We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Friday, September 11. 2020
My memory of 9/11 is pretty vivid. I won't go into details about what happened, we all have our personal views on how/why/what all occurred. These views are based on where we were, what we were doing, and what we choose to believe.
I don't believe the 'truthers' and their conspiracies. All you need for a good conspiracy is a couple of willing believers and some good memes that are logical fallacies. But I'm not going to share what I believe happened, either. We're all allowed to believe what we want, even if I don't agree with what someone else believes. That's called a marketplace of ideas. Sometimes there are lemons being sold in that marketplace. The nice part of the marketplace is this - I don't have to buy the lemons.
Getting past that, I have other memories. People coming together. People pulling together. Without any impetus from a 'leader'. Spontaneous organization and commitment to each other. Race differences disappeared. People cared about each other and making sure they were getting what they needed. I remember it as a "lockdown" of sorts. I didn't go back to work for 2 weeks, working remotely from home, just like the last 6 months. Of course, my office was by 14th Street, which had limited ability to cross. Our office felt it best to let the responders have as much space as possible. I saw similar behaviors in the Northeast Blackout of 2003, 2 years later. Spontaneous organization, not something we needed leaders for. People working together, finding solutions to issues we all faced.
These all happened without leaders. That is to say, we didn't need someone to stand there and 'pull us together', which seems to be a sort of rallying cry today for anti-Trumpers. "We need a unifier." To them, somehow, he is creating the divisions. I disagree. He hasn't created them, they've been there for a long time, festering and being utilized for political gain. It takes leaders to create, and expand, divisions. Trump is taking advantage of these divisions, but so are his opponents, and that's where their hypocrisy is laid bare. They are not unifiers, they are dividers, too. I'd argue they are intent on creating worse divisions.
Trump is, for better or worse, the flip side of the same coin of Obama. What I'll say is that it's not a coin I particularly want...but if it's currently in my pocket, then there certainly is one side I prefer. While Trump is no unifier, he's never claimed to be. He certainly never failed at it as miserably as Obama and other politicians have, using their unique brand of 'unifying intersectionality'.
I am reflecting on this point on 9/11 because we do have, despite our differences, the ability to come together and work together. Naturally. Spontaneously. We do not require, and we should not need, a 'leader' to get us to work together. That's what the free market does. We work together for mutual benefit and mutual gain. People don't make deals because they know they are losing in the deal, they expect to gain from deals. It is spontaneous organization. We definitely do not need a 'leader' to help us believe the same things - that's what a marketplace of ideas is for. The only real common ground we should all share is the Constitution, its limitations on government, and our love for our nation. We don't have to put these above ourselves and our natural individual desires. We should remember that our nation was designed to live with disagreement and division and (hopefully) survive and thrive despite their existence.
Waiting for, or wanting, a 'leader' to unify us is a lazy person's approach. I believe most political activism is for lazy thinkers. Modern activism seems to say "I absolve my need to do something about myself and my life at a fundamental, individual level. Instead I will force others, through my actions in stirring up, or pointing out, divisions to do what I think is right and just." These politically active actions will be couched in caring, kind words, but the laws and regulation produced will frequently damage lives and livelihoods. People will say "oh that activist cares so much" until they are affected by the damaging legislation.
For me, the lesson of 9/11 is this. If you want to 'fix' things, fix yourself, and fix how you live and what your basic life tenets are. The smallest minority is one person. If we really care about diversity, then we need to care for minority views, which means the individual, even if we happen to disagree with them. That doesn't require any rules, laws, or regulations. It just requires being a decent human.
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Well said Bulldog.
How you behave, and how you react to others and events, is entirely up to you. Leaders don't make us treat each other poorly, but they sure can show the way to treat each other well. Personally I strive to treat people well, regardless of whether we agree or not. My goal is to operate with honesty and integrity in all things. Sometimes I fail, but I never stop striving for these ideals.
If we all did that we would live in a happier, saner world.
I don't want to write a lot. Some IATSE 52 people rushed in to light the rescue recovery (being familiar with power distribution and lighting blocks of NYC for movies... so the call came (Gov.) and vendors donated the musco lights and generators and we ran the power and set up the stuff for night, then took it away at day (so machines don't cut the 4 ought, etc. ). What bothered me the most was WHY the buildings collapsed. It was designed bypassing city code (land owned by port authority). So there was no elevator and stairways shafts in center of floors to support horizontal truss ( to vertical steel on walls of buildings). The floors doomed at the top collapsed onto the floors below and crashed through the truss and sprang the outside steel. The design made more X square feet of floors available for rent ( money ). You will have noticed with new building a lot of effort went into advertising the 'new' wider stairways, etc.
I was working on the 18th floor of a skyscraper while watching news of the destruction of the WTC.
That was excellent, Bulldog. Somewhere F.A. Hayek is smiling over you comments on Spontaneous Organization.
I agree with you 100%. We have to start with ourselves and the people around us. I was in Summit, NJ for my grandmother's funeral on 9/10/01. I think there was construction going on downtown that day so it was vacated. Her great grandchildren were walking to the church and I didn't have my camera with me, the biggest photo regret I have in life, that moment, a long parade of little boys and girls were hopping along the sidewalk in a small parade on the way to their great grandmother's funeral. The next day was clear and sunny, God gave us a sunny perfect day, and disaster struck. I hoped that everything would change then, and we would never forget, but nothing really changed. Everything went almost right back to normal. Maybe that's a good thing. If we can keep normal for those little great grandchildren to grow up and have the incredible advantages that we've enjoyed in the USA, that's all I'm hoping for.
Here in rural Montana there is a long tradition (since 1845) of neighbor helping neighbor in order to survive. . . In the years since then it has involved to a real living tradition of neighbors pitching in and improving their little towns with their own hand, labor, and money. A small town had no gym--the total enrolled in high school ever was about 20 kids. There was also no meeting place. The neighbors got together held cookie sales. Then the day came when the men went to town and brought home the needed supplies. The women managed the accounts, hosted the feeding, etc. A very nice pole barn type building was raised and the inside insulated. Best of all is that purely perfect wood slat floor for the high school regulation sized basketball court! Yep, all that was done with out government or union supervision. We have another town here that was dead. The folks got together and re built their downtown--no unions, only a willing banker. You should see it now!. Here in the democratic run/failing university larger town we tried to get the city to allow us to construct a park on land the city park system owns, but will not develop. No swings, no slides, no benches, no nothing. The people in this district need to be punished because they vote Republican. When we asked if we could put in a picnic area --diging dirt, planting sod, installing benches, etc. the response was this: you raise the money and we (unions) will supply the labor. Of course, when we looked at the costs they were going to charge for the outside basketball court (hard top, posts, baskets, etc.) the city parks department were going to bill our "volunteer fundraisers" four times the amount that other small communities across America had paid for their outdoor basketball courts! Yeah, unions are sooooo good for community building, for spontaneous response of neighbor helping neighbor. Can't happen in a union owned/operated town.
I'm heading to Montana/Wyoming/Idaho for a week in October. Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, etc.
Looking forward to it.
Watching "Yellowstone" and while I enjoy the story, I wonder how true to life it is - probably not much. I'm doubtful ranchers are as ruthless and mafioso-like as these characters. But the beauty of the Big Sky Country, and the maintenance of old values (family first) are enjoyable.
One of my favorite all-time movies is "Legends of the Fall" - granted a bit of a sappy love story, but also a fantastic Libertarian tale ("Screw the government!").
In my heart, I'm a cowboy. Sadly, that's the only place I'll ever really be one.