Mike Lux on America’s “Historical, Hysterical Conservatives”

1 11 2009

They have used the same arguments — for tradition and states rights, against “big government socialism” — in every era. In those past eras, history was not on their side. It is not in our time, either.

. . .These conservative arguments have always been tinged with more than a little hysteria, just like today. And no matter what, conservatives always insisted they owned the moral high ground.

Related news reinforces the Lux WorldView: the former governor of my state now accuses President Obama of attacking American capitalism. Jeb Bush does this not just publicly but apparently for calculated effect not on capitalism or the economy’s current crisis, but his own political prospects.

He needed to make the news he’s been so out of and must re-control if his plan to resurrect any of his traditional dynasties — the Bush family, GOP, Roman Catholic Church — with himself anointed to lead, has a prayer.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

31 responses

3 11 2009
terry@breathinggrace

I seriously doubt Jeb has any political aspirations. You think so? I thought he was a grand governor (I’m sure you know that, lol), but he was a much biger policy wonk than politician. He’s not enough of a chameleon to run in anything other than a statewide race where he has already maxed out his potential. Just my thoughts.

As for what I believe is the root of the tone deafness in Washington as it relates to runaway government spending, I’ll defer to Peggy Noonan: i just don’t think the majority of Americans, in government or out, realize that the American economy is capable of collapse. I think we’ve been so prosperous for so long we think we can continue that way no matter what we do. Noonan’s piece:

http://online.wsj.com/article/declarations.html

3 11 2009
JJ

Hi Terry — seriously?
Okay. Yes, he has more of a sense of entitlement in the political arena than his brother ever did imo. You’re right that he’s a policy wonk but so is Barack Obama. . . and the policy prize Jeb Bush keeps his eyes on is BIG BUSINESS and how government can enrich it. It’s runaway government spending all right, straight into the private sector with all the public’s resources! Privatization unfettered by any responsibility to “we the people” and our families and communities, answering only to corporate board members, big donors and venture capitalists. For-profit, even in human services.

Oh and to enrich and empower his family personally. Do you know much about the OTHER Bush brothers, Neil and Marvin, and how they’ve made “private” careers bilking public “education” and regulated industries like finance (remember the savings and loan scandal)?

Neil’s software company was called Ignite. And then there was Infinity Software, just for one small-potatoes example — based right here in Tallahassee, that company was “holding a job” for Jeb’s (unqualified and drug-dependent) daughter Noelle in 2003:

Jeb Bush And The Amazing $8.2 million Web Site, Or How To Ensure Your Daughter Gets A Job When She Leaves Rehab!

It’s obviously not his time with people across the political spectrum screaming for regulatory reform and corporate corruption clean-up, and I suspect that’s been eating at him since the Wall Street corruption was exposed, that he didn’t get his brother’s presidency 2000-2008, to bilk the taxpayers for HIS business buddies instead of having to wait in line for a turn that now might never come. Can America ever afford to fall for that as responsible government again? I guess we’ll see because I think he’s going for it.

I think the reason he didn’t get involved in the senate race Crist and Rubio are running is because he’s got his eyes on the big prize and like Pawlenty’s very political primary-pandering comments about Senator Snowe this week, I hear Jeb Bush saying clearly he is back in the ring. Look at him, he’s even lost weight again! And he made the above news-seeking statement to (wait for it) the US Chamber of Commerce. Yeah, I think he’s politically back in the only game he has ever known or wanted to play.

3 11 2009
JJ

I don’t see that “we” have been so prosperous for so long. I see that a narrowing elite has systematically plundered the prosperity of the American people and now are howling like banshees that they’ve been caught. And there are fewer and fewer folks falling for it as even the well-educated, hard-working, responsible middle-of-the-road independents who thought we were making it on our own merit and insisting others could do the same, belatedly realize how badly our system has been stacked against us, that we the people have been lied to and exploited, how our children and grandchildren have been robbed not by government itself but by corrupt and amoral Big Business infiltrating and overthrowing government in a bloodless coup, indenturing present and future generations with a glib, self-serving “free market” fairy tale. Y’all come back, ya hear?

