I do not have time today to make this coherent...
I am committed, both as a government employee and as a Quaker, to being as helpful as possible to good people (and even to bad people when they are trying to do good or redeem
themselves), regardless of party. I am registered as Independent. I worked
for Arlen Specter in 2009 -- making the choice when he was Republican -- because of
some similarity in philosophy.
But in 2012... I am real worried both about the possibility of Great Depression II and
and about war from the Middle East. Doing due diligence as best I can... well, the truth is that I gave a little money to the Obama campaign the morning after Romney picked Ryan,
and a smaller bit even before.
There is some irony here because Ryan may even be a kind of cousin, through the Donohue-Ryan clan on my mother's side. Most other political Ryans we heard of
when I was younger did turn out to be relatives... but that won't stop a depression.
Like Ryan, we're uinto numbers.. but if you pick the wrong numbers to maximize, you're dead. You can't run a planet the way you run a grocery store in a big city.
As I think about the lack of the deep dialogue we need to do better...
I think about the Koch brothers.
A lot of amusing things seem to be coming my way about them.
Luda and have debated: "How do you pronounce Koch in this case anyway?"
I'd say it's a bit like how you pronounce "Paris"... Paree originally,
Pariss if you Americanize. So the original Koch may have "ch" as in "charisma,"
but these particular folks... aren't they now "ch" as in cheat?
To my intellectual friend Koch, ... HE is a "charisma" type Koch, but I don't
know if they are relatives.
A conservative newspaper, the Examiner, showed up on our door with a portrait
of Koch labelled "the Demon of the Left." I have to admit I found it quite striking.
From the press on the Koch brothers, it is true that I had unconsciously imagined
something more like Cheney, like a kind of Sith Lord. But the face I saw this
time was VERY different... and I basically recognized it, every unconscious
twitch portrayed by the apparently very able artist. It looked exactly
like a friend I was once very close to (who, by the way, would resent the comparison,
just as one of the folks I fund is aghast hat everyone sees him as kind of
hidden brother of Romney). That guy, like Khamanei, is partly in trouble because
of the way he is always in the shadow of his father... and because his awe and sense
of obligation keeps him from true independent thinking and from the kind of energy his father had. There is much more to be said... but it's scary.
In a similar vein... I just went to Barnes and Noble, which I don't do all that often
any more, but Luda suggested...
And as I went to buy a book, I bumped into a book prominently displayed:
"An Alien in the Family, by Gini Koch."
OK, I did have to follow up... I bought volume I, along with a paperback by the author
I was actually looking for (a guy from Salt Lake City).
In fact... I hate to say... there is a certain degree of mental aberration
in that face... and that friend of mine was medicated for manic-depressive tendencies.
(U suppose Khamenei needs stronger stuff... unless he is now just a hopeless captive of Stalin type ideological apparatchiks.) It did remind me of some novels by
Van Vogt and whatnot.. lso near the Koch book.
As we left Luda pointed out another book we should read someday, by Ronson, on psychopaths... I had enjoyed his previous book Men ho Stare at Goats.
Ronson's quick description of what a psychopath is, on the cover..
did remind me of what kind of risk we do seem to be facing...
Just a couple of days ago, the local Express newspaper reported how Paul Ryan
chose "Welcome to the Machine" as his favorite music. And said how he had been working
to prevent our all being eaten all alive by that great machine. The original musician said: "You don't get it, man. You have BECOME the machine." Exxon has become
a big international government, making rules over its minions, at least as serious
as the one in Washington. Totally getting rid of checks and balances makes
things worse, and REDUCES human freedom. As an undergraduate and an active Young Republican, I was a bit disgusted when I saw Galbraith's book... arguing that
the best hope for freedom now is a kind of three-way balance of power, with
democratic government, industry and labor all providing some balance.
But now, in retrospect... I wish
I had advised Specter to go ahead and vote for card check in 2009, when I was close
to his legislative assistant covering that area... but we all live and learn.
Reagan really wanted to attack corporate welfare and corruption... and it is
incredibly sad how diametrically opposite so many of the people in the party have gone
in just the past few years....
In 2009, I saw the characteristic failings of the left every day...
but Obama seems to have learned a lot on the job, while analysis
of the Ryan plan... well, it doesn't really work. We can't afford a new
great depression right now. What worries me are not the similarities to
the Irish side of the family, but to some parts of the German side.
Best of luck,