Some Random Thoughts Part II

Mary Katherine Ham over at Townhall wrote a piece on this very good blog article from the Village Voice. I have no idea who Andrew W.K. is and I will wager to say that he and I are diametrically opposed on the political issues, but on this subject, he and I are in 100% agreement. I am sure all of us have family members with opposing political views, but at the end of the day, we realize that while we disagree, we still love and cherish their presence in our life. Here are a few excerpts and comments from the article that I particularly liked:

The world is being hurt and damaged by one group of people believing they’re truly better people than the others who think differently. The world officially ends when we let our beliefs conquer love. We must not let this happen.

The following excerpt really resonated with me as a conservative. This is an issue many of us here have repeatedly spoken on, and that is the desire of the power elites to keep the general populace at odds with each other. I don’t overlook the GOP’s culpability in this area, but I think that the Democrats, and particularly the Obama Administration, have excelled at this over the last few years::

People and systems craving power take advantage of this desire and pit us against each other using a “this or that” mentality. The point is to create unrest, disagreement, resentment, and anger — a population constantly at war with itself, each side deeply believing that the other is not just wrong, but also a sincere threat to their very way of life and survival. This creates constant anxiety and distraction — the perfect conditions for oppression. The goal of this sort of politics is to keep people held down and mesmerized by a persistent parade of seemingly life-or-death debates, each one worth all of our emotional energy and primal passion.

This in no way means that we must compromise our principles and firm political beliefs, but we must always remember that we are all children of God and that we all face our own daily challenges of life and as a Christian and one who worships the life of Jesus Christ, it’s the right thing to do:

We must be tireless in our efforts to see things from the point of view we most disagree with. We must make endless efforts to try and understand the people we least relate to. And we must at all times force ourselves to love the people we dislike the most. Not because it’s nice or because they deserve it, but because our own sanity and survival depends on it.

I know Andrew is writing this article solely for Americans, and our political environment, so I keep the following sentence in perspective:

And if we do find ourselves pushed into a corner where we must kill others in order to survive, we must fully accept that we are killing people just as fully human as ourselves, and not some evil abstract creatures.

I will only say however that if we do find ourselves pushed into a corner by radical jihadist factions, I am not sure I agree that they are as fully human as we are. Just saying. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

 

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16 thoughts on “Some Random Thoughts Part II

  1. shawny2011 August 10, 2014 / 5:09 am

    Very moving words. I’m old so I remember when there was a tolerant, live and let live mentality. When people who disagreed with what you said would still defend your right to say it. Where did all of those people go? This administration and these progressives seem to be actively dividing us to such an extent that we’ve stopped listening to each other, that we’re no longer willing to even discuss those things we do have in common. I’m sure that’s their plan but why do we let them manipulate us this way. People just reduced to labels and categories by the minority in power. And when that abuse of power they now celebrate falls into the hands of those who don’t think they way they do…….then will they recognize how wrong and damaging all of this has been and how hypocritical? More importantly, if the wind blows favorable to conservatives will we gloat and further alienate the left? Or will we begin the long journey of healing our nation, weeding out the criminals, stopping the abuses,and reclaiming our rights……together.

  2. Retired Spook August 10, 2014 / 9:23 am

    When people who disagreed with what you said would still defend your right to say it. Where did all of those people go? This administration and these progressives seem to be actively dividing us to such an extent that we’ve stopped listening to each other, that we’re no longer willing to even discuss those things we do have in common.

    Shawny, This is something I’ve been struggling with the last few years. I don’t think the divide we’re experiencing is an accident, and it hasn’t just happened under Obama, although he’s definitely stepped on the accelerator. The Left has indoctrinated two generations to think (not how to think, but what to think) differently than you and me. Look no further than the huge disparity of votes from 18-30 year-olds for Obama over Romney.

    There’s been much talk lately, Glenn Beck being at the forefront of it, that “can’t we just all get along?” Much like the gist of this post. I’ll be the first to admit that I have begun shutting people out of my life who have a vision for the future that I find unacceptable. And by unacceptable, I mean something I’d lay down my life to prevent, so I’ve set the bar pretty high. If someone desires a future that is less free and less prosperous, then the fact that we like the same music, same art, same sports, or even that we agree on the same solution to a particular problem, is not enough to make me desire any kind of relationship with that person. Life’s too short to waste any of it on someone whose vision will ensure that my descendants have a less fulfilling, less free life than I’ve had. I see no significant difference between someone who breaks into my home and steals something and someone who votes for someone else to essentially do the same thing. Maybe I am just a bitter old man as James has often said, but I still value hard work, integrity, personal responsibility, and the truth, even when the truth makes me uncomfortable. I just can’t have a cordial relationship with someone who opposes the principles that sustain me, especially someone who can’t even describe the principles that sustain them but only criticize and attack what I believe. Life’s too short.

