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Social Values and the Republican Liberty Caucus

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(This was written as a personal statement to the members of the Republican Liberty Caucus, of which I am Chairman. I’m sharing it here on Blogcritics because I believe it has value in explaining the organization to a broader audience.)

I consider myself to be socially conservative in my personal beliefs. I’m not about to marry a man, encourage my daughter to have an abortion, picket a military recruiting office or smoke marijuana. But I am also a libertarian, so I do not believe in using the power of government to force my values on other people. I hope and believe that as a group the Republican Liberty Caucus shares this perspective, and that our members understand that like the Republican party, we are a “big tent” with room for anyone who agrees with our core principles of limited government, free markets and individual liberty.

The RLC is not just a bunch of Libertarians who got tired of the bickering in the Libertarian Party. Many of us are long-time Republicans who are inspired not by Ayn Rand or Murray Rothbard or the modern gurus of the libertarian movement, but by the fundamentally conservative belief in liberty which descends from enlightened conservatives like Edmund Burke and the founding fathers and was reinforced by the great leaders of the Republican party like Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.

Reagan described his own philosophy of government as libertarian; he saw no conflict between his libertarian beliefs and his personal moral principles. Like many Republicans, he understood that there are separate spheres for the political and the personal. The RLC operates in the political sphere and is not in the business of advocating for or against any moral belief held by any individual. While it is true that we do not believe that it is the role of the federal government to legislate morality, that also means that as a group we do not advocate or oppose any position on personal moral, religious or social issues. There are other groups, both inside and outside the GOP, which address those issues quite well without our help.

The RLC has many members whose personal values tend towards the socially conservative, but they still share a belief in the principles of limited government, free markets and individual liberty. We welcome them into our chapters because their beliefs do not conflict with our core principles. By the same measure, we also welcome members whose personal beliefs tend to be more socially liberal. If we have differences on some social issues we can put those aside because it is more important to work together on the larger issues which we share in common.

Our nation is in peril and our most precious rights are threatened. Government is out of control and must be returned to the principles on which it was founded. Achieving this is the mission of the RLC and if it is your mission, then that should override all lesser issues; we ought to be able to find common ground and work together because none of us will be able to live the way we want — whatever our personal social and moral beliefs — if we are no longer free.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Good questions, Fernando

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Fernando,

    You may yet prove to be an asset. To keep Dave straight is quite a task.

  • Baronius

    Fernando, Dave does explain his position clearly. It doesn’t matter whether you or I think he’s wrong.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    1. Claims in an earlier post to be Pro Abortion and now claims to be Socially Conservative???? Well which one is it?

    In this article I clearly state that I am opposed to abortion as a personal decision. As a matter of policy I think that most abortions — but not those which kill a viable fetus — should be legal. This is the position I’ve taken here previously and does not contradict my position on the issue here.

    2. Denies that fact that the RLC was founded and run by a bunch of Libertarian kooks “who got tired of the bickering in the Libertarian Party” . But anyone who does a little research on the RLC will find that thats exactly what it is, a makeover of Ron Paulbots.

    Fernando, now you’re being contradictory. If the RLC were dominated by Paulbots then like Ron Paul would we not be overwhelmingly extremely socially conservative? In fact, the RLC was founded by a diverse group of members, and I only joined it about a decade after it was founded, by which time it had matured and defined itself and broadened its membership.

    Since Ron Paul kooks couldnt get their candidate elected they are now hell bent on turning the Republican Party into the party of kooks…just like they did to the Liberterian Party.

    You seem to have confused the RLC with the C4L. Ron Paul has no official connection to the RLC and has, in fact, become increasingly distanced from the group as he continues to promote his non-Republican interests.

    ?Why do people who dont believe in Republican princples claim to be Republicans?

    Certainly always something that mystifies me as well, Fernando. Virtually all Republicans express a belief in individual liberty and smaller government, which are at the heart of the republican ideology, yet in practice when it comes to specifics so few actually follow through on those principles.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Fernando, you seem to have a fundamnetal inability to understand the difference between personal beliefs and political positions. If you can’t get that basic concept then this discussion isn’t going to get very far. I’ll try to simplify for you.

    I’m not getting any abortions or paying for them or urging anyone I know to get one.

    but

    I support the right of others to make a different moral decision because it’s wrong for me to dictate their moral choices.

    Does that help at all?

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Very nice distinction, Dave. I think it would be a great asset if more and more of us were able to keep it in mind. I think it needs reiterating time and again.

    I myself may have been guilty of blurring the two now and then, so thanks for bringing this up.

    Roger

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Dave why does the RLC website, the one that you run, in the October 2008 post, “Hope for America: Ron Paul for President in 2012?” list Ron Paul as an RLC Advisor? No connnection? Distant? Really?

    Contrary to your belief, I don’t personally run the RLC website, plus the article you reference is on the RLC blog, whose articles are written by various individuals and bear the disclaimer “The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect official positions of the RLC.” I’m Politics editor here and I also don’t take responsibility for all the articles on BC.

    That said, Ron Paul has been associated with the RLC since it was founded, but he has distanced himself from the group in the last few years, and we have done the same with him as he courted a more extreme audience. We haven’t kicked him off the purely honorary Advisory Board list, because he is still an important voice for liberty, but that’s largely meaningless.

    And again, Ron Paul ought to be your buddy. He’s way more socially conservative than most Republicans and most members of the RLC are.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Fernando, I should have been clearer about Ron Paul’s role, you’re correct. He has no active role in the organization, doesn’t set policy, doesn’t run anything, but he is someone we respect and have given a position on the advisory board. That doesn’t mean we agree with him in every way, of course.

    Dave you bill yourself as RLC Party Chairman

    The RLC is not a “party” it is a 527c non-profit organization.

    and you claim that you have no control over the party website?

    No, I claimed that I don’t “run” the website, which I don’t. The administrator of the website is Steve Redlich. I also pointed out that the blog section represents the opinions of individual members, not the RLC as an organization. But yes, if I thought an article needed to be removed I could get it removed with a quick consultation with the board. Sorry, what is your point again?

    As an Political editor of BC if you saw a FALSE CLAIM posted I am sure you would take responsibility and have it addressed by the editors.

    As I have a few times with articles. But I’m not the comments editor, so if you post any falsehoods or misrepresentations in the comments section it’s up to them whether to delete them or not.

    Dave, you are flip-flopping all over the place and should realize that at the end of the day, you must be held accountable for your words. Words “do” mean something.

    Sure they do, Fernando, but only to those who can read and understand them.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Fernando,

    There is a deeper meaning to the distinction between political and personal beliefs that you’re willing to admit.

    You may be a fundamentalist Christian, or a Mormon, or a devout Catholic. But that doesn’t mean that when in office, you must of should impose your personal beliefs on the body politic. In fact, often you’re required by oath prior to taking office to disavow any allegiance except to the Constitution. One reason why Jack Kennedy was viewed with suspicion in the sixties was that he might try to allow his Catholicism influence decisions concerning the state.

    Consequently, political positions often must transcend one’s personal beliefs, whether we like them to or not, simply because there is a greater call – to allow for the voices of diversity within the Republic. And we don’t want a dictatorship in America, do we?

    “E Pluribus Unum” doesn’t mean squelching diverging voices but unity in spite of diversity.

  • Clavos

    Tarde o temprano, nosotros los latinos siempre invocamos el racismo en disputas con los güeros.

    ¡Que pena!

    No seas baboso, Fernando. Ese comentario no fue racista, y bien lo sabes.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Angry, overweight, confused, bald white men!

    Ha! Sounds pretty much like why the entire world is in trouble, forget the Republican Party…

    Clav, I sorta got that. Babelfish doesn’t have the words I don’t understand though.

    (lol, just amusing myself whilst waiting for my two uncles to join me in online poker after having had 3 cherry martinis–guarantee I will kick both their asses and place in the tournament too. I am a might good at texas hold’em.)

    Ah, martinis woohoo!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s almost a personal insult except that it was put in the plural. Saving grace.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Good for you, Fernando. This is a public forum and whatever is going to be said, let it be said in public.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    The internet is America???

    Please write in English???

    Why?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    English is now ‘public’ and other languages are not ‘public’?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Thanks for the hint, Cindy. Nice translation engine. Now I don’t have to do it word for word, which is time consuming and inaccurate.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    come el gato Roger? probably not.

    (sorry Clav, I probably got it wrong…close enough for government work though)

    bad…bad…uncouth and vulgar.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    fuck proper Fernando…

    if i could manage it i’d probably be improper more often…

    be improper any way you can, it’ll do you good.

    (takes about 3 martinis for me :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This is fun!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I envy you there. Didn’t have a drop in a week.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    lol Roger, you translated what i said. a spanish fellow at the factory where i worked at 15 yo (you know, i lied and said i was 18) said that i should say that out loud. i was too smart..i refused. but i remember it still.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Babelfish doesn’t cover Swahili. Zedd should know.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I sort of did – but the word order was all fucked up.

    Guess what. The Italian-Americans at my first job (Bof A on Wall Street) would also put me up to say shit to women coworkers. And I would oblige.

    “I want to eat you,” I remember distinctly. I got slapped on the face a few times, till I learned what it means.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    why do all the people i end up disagreeing with most, always love and stand by the ad hominem attack fallacy?

  • Clavos

    Pobre de Fernando! Resulta que no habla el español.

    Que lastima!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sorry, Cindy. I didn’t mean to offend you.

  • Clavos

    Forget Babelfish, Cindy, here’s the Clav translation:

    Poor Fernando! Turns out he doesn’t speak Spanish.

    What a shame!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    El gato está fuera del bolso.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    No offense taken Roger. (I guess you didn’t translate my last comment, after all.)

    To no one in particular…calling any language a ‘gutter language’ is a sign you are a real asshole.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Shoot. This is better than Berlitz’s.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think Cervantes just turned in his grave.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Folks,

    Turns out ‘Fernando Escobar’ is a well-known and oft-banned commenter around these parts. (Good catch, zing.) He is in permanent exile and all his comments have been deleted. I can’t, however, be bothered to go back over everything and delete or edit all of the rest of your comments made in response to him, so this thread is just going to have to make limited sense.

    Carry on.

    Dr Dreadful
    Assistant Comments Editor

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’ve told you the word order was all cockeye.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    27 – Clav,

    That one I didn’t need babelfish for. :-)

  • Clavos

    Doc,

    (Good catch, zing.)

    ¿Como?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Somehow I knew from the first he posted, something was wrong. zing had some “reasoned” discussions with him, apparently to no avail. Perhaps he identified the style.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Roger,

    I still have my Swahili book as I was bound for Africa, as a b&w field photographer of giraffe neck spots (which is how they identify them), with the fellow who headed the biological sciences dept at Duquesne University. I learned that Swahili was a language of choice for international relations. Alas, I never got to go to Africa as the grant expired (as usual). Apparently professors have better things to do than study giraffes. (unlike me, who couldn’t imagine anything better to do)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Heckuva story. I’m glad, though, they caught on to him. He was beyond reason.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Clav,

    See what is now his #141 on this thread.

  • Clavos

    Alas, I never got to go to Africa…

    I’ve been to Africa (South Africa) twice.

    In the bush, one of the most beautiful places I’ve been, and I’ve covered most of the world at one time or another while working in the airline industry.

