Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Free Will, Conservatarianism, War, … Miscellaneous

Free Will, Universal Health Care, Public Schools, Ecological Economics, Pro-Choice. Desperately poor (poorly educated, poor in spirit, … ) in the U.S.—a country not concerned with sustainable livelihoods and communities, particularly under the “leadership” of george w. bush—don’t enter the military voluntarily and of their own free will! … And when they are sworn in, they’re at the “mercy” of a president who plays power games with their lives (and who did not take his own military service seriously).

Thirty-six percent of active duty military didn’t vote in the 2004 election http://electioncenter.military.com/register-to-vote.html . … That percentage will be up this year. Moreover, a majority of the numerous African-American soldiers will vote for Barack Obama. (And we certainly should vote in solidarity with them!)

The scientific research record shows that market solutions (alone) do not lead us to quality universal preventative-health care in the U.S., or in other parts of the world.

Education was mostly private and disorganized until the mid-1800s in the U.S. During this period development of public education began to take us on the road to more completely address the needs of the poor, minorities, women, the disabled, the disenfranchised.

Capitalism has been particularly extractive, and destructive of our natural resource base through unethical use of energy. We need rapid (though fluid) change to some kind of ecological economic system which moves us toward sustainable livelihoods and communities.

One of our major human failings (after we “left Eden” or being hunter-gatherers) has been our insatiable appetite for energy. As the rest of the world gets our “American-dream”/affluenzic 200,000+ kilocalories per capita/day appetite, we inevitably destroy more of the Land, Nature, Creation. To avoid this destruction, we must emphasize sufficiency over efficiency, recognize we “have enough”, and heed a loud and persistent plea from Positively Ethical Applied Community Ecologists (short- and long-term PEACE-makers) for policy and actions toward conservation.

No one should be allowed to have the power that making over $1,000,000* per year wields--particularly in a world with millions of folk making less than $1,000 per year ... and in a world where many species are going extinct because of the consumptive power of humans.

Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. have been involved in our rampant exploitation and destruction of the natural resource base, and continued ignorance in the area of ecological economics. On the other hand, the platform of the Green Party has creatively proposed policies and actions which could help turn this around!

The world is full of grays, fuzziness, squishiness and nuances when it comes to difficult ethical and holistic decision-making. Nevertheless, short and long-term critical thinking toward quality life and a sustainable world does lead many of us to:

-recognize a need for birth control strategies and tactics,

-support women’s reproductive rights and right to choose, and

-condemn the barbarism, savagery and cruelty of torture, capital punishment, and War.

Governmental entities across the world should be the best collective structures for determining who are in need, and for collecting resources and distributing them to the needy. Moreover, WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT, or should be.

Conservatarianism. I only recently noticed the term “conservatarian”. It was used in a “proud to be a conservatarian” manner by someone who works at a Papa John’s Pizza and goes to school at a state/federal supported college.

It seems ironic that this self-professed conservative (adherer to traditional values/practitioner of moderation) and libertarian (advocate of individual liberty & no government regulation) works for a fast-food service business very dependent on our government’s cheap energy and food policy. … Moreover, he cheers the actions of our powerful government and military which took away the rights of thousands and thousands of Iraqis (They were killed or became refugees as a result of our preemptive takeover of a sovereign state.)??

Sadly, “conservatarians” also support our policy to allow only a severely limited entry of these Iraqi refugees into the U.S.. The selfish side of “libertarians” will not respect the “free will” of worn-torn Iraqis’ (Shi’as, Sunnis, Christians, Mandaeans, Jews, Shabaks, Zorastrians) which leads these Iraqis to desire entry into this country in the Americas—a nation whose luck, extractive economy and imperialistic policy has resulted in tremendous power over the lion’s share of the world’s natural resources and available energy.
[Personally, I’m not fond of barred windows, fenced-in yards, gated communities, or border walls!]

It seems to me that a true conservatarian would be a blend of Aldo Leopold and St. Francis of Assisi!?!!

War. War started with the advent of agriculture (“The worst mistake of the human race” Jared Diamond http://michaelgreenwell.wordpress.com/2007/10/22/the-worst-mistake-in-the-history-of-the-human-race ). Of course it’s much, much easier for War to ignite in today’s world--with our voracious appetite and addiction to stuff, and with human population levels well over the earth’s carrying capacity.

Nevertheless, there is no good excuse for going to War.

If anything is truly evil, War is evil. [This includes our current (Iraqi) War against “evil!”]

For the soldiers and their families, and businessmen, and politicians to which the Iraq War and other Wars gave meaning and/or profits, perhaps War and it’s inherent evil was “right”? For many of the thousands of innocents and their family and friends who died or are refugees as a result of the forceful military actions of our powerful nation, War is definitely wrong!!

In Iraq as well as in other Wars, we took the fruits of the labor of many thousands of individuals over thousands of years, and either destroyed them, or “gave” them to others.

War is contagious; War begets War. “Makers of War” teach their younger relatives and friends to “love” armaments and make War.

Past Presidents’ Contribution to My Dad’s Quality of Life. Even though policy might be developed in the wee hours of the night in the offices of a central government, ... as Tip O’Neill was quoted, “All politics is local!”** And family is the “’mostest’ local!”

My Dad (Alton Martin)--who had been a Marine in the Pacific in WW II--was born during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson and passed away during the current presidency. A general, quick and non-scientific analysis of which U.S. Presidents were more instrumental in providing him and his family(prior to leaving his household) quality life indicate they were--Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Jimmy Carter.

Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal WPA and Agricultural Programs (some of which has lasted in Farm Bills up to this current time) provided a basic income and stable flow of cheap grain and other feedstuffs for this small hard-working hog farmer. One of Eisenhower’s interstate highways passed over Alton and Louise’s small hog farm and they were more than adequately reimbursed. Alton’s frugal lifestyle resulted in his sacking away CDs and other interest earners, which significantly increased in value during and after the Carter years. (Toward the end of Alton’s life—during George W. Bush years—I remember him complaining about two issues, … low interest rates, and our always being at War.)

Palin’s Qualifications. One of my right-wing “aquaintances” screams out about “how good Sarah Palin would be as a VP or President, because he has a sister who was mayor of a small town.” Personally, I fail to recognize any critical thinking behind this conclusion!

Of course I see little demonstration of (holistic ecological literacy and) critical thinking on the part of any right-wingers.

*Yes, we can debate where to draw the line. And it will always be a gray line.

**Elected officials react to the concerns and issues of their local constituencies in towns and neighborhood communities—and vice versa.

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