Archive for the ‘Organizations’ Category

I enjoyed your column in Wednesday, June 5th edition of The (Kitsap) Sun. Whenever I read a column I don’t agree with I call it thought provoking; so this one definitely was that.
I will start in the middle of your column: the paragraph that begins with “I guess…” If you care to visit my blog (you can google Sweet Old Bob; or go directly via the link: bobup1000.wordpress.com) and find a piece deep in the archives regarding “Levels of Certainty”. I left out “I guess…” as one of those levels of certainty. It falls pretty low in the list. To the point “selection” might be considered accurate except almost anybody can participate. All you have to do is be politically active (i. e. become a Precinct Committee Officer). The wisdom of those who drafted the constitutional amendment you refer to is in the fact that those who are politically active are almost always more informed than those who sit on the sidelines and become cynical to the point that they approach the status of non-voter.
I don’t know if you agree that the amendment that created this process is closer to being democratic than what was in the original document. I believe it is. To go another step and create a special election for every vacancy would be cumbersome and, in this day and age especially, way too expensive. With every expenditure being scrutinized by budget hawks we can conclude that frequent special elections are an unfair burden on the taxpayers.
Expense aside I would argue, agreeing with the framers of the amendment, that the process now in effect is efficient and does a pretty good job. If you cynically believe that the incumbent has an unfair advantage get off the duff and participate in your party’s activities to find a more qualified candidate.
I am ambivalent about the announcement published in today’s (Friday, June 17, 2011) edition of The Sun about a candidate filing to unseat Rob Gelder. I found out many years ago that opponents to incumbents cause him/her to expend valuable dollars to defend his/her position. Wouldn’t you really love to have a job that is challenged periodically by somebody who thinks they can do it better?
Rob’s gracious reaction in the third and second paragraphs from the end of the article (on the inside where too many people will miss it) is in keeping with his positive attitude. It is just one more quality that earns his election to the post. Rarely do I support a candidate who runs on a negative platform. It borders on mud-slinging, a practice that a vast majority of voters say they abhor… but pay too much attention to, if you believe the polls following major mud-slinging.

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I just saw a reference to somebody in public life (in Iran) as a democrat; not a Democrat, but a democrat. It made me recall an utterance by my dad’s 3rd wife, which is quoted in the title of this piece.
Inasmuch as she (and my dad – turning to The Dark Side) are big-R Republicans I can see why so many R’s in lawmaking bodies are really out of touch with their constituents. If Republican constituents remain mute, in their observations of the day’s events, rather than speaking out in communications with their Republican representatives then what do you have?
Yes, writing isn’t always easy. A lot of people have a hard time expressing themselves in written form. But, if they become active within their respective parties, they can find common ground with those who do write well; and with their association they can get the message to their lawmakers.
I’ve polled members of my political party and received a tremendously positive response to the question regarding communicating in writing to lawmakers. It gives me a great deal of hope that our view-points are getting through to those lawmakers whose candidacy we back.
All of this reminds me I must write a letter to the editor regarding the local political scene… I will probably post it later…

Thank you for your expression of support for my view(s). I would like to offer another perspective. I don’t perceive a personal vendetta in these “attacks”. It seems to me a matter of different positions on an issue of whether it is ethical to do what this candidate has done, or not. I would listen to anyone who addresses this issue directly. Calling it mud slinging or personal attack, seems to me, to be acting from conjecture. I haven’t read all the texts, but if somebody can find a citation from any of them that points to unfair attack I would like to see it… not that I don’t believe there is any. It’s just that I haven’t taken the time to read it all to ascertain if there is.

Now, comes the part of why I have changed my mind from supporting what I agree is a very strong candidate to one who might be considered having all the requisites that the former one has: I believe it is incumbent on lawmakers to listen and respond to constituents’ concerns and suggestions. Most of the lawmakers I’ve contacted do so; but a couple of them seem to be too busy to respond with substantive comments. I believe a candidate who has established his/her presence at meetings and shown a good record of engaging us with meaningful dialog is way ahead of the rest in credibility for candidacy. This goes way beyond personal friendship. I do not vote or support a candidate out of personal friendship. If you google my name you probably will find a citation to a letter I had printed in the Kitsap Sun the last election cycle that expresses my view about supporting a candidate for his/her actual abilities and experience over someone who may have done you a favor. That doesn’t exactly fit into this discussion; but I feel personal contact and ability to engage in a meaningful dialog is an extremely important factor when deciding whether to support him/her.

This is why I’ve decided at this point to support the candidacy of Rob Gelder! Unless I receive some extremely convincing information to change my mind this is how I will vote tomorrow evening.

 

I am comparing perceived misdeeds by the Catholic Church that are only misdeeds when we fold time and apply today’s evolving mores to incidents that happened centuries ago with  yellow journalism practiced by a reporter who went on to become one of our most beloved writers and applying journalistic standards that establish criteria for quality reporting these days.

Many centuries ago the Catholic Church practiced officially sanctioned inquisitions and other misdeeds that would no longer be tolerated in that same church because the fallible human beings that hold high office in it are changing with the ages as they observe that those ancient practices simply aren’t tenable.

It is established fact that Mark Twain worked as a reporter at one time that practiced the false reporting that passes as mere entertainment now – and, in fact was then by those cynical journalists who didn’t care about disseminating the truth. They sold the literary equivalent to snake oil to unsuspecting readers in the wild wild west. Any harm that might have been done was entirely unintentional.

It is a matter of practicality that the main stream media be ever vigilant to transgressions against rules against deception. If we paint the main stream media with a broad brush of cynicism and eschew everything they say because of exposed shady incidents, then we cut ourselves off from the vast majority of honest reporting that serves to illuminate our times.

So, too Catholics can be proud of the accomplishments of the Church over the ages while they remain vigilant to continuing violations of the Church-members’ trust.

I would offer that Catholics show the remarkable maturity it did in the 1930’s when they side-stepped the controversy over evolution with the very wise proclamation that it doesn’t make any difference what you believe about evolution as long as you believe that when the first creature that was, in fact a human was infused by God with a soul. This includes discharging myths represented as truths; and recognizing that superstition is the religion of feeble minds. The multitude of people who have sunk into mental illness because they became so confused by inconsistencies that were thrust onto them by well-meaning clerics is legend. It is only by adopting a strong hold on realities and reason that one can keep their sanity and not obsess over holding on to non-sense principles.

I will also use this as an argument to support progressive movements within and outside the Church. It is only when we allow reason to govern our thoughts and actions that we can strive to improve the lives of man in his confusing world.

I am envisioning a world in which Martin Luther reigned in the zealots and woke the Vatican to abuses to the effect of changing the Church’s practices for the better. As progressives became more influential they brought the Church in line with God’s wishes.