Sunday, October 03, 2004

Raijin Replies.

(I'm responding to this in this post.)

Well, I must say I wasn't quite expecting such a brusque reply, and I would've preferred to keep things civil. Doesn't matter-- I, too, can be as brusque as you please. That said, I have a few straw men to demolish before getting my response underway.

The strange thing here is that it is obviously a left-winger asking me to do this.

I am a progressive. Sure, you'll find me to the "left" on a lot of issues, but you'll also find me in the "middle" and to the "right" on some-- I am, after all, an American.

At a time when all good Liberals are flaming Our Good President Bush for being a man of Faith, here I am being asked by a Liberal to defend my brand of Faith vs. my Conservative stance on politics as if no decent Wiccan can be a Conservative.

I don't intend to answer for what the fringe at either end of the political spectrum might say or do, but I will say this-- no prominent liberal has ever attacked the President for his faith, and I challenge you to find me an example of one doing so. When Bush's faith does come up in the context of an attack, it's when he's relying on it to make decisions about foreign policy, a la, "God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them, and then He instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me, I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them." I don't know about you, but "Inspector Clouseau meets the Book of Revelations" is not the kind of foreign policy I want to see America pursue. Meanwhile, you might be religious, and you might be on the right, but you are not a part of the "religious right" if you are a Wiccan priest. Introduce yourself to Pat Robertson's congregation (for example) as such and they'd just yell at you and call you a Satan worshipper, ignoring history and facts to better demonize you. See, to them, and indeed, many conservatives, no decent conservative can be a Wiccan. Furthermore, you can understand my confusion about your political affiliation when the man you endorse for President of the Untied States makes and does not retract statements like this:

"I don't think that witchcraft is a religion. I wish the military would rethink this decision."-- George W. Bush to ABCNEWS, June, 1999

Now, I don't agree with everything the Democrats espouse, but for the things that are the most important to me, I would not align myself politically with a party at odds with those things. Basically, you've chosen to be part of a political party that would marginalize the hell out of you (to put it politely). . . but you don't see the conflict? I could be wrong-- maybe conservative Republicans are just more open-minded where you live than where I do (New Orleans, LA).

First off Raijin, what do you consider "the Republican attitude on the environment"? Do you rely on the Democratic line, or the sewage spewed by the PETA/Greenpeace groups?

Nice try, but I can spot a false dichotomy when it's presented. I rely on neither-- I rely on the record of the Republican Party on the environment.

You mention PETA and Greenpeace a bit, as though you expect me to be a diehard card-carrying member of both. I think PETA is dangerous and stupid, and I will enjoy eating the flesh of animals until the day I die. I also vehemently disagree with the "spiking" of trees for a number of reasons, though, to be fair to Greenpeace, I'm not sure it's they who advocate it. Most of Greenpeace's tactics seem to be, to me, stupid and damn near suicidal, and I'll never advocate that sort of thing, no matter how "ballsy" some might think it. In short, sorry-- I'm not the Big Red Commie you seem to think I am. (I will admit to buying a planner from the Sierra Club because of the pretty pictures in it, if it makes it any easier for you to stick a political label to me.)

You see, I was conservative LONG before I knew anything about politics.

Brusque or not, I won't sink to the level of cheap shots.

Waste is waste. . .

Then you must be beside yourself with rage given the runaway spending and record budget deficits run up by the Republican-controlled Congress and Presidency, eh? To be fair to you, you never said that waste was bad; you said that it was "waste." Don't let me give you any more credit than I should, but I will assume you meant it was, in fact, "bad." How do you reconcile your views on fiscal responsibility with your support of the most fiscally irresponsible President of your lifetime?

and there isn't anything wrong with people EARNING what they get rather than waiting for the Gov't to come along and make it all better.

Hey, I agree with you here. I'm guessing you're unaware that the growth of CEO compensation has far outstripped that of employee compensation by an obscene factor in the '90's alone, although the cost of living is particularly stubborn in its refusal to stay put. I'm guessing that you're also unaware that the nation's largest employer-- Wal-Mart-- pays its employees starvation wages, necessitating government assistance for a large percentage of them, but that they also finance their growth through infrastructure grants. Otherwise, you might not conclude that the problem lies not with high taxes, but with low wages and corporate welfare. I didn't intend for this to turn into a discussion on economics, but we can go that route if you wish to have such a conversation in depth.

Further, if you are attacked, you fight back! If people get killed and things get broke, well that is the price of war.

Does that mean you press the attack for a bit and then go attack somebody who never attacked you, wasn't planning to attack you, couldn't have attacked you if they had been planning to, and had nothing to do with your original attackers? Because if it does, then I could see why you'd endorse Bush and his disastrous PNAC-driven agenda. Otherwise. . . conflict again!

The world doesn't run on 'kinder, gentler' rules, no matter how much Kerry may want it to be so.

You know you meant "liberals" when you said "Kerry" there, admit it. =P The only reason the world doesn't run on those rules is because there are assholes. The running of the world on those rules is to be aspired to. That's why we have things like "courts" and "laws"-- so that the worldview of assholes doesn't take dominance, and justic prevails (if only in theory, anyway).

It may sound a bit like "survival of the fittest", but if you are all up on Nature you shouldn't have any problem with that. After all, that is how the Gods set things up to work.

