Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Caucus Race: Mitch Mouse and Alice in Election Year

The Caucus Race in Election Year 
Rules of the Caucus-race, MitchMouse, The Thimble Prize, and the Confits.
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Offered here is a further installment of a modified Alice's Adventures in Wonderland,  in modern election-year view, from the framework (original) at http://www.authorama.com/alice-in-wonderland-3.html.  For background, see Mitch Mouse and the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.
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Kind of open quote here, but not all a quote:
OPEN KIND OF QUOTE
Quotish --  The Caucus-Race

" (This one set of quotes shall serve on and off for the whole, as it may apply.  Paragraphing is creative.)
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They were, indeed, a queer-looking party that assembled on the midwestern Ioway bank at that early stage — the Candidate Birds with draggled feathers, the caucus-voting animals with their fur clinging close to them, and all dripping wet, cross, and uncomfortable.  They needed to dry out.  They had all fallen into a pool of Alice's Tears, the dear girl -- also the only Democrat present.
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Alice, as was her wont, had reacted with feeling to the sad future of her fine country if all sharing and giving officially stopped, now that Some had got to the Top; as was proposed by the Candidates and the Me-Me-Me meme enticing many voters, judging by polls. And those who were not yet Rich aspired to be, and so they approved and were in the entourage of these particular Rich Candidates. Such a collection! See http://www.shmoop.com/alice-in-wonderland-looking-glass/dodo-duck-lory.html.  See an overview of characters, The Lory is also there, so peek first if you must, and then continue here.
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The first question of course was, how to get dry again: they had been quite inundated with media and their own verbosities for a very long time. They had a consultation about this, and after a few minutes it seemed quite natural to Alice, whose emotionalism about firming ladders for people, apparently caused the inconvenient flooding.  What need for rungs?  Complained the Candidates.  Education? Structures? Jobs? Health?  We got ours. Don't look to us to fix it for the next in line! And so it went.
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Nonetheless, to better understand them, Alice found herself talking familiarly with them, as if she had known them all her life. Indeed, their prior incarnations she had indeed known, and even respected.  It was these Tea-addled ones she sought to observe closely now. She had quite a long argument with the Lory, one of their number, who at last turned sulky, and would only say, “I’m older than you, and must know better.” 
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And this Alice would not allow, without knowing how old it was, and, as the Lory positively refused to tell its age, there was no more to be said.
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At last the Mouse, the same MitchMouse from the Abominable Tea Party, see http://sassafrasthicket.blogspot.com/2011/07/hebdomadal-vol-1-4-mad-hatters-tea.html#!/2011/07/hebdomadal-vol-1-4-mad-hatters-tea.html, who seemed to be a person of some authority among them, called out, “Sit down, all of you, and listen to me! I’ll soon make you dry enough! As a matter of fact, I'll see that everyone is wrung quite dry!”

They all sat down at once, in a large ring, with the Mitch Mouse in the middle. Alice kept her eyes anxiously fixed on it, for she felt sure she would catch a bad cold if she did not get dry very soon.  And yet, she felt discomfited by the idea of being wrung out to dry.  Hung out to dry?  Was that better? 
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“Ahem!” said MitchMouse with an important air. “Are you all ready? This is the driest thing I know. Silence all round, if you please!  And he proceeded with this very dry narrative:  ’William the Conqueror, whose cause was favored by the pope, was soon submitted to by the English, who wanted leaders, and had been of late much accustomed to usurpation and conquest. Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria—’”  He left out that William did not ever speak English and was illiterate, but then again, anything can be twisted.
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Of course, Alice also knew the real story of William the Conqueror to be quite interesting,  see http://franceroadways.blogspot.com/view/sidebar#!/2006/08/caen-bayeux-tapestry-and-william.html; but everything from the narrowness of MitchMouse somehow became fact-free floating exclusions and conclusions regardless.
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“Ugh!” said the Lory, with a shiver (remember to look back at the Schmoop site, above, if you have forgotten already who the Lory is).
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“I beg your pardon!” said Mitch Mouse, frowning, but very politely. “Did you speak?”
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“Not I!” said the Lory, hastily.
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“I thought you did,” said MitchMouse. “I proceed. ’Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him; and even Stigand, the patriotic archbishop of Canterbury, found it advisable—’”
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“Found what!” said the Duck.
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“Found it,” MitchMouse replied, rather crossly: “of course you know what ’it’ means.”
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“I know what ’it’ means well enough, when I find a thing,” said the Duck; “it’s generally a frog, or a worm. The question is, what did the archbishop find?”
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The Mouse did not notice this question, but hurriedly went on,“’—found it advisable to go with Edgar Atheling to meet William and offer him the crown. William’s conduct at first was moderate. But the insolence of his Normans—’ How are you getting on now, my dear?” it continued, turning to Alice as it spoke.
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“As wet as ever,” said Alice, in a melancholy tone: “it doesn’t seem to dry me at all.”
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“In that case,” said the Dodo, solemnly, rising to its feet, “I move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more energetic remedies—”
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“Speak English!” said Eaglet. “I don’t know the meaning of half those long words, and, what’s more, I don’t believe you do either!” And the Eaglet bent down its head to hide a smile: some of the other birds tittered audibly.  They also knew that William, bless his heart, also spoke no English.
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“What I was going to say,” said the Dodo in an offended tone, “was, that the best thing to get us dry would be a Caucus-race.”
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“What is a Caucus-race?” said Alice; not that she much wanted to know, but the Dodo had paused as if it thought that somebody ought to speak, and no one else seemed inclined to say anything.
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“Why,” said the Dodo, “the best way to explain it is to do it.” (And, as you might like to try the thing yourself, some winter day, I will tell you how the Dodo managed it.)
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First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle and starting right there in Ioway ("the exact shape doesn’t matter,” it said), and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there.  Some made it to the official list at each stop after Ioway, some did not, but that is the way of Candidates. 
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This led to a diversion, a beach-side discussion of Rules. 
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A dissenting voice, to the great surprise of MitchMouse, was heard from the voters: 

"Hey, Candidates.  You tout consistency. But look at your Rules. You love rules when they help you get elected, like keeping somebody off a ballot; and keeping opponents from voting.  And not when they don't, like when rules foster transparency and hinder shady moneymaking at our expense."

