This post has been edited after some delay from its original condition but not all that much. It still keeps a kind of unfocused and compound structure and still preserves in most passage the point of view of the time it was written. However, this first paragraph is entirely from October of 2015, while the rest is from May of 2013. Today it is easy to see that mass shootings across the United States, crises in Syria and related to Syria, bad relations with Russia and the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders will be among the trends and events for which the second Obama term is remembered. In addition it is also true that Amanda Know has finally been acquitted of almost all serious charges in truly final hearing. This does not answer all issues related to her case. Did she murder the woman and were false approaches a cause for a confusion that could never be overcome? Was there a ritual element that did or did not involver her or her boyfriend in any way? I assume and hope that she is as innocent as she now stands declared. I hope that she can go on with her life. But at the time I wrote this I was upset at the way connections were made and the way that paths were pursued. Italy is now retrying a woman executed for witchcraft 300 years ago. I do not believe there are no witches nor do I believe that none of them deserve to be prosecuted. I was very angry about the Amanda Knox prosecution because I did not believe a good case was made that she was a woman who was in fact a devotee of ritual murder. I also mentioned the heavy rockets and now we are seeing a real interest in exploring Mars related to current missions reporting from their and related to the fame of The Martian. A longer time has passed since I advocated planning to colonize the Moon and Mars. But the reasons to consider such a course are not less compelling.
So we now begin the more lightly edited section of this version of this post. I abandon the readers and history to the point of view that I had at that time. For many people it appears that all times seem largely alike even though new situations are always arising. Many people constantly say almost the same exact things about larger events than those in their own lives and some constantly revisit the same rhetoric for describing their personal situations. For me and for some others it is perhaps truer to say that each time is a bit different even though the situation in it are somewhat familiar and reminiscent or predictive of past and future situations. So this is a kind of transition paragraph between where I am now and where I was then in my thinking. From here down little has been changed but the formatting of a few lines. I can find in the lines below a view of who I was and what I was thinking a bit over two years ago.
For example in summing up the first weekend in May of 2013 for me I could write: “ My nephew won his first boxing bout at a scored tournament while others of us in his family, including me, have been absorbed in other matters. My call of congratulations missed him while he was out serving at Mass. Old friends have arrived from the Philippines to celebrate a big occasion with our family and my parents met them at the airport. My brother Joseph is celebrating a birthday a couple of days early. The weather is spectacular here in south Louisiana.” This exact mix of circumstances seems pretty unique to me.
This piece will be a bit longer than my average piece. Those who read my stuff frequently will know that I am interested in the dates on the calendar and what holidays are being observed and what seasons are in play from nature and the various political and cultural institutions of our time. For example as I have been working on this essay the Greek Orthodox Christians celebrated the Feast of Christ’s Resurrection. I have also noted that other things like the coming of The Great Gatsby have been going on. More personally, I have put up two videos in anticipation of the celebration of a family event. Lastly, I have mentioned the struggle I have experienced with allergy season. This is a time like any other when I am in synch with some things and out of synch with some other things. In recent years and over the course of my lifetime the media has been on occasion filled with the violent deaths of people on such occasions as the President Kennedy Assassination, the Martin Luther King Assassination, the Bobby Kennedy Assassination, Jonestown massacre, the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Rodney King Riots, the Waco Branch Davidian conflagration, Ruby Ridge raid, Colombine High School Shootings, the 9/11 Attacks Fort Hood Shooting, Colorado Dark Knight Shooting, The Newton Sandy Hook Shooting and the Boston Marathon Bombings. In addition to these violent episodes I think of all those I have known who have died suddenly and violently without so much media or public recognition. Many of them were pretty well covered in regional or local media but not at the center of the entire national discussion.
I have felt some sense of doing something important to myself at least as in recent weeks I have prepared and posted two of my intended trilogy of videos related to the fiftieth wedding anniversary of my parents. They represent and preserve in very brief form a kind of narrative and description of a story that I believe is important and certainly is important to me. As for the general tone and view point of the two video, I stand by them and they are in my opinion both true and authentic. Both emphasize the positive and good aspects of fifty years which have been just a bit longer than my own life and have been the single most significant influence on my own life. In this essay I am going to take a moment to reflect on both what my own life and point of view are and how I am seeing the life ahead of me – however short or long it may be.
