“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”
“The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.”
(Candid By Liz)
Unfortunately, President Trump and elements of the far right have politicized the wearing of masks as somehow violating a person’s individual rights. This is a level of insanity. Do people complain that their rights are being violated if the law compels them to wear shoes in order to enter a food store? Did Americans, as a people, not follow the restrictions imposed upon them in World War II? Do we, as a society, accept and embrace that children should travel in safety car seats? Do we, as a nation, understand the importance of laws and the controls imposed on people by those legal requirements? These are only a few examples of rules that are instituted for the safety of individuals and society. We, as a people, must recognize that individual rights are important, but just as important is societal responsibility.
The wearing of masks is not only to protect the person with the mask but also others around that person. Wearing of masks can help protect the people you love, your friends, your family, and others you do not know.
The wearing of masks in this medical pandemic is not only being responsible, but it is also being patriotic. Remember, that we are all in this time and circumstance together.
Stay safe and healthy!
I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend, but I also hope you remember why this holiday exists. The word “holiday” comes from “holy day,” and the remembrance of this day and its purpose should be sacred. It was originally known as Decoration Day after the end of the Civil War, and it was designated Memorial Day in the 20th Century.
This day is intended to honor, give thanks, and remember those who have sacrificed their lives for The United States of America. Please honor the fallen and the wounded on this day. I realize the day was meant originally for the dead, but I extend my wishes and thanks to the wounded also. Regardless of political beliefs or stands on a war, these are the men and women who fought to keep us safe, and they deserve our remembrance.
They deserve our thanks and our honor.
Please keep in mind that this day is not merely the beginning of the summer season, nor is it intended to be the time of a special sale. This should be a sacred and somber time. There will be plenty of opportunity for shopping and vacationing afterwards. Please remember those who sacrificed.
“When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.”
Edward Gibbon (From The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire)
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”
“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.”
“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
“A population that asks questions and analyzes deeply is the mark of an educated and free society; a citizenry that accepts blindly and embraces willful ignorance is the material for a dictatorship.”
Charles F. French
I was looking over some of my early blogposts, and I decided I wanted to revisit this piece about the Liberal Arts–the humanities–and their importance. The idea I write about in this little post is crucial for our society–the importance of the Liberal Arts in Education.
I had a piece published in the “Education Guide” of the Sunday, 2/15/15, edition of The Morning Call, the largest newspaper in the Lehigh Valley, PA. I am very proud of have the article in the paper, because I am very proud to be part of the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.
The Wescoe School is the name of the adult college program for Muhlenberg College. In this school, adults are able to gain full Bachelor degrees in a variety of majors and programs as well as certificate of study if they are focused on one specific area.
I have been teaching college English courses for many years, and I have been an adjunct instructor at many colleges, but I am deeply impressed with the quality of education and the care for the adult students that are demonstrated in this program.
I was honored to have been asked to write this piece, and I hope that I delivered a clear and sound explanation of the Liberal Arts, both in terms of history and application. I am an unrepentant Humanist; I still believe in the power of education to help people and in the ability of writing and words to help bridge gaps among people. Even at my age, I remain an idealist. Especially in the Wescoe program, I see education having a positive impact on students, many of whom have never attended college, might be starting their higher education in their 40s or 50s, and many of whom have full-time jobs and families. Their ability to learn and achieve never fails to humble me and to reinforce my belief in the strength of the Liberal Arts.
I am continuing the series I began about what I consider to be the best TV shows of the 1950s and 1960s and representative example episodes of those shows. For this post, I am going to talk about Star Trek, the original version, which ran from 1966-1969. I will be dating myself, but this show ran when I had just become a young teenager, and it had huge influence on me.
I remember looking forward all week to the next episode and wondering what that week’s episode would be about. Star Trek was filled with what were, at the time, wonderful special effects, but much more than that, great stories and deeply developed characters.
I have many episodes that I think were very good, but one, in particular, stands out as excellent: “City On The Edge Of Forever.” It was written by the noted science-fiction author Harlan Ellison and ran towards the end of the first season. It dealt with time travel and insanity, which were always good themes for science-fiction, but it also dealt with an issue that continues to confront our society: what does someone do when seeing the existence of evil? Do they act at the risk of enormous sacrifice, or ignore it? Other questions also emerge from the show: what matters more—the fate of an individual or of society? How do we judge what is necessary to do in a difficult ethical situation? And where is the place of love in our world? These are very heady issues for a young teenager to struggle with; in fact, they continue to influence my thinking and my writing. It was also a series that infused hope, optimism, and humanism in its message, the idea that humanity can improve itself but always with struggle.
I am wondering: did you like the original Star Trek series, and if so, what episode was your favorite?