Platform for a Generic Political Party

November 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm (By Amba)

. . . along the lines of “Basic English.” With these simple blocks one could rebuild a lot.

I care: 

  • how people behave themselves, and
  • how they treat each other.

I don’t care:

  • where they come from,
  • what they look like,
  • what they have in their underwear, or
  • whom they choose to share it with, or even
  • what they believe.

Basic building blocks of behaving oneself are:

  • Self-responsibility,
  • Courtesy, and
  • Keeping your word.

P.S.:

  • Everybody who wants to be an American should learn English, and
  • Everybody should study a second language in school.

(Note that the requirement to “behave oneself” cunningly qualifies the “I don’t care”s: certain ways of looking would violate courtesy; some sexual conduct would violate self-responsibility and keeping one’s word, not to mention courtesy; beliefs that had noxious behavioral consequences would disqualify themselves, etc.)

What have I left out that can’t be derived from these?

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208 Comments

  1. chickelit said,

    Everybody should study a second language in school.

    When I was in high school I had a choice of French, German, or Spanish. I chose none of the above, but made up for lost time in college by practically minoring in German and Italian.

    My son goes to a public high school which is about 50% hispanic. He’s going to take French (the only other choice other than Spanish) because he says that the Spanish class is all hispanic kids taking it as their foreign language requirement and an easy A. I’ve tried to reason with him that it behooves him to become bilingual like his cohorts, but at this point he’s more into math and science.

  2. amba12 said,

    That’s cheating! You shouldn’t be allowed to take your own first language as a second language! First-language Spanish kids should have to take English as their second language, or some other language if their English is good.

    Taking a second language is not some politically-correct thing. It’s good for the brain and good for living and prospering in a global world.

  3. mockturtle said,

    To me, the above platform deals with issues that should be addressed in a good home with sensible parents. Alas, these advantages are scarce today but, IMHO, are not the responsibility of government.

    We need foreign, military and economic policies based on common sense. Just being nice is not enough.

    I agree that all kids [preferably in early elementary school] should learn a second language–at least one. I took French in high school and Spanish in college. Spanish has been useful but I often wish I had taken Mandarin Chinese. I dropped out of Latin in junior high and have regretted it ever since.

  4. amba12 said,

    There’s a lot more to behaving oneself responsibly than being nice.

  5. amba12 said,

    One thing I’m trying to say in a veiled way (which I hereby unveil) is that the Republican party could become the party of the most basic American values rather than the party of particular groups.

  6. kngfish said,

    I don’t quite know how to phrase it….but I almost would like to see a basic science/ basic economic component as well…but something closer to understanding for ‘practicality’ and a kind of theoretical aspect rather than the mishmosh we have now which is neither practical or theoretical. I’m unsure what that would look like.

  7. amba12 said,

    Say more.

  8. mockturtle said,

    One thing I’m trying to say in a veiled way (which I hereby unveil) is that the Republican party could become the party of the most basic American values rather than the party of particular groups.

    Could, but won’t. Both parties are too mired in special interests to make the nation and its people their priority.

  9. mockturtle said,

    BTW–there was talk [heaven knows, I hope it’s just talk! that Susan Rice could be named the next Secretary of State. It seems a foregone conclusion that Hillary will be out, either by her choice or not. Another rumor is that John Kerry might be the next Sec’y of Defense! :-O Apparently, these ideas are being floated to see how the public responds. It would seem that the second term ‘flexibility’ could result in all hell breaking loose. I fear for Israel.

  10. amba12 said,

    Ugh.

  11. kngfish said,

    “Say more” What I’m trying to express is that the two parties have even entwined their belief systems around science and economics to such a degree I’m not even sure the sides are talking about the same things. Thus, I have a belief in a ‘basic’ set of observations (whatever that is!) as distinct from the more politicized extrapolations. If we can’t agree on basics…how can we have more complex discussions?

  12. Icepick said,

    One thing I’m trying to say in a veiled way (which I hereby unveil) is that the Republican party could become the party of the most basic American values rather than the party of particular groups.

    Successful parties don’t work like that. Successful parties are built on real commonalities between interested parties. What you’ve outlined is a high-level idea of what and how citizens should be. No one cares about that.

    As for people voting on beliefs rather than narrow self-interest, that would be those right-wing Christian types. Who, incidentally, form the core of the Republican voting block. Efforts to disavow the things they care about will simply lead to a Republican Party that has all the significance of the Whig Party. People voting for conservative values have no use for a party that will kick them to the curb.

  13. chickelit said,

    What I’m trying to express is that the two parties have even entwined their belief systems around science and economics to such a degree I’m not even sure the sides are talking about the same things.

    The Dems used to be the Keynesians and the Republicans the Monetarists (I’m using terms from the late 1970′s which is when I last studied economics). After Reagan and Bush II showed that “deficits don’t matter,” party affiliations changed or should I say converged. We now seem to be permanently trying to borrow our way out of trouble. This is a philosophical question, completely aside from the party identities with rich and poor. For their part, Obama Dems have largey abandoned Clinton’s approach and seem only interested in vilifying wealth.

    I’d like to say some things about science, but not just yet.

  14. amba12 said,

    Nobody buys generics, either.

    If the Republicans had run on self-responsibility and fiscal sanity, and had left the other stuff alone — except perhaps to make the Democrats look slightly ridiculous for foaming at the mouth about it — in my opinion they would have won. They could have made the Democrats look ridiculous for prioritizing things, at this of all times, that won’t be front and center for anyone if the economy continues to melt down.

    There is a commonsense and dignifying vision of being American that could be shared across a number of disparate groups, despite their disagreements on other fronts. That’s what I’m trying to say (badly, apparently).

  15. amba12 said,

    Ice, also, I think beyond a certain basic level “you can’t legislate morality” is correct., and those who want to legislate other people’s morality are always going to be in the minority and are always going to be a drag on the conservative coalition, even if they are also its “core.” Libertarians regard private moral decisions as part of liberty.

  16. amba12 said,

    Where in the Constitution is “the freedom to have other people in the privacy of their own homes not do stuff I don’t like”?

  17. Icepick said,

    If the Republicans had run on self-responsibility and fiscal sanity, and had left the other stuff alone — except perhaps to make the Democrats look slightly ridiculous for foaming at the mouth about it — in my opinion they would have won.

    When did Romney talk about lady parts?

    And if people cared about the self-responsibility and fiscal sanity issues even a little bit then the Libertarian Party would get more than the margin of error in the vote totals. A lot of people say they care about that stuff but most of them really really don’t. Election after election proves that.

    Legislating other people’s morality is done all the time. Legislating that abortion must be not only legal but must be provided for is legislating morality for people like Karen. Legislating which people a business can and cannot do business with is legislating morality. Legislating how big a soft drink I can buy is legislating morality. Legislating that I can’t run dog fights in my back yard is legislating morality. It’s just a question of which morals get legislated.

    Where in the Constitution is “the freedom to have other people in the privacy of their own homes not do stuff I don’t like”?

    Where in the Constitution does it say that you can’t legislate what people do in their own homes? It’s done all the time, usually with wide-spread approval.

    If a true right-to-privacy existed in the Constitution then the police would have zero power to stop people from getting stoned in their houses, for example. It might still allow for the government to legislate against trafficking, but growing it and using it at home would be absolutely outside the power of the state to act against. The whole right-to-privacy thing is just a bunch of BS made up by legal scholars to legalize certain preferred points of view. It is not applied with any consistency at all.

    Also, as we discussed in an email earlier, if there were a right-to-privacy the FBI wouldn’t be able to access and search the email accounts of private citizens without a warrant. And yet….

  18. mockturtle said,

    Making child porn in the privacy of one’s own home should still be a crime.

  19. chickelit said,

    That’s cheating! You shouldn’t be allowed to take your own first language as a second language! First-language Spanish kids should have to take English as their second language, or some other language if their English is good.

    That’s way too commonsense, Amba. Many of the students do struggle with English. Perhaps waiving the second language requirement for them would be best. What I am glad got withdrawn was a movimento to teach kids in Spanish as the primary language years ago, started by the usual suspects. This got undone before my kids got into the system and would have certainly led to segregation.

  20. mockturtle said,

    movimento to teach kids in Spanish as the primary language years ago

    A disaster! I have a cousin who taught in one of those schools in the barrio in L.A.

  21. Icepick said,

    Making child porn in the privacy of one’s own home should still be a crime.

    That can be got around by stating that the safety of a third party is involved. So a third person’s safety could trump privacy without it being a total violation of the principle. Unless we were talking about virtual child porn, with no people harmed. That would be an interesting argument.

    But my point is that it is irrelevant, because this mythical right only exists for a very narrow purpose.

  22. realpc920 said,

    I think one thing you’re saying amba is that gay marriage should not have been a focus for the Republicans. I agree that was stupid, since gay marriage doesn’t hurt anyone. But you seem to have temporarily forgotten that abortion is also a big deal for them, and it’s hard to argue that abortion doesn’t hurt anyone — as you have said many times.

    Aside from that, I also feel that your platform assumes there is some kind of sanity and rationality in our world. That all we have to do to behave ourselves is be responsible, courteous and keep our word. No, I have to strongly disagree with you on that.

    Everyone, or almost everyone, thinks they are being responsible, courteous and keeping their word, almost all the time. Except when they have some good reason not to.

    Self-deception is the most natural thing in the world.

    But I disagree even more for another reason, which might be hard to explain. The universe is not constructed in such a way that a person could behave themselves, except within a particular social framework. Well I am going to sound like a post-modernist, which I am, but no one likes what we try to say.

    So when you define what “behaving oneself” means you have left unsaid the whole realm of our social context, because it “goes without saying.” But it does not go without saying for me.

    When things are going along smoothly and uneventfully you can behave yourself — don’t run any red lights, pay your income tax, etc. But as soon as there is a conflict of interest, even a small one, hell breaks loose. People cannot communicate. They immediately start to demonize their adversaries. Nothing is rational and nothing makes sense.

