Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday January 27, 2010...The call of the warmth

Well, my friends and relatives talked me into it.
I'm heading south to the sunshine and warmth of the borderlands.

So many of my friends and relatives migrate south in the winter that it got me to thinking of the relative values of staying here and braving the cold, wet, miserable, cloudy, bleak winter or lolling about in shorts and t shirts enjoying the balmy breezes and sunshine of south Texas. It was no contest.

I have always appreciated the changing of the seasons, but after a few days of the cold, I'm ready for better weather. My sister and her husband spend time down near Brownsville, Texas and I used to know a fellow steelman who spent time down there too. They both bragged of the great weather and the fresh vegetables and lazy days.

I gather that there isn't a lot to do, but to be a lazy bum and just sit back and vegetate with all the other vegetables, but I can do that for a while. I plan on visiting the coast and counting the pebbles on the beach and the clouds in the sky. I also plan on trying the local Mexican restaurant fare. Maybe a nap or two. Maybe count the stars at night (I hear they are big and bright).

It will be quite different from the brisk, bone aching crystal clear cold to the bone weather here in Missouri. I admit that I'm a lot weaker than I used to be - I can't resist the call of the warmth.

It's calling me now-----
Adios for a while.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010...Perhaps a different perspective?

According to USA TODAY January 8, 2010:

The Turkish wife of a Jordanian doctor who killed seven CIA employees in a suicide attack in Afghanistan says her husband was outraged over the treatment of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison and the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Defne Bayrak, the wife of bomber Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, said in an interview with The Associated Press that his hatred of the United States had motivated her husband to sacrifice his life on Dec. 30 in what he regarded as a holy war against the U.S.
Bayrak also said Friday, "I think the war against the United States must go on."
Turkish police questioned and released Bayrak on Thursday. But she says police confiscated a book she had written called "Osama bin Laden the Che Guevera of the East."

Are we the big bully on the block? It appears that many see us that way. They get the feeling that if things don't go exactly like we want them to go, that we will use our might to enforce our views on others – no negotiation – just might. It makes others feel like they have lost some of their dignity and that is extremely important to many who are impoverished but still maintain their dignity.

I hadn't thought how the Abu Ghraib treatment might affect a whole group of people, but I can see where they would take this as a slam against their whole society. When events like this motivate people with that amount of rage, we must carefully analyze the consequences of our actions, instead of just bulling our way through. What did we gain from invading Iraq? What did we lose by invading Iraq? What do we gain by continuing the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban (not the Al-Qaeda)? Sometimes it seems that we just want to force our way of living on people when it won't work with them (American Indians, Vietamese, Muslims, etc). Maybe tolerance and communication would save more lives and result in a more peaceful society? Surgical strength applied directly to the cause works better than bombing a whole country. We somehow lost sight of who our enemy was and ended up fighting whole countries instead of the small group of terrorists and criminals who hurt us in the first place. We live with the consequences and many people die needlessly.