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Friday, July 31, 2009
Synopsis: The Renaissance Gild is a simple yet effective method of fully developing a wide range of skills within a single individual, and of self-development of the polymathic capabilities and ingenuity inherent in each person.
Introduction: I have been working on this idea for well over thirty years (in one way or another), the accompanying Theory Paper and assorted supplementary material regarding this project for about three years now, and my own Personal Gild Program for a little over a decade. Anyway I thought it was about time to put the idea into wider circulation, both among my friends and colleagues, and as regards the world at large.
What the Renaissance Gild Is: The Renaissance Gild is less a formal agency, organization, group, or club, than it is intended to be an informal "movement of individuals." Though it could also easily become an informal movement among a vast number of individuals (my hope is that this is exactly what will develop over time), or it could even become a more formalized structure for group accomplishment, but I would not want such a movement or organization to in any way suppress or hinder the noteworthy accomplishments of individual Gild members. What is most important about the Gild is the promotion of individual achievement, not the primacy of formal group structure or exclusivity. Indeed no "membership" of any kind is required or necessary other than an honest motivation to achieve and accomplish and the steady, persistent, and patient labor demanded for real and lasting success.
How the Renaissance Gild Operates: One needs no formal degree or training in order to participate in the Gild. One may be self-educated, formally and institutionally well educated (I am both, and I recommend both if possible, but if a formal education is not possible or practical then I definitely recommend a good, solid program of self-education), or even not very well educated. One need not worry in any case, as one may counteract a poor education through a well-developed method of Renaissance Education, which I will discuss at another time.
The Gild is open to individuals of any age. A Gild member can be of any sex, race, background, nationality, or religion. Requirements regarding Gild members are not exclusionary, but rather progressive (not in the political sense, but in the objective sense) towards future achievement. What is actually required of the Gild member is hard work and serious study, along with much practice and persistent application to accomplish those things that are long lasting, practical, beneficial and useful, and/or broad in scope or accomplishment.
To this end I suggest three broad areas or categories of concentration for each Gild member: those of Art, Religion, and Science. Why do I recommend these particular areas of concentration for achievement to each Gild member? The reasons are simple, historical, and profound. Throughout human history, and indeed given what we know of human pre-history the same basic conditions apply, the greatest human advances have been made within these general categories of activity. Men have made their most important (and sometimes most destructive and counterproductive – but our intent is to avoid or overcome those malignant tendencies) discoveries and advances within the fields of Art, Religion, and Science. (I do not rank these categories of achievement in order of importance within my own mind, but rather for sake of simplicity, alphabetically.) Indeed nearly every form of human activity can be roughly classified as falling within the parameters of these three general subject areas.
For example, Art, from the very beginnings of human prehistory has been an important aspect of human expression, and perhaps just as importantly, of representing the world through images and symbols that others could understand.
Religion, also from pre-history onwards, has been an important, if not the most important to most people, method of rendering value to the world, of shaping how men behave towards their fellow man, and of speculating about conditions and events beyond the known and immediately evident world.
And Science (and I classify things like the earliest attempts at the creation of tools, of domesticating animals, of developing agriculture, etc. as acts of science or proto-science – even when such acts were not then understood to be scientific in the modern sense of the term) from man’s earliest roots has formed the basis for man’s attempts to control his environment and to understand and profit from his physical conditions.
Most things that people do or achieve can be classified as arising from an artistic, a religious, or a scientific impulse. Or sometimes from one or more category of activity working in conjunction with the others. For instance was the painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel a religious act of devotion, an artistic act of inspiration, or a scientific endeavor requiring great skill and technical mastery? Or was it in truth not all three?
So these categories are certainly not hard and fixed, impenetrable the one to the other, but rather all forms of human activity are open, fluid, malleable, and osmotic, and therefore art, religion, and science far more often than not cross-fertilize one another in very productive and beneficial ways.
There are of course also fields of human activity that could be considered sub-categories of the general fields of Art, Religion, and Science. As an example some fields of human enterprise naturally fall into more than one category of classification. For instance both Business, and Athletic performance can variously, depending on the particular circumstance involved, be considered an Art, a Science, or both. For this reason as regards my own Renaissance Program, rather than trying to determine whether I think my business and athletic enterprises are more truly Art, or Science, or both, I simply classify them as separate sub-categories of activity. I do the same with the fields of Politics, Social and Civic Activities, and Philanthropy and Charity operations. I also maintain a separate category for my various Avocations, because some are scientific in nature, and some are artistic in nature, and rather than confuse or overcomplicate the point I simply classify them separately. But generally speaking, if I wished, and for sake of simplicity, I could easily enough classify even activities like business, athletics, philanthropy, and my avocations as being Artistic, Religious, or Scientific in character. For ease of understanding I will give my example of how the Renaissance Gild works by employing the simple and general categories of Art, Religion, and Science. But first let me give my own brief descriptions of how I define Art, Religion, and Science for the sake of understanding how the Gild best functions. You are of course not bound by these particular descriptions or definitions. I offer them merely for the sake of illustration and to provide clear and concise examples of possible and pragmatically functional definitions.
Art - All of those concerns normally associated with the Arts and with creative functions of all kinds. It is everything from sketching to film to architecture to painting to music to writing, and even to things like acting and dance (I have little personal interest in acting and dance, but they are arts, so I include them in this description). Art assists with the way one perceives the world, and with how one represents the world to others.
Religion - How a man conducts himself towards his fellow man, towards other creatures, towards his world, and towards God. How he disciplines his behavior and does good towards others. His moral character, the practice which assists him with bettering himself and the world, and most especially important, towards establishing, maintaining, and bettering his relationship with God. The example of God he follows, the closeness of God in his soul, his actions in this world, and how he prepares himself for his life after his physical death.
Science - The methods by which one seeks to perceive and understand the physical aspects (and perhaps in some cases, other aspects) of this universe, how it operates, and in what exact manner(s) it may operate. How one seeks to master and manipulate both matter and energy, and to what ultimate end and in what way. Science is both an act of seeking to understand the physical universe and to control it or shape it for the better.
An Example of How to Use the Renaissance Gild:
An individual chooses one major accomplishment or perhaps two or more minor accomplishments for every year to two years, as a stated goal for achievement in each of the three various categories of Art, Religion, and Science. Each person picks what is best and most natural to themselves as far as the exact goals to be attempted, and as regards the sub-categories and sub-disciplines within each general branch of Art, Religion, and Science to be undertaken.
