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In The Jury Box;

By David Eide

joblog

"....when you decide a case you bring in all your experience, knowledge, and common sense...you are not a robot."
Instruction of a judge to a jury.


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Rants and Raves

Oh politics, you tired charade of half-truths. You want your half-truth to be my full-truth? You believe I’m an idiot and have not experienced the country and world as vaster than your half-truths? I have experienced self and world in ways that make your half-truths seem like the spittle of madmen. In fact, if there is any challenge to “citizenship” it is expressly this: Take all the half-truths and put the pieces together to make a full truth. No, that would make things too perfect and simple. Too much money and jobs are at stake.

The people fell for the greatest con there is: Money will buy you happiness and security. Pleasure is the goal in life.

When that house of cards falls look out and, obviously, it has fallen to a degree. So, where are you going to find the sacrificing people, those who have deferral of gratification? They will be the builders of your future. New industries are not built by those who want instant wealth.

* * * * * * * *

Progressive politics does not come out of old, fossilized ideas and achievements but out of a sense of utopia. A utopia extracted from the raw bad and ugliness of the present time and projected into the future “given that this dynamic and that one will be changed.” I don’t see that in the present left. Just as I see on the right a schism between wealth and populism.

Articulate the utopia, back engineer it to the present, circle the points of conflict and develop something. The progressives stopped around 1978 or so.

Liberals come out of the sober assessment of “where we are” in relation to the utopia and what can be won now. That movement is only appreciated after the fact when you can look back a decade or two.

As with religion, there is no fully realized utopia until the after-death and the adventure is filled with danger.

* * * * * * * *

Capitalism has the same moral problem as socialism. To get to its promised land it has to violate a lot of human decency. And with the loss of human decency comes the loss of moral credibility and so the resorting to violence and brainwashing to keep the idea alive.

I always think of the computer as an object of utopia. It was going to fully empower the citizen and provide some equalizer to the powers that owned mainframes. It did not create a utopia and, in fact, is used by anti-utopian types as well as more idealistic types. It became a utility that marketing genius had to invest with magical powers like the car.

At some point the gains in the progressive ends of things are evaluated and tested by the mainstream and the conserving aspect of the society take those gains over.

Such as I understand things at any rate.

* * * * * * * *

Self-rule requires a leader when a crisis occurs and the people don’t trust themselves. When they know there is power but they feel none of it themselves, then the leader must connect them with the power and stand up straight and lead.

At the moment of connection he can compromise and weave deftly through complexity and clashing ambitions to empty the nation on the other side of its own fears.

A people strengthened by this connection know what to do. And when they know what to do they become democratic citizens and lift things out of crisis.

August 16, 2011


Division

America, from the beginning, divided into two parts defined by the conflict between the “republicans” and “federalists” soon after the ratification of the Constitution. On the one hand there was the model of the pure Roman state, favored by Hamilton, where power concentrated for the benefit of the security and stability of the whole. And on the other the new model of the free people in all their guises, favored by Jefferson, building up and out of their liberty. Who doesn't go through bouts of loyalty between these two in one lifetime?

Of course we are not at the beginning of the conflict when word and act meant everything. We are stuck in a place that tells me, "we are not quite the democracy we thought we'd become but we aren't terrible either. Something worked and so we must maintain the nature of the conflict so the game may continue."

Ultimately the "heart" has loyalty to the people since the people are agents of change, innovation, new horizons, new values and so on. The Roman state is favored by the "head" because of the abstract games of political intrigue and the day to day specialist-complexity at the heart of any political state.

The source of most everything good lives in the people. If the people are docile and dilapidated how in the world is there going to be any progress worth the progress we have inherited? And in the fat stages of life a critical mass of people simply want to be left alone to exercise their freedoms as they see fit; raise families, buy and sell as they wish, go to events and engage in life at whatever level it offers to them. And their fat counterparts who constitute the state simply want to have some success and be distinguished as someone conscious of power, structure, and world. There is connection between them.

At this late stage of things the writer is interested in the tiny minority of people who are trying to get things to progress in ways that are indomitable, inevitable, and difficult. He is only interested in those who build and create. He is not interested in auxiliaries to the real life but seeds of new development.

Democracy will stagnate under the weight of the two dominant types in the society. And stagnation leads to a tyranny of one sort or the other because the people seek out the savior able to lift the burden from them by the very act of stagnation. The people have to be their own saviors.

In the long run democracy is proven out by the quality of the people, including the single, solitary person who gets to carry all the contradictions around with him or herself.

March 22, 2011


The Sacrificial Soul

It is my understanding that a person does not sacrifice the bad in life to do something beyond what is normally expected. He sacrifices the good in life that is self-evidently the good in order to try and do something beyond what is normally expected. Soft expectations and soft results can produce a good, soft life.

It is a bittersweet experience. Life demands balance.

What is easy and spoon-fed and accepted without resistance usually ends up very toxic and ensures a large fight in the person so infected.

