October 15, 2008

….Is it really the middle of October? Where the $#@!% has this year gone?

Rob and Dave are blogging about cooking for one. Don’t they know you can cook for four almost as cheaply? (Hat tip: Instapundit)

Want to know why Barack Obama is where he is in the polls right now? This is one of the best pieces of political analysis I’ve read this year. Here’s Dr. Melissa’s money quote:

For Boomers, electing Barack Obama is about them, not him. They feel so invested not in the candidate, but in themselves. These politics are personal and pathologically so. Should Obama lose, his supporters lose a chance to manifest their dreams for a generation. They act as though the opportunity would never come again, but that’s patently absurd. The fact is, the hippies want to drive the multi-culti, equal rights, liberal car while they’re still young enough to enjoy it. Barak Obama is just one more hippie-to-yuppie acquisition. It’s all about them.

I encourage you to read the whole thing – she nails this whole election on its very head.

…And it also might explain why the attacks on Sarah Palin by the Loony Left have been so visceral. It’s not that Baby Boomers love Obama so – hell, they know virtually nothing about him – they just want one last chance at feeling like they’re a part of something bigger than they are, one last time before they buy the farm. It’s kinda like “Berkeley Free Speech”, or the “Anti-War Movement”, or the “Women’s Movement” all over again, this time in Presidential politics. And the thought that this one final chance to have their lives mean something could be taken away from them by, of all things, another woman, drives them absolutely crazy with contempt. derision, and hatred.

Shouldn’t this story be getting more play in the mainstream dino-media? Gives me pause, that’s for sure. Oh, I forgot, they’d rather focus on truly important stuff like this.

Personally, I’m amazed the Democrats were unable to hide this story until after the election. The Pelosicrats must be losing their touch.

Sox woes: I’m sorry, but I can’t watch Jason Varitek at the plate any longer, it’s simply too painful. He may still be a great receiver, but the Sox have got to do something to upgrade their catching position this off-season. And perhaps outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is not the Johnny Damon reincarnation Red Sox Nation thought he’d be this time last year?

I love the new look of Power Line Blog. Check it out!

While the world is fosing on Iran (and rightly so), I think the doings in Pakistan are gonna be equally important over the next several months as well. Not to be an alarmist, but I don’t think the world is as far away from global conflict as others might think or hope. Oh well, glad someone with Obama’s extensive foreign policy experience will be at the helm of the Ship of State…

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 16:51 | Comments Off on Wednesday Wanderings
October 14, 2008

The nicest person I have met since we have lived here in Arizona is our landscaper, Carmelo. Every Tuesday between 12:30 and 1:30 PM I’ll be slaving away at the laptop when all of a sudden I’ll hear those familiar sounds of leaf blowers and weed trimmers outside, then a couple of minutes later, the sound of the gate being opened and his crew of 2 or 3 workers passing by the window. Most times they’re almost like a circus clown car – the truck pulls up, they all pile out, there’s a whirlwind of activity for 15-20 minutes, and then they’re gone in a flash.

On occasion, if there’s something special I need to have done, like a tree that needs to be trimmed or a bush needing to be planted, I’ll go outside and we’ll talk for a few minutes. No matter what kind of day it is – and more of than not, it’ll be searing heat outside, Carmelo is always friendly, always smiling, always something nice to say about how the property looks, or what his plans are for the next few weeks.

Take today, for instance. The pesky Mesquite tree in our southwest corner had once again spread its branches over the back wall to the point where it was practically reaching across our neighbors’ pool. (A few years ago I spotted the neighbors standing on top of the wall with scissors in their hands trying to cut the branches back while it was still light out. I took the hint, and now try my best to keep the branches trimmed back to my side of the wall.) So today when Carmelo came, I asked him to trim the branches back again.

“Look, I know this will be a little extra, how much do you want?”
Carmelo smiled. “It’s not enough to be extra.”
“OK”, I said, “Since the neighbor next door trimmed his palms last weekend, my leafy tree that was once part of a crowd looks unkept next to his nice, neat trees. How about if I ask you to trim that tree as well?”
“How much you pay?” says Carmelo.
“I’ll give you $40 for both”, says I.
“OK”, he says, and less than five minutes later his guys are on top of the wall and inside the Mesquite tree, and branches are flying everywhere. I didn’t even hear the sound of activity in the front, but 20 minutes later both trees are looking nice and neat. As if they were always that way.