I intend to paint three canvasses in oil detailing my famous ancestors, their backgrounds, environments, and some of their exploits – major achievement
I will write and publish a small book of poetry, and learn to play the piano – minor accomplishments
I will go on an extended Missions trip to help the people of Madagascar with their spiritual, medical, and physical needs – major accomplishment
I will assist the poor of my local community, and I will give more money to charity and/or volunteer more of my time to worthwhile charities – minor accomplishments
I will perfect my invention to the best of my ability and thereafter market it for the benefit of the public and for my own benefit and profit – major accomplishment
I will conduct experiments in chemistry, biochemistry, and medicine to develop a better method for preventing and treating burns, and I will use my new telescope to make detailed observations of the moon and nearby planets hoping to make a new discovery – minor accomplishments
As I have previously noted one can also develop sub-categories of endeavor, such as Civic Accomplishments, Political Aims, Avocational Interests, etc. in which one can also detail one’s personal aims and objectives.
Of course what each individual considers a major, or a minor accomplishment will vary with the individual concerned, but I offer the following examples above as possible guidelines for developing your own Renaissance potential.
Once one accomplishes one’s stated desire within any given field or category of activity then one records that accomplishment in one’s Accomplishment List (discussed below) and replaces the accomplished goal with a new objective.
In time the aim of your personal Renaissance project is to develop a wide range of useful and beneficial skills, to study widely and to be able to converse ably and competently on nearly any subject, to become ever better at what you do best, and over time to fully develop and exploit your own set of talents, your own genius, and your own polymathic capabilities. What separates the ultimate objective of the Renaissance Project from a standard set of Goals and Objectives (which are usually limited and aimed at only a specific, discreet, or narrow intention) is the Real Purpose of the Renaissance Model. The aim of the Renaissance Model is not merely to achieve a certain set of goals - but to achieve a certain set of goals and objectives and thereby to accomplish certain important and worthwhile work while one lives in such a way as to master and develop one’s full range of Artistic, Religious, and Scientific capabilities simultaneously, and in conjunction with each other. The aim of the individual Renaissance Program is to develop one’s individual Artistic, Religious, and Scientific capabilities and abilities so that each field of endeavor supports and compliments the other, and so that a person can best exploit and express their own individual force of Arete. In that way one seeks to become both a polymath, and to gain a real mastery of understanding in the way different fields or disciplines of activity and knowledge interrelate the one to another. A secondary and yet vital benefit derived from the individual Renaissance Project is the fact that one becomes acutely and intimately aware of the full range and breadth of possible capabilities inherent within one’s self.
Tracking Gild Accomplishments: Various methods of Goal and Objective setting, achievement, and tracking are possible in regards to the Renaissance Gild. However I highly recommend the use of the Accomplishment List. The Accomplishment List is simply a list, using the same basic format as the Gild itself, that details what accomplishments and achievements you have already made or completed in regards to your own Renaissance Program. In that way you can see what you have achieved in the past, those areas of enterprise in which you have the most apparent ability or capability and tendency towards success, and furthermore you can use the information regarding your past achievements and accomplishments to set newer and better goals and objectives for what you would like to achieve in the future.
Background on the Project and Gild: I plan on writing a long paper or essay, maybe even a short book on the Renaissance Gild. Though the idea is a simple one in execution (see sections above). I developed the idea by studying how geniuses and polymaths like Erasmus and Goethe and More and Bacon and Archimedes and Da Vinci thought and worked. I came to the very obvious and simple conclusion that many people like this achieved so much in so many wide and diverse fields of enterprise simply because they both had a wide range of interests (and thus studied widely), and most important of all attempted to do a number of different things in various disciplines or fields of activity. It may seem an obvious point that anyone wishing to become a polymath must attempt many things in separate and various fields of activity, but in our modern world and society attempting many and different things is often subtly, if not overtly, discouraged. For instance the common refrain of many in our time, “that’s not my field,” as if to say, that is beyond my real capabilities and expertise while unconsciously (and often falsely) supporting the idea that only the “specialized expert” could possibly know of what he speaks in that category of activity. It is extremely hard for me to imagine an Erasmus, an Archimedes, a Saint Ignatius, or a Da Vinci saying with any sense of seriousness, “that’s not my field.” That sort of self-imposed smallness of mind would be naturally repugnant and ridiculous to such men. For good reason. What one doesn’t know one can easily enough learn and then master if one is determined to do so. Only lack of imagination and desire condemns the modern man to his narrow corner of shackled enterprise and accomplishment.
(To tell you the truth it has been my observation that most people already do a number of different things in different fields of activity. The difference between this normal state of affairs in life, however, and the idea of the Renaissance Gild is that the Renaissance Gild encourages such activities to become noticeable and formalized, to become concentrated, focused, and intentionally overt rather than merely unfocused and with no real overarching objective, aim, or purpose. For instance a person might play ball, work a job, take part in his church, invent something, and so forth and so on. But that individual sees all of these diverse activities as separate and mainly subjectively unrelated spheres of action, and rarely thinks to integrate these activities into a single, conscious, coherent, objectified, and useful method of both life examination and life achievement. The point of the Renaissance Gild is to produce a goal-oriented and integrated Great Life, one that focuses upon enjoyable, necessary, and intended achievements, and thereby is not simply a sort of meandering, unconscious, vague and listless life of seemingly accidental occurrences and achievements – regardless of whether one’s achievements are truly accidental or intentional. The aim of the Renaissance Gild then is threefold, to produce a Great Life with real purpose, to be aware of the fact that the various activities of one’s life lead towards a greater and more integrated and more thorough Union of activities, most of which, if not all of which, can be when properly perceived viewed as a coherent whole, and finally by having a Great Life and by being aware of the fuller integration of one’s various individual activities, to produce ever newer and greater Goals and Objectives that serve to increase of augment the Great Life that one already enjoys. In other words the Renaissance Man or Woman has a Great Life that is both fully integrated and perpetually improving, and ever therefore ever more progressive.)
I, personally, even as a kid, was never by nature or interest comfortable with the Hyper-Specialization of Modern Society and Culture. The idea that people become "Experts" in an extremely narrow, or ever increasingly narrow, field of activity.
This idea, this ideal of the modern expert and the narrow-specialist seems both a joke and a simple-minded delusion to me. It is based upon the canard common in our society, fostered by “knowledge experts and educational gurus” that there is simply too much to know, and therefore it is a basically bootless undertaking to know many things correctly, much less most things well. And that therefore it is a wasted effort to know what you do not know. But ironically, and obviously if one thinks but a short period of time upon the matter, by becoming an "expert" in an extremely narrow range of knowledge and activity one fails to be able to see the evident interactions between wide ranges of different types of activity, action, and thought in both the functions of nature, and the real behaviors demonstrated by men in their actions. The modern expert is often as blissfully ignorant of nature (and her operations) and the wider world around him, as he is of the simple observational arts, body of information and experience, and obvious human interactions that would make most of the behaviors of his fellow man far more visible and comprehensible to him. He has traded “expertise” for genuine understanding, and narrowness of contextual experience for true comprehension. All because he too often uncritically accepts the words and conclusions of others who deem themselves experts based merely upon the notion that they are satisfied with knowing more about less that at any other point in human history.
