Vail Valley Voices: Random musings
• Once lost or betrayed, trust can never be restored to full measure. Our acts of deception are irrevocable – they can be forgiven, but they cannot be forgotten by their victims. You can glue a broken vase, but it will never be the same as it was before it was broken.
• Government entitlements are is another way of saying “dependency.” We all know the old saying, “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, but teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime.” When applied to American politics, it means a truly enlightened government would provide the citizenry with incentives to be independent of government for the simple reason that it makes for a healthier society. Unfortunately, the proponents of bigger and more expansive government don’t see it that way because they understand how dependency upon government is what gets votes and ultimately keeps big government advocates in power.
• The biggest mistake we made in Iraq and Afghanistan was our failure to anticipate the impact tribalism has in preventing true democracy from taking root. And because the roots of their tribalism in that part of the world are centuries old, the Arab spring is likely to become less spring and more of a continuance of despotic winters. Closer to home, what is too often overlooked in the immigration debate is that an unhealthy percentage of illegal immigrants are also tribal inasmuch as they remain bound in culture and allegiance to their country of origin, thus preventing them from ever fully integrating into American society.
• I once attended a seminar wherein the speaker remarked, “Obnoxious behavior is always a cry for help.” So whenever I run into ill-tempered or disagreeable people, my first thought is that this person is uncomfortable or unhappy with him- or herself. It would seem the amount of pain we inflict upon others is in many cases proportional to the amount we feel within our selves.
• It’s ironic how many on the political left refuse to contemplate any change to Medicare and Social Security because they consider these programs “fundamental” to our society. Yet these same people consider the Constitution (a document the founders intended to be fundamental) a “living document” subject to whatever interpretations fit their social engineering agenda.
• Paraphrased from what the Wizard told the Tin Man – the size of someone’s heart is best measure by how much they are loved rather than how much they love.
• Economic predictions would be so much easier to make if we could predict what politicians are going to do.
• By definition, a contronym, a word coined by Richard Lederer, has more than one meaning. That’s because contronym names a word that’s either contradictory or confusing. Appropriately enough, contronyms come in “flavors,” i.e., they can sound the same, be spelled the same, or both.
• When a garden is “seeded,” seeds are planted in it. When a fruit is “seeded,” seeds are taken out of it. Oral describes something spoken, or uttered by the mouth. Aural describes something of or related to the ear or the sense of hearing. When stars are out, they can be seen; when lights are out, things are dark. Oversight can mean “watchful and responsible care” or “an inadvertent omission or error,” while sanction can mean either “approval” or disapproval. Go figure!
• In 1899, Charles H. Duell, director of the United States Patent Office, said, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” More than a century later, government remains as myopic as ever.
• Far too often the greatest skill government bureaucrats and politicians exhibit is that of killing ideas. They are masters at killing creative thinking with statements such as “that’ll never work” or “it’s too risky.” These “in-the-box” thinkers seem to take perverted pleasure in draining enthusiasm and passion from innovative people.
• Thinking outside the box requires a willingness to take new perspectives, an openness to do different things and to do things differently and finding value in new ideas and acting on them. As Albert Einstein once said, “You can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it.” Can you hear me, Washington?
• How many of us subscribe to the notion that most people just don’t know how to drive, so we call them “everybody but me”?
Quote of the day: “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.”
Butch Mazzuca is an Edwards resident
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