And that’s just the way it goes. Carmelo knows a little about everything. Since we’ve been here we’ve added a whole bunch of bushes and cactus to the place. He’s re-arranged my sprinklers to get better coverage on the back lawn. And I let him be an artist when it comes to trimming the bougainvillea. Sometimes I’ll ask his opinion on something I’d like to do and he’s not afraid to tell me (always in a nice way) that I’m either crazy or what a good idea it is. Mostly the latter.

If it’s a really hot day and I’m asking them to do extra stuff, I’ll offer them a cold can of soda – something I’m sure they appreciate. In return, they always do a great job and go out of their way to make sure my lime tree is picked free of ripe fruit before they leave. So for $30 a week and all the limes they can stuff in their pockets I get a front and back yard that always looks top-notch.

For the longest time, Carmelo only knew me as “Mr. Chip House”, because the guy who owned it before was named Chip. Only in the past year has he started to call me “Richard”. So we’re making progress.

This kind of thing may not be monumental in any kind of way; it’s just a reminder – sometimes, in the heat of a hectic workday, a welcome one – that there are still good, honest, and hard-working people out there who just live their lives, try and do a good job, and make a living as most people do.

I like Carmelo because he helps keeps me grounded.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 17:30 | Comments (3)
October 13, 2008

These days you just can’t figger’ anything out that’s goin’ on….

Wall Street tumbles? Just wait a day.

A politician finally tells you what he’s really for.

Something tells me this story won’t get as much coverage as the Mark Foley scandal in 2006.

The Tampa Bay Rays look awful good to me.

Just wondering: whatever happened to Meg Ryan? I always thought she was adorable. Lots of people think “Joe vs. The Volcano” was a lousy movie, but I always liked it – in fact it’s one of my favorites, and Ryan looked great in it.

Speaking of movies, Rob probably cringes at the accents, but “The Big Easy” is also one of my faves.

Somebody tell me when the hockey season is over.

Bill Belichick is wrong – the New England Patriots are in for a very tough year.

Surf song of the day: “Summer At Dreampoint” by the Aqua Velvets

Current pool temperature: 64. All I can say is, that was fast. Sigh… I’m getting it drained and acid-washed next week.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 17:20 | Comments (3)
October 12, 2008

Let it be said that at this moment I would love to be in some cabin in the foothills of eastern Montana or Wyoming with a fire burning, watching the snow pile up outside.

I feel old and the need to experience winter again.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:05 | Comments (3)

When the water temperature is warmer than the air you know the jig is up…

There was chill in the air tonight, unlike anything we have felt for many months. The forecast says we’re going down to 55; I have little doubt that tomorrow morning will find the pool at somewhere around 67 – I’m sorry, but that’s just a little cool for this man’s old bones.

I wanted to hang on for my birthday to do my final swim of the year, so I waited until after midnight. I finished watching “O Brother, Where Art Thou” – a great flick, BTW – and then headed outside.

It was deathly quiet – no sounds of crickets, or pool filters, or A/C units. I peeled my clothes off and did my final wade in. When the water is warmer than the air you know you’ve pushed the season about as far as it can go. But the moonlight was beautiful, and as I did my backstrokes from one end to another I couldn’t help but praise God for the beauty of the moment and the privilege of being alive and immersed in the moment.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:55 | Comments Off on Summer’s Gone
October 10, 2008

It’s 11 PM. The temerature outside is in the high ’70s – several degrees higher than the pool temperature, which is a bracing 74 degrees.

A soft breeze from the east rustles the palm trees as I swish myself around the pool. Is tonight the last night of the season? Can I squeeze one more night of summer out of the year? Just in case, I’ve got the pineapple patio lights and the tiki bar lights on to provide a festive background as surf music – this one is called “Fadeaway” by Laika and the Cosmonauts – plays softly in the background.

Hmm…tomorrow it’s only supposed to get into the ’70s and then into the ’50s tomorrow night, so I figure pool-wise I’m living on borrowed time.

So even though the water surrounds me in a chill I feel I have to try and squeeze whatever is left of the season around me.

I have a fatalistic sense of things around me this night.

