I had originally intended to title this post "On Religion", but upon introspection, the issue is dogma as much as it is religion, and I believe I'll explain this adequately later.
If you've read the prior posts in this series, you will probably have many assumptions about what I intend to say. You're probably right. Let's dive in.
Merriam-Webster defines dogma as follows: a :something held as an established opinion; especially :a definite authoritative tenet b :a code of such tenets pedagogical dogma c :a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate groundsa doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church
Dogma, in a non-religious sense, is not damaging in and of itself. It is only as benign or malignant as its content, as well as how it is applied directly and indirectly to a population. For that matter, secular humanists subscribe to a certain level of non-religious dogma.
The complexities of the current state of international conditions and relations are compounded by the occupant of the White House. This article will not focus on him, because there are larger issues that have nothing to do with his lack of qualifications or immature behavior. My hope is to give us a few things to think about about diplomacy and foreign affairs more generally.
The United States has been a successful experiment in nation-building. Here we are, 240+ years after our Declaration of Independence, and 230 years after our Constitution was ratified. There are very good reasons to feel that the US is exceptional, because our people represent the people of the world, thanks to our history of immigration, innovation, cooperation, collaboration, and exploration.
But we're not the only ones to be ground-breaking, and we're not the only great country on the planet.
Americans have a well-earned reputation around the world, and not all of it good.
I lived in Europe in the mid-…
In April, I was working for a few weeks in New Hampshire, and a few days after I returned, my beloved Belgian Malinois presented with some scary symptoms. He kept falling, as if one side of his body were weaker, and he was vomiting. My first reaction was that he had suffered a stroke, and I went into a panic. I normally consider myself calm, cool, and logical when adverse situations occur, but my dog is my baby.
And I could not imagine what rehab one might do for a dog who had had a stroke.
We rushed him to a 24-hour animal hospital in Gilbert, AZ. He was diagnosed with "Old Dog" vestibular disease, also called idiopathic vestibular disease.
It is somewhat common in older dogs (my dog is now 12 years old), and most owners react exactly the way I did.
According to Dr. Jennifer Coates of website petMD: The vestibular system is composed of portions of the brain and ear and is responsible for maintaining our sense of balance. When som…