Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
President Obama said this in his 2nd inaugural address:
For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together.
I object to this move, which seems to have become popular with Democrats in the past couple years, of equating “doing things together” with government. To suggest that anyone who’d like to see less heavy-handed government regulation thinks one person can do everything alone is a straw-man argument. It indicates a lack of understanding of how the private-sector economy works and how libertarians or conservatives actually think about economics….The idea that you’re “alone” unless you’re being directed by the government strikes me as dehumanizing and almost abusive. So I resist this scare tactic of presenting the government as the alternative to being “alone.”
I would take it much, much further. “Dehumanizing,” based on all I have seen and heard about the thoughts, ideas and proposals connected to this fallacy, is not merely an effect or a byproduct. It is the point.
This gets into a disagreement I’ve had for a number of years with the words of Rush Limbaugh, who repeatedly insists liberals “love big government” and see it as the source of all good things, as a sort of replacement deity. My view has been that they see it as nothing more than a necessary evil, much the way conservatives do. If you doubt me, just keep paying attention until the day a Republican is running the government again. Suddenly, everything the government does will be evil, evil, evil. And not because the Republican would be rolling back the policies of his predecessor; thanks to the ratchet effect, libs don’t even need to begin to worry about that.
No, when the conservative is in charge, we stop arguing about spending almost entirely. Conservatives squabble among themselves about how & why the people in charge don’t do a better job of standing up for conservative principles and beliefs. The liberals go back to attending war protests, to refresh their memories of what that’s all about, and become good little civil libertarians, wringing their hands with worry about the latest batch of rights to be taken away by Darth Vader and his gang aboard the Death Star. Conservatives look forward to some spending cuts that never happen, throughout the whole cycle, while liberals oscillate back and forth between seeing government as all-that-is-good, and a fountainhead of toxic bile.
They don’t want the good stuff to get done. This is the “you didn’t build that” stuff, nothing more or less than that. Their credo is: Fine, let it get built and let it get done, if it has to be, just make sure no one identifiable individual gets the credit. And because that is our true goal, then have the government do it if it has to be done.
This is, I maintain, a phobia. And the phobia is that the liberal doesn’t want to get too personally close to anyone who can be easily credited for doing remarkable things. To understand this part of it, you have to understand the fear. It isn’t too hard. Once a skilled practitioner reaches a certain age, some episode of career slowdown becomes inevitable; and when that happens, it isn’t easy to look at the works of someone younger, riding the lofty eddies of success only distantly remembered by the observer, full of hope, energy and life, and to all outward appearances has not experienced a similar slowdown. That’s a bitter pill to swallow, and it waits for, or has happened to, just about everyone capable of accomplishing anything. It should not surprise anybody that some among us choose to avoid this unpleasant realization.
It really is not the realization that causes the fear. There’s nothing to that, at all, when you think about it: Things that accelerate, after a time, should be expected to decelerate again. It’s not an inevitability, but it is the default development.
No, the unpleasantness is in all the questions raised. Could I have handled something differently? Was I born with certain gifts, coupled up with associated and inseparable liabilities, that make the gifts ultimately meaningless? Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more? This fills them with fear, and dread, and pain. They resolve it by playing a very old game: If I cannot have it, then you can’t either.
So nobody is allowed to achieve anything. Nobody identifiable, that is. Government should do it all.
The name-cloaking power of government is demonstrated easily. Just think of a liberal who favors a bigger government, citing some “vital” function we need it to do for us. What is that liberal’s opinion of the people whose hands get dirty, doing that work? By their logic, we would owe these people everything and then some. Right? And yet — that is not the viewpoint. They do not look at the guy who installs the park bench, or lays the cement for the sidewalk, or even the firefighter, the same way the conservative looks at the people whose hands get dirty doing the work he appreciates. That high level of personal credit is reserved for Barack and Michelle Obama, and other superstars. Awesome, mega-wonderful people…whom the lib is assured, more-or-less, he will never, ever meet. They certainly won’t move in next door, lean over the fence while watering the lawn, and chit-chat with them about what was on the teevee last night.
That is the assurance they seek. There are close acquaintances, not necessarily near-and-dear ones, but proximate ones…peers…like the work colleague or the next door neighbor. And then there are people accomplishing definably extraordinary things. They do not want any of these to be the same people. “Work hard,” that much is fine. They love telling and re-telling the story about “ordinary Americans” and “working families” doing their “hard work” and getting shafted. But the world-changing stuff is to be done only by the superstars they’ll never meet…or, by the hoi polloi, only after such time as they have “come together to get this thing done.” Individual, identifiable, remarkable and proximate credit, that is the deadly combination. Any reminders of the amazing things possible for ordinary humans, if they just get up off their asses. That is not to be allowed under any circumstances, because it invites an acknowledgment that sometime in their past, on some occasion, at some critical juncture, wittingly or otherwise, they selected an option that effectively abjured some opportunity for game-changing significance. Maybe, even, they’ve done it multiple times. That is the fog-shrouded alleyway, in their minds, that they cannot permit themselves to explore, ever.
Just a working theory I’ve had for awhile. But so far, it holds up.
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