Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Impasse Response. Anathema in the House: How to Dialogue With It. Bridging Impasse.

Impasse Response
- Anathema -  
In the House - yours or the government's.

In any discussion:  what to do.

Avoiding Warfare

Name the Players: Know the Linear and the Web Thinker.  
Learn the skills. 

I. Anathema.  What is that.

Anathema is a concept originating with the ancient Greeks. It was a positive description, applied to set something apart, as for the gods.  That thing was "anathema".  

 From there, the concept became negative - it led to "banishment" or "exile" and, for us, the negative became extreme because western culture added the curse factor. Anathema!  Absolutely not to be tolerated.  See FN 1.
II. How to Enter Into Dialogue With Anathema.

China's Terra Cotta army. First Emperor of Qin. Here, in the window.  Must they mean warfare?

Here we look at how to set the stage for agreements, despite the perception of "anathema" in the culture or person before you. How does someone achieve that status, as "anathema".  Someone called them "evildoer" and it stuck, for example. Whatever the origin, is warfare the best /only long-term solution to the label, to the differences labels signify between people.  How to compare merit of values and "who speaks for a deity" anyway.

When might it be appropriate to have such discussions (always, we think), or is it ever (never, say some, digging in).

III.  The Scene.

Assume you cannot get away from the viewpoint or person or other "anathema" because you are in a long-term relationship - both have rights to live here. In the house, in the government, in the world. Assume there is no immediate survival-extreme self defense issue involved, that may have justified force to exterminate the anathema. See FN 2.
  • You both are stuck with each other. It is ideologies, turf, viewpoints in issue.Anathema happens - in your house; or our collective House, the one of Representatives, or the Senate.
  • Suppose members right now in government feel they are faced with Anathema - no way to agree on this violation of their most treasured beliefs, and each desires for eye-for-eye, etc. How can you possibly compromise on the issue, or stay in the company of the person forcing their view, without compromising your deepest sense of self. Anathema. Something so cast out from you, that you banish, it, denounce it, curse it. Was it always this way?
Look at uses of "naming" - what you call it, affects its reach; look at styles among people - the machete is out there. Some of the most sparkly people divert and entertain, then hack, while winking. Watch out.

A. Old Wisdoms.

1.  Force people into close association until they do come up with an agreement.  Like our juries?

In Romania, there is an old walled Saxon church with rooms, like little cottages, in the thick walls for families in case of attack.

The rooms have another purpose: let's say a couple is not getting along and somebody wants out of the relationship. Not just yet, says the community and the clergy. You two just come in this set of rooms here, we'll get your food and see to your needs, and you can't come out of there for 30 days. So we were told.
Strange thing. The story is that there were no divorces.
Now, that must be an exaggeration, or is it mere common sense. But it says something about the value of compelling people to listen to each other. Close quarters helps, with controls against outburst, of course. But having to hear the other person when you are in a long term relationship, may lead to common ground after all; even with perceived Anathema on both sides.
2.  Teach people, actually teach them, how to bridge impasse. It's skills.

Bridging Impasse. Can it be learned. Is negotiation an art, or a skill, practiced, honed. Diplomacy as part of the vocabulary of leadership, not a sign of weakness. We used to be able to bull things through, the easy but more temporary way. Ideas always survive, ready to rise up again.

Working through impasse with views you see as "anathema" is possible, but it is not happenstance. Look up the history of the concept of "anathema" -

2.1 Start with discussion in neutral terms.

At least, start on the right foot. No tilts, no slants.  Use neutral terminology in your talk, don't get sucked into using a label that you or the other sees as benefiting you, or putting down the other. Talk in neutral terms. Don't let the defenses go up before you begin.

Redefine, reframe the Anathema. Do away with the concept that offends in the area of your discussion.

Semantics can help. Call the position something else that does not shock, shock the other side. Naming. Very important. Without the pejorative, you may have a chance. See The FodderSight, Power of Names and Naming. Call it unclogging credit; call it temporary buyback with profit sharing; call it whatever is needed for both sides not to cringe. Words count.

2.2  Will yourself to enter a dance of sorts, with steps in increments; not a boxing ring.

a.  Negotiate only in a controlled setting because we are dealing with primitive rages, perhaps; desires for violence if one's way is not controlling; so keep other eyes away if possible. Agreements are sensitive. Room for quiet, for informal talk, no Big Foot. It is a fragile process: the window of time for an agreement can be blown out in an instant.

In a small space, you have to listen. You are close enough to see reactions, body language, to "read" each other. Imagine you are in that walled room area. You don't get out on Day 5 even if you want to. You have to stay the 30. Finish everything up[. You can bet the issue will be thoroughly addressed.

More on the devastation of Big Foots. There can be no Big Foot if you seriously are looking at bridging serious difference - Big Foot can set a decision for the moment, but the resentments linger on.. FN 3  Skills in addressing the enemy.  They can be learned.

b. Appreciate the strengths of your opponent.

Do not underestimate your differences.

Negotiations are hardest between extremes of two basic types of people, and cultures, and religions, and political ideologies:

1) one with a linear approach; security in the controlling approach; and
2) one with a web approach; security in the participatory approach; see FN 3.

The linear person uses a machete to get what he or she wants. Freely. The "web" oriented person hesitates to use a machete, and somehow believes that if he or she just explains better, the other will agree.

No. Nada. See FN 4 on force. The linear types, at the extreme, take advantage of hesitation to use their modes of control. So they use it. For the webs, factor it in, that's all. And learn how to use it yourself because self defense comes in issue. Now.

This concept of the extremes can be seen as Reality One people, the controllers; and Reality Two people, the reasoning persuaders; See FN 2. Many sources identify these kinds of extremes.

c. Defer some issues, if you have to: but within a carefully framed set of expectations.

Agree on a time, place and manner for addressing those issues, and lay out understood parameters to be used at the time. Enter alternative solutions: if this happens, we do that; etc.
V. How to Communicate -

Part of the Deadly Dance of Unwilling Partners, because if you don't dance, force rises.
A.  Cues for conversation 
  • Stop after you hear someone take a position. Horrid as it may be to your ears.
  • Breathe. But do not respond immediately with your own judgment of rejection or even acceptance, or to criticize the position offered, and do not respond with your own position.
  • Ask a question so the person can clarify what was said; or so you can communicate your reaction - not with your own idea, but to the one earlier presented.
  • Use "I" language - keep out the sneering, accusative "You" that sounds like eeeeeuwwww when drawn out. So - here are some examples - lots of groups teach the techniques, from the "Pairs Foundation," to the "Powerful NonDefensive Communication" people for concepts like these - I feel hurt by, I really resent it when, I suspect, I wonder if, is it right to assume, this puzzles me, I am afraid if this happens, this really frustrates me, I appreciate the thought you put into this, I realize whatever but hope, I would like to see happen something else. If the defensive shields go up, call it quits.
  • Repeat the other person's view. "I understand that...." Do this until the other person agrees you have it right. 
  • Name the person as you address him or her.  Jean, I think you....   John, the feeling I get when you say that is ----
  • Then ask if the other person is ready to hear your side, and only bother going ahead if they agree. Then the other person has to feed back to you what he or she understood, until you agree both sides are fully understood.
B. See if you can come away with some points of agreement, and narrow your areas of disagreement for focus later. If not, see FN 4.


Be sure you heard right
Be able to repeat to them what you think they mean until they say you've got it.
Cheer each other's understanding
Then expect the same courtesy in return.
Narrow where you disagree.
Perhaps a time, place or manner of a approaching an issue can be resolved. FN 4

House and Senate? Gentlemen and Ladies, start your engines. No shortcuts. No Big Foot. No coming out of the wall until you have an agreement. Doing divorce mediation for years was hard work, and we used these techniques. For some, they tell me the process even helped them like each other again. Not to reconcile, probably, but to leave with dignity and a salute. The standard was this: can you see each other again without wanting to throw up. Yes, said some.

Others? Nah.