    In the cities: not so nice, except I did like Cape Town.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    In the bush, one of the most beautiful places I’ve been…

    (sigh)

  • Zedd

    You know what?…. Stop the Africa discussion. It’s ridiculous how frightfully ignorant you people are. What are you talking about really? It would be like discussing Swedish and someone chiming in to say that they know Europe. They’ve been to Poland 3x and they loved Krakow. And starts yacking on about one type of terrain that in no way describes most of Europe. ?????

    Also just for the rest of you who were imagining THE BUSH to be this mystical place with naked people running around. These are game reserves. Fenced off areas, national parks if you will. I’ve only been to one myself. Much like we go to Yellowstone. Scared the poopee out of me. Lions got too close to the tiny Japanese car. The roar is much different two feet away. They look much bigger than they do at the Johannesburg zoo or Dallas zoo for that matter. Even then I would have called it “the bush”. It was an hour or so away from a metropolis. It was a novelty. Most people there never go to see “the bush” in their entire lives. Couldn’t tell you what it is or looks like. Have TV to go by. Much like any other national park. There are lots of nice cities. The best malls in the world, music unbelievable, night life (swank lounges), food (Indian, yum), etc. THE bush???? Beaches are unbelievable at least compared to the beaches here in Texas (what the…?). Anyway there are so many different types of terrain, in just one small country. Africa is three times plus, the size of the United States. Come on folks. The bush.

    What is sad is -AGAIN- is that because of your white supremacist world view, you wont think that you should be embarrassed to be so ignorant. Now let a person miss speak about some obscure, minute detail in Europe’s history and oh the noses point straight up (cause it’s so important) and the barrage of tisks come poring in.

    It’s all your world. Either try or ask questions. Many of you think your whiteness makes you innately knowledgeable about what is relevant. STOP it’s called ignorance.

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    I’m shocked that you would praise Reagan when he is the person that actually stoked the flame on religious fanaticism in your party.

    You don’t know what was going on in the Christian/evangelical community at that time. Some of us lived it. He used key phrases – meaning it was deliberate – to cause the Fundies to come alive. What you have right now in the party was Reagan’s doing. Sorry.

  • Zedd

    Is Fernando a phantom poster? Not seeing his remarks. I guess he’s like Santa.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy.

    Check this out. You too, Zedd.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You missed all the fun. Turned out to be long banned and banished. So all his comments were erases, except for our responses.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Zedd,

    In light of your #42, I’m sure glad I didn’t chime in. Better sense prevailed.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’ll never understand some people’s fascination with Reagan.

    Keep on plugging, Zulu warrior.

    I like your remarks on Poland (the country of my birth). Typical tourist mentality.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I guess, Zedd, the article makes some good points except, as you mentioned, the reference to Reagan. It wouldn’t have suffered for the omission.

  • Clavos

    Not sure why my perfectly reasonable opinion of my impression of South Africa sparked zedd’s racism, but there it is for all to see. I’ve long suspected that at heart she is one; that over reactive diatribe confirms it.

    FYI, zedd, each of my trips over there was a month long, and was spent driving ourselves (my wife and me) in a rented camper, pretty much all over the country (as well as Lesotho and the Drakensberg mountains- Giant’s Castle reserve), including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein (where my wife’s uncle has lived for fifty years) Durban, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, and many small villages on the roads in between the cities.

    Sure we visited (and camped) in the parks, including of course Kruger, Umfolozi Hluhluwe, Table Mountain, Karoo, and many others, including a number of private reserves. As you well know, Kruger is nearly the size of Florida; most of it is totally undeveloped and raw.

    But I’m just an arrogant white guy — what do I know, right?

  • Dan

    Either the GOP must advocate (and actually work to implement) the decentralized, small-government positions of Reagan and Goldwater, or it will (continue to) advocate and implement the centralizing, big-government values of Lincoln and TR. You can’t advocate the values of all hour simultaneously; to attempt to do so is the politically philosophical equivalent of mixing oil and water.

  • Clavos

    Almost forgot, zedd. On the second trip we venture into Swaziland, where we explored the Kalahari and wound up in the North, at Chobe.

    One other thing: in Kruger (and some of the other, larger parks) the animals aren’t fenced — the people are, as in the campgrounds and rest stops.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Zedd,

    We only get to like malls, nightclubs, and beaches if we go to Africa?

    Are there any giraffes in the mall Zedd? I don’t like malls or nightclubs anywhere else in the world. Why would I want to go all the way to Africa to go to a mall? Really Zedd, we are white supremacists because we like parks better than nightclubs? lmao

    You have a vivid imagination about what is in other people’s minds. Sounds kind of prepackaged though and biased. I wonder who should be calling whom frightfully ignorant.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I was a travel agent for two years or so. Everybody always asked wanted the same things–nightlife, shopping, ‘best’ beaches. How dreadfully boring most people are.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy,

    You are an exception. And I’m certain you’re aware of that.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    “…how tourism effects nations in the developing world. It creates an economic and political apartheid.

    In many countries it creates entire swathes of a nation where the poor cannot go. Sometimes the poor are simply priced out by a parallel economic system, sometimes they are literally barred from entry by force. Tourism can also create an economic distortion that actually shifts people away from the long term work of building an economy that benefits everyone.” (link)

    Just say no to shopping malls and night clubs. An interest in real local life and people might be a good thing to develop instead of importing bullshit wonderlands of shopping and partying. No one needs any more ‘Cancuns’.

  • Ruvy

    Zedd,

    You know what?…. Stop the Africa discussion. It’s ridiculous how frightfully ignorant you people are. What are you talking about really?

    Gee, Zedd, that is my line for you when you attempt you “knowledge” of Israel. You are frightfully ignorant and if you think some intellectual putz writing a tome gives you knowledge, think again.

    Come here and walk a mile in our shoes, Zedd. Then open your mouth.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I am misunderstanding the nature of your comments, Cindy. I don’t think she was saying – “see the malls, see the nightclubs” other than pointing out there are other things besides “the Bush.” And because she was wrong about Clavos, doesn’t mean she was wrong about most others – again, you excepting.

    So what am I missing here? I wouldn’t presume to know the country of her birth better than her. And I know you don’t either.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Roger,

    She is portraying our attitude about what we imagine Africa to be as that of dominant white culture–romanticized and ignorant–as if we are expecting to see a wild, primitive place with ‘noble savages’ in the vast African veldt around every turn.

    She is saying people do the same thing there as here. They don’t go to ‘the bush’. They live in cities with nightlife and shopping malls and eat Indian food and lie on the beach in the sun (never really understood the point of that).

    So, I’m not telling Zedd about her country. I’m saying she’s judgmental and presumptuous.

  • Zedd

    Cindy, Clavos

    The point was that you were talking about Swahili and then started yacking on about South Africa. Hence the Sweedish / Poland reference.

    Places where Swahili is spoken:

    Burundi
    Congo DR
    Kenya
    Mozambique
    Rwanda
    Somalia
    Tanzania
    Uganda

    Clav,

    You wouldn’t dare make that mistake about some aboriginal language in Latin Americ. If someone started talking about some Bolivian language and some idiot chimed in about how they’ve been to Matamoros, you’d that “what an idiot”.

    Admit it folks, it was RIDICULOUS!

    Like I said, you wont be ashamed because it’s Africa after all. THEY don’t matter. White supremacist world view plain and simple. You didn’t know how it works did you. No capes or silly outfits. Just arrogance and abysmal ignorance with no concern about EVER getting it right. Like you guys are doing.

    Cindy,

    You missed it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I can understand at least where she’s coming from – because the popular conception (if not now than in the past) is of Africa as a jungle and of natives as “noble savages.” Her national pride is speaking for her here.

    And I have no doubt that “the locals” don’t go to the bush – because it’s commercialized and can’t afford it. No different, in other words than other “attractions,” tourist attractions.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    comment #60 – Just arrogance and abysmal ignorance with no concern about EVER getting it right. Like you guys are doing.

    Sort of the way you characterize all whites…

    Face it Zedd, you’re a racist!

  • Zedd

    Hey what about a riveting conversation about the wild west when the topic was about a Brooklyn accent.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I said that Swahili is the language of choice for international relations. It is taught to speakers of many languages so that they can communicate in a common language. I was given the book with the entire language by a professor, so that I could learn to communicate with the other researchers. People who might be German or French.

    I said nothing else about it. I think you are awfully presumptuous.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Perhaps more a case, Andy, of being proud of her national heritage.

  • Zedd

    Andy,

    Not sure if you are okay but I’m preety sure that I named the people that I was refering to.

    The question is why are you so touchy and crazed to the point of utter confusion? Do you have issues with this matter?

    You don’t know what a racist is. Off course you haven’t had a reason to try to understand what one is. Nothing wrong with that. You are ignorant about the subject matter. No biggie. Just don’t get all worked up about it. Go read. That’s how all other information is gained OR you can prove my point.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That is true, Zedd. And it was then that the discussion went off on a tangent.

    I don’t believe there was any intended connection.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Now we have a spirited discussion going. It was all boring in the wee hours of the morning. Hurray, BC!

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    63

    btw Zedd, you could use some work on your analogies. I often understand and appreciate where you are trying to go with ideas–but it would be a lot easier if you took the time to at least try and make better sense, so one doesn’t have to stretch one’s imagination so far.

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    Once more….

    The point is the segue from Swahili to South Africa. Doesn’t add up. Come on you are smart enough. Like Cockney (the slang) then segue to Budapest. It’s that ridiculous.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’d have one thing to add. Cindy and Clavos would be the least persons I’d ever suspect of racism. As to the larger issue of ignorance, none of us are saints.

  • Zedd

    Like I said, you wont get the offense (or stupidity). It’s the way or our world. It just is.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But again, no connection was intended.
    The mind just wanders.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’d better make a graceful exit before I get bruised.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I have no idea what you’re talking about Zedd.

    1) Roger made a statement about Swahili not being in babelfish.

    2) I then made a statement about a book I was given to learn Swahili for a study of giraffes in Africa.

    3) Clav then commented he’d been to South Africa.

    I am not sure what is going on in your head there, but I’ll try not to presume. Where was the incomprehensible segue?

  • Zedd

    I didn’t say they were racists. I said it is a white supremacist world view. IT IS. If you live on planet Earth, you are infected with it. Cindy of all people should understand that. Even none whites are guilty of it. Its sick and annoying. It has a great deal to do with most of our international policy. It just does. It has a lot to do with how we categories the bad guys. It just does. How we evaluate what is relevant or what requires our empathy, benevolence or patience.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    How can Cindy disagree? She’s been preaching this message for years.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    In fact, she’s even more skeptical of whether we can ever bridge this divide and overcome our cultural or other influences than I.

    We had heated discussion over this – more than any other matter perhaps.

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    Help with 63.

    America is a region with lots of other smaller and very divers regions. A Brooklyn accent is the way people speak in the Eastern part of America. The wild west is a mostly mythical location in well the west, a completely different part of -you guessed it- America. While I live in the part that has Western culture and you can go to Ft. Worth and hang out at the saloons but they are made for tourists. We don’t really live like that here. We have malls, a great nightlife, horrible beaches, etc.

    Hope it helps.

  • Ruvy

    So, Zedd, you don’t like your world view misconstrued, do you?

    Not enjoying it when people purposely seem to misunderstand, eh? Rough stuff, eh?

    Tut tut…..

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I love being ignored by two women. My long time experience tells me one thing: I’m being accepted.

    Thank you both (and cross my heart, no sarcasm intended).

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    People from the eastern part of America don’t speak with a Brooklyn accent.

