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Posted on Jul 8, 2009
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Hold on to your latte, there are some seriously pissed-off white Americans out there who are not happy with the way things are going—and they’re armed. Truthdig’s Chris Hedges leads this tour of “Americana: The 2nd Revolutionary War.”

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, August 9, 2009 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael the REPUBLICAN EXTREMIST,

It is easily known that all the Hitleresque rioting at Democratic Meetings is fake, because the rioting is tooted on REPUBLICAN television.  Republican Media seldom, if ever put on television democratic riots, if they do, it will be only a flash, that unless you watch carefully, you won’t see at all. Bill Moyers, covers democratic riots, but these riots are the autocratic Right trying to exert their minority power.  The CORPORATE Right-Wing EXTREME tried hard to keep Bill Moyers off PBS, but in the end, Bill Moyers is back on television.

EXTREMIST Republicans DO NOT want the PUBLIC OPTION, and are causing these riots to try and make Obama look incompetent in the working people’s eyes.  It is a HITLER TACTIC. No Democrat would be rioting.  CORPORATE CONTROL is trying to usurp Obama’s control through Hitler’s tactics.

Now to change the subject.

When it comes to the either/or propaganda in regard to Christianity or the Bill of Rights.  This is a specious argument, but for those who aren’t aware of what Jesus said, here it is.

Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s, which is located in Matthew 22:21, Mark 12:17, and Luke 20:25.  These statements recorded three times in the New Testament separate CHURCH government from STATE government, and it must stay that way until Jesus comes, because the RIGHT are POWER, CONTROL and AUTHORITY freaks that the Common Population need for protection against the POWER, CONTROL and AUTHORITY seeking Right-Wingers.

As for the liberal Bill of Rights being against God, that is absolute rubbish.  If that’s so, ALL agreements are against God, so all agreements would be null and void in the sight of God; and that isn’t so. Jesus also says that when two or more of you agree together in His name, it is done by the Father, therefore, God isn’t against the Bill of Rights agreement. The Bill of Rights is not in competition with God.  If the Bill of Rights is against God, so is the marriage agreement, and all other agreements.

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By StuartH, August 9, 2009 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Ozark:

I’ll repost this.  Given the river of text here, it probably floated by too fast.


“Possibly a reasonable question:  Are you familiar with Barry Lopez, the writer who specializes in deep and lengthy essays on environmental philosophy and nature?

Seems he had in the past, been a monastic with one of the Christian denominations.  I guess that’s where he gets his interest in lengthy contemplative discourse.  Anyway, he proposed that the root problem that Christians are having in struggling with environmentalism is the interpretation of what the English phrase “dominion over the earth” means and whether it really translates accurately from ancient language.

He points out that for many people, the English verb “to dominate” is a license to exploit and to have disrespect for nature.  For those to whom it means “stewardship” it means responsibility to care for the legacy that we’ve been given and to have respect for nature.

As someone who identifies with conservative evangelical Christianity, does this seem like a useful way of looking at the differences people have over how to cope with environmental concerns?”

Additionally:

What actually is your definition of conservative evangelical Christianity?  There are various segments.  Are you a Seventh Day Adventist or a Southern Baptist?  Are you a speaker in tongues or more like a Bill Moyers intellectual sort?

I might point out that, far from being excluded from the table, this has become your table.  You can quit reading these discussion attempts as hostile and playing the victim card,

Another point that I think got ignored in the rushing waters, since the climate outside has turned intense and nasty, it ought to be a point of honor here to try and find a way to promote some more useful sort of discussion. 

The point however, cannot be that you get to take home some sort of prize for having used this forum to convert somebody.  The discussion should be based on an equality of purpose and of respect for each other’s different choices.  After all, this forum is made possible by the First Amendment.

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By John Hanks, August 9, 2009 at 9:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would say “lazy coward” most of the time, although most people think I am brave.  I try not to lie and bully people so I guess I’m a lousy crook.  And everyone gets suckered.

The only way we can fight the crooks is to envelope them through correct word of mouth.  The media belongs to them.  I’m wearing a T shirt that says “Pull the Rich Weeds”  We have to give voice to what is on everyone’s minds.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, August 9, 2009 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

Now if you wish to impose your religion on me then that is where the line is drawn.  As long as you practice your religion for yourself and your compatriots we are fine.

Except if I express an opinion on a really important issue, for reasons that you deem are religious. Then i reckon we are not fine. Then you get the Dominionist bug in your head and start talking like Senator McCarthy or the Grand Inquisitor. I will not accept peace with you on those terms. I have children to think of.

That seems fair enough. (Shenonymous encourages a truce on those terms.)

If She was the one whose opinion has been and will predictably be truncated by the prejudice, i think she would see it differently.

Night Gaunt: “You stay out of my pants and I stay out of your church.”

My agreement with that depends on how big you think your pants are, and how restricted you think my church should be. I have read every article that you have posted in talk2action for the past year. I dont know if i can accept your terms yet.

And as a Christian how could you countenance harming others, which the extremists in America do?

i do not anywhere. Do you?

http://www.tcotreport.com/eyewitness.html

I truly believe that you mean no harm. I also think you are smart. In the future you might grow out of this Dominionist-conspiracy-on-the-verge-of-taking-over-so-we-gotta-take-drastic-measures thing. Otherwise that fear and the buzzing in your head about drastic measures makes you a danger to the Bill of Rights. If i can help you avoid the latter by being tough with you, thats what i will do.

How are you on preemptive actions against crimes not yet committed? I am against it.

Goodness, I am being profiled by a Leftist on the very issue i planned to instruct him on! One of my favorite topics. But I dont mind since you asked me nicely instead of assuming Christians are the bad guys.

yes i am againt it too. Lets both avoid preemptive actions against crimes. Come hell or highwater. or even Dominionists!

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By Shenonymous, August 9, 2009 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

I have to tell that upon waking this morning, I remembered the posts from last evening and couldn’t help but laugh loudly at the poetic structure of tyranny OM gave us.  I thought how beautifully evil can be portrayed. Satire in its most cunning form.  How easily we are deceived by our own artifice and wondered if that was the inherent evil Plato saw in the artifice of the arts, especially poetry since in words are humans most easily deceived.  So as a very humorous exercise I wanted to infuse the vision evoking OM poetry with my own artistic effort and rearranged the lines, within the restraints of Truthdig formatting*, thusly
      G o o s e s t e p p e r
        D o m i n i o n i s t
          E x t r e m i s t
            T e r r o r i s t
              F a s c i s t
                R a c i s t
                  N a z i
creating a Ziggurat of Tyranny.  Please, refrain from criticism, as it is a tribute to artistry.  Through the vehicle of art, something memorable is given humanity.  As you can see the bottom word names an adjective given to a certain group of men and as a foundation holds all the above similar and related adjectives.  Or, psychologically useful, it can be seen as the distillation of all the adjectives seen above. The end note, as it were, the simplest term, hence is the most easily remembered.  All the others may then efficiently be called Nazi.  I hope you don’t mind, deah bruther, if I appropriate this construction when it becomes, uh, propitiously serviceable.

I think, however, to make it more utilitarian for his point, he forgot one term:  Christian Right (which could be positioned at the very top), but I will refrain since it was not part of his original poem and I can well understand his repugnance of doing that. And besides, it is not my conviction.

*I can only hope it turns out as intended

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, August 9, 2009 at 5:30 am Link to this comment

How come conservative Christians could be against progress when it has been a clear moral issue?

You ask directly. Do i acknowledge that Christians in Texas did and still do mean things? What does it mean about Christianity that many have been or are racists?

All i can do is reflect your own words back at you. You are not able to work out a complex, changing situation. Is there not less racism now than when you were a kid?

This is a complex issue, which good institutions and even good people became marred by. Thomas Jefferson, the Left’s favorite founding father, held slaves. Does that negate him as one of the founding fathers? Does that mean everything else he did was wrong? Does that mean John Adams should have written the Declaration of Independence instead of the tainted Jefferson? Does that mean Jefferson’s famous remark about ‘separation of church and state’ is useless?

With the simple, superficial method that you use on Christians in Texas, if you apply it to Jefferson the answer has to be yes all down the line.

To his credit, Jefferson gained a glimmer of understanding about what being a slaveholder did to his soul, to the soul of every ‘master’. And most of all to an entire society. A rot which was not going to be easy to get rid of.

It gets very complex, yes religion gets dragged into it in several ways and as a reaction to further events. For example there is a concept of the Lost Cause.  Complex.

Let me try something simple;

There are Jeffersons all around you in Texas.

Yes, there are evangelicals who have that glimmer of understanding. True, some or many of them are still tainted. Maybe all of them are tainted with enough imperfection that you feel justified in negating everything else they believe in or vote for or live by.

For me the issues are far more complex then that, and have been for 30 years.

The best way to shake you is to keep turning your own prejudice back onto the things that you care about(because you have already dismissed the things I care about, there isnt a conversation yet), which I have done quite creatively today, as usual. The only difference being that I did stimulate your prejudice to ever more absurd heights by pretending to disdain your hero, Jefferson.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 9, 2009 at 12:28 am Link to this comment

“When you ask me a question directly i answer it honestly.”OzarkMichael

Except when you don’t answer at all like that bothersome point about the Bill of Rights. Such lack of answering I found odd since it would have shown me whether you think secular gov’t is important or you would rather have a Biblical one. Of course wanting and getting aren’t the same.

I know that part of your belief system includes Christians, as they are called now, being hunted down. Which was true in pagan Roman times. Later they became the Romans. Now more often then not they are the hunters of people like myself. How are you on preemptive actions against crimes not yet committed? I am against it.

I am live and let live, are you Ozark Michael? Here is one of those direct questions you say you answer directly, even when you don’t in the past. As you have said as well. This is how we learn about each other.

Being a conservative Christian is common place, a Dominionist isn’t one such, they are dangerous radicals who don’t think the republic is right as their Bible tells them so.

Of that list you gave do you fit any of them?
Goosestepper.
Dominionist.
Extremist.
Terrorist.
Fascist.
Rascist.
Nazi.
If not then we are fine. I don’t believe I used any of these terms in relation to you, did I? If you do we are fine as long you are, like myself—-live and let live.

Peace

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, August 8, 2009 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

My last denoument of the day…

OM, I have never considered nor ever called you a
Goosestepper.
Dominionist.
Extremist.
Terrorist.
Fascist.
Rascist.
Nazi
Nice degression…  artful.
Although you did admit, OzarkMichael, to being a dog who thinks he is a duck,  I will let that pass.  I will hum as you pass by.  You have called me an evil twin.  It is possible in another incarnation I called you brother.  Some rebellious evangelical theatre, was it?  That was then and this is now.  And much water has passed by in the Ganges.

If there must be a dividing line, I have admitted to being liberal on most issues, I have socialistic leanings, but I am infamously known to be on the other side at times, voicing my opinions at my own peril from the zealous left.  I too have been called worse names than you and have been laid death wishes on my person, just for being a fence sitter, for seeing both sides of a ferocious matter.  I only mention this as you are not uniquely devalued.

I found it interesting how you pitted yourself, the lone ranger, against all others on this forum, lumping us all together as if we were “thhheeeeee enemy.”  Clever strategy.  “The Christianne” calls perceived enemies a unified name.  And dares to differentiate one from the other, in the slightest, but most ahtfull vay.  Like Da Colonel,... noooooooh, make dat Herr ZheneRal, Generalfieldmarshall, da Desert Rrrrraht, uh, er…Fox, like er… er… er… uh, make dat Johannes Eugen Errrrrwin Rommel, (chivalrous, humane, secretly protesting, but still a Nazi, but mutinous nonetheless, who wouldn’t kill or mistreat prisoners, especially Jews he captured)... he vould haf appresheeeated “za current arrangement.”  Your camouflage may not be working, deah brutha.  You see, it is a just figure of speech.  A story within a story within a story.  So Russian.

StuartH introduced the concept of a wall of separation as “a separation between church and state” and for the express purpose to describe the intentions of the founders of this country.  Not to separate you from us (us meaning everyone except… OzarkMichael).

I will restate it as I understand it, not the way StuartH put it:  Its unmitigated purpose was to make it impossible not for a particular religious group within American society, but for any and all religious groups from gaining a politically powerful upper hand from which to dictate terms of life to everyone else.  You egocentrically took that to mean Evangelical Christians, mainly because StuartH mentioned that group, but only as a contemporary example, because of their loudly vociferous wishes.  I, on the other hand, or, I should say, on the knees, took it to mean the imperialistic Catholic Church, by reason of the ecclesiastic edicts, dictums routinely pontificated from Rome, but then I was a Catholic at one time, and possibly tuned to hear things that way.  The creators of this country had in mind particularly the High Church of England, the King’s Anglican Church, which in an ironic sense is an odd hybrid of Catholicism and Protestantism.  It was originally invented from a Roman Catholic Order to uh, the “High Anglican” to accommodate the divorcing wishes of the murderous King Henry 8.  The immigrants had been persecuted and murdered in George 3’s England as heretical and the founders of America were coherent enough to know the absolute and treachery of the authoritarianism of all religions.  I do not count Buddhism as a religion even though some humans have forced it to be one for themselves.  Genuine Buddhists are quite atheistic.  But Buddhism also has its dogma, all is illusion, attachment is the source of all pain, and so forth.  Those who developed this country wisely did not write even that possibility, atheism, as part of the plan.  Religion was not traded for non-religion.  It simply was not written in at all.

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By Shenonymous, August 8, 2009 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

More…
However, the purpose of the so-called “wall” was to prevent a religious seizure of a religiously-protesting society.  Religion was used in England as a tool to tyrannize, victimize, torture, oh yessss indeedy the infamous torture, and murder, which some would have preferred, usurping, and expropriating as the state willed.  Religion was the whore of the King.  1776 wasn’t specifically aimed at evangelicals, but in our own time it seems that this particular group, as StuartH mildly put it, “has become unhappy with not being able to transcend the limitations that bind all of us in a larger compact.” It is hammered in to the airwaves unceasingly by the frothing at the mouth ultra-conservatives.  I have tried to listen to them, and their foam is nothing less than painfully blistering to my ears.  They make it very hard to embrace religion, as does the Pope, as do the Ayatollahs,

It is not often N-G and I hold similar views, but I am copying here a slightly modified excerpt from one of his comments: “To me the Wall of Separation is a protection for you and me.  You stay out of my pants and I stay out of your church. Now if you wish to impose your religion on me then that is where the line is drawn.  As long as you practice your religion for yourself and your compatriots we are fine. It is only when you wish the likes of me to do so that we have a problem.”  That seems fair enough.  I reiterate it because it is a variation of my own sentiments.  Which is to have a coexistence of antithetical views as long as there is mutually “safe” absolute regard for the others’ views, so I may carry on my life without the fear of losing my Self.  I unequivocatingly state I have not ever felt in our long association that you, OM, attempted to impose your religion on me.

On any issue, by my calculation, all have a right to be in the room, OM, and all have a right to vote, even fascist pigs, Right or Left, as long a they are civilized.  Please don’t reinvent my words and accuse me of calling You a fascist pig.  It is your habit.  So to be Nixonianly perfectly clear, I do not think you are a fascist pig.

If you were singed in an earlier life, you then know the feeling of being burned!  And as a Christian how could you countenance harming others, which the extremists in America do?  You said you do not do such things, I believe you, but yet you do not condemn those who do. 

It is my mission to understand my life and what the world is about, to learn what is important and how best to interface with others.  I like to think of myself as tolerant of all points of view, even when I profoundly disagree.  And I attempt to argue in a respectful manner for my views, but I have been known to react in hot-blooded terms when denigrated.  But there are certain behaviors I would never have and I do not tolerate in others.  That is to insolently oppress or suppress others self-determined negotiation of one’s life, mine or any body else’s.

However, I highly doubt any ignorance and fear has been overthrown.  They are staunch pillars of human inertia.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, August 8, 2009 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Insight and enlightenment may over throw ignorance and fear.

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By StuartH, August 8, 2009 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Ozark:

“What is my aim? To break one or two of you away from the prejudice. I dont try to win you over on any issue.
Who am I doing this for? The Christian who really will be alone in a room full of Leftists in a college today or worse in some grim future scenario. Where the words you use so carelessly today are filled with power and menace. They are serious words.”

First, your posts were vague and apparently defensive.  Now they are getting more pointed and defined, but still defensive and bit more name calling and less incisive. 

I might point out that I grew up in a conservative Evangelical Christian environment.  I went to Baylor University, where this was a predominant paradigm. 

However, this environment ultimately was about supporting unfairness and injustice and lying to prevent dissent from upsetting the main tenets holding it all together. 

Is this a necessary outcome?  Maybe not.  But I was left with the basic feeling that you could not both be an intelligent person and a Christian, from that particular circumstance.

One of the things I hope for in conversations like this is some thread that may reveal that there is another side to conservative Evangelism that might be more friendly and less prone to the tragic errors that I have seen. 

Unfortunately, signs of this are fleeting at best. 

When I see Christians waving guns because they are too impatient to do any work to understand the true complexity of things, when I see injustice caused by some idea that this is the working of fate and that well off people should not be a part of the general community to contribute to the advance of civilization, I just wonder…what happened to Christianity?

I recently was going through some boxes from our last move, in an attempt to reduce the amount of stuff in them and found some old newspapers from 1963.  There was a sheaf of Dallas Morning News and Waco Tribune Herald copies full of Kennedy Assassination reportage. 

There was also a conservative Christian tabloid featuring a photograph of Martin Luther King at that folk life retreat in Tennessee.  The cutline screamed that this proved that what King was doing was the bidding of Moscow.  I remember that the conservative community that my parents were part of could not conceive of any way that Martin Luther King had a real cause to articulate born of indigenous American experience.  They just wanted blacks to shut up and they wanted to keep the “colored only” water fountains and the whole Jim Crow paradigm in place.

How come conservative Christians could be against progress when it has been a clear moral issue?  What is that?  Is that really what Christ would have wanted?  To make this sort of thing justified in the name of Jesus, isn’t that basing a religion on a foundation of lies?  How can that be anything but a shrinking minority as people learn how to think critically, as they do in a university?

Those are tough questions, but you can’t get away from them because they are at the bottom of all this.  Perhaps there is a way to logically sort this out.  I would like to see that.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, August 8, 2009 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

I can see now that your entire point of view is a sham if indeed you are telling the truth of yourself. Sad really considering we are not in contact and you and I among many others use pseudonyms. So you are safe.

When you ask me a question directly i answer it honestly.

Yes, i am safe.

But others like me are not so safe as I write this. They are what you might call a ‘local minority’, especially in many colleges in this country. Furthermore, in the future it is possible that people like me will be in the minority everywhere.

My liberal reader, please imagine this scenario:

Imagine our little chat group was a real life cross section of the population, with a person like me in the minority and yourselves in the majority.

There are six of us. John Hanks, Night Gaunt, Shenonymous, StuartH, and MarthaA and myself.

So for a moment take yourselves seriously, take your words and the words of your fellow travellers seriously. Imagine if people like you could make the rules.

So lets imagine that our nation has some important issue to decide upon. The topic could be abortion.

Now, the first question is whether I am allowed to vote on this.

For example, there will always be a few Domionists running around to keep Night Gaunt on his guard. Whether I am a Dominionist or not is hard to decide. But I am conservative Christian. Night Gaunt asks his magic question about the Bill of Rights or the Bible. I fail that question. 

StuartH notes that the question of abortion needs to be removed from the control of religion. The Bill of Rights protects our nation from religious control. So to uphold the Bill of Rights he could deny me a vote.

Shenonymous would allow me to vote even though I drive her crazy. Even when she is mad at me wfor a good reason. Thanks, sis.

MarthaA knows that i am a dog, or at least a toady of the dogs. In the future the ducks are on top. They wont risk going back to the old way at any cost. In her world I dont expect to live long, let alone vote.

John Hanks knows that the Bible and the Bill of rights are both debased. I think his sense of revolutionary justice would rankle at allowing a fascist to vote and possibly reestablish its power.

You are, each one of you, a real person, and your Leftist point of view is supposedly an inexorable force, our bright and wonderful future as human beings evolve to greater heights. I take your words and the words of your fellow travellers seriously. More seriously than you do. Thats a fact.

What has been my method for the past month? I construct the converse of your attitude and reflect your prejudices back at you.

What is my aim? To break one or two of you away from the prejudice. I dont try to win you over on any issue.

