Who and What is the Happy Warrior

The Happy Warrior is the title of a poem... and yes, I love this poem. I do not wish to be mischaracterized, for the most part poetry is not my bag. I am not an afficionado of literature nor am I a metro-sexual (I despise that term) but a dear friend introduced me to this masterpiece of prose several years ago... it has provided no end of inspiration. The Happy Warrior by William Wordsworth outlines the qualities of a magnificent soul. I aspire to possess even one or two characteristics that "every man in arms should wish to be."

This blog is a representation, in conversational form, of my voyage to wrap my arms around the world in which Mr. Worsdworth's warrior finds happiness.

(Standing disclaimer: Luckily tests of spelling accuracy ended in 4th grade otherwise I would still be in Elementary School. Be forewarned, spelling errors ahead. I subscribe to the wisdom of a great man who said, "I have utmost disdain for a man who can only spell a word one way." -Benjamin Franklin)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wacky Wednesday: Politics can be funny

I'm sure most of you have seen this little farce on Senator Boxer's ridiculous stance -oh, but I repeat myself... Even if you have seen it, here it is again. I hope it tickeles your mean-spirited funny bone:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Handcart Eve (Oct. 22)

There are world wide holidays (the end or World Wars I and II for example) and there are national holidays (many countries have an Independence Day as well as other culturally important days of celebration)... and hopefully you have identifies some personal, family or other group specific holidays. Many of these group centric celebrations are religiously tied but birthdays and anniversaries are personal holidays (or more accurately express: holy-days).

I have identified a personal holiday, the celebration of which may be unique to me. I'm guessing there are a handful of other people who also take some time every Oct. 22nd and 23rd to honor the day and historical events that took place 154 years ago. Most people have no idea what I'm talking about or why my reverence. I will direct you to my blog post from last year rather than recount the story again here. And even if you are not Mormon, not a Christian or not even a believer in a soveriegn God, there is enough in this story to celebrate because it speaks largely of the human experience of following convictions, of suffering and sacrifice, of rescue, and of the indominable spirit that has brought us to where we are today. We stand on the shoulders of men and women who gave their all -enduring a much darker, bleaker and messier existence- so that we can enjoy so much comfort, ease and opportunity.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

An appeal to the undecided voter: Back to the Basics

It has been a very long time since I have blogged on a political theme. This is somewhat odd even in my own mind, much less as it may be to my readers. I think I hit a point where I was somewhat burned out on the seeming inconsequence of my views and the inevitable direction of the political machinery that were owned and operated entirely by the Democratic party. They were in a position to do whatever they wished -the systematic checks and balances were rendered impotent for two years. Thank God for the wisdom of our founders who established a staggered and limited system where the people could change the course of their government on a dime. That democratic failsafe is about to kick in on November 2nd.

It is entirely beyond my reckoning how anyone is currently falling in the category of "undecided"- a classification in almost every one of the polls conducted on a continual basis during this electoral season. If you do not know on which side you stand at this point then I don't know what will ever convince you.

If you are undecided I would like to make one argument in hopes that it may tip you in one direction or the other. To do this let me frame the current decision in this manner: the current political contest is about "changing America" (President Obama's self-defined objective) or getting "back to basics". Change, or more accurately described "fundamental change", has a certain appeal to it. Things that change are better than things that stagnate. Change has a cadre of positive bedfellows including "improvement", "progress" and even "innovation". President Obama was counting on you making such emotional connections. To be honest, there is nothing new, improved or innovative about the "changes" inherant in President Obama's agenda. Every one of his ideas has actually been practiced by nations that have proven to be inferior to the United States. This is not spin, this is not propaganda, it is truth. Sit down and define specifically the "changes" President Obama wanted to bring about and you will see these ideas littering the paths of countries as they fall from global prominence. This is purposeful. Obama and his adhearance do not believe in the uniqueness of the US, in the superiority of our values, in the right-ness of being better (richer, more powerful, freer) than other nations. The change they want is the mediocratization (I'm sure that is not an "official" word) of America. This is evident in their policies: they want to limit the energy we consume, they think we need to apologize for foreign policy targeted to spread liberty and other American ideals around the globe, they think we should be bound by international legal conventions instead of our dated Constitution.
We do not need this kind of change. It is altogher antithetical to the central tennets of the great experiment that is America. We do not need to try and be like everyone else. Instead, we need to do what every organization that grew out of obscurity to a place of highest prominence has done: We need to get back to basics.

This strategy rings true in our gut. When our educational systems were (and are) falling apart and every "new and improved" technique, mandate, innovative theory or other CHANGE seems only to worsen the situation, the best fix seems to be to "get back to basics." This does not mean to regress in sophistication or to ignore improvements but it does mean to cut away the dross and go back to what made us able to rise to greatness in the first place.