    There are several different NY accents, there’s the Boston accent, there’s a completely different accent even farther up in New England. People from Brooklyn speak with a Brooklyn accent and only people from Brooklyn. My mother’s from the Village and she has a completely different accent than my wife, who’s from East NY.

    Talk about not understanding a country!!!

    I’m not touchy Zedd, I just like pointing out racism when I see it or read it.

    But I get your point, only us white folk can be racists…you just don’t know how to hate do you Zedd? Only the white man knows how to really hate.

  • Clavos

    zedd @#60,

    I WAS NOT talking about Swahili. Cindy mentioned she had once prepared for a trip to Africa by learning Swahili, and I next said “I’ve been to Africa (South Africa). It’s a logical progression of a conversation, and had nothing to do with “white supremacy.”

    “Fernando,” whose posts have since been deleted, was the one who first mentioned Swahili.

    I said nothing about any language except my own, in which I wrote a couple of comments for the express purpose of exposing “fernando” as a sham, which I did.

    And if you want to accuse whites of racism, get out of your glass house first. Ever since you showed up here on BC, your posts have been an ongoing putdown of men and whites — you never miss an opportunity to make disparaging and denigrating remarks about both groups.

    In my opinion, most of your comments have read like the rantings of a semi-literate racist. In that regard, ironically, you’re very much like most of the white southern redneck racists, except you’re black.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    76- Zedd and 77 – roger

    With a change to white dominance (as opposed to supremacist, which I distinguish.), I agree with the entirety of Zedd’s first paragraph. It is inescapable. Whites are the dominant culture. It makes sense therefore, that the dominant culture is ingrained in thinking of whites and nonwhites who assimilate to whatever degree. It is responsible for who the ‘bad’ guys are seen to be. It is an unseen bias, unless one can consciously become aware of it. Which is why I said it takes work to do and isn’t some ‘natural’ empathy like Jordan expressed.

    As far as how can I disagree? I don’t see how the natural connection of ideas in the conversation we had was an example of white dominant thinking.

    I could be wrong. If I am it’s likely that’s why I can’t see it. Remember Roger, what I was saying was my thinking about blindspots? If I don’t see it how can I know how to challenge my presumption?

    I hope Zedd tries to tell me again, if I am wrong. I just don’t see that their even was a segue that fit her analogy, first of all. Or even if the conversation went as she says it did–how a segue about a language in one part of a continent shouldn’t be expected to remind one of another part of that continent.

    Like Cockney (the slang) then segue to Budapest.

    I actually do see that as a likely segue when a discussion is about travel in Europe. So, I really don’t understand the point.

    If I think of Australia, I think I would like to study kangaroos in the outback, not go to nightclubs. Is that an example of white supremacist thinking? How is that different than partaking in a study of giraffes in the African bush?

    Why shouldn’t someone mentioning Swahili remind me of the time I was expected to learn it for a trip to Africa? Why shouldn’t my mentioning Africa not result in Clav saying he traveled to South Africa?

    I can see safaris as being comparable to fake wild west saloons in Texas. Though I am not sure merely partaking in a fake safari or sitting in a fake saloon or going to Disney World necessarily makes one a white supremacist. I also don’t see participating as a photographer in wildlife research as the quite same thing as traveling to Cancun or embarking on a safari for tourists.

    If there is something here, I’m missing it. So far, I see it as presumption on Zedd’s part. I would like to find out if I’m wrong. But I’ll need an explanation that will be convincing.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    lol I had a lot of time to keep writing while the site kept going down.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Roger gets ignored in stereo?

  • Jeannie Danna

    YEP!

  • Jeannie Danna

    so it was the site and not something I said?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Roger is about to get ignored in surround sound–Jeannie is here to participate :-)

  • Jeannie Danna

    Hi Cindy…:)

  • Jeannie Danna

    Cindy, Can we post just video in comment threads?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Hiya Jeannie :-)

    I often wonder why no one bothers to take the time to put a nose on their smiley. Everyone is in such a rush. heh…

  • Jeannie Danna

    How do I get a nose?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I don’t think one is able to post an actual video, just a link in the comments section, I think. But I don’t know for sure.

  • Jeannie Danna

    :?) Look a big bold Nose!

  • Jeannie Danna

    How? OH damn look at the clock I gotta run ! It was fun…:/0

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “The question is why are you so touchy and crazed to the point of utter confusion?”

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle–hmm, I better not finish that. I don’t know what are considered acceptable conversational tangents in Zedd’s world, let alone acceptable idioms.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Clav,

    Just out of interest, did you suspect that ‘Fernando’ was in fact who he turned out to be?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    The question is why are you so touchy and crazed to the point of utter confusion?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    haha sorry I meant to put that in the browser edit/find, not post it. must have been a brain spasm.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Was Fernando JOM?

    Whoever he was I noticed in the fresh comments page that he had told me to shut up because no one had addressed me.

    Ick.

  • Clavos

    Doc:

    I think so, but if it was posted, I didn’t see it. Anyway, I think he was JOM.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Cindy, Clav,

    You are correct.

  • Baronius

    The thing I don’t get is why JOM keeps coming back. He’s like a character out of an ancient Greek myth, cursed by the gods to keep returning to a site that refuses him.

    There’s another possibility, though. Maybe it’s not just this site. Maybe he’s been kicked off every posting board on the internet, and is cycling through them all a second time.

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    I really do think you get it because I have a high regard for your ability to deduce, don’t think you are racist AND respect your professional knowledge.

    Anyway…. Clavos will be aware of his faux pas next time, you wont defend such nonsense and that is the reason that I posted. Actually I think all of you who read my “rant” will think twice next time. Although you won’t admit it. Like I said. It is the way it is….

    Next time there is a discussion on Cockney, don’t interject to say that you’ve been to Budapest. Doesn’t quite add up. But I am convinced you know that.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Zedd,

    I’m glad you’re still here and that no one managed to chase you away (and I don’t mean Cindy). I couldn’t get on the site for a stretch and then had an appointment.

    And no! You’re not semi-literate, just so you know. Don’t let no jealous male or female ever convince you of that.

  • Zedd

    Clavos,

    To put it as simply as I can for you – stating that someone is unfair doesn’t make you more unfair. I know you have a problem with those types of calculations but I hope that helps you understand that my calling you out on your Euro-centric generalizations doesn’t make me racist. I hope that I didn’t have any spelling errors because I know that will distract you for days. The poor dear.

    You got it when I gave you the example of a Bolivian language and Matamoros, right? Your are not THAT thick.

    comma comma hyphen – oops. I mean eeps, ;

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I was out, Cindy. Let me catch up on the thread to hear what other calumnies transpired in my absence.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t mind three women. The more, the merrier. Zedd must understand it wasn’t segue (I had to look up the goddamn word, you illiterate Zedd, you) but just a case of minds going on holiday, as is often the case in this rigorous, class-room environment.

    I’m catching up.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    As usual, I see El Bicho checked into the chat room to say Hi to his buddy Clavos and Baronius. A dynamic trio.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Zedd,

    I rather suspect that if the discussion had been on Cockney, and Clav had mentioned that he’d been to Budapest, you would have said nothing.

  • Zedd

    Roger,

    You are adorable. Clavos also knows I’m not. I am a horrible editor. I just am.

    Clavos likes being correct (not just right) so the faux pas is making him crazy. He realized he made a stupid comment -cause he likes being worldly and of the (unassumingly) sophisticated set. It’s his M.O. My pointing the stupidity and unsophisticated nature of his contribution sent him on a mini tizzy. He’ll be fine. No he’s not racist. I don’t get mad at Clav. We are like that, he and I. I find a jab next. It’s fun AND he’s right. My posts are atrocious, just not dumb.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Don’t apologize for #100 or #99. It’s a free country.

  • Zedd

    Doc,

    You are right. I would have gleefully chuckled inside at how stupid he is. BUT Clavos would have never done that.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    No way. JOM and Fernando’s are like night and day. You can tell it by syntax (not to mention biting coherence). Almost like Pablo.

  • Zedd

    Doc,

    The reaction has a context. We all know what our world is like. We are not going to try to be educated on what we are familiar with are we?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Anyways, folks, I’m here. Let the party begin.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I’m glad no one has been banned, at least permanently. The world is safe for democracy.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Roger,

    The comments editing tool enables Chris and I to see the IP address being posted from. ‘Fernando”s comments came from the same address as JOM’s.

    Now until the IP blocking function of the new comments editing tool is sorted out, we would appreciate it if you would please stop fucking encouraging him. JOM and all of his alter egos have been banned permanently from this site. That decision came from the site owners, it came after a tediously long string of obnoxious behavior, and whether you like it or not, whether it impinges on your sense of free speech or not, that is the way of it.

  • Clavos

    He realized he made a stupid comment -cause he likes being worldly and of the (unassumingly) sophisticated set. It’s his M.O. My pointing the stupidity and unsophisticated nature of his contribution sent him on a mini tizzy.

    Sorry, zedd, but I still do not accept that either I or Cindy committed any faux pas at all. She mentioned Africa, I said I’d been there; natural progression of the conversation. End of story.

    Too bad you overreacted by reading far more into it than was there, but not unusual for you.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    How did I encourage him, Doc? I mean it.

  • Zedd

    John: I would love to climb Mt.Everest
    Mary: I eat curry on Fridays

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Fine, Doc. I’m not questioning you then as to fact. But do you mean to say that until this technical things gets straightened out, I can’t make an observation of the nature I did?
    What goes?

  • Clavos

    zedd: I live in the US.

    Clavos: Really? I’ve visited Maine.

  • Zedd

    Sally: I wonder if Igloos are really warm inside

    Segue….

    Bob: My friend is half Navajo and half Apache

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Come on, Zedd. That’s not a fair comparison. I’ll support you even if I’ll have to go to hell but . . .

    Let’s forget the occasion for what some regard as your toxic remark and get to the nitty-gritty, the substance of it all. How about white folks’ knowledge of Africa?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Roger, comments like your #115 are what encourages him.

    I understand that early in this thread you didn’t realize who he was, but now you do.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’m shocked that you would praise Reagan when he is the person that actually stoked the flame on religious fanaticism in your party.

    Of course I’m aware of that. Reagan himself had many laudable qualities, which is why I reference him in the article, but the political management team he assembled made an effort to build a unique coalition of crossover democrats and evangelicals and did a very good job of it. The democrats went home, but once they were politically aroused the evangelicals stuck around.

    But I don’t place the blame for that on Reagan anymore than I do on subsequent candidates who made concessions to the religious right to get elected, or any more than I blame Democrats for making the same kind of devils bargains with the unions or the environmental fanatics.

    That meaning that there’s certainly blame to be assigned, but it comes with the territory when you’re trying to get elected.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Now, you’re causing me to get insulted by asking an honest question.
    I’ll tell you what. You know my URL so you can notify me when the site is operational in the respect(s) required.
    It does inhibit on my freedom of expression, and I will not participate under these circumstances. No hard feelings, just the way things are.

    Bye everybody. You do know how to get in touch if the mood strikes.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Zedd,

    Pay attention to Clav’s #124, because it is germane.

    The Swahili thing is a red herring. Cindy mentioned that she had learned some Swahili as preparation for a trip to Africa. [note my emphasis] Clav then mentioned that he had also visited the continent. Whether he visited the Swahili-speaking regions is irrelevant. I suspect he is well aware that that language is not spoken in South Africa.

