Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Unthinkable Goodness of America

One of the biggest problems we face in the war on Islamo-fascism is that even the worst of us has such rudimentary decency that we cannot imagine how evil our enemies are, while our enemies -- and most of our friends -- literally cannot imagine how good the Unites States is.

In an interview the other day, Donald Rumsfeld spoke of his concern that, as in the 1930’s, we are in a “gathering storm.” Just as then, we may be victimized by a failure of imagination, as decent people tend not to want to -- or be able to -- imagine how evil our enemies are. Who, in the 1930’s, could imagine that there were people so evil that they would systematically round up all the members of a particular religion and exterminate them in gas chambers? Even now, it is beyond the imagination. Yes, we know that it happened, but on another level it didn’t happen, because it’s too inconceivable. Our minds won’t go there. We cannot imagine the mentality of a person who would herd women and children like cattle into gas chambers. Being charitable, one wonders if this isn’t the cognitive “point of entry” for certain Holocaust deniers -- it’s too evil to have happened, so it didn’t happen.

I am quite sure that the same mentality applies to Hamas, or Fatah, or Hezb'Allah, who are every bit as evil as the Nazis. They are so evil, that many people just don’t see it. Or they make excuses for it, and imagine that there is something that can justify their twisted theology. Many particularly morally loathsome individuals on the left, such as Jimmy Carter, actually sympathize with them.

Grotesquely, the same people who cannot imagine how evil our enemies are, fantasize that people on our side -- decent and selfless public servants such as Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney -- are in fact evil. How often does one hear the scurrilous charge that Vice President Cheney’s motives are entirely pecuniary, and that he just wants to enrich his friends at Haliburton or in the oil industry? If he is motivated by greed, how bizarre that he would step down as an executive at Haliburton -- where I am sure he received a seven figure income -- in order become vice president, for which he receives what, $150,000 a year? When you actually stop to analyze the simplistic but overpowering fantasies of the left, they are so silly that one can only marvel at the very real traction they have in their minds.

In the recent interview with Rumsfeld, he spoke of meeting with the Sultan of Oman shortly after September 11. The Sultan said that perhaps “this terrible thing that’s happened might be a blessing in disguise. It may be the thing that will wake up the world to the danger these extremists pose, before those people get their hands on chemical or biological or nuclear weapons where they could kill many multiples of what they were able to kill on September 11.”

I have treated many cases of psychological trauma, and one thing that is common to all of them is that the traumatized individual is, to a certain extent, not out of touch with reality, but more in contact with it. In other words, in order to get through life, we all routinely engage in denial. No one who gets behind the wheel of their car thinks of the 40 or 50,000 Americans per year who die in auto accidents, or that, barring illness, this is perhaps the most likely way they will die.

But a traumatic event temporarily breaks through our denial, so that the traumatized individual -- usually temporarily -- feels an extremely heightened sense of danger about the world. Not only do they imagine their own demise, but the fear extends to family members, as they constantly brood about how dangerous the world is for their children and loved ones. Which it is. But you just can’t think about it, or you wouldn’t be able to function. So you eventually go back into denial -- back to "normality."

My sister-in-law died four years ago this month at the age of 39, due to a freaking infection. No, not a burst appendix, or pneumonia, or HIV, but a simple staph infection. Our bodies are covered with this bacteria, and occasionally -- completely randomly, as far as anyone knows -- the bacteria will enter the blood stream through so banal a mechanism as a scratch or a hangnail. That’s what happened to my sister-in-law. Despite the finest medical care the world has to offer in Manhattan, she was gone in 16 days, leaving behind her son on his second birthday. I try not to dwell on this nightmare -- my denial has been shored up again -- but as you might imagine, I can never see a scratch in quite the same way. Nor am I looking forward to my son’s second birthday, when I will not be able to help myself from thinking the unthinkable, “what if today I were snatched from his life, at this very moment?”

Anyway, after a trauma, most people reconstitute and get their denial back. I am quite sure that this is what happened collectively within weeks of September 11. As Rumsfeld says, the threat “diminished in their minds, whereas it not only has not diminished in reality -- it has grown because of the advances in technologies. Look at the Johns Hopkins exercise with smallpox called Dark Winter. It was put in three airports in America. Something between 800,000 and 1 million people ‘died’ in some number of months, or a year, from a disease people are no longer vaccinated against."

Rumsfeld is obviously correct that the Bush administration has been a victim of it’s success. In the unimaginative mind of the moonbat, they can only think of our 3,000 men and women who have died in Iraq, but cannot imagine how many Americans will not die if we succeed in Iraq. They cannot imagine it in part because no one can imagine it. If the British had lost 3,000 men in the course of successfully toppling Hitler in 1938, I can guarantee you that no leftist historian would have said, “thank God, we just avoided 60 million deaths!” No, like today’s barking moonbats, they would have only focussed on the “needless” deaths of the 3,000.

So Rumsfeld and the entire Bush administration are also being punished because of their refusal to go back into “denial mode.” Obviously, talk of the threat makes people uncomfortable, as they would prefer to imagine that we live in a safe world governed by reasonable agents. Rumsfeld is absolutely correct that “there’s a tendency for a lot of people to be dismissive of [the threat] and to ridicule it. Churchill’s phrase about the gathering storm -- there was a storm gathering, but there were people in Europe who didn’t believe it and who didn’t take the periodic storm clouds and the squalls as a real threat. They thought they were transitory and, of course, paid an enormous penalty in treasure and life for their failure to understand the nature of that threat. I worry we are in a gathering storm and we do not, as a society, accept it. Many of the elites of our society, the key opinion leaders, are unwilling or unable to accept what an awful lot of people believe to be the case. The penalty for being wrong can be enormous.”

Again, they do not see it because they cannot imagine how evil our enemies are. I was thinking about my son playing at the park with the other children. There are millions of people all over the world who would enjoy nothing more than to put a bullet in his head -- to mow the children down with a machine gun or suicide bomb, just because they are Jewish or “infidels.”

The idea that started this post occurred to me last night. My wife and I were talking about our son’s temperament. He seems very bright, but all parents no doubt think that of their children. I haven’t been around too many babies, but he also seems to have a highly developed sense of humor. But perhaps even more than that, he seems unusually daring and brave -- even a bit of a thrill seeker. My wife was speculating that perhaps he could channel this daring into something truly great -- like being an army ranger or navy seal.

That’s when the irony dawned on me. My son putting his life on the line to try to help a part of the world where many of the inhabitants would kill him in his cradle if they could, so that some day they might have the type of society that produces decent people who don't want to exterminate Jews and other infidels -- who just want to raise their children in peace.

But let’s be honest. In your wildest dreams, can you imagine ever creating another country on earth -- let alone a Muslim country -- so decent that its citizens would be willing to die for your freedom?

America is a victim of its unimaginable goodness.

*****

Speaking of daring thrill-seekers, here's another photo of Ben. Yes, his innocent mug looks benign enough, but....

.... here he is ferociously attacking a man's foot with just his bare face!

99 Comments:

Anonymous hoarhey said...

">>But let’s be honest. In your wildest imagination, can you imagine ever creating a country -- let alone a Muslim country -- so decent that its citizens would be willing to die for your freedom? "<<

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks and things were in chaos, I could see that some people were knocked out of their complacency and actually "got" what the world would be like if the U. S. actually went down. One of those people was the Queen of England. It's ugly to think about those consequences.

Speaking of going back into denial, I find it ironic that only months after WWII was over, the Brits voted the man who had led them through the war, Winston Churchill, out of office and replaced him with a socialist.
I see a similarity in our November elections just past, only this war is just getting started.

12/16/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Hoarhey--

Did you notice your title in the sidebar? I expect you to continue to take your role seriously. I cannot do it alone.

12/16/2006 08:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Alan said...

Those outside the US don't believe we (as a nation) are good because they have not been able to live here and only have the bias of the western press to inform them.

Those inside the US who don't believe (as a nation) are good is because they have not *had* to live anywhere else and only had the bias of the western press to inform them. Leftists who travel and still cling to their views, travel in a bubble.

Ask immigrants who have fought their way through the system to earn a place here what we have and how easy it can be lost.

12/16/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger J. Peden said...

"Many particularly morally loathsome individuals on the left, such as Jimmy Carter, actually sympathize with them."

May he henceforth be known as "Jimmahi". Apparently, Jimmahi still "lusts in my heart" for the Virgins. horizontalness be upon him

12/16/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Anonymous f-reed said...

cousin dupree,
don't break my heart!! ...break my heart!!

12/16/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Bob-
Bravo Zulu!
We are indeed a victim of too much success, as Rummy put it.

I saw Rummy's farewell speech with saltwater eyes yesterday.

In my memory, since the '70's at least, there was not a better loved SecDef by the Military men and women serving (and many Veterans echo that sentiment) than Donald Rumsfeld.

I believe he did the best anyone could possibly do, given the restrictions placed upon him.

The same goes for John Bolton.

I can only hope that their replacements are half as good and diligent...

Hoarhey-
Congratulations!

Kudos even!

Tres Bien!

A well-earned title if I ever saw one!

12/16/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Anonymous f-reed said...

In recent years, Donald Rumsfeld came twice into my dreams. Both time he came to me with with an endless smile and the love that only my beloved grand-father or God Himself would feel for me - and vice versa.

cousin dupree, are you god?

12/16/2006 09:02:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

No, just Godwin's trollsmacker.

12/16/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

"In your wildest dreams, can you imagine ever creating another country on earth -- let alone a Muslim country -- so decent that its citizens would be willing to die for your freedom? "

Thanks for this. The moonbats are out protesting the war today because it's sunny and beautiful. I never see them "suffering" in the inclement weather. Anyway, this was a good antidote. I make make a sign that quotes the above and go join them.

12/16/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Bob puts a unique twist on the "Got milk?" slogan.

12/16/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Bubba said...

I am reminded of a passage near the end of Pat Conroy's 'My Losing Season.':

"Many times I have quizzed journalists who reported on wars in Bosnia, the Sudan, Chile, Northern Ireland, Algeria - I have come to revere words like 'democracy' and 'freedom,' the right to vote, the incomprehensibly beautiful origins of my country, and the grandeur of the extraordinary vision of the founding fathers. Do I not see America's flaws? Of course I do. But now I can honor her basic, incorruptible virtues, the ones that let me walk the streets screaming my ass off that my counntry had no idea what it was doing in South Vietnam. My country let me scream to my heart's content,...

Now, at this moment,...I come to a conclusion about my actions as a young man when Vietnam was a dirty word to me. I wish that I had entered the Marine Corps and led a platoon of Marines in Vietnam... I have come to a conclusion about my country that I knew then in my bones, but lacked the courage to act on: America is a good enough country to die for even when she is wrong."

12/16/2006 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post.
Most in this great country don't realize how destructive and real the threat is.

We can disengage from the problem all we want - pull out of Iraq, let Israel disappear, etc... but our problems won't conveniently disengage from us. The Islamo-facists want us dead.

12/16/2006 09:45:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Based on the history of those who don't "get" it, if time travel were possible for us, going back in time to prevent Islamofascism, nazism,
or Communism, would never work.

Most people seem to be hell-bent on ushering in madness.

Not that we should quit trying, of course.

12/16/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Anonymous patriot said...

Rumsfeld was beyond doubt a superior Secretary of Defense. His loss is a great one.

Because America is great, we should not flinch from annexing territories, something to which the American people seem adverse--to their detriment.

I for one can't understand why the US is hesitating so long to overpower and control Syria and Iran. We are certainly not going to do any harm to their peoples and this work will have to be done sooner or later, and sooner will be better than later.

12/16/2006 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger LukeBlogWalker said...

Good stuff there BG!

I am reminded of a book I read for a class once, "Terrorism in Context" -thats for you Ben, and I have not heard Bravo Zulu in a long time -wow, memories!

About Syria and Iran, that issue is still somewhat entrenched in the Cold War. The Russians and Chinese have their fingers in the region. So unless we can make it a good one to one fight on these clowns, it could get complicated.

