Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Locals Vote "No"

I am, admittedly, surprised and pleased that my neighbors voted down a  'sanctuary city' proposal in yesterday's local election. This after much intense public debate.

But perhaps I should not feel surprised, because a town like Peterborough does not become what it is -- a true example of what an American community should be -- open, tolerant, caring, but also responsible and independent in spirit -- by mere chance.

No -- it has taken much wisdom, hard work, and keen thinking to make the town what is, and, equally, to preserve it as such.

The "sanctuary city" idea sounds fine, at least to some good hearted people. But things like kindness, generosity of spirit and even simple "goodness" are like delicate flowers. -Things that bloom, grow and prosper only when there is peace and joy and, yes, a measure of prosperity.

Peterborough has all those things. And (I am sorry to say -- but equally important), it has no "Section 8" housing. Anyone is welcome in Peterborough, but so far every taker of that "offer" has had to be a person who has been striving to make their own way, and with proven habits that they can succeed in doing so.

Peterborough is not 'hoity toity' -- not in the least -- but it is not an inexpensive place to live. You will find no subsidized -- i.e., paid for by others -- housing here. Thus most kids here have two parents. Most people here work, and not just at their "day job," but at life.

The "sanctuary city" proposal was pushed by an activist who also was running for town office. (She lost) And along with her desire to make our town a sanctuary for those here illegally was an expressed (some would say "harped upon") desire to see the town's property codes rewritten. That, to use her own words, "instead of asking people who have already made it" there should be "outreach to the people who are... struggling."

Nice sentiments for the sophomore class lyceum, perhaps. But an open-minded and clear look at where such would actually lead as to the community's quality of life regarding such things as peace, safety (the town has almost no crime), continued prosperity and such must be rejected. It simply must.

And this, apparently, even the "artists" realized.

Dreamers they may be, but they are dreamers who live in the real world. -A world that headlines show to be rapidly disappearing. One where a person is judged, and then accepted, by their actual doings. Yes, and demonstrated character. Not by slogans about "equality," "fairness" and rejecting "hate."

Thank you townspeople. Yesterday you demonstrated once again just why I love it here so.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Life Among the "Children"

I start every morning with two things:  Spending some time with my various 'arts' and catching up with the fast-increasing, world-wide, insanity of the day.

That the first of these is a source of total, spirit-lifting, joy and the second not too different from time under a dentist's drill, is itself revealing. Why can't looking at world news be as uplifting to the spirit as are the arts?

Maybe because one is personal -- and thus liberating. The other controlled.

Some, of course, lets their "arts," too, be controlled. Yes, and their entertainment.  And thus that too is for them "ugly."  The psychology of that is interesting, but frankly far from my focus.

Yet both of my morning "starters" are equally neccasary.  The first to assure my own mental health and joy in living. The second to, hopefully, help do the same for the future of our species.

Human social passion and anger are not without purpose.  Such are much like our instinctual response to pain. We pull back and cry out. Something far better that putting our hand into a fire and then thoughtfully questioning "what's that odd and unpleasant smell?"

Children cry instinctually. It is their way of getting others to care for their needs before they are capable of caring for such themselves. But when children are effectually parented such ends.. -That because they, the "child," has learned to care for his or herself and, equally, because such have learned that they must.

It is from such growth and learning that adulthood comes.

It is the lack of that -- be it on the part of a small child who can do no other, or the "spoiled" child that has not been taught to be other -- that makes time spent in some households less than a delight.

Well, to me anyway. Some I suppose must like it.  Or think that the discomfort such causes is "just the way things are" -Something one must tolerate. Or simply ignore. Or flee from to the TV. Or out of the house. Or to the bottle..

That is why I read. And it is in part the reason why I write. -Because I believe in humanity. Adult humanity. Thoughtful humanity.

The command "go forth and multiply" isn't really about producing "kids."  It is about producing adults.

Following that command -- that of producing the next generation of adults -- is, though, getting harder to do.  Society does not encourage it.  As is, I suppose, the taking on of parenting at all when all one has largely seen are ill-disciplined children.

So people -- more and more people -- just run and hide. Look to a life of play. Something that makes them, too, in a sense "children."

Am I free from that temptation?

No.  And that is in part why I live where I do.  In one of the seemingly few remaining parts of the nation (and, perhaps, the Western World) where the old values still hold. Where men and woman are just that -- where childhood is left behind.

Why anyone would choose to live among children past the age of sixteen I cannot imagine.  Tantrums then are so unnatural. So ugly.

But, again, I look at what today passes for "art" and entertainment.  And I flee that as well.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Bringing the Classroom to Order

I read with interest the many articles, columns and social media comments over the last several days that spoke with great regret, or in other cases unmitigated joy, about the "failure" of President Trump to quickly and easily nix Obamacare.  I personally saw and see this entire affair rather differently -- and for several reasons.