The word English word critic and related words such as critique, criticize and critical come from Greek κριτικός (kritikós), “able to discern”, which is a Greek derivation from the word κριτής (krités), which means roughly “a person who offers reasoned judgment or analysis”. It is unclear whether there is any connection to a man named Crito and the Dialogue in Plato’s Dialogues or (Dialogs) named for Crito – The Crito. This is the last of the dialogs or conversations about philosophy in the life of Socrates. He is executed at the end of it and the pending execution forms the basic framework of the conversation. Crito is certainly both critical of Socrates for his refusal to resist execution by fleeing from prison with his assistance and he is criticized by Socrates for what he says. Thus it could be the character is given the name Crito by Plato (or fabricated with the name Crito –not everyone accepts that the dialogs are based on fact) or it could be that they try to live up to his name in the tone of their conversation. Also, despite some texts seeming to indicate that the word existed before Socrates it may be that this is a gloss by some ancient clerks and that the word came into Greek in honor of the death of the great gadfly and the actions of his companion. One is reminded of the conversation between Peter and Jesus regarding Jesus going up to Jerusalem to face crucifixion which follows upon Jesus declaring Peter’s role as Rock and precedes the mystical peak of the Transfiguration. When Jesus foretells his condemnation by the leaders of his own people and crucifixion by the Romans Peter is eager to persuade him to change his plans to avoid these horrible events. Jesus tells Peter (as retold in Mark 9 and Matthew 16) that he is in this instance “Satan” – opposing God’s will. So Crito criticizes the legal system to which Socrates has been a devoted citizen subject. When one comes across Jesus and Socrates one is reminded that not only they but quite a few other people have been very serious about things. It is a fact we can sometimes forget. While people often use the term pundit for people who comment on politics and events I think that I am by many measures more of a critic than anything else as regards the sort of writing I do in Facebook Notes and Blog Posts. Perhaps like Crito and Peter that criticism is often born of a sense of resentment for the way things are turning out and the costs involved. However, in the case of both Jesus and Socrates both were men who spent years being largely critical of others, of institutions, of laws and of sacred customs. Each intended to bring about change and each on did contribute to vast webs and ripples of change across space and time. Both were executed. In each case this had at least something to do with their own criticisms of the status quo.
Crito (Ancient Greek: Κρίτων) is a short but important dialogue by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. It is a conversation between Socrates and his wealthy associate Crito regarding justice (δικη). The men gathered in the cell or chamber where Socrates awaits his poisoned cup also converse in a disciplined manner in the same dialogue about injustice (αδικια), and the appropriate response to injustice. The truth is that it is more than just possible to empathize in both these cases of ancient teachers being killed with the opponent and critic beside them. Even such an unusual modern reader as myself readily wants to see a form of justice that does not require killing Socrates and a divine plan that does not require Jesus’s death. In the case of the Athenian philosopher Socrates thinks that justice cannot be repaid with injustice and two wrongs don’t make a right either. What that means is that when Crito offers to use money and influence to help Socrates escape execution the philosopher will not accept this and argues that he has been nurtured and lived under the Laws of Athens and should be willing to die by them as well. His duties to his family, friends, reputation and other matter Crito brings up to criticize his plan of accepting death are not relevant. He ends by having his disciples pay the sacrificial chicken he owes to a certain god. Part of human life is to face death and to try to find a way to face one’s own death well. Of course facing life is no easy task either.
I am not a hypochondriac but in addition to my health problems I have most of the problems which are experienced by those afflicted with a myriad of merely imagined diseases. I have been exposed to many horrible diseases and do not even have the resources to screen for which ones I might or might not have contracted. I am really stuck in a new way in my life despite the fact that it is a life in which being stuck has been a big motif all along. It may be that I was simply always going to be someone who negotiated a deal for something I did not much like rather than seeing life as a realization of hopes and dreams. It certainly appears that such an outcome is an ever more foregone conclusion. I am writing about this and wondering whether to try to continue on with anything else that I am doing online after my upcoming birthday. It seems to me that June 15, 2013 is a time to perhaps admit that I have done almost and at least nearly all I can do and it has brought me to a place that has nothing much to offer me anymore.
