Getting Power to the Tower

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July 27, 2022- The technician’s assessment of the issue facing my modem/router combo was quite simple. The power cord sent in the original package was not suitable for the device. M/R had faked it, for several months, but was unable to make it, in the end. So, I bought a universal power supply, set it to 12 volts, and if the tower was not too worn out by the recent experience, it should be good for quite a while longer. For good measure, a wall plug adapter, specific to this device, should be here on Friday.

Some, but not all, people of my generation-including yours truly, at times, have to be taken through technological matters, by the numbers. Fortunately, I haven’t had to have the same lessons repeated, ad nauseam. Power to my own upstairs still comes fairly easily. Nutrition has been a big factor, as has keeping immunity up to a high level.

This brings me to the matter of the power allotted to the average citizen. I am reading the last chapters of the autobiography of Mohandas Gandhi. It covers his life up to the 1930s, and focuses on the lack of trust that colonialists had in the people of the Indian subcontinent, in managing their own affairs. Some of this, no doubt, came from greed and a cultivated lust for power and control. The rest came from the rulers being stuck in one model of civilization.

We see the same, across this country, and around the globe, in our own time. Those who mistrust people who see things differently from themselves have taken to turning off their ears, and their filters, reverting to the failed and miserable mindsets of bygone days- be they Fascist or Bolshevist.

In this complex world, answers to problems come from various points of view. No one viewpoint can address everything that the world presents to humanity. The tower of power should be open to all, which means only inclusive democracy will work to sustain civilization-in the long run. As long as we are in a human state, no autocrat, no matter how bright, can run a nation alone. We need only look to the failed rulers of the 1930s and ’40s, to see this.

I rest my case.

For The Hostages, on the Ides

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March 15, 2022- It has been reported that some 500 people are being held by Russian troops at a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine. 400 of these are residents of the area near the facility and 100 are a mix of medical staff and patients. The situation is a breach of all that is humane, but that ship sailed several days ago. For all the posturing about Ukrainian neo-fascists in the Azov Brigade, most, if not all, of the brutality that is quantifiable is coming from the invaders-not from the defenders.

This is a short post, as I have a very early wake-up, tomorrow. It is no less important, though, that the world is kept abreast of matters like this. The true horror of war is largely the stuff of how innocents are treated. So far, there is no sign of any adherence, on the part of the invaders, to those provisions of the Geneva Convention that pertain to the treatment of civilians, of noncombatants.

I say goodnight, with prayers for their safety on my lips and in my heart.

Saving Grace

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October 25, 2020-

“An ant has no quarrel with a boot.”- Tom Hiddleston, as Loki, in “The Avengers”.

A fair number of first-time voters, across the country, who are weighing social issues, are finding themselves wanting to “stay the course”. There was a time, when I thought that such an approach was prudent, as the incumbent surely knew what was best for the nation, and the nation already knew the incumbent.

It’s been several years since I have taken that view, but no matter. Every generation has to find their own voice. All the same, it is crucial to weigh the chances of pursuing dreams, both individually and collectively, given one outcome, as opposed to the other.

The rub comes when one takes the measure of his/her relative worth and power, in comparison to those of the State. There are the David/Goliath model and “We are the State, and the State is us” point of view. In the first, as can be surmised, a fearless individual, or small group, takes on a power that either practices division or arranges affairs in such a way that the strength of individuals is seemingly eroded. In the second, so well-practiced by Fascists and Communists, alike, during the mid-Twentieth Century, and still de rigeur in China, North Korea and a few other countries, there is an oddly-skewed sense of patriotism, which goes beyond flying a nation’s flag and supporting a just government, in a healthy way.

Our country’s saving grace is its Constitution, which has pulled us back from ruin, on three separate occasions: The War of 1812, the Civil War and the Watergate Crisis. My fervent hope is that the Constitution will do so again, regardless of who wins next week’s election, and regardless of how loudly the opposing sides may continue to react to one another. Our Constitution has inculcated, in the American character, a definite sense that the dignity of the individual is paramount and that equality is a clearly-established, if ever-evolving, tenet of this nation’s fabric.

Two Grapes

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February 3, 2020-

The young girl had less willpower than she had thought.  Faced with a sumptuous, fully-laden buffet, she took two grapes for herself.  This awakened the buffet’s master, who killed two of the young girl’s faerie guides and nearly captured her.  In turn, the faeries’ master, a faun, angrily banished the young girl from his enchanted cave.  I got the initial impression, whilst watching Pan’s Labyrinth, last night, that the faun was no more enamoured of the child-or of children in general, than was the girl’s step father, a severe and arrogant captain in Francisco Franco’s Army.

It was 1944, and while the Fascists had largely brought Spain under their control, there were pockets of active partisan resistance.   There was little tolerance for romantic notions or for childhood fancies.  The girl was tolerated by both of the principal male figures, as mentioned above, and her mother, the captain’s new wife, was merely a means to an end for her husband, who wanted a male heir above all else.