    I can kind of understand where you’re coming from because of the old joke about the chap who happens to mention to an American that he’s British, and the American says, ‘Oh really? Do you know Mrs Smith in Blackpool?’ But you’re being really oversensitive.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    @ #129:

    Give it half an hour.

  • Clavos

    Doc (#131):

    Who’s running the pool?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    @ 130 Doc, good luck using reason and logic, although can’t see why you think it would work this time.

    So who is going to drop everything to let Roger know when the site is running to his satisfaction? Should we work in shifts?

  • zingzing

    oh, come on. roger just doesn’t understand what a little shit jom is, that he had his warnings and was banned, etc. roger’s still reading, i’m sure, and it’s just kinda shitty to mock him like this. of course, roger has done this before, but still… you guys should be a little more grown up. it’s distasteful.

    (and this is coming from me. maybe i’m in a bad mood. i hadn’t noticed, but, you know… if i tell you to “grow up,” that’s pretty bad.)

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    right, zing, you are the modicum of tastefulness around here. besides, roger’s repeated declarations of going home with his ball as he looks over his shoulder waiting for someone to shout “don’t go” are well deserving of being mocked at this point.

  • zingzing

    el bicho: “right, zing, you are the modicum of tastefulness around here.”

    i noted as much in my comment, but thanks anyway.

    “besides, roger’s repeated declarations of going home with his ball as he looks over his shoulder waiting for someone to shout “don’t go” are well deserving of being mocked at this point.”

    doesn’t mean you have to.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    when I start to care about your approval of my comments, I’ll be sure to check in with you.

  • zingzing

    have a fit.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Zedd,

    I still have my Swahili book as I was bound for Africa…Alas, I never got to go to Africa… (me)

    I’ve been to Africa (South Africa) twice…(Clav)

    Now that I clearly understand what you are saying. It just doesn’t make sense. There was not even a conversation about Swahili. My comment contained references to both Swahili and Africa. I said I didn’t get to go to Africa. Clav said, “Haha!–I did!” lol (close enough) :-).

    You are wrong Zedd. You came in not knowing what the conversation was about at all. You made an assumption and jusmped the gun. You made a mistake.

    “End of story.” (Clav)

    No problem with mistakes Zedd, Roger makes them all the time. (ducks) lol

  • Zedd

    Doc,

    Considering the history it’s actually an understatement. It’s just a new experience for YOU to hear about it.

    No one is mad (I mean angry – don’t want your Romanian self to get all confused- robot, bonnet, sheesh, you guys. I simply love Mykonos though. The windmills, ah!) It’s just the way of the world that we all live in. I’m very used to it and it goes on all the time. But today I thought “you know, since we have this really cool tool where we get to really know each other without all of the garbage, I simply must point this out”. No biggie. Just make note of it and move on. Mate!

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Gee, I was teasing Roger without knowing he left. I just read the thread.

    (sorry Roger, I hadn’t realized what happened, my joke was not about what transpired)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Zedd,

    You really do have difficulty admitting it when you’re wrong.

    I still have my Swahili book as I was bound for Africa…Alas, I never got to go to Africa… (me)

    SEGUE SEGUE SEGUE SEGUE

    I’ve been to Africa (South Africa) twice…(Clav)

    WTF???

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Okay that’s the limited word edition lmao!

  • Zedd

    You are correct Cindy. There was a segue. However, still a stretch and the bush (???)…. A la Ernest Hemingway I presume. It is bothersome. But i believe Clavos will be more cognizant in the future. But neither of you will probably ever fully understand. It is what it is. I overstated because it’s never stated but really Cindy, it has it’s roots in that Euro-centric world view. It just does.

  • Zedd

    Why are you picking on Roger? Are you still hitting the sauce?

  • Doug Hunter

    I’ve been to Africa too!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I haven’t, although I do know a word or two of Swahili…

    (…just to bring the argument full circle)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Zedd,

    You get pretty nasty and personal when you’re wrong.

    If this were real life, I would have already run from the room screaming … just pretend I did that okay?

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    146

    Doug you white supremacist!!! How can you say such a thing?

    (lol)

  • Zedd

    me too.

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    You get pretty nasty even when you are wrong or not wrong but no biggie. It’s your way.

    Listen, I have every right to be fed up. REALLY fed up. Why are you the one getting worked up? Let everything about you be distorted and smacked around, one fact mixed with another, one reality swirled with another willy nilly for the personal props of every looser Tom, Dick and Harry. Yet you witness it all and just move on, all of the time. You have no idea. The entire Swahili /South Africa / The bush thing is more than annoying. It just is.

    Calm down.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Zedd, you may have every right to be fed up but it has nothing to do with anything anybody said to you here at Blogcritics.

    The only times things get “distorted and smacked around, one fact mixed with another, one reality swirled with another willy nilly” is when comprehension challenged people get in a bit of a tizzy precisely because of that incomprehension…

  • Zedd

    Jambo- only word i know.

    Probably shouldn’t do that. They’ll start talking about knowing a Nigerian or the Lion King or Gorillas in the Mist or sponsoring a child or off course The Bush.

  • Clavos

    But i believe Clavos will be more cognizant in the future

    You really don’t understand, do you? My conscience is clear, I DID NOTHING WRONG, so don’t hold your breath waiting for me to be “cognizant” or repentant; I’m unequivocally not repentant.

    And “bush” is what every South African (white OR black) I met on those trips called it — it IS the fucking bush, zedd.

    As for your fabulous malls and restaurants, etc.: they are JUST CITIES — no better or worse than any other cities in the world and the least attractive part of South Africa to me — having already seen Paris, London, Rome, Venice, Athens, Mexico City, Rio and New York, they were totally unremarkable to my wife and me — except for Cape Town, which has a spectacular setting, especially as viewed while riding the funicular to the top of Table Mountain. And I got a big kick out of walking out on the rocks at the very tip of Cape Point, turning and looking north and contemplating the idea that an entire continent lay before me.

    But Jo’burg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria? Bah, you can keep ‘em.

    You’re a Philistine, zedd, you don’t even realize what is truly remarkable and beautiful about your country. Perhaps it’s because you left it so young.

  • Zedd

    Thought you weren’t going to post to me Chris.

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    Sorry for high jacking your thread. I kept intending to say that then another comment would be posted.

    Overall like Roger, I think your letter is a great service not only to your party but the nation as well. We’ve got to refocus. However i think the inclusion of Reagan kinda watered it down.

    Done.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Bwana
    Hakuna matata
    Jenga
    Safari
    Tote
    Uhuru

    See, you know more Swahili words than you thought you did!

    These, however (I discovered in my researches) are NOT the most important Swahili words to know. Please, before travelling to the region, memorize the following phrase:

    Tafadhali nataka bia baridi.

    These words, accompanied by a judicious quantity of shillings, will result in the appearance before you of a rather pleasant refrigerated beverage.

    Afya!

  • Zedd

    Clav,

    I want to respond but there is no need to.

    Seems that you really know what is beautiful about my country. Your perspective matters a lot and should define the way I see the land of my ancestors.

    I’ll leave it be.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    “The Bush” is a term used for rural, undeveloped land or country areas in certain countries.

    # 1 Australia
    # 2 New Zealand
    # 3 South Africa
    # 4 Alaska and Canada

    In South Africa, the term has specific connotations of rural areas which are not open veld. Generally it refers to areas in the north of the country that would be called savanna. “Going to The Bush” often refers to going to a game park or game reserve. Areas most commonly referred to as The Bush are the Mpumalanga and Limpopo Lowveld, The Limpopo River Valley, northern Kwa-Zulu Natal or any other similar area of wilderness.

    Giraffes will mingle with the other herbivores in the African bush.

  • Christian Prophet

    You defeat yourself by including Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt among your heros. They were both huge government interventionalists. It also doesn’t serve to say your members are not inspired by Ayn Rand. Our holy spirit may be using Atlas Shrugged as a powerful tool of inspiration for political freedom in today’s context.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Zedd:

    Perhaps you’d care to continue the Good Fight by casting your eyes over comment #11 on this thread

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’ve been to Africa too!

    I’ve been to Egypt. Does that count?

    Dave

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Sorry Dave, but nope. Unless there is a bush in Egypt, it doesn’t count.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Cindy, there are bushes, but very little plant life larger than a Bush.

    Dave

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    hmmm, I did say unless there is a bush in Egypt. Careless of me. Okay Dave, I guess Egypt counts. Unless we have any objections to calling any form of plant life a bush, in which case, you are on your own.

  • Clavos

    Doc 161:

    You provocateur, you!

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Are comments currently enabled on this article? I just tried to post comments on “Blazing Stimuli” and on the “Colin Powell” articles…and it seems that the comments are disabled for both articles.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    @ #166:

    Mmmmmwuuua, as the saying goes, ha ha ha.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    There was a bush not far from Egypt at one time. It burned, though.

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    Must you post such a picture? I mean really. You look like an assassin. Did you OD on botox. What the heck?? You are not a bad looking guy. But the picture is creepy.

  • pablo

    re 170

    I could not agree more.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Zedd, should I come up with a less horrific picture I’ll be sure to post it. So far most of the pictures I have are worse.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Gosh,

    I think there’s something familiar about these countries…. Can’t figure it out.

    # 1 Australia
    # 2 New Zealand
    # 3 South Africa
    # 4 Alaska and Canada

    I’m guessing its glaring but in my bubble world, I can’t seem to connect the dots. Oh well…. Bubbles are cozy and warm. Please don’t burst my bubble. I like it.

  • Zedd

    They have what in common??? hmmmm. Nope thought I had it. Darn it.

    Oh a flower and a butterfly. What was I thinking about? Ah yes daisies.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Zedd,

    I’m not sure what the point is Zedd, there are indigenous people all over the world. I sort of get the idea, but it’s called the bush (in my view) like the world is called the world.

    I would like to know your perspective on it. Can you explain it?

    (I will drop the sarcasm.)

    (I always wonder if people prefer not to receive comments on their pictures.)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    That is I don’t feel a negative connotation in the word. If that is a result of being white and ignorant, I am willing to learn.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Confusing the matter further, in Australia they have not only the bush but also the outback. The distinction between the two is far from clear.

  • Clavos

    It’s easy.

    Whatever’s Out Back is bush.

    Or maybe it’s whatever is bushy is…

    [Gotta stop. Need coffee.]

  • mar k

    Eight years of bitching about Bush, and now this?

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    I say this with the utmost sincerity, I don’t think its possible for you to “learn”. At least not in a couple of conversations.

    To bring the topic back to Obama’s speech….(different thread. Sorry Dave)

    The fact that so many all over the planet were simply blissful at the few CAREFULLY orchestrated crumbs of respect that were granted to the Islamic world is sad. What is even more sad is that we/they all know that what was said was really minute and shouldn’t be complementary but those little morsels are so rare coming from a Euro-oriented society that people found them to be liberating. Sad. People are often insulted with complements from the ignorant. One has to dig deep to search out the ignorance emmersed intent in order to find the good in the constant barrage of insults. Much like a parent who gets a really cheesy gift from their teen child; a kid who has been sacrificed for all their lives, who roles their eyes at you while expressing the most stupid ideas (cause that’s how they feel). While this kid should be old enough to come up with a much better gift AND you know that if you gave them the same gift they would -off course- role their eyes at you, you fawn and hug and express gratitude in hopes that this individual will grow from the good feeling that giving gives THEM, even though it’s YOUR birthday.

