Saturday, April 23, 2011

The explanation of the reasons

Privileged to be

Freedom is not just a tacky view and some heart warming posters with inspirational words in big bold print at the bottom. Nor is it the ability to stand and be counted when the time comes. Nor is it the way we pray in our churches, nor is it the “inalienable rights” that come prescribed in old and aging papers. Freedom comes with a price tag, it comes at the price of something, it comes at the pain and pang of socially labeling who is and isn't “Free” or a “Patriot”. This price is the cost that the Privileged chose to enact on others.
Privileged is no one and yet almost every one at the same time. This weird quasi sociopolitical person seeks the command of total understanding of what “is” freedom and to whom it should be dealt out. This Privileged seeks total correlation of the masses to their cause, and call the ones who do not join to be ostracized as outcasts or un-American (As if one could be undone, that by the inception of words invoked by the mouth of the louder could make one un-lived, or un-American? Their voice, somehow different, somehow more than that of another, somehow more free?).
By any name they chose to take, the Privileged aim at the words that we call “Free” or actions that we would call “Free”; they would call these same things as “Sedition” or “Traitorous.” They command this conversation by the collective apathy that erodes the minds and souls that have either elected them to power by their ear, ballot or by wallet to their high seats full with the lights glare of the moment. From these high pedestals do they shout and condemn those that dare to raise voice or action against what they, the Privileged, choose to call “Truth and Freedom.”
In collective disbelief do we stand with mouths open and we wonder what has happened. And we do not move, we do not speak, nor do we stand and be counted. Either by fear, or by the fact that Revolution is only a trend that fits with fall fashion.
Privileged or not, we as a society call freedom by trendy names, and apply it liberally to only those that give us favor and in the same breath of action do we also deny it to those that don't give us favor and call it Justice.
This dichotomy is normal, it is only normal for it fits with what we want of our freedom. For remember that freedom is only a convenient idea when it doesn't conflict with the ideas of the Privileged. I call them Privileged for we all fit this category at some time in our society. I have met people that adored President Bush and want a return to his policies, they say the President was elected by the people and they should respect him, and in the same breath they say “Obama isn't my President. I didn't vote for him.” This idea of protest is interesting, for it gives to the argument that the concept of rule is only defined by one person. This philosophy continues with the trend that only my idea is correct to the exception of all others. There is no room for “other” with what I like to call the “Ultra Philosophy” to politics.
These “Ultra” people tend to ignore fact when presented to them, they only choose to listen to and follow information that fits with what they want to believe. This exclusionary thought is further reduced to, “elections are stolen from us,” when faced with the fact that their ideas are forgotten by the general public, the “Ultra” doesn't loose elections, the elections are stamped out by the “Man” or the “Media” or whatever they choose to say is the enemy. The thought that their ideas are useless, outdated or just wrong, will not come to their political mind, for their ideas are correct at the exclusion of all others.
The ideal of freedom is the primary casualty of the “Ultra” or the “Privileged” idea systems. For the idea of Freedom is collectively defined by a group(s) of people interacting with each other on the world social stage.
Freedom is defined, or should I say, applied as matter of social acceptance. For the ideas of the Ultra it means that those who do not stand with them, those that do not fight with them are viewed as enemies. This weakness of spiritual and humanitarian soul, gives the harden heart of the Ultra the happy smile when they mark their neighbors for the executioner's hands. They will do this with not only a smile but with pride and nationalism filling their thoughts.
