Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Shades of Gray and Gravy

Is it just because I keep getting more gray hair that I think I’m one of the few who sees in shades of gray? Or would I be happier if I could just dumb down and see the world in black and white. A few minor headlines and documentaries got me thinking about it today.

Plans are underway in Florida for a
celebration of the death of Castro. His death will signal change in Cuba but not the kind that the right-wingers in Little Havana long for. I’m sure they’d like to have Eisenhower back in the White House as well. Castro is sort of like abortion – you can’t talk sensibly about being ambivalent on the issue with either side. I’d say I’m 60/40 on Castro (60% bad, 40% good). The U.S. could learn from the Cuban health care system, and he gets points for standing up to the U.S. for five decades. Even if you can look past human rights abuses – many of my friends can – how can you say it’s healthy for a country to have the same leader nearly 50 years. Yes, the country was run by thugs and colonists for centuries, but it only went from worse to bad.

Michael Moore. Ew, does anyone listen to Michael Moore any longer. Amazing how he can always tie any global issue back to his home town of Michigan. Beloved pudgy blow-hard, the Rush Limbaugh of the Left, he seems to have perpetuated that to have credence you must crucify sartorial style. Watching the Peace rallies in D.C. this weekend, it was heartening to see Jane Fonda not in a mink but also not in a Mao jacket. He’s probably in the 60/40 equation as well, mostly the correct message but inept in delivery and attitude. Why be the Left’s gravy boy answer to Rush Limbaugh when you could be the question instead?

Milton Friedman was profiled on PBS last night. He is a man I’ve had held up as the embodiment of evil for the past 30 years or more when I joined a friend attending the University of Chicago for a protest against his Nobel Prize. Seeing his personal story, it was clear that he was a probably decent husband and father and a man I probably could have enjoyed visiting in Vermont on his farm. Having spent most of my career embroiled in work to help the populations that his free market philosophy never benefits, it’s hard to see him as not being a devil. But had he ever spent time on a farm in Sri Lanka or Burkina Faso instead of Vermont, perhaps he would have come to realize the holes in his philosophy. There is also the fact that he played a pivotal role in convincing Nixon to end the draft, albeit because he felt the military should enter the market economy and be more competitive.


Post a Comment

<< Home