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, November 24, 2010

Wacky Wednesday: Insight into Parenting

This hillarious post is dedicated to the love of my life: Mrs. Wicke.  She will not think it so awefully funny since we have come to the joint conclusion that this little clip from Rain Man perfectly captures the exasperation of being a mother of children -particularly when mothering includes unheeded requests, absurd debates or futile efforts to describe the reality of some trivial point (say, for instance, that a red light actually means you have to stop).  As it happens, children universally have impaired mental functions.  They are irrational, confrontational, contrary, strong willed and possessors of dogged persistence that would try Job to the core (please tell us that we are not the only parents with two of the most strong willed children ever to walk upon the earth).  For all these things they have a prevailing adorability that overrides all the aforementioned drawbacks.  In short, we have perfect empathy with Charlie Babbit (Tom Cruise).

WARNING:  clip contains vulgarity and language that will be offensive to some (sorry but I could not find an edited PG version).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Naked Security Scans and Public Groping

This seems to be the issue de jure in the US as we approach one of the busiest air travel days of the year.  Since I exercise little restraint in expressing my opinion through this blog, I figured I should not hesitate with regard to this particular issue. So with candor and no restraint, here is my stance:

I really don't know.  I can see the virtues in the arguments from all sides and am torn in several directions.  Consequently I have not made up my mind on the matter.

I know that is somewhat anticlimactic AND I spent considerable time wondering if I should even blog about the topic considering my position (or anti-position however you might frame it).  I came to the conclusion that I needed to share my conundrum for several reasons:

1.  to show that it is OK not to take up residence in the pro or con camp on every issue.  I think we are sometimes too quick to stake our claims on every issue that comes before us.  This continual division-making is not good for society.  There are many things that do not matter a whole lot. And even those things that are important, why do we think we have to have our minds 100% made up.  If history teaches us anything it is that some of the greatest thinkers (Capernicus, Galileo, Martin Luther just to pick from the western tradition in the narrow time frame) were willing to question the prevailing patterns of thought and challenge their own beliefs even at the peril of their lives.  We should be less rigid and more open to competing ideas  (that does not mean we have to accept them or even endure them if they prove to be harmful but there are few ideas that demand absolute expulsion from public discourse).
2.  to illustrate that many of our political and social debates center on side-shows instead of the "main event".  To me the central question regarding scanners and pat-downs is:  do these measures significantly increase safety?  So much public policy is build on smoke and mirrors.  They are shams and facades.  Air travel security measures have been designed to make us feel more safe rather than making us safer.  I could care less if I feel safe, I want to actually be more safe.  This type of thinking permeates so much of our socio-political reality.  It applies to education, the penal system, the economy, medicine, etc.
3.  to demonstrate one of the social laws of life which is as valid as the law of gravity is for the geophysical world:  that there is a price for everything.  If we as a society want to be more safe we will have to pay a price.  That price may be giving up some of our liberties (i.e. freedom to arrive at an airport 15 minutes before our flight, enduring inspections before embarking on an airplane trip, even allowing our government to listen in on a phone conversation if we use words like "bomb", "suicide", "Allah" or similar).  The price for resisting such meaures will be a liklihood of increased terrorist attacks.  Either way, their is a price.
4.  finally, it is important to admit that I do not have all the answers.  Likewise we, in the aggregate, do not have all the answers.  A little humility is a good thing and it often opens an unnoticed door that reveals a better way which we may never have seen if we were so invested in the "does to" - "does not" - "does to" debate.

So while the rest of you (speaking generally) are arguing about this, I'm going to be on the sidelines thinking about it a little more.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wacky Wednesday: late 2010 version

Apologies to my readers.  Not only have I been negligent in providing a little levity but last week I blasphemed by posting a socio-political topic on Wednesday.  I have repented and changed my ways.  Here is a little something to think about:

They do fine without a manual, can you imagine the amount of human peril if they actually operated with more than a "bird brain"?  Although we are the ones with an entire library of books called "________ for Dummies"....  Makes you think.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The government has cancer

Bureaucracy is, at best, a necessary evil.  Unfortunately our bureaucracy is not at its best.  It has, in reality, metastasized into an aggressive form of cancer.  To make the condition worse, we refuse to undergo the radical surgery that is required if we are to survive another century.  To be frank and concise:  the size of governmet is killing us.  The national obesiety problem is not the size of our children but the size of our government.

