Big sports events coming up soon. Golf, cycling, tennis. I’ll be watching the tennis opens for sure. Serena Williams is still looking strong. The linguistic root of her name translates to “my next wife”.
You can skip the Usain – whatever his name is – section of this video and get right to the good stuff!
Lyn says she’s not jealous because I’d sooner get struck by lightning while holding the winning Powerball ticket, than to get a second look from Serena. Do you think Serena would mind hat I keep my six-pack in a party ball? Nah! She’d see the inner “me”.
I was at Legion Post 1992, Gautier-Vancleave, waiting for our annual Memorial Day observance to begin.
I picked up a program and read the following words.
Dear Lord, Lest I continue My complacent way,
Help me remember that somewhere, Somehow out there
A man died for me today. As long as there be war,
I then must ask and answer… Am I worth dying for?
The verse was attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt. And it really got me. I got a tight throat and I had to blink and look around the room to avoid actually crying.
It stayed with me all day. Now I sit and digest it. Mostly, I wonder how many can truly answer that question, understanding its full meaning, in the affirmative.
I am an unapologetic political person. It is what I write most about. Today is no exception. However, I want to talk more about politics as civic engagement today. I have been harping on this quite a bit lately. More than I see failure or success of this party or that, I see a widespread failure of the average American to even engage. I’ll bet many reading this groaned as soon as I mentioned politics. Many immediately clicked off and are not reading this sentence.
And therein resides an indictment.
We hear, especially today, how those who died in battle died for “us”. Who makes up that “us”. We hear how they died for a cause. For whom does the “cause” exist? Who watches over and advances this cause while they venture out and die? Are you in that number?
I would say there is a about a 70% chance that many who read Roosevelt’s question cannot say “yes” with confidence. There is a reason for that number, I’ll get to it momentarily.
But first, let me expand the question. Because it is a lead pipe cinch that unless a fallen warrior knows you personally, he didn’t die for you. He died for the people he knew and loved, he died for his comrades fighting next to him. In some cases he died pursuing three hots and a cot.
But allowing for the ideal in every case, can you say he generally died for you?
Do you think that global warming is settled science and any discussion, or doing other than what we are told to do by our betters is grounds for insult and scorn?
Do you think we must defeat the violent, religious nut bags tearing at the fabric of all societies because we are a Christian (or whatever flavor you choose) nation?
Do you think anyone who disagrees with your favorite politician, even vehemently, is a “hater” by virtue of that disagreement?
Do you think any of the problems we have in this country are a function of race?
Do you think any of the solutions to problems we have in this country are a function of race?
Have you prevented, or by your silence, allowed the prevention of a speaker’s presence ANYWHERE, because of the views they might express?
Do you think there should be an approved code of “free speech”?
Do you avoid your civic duties like voting, reading, participating in local government functions?
Do you see snarky or trendy phrases, over reason, as good discourse?
Is shouting someone down an accomplishment?
Did you ever intentionally skate out of jury duty?
Do you believe that anyone, other than those you have contracted with, owes you anything? Even respect?
Do you refer to the representatives you vote into office as “our leaders”?
Do you think the president’s job is to “run the country”?
Is a person who supports a cause you detest, by virtue of that support, a bad singer, actor, writer, plumber or person? Are they then wrong on all other things?
An example of that last question is in this essay. There is an ocean between my worldview and that of Eleanor Roosevelt. That does not invalidate the message of the verse. It is a question worth asking ourselves.
No one is perfect. But if you can look at the questions above and say NO to all but one or two, then you can say you fit into the concept of the “us” or the “cause” a soldier has died for. Sadly, many cannot.
I’m going to call an audible here. I was going to go all radical-voter-lecture on you to address the 70% thing. But I don’t want to totally cock up your holiday. I’ll mess up your Tuesday instead.
I hope you all had a good three-day weekend and that you participated in some way in honoring our fallen troops.
My knee-jerk reaction to Zuckerburg’s speech was shock at the naivete on display. Sure, he made a lot of money when he was too young for the responsibility. But by now you would think he’d matured at least a little.
But a talking head on FOX Business turned me on to another possibility. This one actually makes more sense. It also makes Zuck’s suggestions far more cynical.
Part of his justification was “so people can innovate”. WTF? People can and are innovating right now. Is he superman because he has made innovations and others need to government to pay the “proles” money so Zuckerburg’s lessers can innovate? And what is that money for. Does Zuckerburg envision a future where one class innovates and makes multiple billions while the rest live on their government stipend (which we already know is actually worthless)?
What are they to do now that they are getting money to live on from the Almighty Governing Class? Are they to spend all day on Facebook?
Don’t answer that!
This marks Mark as the epic elitist. The fact is, with innovation moving at the breath-taking speed it is right now we have no need of government to do anything for innovators. In fact we don’t want the government’s fingers in the bowl at all. As soon as the “federales” touch Internet businesses, they WILL do what they always do. They will prop up political friends and drive out competition. This will be all in the name of making it better. The price will be that the political friends will have to run an Internet that is favorable to the political whores and their political interests. And, inevitably, the system will be made inexcusably inefficient.
If we prevent such an occurrence, I envision a future where what you presently pay for on the Internet will become more and more specialized. The present formula will give way to people who do and supply certain things in a unique way. The little guy will be able to compete with the giants. And all the technology, and automation will provide more jobs not less.
In addition to the automation becoming cheaper and more accessible over time (such things ALWAYS do), we will still have the need for fresh food, plumbing, electrical repair, cosmetics, and everything else we need today. An automated wait staff won’t change that. So to the market needs we fill already, we will add an incredible amount of jobs in the ever-growing high-tech industry.
We are already swimming in a sea of unfunded liabilities with our present entitlement programs. The I-am-better-than-everyone approach to the problem, as Zuckerburg suggests, would not only bankrupt the country, it would have only negative consequences here in the real world. Zuck, go back to your algorithms and post boosting. You are very good at it. Leave American citizens to address their own problems. That is what we are very good at, when left alone to do it.
I opened this series discussing apathy. Stupid ideas like the one we reviewed here are becoming very trendy among the political class. If we don’t wake up, as a whole, people like Zukerburg WILL define your future.
Get involved. I said in part 1 of this series, that we work. We raise kids. We have lives. Yes! Exactly! By being engaged citizens (a duty as critical as the others) we make living our lives, raising our kids and paying our billsthat much easier and more worthwhile.
Talk to your representatives. Let them know that you are now on the case. If they don’t start cutting away the government cancer we have growing on us, tell them they are committing political suicide.
Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics: It Ain’t Your Daddy’s GOP Anymore! Grab your copy here.
Kindle version here!
Or just start reading for free on Kindle Unlimited!