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Thought is long-dead

In his guest column, "Death of thought," Preston Jones bemoans today's college students' incapacity to think and reason. Professor Jones points out that this inability to reason is systemic in our society, contributing to our demise.

Should we blame the students for their inability to think and reason? My understanding is that Thought and Reason died at the hands of Postmodernism before the students started college. Their sister, Truth, was dead by 2016. (Oxford Dictionary announced Truth's death, declaring "post-truth" to be the word of the year for 2016.) Truth had been in a rundown condition, and few noticed when she finally wheezed her last death rattle.

Leaving Thought, Reason, and Truth behind, our society is moving in bold new directions. Today's college students, unshackled from antiquated concepts like traditional thought and reason, can unleash their full creative potential. Aided by incredible computing power, these future leaders can develop powerful ultramodern computer-generated paradigms, thrusting us into astonishing new worlds.


Siloam Springs

Roadblock in Senate

So the federal government is shut down again. Well, isn't that special, as the Church Lady used to say on Saturday Night Live. It's no laughing matter to those who work for said government or depend on those who do. Despite the declarations of our so-called president, he has no idea what it's like to do without a paycheck. Not everyone can call up their father and get a fresh infusion of funds, after all.

But now the Democrats control the House of Representatives and promise to do the right thing. And in the Senate, a few GOP folks might go along, so there's the chance of both houses of Congress doing the right thing. But wait! The Senate's leader, Mitch McConnell, says he won't even allow a vote. What's up with that?

Look into McConnell's bio and you will learn that his spouse, Elaine Chao, is Trump's secretary of Transportation, for what that's worth. Not that she needs her paycheck, if Wikipedia can be believed. She brought millions of dollars to the marriage, meaning that, like Trump, she was lucky in inheriting the parents that she did. (Her dad donated $40 million to Harvard, for example.) She has had a series of important jobs whenever Republicans hold the nation's highest office. One of them, I read, was director of the Peace Corps, as appointed by the first President Bush. I was in the Peace Corps, back in the 1960s, and tried to keep up afterwards with that worthy organization, but I never heard of her and her tenure, which apparently was relatively brief. She then went on to spend all eight years of the second President Bush's tenure as his secretary of Labor.

What does it all mean? One never knows, do one? Maybe she likes working for Republicans so she can tell her husband what to do and when to do it?

And since Mitch is more than likely to also forbid a Senate vote on impeachment, the road to removal of you-know-who will have to be via indictment.



Past haunts present

There is in Western consciousness a staggering blindness regarding the benevolence of liberalism. The ideology didn't rise immaculately from the head of Zeus. Western science, technology and market structures led to class and colonial domination with unprecedented prosperity for the few. Posing as progress on the road to civilization, it led to centuries of exploitation and misery for many--often justified because they were different.

Russia, on the eastern edge of the West, suffered the horrors of Stalinism in order to industrialize fast enough to avoid being colonized like the rest of the non-Western world. China was unable to escape Western imperialism and suffered the horrors of Maoism in order to free itself from domination. Both still struggle against the liberal world order.

Historical necessity need not be irrevocable. There are enough past sins for all to atone. Yet little will change unless and until we alter or abandon divisive ideologies that address parochial and transient episodes of the past--ideologies that generally insist on conformity, stifling reflection on very different global circumstances.

Should we suffer intellectual paralysis and fail to envision the world differently, future generations will undoubtedly inherit the abyss we create. They deserve better.



Walls are a deterrent

I disagree with our president on many things, but I do agree with his statement that without borders we have no country. I know a $5.7 billion wall is not going to stop all the illegal immigration, but it might be a deterrent for many. It seems to work for prisons most of the time. Even the Vatican (an independent city-state) is surrounded by walls.

I have no problem with people coming here for a chance at a better life. Do it legally and you will be greeted with open arms. Crashing the gate en masse with a "to hell with your laws, we're coming" slogan shouldn't garner any respect or sympathy from any of us.

After all, if somebody climbed your backyard fence and wanted to camp there, would you pitch them a tent and break out the s'mores? Didn't think so.



Editorial on 01/12/2019

Print Headline: Letters

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