Purpose, Politics, and Friends
(Update as of December 14, 2021)
I thought it best to use the title "culture" rather than "politics" since it is more descriptive of what I propose to discuss, and less pejorative to politically-minded zealots who might have unknowingly stumbled upon this. Perhaps it also better informs those Readers who define themselves by other terms such as "classical liberals" or "conservatives" or "free-thinkers" or "guardians of morality" or "republicans" or "democrats" or "socialists" or any other term that people use to define their views toward organizing society to accomplish their preferred ends and goals. I therefore am using the "big tent" approach to ensure that at least a few of you reading this will proceed at least to the second paragraph, as I do tend to ramble on when on a roll.
Further, I intend to provoke, prod, argue, discuss, lecture, all in a good-natured way to allow all of us to investigate together the best way to organize ourselves (or not organize, as the view may be) to accomplish agreed upon goals, results, and actions that we collectively agree to bring to fruition for whatever purpose we may define.
I invite you to read on, as I may not actually say what you think I will say, and at this point, I really have no idea of where this essay will lead, as I tend to be stream-of-consciousness by intention, yet results-oriented by training and world-view. I want to provoke, prod, discuss, question, argue, assert, insult, and inquire all at once, simultaneously, together, and with an inappropriate amount of humor (according to some friends of mine).
Since this is my last chapter on this website, and perhaps the last public writing I will create - one never knows - it is intended to be open-ended and stimulating, which may be thought by some to be offensive and ignorant and ill-informed and all those other terms we use to disparage those who disagree with us. And so I will listen to the muse, my inner voice, my increasing outrage at what is happening in society, and my love of living and discussing and being and creating (the four major attributes of living, I assert), and let come what may, with a bit of editing here and there.
Other than walking my dog Giordi on the prairie, sitting with my wife Liz in front of a roaring fireplace, fondling our cat in the morning and evening on our bed, and thanking the Universe for my temporary existence on the planet, this is my favorite activity. And the best part is that I am my own censor (he is quite lax and understanding), and I have no schedule to meet (I can be lazy, which I prefer to call thoughtful), no bosses to satisfy (other than that demanding tyrant in me constantly saying "more, better, and different"), nor customers to create and serve from which I collect money and/or accolades and/or approval.
I do, however, have an integrated app through my website which lets me know how many, who, where, and how long readers view this site. This is my feedback, reward, judgement, and critique, other than responses through my email listed on this website. I will have no public comments section as I hate to be criticized publicly, although is happens quite frequently in private (that is the primary purpose of emails, I have found).
As a summary of this introduction and warning, I will quote one of my favorite sayings by Navy Admiral Farragut during the civil war in Mobile Bay, during a battle where he was surrounded by the enemy, and during which he spoke the famous line: "Damn The Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead!" As a naval officer during the Vietnam War (note "during," not "in") that has been my mantra during stressful and trying times, such as now.
The current resident ( I deliberately avoid the title "President" ) of the White House, Joe Biden, is of course the topic of much conversation as I write this, as he represents the titular leader of these United States . A long-time east coast Democrat machine politician of the old mold, so much has been written about him elsewhere that to repeat it would not a good use of the Reader's nor my time.
In my view, he will likely be remembered as the ultimate manifestation of an east coast Democrat machine politician, and then some. I do not wish to enumerate his personal, professional, and political failings, errors and mistakes, as those have been well documented elsewhere, and I have a somewhat limited space to complete this.. I further submit that he is not "in charge," is not capable of leading (thankfully), and I suspect Barack Obama and his numerous minions and lackeys are ultimately making the strategic decisions. I do not know who else could be capable of doing the damage that has already been done, given the political structure and talents of those in power.
I do not presume nor wish to attack Biden, as that has been done by more talented and knowledgeable people than me, but his dismal record speaks for itself ( at less than a year into his presidency as this is written), and his vice president Kamala Harris needs no further analysis other than those which predominate in any specific news feed. Worst of all, they each have three more years in their positions before the next election. I doubt that either will last that long, and then the situation likely will get worse, assuming that is even possible.
By almost any metric, he is the worst president of the country in its history, as measured by almost any metric, even if one approves of his socialist policies. As a conservative and patriot (the term has been completely misused and misunderstood, but that is for another topic) who actually thinks that this country is the last best hope on earth, I think that we are headed for increasing disaster, and the process will not end well, even when and if the people wake up and change course, as they most certainly will. Much damage has been done, and the seeming prevailing view that the purpose of the government is to provide all things to all people has been shown to be a farce and a sham, and leads to even further problems. That is only my view, of course, even if shared by may others, and supported by the history of the world - so far.
So, what is to be done? As we attempt to clear away this awful debris and wreckage in the future, I submit that we need to return to the eternal verities (liberals will now start rolling their eyes and snorting) of personal and individual responsibility, allowing the rewards of productivity and morality and truth and honesty to be acknowledged, and acclaimed, appreciated, and supported, and go forth with a recommitment to personal and individual responsibility, which of course includes provision for those who are unable (not unwilling, but unable) to provide for themselves.
This will involve a great "reset" from our current thinking, which is that the government exists to provide all things to all people. I submit that the truest and greatest purpose of government is to preserve individual freedom, so that the people can think, analyze, and decide individually and often collectively how they wish to proceed. That involves most of all to begin telling the truth, in lieu of fomenting unachievable promises by politicians to become the political surrogate for our mothers and fathers.
I think that only by honoring and encouraging the tenets and principles of freedom and individual responsibility can we crawl out of our self-imposed lethargy and go forward to prosperity, freedom, accountability, productivity, and consequent resulting satisfaction. This will involve a huge cultural reset, and I fear that is not possible, since many reading this will disagree with what I have written so far, and I further submit that therein lies the problem.
I have written elsewhere in this website about the friends I made when I came to college, many of who remained friends for the rest of my life (at least, until now, and last time I checked, I was still living).
And what happened is that those deaths were the major turning point in my life, as I matriculated shortly thereafter into the University of Louisville, where I met some of what turned out to be my best lifelong friends (Ray, Dugan, Gary, Charlie, Gordy, Fred, among many others), all of whom were college classmates at the Speed Scientific School (now renamed Speed School of Science) at the University of Louisville, and most of whom were in the Naval ROTC.
I have that these relationships, and what I learned with - and from - them in those five years, became my foundation for my future growth, which continued through my life and to this day, and helped me adjust to a normal, (relatively) sane and fulfilling life, and I became a very different person, and was able to adjust and thrive in a very different life. I really had no choice; it literally was sink or swim. They helped me learn to swim without drowning. I want to emphasize how important those relationships were and are.
They paved the way for my current ability to have deep, trusting, productive relationships with others now, and in particular my wife Liz Dunn, who has taught me much about relationships, sometimes the hard way, but always effectively. She is my rock in the tumultuous seas of life. Along the way, each relationship I had was meaningful and productive, in that I learned over and over again the importance of truth, trust, and openness, not always easily nor tidily, but the lessons were always learned, however reluctant I was to do the necessary learning.
And so for all my current friends, and all my past friends with whom I no longer have any contact, I thank you for what you brought to my life, apologize for any errors I made, and want all of you to understand that I did the best I did with what I had to work with at the time. I am far wiser, stronger, and available to others than I ever have been in my life, because of my friends.
May that spirit of kinship and openness continue forever.