RANGER AGAINST WAR: The Fog of Faineance <

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Fog of Faineance

--Obama talks of Phony Scandals
Yes I am
In a bang with the gang
They gotta catch me
if they want me to hang
Cause I'm back on the track
and I'm beatin' the flak
Nobody's gonna get me on another rap 
--Back in Black, AC/DC

A half truth is a whole lie
--Yiddish proverb

You will see light in the darkness
You will make some sense of this 
--Secret Journey, The Police

If you're down he'll pick you up, Doctor Robert
Take a drink from his special cup, Doctor Robert
Doctor Robert, he's a man you must believe,
Helping everyone in need
No one can succeed like 
--Doctor Robert, The Beatles
__________________

 Ranger is delighted to hear President Obama dismisses his phony scandals (though still hailing his phony recovery); perhaps RangerAgainstWar's rhetoric of veil-ripping with the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) is having some effect. A friend lives by the mantra, "What's real, what's important and what works?" Let's try that.

Some friends of RAW have expressed confusion over recent writings. My concern has little to do with the TMZ case, but everything to do with how the press handles us when they forefront such matters, and how we behave once thrown the bone.

What should be disinterested reportage today is full of nuance, and the readers Tweet the untruths and half truths around the world in real time. People are pressed from biased news and biased dialog on either side; with culture and religion conforming our front and back,  we live in a cage, and given any opportunity we jump for the joy of a little movement.

TMZ is but one iteration of the phenomenon. The story of abortionist Dr. Gosnell the week I broke my arm a couple of months ago began my simple thoughts; TMZ will be exhausted here, and then Gosnell.

The police and public attorney decided that the TMZ should not have been tried; that is their job and they make these decisions daily. Some reporter sniffed out what he thought would a cause celebre, and after deft publicity it was (though probably not for the original intent.) It was really a rather sad, absurd little tragedy in a life full of such things. Ultimately, the city of Sanford was correct, but the press sure got a lot of copy, and we took the bait.

It is always surprising the ardor these little flame ups arouse, and how quickly they die down with zero net gain. ISTM social networking platforms are being used primarily as a site for public flogging and self-flagellation and ritual purification. The liberal penitents have a hierarchy of those most "hard-done-by", and always champion and exonerate the usual suspects prima facie.

I wonder how they confer their most-favored status? Is their temporal view limited to the founding of the U.S. (+/- 250 years)? The U.K.? The Crucifixtion? I always thought liberals were the freethinkers, but they operate from a predictable playbook. The media and entertainment who twiddle with their emotions dial up an offense du jour to amuse, incense and preoccupy. Social networking allows us to respond passionately and immediately to teapot tempests in lock step with our fellows, thereby gaining validation. Toeing the party line (masquerading as independent thought) is the only requisite.

Charitably, we do this because we are so inundated with the relentless news feed that we haven't the time to ponder the stories, or even consider if they are worthy of our time. Entertainment junkies, we are addicted to our fix, and in order to feel safe and smart we huddle together with those of like mind in Plato's cave, discharging our discomfort in the same way our ancestors did, calling for heads to roll and ostracizing the challengers. The reactions are primitive, and the supposition flies 'round the world on the wings of Tweets. "I read it somewhere" becomes innuendo's rubber stamp.

The group is ever-vigilant for the spoiler, for he introduces the possibility of a cessation of hostilities, and that must not be allowed. Strife makes for a more colorful life. We do our penance and after a certain grieving period (depending on how incessantly the news feeds us the story), we are off to the next great tragedy. We are Chauncy Gardener in the film "Being There", our lives lived by the illumination of the teleprompter and computer lights.

Why the rush to judgement and condemnation in the TMZ case? Why advocate for only one side? If you are concerned about hate crimes, a real one happened earlier this month, but the Atlanta Journal Constitution couldn't be less concerned to bring it to your attention even though it has all of the salacious elements: racial profiling with intent to cause serious bodily harm resulting in murder.

A bright friend helpfully offers that the youths said they attacked the man not because he looked like a cracker, but rather because he "looked gay". I guess since the Supreme Court overturned DOMA, gays are no longer the liberal cause du jour. We were shocked by the Matthew Shephard killing, we dutifully watched "Brokeback Mountain". Gays can openly have same-sex partners in the military. Next.

I don't know if Mr. Chellow looked gay, but it seems he did come from the cracker element of society, and crackers have never been stylish victims. We laugh at the Honey Boo Boos and Welcome to Myrtle Manor because they are white and stupid, and clever white people who are still paying penance project their self-loathing into a tin trailer on the tube, thereby reducing their guilt-induced anxiety.

Who is on the media menu today -- blacks vs. whites (blacks win), Palestinians vs. Israelis (Palestinians win), Middle Eastern revolutionaries (revolutionaries win; rebels, not so much)? Will this week's rheostat be turned to "glad", "mad", "sad" or "disgust"?

Mostly, it seems to be stuck on outrage these days, and otherwise smart people are stuck in an impotent reactivity. What seems disingenuous is to ask how these problems might be solved, because our political correctness requires that we only view half of any story. Why? Perhaps because if we figured things out and solved them, we wouldn't need the talking heads (we would listen to our own.) We wouldn't need the anti-depressants and all the other escapes. But maybe we need our distractions, and these are as good as any.

As they say in the South, "Y'all all bigots," but you got there honestly. Question is, how to unencumber yourself from the architectonics of hate. You gotta say the whole truth, not half, if you want to try, and you gotta figure out if there is even a payoff for waking up. Leaving the safety of the clan is to operate against millennia of instinct.

But please don't cry crocodile tears over TM in the TMZ story and think that you would have it any differently. As long as you hold hatred and bias (even in the name of being pro-black), you're operating in bad faith.

Here's Charles Blow last week, one of the TMZ NYTimes Pied Pipers, telling you how it is (but not mentioning that he's in on the game). His words will make you feel clean for a minute, but he will suck you back into the miasma next week.

his is not the time for evanescent anger, which is America's wont.
This is not the time for a few marches that soon dissipate as we drift back into the fog of faineance - watching fake reality television as our actual realities become ever more grim, gawking at the sexting life of Carlos Danger as our own lives become more dangerous, fawning over royal British babies as our own children are gunned down.
This is yet another moment when America should take stock of where the power structures are leading us, how they play on our fears - fan our fears - to feed their fortunes. ... (Standing Our Ground).

Sounds like some powerful truth, no? Don't worry, you'll soon forget all about it, because that is how the media wants it. The power structure is leading Mr. Blow to his next paycheck.

It's like feeling so happy when you think you have finally reached someone at your internet email service provider to solve your computer woes, but finding you have actually reached some ersatz Indian person named "Rick" who is scamming you into buying a $300 plan to "save" you from the Zeus Trojan virus which he says some shady Nigerians have installed remotely (which he has actually just tried to install remotely himself.)

Blow is one of the cheerleaders -- he'll jerk your head to and fro, and keep you angry about things you have no ability to solve, because he doesn't, either.

Per TMZ and similar stories, either we believe in our rule of law or we don't. Reader "no one" correctly suggested that liberals lack a True North: Civil Rights was a good issue, but now things are not working in society and we are like rats incessantly pressing the bar hoping a goody will come down the chute, but the experiment has ended.

