Posts Tagged ‘Carl Sagan’

Is Not Conservation Essentially the Quintessential Conservative Position?

When it comes down to the politically polarized issues about our environment, a good many people seem to be arguing about things outside their understanding.  It isn’t a new practice; it’s been going on for thousands of years–millions perhaps if you go back to the early beginnings of the hominids.  About 95% of our population is scientifically illiterate (according to Dr. Carl Sagan), and consequently fearful about what they don’t understand.

It is because of what they don’t know (and do not want to know), that they will presume to get their conclusions from other people.  The overwhelming majority are phobics, and as a large subset, get their opinions, not from research, or study, but from accepting the ideas presented to them by their bullies (dominators).  And as long as certain dominators are blinded by the prospects of a hugely profitable immediacy, the inability to postpone gratification, one of the basic character flaws found in individuals and societies as a whole, they will passionately pursue those profits, and support a campaign program of perception management to keep their phobic followers seeing everything as simple, and in some way similar to a pep-rally at a high school football game.  To them, it is just easier to see it as a game.  And during games, they will yell: “Hooray for our side!”

Some are not convinced, in the face of data they literally do not understand, that if we must err, it would be wiser to err on the side of caution.  Strangely enough, they have been convinced (which should give any reasonably bright person a clue to what is happening) that protecting the earth, air, and water in some natural way that can sustain life is some kind of communist plot. At the same time, the delusion has now spread so far as to insist conservation itself, which is the ultimate conservative position, is somehow a bad idea.

Furthermore, it is presumed bad by those who externalize good and bad to things outside themselves, especially if they do not understand them.  What makes it easy for dominators to benefit from such idiocy is the very nature of the phobics.  It is common for them to fear what is framed as “the opposition”, and fear it vehemently more so if it is not understood, or if at all, not very clearly.

And what irrational fear seems so profoundly expressed so loudly and so often?  What more so than the in-your-face insistence of an idea from someone seen to be of an opposing political or religious ideology?  In fact, since that very angst drives humans to become passionate about war, it appears that fears associated with threats they recognize (though not always rationally) to the fabric of their beliefs, will overwhelm even the fear of the loss of life and limb.  You’ve seen it in lots of places.  I’ve seen it on fields of battle.  You can find lots of evidence to support what I just said, if you’ll just look for it.

In the meantime, while incidences of melanoma continue to rise, while a glacier in Nova Scotia continues to melt risking thermal dynamic alterations to The Gulf Stream, while crude oil still leaks into the lower part of that Gulf Stream, while humans and their children have flammable liquids come into their homes through their kitchen faucets, since what was once thought to be an unlimited source of food in our oceans seen now to be endangered and very finite, while we continue to breathe air so unlike the air from just a mere century ago, people turn their backs to the problem, primarily because…they don’t even understand it?  And all of these things are happening whether anyone is willing to admit it, or not.

Oh, these issues are likely to bring sickness, pain, and death to some of the children and grandchildren of our people, but it is much easier to just not think about it than to risk the odd chance of becoming aware of the possibility that some things may have already gone too far.  And to turn our backs and not stand up to face these adversities is not a very responsible, or even a brave thing to do.  When others are seen to be not facing, and even hiding from things that could threaten them, it is often observed as the essence of cowardice, isn’t it?  Maybe we here in the home of the brave, should think about that a little bit.

I thought of some apparent confusions about irrational fearfulness and bravery the other day while looking at a photograph of a man carrying an AR-15 with him to the grocery store.  Imagine so many other people going to buy their daily bread without so much as a pocket knife on them.  Is it that they do not understand all the imminent dangers omni-present all around them?  Or instead, are they just enjoying the freedom that is found only in a peaceful mind?  And perhaps to some, is that not a peacefulness passing far beyond what others might have developed as skills, or ever made habits to even begin to understand?  Well, of course it is.

Human life exists on this planet, as does lots of other kinds of life, due to delicate balances within nature itself.   Some want to believe all this life, all this nature, is the good work and good gifts to us from an unerringly good Deity, yet they would trash it?  Hardly makes sense when you think about it.  But to think about it and want to understand requires an effort.  Those who are lazy with ideas and only want to stand on those built by someone else, some authority they’ve acquiesced their rights to self-reliant thought processing, will not think about it without becoming irrational, thus angry and even hateful.  Peacefulness, a by-product of understanding, is not the business of those willing to be enslaved by their own misunderstandings.

So the fearful will be sedated by the empty promises of their dominators, and remain faithfully in hope of being lead to safety.  And absolutely nothing outside those empty promises will be of any long-term benefit to the phobics, or to their children.