And another:  "It's all about YOU. You put rules in our bedrooms and in our doctor visits then complain about big government?  Yeesh! If no rules for the free market, then no rules for the marriage and autonomous living market." 

And another, "Your 'religion' is just another word for controlling other people. Back to the Founder!  Skip your dogma! Get your umbrellas out of our noses!"

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"Quiet!" squealed MitchMouse.  "That is for us, the 1 percent to decide. We decide what is culture, what is religion, and what we shall control because we know how to win! We rule the Great Bed of Ware! Not you, Fodder!"

"And, besides, we also have needs," he went on, turning out his pockets.


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And so there was a quieting of obedient ones, but the others muttered, yes, they muttered; and some gestured; even did a little step or two in time.
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The Caucus Race began. 

There was no “One, two, three, and away!” but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out“The race is over!” and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, “But who has won?”

This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought, and it stood for a long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence.
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At last the Dodo said, “Everybody has won, and all must have prizes.”  At this, Alice perked up because this was one gathering where nobody at all got prizes unless the 1 percent said so, after consulting their offshore bank accounts for impact and hoping their SuperPacs had their eyes on optics.
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“But who is to give the prizes?” quite a chorus of voices asked. Alice herself wondered what the prizes would be.  Real?  Or optics?
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“Why, she, of course,” said the Dodo, pointing to Alice with one finger; and the whole party at once crowded round her, calling out, in a confused way, “Prizes! Prizes!”
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 Alice was delighted at the role, because she believed deeply that everyone should have the basic human prizes of sustenance and opportunity -- her own pledge of allegiance was this:  Liberty, and Justice, and Sustenance for all.   Yes, governments must stay within its means, and if it needs more to do what is important for all, add to the means!  So she was pleased at the thought, and wondered why MitchMouse was so quiet. He, however, was tweeting with lobbyists and had not noticed that largesse was going on.
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Alice had no idea what to do, however, with no prizes ready at hand (revenues would have to be had) and in despair she put her hand in her pocket, and pulled out a box of comfits (luckily the salt water had not got into it), and handed them round as prizes. There was exactly one a-piece, all round.  Alice was a little surprised that she was to produce the prizes, and not the Group around the Candidates, but they just hummed and looked at the sky.
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“But she must have a prize herself, you know,” said MitchMouse.
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“Of course,” the Dodo replied very gravely. “What else have you got in your pocket?” it went on, turning to Alice.
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“Only a thimble,” said Alice sadly.
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“Hand it over here,” said the Dodo.
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Then they all crowded round her once more, while the Dodo solemnly presented the thimble, saying:
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“We beg your acceptance of this elegant thimble"; and, when it had finished this short speech, they all cheered.
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Alice thought the whole thing very absurd, because where was the opportunity and sustenance she valued so highly, but they all looked so grave that she did not dare to laugh; and, as she could not think of anything to say, she simply bowed, and took the thimble, looking as solemn as she could.  This would not take the place of schools, bridges, building repair, roads, jobs or health, but at least the idea of sharing had made a small inroad into this hard group. Funny religion theirs, with no giving anything that meant they had to give up something to do it!
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The next thing was to eat the comfits: this caused some noise and confusion, as the large birds complained that they could not taste theirs, and the small ones choked and had to be patted on the back.
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However, it was over at last, and they sat down again in a ring, and begged MitchMouse to tell them something more.
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“You promised to tell me your history, you know,” said Alice, “and why it is you hate—C and D,” she added in a whisper, half afraid that it would be offended again.
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What is C and D??
“Mine is a long and a sad tale!” said MitchMouse, turning to Alice, and sighing.
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“It is a long tail, certainly,” said Alice, looking down with wonder at Mitch the Mouse’s tail, that mysteriously grew much as Pinocchio's, with every spinspanspun bit of ludicrousness emerging from his nibbly mouth; “but why do you call it sad?” And she kept on puzzling about it while the MitchMouse was speaking, so that her idea of the tale was something like this, and very confused it was:
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 “Fury said to a mouse, That he met in the house, Let us both go to law: I will prose— cute you.— Come I’ll take no denial: We must have the trial; For really this morning I’ve nothing to do. Said the mouse to the cur, ’Such a trial, dear sir. With no jury or judge, would be wasting our breath.’ ’I’ll be judge, I’ll be jury,’ said cunning old Fury: ’I’ll try the whole cause, and condemn you to death.’”
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Capital punishment!  Oh, no, thought Alice.  That is no deterrent, and is often applied most unjustly.  She had just come back from a fact-finding tour of the issue, and had been impressed with Brits on Capital Punishment
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“You are not attending!” said MitchMouse to Alice, severely. “What are you thinking of?”
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“I beg your pardon,” said Alice very humbly: “you had got to the fifth bend, I think?”
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“I had not!” cried MitchMouse, sharply and very angrily, showing his little teeth.
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“A knot!” said Alice, always ready to make herself useful, and looking anxiously about her. “Oh, do let me help to undo it!”
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“I shall do nothing of the sort,” said MitchMouse, getting up and walking away. “You insult me by talking such nonsense!”
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“I didn’t mean it!” pleaded poor Alice. “But you’re so easily offended, you know!  And you are the one who talks nonsense.”
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Mitch the Mouse only growled in reply.
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“Please come back, and finish your story!” Alice called after it. And the others all joined in chorus, “Yes, please do!” But MitchMouse only shook its head impatiently, and walked a little quicker.
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“What a pity it wouldn’t stay!” sighed the Lory, as soon as it was quite out of sight.
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And an old Crab took the opportunity of saying to her daughter, “Ah, my dear! Let this be a lesson to you never to lose your temper!” “Hold your tongue, Ma!” said the young Crab, a little snappishly. “You’re enough to try the patience of an oyster!”
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“I wish I had our Dinah here, I know I do!” said Alice aloud, addressing nobody in particular. “She’d soon fetch it back!”
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“And who is Dinah, if I might venture to ask the question?” said the Lory.
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Alice replied eagerly, for she was always ready to talk about her pet:“Dinah’s our cat. And she’s such a capital one for catching mice, you can’t think! And oh, I wish you could see her after the birds! Why, she’ll eat a little bird as soon as look at it!”
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This speech caused a remarkable sensation among the party. Some of the birds hurried off at once: one old Magpie began wrapping itself up very carefully, remarking, “I really must be getting home: the night-air doesn’t suit my throat!” And a Canary called out in a trembling voice to its children, “Come away, my dears! It’s high time you were all in bed!” On various pretexts they all moved off, and Alice was soon left alone.
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“I wish I hadn’t mentioned Dinah!” she said to herself in a melancholy tone. “Nobody seems to like her down here, and I’m sure she’s the best cat in the world! Oh, my dear Dinah! I wonder if I shall ever see you any more!” And here poor Alice began to cry again, for she felt very lonely and low-spirited. In a little while, however, she again heard a little pattering of footsteps in the distance, and she looked up eagerly, half hoping that MitchMouse had changed his mind, and was coming back to finish his story.
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But, of course, it wasn't MitchMouse at all.  He makes his confused points and then ducks off, to his counting house. And so the Caucus Race did indeed dry everybody off, but it solved nothing else.  Alice's concerns that led to the sadness, never broached at all.  Broach?  Brooch?  Tiffany!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Occupy Songbook, for Marchers. We Are Occupy -y -y

