It Is Complicated

If you have not noticed, people are very complicated. Consistency is not humanity’s best-known trait; although, I have come to value it more as I grow older. Supposedly, in psychology, five factors determine different personality traits. The big five factors are:

  • Openness: appreciation for a variety of experiences.
  • Conscientiousness: planning ahead rather than being spontaneous.
  • Extraversion: being sociable, energetic and talkative.
  • Agreeableness: being kind, sympathetic and happy to help.
  • Neuroticism: inclined to worry or be vulnerable or temperamental.

According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, there are sixteen different personality types. It is more likely that an individual will tend toward several different ‘types’ rather than matching only one. Moreover, a person often changes types as they walk, or run, through life’s mysteries. In addition, there is luck, good or bad, yogurt happens.

If you are consistently fortunate and life has smiled on you then it is more likely that others will describe you as possessing positive personality traits, a bonhomie, if you will. e.g. Adventurous, Helpful, Affable, Humble, Capable, Imaginative, Charming, Impartial, Confident, Independent, Conscientious, Keen, Cultured, Meticulous, Dependable, Observant, Discreet, Optimistic, Dutiful, Persistent, Encouraging, Precise, Exuberant, Reliable, Fair, Trusting, Fearless, Valiant, Gregarious.

Alternatively, if your life circumstances have been less kind and you have experienced events that are more negative then you might find your descriptors fall into this other list. Arrogant, Quarrelsome, Boorish, Rude, Bossy, Sarcastic, Conceited, Self-centered, Cowardly, Slovenly, Dishonest, Sneaky, Finicky, Stingy, Impulsive, Sullen, Lazy, Surly, Malicious, Thoughtless, Obnoxious, Unfriendly, Picky, Unruly, Pompous, or Vulgar.

Personally, I believe we could all be described using adjectives from both sets of traits depending upon your life circumstances at the time. If the fluidity of our lives dictates our personality traits then for the Ayn Randian advocates, how much control do we exert over which group of adjectives that others will use to describe us?

What part does luck play in defining our personalities?

I dreamt of meeting my earliest true “girl friend” last night. Never have I experienced such feelings of love for a woman, before or since. We ran into each other in an Airport Terminal. She appeared just as lovely as I remember her, although significantly taller; I guess in my dream reality, she grew after we parted. Growth is a part of life and one would hope that we grow all throughout our lives, in one way or another. I remember thinking upon waking, “what might have been?” My illness began manifesting itself just prior to our breakup, although no one knew it at the time. What would my life story, and subsequently, my personality descriptors have been, had I not had the misfortune of being born with a colloid cyst blocking the Third ventricle in my brain?

My first wife was fond of saying that there is no such thing as luck. She was a fan of self-determination; “you are what you make of yourself.” She is someone whose descriptors would come from the former group of adjectives. I wonder if her belief has changed over the years; however, I am disinclined to seek her out and ask.

InSufficient Reason

I just read this Post on Facebook written by an angry Conservative, named Dear Liberal…Here’s Why I’m So Hostile. It is far from being a ‘Rant’ or easily dismissed. It is very well written and logical. To refute it would take time, research, and much thought. The question I ask myself, having engaged this issue by already reading it, is whether or not to invest my time and energy in writing a rebuttal to this offal.

It seems this self proclaimed conservative and admirer of Ronald Reagan wishes to compare the Bill of Rights to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights:

  1. The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;
  2. The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
  3. The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
  4. The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
  5. The right of every family to a decent home;
  6. The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
  7. The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment;
  8. The right to a good education.

 

THE BILL OF RIGHTS – FULL TEXT

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

 

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The original Bill Of Rights that the conservative writer claims doesn’t cost a dime, because it always comes back to economics with conservatives, the Almighty Dollar, “who’s going to pay for it? “ is the first question asked. Unfortunately or apparently Mr. Choate has conveniently forgotten all the blood and treasure already spent in obtaining and maintaining them.

The word Conservative means:

Adjective

  1. Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.
  2. Cautiously moderate or purposefully low: a conservative estimate.
  3. Traditional in style or manner; avoiding novelty or showiness: conservative suit.
  4. (often initial capital letter) of or relating to the Conservative party.
  5. (initial capital letter) of, relating to, or characteristic of Conservative Jews or Conservative Judaism.
  6. Having the power or tendency to conserve or preserve.
  7. Mathematics. (of a vector or vector function) having curl equal to zero; irrotational; lamellar.

