Today’s format got a bit muddled in the process of pearl diving. I found a group of political quotes that all point to the same spot on the news compass, and thus added some extra material to the first topic of dissection, er, discussion…..hope it isn’t too much for the literary equivalent of a bowl of oatmeal…..consider it as extra brown sugar and cinnamon……
“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the rights of the people by the gradual & silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” — James Madison, Virginia Conv. 1788
“The greatest right in the world is the right to be wrong. If the Government or magistrates think an individual is right, no one will interfere with him; but when agitators talk against the things considered holy, or when radicals criticize, or satirize political gods, or question the justice of our laws and institutions, or pacifists talk against war, how the old inquisition awakens, and ostracism, the excommunication of the church, the prison, the wheel, the torture-chamber, the mob, are called upon to suppress the free expression of thought.” — Harry Weinberger, letter to the editor, — New York Evening Post, April 10, 1917
“They (who) seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers… call this a new order. It is not new and it is not order.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt (circa 1935)
“Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they’ve told you what it is you want to hear.” — Alan Coren (circa 1990)
“The treacherous are ever distrustful.” — Gandalf (The Second Age)
You will please note first that the dates of these statements are in chronological order (except of course, Gandalf’s). I put them that way to demonstrate my point, which is this: the idiots who are theoretically in charge of society as its chosen leaders are NOT good people, and this sentiment serves to demonstrate that this problem is not unique to our time. They DO NOT CARE about the little man on the street, nor have they ever done so. They DO NOT make decisions with the benefit of society in mind, and never have. They DO NOT care a whit that their actions are demonstrably responsible for the mess we are in ecologically, and the only future they care about at all is their own.
As an American citizen, I am appalled at how easily the public is manipulated, and angry about the encroachment of personal liberty for the sake of increased security, a pipe dream at best. Personally, I think it is time for the Second American Revolution…..seriously….I’ll leave this subject there, and close with this, from Carl Sagan, “In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know, that’s a really good argument; my positions is mistaken,’ and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. It happens every day, but I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.” For sure and for certain……
“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.” — Mark Twain
Dogs, cats, rats, pigs, horses, cows, chickens, and even geese can all lay claim to a higher level of ethics than can your average homo sapiens. You never hear about a pig robbing a bank, or geese running a Ponzi scam; even dogs and cats, who live in such close proximity to us, are not made to act unethically by that association. They have what most people have lost, and that is integrity. Within the constraints of their intelligence and physical characteristics, their actions are always true to their nature, cause no conflict in the universe, and in turn, attract no negative karma. People, on the other hand, are at best a 50/50 proposition as to whether the decision to act will come from an ethically defensible position. I think that’s why I am more comfortable around animals than most people; they don’t have any hidden agendas……
“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” — Thomas Paine
To me, this is the highest ethical position that a man can assume. This attitude is what drove Mr. Paine, and the other men and women who founded this nation, to acts of bravery and courage in the fight for liberty. This attitude is one expression of the most valuable part of the human spirit, the part that acts selflessly in the face of danger to fellow men, the part that makes us truly human, to my mind. It is the part of us that won’t give in to oppression; that part that yearns for freedom of expression. It is the part of us from which poetry, and the finest prose flow, to spread the word that freedom will never stand down in the face of danger, and that this freedom is the given right of every person alive. Mr. Paine’s expression of love for his child expresses the finest strengths of the human spirit, and should inspire all who read it to remember what price must be paid for personal liberty……
“Please don’t dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothing new to say.” — Robert Hunter
An easy sentiment to get behind, and typical of Grateful Dead musical philosophy. Music, with strong lyrics, can be a powerful force in shaping the attitudes of society, and a lot of very powerful songs were put out in the 60’s and 70’s in support of the political changes that were sweeping the nation at that time. The full effects of music on society can never be accurately measured, but it is known to be an influential tool for spreading a particular message to a large audience. So this statement becomes more of a paradigm indicator, to encourage new thoughts and new ways of solving problems. If you get a chance, listen to the rest of the song; its pretty powerful stuff, if you know how to hear it…..
God has always been hard on the poor.
To avoid a lot of critical emails, let me just say in regards the above; funny how that works out, isn’t it? Makes a man get to thinking, about how God seems to take on the characteristics of the persons who are invoking His support, and how He always seems to be against whatever it is his worshipers are afraid of. Just an observation…..Hmmmm, I think I just heresied on several important religions.
“I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t.” — Jules Renard
Today’s post has grown beyond all hope of regaining control, so I’m going to add one more quote, just because it fits in with most of what we discussed today. It’s another fine piece of satire from the Devil’s Dictionary, courtesy of Ambrose Bierce…..
RIGHT, n. Legitimate authority to be, to do or to have; as the right to be a king, the right to do one’s neighbor, the right to have measles, and the like. The first of these rights was once universally believed to be derived directly from the will of God; and this is still sometimes affirmed _in partibus infidelium_ outside the enlightened realms of Democracy; as the well known lines of Sir Abednego Bink, following:
By what right, then, do royal rulers rule?
Whose is the sanction of their state and pow’r?
He surely were as stubborn as a mule
Who, God unwilling, could maintain an hour
His uninvited session on the throne, or air
His pride securely in the Presidential chair.
Whatever is is so by Right Divine;
Whate’er occurs, God wills it so. Good land!
It were a wondrous thing if His design
A fool could baffle or a rogue withstand!
If so, then God, I say (intending no offence)
Is guilty of contributory negligence.
— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
Enough already!….. y’all take care out there…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.