FN 1 Anathema's Origins.
Anathema originated in the classics, antiquity, old Greece. It meant an "offering," a process of putting something off limits, setting it apart as sacred, as to the gods. In early Hebrew culture, and some others, the offering idea moved to stress the "set apart" idea of that offering; and became even a banishment, or exile. In more modern usage, the "set apart" or banishment becomes "accursed." Excommunication in some religions, with its own rituals.

We like the Greek approach: the process of setting an issue aside so it can be discussed. That indeed is like unto the gods - it happens so seldom - we prefer Big Foot, FN 2, and down-treading each other. Far more satisfying.
So, a process of setting apart that began as blessed, a holy act, became a curse. Wonderful. Always read Wikipedia with caution, because entries change, but it is helpful to start there, on concepts. See Wikipedia on "Anathema" at ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anathema


FN 2. People's Views Of Each Other - Where anathemas come from:  
  • Anathema as Reality One and Reality Two. Watch them see each other as Anathema. Suppose you are a Reality One person, who has to "control." Or who has to have some "One: in Control. In life, says Reality One, one person has to be in control, and that person is entitled to do what is necessary to do it. And the other is a Reality Two person differs - believes not in control in itself, "respect for truth", who believes in the possibility of rational understanding. You may be in trouble if the Reality One person is dyed in the wool, Two. But Ones, if caught in lies and hacking publicly enough, may back away - for the time being, to get back the control later, probably. See Irene Papoulis at Trinity College, Hartford Courant Op-Ed 9/18/08. Concepts of people being Reality One and Reality Two.
  • Anathema as Machete or Linear People, and Web People. We have used a similar analogy in practicing divorce law and mediation - see broadly that there are machete people, or linear people; and web people. .
Watch each see the other as Anathema.
For the machete or linear persn person, life is a line, hack however you need to, to get ahead and stay there because your security is a place on that line. Rigidity is good for lines. Think also pyramids. Step over those below to get to the top, and it is very vulnerable there. And there is one way there, even if you are in front.
For the webs, security is in the center of a web where you duck back and forth to make all the strands strong - family, job, all that. If one strand weakens, however, unlike the linear person who is in real trouble and thinks of no place to go except to be forced off the line into the abyss, you have choices - you can go straight across, or if that is blocked, around. Flexible.

. ...............................................

FN 3 . Force and Big Foot as only Temporarily Effective.

Use of Force and Anathema. Out-dated. Dysfunctional, unless applied in situations of extreme and immedate actual survival self-defense need. Then, wipe 'em out. Is that so? For those in long-term relationships, however,"overcoming" another, who is also in that relationship, is archaic.

Annihilation efforts waste resources: It takes time and money and energy -

1) demonizing,
2) perpetuating the demonization so you can continue to prevail; and
3) while knowing deep inside that you are largely posturing, and you just might be wrong -
a) in your ideas or
b) how you are going about getting what you think you want.

Force is hard on you, hard on them, and won't work without destroying much of both sides.However, it is addictive, and once learned, even decades ago, it may not loose its hold without extensive deprogramming.
The objective in force is compelling -- and, at its extreme, to annihilate the other's ability to act other than you want, even ever again.

More Big Foot. That Big Foot approach seeks to triumph over the will (see Leni Reifenstahl's 1937 film of that name) of another, even though that will may well have merit in itself. Someone interposes himself or herself into a process with a view to shaping it his way. Old military people are so in the habit of it, that they know no other set of steps.

Recognize it in its extreme by Sturm und drang. Shock and Awe. It does destroy, but more than you may have intended, or is in your interest. Big Foot force destroys the home - divorce lawyers and mediators and judges know that, as do many spouses; and it can destroy a government. In both situations, people will need to live with those other people over time.

Is this the lesson: Do not try to "overcome" without that extreme circumstance. Even force against children can come back to haunt you, if it moves beyond an immediate protection or clear behavior deterrent need, and "destroys" instead, over time.
FN 4. Is force justified when you will not tolerate the other's view.
"Will not" indicates choice. A preference. An ideology. Maybe your ideology is worth it, to you. If you intend to annihilate that other view entirely, and reasonably think you can do that, go ahead and try. Who can stop you? In the short run, perhaps noone - go, machete.

Have machetes worked before? Sure, for a while. Machetes are addictive. But Ideas survive. Do we learn? No. So, like generations before, use your linear ideology as a weapon If you are not in a long-term relationship with that Other view, just kick it out of your way. But if you are in a long term relationship - even in the sense of sharing a planet, be careful. Ideas survive, and come back to bite.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Update Alaska Voting Rights Act - Fed. Compliance Report 9/26/08, Primaries

Native Alaskans Vote In The Dark

Nick et al. v. Bethel et al.
Case No. 3-07-cv-0098 TMB
Was There Compliance in the Primaries
With Federal Court Order
to Let the Sun Shine, Let The Sun Shine In?*
Sarah, why have you not let the sun shine in? Where have you been?

Alaska was ordered to comply with bilingual voting protections in primaries as to specified large areas, including traditional Yup'ik, one of the indigenous heritages of husband of Sarah Palin, Todd Palin. See voting issues and Sarah Palin's actions known to date, to get compliance in line, at Joy of Equivocating, America's Heritage (scroll for voting rights).

Update notice.

Here is the update notice we have found so far, on the report to Federal court in the case of Nick v. Bethel - see The Seward-Phoenix Log site at ://www.thesewardphoenixlog.com/news/story/3165, "Yup'ik language assisted primaries scrutinized," article by Mary Lochner, and she gives her email (we would like more info as to what is in place for the November elections) at mlochner@alaskanewspapers.com

Results are not yet in - but if the report was due on September 26, why are the results not out from the Court? There must be an excellent reason.

Past "shortcomings."

Past issues included the practice of reading ballots to Yup'ik speakers (their language is not historically a written language), but not allowing them to see the ballot that went in on their behalf, with a bilingual voter assistant in some way assured to them as neutral, reading accurately. Wonderful. Officials said they did not have to show the ballots to the voters without a court order. Note that written assistance is not required, because the Yup'ik language is historicall unwritten, a phrase significant in the Voting Rights Act and limiting the obligation of government to provide written information in those circumstances. See ://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=396/ So, the order entered for improved oral assistance, to be in effect for the primaries this summer. What happened?

Now the city of Bethel has applied for the same specific assistance -

What is in place for November?

Civil Rights Laws. Look at the voting rights as part of civil rights laid out at ://www.usdoj.gov/crt/indian/broch.html . It says, there in the voting section, that these apply to state and local elections.

Relationship to federal elections: Does that mean there are other protections for federal elections, and if so, where are they? Are they less or greater than? See "Protecting the Civil Rights of American Indians and Alaska Natives NonDiscrimination Laws Enforced by the Civil Rights Division United States Department of Justice at ://www.usdoj.gov/crt/indian/broch.html

*See Hair by Milos Forman at ://www.imeem.com/casarin/video/sK-j59C1/milos_forman_let_the_sunshine_in_hair_movies_video/

Friday, September 26, 2008

Voting Rights Act, Orders: Sarah the Sapper?* and Alaska. Compliance?

Voting Rights for Indigenous Alaskans, Primaries
ACLU case - Now waiting for compliance with orders

Nick et al. v. Bethel et al, 
Case No. 3:07-cv-0098 TMB

Search for Nick v. Bethel
Nick v. Bethel and the State of Alaska


Alaska has not complied with the Federal Voting Rights Act (VRA), from its enactment in 1965 through reauthorization of the Act's provisions in 2007 and to date.  See The Native American Rights Fund site at://www.narf.org/events/06/alaska.htm/. The main issue is voting assistance to bilingual voters in the Yup'ik areas, in time for the primaries 2008, and the nationals.

An unusual feature here is that Yup'ik is "historically" unwritten, and the Voting Rights Act has special, and lower, requirements for that, perhaps (oral information suffices?), but why should whether illiterary is recent, "historical," or not be the pivot? See this site, "Language Log," for background on the language issues: ://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=396/.  Did Sarah weigh in on the issue, in the interest of meaningful suffrage?

A status Report was due to Federal Court on September 26, 2008.   What are the results? What is in place for the national elections?
Is anyone else watching here?
See our update at Voting Rights Report Update.  No substantive information. No further update found. Sarah? Are you home? What is in place for November? Anything?

