Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Of Liberalism, Faith, Erik Lindberg and Earth Centrism

These days Leftist and Liberal gets bandied about as an insult with little thought given to what it actually means.

I believe in family, in community, civic participation and responsibility.  I believe we are an interconnected society and need to take others into consideration, even though I have a huge independence streak running through me, the two can go together.

Why do Republicans need to demonize me?  I believe economically all pockets need to have holes in them or capitalism becomes dysfunctional, as we see in America these days.  The rampant hoarding by the super rich is an abomination and self-destructive in the long run.  

I also believe that our planet’s biosphere is our life support system and deserves to be understood, appreciated, protected and nurtured with the future in mind.  What’s so demonic about all that?

Though, at the same time, when I’m listening to this or that liberal spouting off, too often I find it too easy to roll my eyes and understand why so many on the right are repulsed.  That’s why I’ve been looking around to see what thinkers have to say about liberalism in order to get a better handle on the term and how much of it still fits with my perceptions.

In stepped Erik Lindberg who wove together many threads to form an excellent coherent 3,600 word essay that resonated with my experience driven thoughts throughout.  His parting shot, 

with the historical conviction that something like true belief must be adopted

serves as an excellent segue into a review of Earth Centrism and recognizing the fact of Earth being our fundamental touchstone with reality, not to mention the origin of our birth and our destination upon death - and to consider what can be done with such an insight. 

First, lets review key excerpts from Lindberg’s What is Liberal?

Originally published by Resilience (I’ve added paragraph breaks, highlights.)

  • May 22, 2017 
  • (Note: Lindberg’s entire essay is well worth reading.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A comet, the Universe and me.

I managed not to hear about comet Neowise in the western sky until two evenings ago after I arrived back at our home in Colorado.  When it got dark my wife took me outside to look at it.  Later during Maddy’s last walk of the day, we gazed at it a few more minutes, than retired to a good night sleep, after my rare nearly non-stop drive home from Phoenix.

From our 7,300' perch, we have splendid "Dark Skies" - (Though there are the glowing domes of surrounding towns off in the distance, heck if meteorological conditions are just right we can see the very distant glow above Gallup, NM some 130 straight arrow miles away and a thousand feet lower.) 
Last night we looked at it again, and then before bed I stepped outside for another look before turning in. But sleep didn't come, instead I was dreaming of tasting more of that night sky, so I snuck out of bed leaving my wife and Maddy behind and returned to the night.
With my naked eyes it was a hazy spot and smudge, but with the binoculars it took on size, brightness and details.  Quite a beautiful comet.  As a bonus the background took on oodles of stars and galaxies not visible to my naked eyes.  

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Republican Dependence on Demonizing. Why?

I saw a video today that's worth sharing and this seems as good a spot to insert it as any.
June 28th I read a letter to the editor that continues haunting my thoughts. Jeff begins his letter on a humorous note, “We have a national outbreak of leftism sweeping our country.”  Don’t I wish. Then it quickly turns ugly, claiming we “threaten to kill our democracy and way of life.” 

Leftism is Jeff’s pejorative for Liberal.  Ironically, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” is about as Leftist as it gets!  America’s founders were children of the intellectual enlightenment, they believed in evidence over personal fancy and dogma.  

God was beyond their understanding and they believed in Providence.  They trusted the scientific approach to better understanding, based on honestly assessing and debating the facts.  All that is tremendously “Leftist” and liberal, and the stuff of American greatness and patriotism!

Some will say, ah but the Founders meant “Land” - they hid that sentiment behind a general community “Happiness” for political expediency.  Okay, there we have it!  America’s divide, the self anointed Masters vs. We The People, the right vs. the left.

American society has succeeded because