THE DISREGARD OF RATIONAL AND REASONABLE

23 11 2011

Authored by William Robert Barber

There is a belief that as a manner of endeavor the sanguine quality of rational and reasonable is a demeanor of human constancy. This belief prompts many to believe that prudence and good sense are a certainty amongst and within a wide girth of substantive transactions.  For example, the forming of legislative policy is believed to be founded on premises derived from the result of prudent-logical deduction. Conceptually, the idea is that the legislator acts to enhance the public good; it therefore follows that what is logical, assiduous, principled, and morally compliant owes its breeding to what is rational and reasonable. Furthermore, the supposition of belief is that rational and reasonable is not only omnipresent, particularly in material transactions, but factually embodies the palpable cognitive of all sapient thinking.

Now, if that actually was the truthfulness of the matter, wouldn’t that all be very lovely? But instead, those in power and those that seek power create counter-intuitive impediments; they trade their values and compromise beliefs. As matter of established sway they can be counted on to pervert whatever was the original intent. Those in power or seeking it are always perched on the verge of a wanting, opaque determinative; some cause to separate them from their peers. The powerful pay more attention to the means to the end than the meaningfulness of the end. With willful acquiescence they readily resolve to abandon the literal meaningfulness of the constitution to suit their ideals, stylistic inclinations, or personal particulars. They cheerfully create for self-serving purpose pecuniary opportunities that veer the legislative process away from the vector of good sense and prudence to one of as much cronyism as righteous governess.

If one could trust in the constancy of rational and reasonable, the operational process of managing, regulating, and enforcing would be facile and deliberate. But the truths of motivational norms are elusive. I am beginning to think ‘rational and reasonable’ might be a software application; a program that intermediately intercedes into the fray of what is illogical, extralegal, and insane and then, by cause willy-nilly or discretionary, withdraws its effectiveness.  

Withstanding the unreliability or the measured veracity of rational and reasonable, for the majority, not only is rational and reasonable considered a constant in material application, it is ordained as a predetermined sapient trait; an integral constant within the human endeavor. Indeed, such an understanding is the probable platform of pre-agreement that is automatically inserted into all policy or agreement making. The believers consider rational and reasonable as an Ipso Facto, as a conclusive acceptance, a component of the beginning and the end, all wrapped into the one of an a-priori assumption.

One can certainly understand the why-fore of such an assumption. After all, it is the rational and reasonable that creates the wherewithal for comparative analysis. The problem solving mindset of pragmatic thinking — it is the deductive analysis that precedes conclusion. Therefore, critical to the resolution of any problem, the first cause of fundamental existent is the predeterminative: Rational and Reasonable. In other words, there is comfort in the knowing that as long as peoples of the world and their institutions are consistently rational in their thought and likewise reasonable in their behavior, the process of deductive reasoning will always result in the correct conclusion.

But of course the world (according to Bill Barber) is not rational nor reasonable. History indicates that a portion of the world takes its turn at expressing its brand of counter-intuitiveness, counter-productiveness, and outright insanity. Certainly there are numerous instances of actions persecuted, affirmed, and devised by the nation state to evidence the diagnostic that if not clinically insane clearly these well-documented actions are examples of explicit behavioral dysfunctional.

In spite of the rational reasonableness of any persuasion, it is not rational or reasonable to believe that North Korea is going reform its dysfunctional behavior. Such acknowledgement applies to Venezuela, Cuba, Syria, and Iran… well, the list goes on and on.

Nevertheless, policy-makers continue to conjure contractual agreements that presume the counter-party to be rational and reasonable. Our supposed allies are the countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan. We have extensive and intensive contractual relationships with both. But clearly, the actions of these counter-parties do not enhance – or even meet – the stated objectives or goal of the United States.   

It is silly of us citizens to believe that the merits of rational reasonableness will ever prompt our elected officials to act in the interest of the nation, much less their specific constituency before they act to properly feather their own bed. And surely the interest of their political party will come before the wants, needs, and requirements of us citizens. Of course there are exceptions; there are elected representatives that have epitomized the ideal traits of statesmanship. The trouble is there are too-darn-few.

The truth of the issue is that rational and reasonable has little to do with the process. And it is the process, along with statutorily compliant corruption, premeditated governmental ambiguity, the natural corruption aligned with incumbents, and the willingness of citizens to not participate or affirm their rightful obligations of citizenship.

