Cracking the Fiery Core: We are Not What We Have

How many of us live to be defined by our possessions?  How many of us find value only in what we have achieved and won and coveted?  I wrote about this nagging issue of human governance on November 22, 2006 — “Worthy of History: Only Expensive Things Survive” —

The perversion of the historical accuracy of how our ancestors lived, and how we currently live, is created by preserving only expensive possessions — tokens, icons, valuables – and in the purposeful construction of indestructible architectural monuments used by the privileged few.

History is skewed by this preservation technique because it only pretends to tell future generations how people actually lived. When we visit museums we are only seeing what the powerful majority of the culture of that time deemed important enough to save and pass down.

We only get to know what they thought was worth saving and inevitably those things are the expensive, the pretty, the unique and the tokens of the wealthy. Even pioneer and Native American museum dioramas are idealized with hardy items and the most beautiful things. The ordinary is forsaken for the power of the inherent value in the preservation of the perceived best.

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Why Bo Pelini Must Go

Bo Pelini is the current head football coach at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  I say “current” because I do not believe his tenure there will last much longer.  In the long history of the football school, the head coach of the team has always been a major center of attention and a major campus star.

Bo Pelini never really fit in at Nebraska.  He was proud of being Northeast crass and rude in the middle of the mild Midwest.  He didn’t respect the fans, tradition, or the media.  He loved to throw embarrassing fits of purple rage on the sidelines during nationally televised games.  His teams have played unevenly and unpredictably.  He is incapable of getting his coaching staff to make in-game changes in response to how the other team is adjusting.  Pelini has always appeared lost, and adrift — and furiously angry about being stuck in Nebraska.

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Nebraska Passes On Abortion Pain

Yesterday, Nebraska passed two curious abortion laws. The first bans abortions after 20 weeks because fetuses “feel pain” and the other requires a woman have “mental health” screening before she can abort.  Both laws were construed to prevent Nebraska from becoming the next Kansas and to press forward the Right to Life Crusade back into the Supreme Court to overturn Rove v. Wade.

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Moral Futurism and the Enemies of an Open Society

Karl Popper is one of the SuperGeniuses of our time, and his brilliant book — “Open Society and Its Enemies” — is a must read for anyone hoping to understand our necessary and active place in the world.

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I Hate a Parade

The New York Football Giants are having a ticker-tape parade today to celebrate their Super Bowl XLII win. I hate a parade. Always have. Ever will.

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When Caring Betrays Duty

We are trained, in theory, that we have a duty to care about our jobs — but in the practice of the everyday, few people genuinely work to care about the jobs they produce in the workplace.

Why is there a disconnect between caring and duty?

Some feel too much is asked of them when it comes to doing a job.  They are hired to connect "A" to "B" to create "C" and nothing more.  To care about those connections is to drain the emotion necessary to deal with the rest of a rotting world. Or so they say.

When you have a special person that actually cares about the job they are doing and its effectiveness in making the world a brighter place, they are not celebrated by their co-workers or management.  They are mocked and asked to do even more work to cover for those who fail to care.

It is a difficult task to ask the box deliverer to care about the boxes they carry; it is hard to beg a fireman to care about those saved from the flames; it is impossible to urge the surgeon to care about the flesh being cut — but we must begin to demand caring from every niche of the workspace so we will be more than just our jobs — and so together we shall rise above common duty and into the sublime of human morality.

The FDNY Firefighter Spy

We’ve turned a horrible new page in the War on Terror as the FDNY — The Fire Department of the City of New York — have joined with the Department of Homeland Security to spy on residents.

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