You expect most television shows to be a little farfetched when it comes to their story lines, but the more I see, the more I think they are somewhere between the twilight zone and the outer reaches of the universe. Just about every twist and turn stretches the viewers' sense of probability. But the current slate on television is far more believable than the competition from the most improbable reality show that is found smack dab in the center of both major political parties in the United States.
Wow, the year started out with a bang as an angry president took his latest shot across the bow of the nasty gun lobby - aka the National Rifle Association (NRA). His salvo was in the form of a teary plea for a call to urgency in combating gun violence. I understand his frustration, at least in the call to combat violence and to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them, but this latest executive order is another case of "fire, ready, aim!"
What a year! I've never picked a Person of the Year before and I have a real philosophical resistance to picking anything or anyone as standing out from the crowd that much. In virtually all cases for "something/someone" of the year, the person chosen is a celebrity. And yet, I will bet every bit of money I have that some obscure individual in some remote corner of the world has done far more to help his or her neighbors than any celebrity, politician, doctor, dentist, psychologist, scientist, sociologist, teacher, banker or trans-sexual.
Some history again this week; I'm not certain if this will be a long-term trend. Somewhere around 2,000-plus years ago, Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea. Most Christians believe he is the Son of God, one of the three persons of the Trinity, and truly God and truly human. Christianity is based on his life, teachings and preaching.
Sorry people, it's time for a history lesson. At the request of Congress, President George Washington issued a Thanksgiving proclamation on Oct. 3, 1789.
We arrived home from Brainerd last Friday evening after some light shopping and turned on the television a short time before a couple of our favorite programs, and to say we were shocked is well beyond an understatement. We were speechless and barely breathing as detail after detail of the murderous rampage in Paris was relayed by the newscasters. Things haven't changed a whole lot since then as I spend a lot of time trying to make sense of all of this. The believers and practitioners of Islam cover a wide range, just as their Christian and Jewish counterparts.
There are a lot of wars going on in contemporary American society and the world today. I recently read a letter to the editor in another newspaper in which the author lamented the actual wars being waged in the world and how they are fueled by greed and hatred - among the many other factors - and what damage they are doing to children. I have written about the supposed war on women and my assertion of a war on men, and also about what I see as a war on Christianity.
In my not always humble opinion, one of the greatest shortfalls of our society and educational system is that people are not taught critical thinking. By that I mean when presented with a problem, an issue or a tragic situation, our reaction never seems to get too far beyond the emotional side of things into the realm of an in-depth analysis of all aspects of a situation to the point that solutions are grounded in logic and rationality. I don't guarantee those solutions will always be effective, but solutions resulting from knee-jerk, emotional reactions will hardly ever work. Take the rece
I reached one of those milestones last month and the inevitable thoughts and questions have been popping into my mind ever since. One of my first thoughts was that I had surpassed the age at which my father passed away by another year (it's only been two years). We Abler men don't have a track record of longevity. I think it's because our women pretty much wear us out. I've been pondering my medical needs of late, given that I have some additional aches and pains that seem to travel around my body like Jack Kerouac and Charles Kuralt used to travel around the United States.
I've often wondered what it takes to have some real and lasting effects on the psyche of the people of our nation and the world. It is fairly obvious that most of us are so totally absorbed in our lives and activities that we often just can't be bothered to have much sympathy or empathy with the problems of others — be they our next door neighbors or someone halfway around the globe. Now if you're a lion in Africa that is part of a wildlife study and you get killed by a hunter from Minnesota under admittedly questionable circumstances, about one-quarter of the world will be in an uproa