Liberals are doubling down on the tried-and-trues, but a different tack must be taken now if we want to help "poor blacks" and help ourselves to be a thriving society.

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48 Comments:

Blogger FDChief said...

Y'ever done one of those things where you KNOW going in that what you're doing is going to suck, you're going to regret it, but like a cat following a flashlight beam you just do it anyway because...well, because you have to?

This is what this feels like. I feel like the "token liberal" on a fucking FOX "news" show; here to get my beatdown. But.

So...my question would be; what's your point?

"Liberals suck"? Ummm...okay. Maybe. Sometimes. Your mileage may vary. Dick Cheney would say yes. But how does that get us anywhere?

"People make emotional decisions based on biased information". Ummm...okay. And this is a new phenomenon...since...when? Since when ol' Randolph Hearst told his stringers "You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war!"? Since "everyone" knew that redskins were bloodthirsty savages, spics were greasy banditos, and negroes just wanted chicken and watermelon and white women?

I hate to be this way, but...since when in fucking human history was more then probably 0.1% of all human decisions made on "facts"?

Divorces? Wars? Witch trials? Pogroms? I mean, it's hard enough trying to agree on "facts" when there clearly ARE genuine, irrefutable facts. But I'll bet that probably at least 50% of all events have multiple viewpoints and all of the viewers believe their viewpoint to be the "fact".

You mention Israel v Palestine; where's the "facts" there? Was the original fuckup plunking Jewish immigrants in the eastern Levant in the 19th and 20th Centuries? The intransigence of the Arab residents of that Levant to their new neighbors? The Balfour Declaration, or the Sykes-Picot Agreement? Should Harry Truman have offered Ben-Gurion the state of Utah instead of recognizing Israel in '48? Does the Lod Airport massacre trump Dein Yassin? Does the PLO and Hamas trump the Stern Gang?

So people are emotional and stupid and judgmental and selfish.

I'm shocked, .

But my question would be; now, what?

You can't convince me that there's some sort of perfect world where everyone is rational and sensible and all problems "can be worked out". Just look at Israel-Palestine; how does that get worked out "rationally" when both sides want exactly the same thing - the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan, between Acre and Sinai. It's a zero-sum solution; for one side to win the other has to lose. How do you solve that "rationally"? Hell, generations of people, many good people on both sides, have tried. Can it only be sheer coincidence that they've failed?

Anyway, my biggest problem with your string of posts lately is that they seem to revolve around the central tent pole of "liberals suck".

Okay, we suck.

But accept that and your only alternative is "anti-liberal" or "conservative" or something akin to that.

And how is that better? You want to trade Barak Obama for Newt Gingrich? That's an upgrade?

OK, I'm done. Feel free to hammer away. Jesus, what a fucking idiot I am.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 4:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Eric Hodgdon said...

It's time for the armed forces of the US to remove the President from office and clear Congress and the Supreme Court. Then it must disband and surrender all weapons to the nearest metal recycling center.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 10:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

Chief, Does the US regular Army not instill, "Adapt and overcome"? Maybe it doesn't. Maybe that is a perspective that is a necessity for less elephantine, less well funded outfits.

When a tactic or strategy or mindset isn't working you need to change it; that is if you are actually trying to achieve an objective.

Portland is a beautiful city (I stopped in a couple of times a number of years ago when the whole microbrew thing was jumping off and was impressed). But it is a fantasy island.

Most of the country is quite different. The cities are decaying and large swaths that are like Lord of the Flies meets Planet of the Apes are expanding.

Liberal policies have failed - and continue to fail - to ameliorate the issues driving this. I would say they even are a cause of the problem, but that's just me. Still, even the most stalwart liberal has to see that the problems are growing and that nothing they are doing is stopping it.

Now, I'm not saying that conservative policies would have any better effect. That's not the point. We already knew that conservatives are stupid, heartless, greedy assholes. Right?

But how does that get liberals off the hook for marching in lock step to outmoded thinking and policy concepts that no longer address the issues? How does conservative refusal to see excuse liberal refusal to see?

Of course, if life is all hunky dory and you really don't care beyond putting on a façade that you do care, then it's easy to spout some party line, pat yourself on the back, and get back to enjoying the good life.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 8:56:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

More to the point, Chief, if you live somewhere that doesn't cause you to be faced with the problem of insurgent minority gangs and criminality and welfare lifestyle, then you have the luxury of philosophizing whatever candy flavored ideology that pops into your head.

Some of us have to actually live in areas where decisions like, "I need to sell my house I lived in for 20 years and get out of this neighborhood because the schools have gone to hell and I very well might get mugged or experience a B&E" or "If I don't in the left lane right now so I can make that turn I'll get diverted into a neighborhood where stopping at a stop sign while white could get beaten or killed".

Again, you can, and I'm sure will, laugh this stuff off as paranoia from your happy Portland enclave.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 9:19:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Chief,


Thanks for being the token liberal on FOX RAW ;) (I must confess, I've felt somewhat like Ann Coulter redux w/ the last few posts, but that is a horrifying thought, too.)

"Liberals suck" is not my point; liberals should lead the way for true progress in a society; instead, they seem as reactionary in their own way as conservatives -- they cannot seem to move past the thoughts and issues that have them stuck. It's one thing when the people you claim to care for are stuck, but to get down there and stamp your feet with them isn't pulling anyone out of the hole.

Chief writes, honestly, "I hate to be this way, but...since when in fucking human history was more then probably 0.1% of all human decisions made on "facts"?", and you are exactly right. But to validate this sorry reality is not to help matters. To me, liberal hate chopping at conservative hate is totally no-win, and no one holds the moral high ground.

ISTM there has to be a new way. Real honesty (as opposed to phony?) is not always a pretty thing, but if you can get through the slog, there's a hope for improvement. Mea culpas and apologias are only preliminaries; they may serve as a form of atonement to remove some anxiety from the apology-maker, but they do little to fix any external problems.

I'm not sure why it is so hard for people to see things as they are, in their entirety, and declare it as such, sans partisanship. We seem blocked at the level of truth-telling.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 11:14:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

At least nobody around here is as strident about liberals as this guy:

http://jackhanson.blogspot.com/

Actually, I like to read Jack's blog. It's relatively new. He was a paratrooper with the 82nd AB in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today he is a federal agent with the ICE program. Interestingly, he was raised by two lesbian women and has come to despise homosexuals. It's all in his blogs, which are largely his observations concerning the direction our culture is heading.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 3:49:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CholoAzul said...

I'm confused FD Chief. RAW is one of the most liberal sites I know, and I keep it bookmarked right next to Change.org, Witness.org, and George Takei.

You clearly know the game, I agree on all your points above... Hearst did a better job of indoctrinating his minions than Mao could have dreamed of, and the media doesn't sell font by reporting that everything is comfortably the same. They report (or create) friction, dissonance, discomfort... all rightly the provenance of whatever a 'liberal' would be if there were one.

Remember, Phil Ochs loved him some liberals too.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 5:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Lisa: I'll try to give you my take on your reply first, because it is the most straightforward.