Also the Germans, Russians, Chinese, and French have sold weapsons, industrial and nuclear and other nefarious things into the region -their hands are in it up to the elbows at least, and they sure don't want their cheap oil, regional access or money to dry up. -or hatred of the West and support for our downfall.

Europe is so stupid -coddling these mutts, and sitting under the range of their missiles.

Okay Fellow members of the Bobosphere, this was just too cool, so I have to pass it on.

My good friend, otherwise known as Poohbear, sent me some photos of the art of Julian Beever. He does chalk on sidewalks which appear three dimensional.

Since we're all about perspectives in some ways here -you just have to check this guy out. You won't believe your eyes.

Go to Google, click the Images link, and put in Julian Beever.

Very cool.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled pancakes.

-Luke

12/16/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger geckofeeder said...

That piece is a face wetter.

12/16/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy J. said...

A great post on many levels, Gagdad.

Gave me deep insight into how denial has worked in my life. As you say it's not always a bad thing. We'd be paralyzed without it. I've sometimes pondered whether denial, which lets us face danger like driving a car, flying an airplane, or going into combat; isn't really a spark of Divine courage that the Almighty knew we would need to live our lives fully. Just a thought.

I'm not ashamed to say that I found some of your post so moving that I too had saltwater eyes.

A fine and uplifting way to begin this day that has been prepared for us.

12/16/2006 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Rumsfeld is obviously correct that the Bush administration has been a victim of it’s success. In the unimaginative mind of the moonbat, they can only think of our 3,000 men and women who have died in Iraq, but cannot imagine how many Americans will not die if we succeed in Iraq."

Is it any wonder? 150 years ago, the last worthwhile Frenchmen, Frédéric Bastiat, wrote an essay (you can tell whether an economist is an economist or an egonomiss, based on whether or not they've read and understood it) called That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen , its scope goes far beyond that of economism, and into the heart of Classical Liberalism.

Then, as now, people aren't willing to look beyond what they can see, to what can be conceived. Whether it is in the realm of Education, Economics, Philosophy, Morality, Ethics, Law or the life and death issue of the Defense of their Nation - those who refuse to think imperil those who see the storm clouds brewing.


cousin dupree said... "Hoarhey-- Did you notice your title in the sidebar?"

Hey! Hey! Hey! Congratulations Hoarhey!

Welcome to the Racoons, and remember to wear your coonskin cap while blogging (I wear mine at a tilt... trying to get that Sinatra/Daniel Boone look)

12/16/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

I wonder if part of the core of being an Educated person (Not degread or screweled, but Educated), isn't not only the ability, but the willingness, to periodically open the curtains of denial to face of your clearly visible fears long enough to take your horizontal, vertical and conceptual compass readings, before letting them close again (but for a crack of vigiliance).

Not for nothing did they say that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

12/16/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

[word verification just cursed at me again]

12/16/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Annonymous,

Gee thanks for the link, but we don't need reminders of how stupid people can be.

Please see my previous link to Frédéric Bastiat - as good a place as any to try and learn how to see what is not seen, to think.

Courage.

12/16/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>Not only do they imagine their own demise, but the fear extends to family members, as they constantly brood about how dangerous the world is for their children and loved ones. Which it is. But you just can’t think about it, or you wouldn’t be able to function. So you eventually go back into denial -- back to "normality<<

This, I think, is a station in that part of the spiritual transformation known as the Dark Night of the Soul. In essence, it comes down to a full, agonizing awareness of the nature of our fallen world.

Eventually in this process, denial is denied - the spiritual pilgrim comes to realize that he or she can never return to "normality", and that the full extent of the spiritual corruption, the fallen nature of the earth, will and must exist for them as a glaring, forefront reality.

Obviously, this is the tipping point of spiritual transcendence, the point whereby the pilgrim makes the leap into a greater spiritual awareness - the eternal nature of the cosmos, the reality of the higher worlds come to dominate the awareness. The "temporary", evanescent nature of our fallen world is not quite as fearsome as it was. Human suffering might still be a mystery, as is God's will, but they are no longer "meaningless".

In other words, the spiritual vulnerability that opens one to painful awareness of the earth's fallen nature can also open one to the greatest of spiritual resources, awareness of divine reality. I think only through such higher awareness can one really come to make peace with the fallen nature of the world.

12/16/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Quick work Cousin!

12/16/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

His foot was never the same afer that.

I call this unique style of combat that I invented,
Chin Foo Dough.

You too can master this ancient partial art, although you may never surpass me, of course.

Just ask for your (free!) instruction book (only 19.99 S&H), and before you know it, but definitely after, you will be 90 degree Chin Foo Dough Master of the partial arts!

12/16/2006 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Thanks Cuz,

I did notice the honor of admission into the posse and let out a one man cheer.
I find it rather enjoyable here in the outer circle, trollsmackin'

12/16/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>Being charitable, one wonders if this isn’t the cognitive “point of entry” for certain Holocaust deniers -- it’s too evil to have happened, so it didn’t happen<<

Could be, but that certainly is a charitable take on it.

I suspect that behind the Holocaust-denying facade of nearly 100% of those moral imbeciles there lurks, consciously or unconsciously, a metaphysical, Biblical evil.

No, of course Israelis and Jews are not perfect, but they are annointed to eventually anchor the Light in a particular way. So, of course evil is going to pursue them, do what it can to destroy them, just as it always has.

12/16/2006 12:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another great post, Bob

The left uses intellectualization as its coping skill for scaring away fear. It's unfortunate that they show such little gratitude toward a country that provides them with so many opportunities to exercise their favorite form of denial.

12/16/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Hoarhey--

A reminder--

Raccoon Membership Requirements (Bylaws, sec. 2)

- US citizen for the last six months
- have a public school diploma
- pay a $1.50 initiation fee.

Raccoon of the Year Privileges:

- Opening the first clam at the annual clambake
- Steering the boat on the annual ride up the Hudson River to Raccoon point.
- Free burial with spouse at Raccoon National Cemetery in Bismark, North Dakota.
- Opportunity to run for Grand High Exhalted Mystic Ruler should Petey become disabled or called away to another dimension.
- Throwing the first bag of water out of the hotel window at the Raccoon convention.

Lodge Events:

- Annual ride up the Hudson River to Raccoon point.
- Annual clambake.
- Annual fishing trip (wives not allowed).
- National Mambo dance championship.
- Annual Costume Party.
- Raccoon Lodge bowling team, the Hurricanes.

Drinking Toast:

"Fingers to fingers, thumbs to thumbs, watch out below, here she comes.}

Raccoon Marching Song:

In the West and in the East
There's a mighty little beast
For courage there is no other.
When the chips are all at stake
We are proud to call him brother.
So with our noble tails entwined
And a spirit strong of mind
We'll have hearts that cannot melt.
In the forest, in the trees
On the land or seven seas
We're brothers under the pelt.
Raccoons, the noble Raccoons

12/16/2006 12:44:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Cousin Dupree-Sniff!
That was beeyootiful!

12/16/2006 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger J. Peden said...

"So, of course evil is going to pursue them, do what it can to destroy them, just as it always has."
will

Imo, evil follows or stalks strength. It's parasitic. It took me about 28 years to figure out that I was being followed. So I tried to escape and made some good moves. But evil still followed and nearly entered me, eating away at my limiting membranes. Thus I almost died and was nearly defeated.

Yet it is true that what does not kill you makes you stronger - a lot stronger. And it appears that the horizontal must be battled in order to allow the vertical, or to become the vertical. So Oz never did give anything to the Tim Man, and evil appears to be necessary to the scheme.

I'm ready now, also, and I know it.

12/16/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe1 said...

http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/blair.asp

snopes,on the blair quote,Bob.

the attritubtion by Blair to JC
sounded out of character for him,
and his UK audience in general.

12/16/2006 01:00:00 PM  
Anonymous GLASR said...

In a dream
The Bird Dog
The true philosopher
My only prophet
What was unknown
Is now known

12/16/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Gumshoe--

Damn, you are a gumshoe! Thank you. The quote sounded a bit suspicious to me. I first heard it on the radio a couple of weeks ago, but I googled it and found many others who had made reference to it.

And today, as per LGF, Blair is flakking for the Palestinians and grovelling before some hideously anti-Semitic imam (as if there's any other kind)... oh well... There's always John Howard....

12/16/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>Yet it is true that what does not kill you makes you stronger - a lot stronger<<

Except for malaria, maybe.

12/16/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Cuz,
check...check...and check.
(still workin' on the public school diploma) ;)

12/16/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Okay... how about $2.50 and a junior hi diploma?

12/16/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Cousin Dupree-

How about a GED and a free Chin Foo Dough instruction book(let) signed by me?

12/16/2006 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Big Possum said...

I'm a little perplexed by your perspective on America's "goodness" relative to your observations that mankind is a "fallen" species. Are you suggesting that collectively Americans are good because we have "risen" further spiritually or that we are good because of our charitable behavior in relationship to the world? My sense is that it is more of the latter, but that much of the behavior you call "good" is enabled by privileged circumstances and motivated by self interest. When Jesus said, "Why do you call me good?" I sense he was saying that nothing he did was good in and of itself, rather the only thing that made his actions good was that they were products of God's acting in and through Jesus to LOVE the world. Many people write checks and provide visible support to charitable organizations in order to achieve reputations as "good" people for reasons motivated by the desire to attain or preserve power. How prevalent do you believe this motive is in Americans "goodness"?

12/16/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Big Possum-

Context.

Quit splittin' adams with your mind.

The goodness of America is relative
to the world, not God.

And those special "circumstances" are paid for with the blood of patriots, and acknowledged by most
patriots to be divine Providence.

12/16/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Hoarhey said...

mmmm...7th grade and $2.75?

12/16/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Hoarhey,

Congrats! (Didn't we ascertain here a few weeks back that envy was sometimes a good thing?)

Enviously, but unbegrudgingly yours,

-J o A

:)

12/16/2006 03:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Will,

"In other words, the spiritual vulnerability that opens one to painful awareness of the earth's fallen nature can also open one to the greatest of spiritual resources, awareness of divine reality."

Which is why so-called "foxhole conversions" should never be dismissed as having less merit than others.

12/16/2006 03:58:00 PM  
Anonymous PsychoPrincess said...

G-BOB said: "Im trying to stop blogging on weekends but its not that easy. I wouldnt say its an addiction, more like a cow that needs to be milked. I wake up with these thoughts floating into my head, and if I dont get them down, I'm afraid they'll just find someone else to milk them..."

I slept in today, got up later than usual but sumfink was amiss. I thot "Whut? Coffee?" I tend to be a monosyllabists in the wee hrs until after a decent Cup o Joe or 9AM hits. Or at least one Coke, my beloved vice of choice. Still the question mark in my mind lingered niggling me to pay attention to it.

As I was goinabout my "business" I remembered my reply about"PsychoBrats" having elimination problems (Am still laffin - see what Bob & Yoozall DID to me? baaaad influences I tell yah!)

Then Daylight pierced the fog: Forget Coffee or (gulp) even Coke...I had not had my daily dose of GBob-O-Blog!

Whut whut?? Sumfink to look forward to in the wee hrs MORE than a Vente or at LEAST one Vente-shot of my beloved Coca-Cola??

I was *shocked* to realize I quite like coming here to read G-Bobs post & your replies but I do it whenever certainly not in dah mornin. Then I thought "But Bob said he wasnt gonna be bloggin on weekends anymore..." Uh-huh, we'll just see bout that.

I turned on Babykins, surfed here & sure enuf my suspicions it wouldnt be easy for Bob to ratchet down were true.

So I happily read, drank my Coke & chewed my cud.

I'm officially now addin G-Bobs Morning Mental Moo-Moo-Jooce to my regular eatin schedule...along w/my Cup O Java or Jolt of Jumpstart-my-Brain Sweet-tastin Battery Acid.

