Try to imagine a society without the police. Or try to imagine countries without armies, or even a world without countries. That might make a great title for a John Lennon song about a utopian world, but in the here and now we haven't learned how to do that, nor will we ever bring that about all by ourselves. Thomas Paine wrote about the need for governments (as distasteful or evil as governments can be at times) because men (humans) cannot live in a society without conflict with themselves or others.
The last time I wrote about this subject was in July 2013 in response to the Trayvon Martin situation. I'll start out today by proposing that our grandchildren will still be dealing with one or more facets of racial issues long after we are gone. Racism is not a natural part of our genes. It is much more subtle than that.
Long ago (1950s) and far, far away (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) a parallel galaxy existed. In this galaxy, a father and mother were raising their two sons and two daughters (No. 3 didn't show up until we moved to St. Paul.) I was one of those two sons and I thought my dad was a genius. I still remember the first time the radio (then the size of a small refrigerator) went on the fritz. This was a major problem since we didn't have a TV — I even remember the first car my parents owned outright, but that's another story. So I'm watching Dad turn the radio around and remove the back panel.
Well, the 2014 elections are over and since I am writing this on Sunday, Nov. 2, I have no idea who won any race either at the national, state or local level. As a matter of fact, I'm closer every day to total disillusionment with the entire process. Am I the only one who thinks the hyperbole, over-the-top rhetoric and negative campaign ads have become totally nauseating?
This is going to be short and, hopefully, sweet. When this is published, it will be 12 days until the election onNov. 4. You, as the voters in this election, are crucial to the process; and whether you believe it or not, each vote counts. None is wasted. While you have the right to vote, you really have the duty to inform yourself as to who is the best qualified candidate.
I believe, along with many others, that the only way for the American people to regain control of our government is to be able to exercise significantly more influence over the political process — which is solely dedicated toward maintaining the current two-party system.
In the past I have written a couple of columns on the symbolism of burning leaves, but I just wasn't prepared for the number of them I found on my lawn when I walked the dog last Sunday. Visions of the near necessity of raking, blowing and burning came to my mind while I tried to push them back, thinking, "Not yet; not now!" I proposed to my wife on the first day of autumn in 1967.
I often wonder just what in the world is going on in the world, and most vividly what is going on in my homeland, the good old USA. It has been reported that the United States has the highest corporate tax rates in the world. I would assume that is true and I would also assume that many business would find that onerous taxes must eventually be passed on to consumers or be absorbed in part by smaller dividends to investors. The federal and state tax structures and rules have evolved into a morass of documents that favor or penalize many diverse groups.
From 1958 to 1967, my family lived directly across the street from the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. My friends and I roamed freely throughout the fairgrounds almost year-round and spent countless hours there when the fair was there. My best friend and I had a booth one year selling custom car-themed shirts that he airbrushed on the spot. He was an accomplished artist and I was the counter guy. He drew the girls and I tried - unsuccessfully - to catch the castoffs. Once I left for the Air Force in 1967, I never made it back to St. Paul during fair time and I sorely missed the whole thing.
As I reflect on the most recent events in the world it has become clear to me that too many people think we can show the world how strong and sensitive we are while trying to maintain our balance on a tightrope. Instead of defining and defending our national interests and behavior on the basis of the solid foundation of right and wrong, we think we can have it all while risking nothing by feigning sensitivity.