When Hyper-specialization occurs then people willingly blind themselves and their capabilities to how the world, and to how human activity, really functions, tends to act, and to react. Hyper-specialization and the modern mania and juvenile fascination (giving rise to the corresponding false assumptions of that self-same fascination) with the "expert" does not in the long run create real experts. It instead creates a sort of pseudo-expert, a priest of sub-par and fractured knowledge, a mere facade of real expertise, an alias of and an alien identity among countless other so called experts who seem to have an intimate grasp of their subject matter but usually lack even the most basic and fundamental understanding of how their particular field or discipline functions when in contact with other forces or influences, or when in operation in the real world.
To counter the modern mania of hyper-specialization and the ill-conceived fashion and fad of the contemporary expert I went back to the Renaissance Model (which in itself is based upon the far more ancient model of the well-rounded Classical Genius, men like Archimedes, men filled and consumed with Arete) and started to develop a counter-program and counter-cultural ideal which is really just my current reinterpretation of the Polymath and the Genius fluent in many fields of activity and productivity.
Thankfully I see much evidence that our culture has tired of the Hyper-Specialized expert, and that it is now far more dubious and critical of such a fantastic creature. You see this counter-reaction with the development of various think tanks devoted to a wide range of enterprises and studies, you see it in more modern career paths (where people move from one field or discipline to another with relative ease and with confidence in the pursuit of their various enterprises), you see it in various books being written, in the development of the multi-capable Special Forces Soldier, and so forth and so on. There is a blurring of the lines and a breaking down of old, outmoded, and artificial divisions of thought and activity. You're even slowly seeing it in politics with the disenchantment of the idea of the "expert politician." So I'm hardly the first to notice or promote such trends in our society.
But doing away with a thing is not the same as replacing a thing with something better.
And long ago I decided to devote myself to the idea of the Renaissance Man, rather than to the modern conception and misconception of the Expert. What is needed in the contemporary world is a New Breed of Man, who is in reality merely the very best kind of man, filled with the very best kind of virtue (Arete), from the very best ages of the past. What is needed now (especially now) is the Renaissance Man (who sometimes arises from the ranks of the Professional, and just as often arises from the ranks of the Amateur). The Art, Religion, and Science of the Renaissance Man, properly undertaken, is the cure for the modern (shallow minded, narrowly accomplished, and often wrong) and artless, aimless, and ignorant Expert.
Now don't mistake my real intention, I have nothing against the idea of Expertise, or the Expert, in general or per se. Real Experts serve a valuable and necessary function, and one should be good at what one does, and knowledgeable about any field of activity in which one is employed or engaged. But I am in truth speaking (throughout) about the difference between the modern ideal of the expert, and Real Expertise, which by its very nature requires at least as much breadth of understanding in how to interact with the rest of the world, as it requires depth of self-understanding and self-critique. You have to know what you are doing, and how. Then again you must also know why you are doing what you are doing, and where and when what you do fits together within the larger context and scope of the world.
So I began work years and years ago, back when I was a teenager actually, on an answer to and counteraction against the modern ideal of the expert and the promotion of the principle of hyper-specialization. Those who have known me for a long time probably remember at least some of the conversations we had on these and related matters, even as kids. Of course back then I didn't call my counteraction the Renaissance Gild, or anything as formal and well structured as that, as it was more a sort of vague and internalized concept of mine than a fully realized and incorporated notion. I simply spoke about my disdain for overspecialization, that I held more with the idea of anti-specialization, based more on what I didn't like about specialization than what I wanted to replace it with, because at that time I did not really know how to, or with what I should be making such replacement. I’m sure though that many of you remember me speaking of the age of Renaissance ideals and of the polymath, and of my admiration of the advances made by such Renaissance individuals. (In this particular respect I use the term Renaissance and polymath almost synonymously.) But over time I developed, in my twenties and thirties, a program, set of studies, system, and counter-ideal with which to replace the concept of over-specialization and the modern expert. I eventually called that the Renaissance Gild. So originally (when finally settled upon a real course of action, or counteraction) I set out to set up a Counterprogram of Great Work, (of how people approach Work and Career, and to what end) and a counter-cultural concept. That was my original motivation. I've worked upon my own personal concept, ideal, form, and program of the Renaissance Gild for about 10 to 12 years or so now. I would only very rarely or only in emergency situations suggest anyone undertake anything I have not first experimented with and tested upon myself. So I do not offer this program and concept as mere theory (being driven, motivated, and consumed with theory alone is unfortunately the province and proclivity of far too many modern experts), but as a personally tested method of operating.
Eventually though (after using the Renaissance Gild as the basis of my personal way of approaching work and achievement) I decided to integrate the Renaissance Gild Ideal into the Homeschooling Educational Program I had developed for my own children. Although I have never told them this formally or openly (though I have often stressed the importance of ingenuity and wide ranging knowledge to the development of real capability), they have both been practicing their own Renaissance Gild Program for a very long time, and it is an integral and vital component of their homeschooling and wider educational program. I think the evidence bears out how well it has worked with them because I often get comments and compliments from others about how "smart and well-rounded" my children are, and how capably they act and perform. Part of this is genetic (their mother is smart and strong too, like my children, even if her capabilities are sometimes under-developed and under-utilized), part is desire and natural (innate) capability, part is the moral and educational discipline I have imposed upon them, but a large part of their capabilities derive from their Renaissance Training and conditioning.
(I also strongly suspect that Renaissance Training and activities work to counteract the ennui, boredom, listlessness, and "drifting - lack of real goals and objectives in life - so common to modern societies and cultures. Unfortunately cultures and societies such as ours far too often eat-up excess energy and potential productivity on the part of the individual with distractions of unending desire for escapism and hunger for too much entertainment - as we have discussed elsewhere. Renaissance Training and Work tends to counteract this sense of listlessness, boredom, confusion, and lack of motivation and accomplishment. However as I said earlier I think the younger generations are much better qualified and prepared than we were - especially the baby boomers - in this sense. I often see a sort of intuitive understanding and counter-reaction against the ennui of modern life and culture on the part of many young people. Many young people are anxious to achieve and "do something worthwhile," even if they are often not certain or are confused as to what might actually qualify as being worthwhile. In any case it is very hard to be distracted, listless, depressed, and aimless when one is busy and consumed with meaningful work and achievement.)
Nevertheless as I've said there is a difference between knowing what you don't want to do, and having a solution or useful method by which to achieve the opposite. So over time I developed the Renaissance Program(s) to both counteract the current situation and paradigm and to provide a model for a different way of living and working.
End of Introduction.
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Monday, July 06, 2009
Shooting it Out - I know this really doesn't qualify as politics in the most basic sense but the case has really interested me and I've been following it closely. I hope if this is true that they did in fact kill him.