What is a Governor who undermines Federal Law,
if indeed Sarah here has been lax.  
What is her job description - upholding laws, we believe.

Sapper applicable? If Sarah has not promoted federal law in her capacity as Governor, is the term "Sapper" appropriate to describe her inaction. 

Sapper means Underminer.  A "sapper" is a military engineer, miner, usually in the British-Canadian forces (see WWI, WWII), whose job is to undermine, tunnel under, the enemy's positions, create own tunnels; provide other support for the troops in their engineering capacities. See ://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/engineer.htm. Being an "underminer" is good when the undermining promotes the mission, serves the governmental objective. An example would be military sappers - think World War I, tunneling under enemy lines.  Miners were known as sappers - often the best came from Wales, a tradition of underground.
Sappers were successful in WWI and WWII for the British and their colonial connections. They drew the miners from generations of mining families in Wales and Cornwall to enlist, and continue their expertise in the military.

You have the concept of sapper. Now see the kind of work they do or did, as miners - this one not under combat conditions.

Being an underminer, however, where that activity or inactivity defeats the government's mission, undercuts federal government's objective, is - what - you think of the word.  What is it? Working against your own government?

Sapping on Voting Rights - See the obligation to uphold laws at ://ltgov.state.ak.us/constitution.php?section=5
Governor Oath: Uphold Constitution [at article 12].  See also the State Constitution at ://www.legis.state.ak.us/cgi-bin/folioisa.dll/acontxt/query=*/doc/%7Bt182%7D?

1. Palin's compliance with federal court order is not only required, but otherwise important.

An elected official's efforts to comply with federal order, where that order may cause voters' votes to count that otherwise would fall through the slats, will tell us that official's frame of mind: do I serve politics for me, or the national interest.

2. Brief history of the Voting Rights Act.

In 1965, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act (VRA), as part of the national surge to recalibrate voting rights of minorties with that of the (white) majority. Some provisions were set to expire in 2007. See ://www.votingrightsact.org/vra_info/infoimages/pdf/vra_faqs.pdf. The conclusion of a stude as to Alaska's compliance as of 2006, demonstrated Alaska's noncompliance as to its native Alaskan population. Read that report at a Native American Rights Fund site, ://www.narf.org/events/06/alaska.htm The 1965 provisions were reauthorized. In 1975, voting rights protection was expanded to include linguistic assistance. See ://www.votingrights.org/more.php

3. Noncompliance in Alaska, consistently, and without excuse.

In 2008, there still was noncompliance, as to the most immediate voting, in primaries, see ://www.commondreams.org/news2008/0505-06.htm and the ACLU site on the matter, at ://www.aclu.org/votingrights/gen/35168prs20080505.html: The ACLU filed an action on May 5, 2008 in the Federal District Court in Anchoge.

Motions then were filed in the federal court to order Alaska to comply with the VRA as to language assistance to voters, particularly as to Yup'ik speaking peoples in the Bethel census area. Read one, for a preliminary injunction following initial arguments, and supporting legal memorandum at ://www.narf.org/cases/ and that is the Native American Rights Fund site.

The case is Nick v. Bethel and the State of Alaska.  Click on that at the site and data and motions will come up.

 More simply, the case is stated on pleadings as

Nick et al. v. Bethel et al, docket Case No. 3:07-cv-0098 TMB.

Bethel (a town) had opposed compliance, so this is a request for a preliminary "injunction" to order it pending further proceedings, if any, given the prejudicial effect of time passing before the election.

4. Further federal orders for compliance entered on July 30, 2008. The motion for injunction was granted .

See Order at://www.narf.org/cases/pi_Nick_Bethel.pdf . See also the narrative assessment at ://narfnews.blogspot.com/2008/08/federal-court-upholds-voting-rights-of.html

Read the specifics of that Order, what must be done by Alaska, at page 10 of the Order. Linguistic assistance, buttons identifying poll workers, training for poll workers, etc. Long, detailed list, actions required.

4.1 Report Due NOW:

A report is due on progress on September 26, 2008. See http://thesewardphoenixlog.com/news/story/3165

You may need to go first to thesewardphoenixlog.com home page first, and do a search for voting rights act.

From The Seward Phoenix Log:
"The state is required to submit a progress report in federal court within 30 days of the primary,
on September 26, to show how it all went."

What is going on in Alaska in compliance with federal laws, or their active undermining under Palin.*

4.2 Is Sarah the Sapper? The Underminer, but now of her own government's laws?

Palin the Sapper? The Sapper, who in the honorable sense, undermines or clears obstacles so that troops can advance.The tradition is an honorable one - necessary in the military, the dirty work. Evidence of their esteem:

Here is an actual uniform button, World War I, from a Canadian uniform. See more history on the sappers, and the hatpin made for those big Edwardian hats in the WWI era, here with a rod that is 8 1/2 inches long (for those big hats) and that you cannot see here.

Sappers doing the right thing hold positions of honor. This is the head of the hatpin made out of a WWI sapper's uniform button (the beaver on it represents Canada) at Hatpins Collection, Sapper Button (scroll down).

Edwardian hatpin, head made of sapper uniform button WWI (8 1/2" rod)
Our concern is this:  Inaction in areas of basic rights may well mean an official is the sapper who is a turncoat in a political, self-interest sense, who, by refusing to enforce federal law on voting rights, sabotages the government's laws.

Take a look at the concept. We as Americans now have "sappers" in our own military- See our own sappers in Afghanistan - go to YouTube at ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egHwgwjfSno

Sarah Palin the Sapper - the old term for those in the Canadian army, the British empire folk originally in the Wars, I and II, who tunnelled under, even under enemy lines, and took other engineering, front work to clear the way for advancing troops.

Look back at the uniform button. The little beaver on a log there, signifies industry, hard work (a Canadian military symbol, that even they jokingly compare to our flashy eagle - they, the busy beavers, are the ones who get the actual work done). Note that in the world wars, they were in there for years before Americans elected to get involved.

Perhaps Alaska is too far from World War I or World War II to be familiar with these concepts.

Visit Montreal.  In Montreal there is a modest military history museum, see ://rcocmuseum.com/RCOCMuseum.html.  It commemorates the heroism of the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps or RCOC.   The curator of the Museum - a deeply committed professional who gives personalized tours - discussed the roles of the sappers with us - then let my son climb in the tanks and planes, with his supervision. Sometimes the smaller scale institutions communicate more than the massive ones. Sarah Palin may see Russia from her porch, but that is not the same as experience in war.

More on Sappers at FN 1

Next issue: What is it when an elected official himself or herself becomes a sapper for his or her own interest, undermines federal orders. Uses methods that were designed to further the goals of his or her own government, but instead acts to prevent sucess as to those orders.

What do we call it - turncoat? See Study War: Turncoat. Are there elements of that concept, voicing for but acting against the country's laws? Wonderful. See the derivations and some applications of that idea, stemming from centuries ago. Do you see similarities.

5. Alaska is not alone in noncompliance.
Even Tennessee-ans 
(who seek compliance in their state) 
ask if Sarah will comply in hers.

See Tennessee at ://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2007/07/04/happy-43rd-anniversary-1964-civil-rights-act-title-vi-compliance-still-mia-in-clarksville/ - even Tennesseeans show an interest in whether Sarah is doing what she must. Voters in Tennessee who want compliance in their state, reject Palin for failing to enact the legislation in hers, citing Alaskan women who also reject Palin. See://www.clarksvilleonline.com/2008/09/16/alaska-women-reject-palin-just-saying-no-to-palin-as-vp-pick/ So, states do not necessarily miss what is happening in sister states.

Our interest intensifies. Will she obey law? So far she has not. Right? Is failure to enforce its own kind of sabotage, of one's own government? We are all learning here, but that is our conclusion so far.
Should we pay attention? Yes. Alaska has been hugely corrupt, see this site and do a "find" for the Alaska cases, at ://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2007/May/ Any changes by Palin are too new to see if any stick.

6. We believe she is not interested in the non-powerful. 
She put out her little "surge" against financial corruption, 
(how long-lived willl that be?) 
but no effort apparently against voting rights corruption.

