Saturday, April 14, 2012

Semantic Influences

It crossed my mind that people tend to think in terms of royalty and, subtly, caste. I'm always bothered that people consider the president of a nation to be its king because that ignores the purpose and structure of a republic.

The guy is there to serve as administrative agent to carry out the laws. Or something like that.

If I start a company, chances are I will install myself as president. I realize that it has become common now to list CEO as the top gun. But it has traditionally been president, and small companies still have either president, or president and CEO. It makes the sole proprietor feel good to claim the title CEO.

The thing is, in that company I started, I am king. It runs on my rules and I can, to a point, hire and fire as I like. People see the president of a company as one who can choose how it allocates resources, decide work rules, etc. Or fire you for somehow offending his or her majesty. That is pretty much to be expected.

In the realm of government, however, this view of the title, "president", is not how it is supposed to be. In this case, the president serves at the pleasure of the citizens, not vice versa. It could be that the language and other cultural traditions have caused us to retain that feudal outlook, much to the detriment of the cause of liberty.

Fairy tales, charming and informative as they are, often focus on the privileges and entitlement of royalty. A position one cannot earn, but must either be born to, or achieve by conquering an opposing army. Even then one must be the one in which all power resides, as far as the army which won.

So, we treat our career politicians as royalty, and the president as king. Special planes, a mansion with countless chefs and servants of all kinds. Special pensions, insurance, you name it. Even exemption from many of the laws they create which the rest of us must obey.

I don't expect to change any of that, but it can't hurt to point it out. I do think that it may have a lot to do with traditions which date back to times when lords and kings had absolute power. And in a country in which it used to be an admirable accomplishment to start and run your own company, the confusion between the two types of president can cause some issues.

Some try to dampen the monarch worship by saying, "I don't respect the person but I respect the office". Fair enough. Do you respect that office more than your on office in life? Or do you simply fear it? Maybe you think anything with an official seal must be revered or you will be guilty of lack of patriotism.

I'm not sure where I stand on these things.

For example, The Pledge of Allegiance. It was written in 1892 by Baptist minister, Francis Bellamy, who was also a socialist. He had a utopian vision of an America with financial and all else equality for all. Lots of people have had that view, and still do. It doesn't tend to work in practice because people don't like to find themselves carrying the load while others slack off. The system requires constant vigilance and enforcement by some authority. Good luck trusting that outfit.

Anyway, this was written by a socialist for a Columbus Day event which included impressionable children corralled into making a pledge of allegiance, which seems rather devoid of conditions. Not until 1954 were the words, "Under God" placed in this oath. That was due to pressure from the Knights of Columbus.

People have come to view this thing as a patriotic oath which all should affirm over and over. I'm a little skeptical about the wisdom of such pledges. I would, and have, taken an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. I believe that is part of the military thing, as well as what elected officials vow to do, but don't. That is because I whole heartedly believe in the number one document which was designed to limit the power of authority in this country. It provides the state with certain permissions. What the individual can't do is supposed to be spelled out. What the individual can do is everything not forbidden.

Someone will say I am wrong on this. I do not think I am. The point is that their is a difference in these oaths. I'm suspicious of any oath of allegiance to a state, especially one required of children who haven't a clue what it means or why they are reciting it. A pledge written by a well meaning fascist of sorts. One who dreamed of a socialist society powered by a military industrial complex. Hmm. I guess dreams do come true. I wonder if he guessed how much of the population would have to be doomed to abject ignorance, and how many bought cheaply, in order to continually garner the votes and support it took to get this far.

Anyway, the good Baptist did have some noble sentiments, but we part ways somewhere along the path. I would not expect him to honor an oath I'd concoct either; "I pledge to kick your ass if you mind my business when I am not harming you, and to which it stands, with a go away doormat and a hemet for all".

That would be fun to introduce into the schools. I wonder if anyone would know it makes not so much sense.

