I’d offer that some of the systems I helped develop for keeping track of Soviet submarines during the dark days of the Cold War contributed substantially to our National Defense.  Just watch The Hunt for Red October.  Still, sometimes I feel a little guilt that others served in my place.   At seventy-seven, I simultaneously abhor the realities of war (brought to us in gruesome detail by modern media) and resign myself to its necessity in what is, more than ever, a dangerous world.   Some of our military excursions have been essential, others have turned out to be unwise.  Both fall at the feet of our leaders, those of us that elect them and, sadly, those that don’t bother to vote. (more…)

Neither Side Now

May 27, 2021

I’ve looked at life from left and right, as each side claims to own the light.   But it’s life’s delusions they both sell, as anyone with brains can tell. – apologies to Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now.

maybenotIt is hard being a moderate in this polarized country.   A trip through the morning news ranges from annoying to infuriating as I encounter one article after another espousing a point of view that I see as too extreme.   So, after a long election year in which the positions of the right made me align with the left in spite of my reservation’s about the so-called progressives, I have tried to step back from the news and worry less.  Of course, I knew that the left would eventually campaign for something that seemed just as outrageous as The Big Lie.  This week, while we were visiting with my daughter, she mentioned that California is reducing access to higher math in public schools because teaching it is racist.   Now, my daughter travels a more rightward path to the news than I do, so I was skeptical, but as a 50 year Californian, I wouldn’t put anything past the California Democrats, so I did some research.  Yikes. (more…)

Words

January 7, 2021

When I first decided to post about what went on in our nation’s capitol yesterday, I thought my opening sentence would be, I have no words for the events at the capitol.   But as much a lying seems to be in vogue these days, can’t start out a post with a lie.    Because of course, I have Words.  I always have Words.

How about disgraceful (adj – shameful; dishonorable; disreputable)?   As in: It is disgraceful that the president would stir up a crowd of extremists and send them off to attack the capitol?  (Yeah, he did).   Let’s try embarrassing (adj –  feeling shamed, humiliated, mortified).  As in: How embarrassing it was for the country that was once the beacon of democracy to have the world watch us behaving like a banana republic?   We can talk hypocrisy ( noun – the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform).  As in Can you believe Trump’s hypocrisy sending his supporters to storm the Capitol after attacking the BLM protesters for a photo op?  Here’s a good one: deplorables (noun – those worthy of severe condemnation or reproach).  As in: I disagreed with Hillary when she called all Trump supporters deplorables, but clearly those who attacked the Capitol today were just that.  They were not patriots (noun – one who loves and supports his or her country), as the witless Ivanka claimed, they were rioters (noun – participants in a noisy, violent public disorder) and in some cases, terrorists (noun – persons who use unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims).   Let’s do a two-for-one: delusions (noun – false beliefs that are resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact) and cowardly (adj. – lacking courage).   As in: This happened partly due to cowardly senators and congressman who continued to enable Trump’s delusions about winning the election.  Here’s a vocabulary multiple choice question with sedition (noun – conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the a state or country) or treason (noun – the crime of betraying one’s country).   Is President Trump is guilty of (a) sedition; (b) treason; or (c) both?

The news is mixed this morning.   Congress reconvened last night to confirm Joe Biden as our next president, but a number of Republicans still enabled Trump by objecting to the electoral count in swing states.   Criticism of Trump is rising … there have even been some calls for his removal via Article 25 … but his enablers, particularly in places like Fox News, continue to support him.   According to a YouGov poll, 45% of Republican voters backed the attack on the Capitol building to some degree.   More than half of them believe Trump won the election, and I suspect most Republicans wish he had.   I have Words for that, too, but none I choose to post online.  Except for this:

God Bless America and Keep Her Safe

Year, New, Happy

January 3, 2021

Yes, I know 2020 has been over for several days now.   At my age my literary reflexes are a little slow.  Besides, 2020 has been a Year like no other, a year that requires some examination before moving on.  Oh, it started out OK … my wife, Muri, and I in a beautiful new home in our new home state of Utah, a few miles from our daughter’s family.  Selling our California house then moving had been an ordeal, and we’d lost my beloved Tuxedo cat, Claude, to cancer but shortly after arriving in Utah, we adopted Tyson, another lovable Tuxedo,  So on January 1, 2020, Happy New Year just rolled off the tongue.   But February of 2020 brought the first news of a pandemic and in May, a breast cancer diagnosis for my wife.   There would be surgery and chemotherapy and radiation (still going on) for Muri, and an out-of-control spread of a new virus until, at the conclusion of the year, more Americans had died of COVID-19 than in World War Two.   An incompetent, divisive president who’d managed to stumble along for three good years could not (or would not) deal with the pandemic, and  what would follow was the most divisive election in my life time, a national scene that for the first time made me wonder whether democracy can survive.  That was 2020. (more…)

Louie the Loser, Pt. 2

December 12, 2020

This is Part 2 of a two part post.  You can read Part 1 here.

Louie began to take our bus home from school 2 or 3 days a week then follow Vinnie to his house. And when I’d changed my clothes to play, there he’d be in The Hayfield, waiting. I want to be captain. I want Vinny on my team. No fair, you cheated. Vinny had to go along with him because of his Dad’s job, and Glenn (not my brother Glenn, Glenn from down the street) went along because he had a crush on Louie’s sister, Anna. My Mom said Just ignore him but I couldn’t do it. Finally one afternoon I lost it and called him Louie the Loser to his face. He shoved me and I busted him right in the nose. He ran to Vinny’s house, blood dripping down on his shirt … and we all scattered, figuring trouble was ahead. (more…)

Two Stories

November 16, 2020

I rarely watch the evening local news.  I prefer to read my news online where I can search other sources to be sure of the integrity of what I’m reading.   But tonight, after the Ravens-Patriots game, I was busy so I left the Salt Lake City news station on.  Two stories, one right after the other, caught my attention.   The first was about protesters at the governor’s house, demonstrating against the new statewide COVID mandate here in Utah, which includes a mandate to wear masks.   The protesters, which included families with young children, held signs with messages like Mandates are tyranny, End the Mask Myth, and Just say no 2 masks.  You can read about it here.   The second piece was about a four year old  boy in San Antonio who lost both parents to COVID, here.   His Dad and Mom were 33 and 29, respectively.  His grandmother has arrange a big drive-by birthday celebration but, of course, that won’t make up for the loss of his parents.  Unfortunately, if you do some internet searching, you’ll find this is all to common.

Two news stories, which when told side-by-side tell a larger story about us as a nation.  Very depressing.   How many of us have to die before people take this seriously?

Playing the Percentages

September 3, 2020

I’ve been thinking a lot about how this diverse nation of ours can survive the polarization that seems to be gripping us. And while President Trump is clearly the polarizer-in-chief, we all seem to be taking part in some way or another. For every person posting Black Lives Matter on social media there is someone else posting, I support the police … share if you agree. But I digress, I don’t want to talk politics, I want to talk percentages, although certainly these numbers relate to politics. I just found these interesting when presented together.   I’ve included references and for the most part chosen sources with no political axe to grind: (more…)