Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Inspiration: Aspiring vs. Acquiring

In Chicagoland's "Sib of the Trib", the Red Eye,
a feature called "Smoking Rogue" interviewed some
local under 35 folks who've taken up cigar smoking.
One man, observing Michael Jordan's cigar-chomping
cachet, declared he "aspired" to that--cigars, that is,
not free-throw excellence. A young woman claimed,
"You know full well what you're doing, and if you're
a responsible adult you should be able to make that
choice".... Hmmn. Lip cancer, mouth cancer, tongue
cancer, other cancers, anyone? (And she said she
wasn't a baby.) -!

Acquiring a famous person's (even notorious) habits
doesn't equal aspiring, actions which may well take
one to a higher skill set level, possibly a higher
plane of existence.

If I'm inspired to acquire, that is a merely pedestrian
motivation. Inspiration leading to aspiring to a better
character or exploring and developing talents and skills,
now, that's a far worthier "dream".

Aspiring vs. acquiring: What's the motivation, what's the
inspiration? All good questions to ask.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Being a Person: These Can't Qualify

Anthropomorphizing: Scientific American, one of my
two or three favorite publications for decades,
does it too: one full page ad's airline is referred
to as "you" (you're) by the airline itself.
(Correcting just one letter, from "you're" to "you've"
would be significant improvement.)

Corporations are winning lawsuits by claiming they are/
are not persons, depending on which status confers the
greatest benefit. But before this society ends up at
rock bottom, we'd all do better to insist, "only humans
are persons". ("All humans are persons" shouldn't
require restatement, but it DOES. Lately, Letterman
and Santorum forgot that and themselves.)

On being a person: organizations and objects
can't qualify, any legal legerdemain to the contrary.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pan Panetta Time

What is Leon Panetta's background, really? Is he
qualified for his current post? I ask because he
stirred up quite the little hornet's nest last week
talking about Israel vis-a-vis a little First Strike
action against Iran. There's more than sufficient
suffering, tension, destruction and death right now
in the Middle East--Are Bebe Netanyahu and Leon
Panetta going for setting the entire region aflame?

Mr. Panetta has an impressive record as a loyal
Democrat, having served several presidents in important
capacities. But his stint at CIA, his public policy
professorial credentials notwithstanding, nevertheless
leave a great deal to be desired. Now our Defense Secretary,
he has become, in my opinion, offensive. I have to wonder
exactly why Mr. Obama selects so many generalist policy
wonks without specific, appropriate portfolio for his inner
governmental circle. Many of them have been
embarrassments; here we have yet another.

Time to starting panning Panetta, because I'm not expecting
to mine much gold.