Feign outrage

This is from my friend, Jack. He's an alternatively educated, white-boy muslim living in the heart of Houston Texas. I'm not sure why .. lol

But it seems to be workin' for him pretty well. Dude's a helluva cool humains idiots.

Love ya Jack. Thanks for letting me post this, man!

Many of my friends and acquaintances think I’m jaded, or a conservative, or that I’ve lost my mind, or that I’m just a jerk who likes to provoke outrage. I don’t think I’m jaded, or conservative, and I certainly don’t think I’ve lost my mind.

During the last presidential election I got fed up with the barrage of forwarded anti-Bush drivel flooding my inbox. I’m apolitical by nature, and I’m in the habit of deleting most forwarded email unread; normally I wouldn’t get wound up about it. However, being a convert to Islam, everything since 9/11 has been on my mind and in my face. My perspective has gotten more global. I’ve searched my soul, re-examined loyalties, and god forbid, formulated a few opinions.

I was understandably curious to see what my friends and acquaintances were thinking and saying about politics. I was sadly disappointed. For the most part what I received and read was mass-forwarded drivel that made little or no point about anything. What I craved was thoughtful debate that went beyond the clich├ęs and ready-made ideologies. What was both intriguing and frustrating was that without exception all the propaganda I received was targeted at an audience that obviously already believed in the message. They were preaching to the converted; talkting to hear the sound of their own voices.

George W. Bush is an evildoer and an idiot and a liar and a redneck and a Bible thumper and a racist and he started and illegal war for oil and didn’t do enough to prevent 9/11 and he skipped out on his military duty and if he get elected again we’re all going to die and go to hell.

When people write this kind of drivel, I wonder if they think they’re helping their cause. Do they think they’re reaching some untapped pool of voters that hasn’t been watching the news for the last decade?

I don’t expect much from our politicians. I expect them to act like politicians. Maybe that is wrong of me. Maybe that is part of the overall problem.

I perceive a massive kinetic force that propels the universe of human affairs. It is the force of 6.5 billion people needed and wanting things; struggling for survival; trying to get ahead; propagating their opinions and beliefs; a many-headed monster out for a joy-ride.

In general, open-mindedness is a rare quality in humans. We readily mistake things such as tolerance or good-will as open-mindedness. It is not. Humans tend to form opinions and cling to them for dear life.

I don’t really understand what’s going on in the world, and I don’t think anyone else does either. That’s largely why I don’t usually vote in presidential elections. That and laziness. I feel it is irresponsible to vote when one doesn’t know what’s going on. I think it’s stupid to vote because of loyalty to a political party. Stupid stupid stupid. Like it means something. I think it’s irresponsible to vote when one is basically clueless about politics and the intricacies of economics. But that’s just me.

I recognize the position that it is a responsibility of every American to vote, and a privilege many have died to procure for us. I do not dismiss it lightly.

I am not a cynic. I have great faith in humanity,

I voted for Ross Perot twice. I was intrigued at what would happen if the two party barrier was breached. And I liked his ears. You hear people all the time say we will never get any where because of the two-party system; then when an opportunity to test the theory came along for the first time in a century, America punked out.

People think a lot of things about me. That I’m jaded. Or just lazy. Or stupid.

I’m an optimist. I like people. I love live. I have great faith in humanity, in spite of the fact that I believe people are basically idiots.

I do believe as much and as truly as anything that we are lulled into self hypnotic trances that project individualized, self justified transparencies onto “reality”; and then we wonder why no one can agree on anything or accomplish anything. Like the Buddhist proverb, we are cups filled to the brim with opinions and there is no room for any new idea.

We pride ourselves on being open minded, but we are not. Actually, being too open minded may go against natural selection, and we may be genetically predisposed to being pigheaded. We’ve already formed our opinions, made our judgments, drawn our lines in the sand. Let’s face it, if the world depended on you and me to run things we’d be completely screwed. Perhaps the business of power mongering is best left to the power mongers.

I’m not so much jaded by the two-party system as I am annoyed at the general public for refusing to think outside the box. It doesn’t matter whether you vote republican or democrat because the world is going to go in the direction it’s going and no one can stop it.

