Monday, March 9, 2015

47 Dumbass Ronin

I read about the open letter to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran last night and was just appalled. I couldn't put my finger on why, at first. They weren't offering aid and comfort to an enemy, per se, so you couldn't call it treason. They weren't in direct, private communications, solicited or otherwise, with the foreign government, so I don't know if you could consider it a violation of the Logan Act.  But is very unusual, and the tone was, I thought, disrespectful to the President, to other negotiators at the table, and disrespectful of their offices as US Senators. Because while this letter isn't necessarily treason or sedition--it's a political stunt over foreign policy made wide-open, which does not strengthen the President's hand in making a good executive deal, but rather aims at diluting the nation's effectiveness to carry out successful diplomacy.

I know this was the aim of the letter, because the freshman Senator who spear-headed the effort, Tom Cotton, has previously admitted he wanted to sabotage the negotiations. What astonished me is that he managed to get 46 other senators to go along with him. Not a one of them read the thing and thought it might be a bad idea?

Now, Sen. Mitch McConnell seems to just want undermine anything President Obama ever does, so that's no shock. And squirrel-in-a-people-suit Sen. Lindsey Graham actually for some reason said just this Sunday that he thinks Iran is more dangerous than ISIL, although he'd still hella love to be boots on the ground at war with ISIL, too. (With what money and troops, Senator Scaredy-Pants?) And of course, Sen. John McCain has wanted to "Bomb-bomb Iran" since his musical parody debut.  (I'm a fan of Weird Al Yankovic, and I like Weird Al Yankovic, and Senator, you're no Weird Al Yankovic!)

But why in hell the others? Especially when the tone was completely condescending to Iran, and, it turns out, a bit inaccurate?

And where does this stupidity get them? Glad you, my hypothetical reader, asked--because the response of Iran's Foreign Minister Dr. Javad Zarif called them out. He pointed out that they were inaccurate and the Iran knows very well how US foreign policy works.

Total exchange:

47 Dumbass Ronin: See, Constitution!

Iran: Naw, read it.

Result: Smacked Asses.

And this is why government professionals should not beef in public. Why didn't they know that?

Some of these tater-heads want to even be President someday. They should consider their bed perma-shat, unless our media is completely populated by mindless dopes and...oh, damn. I thought I had a point, there. What I meant to say was, this might look like several of our GOP Senators aren't really ready for prime time, unless someone can clean their asses up quick with some flash cards or something.

So my takeaway is, I really wish all the smart people would point out this goofball stuff can not stand, not because it's treasonous or all these folks should rot in a deep hole listening to the Top 12 Most Depressing Songs of the 70's on constant repeat. But because threatening to shutdown the government, or having pointless filibusters where children's books are read, or threatening DHS funding, or writing open letters to foreign governments as if, are just not the mature things legislators should be doing if they are for real, and not just running political campaigns to be Fox News commentators someday.

And they should especially not behave as if President Obama is fixing to sell the family cow for magic beans (which is an actual deal W. made with North Korea, I think). He's our president until he isn't, guys. And by the way, if anyone can tell me how war with Iran is a great plan for Syria, Iraq, and ISIS, let me know.


StringOnAStick said...

Well, crap; I leave the news alone for a day and crazy shit like this happens? I'd snicker and say the GOP senators have descended into parody, but its too damned dangerous to be funny.

Vixen Strangely said...

It looks very dysfunctional, and from a Constitutional viewpoint, I don't really know what legal thing makes this wrong, but my "put America's interests first" feelings say that this kind of thing doesn't put the US first. It undermines our legitimate authority to do foreign policy. We aren't Israel's mercenaries, and we aren't Saudi Arabia's mercenaries. But the path that puts us to a war/sofa resolution with Iran? Is not in our immediate interest, and surely has nothing to do with any immanent threat to us.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Grand Ole Treason Party

Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vixen, this just demonstrates to me that the good politicians are the ones who are retired. The only way you can tell if a politician who is in office or is running for office is lying is if their lips are moving. This is only partially their fault. Anytime a politician tells the truth they are telling their enemies, political or existential, what their real plans are going to be. Part of the art of politics is finessing the American public and keeping us from knowing what's really going on. This is one of the reasons you see a lot of seemingly crazy initiatives being advanced without a clear logical foundation. They want us to keep prattling on while the real motivations are only understood by Senate and Congressional committees and the bowels of the State Department. They spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to offer a plausible political excuse that entirely obscures their real motivations. And I must say, they've gotten pretty good at it. They keep us hassling with each other, completely out of the loop.

It's funny that the two presumptive front-runners are both being held at arm's length by their repsective parties. Bush is not liked by his base because of his position of immigration. Clinton is having a lot of trouble because of the emails. Who knows who we will ultimately have running against each other.

I have to disagree with the President on one matter. As George Gurdieff said, “There is hope for man; there is no hope for men.” Societies are not perfectible in the Kali Yuga. As I have said, we live in Malkuth of Assiah in the Kali Yuga or the Aeons as you like to view it. Naturally, in the Semitic religions this is referred to as the “fall” of man.

One of the symptoms in the Kali Yuga is that people confuse entropy with progress. This leads to a phase sometimes referred to as the “counter initiation” when conceptualized in English. This is complicated, but it involves counterfeits replacing real things. The growth of counterfeits impersonating reality grows until a foothold completely ingratiates the counterfeit's acceptance as the real thing. Maybe sometime I'll try to explain this if there is any interest. Naturally, I fully understand that what I say along these lines sounds outrageous and foolish to the large majority of people. Unfortunately, this is inevitable.