    Verbal warfare is like physical warfare — the goal is to destroy. And we are all warriors, in one way or another.

    Life is so much more treacherous, in my opinion, than we recognize as we navigate our routine daily lives.

    I think you are rebelling against some of the silly political controversies, like gay marriage. But gay marriage is really just a symbol — conservatives see it as one more step into anything-goes depravity, and liberals see it as the obvious next step towards human rights for everyone.

    And maybe you are thinking about the Radical Centrists. Yes I can see the motvation for a common sense ideology. However — ideology is inherently insane and opposed to common sense.

    Primitive tribes program their children with mythology. This programming makes them a coherent and homogeneous social unit. Like all social animals, we must live in some kind of harmony with our social context.

    But every mythology is partial and looks at reality through a tiny slit window. It HAS to be that way, because of the nature of reality.

    So you cannot resonate with a mythology and also be rational. The more you resonate, the less rational you will be. And if someone doesn’t resonate with any human mythology at all — well then I guess they would be completely insane.

    So we cannot win. We cannot make a nicer fair world where people behave. That is the progressive mythology.

    Yes we can change the world — we can distort it in various ways, and every time we distort the world some things appear to get better while others get worse.

    There is no hope for the human intellect. Our only hope is faith.

    I think our political ideologies will continue to evolve in stupid insane ways, and that is perfectly normal and natural.

  23. mockturtle said,

    On a less theoretical level, I believe children today are socialized, not by parents or school, but by popular media. Heaven help us!

  24. amba12 said,

    About child porn, mockturtle, I completely agree. And so does nearly everybody, except the people doing it or consuming it. That is a bit of a straw man. You know that’s not what I mean.

    We’re talking about abortion and homosexuality. Very very complex issues, raising, e.g., in the latter case, the question of why the state is involved in “sanctifying” marriages at all. And this by people who otherwise want the state out of their business as much as possible. One used to get married in the eyes of one’s community. That makes sense. The state is an impersonal bureaucratic abstraction of community. The state could guarantee civil bonds with the legal right of hospital visitation and inheritance and all that. Maybe marriage should be sanctified only by churches and/or by one’s actual, intimate community. It took me a while to get used to this idea but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. (When Jacques died, I was appalled by the strong, intrusive interest that bureaucrats took in the event. I couldn’t grasp what business it was of theirs.)

    Abortion I tried to grapple with. You may have seen this, I know it’s tiresome of me to keep linking to it but I’m too tired to try to say any of it again. People really want this issue to be a simple yes or no but in reality it’s horribly complicated. For example, one thing no one ever says (from the biological point of view) is that when a woman has an abortion she is passing a sort of evolutionary judgment on the male she got pregnant with. Of course, she should have passed that judgment before she went to bed with him. But when even General f*cking Petraeus hasn’t got that much self-control, what to say about a needy 22-year-old or whatever.

  25. chickelit said,

    But when even General f*cking Petraeus hasn’t got that much self-control, what to say about a needy 22-year-old or whatever.

    When generals start taking orders from their privates, you know the world is going to hell.

    Lem said something like that on Althouse today. He said he heard it on Limbaugh’s radio show of all places.

    A have “only” a civil marriage. Many churches might look down on that, I don’t give it much thought. If you followed some of Romney’s most vocal and vile detractors on the left (e.g., Sullivan–yes, he’s on the left and in denial about it), they were convinced that Salt Lake City was the epicenter of bigotry because of his churches stand on it. Many thought the same about Palin. Yet didn’t MA pass/allow gay marriage on Romney’s watch? WTH?

  26. mockturtle said,

    If memory of mythology serves, Medea killed her children to spite Jason, too, but that doesn’t make it right. IMHO, one either believes life begins at conception or that infanticide is acceptable because, otherwise, one would have to draw a line in gestation demarcating life and I don’t think we can do that. Not that I don’t sympathize with women who take this step [I was actually my county chairman for abortion reform in the 60's] but I don’t consider it morally defensible.

    In fairness to the GOP, I didn’t see that the focus of the campaign was on either abortion or gay marriage. Yes, their platform opposes both but, after watching the debates and listening to speeches, the impression I got was that the economy was the focus.

  27. amba12 said,

    I believe children today are socialized, not by parents or school, but by popular media.

    Oy.

  28. amba12 said,

    When generals start taking orders from their privates, you know the world is going to hell.

    LOL!!

  29. amba12 said,

    Yet didn’t MA pass/allow gay marriage on Romney’s watch?

    I think it was post-Romney. But have to check.

  30. amba12 said,

    I believe life begins at implantation. And that implantation prevention technology would be (is) morally preferable to abortion.

  31. Icepick said,

    Note that marriage has tax implications these days. Another reason I favor a massive overhaul of the tax code is to see that the IRS doesn’t have any concern about marriage one way or the other. Which would make it easier for government to ignore marriage.

    Lem said something like that on Althouse today. He said he heard it on Limbaugh’s radio show of all places.

    Yes, that was on Limbaugh today, though I had the feeling that it was an old saying. (Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. That was just my impression.)

  32. amba12 said,

    A couple of my comments that I tried to post by e-mail failed. To wit:

    When did Romney talk about lady parts?

    He didn’t have to, Ryan did it for him

    Legislating that abortion must be not only legal but must be provided for is legislating morality for people like Karen.

    Lumping those together is mistaken in my view. Saying that Karen has to pay for someone else’s abortion, which she abhors, is coercive.

    Sure, we decide all the time where to draw the line between what you can legislate and what you can’t. Different people draw it in different places. But to win an election, seems to me you should run on that part of your program that the most people can agree on. Then you will be in a better position to propose whatever you see fit. Since social — no, let’s call a spade a spade, sexual — issues are a place where people violently disagree (and note that people do not for the most part disagree about, say, pedophilia), that should suggest that for EITHER (any) side to force things on the other is both wrong and counterproductive.

  33. amba12 said,

    The other comment that didn’t post:

    That all we have to do to behave ourselves is be responsible, courteous and keep our word. No, I have to strongly disagree with you on that.

    What do you mean “all we have to do”? It is incredibly difficult!! Simple doesn’t mean easy! That doesn’t mean it isn’t a worthwhile ideal to strive for, knowing we are going to fall short. Irrationality is robust, it doesn’t need catering to by us. It can and will take care of itself! And of us, insofar as we need it.

    if someone doesn’t resonate with any human mythology at all — well then I guess they would be completely insane.

    Well then I guess I may be on the way to being completely insane. Or a Taoist, which is a matter of seeing the limitations of thought, and not mistaking any system of thought or mythology for the unknowable reality, through which we are nonetheless mysteriously equipped to navigate.

    There is no hope for the human intellect. Our only hope is faith.

    Faith in?

  34. amba12 said,

    No, you’re right that Mitt Romney was governor when the Massachusetts court ruled in favor of gay marriage in 2004. But Romney made an effort to overturn it, strengthening his conservative credentials. The situation was too complex to summarize, and all the accounts of it I can quickly find by Googling have one or the other bias, so it’s hard to get an overview.

  35. amba12 said,

    A massive overhaul and simplification of the tax code sounds good to me.

  36. mockturtle said,

    A massive overhaul and simplification of the tax code sounds good to me.

    I think that’s something we can all agree on! :-)

  37. Icepick said,

    He didn’t have to, Ryan did it for him

    And Biden, on a regular basis, didn’t know what state he was in, or even what the century was. Should I interpret this as a sign that Obama also has senile dementia?

    Veep candidates have the job of whipping the base. If Ryan hadn’t done that Romney would have lost by an even larger margin. Like it or not the Republican party needs those conservative Christian votes. They just don’t have anything else to fall back on.

  38. Icepick said,

    Then you will be in a better position to propose whatever you see fit. Since social — no, let’s call a spade a spade, sexual — issues are a place where people violently disagree (and note that people do not for the most part disagree about, say, pedophilia), that should suggest that for EITHER (any) side to force things on the other is both wrong and counterproductive.

    Yes, but only one side ever pays the price at the ballot box for doing such. Stating that gays must be allowed to marry isn’t staying out of private affairs, it is legislating something new. Insisting on changing long-standing social institutions is the radical change here. Managing to cast this otherwise has been one of the great cons ever pulled. Allowing gays to marry may or may not be the morally correct thing to do, but it can only be seen as extreme radicalism.

  39. Icepick said,

    Simple doesn’t mean easy!

    Echoes of Von Clausewitz: “Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. The difficulties accumulate and end by producing a kind of friction that is inconceivable unless one has experienced war.”

  40. Icepick said,

    I think that’s something we can all agree on! :-)

    What you me “WE”, paleface? Over half the voters just voted for ever increasing levels of complexity. Under Obama the tax code has exploded in complexity because of all the damned tax credit schemes that have been enacted to reward things he likes. GRRR. The people want an incomprehensible tax code, MT, it’s what they’ve voted for in the last several elections.

  41. mockturtle said,

    Stating that gays must be allowed to marry isn’t staying out of private affairs, it is legislating something new. Insisting on changing long-standing social institutions is the radical change here. Managing to cast this otherwise has been one of the great cons ever pulled.

    Spot on, Ice!! In my state of WA, gay couples already had ALL the civil rights that straight couples have. But they weren’t satisfied. Sometimes I think it’s a self-affirmation matter. If they can convince enough people that what they are doing is normal and natural, they might actually believe it themselves.

  42. realpc920 said,

    No amba you did not understand me. Your post shows you are programmed into the myth that says we humans are superior to wild animals, and can use our intelligence to overcome our wild nature.

    NO, that is not true. That myth goes way back and is deeply rooted, and it is wrong. We are not morally superior to the wild animals, and the wild animals do NOT behave badly. They behave according to nature, which is infinitely more intelligent than we are.

    Using our “superior” intellect to overcome the violence and irrationality of nature is an old myth, and contemporary progressives are fond of it.