    • shawny2011 August 10, 2014 / 5:53 pm

      I agree with much of what you’ve said. And because I do realize how much we’ve already lost, I find myself panicked or at least very impatient with others who spew the leftist propaganda out of ignorance of history and not knowing where that road leads. You’re right about the indoctrination of several generations but it is also possible that the rest of us are being indoctrinated to believe their thinking is the majority. What if that, like so many other things they’ve said, is a lie also? What if the vote counts (tabulated in Barcelona, Spain for Gods sakes) were faked for that purpose? Sadly, it’s gotten to the point where anyone could sell our kids a fundamental transformation of this corrupted style of governance because over so many generations, including ours, it has been allowed to be infiltrated, hijacked and transformed into something it was never intended to be, something the founders wouldn’t recognize, by greed, by both corrupt political parties and corrupt candidates running for office that could care less about their solemn oath of office or We the People, or equal justice under the law. No, I don’t think there is any room left for getting along with or appeasing wrong or evil no matter how nice a package of lies it comes wrapped in. I think doing so is likely how we got here, along with being far too trusting.

      • Cluster August 10, 2014 / 7:29 pm

        Shawny,

        I meant to mention this morning that the following was a very good question you asked and worthy of more conversation:

        More importantly, if the wind blows favorable to conservatives will we gloat and further alienate the left? Or will we begin the long journey of healing our nation, weeding out the criminals, stopping the abuses,and reclaiming our rights……together.

      • Amazona August 10, 2014 / 8:51 pm

        Personally, I wouldn’t give a rat’s patootie about “further alienating the Left”. That statement carries with it the assumption that whatever alienation they feel right now is the result of something we have done.

        The Left has alienated itself, with its either/or paradigms, its dependence on personal attacks, its attitude of entitlement in using the worst and most vile language and imagery to describe us, and their incessant drumbeat of lies, vicious lies, and outrageous lies.

        I say, we ignore them and go about our business. Those who want to understand what we are doing and why will pay attention, will watch and learn, will ask, and will come to understand that the REAL difference between Left and Right is not Fair/Unfair or Equal/Unequal or Nice/Mean or Generous/Greedy or any of their other inventions, but a simple commitment to what we believe is the best way to govern our country, because we have seen it work, we know it works, it is our law, and we have about 100 years of unrelenting failure of Leftist governance on the other side.

        The rest will remain hair-on-fire emotion-driven negativity-dependent hysterics drawn to the hatred used by the Left to bait them in and incapable of being anything else. And I couldn’t care less what they think of us, or rather how they FEEL about us, because people who choose to remain in that mindset are not people whose opinions matter to me.

        As for “gloating” we are much more likely to breathe a sigh of relief and then set about the business of fixing what the Left has broken. The Left, on the other hand, will be throwing rocks, burning neighborhoods, putting out Wanted Dead or Alive posters, making movies about killing whoever we elect, fawning at the feet of their beloved race pimps and warmongers, engaging in breathless diatribes on TV and radio about everything we do, misstating our victories as failures, trying to stir up hate and fear, and in general doing what they do.

  3. Retired Spook August 10, 2014 / 11:25 am

    Cluster,

    I’m just curious — where do you draw the line that you just can’t cross to seek common ground with someone? I’m guessing you discovered where that line is in your interaction with Mitch and his friends. It’s not really something that I gave much thought to until Obama was elected, and even more so after he was re-elected. I chalked off his first election to idealism, white guilt and the desire by a substantial portion of the electorate for free stuff. His re-election, however, indicates, at least to me, that there are a pretty significant number of Americans who really do want to “fundamentally transform” America into something that I find repugnant. The kind of common ground that I might find with such people is irrelevant to the future of my children and grandchildren, and the only effect I experience interacting with such people is wanting to take a shower afterward. If I had to live with or work around such people on a regular basis, I’d move and find a different job. I understand the “loving your enemy” thing, but how do you love someone who wants to hurt and/or enslave your children?

    • Amazona August 10, 2014 / 12:09 pm

      “His re-election, however, indicates, at least to me, that there are a pretty significant number of Americans who really do want to “fundamentally transform” America into something that I find repugnant.”