Lots of people out there are focused on the upcoming election but I have a hard time justifying voting for one party over another – what difference does it really make to me? I work 70+ hours a week feeding work that should rightfully stay between the Atlantic and Pacific over to India, and no one seems to give one damned skippy about it. My Goodboys friends wonder what has happened to me, but I’m just busting my ass (and Tracey too) trying to get rid of the last of our credit card debt. In two days I turn 53, but in some – no, make that many – ways I feel ten years older and a ghost floating through a world that has passed me by. I don’t get what this world has become – I don’t get the cheapening of life, the coarseness of political discourse, the whole “us” vs. “them” mentality of left and right, Democrat and Republican, and liberal and conservative. I’m tired of all the fighting. To hell with Wall Street and Washington – they can all go to hell for all I care. This country is splitting apart at the seams, but it’s a country I feel nothing in common with in any way, anyways. All I do is I try to do my morning, noon, and evening religious offices, and pray to a God I can only hope sympathizes with the battered state of my soul and try to be the best worker, husband, servant of Christ, provider of everything rabbit, and human being I possibly can.

But that’s not a concern to me right now. For right now all I wish is that I had the money to invest in a pool heater to keep my water at a toasty 85 degrees so I could splash around under the lovely 3/4 moon that shines above – a 3/4 moon that longingly reaches out to me in the silvery diamonds reflecting on the floor of the pool. This shouldn’t shock anyone. I know I have it a gazillion times better than 85% of the people on this earth – and there are probably people reading this post who resent the fact that, amidst all the suffering and misery of this world, all I’m concerned about is the temperature of my pool water – but that’s not where my head is at this night. I remain a leaf on a windy day, a cork on the ocean, a rock in a landslide.

Those who resent my complaining may have a point, but where else can I seek peace? Where else can I seek the soft whisper of God’s voice calming the waves that continually batter against the shore of my soul? Shouldn’t a guy be allowed to find some peace? Somewhere? Anywhere?

So it’s a night to enjoy the quiet comfort of a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio outside under a bright moon and a slowly chilling pool.

The palm trees rustle.

The surf music plays.

The rabbits enjoy their bedtime carrots.

The rest of the world be damned. I’m only looking for a bit of peace in my soul.

Oh, did I mention both Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jonathan Papelbon looked pretty damned good against those Tampa Bay Rays?

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:30 | Comments (3)
October 9, 2008

Judging by the forecast, looks like Saturday’s the day when pool season ends. It’s gotten hot today – 96 – and will be again tomorrow, so this afternoon’s dip in a 76-degree pool wasn’t so bad, but there’s no question the days are, as that old song goes, dwindling down to a precious few. With that in mind…

This sounds like a pretty cool idea to me. But then again, I’m all for Intenet shopping. Last year we did all our Christmas shopping over the Internet, and we’ll do the same thing this year. We already buy a lot of stuff over the Internet anyways – rabbit hay, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, Kraft Spaghetti Dinner, Hawaiian vanilla, Tracey’s skin care products. Anything to do with books or music. My guess is it’s only going to trend more in that direction.

1000 recordings to hear before the day you die. (Hat tip: Instapundit) An interesting list to be sure, but the fact that ABBA, Anita Baker, and Madonna are on it already tells me whoever compiled this cockamamie list is full of what makes the grass grow.

Just wondering: am I the only one who sees a connection between the decline of the stock market and Barack Obama’s (seeming) rise in the polls. Let me ask you this: if you were an investor, which Presidential candidate would you think has more of your interests at heart?

…Oh, turns out I’m not the only one

So this is what it’s come down to:

Me: You getting the flu shot our office is offering this year?

Office co-worker: No. Are you?

Me: No way, I’ll be damned if I’ll allow the government to put their mind-altering drugs in me. It’s all a damned conspiracy.

Office co-worker: You’re absolutely right. I was thinking the same thing.

I know I speak for a lot of conservatives when I say Sarah Palin oughta be the one at the top of the ticket, not John McCain. But I guess as far as conventional wisdom goes, that means I’d be voting for someone with little Washington experience. As opposed to someone, like, say….. Barack Obama? Riiiiight.

…But then again, what do I know? I’ve never served on a board with anyone affiliated with a terrorist group that set off bombs at the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon – among other places – and still feels no remorse for it.

As much as I’d love to see a World Series between the Red Sox and Dodgers, I’m rooting for the Phillies in the NLCS.