McNamara Finally Out of Vietnam
The Neolibs and "Meddlin with my Ass" - When you get the "meddling - then we become a fist speech" by an old SOB like this who really gives a damn? Alright, we're scared, will you please stop your nuclear weapons development program now? We're very sorry you're having to murder little girls in the streets right now because of us, but we have our own interests to look after. We're Neolibs after all. You know, "freedom for everyone if it's safe enough for us. " So, can't we make a deal to show how enlightened we all are? We wouldn't endanger that kinda prospect with harsh rhetoric.
Biden, Rubin, and the Neolibs misread the Economy - Well, sometimes you can't win em all, and sometimes you can't even understand your own major political platform. But just keep doing what you're doing, Joe, just keep doing whatever it is you're doing. You're bound to hit bottom if you dig hard and long enough.
Captured - True or not this whole scenario smells fishy to me. Like gar on a hot butcher's board.
(WOD) The Long Slog: The War On Debtors
Going the Other Way - I've personally had more than enough of politicians who cling to office no matter what they do. (Sanford, etc). Does this qualify as putting principle above politics. I don't know. I'm will to see what she does next. I like to see people fulfill their obligations. Then again I know there are exceptions to every rule when resistance becomes more distraction and drag than impulse to achieve. I don't know if this is one of those exceptions or not. One step at a time I reckon.
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Saturday, July 04, 2009
May this day be the Rebirth of a new spirit of responsibility and liberty in this land, and a return to the Revolutionary fervor that gave us the courage to be free men and women, to reshape the world, and to bring about a new age in our own affairs, and in the affairs of men.
God I ask that you have mercy upon my nation, and I know that you have and that you will, but most of all I ask that you guide and help us with a renewed and divine wisdom so that we may put aside our recent mistakes and terrible arrogance, that humility again reign in our hearts, and that immediate, urgent, noble, and holy ambition allow us to reform our nation and our government, both of which are disastrously sick with overmuch corruption and barren and bankrupt self-indulgence.
I've had enough of the way we are, help us to again become what we should be.
And we will be again. If we but try.
Happy Independence Day my fellow countrymen.
Let's make that phrase meaningful again.
Free men are free of the need of an enslaving and irresponsible government.
Free men are free because they are not afraid to govern themselves responsibly.
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Thursday, June 25, 2009
Hizballah of New Jersey
Fight Like You Intend to Win, Fight Like Injuns - The Iranian opposition and the people are still trying to fight this thing like it's a Marquess of Queensbury match. It ain't. When you're fighting tyrants you fight like Injuns, not like Englishmen. They need a real leader and a real revolutionary with real plans and they need him now.
Shattering the Illusion
The Altruism of War - Although I am agnostic on this study I cannot help but tithing of both the altruistic and individual motives of protesters in Iran
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I would have been happy for Mark Sanford to run for president. I would have helped to elect him. Done everything I could have to made sure he became President of the United States of America. Before this.
I fully admit I have no understanding of these actions at all. Maybe because for the most part they really are incomprehensible. Sometimes love makes people crazy I guess. It does teenagers anyway. But this is a nearly fifty year old man. At some point you grow beyond your immediate impulses. Or, maybe not...
This is exactly the kind of thinking and behavior that lost Republicans so many offices last time. With good reason. The idea that emotions, not thought and discipline and self-control should run the affairs of the individual and the affairs of the nation.
But if I'm understanding these events correctly then even after the trial separation with his wife Sanford ran down to Argentina and spent some quality tear time with his adulterous flame. Without properly notifying the people for whom he works. In dereliction of his governmental and political duties.
Yet far worse to me is the general attitude that Sanford seems to have that the political affairs of the state come before his own family and marriage. Now I firmly admit that I am the last person on earth to think that politics is the most important occupation in the world. Yes, I have been at one time or another deeply invested and active in politics. I'm about to become so again because of my opposition to so many of the policies of President Obama. But to me politics is not like curing cancer, or even painting the Last Supper. It just isn't the grandest contribution to life that one can make and to tell you the truth usually it achieves very little of lasting value. Most of the time that is.
However if you're gonna be involved in politics then you have certain public obligations to meet. Sanford failed his in a particularly inexcusable way. He failed his public duties and he failed his state.
More importantly (and this is Sanford's real sin) than even that he failed to understand that his time in office would have been of a relatively brief duration, with or without these series of events to cloud the matter, in comparison to the entire course of his life. He placed his political career (for without his political career the odds are small he would have engaged in this particular affair in any event) and his adulterous career over that of the importance of his family, his wife, his sons, and what that will represent to them in the future. In other words if your marriage and family were falling apart why not just put aside your career for at least as long as it took to make a course correction and satisfy your first, and more vital set of obligations before carrying on dutifully with a mere job? I just don't get this about modern people. They'll screw everything and everyone around them up completely in order to concentrate upon a public career that they will certainly ruin anyway by screwing up everything and everyone else around them. Did your career save either your marriage or your job-reputation Governor? How did that work out for ya? If you can go "hiking" for a few days then couldn't you have perhaps better expended that time productively working out your marriage and family problems? Hell, at least give it a try like you actually mean it. My marriage was about to fly apart at the seams about a year ago and I fought like a damned wolverine in a wolf-pack fight til it got settled. My wife deserved that much, my children certainly deserved that much, hell, I deserved that much. To try at least. You'd fight heaven and hell against fiscal and financial injustice and irresponsibility (nothing wrong with that by the way) and you'd take a separation from your wife and repentance from an affair like it's a confusing accounting maneuver you need time to more fully analyze? Or a psycho-therapy session you need to cry-out for good measure? Do you think you might have some fire left in your belly for your family man? If not then you think that maybe you should have stoked at the flame a little? You know you're not so crucial that the world can't do without you long enough to prove that there's something more important than what you desire at the moment. It's just a suggestion Mark. Take it for what it's worth.
I hope this turns out to be some kinda lesson for the wise at heart, or soon to be that way. (I'm looking your way too young Republicans.) If your career has doomed your family then maybe it's not your family that's the main or real problem Mr. Einstein. In other words solve first things first. If your house is afire then don't worry much about the slow leak in the kitchen sink. Other things you can catch up with later. Is that really brain salad surgery, or am I just that much smarter than the average modern Joe? Cause it seems to me it's pretty much like reading a grizzly bear paw print at high noon in fresh mud with the help of a old mountain man as your tour guide. If it got anymore self evident then maybe it needs to be published in a pop-up coloring book, or an alphabet primer.
I hope and pray that he will come to his senses for the sake of his wife (and I don't know the personal situation personally, but from her statements I think she certainly deserves better than this infidelity and betrayal) and his children. The fact that he cannot instantly grasp the full weight of his own hypocrisy (in comparison to what he says he represents) is just further proof that he's out of his mind at this point and it is his emotions that guide the autopilot. To paraphrase the ancients, "our emotions make fine steeds, but poor charioteers."
