Like everyone, I have been watching with interest and anxiety over the Obama administration's threats of military attacks on Syria to "degrade" their capability to deliver chemical weapons. I, like most of my fellow citizens of the U.S., are having a hard time buying into the whole ordeal. It simply smacks of more overt militarism based on shabby evidence and a blind eye to the unavoidable unintended consequences that military action brings on. To that extent, it has been an unpleasant surprise, and a cold washrag in the face, that Obama is so fervently behind doing this.
Last Sunday we visited Cheekwood, a Nashville, TN art museum located in an historical mansion in Belle Meade, an older, very wealthy neighborhood on the west side of Nashville. Cheekwood isn't the municipal art institution that the Frist center is, but it is born and sustained by wealth. And, wealth has enabled the facility to acquire, maintain, and exhibit a great visual art collection.
The New Yorker has a recent story about the man, a Mr. Arnett, who "discovered" Thorton Dial, an Alabama "folk" artist. Of course, it's a kind of ridiculous concept that our society has embraced that you can "discover" something that's been there all along. It's sort of an historical account of how Arnett, a white guy, came to look for "artists," black for the most part, that were creating really great pieces of artwork but were totally unknown to society through the mainstream media. You mean the mainstream media was missing something important?
After we attended Fancy Farm picnic last Saturday, we drove about 100 miles north to Mt. Vernon, Illinois. This is up in the neighborhood where I grew up. We went to see the opening of the Southern Illinois Biennial, a juried art show sponsored and exhibited by the Mitchell Art Museum, part of the Cedarhurst arts complex in Mt. Vernon.
Kristi and I attended Fancy Farm picnic Saturday. We don't go every year, but this year seemed particularly interesting, with Grimes and McConnell scheduled to speak for the last couple weeks, and then, just recently, the addition of Matt Bevins, the Tea Party republican making a primary challenge to McConnell, and Ed Marksberry, another democrat running against Grimes. Marksberry is pretty insignificant at this moment, though, compared to Bevins, especially after the political speaking at the picnic on Saturday.
By now most everyone knows that Alison Lundagren Grimes, Kentucky's Democratic secretary of state, has announced that she is challenging long time U.S. Senator and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell in the fall, 2014 elections. Of course, Grimes is a long shot in many ways as McConnell has lots more money, lots more experience, and will do just about anything to stay in power.
Several weeks ago I was fortunate to usher at the Carson Center for two concerts. The first was Huey Lewis and the News. That was on June 11, 2013, if I recall. Then, the following Saturday, Exile, opened by the Bellamy Brothers, appeared in the same venue. I ushered for both shows.
Huey Lewis and the News
Art groups are nothing new. Artists have been banding together for centuries for the purposes of exhibiting together, helping each other with techniques and inspiration, financial help, in response to political situations, and other reasons. These groups get together for a variety of reasons ranging from sharing similar theories or philosophies or techniques of art to geographic proximity.
It's been awhile since I have written a Sunday News show column, although I watch them every Sunday I am able, which is most. Today I thought they were relevant enough to comment about, because they all were talking about the issues that Obama is facing.
There were a few things that I learned that I thought were interesting. The most significant to me is that the outpost where Ambassador Stevens had been killed in Libya was not a state department facility, but in fact a CIA facility. That may have had something to do with how they wanted this portrayed in the public.
It has been awhile since I've written anything. It isn't that I haven't been doing anything - I have. I just don't spend nor have nearly as much time on computer than I used to have. Times change. But I have to comment about the "trouble" that Obama finds himself in now. There are three main issues that are irritating his administration right now - one is the IRS, one is the attack on Benghazi, and the last is the tapping of communications between Associated Press reporters and their sources to try and gather information on a leak that the administration didn't like.
I haven't been writing nearly as much as I have at one time or another, but that's ok. I don't worry about it too much. But I think about writing quite a bit. There is so much going on that is fascinating, important, relevant, exciting, but I don't have nearly as much opportunity these days to sit and collect my thoughts and write them down.
But I do want to document a few things about the springtime that is starting to occur. Actually, spring has been going on for awhile even with the cool temperatures, but it is really busting loose now.
I want to write some recollections from back during the Bush administration. I'm not sure of the year without researching it, but it was while I was a member/chair of the US Dept. of Energy's Paducah Site Specific Advisory Board, or SSAB. The SSAB was supposedly a committee of citizens from a wide variety of interests and professions that operated under the rules of the Federal Advisory Committee Act in order to give recommendations to the DOE on the cleanup of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant - a government owned uranium enrichment facility that has been operating since 1952.
It's been nearly a month since I have written in my blog. A lot has happened politically, locally, nationally and internationally. The environment is becoming more and more discussed, although it still isn't getting the real attention that it should.
Wow, it's been nearly three weeks since my last post. That's a long time, but this time of year I just don't have the unlimited time on computer that I do in the summer because we don't have the power for me to just sit at the computer at home, and I'm working almost full time. So my computer time is limited to times when I am home on a sunny day or at a public place.
I didn't find anything earthshaking in the Sunday News shows. Of course, the shows were full of Petraeus, but seemed to focus more on the Libya attack than his personal problems. The media wants to know if there is anything there that might cause more serious problems for the administration. And then there is the issue over Susan Rice and whether or not she would be nominated and confirmed when and if Hillary Clinton steps down as Secretary of State. (I'm sure Obama wishes she would just stay on, but a person can only do so much).