Friday, March 10, 2006

6 Month Anniversary

Old Business: Medical Front

We are looking at the possibility that Lesley may need a pacemaker in order to get her heart rate where it should be. This is another nice piece of medical technology brought to us by those "atheist materialist scientists" who spend their time looking for the real and verifiable causes of things.

The doctors are only hinting at the pacemaker option, but I do not hear any other suggestions right now other than a natural recovery, which is looking unlikely with each passing day.

New Business: 6 Month Anniversary

However, today I would like to celebrate a half year of blogging. I started this adventure on September 10th, shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. The moral issues surrounding that story told me that I had a lot to write about. My first posts concerned the issue of assigning blame, and the Bush Administration’s condemnation of “The Blame Game”, which we may reasonably assume came from the fact that it was to blame. Further postings discussed issues from price gouging to “A National Day (or more) of Science” that covered the fact that science held far more promise in helping the people of New Orleans than Prayer

At the time, I did not really know if I had the stamina and the interest to keep up a blog. Even if I did, I wondered about the ability to come up with things to write about. I suspect that a vast majority of blogs ultimately end up dying from the neglect of their owners. Yet, so far, things seem to be working out. I have missed only three days out of 183 – and one was due to my wife’s catastrophic illness.

Since I now think that I will be able to keep this up, I am starting to ask what I can do to improve the quality of this blog – to make it more useful to those who stop by.

If you (the reader) have any advice that you would like to offer, I would love to hear it.

I have received a request to add something that will track new comments, even on old blog entries. Also, I have received a request for categories. If anybody has suggestions on how I can set something like this up, I would be more than happy to listen.

Action

I am also spending more of my time wondering what could be done to turn the topics of these blog entries into action. What good does it do to write a half-dozen blog entries about the threat that the Bush Administration poses to the 4th Amendment to the Constitution (and the other members of the Bill of Rights)? He still does what he wants. Congress still rolls over and plays dead.

Once upon a time, we could count on the Judiciary to declare such a law unconstitutional. However, today, we have a judiciary filled with judges who have been hand picked specifically because of their expressed willingness to turn their back on the Bill of Rights.

We have now come closer to having an autocratic government than we have come in 230 years. Is there something that can be done other than write blog entries explaining why it is wrong?

I have long held the view that we do not need to worry much about these things. The system, I felt, was ‘self-correcting’ and excesses like those of the Bush Administration would simply not be tolerated by a freedom-loving people. Yet, they are being tolerated. More than that, a huge section of the population thinks we should have an Executive Branch with unlimited political power.

So, how do we defend our rights when so many people want to give them away?

We need to do more than give wordy arguments that show why these actions are wrong. We also need to actually start putting the tools of praise, condemnation, reward, and punishment to work promoting those who would defend these rights, while inhibiting the creation of sentiments like those found in the Bush Administration that would destroy these rights.

We need people who are willing to say loudly, “Not only will I not support anybody who does not defend the 4th Amendment; I hold nothing but contempt for those who speak favorably of those who would destroy those freedoms.”

Because of these concerns, I hope to devote a little more of my attention in the future to doing more than present moral arguments. I hope to direct more energy into actually targeting real praise, condemnation, reward, and punishment where they will do the most good.

Parties

One thing that I would like to encourage readers to do is to get involved in whatever political party dominates their part of the country. It does not matter whether that party is Democrat or Republican. Both parties have the ability to be nudged, however far one can nudge it, towards a more moral platform.

I have no particular love or hate for either of them. I view each as being as dangerous as the other – though for separate reasons. I suspect that I would be just as comfortable (or uncomfortable) in either party. On the Republican side, I would have their anti-science views and violation of church and state, while loving the idea of limited government. On the Democratic side I would view their economic policies to be as destructive as the Republican anti-science policies and their “no war” foreign policy as na├»ve as that of a father who refuses to protect his children from those who would do them harm.

Therefore, I see no reason to encourage anybody to join either party. Instead, I would recommend joining whatever party was in power and try to guide it more towards what is right.

The reason that the candidates of the Religious Right win school board elections is because nobody gets involved on those elections. Because of this, a small block of people to take control of the institution of education and brainwash the next generation into following their lead. The result has been the establishment of the anti-science, anti-reason, anti-intelligence platform of the Creationists as the standard for education across the country. One thing we sorely need are people seeking to be members of their local Board of Education who value science, reason, and intelligence.

Of course, there are ways to become involved in making change that does not involve joining a political party. One could join a special interest group. Though, even within such a group, there is reason to look closely at what the group stands for. There may be a need to nudge that group into accepting a more morally solid position on some issues.

So, I am interested in hearing from readers about any actions that they might be taking. If you think that there is something going on worthy of attention, click on my profile to the right and send me an email. I’ll look it over and see if it is worth recommending.

I do think it is time to do a bit more than simply write essays.

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