Noun

  1. A person who is conservative in principles, actions, habits, etc.
  2. A supporter of conservative political policies.
  3. A member of a conservative political party, especially the Conservative party in Great Britain.
  4. A preservative.

Choate takes great pains to define who he’s writing to. He claims that there is more in common between the liberals, he intends to abuse in his anti government polemic, and conservatives. In his deluded mind conservatives are the paradigm we should all aspire to, because “conservatives really are concerned with the plight of the poor in this nation”. But unfortunately, because conservatives are by definition; “Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.” they are obviated from doing anything to alter the institutions of Racism, Sexism, or Economic Privilege that maintains the status quo where blacks, women, and the poor have less than a fair chance to compete and achieve the American Dream.

Mr. Choate continues his rant with an attack of the twice vetted Affordable Care Act (ACA) citing concerns over another government run organization. “However, unlike you, we see a grave danger in turning the administration of that delivery system over to the same entity that is responsible for giving us the United States Postal Service.” Again using his selective memory and slanted point of view Choate denigrates the USPS, an organization that has successfully delivered the mail since its inception without asking for any funds from the US Taxpayer until the Congress of the US placed an unbearable burden on it to pre-pay for retiree Health Care.

“US Postal Service workers have a retiree health care benefit in addition to their pension. Before Congress passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, the USPS operated under a pay-as-you-go model for retiree health care funding. The new law requires the Postal Service to pre-fund its benefit obligations. The USPS in its current form runs like a business, relies on postage for revenue and, for the most part, has not used taxpayer money since 1982, when postage stamps became “products” instead of forms of taxation. Taxpayer money is only used in some cases to pay for mailing voter materials to disabled and overseas Americans.

USPS spokespersons have been adamant in emphasizing that they are not requesting taxpayer funds from the federal government to make this year’s payment. Rather, they say, the USPS is asking Congress to authorize access to an estimated $7 billion that they overpaid into the future retiree pension fund in previous years.” From a PBS article http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/five-things/the-u-s-postal-service/11433/

The erudite conservative takes some wild swings at FDR’s Second Bill of Rights by claiming, “FDR’s list is no “Bill of Rights”.  It’s a list of demands.” I beg to differ, they are not a set of demands; they are a statement of commitment to a new basis of security and prosperity that should be established for all regardless of station, race or creed.

Closing in on his attack on liberalism Choate makes this statement “your political beliefs are a threat to liberty – not just for me, but for my three boys and their children as well.”

Without having been asked Choate gives his reasons: “In your irrational attempt to classify things such as clothing, shelter, health care, employment, and income as basic human rights, you are placing a demand upon my time, my treasure, and my talents.”

This is a common variation to the conservative chant, ‘I’ve got mine so you can go pound.’ And then he sinks into fear mongering, another favorite in the Bagger’s toolkit. “If I choose not to give to the poor for whatever reason, you won’t simply try to persuade me on the merits of the idea – you will seek to use the government as an instrument of plunder to force me to give to the poor.”

Choate portrays himself, and those who share his views, as the heroic patriots defending home and hearth against the specter of an oppressive Big Government coming to take what they have and give it to those poor, needy, and ‘entitled’ wretches.

The final de-evolution comes with as paranoid a threat as I’ve ever heard or read. “If you want to become a slave to an all-powerful central government, be my guest.  But if you are planning to take me and my family down with you, as we say down here in the South, I will stomp a mud-hole in your chest and walk it dry.

Bring it.”

What can I say, what words can I write that would possibly convince such a person that his well written piece is delusional at best, bat crap crazy at worst. But they are our brothers, we are all Americans, all want what’s best for ourselves, our families, and our nation. I’m a Liberal and proud of it, I too want those things for my loved ones, I’m just not willing to leave others in desperation to secure my piece of it. Humanity, Justice, Forgiveness!

http://sufficient-reason.tumblr.com/post/26781491317/dear-liberalheres-why-im-so-hostile