Wednesday, January 11, 2006
I have been having a prolonged discussion with another blogger, one sweetjazzycat.blogspost.com concerning left and right wing issues on which we generally differ widely. I have been posting long winded responses on jazzycat's blog. It occured to me that I am depleting my already skimpy supply of energy and time leaving me little or none to use on this site. So, in the future, I will normally post any responses to jazzycat here. Actually, it matters little as it's possible that jazzycat is the only other human or, er, feline, who has spent any time here. Well, that's all right. Who knows, some other unsuspecting soul might stumble in here unawares and suddenly find him or herself enmeshed in this nasty web of bantering.
As an acknowledgement of Jazzycat's contributions herein I offer the above photo. My eldest brother, who passed away back in 1989, was the pastor of this little church in rural Indiana. I took this pic on a January day while enroute to his funeral service which was to be held at the church.
Now, as to Jazzycat. For a cat, she has a lot of opinions. She has lumped the media - the mainstream media down to just MSM. I suppose that is not original with her, but it tends to make the assumption that all the media - Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc., excepted - is a monolith of left wing agendas. Anytime the media questions, say, the Bush administration, or is otherwise critical of it, the assumption is made that it comes from left leaning media mopes.
Doesn't any sitting president, simply by virtue of his (or, perhaps someday, her) position expect to take hits from all sides? Did the media play hands off with regards to Bill Clinton and his oval office forays? Hardly. It was, however, strangely mum on Newt Gingrich's affair with a younger woman while he was still married. Gingrich, was the fellow who announced how he was going to put right all the moral wrongs which, as he put it, grew out of the 60s counter culture and LBJs "great society."
Jazzycat states that the entertainment media has an agenda. What I have come to understand about the entertainment media, their only agenda of significance is the bottom line. It is an integral part of corporate America. It exists to make money. The entertainment media sways with the political winds. Ten or twelve years ago a show like Touched by an Angel could not have gotten air time, not on a major network, anyhow. Since its success, any number of similar spiritually related dramatic series have come along (and in most cases, thankfully, gone.)
It is my position that government has no business legislating morality. I find it so confounding how right wing moralists have no problem with laws controling what a person does in the privacy of his or her bedroom, denying individuals the right to create a legal union with whoever they wish, regardless of sex, denying women the right to abortion, etc. while they demand that government stay out of their business, and out of their pockets.
If you are opposed to abortion, don't have one. If you find homosexuality offensive, don't be or associate with one. Live your life as you wish. Don't expect to have the right to force others to live by your rules. They do you no harm. This insistence on legislating how people should live smacks me of ultimate selfishness. The concern is not with the offenders. It is rather the fear that by allowing such behavior in others they may somehow hurt their chances of getting into paradise. Guilt by association. This is just another instance when I wonder just what kind of god is this? People are far more capable of discerning who may be guilty, of what, and how. Our jurisprudence does not recognize guilt by association. But, god is not capable of this? Hmmm.
Of course, I am not indicating that homosexuals or those seeking or obtaining abortions, are guilty of anything. The accusers, however, do. I know that bible thumpers love to point out that homosexuality is an abomination. That man lying with man (or by extension, woman lying with woman) is an abominable act punishable by death. However, a number of other heinous acts are also sited in the same bible with like punishments including the mixing of cotton and wool. (The thought just curdles my blood.) I think a number of designers and untold numbers of textile workers are in line for eternal damnation.
It has been suggested (by whom, I admit to not remembering) that the Puritans did not come to the new world so much to escape religious persecution, but, rather, to escape a climate in which they were denied the right to persecute others. I can't really make an informed comment on that, but given their track record of disdaining our worldly existence and consequent disapproval of earthly joy, the spector of the Salem witch trials, and other similar persecutions, it is little wonder that such sanctimonious self righteousness lingers with us to this day as our moralistic heritage.
Jazzycat. Are you the pilot of the plane in your photos? Years ago I had the pleasure of working for Teeny Weeny Airlines (otherwise known as TWA.) I took flying lessons during that time in Beechcraft Musketeers. I only accumulated around 50 hours or so, and never obtained a license, but I did have the opportunity to do a few short cross country solos. It was great. I hoped to get my private license, but I moved to NYC before I could take the written, and finish up in the air. I went out to Teeterboro Airport in NJ to see if I could continue lessons there. They said" "Sure. All you have to do is buy one of our planes." Well, I didn't have enough on me (or anywhere else, for that matter) to make a Musketeer my own. I haven't piloted since.
On a related note, any of you all who have had the opportunity to fly overseas, know what a pleasure it is, especially in these post 9-11 days. When boarding the AA 777, I observed that they had first class seating, business class seating and, for us, no class seating. We were sardined into seats obviously designed by the likes of Twiggy for our 8+ hour journey. That was, of course mitigated by the fact that the movies offered were, to be kind, awful, and the food served was uh, well . . . it sucked. I will note that a small personal pizza served as a snack late in our return flight didn't quite "suck." It wasn't good, but neither was it altogether bad. Maybe it had more to do with the realization that this "snack" being served marked the last hour of our journey back to Chicago.
By the way, London's Heathrow Airport also sucks. It's huge, and it sucks. It is not a pleasant place to go through. I don't know if it's any better at, say Orly, or perhaps Brussels. (I can say that while it, too, is quite large, the Amsterdam airport is relatively pleasant, open and modern - at least those areas we found ourselves in on our trip to and from Vienna just prior to the millenium.) Franz Joseph Airport outside Munich is also rather nice.
As I mentioned above, I worked for an airline several years ago, well before Ronnie's deregulation of the industry and the rise of terrorism. Flying was an adventure then. It was, for the most part, fun. Passengers were treated like customers, not threats. It was during my tenure with TWA that the first political hijacking of an airliner took place - with a Cuban dissident demanding that the plane land in Havana (or was it Miami or Ogden, Utah?)
It seemed unreal. How could anyone do such a thing? It was uncivilized. Well, civilization has continued to plummet since. The Cubans largely gave up the practice a few decades ago. But the palestinians and other islamists have more than taken up the slack since. All in the name of allah - of god. Is allah any less able to fight his own battles than our good old, all powerful, christian god, our lord of lords? Why don't the two of them just square off. The best god wins. Wins what, I don't know. Some kind of celestial trophy, perhaps. Or front row seats (for god and his #1 archangel, Kenny) at an Oprah taping. Of course, such a contest could never be put together as each god (or their devotees at any rate) denies the existence of the other - you know - one god and all. Maybe one of them would agree to a trade including Ron Artest. He is, after all, a self-proclaimed "Lord of the Court." (I know, this makes no sense and is pretty much a non-sequitur- but, what the hell, I'm running out of gas, and it just came to me.)