6.1 Palin put out a "surge" for reform on financial corruption.

Measure of success for any surge: The measure of success for a "surge" is not success at its peak with all the new resources in place, but whether the peak is sustained when the surge funds, effort (troops) return to prior levels.

6.2 No surge for voting rights.

There was never a "surge" to even try to bring in native Alaskan speakers into the linguistic assistance area, despite her own husband being part Yup'ik, part other native Alaskan. See Joy of Equivocating, Todd Palin.

6.3 No surge for any rights benefiting native Americans.

Have we reason to be concerned with native American rights as a topic, not just in voting?
  • Protecting subsistence fishing? No. Palin, according to this site, has acted to weaken the few rights to subsistence fishing that the indigenous people won, in order to enhance private recreational and commercial fishing interests. See "Sarah Palin Attacks Tribes" at ://www.topix.com/forum/us-governors/sarah-palin/THTL3TT7K1KN17JO1 This is an individual's view, cited here only to show the depth of concern - and raise the issue for those of us in the lower 48. You check out the full scope - no time here.
  • Relocating Shishmaref Village? We think not, because we find no info.  Awash. See the 2006 website at ://www.arctic.noaa.gov/detect/human-shishmaref.shtml inundated with the waters of global warming. Or waters up for other reasons. Still inundated, a town needing relocation. The state has a surplus, but not for them. Go ahead. Look it up. Then ring up Sarah in her tower. Ask her why.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Matchmaker McCain, Made Us A Match. And Violated Fiduciary Duty. Ongoing Issue.

Matchmaking in History:

The Fiduciary.
The Right and Obligation to Vet

McCain Palin. What recourse when our political leaders fail to vet --
and make us a bad match for a ticket.
Candidates need a Matchmaker

I. The Traditional, Ethnic Matchmaker Worldwide.

Many cultures use the services of a cultural matchmaker to arrange marriages between eligible children of different families. The job entails fiduciary duty, an ability to assess, appreciation of the important, long-term stakes. Fiduciary duty is an integral part of matchmaking. What is more basic in life than its biggest choices, including choosing a mate, or assisting others find mates. The process is similar in choosing a running mate. Not so different. There are common sense rules - basics for maximizing the success rate.

Matchmaker, make me a match!

The matchmaker serves in a position of trust -- acting for the best interests of others.

For worldwide traditions for this important role where much is at stake, see Russia, China, Bulgaria, Ireland, Iraq, for starters:

Russia: The matchmaker is both headhunter and private detective. The process was a thorough one - extensive interviews (the young people never meeting at the outset, often, and in some cases, not until the ceremony). Negotiations, exchanges of property to seal the deal, sexual attraction not a consideration as much as was social status similarities, education, talk to neighbors, find out about spending habits, a private investigation of sorts. Habits, quirks of each. See "Matchmaking in Russia" at ://www.venets.com/mm.html. After the private eye-work was done and satisfactory, then arrange the "smotrini" or meeting between the prospective spouses.
The customs recognized that when chemistry was roiling, people don't see the truth about each other. It takes a neutral to advise. That site offers to use its expertise to help you find a spouse, so go ahead if you like, we were interested more in the cultural process traditionally..

China. See ://www.cultural-china.com/chinaWH/html/en/13Traditions340.html. The matchmaker, Yue Lao, the "old man in the moon," holds the Book of Fate, and may tie a red strand about the feet of two people who may not know each other at all, Once so tied, they will become a couple nonetheless, at some point.

Ireland. See http://www.blogher.com/traditional-irish-matchmaking. Read the checklist of the matchmaker. Very detailed.

Iraq. Customs in flux, given the interruptions, thank you Mr. Bush. See ://www.iraqupdates.com/p_articles.php/article/35117. Even the Internet is taking over the matchmaking, to the dismay of many parents.

Bulgaria. See ://en.journey.bg/bulgaria/bulgaria.php?guide=257

Overall, the practices seem to have these in common:
  • The parents carefully select the matchmaker on the basis of the matchmaker's reputation for fair dealing and success in proposing long term relationships, situations where the marriages have worked out well, no hidden time bombs, the matchmaker used honed skills in the investigation, so the information is reliable. The matchmaker values and seeks input from all persons involved, families, neighbors.
  • The matchmaker is both headhunter and private investigator, says "Matchmaking in Russia" at ://www.venets.com/mm.html. Accordingly, there are deep investigations ahead of time, friends, associates, relatives, workplace contacts. The matchmaker focuses on the compatibilities of the couple, for their benefit.
  • If all seems well and there is a fit, the families are fully informed on all issues; discuss all questions; and can elect (depending on the culture) whether to proceed to a next step - a careful introduction between the two, supervised, compatibility watched, observed, more discussions.
  • Perhaps one has a choice on whether to proceed. Perhaps all is arranged. Perhaps there is no meeting before the ceremony. But the gist is the same: do not trust the flame of emotion in deciding a long-term mate. Let others pave the way, see that the basics are in place. Entrust the roster of selections out there to a trusted matchmaker, one who indeed is acting for the benefit of the couple, not on the take for one side, no tilt to one or another. The matchmaker guards the matchmaker's reputation for success, carefully building it, knowing it will be relied upon.
The traditional matchmaker role in a community was a "fiduciary" -  acting on behalf of parents, who in turn want the best possible match for their child in marriage for the long term.

In modern communities, people do their own matchmaking - but may well turn to a matchmaking commercial service - or friends - for help. The "fiduciary" element may be overwhelmed by the desire for profit when a business is involved. Or, in a more modern way, the individual himself or herself turns to the matchmaker for a match. Either way, the matchmaker must act for the long-term-benefit of the couple.

It is a three-way deal - the parents, the matchmaker who acts as a fiduciary to the parents, and the child in need of a mate. Time, research, dry runs, meetings or not, compatibility.

II. Matchmaking in a Modern Democracy
No Fiduciary Obligation, No Vetting, No Nuthin'

What Kind of Clowns Do That?

In modern government here, we have peculiar matchmaking. The candidate in a presidential election is not just choosing a political partner - the candidate is really choosing someone to be the "heir" - not just a foil to the candidate.

Yet the candidate is given the same freedom of choice as in the simple romance area where no matchmakers are involved these days, mostly.

Romance is the business only of the couple - parents may well be unhappy, but what can they do. And if it doesn't work out, just get a divorce. They say.

But to apply that to political marriages - candidates for president and vice president, can be disastrous if the choice is impulsive, not vetted, not fiduciary as to the heir to be commander in chief.

More is at stake than in an arranged marriage or regular marriage - but the candidate does not have to be a fiduciary to anybody.
Count the breaches:
1. There is not even an obligation to discuss and then reveal the most important belief systems of the running mate - the proposed match. Talk about marrying blind.
2. The most troubling social and religious issues of the day - just keep reporters at bay.  What kind of fiduciary is that? The voters don't even know what they are voting for.
3. Bar the vetting by anybody, even though the choice can affect many kinds of legislation down the road, see Standing Rules: Who Can Seek Legal Force.

Quoth the Matchmaker, "Let them see only the sugar, and then we can force the rest down when it is too late to get out of it. Heh. Heh."

Suddenly, the parents find themselves projecting, imagining, rushed as time goes by and a decision must be made (too late to dump the matchmaker as incompetent?). What if the match turns out to be a little kinky - Whish, whoosh, whip!

Parents, and voters, have a right to vet.

III. What's a Parent -Voter to Do?
 Decision Time. This country is Your Baby.
Do You Accept This Match?

This now is a retrospective:  The election is over.

But this issue will recur in later elections, so it is worth recapping here.

We say this: John McCain did not serve the country as a fiduciary in matchmaking responsibilities, in his choice of its match. He acted impulsively to preserve himself, not protect others.* And that has been part of his record before. A tragic flaw. See Classical Leadership Ideals.

Frightening. Even more frightening is this: That McCain is a military man who nearly succeeded in putting an unknown in charge of the troops, this person as second in command of our lives. He wanted the good ol' American people to just fall in luv here, and marry in a fever before they find out. These issues do not go away with this election. They should be forefront in mind at every election.