Who am I doing this for? The Christian who really will be alone in a room full of Leftists in a college today or worse in some grim future scenario. Where the words you use so carelessly today are filled with power and menace. They are serious words.

Goosestepper.
Dominionist.
Extremist.
Terrorist.
Fascist.
Rascist.
Nazi.

If you have spent the last 20 years calling Christians such names, somehow I doubt that you will suddenly break the habit when you come into power. Perhaps I will help that future be a better place by opening your eyes today.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 8, 2009 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Ozark Michael;

“The heights in political discourse were abandoned decades ago, starting with Gore Vidal.”

Really a fatuous and historically inaccurate statement. Fatuous for using it as an attack on Vidal without any quotes to support it, and inaccurate for its historical ignorance. We can go all the way back to 1800 when Jefferson was derisively called an “atheist” among other vile things as he ran for president. He was a Deist but that is little different from an Atheist in most things. Especially to the more devout.

“I don’t give my actual opinion on most issues we discuss. Including on how listeners ought to behave when someone is speaking. An issue which is so fundamental for Americans we should all agree without an argument. But we wont be able to agree. I know Leftists, and I know that you just aren’t up to it.”

So as a professed Christian you lie to us? What is it about your opinions you think must be hidden from us? Me the Atheist tells what I think of things, but the Christian doesn’t? See any irony here? I can see now that your entire point of view is a sham if indeed you are telling the truth of yourself. Sad really considering we are not in contact and you and I among many others use pseudonyms. So you are safe.

I understand the need for lying in a general context sometimes but here? I see no reason. Our mutual enemies of the Republic have no problems with lying, that is the least of their works. If we do not hang together we shall all be captured separately to live out our lives in the American version of the gulag or be put to death as apostates and traitors. We must be better than them. We must be upright and compassionate and careful with them like holding a poisonous animal in our bare hands.

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By Shenonymous, August 8, 2009 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

I watched the youtube video and the deliberate and aggressive speech like Glenn Beck’s Jokes about “Putting Poison” In Nancy Pelosi’s Wine is about a vicious and violent as a mouth can get and really puts me off.  There is nothing redeeming nor funny about a savage statement like that.  I would never and will never count anything he says as deserving a nanosecond of attention.

I’d place myself in the sucker group, John Hanks. In which of those three groups you invented do you reside?

MarthaA and Night-Gaunt:  An interesting discussion about socialism happened back in 2005 on the PBS program Think Tank.  The two guests were Joshua Muravchik and Christopher Hitchens

Then there are three one-hour associated video clips that can be watched at
http://www.pbs.org/heavenonearth/watch.html
I plan to watch this weekend.  Since we have been having a discussion about the relative strength, and weaknesses of socialism and capitalism, if you haven’t seen the film it might be worth a watch if you have the inclination and the time.  The transcripted discussion with Muravchik and Hitchens looks interesting as well.  Even though Hitchens represents one of the “new atheists,” he is also known for other kinds of criticisms.  I don’t always agree with Hitchens’, or his militant atheism, but I find some of what he says thought provoking. http://www.pbs.org/thinktank/transcript1193.html

Since I think beliefs are millstones if they are held uncritically, I work at keeping an open mind and look at various viewpoints before settling on any conclusion, but even if I do, I know I can change should serious challenge come my way to reconsider that conclusion.  However, I occasionally run in to folks who have positioned themselves in a particular inflexible posture that prevents any latitude.  Self-righteous indignation with the habit of embellishment is an idea that came into my consciousness this morning and urged the following thoughts:

Imprecision has its value.  The intentional fogging of the way things are has worth on a few levels.  For the intended recipients, inchoate information about facts or one’s actual thoughts keeps them ignorant and thus either furthers animosity that might have existed or makes them unable to respond in any relevant or coherent way that sets the speaker up as more powerful, which is a second reason imprecision has merit.  Keeping the discussion vague keeps the playing field as an unknown so that responders cannot know how to make any articulate move let alone the next one.  It is a strategy of a warrior to keep perceived opponents in distraction.  Furthermore, and perhaps worth reckoning, the defense of having been systematically persecuted could be a case of crying wolf and when it would be real, would not be believed.  The only way bonafide complaint can be made is to provide details, then and only then is validity of the charges supportable and deserves belief.

Science and religion are essentially and immutably incompatible, .  Science is only involved in investigation and nothing else.  As such it is permanently open to revision as new information is discovered.  It is always provisional.  If it strays beyond investigation, it is no longer science and enters other domains of human endeavor.  Religion is never involved in investigation; even were it to research if someone deserves sainthood.  That kind of examination is grossly limited.  Questions might be entertained on a superficial level, and it might be thought and advertised as being sophisticated, but it never reshapes the religion, and no basic dogma is ever eligible for amendment.

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By StuartH, August 8, 2009 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

Ozark:

Possibly a reasonable question:  Are you familiar with Barry Lopez, the writer who specializes in deep and lengthy essays on environmental philosophy and nature?

Seems he had in the past, been a monastic with one of the Christian denominations.  I guess that’s where he gets his interest in lengthy contemplative discourse.  Anyway, he proposed that the root problem that Christians are having in struggling with environmentalism is the interpretation of what the English phrase “dominion over the earth” means and whether it really translates accurately from ancient language. 

He points out that for many people, the English verb “to dominate” is a license to exploit and to have disrespect for nature.  For those to whom it means “stewardship” it means responsibility to care for the legacy that we’ve been given and to have respect for nature.

As someone who identifies with conservative evangelical Christianity, does this seem like a useful way of looking at the differences people have over how to cope with environmental concerns?

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By StuartH, August 8, 2009 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Ozark:

It sounds like the form of an argument that could actually be interesting is beginning to form, although the shape of it is still out in the fog a bit.  I appreciate your candor and your frustration.

Part of the problem here is that the text has gotten to be a bit unwieldy.  Time for adequately reflecting on just what is meant is possibly beyond us.  You sound like you have predisposed reactions to “leftists” and are objecting to being categorized as following Limbaugh.  I guess that’s a sort of a start.  Sounds real. 

I tried to lay out, no doubt in a way overburdened by too much length, why my experience led me to have generally negative reactions to conservative evangelical Christians as a category. There is a history there, and the current climate tends to bear out the history. 

You pointed out that you were not informed about the Texas Board of Education, but that is a data point that, taken together with the apparent dog whistling about race and violence, should be alarming if you value civil discourse. 

I think there could be a potential for people inclined to deliberation to find a reasonable way to discuss these things without falling to blows.  The basic problem is that we are in a context which is hard to find clarity in. 

Now, Chris Hedges in a recent book, refers to aggressive, political evangelicals as fascists.  In looking at that, this was intended to make a point through heightened contrast and words people can readily understand.  If he had been trying to be more academically accurate, he probably would not have gotten the book published or read very widely. 

I think it is true that some fundamentalists would be tyrannical if given power because they have no philosophical commitment to listening to others and believe absolutely in their own self-contained rightness.  This is different from having the confidence to engage in leadership, and is beyond, in a category that becomes dysfunction. 

I have no idea whether you would agree that such people are dangerous to others if they have too much power, or whether you have thought very deeply about that issue. Do you either differ with or agree with the idea that the righteous should be dictators?  That seems to be the core of the issue.  For those of us trying to believe in little “d” democracy, obviously this is a concern. 

Perhaps if you think you are being subject to unfair characterization, which you very well might be, you ought to try to delineate where the reasonable lines of agreement that a discussion could proceed on the basis of might be found.  In diplomacy, people sort out where they agree, where they disagree and where some beginning points could be identified so that progress might occur.  We are all flawed humans with predispositions and limited understandings.  If we recognize that and are willing to reach out to those we have differences with, perhaps absolute conflict is unnecessary.

The problem with online fora is that they owe much to video games in the way they work:  agreement tends to be ignored in favor of conflict and “zap, zap” sorts of gotcha games. 

Maybe given the current environment in which conflict is getting too intense, the contrary thing to do would be to seek conversational terms that might go in a better direction. I wonder if that is possible.

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By OzarkMichael, August 7, 2009 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

StuartH informs me: You got the Mein Kampf reference totally backwards.  Given the recent quote by Rush Limbaugh, maybe this is the reason.

First, I am right about the Mein Kampf reference, just like I was right about the Ecoscience agenda, which somehow, even though you admitted that you knew nothing of it, suddenly you turned and lectured me about. Be thankful i am just telling you instead of showing you. There just isnt time.

Second, for you to say that my response to Martha and Shenonymous was parroting or related to Limbaugh is a typical liberal dismissal. You do this with your usual superior Leftist authority.

I have been dealing with the issue of prejudiced name-calling of people as “Nazi” and “fascist” for 30 years, it is my main theme here on Truthdig for 2 years, and most of all right in front of your own eyes for a whole month now I have artfully questioned that type of name calling.  An effort quite wasted on you and everyone else here.

What was your response?  “i am not interested in those terms” to which i responded “if you were the one being called fascist maybe you would be interested.” Remember? You didnt know a thing about it(as usual) and then you turn around and dismiss me now simply because I am a Christian, a conservative, the sort of person whom you can do that to and get away with it.

Thus the wise liberal dismisses the ignorant conservative as merely following along behind Limbaugh. Even though the facts right on your computer screen for a whole month tell you otherwise. And you keep telling me how i ought to express myself clearly, gather more data, and reexamine my assumptions.

Examine your own assumptions.

Now for the really funny part. In a recent post you take even higher ground:

StuartH says: We are in a downward spiral.  This reverting to a junior high school level of taunting and poormouthing isn’t at all about advancing some sort of intelligent discussion or debate.

Except for when you called me a racist. That advanced your “intelligent discussion” of defending Obama at the time, didnt it? Of course with K Delphi, you took the racist charge back, because he proved to you that he is merely a disheartened Leftist. For me, ‘racist’ is still hung around my neck because I am a Christian, a conservative, and i am not giving in.

These charges of racism and fascism do cling to people. Repeated enough times they become ‘fact’. I have fought this alone for thirty years, and I fight it alone now. I dont need Limbaugh, and I certainly dont need you to tell me how to do it.

Downward spiral? At what heights do you Leftists imagine yourselves to be? The whole thing has been a puppet show on ground level. The heights in political discourse were abandoned decades ago, starting with Gore Vidal.

I dont give my actual opinion on most issues we discuss. Including on how listeners ought to behave when someone is speaking. An issue which is so fundamental for Americans we should all agree without an argument. But we wont be able to agree. I know Leftists, and I know that you just arent up to it.

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By John Hanks, August 7, 2009 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There are three classes which you find anywhere.  They are not set in concrete.  They consist of crooks, suckers, and lazy cowards.

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By Shenonymous, August 7, 2009 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

What does it mean to say “I did the right thing?”  What does it really mean, “to do the right thing?”

Doesn’t it depend on what one’s ideology is that unflinchingly and unabashedly says what “right” means?  Much as most rational people would cringe, possibly retch at anything about him, Hitler’s ideology led him to believe, as Plato theorized, he was seeking the good, as all men imagine, as he perceived it and that meant doing the right thing according to his ideology.  Taking this to a larger scope, doing the right thing is what the group thinks is right, and that is dependent upon their beliefs, their closed-system of beliefs.  For an even larger domain, doing the right thing is what is good for the world, and that is when ideologies bang heads, competing for whose ideology is the right thing.  Such is the folly of being steeped in one’s perceptions.  It is akin to falling in love with one’s own reflection.

There are two ways to understand the word perception: as cognition of what the senses are presented experientially, and having a capacity for such mental actions as insight, intuition, or gaining knowledge through evaluating what is sensed, intuited, or having had insight.  Whatever kind of perception one has, it is always, without any exclusion, liable to error because the senses do not provide absolute information about the world that is being experienced, nor do the senses provide timely information regardless of how instantaneously it appears.  There is always a time delay when a sensation is experienced and the nerves deliver it to the brain as having happened.  Therefore, everything, every single experience you have is always historic, never in “real” time. 

Doing the right thing could in fact be a drastically wrong thing when a view of the world is stunted or distorted from grasping beliefs given quickening in a closed system and especially when that the actions from that system forces outsiders to live by and believe those guiding principles are unassailable.  The morally horrible and frightening prognostication is when what is perceived as ‘doing’ the right thing results in harming others’ physical being.  If that makes anyone feel good, then they are truly miserable mortals.

One clever defense is the one that pretends oppression.  In reality, it is an ugly defense and shares that estimation feigning being misunderstood.  It is no less than manneristic hooded aggression. 

Reading the comments here and elsewhere, watching the news, reading the news articles, it occurred to me that Democrats are entirely and consistently driving for a peaceful forging with the republicans whatever is the debate.  It doesn’t matter what the issue is.  Without saying why they have the correct view, the Republicans constantly pontificates and issues plans that are advantageous to them and their cronies.  They are bending over backwards to have a “bipartisan” agreement.  While the Republicans bend over frontwards wanting the Democrats to kiss their collective butts.  The formaldehyde pickled minds of the Republican contingent steadily agitates, and now is extremely convulsing to create a state of extreme confusion.  Americans are supposed to be influenced by the Republicans’ reluctance to accept changes and stay conformed to the status quo, which benefits and profits the majority of the wealthy and powerful, and wants the rest of America to continue to sit with their thumbs up you know where? 

After many years of experimentation, social scientists have concluded that tit for tat action is the only action that yields the best reciprocal behaviors.  Seems to me this is an obligation the Democrats must perform if they have any hope at all of prevailing in this unique Democratic Congress that may not come along again for a very long time.  If they don’t prevail on these big issues, I think the Democratic Party will suffer irreparably.

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By StuartH, August 7, 2009 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

This is a twitter message, apparently in an attempt to mobilize anti-health care reform people to come to town hall meetings in New Mexico:

If ACORN/SEIU attends these townhalls for disruption, stop being peaceful and hurt them.  Badly #iamthemob

Now, this may be just BS with only wind behind it.  However, Republican and conservative leaders and responsible community members are possibly leading us over the edge into some kind of violence.

The response to the attempt to work something out through civil discourse is all we have, or we descend into a nasty and brutish condition and lose civilization in the process.  The effort to build is difficult, requires discipline and steady effort.  The effort to destroy takes no thought and little time. That has always been true.  I hope that cooler heads prevail before anyone gets hurt or worse.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 7, 2009 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

I reject such class stratification as well. I identify that our opponents do support such classifications that they deem natural and normal if not “God given.” They, many of them, see the world as black and white with each in their place because they were put there, not as a happenstance of birth, but as a cosmic dedication of their Aryan-Nordic God of All. I used the term “ruling class” as a catch all of those who do and those who want to and those who think they have the power to rule over us. Those who find even the tatters of our republic a hindrance to what they ultimately want. Erik Prince is an example of what they are and what they think and what they want. One of their kshatriyas so-to-speak. [They would use different nomenclature of course.]

Nature is a balancing act. I believe it is possible for us to balance the needs of the individual with those of society in a better way than are done here and now. There are others who look upon the rest of us as inferior beasts cursed by God that they must whip in line, or if they are too stubborn, work them to death or just our right kill them.  Whatever happens, however they decide it will be “God’s will” as they see it. They also work in absolutist terms and probably won’t be able to be bargained with unless they cannot overwhelm us with force. Such as if they are arrested before they can do more to us. Not an easy thing to do in these times. It will be a good thing if Erik Prince is arrested, tried, found guilty and is put away forever. That and the closing down of his New Templar organization. It will be just a start because there are many other ones to take his place.

That is where the pseudoscience of Social darwinism comes into play and is still believed by them to be real. Whether with or without the patina of science connected to their mysticism of creation and the ‘races of Man’ and whatever else they accept as reality.

It is a war between eugenics (good breeding) vs euthenics (good environment) and I support the latter as being most beneficial to us all. They support the former as many well off and powerful do as it is self referencing. “I am rich therefor better bred and any who aren’t are inferior.” A tautology.

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By Shenonymous, August 7, 2009 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

It is so easy and accommodating to conceal imperfect ideology in general or abstract terms.  Please define the sharp edges of the “ruling class,” in America.  The strategy is to invent a package, in this case, a special class, that allegedly has properties, attributes, then use it as if it were real to be able to express a criticism that in reality is based on a vague imprecision.  What are the definite marks of such a package?  What exactly is its reality?  Whose reality is it?  The same can be said of the synonym of class, caste.  It is an invented entity that has artificial existence useful in hypothetical views of reality, and hypothetical delineations of that reality.

Social darwinsim is a 19th century coined expression, not really associated with any of Charles Darwin’s theories but came into fashion with Herbert Spencer, and a couple of others who founded eugenics.  Darwin felt that an associate of Spencer, Francis Gatton’s notions of eugenics as without pragmatic value.  While competition among species exists because of the limitation of resources, competition is overridden by cooperation of individuals and the dog eat dog description is nullified.  Medical practices counteracted the effects of dog-eat-dog by providing the capacity of the “weaker” members to survive, and hence to propagate.

There is no ruling class that concocted anything.  Behaviors evolve out of inheritance (the so-called Nobles of Britain and other European baronial systems) and perception of available resources.

I do not see our society as dog-eat-dog.  Perhaps there are segments who act in that manner, but the ‘common population,’ cooperates for the promotion of the population.  The common wealth that includes individual

In capitalism, the means and fruits of production are privately owned.  Laissez-faire capitalism, (pure capitalism) has never existed except in theory, much like the designatedly named classes. The tendency in the kind of capitalism that operates in the West, and expressly in America, is to have less central government control.

I find it curious you Night Gaunt are calling for more and more privacy while simultaneously censuring privacy in economic and but not in the social system. 

You are calling for a particular ratio between the individual and the society much in the same way MarthaA and I are.  What would make each of us happy is expressed in ratios that are of different quantities.

I believe that ghosts, or chimeras, are invented when frustration on how to engage in dispute arises.  Metaphors for groups, such as class, caste, and subsections of such mass nouns, such as Upper Class, Ruling Class, the Jatis and Varna in India consisting of specific verbalizations of a stratified society such as Brahmins (scholars, teachers, priests), Kshatriyas (soldiers, or warriors, kings), Vaishyas, (merchants, farmers), Shudras (laborers and other service providers).  All classes are ultimately tribally originated and an invented system to separate not only socio-economic-heredity but whether a person was free or slave.  The continuation to refer to a population as having discrete classes is a continuation of a primitive mind set, that I reject.

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By StuartH, August 7, 2009 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

We are in a downward spiral.  This reverting to a junior high school level of taunting and poormouthing isn’t at all about advancing some sort of intelligent discussion or debate.

Apparently this situation is being led by people who care nothing for the real consequences of unleashing destructive forces.  Where will this spiraling downward lead?  How bad will it have to get?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAii_MxDklw

I think Obama is doing a great job of being unflappable and intelligent.  This is an almost impossible situation.  The only way that we can avoid going all the way into an abyss of emotionalism and dysfunction is for the adults to model determination and persistence and the ability to handle complexity without getting hysterical. 

The Know Nothing contingent is clearly upset because they have no argument to put forward which constructively solves problems.  The Bush Administration basically ignored all problems and rewrote scientific reports in order to prevent discussion.  Now everything is coming home to roost. 

Ignorance is not an option.  Problems are highly complex.  Things are not going back to some fictional past where they were simpler.  They were only sugarcoated and made to look simple for some people.  That never was real.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 7, 2009 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

“Right, anarchism is not a form of government, it is formless tribalism of a sort, in other words, it is lawlessness and disorder, savagery.  Dog eat dog world, or cat eat cat, or dog eat duck world.  I’m not willing to devolve, go backwards, anarchism is primitivism.”Shenonymous

Actually the Capitalism we have is dog-eat-dog of the social darwinist caste. Something concocted by the ruling class to show how “scientific” they are in why they rule. [For any who doubts that God made them the ruling class.] It is the dictatorships (of all stripes) that are the Law and Order of the iron boot barbarianism. Just neatly ordered and efficient as a thresher or metal stamper machine. Just not moral. Anarchism is of the volunteer. Fluid with many leaders who become followers dependent on the situation. Where Mutual Aid is the rule. Just as stop signs are. Anarchy isn’t chaos as is generally portrayed but mutually agreed upon rules and protection of the individual from the collective group. Where the individual can still paint their house any color they want to and anyone who doesn’t like it can do nothing about it. Something we don’t have in our much touted “land of he free” since it is with a very large caveat.

Anarchism is where every individual is a noble to each other. Like countries where their boarders are sacrosanct to each other. Something that the USA and others do not adhere to if they are weaker than the USA or France or any other. The strong oppress the weak.

