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April 1, 2010

Hawthorn Hill: Reflections

Several days ago the health care bill passed. I am glad that it did.

It is certainly not a perfect bill and there are aspects of it, especially such shenanigans as the ``Cornhusker Kickback,’’ that rankle. But anyone familiar with any political process, be it village or national politics, knows that in order to get anything done deals are made, compromises are forged, and lofty aspirations often fall prey to more modest, politically achievable results.

One of these days I hope we do find the moral fortitude as a nation to care enough about one another to create a system of universal health care for all.

There is a strange and troubling irony about our national penchant for starting wars in far away places knowing full well that thousands on both sides will die.

And that those who happen to survive such inexcusable barbarism will suffer in innumerable ways for the rest of their lives. What is it that makes it so easy for us to go to war, even begin them under false pretenses, and suggest that those of us who oppose such idiocies are somehow less patriotic because we see no earthly, or spiritual, justification for such self-destructive escapades in the first place. There is just something downright puzzling about the way in which we set national priorities. Frankly, I do not care a whit which political party anyone belongs to. I wish we could do away with them.

Madison warned us about factionalism a long time ago and his fears have come home to roost. People are so dug into their factional foxholes these days that civil discussion is nigh impossible.

I need not review the ugliness that certain partisans have exhibited publicly the past several weeks.

It is not surprising, really, since anyone whose head is not buried in the sand knows that ugliness, most often nurtured by fear and ignorance, is alive and well throughout this land. Unfortunately, we share this pathology with the rest of the world. I wish I was optimistic about its eradication. The extent to which we live in fear of terrorist attacks is a testament to the heightened levels of insanity that hatred has evolved to.

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