Occupy Songbook
Occupy's Songs and Marches.
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For Those Put, Yet Again, On the Move *
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Constantly Updated with Milieu Change
From traditional contemplative, to peacefully nasal 
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INDEX
 Sing-a-longs
Supplement A.  Occupy's Nix 'Em All - Candidate overpopulation
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Main Book
1.  Occupy's We Shall Overcome - We are Occupy-y-y
2.  Occupy's Down in the Valley -- Down in Financial Alley
3.  Occupy's Clementine
4.  Occupy's I Gotta Robe -- I Gotta Tent
5.  Occupy's Down in the Valley Where the Green Grass Grows -- Green Bucks Grow
6.  Occupy's Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes:  Schools and Structures, Jobs and Health
7.  Occupy's Swing Low, Sweet Chariot -- Sweet Super PAC
8.  Occupy's O, You'll Never Get to Heaven -- On Sound-Bites Glib
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Marches and Chants 
9.    Occupy's March -- I Left My Wife (Newt's March)
10.  Occupy's Colonel Bogey March -- Reagan Was a Democrat. Reagan's March.
11.  Occupy's Colonel Bogey March -- Putin is a Republican.  Putin's March.
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SUPPLEMENT A.  
Occupy's Nix 'Em All
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUQKFt2-b7Q
Lyrics at http://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/mww/html/songs02.html
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[Chorus]
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Nix 'em all, nix 'em all
The long and the short and the tall
Nix group supremacism, CEO's, hired ad-Guns
Time-expired twerps * failed idea reruns
For we're saying good-bye, hucksters all
As back to their mansions they crawl
They deserve no promotion for greed's locomotion
So cheer up lads and lasses, Nix 'em all.
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.*That time-expired twirps idea is from the original lyrics
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Comment:  Reject 'em all  Nix 'em all.  NYT on Nix 'em All. This is not a new idea but it gets no coverage that stays up there for long.  See NYT 1/3/2012 at A12, Title: "A Last Frenetic Push as Iowa Campaign Wraps Up" re the madness in the activity of the Caucuses -- Frenetic.  Photo is of a barn with a big X in the No One slot for the vote.

Then see the later online NYT edition:  new title, mild, "On Eve of Voting, a Last Pitch" and no photo showing the X for a vote for No One.  No photo of the voter who is saying, reject 'em all.
The Nix line.

 What is going on, NYT.  Your online version is censored. Is there a mole changing things for online readers, to suit those who pay for ads? You expect us to trust your NYT tainted online version??
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.MAIN BOOK
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1.  Occupy's We are Occupy
Contemplative choice to start with, linking arms
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We are Occupy -y -y.
We are Occupy -y -y.
We are Occupy
And say -y -y -y -y,
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Tha-at deep in our hearts
We do believe,
Schools, roads, jobs, health:
Make the Real USA.
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We are Occupy -y -y.
We are Occupy -y -y.
We are Occupy
And say -y -y -y -y,
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Tha-at deep in our hearts
We do believe,
Top 1% must pay
Their share today.

Etc.
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* http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-15/u-s-mayors-crack-down-on-occupy-wall-street.html
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2.  Occupy's Down in Financial Al-ley
Nasal
Video of Lew Dite at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z39QwP7_4Fc
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Down in Financial Al-ley
Where morals are low
See slick money-changers
And their accounts grow.
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Down in the Bank vaults


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They hike fees and crow.
Laugh at 99-ers
And steal their mojo.
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3. Occupy's Clementine
Rowdy-like Steam-Releasing
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Video of Lew Dite at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUzQy4mmT3Q
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Cut off folks. Bless
Financial canyons!
How can Justice re-align?
See 99-ers
Getting shiners
From Norquist's signers
Pinching dimes.

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TD Bank now?
Wants to skim: Two 
Dozen of my bucks a year,
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To let me view the checks
Writ on my account!
Rich have on-line, and own their printers.
This hits the poorer.
Fee nadir. **
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**   $2 per month to continue to get a copy of your canceled checks on the back of your statement.  Banks are not loaning out our money so they can get their own income.  Bilk us instead.  Extortion? Yes, those of us with online banking can click to see, and print out, but how about the unconnected? Additional charge for reconstruction when IRS calls.  Complain! Complain!  See One Bank Fee May Be Going Away, But Others Lurk (Reuters)
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4.  Occupy's I Gotta Tent
Campfire or Outdoor Cooker Song

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a. I gotta tent
You gotta tent
All Occupy's got a tent.
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Gonna
Grab my tent,
The 1% wants my tent,
Where can I next
Pitch my tent,
Te-ent,
Te-ent.
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The 1% wants my tent,
To add to their billion tents,
Gotta defend 'gainst malicious intent.
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 ---
b. I gotta message
You gotta message
All Occupy's got a message.
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Gonna speak up our message,
Opportunity's the message,
Gonna keep on talkin' our message,
Message,
Message.
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Gonna speak up our message,
Educate for the message,
Vote to get the country back on the message.
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---
.c.  They own the news
They own the ads
1% own news and media-ads
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Gonna make our own news,
Quietly do our own ads,
Opportunity for all, is our Message
Message,
Message.
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They may round up our tents
And pretend we're violent
But The Top fears competition, our message.
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5.  Occupy's Down in the Valley where the Green Bucks Grow
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Jump Rope, Skip Rope
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Down in the valley where the green bucks grow,
There sat some ladies, pretty as a rose
Along came Cain, intentions tongue in cheek.
How many complaints were filed that week?*
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1-2-3-4-   .....


