Saturday, November 12, 2016


Grafting a Second Head onto the Body Politic
by RW SPISAK

Where we are today.

Neither of the two highly energized constituencies is going to find itself comfortable being served or "politely ignored" regardless of which figurehead of the two party system is "selected".

The question becomes how to bind the wounds that these two quite opposite constituencies suffer into one working civic whole again.

Now I will dispense with the naysayers quickly, especially those whose dream space is a civil war, with martial law and retraining camps or massive commercial gulags where Hispanic emigres or liberals or posse commitatis types are herded together by a vastly expanded Homeland security. If we turn our vast military strength inward our success will be terribly destructive and short lived.
An American Civil War II - would give all our enemies in the world - more than a free hand - it would plunge much of the world equally into chaos.
Think what China and Russia would do with a free hand in Asia, Africa and South America or worse Antarctica or even more ominously out in Space, the new high ground.

Done.

How do we graft a second head on the body politic which has grown comfortable with gridlock, and complacent in the face of so much need.

I will discuss 3 models.

The Shadow Government Model
The "India/Pakistan" or Vivisection Model
Hybrid/GMO model - the undiscovered country model.

Among the serious issues that must be faced is that we have for a variety of reasons seen our country evolve to a place where several seeming incompatible camps or constituencies are vying for power and social control. Decades of educational policy has encouraged a kind of social myopia which regards certain value  differences as incompatible with a "moral" civil life. And concomitant they would choose the route of legal sanctions to enforce observation of their particular lifestyle choices.

Let me point out a baker's dozen of these dilemmas.

1 Abortion / Anti Abortion
2 Sanctioned enforced civic prayer/ civic agnosticism
3 Racial separation/ Full participation
4 Cultural Diversity / Monoculture
5 Socialized Medicine / Medical Capitalism
6 Drug Control Policy / Legalize it!
7 Free Education / Corporatized Schools
8 Libraries / Sport Arenas for billionaires
9 Land Preservation / Universal Development
10 Organic Food Choices / GMO + Anything goes
11 Honor Treaties / Economic Genocide
12 Civic Parks / Amusement Parks
13 Wild lands / Zoos
14 Racial Profiling / Colorblind Law Enforcement
15 Quality Water Policy / Frack it
16 Investment in Infrastructure/ Capitol Driven Public Policy
17 Robust State Department/ Muscular Foreign Policy
18 Evolution vs Creationism

There are indisputably subtle variations and shades of grey among these but I hope to illustrate a few of the flash points where lifestyle and philosophical choices have ossified to a dangerous friction and either we begin actively work to "give each other the space" to Develop Communities of like-minded social mores or we see these now largely litigious (only occasionally bloody) battles become more destabilizing.

One might idealistically hope, that well and easily within the confines of the American experiment we might allow or at least acquiesce in "tolerance" for a wide range of cultural options.

Unfortunately the zealots among us, people who've come to believe that they, and their private arsenal are the "public enforcers" of their personal morality, seem all too ready to choose confrontation and are often armed with more than the color of law.

We see abortion clinics under attack, anti-cultural and racist attacks increasingly common and an almost daily diet of outrage with judicial and police excesses from coast to coast, that broadly violate a sense of fairness in what can still be cobbled together as a body politic. But civil justice, and even the rule of law frays as it loses the respect of the broader culture especially on so many simultaneous fronts. When the excesses and failures from the bench and behind the badge offend so many and are on HI DEF display on a screen near almost everyone it is civilization that bears the wounds.

And what compact of civilization can persist much less succeed, if trust in civil law has been destroyed?

End Part 1



Part II  - The Unusual Answers (Explored)

The Shadow Government Model

This is the easiest and least satisfying option. But it is the simplest, and least costly to implement.

This approach has many advantages. Among them, it could expand the opportunities for public discussions of serious issues that otherwise might have been ignored.
This approach can facilitate (whether formally or informally) a civic airing of grievances or at the very least, the discussion of perspectives that might otherwise not only be off the table, but too often literally invisible.

The fresh perspectives and insights available in an open public forum might also result in a wider range of solutions under consideration. It might very well profit us all opening up the discussion, not just for broader input, but from the added "Buy in" additional social cohesion will benefit us all.

This broader discussion might just enhance our options. And it might also serve as a pressure release valve that could go a long way to reducing the chance for uncivil behaviors. When the range of ideas under consideration are too narrow and participation is limited, the disenfranchised tend to object.