    Obama’s different perspective allows him to see the ridiculous nature of how the Euro-centric world misses it. However he is confined by the extent of the entrenchment of this bizzare world view. He can only sneak in a few chunks of sanity here and there but can not state what is true because if he would, he would be dethroned; colossal fear, denials and temper tantrums would flare up all over the place. Paranoid visions would cause all sorts of clamp downs and thoughts of impending doom. All because it would truly be stated clearly, without ambiguity that people are the same.

    Yes this response is off topic but not really. I can’t show you what I mean Cindy it’s too layered. Honestly, I don’t think you really want to know and I just don’t have the energy to engage you in an obligatory crumb session to the exotics. If we were face to face, I’d indulge you out of embarrassed courtesy and you’d nod out of generosity off course but at home in the comforts of my kitchen bar, on a beautiful Sunday morning, finch (I think) hatchlings waking up just outside of my open glass double doors, why would I? Who would sign up for being degraded under such circumstances?

  • Clavos

    The air in here reeks of patronizing condescension.

    But not surprisingly.

    Meh.

  • Zedd

    I like shurbs and slightly informal toppiary. Bushes can be a percieved as slightly naughty and we’ll have none of that off course. We will leave the potentially risque’ and most likely to be perverted to Clav. Trees and flowers are good though.

    This is a preference of a singular person and not the viewpoint of all who are of her ilk.

    – An indigenous person (as aposed to a resident, citizen, occupant, host, chick, hottie, genious, or just person)

  • Zedd

    Clav,

    Awe, you understood? Good for you lil buddy!! High five on that one buckaroo! yeah that baby got it. He’s a big boy, yes he is….

    – expert condescender (and indigenous)

  • Zedd

    I typically condescend before the spear comes out or the head hunting issues. Cant wait for those hatchlings outside to grow up so I can make something indigenous or native-esque with their lovely little wings. Perhaps a super mini skirt or a two feather bra (but that is so last year). I think I’ll go couture.

  • Clavos

    You should consider taking a writing course, zedd.

    Who knows? Someday you might actually have something worthwhile to say.

  • Zedd

    Wait it just dawned on me…. Can a person be an immigrant and an indigenous?

    Do I get to join the ranks of the natives in my new land or have I lost my status. Also, how many generations does it take to earn the illustrious distinction. If i don’t qualify as a Dallas indigenous, will my great, great, great, great, grands? Also, who do I need to talk to about getting that title? Is there an indigenous labeling society or commission? So if my ancestors have been residing in Britain for 20 generations, where do I get my indigenous ribbon? This is so confusing. Where’s the manual?

    Can El pequeño feliz help?

  • Zedd

    Oh Clav….

    “Who knows? Someday you might actually have something worthwhile to say”

    Like you? I can’t imagine that ever happening. But please keep teaching me. Why you’ve already taught what is beautiful about my homeland. I’m your student. Teach me right now. Go!

  • Zedd

    Yoo hoo!! I’m not being taught…. Help a native wont you? Meet my indigenous needs. Maybe you’ll get a tax deduction.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    182 – I understood that Zedd. You’re right.

    I could have simply said ‘people who have been exploited by whites’.

    I saw an excellent film on this sort of conversation. The ancestors of a wealthy, Rhode Island family deal with the awareness that their family has made it’s money by being one of the biggest slave trade families in US history.

    There is a juxtaposition of the respected, prominent, upstanding members of the community these people were considered to be with the fact of what they were doing.

    It takes a lot to break through indoctrinated view–but, if this family can do it, there’s hope for us white people: Traces of the Trade.

    I’ll try to educate myself. But, if we were face to face, I think you’d find we would get somewhere.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Zedd,

    It’s not something a white person can learn from other white people. Maybe down the road you’ll be willing to talk to me. Keep it in mind.

  • Zedd

    I’d better go. This indigenous is getting restless.

    TTFN – Tigger (not sure if he resides in what Ernest and I would call The Bush though. I think he resides in The Tall Grass). Hmmmm I wonder if The Tall Grass is beautiful too. I’ll check with my sensei.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    On the other hand, you can just keep punishing me for being born both white and with human flaws. I am not sure what that will achieve. Maybe just make you feel better.

    But if that’s what you chose to do–at that point, I think you’ll have to take some responsibility for the problem yourself.

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    You’ve taken the fun away. Booo. I can’t keep up the barrage of silliness.

    BTW by White, i am not talking about a genetic characteristic (I know you know that). For those who my peek in, I’m talking about a viewpoint/vantage point, if you will.

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    I am not in a position to punish you or anyone. I don’t desire to punish anyone.

    I’m just annoyed. As I should be.

    But if you feel punished, I do apologize. That was not my intention. I was overstating a point and being silly off course.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Yes. I do know. It’s about power and domination. That’s the viewpoint. The world has been designed with the viewpoint of those in mind. Every little girls dream on TV was designed to be the dream of a little girl from only one segment of the world’s culture.

    They didn’t have the dreams of the little girl clutching her Barbie doll in the Manila slum. It’s not the same world.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    I’m just annoyed. As I should be.

    Okay then. I can accept that. That’s true.

  • Zedd

    What is interesting though is that the real “dream” of these girls (Filipino or suburban Dallasite) is more anchored in our animal or evolution granted instincts. The stuff that makes us a species. The girl is being formed (internally) to be a mother. That is the draw to the doll for her and most girls. It’s not necessarily going sunbathing in Malibu. That is where the confusion always is. We look at social constructs, marketing ploys and cultural distinctions as the relevant defining factors between us. Western people tend to have a highly dimmed understanding of this basic idea. Ethnocentrism, as you well know exists in all people. However, if you become aware of a people and have the opportunity to know them well and STILL choose to dehumanize them dismiss and belittle them, it is you (not you in particular off course), it becomes quickly clear who it is that lives in the dark, is uncultivated and is sadly in need of education.

    But how do you begin to explain to someone that you are just a human being. It’s simply annoying to have to do so.

    Also one has to ask if there is a benefit to remaining ignorant. In this case there is a major benefit to white supremacy.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    That little girl may be responding to the doll as you say. Unless she has worked in the Barbie sweat shop, and understands that those Barbies she labors to make, she makes for people in another world that is not her world and the world itself is not designed with her in mind.

    But that isn’t really my point there. I have two points:

    1) The doll doesn’t look like her. Same with the US. The doll looked like and was marketed to a certain portion of the culture–the dominant culture.

    2) Members of the culture that controls the media grow up with their version of reality, their dreams and aspirations, their viewpoint played out in the media that surrounds them.

    Father Knows Best
    The Donna Reed Show
    The Brady Bunch
    Lassie
    Disney
    Straight hair, light skin.
    Princesses being rescued from castles.

    (Castles? Wonder whose ancestors built castles…wonder what portion of the population then lived in castles. I’d say a very small number. Yet the fantasy passed to young girls in the US is the princess being rescued by a prince…)

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Also one has to ask if there is a benefit to remaining ignorant.

    That is a good point and one I fail to think about enough.

  • Clavos

    Good point about the Barbie doll being designed to a specific market, Cindy.

    But what do you make of this:

    A company called American Girl makes dolls that exhibit a variety of skin tones and facial characteristics precisely to address that issue.

    My little niece, who has been spoiled excessively by her doting uncle for years, has several American Girl dolls, all of which she’s chosen herself.

    Like the little Filipina girl’s, not one of my niece’s dolls look like her.

    Go figure.

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    I think what you are speaking of is the distortion – the reality that painted by the “nobles” of Europe in order to subjugate the masses. That “reality” has kept everyone feeling inadequate and feeling as if there is a standard that must be met and until it’s met, one is uncivilized.

    What is truly sad is that what is most civilized is what we in my language call uBuntu. Crudely translated – humanness. Resigning to the collective unconscious if you will. – Knowing what you know about yourself and allowing that to guide your empathy. – That my being a human being only begins in how I see other human beings.

    However, relinquishing that basic wisdom to a system which reinforces the permanent inferiority complex of EVERYONE with the exception for the ruler (Queen Elizabeth I presume is the most blue of blue bloods, hierarchically), then one guarantees perpetual mystery and permanent clawing and vying within its people to become closest at least to that model of perfect human.

    I don’t knock protocol and custom. Those things produce order, celebration and even art. It is classicism that is cheap and uncivilized. It is the ploy of the weak in my eyes. If you cant cut it in this difficult world, you tell everyone that you are better then they AND you require them to acknowledge that or face demise.

    Clav seems not to think so as he is more apt to fawn and extol the virtues of the “upper crust’s” distinctions.

  • Zedd

    the reality that WAS painted….

  • Zedd

    I promise I think much sharper than what you read. Dadgummit!!! It’s partly me and partly this dadgum cursor arrrrrrrg. It jumps around like crazy and plops in the middle of words, sometimes paragraphs earlier. Arrrrrrrg.

    Since this is folly I wont take things so seriously but arrrrrrrrrg.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Too bad I can’t join you, Zedd, in this spirited debate. Next time.

  • Zedd

    Why not?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #129, and it stands until further notice. Just made an exception for you – Zulu warrior.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    To comment 180 – to bother with Obama’s speech:

    Zedd,

    It matters little to me what perceptions of reality your president wishes to pander on the world stage. I do not care what crumbs he chooses to throw his fellow Moslems. It makes no difference at all to me.

    SO LONG AS HE DOES NOT TAKE THOSE CRUMBS FROM MY TABLE!

    He can take them from your table; he can promise them your home, he can give them half of Zululand for all I care. I don’t give a damn.

    But when he starts taking my home, my country, and my patrimony to hand out to his home-boys, then the son of a bitch has problems with me and mine. And his fuckin’ goons – the United States military – will have plastic bag problems with me and mine – as in finding themselves in them.

    Just something for you to chew on while you are teaching Cindy your layered indigenous consciousness….

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Clav,

    I’ll warn you before I post this next comment. It should be an article.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Clav,

    Let me try to show how I conceptualize things. I may not be able to be clear enough in one try. But, for the moment, I want to leave the idea of whiteness out as it could have been any color people.

    The world early on is all hunter gatherers. At one point is not dominatable by any one culture or people. In most of nature there is struggle for territory (animals and tribes of people defend territory)–there isn’t really ownership though of territory, just use. What had never been, at that time, was a species that completely wiped out others or other species.

    Now you get agriculture. Agriculture also requires use of space. But it may also have led to ownership of land. Hunter-gatherers tended to move around and take advantage of the food supply. Agriculture leads to staying in one place.

    Thus ownership of land will require protection of that private property. Once you have people owning land you develop a situation where those who have benefited from ownership begin to dominate the society. They have more power than the non-owners. They also are members of a culture–the ownership culture. They have a viewpoint developed from experience and expectation about how things should be or are. They (like anyone else…but more destructively so–i.e. slavery etc.) are not very able to see the viewpoint of those outside their group (culture).

    Eventually they end up controlling everything. The media is a big thing. If you shut other voices out of communication–their views are not seen from their perspective–only from your perspective. The subordinate cultures (those who have established contact with the dominant culture) might do a few things 1) Try to fit in and assimilate. 2) Rebel (in whatever way) at their hampered and oppressed position.

    Those who assimilate will eventually have a voice to demand that they get the black Disney Princess or the Latina American girl. The market, which will sell to anyone doesn’t really care. So, just as women or blacks now run for president, things change. What has not changed is the collective unconscious yet. It’s why rap videos feature black women with light skin and straight hair, as an example.

