Our slow but steady downward glide

Our slow but steady downward glide

Evolution, be it that of a living organism, a nation’s identity or an individual person’s character, is a fascinating process.  I am perhaps a little biased and maybe outright unrealistic when it comes to the evolution of a person’s character.  I would really love to believe that just because an average soul such as myself can shed multiple idea-limiting self or authority imposed rules and evolve from the confines of a very narrow world view into a state of universal enlightenment that any of my fellow citizens can do the same.  It has been a few weeks of one heavy news item after another with a sensational headline seemingly dominating each media cycle.  For the most part I have opted to keep my mouth shut and quietly watch while so many of my...

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Rules of self-governance at age 230

Rules of self-governance at age 230

Happy Constitution Day to all my friends, lovers of reason and readers of this humble blog.  It was the product of several months of intense negotiation between delegates representing wide and varied common and opposing interests but it was on this day exactly two hundred and thirty years ago which was a Monday that the final product was presented for approval to the body of the Constitutional Convention of the United States assembled in the Pennsylvania State House.  To say it was the finest work ginned out by the ultimate sausage factory of its day in an understatement. In the end only 39 of the original 55 delegates signed their name to it but few if any were likely completely satisfied with what has become an enduring system of rules and law of a nation still...

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Watergate: An enduring memory of my youth

Watergate:  An enduring memory of my youth

All democracy is a work in progress.  For better or worse and despite being under constant threat of compromise since its founding, the grand American experiment has met the demands and overcome multiple imposed stresses as well as all manner of intense strain up to and including civil war.  In my lifetime that radical idea of democratically elected men leading a constitutional republic has survived egregious insult in grand fashion.  I fondly recall those halcyon days of my youth during which it was emphatically demonstrated via the mechanisms of government that the United States is a nation of laws and not of men or women.  Saturday, June 17th was the forty-fifth anniversary of the arrest of five men for the unlawful breaking and entering of the Democratic...

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Respect for the butcher’s bill

Respect for the butcher’s bill

Of all the federally observed holidays on the American calendar, the one slated for the last Monday in May has for me always been the most somber and sobering.  I’m sure most people who have sustained the loss of a loved one regardless if their lives ended on active duty in the armed forces or not share my sense of gravity related to observing the sacrifice of the nation’s war dead.  I was a teenager when I became aware of why a day was set aside specifically to honor those who did not survive hostile action during their military service.  In my junior enlisted years I was acutely aware of a select few whose lives ended on active duty, stateside in homeport due to illness, accidents or from physical anomalies which contributed to their demise.  Being...

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One hundred years of American might

One hundred years of American might

When the Central Powers of Europe mobilized their armed forces in August 1914 and the Allied Powers mobilized theirs in response, it was widely believed by many on both sides that the conflict would be glorious, short-lived and decisive.  Few of the pro-military interventionists gave any credibility to the prospect of a protracted, drawn out stalemate that became known as the Western Front.  Despite a great interest by many in America eager to join that fight, there were enough combat veterans of the Late War Between the States of half a century previous serving in policymaking positions to exert the necessary influence to keep their nation out of the fray.  With the business of America being business, sale of war essentials to customers from belligerent nations...

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Picking up the pieces of shattered trust

Picking up the pieces of shattered trust

So we never thought it could happen to us.  I’m sure we would all love to think that.  This particular train of thought is a familiar cerebral pathway unique to many of us who, either directly or indirectly, have ever had to negotiate their way through the fallout generated by the shambles such an awful crime made of our lives.  Yes, CRIME is the term applied to actions taken by one or more individuals that obviously overstep the boundaries of common decency norms, be it either reported or quietly unchallenged for whatever reason.  We need not chalk this up to complacency nor need we fault our own poor vigilance as we all know somewhere in the dank realms of our own bad life experience memory files that such things do exist and can present when and where...

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