On the Common Good

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Common good is at the center of any and all relationships involving two or more people. Although organizations embrace common good when developing a mission statement, putting it into action is easier said than done.

As a concept, common good may be easy to define as the benefit of society as a whole, but developing a meaning in today’s complex society would be difficult. After all, common good engages philosophy, morality, economics, culture, politics, religion, and more while having different meanings to different people and different groups. Even the Preamble to the US Constitution states, “… promote the general Welfare and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Is this statement same as common good?

Democracy depends on governance for the common good, but what that entails today may be a complex story in itself. Personally, I don’t have much confidence in elected officials being able to agree on a definition, let alone other aspects that would follow. However, common good is a concept that is so foundational, failure to agree is like trying to construct a building without a strong foundation.

To engage and implement common good, people must agree on the common facts. Even with agreement, disagreement on how to get to the common good is understandable – actually very likely because the different ways exist on achieving the common good. In the US, although Democrats and Republicans may agree on a common good, they may have fundamental differences on how to get there – and that’s fine.

However, declaring and accepting fake news fundamentally prevents agreement on the common facts – so doing for the common good would not only be highly improbable – but probably impossible.

If democracy is about the common good, then democracy must have reasonably well-informed citizens. Unfortunately, society includes those to whom truth is the enemy – the fools and liars who are misinformed and underinformed – let alone those who use a partisan lens to selectively filter the facts.

Life today is about information and fast access to it. The problem isn’t information’s availability or the mainstream media – not even the biased nature of well-known media personalities and outlets who feed red meat to their hungry flock.

A problem is the biased nature of a large slice of the public that selectively determines their preferred news source based on one that provides a message to hear – a message aligning with their predetermined view of the world.

A problem is when listeners determine immediate judgment on a legitimate news report because they have to protect their personal interests.

A problem is that given a fast and open information system, good journalism can give way to favoring expediency over accuracy.

A problem is that too many accept reports from obscure outlets as reliable because the story supports the preferred narrative the person desires.

A problem is that the truth is no longer a high priority.

All of these problems come together to prevent people from agreeing on the common facts – therefore no hope for acting for the common good. Perhaps that’s the greatest dangers to democracy.

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On Two Forms of Energy and Grace

Hmmmm …. I wonder what these represent?

 

I still can’t tell what’s going on, but this is whimsical to me.

 

Even though it is difficult for me to apply meaning, I like this abstract design

 

Is this representing a bug or a fish?

 

But it connected to something.

 

Yet it all comes together forming Energy and Grace – after all, energy and momentum are connected.

 

When I first saw the ArtWorks mural, the abstract side of me liked it, but it doesn’t deliver the boldness that I also enjoy. I see fun, but it also bores me relatively quick. Yet, it served as ArtWorks first abstract mural.

Three reasons exist for Energy and Grace:

  1. Saluting the resurgence of the downtown neighborhood known as Over the Rhine (OTR)
  2. Celebrating the Art Academy of Cincinnati (AAC), which moved to OTR in 2005
  3. Honoring an internationally acclaimed local artist who is also a faculty member at AAC

ArtWorks and AAC collaborated in 2013 to transform one of Kim Krause’s paintings into this mural located at 16 E. 12th Street in downtown Cincinnati. Energy and Grace’s design displays energy and momentum in a fun and whimsical way.

Not long ago I introduced BLINK Cincinnati to readers. For BLINK, Brace Berlin (a production services company) transformed this mural with projection mapping into their version of Energy and Grace – and it is featured below in this 30-second promo for BLINK. Enjoy.

 

To see more of my posts about the murals of Cincinnati, click here.

To learn more about artist Kim Krause, click here to visit his site.

Thanks to Resa (Toronto’s leading lady) whose posts about street art in Toronto and Winnipeg, got me interested in outdoor art in my area. I invite readers to visit Resa’s blog (but tell her I sent you).

On Introducing BLINK

I was probably like many Cincinnatians who unknowingly wondered about the BLINK event when it was announced and eventually promoted. I was also one of the many Cincinnatians who attended the 4-day event in mid-October that left enthusiastic and in awe. Officials estimate 1 million people attended BLINK.

