Finding The Happy Hunting Grounds Between The Left and Right

indianThe Happy Hunting Grounds was a place, as I understood it, to which some of the Indians went after they died where there was plenty of game to hunt and feasts to enjoy. It was a place more akin to what they knew on earth unlike heaven which some Christians believe in which seems more refined with everyone dressed in white and existing without sustenance.

I would like to explain first my use of the term Indian. It is not done in any negative or demeaning manner. The people I grew up to know as Indians were noble people to be admired for their bravery and skills. As a boy in the 7th grade riding on the trolley each school day I eagerly looked forward to seeing the Indian sculpture outside the Museum of Fine Arts show here. For a while under the subtle tut tut pressure from the PC crowd I started to call them Native Americans. I then did a little research on the issue; I found many full-blooded Indians had no objection to being called Indian recognizing it is not intended to denigrate them in any means. Here and here and here.  I suppose the U.S. Government Department of Indian Affairs having kept that name adds to my comfort using it.

Sorry for my digression. I was motivated to write this post as I was thinking of the article I wrote about the Boston Public Schools. My sense of that school system is except for Boston Latin School and one or two others, the goal of education in the public schools is to provide a similar education for all its children. It is a foolhardy goal for it dumbs everything down.

It reminded me of a quote I will use in my next book. It is: “Communism is inequality, but not as Property is. Property is exploitation of the weak by the strong. Communism is exploitation of the strong by the weak. . . . In communism inequality comes from placing mediocrity on the level of excellence.” 

Anarchist, communists, socialists are all on the left extreme. When you read the ideas of Senators Bernie Sanders and (speaking of Indians) Elizabeth Warren you can see how their approach to governing would be to drag everyone down; on the other hand on the extreme right you see the effects of unfettered capitalism where among the best, brightest, and hardest workers (success being 70% perspiration, 20% intelligence, 5% brass and 5% luck) lurk those who are highly enamored of themselves and care little about the little people.

Total equality and unfettered capitalism are both evils. The best society will recognize some are more intelligent and hard-working than others and would provide the means for them to achieve at their highest level. The best society will recognize that those who cannot do this through no fault of their own such as sickness, addiction, and learning disabilities have to have a minimum level of sustenance that allows them to exist in comfort.

It will not be accomplished by tearing down either the middle class or the rich; but it will be done by putting a greater burden on those who can more easily handle it.

I offer two simple examples of everyday injustices that should be adjusted by our society. A speeding ticket (or other violation of the law) has attached to it a specific penalty. Average man’s (AV) yearly income is $50,000. Doing well man (DW) makes ten times that. Each are stopped for speeding and fined $5,000. Neither one has the connections to change it. AV will have suffered a loss of 10% of his income; DW’s loss will be 1% of his. Why should one pay so much less and suffer so much more than the other for the same act?

AV and DW are married with 2 kids. The yearly cost to provide a family of four with basic groceries like milk, bread, fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and some snacks is $10,000. AV will have paid 20% of his income to survive while DW only 2%.

The ideal society would recognize this difference, make adjustments to narrow those differences, and what is gained from that narrowing use it to let those truly unable to help themselves to a better life. That is the happy hunting ground we should be aiming for.

14 thoughts on “Finding The Happy Hunting Grounds Between The Left and Right

  1. “…make adjustments to narrow those differences,…”

    Hmm…Lots of possibilities, some are bound to be harmful and dangerous.

    Do any particular ones come to mind?

  2. America has spent ten trillion dollars on means tested poverty programs. How much more is needed? Does the welfare state help people or is it counter productive? Does it create dependency? LBJ’s great society was a failure. The poor in America have shelter, clothing, food and transportation. Mother Theresa said the only poor in America are the poor of spirit. Is the answer more money or a spiritual renewal? 2. Many predicted dire consequences for the Republicans this year. The in crowd was proclaiming a Clinton landslide and a political re alignment. Some mistakenly saw the demise of the GOP. What happened? The Republicans now control the White House and both Houses of Congress for the first time in a century. Thirty five of the Governors are Republican. Seventy percent of state Legislatures are Republican. What party is in trouble? 3. Where are the people who decry money in politics? Those who denounce Citizens United. The Dems out spent Trump by five to one. Not one CEO of the top 100 companies in America donated to Trump. What party is obliged to Wall St. and corporate America? Only two newspapers endorsed him. Adelson’s Las Vegas and the National Inquirer. Trump should only issue press credentials to those in the media that treated him fairly. Fox, Drudge, Breitbart, I Heart radio and the two papers. All others should be excluded from the White House, Pentagon, State Department and DOJ press briefings. After two years the offending types could have their credentials restored if they act properly. If they continue their smears they never get back in. 4. Trump is going to ask five thousand bikers to organize an Occupy Harvard movement. The FBI will endorse this sit in. 5. We know March 17 is a great day for the Irish. Was November 8 2016 also one? Pence VP. Ryan Speaker. McConnell Majority Leader. Kelli Ann Conway as first woman to run a winning presidential campaign. Happy Days.

