So, Whispering Pizza provided one reason, here’s another.
Because I’m turned off by so many things and I’m choosing not to poison the environment any more than it already is. So, I’ll just do it once here and then go back to non-blogging about the hatred and ill will, the lies and distortions, that are filling so much of what I read and hear.
Donald Sterling – wrong on so many levels, including that his private conversations were taped and then released. Yes, it’s nice to know that he’s a bigot and a racist and a pig and, more likely than not, also a senile old man who has only one thing going for him these days – his money. But, anybody paying attention already knew that. And I find it extremely cringeworthy how this latest chapter in his vile beliefs have come to life.
But, wait, there’s more. Mark Cuban, who made billions in the early stages of the internet boom and parlayed that into a life of leisure and ownership of the Dallas Mavericks, is very concerned about the slippery slope the NBA has started down by banning Mr. Sterling for life, fining him, and seeking to force him to sale the Clippers. I agree there’s a slippery slope. Once we condone depriving somebody of their business interests for an unpopular opinion, where does it stop. Let’s just take the NBA as an example — will players be punished for expressing that they do not want to play with a gay player. Those who know me or have read this blog know I have very strong feelings about the acceptance of gay people in our society. That said, I don’t think a player should be punished for expressing that feeling or concern. But, if we ban an owner because he’s a racist, shouldn’t we discipline a player for being uncomfortable around a gay man?
My problem with Mr. Cuban, however, is with his reference to the constitution as one of the bases for his opinion. As in “this is why we have the Constitution,” or something like that. Now, Mr. Cuban, this is not why we have the Constitution, which has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with the relationships and interactions between private people and business. The Constitution is only concerned with the authority of government and our rights as individuals … vis-a-vis the government. I am tired of hearing people cite the Constitution when discussing personal or business relationships.
Which leads me to …
TMZ and others of its ilk. This entire industry built around sharing the personal lives of the rich and famous needs to be shut down. I actually have a familial connection to TMZ. My niece is an editor for a couple of their shows. Because of that, when I get home, the show is frequently on in our house. Because for some strange reason, even though she’s never on the air anymore (which she was for a few months), we have to watch it. I detest the show and everything it stands for. As far as I’m concerned TMZ is as vile as Donald Sterling.
Which leads me to …
Well, something completely unrelated. Israel, Ukraine, various countries in Africa where people are killing each other because of their religion, the Malaysian airliner, politics in this country. All of it. It’s just a mess. John Kerry speaks the truth about Israel and is attacked from every corner. Yes, people, Israel, whether you want to believe it or not, is operating in an apartheid-like manner. The laundry list of rights being denied to Arabs living in Israel and those living in the West Bank and Gaza is stunning and disgusting. Yes, there are terrorists among the Palestinians. Horrible things have happened. On both sides. But Israel is the one with the power. It’s disgusting what they are doing with it. (Edited to Add: Here’s what they’re doing with it.)
Unfortunately, there is a fundamental inability to deal in facts when it comes to Israel. Israeli leaders are outraged that the PLO has reached an agreement with Hamas to try to re-unite. Outraged because Hamas is still publicly committed to Israel’s destruction and primarily responsible for most of the attacks on Israel these days. Israeli leaders conveniently seem to ignore that many politicians in their ruling coalition have said some pretty heinous things about Palestinians and have passed laws that continue to whittle away at the rights of Arabs living in Israel and in the occupied territories. You want the proof, read Max Blumenthal’s Goliath: Life and Loathing in Israel. Or read John Judis’s Genesis: Truman, America and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict. Both of these books are written by Jews. What’s fascinating is to read the reviews and comments on reviews on these books’ Amazon pages. The fundamental inability of people to deal honestly and respectfully and with reality is just stunning to me.
And just one more example, that goes back to Mr. Sterling but relates to the nature of political discourse in this country. There is no interest in being honest and forthright. Facts don’t mean a thing. What matters is the agenda. (Hence the attacks on Mr. Kerry.) Power Line is a blog run by a couple of conservatives. They are very intelligent and, generally speaking, their posts are well-written. Problem is they don’t care about facts. In their piece about Mr. Sterling yesterday, they referred to him as a long time Democrat and donor to the Democratic party. Only problem is that Mr. Sterling has been a registered Republican since at least 1998 and records show he has only given money to two Democrats in the last couple of decades. But why let facts get in the way of a good argument, right?
And finally, this classic. Sarah Palin who said that waterboarding would be how the U.S. would baptize terrorists if she were President. Andrew Sullivan has done a masterful take down of this concept, so I’m not going into detail here. But baptism represents something in the Christian faith that is sacrosanct and for Ms. Palin to use it to describe what her United States would do to terrorists is … yes, vile and disgusting. But, even more so is the inability of those on the right to recognize that part of what makes America what it is is that we hold ourselves, or should, to a higher standard than our enemies. It should make no difference that terrorists are evil and kill innocent people and torture their captives. We are better than them and we show that with how we treat our enemies, how we treat our captives. We show it by exhibiting humanity even towards our bitterest enemies. Not according to Ms. Palin.
Anyway, that’s just a long meander through things that are annoying me these days. Things I don’t want to harp on here. And hopefully this will be the last time I do. I want to focus on the good that’s going on. It will help me change my own direction in my own life. Focus on the positive, ignore the crap, ignore the negative. I’m gonna ignore the lane-splitting motorcyclist who revved his engine as he passed my car. I shall not rant about it. Or anything else.
That’s why I haven’t been blogging much. I’m trying to change my focus. We’ll see how it goes.
Over at Kirsten Uninterrupted, she’s participating in 100 Happy Days — a challenge to post a picture each day that shows what she’s happy about that day. I don’t have a picture today. What I do have is this: yesterday, I took one of the pizzas I made on Sunday to a co-worker who will be leaving our office at the end of the week. She shared it with another co-worker who emailed me that my pizza is simply the best pizza she has ever had. That makes me happy. Knowing that I made something somebody enjoyed.