I just want more autonomy for the individual within society. Get out of my pants, my body, my personal choices about life! We must live together and we can if we can keep our personal prejudices personal and not make them law. Like about sex and drugs and even what color you can paint your house, if you have one.
Anarchism for the individual, socialism for a safety net and capitalism for the innovation and keeping the economy going. Right now we have close to anarchism for corporations, socialism for their safety net and capitalism for their profits! We run the risk of losing what safety net we still have. Money is tight and they won’t stop paying for the wars which cost much more than for SS(I), Medicare and Medicaid which they will want to cut and eventually eliminate. That is the plan as I see it. [Part of the Second Revolution of the fascists as they try again to topple the republic after failing in 1934 but weren’t punished.]

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By MarthaA, August 6, 2009 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael,

OzarkMichael said:  “Martha, I was overjoyed when I read your Mein Kampf post. Maybe we are on the same side, fighting for the same thing.”

MarthaA’s answer:  We are not on the same side fighting for the same thing at all. 

The second two quotes I made from “Mein Kampf” by Adolph Hitler are in the context of the first quote I made from Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” that is as follows:

“At that time I (Adolph Hitler) adopted the standpoint:  It makes no difference whatever, whether they laugh at us or revile us, whether they represent us as clowns or criminals; the main thing is that they mention us, that they concern themselves with us again and again, and that we gradually in the eyes of the workers themselves APPEAR to be the ONLY POWER that anyone reckons with at the moment.  What we really are and what we really want, we will show the wolves of the Jewish press when the time comes.”


OzarkMichael said:  “Because yesterday my congressman had a meeting. When he said that the Obama healthplan would pay for itself, since it was such a bald-faced lie I laughed out loud and right away many of the people were laughing. The congressman didnt like that. Later I felt bad, like maybe I was impolite.”

OzarkMichael said:  “But after reading your post I realize for sure that I did the right thing.”

MarthaA’s answer:  The second two quotes by Adolph Hitler from “Mein Kampf” are the basis for the formation of the SA Brownshirts, Hitler’s framing of the innocents that were protesting Hitler’s tyranny and oppression as DISTURBERS, and Hitler’s Political Movement together with his Prototype Storm Troopers as the innocents.

What you are saying is that you have tried to frame your Congressman as a DISTURBER, as Adolph Hitler did the Jews, making yourself in your own mind the innocent underdog fighting against tyranny in the same way as Adolph Hitler did, and that you see what you did as being the right thing; this type of behavior has been used from Goldwater, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II and continues to be used to frame the innocents, the Liberals, as the DISTURBERS and the DISTURBERS as the innocents, and the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN MOVEMENT is just as proud of what they have done as Adolph Hitler was, and you say you are.  You have nothing to be proud of.  What Adolph Hitler did cost the lives of over 20 MILLION innocents and time has shown that the innocents of Adolph Hitler was nonexistent.  If this standard of DISTURBERS being innocents is your standard, that is your affair, but in this regard, I assure you we have nothing in common.

You have admitted you are one of the REPUBLICAN EXTREMISTS GANGSTERS GONE WILD:
http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/141811/health_care_town_halls_"gone_wild”:_right-wingers_on_the_rampage/

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By Shenonymous, August 6, 2009 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

Since the radius is the determinant of the circumference, C is as fixed as is r.  It is not a changing relation unless the radius increases.  But it all various measures of r makes congruent Cs, and the relationship between radians and the circumference also remains the same, it is always 6 radians plus the amount that the irrational pi forces depending on what number you like for pi (rounding off 3.14??????? to whatever decimal is useful).  At least that is all I can remember about circles and pi.  Duh.  Thatwuzalongtimeago.  Great! 

So the ratio of mix between capitalism and socialism would not change if based on the 2pi circle.  How to determine what that ratio is most propitious for the good of the population will be the tricky question.  There are two variables and when that exists, there will always be argument as to which is prime.  Even if there is equal amounts, there will still be conflict.  Oddly enough, it looks like we have nearly a similar idea of combining C & S.  The difference might just come down to the ratio.

Right, anarchism is not a form of government, it is formless tribalism of a sort, in other words, it is lawlessness and disorder, savagery.  Dog eat dog world, or cat eat cat, or dog eat duck world.  I’m not willing to devolve, go backwards, anarchism is primitivism.

Yes, I do know the terms are Old English and of course we (early Americans) who immigrated from England would naturally have the same tripartite class system they were socially conditioned to have.  However, mutation, or a social change happened and we (early Americans) morphed into a different kind of society.  Still related but morphed nevertheless.  Contemporary English try to emulate American life, but they are stuck in their caste system and cannot shed it because their coat is much too thick, that is they are stuck to their coat-of-arms.  The three class terms originate from a feudalistic form of society that I do not see as descriptive of American society.  It was dependent on a hereditary class with special social or political status characterized by strict division into social classes, i.e., nobility, uh, nearly noble, clergy, peasantry (the commoners), and, in the later Middle Ages, burgesses; private jurisdiction based on local custom. The landholding system was dependent upon the fief or fee. Feudalism was wholly based on contracts made among nobles, and although it was intricately connected with the manorial system, it was different in that in the latter case, the peasants held the land, as sort of renters, and somewhat akin to the Helots of Sparta.  They are invented stratificatin when superimposed on American society.

I have a different sense about America and I don’t have the pessimism you and your colleagues do.  Besides…there is always music.

I saw a NOVA program the other night that talked about the incredible virtues of music, that the brain is definitely physiologically affected, and how music training and involvement helps the human brain to solve other domains of problems.  Perhaps we ought to have all politicians learn music, their choice of what form of course, but it must be mandatory.  There could be concerts given in Congress to soothe the savage politicians (beasts) before they make policy and laws, and they would be much more benevolent to the “common” people.

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By MarthaA, August 6, 2009 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

(Part 1 of 2)

Shenonymous said:  “don’t get caught up in the vortex of your own script.”

MarthaA said:  I don’t have a script, I’m far from perfect, but I do the best I can to be perfect in what I put on the blog, to cut down on controversy, because truth brings light into the mind. I do enjoy reading and answering your posts.


Shenonymous said:  “However, as a necessary counterbalance, the impulse of freedom comes from promoting the individual.”

MarthaA’s answer:  Promoting individuals within their identity as a part of the “common population” is not a bad thing, because each person has to stand on his/her own, but individualism in the absence of class and cultural affiliation is nothing more than isolation of members of the “common population”, so that they can more easily be taken advantage of by the dominant classes and cultures.  Individuals in a class and culture have a cohesive responsibility to the overall group, The family has the same class and cultural responsibility.but it is seriously off base when the individual is promoted to the exclusion of class and cultural identity and responsibility.


Shenonymous asks:  “Shouldn’t we force a dictator on them and force them to know they are delusional because we have a better idea what is in their best interest?”

MarthaA’s answer:  No, that doesn’t work.  The only thing that works is to patiently work to promote awareness.


Shenonymous asks:  “Isn’t that fascistic?”

MarthaA’s answer:  A dictator is not necessarily fascist, but a dictator can be fascist.  Fascism is corporate governance with a religious facade.  Sophists will be with us always, but we must all strive not to be sophists.


Shenonymous said:  “But because they chose to be different than me doesn’t permit me to denigrate them or call them ignorant.” 

MarthaA’s answer:  Everyone is ignorant about something, and people have just cause to be ignorant about politics, because all our lives we are told that you never talk about religion and politics, which isn’t conducive to getting well learned in politics and both are used against the population when corporations take over, as has happened in the United States. 

One must remember, there are real ducks, as in my story about the duck, and there are metaphorical ducks; we should all strive to bring awareness to the ducks, so that the ducks do not get eaten by the dogs, as happened in Hitler’s Germany.  We must strive to not allow the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION to be sitting ducks.

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By MarthaA, August 6, 2009 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

(Part 2 of 2)

Shenonymous said:  “It is also understood in the realm of psychology that if something is said enough times, there are those who will believe it as truth (it is in fact, trooth)”

MarthaA’s answer:  “THE MAKING OF CITIZENS, A Comparative Study of Methods of Civic Training” by Charles Edward Merriam outlines the process for the civic training or a duck that will run with the dogs.  Our duck was a naturally occurring duck, Professor Merriam explains a method of civic training whereby ducks can be mass produced that will run with the dogs for the benefit of the dogs. See following url and url introduction relative to how Merriam’s work is being used in Iraq and elsewhere.

[PDF]
Political Communication Report
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View
of Methods of Civic Training in the 1930’s was a landmark. 4. Cook, Timothy E. 1985. ... Merriam, Charles Edward. 1931. The Making of Citizens. ..... Saddam’s Word: Political Discourse in Iraq (Studies in Middle Eastern History). ...
http://www.apsanet.org/~polcomm/pcr/pcr_1998_sum.pdf - Similar -
by P Socialization - Related articles - All 3 versions

http://www.apsanet.org/~polcomm/pcr/pcr_1998_sum.pdf


Shenonymous said:  “I am not a classic socialist.  I am a watered-down socialistic democrat believing in majority rule (either directly or representationally), with welfare programs for the benefit of the population as the most important result of actions.  I think democratic socialism is not even a viable description.  I don’t believe Marxist socialism can work any more than an anarchistic structure.  I believe both are disastrous for people.”

MarthaA’s answer:  I am a pragmatist that believes that Capitalism and Socialism can be combined and mollified by ‘‘ratios of benefit” that will allow an expanding and contracting model, much the same in theory as a 2pi Circle. 

Essentially what this means is that a model could be made that would provide ratios for both the benefit from the means of production and distribution, as well as labor necessary to implement the means of production and distribution that could expand and contract, and provide stability of benefit for those who own the means of production and distribution as well as those who provide the labor to operate the means of production and distribution during times of both expansion and contraction and all points in between.

I, and those I am associated with, have suggested this as a model for a number of years and saw “ratios of benefit” on some signs that the California nurses were carrying during their protest for health care, but I have been advocating a much more extensive use of “ratios of benefit”.

Anarchism is not a form of government.


Shenonymous said:  “The invented categories of classes…”

MarthaA’s answer:  As I told you before these are Old English terms.  Did you know we used to have Common Law?  Common Law came from the Old English terms:  Noble, Nearly Noble and Commoner.


Shenonymous said:  “The girl, who is blind, leaves the village and enters the world outside, is oblivious.  She was not told by the park ranger that she is living inside a cocoon.”

MarthaA’s answer:  The duck suffered more than debilitation, and I feel that if the Common Population doesn’t become aware, they are going to suffer more than debilitation, also.

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By Shenonymous, August 6, 2009 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

Self-delusion is not confined to ducks and dogs. And I don’t fancy myself to be a duck, deluded or not.  I don’t quack like one, I don’t walk like one, and I don’t run with either ducks.. or dogs.

“...what could possibly be the “cause and effect” of the unfolding cosmos that could account for such a grim death for such a valiant little duck.”  Short of inventing a full-bloomed fable, the caniniomorphosized duck is given a heroic Dionysian death, and the moral lesson a realization that values are relative to the society in which they are created.  Perhaps the little mallard could be consecrated in a constellation.  Its Latin name is Anas platyrhynchos, family Anatidae and is a Northern Hemispehre duck.  Perhaps there is a constellation in the Northern sky that has not yet been named.  We have an entire story already composed.  It can be a tale told to all children everywhere on the danger of self-delusion and getting others to believe in that delusion.  Perhaps it could be located in the sky near Canis Major, or Minor if that one isn’t possible?  I will definitely try to illustrate such a story.

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By StuartH, August 6, 2009 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

Ozark:

You got the Mein Kampf reference totally backwards.  Given the recent quote by Rush Limbaugh, maybe this is the reason. 

I read the book once.  I have to say that I didn’t think at the time that it explained very much.  Mostly self serving mush. 

People tend to refer to opponents at some point as Nazis, especially if there is some passionate push to accomplishing something involved.  This a a real disservice to anyone in our time.

Hitler became who he was by mobilizing mobs of thugs who actually hurt people.  After he got elected, he immediately went to those who had supported him out of political expediency, took out a pistol and shot them. 

No one in our society ever comes close to that and we should hope they don’t.

Having said that, the conservative mobs that are making news by shouting down discussion at Town Halls are not showing off the best of moderate and reasonable behavior. 

It is obvious that health care reform is needed and has been needed for a very long time.  The first time I was really aware of this was the day after I took a friend to an ER, when I called to find out how he was.  He was in the morgue.
The short version of a long story was that he couldn’t afford health care even though he worked 12 hour days, seven days a week and holidays. 

For some the system works fairly well.  For more and more people, it doesn’t work at all.  It is a catastrophe and if some people would prefer to not look at it honestly, then they should listen politely to the debate, not try to shout it down. 

Complicated?  Oh yeah.  But we can’t make it be simple.

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By Shenonymous, August 6, 2009 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment

Entertained by the MJ video.  Thanks, sadly not too many others post music on TD, even to make a point!  But I’ve said before, many times, I believe in gray people.  So yeah, it doan mattah if yo black or white. 

Thing about Jackson’s song, is the high intensity.  If it doesn’t matter, then it doesn’t need to be shouted.  It just doesn’t matter.  There is some quiet poetry that says it better.  They stay in the mind longer.

Poetry:  Race
by Christopher Kendalls
Is my worth a function of my skin tone
Was there something to be said for being the same race
Why aren’t we same even though we’re of the same race
Why aren’t we friends of each other
Why can’t we help each other through
We reach out to those we’re most comfortable with
Always alienating someone we’re not
That everyone else thinks we get along with
Perhaps no one will know any different


Cross
by Langston Hughes
My old man’s a white old man
And my old mother’s black.
If ever I cursed my white old man
I take my curses back.
If ever I cursed my black old mother
And wished she were in hell,
I’m sorry for that evil wish
And now I wish her well
My old man died in a fine big house.
My ma died in a shack.
I wonder were I’m going to die,
Being neither white nor black?

True, the music video is rhythmically agitating, hot, glamorous, high end, well choreographed.  But it’s sentiments are not unique. 

Shadow boxing produces nothing but sweat. To declare some state of inequality exists by one who would stand with those who declare all are not created equal in their humanity, who take advantage of those who may not have the opportunity to have the same resources is a strange convolution. 

One must never assume too much.  It is in bad form.  Exactly what are the dimensions of that table you want to sit at but think you are denied?  Maybe you should bring your own chair?  My table has no dimensions, it is infinite in all directions and all are invited, you and your conservative brethren are welcome.  Only one condition:  civility.

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By OzarkMichael, August 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

Martha, I was overjoyed when I read your Mein Kampf post. Maybe we are on the same side, fighting for the same thing.

The last two Mein Kampf quotes are Hitler complaining about Nazi meetings being disturbed by protestors. The Nazis are the “innocents”, the “decent” people, and if you read it carefully you see the Nazis are the ones holding the meeting. The people who Hitler calls DISTURBERS, THREATENING GANGSTERS, and THUGS are the people protesting! They are the good people protesting the Nazi meeting.

So in your analogy the good guys are the people protesting the healthcare meetings, which are run by the Nazi bad guys. I was so happy to read this that I almost cried.

Because yesterday my congressman had a meeting. When he said that the Obama healthplan would pay for itself, since it was such a bald-faced lie I laughed out loud and right away many of the people were laughing. The congressman didnt like that. Later I felt bad, like maybe I was impolite.

But after reading your post I realize for sure that I did the right thing.

Since everyone here is concerned about fascism, please find out where your local Obama Healthcare meeting is so you can protest the stupid things they say. Just laugh out loud, and dont feel bad at all.

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By OzarkMichael, August 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous said...I take a precarious position here with conservative thinking family and friends, and could alienate some…

Forgive me for assuming, but since I am the only conservative in the room you must be referring to me. I am absolutely honored to be called your friend, even if you might be a duck and I might be a dog. As far as family is concerned, there was an poor philosopher who said at the end of a song:

“You can be my sister it dont matter if you’re black or white”

in the same song the philosopher also said,

“I would rather hear both sides of the tale”

Which is where I come from.

But sister, I will argue with you until you understand that “I aint second to none”, that is, until you and your liberal cohort allow me an equal place at the table.

Enjoy the video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyBs6-cmFvQ&feature=fvw

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By MarthaA, August 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

(Part 1 of 2)

When I read you post, I cried, not from being unhappy, but because I saw truth in your post. Have you read “Mein Kampf” by Adolph Hitler?  If you haven’t read it, I hope you will, because it is the handbook of the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN MOVEMENT.  My answer to ITW on another post, also fits well here, so I will re-post it to you as well.

*********************

CONSERVATIVE RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST attacks on Democratic Party Meetings, the Obama birth certificate sophistry, the sophistry of Rush Limbaugh and all CONSERVATIVE RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST attack media is a plan.

On August 5, 2009, National Public Radio reported that RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICANS were intentionally disrupting Democratic Party meetings at a local level; I have read about this type of POLITICAL ACTIVITY before, and I am aware that the following policy has been effectively used to disrupt legitimate political activity by competing political parties in the past:

“It makes no difference whatever, whether they laugh at us or revile us, whether they represent us as clowns or criminals; the main thing is that they mention us, that they concern themselves with us again and again, and that we gradually in the eyes of the workers themselves APPEAR to be the ONLY POWER that anyone reckons with at the moment.”

“One can never count on protection on the part of the authorities; on the contrary, experience shows that it ALWAYS and EXCLUSIVELY
benefits the DISTURBERS.  For the sole actual result of intervention by the authorities—- that is, the police—- was at best to dissolve, in other words, to CLOSE THE MEETING.  And that was the SOLE AIM and PURPOSE of the hostile DISTURBERS.”

“If through some sort of threats it becomes known to the AUTHORITIES that there is danger of a meeting being broken up, they DO NOT ARREST the THREATENERS, but forbid the others, the innocent, to hold the meeting, and what is more, the run-of-mill police mind is MIGHTY PROUD of such wisdom.  They call this a ‘precautionary measure for the prevention of an illegal act.’  Thus, the DETERMINED GANGSTER is always in a position to make political activity and efforts IMPOSSIBLE for decent people.  In the name of Law and Order, the State Authority gives it to the GANGSTER and requests the others please not to provoke him.”

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By MarthaA, August 6, 2009 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

(Part 2 of 2)

This is EXACTLY what is the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN PARTY GANGSTERS are doing today, and has been doing for many years in the echo-chamber of the media.

The foregoing policy for disrupting political activity in competing political parties is from “Mein Kampf” by Adolph Hitler.  The RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN GANGSTERS are using “Mein Kampf” by Adolph Hitler as their Play Book to disrupt legitimate political activity of the Democratic Party at the Local Level, and at all levels of political activity by way of the RIGHT-WING MEDIA ECHO-CHAMBER; this is CRIMINAL ACTIVITY by RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN GANGSTERS of the Republican Party. If the United States is going to avoid what happened in Germany these RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN GANGSTER DISRUPTERS must be arrested, tried on issues of National Security and either executed or imprisoned as the CRIMINALS they are, as a threat to National Security. Adolph Hitler said, “Thus, the DETERMINED GANGSTER is always in a position to make political activity and efforts impossible for decent people.”  Hitler overthrew the government of the Weimar Republic and that is exactly what the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN PARTY GANGSTER DISTURBERS are, have been and are continuing to do.

And, you are right, if the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMISTS REPUBLICAN GANGSTERS get back into control, they will take over, and this time they will go into killing mode to rid the United States of all that disagree with their evil, which will end up being the blacks, the Native Americans, the Jews, the gypsies, and everyone else that isn’t of the Aryan race of blond haired, blue eyed monsters [Aryan race meaning of pure Gothic blood descended from the Goths, Ostrogoths and Visigoths], everyone else must die, plus all who have deformities, etc. in our diverse nation, or be used as slaves as was the Slavs, which is inclusive of the Russians, Poles, Czechs, Moravians, Wends, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Serbians, Croats, Slovenes, and etc. which were used as slaves and worked to death in Hitler’s Germany; the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN PARTY GANGSTERS are following Hitler’s Play Book to the “T”, and it seems to be working well for them, as noone seems to know this is EXACTLY what is happening.

WE THE PEOPLE of the United States must not allow DETERMINED DISRUPTIVE GANGSTERS of the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN PARTY to make political activity and efforts impossible for decent people as proposed by Adolph Hitler in the Play Book of the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN PARTY, “Mein Kampf” by Adolph Hitler.  This is saying not only that there are RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN EXTREMISTS in the Republican Party, but that the Republican Party IS a RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN PARTY.

