Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Purists versus reality

This is part of a long post at Open I am putting up many saved thoughts to get this blog started...

Democracy in a pure "everybody gets a say and a vote on everything" is clumsy even in small committees, much less in giant nations or the world. That does not mean that representational democracy is an oxymoron, or that the existence of a leader is proof of a lack of democracy.
Even in said committee someone has to count and announce the votes. The real trick is [b] how you hold the representative responsible [/b] to do the will of those he represents.

When the US was founded there were few examples of representational democracy, and none that encompassed such a large geographic area. On top of that there were well known evils that never the less had a strong constituency, and not a few lesser ones that no one had thought through because they were so pervasive. How and how quickly such evils should be addressed are the historical base of real Liberal and Conservative discussion but no longer.

Given all that, the result was amazingly strong and effective, but many Democracies since have added a few bits to prevent some of the rougher edges that experience taught. Foremost among these is various ways to avoid "winner take all"that has been a constant problem in American politics, that forces any third party to assist the side they like least.

And while many evils have been addressed by amendment or law or legal ruling ( basically by any means possible) many structural flaws, and unintended consequences have been impossible to address. As well Technology has changed the world with good and evil consequences the would give the founders headaches just to think about.

To recognize that old and new evils exist, is not to "Hate America", but to try and make every level of life better than we found it. To support thuggery because they are "our thugs" is hardly patriotic, even when the enemy is real. Nothing makes an enemy more so, than his outrage at your thuggery, and the expectation he would be treated similarly. Even if his side does worse, as he usually also "patriotic" and blind to his own evil as any who substitute gut for brain.

The outrageous thuggery of 9/11 had even Iran on our side for a bit, and aware skillful actions, by a legitimate leader, might well have set the world to scouring out those who would act so brutally, no matter the particulars of ideology or theology. Sadly the Ship of State had a bumbling fool of a fake captain at the helm to drive the ship into Iraq.

Sadly I only wish they went in for "only" oil. It would seem that there was to be an enemy of the month club, of a couple weeks to build up, a couple weeks to take over and a couple weeks to build and plan the next one. That this might not work beyond a crazed fantasy, did not stop them from applying it to the first two before getting bitch slapped by reality.

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One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between 2 "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility,
kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:

"Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

from an old tale.

The Golden Rule
“That which is hateful to you do not do to another ... the rest (of the Torah) is all commentary, now go study.”

- Rabbi Hillel



The self made man just isn't admitting how or where he came by all those parts

---FreeDem---- Aug 2005


If a man tells you that the Government cannot accomplish anything of value, then voting for him would be like hiring an Amish Auto Mechanic.
If they don't believe in the concept, they are more than likely to do a very poor job of it.

---Bob Danforth Sept. 2009


Republicans never meant to cut government waste, fraud and graft, from the get-go their plan was to organize, monopolize and privatize waste, fraud and graft.

They see the civil service as meddling “middleman,” who interfered with the free flow of cash from taxpayers into corporate coffers. Their intent was to eliminate the “middleman” as an obstruction to corruption.

---Unknown rabblerowser Feb 2007


No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.

Edward R. Murrow

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot

Mark Twain


You see, we often get noncreative leaders, people most interested in preserving their own positions. They flock around centers of power. Such centers attract people who can be corrupted. That is a more descriptive observation than to say simply that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

If you are corruptible and your imagination is confined to worries about loss of power, you exist in a self-destructive system. Eventually, as all life does, you must encounter something you did not anticipate, and if you have not strengthened your creative resources, you will have no new ways for adapting to change. Adapt or die, that's the first rule of survival.

The limited vision of noncreative people is not difficult to understand. Creativity frightens the unimaginative. They don't know what's happening. Things new and unexpected arise from creativity. This threatens "things as they are." And (terrible thought) it undermines illusions of omnipotence.


Herbert 1984 (the year not the book)


"News is what powerful people want to keep hidden; everything else is just publicity."

....Bill Moyer


Just as having only a hammer makes every problem either look like a nail, or as something irrelevant, our very technological skills have had us look there for explanations and ignore reality it cannot deal with. With our powerful hammer, we seek only nails, and dump the rest as dross. Not all questions involve hammers, not all answers are nails.
-- Freedem---Nov., 2006

My issue with Atheists is not that they have no God, there are many religions that have no God, but that they have no religion.
-- Freedem---Nov., 2006

__Note: by this I mean that there are many things religions do besides the discredited "science" and self serving promises (give me your money and God will hold and pay the note), many like charity or fellowship, even social accountability can be very good things not requiring a God.


Many have been very disappointed that their "God-critter" was not to be found as a technology swimming about in the shallower pools of knowledge. So in the obsession basic to our culture, we search ever deeper and more difficult pools, and always the "God-critter" seems to wink at us from the pool just beyond.

In the process we have found technologies beyond the wildest dreams of our most sophisticated ancestors. The great joke is that the "critter" never existed except as the pools themselves.

----Freedem --- Oct 2006

Indeed I do think that many folk, believe all kinds of stuff from the actually true, to the utterly illogical, with no personal discernment one from the others. But that would hardly make any of them a scholar to rely on, any more that one should get their theology studies from a door to door salesman, offering "get out of hell free" cards, on special because the creator of galaxies in greater numbers than beach sand, nonetheless has an ego so weak He cannot exist without shamelessly excessive psychophancy from a major portion of the inhabitants of this particular dust speck.

----Freedem ---June-2007

More to come