Monday, March 28, 2011

Netopia, Blogging, and the Libyan Crisis

While reading the New York Times, Sunday, I came across the article about blogging. I read it twice. Why? Because I blog. What did I take away from the article? The comment by Ezra Klein. He pointed out how as more people read his work, he realised he should be more circumspect about how he expresses himself.

The example he gives is, "...Mr. Lieberman was “willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score.” A comment about Senator Joe Lieberman and health care legislation. Mr. Klein regrets the phrasing.

Why bring this up? Because I want to post a comment about health care and about phrasing. Also, because I want my comment to include military intervention in Libya.

The problem with the health care legislation passed back in the mists of time is not about Liberals or Conservatives or about Democrats or Republicans. The problem arises from the sublimation of the legislative process. Now, If I'd said, "...the sublimation of the democratic process," I would have sunk to the level of ideological rhetoric.

The difference lies in the fact that while we may have opinions about democracy, the legislative process is a matter or rules and procedures. (Almost.)

This makes it important to both the bloggers and the readers that the opinions are expressed in a manner consistent with the vision of the blogger. Case in point: If Art Buchwald were alive and blogging (and I believe he would be), we would immediately recognise that what is posted is intended to be funny. (And, as humour almost always contains an element of truth, reflects a truth that is understood albeit not accepted by everyone.)

Some bloggers are understood to be incendiary. We know this. We accept this. We respect the right of the blogger to do this. However, ultimately, we do know this about the blogger.

Other bloggers present themselves as objective assessors of what is in the news. While they may express an opinion, they present themselves as conveyors of opinions that are rooted in sincere belief and in truth.

What happens in the news cannot always withstand the strictness that the empirical method of scientific analysis imposes on proving theories. With the empirical method, we test for one variable. The procedures of the experiment are adhered to. We must duplicate our results. Someone else, using the same procedure and using the same variable and constants (k) must produce the same results.

In politics, we formulate a theory then seek the facts that will substantiate our conclusions. We see this in the spirited debate about Libya, about the economy, about every issue.

For years people have criticised the UN Security Council because, as the old adage goes, "it takes ten people to say yes but only one person to say no."

We saw this with the resolution providing for the coalition formed to approve the Libyan operation. Generally what we saw was that this country doesn't like that, that country doesn't like this, and another country likes them both, but doesn't like something else.

Then, no sooner than the President finds consensus among the members of the Security Council than members of Congress, left and right, recapitulate the impediment. One Senator doesn't like this, one Senator doesn't like that, and a third Senator likes both but doesn't like something else.

Then, the process is further challenged by talk of impeachable offenses. This rhetoric only gives ammunition to those nations looking to stop any future military action that may be crucial to global peace and security. It will be too easy for one country to veto the call for a coalition action citing their not wanting to lead our President into committing an impeachable offense.

There is a reason our Founding Fathers wrote a Constitution that declares the President to be the Commander-in-Chief and not the Chairman of the Committee.



Copyright (c) 2011 Slim Fairview


First North American Serial Rights.

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