On our recent trip to the South Pacific, there was one aspect that was fascinating. We were not privy to the constant barrage of late breaking news. Trump tweets, Iowa caucuses, New Hampshire, daily polls, cheating at America’s pastime. Yadda,yadda,yadda. It is not that the Aussies are uninterested in public affairs. They just seem to have a different focus on life.
Our tour guide announced that Aussies work hard, pay their taxes and have fun. Not a bad game plan. I can’t verify the accuracy of her statement as it relates to paying the piper but the rest seems pretty accurate. We happened by downtown Sydney at 9:00 AM one workday morning and everyone seemed energetic and excited about the day. On the way from the airport there were several amusement and water parks
in proximity to one another. All seemed pretty busy.
At various quays there were collection of outdoor restaurants. There are a panoply of huge umbrellas lining the wharves providing cover for the patrons.They take lunchtime and after work drinks seriously. The sheer numbers probably attest that no one was eating at their desks this noonday.
Now this does not demonstrate any disdain for the US and its ways but rather a glimpse at a different way of doing things. I drive one of my buddies crazy when I suggest that we change this or that here in LaLa Land. Ted, why can’t you just let things be? You are always trying to change the status quo. Of course I am, but hopefully with good reason.
It occurs to me that we might becoming numb to our surroundings. Trump’s absurd tweetings are now a way of life. Mass shootings? We should just accept them as a byproduct of cities getting larger and the availability of 300 million guns. What is a few trillion more in the National Debt. Look at what it is doing for the economy. In lockstep private borrowing has reached historical highs and beyond. Things are just fine.
I attended a presentation by one of our members this afternoon. The topic was Human Trafficking. It was part of a series of which I am part, where we research a particular subject and report to the attendees the results of our findings. As my buddy went through a Powerpoint of facts and figures there were noticeable gasps from the crowd. The instances of child sex slaves was appalling. Now one can dismiss these as aberrations but this is the world we live in and accept by our silence or dare I say ambivalence.
The Houston Astros have been accused and found guilty of stealing signs electronically, thereby giving the batter a distinct advantage. I have read the responses to a variety of articles. Some express outrage while others claim boys will be boys or let’s just wait this one out. The noise will die down and we can move on. What do you tell your kids?
I am not the moral police and can’t say I have always avoided titillation. But did anyone find the half time show of the Super Bowl over the top? Were my grandsons watching or even my granddaughters seeing this as the type of gyrational performance that they should aspire to? Where do we draw the line?
We see absurdities and atrocities every day and just shrug our shoulders. It really is so easy to do. Why do we accept it? Do we really want to recoil but are afraid of looking silly? Or do we feel this only adds to the divisiveness of our current genre? We don’t want to make matters worse so we say nothing in the hope it will go away.
His Hairness has done one thing. He has pricked every pimple of controversy and disagreement. I hate to admit it but I am in a perverse way happy he has done so. He has literally turned the world order upside down and knocked diplomacy back to the stone ages. We are a world is disarray. The trouble is where do we go from here?
Some will cite our forefathers as the seers they have been over the centuries. They did a great job of putting in the I beams and flooring but now we question if the facades may need some renovation. God was a part of that early vision. His name is called upon in the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and countless professions in times of stress and devastation. We have taken Him out of oaths in testimony or benedictions because someone might be offended? Have have we changed as a country and a people to accept this and other departures without a whimper?
We all rise up on one side or the other. The middle is no man’s land like the 49th parallel in Korea. We have numbed ourselves into submission to this side or the other without making any room for nuances or compromise. We pronounce we have always thought this way and will never retreat. Our intransigence is just as bad as the other guy. And we blithely wander down life’s highway waiting for the other person to blink. And for the foreseeable future it will never happen. You are wrong and I am right.
Don’t be such a pessimist, Ted. Look how good we have it. Luckily I have more than most and am very thankful for that. I get it. But I just can’t sit idly. I speak out to the chagrin of many. I am a lover, not a fighter but I have to take issue. The novocaine has not gotten to whatever cortex makes me uneasy. I hope it hasn’t gotten to yours either. Stand up and be counted. I will be there with you.
Ted The Great
People have always wondered why I am so arrogant to consider myself Ted The Great. Truth be told it is a spoof on those that think too much of themselves. Years ago I was on Wall Street and many of my rookie friends wound up in high places over the years. As is my style I would call their office and some officious secretary would announce,”Mr Lynch’s Office” in a most imperious way. I would make some smart ass comment while I inquired where the bum was? One time she fired back,”Who is this?” with every ounce of indignation she could muster. I said,”Ted”. She demanded,”Ted who?” Without pause I said,”Ted the Great” and the rest is history too many years later. .
Always enjoy reading your columns. Couple of comments. I know any number of people have found the Super Bowl halftime show “over-the-top”, but compared to what? We have a president of the United States who uses obscene language in public, threatens physical or other harm on his political enemies, makes disgusting remarks in describing women’s appearance, mocks men who are shorter than him, and more. I always thought the president, while not the pastor-in-chief, at least tried to set an example for kids. In Trump’s case he has, and it is that of a high school bully. Yet crickets about Trump’s behavior while volumes of protest from the morally outraged concerning the half-time show. What are our values?
Yes, Trump has “turned the world order upside down.” You think it’s a good thing. I am still looking for something positive about it. His attacks on our criminal justice system, our judges, our prosecutors, our intelligence chiefs, the likes of LCol. Vindman who followed all protocols, pardoning his friends, etc. is undermining the very foundations of government and confidence in our government officials.
God’s name, Ted, is not mentioned in the Constitution. Nowhere. It is a secular Constitution, and in fact Article VI states that no religious oath shall be required to hold public office. The Declaration of Independence refers to a Nature’s God, not a Judeo-Christian one. And the DOC, while a founding document, is not a legal one. The Fourth Amendment refers to “under oath or affirmation”, again signifying freedom of conscience, that Americans do not adhere to one god or any god.
Most western countries today have fewer people who acknowledge any faith. Same for Japan and other Asian countries. Look at their crime rates compared to ours and compare their social problems with ours. For a god-fearing country, we don’t seem to have much of a monopoly on morality and ethics.
Per your suggestion, I am standing up to be counted, and trust you will be there with me. ☺ It’s just that we seem to have different understandings of the freedom of conscience, probably the most sacred right of all embodied in the First Amendment.
Hope you are well. All the best,
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Is it okay to steal signs, as a runner on 2nd base.
If you touch your uniform letters, it’s a fast ball.
Otherwise it’s not?
Did Bobby Thomson get a signal via mechanical means to hit the shot heard round the world?