Wednesday, September 5, 2012

et ceteras

Based on the philosophical/political nature of many of my posts, anyone who reads this blog probably finds it strange that the Republican National Convention took place in my home town without me writing a single word about it. But at least I have a good excuse in that I was out of town last week, on a pre-planned trip, deep in the mountains and mostly without Internet or TV; and for good measure, since I did not blog about the RNC I will also not blog about this week’s DNC. After it passes, there will be almost two entire post-convention months left until election day -- and therefore, plenty of time to weigh in on this starkly important election as the campaigns lock horns in crunch time.

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I will, however, make one observation related to politics. A recent Gallup poll found that people who self-identify as pro-life outnumber those who self-identify as pro-choice by a margin of 50-41. This is a dramatic, 12-point swing from just eight years ago, when self-identified pro-lifers were outnumbered 48-45.

Since the Democrat Party opposes any restrictions on any abortion at any time, even on a baby’s due date, for any reason whatsoever -- and since Obama himself opposes laws to prevent people from killing babies who are born alive after abortions which do not succeed -- Democrats running for office should be even more worried about this poll result than they are about how people may answer the old question “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

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Although I was mostly without TV while in the mountains, I did find a place where I was able to watch Thursday night’s college football opener between South Carolina and Vanderbilt. My only comment about that game is not about the game itself, but about the announcers: They mentioned Marcus Lattimore’s knee surgery every friggin’ time he touched the ball. If announcers continue to do that through the rest of the year, they need to be hoisted out of the press box as punishment for lack of thought and lack of originality.

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Last month, Erika and I lost a friend to cancer. A few days ago, we learned that another friend has been diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately hers was caught early, but I can’t help thinking about the fact that over the last two years or so, in my line of work, I have seen a significant increase in the number of cases in which young people are being diagnosed with various types of cancer (by young, I mean most of the examples are people in their thirties, with some in their late twenties and some in their early forties). This trend seems too long and sustained to be an anomaly, and it makes me wonder if something specific is driving it. Has anyone else noticed or heard of this? And if so, is anyone with scientific know-how looking into it?

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Piggybacking on my cancer observation, I can not help but stress how important it is to live each moment to the fullest and to soak up everything life has to offer. Last week I saw hummingbirds flitting about Appalachian branches. This morning, while driving Sarah to school, she and I saw a doe and two fawns running alongside the road. Tonight I stepped outside and noticed how many stars and constellations were glittering against the black sky. No matter what we do, we should never forget to take note of these things and appreciate them.

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In closing, here are a couple sights I have managed to photograph in the past month. The first was taken along a rural road north of Tampa, while the second shows a post-sunset sky in Western North Carolina:

1 comment:

Fred Alton said...

Hi, John! Thanks for this very interesting post. Of course you know I'm reading more about cancer now than ever before. When I mentioned that I was going to hike the 100 mile wilderness in Maine my doctor said something like (with a broad grin on his face), "I approve 100%! Squeeze all the juices out of life that you can!" So - it looks like that while you were in NC mtns I was on the trail in Maine. I only made it one day and night, then hiked back out the next day because of the hazardous nature of the trail. I will try again later when I have more strength.