Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Random thoughts on a not-rainy storm day

Once again, severe storms were predicted, and we dodged the bullet but were blessed with about ten minutes of fairly heavy and steady rain. Just about the time a friend and I decided to reschedule our lunch plans. We should have waited ten minutes! But I had a good day, proofing the first novel I ever wrote. Mattie, a Spur Award winner from Western Writers of America, has been on Kindle for several years, and at 99 cents, it’s the best-selling title I have, still sells steadily and ranks well. Now I’m getting it ready for other platforms and decided it was time to proof again. The temptation to edit is strong, but why mess with success.

Several things I read online—yes, mostly Facebook—prompt me to comment. One was a statement by a physician that the ACA is not the problem, the insurance industry is. I think we all know that, but the Republicans in Congress refuse to admit it. The word de-regulation leaps into my mind. I am not a foe of regulation. In a free market insurance industry, greed trumps (an apt word) the health of individuals. Not gonna happen, and I know it.

I read again Joe Kennedy’s speech in Congress about health care, and his brilliant take-down of Ryan, comparing the versions of the Bible’s definition of mercy that he and Ryan had apparently read. Got me to thinking about the children of great leaders—so many of the children fade away into obscurity in the face of their parents’ great accomplishments. I think, for instance of FDR and Eleanor’s children, who weren’t wastrels by any means but didn’t carry on to the family tradition. In her own way, Margaret Truman walked proudly in her father’s footsteps, as does Caroline Kennedy. The Nixon girls chose obscurity deliberately, as apparently did the Johnson daughters.

But the Kennedy family has carried on a proud tradition of public service. Look at how many of them have entered the public service arena after Jack—Bobby, Ted, Patrick, Joe, Maria Schriver—I know I’m leaving some out. They have all accounted themselves admirably, showing real concern for their fellow man not often found in the children of privilege. Old Joe Kennedy, a reprobate from all reports, did something right—or maybe it was Rose. I share a birthday with her, a coincidence I really like. (No, this is not a comment on Ivanka or whatever her name is.)

Concern for one’s fellow man is much on my mind. In Chechen apparently they have not only imprisoned gay men but are calling their parents in to execute them—what an unbelievable horror. And a young woman who escaped North Korea talked about the awful conditions in that country, where a woman was executed for having watched a Hollywood movie. Apparently, and I didn’t know this, many North Koreans have escaped to China—where there Is a reparation policy. Young North Korean women are sold on the market for as little as $200.

A friend recently toured torture camps in Cambodia. Another person on her tour said to her, “Animals don’t do that to other animals.” I am deeply troubled, horrified, by man’s inhumanity to man and by his cruelty to animals—from big game hunting to killing bear cubs in their dens to dog fighting and other atrocities. I think God weeps. I know I do.

I seem to like the word “apparently” in this post. Please forgive. It’s late, and I don’t want to do it over.

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