It is interesting how that little allegiance thing became the cause of those who swear they are opposed to socialism of the nazi tradition, or communism, yet, without the bigotry aspect of the national socialist party, Bellamy was basically in line with their system.

The church kicked him out for his socialist sermons, and he quit attending because they were bigots. A case in which I agree with both the negatives. Not keen on the system of socialism, nor am I fond of bigots. Why does the name Al Sharpton jump to mind when I hear that word these days? I used to think of David Duke when the word came up. How times change.

Did You Ever Think...

You'd look at the Clinton era nostalgically?

Sometimes I bet you even catch yourself pining for the days of Bush when it was OK to call the president names without being labelled a racist or placed on Homeland Security's terrorist profile list, and when gas prices were outrageous but only half what they are now.

Presidents are not kings so they shouldn't be the ones to have such influence. I pine for the days when that was true, as well.

Remember when you could intelligently avoid issues based on common sense and such? Like, who is going to shoot you most likely? A. A clean cut guy in a suit B. a gangsta looking guy with a hood over his head, pants below his ass, a sneering expression, and one finger hand gesture. C. A young woman in a bikini

If you chose A, you are a moron. If you chose B, you are a racist pig. If you chose C, you are probably correct.

Every once in awhile I check out various reports of new executive orders and legislation. Republicans and democrats have both advanced the tyranny of of the executive branch, in particular, but not exclusively, to such a degree that people don't want to even think about it because they feel helpless, they are cowards, it turns the stomach, and they don't want to rock the boat.
We are one well milked disaster away from a police state which has control of everything and everyone.

OK. I will state an opinion, but I will not sign a petition that includes my address or other contact information. I used to, but no more. Hell, the head of Homeland Security has suggested that being a Ron Paul supporter indicates that you are a domestic terrorist. Almost any obvious dissent labels one as a threat to national security under this administration. Real treason is OK, though.

I do not contribute to the monster in other ways that most people do. But I no longer write letters and sign petitions. In this age it only puts you in the database, and you may not have been there previously. So now who knows which qualifiers may be tagged to you.

The adage that if you have nothing to hide you have no worries from government and police was never actually true. It is certainly not true now.

This is where the tyranny actually comes from the 99%, even if unintended. Most land grabs, and other over the top actions b authority only affect a small minority at any given time. As long as it doesn't infringe on the lives of most people, they don't care. They don't even care if a thing is wrong. And if they think they will be cut in on a piece of the action, they'll vote for the criminal activity. That is why you have a republic, not a democracy. A constitutional republic. That means it has big limits, and is there to protect the rights of the individual, not facilitate mob rule which changes on whim and is nearly always cruel and unjust to the minority of the moment.

I don't see an answer. And I do not feel safe petitioning and writing letters. When I have the money and am sure of my tax status then maybe I will. Right now I'm not in shape to fight with any bogus harassment which is considered normal by most. I could not deal with an irs agent without exploding because they are no better than nazis and an other totalitarian agents. How could we, as a nation, have ever allowed this kind of thing to develop?

New Look

Well, gmail's new look turned out to be change I cannot believe in. I'm not one who resists technological change. I like things that are better, and improved. Things that suck, I do not like, nor do I consider a change from good to sucky an improvement. Not change I can believe in.

I see no way to change back to the old look on gmail. I think time ran out so they foisted the new dumbass look on me regardless of my input. Hey, they design it and make it available, so that is their right. I just give it at least one thumb down. Maybe two thumbs down.

Blogger is dying for me to try their new look. I guess it will attack in similar fashion. Seems I may have looked at that ahead of time, too, and not been impressed. Progress does not necessarily require meaningless change, and progress is not desirable unless it is positive and constructive. You'd think it would just be a positive value in itself but that is the trap.

What passes for progress is often merely stupid and oppressive change. But not a change for the better, like gmail. Just a stupid change.

This goes for much of life.

PS: I discovered I can "revert to the old look, temporarily" on google.

About Me

My photo
Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


Blog Archive