Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Joe Btfsplk And The Forest For The Trees

It’s 3 AM and I’m wracked by insomnia. Insomnia, that’s a word that has never been in my vocabulary. That is not until tonight. Or more correctly, last night. It just doesn’t happen to me. Never say never!

So not one to sit idly by, I found my way to my favorite columnist, Al Martinez. Al, as you know, writes for the Los Angeles Times. He describes himself as a “liberal puke.” That’s a term that some angry reader flung at him with all the intellectual skill of a banana slug.

Until now, I had not had the opportunity to read his missive of last Friday entitled, Amid the splendor, it's hard to ignore the clouds. And true to his nature, Al was right on mark with his descriptive skills. He described himself as Joe Btfsplk, from the long ago comic strip Li’l Abner.

Not that I am Joe Btfsplk exactly, that gloomy cartoon character with the dark cloud over his head who is haunted by grim expectations. It's just that to someone who has been a journalist most of his life, bad news seems to be always at hand.

But, Al is gloomy at times. At least he is when reflecting on the state of disaster that the world is currently convulsing over.

Our unpopularity, rooted in the decision to invade, I mean liberate, Iraq is rising not only in the Muslim world but also in the so-called Third World countries of Latin America and among our allies. The Bush administration decision to go it alone has pretty much left us alone, isolated on Island America like sailors abandoned on a South Seas atoll.
Although I realize that doing the right thing isn't always popular, one has to wonder if there might be something awry in policies that have stirred the world into an alliance opposed to our very existence. All those voices rising around the globe should be reason enough to at least pause and reconsider.
Referring to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Islamists, Al is concerned that people in the world don’t like us. Al is worried about our popularity, and I am worried about the possibility that someday my granddaughter will have to wear a burka or have her throat slit if she does not convert to Islam.

Joe Btfsplk was a perpetually gloomy guy, and I don’t think his characterization aptly describes Al. But, Al was in Sequoia National Park among the magnificent splendor when he was over come with gloominess. Unfortunately, like many liberals, Al is shortsighted and can not see the forest for the trees on this issue. He does not seem to think that evil existed in this world before the inauguration of President George W. Bush. That’s an oversimplification, of course. But, it’s apt enough because there is a deep denial among the liberal about the nature of Islamists. We’ve seen the denial and appeasement most dramatically as recently as the 1930’s during the rise of Adolph Hitler and his Nazi state. Oh, and there was that little matter about the Communist slaughter after we left Vietnam in disgrace.

I wish that Al would come around to reality, but I’m not going to bet on it. Nevertheless, I’ll keep reading him because he is such a good wordsmith. And, I’m sure he has a good heart. I don’t think he’d throw his drink on me. He’d probably say that would be a waste of a perfectly good martini.