Saturday, April 12, 2008

"It's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations" - Barrack Obama, regarding disappearing jobs in small towns.

This seemed like a comment with generous portions of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

On a general note, small towns around the world are facing changes. In Italy and Japan, the young, in pursuit of jobs, are vacating small towns. A one-child mentality doesn't help. Over in China, a similar problem is vacating the villages.

30 some years ago, I lived near Pittsburgh for a year and rode my bicycle through various grim towns as I wandered the countryside. It was a beautiful place to grow up. There were jobs, but the snows were gray as the soot came out of the sky together with the snowflakes. A decade later, the jobs were gone and the snow was white. The Ugly here is that militant unions were the primary culprits.

But what of bitterness? Bitterness sends people on many different trajectories. Poke around the blogs awhile and you will find that atheism is probably more common as a result than religion. Just about all the afflictions that Obama attributes to bitterness show up in Osama bin Laden. Is that a cause or an effect for him living in a small town in Waziristan or who knows where?

What is bothersome here, however, is that the statement tends to mix up real problems with imaginary problems. Is small town bitterness the reason for homicides in Philadelphia? Are anti-immigrant attitudes a problem? Or opposition to illegal immigration chaos? The phrase "people who aren't like them" usually refers to GBLT's who are anxious to become the moral teachers and judges for the country. Are they bitter? But what of "religion"? Is Jesus the refuge for the bitter? I was raised to believe that Jonah's attitudes of bitterness were wrong, but God cared for him anyway. Most importantly, what right do I have to be bitter when I have sinned against God and others?

I wish the entire speech had been published so that we might see if there were any answers in Obama's speech.


Livingsword said...

Hi Looney;

To start very interesting photo, yours?

Is this the same Obama that wants to gut NAFTA, which angered even the Canadian national broadcaster’s (CBC) lovefest with him….Talk about anti-trade….People up here are starting to get pretty nervous about the potential of having to deal with either Dem candidate…not because we are concerned that we can’t compete but because they are shortsighted, small minded, protectionist and introverted….

Did I ever mention the time when Obamah said in one of the debates that the first thing he was going to do was open up NAFTA by phoning the president of Mexico and the president of Canada, to think they make fun of Bush for these kinds of things (not that he isn’t worthy of being made fun of at times, for that matter so am I!!), we of course have no president, but a Prime Minister….And Obama is from Illinois just across the boarder! Not New Mexico….

I find your words about militant unions very interesting considering what I commented just a few minutes ago on another article of yours (no I had not read here yet!)

I suppose it depends upon what we mean by “religion”….There is much bitterness with legalism, rituals, human religious rules etc which is not the same as Jesus following…

As always interesting insights from you my friend….

Livingsword said...

Hi Looney, ok its Bodie…my wife was admiring your images so we had to track them down! Looks interesting….

Looney said...

Yes, this is Bodie. I did have some pictures of Bodie, but can't find them so I pulled a random one from the net for this. The high elevation and very clean air in Bodie make photography somewhat easier.

Livingsword said...

Bodie looks worth the visit if your in the area….