Archive for August, 2014

h1

THE MIDDLE EAST…One More Time

August 11, 2014

I tried hard this morning to listen with an open mind to the Meet the Press discussion…but as usual, my stomach is churning as I move closer and closer to a very different assessment of the situation than that being projected by the Press.

It seems so simple to me but I’ve yet to hear another single person or faction agree with me. I think that is a good signal I must be wrong, and yet these nagging “truths” of mine will not regress- so I am capitulating to my own theory rather than buying in to the know-it-all Press Corps.

I think we all agree; the status of US domestic and foreign affairs are a mess-and it is a mess because of politics – not misinformation nor bad strategies- nor more important, any thought to what is best for the country.

Historically, this is not the first time politics have emerged this divisive and this poisonous, but some things have indeed changed.

The first is the PRESS itself.

The Press of our youth has disappeared. “Just the facts” has morphed into “The Press knows best”-opinion based reporting-wrapped up in the glitter and glamour of the fortune –tellers of old. We no longer get news; we get opinion, emotion, and judgment as our national news figures try to sway opinion their way to capture good ratings.

In addition, most of our news comes from Boomer-generation reporters and newscasters; and worse-some that are still far too influenced by the self-righteous Traditionalists. From my perspective, we are a bit too engrossed in the “Greatest Generation” mythology. Not to say they were NOT the Greatest Generation; but only to position they were the greatest up to that point.

Combine that with our own “Boomer” attitude, and we have a messy Press. We may have started out as rebels in our youth, but the century evolved and the world of “Senior Citizens” who still think we know “best” is hard to take as we try to stop the world from moving past us. Many still believe we walk on water; although I’m not clear about what is admirable about fighting the longest wars in the history of the United States!

Yes, think about that. Two Bushes, a Clinton and an Obama….and the Mid-eastern wars continue. Is it time yet to take a deep breath and RETHINK?

And with a documented track record like that, why does all the blame go to Obama? Personally, I think it’s the old folks blaming the new generation…just like always. Together the Greatest Generation and the Boomers have continued a policy with roots in post WWI decisions as without much thought, we continued to support the British decisions to partition the Ottoman Empire into separate nations-a partitioning process based on Western priorities – not necessarily driven by natural ethnic/religions/language divisions of the people of the area. Add crude oil to that bubbling cultural pot, and we’ve constantly battled the dangers of those resulting “pots” boiling over.

Near as I can tell, from 1902 to the present, the longest period of time of peace in the Middle East lasted 3-4 years. Surely this signals perhaps the western world got it wrong in establishing the new countries as part of the WWI peace process!

Were wealth distribution, women’s issues, standards of living and war/peace made better or worse by all this? If after about 100 years of trying, we see no improvement, could it be time to re-evaluate?

Of course, the Press, the Traditionalist/Boomer attitudes and the Middle East are only three contributions to our current political mess here at home. Add the “white man superiority” still prevalent throughout the US today; the emerging digital impacts, a whole new emerging philosophy of cooperation and collaboration strongly influencing Gen X and the Millennials, and it’s no wonder we are at a tumultuous intersection in our progression.

We can only hope we find that new path through the conflicts and dangers because 100 years of 20th century thinking did not create the utopia we were looking for.

This all says to me – either Obama is indeed a powerful man to have personally caused all this damage in just six years or perhaps our trials and tribulations are not his fault as he tries to find the way across the abyss to our “promised land.”

And my final thought? Instead of playing the blame game, perhaps we should look at the Middle East and see if reorganization where possible of like peoples and religions might help as a first new step in a new century!

Advertisements
h1

P.S. AND….a little complaint!

August 5, 2014

For the most part, life is good, and I’m trying my best not be so critical, but I just have to vent on one thing about this new “Little City”:

KTTC is a NBC station; that means in this part of Minnesota, Channel 11 does not exist. We lead into the nightly news with Judge Judy – yikes! But that only starts the comedy. We move on to amateur hour reporting on the big news in every surrounding town and village in SE Minnesota…and yes, every DWI and arrest as well – or at least it feels like it as one tries to watch!

But the worst part of the experience is one of the features of the Nightly TV news is some dude from the Post Bulletin (the local evening paper) gives us a preview of all the important news we will find in the Post Bulletin the following evening!

I’ve tried to “go with the flow” but this irritates me no end – although it helps explain why the EVENING paper shows up any time after 10AM in the morning – they apparently put it together the day before we get it. In other words, it is useless!