I am at a place in my life where it is possible and perhaps inevitable that I confront and analyze where life has brought me. It is a good time to take a moral inventory and also to try to define my own motivations. I also think that America is still at a place of crisis…
I am going to try to explain where I have come by some of the basic components and qualities of my point of view in this post. I think that there is not so much a need for this as there is a possibility that such an action could be useful.
Two Major Sources of My Critical Point of View and their Consequences
Problems of the Opposition
I take a critical position and have a critical point of view partly because I often oppose the politics of those in leadership in my own country. Partly, oppose the politics of those in leadership in my own country because I have already undertaken critical commitments.
Many people are more “oppositional” in much of their behavior than I have ever been. Jails, mental hospitals and cemeteries around the world are filled in part by people who acted more rashly and directly in opposing the order of things around them than I ever have. Yet, I have long and often opposed many of the powers at work in this world. Certainly I consider myself a more pronounced political opposition than either major party in these United States faces in the other party. Opposition has a high cost and is tiring. When one has confronted many opposing forces on behalf and in defense of one’s church and then other opponents in one’s church there is a cost in that. When one has confronted many opposing forces on behalf and in defense of one’s country and then other opponents in one’s country there is a cost in that. When one has confronted many opposing forces on behalf and in defense of one’s ethnic affiliations and then other opponents in one’s ethnic affiliations there is a cost in that. When one has confronted many opposing forces on behalf and in defense of one’s former political party and then other political party in one’s church there is a cost in that. I am not alone in having paid all of those varied costs. However, not nearly everybody has paid such costs.
I think that a certain amount of conflict is simply part of human nature. I do believe that my own nature is more imbued with a propensity to conflict than most human natures. But I have been in a number of situations that have heightened that aspect of my life… It was never really likely that I would wear a uniform of any military or police organization and I never have. But if I had done so then perhaps my life would make more sense from a variety of points of view. The closes I ever came to adding that kind of public and rational disclosure to my life’s history was a prolonged episode involving the Central Intelligence Agency known by its initials the C.I.A. or the CIA. This organization is the largest American civilian intelligence agency the position and structure of which have been reformed more often than other agencies. It lacks the kind of institutional support which the military can bring to its own agencies. Like a lot of people I grew up fascinated with spy movies and television shows. Twice before I was eighteen I met someone overseas whom I interacted with and who may well have been with the CIA. When I was sixteen years old I published a long letter to the editor in The Morning Star a Roman Catholic newspaper objecting to the draft and then going further. I had lots of reasons but as time went on felt that perhaps I had closed off a career that might be my best channel for my particular talents. In an onging process of figuring things out I applied to the Central Intelligence Agency while in college, seeking a career as an operative. I spoke with my wife, went through several phone interviews and was sent a first application. It was sort of approved and I was sent a second application and for it I got a recommendation from then US Senator John Breaux. This was sort of accepted and I was scheduled for initial testing and I sort of passed. Then I signed a confidentiality agreement of some kind for whatever happened thereafter. I cannot say more than that there were head games involved and I would describe my connections with the agency as just enough to endanger my friends and associates overseas by association and not nearly enough to get paid and supported.
I have spent a lot of time in places where there was conflict but I also have spent a lot of time alone in my room, at a picnic table in a park or elsewhere – reading, writing or using a computer’s keyboard or mouse. Solitude has defined my life as much as any conflict has and as much as the whole of conflict in my life has as well. These themes of conflict and solitude define my life in distinction and contrast to whatever themes of community and family there may be as well. Like a good number of people who write a lot I am fairly interested in myself. People tend to be interested in where there daily bread comes from and in the years when I taught, wrote, did outside sales or a number of other things for a living my daily bread seemed to come mostly from my own inner resources. So in writing and in other parts of my life, self absorption has been another theme which has been in contrast and distinction to themes of community and family in my life. Yet is all of this enough to describe whatever sense of alienation I have? Do the reasons for alienation matter much?
