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October 22, 2006


The time has passed to lay to rest the demons of the morning of September 11 -- we've dealt with that disorder as best we could, individually and as small communities. Disorder still reigns in New Orleans, and I have no idea what we're going to do about it. But the national disorder, the systemic disorder, the Republican disorder -- we have a chance to bury that in a couple of weeks. It would be a good coda, a good memorial to the chaos and loss we've been put through the last five years.

Yes! And as far as the disorder in Iraq is concerned, If they want to have their uncivil free-for-all, let's freaking get out of their frigging way!

I'm not trying to be a simpleton but isn't it because order provides the families with a quick way to find the name of their family member. You just want to see his/her name and you don't need the distress of searching frantically for it. If you've ever had to visit a huge cemetery to find the tombstone of a loved one, you'd understand completely.

sharron, from only having driven past the nearly 500 acres and more than half-million graves of Green-Wood cemetery here in Brooklyn, I can appreciate that you're right. But I think it goes beyond that -- after all, the names would be easiest to find on the Vietnam, Oklahoma City, and WTC memorials if they were listed alphabetically but that wasn't done for the first two and I haven't heard it suggested for the third. So I don't think it's only pragmatism -- in fact, it was wondering why they didn't want to do alphabetical order that launched me on this whole 'need to restore order' train of thought.

(The other problem with alphabetical, of course, is that all the Johnsons, the Kims, the Ngs, the Rodriguezes, the Wongs get segregated together for eternity, not a very hopeful message and perhaps diminishing the power of each name. But I think that is not the only reason to avoid it, just as I think these memorials serve a purpose not only for their families but for a much larger community.)

I agree with most of what you have said in this insightful piece. The purpose of art, religion and science is to discover and bring forth the order in seeming chaos.

But I don't think Bush was confused about Iraq. I think he was blinded by illusions about American power and his own power, and by sheer ignorance.

Cheney is in many ways more interesting. There is a guy who really, really seems freaked by disorder, with a very low tolerance for ambiguity, who has to try to control and nail down everything. His attempts to impose order, such as the all-powerful executive, all-powerful America (ruling space, even!), total information awareness etc are really verging on the pathological.

We need order, but we also need to understand the difference between order and control. If we understand that there is an internal order or logic to things, a pattern if you will, that things aren't completely random, than we can learn to tune into that pattern/order/logic and trust in it, so that we lose the need to futilely try to control things. It is that balance that is so sorely lacking today.

"Frantically searching" is what every family member went through. To me it is the kernal of truth behind the symbolism. I also could not agree more with the other part of the symbolism which was the illusion of order perceived by this administration. The illusion of control. The world is not orderly, the world is not fair. The "have's" as opposed to the "have nots" developed a distortion of thought which permeated every wrongful decision made. That the wealth they attained was due to some dilligence on their part that deemed them "chosen" by the universe and therefore "wiser" than the rest of us. The truth is that evolution develops from a set of rules, a code that not one of our greatest scientist's has unravelled. No one deserves to be a billionaire anymore than they deserve to die of starvation, disease or violence in Sudan. The truth is that human beings can learn from all the varying paths that life leads us. Do I believe that Warren Buffet born in Sudan would have still ended up to be a billionaire?? It is an advantage to be born in America. As a result we have an obligation to better the universe according to a reality that we can only do our best to understand.

The key is knowing truth from fiction, fact from judgment and theory from "Law" (as in the "laws of physics"). We must be dedicated to truth. Why do you suppose that the foundational principles of military life are about order and discipline. It is an illusion. It is a lie we tell ourselves. Someday we might truly develope the wisdom to know the difference between what we can control and what we cannot. Bush did not destroy us, as long as we take these lessons and apply them in ways that line up with the truth of the universe.(if we continue to get bogged down in concerns about corporations and greed, we will eventually suffer consequences that cannot be solved by us). For me, this administration has made it abundantly clear what the consequences would look like if this value system were to continue. Truth.

The earth needs our help. Humanity needs our help. Generosity of action helps. Love works. Hatred has dire consequences. Giving helps all of humanity and the universe. Doing for a greater good, for a set of values that focuses on what is effective for the many instead of the few, works. We know what works. Democrats need to sit down and make big lists of what works. What we know to be true and let that list lead us to the next action.

``Do I believe that Warren Buffet born in Sudan would have still ended up to be a billionaire?? It is an advantage to be born in AmericaAs a result we have an obligation to better the universe according to a reality that we can only do our best to understand.''

Agreed. But it is also a good reason to work for a society in which there are no billionaires, such as Warren Buffet. If this is to be a just society, we require a much more even distribution of wealth and income.

I deal with ideas and conceptions all the time. And wrong ideas from the "top" are always hard to handle, and many times are parroted by all the flunkies. I have developed ways to handle these and to defuse situations. First of course is to always respect the person and their idea, and second is to bring other interests to bear. Hopefully the person on top is also sensitive to other interests.

People with loved ones names on a wall or a list wish to be easily able to find that name. They wish friends and relatives also to not have a problem.
Alphabetically is best, and chronologically is the next best. Even so a handy directory nearby is also useful.

I don't think invading Iraq was necessarily senseless, but after the brief war to unseat Sadam, the whole program went south.
If you argue that it was wrong, wrong, wrong to begin with, and seem to demand agreement, then you will lose some of your audience who didn't think that at the beginning, and may not think that now.

If you say it has been a debacle since 4 weeks after the start then most everyone will agree with you.

So what I advise is to not "go to the wall" on the start of the war (the opening), but to make good points on the "middle game" and the coming "end game" that will get a lot of people to agree with you.

As we say back where life is good and large, "flailing a dead horse is useless! Being a smart alec little kid, I sometimes said to my brothers "well it builds up your arm." [[... splat!]]

If I wanted people to agree with me I'd have become a politician.

Invading a country based on lies and without international support was wrong.

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