Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Sunday Feeling

It has been a terrible Spring in the South and Midwest.  Hundreds of people killed  and millions of dollars of damage from tornadoes.  And that's just last week.  In one 24 period last week, 84 tornadoes touched down in Arkansas, Texas and the Midwest.  84.  Godalmighty.  And of course, since about the first week of May the Mississippi River has been doing its damndest to cut over to the Atchafalaya.  It has been held at bay by both the Army Corps of Engineers and sheer luck.  But they had to open the dam at Morganza to flood the spillway.  Unfortunately people and wildlife live in the spillway.  We shall see what is left when the water recedes sometime in June.

But things are looking up.  We haven't had any rain since Wednesday or so.  Otherwise sensible people are speaking wistfully of Summer.  It may be hot but it will be dry.  We are technically in a drought which hardly seems possible.  But nobody cares about that.  People are ready to be cooking on the grill and playing golf.  We are sick of being cooped up indoors or checking our rooftops for hail damage.  The good news is that I saw that the kids who operate the snow cone shack have hauled it back to the parking lot down the hill from Mount St. Mary.  If that ain't a sure sign of the advent of Summer here in the People's Republic of Hillcrest, I don't know what is.

The Memorial Day weekend also is the unofficial start of the Presidential election season.  That seems hard to believe but I read it somewhere on the Internet.  So it must be true. 

One of the common themes that I have been hearing from the Loyal Opposition in recent years is that the next election will be about restoring freedoms that we have lost.  What to do about health care and the national debt I get.  Restoration of lost freedoms I do not.

In the last 2.5 years, nobody has told me what church to attend or that I have to attend church at all.  As far as I know, nobody in the government is monitoring my communications.  If my usual telephone and Internet traffic created an exception to the Court Order requirement allowed by the Patriot Act I am honored.  Which means that the National Security Agency knows that I bought a golf GPS today and that my buddy in North Carolina is taking Vicodin for back pain.  Big whoop.

My last post on this blog was about how I view Harold Camping's predictions of apocalypse as complete nonsense.  It did not result in the seizure of my laptop.  Earlier this morning I took a walk.  There were scores of runners, walkers and bikers out this morning.  Everybody was pretty much going whatever direction they damn well pleased. 

I went to Little Rock National Cemetery to take pictures.  Nobody seized my camera.  A police officer drove through as I was walking unescorted among the graves of our veterans.  He waved.  I waved back.  I was glad to see him.  Here and there folks were laying flowers on the graves of loved ones.  They were completely unsupervised.  By now you should be getting my none too subtle point.

There has always been a paranoid element in American politics.  But it seems now that the notion of sacrifice of self to the greater national good is seen by some as naivete.  Or that laws enacted by the legislature, such as the recent health care reforms, or seat belt laws even, are an impermissible infringement on personal liberty.  Be that as it may, I have not heard much from the Tea Party in either Baton Rouge or Joplin lately.

Here is a true story.  A woman with whom I am passingly acquainted started dating somebody.  He is a small business person and enamored of the Tea Party.  Anyway, she told me that he is insisting that she read "Atlas Shrugged" as what I gather is a condition of their continued relationship.  When a crackpot like Ayn Rand makes something of an inroad into the zeitgeist I wish to suggest that these are indeed remarkable times in which we live.

But that's OK.  Everybody is entitled to their opinions.  And they are pretty much free to express those opinions as they see fit so long it doesn't involve a bullhorn at 3 AM in front of my house or the use of explosives.  That's because men and women came together for the greater good in times of national peril.  They put themselves in harm's way so that we might be secure.  So that I might be free to go see the Catholics whenever I see fit or that you can read Ayn Rand.  Or anything else you damn well want.

Or to go get a snow cone if you want.  The snow cone kids are back.  Which means it is officially Summer in the People's Republic of Hillcrest.

Just take a moment this Memorial Day weekend to remember those folks at rest just East of Downtown Little Rock.  Remember those men and women from all walks of life united in death at the National Cemetery because either they wore, or they were related to someone who wore, the uniform of the military of the United States of America. 

And give thanks for their service. 


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