Saturday, December 25, 2004

Have happy days

May you all have a happy Christmas and a Merry New Year

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I miss Pogo

Last night it dawned on me that Friday the 13th came on Monday this month. All day it had been feeling like a Friday the 13th what with one thing and the other. I owe that little gem of understanding to the comic strip that introduced us to the term "We have met the enemy and he is us." I remember the possum from the Okefenokee along with Albert the Alligator and (I think it was) Bearnum who always spoke in advertising and promotional type along with a host of other characters. There was a lot of good folk wisdom in that strip. Every four years, I still start the election season by saying, "I go Pogo." But last night I really had a hankerin' for that strip again. Where is Walt Kelly when you need him? I GO POGO; I MISS POGO.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Am I a Liberal?

I originally wrote this piece as an answer to a question that Sunnye Writer posted on an earlier post. But I think I will give it its own spot. Liberals can add their own definitions and, I'm sure, that less liberal who frequent this site will also be heard from. (I haven't blogged much lately since I've been busy and my wife has been in intensive care for over a week {She's out now but still in the hospital})

I'm not sure I'm a "typical" liberal; in fact, I'm not sure that there is such a thing. We all do our own thinking and come up with our own responses to the world. For myself, what is moral has to do not with rules laid down in concrete but in rules that enable us to live in a world as it is changing. For instance, some churches believe that sex is only for procreation and that efforts to control the population of the earth is immoral. I look at it from a Humanist view and believe that if we were intended to use sex just for procreation, then women would come into season just like many, many other species and sex would occur only at that time. Instead, in the human species, sex seems to be as much of a bonding activity as it is a procreative activity. Granted, procreation cannot occur without it, but sex can occur at times when it would be impossible for procreation to occur if a man and woman are willing. This then takes sex out of where the religious right would apparently like to place it.

Second, I believe that the world has become so crowded that it is no longer the world that I grew up in. Millions of people, perhaps billions, have no source of clean water. Childhood antics that I was involved in within a small town of only several hundred people would have me sent to a prison today, primarily because we have to keep a tighter grip on people if the society as a whole is to survive. The elbow-rubbing world we have become has to have much more regulations in it to take care of the above. Believe it or not, as a liberal, I do not believe in government regulations, but I believe they are necessary for us all to live together without Erin Brockoviches or Ralph Naders. We have become a society where it is the individual that is so important that we forget that we all live in a society, which like a garden, would turn to jungle if we don't nurture all parts of it and enable all parts of it to survive. Some people may feel it is already a jungle and they are the prey.

I believe that all people must be treated with dignity and respect. We all have pretty much the same drives and urges and requirements. If we chose to wear flowers in our hair (not that I could since I have no hair), then we should be allowed to do so unless the flowers we use create an allergic reaction in someone near us. Then, we should move. I believe that every person deserves to be listened to without putting them down and should be shown the same respect everyone else deserves. This does not mean that we should allow the person without controls, the psychopath or the socially inept, to run free to damage innocent others. But it does mean that within the parameters of dealing with the eccentrics who disrupt society unduly or who claim the property or lives of others without due cause, we should enable each of us to live the life we choose. And, I believe that we all must take responsibility for all members of the society we live in, our neighborhood, our community, our county, our state, our nation, and the world.

And, finally for now, we must use reason as our overall guide for knowing the world around us. Dreams, emotions, religious experiences, drug experiences may all have a place in knowing what is going on in the world. But each of them must then be run through the dry day of reason before we are justified in running (or ruining) our lives by them, or in demanding that other people follow our lead.

As David says, Love is the answer. But we have to fully understand the questions before it makes any sense. Who are we? What are we? Why must we treat people who look and act differently different if they are not threatening us?

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