It was the Long Con and we were suckers, or as they say politically, we have been useful idiots. I am ashamed to say that with some of my own arguments and votes up through 2000, I too was a sucker, a useful idiot.

3 11 2009
JJ

More links for those who haven’t heard any of this:

Former first lady’s donation aids son:
Katrina funds earmarked to pay for Neil Bush’s software program

No Bush Left Behind:
The President’s brother Neil is making hay from school reform

WaPo: The Relatively Charmed Life of Neil Bush

Neil Bush Igniting Investigation

The Un-Untold Neil Bush Story:

I never expected what looked to be yet another run-of-the-mill Bush family scam to be so vile or so mysteriously obfuscated by both the journalists on the right and the left. Like a greased pig, the untold story continues to slip its way into oblivion.

This education story involves concubines, cover-ups, threats to national security, international intrigue, a press corp more interested in smoke than fire, a bait-and-switch product, non-existent oversight, the subliminal subversion of the Constitution, and the central character is qualified to be little more than a whistling hollywood second-banana in a buddy western.

Because of the volume of research this story requires, this post as well as follow-up postings will be re-edited over the next few days. Unlike most journalists who have tried to connect the dots, I am not following the money. I am following the slime trail.

Instead of spending a lot of time admonishing you about the excesses of the Bush family or Neil in particular, I just want to examine the public record and asked some unasked questions that I believe weave a quite different story than you will find anywhere else. . .

3 11 2009
terry@breathinggrace

JJ,

Hold on to your knickers, ’cause I’m about to agree with you. We have been living the illusion of prosperity and our government (both parties, btw, which is why I’m an independent) have sold out the interests of the people to the interests of wall street. I often say that borrowed prosperity isn’t really prosperity because one day the note will come due. Well, it has, and we the people are getting stuck with the bill while the banks and corporations are getting bailed out. We are on the same page there.

Difference between you and me is that I understand that Dems are as much in bed with big business as the GOP. Idealogically pure liberals have been used for votes and tossed aside by “their party” and true conservatives have been used for votes by “our party” and tossed aside. I say throw them all out.

I’m not well versed on how the Bush clan has benefitted from the marriage that has come from the wedding of government and big business, but I’ll check out your links later. Of course, I have every reason to believe your account and no reason to doubt it since that’s the way things are done in America these days (by these days I mean from the latter half of the 20th cent. to present).

I have found that truly liberal/libertarian folks and I have more in common than I previously realized: love of freedom, free speech, and an aversion of government intrusion. Of course the things we differ most on are a result of my religious beliefs and not because they are necessarily evil people. Because I am not married to either party I can appreciate that we are on the path to oligarchy without term limits since that’s the only way we’ll ever have folks who are truly interested in public service in our government: people who want to accomplish a goal for the public good and then go back home to their vocations, communities, and families.

3 11 2009
JJ

I guess we do agree on a lot then — knickers firmly in hand! — because I’m not any more married to a party than you sound. I’ve been registered non-partisan and fiercely advocating for post-partisan governance (something along the philosophical lines of appointed professional school superintendents rather than elected e.g.) every way I can find to do it, for 25 years or more.

But “throw the bums out” just gets us a new batch of bums even less ready to take back the reins from the real powerbrokers (the guys with all our money.)
Rich Rush Limbaugh and his uneducated mouths of the south ideological team can’t do it as the 00s proved, and if the newly elected “yes we can” team can’t either, then what? Are you ready (are WE ready, do you think?) for real change, like a Constitutional convention and changing the make-up of the Supreme Court, term limits, maybe even a parliamentary style re-proportioning of government for shared representation and authority rather than winner take all? Scary stuff.

But that’s the progressive view in a nutshell, trying the next thing (instead of the last thing, fighting to go back instead of forward.) Take the jury system e.g., so clearly broken yet so impossible to fix.

3 11 2009
JJ

Here’s an example I’m thinking about, that to me has the ring of truth about our deeper problem — that nobody’s ideology can help us and it’s almost too late even to save ourselves with American pragmatism because the system is far gone.

