By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
From about 1990 until recently, I thought that life on this planet was getting better. The Cold War had ended (although discussion about who “won” continues) and shopping malls were thriving. Internet was opening up new vistas and abysses. The United States government was producing a budget surplus.
And, then, things started to fall apart. Some idiots decided to fly planes into buildings. Politicians over-reacted and used the attack as an excuse to increase military spending and trash civil rights. Countries had to be invaded, thus creating more demand for weapons and ammunition.
Someone upset the Russians. They could have become friends, but were more useful as enemies. Many, i.e. those that will profit, are hoping for a new Cold War and, maybe, even a real war. Profit growth has stagnated.
Most humans want to live in peace—I know that I do—but there are too many idiots that do not want peace…except in their neighborhood.
The poor, embattled lunatics in Texas. The federal government is “invading” and “meddling” again: they are sending money to aid flood victims. This is surely seen as an evil plot to take over a state critical of the Washington’s power. The elected buffoons in Congress from Texas taking up space and saying stupid things must be complaining about overreach and states rights. These guys voted against aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy, so must be against aid to their beleaguered state. Or…?
After the recent attacks in Paris, everyone wore signs claiming to all being “Charly”. I wonder if people are wearing signs in Texas claiming “we are all wetbacks”.
ps. I do feel sorry for anyone suffering, but a little schadenfreude is warranted for the state's elected buffoons.
I noticed a headline about the annual spelling bee in the United Sorry States of Education. The names of the joint winners (a tie, it seems) are impossible to spell. The two young people were of foreign descent, which was obvious from their names. What happened to the days when someone named Smith or Jones won? Grammar, spelling, math tables, and penmanship are no longer desired in an age of budget cuts and electronic gadgets. Who cares what kids learn, as long as they can punch 140 meaningless characters with their thumbs…
A major story in the media is the FIFA corruption scandal. As I read about officials being allegedly bribed to make decisions, I could not help thinking of parallels the US political process. Payments to politicians—often labeled campaign contributions—are legal. But, guess who voted to make them legal.There is a saying in German--den Bock zum Gärtner machen—which means “let the wolf tend the sheep”. This is what letting politicians regulate themselves is like.
I learned something even more odious today. I was shocked, surprised, and angered to learn that the US Army must pay the NFL for their troops to display the flag at games during the national anthem. I had assumed—perhaps believing their hype—that the NFL was a patriotic organization that honored the service of military personnel. I wonder if the troop must buy their own tickets to “work” at the games. How low can the greedy bastards go?
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
The Vatican/pope revealed their hypocrisy…once again. An official announcement proclaimed that the recent vote in Ireland in favour of gay marriage is a “defeat for humanity”. That means, for them, gays are not humans. What about the welcoming and inclusive message of their head imaginary propagandist, Jesus? These are stupid old men who want to shape the world in their twisted image. Let them wear their silly, medieval costumes, wave smoking urns, and mumble gibberish. They have not noticed that less and less are taking them seriously.
Even fewer people are taking notice of headlines claiming that an asteroid is hurtling toward earth to punish humanity for the Irish vote…
I see where my least-favortte state is being brutalised by the weather gods…or whoever/whatever decided on weather patterns. I wonder what the evangelics are saying. This is neither hellfire and brimstone nor is “fire next time”, but some force is at work. These folks find an answer for everything in their favorite book of myths, but science does not play a role. The poor folks of Moan Star State can merely grin and bear it…whatever they decide “it” is.
I did something today, that I have not done for a long time: I assembled a piece of IKEA furniture. This is fairly easy…if one follows the instructions. Of course, one can assume superiority and try to forge one’s own way. This usually requires undoing screws and starting again. The only question I always ask—and never receive an answer—is why do they include holes in the would that are never used?
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.