- Politics and Social Issues»
- United States Politics
Watching The River Flow
"But right now I'll just sit
here so contentedly and
watch the river flow."
Opinions & Bellybuttons
In a largely forgotten song, Dylan growled about my pastime.
For me, there is great enjoyment, contentment even, in watching the river of life flow and offering a bit of color commentary to it all.
Opinions, as has been said, are like bellybuttons. Everyone has one, but no single navel has the market cornered on perfection; so it is with opinions.
To my mind, making comments on the foibles of human nature is one of those unalienable rights Thomas Jefferson concluded were endowed by our Creator. I have yet to meet a situation that did not require my input.
Explanations & Caveats
I am a political junkie not for partisan reasons but because it is the most intriguing game in town; more interesting characters, more shady machinations, more plot twists and better acting than the typical tinsel town dramas.
The double-dealing and flip-flopping bouts of one-upmanship are often entertaining or amusing.
The human drama is fascinating; I am drawn in by the maneuvers created by raw ambition. The convoluted scheming carries all the irony and pathos of a Shakespearean epic.
There is always enough hypocrisy on all sides of any particular storyline to make me extremely glad that my “citizenship is in heaven.”
I possess no illusions about the political process. There are occasional exceptions of course, but by definition, politicians play it fast and loose with the facts. It is the nature of the beast.
If you doubt that, pay attention as each side’s spin-doctors reformat the same statistics to make them echo their party line.
Right & Left
The Christian Right and the Christian Left seems to both believe that the task of the church is to usher in a new era of morality and governance based upon their singular reading and policy positions.
The church’s role in political life can be a dicey proposition. In fact it can be dangerous to the true purpose and function of the church. It is self-evident that in the transaction of rendering under Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s, Caesar seldom is the one to get shortchanged. To politicize the gospel is to pervert the gospel.
Hope & Change?
Nine months into an administration that was to be all about hope and change, and buyer’s remorse is solidifying. According to Gallup the president’s approval ratings are in a steady decline while the disapproval numbers are on the increase.
Anyone who thought a savior was rising up from the noisy maelstrom has got to be gravely disappointed.
It’s the age-old game of jockeying for position. President Obama is a politician; he is a good talker, whose conduct is distanced from his words.
His example of bipartisanship means yakking circles all around a topic, nodding and winking at opponents and then going forward lock-step with his ideological companions.
He sees the world the way he wishes it would be, and there is a serious disconnect between that perspective and cold, hard reality. He has an unbridled belief in his powers of persuasion, though after a high-profile deployment of those gifts, Chicago placed fourth in a field of four for the 2016 Olympics.
If he cannot influence the nice folks on the International Olympic Committee, are we supposed to be comforted and encouraged by the prospect of him engaging in face to face sit-downs with the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejab or Hugo Chavez?
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
There are hot potatoes requiring action: Health care, historic unemployment and an economy that is sputtering along; plus Afghanistan is desperate for decisive leadership.
His plate is full, but how long will he play the delaying game like a child refusing to eat what has been served?
His phalanx of apologists and supporters stay on message repeating that each issue is difficult; each problem is a puzzle requiring time to gather all the information before rushing to judgment with a decision.
Wait a minute. Candidate Obama had an answer for every one of these matters. He could tick them off as simple three-point plans. Afghanistan was the good war; it was necessary and urgent for America to win and secure the country. Why is he now dithering and dinking around?
Yes he has hard choices to make, but this is the job; this is the job for which Barack Obama invested millions of dollars and spent almost two years on the road campaigning to have; this is the business he has chosen. None of it is above his pay grade, so he ought to lead by making the tough decisions.
But what do I know? There’s nothing special about my bellybutton.
- Wanted Man
Wanted Man a.k.a. Ken R. Abell, seeks to be a blessing to others. He's a rake, a rambler, and a teller of tales who understands that there is strength in a story well told and well lived. To learn more, inquire or schedule him, visit this web site.
- Love, Theft, 9/11 and Bob Dylan
According to Newsweek, Dylan's 2001 album Love and Theft was the second best album of the first decade of the twenty-first century. Newsweek's judgment is fine, though in my opinion . . .
- What's Up With Politics?
Is it just me or has the transparency pitched by Candidate Obama been reduced to a nice-sounding concept? Or worse, has it always been merely strategic words used to soothe an uninformed electorate?
- Life In The Fast Lane
Once upon a time, baby boomers came of age in an ecstasy of excess. It was termed the age of Aquarius and to celebrate, decadence danced in unabashed glory. Intimacy was reduced to the level of a routine handshake . . .
- What Have Boomers Taught Their Children?
Many of us aging baby boomers can get downright teary-eyed with nostalgia when we hear the harmonic strains of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's. . .
- Truth For Every Season
The lyrics of September Song are enchanting: "Oh, it's a long, long while from May to December...But the days grow short when you reach September...When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame..."