Recent and continuing circumstances have impelled this commentator to question, what is it about rules and regulations that makes them seem so onerous for those in political leadership, who promulgate them, then to pursue almost any course, not to adhere to them, themselves? That such a situation should prevail in this bell-weather bastion of self-governance is more mystifying enough to discomfit and discourage those most affected and disconcerted by it.
The New York State budget fight begins this week with the governor offering his budget plan. The governor’s budget will be massive – probably $135 billion of spending. Over 95 percent of it will become law without much fuss.
Until last week, most people had never heard of Lisa Bonchek Adams. A devoted wife and mother to three young children, Ms. Adams has been battling end-stage cancer for the last seven years. This 44-year-old Connecticut woman has chosen to fight her disease tooth and nail, including enrolling in a clinical trial at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City.
Recently the University of Colorado noted that political affiliation and orientation would be a protected category in the university’s nondiscrimination policy. What prompted this action were reports from conservative faculty members that their viewpoints have been stifled.
In an ‘Armistice Day’ address, on November 11th, 1948, its last delivery under that aegis, when it was then re-titled: “Veterans Day,” to include U.S. Armed Forces participants in the Korean conflict, Army General Omar Bradley, reverently known to combatants as ‘The GI’s General, said: “The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.”
Last week, Governor Cuomo delivered his fourth State of the State address. In it, he followed the typical State of the State game-plan for incumbent governors: he delivered his priorities for the 2014 legislative session, spending much of the time describing past accomplishments and bolstering an image for the election campaign.
In life, Nelson Mandela was admired; in death, he is venerated. As time passes, his life story is evolving from hagiography to beatification. There is something to admire in a man who stood by his convictions and altered the course of history by destroying the hateful apartheid institution. But the Mandela story has been so sanitized, it has lost any relationship to the truth.
A conversation on The Roundtable convinced me to address polygamy. A judge in Utah decided that state could ban formal legal polygamy but could not ban people living in comparable arrangements without formal legal sanctions. Some people argue that legalization of polygamy follows from constitutional protection of gay and lesbian relationships. If one consensual relationship is OK, therefore so are all the others. That is a mistake. The law does not work that way.
After viewing an especially well crafted Public TV video-history on the Scottish/American naturalist, John Muir’s role in the preservation of America’s National Parks and the founding of The Sierra Club, this commentator was moved to dig deeper and came across an observation, by biographer Donald Worster, who noted Muir’s belief that his mission was “…..Saving the American soul from total surrender to materialism.”