"How small, of all that human hearts endure, That part which laws or kings can cause or cure." -Samuel Johnson
Earlier this week, the Bulleit family got some pretty tough news: my younger brother Jim was diagnosed with a brain tumor and uncertainly-pervasive lymphoma. Extensive tests, however, have since yielded a more promising prognosis; and, of course, we're all more than merely relieved by that. But the days in the interim have found some of us thinking a lot about what matters: the large and small, near and far, things that we ought to be doing with the days that we all have left.
One of the several things that I have been thinking about is the things that I've only `been thinking about' (but done little). And, I suppose, the least that we can all do is share our thoughts (better still, our actions) on, As Charles Krauthhamer calls them, the "Things That Matter." So, this post comprises something of a pot-pourri of my own current ideas, aspirations and projects.
Inasmuch as I began by lifting a quote from another of David Brooks' extraordinary NYT editorials, I'll continue by drilling one his favorite points: i.e., "the limited realities of government." Indeed, in a weird sort of way, President Obama may go down, albeit "reluctantly", as one of conservatism's greatest heros! Even younger, or especially younger, voters are getting up close and personal with Brooks' better view of government: one that is better regarded as "the stem but not the bloom" of "hope and change." In other words, in the wake of government policies that are systematically attempting to finance over-reaching entitlements to current recipients, on the backs of younger/future generations, todays youth are waking up; they're beginning to realize that they'll need to look to themselves for a brighter future (than the "shit sandwich" being handed to them by the current Administration). Taken to a logical extreme, could our near-term future be riddled with a pervasive unrest: one that will add a much more material substance, to today's Occupy Wall Street sorts, and even make previous generations of civil rights and anti-war demonstrations look like picnics in the park?
Moving on and closer to home, I for one am absolutely baffled by how/why more Atlantans aren't absolutely outraged by the extended middle finger being upwardly pointed in our direction by Liberty Media (the Denver-based owner of the Atlanta Braves) and our own mayor. For those of you in other places (and/or others not following this one at home) a couple of weeks ago the Braves announced that they were pulling up stakes and leaving the 16-year-old stadium (now known as "The Ted") given to them after the `96 Olympics for a new stadium in the Cobb County suburbs (subsidized, of course, by hapless Cobb Cty taxpayers). Then, only a day after he was re-elected (and only months after he semi-valiantly led a successful effort to give the Falcons a new $1Billion in-town stadium, itself to replace the perfectly serviceable 20-year-old Ga Dome), our feckless mayor could say only "I wish them [the Braves and their shady Cobb cohorts] well."
In doubtless futile response, I've joined with others hoping to do what we can to reverse this most-regrettable move https://SaveTheTed.org . For, this movement isn't really about a building or a baseball team; it's about the diminished soul of a once-great city. On a less abstract level, it's about a perhaps once-in-a-lifetime chance to address the chronic public transportation problems that vex our region. And, in the end, isn't that what "conservatism" is really all about?: i.e., conserving the best of the past and, then, building practical solutions to current problems upon them?
Speaking of "transportation", I'll close with VLOG links to the other two projects that I'm currently working: both involve Big Data in general and how it may be used, in one instance, to address urban traffic and safety; and, of course, I continue to, at least, daydream about how Big Data may impact healthcare consumerism as well.
`more about these project later...