Sorrows of Those at the Top.

I read a magazine article recently about our former living Presidents.  They are George H W Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W Bush.

While one reads only infrequently about them making public appearances together, apparently they see each other quite regularly.  There is even a downtown Washington, DC, townhouse set aside for their use.

According to the article, when they get together, they don’t discuss the political views they either share, or, do not share.  Instead, they discuss personal health issues and projects they share or do individually.  They all realize their names on an effort can make the difference in fund raising and public approval.

Jimmy Carter has always been the President I’ve found most interesting.  He has a certain level of idealism and the creative mind to put the idealism to work in ways not considered by other people.

He is arguable the worst politician of all of them.  Demonstrating this less than perfect political skill, he was the only one of the four who had something candid to say about their collective lives as ex Presidents, “We all have our sorrows.”

One wonders what those might be for each.  Is it the things we have come to know about each as failures, Clinton’s sexual escapades, Carter’s hostages and W Bush’s invasions.  Or, were they inside things, like betrayals of close people thought to be loyal.

Politics is such each will go to the grave with both loyal supporters and bitter enemies.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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32 Responses to Sorrows of Those at the Top.

  1. Henry says:

    Jon: “Sorrows of Those at the Top.”
    Obamba already has his Soros.

    http://sorosfiles.com/soros/

  2. buzz marick says:

    congrats jon,no God trashing.REFRESHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      buzz 12:54 Man, if I’m getting approval from Buzz I’m goin’ soft. :)

      • entech says:

        How do you trash what is not there Jon?

        • Henry says:

          Good point. Jon does. Therefore, He must be there. Otherwise Jon couldn’t trash. Again, good point.

          • entech says:

            A fine example of “the Christian” logic.
            Ignore all the questions and leap straight to the desired conclusion.
            Therefore God.

          • Henry says:

            You are denying that Jon trashes God? Your 5:05 questions, “how do you trash what is not there?”

            If your question is valid, and Jon trashes God, then there must be a God.

            This is very straight forward. However, I think your question led to an undesireable answer for you and your cause. Keep on with your damage control as you wish.

          • entech says:

            Henry, you must, by now, be aware that neither Jon nor I accept that the existence of this god is a valid hypothesis. From this it must follow that any references are not valid either.
            Just talking in terms you could understand, I would try harder, but it is not worth the effort when you are “bound” (good book Bondage of the Mind, recommended reading) you are also blind.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Re. “Bondage of the Mind”. I am reminded of Gen 3:1-7, and what it represents.

          • entech says:

            And that is the kind of thinking that keeps the mind in bondage. It is the type of ‘hyper-literalism’ that the book tries to eliminate. Talking snakes indeed.
            Excerpt from a review
            And this book is not like the books out now by Dawkins and Hitchens, as some make it out to be. This is not a treatise for atheism, far from it. It is exactly what its cover claims it is – the explanation of “How Old Testament Fundamentalism Shackles the Mind and Enslaves the Spirit.” I’d recommend it to anyone who believes they can read objectively.
            I can deny the will, can you deny the mind?

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            “and what it represents”. You are the one with the hyperliteral mind. Got any fig leaves for sale?

          • entech says:

            I thought this was settled I do not take those writings literally hyper or otherwise, I take them as metaphor at best and probably imaginative fiction.

            I do not know what it is supposed to represent, I am sure that it does not represent reality.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            And so it is and goes with the bound will.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 3:16 re: bound will

            Some of us skeptics here need the “found pill”. That’s the pill believers take which allow them to believe in the magical material in the Bible.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            First you is, then you isn’t. Which is it you ain’t?

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; That isn’t even worthy of a response. Other than an acknowlegment of your – - “boundness”. Smileee face.

  3. Avatar of Kevin Kevin says:

    Jimmy Carter thought wearing a hair shirt would be compensation for his privileged upbringing.
    I remember well having to suffer as a result of his self-indulgent policies.

  4. There are two letters to the editor today of which to take note. One is about allowing students in our school to pray….as Muslim students are already allowed to do in a special room set aside for them. So why not the same treatment for Jews, Christians and other religions. I find it fascinating that public schools allow this considering the fiddle faddle for years about the separation of church and state. The writer teaches in the West Fargo schools as a substitute.
    The other letter is about the truth that in spite of elections and their fallout on our society, God is still in control (in spite of denial by non-believers. Hard to take but it is the truth. For believers this truth stands firm and resting on it is much greater than those who try to control things themselves…..I have read on this blog often the desire to control things politically and religiously (Atheism is truly a “religion” that tried to impose its beliefs on others). I find Athiests to be far more zealous than Christians and Jews.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Buffalogal re: Today’s Fargo Forum letter, Muslim students who pray at school.

