This was, of course, a source of distress for mother and I. You do everything you can to raise them properly, but ultimately all you can do is love them, cherish every day together, and hope they make the right decisions.
When Mike ventures into political subjects on his weblog, I'm pretty sure that we'll pick opposite sides whence comes the War of the Bloggers, then meet in a trench where one of us receives a gaping bayonet wound, the other a lifetime of guilt.
Until then, I enjoy finding things on his site that I missed because I am a let-the-gay-whales-marry liberal, such as an incredible essay by Gerard Van der Leun on the day he didn't kill anybody:
... as humans, we have an almost limitless ability to forget any hint of 'could' when it comes to horror. In those few moments when our forgetfulness fails us, we remain secure in our belief that we would never do such things to those we love. We know to an absolute certainty that anyone who could must not have been "in his right mind."
That's a common but still strange phrase -- "in his right mind." Everyone uses it as shorthand for things people do that are, large or small, somehow far outside what we normally expect them to do. Nobody that I know of takes it to the other side of that common phrase and looks at what a person does when he's "in his wrong mind."
It's a brilliant, honest, frightening piece, and I love the fact that he wrote it without a single editor pondering whether his thoughts merited a global audience.
Another mark in Mike's favor: He's riding Paula Abdul harder than a disqualified contestant.
When my comrade-at-arms, Ed Slavin, and I confer to plan new guerrilla strategies,
I flatter myself with fantasies that we're like Addison and Steele, cranking forth our own "Spectator" essays.
We want to bring some literacy, and some levity, to the local political scene.
We meet in the brotherly spirit of Alexander the Great, ready to gird our loins, and do battle, but also to pay due honour to that Great Spirit of the World, who inspires us to seek after Knowledge.
I once supervised a work crew of three Bosnian Muslims, and one Serb. You might think this a volatile combination, but they worked well enough together.
Embarrassingly, they called me "Meister" (they spoke German better than they did English), not as an empty gesture of obeisance to the "Boss", but out of respect for my skills as an artisan in wood.
I was impressed by their civilized approach to political debate: one man has the floor, and holds forth at length, for up to ten minutes at a time.
The others hold their peace, and let him speak. They may be champing at the bit, eager to jump in and demolish the speaker's thesis, but they honor the spirit of debate, and each man has his turn.
How unlike the typical Sunday morning TV pundit brawl here in the U.S., where adults behave badly.
Even Buckley can't restrain himself, when it's Harvard against Yale.
Nowadays, I don't think one American male in a hundred has an attention span of more than thirty seconds, unless he's talking about sports.