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Polyticks - That field of knowledge which allows the haves to manipulate and embezzle the have nots. From the Greek poly meaning many and ticks meaning small blood sucking insects.
It is not a man's duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support. If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man's shoulders. I must get off him first, that he may pursue his contemplations too.
Thoreau. Civil Disobedience
Sticks, Stones, Bombs and Bullets defines the post Berlin Wall problem. I had a wonderful political philosophy ready to analyze a world dominated by the Cold War. Here, it gets twisted to see the newer problems.
Three Models, One Vision provides some answers to the problems raised in the above piece. It combines some perspectives from The Fourth Turning, The Third Wave, and The Clash of Civilizations, and tries to unify the somewhat complex modern era into a good old fashioned Us against Them.
Recognizing the Battle Flag is my response to a number of southern web sites that claim the Civil War was about state's rights, not slavery, and prove it by playing Dixie through the computer. This is proof by whistling Dixie. The Recognizing the Battle Flag pages touch upon several interlocked themes, economic, legal, political, and moral. It features quotes dating from early and prewar time frame from both southern and northern perspectives. While there are any number of reasons why people of the time came to fight, and no one theme is sufficient to cover everyone's motives, the theme of slavery dominates all other aspects.
American Trilogy is the lead section of my "Visions" section, a collection of lyrics, poetry and prose that just plain deserves to get read from time to time. I guess I'm one of them there secular humanists that the fundamentalist religious types complain about. I distrust extreme religious perspectives. People who think they know God's will too often attempt to impose it on others. Still, if I had to choose three short pieces to define the philosophy of secular humanism, of democracy in the modern age, I'll go with The Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and I Have a Dream. How secular is my humanism? Count the references to God. Much forward movement of recent centuries has come from men of God, and will continue to do so. I would just wish more of them would live according to their holy scripture.
Human Nature: In role playing games, how does one create believable political bad guys that will fight the players? A purely gaming article which addresses the nature of Good and Evil, and how conflicts start in the real world. If the above two articles focus on the very large scale issues, this one gets down into how decent and God fearing humans come to start slaughtering one another.
On Current Campaign Finance : The current system just legalizes special interest bribery. This one isn't profound. I just got mad one night, and typed it in.
On Internet Regulation : Same night. The right to send advertisements isn't free speech. Those profiting from the network ought to provide some kickback into the ISPs and trunk operators who have to pay for infrastructure. Anyway, the attached was a brief fire-off-to-your-senator thing, intended to be slotted into a poll rather than persuade.
Powell's Questions is a piece of Star Trek fiction. In one of my role playing games, we had to decide whether it was proper for the Federation of Planets to use force to pacify a planet in crisis. I had just read Colin Powell's American Journey book, and consolidated his experience from Vietnam to the Gulf War into a short essay on fighting foreign wars.
Dominion is also Star Trek fiction. The guy running the Federation Council game immediately saw that the checklist style criteria for fighting a foreign war is not at all applicable when your country is fighting for its life against a near equal opponent. The next debate was on what to do about the Dominion's attack on the Federation. Joy's response complements Powell's Questions.
Kirk's Heresy is more clearly science fiction. It is an essay on the Prime Directive, one of Gene Roddenberry's idealistic whims. The essay has nothing to do with current day real world politics. (The United Nations of current day Earth respects the non-interference principle more than the planet wide declaration of human rights.)