“That paralysis is a consequence of the fact that, absent greater government involvement, there really is no way to deal with the uninsured or to reduce systemic costs. If the GOP were to produce a bill and submit it to CBO-like analysis, the results would undoubtedly show that it does almost nothing to address either problem. Indeed, it could very well be shown to make both problems worse. That’s why there is no GOP health care plan.”

That’s from a “liberal” lawyer blog using the following quote as tagline:

“The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held,
but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are
held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment.”
-Bertrand Russell

3 11 2009
terry@breathinggrace

That’s a great tagline- I agree with it, but I don’t believe most liberals hold to it any more than they claim conservatives do.

Thing is, there really is NOTHING truly NEW under the sun. human nature being what it is, will always seek the path of least resistance. There will always be those too lazy to obtain the life they seek, those who lust for power and who’ll do anything to get it, those who’ll sell their grandma for an extra 20 bucks, and those oblivious to the fact that their lives are becoming unhinged until they get hit with a screw that popped loose from the door. That last one, by the way, describes MOST of the American public. Most of the concerned being feigned now is springing from fear about the economy.

We’ll see how it all plays out. I like the idea of a Constitutional convention, except Congress would wield a lot of power there, too, and only God knows what would come out of it!

3 11 2009
terry@breathinggrace

Oh, I should add that there are such things as timeless values that should be held to tightly. if there aren’t, what is all this about? What are we fighting to preserve?

3 11 2009
JJ

From Southern Female Lawyer, asking herself the same thing about her own relatives:

These are relatives and I need to be able to respect them. And if they decided that the TEA movement is for them, well … that is their choice. But it bothers me on a fundamental level. Because even though most TEAfolk will try to tell you that this is not a partisan thing, I am pretty sure it is quite partisan and quite conservative.

And then there is the ugliness. I think it is UTTERLY irrefutable that the TEAgroups are now the happy home of many far-right christian conservatives, multiphobes, bigots, and paranoids. They will also try to tell you it isn’t about Obama (but for some it is), or race (but for some it is), or abortion (but for some it is).

And yes, I know that the signs don’t speak for everyone, but why would you choose to join people like that? How can you stand next to someone who is shouting about birth certificates and nazis and muslims?

If you don’t feel the same way as the bigots and the paranoids, you can either ignore them or fight them; but by standing with them, don’t you think that you are validating the bigotry and insanity? Or, at the very least, you are saying that the bigotry and paranoia doesn’t matter. Hello, de minimus argument.

All I will say is that to the objects of the bigotry and paranoia, it is pretty de maximus.

. . .If fiscal issues are more important to you than human rights and social issues, that is fine but know that the days where the two were utterly unconnected are long gone. The single-issue people (abortion), the “Christian Values” people (marriage is man + woman, prayer back in schools, abortion, ID), and the multiphobes (immigration and border enforcement, anti-civil rights, anti-welfare, anti-Obama, anti-environmental) want the Republican party for themselves – even if they have to leave the party to do it.

And if you thought you could get around them by joining the Libertarians or the TEA people, you might want to take a quick look around you. They have beat you there.

3 11 2009
JJ

And more from the eponymous Mike Lux along these lines, about how we the people DO want and need transformative change that matters, change based on real American values:

I find myself genuinely torn about how this Presidency is going, conflicted in a number of ways. While I am more optimistic than pessimistic, I also find myself troubled about some important things a year after that momentous Election Day.

On the one hand, there are so many things I am happy about. It is such a wonderful thing to once again feel pride and confidence when the President leading the country that I love is representing us abroad. The values that the President brings to world affairs, the honest and respectful engagement with other leaders in the world, and the intelligence he brings to the discussions are such a relief in contrast to our last President. Even when I disagree with him on major international issues such as what to do about Afghanistan, I deeply respect the thoughtfulness and thoroughness with which he approaches the incredibly complex decision-making he has to engage in.

