Archive for August, 2007

Do Not Force Public School Students to Wear Uniforms

Monday, August 27th, 2007

Some public school boards argue that social conflict may be avoided through the imposition of conformity of dress among the students. This idea is an indirect assault upon one of the fundamental principles of freedom, which is that restrictions must only arise from compelling facts. There are no compelling facts that would dictate that students must dress in uniforms. It is not permissible that restrictions on Constitutional rights may be imposed in order that someones ideas about social control may be tested.

There is, within the animal that we all inhabit, a strong innate human social tendency toward fascism. I call that tendency “the fascist gene complex”. Whatever it is called, it expresses itself in a variety of active and passive roles, the common goal of which is to form strong groups which gain advantage over, steal from, rape, kill or eat the weak.

This inborn potential represents a constant threat to such higher-ordered human social inventions as political democracy. It is especially strong among those human primates which fail of a personality trait known as intellectual reflection. (I say this would without doubt include vampires of any breed, Republican or not, as vampires are said to be invisible in mirrors. I’m not sure whether it depends upon whose mirror it is.)

There is a substantial movement against the imposition of such personal conformity in the public schools as is represented by compulsory uniforms for the students.

The anti-uniform sentiment seems to grow from a profound and natural understanding of the meaning of freedom, and also – perhaps yet more profoundly – a sense of the meaning of the loss of freedom.

Such grassroots movements to preserve freedom are the very life of democracy itself.

privilege

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

In a discussion about feminism, the word privilege came up. White males were asserted to possess the attribute described by that word. The participle being privileged. White males are privileged.

I have several close friends who are white males. Ok, I admit it, I am one myself. As such I’m especially sensitive to issues surrounding that particular classification of people.

The question I asked myself was why that word, privilege, made me feel so bad when I heard it.

The answer was that what I had, I felt that I had by right. Not that I deserved it, especially, in any theological sense, but that it was at least by right that I have it. This stuff being my home and stuff, and general condition of existence. It doesn’t seem wrong.

It is pointed out that I have so many more opportunities than do non white males. I pointed out that because I seek none of those opportunities, neither in career, nor in possessions, that I have personally not felt privileged.

Subsequently it was proposed that I am privileged to be in such a life condition that I have not those materialistic desires.

I became curious why the word privilege was so important a word within this particular conversation.

I recognized that there was a connotation to the idea of privilege, that privilege itself obligates the one privileged.

This illuminated for me an actor behind the argument. Not the messenger, to whom I was speaking directly. Rather, the message. A movement had spoken. Its intention is to obligate white males.

I feel it personally, but did not “take it personally” from the messenger.

I commented that the space of human culture is vast and rich. When there is a special focus on any one thing, all other things – also rich in meaning – must necessarily be given less than their due.

This is a reason to avoid having a narrow focus too much of the time.

denomination of oil transactions, etc.

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

The US is heavily in debt, much held by Saudi Arabia, Japan and China.

Iran is on the defensive, understandably. At the same time it is the second largest OPEC producer. Iran is asking Japan to please pay for oil in something other than dollars.

Bush is poking the tiger. What is his plan? If it succeeds, who wins? Who loses if it doesn’t?

Could a general movement away from the dollar in international oil sales affect the US internal economy?

Add the bursting real estate bubble.

Add dismal US creditability and the degree of international hatred toward us.

Karzai meets with Ahmadinejad, despite strong US pressure not to.

“After departing from Kabul, Mr Ahmadinejad was due to fly to Turkmenistan before going on to Kyrgyzstan to attend a summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a body created by Russia and China to address regional security threats, foster economic integration and counter US influence in central Asia.”

Is the US demos prepared for the effects of imperial retreat? Huh? Where am we?