"liberals should lead the way for true progress in a society; instead, they seem as reactionary in their own way as conservatives -- they cannot seem to move past the thoughts and issues that have them stuck."

I'd say that that's a feature, not a bug; most societies consist of a "liberal" (or "progressive" or "radical") side that wants to go one way - towards more equal or level conditions for all, wider distribution of the social goodies (wealth, power, position) - and a "conservative" (or "reactionary" or "regressive") one that wants less emphasis on collective success and more on laissiez faire and is willing (or eager) to see a concentration of the goodies in the hands of a few as a reward for those few "taking risks" and working hard.

I strongly, strongly doubt whether those who come to hold either of those positions change them significantly after adolescence; we humans don't seem to be made that way, and that's fairly central to intellectual and political conviction. If you are "conservative" and believe that redistribution through taxation is theft you are unlikely to find yourself convinced otherwise, and if you are "liberal " and believe that only those in power can be racist you are probably going to be the same.

..."to validate this sorry reality is not to help matters. ISTM there has to be a new way."

Fine. Which? How? Because there's a central problem there that emerges in your next paragraph.

"Real honesty is not always a pretty thing, but if you can get through the slog, there's a hope for improvement. I'm not sure why it is so hard for people to see things as they are, in their entirety, and declare it as such, sans partisanship. We seem blocked at the level of truth-telling."

Ah. There's the crux of the biscuit. So..."honesty", "truth-telling"...how do you get people to agree on that, when one person's taxation is another person's theft? One person's affirmative action is another person's reverse racism? One person's sensible regulation is another person's job-killing oppression?

I mean, you've got people arguing in front of school boards that teaching the evolution of species through natural selection is the moral and intellectual equivalent of genocide and antireligious oppression, Lisa; how are you going to get the two sides in that "debate" to agree on what is "honesty" and what is "truth-telling"?

In fact, pretty much all of human politics consists of finding ways of people who disagree utterly on the interpretation of various physical facts to reach some sort of compromise that allows them to rub along in some sort of way. To expect them to come together in some sort of "honest truth-telling" is like no one's impression of Portland; a fantasy island.

So I don't see how that gets us past throwing out the liberal baby with the contentious Zimmerman bathwater. Yes, a lot of liberal commentators were furious about the Zimmerman shooting. No, I don't see how that makes choosing Coulter and Limbaugh over Coates and Pierce a better alternative for someone like me, whose life would be more hazardous, poorer, more risky and probably worse off under the kinds of political policies advocated by Coulter and Limbaugh.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 5:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

no one: I'd laugh at all this except I'd cry:

"More to the point, Chief, if you live somewhere that doesn't cause you to be faced with the problem of insurgent minority gangs and criminality and welfare lifestyle, then you have the luxury of philosophizing whatever candy flavored ideology that pops into your head.

Some of us have to actually live in areas where decisions like, "I need to sell my house I lived in for 20 years and get out of this neighborhood because the schools have gone to hell and I very well might get mugged or experience a B&E" or "If I don't in the left lane right now so I can make that turn I'll get diverted into a neighborhood where stopping at a stop sign while white could get beaten or killed".

Again, you can, and I'm sure will, laugh this stuff off as paranoia from your happy Portland enclave."


I'd start by taking you outside my house to show you the siderails on my Honda that disappeared the other night, or the gang tags on the wall down the street. Then we could start with a tour of my neighborhood in North Portland, to the gangsta-infested projects across Lombard or to the dumpy little houses over by the cut where the Hispanic day-laborers live six to a room.

Then down to SE Portland where the Asian gangbangers rule the unpaved alleyways and the Russian mafia-wannabes are probably installing my Honda parts on some chopped cooliomobile complete with spinners and ginormous speakers.

Or to the backstreets of Parkrose where you can't find a Safeway for 110 blocks and every store has steel bars on every aperture like the Chateau d'If.



Portland is an American city, man; we have the same problems every other American city has. IF we don't have enormous fucking African-American wasteland areas like Detroit or LA it's because it was illegal - yes, fucking illegal - to be black in Oregon until WW2. We just don't have the headstart y'all had.

But...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 5:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...



Forget "liberal" policies for a moment. How the hell would chucking all that in the trash help? How would instituting the "conservative" (and I use the quotes because when I was an Eisenhower Republican back in the Seventies and early Eighties neither I nor my political equals would have recognized that as "conservative") policy goals help?

So far as I can see the basic tenets of the modern "conservative" movement are nothing new; they're pretty much a return to what we had in about 1905; tiny governments providing little or nothing to anyone outside the well-to-do, completely unregulated commerce of the sort that made John D. "The Public Be Damned" Rockefeller's and his fellow robber barons bones, massive air, water, and soil pollution, 80-hour weeks and 12-hour days at pitiful wages for the working people, poverty for the old, the sick, and the rural.

Ol' FDR wasn't some sort of Commie nut; he was a Hudson River aristo and a violently cunning politician. But he also looked around him and saw the deep troubles; massive poverty, labor unrest, immense unemployment, political anger...and right there in front of him the "bad examples" of Mussolini's Italy gone fascist and Stalin's Communist Russia.

So the liberal policies of the New Deal were the then-liberals way of buying social peace; taking some from the rich and spreading it out among everyone else. Social Security so that grannie didn't have to beg outside the opera house. Unions to that workingmen could have some chance of bargaining for decent wages. Safety and health regulations so your boss couldn't poison you at work or dump toxins in your air and water.

I mean; if I honestly thought that the modern movement "conservative" goals would do anything other than return us to the Gilded Age I'd say, what the hell, let's give it a shot. But the policies are not really any different than what a politician of 1895 would have recognized; why should we assume that the outcome would be any different?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 5:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

"Liberal policies have failed - and continue to fail - to ameliorate the issues driving this. I would say they even are a cause of the problem, but that's just me."

OK, since it's you, which of these liberal policies ARE causing these problems? I'm curious.

I mean, I THOUGHT that the decay of the inner cities in the U.S. had more to do with things like the federal government's policies favoring investment and rentier income over manufacturing and working-wage employment and the disappearance of urban jobs, white flight and the loss of the urban tax base, the pathologies of inner city communities devastated by a loss of jobs, political leadership in the black community, and drugs... rather than same-sex marriage, teacher's unions and funding for Head Start, but that's just me.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 5:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

And for the record, yeah, that Jack Hanson guy is a hoot, indeed.

I do like the part about "despising homosexuals". I mean, someone is an illegal late-term abortionist, a child rapist, or a New York Yankees fan I can get despising them. Given their acts they're pretty despicable. But "despising homosexuals"? Isn't that kind of like despising water for being wet, or clouds for being in the sky?

Ol' Jack's a piece of work all right...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 5:55:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Cholo,

Thanks for the "Geo. Takei" ref.-- everyone needs a smile now and again :)


Chief,

I hope you know that, for all the faux corn-pone and biblical verses, we at RAW are a pretty liberal bunch. Per your question, "How would instituting the "conservative" ... policy goals help?" -- please understand I was suggesting no such thing. It is that very b/w thinking that got us here. Not that I know how we can break out of the impotent two-party system thinking like nations with parliaments can, either.

It is a tragic problem when each side draws in to its "interests" (which of course should be the welfare of the State and its people, but is always vested and economic in fact.)

