Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
In complete candor I must state at the very outset I have not the slightest idea whether God was involved in what I am about to tell of or not. Could just be two giant quinky-dinks. With that disclaimer, here goes.
A few weeks back, at breakfast time, I got a hankering for orange juice. The aforementioned hankering came not out of the blue mind you, but was sparked--like most hankerings are--as the result of seeing some inviting object of desire. This of course is the very bedrock of all marketing. One sees a gadget and says, "I could really use one of those" or sees a photo of an empty hammock under a palm studded white sand beach and says, "I really need to take a vacation soon."In the present case, the object was a simple plastic jug of orange juice in our fridge; one I'd gotten the last time I'd gone shopping just because while at the store I'd remembered that my wife likes orange juice. We hardly ever buy it--perhaps once or twice a year--because, 1) it is rather expensive and 2) my diet does not allow for sugar-rich drinks of any kind. Nonetheless I'd bought it and now there it was and its very presence gave me a sudden hankering for a splash of OJ to go along with my morning Kashi.
The thing was--is--I am for some reason crazily picky about utensils and things. I only wanted a very few ounces of juice and all our glasses were regular sized. The smallest glass we had seemed at least 3 times too big. I knew exactly the kind of glass I needed--and we had nothing like it. I needed a very small juice glass; the kind I'd had when having brunch somewhere or when having a Continental breakfast at some Holiday Inn Express. You know the kind I mean.
Anyway, the next week, when I was at Walmart, I looked for them. I was so intent on getting just what I had in mind I was ready to buy a whole set. We still had more than a half of a jug of OJ left and it would last us for weeks to come. I could justify the purchase of a package of 4 or 6 of them with the thought that we'd use them for company some time. As if we ever have company for breakfast. As it turns out, they for some reason didn't have any juice glasses anyway. I knew I could probably find one at a thrift store someday if I kept a lookout for one, but that search might take years before bearing fruit. Oh well, I'll just keep it listed on my shopping list as a reminder. Perhaps Walmart will get some in sometime.
The following week as I am cleaning up the alley behind our house (I really want to tell you about the alleys in our neighborhood sometime soon!) What did I see, right there on top of an abandoned TV set, but a perfect-sized little juice glass. It needed washing badly, but was otherwise in perfect shape. Just like the ones I remember at Denny's in the 50's and 60's. I suppose it may have been set there by one of the many recyclers who daily roam the alleys collecting aluminum and recyclable glass.
Here's the whole deal: I desired a juice glass and, within several days of feeling such a 'need', a juice glass appears! How odd is that?
OK--one quinky-dink out of the blue. But check this out: the very next week, after determining that the wash cloth I've been using for years was recycle-bin-bait because the holes in it had grown to be big enough to put 4 fingers through, guess what I found laying in the middle of 4th Ave as I collected trash from around the church? Yup--a white wash cloth. Brand new. Must have fallen from a passing vehicle. TWO quinky-dinks in a row. Both small insignificant things I had simply wanted. I wanted them--they appeared in my path. Weird.
Here is where, if time permitted, I'd wax philosophical/metaphysical about things. But you are saved by the bell. It's late and I must get to bed. More later--as time permits.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Ok, I am now going to push my personal envelope--a bit. I told you I'd give a follow-up report and here it is. Earlier today I had the afore-mentioned (previous post) medial procedure. It is the one folks my age are supposed to have and it ends in oscopy. There. That's on the table. Not as a topic of discussion mind you, just there on the table. Let's let sleeping medical procedures lie.
I should add that nothing was found--a good thing of course--and, according to the doc, "everything looked fine" and so I need not repeat this unnamed procedure for another 10 years. I will say this though: That medicine they give you so you won't care what they are doing to you worked really well.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Look: this militia group--or whatever it is--did NOT spring up right after the signing of the health care bill. No doubt it has been in existence even before Barrack Obama's election. This militia group has probably been under surveillance for many months--if not for years. The administration was just waiting for the most propagandistically propitious moment to play the be-afraid-of-the-tea-party-crowd card. And now they've played it. Expect a few more cards to be slapped down on the media table for public consumption in the weeks and months ahead. As I said in my last post, "Buckle up--I see turbulence ahead."
