Saturday, October 20, 2012

Really, who is the racist?

As I have pointed out on this blog a few times before, I have a hard time understanding how it is that, in the political landscape, Republicans are racist and Democrats are the new party of Abraham Lincoln come to rescue the downtrodden blacks.

And apparently I'm not the only one is willing to point this out as this one gentleman did. And he did a good job in pointing out that he doesn't necessarily have to agree with her choice or her reasoning in making said choice (and he doesn't on both counts). But to suggest that she is a race traitor or worse because she is expressing her freedom to choose someone else and to stand outside the mainstream is not wrong but is a step that shows that the color of one's skin should not be the determining factor in one's political affiliation. After all, wasn't that the point of the Civil Rights Movement?

Unfortunately, I suspect that such a nuanced point of view will continue to be ignored because it's an uncomfortable thing to reflect upon contradictions in our views. Well, for most people, anyway...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

That says a lot...

But probably not what the perpetrators intended it to say.

No, what they intended to say was that "Hey, we can kill anyone who disagrees with us, even 14-year old girls who think they should be educated when the laws of God insist that they should be barefoot and pregnant." Instead, what they said was, "Hey, we are a bunch of grown men with guns who are afraid of a 14-year old girl who might convince people that we're grown idiots with guns who are afraid of a smart 14-year old girl."

And the fact that this guy sent a hit team to kill her speaks of desperation.

Now I just hope that this tragedy can serve a greater good and wake people up to recognize the dangers inherent in not opposing ignorance and the violence that it so often breeds. It is sad that it has cost this young woman so much but perhaps good may come of it after all. At least we can hope that it will...

History being a useful predictor of the future, however, I am not entirely encouraged.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What is fair and what do we deserve?

It's the high point of the political season in the United States and there is a steady refrain of how things should be more fair and clearly the poor (or insert your own group here) deserve more than what they have. I have to admit that this is a subjective subject at best (is it really possible to say "subjective subject"?). When we talk about "fair", what is fair? Fair to whom? The idea that it is fair to take from some and give to others is a Robin Hood-esque idea that makes everyone feel all warm and fuzzy. And I say that as a fan of the story of Robin Hood. However, there is a significant difference between Robin Hood that should be pointed out. Namely, Robin Hood was an individual who sought to assist people from the tyranny of the governing power. However, in many of the arguments bandied about today, the suggestion is that government should be taking from the rich and re-distributing to the poor, or protecting the poor from rich. Should the government take that role? Doesn't that make the government tyrranical - to at least a part of the society that it alleges to represent? At the very least, the Robin Hood comparison is a poor one.

But to cut to the idea of fair, it would be more appropriate to ask if fairness can ever truly be achieved. After all, the reality is that life is not fair. Some people are better looking than others. Some people are taller than others. Some men have more hair than others. Some people are smarter than others. There is no equality in life as people may wish for and it is not possible to make people equal in this fashion no matter how much they may think they deserve it. Yet the refrain is that we should strive for equality, particularly in terms of economics. While I would not argue against striving for equality and giving people equal opportunities, it makes no sense that the fairness being argued for only deprives those with (money) unfairly to give it to those without. Instead of giving people money to make it "fair", give them the same opportunities to make money. Those who can take advantage of those opportunities will get what is both fair and what they deserve. Those people deserve the opportunity to succeed, not the money or the goods that others have earned.

Somehow, though, I fear that this may not make it into the political discourse. *sigh*

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day off

Today was a day off and I had fully intended to take the unexpected reprieve from anything pressing to do to do things that were not quite so pressing. You know, things like writing, reading and generally nothing at all. One thing that was definitely at the top of my list of things not to do - watch television. Yes, I have found that is taking up way too much of time lately for reasons I can't really fathom since I normally do not watch a lot  to begin with. However, there are some shows that I do enjoy watching and Netflix is not proving to be very helpful, either. For me, it's The Big Bang Theory, Law & Order (I've been a huge fan of all of them for years), and a new show this year called Revolution (which grabbed my attention with the numerous commercials that were tied to it during the Olympics). You would think that would be fine since that does not seem like a lot of tv. However, you would be wrong. I am also a bit of a sports fan and my two favorite sports are football and football - the American and the international variety. So I watch the British Premier League during the week and on Saturdays and then American NFL on Sundays, Monday and Thursday nights. And that doesn't even count the occasional things that may pop up that I find interesting.

However, I have been working to reduce that and have gone an entire day without even turning on a television. Instead, I got out of bed and started my day working around the internet - a guilty pleasure that I've not been able to do a great deal of recently. After breakfast, I then did some work for the office (I know, I know, what was I thinking - but I did have some deadlines that were creeping up and I had to get them done because I know I'll be interrupted as soon as I get back to the office) for a couple of hours but that is ok because I wasn't in the office and not pushed to do so. Then I ran a few errands, read for a little while and even managed to take a short nap of about an hour (for me, that can be a short nap, even though I don't like to nap in the first place).

A couple of quick meals mixed in there and now some free writing time this evening. I'm even going to skip the football game this evening (because nothing can make me want to watch the disaster that the New York Jets are becoming this season) and then tomorrow should find me somewhat refreshed and recharged. And, at the end (and even the beginning) of the day, isn't that what we all want?