Whose team is best? Ours of course. Why? Because it’s ours.
Okay, so whose team is worst? Theirs of course. Why? Because it’s not ours.
Pretty childish, right? Just what you’d expect from kids in Little League. Yet
big kids, called adults, are no different. And that’s not a good thing. Our
better selves and more mature representatives tell us, “It’s not whether we win
or lose, but how we play the game.” Then over against that, our smaller selves
and less mature representatives counter with Vince Lombardy that “Winning isn’t
It’s Wednesday, June 8. Evening. Back at our by
now tried-and-true Hesperia Fera Suites in a cloudy and cool Barcelona. The
manager recognized us and made sure we got a room with an exterior view this
time. Nice! Anyway, it’s time to talk a little more Turkey.
First, a few words
about Mustafa Kemal, better known as Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey in
1923. There are statues of him everywhere. No village is too small. The Turkish
Government, to honor him, made it illegal for anyone else to ever bear the
July 3, 2076. An America chastened by the
crises of the 21st Century is about to celebrate its Tercentenary.
No longer the sole superpower, it has abandoned its role of global policeman to
a more mature U.N. and is now using its limited funds for the needs of its
people—more Denmark Anno 2011 than the United States of that era. Congress has
just enacted a National Maturity Test, better known as the Adult Licensing Act.
Unless a citizen passes this multi-phasic exam, he or she may not open a bank
account, purchase or drive a motor vehicle, matriculate at a college, apply for
a salaried job, buy property, run for office, or even marry. As you can
imagine, parents, the schools, churches, health clubs, summer camps, tutoring
organizations—everyone is teaching to this test. The ten things everyone is
required to know and be able to do to qualify as a “mature American”—include (1)
RELATING effectively to others. This is one “R” no one born in the 20th
Century ever was expected to know. Included are leadership and collaborating
skills. (2) SOLVING PROBLEMS efficiently. Research skills are part of this requirement.
(3) MANAGING TIME and FINANCES well. Living within one’s means, saving money
regularly, and knowing the difference between important and urgent are all de
rigueur. (4) Showing SELF-DISCIPLINE in one’s lifestyle, including eating well,
sleeping enough, and exercising every day. (5) Understanding and practicing
responsible HUMAN SEXUALITY. (6) BEING CHARITABLE. (7) Expressing FORGIVENESS
and GRATITUDE on a daily basis. (8) Showing CIVILITY in all one's interactions. (9)
Exhibiting a SENSE OF WONDER. And (10) USING POWER WISELY in everything one
does. During the first three-quarters of the 21st Century, humankind
suffered from a collective lack of these behaviors. The President, a
forty-year-old Muslim woman, will sign the bill into law tomorrow.
It must be an allergy. Yet for whatever reason I have
difficulty seeing national flags on cars, tee-shirts, hats, lapel pins, running
shoes, even flagpoles. This goes for the Red-White-and-Blue, our Grand Old Flag.
While helping to unite smaller entities, states or provinces, nationalism often
does so at the expense of the larger whole. People wrap themselves in their
country’s flags before going off and killing, or being killed by, other people
wrapped intheircountry’s flags.
Children get bombed and women raped with the justification that they live under