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Hubris of Ignorance

The following link is provided with the permission of Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station:
http://www.stonekettle.com/2017/04/the-hubris-of-ignorance.html

 

This will take a few minutes to read, so get a good cup of coffee, or as Jim might suggest, a beer.  Make yourself comfortable and be prepared to think a bit.

Here are some samples from Jim’s excellent article:

 

“Have  you been following this? All these airplane crashes? And everyone is so confused. Everyone is going, Gosh, how come there are so many airplane crashes? Well, um, I gotta theory here. You remember, what was it? Like, uh, four years ago? The air traffic controllers, they went on strike? And then, um, Ronald Reagan fired ‘em? So then they just hired anyone who was hanging out at the time. And now everyone is going, Geez, how come there are so many airplane crashes? How come there are so many airplane crashes?! I dunno, maybe Walt the janitor isn’t qualified to land a Boeing 707!”
— Bobcat Goldthwait

Maybe Walt the Janitor isn’t qualified to land a Boeing 707.

But then again, in America we’d love to believe Old Wally could maybe pull it off.
Because we Americans, we sure love the heroic myth of the common man.

Oh we do. We prefer myth over reality every time.

We love to tell ourselves that one.

It’s the myth of our country’s birth. We love that myth more than all the others combined.

We tell ourselves with great pride how a bunch of raggedy assed, untrained colonists one day rose up against tyranny.  The Minutemen were roused from their beds in the middle of the night by Paul Revere and they rallied to the Stars and Stripes. They threw all the tea into Boston harbor and sent England a stiff upraised middle finger, up yours, we ain’t paying no taxes no more.  And then a bunch of farmers grabbed up their muskets and formed themselves into a militia under good old George Washington and this army of amateurs chased the Redcoats all the way back to England without any help from anybody except for Jesus.

Because Americans are special. Exceptional.

And when they’d thrown off the yoke of tyranny, well, then a bunch of common men gathered in Philadelphia to receive the Constitution directly from God. They wrote down the sacred words and everybody signed it, especially John Hancock, and America was born.

Amen.

That’s the myth we tell ourselves, we Americans.

We’re special. Exceptional. We pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps and forged the Republic out of the mud with our own hands.

We’re a nation of amateurs. Bunch of Good Old Boys beat the best army on the planet. Bunch of farmers wrote the Constitution and laid down the foundation for the greatest country in the world. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people. In America, we’re not ruled over by kings. We don’t owe our allegiance to some hereditary weak-chinned inbred royalty.

No, Sir.

In America, why the people are the government and anybody can be president.

Anybody.

We are a nation of amateurs and damned proud of it, aren’t we?
That’s what this election was about.”

“Moreover, we Americans by and large tend to be suspicious of education and experience when it comes to government.

Anywhere else, brain surgeon, airline pilot, corporate CEO, dog trainer, we want the most experienced person we can get. But the President? Not so much. Power corrupts, right? You got to clean house every once in a while. Throw the bums out.

Except…
Except, in retrospect, perhaps ignorance and a suspicion of “elites” isn’t the best way to go about selecting a leader.

The world is a dangerous and complicated place.
Almost unimaginably so.

And nothing is as simple or as straight forward as it seems and as the mob apparently believes.
Foreign nations do not kowtow to the United States.

This is not something new.

This is no weakness of Carter or Clinton or Obama – or Reagan and Bush for that matter. These nations have never bent a knee to us. From Morocco during Roosevelt’s time, to Cuba and Vietnam during Kennedy, to Libya under Reagan to Haiti and Grenada and Panama and all the nations that fill your news feed today.
It is the nature of nations, large and small, to push back – and in fact, like dogs, the smaller a nation is, likely the more fierce and furious its bark.

At home, we Americans face the same problems we’ve always faced, energy and resources, civil rights, race, age, religion, law and order, unrest, left and right, young and old, health care, education, infrastructure, jobs.

