Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Inspiration of Southern Wisdom

Blog doc 18 Exploring the Sometimes Puzzling Value of Southern Ideas

I will have to admit my own predisposition to wince each time I find myself somehow relying on something being said by a voice deeply colored by one the various Southern Accents. Can it be possible that some subtle feature of Southern Wisdom is missing in my understanding of the relative value of the words of my Southern Fellow Citizens?

After all, this is the fertile intellectual origin of all sorts of Southern Senators, Southern Coaches, Southern Preachers and other, more visible, bigots. Could it even enter the realm of possibilities that such forces of medieval leadership prowess might be better ignored? What a terrible step backward it would be if the Southern Influence as a guiding force for our national policy were to be disregarded!

Well, in an effort to clarify the great benefits from the Wisdom of the South, please consider these following ten focus points. It is hoped that by using these ideas, one will come to a more constructive view of our Southern Friends and their Valuable Southern Ideas.

Ten Positive and Essential Characteristics of Southern Thinking











Thank you.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Thanks for the Education, George!

Blog doc 17 How Much Reconstruction?

Soon there may be a legitimate President in the White House, one which has honestly won an election, one which has campaigned with some sort of implied promise to purge not only the fiscal effects of criminal looting from our economy, but also the wild psychology of the adolescents who have looted our national resolve with their puerile fear mongering.

The cleansing of Abramhoff, DeLay and others of their ilk was a mere scratch on the surface. Granted, each of these minor abrasions revealed more and more of the incredible “classism” of a spoiled draft dodger with the ambitions of an eight year old. As American people, we are cynically adapted to the idea that we will be robbed by “a thousand cuts” no matter who has reached power [Similar to “Being nibbled to death by ducks.”]. However, this time even our long suffering numbness has been insulted by crassness and savage incompetence as we have patiently watched ourselves being robbed.

Civility has been a problem. Any public American has been reluctant to openly and brazenly refer to the executives of the country as “criminals,” or “liars,” or even “corrupt fear manipulators.” No public speech has stood to say clearly that we are foolish and cowardly victims of our own fears, that we are presently suffering the consequences of our failure to stand up as adults when it was the moment for us to face our challenges.

It may be time to reconsider our classical past. Can we reasonably suspect that the Roman Senators would have been so sheepish in either speech or action given the general historical image of their ambitions? Of course, there were limits within such a body, some imposed directly by fear of the consequences of being too blunt or overly suggestive of acts of political competition. Still, we have to assume that even the “low bar” of Roman Senatorial speech in such a place was significantly more direct and specific than the mouse-like drivel of our day, oration filled with obfuscation, blurry generalities and innuendoes.

We must now consider whether or not our blurry, modern concept of oration will ever possibly be direct enough to be a foundation for the correction of the improprieties which have been foisted upon us by our present autocrat. George Bush’s puerile, adolescent attacks on American Constitutional Law have been neither sophisticated, that is, of such a complex and subtle nature as to not manifest themselves in concrete absolutes of criminality, nor hidden away beneath layers of conditional possibilities which might sustain any question about their seriousness. Very little effort has been made in an attempt to present these crimes as confoundingly complex, to establish a continuing idea in our thoughts as citizens that perhaps, “We wouldn’t be so upset if we actually knew more about these matters.”

It is clear, now, that neither our educated and critical opinions nor even our unbiased intuitions have been given any weight in the autocrat’s concerns. He has simply acted, in the behavior of a young boy, to consolidate any advantage he perceives possible, regardless of the appearance of such an act to us. This may represent a greater affront to the citizen than the actual substance of such crimes. Of course, the scandalous actions of his government and his cronies constitute a direct and material loss to us, but his willingness to act in these ways without an accompanying attempt, no matter how mediocre, to at least confuse our perception of such crimes is nothing less than an arrogant and magnificent insult.

In the first case, we might, when our government has become reestablished after the election, launch out in a revolutionary frenzy to expose every tiny instance of his record. Every lie, every cheap manipulation through false fears, every instance of greed and looting, every corrupt redistribution of power, every grotesque “religious” ambition, and every other destruction of our cultural heritage -- legal, economic, social and in spirit -- might be revealed. Once the perpetrators and the abettors and the benefactors have been identified, the next phase of such a reconstructive undertaking might reasonably be a Stalin-esque purge of these parasites.

