I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

September 04, 2012 - 1:13 p.m.

All Aspirin are Alike but NOT All Politicians

I'm supposed to write something here aren't I? I didn't do anything exciting. That makes things rougher. I've been writing a lot about politics lately. I enjoy it but hardly anybody reads this when I do. What the heck. It's what's on my mind.

Let's see if I can write about something one of my thousand FB friends said without anybody, especially the person who said it, knowing whom I'm writing about. It was one of the things that will always drive me nuts, a conspiracy theory. What I usually do in these situations is come up with an analogous situation that has is structurally like what I'm talking about but the details are different. I think I have one. Let's decide on a gender for the person Im talking about as pronouns make writing easier. Heads I a man tails a woman. Head it is, a man. The guy, let's call him Abe since I flipped a penny: Abe said that everything you've heard about global warming is just a plot to help a Chinese manufacturer of mining equipment. Huh? Why? Because if people take global warming seriously it will be a boon to solar power. Solar cells depend on rare earth elements. Almost all the rare earths are mined in China! See it's obvious! Once we know that we can safely ignore all the other reasons people would think there's global warming and want to do something about it. We have a conspiracy and that trumps everything. Abe does not have to think about facts that contradict his world view and that's what matters.

Once again this had nothing whatsoever to do with global warming. It's the logic that's similar, not the facts. I'd bet the farm that Abe believes in global warming. The irony of course is that Abe is not an in government or a pundit or anyone that has any political power at all. That's a good thing though Abe is a fine person otherwise. On the other hand Republican officials do believe, or at least say they believe, that global warming is a conspiracy, just not as convoluted.

But that's now what I came here talk about. I want to talk about what is practically a meme; All politicians are alike and there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans. I can't think of a time in my life where this was less true Back in the 60s there were plenty of Republicans that were more liberal than many Democrats, in particular those in the south. As late as 1980 I voted for a Republican, John Anderson, for President. He ran as an independent and looking back at it now I was being young and stupid but he was just as liberal as Jimmy Carter. That doesn't happen anymore. When they rate members of congress based on how they vote the most conservative Democrat is more liberal that the most liberal Republican. The parties disagree on just about every policy. Their visions of the purpose of government are totally at odds with each other. Yet every time I go on FB there's some picture or article going round that says the two parties are the same. People will make comments and statuses saying that. What are they thinking? It comes down to two things. One is people that believe in some idea so strongly that it is the only thing they judge candidates by and in their mind everyone who disagrees with them is the same. No matter what else they believe. So if someone is a socialist he says the parties are the same because they share not accepting socialism. That there can be degrees of acceptance is beyond his imagination. If we don't have national health care ala Great Britain it makes no difference if we have no involvement by the government in providing health insurance or the Affordable Care Act. To that person the parties agree with each other and are quibbling over details.

The other way it happens is thinking that if the government can't solve all problems instantly than it can't do anything. It's really saying that government is powerless so it makes no difference who is elected.

I think of both points of views as acting like children. It puts all of politics out of the realm of things you need to think about. And the more people that think that way the more the politicians will cater to the people with strongly held opinions, not the opinions of the majority, and not what their own judgment says is right. There's no cost to lying because so many people will react by saying; "all politicians lie." Of course all people lie too, that doesn't make everyone equally honest. Just because things aren't black and white doesn't make all shades of gray the same.

Which brings me back to the point I so often make; people hate thinking. They don't want to decide things on a case by case basis.

Someone else is being particularly dense on FB now. I so want to point out how faulty [heads] his logic is. The problem with that is that it feels good but never convinces anyone. You end up hurting someone and gain nothing. That's not true either, you gain the satisfaction of letting everyone else know that you know why you are right. You might even change the minds of someone not emotionally invested in it. See I have to make a case by case decision.

This is where I need a certain type of friend. The kind you can vent to about this kind of thing, have the friend agree with you and join in on saying how stupid the person is, and then not hold it against the person.

Now it's time for breakfast. Well actually it's time for lunch but I haven't eaten so it's breakfast.

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Horvendile September 04, 2012
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