It’s complicated and difficult and always on the verge of failure.
This is not a world for a government run by amateurs.”
Jim wrote one thing I especially have to quote…okay, then comment:
“The simpleminded demand simple causes for complex problems.
The simpleminded demand simple solutions.”
****
Fellow Americans..fellow humans, for that matter:
Are we truly simple minded?  Or is it more that we don’t engage our minds to their full capacities?
If the former is true, we are in deep trouble and the situation is hopeless.  If it’s the latter, however, we need to get off our butts, wake up and engage!
I will come back to this quote in a future post:  It’s just too rich to leave.
****

Go read the full article; enjoy.

 

 

The Tyranny Has Begun – Executive Orders That Close US Borders and Oppress Her People

While people go about their daily lives, working, eating supper and doing chores, and evil is set in place.

Oh, there’s plenty of distraction:  The squabble about illegal voters and numbers is back; Mr. Trump doesn’t believe reports…

Meanwhile, immigrants, refugees and the people who help them are about to be targetted; Social Security and Medicaid are in immediate trouble; federal agencies are ordered not to talk to the public.
There is more bad news:
*FHA insurance premium cuts for home buyers have been frozen
*The pipeline in North Dakota is moving forward by way of Presidential executive order – Let’s completely disregard Native Americans, environment and any progress that has been made!
*Mr. Trump has indicated his intentions to significantly reduce environmental regulations in the production of cars

 

I’m not sure which of these troubles me most.  Perhaps the communications lockdown of federal agencies:  This sets the stage for policies and actions to be taken without public knowledge.  Transparency has been a long-time value in the United States.  It frightens me to have this compromised or abolished altogether.

Here are three stories from Google News:

 

Trump to sign executive orders enabling construction of proposed border wall and targeting sanctuary cities
Washington Post  – ‎28 minutes ago‎
President Trump is planning to sign executive orders on Wednesday enabling construction of his proposed border wall, and targeting cities where local leaders refuse to hand over illegal immigrants for deportation, part of a multi-day rollout of his …

 

Trump expected to announce executive orders on visa and refugee restrictionsCNN

I listened to this one:  He is planning to make it very difficult for refugees to enter the US and is planning to ban visas from 7 Muslim countries.

 

Trump clamps down on federal agencies
The Hill  – ‎2 hours ago‎
The Trump administration is clamping down on public communications by agencies as it seeks to assert control over the federal bureaucracy.

I listened to this one, too.  Essentially, federal agencies are banned or limited from public comment, social media or disclosure of any sort.

 

The time for citizens to join together in support of each other and resistance to such unconscionable tyranny by an administration has arrived:  It’s now; not some day.

 

Are you ready?

First Families; Transitions

barack_obama_enters_the_white_house_march_2012

I have been thinking of a number of stories that are
beautiful.  You have probably read or heard many of them, but they are worth
repeating:
*When George W. and family were moving out of the White House and the
Obamas were moving in, the Bush Sisters wrote letters to the Obama
girls, encouraging them and blessing them.  One of the statements I
remember fondly is to the effect of, “You will hear your father called
names and there will be caricatures of him, but remember, for you, he
is still your daddy.”

*As Barack Obama was preparing to transfer power to Donald Trump, he
said that the Bushes had been so helpful to him and his family, he was
passing it on.
Way to go, George W. Bush; way to go, Barack Obama!

*When Donald Trump went into the Oval Office, he found a letter from
Barack to him that he says he will cherish.  No one will get to know
what the letter said, but it evidently was very much a blessing.

*The Bush Sisters followed with a second letter to the Obama Girls as
they moved out of the White House, again, we don’t know the whole
contents, but they encouraged them as they find their own selves,
apart from their famous parents.  What good big sisters they are!

*Chelsea Clinton stood up for Baron Trump today.  I didn’t know this, but she
evidently experienced some bullying as she was entering the White
House, shortly before her 13th birthday.  She defended Baron on
Twitter, saying that he is a child who deserves one thing:  Just to be
a kid!

****

Chelsea Clinton defends Barron Trump: He deserves the chance ‘to be a kid’ usat.ly/2jRgdZO

Good stories!

