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Civility: Take A Breath

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Bloviating Zeppelin: Civility: Take A Breath

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Civility: Take A Breath

I posted on Friday about the announcement by Sarah Palin that she was stepping down from her governor's position, effective July 26th. It's abundantly clear, from the comments under that post, that Sarah Palin brings out sharp rancor, heretofore cloaked, in many persons.

Towards the bottom of the comments, A Jacksonian weighs in with his thoughtful and measured tones. He wrote, in part:

I cannot and will not put feelings about personality above my Nation. We are damned to a very hot place when we have so many who do that. If you let yourself be distracted by the damned MSM and what has been going on, then you are willingly being led to get your emotions involved and stop thinking. Once you do that, no matter your claim to a part of the political 'spectrum', you are then becoming one who is led, not making true choices out of all the choices we have has free people, but letting your choices be limited by others. As a culture and a people we will not survive with this continuing onwards.

Do not give those who despise liberty and freedom a handle to grab you by . . . do not let them play with your emotions . . . be civil in your outlook and hold by civility until your last breath. Or until you have to pull the trigger yourself. Lose your cool in combat and all is lost. You help no one in this Cold Civil War if you let your passions be manipulated.

Think. Pick your target. Take aim. Keep your SA up and never, ever lose sight of the target. By being civil you demonstrate that we can BE civil towards each other . . . and nothing so enrages those trying to manipulate you by your emotions as being civil and keeping your cool.

It is damned hard work to be civilized.

And it all rests upon you. Only you can make yourself civilized. We are damned near the end of our civilization already without helping those who seek to tear down civil society by becoming as uncivilized as those attacking it are.

Reading those lines made me reflect for quite some time -- to the point where I realized this was a timely topic for my Sunday post.

For I too find myself caught up in the temper of the times. One look at NewsMax or HuffPo or WorldNetDaily or Drudge or NYT or WSJ and the least religious of persons could be convinced it's the End Times.

A few examples:

- North Korea fires seven missiles, as South Korea prepares to react;
- India joins Russia and China in removing the US dollar as primary currency;
- Former Ravens and Titans QB Steve McNair found shot to death;
- The World Health Organization says the swine flu is out of control and cannot be halted;
- H1N1 is now resistant to Tamiflu;
- Michael Jackson's funeral dominates the media;

Our national debt cannot be avoided, and Mr Obama is doing his level best to ensure it increases at geometric rates. Our current debt is estimated at $11.4 TRILLION dollars. That is the equivalent to about $37,000 for each and every American. And it's expanding by over $1 trillion a year.

And from whom does the US government borrow this money? An excellent question, answered:
The debt is largely financed by the sale of Treasury bonds and bills. Even today, amid global economic turmoil, those still are seen as one of the world's safest investments.

That's one of the rare upsides of U.S. government borrowing.

Treasury securities are suitable for individual investors and popular with other countries, especially China, Japan and the Persian Gulf oil exporters, the three top foreign holders of U.S. debt.

But as the U.S. spends trillions to stabilize the recession-wracked economy, helping to force down the value of the dollar, the securities become less attractive as investments. Some major foreign lenders are already paring back on their purchases of U.S. bonds and other securities. And if major holders of U.S. debt were to flee, it would send shock waves through the global economy - and sharply force up U.S. interest rates.

As time goes by, demographics suggest things will get worse before they get better, even after the recession ends, as more baby boomers retire and begin collecting Social Security and Medicare benefits.

I freely admit; I'm frequently operating in Informational Overload Mode, and in combination with Personal Stress Mode. My personal life, since the begining of the year and the death of my father, the selling of his house, the issues at work -- will I have a job, will I not have a job -- have resulted in the tumultuous explosion of emotions and non-stop thoughts and plots and plans that my mind cannot seem to stop at the expense of sleep, work, home.

AJ is right; I need to somehow manage, despite all this, to bring some civility and measured rationality to my life. I've let the discourse and the bad news and the trials allow all the local torrential currents to pull and push me in directions that have been less than pleasant. It seems I've allowed myself to be plunged into these dangerous waters without even having thought of unfurling my sail and putting a steady hand on my rudder. I've lost control.

I need to do both those things, and very soon, in order to gain some semblance of control. And I need to step back and at least attempt to put all in some sort of perspective. Because allowing myself to be forced into a Nantucket Sleighride, with my own personal line tied to a harpoon deep into the flanks of a whale insane with pain -- that only spells horrendous trouble.

I need to breathe.

I will try.



Blogger ASM826 said...

This very point of view is what has led me to start writing about Scouting. To think of other things, fond memories, men of honor, is to draw back toward my own center.

I cannot react or post about about every news story that deserves it. In terms of bad news, we are standing under a waterfall with a spoon.

It is time to take the rudder and sail under our own control in a new direction. And to not look back.

Sun Jul 05, 10:07:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

ASM826: you've got it. I finally realize it. Now I've just got to DO it. And standing under a waterfall with a spoon? Is THAT ever an appropriate metaphor.


