October 23, 2012

Jots and Tittles or Diaristic Wanderings

Looking out over the Little Miami river last weekend I thought about that flood of 1913, and how the gigantically sloped sides are a silent testimony to how terribly the flood affected that community. The human effort or engineering involved was surely impressive for that era and there's an element of overkill to it, for now it would seemingly take a flood of Noahian proportions to overflow its banks, which is to say it's permanently flood-proof several times over. Hamilton didn't just create levees, they created small mountains on the banks as if to say, "Take THAT Mother Nature!".

The horse in the picture at right has a story attached from the Hamilton newspaper:

"No one knows where he came from, but an old blind horse named Dobbin eventually found his way to safety during the 1913 flood in Hamilton and became one of the iconic figures of the disaster as a result of this post card showing up making his way up High Street."


Appreciate that Romney had a "rapid response" twitter feed for last night's debate.   A way to give Romney voters instant ammo against statements Obama makes.  I'm cheered by it because it shows the sort of fight and youthful social media-friendly angle that McCain so desperately lacked. It's not that McCain lost, it's more the way he lost in '08 that rankles.  I'd have preferred he'd gone all Reverend Wright on Obama's ass and cared less for his personal legacy as viewed by the New York Times and more about winning.  Maybe McCain didn't feel pro-life enough, since the life issue is the one that can drive a thirst for winning since you're trying to save lives, instead of pocketbooks. To the admittedly marginal effect any president can have on the life issue given the way the Court has ruled.

Feel a tad discouraged that Springsteen gave a huge concert in Ohio last night and supposedly had thousands of people voting early, voters would likely would not have voted otherwise.  In a close state like Ohio a "finisher" like Springsteen must be invaluable for Obama.  But ever since Bush's '04 victory I felt like any Republican presidential victories in the future would be all gravy given the demographics.  You can't fight City Hall or demographics.  I'm a bit more sanguine about the future as far as accepting whatever happens next month as the decision of the American people.   If God can put up with our sin, then I guess we can put up with the "voter sin" of voting for Obama.   Ultimately if you trust in democracy you have to put up with the results.  It's humbling that we may have four more years of PBO, but there is a part of me that wants to see him try to clean up the mess he made.


Interesting homily from Fr. at St. Pat's the other day. He said that he'd been hearing of folks who aren't going to vote, who are of the pox-on-both-their-houses variety. Fr. wasn't too pleased by that, saying that trying to "remain pure" is not possible, that we're all complicit, we're all citizens. We may feel above it all but the laws these jokers (my term, not his) make affect us all. He said that it's important to realize that we as Catholics don't believe in voting for the "lesser of two evils", because we cannot do any evil, but that we can adhere to the principle of double effect, where we do an action and intend the good result even though we understand there's a possible, or even certain, chance that some evil will come as a result. That would seem to leave voting for Obama open though, since people will say, "I'm voting for the good he'll do, not the bad."


Every once in awhile I get a glimmer into how left-leaning Heather King is, which is a tad jarring. Like her statistic that we spend at least a third of our budget on the military. I found a Paul Krugman-approved site that says it's 20%. It's a minor thing, but likely shows she's getting her information from left-wing websites/outfit which, of course, makes me think she's only getting one side of things. I think the downside to being somewhat apolitical and not a heavy news consumer (like HK presumably, who is seeking beauty more than mud!) is that there's a higher likelihood of being misinformed.


So the campaigns finally wind down. Debates, I've heard a few, but then again, too many to mention... Tonight's number three and it feels like overkill.  Foreign policy is the topic, one that doesn't interest me as much as it should.  One view of foreign policy is not to owe trillions to China. By going into debt we are simply playing into the hands of our enemies.  In Europe, don't we see that Germany has choices now and Greece does not?


Oh that second beer when I long to do everything all at once like only God can, when I long for every day to be a Saturday night, long to read-whirl and reap a bookwind, to fly dream catchin', sink nose sunk into the fresh print of Merton's letters or Vatican II docs where I plain-fire my imagination, kindled by the journals of Yves Congar, fresh-cut, seeded by the weight and delight of the Bibles on the table, gold-edged fire-breathin', Holy Spirit-ing live wires of the Word, the textbook-tightrope walk between presumption and despair, each perilously calling us like sailors to Scylla or Charybdis. I feel rich with words, whole habitations and plantations of words, sitting there in my books or in my Kindle, waiting to be consumed like collections of future promises. 


Killer gospel the other day. "Grow rich in the things that matter to God."  Oh gosh but how often do I note the cleavage between what I think important and what God does!  Meanwhile I liked to get that Baronius Press edition of the Knox Bible despite the slim chance that I'll read it in quantity.  It's based on the Vulgate and is thus bereft of the benefits of modern scholarship and better manuscripts, but I'm just so intrigued that the Knox spent his worldly capital on such a herculean and mostly unrewarded task.  Surely the Knox Bible can't be seen as a triumpth in earthly terms given its lack of widespread usage. It's no King James. One can't help but wonder if he misheard God's call in that regard.  Others wiser than me have wondered what Knox would've been had he not taken on the Quixotian task. But Knox was obviously an exquisite writer and a translation requires as good a stylist (or better) as the original author.  Of the making of Bibles there is apparently no end.


Unknown said...

I, for one, think early voting is one of the worst things to come from our modern infatuation with technology. Just because we can do something, certainly doesn't mean we should do it. I think in the end, it deprives voters of the chance to vote while considering all relevant information. Perhaps that says something about the quality of the electorate today.

TS said...

Yeah I hate early voting as well, for the reasons you mention. Fortunately I think there were only about 1.2% of probable voters cast as of last Friday but still could make a difference in OH.