My first attempt at a recipe from Chef John Folse’s Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine – a red roumelade sauce – came out fantastic.

Speaking of good recipes, if you want a pasta dish that makes you feel like you’re dining in Boston’s North End, try this. It’s a hit in The Great White Shank’s kitchen.

For all those who were begging – begging – Congress to pass that Wall Street bail-out bill last week – how’s that workin’ out for ya? I said it then and I’ll say it again: anyone who trusts anything that comes out of the Bush administration ought to get their head examined. He and his economic advisors have been making it up as they go along. Of course, no one in Washington has a clue what to do, either, and that includes both The Messiah and McCain.

One of these days there’s gonna be SERIOUS pushback against those in Congress who pressured the U.S. banking system to give mortgages to people you yourself wouldn’t even lend $50 to, and when that happens (before the election or not) not even the liberal suck-ups at the AP, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Post, CNN, and the major networks are gonna be able to make excuses. Mark my words, people will be going to jail for this when it all comes down. And it will.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 17:23 | Comment (1)
October 8, 2008

Brian Wilson’s latest release, “That Lucky Old Sun” is out, and it has garnered more than it’s fair share of good reviews. Our good friend Jana, I think, pretty much sums up all the qualities listeners favorable to it have said:

“Got the cd today and it is wonderful…simple, sweet, happy and the essence of Brian Wilson/Beach Boys. With all the complicated music out there, this cd gets back to basics of harmonies, notes you can hear, words you can memorize and sing along with, tunes you can hum. Brian celebrates Southern California, basic happiness and the things he loves. I LOVE this cd. It just asks you to listen and smile. Brian’s voice is strong and clear…the arrangements are pure Brian Wilson at their best. He has humor, heart and soul in this cd.

Respectfully submitted by the friend of the Big Kahuna Surfer Music Dude.”

Love that last line. Thanks, Jana – “Surf’s Up!”

But I digress.

I’ll admit, I was a little apprehensive about getting this CD. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a HUGE Brian Wilson fan, and I can’t even begin to say how much of an impact his music has made on my life. That being said, I don’t think the years have been kind to his voice, and, frankly, it now grates on me. It was tolerable on his “Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE” CD and his last collaboration with Van Dyke Parks, “Orange Crate Art”, but just barely so. In the case of the former, what can you say – it was the legendary “SMiLE” in almost all its legendary glory, with its unforgettable music and incomparable arrangements; as for the latter, there were just enough quirky tunes and entertaining lyrics to make it listenable.

But I have to say that, after listening to “TLOS” a few times, I’m more in agreement with the sentiments of Ryan Reed of Patriot Online, who writes:

…This year’s “That Lucky Old Sun” doesn’t come close [to “SMiLE”]. At 66 years old, Wilson frankly doesn’t have the vocal range he once had, and without the pure quality of songs to match those of SMiLE, the blandness of his youthful backing band starts to shine as brightly as the California sun of which he sings.

Van Dyke Parks is back again, this time writing lyrical interludes which are placed between the actual tracks. Set to music, Wilson reads the mainly derivative lyrics in an off-key moan that is, at times, painful to listen to.

Ultimately, “That Lucky Old Sun” is both a disappointment and a triumph. It brings Wilson back down to Earth after the revelation that is SMiLE, but also proves that he still deserves the attention of anyone with a pair of ears.

“That Lucky Old Sun” is like a long hug from a former love – it still feels good, but you wonder where the magic’s gone.

And that’s the way I feel. Maybe it’s just an extension of having seen the current incarnation (read: embarrassment) of the so-called “Beach Boys” (Mike Love and Bruce Johnston) live, and now having listened to this. I’m not saying Wilson’s release is bad – far from it; it’s just that even with its good moments I can’t help but feel that (and maybe I’m cutting close to my own bone here) there comes a time when you hafta tip your hat to the sands of time and move on to other things. Listen, I give Brian all the credit in the world for trying to maintain his artistic integrity in the latter years of his musical career – his former bandmates could learn a thing or two from their former band leader – but there comes a time when even musical giants have to say enough is enough.

“That Lucky Old Sun” is not a bad CD by any stretch. But listening to it makes me sad, reminding me that time moves on and no one is what they once were.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:24 | Comments (3)
October 7, 2008

Congrats to the Boston Red Sox, who once again defied The Great White Shank’s expectations and moved onto the American League Championship Series after defeating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (a stupid name for a ballclub if I ever heard one) three games to one in their best-of-five ALDS playoff series.