Sun Jul 05, 10:54:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Maggie Thornton said...

BZ, we are in extraordinary times. Don't beat yourself up too badly. It's good that you have recognized that there is a calmer course for your life.

While you are trying to find the way there, I suggest taking time every day to read a good book. A book transports us out of the here and now, and while we are reading, we are learning, even when its fiction.

It's a problem we all have. Balance is the goal. We must care, we must get mad and enraged. The trick is not to always be mad and enraged.

The trick is to remember the gratitude due others. Just feeling good about someone else is like the physical advantages we derive (whether we know it or not) when we smile, and especially when we smile often.

You are a stellar patriot. We need people like you, so while you stay civilized, also stay energized and believing in your mission.

Sun Jul 05, 12:44:00 PM PDT  
Blogger TexasFred said...

Get on an even strain BZ, don't risk your health, if it's eating you up, back off, take a break, post pics of kittens and butterflies or whatever it takes to cool off...

As for me, I will fight as hard as always, with 100% of everything I have left, moderation in a fight is NOT my style, and if this fight kills me, I will have died giving my all to save THIS nation!


Sun Jul 05, 12:54:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Maggie: thanks so kindly. Any more, it's becoming ever so much easier to stray off the path and take the cup offered on the sidelines. No one tells you, though, what price that cup costs -- up to and including your soul.


Sun Jul 05, 12:54:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Life is an adventure, kick back and enjoy the ride. And as you and I know, the rides ends rather quickly.

Why spend your life worrying about politicians, they sure as hell don't spend their lives worrying about you.

Sun Jul 05, 01:27:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Ranando said...

Anon is me

Sun Jul 05, 01:27:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

TF: then I envy your single-mindedness.

Ranando: I wish I had the opportunity to put most everything on ignore mode and just do what made me happy.


Sun Jul 05, 03:35:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

I went for a long walk this evening. Usually July is hot and miserable. Not this year! It was a perfect evening for a quiet stroll.

During that stroll and before I saw this posting, I did some personal inventory. I also thought back to my mother's situation with political involvement and being a news hound.

Many years ago, my mother had a series of heart attacks. The doctor's prescription? Turn off the news.

She did so -- for longer than she wanted to. It was, literally, a matter of life and death. Mom's health improved, and she eased her way back into keeping up with the news.

Now, my health isn't that far down in the dumper. Yet.

But I know that I have to stop checking for every news story and digging in the dirt. Not completely stop, but pare back.

I've decided to spend more time reading "mindless" fiction instead of poring over the newspaper and news sites on the web. Last night firmed up my decision. For the first time in my life, I didn't really enjoy the July 4th fireworks.

Oh, I'm not quitting my watch. To quit altogether would be to abrogate my responsibilities as a citizen.

Neither will I stop blogging. I DO have a web site for photos. I need to revive it!

Besides, my butt is getting sore from all this sitting in front of the computer.

Anyway, if my posting slows down or changes in tone, you now know why. I'm worn out with doom and gloom. And a gloomy patriot is ineffective too.

Sun Jul 05, 03:46:00 PM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Mr. Z - My thanks!

I can not let those seeking to dominate this land via distractions do so, and to step back I do step back to our Founders and those they depended on going far back into history. Those wishing to get my emotions in play want us to forget history: that tyrants and despots always come to power on the heat of emotion, not through the clarity of reason. Cesar had enough and crossed the Rubicon, Attila and Genghis Khan and other warlords starting with Alexander live by martial passion to conquer and left little behind them of worth... Lenin, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Mao, Pol Pot... always the passion, never reason and always, without fail, on the Left.

I am not without emotions, but their passion is calmed by reason and help to balance and guide reason: that is why emotions are vital to us, to give us inner strength to make the hard decisions that are right and self-sacrificing... not the easy ones to call upon others to sacrifice for you.

I can support a politician without becoming emotionally attached to them, and dislike another politician without the passion of hatred. When you let others meddle in your emotions and then rant on from your emotions and show no reason - then you become unreasonable. It is hard to take a reasoned stance and hold it, emotions always want you to go one step further. But that step is unreasonable and only becomes a choice when all other reasonable options are foreclosed. When one makes it the FIRST step, then they are not guided by reason but by their passion. Passion unbridled is horrific in its ends, no matter how 'good' the passion is. Passion bolstering reason and pushing us to hold to it to reach good ends, that is a soothing balm to the spirit and soul, both, and enriches all around you.

That is the basis of my stances on Palin, McCain, Obama, Bush, Romney, Clinton (your pick), and on and on. I love nor hate any of them. When they try to push 'good' on me, then I start to reach to my own defense as that is no good at all coming my way.

Jeffersonians used to join the ACLU and depended upon lawyers.

Jacksonians join the NRA and seek to their own defenses for home and family.

I know who backs my rights and protects my family, and it sure, as hell, isn't politicians. I am the worst barbarian possible: a civilized one. My passion now gives me steady aim. I will start no fights.