After readin G-Bobs opening paragraph, I flashed waaay back to my Uncles Dairy Farm. He got up at 4AM daily to milk Cows. My 8yr old investigative brain thot it was Agatha Christie, sumhow sure "Theyre burying dead bodies this early indah morning when no one will see - what else would they be doin undercover of darkness at such an unGodly hour?"

So I proceeded to hypnotize myself into waking up at 4AM just like my Uncle taught me since he never used an alarm clock but always woke up on time right-on-the-dime.

Freezin my keyster off in the darkness I crept to the Barn & watched my Uncle work. There he was milkin said Cows, no graves or dead bodies or anything weird goin on, no mystery to solve. But I sensed God wanted me to "see" sumfink so I stayed & watched.

I noticed Uncle knew all the names of the 200-head herd, he cared for them like a Pastor-Shepherd cares for Sheep. It dawned on me: "Its like praying...or gettin up & going to the bathroom first. This barn is a big Outhouse. Cows are doin their business.

"Some cows need milkin' early in the mornin, more regularly than others. Some cows arent morning cows; some have pms; some dont give much milk at all; some are cranky, others are placid n pleasant, while others are kinda bullheaded & dont like bein handled much. And if we are wise, we get up in the mornin & catch their milk in buckets so we can have cream & milk on cereal, milkshakes, ice cream! & hot cocoa after school."

Suddenly I hadda moofound respect for cows, dairy farming & Uncle Overalls.

With renewed gratefulness to God, I thanked Him for makin Cows n Milk for us & decided I'd definitely get up early to participate b4 goin to skool.

I realized my Uncle was the Mayor of a "Cow Community" thenceforth dubbed Cowtown. This was their mornin congregation sumfink like a "Cow-Come to Jesus meetin", with all the Stampin & Snortin, Bellowin & Bells ringin that went on!

It became my job to bring the usual bucket o steamin hot water to the stalls when he was milkin as I wanted to help & decided I liked the time to connect w/God & Cowtown n the mornins.

As he soaked his hands briefly in the steamy water, I asked wonderingly "Why do you put your hands in hot water?" knowing cows dont drink hot water nor hot cocoa. He looked at me in that Farmer-Wise No-Bull way & said, "Well, gotta keep my hands warm yunno ... so cows dont jump over the Moon. Its still dark out & they can see, so they might be tempted."

Its been a long time since I've been on a farm or milked a cow, but I'll be getting up early to come get my Moo-Moo Jooice from the Milkman-Mayor of Cowtown (just joshin you Bob I know you hate the Guru-thing)...while I read the Stampins, Snortins, Bellowins & Bells ringin and as I chew the cud w/other Cows who come to the Church-Barn-Outhouse (as J.Peden called it the other day!) of OneCosmos. :D

Keep on flushin, G-Bob! Milk, it does a Brain good.

12/16/2006 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

I've had an epiphany in the last few days & could use input to codify it.

Been using this site's postings & comments to test this theory for its adherence to Truth, & am trying to work out whether it's simply subjective or a "step" in some kind of "known" growth pattern.

Here's the scenario, which I give to address the subjective vs universal "step" question.

Turned 50 this year & was told by my older siblings that once I got over the shock of being that "age", I'd get to start enjoying its benefits.

Was alway curious, interested & passionate about news, politics, political science, history, linguistics & the like. In the last 15 years gravitated more towards philosophy, theology, epistemology, ontology, then added cognitive "studies" & psychology to the mix.

It was my habit to read just about anything pertaining to these subjects, as the interest & curiosity arose, try to increase my knowledge & understanding, to feed that passion, as it were.

Suddenly, and remarkably (at least to myself) that passion died. Not petering out slowly, not a gradually, ebbing sort of thing, more: it was there & then now suddenly is not.

What happened? why is it so? where did it go? & can it be brought back? Whats with preferring the company of Beaky & Simon, a very few people & as much quiet time possible watching the river flowing past, sitting with my back against a tree in a park nearby and walking for miles in any kind of weather.

Did try to rekindle interest, but books sat unread on shelves & tv/talk radio evinced/evoked "stop it! You're not being helpful & you're driving me mad!

Turned to the net for controllable input, found relief in being able to scroll thru lots of stuff, picking & choosing what to read.

A pattern emerged. Found there were regulars "worth" spending time on: VDH, Thomas Sowell, J. Peter Mulhern, Shelby Steele, Theodore Dalrymple, Ann Coulter & by great fortune this site, along with Dr Sanity & Shrinkwrapped.

What could such a diverse group, who write about such different subjects, have in common? Ran thru the usual suspects: politically conservative, not lacking in the smarts department, not forever putting down America, etc.

There were certainly others who fit that external criteria, why were these ones different, markedly set appart from the others, neither crazy-making nor boring.

Here's where the epiphany comes in.

My 84yr Mamina (Itl. for little Mother) is the most admirable person I have ever met, has a mind like a bacon-slicer & is wont to utter the most wise & startlingly profound Truisms.

One of her's is:

"You spend the first half of your life acquiring things & the second have trying to get rid of them."

Clue lightingbolt strike! Not only true in the material world, but even more so in the mental, cognitive arena. All those years acquiring information & knowlege, getting more familiar with stuff like mind parasites & what to "do" when I grow up.

Layer upon layer of stuff, filling the internal space to bulging pressure, not a inch left open to cram another thing in.

Time to get busy gathering it up, purge 3/4 of it, build some shelving for storage, start peeling off layers to reveal what's inside, & get the damn thing cleaned up & organized!

Here's where the common denominator comes in:
all the above people mentioned are clarifiers, builders of transparent, airy yet sturdy structures, thinkers who do not try to cram more stuff in, rather assist in peel off extraneous layers, revealers of the Core.

Bob, your essays are foremost in this. I find myself willing to persue things like Polanyi & your book, on your recommendation, because I know that after the initial stuffing-in-of-yet-more-stuff, a very cathartic purging will result.

I've started applying these same criteria to the comments here, to try and work out whether this is a purely subjective experience, a function of my age, some kind of a "step" within me, or is it a more global phenomena.

Some of the recent theads here have help drive this epiphany.

For example, most of the Wilberland stuff, with its silly color-coding schemes & ponderous furniture, was not at all (for me) layer-removing. I've had the same visceral reaction to some highly structured arguments: eminently pagedown, pagedown, pagedown to the next comment, at most skimming for content & "usefulness".

Attempts to kiss-up, to curry favor after a smackdown, any trys at manipulation after a seemingly "felt" rejection, even if they are premptive, appear very clear (in my head) for exactly what they "are".

Then other comments fall into a definitely very different order:
peel-a-layer & expose something of the Core, lets have fun here & not take ourselves so seriously, gee whiz: getta load of the really cool, mindblowing things out there, see this clean, light & airy construct for containing all your stuff, you can eliminate 3/4 of your stuff by reshuffling your cards & looking for "this".

I guess what I'm asking is whether anybody else is having similar experiences, is this normal, does it "mean" anything, is it just part of growing up?

I'll apologise now for the length of this item & to anyone who feels offended by my characterizations. It is not my intent to annoy anyone.

These thoughts have been moving around in my head & I need your help here. Any theory should be subjected to one-hell-of-beating to see if it is still standing, in recognizable form, when the beating is all over.

Have at it, please.

12/16/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

xiamese:

Your comment has many dimensions and is worth an entire post or two or three. Regarding the disinterest in all of those -ologies, I think those things naturally lose their allure, and certainly their prestige, when you are already standing on the rock. They can only take you off the rock. There's a certain frisson in jumping into the swamp -- at least while you're falling -- but you can only really fly with something absolutely solid and unshakeable underneath to take off from. This is the secret of faith.

Another random thought: Mamina was right -- to glimpse God, one must become as simple and one as God. Thus, everything inessential must be thrown overboard. Good riddance!

12/16/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

PS:
Hoarhey said...
mmmm...7th grade and $2.75?

Congrats Hoarhey!

No wonder you can be so on-target.

12/16/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze,

Seems to me there's a lot to what you've said.

The first thing I thought of was the story told of Michelangelo when preparing for a new sculpture. He'd study the character to be sculpted, study anatomy, learn all he could, then search for just the right block of marble, then sit. and sit. and sit. Staring at the Marble, then when he 'saw' the sculpture within it, he'd begin whacking away with hammer and chisel to clear the excess marble out of the way of his Art.

What does the game 20 questions do, but teach how to clear all the stuff away from the answer? Most artistry consists in developing the skil to lose the unnecessary flourishes, wasted movements and faux 'styles'.

BTW, VDH & Thomas Sowell are a couple of my favorites too (do Steele & Dalrymple have online sites? I know, I could google it, but, I'm enjoying a lazy moment).

12/16/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger J. Peden said...

"Except for malaria, maybe."
will

Yes, that's true, along with any other of a mulititude of physical diseases.

The whole thing - life - is a problem. Let's see what we do with it.

12/16/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

Bob - thanks for your input. Per usual, you got right to the Core.

Van - look forward to any other sharp-eyed, no BS comments you care to make. Relying on you.

For T.Dalrymple: yes, that's a pen-name. He is the just now retired English MD & shrink Anthony Daniels. You'll want to search using both names.

I'm very partial to him, but have had a long-standing "thing" for balding smarties with a well honed sense of the ironic & a gift for smackdowns, in the best possible taste. Being English, with that great accent & a superb way with words, puts him at the top of my luv list.

http://www.city-journal.org/author_index.php?author=47

This interview showed up on Frontpage Mag a few years ago:

http://orthodoxytoday.org/articles5/GlazovDalrymple.php

His books are really great, I reread them when I need a sanity break. Yes, he does write under both names.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Dalrymple

Re S Steele: alas, here too regular hunting is required. You can check the Hoover Inst. Daily Report Archives for recent stuff:

http://www.hoover.org/pubaffairs/dailyreport/archive?authorID=2811581&c=y

12/16/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Anonymous PsychoPrincess said...

VAN: That was my same thought for Xiamese too. The paring down process. finally reaveals the Art within.

They say Great Minds Think Alike - not becuz "they're smart" but becuz Inner Wisdom culled from all the Input (stuffin) finally is given a chance to Breathe & BE instead of the younger years stuffin & purgin process.

Kinda like Spiritual Swordwork, you learn, learn, learn, study, study, study, practice practice practive & win/lose/win until one day you realize, I dont have to practice so much anymore! Although I've never truly "arrived," I have gained a bit of Mastery of the Art I've studied - weird to finally Graduate, eh? But Transitional Application follows Graduation & Mastery. Now you'll just "Pare down as you go." Its wholistic living now vs being focused on this-that at a time. Transitional.

Mastery is how/why excellent Warriors can pick up any weapon and "get it" and use it almost immediately in a masterful manner. Same with Languages, books, other skills, etc.

Xiamese, I think you may be finding at this stage of your life you are able to function well and BE in the process we call Living/Relating, to trust the groundwork (bedrock) you've laid, able to pare-down now in a fling maneuver instead of taking "hours" to do it, which immensely frees one up to look & relate with others/areas in life.

To me, its like changing from a Buffet Lover to a Gourmet Foodie. Everything is sooo paired down it hardly looks like any food on your plate at all, and you think "Ugh, Diet Food."

But then you take one bite and its like...AHHHHH! This is what Life is really about. I learned to eat spicy food the same way - bit by bit, dish by dish until now I LOVE IT. Dont have to have it all the time, but when I do, Man, all is right with the world I enjoy the layered flavors so much.

Heh, Chocolates like that too! Physical food and wine is like this so why not Spiritual appetites graduating to Gourmet level too? You'll find you'll seek "Gourmet" people as well, since we have a similar experience & resultant appreciation. Just dont get stuck in "only Gourmets will do." Then you lose the "real" connectiveness with people further back the food chain, and the deal is to integrate it so that YOU give Gourmet to Them, even as they share a simple meal of bread/cheese with You. Both sides have much to share with one another; acquiring a taste for both is the key.

I tend to diet off from the "others" right now as I've stuffed on Them too long & now I long for Gourmet peeps in order to have balance.

