Category Archives: Current Affairs

Three Homelands: A Revelation In Ireland

Three Homelands: A Revelation In Ireland

In December 2010, on a bright but cold afternoon, I took a serious blow to the ego, and what’s left of my cultural pride. It probably did me good, but I’m still rubbing the sore spot: it’s like a bruise that just won’t heal.  It started out fine, when I got off a bus not far from Waterford, Ireland, just in time for an interview.

Dog-Days-Logo-CF-Dog-Days-box

Continue reading Three Homelands: A Revelation In Ireland

Will It Ruin The Planet If I Buy These Blueberries??

Blueberries from ChileAh, January. It’s the season of snow and ice and other annoyances.

But there’s an UP-side: in the supermarkets I can find tubs of fat, dark, juicy blueberries.

I love ‘em. Call me an old anti-oxidant junkie. (In fact, some of you might have noticed that my Gmail address is supposed to be “wild blueberries” in French. I say “supposed to be” because I misspelled it; oh well, Comment puis-je être maladroit?)

Continue reading Will It Ruin The Planet If I Buy These Blueberries??

Beethoven’s Message to Guantanamo — And To Us

BeethovenMy musical hero Beethoven  (born around this date in 1770; baptized on December 17; died 1827) wrote only one opera, Fidelio.

In it, instead of rhapsodizing about Teutonic gods, or killing off ill-fated sopranos, his story dealt with a group of political prisoners who win their freedom from an oppressive system, mainly through the heroism of a woman.

Continue reading Beethoven’s Message to Guantanamo — And To Us

The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend; Etc. (Re: War With Iran?)

I really didn’t want to spend much time on this blog talking about current affairs.

But it’s becoming inescapable. And one topic that requires mention is an ongoing story that only fitfully pops up on the radar screen, but which is a BIG ongoing deal. And the Big Deal is the answer to this question:

Will we go to war with Iran??

Continue reading The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend; Etc. (Re: War With Iran?)

An Example of Intelligent Conservatism

An example of intelligent conservatism. I wonder if anyone in charge was listening??

From an article by David Frum in the New York Times Magazine, published online Nov. 12:

Even from a conservative point of view, the welfare state is not all bad. G. K. Chesterton observed that you should never take a fence down until you understand why it had been put up. We should remember why the immediate post-Depression generations created so many social-welfare programs. They were not motivated only — or even primarily — by “compassion.” They were motivated as well by the desire for stability.

Continue reading An Example of Intelligent Conservatism

Bush & His Book: Some Truths In Review

I make it a rule not to write reviews of books I haven’t read. I also do my best to avoid pontificating about them.

But I’m also a Quaker, who follows this rule about rules by the Elders of Balby, which they appended to a long list of rules for Quakers in 1656:

Dearly beloved Friends, these things we do not lay upon you as a rule or form to walk by; but that all, with a measure of the light, which is pure and holy, may be guided: and so in the light walking and abiding, these things may be fulfilled in the Spirit, not in the letter, for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.

Continue reading Bush & His Book: Some Truths In Review

Dog Days Weekend Read: Hear The War Prophet: Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges covered wars close up for fifteen years.

Chris Hedges has been there. A war correspondent for many years, he carries a burden of closely-observed horror for which the term PTSD pales. You can see it in the hollows around his eyes.

Chris Hedges has also been through hell with religion. He’s not “religious” now in any conventional sense. Yet he’s not “anti-religious” either. He can’t leave the subject alone. In books and columns, he delivers impassioned oracles. One of his recent books is, “I Don’t Believe In Atheists.” Continue reading Dog Days Weekend Read: Hear The War Prophet: Chris Hedges

Sedition Watch: Signs of the Times

Get-guns-now-closeup

“Sedition Watch.” This feature brings up “dots” of data that come onto my radar screen, which I’m working to connect.

The implications of the potential connections are unsettling, and I hope the authorities are watching. The elements here are straightforward: there are a lot of upset people, mostly guys, with guns out there, and with a high level of training in how to use them. And they are being fed a diet of sedition — talk of violent insurrection, or perhaps mounting a coup d’etat.

Continue reading Sedition Watch: Signs of the Times

Dog Days Flashback: Enlightenment In A Canadian Emergency Room

Originally posted in July, 2009

In the current health-care melee, we hear much alarmist talk and Canada-bashing, aimed at their single-payer health system.

A few days back, I had an unexpected chance to observe the Canadian system up close. What I saw was very instructive.

Here’s what happened: on the last evening of a Toronto visit, I was invited to dinner by a young couple – let’s call them Hank and Sue, for privacy.

Continue reading Dog Days Flashback: Enlightenment In A Canadian Emergency Room