***********************

The duck did not lose its senses, but the duck was deluded and so were the dogs.

At the time that the duck died, we were all caught up in reflection as to what could possibly be the “cause and effect” of the unfolding cosmos that could account for such a grim death for such a valiant little duck, but now we know, because the story would not have been there with regard to the subjective perceptions and objective reality with regard to the dogs and the duck, if the valiant little duck had not lost his life.  Even the valiant little duck had his place in the unfolding of the cosmos.

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By OzarkMichael, August 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

Also the death threats against Obama has gone up 400% from when Bush was in office. That amounts to about 30 per day. A 3,000 increase over the previous president.


I didnt know that but believe it. Very sad.

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By MarthaA, August 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

SturatH,

SturatH said:  “Reality is just more complex than we might imagine, sitting at home at our writing desk and not going out to explore its various dimensions.” 

SturatH said:  “But the observations that we might have result from our own tendencies to see some things clearly and others not at all.”

SturatH said:  “It is a paradigm shift created by a web of circumstances that began to accelerate over a century ago, and will continue to move, beyond anyone’s control and without anyone deciding what to do, for at least another century.  It has to do with the evolution of our species and the development of a truly planetwide capability for involved the best brains in the human race, regardless of where they are.”

SturatH said:  “The best thing about it is that it is beyond the reach of anyone to prevent it.”

MarthaA’s answer to all:  When I read your post I thought of a couple of kids like in a Grimm’s Fairy Tale similar to Hansel and Gretel being led into the deep dark forest to be abandoned; the girl, who was like Gretel was up front and attentive employing a plan of dropping bread crumbs as a trail, so that they could find their way home, but the boy, Hansel, who would be YOU, was not paying attention to Gretel’s Plan and wasn’t really concerned with anything, other than picking up the trail of bread crumbs and eating them as Gretle dropped them, without any concern at all about the “cause and effect” of their trip into the forest.

This is not intended to hurt your feelings in any way, it is what I actually thought when I read your post.

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By Shenonymous, August 6, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Yes, MarthaA, you did say it was at your home that the mallard lost its senses and its life.  It was so reminiscent of Orwell’s duckspeak in 1984 and since you heavily alluded to Orwell’s commitment to socialism, that I quite mixed up the two.  Sorry about the existential mischaracterization.  Nevertheless it still illustrates what I said.  Self-delusion.

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By MarthaA, August 6, 2009 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

The story about the dogs and duck was real, not made up.

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By Shenonymous, August 6, 2009 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

Accepting their choices, I realize I take a precarious position here with conservative thinking family and friends, and could alienate some.  I hope not, for in a civilized world, differences ought to be expressible without fear of exile.  I mush onward.

There isn’t a matter of getting anything straight about what is going on in the political polarization.  The mythologized persecution of conservatives is fantastic.  The convolution and/or feigned confusion comes from a regularly choreographed defense that has become not only ludicrous but expected, anticipated.  It has become the party of comedy because of all the homocentric partisan fever it provides.

What seems truly elusive is the basis of the curious but clearly obvious defensive/passive-offensive hysteria that arises among contemporary conservatives that gives the impression of acts of cowardice by a selfish mob. And as it is said, perception may not be reality, but it is everything.  The fake incredulity conservatives present is mind-boggling.  It is their predictable goose-stepping, rote marching and antipathetic face they put on regardless of any merit a program may have that was not hatched as an impulse from their own ranks.  They drag their feet on anything that hints at solution to the debacle of problems that face this nation, and faced it before Obama became President.  They search with a magnifying glass for the most picayune distractions (such as a birth certificate) to refocus the media’s attention from the really important catastrophes that face this country, and the world too through the cascade effect.  If he solves any of them, he will be considered a superhero!  That is what the Republicans are haplessly giving him.  I believe they will rue the day they embarked on that course.  That day will come at the next election of congress members.

Of course anything that smacks of benefit to the “common population,” to use MarthaA’s language (because as I said, it is useful), is vehemently opposed.

I watch these political representatives of the hard right every day on television.  I watch on purpose their faces, watch their body language, listen to their words looking for to see any ray of sunlight of wisdom they might have and I listen and look intently, and I find they are nothing but clones of each other and no one has their own brain or any motive at all to find common ground with the “other” side or to provide anything dignified or elegant to the population.  They do not pander to any one except the ones who can afford to live well.  Their delivery is as if there was a script and they are merely reading it off for the camera.  It is a comedy show.  As a matter of fact, Jon Stewart almost nightly shows the absurdity of this clonism of the conservatives.  My question:  Where is it written they have the truth?  Is there some veda of politics?  Where is it kept?  Who is its keeper?

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By Night-Gaunt, August 6, 2009 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

Also the death threats against Obama has gone up 400% from when Bush was in office. That amounts to about 30 per day. A 3,000 increase over the previous president.

” If a society cannot help the many poor, it cannot help the few rich.”JFK (That in itself can get you assassinated.)

Only they would never let you get elected. Just ask Dennis Kucinich about that. The man that would have given us the change Obama promised but didn’t keep. The proven track record verse the nebulous promises of an untested candidate. But then they would never let one of their own not get elected.

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By OzarkMichael, August 6, 2009 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

StuartH, I appreciated your kind post a few days ago. i always read your recollections with interest. i believe the stories are true. i do not agree with some of your conclusions.  However, we have some baggage to clear away before I can disagree with you without being called ‘racist’ etc.

StuartH said: To me, the people now using their positions in the media or in political life to exploit others by inciting mob action and to bullying behavior, to hanging political figures in effigy and getting closer to violence, are the same people that saw the opportunity to manipulate people for simple gain back then. 

You mean the media and political people who incited bullying behaviour like…. hanging Sarah Palin in effigy? Because yes, they did it for for simple gain. And it worked too.

Now these same media and political people in the White House want names and addresses of those daring to speak against them. On the internet or at the town hall meetings. Obama plans to keep track of dissenters now. The bullying is getting ratcheted up to a higher level.

I didn’t agree with that then and I think it is dangerous now.

I agree with that whole-heartedly.

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By StuartH, August 6, 2009 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Ozark:

While I was in college, I did a stint during a couple of summers selling books door-to-door in Pennsylvania and Ohio.  Largely this was in rural areas and small towns, as people there were less guarded than in the cities. 

I could sense that, just as a college kid, I was getting respect from people who were honest working or poor folks.  I felt that I could engage with them respectfully or I could abuse that.  Most of my colleagues were glad to discover this and to use it and manipulated it for the thrill of being able to and because they could make some money.  I didn’t make that much.  In fact I remember giving some people sets of books because they appreciated the way out that education might represent for their kids but couldn’t afford them.  I mostly used the months out there to learn about American realities I was not familiar with.

To me, the people now using their positions in the media or in political life to exploit others by inciting mob action and to bullying behavior, to hanging political figures in effigy and getting closer to violence, are the same people that saw the opportunity to manipulate people for simple gain back then. 

I didn’t agree with that then and I think it is dangerous now.

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By OzarkMichael, August 6, 2009 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

I think if the mob action conservatives could see themselves clearly in the mirror, their heads would explode.  They aren’t reflective, self aware or deliberative.

Let me get this straight.

When conservatives try to speak and they get shouted down, or when Bush had a shoe thrown at him, we know those acts are based on principle, and we would call these interruptions acts of heroism by the self aware.

But when a liberal tries to speak, if conservatives boo and hiss, we know those acts are based on unthinking fear, and we would call these interruptions acts of cowardice by a selfish mob.

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By StuartH, August 6, 2009 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

Night:

Your observation about the way people identify with wolves versus sheep is interesting.  You have probably noticed that there are lots of T shirts with pretty pictures of wolves on them being worn, while you really never see noble depictions of sheep that people want to identify with. 

I had an interesting experience one time with elite international bankers.  I was doing some temp work for Wells Fargo in San Francisco.  It turned out that my responsibility which was to type telexes and keep a file drawer, was in a department that administrated loan syndications.  These are mega-loans.  No bank may loan more than some small percentage of their entire capital in one loan, so to get beyond that, banks agree to loan a percentage of a larger loan, called a syndicated loan.  Your savings, your checking, your money market funds and anything else on deposit in your name is being used in this way.
They may have to put 40 or 50 banks together in one loan.

One day, I came in and a whole bunch of people in suits were sitting around
on the group of desks.  It turned out that a parcel of securities drawn down to make a payroll for a centralized mining operation owned by the government of one of the South American countries had gone missing.  It amounted to several million dollars.  Moreover, as the payment by the bank was late, under the contract they were paying $10,000 in penalties PER HOUR. 

My supervisor, the head of the division had given his chair up to this man in a yellow ski sweater who looked like he had flown in from a ski vacation who looked like the actor Gig Young.  I saw at the next desk.  As there seemed to be time, I thought I would ask him some questions.  He seemed to be an important, international level executive.  Everyone deferred to him as if he were the President or the Pope. 

I actually said that I noticed that the loans tended to be to governments that were run by military dictatorships for government owned socialized operations like the mine.  He said yes they were, and that was because they felt that these were more stable than democracies.  He also pointed out that the loans were on a payback schedule of over 200 years. 

It was 1976, and the debate between Ford and Carter was either that night or was the night before.  I asked him which one seemed, from his perspective, to have a better grasp on international financial dealings.  He lost his poise just a bit and adopted a lecturing tone, saying that he did not consider the President of the United States to be a person with whom he needed to be concerned and that the US government did not have the “perspicacity” to really be a player. He
was expressing the sentiment that the leadership in Washington was too stupid to talk to, except as you talk to children.  He adopted that tone with me, as he no doubt considered me just a college kid.  I got fired pretty soon after that, probably because they were curious about my questions and discovered that the temp agency had neglected to tell them that I had been a weekly newspaper reporter and editor.  Later that day the securities were found.  They had gotten to an airfield in the mountains, and a border guard had stashed them in his locker for safe keeping.  They were observing a holiday and getting drunk.  The guard came in to work and remembered the securities. 

Given the Reagan and Bush Administrations and even the Clinton Administration, I think the expectation among the international banking elite that they are without peer and cannot be told what to do has been solidified greatly.  I think the President is really tying into some tough challenge to get them to pay attention to the need to address public concerns even with the economy in recession.  That doesn’t touch these people.

Obama needs to be a good poker player.  At least he is smart enough to know who he is playing with and appears to be approaching the game in the right spirit.

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By StuartH, August 6, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

I think if the mob action conservatives could see themselves clearly in the mirror, their heads would explode.  They aren’t reflective, self aware or deliberative.  They think better about history than about the future, and are very uncomfortable with taking hold of what exists and reforming it.

I think you are right, they are generally against progress because they are usually tied to tradition.  The spectacles we are seeing are about people freaking out, however, because their is no direction-setting leadership that can articulate a clear and sensible purpose.

I have seen traditional societies that are sustainable because of the sort of conservatism that values place, religion, family, and history.  I liked being there and felt that there was a healing presence in the land.  This was deep in the center of the Navajo Nation.  (Ironically, religious conservatives generally react to this by trying to destroy it, even to this day.)

I don’t see traditional culture or a conservative value system as a bad thing at all.

Last night on Charlie Rose’s show, he interviewed Joe Scarborough, the former Florida Republican and now host of Morning Joe.  He wrote a book about how the conservatives could get their act together. 

A lot of the “birthers” aren’t going to like hearing from an adult who actually seems to have some wisdom.  I think if he is listened to, and others like him come forward, then the Republican Party could begin a comeback, probably by 2016 or 2020.

The emotionally reactionary element, including evangelicals who are used to giving themselves over to unthinking ecstatic jumping onto bandwagons, is currently just lost.  Hating something or somebody is easier than figuring out what is really happening - and more fun.  Given the current grim nature of the overall economy and the challenge of a changing world, the fun in going out somewhere to holler and blow off steam has to be an attraction.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 6, 2009 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

I prefer to use the analogy of the wolf in sheep’s skin among the sheep. They preach the spirit of the wolf to the sheep working to convince as many as possible of the benefits of being a wolf. The wolf as a metaphor for the greed of lassize faire capitalism which seems to promote that kind of exploitation and redistribution of wealth to the very few. And no matter how many times the wolf will turn and eat one of the sheep the remainder still believe they too can be wolves. That they won’t be eaten and in fact will become among the exalted eaters of sheep. For you see that is the ethos preached by the false sheep. The way of the wolf. It is no coincidence that the wolf/werewolf/psychopath connexion exists. Why human predators are called “wolves” too. It is just not so simple. For there are those who are normal but are swayed by that ethos and take it on as their own mantle.

That is what we have today and it has been a disaster for the normal person in most cases. People need to stop thinking like wolves but as their fellow sheep. It is what Nietzsche spoke out against in his comparison of the Master mentality vs the Slave mentality. The Master and Wolf are the same in this context. The Slave cares for their fellow man, even the hated Master, but only as a man/woman. The Master/Wolf care for themselves and damn those that care for more than themselves. To them such ideas are ‘weak’ and promote ‘softness’ and ‘flabbiness’ in the Race. Psychopaths think just like that.

Those that wish to make things very much like they were before World War II only without the Bill of Rights are the wolves. They want all of us to believe as they do. Any who do not are “traitors” and “anti-American” if they aren’t for war and their version of Christianity.  That revolution by them must be stopped, and before the economy collapses too.

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By Shenonymous, August 6, 2009 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

StuartHYou see the anger in the Republican mobocracy at the moment.  This is because they feel what [that] things are moving faster than they want them to, but they don’t understand why.  They want someone to blame because they are used to the idea that fixing blame is a viable course of action.

You seem to have a knack for seeing into social consciousness.  Let me try to give an answer, meager as it might be.  They, the conservative Republians, cannot see themselves because the mirror that would show them for what they are is not really a mirror but a clouded glass that only shows dimly a world they want to control.  Control means safety and safety is the mantra of the conservative.  Things always move too fast for conservatives, that is what conservatism means, resist change.  So Republicans only represent that side of humanity.  It just gets manifested often in pathological ways.  It is said that people regardless of how liberal they are in mid adulthood, become more and more conservative as they age.  It seems to have borne out in my mother, who as a young woman was as vociferously leftist as they come, but in the last decade of her life, she became blatantly conservative.  Who knows, maybe it was out of her adolescent adoration of Ronald Reagan???  He is the first Republican she voted for.  Hard to say why that case happened as she was quite penniless and depended almost entirely on me for her living situation.  I did not mind as she was loving and I loved her unquestionably.  Although I did wonder about the radical change.  Psyche classes noted that as one nears the end of their life, people tend to bury their altruistic ideas (pun intended), which really were learned values, and self-interest takes hold again.  Problem is that the radical impulse exists in the fanatical leftist as well.  It is a reaction to the tight noose the conservatives put around the collective societies necks.  It is simple physics, for every action there is a reaction

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By StuartH, August 6, 2009 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

“If the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION wakes up and realizes the objective reality of their POWER as a UNITED Class and Culture, the Nobles, the American Aristocracy, and the Nearly Nobles, the Professional Middle Class, will suffer the objective reality of Louis XVI and all of his loyal toadies.”

Having waded through a whole lot of text, I’d have to say that this analysis doesn’t really account for the way demographics actually works, and the experience you actually have when you go out and work with people in various part of community life.

People don’t relate to abstract categorization.  What happens is that some sort of interest, somewhat economic, somewhat local, somewhat about an issue creates a political identity.  I went through an exercise for about a half dozen election cycles in which I was handling mailing lists for different campaigns, as well as the problem of developing communications.  The same names would turn up on mailing lists that were started from scratch, from people signing in at events when some effort began.  I was amazed at the consistency.

I was having an argument with a supervisor in scoring some social studies questions recently because they felt that using the term “subliminal advertising” ought to be given credit.  I pointed out that to a high school kid who could barely write well enough to get an answer down on paper, the level of literacy needed to write for one demographic group so that it would appeal while another wouldn’t get provoked, may well have seemed like magic.  That doesn’t mean it really is. 

Reality is just more complex than we might imagine, sitting at home at our writing desk and not going out to explore its various dimensions. 

I would point out that the revolution is in fact underway.  There are lots of ways that it is felt.  But the observations that we might have result from our own tendencies to see some things clearly and others not at all.  As observers of social trends we are like the blind men and the elephant.  Something large enough to affect the entire American mix of cultures and the larger international mix as well, is pretty ubiquitous. 

You see the anger in the Republican mobocracy at the moment.  This is because they feel what things are moving faster than they want them to, but they don’t understand why.  They want someone to blame because they are used to the idea that fixing blame is a viable course of action. 

The problem is that there is no one to blame.  It is a paradigm shift created by a web of circumstances that began to accelerate over a century ago, and will continue to move, beyond anyone’s control and without anyone deciding what to do, for at least another century.  It has to do with the evolution of our species and the development of a truly planetwide capability for involved the best brains in the human race, regardless of where they are. 

The best thing about it is that it is beyond the reach of anyone to prevent it.

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By Shenonymous, August 6, 2009 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

Be careful MarthaA you don’t get caught up in the vortex of your own script. 

It is fashionable to use Orwell as the touchstone to promote socialist ideology. That ideology time and again has shown itself, in its purest form, to fail.  It can only be effective to remind the world that egalitarianism promotes the human species.  However, as a necessary counterbalance, the impulse of freedom comes from promoting the individual.

Yes, the thinking and knowing problem can be a problem, and if the masses are so afflicted self-deception would yield a huge set of those who have no idea what is in their best interest, politically.  A logical progressive question:  Shouldn’t we force a dictator on them and force them to know they are delusional because we have a better idea what is in their best interest?

Isn’t that fascistic?  But of course, you know that.  What is also a problem is how easily speech can be prostituted for one’s own purpose however perverse it might be.

I happen to know some not so very well offs who chose to be Republican as an adult.  Go figure.  As a liberal I cannot.  But because they chose to be different than me doesn’t permit me to denigrate them or call them ignorant.  They have a different sense of what life is about than I do.  But I rather like them, even love them in spite of it.  It makes for a much more interesting world not to have cookie cutter brains out there.  But I don’t really think there are cookie cutter brains even within the hypothetical class Common Population.

Spinning off Orwell’s Animal Farm as well as 1984, I found your duck/dog story clever and also of course, moralizing.  Let’s see if it can be put succinctly…
Some ducks think they are dogs,
Some dogs think some ducks are dogs,
Some dogs think ducks are ducks,
And some dogs find a way to eat ducks regardless of whether they think they are a dog or a duck, and regardless of other dogs thinking ducks are dogs.

Then there are the dogs who think they are ducks, and a similarly charming story of self-delusion ensues.

It is a superficial story about what we think we are but find, sometimes fatally, we have just written a fairytale about ourselves.  It is called self-delusional.  But that is the nature of the human being who often creates a fantasy about the reality they find themselves. 

It is dangerous to create fairytales then think they are the reality.  We could do a similar anti-royalist (Noble, Nearly Noble, Common Population) overlay of Lewis Carol’s fantasy world.  Marquez in One Hundred Years of Solitude and the updated 1984 film by M Night Shyamalan, the Village, all of which poignantly shows the treachery of totalitarianism.  However, the world changes and sometimes unexpectedly.  We don’t know what is going on in North Korea. 

It is also understood in the realm of psychology that if something is said enough times, there are those who will believe it as truth (it is in fact, trooth)

I am not a classic socialist.  I am a watered-down socialistic democrat believing in majority rule (either directly or representationally), with welfare programs for the benefit of the population as the most important result of actions.  I think democratic socialism is not even a viable description.  I don’t believe Marxist socialism can work any more than an anarchistic structure.  I believe both are disastrous for people.

The invented categories of classes do what OM just expressed.  He obviously believes class structure is real.  Such is the seduction of belief.

In the Village, the hotheaded elder, Edward, tries to convince his fellow citizens to tell their children the truth about the village and its concocted reality. Regrettably, at the end they all decide against it – even the elder does. The girl, who is blind, leaves the village and enters the world outside, is oblivious.  She was not told by the park ranger that she is living inside a cocoon.

The metaphor of living in a cocoon is also debilitating.

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By OzarkMichael, August 6, 2009 at 5:29 am Link to this comment

You are telling me bad news. Eventually the ducks are going to recognize themselves as the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION and it will be the end of the line for all dogs. We all know what happened to the big dog Louis XVI and his pack.