* Wives who were not there know nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Character is what happens in the darkness.
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6.  Occupy's Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes

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(Call)  Schools and structures, jobs and health
Jobs and health.
Schools and structures, jobs and health
Jobs and health; and
Schools and structures
Jo-obs and health.
Schools and structures, jobs and health
Jobs and health.
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(Response) Not for us, say one per cent 
One per cent.
Not for us, say one percent
One per cen-e-e-ent
Money's in our pockets
And it stays
We like our wealth.
Money's in our pockets, ha ha ha
We like our wealth.
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(Call) They got party lackeys fixing taxes
For their wealth.
They got party lackeys
Fixing taxes for their wea-e-e-ealth and
All those loopholes for their wealth
For their wealth. 
All those corp-rate loopholes for their wealth.

(Response) We bought Wa$hington for our wealth, 
For our wealth,
We're smart with our$ offshore
Away from taxes, for our wealth.  And
We got more from old grand-dad,
You think that smellth?
Tough luck with your
Schools and structures, jobs and health
Jobs and health.

(No response)
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7.  Occupy's Swing Low, Sweet SuperPAC
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a. I looked over the Potomac
And what did I see?
Comin' for to carry 
Th' election home?

Propaganda tactics, 
Block all talk of merit.
Sell but don't inform:
A land where politico-elephants roam.
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(Chorus) 
Swing low, sweet Super PAC
Comin' for to carry th' election home
Swing low, sweet Super PAC
Comin' for to carry th' election home
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b. I looked over Wall Street
And what did I see
Comin' for to carry 
Th' election home?

Profits skimmed, and disappearing.
Balance sheets skewed out of hearing.
Photo ID's keep voters out.
A blue Sheep Shearing.

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(Chorus)
Swing low, sweet Voter Suppression
Comin' for to carry th' election home
Swing low, sweet Voter Suppression
Comin' for to carry th' election home. 

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8.  Occupy's Oh, You'll Never Get to Heaven ---
on Soundbites Glib

Oh, you'll never get to heaven,
 (Oh, you'll never get to heaven),
On soundbites glib,
(On soundbites glib),
'Cause soundbites glib, 
('Cause soundbites glib)
Sit next to fib --
(Sit next to fib).

Oh, you'll never get to heaven on soundbites glib
'Cause the gosh-darned things 
Sit next to fib.
Ain't gonna vote for glib no more.
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Oh, you'll never get to heaven,
(Oh, you'll never get to heaven),
On Scrooge's train,
(On Scrooge's train),
'Cause Scrooge's train,
('Cause Scrooge's train),
Runs on others' pain,
(Runs on others' pain).

Oh, you'll never get to heaven on Scrooge's train
"Cause the gosh-darned thing 
Runs on others' pain,
Ain't gonna vote for Scrooge no more.
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9.   Occupy's Newt's March

Marching Chant.
Scroll down with a Find to "I Left My ..." 

I LEFT my wife and forty-eight kids
Alone in the closet without any gingerbread.
Did I do RIGHT?
Did I do RIGHT?

He LEFT his wife and forty eight kids
Alone in the closet without any gingerbread.
Did he do RIGHT?  
What he wants is RIGHT.


10.  Occupy's Colonel Bogey: as Reagan Was a Democrat

Marching Song.
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He was a Democrat.
Reagan. 
He was a Democrat.
Reagan.
He valued people.
Opened doors, 
Even at CPAC,
A Democrat.
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11.  Occupy's Colonel Bogey:  Putin Is a Republican
Marching Song
Putin's March
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Putin.
Is a Republican.
Putin.
Is a Republican.
Putin.
Chesty Putin,
Hates the voters,
Hides from Sun,
Repub-Putin.

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Brought to you by the Occupy's PAC, the Visceral Voter Support Network. 
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In the evening, Occupy visits the Theater.  Meet Common Mantony at http://www.plainmeaning.blogspot.com/#!/2011/12/shakespeare-and-occupy-vision-funeral.html






Thursday, September 1, 2011

Effective Cooperation. Benign Camaraderie and Grail of Haimish: Luka, Salman Rushdie, Fire of Life

Camaraderie as a Weapon. 
Effective Cooperation in Governing, Attaining Goals.
 
Look to literature:  Salman Rushdie and Luka's Fire of Life, addresses it.  The secret to success in a difficult venture, is camaraderie.  Let yourself and your friends not be split. The problem is that "not splitting" means forcing groupthink as to a fixed ideology for some, seeking to use the "not splitting" in order to obstruct.  Still, awareness and watching can help turn the negative obstructionism so that progress for a common good can resume.  Is that so? Pollyanna?  Are you still there?

The Benign Mutual Support.
Can we Foster Benign Camaraderie, Give here, take there?
Or is the Opposition, its Ideology, too Organized.

Autocratic opponents.  How to counter?  Dare we try benign camaraderie. Companionship. Warfare touts comradeship for war-companions against adversaries.  Take it further.  Are peace-oriented goals similarly fostered. Is there a way that mutuality goals of compassion, compromise, foster a competitive, survival edge against autocratic opponents, whether religious, or political. Ask Salman Rushdie.
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Ask Lukal.  The novel: Luka and the Fire of Life.  Read a narrative from another culture, how to counterFear and Force with Elements of Humor and Mutual Help.  Salman Rushdie's Hero, Luka, Says Yes.  The problem is that Salman Rushdie's character does not confront media spin control, with moles in all the media, including the once venerably objective New York Times.  See the slant words now, persuading by the highly colored words, under the radar.
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Hamish, or haimish, is a Yiddish term for the warm, the convivial, the companion-comfort values in life. Cozy, homey, familiar, says a Yiddish dictionary site, http://www.asinine.com/essays/yiddish.html.  It has been used to describe some of the most common childhood experiences, or those where the isolations of luxury are far less enjoyable than rubbing shoulders. The hamish. Human. Humans seek. I seek. You seek. He, she or it seeks. We seek. You (pl) seek. They seek. Seek what? David Brooks found, see http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/opinion/brooks-the-haimish-line.html

Is an element of the hamish, knowing to a virtual certainty that others are on our side, also a secret of those who prevail for the long term over great odds. Solitary confinement banks on isolation as a tool to defeat courage, is that so.

