Four ways we're slipping down a steep slope
(1) I'm not a fan of "robo-calls."
It's annoying to pick up the phone -- usually right at dinner time -- only to hear the start of some focus-group-tested message from candidate somebody or other. It's gotten to where I simply hang up after hearing the words "I'm Joe Blow and I'm running for..."
Sorry, but I'd much rather listen to my granddaughter tell me how her day went or what her plans are for tomorrow. The topics she'll cover are far more interesting and, very likely, contain much more substance and honesty than what's being said over the phone.
As a response to these calls, though, I think that what I'll do this year is not vote for anyone who "robo-calls" me. This will very likely leave me with no one for whom to vote -- a situation which, just now, I already find myself facing.
(2) On the topic of manners and decency, I'm looking at Rush Limbaugh's recent comments regarding a young law school student and wondering why he went so far out of bounds by referring to her (on a nationally syndicated talk radio program) as a "slut" and a "prostitute."
Good grief! I was taught (you were too) by parents, teachers, priests, aunts, uncles, neighbors, and even bystanders to treat others with respect at all times. It was something that was expected of you if you wished to be considered a gentleman or a lady.
It was also made very clear to me that, were I to ever publicly use such terms to describe a young woman, I'd probably, shortly thereafter, be visited by that young woman's father, brothers, uncles, or boyfriend for a rather serious and possibly painful discussion of the matter.
At a minimum, a sincere and personal apology would've been required. And, even then, I would've likely been shunned for quite some time.
As regards the health-care issue itself, all aspects need to be debated. Is it needed and, if so, why. What's covered and why. What's not and why. Who pays how much for what services.
That it will be contentious goes without saying. It also goes without saying that this should be done without resort to personal attacks. In this vein, any points Rush needed to make with regard to this young woman's view on the availability of contraceptives could've been made without such comments.
Politics has always been a contact sport, but it once seemed as if certain things were out of bounds. Lately, it appears those boundaries are gone. And this, gentle reader, doesn't speak well of us as a society.
Rush's statements were boorish, ungentlemanly and crude. Sorry, but there's no other way to look at it.
And the same can be said about certain commentators and bloggers on the left. There's no shortage of crudity there either.
(3) Stepping away from politics ...
If any of you have kids considering body piercing, when (if) they ask, just say "No."
Admittedly, they won't enjoy hearing this, but you might present them with a hypothetical job interview wherein their competition didn't look as if they'd just climbed out of the bulk screw bin at the local hardware.
Then, after a moment, ask them to draw their own conclusions as to who might get the job being offered. It might help with their decision. Not likely, but it might.
(4) Gasoline prices are up again. Were I a conspiracy theorist, I could posit that we're looking at the "How do you boil a frog?" scenario here.
The theory is that, if you drop a frog into really hot water, it will jump out. However, if you take a frog and put him into a pot of lukewarm water and, then, very slowly, heat it, he'll end up being boiled without noticing it.
One could argue the same for gasoline prices. It took a while to get us used to $3 (plus) a gallon. Those prices caused a bit of commotion at first, but we got used to it and quieted down. Now, we're up over $4 a gallon and, apparently, headed higher.
Put the explanations for the cause wherever you will but, if you ask me, we're all in a big, warm pot and the "temperature" seems to be rising. There's a case that could be made that it's likely been planned that way.
Just thinking out loud.
Larry Simoneaux lives in Edmonds. Send comments to email@example.com.
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