11/2/14

Pardon The Constipation

Last published October,13,2014! WOW! What's going on? My blog is in a state of limbo.  One might conclude that I don't give a shit about blogging. "Musings From Tony's Keyboard" may be suffering from constipation. Taking some time off was meant to be the laxative to get posts flowing again. Bad prescription. I'm trying like hell but my creativity just won't break loose. An enema is in order, but I'll wait until after the midterm elections. From what I'm reading the Republicans stand a good chance of taking over the Senate. If that proves to be the case, it is bound to scare the shit out of me.

10/13/14

Happy Indigenous People's Day????

Happy "Indigenous People Day"! Today some of us will choose to honor Christoforo Colombo. The Seattle, Washington City Council has chosen instead to honor Native-Americans. The implication is that Columbus was responsible for the genocide carried out by our forefathers. Columbus opened up a new world. He did not settle it. The trespassers from the old world chose to make the new world theirs, even at the cost of decimating the people indigenous to the land. I wonder why Seattle did not choose Thanksgiving Day as Indigenous People Day. The hypocrisy associated with the First Thanksgiving would have fit that of celebrating a Indigenous People Day. I wonder when we will sack some traditional holiday in favor of a day honoring Black-Americans who suffered at least as much oppression as Native-Americans. Oh yes, we have Martin Luther King Day. Give Dr. King credit. He did not usurp a traditional holiday although he had every right to do so.

10/10/14

Musings by any other name smell the same

To muse is to meditate. To meditate is to think contemplatively. To think contemplatively is to think studiously. To think studiously is to think painstakingly. To think painstakingly is to think diligently. My posts are not the result of diligent, painstaking, studious, contemplative meditation. It follows therefore that the title of this blog is a misnomer. Choosing "musings" as part of the title could be considered an abuse of poetic license. More importantly, only a muse under the influence of booze would use  "Museful"' as a pseudonym. Be that as it may, as an old codger I have paid my dues and claim the privilege of age if not that of a sage. Change the title? After some painstaking contemplation it became apparent that musings by any other name would smell the same.


9/5/14

One size does not fit all

Every time I hear an American politician expound on how exporting democracy to all corners of the world will result in Utopia, I grimace. Its like saying one size fits all is the way to go, regardless of how ridiculous the suit looks. The terrible rise of ISIS in the Middle East makes our attempts at nation building the laughing stock in the Islamic world.

In an essay for the Washington Post on 9/4, "Why they still hate us, 13 years later", Farreed Zakeria hits the nail on the head. His last two paragraphs leaves much food for thought.

"What did I miss in that essay 13 years ago? The fragility of these countries. I didn’t recognize that if the dictatorships faltered, the state could collapse, and that beneath the state there was no civil society — nor, in fact, a real nation. Once chaos reigned across the Middle East, people reached not for their national identities — Iraqi, Syrian — but for much older ones: Shiite, Sunni, Kurd and Arab.
I should have paid greater attention to my mentor in graduate school, Samuel Huntington, who once explained that Americans never recognize that, in the developing world, the key is not the kind of government — communist, capitalist, democratic, dictatorial — but the degree of government. That absence of government is what we are watching these days, from Libya to Iraq to Syria."

No one likes a dictator but if the alternative is chaos and beheadings it is a tolerable choice.  In tailoring our foreign policy it is well to remember that one size does not fit all.

8/15/14

On Aging And Caregivers

As life expectancy keeps inching up, it follows that health issues will become increasingly challenging. A ninety year old wracked with pain from arthritic,  barking knees and a back on its last few discs, finds it a bit difficult to celebrate victory over actuary tables. The problems of old age are further compounded when one's lover is no longer in the picture. Those fortunate enough to be sharing the challenges of old age with their spouse at their side, find the battle easier to cope with. The priorities of a relationship change. As the High Primal shared in her blog, "The older you get, the more you become a caregiver rather than a lover". A loving caregiver is worth two lovers anytime, anywhere.

This is not to say that longer life expectancy goes hand in hand with a debilitating illnesses. On the contrary, having a high primal, loving caregiver throughout life can indeed make a crotchety, low primal the envy of his juniors. More importantly, becoming a loving caregiver in turn, is a sure way to tolerate old age. In the meantime, the hell with the actuary tables.