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In testimony before the Senate Intelligence committee, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III proved once again that the current administration is fully stocked with members of the “all about me” generation. After an opening statement that seemed to point to something higher – citing long service to the country, his testimony quickly descended into aggressive paranoia as questions were deflected as personal attacks, which they were not, as opposed to truth-seeking, which they were. This reflexive defensiveness made him seem as though he was trying to hide something, when a more cooperative approach surely would have built more credibility for his proclaimed ignorance. In an administration full of sour old men, AG Sessions seemed particularly so at this hearing.
A beginning of a series.
We have hard choices to make. There are issues that affect all of us. The economy, health-care, energy, education, defense — to name a few. For all of these, there are strong disagreements on how to proceed. What there should not be any disagreement about is that all of these issues are intertwined. And, because this is the case, any sustainable solutions will have to be crafted from multiple perspectives. It is highly likely that all of us will have to make some sacrifices in order for us to succeed. Right now, at this immediate point in time, it feels as though so many are only pursuing their self-interest — in a most cynical reading of the pursuit of happiness. On the other hand, others are demanding that individuals sacrifice their rights in the public interest – especially in a dangerous “Post 9/11” world. At some point, a balance again must be achieved between the individual and the people. But the word balance here is key — individuals need to be accountable for the harm they may do to others but we can’t allow the crowd to trample the individual either.
So, a small first step. Each of us should consider the effect our decisions have not just on ourselves, but also on our family, our friends, our community and our nation.
Posted in Divided we fall
It was not my intention to begin the Weekly Observer with such a grim topic. But the tragic incident this past Wednesday at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum brought a number of issues to the forefront.
There are people living among us who do not share fundamental American values — because they disagree with them, because they are unclear as to what those values are, or because they are of unsound mind. Ironically, disagreement, even lack of clarity, is something that we protect — the irony grows as we struggle to preserve rights, even for those who, given the power, would deny those same rights to those with whom they disagree — even to the extent of killing them.
Perhaps I make too much of this, after all the case can be made that the perpetrator in this instance was not of sound mind — an anomaly. But I think this raises another issue: All of us need to remain vigilant and confront hate, confront bullies, confront anything that harms life or liberty — whether the source of the threat is external or internal. And we need to call out those who promote hate — especially if they are popular “infotainers”. We all have to work to preserve our community — to prevent, to the extent we can, this sort of random act of hate and violence.
— mch 12 June 2009
After writing this, I found some interesting additional reading:
Gerson, The Washington Post
Eye Opener: Does Holocaust Shooting Validate Homeland Security Report?
Posted in Divided we fall