Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why Is The News So Depressing?

If the truth be told, we're actually living in an extraordinary time of peace and prosperity, because there are no global wars like the last century -- when literally 100 million people perished because of wars and their related persecutions and purges.

Nations didn't recognize the rights of other nations to exist, or to live the lives they saw fit to live, which we now recognize as universal human rights. However, many still think that the role and purpose of governments and societies, is to force people to do what they don't want to do -- and that is a hard habit to break. Most of our institutions still justify themselves in that way -- of forcing children to learn, and people to obey the traffic and other laws, as though that is not what intelligent people would do for some good reason.

Many even seem to think, that laws can't have a good reason, but exist to be arbitrary as an opportunity and excuse to exercise that power over others -- just to maintain the social order that they feel would surely be chaotic, if everyone were allowed to think for themselves.
To those brought up in the old world order, there's something not quite right about others being allowed to exercise their own judgment and free will, because it seems like the reason they exist, is to be dominated and exploited by whoever thinks of it first, and is the most ruthless at executing their power.

That seems to be the theme of many of the writers who never left the last century -- that everything still must seem a problem and an argument, to see who is the victor, and who is the vanquished -- and the notion that all can win or be right, is a violation of the premises of their world view. Not surprisingly then, many in that last century, were very conflicted personalities, always at war with every other, and just as much, with
themselves over everything.

Nothing could seem as easy as it could be. There had to be a struggle that gave meaning to every effort, goal and desire. Life could not be easy; one had to be in constant torment, anguish and guilt, in order to make it righteous and virtuous.

And then the
liberals (socialists) came along to blur the distinctions and discriminations of everything into their random soup that insisted nothing mattered but the perpetual meaningless struggle over everything (the dialectic) -- just to be the devil's advocate -- as though that became the new virtue of the age of struggle and effort without meaning and purpose, because one had so completely lost their way, and the constant agitation and stress, gave them their exhilarating sense of being alive.

It was not enough, just to be, and let be. Somebody had to create a problem for someone else -- and they knew no other way of being, and would not allow it for anybody else.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Customizing One's Own Best Environment

A lot of recent legislation have focused on creating one exclusive environment for everyone -- administered and dictated by government bureaucrats, who ensure the conformity and the consensus, so that nothing else is possible.

It used to be done subtly, by generating public sentiment and will, but now it is done with the heavy hand of government -- to force everybody to accept a singular worldview as the only world view -- which a previous generation recognized as presumptuous and ethnocentric. But it has been revived under the guise of a pan-global worldview presumably even for the benefit of those animals who can't speak for themselves -- and so a few duly self-appointed guardians of the "public interest," take it upon themselves, to impose their own
better judgment, over that of everybody else less virtuous and all-knowing -- in proposing bans against what everybody should or shouldn't be doing, because they feel entitled to manipulate the rest, and that is what their certificates and accreditations imply/grant to their (trade) association exclusively.

And the proof of this, is that they can manipulate and mobilize an impressive number of people who have voted and designated such leaders to do all their thinking and talking for them -- and henceforth,
their leader, should now do the thinking and talking for everybody else as well -- even though many choose not to be represented and choose not to abrogate their rights to think and speak for themselves in this way. Instead, they are told, this is the way it will be in the future -- henceforth, and so they had better jump on the bandwagon early, lest they become one of the persecuted rather than the persecuting majority -- for they are certain, it is this might that makes them right.

These of course, are the proverbial
red flags in the life of every democratic society that has briefly existed before succumbing to these tyrannies of the conspiratorial and self-serving -- that become a right unto themselves. At that point, there is no turning back, and recovering Paradise Lost. It is the end of the world, as they knew it.

The other vision(s), is that every individual should be allowed to make their own best choices for themselves -- guided by the lifelong wisdom to know themselves better, as the unfailing truth to creating that best world each can best do for themselves. That is the seed and promise of a democratic society and republic we need to be mindful of as the overarching greater good.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Life and Death

Writes Oregonian staff writer Helen Jung:

Wearing shackles and a red transport prison uniform, Gary Dwayne Haugen sat at a table in a Marion County courtroom Friday and greeted the judge who had presided over his 2007 death-penalty trial.

"It's like deja vu," he said in a friendly tone to Marion County Circuit Judge Joseph Guimond.

But the 49-year-old, who has been in prison since he was 19 and on death row since 2007, said he's ready to move forward. He scoffed at arguments from his own attorneys seeking a 90-day delay to assess his mental competency.

"I think it's cruel and unusual punishment that counsel continues to give delays and give postponements," said Haugen. "This is my life we're talking about. I've got a lot of things to prepare for and I'm cool with it. I don't think they should keep getting chances until they get that trump card."

I think Mr. Haugen's statements regarding his death is really a remarkable achievement for an(y) individual, as well as for society -- in that we see someone accepting death bravely, resignedly, responsibly and consequentially -- which should be the whole objective of our justice system, as well as the whole meaning of life.

And he doesn't want to be cheated out of his contribution to society by the courts, the lawyers, the bureaucracy and the ideologues, who wish to use him to serve their own agendas. He wants to own his own life entirely -- and is at peace with himself and everybody else, apparently. Yet everybody else in the "system" wants to challenge his mental competence for having such clarity.

We don't often see people give up their lives with such grace and dignity -- preferring instead to see people hang on at any cost, even long after they have lost most of their senses, cognition and quality of life -- which is the major problem facing the maturing societies of the world. At what point do people say that they've had a fair chance at life and now it is time for that end -- under the best of circumstances, even at the time, place and conditions of their own choosing?

We're all going to die at some point -- but we have too few examples of people dying at peace with themselves and everyone else, and that moment, should not be sullied by everyone else's confusion and ambivalence about life and death. His story is fairly unique but should not be lost, or tarnished with the many other issues that people reflexively argue over as their entertainment because they don't want to face the significance and profundity of such serious matters, issues and moments.

Life is important, but death also gives meaning to that life -- and how one accepts that, or any other consequence of living.

How we define "life," as well as "death," is probably the great challenges of the future, because we now have so much control over prolonging life long past the point of no return, and are into denial about this ever-increasing period of every life now, that we need to establish a few benchmarks and milestones on the journey that is not so capricious anymore.

In the past, we could rely on wars to wipe out a few hundred million, but now, only a very few die that way. So both life and death have become unprecedentedly controlled and controllable, with tremendous unforeseen consequences of this success, that can threaten to become its own cause of decline and even extinction. We've become victims of our own "success."