G-Bob is a Gourmet Peep and this is his Gourmet Blog. :D

Gourmet instead of Buffet is why most of us congregate here, methinks. I'm SO profoundly grateful for all of you here. For the "others" too but the "connection" is very different - kinda like "they are 'Dialup' and you guys are 'DSL'" LOL! I've learned to enjoy both sides of the coin; but my heart, head and Spirit Love the things of Spirit wherever they maybe.

Think about Jesus: Where/How/Whom with did He spend most of His relational time? When you are Real Gourmet You're able to Give to All - salt & pepper wisely while "cooking" then.

Gourmet anything is much more intense to the palate. It forces you to become even more discerning & discriminating due to the layers of complex flavors and subtle interplay of ingredients (which is relationship appreciation).

But in honor to Humility, I dont forget my "Buffet days at Golden Corral" as they taught me much & now are a fond & active part of me as well. I dont "leave them behind" out of my focus, I carry em with me, just within reach, not shoved to the back outta Sight.

I call it "coming up for relational air" finally realizing when I've spent overly long in libraries & antique bookstores reading dusty tomes & webbin, that its good to be able to "do-it-all-at-once" by actively relating in a more applied real-time way to everything around me, wholistically, instead of "first this then that" focus I had before.

In the words of a Shrink, most of us finally Graduate the University of Hard Knocks & Head Larnin finally able & prepared enuf to RELATE well and share/give of our Gourmet presence to others (just dont overload others).

With the Mastery we've gained, we are really able to "fly" in the world without the previous fears & prep-time demanding our focus -- kinda like when a Superhero finally realizes his cool "powers" arent gonna leave him afterall, and he can hang with it in a "its notta big deal" way.

It shouldnt surprise those who pursue Mastery to finally gain It. Application is why we gain It.

The choice then becomes "How to Give it." Thats part of the relational process instead of the "input, need more input" & elimination.

An ego, pared down and "under Godly control" IS a beautiful work of God & Spirit to behold, for its presence means we are ransformed into a wondrous part of Gods Spiritual Art, which most of us here appreciate & admire.

I always think about the Prophets, how they had precious few around them to really SEE the work of Art God created them to be. I admire them even more for their courage right when I want to pity myself on this Journey.

Paul knew the meaning of "being content" in plenty and in absence of plenty. I'm not even there yet for I still complain when Gourmet is absent from my life; but I work on it; even from the Gourmet level you still move upwards & theres far more to experience. Losing anxiety (pairing down), "flicking off the enemy" (I've learned I can now Flick instead of Thump) & knowing I can easily choose to apply Trust/Faith now helps me negotiate the upper levels as I grow.

X, Its a different way of BEing, thats for sure, but its entirely Doable. You'll adjust & adapt & enjoy it as you grow into it. Good to see you growing like this & sharing your journey w/us here. New areas of "interest" will come along for you, but in my own experience, I've noticed its PEOPLE & RELATIONSHIPS that I focus on now, not nearly so much time spent on books, Bibles & study-stuff I used to "love" & couldnt gettanuff of. Now I absorb it much more quickly, too.

Spiritually speaking, transition is logical, is it not? To Input/Gather, Synthesize, Edit, Gain Mastery, Flush, Integrate, BE and Give the whole YOU that You at once ARE, and are Becoming is Beautiful, eh?

The difference alluded to between Milk and Meat mentioned in Bible. BabyFood and Adult food, Buffett and Gourmet, etc. Notice I dont think its "versus" one another, but in complementarity to one another, as they are integrative and both parts of the Whole You.

Thanks for the fond reminders of my own entrance into this "step/stage" - I wondered many same things, but see now new things come along for you to choose to focus on; you are actually more in "control" of BEing now to choose to be more Responsive to God, self, others.

Takes some gettin used to, but you will adapt - not in a "go back to the other old ways", but in a much more subtle integrate-it-all-and-walk-in-it way.

Same thing peeps do when they "get healthy" & graduate from Therapy. They then must then learn to relate in a normal way to the world around them with their new skills they've gained. Happens @ any transitional stage in life (death, moving, new job, grief, adoption, illness, marriage, etc.)

Dr. Princess says: "1st Half of Life is Larnin to Function & Pukin. 2nd Half is Larnin to Give what/when/where/how/to whom - Judiciously, Wisely, Godly."

Enjoyed it heaps!

- PsychoPrincess -

12/16/2006 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Big Possum said... "When Jesus said, "Why do you call me good?" I sense he was saying that nothing he did was good in and of itself, rather the only thing that made his actions good was that they were products of God's acting in and through Jesus to LOVE the world. Many people write checks and provide visible support to charitable organizations in order to achieve reputations as "good" people for reasons motivated by the desire to attain or preserve power. "

Hey Vittles! Been awhile! I heard a recent debate between some scholars about an apparent opposition they found between Jesus encouraging people in adhering to Gods law in order to find salvation, and Paul admonishing them that adhering to the law wouldn't cut it; from which they drew the conclusion that the two were actually in opposition, that Jesus taught his religion, and Paul taught a religion about him.

My impression is that the scholars are looking at the issue from the point of view of the flatland horizontal printed page. Jesus was teaching the need to understand, and through understanding, to become the law, to serve as a host of life for the living truth and word of God, the source of Right and Truth. Paul was warning that following the law because it was the written law, rather than because it was right and true, would get you no brownie points at all, you had to be born again from above, had to see the truth in it's living glory and do the right and true because they were right and true, not because they were the accepted steps in an old book.

Writing checks to help others because it'll make you look good in their eyes - in fact doing anything primarily because it'll seem of value in someone else’s eyes, rather than in service of sweetness and light, is a fools errand. It accomplishes nothing of Value, and it does much to destroy you at your very core, in your soul - it makes Truth into your enemy, and falshood your only 'friend'.

And here we get to the core of what has made Americans distinctive from the rest of the world. Nothing to do with genes or ancestry or even strictly culture. Anyone can become an American at any time, from any place.

What has made us great and Good beyond others, is our core founding admonitions - to stand up to wrongs because they are wrong, to leave each to their own best grasp of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and equality before the law. Law as a code for protecting Individual Rights, and Gov as a consensual system of objective laws to protect these freedoms.

This has made us great and good beyond that of the world. However much we as people have missed living up to those ideals, they are still the ideals that bind and inspire us, and which we aspire to - we are a nation based on Ideas - we ARE born again from above, from the Vertical, which is what it means to be an American. How ever far we have fallen from that understanding, it is still the central core of what makes us who we are.

And That makes an entirely different set of people, from those who at best live for their traditions because they are traditions, their history because it is old, or their 'religion' because obedience to it is required of them on pain of death.

Americans are good, not because we are born here, but because to be an American, is to be born from the Vertical, into the herebelow. And even in small doses, that is a big and a good thing.

12/16/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Bob,

Ask Petey when I get my epaulettes.

12/16/2006 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Beautiful trail today, Bob and all. Thanks.

"Everything is illuminated in the light of the past"...or should be.

12/16/2006 10:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

Hey Xiamese:

I can relate.

I've gone through phases where I couldn't look at another book or web site having to do with business, technology, philosophy, or religion. It is somewhat of a dry period where I'm putting things to work that I have digested. Then something comes along (hint hint, a new blogger like Gagdad) and I'm off in a new direction feeling like Johnny5 in Short Circuit - More INPUT!!! It's like a spiral that I come back to many of the same places but, like the poet said, knowing it for the first time.

I've been working on a book I call The Wealthy Way which has the key phrase "The rich man, feeling the hole inside himself, attempts to fill it with the riches of the world. The wealthy man, seeing the hole in the world, attempts to fill it with the riches he finds inside himself." Obviously this is reference to the story of the young rich man in the Bible.

Good night to all the great contributors - we've been on an upswing and I've had less time to really read the comments and questions - and missing it!!

12/16/2006 11:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Pibb said...

Ximeze--

One more book I can recommend to aid you in the process of cleaning the mental attic is Eickart Tolle's "The Power of Now."

One light skimming of this book had a clarifying effect on my mind; a closer reading of it created a more profound peace.

This effect wore off and my head got re-cluttered after a couple of months, so I read the book again and once again it left me poised, calm, and simplified for several months.

I suspect you are at the point where you'll appreciate the book immensely.

12/17/2006 12:42:00 AM  
Blogger geckofeeder said...

"Here's where the common denominator comes in:
all the above people mentioned are clarifiers, builders of transparent, airy yet sturdy structures, thinkers who do not try to cram more stuff in, rather assist in peel off extraneous layers, revealers of the Core."
Nicely put, Ximeze. Of course you need to stare at the river! The wheat and chaffe will separate, no question about it.
Check out Iowahawk(you can scroll past the cars) to laugh if Beaky isn't doing her job. Always like reading what you have to say.
Will, thanks for articulating all the dark moments of the soul process.

12/17/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger ximeze said...

Alan - thanks so much for your input, & for reframing the "question".

You said: "It's like a spiral that I come back to many of the same places but, like the poet said, knowing it for the first time."

You're spot-on here. Made me realize that trying to get it "back" is circular, static, sitting in one place going round & round.

The spiral is the correct image:
generative, shall we say, having the ability to make repeated passes, each one both distilling/refining & expanding into a larger context/concept.

You also said (about your book project):

"The rich man, feeling the hole inside himself, attempts to fill it with the riches of the world. The wealthy man, seeing the hole in the world, attempts to fill it with the riches he finds inside himself."

Very helpful! Also a reframing, an inversion for me, pointing out the correct object.

Thanks so much!

Mr Pibb:

My Pub. Library has a copy of Tolle's book available, I'll go there today (yes, they're open on Sundays) & check it out.

This may sound a bit of a non-sequiter, but the Japanese have a very worthy custom of doing their "spring cleaning" in time for the New Year. You "clean house" (both literally & figuratively) to get ready for it.

On NY eve, at your local Buddhist temple, the monks build a huge bonfire, to enable a mass catharsis, in both the Shinto & Buddhist traditions.

It is truly amazing to watch people, in the light of that fire, do things like pour whole boxes of papers/letters? into the blaze, tears streaming down their faces. It's a very private moment, done in public.

One can purchase "arrows" made of bamboo & paper, onto which one writes "that special thing", to be consumed by that purifying fire, once you let go of it & toss it in. Sometimes I've seen people stand there, holding the arrow, trying to decide whether they're ready to let it go. Sometimes they do, sometimes they walk away, still holding it. Not ready yet. Have another year.

Then there's the tolling of the temple bell, one each for the 107 (is that # right?) sins of man. You can stand in line to get a turn.

The exercise is very cleansing for everyone. Then, guilt free & "released", the whole country shuts down & parties like crazy for 5 days.

Must say I'm envious of the cultural construct permitting such a healthy way of dealing with the kind of internal & societal pressure to which the Japanese are subject. They'd likely go completely nuts without it.

12/17/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger ximeze said...

Gecko:

thanks for the words of encouragement "The wheat and chaffe will separate, no question about it." Really like that.

Beaky says you only like me because of my Honored Parrot Connection. (Geez Gecko, have you noticed that everything is ALWAYS about THEM? Thought you had, how could you miss such an ever-so-charming character trait)

This PC lives in the Bird Room, which is quite small & easy to heat, with its own dedicated heater (with blower) & a window-mounted AC unit. Ah, the onerous life of a companion bird.

She really likes it when Simon hangs out in here too. His fav spot is on top of the book-unit right next to her big-cage. He'll stretch out, back feet extended towards her & nap.

She'll climb out & up to the vaulted top, lean waaaaay over & snap at his toes. He ignores her, making sure to yawn every once in a while.

They both love this game. When she wants him to come and play, she'll rattle the feed-door latches. If he is not Prompt Enough, she'll toss one of the very heavy ceramic bowls out: large thump! That usually works.

Beaky send regards to Boy Parrot.

12/17/2006 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an American living in New Zealand. New Zealanders are willing to travel the world and die for other people's freedom. There are New Zealanders in Iraq (a small force, but this is a small country), Afghanistan, Lebanon, Kosovo, just to name a few.