And that’s okay. For me anyway. Like I said, I’m an optimist. I think the world is basically okay, and humanity is basically okay. And though I think a lot of things are inevitable, it doesn’t mean I think we’re all doomed.

There are a lot of things that are more or less beyond anyone’s control. Rather than identify and tackle things that are within the realm of our control or affect, we choose instead to draw ideological lines in the sand and thump our chests.

Here is a concrete example: Crime and Crime Prevention.

Crime prevention is something that lies wholly inside our realm of influence, it is something that could benefit every single American; and it is something we will likely never do anything about. Not really.

Crime is something that effects all of us. All of us have been victims of crime at one time or another, or people we know. Everything we spend money on, a portion of that goes to loss of production. It is the cost of time lost from work, of running the legal system, Insurance, cops, lawyers, courts, prisons, and mountains and mountains of paperwork. I imagine the figures are staggering.

Why should we have to choose between national security and education? Health benefits or better roadways? What if we just cured crime and had plenty of recourses
freed up for everything else.

The hell you say!

I have some ideas about crime prevention, but it doesn’t really matter what my ideas are.

Lets say for the sake of argument someone came up with a viable solution to crime prevention. Lets say it got criminals off the streets more effectively. Lets say it saved tax dollars. Lets say it put less emphasis on punishment as a deterrent. Lets say we significantly reduced the murder rate. and at the same time eliminated the death penalty. Lets say that in order to accomplish this this we must take away all but the most basic human rights from convicted criminals. No physical punishment. No physical hardship, no Thorazine. No lobotomies. No physical torture. Just take away that persons citizenship for the duration of their sentence.

Since everyone who is not a criminal stands to gain from this arrangement, you would think folks would be doing back flips across party lines to get it done.

Suppose a candidate picked up on the idea and championed it. The opposing party would have to oppose it. It doesn’t matter which party is pro and which is con, they’d have to have fight about it, and either side would have plenty of ammo.

If the so-called liberals pushed the idea, the so-called conservatives would argue that the initial outlay of funds would be to large, that there was no evidence to support the idea that the new system would be any better than the old system. They would pander to the emotions of the voters by saying criminals must be punished. Without the death penalty here would no deterrent to murder. Criminals should be made to work, not sit on their asses and suck the public teat. The real problems facing our legal system are frivolous lawsuits (against corporations.) Harsher sentencing. Three strikes. War on drugs. More police on the streets.

Conversely, if a so-called conservative championed the idea, the so-called liberals would howl. They would be against anything that took away a convicts rights or privileges. They would argue that since the legal system, in fact the system itself, was unfair to minorities, that it would amount to racism to actually punish the guilty. They would argue that since society was largely responsible for the criminals choosing a life of crime, society should not blame them, but rather take responsibility for rehabilitating them. Harsh punishment and the death penalty are unethical. Many things are illegal that shouldn’t be, like pot and sodomy, and protesting against the president to his face, and flag burning.

It is ironic and perverse that the poor and disenfranchised are dramatically more likely to be the victims of crime, and have dramatically fewer resources to bounce back from assault and loss of assets.

The world is not the way it is because of the ruling class, it is the way it is because we are idiots.

I saw and heard a poignant description of the current immigrant reform issues last night by Chris Matthews. He pointed out that both sides had legitimate points of view and concerns. He gave a very clear and concise scenario of a win-win resolution to the matter. He pointed out that it would require both sides of the debate coming together to make it happen. He didn’t see a lot of hope of that happening. He also gave very clear and concise descriptions of what exactly would be the stumbling blocks for each party.

Why do politicians cling so stupidly to their party lines? Because that’s what gets them elected. Because the idiot constituency believes that their opinions on gay marriage and prayer in schools and flag burning matter more than actually getting anything accomplished. We don’t care about progress, or solutions, we just want to win damn it.

I have some ideas on what to do about crime. Want to hear them? If so, send me yours first.

Jack Cheiky
Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Jack Cheiky is an idiot with a spellchecker and access to the internet

Feign outrage.


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