I've been called back into service. You may recall I had rotator cuff surgery. I've been doing physical therapy. My surperios told me, “FA, take some time for yourself. Go horse around with the degenerates. See what the unwashed are up to, and then come back to work.” I'm about 85-90% back and so it is time for me to resume my lodge duties. Furthermore, I now have to take up the responsibilities of the lodge brother who was filling in for me while I was out. No more kicking back and saying the hell with the universe.

Incidentally, that was a pretty neat story.

Formerly Amherst said...

Vixen, I accidentally put the comment above on the wrong post. It was meant for the Obama Selma post.

Vixen Strangely said...

I think I see this "entropy vs progress" dynamic occur in mundane activism. It seems to me like activism comes in two forms--"win over" activism, and "wear down" activism. Groups can change minds with the former, through education, propaganda, awareness-raising, one on one conversations, but that is slow. Entropy through wear-down strategies like lawsuits, direct action protests, strike, create what looks like "progress". But what temporary victories like legal wins or ballot items won don't mean the opposition disappears--in fact, it can take on new forms, and more malign emotions are associated with it, like resentment.

Which isn't say it's pointless--only that people get wrapped in the ends and start to get indifferent about the results of the means they use. People start out as idealists, form attachments, and start becoming ideologues. When you get to radical Peta folks or raw fruititarians or anti-vaxxers or some conspiracy theorists, it starts looking like they've got a cultish mind about whatever they're into, and critical thinking or being well-rounded or having a full life gets backburnered while they shovel their energies into whatever pet rathole they've found.

Sounds like an interesting conversation.

Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vixen, this is going to be tough. How to explain “counter-initiation.” But first I want to say that I think your schematic from idealism to attachment to ideologues is a cogent insight, and frankly is what makes most of our political advocates into useful idiots. I also think that you demonstrate a little nascent understanding of where I am going with your win over, wear out scenario.

I also want to say that entropy confused as progress should probably be borne in mind.

Qaballistically if we hypothesize that a change is a good idea and activism is employed, it would be legitimate provided it does not cause chaos. Any time you create chaos, you are creating evil from the point of view of the Qaballah. This means sometimes the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I also am a little less sanguine about propaganda. The virtue of Hod is Truthfulness, and the vice is Dishonesty. That may be a counsel of perfection too rarefied for the realities of Malkuth of Assiah in the Kali Yuga.

In theology it is said that quotes without context is pretext. And so I am going to quote something that I hope will provide some context in respect to what I will write about later when I grapple with the “counter-initiation.”

In an introductory outline to The Supreme Identity by Alan Watts, he says
I. Modern civilization is disintegrating because it has no principle of unity, no certain or even workable knowledge of the meaning and true end of human life.

Philosophy and science do not offer such a principle, nor even the hope of finding one, since this is not their proper sphere.

Religion contains our nearest approach to a principle of unity, but does not convince or convert the modern world because its doctrines, as stated, seem incredible.

Societies with a principle of unity have existed, and are more stable and significant than our own, because related consciously to an eternal Reality.

II.(a) The spiritual leadership of a stable and unified society of this kind must have access to metaphysical knowledge, i.e., to an effective realization and immediate experience of the ultimate Reality.

Religion offers an analogy of this knowledge, but of this modern Christianity is not aware. Analogy alone collapses when pressed too far, and Christianity is now ineffective and uncertain because it is a hard-pressed analogy trying to stand on its own merits. It lacks the support of the metaphysical knowledge which it represents.

Formerly Amherst said...

Vixen, what I said earlier is worth giving some thought to. And now I'm going to try and see if I can use one venue to illustrate “counter-initiation” and how it comes about. This is from the view of a Traditionalist culture. Our last Traditional culture was Tibet.

It's supposed to work something like this.

Enlightened seers exist in a level of consciousness that allows them to directly cognize universal principles.

The seers hand off this knowledge to the custodians of culture and society.

The custodians of culture and society then try to fabricate a society based upon the universal principles as well as they are able. This will not be perfect, but it will be as close as they can come.

Then the society is entirely organized in its laws, its regulations, its art, its job classifications, its war department, to be as closely in sync with principles as can be in an imperfect phenomenal world. The metaphysical laws of the noumenal are set out out be the guiding principles on which the phenomena are organized.

Now this will not be perfect. It is not possible for it to be, but if done correctly there will always be a thin line of connection between people and the society with the ontological ground.

Now what happens when a society becomes so disorganized and so degenerated that it not only does not listen to the seers, but it does not believe they exist? In fact, society does not even believe that any cosmic principles exist. They don't believe there is any absolute nature to be fathomed.

Being cut off from the root of metaphysical vitality, the direction is downward in a focus of materialism.

Finally, a rootless society attempts to find fulfillment in the acquisition, possession, and identification with material goods. You are what you buy. If you can afford to walk in and buy a Mercedes, then you walk out a better person than others because you have the money. Additionally, there is an embodiment in the attempt to find fulfillment in a pursuit of making sure that other people can have more material validity so that their status is not undermined by the guy in the Armani suit.

When you start to have a whole society who recognize value by what they can purchase or help the less fortunate purchase, you have come the the “counter-initiation.”

Real initiation points a person in the direction of numinous reality. When you have lost all sense of numinous reality and now define yourself by your purchases, your brand labels (incidentally, a vice of Kether), or your tireless efforts to help other people have their share of purchases, you have been initiated in the opposite direction from that provided by initiation in the direction of numinous Reality.

And this is roughly one inadequate way of trying to suggest what counter-initiation is and one of the vectors that lead to it. I have hardly done it justice, but maybe I have provided an idea.