During the past two years our economy has suffered and many of us have lost jobs.  Wages have been slashed or cut all together.  Salaries and new hiring has been frozen.  These conditions apply to the real world where profits and productivity reign.  In the fairytale world of government (where nothing is created, no profits are generated and productivity is of minimal concern) wages have skyrocketed. 

How can this be?  What kind of bizzaro-world existence is in effect?  For an institution so concerned with sustainability, this is entirely unsustainable! 

Now let me tie the obsurdity of our current federal bureau-monster as evidenced by the article above with a previous post -specifically with my conversation (see previous post below) with "Charles D": 
Government has one primary job:  to protect its citizen's freedoms and rights from thos who would usurp the same (and yes I know about "ensuring domestic tranquility").  To me that allows for the expansion of certain powers like the Patriot Act or even suspending the writ of habeus corpus as has been done by those whose understanding of freedom far exceeds yours and mine (a la Abraham Lincoln).  It does NOT permit the governmental entangelment in matters that are best left to the intelligent choices of individual citizens:  things like whether or not a fast food chain can include a toy in a meal or how much sodium is permitted in a plate of french fries.  When government's arm has grown to reach this level of micro-management then it has far since overstepped its primary job.  I do not need government to save me from my own eating habits... I do need government to save me and my children from the threats of Islamic terror, from faulty and negligent automobile construction, from predatory monopolies (of which government is the scariest one) and from substances that might be peddled to those too young to make an informed decision (i.e. selling alcohol, tobacco, firearms, pornography, TNT, hydrocloric acid, etc.).  If we cannot see the differences between what government should or should not be involved in then our republic will fail.  Our root problem is  (do I really need to say it again) that government is too large and too involved in the details of our lives that we should govern by applying a little self-discipline rather than by governmental dictate.  Cut their funding = cut their pay = cut the size of government.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chicken McNuggets and McFreedom: Two fictitious items

There are a few simple truths of life:
1. everyone will die.
2. taxes must be paid.
3. the motivation for eating at McDonald's is not an overactive obsession with health.
4. liberals (now synonymous with the Democratic party) wish to strip you of freedom because they know better than you what is good for you.

I would briefly like to focus on the last two points and submit the following as my evidence:

So I ask you, who is the more dangerous, more restrictive, less inclusive, party:
1. Democrats (who are now represented by liberals and leftists) who wish to control what you can and cannot eat. Not only this, but they will also ban toys since these serve to "entice" children to eat "unhealthy" food.
2. Republicans who wish to minimize the reach of government and actually let (more accurately "trust") citizens make their own decisions.

Furthermore, I would love to talk about the dangers of "big business" versus the dangers of "big government" but that topic will have to be reserved til later....  ohhhhh, but I can't resist: Which, for example, has power to constrain your behavior by threat of police force?  Last time I looked, Sheriff Ronald McDonald was not rounding up people and forcing them into McDonalds.  Nor does McDonald's have the power to pass a law forcing people to eat Happy Meals.... Oh, but big government just flexed its muscle with a law mandating some arbitrary standard of health that makes it illegal for you to take your child and enjoy a meal that you enjoyed when you were a child...  But of course you are such a messed up, pathetic excuse of a fat human being that such an intrusion of freedoms is warranted...  Let me just offer an open letter to the people of San Francisco:

People of San Francisco,
Do you now have more freedom? Is your "enforced" health worth the price? Are you breathing easier now that you don't have exercise your brain to make eating decisions but rather you can rely on your government to make these for you? Aren't you a little embarrassed that they think so little of your intelligence? Are you not a little afraid that they next law might curtail some behavior that is more substantive than eating a Happy Meal?

-The Un-happy Warrior