With General McAuliffe, at the Battle of the Bulge, we said, "Nuts." Good for us. We acknowledge that any candidate doing this may just pick a dark horse, a winner no-one expected, and then we may be ok - but is this the time for such a risk, to put the purse on it? See dark horse at Bogomilia: Benjamin Disraeli.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Standing: Abortion. Who Can Seek Legal Force. When.

Standing Rules:
Who can get a court to force someone to do, or refrain from doing, something

Truth in labeling. Is there an obligation to the buyer from the seller, that claims of age and origin are true?

Laws and lawsuits rely on "standing." Someone has to have the right to go to court, as a direct plaintiff against a defendant, perhaps, or as someone intervening in somebody else's action.  Moral matters are not feasible in civil courts unless there is a corresponding civil statute in issue. The issue has to be a legal one.  A moral issue not translated directly into a legal obligation does not get through the door.

Take some abortion matters years ago. Legal issue:  If the woman caused her own abortion, or someone attacked her and she aborted, sometimes she or the someone was fined for interfering with the husband's property right in the foetus.  Not a moral issue there at all.  Only civil and financial, and locking in who could decide.
  • Moral issues can be tried, we supposed in somebody's ecclesiastical court, but that is not our concern here. 
  • Who decides which court has jurisdiction if both claim it.  What about cases that the church, the ecclesiastical court, would prohibit, but the civil court does not?  Or at least does not in the same way, for the same reasons, such as abortion.  Pick your court carefully, if you can.
  • What can you do if you feel strongly that your moral issue should prevail but the law does not do it for you?  It would take persuasion, or offering financial support and positive environment for the woman to proceed with the pregnancy, we suppose. Create a system where she will want to do that. Voluntary inducements. Could someone also fund the re-planting of the little thing into another environment, womb, or petri dish?  Why not.  Done all the time. Or could be.  It just takes money to set it up. Remove the stigma. People may flock.
Abortion was not always prohibited in churches. Western Christian churches permitted it the early church and even ancients had no problem with abortion as a moral issue. Earlier I found this site,  "Early Church Permitted Abortion In Some Cases," ://archives.tch.ie/businesspost/2001/10/07/story883828.asp/  Or tcm.  That is now a different URL, at  Irish Examiner, Oct.7, 2001. Early Church Permitted Abortion in Some Cases, by Emily O'Reilly. Catholic officials have gone back and forth, and U-turned, as the O'Reilly article says, time and again.

This article appeared in support of the Protection of Human Life in Pregnancy Bill, then pending in Ireland. It provided that human life begins at implantation after conception; that the fertilized egg can be destroyed legally before that implantation (a position contrary to that of the Roman Catholic Church).  Here is the Church's position, fair use quotation: Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith --

"From the moment of conception, the life of every human being is to be respected in an absolute way because man is the only creature on earth that God has wished for himself and the spiritual soul is immediately created by God; his whole being bears the image of the Creator.

"Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end.

"God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can, in any circumstances, claim for himself the right to destroy directly an innocent human being... the human being must be respected -- as a person -- from the very instant of his existence."

 Irish Examiner, Oct.7, 2001. Early Church Permitted Abortion in Some Cases, by Emily O'Reilly.

So what happened to the legislation?  Need to check.
Abortion as a concept has an interesting history.  More from O'Reilly until we get back to verify with original sources. Will try to do that as to each one. Use this as a checklist:

Abortion history overview, according to O'Reilly
  • Aristotle, says the article, believed in "delayed ensoulment" -- for little boy foeti, they got ensouled 40 days after conception.  For little girl foetae, they got ensouled 90 days after.  Any dislodging before the 40 or 90 days was fine. After the cut-off point, the little one was "animated" with a soul.  
  • There is absolutely no scripture on that delayed ensoulment -- look at Genesis.  All living creatures have nphsh, soul, whether human or animal, bird or fish. See Scripture4all, Transliteration Site (click on Genesis 1-2)
  • 4th Century: St. Augustine.  He said a soul could not live in an unformed body.  
  • Jerome wrote to someone named Aglasia, "The seed gradually takes shape in the uterus, and it [abortion] does not count as killing until the individual elements have acquired their external appearance and their limbs."
  • Then, for several centuries, Aristotle's delayed ensoulment idea went in and out of favor.
  • 13th century Pope Innocent III decided, in a case where a Carthusian monk arranged for an abortion for his mistress, that he was not guilty of homicide because the foetus had not "animated."
  • 13th Century Thomas Aquinas. Killing of an animated foetus is murder.
  • 16th Century Pope Sixtus V, issued a Bull in 1558 that authorized excommunication and even the death penalty for carrying out an abortion at any stage of the development
  • 16th Century Pope Gregory XIV revoked in 1561 the Sixtus Bull of 1558 and reinstated a "quickening" test.  He ordained that quickening happened on the 116th day of the pregnancy.
  • 17th Century.  Abortion again is murder.
  • 1869.  Pope Pius IX made no distinction between an animated and unanimated foetus, and the tolerance of past years stopped.
  • 1884.  Papal decrees forbad craniotomies ("caraniotomies" sic?), dismembering the foetal skull when that was needed to save the life of the woman
  • 1886.  Papal decree extended the prohibition on operations that would kill the foetus, even to save the life of the woman
How were you to know which was a boy foetus and which was a girl foeta? You couldn't. You found out to your delight or horror, after the fact.  What happened if you guessed wrong?  Don't know.


1. Standing Rules:

Can Person A claim a right to force Person B to act in a way that Person A wants; and that Person B does not want. That person believes she has a freedom, and should be able to exercise it. Let her freely do it.

There is a concept defining that - "Standing."

There has to be a sufficient direct connection between Person A's rights and Person B's acts or intended acts, before Person A can try to force B. There are criteria already in effect - the right to sue on any particular issue is not open season for anyone. Here is the site we are using so far - "The 'Lectric Law Library's Lexicon on Standing" at ://www.lectlaw.com/def2/s064.htm. Any complainant must prove a connection to or stake in what the other person is doing before there will be legal recourse. Any plaintiff or complainant has to show imminent or actual direct injury from a particular act that Person B is doing, or about to do. See paragraph 3.

2. Who can sue?

The complainant may be

a) an individual, or
b) the State, where a law has been passed; or
c) somebody speaking on behalf of somebody's i dea of what "God" wants (?)

3. What must be proven?

a. Connection.

Person A will be or is directly injured by wh at Person B is doing. There has to be
  • "injury in fact"
  • to a concrete and particular legally protected interest of Person A
  • actual and imminent danger of injury is involved to Person A (no hypotheticals, no speculation),
  • the injury is directly caused by the action of Person B; and not by some other third party out there,
  • and Person A will not be injured if Person B is blocked.

b. Actual controversy. No speculation. And each kind of plaintiff has to show that the legal system is equipped to decide the controversy: that there are actual facts that meet the entry requirements, and a concrete legal issue between two parties here, and not an abstraction.

In the picture above, as to an individual, to make a connection for example, the goat would have to be
  • on the move,
  • aiming right at you, horns down, and
  • feet a-whompin'.

If the injury is not directly connected - and to the issue at hand, no suit.

Mootness. That brings us to "mootness" - where so much time has passed that the issue goes away. By the time you get to court, that particular goat situation is gone. But the approach there is to designate that kind of issue as needing resolution anyway, because each time it occurs it also would otherwise just go away - evade review. So we skip that issue here.

See FN 1 for more on the State as Plaintiff or complainant; and the Individual. The historical roots, objectives, the differences between criminal law, and civil law.

4. Example: Abortion Context

Person A wants Person B
to Foster a Possible or Actual Pregnancy;
For Person B To Act or Refrain From Acting
So that
Whatever Cell Divisions Are or May Be Going On
Are Not Intentionally Disturbed In Situ

4.1 Who has standing to force that?


The parties then are the Outsider Person, and the Citizen Hostess. The Outsider must prove that the Hostess' business is really the Outsider's business:

  • Injury in fact- that the Hostess is actually injuring the Outsider. What? No. No go. The Outsider's feelings may be hurt, or the Outsider's moral view may be violated, but there is no "injury" to the Outsider.