You need to get off the ride Sanford, and if she'll have you back then you need to walk home humbly, tell your wife you're stronger than a sixteen year old in mindset and outlook, resign your office (be a man about it, because you know you need to be, and spare us a well-earned impeachment Mr. Clinton, I mean Mr. Sanford), get out of the public limelight, concentrate upon your family, and remember that your duties and your obligations are what define you as a man.
The State will be just fine without you (God I wish more politicians understood just how really dispensable and disposable they are, their own opinions to the contrary) Governor, and you will be far better off in a state that concentrates upon what is most important, instead of just what is most politic.
Anyway you can forget my political support in the future.
I'm not gonna ask that my Republican representatives be perfect, but they gotta do a lot better than this one. That's just a given.
Get yourself straightened out and as far as I'm concerned, I'll forgive what you did. Not that that's important. You got a lot more significant people than me to re-earn the trust of.
But in any case get yourself straightened out now man. Right now.
You're starting to look like a little boy playing at being Tarzan, King of the Monkeying-Around Men.
Gird up your loins man, gird up your loins. Don't just sling em around like jungle vines for purposes of entertainment and circus shows.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The Cyborgin Impulse
The Tilted Mass
I find this one particularly interesting as personally I have often wondered at the many seeming inaccuracies and inconsistencies (both physically and mathematically) in common models of solar system formation.
The Stretchable Creation
The Listening Ear
I've long been a proponent of biologically based and biologically modeled technologies, for obvious reasons. Here is a good example of why. The applications are enormous, for what if one designed chips and recovers of a molecular and genetic nature based upon the hearing capabilities of dogs and wolves?
The New Spin
I also have to wonder how this might effect practical applications of Spintronics.
The Entrained Brain
The Great White Serial Killer
I'd like to see this used as the basis for developing analysis systems for violent human psycho and social pathologies. In other words develop this study into a predictive analytical tool concerning human serial killers, as one possible application. I'm not talking about the direct correlation, but the generla methodology.
America's Most Twittered
I've recently been considering the real value (if any) of various social networking applications. Here is an application I could actually make real use of.
The Sharp Alchemist
Need I say more?
The Resonant Recharge
The New Cyber-Warfare
The Sunny Devil
I know I have included more than the usual number of articles in the Abstract. But the past few weeks have seen some very interesting and exciting developments in the various disciplines of science and technology that I thought were well worth examining.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Iranian Protests Continue, Government pursues predictable counter-tactics
Politics by Other Means
Iranian You Tube
From Winds of Change
Sex Offenders Law
I helped elect Jim DeMint. Both to the House and Senate. I consider him a friend and to tell the truth he is the man I am most proud of having helped to elect at this point in American history.
I really like this idea because I don't consider the Senate very highly. It is primarily a house of beasts and effetes. So I'm posting part of Jim's Letter to support his idea.
Dear Fellow Conservative:
If it concerns you that America is sliding toward socialism, I hope you will join me in supporting a group I am leading to elect true conservatives to the U.S. Senate who will fight to save freedom.
Fighting for freedom is the reason I ran for the Senate and it's also why I wrote a new book called Saving Freedom that I would like to send you. I'll tell you more about that in a minute... But first, I need you to act if you agree that we need to elect more true conservatives to U.S. Senate who will fight for liberty.
As you know, President Obama and congressional Democrats are ramming billions in bailouts, stimulus plans, and pork-barrel projects through Congress as fast as they can. We desperately need principled leaders in the Senate to stop them, and we need those leaders now. The tea parties are great. They are a physical representation of the growing anger Americans have over the direction of our country. But now we need to channel our energy into positive action that makes a real difference. That is why I formed the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF). Its mission is to bring bold leadership to Washington by supporting only the most rock-solid, conservative Senate candidates nationwide -- candidates who believe in limited government, a strong national defense, and traditional family values. SCF does this by making financial contributions to candidates, educating voters on key issues, and building a grass-roots army of like-minded conservatives across the country who will push our candidates on to victory. And let me be absolutely clear about something. SCF does not support liberal Republicans and is not affiliated with the Republican Party or any of its campaign committees. SCF only supports conservatives and will support conservative challengers in Republican primaries when it's necessary.
So if you like wishy-washy Republicans who talk out of both sides of their mouths and try to have it both ways, you won't like SCF. I will tell you that up front. But if you love America and you believe it is the world's greatest bastion of freedom, then you should join our team and help us take back our country. There are just 500 days until the 2010 elections, and we have a lot of work to do. SCF has already made three important endorsements for three impressive candidates.
In Oklahoma, we are supporting the re-election bid of conservative U.S. Senator Tom Coburn. As I'm sure you know, Senator Coburn is a one-man pork-busting machine who has done more to protect American taxpayers from wasteful Washington spending than anyone in Congress.In Pennsylvania, we are backing former Congressman Pat Toomey in his race to replace ultra-liberal Senator Arlen Specter, who helped President Obama pass the $1 trillion stimulus bill and recently switched parties to save his political hide.
In Florida, we have endorsed former Speaker of the House Marco Rubio who is running for the GOP nomination against Governor Charlie Crist. Rubio is a bright, articulate, and principled leader who has what it takes to win this important seat for conservatives.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
You are going to have to expand your tactics.
It is summer now. You are out of school and university. Your nation has succeeded in Revolution before. You’ve overthrown the Shah. You can overthrow the Ayatollah. Continue to push. Use the season to your advantage. Use the environment to your advantage.
Rally at night, as well as in the day. Rally late at night and at early morning and at nightfall. When the government will have much more trouble preventing you from congregating and assembling. Rally in shifts if you have to do so. And at different locations. Exhaust the opposition.
Encourage market and work strikes.
Get your parents and the middle class involved in your effort. It’s their nation and liberty at stake too.
Develop new means of communications. Use word of mouth, use graffiti on walls, use paper and pen, and develop your own codes. So that you can communicate securely whenever you need and without fear. Exploit all available technologies, but do not just rely upon technologies that the government can disrupt. Also keep communicating in English when you smuggle out messages to the West. Sympathy is strong for you here and will only grow with admiration for your courage and strength.
Organize and attack specific targets that will hamper the government. But do not attack your fellow citizens or innocents. Instead recruit them to your cause. Grow your numbers to an unstoppable host.
When the time is right recruit the police and the military. Many of them are your relations, friends, or even direct family. They can and should be turned to support you.
Instead attack government communications systems and munition stores and transportation networks. Engage in effective sabotage.
Have strikes, prevent commerce from occurring, and continue to rally, march, and shut down fuel networks.
