Wednesday, August 25, 2004


“I couldn’t get a job with CIA today. I am not qualified.”

In his inimitably competent way, George Bush has selected a candidate for CIA director who has already told us what to make of his qualifications for the job. Porter’s own evaluation of himself was caught on tape in an interview with a Michael Moore production crew.


Fareed Zakaria offers us a sweet evaluation of why only the kind of “nuanced” thinking which Kerry is capable of can be effective in Iraq. (Newsweek, August 23, 2004, p. 35.) Zakaria introduces a book written for business operations to support his claim. (Remember when Republicans told us that business principles should be followed if we wanted to run government successfully?)

“Bossidy has written a book titled ‘Execution’, which is worth reading in this context. Almost every requirement he lays out was ignored by the Bush administration in its occupation of Iraq. One important example: ‘You cannot have an execution culture without robust dialogue—one that brings reality to the surface through openness, candor, and informality,’ Bossidy writes. ‘Robust dialogue starts when people go in with open minds. You cannot set realistic goals until you’ve debated the assumptions behind them.’

“Say this in the business world and it is considered wisdom. But say it as a politician and it is derided as ‘nuance’ or ‘sophistication’. Perhaps that is why [Bush’s] Washington works as poorly as it does.”

We all know that Bush is not a man for discussion of policy or for open-mindedness. He’s not literate. He’s a rigid bull-ahead authoritarian personality, the kind of man who, in the wrong conditions, could become a dictator. He doesn’t like to read or discuss issues. He’s a “don’t bother me with the facts, my mind’s made up” sort of man. And, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, this rigidity is part of the religious personality because they always bow to authority as the final arbiter for all decisions. They’re either looking to a hypothetical superbeing for leadership or an authoritarian personality to tell them what to do. In any country, the are a danger to freedom and individuality.


In a collection of Ingmar Bergman (influential and powerful Swedish film director of the mid-20th century) interviews, called “Bergman on Bergman”, by Stig Bjorkman, Torsten Manns & Jonas Sima, Bergman reveals a few interesting things about being raised in his father’s house. Bergman’s father was a minister.

“Q: Your adolescence was unusually troublesome?

Bergman: .... As about near to a madhouse as anything could be.” (p. 24)

Earlier in the interview (p. 11), Bergman reveals other things about his being raised in a religious household:

“ My childhood and youth during the twenties and early thirties, in the environment where I was growing up, the sort of school I went to, the whole style of life, meant I was walking about half-asleep.... Emotionally I was confused. I was being brought up in an environment which, in relation to the world I was later to be thrown out into, was utterly naive.... [I’ve used the same word to describe my own, protected 50’s upbringing.] I went to a private school.... The home atmosphere was god-fearing. Everything was fifty years behind the times. I had [no one] to take me by the hand and lead me out of it. My schoolmates were just as dumb, just as debile, just as flabby, just as drifting as I was. There was absolutely nothing in our milieu which could wake us up or stimulate us. Outwardly, it was a protected world. Inwardly, it was grossly insecure.”

I think anyone overly protected is almost bound to grow up without a real moral compass. One must be tested to grow a value system of one’s own. Also, I think it’s very harmful to stuff a Bible book system of values into a child. It’s full of too much evil thinking and devilish behavior. It makes kids think the world is an evil place rather than the evolving human experimental station it truly is in which we can observe animals who are trying to grow up to be humans.

"I am an uncompromising pacifist . . . I have no sense of nationalism, only a cosmic consciousnesss of belonging to the human family." —Rosika Schwimmer

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