Just as I am posting this essay my parents have begun a series of events celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary, which actually falls on the Thirteenth of May. It pleases me that we have in some sense been able as a family to fully mark the occasion. It is a milestone each of my parents saw their own parents reach. I could easily devote all my energy to reflecting on and writing about that huge portion my life which is purely personal or familial. Given the joys and the difficulties this event occasions for me internally and objectively I could write a full note about that and not bother writing about the many social, cultural and political things I write about in this note. It is more dangerous to criticize the government than it used to be according to many analysts. I am not sure that is true, it seems many people criticize it and survive now and many people have been punished by third parties and varied public means for criticizing it since the start of the republic. But despite that reality of continuous risk I know I have already paid a price and risk paying a greater price. Yet I do choose not only to discuss events and trends but to criticize and oppose. I choose to state my grievances on many matters. My own life would provide plenty to write about, however, I am still compelled to address national and global matters in these posts.
For me the election of Barack Hussein Obama as President of these United States of America was a signal that the time had come for me to expend the very little energy and resourcefulness which I could devote to criticism in criticizing a man who would make already intolerable prospects of this country much worse and do so much more quickly. I still think that was an appropriate reaction to his election. But this note will not be in the same vein as most of the others I have written. This note will be largely about better aspects of the Obama Presidency.
I find myself writing this note from a position in a set of circumstances I could not have predicted. The fact that I am not feeling well is a small part of that unforeseen circumstance. The fact that I cannot afford to deal with the misery of allergy season effectively through any of many effective means (not all of them purely medical) and do engage in a tiresome and expensive struggle this time of year has social implications. Countless people have suffered far worse health conditions than I have and still do every day. Yet, I can look back on all the many bad days in my life as well as the good ones and know that I was often heavily burdened when I was undertaking things that would still have been a great challenge if I had not been burdened. It can seem at times as though my life has always been a combination of the effects of living in a society in decay, being personally ill used and struggling to maintain my health in adverse conditions. Yet I know there have been good times as well. So it is with Obama’s Presidency, it may turn out that serious wrongs come to be connected to him in time for which he shall be held responsible – yet he has not been as bad a President as could be. I want to discuss what has been better than the worst possible case…
I have been among Barack Obama’s most committed and harshest critics since the day he was elected President. In general that will continue until he is out of office or I am unable to criticize him. However, I have on occasion praised this or that decision he has made and this or the other thing he has done. In addition I have written a great many times that he did not personally create any number of problems and bad behaviors for which I hold him responsible. I am going to dedicate this essay appearing as a post or note to putting forth some balance as regards Obama. Balance is not the same as truth. This does not change our fundamentally polemic pose towards one another’s positions and even persons. This is simply a matter of balancing the record of things I have chosen to write about President Barack Hussein Obama. Even in this essay it will be necessary to include some critical remarks but I want to address areas where I will clarify things I have written before.
I am going to address five areas where I think Barack Hussein Obama has done a better job than my harshest rhetoric would suggest. I am going to mention three reasons why I have had to oppose him that do not reflect so badly upon him or even his presidency as some of the other reasons I have for my opposition.
Where I think Barack Hussein Obama has done better than I warned
Privatizing Heavy Lift Rocketry
Whatever bad things may have been happening in the space program the heavy lift rocketry program is not as badly off as I suggested it might be by now. His decision may be as good as any has been lately. SpaceX and the Antares rocket system are both promising developments.
It may be that Elon Musk and others are going to bring America surely and not so slowly into a better position in terms of the space industry than we have been in and do so with sufficient speed to make a difference. I think there is a lot wrong with the space industry and with US space programs but I think things are better than they had appeared to me to be and better than I had indicated in some of my early writings. In addition scramjet technology is advancing whether despite Obama or not. These things matter a great deal to me. I believe the space industry is essential to human hope. Obama may have done less to kill it and more to help it than I have given him credit for up until now.
Avoiding Directly Inciting Social Unrest
I have seen a change in America sense Barack Hussein Obama became President of the United States and it has empowered a flagrancy of violence and anti-social behavior as I predicted. It is also true that his rhetoric is often of the type which undermines the coherence of this society and puts a great deal at risk. I never said he would directly incite total social chaos and upheaval – inever implied that either. However, he has in fact been averse to sacrificing all the advantages of the presidency to be a mere demagogue. It is not a very big difference but he has done better than the overall tone of my remarks and predictions would suggest.
Personal Racial Sensitivity
There has been some discontinuity for the better between the Obama who was elected and the President. In some small degree he has been more fair-minded and lucid about racial issues and above all has not been continuously in the habit of evoking his blackness as a matter of shaping the discourse in public around the White House. The difference is not total but he has done better than some of my more extreme writing might have seemed to predict that he would.
