Thursday, December 19, 2019
I thought this was supposed to be a perfect world
Crazy hard busy day with far too much "drunks behaving badly" stuff. Now at 5 p.m. I feel like I've been beat with a knotted plow line and also pulled backwards through a knothole.
The drunk in question has departed the AO and is not presently scheduled to return. So that's kinda good. The state of the drunk in question is not good at all, but could be (and might become) much worse. The drunk in question seems to closing in on realization that the present path is not the road to success. That's a good thing, particularly if it leads to a better approach. As with anything else in life, we can't put the cart before the horse, so we just have to make do with a tiny step almost in the right direction and hope for a tiny bit more progress tomorrow.
One of the first things I saw out the window this morning was dawn's early light illuminating the courthouse and its big antenna. It's a lot more spectacularer in person.
And then there was Sunrise in America.
Had to take two pictures.
Then there came chores and a little ride along video. Hope I didn't cuss too much or say anything awful. I haven't checked it for unacceptable content. I'm living on the edge by making you kind readers live on the edge.
Okay, I checked it before publishing. No bad stuff. But the vice grips in the door pocket sure make a lot of noise rattling around!
Cows were clearly hoping that the human had brought treats.
But the human had not.
What a dick!
Principles + Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom
Greta Tintin Eleonora Thunberg. I rather imagine you've heard of the 16 year old Swedish Environmental Activist.
As I understand it -- and keep in mind that I don't know and have never met the girl so I'm going by the best info I can find on the interwebz -- her parents are pro-socialism activist artists and filmmakers who hit upon a brilliant messaging campaign featuring their daughter as spokesman. In a civilized world they should be able to do what they've done without fear of being locked up bu the government, and indeed this has been the case.
In a civilized world those who disagree with the message should be able to publicly voice their opinions without fear of being locked up by the government. This is generally the case, but in some places -- such as everywhere that is not America -- the various governments have enacted hate speech laws which give them the power to lock up people for speech deemed unacceptable by the ruling mob. So a lot of people all around the first world neighborhood are being rightly cautious if they happen to have a viewpoint which opposes Greta's message. On the one hand this situation is less than ideal. On the other it's something that nations just have to work out. And so far as I know, none of the non-American first world states have deployed the hate speech hammer against opposition voices. I hope that's clear enough.
At a slight tangent, the other day I was standing in line at the local franchise of an international sammich shoppe with Snow Girl. We were there to have lunch and gab about Stuff. A person behind us in line heard me describe the United States of America as America and felt compelled to berate me for my insensitivity. Didn't I know that Mexico and Canada are part of the continent of America?
I seem to remember something about that from geography class way back in about third grade or so. Also that there's a South America and a Central America, so there are more than two nations who can be victimized by my use of the term. Strictly speaking, the U.S. is the only nation with "of America" in its name, and in worldwide common usage "America" is the name everyone uses all the time when referring to the United States of America. But that wasn't the point, was it? This particular uneducated and brainwashed wretch of a human being felt compelled to try to control my speech. That's all. I advised the person to buy a globe and study it carefully and then get back to me.
Anyway, there are a couple of things that concern me about Greta. Firstly, she's only 16 years old and she's clearly being used as a tool by lots and lots of adult activists. Using human beings as tools violates a foundational principle of civilization, so I believe this is wrong. However, people do get used all the time by their fellows, and few (read none) of us lizard-apes are so perfect that we've never used one (read many) of our fellow lizard-apes as a tool to achieve some particular personal (read selfish) goal. It is the way of the lizard-ape. So while I believe (and experience shows) that each of us have a responsibility to treat our fellows as we ourselves would be treated, the reality of existence is such that each of us must navigate the "using/being used" waters and learn and grow from the experience. In Greta's case, she is not legally or developmentally an adult, but it's also true that many girls and boys throughout history have had to or have chosen to become de-facto adults at her age. My great-grandmother was married and starting a farm family at age 16 for instance. It's unfortunate for Greta that she is being used on the world stage, and therefore many of the consequences she faces will be perhaps more severe as well as discussed and opined on by everyone on the planet, including all those lost Amazonian Tribesmen who somehow always show up wearing discounted Super Bowl tee-shirts.
So Greta and her parents have chosen a path which will have some hard consequences. I think there are many better paths they could have taken, but that's a moot point. And because I respect their humanity, I can't throw stones at them. My job is simply to respect and understand their humanity even though I disagree with their message and methods. They are free to do and say what they will, and until they directly present a real and present danger to me I've no business at all trying to stifle their behavior or squelch their speech. They don't and won't present such a danger, so it would be wholly unprincipled for me to do anything but respect their existence as fellow and equal lizard-apes.
And now we get to the meat of the thing, which is my disagreement with the tactics and behavior of some of the people on what might be loosely termed "my side" of the argument. It seems to me that many who have spoken out against Greta's message have attacked the person rather than the idea. And that ain't right.
Here's an example that really bugs me. Last week Greta was making more or less impromptu remarks following her attendance at the big climate conference in Madrid. She was speaking in English, which is not her first language. She's a Swede, right? Anyway, she said that outcome of the climate conference was going to be, unfortunately, business as usual. She then said (and the gist of her remarks were something like, okay, we tried this the normal way and it didn't work at all) "World leaders are still trying to run away from their responsibilities, but we have to make sure that they cannot do that. We will make sure that they, that we put them against the wall, and that they will have to do their job..."
So of course the news feeds were filled with the headline that Greta was calling for the execution of world leaders. I have to admit that I felt some satisfaction when I saw the headline, because it echoes some of the crazy stuff climate activists commonly say and, if the headline was indeed true, Greta's pronouncement would go a long way toward derailing her influence.
But although she did utter the words, she didn't mean to put world leaders against the wall and shoot them. Look up the video and watch it yourself. And think about it. She did say put them against the wall, but in the next breath she said that putting them against the wall would make them do their job. How can someone you've just shot to death then do their job? If you watch the video I think you'll agree that she was using a Swedish phrase which didn't translate very well to English, where to put someone against the wall does most commonly mean to execute them. As it turns out, the idiom in Swedish more properly translates to something like "hold them accountable" or "hold their feet to the fire."
It's important to understand that many millions of people in the first world do at least reflexively feel that having people who disagree with their cherished narrative shot is an acceptable idea. That's a very serious and potentially horrible state of affairs. But that's not what Greta was calling for.
I can't help but feel that the gleeful Greta-bashing that followed -- mostly by the "side" which disagrees with the climate emergency narrative -- was a terrible thing. If it's fundamentally wrong to use a 16 year old girl as a tool to further a particular goal or narrative, isn't it at least equally wrong to use an out of context quote to personally pummel the same 16 year old girl?
I find this particular episode a good illustration of the fact that unprincipled behavior lives not in any particular political realm, but in the heart of each and every lizard-ape. To behave in a principled fashion, each and every one of us must learn about and think about and decide what principled behavior is, and then before anything else eschew our own proclivities toward bad behavior.
Sheesh. Beating up a little girl. It's just not a good place to be.
That's my take on Greta, for what it's worth.
And I'm not sure why I thought you folks needed my take on Greta!
Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.