New Zealanders believe in freedom. They believe in human rights, in decency, in the same ideals that Americans believe. Yet terrorists aren't beating this country's door down for an attack. Why?

To put America once more on some form of morally high pedestal (the typical attitude of the right), or to fling it's reputation to the muck (the typical attitude of the left) is just a national form of narcissism. America should look around the world and see that other people believe the same as they do, and yet are able to believe in these things without finding themselves the target of a limited few lunatics in the muslim world.

The world has involved and will continue to involve itself in the middle east out of interest for industry, aka oil. If there were no oil in the Middle East, would most anyone be there? Would the world struggle and suffer and worry after a desert land with little to no natural resources?

Well, one can argue that religion is a factor, that this would hold some weight in conflicts. But much of the world focuses itself on this region because it represents the linchpin of our industry: oil, petroleum, etc. Oil, and thus money, talks. For example, let's take another part of the world: would the world care what Hugo Chavez had to say without oil? Unlikely. The same can be said of the middle east. Deride or build up the US' role in the middle east however you feel, but ultimately the world bothers over a massive chuck of desert for black gold.

The US has done a great deal of wonderful things in and for the world. To deny this is just left-wing bashing. But lets not hide our heads in the jingoistic sand. The US has done some pretty dirty deeds, justified or not. We have made our enemies, particularly in our unbalanced support of Israel over the Palestinians and in our dealings with oligarchs ruling the middle east, all in the name of industry. We are finally talking about pushing democracy in this region, but for 40+ years we have turned a blind eye to very serious crimes (and been involved in them as well) in order to keep our axles greased.

A lot of pretty words about our unflappable goodness doesn't mean a whole lot without really looking at the issue in its full context. I am hardly an expert (in fact I would say my understanding of the region and the world's involvement is very limited), but I can tell you there is more to this problem that goodness and badness. That's an attitude for 5 year olds, not grown adults.

12/17/2006 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Annonymous,
When writing the last comment I decided not to mentions every other freedom supporting country, because I was responding specifically to what made Americans stand out. To be sure, any listing of the freedom loving and supporting countries of the world, the West, should list what are essentially our cousins, those descending from the old Brittish Empire (and of course mama Britiania herself), and those who have been influenced, created or recreated from us all, such as Japan, Taiwan, Germany... the list can go on. Still though, it is only America that was founded from, by and for Ideas.

Has America succeeded in living up to its Ideals every step of the way? No. Has our foreign policy been always wise? Definitely not. On the other hand, our foreign policy, like our constitution, is not a suicide policy - we do not and should not choose goodie-two-shoes over our real interests. It is not our responsibility to correct the internal errors of other countries (insert any tinpot dictatorship here), unless those errors are a real threat to us (Iraq). During the Cold War, it was necessary to back some disgusting governments over the alternative of even more disgusting communist regimes. Sad, but no apologies at all.

As far as the mideast goes, without oil, the Arabs would be little more than annoyances if they kept to the old ways, and developing countries if they chose to model the West. Same for Chavez. They have no worth or self worth, without parasitically sucking wealth and attention from the Western World.

As far as Israel goes, they are the only Western light in the entire mideast area, and for most of the African continent as well. They deserve our every support for just that reason. It was right to create and support them, in much the same way and for many of the same reasons, as it was right for America to spread west supplanting the American Indians. And anytime that kind of cultural clash with its inevitable widespread death and destruction occurs, there are going to be plenty of low examples of human behavior on display, but they can not be the deciding weights in the scales of Justice. The scales should be judged by one thing, and one thing only - does the region support Individual Rights and Freedom - or not.

If not, they have no legitimate claim to impede the establishment of Western Civilization. No apologies here, call it jingoistic or what you will. Evolve, get out of the way, or die as cultural roadbumps beneath us.

12/17/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

New Z Anon:

Are you familiar with Dr Sanity?

She has done some very illuminating posts on the real reasons why "everybody" hates America. It's likely not what you might think.

Her take on some of the issues involved has clarified various loose ends for me. I'm thinking of one in particular, titled:

SHAME, THE ARAB PSYCHE, AND ISLAM

http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2005/08/shame-arab-psyche-and-islam.html

12/17/2006 05:48:00 PM  
Anonymous C Smith said...

Van,

A fair response to my post (I'm the "anonymous" from before").

I fully agree that we need to support the beliefs of honesty and fairness, of individual freedom and fairness of law.

You are right to point out that the middle east would be little more than an annoyance if it were not for oil (same goes for Chavez). However, I would say that while I don't agree with a goodie-two-shoes mentality to foreign policy (yes, all creatures, societies, peoples must look out for their own interests in order to survive), we should be tread carefully when discussing our relationship with other countries. I agree we should not be involving ourselves in the internal workings of other nations, poking our nose in when we don't like how they behave. I fully believe each nation / people must evolve at their own pace.

However, in the same light, we should not help to prop up despicable regimes in the name of our interests. Case in point: helping Saddam Hussein procure cluster bombs and chemical weapons in order to fight the Iranians (weapons he then turned on his own people and the Kurds). Do I think we bear all the responsibility for this? No. I can provide you with a shotgun at the shop, but you choose to shoot deer or your neighbor. However, do I bear some responsibility if I provide that same shotgun to a known killer?

Overall, I agree with your piece. I believe the left (I try not to take sides...left or right, all seems a little too skewed for my tastes) bash America too quickly in order to bring their points home. In order to survive, sometimes unpopular things will occur. This is true in a person's life, in the life of a nation or in the span of a species. As you said, no apologies.

I believe we need to look honestly at our situation. Claiming innocence, or goodness over evil lacks subtlety, and to paraphrase Lao Tzu, the greatest of all merits is subtlety. We need to look at historical fact, at what we have and have not done. We need to look at the socioeconomic situations in some of these countries, at other power-players (along with ourselves) who have helped create the attitudes in the middle east. Only through seeing the situation wholly can we hope to really find a way out.

You and I both know that hiding your head in the sand and hoping the terrorists will go away is folly. I am sure you are just as aware that you cannot bomb your way out of a situation.

12/17/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"During the Cold War, it was necessary to back some disgusting governments over the alternative of even more disgusting communist regimes. Sad, but no apologies at all."
It saddens me to read articles/blogs/puff-pieces that simply add fuel to people's view abroad that Americans are hypocrites. It puzzles me how yourself, and many others, convince themselves that the motives behind US policies abroad are founded on the ideals of liberty and freedom. Although it sounds nice, the reality of the global chess game is that its driven by the uglier side of us humans-- where avarice, self-interest, and self-preservation dominate. There are countless instances after WWII when the US--all in the name of freedom and liberty--has toppled, destabilized, and to put it bluntly, screwed other countries to protect its interests. In many cases, these were democratically elected leaders that expressed interest in reclaiming their natural resources, smiled at Moscow, or whatever. Were all these examples of "unthinkable goodness"? Did we prevent or even do anything to stop the Rwandan machetes? Oh sorry, I forgot, Bubba was in power at the time. Let's come back to the Cold War days, I think we owe many countries--Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, and the list goes on for a while--an apology for what the School of the Americas and its stellar graduates did to their populace. Germany is a better place for admitting and atoning for its atrocities. We should follow suit. My warning is this: be aware of what your government does to other countries in order to preserve your way of life.
"Evolve, get out of the way, or die as cultural roadbumps beneath us." Not everyone wants KFC/Subway/Costco and strip malls, and many people around the world do not view the American model of life as the right evolutionary path. The democracy experiment we now live in will unravel not from external forces, but rather from internal decay. Tread carefully, as other players around the world position themselves to counter American hegemony. And their motivation will be a powerful one: (1) all those virgins in the afterlife are hard to ignore, and (2) lots of Chinese and Indians want a Rolex on their wrist. We've had a good run for many decades, and it'll continue for a while longer, but it is inevitable that other players will begin to chip away at US dominance. No one likes to be taken down from the top spot on the podium, let's hope we do it with decorum.
Thank you for reading this and goo luck to you all. My opinion is simply that, my opinion. Cheers.

12/17/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Anonymous C Smith said...

ximeze,

Nice article. Really illuminating. Good to read the psychology of this situation. A study in this area could use more attention around the world. Understanding the cultural / psychological motivations of people is always helpful to any discussion.

12/17/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Jedi Bernstein said...

What a pile of bullcrap. We are there for oil and Empire not "their freedom".

The failure of imagination is thinking that anyone buys this bullshit about the unimaginable goodness of America.

We are a nation born of an unimaginable genocide, of the native Mestiza of the North and South continents, on a scale that makes Nazi Germany seem like a minor footnote in comparison.

12/17/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Anonymous GeorgeD said...

Anonymous in NZ. That's nice and its appreciated but its like saying Samoa is ready to go fight for the world.

Jedi Bernstein, we are there to save your sorry hiney from an an Islamist terrorist. They have a thing about steins.

12/17/2006 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

annonymous said... "Did we prevent or even do anything to stop the Rwandan machetes" a tribal civil war without significant national interest for America - horrible, yes, worth our young mens lives to intervene? Nope.

"Let's come back to the Cold War days, I think we owe many countries--Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, and the list goes on for a while--an apology for what the School of the Americas and its stellar graduates did to their populace. " Again, Cold War, Saddam included. It wasn't up to us to pick the quality people of these countries to establish an enlightened government & society - it was up to them, they didn't do it. We had a choice between Bad and Worse in order to help keep the Communists from getting a foothold at our back door. No apologies, no guilt.

And as Saddam found out, when his filth was no longer needed to keep the worse filth at bay, with provocation – we cleaned house.

The thing the world needs most to wake up to, is that we, as a people, even as the geographical resources of our territory, aren't inherently better than everyone else. The only thing we have that puts us above the rest, is the Ideals at our founding core. Any one could choose to adopt those same ideals, and give us a run for our money. It is up to them - to their people to reject their history of decadence, and choose the responsibilities of Freedom. They remain 2nd, 3rd, 4th and also rans due to their own choices.

"It puzzles me how yourself, and many others, convince themselves that the motives behind US policies abroad are founded on the ideals of liberty and freedom. Although it sounds nice, the reality of the global chess game is that its driven by the uglier side of us humans-- where avarice, self-interest, and self-preservation dominate."

Our policies abroad are (or should be) founded on protecting our ideals of liberty and freedom here, firstly, and of our allies (which contribute to our interests) secondly. Our interests and our self-preservation absolutely should come first.

"... In many cases, these were democratically elected leaders that expressed interest in reclaiming their natural resources, smiled at Moscow, or whatever. "

Hitler was democratically elected. Doesn't hold a lot of weight. Democracy isn't a value in and of itself, it's a likely attribute of a free country, but it isn't the essential one. Preserving and protecting individual rights and freedom is. The Founding Fathers went out of their way to ensure that we WOULD NOT be a democracy, but a Constitutional Republic whose leaders were democratically elected. A point which has gone missing from the MSM and public education of the last 40 years. I wish President Bush would also take a deeper look into that fact.

"...Not everyone wants KFC/Subway/Costco and strip malls, and many people around the world do not view the American model of life as the right evolutionary path. The democracy experiment we now live in will unravel not from external forces, but rather from internal decay. Tread carefully, as other players around the world position themselves to counter American hegemony. ..." Though America has a long history of winning against the odds, the odds are that we won't remain at the top indefinitely. Hopefully those who succeed us will beat us at our own game of supplying its own citizens with Individual, economic and political freedoms - so that our people freely choose what they have to sell - just as those people you claim don't all want KFC/Subway/Costco and strip malls, are now choosing those over whatever it is you imagine they should want instead.

That kind of competition, as with Japan in the 80’s only helps us to correct our errors and make us better – and even if we are surpassed, everybody will be the better for it.