    I hope this explains what I mean, but probably not, will try to explain it later, no time now.

  43. amba12 said,

    Allowing gays to marry may or may not be the morally correct thing to do, but it can only be seen as extreme radicalism.

    Depends on your age, geographical location, whether you have any gay family members or close friends, and how you have dealt with it. It is becoming less extreme and radical, in part because it does not materially affect straight people.

  44. amba12 said,

    If they can convince enough people that what they are doing is normal and natural, they might actually believe it themselves.

    Something that takes place in a consistent minority of human populations everywhere and always (despite penalties including murder), as well as in other species, is the definition of “normal” and “natural.” And how does it personally affect you? And would you rather marginalize and pathologize gay people and bring out the worst in them, or recognize their committed relationships and give the best in them a chance? (We all know marriage is no guarantee of good behavior or mental health, but a good strong bond helps.)

  45. amba12 said,

    Real, I hope you never have to live in a society where your view of things is given free rein.

  46. amba12 said,

    I don’t think we can (or should) “overcome” our “wild nature.” But contemplating the glories thereof from the relative safety of civilization is a Romantic luxury.

    We are different from wild animals in that they have built-in restraints: for example, they stop eating when they’re full, or when a stronger competitor drives them away, OR they have little or no way of increasing the available supply of food. They mate only when they are in season. We are far wilder than they are.

    The human mind is a two-edged sword: it amplifies and multiplies natural drives and pleasures and gives us the bright idea of scheming how to get more and more of them. It also elaborates our dependency on and social attunement to others into a system of punishments and rewards that restrain the former tendency, for obvious survival reasons. And into a “theory of mind” that even enables us to imagine the experience of and empathize with others to a limited extent. In place of environmental constraints and natural cycles that regulate most other animals’ behavior, which we’ve managed to at least temporarily escape, we’ve interposed societies and cultures. When humans break out of these restraints we’re the most dangerous animals on the planet.

    Our nature seems to be a constant back-and-forth between anarchic wildness (unlike the orderly wildness of the wild) and social discipline. We couldn’t live without either side of that. It doesn’t make us “superior,” that’s an old religious value judgment, really. It just gives us tougher problems to solve and equipment that isn’t quite up to the job. LOL.

  47. Icepick said,

    Amba, not favoring gay marriage isn’t the same as marginalizing or pathologizing gay people.

    Also, I don’t think that just because the behavior occurs across societies and species doesn’t make it “normal”. It’s still, amongst humans, a small minority of individuals. It’s analogous to having a rare blood type – it just isn’t normal. That isn’t a moral indictment, just a statement about numbers and occurrences.

  48. amba12 said,

    The thing is, “normal” — a mathematical word that means something like “conforming to the norm,” the majority — has come to have a strong emotional connotation. To say that something isn’t “normal” doesn’t just mean (denotation) it’s mathematically a minority phenomenon; it means (connotation) it’s icky, weird, deformed.

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that in some times and places they’ve killed people with blue eyes?

  49. mockturtle said,

    Pedophilia is also present in all populations and throughout history. Does that make it normal?

    Please don’t assume I want to marginalize gays or deprive them of their rights. I do not!. I was all for the civil union ‘everything but marriage’ legislation passed in our state a few years ago. Marriage is different and has different historic, theological and social connotations.

  50. amba12 said,

    You’re good at straw men, mockturtle! ;) The question always is: who is harmed?

  51. mockturtle said,

    You were trying to make a case for normalcy based on prevalence. It doesn’t wash. They are both sexual aberrations but the reason homosexuality can be–and should be–tolerated by society is that it is consensual and don’t involve the exploitation of a child.

  52. mockturtle said,

    doesn’t ;-)

  53. amba12 said,

    “Aberration” implies that everyone should be the same. That’s un-American. ;) As well as impossible. There are statistical majority behaviors which are determined by survival, but both within and outside that, immense variation both in society and in nature. Some deviations from the mathematical “norm” are harmful and some are not. (And there is disagreement across time and culture about where to draw the line.) Males tend to be more promiscuous than females, and so male+male has the potential for promiscuity squared. Promiscuity (of either sort) is more harmful to society than committed relationships.

  54. karen said,

    Hmmm- i’m going to address this:
    I haven’t read the whole thread yet- sorry.

    “One thing I’m trying to say in a veiled way (which I hereby unveil) is that the Republican party could become the party of the most basic American values rather than the party of particular groups.”

    “Could, but won’t. Both parties are too mired in special interests to make the nation and its people their priority.”

    When i see(from my native Country perch amid the bluest of blue)- it’s a Republican party w/acceptance of homosexuality and race and religion. Laugh, yes- you can- but, i see that when people are pushed to lawfully accept(DOMA- or not, Ask, Tell and Smell the roses- & Uncle Toms-all)-that’s when it all goes to the mat, you know? Am i wrong?

    It’s not acceptance that people want from the Right- it’s legitimacy, IMhumbleO. It’s a written permission of the acceptance thing- and in some places- i wonder if it’s possible to have both? When the principles of many of us answer to a Higher Being- are formed by the Belief of… then how can this be compromised to creating rules that do exactly that- legitimize what secular folk see as right?

  55. amba12 said,

    Inconsistency: if one wants the state out of one’s life to the greatest degree possible and practical, why is it the state that confers ultimate legitimacy? Isn’t that conferred by religion?

  56. amba12 said,

    The state told me what time Jacques died: the time the hospice nurse arrived to “call” it. But I was there. The difference — 29 minutes.

  57. karen said,

    I guess that may be what i mean, amba.

    I see no friction when it comes to people in real life- real time- getting along together and having viable friendships, relationships and familialships. There are so many things that i realize i do/do not accept(because it isn’t all and only opposition where religion is concerned, we accept a lot of things that are secular(ly0 ignored (or- well, aborted).

    Anyway, what we experience in our lives is often more benign and honest than when we are forced to choose to support a lawful solution to these cultural divisions. BTW, i have a gay friend who is pretty much Republican in thinking- that doesn’t agree w/or believe in gay marriage. When i asked him why, he only answered- because i don’t. I do wonder what his partner feels… and i note the key word is… feel.

  58. karen said,

    O/T- or not: Why is it that i cannot comprehend a single freaking word Obama says- is it his sentence structure? His long, long sentences- his mixing of subjects or my ultimate dislike of the man? The last is snide.

    “More voters agreed w/me on this issue than voted for me”- taxing the rich.

    Honestly- will they ever care enough about our Country to ask the hard questions or is the sex scandal about as hard as it’ll get?

    “We can get that done by next week.”

    I’ll take that bet.

    ~sigh~

  59. karen said,

    “and i not eht key word is… feel.”

    * i note the key word is…

    [EDITOR: Fixed.]

  60. amba12 said,

    Very very true, Karen. Opinions are more angular than real life. They have sharp elbows that we would rarely use to poke real people with.

    The question about gay marriage is: “Given all the legal rights for your partnership that you need [which in many states of course is NOT a given], is the definition of marriage important enough to you to be willing to offend almost half the country?” (And “Is offending them sometimes even part of the point, as payback for all the cruelty and exclusion?”) Your gay Republican friend may feel that it is not. My neighbor is a lesbian and a Republican. She voted for Romney. She says gay marriage is going to come in time anyway and that economic issues are far more urgent now.

  61. mockturtle said,

    I also know some gay Republicans. They know my opinions on the marriage thing and we are still friends. :-) Maybe that’s because I treat people [at least in 'real life' ;-)] as individuals, not as some demographic entity. Similarly, I know quite a few Democrats who oppose gay marriage.

    Here is my concern over pushing more and more pro-gay legislation, as has happened here in WA. In Canada, a hate-speech law was ruled to include even reading aloud in public from the Bible any verses that call homosexuality a sin. This not only abridges freedom of speech but freedom of religion. That is Canada, but it’s only a matter of time before even calling homosexuality a sin would constitute bullying and hate speech.

    Some would give some rights while taking others away.

  62. Icepick said,

    They are both sexual aberrations but the reason homosexuality can be–and should be–tolerated by society is that it is consensual and don’t involve the exploitation of a child.

    Correction: Homosexuality, or heterosexuality, doesn’t NECESSARILY involve the exploitation of a child.

  63. amba12 said,

    Free speech is pretty much sacred in my view (provided it isn’t incitement to violence). It’s important to say what we think, also to try to imagine how our words will impact others. Two hard things to hold in mind at once.

  64. Icepick said,

    Inconsistency: if one wants the state out of one’s life to the greatest degree possible and practical, why is it the state that confers ultimate legitimacy? Isn’t that conferred by religion?

    I agree with that, which is why I want to overhaul the tax code, among other things! Get the state out of marriage as much as possible. The state will still have an interest (who is responsible for whom, especially concerning children) in marriage, but we should reduce that as much as possible. Let the church’s handle it, let simple contracts be drawn up for determining who has what rights with whom and so on.

  65. Icepick said,

    It’s not acceptance that people want from the Right- it’s legitimacy.

    No, that’s still not it. What they want in capitulation. When the social right cries “Uncle” they’ll know they’ve crushed their spirit and their resistance. It’s more Group Think.

  66. Icepick said,

    That is Canada, but it’s only a matter of time before even calling homosexuality a sin would constitute bullying and hate speech.

    Why do you think there’s such an emphasis on bullying in the last couple of years? There oughta be a law!

  67. mockturtle said,

    Correction: Homosexuality, or heterosexuality, doesn’t NECESSARILY involve the exploitation of a child.

    I didn’t say it did. Quite the opposite. I was drawing a distinction between homosexuality and pedophilia and making the case for tolerance of one and intolerance of the other even though they are both deviant sexual behavior. Maybe you meant that homosexuality and heterosexuality do not necessarily exclude exploitation of a child? If so, I certainly agree.