  • That the Outsider personally and directly has a legally protected interest in what the Hostess does or does not do.
Discussion: What is this? Is the Hostess somehow to be seen as fostering her cell division, or deciding not to, for the benefit of the Outsider?? That's weird. Another legal term. Weird. It also sounds like a Third Reich obligation to reproduce for the benefit of others. No go. That first requirement fails.

  • There is no speculation going on. The cell division has to be a demonstrable fact.

Discussion. How to determine? Tiny cameras? This gets interesting for those druggists who want to keep from prescribing morning after pills. It won't work, under existing law - as we see it so far. That means that in the early stages of cells dividing, the zygote, when nobody knows for sure if it is even going on, is too speculative for the Outsider even to think of being able to force the Hostess to do anything.

It is conjecture. Possible. What do we do: pay for little cameras every time somebody engages in the beast with two backs? See ://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/58450.html. Maybe.

Our conclusion: Without insertion of cameras, speculative. No standing to force the Hostess for that stage.

How about later? If we assume requirements a and b are met (and they can't, we believe, under current law), then possibly once the pregnancy is not speculative, a claim could be asserted. But the Outsider still is stopped by a and b.

Still with us?

  • The injury has to be caused by the Hostess acting or not acting; and not by someone else.

Discussion. Again, this assumes that the cell division is a fact, and that the requirement of direct injury to the Outsider was met, a and b and c - and how can that be??

What if the pregnancy resulted from faulty equipment. Reliance on equipment. Still -- let's say that the Hostess and her Partner in Joy took precautions. But the condom broke, was made of dissolvable saran. It dissolved. So is the real entity to sue, the condom people? They caused the "injury" to the Outsider, by letting Hostess get preggers despite precautions. Or "enceinte" as we used to have to say on our school truancy reports.

Parental responsibility for actions of minors. Is the pregnancy really the result of the parents of the hostess who refused sex education - either didn't do it well enough or at all themselves as to their children, or didn't let the schools do it. How about the religious people who say just say no? Sue them. You get the idea.

Sarah Palin's girl.

Discussion. This gets interesting. If this young woman, fully fertile, almost of age, wanted to stop the fostering at the outset, before anybody knew, and was not allowed to, does she have a cause of action? Against whom?

Her parents? Sarah the Dominatrix? At fault?

Oh, dear, pass the smelling salts. And check the birth date of Track Palin, the Track in Iraq, against the marriage date of Sarah and her house husband. Shotgun there as well. Fine. Who cares? Our point is that nobody outside should care about what anybody in the Act does or does not do, then or later.

Fault in others is a wonderful area When they choose to restrict others.


Apply the same set of criteria, but here the connection is already made when a law was passed. See FN 1 for additional discussion of the rights of the State and its history.

The Hostess' business is the State's business because of that law. And in order to pass the law, the State had at that time to prove the direct injury, or the overriding public policy reason for the law that takes away the liberty of a citizen in favor of something else.

Discussion: Does this resemble the Third Reich where the State says, "You. You with the womb. Reproduce for our benefit, you walking womb, you." See ://www.ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10005141. There, the racially "pure"women had to reproduce for the State. See also ://www.eugenics.net/papers/3rdreich.html.

Let's say there is no law requiring pregnancy. Could one be passed?

How is the State in these, our own United States, if we are not the Third Reich, directly injured if little teen Hostess decides to stop fostering a cell division.

Now, maybe the State's interest increases as the cell divisions get to the stage where the cells divide and the entity can sustain itself, even with help; and can be removed and put in a petri dish, or someone else's womb. Go ahead and continue that. Fine.

At taxpayer expense. Do gentle removals and reinstatements, petrification. Move the in situ from this situ to that situ. Fine. If life is all you are concerned with, that is fine. Do it. You pay. Then, who raises it? You? As the taxpayer who paid for the surrogate? Sure. Fine. You want that, you take it on. Through college. Right?

And a common sense provision says that if the entity can possibly breathe if on the outside, then the Hostess who let it go on that far may be compelled to let it continue. But that is a matter of her delay, and if an emergency and her life is at stake, the issue becomes her life or the entity's. That is a different issue from early stage stop-fosterings. Nothing is simple or we wouldn't be hung up on this. And if she then gives it up for adoption, does the taxpayer pay for it and college? Logical. Sacrifice your retirement for that child's two-parent, hoped for, home and college? Fine.

c. An Inspired Person Claims to Speaks for a Deity

Religious grounds for intervention:

Forced hostessing because of someone's dogma, interpretation of old texts.

But how make the connection between the individual outsider arguing that, and the deity?? We saw that the individual has a hard time proving a direct injury here.

And if there is no such, then how to connect the deity with the State so the State agrees to pass a religous law that only some of the people espouse?

Try God as the plaintiff. Who speaks for God? Whose God? Whose view? Is that the idea? Creationists would say to go to Creation- what was set up. Theology for the Rest of Us for discussion of translation and original source issues.

Do that - Genesis 1-4 - no word. No abortion concerns. Eve's conceptions were increased, year-round, ages 12-55 or so, but no restriction on whether she could foster or not. Go look. Go back to the earliest transliterations of the Old Testament - nothing. Is later theology and dogma sufficient? Oh, dear. Mankind, mankind. Elevating our systematized, administrative conjecture to the level of the deity. Another topic.

Who speaks for God? Whose God? From which tradition?

Are we so presumptuous that God needs our paltry, patriarchy-culture selves, evolved after Creation, without deity approval (Creation set up the man to leave his family, go to the wife's), to represent what God wants? Thank you, but God does what God wants and we step aside and let him/her/both do it. Keep out. Right to life. Whose life? Back to Marge Piercy, bless her, and her poem "Right to Life." See ://www.thewitness.org/archive/april2000/poemrighttolife.html. Here is the direct link, because the concept of one of so many that she espoused, and the direct link is vital to understanding the viewpoint - See this poem for an eloquent voice - Marge Piercy, Right to Life. If this direct link violates copyright, we don't agree, but will take it off if the appropriate right holders assert.

She died in 2007. See http://www.parentsorensen.com/obit-display.jhtml?DB=update/obits/dbase&DO=display&ID=1189635699_26464.

5. Where to Go If Individual and State Standing Fail

If someone cannot "codify" a cultural value like this, what else is available if that person wants to preserve his or her cultural value?

5.1. Component definitions, not the current "absolute."

We can break down the concept of abortion into component time frames, and that avoids the speculation issues. Early stages, may be one going on or not. How to force people to get tested? Can't. If they don't want to know, can they still get medications to stop it if it is?

5.2. Component definitions can be developmental stages.

This can recognize the varieties of life forms that can result from stem cells Zygotes, and not use the term "abortion" there because which life form will or will not result is speculative again.

5.3. Component definitions can reflect prioritizing whose rights, existing full breathing life, vs. incipient life forms, take effect when. And if we cannot do any of these #1-#3, we leave the issue totally alone and everybody minds their own business.

5.4. Roe v. Wade may be the best a diverse culture can do.

The longer the development has gone on, the more the burden passes to the hostess to show why it should not continue. That means decide quick, when a D&C sufficies. The equitable concept of laches - sleeping on your rights.

Then add, if a non-fostering is sought, the most humane way for both life forms - the one hostessing, and the in-utero.

Make the alternative of continuing the fostering so attractive, so positive, that anyone would want to continue it - voluntary homes for adoptive purposes, provide for surrogates even, or petri dishes, or whatever suits those who must see the life form continue. At their expense.

To get anywhere in a diverse culture, use words that inform, rather than impose someone's ideology. Keep the choice open. What does the deity require? What is the origin of the so-called "sanctity" of human life anyway? All life is good - even animals have souls if you read the earliest transliterations. FN 2

Ol' Harry, or

Graduated Rights,
Component Definitions for Each Stage


Common sense and no laws at all.
  • No force: Persuade and make the choice of fostering the Within so favorable, such a natural, no stigma, such a joy for the Hostess and those around her that of course she will choose it, on her own.
Or laws that follow Graduated rights. Definitions according to components.

