About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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An answer (notice that I didn't write "the answer") to a question has become so easy to obtain today that when we are in a situation apart from the easy access to answers to which we have become accustomed, we will often choose not to pursue an answer, perhaps even to ignore the question.

Michael Broschat



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 6/15/2018

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Posts - 2502
Comments - 2574
Hits - 2,056,514

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Entries/day - 0.46
Comments/entry - 1.03
Hits/day - 376

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 8:43 AM Pacific


  04:56 PM

Warning, non-nice political thoughts ahead.

It's been an interesting week, all right. I have not done much overt political blogging during the run-up to the election, attempting to remain non-partisan in such political commentary I have posted. This is partly because politics is interesting from an objective POV -- for example, campaigns are excrutiating no matter whom you favor, as I bet we'd all agree -- and because I am not normally disposed to preach my views to people. On the contrary, I'm generally more interested in hearing theirs, however much I might disagree with them. (I suppose my views must be fairly evident from previous postings, but I hope no one has found them overt.)

However, I'm going to break that self-imposed rule this one time only. I suggest that if you feel that the election generally came out in your favor, that you might perhaps just skip this entry. There will be more interesting posts another time.[1]

Along with most of my fellow pinko commie America-hating terrorist-loving wine-sipping elitists friends and acquaintances, I am of course not happy with the outcome of the election. Unlike some of them, I am not in a conciliatory mood, believing that the possibility of conciliatory, bipartisan rule was available four years ago, and that we got precious little of that. To my ears, calls for conciliation from the winners are in fact calls to abandon long-held principles and cave in to beliefs that are not shared by half of America -- an invitation to flip flop. No, thanks.

So here are three quotes from the many, many pieces I've read that spoke to me in particular.

Here's an observation from my friend John:
Those who thought the economy was the most important issue went for Kerry 80%, but this was negated by those who thought moral issues were most important. In other words, those who live in the real world voted for Kerry and those looking for their reward in the next voted for Bush.
Like many, I continue to marvel at the prevalence of beliefs, like a purported connection between Iraq and 9/11, even after the administration's own studies have disavowed any such connection. Like many others, I simply cannot see how our current ham-handed policies can be imagined to be making America safer. On the contrary. Yet "security" continues to get high marks for the current administration. Slate has been running a series of pieces by prominent leftists, inviting their thoughts about "What Happened?" Among the most unapologetic pieces is that by the author Jane Smiley, who has deep roots in a red state and has turned the social dynamics of the midwest into award-winning fiction. In her piece, she offers this blunt advice:
The error that progressives have consistently committed over the years is to underestimate the vitality of ignorance in America.
And finally this hopeful piece from a wise and articulate Democrat, who wrote it in the aftermath of another, similarly dispiriting election a while back:
The Meaning of Life

To know and serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernable but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through. What else will do except faith in such a cynical, corrupt time? When the country goes temporarily to the dogs, the cats must learn to be circumspect, walk on fences, sleep in trees, and have faith that all this woofing is not the last word. Time to shut up and be beautiful, and wait for morning. Yahooism, when in power, is deaf, and neither satire nor the Gospel will stay its brutal hand, but hang on, another chapter follows. Our brave hopes for a changing the world sank in port, and we have become the very people we used to make fun of, the old and hesitant, but never mind, that's not the whole story either. So hang on.

What keeps our faith cheerful is the extreme persistence of gentleness and humor. Gentleness is everywhere in daily life, a sign that faith rules through ordinary things: through cooking and small talk, through storytelling, making love, fishing, tending animals and sweet corn and flowers, through sports, music and books, raising kids -- all the places where the gravy soaks in and grace shines through. Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of the gentle people. If we had no other purpose in life, it would be good enough to simply take care of them and goose them once in a while.

-- Garrison Keillor
And with that, we return to our regularly scheduled programming.

[1] Note that I have no hands-off policy toward comments, so if you post a comment I don't like, I'll delete it without a thought.

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