I have to share these few paragraphs written by Dan Rather. They mirror my feelings well. I would like to add that staying home during this time has exacerbated the difficulties we’re experiencing with (mostly) our younger daughter. Things were tough enough when she was actually attending school. Now that she’s home all the time, it’s increased the friction and made my life far more stressful than, perhaps, it’s every been. Now for some Dan:
I sit locked in a self-imposed isolation as a deadly virus surges outside. Time frames for returning to any hope of a faint echo of normalcy stretch into the many months or years. This distant horizon strikes particularly deep for those of us at a certain age and stage of life. Our nation is adrift amidst rocky shoals with cruel incompetence as our captain and enabling cravenness as the first mate.
What a perilous time to live.
I know I am extremely fortunate. Neither the roof over my head nor the food on my table are in doubt. I have the privilege of protecting myself and my loved ones more than many. We don’t work in meat processing plants, or distribution warehouses, or even in hospitals. I strive to keep habits and schedules, but hours bleed and to-do lists go unchecked. What a moment to contemplate the future.
The basic tenets of decency, truthfulness, and compassion are torn across our political divide. We see scientists denigrated and charlatans exalted. We see the rule of law and the norms of our democracy debased for personal gain. We see our allies bullied and our adversaries coddled.
What a time to be an American.
But that’s just it. It is a time to be an American, to contemplate our future, and to live. We have had very dark days in the past. We have had deep, systemic injustices. We have faced daunting odds. And women and men of courage, of ingenuity, of resolve have stood up time and time again. They have said some version of, “we will not abide.” It is our duty to not abide either.
From the streets, to newsrooms, to online social and political activism, I see countless millions of Americans who are not abiding. We are living through damage, loss, and sadness that could have been avoided. Much trauma lies ahead. But I know most of my fellow citizens agree that this shall not be us.
I desperately wished this was not our lot. I wish so many things. I wish the hospital wards were empty. I wish kids were having a summer and could go to school safely. I wish small businesses weren’t closing. Heck, I wish I was at a baseball game trying to not have the mustard drip on my pants. That’s not where we are.
We must be true to ourselves to recognize that much of what we are seeing now was not only the product of the last few months or even the last three-plus years. We have big problems, wherever we look. But we see them now. And we must do the hard work to fix them, not only through the ballot box but through the energy of our hearts and power of our imaginations. Whatever despair I might feel is tempered with a hope that is growing within me. I will not abide, and I believe most Americans will not abide either. Courage.
Based on recordings of things Teh Donald™ has actually allowed to plummet out of his fabulously wealthy piehole, this video pretty much sums up many (not all, but many) of my feelings about the man and his followers. I understand the fear some white people feel, though I think it’s ridiculous of them to do so. I’m pretty sure what really scares them is the realization of how terrible people of color have been treated and, since they’re so good at projection, they’re assuming white people are now going to get as good as they gave.
As a straight, white male I really do understand what many of them feel. However, as one who works hard to understand others, and who believes empathy is an important tool for anyone who wishes to live in a reasonably civilized, respectful, and well-adjusted society, I am of the opinion they’re making things worse for everyone, including themselves.
So . . . here it is folks. I can hardly think of a better way to characterize the blatherings of our first reality show presidential candidate. This is YUGE!!
Beautiful, well-done video with a powerful message.
I’m preparing a couple of posts on Decision Science, but they take a little bit of research and more careful writing than I can muster in one sitting at this point.
In the meantime, I really think this video needs to be seen. Changing the name of a football team is not much to ask, considering how much has been – and continues to be – taken from the peoples native to this land. We have a long way to go to make up for the almost successful genocide. This seems a small thing to ask, even though it involves a Sunday activity that’s surely more popular than Church.
I am now fully aware this picture is not real. Please see my apology and explanationhere.
I wasn’t quite sure I wanted to blog about politics, but it seems I just can’t keep my mind off the election. It’s easy to say, as I probably have many times before, this is the most important election of my life. I’m not sure it’s true. There is nothing, in my opinion, Romney and Ryan can do that will stop the inevitable. The arc of history has always bent toward the increasing prevalence of peace, justice, and freedom – even if it doesn’t seem that way in various parts of the world.
Much like the existence of cooler temperatures in one small area of the planet does not prove global warming isn’t occurring, you can’t generalize from regional strife and even setbacks like our current economic conditions that our society is devolving. I have said more than once I almost thought it would be good for Michelle Bachmann to become our President because it would surely bring about the next – quite likely necessary – American revolution. I say “almost” because I really would prefer we evolve peacefully. Violence doesn’t generally do much for the species, although it may temporarily benefit one group over another.
Now . . . having said that, let me offer that this probably is the most important election of my life :). We have just barely come through the worst economic collapse in several generations and we’re not out of the woods yet. In my opinion the Policies espoused by the Romney-Ryan ticket are destined to turn the United States of America into what Arianna Huffington has referred to as Third World America. As Bill Clinton said the other night, in his speech to the Democratic National Convention, the Republican position is “we left him a total mess, he hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in.” I’m pretty sure that’s not a good idea. I will have more to say about this in the next couple of months. There’s plenty of material out there. I just need to move it from Facebook to here.
At any rate, this graphic is both sad and hilarious. I keep saying that the Republican Party leadership projects all of their worst traits onto others. To me, this is a perfect example of it. One can reasonably assume, if it actually crossed their mind it was important, they would have been willing to spend a little more money getting their buttons made here in the USA. That they don’t care seems pretty evident. Where the projecting comes in is I’m reasonably certain they think we don’t care either and won’t be paying any attention? Am I crazy? What’s your interpretation of why this would happen?
PS – If it’s unclear in the picture I snatched from my Facebook news feed, the arrow is pointing to the words, “Made in China” . . . but you knew that, right?
I retired nearly 13 years ago, though I've continued to work during most of the time since then. I'm hoping to return to work on the RS-25 rocket engine program (formerly the SSME) which will power our return to the moon. Mostly I'm just cruising, making the most of what time I have remaining.
Although my time is nearly up, I still care deeply about the kind of world I'll be leaving to those who follow me and, to that end, I am devoted to seeing the forces of repression and authoritarianism are at least held at bay, if not crushed out of existence.
I write about things that interest me and, as an eclectic soul, my interests run the gamut from science to spirituality, governance to economics, art and engineering. I'm hopeful one day my children will read what I've left behind.
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