  68. mockturtle said,

    That is, ‘homosexuality and heterosexuality’. Sheesh! I need to start proofreading my posts. ;-)

  69. Icepick said,

    Karen, Obama uses very convoluted structures. He also tends to dance all the way around almost every issue without ultimately saying anything. Anyone that read the original Foundation series works of Asimov would recognize the type of pol Obama is immediately.

  70. Icepick said,

    MT, I think you mean homosexuality and HETEROsexuality. I can fix that if you want. (The best thing about having authorship permission is getting to edit my comments! Woohoo!)

  71. Icepick said,

    MT, you took my meaning exactly. Mostly it was a small semantic point. i’m feeling very picky lately.

  72. mockturtle said,

    [Obama]He also tends to dance all the way around almost every issue without ultimately saying anything. He really exemplified that today in his press conference, didn’t he?!!

  73. chickelit said,

    Males tend to be more promiscuous than females, and so male+male has the potential for promiscuity squared. Promiscuity (of either sort) is more harmful to society than committed relationships.

    I think this a reason many reject gay marriage–they fear that male/male marriages will allow in more promiscuity and will have to accepted as the new normal–much as divorce is accepted as the new normal. That my visceral reaction to cheating advocates and part-time doorknob licker Dan Savage.

  74. Icepick said,

    He really exemplified that today in his press conference, didn’t he?!!

    Didn’t listen, don’t care. No one will hold him accountable for anything.

    Did anyone ask him about the clusterfuck regarding Sandy? Anyone ask him if he felt guilty taking an afternoon off to golf while people were closing in on two weeks without basic services?

  75. Icepick said,

    I’m willing to allow gay marriage just as soon as we end no-fault divorces.

  76. amba12 said,

    I was just about to say that if you’re talking of threats to traditional marriage, the normalization of heterosexual divorce is a direct threat and way bigger than the percentage of homosexuals, married or un-, will ever be.

  77. amba12 said,

    People want to continue to “grow.” As psychologist James Hillman once said, after a certain age, if something is growing, it’s cancer.

  78. karen said,

    On Obama, i left to pick up kids from school, so went to the audio(NPR)from the visual- CBS. I think it may be easier to listen to him w/out viewing him- and that’s not because i find him visually repulsive(yet) it just makes it easier- i think i anticipate what he will say and try to read his mind- he talks slowly, maybe he thinks he’s being thoughtful? It’s his cadence, pattern, whatever.

    He did get hot under the collar about Susan Rice. I saw McCain on CBS this morning and he was on Fox(doing the loop)- boy, was he pissed. My Dad says it’s because he can still feel how it was to be cornered himself- when he was POW. These poor people didn’t even get that chance- and if it’s because of a detention prison(via Broadwell’s mouth) or gun-running- that they were left to die– it’s all inexcusable.

    Patreaus knew this and he still did it.
    Very prophetic words i was aghast at the use of, way back w/the Betray Us headline, but it seems he did betray- and more than just his wife.

    I’ve never read Asimov, unless it was in the forgotten time of high school.

    O/T(again): there is a college up here in VT that wanted to butcher an injured, aged ox for the table of the cafeteria. Word got out, humane people got involved and tried to adopt the ox. Vet was called in= euthanized ox and disposed of carcass(injections of this kind to ~put down~ poison the meat). Hhmmm- what’s ethical and normal, anymore?

    I thought it’d be neat if the local farmers flooded the pasture sanctuary that wanted to buy the ox(give him a good life after his hard work)w/newborn bull calves- you know, as compensation for the love lost on the ox- and then maybe a taste of reality- albeit vegetarian- would set in and people would see that raising animals isn’t all fun and sentiment when it means food on the table. Raising animals is ex-pen-sive.

    Full discloser: you know and i know it IS all fun and sentiment– until reality sets in. Our business sucks. Next yr, Luther will meet the same fate– not an injection, but a bullet. I just take my days one at a time.

  79. chickelit said,

    A couple points on divorce: an aunt assembled a lot of genealogical data for my dad’s side of the family, including marriages/divorces (the data set was more than 50 but less than 100 or so–I forget). I’m from an unbroken chain of intact marriages that goes back a few hundred years, which is I guess not surprising given how it was stigmatized in the past. Anyways, there were quite a few divorces in the family that I knew about growing up and so I did some anecdotal checking regarding divorce in our family. I went looking for support the notion that divorce was “hereditary”–passed on through families–because of one egregious example (on my mom’s side so not in the data set). I found no support that divorce was hereditary. Instead, I concluded that it was contagious–divorce clustered in groups within families–brothers and sisters for example. Also, serial divorcers really affected the numbers overall. Thus, whenever I see divorce statistics bandied about I always ask whether they’ve been corrected for the guys who have divorced multiple times.

    I don’t exactly like the answer that if you think gay marriage is bad, go concern yourself with the larger threat of divorce. A proper response may be to mistrust both, for reasons I suggested here and earlier.

  80. amba12 said,

    ‘m from an unbroken chain of intact marriages that goes back a few hundred years

    Wow!! That sounds really impressive, put that way, though perhaps not unusual for those older than about 35.

    it was contagious–divorce clustered in groups within families

    Hmm, a friend I reconnected with at my 45th college reunion, herself divorced 10 years ago, her daughter’s getting divorced AND her son is breaking up with his longtime girlfriend.

  81. amba12 said,

    Abortion and gay marriage are moral, largely religious issues, and are less amenable to public policy debate. They are, for reasons that are entirely understandable, governed more by emotion than by empirical data. A great many people are heartily sick of these issues and wish they would go away, while others view them as matters of moral duty that are key to the ultimate survival of our civilization. Whether you agree with the latter perspective or not, it seems clear that contemporary conservatives have reached a dead end in their approach to the social issues. If we want to do better in future elections, we need, I think, to recalibrate our approach–by which I do not mean adopting liberal positions.

    Hinderaker, quoted by Althouse, brought to my attention by KngFish. Althouse commented, “Myself, I disagree with the GOP on these present-day social issues, but I don’t like the Democrats either,” which I where I am too.

  82. amba12 said,

    Karen, Hinderaker confirms what I was trying to tell you: “public opinion has been trending steadily away from approval of abortion. Among the young, in particular, support for abortion is not strong. “

  83. amba12 said,

    Interestingly, he also notes that, unlike abortion, “there is a conservative case for gay marriage.”

  84. Icepick said,

    Personally I don’t have much patience on the abortion issue given that birth control is cheap and readily available.

  85. Icepick said,

    Looking at older divorce statistics has problems. For one thing, a lot of women died young as a result of difficulties during pregnancy and childbirth. That cuts down on the abortion rate for at least two reasons.

    Also in the US there was, until the 20th century, anyway, the option for one or both parties to just up and move without the other person. If you’re living in Philadelphia in 1869 and you hate you spouse, hop on a train headed west or south. Not sure how big an issue this was, but it may have had an appreciable affect.

  86. Icepick said,

    Interestingly, he also notes that, unlike abortion, “there is a conservative case for gay marriage.”

    But one has to look at the reasoning for these things. What I keep hearing ultimately boils down to “you don’t have the right to deny marriage to two consenting adults.” Then why is the number two sacrosanct? Why not three or four or more? Basically it will let the genie out of the bottle and there will be one helluva time getting it back in the bottle.

    I used to right about the problems of group marriages here, there, everywhere. I don’t think I ever put it on my own blog, though. Needless to say custody, alimony and property division issues become insanely complicated once you go past two people. (I worked in benefits, so these things just naturally occur to me.)

  87. realpc920 said,

    “Real, I hope you never have to live in a society where your view of things is given free rein.”

    But you don’t understand what my view of things is! It has a lot in common with the religious conservative view of things, but it doesn’t fit into that box either.

    I just acknowledge that we aren’t gods, and we know very little. I think that is much saner and definitely more honest than the progressive humanistic view.

    Amba, I have a suspicion that the mystical religious worldview is so foreign to your background and experience, you don’t even recognize it.

  88. kngfish said,

    I wonder if gay marriage has grow in popularity partially because it’s proponents have been making more conservative arguments for it: To serve in the military (repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell”) and to emphasize the raising of children with two parents, rather than to concentrate on the more personal and sexual interests?

  89. realpc920 said,

    “I don’t think we can (or should) “overcome” our “wild nature.” But contemplating the glories thereof from the relative safety of civilization is a Romantic luxury”

    Oh my goodness. First of all, I don’t contemplate the glories of our wild nature, just saying there it is we might as well notice.

    And you think our civilization is SAFE! It always amazes me when progressives say that. We live in the most dangerous environment ever. There is an illusion of being protected by the mega-state with its huge weapons.

    But we also live with the most dangerously destructive beast to ever inhabit the planet — the automobile. Any of us who drive to work every day know, or should know, we have an excellent chance of being killed.

    And now you will say I am glorifying the past when we didn’t have dangerous machines. But I am NOT glorifying anything. I am trying to say that we should try not to worship ourselves so much.

  90. chickelit said,

    I wonder if gay marriage has grow in popularity partially because it’s proponents have been making more conservative arguments for it: To serve in the military (repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell”) and to emphasize the raising of children with two parents, rather than to concentrate on the more personal and sexual interests?

    What’s 3% of 3%?

  91. mockturtle said,

    Abortion and gay marriage are moral, largely religious issues, and are less amenable to public policy debate. They are, for reasons that are entirely understandable, governed more by emotion than by empirical data.

    Empirical data are not the wellspring of moral ethics. Hitler and his ‘scientists’ used a lot of empirical data to show why people with disabilities and mental deficiencies should be eliminated.

  92. amba12 said,

    Real, think whatever you want. Your assessments of people tend to be pretty far off base.

  93. amba12 said,

    “Relatively” safe meaning you are alive, not too hungry, you have electric light and heat, you have not been compelled to bear child after child, and you can sit and write and think about these things on a computer in relative comfort. Nobody is SAFE.

  94. amba12 said,

    mockturtle, Hitler and his crew used so-called “empirical” data to dress up extremely emotional convictions about race, blood, and soil, inferiority and superiority, purity and pollution.

