Sunday, January 22, 2012


This blog will only address national and state issues. There will be no discussion - period - or even comments - period about local politics.

I have always pushed the issue of critical thinking. I hate lemmings with a passion. Nothing will change locally or nationally until we as individuals take personal responsibility for our own decisions and minds.

What I hope to accomplish is a blog wherein people can come to think about issues of a national and state importance.

This is not a blog for the petty. I truly hate the grammar police. People who extol the fact they know where a comma is placed rarely have critical thinking minds. This is not how the brain works. I can proof read my work a 1000 times and each time catch more grammatical mistakes. I read for substance. My mind intuits the next sentence or concept even before the writer writes same. This is why when I write or proof read my own work I miss so many simple grammatical mistakes.

Words may have individual meaning, but in language by themselves they mean nothing. Words take on meaning in context. Context goes beyond a mere sentence. A well written topic sentence can impact how each and every word which follows is perceived.

Further, words have separate meaning based on regional, cultural, and personal experiences. Words take on even more meaning when linked together in sentences,  paraphraphs and entire books.

A good reader learns to read from the perspective of the author or the character. Edward Said created the concept of Contrapuntal Analysis in literature. The reality is, it readily translates to a form of critical thinking in politics, and in fact life itself.

In its simplest form Edward Said wanted people to read colonial literature like Gunga Din while considering the perspective of the Indian character. It completely changes the story.

Bigotry at its core really comes from a failure to understand individual perspective and how ego blinds us from the concept that we do not all perceive things the same way. The essence of intellectual bigotry is the imposition of ones own perspective on others while analysing a question.  I may have an opinion, but I do not see it as absolute.  I fully understand how someone can arrive at a completely different opinion based on the same facts, data, or events.  A critical thinker is always open to diverse conclusions based on the same facts, data, or events.

My posts will not be absolutes.  They will be a starting point.  A good response will be - "if we consider another perspective (which is defined) then the conclusion is different. "  This is what I am looking for.  These type responses will extend the discussion to allow my readers to consider other perspectives.  This is how problems are solved. 

In today's world we unfortunately have far too many poorly educated people who have decided to give their own meaning to words.  Words like conservative, progressive, liberal all have meaning.  But as MR CAPS proves over and over again - he has no clue as to their true meaning.  A truly critical mind embraces all options and understands under the unique facts of the day what one day may call for a conservative solution another day may call  for a liberal or progressive solution.

I am assigning to all my readers two text books.  While it would be nice if many of you would buy the second book, I am not holding my breath.

The first is William Safires Political Dictionary

Do the search for conservative - you may learn something.  Now mind you, words change meaning on a regular basis.  But philosophical terms have true permanent meanings.  If we can change the meaning of the term conservative every time someone comes along who wants to coop the term, then it is fair to say there is nothing truly conservative about the meaning of the term conservative.

The second book is Glenn Tinder's Political Thinking.

I do not care if you are a cashier or scientist - if you read this book it will make you a better problem solver.  It will make you into a critical thinker.


  1. This blog sounds like one I would run, especially the part of not allowing comments that don't contribute to the discussion. Most bloggers are afraid of "First Ammendment" issues, or so they say. However, there's a chance your blog might be "preaching to the choir". But who cares! Maybe BALANCING THE ISSUES will be a way to put thing into perspective, and that might be a step in getting us off the fence and getting our feet wet in our community, to mix metaphors.
    I used to think that a pendejo was one who, for example, didn't know the difference between carbon footprint and carbonated softdrinks. The real pendejos could be those who do know the difference and don't do anything about it.

  2. On the grammar issue, I do not mind is someone posts a comment wherein they are restructuring a sentence while telling me my mistake. I consider that helpful. I will probably not post through the comment, but I certainly will make the correction along with a post saying thank you.

    The thing about me is, I love to learn - The day I can no longer learn is the day I want to pass on - learning is the thing which keeps me going day to day.

    Years ago when I ran my first blog, before blogs even existed and you had to buy Front Page to even set up the web page, I had an editor. She was a nightmare. No matter how many times I told her to just look for grammatical errors she decided her job was to change the entire piece to be what she wanted. I had to fire her - she absolutely refused to just edit for grammar. It is very hard to work with someone who wants to change the substance of what you are saying.

    So if you want me to restructure a sentence - have at it - but also tell me the mistake so that I see the problem.

    You may not believe it, but I have lots of grammar books - it is not unusual for me to check a rule while I am writing. Whether fishing or around the pool, I have been known to read my grammar books.

    But I cannot change how my mind works - it reads for substance - I do not see the words - my mind is way out ahead of where my eyes are seeing the words.

    Bobby WC