Sunday, September 1, 2002
Recent photos. Click a pic.
I'm not a sports chick by any means. I have, however, gone to more than a few baseball games in my time. Busch Stadium is less than two hours from here. They used to have a thing called the "businessman's special." These were weekday afternoon games and the ticket price was a flat $3.00. But, you didn't have to be businessman to get in. We used to sit just above first base for that price.
Somewhere along the line, baseball must have figured out that businessmen were good for more than $3.00 a pop. Unfortunately, families on a budget rarely can afford to go to a game these days. That's why I really don't care that they averted a strike.
Ahh, good. The City of Springfield must be back in the money, again. Big-item pickup coming; City council to vote on contract with Capitol Waste Systems:
An ordinance introduced Friday would set up the city's long-awaited bulky item collection program, under which Springfield residents could simply haul their large pieces of junk out to the curb for free pickup. Currently, residents must pay for their own pickup arrangements or leave the junk, for a fee, at the waste transfer station.
Where the city is getting this money is beyond me, especially since their self-funded health insurance program is nearly flat broke.
Spoke too soon. Apparently, we've been paying for this out of own pockets for two years already:
The cost of the program would be supported through the 50-cent monthly fee that was added to residents' trash collection bills two years ago.
Notice in the first sentence I quoted where it says "free pickup." It's not really free, after all.
From the Ut Oh The Trail Is Probably Cold Department: Tapestry missing at UIS; Crime Stoppers' crime of the week. An 8' x 9' 4" Peruvian tapestry is missing from the University of Illinois at Springfield. It was donated to Sangamon State University in 1978. Since then, the school has become part of the University of Illinois system.
School personnel had noticed it was gone after the weekend of May 18 but did not report it as missing until more than two months later.
That is most unfortunate. What's going on out there at that school? Why wasn't it reported missing immediately? I wonder if anyone has checked the 69 items listed at eBay in a search for "Peru tapestry".
Zbigniew Brzezinski heard from.
One difference you can't help but notice is that he specifically doesn't mention Germany in his New York Times Op-Ed piece. Although, he does refer to America's key democratic allies in Europe and Asia:
For America, the potential risk is that its nonpolitically defined war on terrorism may thus be hijacked and diverted to other ends. The consequences would be dangerous. If America comes to be viewed by its key democratic allies in Europe and Asia as morally obtuse and politically naïve in failing to address terrorism in its broader and deeper dimensions — and if it is also seen by them as uncritically embracing intolerant suppression of ethnic or national aspirations — global support for America's policies will surely decline. America's ability to maintain a broadly democratic antiterrorist coalition will suffer gravely.
Which can lead to a much feared isolation of the United States. Although, we can probably find many who would argue in favor of isolationism, it's not the goal of our country at this time.
Unfortunately, there are obstacles much greater, in my opinion, than just being viewed as morally obtuse and politically naive by our oversees allies. Perhaps obstacles isn't the right word since that which is the root of the obstacles lies within. And I don't necessarily mean the within that is the administration that is running this country now. However, they are the ones that have the power to do something about it.
There's an attitude of blind self-righteousness that pervades this country, or as some like to call it "blind patriotism." And that is, "I am right and an American and if you do not agree with me you are wrong and a terrorist or at least a terrorist sympathizer." I was never so deeply exposed to this form of patriotism as when I worked the CNN community. I don't think I'm breaching any confidentiality by admitting this.
Look at it this way and without getting into specific arguments. There was a large faction of patriots who rode herd on the CNN War on Terrorism message board. Those were the regulars. Their mission, from all appearances, was to pump each other up, wave their proverbial flags, and keep the fight alive by unwaveringly expressing their full support for anything and everything that the administration did or wanted to do in the War on Terrorism and beyond.
Almost daily, someone or a couple someones, would come on board and express a difference of opinion. I liked to call these people the dissenters, although the regulars referred to them as llamas. Sometimes the dissenters raised valid arguments that I felt should be addressed, or at least looked at by the regulars. Whether I agreed with the dissenters or not, I felt that what the dissenters had to say was worth hearing and valuable.
Instead of the regulars taking the opportunity to learn why certain people, or why certain parts of the world, despise us, the dissenters' words fell on deaf ears. Unfortunately for all, the dissenters were usually quickly dismissed and shooed away by the patriots. Eventually, the dissenters stopped coming around and the regulars were left to themselves. You could say that's where the isolation comes in. Further eventually, CNN shut down their community and the blind patriots were left without that voice. And, finally, CNN removed those message boards from their servers and all that blind patriotism was scattered like ashes in the wind.
Well, I made a couple leaps in logic there, but I hope you get my message.
© L.M. Carnes 2002.
All original content herein owned by L.M. Carnes unless otherwise noted.