Not wishing to be delusional when I mention truth-telling, I know that people affiliate according to their predilections, but it is within those "native" sympathies that we desperately need to stop lying to ourselves. When the liberal faction cannot brook questioning on any of their shibboleths, they are superannuated.

I do not know what (if anything) succeeds them. It just seems fairly ridiculous to claim for sympathizing with the underdog when one cannot ask/say how that behavior will help the system, or if those perceptions of reality are even correct.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 6:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

Chief, I like FDR. I think we could use another one.

Maybe if you had a Zimmerman you'd still have your side rails.

The liberal policies that are the root of a lot of our ills are those that support and promote the destruction of the two parent stable family. I will have more detail on this later. It's late and I'm too tired to spell it out right now.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 9:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

Oh, and I'm with Jack on the immigration problem. Why do we keep letting these bums in the country when their kids just grow up to be gangsta's? There's not enough work for citizens that are here. Liberals can't call it for what it is and they get all hot and excited over culture diversity - to the point where they can't see the problems it creates.

These alternative cultures ain't functional. They are a negative contribution to our society.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 9:36:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

no one,

I agree re. FDR, as Chief mentioned. He got out into the real world (not Hyde Park, but outside of his humble Warm Springs retreat), and he spoke with the people. He was a louse re. not helping the Jewish people in WWII, but but his exposure to the rural poor in Georgia and the Tennessee Valley softened his heart to their dilemma.

There is a vast difference between said-community organizer BHO and FDR. Perhaps some of this is the phenomena of the American arriviste.

I'm with you re. the family, and have written something on that for posting soon. Oh, I remember how Dan Quayle was mocked for being the naif in his comment on too-cool single t.v. mom Murphy Brown ... the seeds are sown in the mass media, and they do use a sledgehammer as their message builds up speed. Ideas move from possibilities to actualities at the speed of Hollywood's tempo.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 9:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

"So the liberal policies of the New Deal were the then-liberals way of buying social peace; taking some from the rich and spreading it out among everyone else. Social Security so that grannie didn't have to beg outside the opera house. Unions to that workingmen could have some chance of bargaining for decent wages. Safety and health regulations so your boss couldn't poison you at work or dump toxins in your air and water."

I was preparing a long manifesto targeting certain policies, but then I realized we could debate individual policies endlessly and lose the heart and soul of the thread in doing so.

I agree 100% with the quote above. Great! Is that what "liberals" are all about now? I don't see it. Not at all.

Rather, we have a bunch of so called post modern cognoscenti that are promoting the idea that you can live any weirdo lifestyle you want to, be as irresponsible as you want to be, do whatever feels good at the moment and, when your hedonistic orgy results in trouble, as it inevitably must, the government will be there to pick up the pieces and pay for it all. Whether that be a welfare check or social healthcare to pay for your antidepressants or tax funded school counseling to deal with the screwed up kids that were caught up in the mess.

Furthermore liberalism demands that all "life style choices" and "cultures" not only enjoy the absence of discrimination, but that furthermore - and this is the part that I really can't stand - complete acceptance by everyone. Even worse, modern liberalism GLORIFIES the weird and dysfunctional and presents it to us as a superior alternative to the traditional. WE ARE TOLD WE MUST BECOME ACULTURATED.

This has nothing to do with our agreement re; FDR. I think FDR would be appalled.

FDR = let's build a better society for all Americans. PoMo Liberal = government should be used to help you further your own private hedonistic journey.




Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 7:16:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

And, to bring this back to TM, TM was the product of an inferior dysfunctional culture and it got him killed. His death was as predictable as it was tragic. But we can't talk about the predictable aspect b/c doing so would fly in the face of the liberal anything goes philosophy. So we deflect responsibility to Z, EVEN IF THAT MEANS ALTERING FACTS.

Z is the perfect anti-liberal. The perfect scapegoat in a liberal morality play - AND, BY LIBERAL MEDIA PROGRAMMING, NATIONAL MORALITY PLAY IT WAS.

Z 1. took matters into his own hands as opposed to relying on the nanny state. 2. He slew a sacred liberal cow; a black person. 3. He inflicted an immediate consequence and terminal responsibility.

Three unforgivable sins to the PoMo liberal mind.

That's what this case was all about.

Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 7:32:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

P.S. Except Z turned out to be not so perfect a scapegoat. He is Hispanic - a minority himself!!!.

So liberals, in their fevered machinations to maintain the morality play, invented a new category, "White Hispanic".

Seriously, if you can perceive the diabolical disingenuousness of that, Chief, we should probably just stop talking as we would be living on different planets.

Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 8:13:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

er, .....can't perceive the.....

Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 8:15:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

no one, You are really onto something here:

His death was as predictable as it was tragic. But we can't talk about the predictable aspect b/c doing so would fly in the face of the liberal anything goes philosophy. So we deflect responsibility to Z, EVEN IF THAT MEANS ALTERING FACTS.

Z is the perfect anti-liberal. The perfect scapegoat in a liberal morality play - AND, BY LIBERAL MEDIA PROGRAMMING, NATIONAL MORALITY PLAY IT WAS.

I have been reading the theories of social anthropologist Rene Girard and they echo your ideas re. the scapegoat, taking it further and predicting the demolition of a society which cannot surpass that.

It is interesting to me that the liberated liberals who forsake any god are reverting to the sacrificial behavior of the pagans. It is an impulse beating in our hearts, and if Christianity (as an ethos, as well as dogma) cannot tame it, then what?

I wrote something on liberal deflection months ago; I will post it soon. One can see it rolling down the pike, ad infinitum. It doesn't have to be this way if we would call a spade a spade, but we don't.

Somewhere along the way, striving for a moral life became demode, looked upon as the stuff of school primers trying to inculcate good work ethics into the mindless sheep. "Whose morality are you talking about?!?" ... but c'mon, we know what's right or we wouldn't have a body of laws based upon -- face it -- things like the 10 Commandments.

Sure we were founded by Deists, but where did those privileged men happen upon their humanistic ideas? Ah, they were exposed to the monotheistic tradition, right? The excellent ideas of presuming innocence and not stoning did not arrive ex nihilo, after all.

Ah, but we're so much better now that anything goes, no?

Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 7:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Hmm. A lot to digest here. LEt me start with a general comment:

In my opinion the U.S., like any other polity on the turning Earth, needs both a healthy Left ("liberal", "progressive", "radical", whatever shade you want to call the side that wants less social, political, and economic differences between individuals and groups and a more generally-inclusive sort of society) and Right ("conservative", "Tory", "reactionary" or whatever; the group that's OK with social and economic inequality and some level of discrimination/marginalization of people or groups divisive or destructive of social cohesion).

Right now my problem is that we don't have anything like that.

The Left - and I'm sorry, no one, but there's nothing on the current U.S. Left anything like the cartoon hippie picture you're drawing. Yes, there are some pretty radical Lefties, but they have NO - zero - influence with the mainstream Liberal/Democratic political power base. The current Democratic President has a governing team and philosophy that in 1960 would have fit perfectly with the GOP establishment of Eisenhower and Nixon.