Hard and easy are difficult to define in modern America.

* * * * * * * *

I’m reading one of the best accounts of the revolutionary generation I’ve ever encountered called "Madison and Jefferson." The authors truly peek into the era and come up with a remarkable literary facsimile of the times they lived in. They all knew each other in a manner of speaking; public men that is. And sometimes it appears that they didn't want freedom from English nobility; they wanted to become the nobility themselves. And to do so they had to compromise with the "people" in the colonies. This tension informs that whole generation.

Madison and Jefferson have been two heroes for a long time, Jefferson since childhood. They were both flawed, even ordinary people in some ways but still extraordinary after all the tests they’ve had to pass. The most severe one had to do with slavery. Even the pragmatic views couched in a sense of humanity don’t quite make it. Slavery was around because it made life easier. It was a guilty pleasure for most slave holders. It was greed. And greed, above other failings, is easily disguised by a thousand tricks of the mind.

I think even Madison would be pleased that a black man is president. Jefferson would have had a hearty laugh and shrug his shoulders. The question one would love to pose to them is, "would you have successfully put away the elitism? Would you have recognized your ideas of humanity in the people of modern America?"

I didn’t realize Madison was so elitist. Jefferson was not afraid of the democratic man just as long as his own universe was undisturbed.

* * * * * * * *

The democratic man is only a negative when he drops down into superstition or mass hatred or becomes and is defined as, “one who is lost.” Lost amid the huge populations and the need to manipulate them, sell them votes and products, huge machinations of power that he has no connection with but which catalyzes change all around him. Lost because there is no orientation left for the individual but groupism. Lost because he is aware of problems he can’t solve, even understand. Lost when life is experienced as an oppressive disillusionment. Lost when he wanders out to discover this wonderful democracy only to find squealing pigs and packs of wild dogs. Lost in the anonymous sound of information beaming through his brain which tells him nothing, advances nothing, teaches nothing, inspires nothing but acts as the powerful agents of something transformative on the planet. Lost in a culture that says it’s not enough to contemplate the stars. Lost in a culture that can not love or believe. Lost in the middle of phony money and phony wars. Lost in meaningless arguments argued by meaningless people.

* * * * * * * *

The fascinating thing is just how difficult it was to sell the Constitution to the people. How tenuous it all was. And standing silent there, somewhere, always the giant figure of Washington.

For the writer the question is always, “has it lost its democratic soul?” In my young days I thought so. Then I thought again and saw a lot of hope for America. Now I’m not so sure.

March 3, 2011


Rants and Raves

Oh politics, you tired charade of half-truths. You want your half-truth to be my full-truth? You believe I’m an idiot and have not experienced the country and world as vaster than your half-truths? I have experienced self and world in ways that make your half-truths seem like the spittle of madmen. In fact, if there is any challenge to “citizenship” it is expressly this: Take all the half-truths and put the pieces together to make a full truth. No, that would make things too perfect and simple. Too much money and jobs are at stake.

The people fell for the greatest con there is: Money will buy you happiness and security. Pleasure is the goal in life.

When that house of cards falls look out and, obviously, it has fallen to a degree. So, where are you going to find the sacrificing people, those who have deferral of gratification? They will be the builders of your future. New industries are not built by those who want instant wealth.

* * * * * * * *

Progressive politics does not come out of old, fossilized ideas and achievements but out of a sense of utopia. A utopia extracted from the raw bad and ugliness of the present time and projected into the future “given that this dynamic and that one will be changed.” I don’t see that in the present left. Just as I see on the right a schism between wealth and populism.

Articulate the utopia, back engineer it to the present, circle the points of conflict and develop something. The progressives stopped around 1978 or so.

Liberals come out of the sober assessment of “where we are” in relation to the utopia and what can be won now. That movement is only appreciated after the fact when you can look back a decade or two.

As with religion, there is no fully realized utopia until the after-death and the adventure is filled with danger.

* * * * * * * *

Capitalism has the same moral problem as socialism. To get to its promised land it has to violate a lot of human decency. And with the loss of human decency comes the loss of moral credibility and so the resorting to violence and brainwashing to keep the idea alive.

I always think of the computer as an object of utopia. It was going to fully empower the citizen and provide some equalizer to the powers that owned mainframes. It did not create a utopia and, in fact, is used by anti-utopian types as well as more idealistic types. It became a utility that marketing genius had to invest with magical powers like the car.

At some point the gains in the progressive ends of things are evaluated and tested by the mainstream and the conserving aspect of the society take those gains over.

Such as I understand things at any rate.

* * * * * * * *

Self-rule requires a leader when a crisis occurs and the people don’t trust themselves. When they know there is power but they feel none of it themselves, then the leader must connect them with the power and stand up straight and lead.

At the moment of connection he can compromise and weave deftly through complexity and clashing ambitions to empty the nation on the other side of its own fears.