“Stop worrying about these rumors you’re hearing about Agent Orange.  It’s just a defoliant, and cannot cause any harm to people or other animals.”
 ~ Lt. Commander (name withheld), Civil Engineer Corps, USN, 1969, just outside DaNang, Vietnam.  I remember it well.

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Are the Tories trying to reverse the American Revolution?

“Most revolutionaries are potential Tories, because they imagine that everything can be put right by altering the shape of society; once that change is effected, as it sometimes is, they see no need for any other.” ~ George Orwell

“I greatly fear some of America’s greatest and most dangerous enemies are such as think themselves her best friends.” ~ Nathan Hale

“Whatever the motivations of those who seek to use the federal government against the rest of us, they too have launched an unbridled and unprincipled political war against their fellow citizens.  From the perspective of history, in other words:  They are the new King George.” ~ Rob Natelson

*****

In the mid-nineties, Carl Sagan estimated that about 95% of our population is scientifically illiterate. And as such, based decisions on superstitions and fears that the bullies who control them might become unhappy. Right now, a lot of people in congress and the senate-both democrats and republicans, feel pressured to do the bidding of powerful people who put up the money for their re-election campaigns and “Leadership” PACs.

The results of these practices have given the reigns of government to the very people (The Tories) our founding fathers staged a revolution against. The intent of the revolution was to not allow The Tories to continue undermining personal freedoms, and over-taxing working people to sustain the luxurious lifestyles of the entitled and often idle affluent class who were protected by both royal decree and by the theocracy of the Anglican church.

“If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” ~ George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia (1789)

“Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law. Take away the law-establishment, and every religion re-assumes its original benignity.” ~ Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man (1791)

“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.” ~ James Madison, General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia (1785)

“While we are under the tyranny of Priests […] it will ever be their interest, to invalidate the law of nature and reason, in order to establish systems incompatible therewith.” ~Ethan Allen, Reason the Only Oracle of Man

“Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.”  ~ Thomas Jefferson, A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom (1779)

Today, legislators (many of them have David Koch* as a benefactor) often yield to the pressures of religious extremists who wish to force everyone to be under the control of the agenda of their own personal dogma–founded not in reason, but in superstition.  They also seem eager to reward corporations who would economically benefit from the measures of that kind of social control.  Additionally, some that avoid their fair share of taxes resulting in a disastrous burden on the poor and working class, get government contracts as a reward for their briberies.

This is the epitome of corruption which overrides the idea of one man-one vote. It begs the question of who these legislators truly represent. And now we have a Supreme Court, supposedly our council of the sage and wise, that upholds the rights of corporations above those of individual human beings.

“Unless you become more watchful in your states and check the spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that… the control over your dearest interests has passed into the hands of these corporations.” ~ Andrew Jackson

“All contributions by corporations to any political committee or for any political purpose should be forbidden by law,” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” ~Dwight Eisenhower

*Why might you think some people feel the following represents some of David Koch’s agenda going back even as far as 1980?

Repeal all laws that restrict campaign contributions (in other words, allow legal bribery to continue unrestrained?), the privatization of all public roads and highways (or, allow the entitled landed gentry to set up unrestricted toll booths everywhere?), shutting down the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Food and Drug Administration (because they interfere with unbridled profits by making corporations accountable to public safety and health?); the Department of Transportation, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Aviation Commission, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, all publicly funded schools and colleges, all aid to poor, the US Postal Service, and stop all state and federal programs intended for protecting the environment (open all public lands to unrestricted use by the lumber, coal and petroleum industries?). End all regulations of the pharmaceutical, banking, petroleum, manufacturing, and insurance industries, repeal the Occupational Safety and Health Act, all usury laws in all states (no legal restrictions on what interest,exorbitant or otherwise, can be charged?), and the repeal of any laws that might allow employees to sue their employer for discrimination, especially opposed to allowing women equal pay when doing the same work as men, even though it has been federal law since 1963.

Were not a lot of these points a part to the platform when he ran for vice president back in 1980?  Have you seen any change in his agenda since then?

These measures might prove quite profitable to 1% of the people, but not necessarily so good for the other 99%.  A lot of folks can see through the ironies and inconsistencies in modern day political rants, which are common not only in campaigns, but all over social media as well.  Yet as it is with many other social pressures, many people are quite fearful of offending their peer group by disagreeing with them.

Even so, the practices of what some of their peers seem to espouse are in great conflict with the principles so many people insist they hold so dear.  Some of you must suspect the hatred for the poor and disadvantaged that seems to spew constantly from many outspoken “leaders” of the religious right might appear to be in contention with the intent of what those so called leaders insist make up their foundational teachings.

“Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians – you are not like him.” ~ Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi