By lex, on November 28th, 2003
Fear and loathing in the blogosphere
Once, at a nice Irish pub (I know many) in Alexandria, Virginia, I was having a soothing pint of Guinness (for strength!) while the ladies of the household were Christmas shopping. A young lady walks in to the rather crowded, very republican (in the Irish sense) place, plops down next to me and smiles to me nicely. Which doesn’t happen all that much, having passed that age where things like that usually happen (and having missed them having happened at all, the first time through). She strikes up a conversation, and it’s quickly apparent to me that 1) she is an employee of a rather sensitive government agency (at the clerical level, I gathered) and 2) this wasn’t the first bar she had frequented that winter afternoon. Sort of explained why she was being so nice to a gent at least 15 years older than her: she had her beer goggles on! Still, company is always pleasant on a cold day, and who was I to judge another’s use of that ol’ demon rum? Been there, done that, myself.
One of the things I love about travel is the misconceptions finally corrected. You see things – or meet people – that change your beliefs. Both people and places have changed my outlook over the years.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
I was trying to remember the year I drove to Deadwood, SD and across Montana. Montana still had a “safe and reasonable” speed limit, and I thought that I would be in my element.
There has been a battle largely behind the scene, and the stakes are high. China’s Huawei Technologies Co. , with funding from their government and the wholesale theft of technology from US companies, is working hard to establish their 5G networks around the world.
And the fear is that with pressure from the Chinese government, they could utilize the technology to spy on the users.
Imagine having a government with access over any conversation they choose in a country.
Over at PJMedia, an interesting post about Anthony Hopkins.
He refuses to publicly get into political discussions.
By lex, on September 11th, 2007
Long, and heartrending. Difficult.
At fifteen seconds after 9:41 A.M., on September 11, 2001, a photographer named Richard Drew took a picture of a man falling through the sky — falling through time as well as through space. The picture went all around the world, and then disappeared, as if we willed it away. One of the most famous photographs in human history became an unmarked grave, and the man buried inside its frame — the Falling Man — became the Unknown Soldier in a war whose end we have not yet seen. Richard Drew’s photograph is all we know of him, and yet all we know of him becomes a measure of what we know of ourselves. The picture is his cenotaph, and like the monuments dedicated to the memory of unknown soliders everywhere, it asks that we look at it, and make one simple acknowledgment.
That we have known who the Falling Man is all along.
There are no pictures. But you should nevertheless bear witness, you owe it to yourself.
After all, the Falling Man is you.
Back To The Index
I’ve been trying to decide how to write this the last few days. The battle lines were set years ago, and the same arguments keep coming back.
Today, some of my early experiences with firearms seems so foreign and other-worldly.
Some public schools even taught firearms safety.
I just took an Uber ride to downtown and as with most of their drivers they are a good conversationalists.
My driver had moved from the Bay Area about a year and a half ago.
I said “I don’t see how you guys can afford to live there”.
He said that he couldn’t. He was making $130,000 a year and eligible for food stamps and section 8 housing.
I guess Manhattan is similar.
Funny thing, the first thing that came to my mind while reading this was a wonderful book by Erik Larson *, entitled In The Garden of Beasts. In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt had a difficult time finding someone in the State Department who wanted to be ambassador in newly-elected Chancellor Hitler’s Berlin (imagine that!) so he picked a University of Chicago Professor, William E. Dodd.
The book to me was fascinating in that it profiled the Dodd family against life in Berlin, as it was changing with the Nazis seizing control. Control not only of the government but public life and thought.
I think I will have to read it again as it has been a few years.
A college or university is supposed to be a place where one is exposed to many ideas. Some contrary to one’s own beliefs. They should be examined and weighed against one’s own beliefs. A superior intellect is capable of abandoning held thoughts and adopting new ones.
Of course, in far too many schools this is not the case. I believed that the term the term “politically correct” was born in these schools, but apparently it was born in the early years of the Communist Soviet Union.