Tell me your values so that I may know you

Perhaps I’m weird, but Keith’s fantasy doesn’t appeal to me at all. It seems to me that people, above all, identify with values. I think that a responsible and ethical integration of a journalist’s values into his or her story is a good thing. It engages people, and when people are engaged, they are more likely to think. Besides, the values possessed by a lot of the mainstream media elite are by no means representative of America, so their interjecting them into a story, however slyly, can just as easily work against them. I think that what’s happened to journalism over the last decade–with talk radio, the Internet, and now blogs–bears out the notion that value-bias is here to stay, and it’s not a matter of quashing one or the other, or going to a different paradigm altogether, but of engaging in a marketplace and battle for ideas. The left no longer has a choke-hold on information. It no longer decides what’s “fit to print.” Now we get to see the chips fall where they may. There’s a lot of mud-slinging toward CBS on the heels of their “independent investigation” resulting in the firing of three people, Dan Rather not…

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What’s Our Trump Card?

Just trump evil I was recently introduced to a card game by some relatives, and as with many card games, there’s a “trump card” element. Of course, the nature of the trump card is that in spite of how good of a hand you’ve played, how lucky or unlucky you are, how well you’ve executed a plan, it can all be rendered irrelevant in a flash by someone producing the trump card. We live in a complex world. There are a million things going on—a lot good and a lot bad. How do we know which forces are winning, those of good or those of evil? Can we ignore the evil? Is there a trump card? Where we’ve been; where we’re going Because Greg Swann contributed in no small way to my decision to recapture in my writing an outlook about things that I used to possess, I emailed and asked his comments on my posts here and here. He replied: I think it’s great, both of your recent entries. It seems very reasonable to me that normal people will pursue rational values most of the time, if they know what they are. The contrary proposition is that people value…

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Sent Items

For those of you visiting via links from Greg’s place, or via Greg’s place by way of Billy’s or John & Company’s, the posts, in order, that speak to the issues are here and here. I’m working on a wrap-up, but that could be days in coming. Depends on whether I continue in making the context wider and deeper, or just fire away with something direct and to the point. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ve popped off a few quips in response to inane NYT and other articles that have been forwarded to me in email. For your general amusement. You know how bad the situation is when the president’s choice for attorney general has to formally pledge not to support torture anymore. Though I agree that there’s no shortage of “tunnel-vision” supporters in Bush’s corner, I believe there are far more “myopic-vision” detractors outside that corner who have little to no historical perspective. Though America is not without its embarrassments, it’s on the whole a trustworthy country (to whatever extent a nation can be trusted) and one president, regardless of who that is, is not likely to change that very much. I was also wondering if you were…

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Questions of relevancy

My last post was dedicated, more or less, to the notion that the ideas from the left are irrelevant and impotent. I’ve been challenged on that score on the basis that the democrats could win again (and in all probability, will win again). This misses the wider point of my post. Actually, when I talk of relevancy, I’m talking about a much broader scale than democrats vs. republicans. I’m also talking about a much broader scale in time. Fundamentally, I’m really talking about the notion that man has no moral right to exist, but for the ultimate sake of his service to the needs, whims, and claims of others. In other words, just as in the Jesus metaphor, man, to become his best, must become a sacrificial animal to others and society—just as Jesus was the sacrificial animal to all of mankind. That’s a moral principal that crosses over the ephemeral, quaint democrat-republican divide, and that’s what I mean by irrelevance. It’s true that the democrats propose most of the social engineering that has as its implicit foundational principal that man’s moral right to life is a license granted, ultimately, by others and “earned” by service to them. But, the…

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Freedom Always Marches

I’ve been reflecting on a lot of things, lately. Foremost, I’m looking more at the positive side of things—which is not to say that any of the evil I have highlighted on this blog over the last year is any less evil. It’s just impotent. It’s unimportant in the overall scheme of things. This “looking on the bright side,” for lack of a better description—call it my new year’s resolution—is going to be one real challenge. We’ll see how that all works out. I had the opportunity over the holidays to view things from an entirely different perspective. First, from the quiet and unconnected peace that is our newly rebuilt cabin at an ideal elevation of 4,500 ft. on the western side of the Sierras in Arnold, CA. For days, our phone didn’t even work. No cell service, either. No cable or dish; just a growing library of DVDs and books, board games, and of all things, human conversation. We spent both the Christmas and New Year weekends there, with family. My second perspective was that of history. Of course, I watch the History Channel often, but from time-to-time, it serves to have the benefit of literary devices integrated with…

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Me, Uncensored

So I get a link to this NYT article via email today about how America is so stingy. I’m just going to throw my whole email reply up here, unedited, CAPS and all: Sorry, but this one really, really gets under my skin. This article is, unfortunately, an unmitigated, despicable load of crap. Americans are and have always been the most generous people (by far, far, far) of ANYONE, bar none, on earth. It’s just so wonderful how the most caring, benevolent, generous nation on earth is continually maligned from inside and out. Many should be ashamed of themselves. America, 5% of the world’s population, gives 40% (!!!) of ALL aid donations worldwide. We pay 20% of the UN’s entire budget. We’re also the nation that spills its blood over and over and over again to assist others who refuse to provide for their own adequate defense and get trampled under foot. WWII Germany, Italy, and Japan come to mind, as well as the post WWII USSR push to spread communism worldwide. Americans have already donated $300 million to this disaster, and that’s just the private side. It doesn’t count what the US government will spend, which will doubtless be…

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New Year. New Snow.

Beatrice & I arrived at our cabin in Arnold, California about Friday noon to a bit of snow. By the time we left on Sunday afternoon, there was just a bit more.

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Uncivilization

Having been gone and generally out of contact the last few days, I was darting around for the latest tsunami news and came across this: The number of the Onge, one of the most primitive tribes, has fallen in past decades to about 100. There are about 200 Sentinelese, probably one of the world’s only surviving palaeolithic people, who are generally hostile to outsiders. “Our helicopter pilot who flew over the island told me that he has seen several groups of Sentinelese on the beach and that when he dropped food packets they threw stones at the helicopter.” Remember that the next time you see one of those pretentious, PBS-style documentaries that implies, or even sometimes overtly suggests that we of civilization have so much to learn from the “wisdom” of uncivilization. I mean, it was just one year ago that a 6.6 earthquake killed 41,000 people in Iran, and not even in a major city like Tehran. In 1989, the much stronger 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake pounded a major metropolis, the San Francisco Bay Area. It killed 63 of The Bay Area’s 7 million inhabitants. Yes, we have so much to learn from the primitive.

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