The first is how the unfolding of things illustrated how silly have been the charges and fears that Donald Trump is some sort of Attila the Hun -- a man looking to seize power and do away with our nation's democratic and republican ideals.  For in fact he demonstrated just the opposite qualities. -Flexibility and willingness to work with congress -- and a demonstrated understanding of where the responsibilities of the executive branch leave off and those of the legislative branch begin.  -Something the nation had almost forgotten about under the sorry reign of King Barack.

Secondly we saw -- and what a refreshing change! -- a president who once again saw himself as a representative of the people who elected him, not of a political party.  "Winning" for the Republican Party was not key. Standing by what he promised the people was.  (That the media somehow did not/do not see this -- or, as likely, do but wish to squelch it -- has been rather amazing.)

And by doing both the above something else was lit up in bright lights: The degree that the president's own amazing words at his inauguration are really true -- that we "are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people."

The Democrats to a man refused to support undoing Obamacare -- this despite almost universal recognition that it has hurt the American people, and hurt them badly. That it was built on falsehoods and outright lies.

The Republican party, on the other hand, demonstrated how empty their party promises have been. That after nearly eight years of complaining and fault finding they were not prepared to act on the people's behalf, only to talk and squabble among themselves.

Political pressure -- greatly added to by the snipping and sneering of the media and the various party elites -- did not deflect the president an iota. He was willing to bend, but not fold, on what he understood the people needed and/or from what he himself promised.

Instead he swallowed his pride -- something his critics told us he would never do -- and simply walked away.

Legislation responsibilities belong to the legislature. President Trump has placed it back in 'their court' -- just where such should be.

No, the story does not end here.  In a sense it just begins. And that is exactly as it should be.

If we blot out the noise and stand just a bit above the fray of the moment something becomes very clear:  We have a man -- a true leader -- standing above the boys. We will now see him, step-by-step, take control of the unruly classroom and bring it to order. And that for all our sake.

This piece appeared on American Thinker

Friday, March 10, 2017

They Do. I Do.

Yahoo News has headlined a story "Starbucks CEO's refugee comments sour customer views of chain." This is the third similarly themed article I have seen in recent days. The other two concern the cereal make Kellogg's and its sub companies including Keebler cookies and the Target chain of stores -- both of which, also, have seen huge losses in sales attributed in part to having taken strong stands on politically sensitive subjects of importance to many of the American people.

Personally I do not generally let another person's political POV affect my business dealings with them. No more than I do the private views of a performing artist.

But if a company itself chooses to make a public issue of a political stand that I personally find repugnant that changes things for me. -I.e., if they choose to make something an issue then I go along with their decision and do allow it to influence my shopping habits. Completely.

Starbucks has taken such a stand several times. Not quietly, but boldly. Even going as far as encouraging their shop personnel to start discussions with patrons and encourage such to share the company's internationalist perspective. No thank you Starbucks. I just wanted a cup of coffee.

If I am offered Starbucks coffee I am willing to drink it. (I much prefer Peet's) But I do not generally choose to go any longer into a Starbucks shop.

Target made a big thing a while back about their toilets and changing rooms being open to anyone based solely on their personal gender choice. Now if their concern for gender confused people moved them to make their facilities totally private so that any and all could feel comfortable using them that would to me be a fine thing. But when the company publicly stated that women who were not comfortable with physical males sharing the facilities were somehow morally deficient -- well that crossed a line in my eyes. Offensively so. I therefore choose to do my shopping elsewhere.

Kellogg's cereal went even further. When then candidate Donald Trump invited Breitbart dot com's editor, Stephen Bannon, to work for him, Kellogg's very publicly stated that they would no longer advertise on Breitbart dot com because such did not "reflect their values."

Okay. That, too, is their right. But Bannon and Breitbart and Donald Trump do largely reflect my personal values. If such offends Kellogg's then my business goes elsewhere. Bye-bye Kellogg's Shredded Wheat. Bye-bye Keebler Pecan Sandies cookies.

Frankly I think a business taking such a public stand on a private issue is stupid. But they have the right to do such, and be such. And I can only respect their expressing that right by myself acting in accordance with it.

Roughly 50% of the American people think roughly as I do. Why a company would want to turn such away is beyond me. But again... That's their right.

So bye-bye Kellogg's. Bye-bye Target. Bye-bye Starbucks.

To me it is as simple -- and as firm -- as that.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sea Legs -- Who Has Them?