  95. realpc920 said,

    [“Relatively” safe meaning you are alive, not too hungry, you have electric light and heat, you have not been compelled to bear child after child, and you can sit and write and think about these things on a computer in relative comfort. Nobody is SAFE.]

    We have more of certain kinds of physical comfort now. But comfort is addictive — as you get more and more comfort you appreciate it less.

    And there have been many different past societies, and they were not all hungry and bearing child after child. After agriculture was invented, things gradually started getting bad for women.

    I am not glorifiying primitive societies, but they were in a much more natural state, more like the wild animals. And also more in touch with spiritual realities. Yes they could die from an infection, but they didn’t have a diabetes epidemic. No, they didn’t have climate controlled homes, but they could adjust to a range of temperatures.

    The tribes were a manageable size, not huge and monstrous like what we have now.

    I don’t want to go live in a primitive tribe — we have destroyed just about all of them anyway. I am saying that our progress is towards greater complexity, NOT towards greated happiness or peace or fairness.

    We are not safe. Maybe more comfortable, but maybe not — all the illnesses that result from our lifestyle pretty much demolish comfort.

  96. amba12 said,

    Somehow, I doubt human life was ever comfortable or ever will be.

  97. realpc920 said,

    “Real, think whatever you want. Your assessments of people tend to be pretty far off base.”

    I think you get offended if I say or imply that you are a progressive. But we were all taught to be progressives, even conservatives. And “progressive” is too vague a word anyway.

    I think you have some progressive tendencies — don’t we all — and I am trying to show how we are programmed and don’t realize it. That is not in any way meant to be an insult.

  98. amba12 said,

    I was going to ask you to tell it to my childhood friend who has dumped me for NOT being a “progressive” . . .

  99. realpc920 said,

    “Somehow, I doubt human life was ever comfortable or ever will be.”

    Sometimes life is comfortable, but only relative to discomfort. If you are very hungry or thirsty and finally get food or water, if you are very physically tired and finally get a rest, if you are very lonely and finally see a friend.

    Our society is pathologically addicted to comfort and entertainment. The more high calorie junk food and stupid TV shows a person gets, the less comforted they feel.

    One of the most comforting things is, in my opinion, prayer and meditation. That is when you turn off the cravings and just exist. The state of simply being alive is a state of comfort and pleasure.

  100. realpc920 said,

    And there is also the “flow” state, that we get into when focused on an interesting task. That is a state of pleasure and comfort. But I don’t know if we have more of that now than in ancient or primitive times.

  101. realpc920 said,

    “was going to ask you to tell it to my childhood friend who has dumped me for NOT being a “progressive” . . .”

    It’s a relative concept, and most conservatives are progressives now. Your friend probably reacted to a couple of beliefs or values you have that don’t fit nicely into her worldview.

    And that is a typical example of the tribal behavior we can’t ever transcend.

  102. karen said,

    “Empirical data are not the wellspring of moral ethics. Hitler and his ‘scientists’ used a lot of empirical data to show why people with disabilities and mental deficiencies should be eliminated.”

    Huh- all this time i thought that was Margaret Sanger!!

    Margaret Sanger’s “Negro Project” & Barack Obama’s Planned Parenthood

    Google Sonja Schmidt for affirmation, if the link is stinky.

  103. amba12 said,

    Our society is pathologically addicted to comfort and entertainment.

    It’s interesting that they are sort of zombie caricatures of rest and galvanized alertness.

  104. karen said,

    As for the leading of gay marriage to acceptance of more #s in these marriages(& the messy divorces)- it sure would give a whole new meaning to… ~it takes a village~.

  105. mockturtle said,

    Karen, Margaret Sanger was on the same track as Hitler, IMHO.

  106. karen said,

    Exactly– i think i was being a tad facetious.

  107. kngfish said,

    Somehow, I doubt human life was ever comfortable or ever will be.
    Maybe someday we’ll all just be brains in vats…..living totally in our minds, having a blast….but somehow, I think we’ll screw that up too!

  108. amba12 said,

    That’s my worst nightmare.

  109. Icepick said,

    All of this is irrelevant. There is no more progress to be made, only regression. Here’s an example of our whole world backsliding:

    Reuters

    5:41 p.m. EST, November 14, 2012

    Hostess Brands Inc. said it would seek to liquidate the company this week unless enough workers stop a nationwide strike by the end of the workday Thursday and allow the maker of Wonder bread, Twinkies and Merita bread products to resume normal operations.

    Members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union went on strike last Friday in response to bankruptcy court-approved pay cuts. The company, which has about 18,000 employees, including several hundred at a Merita bakery in downtown Orlando, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in January.

    Hostess said it would file a motion with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y., on Friday to close shop and sell its assets if enough employees do not return to work by 5 p.m. Eastern time Thursday. If the motion is granted, Hostess said, it would begin shutting down operations as soon as next Tuesday.

    Hostess Chief Executive Officer Gregory Rayburn said the company did not have the financial wherewithal to weather an ongoing strike. A union spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

    A world without Twinkies. They didn’t tell you THAT’S what Obama was going to deliver, did they?!!?

  110. Icepick said,

    I’ll give you ten billion quatloos to let me keep my body. I’ll give you ten times that if I can get the body of my choice! Two hundred billion quatloos if I can have Phil Davis’s body!

  111. Icepick said,

    First they shut down the space shuttle program, then Big Gulps and now Twinkies. This is a world circling down the drain at the bottom of the bowl….

  112. karen said,

    Too raw, ice.
    And i do like raw, but that’s just too… feral:0).

  113. karen said,

    You can buy pretty, though.

    Saw on Althouse that two beautiful people had one ugly baby.
    DNA proves it’s his, so she ‘fessed up to plastic workings.
    100,000$ worth.

    Must tell you- my 1st baby was ugly. It’s ok- it’s a family joke, because she’s so beautiful @ 21. She grew into her mouth:0)!!!! Kids used to pick on her about her lips- until i told her(&she told them)that those lips are sought out &paid for in Hollywood. ~Hollywood fat lips~, we call them. As she ages, they just get more beautiful.

    Ugly is relative- just like so much else, eh?

    She also has such curly hair- she straightens it and that drives me crazy because she looks so different w/straight hair. I sometimes wonder, if i had my DNA tested for my land of origin- what would be revealed. It’s exciting to me to think exotic blood may flow in my veins. The curls are in my lineage, not me directly- i have fine, straight hair. My Dad’s hair is curly- what’s left of it-lol. He’ll be 80 on Thanksgiving day.

    ‘Nite, all. Have i told you all how much i love you?
    To the Moon.

  114. mockturtle said,

    Without Twinkies, what will mass shooters use for a defense?

  115. mockturtle said,

    ‘Nite, Karen! Luv U 2

  116. amba12 said,

    He’s just trying to fight obesity, Ice, one snack at a time. (And here I’ve been taking voluntary pay cuts to try to help keep my employer alive!)

  117. Icepick said,

    Without Twinkies, what will mass shooters use for a defense?

    Zebra Cakes.

    Alternately they can now claim the horror of a world without Twinkies pushed them over the edge.

  118. karen said,

    Zebra cakes are awesome!

    Just wanted to point out that this whole generic platform could be shortened into:

    ” Love your neighbor as yourself.”

    Also, real’s life in a more natural tribal time reminds me of:

    Sharia Law.

  119. amba12 said,

    Just wanted to point out that this whole generic platform could be shortened into:

    ” Love your neighbor as yourself.”

    You’re totally right, Karen.

  120. realpc920 said,

    “Also, real’s life in a more natural tribal time reminds me of:

    Sharia Law.”

    Then you have not studied anthropology at all.

  121. realpc920 said,

    It is not possible to translate “love your neighbor as yourself” into practical reality. No one does it and no one can say exactly what it means.

  122. realpc920 said,

    Does “love your neighbor as yourself” mean to care as much about others as you care about yourself? Then how do you know whether to do what others want, or what you want? Should you care equally about all others? What if some of the others want you to do one thing and other others want you to do a different thing?

    Can you see that this kind of saying has no essential meaning?

    When we hear one of these sayings and we think “Oh yes, that is so obviously true” it’s probably because it is part of the mythology we have been programmed into.

    I do understand that it’s supposed to mean “Don’t be selfish.” But that is also meaningless and impossible to decipher. Lots of people wind up sick and depressed because they neglect themselves, sacrifice all their dreams, and devote their lives to pleasing others. The fact that unselfishness taken too far can be unhealthy is very well known.

    Yet people don’t see the contradiction when they say that being a good person means not being selfish.

    Eveything depends on balance and on context. There are no simple sayings that can guide our moral behavior.

  123. chickelit said,

    There are no simple sayings that can guide our moral behavior.

    Genus vs. specificity. For example, the laws covering the patentability of inventions (35 USC 100-105) is expressed in several paragraphs; the correponding rules, in 37 CFR, go on and on for pages; the supporting case law elaborating and supporting them both is even more voluminous. Yet the rules all “fit” under the law somehow.

    It’s like poetry vs. prose or Twitter vs. Facebook. :)

  124. Spud said,

    Karen said, “Margaret Sanger’s “Negro Project” & Barack Obama’s Planned Parenthood”

    “In her 1938 autobiography, Sanger noted that her opposition to abortion was based on the taking of life: “[In 1916] we explained what contraception was; that abortion was the wrong way no matter how early it was performed it was taking life; that contraception was the better way, the safer way—it took a little time, a little trouble, but was well worth while in the long run, because life had not yet begun.

  125. mockturtle said,

    Most bios of Sanger have whitewashed her life [pun only incidentally intended] but she was a strong advocate for eugenics.

  126. amba12 said,

    Lots of people wind up sick and depressed because they neglect themselves,

    But then, in any case, then they misread the saying. It doesn’t say “Love your neighbor instead of yourself.”