Do not count me as an Ultra, or for that matter one of the Privileged. They speak and act in cloaking terms, using the convenience of dichotomy to hide their weaknesses. Their method is this: They will say they speak truth. When one honestly looks at their own words and actions, they speak in total perception of what is, not to a corrected or actualized reality. This perception is not to be confused with idealism or idealistic sentiment, no this perceptional based truth they speak of is solely founded on the confiscation of reality as a whole. The ideas expressed this way give them a ground at which they can attack and not be attack on. They will ask or state rounded questions to the effect that any answer can and will be corrected to the wrong or incorrect. This ground at which they preach is protected from any attack of logic or reality, for they could “spin” or use the excuse of “spin” to deflect any accusations that attempt to poke holes in their professed “truth.” On this platform they place their high seats and yell at the masses trying to invoke fear of what they say is not the correct path.
Next they themselves will call upon their idea of divinity or lack thereof, to guide their work and claim that this work is the inspired placement of them to shed the light of knowledge upon the world. This idea of logic as being a part of providence gives them a credibility that does not really exist but will likely not be challenged. It won't be challenged for they have placed the idea of God before them and use the idea of divinity to protect them.
The story; this tactic is to use an outrageously sad, hideous or explicit story about how some law is either being used or ignored to the detriment of a fellow citizen. These stories usually involve the death of a child, or the loss of income for a parent allowing the death or destruction of said children and denying them a future. These stories that they pick are well chosen, for they are true, but as to question how often that these events happen, or to question whether the intent of actual people was truly understood as to why and how the story is true and the fallout of such stories is usually left out. They either will not answer the questions, (see argument above), or they will spin your question (again see above) as to a question of validity not as a question of reality.
The Magic Phrase; this is one of my favorites that they employ. This is the toy phrase that they will use to either change the subject or use to place their plate back under their feet, (again see above). The use of the phrase is reserved, it gives the person chanting it or saying it a way to place the burden of proof onto the shoulders of another, usually the person they are having debate with or trying to convince. Such magic phrases that are really good fall into the conservative camp. “Un-American”, “Talents on loan from God” I like this one for it uses the above three tactics in one short statement, “Watermelon” coming from the idea that some people are green on the outside, and red on the inside, “Founding Fathers,” this one is also good for it invokes the above three arguments again in one simple statement. The use of these magic phrases allows the invoker to charge and challenge their opponent, with out really having to defend themselves. The use of the “Un-American” phrase gives the invoker the charge to their opponent to defend every part of their being as to being an American and how their ideas are in the best interests of American, the individual who invokes this magic phrase just has to sit back and watch their opponent implode on their own words. This is a great tactic for debate but it comes to no real solution to the ideas being debated. It is a political tactic used to embarrass opponents into erring.
The well placed stutter; this is a technique used by only the best patrons of spin. This gives the impression of thought. This technique is used to allow the other person in the debate no chance to retort against the accusation being placed before them. The stutter is used as a way to continue the thought being presented and change the tone and or text of the conversation at hand, (again see above), When used with other tactics, the well placed stutter will help one direct a debate away from any real points and back to the real issues, the issues involving the idea of truth as only one of the people having the discourse sees it.
The Pandora’s Box; This is the idea that if a step is taken in one directions or an idea is allowed to persist it will be the end of the civilized world.
Philosophers Stone; This idea is the belief that once their ideas are in place and enacted that all problems will cease and to continue to argue or debate them is not only futile but criminal for you would be blocking access to the answer for the problems, so by default you would be part of the problem.
Most of the arguments that a person from the Ultra or Privileged lines of political thought will use contain some form or function of these techniques. It is on their platforms that they direct the general conversation about freedom and how it should be applied. They shout and scream to us, they will sell and barter for our own minds to be dissolved into their mired pot of caprices and solutions.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Prohibition, Temperance, Bootlegging, Moonshine Dodging Taxes...A National Past Time