    Still in the end, the assimilation did not change the whole wrong starting point. It has not helped the world for more people to get paid by the dominator system and thereby have more people joining the ranks of the dominators. Just like the feminist women who don the garb of their male counterparts. So, there will be what we have–a great division between wealth and poverty, people scrambling for wealth, consumerism as the meaning of life., the ability to ignore that other people count or are even human.

    People who look like your niece don’t have enough power to count yet in the dominant culture.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Sorry, chatting helps me put down ideas. It’s really the best way I can write anything.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    201 – Zedd,

    I understand it just as you wrote it. It is an extremely difficult point.

    I do think though there is a problem with hierarchy. In fact, that is what I have come to think is at the heart of all the problems. Really–everything from poverty to, liposuction to the need for abortion.

    Domination, imbalance of power, authority, and the hierarchy it leads to is at the root of every problem I examine. If it’s not removed from the equation, the problem persists. If it is, then there is a hope for the problem to be solved.

    That is why Anarchism. An egalitarian society where everyone counts is the only ethically correct one. It is the only one that has the potential to solve all the problems.

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    How can anarchy be practical. We are social animals so we are forced by our nature to come together. Like dogs in the wild, there has to be a system. Each individual has role to play.

    Do I understand that you would have us live like turtles in the wild. The mother gives birt to the young then walk away. If you happen to live, fine, if you don’t fine. How you live is your own doing?

    Also what are the points of distiction between anarchists and libertarians?

  • Clavos

    You’re right, Cindy, that could have (and maybe should have) been an article. In any case it was a good explication of the the development of the class in human groups. I don’t necessarily agree with some of your conclusions (no surprise there, right?), but your mini-essay does lead me to suggest the following book to you:

    Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. I think you might enjoy it if you haven’t already read it.

    You say,

    People who look like your niece don’t have enough power to count yet in the dominant culture.

    I’m afraid you’re laboring under a misapprehension here. Though I was born and raised in Mexico and am a Mexican citizen, my parents were both Americans (well, not really — they were New Yorkers), and my ancestry is half Swedish and half Irish. My niece (my sister’s daughter) has those two strains, plus Norwegian from her father.

    My niece, in other words, is part of what used to be the “dominant culture.”

    I say “used to be,” because any careful observer of what used to be white Euro dominated cultures can see they (the Euro whites) have begun to lose their grip, and soon will no longer be the dominant class. In some places, that has already nearly fully transpired; here in the US, the Latinos are about to take over; their numbers are growing faster than any other ethnic group’s, and although they are of a variety of nationalities and not monolithic, they still have much more in common with each other than they do with Euro whites, Asians or African Americans.

    In that sense, the Miami of today is an excellent foreshadowing of what the USA will look and act like in the very near future, and it already bears little resemblance to “traditional” America in (to use Obama’s favorite phrase) “a “whole host of ways, to the extent (for example) that English is no longer the dominant language here.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Zedd,

    Anarchism is based on the idea that we are social animals. It is based on human needs, one of which is solidarity.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    RE your niece: I’m afraid you’re laboring under a misapprehension here.

    Yes, I misconstrued your meaning.

    I’ll have a look on Amazon at that book.

    Thanks for the info on the Latina situation. I hadn’t ever though of that. It could provide positive change.

    We’ll see. I look at Palestine/Israel and don’t hold much hope for a subordinate group to change things much once they are ‘in charge’.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    ooops, I forgot to change my URL. Sorry for the disgraceful self-promotion (sure, right). I have a new post on my blog:

    Say yes to peace.

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    Not so fast. What kind of world would that be?

    I’ve never quite understood how that would work. We are primates. If we look at our closest cousins, they are not anarchists, meaning, we are not wired to be solitary. We are not tigers or wolverines. Primates like us need social interaction. When there is social interaction, there are rules and order. Because we’ve been cursed with language (verbal), our organizing will always be much more sophisticated than other animals. We would have to work really hard to live in an anarchistic state. It would be forced and unnatural.

    BTW
    I don’t knock The Donna Reed Show or any of those shows. I lived that life (sans the misogyny). I grew up in the “perfect” home. My parents were smart people who taught us to be rational. We were loved immensely and took it for granted. We joked and laughed all of the time but we also understood limits clearly. I never heard my parents yell at each other. They didn’t yell at us either. We were spanked but never hit at or certainly beaten. There was balance and safety in my household. So I don’t think those shows were bad at all. I lived them (to a large extent) and a lot of people in our lives lived them. I think those shrinks who have labeled them as such don’t get it. Like you, they cant imagine that such an environment could ever be genuine because they’ve never experienced a balanced home life.

  • Zedd

    Clavos,

    That book that you suggested a while back was phenomenal. The author did an amazing job at explaining why the balance of economic power is as it is. I think there are a few other elements that he didn’t deal with but overall, his work certainly took us away from the dark ages (a la the bell curve or Social Darwinian ideologies)

  • Irene Wagner

    I’ve always wanted to be in a conversation with two other women in BC! And here are Zedd and Cindy!

    But it will be two against one if I stay, as I disagree with Zedd, and agree with Cindy, but not for reasons Cindy would choose to agree with herself.

    Anarchy is biblical. I Samuel 8: 5-18.
    This passage is prophetic.

    I’m hungry for dinner anyway.

  • Irene Wagner

    Clavos will have to take my place, but…Zedd’s not arguing with him?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Zedd, Zedd…

    Anarchism is not about being solitary. You have a misconception you are working with. Anarchism is a very social and community oriented proposition. That’s what I meant by human needs like solidarity.

    It is this state of affairs, Capitalism, that pits people against each other and promotes solitariness. Anarchism is about caring for fellow humans and about being part of one’s community.

    Anarchism rejects that anyone should even have to be lonely Zedd. It is a philosophy that places the utmost value on human needs.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    219

    LOL that is funny Irene. (the agree disagree disagree agree thing)

    But, really, I have more of a problem with ecclesiastical power structures. I have no problem with belief in a god, as long as that god isn’t justification for humans to use force over each other.

    Anarchy is biblical. I Samuel 8: 5-18.
    This passage is prophetic.

    I like that god, Irene!

    But I wished you’d stayed so I can ask you, did you ever read The Kingdom of God is Within You by Tolstoy? (the Christian Anarchist)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I was never a ‘Christian’ myself, but I always liked Jesus. Tolstoy, though he was a Christian, gave me the most about being a pacifist. (Which I stopped actually caring much about practicing for quite awhile as far as the world was concerned. But I am on my way back to choosing medic and gradually putting aside warrior.)

    Tolstoy, who himself was taken with Thoreau’s civil disobedience, influenced with his views on pacifism both Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. But perhaps you know all that already.

  • Irene Wagner

    I wanted to make sure you knew I wasn’t being antagonistic, Cindy, and I’m glad you saw that. Thanks for the link–no, I’ve only read (underline html)Anna Karenina(end underline html.)

    And I’m also glad you saw that by anarchy and sole allegiance to God I wasn’t identifying with that outfit that inspired the mentally ill person to kill Dr. Tiller.

    I think you and Zedd and I see eye-to-eye-to-eye on the rearing of children. They are under the authority of their parents, but only as princesses and princes–kings and queens in training.

    Where I disagree with Zedd is that we were hard-wired to be under the authority, as adults, to other adults. Even if we evolved from animals who recognized and deferred to an “alpha” (and I don’t believe we did, but it’s not germane to the argument) I believe God made a distinction between humans and animals in that he made EACH man and woman to be a king and a queen, each with his own little parcel of the world to till, and care for, and chase the squirrels off, if need be.

    There would’ve been enough land for each one to have his own parcel to own and be responsible for, and share from, if people hadn’t been so greedy, and overcome with “the will to power.”

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with capitalism or anarchism. It’s the selfishness of man that has perverted the first and may prevent the latter from ever really taking hold before God intervenes in a way that nobody can mistake for coincidence or chance–the Messianic vision looks a LOT like the idyllic vision of worldwide “permaculture.” Harmony. And I would add, with a score written by God.

    But because we wouldn’t have God, we’ve got government.

  • Irene Wagner

    Cindy, I knew Jesus influenced Ghandi and Martin Luther King, but it could’ve been, in large part, as you say, via Tolstoy.

  • Zedd

    Irene,

    I am not in disagreement with Cindy. I am just trying to understand the practicality of it.

  • Irene Wagner

    You be the medic, Cindy.
    I’ve got teenagers home for the summer–I gotta get my warrior on for a few months!

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    What makes it different from the systems that we have in place.

    Again, how would it work. If all of the world’s leaders said, alright Cindy reconfigure the world’s systems. What would that look like?

  • Irene Wagner

    Zedd — not ignoring you. I just replied but the comment page got hung…

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Irene,

    Yes, Jesus influenced Tolstoy, of course. :-) That would be the part I left out.

    Tolstoy influenced Gandhi specifically when Gandhi read The Kingdom of God is Within You with Tolstoy’s discussion of the doctrine of non-resistance to evil (which he sorta picked up from Jesus ;-)

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    Perhaps you can share what type of Anarchist you are then define it, if you would. Just trying to get smarter.

  • Irene Wagner

    OK, Zedd, this was the gist of the lost comment, plus some. Cindy wouldn’t be reconfiguring the world’s systems. The Messiah would (I THINK you think that too which is a peculiar point of similarity between you, me AND Ruvy!)…but Cindy is a visionary, and she and her friends think they have ways of convincing the world to embrace that vision. I believe, and maybe you do, too, that without Divine intervention, that is not likely to happen. But until it does, maybe the peaceful anarchist’s methods should be those of the believers while we’re biding our time…

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Zedd,

    Anarchism is based on a few fundamental ideas. One is no-rulers, so no authority, no hierarchies, no coercion. Solidarity. An egalitarian design where each person has a right to a say in decisions that effect her. No private land (I am afraid we lost that option way back whenever Irene said.) No wage slavery–so individual practices or collectively owned businesses would be consistent. Use of property is consistent and private possessions are consistent.

    Mostly anarchists would want to deal with the situation that presents itself. So, there is no dogma about exactly what has to be. Various types of communities would be consistent with anarchism. Also, keep in mind, whatever way the community ends up being designed must be based on what all community members decide together.

    There are several communities that are consistent. The Zapatistas in Mexico, for example. They started their communities in 1994.

    So, I will describe how they make decisions. There are separate communities. Each meets once a week to reach a consensus or vote on all community decisions. When the decisions effect other communities, a representative is sent and is permitted only to speak on behalf of what the community has already decided. If new business comes up, the representative must return to her community so that it can cooperatively make the new decision. Everyone has a vote, including children.

  • Irene Wagner

    Ah, I have to say goodnight Zedd and Cindy. I’m sending the Tolstoy link in an email to myself.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Irene,

    I believe people can be educated. I am working on how to do that with adults. Adults are nearly impossible. Here is how I see it so far. We’ve not been taught to be open to new information, to see all information as being sort of in a garden before us where we can use this and then that and change as we go along. Rather, we are taught by schools to be ‘right answer grabbers’ to associate what we know with our ego and to hold ourselves as smarter than not as smart as…and then better than or not as good as. We are taught to defend in this way without considering. We are not taught the view of the other and we don’t know we have to look to see it.

    So far, it seems to take a minimum of cooperation or consent or accident for adults to change the way they view things.