Do not look at this as a defensive action. Instead think of what you can do to actively sabotage and cripple your government while making more and more of your fellow citizens your allies and supporters. Do not stop now. If you give in now then the government will just arrest, try, and imprison or kill many of you. You’re all the way in now, do not turn back though it take weeks or even months to win.
Organize and develop effective and good leadership. Elect leaders and substitute and back-up leaders in the case that your first set of leaders are injured, arrested, out-of-action, or killed.
You need effective Plans. You need a definite Goal and a set of real objectives. Once the revolution is won then you will have to build a new government for the people and by the people and of the people. You also need new routes of movement, and new systems of communications that are your own. So that you can not only win, but also build a new nation afterwards.
You need persistence and this is the perfect time and the perfect season and the best opportunity you have ever had to achieve what you wish, liberty, prosperity, justice, and a real future worth having.
You will have to take what you want but you are all well educated, smart individuals. Use what you know. Exploit where you have advantage. Where there is an obstacle, adapt and overcome. Find a way over, under, or behind any obstruction or opposition.
And screw what your government says, screw what my government and president fails to say. We are with you and you can do this. But you will have to be smart, and organized, and effective, and persistent, and courageous.
You are all of those things.
Now prove it. Don’t forget that the American Revolution was fought by and achieved by the efforts of a relatively small percentage of the population. And yet you young Iranian men and women are 3/5ths of the entire population of your nation. Bring them all in on your side. Win the Hearts and Minds of your fellow citizens. Then you will have victory, real and unfettered victory.
Now Godspeed and God be with you.
And He will be if you don’t give up.
God gives victory to the determined and the courageous.
We are with you too.
Until this is finished.
In the right way.
Meaning, to your advanatge.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009
I know you can do it.
Yes, we are watching here, from America. We watch you here in the United States. I watch you, my buddies watch you, and my children are watching you. Gladly.
You have courage; this is your moment in history.
Do not back down. Not today, not ever. Bring those bastards to their knees.
Pressure, every day, more pressure. More liberty, more courage, more of you and what you are proving.
You can do it. You will do it if you don’t hesitate. If you won’t stop.
Victory will be yours.
Eventually the police will side with you. Eventually the military will side with you.
The mullahs will flee your nation just like the Shah did.
I’ve waited a long time to see this. So have you. Don’t falter now, we’re with you. It’s your Revolution now. It’s your nation now.
And God Almighty I’m proud of you guys!
Take it and be free, and we are with you.
You’re an example to us all.
Now fight til you win dammit!!!
FIGHT TIL YOU WIN!
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I know that due to the recent elections things have become tumultuous throughout Iran. And for good reasons. The elections there were obviously skewed and corrupt.
I haven’t blogged in a long time, but I thought this was as good a time as any to make a public pronouncement on my sentiments. Not that my sentiments are what is important, but I just wanted the young people, the old people, indeed anyone in Iran who desires true liberty to know that this American watches your situation with great, and even personal interest. And I have been praying for your liberty and your freedom (for a long time) and for you to have the type of government you can be proud of and that kind of country in which you can flourish and fully exploit your individual and national talents. Which are obviously and historically many and great.
I will continue to pray for the people of Iran, for you are not my enemy, nor the enemy of my nation. I know, and you know, who the enemy of your nation is, and it is not America anymore than you are our enemy. But if I can be of even more practical service in your cause I will be, and indeed I have tried to be for some time now.
So yes, you will be attacked. Yes, I am sorry to say, some of you will be unjustly and viciously slain for the just demands you now make upon your false government and your efforts to establish a far more viable and honest and honorable and free Iran.
God Bless you then and be with you in your cause.
It is a good cause, a just cause, a true cause, and not just one worth dying for, but also one worth living and struggling and fighting for. So I hope and pray you are safe. But above all I pray you are successful. And with courage and determination you will be. And when this is decided in your favor remember us, for many of us in America foresaw this day long ago, as you did. We knew liberty would march throughout your region of the world and that when it did, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, and in your nation, it would also free the trapped and ingenious energies and imaginations of those who know of what they are capable, but have been too long suppressed by men with small imaginations and even less wisdom.
So to all Iranians I say, forget the naysayers, forget those who say the Wars of Liberty cannot be won in your region of the world, forget those filled with doubt and small spirits and timidity and fear. The fearful have their reward, and may they enjoy what small comfort it ever gives them. You, though, are not such people. You are part of the future of the World. Be what you were always meant to be. Be great again.
And for my many Christian brothers and sisters in Iran, even you secret and hidden Christians. Rise up courageously and take your nation in a new and better direction. Set it free. For in Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, no Greek, no bondsman or servant, no Iranian or American separate from and disregarded from the other, but all men and women are one, and equal, and free. Your struggle is mine. Have courage and run until the race is completed. And when you win, as inevitably you will, I will see you at the finish line and I will say to you, “well met my friends, I knew you would make it. It was destiny, and it was God’s will.”
Liberty is your inevitable individual birthright. It’s yours by nature, now take and prove it with action.
Friday, March 06, 2009
BARACK OBAMA: SAVING THE UNIONS
NOW I GET IT!
A WIND POWERED CAR AND A NEW $50,000.00 TAX BILL (plus interest) FOR EVERY AS YET UNABORTED GRANDCHILD IN AMERICA. NOW, AREN’T YOU GLAD YOU MADE A STATEMENT?
OBAMA: NOW AL-QAEDA THINKS THEY’RE SAFER TOO.
OBAMA: FOR THE VERY BEST IN HEALTHCARE THAT LIVERPOOL AND GUATEMALA CAN AFFORD
OBAMA: “I DON’T LIKE THE TERM WAR ON TERROR. I MUCH PREFER THE PHRASE, ‘A MISUNDERSTANDING OF DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED DIPLOMATIC OBJECTIVES.’ ”
OBAMA AND HIS LEGACY: MAKING BUSH LOOK MUCH, MUCH BETTER SINCE JANUARY, 2009
OBAMA: AT LEAST HE UNDERSTANDS THE P.R. VALUE OF A GOOD SALUTE.
ECONOMY DEVASTATED, ABORTIONS AND SUICIDES UP, NATION UNABLE TO DEFEND ITSELF, UNREST IN THE STREETS, GOVERNMENT MISTRUSTED BY EVERYONE, COUNTRY INVADED BY FOREIGN INSURGENTS. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED PRESIDENT OBAMA.
OBAMA: IF PAKISTAN CAUSES TROUBLE THEN I’M NUKING IT. IF IRAN GETS NUKES THEN I’M BLAMING ISRAEL.
IF YOU WANT TO ENSLAVE YOUR PEOPLE AND OBTAIN NUCLEAR WEAPONS FOR NEFARIOUS PURPOSES THEN I WANT TO HAVE A DIALOGUE. IF YOU MAKE OVER $50,000.00 A YEAR THEN “I’LL SMOKE YA OUT!”
