This will be short and sweet. We got back Saturday night to LAX. The passengers milling around the baggage carousels looked desperate, terrified, unhinged. Why? I can well recall when I flew to LAX in the 1970s. The terminals were open air. The passengers looked happy and relaxed. Now they look as if they are fleeing Islamic State.
Maybe they are. Maybe that’s why they look so scared. We have so many immigrants in LA now. Many from the Middle East, fleeing bad situations, fleeing for their lives. Some of them live near me in Beverly Hills. No matter how rich they are — and they are often rich — they look fearful.
Their grandchildren may look happier. Maybe. Meanwhile, in my mind’s eye, I go back to Greenville, where the passengers and their families look happy. I miss Greenville. I miss Jean playing the piano at the Poinsett Club. I miss the waffles at the Waffle House.
I want to look and feel relaxed. Hard to do if you are me and have so many people asking you for money.
Anyway, today I went to my prayer meeting, where we talk about recovering from self-hurtful behavior. A woman sitting near me said that until she found God, she did things to herself that she “wouldn’t do to her worst enemy.” I thought that was brilliant. How many times have I drastically harmed myself? And how many times has God helped me?
Meanwhile, Phil sent me an article about a famous scientist named Watson who helped discover DNA. He’s been shunned because he says the evidence is that people from Africa are not as intelligent as other people. This seems strange to me. Now, I can tell you that I work and have worked with some super intelligent black people. So, obviously, there is much to quarrel with in Dr. Watson’s assertion. But if Dr. Watson’s data is wrong, as I assume it is, then let’s correct that data. That would be far more convincing than persecuting him. I wonder what the data is. It would be tricky to assemble it because the environmental factors for blacks and whites are often different. But the real point here is that maybe it’s better to argue and debate with people we disagree, and collect data on the subjects in dispute than to treat our opponents as lepers. Isn’t that what science is all about? Racism was based on totally phony “science” under Hitler and maybe it’s time to have real science in every field, instead of persecution of the minorities who have minority points of view. In any event, all Americans have equal rights under law, and maybe that’s the key point. There are all different kinds of Americans, but we all have the same rights under law. That’s what makes us a great nation.
On to another subject: Phil gave me a tablet device for me to use on trips. I was worried about it, but I took it to my local Beverly Hills Verizon store. It was supposedly a Verizon-oriented machine.
Ooops. The young man there had no idea — and I mean NONE — of how to set up this device. Okay. I tried to buy a battery from him for my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Notes 2 phone. Ooops, again. Incredibly, Verizon stores do not sell Verizon phone batteries. Can that be true?
Meanwhile, four other customers came into the store and the clerk could not help them with anything.
There is a bit of a lesson here: we economists are worried about productivity that is rising much more slowly than it used to rise. No one seems to know why. But I have an idea. Because our workers are so poorly educated relative to the tasks they are called on to perform that they are a dead weight on the economy.
Maybe the collapse of education is actually finally taking its toll. It was bound to and now it is.
And meanwhile, as ISIS rolls heads and crucifies the innocent, we pass our days gossiping about movie stars and worrying whether a fifty-day session of a Grand Jury in Missouri was thorough enough — and we humiliate and torture a man held to be innocent of any crime and who was risking his life for us. The way we dump on the people guarding us, the police, the cops, who have ten times the guts any of us has, well, it is just sickening. The people who loot or steal are heroes and martyrs and the cops who protect us are criminals? We have a lot of learning to do.
Tomorrow it is supposed to rain torrentially here. We need it in every way.