Mind Mazes


(Note to my readers…Most of this blog was written on Friday night when insomnia and a case of heartburn kicked in to interrupt my sleep. A few additions and deletions came in the editing process this morning when my mind was a bit more focused and less tired. Forthwith is the kind of rambling that only night time during a full moon is capable of producing. Bear with me on this one.)

There are times when I try to write without any idea of what my topic will be. It is just a kind of challenge that I give myself. I start spewing words on the page hoping that something sticks. Often I compose a few sentences and realize that I am just blathering. If I manage to keep stringing enough thoughts together I eventually find the body of an essay but tonight nothing coherent comes to mind. Right now is the hour when only night owls and vampires are still awake but I can tell that if I lie down I will be roused from my dreams at some point with a mega bad case of heartburn. It’s not anything to worry about. It happens sometimes but it really really hurts so I don’t like to go there if I don’t have to. I have a gigantic wedge pillow that I use once in a great while to forestall such an attack but it’s not particularly comfortable and besides it’s Friday night and I have no obligations or appointments until noon tomorrow so if I have to stay up a bit late I will be able to sleep longer in the morning. So here I am trying to occupy my mind without making too much noise since Mike is already sound asleep. Unfortunately the only topics that come to mind are seemingly unconnected ideas that are rattling around in my brain. 

A number of people appear to be upset with Pope Francis for commenting that Bernie Sanders is the most Christian of all of the presidential candidates. I think that perhaps the more correct way to say what I think His Excellency means is that Bernie is more like Christ. For those who are already gasping, please bear with me. Yes, Bernie is a Jew but so was Jesus. The Lord’s followers eventually came to be known as Christians but He himself was born a Jew and died a Jew. Some people additionally object to the fact that Sanders is a socialist. I’d like to note that the policies that Jesus espoused were also quite socialist in nature even though there was no such defined idea at the time when he walked the earth. Still Jesus often advocated for the poor and even explained that it was far more difficult for a rich man to get into heaven than one who is destitute. (Does anyone remember His remark that a wealthy person going to heaven is as difficult as getting a camel through the eye of a needle?) Anyway I tend to agree with the Pope that Bernie appears to be the individual with the most integrity and compassion. Whether or not those qualities are enough to qualify him for being president is an idea for another debate. For now I’ll leave it to Hillary to challenge him on that front.

Speaking of the Pope, he also incurred the wrath of some who thought that it was inappropriate of him to wash the feet of muslims in the Holy Saturday tradition. I personally thought it to be a beautiful sign of his humility and the love that he holds for all mankind. He is always true to the teachings of Jesus who taught us all to love one another unconditionally. The Pope showed the entire world how to behave when he went down on his knees to serve those Muslims. 

There was also the stew over President Obama attending a baseball game shortly after the terrorist attack in Belgium and then later dancing the tango in Argentina. The optics may not have been the absolute best but criticizing him for doing the wave at a time when much of the world was more concerned with the latest ISIS effort to intimidate seems both silly and petty to me. One thing that is certain is that Obama was obviously not just ignoring the threat of terrorism because by the end of the week we learned that special forces had taken out an ISIS stronghold and killed a number of members of that murderous gang including possibly the number two man in the group. The thing about being an administrator is that appearances may often be deceiving. Sometimes a good manager is mum about what is really going on. To reveal everything is to give away secrets to the enemy. I’m certain that President Obama had full knowledge that a major raid was brewing. At any given moment he is involved in far more than meets the eye. Besides, the visits that our president made had been planned for quite some time. To stay away would have been awkward. The President was in a no win situation and my guess is that he simply decided to stick with the original itinerary. (Remember George Bush continuing to read to small children after the 9/11 attacks?) What better way is there to show ISIS or any other terrorists that they will not determine how any of us will behave?

The war between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz heated up this past week as well. You all know my thoughts on the Donald so I won’t go there again. I’m not a particular fan of Senator Cruz either but given a compare and contrast of the two I am far more inclined to lean toward Cruz than Trump. I have to come to Senator Cruz’ defense in this case because it was really dirty pool for Trump to disparage Heidi Cruz in the manner in which he did. For the life of me nothing seems to be too low for Trump to do or say. He leaked information about Mrs. Cruz’ struggle with depression and as an advocate both for women and those who suffer from mental disturbances I am appalled. I have always joked that if I ever ran for office someone would attempt to smear me with the information that my mother and my grandmother both had mental illnesses. The truth is that doing so is neither funny nor fair. It’s time that we quit stigmatizing those who deal with anxieties, depression and other syndromes that cause severe pain for so many individuals and their families. What we should all do instead is applaud Mrs. Cruz for doing what she needed to do to overcome her illness. The fact that Senator Cruz has so boldly defended his wife has caused me to have a great deal more respect for him than I have had previously.

As you can tell I not only read about politics quite often but I think long and hard about our system of government. One might say that it is almost an obsession. They say that women need to talk about things to work through the questions that they have. Sadly very few people want to have honest discussions about such things. We have taboos in our society and one of them is talking about politics. Another is bringing up religion which happens to be something about which I am also curious. I sense that most people prefer lighthearted subjects when interacting with one another. That is really quite a shame because there have actually been times in history when it was quite normal and natural to consider philosophies and ideas in lively conversations with friends. Of course there have also been some whose theories were so radical that their willingness to bare their souls turned out quite badly indeed. Consider Jesus, Socrates and Galileo as prime examples of brilliant minds whose insistence on maintaining their respective points of view was considered bad form by the powers that be. It’s good to be in a more forgiving society but I also know that being too open can cause problems even today.

I accidentally learned that my willingness to espouse my opinions has lead to a bit of infamy. I’m in the process of transferring my blog to a new site thanks to my daughter and I was surfing around the Internet trying out a few things when what should pop up when I Googled my name but a couple of articles quoting me as a Republican who is anti-Trump and angered by those in the public eye who have endorsed him. In particular I had posted a dig on Chris Christie’s Facebook wall and it was quoted nationally with my full name. I’ve learned two lessons from that. One is that anything written on Facebook becomes part of the public domain. My words may be used with or without my permission. The other revelation has been that people often draw erroneous conclusions without attempting to certify the truth. Someone made the assumption that I am a Republican when the truth is that I am and will always remain an Independent. I’m way too ornery to be fenced in by a single party. There are problems with both sides and I like to keep my options open. I reserve the right to both support and differ with a variety of politicians. 

There is something about thinking in the dark of night that makes one appear a bit cray cray. I suspect that if Donald Trump ever actually becomes President of the United States I may have to worry in earnest. I have after all left a trail of evidence confirming my utter disdain for him. Given his tactics if he ever gets wind of me he will no doubt publish a really ugly photo of me (which won’t be that difficult) and note that I come from a long line of nut cases. I can almost envision him referring to me as that fat, ugly bimbo. My response to him will be the same one that I used long ago on a very obnoxious student who was attempting to get to me by hurling insults my way. I stopped him dead in his tracks when I explained that I have two brothers and a mother with bipolar disorder. When he stared at me in confusion I noted that I had already heard the worst possible taunts and I always let them shed right off of my back. The young man never bothered me again.

Thank you to anyone who read my little bit of strangeness. I managed to get my heartburn under control and get enough sleep to enjoy my weekend. I felt much the better for having this little one sided conversation with you. It was good to get some concerns off of my chest.


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