Historically the Commons go after the Nearly Noble class too. Think of the Engineer class, the Doctor class, etc. all the professional types. Even though they didnt do anything wrong and werent even rich, the trials in the old USSR found them guilty on the basis of their class, ie they had the potential to be enemies of the workers. Guilty! Off with their heads!

I never gave that sort of thing much thought before. Not only does every duck need to realize its true 70% MAJORITY COMMON herd nature, but every individual dog needs to be more class conscious too, and work for their own class interests instead of the ducks.

I am beginning to understand that the ducks are just using me, if you know what I mean.

Everything I do for them just makes me weaker and them stronger. “Please fetch this for us because you can help” and “Please fix this for us but we cant pay you for it.” I do this for them everyday, on the basis of fundamentalist Christianity. Maybe my religion is decieving me, weakening me.

Meanwhile a showdown is coming. When the fight comes they are all healthy and angry while I am tired out from helping them so much.

What you are really telling me is “Dude, get the hell out of that pond before those ducks tear you to pieces.”

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By MarthaA, August 5, 2009 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael,

If subjective perception cannot be confirmed by objective reality, sooner or later, the cause and effect of objective reality is going to manifest itself objectively.

If the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION wakes up and realizes the objective reality of their POWER as a UNITED
Class and Culture, the Nobles, the American Aristocracy, and the Nearly Nobles, the Professional Middle Class, will suffer the objective reality of Louis XVI and all of his loyal toadies.

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By OzarkMichael, August 5, 2009 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

In the realm of Nobles, Near Nobles and Commoners, I really liked MarthaA’s duck/dog story. We are one thing or another and our opinion of ourselves does not determine our true status.

Sometimes I feel that i am the reverse of your story. I am(metaphorically speaking) a dog that thinks its a duck. The ducks seem to trust me as if I am a duck since I percieve myself as a duck. I hang with the ducks and everything is mellow.

Although sometimes i get the suspicion that I have doggish qualities. But I just wag my tail and go on, if you know what i mean. I am happy in the middle of a bunch of ducks floating on the pond, and I think i am a duck.

What i am worried about is that a pack of dogs might come by that knows they are dogs, and they also know that my duck friends are ducks. So they tear the ducks to pieces.

After they tear the ducks to pieces what would the dogs do to me since I think and act quite duckish? I expect to be torn apart but maybe they wouldnt. The dogs might say, “Hey dumb-ass, what were you doing floating in the pond? Dude, your a dog.”

Its a rude awakening on that day no matter what happens. Its either, “Oh no I am dead” or “oh no i am a dog”

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By Night-Gaunt, August 5, 2009 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

The problem is that there are extremists in the Democratic party too. For a reason. It is why nothing is being done to substantially change what has been put together to take down this republic to replace it with a theocracy. From Reagan to Obama the alterations carry on. When both parties, the only ones allowed to have free acce$$ to the media, and therefor are the only ‘choices’ the majority will trust even as they fail every time to make change we can believe it for the good. Not for the corporate theocrats who are working to take down our secular gov’t.

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By MarthaA, August 5, 2009 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

(Part 1 of 2)

Shenonymous said: “If the 70% are what is left (not meaning liberal, for we don’t really know if all those in that common population would be liberals”

MarthaA answer:  No, they should all be liberal, but with the onslaught of Right-Wing CONSERVATIVE EXTREME REPUBLICAN propaganda there are too many of the Common Population who think they are equal with the Noble CONSERVATIVES even though they only have 2 cents to their name and contend to be CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS, and many more that are in massive debt and losing their homes still contending to be CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS; these folks are deceived and have no idea what is in their best interest politically.

The Common Population having been sucked into the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN propaganda scheme that has been permeating through their psyche’s since birth, are ignorant politically, this doesn’t mean they are stupid.  No one knows everything, and it is difficult to accept that one is of the peasant class and culture, after being taught so differently in school, but I’m afraid it is so.  Multiple members of my family have the subjective perception that they are Republicans, but that doesn’t change the objective reality that they are a part of the Class and Culture of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of Peasants and have NO REPRESENTATION in Congress, when it gets down where the rubber meets the road.

Shenonymous said:  “they all contain people who are aware of politics and are not slumbering away at being unrepresented.  They still have a voice even if what they want is not provided, and they often complain bitterly.”

MarthaA answer:  Because they are not aware they are not represented.  The common population are mostly allowed to say what they want, because the Nobles and Nearly Nobles think of the Common Population as COWS in a field that are allowed to moo.  Professor Ward Churchill rose above the cows but must be put in his place, the Single Payer Health Care Nurses and Doctors were jailed for their opinions being ignored, and the Code Pink Peace Team gets jailed regularly because they are being ignored—- most of what they do get said is blown off as inconsequential, since the common population do not have any respect in Congress because the Common Population has NO REPRESENTATION.  There are ONLY two “institutionalized” political parties and THREE distinctly different Classes and Cultures to be represented.


Shenonymous said:  “I would argue they “are,” not “becoming,” aware of their existence as participants in US society,

MarthaA’s answer:  But they must.  I have faith the Common Population will soon understand who they are and unite, because when the Common Population is united, there is no power on earth that can stand against them united.  Forget sub-groups, and American individualism, both are sophistry and propaganda to divide the Common Population so that the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION will have NO POWER and NO AUTHORITY in Congress.

There are three and only three distinct classes and cultures in the United States, or any country, not just the United States.  There are the Nobles, the Nearly Nobles and the Common Population and the Common Population is always the MAJORITY. Anyone with less money than the Nobles has to be Nearly Noble or a member of the Common Population.  Possibly this person you are talking about isn’t one of the Nobles, could that be?  The Political Color Spectrum is a good way to see how political power and authority is equalized,

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By MarthaA, August 5, 2009 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

(Part 2 of 2)

RED is always the Autocratic Far Right and Yellow is always the Democratic Far Left.  In between it is all a matter of how much democracy one wants.  What do these colors signify to you?

George Orwell quote: “but the essential structure of society has never altered.”  Which is Nobles, Nearly Nobles and Common Population.  You said I invented these titles, but you are mistaken. I am surprised that you would say that, since these are Old England original titles.

A few years ago we had a green headed mallard duck that was raised with fairly large dogs; they ate together, slept together and ran together, all over, as the territory was wide open. The dogs got into all kinds of fights with various varmints, but on checking what was happening causing all the commotion, there would be the brave duck supervising the fight and cheering the dogs on, even at night.  All of the dogs perceived that the duck was a dog, and the duck perceived that the duck was a dog.  Because the dogs perceived the duck to be a dog, all the dogs protected the duck from harm and the duck wasn’t afraid, because the duck perceived that it was a dog, the duck went with the dogs where the duck, as a duck, would have been in harm’s way and was always protected by the dogs.

One day my daughter brought home a Jack Russell Terrier that had not
been raised with the duck and did not perceive the duck to be a dog.  When the duck noticed the Jack Russell Terrier was trying to kill him, the duck would run to the dogs for protection and they would protect him from the Jack Russell Terrier, which went on for a couple weeks, but when the Jack Russell Terrier caught the duck away from the dogs, he killed the duck that perceived itself to be a dog.

This is much the same as what John McLaughlin, of the McLaughlin Group on PBS told Pat Buchanan, that Pat Buchanan was a “lumpen proletariat”.  What John McLaughlin was telling Pat Buchanan is that Pat Buchanan is like the duck running with the dogs and thinking he is a dog, and that outside of the pack of dogs that Pat Buchanan runs with, other dogs would perceive Pat Buchanan as a duck.

Perception of a duck being a dog did not keep the duck from getting killed by a dog that did not perceive the duck to be a dog, and Pat Buchanan perceiving himself to be a RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN did not prevent John McLaughlin from perceiving Pat Buchanan as a “lumpen-proletariat.”

People can live within their perceived illusions, but sooner or later the duck that thinks it’s a dog will be perceived as a duck, and the Pat Buchanan’s of the world that think they are RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICANS will be recognized by the John McLaughlin’s of the world that perceive them to be “lumpen-proletariat”.

The subjective perception that a rock is a marshmallow will not change the objective reality that the rock is a rock, and the subjective perception that one who is not Noble or Nearly Noble, that ONE who is a part of the Class and Culture of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of U.S. Peasantry, perceives themselves as Democrats and Republicans, a part of the hierarchical structure of the Nobles and the Nearly Nobles, will not change the objective reality that they are peasants of the Class and Culture of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION.

Contrary to what you may think, when push comes to shove and there is no other alternative, the Common Population will put their lives on the line, and some will die, but they will move united as a herd, but that should not have to happen, because of the fact the Common Population is such a strong force, but the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICANS feel the Common Population has been sufficiently dumbed down, so that it doesn’t matter what is done to the COWS; not currently, but not so long ago, this was the type of conversation Bill Buckley espoused on PBS’s Firing Line.

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By StuartH, August 5, 2009 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

Ozark:

I was just thinking about this conversation as I was listening to a talk radio show that is produced here in Alubquerque, Native America Calling.  Apparently the listeners are scattered throughout the West in Indian country, all the way up to Alaska. 

The topic was creationism versus Darwinism in relation to indigenous perspectives.  I was reminded that their take on this predates any of the arguments we are usually familiar with.

I wonder if we might agree that human existence has dimensions that we try to understand, largely without success.  The ancient wisdom is that there was spirit before there was material existence and most of our arguments flow from material perception, precisely because it is flawed.

Space and Time are marriage partners.  We moderns tend to see things in terms of ownership and thus are promoting a divorce.  Good and Evil exist because they are polarities.  We live between the polarities but understand them only in our limited way.

Life is dynamic and ever changing, through cycles of birth and death and yet there are traditional ways that help human communities sustain themselves through time.

Europeans brought a tension with them that centered around materialism and newness.  The problem that indigenous people have is not with the idea of natural selection, since they see all things as related, but the social Darwinism (which didn’t originate with Darwin) that values some people above others and creates the justification for injustice. A lust for newness creates greed, which upsets balance. 

Thus, you could conclude, the argument is wrong.  The dichotomy is artificially constructed.  What we aren’t seeing is the common origin in spirit. 

There are a lot of people (many of my liberal friends) who tend to be rationalistic to the point of denying any other aspect to existence beyond the consciously obvious.  They tend not to even like subtlety and usually aren’t lovers of literature and poetry either.

I do get angry.  I tend not to tolerate obvious stupidity.  That which is not obvious I suppose is harder to identify and therefore easier to tolerate…

I also appreciate the need to follow my own advice!

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By OzarkMichael, August 5, 2009 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

StuartH I think this makes it very difficult to discuss issues, because all that baggage has to be sorted out.

my response was: “Surely yes, but its ok. Thats what I do best.”


StuartH responds to me: Actually, you don’t do it at all.

Well, if you actually read the post I wrote, I wasnt evaluating the actions of the Texas Board. I dont even know exactly what they are. So I was not supporting them or against them. I was dealing with your baggage mostly

I was only catagorizing your possible reactions. Your reasoning about how to deal with the Texas Board is all muddled and runs together. Even if you are right about the science, you are very confused about the civics because you are angry. So once again, it wasnt so much the issue, but the baggage which we are carrying that needs to be sorted out.

Blame me if you want but really you should blame yourself too.

I will find other ways to highlight the baggage so you can see it. I even do it with good humor and creativity. Its what I do best.

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By John Hanks, August 4, 2009 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Academics make pretty poor organizers, even thought they might have revolutionary ideas.

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By MarthaA, August 4, 2009 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael,

You got it, OzarkMichael.  In the Common Population, some are genteel peasants and some aren’t genteel peasants, but we are all peasants.  Some perceive themselves to be Republicans, and some perceive themselves to be Democrats, but they are all peasants that neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party will represent.  Nobles and Nearly Nobles do not represent peasants.

I heard the media call a population where some nice houses got flooded, genteely the other day, this obviously meant genteel peasants, and it’s time we, as a Class and Culture that is a 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States, realize that we are peasants and demand a seat at the table of government to make and enforce law and order that is in the best class and cultural interests of the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION of the United States.

Apparently Obama figures all the Common Population are earning below $250,000. per year, because he has requested that there be no new taxes for all the population that does not receive over $250,000. per year for a living.

All the squawking is coming from the Nearly Nobles.

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By StuartH, August 4, 2009 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

Ozark:

“..that’s what I do best.”

Actually, you don’t do it at all.

This is what we have to fear if fundamental Christians gain the upper hand in educational policy:  a nation of people whose thinking is so influenced by religious dictates that the difference between fact and dogma is lost.  Science is a pursuit of truth through a structure of inter-observer agreement that sticks to facts that can be proven as best they can be.  Religion is anything that can be imagined by a group of like-minded people willing to believe it.  The more a group leader says it is true, the more followers insist.  No proof needed. 

We progressed out of the Middle Ages by applying structured reason and relegating superstitious thinking to the sidelines of human affairs, where it belongs.

I happen to believe that there is a spirit realm and that someday, science will learn how to recognize some aspect of it.  However, this to me, is very subjective.  Beauty and the deeper mysteries of reality in its different dimensions are beyond us to understand on a conscious level.  We have to therefore, keep the subjective and the objective separate. 

When evangelicals say they want the rest of us to conform to an understanding of reality they demand we endorse, I have to refuse on the basis that the human mind is too limited and such a basis for proceeding is pure hubris.  How can people who are capable of such stupidity be so arrogant? 

I like the Buddhists better, and Native American medicine men better because they are humble in the face of the great mystery.

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By OzarkMichael, August 4, 2009 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

It has to be admitted that there are Christians who give Christianity a bad name…

Surely yes and it is too bad. I dont mind delving into it for your sake. But I have already gone the distance on that a hundred times.

As Eric Clapton says:

How many times must we tell the tale?
How many bridges must I cross?
How many times must I swear myself,
Before I can talk to the boss?
‘fore I can talk to the boss?

For instance, watching what is going on with the Texas School Board at this time is just painful… ...They are looking to force science classrooms to have to teach what is really religious dogma, and are actually trying to force textbook publishers into re writing social studies textbooks. 

Two observations. Historically, other interest groups have looked to force classrooms to teach their point of view. And other interest groups have forced textbook publishers into rewriting social science textbooks.

Are you saying that other groups are free to do that but that Christian groups are breaking the law because their point of view is tainted by religion? In other words, is it illegal for the Christians but legal for secularists to try to influence what our children are taught in social studies?

In reading all those Texas essays, it seemed to me that with the energy of the debate focused on nonsense like that, the chance to create student excellence for the future is being fumbled.

Your options are:

1. Expend some energy organizing, debating, and politicking to elect different officials. If you lost work to win next time. But that might involve wasting even more energy if the argument drags on and on. The future would be fumbled and lost forever.

2. Stop the energy waste and just let the religious citizens who won elections in Texas have their way. How much harm they will do to education is minimal, especially when you compare it to the fearful amount of energy that might be wasted on a struggle, causing education to be fumbled away.

3. Christians do not have the same right to influence the government as you do. Call in the police or the Supreme Court or the FBI because the debate is illegal.

4. Christians have the same right to influence the government as you do, but that is a critical flaw in the system. You must execute a counter revolution to overthrow the government before its too late.


I think this makes it very difficult to discuss issues, because all that baggage has to be sorted out.

Surely yes, but its ok. Thats what I do best.

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By StuartH, August 3, 2009 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

Ozark:

Well, I wonder if this has reached an impasse.  It would be nice if there was a way through the woods.

However, the purpose of the so-called “wall of separation between church and state” really was to prevent and make it impossible for a particular religious group within American society such as conservative evangelical Christians from gaining an upper hand from which to dictate terms to everyone else.  It wasn’t specifically aimed at evangelicals, but at this time it seems that this particular group has become unhappy with not being able to transcend the limitations that bind all of us in a larger compact. 

It may be that there is a problem inherent in a discussion like this because it tends to be founded in generalizing about such a group based on lots of experience in the background.  For instance, I grew up in Waco, Texas.  As a result of this, I have a sense of lingering outrage because of the arrogance and selfishness and abusiveness of evangelicals I met in that environment. 

Recently I lived for several years in the center of the Navajo Nation, on the campus of the tribal college which was founded in the struggle to maintain pride in cultural and linguistic heritage as a basis for student success.  We
lived in a neighborhood which had prominent medicine men and knew people who had gone out in the world, gotten a good education, some work experience and then come back.  These people were rejecting Christianity in favor of traditional ways.  I experienced this as beautiful because this supported the families and the communities in a very loving and healing way.  By contrast the history of the way missionaries treated the same community was shockingly brutal and created harsh tragedies that have taken generations of difficult struggle to overcome.

It has to be admitted that there are Christians who give Christianity a bad name and make it seem like intelligence has to be left at the door.  I think this makes it very difficult to discuss issues, because all that baggage has to be sorted out.

For instance, watching what is going on with the Texas School Board at this time is just painful.  Perry, in an effort to simply pander to East Texas evangelicals, who he probably otherwise doesn’t really care that much about, has been appointing activist Creationists to the Board.  7 out of 15 members.  They are looking to force science classrooms to have to teach what is really religious dogma, and are actually trying to force textbook publishers into re writing social studies textbooks. 

This spectacle just makes it look like those who believe in the Bible would drag the rest of America back to the 19th century.  That is just infuriating. 

In reading all those Texas essays, it seemed to me that with the energy of the debate focused on nonsense like that, the chance to create student excellence for the future is being fumbled.  The smart people of the future may not come out of Texas or America, but places like Kuala Lumpur, or India or China. 

This is what evangelical Christians with guns represent to me.  I would like to be persuaded that this isn’t a necessary conclusion but I doubt Christ would recognize hardly any of what is being done in his name these days by people purporting to be his followers.

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By OzarkMichael, August 3, 2009 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

StuartH: From the latest group of your postings, I would say you haven’t been able to take adequate time to read and really think about what is being said.  Or your religious perspective blocks it.

Those are the only two possibilities? Because I have read every post at least two or three times. So I guess my religious perspective blocks me from understanding.

Lets try a different approach:

Shenonymous wants to delve into the issue of abortion. Brave soul that she is, she wants to hash it out. I would like that too. But there is a little problem.

Since it has already been expressed by you (StuartH) that abortion needs to be removed from “religious control” then you have already provided yourself with carte blanche to answer any argument I make against abortion with this: “separation of church and state!” Such an answer is always a debate stopper in a progressive milieu. The room breaks into applause and hearty congratulations to the one who played the trump card.

NightGaunt also has axe in hand. He proclaims that the Bible and the Bill of Rights are incompatable. So if he suspects that my position is informed by a Biblical perspective, the axe crashes down and my religious outlook is separated from influencing the state. It is second class citizenship for me.  Night Gaunt personally seems a good fellow, but he wishes that the axe be applied everywhere before its too late. (No one here restrains him except Shenonymous. Thank you Shen. You are the best friend an enemy could ever have)

Furthermore I won’t be able to argue that separation of church and state does not apply, since liberals already know that my religious outlook blocks me from understanding that it does.

So a heated and extended debate about an issue is not possible. The game is rigged. Educational advice from StuartH not withstanding, I know from experience that the puppet show has to go on.

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By OzarkMichael, August 3, 2009 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

Stuart posted: An interesting discussion site for Christians who want to explore issues intelligently, apparently an effort to appeal to young evangelicals who are tired of the US vs THEM approach promoted by the Pat Robertsons of the world.

I dont agree with some of matthew25 but its cool. There are all types of ideas out there and I dont rule anyone out because of disagreement. So on one hand I appreciate the link.

Stuart recommends matthew25… for Christians who want to explore issues intelligently ...which implies that a different stand on those issues is unintelligent. Maybe thats a playful insult? So we let that pass.

What also gets my attention is the “US vs THEM” remark in which StuartH expresses his dislike of how conservative Christians do business. Ok, thats a fair criticism.

But I observe that Truthdig articles are heavily laden with plenty of “US vs THEM”. And even the saintly matthew25 engages in “US vs THEM” sometimes.

I get the feeling that StuartH’s dislike of “US vs THEM” might be selective. It all depends who the “US” is.

Because if you are part of the good “US”, and by that I mean that wonderful universal Leftist “US”, which is so compassionate and multicultural that the liberal “US” doesnt need to acknowledge the existance of a “THEM”. Yet there is opposition out there, which Leftists often describe as animal in nature. So the Other doesnt rise to the level of a “THEM”, I suppose the Other is an “IT”. The Other is merely an irritating nuisance that blocks the path to a better world. So liberals feel quite free to fire away with a good conscience, since there is no “US” vs “THEM”. And how dare anyone ever put up a fight against the wonderful liberal universal “US”, which only wants to help?

