Friday, April 07, 2006

Sue Jeffers for Minnesota Governor - People Before Politics

Sue Jeffers for Minnesota Governor - People Before Politics:
"Minnesota Needs New Leadership
For over 50 years our government spending has been out of control from both political parties. The voters have tried every combination and our government continues to have major problems.

Our Minnesota $30 billion state budget has nearly doubled in just over 10 years. Has your paycheck doubled? Have you received double the government services for your family? Has there been real improvement in our state education, economy, transportation and health care? Shouldn't the government work for the people and not the other way around?

Since you pay 47% of your income in federal, state, and local taxes (According to the U.S. Census Bureau), you have less to spend on health care, higher education, a down payment on a new home, retirement, and many other priorities for your family. It's no wonder why it's more difficult to achieve the American Dream. There is so much potential for real change and growth.

Our Republican and Democrat government is moving in the wrong direction, but we can take Minnesota back in the next election."




I'm a progressive Libertarian, or Left-Lib. I believe that there's only one real role for government, and that is to see to the real needs of the people that suffer it to exist. And as Sue Cogently points out, we get less and less benifit from our government and more taxes and more paperwork to justify our exemption from taxation as pale recompense.

But there are a lot my fellow Libs will not talk about. They fondly assume that a lack of govenment would lead to great things. Nope. If you doubt me, go look at Somalia.

Now it's true, the Rugged Individualists are making great hay their, in the glorious entreprenurial spirit of warlords everwhere, but for the average schmuck like thee or me, it sucks.

Government exists in order to distribute power. Wealth - not so much, save as it translates to power. In other words, govenment exists to safeguard rights and ensure that the benifits of civilization are reasonably well-enough distributed to prevent looting, riots and pandemic disease.

There is a reason why our health care system costs us more per taxpayer with far lower payoffs. Because in our desperate avoidance of anything appearing "socalist", we have been paying far more in order to get far less.

As a fiscally conservative Libertarian, I consider that sort of idiologically-driven idiocy to be inexcusable.

Govenement is a logical means of distribution for things we all have equal need for. And by that I mean access to health care. Now, as for how the risks are arbetraged behind the scenes - there, I think, there is a lot of room for private enterprise. But up front, neither I nor my phsyician wish to be bothered by paperwork in a time of need.

I also happen to believe that a robust social safety-net is needed, one engineered so that it doesn't trap people within it's sticky webs by means of punitive restrictions and expensive patronisations. Why? It's simply good management to have ONE mechanism to replace hundreds. It saves everyone a great deal of money, and if there is fraud - well, the fewer systems you have, and the fewer decision points in it, the less fraud there will be in an absolute sense.

Hurricane Katria showed the inability - and the obdurate unwillingness - of our federal govenment to come a'runnin' when their citizens needed them. Instead, they hid behind procedure and red tape to avoid being of any use at all - even as the money taxpayers spent towards our govenement being of use and congress appropriated for their use to that end melted away - like truckloads of ice waiting for authorization to proceed.

We need to start asking what we in common get for our 47% percent investment of our labor into this monstrosity we call government. And we have the right to demand a response.

But we cannot pretend that we can do without fair weights and measures, fair and responsive law enforcement, reliable and unbiased courts and the occasional legislative clarification of particuar areas of constitiutional intent. We need mechanisms for neghborlyness and in the worst cases, consequences for bad manners and inconsiderate behavior of the extreme sort, so that we are not forced by necessity to enforce our own rough justice for want of a better options.

All this requires govenment as able and agile as we can managed - and starkly limited in it's scope. I've found that institutions that concentrate on their core business tend to do better than those that try to manage every little thing themselves.

As a matter of fact, I have faith in both ID and Evolution.