There are so many things wrong with what you just said that I don't know where to start to correct you. First of all, the American people always reject a Social Darwinist approach to running their society when it's presented to them as such. But that's okay, since few if any of them are reading this, and you aren't running for office. That said-- I am indeed up on Nature. I am fully aware that as adorable a scene of a lioness grooming her playful cubs may be, they will all die of starvation unless a gazelle or two are hunted down and ripped apart. And if the father of those cubs finds himself no longer in command of the pride, his successor will kill brutally kill them. Out in the wild, it's a continuous life-or-death struggle to catch and kill prey while avoiding ending up prey yourself; the law of the jungle is wholesale slaughter. There is no room for mercy, pity, compassion-- hell, there's no room for art for the love o' Jebus! I don't buy into the gods' setting up survival of the fittest at all-- that's not my path-- much less setting it up to work that way forever for us. Why leave the caves and build cities? What works in the jungle is hardly the best fit for a civilization. Otherwise, killing you and your kids so that I could possess your mate and ensure that my genes got passed down, and yours didn't, would be "natural."

Now, to the environment. PETA and Greenpeace, and others like them, want you to do two things. 1) Believe anything they say just because it came from them - you are not allowed to find out on you own. And, 2) Send them money.

This is actually more ridiculous than your previous statement. First, you make it sound as though genuine concern for the environment is impossible. Second, you say that "you are not allowed to find out on your own." If you wouldn't mind documenting the stormtrooper tactics or psychological operations these organizations apparently use on their financial contributors, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise, I laugh at your assertion that there's anything to stop them from doing what I did, which was to find out on my own. I've never sent them money and never will, just so we're clear.

I've tested everything I was taught, and all I could learn and/or conceive, by making trips into the wilderness for days and even weeks relying on little or no equipment. What equipment I did allow myself was never allowed to be more modern than the early 19th Century. (I'm a Living History nut, you see. Here was ALSO a chance to test what our forefathers used to open this continent.) Not only did I make it through these 'test', I thrived. Even gaining weight on the longer trips by what I could find of Mother's Bounty. Never did Nature, my skills, nor my Wiccan Faith let me down.

Congratulations: you'd be equipped to survive on your own had you lived in the 19th century and civilization had collapsed. Then again, given the economics coming out of Washington these days, preparing for that may not be a bad idea.

(Sorry. I tried not to take a cheap shot, but, ultimately, I'm human.)

I've also "tested" the Democratic/PETA/Greenpeace line on the environment by going out and looking for my self. And I found it to be FALSE.

Oh. . . my. . .God. That must have been one hell of a sortie you took, since you apparently took one to everywhere. I mean, you had to be sure, right? Because depending on where I go to look locally, I can find either something pristine, or something horribly befouled, so I wouldn't just go to local places if I wanted to go look at "the environment." Doing that might make me do something foolish, like. . . hmmm. . . declaring "the environment" free of harm, by using an argument tantamount to, "I didn't see it; therefore, it's not there."

During no Republican administration in my adult life has there ever been any noticeable "harm" to the environment. (Contrary to the Democratic propaganda.) And, during no Democratic administration has there been any appreciable improvement to the environment. (Contrary to the Democratic promises.) In fact, since I attained voting age in 1980, there has been only increases in the acreage of federally protected land, increases in wild animal herds, and increases in real dollar funding of the environment.

Okay-- let me ask you something. Are you familiar with the concept of "pollutants"? Do you imagine that, contrary to what that concept implies, that they are just harmlessly absorbed into "the environment" with no ill consequences whatsoever? If so, maybe you'd like to take a nice deep drink from Lake Ponchartrain. (Fair warning: It doesn't seem to be absorbing decades' worth of pollutants harmlessly.)

Since you're so confident about these increases-- do you have sources for these assertions about them? I ask because all the things I'm holding in reserve about why you appear to be laughably-- or rather, for a Wiccan prest, inexcusably-- ignorant about the damage done to the environment, I can either provide you with a link to, or point you to its dead-tree source. Before I post them, however, I want to give you the chance either to provide me with something I can check, or to admit that you're wrong. (And make no mistake-- not providing me with some sources will be as good as an admission that you're wrong.) In any case, argument by assertion never works.

Now as an outdoorsman, and hunter, a fisherman, a citizen, and a WICCAN PRIEST, I feel pretty damned good about that. By the way, PETA, Greenpeace, and all the rest account for practically NONE of the funding on the environment on any level. The truth is that it is the sportsman that pays for it.

I'm not even sure what you're talking about here. "Funding for the environment" is too vague to mean anything, and I suspect it has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. This may actually be something you've gotten right, but I have no way to check on that without you clarifying what you mean.

So Rajin, if it were to become necessary to reconcile my priesthood with my politics, I don't foresee any difficulty what-so-ever.
Sincerely,Rev. Mark T. Jones, H.P. (Ordained 1995)
(The Bull)

Really? Get back to me after Round Two and we'll see if there's still no difficulty.

Raijin>>

2 Comments:

Anonymous Neil Melancon said...

He doesn't see any difficulty reconciling them whatsoever. That, to me, is the crux of the Republican ideology--it's always ok to ignore facts and truth when their inconvenient. Say, when founding a religion, it's ok to make up a history for it because it seems like it's thousands of years old, in spite of the fact that it's reactionary Christianity founded in the 20th century.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Raijin said...

Well, I hesitate to speak ill of him; I don't know him personally, and he's not a stereotypical conservative-from-Alabama.

That said, I'm not going to delude myself into thinking that I'm going to somehow "reach out" to him or "show him the error of his ways." Fuck that hippie crap! I'd rather let him regurgitate some talking points, post some facts, and let the silence say it all.

12:42 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home