      Spook, we have talked about this, and I don’t agree. Oh, I agree that a lot of seriously stupid and lazy people have enabled true believers to do this, but I still think that most who vote Dem do not do so out of any—-and I repeat, ANY—-conviction, or belief, or even inclination, of a political system.

      The Left has laid down a foundation of dislike and distrust for the Right so substantial,so deep and so comprehensive, that they can now place any stupid thing they want on top of it and it will be supported by that underlayment.

      We were unhappy about the promise of a civilian security force as large and well-funded as the military, but when we said so, all the Left had to do was say “But that’s just the big bad Right trying to scare you” and this was enough to deflect attention and concern away from the specter of, well, a massive and well-armed force within our borders answering only to the President.

      When we pointed out what was meant by “fundamentally transforming” the nation, all the Left had to do was refuse to address that phrase or what it meant, and accuse the Right of fear-mongering.

      And so on. I am not excusing these people. You know I am not. I have told you, and I have said it many times here on the blog. I am furious with them, and I am unforgiving. I would like to see 20 million cars on American roads carrying bumper stickers that say “Things not going well? Be sure to thank an Obama voter.” I’m pissed, I’m fed up, and I hold these people accountable. I don’t really blame Obama that much—-he told us what he wanted to do, and to blame him now would be like blaming a snake for biting. I blame those who let themselves be seduced into a stupor of bigotry and ignorance, in which they chose to accept what they were told by the Left (oh, Obama didn’t really MEAN a massive force of civilians as big as our military but outside military discipline, heavily armed, answering only to him. Those bad conservatives can’t be trusted!)

      The only place we part company is that I just don’t believe they actually want to “fundamentally transform” the nation beyond some vague, incoherent, never analyzed FEELING that somehow life will be sunnier and easier with Dems in office. The Left has cast itself as the Feel-good side, and the Right as scary and, of course, EXTREME. I have only had one Lefty argue that the feds should have programs and policies not delegated in the Constitution instead of having those programs and policies governed by the States, and that was a hyper-emotional tirade on FAIRNESS. What if one state votes in a good, comprehensive, health care policy and another doesn’t? THAT’S NOT FAIR !!!! The idea that this lets people control their lives, that those who don’t want a government health care system can move to the state without one and those who do want it can move to the state that does simply enraged him—-IT SHOULD BE THE SAME FOR EVERYBODY!!!!! But most people distrust Big Power, most people understand that it is easier to control programs, and corruption and incompetence, easier to have oversight, at the state level. We are just absolutely terrible at addressing the important aspects of our philosophy, and they are brilliant at playing on the emotions of the willfully ignorant.

      And, BTW, I too can hardly stand to be around them.

      • Retired Spook August 10, 2014 / 1:01 pm

        Spook, we have talked about this, and I don’t agree.

        Amazona, you and I aren’t all that far apart — actually only in the number of people we believe actually want to transform the country. I said shortly before the 2012 election that I couldn’t imagine there would be enough people who would say to themselves, “yeah, man — I want more of this” to give Obama another 4 years. It turned out there were more than enough. Other than that, you and I are on the same page — as usual. If the pendulum shifts significantly over the next two elections (this fall and 2016), then I’ll be more than happy to concede that you were right. I don’t want to be right, and will be bummed out if I am.

      • Amazona August 10, 2014 / 2:05 pm

        It might be quibbling, but I don’t think many voters said “I want more of that” but said “He just needs more time to be the president I thought I was voting for and he would have done it by now except for those evil Republicans like Mitt Romney being so mean to him because his so sincere and tries so hard and Mitt looks too rich and he is really really white and I don’t think I like Mormons or Catholics and Paul Ryan does not believe in birth control and I am kind of committed to proving that I am not a racist and they both want the same thing anyway so what the hell”.

      • Amazona August 10, 2014 / 2:11 pm

        Well, Obama won by about three and a half million votes, and I think more people than that have turned on him. Whether they will turn back to Hillary or Joe is another question, but the base has significantly eroded. Lose the monolithic black vote, effectively point out how profoundly insulting the WARRRRR ON WOMENNNNN!!!” meme is, depending on the image of women as mindless sex-obsessed helpless ninnies, and that margin could evaporate pretty quickly.

        But we can still be dumb enough to lose our advantage. We are already stuck in that Loser Mode “call ______ _____ and tell him to stop doing _____” cliche of television and radio advertising, which doesn’t give me much hope that we can stop doing what does not work.

