Taxes, spending, budgets, politics…….oh the heck with them!
My Dodgers are about to…..sink without a trace. From the best record in baseball to losing 3 of 4 against the Pirates! I guess there is always hope with Manny, Matty, and Andre.
My Browns are well, my Browns. I guess there is always hope for next year.
The Reds of Liverpool are third in the table and contending for the League title….of course that is where they always are at the end of September. I guess there is always hope with Gerrard and Torres.
The Fighting Leathernecks of WIU are….well I really don’t want to write about that. Their coach, Don Patterson stepped down for health reasons. By all accounts a good man who is one of the most successful coaches in the league’s history, the program might nevertheless be well served by his retirement. Acting Head Coach Mark Hendrickson had the ‘Necks playing better ball last season during Patterson’s treatment than I had witnessed during three years on campus. No surprise there. It is tough to coach football while beating cancer, and so far Patterson has the cancer on the run. The rational middle wishes the best to the coach and his family.
I guess that last paragraph shows were the hope ought to be. What really matters is, far to often, all those things we think of when we are fighting, yelling, screaming, and worrying about the artificially important things in our lives.
The rational middle invites you to find someone whose blood pressure is entirely to high, and give them a hug…..(editorial hint….look for a teabagger!).
The B1-B is hot. The plane is, in my opinion, the best looking airframe ever built. The bomber also has a stunning list of attributes; very low RCS (its stealthy), the ability to fly at over 600 mph at low altitudes, and an impressive payload of over 70,000 lbs.
It is also a plane without a mission.
When President Obama said this week that politics would not play a roll in defense policy, I was unable to suppress a chuckle; U.S. defense policy has been guided by politics for over 50 years now. Most of the nation assumes that Republicans plus up spending, and that Democrats reduce it; but politicos from both parties jump on board when local bases and factories are involved. The debate on Afghanistan is all politics; for a country with no history of national identity, the notion of building a state that can defend itself is ridiculous. Whether to send in more troops, or remove them all together is a political calculation for the Obama Administration; as with all Democratic administrations, they are vulnerable to “soft on defense” charges.
A quick post today on some good news; Coach David Stinson was acquitted on charges of reckless homicide and wanton endangerment. The Kentucky high school coach was charged after one of his players, 15 year old Max Gilpin, collapsed during wind sprints and died later in the week. If the jury had found him guilty, the verdict would have represented another brick in the wall being constructed by some in society between children and sport. More and more, parents are demanding that youth coaches who are mostly volunteer or low paid high school folks, spend money from their own pocket or time stolen from their own families to provide services beyond teaching the game.More and more, parents are also demanding that children be allowed to play sports without risk; in the minds of many, children coached by responsible people are never injured or at risk of trauma.
We Americans have spent almost two and a half centuries charting our own course and creating our own identity. We take pride in a unique system of governance, a dynamic economic engine, and our ability and success to serve as melting pot for the world. Many of us also revel in the fact that we are not Europe.
The apple, of course, did not fall as far from the tree as we would have liked. We share many of our worst traits with the Europeans (despite their protestations to the contrary).
Twenty posts in, and the Rational Middle continues to grow. I wanted to take a moment and thank those of you who have logged in over the last ten weeks, and to welcome those of you who are new. The mission of this space is to provide a place for civil conversations on our democracy, business, sports, and the world.
Through the growing pains (and the typos and questionable grammar) many of you have been regular readers and shared your comments with me through email and in person. I have appreciated all of the conversations, and continue to look forward to more in the future. The one thing that has been missing is commentary on the blog itself. I would like to encourage everyone to take a moment after reading a post to type your thoughts into the space provided.
This blog, and (I think) any other space that purports to report or comment on current events, is meaningless without conversation and contrast. The commentary I will welcome the most is that which diverges from or criticizes the content of my points. It is easy to have civil conversation when all in the room are in agreement on the topic. The exercise and challenge comes when divergent points of view are registered. So please speak up!
Finally, I would like to invite any who wish to register as a friend of the site (the blog defaults to “follower” which is a term I dislike…I would be creeped out if I had followers). Also, please don’t hesitate to pass along the site address to other friends who might be interested. The more the merrier!
So once again, thank you for checking in and, as always, the rational middle looks forward to your commentary!
Representative Joe Wilson yelled at the president last night. His outburst was a departure from the normal etiquette of the chamber, and was rebuked by Republicans almost as quickly as Democrats. He apologized to the President and the President’s chief of staff almost immediately, and was torn to pieces by several columnists and commentators throughout the post mortem.
Representative Joe Wilson is a passionate defender of his constituents and a deeply committed patriot. His outburst represents the norm in today’s idealized debate, and accurately reflects the feelings of perhaps one third of the American public. His actions last night, calling the President a liar when he insisted that he had never tried to get illegal aliens coverage during the health care debate, are a microcosm of the whole process.