    I am better with children. Children can learn Irene. It seems they almost all can, even older ones. All of the ones I have worked with can. Even foster children, even children from horrible full-time yelling, screaming child-parents.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Ah good.

    (So happy you’ll look at the Tolstoy work.)

  • Irene Wagner

    Got it emailed, Cindy.
    Even horrible full-time yelling screaming child-parents can learn.
    I did…but I still have to keep my warrior (tinged with medic) on til they’re full-grown! I hope I didn’t sound patronizing at any point. I have no idea how world harmony will come about. But I know it will.

    Maybe your efforts will be a part of it.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Zedd, I am sort of like what’s called an anarchist without adjectives. I would accept anything that goes along with the basic principles. I would not go along with any form of Capitalist or free-market anarchism.

    I would have a difference with Irene in that I think the system of Capitalism itself is what nurtures the worst in people.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Even horrible full-time yelling screaming child-parents can learn.

    I hope so. Maybe I just learned to like kids more. I didn’t like adults much for awhile. Maybe I stopped giving them a chance.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    227

    I suppose I should keep a little warrior too. I was no warrior, only a medic until about 31 or so…I gave it up for all warrior after being run over by a few tanks at once.

    Course children don’t drive tanks. I have always loved children. In fact, I decided to work toward being a teacher to get away from having to be around adults, at first. lol

    (Patronizing? Not at all. :-)

  • Zedd

    Irene,

    What do you do about different personality traits or even mental states.

    If within your lowest level group you have an individual who is physically strong and has a really strong personality and/or is psychologically impaired (but doesn’t know it off course) and they exhibits bully like behaviors? What if within that same group you have passive individuals or disengaged individuals (loners, low “IQ”, or simply lazy folks). That group would easily became dominated by the big guy. You end up with some sort of ruler-ship. If you have several groups like that, and you will, your system falls apart.

    Just in my household, I’ve got two very different personalities from two siblings who come out of the very same gene pool. One is extremely controlling and seems to NEED to be on top. The other is into her own thing; and intellectual who couldn’t be bothered with anything other than whatever pet project that she has lobbed on to for the month. These two lovely individuals could not create a cohesive environment. The control freak would do everything and the other would other would do nothing, unless it pleases her at the moment.

    If you have a culture like so many traditional cultures where the family bond is strong and their is a strong adherence to protocol (meaning you’d have to have a hierarchical system), then a version of this system could work. For instance, in my maternal family, as sophisticated as they are and HIGHLY educated, they still adhere to hierarchical protocol. There are constant formal reports that are made out of respect for the “system” or to ensure that everyone is in accord. This off course comes from the traditional way that we lived a century ago. My paternal side knows nothing about that stuff, they just live their modern lives and we don’t know where most people are….

    I can’t imagine your world without rank. Rank is not a bad thing. It just depends who you have up top. That is always the problem. Rank exists in other animals. We cant get away from it. There will always be an Alpha.

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    The post above was intended for you.

    Sorry Irene.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #241

    Very sensible, Zedd – rank may be a biological vestige; and there are sufficient individual variations to justify it on a functional basis. Ideologies which aim at eradicating it are misguided

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Yes, Roger. I suggest you study some anthropology though. I mean I could postulate physics propositions. Without knowing anything about physics though, the conversation is impinged. I mean, there is enough information available to make a good decision here. Why not use that information rather than start postulating whether the sun goes around the earth?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Zedd,

    If within your lowest level group

    Remember there are no levels of groups. I am interested in what you though of when you said ‘the lowest level group’.

    you have an individual who is physically strong and has a really strong personality and/or is psychologically impaired

    There are many other individuals. What would happen if you at a family reunion at the state park (say 100 people) and you had a person like you are imagining there? Would s/he bring down the whole group? Would the group handle the situation?

    That group would easily became dominated by the big guy. You end up with some sort of ruler-ship. If you have several groups like that, and you will, your system falls apart.

    Say this were plausible. I find it difficult to imagine…but, say you have a group that cannot handle life. The other groups could easily help set that group aright. There are millions of people, basically all living in the system we have now. What is to stop this from happening now? There are cults that do this, for example. But, other people will stop it Zedd. There are rules to any society. An anarchist society is no different. Just that each one of us has direct input into the rules.

    I’ve got two very different personalities from two siblings who come out of the very same gene pool. One is extremely controlling and seems to NEED to be on top.

    This suggests that domination is genetic? Okay well two things here. One, everything I have looked at says it is either a) not genetic, or b) genetic traits are only potentials and are influenced by the environment in their development. People often think of ‘genetic’ as meaning X will occur. From my reading, my understanding is that it doesn’t work that way. Two, look at other cultures for evidence of this. You likely already understand this from cultural anthropology.

    (the rest in a separate post)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    245 – Sorry Zedd I hope you understand that with the missing words and typos.

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    I think I automatically inserted the missing words when reading so I took no notice. Can’t judge anyway. Not with my issues. But I’m sure you gave Clav a thrill. He’s probably smoking a cigarette, all sprawled out, panting and sweating profusely. ewwwww.

    I had typed a brilliant response but I lost it. Darn cursor. It clicked on something on my tool bar and I lost it all. I was a genius for about three minutes. arrrrrrrrrrg.

    Cindy there are tyrants at just about every family reunion. There is always a reunion Nazi. Everyone else just goes along with their lame activities just to keep them from loosing. You know that person who starts planning the next one six months ahead of time and is always the chairperson of the reunion committee and claims that she doesn’t like it but that no one else will step up to the plate…. when the truth is that she’s chased everyone off.

    Cindy, basic family dynamics suggest that “t’aint happening”. Too many kooks and insecure people out there.

  • Zedd

    My anal child is exactly like her paternal aunt. My “disengaged” one is like my husband.

    My nephew (love, love, love him) but he has always be a bragger. He came out of the womb knowing everything. One of his first phrases was “I know”. Unfortunately he didn’t know his father until he was almost an adult. However his dad was the biggest bragger that I’d ever known (until mini him came along). Personality traits and genetics? Come on Cindy. Even interests are genetic.

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    Also, don’t forget the studies on apes about testosterone levels and aggression and stress.

  • Irene Wagner

    Blue blood = officious gene?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Book 3, Chapter 42 (sorry Zedd this is my favorite subject :-)

    Zedd,

    Maybe this will help clarify. I didn’t suggest decision-making be done in a casual setting such as a family picnic. I was only illustrating that a large group can indeed stop a misguided individual from taking over that group. I don’t suggest we simply leave people to their own devices where decision-making is concerned. Decisions about the community are made formally in a setting, could be like a town meeting for example, where everyone has a vote. They are not made by the bullies getting an idea and running with it. Extra testosterone does not give you more voting power.

    Look at it this way. If one of your dominating relatives (any of them, pick the one with the maximum testosterone) go to a town meeting, do they try to overcome people by force? Or do the follow the rules of the meeting? When they go to vote, is it likely they will be using the same bullying behavior as they do at your reunion?

    I didn’t mean to suggest that people don’t or won’t ever try to dominate. If they didn’t, we’d hardly be in the mess the world is in. And yes testosterone is biologically associated with aggression. This does not mean that where there is testosterone there will be aggression. All men do not behave equally aggressively simply because they have similar levels of testosterone. Same thing with women and testosterone. I am only suggesting that these genetics are potentials. They are not inflexible and are influenced by the environment we find ourselves in. That any particular group does not automatically practice cooperation (like your bullying reunion folks) does not say anything about whether it is inborn or that they have adapted to rules of that family.

    But, all that aside. It is not really necessary for people to be ‘non-dominant’ or ‘non-aggressive’ for anarchism to work. Because it’s not really that important to whether we can live by rules. We do live by rules now–dominating aunts and uncles included. We do this and so do people in every other culture. The difference in anarchistic society is that the people directly make the rules whereas now there is a system of representation. So, you don’t have the president or the mayor or the police–but you can have protection organized from the community itself–say elected people, like in the Zapatistas example. The difference is these elected people can be, again like the Zapatistas do it, immediately removed by the community. They have no personal authority–only what the community gives them.

    That people are capable of living cooperatively is something we already know. There are egalitarian societies, both very old ones and new ones. They have been and are working. If you’d like to see a film where men and women in Argentina do indeed work together in factories that are collectively owned and all have equal say, I would be happy to provide that. I think it would help you to see it in action. In the meantime I’ll locate some clips that are short to demonstrate.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    250,

    Irene is that a graffito?

  • Irene Wagner

    *hides spray can*
    What graffito? I don’t see no graffito.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    ROFL!

  • Irene Wagner

    Well, I was wondering out loud, when I wrote that, about how “nobility” means privileged, part of the ruling class.

    But “nobility” also carries the connotation of sacrificial service, acting honorably.

    Who started the “noble” line? Someone gifted, born to lead the rest into peaceful pastures? Or a pushy meddler?

    Not asking anyone in particular, because of course nobody knows.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    200 – Clav,

    I was out the other day when I realized what you meant. (I think.) You didn’t mean that there aren’t any dolls available that look like your niece, just that she does not choose any that do, right?

    So, I just wanted to say this. I didn’t mean to suggest every girl desires or needs a doll that looks like her. Just this: Growing up in a world where no dolls look like you, is different than growing up in a world where all the dolls look like you. It’s not really about the doll you own, but about what the world is saying about you and people like you. I’m not sure if I got that same thing across last time.

    (But really, kids are just fine with differences in people until they are taught otherwise. That’s what I make of your niece. How old is she?)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I will guess pushy meddler. Because I probably would disagree with what they called ‘honorable’ and just call that a utopianized notion.

    I bet they didn’t call sharing the wealth with the peasants ‘honorable.’

  • Irene Wagner

    Cindy…or maybe it was someone like the Reunion Nazi whom Zedd described, some ancient fluttery matriarch who started organizing “vegetable-swapping” events… Market Day!… when most people preferred to swap vegetables in a casual laid back way, on their own time. More likely, though, it was a party of bigger, stronger, faster folks on horses who organized vegetable-swiping events.

  • Clavos

    You didn’t mean that there aren’t any dolls available that look like your niece, just that she does not choose any that do, right?

    Exactly.

    (But really, kids are just fine with differences in people until they are taught otherwise.

    True. And she would not have learned not to be fine with differences from her parents.

    I just brought her up because of the discussion about the Filipina kid with the Barbie.

    My niece is ten, BTW. I think her preference for dolls that don’t look like her is a result of the curiosity all kids are born with.

    She lives in Minnesota. I don’t get to see her and her brother often enough; they are growing up too fast, and we’re missing most of it. My nephew turns 15 today.

    Okay, I’m stopping before I get maudlin.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    That is rough Clav. (Minnesota) They are all growing up too fast. My niece just finished her first year of college. (sigh)

    I remember only yesterday being her sponge rinser as she cleaned up her finger painting job from the kitchen through the dining room to the front door when she was 4. She was adorable as she looked up and decided matter of factly, ‘this isn’t a fun part.’

    The days of climbing onto a picnic table to try to touch the moon are gone. I still have some ‘turtle seeds’ from a turtle seed tree, though.

  • Clavos

    Stop, Cindy, I’m getting a lump in my throat.

    Clavos is supposed to be the cynical curmudgeon, you’re ruining my shtick…

  • mark

    Not to worry Clavos. Upon analysis cynical curmdgeonism is revealed as the third term resulting from the conflict between liberal sentimentalism and perceived practicality.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Yeah, what Mark said.

    Or you could get the feminine perspective:

    You’ll always be a tough guy* in my eyes, Clav.