Make no mistake about it – this was one close series played by two very evenly-matched teams. One can easily argue the Angels are the ones who should be heading to Tampa to play the Rays – fact is, if they had played defense as well as the Sox did they would have. Oh sure, Angels manager Mike Scoscia’s bonehead suicide squeeze call in the 9th inning of last night’s game didn’t help by any stretch of the imagination, but in every game of the series, the Angels’ inability to: a) make the routine plays, and b) drive home a runner or two when they were in scoring position absolutely killed them.

Given the Red Sox recent history of success, it’s hard to imagine that not so many years ago, it was the Red Sox who would find themselves in the position the Angels find themselves today – heading home after yet another disappointing post-season.

As ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick points out these are not your grandfather’s Red Sox anymore – the “lovable losers” monicker they finally tossed off their back in 2004 (now the sole possession of the Chicago Cubs) replaced, under the steady guidance of GM Theo Epstein, by a stunningly-efficient machine capable of competing deep into the post-season any given year.

What Epstein has been able to do in four short years has been nothing but transformative. In 2004, it was the end of the “dead ballclub era” when Nomar Garciaparra’s team was turned over to David “Big Papi” Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, and the two not only propelled the Sox to their first World Series championship in 86 years, but led them to Major League Baseball’s mountaintop again just three years later. At the July trading deadline this year, the “Manny Being Manny” era became the latest vine on the Beantown Nine to be pruned, and newcomer Jason Bay quickly ingratiated himself into Red Sox Nation; along with up-and-comers like shortstop Jed Lowrie, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, and pitcher Justin Masterson, the Sox now fielded an exciting mix of veterans and rookies to make their push to the baseball post-season.

How far can the Sox go this year? The Rays will certainly present a most formidable challenge, and it promises to be an exciting series. These are two teams that have already played each other 18 times this year (Tampa holds a 10-8 advantage) and most of those games were close and well-played affairs. Both teams have excellent starting pitching and defense; the Rays bullpen has been excellent all year, Boston’s, while good lately, has been in and out. The Sox will certainly miss third baseman Mike Lowell’s bat, but they’re making the right decision holding him out of the series because, try as he might, his lack of mobility and bat speed due to an ailing hip hurt the team equally during the Angels series. Dan Shaughnessy says not to bet against the Sox, but I just think this is the Rays’ year – they truly are the Cinderella Team.

And if that happens, that’s OK – it’ll give the Rays fans something to cherish always. I can still remember the excitement of that crazy 2004 post-season. I have all the DVDs and, watching the Red Sox play the Yankees in Game 4, on the verge of being swept, making that incredible comeback win and sweeping the Yankees and Cardinals for their World Series championship, it still seems almost impossible to believe. And this time of year, it all comes back to me again as a marvelous thing to have experienced – “Surviving Grady”, the Dropkick Murphys and “Tessie”, the outpouring of emotion that reverberated all the way from Boston to the Left Coast and back again, culminating in what we know today as Red Sox Nation.

Watching the Red Sox doin’ the cheap champagne thing last night was a joy to behold, and Theo & The Gang are to be congratulated for what they accomplished. Now it’s on to Florida, that sun-shiney state for shady people, and the opportunity to wring just a few more golden days of summer out of the autumn and baseball’s post-season.

Red Sox baseball in October. ‘Tis a wonderful thing one never tires of.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 14:22 | Comments (2)
October 6, 2008

Another wild day on Wall Street, another day of hysteria from the talking heads on the cable networks. God almighty, if I hear ‘how scary’ it is on Wall Street one more time I’m gonna barf. Let’s face it, this country has lost its balls. You heard me – this country has lost its balls.

There was a time when the American spirit was a “can do” spirit that survived tough times through ingenuity, community, compassion, and charity. Unfortunately, you don’t see that much any more. Oh sure, we say we still believe in the basic fundamental rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but what does that mean anymore? We love and respect life only as long as people’s lives don’t in any way inconvenience our own precious situations or lifestyle choices. We say we value liberty, just as long as it doesn’t require sacrifice of any kind. And our right to happiness has become so warped that it is now viewed to to include the “right” to cheap and affordable housing, healthcare, travel, energy, education, banking, personal life choices, and access to goods and services.