And on his overall legislative agenda, I am deeply impressed that he is taking on the big important complicated fights like health care, climate change, immigration reform, and banking legislation, even while all the while paying constant attention to our incredibly damaged economy. He has kept us from sliding further into the economic abyss. . .
He has also begun to change the terms of the debate in American politics, bringing a sense of community values and thoughtful intelligence to our national debate that we haven’t seen for quite a while. It is wonderful to have a President with his kind of values be able to inspire and move so many of us to action.

Here’s where I find myself deeply troubled and conflicted, though. When I look back on the towering Presidents of American history, the ones who faced and conquered the massive challenges of their eras that at least equal the big challenges of our time, I read about them taking on the entrenched powers that be, and forcing them to bend so that America could make a much needed course correction.

I find myself wondering: did progressives in those eras feel the sense of frustration and slowness about the prospects of fundamental change that many of us feel today? They may well have, which makes me aware I should be patient. My problem is that change doesn’t feel like its coming fast enough, that the President has not been bold enough in taking on the powers that be.

When I see Tim Geithner seeming perfectly comfortable with the size, power, and risky behavior of the big banks, it makes my blood boil. When I see all those appointees to the administration who used to work at Goldman Sachs, it makes me really nervous. When I see a White House that seems too comfortable with cutting deals with big business lobbyists, and unwilling to challenge the pro-big business members of their own party, it bothers me.

I am looking for big, deep, transformative, history making change, and am looking for an administration eager to work with the progressive movement to help make that happen. My optimistic side sees the good things that have happened, and appreciates them. I remind myself that it took Lincoln almost two years to free the slaves, and it took FDR more than two years to pass Social Security- even in big change eras, it doesn’t always happen immediately. But it’s only a year until the next election. . .

3 11 2009
terry@breathinggrace

Oh, JJ. We were doing so well. I am an unapologetic,religious, pro-life conservative. I am not as passionate about the gay marriage issue. There are other sexual sins besides homosexual and heteros have done far more damage to marriage than gays could ever hope to. We need to sweep around our own front doors first, imo.

As for the TEA partiers: I have no problem with the folks. At least not all of them. For me, a lot of my objection is to Obama, not his race. ‘Cause I am several shades darker than he could ever be with a deep tan, and my ancestors, including my dear dad (79), suffered racism the likes our president and his generation could never fathom.

i do think runaway spending is a problem, but as a Chrisitian I am turned off by people who are only concerned NOW because it affects their personal bottom lines. But as a family who dedicates out time, energy, and treausre to the less fortunate and who volunteer at homeless shelters/soup kitchens, I do believe that the private sector is a much more effective distributor of social programs than the government will ever be. And we are a nation FOUNDED on a healthy distrust of government. can i add a excerpt of my own here (from Walter Williams, one my favorite black conservative writers):

“Some of the founders’ distrust is seen in our Constitution’s language such as Congress shall not: abridge, infringe, deny, disparage, violate and deny. If the founders did not believe Congress would abuse our God-given rights, they would not have provided those protections. After all, one would not expect to find a Bill of Rights in Heaven; it would be an affront to God.”

The writer of the excerpt you posted implied that if something or someone is conservative, then they are necessarily UGLY. You know I can’t go along with that.

Surely there are racists among the tea partiers. My experience as a black American has shown that liberals are just as racist, but in a much more insidious way: the assumption that black folk need to be coddled to, protected, and given a leg up because we can’t, of course, make it otherwise. And the sad part? i think they are doing this to obama by insinuating that the fierce opposition to his policies are racist. What netter way to shut the people up than to call them bigots? But since I like ME quite a bit, surely I can’t qualify as a racist, can I?

3 11 2009
terry@breathinggrace

By the way, Lincoln was an avowed white supremacist who wasn’t interested one whit in freeing the slaves. In fact, the Emancipation Proclamation clearly warned those slaves NOT in seceded territories that they were NOT FREE. His primary aim was preserving the Union and he was willing to do whatever he needed to do that. If it meant freeing the slaves, then he would. If it meant keeping them bound, so be it. Now preserving the Union was a noble goal, I guess, but as the saying goes: “He who wins the wars writes the history.” Let’s not use Lincoln as a symbol of anything related to freedom for the slaves. I’m partial to William Wilberforce in England, the great emancipator who helped end the slave trade in Britain- and not a shot was fired.

