School starts this Friday. Introduction to Psychology and General Chemistry II. And I am starting to think that I am crazy for doing this. Perversely enough, however, I’m looking forward to the semester starting. I want to get into it and, ultimately, over with.
We are watching the temperatures with great interest. As I write this, it is very, very cold outdoors. It is maybe 12 degrees Farenheit outside right now. The forecast is for temperatures to drop even more over the next 36-48 hours, and another winter storm has been forecast for Wednesday, possibly into Thursday. Personally, I have had enough of winter; considering the amount of snowfall we’ve had up to now it’s almost where we should be by the end of the season. Speaking strictly for myself, I will be happy to see spring again.
This past Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of the Presidential inauguration of John F. Kennedy. At that time, I was not on the planet yet – I don’t even think my mother was pregnant with me at the time. That happened not too long after, as I was 17 months old when he was assassinated. Nevertheless, even with his personal life exposed as it was, he is one of my favorite Presidents. Others, strangely enough, are Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. As for so many of the others who have been in the Oval Office, none have impressed me enough to be put on that list.
After I watched his inaugural address for the umpteenth time, I remembered why he made my short list.
Now – on to other matters…
Over the past couple of weeks, like so many other people, I’ve been following the progress of Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Congresswoman recovering from being shot at point-blank range by a supposedly mentally ill gunman. Based on what I’ve read – quite a lot of material, in fact – I think it’s pretty clear that not only is the alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, is indeed mentally ill, but that he’s also been influenced by some of the extremes in both politics and the news media.
I read an interesting piece in the blog PoliticusUSA that started me thinking. Basically, the author, a journalist by the name Sarah Jones wrote about the responsibility people like talk show guy Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin need to take with respect to the rhetoric they use to make their point and how it has affected people in general, and someone like Jared Loughner in particular. It is a compelling post, and it made me think. Others, certainly, have made the same argument, that where the political Right is responsible for the likes of actions such as the one that nearly killed Representative Giffords and 5 others as well as the 15 that were killed at the event she was hosting. But Jones’ post, and the point she makes, is quite compelling. Not only is this an attention-getter, but the assertion that American politics has become “uncivil” has also made a splash, at least as far as making people take a second look at how people like Beck and Palin behave in the public square.
I have always been a proponent of civil discourse. It is this discourse that makes the United States of America the wonderful nation it has become. And I enjoy seeing good political debate, reading differing points of view in the interpretation of what is said, and watching the process by which the mechanics of government function. There is nothing like watching sausage be made, in fact. But what is not good to see and hear are statements and comments that drive the level of delusion through the roof. This is what the likes of Palin and Beck – and I can name others who have the same perspective as them – are doing.
I’m sure that there are many – and I mean many – who would disagree with this portrayal of what has been happening. Personally, though, I don’t care. I hadn’t been able to put a finger on what was happening, but what I’ve felt has been expressed quite accurately by the so-called liberal media.
And I believe they got it right.
“Don’t pray for easy lives, my friends. Pray to be stronger men.”
-- John F. Kennedy