Rather than face problems and assume personal responsibility for the problems we have helped create out of our own greed and desire for comfort – after all, we’d never want our children to have to “suffer” as we did, would we? – we wring our hands and moan and groan and say, “Government, take care of this!”, as if the government were some self-sustaining entity that would take care of everything and anything that could possibly ail or inconvenience us if only it were permitted to print enough money and hire enough workers.

The economy? Let the government take care of it – after all they’ve managed our nation’s finances so well in the past, right?

Health care? Let the government run it – after all, its runs Medicare and Medicaid so well, and it know what’s best for us, right?

Education? Let the government dictate where parents should send their children to school – after all, it knows what little Johnny and Janey need to learn, right?

Heck, why not just let the government run everything – after all, it has done such a bang-up job in maintaining the health of the Social Security trust fund, right?

Those from a liberal or progressive ideal will read this and say this is just another anti-government screed from some Libertarian or populist wannabe. But you’d be wrong. Hell, I’m willing to admit the government does, in fact, do some things really well (I’ve always been a fan of the U.S. Postal Service), and I will grant you that certain government programs are needed to administer safety nets for those who would otherwise fall through the cracks of society. But let’s not kid ourselves: more often than not, government has become a crutch for people who don’t want to take responsibility for things Americans used to do without even thinking about it.

Take the family unit, for instance. While my wife Tracey was in Florida recently to visit her parents (one of which is in a tertiary care facility due to complications from heart disease) she talked with a number of elderly people who were concerned about making ends meet, seniors with children and/or relatives who live hundreds and thousands of miles away, who either seldom or never hear from them. Of course, they don’t want to be a bother to them, saying “they don’t want to get in the way”, or, “they’re busy with their own lives and families”, or something to that effect. But isn’t there something wrong with this picture?

This is just one example, I could name dozens of others. Everywhere you turn – especially in this election year, “the government” is there, like some omnipotent and omnipresent maternal presence, seeking to reassure us that no matter how bad things get, it will be there and make sure everything will be OK. Never mind the fact that “the government” could care less about you and me – through its designated representative vultures in Congress, at the White House, and on the campaign trail, it cares only about one thing – consolidating and increasing power any way it can. And we not only hear this, we actually take comfort in it, knowing that you can never screw up so bad that “the government” won’t be there to pat you on the head and say, “there, there, it’ll be OK – here, have a million (or billion) for your troubles – and don’t worry, there’s more where that came from!”

Ask yourself this question: what kind of a country is it that would not just allow, but in effect encourage its own citizens to pass on all kinds of personal responsibility – the education our children, the management of our finances, our retirements, our health and health care choices, the care of our loved ones, to name just a few – to “the government”. Is it any wonder that the idea of actually taking personal responsibility for ourselves and our actions has been replaced by a sense of victimization and “what’s in it for me?” at every level.

I’m not saying this country is going to hell in a handbasket. I still believe in the ideals this country was founded upon; millions of others still do as well. It’s just that the majority of those people don’t actually live here – they just dream of coming here one day to stake their own claim and put up their own shingle. For the majority of people in this country, America has become not a land of opportunity, but a land for opportunity – the opportunity to gin the system, and take advantage of everything the system has to offer. We are a soul-sick people, a people so spoiled by the riches around us, so accustomed to getting our way and being told we can “have it all”, so driven to accumulate wealth and surround ourselves with comfort at the expense of everything and everyone else that the very thought that this five-decades stretch of good fortune might be at risk horrifies us and sends us squealing like pigs to “the government” to bail us out.

I’ve always believed that the comfort we surround ourselves with and the sense of control we attempt to assert on every aspect of our lives is nothing but an illusion. It takes only one “unthinkable” set of circumstances (and if we think long and hard enough, we can think of more than a few) to make us realize just how fragile and vulnerable our lives and situations are at any given moment. We live for today and care little about what tomorrow will bring, blinded by the idea that someone else will always be there to clean up after the messes we create no matter what choices we have made or the priorities we’ve established for ourselves.

It all saddens me and causes me great grief, and it’s hard to pray for this country and its people at this time in our history because a lot of what’s going down these days (both practically and theoretically) we’ve brought upon ourselves.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 17:34 | Comments Off on Bearish


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