There seems to be little room to fight and still be a human being. But I will fight. So I guess that makes me an animal, the kind that is known to particularly vicious because when attacked it defends itself.

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By StuartH, August 3, 2009 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

Ozark:

The “ecoscience” agenda which you dismiss as a political agenda, happens to be based in the work of the real scientific community.  The previous administration’s position in this area was superstitious.

Currently, Christians seem to be about presuming that, since what they consider fact comes from their imaginings, that this must be true for people who call themselves scientists as well.  There is a big difference.

If you don’t understand the need for a wall of separation between church and state, after all the words typed in an effort to define this, then that is that I guess.  That reinforces my impression that Christians just don’t hear other people. 

My suggestion would be to go back and carefully re-read especially those posts addressed to points in your comments.  From the latest group of your postings, I would say you haven’t been able to take adequate time to read and really think about what is being said.  Or your religious perspective blocks it.

There is actually, of course, a general problem with posts on this kind of discussion that has nothing to do with religion.  I find myself having to go back a couple of times and see if I can get into the writer’s head enough to understand the meaning of it.  The computer screen probably has something to do with reducing general reading comprehension. 

I don’t know if they are pulling the plug on this or not.  I got a message in the last email notification saying that was the last time I was going to get such a notification. 

I decided to keep this discussion bookmarked because it seemed kind of worth re-reading and thinking about.  So, if they cut it off now because it is taking up too much bandwidth, it has been interesting.  I appreciate the willingness to participate on the part of everyone and the energy that went into it. 

This gives me hope.

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By Shenonymous, August 3, 2009 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

At the present time the legality of abortion is not arguable.  It is a matter of law.  The morality of abortion is debatable.  It is socially beneficial that the topic is brought into the public forum since clarification for the masses promotes a better foundation for informed individuals to decide whether there is justification for abortions.  It ought to be debated forcefully.  What it means to hold that unsustainable tissue is more important than a woman’s life is imperatively important.  So let us on this forum, then, bring the issue to full bloom.  It is all right that the subject of this article takes a sharp turn and dwells for a time on this issue.  Likening it to a boxing match with the opponents in opposite corners,  metaphorically speaking, there will be a winner, one who lands the most resounding blows and if a knockout does not happen, why a decision of the judges will set the result.  Who will be the judges?  Who is more qualified than another to decide such issues?

Trying to stack the deck on one side before dialogue has even started by inserting a racist flavored comment that most abortions eliminate black children is low level rhetorical argument.  I think that comment is mitigated by the following statistic:  While white women obtain 60% of all abortions, yet the demographics of race population, their abortion rate is well below that of minority women. Black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are roughly 2 times as likely.  However, only 40% of all abortions are obtained by non-white women.  That really means that the disproportion is due demographically to the number of white women in the US compared to the number of non-white. (provided by CBR)

Facts about abortion is a starting point.  The morality argument can come later.  That is not fact based.  There are two opponent institutions that are taking surveys considered as sources for such statistics: The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR, working to establish ‘prenatal justice,’ and the right to life for the unborn…through education and the development of cutting edge educational resources.  The other agency is the pro-choice, Alan Guttmacher Institute/Planned Parenthood.

Speaking of staying out of one’s pants, there is one sure way to reduce the number of abortions dramatically and that is to stop males from inseminating females.  From a woman’s point of view, I think that is the first place to start!  Not that I think men and women ought not to have the pleasure of sex, if they choose to, as there is no doubt it is a pleasurable activity.  Nor is it the case that I, personally, harbor any misandry, there are many men I both honor and respect and find attractive and have as friends.  It always stuns me that in the dialogue about abortion the responsibility of men in the equation is never mentioned.  It makes me wonder if the population at large thinks all women become pregnant by some holy ghost.

The following statistic about the religious is interesting:
Women identifying themselves as Protestants obtain 37.4% of all abortions in the U.S.
Catholic women account for 31.3%
Jewish women account for 1.3%, and
18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as “Born-again/Evangelical”.
Women with no religious affiliation obtain 23.7% of all abortions.

Since this statistic was provided by the pro-life institute, it is peculiar there us a surplus of 11.7%.  There is something wrong with their statistic analysis.  Nevertheless, it is very telling that approximately 88% of all abortions are made on religiously affiliated women versus 23.7% who do not identify themselves as religious.

Women in the middle of middle class (incomes of $30,000-$59,000) are most likely to have abortions at 38% of the population of women.  The rate for poor women (less than $15,000) is 28.7%.

More to come, but this is good enough for a start for this discussion.

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By Night-Gaunt, August 2, 2009 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

To me the Wall of Separation is a protection for you and me. You stay out of my pants and I stay out of your church. Now if you wish to impose your religion on me then that is where the line is drawn. As long as you practice your religion for yourself and your compatriots we are fine. It is only when you wish to do so to the likes of me that we have a problem.

Only a theocrat would consider the Bill of Rights an “imposition” on them if it keeps them from that. We are not a Christian nation but that could change. So would the concept of secular gov’t that represents all of us, not just some of us. That is the second revolution I see in many quarters by those who call themselves “conservative Christians” even if they are not. They are radical revolutionaries who wish to overturn the history of our country and return it to the theocracies of the 1600’s. We don’t want that do we Ozark Michael?

So what we need is a counter revolution to stop it and get gov’t under control and stop its purposeful slide to oblivion. The economy isn’t fixed and the Dominionists march on. What will we chose before it is too late?

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By OzarkMichael, August 2, 2009 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment

StuartH said: My bigger concern is that the White House quit editing or shaping the commentary of legitimate scientists according to some political agenda, especially one shaped by anti-science religious zealots.

It is my concern that the White House quit editing or shaping policy according to any political agenda, including the current “Ecoscience” one. But thats just me.

Having just read thousands of student essays from high schools all over Texas, with hundreds about the experience of teenage pregnancy, I would say that the absolutists who pushed, under Governor Bush, Abstinence Only have two or three generations of tragic consequences on their heads.

I am not sure about what happened in Texas, so i can’t comment on whose fault it is. On the other side of the coin is Washington DC, where the absolutists on the Left have federal tax dollars paying for abortion so that 41% of the babies are aborted. True, there wont be “generations of tragic consequences” in Washington. Just sort of an empty quiet where there should have been kids running around. But since most of those kids were black and i am a “racist” it shouldnt bother me.

Currently the argument is about whether the government should adopt an evangelical Christian framework as the correct framework.  Wrong argument.

Yeah that is the wrong argument. The argument is whether my view is disqualified from participating by the very Bill of Rights that was designed to allow it.

The concept of the separation between church and state correctly creates a firewall between the choice absolutists want to force;

You are referring to NightGaunt, who wants to force the choice, “Bill of Rights or Bible?” upon Christians. (Just kidding. But I dont know what you are referring to.)

Putting the question of religious control over an issue like abortion ahead of the health care of millions seems inherently selfish and ego driven.  Can’t win one of the arguments?  Well, then I will take my marbles and go home.  Let millions of people suffer because of this…

Injecting a liberal policy on abortion(which most americans would disagree with) into the healthcare bill(which most americans need) is a shameful trick. People need the healthcare bill. So they have to abandon their principles on abortion for this legislation. That is what you and the Democrats are asking them to do. Who is really guilty if the bill fails?

I think it is dangerous to force people to abandon their principles for the sake of healthcare, or money, or anything. You think it is ok because you are fighting “religious control” over the issue.

That is my argument with both you and Night Gaunt. You want to use the separation clause as a weapon. Ok, its a political argument, so have at it. Thats the American way. But what a terrible thing if you guys actually get what you want. In which case the Bill of Rights will be weakened.

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By OzarkMichael, August 2, 2009 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

StuartH said: My bigger concern is that the White House quit editing or shaping the commentary of legitimate scientists according to some political agenda, especially one shaped by anti-science religious zealots.

It is my concern that the White House quit editing or shaping policy according to any political agenda, including the current “Ecoscience” one. But thats just me.

Having just read thousands of student essays from high schools all over Texas, with hundreds about the experience of teenage pregnancy, I would say that the absolutists who pushed, under Governor Bush, Abstinence Only have two or three generations of tragic consequences on their heads.

I am not sure about what happened in Texas, so i can’t comment on whose fault it is. On the other side of the coin is Washington DC, where the absolutists on the Left have federal tax dollars paying for abortion so that 41% of the babies are aborted. True, there wont be “generations of tragic consequences” in Washington. Just sort of an empty quiet where there should have been kids running around. But since most of those kids were black and i am a “racist” it shouldnt bother me.

Currently the argument is about whether the government should adopt an evangelical Christian framework as the correct framework.  Wrong argument.

Yeah that is the wrong argument. The argument is whether my view is disqualified from participating by the very Bill of Rights that was designed to allow it.

The concept of the separation between church and state correctly creates a firewall between the choice absolutists want to force;

You are referring to NightGaunt, who wants to force the choice, “Bill of Rights or Bible?” upon Christians. (Just kidding. But I dont know what you are referring to.)

Putting the question of religious control over an issue like abortion ahead of the health care of millions seems inherently selfish and ego driven.  Can’t win one of the arguments?  Well, then I will take my marbles and go home.  Let millions of people suffer because of this…

Injecting a liberal policy on abortion(which most americans would disagree with) into the healthcare bill(which most americans need) is a shameful trick. People need the healthcare bill. So they have to abandon their principles on abortion for this legislation. That is what you and the Democrats are asking them to do. Who is really guilty if the bill fails?

I think it is dangerous to force people to abandon their principles for the sake of healthcare, or money, or anything. You think it is ok because you are fighting “religious control” over the issue.

That is my argument with both you and Night Gaunt. You want to use the separation clause as a weapon. Ok, its a political argument, so have at it. Thats the American way. But what a terrible thing if you guys actually get what you want. In which case the Bill of Rights will be weakened.

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By StuartH, August 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment

Ozark:

I really have no interest or concern about what a particular adviser about science wrote or said sometime back.  My bigger concern is that the White House quit editing or shaping the commentary of legitimate scientists according to some political agenda, especially one shaped by anti-science religious zealots.
Those people, under Bush, were a real threat to our future.  The education system was getting dumbed down, and our leaders were operating with a blindfold where reality was concerned. 

We need a realistic assessment of issues like the probable extent of the worldwide oil supply, not some idea that prayer will fill those wells back up.  Global warming is or is not measurable and it shouldn’t be hidden under the carpet because religious zealots think it contravenes some dogma. 

To me, the word “choice” is appropriate. 

The problem with the religious perspective is that, if you take the entire notion of religion into account and not just a particular religion, you have a variety of different positions, each claiming to be absolutely right.  Buddhists have a view that the Baptists don’t share, for instance.  Why should we be dictated to by Baptists instead of Buddhists?  What about Taoists?  Muslims? What about, for that matter, atheists?  Currently the argument is about whether the government should adopt an evangelical Christian framework as the correct framework.  Wrong argument.

The concept of the separation between church and state correctly creates a firewall between the choice absolutists want to force; and keeping affairs of state at a remove from the demands of religion. 

The way to work this out, is through education in the public marketplace of ideas, where debate can help individuals make choices that are informed. 

Having just read thousands of student essays from high schools all over Texas, with hundreds about the experience of teenage pregnancy, I would say that the absolutists who pushed, under Governor Bush, Abstinence Only have two or three generations of tragic consequences on their heads.  This is an example of not empowering people through information, but instead enslaving them to a dogma through the use of government power. 

Whenever we see government used as a tool for religion, it is a mistake.

Putting the question of religious control over an issue like abortion ahead of the health care of millions seems inherently selfish and ego driven.  Can’t win one of the arguments?  Well, then I will take my marbles and go home.  Let millions of people suffer because of this. I don’t care.  I can’t be bothered with the consequences of such an action.  The larger question is not a moral question.  The many should suffer as much pain as possible because it is their fate.

This is where the guys in the video are coming from in calling for a revolution because things are moving too fast, are too complex and are too hard for them to deal with because other people are involved who don’t want to be dictated to by their religious outlook. 

Because of Christians like this, I am reluctant to call myself one.
I think eventually, a lot more people will agree.  Certainly, the evangelical right wing is losing steam as a political force for these reasons. 

This is why we see the spectacle of Christians with guns.  The gun is a symbol of power.  But it can’t win arguments where the logic is not there.

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By OzarkMichael, August 2, 2009 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

While it is true that I did not respond to some nice kind posts, especially from StuartH who was trying to help me express myself better, I also was mute about some pretty bad posts.

But with some time now I am going back and I find a real clunker.  The following is from the quintessential Truthdigger, John Hanks:

All totalitarians are sociopaths.  Sociopaths are Nazis. They obtain their power as criminals through glorifying the state.  You’re right that the Nazis were post Communist.  Both movements were partially funded by rich American sociopaths…

Well, thats pretty bad. It isnt just the opinion John expresses, but the logic. Or lack thereof. Allow me to demonstrate:

All miners work underground.
Underground is rock.
Therefore, all miners are rock.

Which is absurd. A Christian like myself would never get away with that sort of ‘logic’. Shenonymous for one wouldnt let me. Which I am glad of.

But when you are a Leftist it doesnt really matter. As long as you blame the right people in the end it doesnt seem to matter to yourself or anyone else how you got there.

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By Shenonymous, August 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, I forgot a couple of commas that changes the meaning of this sentence, “I would argue they “are,” not “becoming,” aware of their existence as participants in US society,

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By Shenonymous, August 2, 2009 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

Part 1 – Nobles… NNs and CPs
Why MarthaA I do believe you have no sense of humor.  Levity, my dear lady, is uplifting.  (I am working under the assumption that your ID reflects your sex, though I realize that might just be a mask).

MarthaA, you are proceeding with an inherent fallacy.  If the 70% are what is left (not meaning liberal, for we don’t really know if all those in that common population would be liberals, i.e., my mom would have been considered within the poor class living on well below poverty level income, but was a staunch conservative!), from the Bush political fiasco, then we should have to say these people were ‘aware’ of political ramifications and not ignorant Pushme/Pullyous Unrepresenteds (the PPUs oh, hold your nose!).  Further, those in the Nearly Noble grouping (your 20%) are not homogenously liberal Democrats, there are some rabidly right wing radicals in that group, they have less money than the Nobles.

No matter if all political parties, exotics and the well-known, outside of the two major brands do have to “toe the mark,” they all contain people who are aware of politics and are not slumbering away at being unrepresented.  They still have a voice even if what they want is not provided, and they often complain bitterly. You say, “[they are] becoming aware of its existence and their need to work together as a whole for representation in Congress.”  I would argue they “are” not “becoming” aware of their existence as participants in US society, though they might find it repugnant that they are lumped together as a less than Nearly Noble class given American individualism.

Uh, well, as I see it the three groups Nobles, Near Nobles, and Common Population are subgroups of the whole group of Americans.  So your complaint is picayune.

How exactly was the subdivision of the CPs effected by the American Aristocracy [Nobles] and the Professional Middle Class [Nearly Nobles]?  Isn’t it a matter of wealth?  And isn’t is also possible to move from one sub group to another depending upon the accumulation of wealth?  I think so.  A Noble, in fact could descend into the Common Population upon poverty.

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By Shenonymous, August 2, 2009 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 – Nobles… NNs and CPs
While it is true that perception will not change cause and effect, reality still is a matter of perception.  If you want to believe that thing that fell on my foot and smashed it was a marshmallow, I wouldn’t try eating one at a beach party if I were you.  Or, climbing marshmallows to get to the top of Mt. Shasta.  I think Orwell would agree not to try roasting rocks.

Please specify the fallacy you accuse me of.  Unless of course, you believe that everyone experiences the exact same perceptions.  If so, they please explain the three variables in classes you have invented.
While I extol the intuitiveness of Orwell, his terminology of high, middle and low is arbitrary as would be all collectivizationalizing nouns.  He makes that clear in his saying from your quote, “they have borne countless different names, and their relative numbers, as well as their attitude toward one another, have varied from age to age; but the essential structure of society has never altered.”  Stratifying the population has been a practice since the cave (though I have no first hand knowledge of that latter condition).  We are here talking about social “patterning” as Orwell theorizes, and I believe he might be right that the groups are irreconcilable, if only be cause the logic hold and if it didn’t then the members of one group can freely move to another, which I submit happens in America where yes there are layers of society but their borders are not impermeable. Hence the categories of Noble, Nearly Noble, or Common are only useful for your argument and are not fast and firm boxes of people. 

While Orwell does make much of his so-called high, middle, and low classes and describes somewhat sketchily the dynamics within each group, they are merely place holders for noticing a disparity among peoples.  He was looking at the English population, and doesn’t hold a one-to-one comparative with Americans.  The closed systems of social classes only remain closed as long as there is no movement either in or out of them. 

‘Actual representation’ is also a fantasy nomenclature.  The Common Population is a conglomeration of individuals who do not act as a herd.  While they share economic status they do not share common beliefs.
There will be moments when the powerful (governments) will exercise their own will generated from their own perceived self-interest and will impress their will on the general public.  That would include both your classes of Nearly Nobles and Common Population, and might even include some of the Nobles.

My point which you may have missed, is that being participants in the electoral process is significantly an open ended system and it is open to all individuals of all three of those constructed classes.  It doesn’t matter how the representation is transported.  Sentiments are made known through various means.

I don’t think there is a real question about people accepting being peasants since you have constructed the edges of their class.  You ask an impossible to answer question.

To address OM’s jibe, Andrea Mitchell does not represent anyone except her own limited self.  Self-styled pundits often contradict themselves.
If anyone listens to MSM or any news analyst for reasons to believe anything, then I’d consider them fools.  My working motto, believe nothing of what you hear and less than half of what you see.

To be continued after dinnah.

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By OzarkMichael, August 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA asks: Why is it so difficult for people to accept being peasants in a common population of peasants that are under the degree of the Noble and Nearly Noble?

Great question. I like this line of thought, Martha.

If I understand you correctly, the Democrats and their representatives(which includes the mainstream media) are the Nearly Noble. Here are two clips from the Nearly Noble Andrea Mitchell. In the first one she clumsily praises the peasants for accepting the Nearly Noble Barack Obama:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5raIzKI97hw

But in this recent clip she shows her disdain for peasants who resist the decree of the Nearly Noble Barack Obama:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2a2momdss8

The moral? A Commoner can support the Nearly Noble Obama or not support him.  But it doesnt matter, we are still stupid peasants either way.

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By MarthaA, August 2, 2009 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

(1st Part of 4 part post)

Shenonymous said: “MarthaA, your last post is one way to articulate a description of subgroups…”

MarthaA’s answer:  Groups are only Nobles, Nearly Nobles and Common Population, ONLY.  What other subgroup was articulated? Subgroups are what is used to fractionalize a class and culture and make it politically impotent.  The Common Population has been subdivided by the American Aristocracy [Nobles] and the Professional Middle Class [Nearly Nobles], but not by the Common Population.  If you want to talk about subgroups, you will have to talk about subgroups of the Professional Middle Class and the American Aristocracy, but so far as I know, they are united as classes and cultures and have no interest in subgroups.  I am certain that the 70% Majority Common Population would be interested in dividing the American Aristocracy and the Professional Middle Class into as many fractionalized subgroups as is humanly possible in favor of unity by the 70% Majority Common Population as a class and culture; do you have any suggestions in regard to a process to effect the division of the American Aristocracy, the Nobles and the Professional Middle Class, the Nearly Nobles, into subgroups?  The Professional Middle Class deems itself a singularity, independent of even other classes and cultures that it is in the middle of. I agree with George Orwell, that there are indeed classes and cultures on both sides of the United States’ middle class singularity.


Shenonymous said: “However, there is no one absolute way to interpret the political nature of a population.  And as I proposed, reality is a matter of perception and is dependent upon one’s conditioning.”

MarthaA’s answer:  If a large heavy rock falls on your foot and you perceive it as a large rock that has mashed your foot into mush, and I perceive the same rock as a harmless marshmallow, will the effect to your foot be any different from the marshmallow falling on your foot, as the effect of the rock; a rock by any other name is still a rock.  Your argument is fallacious and you know it.  Perceptions will not change cause and effect.


Shenonymous said:  “First of all I happen to not see the common people as peasants because for me that is more or less an archaic terminology that has inherent a negative class association, often calculated to inflame those who react to what is perceived as justified indignance.”