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 Is the environment of haimish (spellings vary) the grounding for competition and achievement, and without the harm to others that fear and force produce. Some say courage is an alone-thing, see http://www.stevepavlina.com/articles/courage-to-live-consciously.htm; others say that idea is only a start. Courage is augmented where there is companionship. The difficult part is finding common ground where companionship can emerge.  Fear and force do away with that, to whose benefit.
 .
Hamish is not a synonym for the communal. Hamish is often not in the communal. For example, Jante's law is a kind of communal system, and there is not great achievement fostered there. Instead, Hamish fosters individuality and accomplishment, by allowing and not restricting.  Hamish instead is an environment that fosters.
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See Haimish in travel.  See also FN 1. Yiddish already knows. See http://becomingajew.org/languages.htm.  The hamish in life.  Hamish in martyrdom: Saint Lawrence on the grid. Time to turn me over? Well done enough on this side? See him in Bjernede DK, wearing his grid, http://denmarkroadways.blogspot.com/#!/2011/07/bjernede-inside-round-church-rundkirke.html.  Humor did not save him, but his perspective lived on.

II.  Application - Author, Salman Rushdie, Book, Luka and the Fire of Life

Salman Rushdie's hero, Luka, in the 2010 novel, Luka and The Fire of Life,  finds that hamish pathways get him to the top of his mountain, where the maneuverings of frontal assaulters fall short.   Not only does respect for community work in great quests, like Frodo with companions, it is desirable and high time for it. Lesson: Old gods of all kinds, including the self-seeking to the exclusion of the group, farewell. Meet with Luka the "Respectorate of I" -- no thinking needed as long as the I is served.  This is not really a novel for children; and Respectorate adults, as as the Wall Street Journal, miss the point in focusing on the fantastic linear plot and not meaning. See http://www.randomhouse.com/book/158934/luka-and-the-fire-of-life-by-salman-rushdie.

Is appreciation of the hamish a kind of political and religious climate change. Is it time. Is there Relevance for health: Haimish for health. Who will test? See troubled veterans allowed to function in close-knit but open community, accomplishing much, at  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/01/science/earth/01veterans.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

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

I. The haimish of life. Definitions, Context.

Haimish. Hamish. Spellings vary. English doesn't even have a one-word for it.  English is too linear, its thinking too measurement and hierarchy-oriented, fist-proofs required, the language of the denier of sixth sense wisdom.

What encompasses the concept.  Definition auras. The hamish is an X that is found, that arises, that is fostered, by an environment, an attitude, a set of relationships, an X that blooms where there is sharing of effort, goals, seeking excellence, without harm to others.  At its Yiddish roots, find Warmth. Relationships. Conviviality. Lovingkindness in western religious tradition-texts.

But is it Wuss? Will it sell? Can it Work? If "hamish" fosters warmth, joint enjoyment as well as effort, appreciation of accomplishment rather than victory and static empire, is it doomed when confronted with the jugular competitor and its entourage of restriction and regimentation.

Does it enable success in the drive for difficult goals, or settle for the mediocre.
  • Macho enthusiasts' versicle: What can Hamish do when confronted by ferocity and threat? Fold? Retreat?
  • Sanity's response. Hamish includes setting your own goals. Hamish prevails over time because it has a secret:  it is a Way, not one conquest after another that ultimately fail. Expect a totally self-serving goal to fail, however, because operating with Hamish will probably steer you to another variant.


Hamish is definitely not Wuss because it is creative, strengthening and lasts.

Ask: What are the fondest childhood memories made of? The hamish times, people and places. Its context does not lull or weaken. Instead, it encourages any activity that does not harm others. Is that so? In a culture overwhelming itself with disease, stress, tension, anxiety, angst, anger, judging, supremacisms asserted in political thought, religion, color, ethnicity and gender, is it worth examing the Haimish. It takes 18 months to recover from sustained fear, and even then one is not necessarily what one was. See http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/connectasia/stories/201108/s3306842.htm

Climate. Climate change. How does a climate of fear depress other functions, or is stress of regimentation and control easily set aside, see http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro00/web2/Edmundson.html.  Mere opposition to the Respectorate will not get to the top: It takes another process too complex to explain: the strength of the hamish.

II.   The future and merit of the Hamish as a climate for accomplishment.
It works, and it Fulfills - better.

A.  Ask Salman Rushdie in his novel, Luka and the Fire of Life. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/oct/16/luka-fire-life-rushdie-review.

This is not necessarily a children's book at all. Too much may pass over their heads. The Luka-quest concepts address adult, political, religious, social issues. That "children's" designation serves to keep adults from reading it -- clearly a move by the books' Respectorate to keep its old gods in place.  It is the tool of the Wall Street Journal in quoting from it - or did they not read it?  See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704206804575467840843038812.html. Wall Street note to self: Doing away with worship of old god-forms would include profitism, or did that pass over the WSJ's collateralized head?  FN 2.

Salman Rushdie's protagonist, Luka Khalifa in Luka and the Fire of Life, sets out on a great quest, and confronts those very Sorts.

The mission:  Luke sets off to restore the fire of life to his apparently dying father, where another being, the genial but agenda-ed Nobodaddy, gains in strength and solidity as the father fades. The forces of regimentation will be set against him. Where does the boy start? Who will join him? Aah - Dog the Bear and Bear the Dog (go back to morphs of Alice in Wonderland to get the flavor of the tale).

Luka, a questor and sojourner like Odysseus or a Hobbit or a Templar of fantasy, seeks a grail, an impossible dream that must be found because it holds where life is. Follow Luka, from the Sea of Stories, tumbling down the Torrent of Words, into the Lake of Wisdom and the River of Time that flows both ways and sideways - time is like that (we learn, but the Respectorate cannot accept in its tick tock way)  - up the Mount of Knowledge and to The Fire. 

It is not a children's book necessarily at all. It addresses adult, political, religious, social issues. In its other review, the Wall Street Journal (did the reviewer Meghen Cox Gurdon read the book for meaning or just linear plot line?) overlooks how Luka is enabled for his victory - the overturning of old god-forms, the role of caring, rejecting the tit for tat of the Insultana against the Respectorate's Over-Rat. See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703523604575605051509449296.html

The Respectorate's payroll is everywhere.

