Saturday, March 14, 2009

Watching It Unfold

Been watching the economy ... wondering ... and looking at Obama last night - did I see deeper lines, or was it just TV?

The power of blogs, 24-hour news and constant connectivity allow for a greater for a micro-management of events - like Nervous Nellies, we monitor things moment-by-moment, a depressing experience at best, as the economy bumps and grinds its way through one of the worst downturns since the Great Depression.

I appreciate those who remind us of just how great the Great Depression was, and that we've learned  critical lessons, putting in place safeguards that are likely to prevent the onset of anything similar.

I'm wondering about Germany. They're weathering the storm better than most Euro-countries, but I wonder where the voice of the church is these days. Are there theologians and pastors calling for a broad-minded view of Germany's place in the world? That the other nations, especially the former Soviet Bloc nations, need special attention and support? Sadly, we Americans get very little international news, and I'm wondering what kind of discussion is being raised in Germany.

I am  pondering the plight of the Conservative Movement here. How deeply alienated they must feel and how reactive they are to Obama, but I think the real key to understanding them right now is the squabble between Steele and Limbaugh - it's not about doctrine, it's about ideology, and the problem with ideology is that it allows for no adjustment. Ideology is fixed and becomes a self-sustaining, self-defending, group of thoughts increasingly isolated from history. The idea is everything. The reality that may have prompted the idea initially is forgotten, and current events are irrelevant.

But I appreciate their dilema. When Bush and Gang were around, I found myself wanting them to fail, even if it meant hardship for everyone. I think it was Graham Greene who noted in "The Heart of the Matter" when Scobie momentarily daydreams of his wife's death so that he can carry on an affair just how relentlessly self-interested we can be at someone else's expense, and that, of course, is the definition of sin: relentless self-interest.

It will be interesting to see what the G20 offers, and how Timothy Geithner fares.

Some who would like to see solutions quickly take effect are already calling for his resignation or removal ... hmmm. What's up with that kind of thinking? Of for the days before the Pony Express when it took three or four weeks for news and a letter to cross the nation; that gave everyone time to think, and these days, thought is clearly in short supply; reaction and criticism are abundant.

Will the stimulus work?

Of course it will ... because history is on the move, and the things we do, or fail to do, make an impact and shape the course of human events.

Will the auto companies make it? Now that's another question. But I have a lot of friends in Michigan, and I wonder how wise it would be to let this huge industry simply collapse and all the suppliers with it.

Lots of questions, lots of thoughts ... it will unfold, as history does, and when it's all done, what will we think of ourselves?

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