But the Right. Damn, what a mess. Agenda 21, taxation as theft, "privatizing" Social Security and the other social welfare programs, fetishizing the Second Amendment but ignoring the Fourth and Fifth, cuddling up to every religious crank calling for prayer in public restrooms, for cryin' out loud.

I'm all in favor of creative tension between government and private interests, between management and labor, between "jobs" and "the environment".

But in the current GOP those balances seem to have left the building with Elvis.

Government wanting to regulate the economy is BAAAAAD...but Enron manipulating the energy markets or Goldman Sachs manipulating metals futures?

Fine.

Giving gay people equal protection under the law BAAAD but putting people in secret prisons because they're "terrorists"?

Fine.

Perhaps if the GOP manages to kick the Beckian and Randite and Know-Nothing and neocon loonies out of the Big Tent I will come back to my Rockefeller Republican self.

But at the moment? There may be a lot about the Left I have issues with, but the Right is just too flat-out, stomp-down bull-goose looney to even consider about 95% of their ideas anything but just that.

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 12:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

So. Here’s the rest of my thoughts.

“The liberal policies that are the root of a lot of our ills are those that support and promote the destruction of the two parent stable family.”

The “two-parent stable family” has had a lot going against it since the late Sixties, and I would argue that a lot of those have nothing to do with “liberal policies”.

There’s the simple reality that since the 1970’s working-wage jobs have been disappearing, mostly due to a bipartisan (but driven in a very large part by the GOP’s close ties to business interests) push to favor “investment” income over wages. One of the biggest political reaction to the stagflation of the Seventies was altering tax and tariff policies to favor income through things like capital gains, investments, and dividends over wages; that’s why the capital gains rates maxed out in the low teens to thirties when the top marginal rates were still in the seventies.

So mom had to go to work to keep the family in the middle class because dad’s wages didn’t keep going up. Assuming that dad just didn’t flat out lose his job because somebody could do it cheaper in Alabama or Sri Lanka…

Add to that that mom COULD go to work; a lot of families that would have wanted two incomes couldn’t have them because mom couldn’t get work.

Plus, frankly, lots of people found out that being in shitty marriages suck. Prior to the 1940s there wasn’t much choice; she couldn’t get a job outside hooking so the marriages stayed together. Once she found out she could make a living without him, the number of failed marriages was doomed to rise.

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 1:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

“Oh, and I'm with Jack on the immigration problem. Why do we keep letting these bums in the country when their kids just grow up to be gangsta's? There's not enough work for citizens that are here.”

Two points:

1. They're "here" because you and I and everyone else doesn’t want to pay what we’d pay if we payed a living wage to the people who pick our food, clean our toilets, trim our lawns, and paint our houses.

I guar-an-fucking-tee that if the federal and state governments were suddenly given the authority AND the resources AND the mandate to investigate, prosecute, and imprison or fine the people and companies employing illegal alien labor that illegal immigration would drop 50% within a decade.

But we – you and me and everyone else – doesn’t WANT that. Plus Perdue and Flavor-Pac and McDonalds and the local landscapers and contractors would scream bloody murder to their bought and paid-for Congresscritter.

2. I’ve worked and played soccer with a hell of a lot of Mexican guys, some of whom were undoubtedly in this country illegally. Almost to a man they were proud, tough guys who had tight, loving, hard-working families whose kids were going to be cops and accountants and anything but gangsta’s if Papi and Mami had anything to say about it.

Meanwhile in Clackamas County I can throw a rock and hit a dozen fourth-generation Americans whose kids are worthless thieving meth-heads.

So, that.

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 1:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

“He was a louse re. not helping the Jewish people in WWII, but but his exposure to the rural poor in Georgia and the Tennessee Valley softened his heart to their dilemma.”

FDR couldn’t have done anything about the Holocaust, Lisa. The U.S. of 1944 wouldn’t have been willing to sacrifice extra American lives to save European Jews from the ovens. I know that sucks, but that was the reality.

We agree that FDR was a vastly cynical political realist (albeit one with a soft spot for the poor) and if we agree on that we have to accept that he did what he did because he knew the limits of his mandate.

“I remember how Dan Quayle was mocked for being the naif in his comment on too-cool single t.v. mom Murphy Brown ... the seeds are sown in the mass media, and they do use a sledgehammer as their message builds up speed. Ideas move from possibilities to actualities at the speed of Hollywood's tempo.”"

As I said to no one above; the whole business of single mom-hood is a hell of a lot more complex than Murphy Brown or Hollywood, and Quayle was rightly mocked because he was simple-minded enough to think it WAS that simple.

Plainly put, to reduce or end single-mom families you’d need to change a hell of a lot of things; the notion that women were having bastards just because Murphy Brown was cool and Hollywood encouraged it was moronic. Quayle already had a rap as a moron, so he got gigged for this.

I'm going to say this; I agree that I'd LOVE to see fewer single-parent kids. But I also know a lot of those single-mom and divorced-parent families, and I don't see a simple answer to this problem.

Or, rather, I do: what we and most societies USED to do, which was to say to the parents (and of the parents mostly the woman) "So what if he/she beats you, cheats on you, lies, steals your money..? You made your bed. Now lie in it."

That works. It trades the kids' loss of parents for the parents' loss of...well, you tell me.

Plus, frankly, I have my doubts about the overall fucked-up-ness of this. If "single parenthood" was causing some sort of national epidemic of crime and social breakdown, where's the evidence? Where's the concrete jungles teeming with savage feral children? Where's the precipitous drop in numbers of young people getting degrees?

When I look around, what I see are a hell of a lot of young people desperately looking for and not finding work.

And that is the direct responsibility of the banksters that shit the bed in 2008. Not whatever single mom was their parent back in 1988...

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 1:15:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

“Rather, we have a bunch of so called post modern cognoscenti that are promoting the idea that you can live any weirdo lifestyle you want to, be as irresponsible as you want to be, do whatever feels good at the moment and, when your hedonistic orgy results in trouble, as it inevitably must, the government will be there to pick up the pieces and pay for it all. Whether that be a welfare check or social healthcare to pay for your antidepressants or tax funded school counseling to deal with the screwed up kids that were caught up in the mess.”

There may be some sort of cartoon hippie living under a bridge somewhere that demands this as public policy, true. But in the real world, the world where the typical “liberal” politician is represented by someone like Joe Biden, Barb Boxer, or Barak Obama? Seriously?

Look, there are always going to be people who game the system, whether it’s to scam food stamps or cadge kickbacks from defense contractors. But between the Clinton-era “welfare reform” and the current climate of national finger-wagging, who the hell on the Left is out there fighting for NAMBLA and black bucks to buy steaks with their food stamps.

It is now nearly impossible for a healthy male to get onto “welfare”, I’d rather pay for some whacko’s antidepressants than have said whacko show up at my door armed and suicidal, and are you kidding me – my kid’s fucking school can’t even afford a fucking NURSE because of goddamn tax cuts, let alone “tax funded school counseling”.

If you want to debate real policies, fine. “Debating” Glennbeckian liberal cartoon policies, not so much…

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 1:16:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

“Furthermore liberalism demands that all "life style choices" and "cultures" not only enjoy the absence of discrimination, but that furthermore - and this is the part that I really can't stand - complete acceptance by everyone.”

