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The #Compassion #Project, Only #Compassion #Defeats #Dehumanization

Different from empathy and sympathy compassion is the strength to be willing to try and ease someone's suffering, to help them ho...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Compassionate, Constructive Conservative

Despite commandments not to judge others and to love everyone that many claim to follow, it seems like many conservatives feel that everyone except themselves is lazy and evil, out to screw everyone, especially them. It is true that some people are, but most aren't. A small percentage of people involved in any system, will try to take advantage of that system bt that doesn't invalidate the system. Evn so called "bums" , the homeless who often suffer severe mental illness, try to be productive. They colle4ct change, bottles and other materials, scanaging, scrounging and generally doing whatever it takes to survive. They aren't sitting around spas sucking the public teat... that's senators. They aren't harming us, they are leading typically horrible, desperate existences as best they can. 

Poverty breeds most of the social ills we have. It causes stress and malnutrition that promotes mental and physical illness, intense chronic pains that most people will do or take whatever they can to numb. Thus drug use becomes rampant, usually making it easier or necessary to commit crimes. All the problems magnify each other. Distrust spreads until governments are brought to a halt. It is in everyone's interest to keep its citizens, taxpayers, and consumers, above the poverty level. It reduces crime, improves general health, and makes for a more civilized, reasonable, compassionate society.

But some would use the misery of the poor to spur the rest of us on. Some conservatives believe it is only fear and punishment that keeps most people honest and productive. There has to be the threat of poverty to keep people working. If there was a level of income below which no one was allowed to fall, no one would do anything and society would collapse. No one, that is, except these conservatives, who are the only ones who work hard to try and better their lives. The idea that once their basic needs are guaranteed, no one would want anything more or better, or would ever need to replace or fix what he has, seems to ignore basic human nature and reality.

The reliance of these "True Conservatives" on fear, character assassination, and punishment exposes the weakness of their ideology. It opens the door to abuse far wider than helping everyone maintain a dignified income level. The danger screams Orwellian loud from a wall speaker during the Hate time. Are you a "True Conservative"? Are you a "True German" Adolf? They see only the pure and impure. There can be no middle ground. This way of thinking produces only misery and conflict for everyone. It is the siren song of fanatcism, so-called "fundamentalism". Funny how only what serves the interests and fears of the fundamentalist is fundamental. Also funny how often it is dirtectly opposed to what is truely fundamental, essential, to the belief system of which it claims to be the purest example. In the States, the Tea Party has managed to use this thinking to bully the other conservatives into actually shutting down their government without caring ounce about who it hurts.

Are these the "True Conservatives"?

These cons believe there can only be two classes of people: the deserving upper class and the undeserving lower class. Those not in the upper classes belief it their due one day, because they are deserving. Thus they actively attack the middle - economically, politically, socially, and religiously. 

The senator speaking about a guaranteed income experiment done in Canada on the following episode of CBC's The 180 is the kind of conservative that I can respect. He is actually concerned with the welfare of his fellow citizens and society, respecting facts above ideology, and not afraid to agree with those of a different political belief when it makes sense. Rather than cling to indefensible opinions and mistakes as if they were divine he is willing to change his mind and admit errors. I find that admirable. He seems to recognize that you can build a healthy country by ignoring, even attacking, 60% or more of the population. You need to communicate, comprehend, compromise, cooperate, and negotiate - things of which the Harper types have shown to be incapable.

Where has the reasonable, thoughtful, compassionate, constructive, conservative gone?

Prescription heroin, Wildrose vs. NDP, Mincome revisited, GMO's

Friday, October 11, 2013 

On this episode Jim Brown and his guests discuss a ban on prescribing heroin to treat people with addictions, and a proposal for a guaranteed minimum income in Canada. As well, Jim moderates a debate between the leaders of Alberta's Wildrose Party and the New Democratic Party, and hears from a defender of genetically modified foods.