Depending on your perspective, gentle readers, this article in the New York Times could offer an explanation for the behavior exhibited by people you either detest, misunderstand, or love, for some strange reason. It could also explain the words and ideas that spring from the mind of your favorite………..blogger (a mind only his mother could love).
The People have spoken, democracy has been re-affirmed, and a new Congress will convene in January to chart a "New Direction" for our nation. As good politicians do, the Democratic Party took a stand early in the election campaign this year on an issue sure to resonate with the public…..corruption. Making clear that "Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely", the Republicans were tarred with the feathers of corruption, convicted on the notion that their control of both Houses of Congress removed any possibility of ethical oversight. That using the organs of power, unchecked by Democrats, gave unfair advantage to the ethically challenged. We were left with the impression that the Democratic Party, if restored to power, would clean The Augena Stables, aka the Halls of Congress. Forgetting, as we are wont to do, the importance of "Those who cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it", we silly voters accepted the Democrat’s offer of assistance by giving them control of BOTH Houses. We took unchecked power away from the Republicans and gave it to the Democrats. See Lord Acton’s quote above.
Your scribe is reminded of another homily, to wit, nothing is to be learned from the second kick of the mule. Proofs for that theorem follow:
Dear Reader, the issue is not that one party is more, or less, "dirty" than the other. The problem is that entrusting power to our politicians seems to encourage base behavior in most of them. Whether it’s seeking the spotlight, supplementing their retirement account, or simply doing favors for friends, family members, and supporters, the sad truth is that very few of our elected officials seem to be able to resist the temptation of the Apple.
Hubris run amok seems an appropriate diagnosis of the current condition:
In its modern usage, hubris denotes overconfident pride and arrogance;
it is often associated with a lack of knowledge, interest in, and
exploration of history, combined with a lack of humility.
An accusation of hubris often implies that suffering or punishment will
follow, similar to the occasional pairing of hubris and Nemesis in the Greek world and the proverb "pride goes before a fall" is thought to sum up the modern definition of hubris.
Good, well intentioned people reduced by the accession to power, unable to resist the fruit. Sounds like it is time for the People to change the institution.
That’s the title of a post by Cdr. Salamander, who believes the Middle East is in the early throes of Islamic nuclear war. The meat of his post:
With the NORKs making their
little nuke go boom, as sure as the sun is a fusion reactor, know that
at best the core of Shia Islam (Iran) is at best 2-5 years behind. The
Sunni powers will not let this stand. I would hope that many of you
understand the 30-years war and what that was all about. Now picture if
the Catholic and Protestant powers had nukes. Well, they were
progressive minded people compared to the Jim Jones like cult that is
running Iran right now. Though
they really want to go Persian Empire on everyone, the Iranian issues
is more religious than political. That is where the danger lies.
Politicians understand negotiation and compromise. They understand give
and take. Religious fundamentalists don’t. They were binary before
binary existed. If
fundamentalists Iran gets nukes. Those who see themselves as the
defenders of Sunni Islam and/or share a border with Iran, will not let
that stand. They will not, like Japan, buy time by knowing that they
are under the American nuclear umbrella.
To which I can only add one word: YIKES!
Donald Sensing, posting at Winds of Change, introduces us to Michael Polanyi, a British scientist and member of the Royal Society. In his article: "The vital necessity of recovering scientific faith", Polanyi poses some interesting questions, and answers, that Sensing then relates to the current struggle between Islam and Western values.
Excerpts (courtesy of Dr. Sensing):
Any account of science which does not explicitly describe it as
something we believe in, is essentially incomplete and a false
pretension. It amounts to a claim that science is essentially different
from and superior to all human beliefs which are not scientific
statements, and this is untrue. To show the falsity of this pretension,
it should suffice to recall that originality is the mainspring of
scientific discovery. Originality in science is the gift of a lonely
belief in a line of experiments or of speculations, which at the time
no one else had considered to be profitable. Good scientists spend all
their time betting their lives, bit by bit, on one personal belief
after another. The moment discovery is claimed, the lonely belief, now
made public and the evidence produced in its favor, evokes a response
among scientists which is another belief, a public belief, that can
range over all grades of acceptance or rejection. …
Searching the Blogosphere for the latest information, we came across this picture. It seems to capture exactly the tension between duality of our existence, capturing both sides of our daily existence. Click on the picture for a full screen…..
There is a different feel to this latest round of elections…..and we have been trying to put our finger on what it is. After scanning the airwaves, the print media, and the Blogosphere, we slowly began to discern the difference. It isn’t the gloating of the victors, nor the lamentations of the losers. It isn’t the absence of partisan revenge-seekers, or the vows of the defeated to win back what has been lost. We haven’t read a single story about Republicans emigrating to another country, or about a new type of depression linked to electoral losses; it doesn’t appear that the denizens of the fly-over states are aghast at the wishes of the (new) majority. No, we have nailed it. Finally, after 3 election cycles, we have managed to eradicate voter fraud, vote suppression, intimidation, and vote theft. The apparent concerns with Diebold and its corporate mission of guaranteeing Republican over-counts (despite being owned by Hugo Chavez) have receded into the fog of the distant memory. And, amazingly enough, all of these victories have been accomplished in our recently created Fascist state, whose political organs would (we were told) never again allow us, The People, an opportunity to make decisions. It says much of our great nation that we have overcome these Republican tactics and have managed to re-establish the Principles of Democracy. Now, if we could just get Keith Olbermann a job (since he will no longer have anything to rant about) and get some of those conservative speakers on the campuses of our great liberal arts universities………..