That guy needs to brush up on his history.

3 11 2009
JJ

It was definitely big change though. And you’re not saying it is wrong that it took two years of his presidency before it happened, right?

4 11 2009
Nance Confer

Oh, I should add that there are such things as timeless values that should be held to tightly. if there aren’t, what is all this about? What are we fighting to preserve?

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

Why preserve what is so screwed up? How about fighting for better values? Whether they match up with what we have done historically or not.

Nance

4 11 2009
Nance Confer

Let’s not use Lincoln as a symbol of anything . . .

That’s where I think that sort of sentence should end. Founding fathers, Lincoln, any of them. A passing reference — maybe. A note of interest in history — OK. An image to pin today’s particular political hopes to — no.

Nance

4 11 2009
terry@breathinggrace

I have no problem with saying that the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation led to freedom for the slaves. Lincoln was the architect of that and history acknowledges it, as well it should.

I just get really tired of folks preaching Lincoln as “The Great Emancipator.” He was just another politician (a racist one at that) doing what was expedient to achieve his own ends- and he spilled a lot of blood in the process.

I was wondering where Black conservatives fit into the narrative of folks like the “Southern Female Lawyer”?

4 11 2009
terry@breathinggrace

Hey Nance, I was wondering where you were in all this? Timeless values such as; free speech, the value of family (please don’t mistake my wording with often hypocritically used “family values”), freedom of religion, and yes, even “real” capitalism, not the pseudo, debt-based style capitalism that only prospers the banks and the politician’s coffers.

There are things worth preserving.

As for not looking to the founding fathers for anything…wow! I don’t know what to say to that. How to respond to the nption that we disregard the wealth of the writings of those who wrote the blueprints for the freedoms we now enjoy. This uniquely American Idea, freedom of the individual, is certainly worth preserving. I can’t believe we live in a time where this is being questioned.

4 11 2009
JJ

free speech, the value of family, freedom of religion, capitalism

All four fit an idea I heard the other day about Reagan bringing down the Berlin Wall as big change btw, that communism had been toppled not by capitalism but by its own insider twistings and excess, eventually disillusioning the people with the system.

I don’t know any American who stands against the “real” Founders, Constitution, free speech, the value of family, freedom of religion, or capitalism. But every single one of these cherished American values is being twisted and bent — within our system, not by foreign enemies — far past disillusionment, to the point of seeming weaponized against “us”.

4 11 2009
terry@breathinggrace

Agreed. It seems obvious however, that where we disagree is on how we go about salvaging what good is left of these timeless values. And that’s fine. Spirited debate and tension is an avenue through which ideas can spring.

Deciding, however, that those whose perspective is different than whomever is in power needs to be shut up and shut down is bad for us all. This to me seems the be the aim of those who are opposed to the teapartiers and the conservative voice in general. As much as I disdain the voice of the KKK grand pubah, or whatever the heck he’d call himself, I respect his right to say what he wants to. He can wield his stick. Unles and until it hits mine, that’s his right.

It’s also Jeb’s right to say whatever he wants, for whatever reason he wants, no matter how much we may or may not disagree with him. Isn’t this where we started?

4 11 2009
JJ

Sounds like a red herring meant to imply that is my purpose, to stifle Jeb Bush and the tea party people from being responsible for their own speech and actions. Unless you can support that implication with anything I’ve said?

4 11 2009
JJ

The surprise winning Democrat in NY is a retired Air Force captain and lawyer. I heard a snippet of his acceptance speech, saying the problems we face aren’t D or R problems but AMERICAN problems and we need to solve them together. The Morning Joe conservatives called him a “grownup” for a change, and really approved. Me too!