  127. realpc920 said,

    amba, that is why “Love your neighbor as yourself” doesn’t help us at all. We have to balance our own needs with the needs of others, and there are no rules to guide us.

    We are social animals and we are naturally loving and need to belong to a tribe. But inevitably there are conflicts, and they can’t always be resolved by talking and compromising.

    There are intra-tribe conflicts and inter-tribe conflicts. Sometimes individuals, or groups, in conflict have to separate (divorce is one obvious example). But neighboring nations, like Israel and Palestine can’t separate.

  128. realpc920 said,

    And we can’t indiscriminately “love others.” We can’t help loving some more than others, and we can’t help not liking or even hating some. That is natural, although some ideologies say we should transcend it. I don’t think we could or should.

    Jesus said “Love your enemies” but I think that applies only to the extreme mystic who is trying to escape this world. You cannot actually live that way.

  129. amba12 said,

    But neighboring nations, like Israel and Palestine can’t separate.

    And, when they do, they end up recreating the archetype by splitting within and fighting with each other. There were two sects of Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn — almost indistinguishable to outsiders, but they wore different hats, and/or different styles of side curls. And they were the bitterest enemies. I think they’d been fighting for a couple of centuries back in Hungary or Poland and brought their fight over here. We do seem to need enemies.

    What “love your neighbor as yourself” means to me is, when you encounter another person (it can only be done one at a time), try to remember that they are a subjectivity like you, that can feel pain and pleasure, wants to survive, loves, hates . . . a “thou” not an “it.” A subject, not an object of your passions or an obstacle to them. This is an ideal that can’t be practiced when someone is trying to kill you. But it does occasionally break through even on the battlefield. It’s interesting that the idea of not answering violence with violence is SO radical and perceived as so dangerous that the people who really espoused it with their lives (Jesus, Gandhi, King) without exception met violent deaths.

  130. realpc920 said,

    We really do have to answer violence with violence, eventually, if we want to live. Jesus did not value earthly life.

    I agree with you about trying to remember other people — however different they may seem — are pretty much the same as we are. I think that goes for animals too.

    But that goes against our tribal nature, and our tribal nature is much smarter than we are. Ignoring the differences of others can get us in a lot of trouble.

  131. realpc920 said,

    And people, no matter how liberal and tolerant they claim to be, just cannot see everyone as like themselves. Just think of your friend who rejected you for not sharing all her “liberal” values.

  132. amba12 said,

    “Smarter” I’m not so sure, except insofar as “smarter than we are” is a low bar — the autonomic physiology that lives us is infinitely smarter than we are. Tribalism (what someone, maybe Erik Eriksen, called “pseudospeciation”) certainly was necessary for survival for most of our history, but now that we are a globally interconnected and atomically armed species it may have outlived its usefulness. Maybe we’ll get our needed enemies from another planet, and wind up being “humanity against the aliens.”

    In fact, there’a a work of Taoist fiction that imagines just such a thing — the solution to human conflict being an alien invasion. The Lathe of Heaven is one of my favorite books. You might like it, real, it’s all about the arrogance of scientific rationality trying to “improve” the world with horrific unintended consequences.

  133. karen said,

    “Then you have not studied anthropology at all.”

    Probably wouldn’t know it if i saw it, real– except the immediate world around me- admittedly small, that. I think it can be felt, too.

    As for not being able to live the life of a sentiment or bumper sticker… just because it’s hard and pretty near impossible, doesn’t men we don’t try. We have to keep trying to be the better person.

  134. realpc920 said,

    Karen, I don’t think loving everyone and ourselves equally would make us a better person. We are what we are, living in the universe we live in. Trying to deny that never makes it better.

  135. realpc920 said,

    amba, I know about the idea of all humanity uniting against alien invaders. However, in my opinion it is WRONG. Yes we would probably unite temporarily. But the whole world staying unified in that way would eradicate any kind of freedom. There is no way for us all to be on the same wavelength without conflicting needs. We can only be in that state temporarily, when threatened.

  136. amba12 said,

    I repeat: you might like that book I recommended. The power-mad scientist guy has a one-world, make everybody the same ideology too.

  137. realpc920 said,

    A world-gov with control over the military would have absolute power. And POWER CORRUPTS. Always, eventually.

  138. wj said,

    Late to the party again. Gotta do something about this day job….

    Saying that Karen has to pay for someone else’s abortion, which she abhors, is coercive.

    Of course it is, amba. Just as it is coercive that a pacifist has to pay to help support the military.

    That’s one of the things that comes with governments — some people will end up having to pay for things that they dislike (or abhor), because other people have decided that the country as a whole will have a different standard. There is no real way to avoid that happening on some issue or another. All you can really do is
    a) try to persuade a majority of the rest of the country to change to your views (and succeed in doing so), or
    b) decide to live with it, even though you hate it, because on balance you prefer the country that you’ve got to the alternatives, or
    c) find somewhere more congenial to your views and go there.
    Which sounds harsh, but I don’t see a fourth option.

  139. amba12 said,

    There are actually a fourth and fifth option.

    The fourth option is to try to legislate an exception. The federal government no longer pays for abortions, right? and I’m not sure where the issue stands about Catholic hospitals having or not having to pay for their employees’ birth control.

    The fifth option is to refuse to pay taxes, and go to jail. Pacifists have done so.

  140. amba12 said,

    “Pay for,” that is, include coverage of birth control in health plans.

  141. realpc920 said,

    “Tribalism (what someone, maybe Erik Eriksen, called “pseudospeciation”) certainly was necessary for survival for most of our history, but now that we are a globally interconnected and atomically armed species it may have outlived its usefulness.”

    That is what progressives, in general, believe, that we can and should transcend our tribal nature. The think tribalism is primitive and obsolete, but that is not true.

  142. realpc920 said,

    Tribalism is modularism. It is NOT pseudospeciation. All social animals live in groups of a manageable size. Trying to smash the whole of a species into one enormous group does not make sense. Everything in nature is modular.

    The conservative idea of de-centralization recognizes this fact of nature.

  143. amba12 said,

    I would say it’s both — modularism and pseudospeciation. As witness the horror at the idea of “miscegenation,” crossing the tribal boundary sexually, which of course is also highly attractive (and genetically necessary from time to time to refresh the gene pool).

    It’s interesting to observe what happens to human culture when Bigness sets in — how a nation-state, for instance, is somewhat artificially molded into a big tribe with flags, slogans, sports teams — and how easily it can fall apart again (e.g. Yugoslavia).

    Sports is one way that tribalism gets expressed with nonlethal zeal. It’s not that we will ever become one big happy family, but that nuclear-armed tribalism could do us in as a species.

  144. wj said,

    There is (and always was) an exception for the health plans of church organizations. Church run institutions (e.g. hospitals) which employ people who are not members of the church, get treated like any other organization which employs lots of people. The exception is just for organizations limited to members of the faith.

    I’m also not entirely sure that buying a health plan which includes abortion counts as “paying for abortions.” If I understand correctly, the premiums for such policies are no different from policies which are otherwise identical but do not include abortion coverage. (From the point of view of the insurance company, the cost to them of an abortion is lower than the cost to them of the pregnancy. So it costs them nothing to provide coverage.)

    Now if we’re talking about abortion coverage paid for by the government, that’s not exactly new. to the extent that our taxes help pay for government employee’s health care plans, which have covered that for decades, we already do that. Has anyone heard of people refusing to pay that part of their taxes and going to jail instead? Because I haven’t.

  145. wj said,

    Oops, I should read more carefully. I missed the fact that you shifted from health plans covering abortion to health plans covering birth control. Again, there are exceptions for church organizations. But not for organizations which merely happen to be owned/run by a church, but not staffed just by their members.

  146. karen said,

    Do you think that there is a big difference in having to be responsible paying for our military- vs paying for individuals’ birth control methods and abortions?

    Because, i sure as hell do.

  147. amba12 said,

    Karen, pacifists who object to all killing in war have gone to jail rather than pay taxes, some of which will be used to kill people in war. It might even be part of the Catholic “seamless garment” philosophy. Out of favor with conservatives today. (And impractical if you’re going to go so far as to forgo self-defense.)

  148. realpc920 said,

    “It’s not that we will ever become one big happy family, but that nuclear-armed tribalism could do us in as a species.”

    Yes it could. But tribalism is essential to our nature, and to all of nature. On the subatomic level, things group together and things repel each other. This is love and hate, in balance. It is impossible to conceive of one without the other (that is related to Taoism amba, right? The balance of opposites.))

  149. realpc920 said,

    Competition is necessary. The US founders made sure there was competition within the government. When there is no competition, there is monopoloy and absolute control. Why do you think there are laws against monopolies?

    And what is a one-world government but a gigantic horrendous monopoly? And WHY do so many progressives long for ii?

  150. wj said,

    Karen, as I see it both involve people who strongly believe that something is wrong having to help pay for it to be provided.

    The particular values involved are different. But the depth of feeling, and the fact that the people who hold those values feel that there is a serious moral basis for them, is the same.

    To someone who does not share one of those beliefs, it can seem that those who do are misguided, unrealistic, or merely wrong. But that doesn’t change the sincerity of either.

  151. karen said,

    I understand the point of view– i just don’t understand where the line is drawn between personal responsibility and the protection/monetary expenses for the good of all.

    I’ll have more to say later– i’m late for the milkmaid moonlighting job:0)!

  152. amba12 said,

    Also the Greeks — “love and strife.” Eros and I forget the other word.

  153. Icepick said,

    wj, I’m waiting for you to explain your numbers in the previous thread.

  154. mockturtle said,

    Also the Greeks — “love and strife.” Eros and I forget the other word.

    Eris, perhaps?

  155. wj said,

    Ice, apologies — got distracted — thanks for the reminder. A response (at least a preliminary one) is now on the other thread.