    1. NC:

      “5. We know March 17 is a great day for the Irish. Was November 8 2016 also one? Pence VP. Ryan Speaker. McConnell Majority Leader. Kelli Ann Conway as first woman to run a winning presidential campaign. Happy Days.”

      All of Irish descent? I’m curious as to how you know this.

      1. GOK: I looked it up.From their on-line bios: Kellyanne Fitzpatrick Conway has Celtic roots: her father was Irish; her mother Italian. Paul Ryan’s father is of Irish heritage, his mother German-English. McConnell and Mitchell are Celtic names (Gaelic-Scots-Irish) Mitchell can also be of English origin; Mitch McConnell identifies himself solely as “American”. Mike Pence’s grandparents immigrated from Ireland.

  3. Matt :

    There is a show called SPEAKEASY on PBS. Luminaries in any particular field, two of them, converse freely for an uninterrupted hour.

    I was fortunate Wednesday night to chance upon Rita Coolidge and Graham Nash , old friends from the pixillated Sixties, fellow musicians, sometimes collaborators, just having a bang up conversation. She was and still is a beauty and as she whispered her age merrily to Graham in answer to his question, 71 , I smiled . Married to Kris Kristofferson for six years back in the day, ripped off for an absolutely deserved writing credit for the melody Clapton set his monster Rock hit LAYLA to, and enduring the 2014 spousal murder suicide of her sister and frequent band mate, Priscilla, Rita is a beautiful and mystically charmed survivor.

    Graham was a working class English West Sheffield boy, now a very intact 74, who became a cultural icon as one of the four horseman of CROSBY STILLS NASH AND YOUNG. ” Tin soldiers and Nixon coming . We’re finally on our own ” … THAT Guy!

    These two seasoned campaigners got down in this conversation. Towards the close Graham said that realistically both he and Rita were blessed to have lived in a sort of protective bubble as rock stars for about the past half-century . But casting the question out to the adumbrated studio audience, like me rapt on every word of the two, he said … ” But hey really you know you think about it and even how many seconds you actually have left and you realize that hey, you’ve got to get on with it. ‘ … Intimations Of Mortality we might paraphrase here as the Spirit of the question he was wrestling, as do we all perhaps, with!

    Rita smiled lovingly at him and asserted that this was absolutely true, and that as they had discussed earlier they had both … chosen to be happy… and that one must simply be PRESENT. She heard his lonely existential howl and in pack support howled reassurance ,from the neighboring ridge as it were, right back at the Old Wolf.

    Perhaps it was the white clothes and no sustenance figuration of ” Heaven” in your post that brought my experience with these two the other night to mind. I suggest that you YouTube their pow wow, and listen to the howls of the … Found. 🙂

    1. Matt:
      I encourage your quest to form a fairer society. Enhancing equal opportunity, the level playing field, is a worthwhile goal. Equal outcomes are an illusion. A just society cares for the poor. But some ways of caring are counter-productive, retrogressive or just plain wrong. The Welfare State has broken up families and worsened the poor’s plight.
      2. As I recommended to Khalid, I recommend deep immersion in Thomas Sowell’s writings. You can’t create equality by stifling productivity nor by handcuffing the talented nor by impeding the industrious. You can’t create equality. Period! There will always be differences in outcomes, achievements. Salk and Sabine and their cohorts created vaccines. Talent, creativity, genius, hard work, education, opportunity, individual initiative, supportive structures. Sowell emphasizes that two groups of immigrants who came to America the woefully poorest of the poor and initially the most discriminated against rose to become the most successful, economically and educationally: the Jews and Irish-Catholics. The Black middle class overcame Jim Crow and vestiges of slavery and rose educationally and economically through the 1950s, then the Welfare State and Gangsta Culture caused a “retrogression”, in Sowell’s view.
      3. Economics, sociology, psychology, the law, etc., do not have all the answers. No field does, and no one does. Life, it turns out, is an experiment. Societies are experiments. Restructuring societies are experiments.
      4. I recall a professor (explaining elemental economics to non-economics majors) saying that if you lived on an island and you grew crops, and one crop got $2 a bushel and another got $4 a bushel, you’d grow more of the latter. It depends, a student said. What if I were Paul Gauguin and preferred the color of the #2 crop, and liked looking out my window more often at a plethora of that color? Art over cash!
      5. I recall a debate between the Deans of two Colleges of Business Administration in the Boston area, and one admonishing the other: Economics does not explain all human behavior.
      6. I read recently in Science that a long-held view of the existence of a Zoo of Subatomic Particles is probably wrong. Even science gets it wrong. We are stuck with quarks (the elemental particles that make up protons and neutrons (composites)), leptons (elemental particles including electrons and neutrinos) and force carriers (elemental particles such as photons, gluons and Higgs Boson.) Science does not have all the answers. 95% of the stuff in the universe (dark matter and dark energy) science can’t explain.
      7. So, understanding all that, we strive to learn more and do better.
      So, thanks to you and all who comment on this blog.