Florida candidates are used as examples in this commentary on last night’s power of story from the national Catholic weekly America, with which I also agree:

Conservatives had predicted a win in NY-23 and they had already begun to salivate at the prospect of taking down other GOP moderates like Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. Last night, there was a lesson and Crist should not have slept more easily but neither should his conservative opponent Marco Rubio. Democratic candidate Kendrick Meeks, on the other hand, slept soundly.

The electorate likes to send mixed messages, which is why the Baucus bill became the focus of the debate on health care. The American people want both parties to work together, even while that seems almost impossible given the different ideological suppositions of the two parties. There will not likely be an outbreak of bipartisanship anytime soon, but the mixed results do have the effect of causing the party in power to temper its ambitions. The results last night are an invitation to cautiousness. Too bad the times may call for boldness.

4 11 2009
sam

Terry said, “As much as I disdain the voice of the KKK grand pubah, or whatever the heck he’d call himself, I respect his right to say what he wants to. He can wield his stick. Unles and until it hits mine, that’s his right.”

This sounds like Terry is suggesting, with the stick wielding, that it’s okay for people to use intimidation so long as they don’t act on it. It’s okay for someone to wield their stick, or as I hear it, to threaten you with a beating, but until they actually hit they’ve done nothing wrong. I can’t accept this as correct, can’t accept that it’s okay for people to use intimidation to get what they want. Certainly we all have some amount of freedom of speech but not at the expense of other people’s basic rights.

She also mentions her own religiously motivated beliefs and discusses what she sees as the sin of homosexuality. Of course people are able to view my sexual orientation however they feel, and they are welcome to use their scripture as a basis for their own beliefs, but that’s personal, and faith based views should never be used to write civil policy. The Bible has been used much too often over the years to create classes of people with fewer rights because of some inherent characteristic such as sexual orientation or identity or even skin color.

4 11 2009
JJ

Hi Sam, yup, there is all sorts of law supporting your point that speech can be illegal and incite to violence or cause harm. Also the definition of assault (which is illegal) is speech and stick wielding without actual hitting. The hitting is battery, hence the compound charge of assault AND battery. And you put me in mind of the mom who masqueraded online as a mean girl and drove a child to kill herself. That was a crime too.

About championing civil rights for every American and what we teach our kids by behaving like animals about it ourselves — see my new post. I’d love to hear more civil rights thoughts, especially in school/education issues.

4 11 2009
terry@breathinggrace

Sam,

I am utterly astounded that you think I was implying any sort of violence, implied or otherwise. I hate to keep bringing this up, but as the daughter of a man threatened with violence if he tried to vote, and forced on the back of a bus after serving his country overseas, I would NEVER, EVER think itis okay to use intimidation to get my point across. The phrase, “you can wield your stick until it hits mine” is one I have heard often used in libertarian circles and it in no way implies violence of any kind. It’s a live and let live metaphor and nothing more. Sheesh!

And didn’t I say despite my religious beliefs I have no opinion or position either way on the gay marriage debate? Can Sam read? What one chooses to do in their bedroom is their business.

And no, JJ, I was not referring to you personally when I steered back around to Jeb’s comments. Nothing you said here implied otherwise. However, as the comments unfolded I got the distinct impression when teabaggers were brought up, as well as the intentions of anyone who sided with them, that the motivation (not yours, but the woman lawyer you cited) was to shut folks up.

If I, as a Black woman from the south, am tough enough to respect the free speech of someone who would just as soon see me in chains tomorrow, surely liberals and conservatives can respect each other’s right to speak freely, no matter how vehemently we may disagree.

It’s been real, but our friendly chat has taken a turn that I never intended, even if I’m the one that caused it. See you around, JJ.

4 11 2009
JJ

Terry may not see this but it’s a point worth making in any case: both SoFemLaw and Dale at Parenting Beyond Belief are writing about the special issue of talk among their IRL friends and relatives of the FOX News mentality, now that our public communication has become so poisoned that it seeps into personal relationships and civil exchanges just making conversation, and whether we can work out some ways to coexist peacefully without anyone being shut up.

