Saturday, April 29, 2017

Snippets and Tidbits: A Short Collection of Political Articles and Observations

Writing has never been difficult for me. I can usually sit down and put together a good piece rather quickly. In fact, I'm one of those people who can be doing one thing and simultaneously drafting an article in my head. Later, I'll either sit down and write out the draft or flesh it out into a complete article. Most articles are already written in their entirety in my head by the time I've concluded my research, so it's a lot like simply taking dictation (actually, in some cases the hardest part is picking out the best picture to go along with each paragraph. I suspect this one is going to be a bear!). Of course, I'm also always on the lookout for current topics which I think you, my faithful readers, might enjoy.

Some of these, the snippets and tidbits as I call them, are quite long---two or three pages in length; a few are even longer. Others are just a few sentences or paragraphs. It is these snippets and tidbits that I keep because, well, they're good possible articles, and secondly, I may want to come back to them at some point in the future and expand on them; perhaps turn them into full blown articles or see if the idea has held up since I first wrote it. What follows are a few of these snippets and tidbits, written exactly as I first typed them out over the past weeks or years in some cases. Since I am including several, I've chosen to include just the shorter pieces in order to provide as much variety as possible. I hope you enjoy them. Of course, your comments or suggestions are always appreciated.

What Difference Does It Make?

Let me ask you dear reader, what did you do today; this week; or even this month to help the poor and defenseless? Did you throw a few bucks or spare change towards the symptoms of poverty or did you take action to relieve the causes? One can say that the difference between conservative and liberal is the difference between throwing those few bucks or spare change in a hat or cup in exchange for a pencil and helping them learn the skills needed to make those pencils. Some would say that an education isn't complete without learning critical thinking skills; without learning a trade to support yourself. The difference then is really between helping a person for a single day and helping a person for a lifetime. To the poor or weak, what does it matters if they remain dispossessed by society? What matters is that we take the time to look at the world around us as it really is. It could be said that in the end, it doesn't matter about the wealth we've accumulated, but the difference we made in the lives of others.

The Oligarchy

It doesn't require your agreement, merely your compliance. You must accept its reality. To deny it your willingness to comply; to ignore it, that is the greatest fear of the beast.

That Sense of Uneasiness

Do you sense it? That feeling of uneasiness that seems to everywhere. Nothing seems safe or secure. Nothing feels familiar anymore. We are as if strangers in our own country. Even that which we call sacred has a sense of hollowness to it. Something which we once possessed has gone missing. Is that why old TV shows and movies and even the music of times past have become increasing more popular? Is that why we enjoy looking as old clips of times past with more than a simple sense of nostalgia? Even the old commercials bring with them a fleeting warmth of the familiar.

Corruption in our governments; our schools, our courts; and even our places of worship have become so brazenly commonplace that they barely even register our attention anymore. How often do you hear of a teacher raping a student or a priest or minster raping a child or stealing money from their congregation? We watch on TV stories about such debauchery in the name of religion that their great Khans of old would flinch.

Society is decaying. Our so-called political "leaders" are more concerned with fundraising and appeasing their corporate kingmakers than actually solving problems, which are usually of their making. They focus on the crisis of the moment; one that's usually manufactured to divert the public's attention from the real problems. We've become a nation of political media stars driven by polls rather than a nation of statesmen driven by the public good. People have become stunned into a sense of apathy.

This has become global. There's no chance for a repleve in another city, state, or country. Technology is such that anyone anywhere can be monitored at any time. People seem to have forgotten that instant connection works both ways. The would be conspirator is always being watched or even anticipated. Any attempt at meaningful change, therefore, has to be global in its conception and application while at the same time, actions must be taken locally and coordinated regionally if not globally just as the corporations act globally. Once must, therefore accept and indeed embrace the notion that "democracy" and "freedom" have different meanings to different cultures and no one culture can or should expect to respond exactly as another would. The idea is not to duplicate a response but to allow each to develop its own responses and act accordingly.

Nobility and Folly

How do these great and noble nations allow themselves to fall to their knees and be beaten by weaker, less moral, less noble people? Is it the assumption that all peoples are equal? They are not. We may be all the same in our humanness but we are not equal; not in intelligence, abilities or appearance. Not all peoples are the same either; history, religion, politics and traditions have seen to that. When two peoples are similar, there is growth; a synergy. When there is not, there is confrontation until one falls. History has shown that it has been the more advanced and enlightened nation which collapses first due to the assumption that all peoples are equal and the same.

Our Search

There was a time we believed the gods dwelt deep in the primeval forest silently watching us; somehow responsible for our ills and joys. But when we went in search of them, they had gone. All we found was the expanse of the forest and its many creatures. Then we sought them deep in still waters, but when we dove after them, they vanished among the liquid shimmers. All we saw was the deep teeming with life. Then came a time when we believed them high among the mist covered mountain tops, just out of view but always present. In time, we braved these holy mountains, but the gods vanished with the mists. All we found was the fields and valleys stretching out before us in all directions.

Later, we reasoned that the gods resided higher in the heavens, just beyond the clouds. With time, we learned to soar like the birds high above the earth but once more the gods alluded us. All that was seen was the earth expanding without end below us and the beckoning darkness of distance heavens yet about us. So, we reasoned, we must ascend into the heavens yet deeper in order to converse with our creators. As so we mounted rockets and plunged our mortal selves into the dark vastness but there were no gods. All we found were worlds upon worlds unexplored but then we looked down, we saw our small fragile earth alone. We had sought the gods but found ourselves instead.

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