The only loss of supremacy I fear is a loss to despots, those who really do live by and operate from the motives you decry here. To prevent that from happening, I fully support our doing what we see as necessary, be it propping up, or toppling however many whoever’s may be necessary, until the rest of the world realizes what the true source of our power is, and begin to emulate it on their own. And please God, let the competition for the crown in that day, be fierce. No Utopia could hold a candle to the world that competition would bring into being.

12/17/2006 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Jedi Bernstein said... "We are a nation born of an unimaginable genocide..."

If you truly believe that, and if you had an ounce of integrity and decency, you'd leave.

Assuming that you're still living here, your words have even less value than you do.

12/17/2006 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger Busdriver07 said...

Oh my God!! I can't believe the myopia of this guy!! Rumsfeld, the best Sec of Def ever??? Cheney, not an evil guy??? Are you kidding me?? Jeez, do you think it was a good idea to get us mired in this never ending quagmire of a civil war that is killing so many people unnecessarily??? Is America safer now because of what Bush and his group of nearsighted, fascist a-holes have done? I think not!! Iraq is now the largest terrorist factory in the world and it's only going to be a matter of time before something else happens in our country, as well as the Middle East exploding into a firestorm of wars and constant unrest. Good going guys. Maybe you can start World War III before you leave office. That would be a great final stamp.

12/17/2006 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Busdriver07 said..."Rumsfeld, the best Sec of Def ever???" Yep. "Cheney, not an evil guy???" Nope. "Are you kidding me??" Nope.

A little jarring stepping off the dailyHuffingkos reservation, huh? I'll bet the bright lights of thoughtfulness in pursuit of truth are just a bit painful to those beady little leftist eyeholes.

"Is America safer now because of what Bush and his group " have done? Yep.

" fascist a-holes" ah, there we have the indicator light helpfully notifying the world that since thought has been so long absent from your skull, you can simulate it only with PC approved phrases such as 'fascist' and some profanity.

" I think not!!" Correct.

"Iraq is now the largest terrorist factory in the world" which is helpfully destroying all its own produce.

" and it's only going to be a matter of time before something else happens in our country " and if Bush and Co. hadn't done what they had, we'd have stopped saying that phrase long ago, since it already would have happened, long ago.

"as well as the Middle East exploding into a firestorm of wars and constant unrest." Yeah, never would have been any unrest in the mideast without Bush.
Thanks for stopping by Busdriver07, please keep on driving, no one to pick up here.

12/17/2006 11:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My God, thank heavens, dim wits like you are in the minority - I started to read this with some interest only to find a moronic commentary.

12/17/2006 11:55:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Anonymous said... “… dim wits like you are in the minority - I started to read this with some interest only to find a moronic commentary…”

My oh my, such insight, such analytical abilities on display, you really put forth an intellectually devastating critique there.

Would that that were true, at least then we could benefit from your visit. Sadly, no benefit is gained, and we dim wits find only that you resemble your commentary.

12/18/2006 12:07:00 AM  
Anonymous f-reed said...

Hey Marxists, try to become Lovers, not Dictators.

Add some heart to your brain. Brain to your heart.

No apologies. To the Arab and islamic world, I (persian) say this: "If it wasn't for your oil, we wouldn't even look at you!"

We all LOVE the American Indians. Indians are part of the History of America and of her DNA. Quite a Plus. But if there were no Cristoforo Colombo - impossible - and all that have followed, Evolution would not have touched the Indian tribes (scary thought),... there would be no pain inflicted, no suffering, and no New Orleans (sad concept), no NYC, no Jazz music, no Be Bop, no Billie Holiday, no America...

We all come from the same place. Poor turned Rich. Spiritually/Materially. True Art, true Modern Art is the capacity to create objects that seem Ancient. Universal, Pure, bright, Light. There is nothing more POP and exciting than a Black boy walking in the streets of NYC (even the Bronx turns me on!), a Palestinian who wears Prada and listen to John Zorn (do you know any?) and feel no guilt because he respects the American Constitution, the list goes on and on.

New Zealand and Canada may be great places, but for whatever reason only the American accent turns me on and makes me feel I am Home. So does the American Flag, not the French one. The day the French will become pro-America (and pro-Israel) I will re-gain respect for them.
"
Right now to them I will say: Seuls les enculés sont anti-américains". In english, in its polite form, it says: Only jerks can be anti-american.

12/18/2006 02:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought that this was intended ironically.

Hey, I think that the US was founded on some great, enlightened principles. But you are pretty deluded. It is the only Western country I've ever heard of that has considered: torture, suspension of habeas corpus, detention without trial, suspension of the Geneva Convention and breach of national sovereignty in violation of international law.

People around the world don't hate the US because it's government is TOO WESTERN, they hate it because it's government LACKS THE WESTERN VALUES IT CLAIMS TO DEFEND.

12/18/2006 04:25:00 AM  
Anonymous f-reed said...

Beheading is certainly not a western value. It's so monstruous that no word can describe its horror. Yet no leftist seem to be offended by that practice. It would be, to me, an enough good reason for definitely banning and outlawing any mention of Allah and the Koran in all of the western world, and everywhere else - ie. all the countries that have been conquered and polluted by the Arab/Islamic invasion. Including Persia!

Who said America do torture? Why even Taliban prefer to end up in American Custody (Like Guantanamo) rather than in their own brothers' hands? Your jealousy, arrogance, ignorance blinds you. America is one with its Laws, Practices, Traditions, Institutions, and History. Unless you are a leftists and believe/see/live in Seperation. It's not Politicians against People. And don't get fooled by the internal discourse and fights, that's part of the Show. That's what happens when a country is a free republic with two political parties meant to shout at each other. Some would slander to reach power. And that's too bad. Petty Politicians and petty politics. Some are just too dumb themselves.

12/18/2006 05:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And whether you're an honest man, or whether you're a thief, Depends on whose solicitor has given me my brief."
-Benjamin Franklin

Yes America is a good nation, but why?

America is the nation that enslaved the population of Africa to establish its original capital through the textile trade, without which we wouldn’t exist today.

Polk’s Manifest Destiny created fake wars like the Mexican-American war and fake border skirmishes with Native Americans to grab and extend the boundaries of the United States.

Does this make America good?

No, America is a nation that values itself on freedom of speech, religion, and ideas.

Is this a product of George H.W. Bush? George W Bush? Bill Clinton?

No, this is a product of our founding fathers.

I question how many of you that post here have actually read works by them such as Franklin’s A Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain, Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion, Adam’s Thoughts on Government, or A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States.

This “Leftist” bashing going on lately from Conservatives is quite funny.
I admit most Leftists are pre-teens in their rebellious phase but to group us all in this category is both demeaning and anti-American.

Anti-American?
Yes, America was founded on discourse, rational conversation, and argument.

I invite you all to read our founding father’s materials and writings before you trash your most hated “Leftists”.

I am a student of real America, not the America that these politicians claim that are in back pockets of corporations like Bush, Reagan, Clinton, etc…

Understand your nation is no longer pure, lobbying by capitalist endeavors has destroyed what purity has existed in this nation.

Is this a new development? No, it has been around for nearly a hundred years but don’t preach that America is some pure and clean gem that has shined in a sea of filth in the world.

The single greatest threat to America today comes not from the Arabic world;
an interesting side-note is a byproduct of American interference, not a blind hatred of America. (Please read about the Iran-Iraq war, Israel’s Seven Year War)

The single greatest threat today is the abolishment of freedom not by a third party, but our own government.

Our own government today is destroying America by these “anti-terrorist” measures that are singularly destroying our freedoms more than any time in American history.

“They are to keep us safe”, no to keep us safe we would amend and reform the VISA program which allowed the 9/11 hijackers into our country.
VISA has not been amended or touched since 9/11 to any significant degree.

Understand “Leftists” see this process and we are rebelling against it, the destruction of our country and rights are coming from our own government, not a third party source.

“Oh this guy is a conspiracy nut” I’m sure most of you are saying, but I assure you every piece of freedom chipped away by the Patriot Act and all similar acts will add up to the destruction of your freedom and nation.

I invite you all to turn off your television and start reading about history and what America really is by reading our founding fathers materials.

Need I remind you all that this isn’t the only time in American history where people inside of America were potentially destroying it? Read your American history and you will see a striking similarity with the Revolutionary period and our paranoia of internal enemies.

“This Leftist’s dribble here is so wrong, we need to clamp down to defeat the terrorists on our soil” Is I’m sure what you’re thinking.

I end my argument with this:
“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
Benjamin Franklin”

12/18/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE FACTS:

To say the crisis is only in Iraq would not be logical because the military support structures over there are so poor: the only way the conflict is continuing, is with the help from neighboring countries: like Iran.

We are in Iraq because it is a strategic military position that we built during the Iran conflict with Ayatolla Khomeni. Millions were spent on military facilities, like several bomb shelters in Iraq, LONG BEFORE this Sunni Shiite war ever started.

This may be simply a Shiite/Sunni civil war conflict from which no resolution is acceptable. We may be trying to solve this cultural gap, that cannot be solved.

Will this problem be solved with our current troop count?

Unfortunately, I think a much greater presence may be necessary, and I don't believe the majority of our American population would support a draft.

So we removed Sunni Saddam from power, and the battle for supremacy may never end because the two sides are so vitally opposed.

The worst part is that Saddam did not pose a threat to the US, if anything, he was more of a stabilizing force. The weapons of mass destruction were never found. We've created this problem which had no relation at all with the World Trade or Pentagon attacks.

I would say this has been the worst case of poor planning and diplomacy in our nations history, and what's worse, there is really no simple solution.

Having been in the Army four years, I really can see why we might want and need to kick some Arabs around after the attacks, but I'm very sure this move was a big mistake, and all the compassion in the world will still not solve the problem.

12/18/2006 06:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with most of your article. Americans are in TOTAL denial of theri 'so-called' goodness. Take the righ-wing religious group. They have extremists just like Hamas, or Fatah, or Hezb'Allah. This group has killed and bombed abortion clinic Dr and workers all in the name of THEIR GOD. Really? I could swear one of the Ten Commands was 'Thou shalt not kill.' Are these 'religious zealots' not terrorists?

Let's see - The United States of America is also the ONLY country to ever drop an atomic weapon. Is THAT something we - as a country - SHOULD be proud?

Yes, I think Americans have their heads buried in the sand. Like sheep they follow anyone that looks like a good shepard.

12/18/2006 06:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Decent and selfless"?

(spews coffee at computer screen)

12/18/2006 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger GeorgeD said...

Anonymous, you haven't been around long. You are spouting all the leftist bullcrap that has been exposed here time and again. I, for one, believe that the A-Bomb was a sign of our goodness. My father was slated to be a part of the invasion on Japan. I am glad we stopped the war so quickly and I believe it was a highly moral act by a very moral president of the most moral country in the world.

God Bless America

12/18/2006 07:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I smell a neocon in the woodpile...

12/18/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, the unthinkable goodness of America. Like historical lynchings and Andersonville in the south, Abu Grab and Guantanomo torturing more recently. Lack of health care and starvation for America's poor. From the annihilation of the Native Americans to the war for oil and annihilation now of Iraqis, all so full of goodness because we have "god on our side." Our goodness is truely unthinkable, in fact downright unspeakable sometimes.

12/18/2006 07:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's true that we can't let the islamists spread or we will face even greater problems. they are the self-declared enemies of our civilization and they stand opposed to everything we stand for. Its us or them. That's the only choice.

12/18/2006 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Anonymous said... "I end my argument with this: Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. Benjamin Franklin”

Well said, you do end your argument with that 'quote'. Before trying to sound all knowledgeable, you might want to actually examine the texts you claim to have read. First off, the full quote is "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" , which was from the title page of An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania. (1759). Dropping the word 'essential' (that is if you ever really read the original quote in its original context) is rather illuminating all on its own.

Worse, for you, Franklin disavowed authorship of the quote. He published the pamphlet it came from, and admitted to contributing a minor amount of text as well, but in a letter to David Hume he denied writing it.