OBAMA: IF THERE IS ANOTHER TERRORIST ATTACK THEN DON’T BLAME ME. I TRIED MY VERY BEST TO ERADICATE THE WORD!
OBAMA: “DON’T DARE MISUNDERESTIMATE ME. I REALLY MEAN IT WHEN I SAY THINGS ARE ONLY GONNA GET WORSE.”
OBAMA TO BIN LADEN: BUSH COULDN’T GET YOU, BUT I WILL. I’VE GOT THE IRS WORKING ON IT RIGHT NOW.
OBAMA: FINALLY, AN AMERICA THAT CAN BE RESPECTED IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD - LIKE NORTH KOREA, IRAN, SYRIA, THE HAGUE, SOMALIA, AND VENEZUELA.
BARACK OBAMA – IF YOU’RE GIVING A LOT OF MONEY TO CHARITY THEN I’M GOING TO TAX YOU MORE, IF YOU’RE NOT PAYING TAXES THEN YOU GET MORE MONEY FROM OTHERS FOR YOURSELF. THAT’S FAIR, AIN’T IT?
OBAMA – I’M TIRED OF BUSINESSMEN EMPLOYING SO MANY PEOPLE. SO I’M GOING TO TAX THEM UNTIL THEY LEARN THEIR LESSON.
OBAMA – IN THE NEW ECONOMY “NEED IS GOOD” AND I’M WORKING HARD TO SPREAD IT AROUND.
WHEN IN RECESSION STEP HARD ON THE TAX PEDAL. YOU CAN’T GO WRONG THAT WAY.
OBAMA – WE’VE FINALLY OVERCOME THE BUSINESS CYCLE, BY DESTROYING IT!
OBAMA – SEE THE REAL PLAN WAS THIS, “WRECK THE ECONOMY AND YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO WIN A WAR!”
OBAMA – “I DON’T NEED NO STINKING KATRINA, I CREATE MY OWN!”
SEE THE THING ABOUT POOR PEOPLE IS, THE MORE YOU CREATE THE BETTER YOU CAN FEEL ABOUT THEIR PLIGHT! AND IF EVERYONE IS POOR THEN WE CAN ALL FINALLY FEEL GOOD ABOUT BEING BAD OFF!
TERRORISM WAS NEVER REAL, BUT TAXES ARE!
IN MY FIRST YEAR I INTEND TO SHUT GUANTÁNAMO, BUY UP ALL THE BANKS, SPEND ALL YOUR RETIREMENT MONEY, CREATE TRILLIONS IN DEBT, REVIVE THE UNIONS, AND BAILOUT AIG AND GM. HOW YA LIKE ME NOW?
BARACK OBAMA – THE FIRST REAL PRESIDENT FOR THE 11TH CENTURY AND THE NEW FEDERAL FEUDALISM.
OBAMA – I’M DOING THINGS MY WAY, EVIDENCE BE DAMNED!
BECAUSE I’M A NEW KIND OF DEMOCRAT
“NEVER WASTE A GOOD CRISIS THAT HAS BEEN HANDED TO YOU, AND THE ONLY THING BETTER THAN A GOOD CRISIS IS A TERRIBLE ONE THAT YOU CREATE YOURSELF.”
I’M THOUGHTFUL, ENGAGED, WELL-SPOKEN, INTENSELY INVOLVED, AND I KNOW WHAT PEOPLE REALLY WANT AND NEED TO HEAR. MY NAME IS NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. (YOU THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO SAY BARACK OBAMA, DIDN’T YOU?)
YOU CAN’T MAKE FUN OF THE FIRST LIBERAL BLACK PRESIDENT. THE BEST YOU CAN HOPE TO DO IS ENDURE HIM.
FOR ALL OF YOU LIBERALS, I’M SORELY TEMPTED TO POINT AND LAUGH AT YOU, BUT THE SAD PART IS, WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER NOW…
IN THE NEW ECONOMY THE ONLY INDUSTRY THAT WILL BE COMPLETELY RECESSION-PROOF WILL BE THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY. THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A SECOND.
OBAMA: I SURE AS HELL DIDN’T VOTE FOR HIM, AND YET I’M PAYING FOR IT LIKE I DID
BARACK OBAMA: MY FIRST THIRTY DAYS OF COMPLETE AND TOTAL F*CK UP AND I’M JUST GETTING STARTED
BARACK OBAMA: BOY, IS THIS EVER GONNA BE AN HISTORIC PRESIDENCY!!!
BARACK OBAMA: NOW AREN’T YOU GLAD YOU LISTENED TO OPRAH?
BARACK OBAMA AND THE US ECONOMY – IT’S WHAT HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THAT’S THE SCARY PART
BECAUSE IT’S ABOUT TIME FOR A US PRESIDENT WILLING SELL OUT OUR EASTERN EUROPEAN ALLIES FOR A CHANCE TO FULLY EXPLORE RUSSIAN AND IRANIAN INTEGRITY
THE STOCK MARKET – IT’S NOT MY RETIREMENT ACCOUNT, THAT’S ONLY FOR RICH PEOPLE!
BARACK OBAMA – FINALLY! A PRESIDENT HOLLYWOOD AND WESTERN EUROPE CAN UNDERSTAND
OBAMA – BECAUSE SOMEBODY HAS TO ACTUALLY DO WHAT CLINTON WASN’T STUPID ENOUGH TO TRY!
OBAMA – OUT OF IRAQ AND INTO THE FIRE!
EVEN IN CHICAGO THEY NEVER IMAGINED THIS!
THE NEW DEMOCRAT ERA – WE’RE LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MEN, WHO HAVE NEVER PAID THEIR TAXES
THE NEW DEMOCRATS – URBANE, SOPHISTICATED, CLUELESS!
OBAMA - IF THIS WON’T WIN US THE NEXT GENERATION THEN NOTHING WILL!!
BARACK OBAMA – SPENDING AND TAXING OUR WAY INTO WEALTH. BECAUSE THAT’S THE WAY THINGS WORK IN HIGH SCHOOL!
OBAMA – BECAUSE NOTHING SAYS ONE TERM LIKE THIS GUY!
DEMOCRATS - IF THE STOCK MARKET IS A TRACKING POLL THEN WHERE IS IT LEADING YOUR POLITICAL FUTURE?
LIBERALS – YOU WANTED HIM, YOU KEEP HIM! (GOD, IF IT ONLY WORKED THAT WAY!)
OBAMA AND THE NEOCRATS – HEY MAN, YOU ASKED FOR IT!
OBAMA – IF YOU NEED A BAILOUT THEN JOIN THE NATION: LEGALLY OR ILLEGALLY, IT DON’T REALLY MATTER – WE NEED TO TAX YOU EITHER WAY
OBAMA – WORKING HARD TO ASSURE THAT YOU’LL BE BAILED OUT BY 2037
OBAMA – THE GOOD NEWS IS I’LL HAVE YOU RETIRED BY THE TIME YOU’RE 96 YEARS OLD. THE BAD NEWS IS WE’LL BE RUNNING YOUR HEALTHCARE.
