Saturday, September 20, 2008

A backlog of random thoughts

Hello, blog world. Sorry I haven't had much to say in a while. I've thought of blogging a great deal, but never have seemed to find the time. Over the last 3 weeks, I've had numerous thoughts: some about the events of the day (Palin, Fannie, Freddie, AIG), some about my own life (faith, running, priorities, family). Some have been amusing, others probably intemperate. Here's a random taste, just so I can say I'm back online.
  • My wife ran her first road race (2 miles) this morning. I'm really, really proud of her. Not so much for the race, but for transforming herself into an athlete.
  • Along those same lines, I just want everybody to know, I married VERY well. I've been reminded several times recently that I have pretty much the best wife and family imaginable. I pray that I can live in such a way as to deserve them.
  • A little politics, on Palin. Wow--the feeding frenzy against her has been amazing. I just don't get why she has to be demonized so. I suppose that the very things I like most about her (that she's conservative, religious, pro-life, and, well, normal) are things that cannot be tolerated. If I can say, "Obama's a liberal, I'm a conservative, and that's why I'm not voting for him" without devolving into hatred, why can't the other side do the same, in reverse?
  • Speaking of Obama, I'm beginning to have misgivings about him based on race. No, not his race. That would, of course, be wrong. But it's his and/or his supporters' use of race that spooks me. This morning this article ran on my home page, about how if Obama loses, it'll be because he's black. It just got me thinking--would he even have gotten this far were it NOT for his race? Would a one-term senator be seen as so attractive and transformational if he were a white dude? I don't know. But I have two nagging fears: first, that if he loses, it's "proof" that we're too racist to elect a black man. Or, second, that he wins, and we spend the next 4 to 8 years seeing every principled opposition to his policies as prima facie evidence of racism. I sure hope not.
  • Maybe I'm getting mellow in my old age. I just can't argue politics like I used to. I'm still passionate, but I have a hard time working up the level of rage so many of my colleagues do. I was at lunch yesterday, and found myself the only one at the table who wouldn't join in on Bush-McCain-Palin bashing. They knew I was the token conservative, and I think I let them down by not rising to the bait. The juice just isn't worth the squeeze.
  • Speaking of my colleagues, I become more and more convinced every day of the Will Rogers truism, "We're all ignorant, just on different subjects." I am surrounded by highly educated, brilliant people. And most of them couldn't run a lemonade stand.
  • It finally happened: an irate parent complained about political bias in my history lectures last week. But it's funny--he thought I was LIBERAL. I guess I was a little too successful at being fair and evenhanded. I told my principal (a good-natured lefty), and he said, "Who called you liberal? Hitler or Attila the Hun?"
  • My own running has been great this week. Last week I wussed out and only ran once, even though I had plenty of opportunity. This week, I have gotten back on track, and it feels GREAT to be in control of my life, at least a little.
  • The mess in financial services right now is very complicated. It's amazing how little most people understand anything about it. Maybe I'll blog about that sometime... but the level of ignorant discourse on the topic is distressing.
  • This is NOT the worst economy since the Great Depression. It's not even nearly as bad as the 1970s, or 1981. But saying that won't sell papers.
  • My cross-country team is ranked in the top 25 state-wide, in all classifications. We're the smallest school ranked that high. Cool!
  • Joe Biden says paying higher taxes is patriotism. Charlie Rangel, head of the house ways and means committee, cheats on his taxes. I guess that means Charlie's not a patriot.
  • Oh, yeah. Speaking of Joe Biden (who I can't help liking on a gut level, but for the life of me I don't know why), his tax returns show that he only gives about $300 to charity a year. So it's OK to take somebody else's money and give it away to the poor as refundable tax credits, but not necessary to give more than 0.1% of your own income voluntarily?

That's all I've got. Brain now empty. Think I'll get a haircut--I look like a Q-tip.

1 comment:

bekster said...

First, on the economy, I was thinking the other day, as I looked around me, that nothing really looks different. I mean, it's not like we're living in squalor. People may complain a lot more, especially about gas prices, but there are still enough cars on the road in the morning for me to be stuck in traffic. People may have to cut back on eating out or buying extraneous "stuff" they don't need. Ooooh, big deal. There is so much fluff between what most of us Americans consider to be a "normal" level of lifestyle and a level that truly leaves us with unmet needs. These "complainers" should try whining about gas prices to a rice farmer in Bangladesh and see if they get any sympathy.

Second, on Obama and the race issue, the fact that liberals would even answer questions on a survey that looks at whites and blacks in an "us and them" capacity suprises me a bit. It tells me that they (liberals) still must have that mindset--even though they want everything to be so "integrated." But, of course, we know this already because of their "equal opportunity" programs. If people of a certain group (blacks, tans, purples, whoevers) have to be labeled as those of that group to have special privileges or helps to get them to the level of those in the majority group, that defines them by default as "not as good," which only serves to hold them (and society) back even more. As far as racism goes, I think there are only two options, two ways to know we have finally kicked it: we can think of people as just people, not letting race ever factor into any equations (which would mean that blacks who vote for Obama only because he is black would not be of the new, non-racist thinking), or we can admit that, yes, people do have different ethnic backgrounds (which skin color is a product of, not a cause of) that shape the flowings of their lives, but it is okay. To ignore race is to devalue it--and there are many valuable facets of having a heritage. But, if we give it credence, we have to realize, too, that it isn't all-defining. To vote for someone simply because they are or are not black is just stupid. It also makes it less as special when there is actually a black candidate who we would want to elect for other, more legitimate reasons.

It's good to see you back, Larry.