Since I’ve done my share of ripping into thug cops, it always seems fair to give the better ones a tip o’ the hat. And this tale — from a freedomista’s wary daughter — is pretty cute.
Her dad writes:
So my daughter S. moved away from home at the beginning of November. She graduated from a medical arts program in June, and Florida seemed like a good place to be. My mother-in-law lives there in a [huge community almost entirely made up of seniors].
We packed up the car and my wife took S. to FL to stay with her mom to help her out and until she gets set up on her own.
Mom is getting up there, and her health isn’t that of a youngster anymore. Her daughters all live far away, and most of her friends have passed. But 3 yrs ago at 85 she dumped her 75-year-old boyfriend and bought a house for the first time on her own. She’s fiercely independent, and even though her health is declining she will not accept any outside hired help. The only real “service” she has is a morning phone check-in with the county sheriff’s dept. elder unit.
Unfortunately, mom found herself in the hospital on Thanksgiving morning. She had been there a week. But Thanksgiving morning at 9am, the phone rang at her house with the call from the sheriff’s office. They were making holiday dinner and were inviting all the people on their check-in lists. S. explained that Mom was still in the hospital but could get out for the day, and gave them Mom’s direct number at the hospital so they could invite her to their dinner.
S. thought this was the end of the story.
At about 2 o’clock, S. is trying to decide what to eat before she goes to the hospital to visit, and there’s a knock at the door. She looks through the blinds and sees there’s a sheriff’s officer standing on the stoop. Raised the way she was, she’s automatically suspicious. What could they possibly want? She opens the door a crack to say hi and find out what’s going on, and she sees a big box in the sheriff’s hands. “Hello, I’m Sheriff Soandso. Your grandma told us you were here all alone on your first holiday away from home, and she was worried about you being all alone, worried that you wouldn’t eat, etc. So I brought a full Thanksgiving dinner in this box for you. There’s turkey, stuffing, ham, taters, veggies, gravy, everything. Oops, Sorry, everything but pie. The oldsters ate all the pie”
She was floored. She called the next day to say “Dad, I’ve been around enough to see the sheriffs serve papers, serve subpoenas, and even serve search warrants, but I never thought I’d ever see the day when a sheriff came to the house to serve me dinner! And Dad, it was even good!”
Wealth and inequality. No matter what your politics (or lack thereof), these charts are alarming. This is not what a healthy country looks like. The comparisons of perception-ideal-reality are fascinating, though.
Bystander sees masked robber holding store clerk at gunpoint. Bystander pulls pistol and shouts, “Don’t move!” Robber turns. Bystander shoots. Family member of this (chronic) robber whines, “If his (the customer) life was not in danger, if no one had a gun up to him, if no one pointed a gun at him — what gives him the right to think that it’s okay to just shoot someone? You should have just left the store and went wherever you had to go in your car or whatever.” As sick, depraved, cruel, irresponsible, and Snopes-clan inbred as that sounds, what’s even sicker is that that’s precisely what anti-gunners would have us do.
Not long ago, a friend asked if I regretted anything I’d done (or tried to do) for freedom. Complicated question, that. It’s one I may blog-ponder later. But for now, I’m turning it back on you and doubling it.
A. Is there anything you regret doing (or trying to do) for freedom?
B. Is there anything within your realistic power that you regret not doing (or not trying to do) for freedom?
When I disagree with some aggrandizing fuss being made over some political celebrity, cause, event, or anniversary, I tend to keep my mouth shut. When I do open my yap to point out what I think should be obvious, it sometimes raises a stink.
So mostly it seems to be time wasted to pipe up to say, “Hey, but …” when the whole propagandized nation is waving flags, worshipping tyrants, or indulging in an uncritical emotional frenzy.
Thus I kept my mouth shut earlier this week as the media went into one of its periodic Honest Abe panegyrics re the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.
But Jim Bovard, never one to be shy about such matters, says it right. The speech, and Lincoln, are still balderdash after all these years.
The only thing I really think is right about the Gettysburg Addy is a rather obscure fact that ought to be better known and puts our current Authoritah worship into perspective. On the day he gave that speech, the president of these united States was an afterthought. He wasn’t even the main speaker. That was Edward Everett.
Can you imagine that? Can you imagine an event organizer placing a Clinton, a Bush, or an Obama as just one more speaker on a slate of talkers? And basically treating him as an ordinary human being instead of acting like he’s some grand pasha or potentate?
The last few weeks have again been chaotic and stressful. That should have been over last Friday, but instead Saturday and Sunday became more stressful.
Again, we’re not talking any big deal. Just the stress of life plunging onward in what’s actually quite a nice way. But anyhow, I promised myself a no-stress Monday.
A contemplative day begins with either not turning on the computer at all or using it for wake up and morning chores, then closing it down. But it’s more than that. It’s turning off the phone and being glad I’m not expecting anybody to come to the door. It’s meditating and spending time with the dogs. Time not even to snuggle down with a good book because that would take me out of the moment. Time to just BE.
Um … well, that’s the theory.
The reality is that I last three or four hours without going online. And instead of hours devoted to Being In The Moment, I’m constantly telling myself, “No, you don’t need to know right this minute when Dire Straits was founded,” and “I wonder what’s going on with that discussion about The Last Samurai?”
While I nearly always give in eventually (Leslie Howard, for anyone who needs urgently to know, died when his plane was shot down by Nazis, possibly on the rumor that Winston Churchill was aboard), I do try to keep my computer use “lite.”
But the day usually ends up with me planning projects, paying bills, and cleaning or doing tiny repairs to the house.
I feel better for doing these things, but bad for not getting a better handle on my monkey-brainedness. “After all, I tell myself, if you really want peace, stillness, silence, and serenity, you’ll *&^# well sit your &%# down and start workin’ at ‘em.”
Still, I feel better for such a day.
This morning, for instance, I laid out a plan for a closet and some shelves that had been ghosting formlessly around my brain for months. Then I looked at my finances and fulfilled a much-overdue pledge to myself to restore my neglected envelope system of budgeting. I paid off my bill at the hardware store (where they let me open an account simply by giving them my contact information, BTW; I love small towns!). Paying that bill closed out a minor construction project that got ugly before it was done. The emotional closure was glorious, even as it was painful to watch the sum disappear.
So in theory, I keep wanting all that Zen-like stillness and to gain discipline over my very non-orderly, trivia-collecting brain. In reality, my brain and all the rest of me find this far more satisfying.
Of course, since I never manage to get to the meditative mountaintop, I really don’t know what I’m missing. But by golly, my bills always get paid on time and the dust bunnies scatter in terror of me.
I’m a few days late finding this, but J.D. Tuccille gives new dimension (and his always cheery Outlaw spirit) to a topic that’s been much discussed in these parts: “Why not opt out of government control?”
Ash Beckham is a lesbian. But even if you think you’re totally tired of hearing about people’s sexual identity, this is different. Her message is universal — and delightful. It just might be helpful for anybody who feels stuck in an emotional closet or has something difficult to say and can’t figure out how.