Government

dealing with political systems

109 On the threshold of wealth

The country’s pain is not a person. It is anger. The pain will endure as long as the anger. Attempting to get even and to override others is scripted discord. Triumph over the other expresses selfishness, not completeness. Every resetting of course provides some degree of fresh start. It was so beautifully expressed in George H. W. Bush’s emphasis on the “kinder, gentler America.” With a dramatic personnel change underway, we have the perfect moment to institute that more divine order. Our joy lies in being the new America where we sincerely care about the least of these (our neighbors).

104 When one size does not fit all

Three degrees In Article 89 a monkey, a dog, and a chicken try to get through a fence. The monkey finds a hole in the fence, the dog follows the monkey, and the chicken stubbornly bangs against the fence. Plato used the myth of the metals to assign attributes to different people. Today we will perform the exercise using the collection of animals: invent, follow, and deny. Degrees In my upbringing, heaven includes three degrees: the highest for enlightened people, the middle for faithful followers, and the lowest for practitioners of willful rejection. Pondering this theme has taught me that …

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80 The power is in you

Story: Owl II Let’s continue the story of Owl (article 79), the candidate who would not scream “incompetent.” He found a need and filled it (article 56). How did he do it? He gathered private financing for services the government did not provide. More significantly, however, he contributed a mind fixed on realizing what could be. Outlook makes the difference. PMA (positive mental attitude) accepts challenges as opportunities for growth. In article 32 I refused to watch news reports of burning buildings because the watching serves no useful purpose. Next, article 33 stated, “we do not climb up by looking …

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79 How this is done

Stories Illinois Governor Richard Ogilvie put his full strength behind the state’s first income tax that proved vital to the state’s financial recovery. After he lost the next election, he wistfully commented that he probably couldn’t be elected to the office of dog catcher. His many progressive accomplishments included establishing the Illinois EPA which served as an example for the national EPA. After Governor Jim Edgar’s second term, it was described as Netsch II because he implemented some campaign promises of his election opponent Dawn Clark Netsch (who had incidentally proposed increasing the sales tax). There is a political adage …

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78 Why are you not effective?

Stories If you wanted a favor from me, would you run up to me and say, “I am going to fight you”? Do you come to a job interview to say, “Here are my demands; I am going to fight you until I get all of them”? Crazy as that sounds, I see these behaviors practiced every day, in other settings. However, today’s title is merely an attention grabber. You are effective and the article ends on my usual exuberance. I have already described athletic competition as collaboration between parties who agree to put forth best effort to make each …

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75 Who will tie the bell?

Story 1: mice The mouse convention proudly announced their best safety measure to date: tie a bell on the cat so that they always have warning of the predator’s approach. The jubilation halted abruptly when an elderly mouse asked the body, “Who will tie the bell on the cat?” In this happiness blog I have floated many ideas for improving the world. Article 74 urged applying all real wealth to improve quality of life. That was a setup for the above question, which is now “whose resources do we use?” The maxim “gold is where you find it” makes the …

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60 Accomplish anything together?

What is the benefit of settled safety? The miracle of cooperation allows humans to achieve nearly anything. This is the promise of the Ernstraudian Way, the reason we are here together. The principle Fairness equalizes participants in democracy. In a large group, we trust that somebody will become aware of shortcomings, allowing us to perfect the system as we go along. An authoritarian individual is corrupted more easily than a majority. Public trust establishes continuity of the body. The method Democracies combine individual personal contributions to a social contract. People share diverse talents for the common good. They learn practical …

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28 Worshipful attention from our children?

Do you want your children to admire you?  How about worshipful attention?  Are the two differentiable? Worshipful attention appears sweet until, like sugar, it has negative impact.  Happily, I watched Shakespeare’s King Lear before begetting children.  I knew it was important for my children to differentiate between leadership that deserved respect and leadership that needed forgiving.  Their selection mattered, and fortunately they chose well what to follow and what to forgive.  Looking back, I cringe with King Lear at many episodes I thought at the time were praiseworthy.  It is good that they can set aside much of what I …

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27 Humans’ Needs = the F.I.S.H.

Before starting this blog, I was writing Ernstraud Magazine sporadically.  That climaxed on February 11, 2019 with an analysis of humans’ needs.  The acronym there was the FISH, meaning Fundamental Ingredients Sustaining Humans.  They are important enough to list again here, in order of urgency, as measured by how quickly people die if they lack the ingredient. As the urgency goes down, the importance might be going up; the complexity does. The FISH Physically we consume these items Clean Air Clean Water Nutrition and Exercise Safe Housing Healthcare (we stay healthy as a group) Valid Education (see the prior issue …

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26 Educate everybody?

Education was presented last week as the redemptive function of prison. It is most effective in a nurturing environment. Will implementing that upgrade make people on the outside jealous? Not if their own needs are being met.  We readily share what we have, making the whole society better off. The plea for uplifting education applies universally. American free public education aimed at employability and socialization.  Citizens learned necessary life skills.  Aristotle taught “All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.” Abraham Lincoln observed “The …

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