B.  Who does Luka confront on his quest?

Among all the obstacle people and groups and individuals and ideas and gods and circumstances, find these:

1. The Grandmaster Flame himself, Captain Aag. Think Aargh! Luka dares to stand up to him, and it works. But Aag, the Ringmaster of the Great Rings of Fire of the great circus that Luka's curse destroyed, will be back, you can be sure because that is what Aag is and does. Aag wants what he wants and can shape-change to get it.

2.  The Respectorate of I, with its Over-Rat.
Regimentation and rules and repression.
Meet the Over-Rat. The one nobody votes for. It votes for itself (like the Pledge-Maker). But eveybody in the Respectorate does essentially what the Over-Rat says, including following P2C2E - "Processes Too Complicated To Explain." The Inquisitor Rat will investigate your patriotism and inquire particularly if you believe that 2+2=5 because all acceptable Rats believe that.
The chorus affirms the principles of the national song of the Respectorate of I:
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 "We all say I, I, I.
There's no need to argue, no need to sussspect (sic),
No need to think when you've got Ressspect. 
We all say I, I, I." 

Luka and the Fire of Life at page 75-76. Fair use. Sing the national song at page 75ff.


III.  Is there hope for those entrapped?
Yes, but by divesting from old forms

Will the Can't-won'ts, like the book's Over-Rat, beat down consideration of the merit of the hamish, in the Respectorate's quest for profit and empire. Or can the hamish - as in the book - by merit confine the Respectorate to their own realms of harm, choose new ways, and move on to better times. Is "upside down the wrong way around" and do 2+2=4 or not? There is a battle at chapter IV, but the opposers of the Respectorate are, in their way, obnoxious as well. What path can Luka choose?

There are indeed opponents of the Respectorate, but they and their songs are insulting and taunting in return: is that progress? 

Meet the Insultana of Ott and the Otters pelting rotten fruit on the heads of the Respectorators. Expectorating!

Hear them Otters sing right back at the Rats: insults abounding.

"Two and two make four, not five
The world is round, not flat.
Your Boss is the Smallest Fry alive.
We do not Respect the Rat!
Oh, we do not Respect the Rat!
"And upside down is the wrong way around,
And black is black, not white.
And a squeak is by far the creepiest of sounds,
No, we do not respect your Right,
We do not respect your Right."

*****

"Ai-yi,
Ai-ti,
We all moan ai-yi-yi.
You're fools and you're bullies.
Your thinking is woolly.
Respect? You're not serious?
You're effect's deleterious!
We laugh at you, ai-yi-yi-yi-yi.
We laugh at you, ai-yi-yi."

Luka and the Fire of Life pp.79-81 - fair use.

"We've got to get away!" shouts Luka, page 79, losing more and more of the lives available to him to sustain him on his quest (another part of the story). 

Note that it is not enough to join in with the Insultana, although she can be and is helpful. She cannot get to the top, other processes must do that, but she does have chutzpa.

How to save a saving point so he won't regress back further than from whence he came.  One solution is to return always to the mindset of the original teller of the tale, and find solutions there, not in later Stuff. Good idea.

So: swapping insults does not achieve the goal. Go back to the original tale teller. What was in the mind of Rashid Khalifa, the father, the Shah of Blah. What was his world-mind like? It leads to truths: What of the stories of the old god figures. Even if they are not to be "worshipped" any more, can the tales be with us on their own. Time to move on from the old god-forms of institutions and barnacles because they have been highjacked and no longer operate as they were intended or once did, is that so, Luka?


IV.  Hamishness and Health

Another stop on the quest continues after the novel.  Is there a connection. Who will study health and hamish. Who will study human development, maximization of talent, skills, with hamish. The Respectorate Way is one of fear-inducing.  Do not dare to individualize. Do not dare to disagree. Do not dare to think.  This works.  See how other functioning is hampered when fear is introduced: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060920193424.htm

The haimish environment, with its notable lack of fear-fostering, is maligned.

Ask, as Luka in effect does, do we need status threats, supremacism comparisons in daily and business and religious life, to achieve difficult goals, to be fully human?

 Respectorate of I followers would say Yesss. No business can make as much profit if it is haimish. Let the consumer know the truth of the transaction, and the consumer may walk away, so fight Elizabeth Warrenness. Keep the fog. Politics:  fight, obstruct, demand, dig in, Riptide games emerge as the R's repeat and repeat in our eaRs. We've got you, little fools!  And tout the aggressive as the way to Win. To Achieve for this group at the expense, who cares, of others.

Examine The Haimish Way: can it compete.

It has, and works.  Empires fall regularly, but not the truths of the common good.

Has Luka, in his quest, found a grail of sorts, the grail of the round, roundtable, the concept of the "round" and not the hierarchical arrowhead, the spear, the empire, the perhaps true meaning of grail as shape and concept for living, not a "thing", see http://kngdv.blogspot.com/2011/02/round-churches-roundtables-labyrinths.html

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

FN 1 David Brooks, New York Times columnist, noted the concept after a vacation. On vacation, there is stress: a sub-goal is to get one's money's and effort's worth -- think of the expense of going abroad, for example, the disruption of schedules, the stake that a child may have in having a good time, learning. 

Brooks found that his family enjoyed and got more out of the haimishness of the less expensive accommodations on that vacation - people closer at closer tables, chat, even guffaws, welcome, inclusive. Restful. Cheeks below comfy sitting, cheeks up top showing the beginning of a (gasp) smile. He notes the chill of the expensive: the stilt, the distance and distancing, the snoot, nose up and acknowledging no others but those at this par-tic-u-lar ta-ble.

FN 2  How could the Wall Street Journal miss the nobility of the it-Barak at page 214? see the itbarak, from the ancient Greek to Turkish and on, at tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/İtbarak and hit translate; or go to http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=tr&u=http://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/%25C4%25B0tbarak&ei=h9lfToTsGarG0AGzv5m8AQ&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBsQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dit-Barak%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1T4GGHP_enUS446US447%26biw%3D1366%26bih%3D564%26site%3Dwebhp%26prmd%3Divns

Hamish competitive edge.  Ask Luka.  Tell Can't-Won't in the House.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Unbrink the Country. The Big Lie Bars Consensus Without Capitulation. Consumer-Oriented Thinking. Political Consensus. IRAC. I.R.A.C.