Sustained Systemic Attacks on Constitutional Governance
While Obama has not been a great model of either reverence for the constitution or effectiveness in dealing with the constitutional machinery and political realities of governance he has not completely given up the effort to govern legitimately. I never said he would by this point or ever in so many words. However, I have suggested that he is a truly hostile force as regards our national well-being. In time history may be written that shows most of my worst fears are true or such history may not be be written. Then it will be up to others to see how correct such histories are anyway. For the moment, however, Obama is still acting as President and not something else. I suggested that his greatest harm had little to do with this issue and I still say so but he is at least acting as a President for now.
Confronting BP and Not Reconfiguring the Economic System
The Obama administration has done well in policing the BP disaster in the Gulf overall. One cannot doubt that many administrations would have done worse. I do not approve of every decision he has made but I do think he has enforced the laws we have and has not made a strong public push for some radical new solution like nationalizing BP. Overall, he has handled this crisis fairly well and his administration and legacy have both benefitted from his good work in this regard.
These sorts of overstatements are part of the cost of being a critic. They are not without impact on me or my long-term credibility and they are not entirely avoidable. This has been typical of the long lasting and building cost of being me in my own country and in the world. My next formative influence shaping my point of view has to do with the experience of being an American abroad.
The Problems of American Identity
In addition to my problems in fitting in with the prevailing views of things in the United States I have lived much of my life outside the United States and have many associates in other countries. Some are American and some are not. American identity is not all good or all bad. It does not make everything better or make everything worse but it certainly creates an influence on all aspects of one’s interactions in life. We know of protest against Americans throughout much of the Moslem world, that North Korea has more or less made a religion of hating and despising America and fearing it as well. We ought to know vastly better than we do of the many times the British and the European Union snub and sideline Americans in the international affairs. But there is more to all of this than that. The attitudes and realities , manifest in the Italian scene as regards the Amanda Knox trial have a great deal to show us about the state of American Identity in places like Perugia, Italy.
I watched the broadcast of the Amanda Knox interview with Diane Sawyer on ABC on the last night of April 2013. In watching it I came to the experience as one who has been around jails, trials, law offices, police stations, hospitals and crisis outreach programs a good bit. I am not easily shocked and I know that law enforcement is a complicated and messy undertaking. It seemed that smoking pot and sleeping around was more alright with some Italians than others. There may well have been a web of racial, national and ethnic tensions in all this that we will never fully understand. But the Italian legal system has declared that Rudy Guede is guilty. This black man whose DNA is allegedly all over the crime scene is an Ivory Coast native raised in Perugia. He got a shorter sentence than the 26 years assigned to Amanda because he gave evidence against her and her boyfriend and in that trustful relationship with the police he also opted for a fast track trial. Rudy Guede does not seem to be closely connected with Amanda in any previous allegations or anecdotes and to have been at most on the very edge of her life. He was convicted in October 2008 of having sexually assaulted and murdered Kercher, and is currently serving a 16-year sentence. He could be out on parole before the Knox matter is resolved. It also seems that in the trauma of her initial questioning by police Amanda implicated the black man with an African name fro whom she worked and that she was partially or very stoned on Marijuana at the time. If she had nothing at all to do with the murder she seems unprepared to be Secretary of State – but that is not the question at hand.
In October 2011, Knox and Sollecito, who had both been in prison for years were released after both convictions were overturned at the second level trial. The language used in overturning their convictions was stronger than the bare minimum needed to effect the deed of setting them free. Perhaps that and the American press makes it hard for Italy to swallow the criticism of their system The liberating court’s official statement of their grounds for overturning the convictions included language by the judges stating that there was a “material non-existence” of evidence to support the guilty verdicts. The judges further stated that the prosecution’s theory of an association between Sollecito, Knox and Guede was “not corroborated by any evidence” and “far from probable”.[ The murder and subsequent events, especially Knox’s arrest and trial, received worldwide press coverage, often in the form of salacious tabloid reporting. Some observers criticized the media for not describing the case accurately and dispassionately, as they believed it could influence the court case. In March 2013 the appellate trial judgment was set aside by the Italian supreme court. Knox and Sollecito’s appeal will be reheard.