A people strengthened by this connection know what to do. And when they know what to do they become democratic citizens and lift things out of crisis.

August 16, 2011


Division

America, from the beginning, divided into two parts defined by the conflict between the “republicans” and “federalists” soon after the ratification of the Constitution. On the one hand there was the model of the pure Roman state, favored by Hamilton, where power concentrated for the benefit of the security and stability of the whole. And on the other the new model of the free people in all their guises, favored by Jefferson, building up and out of their liberty. Who doesn't go through bouts of loyalty between these two in one lifetime?

Of course we are not at the beginning of the conflict when word and act meant everything. We are stuck in a place that tells me, "we are not quite the democracy we thought we'd become but we aren't terrible either. Something worked and so we must maintain the nature of the conflict so the game may continue."

Ultimately the "heart" has loyalty to the people since the people are agents of change, innovation, new horizons, new values and so on. The Roman state is favored by the "head" because of the abstract games of political intrigue and the day to day specialist-complexity at the heart of any political state.

The source of most everything good lives in the people. If the people are docile and dilapidated how in the world is there going to be any progress worth the progress we have inherited? And in the fat stages of life a critical mass of people simply want to be left alone to exercise their freedoms as they see fit; raise families, buy and sell as they wish, go to events and engage in life at whatever level it offers to them. And their fat counterparts who constitute the state simply want to have some success and be distinguished as someone conscious of power, structure, and world. There is connection between them.

At this late stage of things the writer is interested in the tiny minority of people who are trying to get things to progress in ways that are indomitable, inevitable, and difficult. He is only interested in those who build and create. He is not interested in auxiliaries to the real life but seeds of new development.

Democracy will stagnate under the weight of the two dominant types in the society. And stagnation leads to a tyranny of one sort or the other because the people seek out the savior able to lift the burden from them by the very act of stagnation. The people have to be their own saviors.

In the long run democracy is proven out by the quality of the people, including the single, solitary person who gets to carry all the contradictions around with him or herself.

March 22, 2011


The Sacrificial Soul

It is my understanding that a person does not sacrifice the bad in life to do something beyond what is normally expected. He sacrifices the good in life that is self-evidently the good in order to try and do something beyond what is normally expected. Soft expectations and soft results can produce a good, soft life.

It is a bittersweet experience. Life demands balance.

What is easy and spoon-fed and accepted without resistance usually ends up very toxic and ensures a large fight in the person so infected.

Hard and easy are difficult to define in modern America.

* * * * * * * *

I’m reading one of the best accounts of the revolutionary generation I’ve ever encountered called "Madison and Jefferson." The authors truly peek into the era and come up with a remarkable literary facsimile of the times they lived in. They all knew each other in a manner of speaking; public men that is. And sometimes it appears that they didn't want freedom from English nobility; they wanted to become the nobility themselves. And to do so they had to compromise with the "people" in the colonies. This tension informs that whole generation.

Madison and Jefferson have been two heroes for a long time, Jefferson since childhood. They were both flawed, even ordinary people in some ways but still extraordinary after all the tests they’ve had to pass. The most severe one had to do with slavery. Even the pragmatic views couched in a sense of humanity don’t quite make it. Slavery was around because it made life easier. It was a guilty pleasure for most slave holders. It was greed. And greed, above other failings, is easily disguised by a thousand tricks of the mind.

I think even Madison would be pleased that a black man is president. Jefferson would have had a hearty laugh and shrug his shoulders. The question one would love to pose to them is, "would you have successfully put away the elitism? Would you have recognized your ideas of humanity in the people of modern America?"

I didn’t realize Madison was so elitist. Jefferson was not afraid of the democratic man just as long as his own universe was undisturbed.

* * * * * * * *

The democratic man is only a negative when he drops down into superstition or mass hatred or becomes and is defined as, “one who is lost.” Lost amid the huge populations and the need to manipulate them, sell them votes and products, huge machinations of power that he has no connection with but which catalyzes change all around him. Lost because there is no orientation left for the individual but groupism. Lost because he is aware of problems he can’t solve, even understand. Lost when life is experienced as an oppressive disillusionment. Lost when he wanders out to discover this wonderful democracy only to find squealing pigs and packs of wild dogs. Lost in the anonymous sound of information beaming through his brain which tells him nothing, advances nothing, teaches nothing, inspires nothing but acts as the powerful agents of something transformative on the planet. Lost in a culture that says it’s not enough to contemplate the stars. Lost in a culture that can not love or believe. Lost in the middle of phony money and phony wars. Lost in meaningless arguments argued by meaningless people.

* * * * * * * *

The fascinating thing is just how difficult it was to sell the Constitution to the people. How tenuous it all was. And standing silent there, somewhere, always the giant figure of Washington.

For the writer the question is always, “has it lost its democratic soul?” In my young days I thought so. Then I thought again and saw a lot of hope for America. Now I’m not so sure.

March 3, 2011



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