  156. karen said,

    “There is an acceptable duty to
    make ourselves the neighbor of every
    individual, to take positive steps to
    help a neighbor, whether that
    neighbor be an elderly person
    abandoned by everyone, a foreign
    worker who suffers the injustice of
    being despised, a refugee, an
    illegitimate child wrongly suffering
    for a sin which the child is
    innocent, or a starving person who
    awakens our conscience by calling to
    mind the words of Christ:
    “Whatever you did for the least of my brethren,
    you did for me.”(Matthew 25:40)

    St. Elizabeth of Hungary(1207-1231)
    aka Elizabeth of Thuringia

    I love the Saints– because there is so much philosophy and wisdom(IMhumbleO) in their lives. My chiropractor had a beautiful CD in, one time, of polyphony that celebrated women in the Church- in the 1000′s.

    There was an anthropologist on Npr today(Fresh Air)– very interesting, too. I can’t remember her name, but it was about Evangelicals- and Faith. She’s a professor at Stanford. I like the timing:0).

  157. amba12 said,

    mockturtle, close. But Eris is the goddess of chaos. It’s something-omachy.
    “máchē,” ‘fight’

  158. amba12 said,

    From Wikipedia on Empedocles: “The four elements are eternally brought into union, and eternally parted from each other, by two divine powers, Love and Strife. Love (Greek: φιλία) explains the attraction of different forms of matter, and Strife (Greek: νεῖκος) accounts for their separation.” Can anybody read that? neikos?

  159. karen said,

    The kids are reading a series of books- and that Neikos sounds like the son of Hades.

  160. mockturtle said,

    Eris is the goddess of discord [strife] and the ‘eros-eris’ similarity is the likely basis.

  161. mockturtle said,

  162. realpc920 said,

    Dwelling on conflict and anger and strife can make us miserable and ruin our lives. But taking any natural instinct too far becomes pathological. Even too much compassion can ruin your life.

    Everything depends on balance and on context. In one context love makes sense, in another context it doesn’t. Like the poem in the bible that says there is a time for everything.

    I think some of Jesus’s messages may have confused our civilization. I am not against Christianity in general, but some aspects of it have caused us to think in a black vs white, non-holistic way.

  163. realpc920 said,

    I think that amba’s intention in this post was to find simple basic common ground that all Americans can agree on. So we could stop being distracted by things that don’t matter very much (gay marriage, imo), and questions that can never be answered (abortion, when does life begin — no one can possibly know).

    I think I understand what she meant and I agree that Americans, and human beings in general, share a lot of beliefs and values. So why can’t we all just get along, and get on with solving the real problems?

  164. realpc920 said,

    (I have to divide my posts because my web browser is acting strange).

    We can’t just get along and focus on solving real problems, because that is not how our universe was constructed.

    Even if we all agreed on what is important (and we won’t), we would not agree on how to solve the problems. It just isn’t simple and it never will be.

  165. realpc920 said,

    And what people do, when they perceive things as simple and obvious, is fail to understand anyone who sees it differently. How can they possibly believe X when Y is perfectly obvious? They must be stupid or insane.

    Nothing is obvious or simple in this life. I realize that amba is one person who knows this, and she is someone who looks at things from different angles. So I hope it didn’t seem like I was crticizing her too much.

  166. mockturtle said,

    The ability to accept the fact that intelligent points of view may differ from one’s own goes a long way toward peace. The ability to cherish those whose views differ goes even further.

  167. wj said,

    And both have one basic requirement: getting to know those who hold different opinions. Getting to know them as human beings, rather than as charactertures.

    If you find yourself regularly saying “Everybody I know believes X,” that’s a danger sign. At least some of the time, you should be saying something more like “I know people who believe Y. And they are good people, even if their views on some things are a bit daft.”

  168. mockturtle said,

    Yes, wj, and it also helps to watch a different news network once in a while and read books that don’t support one’s own viewpoint. This is something I learned in the 1960′s when the country was so polarized [I was on the left in those days]. Forcing myself to read books by [and about] Barry Goldwater, for instance, gave me at least a peek into a different ideology and a degree of respect toward it, even if I didn’t agree.

  169. realpc920 said,

    wj and mockturtle,

    I agree it’s a good idea to respect other points of view. At least it’s a good idea if you want to spend a lot of time on intellectual understanding — not everyone wants to, and many don’t have the time even if they want to.

    But I do NOT agree that this would lead to peace.

  170. realpc920 said,

    And you are expressing exactly the idea I tried so hard to show is wrong — that if only people could be reasonable and tolerant and give up their superstitiions and prejudices, we could all get along peacefully.

    That is the liberal myth — that modern educated westerners are more peaceful and more tolerant than ignorant tribal people. It is wrong, it is an illusion. It makes liberal/progressives feel superior and it gives them hope — just educate all the world into their ideology and our problems will be solved.

  171. mockturtle said,

    Real, if, by ‘peace’, you’re referring to global peace, no, of course not! Humans are a warring species and there will always be wars. What I meant by ‘peace’ was peace among co-workers, family members and communities. And forum members, too! ;-)

  172. mockturtle said,

    I totally agree with you about the liberal myth. It’s very strong and fosters more intolerance than right wing philosophies, IMHO. But I cherish my liberal friends and family members just as much as I do those who hold my personal values.

  173. realpc920 said,

    mockturtle, I don’t talk about politics anymore with friends, relatives or co-workers. I like peace. But for me it means just not letting people know what I really think, since I generally don’t agree with anyone (having rejected most of my modern western indoctrination).

    I have always tried to listen to all sides of a controversy, and that’s why now I don’t belong to any of the political or religious tribes. It hasn’t made my life better or more peaceful. I always had a need to make sense of certain things, so that’s why i spent the time.

    But now I find it hard to hear dogmatic certainties. And when I’m anonymous online I do try to explain why I think they’re wrong. But I don’t even do that much anymore.

  174. realpc920 said,

    Anyway, we agree about the liberals. They are so liberal and tolerant — as long as you completely agree with them on every single issue.

  175. amba12 said,

    I lost one of those “tolerant” liberal friends . . . first of all, I kept silent about my views (I would rather not talk politics, worldviews, etc.), and when my friend realized I was not the straight-up liberal she had assumed me to be, she felt as if I had lied to her simply by keeping silent and not displaying my bona fides. She was the one who had made the assumptions about my views, but when those assumptions turned out to be mistaken, she felt I had deceived her.

  176. realpc920 said,

    amba, your experience illustrates something. Before, you mentioned the slightly different sects of Hassidic Jews who hate each other. There are many examples of slightly different sects of Muslems who feel justified in killing each other. Almost as soon as the Christian church was founded, there were bitter disagreements between different groups.

    Of course, we can easily find many more examples. People need to differentiate themselves, to feel their tribe is special and separate from others.

  177. realpc920 said,

    (browser acting weird).

    The philosophical differences don’t have to be very important. What matters is that We are Not Them.

    Liberals are extremely careful to tolerate anything related to skin color or sex. But they are just as intolerant as any other tribe when it comes to everything else.

  178. realpc920 said,

    We are social animals, and therefore we are territorial. We need boundaries, both physical and psychological. We need to keep our tribe’s size down to a manageable level.

    Our society is complex now and we all belong to multiple tribes. But one thing that all tribes do is somehow differentiate themselves from other tribes.

  179. Spud said,

    Amba said,”I lost one of those “tolerant” liberal friends . . . first of all, I kept silent about my views (I would rather not talk politics, worldviews, etc.), and when my friend realized I was not the straight-up liberal she had assumed me to be, she felt as if I had lied to her simply by keeping silent and not displaying my bona fides.”

    That’s one thing i don’t do, and that is hold one’s ideology against someone that i don’t agree with. Karen is a perfect example. We don’t agree on anything politically, but I think the world of her. She has a big heart and is a good mother and farmer. I’m also good friends with her husband Alan, we never talk politics, we talk cows.

  180. karen said,

    :0)- thanks, spud. Ditto back at you.

    I hate to be the tail end of a dead thread, but at the risk of being so, i would add that the quote i posted above and the ~loving of neighbor as self(which goes hand-in-hand w/~as the Father has loved me, so I have Loved you~ … these are not easy words to live by- and i sure don’t measure up in my life (especially)(specifically) because of the feelings i have toward my in-laws.

    If i could just forgive and really forget them: as in, not see them around and about and not have to speak or wave or think about them, i’d be a shoo in for Heaven. Let’s just say- when the sight of someone or the sound of someone’s voice or even the sight of the phone # on caller ID makes you sick to your stomach– it’s not a Christian way. I’ve got mucho work to do. It matters to me because i don’t want to be the kind of person that just talks the talk– that’s Pharisee.

  181. wj said,

    I would draw one distinction, or perhaps lay out one option, which doesn’t seem to be much in evidence here. So far, the options in disucssion seem to be
    1) Don’t talk about politics (religion, etc.) with people who don’t agree with you. That is, keep quiet about what you believe.
    2) Try, on an on-going basis, to persuade the people around you to your position on whatever issue you disagree about.

    And yet it is, in my experience anyway, entirely possible to just say “I disagree’ or “I beleive X” . . . and leave it at that. I have friends who very strongly hold views that i disagree with. We know we disagree. We don’t feel compelled to turn our interactions into arguments on those issues. Occasionally, when a new but related issue arises, we may ask the other what they think about it an why. But once the answer is given, we drop it. That’s what tolerance of other views is all about.

  182. mockturtle said,

    WJ, I have suggested on many occasions to friends and family: “Let’s just agree to disagree.” There are a few who are unsatisfied with that because they feel it necessary to convince me of the error of my ways [usually, alas, these are liberals].

  183. amba12 said,

    Yes, you might as well keep silent when you know the other person is indignantly going to start an argument and berate you for being wrong. And that is more the liberal style of argument (some liberals, that is, hardly all). Conservatives will say outlandishly awful things about a candidate among friends, but if they discover you disagree, they are more polite about it; they don’t usually self-righteously attack you.