'Franklin' quote expose'

My suggestion would be (I'm assuming you want to take more shortcuts to the 'facts' by skipping History and Philosophy from the Greeks on), start with the speeches of James Otis - the first tangible spark of the American Revolution, read the actual letters & publications of John Adams, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, Edmund Randolph, et al.

'Miracle at Philadelphia' by Catherine Drinker Bowen, gives an excellent overview of the constitutional convention, and then there's an excellent compilation called "The Anti-Federalist Papers" (Edited by Ralph Ketcham, Signet Classic) which contains the arguments of the day for and against the Constitution.

As far as the term 'leftist' used here, if you read a bit more (probably just this weeks posts would be a quick enough short cut for you) you'll find that it is used for the branch of 'thought' which began in the early 1800's as 'progressives', 'socialists' then when people figured out who they were, they absconded with the name Liberal, and who having dirtied that honorable name beyond repair are now trying to revert back to 'progressives' again. We all fully realize the fact that leftists are nothing like the Classical Liberals they stole their moniker from.

BTW, your leftist's, current and passed, have done far greater harm to the constitution from the full bloom of Wilson's days, through Roosevelt, NEA & McCain Feingold, than any morality-fevered authoritarian conservative could ever hope to do. I've got a 7 part post on my site, but you can safely short cut it by starting with Part 4 on this subject.

May you someday attain to the education you claim to.

12/18/2006 07:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unthinkable Goodness of America?
"We don't see how evil other people are and others don't see how good we are." WTF?!?
Do you know that they said the same stuff in the Third Reich?
America so good? What about being the biggest polluter in the whole wide world? What about the racism that is still present? Just remember how many black people you put into slavery and how inhuman you treated them! Remember how many native indians amercian killed and just took their land and now they have to live in little reservations. You don't think that is kind of living in a jewish ghetto?
I am an immigrant and I am happy to live here, but if for example germany would make somany rules about who is allowed in the country and who is not, they would scream that Germany is on a way to the fourth reich.
If I would have a different career I would definitely be back in Europe and if I will have kids someday I will make sure that they get a least a few years of living in Europe , so they get better education and see the picture of america how other nations see it.

You saw the documentaries about the propaganda in the third reich. About heir military and everything, right? Now watch the Military channel. Do you see any resemblance?

What about every idiot is allowed to have a gun? I really believe that if John Lennon for example would have lived in London, he would still be alive.
I am sure that more americans kill each other each day than Iraqis kill Iraqis.

Do you really think America is that great?
Get a grip.
"Unthinkable Goodness of America"?
Who is here in Denial?

We are lucky to live in the States, but it is for sure not the greatest place on earth.

Instead of looking at other countrie's problems, look at your own problems first and try to solve them.

12/18/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of the most ridiculous commentaries I have encountered on the Web and the Web breeds silliness.

Perhaps some one needs to remind the author that the US was the last country in the Western world to abandon slavery and still managed to keep blacks in a state of economic and political subjugation for another 100 years.

This is sort of Sacred Cow worshipping of the United States is a sign of an uneducated person.

12/18/2006 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Dear Anonymous,

See Gagdad's post of today, 12/18/2006 - I do believe it's tailor made to your hat size.

12/18/2006 08:54:00 AM  
Anonymous f-reed said...

Since when is 'Neo-Con' an insult? Since Mick Jagger said so? But it means 'political and artistical avant-guarde' of our time.

Ignorants, his music is great and he eventually will rally with everybody here.

12/18/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger PrincessSpirit said...

F-Reed: Sorry to have to do this: Where have you been that you dunno NeoCon IS an insult? I'm a Conservative, not an Extremist one; but neither am I electing to go the NeoCon route either as I see the folly of it as well. And I'm a Rep too.

Put away the Websters definition you gave. THAT doesnt mean yunno diddly what a NeoCon is. Read their books and get to know their philosophies & political positions in context (and lack of position) in order to contrast with Traditional Conservatism and Classical Liberalism.

Then you will have a working knowledge of them and how they interrelate. I encourage you in your knowledge to do the research involved - its always worth it - as I did. You might want to start first with the 50s/60s when NeoCons first came onto the scene, starting with the Trotskyites and LBJ administration, to McGovern, to the formation of the CDM (Coalition for Democratic Majority). It goes on from there thru the Carter admin thru Iran-Contragate on up to now.

Read all about the PaleoCons which are an arm of NeoCons then you will be armed with information & can make well grounded & finely founded observations instead of reactive Assertions.

LOL, Mick Jagger is Great? C'mon...hes Ego-Elitist Spoiled Rich Snob, so two guesses (first one doesnt count) as to which "side" hes really on... Great Music? (cough). Even Mick couldnt get no satisfaction with all his money & had to sing of Sympathy for the Devil & Drugs to get Hippies to buy his reckords. And what was his overall message thru his music?

"Sweet NeoCon" is simply Jaggers retaliation for when NeoCons TANKED them off the stage at Fenway in Boston in 2005! Surely you cant miss that?

He clearly supports the Hitlery / Shillary Party, how very touching & calculating for Comrade Mick to insulate in w/the Demos now that Cold war is "over."

Oh yeah, and he *thinks* he knows sumfink about Theology - ROFL! Oddly enuf, the devil claims the same thing & sings the same song.

Not to mention most of us here know how stoopidly Ze Stars often cornfuse their pocketbook-rich-political "viewpoints" with Wisdom.

Easy to have viewpoints when you're rolling in pennies you parasitically sucked from the populace like a drug dealer does.

Most "Stars" hiding behind Demos as Commies considerabley whitewash their external veneers - Elitists snobs usually do go all out hogwild since nothings to good to use in order to completely fool the populace o peons with, Right??

If Micks even remotely friends with Alec Baldwin or SusanS & Tim Robbins, RUN! Arrrrrrrggggghhh!! Dont run near a pool, tho. Poor Brian Jones learned the hard way - face down and belly up,

Surf on over to www.famousidiot.com for some fun reading up on the ole Comrade Jagger. Dig & IRead up about how he had a hand in responsibility for the murder of Brian Jones.

Then maybe you'll begin to know the person behind the myriad masks & public personaes put on as costumes to hide the wolf within. Chameleons come & go but are still Snakes great at changing their spots in order to fool their prey.

I never call someone "great" or spout their dubious "heavenly attributes" until I've dutifully done my homework first. I dont like wearing egg on my face and I'm sure you dont either, so am politely encouraging you to read & Know before you b--- er, have to suffer an Egging.

~PsychoPrincess~

12/18/2006 10:52:00 PM  
Anonymous f-reed said...

Princess,
I am not putting Mick Jagger on a pedestal. Far from it. I say there is hope he will get it. ie. support the US effort to transform the Middle East and support Democracy. I am not sure Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins or Sean Penn can ever change position. And I don't want to be there to see it neither.

I know Neo-Con is an insult to many. I believe from what I see that they are the true visionaries. Richard Perle, Paul wolfowitz are all superior people to me. Like old sage. Good enough for me.

What did I miss?

12/19/2006 01:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a load of rubbish. America, unthinkable goodness? Ha. Unthinking? Maybe?

As for the claim that the jews were targetted due to their religion, that is nonsense too. Jews, religious or atheist were killed alike. It had nothing to do with religion. It was racism pure and simple.

12/19/2006 03:14:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

I'm surprised that New Zealand doesn't get the mandatory threats of death and unspeakable destruction from the Imams. My native Norway and nearby Denmark sure get to hear it, although so far the actual attacks have been limited to stone-throwing and the occasional firebomb against our embassies.

12/19/2006 05:55:00 AM  
Anonymous PsychoPrincess said...

F-Reed, thanks for reply & clarification. You can see over the next two GBob posts exactly what I'm trying to get you to see - Comrade Jagger is a commie in Demo clothing - there is nothing he is "going to see."

These people & spoiled rich stars dont usually change, obviously many grow worse. Learn to see behind the whitewash and the fancy PUBLIC manuevring they do - dont be so quick to ascribe kudos to them when they dont belong to them. You miss the fact I think of my reference to Mick being a Commie at heart...yes? He wont be "getting" it about democracy at all, for that is not a Commies agenda.

On NeoCons are not all bad but not all good either. At best they are Smarter children but still not prodigies. They've been to prep school so are more educated than most; But I dont "respect" them as "visionaries" becuz they just gussie-up the same ole dogma - "the young uns thinking to tell the Geezers whats what & real and try to introduce new ideas once again - AS IF its THEIR OWN - when they only schlepped it from greater men than themselves from years previous - hence they schlepped it from the very geezers whose approval they want."

If NeoCons did it "right as rain" they'd automatically get my support. Now if THEY work on & tighten up their policies and practices I might be able to support their efforts - but I tend to think they should support our efforts instead of being factious. And their stance on Palestine is nothing new or laudable, just whitewashed relaundered material from the Yalta Summit.

That is why I encouraged you to DIG into the history of the NeoCons and really study WHERE they got their info & ideas from - then you will see them more clearly and balanced for who they really are - same idea that someones parents CAN (But does not always) reflect more info about the family background & how it added or contributed neg/pos to the character of the guy/girl.

Truly GREAT men who are Authentic Pioneers & Real Visionaries MAKE the difference and invent solutions where none existed previously or where others didnt see the missing piece, they never just copyright-schlepp it from others, slap a new name on it & call that their "own." Its just counterfeit & disingenuous, and thats what the NeoCons have done.

I wont get into all the politics of NeoCons here as its long, maybe we can talk on their stances another time, I'd enjoy that w/you. But suffice it to say they offer nothing NEW and earthshaking on the Palestinian-Israeli problems.

Heck, I can offer more than what they offer - becuz I see the underlying problems clearly enough, becuz I studied the Yalta Summitts and the consequences of them after WW2. This is why I have a problem with NeoCons "claiming" visionary status when they truly have not yet earned it. They are like the handsome son pointing to himself and saying "DonBut I keep praying they will learn & rise up & offer more than what tt I look Good?" But the Father is Master/molder of the Son, so it is usually the Father to look to - i.e., the roots of where a movement comes out of or in objection to - not so much to get ga-ga over the son that looks good (although I understand the attraction.)

I realize it takes time for teens to grow into Adults, so I do pray for them to "finally get it" and refine themselves as they grow. But if they get full of themselves, they will not grow and hence they will pollute themselves. I havent seen too many "new" movements that grow instead of pollute.

Luthers movement, by comparison, GREW to become visionary due to the fact his "Truths (THEOLOGY) & 95 Theses" did surpass the "parent" and corrected the parents polluted self, and Luthers stances created new Theology, new Religion, a new denomination, whole entire new paradigms were uncovered that had been covered up for centuries and never been allowed to breathe all becuz one man chose to think "outside the box" (Prison) but also WITHIN God's Boundaries!

Now THAT is a True Visionary who gets it right as rain!!

Remember too we speak here at OC of integrating the horizontal and vertical within us - so ANY and Every "new" group/ individual/ idea/ sentiment that fails to do that is still only a whitewashed part of the whole, not the whole at all, just a poor reflection of it.

I guess I'm abit older or more experienced than you, and I'm not dazzled by the whitewash of the "good looking" types anymore as I know what Lies beneath. I still give people the chance to prove themselves to me, hence while I'm not impressed with NeoCon politics given the fact I grew up Old-Skool, still I encourage them to grow forward and really develop their viewpoints & principles in ways to fill the holes we older geezers have watched & studied & wished for since Yalta. So I do pray for NeoCons.

I dont pray for SlickMick to "get it" tho. He wont, due to the years hes spent de-evolving instead of e-volving.
Hes on the downward spiral and like most Starz, Hes "Blinded by the Bling."

Its kinda like knowing if an Abuser will actually submit to therapy and "get it" and heal, or not. Its on an individual by individual psychopathy basis. Micks is already well entrenched, hes only being more vocal about it - but remember he talks in code and not the real story. DaVinci code does the same thing even though its fictional it tries to pose as truth when it is not, and tries to deflect people from knowing what it truly is - unscholarly rubbish of "evidence" linked together in ways even a CSI-agent would be ashamed of and stand against.