2017 was the first year for BLINK in Cincinnati. I recall reading that this was the first event of its kind, but I couldn’t confirm it. Nonetheless, BLINK unquestionably shined a light on the city and I’m confident the future will bring BLINK-like lights to other locations.

BLINK was a light and art festival spanning 20-city blocks from near the river through city center into a rejuvenated downtown neighborhood. Because it was a festival of lights, the event didn’t start until dusk.

BLINK was a free event – no admission charge – all people needed were good shoes for walking and a wandering nature to find the featured displays of projection mapping (22), lighted displays (5), light art (35), new murals (10), and music. Interestingly, artists from all over the world provided the displays. Over time, I will do have several posts about BLINK, but wanted to introduce it first.

Here are two short videos delivering snippets of the great show – and I hope you watch both. The first is a 3-minute video posted by the Cincinnati Enquirer. Because I couldn’t embed it, click here. The video below is worth the 2 minutes. Enjoy the glimpses of BLINK.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 350

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Although I took a low-key approach to #2000, I greatly appreciate the comments. Yes, they collectively choked me up a bit. Thank you!

I can’t believe WordPress didn’t sent me a special badge. Then again, maybe they did, but I can’t find it.

I had to look, but the first 1,000 took 4 years 1 month … the second thousand took almost 5 years 5 months. Especially given my age, I’m trending in the wrong direction for the next 2,000! But hey – thanks for the encouragement. 🙂

I had to check the party for #1000. I enjoyed looking at the names from the past. Approximately 67 attended: 12 are still here (more than half attended #2000), 14 are still active bloggers but no longer visit, and 42 are no longer active.

My next venture: The IF Challenge. A new (and temporary) page detailing this challenge on a tab. Bottom line, construct a post centering around the word “if”. Writer’s choice of format (poem, short story, graphic, etc). Dates are TBA – probably a specific announcement in the next OITS for the challenge post within 7 days after.

This weekend I hope to introduce readers to BLINK Cincinnati, which will be a series of posts.

We saw The Post (Meryl Streep/Tom Hanks). Thumbs up – but I enjoyed Darkest Hour more. As with any movie based on history, details are often omitted (because of time), massaged or even made-up to improve the movie’s flow – therefore, I often wonder how much of the movie is true. Here’s one such view of The Post.

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Here’s an interesting post about integrity by a blogger that I don’t know. Raye, thanks for leading me there.

The government shutdown was ridiculous. The 3 comments below stuck with me this week.

A president who can’t make a deal, Republicans struggling to govern, Democrats shaped by their anti-Trump base. (Dan Balz, Columnist, Washington Post)

What’s striking is Republican operatives said to me they think this president is erratic, he’s undisciplined, he’s inconsistent which makes it tough for him when he tries to get himself engaged in a deal like this. (Peter Alexander, NBC National Correspondent)

Where’s the empathy in my party? Al Cardenas, Republican Strategist)

This article by The Guardian definitely has an intriguing title: “The 12 Weirdest Days From Trump’s First Year”.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion capsulizing the history of the World Economic Forum.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Area man thinks movie he saw should have been nominated
Lustful man sensually uses one hand to unhook clasp of take-out box
Ophthalmologist instructs patient not to look at anything 24 hours before eye surgery
Man wishes women in crowded bar would let him read Jane Austen novel in peace
Newborn has father’s asshole
Real life Michelin Man dies (Photo here)

Interesting Reads
Defending the grid
Soybean to diesel fuel: is it worth it?
Feeding 1.4 billion Chinese
Feeding 10 billion people globally
Plague Fort in Russia
(Photos) London Lit

To send you into the weekend, here’s another one from The Cars on the way to their upcoming induction. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Trumpian Nostradamus 2

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Being that enough readers understood my first set of predictions about the Trump Administration for 2018, I went back to the crystal ball to see if I could find 10 more prognostications. Here’s the scoop.

1) President Trump negotiates a peace and economic agreement with North Korea; therefore avoid nuclear war. At the joint signing session, he embraces Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un while eating a taco bowl from the Trump Tower Grill and proclaims this agreement to be the greatest deal in the history of human existence. Kim Jong-un also announces an agreement to bring a Trump Tower Grill to Pyongyang.

