Monday, January 30, 2023

Later!

I've been writing something in preparation for my 90th birthday next month.  So I haven't been posting anything on this blog for a while.  I'll be back, but probably not before Feb. 23. 

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Good News!

Its been a while since I've posted a comment.  Sorry about that.  No excuses.  I've had plenty to say but haven't taken the time to share my thoughts.  So . . .

The midterms turned out much better that I thought possible.  And with Warnock winning in Georgia it capped off a winning season.  I'm happy I was wrong and too pessimistic.

I've been watching the World Cup and enjoying it a lot.  My expectations for the US were not high, so I was satisfied that they did as well as they did.  No need to be ashamed.  With us gone my default preference would be England.  Given my ongoing attention to the Premier League I have a relationship with the players, and they have been disappointed for a very long time.  Having said that, if I had to bet on a winner I'd go with either Brazil or France.

Good news that the January 6 committee will be making some criminal referrals.  I suspect they will include Trump rather than give him a pass.

I don't see an early end to the war in Ukraine.  The stories about the conditions under which many civilians are living are horrific.  No water.  No electricity.  No heat.  And winter setting in.  Very sad situation.

Other places where suffering is out of control are Somalia where drought, famine and terrorism rule and Haiti, where violent gangs make life a living hell for people who having nothing to begin with.  It is sometimes hard to be proud of our species.

Good news that Bolsonaro lost.  Not good news that Netanyahu won.  And for you sumo fans, surprising news that Abi won the November Basho.  Let's call it good news.  And good news that the Warriors seem to be getting it together.  And finally, good news that we've had some rain recently.  We've been dry for too long.

 

Monday, October 31, 2022

Omens!

Today, for the first time in several weeks there are reports that the Democrats have a chance not to be wiped out in next Tuesday's midterms.  A slim chance.  All the signs have been pointing in the other direction.  All of which leaves me - depressed.

The clear agenda for the Republicans should they gain control of the House or - let it not be so - both the House and the Senate, is filled with a long list of items all of which appall me.  But here's the deal, whether I like it or not, more Americans disagree with me than are on my side.  So if that's the direction most people want the country to take, that's the way its gonna be.

It seems that I've lived through the best times for America.  For that I can be grateful.  But looking ahead to a country that is inward looking, authoritarian, with weak democratic institutions, intolerant and all the rest that describes a banana republic is not a picture that appeals to me.

So what to do?  I can rant, like on this page.  I can retreat into cynicism.  I can stay in my bubble and observe what's out there, but not participate in it.  I can give up.  Or I can enjoy my blessings and be grateful.

That's what I'll choose for now.  And hope the omens prove to be wrong.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Outlook!

I've been looking for some bright spots in the world beyond my bubble.  I'm sorry to say that they're not easy to find.

The news is dominated by war, climate disasters, the success of right wing politicians, crime, migrants, inequality - the list goes on and on.

Closer to home, the pundits are obsessed with the upcoming midterm elections.  Will the Democrats hold the house?  Unlikely.  Will they hold the Senate?  Maybe, but it's too close to call.  Will election deniers take power at the state level and continue the erosion of democracy?  Yes.

I've noticed that I have an assumption that most Americans care about preserving our democratic institutions.  That voting matters.  That the rule of law matters.  I'm now questioning that assumption.  I see less and less evidence that most Americans would put democracy at the top of their agenda and more and more evidence that culture war issues matter more.

We are a deeply divided country.  I and my kind are convinced of the rightness of our views.  And likewise for those on the other side.  Regrettably, the momentum is with the bad guys.  I have a sense of hopelessness that the tide is growing and there is nothing I can do to turn it around.

Like I say, a dearth of bright spots! 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Competition for Attention!

I find myself wondering what to pay attention to first.  The competition seems to be growing every day.  For example:

Floods in Pakistan

War in Ukraine

The Queen in Britain

The coming midterm elections

Investigations of Trump

Fires in California

The soon-to-end baseball season

The now-beginning football season

My Premier League fantasy football team

A dysfunctional government

Income inequality here and around the world

Increasing political bitterness

Covid and a new booster shot

Inflation

And much more . . . 

Thursday, August 18, 2022

A Different View!

It is like looking through the binoculars the wrong way.  I'm expecting to see a close-up view and instead everything is far away and small.  That's the way it is these days as I try to make sense out of what I see happening in my country.

What I've realized is that I expect to see things the way they were when I formed my picture of how they should be, which I did a long time ago.  It is a form of bias confirmation.  I want to validate my presuppositions, and when I see that the world today is not the way I want it to be I am at least disappointed or more likely pissed off.

Unfortunately for me, yesterday is gone and there is nothing I can do to get it back.  Like it or not, and I definitely don't like it, I am living in today's world.  So I have a choice.  I can continue to look through the binoculars the wrong way and have the view distant and unavailable.  Or I can turn it around and have a close-up view of the way it is.

For my brain, the choice is not difficult.  I live in the present, so get with the program and stop complaining.  In my gut, though, I haven't come to terms with giving up on how I want it to be.  I keep thinking there must be something I'm not seeing.

To be continued . . .

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Our Species!

If I step back and widen my view from here, close to home, to the world beyond, what I see is a similar picture: the rise of autocracy and not far behind - fascism.

And if I look at history this isn't the first time we've experienced this phenomenon.  It's a repeating pattern of what our species does, how we treat ourselves and others.  Not only do we not learn from the past, we become better at repeating our mistakes.  It's like being self destructive is part of our DNA.

So what to do - if anything?  We could stop trying to change what appears to be inevitable and just sit back and let it happen.  But that would be giving up, and another part of our DNA doesn't want to go down this path.  We could try something new, but given our history we don't appear to be capable of fundamentally altering the paradigm.

For now, I think I'll take a longer view, made possible by the pictures of the universe from the James Webb telescope.  What is our place in the trillions and trillions and trillions of galaxies?  We're such a minor player in the greater scheme of things we barely exist.  If our species has a limited life expectancy it really makes no difference, does it?

Our ego makes us care.  I think I'll leave it at that!