      • M. Noonan August 10, 2014 / 2:15 pm

        Ignorance is the problem – the other day I was listening to Catholic radio and the debate was over the Church’s position on same-sex marriage. The hosts of the show invited proponents to call in and one of the callers, to paraphrase, said that not having same-sex marriage is equivalent to the “3/5ths rule” in the Constitution in which it took the votes of 5 black people to equal the votes of 3 white people; as it was patently unfair to make 5 black people equal to 3 white people, we must allow same-sex marriage.

        What does one say to that? There is no answer that can be given other than, “look, you clearly don’t understand the first thing about the issue – or, indeed, history – and so there’s no point in talking to you, and we’re revoking you’re right to vote until you get educated”. As that answer cannot actually be given, you just have to walk past the question and go on to something else – the hosts of the show in question immediately changed the subject to getting the caller’s definition of what is a valid marriage…and even here, the guy (who was, by the way, very nice and respectful throughout the call – probably a really nice guy that any of us would like, as a person, if we met him) got himself in knots and was eventually (and you could tell very reluctantly) to agree that same-sex marriage means that its ok for siblings to marry (he was forced to this because his definition of marriage – which he was trying to set up so that it would just allow two gay guys to get married – was so flimsy that it covered, in the end, any sort of “marriage” that any set of adults would choose). Not only did the caller not know the Constitution and not know history, he hadn’t even fully thought out the ramifications of his desired outcome (in this case, that two men or two women may marry). But, he votes. His vote counts fully as much as someone who is vastly better informed.

        And, in the end, that is the good thing – if we were to set up a system where only people with great knowledge would vote, the franchise would be so limited that it would almost immediately create an oligarchy…initially not a too bad one as almost all liberals would be excluded from voting, but eventually bad because any oligarchy eventually goes bad. But, still, it is a mountain to climb – how to get a rational government when a good portion of the raw material of government (ie, the votes of the ignorant) make folly seem wise at election time?

  4. Retired Spook August 10, 2014 / 11:45 am

    Seems to be kind of a slow Sunday — maybe a little clean, Christian humor will liven things up.

    Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering.
    Finally fed up, God said, ‘THAT’S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours and from those results, I will judge who does the better job.’
    So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.
    They moused.
    They faxed.
    They e-mailed.
    They e-mailed with attachments.
    They downloaded.
    They did spreadsheets!
    They wrote reports.
    They created labels and cards.
    They created charts and graphs.
    They did some genealogy reports.
    They did every job known to man.
    Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.
    Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went off…
    Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld.
    Jesus just sighed….
    Finally, the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching frantically, screaming:
    ‘It’s gone! It’s all GONE! ‘I lost everything when the power went out!’
    Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work.
    Satan observed this and became irate.
    ‘Wait!’ he screamed. That’s not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don’t have any?’

    God just shrugged and said,

    JESUS SAVES …

    • Amazona August 10, 2014 / 12:17 pm

      Good one. Thanks.

      It IS a glorious day, isn’t it? The sky is blue, the sun is shining, the dogs are cavorting like puppies (even the old guy) and it is a perfect day.

      We have already had snow on Pike’s Peak, though, and our rainy days have been cooler than usual. I don’t mind a bit. The Global Warming snowpack of last year has given me additional days of irrigation water this year, the Global Warming cool days and heavy rain combined with that water all have my pastures Ireland-green and my critters are blissed out, and if we have another Global Warming big-snow winter I will have the mountain place buttoned up and can sit down here and watch the snow build up.

      It’s all good.

      • Retired Spook August 10, 2014 / 1:06 pm

        In spite of everything we like to complain about, life IS good. We just got back from visiting my youngest daughter in Michigan — 3 consecutive days in the high 70’s and low 80’s, with cloudless skies and a slight breeze, and, like your signs of an early winter, some leaves are already changing. The farmers around the Great Lakes region are looking at all-time record yields, so, if this is global warming, I say let’s have more of it. All is, indeed, good!

      • Cluster August 10, 2014 / 2:05 pm

        Life is good. We are currently in Lake Tahoe waiting to head out onto the lake for a lunch/swim pontoon boat ride and the weather could not be better. Enjoy your Sunday everyone.

  5. Amazona August 10, 2014 / 7:01 pm

    When I have run into someone who seems sincere but is clueless, who spouts something like “The Constitution is an outdated document that doesn’t serve our times” I just look interested ask how it is outdated. This gets a generalized but vague nonanswer along the lines of how it was written for a different time and much smaller country, and then I ask, in a friendly manner, just what the speaker would change. This is where the rubber meets the road.

