ERROL CASTENS: Interrupted sleep breeds codgerations

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

One “blessing” of middle age and beyond is the frequent inability to sleep. Some resulting early-morning random codgertations:
* The U.S. Constitution codifies our inalienable right to PURSUE happiness; we can’t call up and have it delivered like pizza.
* According to the founders’ way of thinking, only God confers rights; government’s role is simply to protect them.
* Note to fellow journalists, since it’s likely to be referenced repeatedly during the 2012 campaigns: Despite some commonalities, evangelical Christians are far from being a uniform group. We include intellectuals and illiterates, Pentecostals and Presbyterians, rich and poor, black and white, old-Earthers and young-Earthers, Calvinists and Arminians, musicians orchestral and a capella, political activists and those who eschew politics altogether.
* I suspect Muslims are as varied as evangelicals – maybe even Christians as a whole – which gives room to hope that the headline grabbers that changed our nation that September morning 10 years ago are an exception that may someday become little more than a footnote.
What little I know about Muslim theology doesn’t reinforce that hope a lot, but my wife’s friend Iman does. Though she grew up in Egypt, reared her children in Mississippi and now resides in Canada, Iman showers affection on neighbors Muslim, Christian and otherwise with her prodigious culinary skills. A platter of her handmade baklava expresses goodwill as effectively as any Baptist casserole ever has.
* It is no coincidence that “thrift” and “thrive” share the same origin.
* As evidenced by many of the questions in Wednesday night’s Republican debate, moderators aren’t always moderate.
* The most useless phrase in the English language: “It’s not my fault.”
* “Nonprofit” doesn’t necessarily mean someone is not getting rich.
* “Too big to fail” is a faulty translation of “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”
* Leftist hysteria notwithstanding, advocating sensible, constitutional limits on governments’ roles differs in some significant ways from espousing anarchy, slavery and mass starvation.
* One British public service announcement proposes increasing taxpayer support for the arts in the U.K. on this basis: “Let’s face it: We crap at most things these days. … If we allow (the arts) to be destroyed, then one of the few things we have left to be proud of will be gone.” If that’s really the case, Britons ought to be more concerned about their culture than their arts.
* On the other hand, I’ll toss such accusations gently, given that America increasingly resembles a glass house.
* Advice from personal experience: Before you chew up that straight-off-the-vine piece of heaven known as a cherry tomato, check all sides for stinkbugs.
Contact Daily Journal Oxford Bureau reporter Errol Castens at

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