Rational and reasonable is not a constant, not an assumptive. Read the tax code, try to understand the legislative process, audit the information the federal government posts under the flag of transparency: The application of rational and reasonable as such applies to the legislative and governing process is no longer the normative but the exception…

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AMERICA AND AMERICANS DO HAVE A CHOICE

4 11 2011

Authored by William Robert Barber

President Obama, with the Golden Gate Bridge as a background, declared that America, prompted by the mindset of its inhabitants have lost their pizzazz, their inventive and imaginative wherewithal, their vision for the stupendous, noting, Hoover Dam as an example of stupendous. I think he is just upset about his non-pizzazz reception and legislative rejection of his “Jobs Bill.” Respective of the president’s motivation in declaring America, as well as, Americans as not up to the Obama standard of enthusiasm for visionary under takings; his comments did ignite an interest in introspectiveness.

I think the first national introspective look-see into the American scope of governing operations, constitutional process, and compliance was the election of 1800; wherein Thomas Jefferson, serving as Vice President, defeated Aaron Burr and John Adams. There were two hot topics at the time. The first was the growing omnipotent power of the federal government. Jefferson swore that if elected he would end the imperializing of the central government and drag Federalist such as Burr and Adams back into constitutional compliance.

The second hot topic was the Alien and Sedition Act of 1789, which was a wholly unconstitutional effort by the congress controlling Federalist to thwart immigrant (mostly Irish and French) migration into the Jefferson-Republican political sway. Additionally, via The Sedition Act portion of the law, it provided fines or imprisonment for individuals who criticized the government, congress, or the president in speech or print. Notably the exclusion of criticism was left open for the Vice-President who happened to be Thomas Jefferson.

Well, Jefferson won the election and went on to expand not simply the land mass of the United States, but the process was by means extralegal and in direct contradiction to his pre-elective promises. He forthwith purchased the Louisiana sector from France without the prior approval of the Senate and funded the Louis and Clark expectation without the pre-approval of the House of Representatives. Precedence for abuse of power was now in place this nation went on from there to enact undeclared wars; appointments, sorted funding, and only the gods know what else all in violation of the covenants and spirit of the constitution.

Obama has proven his all-encompassing sense of stupendous projects when he contrived with a lot of help from his progressive friends the healthcare legislation. Remember how that was done? All under the banner of “elections do have their consequences,” well, instead of the Federalist controlling congress in order to pass The Alien and Sedition’s Act we had the Democrats. The result was the same sort of governing: By Imperial Maxim.

Despite the contrarian’s Presidents Carter and Obama, the United States, at least since WWI, has had a particular ‘Yankee’ pride of place, personality, as well as, its very own unique sense of bucolic individualism. We Americans have described ourselves as qualitatively different then the lands of our immigrant forefathers; indeed, the phrase, American exceptionalism is a self-imposed positive descriptive used to epitomize and enunciate the contrast between the United States and other countries.

Some would counter this idea of American exceptionalism as a conceit, an apocryphal, a Terpsichorean romantic tale, a symptom of advanced hauteur disseminated by right-wing zealots seeking to provoke the intrinsic Yankee spirit of war-mongering; therefore furthering, the continuum of dominance that supports the ideals of American-Imperialism.

Surely, historically and hysterically there is enough good, bad, and ugly to support either interpretation of the American introspective ideal. And since perception is a substantive quotient of reality one must choose (the choice being a personal one) which introspective interpretive one deduces as the most rational and sound of reason.

Interestingly, irrespective of one’s choice of perspective, undeniably, it is the United States of America that leads the world. Not just the western democracies, but also the undeveloped portions of the world; they collectively look to America for leadership. Unless willing to technologically devolve into the 7th century, even our enemies could not survive without America’s world presence.

I guess Obama can believe whatever suits his interpretive of America; he has obviously voiced his ideal of America and Americans. My preference is to think of this nation as the greatest that has ever raised its head above the suppressive chaos that was the governing norm, the societal ordinary and the cultural mundane. I particularly respect the never-give-up, always enduring, blood and guts that have defined this nation before its legal inception. So for me stupendous is innate and generic to America and all its Americans.

I choose American exceptionalism…