Yep.

That’s the mean part about a liberal society; you only get to be an asshole about other people in the privacy of your own home.

Liberal policy doesn’t mean you can’t swing your fist at homos, ragheads, beaners, niggers, and whatever. It just means that you can’t swing them where other people’s noses are.

And y’know what? As far as I'm concerned that’s a GOOD thing. Two women making out in the park, a bunch of Latino guys playing soccer in the outfield of the softball diamond, having the "no parking" signs written in English, Spanish, Russian, and Vietnamese neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

Wonder bread is fucking BORING.

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 1:18:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

“Somewhere along the way, striving for a moral life became demode, looked upon as the stuff of school primers trying to inculcate good work ethics into the mindless sheep. "Whose morality are you talking about?!?" ... but c'mon, we know what's right or we wouldn't have a body of laws based upon -- face it -- things like the 10 Commandments.”

As Pilate might have reminded you; “what is “striving for a moral life”?

Is it female circumcision? Stoning of adulterers? Not eating shellfish, or owls?

Is it paying the owner of the slave you raped?

When you veer off into Biblical fields like these, full of strange tribal stones and the odd traditions of a desert patriarchal society that in my opinion you get into some very heavy ground.

The fundamental documents of the United States are based on the traditions of the European Enlightenment, an era that if distinguished by anything was distinguished by its rejection of the theocratic and theistic modes of earlier times.

The Founders and Framers were men of the Enlightenment, and their intent was NOT to create some sort of modern-day Tribes of Israel living out the “Ten Commandments” or keyed to some sort of Bible-beating Puritanism.

To pretend that it was – or, worse, to pretend that somehow the modern U.S. will be a healthier society if it attempts to mirror the social and moral codes of Puritan New England in 1630 – is the rhetorical equivalent of Godwin’s Law.

I'm willing to "debate" some things with you, but "Ten Commandments morality"? I think the "Ten Commandments" are a fairy tale invented by some Bronze Age tribesmen and I live a depressingly moral life, and so do a hell of a lot of other people, so do the majority of people in the world - given that the majority aren't Christians, either.

This is not a place we should or need to go.

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 1:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

So here's the thing, guys;

A LOT of what I'm hearing here; that liberals are destroying our moral fiber by kissing Adam and Steve, by encouraging niggers to be gangstas, by forcing women to either be single mothers or have abortions...these are silly cartoons, Coulterish or Malkinesque caricatures of soem of the most extreme views of the American Left, the rhetorical equivalent of using Ted Nugent or Glenn Beck to characterize the American Right

This is the sort of thing that FOX spews to hypnotize the proles.

No, Barak Obama is NOT a secret Muslim.

No, there is no secret Democrat agenda to turn Americans into Moloch-worshipping nudists.

American liberals today want what American liberals wanted in 1932; a fair shake for all Americans. Decent jobs at decent wages. Cleaner air and water, healthy forests, places where people can go to work and play that are safe and wholesome. A keen eye kept on the people and organizations whose objectives – making things and making money – can, if not properly overseen, harm people’s bodies, lives, and property in their singleminded desire to make goods and provide services for profit. Strong defenses against mischief-makers without becoming so strong that they tempt us to meddle in business not our own.

I'm sorry that somehow all of this has been buried under a pile of teabagging rhetoric about ACORN and Agenda 21. But y'all are smarter people than this, and it saddens me to see y'all getting so spun up about anger that some asshole with a weapon shot some other asshole without one that it makes it hard for me to come over and talk with y'all.

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 1:26:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

"Maybe if you had a Zimmerman you'd still have your side rails."

And this...

I have no idea what the fuck to say except are you seriously - seriously - suggesting that my fucking $40 dollar Honda parts are worth a human life?

Even the sorriest dog-ass human life has got to be worth more than some pissant sheet metal I can replace for less than a day's pay.

Look, a neighborhood "watch" is supposed to be just that. Not some sort of goddamn vigilante squad. Not some sort of informal "enforcer" of their own rules. Not someone who's gonna kill someone over car-stripping.

You start down that road, where the hell do you stop?

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 1:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CholoAzul said...

RE: the 2 parent family.... If memory serves, didn't LBJ commission a white paper which came back showing the need to have 2 parents at home... and then proceed to approve the battle plans for the 'War on Poverty' to make that well nigh impossible for those who needed it most?

It isn't about the parties, it's about the cronies.

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 1:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

FDChief,

Per your last post:

Our discussion has not been about TM or Z. Please look closely and see that. TMZ is but a small example of the problem that concerns me, an issue which transcends TMZ by a long shot. Please don’t insult us or you by reducing this to “a pile of teabagging rhetoric”. We are all smarter than that.

Liberals don’t “encouraging niggers to be gangstas, by forcing women to either be single mothers or have abortions”, and neither do conservatives prevent it. But it seems like there’s a problem someone in there, and one that does not get addressed or solved by saying, “Hey Mr. WSJ guys, them kids is o.k.” (as a commenter at one of your recent posts stated), because I see the truth of it, and they are not o.k., even if you choose to smile and look the other way.

Oh, and don’t worry about things like the “singleminded desire to make goods and provide services for profit” or “Decent jobs at decent wages. Cleaner air and water, healthy forests, places where people can go to work and play that are safe and wholesome …”

– these things are not coming to my neighborhood anytime soon be they Conservatives or Liberals in the lead.

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 1:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Chief,

I'm reading further in your comments, and now ISTM you're being the simplistic one, and I know we can all do better than reductionism and accusation ... it's what I hope for:

Per single motherhood:

You suggest women are liberating themselves from sucky marriages. Perhaps some are, but when you suggest the alternative was some old society ideal which states,
"So what if he/she beats you, cheats on you, lies, steals your money..? You made your bed. Now lie in it", you set up a false either-or. There are far too many tragic "good marriages" on paper in which the abuse is manifold, and the abused partner (usually woman) does not know or want to leave.

This problem is far more complex than saying divorce is an escape route and single parenthood figures don't accurately reflect the rise in their happiness quotient. That is not a good assumption.

Per, "FDR couldn’t have done anything about the Holocaust", he most certainly could have let some desperate, employable people trying to escape certain political murder into our borders. Guess our hearts go out to other groups.

Per, "Meanwhile in Clackamas County I can throw a rock and hit a dozen fourth-generation Americans whose kids are worthless thieving meth-heads"

--Why is that? Don't you think that's worthy of consideration? I mean, do we just chortle in disgust, or wonder why what might be good Americans are so lost?

Think: At some point in time, someone thought their forebears worthy of immigration. Will it be the same case with the proud and industrious MEX nationals you know? Will their progeny fall into that sloth?

Perhaps the question is, what is so sick about the American way?

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 2:21:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Chief,

It is not Liberals who keep meanie prejudiced neocon bigots from "swinging their fists at homos, ragheads, beaners, niggers ..." but the rule of law, plain and simple.

And you can't regulate the heart and prejudice, and it's very adversarial to imagine that conservatives and conservatives alone harbor such aberrant and malevolent thoughts. I'm not defending conservatives, just pointing out the truth.

And how do we outstrip your described "us v. them" position to get to the good of "us" -- U.S. citizens? Surely not through such misperceptions.

