Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Political Pain in My Gut


There are two kinds of crazy people in the world; Liberals and Conservatives. Their craziness arises from their tendency to find simple solutions to complex problems. The majority of us live out our lives in the vast wasteland between these two extremes. We have no leaders and can attract few followers to any cause because people respond to hysteria more readily than to a workable solution.

The founders of this country felt that a free press was necessary for the exercise of a fair and equitable republic. If a free and unbiased press ever existed, it has long since passed into oblivion. The conservative press pounds away at us daily with a new crisis. There are always several catastrophes to choose from, but if necessary, they will ramp up some trivial event to make it sound as if Armageddon is imminent. The conservative’s solution will require more controls, greater expenditures of our resources, and a closer watch upon our citizens. The liberal press will focus on oppression by the police, our institutions, or real or perceived threats that are supposed to be breathing down our collective necks. The response of the liberals will be to point a finger at repressive rules, whether they come from government, religion, or traditional morals.

The next election is approaching and most of us will not vote for anyone, but rather vote against the one we fear the most. The conservative candidate will offer more tax cuts to the wealthy and to business, telling us that it will trickle through the economy and create jobs, despite the fact that we have seen a steady cut in employment over the last thirty years. Liberals will want more social programs, taxing of the rich, and closing all of the loopholes in the tax system. For every plank in any candidate’s platform that we like, there will be dozens of others that are programmed to cut our jobs, destroy our savings, and turn the American dream into a nightmare.

So what is the solution, you might ask. The short answer is there isn’t one, or at least nothing that we can grasp that will offer a quick solution to our problems. In every important area of life, we build carefully, a brick at a time until it is done. If we are going to get out of the hole we have dug with our shortsightedness, it will require time, and I am not sure how much of that we have left. After two hundred years of history, it should be apparent to all of us that we can’t build anything worthwhile using politicians that are bought by special interest, whether they are on the right or on the left. We must learn to think for ourselves and quit parroting the half-baked ideas of Talk Show Host from either extremity of the political spectrum. In the meantime . . . God help us all.

Monday, August 4, 2014

In The Eye Of the Beholder

Being young is wonderful -- perfect teeth, perfect hair, and a lot of other perks that go along with being young. Tight skin with a healthy glow tops flabby and out of shape in the minds of many. I was astonished when a young friend of mine told me about her normal routine after work. She was a Chinese-American who grew up in the Far East, and had a slightly different take on life than the rest of us. She, along with her brothers and sisters, gathered around their grandmother’s bed each evening and talked about their day.

“She is so beautiful,” she told me with a sense of pride. Digging in her billfold, she produced a picture and handed it to me. Her grandmother was a diminutive woman with an over-abundance of wrinkles. It wasn’t one of those things -- she is beautiful inside. My friend actually thought that her grandmother’s features were attractive. Quite a contrast between the way her family viewed the elderly, and our ‘throw away’ attitude of everyone past twenty-five when the first wrinkles appear.

In our society, we don’t need more anti-aging products. Instead, we need to adjust our attitudes and realize there are no throw away people. We have been sold on perfection and programmed to believe that anything less is a terrible plight that should be avoided at all cost. Wrinkles and stretch marks are there for a reason. They are milestones of our various struggles and victories. Beauty, in the sense of what we hold to be true in western society, is a fleeting illusion. We need to accept the reality of what nature has given to us and learn to be comfortable in our own skin.