Unbrink the Nation.
The Big Lie Propaganda Technique
Bars Consensus Without Capitulation.
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Can We Counter the Big Lie.
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in Political, not just Juror Life
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Needed:  Education.  A Political Consumer-Oriented Think Tank, 
to Educate Voters against the Big Lies.
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Truth and Transparency in Political Sales
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The recent national Credit Rating Downgrade issues continue. At the time, Standard and Poor's highlighted the dysfunctionality of our political process: the contentious inability of house and senate and its funded factions to sway voters, to reach consensus.  Voters are lost in fear and force and humiliations of backing away from ideologies rammed down throats, is that so.
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How to examine whether there are Big Lies in the ideological indoctrinations of either side. The Big Lie:  The idea originated with Hitler in Mein Kampf, a worthwhile examination that does not focus on the extremes of genocide, just how he got the job done by persuasion of the people. By way of update, see http://sassafrastree.blogspot.com/2011/02/unser-kampf-our-struggle-paraphrase-of.html
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Consensus takes groundwork, as is already familiar to those on juries, and the groundwork is agonizing, see http://joyofequivocating.blogspot.com/2008/02/decision-making-choice-consensus-to.html. On juries, failure to reach consensus means that the system will probably begin again with a new jury, or the plaintiff or state will abandon the pursuit. We do not have the luxury of that time, to start over.  Identifying any Big Lies can help, if it will be allowed by those whose interest lies in the lies.
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For those not called to jury duty, the consensus concept may be mistakenly equated with "agreement".  Not so.  The agreement is not as to terms, but as to willingness to abide by, move forward on those terms.  In political life, the concept is as important as it is to a jury, if it is to avoid mistrial by virtue of hung jury, and starting over.
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Start with S and P's focus on "consensus."  Can we define and meet it in the political context, now that this "judge" has told us what we have to do (no more mere digging in), with persuaders in every media haven trying to conceal facts and get commitment to an ideology regardless.
  • What is consensus; 
  • What gets in its way; and 
  • How can consumers of the political product (voters) unhook from learned behaviors, just as politicians will have to, in order to reach consensus.  
To get to conseusus, try, as a start, the process of I.R.A.C. in communications -- the IRAC paradigm. FN 1

IRAC is known to law students, but apparently avoided by lawyers in government because it works to clarify, lead to sensible positions. Are we overloaded with lawyers in government, trained to think there is no fact until a trier of fact formally finds it. Until then, spin a narrative and hope it flies. There is nothing sincere or necessarily true or "factual" about a trial position. It is aimed to win over a judge or public opinion. Different. The voter should learn what the lawyer-legislators (there is a difference in objective and mindset) already know about persuasion, and use against the voter for their own financial gain, is that so?  See http://www.lawyeringskills.com/sorkin/irac.html

I.R.A.C.

IRAC is analysis by defining issues, not just bandying about an ideological vocabulary;  identifying relevant rules with historical support;  applying those to facts and arguments (including ideologies in multiple forms) and come to conclusion. Can voters vet issues anew, and rein in recalcitrant ideologues making money off all of us. If not, we deserve the downgrade.  Don't blame them. Blame us for buying in.

1. Consensus - Agreement to move forward on terms

Those who go to trial seldom think a court decision is  totally fair, either. 

Why come to consensus:

Now we know why in the political world. If we don't, just as in litigation, a judge will decide for us, and that may contain results that are worse for one side or the other. S&P was only one of the judges (there are other credit groups, and voters remain the ultimate judge, if allowed a clean election). But the lesson is clear: third party decisions will contain errors by the decision-maker, but those will probably not change the result. Factor the likelihood of errors in, and hope they are not too bad.  Judicial errors probably only count if they go to the heart of the matter, show an abuse of the discretion of the decision-maker.  A mathematical error will not meet the criteria, probably. Live with it.  
  • Here, S&P was the judge. We knew it would be the first judge. 
  • Obama correctly assessed what that judge would need to find the United States' favor.
  • Republicans walked out of negotiations at the most critical time, because their version was not to be adopted wholesale, and, indeed, even more would be required. Obama was right again. 
  • Where ideology cannot accept what is required in the real world for the common good, shelve the parts of the ideology that bar movement forward.
Consensus is not luck or easy. Consensus is intentional.   Acting Together Toward a Goal to Move Forward; acting in concert. Imagery:  marriage or divorce;  conjoined in vital ways; or going own ways.

Consensus does not require agreement on all the angles of the agreement.  Parties choose to act on concert, together, even if one or both parties retain strong reservations and disagreements on particulars.  Those get shelved in favor of the totality. 

This is familiar in divorce.  People sign settlement agreements that then become orders so they can move forward, finally.  And the agreement enables them to do so without the expensive, delaying and often copping-out of of passing the issue to a third party to decide at a trial. 

The advantage in court practice, however, is enforceability:  Any party who had reservations who then obstructs the agreement can be contempt of court anyway. 

Contempt of voter. 

In that sense, in politics, we need the same kind of enforceability of the consensus of the voter's will in the election.  Ongoing obstruction of the voters' will, the consensus from the last election, is contempt of voter.  Try that for size, underminers of the last election's government. And stop it.

Political consensus.  Pull the tractor together, even if you would rather be in the other line of pullers.

With consent as agreement with position seemingly impossible, work toward consent as agreement to harmonize actions. See http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/consensus.  Keep your precious disagreement, but shelve its getting in the way of joint action toward a common goal. 


2.  What gets in the way of consensus
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a.  Learned, trial-lawyer type tactical-acting out behavior.

Playground Bullying.

Add inflammatory language; and use of persuasion techniques that sway based on emotion and imagery rather than the merit of the argument.  We need a new rule:  nobody argues based on aspersions on the other side.  Everybody must present what he or she would do instead.

Proposed rules for the Super Committee:  No theater. Boehner blew it.  Dysfunctional theatrical displays work against analysis: walking out of negotiations, huffing, all silly things learned and practiced in law school and courts, mislead a decisionmaker and distract from main issues.