I thought of just how much progress has been made, with regard to gender relations, since that time.  Like any other area of life, the most progress towards equanimity has been made since the mid-1970’s, when women stopped gratuitously accepting acts of chivalry.  The truer, deeper courtesy that came out of the Women’s Rights movement of 1970-76 has only served to help men become more authentic gentlemen, rather than simply aping the courtesies of the past.  Honouring a woman’s dignity meant that she could open her own doors-and even open a door for a man.

The little girl, Ofelia, was as skillful as she was willful, managing to fool a monstrous frog, who had stolen a key belonging to the faun.  She also got a dagger from a cabinet in the buffet master’s chamber, and procured mandrake root, which she nourished in order for her pregnant, ailing mother to recover.  She never appeared to wallow in self-pity.

The captain and his men made a mess of things, leading to his wife’s death and, eventually, to their own slaughter.  This, by dint of their stubborn adherence to Franco’s doctrine of “cleansing Spain”.  The faun, also doctrinaire, inadvertently caused Ofelia to be caught by the captain, through his insistence that she let her infant brother be bled.

Everyone serves the Creator, directly or indirectly.  As it happened, Ofelia’s refusal to shed her innocent brother’s blood, preferring to sacrifice herself instead, met with approval from her Eternal Father, who welcomed her into Paradise, with a throne of her own, to his left.  The chastened faun recognized her goodness in the end, and bowed in service.

The calamities set in motion by the pure child, eating two grapes, leave lots of room for thought:  Who is more at fault, a child taking a small bit of food from another being, or the chastiser, full of his own importance?

 

Dear Greta

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September 24, 2019-

Dear Greta,

I have listened to your brief remarks at the United Nations, yesterday.  They were cogent, as far as they went.  There is much work to be done, by all generations.  There is much to be done, by every nation.  I admire and honour your courage, in speaking before such a vast assemblage.  The concerns, the welfare, of young people are concerns of mine. I am also proud of you for seeing Asperger’s Syndrome, which I share, as a groundswell of strength

Now, let us go beyond the general expression of outrage, knowing that such is common to youth, as my own generation showed, in the 1960’s and ’70’s.  It only holds the world’s attention for a fleeting period.

Your work can only bear fruit if the steps followed are specific, succinct, bulleted or numbered.  Your arguments deserve to be outlined, in clear form.  Your arguments, in a field as fraught with emotion as climate, deserve to be understood, by ally and opponent, alike.  Your arguments cannot be “Pie in the Sky”.  Take your time, in formulating them.

I love the people of each of the rising generations, passionately.  Having taken your side, in conversations with more hidebound members of my own generation, I must caution you, as to what they see.  There is a sizable group, among the survivors of World War II, among Baby Boomers and among Generation X, which conflates the activism of young people today, with Hitler Youth and the Red Guards of mid-Twentieth Century China.  They see you as being dupes of well-heeled figures on the Far Left. They see you as not coming forward with your own thoughts.  They see you as brainwashed.

I have reminded such people that we, both in North America and in Europe, rebelled against political corruption, as teens and as  young adults.  Time passed, and the lure of career, success, money led all too many away from ideals.  Do not let that happen to you!  Read George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”, if you’ve not already done so.  Learn of the insidious power of corruption.  If you have sponsors who are wealthy, keep an eye on them and know their motives.  If they are sincerely concerned about climate change, you will know soon enough.  If their agenda is control, you must recognize that, too.

Know, and be sensitive to, the fears of the average wage earners and of those on fixed incomes.  One of the drawbacks of the Green New Deal is that it has not engaged the broad Middle Class, or the the elders who are on fixed incomes.  These people can be, and are, all too easily susceptible to the fear-mongering of those whose agenda is at variance with your own.

People can be told that, if a climate change mitigation is followed, the Stock Market will crash, and their savings accounts will crash along with it.  Too many of us elders are woefully uneducated about finance.  The wire-pullers are, even now, threatening to push for a “Bear Market”, so as to maintain control over those on fixed incomes.  Such balderdash is all too easily believed, by those who are struggling to live within their means.  Study your history, and you will see that the same tactics were used by the Fascists, in 1920’s and 1930’s Europe.  There is indeed a significant body of evidence that the economic Crash of 1929 was the work of those jockeying for control of the masses.

So, learn your finance, as well.  Using that knowledge,  plan steps that are incremental, that are focused and realizable.  Whatever you do, do not let yourself stray all over the place, especially in response to scattershot criticism-a favourite tool of political extremists on both ends of the spectrum.

Stay the course, my friend, and make sure it is YOUR course-not the hidden agenda of those who do not have your best interests at heart.  Stay fierce, and stay focused!