Saturday, August 15, 2009

Random Thoughts

I just saw Man on Fire for the first time and loved it! Usually, I don't care for violent movies, but I found this one deeply satisfying to that dark side of me that likes revenge. Of course the fact that Denzel Washington was in practically every scene didn't hurt. He was at his Denzelian best as the cool, ruthless assassin.

Speaking of violence, the Philadelphia Eagles have signed Michael Vick, and PETA as well as many others are outraged. I certainly don't approve of Vick's treatment of his dogs, but I save my outrage for those many occasions when human beings are treated inhumanely. For example in cases of domestic violence when law enforcement officers, up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court, refuse to enforce restraining orders against men who often wind up killing or maiming women and children. I am also outraged that this country's leaders in the previous administration tortured and abused "enemy combatants" as if they were dogs. Perhaps I missed it, but I don't recall witnessing the kind of public and media outcry about that as about Vick.

I've just finished reading a book entitled A Slave No More. It's the stories of two men who stopped accepting being enslaved during the Civil War, before President Lincoln had issued his Emancipation Proclamation. In reading once again about the dilemma Lincoln faced, it reminded me of the current situation with President Obama and his health care reform. Lincoln was caught between Southerners who didn't want blacks to be free, and Northerners who didn't care if they were free or not, so long as they didn't come up North. It recalls that old African American folk saying: "In the South they don't care how close you get so long as you don't get too high. In the North, they don't care how high you get, so long as you don't get too close."

Once again, the U.S. President is faced with making the best decision for the country in the face of an entrenched opposition whose interests are selfish. Justice prevailed in Lincoln's time, although he paid the ultimate price for that victory. And justice will prevail this time as well without Obama having to die for it. However, we must continue the fight because the opposition is just as determined to preserve their power and privilege today as the slaveholders were.

Without the Left and the Right, how would we know where the middle is?

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