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By MarthaA, August 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

(2nd Part of 4 part post)

MarthaA’s answer:  But you admit that all people that are not Noble or Nearly Noble are Common People, whether you want to call them peasants or not.  I defer to George Orwell’s academic evaluation with regard to the three kinds of people in the world, which is stated from “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism” by Emmanuel Goldstein, Chapter 1, Ignorance is Strength, from George Orwell’s book, “Nineteen Eighty-four” as follows: 

“Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end of the Neolithic Age, there have been three kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle, and the Low.  They have been subdivided in many ways, they have borne countless different names, and their relative numbers, as well as their attitude toward one another, have varied from age to age; but the essential structure of society has never altered.  Even after enormous upheavals and seemingly irrevocable changes, the same pattern has always reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope will always return to equilibrium, however far it is pushed one way or the other.”

“The aims of these three groups are entirely irreconcilable.  The aim of the High is to remain where they are.  The aim of the Middle is to change places with the High.  The aim of the Low, when they have an aim—-for it is an abiding characteristic of the Low that they are too much crushed by drudgery to be more than intermittently conscious of anything outside their daily lives—-is to abolish all distinctions and create a society in which all men shall be equal.  Thus throughout history a struggle which is the same in its main outlines recurs over and over again.  For long periods the High seem to be securely in power, but sooner or later there always comes a moment when they lose either their belief in themselves, or their capacity to govern efficiently, or both.  They are then overthrown by the Middle, who enlist the Low on their side by pretending to them that they are fighting for liberty and justice.  As soon as they have reached their objective, the Middle thrust the Low back into their old psition of servitude, and themselves become the High.  Presently a new Middle group splits off from one of the other groups, or from both of them, and the struggle begins over again.  Of the three groups, only the Low are never even temporarily successful in achieving their aims.  It would be an exaggeration to say that throughout history there had been no progress of a material kind.  Even today, in a period of decline, the average human being is physically better off than he was a few centuries ago.  But no advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.  From the point of view of the Low, no historic change has ever meant much more than a change in the name of their masters.” 


Shenonymous said:  “It says there is more than much possible common people participation in electing government officials.”

MarthaA’s answer:  Common people participate but do not get actual representation as a class and culture.  If common people were represented as a class and culture, the United States would not be in war.


Shenonymous said:  “The point of presenting the stats about exotic parties, that those who have little or no effect on elections either local or national, is that there are voters who have been represented by these parties therefore are participants in the electoral process.”

MarthaA’s answer:  The fact that there have been voters represented in the past by a separate political party from the two main parties is insignificant, as the representation that representative would have to perform would have to come through one of the two solidly institutionalized political parties in Congress, either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, neither of which represent the 70% Majority Common Population as a class and culture.

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By MarthaA, August 2, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

(3rd Part of 4 part post)

Shenonymous said: “So it seems your point is that a huge number (70%) of the people not of Noble status or Near Noble status are not represented by the US government.  I would have to disagree .....”

MarthaA’s answer:  No matter if there are a thousand political parties or more, still each of those political parties comes under the parameters of not being institutionalized political parties, and will have to “toe the mark” of either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, as the only two institutionalized political parties in the United States’ political system.


Shenonymous said:  “For further information regarding the participation of the common population, .......”

MarthaA’s answer:  Your recognition of the Common Population is significant, even though the Common Law for the Common Population has been removed by the Bush administration, there is still a Common Population that is becoming aware of its existence and their need to work together as a whole for representation in Congress.


I am of the opinion there is 70% of the population that will fall in the common range, and based on how far the polls dropped for George W. Bush during the Bush administration, when he was polling around 20%, it is apparent my figures are pretty close.  Because the 10%  CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN BASE stayed with Bush, and he also lost 10% of the Professional Middle Class; leaving Bush only 20% of the entire population in favor of the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICAN AGENDA, and none of them being the common population, only the 10% Nobles and 10% of the Nearly Nobles.  This is really easily seen here as the ones who stuck with Bush are the Nobles and Nearly Nobles.

It appears you are disingenuously fixated in definition based upon a 21st Century version of the “Eleventh Edition of the Newspeak Dictionary” and we all know where that will lead subsequent to reading “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism” by Emmanuel Goldstein.  Will you be the member of the Inner Party doing the interrogation in The Ministry of Love?  The following is an excerpt from “Nineteen Eighty-four” by George Orwell with regard to the Newspeak Dictionary:

““The Eleventh Edition is the definitive addition,” he said, “We’re getting the language into its final shape—the shape it’s going to have when nobody speaks anything else.  When we’ve finished with it, people like you will have to learn it all over again.  You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words.  But not a bit of it!  We’re destoying words—scores of them, hundreds of them, everyday.  We’re cutting the language down to the bone.  The Eleventh Edition won’t contain a single word that will become obsolete before the year 2050”.”

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By MarthaA, August 2, 2009 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

(Last Part of 4 part post)

““It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.  Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well.  It isn’t only the synonyms, there are also antonyms.  After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other words?  A word contains its opposite in itself.  Take ‘good’, for instance.  If you have a word like ‘good’, what need is there for a word like ‘bad’?  ‘Ungood’ will do just as well—better, because it’s an exact opposite, which the other is not.  Or again, if you want a stronger version of ‘good’, what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like ‘excellent’ and ‘splendid’ and the rest of them?  ‘Plusgood’ covers the meaning, or ‘doubleplusgood’ if you want something stronger still.  Of course we use those forms already, but in the final version of Newspeak there’ll be nothing else.  In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words—in reality, only one word.  Don’t you see the beauty of that, Winston?  It was B.B.‘s idea originally, of course,” he added as an afterthought.”

““You haven’t a real appreciation of Newspeak, Winston,” he said almost sadly.  “Even when you write it you’re still thinking in Oldspeak.  I’ve read some of those pieces that you write in the Times occasionally.  They’re good enough, but they’re translations.  In your heart you’d prefer to stick to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its useless shades of meaning.  You don’t grasp the beauty of the destruction of words.  Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?”“

““Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?  In the end we shall make thought crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.  Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.  Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we’re not far from that point.  But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead.  Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller.  Even now, of course, there’s no reason or excuse for committing thought crime.  It’s merely a quesiton of self-discipline, reality-control.  But in the end there won’t be any need even for that.  The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect.  Newspeak is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak,” he added with a sort of mystical satisfaction.  “Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?”“

I can go on, but these passages are enough to define what has happened to the American Aristocracy and the 70% Majority Common Population as classes and cultures on both sides of the Professional Middle Class singularity.  To deny this reality can only mean that your version of reality is that of a 21st Century version of the Eleventh Edition of the Newspeak Dictionary.

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By OzarkMichael, August 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

As your resident despicable racist fascist sophist of the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICANS, I apologize for the long delays between posts.

Today I wont try to dig out from under the muck of namecalling, since names are dumped on conservative Christians with such regularity that trying to defend oneself is time consuming. 

Something else has come up, and I will introduce it with another quote from John Holdren, Obama’s Science Czar. From another one of his books. This time its “Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions”:

The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being

Holdren uses his degree in science to teach that we all should withhold the status of ‘human being’ from infants, oops, I mean ‘fetuses’ that have been born but who havent eaten enough vegetables or attended enough parties yet.

StuartH will accuse me(and Christians generally) of not comprehending how Leftists grow and evolve etc. Sorry, but Holdren wrote some crazy stuff, and there isnt evidence that he has renounced it. Meanwhile, NightGuant will point out that Obama appointed a ‘born again’ Christian to a post, so the danger is balanced out. Sorry, but Dr Collins is no threat to anyone. Assuming that Collins is dangerous merely because he is a Christian is… prejudice.

But Holdren’s view of a fetus, given the right type of food and the right type of environment over a few years until it finally becomes a human being, that is my concern.

I disagree completely with Obama’s ‘expert’ on science. Holdren is legitimatizing abortion and infanticide and death for those fighting to stay alive: Orphans starving in Africa? If they havent gotten enough good food they arent ‘human beings’ so dont shed a tear for them. And certainly dont send food! Keeping them alive when they havent had the right sort of socializing is a waste of resources. That is Holdren’s approach.

Well, all this is leading to a little decision for me. Up until now i have been ambivalent about the government takeover of healthcare. There are some good and bad things about it.

But now the legislation on the House side has provisions for abortion. Which will to be the greatest victory for pro-choicers since Roe v Wade.  As such, I am suddenly and strongly and irrevocably a staunch opponent of goverment taking over healthcare.

Sorry Obama. That little creature called a fetus is something important. Near as i can make out it isnt a salamander but a human being of some sort.

The same goes for infants, and I especially invite you all to think of the children who are hungry and alone. Holdren questions their humanity. No! It is not their humanity that is in question, but Holdren’s.

And ours.

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By Shenonymous, August 1, 2009 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA, your last post is one way to articulate a description of subgroups and apparently it is your reality.  However, there is no one absolute way to interpret the political nature of a population.  And as I proposed, reality is a matter of perception and is dependent upon one’s conditioning.  First of all I happen to not see the common people as peasants because for me that is more or less an archaic terminology that has inherent a negative class association, often calculated to inflame those who react to what is perceived as justified indignance.

Here are some statistics taken from the Internet from various sources that just don’t exactly jive with your distribution.  Yours appears to be somewhat calculated generally to satisfy your theory rather than is based on any true figures gathered by professional statisticians.

The Democratic Party has the most registered voters of any party as of 2004, with 72 million voters.  Polls taken over the last decade indicate 34% to 36% of American voters self-identify as Democrats.

For the last election, of 212+ million voters the political breakdown is over 91 million Democrat or 43%; 68 million Republican, 32%; and 53 million Independent, 25%

Given the voting age is 18, approximately 75% of all Americans are of voting age.

There were roughly 305 million people living in the United States in November 2008, about 24.6% of which are children (75,030,169). That means that approximately 229,969,831 persons over 18 live in the United States.

212,720,027 people were reported registered voters for the 2008 election. That means about 17,249,804 have not registered who are of legal age.  I have not found any statistics about why this 17+million have not registered.

But this means about 92.5% of all eligible Americans are registered voters.  That is not a mean statistic.  It says there is more than much possible common people participation in electing government officials.  Every election will yield different statistics as to how many Americans voted, which party is represented by what percentage and who they actually voted for as people cross party lines many times.  The voter turnout for 2008 was between 60.7% and 63% depending on whose analysis is read.

About 75% of the voting adults in America are registered with one of two political parties or as independents for an approximately 126,750,000 voters: A nebulous 25% are registered as the Greens, Constitution, and Libertarians,  and a fluid list of some 19 other parties or about 42,250,000 voters.  There are 24 other parties that have nominated candidates for political office in the past but not recently and may have disbanded altogether and others that have formed but have never nominated anyone.  There are 26 regional parties only a few of which ever nominated a candidate for president.  The point of presenting the stats about exotic parties, that those who have little or no effect on elections either local or national, is that there are voters who have been represented by these parties therefore are participants in the electoral process.

So it seems your point is that a huge number (70%) of the people not of Noble status or Near Noble status are not represented by the US government.  I would have to disagree as to the reality of that assessment.  There are fewer ostriches out there than might be thought.

For further information regarding the participation of the common population, Nonprofit Voter issued a report called, America Goes to the Polls: the 2008 General Election that compares US turnout to other democracies around the world, and also shows turnout among Latinos, African American, youths, and by state.  I have not analyzed this report, but I don’t think I really need to do so to make my point.  Also WikiAnswers gives some if limited numbers.

Whether or not the officials elected do the voting population’s bidding is a different question.

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By MarthaA, August 1, 2009 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

The answer is that there are three distinct and different classes and cultures in the United States:

The American Aristocracy is a 10% minority population represented by the Republican Party with a seat at the table of government to make and enforce law and order in their class and cultural interests;

The Professional Middle Class as a 20% minority population represented by the Democratic Party with a seat at the table of government to make and enforce law and order in their class and cultural interests;

The 70% Majority Common Population of Peasants in the United States have no political party that represents their interests, and do not have a seat at the table of government to make and enforce law and order that is in their interests.

The reality of life in the United States is that class and cultural warfare and tyranny is dealt with in the same manner that an ostrich uses to hide from danger, and as awareness builds in the 70% Majority Common Population as a Class and Culture, the ostrich approach will become increasingly vulnerable.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all is an objective reality for the Class and Cultural constituents of the 10% minority of American Aristocracy and the 20% minority population of the Professional Middle Class, but life liberty and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all of the constituents of the 70% Majority Common Population as a Class and Culture is a subjective reality that is self-evident and can only be denied either intentionally as is done by sophists of the RIGHT-WING CONSERVATIVE EXTREMIST REPUBLICANS and the Professional Middle Class, or members of the 70% Majority Common Population who choose to hide from the problem like ostriches; if this problem is not dealt with, eventually awareness will lead to revolution and the results of that will be catastrophic for all involved.

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By Shenonymous, August 1, 2009 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

This might be a bit long
Part 1– Class/culture and the 70% Majority Common Population

There is a test where depending on how one focuses their eyes, an image can be seen as either a lovely young socialite, or, upon taking another look, it appears to be an old hag.  This classic test in perception is often used to demonstrate that within seconds things seen depend on the kind of conditioning at work and how powerful conditioning can affect one’s perceptions.  The hypothesis is taken to the universal level by asking that if merely a focus of one ambiguous image can have a huge impact on the way events and experiences are seen, and believed, what about the effects of conditioning over a lifetime?

At my last visit here, MarthaA offered a definition of the word ‘culture’ from a quote out of Barrington Moore, Jr.’s sociological book.  I found it much too vague and inadequate, but T. Parson, in Essays in Sociological Theory, 1949 is close to Moore, Jr.’s, but somewhat more informative, which says, “Culture…consists in those patterns relative to behavior and the products of human action which may be inherited, that is, passed on from generation to generation independently of the biological genes” (p. 8). 

Closer to what I’ve understood from my education, I like better A. L. Kroeber’s, from his 1952 critical review of concepts and definitions, Harvard University Peabody Museum of American Archeology and Ethnology Papers.

  ” Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i.e. historically derived and selected) ideas [I shall insert here MarthaA’s notion of generational as part of the concept of traditional as well], and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, and on the other as conditioning elements of further action.”

This seems quite inclusive. Perhaps not.  Anyone is welcome to enlarge on this definition, or anything else for that matter.  The more the merrier I’ve always maintained.

If I may wax a bit more:  Culture derives from the Latin cultura, and colere which means “to cultivate.”  A well-rounded understanding of what culture is comes from three different realms of meanings that are tied together in this one term:  culture has to do with taste in the arts such as the visual and performing arts, the literary arts, and the humanities that studies the human condition using criticism, analysis, and speculation; then, culture can be defined as a combination of knowledge, belief, and behavior that is dependent on the capacity of representational thought and intrasocial learning; finally, but not least, culture means a set of shared values, attitudes, goals and practices, and Wiki… more or less says this “characterizes an institution, an organization, or a group.”

Given that we have a fairly decent working understanding of what culture means, a better look at what class means might also be helpful on our quest.  I do feel like we are traveling hand-in-hand MarthaA.  Do you mind if I put it that way?

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By Shenonymous, August 1, 2009 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 – Class/culture and the 70% Majority Common Population

It seems for our purposes, the word class is associated with the term social class and social class is a hierarchical distinction between groups in societies or cultures  I don’t think getting into particular theories such as Marxist would do us any good, at least in the comparison between the English social stratification and the American.  Hierarchy seems to be a key term and Wiki… (FYI: I don’t get all my information from Wiki or even most of it) makes the further distinctions of the powerful and the powerless, which seems to fit if we were talking about effectiveness within a society.  The ranking of people according to economics seems to be the one-to-one ratio in our comparison since the sociological terms associates with elitism and baronial stratification doesn’t quite conform to the American domain.  Traditionally the Americans did not ever designate a ‘peasant’ class.

To keep the analogy close lest it be lost in transit, exactly who makes up the 70% Majority Common Population (MCP)?

Seems like the separation of classes is a cultural conditioning brought about from the intention for one group to dominate another using wealth or sheer physical force (various kinds of war activity).  Many men declared themselves kings or emperors after victory in battle.  Nowadays that war is in metaphorical terms, such as presidential elections.  Does anyone disagree?

With these two major terms out of the way (hopefully), maybe we can proceed a little faster?  By Enclosure Movement I take it you mean where in the UK land that was held in common was appropriated by one private owner and all the products owned by that owner.  It is reminiscent of the Helots in Sparta?  If you are interested, you might read The Tragedy of the Commons, by Garrett Hardin 1968, in Science, I could provide a link if you are interested. But I think it is outside our current pursuit.

From Moore, Jr.’s description about the failure of the small farmers from the institution of enclosure (or anti-common movement, if I may be so bold to call it that), in England, it would seems a natural flow of social rearrangement.  I only say that because I am not sure that a peasant community is ideal for a progressive humanity evolving their mental skills.  We witness the fewer and fewer farmers in the US and that would appear to be the siren song of the city and its progressive flavor that is so enticing to the young Arcadians.  What do you think?  Can it be that human progress is served by a diminishment of ignorant peasantry and that nature is calling the shots of farm attrition.  Couldn’t a larger evolution of ‘cultural interests’ be at work?

Perhaps this is, however, only one analogy.  A different metaphor could take a more overarching view of humanity.  Is it also possible that gradual change of the human species motivates towards fewer and fewer for the design of survival?  How societies develop their disparate economic groups might determine the survival of the species.  If the pattern in the US follows that which developed in England, it might just be the natural arrangement of humans depending on accumulation of wealth and power.  This formula does not seem to be restricted only to the English and supposedly copycat Americans but can also be seen in such places as the Middle Eastern countries, African nations, South American countries, and the Asian countries as well.  Even those countries where communism was the structure developed subgroups.

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By Shenonymous, July 31, 2009 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

StuartH - For me, except for the last paragraph, the Matthew25 article was precise.  It was a cogent an argument for male dominance as I’ve seen in as much as it did not try to excuse the male experience of the species and the complete unsophisticated character of the 20-year old female sex juggler.  I appreciate being made aware of the article.  However, this ought to be understood without any reference to religion or a god.  This is the way to understand the human psyche for what it is and not because any supernatural power, either good or bad, influences it.  I am a firm believer in self-reliance and self-responsibility for one’s actions.  Actions are based on beliefs and if one is dogmatized into believing some power other than oneself is the basis for one’s behavior, it is emotional coercion and there is no personally reasoned reason to be moral.

I will take up this most intriguing forum later.  Have to go right now, a doctor’s appointment (you know we cannot miss those without dire consequences).  Thanks MarthaA for a most fascinating discussion in a long time.

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By MarthaA, July 31, 2009 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,`

(continued from last post)

In the eighteenth century, with the final blow of enclosures and commercial influences, these small farmers generally failed to resist or to fight back.  Thus it seems quite clear that when the common fields disappeared and a new economic system began to win out in the countryside, the old peasant community finally gave way and disintegrated.” 

“Looking back over the enclosure movement as a whole and taking account of the results of modern research, it still seems plain enough that, together with the rise of industry, the enclosures greatly strengthened the larger landlords and broke the back of the English peasantry, eliminating them as a factor from British political life.  From the standpoint of the issues discussed here, that is, after all, the decisive point.  Furthermore, for the “surplus” peasant it made little difference whether the pull from the towns or factories was more important than the push out of his rural world.  In either case he was caught in the end between alternatives that meant degradation and suffering, compared with the traditional life of the village community.  That the violence and coercion which produced these results took place over a long space of time, that it took place mainly within a framework of law and order and helped ultimately to establish democracy on a firmer footing, must not blind us to the fact that it was massive violence exercised by the upper classes against the lower.”

The forgoing posts are the origins and the parameters of both the Class and Culture of the 70% Majority Common Population in the United States.

