wj-1musings

 

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Musings are my attempt to qualify some of the issues in our world.  Oddly, these issues also effect characters in other worlds and even parallel universes. I am always amazed when a dwarf complains about a problem that is similar or even identical to a problem that plagues us Earthlings
I will endeavor to update this page every month or so.  Come on back and check it out.

Let me know whether you agree or disagree with my musings. Send me an email.

 

September 2008: The country's reaction to Sarah Palin has me baffled. Her popularity is a sad omen for our future. On TV she effectively said that she has foreign policy experience because she can see Russia from an island in Alaska. Despite eight years of the Bush administration, America's index of GNS (Gross Natioanl Stupidity) continues to increase. This does not bode well for the future of my grandkids.


June 2008: Ads are everywhere these days for HD TV sets. Cable companies tout how many HD channels they offer. Am I only one who wonders if something is wrong here? TV sets are at the back end of the entertainment channel. It's nice to have an amazingly vivid picture, but when the front end of the entertainment channel produces garbage, the back end shows that same garbage in amazingly vivid pictures. Personally, I'd rather read a book.


April 2008: I have to wonder about professional golf players. The hardest thing to do in sports is to hit a major league pitcher, but baseball players do that with a stadium full of screaming and stomping fans. Football wide-receivers can catch a frozen football travleing with the speed of a bullet while fans make noise and a defensive back tries to mug him. So why do golfers have to absolute silence before they can hit a golf ball that isn't even moving? It's just lying on the grass. Something is wrong here.


October 2007: Life is too short to waste part of it watching the never-ending commercials on TV. Instead, read books; they're commercial-free.


August 2007: Here is a selection of quotes that I like. While, at first glance, they are amusing, think about them for a few moments. You'll see they are also filled with a lot of truth.

* For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert: Arthur Clarke.

* Privilege (to the privileged) means having private laws: Terry Pratchet.

* Gods and heroes are always succeeded by mediocrities, cowards and imbeciles:
Arturo Perez-Reverte.

* Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny: Free men pull in all kinds of directions: Terry Pratchett.

* Poor generalship is often synonymous with frequent requests for more troops: Victor Davis Hanson.


April 2007: I've been reading history lately and came across several statements that called to mind our present White House administration. See what you think.

* Pindar, a Thebian Greek wrote (circa 350 B.C.E.) War is sweet to those who have no experience of it. But the experienced man trembles exceedingly in his heart at its approach.

* Thomas Paine, in his 1776 pamphlet, Common Sense wrote this long sentence: Men, who look upon themselves as born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.

* Finally, the economist John Kenneth Galbriath wrote in his Economics of Innocent Fraud: War remains the decisive human failure.


November, 2006: The real winners in this election could be my grandchildren if the new Congress demands oversight on the administration. By using fiscal prudence, Congress can pay back Bush's obscene deficits before my grandkids become adults and have to pay off the Treasury bonds that Bush used to finance his spending excesses. ( The Treasury borrows way over a billion dollars a day right now)

As significant as that is, a more important reason could be that now there is a chance my grandkids will grow up in a democracy instead of the police state that Bush is attempting to create by shredding the Constitution.


June, 2006: One of the major problems that societies face is figuring out who the "good guys" are.  Too frequently, these "good guys" are bad guys masquerading as good guys.  Politicians sell their vote on an issue for money.  Religious figures prey on the vulnerable and the weak.  Politicians, in return for a bribe,  introduce legislation written entirely by a special interest group for the sole benefit of that group.  A CEO, while looting his corporation, will smile and tell investors and employees that the corporation is financially healthy.  The list goes on and on.  One thing to be said in favor of gangsters is that they don't pretend to be anything else but bad guys.
If it's any consolation, this is not a modern aberration.  Our distant ancestors suffered the same confusion in ancient Athens and Rome.  Apparently, we haven't evolved much in the last few millennia.


February 2006: Every social class needs another social class lower than itself. This allows the higher social classes to look down on the lower classes and feel good. This situation leads to a few questions. Do social rebellions start when the lowest class can't take the abuse anymore? Is the purpose of the rebellion for the lowest class to move up the social scale and have someone lower than themselves? 


December 2005: There are two great forces at work on people.  One is negative and the other can be positive under the right conditions.  The negative force is inertia.  Part of Newton’s First Law of Motion concerns inertia.  It states that a body at rest will remain at rest until an outside force acts upon it.  Newton applied his Laws to inanimate objects but this part of the First Law applies to people as well.  A person sitting on a couch watching TV will remain there until an external force is applied to that person.  A spousal whack in the head is one such external force.  A failed TV set is another.
The second great force is agita (Ital. N. extreme aggravation).  Nothing in this world gets done until someone gets agita.  The spousal whack in the head mentioned before is a sign that the spouse has agita.  No one fixes the leaky faucet until the drip gets on someone’s nerves.  Politicians get re-elected until their greed and /or incompetence gives the voters agita.    



August 2005: Strong leadership isn't so great an attribute.  After all , every dictator in the world is a strong leader.  The two biggest monsters in the 20th Century, Hitler and Stalin, were strong leaders.
History tells that all nations or countries eventually face a crisis that threatens their existence.  The countries/nations who survive the crisis are the ones who give the reins of government  to wise leaders.
One of the definitions of wisdom is the ability to admit mistakes and to learn from them

 

© 2008 Hank Quense