Happy Headlines

 

As promised:

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama have been in regular communication, a top Trump aide said Sunday.

 

 

NASHVILLE – A lottery player who bought a ticket in Lafayette, Tenn., has won a $420.9 million grand prize, the Tennessee Lottery announced early Sunday.

 

 

Online sales overshadow stores in 4-day shopping frenzy

After a booming Thanksgiving weekend, retailers are indeed on track for holly jolly sales to cap the year.. Deep discounts wooed more than 154 million shoppers from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, up from 151 million last year, according to the …
Ohio State-Michigan scores ABC’s 2nd-highest rating in 25 years
ESPN announced Sunday that Ohio State’s 30-27 double overtime victory over Michigan scored a total audience of 16.926 million viewers across all platforms and 16.647 million viewers on ABC.
Physicists plan to test a new theory about the speed of light to explain what Einstein’s theory can’t

One of the oddest things about our universe is that it has some fundamental constants. These constants—such as the speed of light in a vacuum—have numerical values that don’t change no matter what conditions you test them under.
Fijian ants began farming 3 million years ago

An ant colony nurtures a Squamellaria plants in the crease of a Macaranga tree. Photo by G. Chomicki/LMU. MUNICH, Germany, Nov. 27 (UPI) — Ants have been farming for at least 3 million years.

 

Jordan Morris was the star who put the Seattle Sounders in MLS Cup
Arizona grandma keeps promise to feed teen she accidentally invited to Thanksgiving Dinner

 

Rare geological formation discovered

 

Parents of separated twins focus on gratitude
Nicole and Christian McDonald are amazed by an outpouring of support
They urge people inspired by their sons to use that energy to do good for others

Reactions Run Amuck

What is happening?????
Why are people acting out so violently?????

 

Perhaps it’s time for one long time out:  Take a break from all of the things that anger, distress, worry or frighten us; find some quiet, nurturing peace and calm down.  There does seem to be a corporate unrest in the air these days.

 

Some of this seems more like attitude run amuck than simple anger.  Just read these news briefs:

Religious leaders in California are calling for a police investigation after identical letters were sent to local mosques hailing President-elect Donald Trump and calling for death to Muslims.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Police in Philadelphia say three men hanging Christmas lights were shot after getting into an argument with a passing motorist.

A 62-year-old white man accused of shooting a 15-year-old black teenager to death Monday night in Charleston, W.Va., allegedly told police after the murder, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail: “The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off the street.”

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Coral Springs Fire Rescue reports that one person died and another was wounded in a shooting at Coral Square Mall on Saturday morning.

A Good Samaritan who tried to stop a woman being assaulted was shot to death outside a Texas Walmart packed with shoppers on Black Friday while another man in New Jersey was also killed outside a mall, authorities said.

(CNN) One person is in custody after three Starbucks coffee shops were vandalized in Albuquerque, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A gunman wildly fired shots into the air in a Long Island hospital parking lot early Saturday, officials said. John Gamble, 35, pumped off multiple rounds from a .9 mm handgun about 5:50 a.m.

I couldn’t find it again, but there was a story about someone shooting a teen who bumped him.
There was also another one that read something like, “Trump gives Democrats reason to stay angry.”  (Really, they need to stay angry???)

The best antidote I know is to step away from all of the rhetoric, news stories – whether professional or just plain gossip – and clear your own head.
I also think it is important to set your boundaries at the point where you still deal with things well.  I, for example, limit the amount of news I read or listen to.  Remember, a lot of what we here on the news is distorted at best, so don’t let it all under your skin.

 

Another strategy I use is to stay away from conversations that will produce nothing except anger, frustration and disagreement.  Don’t get me wrong; I love a good, well informed debate.  My point:  If it is stirring up more displeasure than your soul can take, step away, regroup, get your own balance back.

 

So much of what we hear about is way over the top in terms of reaction.  Hmm, somebody bumps you; don’t shoot him or her, okay?  You have an arguement; leave the pistol in its holder…or better yet, in the gun safe at home.
Next time, I’ll find some happy headlines for you.