    Some just snap and get nasty, and try to shift into fight mode, going off on George Bush and neocons and Iraq and BloodforOil, and I drop the whole thing because this is telegraphing a message that the walls are too high and the filters too fine to let any truth or reason in. But some try to answer, and the answers are along the lines of “It should allow gay marriage”. Those are the fun answers, because a response like “The Constitution doesn’t even mention marriage” spurs absolute amazement. There is a chance to get in a quick comment about the Constitution limiting the size, scope and power of the federal government to a few specific duties delegated to it, which it MUST do, and how the Founders realized how power corrupts so they worked really hard to set up a system that controls power and keeps it spread out among the states. That resonates. Everyone, or nearly everyone anyway, is suspicious of power. Everyone, or nearly everyone anyway, understands and agrees that having programs and policies voted on closer to home and administered closer to home means less waste, less corruption and more oversight.

    I recently had a conversation with a cousin I have mentioned here many times, the one I call the poster child for the sincere but clueless Left. She is quite convinced that she is an educated political observer, and she very sincerely explained that we learned, in Civics class, that we all vote and then when one side is elected we all come together to govern, but the Republicans are not letting that happen now. I just said that that is a grand idea when both sides want the same thing and the election is just about how best to make it happen, but when the two sides want very different things it is not obstructionism but the courage of one’s convictions that does not allow him to enable a program or policy which he feels is inherently bad or dangerous for the country. She had never thought of that. It’s not “should we feed people or let them starve” it is “What is the best way we can make sure people are not starving, while following the Constitution, or do we even care if we follow the Constitution?”

    I did my 30-second definition of the basic differences between the two opposing political systems in our country and said “If you believe that we are bound by our Constitution you have to believe that we MUST limit the size, scope and power of the federal government to the few enumerated duties delegated to it in the Constitution. It is not debatable. If you believe that we do not have to follow the Constitution, and can ignore it when we want to, and that the size, scope and power of the federal government should not be restrained or regulated, then you can work to have a meeting of the minds about just how far this should go, how big it should be, how powerful it should be allowed to become. But if you have not crossed the line into thinking it is OK to ignore those restrictions, then there is absolutely no way you can have a meeting of the minds on how far to go in violation of them, because your position is that they should not be violated at all This is not obstruction for the sake of obstructing, this is principled opposition easily defined and explained, and this is where someone like you or me has to make a decision—–follow the Constitution or violate it.”

    And then I stopped. I could see from her face that she had never considered any of this before, that she had just accepted the lie that the Right wants to stop Obama’s and the Left’s agenda out of spite and this was all very new to her. When she left, she said it was really nice to have a calm and respectful conversation about politics and she has invited me several times to come stay with her for a few days so we can talk some more.

    This is not unusual. I think we can reach people if we don’t attack them for having different emotion-based issues but just point out that in this country the people have the right to vote for things that many of us find abhorrent, repellent, or immoral—-they just have to do it within the confines of the Constitution, which is that if the isssue is not a delegated duty of the federal government it is forbidden to the federal government, and must be addressed at the state or local level.

    At one point she fretted that our Senate candidate, Cory Gardner, wants abortion to be made illegal. She, of course, took this to mean he wanted to put women in jail for getting abortions. I just said for one thing that is his personal opinion, and he is a smart guy (she agreed) and fully aware that this is not an issue over which the Senate has any authority whatsoever. She looked quizzical at that so I went on “So that brings us to Mark Udall flooding the airwaves with dark, gloomy ads trying to scare people away from voting for Cory Gardner because he once said that was his belief. Does Mark Udall, after a couple of terms in the Senate, really believe that as a Senator he would or could have anything to say about abortion? If he is this clueless about the role of the federal government, we should not send him back to Washington. Does he know better but is just lying to try to scare people? If so, we should not send a liar back to Washington.” (And then I suggested that “illegal” did not automatically mean a jail sentence. Jaywalking is illegal, but it is just a fine. And since she does find abortion abhorrent and evil, wouldn’t it be a good idea to stop trivializing it by saying there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, and start sending the message that it IS wrong, and there IS a penalty for it, even if it is not a really severe penalty? Oh. Yeah. Not sending them to jail. That would be OK.)

    Oh. So it’s not about abortion, it’s about the Constitution? About how we are going to run the country?

    This is not a message that most people will reject or find offensive. On the contrary, I find that most people find it interesting.

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