If you don't like an educational analogy, let's try one from sports. When a football, baseball or basketball team is in a slide of underperforming, the answer is not found in trick plays or fancy schemes but in getting back to basics, back to the fundamentals of the game. Everyone who has every played a competitive sport knows the truth of this claim. Get back to the fundamental principles and basic elements of the game. The same is true of our grand republic. Our foundation is the principles of limited government, of individual accountability, of Judeo-Christian (a la Protestant work ethic) values, of the governing/legal framework established by the Constitution. We have a unique political and social culture compared to all the world. This was pointed out early by observers like Alex deToqueville and are woven in the everyday lives of the men and women who settled the west, who fought to liberate the slaves, who invented medicines and technology, who freed Europe from Nazism and communism.

We became the most successful, the most powerful, the most free, the most envied, the most benevolent nation on the earth (what other nation in the history of the world has helped to rehabilitate every one of the nations it conquered and then extended to them their own freedoms and left) because we held tightly to some basics. We do not need to change into something different. Certainly we do not need fundamental change..., we need to get back to the basics. Why we were ever lured by some high sounding promise of a better world different from the one we knew, is beyond me. Fortunately we have a chance to make it right before the change becomes irreversible.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wacky Wednesday 2010, Vol. ?+1

I don't know what it is in China, but 2010 has been the year of the scorpion -at least in Mesa, AZ. The only consoluation we have is that the scourge seems to be general throughout our entire neighborhood. It has been a virtual infestation. To provide some relief to an otherwise tense situation (suffice it to say that Mrs. Wicke does not get along, physically or emotionally, with scorpions), I am providing the following picture. We can be thankful for the particular pestilences that afflict us... In other words, at least we are not inundated with this type or size of creature:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Can abortion be kindness? (not my topic... the theme of a BBC show -see below)

Gee, why don't we just ask the little aborted ones in twenty years when they have had the opportunity to evaluate the meaning and experience of life for themselves? Oh, silly me, they never even had a choice ("choice", how ironic that they never had a choice because of the decision of another).

But this is not focus of this post although I am amazed that enlightened society has come to a place where the question "Can abortion be kindness?" is a serious topic of a respected news program.... Have we really drifted do far from any sense of morality such that many would argue that it is moral to abort potential human live under the guise of compassion? Wow. Already some, like Zoe Williams, are pontificating, "she has a valid point and was brave to make it." Now we are praising such viewpoints for their "bravery"... suicide bombers are brave as well but I am not going to extol the demonstration of such a virtue when weighted against the sum of their social harm. Suddenly I am embarrased to be a member of the human race.

So here is the main point of this post: The following is only one snippet of the BBC Sunday Morning Live program that should cause a gasp. I would encourage my readers to listen/view the entire conversation (here is a more complete account than I've included).

Now, I am quick to admit that the termination of an unborn child who has major physical defects is a very difficult decision and should be a matter of deep personal reflection. But to jump to a place where termination because of suffering is widely promoted is a VERY dangerous position to advance. I have several arguments with the line of thinking promoted by the ilk of Ms. Ironside (here are just two of my primary ones):
1. Life is suffering. Suffering is a great schoolmaster and refiner of character. To seek a life without suffering is largely to rende life meaningless.
2. abortion (or even legal infanticide if performed after birth as Ms. Ironside seems to suggest) to alleviate "supposed suffering" accounts for a tiny percentage of reasons why women elect abortions. Consider these findings: The reasons most frequently cited were that having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents (74%); that she could not afford a baby now (73%); and that she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48%). Nearly four in 10 women said they had completed their childbearing, and almost one-third were not ready to have a child. (Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2005, 37(3):110–118)
Another aggregate analysis reports the following as reasons women give for undergoing an abortion:
Rape: .3%
Incest: .03%
Life (threatened) of mother: .2%
Health of mother: 1%
Fetal health (i.e. physical/mental defects): .5%
Personal Choice: 98%
-too young (not ready for responsiblity): 32%
-economic : 30%
-to avoid adjusting life: 16%
-mother single or in poor relationship: 13%
-enough children already: 7%
-sex selection: <.1%
To argue for the legitimacy of abortion or more especially that abortion is based on "kindness" is deceptive and logically fallacious. The more accurate question should be: Can abortion be due to the narcissistic desires of a generation who wants to engage in recreational sex? Where is that program?

Finally, take a moment to read the post-show comments of Claire Lewis who was a guest on the BBC program by webcam and is equally incensed by Ms. Ironside's position.