Something meaningful and profound has just happened. This event will change absolutely nothing, I’m quite sure. But it’s bound to be educational for many of us, in important ways, because it will prove something I think a lot of us already understand to be true and at this point aren’t quite sure why it is true. I intend to keep watching it closely and I believe everyone else should do the same.
This is going to be an exercise in frustration, I’m sure. It will be the opposite of the Plame scandal, which was an effort to target certain individuals — failing at this month by month, year by year, it nevertheless became impossible for everyday people to go weekend to weekend without hearing about it. No, the polar opposite of that is something that means everything, which will vanish before our eyes right before it gets to the good stuff. At least that’s what I think will happen. I intend to follow it like Ahab tracking his whale, and find out.
John Kerry, Senator from Massachusetts and 2004 democratic nominee for President of the United States, has announced his acceptance of the challenge of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
Senator John F. Kerry, whose 2004 presidential campaign was torpedoed by critics of his Vietnam War record, said yesterday he has personally accepted Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens’ offer of $1 million to anyone who can disprove even a single charge of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
In a letter to Pickens, who provided $3 million to bankroll the group during Kerry’s race against President Bush, the Massachusetts Democrat wrote: “While I am prepared to show they lied on allegation after allegation, you have generously offered to pay one million dollars for just one thing that can be proven false.”
Kerry, a Navy veteran and former prosecutor, said he was willing to present his case directly to Pickens and would donate any proceeds to the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Pickens issued his challenge Nov. 6 in Washington, while serving as chairman of a 40th anniversary gala for American Spectator magazine, according to two Internet accounts of the gathering and Kerry, who said he spoke to people who were there.
There are many reasons to believe this event is the climax of the story — that this is the last we’ll ever hear of it. That, like Ahab’s whale, it will dive beneath the waves, and we have to do whatever we must to keep following it.
First of all, we know from the campaign three years ago that John Kerry has either passed the first step to insanity, or solidified a career in speaking to others who have passed it. More than any other public figure in recent times, he has consistently dispensed remarks treating the subjective as the objective, and the objective as subjective. By about summer of 2004, this had become his regular schtick: He’d look at things that were measurable, like the fact that a bunch of crazy people around the world are trying to kill Americans, and treat those things intellectually as if they were dependent on the viewer’s perspective, susceptible to a complete re-write if evaluated by someone different. The “nuance”; the “shades of gray” and all that. And then he’d look at things that were matters of personal belief — most frequently, what exactly it is that “this country deserves,” although there were many other examples — and speak of them as if his own take on each of them, was the only legitimate one to have.
He treated the measurable as immeasurable, and vice-versa. All…year…long. And pretty much every time I’ve heard of him opening his mouth since. That’s the first step to insanity, and Kerry has personified it like nobody else has, to the best of my knowledge. He is, in my view, “Mister First Milestone.”
So this is patently silly. And bound to lead to something entertaining…IF we are given the information we need to keep following it. John Kerry may have formed an understanding of what the word “prove” means, from his days as a former prosecutor, but it’s clear he is dedicated to avoiding any actual use of that definition. His modus operandi has become one of appealing to insane people, or people who’ve moved past that first milestone anyway…and doing what can be done to move more people past it. He has no more business accepting a challenge to prove something, than a dog has in taking out a mortgage.
Speaking of confusing the subjective with the objective…
New sidebar addition GoldSpider highlights a an absurd, self-mocking and self-parodying editorial by Justin Silverman that purports to analyze Hillary Clinton’s campaign…an editorial that reads something like this…
Sen. Clinton’s practicality is not a fault
Sen. Clinton is the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination of 2008 and rightfully so. She has earned this position and has proved herself over the years that she can make the American public recognize her as the most practical choice for the presidency of the United States.
Many claim that Hillary does not stand out on her own on any issue. She is only noted for caring about the smaller topics or following in the steps of other political leaders on the bigger issues. There are those who insult this act of conformity. It can be said of Hillary that she is a follower — but not a follower of her constituents but rather of the people and what are the democratic leaders in our government if not a representation of the people’s thoughts, ideals and interests?
Some say the Clinton establishment is thinking too small, as far as ideas are concerned. This is not a flaw in her political platform, this is an advantage. Quoted in Newsweek, James Carville, the longtime advisor of the Clinton administration, has even said that the American people have “seen the consequences of having too many big ideas.”
Facts too friendly to the opposition, presented as squishy judgmental opinions; opinions friendly to the intended core thesis, presented as hardened, verifiable facts. Like John Kerry, and embodiment of the first milestone on the way to insanity.
Silverman seems blissfully ignorant that another mindset could legitimately look at the same situation a completely different way. But GoldSpider reminds him elegantly, summarizing the situation thusly: “I tried to recall when ‘practical’ and ‘efficient’ replaced ‘insincere’ and ‘calculating’ in the dictionary.”
You know, this is kind of what I was thinking about as I was coming out of REM sleep early this morning. I have these strange moments of clarity at that time, as if my brain has managed to connect with the meaningful reality behind all these issues that are supposed to demand our attention, and yet remains too foggy and sleepy to connect with all the parasitic agents placed in orbit around those realities so that those agents may distract.
What I woke up thinking about was this — and it connects to this First Milestone in an interesting way.
Worldwide, there are three fundamentally unique ways to govern a society. They are distinguished by how people see themselves and intend to relate to one another for the purpose of creating and maintaining a culture. Governments, therefore, are based on humanity and it’s vision of itself. That’s what the fighting is about. The three views of humanity have been around for a long time, but the world has shrunk to the point where there isn’t room for three.
First of all: You can place the emphasis on authority, and unapologetically intertwine religion and government, which are simply two different tools for substantiating that authority. Make clerics into judges and judges into clerics. Which must unavoidably result in carrying out punishments with fire and steel.
