18 March, 2009

Two reads.

This morning, two reads struck me as worth the time, the first is by William Grigg and it is here:

Dismantling the Killer Elite

by William Norman Grigg

Sometimes the truth is best told through fictional allegory, especially when a dash of comedy is used to make the parables more palatable. Witness, for example, the variation on the familiar "I'll need your badge and gun" scene from the action farce The Naked Gun.

Countless police films present exactly the same scene, in which the forlorn hero, after being led by his zeal to commit some grave breach of protocol or some (apparent) lapse of judgment, is put on administrative leave and forced to surrender his insignia of office and his government-issued firearm.

The conventions of movie melodrama dictate that as he turns over his shield the disgraced police officer take generous pause to look pensively at the token of official authority, wordlessly conveying a deep sense of inconsolable loss. And the balance of the story consists of the cashiered officer working through back-channels and other unsanctioned avenues to vindicate himself and take down whatever criminal mastermind was responsible for his humiliation.

As I said, we've witnessed that scene in scores, perhaps hundreds, of cinematic and television variations. However, to my knowledge, only Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) of The Naked Gun has actually articulated the otherwise unspoken thoughts of the police officer forced to turn in his gun and badge.

"Just think," a dejected Drebin comments to his anguished partner, "the next time I shoot someone, I could go to jail."

Go read the rest of the article, and then his archives, and then spend some time reading the "Only Ones."

The second is this one:

What Does 'Equal Pay for Equal Work' Mean?

by Wilton D. Alston

"In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards."

~ Bertrand Russell

Well, that didn't take long.

In the first official bill signing of his administration, President Barack Obama struck a blow for the equality of all workers! Or at least that's what he (and I reckon his supporters) think he did. There is much to discuss with regard to this issue, and I'll get to that, but before I do, I think I better head off some knee-jerk reactions that this essay might generate.

No, I'm not a Republican, and even though House Republicans sought to block this bill, I am under no illusion that many of them have even a faint clue. (Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.)

No, I'm not of the opinion that men and women should be paid differently for the same work, but frankly, that's not my decision to make. Given that value is subjective, I am not even sure what the term, "the same work" even means. (I will cover both of these issues below.)

What Is Important versus What Is Not

If anyone needed indication that many of the House Republicans who opposed this bill were just as clueless as many of the House Democrats who supported it, this quote should mitigate that confusion.

Some will ask what do the two articles have in common, and this is simple- both express the fundamental problem with the Republic, and actually since civilization started. Way too many people thinking they KNOW how to dictate how others should live their lives and what they do to try and enforce such SINS.

Most, I think, do it because they wish the "grace" of their god, others for not so "noble" reasons, however I think both (and these are not the only types) are power mad tyrants and deserving the fate that has befallen so many of them- "Sic Semper tyrannis!" And there are so MANY today, many more than should have ever been allowed to spawn- let alone flourish.


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