2) President Trump unites the United States and China by building the greatest bridge in recorded history that joins Seattle and Shanghai. Because everyone knows he can build things, he will call it the Trump Bridge for Humanity, then proclaim it as the greatest architectural and engineering feat in human history that will never be outdone.

3) President Trump supports the final report issued by Special Counsel Investigation led by Robert Mueller. After lauding Mueller and his team, President Trump pardons everyone involved including himself, and invites all pardonees to enjoy celebratory taco bowl from the Trump Tower Grill.

4) President Trump ends Russia-US tensions by negotiating the most unbelievable deal in modern history as he becomes the first person ever to lead two independent countries at the same time. Known in Russia as Czar Genius, he proclaims Vladimir Putin to be the head of all oligarchs in Russia, primary advisory, and Global Ambassador.

5) President Trump negotiates an agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The deal – a really big fantastic deal for both sides – something no US president has ever been able to do – actually the best deal ever for not only the Middle East, but for the world.

6) President Trump buys 3 failing media outlets: CNN, Washington Post, and New York Times – and vows to turn them into the biggest and greatest news organizations that will only reports real news.

7) President Trump scraps the Iran Nuclear deal because it was Obama’s fault – but then renegotiates a much better, more fair deal – actually an unbelievable deal – the best deal that Iran has ever seen – a deal that also includes building a Trump Tower in Tehran – and yes, it includes the Trump Tower Grill so Iranians can eat the world-renown Taco Bowl.

8) After taking credit for no deaths from commercial plane crashes in 2017, President Trump blames President Obama for a recent plane crash.

9) President Trump announces that he will build a wall along the southern US border that Mexico will pay for. The wall – a big, beautiful wall – one more beautiful than anyone imagined. The top of the wall includes a running lane, a fishing pier allowing fisherman to cast lines from the top of the wall into the Rio Grande River, and food venues serving tacos from the Trump Tower Grill.

10) President Trump describes himself as humbled, honored, and as the greatest humanitarian in human history after being awarded multiple Nobel Prizes.

On 2000

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Because I like milestones, celebrating my 2000th post was a given, but I’m going with a low-key approach – a post with a little reflection – a post where I can appreciate the presence of those who stop by to comment – and surprisingly, not a post featuring many factoids about the number.

The journey since 28 August 2008 has been interesting. I have no doubt about the many good people I’ve encountered in my little corner of the world. Good people simply have a way of finding each other.

That first post was a short one, but below is the one paragraph that has served as a guiding light for me … and I’ve done that!

To readers I promise insight, yet will respect comments from others. I will be respectful to all as bashing is not my style, thus hope others are the same. Disagreement and criticism are fine, but it should be done with class. Other times I will simply provide information for readers to use.

Blogs involve an interaction between the writer and readers. I greatly appreciate the readers here – and a special tip of the hat to the hardy that have been around for much of my journey. The visitor with the longest tenure has been Tim – a personal friend here that I’ve known for many years. He actually encouraged me to start the blog after I told him of the possibility. Thanks to all the readers, especially those who have taken time to comment. A toast to all who have stopped by here – especially those who took the time to comment.

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What’s ahead? Well, more of the same. I can say that I have over 10 posts in the ready queue (including a short story) – and more typical-me posts about eclectic topics in draft mode. Onward toward the next milestone – 10 years.

Videos have played a vital role on many of the 2000 posts, so I end this occasion with a song you may not know – but the title fits for my view of my readers – and it was the opening song at the first Moody Blues concert I attended. Thanks for stopping by and for supporting my little corner of the world – Be well, do good work, and stay in touch. (Garrison Keillor)

On a Year Later

At 12 noon on 20 January 2017, Donald J Trump became the 45th president of the United States. I intentionally timed this post for publication to meet the one year anniversary of him taking the oath to ask this question: What has he learned about holding the highest office of the land? What has he learned being a business person without any experience in holding any political office in any level of government? What has he learned about occupying the Oval Office, the setting for who many consider as the Leader of the Free World.

Yes, What has he learned? Below are ten key points that I believe he has learned about the presidency since his inauguration one year ago.

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