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06 November 2017


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richard sale

Well said.



I am with you Laura. Without further ado, although strictly it might be worth reflecting.

richard sale

I think that's true. Well said.



Richard, it reminded me of this:

Conscience, I was told as a small boy, is “the still, small voice.” In our age, that seems quaint.

Ich bin klein, mein Herz ist rein, soll niemand drin wohnen als Jesus allein.

Catholic player for children. Via Google translate:

I am small, my heart is pure, no one shall live in it but Jesus alone.

We've met in this larger theoretical context before, if you bothered about reader response in 'The Athenaeum".

how easy is it to transform this idea to a rather complex world beyond childhood? Even if we leave the ancient or classic center of consciousness out? Arbitrarily moving into a world of the stronger versus the weaker, a world with more and more loopholes for some and not so many for the rest?

Does Clinton serve as the best image of the enemy in this context? Really?



@ Peter AU

You have the same problem with your democracy that we do - too much money and no accountability, no consequences for their greedy behavior. They are, one and all, bought off by my country where we have a friendly banking house simply print the money from thin air to do so...

richard sale

I do not always vote. My wife does, but I always remember the little old lady in New England who, when asked if she voted replied, "I never vote. It only encourages them."


Bill H

As in Obama and McCain going to Los Angeles to be interrogated in the Temple by Reverend Rick. I was utterly appalled that either one of them would submit to such a humiliating "religious test" of their fitness for the highest office in the land, including the ritualistic sequestration during the other's period of interrogation.

And then Obama invited Reverend Rick to participate in his inauguration. Gack. If his vote to immunize the telecoms did not tell us who he was, that certainly should have.

Ishmael Zechariah

Richard Sale,
Thank you for this essay. Your description fo La Clinton and her coterie seem appropriate for the orcs of Mordor just as well: "... no friends, only accomplices. Those things are repulsive. They make you gag."
Will the decent ever win this fight?
Ishmael Zechariah


"Will the decent ever win this fight?"

Yes, the process is unfolding before our eyes. In explains the ill-disciplined thrashing about by the, as Lavrov undiplomatically called them, effin morons. Almost like a beast in its death throes.


A good read on human groups and the shutdown of higher brain functions in groups - http://ianchadwick.com/blog/when-good-people-do-bad-things-in-groups/

Seamus Padraig

Human beings are mammals, and mammals are herd-creatures, so there you have it. Human beings need something to belong to and something to believe in, and they may be willing on occasion to sacrifice everything else for that.



There's an old tradition of "honest graft" in American politics. Essentially, it means a lack of principles on the part of a politician that serves the interests of the people is no vice and the invocation of the principles so that the politician can serve him/herself is the ultimate vice. Plenty of American politicians have been dirty, dishonest, backstabbing, and otherwise terrible people. Yet, for the most part, they have been honestly dishonest, so to speak--they have generally been faithful and effective representatives of their people. Their "dishonesty" generally did not get in the way of serving people, and, often, they were dishonest in honest service of their peoples.

The thing that characterizes Hillary Clinton at her core is that she's always principled when she wants to avoid serving the people whom she is allegedly representing and she always bends principles when it comes to serving herself. The ultimate caricature of "dishonest graft," if you will. It's not just dishonesty that makes Hillary repulsive. Everything she does, she is doing it only for herself. Even this would not be too much of a problem if her goals coincided with that of the people at large..except they don't.


Know this
Your voice runs deep
even for those in darkness
Thanks you



Kao, I dislike Hillary. Deeply in fact. I had my more arbitrarily questions/suspicions about the Global Initiative, randomly. ...I consider her an opportunist. Many issues, single issue: Iraq war vote. Strictly that would have been the single most important issue for me as US voter. But concerning this vote, what exact percentage of US politicians would I have to consider dishonest along these lines?


Essentially, it means a lack of principles on the part of a politician that serves the interests of the people is no vice and the invocation of the principles so that the politician can serve him/herself is the ultimate vice

Good standard rule. On the surface. But how do you judge that? By the outcome? Reagan and the Fall of the USSR? How many members of congress and senate voted pro Iraq war, how many US citizen supported it. Were the ones that supported it 'dishonest while serving their people'?

Their "dishonesty" generally did not get in the way of serving people, and, often, they were dishonest in honest service of their peoples.

Serving their people? How would we judge that? Based on what theories?



Great points, about how to judge honest dishonesty vs. dishonest honesty in practice. I don't know. In the past, the proof was in the visible results: whether it's big, like the New Deal, or small but tangible, like local bridge or road paving. Now, no one really does that sort of thing. Instead, everything is, at least from the perspective of the citizenry, abstract and distant. I think this is the fundamental problem--we can believe or disbelieve anything these days, because we can't really measure anything in a manner that make sense to us, and most of us (defined very broadly) suspect that a lot of what we see is just dirty tricks and half truths put up to disguise some hidden agenda that operates at our expense...and we are probably right to suspect that. (People talk of metrics, of data, of statistics...but all too often, they are just abstract numbers, detached from the voters. Not saying that they are useless, but someone should really find ways to make whatever's underlying them actually talk to the real people--not repeat them as end-all-be-all the way "wonks" are wont to do.) Not suggesting that I have an answer to this challenge or anything.

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