Was Darwin Wrong? @ National Geographic Magazine:

"Evolution by natural selection, the central concept of the life's work of Charles Darwin, is a theory. It's a theory about the origin of adaptation, complexity, and diversity among Earth's living creatures. If you are skeptical by nature, unfamiliar with the terminology of science, and unaware of the overwhelming evidence, you might even be tempted to say that it's 'just' a theory. In the same sense, relativity as described by Albert Einstein is 'just' a theory. The notion that Earth orbits around the sun rather than vice versa, offered by Copernicus in 1543, is a theory. Continental drift is a theory. The existence, structure, and dynamics of atoms? Atomic theory. Even electricity is a theoretical construct, involving electrons, which are tiny units of charged mass that no one has ever seen. Each of these theories is an explanation that has been confirmed to such a degree, by observation and experiment, that knowledgeable experts accept it as fact. That's what scientists mean when they talk about a theory: not a dreamy and unreliable speculation, but an explanatory statement that fits the evidence. They embrace such an explanation confidently but provisionally—taking it as their best available view of reality, at least until some severely conflicting data or some better explanation might come along."
This is a succinct explanation of the Scientific Method, and how it forms theoretical structures that do not need to be "absolutely correct" to be utterly reliable in terms of practical application.

As the article points out later on, our entire concept of electricity is "just a theory," and a disturbingly vague one in places. But based on that theory, which any physicist will tell you is incomplete with any number of fascinating unanswered questions, is still a theory that you, personally, can bet your life on.

You make that bet every day, every time to flip a switch and turn on a light.

That is what a "scientific theory" is. Something with enough proof to it that it can be relied upon as a solid foundation for further, deeper truths to be piled up on - and consumer goodies that most of us comprehend only well enough to flip the switch.

Now, by contrast, the story of Creation in the Bible must simply be accepted or rejected - according to some - as the literal truth. Others, a little more flexible of mind, feel that God may have chosen to cloak His hand in the appearance of evolution.

Others feel that reality is too complex for random chance to account for it, and offer the hypothesis of an Intelligent Designer. It's an interesting hypothesis, but it's not a theory supported by evidence. Indeed, it hasn't the predictive value of a scientifically valid hypothesis, which includes some idea of how the concept could be disproven. How does one disprove the existence of God?

But that is what the fear of science relates to. That people, given sufficient book-larnin', may drift away from the "faith of their fathers." And indeed, they tend to do just that, in a way that's directly proportional to that faith's inability to deal with inarguable evidence that contradicts important dogmatic statements of faith.

I'm a man of both worlds; I'm very much impressed by objective evidence, but at the same time, my personal reality is profoundly subjective. I know that there are many more sorts of "real" than either conventional Christian or conventionally Scientific viewpoints can comfortably accommodate.

I'm in possession of many, personally reliable theories of how my mind operates, for instance, that are either impossible to falsify, or validate by means of any particular religious or spiritual viewpoint. But so long as they continue to be reliable and aid me in interacting usefully with other people, as they do, and predicting where to find new and useful insights, as they do, I consider them true enough. I have to have such theories; as a multiple personality, functioning in a world, that to the extent that it considers me at all, considers me and myselves to be either delusions or demonic possessors of an Innocent Soul, I need better tools than either have to offer me. Because, well, I'd like to continue BEING me. All of us would. And accepting either conventional Scientific Authority on the matter or Conventional Religious Authority leads to personal extinction for all but one of us.

This seems unpleasant, unwise, and it also seems to us that beliefs that allow one to justify destroying the personality of another in order to uphold a belief of any sort to indicate a tiny, barely visible insecurity in the validity of a belief that one has invested far too much into.

In many ways, this argument is not about truth; it's about who will get to be the arbiter of truth; who will be the final Authority on Who God Is and What We Are Supposed to Do About It.

As a Living Threat to the Established Order of Things in the eyes of some who you should probably ignore as strongly as I do, I have some experience in decoding this sort of babble.

"Intelligent Design" is an religionist’s "hail Mary" to avoid what they see as the deadly threat of Evolution as an alternate explanation for the Creation of All, and thus, the derivation of the Authority of religion to define who, how, and why it all came to be.

I find such worries to be evidence of a profound lack of faith, and moreover, direct evidence of any personal spiritual contact with Anyone, God, or spiritual presence of enough awareness to serve as a signpost in God's direction.

My personal viewpoint is this: That depends utterly on the individual, their abilities and their natures. A religion that insists that all spiritual experience must be identical ignores the vast variety of nature and the myriad ways that other creatures interact, and the varied ways that otherwise similar creatures interact with each other and us.