    *That usually makes them feel better….men, you really have no idea how fragile you look to women. :-)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Did I write ‘fragile’? Where did that come from. I of course meant no such thing. That was a typo.

  • ma rk

    We knew that you meant ‘virile’, Cindy.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Why yes, that is exactly what I was trying to type–‘virile’.*

    *Now stop crying Clav. It’s all better.

  • Clavos

    Sigh.

    I’ll never be able to participate in the comments again…

    O tempora! O mores!

  • m a rk

    Hey, I like tempura if the batter is light enough. And s’mores are damned tasty.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Tempura is one of my favorite foods. The trick to the batter is ice cold water bowl and utensils and minimal stirring (messy lumpy batter = good–as with most other things in life…well, maybe not lumpy)

    I could never manage to eat a s’more though. All the ingredients separately are fine…but they are such concentrated richness. Maybe it’s the way the kids make them or something. Kids love that stuff.*

    *Even the large-sized male ones. :-)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    ice cold water[,] bowl [serial ,] (dispose of according to your taste) and utensils

    Not ice cold water bowl, of course, but water and bowl.

  • m ark

    glad you added that…I was about to put the bowl and stuff in the freezer.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Yes! The bowl and utensils go in the freezer and the water is put in ice. hmmm, I never tried chilling the flour yet. I bet that would be helpful. Try that too.

    What time will dinner be ready?

  • m ar k

    Sometime in early September when the veggies ripen. I have to get Clavos to come up with the shrimp.

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    The Reunion Nazi was an example of a single person coercing a group without overt force to comply. I didn’t think you meant that decisions would be made by each family.

    Now….the problem is that you will have individuals who are more apt to be more engaged than others. You will have really dim people who have big mouths and are very engaged. You will have really intelligent people who don’t like confusion who will stay out of the process.

    Unless you have a small group of individuals who are implementing this system, in the end, you will end up with something very similar to what we have right now.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Another alternative, Zedd, you and I may form a society of two.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Zedd,

    My analysis: The reasons most people don’t participate in this system is because a) they know it won’t really matter if they do, b) they think they don’t have to be involved in the process at all or never have been because (insert whatever reason you like, apolitical, out of touch, whatever). But even if I am wrong in my speculations, it doesn’t matter. We can see how people act in an egalitarian arranged community.

    In an atmosphere where it actually does matter what one thinks and how one votes, it seems that (from what is happening in Argentina) people do participate. Your guess has not so far played out so far as I have seen. Also remember that communities would be a bit different. People would be much more engaged with one another.

    And Zedd, the work is much better when one is an equal and everyone counts. It’s actually quite wonderful and fulfilling. People are happier. More involved with each other and with life. There is a huge burden the system we have puts on people. It is a great source of anger, depression and apathy, jealousy, conspicuous consumerism and acquisition as life’s main goal. It is a wonder anybody tries to participate under these conditions.

    I just attended a workers movement event in NYC where Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis had a panel with a couple from Argentina who are involved with the workers collective movement. It is working Zedd. People are involved. Not only are people involved the factory changed its name from Zenon ‘for the people’ to Zenon ‘for the community’. The workers own the factory, everyone gets paid the same–women and men regardless of testosterone. Everyone is committed. They started their own day care for workers and now they help the community with daycare. There are lots and lots of these businesses in Argentina now, the movement is growing. It is a style of life that is very conducive to being a human being. It is not like this style of life. I’ll get you some video.

    We are acquiring evidence about how people act when they have their needs met and exist in a place where they don’t have to fight or compete or manipulate each other. It is very heartening. People act differently under different circumstances.

  • Zedd

    Cindy,

    Your proposition is interesting. I still have difficulty imagining how it could be implemented globally. Organizing people is a monumental task, even for the simplest of activities. Nation building takes decades if not centuries. Getting a world system to work has been impossible -so far.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Is driving a stake through Palin’s heart the only way to get the bitch off my TV?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    277 – Zedd,

    That is where you come in. We need all the help from every person we can get Zedd. :-)

    (P.S. If you are a Christian I hope you will have a look at Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God is Within You.)

  • irene wagner

    I’ve been taking a look at the Tolstoy link, Cindy. medic?warrior?medic?warrior?

    It got me thinking about martyrs again. Though I still believe self-defense, maintaining personal boundaries, is a right, even for a Christian, I admire martyrs. Ultimate martyrdom is a refusal to return violence for violence, even to willingly accepting death. (Ghandi and MLK learned and demonstrated how effective, en masse, this kind of confrontation of evil can be.) And a person can be a “minor martyr” every time he person chooses, when he’s been insulted, to answer gently instead of escalating. (This is not to be confused with a spineless chump, which involves simpering, I think.)

    National martyrdom can’t be a good idea, and I haven’t read enough to see if that is something Tolstoy is promoting. However, when an organization allows itself to become the “official church” of a body that has as its mission ANYTHING but effecting the incarnation of Christ on earth, being his healing hands, then it has lost its way. During the final centuries of the Roman Empire, the earliest “baptists” had this conviction, and from what I can see, this is Tolstoy’s view. It started to be mine, too, around 2002, when I realized, that as a conservative evangelical, I belonged to the official church of the neocon’s vision for an American Empire.

  • Cannonshop

    278=
    Jet, maybe watch less Television then? If Palin-coverage drops ratings, she’ll go away, if it increases ratings (and rantings-remember, there’s no such thing as ‘bad’ publicity in the infotainment game) then she’ll appear MORE.

    Get it? your indignant reaction is WHY she appears on your television. Of course, for some of us, television is so minor and unimportant a thing, that we don’t know which appearance has Jet-Gardner’s guts in a twist, but the fact that he spends (apparently) so much of his life in front of the idiot box is quite revealing…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #280:

    “when an organization allows itself to become the “official church” of a body that has as its mission ANYTHING but effecting the incarnation of Christ on earth, being his healing hands, then it has lost its way.”

    What organization(s) do you speak of? And it’s not necessarily true of individuals, more importantly, because Christ’s ideas have found expression in different philosophies and need not necessarily be associated with the theological belief. And I’m certain you wouldn’t want to delimit the way of heightened consciousness only to believers (be they Christians or not).

  • irene wagner

    Hi Roger–I just realized who #280 is!

    You’re exactly right, it’s NOT true of individuals at all. It’s a beautiful mystery, the transcendence of Christ’s work over political, national, denominational, and even football-team allegiances. A particular plan of God may actually require that two of his devoted followers not see eye to eye AT ALL via politics. There isn’t any sphere of influence on earth that couldn’t benefit from a little more light.

    Which organizations was I speaking of? Organizations like this one. When one who has great influence over Christians because of his position as a pastor or public preacher, signs on to a public political document like this, the strong message sent to Christians is that Jesus Christ himself would’ve signed it if he’d had the chance. Pastors shouldn’t have as much freedom to participate in a visible way in the political process as the individuals in their flock do. I’m not saying the state should curtail that freedom, I’m saying that pastors should have the humility to leave their political views behind as soon as they step into the pulpit to expound on the word of God.

    Of course there’s the flip side. When the church starts to become the tool of the state, as it was in Nazi Germany, then a pastor such as the Lutheran Dietrich Bonhoeffer can’t be faulted when he exerts a political counterbalance, sometimes, as in Bonhoeffer’s case, to the point of martyrdom. It may also be that some of the Catholic clergy in the Liberation Theology movement are acting more in the role of “peacemaker” in the midst of a local crisis that demands their attention than in the role of “Communist tool.”

  • irene wagner

    Sorry about the bolds, Roger. It’s good to give oneself practice bold-html-tag closing, once in awhile. OK, have a great day. :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I knew, Irene, that your meaning was more comprehensive than it appeared on the written page – which is the only reason why I fielded the question. And you have a great day, too.

  • irene wagner

    Thanks Roger! But I had to come back to say one more thing before I could get about my great day: Bonheoffer, who refused to follow many of his fellow Lutherans in the path of least resistance in Nazi Germany, had heroic counterparts in the Catholic church, for example, Erich Klausener.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Somewhat off topic. I didn’t realize you wrote two articles for BC. I read the last one, and I liked it. Have you read some Kierkegaard? It’d be nice to have you write on the concept of faith (apart from religion). It’s one topic about which there’s a great deal of misunderstanding. It has less to do with dogma than a kind of emotion. (And I don’t speak of emotion here lightly.) I hope you agree.

    I know of Bonheoffer and his diaries. Quite a read. And so is Karl Barth, Paul Tillich and Rudolf Bultmann.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    276 – Zedd

    I have to correct this.

    Zanon ‘for the workers’ changed its name to Zanon ‘for the people’

    These egalitarian worker run businesses do something amazing and natural. Their solidarity spreads into the community and the business and community intermingle and become interdependent in their existence. The Zanon factory provides tile for projects at hospitals and schools and daycare. The community rallies around the business against political foes (like gov’t). They stand between the police and the factory when court orders eviction. The Zanon factory has won every time with the people’s support.

    Argentina Workers Self-Management MOvement

    I have more video (some I videoed at the NYC event. I have to upload that yet.)

    (P.S. to Irene – I want to reply to your comments on the Tolstoy links. But haven’t enough time right now.)

  • irene wagner

    You really don’t want me to get about my great day, do you ROger Nowosielski? LOL.
    Actually I have thought, often, about writing about faith here at BC. I feel 100% more confident writing about faith than I do about politics. And yes, I would write in an attempt to get past people’s intellectual objections, not by downplaying their validity or giving out intellectual arguments, but by…let’s just say I understand what you mean by “a kind of emotion.” Then I think, naw, you’re too much of a bitch, Irene (and people who read between the lines can see this frequently). Then I think, yeah, but I’d get a lot of hits via BC and could link my bio to a personal site where I’d sell ecologically friendly products and make a lot of money…and be accused of being venal…

    …so the idea is under consideration, still. Thanks for the encouragement, and this time, for real, have a great day!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This is going to be my last attempt at diversion. There’s a reason for my madness.

    I have written, I’d like to think, a fairly lucid account on the genealogy of faith (it’s evolution of sorts from simpler notions such as trust). The important point is – it’s not only a crucial part of the human experience but more importantly perhaps, an indispensable aspect of our emotional makeup (in a healthy human, one must add).

    So when you’re up to it, do let me know because I would like to be able to share this with you. It would require a great deal of condensing for the BC audience, but it’s doable.

    And now I let you go.

  • irene wagner

    Well now Roger Nowosielski, you’ve gone and made me blow my lunch hour (when I should have been studying) on another comment.

    Everyone’s faith has its own genealogy. Mine started with trust and evolved, not past “a simple notion of trust,” but into even more trust. I long ago encountered, and considered the implications of, the surprising similarities one will find between the basic tenets of Christianity and the Eleusinian mysteries, for example.

    People have known the Spirit of Jesus without knowing his name, have even known him before he was ever born. When you’ve really known a person–and I didn’t even attempt to start really knowing Jesus until many years after I’d had the sinner’s prayer recited and the dogma, which I still hold to, down pat–you can’t ever “unknow” him. There are people who once believed the dogma I believe, but they never knew Jesus, and they’ve freed themselves from the brittle lifelessness of it all, and gone in the other direction. Some of them are better off than they were before. They’re more “on their way” than they were before.

    So, I would not shy away from reading YOUR genealogy of faith, unless it involves exchange of emails. I spend enough time online already! :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    No exchange necessary, just a single transmission.