But one reason will get its own little blog post.
Over the weekend [unfortunately, while at a ballgame], I had a lengthy text conversation with two pals about -- you guessed it, the exercise of government power, the role of the executive, checks and balances, terrorism, security, blah blah blah. The chief antagonists/debaters were the Mule and Fred C. Dobbs.
It was a good one. And it helps explain why I'm a quieter, less mouthy Mule.
And it came down to values.
Now, values is often used to imply (or mistakenly used FOR) morals. I'm NOT using it that way; I'm using it in its natural meaning -- the things the parties value.
And this lengthy, contentious debate ultimately demonstrated again something that I've tried to comment on before. The participants all do see the same thing, and (if I may presume) see a spectrum. In this case, a line (again if I may presume; the participants might use other words or disagree) with Total Government Control - Dictatorial Omnipotence, if you will- and Absence of Government Control-- Anarchy, if you will.
|A domestic drone. In silver. Courtesy ICE.|
We were debating the place of drones and DAA detention, and targeted killings, and surveillance
|Chicago policeman. In black and blue.|
He did so because he placed a higher value on security than I did, and I placed a higher value on freedom from government observation or interference.
There's not really a lot of rich ground to mine there, blog-wise: we see the same thing, we likely have the same concerns, but we each view the bargain differently, and want something different from it. I know that I realized approximately where I came down on that line back in 1993, and few things have moved it substantially. But we may view these things only a little differently; I'm not sure. We're not really tested by circumstance on the full spectrum between Omnipotence and Anarchy. We may be four inches apart oin a mile-long spectrum. We're probably pretty side-by-side; I doubt either of us could countenance the extremes, and would fight either tooth and nail.
What does this have to do with blogging, you ask? Well, I love the abstract argument as much as the next dude, but I'm really not eager to substitute my values for the other guy's. We obviously think the thing that we value more highly is "better," but I think a Honda Fit is better than a Honda Accord,
|The Honda Fit. In red.|
|The Epiphone Casino. As Gahd intended it.|
What does this have to do with blogging, you ask? And why won't I get to the boring fucking point already?
I didn't choose to look at politics or governance this way in the past, at least on this blog. If you'd asked me, I could have laid out the line and values, but it was more fun to try to sell my values to others.
It seems less important than ever. And, more importantly, with each passing day, the experiences and teachings of our lives that give substance to those values is longer, older, and firmer.
To be sure, we're not hopelessly set in our ways; we can change values. But even more likely, our growth and change occurs when we better see how something we value is gained or achieved through something than we once saw differently. We adjust our behaviours and preferences accordingly. It's less about growing old and fossilized, and more about knowing ourselves and what we think is best. But I think the values are pretty solid by this time.
Oh, and the blog's quiet because I try to put any interesting image on the Gunslinger, and because I'm so busy banging cocktail waitresses and stewardesses that I just don't have time for photography or music appreciation.
There: after a pointless and maudlin post, I was able to get back to my roots and my strengths at the wire. . . .
I'll offer Settling In, Settling Down when complete.