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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
            Monday, March 10 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterCulture wars - 6

It's temptingly too easy to divide the world into "us" and "them" and demonize everyone who's not "with" us. I think that in the current international debate over the justness and reasonableness of America resuming active hostilities against Iraq the "Clintonians" are arrayed against the "Bushites." Hollywood and the French, for example, relate to Bill Clinton and wish he or at least a clone of him were still in command of the American government. Clinton pays lip service to being religious and even utters great quotable lines on how we depend on God, while, by most accounts, he lives a visibly ungodly lifestyle.

The Hollywood establishment, who make their living on their skill at pulling the wool over the eyes of the masses, and the French, who've revelled in being the most secular and man-centered society in the West for centuries, relate to a Clinton. On the other hand, they dismiss the religious imprecations of a George W. Bush as either patently lying, or dangerously pathological. Being able to relate to Clinton and talk his language (not to mention that some of his best friends for many years have been Hollywood movers and shakers) they trust him. Bush (much like Jimmy Carter before him, in his day, but this is not his day), makes utterances they don't comprehend nor can they believe anyone really believes, and so they dislike and distrust him.

It's a simplification, of course; there are many exceptions to these categories. There is still an anti-secular, anti- humanist (in the sense of being pro-godly) segment in French society, and within it there are probably people who distrust and don't like our President any more than their more godless neighbors. There are good actors who make good livings pulling the wool over the eyes of the masses who still like George W. Bush and his policies (Fred Thompson, who plays the DA on Law & Order, to mention the only one who comes to mind...but there must be others).

For more than a half century, it was easier to see and label our nation's adversaries. Those who opposed American policies generally were Communists or at least (if never members of the Party) Marxists, "pinko socialists." That may still be true, but it doesn't compute nearly as easily today. Iraq and its leaders are not communists, and the Taliban and Al Queda terrorist forces are not Marxists or even liberals (though in a sense, they probably could be labelled "one-worlders," if that's understood as their world, but I doubt there's much margin in going there). So what I'm proposing today is it's too easy and generally bad practice to define the world in terms of "us" and "them," the "with us" and the "against us," and yet...and yet...President Ronald Reagan's calling the Soviet Union the Evil Empire seemed somewhat effective and had something to do with its fall. So who's to say George W. Bush is not onto something when he calls Iraq, North Korea, and their trading partners a sort of "axis of evil" and keeps hammering away about the world's "evildoers"?

Not quite done with this topic yet.... And meanwhile, your feedback and input are welcomed as always, either to me or to the list directly.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

 Ten Best Things To Say If You Get
Caught Sleeping At Your Desk
(part 1)

10. "They told me at the blood bank this might happen."
9. "This is just a 15-minute power-nap like they raved about in that time management course you sent me to."
8. "Whew! Guess I left the top off the White-Out. You probably got here just in time!"
7. "I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm."
6. "I was testing my keyboard for drool resistance."

—Sent by Judy Rose

Lenten thought for the day

When you pray, endeavor to pray more for others than for yourself alone, and during prayer represent vividly to yourself all men as forming one body with yourself, and each separately as a member of the Body of Christ and your own member, for we are members one of another.

—St. John of Kronstadt, 1829-1908

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