Category Archives: Observations

Warm Lights over Bitter Wine

A few months ago, while standing in a grocery store check-out line, I listened on as an older gentleman ranted loudly and at length to his unfortunate cashier, espousing his colorful version of world events and political preferences.  I will say that I’m not the type of person to find these types of commentary offensive.  Everybody has their respective opinions and – hopefully – reasons for having them.  What I did find interesting, and incredibly rude, was that this gentleman thought it appropriate to speak his mind in a grocery store check-out line, where anyone within the adjacent five or six lines had no choice but to hear him. Continue reading Warm Lights over Bitter Wine

Symbolism, Patriots and the plight of angry, frightened voters.

I was recently moved to participate in something I rarely do anymore; I sat through several political ads.  It wasn’t because I thought there was a chance in a remote corner of Hell that the adds would reveal even a shred of truth or insight into a candidate’s intended agenda.  It was instead more of a reconnaissance mission, aimed at gathering evidence indicative of an effort – however covert – on the part of the candidate and his or her financial backers to influence fence-sitting voters by means of a symbolic slight-of-hand.  And let’s be honest right up front; money does provide opportunity for mass media exposure, giving those with greater resources the upper-hand in the advertising arena.  And while we’re being honest let’s put another “it goes without saying” anecdote on the table; not everything you see and hear on TV and the radio are true.  Imagine that.

I decided long ago that the moderates and centrists within each political party were either gone or on their way out of the American political system.  These are – were? – the independent thinkers not enslaved by party dogma and ideology, and hence the most willing to negotiate, and even offer compromise, when it proved necessary to achieve legislative goals.  It’s a concept that appears entirely absent in our current political construct, which has become counter-conducive to promoting an atmosphere where thinking-men proudly gather in great halls for the purpose of providing effective, representative government on behalf of their constituents.  Continue reading Symbolism, Patriots and the plight of angry, frightened voters.