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
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
February 02, 2017 - 11:31 a.m.
I'm writing again just twelve hours after my last entry. As I updated last night I was going to skip writing this morning. I was going to enjoy breakfast and coffee earlier than usual. But the morning hunger for writing won out. Yesterday was an exception not the new rule.
Since I last updated I slept. That's exciting, right? Don't worry I'm not going to give you the blow by blow of my sleeping. I can't even remember the weird dreams I had. Last night's entry was purely personal, this morning takes place where politics, sociology, and psychology meet.
We have all seen the meme that illustrates how nobody understands your job.
These resonate with people because it's true; people don't understand jobs they have no experience with. How many times have you heard people say that they had no idea what a new endeavor was like till they did it? How many times have you said it? Yet people still don't learn how little they know about what other people do. I chose the picture I did not just because I'm a teacher. I could have made it more specific; I found one for math teacher. I chose this one for "What society thinks I do." The trope of how bad teachers are and how easy they have it has gained political traction on the right; just look at Betsy DeVos.
Now imagine how much more true it is of a job that only a handful of living men have had, president of the united states. I thought of writing this well before the election but with Trump it takes on a whole new dimension. All presidents quickly learn that the job is different than they expected. They can't get things done that they think they could. Actions which seemed clear before they elected are now murky because of all the information they didn't have before.
Now we have a president far less informed going into the job than any of his predecessors but who thinks he knows everything because he's like you know, smart. Everything the president does have consequences, and the consequences have consequences. Very few actions are clear. There are always unintended side effects. Trump doesn't think things through and doesn't listen to those that do. We see this happening rapidly now.
So far everyone is with me. But you know me, I don't preach to the choir. I teach and as we saw before nobody understands what teachers do. I can't change the way that Trump thinks but I can change the way that I think. I can be humbler and realize that I'm often not going to understand all the intricacies involved. And now to move this back to politics. I know that there is much I don't know about what congressman and senators do. There is a lot of disagreement on what Democratic congressman and especially Senators should do? Should they vote against every appointment or should they choose their battles? I go with choose your battles in the hopes of winning at least one. But if someone votes against all of them as my Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has I'm not going to hold it against her. She knows a lot more than I do and I'm not going to second guess her judgement. I also won't second guess Feinstein who voted for all the nominees, at least as of last week. This is about strategy not goals. We are all in the dark here. Nobody know what will work best and I'm not going to condemn someone even if they get it wrong.
The same goes with the Supreme Court. There are so many moving parts it's hard to judge but because of what the GOP did with Garland I would vote against Gorsuch but not filibuster. I'd save that for someone not just conservative but also unqualified. By all accounts Gorsuch is a brilliant and ethical judge who I disagree with on very important issues. That's the best we can hope for from Trump. I won't speculate on how bad it could be the next time. But again, I don't know what's right. If a Democratic Senator votes to confirm, not confirm, or to filibuster I'll respect the decision.
OK now for breakfast and coffee. I'm not sure what's on today's menu. Whatever I choose I hope you respect my decision.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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