      I found this letter interesting, but took away from it something different. As you wrote, the two children are allowed to leave the classroom various times each day to pray. You seem to equate that to the old practice of teachers standing in front of the classroom leading the class in prayer, or, a speaker system in the school leading prayers.

      Non-Muslim children are not required see, hear or be in the presense of Muslim prayers. In this way, it is different than institutionally endorsed group prayers.

      The question is this. If Christian children requested permission to leave the classroom and go to a separate location to pray, would they be allowed to do so? I don’t know if this has ever been requested.

      If I were a parent, I would want my child to stay in the classroom and get his/her work done.

      • Henry says:

        Jon: “If Christian children requested permission to leave the classroom and go to a separate location to pray, would they be allowed to do so? I don’t know if this has ever been requested.”

        Jon, this is already being done after school hours. They have Good News Clubs in the public schools.

        I would have to assume the Christian children are not only getting their work done, they are also likely excelling at it. Your case is no exception. Your Christian roots made you a good little Christian boy that eventually became a doctor of philosophy. The wheel fell off sometime later.

    • entech says:

      (Atheism is truly a “religion” that tried to impose its beliefs on others)

      Atheism is a very strange “religion”.
      What do the outward manifestations look like? Temples, churches, synagogues, mosques, not really.
      What great works of art? what music or paintings? doesn’t seem to inspire much of that.

      What common creeds, statements of belief and dogmas? What forms of prayer and worship?
      Come to that what deity? what pagan or animist ideas? I have heard of a fad about “pet rocks’ but does anyone pray to them.

      I suppose the only things in common with religion in the orthodox sense is the proliferation of labels. Christians have Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Lutheran and so on, Islam has Sunni and Shia and about 40 minor forms, Jews can be Orthodox, Reform, Liberal etc. Well the atheists come in as Secular Humanists, Rationalists, freethinkers etc. We are on about the only common ground I can think of here, each claiming a particular label for themselves declares the others are wrong, to a greater or lesser degree.

      The religious don’t like to be alone therefore:
      I have religion, therefore atheism is a religion.
      I have faith, therefore atheists have faith.
      I have belief therefore atheists have belief.
      I must agree with the last one I believe I am getting a headache from this futility, I believe I will give the keyboard a rest for now.

  5. Good News clubs after school…yes Ulen Hitterdal has one that meets once a week.
    But Islamic kids get to LEAVE CLASS TIMES to pray in their little rooms…one of my grandsons had seen it done during class time. (in St Cloud)

  6. Jon I was not equating anything as far as school prayer; I just made the point that Islamic children are ALLOWED to leave classes for their prayer times. My grandson observed the following: “they go out of class two times a day to pray and we(Christian students) aren’t even allowed to pray in the lunchroom before we eat.”
    Schools are very afraid of Islamic repercussions if they do not allow these twice a day prayers when the students actually leave classes. (the religion of violence and threats) Some “separation of church and state”!!!!! That is my point…..that is ludicrous to say that church and state are separate when some students are allowed to leave classess for religious reasons during class time.

    • entech says:

      Islam dictates specific times of the day for prayers, a restriction on religious freedom would involve saying that they are not allowed to pray at those times. If it is an item of belief that only prayers under defined conditioned and at defined times then you are saying that they are not allowed to make valid prayers to their deity.
      If Christian children are not allowed to say grace before eating that too would be wrong.
      You can even have bible readings in class if you want, if it is a class on literature.
      Wasn’t there a time when everyone was supposed to go to church on Sunday morning, couldn’t enforce that but certainly make sure everything else was closed.

      Sounds to me that you are advocating discrimination against certain religious practices that you don’t agree with.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Buffalogal 11:11 You are right praying two times a day is more disruptive and time consuming than meeting after school once a week. I’m not sure the distinction is important from a legal standpoint. But then, maybe it has not been tested in court. A way to test it is for Christian kids to request the twice a day prayer time.

      While this issue, I suppose, falls in the category of freedom of religion and freedom of speech, it is the kind of thing I fear from what Catholics and the Christian right are promoting, “Religious Liberty Restoration”. The bill that was defeated in ND required no doctrinal documentation for exercise of some “REligious Liberty”, just whatever religious impluse the person felt “strongly”. If this had passed, it seems like clever students could claim they needed to pray 30 minutes out of each hour. With all the religions coming in and all those yet to be made up out of thin air, we’re going to see lots of crazy things.

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