Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.
A news item caught my attention and surprised me. Supposedly, the US Government has blocked military members’ access to the Guardian, a British newspaper. I am not surprised that the government does such a thing; What surprises is that anyone in the US military would read the Guardian. This requires a certain level of intelligence, an understanding of the world, curiosity, and a sense of humor. These are traits that I found in only a handful of people, when I was in the military, and that was a time of the Draft, which took in college-educated men. Answering a survey of officers on how to improve the enlisted men’s dining experience, I answered “Change the clientele". I cannot imagine that the average IQ has improved to the level than anyone would read the Guardian!
Just as no one is born to believe in a particular religion, no one is born to hate. My parents did not teach me to hate, and I did not learn to hate in school. Hate is used a weapon by weak people or to manipulate weak people.
My father was born in the South and visits to relatives revealed a world of racial prejudice. I never heard my father use the word nigger, and he treated black employees just like white employees. My grandmother, who was from New Hampshire, was a bigot, but my parents denigrated this trait. They taught me to be non-prejudicial.
I do not love all fellow men, but I do not hate without reason. People are basically stupid and weak, and that is what causes all the world’s problems.
I would be lying if I said that I have not been disappointed about and disillusioned with Barak Obama. Despite what I learned from his book, In Search of My Father, he has turned out to be “just another politician”, as defined by such intellects as H.L. Mencken. And, like every Democrat, he suffers from the deathly fear that Republicans will label him “weak on national security”, a game they have always play and win brilliantly.
Today, I listened to his speech to university students in Capetown, South Africa. I recalled the man that wrote the above book, and I believed what he said about his time as a student in California and about being influenced by events in South Africa.
If only that man were the same one that works in the White House with such programs as Prism, a program that records all my phone calls, SMSs, and emails. (As I listened to the speech, the news crawler screamed about EU anger about being spied upon and Germany threats of legal action.) The speech was impressive, but the cynic in me is certain that it’s all about making money for someone in the United States that has made campaign contributions and employes lobbyists.
If there was an observer on Mars,
they would probably be amazed that we have survived this long.
I have been reading The New Yorker for fifty years. For many, that would peg me as a liberal. That august title is far more intelligent than almost any other media and tends to be far more balanced than media claiming to be. The magazine has always informed, explained, or entertained; I even enjoy reading the little advertisements.
Today, I read an article that reminded me of America’s greatness, something which daily media reports have tended to cause me to wonder about. The story was about NASA’s Mars program, with emphasis on the latest successes. No other nation could have done this...at this point in human history. Besides reassuring me of tarnished goodness, the article was very interesting.
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
This is not a rant, rather merely an observation...
Many discussions, arguments, and riots have been in progress in various countries, states, and towns because of attempts to reduce government size and spending. Have you noticed that most, if not all, cuts seem to be to programs that deal with providing basices services or helping folks at the bottom of pile? No talk ever crosses anyone’s lips about reducing numbers, salaries, and benefits of politicians and bureaucrats (best example: those of British royalty). Or wasteful spending on unnecessary projects, bribing foreign countries, or inflated military budgets. In the age of growing wealth disparity, fairness is something that has disappeared from the language as well as practice. For some reason, the gene driving greed is far greater than the one which promotes generosity.
(Once again for the record, I am not a communist or a socialist: terms most cannot properly define, but are able to use slurs.)
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.