  184. realpc920 said,

    karen, it is perfectly normal to not love everyone. If you really succeeded in loving your in-laws exactly the same way you love your husband and children, that would devalue the genuine and natural love you feel for people that you don’t have to force yourself to love.

    You have to tolerate your in-laws and be polite, and maybe “love” them in some kind of detached philosophical sense.

  185. realpc920 said,

    Not only is it not possible for people to indiscriminately love each other, it wouldn’t make sense even if it were possible. Do you love all flavors of ice cream equally?

    When we care, we discriminate. When we don’t care, then it’s all the same. Your feelings about your in-laws might be for good reasons. To deny those feelings just leads to confusion.

  186. realpc920 said,

    However I also should say — very often, when I’m in a tense situation, if I send out loving prayers and vibrations, the situation does turn around. So maybe that’s why the bible tells us to love others indiscriminately.

    But I don’t think it’s guaranteed to always work, and there are times when maybe you have to be tough. I am not tough, I have often been a wimp, and I got walked over sometimes as a result.

  187. realpc920 said,

    I have found things that helped me find balance, but it’s never simple or easy.

  188. karen said,

    I agree w/you wholeheartedly, real– that’s the problem.
    I have a hard time even looking at these people, they perpetuate the lies about me to this day- and then wonder what they are doing that causes both my husband and me to ignore the reaching out of my MinL.

    I put off seeing a priest because i knew he’d tell me(us)to forgive(which i HAVE done to the most degree of possibility, at this point)(which means the forgetting part stings- esp wondering what all rally has been told(it could all be in my head-yes, but it’s not)). What he did say- after my resisting the balm of wisdom from a Teacher of Love- is to pretty much ~pretend~ things better. Don’t go down the road of truth i know– because they are parents of my beloved.

    I was so freaking mad the entire ride home– verge of tears- hurt that it didn’t matter what the TRUTH was- and have to swallow my fear of them and their damaging words… :0) i waved to my MinL yesterday. It’s a small gesture and it will never be the same, but i need to be a bigger person, a better person. Ugh.

    So, this does tie in w/the ~agreeing to disagree~ topic of discussion. Because, to me– the truth of situations, policies, ideas– all the words… matter. Mendacity is evil and should be corrected, IMhumbleO. If things are allowed to go un- or under-corrected, then events and occurrences change and aren’t Actual/Factual.

    Like the video of a journalist(young and conservative-of course, right?) asking the DNC chick- Debbie Wasserman-Shultz- about the kill list. The what? I’ve never heard of that- i don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.

    Yeah- sure. The words uttered under his breath were priceless. I use them often.

    Prove me wrong.

  189. amba12 said,

    What I want to know is, why the hell isn’t a priest talking to THEM.

  190. Spud said,

    Karen said, “I put off seeing a priest because i knew he’d tell me(us)to forgive(which i HAVE done to the most degree of possibility’

    No you haven’t, otherwise you wouldn’t put off seeing the priest. if you really forgave you would have no angst.

  191. karen said,

    No, i’d say it like this: why the hell aren’t THEY talking to the priest???

    I waited 3 yrs to seek a priest’s counsel. I chose the priest in the larger Parish next door– i took Randy and his Mom there when they came to visit in 2009(God bless Randy:0)). This priest seems so w/it– and he’s a hard ass- not a candy ass, you know? He became a priest in his 40s- was in ‘Nam- the war. I trust(ed) him to tell us like it is(was).

    She(MinL) called on the Tues before our Wed meeting w/the priest– asking for some kind of mediation. Which we feel won’t work– what’s to mediate when two sides are not budging? Agree to disagree-lol. Which doesn’t make for warm and fuzzy feelings– and it’s so… sickening in the pit of our stomachs- to have any interaction w/them- how do we get over THAT??

    Anyway, maybe if the dialogue does ever get far enough to exchange healing, then i could suggest they see him– or she does. If i am correct, they saw our own priest(since gone back to Tanzania and we now have another Tanzanian priest)and told him THEIR version of this mess. So, i knew this(my husband knew this)- and they didn’t know we knew- and i felt really sad receiving Communion from him w/him thinking whatever i imagine he was thinking. Ehh- i’m into the TMI tonight, sorry. I just wish there was a magic pill for dealing w/shit like this– which there IS(somewhere) & i’m too lazy, scared and stubborn& smart to take.

    At least, the truth is a consolation.
    ——————————————
    New topic and hopefully, a link from Instapundit.

    IT’S EASIEST TO FOOL THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BE FOOLED: Bloggers Spot More Dead Child Fakery by Hamas; CNN Fooled.

    More here.

  192. karen said,

    http://marysaggies.blogspot.com/2012/11/judge-orders-abortion-of-mentally.html

    :9(- we are all created equal, but some apparently of us are more equal than others.

  193. karen said,

    http://marysaggies.blogspot.com/2012/11/good-news-judge-wont-order-abortion.html

    :9) Equality wins! My links work when i can copy the link- but, the right click doesn’t always offer that choice.

  194. realpc920 said,

    karen, your story is a good example of what I think I have been trying to express here. Life is just not simple. When individuals or groups get into conflicts, it can be impossible to untangle. Lies get told, but very often the liars don’t think they are lying. The “truth” is relative and shifting. Sometimes the only solution is to end relations — which, of course, you can’t really do with in-laws. Just as Israel can’t divorce Palestine.

    This is why I originally disagreed with amba’s post (sorry amba). We can’t just all grow up and be sensible and get along. Nature is too complex for our little brains. Liberal/progressives do NOT know this! And, I have to say, many Christians don’t either.

  195. Spud said,

    “This is why I originally disagreed with amba’s post (sorry amba). We can’t just all grow up and be sensible and get along. Nature is too complex for our little brains. Liberal/progressives do NOT know this! And, I have to say, many Christians don’t either.”

    That’s funny. I see Jesus as a liberal.

  196. karen said,

    Your disagreement, real– is actually the crux of this discussion(to me).
    Someone has to reach out, 1st– someone has to stand down, i guess.
    Even when that person is not the one that’s in the wrong.

    “Lies get told, but very often the liars don’t think they are lying. The “truth” is relative and shifting.”

    Heh- that’s what the priest said and i disagree. He held my POV when he 1st started his Seminary, but psychology classes changed his mind. Lucky for me- i didn’t take take those classes because usually in instances the storyline is recognizable from all sides- just viewed from different angles that support e/other. People who live in lies to cover for their own inadequacies upset me. Reality is– real. Otherwise, there are greater issues to question.

    Bengazi is a great example- trying to change the reality of the facts.

    Israel and Palestine? I seriously am sorry for their hate relationship, but i’m biased about that. Considering the reality of existence and the denial of from Islamists– it is a good example.

    Have i mentioned how much i dislike Norah O’donnell?

  197. karen said,

    Amba- i haven’t forgotten.
    Thinking of you w/love and longing to see you again.

  198. mockturtle said,

    Corrie ten Boom, the Christian whose family in the Netherlands hid Jews during the Nazi siege [The Hiding Place] and who was incarcerated in Ravensbruck, a Nazi death camp [where her sister died] later made this comment about forgiveness: “I knew it not only as a commandment of God, but as a daily experience. Since the end of the war I have had a home in Holland for victims of Nazi brutality. Those who were able to forgive their former enemies were able also to return to the outside world and rebuild their lives, no matter what the physical scars. Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids. It was as simple and as horrible as that.”

    She, herself, was faced with a situation where, after a speaking engagement, a former guard from Ravensbruck approached her and asked for forgiveness. All of the memories of brutality and her sister’s death flooded through her mind but she willed herself to offer her hand and her forgiveness and felt God’s forgiveness as she did.

  199. karen said,

    Thank you, mockT.
    My hurts are so little in comparison.
    It’s our will– or rather, … Thy will… to be done.

  200. realpc920 said,

    “People who live in lies to cover for their own inadequacies upset me.”

    Then we all upset you.

  201. realpc920 said,

    “I see Jesus as a liberal.”

    Liberals see Jesus as a liberal, conservatives see Jesus as a conservative. You can see whatever you want to see in Jesus.

  202. Spud said,

    “You can see whatever you want to see in Jesus.”

    Right. Just like you can see whatever you want to see, like “Nature is too complex for our little brains” and that “Liberal/progressives do NOT know this”

    .

  203. Icepick said,

    You can see whatever you want to see in Jesus.

    I see Jesus in sandals and a robe.

  204. karen said,

    Ice, too funny. I was listening to nPr yesterday(like i always am) and there was a guy talking about how people ~see~ Christ, esp in art.

    I like him best in sandals and a robe, too.

    As for the living in lies to cover inadequacies – i wasn’t talking about the kind of lies that smooth over or sweep under the messy parts. I was talking about alternate, alternative living- stories of outright, unbelievable(or not)shit that never happened or never will happen.

    Make sense? A little?

    ps- why would my computer lose it’s desktop? Not even my picture! So, i’m using my daughter’s computer… she told me not to use it until someone looks at it. Why could that have happened?

  205. realpc920 said,

    karen — of course I don’t know the story of what happened with your in-laws. I know that people can be horrible, and I know that sometimes it’s impossible to figure out their motives. I was lied about at a previous job and I felt like a victim. But I also wondered if any of their lies could be partly true. I do not know, impossible to see these things perfectly objectively.

  206. realpc920 said,

    I also was lied about by a close relative. I agree with you that forgiveness is the only way we can get past it and recover. I think these things happen because of some conflict that can’t be resolved, and people lie to protect themselves. They believe their own lies, and they perceive their victims as evil or crazy or stupid. It’s called demonization.

  207. realpc920 said,

    I had been interested in demonization for a long time, and then it actually happened to me. First by a close relative, and then by a former manager at a job. It’s like a nightmare. It doesn’t seem real when people are saying things that are not true but you can’t do anything about it.

  208. realpc920 said,

    One thing we can learn from it is to be aware of our own motives, notice if we are demonizing or being unfair to someone. The worst demonizers are the people who see themselves as infallible. They are dangerous.

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