Consider, if you will; dogs and cats.

Imagine the theological debates they could have over the inherent Divinity of Man.

One thing I do know; if all of nature and visible creation shows a consistent pattern, it's folly to assume that we are somehow a special exception, despite all evidence that we are as bound by our own natures as are cats and dogs.

Many things are unexplained by Science, and currently remain theoretically inexplicable. Religion claims to have All the Answers - which may suffice for some, but relies on "because I say so" as the source of that authority.

I will say only this: by accepting that science cannot explain my spiritual experiences, and by accepting that religion will reject them as false to their dogma, I'm unhandicapped by the unspoken assumptions of either.

And meanwhile, scientists are straining their own credulity as they discover that, among other things, reality seems to depend upon perception; that causality can be affected by prayer - leading them to the understanding that we may someday be able to create realty by spells and prayers in a deliberate manner, like the Mages of legend. We have learned that time is an illusory concept, and we have also learned that life is not only common, but may potentially exist wherever it's even barely possible.

Meanwhile, traditional Protestant religion states that God is, everywhere, at all times, from the beginning, now and forever, permeating all things and all beings; all knowing, all perceiving.

Physics is starting to get to levels of reality that suggest a mechanism for that and which may imply that the universe itself, every single, individual particle of it, may well compose a single vast intelligence. Or could. You can hear them talking around the idea, not thinking of the implications with as much fervor as Intelligent Design is an effort to not think of the implications of religion.

For myself, I quote the "Man from Mars" in Robert A. Hienlien's "Stranger in a Strange Land."

"Thou art God."

Sunday, April 02, 2006

An Email from Julia

Dearworthiest Godfriends and Family,

Emacs!

These are Ileana, Mihai and Robert, Mihai been born by Caesarian in Romania immediately after we begged and got their bus tickets home from Florence, just in time. Being under eighteen and living in a field here, their baby would have been taken from them in Italy. Mihai's widowed mother has just this minute rung the bell and let me photograph this photograph. I am so proud of them for being so proud of themselves and their new-born child! Their mother/mother-in-law asks help for them. She is trying to support them by begging in Florentine streets but wants to be with them instead in Romania as another son of hers is ill. I had sent Ileana back with clothing and a basket for the baby and for Mihai tools for mending the roof of their house. But they need more. Likewise do Luca and Doina for their baby Stefano and his four brothers and sisters. Hedera and Andre and their three I already help. I paid Andre to help rebuild part of Doina's mud house destroyed in the Romanian floods.

Godfriend Karen Graffeo is here in Florence visiting the Muslim Yugoslavian Rom camp with her camera, http://www.umilta.net/karengraffeo.html, and two days ago we had a wonderful long talk with the Imam's wife who was explaining that they now have a workshop for the women who embroider and sew and iron, instead of begging in the streets from tourists, describing how they used to sleep under bridges, then in trailers, and now they have houses, and suggesting we do the same for these Romanian Orthodox Rom. To whom we could teach paper-marbling as we already have done to Romanian Hedera so she can help support her three children, Robert, Nadia and Leonardo.

Yesterday, a group of art students from Edinburgh University came, as they are studying book-binding with Enrico Giannini and I was teaching them paper marbling, then continued myself, making sheets and sheets of marbled blue with spots of gold. Gorgeous! These sheets will make great book bindings and end-papers. The green in the right corner is Hedera's and is already bound as cover to Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnets and Ballad, set in William Morris type.

Emacs!

Tomorrow, in the Medici's Fortezza da Basso, I give a talk on the 'Alphabet of Peace', 'L'alfabeto della pace'. I shall be talking about the fear and ignorance leading to terrible wars, concerning the alphabet, which is one family, all three sacred Books, the Bible, the Gospel, the Koran, being written in its ancient and brilliant Semitic phonetic technological invention, likewise the sacred books of Tibet and India being in variations of that alphabet, the Runes of the Etruscans reaching all the way to Iceland. But also how we holocausted Jews because they had the original Semitic alphabet and our own derived from it, and likewise the Aryan gypsies from India, because they are illiterate. And how that illiteracy allows the genocide to continue amongst the Rom today. They cannot by law have their babies unless we teach them how to sign their names to legal documents. Just as American Black slaves were not allowed to learn to read or write but did so clandestinely, Frederick Douglass (The Autobiography of an Ex-Slave) coming here straight from the railway station to pay tribute to the anti-Slavery preacher Theodore Parker whose tomb is in this cemetery. The Romanian Rom were slaves of the Orthodox monasteries from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. I think we could call this project to save Rom babies for their families, 'Project Miriam'.