Try this: The cells: A line moving from lower left on the graph to upper right with time; that it the cell mitosis, zygote, foetus, sustainable baby. Few "rights" at the outset, more at the end.

A line moving from upper left on the graph with time; that is the rights of the hostess to foster or not; that goes to the lower right with time. Huge rights at the outset, fewer at the end.

And any presumptions in gray areas to favor the rights of the Hostess because of Location, Location, Location, and the Third Reich issue.

The right to force the fostering may increase as the development moves along. That is how "Roe v. Wade" looked at it, see ://www.tourolaw.edu/Patch/Roe/. It balanced the rights of the hostess against the rights of the cells moving along. Standing changed with time. At the outset, not an abortion at all - by definition. A simple D&C, or dusting and cleaning, dilation and curettage. Etc.



FN 1 Who is an appropriate "complainant" or "plaintiff" - especially in the hot button areas of right to life (whose life form, the hostess' or the zygote's, or the foetus', or the swimming babe's who possibly can breathe by the time of decision?). Who gets to choose what and when, given all the gray areas.

1. Standing in Criminal Law. Only the State can sue, if there is a law broken.

We are most familiar with the idea of standing in the areas of criminal law, where there is a statute prohibiting certain acts that actually hurt other people in measurable ways, like murder or credit card fraud. There, the State has standing - not individual victims. The State's interest is in deterrence, to deter the bad acts, so the violating person is identified and punished - goes to jail or pays a fine. The State is the complainant, not the victim in criminal matters. The objective is to identify and punish a perpetrator, and then the State can deprive that person of his or her liberty - jail.

2. Standing in Civil Law. Individual citizens can sue, if they meet the connection test.

Then, we have standing in civil law, where we are injured financially or physically or both, and seek to be made "whole" again --by financial means (damages) or by forcing the contract breacher, to perform as contracted for. We can sue the guy who breaches the contract, didn't fix the sidewalk, on the basis of breach of contract or his or her negligence (torts) or worse, gross negligence.

The individual is the one with standing to sue: to get money damages or "specific performance" (forcing the opera singer to sing as contracted for) from the bad guy to make us "whole" again. That is not considered "punishment." An individual cannot seek to deprive another of liberty - no jail.
What if the individual does not meet the tests needed to assert an individual right?

If individual Person A cannot claim that right, to get actual reimbursement (damages or actual actions), then is there a point where the State's interest itself attains "standing" to force, because it has established a criminal law and wants to deter and punish.

Keep those two interests separate: the State and the Individual.

The individual. The individual gets a right when he or she has been actually injured, has a legally protected interest; and demonstrates that legally protected interest, and so can get damages or some other act to make him or her "whole" again.

The State. And the State gets a right when it also demonstrates a legally protected interest (that means a statute defining the prohibited behavior as criminal), and needs to deter actions, and punish identified perpetrators who are violating that interest.

Example for both: In "abortion" - take that as a start for understanding the "trawler" concept for fostering cell divisions or not. What is the State's interest in promoting births? That has to be articulated. What is the State's interest in putting existing full, independent life (the Hostess) behind incipient, even parasitic life forms? Parasitic means the life depends on the host for sustenance.

Worst case. We think of the Third Reich and its impregnation programs to populate with Aryans. Is that us, the US? Maybe people want that, forced births. But whose births? Whites? Undocumented immigrants? Ask about the racist undertones if suddenly pro-life people realized they are hastening their own demise as majority rulers.

Think of the issues here in enforcement. And the tax increases needed to enforce. All births or just us?

Standing: A Vital Issue. Look at standing on its own, in order to understand Roe and any issue: What are the rights of individuals on the outside, not affected by something directly going on inside someone else, to assert "rights" of the cell division entity inside that other person. When does the State's interest begin to supersede that of the Hostess. Surely an inexcusable delay in her seeking help until the foetus is getting up there would be considered. Not to be taken lightly. But a D&C? Those are routine. That is not "abortion" if we graduate the component definitions.

The right to life: that would be the right of the dividing cells at its various stages, not the right of the outsider. Who then has standing to assert the right of those dividing cells to "life;" and trump the hostess so she is forced to foster it. We really are looking at the right to force, not the right to life. If so, when does society get such an interest in the proceedings that the society forces, but that leaves individual complainants out of it.

This is where we need to look at when society's interest arises to such an extent that it can force someone to foster a cells division, an evolving foetus, a baby-in-waiting pregnancy. Then when do we decide, for the hostess, what also she shall eat, what she shall drink, what she shall put on, what she shall ingest, where she shall live, under what conditions, all for fostering the Event within? And how to enforce, at taxpayer expense, so open your wallets, enforcers. Can of worms. But there we are.


FN 2. Dogma does not work when it comes to laws.

Look up all the translation issues, and weep. The editing, the exclusions, the power-plays. Here is what we really start with - earliest transliterations of Creation: see Martin Luther's Stove, Creation by Transliteration, Old Roots.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Candidate Fantasies. Palin is no Abraham Lincoln. What Lincoln Stood For

Abraham Lincoln -

Lincoln Abuse in the Campaign

Lincoln would say: No Crusades.
Leadership Instead.

The Deepest Faith is the Least Doctrinal

Some candidates beseech a deity lightly. To be on your side, as you march along the path you have already decided to follow. But is that faith. Is that, instead, what crusaders do.  Decision made, here we go, and then run to the other side of the room to hope the deity will follow along.

This is what Leaders do: Acknowledge that noone knows the will of the deity, and that in humility decisions must be made in the fog, we trust they will be the right ones, but noone will know. Thank you deity, if it goes as we hoped, but we had no idea at the time. Just stay with us as we muddle through. That is what Leaders do. 

We retain this discussion of Sarah Palin, even though - this is an update 11/10/08 - her particular issue is over for now.  Other candidates refer to past icons, however, so they should be held to account.

Palin: references Abraham Lincoln in retrospect, when questioned about her earlier statements about, in essence, being on a mission from God, that we should beseech God to be behind us in the Iraq war. Pray for that, she says. Decision is made, we like it, now please, God, okay it for the record.

See ://www.answers.com/topic/crusade. Dedication to a goal certain, decisions already made, off we go. Wave a flag.  We are right, we know. Crusades are against "evildoers" - not merely competing interests, belief systems. We have the moral overlay as determined by the crusader. Do a search for "Bush evildoer" and find all the references he made to evildoers at the outset of his administration, gradually learning to avoid the term later, but continue on the same path with different labels, justifications.

How is Sarah Palin like Abraham Lincoln, or even to claim her views align with or reflect his.When did Abraham Lincoln enter her lexicon? Is this her first venture into history? We find no earlier references to Lincoln at all, in any searches we do on Palin's crusading speeches, message.

Abraham Lincoln? In the same breath as Sarah Palin? You decide.

We find nothing in Lincoln that smacked of the audacity to put human self-interest decision-making first, then march to the other side of the room and ask God to ok it.

Lincoln instead acknowledged no-one could know the will of God, and may God give us the sight to see what is right.

Meanwhile, we do the best we can, weighing as we go.

That is the difference between the humility of  leadership; and a crusade, the human ego of certainty about God wanting (and pretending to know) what they also want.

See their course at the everyperson's sites, including ://www.allaboutgod.com/crusades.htm on the one hand, and ://atheism.about.com/library/glossary/western/bldef_crusades.htm.

1. Here is an abstract about Abraham Lincoln and his form of faith: Now in issue in this cockeyed campaign, spiraling into who can distract whom from the issues.

Abraham claimed no assurance that his decisions conformed to any will of any deity. See this, from a narrative site exploring the "Puzzling Faith of Abraham Lincoln,":

"As early as 1862, Lincoln began to think the unthinkable: perhaps the will of God could not simply be identified with American ideals and the effort to preserve the union."

See Christianity Today, the Puzzling Faith of Abraham Lincoln, at ://www.christianitytoday.com/holidays/memorial/features/33h010.html

This change, noted after the Inauguration, after a lot of God talk around in the formal setting, is seen in what he believed was "probably" true - but never could quite be sure. See ://www.greatamericanhistory.net/lincolnsfaith.htm. We find nowhere that he ever saw any decision of his, or his support of a position, as being the same as God's will. He was grateful to God if it worked out, but raised no banners going in.