If one IS a True Visionary, it will become known; no self-congratulations are needed at all. The consternation of the controversy it is bound to stir up ONLY IF its Right will be enough herald of ones presence. John The Baptist was good, but Jesus was The King.

TRUE Visionaries are of God.

I do encourage you to read the Yalta Summitt stuff theres a ton of it on the web. I'll check thru some of packed up books and find a good one for you if you are interested. The proper understanding of the root of the problem is worth knowing - we at least want that from our Doctors when they are diagnosing us, right? We dont want them to see part of the problem and them make a partially wrong diagnosis do we? No, we want them to see the Whole problem and make the correct foundational & secondary diagnoses in constellation of interrelationship to one another, not in exclusion of one another.

Yalta is worth reading not only to understand NeoCons/Paleocon mentality but to understand everyones mentality since then - all parties involved and why they take the stances they do and where they fail to expand or solve the root problems. Root problems dont go away - they only beg to be uncovered, as Luther showed us. He had the "nose" & patience to dig deeper & search out Truths long buried the Catholic Church tried to make educated people forget were true, or Truths that were never discovered!

So in your research, remember, you just might be able to get to such gems & treasures also if you stick with it like the archaeologists do. And it might be YOU who is the "next visionary." Then you can educate the NeoCons on what they are missing! That would be waaaay cool! ;-)

~PsychoPrincess~

12/20/2006 02:15:00 AM  
Anonymous f-reed said...

PsychoPrincess,
thanx for the post.

I am more of the lazy type so I wont read any of the papers you mentioned. But I trust you are correct.

I am not even putting NeoCons on a pedestal. I am just revealing what is in my mind and in my heart. All my knowledge is intuitive, based on personal experience, reading, interests and background.

Frankly it doesn't matter at all if Mick Jagger will get it or not. It was just an example. To contrast it with some other public figures who in my mind can never really change. And if they do, I don't want to be there to see it. Don't ask me why, that's my feeling. Actually I know why. I just wont say it.

Anyway, my time here in the Comments Section of Gagdad is over. I certainly wont stop reading Bob, cousin dupree, ben (my favorites) - "it take a village, the greenwich village!",...

Just will shut up. I said enough. Next time you will hear from me it will be thru my ART. I don't know when it will be exactly. God is very demanding and my patience has no limit.

Before I go I could connect you with another conversation I had with a reader of Salon (a Friend this time/it happened to be "The Crack Emcee") made possible because we began our exchange when nobody was listening anymore. There you would know more of my last 8 years that brought me to these posts of mine. But I wont. I am controversial enough. You'll have to wait until I go public - in good company.

I intend to shake the entire mulim world. Because there are only three possibilities left to solve the israeli-palestinian conflict: 1) Ask the Jewish People to make one last sacrifice and create their tiny little country inside the USA (on Katrina ruins maybe). 2) Drop the bomb on Mecca, and all the so-called holy sites of shia and sunni muslims. 3) Hope that a united voice from inside America unPC and Truthful could have enough power to Transform spiritually the islamic Mind. Bring reason into the moderate hearts. Offer muslims the choice between Mohammed or Jesus. Capitalism made in USA or Socialism made in France. The only Key to solving all the problems of the world. The Ultimate Velvet Revolution. An easy first place could be inside the UN walls. That House of Horror so much worshipped by crooks, haters and the clueless.

See you!
God Bless the USA,
free

12/20/2006 04:46:00 AM  
Anonymous PsychoPrincess said...

F-Reed, Thanks so much for your reply. If you really want to shake the Muslim world, you will have to do your homework. I personally think the once-scholarly approach in Islam that has all but disappeard since Sa'alladeen (sp.) has greatly contributed to the downfall of Islam in its Spiritual "sanity" so to speak. When one refuses to do their homework and link things up, you miss way too much WIsdom. All Truth does not come from instinct in a persons self. Even the Prophets studied in order to rightly divide & handle the Word of God, so again, I encourage you to do that.

Islam is infected aleady with too many who appeal to the people with charmisma & going by "intstinct" so I must caution you to always maintain a much better balance, as you are responsible to do when you are a "leader" impacting others.

I would like to read more of your intent if you have a link you'd like to leave here for me. If not, sokay, we can trade our books with one another when the time comes. I also work "behind the scenes" w/Muslims but in a more casual/missions-oriented way at the moment.

My hope is for Islam, which thinks itself the "older brother" to Christianity (not in time-wise, but in "completion") to once again get back into Scholarly study & to develop Wise counsels in order for them to have much-needed balance and less radicalism in their faith. Then when they have regained some sanity and the moderates DEFEND their Faith-position against the Radicals, then it will be time for true evangelism of the Muslims & will be more effective to take root and hold in the soil of their thinking so this "new identity" can grow. Jews found the way to become Messianic Believers; I believe there is also a similar way for Muslims to become Believers as well, just dunno what its called.

It can be achieved, for there are promising bridges over which to connect these two sides. But, also "Narrow is the Gate..." Some with courage will enter it, and do as God leads them to do to evangelize the Muslims. I think outside-in evangelism is not enuf; Evangelism that rises from within their own ranks is also needed. Now thats Visionary! For such ones, I Thank God.

~ PsychoPrincess ~

12/21/2006 03:39:00 AM  
Anonymous f-reed said...

PsychoPrincess: I never claimed to be a "Leader" - too shy too. A 'muse' at best.

It's not that I never read a book. I read a lot of them. When My body needed it. Plus the 'Punk' in me never liked to be lectured. The only Orders I take are from God Himself. And lately I got plenty of it. That's where I got my courage and boldness.

Right now, I don't need any more books, send me some Body-guards!

I began my conversation here on dec 7, I believe! More I wont say! Much more is to come. You'll get the blog, few books (testimonies/Music/Plays etc etc) at the right time. Not only from me - thru my Paintings - but from the Real Deal (you will just have to show some patience). But we are getting closer, Thank God for Bob's blog!

Bob has already been invited by me to go check for himself. Whether he finds the time to do so or not, the connection with him has already been established and I know we Love the same values. He sent me his approval already! I can hardly imagine yet another place when I will have to send my words. One Cosmos blog very much was the ultimate for me. The end of my journey. Before the real and complete introduction in true life.

About the concept of Evangelization, this is just the kind of word that is not in my vocabulay (no matter how right it is). My offer is more of a manly proposal: People, it's time to choose between Knowledge, Growing up, becoming Men, Loving Men, not Machos, spoiled childs, Lazies, Childs and females abusers, Jew haters, etc... and ultimately time to choose between to political systems: Capitalism or Nazism/Nationalism/Socialism!!).

A softer way could be like when communism was outlawed by the US (for visas). Now one way could be: only accomplished Sufi allowed in the US!

So I thank you for offering me a chance to clarify what I am all about. I still think it's better I don't give you the link to that converstaion I mentioned earlier. Unless you promise you wont judge me.

Anyway, the only thing sure is that I wont stay in the shadow forever. In term of Transparency, nobody beats me beside my own Lover.

Good Luck to everybody,
See you all,
Merry Christmas too,
free

12/21/2006 05:16:00 AM  
Anonymous PsychoPrincess said...

DEAR FREE: Hey thanks for reply! I can see this work you love to do is VERY important & most meaningful to you, so please know if you share a link with me to read something about it, I will NOT judge you. I wont give any opinion if that is what you would like, I'm just interested in what you are focusing upon - I agree it IS VERY needed and I think its EXCELLENT goals & work to undertake, so if anything I'd like to just be a "passive support" for you and Encourage you to Keep On Keepin On and stick to your vision - maybe allow some (trusted) people to advise you (as you've done with G-BOB) but the choice is always yours.

I understand the necessity of YOU remaining TRUE to your vision on the inside of you. It sounds like a good one, too! You seem very smart and capable lady, and that is why I was wondering, "Wow, Whats she doing? Sounds kewl!"

So feel free to direct me, share, and its perfectly okay also if you dont share...The choices are totally yours and I respect your boundaries, whichever way you choose is really alright. I'm sorry I didnt get more of a chance to talk with you, you sound like a very interesting and different type of person (I tend to like "different" people, also Bold ones) was just curious to get to know more about You, Sis.

But only if/when you are comfortable to share. I've enjoyed my exchanges here with you & you will most certainly be missed!

Best Wishes in all that you are pursuing and your Goals - always reach for them to achieve - I KNOW You Will Go Far - you have Boldness that is admirable! :D Keep the Faith Sister!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to You, FREE!!! :D
God Bless You & Family!!
= PsychoPrincess =

12/22/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Anonymous f-reed said...

PsychoPrincess,
THANX a lot!
It's so good to hear a friendly voice!

The not very 'people-pleaser' in me has hard time finding any. Not that I care! But I know real Knights do exist (Bob is the proof and his Bobbleheads also!).

By the way, I know you like to make me talk - clarify: Bob didn't talked to me directly - he sent me his approval thru his silence and thru each of his last posts.

Anyway, I thank you for your true support - as I always say, I don't need a Mother, I need a Friend! ie. no fear, no lecturing, no doubts.

If this place rejects me. I don't see where else I could go. But I am not supposed to be rejected by none of you. So all right, I will give you the link to my last conversation and revelation on Salon with "The Crack Emcee"/Louis Dixon. Make sure you read all of his posts which starts page 17. I intervened when all had been said and all people were gone but him:


http://letters.salon.com/mwt/
feature/2006/08/24/career_
women/view/index52.html?show=all
&order=asc

Before you read the following, make sure you have read that exchange.

Because there is more to know. God designed Two Eternal Lovers for me. One you just heard of. The other is Jean-Michel Basquiat. And so is for everybody else. Not necessarily two for each women. But for sure zero cases of an entire harem for one single man. Maybe if they are monkeys!

In other words, Lou, Jean-michel and I are one same soul/essence that became three. Where men's privilege on earth has become the woman's rights in Planet God. Not that it matters to me but who could say No to such Light Souls. And ultimately Friendship/Brotherhood is Higher than Love Relationships. Although True Love is Paradise at its best!

I am sorry for so much information to chew in one stroke. What matters most to me is having been able to touch your heart, gain your trust. All of you! As you have understood, the Truth doesn't scare me. I mean I am not afraid to hear a rejection from the source himself because I know there wont be any. I mean each and every of you can become my messenger and go ask Lou about my revelations. I welcome the idea. You will certainly not make a fool of yourself and most importantly, I wont neither!

Even the President of the United States has been forced to play the game and not answer me back. Although he is in contact with Lou and support us.

In the same way that you, Princess, like to make me talk, God, thru this imposed silence has forced me to put into words all my feelings, testimony and messages in the context of a changing world and growing threat because it was the only way for me to have any credibility and more importantly reach the Light and the expertise!

So, again, I welcome your offer to share my goals and become my Friend. We will need all we can get, to use Louis Dixon's expression. One cool and bright fellow.

I don't know what will ultimately bring Lou and I together, this new step seems to be powerful enough to me but who knows? All I see is that this time I couldn't be more open and bold and most of all have a better audience. As high and as openly crazy as I am.

And please, Princess, if you get to reach Lou and he says to you what he said before to others: Don't write her (me) back!, please act like a woman and tell him, sorry, I wont play your game. We woman don't have men's strenght. We do it our way. We know God will forgive us for it!

I hope I was credible and articulate enough to keep your attention and support. I hope the end of the tunnel is close. In any case, as I told you before, nothing scares me anymore. I can wait as long as it is needed. As God's prisoner, I couldn't feel more protected! And the Lazy in me is also finally enjoying her time off!

I have been taught Detachment even regarding Love. And that's an achievement for me! For anybody! I have been taught to suppress the passion in me! Now I became a true Sodier! No drama, no tear, no fear! Whatever happens is fine with me!

Love you All! See you all!
free!

12/23/2006 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger Anesha said...

Hi Nice Blog . I don't really know a lot about Human Anatomy study or art, but that's just my 2 cents. Really great job though, Krudman! Keep up the good work!

7/02/2008 10:29:00 PM  

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