If this response were selected, the most notable of these self-descriptive elitists should experience the horror of the prisons they like so much, that is, not the “tennis-court” incarceration always mysteriously provided for the careless criminal nobility of the past, but the “real thing” inhabited by the victims of their own inspired, self-righteous laws. It would present them with another, so-far unexplored, opportunity to not only flesh out their claims to populist ideology, but also to establish an environment for them to learn new and exciting lessons about life in hopeless, endless terror. You know, Iraqi civilian style.

The alternative would be one extracted from a more Sunday School response to these attacks we have suffered. Because we will be so occupied with new challenges necessary to “get America moving again,” we might, in the shade of reconciliation and economy, just let these things go, just think of the future, just let the past die its own death.

Pursuing this alternate path, we might feel certain that the rest of the world would be quite reassured to notice that Americans are not vindictive, that they really only care about such luxuries as justice and honor when The Great Economy disregards past infractions and directs itself toward brighter days in the future. These foreigners, after all, might need to understand that our dedication to the Constitution can be reasonably mitigated, that is, we can tolerate such violations and move on, when the time and effort to pursue them would inconvenience our traditional, pragmatic interest in progress and growth.

Such a presumption might be more destructive to our international perception than all the ill conceived nonsense of the autocrat we will discard. We will simply consider the comparative down side of such an image as it is balanced by our previous “faith based” disaster relief, abstinence based AIDS relief and free-market ideology and “faith-based” designs for national reconstruction (after our “shock and awe” approach to “faith-based” regime change and its inevitable, “faith-based” post-bombing house cleaning).

The world might, finally, comprehend. The phrase, “Oh those Americans! No matter. Boys will be boys.” might be the seed for a new, more positive world view of our culture, but, unhappily, the disastrous opposite might more likely be the case. Can we, as a nation, dare to continue our insipid claim that “Gee, it seemed like a good thing for us to do at the time.” as a panacea for all these tragedies of our past greed and our past fear?

We might need to think a bit more seriously. We might find ourselves formulating a new message to our leaders.

“If your plan involves handing our tax money over to your cronies so they will support your campaigns, if your plan involves dropping bombs from the planes we citizens have paid for, if your plan requires holding people for years without lawyers, trials or charges, if your plan defines the cunning required to prepare the electorate to vote against its own interests as a result of your deceptions, we are not interested in your plan.”

“Please be advised. We have become a little more testy about being made into patsies. Many thousands of us have graduated from the Bush School with advance degrees and the scars from our long painful studies.”

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The 3 "R's" - Responsibility, Romance and Rationality

Blog doc 16 Pro-Choice without the Lipstick

Just below the turbulent surface of the “No Choice” bunch, just peeking through the scum of self-righteousness, there is an abundance of their “most horrible nightmares.”

The “Greatest of the Nightmares” is not too far removed from the same bedevilments which visited the authors of Deuteronomy when they were confronted with the migration of their youth to Babylon. It was no secret that things in Babylon were actually a lot more fun compared to life in the sheep camps on the desert. They were appealing. We all know what teenagers like.

In fact, it is most likely the case that the shepherd boys and their girl friends were not as tormented by the sheep idea as by the incredible burden of the paranoia on the parts of the male dominated hierarchy. This prehistoric version of “shall not’s” ran the gamut through a thousand rules -- only a few of the choicest ones survive in the Old Testament. You know, rules about things that were an “abomination” to God, although little information about exactly how these ambitious elders came to know such a thing seems to be included. The juiciest came with automatic death penalties.

In a pre-Midieval sense, these old desert men were living in a Neo-Con paradise, basking in the joy of absolute, even divine, authority, surrounded with submissive wives and terrified teenagers. Maybe that connection drives itself the other way, that is, a mandate for desert rules in modern times. In any event, good psychological health of the day required thoughts of pious suicide if one were to accidentally glimpse his father’s wife’s brother-in-law naked.

These folks knew how desperate and obsessed one of their desert boys could get without the benefit of a girlfriend. For the more ambitious and romantic lads, the sheep were simply not the same. All sex must be managed by the rules of marriage, and there seemed to be a perpetual abundance of such rules rolling out of the tribal chief’s tent, along with other arcane but extremely useful ideas about sin and wickedness to be “bought into” lock, stock and barrel.

Boys from high-end families were habitually laid low, virtue-wise, by brazen temptresses from low end-families. In these cases, it was her fault. In the converse, when a high end girl was cruelly used by a low class boy, it was his fault. In due time, the true value of women was revealed. They were worth next to nothing. After that it was, for a long time, always her fault, and her problem. Were abortions available in secret places to these desert girls? Probably. If not there at home on the desert, they were certainly common in Babylon and the rest of Sumeria.