Sometimes one wishes one could look into another person's brain. Well, not "brain" exactly. More their thought processes. Or, even, said more frankly, what in hell they are thinking.
Here in America -- and apparently also in Western Europe -- there is a growing divide. Some -- and yes, this includes me and, according to a few recent polls, a growing plurality (if not yet an actual majority) -- see a righting of the long listing ship that is the social structure. People -- normal, everyday, thinking feeling, living souls -- are beginning to be able to walk upright again. The deck of our shared ship is for the first time in years approaching at least some measure of level. No, not there yet, but seen as coming. Others are feeling the need to hold onto something -- anything! -- for dear life. They feel as if they are about to slip off the deck into a cold and inhospitably sea. What's with that? The answer is, yes, in the mind. In our our thought processes. In, as above, 'what the hell we, and they, are thinking.' It was the mainstream media the coined the phrase "fake news." Bet they now wish they hadn't! -That because once one realizes that news can indeed be "fake" (who knew?) one opens one's eyes and starts looking. And that we have. And, yes, we are seeing. Our new president has many gifts. Reading the moment being one of them. When others, as I do here, ask "what are people thinking?" he intuitively just knows. And then, knowing, he can frame his words and actions to that minute's need. Some -- including theoretical thinkers and doers on both the left and the right -- saw, and even now see, this rare gift as a fault. But it is hardly that. No more than it is a "fault" when a skilled seaman can intuitively compensate for the next motion of the ship's deck -- keeping his footing and continuing normal forward motion using what to someone looking on appears to be an unnatural gate. Such a gate on a ship in port might indeed be just that -- unnatural. But on a ship in a roiling sea being able to do that is a total advantage. And we -- our societies and people -- are today on such a sea. Pity those who don't know it. Who believe that our ship is in fact in a safe and still harbor. Who think that the motion they sense is simply other people moving, when they themselves are stable and still. And so they stand there, not "seeing," In denial. And think that the skilled seaman with his odd step is... what? Drunk? Crazy? I think that is exactly the error that is effecting some people's thought processes. It is a view into their brains. Those, especially, whose hair has been blown dry -- and then lacquered there -- the so-called "talking heads" on TV -- those who look -- and indeed are -- totally out of place on today's storm tossed seas. -They, sitting in front of a blue screen, with an artificial view of the world inserted behind them. Oh, how glad we should be that we have a captain who can read the waves. And steer us on our course. He who to them -- holding on to whatever they can grab, in fear -- or staying in their bunks -- is seen as the one who is unstable. And that is what is happening today. -Going on in people's minds. May they, too, some time find peace and rest. But now now. Not until a true safe harbor can be reached. Meanwhile lets be thankful for our captain as we struggle to get sea legs ourselves and follow him.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Donald Trump -- "My Man"?

I've been enjoying a private conversation that this morning sort of reached a critical point -- a point I thought worth sharing.

The friend -- and he is a friend, a person whom I respect. One who has made many choices different from my own and come to some rather different conclusions about what is good for the human family and where its future better lies. Anyway, the friend, who says he in fact agrees with many of my observations about mankind's common plight, still... well I'll just quote him...

     "I agree with much of what you say but think it ludicrous that you believe DT is your man."

To which I offered this (very slightly edited here) response...

"I don't think in terms of Donald Trump being "my man."  But I do see him as being two things: The single voice who was able to see what was important to the many -- that the no-borders Davos crowd was swamping their hopes and dreams.  And who has what to me are unfathomable skills -- and the balls! -- to fight against all the entrenched powers.

That such should not be needed is I think for both of us a given.

But... have you ever been bullied?

Think of the peaceful studious or arty kid being constantly ridden by the jocks.  Then imagine that the "authorities" no longer care about protecting such. -That all the rules are there to allow the bullies to hold sway -- that while hiding behind nice words.

Then another tough street fighter appears. And he for whatever reason stands with and for the bullied and not the bullies.

That is what so many movies of the `70s were about. Dirty Harry. The Charles Bronson films.

One watches those films and roots for Dirty Harry. Did you never do so?

Why?  Because he is "nice"? "Sweet"?  "Innocent"?

No. Because the bullied *finally* have one of their own.


And, no, they don't disown him and turn against him when he shows he is what he is. A rude, crude, tough street fighter.

You have been in with the bullies.  Maybe not even realizing it.  So are many, many of the Upper West Side set that thrive on The New Yorker.

Their kids don't go to the public schools.
Their building have a door man.
They travel in closed in, safe, protected and quiet limousines.
Their wealth comes from the upper reaches that rewards... what?  Think about it.
And it is all  comfortably hidden under polite conversation. Even their wrinkles are hidden by hours and fortunes spent to that end.

Live among such and you'd better agree with them on everything. They tolerate no brooking of accepted thought.  And their tongues are sharp.

And then there is Donald Trump. The Queens ruffian. He who for years and years beat those people over and over and over again at their own game.

And now he is fighting for the people.

And yes, he really is.

Why? Pure motive?

I actually think so, yes. To the extent that anyone does. He made his fortune and now wants to be something more.

But does it really matter?  The point is he is doing it."

And yes, to me that is the point.  He is DOING IT.