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 3:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chief, have your promoted yourself to the rank of General of the Army of Straw Men - the very ranks of which you have raised up yourself?

Shooting people for stealing side rails? Hippies under bridges? *I* didn't say these things.

But, you know, it could happen. You can either just accept thieving and vandalism as a part of life or you can try to stop it - like a lawful neighborhood watch - and, once in a while, one of the thieves is going to try to advance to the next level of criminality and well.....as I said what happened to T was predictable. Because that is the way so many minority youths have gone already. Dead or prison. You're ok with that? Or you just want to ignore it? I can't tell yet, but it's one of the two. Then again, it must be the fault of thousands upon thousands of Zs. Right?

"To pretend that it was – or, worse, to pretend that somehow the modern U.S. will be a healthier society if it attempts to mirror the social and moral codes of Puritan New England in 1630 – is the rhetorical equivalent of Godwin’s Law."

And I sure didn't pose such ridiculous dichotomous choices.

My god man, you're positively thrashing like somone in the final stages of Ebola at your own imagined extreme charactertures of opposing thought. Which is ironic, because that is exactly what you accuse me off.

I think Lisa is making sense and I'd like to see your rational response to her points.

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 3:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Chief says,

" I think the "Ten Commandments" are a fairy tale invented by some Bronze Age tribesmen and I live a depressingly moral life ..."

It matters not who created these ideas -- they're pretty good though, no? They don't guarantee you'll have a life like Hef (though I'm not so sure that's so great), but they allow us to live in more or less civility among some very other-minded fellows, and that's a good thing for those of us who accept what modernity by our rules means.

It means we don't glorify paganism or anarchism, or anything that ignores The Other's right to life. I mean, we're not sacrificing people on plinths or fearing to go to soccer games (usually).

Sadly -- and this is what I'm looking at -- we have not extinguished this urge to sacrifice, Girard's "mimetic desire". So we sacrifice at the altar of political correctness, now. It's not any better. Really.

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 5:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" I think the "Ten Commandments" are a fairy tale invented by some Bronze Age tribesmen and I live a depressingly moral life ..."


Yeah, the 10 Cs are BS. But somehow Z needs to be punished for doing something wrong and it would be crazy evil to kill siderail thieves.

It like trying to have a rational discussion with Sybil (of the multiple personalities).

If morality is outdated BS and there is no god, then I'm going to waste whomever I feel like for any reason. And you can't objectively judge me.

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 7:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CholoAzul said...

@Anon - That leaves a lot of middle excluded. Any way we construct a moral code there is an implied trade in there someplace..
'Don't try to kill/rob/hurt me, and I'll agree that doing it unto you wouldn't be moral...'.

To get carte blanche to kill others, there has to be a trade... 'for the greater good', 'or 'self defense', etc. And even that isn't judgment free any more. The problem isn't lack of any moral code, the problem is too many competing ones.

Even when people propose that if there is no morality, all bets are off, they really want to hedge them.

Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 3:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

Well first of all I find atheism to be shallow and facile and, quite frankly, ignorant.

So, we have the opening words of the Tao Te Ching, variously interpreted, but basically stating that the way that can be talked about is not the true way. But we're going to talk about it anyhow. Just keep the problem in mind when we do.

This is spiritual wisdom that is usually overlooked. All religions are metaphors for things which are true regarding the human spirit and the divine potential.

The problem arises when we forget the metaphor part and we try to make the stories concrete facts. Religious fanatics do this and atheists rail against religion based on the same mistake. Both miss the point in the same way.

Don't believe in God? Which God? What mythological aspects of God can't be true? The big bearded guy in the sky? Well now your picking on a child's version of reality and it's really not impressive that you can make minced meat out of it. How about reading the Central Upanishads and then issuing a critique?

As an aside, I think the attractiveness of so called eastern religions - like Buddhism - is that these are less metaphor and more practical application of method. People can relate to that.

Another problem is that metaphors stop being meaningful, stop conveying coded truths, when people can no longer relate to the symbols that are used. This is where we are at right now with the judeo Christian traditions.

A lot of liberals are seizing the decline of religion due to lack of relevant and salient symbols in the metaphor and trying to replace it with some sort of humanist paradigm that just doesn't ring true to a huge percent of the population (myself included).

'Don't try to kill/rob/hurt me, and I'll agree that doing it unto you wouldn't be moral...'.

That's a business deal. A good one in a rational world with total equality of power. I don't think we live in such a world.

"To get carte blanche to kill others, there has to be a trade... 'for the greater good', 'or 'self defense', etc"

Why? In a society that functions according to spiritual truths there are compelling reasons kill only under certain circumstances - or not at all. If no spiritual truths, then why not just do whatever you can get away with? The repercussions that matter are physical ones in the here and now.

I don't agree that we have competing/conflicting moralities. I think that we do have competing conflicting individuals and tribes that make a lot of excuses on quasi-moral grounds to support themselves when they do wrong.



Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 6:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CholoAzul said...

Mores and morals are developed by those very tribes.

In some tribes it is very moral to use small rocks for FGM so that the girl won't become inflamed by lust and have to be killed with bigger rocks later.

In other tribes it is moral to get a girl child ear pierced, tatted, and made up like a streetwalker as young as possible, in the hopes that a loving deity might bless the family with a reality TV show, or at least a wealthy son in law.

As far as 'don't hurt me and I won't hurt you', that's just a restatement of the business deal implicit in the Golden Rule and its variants.

Spiritual truths? Spiritual as an adjective means incorporeal... which means that just as in metaphysics or free verse poetry, you can make up anything you wish and declare it true.

Getting more in tune with the Tao, there is only stasis and change. We need the former to know when the latter is happening, and after enough labels have been applied, those 2 constants end up as yin and yang, true or false, white or black, liberal or conservative left or right.

Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 3:11:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

Cholo, I propose that when people make the inner journey as described in texts like the Upanishads (inner - there's another of those metaphors) they basically come away with the same spiritual understanding and it effects their behavior and relationships to others in the same pretty much the same ways - good ways. This should suggest that the experience have some objective reality to them.

Re; the Tao, you may have overlooked that there is always some Yin in the Yang and vice versa. Also, that is constant. There is no point where one can hold a static position.

But you have a good point. Most people are not going to make that journey. Instead they are just going to go along with man made societal rules and laws. And yes, it is too easy for some king to simply say, "Hey, I am king because GOD wants me to be. My rules are God's rules. So you'd better listen up and obey".

I think the extent to which the founders based the Constitution and the country, generally, on the concepts of Free Masonry is way downplayed. See:

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/the-basic-principles-of-freemasons.html

for a very simple outline.

This is very different from modern liberalism, yet, to my mind, is as liberal as it gets - or as liberal as one can get and still be functional in the real world. The difference, again, being equality of opportunity versus equality of outcome. Modern Liberalism emphasizes the latter and, in doing so, pushes ever closer to the impossible utopian promise of socialism.

How did we end up going down this particular comments path? I guess I started it as a reaction to Chief's atheism.

Any how, I always thought this country was all about me getting to believe what I want to and you getting to believe what you want to and neither of us getting to impose our beliefs on the other.