    2. JKM: Kris Kristofferson is a good name to evoke on Veterans Day. Army Captain, helicopter pilot, completed Ranger School, served during Vietnam, but stationed in Germany. Song writer of note: Help Me Make it Through the Night; Sunday Morning Coming Down, et al.

  4. wa-llahi! None of the election hoopla will matter. Six months from now, perhaps, sooner, America will be sending at least three divisions of troops to Iraq. Despite plenty of operators, and, advisory staff, the ongoing proxy offensive for Mosul is starting to run out of steam. In the last few days, Obama, dispatched 1700 combat troops to the front to stiffen the effort. That’s a discouraging sign. The DAESH turned out to have committed 3x more mujahideen than was estimated by intel before the campaign began. They have at least fifteen thousand experienced infantry dug into fighting positions in the central city. FM Montgomery, of El Alamein fame, estimated that for a frontal assault to succeed, the offense needs three times the number of troops of possessed by the defenders. The proxy forces number about thirty thousand. Glorious Leader will have to decide whether to abandon Iraq, or, commit major ground forces to salvage the US position.

    It’s going to cost a lot of blood to rub out DAESH. Is Trump ready to make the sacrifice?
    Are the Moms and Dads of America ready to lose their sons and daughters to conquer a mirage? Would Glorious Leader offer up young Baron to the “blood flecked maw of Bellona?” If America recommits to Iraq, US troops will be there for a decade, plenty of time for Baron to participate in the noble sacrifice of lesser folks.

    We’re marching, marching, to Shiboleth, with the eagle, and, the sword.
    We’ll, march, and, march, until, we’re dead, or, meet our last reward.

    (Firesign Theater)

    Watch for stats on fatal training accidents, and, on-base traffic collisions resulting in fatalities, to get an idea of what the current effort has cost in SF KIA.

    1. The claim is that “at least fifteen thousand experienced infantry dug into fighting positions in the central city”?

      F.M. Montgomery had no participation in the firebombing of Dresden. That type of attack can be repeated in this context until the proper ratios are achieved.

      1. Ed:
        Hmmm? How’s the Dresden Bombing connected to the battle of El Alamein, besides, occurring during the same conflict?

        I suppose one could obliterate central Mosul from the air, but, lots of innocent people still live there, hundreds of thousands, and, they are being used as hostages. The destruction of Dresden is universally recognized as a war crime. Making a parking lot out of Mosul would, also, be considered one. That means, it has to be an infantry struggle. The proxy units, Peshmerga, and, Iraqi CT, are failing to prevail. They don’t have the organic firepower of an American marine, or, army, maneuver battalion. They, also, don’t have any artillery resembling the supporting fires available on the US brigade, and, divisional levels, let alone the air resources. It looks distressingly like Glorious Leader will have to consider using US troops to take Mosul.

        Will the US will adopt the same technique used to clear Manila back in WWII, a high casualty, block-to-block struggle for every inch of the place, using point blank fire from heavy artillery pieces? During TET, the Marines tried to take it ginger with Hue in the first few days, but, after casualties became prohibitive, the gloves came off, and, the place got leveled. Once things get started, it’s hard to apply the brakes.

        Maybe, Trump won’t take the bait.

        1. Al Jazeera has an excellent map of the DAESH positions in their Mideast section. Fifteen thousand mujahideen, too much? Remember to count the angels. Scholars say, that for every mujahid standing in the battle line, there are two angels fighting beside him. It comes from a hadith about the Battle of Badr, in which, the Prophet, and, his Sahaba, defeated a force three times their number.

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