Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Thoughts!


How we doin’?

Australia is burning –
Puerto Rico is shaking –
The Philippines is blowing up –
Venice is flooding –
Iran is protesting –
America is impeaching –
Innocents are dying – in Kenya/Iraq/Somalia/Afghanistan/Syria +++
France is striking –
Hong Kong is rebelling –
India is Hindutva-ing –
Central Americans are emigrating –

OK, any good news?

Yes, here by the Golden Gate it is quiet, the sun is shining and the Niners are winning!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Year/Decade End!


In a few hours it’ll be 2020.  A New Year.  A New Decade.  A time in which many are taking stock.

I find there is a lot more looking back than looking forward.  Most Memorable Moments.  Best film.  How new technology changed our lives.  Worst film.  Advances in medicine.  Best TV show.  Person of the Year/Decade.  Worst TV show.  Etc.

I choose to live in the present and look forward.  The problem with my choice is that what occurs to me first, what looms ahead most ominously, is all the bad stuff.  The outlook for what matters most to me is dismal.  The list is long:

Human rights
The environment
The rule of law
A democratic form of government
Freedom – of thought and action
Tolerance for the other
Personal safety
And more . . .

What matters most are under attack and are not winning.  In the past I’ve had a basic assumption that even if it looks bad it’ll all turn out OK.  In the end the good guys will win.  More and more in the past Year/Decade my basic assumption looks less likely to happen.

Is it really hopeless?  Thankfully, I’m not willing to give up yet.  I’m willing to be skeptical but am not ready to let hopelessness win.  Not today.  And not in the Year/Decade that begins tomorrow.

Onward . . .

Monday, December 16, 2019

Boring!



I’m a news junkie, so one would assume I’d be paying a lot of attention to the unending stream of “Breaking News” stories with which we are inundated 24/7.  But that’s not what’s happening.  Instead I find that much of what is Breaking is Boring.

Especially the political stuff.  What I’m being fed is an unending stream of predictable, partisan tripe.  Boring!  Like most people, where I stand on the political issues of the day are pretty much already set in stone.  So nothing that is being said is going to change my mind.  But that doesn’t stop the politicians.  Their views, too, are set in stone, so nothing they say is new.  Not new, and Boring!

I’m sure that when the impeachment trial in the Senate begins I’ll be watching.  But won’t this be just another example of predictable arguments being put forth ad nauseam, for days, weeks?  Boring!

There is one Breaking item about which I haven’t decided.  Who do I support to run against Trump?  More and more I’m becoming a Never Trumper.  If I had any degree of complacency on this score, the British election made it clear that beating him will not be easy.  The prospect of a Trump victory is truly alarming.  So this I’m paying attention to.

But better to watch a movie or read a book or take a nap than to subject yourself to all the garbage that is being thrown at us.  Boring!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Foghorns!


Like many, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been consumed by the drama that is unfolding as we speak – impeachment, Ukraine, testimony, Trump, etc.  Which is a good reason to step away and think about something else.

So how about foghorns?  In recent weeks we’ve had low fog in the bay, accompanied in the background by the unique sound of several foghorns.  Often they seem to recede and I don’t even hear them, until I pay attention and there they are.  At least two and sometimes three distinct sounds, one lower in tone than the others and each occurring at various times.

Okay, fine, so what?  Is there a problem here?  These things have been around forever, so what’s new?  What’s new is that I can’t figure out how these foghorns are of real value.  I looked up a definition and found:

foghorn is a warning signal that makes a loud noise when it's very foggy. The sound of a foghorn is a warning to sailors and ship captains. ... Its warning noise lets those at sea know when they're approaching a rocky coastline or other obstacles they can't see in the fog.

I could have guessed and come up with a similar definition.  But it doesn’t help.  If I were on a ship in the fog how would I know where the foghorns were?  If they get louder does that mean I’m in trouble and should go another way?  And which way exactly?  Sounds like a very imprecise danger signal.

Maybe foghorns were the best they had a century or two ago.  But this is 2019, and we’ve got GPS to guide us.  Seems to me that at best the foghorns can confuse the issue.  Having said that, I’d vote to keep them as a pleasant reminder of a simpler past.  We don’t need them to avoid accidents, but listening to them repeat themselves in their distinctive way puts a smile on my face.

Monday, November 04, 2019

Mayor Pete!


I’m one of those people who is looking around for a good alternative to Joe Biden, someone more moderate than Warren and Sanders who can beat Trump.

Why not stay with Biden?  Too low energy and running on the past, not proposing a better future.  If he’s the nominee I’ll vote for him, but not enthusiastically.  So who else?

For a while I was leaning toward Warren, even though her intense personality turns me off and even though I think her policies are too radical for my taste.  Again, I’d vote for her should she be the nominee, but not enthusiastically.

I’ve never warmed to Bernie and none of the others, except Mayor Pete, have won me over.  I remember that when I first listened to Buttigieg I was impressed.  Smart, articulate, good ideas, maybe a touch too glib, but impressive nonetheless.  Since he continues to rise in the polls, obviously others are having the same reaction.

Beating Trump is the main goal.  Is this country ready to replace him with a gay guy?  I’ve been asking myself this question.  Same concern many had in 2008: Were we ready to put a black man in the oval office?  Turns out we were ready and did it twice.  At this point I’m not willing to make sexual orientation the determinant.  If I prefer Mayor Pete over the others I’ll support him.

And that’s where I am at the moment.  Go Buttigieg!