You can keep religion and the state separate, letting the people vote for their leaders, who then have nearly unlimited authority in deciding what the people are & are not allowed to do. The leaders, then, will tell the people what the big boogeyman of the moment is, and of course the people will have no choice but to believe what they are told. Ultimately, in this model the leaders tell the people what to think and in so doing, end up indirectly voting for themselves when it’s time to run for re-election. This model pretends to be a “democracy” because it’s got voters and ballot and so forth, but it ends up simply going through the motions. The people casting the ballots, end up being nothing more than a hydraulic agent, a force through which things that are “supposed” to happen, are made to happen. This second form of government, ultimately is every bit as hostile to liberty as the first.
Finally, you can opt for that second model but place limits on what the government is & is not allowed to do, when it tells the people what they are & are not allowed to do. This is a careful blend, and it’s a revolutionary idea. It is causative of, and also a result of, mankind’s right to recognize a deity on an individual level. The deity is necessary. Governments will not restrain themselves from power voluntarily, so a government that recognizes nothing higher than itself, will ultimately decide everything. Also, it is causative of and symptomatic of society’s recognition of the right to live freely — for the sake of one’s self, not for the sake of others.
The first two models are elegant in their simplicity, but through the lens of history we see a little more complexity is needed because the two models have had their shot and they always lead toward systematic oppression. This is because systems of government unerringly honor their fathers; they position themselves to create more of whatever cultural cement made their existences possible. And those first two models work through fear — the first one through fear of the government itself, and eternal damnation. The second one works through fear of whatever the government says is a threat agent at any given time. That’s usually hunger. Re-elect your glorious leader and he will give you a government that will put food on your table.
In both those cases, the people have a way of relating to each other, the government is a result of that way of interrelating, and once government is here it does what it can to reinforce that interrelationship method.
The third model, the careful balance, is the wave of the future I think because it stands on an interrelationship method that deals with strength, not weakness. Decisions about life’s priorities, are left up to the individual. The system of government says, let’s achieve a careful balance here — come together and pledge our material resources just long enough to put up a system of defense, and then go our separate ways to attend to our personal lives in whatever manner we choose.
That first model now seeks to take over the world. It seeks this because it must. When one nation is deprived of freedom, and is placed in proximity to another nation that enjoys freedom, it’s citizens will naturally want to defect. And so societies that embrace freedom have always been threatened by neighboring societies that abhor it, for if the abhorring society did not so threaten, it would then be the one threatened.
This is simple human nature. Individuals who are missing some noble virtue, have always bitterly resented other individuals who had, nurtured, and made use of that same virtue.
In the country we call “America” in the twenty-first century, the second and third governmental models are in a bitter spat over what to do about the first one. It’s such a big country that it has two cultures, and two systems of government. Some of our people are cemented together by a fear of whatever the authorities have told them to fear…global warming, the Social Security system running out of money, Graeme Frost not getting his SCHIP benefits, everybody dying of AIDS, etc. Others of us are cemented together by confidence in our ability to live our lives, worship in whatever manner we see fit, tend to our responsibilities in whatever way makes sense to us. Kind of an organized anarchy, if you will.
The culture that supports this second form of government, that rules out of fear much like the first form, has now started to lecture the culture that supports the third form of government that the third form is based on fear. In other words, George Bush is inventing terrorists that don’t really exist so he can get more support for a Republican form of government. The flaw in this is that terrorists have actually killed large numbers of people, whereas global warming has not. And that is the “big reveal” to what is really going on: You can’t believe that terrorism is a marginal concern, subordinate to a bunch of other petty threats that are harmful only in theory, unless someone in a greater position of authority is telling you what to think. Because this involves confusing the subjective with the objective, and forgetting things occurred that actually, objectively, factually, measurably occurred.
And this is why I think the war we’re fighting, is already won. If you look at married couples you’ll see there are some that stay bound together, over time. Till death do they part; no coercion involved, and if they had it in them to live a thousand years or more, they’d stay together throughout that time. What these couples have in common is that they know each other through their strengths, just like in that third form of government we know our fellow citizens, and they know us, through our strengths.
Other married couples know each other through their weaknesses. They don’t stay together long, because the human spirit has a drive to achieve new strengths that did not exist previously, to expurgate known weaknesses from the equation over time, and to solidify and reinforce strengths already achieved. Only an utterly crippled human consciousness, defeated and crushed to the point of becoming a near-vegetable, can fully renounce this drive — even for the sake of sustaining a supposedly “beloved” marriage, OR system of government — until that point, this drive is like an eternal flame in each and every one of us.
And when people do that, the first- and second-model systems of government are threatened. The third one is reinforced.
And so we’ll win, ultimately. But it isn’t an assured thing; it requires active participation from a strong people. And this is provable. America’s great shame is that in the eighteenth century, it was started as an enclave, isolated from a former mother nation at great personal cost to those who fought to make it happen, completely and utterly dedicated to that third model of government, deliberately “sever[ing] the ties that bind” it to a second-form model of government. Two hundred and thirty years on, it’s gone all wobbly. trying to make up it’s mind between the second and third forms. What’s even worse is that the first form of government is at the gate, like the wolf of the children’s legend huffing and puffing. It’s time to come together for the sake of defense, to make our individuality possible.
And that second-form of government, under first-milestone-insane people just like John Kerry, is busy giving us instructions about what to believe as all second-form governments constantly must — so that a sufficient number of us can be persuaded to disregard the real threat.
That’s why it’s the first milestone toward insanity. It truly is the gateway to the damned. It is the method by which formerly sane and clear-thinking people, can most reliably be compelled to believe silly things.