A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Particularly Ugly Time

The time is now. The place is here. The USA. The result is discouraging.

I go through bouts of disgust with the impasse we have in our politics. Right now I no longer think that there is anyone of goodwill and good sense out there. The nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court concentrates all of the bad will, and bad faith, that our country's politics have to offer. I'm not going to go into the pros and cons of this nomination. Probably Judge Alito has a view of the law that I disagree with. Probably I will not feel comfortable with him on the Court. But how can anyone tell in an atmosphere so poisoned by our culture war?

I think personally that many of my good conservative friends are willing to sacrifice what has made this country worthwhile, and turn it into a paranoid garrison state, with steadily diminishing prospects for anyone with an income below $50,000, and a mechanism [stock speculation] which, over time pushes more and more people below that line, particularly in their old age.

I have done my best, in this blog, to present compelling evidence of it. But, at least on the comment pages of other blogs, I have been met with the attitude of "Who needs evidence?" and on the comment pages of my own blog, my few readers are largely silent. Perhaps they are not interested in disagreeing with me. Perhaps what I write needs no comment, is complete on its own terms whether it is correct or not.

I would not bring the issue up at all but for the puzzling fact that I do seem to have some readers, a steady 30-35 hits a day. If I had no readers, if all the traffic that happened to appear was those who work their way randomly through Blogger, I would be less puzzled. But, be that as it may, I do not have the time to write many bridge pieces at the moment. Merely writing about some tangental topic to politics which interests me takes more time and thought than merely responding to a salvo in the war where I am thinking constantly.

And I have not had the time to give to the writing or the thought. Mrs. Claus is very ill. On oxygen and short of breath for reasons we don't quite know. Are they heart related? She has a discouraging family history. So far, she has gotten almost 20 years further down the road than the previous generation before her first unequivocal signs of heart trouble. Is it a matter of pulmonary weakness? Has her chronic asthma turned into Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease? We don't know and it will take weeks of horsing around with medical specialists to even come close to finding out.

And all of this demand on my time and attention doesn't even include side issues such as the blow-up with our home health care aide over her time shaving, or the time which it is necessary for me to give to Buddhism.

That time, by the way, is not just a matter of my personal conviction and commitment. I have suggested several times below, most directly in the post immediately below, that certain commitments are permanent, and you can have a real problem if you get lax with them. I will not say more. Anyone who is interested can find out why on the Net, with a little persistence.

In any event, both time constraints and motivation have been running against my writing, so my posting has been light this week. I apologise to the readers, whoever you are, and thank you for your presence on my blog, and your patience. I hope we all get through the particularly ugly manifestation of who and what we are that we are trapped in at the moment. I think we will and, maybe, dialog will be possible once again. Though I don't suppose my old fuddy-duddy demand for evidence to support argument will be any better received in the future as it has been in the past.

It comforts me, at any rate, to cling to it. And maybe, dear readers, it comforts you too.