A friend of mine, when we were discussing Facebook and blogs, complained that I never wrote anything on my blog and that I should... Well then. Let's see what I can do about that.
I moved to Iowa last week…
Well, no, not really. But I did spend a week working down there in a little town amidst the cornfields. A customer of mine here in Minnesota owns various rental properties and they apparently decided to buy a house for their daughter and son-in-law in Iowa. It appears to be a solid investment on their part as it’s going to end up benefitting someone – either themselves or else their children and grandchildren…
Anyway, I had rebuilt a home that they sold for a handsome profit a number of years ago – I redid the Master bedroom and bath; the kitchen; part of the basement; added on a major screened in Porch and a second story deck off the Master bedroom. Plus I have done some work on their new place and some of their other rental property. So, they asked if I, Mr. Super Remodeling Guy, would like to remodel this house down in Iowa. We agreed on a price and they put me up for a week in an inexpensive motel near the job. I built a bunch of walls; hung sheetrock; and taped and mudded – subdividing the basement into various rooms. I didn’t quite finish, but I will be going down there again at the end of the month to do additional work and I’ll get someone to help with the grunt work so, it should all be good.
While I was there, I had none of the normal distractions that permeate my life. There was no shul (synagogue), so I davened (prayed) by myself in my Little Tiny Motel Room . I did manage to learn Daf Yomi (a 7 ½ year cycle of learning Talmud where a person learns a page every day) by having the rabbi leading our learning call me every morning on our cell phones. That was the only “regular” thing I did. Other than that, I worked about 10 hours (much longer than I normally do) and went back to the Little Tiny Motel Room to eat, read, sleep and try and watch cable television. About 60 channels and there was really nothing of interest. That was peculiar.
And, as an inveterate Talk Radio show addict, I listened to the radio during the day. But! I listen to Salem radio here in the Twin Cities and they have a fine line up of what I consider interesting folks. Bill Bennett; Mike Gallagher (well, okay, I do not consider him interesting and do not much listen to him but, he’s part of the line up); Dennis Praeger; Michael Medved; and Hugh Hewitt. All people that can give me interesting information and controversy as I work through my day.
However, in Iowa, none of these people are on. The only Talk Radio was Laura Ingraham; Rush Limbaugh; and Sean Hannity. Laura I can take, even if she is a tad too hyper in a focused sort of way at times. And, Sean Hannity was interesting. I have rarely heard him before. But Rush, the Father of Talk Radio, was, is, still the same Rush Limbaugh that I used to listen to way back in the 80’s at WABC in New York City when I tended to lean a bit more to the Left than I do now. Back then I thought he was a Funny Entertainer. He made me laugh and roll my eyes even if I did disagree with him politically.
Nowadays, Rush and I are on the same page politically ( I tend towards Hard Right Republican Conservatism), but… he’s not funny anymore. Having nowhere to go and nothing else to do, I listened to Rush for four days in Iowa. I heard him take the most minute points and try and beat them to death in his exasperation and annoyance. It is as if he has taken the Mantle of Conservative Spokesperson upon his “formerly nicotine stained” shoulders… and is now drowning in it. He was neither funny nor entertaining. With nothing else to occupy my thoughts, I found this disturbing and troubling…
Normally, I love the give and take and controversy of Talk Radio. The various pundits; authors; and speakers that the Talk Radio hosts whom I enjoy have on, expand my world and give me information to either support or contradict the things that I think about. And, it is fun to listen to various people who call up to disagree with the points that my mostly Right Wing Talk Radio hosts are making. Sometimes the disagreeing calls are intelligent and mind provoking, but more often than not they tend to get fixated on some inane point which will inevitably lead them to reveal the true purpose of their call, no matter what the subject is, which is either – whatever being discussed is the fault of the Jews and Israel or; whatever is being discussed is really a cover-up for the “fact” that the United States government engineered the demolition of the Twin Towers on 9-11… So, I get to listen to idiots and entertainers and even some great thinkers. It’s fun.
However, as I listened to Rush, who really is respected as the Father of Talk Radio, and is considered the most Conservative Pundit who many believe is THE Voice of Conservative Republicans, I realize that many of the micro political points that Talk Radio, politicians, and the Media in general, are all things that, ultimately, involve the old notion that “This too shall pass.”
Tired of War and economic uncertainty, the moderate citizens in our nation swung Left and gave the political power to the Democrats. Now that the Democrats are fumbling the ball on both War and the Economy, the nation seems to be swinging rapidly back to the Right and seems to want to start giving power back to the Republicans. And so it will go and so it has gone. But Health Care; “Global Warming;” (as much as those who believe in the new religion of Climate Change would disagree); the “war” in Afghanistan; Chinese manufacturing power; the credit crunch; the price of real estate; and all of the other temporary issues of the day, are just that. Temporary. These things too will pass. The government will find a new way to run a new system of medical assistance not very well. The government will try and give new subsidies to corn growers or windmill makers or photovoltaic manufacturers which will have absolutely zero effect on climate changes. The war in Afghanistan will continue for the next 100 years, with or without the US, just as it did for the last few hundred years. The Chinese will make stuff and send their profits to the US, because no one else can take care of all of their money (just as Japan still does now) until they end up faltering like every other nation on Earth that manufactures products which are, ultimately, unnecessary for survival. New credit will become available and people will borrow like drunken politicians and real estate will boom and everyone will go broke once more after that cycle is played out again….
However, there are existential issues which go beyond whether or not I am going to go bankrupt today or be able to live to be 105 due to medical care as opposed to only 90 due to the lack of it (I seem to have, thank G-d, relatively long lived genes in my not so healthy body…).
These existential issues have to do with the survival of whole peoples; and countries; and a way of life that is still new upon this planet of ours… And, no one seems to be addressing them – To the Point of Actually Attempting To Change the potentially horrific Outcome.
This is a problem.
Next – What to do? Hmmmm….