OBAMA – FOR THE GOOD OF THE FUTURE I’VE ABORTED MORE BABIES AND MORE WEALTH THAN ANY PRESIDENT IN US HISTORY. NO NEED TO THANK ME.
YOU VOTED DEMOCRAT IN 2008. VOTE DEMOCRAT AGAIN IN 2012. BECAUSE WE’VE JUST STARTED CHANGING THINGS AND CHANGE ALWAYS WORKS OUT WELL.
A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT, A DEMOCRATIC SENATE, A DEMOCRATIC HOUSE – REALLY NOW, YOU NEVER SAW THIS COMING?
OBAMA – WE DON’T NEED MORE RICH PEOPLE IN THIS NATION, WE NEED MORE GOVERNMENT JOBS!
OBAMA – IF IT’S TAXABLE THEN WE’LL GET AROUND TO IT. HELL, IT’S ONLY BEEN A COUPLE OF MONTHS SO FAR.
OBAMA – I TALK A BIG STICK AND CARRY ABOUT SOFTLY.
BARACK OBAMA – ASK NOT WHAT YOUR NATION CAN DO FOR YOU, ASK WHAT I’M GONNA DO TO IT!
OBAMA TO HIS PEOPLE – IF YOU HELPED GET ME ELECTED THEN DON’T WORRY, YOU’VE GOT SOME MONEY AND A WHOLE LOT OF NEW TAXES COMING. JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE.
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The Glair - The People of Tomorrow
Today, during lunch, I watched the inauguration of Barack Obama, with my two daughters (who are themselves of a genetically interracial nature – though I find the term interracial more amusing than descriptive). It was a far more interesting ceremony than I had expected. He also gave a speech that was, if somewhat weak at points, and far too wonkish in general, really rather good I thought.
One thing that struck me positively about the language he employed, and I am not a big proponent, by any stretch of the imagination, of most of Mr. Obama’s publicly stated policy objectives (as opposed to what his real objectives may or may not be), is that in some respects it was very difficult to decide if the man was a Republican, or a Democrat. That is to say, if you had only heard the inaugural speech, and knew nothing of the past history of the man or his political affiliations, then you would be hard pressed to decide whether the man was a Republican or Democrat. In some ways the man is a frustrated preacher, more an inspirational leader than a political maven. (Though his political skills can be impressive from time to time, far less so at other times.)
And perhaps that is a good thing in a way. For policy positions and political ideals, no matter how good, true, and promising often suffer from what I like to call, “stagnation of application.” Meaning that no matter how good an idea (of any kind) or ideal (of any type) is, it can often fail to materialize in a meaningful way through calcified and determined methods of stagnant application. The idea or ideal is good, even true, just, and necessary, but the means by which it is executed and applied becomes so moribund, so inextricably bound within a Gordian knot of tradition and habitual reflex, that it cannot possibly grow, adapt, change, and progress in a useful and efficient manner. Tied to a dead method, few ideals can live well. Inspirational leaders sometimes serve a far more important primary and historical role than that of mere administrator or competent executive. They cut away obstacles in ways not previously foreseen.
The trouble with Obama as a leader though, as I see it, is simply that he honestly still believes his own rhetoric. This will not last for long I imagine and I can already see the increase in the number of grey hairs on his head. When men are young or young at heart, as Obama is, and filled with vim and vinegar, honed sharp or dull (as the case may be) on rhetoric and ideal, they often mistake high-minded intentions and virtuous motivations with accomplishment and wisdom. They think they know far more than they really do, both about the world at large, and about some human hearts. No matter how humble the inner nature, the mind tricks the man into mistaking the mirage of a kind of arrogant certitude with the actuality of practical reality. The obverse of this position of course is the man who is advanced with age and experience thinking that every young man should know as much as they do, for the older man having learned his lessons in the withering kiln of pragmatic circumstance, often forgets to remember than at some day in the past they were likewise just as naïve as the individual they look suspect upon. C’est la vie, c’est l' homme.
Nevertheless there is a quality to the man (Obama) I very much admire. He is not weak and retiring. The scale of his ambition is great, he may very well attempt much often, and often much more than is really possible. Especially given the fickle and febrile nature of federal and national politics.
But will he attempt the right things in the right way? Will he be motivated by the right principles and will he execute those principles in some effective and virtuous manner? If change is a destination, then quo vadis? Only time and history will judge. Excepting of course, so will the American people (as determined by his actual actions), and since he has voluntarily set for himself such a large international stage, that he intends to please both allies and enemies alike, so also will much of the rest of the world. He who demands to be judged surely will be.
Still, gauged simply from the figurative flourishes of his initial Presidential speech I cannot help but think that many around the world were stunned by the less than modest vision he has of our nation, and of the past and future character of the United States of America. In that respect I can truthfully say, “I’m right there with you brother.” We still are the last best hope. And just to be honest, we’ve usually been the first best hope. As far as go the profound limits of this world, anyway.
The people of the United States are, in this world, the People of Tomorrow. Not without a past, but never shackled to it. Not without a present, but never limited by it. We will demand, and certainly deserve, a leader who understands this fundamental quality of our nature. Or at least a leader who can come to understand this inherent quality within us, and temper himself by that lodestone.
So, as the symbolic head of our state, as the emblematic head of our union, as the actual physical Commander in Chief and as the elected Chief Executive of our nation, my prayers will be with the man. I hope that over time he will gain much wisdom, that God will protect and prosper the man, lead him and guide him, humble, hone, and help him. That he will come to understand that government as a mechanism is as nothing compared either to the People, or to the Individual, that his job is to serve and not be served, that many will criticize him harshly and wrongly, and that many will criticize him truly and wisely, and that he come to perceive the difference and act accordingly. And all in all, do not bend where you are right man, and for God’s sake and for the sake of your own soul and the soul of this nation, change quickly when you should and when you must. God bless Barack Obama, and may you become in this world what many most need you to be, a great American, and not just an American dreaming of being great.
God bless America too while we’re at it. And Godspeed as well to you, President Bush. In many ways you were the most problematic and confusing and sometimes outright bizarre Republican president I ever helped to elect. Twice. But in many other ways you were one of the most fantastic and influential and noble presidents we have ever had, and you are definitely right about this matter as well. History will judge you far differently than the faddish and foppish intellectual herd of bedeviled mental bovines that currently roam the contemporary hinterland of media-nly infused self-absorbed impuissance.
So, to the past - let history make yesterday a doorway to the truth of the present, and to the future – let every good thing to come be opened wide to the People of Tomorrow. For that is as it should be.
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