Emacs!

Bless you,
"You see," writes Catherine of Siena, speaking in the person of the eternal Father, "this sweet and loving Word born in a stable, while Mary was journeying; to show to you, who are travellers, that you must ever be born again in the stable of knowledge of yourselves, where you will find Him born by grace within your souls."

Julia Bolton Holloway, Hermit of the Holy Family
Biblioteca e Bottega Fioretta Mazzei, 'English Cemetery'
Piazzale Donatello, 38, 50132 FIRENZE, ITALY
juliana@tin.it http://www.umilta.net http://www.florin.ms
http://piazzaledonatello.blogspot.com

Is this Treason?

It appears that I am reqired by concience AND by TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 115 > § 2382 of the US Code to call attention to this question of fact:

I found the document cited and quited below to be the "final straw" convincing me that the possiblity of a Seditious Conspiracy against the constitution and people of the United Stathes may well exist in fact, not just in the rehtoric of dissent.

Capitol Hill Blue's The Rant - The continued madness of King George:

George Bush's signing statement regarding the Patriot Act.

"''The executive branch shall construe the provisions that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch in a manner consistent with the president's constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information (from Congress and, of course, the public),' Bush said.

Bush says he will withhold information if he, and only he, decides disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties.'"


It seems to me that this degree of authority abuse could be considered treasonous in a literal, legal sense.

A "signing statement" may not (and certainly should not) have the force of law, but it's entire purpose is to communicate the executive's understanding and intent to enforce said law in the commission of their duties.

This statement clearly states a conception of executive power that relegates Congress to a cerimonial "advisory" body.

This seems to me to be Unconstitional by very definition. And the intent to violate the Constitution and the rights of the Citizens would seem to me a violation of the President's oath. It occured to me that it may well be seen as subversion - overthrow of the Government from within.

So I went to the relevant law. This is what the definition of
treason is under US Law:

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 115 > § 2381

§ 2381. Treason

Release date: 2005-08-03

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

It would have to be established that George Bush has meaningfully done one or intended to do or more of those things. I think it's likely a case could be made for at least conspiracy to do that; however, it would be arguable the other way, as a matter of fact to be determined by trial.

And it appears that if I believe, as a citizen, that should I be aware of such a possiblity, I must report it as soon as I am aware of it, or be sanctioned under this section.

I am a citizen. I am aware. I am reporting. This post is being emailed to various relevent authorities.

I suggest you do the same.

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 115 > § 2382

§ 2382. Misprision of treason

Release date: 2005-08-03

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States and having knowledge of the commission of any treason against them, conceals and does not, as soon as may be, disclose and make known the same to the President or to some judge of the United States, or to the governor or to some judge or justice of a particular State, is guilty of misprision of treason and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than seven years, or both.

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 115 > § 2383

§ 2383. Rebellion or insurrection

Release date: 2005-08-03

Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.



TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 115 > § 2384 Prev | Next

§ 2384. Seditious conspiracy
Release date: 2005-08-03

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

I believe that the President may be found to have violated at least § 2384 - Seditious Conspiracy. Further, I believe that known supporters and contributors to the President may be found directly or indirectly responsible for violations of § 2383: Rebellion or insurrection.

Overwhelming indications of such a pattern of intent and many authoritative statements of such an intent may be found here, and in many other places, such as this particularly pointed and referenced analasis.

I am further concerned that the President himself has publicly stated many times his right to ignore any laws passed by Congress that he deems to limit his ability to prosecute his "war on terror;" a specific instance being the abovementioned "signing statement."

I believe these matters to be enough to require me to bring this to your attention as citizens, and to your official attention in whatever office you may hold that requires you to "Uphold and Defend the Constitution of these United States."

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