I felt that the case presented to her native country’s people by this young woman justified some response from me even though it comes at a time when I have many other things on my mind and in which I am more convinced than ever that the only way to address the issues presented in this or any of the many crises confronting America is to undertake broad and sweeping changes. I am sure that there are other people with things to say and write and they can do so. But I am in a quiet an rational way enraged, once I become enraged I usually remember the cause for the rest of my life. That does not contain and encapsulate all of my emotions related to this incident but it does describe my principal emotion as relates to this matter. Perhaps Amanda Knox is a Satanist priestess who lures black men into her apartment to kill her roommates brutally in sex games. But this seems unlikely. It seems so unlikely that I think it would be good for Italians to find out that despite the movies not all Americans who are violent are Italian-Americans or Black. There is no miraculous pass that applies to human scum who use the courts to vilify and savage a nation and construct absurdities.
If the courts are right so let it be seen. If not then it might be unlawful to say that I hope some of the real American underworld will reintroduce itself to Italy in time so they do not fantasize about dangerous Americans and go blaming a promiscuous tourist. So because it is unlawful I am not saying it in this blog post. It might be good for them to know there really are some people who are both bad guys and Americans – 100% both. However, our government really is made up of a bunch of sissies – I can’t argue against that perception much. There is no lower form of life than the kind of prosecutor who handled this case if in fact he was guided only by prejudice. And his prejudice is a threat to all Americans.
The facts of the case do not suggest that Amanda had anything to do with the case. The facts do suggest that Americans are a persecuted and hated minority in Italy. Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher, a British university exchange student from Coulsdon, South London, roomed with Amanda Knox who did not flee the area or try to hide from the police or anyone else when her roommate was brutally murdered. Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher was murdered in Perugia, Italy, on 1 November 2007 at the age of 21 and there was lots of blood and a man was found guilty of raping her. She was found dead on the floor of her bedroom in the dwelling she shared with Amanda who was out sleeping with her boyfriend and Kercher’s body was left to in plain connection with the place Knox lived as she was rendered lifeless by stab wounds to the throat. Amanda and her sex and drugs lifestyle that may offend some people in Italian justice did not appear to need to provide any motive. The motives appear to have been rape and robbery. Some of Kercher’s belongings were missing, including cash, two credit cards, two mobile phones, and her house keys. Italians were on the court that threw out her conviction and among others who worked for her but there seem to be many who felt it was alright to suggest that she was violent and abusive because she was an American. Somehow I think that if American bombers had laid waste Much of Italy more recently than the forties there would be fewer Italians who would blame our violence primarily on the pot-smoking girls who have sexual adventures in Italian cities with big tourism industries. Europeans have often had a hard time distinguishing forensic guilt and social undesirability – as have many other cultures. But Americans have to take this factor of anti-Americanism into account. It is a policy concern.
It seems that the United States does have an extradition treaty with Italy and so there is the very real question of whether or not Amanda Knox will have to return to Italy to stand trial. There is also the very real question as to whether or not she was involved in the murder of Meredith Kercher. The facts of the case are not entirely in dispute nor entirely agreed upon by the parties but it does seem right to identify the questions of the case as it relates to an American sheltering under our flag who has at least in part been singled out as an American for being an American abroad.
A good country would be putting Italy in pain. We are not a good country. We are sick and weak. If Amanda Knox is a murderer that does not answer the whole question, she is not likely the kind they say she is. Italy is not the most hostile country and it is not all their fault. We need to teach our daughters to represent better values abroad but we also need to stop lying to ourselves. Fewer people fear us and more despise us every year and we need to change our attitudes at home to change that reality abroad.
So while I have no connection to Amanda Knox, an American exchange student from a different region of America and value the life of her roommate Kercher I must say I presume my countrywoman has been horribly lied about. I also believe Knox’s then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, an Italian student, who was convicted at the initial stage of a two-level trial process deserves support from Americans. They were sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively and now they can be retried. I have paid a heavy price for what I perceive as very little of what it takes to make a decent life. There is no way for me to relax and cheer up. But while I am critical I am not happy to always be critical. I wish I could celebrate happily and with abandon far more often. I wish I got along better with more people and groups. But I am myself and will keep being myself – it is not likely to be a future of happy and easygoing getting along…