“Democracy”

de·moc·ra·cy n

“the control of an organization by its members, who have a free and equal right to participate in decision-making processes.” (Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.)

If Mr. Flores would ask me to help prevent someone (anyone) from expressing his point of view in a “democratic” meeting, I would wonder what Mr. Flores was trying to hide. If Mr. Flores then pointed out several times that the police were there to keep order — and he posted a couple of bouncers near the person who wanted to speak (you can see their bottom halves in the second photo) – I would make a big effort to find out why Mr. Flores didn’t want this person to express his opinion. Knowledgeable honorable people who are looking for solutions to real problems – such people are not afraid of ideas.

What is a Town Hall Meeting?

“A town hall meeting is an informal public meeting which gives the members of a community an opportunity to get together to discuss emerging issues and to voice concerns and preferences for their community.”

Mr. Flores meeting, of course, was not a Town Hall Meeting. When a person talks for a couple of hours without discussing, that is not a town hall meeting.

“dis·cus·sion n
Talk or a talk between two or more people about a subject.”

When we the people go to a town hall meeting, we expect a discussion. What can we do in a supposedly democracy in a fake town hall meeting when we are not permitted to have a real discussion?

According to a recent publication of the TEA party: “I understand that the local MoveOn.org and Brazos Progressives will be out in force preaching more class warfare.” It sounds to me like the TEA party leadership also does not want a discussion.

I can’t speak for the MoveOn Leadership in DC, because I walked out on about their fourth sentence, because up to then nearly every sentence contained the word “fight” two or three times. Well, yes – if you want to end up in a fight, then you should fight. However, fighting will only make our problems worse.

We have very serious problems that are out of control, and the only way to control them is to deal with their causes. Beating up on someone else (passive-aggressive or overt aggressive) never solved any real problem over the long term. Beating up on other people only makes more enemies. I think Jesus and Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. and the Buddha all agree on this point, and I believe they have accomplished more that is worth accomplishing than almost anyone else I know about. Winning doesn’t solve problems. It’s fun, but it only makes more enemies. If we really want to solve problems more than we want to have fun – well, our behavior labels us. Clearly we don’t.

And anyway, there is no way to win ourselves out of this particular problem in which we find ourselves. There is no way to solve it with fake town hall meetings that concentrate on economics in a fake democracy that does everything in it’s power to prevent us from understanding really what our problem is. So that we could actually get together and solve it. So, the meeting was all about economics, but – I’m not an economist, so here is the definition of economics.

“ec·o·nom·ics n
1. the study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services (takes a singular verb)”

So – economics studies the relationship between supply and demand. Nobody talked about that in the town hall meeting, even though the root cause of our very big problem is the relationship between supply (from this good green earth) of everything we need to stay alive — and demand (by humans).

The real problem is that we are running low on supply and our so-called economics is trying to solve that problem by selling more stuff. And borrowing money. Neither of which will solve the problem of a limited supply. Does it make sense to try to produce more when there are fewer resources? Not even to an economist, but if we only had those two choices in a condition of low supply – well, I wouldn’t do either of those solutions, I would tell the people what is the real root problem and ask them to help solve it. But as that solution seems not to be on the table, surely borrowing money can’t be nearly as toxic as trying to make more stuff when we are running a bit low on resources.

Even I know that outflows are only one side of the economics problem. And inflows do not come from people. They come from the green mother earth. If we want to try to fix our very big problem we can’t do it by focusing only on the outflows. We will have to think, talk and share ideas about the inflows, where they come from, and how we plan to get enough without destroying the green mother earth that produces them.

God made the world as he made it. God did not make supermarkets. He made the earth to be fruitful with carrots and potatoes and corn and wheat and apples. He did not make economics. He told us to be honest and kind and compassionate. He did not suggest that we use trickery and chicanery to get what we want by causing harm to others.

I say to MoveOn and the progressives and the TEA party that you are all fighting over ephemera, and if you don’t start looking for real, factual information about how God did make this world to operate – then you will all lose. And so will I.

I say to MoveOn and the Progressives and the TEA party, and especially Mr. Flores, you are all wrong when you fight over some “democracy” that is dead and gone and never was like you say it was. You should be working together to learn the real facts about how this good green earth nurtures and feeds us – learn where our real supplies really come from and how — so that you all can help to build a more bountiful life style for the future. Instead of just having a fun game of king of the hill.