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By MarthaA, July 31, 2009 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,`

(continued from last post)

“As is usually the case in such social upheavals, the fate of those who lost out by the change is very difficult to discern.  Those who had property rights to defend in the course of enclosure proceedings tended by and large to make better weather of the storm than those who did not.  Even at that many small owners had heavy costs to bear connected with enclosure proceedings, as well as capital charges for hedging and ditching, that made their situation precarious.  The ones whose property rights were tenuous to nonexistent fail to appear in the historical record because they lacked property rights to defend.  “These landless or semi-landless workers, together with the small tenants who disappeared through consolidation, represent the real victims of enclosure, and unless they are kept constantly in mind, they may also become the victims of statistical method.  Within these bottom layers, before enclosure, there had been some variety of economic and legal position.  Most poor families—tenant cottagers, for example—had a small dwelling and the right to cultivate a few strips of land as well as to keep perhaps a cow, a few geese, or a pig or so.  Men and beasts had generally scratched out an existence in which the rights of common played a large part.  For cottagers and certainly for the landless laborers who had only customary but not legal usage of the common, the loss of this right or privilege meant disaster.  “The appropriation to their own exclusive use of practically the whole of the common waste by the legal owners meant that the curtain which separated the growing army of labourers from utter proletarianization was torn down.  It was, no doubt, a thin and squalid curtain… but it was real, and to deprive them of it without providing a substitute implied the exclusion of the labourers from the benefits which their intensified labour alone made possible.”  The little men at the bottom of the rural heap were thus swept aside, either to swell the new army of rural laborers, needed for some time to put in enclosure hedges, ditches, roads or to carry out new agricultural practices not yet possible to execute by labor-saving machinery or to join the wretched workers in the disease-ridden towns.  Modern scholars tend to believe that the dispossessed cottagers and landless laborers generally stayed on the soil, while the remaining “unabsorbed surplus” laborers and cottagers became industrial workers.  But generally only the young, the unmarried, or the village craftsmen were willing to leave home—- and only such individuals were wanted by the new industrial employers.  Mature men with families were not as trainable nor could they as easily tear themselves completely out of the fabric of rural life.  Remaining on the soil, they had recourse to their “last right”—- the right of poor relief.  In one village in Leicestershire, “as in thousands of other parishes in the Midlands and the South,” the enclosures of common fields, together with the loss of commons and the requirements of a money economy, had resulted in a steady rise of poor rates in order to support by 1832 “nearly one half the families in the village in regular receipt of poor relief and many more receiving intermittent relief.”  In the previous century these families had been self-supporting small farmers or not too badly off cottagers, able to obtain the necessaries of life in an open-field economy.  Where the open-field system worked at all well in terms of suplying enough of what was needed, it had been the basis of a rough degree of economic equality in the village.  It had also served to bolster up the network of social relationships based on the division of labor that, in effect, was the society of the village.  When, in the past, village society had been strong, the peasants had fought vigorously with some success to defend their rights. (cont. in next post)

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By MarthaA, July 31, 2009 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,`

Culture is that which people do that is passed down from one generation to the next and the following excerpt from “Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy, Lord and Peasant In The Making Of The Modern World” by Barrington Moore, Jr. gives as per your request, explanation of the origin and relationship between the Classes and cultures of the Nobles, Nearly Nobles and the Peasants of the Common Population in England that are under the degree of the Noble and the Nearly Noble. 

The 70% Majority Common Population of Peasants in the United States are by origin an extension of the Majority Common Population of Peasants in England, and from everything I have observed with privatization of common resources in the 21st Century United States the 70% Majority Common Population of Peasants in the United States are headed to the same destination as the Majority Common Population of Peasants in England; do you think that the Enclosure Movement in England was about “poor people”, or was it about Class and Cultural warfare by the Nobles and the Nearly Nobles against the Class and Culture of the Common Population of Peasants, who were less than Noble, and is that same war not going on metaphorically between the Classes and Cultures of the Nobles, Nearly Nobles and 70% Majority Common Population of Peasants in 21st Century America?

The following continued post is the excerpt from “Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy” by Barrington Moore, Jr.:

“The span of time when these changes were most rapidly and thoroughly taking place is not absolutely clear.  It seems most likely, however, that the enclosure movement had gathered considerable force by about 1760.  It may have surged forward at its greatest speed during the Napleonic Wars, to die out after 1832, by which time it had helped to change the English countryside beyond recognition.  Rising food prices and probably also difficulties in obtaining labor appear to have been the main factors both tempting and compelling landlords to enlarge their holdings and rationalize their cultivation.”

“Thus over substantial parts of England, as the large estate became larger and was operated more and more on commercial principles, it finally destroyed the medieval peasant community.  It is rather likely, though not absolutely certain, that the wave of parliamentary enclosures during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries merely gave legal sanction to a process of eroding peasant property that had been going on for some time.  We know from the experience of other countries that the intrusion of commerce into a peasant community generally sets in motion a tendency toward the concentration of land in fewer hands.  This tendency had been noticeable in England at least as early as the sixteenth century.  In the heart of an area heavily hit by enclosure, seventy percent of the land in one village had been withdrawn from the peasant economy before the village was enclosed by act of Parliament.  By 1765 only three families in ten occupied land in this area of advancing industry.  The rest were laborers, knitters, small tradesmen.  Seventy small peasants out of less than a hundred owned less than a fifth of all the land, while a dozen select families at the top owned three-fifths.  A similar situation probably prevailed over much of the area that was heavily subject to enclosure after the middle of the eighteenth century.  If, in order to discover the area affected, one looks at a map of England shaded according to the total areas of counties in which the enclosure of common fields took place, one will notice that rather more than half the country had been subject to such enclosure.  Perhaps half of this area in turn, mainly in the Midlands but with a broad tongue extending northwards, experienced the heaviest impact, running from just under a third to a half and more of these areas.”  (cont. in next post)

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By StuartH, July 31, 2009 at 7:12 am Link to this comment

An interesting discussion site for Christians who want to explore issues intelligently, apparently an effort to appeal to young evangelicals who are tired of the US vs THEM approach promoted by the Pat Robertsons of the world.

http://matthew25.org/

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By Shenonymous, July 30, 2009 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

To close out the evening…
MarthaA, Let’s say the answer to your first question in your last post is “that it is possible,” and that the description to your second question is “okay, it might very well would be” and that “I think a Venn diagram might be helpful” for your third question, and that “quite possibly I can accept your alleged facts” of your fourth question (though I’m not really sure these are facts).  I have to ask if your fifth question is rhetorical? In reply to your sixth question, my only comment is “more or less, mostly those who were not English, were indentured servants, so could we call them a class?  If so, then what are the implications for your question?”  In answer to your final, somewhat long hypothetical interrogative, “it is probably more than possible.  I just hope the Kool-Aid is sugar-free.”

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By Shenonymous, July 30, 2009 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

Part 1 Class consciousness

There is an interesting philosophical problem called the sorites problem (sorites comes from the Greek word meaning heap) and it goes something like this:  One grain of sand does not constitute a heap; but if one grain of sand does not constitute a heap, neither does one grain plus 1; therefore, no matter how many grains of sand are put together, we can conclude that no additional grains of sand will constitute a heap.  Or, we could ask, at what grain of sand does a heap become a heap?

The word poor can be compared to the sorites problem. one poor person does not constitute a class; if one poor person does not constitute a class, neither does one poor person plus 1; therefore, no matter how many poor persons are put together, we can conclude that not additional poor persons will constitute a class.  I would submit that this argument holds for sub-classes as well.

So my question back to you, MarthaA, at what quantity are poor people countable as a class? 

But I will try to address your volley of more questions:  You ask, “Were there greater and lesser Helots?  Do you suppose that in the Culture of the Helots that some Helots were better off than others, or were the Helots a homogeneous group?”  As a group, the helots status changed in their historical existence, so it would depend at what point of their being a cohesive group and still called helots as to whether or not there were greater and lesser Helots. Sparta was always afraid the helots would revolt because of their unfree laborer status [the word comes from the Greek heilotes, a verb meaning capture(d)]. Although not considered chattel slaves, they were nevertheless forced to work on the land and had to give their harvest to the Spartans.  However, helots could keep what they grew that the Spartans didn’t require.  Helot is a status (viz., class) descriptive name given to these unfree laborers. If helots were especially faithful, they could be called on to join the Spartan army, which was desperate for soldiers given all their wars.  So in that sense it could be said they were ‘better’ off than other helots, except used as front soldiers they were more likely to die before the rest of the army.  So it is arguable that they were better off.  I don’t know how homogenous was the group, but they were treated much the same by the Spartans. 
But, helots could become freedmen (neodamodes) as a reward for their military service. They could also be mothones (or mothakes), this was neither citizen nor helot, a category (class) probably composed of the children of Spartan fathers and helot mothers.  As men will be men.

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By Shenonymous, July 30, 2009 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 – Class consciousness

You further ask, “In looking for a Culture of Helots, I would think that one would be looking for greater and lesser Helots in the overall culture, and that in a 70% Majority Common Population, one would be looking for greater and lesser Commoners within the Common Population, what do you think?” 
Before I attempt to answer these questions, a definition of how you are using the word ‘culture’ is now in order. 

The next batch of questions:  “Is it possible that there could be poor people within the overall class and culture of the Common Population? Or, do poor people by the nature of their poverty have to be separate and apart from class and cultural affiliation?”  To answer this battery of questions, let’s take a look at our own society.  Some poor people who are poverty stricken have different habitats.  Many live in ghetto-like locations, neighborhoods, tenements, but some hide their poverty while skimping and living in moderately priced homes, out in the country, and even some live in prestigious neighborhoods but live as meagerly as anyone can.  So it seems it is not requisite that the “poor” do not have to be separate, although it would seem their lack of resources would seriously impinge on the quality of their social life.

You have proposed a Common Population but have not identified a bounded, or perhaps we could say, a closed system of limited economic resource, a ‘poor class’, and further you propose that this as yet specifically unquantified class has a culture.  It might further our investigation if we set aside the qualification of culture and get to the parameters of the class itself first.  A better look at other characteristics of the class such as its culture might be made separately later, if it is important.

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By MarthaA, July 30, 2009 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

Given that the dictionary defines a Commoner as one of the Common people; a person UNDER the degree of Nobility; and in English Law, that Commoners are defined as persons having a Right of Common.  So called because they had a right to pasture on the waste, in common with the lord:  Could it be possible that a population of Commoners could possibly be considered as a “Common Population”—and that since 70% of the National Population of the United States are Commoners, and that when this population is considered as a population of the United States, that it would be a “majority population” of the United States?—- Is it possible that when all of these elements are joined together that they could result in being termed a 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION as a Class of Commoners with a Culture that is in common with the population as a Class?  Can you accept these facts as points of common understanding?

Why is it so difficult for people to accept being peasants in a common population of peasants that are under the degree of the Noble and Nearly Noble?  Is it not true that our heritage as a nation, here in the United States, is handed down from colonization in the New England Colonies by the British, and that their societal structure consisted of Nobles, Nearly Nobles and Commoners of the peasantry?

Is it possible that when we started telling children in the Public School System that we were all free and equal with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with freedom and justice for all, that it started out as sophistry, but somewhere along the way we all drank so deeply from our own sophist Kool-Aid that we accepted the sophistry as truth, that cannot be reconciled with the reality that American society is Class and Culturally divided into Nobles, Nearly Nobles and Commoners, the same way that it was and still is in England?

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By MarthaA, July 30, 2009 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

Were there greater and lesser Helots?  Do you suppose that in the Culture of the Helots that some Helots were better off than others, or were the Helots a homogeneous group?

In looking for a Culture of Helots, I would think that one would be looking for greater and lesser Helots in the overall culture, and that in a 70% Majority Common Population, one would be looking for greater and lesser Commoners within the Common Population, what do you think?

Is it possible that there could be poor people within the overall class and culture of the Common Population? Or, do poor people by the nature of their poverty have to be separate and apart from class and cultural affiliation?

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By Shenonymous, July 29, 2009 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA you are still quite perplexed.  A few definitions are in order before progress can be made on our tramping through the tall grasses of confusion.  I don’t mind tramping with you. I am appreciating this jaunt through history regardless of the reason. 

It has been said that discussion can only happen if those discussing use the same language, or at the least, understand key terms similarly.  Don’t you agree? I assume your 70%ers are Americans.  What do you say, in the context of our conversation, the word ‘poor’ means?  To compare ‘the poor,’ who hypothetically compose the 70% Majority Common Population, with those Greek serfs that were considered slaves, or slavish, since they were more or less owned by the state (of Sparta), the helots were allowed certain privileges.  Contrary to possible popular belief, in ancient times all men were not considered equal.  It was exceedingly class conscious, most likely from tribal stratifications.  (Men are singularly specified since women hardly had any status at all, and unfortunately in too many parts of the world, that is still true.)  These unfree helots, were laborers, peasants, sometimes used as servants.  Not exactly slaves of other men, but were in a very strange relationship with the state as they were “slaves of the body politic (that is, the state).  The word ‘unfree’ came up most frequently as associated with the helots in ancient history and in my own not too shabby library of Greek history is mentioned in Sealy’s “The History of the Greek City States,700-338 B.C.” (I must admit I have not looked at that book in years! It shows from the dust it has collected.)  Perhaps Sparta’s social structure might help you capture the characterization of the ‘class’...ification over which you are having fits.  The basic structure of Sparta recognized people of three different status: Spartiates, perioeci, and helots.  The Spartiates were the citizens of Sparta itself; the free inhabitants of other towns were called perioeci, translated as “dwellers round about;”  The helots were serfs bound to the soil and were not privately owned slaves but they were controlled by Spartan masters who supervised them for the state.  Their tenancy/serfdom status lasted beyond the archaic period.  By the way:  Pollux provided a list of classes intermediate between freedom and slavery.  If we are to make a true comparison, if we want to see to what degree the analogy you offered holds, we have to know more about the helots as well as the 70% majority, how severe was/were/is their condition, and more importantly, how acute was their discontent?  Please don’t hold my mind hostage for being a teacher.  Tyrtaeus is often quoted as comparing the helots to donkeys, worn down by heavy burdens. Others say this is an exaggeration.  Whatever, the helots were not a happy bunch, and were not trusted due to their fear and loathing.  The interesting thing about the helots is that the Spartans allowed them to have their own religious ceremonies. Nevertheless, Xenophon wrote that the helots would “gladly eat their masters raw!” and historically recorded there are several revolts of the Messenian helots.

So, how shall ‘our’ poor be described?  Please supply this MarthaA.  And we then can go on.  Hopefully by its end we can link it to the militia of this article.

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By MarthaA, July 29, 2009 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

If the Nobles are called Nobility and those nearly Noble are called Middle Class, what is it that all of those “other people” that populate the United States as a nation of 300 Million people are called?

Let’s see now; Noble is taken, Middle Class is taken—- How about nearl Middle Class? No, that doesn’t right.  Perhaps we could say ignoble majority population???  If we cast aspersions on those that are not Noble, it wouldn’t look appropriate for the Middle Class, so we can’t do that.

We could go back to Britain being ruled by the aristocracy and relate to this problem as in English Law that Nobles are a division of the people, comprehending Dukes, Marquises, Earls, Viscounts and Barons; if we call this class of people the Nobles in American Society, we define Class as the order or rank according to which persons or things are assorted, we can then define the Middle Class as the Nearly Noble. 

How many people in the United States are Noble?  And, how many people in the United States are Nearly Noble?

If we allow that 30% of the United States population is either Noble or Nearly Noble, what are all of the people that are not Noble or Nearly Noble called, since they are only common people?

Could it be that the order and rank of the 70% majority population of the United States, since they are not Noble or Nearly Noble, are common? 

If indeed the 70% majority population of the United States is a population that is not Noble, or Nearly Noble; what could this population of the United States be called?  Could this 70% majority population of the United States possibly be a Common Population that is a 70% majority common population?

What do we call a division of the people that constitute a 70% majority population of the United States that are common people who are not Noble or Nearly Noble?

Let me see now, they are not Noble or Nearly Noble, they are common people and they are a 70% majority population of the United States.  Could it be that this population of common people in the United States could be a 70% majority common population of the United States when considered by their order or rank constitute a class and culture?  Is it possible that there is a 70% majority common population as a class and culture in the United States? Or, does the United States have a 70% Majority population that is POOR with a 10% population that is Noble and a 20% population that is Nearly Noble?

I am trying desperately to understand what the 70% MAJORITY POPULATION of the United States is that is not Noble and is not Nearly Noble. And, since you say you are a teacher, I am relying upon you to help me to understand this difficult and thorny problem, because I was taught in school that we in the United States are all free and equal, with life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and freedom and justice for all; all of this Noble and Nearly Noble that constitute a 30% minority population of the United States conflicts with the idealism of freedom that I was taught in school, and the idea of a 70% MAJORITY POPULATION that are ALL common people as a class and culture is hard to reconcile with democracy, because they are not represented by a political party and do not have a seat at the table of government to make and enforce law that is in their benefit; could it be that all of my stated concerns define the 70% MAJORITY COMMON POPULATION both as a class and a culture that is much like the Helots in Ancient Greece?

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By Night-Gaunt, July 29, 2009 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

And our founders were seriously flawed in their views as to who was equal to whom. White males who owned property was “we the people.” Just that many of us from then till today see it really encompasses anyone who is human.

Yes the two documents are incompatible. All of this nonsense about being a “Christian Nation” are by those who do wish a theocracy here. It will be just as ruthless as those Islamic ones or any secular one out there now or in the past. It will be mostly popular too. When the going gets bad the bad take over.

I just wanted to see how Ozark Michael would come across with his answer in relation to his sneering attackts against that particular conspiracy I say is happening and nearly complete. It loses some punch if the Bible does trump the Bill of Rights doesn’t it in his arguments? You see that is what they believe too.

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By StuartH, July 29, 2009 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

“the Bill of Rights or the Bible?”

The question is ignoble and malicious.”  -Ozark


The first scene in the movie, “Elizabeth” which came out around 2000, has a group of people being very roughly head-shaved, taken trough the streets in an ox cart and then burned at the stake. 

The issue in England was whether the Crown should be protestant or Catholic.  Depending on who was on the throne, the other side was opressed.  This was an insoluble dilemma as long as the question was which religion ought to be the state religion.

The American Constitution and the First Amendment directive that Congress shall make No Law respecting an establishment of religion was the solution to this dilemma.

The divide between the Bible and the Bill of Rights is that between personal moral belief - and fair treatment of everyone under the law. 

Ironically, and unfortunately, religion leads men to impose dogma as tyranny.  One would think that it wouldn’t if rules were applied by truly ethical and moral people, and no doubt there are exceptions, but mostly theocracies produce terrible human tragedy.

Thus the concept of the wall of separation between Church and State.

I have known some intelligent conservatives that I respect and many Christians as well.  But for some reason those who tend to identify as both and “fundamentalist” as well usually are unable to show empathy because they are certain they are right.  As I have personally experienced this, this results in a high tolerance for the tragedy in others lives as a cost of “Christian” policies.

In my life, every time some way that we can progress has come up, there have been the evangelical fundamentalists, ready to stand for backwardness. 

Back in the early seventies, I was selling educational books door-to-door as a college kid in the southwestern part of Pennsylvania.  I ran across one community chose to react to modern life and the progressive movements of the time by closing down the county library.  I ran across, and others I worked with ran across, people who proudly showed off a whole library in their house with nothing but bound copies of The Watchtower, proclaiming this collection and the Bible were all the knowledge they needed. 

Evangelicals were against women’s liberation and against civil rights, and in central Texas, were among those justifying the history of racism.  The Ku Klux Klan was very Christian and supported by ministers and church auxiliary groups back in the pre-civil rights era. Many felt it was not the Chrisitian thing to do to allow blacks to vote.  Now, of course, this is largely denied.  But the racism inherent in southern evangelical culture is still there, although in more subtle form. 

Evangelicals for some reason, love guns and war.  Witness the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, where I happen to have grown up.  Those people may seem extreme to many people reading about it across America, but to me they were not different from a lot of Book of Revelations-focused evangelicals.  Just more dramatic.

Evangelicals are conflicted over the environment.  Funding for right wing causes from the oil industry has caused them to be very supportive of the anti-environmental and pro-drilling, pro-mining, pro-industry interests.  There are prayer groups that think God will fill the oil wells back up and this will solve the energy crisis. 

In Texas, there has been a running battle over school textbooks since the 1970s and over control over local school boards.  Most of the nation suffers the consequences because what the Texas State Board of Education approves, the textbook publishers adjust to.  Currently the chair is a creationist who is trying hard to push for the religious theory as part of science class curriculum. 

Evangelical Christians are part of the “second revolution” cohort seen in the video because they can’t deal with change in a flexible way and because guns are a symbol of control and they need control.

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By John Hanks, July 29, 2009 at 7:07 am Link to this comment
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The question is not about the Bible versus the Bill of Rights.  Both are equally debased and unread because of the power of money and commercial culture.  Turn on your TV.  (Your typical bullying and insulting attitude toward others is despicable.)

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