Let it be said here that contentious folks are to be found on either side of our country's political divide. My purpose in relating the story above is simply to provide a backdrop for three points I am anxious to make about the current political climate: First, why the presidency of Mr. Obama is not operating on a non-partisan basis and bringing us together as promised. Second, why political correctness and partisan attacks may soon reach levels heretofore not seen in our lifetimes. And last, why it is that the political left has a far higher percentage of haters in its ranks than does the right.
It should now be glaringly obvious to even the most hopeful Obama supporter that, rather than us seeing our country being happily brought together by a compromising, conciliating, middle-way, political-peace-making president, we are instead witnessing our political and social fabric being agonizingly torn asunder. This tearing has been brought about as a result of the radical changes to our societal structure passed much too rapidly into law using highly unorthodox and undemocratic means and in a purely partisan fashion. This ram-rod approach has troubled a majority of our citizens and roused very deep concerns on the part of many. Some are even quite angry over what they consider the latest, and largest, of a series of unconstitutional power grabs by an administration they view as bent on fundamentally altering the foundational principles of our governmental and economic system.
Political correctness has always been around in one form or another. In a nutshell is is a prevailing political atmosphere which grows to so dominate civic and cultural life that one who expresses opinions contrary to it may be subject to social "penalties" ranging anywhere from subtle blacklisting to being--in the current political climate--labeled a racist, sexist or homophobe, or even to facing actual civil--or even criminal--penalties. The major institutions of our culture; education, mainstream news media and government, are all purveyors and enforcers of the current left-dominated political correctness. This has been the case at least since the mid-1980s--and in some respects even prior to then. Now however, it seems that political correctness has reached a critical mass and, rather than those in power feeling secure and sanguine in their newly acquired position of power, they seem instead to feel all the more threatened and defensive. Thus, anyone with strong objections to the current government take-overs of large sectors of the economy are now being labeled as somehow "dangerous' or "anti-government." This is a common tactic of those seeking to marginalize and demonize their opponents. I believe we can expect much more of this. We should be ready for it. As I indicated, this ride may get very bumpy.
In conversation with some of my friends on the political or theological left, they will sometimes make reference to "right wing hate" most often citing Rush Limbaugh as their prime example. Compared to any left-wing counterpoint one might want to name--for example anyone on the former Air America network--Mr. Limbaugh is a gentleman's gentleman when it comes to political discourse. My friends on the left seem genuinely incredulous when I give them my testimony that I have found a wonderfully tolerant attitude among conservatives and far, far less hatred that I had known--and practiced--in my sojourn with the political left. The reasons for this are numerous, but the plain and main reason for the greater volume of hatred on the left, as compared to the right, is simply that the right views people on the left as essentially like themselves, only people who happen to be in the grip of mistaken or bad ideas. Those on the left however, view those on the right as unlike themselves--and as bad or evil people. Hating and expressing hatred can have a cathartic aspect to it and is, in a perverse way, enjoyable and even--also in a perverse way--self-affirming. I know from personal experience. I used to love to hate the right and all conservatives and conservative institutions: traditional churches, their leaders and members; all political groups to the right of my perspective; the Boy Scouts, the military, police, all corporations, big business and of course greedy capitalism in general--and all the middle class "droids" who helped in any way support these institutions. That was quite a vast number of people for me to hate. Seems though I was quite up to the challenge and felt quite self-righteous in the process.
It may be necessary for me to remind the reader that I am fully aware of the fact of right-wing anger and hatred. My whole point though--my assertion based upon experience--is that, as a percentage of the whole, the haters on the right are by far a much smaller percentage than those on the left. Speaking for myself, there were two big factors which kept me from transferring the hatred I once enjoyed--yes, I did enjoy it!--on the left to the other side of the political avenue. One was my newly-acquired Christian value system and the other was the entrenched conservative tradition of respectful civility I found to be firmly in place when I arrived at my new political home. I must confess that from time to time I have been tempted, especially in times past, to backslide back into a clenched-fist approach to political activism, but each time, before very long, I'd find myself relaxing that inner clenched fist as I am reminded, by my Lord and by respected conservative leaders, that although we may be called to the political ramparts, we are always to fight as happy warriors who are to love even our enemies as we go about subjecting their ideas only, and not their persons, to our assaults. This is the happy warrior tradition I am proud to be associated with, and the one I wish--and will work--to see maintained as we move into this next episode of our country's history.
Friday, March 26, 2010
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little lame ballooman
whistles far and wee
and eddyandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
when the world is puddle-wonderful
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and