If Mr. Flores were to ask me to help make sure that someone doesn’t have a chance to talk – that his ideas should not be heard, I would wonder what Mr. Flores is trying to hide. Here’s my first guess. I guess he’s afraid we folks in the audience will figure out how much he does NOT know about our world and our country and even our economy. And how much he does NOT know about what is needed to make our country honorable and fruitful once again.

So I think it would be better to ask. That guy who didn’t get to talk might have had a good idea.

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Nothing is what it seems.

and everything is what it is (Yogi Berra).

That was NOT a town hall meeting.

People get to talk to each other in town hall meetings. That was a really, really, really long lecture.

Oh well, this blog started out as a study of different kinds of power.

Texas State Board of Education

Over the past year or so, we folks in Texas have been carrying our share of the effort to provide quality textbooks for the nation. This is because Texas buys more textbooks (more of everything, right?) and so the publishers listen to what we want to have in the text books. It sometimes feels like they listen more to the State Board of Education than to the people who write the books. I mean the scientist who writes the book about science — not the editors who change what he wrote.

An upcoming article in the New York Times explains this odd situation rather well. Our State Board spent most of last year in an effort to determine whether or not we would teach religious creationism in our K-12 science classes. I recommend you read this article, no matter where is your school system, because our State Board has a big effect on what will or more likely what will not be in your textbooks. Real science? Or not?

Our responsibility to education is to elect members of the school board who are more dedicated to effective teaching than to the promotion of personal religious bias. If we want to be and train effective parents, voters, citizens, we need learn how to use both science and the wisdom disciplines, each in its proper place, so that we can get the maximum benefits from both. Our students will not be prepared for the world we are leaving them if we fail to teach them how to use the scientific method, or if we muddy up that teaching by introducing a different skill set that should be taught in the philosophy classroom. The same principle is true of other disciplines.

Below are the two candidates most closely involved with the current school board election (yes we elect them, no qualifications required). On the left is Mr. McLeroy, on the right Mr. Ratliff, the back on the far right is Teddy. This was taken during the debate at KEOS, Bryan, Texas. The debate will be uploaded to the KEOS web site ASAP.

In Answer to Your Letter

I believe as Americans, we should not be fighting each other or anyone else over unimportant things while the country and the ecosystem collapse around us, and I believe that something is happening higher up in the politico-economic structure that wants to lay waste the land in order to “get theirs” now. Of course this has always been true, but right now there are two huge differences:

(1) Now the ecosystem has run out of reserves to support their biological and economic ravages. Before now we were not so big and there were always more resources somewhere that could make up for the crooks’ behaviors.

(2) Now the power brokers are more subtle and have learned to maintain their power by setting us against each other. Obviously their goal is to pretend we are recovering and at the same time give us something unimportant to fight over so we won’t notice as they ravage the countryside and we lose the rule of law that is THE thing that defines us as American.

Our political model makes this very easy for them, especially after Bush indoctrinated a whole generation of young into the glories of war, because the people are willing to believe that “winning” a debate or an election, or ANYTHING is a valid way to solve a problem. Just as they were willing to believe that “winning” a war is. Wouldn’t you think we would notice the proofs of all the failed wars? So I am dedicating my time and energy to fighting FOR the constitution and rule of law and the ecosystem.

One of the things that stands in the way of our problem solving, as we push the whole earth ecosystem further and further away from a healthy balance, is that we are NOT teaching our people how the ecosystem works. We do know in its basics how the ecosystem works, but we are withholding this information from the voters (even on PBS). I think the reason for this is what I said above — so that the voters will not interfere with the crooks’ ravaging.

The other thing that stands in our way is our war mentality that prevents us from talking among our selves and realizing that we all want the same things and we all have the same problems. We apply our war mentality extravagantly to almost everything we do because we believe that “winning” is more important than solving the problems. We are so indoctrinated in the “winning” model that we can’t feel good about ourselves if we believe someone else might be better in some way than we are. Now I ask you, what problem does that solve?

I am antiwar. Really. Not like people who go out and fight with each other about whether or not we should have war. I don’t care who wins, so long as we solve the problems.

Wait — if we solve our common problem — wouldn’t we all win?

What a novel idea.Blue-DSC_2519Ls