End them?

When that time comes they will be ended.

Or I will.

That is Liberty.

Sun Jul 05, 04:45:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Rivka said...

AJ is dead on right as usual. I experienced a lack of civility when talking with my Liberal friends last night but it was on their part and almost on mine. I remained civil. It amazed me how angry they get and how they start the political conversations to begin with knowing I am a conservative. ;)

Sun Jul 05, 04:54:00 PM PDT  
Blogger christian soldier said...

This confirms what one of my dear friends has been telling me --it's time to a day off from this -now and then..
I was going to take today off ..Didn't...
Is it rather like an addiction!?
Thank you all for your candor...

Sun Jul 05, 06:05:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bushwack said...

Well BZ I disagree somewhat...We don't need to breathe, we don't need a pause and we sure as hell don't need to forget anything.

We dealt with 8 years of childish posts from libtards. From "Stolen election" to "Blood for Oil" and everything between. I'm scrutinizing EVERYTHING that SOB in the whitehouse does, so far he has done only one thing I agreed with. and I posted on that. THAT keeps me on the moral high ground vs the libtard version of cry about EVERYTHING GWB did.

The end of days? Oh hell, I don't believe we are there yet, but Obama, Pelosi and Reid are sure paving the way.

I'll keep swinging the truth hammer and I'm pulling no punches to keep some liberal POS from keeling over. I'll push the MotherFkr over the edge!

Get the feeling my anger runeth over? It sure as hell does, and it's about time ALL of America wake the fk up and see the path we are on is paved with ruin.

Sun Jul 05, 07:32:00 PM PDT  
Blogger David Wyatt said...

BZ, sometime check out the 5th chapter of the Book of Joshua in the Old Testament. Joshua is in a tough spot, having just had the overwhelming victory at the Jordan River in chapter 4, & now facing the long trek to the promised Land. As he is mulling all this over, the Lord Himself appears to him in verses 13-15! He appears as a Warrior with His sword drawn! Joshua asks Him a question any military leader would: Are You for us or them? His answer? NO! I have not come to take sides, I have come to take OVER! Joshua then asks a very important question: What has my Lord have to say to His servant? There's a lot in that question, but the main point seems to be that though Joshua was all wrought up about how he was going to lead that Israelite army and all the people against Jericho: the most fortified city in all the area, God basically said to him: You need to just get alone with Me because I'M in charge. Sometimes we do need to charge, but there are also times we need to remember Who's in charge & make sure we're right with Him. We could never handle things as He will! It may get worse before it gets better, but if we're in Him, we are already winners through Him. Just a little thought. God Bless you BZ.

Sun Jul 05, 08:17:00 PM PDT  
Blogger JINGOIST said...

BZ thanks for stopping by and saying hello yesterday!

I appreciate your heartfelt post, and the question (more or less) Where to go from here while ruination spreads? I wish i had an answer. I find myself fighting despair while madness seems to creep in from all directions.

Directions that we have little to no control over. I feel your pain man. The seemingly insane thought keeps pushing to the front, "these people are doing PURPOSEFUL damage. It CANNOT be any other way!"

Oh well, I really enjoyed this:
"Our national debt cannot be avoided, and Mr Obama is doing his level best to ensure it increases at geometric rates. Our current debt is estimated at $11.4 TRILLION dollars. That is the equivalent to about $37,000 for each and every American. And it's expanding by over $1 trillion a year."

37K dollars for every American? It's more like 80K for each tax payer. Or more...

Mon Jul 06, 05:54:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Law and Order Teacher said...

I can offer you some advice. Your dad's passing is obviously something you have to come to grips with. That should take priority over everything else.

My problem was I needed to sit down, cry for awhile, remember everything he meant to me and taught me.

Then it dawned on me that his life was lived for his family and he always did everything with us in mind. I thought he was telling me that he wanted me to move on with my life and that he was OK and happy.

Once I came to grips with that I moved on from there. I wasn't easy, but being a cop made me good at one thing. Assess the situation, plan out your strategy, put your head down and do it.

Just like you learn to save your ass on the job, you possess the skills to save your ass mentally. Use them to move on, not forget. Your dad would want that from his son. Hope everything works out BZ.

Feel free to comment with me whenever you like.

Mon Jul 06, 02:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger shoprat said...

Sometimes it seems that not having time to blog on weekends is a curse, but perhaps it's a blessing.

I cannot rule out the "end of days" and in fact I consider it very likely but until I know for certain I will do what I can to ensure that the Obamanation is weakened and in the end, thrown on the ash heap of history.

Mon Jul 06, 02:33:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Average American said...

There is a silver lining in every cloud. I was getting so GD fed up with Michael Jackson on my tv screen 24/7 and stopped watching TV news. By doing that, I also stopped being bombarded with all the other bad crap that was getting me down. I feel much better now thank you! Couple that with a little less blogging and I think I have found a sustainable level that is maintainable.

Tue Jul 07, 01:36:00 AM PDT  

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