If such an abortion could be accomplished secretly or in some other socially acceptable manner, it would represent nothing less than an “escape hatch” to the endless appetite for control issuing from the tribal elders. By the way, around this time, children were great for sex because most of them weren’t sick, yet.

Well, Deuteronomy has had more than one fresh coat of paint since these ancient days. It is now back to the general idea that if an unmarried (uncontrolled) girl gets pregnant, it is because an equally uncontrolled boy got her in trouble. At this point, it is the full responsibility of Christian society to “get even.”

If it were a violent insemination, or even one which could be successfully represented as such, there was jail. Within its walls, such a boy could encounter new rules, also inspired by the desert, possibly something similar to what the ancient sheep were thinking. If the boy simply “got her into trouble,” it was assumed that the youthful innocence of the young lady was confounded in some critical moment by his advances. In these cases, there would be no jail, just extortion. Her family, seeing this incredible prehistoric opportunity to enslave the lad for twenty or so years, would insist that the child be born. It would fall to him to pay support, to hire lawyers to extract visitation as he was teased by these ambitious parents -- parents always citing one or another element of proof that he was, in fact, a vile, demonic sex monster unsuited to be in the company of the child, after all, just look what he did to their pure and lovely daughter.

Once his seed is set, the whole economy of his life becomes recompense for his misdeed. He will not prosper, become educated, live happily as is the normal joy of youth. He will have no choice because she will have the full force of the law. Can there be an alternative to this psychotic form of mass destruction of male youth? Perhaps.

So far, it has always been the young mother’s decision to bear the child. Its father has no say at all. If it were otherwise, how could he be properly punished? His unmarried wife will bear the horror of raising the child, while he is footloose and fancy free, possibly even creating repetitions of the same problem. The dog.

A true pro-choice law divides the responsibility of decisions about the future. The best, of course, is the case of coexistence, even family creation. That is surely the idea of a child in its essence. Otherwise, this fetus becomes a torpedo, ready to wreck the life of any man it is aimed toward.

Is it so far afield to think this way? When the conception becomes fact and ambitions toward the formation of a stable family are not in hand, abortion takes a seat at the table. If he calls for an end to the pregnancy, she can refuse. But if she does, the entire child becomes hers, no part remaining with him. The cost of raising the child, home, food, utilities, insurance will be entirely hers as the baby is entirely hers.

Should she want an abortion when he wants the child, she should not be able to refuse him, that is, get an abortion against his wishes. Once he child is born, however, he will accept the full responsibility to be a parent. He must be responsible for the cost of the birth, the provision of adequate care once the child is in his custody and all other necessary support. She would then receive complete freedom as if she were not related to the child in any way.

Is this entirely fair? No. Insisting that a woman bear a child may be a greater demand than his responsibility under the agreement. Nonetheless, at some tender moment in the past, about nine months in the past, all this responsibility was already present, divided, perhaps unequally, according to gender. The voices complain that such an equitable distribution of responsibility would encourage the very worst kind of sexual profligacy. The actual result would be an honest and compelling incentive toward honesty and realism. Perhaps King Solomon was not such an out-of-touch elitist after all.

The mythology of the no-choice movement is presently little more than a statue made of smoke. Can anyone honestly believe that those engaging in sexual acts are somehow inhibited by the possibility of the current awful consequences? Could such a wrenching process ever be substituted for birth control? Can a modern society continue to artificially isolate sexual and reproductive responsibility in such an arbitrary way as it is done now?

The statistics themselves defeat any counter argument based on “desert rules” from the ancient world. On a good day, 20,000 children die of disease, hunger and military violence. On a bad day, the grisly number reaches or exceeds 40,000. Issues of control and judgment make adoption processes advance at a snail’s pace compared to the creation of babies. No solutions are currently on the table. Instead, the social culture continues to be enslaved by the tantrum of modern “tribe leaders,” always pursuing their timeless insistence on control of others, brutally uncaring when considering the misery their insipid demands seem to be able to endlessly inflict on more normal people.

It is an industry perpetually fed by irresponsibility and hopelessness. The children grown under the care of the existing program can hardly be considered successes after watching their biological parents enduring two decades of absolute rancor in place of any possibility of the benefits of a family.

It can continue as it is, or it can finally embrace the needs of the children and the needs of the culture. It is explosive and destructive in its present “theo-neo-state” with a far greater capacity to destroy lives than to contribute to its alleged goals.

Everyone who reads this knows someone mired in this very ugly process. Is there any way to imagine that it is working?