2. Abraham Lincoln and what he said: Here are his uses of the word "God" - doing a find for the word in this site of quotations: http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/quotes.htm. Go there for a fine collection of quotes - this first one a favorite as we think of our justifications for making the rich richer -
  • "It may seem strange that any men should dare ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces...."
Here are summaries of the concepts, again from a simple "find" down the list of quotes at the quotes site --
  • God governs the world,
  • give us firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right,
  • give thanks,
  • be grateful to God for the victory (this at the end of the war),
  • trust in God,
  • invoke the favor of Almighty God,
  • God planted within us the love of liberty,
  • those who deny freedom to others cannot under a just God retain it for themselves,
  • an honest man is the noblest work of God,
  • more give thanks to God,
  • the will of God prevails even though both sides think God is on their side - one will be wrong,
  • rely on God,
  • if God wills (not certain) ,
  • God is just and good.

Never that we can see does God declare or people dare claim that God is on their side. Look at other sites, also interested in what Lincoln believed or did not believe - see ://www.positiveatheism.org/mail/eml9468.htm

See other people's musings at ://siarlysjenkins.blogspot.com/2006/02/god-and-abraham-lincoln.html. Seekers all. Search for "Bush evildoer" and see how many times he invoked the crusader image in the early years of his administration, until, apparently, his advisors said to couch his crusader views in code instead.

Propaganda; a false parallel.

Propaganda by Association. A known tactic. But effective when people are not aware.

See http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Association_(propaganda_technique). See also FodderSight, Propaganda Study.

Accountability for plain meaning. Lincoln was a lawyer - he would know that where there is plain meaning, you don't have to go behind to find other meaning. We can take the statement as unambiguous. Where there is ambiguity, however, then go to find all the evidence you want to clarify the ambiguity, as to intention. Here there was no ambiguity in the tape of Palin before the church. It said we are on a mission. The later trumped up answer about referring to Lincoln makes no sense, and even if it did, does not supersede the plain meaning. No "recent fabrication" easily supersedes the original statement at the time. The first is seen as genuine, the second as CYA.

7.  Note the absence of any prior statements referencing her association with Lincoln.

If Palin indeed was referring to Lincoln, she would have to show now that there was some earlier time when she indeed made that reference and statement explicit in another earlier circumstance - to rebut the charge of recent fabrication. A prior "consistent" statement.

Candidate "code" -- watch out.  I need to say this, you understand, says the candidate when on the spot,but pay no attention to me now, you know what I said. Wink wink.

Abraham Lincoln never claimed to be on the side that God wanted. He was never on God's mission. He sought guidance, in all humility made the decisions that the times required, beseeched others to do the same, and in humility saw the limits of his own powers.

Palin is more like Our Miss Brooks than Lincoln, and that is a reference McCain would know.

Any candidate. Be careful of your own analogies.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Political Respose to Need. Joe Biden and Support for Disabilities: Dr. Louis Guggenbuhl. Historical Similarities. In Heart, if Not The Era.

First, the facts.

Who has helped the handicapped, without having a child in that category, and before knowing one was coming. We know from the classical virtues in leadership that it is not just the act that measures the leader, it is also the motivation, and whether it is tained by self-interest.  See FodderSight, Classics and Leadership Ideals.

Few people in western history have seen the mentally handicapped as fully human - that is our impression - unless they suddenly have the situation of retardation in their own families. We even put them to death in crimes they commit - attributing to them awareness and assessments that facilitate that.Here, Joe Biden has indeed helped, as a modern politician with funding decision-making clout; and -- in the greatest of self-sacrifice medical traditions, 19th Century Dr. Louis Guggenbuhl.*

Dr. Louis Guggenbuhl. So we looked up specifics and found a Dr. Louis Guggenbuhl in Switzerland in 1858 who dedicated his life to researching, treating, caring for a group known in the mountains as the "Christianus Christian," now known as "Cretins." Their condition recurs throughout the world where groups have an iodine deficiency - thyroid malfunction - but there, even the local people treated them with kindness, not stones. Find records of "cretin" characteristics, mental and physical deformity, in Asia, Europe, anywhere.

We look at that era and now. We find some people like Louis Guggenbuhl who have no political gain to make by attending the mentally handicapped, but do it out of kindness and dedication, and duty as a human.

Look back at the classical leadership categories - Classical Leadership Qualities. What makes a great leader.

The Greeks and Romans are clear on the merit of actions -- it is not the action, it is the motivation that matters. We would say that the action is better than nothing, but add greed, self-interest to the action, and the merit is gone. Sarah Palin, it is fine to say you are supporting the mentally handicapped now, but your actions before you knew you were carrying one were not in support. No points.

Dr. Guggenbuhl did not quite diagnose the culprit - lack of iodine - but his improvement in diet and circumstance moved many people forward, and set the stage for the later cure. See Cretinism, Dr. Louis Guggenbuhl.

Joe Biden: No Dr. Guggenbuhl technically, because he is not a doctor, but as former Delawareans, we believe Joe's interest in the mentally handicapped in Delaware as Senator set the stage for the extensive services we enjoyed in Delaware years ago - not just now when an election to federal office looms. 1973-1983 - our son was encouraged, we were trained how best to help, and he is off and running.

It is appropriate for the federal government to be a "bully pulpit" for social causes, and not just step in where states can and do do the job. Joe was that bully pulpit, and Delaware followed suit.

Our family testimonial: Skip it if you like. The substance is above.

Life in the USA. We are a family with a mentally handicapped child, a Down syndrome child, now adult,who received superb services while we lived in Delaware from our son's birth in 1973 until we moved when he was 10, in 1983.

Thank you, Joe Biden.

The consistent and solid educational and training intervention our son enjoyed for 10 years in Delaware we think was unparalleled: From the University (not State we recall, but perhaps), came a weekly or bi-weekly home visitor for Dan who was doing research, while he was an infant and toddler. She taught us what to do - how to use optimal exercise, stimulation, and when he was in a high chair, stand behind him to feed him so he could see directly the motions - not have to reverse. Put a little peanut butter on the tongue to encourage activity so he could hold it in better - all those important things.

Then the Wilmington Special Preschool with bus transportation provided, when he was 2-3 and on, Then the Wallace Wallin School, also with transportation, we credit them (most of the staff - no group is without some bad apples) with Dan's great start.

He went on to elementary, middle and high school in another state, now has a job 4 days a week, is as independent as all-get-out, and we thank Delaware. There was no mainstreaming in the new state when we moved, and had been no mainstreaming in Delaware either, but even the separate sets of facilities were a godsend. He loved the mainstreaming when it came along. Dan reads, writes, loves to go places, all that.

Sarah Palin. You have a blessing in the form of a disability that is relatively even-temperament, may well be healthy and active, is probably going to be endlessly loving and responsive, endlessly curious and great fun. Enjoy. So far, your interest looks hollow. Your loss. You are good at theater, but it may not last.

Don't exploit. And if you miss him now, you will never catch up. Your choice. Bonding happens early and takes daily contact. Ask child development professionals. Or not, your choice.

How much of Delaware's excellent resources was the Senator's activity we don't know - we do know. We do know that this happened on his watch. If he had not approved, the money could have gone elsewhere. We see on the usual political sites that his interest is longstanding, at ://biden.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/BidenRecordCivilRights.pdf, but websites are websites and we have no independent information yet. Just a great guy here - Dan the Man Who Can.

Hello, Palin. Others may cut funding when the situation does not apply to them, then whup it up when it does, but Joe Biden's Delaware was there from the start, and years ago. It doesn't take a friend in the White House. It takes a friend in the State.

Middletown to you, Joe. We were there when it was happening to you, and our hearts ached.

Look yourself up at Candidates In The Water. Format isn't working, but we have life to live here and can't fuss.


* Our understanding is that Governor Sarah Palin helped once she knew she herself was carrying a Down Syndrome child, but she won't answer questions so she can spin carefully later, so we keep our understanding intact.