Prohibition, Temperance, Bootlegging, Moonshine
Dodging Taxes...A National Past Time

The arguments presented by the temperance movement seem perfectly reasonable at first glance. Most of them make vague social statements on how “King Alcohol” is destroying some aspect of their civilization. Though the parallels between now and then are extreme when it comes to the idea of drug use in the social strata. It is very tempting to be a sympathizer to the idea of Temperance, it is also just as easy to say that the idea of alcohol being banned is laughable. We easily forget that society, that our society, isn't just a snap shot of today that we conveniently supplicant into the stories of the past. We forget that our society has change and is changing. The winds of social pressures along with technological advances not to mention the changes in the political vanguard. Our rules change, our social structure changes and warps to new and different ideas and concepts.
The direct call for the prohibition of alcohol looks and sounds great. The end of drunkenness, the socially strange position that saloons take on would disappear. The spirits that so cloud and distort the mind of men and women alike would dry up and become a permanent part of the “Angels Share”. (The Angels Share, is the part of the alcohol that is soaked up by barrels when a distiller is aging brandy or rum, it runs about three percent of the volume.) The violence that comes from the hands of drunken man against his wife and family would end, the distracted actions of an alcoholic would fade from the fringes of society, the beggars hand would be cleaned with the tarnish of work. Boy, doesn't that sound great...?
Their arguments against “King Alcohol” and their depictions of the barkeep as a dastardly man trying to swindle the innocence of man from him at the end of a glass worked, and worked very well.
Everything was going great, the Temperance idea caught hold and Congress pressed by the power of social winds changed the Constitution. Wow. Could you imagine Congress being so persuaded by a single group of people...
Sadly, Temperance like its name was just a social fad, it would fade into the shadows just like the people who drank and produced alcohol. I believe that that Prohibitionist where correct in some of their social views and the points they bring up are valid. They wanted their streets and cities back from the dirt and filth that ran down the gutters. But they missed, they missed the main point of trouble shooting a problem. They found a symptom and focused on it, they missed the cause. The cause of their issues had somethings to do with the idea of alcohol, but they missed the point. It wasn't the consumption nor the production of it that was causing what they saw as society to fail. It was their society reaction to their new economy and migrations of people for it. (See the population distributions for that part of the century). It was the changing market place. If I was to place blame if I currently held the idea of Temperance it would be simply stated as a collective failure of the society to correctly adjust to market conditions and/or the individual seeking indulgence in the prospects of a socially economically locked society.
Tax Dodging...A National Past Time...
One aspect that the Temperance movement missed was the fact that back yard distillers/brewers where here at the beginning. These brewers where not just here to make a good time of it all, water at that time, and for centuries surrounding this time was lets just say, NOT SAFE TO DRINK. Safe water systems, and centralized control and standards for water are a new idea, like late 1910s and the first law concerning pollution and water wasn't passed till 1977. Brewers allowed for safe consumption of liquids. Even though it could be fun to indulge on.
The brewers of the early Americas did their trade to make extra money on the side by selling a service to his fellows. The Crown and the local government saw this trade as a legitimate source of revenue and thus sought to tax it. Faster then the tax man could move all the brewers equipment disappeared into the woods and was hidden from sight. Still the spirits and beer flowed, and flowed without duties paid. Along with the Revolutionary War, Rum was put of production due to the British embargo and blockade of molasses, so the Americans went after a new drink. Whiskey.
Alcohol is a part of this country's make up, we have been distilling in the back woods against the wishes of the taxman and government laws since the first Anglo European began to call this country home. This social aspect of alcohol was apparently lost to the minds of the Temperance movement. Like a hundred years earlier, the distillers just moved to the back woods and the spirits stilled flowed.

How this could be a Lesson....OMG!!!
The knee jerk reaction to a horrible social disease is to quickly call for its banishment and removal from society. That misses the point. Though it sounds great and one could almost sound like they could be from heaven preaching such things. But that doesn't answer the problem, it won't. The problem lies not with social fabric but more with an individual behavior in a market. Here, if something is horribly addictive and distorts the users mind, banning it would not stop the addiction nor the desire for it. How could it? The user would find another source. It is a pure capitalistic behavior and response to a market condition. So I say we answer the problems with social ills in much the same way they manifest, through markets and how we as individual react with the markets.