With the holidays upon us, we all may be in for a few rounds of the same. Real relationships are hard enough without Sarah Palin, Michael Moore and Dick Cheney in the middle of it all! 😉

4 11 2009
JJ

Btw, it strikes me how much of this does have a southern river running through it. Are we just problem children down here or what??

Terry and Nance and I, Sam and Dale and of course SoFemLaw all have to deal with this in that hyped environment, and with a southern accent.

4 11 2009
terry@breathinggrace

Yeah, JJ, I see you. I just wanted to come back and say that nothing you said offended me. I enjoy our interchanges. It really bothered me thought that Sam implied that I said anything about the legalization of gay marriage when I expressly went out my way to say I don’t have a dog in that hunt.

And then to say I was advocating intimidation and threat of violence? It was too much for me. Now, I really am out of here. I need ot get to work on dinner.

4 11 2009
sam

You don’t have the right to walk around swinging a stick as near as you want so long as it doesn’t hit mine, and I should not have to carry a stick in case you decide to swing at me. I can in fact read, but the words you use say something different to me than what you seem to hear. I don’t care how many libertarians have used this phrase or for how long because I don’t accept that sort of intimidation as okay. Perhaps you should be more clear about what you mean.

And I’m sorry about the fact that race relations in our nation have been and remain as fucked up as they are. We still have a lot of work to do in the area of providing full equality to all our citizens. At the same time my own people are still getting beaten just for being gay, and yes it happens in the US as well as elsewhere. Gays in Jamaica live with the threat of being killed, and some of the biggest musical performers from Jamaica have made some decent money writing and performing songs that suggest that it’s quite okay and even right to kill gay people. Uganda is currently working on legislation that calls for the death penalty or life imprisonment for people thought to be gay with the word of someone else being all the proof needed. Alan Turing, one of the mathematicians responsible for breaking the Nazi enigma code and thus ending World War II in Europe was chemically castrated when it was learned that he was gay, and he committed suicide a couple of years later. Who knows what the world lost?

And while you did suggest some lack of concern with the gay issue you still felt the need to point out that you consider it a sin, though I’m not sure if you mean that my life is a sin because I’m homosexual. Actually, what you did say is not so much that you don’t care but “I am not as passionate about the gay marriage issue. There are other sexual sins besides homosexual and heteros have done far more damage to marriage than gays could ever hope to. We need to sweep around our own front doors first, imo.” This seems to indicate that you could care if everything else were not a bigger concern.

Finally, who exactly wants to see black people in chains?

4 11 2009
JJ

Glad to hear it, Terry — when you do get back, you’ll see this too: Sam’s perspective is entitled to the same personal experience credibility on gay rights that others deserve and get as immigrants, children of alcoholics, parents of special needs kids or minority-race kids, etc. Or Catholics, Mormons, atheists, homeschoolers . . .

Or that I think those who of us who’ve worked professionally in education policy deserve, but don’t get! 😉

4 11 2009
JJ

From my earlier post about how hard it is to have a friendly yet illuminating-for-all “good argument”:

. . .it’s not so funny when television and real life become one big intellectually bankrupt contradiction clinic 24-7.

I think of “good argumentation” much like, ahem, other forms of healthy human intercourse. 😉

It is meant as a creative force to uplift, connect and sustain virtues rather than do harm to anyone directly or indirectly through vice and self-indulgence. It is “good” intercourse and fun to share with the right person for the right reasons, when it’s neither deceptive, regressive nor retrogressive, iow more than masturbatory; never when it breeds violence, degradation of people, ideas or the planet, thus no, argument is not good as “mental warfare” except if CLEARLY defined and understood by all as healthy consensual sport, not actual war.

So, not blaming the Pythons but “good argument” is in a sorry state, at least here in the States. In our new American dictionary any “politics” is venal and mostly vice, not good argument. Politics purposely exploiting faith traditions and doing harm in a quest for power, may indeed meet various legal definitions of crime, including conspiracy to defraud.

In my dictionary, through my kaleidoscope.

Maybe our kaleidoscopes are so different now that common English dictionary definitions aren’t common enough to serve us well in argument anymore? — and/or working definitions of even common words are too specialized for clear thought.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: