Societies are not static, they are like pendulums and can swing too far in either direction.

This site is committed to the free exchange of ideas in a civil manner. Leave your flies out of the room. The purpose here is to explore ideas that can lead to solutions that benefit all, if not most, rather than some at the expense of others.

Don’t complain if you’re not willing to make the sacrifice of time to, at least, read about what concerns you. If you abdicate your involvement---you get out what you put in.

To my father---as tough as an authoritarian as he was, he planted the seeds for this work. Did he know what he was doing?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Only one “good day” for America?

We should have many more good days, but we won’t. 

“A good day for America” (when hearing of the execution of Osama) says the president?  I say good days are, unnecessarily, becoming like “hen’s teeth”.  It’s a good day if we can meet people somewhere in the middle to give mutual respect to their needs as fellow humanity on the same planet.  It shouldn’t be, I’ll compete with you for resources and if you perish, too bad.  It can’t be our colonialist way or the highway.  It can’t be I’ve got mine, you fend for yourself and I’ll block any attempt for you to achieve something for yourself.  Otherwise we’re just bullies and we’re missing the real point.  It’s not just about Osama. Where are the jobs?  What are we doing about climate change?  How are we combating discrimination?  Was Kate Middleton a virgin in Westminster Abbey when she got married

The execution of Osama is just another reminder of the world we live in.  It might be a good day for many because they captured the #1 criminal.  I see it another way.

Osama didn’t act alone.  It was his mindset that believed he had enemies and he had a  following.  Little different from those of other mindsets and the ends to which they would go to get what they believed was “right”.  It’s the extremes that run into problems because they can’t reconcile the world any other way.  We have our own.  Ever hear of the Crusades?  Ever hear of the Tea party; Timothy McVeigh; Green Peace?

The only joy I can see is that everyone’s glee at revenge is confirmation of a Human Universal---traits of humanity that all humans have in common.  Unfortunately, we ignore our common traits (the universals) and accentuate the differences---which are transient, entirely man made, and actually amount to little importance.

Imagine if we put aside all our other extremes and were able to, pragmatically, consider solutions to problems.  Like the president, Mr. Cool.  He was calculated in his decision and the method to take out Osama B.  He was not ideologically driven.  Imagine if he had to consult congress!!%^&?

But if you’re wondering why it appears we are in decline, it’s in direct proportion to the religious influence on our politics and policies.  If you want to go backwards, that’s what’ll happen when we return to 2500 year old dogma as a guiding light.  As a religiously conservative mentality slowly makes their influence more pronounced, so goes individual liberties when it all becomes about “fellowship” for the sect.   So goes education when you don’t keep current with science and refuse to teach evolution or Genome discoveries; or explore stem cell research. We accede our dominance to others.  We go backwards when individual’s rights are overpowered by the Supreme Court affording the deep coffers of the corporations an equal say in politics and we get trampled.  We go backwards when human rights in the form of collective bargaining are dismantled in the states including: Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio.  We go backwards when a faction’s hate speech is protected by the same ideological Supreme Court under the guise of “free speech.”  We stagnate when biblical law dictates our economic policies.  We go backwards when religious dogma prevents advocating planned parenthood when, clearly, having children should be a responsible choice; not a result of accidents or punishment.  Abortion is not the issue, educating and handing out prevention measures obviating the need for abortions, is.  If you wonder why our infrastructure is not being repaired along with creating jobs, it’s because of dogma that, now political speak, doesn’t believe in debt; but was hardly shy about not paying for two wars, except with debt, lowering taxes to the wealthy, and returned a huge surplus.  Stories were devised for ignorant people 2500 years ago as a cohesive element for the group.  So if you’re wondering why we are headed in the wrong direction, just stop for a moment and look at the guideposts to see what direction we are headed and why?  And if you feel uneducated, remember the adage, “barefoot and pregnant”.  There were laws against educating slaves in the 19th century.

The reason why we’re held back from solving our problems is possibly the notion, to some, that solving problems in the form of progressive thinking cannot come from a faction of the population that protests any thinking contrary to the teachings of a bible.  In a changing world, flexible thinking is required based on new ideas and advancements in science and technology; not adherence to old tenets because doctrines are timeless.  We find conservative economics in spite of changing world economic conditions.  We find factions wanting to adhere to old styles of life when they fly in the face of contradictory new scientific findings.  We find factions that adhere to old tenets in spite of other cultures that might disagree.  Isolationism might have worked centuries ago when threats weren’t as serious as when some can, now, fly planes from 6000 miles away and attack without warning and kill thousands.  Yet we defend these ideologically, supremacist tenets as we did in the Crusades.  Wouldn’t common sense dictate that we modernize our thinking and behaviors based on new findings?  It might have worked to establish discipline 2500 years ago as a step in the progress of man’s development, but to hold onto that platform for sentimental sake when there are others more contemporary, strikes one that the adherence to these tenets become more indicative of a cult mentality or an insecurity to think about things that might be new.  It’s always easier to say “no” to change than to have to review our thinking for possible revisions.  And cults are not candidates to accept questions regarding their authenticity. 

Man, prior to his development, was primitive.  But in his journey to our current stage of civilization, there are those that continue to cling to sentimentality of times past. Their rationale is that, what was good 2500 years ago should still be good today.  Like the cheese made a year ago sitting on the counter is still good. Who wants to be first to eat it?  Why should that cheese still be good?  Why should old ideas be maintained when discoveries indicate these ideas are no longer fresh and fail in their reasoning because there is newer information to the contrary that eats away at the foundation of the old beliefs? 

William Z. Ripley wrote, in 1899, The Races of Europe.  It stood acclaimed at the time by the N.Y. Times and Harvard for the next 25 years.  Jim Crow was still strong in the South from the emancipation of the slaves until 1965.  My father was born in 1917.  So I, as most others, were raised by parents who lived during a time that believed dark skinned people and others were of different races, not to mention, inferior, to lighter skinned people.  These thoughts were also condoned and taught by the bible and continue to today.  But these ideas are still believed despite new scientific information that disputes Ripley.  Yet this new information renders teachings that teach behavior contrary to humanistic equality as discrimination.  So in light of this and with further understanding that policies have been based on these discriminatory teachings, why should they persist when we are now enlightened that we were wrong?  Why should we eat the cheese?

By the same token, we also realize slavery is wrong and homosexuality is not a choice.  Why should we not readdress everything that has been established based on 2500 year old criteria?  It’s the same as believing that 2+2= 5 was discovered to be wrong.  Shouldn’t we reset all doctrines, calculators, and concepts etc. that rely on the principle 2+2=5?

It should be obvious when there are contradictions in the bible to demand a revision.  And I guess there are revisionists.  That’s how we get different factions of religions and other philosophies.  So why the resistance to fundamental changes when there are cracks in the foundations?  Perhaps, because when revealed, the extent of the revisions would render the religion hollow? Suicidal they’re not.  But it’s up to the flock to see The Emperor’s New Clothes.  But if you’re intentionally kept stupid, caveat emptor.  Keep religion personal if you want, but not in policy that affects all.

Up to now there was really nothing as concrete as revealed by the Human Genome Project discoveries.  Everything prior was merely subjective and not grounded.  It was more of a moral or subjective argument, of equality, that couldn’t quite get it over the goal based on teachings that couldn’t be disputed.  However, the Genome discovery, indicating that separate classifiable subspecies (races) do not exist within modern humans, is tantamount to Louis Pasteur’s discovery of microbes.  Disease didn’t come from nowhere, it was caused by microbes.  We now take precautions with refrigeration, sterilization and hygiene to prevent these microbes from wreaking havoc with our lives.  Well, we’ve explored beneath the outer surface of our skins to reveal the basic components of our human structures.  We’ve found the building blocks of our species to be just about the same rendering the belief, within parameters that guide consistently all our other scientific thinking, that we are all of the same species.  Consequently, all behaviors based on ideas to the contrary are now unjustified.  All behaviors suppressing others in the name of previously thought supreme ideas have been rendered contradicted, hence invalid, and unable to support policies based on their tenets.  The continued maintenance of those beliefs is in violation of the new information and therefore becomes arbitrary and capricious.

It is those factions that continue to be arbitrary and capricious that holds back the rest of the world from solving current problems.  The world is not a statically determinate structure as we find that it is basically a living organism in its own right.  As it has ills we must try to diagnose those causes and treat them accordingly.  Not prescribe a witch doctor’s or medicine man’s ancient prescription to modern day global warming, for one.

It would be nice, as educator, Diane Ravitch says, to have a universal education.  At this point in our lives it’s not practical, though, to implement, because there is a faction standing in our way; those that maintain their unyielding ways of dogma.  We can rise to occasions as we have in the past, but we made progress because ideology was not an uncompromising dominant factor.  Unfortunately to the detriment of most, it currently stands in the way of common sense to the solution of today’s problems yielding unsatisfying compromises, and preventing more “good” days.  Unless this obstreperous obstacle is removed---it will truly be, the end of days.

                                             No Flies !            

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