Saturday, June 29, 2013

Little Girls at School

College Blues


What a lousy way to have to start your 'college life experience'. As if post-secondary education wasn't hard enough, with dorms and dorm-mates and classes and study and all  that stuff. And choosing a career path and getting good grades and things. But now, having to be faced on campus, for the first time, by lying liars who lie. Not only lying liars who lie, but lying liars who lie and are aided and abetted by liberal Deans and Boards of Governors and college administrations. And even if you do 'name them' and 'call them' on their lies, it won't matter, they'll just go on lying  because they're haters, too. And haters just hate and that's why they  lie.

Got it?  A career in liberal arts is going to do this gal an awful lot of good. One day she might run a library, or teach a class of kids, or shoulder a weapon and fight for her country. But it's highly unlikely she'll ever stop to ask why?

Why do haters hate - is that genetic? Why do liars lie?  Is that the result of nature, or nurture? Why don't people see the same incident from the same perspective and what makes the difference?

Is truth absolute? Or is our 'truth' coloured by experience and emotion? Is our truth more valid than someone else's? If this gal graduates college thinking about this stuff she'll be on her way to an open mind.

As it is, she's had the benefit of a 'planned' holiday in Israel. It's obvious the 'plan' worked. She's learned that Israel's new Eden is threatened by evildoers who don't want it to exist. And they're here in America telling their side of her story - and she doesn't want to hear it - more than that, she doesn't want them to say it.

Sadly,  there is a significant part of the population of North America to-day, perhaps even the world, who reason like the gal above. For them 'truth' is relative ... to them and to how they feel. They are the ultimate arbiters of their own existence. And it follows that they filter all their relationships through that sieve. As St. Matthew so simplistically quoted the Son of God, "You are with me, or you are against me."

With a subtle difference that they 'can't be with' the Son of God and adhere to this philosophy of a subjective truth. They, in setting themselves up as 'God', omit a good number of admonitions and caveats about 'doing unto others' and judging and forgiveness. But this isn't about religion, and being told what to do by somebody else is so passe.

Moral relativism is the norm in societal behaviour these days. Looking out for number one is considered 'smart'. And looking out for somebody else usually means an opportunity for some forward-thinking entrepreneur to take some advantage. In fact there's a whole economy predicated on it.

Disasters are such opportunities. And there are such an increasing number of these in the news that a pattern is developing in how they're handled.

The first stage is awareness. The news media goes out of its way to 'cover' the story 24/7 for a week or so (unless something else more newsworthy appears) pity the disaster that happened during the OJ trial for instance - aside from the Oklahoma City Bombing it was more than likely a blip. After that comes the mobilization of resources. Usually local resources are the first involved - neighbors with needed equipment or facilities pitch-in to help. In many places this is where it stops - the locals are on their own. In more civilized places regional assistance is available and various governmental levels have assistance to provide. In some places NGOs are available to assist - some 'in country' and often some international services. Foreign governments often assist by sending aid, manpower or equipment. But eventually 'private enterprise' shows up, looking for opportunities to make money.

In some sad cases that 'money making opportunity' starts well up the timeline of assistance. Helpful neighbors are often willing to help whoever can pay them the most.  And 'security' forces are often the first assistance to arrive on scene, to protect private property. Looting is a real problem at times of emergency, but rather than use security to try to ensure equitable distribution of something that will be lost anyway - and pre-planning for that - people get killed by security protecting the property of absent owners. That's probably the worst thing about disasters. Because we often can't see them coming before it's too late, we generally haven't given much thought to avoiding them or coping better with them. We - all of us - certainly don't practice enough.

Disaster has engendered an insurance industry. Whether the disaster is personal or domestic, self-caused or the result of an interaction with another person or thing, insurance sells. Predicated on the notion that not everybody is going to have bad things (claimable events) happen to them, and that, provided you can get and use their money to develop resources and assets,  a company can take 'risk' in order to generate a profit. This might have started as betting on whether or not a 17th century trading vessel was going to make it back to port but it was soon realized that spreading the risk of loss among a number of  ' investors', for a price was good business. Shares could be repaid if the venture was successful, and those shares meant that failure wasn't a total loss. That notion spread to property and eventually to life and longevity, to health, to body parts - some famous - to, in our age, insuring banks against bad loans.

Insurance helps, if you have it. But it doesn't eliminate disaster. You can't buy insurance that will cover you if you're fortunate enough to go to college, or that will pay your way into a good university. There are some kinds of investments that you can buy that will assist - sort of an EIF. But they don't guarantee a tranquil education. And that's the truth.

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