I see liberals as attempting to install their elites in the role of king (see above) and issuing decrees not from humanistic ivory towers that serve as their God(s).

So I ask, What's the difference between the right wings literal Biblical translations and the left's humanistic socialism? Both are imposing their beliefs on me and insisting that I live in accordance to them. Both are in violation of what this country is supposed to be all about.













Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 11:16:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

To Cholo and no one,

I appreciate both of your efforts to get to a ground re. beliefs, and as it's Sunday, I'll ramble a bit on topic. (It's not where the post started, but people's need to maintain their own beliefs usually takes us there, which is to say an artificial dividing line which reinforces affiliations of any sort.)

Yes, no 1, it's too facile to dismiss the "sky daddy" and set up a false dichotomy of belief in myth vs. pure rationalism (have we ever had such a thing?!?) For those who would rail against religion (mostly) they replace that external belief system with one of their own making, featuring a hierarchy of behaviors they feel to be fair.

We need not use the term spiritual reality, but we seem to have an innate sense of justice and we are story-making animals; there's no sophistication to be had in simply dismissing people's origin tales. Even if we imagine we have transcended a need for any particular dogma, there remains the impulse to divine a fair and companionable way of life with our fellows.

So I am in agreement with you, no 1 -- call it what you will, I believe we (humans) understand certain spiritual truths, and knocking any particular doctrine does not dislodge this impulse.

Cholo doesn't like the wd. "spiritual" on a literal basis, as it implies incorporeality; I would suggest this is bean counting, as we need not define the location of that impulse, but rather, just acknowledge that it exists. I'm not too Cartesian.


Cholo,

Let's try and be very precise.

You state, "To get carte blanche to kill others, there has to be a trade... 'for the greater good', 'or 'self defense', etc"

But that is a conditional and not "carte blanche", which implies free rein. I do not believe any social system has ever delineated "carte blanche murder", and as such, murder becomes one of those sacrosanct actions.

Per the Tao, you state there is only stasis and change, which is to say there is only change; our limited perspective only allows one view at a time, which seems like stasis but is not. The pre-Socratics deconstructed this idea nicely. While social evolution (toward a concept of perfection) is not a given, change is.

I think the extension to "liberal or conservative left or right" may not be the correct implication, as these are merely perspectives of the One. What if they are both very "Yang"?

However, we are in agreement re. the amoralists among us: there is no morality for them save when they wish to justify their own behavior; they worship their own god, which is themselves and their own appetites. They call that a nullity, but it is not. Most of us worship at some altar.

Whenever man comes up against another, there is a system for interaction in play. Anarchy (amorality) is not sustainable for the herd/tribe.

Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 1:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oops ... and just to sweep everything up:

This post was not at all about religion, and my suggestion that our laws emanate from what went before -- be it Hammurabi's Code, the Ten Commandments, the bible, the Magna Carta -- seems sound. It is not to prioritize one document or belief system over another, but merely to recognize the trail of efforts humans have made to live a sustainable life.

Certainly the Constitution is not ex nihilo, nor is it the work of atheists. I believe religion serves the important yet conflicting function of both humanizing The Other, and cleaving us from him.

When we can reconcile that, we'll be o.k.

Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 1:50:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

"... they worship their own god, which is themselves and their own appetites....."

Ah, that's where I was trying to go with my ramblings. I see modern liberalism as worshipping at the alter of the personal ego and its petty desires; which is not so different than the aspects of conservatism that are damaging, e.g. winner take all, wealthy lording over the poor majority. Both are rampant hedonism.

It's all "I want, gimme me and don't get in the way of me getting what I want for myself". Coddled egos seeking instant gratification with no sense of higher commitments or consequences.

Both sides must offer distorted versions of reality in order to justify policies that enable their pursuits.

The last couple of weeks here has been sort of depressing because it has caused me to think about just how screwed we are. Lao Tsu wrote the Tao Te Ching as his parting thoughts as he left, disgusted with human society, to go live in the wilderness by himself.

Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 2:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CholoAzul said...

I'm not arguing for or against a side here, just offering a perspective though jaded colored glasses.


Not to beat the Tao to death, but it's original postulate was not the Yin/Yang, that's something the rigid binary thinkers from Taiwan sold to the West when they started teaching Tai Chi in the 60s, replacing the cosmology with fortune cookie aphorisms.

The Tao's premise is that in the beginning there was nothingness/void. Then there was something, creating the 'change paradigm'. Everything *after* that (Yin/Yang,) is some admixture of sets defined by reference points. Very Euclidean.

But I wasn't presenting that as a real truth anymore than the FGM rites. My point (going back to FD Chief's first post) was that the media of necessity profits from the antagonism between groups/people/sets. That makes them more interested in liberal/progressive/changey topics, than in status quo, because there is more opportunity to sensationalize where there is change.

There was a paper when I was young (yes, we had printing presses back then, great monstrous things they were) that promised to only print positive news. It went bankrupt.

The top rated TV station in the St. Pete/Tampa market made one small change to their programming in the late 90s... On the evening news before they ran the blood and guts, they would show a teaser spot of some positive local event... a reading fair, someone getting an award, etc.

They dropped to the bottom of the viewer rating in once cycle... Not the news show, the whole station.

So we are stuck in the modern Yin/yang where the (by definition) 'liberal' media has become a mainstay of capitalist profiteering.


Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 2:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

no 1,

I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but when I awoke to these realities (as I see them), I was at once depressed and yet energized (to reject them.) I've been frustrated for a while over what I read, and it just hit me like a load of bricks: I don't like being jerked around.

That said, it really is a beautiful world once you opt out of the miserable pre-digested take on it. Not to be too sappy or Buddha-esque (how could I dare), but I've felt that oceanic consciousness long ago that could love even the misery; but I do not love the modern arrogant media, and it sadly has riven me from many of my fellows who do not share my discontent or even understand it.


Cholo,

Right re. the Tao and its focus on flow (change). Right, too, re. how positive things do not sell in the media ... Henley's "Dirty Laundry", right? I do wonder how brain dead or bored one must be to ingest it.

Sad truth:

So we are stuck in the modern Yin/yang where the (by definition) 'liberal' media has become a mainstay of capitalist profiteering.

Sunday, August 4, 2013 at 3:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

"..because there is more opportunity to sensationalize where there is change."

Bingo! That makes sense to me.

To answer one of Chief's questions, I live in NY - what Gov. Cuomo brags is the "most progressive state in the union". Our taxes are exorbitant. Excessive laws and regulations pervade every aspect of life, each with an associated tax, fee or fine. Layers upon layers of government, each with its ordinances and regulations all, of course, with fees, taxes and fines.

Businesses are fleeing the state to set up in more friendly environments. People are out of work and on the welfare dole; which causes taxes to go even higher. The schools teach at a much lower level than schools in places with lower taxes. Despite the constant presence of increasingly militarized police forces and a growing surveillance state, crime is a big problem in all urban areas.

This is progressive? It reminds me of East Germany when the wall was still up.

Monday, August 5, 2013 at 5:08:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

But yes, Cuomo is in favor of gay marriage, so I guess NY is the bright shining city on a hill.

Sheesh.

Bread and circus.

Monday, August 5, 2013 at 5:10:00 AM GMT-5  

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