Monday, November 22, 2004

This evening, the News Hour is reviewing the Artest-Jackson-Wallace fracas in Detroit last Friday night. Jack McCallum (SI), Greg Anthony (ESPN), and Ray (NHr) are going over the causes and effects of the fight which broke out at the Pacers-Pistons basketball game.

Greg Anthony, former (NY) Knick presciently observed that if you were at work and someone threw racial epithets and beer at you, they would likely be subject to civil, if not criminal action. He certainly was not defending Ron Artest and his teammate Jackson, who both went into the stands to take on fans, but, is pointing out the justice needs to be handed out across the out-of-bounds line. It's quite interesting; "Ed" and "Mrs Ed" were out buying sneakers of a confidential size on Saturday A.M. at the local "ya gotta go ta ...'s" store. There, as she tried on her third pair was a previoiusly taped story from two of the local AM sports-talk racket in a slick journal touting the local snearker company's ware. They were on to the violence on the sports scene, of which the latest episode will take on pre-eminent postion. The debate, pro-or-con, was cages for fans. I'm on the con side of this one. Though, in terms of where the blame lies, I'm on the "pro-fan" side. Though before you think I'd cave for the money, it seems inconceivable someone who's making 10,000 times my imaginary limit would have any need to cross the out-of-bounds line to take on someone who's biggest decision in life is betweeen Bud and Miller lite. (We assume he's already duped into the Bush choice). So, my only conclusion is that money can't buy your restraint, given sufficient provocation. Which further underscores the depth of the pent up hatred over, say racial issues. No amount of dinero could, I guess, keep me from flattening the nose of a racist pig who threw the N-word and the remains of a pint in my face.

This is not about justification; it's about responsibilty. Every time a person hurls a racial epithet over the railing, I'm hurt. (I say this as one who did at the '64 MO-MN football game when an MN halfback fumbled a kickoff on our 5 yard line).

This is not a message of hope. Some recent reading of Spong tells me to be patient. Or more likely, allow for a worsening of the human condition as respect for God evaporates in the face of evidence a good deal of our former faith was misplaced. Searching for it in the storm will be challenging.

Saturday, November 6, 2004

I was horrified this morning on waking to the rarely-watched TV news, reflecting on my post of yesterday, it could easily be construed to support the recent Democratic Leadership Council style of 'middle-of-the-road' . Such is not my wish.

Also, last night on "Bill Moyer's NOW", Christopher Edley, Dean of the UC Berkeley Law school was cautioning against just such a reaction. As we go back over the pass to reconnect with the wagon train, let's not camp safely within the circle. We have to move them over the mountain. Sharing with them the dangers of crossing, but also the hope of the fertile valleys on the other side. While we're at it, we have to allow that some will be perfectly happy to camp where they are now. It shouldn't be an affront to us who see the need to move on.

Edley was prepared to allow the moral issues to come in to the agenda of the left. On this one, our view should be "we are standing among you, let's go in this direction", rather than "come on, over here". Today's Newark Star Ledger offers a cartoon. The Bush caricature standing on the bank of a chasm, with hundreds of flanking supporters holds out a hand and says "I'm reaching out to you ... JUMP!". This is directed at an equally large crowd on the other side, a few with donkey ears. The bottom is not in sight; the width appears beyond any broad jump record!

Friday, November 5, 2004

To my LiberalsLikeChrist, I offer this assessment of the election this week: if we liberals (like Christ) want to prevail in future elections, we have to do that most Christ-like thing, and surrender our issue for the other person's issue. There should be little detectable self-interest in our advocacy. While we're at it, we can rightly ask what the other person is surrendering of their self-interest.

I've just started reading "Imperial Hubris" by Anonymous (who has 20+ years in the security of the USofA). He chastens our leaders for being blind on the motives of our south Asian adversaries. We liberals are as misunderstanding of the needs of our own country, as our leaders are misunderstanding of the needs of Afghanistan and Iraq.

This may be controversial, but it's now time to "turn our back" on some of those social issues which tend to divide, and pray we can work our agenda when we regain the popular platform.
Otherwise, to the rest of the nation, we're just another cadre of "Nader's Raiders". It's time to lead the wagons from the same side of the mountain, not as we have been doing, by being over the next pass, if not continental divide. We _can_ wait for the wagon train to catch up, or admit we've shirked our duty and have crossed "the pass too far" for the rest of the wagon train. Unless we return to the train, we'll find out they've selected a new wagonmaster, whose scouts are out in the prarie grass surrounding the wagon train.

This metaphor is purposeful.