Recent situations might illustrate how we might have benefited from an opening up of the intellectual doors and throwing open the windows of wisdom.

EXAMPLE 1:
The exclusion of (Senator Sanders / Dr. Jill Steins / Gov. Johnson) from all of the public debates, did not benefit the public, regardless of how it served the interests of the two major private parties.]

EXAMPLE 2:
The only discussions before the public on GM Foods, or NUCLEAR POWER comes complete with the heavy thumbprint of commercial interests, little or no attempt made to present a balanced discussion of their inherent risks / problems, (most of which, remain largely unsolved) and almost never discussed in a public forum absent an immediate catastrophe, which overwhelms any cost benefit analysis, and tends to collapse under the weight of "what must be considered immediately. (See FUKUSHIMA / INDIAN POINT / Turkey Point)

EXAMPLE 3:
The same thing might be said regarding treatment in the mainstream media, of incidents of racial friction, when for example discussions of Black Lives Matter are nearly always framed in a context of Civil Unrest, rather than HUMAN RIGHTS. There seems never to be a time or place for Dispassionate discussion.

EXAMPLE 4:
The near invisibility of any serious public policy discussions of the issue of (Near Universal) PESTICIDE EXPOSURE or the broad ranging impacts of FRACKING BY-PRODUCTS and that is hardly an accident. Although it certainly serves narrow commercial interests.

EXAMPLE 5:
Finally the dangerous lack of public discussion of the nearly (fifty year wars) that has not only made the near east a war zone and a terror and refuge wellspring. But has consumed decades of resources both human and pecuniary. Again this lack of debate serves certain narrow commercial interests with huge consequences not just for Americans but for citizens and resources across the globe.

When war (foreign) policy is obtained, not through debate, but is instead (dialed up) obtained via contrived agitprop engineered to obtain a certain public (acquiescence/buy in) there is no desire in the circles of power for a broader (less controllable) discussion.

Shock and Awe” and “War on Terror” are little more
than carefully market-tested slogans.
SEE: "War to end all Wars" in an earlier era.

All too often, our only glimpses of what our government is actually up to, comes not from official sources, but from "WHISTLE BLOWERS" who are silenced as soon as possible. What is usually within view is the fleetingly visible “ice above the waterline” stories like "BILLIONS UNACCOUNTED FOR IN PENTAGON", "PALETTES of CASH BRIBES for WARLORDS" delivered to... pick one PAKISTAN, LEBANON, SYRIA, IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN.

When / Where did the FOREIGN POLICY public debate actually happen? Isn't this a prime responsibilities of our very well paid part time civil servants in Congress. If not during the election cycle THEN WHEN? Tough issue? Very Complex? We're ready, even thirsty for a debate that is somehow never scheduled. Americans ache, but definitely bleed for such an open debate. Hastert Rule, be damned.

I beg to differ with our former Attorney General,
"Due Process", does not in fact mean, we secretly "did a process".
Drones and BLACK SITES are not a real solution to the lack of debate on foreign policy.

Another question quite deserving of debate, which we await is this:

EXAMPLE 6:
Why is there always money for WEAPONS SYSTEMS, (even unwanted dysfunctional expensive systems) but oddly no money for Flint MI Water System or any of the incompletely resolved Superfund Clean Up Sites, which continue to do further damage who have been "orphaned" with little explanation beyond boredom and lack of interest.

HOW IT MIGHT WORK:
A “Shadow Defense Minister”, or a “SHADOW EPA CHIEF” not so beholden to the industry, might be able to raise questions in a public forum that otherwise in MAX BACCUS's apt phase, would be “OFF THE TABLE”.

While the old civic adage, BIPARTISANSHIP PAUSES (ends) at the Shore, has been woefully misplaced of late. It might very well be deserving of exhumation.

What part a “Shadow Secretary of State” might play, could be limited to raising issues not quite comforting to the FOREIGN POLICY ESTABLISHMENT an establishment that barely seems to listen to its own inhouse expertise much less allows for any out of the box thinking, or something far more robust like TESTIMONY before CONGRESS.

Alternatively Our "shadow” ministers or "secretaries" might hold their own hearings. They might "Write reports" or White papers and thereby stimulate discussion. This would insure discussions that might otherwise not happen, and just might encourage those outside the ring of actual civic power to raise questions and engage in debate. And no doubt it just might stimulate those in power to be more attentive" to a PUBLIC OUTCRY.

END PART II











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