Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Us Vs. Them


If one has a yearning for mythology, they needn't look to ancient Greece & Rome; the United States of America is full of it.  From young George Washington ratting himself out over a vandalized cherry tree to Betsy Ross single handedly designing our flag, our history is liberally peppered with extra-factual stories and ideas.  One such idea holds that our country was built upon the spirit of cooperation & compromise. 

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When I was in grade school, I was taught Americans would debate back & forth, then come together to do what was best for the greatest number of people.  I don't know, maybe it used to be like that, to some extent.  It's not like that today though. 

Today, a party will declare a filibuster to kill a Senate bill, simply because it was proposed by the opposing party.  They don't even have to execute the filibuster to kill a bill, they only have to declare their intention to do so, and the bill is dead. There's no high-minded debate or negotiation involved. American politics has solely become about us denying them a victory.  That’s it.  We HAVE to beat them.

Even more tragic is the fact that the us vs. them mentality has oozed beyond the borders of Washington, flooding everyday life.  We are always on the side of the angels (or  enlightenment if the we are atheist), and they are marching in Hell's army.  They must but given no quarter, for we are the righteous. 

OK, we've always suffered under the yokes of racial & sexual bigotry and religious intolerance.  They just seem to more visible today, and people seem less willing to tolerate people with differing points of view.  Whether, or not, people get a shot to avoid disease has become a political question. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm scared of COVID-19.  I took the vaccination.  However, I see anti-vaxxers losing jobs, and being denied entrance into; restaurants, sporting events, schools, etc...; I wonder if we're not creating another underclass, another them.  

Sure, they could take the shot to, instantly, safeguard their job and other rights. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.  Of course, all the Jewish people had to do, in the fifteenth century, was to deny their beliefs to have the hot coals removed from their balls. 

Personally, I believe that part of being a good American is doing what's good for the country.  If we all got our shots we could shed the yoke of COVID-19, and our masks, and return to business as usual.  However, if someone due to; religious belief, personal belief, medical condition, or simply fear; can’t find themselves to take the shot, I can’t ostracize them for it. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Shiny Glitzy Things

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” - J. R. R. Tolkien

I've been having trouble writing lately.  I typically write about issues I care about passionately, but I'm just not feeling it boys and girls.  Caring about the important things seems to be going out of style.  Think about it.

  • Mitch McConnell admits, verbally, Washington needs to raise the debt ceiling to avoid economic upheaval.  Yet, he's threatening to filibuster, knowing the chaos which a federal default and shutdown will cause. 
  • Even with a Democrat in the White House, we're still exporting asylum seekers by the thousands.  Yet, since it's no longer Trump's administration in charge, there's not the same outrage over the atrocities being perpetrated. 
  • According to, as of 09/28/2021-4:39:15pm pst, 757,710 Americans have died of Covid-19.  Yet, 40% of us can't be bothered to get a shot in the arm in order to stem the tide of the pandemic. 
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Yes folks, apathy has become the in thing.  No...  Wait...  This just in; it appears to be over for "Real Housewife" Vicki Gunvalson and her long time beau, Steve Lodge.  We care about that.  Oh and, Senator Ted Cruz has dedicated his time to leading the charge to get Britney Spears out of prison.  That's important. 

Maybe we're not so much apathetic as we are immature.  Things without glitz and sparkly pieces don't hold our attention.  Hundreds of thousands of people are dying of a disease we could squelch if 70% of us became vaccinated, but let's make sure the pop star doesn't have to serve her full stint. 

Friday, August 13, 2021

The Needs Of The Many Vs The Rights Of The One

"I don't believe in quotas. America was founded on a philosophy of individual rights, not group rights." ~ Justice Clarence Thomas

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According to the CDC and the scientific community, the pandemic won't be over until 70+% of the population is vaccinated against Covid-19.  Unfortunately, the United States of America has stagnated at 59%.

A few months ago businesses and states incentivized vaccinations by offering discounts and entrances into million dollar lotteries to people who had been vaccinated. On June 20th, Madison Square Garden reopened with a Foo Fighters concert strictly for vaccinated fans.  It didn't work. 

Now, there's talk of requiring people to get vaccinated.  Some are advocating for tax penalties for not being vaccinated.  Employers, public and private, are requiring employees to get the shots. 

I believe in science, and I understand we need to hit the 70% threshold before we can putting this nightmare behind us.  I got my shots; I get it.  That being said, I have real trouble with forcing citizens to put a substance into their bodies. 

I've been torn on this issue for quite some time.  Part of me is for doing what we need to do, by hook or by crook, in order to benefit the greater good; "needs of the many," and all that.  However, the other part of me is screaming in my head about the rights of the individual.  Damn if the screaming part of me doesn't have a point, inconvenient though it is.

As Americans, we've been taught to take pride in the fact that we live in a country which founded with the rights of the individual in mind.  We celebrate the concept with fireworks and barbecued chickens every July 4th.  It's what we say we're about.  As dire as the situation is, I'm not sure we can compel compliance without abandoning what the value which defines us as Americans. 

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Touching Base With My Readers


To My Readers:

This is a different kind of blog specifically written for my regular readers.  Many of you are aware of new posts via my newsletter.  Nothing is changing for those readers.  They'll still receive my newsletter in their inbox whenever I post an update on any of my three blogs (Blogito Ergo Sum, On My Plate, and Musings From The Christian Left).

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Now, this is a current events blog, so let me ask a question.

Science tells us we won't be out from under the menace of COVID-19 until %70 of the global population has been vaccinated, yet many people claim they have the right as an individual to refuse the vaccine. At what point do the needs of society eclipse the rights of the individual? Can we force people to be vaccinated?