No behavioral acting out allowed in the Joint Committee. Behavioral displays of plumage and strut, exacerbate reactions, and do not help solve a problem, Skip puerile bully non-negotiating tactics. These maneuvers are a dime a dozen, all taught behaviors and boringly predictable:  Watch a video.  Search hardball trial tactics. Enjoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFFRYiTWbds.
  • walk-out (do one at least once in each negotiation, lawyers are taught), 
  • demonize proposals of the other side as moving goal posts, while doing such yourself;
  • refuse to return calls, delay, delay, 
  • then find the media and huff. 
All learned behavior, like Pavlov's dog.  Put an adversarial lawyer in negotiations and he salivates because he knows he can soon walk out in a huff and bark. Brinking the nation over one side's ideology will abort us all. See http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/08/defusing-fiscal-risk

b.  Poor judgment in free speech.  

Any speech can retain its freedom, where the speaker exercises some restraint in the interest of consensus.  And now we have no choice. 

Like free use of guns, responsible use can include reasonable time, place and manner constraints for public safety, and similar.  Watch your language if your interest is in analysis, not baiting.  The purpose of speech is known by its time, place, manner. Voters, what are your representatives and their funders doing? Is it in your interest?

c.  All oaths now to be rendered inoperable. Period. 

d.  Spun information, incomplete, supporting facts not convincing, agenda-ridden.  Look up persuasion, propaganda techniques. Spot them.

e.  Insistence on the perfect, for this particular group or person.

Adversarial persons and groups who stand in the way of consensus insist on agreement to their way on each and every point.  Not needed for proper consensus, not fair, not appropriate.  Political agreements that become law are signed in order to move the process forward overall, a consent to act together, and do not require a giving up of disagreement with some provisions. 


3.  How can voters unhook from buying the spin process --
Merit over Messaging Technique

How to get back to merit.
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a.  Unhook.  

Vet the source, the content.  Who is really looking out for your interest. Are the most vociferous the ones who have not vetted on their own, who absorbed the big lies.

b.  Explore independent thinking techniques,

Analyze. --  Individually, or in Consumer-Oriented Think Tanks I.R.A.C. as an Analytical Process for Everyman: Reasoning for the People.  See FN 1

c.  Lighten up.

Uses of imagery.  

That last one, little letter c.  Can we unbrink the nation with a little humor?  Or is somebody going to cry, "Insult!"  Look in your own garden. Thumbs up!   Both viewpoints here get an image. There are always other uses and interpretations - gardens do that.


That could also be pirated for another meaning. Here we choose the thumbs up.


Thumbs down.

Thumbs down.

 Laugh, don't shoot.

That means you, NRA. Public safety, public interest, rights to do whatever, are all part of our democracy's balancing process. Lighten up. Issues are matters of respective merit, not ideology. How else to get consensus, or do you prefer force?

d.  Re-frame how we see our Democracy.

No more tricorns and fifes, if we are serious about consensus.  Put away the stockings and knickers and muskets, at least until the Super Committee has completed its work.

Ask what image represents what we are at this point. 

Is our Democratic way of life, in the total scheme of Planet Earth's cultures, a mere embryo.  Is it in danger.  Is it worth saving. At what stage. Who decides if it should be destroyed. We are not even 250 years old, one of the lights (we like to think) of the world. Who or what other ideology has the right to destroy it and for what reasons.  Familiar imagery of flags has been abused, gets lost.  Try another familiar image, but in this unfamiliar setting.  Does ideology control, or facts, and what are facts.

The concept brings out issues of who decides what for whom, when, how, what does passage of time do to the issue, all that. Here is our democracy, compared to the age of most other cultures of the world. 



Debate. Facts.

Unhook from ideology as the first analytical tool.

Clashing ideologies and supremacism, before a factual analysis and conclusion, mean war. Unbrink.

e. Object when media treats opinion as "news."  

Viewpoints are bought and paid for.  Opinions without full statements of supporting facts do not move us forward, are reactionary. They take up time that is better spent on fact presentation.  Instead, vote with your remote, with your news subscription.  When any media treat views as news, or slips in persuasion to skew objectivity in the journalism, flip.  Demand that the opinionator instead lay out what he or she would do. That is news. You can form your own opinion, after you have all the facts.

f.  Messages to be based on merit of one's own argument, not demonizing, casting aspersions on the other.   


Those who depend on messaging skills (persuasion tactics) rather than merits of an argument will howl.

The bid for public opinion is already in overdrive, but look back at the positions, not the opinions of them by the spinners.  Obama was indeed right in his idea of the great bargain all along. We had no time for the nonsense that ensued by Republicans combining unrelated issues. Wrong forum, wrong time, for the debate that cannibalized us all. Needlessly.

Unbrink the nation. S&P may have erred in some calculations, but basic points remain: Unless all tools are available to address problems, we continue to lose.
  • National stability, socially and ecomically, means matching revenue to needed expenditures so all have access to opportunity. 
  • Time, place, manner. To suddenly stop feeding someone, even though he may well need a reduced diet, is probably to kill him.  Failure to feed the democracy aborts it.
  • Funding goals:  cut anything that fails to serves stability and growth. 
  • Productive people require less government support - an immediate savings in spending
Thumbs up on that.


Conclusion

Unbrinking means changes in behavior on both sides. Ideology has been a weapon, and that has not worked. S&P tells us that. Is ideology a mess of pottage when it is separated from context, put first before facts? Pottage. Sell your self for it and what do you get. See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/03/us/politics/03spend.html?ref=todayspaper

"If the facts don't support your case, argue the law. If the law doesn't support your case, argue the facts. And if neither the law nor the facts support your case, create a smoke screen and obscure everything."
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FN 1  IRAC.  Voter tools for analysis. What is the issue here. What solution is proposed. Does the solution address the supposed issue, or another agenda.

  Learn how to phrase an issue first -- what is to be decided.  Then separate what proven rules should apply.  Then apply those rules to the facts and arguments; and see what the conclusion is as to the issue. 

In analysis, the principles of IRAC have long been available to professional training schools, see http://www.lawnerds.com/guide/irac.html.  Can it be used by voters to demand information from the Super Committee, to explain to the public what is happening without reference to a particular member's ideology. Let ideology come in at the end, to see if it tweaks a result that all can live with, or not.

Bring tools to the public. A little IRAC exposure may enable a voter to spot logical weakness, despite emotional connection that may have already been made. 
  • Examine use of analogies and repetition and other persuasion tactics.
  • Stop before committing to a position.
  • IRAC: A step by step analysis tool. Simple.
Usefulness:

Balance in any resolution of anything leads to perception of fairness, thus stability.  Here, ideology comes at the end of the analysis, not at the beginning.  Period. If someone starts with ideology, flip the channel.