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"They hate our freedom"

I'm a little surprised I haven't seen this old canard trotted out to explain the sometimes violent protests in the Middle East aimed at the United States because of a film (made by Egyptians in the US) which virtually no one stateside saw or cared for.  The outrage halfway across the world certainly shows a lack of understanding of western culture and a general distrust of it--a distrust which, let's face it, is both understandable and historically justified, particularly in the case where a western government might be involved.

Perhaps more importantly, we are seeing the results of a nascent republicanism amongst a poor, underemployed populations who have been and have felt put upon by their governments and the world.  These events and circumstances are obviously beyond our ability to control, but I wonder if we could not influence them in a finer way than we have in most of our dealings with that region. Perhaps a new Marshal Plan is called for.  Any attempt at convincing 'the Arab Street' that the government of the United States does not support something which it allows to exist will fail so long as those we are trying to persuade see it as antithetical to their own experience.

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-Calling a person a 'front runner' before votes are counted is just plain wrong.  Calling one a front-runner after some votes are counted is slightly misleading.  The race isn't about who the media thinks is ahead, and it is only indirectly about who gets the most votes.  What really matters is accruing the most delegates.  In the race for a major party's nomination for POTUS, the guy with the most delegates-who-will-actually-vote-for-him-at-their-national-convention is ahead. If no delegates have been awarded, there isn't really a front-runner, no matter what polls might say.

-I doubt the primary process will hurt the eventual Republican nominee for POTUS all that much.…

Pointless Ruminations on the Absurd

The world around us is in no way required to conform to our expectations, beliefs, or desires. Rather, it is all but guaranteed to disappoint us, at least once or twice a lifetime. The loftier (or more deeply felt) our ideals, the more this may be true.

When we accept this incongruity and are keenly aware of it, but cannot change our thinking, absurdity steps in. The world no longer quite makes sense. It is untethered from rational or moral concerns, adrift in a bizarre joke told by no one.
Desire for normative order is often irrational and misplaced. Placing ethical constraints on amoral matters makes no sense. Yet these appear (sometimes, seemingly) inescapable conclusions. Hence the sensation of absurdity.

We can apply these incongruous demands to anything and anyone. But this is not a universal philosophy. It is a philosophy of the self, a diagnosis.

Well now.

I think I'm going to try to revive my online writing habits, outside of Facebook.

And what have I been thinking or feeling in the interim, across the last couple years or so? Well, I'm glad you asked.

In part, this.