Thank goodness for 30 minutes of Brian Williams sandwiched between the two local news segments – at least I get a quick peak at what’s really happening in the world!

Not sure what I will eventually do….right now, I subscribe to the Sunday STRIB and get the daily STRIB digitally because I presumed that would keep me in touch with MSP and the PB would get me involved in the community here.

Well, a month later and….NOT SO MUCH! Tonite is the turning point – the big feature was the Mower Country Fair (no, nothing in Rochester – it’s in Austin) where they have an owl on display. Yup, you got it. An owl. So at both the 5PM and at the 6PM news, we got to see/hear the handler having a conversation with his owl.

I think that just pushed me over the edge. By tomorrow I think I will have morphed into a “CCO fan…I can get enough local stuff in the noon Post Bulletin! I’m sorry, but I just do not care about Austin, Eyota, Lewiston, Viola or Mason City!

h1

LIFE IN THE LITTLE CITY…SO FAR

August 4, 2014

Today I have lived in Rochester one month. One would think that I would be unpacked, settled in, and moving forward-and for the most part, I guess I am. However, I am awaiting the GEEK SQUAD to rescue me before I throw both my printer and my phone out the window! Fortunately, they just called to confirm they will be here in about two hours!

The space works…for the most part. Two front doors are still a bit unsettling, but since 306B is the closest to the stairs, elevator and trash chute, it has become my entrance. Since 306A when opened reveals a hallway that ends with a view of the footboard of my bed, it will remain locked! Fortunately, I have two large storage areas near either door so that 306A storage became a pantry to supplement the minimal cupboards in the kitchen. As for the living/dining room – best can be described as “intimate”…and the only solution will be to replace the dining room table at some point – it’s far too big for the space and I certainly do not need a table that seats six WITHOUT the leaf hogging all the floor space! But that’s a doable at some point….so I am good and with books now all in the bookcases where they belong, I feel like it is “home”.

A few little things left to do – but overall, it works and I am so happy to have a REAL office again even if it is a bit on the small size! That old PIC Travel oak conference table that was my desk once upon a time at Carlson is back in service after a three year rest in the off-site storage area while I was at the Churchill. Nice.

Most days I take a walk- the trail system here is just great. Yesterday I ventured out to Oakwood – as I used to love to wander thru there – so peaceful….but instead as I headed across the river at Center Street – immediately, I found myself back in grade school and Jr High…..along a street that is still just beautiful with all the big houses, trees and shade. Before I knew it, I was at 11th Avenue and my GRADE SCHOOL in 5th and 6th Grade…..so of course, I turned north and headed “home” to 3rd street! Classmates and neighborhood gang from the 1950s: I was thinking of many of you as I walked and wondering where you all were today.

Eventually, there I was in front of my Mom’s house –looking at the adjoining lot that is now grass and not a garden – and spied the swing set and slide next to the garage. That is a good thing. The house may be small; but it needs kids. Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a few “great- greats “ were always in that house from Day 1 until the day my mom left it. So it felt “ALIVE” again to see the swings.

Had full intentions of heading back to Center Street along 14th – but I was thirsty and no water bottle with me so continued on to the end of Third, the creek, and my brother’s house. Fortunately they were home, so had a nice visit before I set off on my return trip….Virginia thought Gordie should give me a ride; but I said no – I was “exploring” and off I went.

Back up the street a couple blocks, I turned on 15th and soon discovered one of the bike trails right along the railroad tracks. So, off I went exploring along the trail – all the way back into downtown, along the side of Oakwood, behind the ball park where the Honkers were playing a game, and over the river back to Civic Square. A familiar route – but in days passed, we walked ON the tracks – not in the wooded areas alongside it! Much nicer (and safer) now.

I attended the DMC planning meetings in July, but August is an open month, so I expect it will be a while before I increase my involvement in plans for DMC, but I’ve been to the library, the government center, city hall, and a couple Thursdays on First and the Athensfest and am waiting for my updated driver’s license and voter’s registration with a Rochester address, so I guess I am here to stay! A visit to Apache Mall and the “big” Barnes and Noble may be on the agenda soon, however.

As I mentioned to Kathleen Boe this morning, Rochester did a great flood control project along the river back in the 70s with the walking paths, and gathering areas….and then they turned their backs on it or so it seems…except for the concert areas around MCC of course (which of course I can hear on Fridays, and Saturdays and Sundays! ) I think I may have found a niche; they need to tell the river story and bring it back to life! I know how to do that!

A Little City; A Little River; A Little Project to think about. I’m likin’ it so far.