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Coca Cola, the NCAA and MLB

I find it sort of appalling that the above-named organizations have jumped into the political fray over Georgia's voting laws -- particularly when those laws don't stop any American citizen from voting.

They aren't the first -- and apparently won't be the last -- organizations to decide to dictate political discourse from the safety of their boardrooms.

My suggestion is that we all do the most efficient thing we can to convey our pleasure or displeasure with our woke corporations: vote with your feet. The impact of France's stance after 9/11 was a tremendous downturn in champagne sales to the US. The NFL's ratings are down dramatically for their stance on the flag. Ditto with awards shows, where Hollywood congratulates itself yearly but now has added its political commentary to its content.

If you don't like this sort of boot on the discourse, drink Pepsi. If you do, have a Coke. If you'd prefer not to be lectured on your political beliefs, don't watch movies. If you do, watch all you want.

All I'm suggesting is responding in kind. Otherwise, let the twitterverse will dictate the course of the country. You decide.

A Message to the Woke Generation on Race and Socialism

It fascinates me how little changes in the world. I realize all of you believe you're the answer, that none of us before you have ever seen the bad in our little world -- but we did.

My favorite author, and a towering intellect, Doris Lessing, wrote about all of the issues you think no one's noticed yet - and she was born in 1919. I challenge any of you to read all of her writings and maintain your beliefs. She rode the socialism/communism train almost from its inception, and came to see the emptiness of its promises (see The Sweetest Dream). She fought for rights for blacks growing up in what was then called Rhodesia (try the "Children of Violence" series), and was bitterly disappointed in its achievements, as much of Africa traded white dictatorship for black dictatorship, and nothing improved for anyone but the elected few (sound familiar?).

My favorite Lessing work, Canopus in Argos: Archives, posed a great question for all of us to consider on this front. The book ends with a huge meeting of youth from around the globe to put whites on trial -- all whites. Various groups of the youth charged whites with all of the historical crimes of the world. The youth had its advocate, and the whites had theirs. After a very long prosecution covering all of the sins of the world, the advocate for the defense rose to speak. He stipulated that all of the facts presented were not in dispute, and then asked a marvelous question: Given all that whites had done to others, why on earth did the other groups turn right around and behave in exactly the same way?

I posit to you that whoever does the sinning at a particular point in history, the sins are equivalent. The sin is still precisely the same, only the actors change. Perhaps all of us should spend more time considering this question, rather than tearing one another apart.

How about just bringing back manners?

This will probably sound like a crazy idea, considering, but couldn't we resolve a lot of our issues simply by being well-mannered?  You know, yes, sir, no, ma'am, thank you, please?  No name calling?  And while we're at it, how about bringing back the three taboos drilled into me by my southern grandmother:  One does not discuss politics, religion or money.

Imagine the improvement in our discourse!  I've always felt that good manners are the lubricant, if you will, of a civilized society.  We're all here together, and we're meant to rub along together more or less amicably,. thus ensuring the continuation of the species. 

It seems to me that life would be far more pleasant for all of us if we stopped making every hill the one we're willing to die on.  Something to ponder.

Reflections on 6 January

Much has been said, written -- possibly shouted -- about the events at the Capitol on 6 January.  While we may all say we eschew, even decry, violence to settle political disputes, those protesters, in my mind, got one thing exactly right.

Every two years, voters are led about by politicians (and the media, but that's another blog) promising, promising, promising -- no promises are ever kept.  Democrats promise to represent minorities, yet conditions for minorities seldom improve.  Republicans promise to cut government spending, yet all that is ever accomplished is to decrement the rate of growth of spending.  These are just examples, and there are many, many more, as we all know.

'So they rile us up, yet fail to deliver.  Meantime, we're all at each other's throats, when our problems are really with our elected representatives.

So while the methodology might have been faulty, was the target inaccurate?

Dear Voters

Much of what I see in America troubles me greatly. The point on my mind today is the erosion of the first amendment in the name of kindness, or of seditious speech, or any infringement on that most sacred of our rights.

As a girl, my father taught me an object lesson on this issue early on.  The Klan was holding a rally in Dallas, where I grew up, and I told him that they shouldn't say those things, or even think them, because it was evil.  His response was to tell his five-year-old that while I might not like what was being said, as an American, I had to be willing to defend to the death their right to say it, because freedom of speech was not guaranteed in all countries, and that it must be zealously guarded in order to maintain it.

The lesson stuck.  I see a lot of people saying things I don't agree with, or don't like, or don't think are wise.  I see the bully media, our political class, and bots on Twitter (may it go bankrupt)  drumming up hatred and division between us, and we the sheeple going along with it and even joining the chorus.  At the rate it's going it won't end well.

Thomas Jefferson believed we would need a revolution every 50 years in order to maintain our republic, and maybe we do -- that decision is well above my pay grade.  But I think we can all take a note here and consider our rights -- and our obligations. 

We have a right to free speech, and concomitantly an obligation to use it wisely.  We can't control the braying chorus, but we can control ourselves.